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Links 2/6/2020: New Firefox Release (77), Debian-based MX Linux 19.2, KDevelop 5.5.2, GNU/Linux Growth on Desktops/Laptops

Posted in News Roundup at 1:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Marketshare Increased Again Last Month

      Last month the company reported that Linux marketshare doubled between March to April 2020. New stats shared for Mat shows that the the upward trend continued.

      Linux’s share of all desktop OSes grew from a new-high of 2.87 percent in April 2020 to an even higher high of 3.7 percent in May 2020.

      Now, this is relatively unusual. Linux marketshare — based on past trends — typically hovers below the 2 percent mark and doesn’t fluctuate widely (barring errors). For it to strike out and move past 3 percent might not sound like a big deal, but it’s almost without precedent.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Dell XPS 13 and XPS 13 Developer Edition—side-by-side review

        Physically, the only difference between the XPS 13 Developer Edition and the plain-vanilla XPS 13 we’d already tested is the color—where the Windows system had the optional, $50 more-expensive “Alpine White” interior, the Developer Edition system used the standard “Black.”

        In theory, the outsides are different, too—the Windows machine’s exterior was “Frost White” and the Linux machine’s is “Platinum Silver.” But in most lighting, you’d be hard pressed to tell the two apart without opening them up.

        There were some significant hardware differences, as well—you can’t buy the regular XPS 13 with more than 16GiB RAM in it, while the XPS 13 Developer Edition can be spec’d up to 32GiB. Our particular XPS 13 DE also had a 4K UHD+ touchscreen, instead of the 1920×200 FHD+ touchscreen on our Windows system—but that, like the color, can be configured the same on either version.

      • Lenovo brings Linux to its P-series ThinkPads and ThinkStations

        In the past, Lenovo has flirted with Linux, but now the company is making the operating system a much bigger part of its product lineup. Starting this month and moving into the summer, it will begin certifying its P-series ThinkPad and ThinkStation workstation computers for the operating system. Specifically, you (or more likely the company you work for) will be able to configure those devices with the enterprise versions of Red Hat and Ubuntu.

        As part of the process, Lenovo will provide full web support for those computers, as well as offer configuration advice and host a dedicated Linux forum where customers can troubleshooting help. To be clear, Lenovo isn’t making Linux an option throughout its entire lineup — so you won’t be able to configure your next ThinkPad X1 Carbon with the operating system, for example.

      • Lenovo is certifying its Think workstations to run Linux
    • Kernel Space

      • Big changes could be coming to Linux programming

        After recently making the switch from Intel to AMD, Linus Torvalds has come out against 80-character-lines as a de facto programming standard.

        As reported by The Register, Torvalds shared his thoughts on the topic of line lengths in a recent Linux kernel clean-up post where he argued that limiting lines to 80 characters makes for lots of line breaks. Others have argued that 80-character lines are a long-standing convention that should remain in place due to the fact that large monitors can handle many small windows when column width is limited.

      • Linux 5.8 Adds initrdmem= Option For Cases Such As Replacing Intel ME Space With Initrd

        One of the use-cases for this new “initrdmem” option in Linux 5.8 can be for storing an initial ramdisk (initrd) on a motherboard flash chip in the space available after stripping out Intel’s Management Engine (ME) code.

        The initrdmem= boot option can be used for specifying a physical address and size for loading an initrd embedded in memory. This new option was sent in as part of the x86/boot changes for the now-open Linux 5.8 merge window.

      • Torvalds Blasts “Beyond Stupid” Flushing L1d On Context Switches – Reverts Code For Now

        As part of the initial set of changes merged today for Linux 5.8 was the x86/mm material that included the controversial feature of opt-in flushing of the L1 data cache on context switching. Linus Torvalds ended up deciding to revert this functionality as for now at least he views it as crazy.

        While this feature is opt-in via new prctl options and not enabled by default and done in the name of helping those concerned about snoop assisted data sampling vulnerabilities or cache leakage via side channels and yet to be uncovered CPU vulnerabilities, for the time being Linux creator Linus Torvalds is not convinced.

      • Re: [GIT PULL] x86/mm changes for v5.8
        >  - Provide an opt-in (prctl driven) mechanism to flush the L1D cache on context switch.
        >    The goal is to allow tasks that are paranoid due to the recent snoop assisted data
        >    sampling vulnerabilites, to flush their L1D on being switched out.
        Am I mis-reading this?
        Because it looks to me like this basically exports cache flushing
        instructions to user space, and gives processes a way to just say
        "slow down anybody else I schedule with too".
        I don't see a way for a system admin to say "this is stupid, don't do it".
        In other words, from what I can tell, this takes the crazy "Intel
        ships buggy CPU's and it causes problems for virtualization" code
        (which I didn't much care about), and turns it into "anybody can opt
        in to this disease, and now it affects even people and CPU's that
        don't need it and configurations where it's completely pointless".
        To make matters worse, it has that SW flushing fallback that isn't
        even architectural from what I remember of the last time it was
        discussed, but most certainly will waste a lot of time going through
        the motions that may or may not flush the L1D after all.
        I don't want some application to go "Oh, I'm _soo_ special and pretty
        and such a delicate flower, that I want to flush the L1D on every task
        switch, regardless of what CPU I am on, and regardless of whether
        there are errata or not".
        Because that app isn't just slowing down itself, it's slowing down others too.
        I have a hard time following whether this might all end up being
        predicated on the STIBP static branch conditionals and might thus at
        least be limited only to CPU's that have the problem in the first
        But I ended up unpulling it because I can't figure that out, and the
        explanations in the commits don't clarify (and do imply that it's
        regardless of any other errata, since it's for "undiscovered future
        Because I don't want a random "I can make the kernel do stupid things"
        flag for people to opt into. I think it needs a double opt-in.
        At a _minimum_, SMT being enabled should disable this kind of crazy
        pseudo-security entirely, since it is completely pointless in that
        situation. Scheduling simply isn't a synchronization point with SMT
        on, so saying "sure, I'll flush the L1 at context switch" is beyond
        I do not want the kernel to do things that seem to be "beyond stupid".
        Because I really think this is just PR and pseudo-security, and I
        think there's a real cost in making people think "oh, I'm so special
        that I should enable this".
        I'm more than happy to be educated on why I'm wrong, but for now I'm
        unpulling it for lack of data.
        Maybe it never happens on SMT because of all those subtle static
        branch rules, but I'd really like to that to be explained.
      • Linux 5.8 Graphics Updates Sent In With AMDGPU TMZ Support, P2P Buffers

        The DRM highlights for Linux 5.8 amount to what we have already covered including ironing out Tiger Lake features like SAGV, per-engine data via sysfs, Icelake gamma hardware readout, P2P buffer/DMA support between GPUs, AMDGPU TMZ for encrypted vRAM, AMDGPU power-management / clock-gating improvements, GFX10 / Navi soft recovery, better handling on Radeon GPUs of critical thermal faults, NVIDIA format modifier support for Nouveau, run-time power management for the Lima driver, cursor support enabled by default for VKMS, and various other improvements to the smaller drivers.

      • Btrfs Sees A Number Of Improvements With Linux 5.8

        SUSE’s David Sterba was quite punctual in getting all of the Btrfs file-system updates submitted quickly for the newly-opened Linux 5.8 kernel merge window.

      • New AMD Graphics Card is Listed in Latest Linux Update

        AMD has certainly been talking about it for quite some time, as of yet, however, we have seen very little concrete news surrounding ‘Big Navi’. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, ‘Big Navi’ will essentially represent Team Reds attempt at matching Nvidia’s top-end GPU performance, and, as such, you can clearly see why there is such a lot of community interest behind it.

        Following a new upcoming update to Linux, however, a yet unknown AMD GPU has been listed, and, of course, the speculation is already suggesting that this may be one of the first confirmed examples of ‘Big Navi’ being out in the wild.

      • AMD Sienna Cichlid spotted in Linux Kernel patches, Big Navi?

        New Linux kernel patches show mention of AMD “Sienna Cichlid” GPU, which could be the “Big Navi” GPU. And I mean, hey it’s got to be released at some point in time, Q3 seems pretty valid.

        The codename is pretty unusual though. The patches indicate Sienna Cichlid is a Navi-based GPU with new VCN 3.0 capabilities for video encoding and DCN3 on the display front and a variety of other alterations compared to the existing Navi support, as Phoronix spotted:

        It’s quite possible Sienna Cichlid is the “big Navi” / RDNA2 GPU. AMD developers have talked before of using alternative codenames when volleying patches early for their open-source Linux driver stack as to not reveal the product/marketing codenames, which could be the case here. This is the first time we are hearing of Sienna Cichlid or seeing any references on the web of it related to AMD. Given the timing of these patches, the AMD Sienna Cichlid won’t be mainlined until the Linux 5.9 merge window opening in August and then releasing in stable around October. That timeframe at least does point to Sienna Cichlid likely being the “RDNA 2″ graphics card launch coming later in the calendar year.

      • A Number Of Intel/AMD x86 Updates Hit Linux 5.8

        A number of x86 (x86_64) pull requests have been sent in for the in-development Linux 5.8 kernel.

        Here are the latest pull requests on the Intel/AMD x86 CPU front. The x86/cpu changes include:

        - The existing x86 family/model macros have now been extended to also handle the CPU stepping. This is being done due to Intel increasingly using different CPU steppings between generations and in some cases the stepping being significant differences when it comes to hardware mitigations and handling of different errata. With X86_MATCH_VENDOR_FAM_MODEL_STEPPINGS_FEATURE it’s now easier for matching against particular CPU steppings.

    • Applications

      • The 15 Best Translation Software for Linux System in 2020

        With the development of technology, the world has become a global village. The only barrier you can mention is the language. No matter whether we use the best translation software or not, we still rely on human translators mostly for language localization. But the management and documentation can not be done easily without the help of computers. The open source translation tools play a great role in this scenario.

        The tools are called translation software doesn’t mean they will automatically translate the language for you. Rather most of these tools are more of translation management tools. They will automate the human translation process when needed for maximizing the efficiency of the translator. The confusing part is you can not grossly say which is the best translation software. You have to choose the best one according to your personal or organization’s needs.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Siralim Ultimate, the monster catching RPG is now funded

        Siralim Ultimate, a monster catching game with over one thousand creatures to collect has managed to be a huge success on Kickstarter and so it’s on the way to Linux. The developer said to think of it like “Pokemon meets Diablo, or more accurately, Dragon Warrior Monsters meets Path of Exile”..

        From 1,594 backers they received $90,964 in total funding, although plenty of that will be taken away from fees and taxes it’s still quite a nice sum for Thylacine Studios to create the ultimate mix of dungeon crawling and creature battling. It was quite a speedy success too, getting funded in about an hour after going live in May.

      • Steam Linux Percentage For May Points To A New Multi-Year High

        Valve’s May 2020 numbers show another uptick for Steam Linux gaming usage, pointing towards the Linux marketshare continuing to increase with the overall Steam user-base in this coronavirus period leading to record usage with the extra time spent by gamers at home.

        Valve’s just-published Linux numbers put their overall percentage at 0.91%, an increase of 0.04% over the month prior. It’s still below 1% and well off the ~2% back when Steam on Linux was new, but this 0.91% at least bumps it to a new multi-year high.

      • Spaceship action RPG Drox Operative 2 lands in Early Access

        Drox Operative 2 from Soldak Entertainment has now arrived in Early Access after a short delay on Steam’s approvals process. Drox Operative 2 is a starship action RPG with warring alien races, fierce space battles, a dynamic, evolving galaxy, and co-op multiplayer for Linux and Windows.

      • LRDGames overhaul subterfuge strategy game Precipice

        Precipice had a good idea when it released, a strategy game where you didn’t face your enemy directly in war across the world and instead engage in a cat and mouse game of subterfuge. It’s not a war game it tells you, both sides can completely annihilate each other if needed.

        Sadly, at release, I didn’t enjoy it. I thought the AI was poor, the UI had lots of issues and they suffered major multiplayer problems too. I wanted to like it though, as it took the strategy genre into a different direction. Not only that, LRDGames also developed Deep Sixed which I thought was actually great. Out of seemingly nowhere, LRDGames have returned to Precipice with a big 2.0 update to overhaul various parts of it.

      • European mystery adventure Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit coming to Linux

        Lithuanian developer Tag of Joy are currently working on Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit, a colourful upcoming adventure game and it will support Linux.

        Crowns and Pawns, inspired by point-and-click classics such as Broken Sword, Still Life, Syberia and others, brings the less explored history of Europe to the world of adventurers. Experience the legendary stories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, beware of the villainous branch of the KGB, solve puzzles and follow hints to reveal the secrets of the king who was never crowned.
        Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit isn’t a newly announced title, in fact it’s actually had a Steam page up since 2019. What is new, however, is Linux support. Back in April it started listing Linux support so I reached out to the developer, and they confirmed very clearly, “Yes, the listing is correct – we plan to have it on Linux as well!”.

      • Transhuman Design taking sign-ups for multiplayer Soldat 2 testing

        After open sourcing the original Soldat, Transhuman Design are now pushing forwards with their next generation side-scrolling action game Soldat 2.

        Soldat 2 actually already has a demo available, which you can play right now on Steam. However that is currently single-player only to give you a taste of what to expect from the bigger game. Soldat 2 is due to enter Early Access in Q2 this year and now they need more help testing. You can now sign-up for access to multiplayer testing, by doing so you will also be signing up to their mailing list. Keys will be sent out when they come in and it’s all online, it’s not instant.

      • Retrofuturistic strategy game Mainframe Defenders gets a huge upgrade

        Mainframe Defenders is a strategy game that looks like you’re playing from some sort of 80s terminal, it’s slick and now it has a big free update out.

        It’s a turn-based squad-based strategy game. So you build up a squad of robotic prototypes on a mission to defend a mainframe from a virus taking over a research complex. You deal with limit movement, heat build up, various types of weapons and enemies all with strengths and weaknesses.

      • Electronic Arts to Release Source Code of Highly Successful Game
      • Command and Conquer source code is now available on GitHub

        In May it was announced that the source code for Command and Conquer: Tiberian Dawn and Command and Conquer: Red Alert would be released to the public. Now in June that has been made a reality as the code is freely available on GitHub.

        This is to tie in with the release of the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection which goes live very soon on 5th June.

        This code has been released under a GNU General Public License v3.0 which, among other things, allows for commercial use of this resource. Before anyone rushes out to mess around with the code for whatever reason, we strongly recommend reading up on this licence and the specific Licence.txt which is included in the GitHub files here.

      • ‘Command & Conquer Remastered Collection’ To Release Source Code

        Comprised of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn, Command & Conquer: Red Alert and their three expansion packs – Covert Ops, Counterstrike and The Aftermath – the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection is a passion project between EA and some of the original Westwood Studios team members at Petroglyph.

        Command & Conquer Remastered Collection is being created alongside the C&C community, where the project was publicly revealed in October 2018 to gather community insight before development began. An active Community Council has been involved since early pre-production with 24/7 access to the development team. The title features rebuilt graphics and textures with support up to 4K resolution, along with an over seven-hour soundtrack remastered by the renowned original composer Frank Klepacki. The community has helped shape the enhancements of the game through highly requested features like revamped UI, updated controls and a Map Editor for fans to showcase their creations. Multiplayer has been rebuilt from the ground up to support a modern online experience with custom games, 1v1 quick match, Elo-based matchmaking, leaderboards, replays and much more.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Wayland Status update for Plasma 5.19

          We have been busy recently on the Wayland Goal.

          A few of those points were already highlight on Nate’s excellent blog. But some were missing, and I wanted to highlight those dedicated to Wayland with more context.

          The changes I mention here will be present in Plasma 5.19, but they are exhaustive.

        • KDE Plasma 5.19 Has Better Wayland Support But Their Goal Is Not Yet Complete

          Shipping one week from today is KDE Plasma 5.19 and among many other improvements is also significantly enhancing its Wayland support.

          KDE developer Méven Car penned a blog post today outlining some of the Wayland-minded improvements to be found in Plasma 5.19.

        • KDevelop 5.5.2 released

          We today provide a bug fix and localization update release with version 5.5.2. This release introduces no new features and as such is a safe and recommended update for everyone currently using a previous version of KDevelop 5.5.

          You can find the updated Linux AppImage as well as the source code archives on our download page.

          Should you have any remarks or in case you find any issues in KDevelop 5.5, please let us know.

        • GitLab, aka invent.kde.org

          Nate shouted it out as well: the KDE community has migrated over to its own locally-hosted GitLab community edition, called invent.kde.org. That’s the platform the community uses for collaboration on code, mostly. The previous gang of git-hosting, review-wrangling, patch-commenting and task-management has been replaced by one thing.

          Most of my daily coding is for Calamares, which isn’t a KDE project, and which lives over on GitHub. My KDE activities are (besides board work) generally restricted to packaging on FreeBSD, so normally I work with release tarballs, not KDE git.


          There’s also a to-do list that provides an overview of mentions, assignments, and other bits-and-bobs. That’s a different view from the MRs, which are in-flight code changes. It’s nice, especially because I can mark things as done without even diving into them.

          So it’s gorgeous, y’hear? And my old Phabricator board is done: there’s nothing left that isn’t abandoned-except-for-a-last-check-with-other-participants. I’m ready for a new way of working together in the KDE community.

    • Distributions

      • Python Is All You’ll Ever Need In This Linux Distro

        Choosing the perfect Linux distribution that satisfies your personal needs and likings can be an impossible task, and oftentimes requires a hint of Stockholm syndrome as compromise. In extreme cases, you might end up just rolling your own distro. But while frustration is always a great incentive for change, for [Josh Moore] it was rather curiosity and playful interest that led him to create snakeware, a Linux distribution where the entire user space not only runs on Python, but is Python.

        Imagine you would boot your Linux system, and instead of the shell of your choice, you would be greeted by an interactive Python interpreter, and everything you do on the system will be within the realms of that interpreter — that’s the gist of snakeware. Now, this might sound rather limiting at first, but keep in mind we’re talking about Python here, a language known for its versatility, with an abundance of packages that get things done quick and easy, which is exactly what [Josh] is aiming for. To get an idea of that, snakeware also includes snakewm, a graphical user interface written with pygame that bundles a couple of simple applications as demonstration, including a terminal to execute Python one-liners.

      • Retrotech: The Novell NetWare Experience

        In the simplest terms possible, NetWare was a dedicated network operating system. It was designed around fast and reliable network operations at the expense of almost everything else. Novell had invested massive amounts of research in figuring out how to do fast I/O and minimizing any delays from hardware related sources. The end result was a very lean system that remained stable and performant with a large number of clients attached. As networking was Novell’s bread and butter, NetWare had excellent support for everything: clients were available for DOS, Windows, UNIX, Macintosh, OS/2 and probably other platforms I’ve never even heard of.

        The early history of NetWare is very muddled, and pre-2.0 versions have been lost to time. This compounded with poor documentation has made it very difficult to trace the early history of the product. However, while NetWare was not the first (or only) network product for IBM PCs, it quickly became the largest, displacing IBM’s PC Network, and laughed at Microsoft’s LAN Manager, and IBM OS/2 LAN Server.

        While NetWare did compete on UNIX, Sun had already gotten their foot in the door by porting NFS and making it the de-facto solution for all UNIXs of the era, as well as Linux. Meanwhile, Apple held onto AppleTalk which itself survived well into the early 2000s when NetWare had already disappeared into the aether. The explosion of Wintel PCs throughout the 90s had given NetWare a market position that should have been very difficult to dislodge.

        The full story of NetWare’s fall from grace is a story for another time, but I do want to go into the more technical aspects that were both the boon and bane of NetWare. Much of NetWare’s success can be attributed to its own IPX protocol which made networking plug and play and drastically lowered latencies compared to NetBIOS or even TCP/IP.

      • New Releases

        • Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 5.0 is here with massive changes

          Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 5.0 is released with some massive changes across the operating system and it is immediately available for download.

        • MX Linux 19.2 Released: A Midweight Debian And antiX OS Spinoff

          Popular Linux distro MX Linux has received a second update to its MX Linux 19 ‘Patito Feo’ series. The latest point version MX Linux 19.2 looks like a minor release with bug fixes and application updates mainly.

          Most of you know that MX Linux is a collaborative Debian-based Linux distro developed by the antiX and former MEPIS communities. Hence, it also features antiX software packages that are now removed from default Apt sources and placed at a separate location.

        • MX Linux 19.2 Arrives with Linux 5.6 and Mesa 20, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10.4

          Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10.4 “Buster”, MX Linux 19.2 is here more than three months after version 19.1 to update various core components and many of the applications that are included in the default install.

          As you probably know, the MX Linux 19.1 release introduced a new ISO flavor called “Advanced Hardware Support” or AHS, which includes newer GNU/Linux technologies for the kernel and graphics stacks.

          This is the second MX Linux release to ship with AHS images, which have been updated to the Linux 5.6 kernel series and Mesa 20 graphics stack, along with an updated firmware package.

        • Debian-based MX Linux 19.2 now available for download

          A couple days ago, we told you about a new version of a wonderful Linux distribution called Linux Lite. As great as that operating system is — especially for those switching from Windows — it isn’t the only Linux distribution that is lightweight and easy to use. In fact, the Linux community probably has too many distributions from which to choose, but I digress.

          Today, yet another great Linux-based operating system gets updated to a new version, this time it is MX Linux 19.2. It uses the lightweight — yet pretty — Xfce 4.14 for its desktop environment and MESA 18.3.6. It comes loaded with some great software, such as LibreOffice 6.1.5, Thunderbird 68.6.1, Firefox 76, GIMP 2.10.12, VLC 3.0.10, and Clementine 1.3.1.

        • MX-19.2 now available!
      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat OpenShift 4 now available on IBM Power Systems

          Clients can exploit the unique capabilities of OpenShift 4 to incrementally modernize the capabilities of their IT infrastructure and streamline their deployment of cloud native applications with continuous integration and deployment. They will be primed to exploit the performance of the Power architecture as they begin to infuse AI and ML insights and Open Source innovations into Linux® applications running on Power Systems. OpenShift 4 combines the industry’s most comprehensive and trusted enterprise container and Kubernetes platform with single step installation, automated upgrades and lifecycle management for every part of our client’s container stack.

        • How to scale an open, energetic community

          Now we’re undergoing what may be our largest evolution yet. We’re reimagining our mission and vision. We’re re-branding. We’re renovating our spaces of community conversation and collaboration. We’re recruiting new contributors. We’re implementing new governance structures to make the project more inclusive.

          It’s incredibly exciting. And in this series, members of the Open Organization project will share the community’s journey with you—so you can see firsthand how community evolutions occur, how tough they can be, and how rewarding they become.

        • Ben Williams: F32-20200601 Updated Live isos Released

          The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated F32-20200518-Live ISOs, carrying the 5.6.14-300 kernel.

          Welcome to Fedora 32.

          This set of updated isos will save considerable amounts of updates after install. ((for new installs.)(New installs of Workstation have about 840+MB of updates)).

          A huge thank you goes out to irc nicks dowdle, Southern-Gentleman for testing these iso.

        • Insights into hybrid cloud: Here’s what to consider

          Our interactions with businesses can happen in person, on the web, on our mobile devices, in marketplaces or via APIs. To enable these interactions, IT organizations are increasingly being driven towards hybrid IT architectures involving private cloud, public cloud, edge computing, AI/ML and more to provide multiple different routes to the customer.

          This mixed use of public and private clouds, possibly with some degree of workload portability, integration, orchestration, and unified management across those clouds is often referred to as hybrid cloud computing. Research shows that improving business agility and increasing IT agility are key drivers for organizations that are implementing a hybrid cloud strategy.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20 reins in belligerent snapd over stealth installs

          In the latest monthly news update from the Linux Mint team it was announced that Linux Mint 20 will take measures to rein in the snapd package after Canonical (the firm behind Ubuntu) decided to make it a dependency for some software, including Chromium, despite promising not to earlier on. With Linux Mint 20, when a user tries to install snapd-dependent software, they’ll be notified that the software can’t be installed and why. It’ll also explain to the user how they can go about downloading the software.

          To be clear, the Linux Mint team isn’t against people installing snapd, you can still do this very easily, however, the developers did have a problem with snapd being installed as a dependency. According to the Linux Mint team, some problems with snap packages include that they cannot be patched, audited, held at the current version, or modified. It also said that you can’t choose to install them from a third-party store. The project even went as far as to say that these snap packages give you as much empowerment as proprietary software; none.

        • ZFS focus on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS: ZSys commands for state management

          Any confirmation (if you are sure about what you are doing) can be bypassed by the force – -f – flag.

          As you can see, there are lot of cases and complex handling of states for removal! We spent hours and hours to streamline and ensure that removing manually a state is done properly, taking into account dependencies and simplifying as much as possible the user experience. All this is backed up with a very extensive test suite.

          We are creating a huge number of state saves automatically for you. but we don’t want our users having to remove them manually. This is why we had to draft a garbage collection strategy so that your disk doesn’t end up being full quickly. This is an interesting topic which will be, coincidentally, the next one! See you there 

        • MicroK8s now native on Windows and macOS

          Windows and macOS developers can now use MicroK8s natively! Use kubectl at the Windows or Mac command line to interact with MicroK8s locally just as you would on Linux. Clean integration into the desktop means better workflows to dev, build and test your containerised apps.

          MicroK8s is a conformant upstream Kubernetes, packaged for simplicity and resilience. It provides sensible defaults and bundles the most commonly used components for at-your-fingertips access. A single-node install is one command and done in seconds, which makes it easy to add or remove from any system.

          MicroK8s is widely used by developers for local testing. After installing it, you can start and stop Kubernetes with a single command to conserve battery. With built-in GPGPU acceleration, Istio, Prometheus, Jaeger and many other popular services on tap, it serves as a complete workstation edition of K8s. All of this capability is now neatly accessible from the Windows and macOS command-line.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 633

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 633 for the week of May 24 – 30, 2020.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference Will Take Place Online

          Organizers of the openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference along with the project’s boards have made the decision to change the conference to an online conference.

          The uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on travel, conference planning, logistics and possibility for attendees to come to the event were reasons for shifting the event from a physical event to an online event.

          Shifting the conference online is good news and the organizers intend to provide a great conference that is filled with insightful talks, technical presentations and sessions dedicated for those who want to socialize during the event. Using video a conferencing tool, attendees learn about new technologies in openSUSE and LibreOffice and have the chance to chat to developers and ask questions. Communities involved in marketing, design, QA and other topics will be able to meet online, catch up and exchange ideas.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Firefox 78 Enters Beta with Updated Minimal Linux System Requirements

            Slated for release at the end of this month, the Firefox 78 web browser will boast updated minimal system requirements for GNU/Linux systems.

            Therefore, to be able to deploy or install Mozilla Firefox 78 on a GNU/Linux distribution, this will have to ship with GNU libc 2.17, GTK 3.14, and libstdc++ 4.8.1 or newer versions.

            Distros that don’t meet these minimal system requirements won’t be able to offer the latest Firefox release to their users, but I’m guessing most distributions out there include them.

            Other noteworthy changes included in the upcoming Firefox 78 release are the ability to open downloaded PDF files directly in the web browser via a new option.

          • 4 Ways to Install Firefox 77 in Ubuntu / LinuxMint / CentOS

            Firefox or Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla foundation and generally utilized by thousands and thousands of individuals on their daily actions.

            This tutorial will be helpful for the beginners to install firefox 77 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04, LinuxMint 19.3, and CentOS 8.1 / 7.x

          • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: New in Firefox 77: DevTool improvements and web platform updates

            A new stable Firefox version is rolling out. Version 77 comes with a few new features for web developers.


            Large web apps can provide a challenge for DevTools as bundling, live reloading, and dependencies need to be handled fast and correctly. With 77, Firefox’s Debugger learned a few more tricks, so you can focus on debugging.

            After we improved debugging performance over many releases, we did run out of actionable, high-impact bugs. So to find the last remaining bottlenecks, we have been actively reaching out to our community. Thanks to many detailed reports we received, we were able to land performance improvements that not only speed up pausing and stepping but also cut down on memory usage over time.

            JavaScript & CSS Source Maps that just work

            Source maps were part of this outreach and saw their own share of performance boosts. Some cases of inline source maps improved 10x in load time. More importantly though, we improved reliability for many more source map configurations. We were able to tweak the fallbacks for parsing and mapping, thanks to your reports about specific cases of slightly-incorrect generated source maps. Overall, you should now see projects that just work, that previously failed to load your original CSS and JavaScript/TypeScript/etc code.

          • Pocket provides fascinating reads from trusted sources in the UK with newest Firefox

            It’s a stressful and strange time. Reading the news today can feel overwhelming, repetitive, and draining. We all feel it. We crave new inputs and healthy diversions—stories that can fuel our minds, spark fresh ideas, and leave us feeling recharged, informed, and inspired.

            Connecting people with such stories is what we do at Pocket. We surface and recommend exceptional stories from across the web to nearly 40 million Firefox users in the U.S., Canada, and Germany each month. More than 4 million subscribers to our Pocket Hits newsletters (available in English and in German) see our curated recommendations each day in their inboxes.

            Today we’re pleased to announce the launch of Pocket’s article recommendations for Firefox users in the United Kingdom. The expansion into the UK was made seamless thanks to our successes with English-language recommendations in the U.S. and Canada.

          • Mozilla Firefox 77 Is Now Available for Download, Here’s What’s New

            allowing screen reader users to access the applications list in Firefox Options, providing labels for date/time inputs for users of accessibility tools and updated text in the JAWS screen reader for some live regions.

            This release also implements support for viewing and managing web certificates via a new about:certificate page, and adds Pocket recommendations on the New Tab page for users located in the United Kingdom (UK).

            Among other changes, Firefox 77 removes the browser.urlbar.oneOffSearches preference. Users will now have to uncheck the search engines on the One-Click Search Engines option in the about:preferences#search page if they want to hide the one-off search buttons.

          • 77.0 Firefox Release
          • Firefox 77 Released With Security Fixes, AV1 Image File Support
          • Firefox 77.0 Released with Pocket Recommendations for UK users
          • Firefox 77.0
      • CMS

      • Education

        • Tech Learning Collective: A Grassroots Technology School Case Study

          Grassroots education is important for making sure advanced technical knowledge is accessible to communities who may otherwise be blocked or pushed out of the field. By sharing this invaluable knowledge and skills, local groups can address and dissolve these barriers to organizers hoping to step up their cybersecurity.

          The Electronic Frontier Alliance (EFA) is a network of community-based groups across the U.S.  dedicated to advocacy and community education at the intersection of the EFA’s five guiding principles: privacy, free expression, access to knowledge, creativity, and security. Tech Learning Collective, a radical queer and femme operated group headquartered in New York City, sets itself apart as an apprenticeship-based technology school that integrates their workshops into a curriculum for radical organizers. Their classes range from fundamental computer literacy to hacking techniques and aim to serve students from historically marginalized groups.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Sony uploads the kernel source code for the Xperia 10 II and Xperia 1 II

            Back in February, Sony unveiled their “Mark 2” lineup, i.e. the flagship Xperia 1 II and the mid-range Xperia 10 II smartphones via an online event. Months after the initial announcement, the phones are now available for pre-order across Europe as well as in the US. On the software side, both of these devices run Android 10 out of the box. To satisfy the requirements of the GNU General Public License v2 and kickstart the custom development of third-party ROMs and kernels, Sony has now released the kernel sources for the Xperia 10 II and the Xperia 1 II.

      • Programming/Development

        • Kuesa 3D 1.2 release!

          In short, Kuesa provides a workflow that simplifies work for both designers and developers. It is centered around the glTF 2 format. The idea behind Kuesa 3D is that changes made on 3D models shouldn’t require much, if any, work on the developer’s side. As a consequence, you can iterate more frequently, get feedback more often and release on time.

          In this blog post, we will highlight some of the new features we have introduced. You can get the full details here.


          Kuesa 3D Runtime is also available as a separate product, full support from us. The product is available on the Qt marketplace or directly from us. This is perfect if you want to try out Kuesa and see what you can do with it.

          Like previous releases, it is freely available under the AGPL 3 license.

          Since it is built on top of Qt 3D, you can use the full Qt 3D API to further customize your application. For the most part, you can leverage things like Picking, Camera handling and a lot more for free.

        • Kuesa 3D Studio 1.2 – Press Release

          Building software that is dependent on real-time 3D models – like for example an automotive dashboard, MRI machine, factory control system or furniture design tool – requires not only 3D designers and 3D programmers. It also demands the ability to bring these very different skill sets together into a smoothly operating workflow.

        • [Older] GCC 10 series compilers arrive in major upgrade

          GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 10.1, a major release of the platform, was published on May 7, 2020, with highlights including C++ 20 capabilities and C2X language support. C2X is the next major revision of the C language, due in 2022.

          Release notes for GCC 10 show that a multitude of C++ 20 features have been implemented including permitting inline-assembly in constexpr Functions and extending structured bindings. Also for C++ 20, GCC 10 permits conversions to arrays of unknown bound, allows trivial default initialization in constexpr contexts, adds the constinit keyword, and deprecates the volatile keyword.

        • Type instances

          The particular nature of our work is up for any amount of debate, but the basic fact of it comes with a few requirements, and they are by and large inevitable if you wish to be a well-behaved, well-integrated member of the GNOME community. One of which is: “please, think of the language bindings”. These days, luckily for all of us, this means writing introspectable interfaces that adhere to fairly sensible best practices and conventions.


          Please, please use GObject. Writing type system code is already boring and error prone, which is why we added a ton of macros to avoid people shooting themselves in both their feet, and we hammered away all the special snowflake API flourishes that made parsing C API to generate introspection data impossible.

          I can only recommend you go down the GTypeInstance route if you’ve done your due diligence on what that entails, and are aware that it is a last resort if GObject simply does not work within your project’s constraints.

        • The joys and perils of C and C++ aliasing, Part 1

          In C, C++, and some other programming languages, the term aliasing refers to a situation where two different expressions or symbols refer to the same object. When references access that object in different ways—as both reads and stores—there are consequences for the order in which these mixed accesses can happen. The value that is stored first is expected to be read by the subsequent access. In many instances, aliasing is harmless: It is common, safe, and usually optimally efficient to use two pointers of the same type to read, and even to write to the same object. But in some cases, using aliasing symbols for mixed accesses is less benign, and can adversely affect the correctness or efficiency of your code.

          Although there are quite a few articles on this subject, most tend to focus on the rules and requirements outlined in the standards (such as the strict aliasing rule). In this article, I focus on the details of the C and C++ language restrictions, their challenges and pitfalls, and examples demonstrating the restrictions’ beneficial effects in optimized code. In Part 2, I will present exemptions from aliasing, which can help you get around the restrictions more or less safely. I also consider some of the common pitfalls of aliasing and mixed accesses, and the actual problems these pitfalls might cause.

        • Why I switched from Java to Kotlin

          Kotlin is a cross-platform, general-purpose programming language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). JetBrains led its implementation, which began in 2010, and it has been open source since early in its development.
          The great news for Java developers is that Kotlin is interoperable with Java. Standard Java code can be included in a Kotlin program, and Kotlin can be included in a Java program. That immense investment in compatibility means if you come from a Java background, picking up Kotlin will feel familiar and be a low risk since it will run alongside any of your existing Java code.

          To introduce you to Kotlin, I will go over some of its basic syntax, ranging from variables to defining functions and classes. If you want to follow along and learn some of the language’s features, there is a great browser-based Kotlin playground you can use.


          Kotlin’s simplicity and Java interoperability equate to little risk that you will spend time learning something that isn’t useful. After taking your first steps into Kotlin, you may never look at your Java code or the JVM the same way again.

        • New feature highlights in Elixir Cross Referencer v2.0

          Maxime Chrétien has extended Elixir to support kernel configuration parameters. Actually, he contributed a new parser to the universal-ctags project to do so. This way, you can explore C sources and Kconfig files and find the declarations and uses of kernel parameters…

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn Eiffel

          Eiffel is an object-oriented programming language designed by Bertrand Meyer (an object-orientation proponent and author of Object-Oriented Software Construction) and Eiffel Software.

        • Fortran newsletter: June 2020

          Welcome to the June 2020 edition of the monthly Fortran newsletter. The newsletter comes out on the first calendar day of every month and details Fortran news from the previous month.

        • Perl/Raku

          • 2020.21/22 Four by Wenzel

            Wenzel P. P. Peppmeyer has written not one, not two, not three, but four blogs in the past two weeks, each addressing some feature or quirk of the Raku Programming Language.

          • Monthly Report – May

            I have been doing Monthly Report since June 2018 non-stop. It has become a ritual for me now. It gives me an opportunity to look upon my activities. Since the beginning of the year 2020, I have made conscious decision to slow down as far as submitting Pull Request. I have also stopped playing CPAN game of daily upload after breaking the chain three times. I am happy that Perlancar is keeping the game alive. It has given me space to try something new. Although COVID-19 keeping us indoor all the time, still looking for interesting project to keep the mind busy.

        • Python

          • sidetable – Create Simple Summary Tables in Pandas

            Today I am happy to announce the release of a new pandas utility library called sidetable. This library makes it easy to build a frequency table and simple summary of missing values in a DataFrame. I have found it to be a useful tool when starting data exploration on a new data set and I hope others find it useful as well.

            This project is also an opportunity to illustrate how to use pandas new API to register custom DataFrame accessors. This API allows you to build custom functions for working with pandas DataFrames and Series and could be really useful for building out your own library of custom pandas accessor functions.

          • Using pandas to plot data in Python

            In this series of articles on Python-based plotting libraries, we’re going to look at an example of making plots using pandas, the hugely popular Python data manipulation library. Pandas is a standard tool in Python for scalably transforming data, and it has also become a popular way to import and export from CSV and Excel formats.

            On top of all that, it also contains a very nice plotting API. This is extremely convenient—you already have your data in a pandas DataFrame, so why not use the same library to plot it?

        • PHP

          • PHP 8.0 JIT Is Offering Very Compelling Performance Ahead Of Its Alpha

            With the PHP 8.0 schedule putting the first alpha release for the middle of June, I’ve been trying out its latest Git state in recent days for looking at its performance as well as when enabling its brand new JIT (Just In Time) compiler support that is new to PHP8. The results are quite compelling and here are metrics going back to the days of PHP 5.4 for comparison.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • What sort of SSH keys our users use or have listed in their authorized keys files

        My first surprise is that we have so many DSA keys listed, since they’re no longer supported (and those 380 ssh-dss keys are across 203 different people). People clearly don’t clean out their authorized keys files very often. 670 people have RSA keys, 13 have Ed25519 keys, and 15 have some form of ECDSA keys (which implies that a few people list a bunch of ECDSA keys).

        However, that’s just what people have sitting around in their authorized keys files, not what actually gets used. What actually gets used is a somewhat different picture. Here are the numbers for how many different keys of each type have been used over the course of 2020 so far: [...]

  • Leftovers

    • How Photographers Sought to Redefine the Image of Alaska’s Sexual Assault Survivors

      Every portrait in Unheard was different. There was no formula, no uniform backdrop to rely on. The people were unique and the circumstances of each shoot presented different challenges — the environment, the color of the light, the atmosphere. And the cold.

      It was a real Alaska winter this year. Many of the portraits were made in subzero temperatures and many more below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. One session was after a beautiful snowfall, deep in the woods of west Anchorage, in thigh-deep snow. Another was in the flat area of the delta of the Knik and Matanuska rivers in a bitter wind. Another was on a blue-sky day in Valdez with towering peaks in the distance. Other sessions were indoors, in the comfort and safe space of a home.

    • Obituary: Ronnie Wavehill Jangala

      The Gurindji community – and the entire nation – has lost one of the Top End’s great men. Associate Professor Felicity Meakins pays tribute to a man whose knowledge and humility sustained and anchored his people.

    • Science

      • Is science being set up to take the blame?

        My experience of university committees makes this all just too painfully familiar. What’s failed here is not the science, but the process of government. The committee started out full of NHS medics and bureaucrats, and lots of theoreticians – modelers aplenty – but there’s still nobody from the care sector. The members focus on the NHS they know and stay in their comfort zone. And now, we might ask, is there anybody with operational experience relevant to running a large testing and tracing programme? Or would it be a waste of time to try to create such a competence in the SAGE environment?

      • The silence of the chief scientists is worrying and deeply political

        In other words, far from being “apolitical”, the silence of the CMO and CSA was itself deeply political. This is the truth that history has shown science again and again, but which some scientists still resolutely refuse to recognise: remaining silent when you need to speak up is not to remain neutral or aloof from politics. Sometimes it becomes complicity.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • “Do Not Resuscitate”: My Experience with Hospice, Inc.

        In this age of coronavirus, it has become abundantly clear that Western culture has little respect or reverence for its elders. Deaths of the elderly seem of no account and only to be taken in stride. Such an attitude has increased the opportunities for the hospice/medical industry as it profits off the expendable bodies of older, vulnerable human beings. For me, that expendability was brought abruptly into focus when my mother, aided and abetted by my siblings, was quickly dispatched by large doses of morphine: even at 93-years-old, way ahead of her time to die. My brother and sister-in-law had prominently displayed her “Do Not Resuscitate Form” on the front of her refrigerator for months—and Hospice Inc. efficiently obliged them.

      • Is the Pandemic Creating a Resurgence of Unionism?

        Since Ronald Reagan fired air traffic controllers (Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) en masse at the beginning of his presidency “(“Reagan fires 11,000 striking air traffic controllers, August 5, 1981,” Politico, August 5, 2017), unions, which had already seen a decline because of the expansion of the global economy, saw membership numbers begin a precipitous decline (“The PATCO Strike, Reagan, and the Roots of Labor’s Decline,” In These These Times, November 1, 2011). So-called “right-to-work” laws are also the result of the loss of unions’ power over decades.

      • An Impending Crisis: COVID-19 in Haiti, Ongoing Instability, and the Dangers of Continued U.S. Deportations

        Prepared remarks by Jake Johnston to Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson’s forum on COVID-19 and ICE’s deportation of detainees to Haiti

      • Will Covid-19 Be a Turning Point in the Fight Against Racial Disparities in Health Care?
      • New Beginnings: Time to Think Big!

        This should be a start-from-scratch moment. The pandemic is not just a health crisis. It has made clear what Nation readers already know: A tiny elite in the US siphons off the wealth while most people struggle from paycheck to paycheck. Since mid-March, America’s billionaires have increased their combined net worth by $434 billion—even as nearly 40 million workers have lost their jobs and some 100,000 people here have died from Covid-19. The dead are disproportionately black, Latinx, and Native. This isn’t surprising; this is how tragedies go in America. As Nation contributing writer Zoë Carpenter argues in this issue, “While Covid-19 is novel, its impact at the community level was predictable.”

      • America Never Valued Care Workers. Then a Pandemic Hit.

        “Our heroes and heroines”: From evening rounds of applause to chalk art, Americans are finding ways to express appreciation for essential workers. (Noam Galai / Getty Images)

      • Germany’s Homeless Face Down the Coronavirus

        Miriam next to her tent in the abandoned döner kebab factory she has been living in. (Johanna Maria Fritz / Ostkreuz)

        The Nation and Magnum Foundation are partnering on a visual chronicle of untold stories as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States and the rest of the world—read more from The Invisible Front Line.—The Editors

      • The Secret, Absurd World of Coronavirus Mask Traders and Middlemen Trying To Get Rich Off Government Money

        It was 10 p.m. on a Tuesday, and I was watching footage of secret stockpiles of N95 masks, so-called proof-of-life videos sent to me by strangers, when Tim, the juicer salesman, called.

        “My name is Tim, and I heard you’re looking into VPL,” the man said in a squeaky, nervous timbre. “I distanced myself from the company because they weren’t delivering what they said.”

      • Russia’s restaurants are reopening after months of coronavirus lockdown, with masked staff and tables placed 5 feet apart

        On June 1, a number of Russian regions began gradually lifting quarantine restrictions that have been in place since the end of March to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Along with other businesses, restaurants and cafes are preparing to reopen, in accordance with new rules and recommendations handed down by Russia’s public health agency, Rospotrebnadzor, Interfax reports. Restaurant owners told Interfax that they had reached an agreement with Rospotrebnadzor on these new guidelines (this comes after officials released a plan for Russia’s return to work in April, which was met with criticism from business owners). 

      • Russia’s coronavirus patient population approaches 415,000

        On the morning of June 1, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 9,035 new coronavirus infections in the past day (233 fewer new cases than the day before) bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 414,878 patients.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • AppGet ‘really helped us,’ Microsoft says, but offers no apology to dev for killing open-source package manager

              Microsoft’s Andrew Clinick, a group program manager in the Windows team who is involved with the development of the WinGet package manager, has tried to make good with the open-source community by publishing an acknowledgement of what was borrowed from the existing AppGet project.

              A preview of WinGet was released by Microsoft during the recent virtual Build event, prompting the developer of AppGet, Keivan Beigi, to post about how he was approached by Microsoft in July 2019, supposedly to offer him help with development. He said he was questioned by the vendor in detail about his package management ideas, invited to apply for a job with Microsoft to work on an official version of AppGet, and then heard nothing until the moment before WinGet was launched.

        • Security

          • Microsoft is blocking the Windows 10 May 2020 Update on lots of devices [Ed: Microsoft cannot even patch its own software without breaking it]

            Microsoft is preventing a large number of devices from updating to the Windows 10 May 2020 Update. While the software company released the update last week, Microsoft has quietly acknowledged that there are a number of known issues preventing the update from being installed on a variety of PCs.

            Microsoft has a list of 10 issues it’s currently investigating, and 9 of them have resulted in a “compatibility hold” which stops the Windows 10 May 2020 Update from being installed via Windows Update. One issue involving unexpected errors or reboots with always-on, always-connected devices, affects devices like Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 or Surface Laptop 3.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (ant, bind, freerdp, and unbound), CentOS (bind, freerdp, and git), Debian (python-httplib2), Fedora (ant, kernel, sqlite, and sympa), openSUSE (java-11-openjdk and qemu), Oracle (bind), Red Hat (freerdp), Scientific Linux (python-pip and python-virtualenv), Slackware (firefox), SUSE (qemu), and Ubuntu (Apache Ant, ca-certificates, flask, and freerdp2).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Giving People Property Rights In Data Will Not Solve Privacy, But…

              Online privacy can’t be solved by giving people new property rights in personal data. That idea is based on a raft of conceptual errors. But consumers are already exercising property rights, using them to negotiate the trade-offs involved in using online commercial products.

            • Securus Quietly Settles Lawsuit Over Illegally Spying On Inmate Attorney Conversations

              We’ve noted repeatedly how interstate inmate calling service (ICS) companies have a disturbingly cozy relationship with government, striking (technically buying) monopoly deals that let them charge inmate families $14 per minute. Worse, some ICS companies like Securus Technologies have been under fire for helping the government spy on privileged inmate attorney communications, information that was only revealed in 2015 after Securus was hacked. Given the apathy for prison inmates and their families (“Iff’n ya don’t like high prices, don’t go to prison, son!”) reform on this front has been glacial at best.

            • Don’t Mix Policing with COVID-19 Contact Tracing

              Over the weekend, Minnesota’s Public Safety Commissioner analogized COVID-19 contact tracing with police investigation of arrested protesters. This analogy is misleading and dangerous. It also underlines the need for public health officials to practice strict data minimization—including a ban on sharing with police any personal information collected through contact tracing.

              On May 30, at a press conference about the ongoing protests in Minneapolis against racism and police brutality, Commissioner John Harrington stated:

            • Arizona AG Sues Google For Location Data Failures, After Telecom Got A Wrist Slap For Far Worse Behavior

              Two years ago, an investigation by the Associated Press and Princeton computer scientists found that Google services on both Android and Apple routinely continued to track user location data, even when users opted out of such tracking. Even if users paused “Location History,” the researchers found that some Google apps still automatically stored time-stamped location data without asking the consumer’s consent.

            • Clearview Says Section 230 Immunizes It From Vermont’s Lawsuit Over Alleged Privacy Violations

              Clearview is currently being sued by the attorney general of Vermont for violating the privacy rights of the state’s residents. As the AG’s office pointed out in its lawsuit, users of social media services agree to many things when signing up, but the use of their photos and personal information as fodder for facial recognition software sold to government agencies and a variety of private companies isn’t one of them.

            • Private Internet Access now offers 24/7 live chat customer support

              Private Internet Access is proud to announce the launch of 24/7 live chat coverage by our customer support team. Our customers will be able to chat live with a customer support agent any time of the day, any day of the week to resolve their support issues as quickly as possible. Customer service is an important part of our VPN service and we are happy to provide this service to all existing and prospective PIA customers. To chat with a customer support team member, simply click the green “Chat Now” button at the bottom right of the screen when on our website.

            • [Old] How Your Phone Betrays Democracy

              Within minutes, with no special training and a little bit of Google searching, Times Opinion was able to single out and identify individuals at public demonstrations large and small from coast to coast.

              By tracking specific devices, we followed demonstrators from the 2017 Women’s March back to their homes. We were able to identify individuals at the 2017 Inauguration Day Black Bloc protests. It was easy to follow them to their workplaces. In some instances — for example, a February clash between antifascists and far-right supporters of Milo Yiannopolous in Berkeley, Calif. — it took little effort to identify the homes of protesters and then their family members.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘The Tragic Cause of This Death Is Incredibly Clear’: Independent Autopsy Finds George Floyd Death Result of ‘Sustained Forceful Pressure’

        “What we found is consistent with what people saw. There is no other health issue that could cause or contribute to the death.”

      • ‘This Is No Game’: Trump Considering Insurrection Act to Deploy Military to US City Streets as Protests Continue

        “Trump is rejecting the rule of law and proposing military action that is antithetical to basic premises of the American experiment.”

      • Americans Have Long Ignored Iraqis—Now Is the Perfect Time to Connect With Their Stories

        The coronavirus pandemic has made brilliant Iraqi occupation literature relatable for the first time to a wider American public living in quarantine.

      • Our Disaster: Why the United States Bears Responsibility for Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis

        An entire generation of Yemeni children has suffered the traumas of war, many of them orphaned, maimed, malnourished, or displaced. The United Nations reports a death toll of 100,000 people in that nation’s ongoing war, with an additional 131,000 people dying from hunger, disease, and a lack of medical care. A report from Save the Children, issued in November 2018, estimated at least 85,000 children had died from extreme hunger since the war began in 2015.

      • Our Disaster: Why the United States Bears Responsibility for Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis

        The policies of the United States are deeply implicated in Yemen’s suffering, including the sale of billions of dollars in munitions to Saudi Arabia and other countries that have intervened in the civil war.

      • Sign of the Times
      • Prison and the Covid crisis

        The UK’s already overcrowded prison system has been thrown into crisis by the outbreak of Covid 19. Prisoners and staff have suffered a high infection and death rate. The government at first promised an early release programme to reduce overcrowding, but then quickly abandoned it. What is happening in our prisons? Why haven’t even remand prisoners who are convicted of no crime, like Julian Assange, been released on bail? These pressing questions were discussed by the following experts: Richard Garside – Director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, Faith Spear – Criminologist and Former Prison Monitor, Steve Gillan – General Secretary of the Prison Officers’ Association.

      • Federal Prisons Should Not be Death Chambers

        Double Ditch Indian Village overlooks the Missouri River in North Dakota, about an hour’s drive north from where the Dakota Access Pipeline Water Protectors formed their prayer camps in 2016 on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. It’s a historic site of a village where, from 1490 to 1785, members of the Mandan Tribe lived in earth mound dwellings that protected them from extreme temperatures and near-constant winds.

      • MAGA-Nacht
      • “You Loot; We Shoot”

        Last Friday, the leader of the entity that expects my pledge of allegiance threatened to shoot—specifically—looters. Before we go into what happened last night and Saturday morning and is on track to continue through the week, let me remember some historic milestones in looting.

      • Eruptions of Rage

        America’s cities are burning again.

      • The Second Longest War in the United States

        Other than the fact I was born in Minneapolis, I have little connection to the place. My adult life never encouraged much interaction with my relatives who live in the area, so except for the rare visit, I don’t know much about it. However, I do understand police brutality and the nature of a police state. The current rebellion in the streets of the Twin Cities and around the United States—provoked by the blatant murder of a Black man by Minneapolis policeman who is also white and has a record of brutality—is a logical and emotional response to both.

      • Collateral Murder – 10 Years On

        The cockpit video of an Apache helicopter shooting journalists and Iraqi civilians became one of the greatest journalistic coups of this century when it was released 10 years ago. Ann Wright – retired United States Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official, Kristinn Hrafnsson – editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, and columnist and essayist Nozomi Hayase discussed the global political impact of that revelation, with a new video presentation that interviews the families of the Iraqis who lost their relatives in the attack.

      • The US-UK Extradition Treaty – Should it be replaced?

        The Treaty under which the United States is seeking to extradite Julian Assange has been widely condemned, even by Boris Johnson, as unbalanced. Some 200 UK citizens have been extradited from Britain to the US. Only 11 Americans have been extradited to the UK. Our panel will ask if the Extradition Treaty is fit for purpose. On the panel – David Davis MP, British Conservative Party politician with Radd Seiger legal advisor for Harry Dunn family, moderated by Baronnes Helena Kennedy QC, Scottish barrister and Labour member of the House of Lords.

      • Senator Plans Amendment to End Transfer of Military Equipment to Local Police

        With the militarization of local police forces on full display as heavily armed cops and armored vehicles patrol the streets and crack down on protests over the killing of George Floyd, Sen. Brian Schatz on Sunday said he plans to introduce an amendment to end the federal program that permits the transfer of excess military equipment to police departments across the nation.

      • Pompeo Reups Threats to ICC Over US, Israel War Crimes Probes, Showing White House ‘Determined to Prevent’ Accountability

        “You’ll see in the coming days a series of announcements not just from the State Department, from all across the United States government, that attempt to push back against what the ICC is up to,” said the secretary of state.

      • Source Hacking: Media Manipulation in Practice

        In Source Hacking: Media Manipulation in Practice, Donovan and Friedberg use case studies to illustrate four main techniques of source hacking:

        Viral Sloganeering: repackaging reactionary talking points for social media and press amplification

        Leak Forgery: prompting a media spectacle by sharing forged documents

        Evidence Collages: compiling information from multiple sources into a single, shareable document, usually as an image

        Keyword Squatting: the strategic domination of keywords and sockpuppet accounts to misrepresent groups or individuals

        These strategies are often used simultaneously, and make it difficult to find proof of coordination. While each technique is effective on its own, their ultimate value comes from “buy-in from audiences, influencers, and journalists alike.”

      • Source Hacking: Media Manipulation in Practice

        These four tactics of source hacking work because networked communication is vulnerable to many different styles of attack, and finding proof of coordination is not easy to detect. Source hacking techniques complement each other and are often used simultaneously during active manipulation campaigns. These techniques may be carefully coordinated, but often rely on partisan support and buy-in from audiences, influencers, and journalists alike.

        Viral sloganeering allows small groups of manipulators to receive disproportionate mainstream coverage by encouraging those exposed to their slogans to seek further information online. Forged leaks are seeded by manipulators and set the stage to defame public figures. Similarly, the creators of evidence collages amplify falsified documents and propaganda to sway journalistic coverage and prompt audiences to self-investigate. Keyword squatting allows manipulators to impersonate individuals and organizations, creating false impressions of their targets’ goals and allowing for controlled opposition.

        Manipulators who use the techniques illustrated here rely on quick deployment and prior organizing experiences to coordinate participation. Manipulation campaigns that gather on one platform to plan an attack on another are designed to give the impression of large-scale public engagement. This adversarial media environment requires both journalists and platform designers to think with the tools of information security and open source intelligence to spot when they are being manipulated. Greater attention to the coordination of manipulation campaigns across platforms is the most productive way to guard against their reach. Only through careful attention to the data craft used to create disinformation can these campaigns be debunked in a timely manner.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Whistleblowers for Assange

        A chance to learn first-hand from some of whistleblowers who have shaped what we know about modern politics, the importance of free speech, a free press, and the case of Julian Assange. With, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, Katharine Gun who revealed Iraq War secrets from GCHQ and former CIA officer John Kiriakou who confirmed that waterboarding was used to interrogate al-Qaeda prisoners.

    • Environment

      • Four More Years of Donald Trump Could Delay Global Emissions Cuts by 10 Years

        Modelling suggests there are only very limited circumstances where the Paris Agreement’s warming limit of 2C is met — and a U.S. departure from the landmark 2015 deal restricts those options further for every term Trump is in office.

      • UK food giants mull Brazil boycott to protect forests

        UK supermarkets are considering a Brazil boycott, an end to purchases of its food to try to save its forests.

      • High Tide Bulletin: Summer 2020

        The rising and falling of the sea is a phenomenon upon which we can always depend. Tides are the regular rise and fall of the sea surface caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun and their position relative to the earth. There are some factors that cause the tides to be higher than what is “normally” seen from day to day. This bulletin tells you when you may experience higher than normal high tides for the period of time between between June and August 2020.

        We also publish annual high tide flooding reports that present a broad outlook of what to expect for a given year in terms of high tide flooding, as well as a summary of high tide flooding events for the previous calendar year.

      • A Simple Model for Global Warming

        70% or less of the sunlight shining onto the Earth reaches the surface and is absorbed by the biosphere. From this absorbed energy, in combination with the presence of water and organic material, all life springs. The oceans, which cover 70.2% of the Earth’s surface and comprise 99.4% of the biosphere’s mass, form the great “heat battery” of the planetary surface. All weather and climate are generated from the heat glow of that battery. A portion of that heat glow, equivalent to the solar energy absorbed, must escape into space for the planetary surface to remain in heat balance, at a constant average temperature. For that temperature being 15°C (59°F), 62.31% of the heat glow must escape.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Even Now, Our Leaders Are Still Putting Their Faith in the Rich

        It has become crystal clear during this pandemic that working people fuel this economy, but they’re the ones bearing the cost.

      • Nearly 60% of Americans Support Extending Boosted Unemployment Benefits as Trump and McConnell Say Let Them Expire

        “The across-the-board $600 increase in weekly unemployment benefits should be extended well past its expiration at the end of July—until unemployment is falling rapidly and is at a manageable level.”

      • ‘They Need Our Help’: As CBO Projects $16 Trillion GDP Loss Due to Pandemic, Sanders and Schumer Demand Relief for Working Families

        “Why the hell won’t Senator McConnell act like this is a crisis and pass emergency relief now?”

      • The Impact of Upward Redistribution on Social Security Solvency

        Economic inequality in the US has ballooned since the early 1980s. Wage and salary growth at the top of the earnings distribution has significantly outpaced that at the bottom and middle, resulting in decades of unabated upward redistribution of income. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated this divide. In addition to the immediate problems highlighted by the crisis, the growing chasm between the rich and everyone else has long-term implications for the nation’s social safety net, specifically for the continued solvency of the Social Security trust fund.

      • Transit Is a Social Justice Issue in the 2020 Election

        Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Democratic candidate for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District. (Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

        Maya Rockeymoore Cummings is running in a Maryland Democratic congressional primary next Tuesday. She’s speaking powerfully and poignantly about a range of economic, social, and racial justice issues facing the city of Baltimore, the state of Maryland, and the United States: “deep levels of inequality,” “untold grief and mental anguish on the part of African Americans” over police brutality, and “the undermining of democratic norms” by Donald Trump. And she is talking about transit.

      • We Need a Public Option for Banking

        The COVID-19 pandemic response has shown that the very foundations of our economy are shaky, fragile, and — for some of us — downright dangerous.

      • Why the Neoliberal Agenda is a Failure at Fighting Coronavirus

        The utter failure of private capitalism to prepare for the coronavirus should have surprised no one. Private capitalism, as business school graduates repeat, focuses on profit. The “profit incentive,” they learn, makes private capitalism the superior, “most efficient” economic system available. That is its “bottom line” and “chief goal.” The problem is that to produce adequate numbers of testing components, masks, gloves, ventilators, hospital beds, etc., and then to store, secure, monitor, maintain and demographically stockpile them were not and are not privately profitable businesses.

      • It’s a Class War Now Too
      • ‘Levada Center’: 28 percent of Russians prepared to protest falling living standards

        According to a new survey conducted by the independent Levada Center and published by Open Media, 27 percent of Russians consider mass protests possible at the present time, due to falling living standards. On the other hand, 61 percent of respondents believe such demonstrations are unlikely.

      • Save the US Postal Service Before It’s Too Late

        A publicly-funded, national postal service is one of our country’s great achievements.

      • What is Capitalism?

        The question ‘what is capitalism’ is a sincere one. Critiques of our present situation very often say the problem is capitalism. This is usually done without defining the term. Nonetheless, people seem to know what it means better than I do. Right-wingers, often without concern for the health of society, are triggered. Left-wingers, often with a concern for the health of society, cheer. Such is a bad sign for capitalism, but what exactly are we talking about?

      • Corporate Sovereignty Lawyers Prepare To Sue Governments For Bringing In Measures To Tackle COVID-19 And Save Lives

        Regular readers of Techdirt will be all too familiar with the problem of corporate sovereignty — the ability of companies to sue entire countries for alleged loss of profits caused by government action. Also known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), there have been indications that some countries are starting to drop ISDS from trade and investment treaties, for various reasons. But a worrying report from Corporate Europe Observatory suggests that we are about to witness a new wave of corporate sovereignty litigation. Hard though it may be to believe, these cases will be claiming that governments around the world should be reimbursing companies for the loss of profits caused by tackling COVID-19:

      • Defund Police: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor Says Budgets Wrongly Prioritize Cops Over Schools, Hospitals

        Calls to defund the police mount after police erupted into violence this weekend in response to widespread protests across the nation, arresting more than 4,000 people and attacking demonstrators with tear gas and rubber bullets. As police departments face increasing criticism for using excessive force on protesters, we get response from Professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, renowned scholar Professor Cornel West and attorney Bakari Sellers.

      • “America Has Looted Black People. We Learned It from You” Says Women’s March Activist Tamika Mallory

        In a powerful address among people in Minneapolis protesting the police murder of George Floyd, activist and former Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory demanded, “Charge the cops. … Charge them in every city across America where our people are being murdered.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Trump’s Executive Order Seeks To Have FCC Regulate Platforms. Here’s Why It Won’t Happen

        This is one of a series of blog posts about President Trump’s May 28 Executive Order. Other posts are here, here, here, and here.

        The inaptly named  Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship seeks to insert the federal government into private Internet speech in several ways. Through Section 2 of the Executive Order (EO), the president has attempted to demand the start of a new administrative rulemaking. Despite the ham-fisted language, such a process can’t come into being. No matter how much someone might wish it.The EO attempts to enlist the Secretary of Commerce and Attorney General to draft a rulemaking petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that asks it  that independent agency to interpret 47 U.S.C. § 230 (“Section 230”), a law that underlies much of the architecture for the modern Internet.Quite simply, this isn’t allowed.Specifically, the petition will ask the FCC to examine:

      • Dangers of Trump’s Executive Order Explained

        This is one of a series of blog posts about President Trump’s May 28 Executive Order. Links to other posts are below. The inaptly named Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship (EO) is a mess on many levels: it’s likely unconstitutional on several grounds, built on false premises, and bad policy to boot. We are no fans of the way dominant social media platforms moderate user content. But the EO, and its clear intent to retaliate against Twitter for marking the president’s tweets for fact-checking, demonstrates that governmental mandates are the wrong way to address concerns about faulty moderation practices.The EO contains several key provisions. We will examine them in separate posts linked here:1. The FCC rule-making provision2. The misinterpretation of and attack on Section 2303. Threats to pull government advertising4. Review of unfair or deceptive practicesAlthough we will focus on the intended legal consequences of the EO, we must also acknowledge the danger the Executive Order poses even if it is just political theater and never has any legal effect. The mere threat of heavy-handed speech regulation can inhibit speakers who want to avoid getting into a fight with the government, and deny readers information they want to receive. The Supreme Court has recognized that “people do not lightly disregard public officers’ thinly veiled threats” and thus even “informal contacts” by government against speakers may violate the First Amendment.The EO’s threats to free expression and retaliation for constitutionally-protected editorial decisions by a private entity are not even thinly veiled: they should have no place in any serious discussion about concerns over the dominance of a few social media companies and how they moderate user content. That said, we too are disturbed by the current state of content moderation on the big platforms. So, while we firmly disagree with the EO, we have been highly critical of the platforms’ failure to address some of the same issues targeted in the EO’s policy statement, specifically: first, that users deserve more transparency about how, when and how much content is moderated; second, that decisions often appear inconsistent; and, third, that content guidelines are often vague and unhelpful. Starting long before the president got involved, we have said repeatedly that the content moderation system is broken and called for platforms to fix it. We have documented a range of egregious content moderation decisions (see our onlinecensorship.org, Takedown Hall of Shame, and TOSsed Out projects). We have proposed a human rights framing for content moderation called the Santa Clara Principles, urged companies to adopt it, and then monitored whether they did so (see our 2018 and 2019 Who Has Your Back reports). But we have rejected government mandates as a solution, and this EO demonstrates why it is indeed the wrong approach. In the hands of a retaliatory regime, government mandates on speech will inevitably be used to punish disfavored speakers and platforms, and for other oppressive and repressive purposes. Those decisions will disproportionately impact the marginalized. Regardless of the dismal state of content moderation, it is truly dangerous to put the government in control of online communication channels.The EO requires the Attorney General to “develop a proposal for Federal legislation that would be useful to promote the policy objectives of this order.” This is a dangerous idea generally because it represents another unwarranted government intrusion into private companies’ decisions to moderate and curate user content. But it’s a particularly bad idea in light of the current Attorney General’s very public animus toward tech companies and their efforts to provide Internet users with secure ways to communicate, namely through end-to-end encryption. Attorney General William Barr already has plenty of motivation to break encryption, including through the proposed EARN IT Act; the EO’s mandate gives Barr more ammunition to target Internet users’ security and privacy in the name of promoting some undefined “neutrality.” Some have proposed that the EO is simply an attempt to bring some due process and transparency to content moderation. However, our analysis of the various parts of the EO illuminate why that’s not true. 

      • California Anti-SLAPP Law Gives Rachel Maddow An Early Exit From Conservative News Network’s Bogus Libel Lawsuit

        The only news network further to the right than Fox News has just seen its baseless libel lawsuit against MSNBC host Rachel Maddow dismissed under California’s anti-SLAPP law. While Fox occasionally has to acknowledge the real world and employs a few newscasters critical of the President and his policies, One American News Network (OAN/OANN) apparently feels no compunction to address any issues honestly, preferring to curl up in the lap of the leader of the free world.

      • Anti-censorship team report: May 2020

        Tor’s anti-censorship team writes monthly reports to keep the world updated on its progress. So far, we have been posting these team reports to the tor-project mailing list but starting this month, we are experimenting with turning team reports into blog posts as well. Our hope is that this makes it more convenient for the community to follow our work and comment on it. We work for you all, and to do our work well, we need to hear from you!

        Without further ado, here’s what the anti-censorship team accomplished in May 2020:

      • Let. The Motherfucker. Burn.

        Warning: this post will contain what we in the business like to call strong language, invective, and violent content. Govern yourself accordingly.

      • Joe Biden Wastes A Huge Opportunity To Support Free Speech; Still Wants To ‘Revoke’ Section 230

        Joe Biden had a golden opportunity to actually look Presidential, and stand up for free speech and the 1st Amendment at a moment when our current President is seeking to undermine it with his Executive order that is designed to intimidate social media companies into hosting speech they’d rather not, and scare others off from fact checking his lies. And he blew it. He doubled down on the ridiculous claim that we should “revoke” Section 230.

      • India Asks Internet Service Providers to Block WeTransfer

        The order, dated May 18, from India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT), which was reviewed by Reuters, does not specify a reason for blocking the website, but invokes a clause from conditions laid out for granting licences to ISPs.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Top Russian business newspaper gets new owner but will retain controversial chief editor

        The new owner of the top Russian business newspaper “Vedomosti,” Ivan Yeremin, says that he has no plans to dismiss the publication’s controversial acting editor-in-chief, Andrey Shmarov. Yeremin made this announcement during a meeting with the newspaper’s editors, a source at Vedomosti told Meduza.

      • [Old] Roger Water “Wish You Were Here” at Home Office

        World famous musician Roger Waters, the co-founder of Pink Floyd performed the band’s classic  ‘Wish You Were Here’ after speaking about the importance of empathizing with Julian and defending him. John Pilger, filmmaker and journalist, opened the event with an impassioned speech before calling on Julian’s brother Gabriel Shipton and Roger Waters to the stage.

      • M.I.A at UK Home Office: “Don’t extradite Assange!”

        World famous artist MIA, Croatian philosopher, author and political activist Srećko Horvat, and British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, joined Julian Assange’s father John Shipton with this protest to halt the extradition case against Julian Assange.

      • Journalists speak out for Assange

        Discussion between journalists about Julian’s current situation in prison and how his persecution affects journalism and the democracy. On the panel: John Pilger – award winning journalist, Stefania Maurizi– investigative journalist, Charles Glass – author, journalist, broadcaster

      • Demonstration over the extradition of Julian Assange at Parliament Square

        First major protest march to Parliament Squaren in support of Assange was lead by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and Greek MP Yanis Varoufakis. They were joined in their call not to extradite Julian Assange by Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, John Shipton (Julian Assange’s father), musician Brian Eno, rapper and activist Lowkey, Kristinn Hrafnsson from WikiLeaks, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, Tariq Ali writer and activist, and Tim Dawson from the National Union of Journalists. The march was from Australia House to Parliament Square.

      • Press Freedom and the case of Julian Assange

        Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell spoke at a public rally in central London joined by former Shadow Secretary of state Richard Burgon as well as Tim Dawson an executive of the National Union of Journalists, Nils Melzer the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Kristinn Hrafnsson editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Jen Robinson from Julian Assange’s legal team, and activist and writer Tariq Ali.

      • Please Sign the Open Letter

        I should be grateful if you would join Noam Chomsky, Yanis Varoufakis, David Hare, Roger Waters, Robert Black, Kristinn Hrnafsson, Christine Assange and many others in signing the open letter against the politically motivated legal harassment of people including Mark Hirst and myself.

      • Yet again Julian Assange and the press unable to attend court proceedings

        Julian Assange was, once again, unable to attend his own proceedings on medical advice. He remains at high risk of contracting Covid-19 due to an underlying lung condition exacerbated by years of confinement recognised by the UK as arbitrary detention.

      • More Journalists Injured Covering George Floyd Protests

        The first time officers shot rubber bullets at MSNBC host Ali Velshi and his crew Saturday night in Minneapolis, he was willing to believe that the officials didn’t know they were press. The second time, Velshi said, they knew and shot anyway.

        “We put our hands up and yelled, ‘We’re media!’” Velshi said. “They responded, ‘We don’t care!’ and they opened fire a second time.”

      • Journalists blinded, injured, arrested covering George Floyd protests nationwide

        In some incidents, members of the news media appeared to be targeted, by police and protesters alike.

        “Targeted attacks on journalists, media crews and news organizations covering the demonstrations show a complete disregard for their critical role in documenting issues of public interest and are an unacceptable attempt to intimidate them,” said Carlos Martínez de la Serna, program director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “Authorities in cities across the U.S. need to instruct police not to target journalists and ensure they can report safely on the protests without fear of injury or retaliation.”

      • Journalists get caught in the crosshairs as protests unfold

        The violence got so bad over the weekend that on Sunday the Cleveland police said the media was not allowed downtown unless “they are inside their place of business” — drawing ire from news outlets around the country, who argued that such access is a critical part of adequately covering protests.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Fire This Time

        Protesters clash with police after a demonstration over the death of George Floyd. (Joseph Prezioso / AFP via Getty Images)

        In times of crisis, historical knowledge at least offers the small consolation of perspective. America’s current time of troubles, with the stress of the pandemic and economic meltdown now being intensified by nationwide protests and riots against police violence, inevitably calls to mind the last time the country was coming apart. The BBC described the protests ignited by the police killing of George Floyd as the “biggest racial clashes since the 1960s.”

      • Gregg Popovich: ‘The System Has to Change’

        Illinois Sheriffs in riot gear in downtown Chicago, on May 30, 2020. (Jim Vondruska / NurPhoto / Getty)

        People from across the sports world have spoken out, raised money, and taken part in demonstrations following the police murder of George Floyd. The one voice that we haven’t heard yet has been perhaps President Donald Trump’s most outspoken critic in the wide world of sports, as well as someone who has never shied away from speaking about institutionalized racism or police brutality, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

      • Employees Hold Virtual Walkout to Protest Facebook Inaction on Trump Posts ‘Advocating Violence Against Black Demonstrators’

        “I am calling for Mark to immediately take down the president’s post advocating violence, murder, and imminent threat against black people.”

      • The Border Patrol Praises Stonewall While Deploying Officers to Suppress Protests

        Ads in front of The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. (Erik McGregor / LightRocket via Getty Images)

        Customs and Border Protection (CBP) chief Mark Morgan today commemorated the 1969 Stonewall Riots in an agency-wide e-mail honoring LGBT Pride month. The e-mail comes one day after Morgan took to Twitter to say that the current “‘protests’”—which he put in scare quotes—“are anything but peaceful.”

      • Minneapolis: The Rise of the ‘Thumpers’

        A police officer in riot gear arrests a demonstrator during a protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

        Minneapolis. Most of the time, this is a remarkably orderly and well-kept city. In 1980, while experts warned that other cities were becoming obsolete, Minneapolis remained a beacon of hope, a place that, said National Geographic, “can still nurture the human species.” However, citizens’ scant patience for interrupting this idyll meant that the city tolerated a police department riddled with violent, bigoted officers. The current unrest, sparked in Minneapolis and spreading across the country, offers a chance to examine how this city went from beacon to burning. Minnesota, perhaps more than any other state, embodies the failures of liberal efforts to achieve equitable dignity through public safety. As the writer David Lawrence Grant states, “The hard truth is that police departments deal with communities of color in exactly the way that American society, Minnesota society, has asked them to.”

      • Bill de Blasio Has Failed the Test of This Moment

        Police officers attacked and arrested demonstrators during protests in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Seth Wenig / AP Photo)

        Protests over the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and decades of racist police violence are raging across the country—and in city after city. In response, cops are destroying property. Cops are beating citizens. Cops are driving their cop cars into crowds of people and shooting at and arresting members of the media. Cops, the people in this situation with training and guns, are finding ways to escalate the tension they’re supposed to be trying to quell.

      • Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Trump’s War on Iran?

        On May 6th, President Trump vetoed a war powers bill specifying that he must ask Congress for authorization to use military force against Iran. Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign of deadly sanctions and threats of war against Iran has seen no let-up, even as the U.S., Iran and the whole world desperately need to set aside our conflicts to face down the common danger of the Covid-19 pandemic.

      • Despite Claims From Officials, Demonstrators Say Police, Not Protesters, Are Real ‘Outside Agitators’

        “Police are rioting across the nation.”

      • Trump’s Executive Order Threatens to Leverage Government’s Advertising Dollars to Pressure Online Platforms

        This is one of a series of blog posts about President Trump’s May 28 Executive Order. Other posts can be found here, here, here, and here.The inaptly named  Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship (EO) seeks to insert the federal government into private Internet speech in several ways. Section 3 of the EO threatens to leverage the federal government’s significant online advertising spending to coerce platforms to conform to the government’s desired editorial position. This raises significant First Amendment concerns.The EO provides:Sec. 3.  Protecting Federal Taxpayer Dollars from Financing Online Platforms That Restrict Free Speech.  (a)  The head of each executive department and agency (agency) shall review its agency’s Federal spending on advertising and marketing paid to online platforms.  Such review shall include the amount of money spent, the online platforms that receive Federal dollars, and the statutory authorities available to restrict their receipt of advertising dollars.(b)  Within 30 days of the date of this order, the head of each agency shall report its findings to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.(c)  The Department of Justice shall review the viewpoint-based speech restrictions imposed by each online platform identified in the report described in subsection (b) of this section and assess whether any online platforms are problematic vehicles for government speech due to viewpoint discrimination, deception to consumers, or other bad practices.The First Amendment is implicated by this provision because it is, at its essence, the government punishing a speaker for expressing a political viewpoint. The Supreme Court has recognized that “[t]he expression of an editorial opinion . . . lies at the heart of First Amendment protection.” The First Amendment thus generally protects speakers against enforced neutrality.Although the government may have broad leeway to decide where it wants to run its advertisements, here it seems that the government would otherwise place advertisements on these platforms but for the sole fact that it dislikes the political viewpoint reflected by the platform’s editorial and curatorial decisions. This is true regardless of whether the platform actually has an editorial viewpoint or if the government simply perceives a viewpoint it finds inappropriate.This decision is especially suspect when the platform’s speech is unrelated to the advertisement or the government program or policy being advertised. It might present a different situation if the message in the government’s advertisement would be undermined by the platform’s editorial decisions, or,  if by advertising, the government would be perceived as adopting the platform’s viewpoint. But neither of those is contemplated by the EO.The EO thus seems purely retaliatory, and designed solely to coerce the platforms to meet the government’s conception of acceptable “neutrality”—a severe penalty for having a political viewpoint. The goal of federal government advertising is to reach the broadest audience possible: think of the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Quinn the Quarantine Fox ads, or the National Park Service’s promotions about its units. This advertising is not a reward for the platform for its perceived neutrality. It’s a service to Americans who need vital information.In other contexts, the Supreme Court has made clear that the government’s spending decisions can generally not be “the product of invidious viewpoint discrimination.” The court has applied this rule to strike down a property tax exemption that was available only to those who took loyalty oaths, explaining that “the deterrent effect is the same as if the State were to fine them for this speech.” And the court also applied it when a county canceled a contract with a trash hauler who was a fervent critic of the county’s government. Even when the court rejected a First Amendment challenge to a requirement that the National Endowment for the Arts consider “general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of the American public” as one of many factors in awarding arts grants, it emphasized that the criterion did not give the government authority to “leverage its power to award subsidies on the basis of subjective criteria into a penalty on disfavored viewpoints,” and funding decisions should not be “calculated to drive certain ideas or viewpoints from the marketplace.”By denying ad dollars that it would otherwise spend solely because it disagrees with a platform’s editorial views, or dislikes that it has editorial views, the government violates these fundamental principles. And this in turn harms the public, which may need or want information contained in government advertisements.

      • A Southern Vanguard

        “This is the firing line not simply for the emancipation of the American Negro but for the emancipation of the African Negro and the Negroes of the West Indies; for the emancipation of the colored races; and for the emancipation of the white slaves of modern capitalistic monopoly.” W.E.B. Du Bois delivered these lines before a large crowd in Columbia, S.C., in the fall of 1946. The people gathered before him were neither strictly Marxist nor communist; they were mostly members of the Southern Negro Youth Congress, which was founded in 1937 to organize young people, workers, and other disaffected groups across the South. But no one in that audience was shocked by what he had to say. For them, like Du Bois, breaking the back of Southern white supremacy required challenging and remaking the larger system of exploitative capitalism that had subjected black and white Southerners to centuries of injustice. With the Congress of Industrial Organizations executing its Operation Dixie to organize industrial workers in the South that year and with African American veterans back from the war embarking on their own militant and heroic struggle for human rights there, Du Bois’s insistence that the South had become the center of a new battle for freedom was in no way far from the truth.

      • An Open Letter to Joe Biden on Race
      • California Cops Can No Longer Pass the Cost of Digital Redaction onto Public Records Requesters

        At a dark time when the possibility of police accountability seems especially bleak, there is a new glimmer of light courtesy of the California Supreme Court. Under a new ruling, government agencies cannot pass the cost of redacting police body-camera footage and other digital public records onto the members of the public who requested them under the California Public Records Act (CPRA).

        The case, National Lawyers Guild vs. Hayward was brought by civil rights groups against the City of Hayward after they filed requests for police body-camera footage related to protests on UC Berkeley’s campus following the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Hayward Police agreed to release the footage, but not before assessing nearly $3,000 for redacting the footage and editing that they claimed NLG needed to pay before they’d release the video.

      • On Sheep, Shepherds, Wolves and Other Political Creatures

        Noam Chomsky was recently recorded in an interview saying that the Bernie Sanders campaign was “an extraordinary success” that “completely shifted the arena of debate and discussion” in the United States. While I agree with Chomsky when he says in the same Democracy Now interview that “If Trump is reelected, it’s an indescribable disaster. It means that the policies of the past four years, which have been extremely destructive to the American population, to the world, will be continued and probably accelerated.” I don’t agree with or think that we can now, in our collective, progressive disappointment, paint the Sanders campaign as “an extraordinary success”, when as the dust has settled and the carpet has been rolled-up, we can see that it was far from being a success of any kind.

      • Racial Domestic Terrorism and the Legacy of State Violence

        The sheer brutality of George Floyd’s death at the hands of a viciously violent cop symbolizes not only the unadulterated racism of a culture that looks away in the face of police violence against Black people but also a society in which a form of racialized domestic terrorism has become normalized. Floyd’s murder has to be understood as part of wider systemic politics indebted to the long legacy of a culture of racist terror that extends from slavery and Jim Crow to the scourge of racial mass incarceration and a politics of disposability. How else to explain the senseless murders of Botham Jean, Treyvon Martin and more recently Ahmaud Aubrey and Breonna Taylor. Aubrey was killed by white vigilantes while out running. Taylor was shot in her bed by the police who literally broke into her house with no previous warning. The punishing apparatuses of the racial state have become more barbaric as power is concentrated more and more in the hands of the ultra-rich, white nationalists and white supremacists who now occupy the White House. Neoliberal fascism has taken off the gloves and now resorts to outright terror to keep people of color in check. Every space in the U.S. that people of color occupy is militarized.

      • Global Protests Erupt in Solidarity With Racial Justice Defenders in US

        “Police brutality has created a flashpoint for unrest that was already simmering,” read an editorial published Monday in The Times of London.

      • Giving Voice to Alaska’s Unheard Sexual Assault Survivors

        In the fall of 2018, the Anchorage Daily News published an article with the headline, “A second woman comes forward to say she was raped in Nome without consequence.” The story included a request: The ADN said it would be reporting further on the subject of sexual abuse in Alaska, and invited readers to confidentially share their accounts of sexual violence.

        More than 200 of them did.

      • How We Worked With Survivors of Sexual Assault in Alaska to Tell Their Stories

        Today we are publishing the stories of 29 women and men who say they were sexually assaulted. The stories in this project adhere to the journalistic standards of accuracy, fairness and rigor that we demand of every story published by our news organizations. But they were written in collaboration with the community of sexual assault survivors who are the subjects of the profiles.

        Here’s what that means….

      • Unheard

        Alaska has the highest rate of sexual assault in the nation. These women and men did not choose to be violated, but they now choose to speak about what happened.

      • Here’s What Experts Say to Do After Experiencing Sexual Assault

        In the course of reporting Unheard and interviewing dozens of survivors, questions surfaced again and again about what to do after a sexual assault, and how to navigate social services and the legal system.

        The following resources are intended to inform survivors, their family members and friends, and others in the community about ways they can seek help.

      • Trump’s Authoritarian Porn Has a Lot of Fans

        Twitter has finally begun removing a smattering of Donald Trump tweets for fomenting violence or spreading lies. The company ought to remove a whole series of them for spreading pornography—authoritarian pornography.

      • A Call to Revolt
      • Protests Over George Floyd’s Killing Met With Curfews, Police Crackdowns, and National Guard Troops Across US

        In Los Angeles, City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson said, “Our fear is real that additional law enforcement will only further violence against people of color.”

      • Amid COVID, People Involuntarily Confined in Psych Hospitals Must Be Released

        When most people speak of invisibility right now, they’re speaking of germs — those too-small-to-be-seen strands of coronavirus that are circling the world so ferociously. And yet so many full-sized and visible humans are being treated as if they just aren’t there.

      • Activists in Moscow are setting up cardboard cutouts of jailed journalist Ilya Azar. One has been arrested already.

        Journalist and municipal deputy Ilya Azar was sentenced to 15 days administrative arrest on May 28, for holding a peaceful, single-person demonstration. His arrest sparked solidarity protests outside of the police headquarters in Moscow, and near the well-known Gostiny Dvor shopping center in central St. Petersburg. 

      • An Appeal to Those on The Center Right Regarding the Protests and Unrest

        If you’re on the right and have conservative values, please reach internally to your compassion for your fellow humans in this country. Your fellow American is suffering, and they have legitimate grievances. We accept that there is noise in this message caused by troublemakers, but that’s always the case. Don’t let that distract you from the righteous calling to help your American brothers and sisters.

        These communities need our support right now. They need your support, my friends and readers on the right. And the worst possible thing you can do is dismiss their claims on the grounds that a few among them are acting in bad faith. You have the wisdom to see through that, and to see the true suffering beneath. And I ask you to please do so. We need you. These communities need you. The country needs you.

      • Russia’s plebiscite on constitutional amendments set for July 1

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has come out in favor of holding Russia’s nationwide vote on amendments to the constitution on July 1. The rescheduled date was initially put forward by Ella Pamfilova, the head of Russia’s Central Election Commission (CEC).

      • Yes, the Looting Must Stop

        African Americans and Hispanics have been looted of trillions in reduced pay by racist employers and giant corporations, while their safety, lives and peace of mind have been looted by racist police.

      • Minneapolis Neighborhoods Defend Against Police and White Supremacists

        As protests against racism and state violence continue nationwide following the killing of George Floyd, neighborhoods in Minneapolis are facing increasingly brutal police crackdowns and heavy militarization of the city by the National Guard. And even as Minneapolis residents continue agitating against police violence, some are also organizing to defend themselves against the threat of violence from white supremacists who have been accused of coming to the city to burn buildings in neighborhoods of color and cause chaos.

      • Moscow court postpones appeals hearing for arrested journalist Ilya Azar

        The Moscow City Court has postponed the appeals hearing for arrested journalist and activist Ilya Azar until June 5, reports the organization “Apologiya Protesta” on Telegram, citing one of its lawyers, Leonid Solovyov. 

      • Don’t Let Trump Use This Moment to Sneak in Domestic Terrorism Laws

        There’s something ironic about a fascist president labeling an anti-fascist movement “terrorists.” It could be a joke, if it didn’t have such terrifying implications for civil liberties.

      • Police Attacked Protesters After Kneeling for Solidarity Photo Op, Activists Say

        Some of the police officers who have been prominently photographed kneeling or praying alongside demonstrators against police violence have turned around and harmed protesters soon afterward, according to numerous accounts posted by activists on social media.

      • Russian election officials will reportedly loosen voting restrictions in upcoming constitutional plebiscite

        Russia’s Central Election Commission is reportedly planning to loosen several voting restrictions in the country’s upcoming plebiscite on constitutional amendments that could extend Vladimir Putin’s presidency to 2036. The policy shift conforms to widespread speculation that the Kremlin seeks high turnout in the nationwide vote as a show of legitimacy. 

      • “America’s Moment of Reckoning”: Cornel West Says Nationwide Uprising Is Sign of “Empire Imploding”

        As thousands from coast to coast took to the streets this weekend to protest the state-sanctioned killing of Black people, and the nation faces its largest public health crisis in generations and the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression, professor Cornel West calls the U.S. a “predatory capitalist civilization obsessed with money, money, money.” He also makes the connections between U.S. violence abroad and at home. “There is a connection between the seeds that you sow of violence externally and internally.”

      • “My Vanishing Country”: Mass Protests Rise from 400 Years of Systemic Racism, Says Bakari Sellers

        As mass unrest engulfs the U.S., we speak with attorney and political commentator Bakari Sellers, whose new memoir “My Vanishing Country” was just published. One of the central moments in the book is the Orangeburg massacre of 1968, when police opened fire on a crowd of students gathered on the campus of South Carolina State University to protest segregation at Orangeburg’s only bowling alley. When the shooting stopped, three Black students were dead, 28 students were wounded. The nine officers who opened fire that day were all acquitted. The only person convicted of wrongdoing was Bakari Sellers’s father, Cleveland Sellers, a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, known as SNCC. He was convicted of a riot charge and spent seven months behind bars. He was pardoned in 1993. We speak with Bakari Sellers about Orangeburg, 2020 and “400 years of systemic racism” in the U.S.

      • A Class Rebellion: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on How Racism & Racial Terrorism Fueled Nationwide Anger

        In the largest nationwide uprising since the 1960s, protesters shut down cities across the United States over the weekend following the police killing of George Floyd, an African American man in Minneapolis. “These are not just repeats of past events,” says scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. “These are the consequences of the failures of this government and the political establishment … to resolve these crises.”

      • Racism and Racial Terrorism Has Fueled Nationwide Anger

        In the largest nationwide uprising since the 1960s, protesters shut down cities across the United States over the weekend following the police killing of George Floyd, an African American man in Minneapolis. “These are not just repeats of past events,” says scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. “These are the consequences of the failures of this government and the political establishment … to resolve these crises.”

      • Days of Rage in Milwaukee

        City rocked by weekend of protests and clashes.

      • Cops — Newly Wary Of Looking Like Authoritarian Assholes — Open Fire On, Arrest Journalists

        There was a window of opportunity for cops following the George Floyd killing. Floyd, suspected of nothing more than passing a fake $20 bill, was killed by Officer Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis PD. Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck until he was dead. This act lasted for nearly nine minutes — and for nearly three minutes after Chauvin checked for a pulse and found nothing. Yet he persisted, and none of the three cops around him stopped him.

      • George Floyd death: Liverpool players take knee in picture at Anfield

        Liverpool players took a knee around the centre circle at Anfield in a message of support following the death in police custody of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis.

        The picture featuring 29 Reds players came with the caption “Unity is strength. #BlackLivesMatter”.

        Players reportedly requested the picture during training on Monday.

        Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford added their voices to worldwide protests against racism.

      • Michigan Sheriff Took Off His Helmet and Marched With Protesters

        He said he made it a point to take off his helmet and that officers had put down their batons. “I want to make this a parade, not a protest,” he said.

        As the demonstrators applauded, he shook a protester’s hand and high-fived another. He then acknowledged the children in the crowd. Gesturing to the officers behind him, he asked the crowd what he and the other officers needed to do.

        The crowd chanted: “Walk with us. Walk with us. Walk with us.”

        And so he did.

      • #JusticeForUwa trends in Nigeria after student murdered in church

        On Twitter, many Nigerians expressed concern about the government’s failure to tackle gender-based violence, and questioned whether parents were bringing up boys properly.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Executive Order Targeting Social Media Gets the FTC, Its Job, and the Law Wrong

        This is one of a series of blog posts about President Trump’s May 28 Executive Order. Other posts are here, here, and here.The inaptly named Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship seeks to insert the federal government into private Internet speech in several ways. In particular, Sections 4 and 5 seek to address possible deceptive practices, but end up being unnecessary at best and legally untenable at worst.These provisions are motivated in part by concerns, which we share, that the dominant platforms do not adequately inform users about their standards for moderating content, and that their own free speech rhetoric often doesn’t match their practices. But the EO’s provisions either don’t help, or introduce new and even more dangerous problems.Section 4(c) says, “The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) shall consider taking action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to prohibit unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, pursuant to section 45 of title 15, United States Code. Such unfair or deceptive acts or practice may include practices by entities covered by Section 230 that restrict speech in ways that do not align with those entities’ public representations about those practices.”Well, sure. Platforms should be honest about their restriction practices, and held accountable when they lie about them. The thing is, the FTC already has the ability to “consider taking action” about deceptive commercial practices.But the real difficulty comes with the other parts of this section. Section 4(a) sets out the erroneous legal position that large online platforms are “public forums” that are legally barred from exercising viewpoint discrimination and have little ability to limit the categories of content that may be published on their sites. As we discuss in detail in our post dedicated to Section 230, every court that has considered this legal question has rejected it, including recent decisions by U.S. District Courts of Appeal for the Ninth and D.C. Circuits. And for good reason: treating social media companies like “public forums” gives users less ability to respond to misuse, not more.Instead, those courts have correctly adopted the rule on editorial freedom from the Supreme Court’s 1974 decision in Miami Herald Co. v Tornillo. In that case, the court rejected strikingly similar arguments—that the newspapers of the day were misusing their editorial authority to favor one side over the other in public debates and that government intervention was necessary to “insure fairness and accuracy and to provide for some accountability.” Sound familiar?The Supreme Court didn’t go for it: the “treatment of public issues and public officials—whether fair or unfair—constitute the exercise of editorial control and judgment. It has yet to be demonstrated how governmental regulation of this crucial process can be exercised consistent with First Amendment guarantees of a free press as they have evolved to this time.”The current Supreme Court agrees. Just last term, in Manhattan Community Access v Halleck, the Supreme Court affirmed that the act of serving as a platform for the speech of others did not eliminate that platform’s own First Amendment right to editorial freedom.But the EO doesn’t just get the law wrong—it wants the FTC to punish platforms that don’t adhere to the erroneous position that online platforms are “public forums” legally barred from editorial freedom. Section 4(d) commands the FTC to consider whether the dominant platforms are inherently engaging in unfair practices by not operating as public forums as set forth in Section 4(a). This means that a platform could be completely honest, transparent, and open about its content moderation practices but still face penalties because it did not act like a public forum. So, platforms have a choice—take their guidance from the Supreme Court or from the Trump administration.Additionally, Section 4(b) refers to the White House’s Tech Bias Reporting Tool launched last year to collect reports of political bias. The EO states that 16,000 reports were received and they will be forwarded to the FTC. We filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy for those complaints last year and wer told that that office had no records (https://www.eff.org/document/eff-fioa-request-tech-bias-story-sharing-tool).Section 5 commands the Attorney General to convene a group to look at existing state laws and propose model state legislation to address unfair and deceptive practices by online platforms. This group will be empowered to collect publicly available information about: how platforms track user interactions with other users; the use of “algorithms to suppress political alignment or viewpoint”; differential policies when applied to the Chinese government; reliance on third-party entities with “indicia of bias,” and viewpoint discrimination with respect to user monetization. To the extent that this means that decisions will be made based on actual data rather than anecdote and supposition, that is a good thing. But given this pretty one-sided list, there does seem to be a predetermined political decision the EO wants to reach, and the resulting proposals that come out of this may create yet another set of problems.All of this exacerbates a growing environment of legal confusion for technology and its users that bodes ill for online expression. Keep in mind that “entities covered by section 230” describes a huge population of online services that facilitate online user communication, from Wikimedia to the Internet Archive to the comments section of local newspapers. However you feel about Big Tech, rest assured that the EO’s effects will not be confined to the small group of companies that can afford to navigate these choppy waters.

      • Internet Users of All Kinds Should Be Concerned by a New Copyright Office Report

        Outside of the beltway, people all over the United States are taking to the streets to demand fundamental change. In the halls of Congress and the White House, however, many people seem to think the biggest thing that needs to be restructured is the Internet. Last week, the president issued an order taking on one legal foundation for online expression: Section 230. This week, the Senate is focusing on another: Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

        The stage for this week’s hearing was set by a massive report from the Copyright Office that’s been five years in the making. We read it, so you don’t have to.

      • Deepfake video of Elon Musk singing Soviet space song appears after successful ‘SpaceX’ launch

        With the successful launch of the Crew Dragon capsule, Elon Musk’s space travel company SpaceX sent its first astronauts to the International Space Station on May 30. To celebrate the occasion, Russian Internet users released a clever deepfake video of Musk singing “Grass at Home,” a famous song by the Soviet rock band “Zemlyane” (“Earthlings”). Russia’s state space corporation, Roscosmos, even named “Grass at Home” the official anthem of Russian cosmonauts in 2009. The deepfake of Musk singing is eerily convincing, especially given his recently developed habit of tweeting in Russian. Maybe someday we’ll get to hear him sing!

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • EPO: Plants and Plant Materials Not Patentable if Exclusively Obtained by Essentially Biological Process

          A recent opinion issued by the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) of the European Patent Office (EPO) has established that plants and plant materials are not patentable if they are exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process. This opinion is known as “Pepper” (G3/19).

          Pepper is the latest, and perhaps final, in the long line of legal events addressing this issue. We have previously reported on the ongoing saga in two alerts in December 2018 and March 2019, the latter of which outlined the background surrounding these issues.

          The opinion has no retroactive effect on European patents that were granted before 1 July 2017, or on pending European patent applications that were filed (or have a priority date) before that date.


          Considering the number of overlapping and conflicting plant-related decisions, the overall picture can be hard to see. The overall effects of the case law, up to and including Pepper, are collated below.


          This latest development should be taken into account for companies seeking to protect plant innovation in Europe. It is important to note that it is still possible to protect plants and plant products with a European patent if a new trait is introduced or modified by a technical step. However, it is no longer possible to protect plants and plant products if the new trait is exclusively the result of traditional crossing and selection without an additional step of a technical nature. (As noted above, Pepper does not have retroactive effect before 1 July 2017).

          Of course, many naturally occurring mutations could also be artificially induced, and many artificial mutations could have occurred naturally. The EPO’s current guidance is that protection can still be obtained if a disclaimer delimits the claimed subject matter to the technically produced product. As such, applicants should carefully consider whether their inventions are truly excluded.

        • Measures Being Taken by EPO, EUIPO, WIPO and UK IPO in Relation to COVID-19 Pandemic

          First, the EPO extended all “periods” expiring on or after 15 March 2020 until 2 June 2020 for all parties and their representatives, under the provisions of Rule 134(2) EPC, second sentence. In accordance with Article 150(2) EPC, this extension applied also for international applications under the PCT. The justification for the extension was that disruption in Germany, a country in which the EPO is located, constituted “general dislocation” as specified in Rule 134(2) EPC, second sentence. However, since the disruption in Germany has recently ceased (see here), it seems that the blanket extension of all deadlines under Rule 134(2) EPC, second sentence, will not be extended beyond 2 June 2020. Despite that, the EPO recognises that the pandemic remains an “exceptional occurrence”, such that retrospective extensions of missed deadlines may be available under the EPC (Rule 134(5) EPC) and PCT (Rule 82quater.1 PCT). Deadlines may also in principle be extended under Rule 134(2) EPC, first sentence, if a party or its representative is based in a country where disruption continues beyond 2 June 2020. However, in that instance, the extension would not be automatic and it would be necessary to convince the EPO that there was indeed disruption in the country in question.

        • SCT: Copyrighting Labels and scope of 271(g)

          Syngenta sued Willowood for both patent and copyright infringement associated with its generic fungicide compound. Willowood won at the district court, but that holding was overturned on appeal. Now Willowood is bringing it to the Supreme Court.

          The copyright claim: Syngenta product “labels” have many pages of small-type that were registered with the US Copyright office. Willowood apparently copied the labels for its competing generic product. Because the fungicides are dangerous chemicals, these labels are required in order to sell the product.

        • Software Patents

          • 2BCom patent challenged as likely invalid

            On May 29, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 7,127,210, owned by 2BCom, LLC, an NPE. The ’210 patent is generally directed to management of Bluetooth connections and is currently asserted against BMW, TP-Link, FCA, Amazon, and KIA Motors.

      • Trademarks

        • When the trademark was unregistered but whose goodwill was not unloved in a successful opposition

          The applicant, Golden Cala, a seller and distributor of contact lenses, applied to register the “LENS ME” mark in Singapore. Mr Florian Mack, the opponent, is the proprietor of the “LENS ME” mark, which it licensed to Sky Optical LLC, a company in which he was a director, chairman and general manager. Sky Optical distributed and sold contact lenses to customers worldwide through its online platform. Importantly, the opponent’s mark was not registered as a trade mark in Singapore.

          The opponent filed to oppose registration of the applicant’s mark, relying on two grounds under the Singapore Trade Marks Act–bad faith and passing off.

          The test for determining bad faith combines both a subjective element focusing on what the applicant knew, as well as an objective element, focusing on what ordinary persons, adopting proper standards, would think.The opponent’s allegation of bad faith was based on the claim that he was the first to come up with the idea of using “LENS ME” as a brand name, and that the applicant’s directors knew, or must have known, of the opponent’s mark and the commercial potential for an online shop for contact lenses under the mark.

      • Copyrights

        • Digital Culture – Wave 4 of 6 Report by Intellectual Property Office released

          The Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre have released a further report (Wave 4 of 6) into Digital Culture – Consumer Tracking Study which is analysing the behaviour of consumers during April and May 2020 to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The report for Wave 1 of 6, which includes the methodology, is available here (Wave 2 and Wave 3). The full report for Wave 4 of 6 is available here.

          With many people consuming more and more digital content, whether it be zoom calls, streaming the Tiger King (which had some IP issues) or The Last Dance (which mentions the Jordan trade mark), or listening to more podcasts, the UK IPO has conducted a study to review the way in which consumers are accessing online content during the current crises.


          Consuming content appears to be stable for the fourth week. TV had the highest median time for content consumption. The levels of downloading and streaming have decreased over the last two weeks for film, TV and music with music seeing a significant decline in both streaming and downloading. The level of downloading and accessing video games has been in decline each week. E-publishing remained stable. Over the past four weeks there has been a moderate increase in the number of physical products that have been purchased.

          In relation to the illegal or legal methods used by respondents to access content, for film and TV there has been a decline in the use of illegal methods for downloading and streaming. For accessing and downloading video games, the use of illegal methods has fallen. across e-publishing there was no significant change in total use of illegal methods for accessing or downloading. For other content categories (e.g. social media) there was a decline in the level of people watching live streams. The study also looked at Wellbeing and Lifestyle which shows that levels of anxiety continued to decrease and this must be considered to be a good sign.

        • 11th Annual Ethics in the Practice of IP Law Seminar

          UIC John Marshall’s Center for Intellectual Property, Information & Privacy Law will be offering its Annual Ethics in the Practice of IP Law Seminar — for the first time as an online webinar — on June 5, 2020 from noon to 3:45 pm (CDT). The program will cover a variety of topics on ethics and professionalism that are relevant to IP lawyers. Attendees will learn about the types of ethical issues that arise in daily practice, as well as fundamental principles, rules, and insights to help them handle these issues. This year’s program focuses on patent law issues and features two mental health presentations.

        • Rights Alliance Reinforces Pirate Site Blocking Agreement With Danish ISPs

          Anti-piracy group Rights Alliance has agreed on a new version of its Code of Conduct, where local Internet providers agree to voluntarily block pirate sites. ISPs will take this action if there’s a valid court order against a competing ISP. The new agreement makes it easier for Rights Alliance to expand site blocking without court approval. For example, when new proxy sites appear.

        • Publishers Sue the Internet Archive Over its Open Library, Declare it a Pirate Site

          Several major publishers have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in a New York court targeting the Internet Archive’s Open Library. According to the complaint, the project is a massive and willful infringement project that amounts to little more than a regular pirate site.

        • Leveraging OER for COVID-19 Response Efforts and Long-Term International Partnerships

          Currently, we face both a swell of support for open educational resources (OER) and devastating upheaval of our traditional education systems. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 1.5 billion youth are out of school, countless teachers and parents are pivoting to online teaching and education systems face immense financial strain. While OER is not a magic cure for the current education crisis, there are opportunities to work with open education efforts to build greater resiliency within our learning ecosystems and also support cross-national partnerships. 

        • In The Midst Of A Pandemic And Widespread Unrest, Senate Republicans Think It’s Time To Use Copyright To Make The Richest Musicians Richer

          There’s kind of a lot going on in America right now — what with widespread protests about police violence (leading to more police violence), and we’re still in the middle of the largest pandemic in a century. You’d think some of those things would be priorities for Congress, but instead, Senate Republicans have decided that now is the time to pushing ahead with helping Hollywood by examining how to make copyright worse. Even the Washington Post is completely perplexed as to how this could possibly be a priority right now.


Links 1/6/2020: Linux 5.7, FOSSlife Born, LibreOffice 7.0 Beta1, Linux Mint 20 Making Early Promises

Posted in News Roundup at 4:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Welcome FOSSlife! A new web magazine is born

      With FOSSlife, a new web magazine was launched today. It’s a destination for all who care about the FOSS community and want to follow the trends, tools, projects, programs, and people who define the FOSS experience. The FOSSlife project is proudly supported by Linux Professional Institute (LPI) which is happy to provide a home to this new resource for all existing and future FOSS professionals and enthusiasts.

      The FOSS life is about community, it is about advocacy, and it is about bringing people together and building sustainable, accessible solutions. Everyone is invited to become part of this community, which stands for openness and equality like no other. FOSSlife is intended to be a new place to go, both for experienced experts and for those who are interested in the subject and just starting to come to grips with it.

      “At the Linux Professional Institute, we are committed to spreading FOSS knowledge as well as the spirit which helped free and open source technology become a worldwide phenomenon,” said G. Matthew Rice, Executive Director of the Linux Professional Institute. “It is our mission to promote the use of free and open source by elevating the people who work with it. FOSSlife fits perfectly into this mission, as it helps us share, bundle, and disseminate knowledge about free and open source software and inspire people who are searching for their own approach in gaining this expertise.”

    • LPI Launches FOSSlife Website

      Linux Professional Institute launches FOSSlife, a website for the FOSS community.

      Linux Professional Institute (LPI) has launched FOSSlife, a website for those “who care about the FOSS community and want to follow the trends, tools, projects, programs, and people who define the FOSS experience.”

      According to the announcement, the new website will offer recent news and articles on FOSS technology and advocacy. FOSSlife is intended to be a destination and resource for experts as well as those just starting out on their open source journey.

    • Rocket Girls: A Growing Force for Tech Education and Diversity

      In this section of FOSSlife, we will profile some of the valued partners of the website. In this article, we’ll hear about Rocket Girls, an organization in San Jose, Costa Rica, that’s working to generate opportunities for girls within the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM).

    • The Many Forms of FOSS Advocacy

      “FOSS advocacy means advocating for all users to have freedom. Freedom to control their computing environment, freedom to not be spied on or having their data collected without their consent,” explained Deb Nicholson, director of Community Operations at Software Freedom Conservancy, a not-for-profit charity that helps promote, improve, develop, and defend Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects.

      “It is important because [otherwise] we can’t call it freedom when we force people to choose between access to information, services, entertainment, health care and their autonomy, privacy and security,” Nicholson added.

    • Welcome to FOSSlife

      We’re proud to announce the launch of FOSSlife — a new webzine dedicated to the world of free and open source software.
      We’re proud to announce the launch of FOSSlife – a new webzine dedicated to the world of free and open source software.

      The Free software community has been around for more than 30 years, and it has succeeded beyond anyone’s dreams. Free and open source software drives the Internet, runs the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and lights up the laptops of Fortune 500 executives. In fact, FOSS has become so popular that many people don’t even recognize it as a thing anymore and think of it simply as the way we live.

      But FOSS really is a thing, with challenges, threats, opportunities, and plenty of reasons to celebrate. The FOSS life is about community, it is about advocacy, and it is about bringing people together and building sustainable, accessible solutions. Most of all, FOSSlife is about the software: inventive, expressive, powerful software that is able, stable, and refreshingly free of hype.

      We created FOSSlife to serve as a destination for everyone who cares about the FOSS community and wants to follow the trends, tools, projects, programs, and people who define the FOSS experience. We also serve as an entry point for those who are new to FOSS and are taking their first steps to explore the exciting world of free software.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E10 – Hospital on Wednesdays

        This week we have been teaching our children to build a PC. We discuss where in the world people talk about Ubuntu, bring you some command line love and go over a bumper crop of your wonderful feedback!

      • Going Linux #392 · Accessibility on Linux

        Once upon a time, there were Linux distributions that focused on the needs of computer users with disabilities. Today’s Ubuntu MATE does the best job of any modern desktop Linux at including the broadest out-of-the-box implementation of accessibility software. This is particularly valuable because Windows does not and the “officially supported” software applications for Windows that are focused on accessibility are also extremely expensive.

      • Josh Bressers: Episode 199 – Special cases are special: DNS, Websockets, and CSV

        Josh and Kurt talk about a grab bag of topics. A DNS security flaw, port scanning your machine from a web browser, and CSV files running arbitrary code. All of these things end up being the result of corner cases. Letting a corner case be part of a default setup is always a mistake. Yes always, not even that one time.

      • 2020-06-01 | Linux Headlines

        The Linux kernel packs version 5.7 with exciting additions, version 2.2 of the Foliate eBook reader is out with support for many more formats, and members of the Association of American Publishers sue the Internet Archive over their library lending practices.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.7
        So we had a fairly calm last week, with nothing really screaming
        "let's delay one more rc". Knock wood - let's hope we don't have
        anything silly lurking this time, like the last-minute wifi regression
        we had in 5.6..
        But embarrassing regressions last time notwithstanding, it all looks
        fine. And most of the discussion I've seen the last week or two has
        been about upcoming features, so the merge window is now open and I'll
        start processing pull requests tomorrow as usual. But in the meantime,
        please give this a whirl.
        We've got a lot of changes in 5.7 as usual (all the stats look normal
        - but "normal" for us obviously pretty big and means "almost 14
        thousand non-merge commits all over, from close to two thousand
        developers"), So the appended shortlog is only the small stuff that
        came in this last week since rc7.
        Go test,
      • Linux 5.7 Kernel Released With New Apple Driver, Official Intel Gen12 Graphics
      • The 5.7 kernel is out
      • SD Times news digest: Linux 5.7, Progress MOVEit 2020, and BMC completes acquisition of Compuware

        Linux 5.7 is now available. The updated version includes many changes such as ‘mmc: sdhci: Fix SDHCI_QUIRK_BROKEN_CQE,’ ‘copy_xstate_to_kernel(): don’t leave parts of destination uninitialized’ and the fixed Fix max PFN arithmetic overflow on 32 bit systems,’ among many others.

        The shortlog available here includes the changes that came in this last week since rc7.

      • Linux Kernel 5.7 Officially Released, This Is What’s New

        Seven weeks in development, the Linux 5.7 kernel is finally here. This series brings many goodies for Linux users, including a new and improved exFAT file system implementation, improved perf cgroup profiling, as well as a thermal-aware scheduler that should increase the performance.

        Security-wise, Linux kernel 5.7 also introduces ARM Kernel Pointer Authentication for the ARM64 (AArch64) architecture to protect the kernel against return-oriented programming attacks and a new LSM (Linux Security Module) for BPF (Berkeley Packet Filter) programs called bpf-lsm.

      • Linux Kernel 5.7 Released: The Top 10 New Features You Should Know

        v5.7 introduces several new enhancements to 64-bit ARM architecture such as ARM Activity Monitors (AMU) extension support and in-kernel pointer authentication which was earlier restricted to userspace.

        Furthermore, kernel 5.7 also adds support for new ARM architecture-based devices and SoCs. It includes Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and PINE64’s Pinebook Pro laptop, PineTab tablet, and PinePhone mobile phone.


        Speaking of the other filesystems, Linux 5.7 brings Zstd compression support to the F2FS (Flash-Friendly File System) filesystem. Not only that, but F2FS now also has a new kernel ioctl and mount time display in debugfs. Here is a pull request that contains all enhancements, cleanups, and other bug fixes for F2FS in Kernel 5.7.

        With Linux 5.7, XFS also sees a number of changes coming in two parts for code clean-ups, improved metadata validation, and other bug fixes. The major highlight in XFS is the initial preparation for online repair and filesystem checking.

      • Linux 5.7 Released, This is What’s New

        Linux 5.7 has arrived, serving as the latest mainline release of the Linux Kernel — but what’s changed? Well, in this post we recap the new features and core changes bundled up inside this kernel update.

        As per tradition Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux 5.7 in an email to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML), where he says: “We’ve got a lot of changes in 5.7 as usual (all the stats look normal – but “normal” for us obviously pretty big and means “almost 14 thousand non-merge commits all over, from close to two thousand developers)”.

        Fun fact: Linus recently switched from Intel to AMD, which he hasn’t used for quite a while!

        While the Linux 5.7 kernel will likely be available for testing in Ubuntu 20.10 during development it’s not yet clear precisely which kernel version will be offered in the final stable release come October (and thus be back-ported to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS as a HWE update in 20.04.2 LTS).

      • Linux 5.8 Flipping On ERASE/Discard/TRIM For All MMC Hosts

        The MMC changes for new kernel cycles don’t tend to be particularly noteworthy but it’s a different story with the new Linux 5.8 kernel cycle.

        With Linux 5.8, erase/discard/trim support is being enabled now for all (e)MMC/SD hosts. The Linux kernel has long supported this discard/trim support for MMC/SD but until now it’s been opt-in by the host drivers. But thanks to all of the host driver work and MMC core improvements over the past number of kernel cycles, the developers are content enough with the overall state of the support that they are no longer making it opt-in but will make it supported on all hosts. Of course, the card in question still needs to support these commands for it to be supported, but at least the host capability checks are now removed from MMC core.

      • Linux’s Pstore Picking Up A Block Device Backend For Storing Oops & Panic Messages

        Linux’s pstore “persistent storage” code is seeing a number of improvements for the Linux 5.8 kernel.

        Pstore is the Linux interface to persistent storage for archiving a limited amount of data across reboots, such as for archiving kernel oops or panic messages so they can be easily analyzed following a reboot from such a fatal problem.

      • AMD SPI Driver Sent In For Linux 5.8

        Adding to the multiple new AMD drivers coming with Linux 5.8 is their new SPI controller driver.

        The AMD SPI controller driver (spi-amd) was mailed out in April and for supporting the SPI controller within newer AMD SoCs. This 300+ lines of code driver was previously outlined in this earlier article.

      • AMD Energy Driver Sent In For Linux 5.8 Along With Driver For Industrial/Military SBCs

        The hardware monitoring “HWMON” subsystem updates were sent in today for the newly-opened Linux 5.8 merge window.

        On the hardware monitoring front this cycle the updates include:

        - The new AMD Energy driver for exposing the energy sensors on Zen/Zen2 CPUs. From my own testing so far this new driver is working out quite well albeit long overdue.

      • Want A More Secure Computer At The Cost Of Performance? Linux 5.8 Landing L1d Flushing

        For those very concerned about CPU data sampling vulnerabilities, the Linux 5.8 kernel comes with the ability to flush the L1 data cache on each context switch. That’s good for security, but will hurt the system performance with all the excess L1 cache flushing.

        This work stems from a proposal earlier this year to flush the L1d cache on context switches due to recent snoop assisted data sampling vulnerabilites or the cache data leaked via side channels. This work was carried out by an Amazon engineer so presumably there is some interest in offering this functionality in the AWS space.

      • AMD Radeon Linux Driver Sees Patches For New “Sienna Cichlid” GPU

        Still digging through the 207 patches for the AMD Radeon Sienna Cichlid, but will update if seeing anything else of note. For the most part it’s leveraging the existing Navi code paths but the usual churn surrounding firmware, clock-gating / power management differences, and other modifications in the usual spots for bringing up new hardware. The main code additions primarily pertain to the new DCN3 and VCN3 blocks.

        Given the timing of these patches, the AMD Sienna Cichlid won’t be mainlined until the Linux 5.9 merge window opening in August and then releasing in stable around October. That timeframe at least does point to Sienna Cichlid likely being the “RDNA 2″ graphics card launch coming later in the calendar year.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Why DirectX On Linux? Kernel Developer Questions Microsoft Developer

          Recently, at Build Conference 2020, Microsoft announced a new feature for its Windows subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2). This time, it came up with ‘DirectX loves Linux‘ tagline that aims to further extend the computation capability of WSL2 instances.

          After huge demand from developers, Microsoft brought the GPU hardware acceleration support to the Linux system running on WSL2. For the same, Microsoft submitted the first draft of its new DirectX driver to the Linux kernel. But it does not seem like an easy way for Microsoft to upstream code to Linux.


          Dave Airlie from Intel also put forward his thought that the patch would only add burden on upstream rather than adding any value to the Linux ecosystem. In his latest blog, he also expressed that it doesn’t enhance the Linux graphics ecosystem in any useful direction. Dave even declined to review the code.

          Well, it is quite clear that ‘DirectX on Linux’ has nothing to do with native Linux desktop support. It is not available for bare metal Linux systems but rather only for Linux VM running on WSL2 Windows. As Microsoft’s developer states, currently the driver code strives to add GPU resource sharing capability to Linux guests on WSL2.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Benchmarks – Previously Unimaginable Performance For Sub-$600 Laptops

        A few weeks back I began delivering Ryzen 7 4700U Linux laptop benchmarks for this 8-core Zen 2 mobile CPU with Vega graphics. The results have been very good and the support is in good shape with the latest Linux kernel, but many have been wondering about the Ryzen 5 4500U. The Ryzen 5 4500U is beginning to appear in several $500~600 USD laptops and offers six cores. Here are benchmarks and initial impressions with the Lenovo Flex 5 that features a 14-inch 1080p display, 16GB dual channel memory, 256GB SSD, and the Ryzen 5 4500U all for just $599!

        Given the overwhelming interest by readers in the Ryzen 5 4500U in it appearing in several budget-friendly laptops, curiosity got the best of me for testing this laptop as well as with there not being many (Windows) benchmarks in general for the 4500U at this point. As usual with most laptop vendors not being interested in laptop coverage, I ended up buying the laptop last week as a fun testing candidate given Phoronix turning 16 years old this week – a birthday of benchmarking! The most interesting value laptop I’ve found with the Ryzen 5 4500U has been the Lenovo Flex 5 15-inch 2-in-1 that has the Ryzen 5 4500U with a 1080p display, 2 x 8GB DDR4-3200 memory, Vega graphics, and a 256GB NVMe SSD all for just $599. The particular SKU is 81X20005US for those looking for a sub-$600 laptop.

    • Applications

      • Linux eBook Reader Foliate 2.2.0 Adds Library View, eBook Discovery And Support For Comic Books

        Foliate Linux eBook reader has been updated with support for more book formats, including comic book archive, a new library view (which includes eBook discovery), and various other improvements.

        Foliate is a free and open source GTK eBook reader for Linux. Built with GJS and Epub.js, the eBook reader lets users view read eBook files using multiple layouts: single column, two-column, or continuous scrolling.

        On top of that, it features reading progress slider with capter marks, bookmarks and annotations, customizable font, line-spacing, marings and brightness, custom themes, keyboard shortcuts and touchpad gestures, as well as the ability to open footnotes and look up words (using Wiktionary, Wikipedia and more) in popovers. The application also includes basic text-to-speech support using eSpeak NG and Festival.

      • Foliate Makes Finding Free eBooks Easier, Adds Support for Comics

        Finding free ebooks to read in Foliate, a GTK ebook reader for Linux desktops, just got a whole lot easier.

        The new Foliate 2.2.0 release comes with several enhancements, one of which is better eBook discovery via OPDS. OPDS is the “feed” protocol used by free ebook services like the Gutenberg Project, Standard Ebooks, and Feedbooks to share free works with the wider wold.

        Having the works available from this repos accessible within the app is a nice touch.

        The new “Catalog” feature (to give it its proper name) is accessible as a tab on the new Library view. You can manually add additional OPDS feeds (e.g., the Internet Archive) as well as edit or remove the ones which are there by default.

      • Tartube – Watch And Download Videos from YouTube and more

        A common complaint about YouTube is that to watch the material you need to use a web browser. Fortunately, some creative developers have developed applications that allow you to bypass the web-only barrier of YouTube.

        If you prefer accessing YouTube material from the command-line, we recommend using youtube-dl and You-Get. They offer excellent functionality, and have a large following of both users and developers. But we are conscious that many people prefer an attractive and advanced graphical user interface. You might therefore be interested in Tartube.

        Tartube is an open source program written in Python 3 and uses Gtk 3. It’s partially based on youtube-dl-gui.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Linux Kernel gets an ‘RFC’ patch to help Windows games run in Wine

        A developer for Collabora, the open source consultancy firm that works with the likes of Valve has sent in a Linux Kernel patch aimed at helping Windows games run on Linux through Wine.

        From what’s noted in the patch, which was sent in for gathering comments (RFC = Request for comments), it seems more and more modern Windows applications / games are sidestepping the actual Windows API. The result? It breaks Wine compatibility as “it doesn’t have a chance to intercept and emulate these syscalls before they are submitted to Linux”.

        What they’re going for is an addition to the Linux Kernel, to enable them to filter and find out if the calls being done are from Wine itself or from the Windows application being run. They’re proposing using the seccomp function, used usually for security purposes but this is in no way a security feature it’s just how they’re building the functionality for Wine while re-using what’s available.

    • Games

      • Horror adventure Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask releasing June 18

        Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask, a prologue to a much bigger upcoming point & click horror adventure game is now confirmed to be releasing on June 18.

        Today Red Martyr Entertainment sent word that the Linux version is ready to go so it will be a simultaneous release. It follows the mysterious events that precede a macabre series of murders, allegedly related to devil worship and witchcraft. According to the gameplay, your actions and choices will change how you experience the storyline and what characters you meet.

      • Paradox Interactive founds new studio for their grand strategy games

        Today Paradox Interactive announced the formation of a new studio with Paradox Tinto, with an aim to focus on their grand strategy games.

        Paradox Tinto is located in Barcelona, headed by Johan Andersson, 25+ year veteran of Paradox Development Studio and original creator of the Europa Universalis video game franchise. They’re now putting together a dedicated team to oversee further development on Europa Universalis IV (which supports Linux). After that, they will be responsible for creating new grand strategy games.

      • Geneshift Battle Royale adds daily survival runs, free to keep giveaway soon

        Geneshift, an indie game that’s had many faces over the years and now mostly settled into a Battle Royale as the main part has gained a single-player daily survival run.

        The thing is, Geneshift had a single-player (and co-op) mode for a long time now. The issue is how the big Battle Royale update changed the focus of the game so the current single-player campaign is very different. This now daily survival run helps to bridge the gap a little and give you something extra to blast through and climb the leaderboard on. You go across waves of increasingly deadly enemies to see how long you can survive. If you own the Supporters Edition DLC, which contains the rest of the game (currently free with purchases), you can even do this mode in 4-player co-op.

      • Factorio to release early in August to avoid Cyberpunk 2077

        Factorio, that magnificent indie game about building sprawling conveyor belts and production chains is going to release sooner than originally expected.

        In their latest Friday Facts post, Wube Soft mentioned how Cyberpunk 2077 was now slated to be release around a week before their own launch. They thought that might have a negative effect as it would take attention away from other games. They have a point and so they’ve moved Factorio’s release up to August 14, 5 weeks earlier than originally planned.

      • 5 ‘Open Source’ games that are free to play


        When people think of the Open Source movement, they imagine plain-looking software with a no-frills user-interface that’s “of the geek, by the geek, for the geek”. But did you know that there are many developers who’ve contributed precious time and effort to create “free” computer games that could have otherwise earned them oodles of cash?

        Here are a few fun offerings that are Open Source, which means that they are free to play, and you also get access to the code to tinker with and improve gameplay if you know just how…

      • SteamOS-like Linux distribution GamerOS has a new release up

        GamerOS, a Linux distribution based originally on Arch with a firm focus on an out of the box experience for gaming on your couch (much like Valve’s original idea with SteamOS) has a new release.

        Sounds like plenty of nice changes if you want a Linux-based system to stick under your big-screen TV. If you’ve used Steam Big Picture mode and know your way around it, GamerOS should make it quite easy since that’s what it’s based upon.

        Plenty of the key components behind it have been upgraded with GamerOS 18 including a newer Linux Kernel at 5.6.15, update Mesa drivers 20.0.7, NVIDIA driver 440.82, plus an updated compositor and other bundled packages like RetroArch 1.8.8.

      • EA open sources code from Command & Conquer Remastered Collection

        As they said they would late last month, it appears Electronic Arts have gone ahead and uploaded some of the source code for the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection.

        Dropped onto GitHub recently is a new CnC_Remastered_Collection repository, containing plenty of code for both the original Command & Conquer Tiberian Dawn plus Red Alert. Properly done too, with a GPL3 license to go along with it. They’ve attached some addition terms with it, which the GPL3 allows, to mention things we would expect like not giving rights away to trademarks and such.

      • Stadia Pro now has 17 games to redeem, with Elder Scrolls Online soon

        Google’s game streaming service, Stadia, today adds another 5 titles available for anyone who has an active Stadia Pro subscription to redeem. As promised by Google recently, they continue to expand Stadia and reward those who stick with the Pro tier.

      • You can now roll with a gamepad in Dicey Dungeons

        Dicey Dungeons was one of my favourite releases from last year and it keeps getting better! A fresh update recently released making it even easier to play.

        What is Dicey Dungeons? It’s a deck-building roguelike. You collect cards which form your abilities and travel through various floors of a dungeon taking down enemies as you go. What makes it different is how you play. There’s no mana like other games. Instead, you roll dice and cards activate based on what number die you place inside them. It’s brilliant.

        The thing is though, sometimes you just want to kick back and relax with a gamepad—and now you can. As of the 1.8 update, Dicey Dungeons has full gamepad support and it really does work great. It’s actually a little surprising how good it feels in such a game, almost like it was made for it.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Status report: Week 1

          Hey all! This is my first report of the project’s Coding Period.

        • Coding officially begins

          Today, the Community bonding period finally ended and GSoC’s three months coding period officially begins.

          In the last month, I made myself more familiar with git, qml and javascript. As KDE including Gcompris has been moved to Gitlab so I also changed the configuration of my local repository accordingly and tested it. I read codes of almost all the activities (hope I didn’t miss any) and I am quite comfortable with all now.

        • Basic Subtitling Support in Kdenlive – GSoC ’20

          A month ago I was selected to participate as a student in Google Summer of Code with Kdenlive. The Community Bonding period is coming to an end and the coding period will soon commence.

          In this post, I am going to talk about what the project is about, how I plan to implement it, and what all I have done in the community bonding period to ensure a smooth and bump-free coding period.

        • Plasma Vault and gocryptfs

          I promised gocryptfs support in Vault a long time ago, but I kept failing to deliver on that promise because of other obligations, life and work happenings.

          Now, the beauty of Free Software is that the users do not need to rely only on my free time for new Vault features.

          Martino Pilia sat down and wrote a gocryptfs backend for Plasma Vault which has been merged and will be available in Plasma 5.19. Many thanks for that!

        • Second Beta for Krita 4.3.0 Released

          This is the second beta release for Krita 4.3.0. It’s later than expected because our system for making release builds was temporarily unavailable.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Chinmay Gurjar: Chapter 1: A New Tale Begins

          It was around 23:25(IST) on the 4th of May, my brother and I were glued to our phone screens, the GSoC webpage open, eagerly waiting for the results (he was visibly the more excited one). And BAM! 23:31, I saw my name on the GSoC website. Then followed a tsunami of “congratulations”. I’ve been accepted into GSoC to work with GNOME.

          I applied for the Music project under GNOME. I’ve always fancied music, making music and now I wanted to make a music player to play that music. So, when I saw the Music listed for GSoC, I knew, I just knew that it was the “one”. I started contributing to the project and made some minor fixes, here and there. Those fixes taught me a lot about open source.

        • S Sai Vineet: GSoC 2020 with GNOME: a beginning

          I have been accepted into Google Summer of Code 2020 with GNOME Foundation!
          I am grateful to my mentor albfan and the whole GNOME developer community to have helped me become capable enough to tackle this project. Can’t wait to get my hands dirty and become a strong member of the GNOME community!

        • Adwait Rawat: GSoC 2020, Let’s GO!

          On 5th May 2020, I got an email from google, stating that I got accepted as a participant for Google Summer of Code 2020. The organisation I applied to was GNOME.

          Reason being, I have been contributing to GNOME since early 2019 to various projects such as gitg, libgit2-glib, GNOME Games etc. These contributions were usually minor fixes, but ended up being very educational for someone who was new to open-source.

        • Mariana Pícolo: The beginning of a journey with GNOME on Google Summer of Code

          I’m so excited to announce that I’m being part of Summer of Code 2020 with GNOME!

          In this post, I’ll talk about my experience during the student application period.

        • Nour E-Din ElNhass: The Journey Begins

          Hello everyone, This is the first post in my blog of many up coming posts that will be documenting my journey through the open source world as I’ve been accepted to GSoC internship for 2020, contributing to Gnome organization. I’ll try to document every little detail as possible to try to give the same experience I had.

          So, who am I ? you may be wondering !!

          As said on the home page, I am Nour E-Din, an undergrad student, my first contribution to and open source application was to Evolution. Evolution is the official personal information manager for GNOME.It combines e-mail, address book, calendar, task list and note-taking features. It has been maintained for years, had developed a lot and has many users who use it daily.

        • Apoorv Sachan: The first Contribution, GNOME & GSoC

          Well, why the ants ? Think teamwork, think team effort, interdependent efforts, voluntary involvement, the easy stuff, the hard stuff, the small and the large stuff, they all do it together, collectively and end up making what all of us call an ant-hill. A self sustaining ecosystem capable of supporting various ants, queen ant,the female workers, and male ants and the baby ants of-course. Who will in-turn help build a bigger ant-hill bootstrapped upon its previous design and so on into the future . . . .

          Well enough said about ants ! You get where I am going !

          This post is about how I came to contribute to an open-source project, got started on a journey I had been looking forward to since ever.

        • Nour E-Din ElNhass: The first steps

          It’s already been 3 weeks since I’ve received my acceptance email to GSoC internship. I am going to explain what progress have been made during this time and what I am willing on achieving on the upcoming days .

    • Distributions

      • [Old] Fuchsia

        Fuchsia is an open-source operating system designed from the ground up for security and updatability.

        Fuchsia is…

      • Reviews

        • Review: AutoTux 2.0


          Once AutoTux is up and running it is very close to running Debian 10 with Xfce installed and a macOS-style theme in place. The key feature of the distribution is less about what we end up with and more about how we get there. In other words, the focus of the project is the install process and I feel that is what we should look at when evaluating its merit.

          To its credit, AutoTux does what it claims to do. It almost entirely automates the install process. We transfer the ISO file to removable media, boot from it and the installer is entirely automated. All we need to do is remove the disc at the end and press Enter to restart the computer. It really does not get much more streamlined than that. In the end, we end up with a solid, Debian-based install with a wide array of default applications that should allow most people to get straight to work. This is a fast way to get up and running with a general purpose operating system.

          I have just two concerns when it comes to AutoTux. The first is the message we are shown when the install is over which asks the user to leave the install media in the machine when pressing Enter to reboot. Following this direction results in an endless loop of the system being installed over and over. It may seem like a small detail, but when a project’s install process is just two manual steps, having one of them include a misleading prompt is an unfortunate oversight.

      • New Releases

        • Linux Lite Users Are the First to Install Linux Kernel 5.7, Here’s How

          Released not even 24 hours ago, the Linux 5.7 kernel series ships with lot of goodies, including a new and improved exFAT file system, a thermal-aware scheduler for better performance, ARM64 Kernel Pointer Authentication, a new BFS-based Linux Security Module, and some new features for x86 CPUs.

          If you want to install Linux kernel 5.7 on your Linux Lite computer, now you can. The kernel is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit installations on Linux Lite series 3.x, 4.x, and the just launched Linux Lite 5.0, which is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Here’s how to install it!

        • Linux Lite 5.0 Released With UEFI Support & Other Major Improvements

          Linux Lite is one of the best Linux distributions suitable for Windows users. Not just limited to that, it’s also one of the most preferred lightweight Linux distributions available.

          Linux Lite 4.x series based on Ubuntu 18.04 was good but it didn’t have UEFI support. But, now that Linux Lite 5.0 has finally arrived based on Ubuntu 20.04 and I’m excited to see the changes!

      • BSD

        • OpenBSD 6.7

          Even though OpenBSD’s origin story goes back almost 25 years, there is nothing pre-historic about this project. OpenBSD is a well-renowned powerhouse for innovation. Every day extremely talented developers share their latest software creations — through the OpenBSD project — with all of the world to enjoy, for everyone to use as they see fit.

          This tireless sharing of creativity helped create a world where now virtually every computer and smartphone on the planet contains pieces of OpenBSD software.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE Update Infrastructure Access Through the Data Center

          In Step 2 Toward Enhanced Update Infrastructure Access the time-line for enabling access to the SUSE update infrastructure in the Public Cloud via routing through the data center was announced. As of June 1, 2020 we have started the work necessary to make this possible for all regions in AWS, Azure, and GCE. This marks the beginning of the final phase of a process that started almost 1 year ago with A New Update Infrastructure For The Public Cloud. We expect to have everything completed by no later than the end of June 2020, but will most likely be much faster. The changes from a global IP based access control mechanism to an instance based access mechanism apply to both SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server For SAP Applications (SLES For SAP) on-demand instances and any images released in the future that might access the update infrastructure.

        • Learn how to save money, reduce complexity with SUSE Manager [Ed: Linux has been around since the 1970s, it says. OK, whatever...]

          “The first is cost,” he says. “Linux has been around since the 1970s and has come a long way in that time. In one month (April 2020), Linux installations grew from 1,3% of the total installed base to a 3%. This might not sound like a lot, but it represents massive growth. For some Linux distributions, the grow rate was better than 600%.”


          Brink points out that switching to a Linux front-end and an effective back-end management tool could save organisations a massive chunk of their end user license costs.
          SUSE Manager monitors an organisation’s infrastructure and manages how they deploy services on to front-end devices from a central point.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Overview of Red Hat Satellite 6.7 proxy improvements

          Many organizations utilizing Red Hat Satellite have network policies that block direct access to the internet by the Satellite Server, and instead require that the Satellite Server go through an HTTP proxy to access the internet to synchronize content. Satellite 6.7 introduced some changes and new functionality around its support for connecting to the Red Hat CDN through a proxy that will be covered in this post.

          On versions of Satellite prior to 6.7, it was possible to enable utilization of a global proxy. However, in environments with multiple proxy servers, it was not possible to configure a different proxy server for individual repositories. With Satellite 6.7, in addition to the ability to set a global proxy, it is now also possible to configure proxies at the individual repository level or at the product level.

        • Fedora Community Blog monthly summary: May 2020

          This is the first in what I hope to make a monthly series summarizing the past month on the Community Blog.


          In May, we published 31 posts. The site had 4,964 visits from 2,392 unique viewers. Readers wrote 13 comments. 202 visits came from Fedora Planet, while 716 came from search engines.

        • Red Hat Success Stories: A foundation for network automation and betting on OpenShift

          You hear the expression “betting” on platforms all the time. But Bilyoner Interactive Services in Turkey is really betting on Red Hat OpenShift by deploying a live betting platform on OpenShift with Red Hat Ansible Automation.

          When live sports betting was legalized in Turkey, Bilyoner Interactive Services needed a supported, scalable, and highly available technology foundation to support this new service. By migrating from community open source to Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, Bilyoner used container and microservices technology to quickly create and launch its new live betting platform. As a result, the company reports a five-fold increase in traffic and close to 100% service uptime.

        • Kafka Monthly Digest – May 2020

          In this 28th edition of the Kafka Monthly Digest, I’ll cover what happened in the Apache Kafka community in May 2020.

        • Free cloud native security conference hosted by IBM Developer

          Security concerns remain one of the key factors in enterprises unlocking the true value of the cloud. From modernizing applications with containerized microservices, to securing data while training AI models, or building continuous, secure DevOps pipelines in a growing complex hybrid cloud, developers face myriad challenges when it comes to security in a cloud native hybrid cloud environment. IBM Developer wants security to be one less thing you have to worry about when you’re building high-performance solutions. That’s why we put together the Digital Developer Conference: Cloud Native Security on June 24, 25, and July 1.


          Learn the skills to react with speed and confidence by using solutions on IBM Cloud and Red Hat OpenShift alongside leading open source contributions by IBM and Red Hat to Kubernetes, Istio, Open Container Initiative, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, and Apache Foundation.

        • Enable Sysadmin celebrates one-year anniversary with Sudoers Program

          What started as an idea in early 2019 has now blossomed into a publishing platform with a growing community with more than 100 writers. As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Enable Sysadmin publication, we’re excited to announce a new program for our community of writers.

          On May 5, 2020, we officially launched the Sudoers program for the Enable Sysadmin community. The Sudoers program recognizes our most trusted and committed contributors and provides a framework for becoming an established writer on the site.

          The editorial team has been working closely with 10 of our writers to help establish the first group of members in the Sudoer program. To date, this group of amazing sysadmins has collectively published more than 100 articles on the Enable Sysadmin publication.

        • Enable Sysadmin: A year by the numbers
      • Debian Family

        • Bye Raspbian! Long Live Raspberry Pi OS!

          Last week, we reported a “new” Raspberry Pi 4 SBC with 8GB RAM launched last week, together with a beta version of “Raspbian” 64-bit needed to make full use of the extra RAM, although the 32-bit version can also address the full 8GB thanks to LPAE, but with a limitation of 3GB per process.

          It turns out the launch of the new board, effectively killed Raspbian. But by name only, as the recommended Raspberry Pi operating system is now called Raspberry Pi OS with three 32-bit images namely Desktop with recommended apps such as Wolfgram and Mathematica, Desktop, and Lite for headless applications, as well as the Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit beta that’s yet to be officially released, but can be downloaded from the forums and works on Raspberry Pi 3 and 4 boards.

        • Debian GSoC Kotlin project blog: Kotlin Update

          Kotlin is being packaged under the Google Summer of Code within the Debian organization itself. The major reason behind bringing Kotlin in Debian is to update all the Android packages which are now heavily dependent upon the Kotlin libraries.

          The major work to bring Kotlin into Debian is done for the version 1.3.30, by Saif Abdul Cassim (goes by m36 on IRC) as a part of his GSoC’2019. All his contributions to the team can be found in his blog posts.

          So, for now, we have a bootstrap package and a Kotlin package for the version with 1.3.30. There were still changes needed as we lacked some of the dependencies for Kotlin, and the source package lacked copyright information and didn’t comply with Debian standards.

        • Utkarsh Gupta: FOSS Activites in May 2020

          Here’s my (eighth) monthly update about the activities I’ve done in the F/L/OSS world.

        • Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities May 2020

          This month I didn’t have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

        • Mike Gabriel: My Work on Debian LTS (May 2020)

          In May 2020, I have worked on the Debian LTS project for 14.5 hours (of 14.5 hours planned).

        • Jonathan Carter: Free Software Activities for 2020-05

          I would say that this was a crazy month, but with everything ever escalating, does that even mean anything anymore?

          I lost track of tracking my activities in the second half of the month, and I’m still not very good at logging the “soft stuff”, that is, things like non-technical work but that also takes up a lot of time, but will continue to work on it.


          I’m also moving DPL activities to the DPL blog, so even though it’s been a busy month in the free software world… my activity log here will look somewhat deceptively short this month…

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Using the Lightweight Apt Package Manager Synaptic in Ubuntu and Other Debian-based Linux Distributions

          This week’s open source software highlight is Synaptic. Learn what this good old package manager can do that the modern software managers cannot.

          Synaptic is a lightweight GUI front end to apt package management system used in Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint and many other Debian/Ubuntu based distributions.

          Basically, everything that you can do using the apt-get commands in the terminal can be achieved with Synaptic.

        • Linux Mint 20 Promises Improved Support for NVIDIA Optimus

          The Linux Mint developers have revealed today in their regular monthly newsletter some more new features of the soon-to-be-released Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” operating system, which will be coming later this month based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa).

          One of these upcoming features is improved support for NVIDIA Optimus. In Linux Mint 20, the NVIDIA Prime system tray applet will now let users select the GPU they want to use and also display the GPU renderer, as you can see from the image below, courtesy of the Linux Mint project.

          Moreover, a new “Run with NVIDIA GPU” right-click context menu option was implemented in the applications menu in Cinnamon and MATE desktops to allow users to easily run apps with their dedicated NVIDIA graphics card.

        • Monthly News – May 2020
        • Linux Mint 20 To Better Fend Off Snaps, Improve NVIDIA Optimus Support
    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open source software for open infrastructure

        Implementing infrastructure using open-source software significantly reduces the total cost of ownership (TOC) of your infrastructure. Over the last few years, we’ve seen more and more companies moving to open source. These include Netflix, Uber, Visa, eBay, Wikipedia and AT&T. And this trend will only continue to grow. The migration is driven by better economics, improved flexibility, better integration capabilities and thus, the higher business value provided by the open source software.

        Together with Dell, we hosted a webinar describing all of those benefits in detail. We also demonstrated our joint reference architecture for open infrastructure implementation. In this blog, I expand on the building blocks behind the open infrastructure and explain the role they play in the stack.

      • Another look at the open source bootable USB tool Ventoy

        We looked at the open source bootable USB tool Ventoy back in April 2020 when it first came out. The developer has been very active in the meantime; reason enough to take another look at the application to find out what has changed and improved.

        Ventoy creates bootable USB devices using ISO images. That sounds an awful lot like what established programs such as Rufus do at first, but when you realize that it puts the ISO images on the drive and does not extract them, it becomes interesting.

        Even better, it is possible to place multiple ISO images on the USB device after it has been prepared by Ventoy; this allows you to boot into different Linux systems or install different versions of Windows straight from a single USB device.

      • OSI Charting a Course for 2020 and Beyond [Ed: Why does the OSI take pride in becoming a home for a Microsoft front group like ClearlyDefined?]

        The key to understanding how we move forward is to first remember how we got here. OSI as we know it didn’t exist until 2013.

        Founded in 1998, the organization was held together in its first decade through strong board leadership in Michael Tiemann (2001-2012) and Danese Cooper (2002-2011). Deb Bryant (2012-present), Karl Fogel (2011-2014), Mike Milinkovich (2012-2018), and Simon Phipps (2010-2020) helped OSI begin professionalizing, by hiring General Manager Patrick Masson (2013-present), and becoming more democratic, with the introduction of a community-elected board. Molly de Blanc (2016-2020), Allison Randal (2014-2019), and Stefano “Zack” Zacchiroli (2014-2017) fostered better ties with the free software community. Richard Fontana (2013-2019) elevated legal discussions, taking OSI’s licensing work from knowledgeable hackers to expert practitioners and defining a review process. And Pam Chestek (2019-present) has brought a new level of professionalism to the license review process.

        This is a reductionist and inevitably incomplete view of OSI’s history, but the point is this: OSI has come a long way, and I am forever grateful to the talented and generous individuals who collectively invested decades to get us here.

        Over the last seven years, OSI has: sustained its core mission, shaped policy around the globe, worked tirelessly to mitigate open washing, built an alliance of more than 125 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of people, provided a home for projects like ClearlyDefined, and rolled out programs like FLOSS Desktops for Kids and Open Source Technology Management courses with Brandeis University.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • 10 Best Chrome Extensions to Save Open Tabs in Chrome

            How many times have you been researching stuff online that lead you to open more tabs than you needed? Many times I have even opened tabs and left in the far left corner of my browser because, while they had the information I was interested in returning to use later, I didn’t want to bookmark them. In a way, closing a tab makes me feel like I am done with it. But that was a while ago anyway because I have the power of tab managers under my fingers.

            Tab (or session) managers are productivity tools that enable one to save tabs for later as well as to easily traverse the open ones. Continuing my streak of productivity-related topics, here is my collection of the best extensions that will enable you to take back control of your Chrome tabs and browsing sessions like it’s magic.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 77 new contributors

            With the release of Firefox 77, we are pleased to welcome the 38 developers who contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 36 of whom were brand new volunteers!

          • Mozilla’s Christopher Arnold: Money, friction and momentum on the web

            Back when I first moved to Silicon Valley in 1998, I tried to understand how capital markets here made the valley such a unique place for inventors and entrepreneurs. Corporate stocks, real estate, international currency and commodities markets were concepts I was well familiar with from my time working at a financial news service in the nation’s capital in the mid 1990′s. However, crowdfunding and angel investing were new concepts to me 20 years ago. The emergence of crowdfunding platforms (Kiva, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Appbackr for instance) were more to the advantage of the funding recipient than the balanced two-sided exchanges of the commercial financial system.

            When trying to grasp the way angel investors think about entrepreneurship, my friend Willy, a serial entrepreneur and investor, said: “If you want to see something succeed, throw money at it!” The idea behind the “angel” is that they are the riskiest of risk-capital. Angel investors seldom get payoffs from the companies they sponsor. But they do it to grow a cause they support in spite of the the uncertain outcome of the specific industry initiative they’re funding, much like charitable gifting.

            During the Augmented World Expo in May, I attended a conference session called “Web Monetization and Social Signaling,” hosted by Anselm Hook, a researcher at the web development non-profit Mozilla, where I also work. He made an interesting assertion during his presentation, “Money appears to be a form of communication.” His study was contrasting social signals (such as up-voting, re-tweeting, applauding with emojis) to draw attention to content users discovered on the web, in this case the Firefox Reality VR web browser. There are many reasons for this kind of user “social signaling.” It serves as a bookmarking method, it signals to friends of the user who might also like the content and it gives feedback to the content/comment provider. However, he found in his research that participants actually reacted more strongly when they believed their action contributed financial benefit directly to the other participant. The interactions we need to enable as web developers is a new kind of gesture akin to the act of tipping with cash in offline society.

          • We’ve Got Work to Do

            The promise of America is “liberty and justice for all.” We must do more to live up to this promise. The events of last week once again shine a spotlight on how much systematic change is still required. These events — the deaths at the hands of police and civilians, the accusations that are outright lies — are not new, and are not isolated. African Americans continue to pay an obscene and unacceptable price for our nation’s failure to rectify our history of racial discrimination and violence. As a result, our communities and our nation are harmed and diminished.

            Change is required. That change involves all of us. It’s not immediately clear all the actions an organization like Mozilla should take, but it’s clear action is required. As a starting point, we will use our products to highlight black and other under-represented voices in this unfolding dialog. And we’re looking hard at other actions, across the range of our activities and assets.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Beta1 is Available For Testing

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 7.0 Beta1 is available for testing!

          LibreOffice 7.0 will be released as final at the beginning of August, 2020 ( Check the Release Plan for more information ) being LibreOffice 7.0 Beta1 the second pre-release since the development of version 7.0 started in the beginning of June, 2019. Since the previous release, LibreOffice 7.0 Alpha1, 831 commits have been submitted to the code repository and 179 bugs have been fixed. Check the release notes to find the new features included in LibreOffice 7.0.

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Beta Available For Testing With Its Skia+Vulkan Support
        • Soft edge effect on objects in LibreOffice
        • 500,000 Thanks

          During the past weekend, we got the 500,000th donation since we started counting them, on May 1st, 2013. We are grateful to all the people who have donated, because they help all of us to keep the LibreOffice community growing and developing. The community has worked on translating LibreOffice in over 120 languages, closing the digital gap for many people who can only use LibreOffice in their native language and would otherwise be forced to use an office suite in English or in another foreign language.

          Many donors have added a note to their donation, at the end of the process which starts on the following page: https://www.libreoffice.org/donate/. Here is a list of the most significant from people who have had to access documents stored in a proprietary document format, a unique LibreOffice feature based on libraries developed and maintained by the Document Liberation project, in English or translated into English.

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • Router Freedom challenged by new European rules

            From 21 June a new set of rules will guide the implementation of Router Freedom in Europe. The internalisation of the rules by the 27 EU member states will face challenges with negative consequences for Router Freedom. The FSFE contributed to several improvements of the guidelines and will monitor compliance with them.

            The COVID-19 pandemic shows how dependent people are on the Internet for their work and personal life. In times of lockdown, when people need to stay home and work remotely, the whole internet traffic, encryption, business and work interaction are transferred through personal routers. Since 2013, the FSFE has been advocating for Router Freedom in Europe with outstanding results in Germany and effects beyond its borders. Now, a new set of rules, for which the FSFE contributed to improve, will guide the implementation of Router Freedom in Europe. We summarise the positive outcomes as well as the challenges ahead.

      • Programming/Development

        • Software Product Inventory: what is it and how to implement it.

          The concept of inventory applied to software, sometimes called catalogue, is not new. In IT/help-desk it usually refers to the software deployed in your organization. Along the history, there has been many IT Software Inventory Management tools. I first started to think about it beyond that meaning when working in deployments of Linux based desktops at scale.

          The popularity that Open Source and Continuous Delivering is providing this traditionally static concept a wider scope as well as more relevance. It is still immature though, so read the article with that in mind.

          1.- What is Inventory in software product development?

          I like to think about the software inventory as the single source of truth of your software product so the main element for product development and delivery auditing purposes.

          Isn’t that the source code?

        • 10 tips for maintaining a DevOps mindset for distributed teams

          I am one of the agents of chaos who passionately argued the importance of removing barriers and recognizing that people are the core of a healthy DevOps mindset. Fast-forward to the COVID-19 pandemic, in which collocated teams were forced to disperse overnight into self-isolating distributed entities, relying on technology to bring us all back together in a virtual world.


          A healthy DevOps mindset navigates through different paths of continuous improvement wherein disruption, discipline, and guardrails are the norm. What no one anticipated is the radical disruption we are all experiencing due to the pandemic, and the impact it has on our DevOps and personal mindset, our workflows, and the ceremonies of kanban and agile teams.

          You may recall Tuckman’s theory of group development, which outlines how teams grow into productive high-performers in stages. As expected, most, if not all, agile teams that switched from collocated to remote setup will slide back from the norming and performing stages to the storming stage, as shown in Figure 1.

        • Git 2.27 Demotes The Recently Promoted Transport Protocol v2, Continues SHA-256 Work

          Git 2.27 is out as the newest version of this widely-used distributed revision control system.

          Among the highlights with Git 2.27 are:

          - The Transport Protocol Version 2 support, which was made the default in the previous release, has been demoted. There are some “remaining rough edges” leading to the v2 protocol being demoted from the default in Git 2.27.

        • GitLab Releases Massive Update to CI/CD Platform

          GitLab has updated its CI/CD platform with a raft of capabilities spanning everything from value stream management to cybersecurity. In addition, GitLab announced it is making generally available Gitaly Clusters, which enable DevOps teams to create a warm replica of a Git repository.

          In terms of core DevOps capabilities, the latest release adds the ability to customize the Value Stream Analytics module to specific workflows. GitLab is also planning to make it possible to visualize stages of a workflow.

        • Stripe’s remote engineering hub, one year in

          Last May, Stripe launched our remote engineering hub, a virtual office coequal with our physical engineering offices in San Francisco, Seattle, Dublin, and Singapore. We set out to hire 100 new remote engineers over the year—and did. They now work across every engineering group at Stripe. Over the last year, we’ve tripled the number of permanently remote engineers, up to 22% of our engineering population. We also hired more remote employees across all other teams, and tripled the number of remote Stripes across the company.

        • When to choose C or Python for a command-line interface

          First, a Unix perspective on command-line interface design.

          Unix is a computer operating system and the ancestor of Linux and macOS (and many other operating systems as well). Before graphical user interfaces, the user interacted with the computer via a command-line prompt (think of today’s Bash environment). The primary language for developing these programs under Unix is C, which is amazingly powerful.

          So it behooves us to at least understand the basics of a C program.

        • One thought on “Pulling Data From News Feed Telemetry”

          The write-up is at a very in-depth level, and while there’s an admission that some of the steps could have been performed more easily with ready-made tools, its point is to go through all steps at a low level. So the action largely takes place in GNU Radio, in which we see the process of identifying the signal and shifting it downwards in frequency before deducing its baud rate to retrieve its contents. The story’s not over though, because we then delve into some ASCII tricks to identify the packet frames, before finally retrieving the data itself. It still doesn’t tell you what the data contains, but it’s a fascinating process getting there nonetheless.

          It’s easy to forget that GNU Radio has signal processing capabilities far beyond radio, but it was the subject of a fascinating Superconference talk. We even jumped on the bandwagon in the non-foolish part of our April Fool this year.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: T^4 #4: Introducing Byobu

          The next video (following the announcement, and shells sessions one, two, and three) is up in the T^4 series of video lightning talks with tips, tricks, tools, and toys. This time we introduce the wonderful byobu tool which is called both a ‘text-based window manager’ and a ‘terminal multiplexer’:

        • Python

          • Weekly Check-in #01

            Hey all!! I’m Aghin Shah, a 3rd Year CS undergrad from IIT-Madras. I’ll be working with DFFML, a sub-org under Python Software Foundation during GSoC on Implementing Distributed Orchestrator and Adding DataFlow tutorials.


            I’ll be finishing patches for a couple of issues which I’ve been working on. I’ll also start working on adding basic tutorials for DataFlow.

          • Weekly Check-In #1 – Community Bonding ( 4th May – 31st May )

            Hi, I am Arnav Kapoor a 3rd year Undergraduate student from IIIT-Hyderabad and I will be working with the Scrapinghub sub-org this summer. The project goal is to create a nuarmber-parser library to parse numbers in natural language and incorporate the same with existing libraries.

          • Weekly Check In – 0

            Hello, I am Aditya Kumar. I will be contributing to Scrapy during GSoC’20. This is my first blog of the series.

          • Week 1 check-in

            Welcome to my blog. I am participating in this year’s GSoC program for Panda3D – a suborgansiation under PSF. Today is the start of the coding period. Its 7:00 am in India here and I am starting this memorable day by writing my first blog here on this forum. I have been assigned the task to integrate Recast & Detour tools in Panda3D game engine. Already excited by the project idea, I started playing with the tools of Panda3D during the community bonding period. I did go through a lot of blogs and articles about “recastnavigation”, which is the github repository that provides the Recast and Detour tools. Well, this was pretty much what I did in the previous month, but now starts the actual coding period. I plan to start by planning the classes and functions required to bring recast into the Panda3D world.

          • Weekly Check-in #01 (Week #01)

            Hello World! My name is Saksham Arora. I’m a 2nd year undergraduate student from India pursuing B. Tech in Information Technology. This is my blog for GSoC 2020 @ PSF!
            Over the summer, I’ll be working with DFFML under the umbrella of Python Software Foundation. My project for the summer is to Integrate Image Processing into DFFML!

          • How to Setup Python Development Environment in Ubuntu and Fedora

            If you are trying to set up your Python box and wondering how to begin etc, then you are at the right place. Here, I tried to give you some steps for you to get you started.

          • Weekly Checkin – 0
          • Week 0 : Checking in :))
          • Week 1 check-in
          • GSoC: Week 1: __init__.py
          • First check-in to GSOC’20 @ Python Software Foundation
          • GSoC Week 1: def journey_begins(excited=True):
          • First Weekly Check-in
          • Check-in for week 1
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC: Week #1
          • Weekly Check-In #1
          • Weekly Check-In | Gsoc’2020 | #1
          • Build Physical Projects With Python on the Raspberry Pi

            The Raspberry Pi is one of the leading physical computing boards on the market. From hobbyists building DIY projects to students learning to program for the first time, people use the Raspberry Pi every day to interact with the world around them. Python comes built in on the Raspberry Pi, so you can take your skills and start building your own Raspberry Pi projects today.


            The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK-based charity organization. Originally designed to provide young people with an affordable computing option to learn how to program, it has developed a massive following in the maker and DIY communities because of its compact size, full Linux environment, and general-purpose input–output (GPIO) pins.

          • The Python Language Summit 2020

            For the second year in a row, I was invited to report on the Python Language Summit. It’s a private gathering of Python language implementers (both the core developers of CPython and alternative Pythons), plus third-party library authors and other Python community members. This year, the Summit was held over two days by videoconference. I’m no longer mainly a Python programmer, but it’s still exciting to hear new ideas for the language. The core developers’ decisions affect millions of programmers; it’s a privilege to be in the room where it happens.

          • PyDev of the Week: Seth Michael Larson

            This week we welcome Seth Michael Larson (@sethmlarson) as our PyDev of the Week! Seth is the lead maintainer of urllib3. He also writes a Python blog.


            My first introduction to Python was in my “intro to CS” class at university. I fell in love with the simplicity of the language and the Open Source community. I’d known some programming before
            going to university so it wasn’t my first programming language but I really enjoyed what Python had to offer.

            I remember getting excited by how straightforward sockets and network programming were in Python compared to C or C++, that was definitely a feature that grabbed my attention.

          • Tryton News: Newsletter June 2020

            Since release 5.6 development has restarted, with the first changes already landing in the development branch.

            Our demo servers now no longer require authentication. This helps keep the shared servers accessible to everyone (we often found that people would change the passwords and lock everyone else out).

          • Use FastAPI to build web services in Python

            FastAPI is a modern Python web framework that leverage the latest Python improvement in asyncio. In this article you will see how to set up a container based development environment and implement a small web service with FastAPI.

        • Rust

          • Rust Remains Most Loved Language, According to Stack Overflow Survey

            Stack Overflow has released the results of its 2020 Developer Survey, which was conducted back in February and taken by more than 65,000 people. Of those respondents, just over 52,000 identified themselves as professional developers. Topics covered in the survey included most loved (and dreaded) languages, technologies, and frameworks, as well as career values and employment status.

            According to the survey, Rust remains the most loved language – for the fifth year in a row. Python fell from the second to third this year, with TypeScript moving into the number two slot. Kotlin, Go, Julia, and Dart are next on the list of beloved languages, separated by just a few tenths of a percentage point.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Relief Bills, Plandemic & COVID Conspiracies feat. Colleen Sweeney | Along the Line Ep.91 – Uncategorized
      • The Asian American Reply to Pandemic-Era Racism Must Be Cross-Racial Solidarity

        Violence against Asian Americans and Asian immigrants has surged in response to COVID-19. Anti-Chinese rhetoric and racist misinformation spews from the top leaders of the U.S. as Asian communities are vilified as scapegoats for Trump’s “Chinese virus.” Racial health inequities, leading to disproportionate deaths in communities of color, intensify with each passing day. All of this is occurring amid a backdrop of pre-existing structurally racist policies fueling and deepening public health crises, including the state-sanctioned police violence which continues to terrorize and Black lives every day, with the recent examples being the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd.

      • Are Jobs Returning In Reopened States?

        There could be some selection bias here: States that waited longer may have been in a stronger economic position than those desperate to reopen sooner (although everything above is measured relative to each state’s own jobs trend for its last week in lockdown). And states that never issued stay-at-home orders are, on average, down less in job postings from 2019 (-34.5 percent, as of May 22) than states that still had orders in place as of May 22 (-38.3 percent). But those numbers are also indicative of how little power government orders may have to restart the job market anyway when compared with the power of the virus itself.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Career Choice Tip: Cybercrime is Mostly Boring [iophk: Windows TCO]

          For example, running an effective booter service requires a substantial amount of administrative work and maintenance, much of which involves constantly scanning for, commandeering and managing large collections of remote systems that can be used to amplify online attacks.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (bind9, dosfstools, gst-plugins-good0.10, gst-plugins-ugly0.10, json-c, php-horde, php-horde-gollem, salt, and sane-backends), Fedora (drupal7, marked, NetworkManager, and wireshark), Mageia (gdb, jasper, and json-c), openSUSE (freetds, jasper, libmspack, mariadb-connector-c, sysstat, and trousers), Red Hat (bind), Scientific Linux (bind and freerdp), and SUSE (file-roller and java-11-openjdk).

          • New software security tool to detect bugs in OS

            The Universal Serial Bus (USB) connects external devices to a host. This interface exposes the OS kernels and device drivers to attacks by malicious devices.

            To help detect such vulnerabilities, EPFL researchers have come up with a new security tool called USBFuzz to identify vulnerabilities in the USB driver stacks of widely used operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and macOS.

          • Github uncovers malicious ‘Octopus Scanner’ targeting developers

            The malware is called the Octopus Scanner, and it targets Apache NetBeans, which is an integrated development environment used to write Java software. In its write-up of the attack, the GitHub Security Labs team explains how the malware lurks in source code repositories uploaded to its site, activating when a developer downloads an infected repository and uses it to create a software program.

          • Joomla Team Disclosed Data Breach Occurred Last Week

            Joomla! is one of the biggest CMS in the World, to be specific, it is the 3rd most popular after WordPress and Drupal. Being that big in the industry, even a tiny error can cause millions of users worldwide. Just a few days back, the Joomla! team announced a data breach that occurred accidentally last week.

            Thankfully, the breach does not affect millions but 2,700 users who registered on JRD, Joomla Resources Directory. The incident happened last week when a member of JRD left a full unencrypted backup of JRD on AWS S3 server.


            Most of the users’ information involved in the breach is already public except the IP address and hashed passwords. If anyone found the backup and successfully unhashed the passwords, he can use those passwords on other websites like Gmail, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. to access them. If you are affected by the breach, used the same passwords on Gmail, Facebook, etc. as on JRD platform, change your passwords immediately.

          • KeePassXC review

            KeePassXC appeals to Linux users who want to handle their own password management offline, but the added effort involved and lack of built-in password sync will frustrate casual users.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • A Government Database of 20 Million+ Taiwanese Citizens Leaked in Darkweb [sic]

              According to the actor, the leak is from 2019. Our preliminary analysis noted the last DOB record was from 2008. However, it should be noted that there are certain records with ‘NULL/empty’ DoB records, hence it’s hard to confirm how recent it is.

            • Biggest spy network using illegal VoIP exchange in India busted

              The biggest-ever spy network of Pakistan which was attempting to gather information about the Indian defence in Ladakh, using illegal Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) exchange has been busted in Mumbai by the Military Intelligence of Jammu & Kashmir and the Crime Branch of Mumbai Police.

              One person has been arrested in Mumbai so far. The probe, sources said, is underway to ascertain the identity of other individuals involved in the network and locations of other similar exchanges. Sources said more arrests are expected in the next few days.

              Official sources said that in a joint operation, the crime branch of the Mumbai Police and the military intelligence of the Indian Army unearthed three functional Chinese SIM boxes and one standby sim box along with 191 SIM cards, laptop modem; antennas; batteries and connectors used for an illegal VoIP exchange in Mumbai.

            • [Repeat] Google sued by Arizona for tracking users’ locations in spite of settings

              The AG said that Google’s location tracking is unfair, deceptive, and also against the law: in this case, the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.

              The AG’s Office kicked off its consumer fraud investigation in August 2018, after the Associated Press ran an article titled “Google tracks your movements, like it or not”. The article was based on research from Princeton University that found that Google’s ability to track users’ location histories went far deeper than many of us realized.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • On US College Campuses, Student Groups Call for Closure of Beijing-Funded Confucius Institutes

        Two of the largest U.S. college campus political organizations are calling for the closure of all Confucius Institutes in the United States, saying the Beijing-funded outposts are part of the Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to control discourse on China at American universities.

        The open letter states that China’s actions at U.S. colleges and universities “pose an existential threat to academic freedom as we know it.”

        The Athenai Institute, a recently formed non-profit organization “dedicated to limiting the influence of the Chinese Communist Party on U.S. college campuses, published the letter.

      • A nationwide police riot: Is our outrage about “violence” pointed at the real perpetrators?

        Because something has been revealed here, which even the major voices in mainstream media cannot avoid. It isn’t something about the possibly excessive, possibly regrettable protests or about their ambiguous racial dynamic, issues that until Saturday seemed to dominate the chattering-class social media discourse. It’s about America’s police, which increasingly resemble a lawless, authoritarian third force, largely unconstrained by political leaders, heedless of their own supposed rules and internally compromised by far-right or white supremacist ideology.

        What we have seen in the United States over the last 48 to 72 hours is a nationwide “police riot,” a term made famous more than 50 years ago during the protests outside the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. As David Fahrenthold and Arelis Hernández reported for the Washington Post on Sunday morning, police in Minneapolis and elsewhere sought “a forceful restoration of control,” but “the effect was often the opposite, signaling disorder among those whose job it was to restore order”: [...]

      • Caught on camera, police explode in rage and violence across the US

        The violence appears so widespread and consistent that you could be mistaken for thinking it’s coordinated at a national level. To some extent, it is: President Trump has cheered on police violence like a fan at a sports event, and police departments across the country have styled themselves as military forces after receiving two decades of hand-me-downs from the War on Terror.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • [Astroturfer] farms from North Macedonia and the Philippines pushed coronavirus disinformation on Facebook

        The publisher, Natural News, was one of the most prolific pushers of the viral “Plandemic” conspiracy video, which falsely claimed that the coronavirus is part of an elaborate government plot to control the populace through vaccines, and erroneously claimed that wearing a mask increases the risk of catching the coronavirus.

        Facebook said that it had found foreign [astroturfers] repeatedly posted content from Natural News, an anti-vaccination news site that frequently posts false coronavirus conspiracy theories about 5G towers and Bill Gates. They also posted content from Natural News’ sister websites, NewsTarget and Brighteon, in an effort to artificially inflate their reach.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Major milestone: Coal consumption falls behind renewable energy in the United States

          The milestone, announced Thursday by the US Energy Information Administration, demonstrates the dramatic shift away from coal despite President Donald Trump’s promises to prop up the industry.

          America’s coal consumption collapsed by another 15% last year to its weakest level since 1964, the EIA said. The sixth-straight year of declines for coal occurred even as Trump has slashed environmental regulations and installed a former coal lobbyist to lead the EPA.

          Renewable energy, by contrast, continues to boom as costs fall and climate change concerns rise. Consumption of renewable energy in the United States hit a record high last year, the fourth-straight years of growth, the EIA said.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • A Warning to Joe Biden: Trump Is Winning the Covid-19 Spin Game

        The Republican president is finding a way to turn the coronavirus into something that will rally his base. Can the Democrat say the same?

      • Riot or Resistance? How Media Frames Unrest in Minneapolis Will Shape Public’s View of Protest

        Too often journalists contribute to a troubling hierarchy by adhering to industry norms that work against protest movements that aggressively challenge the status quo.

      • Dark Money Spending Rises Above $100 Million as IRS Ends Donor Reporting Rules

        Political groups that don’t fully disclose their sources of funding have already spent more than $100 million to influence 2020 races, a figure that is sure to rise as “dark money” backed super PACs unload their unprecedented cash reserves.

      • US Campaign Against Cuba’s Medical Brigades Targets Healthcare, Not ‘Forced Labor’

        For decades, Cuba has sent tens of thousands of its medical professionals abroad to work in countries where natural disasters or poverty have left people without healthcare.  In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the catastrophic US response to it, the absurdity of a propaganda war against Cuban medical missions has become more obvious than ever. But you can’t rely on corporate media to explain why.

      • Organizers of 2020′s May Day Actions Are Planning a People’s Strike for June 1

        Permutations of disaster are bearing down with such velocity on working-class people in the United States, it’s not easy to keep abreast — of the harms, but also of the welcome initiatives.

      • With Nation Afire, Trump Deflects by Designating Antifa a Terrorist Organization

        It’s a label that is usually reserved for foreign terrorist organizations and requires, under federal law, that the organization has a foreign nexus, according to CNN’s Josh Campbell. But antifa is a domestic entity with no real organization or leader, so we have to understand this move by Trump for what it is: a blatant attempt at shifting the blame for the unrest and violence onto the left. While many have been quick to blame protesters for the violence, a closer examination of footage shows that police are often escalating conflict unnecessarily by ramming protesters with SUVs and shooting rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas at peaceful protesters, press and even at residents standing on their own front porches.

        Attorney General William Barr announced that federal law enforcement will activate the 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces to apprehend and charge what he described as “violent radical agitators.” “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly,” Barr said in a statement.

      • China Is Not the Enemy — Neoliberalism Is

        Market competition failed in delivering the urgently needed medical supplies and ensuring food distribution in China’s initial stage of the COVID-19 crisis. Again, we have observed the same in the United States. The timeline and the initial handling of the COVID-19 outbreak by Chinese authorities before January 23 are severely contested. But once the central government recognized the severity of the situation, it shifted to an all-out mobilization. China at least temporarily placed people over profits — and switched into disaster relief mode.

      • Social Media Companies Can’t Be Trusted to Protect Our Democracy

        Social media platforms have become a central element of modern political life — too important to allow them to be run according to the whims of either an unbalanced president like Donald Trump or a few tech billionaires like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

      • Did Hacktivist Group Anonymous Take Down Minneapolis PD Website?

        The [Internet] was abuzz late Saturday night with speculation that Anonymous — the decentralized [attacker] collective — had successfully disabled the Minneapolis Police Department website, in retaliation for the murder of George Floyd.

        The Minneapolis PD site, as well as the parent City of Minneapolis site, became inaccessible late Saturday, according to multiple user reports.

        By early Sunday, the sites were still experiencing access problems, sporadically requiring visitors to enter “captchas” verifying they weren’t bots in a front-end hosted by [Internet] security firm Cloudflare — a signal the sites were experiencing a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, designed to render an [Internet] service unusable by flooding it with bogus traffic. (A separate site for the Minneapolis Police Department, insidempd.com, appears to be unaffected.

      • The Only Solution Is to Defund the Police

        Many of these reforms have been implemented in Minneapolis. In 2018, the City issued a report outlining all the procedural justice reforms it has embraced, like mindfulness training, Crisis Intervention Training, implicit bias training, body cameras, early warning systems to identify problematic officers, and so on. They have made no difference. In fact, local activist groups like Reclaim the Block, Black Visions Collective, and MPD 150 have rejected more training and oversight as a solution and are now calling on Mayor Jacob Frey to cut the police budget by $45 million and shift those resources into “community-led health and safety strategies.”

        Unfortunately, at the national level, Democratic members of Congress appear to have learned few lessons from the failures of six years of “police reform.” [...]

      • Trump, Lacking Clear Authority, Says U.S. Will Declare Antifa a Terrorist Group

        First, antifa is not an organization. It does not have a leader, membership roles or any defined, centralized structure. Rather, it is a vaguely defined movement of people who share common protest tactics and targets.

        More important, even if antifa were a real organization, the laws that permit the federal government to deem entities terrorists and impose sanctions on them are limited to foreign groups. There is no domestic terrorism law, despite periodic proposals to create one.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Reuters cameraman hit by rubber bullets as police disperse protesters

        Seward is seen in later footage being treated by a medic near the scene for a deep gash under his left eye. Both men sustained injuries to their arms, and Chavez was hit in the back of the neck.

        The Reuters journalists were clearly identified as members of the news media. Chavez was holding a camera and wearing his press pass around his neck. Seward was wearing a bullet proof vest with a press label attached.

      • Microsoft lays off journalists to replace them with AI

        While Microsoft says the layoffs aren’t directly related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, media businesses across the world have been hit hard by advertising revenues plummeting across TV, newspapers, online, and more.

      • Scott Ludlam’s email to Senator Payne

        I have been invited to convey the attached four pieces of correspondence for your urgent review and response. The undersigned represent a cross party alliance of serving and former MPs, a cross-section of the Australian legal profession, diverse human rights advocates and a large number of writers, publishers and journalists.

        In a matter of only a few days, Julian Assange will face court again in the UK. As detailed in the letters, we seek your urgent intercession in this matter while there is still time.

        Physical copies will be delivered to your office shortly; in the meantime I would appreciate acknowledgement of receipt of these electronic copies.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • May the Screams and Tears and Protests Shake the Very Conscience of This Nation

        If we want to reach a better place on the other side of this, we must refuse to be comforted too quickly.

      • Police Violence Protesters Were Hit With More Police Violence in US Capitol

        As protests against police violence and the killing of George Floyd continued in cities across the U.S. on Saturday, a massive crowd gathered outside President Donald Trump’s White House as demonstrators again turned their ire and demands for justice and healing towards the nation’s most powerful elected official. After tensions built, clashes erupted between law enforcement and demonstrators.

      • Watch: This Is What It Looks Like When the Response to Protests Against Police Violence Is… More Police Violence

        Driving SUVs into demonstrators. Firing paint-ball rounds at people on their own front porch. Pushing an elderly man to the ground. These were just a few of the incidents witnessed as a militarized nation faced off against its own people on Saturday.

      • The Supreme Court Is About to Make Seismic Rulings on Reproductive Rights

        The rights of women to terminate their pregnancies and to receive free contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are on the chopping block. Those challenges to reproductive freedom are consistent with Trump’s agenda of pandering to the religious right while erasing Barack Obama’s achievements. The Supreme Court will rule on these cases during the month of June.

      • ‘I Took the Helmet Off and Laid the Batons Down’: Michigan Sheriff and Police Didn’t Disperse Their Town’s Protest—They Joined It

        “Do I think this has solved the issue between police and unarmed black, human beings? No. But I do believe that this type of leadership is a positive step in the right direction and gives me hope for black men and women around the world and for all of humanity.”

      • ‘As Incoherent as It Is Dangerous’: Trump Threatens to Designate Antifa—Which Isn’t an Actual Group—as Terrorist Organization

        “Let’s be clear,” warned the ACLU. “There is no legal authority for designating a domestic group. Any such designation would raise significant due process and First Amendment concerns.”

      • Why Trump’s Social Media Executive Order Is Troubling, Bizarre, and Dangerous

        Here’s the social media accountability we actually need.

      • Black Lives Matter, Online and in the Streets: Statement from EFF in the Wake of the Police Killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd

        Black lives matter on the streets. Black lives matter on the Internet. 

        EFF stands with the communities mourning the victims of police homicide. We stand with the protesters who are plowed down by patrol cars. We stand with the journalists placed in handcuffs or fired upon while reporting these atrocities. And we stand with all those using their cameras, phones and digital tools to make sure we cannot turn away from the truth.

      • George Floyd death: Lawyer calls it ‘premeditated murder’

        In video footage, Mr Chauvin, 44, can be seen kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for several minutes on Monday. Mr Floyd, 46, repeatedly says that he is unable to breathe.

        “The fact that officer Chauvin kept his knee on his neck for almost three minutes after he was unconscious. We don’t understand how that was not first degree murder. We don’t understand how all these officers haven’t been arrested,” lawyer Crump said.

      • Exclusive: The US Military Is Monitoring Protests in 7 States

        In addition to Minnesota, where a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, the military is tracking uprisings in New York, Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, and Kentucky, according to a Defense Department situation report. Notably, only Minnesota has requested National Guard support. The documents were originally stored on an unclassified server but were subsequently “elevated” to a classified system. While the documents reveal significant National Guard force capabilities in each of the seven states, one Minnesota Guard member expressed concerns about the troops’ lack of training in responding to civil unrest.

      • Op-Ed: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge

        Yes, protests often are used as an excuse for some to take advantage, just as when fans celebrating a hometown sports team championship burn cars and destroy storefronts. I don’t want to see stores looted or even buildings burn. But African Americans have been living in a burning building for many years, choking on the smoke as the flames burn closer and closer. Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.

      • [Old] Trump Makes It Easier for Police to Get Military Equipment

        “We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there’s an occupying force,” Obama said at the time. “Some equipment made for the battlefield is not appropriate for local police departments.”

        Now, after Trump has loosened the program’s requirements, the volume of surplus equipment flowing to police agencies is roughly the same as it was under Obama. But what’s changed is the need for justification, mandated federal supervision and training — and that’s got critics warning about trouble ahead.

        “There is no accountability in place,” said Ed Chung, a former Justice Department official who led the group that advised Obama on the issue.

      • Minn. governor fully mobilizing National Guard, blames out-of-state protesters for violence

        State officials said that around 80 percent of those arrested in the Twin Cities on Friday had come from outside Minnesota

        While “there’s a group of folks that are sad and mourning” about Floyd, Mayor Melvin Carter said, “there seems to be another group that are using Mr. Floyd’s death as a cover to create havoc.”

        John Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, said there were approximately 40 arrests across St. Paul and Minneapolis on Friday night. He said some of those protesting had been linked to white supremacist groups and organized crime.

      • A sheriff put down his baton to listen to protesters. They chanted ‘walk with us,’ so he did

        Flint has drawn national attention for its water crisis, which began in 2014, when city and state officials switched the city’s water supply to save money. It exposed residents to dangerously high levels of lead and resulted in more than a dozen lawsuits.

      • ‘Let’s walk’: Sheriff joins Flint protesters in show of solidarity

        During a protest for George Floyd in Flint on Saturday, the Genesee County sheriff decided to walk along side protesters.

        In a video that has over four million views on Twitter, the sheriff, Christopher Swanson, was encouraged by protesters to walk with them.

        Swanson asked the crowd of people surrounding him to tell officers what they needed to do and protesters began chanting “walk with us.” Swanson responded by saying “let’s walk.”

    • Monopolies

      • Trump Is Doing All of This for Zuckerberg

        There are already widespread news reports of how Trump is trying to “punish” Twitter or Facebook. In reality, the former has given him an unfettered megaphone with no friction for years—only recently adding an extra click to one of his tweets—and the latter surely welcomes the millions his campaign will spend on the forthcoming election. Facebook is also likely to continue algorithmically amplifying divisive, polarizing, or dubious content. Again and again, people tend to underestimate this president, whose grammar and punctuation may leave something to be desired but whose political instincts are keen. What else can you call his ability—in the middle of this summer of pandemic and as a major American city erupts in anger against yet another police killing—to have so many newspapers, analysts, and nongovernmental organizations spend so much time doing close readings of an executive order to assess its legality, coherence, or potential for becoming a law, as if any of that matters an iota. In the meantime, Trump remains focused on the only thing that matters: keeping Facebook in line until November 3, 2020.

      • Patents

        • Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Actavis Laboratories v. Nalproprion Pharmaceuticals

          In the Supreme Court’s recent clarifying campaign through the Federal Circuit’s U.S. patent law jurisprudence, one section of the statute, 35 U.S.C. §112(a) has been noticeably left unscathed. Indeed, avoidance of this statutory section continues a pattern that has existed since the 1952 Patent Act was enacted. It is not for lack of petitions for certiorari, which have included during the Court’s denials in Amgen v. Sanofi; Janssen Biotech, Inc. v. Abbott Laboratories; CoreValve Inc. v. Edwards Lifesciences AG; and Ariad v. Eli Lilly & Co. Last week, the Court’s refusal to consider this section recurred with its denial of certiorari in Actavis Laboratories FL, Inc. v. Nalproprion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

          To recap, the case arose in ANDA litigation over Nalproprion Pharma’s Contrave® extended-release tablets of the combination of naltrexone hydrochloride and buproprion hydrochloride, for treatment of obesity, as claimed in Orange Book-listed U.S. Patent Nos. 7,375,111; 7,462,626; and 8,916,195. The District Court found that Defendant Actavis had not established that one claim (claim 11) of the ’195 patent was invalid for failure to satisfy the written description requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112(a) with regard to the claim limitation reciting USP dissolution methods (“USP1″ versus “USP2″)

      • Trademarks

        • No longer Merck-y – High Court determines issues remitted by Court of Appeal in Merck trade mark dispute

          Quick recap: Merck KGgA (Merck Global) is a German company that traces its roots back to 1668. After the First World War, Merck Global’s US subsidiary (Merck US) became an independent business, trading under the name MERCK in the US and Canada, while Merck Global traded under that name in other countries. A coexistence agreement was signed in 1955 and updated in 1970. The terms of the 1970 agreement were, in extremely brief summary, that each party could only trade in the other’s territory if it used its full name.

          So far, so good, until the Internet came along and ruined everything. Merck Global ended up suing Merck US for trade mark infringement in the UK on the basis of use of “MERCK” by Merck US on various websites, social media platforms and email addresses, which Merck Global said were targeted at the UK (Merck US also made some presentations physically in the UK, but Merck Global did not allege any actual sales or offers for sale by Merck US in the UK). Broadly speaking, Merck Global won at first instance and on appeal (reported by the Kat here and here, respectively), but various issues were remitted to the High Court for further consideration (because the first instance judgment did not contain sufficiently detailed findings in relation to some of the points in dispute).

      • Copyrights

        • How Anonymous Are Cloud Torrenting Services?

          Cloud torrenting services are an ideal tool to download content swiftly. They also help to hide your IP-address from the public at large. However, are they really anonymous? We asked the leading cloud torrenting services what their policies are.

        • ACE/MPA Seize Four More Sites For Facilitating Movie & TV Show Piracy

          The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment and the Motion Picture Association of America have ‘seized’ four more domains for being involved in piracy activities. While the domains don’t appear to be particularly big players, they add to a growing list of online portals being quietly placed under the control of the massive global anti-piracy coalition.


Links 1/6/2020: OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 2020.05, Linux Lite 5.0 Release, FreeBSD 11.4 RC2

Posted in News Roundup at 7:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 356

        Learn a little Postscript in this episode about **Ghostscript**.

      • Test and Code: 115: Catching up with Nina Zakharenko

        One of the great things about attending in person coding conferences, such as PyCon, is the hallway track, where you can catch up with people you haven’t seen for possibly a year, or maybe even the first time you’ve met in person.

        Nina is starting something like the hallway track, online, on twitch, and it’s already going, so check out the first episode of Python Tea.

        Interesting coincidence is that this episode is kind of like a hallway track discussion between Nina and Brian.

      • How to install Google Chrome on Pop!_OS 20.04
      • Are Custom Linux Kernels Faster than Stock?

        Are Custom Linux Kernels Faster than Stock? Benchmarks are done and will be compared using phoronix test suite. We will be analyzing 3 kernels, Liquorix, Mainline, and Xanmod.

    • Kernel Space

      • Reiser4 Updated For Linux 5.6 Kernel Support

        While the Linux 5.7 kernel is likely being released as stable today, the Reiser4 port to the Linux 5.6 kernel is out this weekend.

        Edward Shishkin continues working on Reiser4 while also spearheading work on the new Reiser4 file-system iteration of the Reiser file-system legacy. Taking a break from that Reiser5 feature work, Shishkin has updated the out-of-tree Reiser4 patches for Linux 5.6.0 compatibility.

        This weekend on SourceForge he uploaded the Reiser4 patch for upstream Linux 5.6.0 usage. This is just porting the existing 5.5.5-targeted code to the 5.6 code-base with no mention of any other bug fixes or improvements to Reiser4 in this latest patch.

      • The Generic USB Display Driver Taking Shape For Linux 5.9~5.10

        One of the interesting new happenings in the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver space is a Generic USB Display stack including a USB gadget driver that together allow for some interesting generic USB display setups. This work was motivated by being able to turn a $5 Raspberry Pi Zero into a USB to HDMI display adapter.

      • The Linux Kernel Deprecates The 80 Character Line Coding Style

        The Linux kernel has officially deprecated its coding style that the length of lines of code comply with 80 columns as the “strong preferred limit”.

        The Linux kernel like many long-standing open-source projects has a coding style guideline that lines of code be 80 columns or less, but now that while still recommended is no longer going to be as enforced.

        This stems from Linus Torvalds commenting on Friday that excessive linebreaks are bad and is against ugly wrapped code that is strictly sticking to 80 characters per line. This is part of the broader trend that most are no longer using 80×25 terminals but with today’s high resolution displays the terminal sizes are often larger though some preferring the default in order to allow more terminals to be displayed simultaneously on their nice displays.

      • clean up kernel_{read,write} & friends v2
        Not necessarily.
        Excessive line breaks are BAD. They cause real and every-day problems.
        They cause problems for things like "grep" both in the patterns and in
        the output, since grep (and a lot of other very basic unix utilities)
        is fundamentally line-based.
        So the fact is, many of us have long long since skipped the whole
        "80-column terminal" model, for the same reason that we have many more
        lines than 25 lines visible at a time.
        And honestly, I don't want to see patches that make the kernel reading
        experience worse for me and likely for the vast majority of people,
        based on the argument that some odd people have small terminal
        If you or Christoph have 80 character lines, you'll get possibly ugly
        wrapped output. Tough. That's _your_ choice. Your hardware limitations
        shouldn't be a pain for the rest of us.
        Longer lines are fundamentally useful. My monitor is not only a lot
        wider than it is tall, my fonts are universally narrower than they are
        tall. Long lines are natural.
        When I tile my terminal windows on my display, I can have 6 terminals
        visible at one time, and that's because I have them three wide. And I
        could still fit 80% of a fourth one side-by-side.
        And guess what? That's with my default "100x50" terminal window (go to
        your gnome terminal settings, you'll find that the 80x25 thing is just
        an initial default that you can change), not with some 80x25 one. And
        that's with a font that has anti-aliasing and isn't some pixelated
        And most of my terminals actually end up being dragged wider and
        taller than that. I checked, and my main one is 142x76 characters
        right now, because it turns out that wider (and taller) terminals are
        useful not just for source code.
        Have you looked at "ps ax" output lately? Or used "top"? Or done "git
        diff --stat" or any number of things where it turns out that 80x25 is
        really really limiting, and is simply NO LONGER RELEVANT to most of
        So no. I do not care about somebody with a 80x25 terminal window
        getting line wrapping.
        For exactly the same reason I find it completely irrelevant if
        somebody says that their kernel compile takes 10 hours because they
        are doing kernel development on a Raspberry PI with 4GB of RAM.
        People with restrictive hardware shouldn't make it more inconvenient
        for people who have better resources. Yes, we'll accommodate things to
        within reasonable limits. But no, 80-column terminals in 2020 isn't
        "reasonable" any more as far as I'm concerned. People commonly used
        132-column terminals even back in the 80's, for chrissake, don't try
        to make 80 columns some immovable standard.
        If you choose to use a 80-column terminal, you can live with the line
        wrapping. It's just that simple.
        And longer lines are simply useful. Part of that is that we aren't
        programming in the 80's any more, and our source code is fundamentally
        wider as a result.
        Yes, local iteration variables are still called 'i', because more
        context just isn't helpful for some anonymous counter. Being concise
        is still a good thing, and overly verbose names are not inherently
        But still - it's entirely reasonable to have variable names that are
        10-15 characters and it makes the code more legible. Writing things
        out instead of using abbreviations etc.
        And yes, we do use wide tabs, because that makes indentation something
        you can visually see in the structure at a glance and on a
        whole-function basis, rather than something you have to try to
        visually "line up" things for or count spaces.
        So we have lots of fairly fundamental issues that fairly easily make
        for longer lines in many circumstances.
        And yes, we do line breaks at some point. But there really isn't any
        reason to make that point be 80 columns any more.
      • Linus Torvalds Argues Against 80-Column Line Length Coding Style, As Linux Kernel Deprecates It

        “Yes, staying withing 80 columns is certainly still _preferred_,” notes the official commit message for this change. “But it’s not the hard limit that the checkpatch warnings imply, and other concerns can most certainly dominate. Increase the default limit to 100 characters. Not because 100 characters is some hard limit either, but that’s certainly a ‘what are you doing’ kind of value and less likely to be about the occasional slightly longer lines.’”

    • Applications

      • Martin Michlmayr: ledger2beancount 2.2 released

        I released version 2.2 of ledger2beancount, a ledger to beancount converter.

      • NetworkManager 1.26 Development Progressing With New Functionality

        NetworkManager 1.25.2-dev is the latest development version of this important Linux networking component in the road towards NetworkManager 1.26.

        NetworkManager 1.25.2-dev was bumped this weekend as another milestone towards the upcoming 1.26 stable release of this widely used component for configuring wired and wireless networking on Linux and other platforms. Some of the changes building up so far for NetworkManager 1.26 include:

        - A new “firewalld-zone” option that is enabled by default that will install a firewalld zone for connection sharing and put the IPv4/IPv6 shared mode interfaces in this zone.

      • Chrome Is Reaching The Point Of Good X11 + Wayland Support In Same Build

        Google’s Chrome/Chromium web browser is finally reaching the stage where having both the X11 support and Ozone abstraction layer for Wayland can be enabled concurrently in the same build.

        Thanks to the work by Google, Igalia, and others, the Chrome/Chromium code-base is nearly at the stage where the traditional X11 support can be built along with the Ozone platform support concurrently. Ozone is the platform abstraction layer being worked on for years for handling low-level input/graphics and necessary for Wayland support as well as various embedded use-cases and other platform abstraction capabilities. An overview of the Ozone code can be found here.

      • Best Linux Remote Desktop Tools For Ubuntu 20.04 LTS To Share Your Desktop In 2020

        7. KDE Connect
        KDE Connect helps you to enable remote desktop sharing with the help of Android and Linux applications.

        8. VNC Connect
        VNC Connect is a simple and secure remote desktop sharing tool for Linux. VNC Connect is equipped with 256 bit AES session encryption and it uses Remote Frame Buffer protocol to remotely control another computer.

      • RapidDisk version 6.1 released

        RapidDisk is an advanced Linux RAM Disk which consists of a collection of modules and an administration tool. Features include: Dynamically allocate RAM as block device. Use them as stand alone disk drives or even map them as caching nodes to slower local disk drives.

      • Experience With Mastodon
      • Share PeerTube Videos on Mastodon
    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • A New Kernel Patch Is Being Discussed That’s Needed For Newer Windows Games On Wine

        Newer Windows games/applications are making use of system call instructions from the application code without resorting to the WinAPI and that is breaking Wine emulation support. A Linux kernel patch is now being worked on for addressing this issue in the form of system call isolation based on memory areas while having a smaller performance hit than alternatives.

        With newer Windows software executing system call instructions without going through the Windows API, Wine isn’t able to intercept and emulate those system calls and thus breaking the support. Wine can’t really rework its handling of every system call as that would thrash the performance. So a Linux kernel-based solution is being sorted out.

    • Games

      • Cloud FTW: Steam on Chrome OS may not look like we thought

        Back in January, word got out that Google and Valve were collaborating to bring some form of native Steam client to Chrome OS. Director of Product Management Kan Liu told Android Police that the project would leverage Crostini, aka Linux on Chrome OS. Because I spend a good portion of my days tinkering with Linux on my Chromebook, I hastily presumed that Steam would be delivered in some sort of Chrome OS-optimized Linux package. While that could still be a possibility, it appears that Valve may look to the Clouds in Steam’s next evolution.

      • Soldat source code released and a story of how it all started
      • King makes its Defold Engine open source

        Ritzl explained that moving Defold to an open source model can help build trust with developers, which is an important aspect of operating a game engine. By providing dev teams access to the source code, they also become more self-sufficient; being able to physically see the code should help them better understand how the engine works. Ritzl hopes that this understanding spills over into the greater development community as individuals share their findings with cohorts.

        Established by King this month, the Defold Foundation’s primary function is to keep the Defold engine open source, and prevent third parties from monetizing it. Based in Sweden, the foundation will continue to update and support the Defold Engine by optimizing it for various platforms, systems, services, and technologies in coming months and years. Ritzl said that he hopes this will result in better accessibility for game developers, which will benefit the games industry as a whole.

        “The foundation is an independent legal entity,” Ritzl explained. “It is in many ways similar to a corporation, but foundations have a separate legal status in Sweden. When a foundation is created, the founder sets a number of objectives for the foundation, and these objectives cannot be changed once the foundation is created. This makes it possible for a founder to ensure that donations given to a foundation is managed according to the wishes of the founder.”

      • Project Cars 2 | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.10 | Steam Play

        Project Cars 2 running through Steam Play on Linux. Using my Logitech G29 which also worked as expected.

      • Valve continues to improve Linux Vulkan Shader Pre-Caching

        Recently we wrote about a new feature for Linux in the Steam Client Beta, where Steam can now sort out Vulkan shaders before running a game. With the latest build, it gets better.

        The idea of it, as a brief reminder, is to prepare all the shaders needed for Vulkan games while you download and / or before you hit Play. This would help to stop constant stuttering seen in some games on Linux, mostly from running Windows games in the Proton compatibility layer, as native / supported Linux games would usually do it themselves. Just another way Valve are trying to get Linux gaming on Steam in all forms into tip-top shape.

      • Steam Ironing Out Shader Pre-Caching For Helping Game Load Times, Stuttering

        Valve developers have been working on Vulkan shader pre-caching with their latest Steam client betas to help in allowing Vulkan/SPIR-V shaders to compile ahead of time, letting them be pre-cached on disk to allow for quicker game load times and any stuttering for games that otherwise would be compiling the shaders on-demand during gameplay, especially under Steam Play.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • April/May in KDE Itinerary

          It has been a busy two month since the last report again, KDE’s source code hosting is now using Gitlab, we got the 20.04 release out, notifications were significantly improved, and we are now leveraging OpenStreetMap in more places, with even more exciting things still to come. The global travel restrictions have been hampering field testing, but they have most certainly not slowed down the development of KDE Itinerary!

        • GSoC’20 Wrapping up Community Bonding Period

          As the coding period of GSoC is going to begin in the next 2 days. In this blog, I am going to write all about what I did during the community bonding period.

          During this period I have interacted with my mentors and finalized the multiple datasets of a few activities. Recently, the GCompris project has been moved to GitLab so I set up my account over there and also asked my mentors how can I push my branches to the server and everything else. I have also gone through the code of the memory activities and planned about the resources I will be using. I have also set up my environment as to how to test the GCompris on the android platform. I plan to start my work with the enumeration memory game activity so I have created a branch for it and pushed it to the server.

        • Timezones, yes please

          One of the bits of Calamares that I think is most terrible is the timezone selector. So I was very happy to read Volker’s ideas about timezone-mapping.

          Calamares is a universal Linux installer, used by some dozens of Linux distro’s. It is built as a framework, customizable by downstreams to their liking. This is basically a service to the small-distro Linux community, and PRs are very welcome .. but I digress.

          Part of installation is picking a timezone to put the system in. Calamares offers a map, and you click on it, and it picks a likely location, and off you go. The technology used is simple: there’s a PNG for each timezone (this sounds familiar). The user clicks on the PNG of the world map, and the mouse coordinates are mapped to a location (longitude and latitude), the location is mapped to a zone offset that gets mapped to a timezone image, and the image is drawn.

        • The Community Bonding Period Ends

          It has been almost a month, since the commencement of community bonding period and the phase was mostly good. I spent most of my time lurking over the IRC in passive reconnaissance mode, force of habit I mostly speak less and I know it is not a good one especially being part of an open-source community. I used to attend all the meetings and tried to get accustomed with the workflow of the community and got to know about everything hot and spicy that is taking place whether it is Krita finally on android or new contributors working on some bugs.

        • KDE Conference India 2020: A very late post

          KDE India Conference 2020 was successfully organized in Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology. It was a three-day event, from Jan 17 to Jan 19. There were talks about Libre, Open Source Software and how software is developed using C++ and the Qt Framework. Hands-on workshops were also organized on C++, Qt and QML which gave attendees a good start on how to start their journey with C++ and Qt Framework. The conference was able to educate 200+ attendees throughout the conference. Refreshments were provided to all present for the conference on all 3 days. Every day of the conference concluded with dinner at various good places in Delhi with all the speakers, organizers and volunteers.

        • About me, who am I?

          I am Shubham, a final year undergraduate student, pursuing B.E(Bachelor of Engineering) at BMS Institute of Technology and Management, Bangalore, India. I am an open source enthusiast and developer, mostly working with C++ with Qt framework. I also have decent knowledge of C, Java, Python, bash scripting, git and I love developing under linux environment. Previously I was selected as one of many GSoC students to be mentored by this amazing organization, which is KDE. This year also, I applied again to KDE as a student and was fortunate enough to get selected. I will be developing for Cantor project. Apart from coding, in my spare time I go for Cricket or Volleyball to keep myself refreshed.

        • Integrated Documentation in Cantor

          Cantor is an application that lets user use their favourite mathematicalapplications from within a nicely KDE-integrated worksheet interface. It offers assistant dialogs for common tasks and allows users to share their worksheets withothers. Cantor is one of many KDE educational projects. It supports a variety of backends, be it Maxima, Octave, Python, R and many more and that too packed in a single intuitive GUI. The current version of Cantor does not have support for viewing backend’s documentation inside the application itself. For example, to view Maxima’s documentation or help, the application provides an external link pointing to the Maxima’s official documentation page which is opened in a fresh browser window. This has the obvious drawback of requiring an active internet connectivity.

        • Klinker library in KDE Connect Sms app

          So today GSoC’s three months coding period officially begins. Last one month I spent bonding with my mentors and have tried to establish the prerequisites required for the rest of the project. My project for GSoC 2020 is to improve the MMS support to KDE Connect’s SMS app.
          During the community bonding period, the first challenge we had to face was to implement a way to send MMS messages from KDE Connect’s android app and it becomes more challenging when you will come to know that android’s MMS API’s are hidden and there is no documentation available for the same. This task alone becomes beyond the scope of a GSoC project.
          With the help of some luck, we found the Klinker library which is an opensource sm-mms library for android. I spent some time going through its implementation and after having the understanding of how it works, I started implementing it in KDE Connect and within two weeks I was able to send MMS messages through KDE Connect for the first time.
          I would say, It is a great library for third-party android developers who wants to implement similar functionality in their applications.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Litigators of the Week: Shearman Trio Stands Up for Open Source Software

          Our Litigators of the Week are a team from Shearman & Sterling led by litigation partners Matt Berkowitz and Kieran Kieckhefer and associate Joy Wang. Working pro bono for the non-profit GNOME Foundation, they won a victory for literally everyone in the world in a patent fight over free and open-source software.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Nitrux 1.2.9 Is Out with KDE Plasma 5.18.5 and Linux 5.6, Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), Nitrux 1.2.9 is here with some major under-the-hood changes, latest Maui apps, and all the newest KDE technologies for a modern desktop OS.

          The biggest news is the move to Linux OEM builds instead of mainline builds, providing users with automatic updates. And this new stable version ships with the latest Linux 5.6 kernel series for better hardware support.

          Also, starting with this release, users won’t have to reinstall the operating system when new Nitrux releases are available. “Updates to new releases will be provided through the package manager,” said developer Uri Herrera.

        • Linux Lite 5.0 Final Released

          Linux Lite 5.0 Final Codename Emerald is now available for download and installation.

          This is the most feature rich, complete Linux Lite release to date. This is the release many people have been waiting for.
          See below for details.

        • Linux Lite 5.0 Officially Released, It’s Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          The Linux Lite 5.0 distribution is out now and looks to be the most feature-rich and complete release to date of this Ubuntu-based OS .

          Based on the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system, Linux Lite 5.0 (codename Emerald) is here with a lot of goodies for fans of this lightweight GNU/Linux distribution.

          Highlights include out-of-the-box UEFI Secure Boot support, a new “Integrity Check” feature during live boot to ensure your PC is in good state, a new update notifier that checks for updates twice per day, and no hidden telemetry.

          The highly configurable FireWallD firewall has been included as well in this release to replace GUFW, but it isn’t enabled by default.

        • Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 5.0 ‘Emerald’ is here to replace Microsoft Windows on your PC

          Windows 7 and Windows 10 aren’t bad operating systems. In fact, they are both quite good. With that said, the newest version of Windows 10 has many bugs. Unfortunately, since Windows 7 is no longer supported, some of its users are stuck in a conundrum. They have to decide whether to use an unsupported Windows 7 or upgrade to Windows 10 that is full of telemetry and other “spying” that passes their information to Microsoft’s servers.

          Thankfully, there is another option — switch to Linux. Yes, modern Linux-based operating systems will be supported (unlike the now-obsolete Windows 7) and most will run great on aging hardware (unlike Windows 10). Linux Lite is one of the best Linux distributions for Windows-switchers, as it is lightweight, modern, and familiar.

        • Whonix VirtualBox – Point Release!

          Whonix is being used by Edward Snowden, journalists such as Micah Lee, used by the Freedom of the Press Foundation and Qubes OS. It has a 8 years history of keeping its users safe from real world attacks.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 11.4-RC2 Now Available
          -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
          Hash: SHA256
          The second RC build of the 11.4-RELEASE release cycle is now available.
          Installation images are available for:
          o 11.4-RC2 amd64 GENERIC
          o 11.4-RC2 i386 GENERIC
          o 11.4-RC2 powerpc GENERIC
          o 11.4-RC2 powerpc64 GENERIC64
          o 11.4-RC2 sparc64 GENERIC
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 BANANAPI
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 BEAGLEBONE
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 CUBIEBOARD
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 CUBIEBOARD2
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 CUBOX-HUMMINGBOARD
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 RPI-B
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 RPI2
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 WANDBOARD
          o 11.4-RC2 aarch64 GENERIC
          Note regarding arm SD card images: For convenience for those without
          console access to the system, a freebsd user with a password of
          freebsd is available by default for ssh(1) access.  Additionally,
          the root user password is set to root.  It is strongly recommended
          to change the password for both users after gaining access to the
          Installer images and memory stick images are available here:
          The image checksums follow at the end of this e-mail.
          If you notice problems you can report them through the Bugzilla PR
          system or on the -stable mailing list.
          If you would like to use SVN to do a source based update of an existing
          system, use the "releng/11.4" branch.
          A summary of changes since 11.4-RC1 includes:
          o The wpa_supplicant.conf(5) file has been fixed in bsdinstall(8).
          o An update to the leap-seconds file.
          o An update to mlx5_core to add new port module event types to decode.
          o SCTP fixes.
          o LLVM config headers have been fixed to correctly add zlib support.
          o The ena(4) driver has been updated to version 2.2.0.
          o loader(8) fixes for userboot.
          o Fixes for compliance with RFC3168.
          o A ps(1) update to permit the '-d' and '-p' flags to be used mutually.
          o A knob to flush RSB on context switches if the machine has SMEP has
            been added.
          o A fix to Vagrant images requiring the shells/bash port.
          A list of changes since 11.3-RELEASE is available in the releng/11.4
          release notes:
          Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be
          updated on an ongoing basis as the 11.4-RELEASE cycle progresses.
          === Virtual Machine Disk Images ===
          VM disk images are available for the amd64, i386, and aarch64
          architectures.  Disk images may be downloaded from the following URL
          (or any of the FreeBSD download mirrors):
          The partition layout is:
              ~ 16 kB - freebsd-boot GPT partition type (bootfs GPT label)
              ~ 1 GB  - freebsd-swap GPT partition type (swapfs GPT label)
              ~ 20 GB - freebsd-ufs GPT partition type (rootfs GPT label)
          The disk images are available in QCOW2, VHD, VMDK, and raw disk image
          formats.  The image download size is approximately 135 MB and 165 MB
          respectively (amd64/i386), decompressing to a 21 GB sparse image.
          Note regarding arm64/aarch64 virtual machine images: a modified QEMU EFI
          loader file is needed for qemu-system-aarch64 to be able to boot the
          virtual machine images.  See this page for more information:
          To boot the VM image, run:
              % qemu-system-aarch64 -m 4096M -cpu cortex-a57 -M virt  \
          	-bios QEMU_EFI.fd -serial telnet::4444,server -nographic \
          	-drive if=none,file=VMDISK,id=hd0 \
          	-device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd0 \
          	-device virtio-net-device,netdev=net0 \
          	-netdev user,id=net0
          Be sure to replace "VMDISK" with the path to the virtual machine image.
          === Amazon EC2 AMI Images ===
          FreeBSD/amd64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:
            eu-north-1 region: ami-0e03245dc3ecc5d35
            ap-south-1 region: ami-0100269e4d1a56492
            eu-west-3 region: ami-04d69369363a0d91f
            eu-west-2 region: ami-054fee32718b85ae0
            eu-west-1 region: ami-0b4ed21ce2fcffb67
            ap-northeast-2 region: ami-0ab69ea831245c032
            ap-northeast-1 region: ami-014ed1c7002845dae
            sa-east-1 region: ami-0779883a279143da5
            ca-central-1 region: ami-03526c4e41fbc5c0c
            ap-southeast-1 region: ami-0a1526319c431a535
            ap-southeast-2 region: ami-07b5f0fabb533a3ca
            eu-central-1 region: ami-0538d62ee3be9f769
            us-east-1 region: ami-059d76ab6e6e4063a
            us-east-2 region: ami-0c46e32a6eb527e29
            us-west-1 region: ami-0d46479f45e84d1f2
            us-west-2 region: ami-04d001870b4236742
          === Vagrant Images ===
          FreeBSD/amd64 images are available on the Hashicorp Atlas site, and can
          be installed by running:
              % vagrant init freebsd/FreeBSD-11.4-RC2
              % vagrant up
          === Upgrading ===
          The freebsd-update(8) utility supports binary upgrades of amd64 and i386
          systems running earlier FreeBSD releases.  Systems running earlier
          FreeBSD releases can upgrade as follows:
          	# freebsd-update upgrade -r 11.4-RC2
          During this process, freebsd-update(8) may ask the user to help by
          merging some configuration files or by confirming that the automatically
          performed merging was done correctly.
          	# freebsd-update install
          The system must be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before
          	# shutdown -r now
          After rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to install the new
          userland components:
          	# freebsd-update install
          It is recommended to rebuild and install all applications if possible,
          especially if upgrading from an earlier FreeBSD release, for example,
          FreeBSD 11.x.  Alternatively, the user can install misc/compat11x and
          other compatibility libraries, afterwards the system must be rebooted
          into the new userland:
          	# shutdown -r now
          Finally, after rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to remove
          stale files:
          	# freebsd-update install
        • May 2020: OpenSMTPD 6.7.1p1 release, table-procexec and many PoCs

          TL;DR: Worked on the OpenSMTPD 6.7 release; Did a lot of work on the new table API; Wrote several PoCs;

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 2020.05 snapshot

          OMLx ’Rock’ (currently 4.1) is for users who want a stable system.

          Please note that Rock system will receive only bug fixes and security updates.

          The user wishing for the latest and brightest without having to wait for a new release may want to install ’Rolling’ instead, our new release branch which we are going to officially announce very soon.

          By default, only /main repository is enabled in OpenMandriva releases. If you want to find out all the packages available please use Software Repository Selector (om-repo-picker) and enable additional repositories. Guide here.

          From time to time we make available Rock snapshots that include fixes for bugs reported after release, and/or important new improvements.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Q&A: How open source made Kubernetes appealing to enterprise app developers

          A: We are at an interesting inflection point right now with computing. We went from physical hardware to virtual machines to containers and to concepts like serverless computing. And we’re asking questions like, “Can it get even smaller?”

          We’re trying to make the underlying platform more powerful, but less and less visible. So if it’s invisible to developers, do we just stop caring about it?

          But you could make the same argument with Linux, right? If the application is done well, and Linux is doing its job, you shouldn’t care about it. It’s just running, it’s fast, it’s scalable. Kubernetes probably follows that path more than anything.

        • How open source communities work and what enterprises can learn
        • Inside Red Hat: Its open source heritage means big opportunity in cloud computing

          The open source proposition has been embedded in Red Hat’s roots since the company’s founding in 1993 and has since remained at the core of its guiding principles, with Linux operating system (OS) at the heart of all its innovations. Vendor loyalty and clearly charted paths were the mantras many companies operated on for years, while “digital transformation” was barely on an enterprise’s short-term road map.

          Then a decade ago, cloud adoption surged, creating the impetus to embrace more agile and flexible development models, and open source technologies emerged.


          While the topic of COVID-19 did not overtly dominate the discussions or significantly color the overarching Red Hat messaging, it became clear that the ability to pivot rapidly, embrace change and remain flexible will underscore Red Hat’s efforts to successfully promote transformation amid the pandemic. Red Hat’s reputation has historically been predicated on its open and agile approach to development and deployment, long before such attributes were considered valuable, let alone essential.

        • Red Hat: Holding Its Own and Fueling Open Source Innovation

          When IBM acquired Red Hat for $34 billion in 2019, it was considered the industry’s largest software acquisition. The synergy between the two companies led them to become one of the leading hybrid multi-cloud providers globally.

          In most acquisitions, the acquired entity sometimes loses momentum and sheds some of its original luster. This does not seem to be the case with Red Hat.

      • Debian Family

        • Free software activities in May 2020

          The Open Source Initiative held their twice-annual multi-day ‘face-to-face’ board meeting — this time held virtually — and participated in the accompanying conversations on strategy, tactical and governance issues, as well as the usual discussions regarding licensing and policy (minutes pending). I also attended the regular monthly meeting for Software in the Public Interest (minutes).

        • Sparky news 2020/05

          The 5th monthly report of 2020 of the Sparky project:

          • Linux kernel updated up to version 5.6.15 & 5.7-rc7
          • added to repos: Riot-desktop which replaces Riot-web, Xdman, RadioStation (a fork off Radiotray-Lite), Beaker Browser
          • Sparky 2020.05 of the rolling line released
          • Sparky 2020.05 Special Editions released
          • new app: ‘spterm’ (Sparky Terminal) – a very simple terminal emulator (a fork of k3rmit) which will be used by Sparky tools
          • new desktop: Openbox Noir – a variant of the Openbox, which provides dark and modern looks and feel of a lightweight desktop; by lami07

        • OpenOCD snapshot uploaded to Debian experimental

          One of the things I maintain in Debian is OpenOCD. I say maintain, but it’s so far required very little work, as it’s been 3 years since a release (0.10.0). I’ve talked about doing a git snapshot package for some time (I have an email from last DebConf in my inbox about it, and that wasn’t the first time someone had asked), but never got around to it. Spurred on by some moves towards a 0.11.0 release I’ve built a recent snapshot and uploaded it to the experimental suite in Debian.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Magazine #157

          This month:
          * Command & Conquer
          * How-To : Python, LivePatch, and Rawtherapee
          * Graphics : Inkscape
          * Graphics : Krita for Old Photos
          * Linux Loopback
          * Everyday Ubuntu : Turbogfx 16
          * Ubports Touch : OTA-12
          * Review : Ubuntu, Lubuntu and Budgie 20.04
          * Ubuntu Games : Eagle Island
          plus: News, My Story, The Daily Waddle, Q&A, and more.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • What is open source project governance?

        In many discussions of open source projects and community governance, people tend to focus on activities or resources like “speaking for the project” or “ownership of the web domain.” While documenting these things is useful, they aren’t truly governance matters. Alternately, others focus exclusively on technical matters like election rules, codes of conduct, and release procedures. While these might be the tools of governance, they’re not governance itself.

        So what exactly is open source project governance?

        In short, governance is the rules or customs by which projects decide who gets to do what or is supposed to do what, how they’re supposed to do it, and when.

        This definition of governance can prompt important questions for open source communities seeking to evolve their governance models. Let’s explore how.

      • Stop ‘Reinventing The Wheel’: Almanac Creates Open-Source Templates Library With $9M Seed Round

        Almanac, a cloud-based platform for professionals to create, collaborate and share open-source work documents, announced a $9 million seed round of funding on Thursday led by Mike Maples Jr., a Floodgate partner.

      • How open source fostered the community spirit in the tech world
      • RudderStack raises $5M seed round for its open-source Segment competitor
      • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® CloudStack® v 4.14
      • Five Ways Open-Source Software Can Benefit You and Your Research
      • 10 Best Open Source and Free App Builders — Plus, The Top App Development Agencies to Hire in 2020, According to App Developers Rating Platform
      • Beyond Linux and macOS: The best alternatives to Windows

        FreeDOS is, as its name allows us to guess, an heir to MS DOS. A free and free version If you are looking for alternatives to Windows pro, you don’t want multitasking or a graphical interface. Here you can run all MS-DOS programs and enjoy the classic adapted to the times. It receives continuous updates and works on any standard PC if you want to use any of the old code and classic operating system programs.


        Among the best alternatives to Windows is ReactOS and so much so that from their website they promise that you wouldn’t notice the change. It came in the late nineties to imitate the windows operating system and it is an open source system compatible with most Windows applications and drivers. It was launched in 1996 as a clone of Microsoft and now, more than twenty years later it is still a good free option and with continuous updates, with a window system … it may seem retro algo’And obsolete at times but it can be a good option if you are looking for something new. You can download it from its website and, like most of this list, you will find the instructions and all doubts about its operation from the website itself. community behind ReactOS.

      • Events

        • Welcome to ChefConf Online Week

          Welcome to ChefConf Online week! On the surface, this year’s event looks a lot different than years past. While we’ve moved to a new online format, what hasn’t changed is creating the opportunity for the Chef community to gather in one place, learn about what’s new in the DevSecOps and Automation space, get best practices and expert guidance from your peers, and have some fun and celebrate what makes our community so special.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • TenFourFox FPR23 available

            TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 23 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). This blog post was composed in the new Blogger interface, which works fine but is slower, so I’m going back to the old one. Anyway, there’s no difference from the beta except for outstanding security fixes and as usual, if all goes well, it will go live Monday evening Pacific time.

      • CMS

        • Strapi Announces General Availability of Popular Open Source Content Management System, Adds Enterprise Support

          Strapi, the company spearheading the development of the most popular open-source headless content management system (CMS), today announced the general availability of its Community Edition after 24 months of rapid iteration. The company also announced the availability of paid support for enterprises deploying Strapi in production and disclosed plans for an Enterprise Edition, which is currently in private beta testing with select companies.

          The Strapi CMS is completely customizable using application programming interfaces (APIs) so that content from databases and files can be accessed for display on websites, smartphones, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Strapi works with all the JAMstack static site generators and front-end frameworks (like Gatsby.js, Next.js, Nuxt.js, Angular, React, Vue.js), provides support for both SQL and NoSQL databases and can be easily deployed anywhere: on-premises, in a PaaS (Platform as a Service) or any public cloud. The flexibility and extensibility of the Strapi CMS combined with the simplicity of creating powerful APIs in minutes give content creators and developers unprecedented easy access to content enabling them to build better digital experiences.

      • Finance: BTCPay, Bitcoin and Bitamp

        • Cryptocurrency Documentary to Air on Discovery Science Channel

          “Open Source Money,” a documentary series on a crypto firm fully financed with cryptocurrency will air on cable television in the United States.


          Since the publishing of Bitcoin’s (BTC) whitepaper in 2009, the public awareness of cryptocurrencies and blockchain has come a long way. From an obscure technology known only to information technology enthusiasts and cybercriminals, it has since gained adoption and recognition from major public figures.

        • Science Channel to air blockchain series in July; “Space Launch Live” rescheduled

          Produced by Vision Tree Media, Open Source Money (pictured) will examine the history of the Disney-incubated blockchain technology company that was launched in 2017.

        • Start-Up Says Its Open-Source Protocol Can Make Exchanges Obsolete

          A young Dutch start-up says its innovative blockchain platform could put centralized exchanges out of business.

          Hybrix offers an open-source protocol that allows value to be freely transported between all distributed ledgers. It is complemented by a token that is “technically borderless” and not confined to any single blockchain.

          According to the company, it currently supports 32 blockchains and 387 tokens, including some of the industry’s best-known networks: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Zcash.

        • OKCoin Grants $100,000 To BTCPay Server Toward Its Open-Source Development

          Today, San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin announced a $100,000 donation to open-source bitcoin payment processor project BTCPay Server.

          The funding comes as part of the OKCoin Independent Developer Grant, which was launched last year. BTCPay Server’s product is free to use and its dependent on such contributions to continue operations.

        • Bitcoin Is Open Source Software That Runs on Nodes Distributed on The Network

          On the internet there are many sites that perform an exchange function, exchange currency with a commission. In these spaces you can speculate on the oscillations. Once you buy in bitcoin then then does the coin become impossible to trace?

          Yes and no: if I buy an asset whose value fluctuates and sell it with a profit, then it will be up to me to declare (or not) the capital gain. But once turned into bitcoin, isn’t it money that is no longer traceable?

          No, the exchange accounts are verified with an identity card and often with proof of residence, you are super-registered. Then, in the network there are various mixing systems – as it is called – that allow you to lose track of who bought what.

        • Bitcoin Cash Tokenization Bolstered by the Creation of an SLP Foundation

          A new organization has been created called the SLP Foundation and it aims to bolster SLP development, growth, and common practices. The Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) is an easy-to-use system that allows anyone to create tokens on top of the BCH chain. The new SLP Foundation will be a nonprofit group and it has already been funded by many crypto proponents since the idea came to life.

        • Bitamp launches open-source Bitcoin wallet

          Bitamp, an easy to use client-side open-source Bitcoin wallet, has recently launched its flagship product, a wallet that can send and receive BTC from anywhere, on any device. One can log in with their seed and private key or create a new wallet by recording a 12-word seed on the Company’s website.

        • Bitamp Launches Open-Source Wallet

          Although Bitcoin mobile wallets are a dime a dozen, users may miss the simplicity of the simple web wallet which can provide the most anonymity and security for users on the go. Bitamp was recently launched to address this need.

          The team behind Bitamp has created an easy to use Bitcoin web wallet that allows users to maintain access to their private keys. Users can send and receive BTC from anywhere without downloading a mobile app that may only be available on Android or iOS. The ability for users to access their wallets on any device creates the perfect conditions for maintaining anonymity.

        • Bitamp Launches Secure, Privacy-Centric Open Source Bitcoin Wallet

          As the world economy sets out on a long path to recovery, cryptocurrencies are expected to play a major role as a store of value during uncertain times. In such a scenario, having a reliable and trustworthy application that allows users to manage their cryptocurrencies in a safe and secure manner can be immensely helpful. Recently launched Bitamp’s Bitcoin wallet aims to be just that, and rightly so.

        • BitAmp – The Next New Open Source Wallet

          The developers behind new entrant Bitamp’s Bitcoin wallet have created an easy-to-use client-side open-source Bitcoin wallet to fill this need. The Bitamp wallet allows users to send and receive Bitcoin from anywhere, on any device. The interface also allows users to create new Bitcoin wallets in an instant by writing down a 12 word seed. Users who have generated seed phrases on other platforms such as Electrum, Mycelium, Ledger, can access their Bitcoin anonymously and securely via the Bitamp site.

          With Bitcoin’s open source roots, it comes as no surprise that Bitamp’s product was developed as a web based open-source wallet free for everyone. The Company’s developments are funded by donations and the product is released under an MIT license.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Open Source Vet Joins Taylor English IP Team In San Antonio

            Taylor English Duma LLP announced this week it has hired a veteran intellectual property attorney from Dykema Gossett PLLC who is experienced with open source software to the firm’s intellectual property practice in San Antonio, Texas.

            Van Lindberg joined Atlanta-based Taylor English as partner in March after serving as a member at Dykema Gossett for about three years, where he represented companies in high-stakes litigation and inter partes reviews.

            Before that, Lindberg made his name in the open source community by serving as general counsel, vice president of technology and vice president of intellectual property at cloud computing service company Rackspace,…

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • How Open-Source Data Can Drive Automotive Innovation
          • LiDAR-Captured Road Data Now Publicly Available in Open-Source Machine Learning Dataset

            Scale AI says COVID-19 has shown the value of autonomous vehicles for no-contact delivery. They’re making real-world road data available to train machine learning models to this end.

            Last week, Scale AI released PandaSet to the open-source community. According to Scale AI, PandaSet is the world’s first publicly-available machine learning dataset to include images from forward-facing solid-state LiDARs and mechanical spinning LiDARs. These two LiDAR technologies from Hesai will allow ML development teams to reap complex, real-world road data.

          • Podcast: Why should you take a closer look into Open Source GIS?
          • This German town replicated itself in VR to keep its tourism alive

            Nicolai Reith, Head of the Control and Communication department and advisor to the Mayor of Herrenberg, told Cities Today: “You don’t have to make a decision and then see [what happens]; you can see before you make the decision what the effect will be via the digital twin. This makes it easier to make the right decision for our city council, politicians, and citizens.”Herrenberg is already using the digital twin, which incorporates super-computing and technologies typically deployed in advanced aerospace, to visualize city data and citizens’ emotional responses to inform better decision-making.

            There are now plans to develop the emerging area of virtual tourism for the town, which has a population of around 31,000.

            “We have a very beautiful city center so tourists can explore it in a digital way with VR glasses before they come to Herrenberg, which is an interesting benefit for the future,” Reith said.


            The team then added in geographic information system (GIS) data and traffic control systems data to incorporate topography, road geometry , and detailed traffic flows. Using the open-source fluid dynamics code OpenFOAM — which is typically used for modeling fuel injector sprays or airplane aerodynamics —they also created realistic models of the movement of wind and emissions through the city.

      • Programming/Development

        • XSD2Go – Automatically generate golang xml parsers

          Most of my readers will probably have an experience with the wide spread XML applications like RSS or Atom feeds, SVG, XHTML. For those well known XML applications you will find good library encapsulating the parsing for you. You just include existing parser in your project and you are done with it. However, what would you do if you cannot use it (think of license mismatch), or what would you do if there was no parsing library at all?

          There are many XML applications around. Here comes a (probably incomplete) list of XML formats, I had to touch in my past life: Atom, DocBook, Office Open XML, OpenDocument (ODF), OSCAL, Rolie, RSS, SAML, SCAP (+dozens of sub-formats), SOAP, SVG, XMPP, Epub, WS-Policy, XHTML, XSLT.

        • 8 IT jobs in flux

          If there’s one universal piece of advice for IT professionals, it’s “don’t get too comfortable.” The role or project you were hired for may quickly evolve or even become obsolete as the technology landscape changes. Your important title, such as scrum master or agile team lead, may lose its prestige if your organization someday gives up on agile practices.

          In the ever-evolving IT industry, it’s up to individuals to stay adaptable. It’s also up to leaders to help each person on the team recognize the value they bring to the organization outside of their job description – and to reallocate, re-organize, and re-imagine talent as appropriate.

        • What is Deno? | AWS Open Source Blog

          Deno’s approach to ES Modules is generating a lot of debate around package management, especially concerning security. For example, will this prevent another left-pad incident? Regardless of your gut reaction, I highly recommend reading the docs.

          I think the explicitness of import-from-URL will make developers think carefully about dependency management; however, I suspect many teams will handle this problem similarly to how they handle npm: with lock files, proxies, and white-listed internal registries.

        • drat 0.1.6: Rewritten macOS binary support

          A new version of drat arrived on CRAN overnight, once again taking advantage of the fully automated process available for such packages with few reverse depends and no open issues. As we remarked at the last release fourteen months ago when we scored the same nice outcome: Being a simple package can have its upsides…

        • Stack Overfow Developer Survey 2020

          Ruby is now in consistent decline, I have read people linking this to Twitter moving away from Ruby on Rails. My observation is that Ruby on Rails seems to have gone out of fashion in favor of lightweight server frameworks and I would suggest that Kubernetes has sidelined Puppet, so organizations aren’t bring in Ruby via apps/frameworks they want to use.

          I am curious that the Hack language (from Facebook) might be splitting the PHP community whilst PHP’s killer apps are being eroded. WordPress is still hugely popular, but in generally I observe that blogs have been replaced by social media (Facebook, Medium, etc), rather than running Wikimedia organizations seem in love with Confluence, and that SMB company websites are being captured by WIX, Shopify et al. Wikimedia was using HHVM but is not following it to Hack and Box had success with HHVM but I can’t find any update.

          I think that Go is taking share from Python and somewhat Java. Google itself is using Go internally which radiates outwards in terms of mindshare of their alumni. A range of software written in Go is currently vogue (Kubernetes, Docker etc Although Docker seem to have stumbled with Docker Swarm and Redhat is shipping their own) which means it will be in organizations via that software.

        • The 14 most loved programming languages, according to a study of 65,000 developers
        • Converting snake_case keys to camelCase in Elixir

          Converting a snake_case map keys to camelCase is a pretty common task in the snake-case-style languages working with the JavaScript frontend. Here are the basics in understanding how you can convert maps to camelCase style in Elixir.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 62: Sort Email Addresses

            Write a script that takes a list of email addresses (one per line) and sorts them first by the domain part of the email address, and then by the part to the left of the @ (known as the mailbox).

            Note that the domain is case-insensitive, while the mailbox part is case sensitive. (Some email providers choose to ignore case, but that’s another matter entirely.)

            If your script is invoked with arguments, it should treat them as file names and read them in order, otherwise your script should read email addresses from standard input.

        • Python

          • Duck Typing

            Duck typing is the idea that instead of checking the type of something in Python, we tend to check what behavior it supports (often by attempting to use the behavior and catching an exception if it doesn’t work).

          • The Iterator Protocol

            Iterators are all over the place in Python. You can often get away without knowing and understanding the word “iterator”, but understanding this term will help you understand how you can expect various iterator-powered utilities in Python to actually work.

          • How I learnt Django

            I am a Python developer and I love writing and building awesome stuff for people to use.

            This is a quick post for newbies about to dive into Django, here I’ll give short summaries of my experience in learning Django and tips/advice on how to work with Django.

          • Contrast sinks fangs into Python

            Contrast Security is one of those firms talking about the new breed of so-called self-protecting software, where AI and machine learning come to the fore with predictive functions make our infrastructure layers ever more autonomous.

            The company is now focused on the open source programming language Python due to its widespread use in web application development.

            As many readers will know, Python is a dynamic language equipped with built-in data structures and simple syntax – which makes it attractive for rapid application development as well as a scripting language.

            In terms of use, Python is used by Netflix to stream videos to more than 100 million homes worldwide, power the photo-sharing site Instagram and aid NASA in space exploration.


            Contrast’s platform includes: Interactive application security testing (IAST), which is run in preproduction, detects vulnerabilities in both custom code and libraries during normal use by gathering data from running code.Software composition analysis (SCA), which analyses libraries to identify potentially vulnerable third-party and open-source components.

          • Splitwise Telegram Bot

            Splitwise is a free tool for friends and roommates to track bills and other shared expenses.

            I created a telegram bot with which you can integrate your Splitwise account and can use Telegram for managing your expenses.

        • Java

          • Java at 25: Pluralsight’s Teachers Weigh In

            Oracle kicked off its celebration of Java’s 25th anniversary, which arrived officially on Saturday, with … you guessed it: online content. It’s disappointing not to be able to celebrate the language and platform that is, let’s face it, running world IRL. But Big Red mounted an able effort on its “Moved-by-Java” site with inspiring personal stories from its Java team and the larger Java community, many of which are genuinely inspiring. If you haven’t already, be sure to check it out.

            I was a bit ahead of the festivities last month when I talked with Rich Sharples, senior director of product management at Red Hat, about how Java had faired over the years compared with other technologies debuting in 1995. Feel free to check that out, too.

          • How Java helps deliver the groceries

            Did James Gosling and his team of developers ever predict the sheer breadth of complex challenges Java helps solve today? From helping build mobile apps, to managing the intricacies of delivering groceries through intelligent robotics and automation, here’s why Java is a key language we’ve chosen for our mission to transform the online grocery sector through intelligent software and automation technology.

          • Why the pull request process could work beyond development – Coffee Talk: Java, News, Stories and Opinions: Why the pull request process could work beyond development

            The open source movement has changed the way we make software. The developer community always has access to publicly available code to edit and improve software quality.


            For example, as good as my Node.JS programming skills might be — and on a good day they can be quite good — do you really want me to have my way with the Docker engine source? First off, I don’t have any real expertise with Go — the language in which Docker and the Docker engine are written — beyond writing a Hello World. Second, even if I could program effectively in Go, I don’t have the proper understanding about the Docker engine required to make a useful contribution. But as the saying goes, give a developer a source code editor, a compiler and an internet full of documentation and the next thing you know, for better or worse, you’ll have code that wants to make its way into the world.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • How open standards guide us in a world of change

        As I write this article in my home office in Beaverton, Oregon, a Portland suburb, I’m relying (and reflecting) on years of work that went into standards like TCP/IP, HTTP, NTP, XMPP, SAML, and many others, as well as open source implementations of these standards from organizations such as the Apache Software Foundation. The combination of these standards and technologies is literally saving lives, as many of us are able to work from home while “flattening the curve.”

        Nothing has dominated the news more in 2020 than COVID-19. Yet, in the midst of challenging time, I’ve found opportunities for personal and industrial renewal. By fortunate (some may say unfortunate) timing, I found myself switching roles in the middle of this crisis from helping to build and run Open Source Program Offices (OSPOs) to becoming the executive director at OASIS Open, a standards development organization that is helping bring standards and open source together in practical and productive ways.

        Looking through the many articles on Opensource.com related to standards (and there are quite a few), I went on an interesting journey through the different thought processes—and sometimes biases—that people involved in each community have. What stood out most was this: both standards professionals and open source advocates want the same thing—better technology that we all can rely on.

        As I was transitioning to this new role at OASIS, some colleagues and friends in the open source world that I’ve been a part of for many years questioned my motivations for making this move. In explaining why I took this job, I reflected on the larger role I think the intersection of standards and open source can play, especially in the current crisis we all face.

  • Leftovers

    • The Glory and Duty of Beating Swords to Plowshares

      “The question isn’t: did the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 have a lawful excuse to do what they did. The question is, what’s our excuse not to do more? What will rise us?”

    • Education

      • U.S. to Expel Chinese Graduate Students With Ties to China’s Military Schools

        The visa cancellation could affect at least 3,000 students, according to some official estimates. That is a tiny percentage of the approximately 360,000 Chinese students in the United States. But some of those affected might be working on important research projects.

      • Exploring higher education indicators

        This report explores what kind of education indicators are used by external quality assurance agencies, funding mechanisms and international university rankings and whether they are fit for purpose.

      • Anti-intellectualism is back — because it never went away. And it’s killing Americans

        The late Gore Vidal once confessed, with characteristic rapier wit, “I love stupidity. It excites me.” But the excitement and hilarity of human foibles and failures diminish rapidly when the consequences include more than 100,000 corpses.

        Stupidity is a steadfast provider of humor and tragedy in Freedom Central, otherwise known as the United States. Recent highlights of American imbecility stretch from the creation of reality television to the election of a man that genre made famous, who boasted of his own intelligence with the claim, “I know words. I have the best words.”

        As stupidity reigns supreme in both culture and politics, irony searches for its audience. So do public health experts, virologists, doctors, nurses, professors and other much-maligned “elites” who have the audacity to try to save the lives of “real Americans” with the knowledge acquired through the treasonous instrument of formal education.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The “Pro-Life” Movement’s Response to COVID-19 Reveals Its Hypocrisy

        As communities reel from the devastating impacts of COVID-19, conservative politicians and lawmakers in an alarming number of states have capitalized on the fear and scarcity surrounding the pandemic. They are using legitimate health concerns as a smokescreen to enact anti-choice abortion bans. They have done so under the pretense of public safety, but their actions jeopardize the health and well-being of their communities.

      • COVID-Related Fiscal Issues Could Become New Excuse to Privatize Drinking Water

        Is Chester, Pennsylvania, the proverbial canary in the coal mine? Sure does look like it.

      • Overdose Deaths Have Skyrocketed in Chicago, and the Coronavirus Pandemic May Be Making It Worse

        As COVID-19 kills thousands in Chicago and across Illinois, the opioid epidemic has intensified its own deadly siege away from the spotlight, engulfing one public health crisis inside another.

        More than twice as many people have died or are suspected to have died of opioid overdoses in the first five months of the year in Cook County, when compared with the same period last year, according to a ProPublica Illinois analysis of medical examiner’s office death records. There have been at least 924 confirmed or suspected overdose deaths so far in 2020; there were 461 at this time last year. And much like the coronavirus outbreak, the opioid epidemic has disproportionately affected African Americans on Chicago’s West and South Sides.

      • Pay-for-Delay: Who Does the Generic Industry Lobby Represent?

        The generic industry lobby, Association for Accessible Medicines (“AAM”), often represents the public interest. In the pharmaceutical industry, it challenges brand drug companies’ anti-competitive conduct. It fights for lower prices for consumers. And it has built up goodwill for its work in these areas.

        But there is one glaring exception. Brand and generic companies often settle patent litigation. And sometimes they do so with the brand paying the generic to delay entry. To state the obvious, generics do well when brands pay them to stay off the market. But AAM’s fierce advocacy in favor of these “pay-for-delay” settlements has not received the attention it deserves.

        This essay addresses this gap. It analyzes AAM’s advocacy against congressional pay-for-delay legislation and its briefs in two recent cases involving a Federal Trade Commission challenge and California legislation. The essay concludes that in defending these blatantly anti-competitive deals, AAM does not represent the public interest.

      • Regulatory Malfunctions in the Drug Patent Ecosystem

        Patent protection for several of the world’s best-selling and most promising drugs — biologics — has begun waning. Over the next few years, many other drugs in this category will lose critical patent protection. In principle, this should open the United States market to competition, as more manufacturers are now able to produce relatively cheaper versions of these expensive drugs, known as biosimilars. That, however, has not been the case. This Article examines this problem in the context of the articulation between anticompetitive behaviors and regulatory interventions in the biopharmaceutical arena, and argues for a novel solution: a timelier response provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the form of license revocation when follow-on innovators fail to compete.

        In one significant case, the FDA approved several biosimilar versions from different manufacturers that would in principle compete with the biologic drug Humira — the largest-grossing drug in the United States and worldwide — but the manufacturer of Humira entered into multiple agreements with biosimilar manufacturers to keep the drug out of the United States market until 2023, while making it available elsewhere from 2018 onwards.

        An abundant stream of scholarship has examined the relationship between pharmaceutical markets and antitrust mechanisms to curb anticompetitive behaviors. This Article moves the debate in a new direction. Because antitrust responses generally face a time lag, the Article posits that an additional regulatory intervention is needed outside antitrust law, and it argues that the FDA is institutionally well placed to provide a first-line checkpoint for anticompetitive agreements that result in non-commercialization of approved drugs. While novel, this proposal incorporates a solution that has been hiding in plain sight: the FDA regulatory framework allows the Agency to revoke licenses under certain circumstances, including some forms of inaction on the part of the licensee. This Article shows that the FDA not only has the authority, but also the statutory obligation, to revoke the licenses of biosimilar manufacturers who deliberately fail to bring their products to market within a reasonable period of time.

        Many of the biologics slated to lose patent protection in the first half of the 2020s are routinely used in the treatment of some of the most challenging medical conditions of our time, including certain cancers and auto-immune diseases. At a time when concerns over drug prices are at the forefront of political and social debates, finding ways to instill competition into post-patent markets remains a crucial task. The solution put forth in this Article furthers the interests of different parties, as it clears the pathway for motivated biosimilar manufacturers to bring their products to a profitable market while bringing down overall costs for health systems and, in particular, for patients in need of extremely expensive pharmaceuticals.

      • Pharma leaders shoot down WHO voluntary pool for patent rights on Covid-19 products

        The heads of some of the world’s largest drug makers expressed a mix of confusion and resistance to a World Health Organization voluntary pool to collect patent rights, regulatory test data, and other information that could be shared for developing Covid-19 therapies, vaccines, and diagnostics.

        The WHO effort reflects mounting concern that some Covid-19 medical products may not be accessible for poorer populations. By establishing a voluntary mechanism under the auspices of the WHO, the goal is to establish a pathway that will attract numerous governments, as well as industry, universities and nonprofit organizations. But not every executive likes the idea.

        “At this point in time, I think it’s nonsense, and… it’s also dangerous,” said Pfizer (PFE) chief executive Albert Bourla in remarks at a forum Thursday organized by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations. Companies are “investing billions to find a solution and, keep in mind, if you have a discovery, we are going to take your (intellectual property), I think, is dangerous.”

        Similarly, AstraZeneca (AZN) chief executive Pascal Soriot argued at the forum that intellectual property is “a fundamental part of our industry and if you don’t protect IP, then essentially, there is no incentive for anybody to innovate. What is important is for companies to volunteer to provide their products at no profit, like we’re doing right now in case of a pandemic or crisis, when it’s needed.”

      • USPTO Launches “IP Marketplace” Related To COVID-19

        The USPTO created a web-based platform (https://developer.uspto.gov/ipmarketplace/search/patents) that identifies patents that may be useful in the creation of technologies to combat the coronavirus/COVID-19 disease. The website lists various patents and patent publications, seven pages with about 24 per page, that include links to the patents or publications, Issue/Publication dates and other bibliographic information. There is also a column indicating if Licensing is available for the patents/patent applications listed. The patents and applications listed have been apparently asked by the patentee/patent applicant to be included (from the tab “About the Platform):

        If you want to make your inventions available for licensing, the IP Marketplace Platform provides a centralized and easily accessible place to list U.S. patents and patent application publications. It offers to potential licensees a database of available technologies that permits searches using a variety of parameters.

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump Boosts Nuclear Weapons Spending, Fueling a New Arms Race

        Spending by the world’s nine nuclear nations climbed to nearly $73 billion in 2019, nearly half of it by the United States alone. At the same time, the Trump administration has prioritized nuclear weapons in its defense budget while abandoning nuclear treaties, fumbling negotiations and confounding allies. The administration’s lack of coherent goals, strategies or polices have increased nuclear dangers, leaving the U.S. “blundering toward nuclear chaos with potentially disastrous consequences.” Those are the findings of two separate reports published in May that examine nuclear spending and strategy under Trump.

      • What ACLU Says Was Trump Call to “Literally Murder Protesters,” Facebook Says Doesn’t Violate Standards

        “Facebook has once again failed to act against an explicit violation of its own rules and has allowed the violent and racist post to remain up.”

      • LAC standoff | India-China border row will be resolved through diplomacy, says Rajnath Singh

        The standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China would be resolved through diplomatic dialogue and India’s effort was also to ensure that tensions did not rise further, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday, in the first comments by a member of the Cabinet Committee on Security on the almost month-long standoff.

        “As of now, dialogue is on with China both at the military and diplomatic level,” Mr. Singh said in a television interview. India’s policy had been very clear that “we should have good relations with all neighbours.” Both India and China have resolved incidents that arose from time to time through dialogue and existing mechanisms, he said.

    • Finance

      • Without Relief, Millions of Tenants Are Ready for a Rent Strike Revolution

        Calls to “cancel rent” are catching fire. First came a couple of tweets on Twitter. Then progressive firebrands like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed the #CancelRent movement. Now, millions are on a rent strike. Even presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has declared his support for rent and mortgage forgiveness. As millions of tenants mobilize to cancel rent, they are not asking nicely or relying on lip service from politicians. Rather, millions of tenants are taking action by using a powerful time-tested strategy: rent strikes.

      • Newsweek Fails to Note That White House Reopening Guidelines Make Absolutely No Sense

        It’s critically important that media provide accurate reporting on what our governments are choosing to do, and what price we are likely to pay for their choices.

      • Media Elite Denounce Looting Even as Billionaires Reap Record Profits from Taxpayer-Funded Bailouts

        A mountain of studies on wealth inequality have shown its corrosive effect on social cohesion, with the more unequal a society gets, the less likely people are to see themselves as participants in a community and view others as a threat.

        (By: Alan Macleod, Mintpress News) The extrajudicial killing of African-American man George Floyd by Police Officer Derek Chauvin sparked a storm of protests both in Minneapolis and across the country. These have included large peaceful demonstrations, but also arson, destruction of property and looting. Police have abandoned multiple precincts in the face of overwhelming popular rage.

        The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. consistently argued that looting is the language of the unheard and oppressed, a physical manifestation of their marginalization. However, many in the establishment, particularly on the right, have not interpreted the events as such, and appear scandalized by them.

      • “Germ-Ridden Masses” – How America’s Wealthy Elite Describe the Rest of Us
      • French court clarifies the nature of bitcoins: A consumable, fungible, intangible asset

        As we mentioned in our March issue, in late February France’s first instance commercial Court of Nanterre, which has jurisdiction over many banks and major corporations, issued a remarkable and highly publicized ruling involving the characterization of the nature of bitcoins (BTC) under French law.

        BitSpread, a FinTech company offering investments services in alternative assets, had entered into several BTC loan agreements with the French cryptoassets exchange Paymium between 2014 and 2016. As a result of the hard fork splitting BTC with bitcoin cash (BCH) that took place in August 2017, BitSpread received 1,000 BCH. A few months later, at the end of the term of the loan agreements, BitSpread returned the original BTC loan amount to Paymium. However, Paymium also demanded the transfer of the BCHs.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Trump’s Authoritarian Executive Order Is an Assault on Free Speech—Not a Defense of It

        It may be tempting to shrug off the president’s spat with a social media platform, but we ignore such chilling conduct at our peril.

      • Microsoft ‘to replace journalists with robots’

        Microsoft is to replace dozens of contract journalists on its MSN website and use automated systems to select news stories, US and UK media report.

      • Jeff Shell Re-Shapes NBCUniversal in First Big Moves as CEO

        The Comcast-owned media conglomerate will put broadcast and cable operations under a single executive, Mark Lazarus, while combining CNBC with NBC News and MSNBC under Cesar Conde. Andy Lack, the chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, will step down as a result.

      • With fact-checks, Twitter takes on a new kind of task

        In addition to disputing misleading claims made by US President Donald Trump about mail-in ballots this week, Twitter has added fact-checking labels to thousands of other tweets since introducing the alerts earlier this month, mostly on posts about the coronavirus.

        The company does not expect to need additional staff for the undertaking, Twitter spokeswoman Liz Kelley said on Saturday. Nor is it partnering with independent fact-checking organizations, as Facebook and Google have, to outsource the debunking of viral posts flagged by users.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Sinclair CEO says he’s pivoted to local news and sports to avoid streaming services ‘sea of blood’

        Sinclair Broadcasting President and CEO Christopher Ripley has one of the most powerful positions in the country when it comes to local news — and now sports, after the company’s $9.6 billion acquisition of the former Fox/Disney-owned Regional Sports Networks in August.

        Sinclair also acquired a slice of the New York sports channel YES Network, in a partnership with Amazon. In a recent interview, Ripley talked about the upcoming presidential election, Sinclair’s “fair and balanced” news in light of broad criticism for airing “must-run” segments with conservative viewpoints, and the “sea of blood” that is the streaming wars. This interview has been edited for brevity.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • First-ever Chinese civil code adopted at national legislature: no ‘IP section’, yet still relevant

        ‘To make a civil code of China’s own is the dream of generations of Chinese civil jurists’, said Professor Wang Liming, chairman of the Civil Law Division under the China Law Society, and executive vice president of the Renmin University of China.

        The adoption of the CCC is a landmark event in Chinese civil legislation history. For decades, developing a comprehensive civil code appeared like a long-cherished wish to many. The first attempt to issue a civil code began as early as 1911, with the Draft Civil Code of the Great Qing Dynasty, and was accomplished with the help of Japanese scholars Yoshimasa Matsuoka and Kotaro Shida. Since the establishment of the PRC in 1949, four civil law codifications have been initiated (in 1954, 1962, 1979 and 2001, respectively), but all failed for various reasons.

        In particular, during the 1980s, given the rapid and enormous changes in society, and the difficulties that followed China’s achievement of a social consensus on many issues closely related to people’s livelihood, legislators took a step-by-step approach by, namely, putting aside the adoption of a civil code as an end goal and starting from separate legislations (e.g. changing from wholesale to retail strategy). Several laws were promulgated at that time, such as the General Principles of Civil Law, the Contract Law, the Succession Law and the Marriage Law.

      • Patents

        • Ajinomoto v. ITC, the Doctrine of Equivalents, and Biomolecule Claim Limitations at the Federal Circuit

          The doctrine of equivalents (DOE) allows a court to hold an accused infringer liable for patent infringement in spite of the fact that the accused product (or process) does not fall within the literal scope of the asserted patent claim(s). Prosecution history estoppel (PHE), which can be triggered by a narrowing amendment of a patent claim during patent prosecution, or by arguments made during prosecution, imposes significant constraints on the ability of a patentee to assert the DOE. The 1990s and early 2000’s saw a proliferation of legal commentary postulating that the DOE would play an important role in protecting inventions arising out of biotechnology, particularly biomolecules (i.e., proteins and DNA/polynucleotides), and stressing the need for biotechnology patentees to avoid amendments or arguments during patent prosecution that might trigger PHE. In fact, however, prior to 2019 the Federal Circuit does not appear to have issued an opinion finding infringement under the DOE in a case in which the relevant claim limitation recites a biomolecule. It finally happened in Ajinomoto Co. v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, with a divided panel of the Federal Circuit holding that a claim limitation reciting a DNA sequence, defined in terms of the amino acid sequence of a protein encoded by the sequence, was infringed under the DOE by a DNA sequence encoding a protein having a different (but similar) amino acid sequence and equivalent function. This article begins with a brief overview of the DOE and PHE, and explains why DOE was at one time seen as particularly critical for the enforcement of patent claims reciting biomolecules. It then summarizes and analyzes the results of a Westlaw search designed to identify any and all Federal Circuit decisions applying the DOE and/or PHE to a claim limitation reciting a biomolecule, including the court’s most recent decision Ajinomoto.

        • The USPTO’s Fast-Track Patent Program Spurs On COVID-19 Innovations

          The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced another new initiative relating to COVID-19 to help encourage innovation for products and processes related to COVID-19. Starting on May 8th, micro and small entity status applicants can apply for the “COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program”, which offers expedited examination of eligible applications without an additional fee. This program will provide assistance to small and micro entities such as small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and Universities looking to bring potentially life-saving COVID-19 innovations to market as quickly as possible.

          The Program’s goal is to reach final disposition of applications in the program within twelve months, and potentially as quickly as 6 months, from the date prioritized status is granted. This is a significant acceleration as it can take years before obtaining a granted application under the normal procedure. The absence of an additional fee is also a welcome offering. Normally for expedited examination, the USPTO charges $1,000 for micro entities and $2,000 for small entities.

        • Intentional Waivers of Privilege and the Opinion of Counsel: Can the Scope of Disclosure be Managed

          In any given patent dispute, the protections afforded by the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrines are foundational assumptions when documentation is created and client communications take place. The purpose of each doctrine is to encourage “full and frank communication” between lawyer and client, and afford attorneys the opportunity to permit thorough trial preparation without the fear that such material will become available to opposing counsel through discovery. Therefore, memorandum, e-mails and transcribed voicemails often contain sensitive information created based on the parties’ belief that the sensitive information will not become available to opposing counsel. However, when creating such sensitive documentation, attorneys may not always carefully consider the fact that the sensitive material may later be displayed-larger than life-to a jury examining whether their client has engaged in willful patent infringement.

        • Software Patents

          • Apple, Cisco Get $4.2 Million in Attorneys’ Fees in Patent Case

            Apple Inc. was awarded over $2.3 million and Cisco Systems Inc. over $1.9 million in attorneys’ fees in California federal court for defending against a patent infringement suit that the court said should “never have been brought.”

            Straight Path IP Group Inc. sued Apple, Cisco, and others for allegedly infringing four patents related to point-to-point internet communication. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidated the relevant parts of the patents, but the Federal Circuit reversed, finding the PTAB had construed a patent term too broadly. The PTAB upheld the patents’ validity on remand under the narrower construction, and the Federal Circuit affirmed.


            But the court disagreed because Straight Path’s “exceptional claims were the but for cause of those fees.” Apple and Cisco “were entitled to mount a comprehensive defense” against “claims that (again) should not have been brought,” the court said.

            “What goes around comes around, and not always in expected ways,” the court said.

            Straight Path also argued it shouldn’t have to pay Cisco because the Patent Act doesn’t contemplate an award based on a flat-fee arrangement with attorneys instead of a reasonable hourly rate. The Patent Act “mandates no specific calculation method and does not foreclose reimbursement of an alternate billing scheme like Cisco’s,” the court said.

            “One month shy of four years old, these suits—which should never have been brought—are finally put to rest,” the court said.

            Judge William Alsup wrote the opinion.

          • Apple Patent Wins Sent Back to PTAB by Fed. Cir. Under Arthrex

            Apple Inc. victories in two proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board were vacated and remanded by the Federal Circuit in a Thursday nonprecedential opinion after the owner of the challenged patent argued the PTAB judges were unconstitutionally appointed.

            Personalized Media Communications LLC will get a new chance to save parts of U.S. Patent No. 8,559,635, covering a system for targeting broadcast communications to specific users, following the Federal Circuit’s decision in Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew Inc.

          • Apple, BlackBerry Score Win Over Uniloc Wireless Patent

            Apple Inc. and other tech companies convinced a patent office tribunal to invalidate claims in a wireless network patent owned by patent holding company Uniloc 2017 LLC.

            Uniloc’s U.S. Patent No. 7,167,487 is obvious in light of another patent and previous publications, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board said in decisions entered Tuesday.

            Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. LTD challenged the validity of the patent’s claims at the agency tribunal. Blackberry Corp. was also joined to the proceedings as a challenger to Uniloc. The parties had identified various proceedings in different federal courts between Uniloc and large tech companies that…

      • Trademarks

        • Book review: The Confusion Test in European Trade Mark Law

          The doctrine of likelihood of confusion is the core infringement test for trade mark law. This book is the first comprehensive and systematic account of the EU confusion test – looking at its application by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), by national courts, and by the CJEU. The authors set out to articulate a clear set of rules that – they argue – are being consistently applied by European courts and tribunals, inclusive of the sub-factors that might be applied in specific circumstances.

        • Zara Responds to $3 Million Amiri Lawsuit: “Your Jeans are Generic, Functional”

          Amiri “does not own any protectable trade dress rights” in a $1,150-plus style of jeans, Zara argues in its recently-field response to the lawsuit that the burgeoning Los Angeles-based brand filed against it early this year. Despite the federal trade dress infringement and unfair competition claims that Amiri makes in connection with the $3 million lawsuit that it filed against “serial infringer” Zara in a federal court in California in January, Zara claims that Amiri lacks the necessary rights in the alleged trade dress at issue, as the design of its MX2 jeans is not protectable.
          In the answer that counsel for Zara filed with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California late last month, the Spanish fast fashion giant admits that it began selling its $50 “Combination Skinny Jeans … in or about December 2019,” a style that Amiri claims has “the same distinctive pleated leather panel detailing, side zippered thigh pockets, zippered knee closures, and skinny fit washed denim” as its celebrity-favored MX2 jeans. But even if it did offer them up to consumers in its brick-and-mortar stores across the globe and on its e-commerce site, Zara denies that it is legally in the wrong for doing so.


          More than that, Zara further argues that Amiri’s claims are barred by the (alleged) fact that while it asserts that it suffered damages “believed to be in excess of $3,000,000,” the brand did not actually suffer any damages as a result of Zara’s alleged infringement (i.e., its sale of inexpensive, lookalike jeans). The fast fashion giant also asserts that it is shielded from infringement liability in connection with its use of the design at issue amounts to fair use, a defense to copyright and trademark infringement.
          As for whether there is any merit to Zara’s claims, its assertion that Amiri’s purported trade dress lacks distinctiveness is an interesting one. While AMIRI’s MX2 pants have certainly been the subject of a fair share of unsolicited (i.e., not directly paid-for) media attention thanks to their adoption by celebrities, which bodes well from a secondary meaning perspective, it would be interesting to see whether AMIRI would actually be able to show that consumers link the trade dress at issue to a single source given that other, bigger brands, namely, Saint Laurent (under the direction of Hedi Slimane) and Balmain (in its halcyon Christophe Decarnin days), have showed similar style pants before the release of the MX2’s).

      • Copyrights

        • Fact Checking the Fact Check: Is Circulation of Free E-Newspapers Permitted under Copyright Law?

          When the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions came into effect, the physical distribution and door step delivery of newspapers became affected. Faced with these constraints, most newspapers started offering free trials on their websites for e-papers and even free PDFs of the day’s paper.

          This also led to a surge in e-papers getting forwarded on social media by individuals, rather than newspapers themselves. Newspaper Dainik Bhaskar then came out with a piece claiming that downloading and circulating PDFs of e-papers was illegal. This was perhaps a result of an alleged advisory issued by the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) to its members. The advisory took the position that downloading, modifying and/or circulating e-papers were illegal and members should take strict legal action against this.

          IndiaToday did a fact-check on this. As per it, the Dainik Bhaskar claim was not entirely true because circulation of free PDFs was not illegal. Thus, the thrust of the IndiaToday fact-check was that as long as the e-paper was free, one could circulate it.

          To what extent are the claims of Dainik Bhaskar and IndiaToday true?

        • What do copyright and authorship mean in the crowdsourced realm known as the Omegaverse?

          Addison Cain was living in Kyoto, volunteering at a shrine and studying indigenous Japanese religion. She was supposed to be working on a scholarly book about her research, but started writing intensely erotic Batman fan fiction instead.

          It happened almost by accident. It was 2012, and Ms. Cain — who grew up in Orange County, Calif., under a different name — was three years out of college, alone abroad with a lot of time on her hands. Her command of Japanese was halting, and English titles in bookstores were wildly expensive. So Ms. Cain started reading things she could find for free online, and soon discovered fanfic — stories by amateurs that borrow characters and plots from established pop-cultural franchises.

          Ms. Cain began devouring works set in the world of Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy. She decided to write some of her own, featuring Batman’s nemesis Bane as a sexy antihero, and posted them for free online. She quickly developed a fan base, becoming something of a star in her sub-subgenre.

          A few years later, she was living in Arlington, Va., and working as a bartender when she began to wonder if she could turn her hobby into a business. Her husband and parents discouraged her from pursuing something so impractical. Agents were equally dismissive, rejecting or ignoring Ms. Cain’s queries for more than a year. Then, a fellow writer helped Ms. Cain send a manuscript to Blushing Books, a small publishing house in Charlottesville. An editor read it overnight and sent her a contract the next day.

        • Netflix Impostor Bombards Google With Fake DMCA Takedown Notices

          From just a few thousand flagged URLs per week the number of DMCA takedown notices Netflix sent to Google skyrocketed to over a million recently. The reason for this increase wasn’t clear initially but Google now believes that it’s dealing with a Netflix impostor, which could be a pirate site trying to downrank the competition.

        • Watch Tower DMCA Subpoena Row Settled After Judge Hands Out Vulgarity Warning

          A row over whether a judge should allow the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society to obtain the identity of someone who uploaded ‘pirated’ Jehovah’s Witness videos to YouTube is effectively over. Concluding possibly one of the most foul-mouthed cases on record, the judge dismissed all claims of fair use while advising an anonymous movant that vulgarity in court filings “is not a good idea”.


Links 30/5/2020: Godot Editor Under Web Browsers, Alpine Linux 3.12.0 and EasyOS 2.3

Posted in News Roundup at 2:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux at Home: Brew Great Beer with Linux

      In this series, we look at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged. The change of lifestyle enforced by Covid-19 is an opportunity to expand our horizons, and spend more time on activities we have neglected in the past.

      In recent weeks we’ve seen a gradual relaxation of lockdown restrictions in many countries. But this could be short-lived. For example, schools across South Korea only opened briefly before having to return to online teaching. It seems very likely that we’ll still be spending more time at home.

    • Server

      • K8s KPIs with Kuberhealthy

        Last November at KubeCon San Diego 2019, we announced the release of Kuberhealthy 2.0.0 – transforming Kuberhealthy into a Kubernetes operator for synthetic monitoring. This new ability granted developers the means to create their own Kuberhealthy check containers to synthetically monitor their applications and clusters. The community was quick to adopt this new feature and we’re grateful for everyone who implemented and tested Kuberhealthy 2.0.0 in their clusters. Thanks to all of you who reported issues and contributed to discussions on the #kuberhealthy Slack channel. We quickly set to work to address all your feedback with a newer version of Kuberhealthy. Additionally, we created a guide on how to easily install and use Kuberhealthy in order to capture some helpful synthetic KPIs.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E09 – Breaking mirrors

        This week we’ve been getting older and adding plugins to OBS Studio. We discuss Ubuntu being certified on the Raspberry Pi, Unity Remix, if Microsoft should buy Canonical and WSL getting GUI app support. We also round up our pick from the general tech news.

      • All Good Things | TechSNAP 430

        It’s a storage showdown as Jim and Wes bust some performance myths about RAID and ZFS.

        Plus our favorite features from Fedora 32, and why Wes loves DNF.

      • Episode 11: Advice on Getting Started With Testing in Python

        Have you wanted to get started with testing in Python? Maybe you feel a little nervous about diving in deeper than just confirming your code runs. What are the tools needed and what would be the next steps to level up your Python testing? This week on the show we have Anthony Shaw to discuss his article on this subject. Anthony is a member of the Real Python team and has written several articles for the site.

        We discuss getting started with built-in Python features for testing and the advantages of a tool like pytest. Anthony talks about his plug-ins for pytest, and we touch on the next level of testing involving continuous integration.

      • LHS Episode #348: The Weekender XLIX

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

      • 2020-05-29 | Linux Headlines

        An 8 gigabyte version of the Raspberry Pi 4 is available for purchase, Apache’s Subversion celebrates 20 years of version control with its 1.14 release, Genymobile improves its ability to control unrooted Android devices over ADB, Google’s Android Studio 4.0 launches with some major changes, and the Godot project previews a browser-based version of its game editor.

      • Python Bytes: #183 Need a beautiful database editor? Look to the Bees!
      • Talk Python to Me: #266 Refactoring your code, like magic with Sourcery

        Refactoring your code is a fundamental step on the path to professional and maintainable software. We rarely have the perfect picture of what we need to build when we start writing code and attempts to over plan and overdesign software often lead to analysis paralysis rather than ideal outcomes.

        Join me as I discuss refactoring with Brendan Maginnis and Nick Thapen as well as their tool, Sourcery, to automate refactoring in the popular Python editors.

    • Kernel Space

      • Improved EXT4 + XFS DAX Implementation Appears Ready To Go For Linux 5.8

        Adding to the expected changes for Linux 5.8 is improved EXT4 and XFS file-system direct access “DAX” support.

        DAX is the means of direct access to files backed by persistent memory (such as Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory) without needing to be copied via the page cache. Thus DAX bypasses that extra copy for reads/writes to the storage device and mapping the storage device directly into user-space.

      • The Top Linux 5.7 Features From Apple Fast Charge To Official Tiger Lake Graphics

        Assuming no last minute concerns, the Linux 5.7 kernel is set to debut as stable this weekend. Given all the weeks since the merge window and our many articles covering all the feature activity at that point (and not to be confused with our activity of new work being queued for the upcoming Linux 5.8 cycle), here is a look back at some of the top features of the Linux 5.7 kernel.

        Among the most interesting new features and improvements for Linux 5.7 include:

        - Intel Tiger Lake “Gen12″ graphics are now enabled by default in being deemed stable enough for out-of-the-box support where as on prior kernels the support at the time was hidden behind a kernel module parameter.

      • Performance-Helping FSGSBASE Patches Spun For Linux A 13th Time

        The FSGSBASE Linux kernel patches that have the potential of helping performance going back to Intel Ivy Bridge era CPUs in select workloads have now hit their 13th revision to the series in the long-running effort to getting this support mainlined.

      • Linux’s Hardware Monitoring “HWMON” Picking Up Notification Support

        In addition to the AMD Zen “amd_energy” driver coming for Linux 5.8, another late change now queued into hwmon staging is introducing notification support for the hardware monitoring subsystem.

        HWMON subsystem maintainer and Google employee Guenter Roeck has queued up notification support for this subsystem. This serves as a generic notification mechanism not only to notify user-space but also the thermal subsystem for any HWMON driver events. In the HWMON context, these events could be important like warnings/critical alarms over detected temperatures or voltages for different components.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Monado OpenXR runtime development gaining momentum: version 0.2, multi-layer support & more!

          With the excellent (online) edition of Augmented World Expo 2020 in full swing this week, what better time to announce version 0.2 of the Monado OpenXR runtime for Linux!

          It’s been a very busy three months since the last Monado developer update and there are a number of exciting developments to share. Most importantly however, a big thanks to everyone who has contributed patchs, bugs and ideas to the project thus far, and who have cheered us on. The Monado OpenXR community is growing and we’re very proud to be part of it.

        • Monado OpenXR runtime for Linux 0.2 out, continues advancing VR

          Collabora have today announced the release of Monado 0.2, their open source OpenXR (VR / AR) runtime for Linux. Their work continues to be quite amazing and it’s progressing rapidly.

          In the previous update, they showed off how Monado could run the Blender OpenXR VR Session which was already pretty amazing. Now they’re going even further. One big addition is support for multiple layers at a time, they say it’s important for things like UI rendering and another step towards supporting overlay applications like xrdesktop or Pluto VR.

        • Monado 0.2 OpenXR Runtime Brings Multi-Layer Support, New Controller Support

          Monado as the leading open-source OpenXR implementation for AR/VR headsets is out with a new release.

          Since February’s release of Monado 0.1 there has been a lot of activity on the Monado front, in turn thanks to new software leveraging it like Xrdesktop 0.14.

          Monado 0.2 ships with multi-layer support, compositors and drivers run in their own service process, Vive Wand and Valve Index controllers are now supported as 3DOF controllers, Bluetooth LE and Google Daydream 3DOF support, experimental libsurvive driver support, optional systemd socket activation support, and various other improvements.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD EPYC 7F72 vs. Intel Xeon Gold 6258R – Latest EPYC Rome vs. Xeon Cascade Lake Benchmarks

        Following the Xeon Gold 6250 vs. EPYC 7F32 benchmarks from earlier this month, here is a look at the latest x86_64 server CPUs we have our hands on with the EPYC 7F72 and Xeon Gold 6258R being benchmarked against a lineup of other competing AMD EPYC and Intel Xeon processors under the new Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        The EPYC 7F72 is the third and last product of the AMD EPYC 7Fx2 line-up to test for these high frequency SKUs. The EPYC 7F72 is a 24-core / 48-thread processor with a 3.2GHz boost and 3.7GHz boost frequency while having a 240 Watt TDP like the EPYC 7F52. While the EPYC 7F52 16-core CPU has a 256MB L3 cache, the EPYC 7F72 comes in at just 192MB. But this actually puts the EPYC 7F72 cheaper than the EPYC 7F52 at $2450 USD compared to $3100.

    • Applications

      • 9+ Best Linux Screen Recorder On Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        This post is for you if you are using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and looking for a perfect screen recorder for Ubuntu. These tools are applicable for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS too.

      • MyPaint – Tablet Friendly Drawing Program Releases v2.0.1

        A while back in February 2020, MyPaint brought the major release of its 2.0.0 version with some massive changes which I have summarised. This current release is a bug-fix and maintenance update of the prior release and brings you a solid application with features and enhancements ironing out if any bugs remained after the major version.

      • Best Digital Audio Workstation Apps For Linux In 2020

        Let’s look into the list of some of the best digital audio workstation apps for Linux in 2020.

        Tracktion is a cross-platform freeware digital audio workstation apps for recording and editing audio and MIDI. Tracktion software is written in C++.

        LMMS is another popular DAW for Linux. It is a free and cross-platform digital audio workstation. LMMS is a 100% free, open-source, community-driven project.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Godot Engine

      • Godot Editor Running In A Web Browser

        Hello Godotters! It’s-a me, Fabio! In the last few months, thanks to the great sponsorship of Mozilla I’ve been working on a big surprise for Godot 4.0, namely making the editor available as an HTML5 application.

        This DOES NOT mean that we will move completely to the Web like other engines did. It will only be provided as a complementary option to the native editor, as a way to lower the entry barrier. Let me explain further.

      • Mozilla Sponsored The Godot Game Engine To Port Their Editor As An HTML5 Web App

        While we have been eager for Godot 4.0 as the open-source game engine update bringing big renderer improvements and initial Vulkan support, it also turns out there will be a new offering on the editor front…

        Mozilla has been sponsoring a Godot developer for several months to make the game engine’s editor available as an HTML5 application that can run within the browser. Godot intends to make this web-based editor complementary to their existing native application.

      • Godot Engine running in a web browser is now a thing

        Godot Engine just keeps on advancing in new and interesting ways. This free and open source game engine can now be run in a web browser – yes really.

        Writing on the official blog, developer Fabio Alessandrelli mentioned that thanks to a sponsorship from Mozilla they’ve been able to make Godot Engine available as a HTML5 application. Currently, it needs either Firefox Nightly or a very recent Chromium based browser, due to the features it needs like Shared Array Buffer.

    • Games

      • Akurra to support Linux without a stretch-goal on Kickstarter

        Game developer Jason Newman who is currently crowdfunding Akurra, mentioned here on GOL recently, has decided they no longer need a stretch-goal for Linux support.

        What is Akurra? A retro styled puzzle game, inspired by the likes of Chip’s Challenge, Star Tropics, Sokoban, and Zelda. Push blocks into holes and over pits, avoid spikes, explore caves, and ride sea turtles in order to find keys, gems, and stars that unlock new paths and friends to aid you as you explore a collection of islands chock-full of puzzles and secrets.

      • The latest RimWorld update opens up more possible paths

        RimWorld was already a deep game, with so much on offer it’s easy to get completely sucked into it and now that’s going to be even more possible.

        With the latest update, the developer mentioned their aim has been to open up RimWorld to more progression paths. Enabling you to take the game in whatever direction tickles your fancy including tribal, outlander, pro-Empire, anti-Empire, neutral Empire, use Psycasters or not, use drugs or not, use ranching or not and whatever else. The point was to have the game AI and world respond sensibly to where you’re headed.

      • Space Grunts 2 is a roguelike with card-based combat out now

        Merging together elements of a card-based deckbuilder with a traditional turn-based roguelike, Space Grunts 2 from Orangepixel has now left Early Access. Note: Key provided by the developer.

        This is the 9th game from Orangepixel to support Linux, and might possibly be my favourite yet! A very easy to get into game, with a satisfying gameplay loop that sees you travel through procedurally generated sci-fi environments with a tight pixel-art style.

      • Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert will be partially open-sourced alongside remaster launch

        Today, EA gave another update regarding the upcoming Command & Conquer Remastered Collection, specifically about modding support for the two games in it, Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert. Surprisingly, it was revealed today that EA will be open-sourcing some key parts of the game.

        The open-sourced material, “TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll and their corresponding source code,” will be under the GPL version 3.0 license, and will be released into the wild alongside the Remastered Collection’s launch on June 5. Regarding this move, EA producer Jim Vessella said that “this is a key moment for Electronic Arts, the C&C community, and the gaming industry, as we believe this will be one of the first major RTS franchises to open source their source code under the GPL.”

      • Warhammer 40,000: Gladius gets a new DLC, major update and Steam Workshop

        Proxy Studios and Slitherine continue supporting Warhammer 40,000: Gladius, with some major news dropping yesterday.

        Firstly, a new ‘Assault Pack’ DLC has been released that adds in a new unit for each faction. As the name leads on, it’s focused on raw offensive power to give you new tactical options in battle. This pack is $4.99 / £3.99 / €3.99. Quite a small DLC and the appreciation of it likely depends on how big a fan of Gladius you are, seems a bit pricey for just a few units.

      • Historically-accurate WWII adventure Attentat 1942 looking at Linux builds

        Attentat 1942, a historically-accurate adventure about World War 2 from developer Charles Games has recently switched to the Unity game engine and is looking into Linux support.

        Originally released in 2017, it was made using Adobe AIR which dropped Linux support many years ago and Adobe themselves won’t even be supporting AIR at all directly as it’s moving over to HARMAN. For game development, there’s now far better tools available for cross-platform development. The developer actually made a little blog post on Gamasutra about moving to Unity.

      • Darkest Dungeon gets a Free Weekend, Butcher’s Circus on Linux later

        Darkest Dungeon got a big free new DLC recently with The Butcher’s Circus but it comes with a caveat for Linux gamers.

        The Butcher’s Circus adds the first PvP mode into Darkest Dungeon, one that’s entirely separate to the main single-player game so it doesn’t interfere with it. It’s pretty much an arena mode, with two sides picking 4 heroes to battle with. Sounds fun though and with the Darkest Dungeon style I can never get enough of.

      • Spacebase Startopia confirmed for launch on October 23

        Realmforge Studios and Kalypso Media have announced that Spacebase Startopia will be launching on October 23. This will be a simultaneous launch across Linux, macOS and Windows which is fantastic. Realmforge Studios did good work on Dungeon 3 which worked wonderfully on Linux so we expect good things again here,

        Spacebase Startopia is a fresh take on the classic and much loved Startopia from Mucky Foot Productions, which originally released in 2001. They say it will offer up a mixture of a building sim with city-building and base-management mixed in with some RTS-styled skirmishes.

      • Path of Exile adds a Vulkan Beta, another step closer to Linux support

        Path of Exile, the free to play online action RPG just recently released a huge update that adds in a Beta version of their new Vulkan API rendering system.

        To be clear: while Path of Exile does not support Linux officially, getting Vulkan into it is progress towards it since it’s a cross-platform open graphics API. The developer talked a bit about this in a previous interview we covered, when they were talking about Path of Exile 2 and Linux was directly mentioned.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: all about the apps

          This week we landed a lot of nice improvements for KDE’s apps, which I’ve highlighted below! Of course we didn’t forget about Plasma, so have a look-see…

        • Screen Zoom and Mouse Indicator for Teachers using KDE Desktop

          Teacher who uses computer can zoom in and increase cursor visibility on screen aside from drawing free lines and displaying keystrokes. Thanks to KDE developers, Plasma desktop has these all enjoyable teaching features built-in since a long time. You do not need to install any application, just enable them on the System Settings. Together these make a complete environment for teaching especially for screencast and live presentation. I make this short article and also a video below to explain how to do that. Finally, if you want this superb teaching ability I suggest you to use Kubuntu the friendly operating system on your computer. Happy teaching!

        • KDE Ending Out May With UI Tweaks, Bug Fixes

          KDE Plasma 5.19 is due for release very soon (9 June) but that hasn’t kept KDE developers from already working on Plasma 5.20 and other components for this open-source desktop.

          Among the changes ironed out by KDE developers as we hit the end of May include:

          - The Dolphin file manager now supports mounting ISO images via the context menu when clicking on said file.

        • KOrganizer Overview – You Will Love Calendar Scheduling on Computer

          KOrganizer is a colorful and useful calendar application for computer. For years, it helps me schedule my works, teaching, and personal life and also reminds me for important appointments so I won’t forget any task I should do. It works offline and can also work with online calendar services you have. After I wrote many articles about it before, now I want to sum them up in a simple yet thorough overview of this awesome tool. Thanks to all KOrganizer developers I could reach up to this point with it. Let me share with you, it is fun! I believe you will also love scheduling after reading this. Happy scheduling!

        • How To Enable KOrganizer Desktop Integration

          As I said on previous KOrganizer Overview, it can be integrated to your desktop. To do so, simply right click your desktop clock > Configure Digital Clock > Calendar > enable PIM > PIM Event Plugin > enable calendars you have > OK. Now all schedules from KOrganizer are synchronized with clock’s calendar. For more details watch a six minutes video below. For further learning, see additional last section. Happy scheduling!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Meet the GNOMEies: Efstathios Iosifidis

          I am a veterinarian and I work at a vet practice. In 2010, my friend Kostas and I had a dream to revive openSUSE community in Greece. Our project was very successful, and the global community trusted us to organize the openSUSE conference in 2013. During that period I got involved in other open source projects and communities. Right now I travel to different cities to attend national and international conferences, I speak and represent open source projects on those events. I was in the organization committee of GUADEC 2019.


          Do you have any other affiliations you want to share?

          I am openSUSE member. I also contribute to other communities such as GNU Health, Nextcloud, ONLYOFFICE, ownCloud.

          Why did you get involved in GNOME?

          My first distro was Ubuntu and then Fedora. Both using GNOME. During my involvement with openSUSE global community, I met my friend Isabel Valverde. She was into GNOME community and she dragged me into GNOME community.

          Why are you still involved with GNOME?

          GNOME is one of the most important open source software/desktop environment. I would like to thank the community that releases new versions with many features. I use a powerful “tool” for free, so the least I can do is translate and promote it so more people can use it. Although I’m involved in other communities, GNOME is one of the most friendly and awesome ones.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Fedora 32 Workstation review – Tux over troubled waters

          The spring season continues. We shall now embark on a Fedora journey. If you followed my tirades over the past few years, you will probably have noticed that I did manage to find some semblance of reasonable productivity with Fedora, albeit after heavy modifications and tweaking. You can of course sample of those experiences by reading my reviews – Fedora 29, Fedora 30 and finally the yesteryear Fedora 31 article.

          There’s much more, but I’m sure, if you want, you’ll find the material. Anyway, on my eight-boot test laptop, I’ve had both versions 30 and 31 installed, and typically, I’d go for an in-vivo upgrade. But I wanted to start from scratch, and get a sense of how the system behaves au naturel, without any trace of my years-long polish and trim. So here we go.

      • New Releases

        • Alpine Linux 3.12 Released with Initial MIPS64 Port, Support for YubiKeys

          While not a major milestone, Alpine Linux 3.12 is here to introduce initial support for the MIPS64 (Big Endian) architecture. This means that you can now install the distribution on this platform.

          On top of that, this new stable release also introduces initial support for the D programming language, also known as Dlang.

        • Alpine Linux 3.12.0 Released
        • Alpine Linux 3.12 Released With D Language Support, MIPS64 Port

          Version 3.12 of the Alpine Linux lightweight distribution built around musl libc and Busybox is now available for this platform popular with containers and other embedded use-cases.

          While MIPS owner Wave Computing filed for bankruptcy earlier this month and other major setbacks in recent years for the MIPS architecture (including the abandoning of their Open MIPS plans), Alpine 3.12 is the first release now supporting 64-bit MIPS. MIPS64 big endian is supported by Alpine Linux 3.12 for the many MIPS64 systems still out there.

        • Today is the day! — Nitrux 1.2.9 is available to download

          We are pleased to announce the launch of Nitrux 1.2.9. This new version brings together the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and ready-to-use hardware support.

          Nitrux 1.2.9 is available for immediate download.

        • EasyOS version 2.3 released
        • Easy Buster version 2.3

          EasyOS versions 1.x are the “Pyro” series, the latest is 1.3. Easy Pyro is built with packages compiled from source using ‘oe-qky-src’, a fork of OpenEmbedded. Consequently, the builds are small and streamlined and integrated. The Pyro series may have future releases, but it is considered to be in maintenance status.
          The “Buster” series start from version 2.0, and are intended to be where most of the action is, ongoing. Version 2.0 was really a beta-quality build, to allow the testers to report back. The first official release was 2.1.
          The main feature of Easy Buster is that it is built from Debian 10 Buster DEBs, using WoofQ (a fork of Woof2: Woof-CE is another fork, used to build Puppy Linux).
          The advantage of Buster over Pyro is access to the large Debian package repositories. That is a big plus.
          On the other hand, DEB packages have many dependencies, and the end result is a release considerably larger than Pyro with similar app selection. For example, the download file of Pyro 1.2 is 418MB, Buster 2.1 is 504MB — despite the Buster build having less apps (Pyro has Qt5 and big Qt5-based apps such as Scribus, this is all missing from the Buster build, but can be installed).

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Leap “15.2″ Enters Release Candidate Phase

          The openSUSE community, contributors and release engineers for the project have entered into the release candidate phase today after the Build “665.2” snapshot was released for the upcoming openSUSE Leap “15.2” version.

          In an email to the openSUSE Factory mailing list, Leap release manager Lubos Kocman recommended Beta and RC users using the “zypper dup” command in the terminal prior switching to the General Availability (GA).

          The release candidate signals the package freeze for software that will make it into the distribution. Among some of the packages that are expected in the release are KDE’s Plasma “5.18” Long-Term-Support version, GNOME “3.34” and Xfce “4.14”. New package for Artificial Intelligence and data scientist will be in the release. The release will also contain the tiling Wayland compositor Sway, which is a drop-in replacement for the i3 window manager for X”11”. The DNF package manager has been rebased to version “4.2.19”, which brings many fixes and improvements. In addition, a lightweight C implementation of DNF called “Micro DNF” is now included. Pagure, which provides an easy, customizable, lightweight solution for setting up your own full-featured Git repository server, has been updated to version “5.10.0”. A list of some of the packages in Leap “15.2” can be found on the openSUSE Wiki.

        • openSUSE Leap 15.2 Hits RC Phase With GNOME 3.34 + KDE Plasma 5.18, Sway

          OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 has progressed to its release candidate phase ahead of the official release planned for the first week of July.

          Now onto release candidate builds, openSUSE Leap 15.2 is under a package freeze. This next version of openSUSE Leap has GNOME 3.34, KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS, and Xfce 4.14 as its primary desktop offerings. This is also the first release of Leap to contain the Sway Wayland compositor as an option. OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 also is bringing new packages for AI and data scientists, an updated DNF package manager, and many other package updates.

        • Maintaining SUSE Linux support during the pandemic

          The global pandemic and resulting government shelter-in-place or quarantine measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus have shifted the priorities of IT organizations away from non-critical maintenance and upgrades. Unfortunately, the planned end of General Support date for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 12 Service Pack 4 happens to be in the middle of this crisis. At SUSE, we understand the strain the current environment is putting on your IT operations so we have an option to help you keep your systems supported and secure.

          General Support for SLES 12 SP4 ends on June 30, 2020. Normally, organizations would either upgrade to a SLES service pack/version that still has full support or purchase up to 3 years of Long Term Service Pack Support (LTSS). Available today, organizations with current subscriptions of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP4 are eligible to receive continued access to patches and updates in the LTSS repositories free of charge for 3 months starting July 1, 2020, through September 30, 2020. Platforms included in this offer are x86-64 and IBM Z/LinuxOne. This gives IT teams more time to complete upgrade plans and evaluations at a time when staffing is limited and the focus is on keeping the business operational.

        • Developing Software for Linux on Mainframe at Home

          When developing for architectures that are not mainstream, developers often have challenges to get access to current systems that allow to work on a specific software. Especially when asking to fix an issue that shows up only on big endian hardware, the answer I repeatedly get is, that it’s hard to get access to an appropriate machine.

          I just recently saw reports that told that the qemu project made substantial progress with supporting more current Mainframe hardware. Thus I thought, how hard could it be to create a virtual machine that allows to develop for s390x on local workstation hardware.

          It turned out to be much easier than I thought. First, I did a standard install of tumbleweed for s390x, which went quite easy. But then I remembered that also the OBS supports emulators, and specifically qemu to run virtual machines.

        • openSUSE for INNOVATORS Project is born

          It is with great enthusiasm that I announce the INNOVATORS for openSUSE project, is an initiative to share projects, articles and news about innovative projects on the openSUSE platform developed by the community and public and private companies.

          All information on this wiki is related to innovative projects that use augmented reality technology, artificial intelligence, computer vision, robotics, virtual assistants and any and all innovative technology (in all hardware plataforms ).

        • Highlights of YaST Development Sprints 99 and 100

          One hundred development sprints, that’s a nice rounded number… and a good moment to rethink the way we write and publish our reports.

          Yes, you read it right. This post will be the last one following our traditional format, assuming something can already be called “traditional” after four and a half years. As we will explain at the end of this post, subsequent reports will look more as a digest with links to information and not that much as a traditional blog post that tries to tell a story.

      • Arch Family

        • Latest BlackArch Linux ISO Adds More Than 150 New Hacking Tools, Linux 5.6

          Coming five months after the previous release, the BlackArch Linux 2020.06.01 ISOs are here packed with more than 150 new tools for all your penetration testing and ethical hacking needs.

          According to the team, this latest BlackArch Linux ISO a high-quality release, which means that all the included packages have been quality tested and numerous bugs were fixed, including missing dependencies.

          This is also the first BlackArch Linux release to ship with a newer kernel, namely Linux 5.6. The Linux kernel 5.6.14 is included in the ISO images for better hardware support.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Software Collections 3.5 brings updates for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

          Red Hat Software Collections 3.5 and Red Hat Developer Toolset 9.1 are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Here’s what that means for developers.

          Red Hat Software Collections (RHSCL) is how we distribute the latest stable versions of various runtimes and languages through Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, with some components available in RHEL 6. RHSCL also contains the Red Hat Developer Toolset, which is the set of tools we curate for C/C++ and Fortran. These components are supported for up to five years, which helps you build apps that have a long lifecycle as well.

        • Empowering remote teams to collaborate in a WFH world

          Many more people are working at home these days, and although much of this started with COVID-19, remote work from home (WFH) could become standard procedure for businesses around the world.

          Team members may no longer work on-site, in the same building, but proper communication and collaboration is still the foundation of teamwork. Of course, this means teams need to conduct remote meetings on a regular basis, more than they ever have before. Many of us already attend conference calls all the time, but remote meetings—where every team member is working from home—that is a completely new encounter for most teams.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-22

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Fedora 30 has reached end-of-life. Elections voting is open through 11 June.

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

        • Earn a badge with the new IBM Blockchain Foundation Developer course
      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Rolando Blanco: Ubuntu Desktop Makeover

          I must confess that since Ubuntu started, there have been a lot of changes that we have experienced on our desktop (each time for the better). However, I have always loved changing its appearance, to one more according to my particular tastes, sometimes up to 3 changes per year. This is one of the features that I like most about GNU / Linux, the freedom to adapt everything to my liking.

          This time, I wanted to make some slight changes in search of elegant minimalism.

          This is how I started testing a new icon pack and a tool that works as a widget and that animates my desktop, for this I used Conky.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • SUSECON Digital (halfway) – I’m with the Band!

          When I last posted, about a month before SUSECON, I was a little bit worried. As with any event, you’re never quite certain how things are going to turn out. I should not have worried…
          After over 53,000 of you read my post (thank you!) we worked night and day to finish recording, polishing, posting and hosting the best content we have ever had the pleasure to serve up at a SUSECON event. And when we opened the virtual doors on May 20, thousands of you poured through those doors to get a taste of what we were serving. (So many, in fact, that we had some troubles getting the login info out to some people – my very sincere apologies for that!) So after nine days of offering open source for the enterprise on a silver platter, here’s a quick recap of where we stand:

        • EuroPython 2020: Schedule published

          After the 2nd CFP, we found that we had so many good talk submissions that we were able to open a fourth track.


          If registrations continue as they currently do, we will have a few hundred people waiting to participate in your sprint projects, so this is the perfect chance for you to promote your project and find new contributors.

          Participation in the sprints is free, but does require registration. We will provide the necessary collaboration tools in form of dedicated Jitsi or Zoom virtual rooms and text channels on our Discord server.

        • foss-north: Enablement Talks

          During foss-north 2020 we had a group of talks related to using free and open source in various settings. I call them enablement talks. Someone with a more salesy mind might have said success stories.

          This year we had tree such talks. One from about SVT’s (the Swedish public TV broadcaster) video streaming platform by Gustav Grusell and Olof Lindman, one from arbetsförmedlingen (the Swedish public employment service) by Johan Linåker and Jonas Södergren, and about Screenly OSE by Viktor Petersson, a digital signage solution.

        • Heads up → Online MiniDebConf is Online

          I know most Debian people know about this already – But in case you don’t follow the usual Debian communications channels, this might interest you!

          Given most of the world is still under COVID-19 restrictions, and that we want to work on Debian, given there is no certainty as to what the future holds in store for us… Our DPL –fearless as they always are– had the bold initiative to make this weekend into the first-ever miniDebConf Online (MDCO)!

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Marco Zehe: Welcome to Marco’s Accessibility Blog 2.0!

            Well, after 13 years, I felt it was time for something new. Also, as I wrote recently, Mozilla now has a dedicated accessibility blog, so I feel that I am free to do other things with my blog now. As a sign of that, I wanted to migrate it to a new platform.

            This is not to say the old platform, WordPress, is bad or anything like that. But for my needs, it has become much too heavy-weight in features, and also in the way how it feels when performing day to day tasks. 80% of features it offers are features I don’t use. This pertains both to the blog system itself as well as its new block editor. But those features don’t get out of the way easily, so over the months and actually last two to three years, I felt that I was moving mountains just to accomplish simple things. It has nothing to do with the steadily improving accessibility, either. That is, as I said, getting better all the time. It just feels heavy-weight to the touch and keyboard when using it.

          • Jeff Klukas: Encoding Usage History in Bit Patterns

            Monthly active users (MAU) is a windowed metric that requires joining data per client across 28 days. Calculating this from individual pings or daily aggregations can be computationally expensive, which motivated creation of the clients_last_seen dataset for desktop Firefox and similar datasets for other applications.

            A powerful feature of the clients_last_seen methodology is that it doesn’t record specific metrics like MAU and WAU directly, but rather each row stores a history of the discrete days on which a client was active in the past 28 days. We could calculate active users in a 10 day or 25 day window just as efficiently as a 7 day (WAU) or 28 day (MAU) window. But we can also define completely new metrics based on these usage histories, such as various retention definitions.

          • Mozilla VR Blog: WebXR Viewer 2.0 Released

            We are happy to announce that version 2.0 of WebXR Viewer, released today, is the first web browser on iOS to implement the new WebXR Device API, enabling high-performance AR experiences on the web that don’t share pictures of your private spaces with third party Javascript libraries and websites.

            It’s been almost a year since the previous release (version 1.17) of our experimental WebXR platform for iOS, and over the past year we’ve been working on two major changes to the app: (1) we updated the Javascript API to implement the official WebXR Device API specification, and (2) we ported our ARKit-based WebXR implementation from our minimal single-page web browser to the full-featured Firefox for iOS code-base.

          • Mozilla VR Blog: Scaling Virtual Events with Hubs and Hubs Cloud

            Virtual events are unique, and each one has varying needs for how many users can be present. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the different ways that you can consider concurrency as part of a virtual event, the current capabilities of Mozilla Hubs and Hubs Cloud for supporting users, and considerations for using Hubs as part of events of varying sizes. If you’ve considered using Hubs for a meetup or conference, or are just generally interested in how the platform works, read on!

          • Extensions in Firefox 77

            Firefox 77 is loaded with great improvements for the WebExtensions API. These additions to the API will help you provide a great experience for your users.

            Optional Permissions

            Since Firefox 57, users have been able to see what permissions an extension wants to access during the installation process. The addition of any new permissions to the extension triggers another notification that users must accept during the extension’s next update. If they don’t, they won’t receive the updated version.

            These notifications were intended to provide transparency about what extensions can do and help users make informed decisions about whether they should complete the installation process. However, we’ve seen that users can feel overwhelmed by repeated prompts. Worse, failure to see and accept new permissions requests for updated versions can leave users stranded on older versions.

          • Moving SUMO Community synchronous communications to Matrix

            As some of you already know, Mozilla has been working for some time to replace its official synchronous communication tool, and earlier this year we decided to launch our own Matrix instance to host our public conversations.

            In SUMO, we historically maintained a Telegram group to enable synchronous communications, and now we want to transition it to the new Mozilla Matrix.

          • Asa Dotzler: 20 Years with Mozilla

            Today marks 20 years I’ve been working full-time for Mozilla.

            As the Mozilla organization evolved, I moved with it. I started with staff@mozilla.org at Netscape 20 years ago, moved to the Mozilla Foundation ~17 years ago, and the Mozilla Corporation ~15 years ago.

            Thank you to Mitchell Baker for taking a chance on me. I’m eternally grateful for that opportunity.

      • FSF

        • Introducing Amin Bandali, intern with the FSF tech team

          Hi there, I’m Amin Bandali, often just bandali on the interwebs. I wear a few different hats around GNU as a maintainer, Web master, and Savannah hacker, and I’m very excited to be extending that to the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as an intern with the FSF tech team for spring 2020.

          Growing up around parents with backgrounds in computer engineering and programming, it did not take long for me to find an interest in tinkering and playing with computers as a kid, and I first came into contact with GNU/Linux in my teenage years. My first introduction to the world of free software came a few years later, when a friend kindly pointed out to me that what I had vaguely known and referred to as “open source” software is more properly referred to as free software, and helped me see why “open source” misses the point of free software. After learning about and absorbing the ideas and ideals of free software, I have since become a free software activist. As a computer scientist who enjoys studying and hacking on various programs and sometimes writing my own, I have made a point of releasing all I can under strong copyleft licenses, particularly the GNU AGPL license.

          My involvement with the GNU Project started in 2016, first as a volunteer Web master, and later as one of the maintainers of GNUzilla and IceCat late last year. Also around the same time, I led a group of volunteers in organizing and holding EmacsConf 2019 as a completely online conference, using only free software tools, much like the excellent LibrePlanet 2020. I love GNU Emacs, and use it more than any other program. GNU Emacs helps me do a wide variety of tasks such as programming, reading and composing emails, and chatting via IRC.

      • Programming/Development

        • Hello Android development world


          Today at Red Hat we have another “Day of Learning”. To this day I have never touched Android development, just installing various flavours and configuring it. But I’ve been curious about it for a while now, mostly to be able to fix a little thing here and there in all the great things available on F-Droid. So today was an excellent opportunity!

          The first thing to do is to install Android Studio. This is quite straightforward – download the tarball, unpack it, and run studio.sh inside it. It even bundles a Java Runtime Environment, so I was quite surprised that it was not missing any dependency even on my radically minimal system (I fully expected having to install tons of stuff in toolbox).

        • Performant Containerized Go* Applications with Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 512 on Clear Linux* OS

          Major cloud software such as Docker*, etcd*, Istio*, Kubernetes*, Prometheus*, and Terraform* use the Go* programming language for core cloud infrastructure components. Why are they using Go? Compared with many other scripting languages, Go is fast!

          This article shows how to develop performant Go applications that leverage Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel® AVX-512) and a Go container based on Clear Linux* OS to improve the performance potential of Go.


          Go is an open source programming language with concurrency mechanisms that help developers make full use of multicore and networked machines. It is expressive, modular, and efficient. Go based data science and analytic applications typically leverage gonum, a set of libraries for matrices, statistics, and optimization. Libraries like gonum build on top of a lower-level BLAS (Basic Linear Algebra Subroutines) layer.

          Gonum / netlib creates wrapper packages that provide an interface to Netlib CBLAS implementations. Because netlib uses C and CBLAS, using gonum/netlib provides indirect use of an Intel processor’s Intel AVX-512 capability, if available on the running system. The gonum/netlib recommended BLAS layer for performance on Linux is OpenBLAS.

          OpenBLAS is an optimized open source BLAS library based on GotoBLAS2 1.13 BSD version, implemented in C. It provides a BLAS layer implementation with Intel AVX-512 acceleration that is adaptable to Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (Intel® AVX2) or Intel® Streaming SIMD Extensions (Intel® SSE) only platforms.

        • Intel’s Clear Linux Working On AVX-512 Optimized Golang Container

          One of the latest performance optimizations being pursued by Intel on the open-source Linux side is providing an AVX-512-optimized container for Golang usage.

          Intel’s Clear Linux crew has assembled a new container providing AVX-512 tuned Go language support paired with AVX-512 optimized Glibc, OpenMP, and OpenBLAS libraries for operating on Intel’s Xeon Scalable servers.

        • Some notes on Corona

          In many ways, very little has changed in the way I work on Free Software projects. I get paid to do so – partly on Calamares, partly on other things – and there simply was no switch-to-remote work for me. Sitting at my desk, two monitors, FreeBSD underneath and Linux VMs in my face, with IRC for realtime communication: that’s been part-and-parcel of work for years now and nothing has changed there.

          Except that now there’s people in the house.

          One thing I notice is that when kid[1] is at the machine next to mine, it’s distracting. But how distracting, depends on what is on-screen. Java code only a little, until I feel the urge to ask what’s the issue – then I’m the cardboard cutout dog. Geometry Dash also only a little, since the rhythmic clicking of the mechanical keyboard mostly makes the same sound as my own keyboard when I’m doing something derpy like re-indenting chunks of CMakeLists.txt. Minecraft, on the other hand, drives me nuts. I just can’t work sitting next to that.

          The Slimbook sees a lot more work now, when I flee to the living room. But that’s where online lessons are happening, so I need to sneak around (sometimes out around the side of the house to cross to the other end of the room) because I don’t want to be broadcast accidentally to 20 students listening to middle-school explanations of quadratic equations. The equations are written on the blackboard painted onto one wall of the room.

          kid[0] had final exams cancelled out from under them, so they graduated from school with very little sound or fury. We wrote out a CV together and they now have a job (in “smart” lockdown times!) until the end of the summer and the start of university.

        • This’ll make you feel old: Uni compsci favourite Pascal hits the big five-oh this year

          Pascal, a descendant of ALGOL 60 and darling of computer science courses for decades, turns 50 this year.

          For engineers of a certain age, Pascal was hard to avoid in the latter part of the last century. Named for 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal, the language is attributed to Swiss computer scientist Niklaus Wirth and was created in part due to Wirth’s frustration with the process to improve the ALGOL 60 language.

          Involved in the ALGOL X effort, Wirth proposed ALGOL W, which, while not deemed a sufficient advance over ALGOL 60, became Pascal in 1970.

        • Perl/Raku

          • The [Perl] Weekly Challenge #062

            Once again, Neil Bowers, came up with another exciting task for all Team PWC members. Like always, it was fun task. Thanks to Ryan for providng sample data and expected result based on the definition of the task. Half the job done already. The only thing left for the us, is get on with the job. I noticed Raku needed slightly different approach then the Perl. It could be I am doing something very badly. I am happy to correct myself, if you find anything silly. More on this, later down below.

            However the second task of the week, N Queens, turned out to tough nut to crack for me. For the first, since I started contributing, I gave up on this. Technically speaking, I did attempt to solve it with the help of my 11 year old daughter, but it was only limited to 2D rather than 3D as expected in the task. Therefore I decided not to submit my solution. Having said that I didn’t want to loose my work, so just for record, I am sharing in this blog, just in case, if I want to re-visit the code.

          • New Arel like SQL Manager

            Some months ago I started working in a system similar to ActiveRecord. But then it became pretty big so then I centered my attention in a SQL AST manager instead.

            So I made a library that is basically an Arel port. You can see the README with most of the basic info. After looking at implementations in CPAN I realized there are many of them already but all of them based on hash structures.

        • Python

          • Add interactivity to your Python plots with Bokeh

            In this series of articles, I’m looking at the characteristics of different Python plotting libraries by making the same multi-bar plot in each one. This time I’m focusing on Bokeh (pronounced “BOE-kay”).

            Plotting in Bokeh is a little more complicated than in some of the other plotting libraries, but there’s a payoff for the extra effort. Bokeh is designed both to allow you to create your own interactive plots on the web and to give you detailed control over how the interactivity works. I’ll show this by adding a tooltip to the multi-bar plot I’ve been using in this series. It plots data from UK election results between 1966 and 2020.

          • Bruteforcing Emails Using a Simple Python Script

            Brute forcing is an essential part of hacking – it is the last resort, it offers hope and sometimes, it just works! Have you ever wanted to code a small script that would bruteforce email servers for you?

            It is imperative to remember that our brute forcing efforts are only as great as our password list, and as such, the list must be chosen with care. That said, first and foremost, we need to import the two modules we will need from Python.

          • Best Python Game Engines

            To write computer games (us oldies call them video games!), you may be wondering, “Where do I start?” To make a playable game in a decent timeframe while also learning how the program works, you will need a game framework. The framework creates many of the constructs that you will need for your games to function. You do not want to invent these yourself. These include how to draw anything to screen, how to detect a collision, and how to keep the score.

            Even making things move on the screen is complex without some underlying library. In this article, you will learn about which packages do what and how easy it is to get started on your game.

          • Week 1 Check-in

            During the community bonding period, i am working on the first step of my proposal. I have used shlex to split the shell script into tokens, and then find the seperator(&&|;) to concatenate the commands. After the review from my mentor, we find that we can improve the code. We do not need to split into tokens at first. Instead, we can directly find the seperator(&&|;) to seperate the commands. This will save a lot of time, since we are not going through every word in the shell script.

          • Backing up and restoring Zato Single Sign-On data

            This article presents a procedure for backing up all of Zato Single Sign-On (SSO) data and restoring it later on.

            A single Zato server with SQLite is used for simplicity reasons but the same principles hold regardless of the size of one’s environment or the SQL database used.

          • Attrs, Dataclasses and Pydantic

            Attrs also adds a nice string representation, comparison methods, optional validation and lots of other stuff to your classes, if you want to. You can also opt out of everything; attrs is very flexible.

            Attrs became so popular, that since Python 3.7 we also have the dataclasses module in the standard library. It is predominantly inspired by attrs (the attrs team was involved in the design of data classes) but has a smaller feature set and will evolve a lot slower. But you can use it out-of-the box without adding a new requirement to your package.

          • How to handle bulk data insertion SQLite + python

            When it comes of handling huge amount of data, the most common things that developer always does is to store data in a single manner each SQL statement has a new transaction started for it. This is very expensive, since it requires reopening, writing to, and closing the journal file for each statement. Despite that fact that they can do it in a bulk transaction. Now how do we did this? I’ll show you.

            Let’s say you have 20,000 candidate records to be inserted in your database. It really makes sense to consider a bulk transaction right? Sure why not.

          • Convert Bytearray to Bytes in Python

            Many different types of data objects are supported by Python. Two of them are the objects bytearray and bytes. The bytearray() function returns an array object of bytes. This object is changeable and supports the integer number from 0 to 255. The bytes() function returns bytes objects, is not changeable, and supports the integers from 0 to 255. This article will describe these functions and explain how bytearray objects can be converted into bytes objects.

          • List Intersection in Python

            Many object variables exist in python to store a variety of data types. The list is one of these variables and can store different types of data for different needs. Sometimes, we need to find common, uncommon, or both common and uncommon data items from the multiple lists for programming purposes. Python contains several built-in functions and operators that can perform these types of tasks for Python sets. Finding common data from the multiple lists is called list intersection, but there is no operator or built-in function for lists like sets to find the common data items from multiple lists. This tutorial will show you how to intersect lists in Python.

          • How to Execute Shell Commands in Python Using the Subprocess Run Method

            Subprocess is a built-in Python module that can be used to create new processes and interact with their input and output data streams. In simpler terms, you can use it to run shell commands and run executable binaries usually scattered in various “bin” folders across a Linux file system. You can also supply a full path to an executable binary and use any command-line switches associated with the binary. This article will explain how to use the subprocess module and its run method in Python apps. All code samples in the article are tested with Python 3.8.2 on Ubuntu 20.04.

          • How to Use the Python Isalpha Function

            Sometimes, we need to check the content of data for programming purposes. There are many different types of built-in functions in Python for string data to check the content This content may include letters, numbers, or other special characters. The isalpha() function is one of the useful built-in functions of Python that can be used to find out whether or not the content of the data is alphabetic. This function searches the alphabet in the starting of the string value. If the starting value of the string is a letter, then this function returns true; otherwise, it returns false. This tutorial will show you how to can use the isalpha() function in Python.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Blog #1

            Hello Everyone, this is Soham Biswas currently in 2nd year pursuing my Bachelor’s(B.Tech) degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Institute of Engineering & Management, Kolkata. I have been selected for GSoC’ 20 at sub-org FURY under the umbrella organisation of Python Software Foundation. I will be working on building sci-fi-like 2D and 3D interfaces and provide physics engine integration under project titled “Create new UI widgets & Physics Engine Integration”.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: First Blog GSoC 2020
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #1
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC Blog : Week 1

            Since most of the places including my university are closed due to the pandemic outbreak, I decided to get a head start and start with the project early. During the community bonding period, I had video conference meetings with my mentors scheduled every week on Wednesday. During these meetings i interacted with the mentors to have a coherent understanding of how the project design and implementation will be managed over the course of the entire period.

            Since my project involves a lot of theoretical understanding of concepts such as ray marching, I spent the period going through the theory of each topic.This week also involved going through the documentation for shaders used in VTK.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Community Bonding Check-in

            I had an onboarding meeting with my mentors where we got to know each other a bit better. They advised me to play around with uarray and unumpy without any goal in mind which I found to be a very good advice. I played a bit with special methods by implementing a simple Vector2D class and used the code in this notebook with some print statements to understand better the protocols and how they are called. I wanted to start earlier on my project so I took over a PR from one of my mentors which adds multimethods for the linalg module.

            What is coming up next?

            I’m going to continue the PR that I have been working on since it still isn’t finished and I will also follow the proposed timeline and start adding multimethods for other routines like checking class equality in array elements. Some mathematical constants and their aliases are also missing so I will be adding these too and probably refactoring the existing ones into classes. This week marks the end of my college classes but I still have some assignments and exams coming up in the following weeks so there’s a lot of work ahead of me to proper balance both university studies and GSoC but I wouldn’t have it other way.

          • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxxx) stackoverflow python report
        • Rust

          • In Rust, we lust: Security-focused super-C++ language still most loved among Stack Overflow denizens

            Rust for the fifth year in a row has held its position as the most-loved programming language in Stack Overflow’s annual developer survey, even if it’s not the primary language for most programmers and not many jobs require it.

            Rust, beloved by 86 per cent of respondents this year, recently celebrated five years since its 1.0 release. After years of appreciation for its memory safety features, speed, and other benefits, the language is making the move from an aspirational technology to a growing presence in savvy software organizations.

  • Leftovers

    • An Oath for Hypocrites

      Do you feel plagued by things like the plague?

    • About That City on A Hill

      Once upon a time, the goal of our aborning country among Puritan emigrants to the New World was “we shall be as a city upon a hill” – a haven.

    • Why Does W.E.B. Du Bois Matter Today?

      In their new book, W.E.B.  Du Bois: A Life in American History,Charisse Burden-Stelly and Gerald Horne pose the question that every scholar of African American history, a central part of all US history, must sooner or later approach. W.E.B. Du Bois is without question one of the largest, perhaps the very largest, figure in African-American history. Fellow Pan African C.L.R. James argued vociferously, a half century ago, that even describing Du Bois as a giant of “Black History” made it too easy for establishment intellectuals, liberal as well as conservative, to push him  and his work to the side of “American history” or “World history.”  He belongs in the center of our picture.

    • In Search of the Chosŏn People of Lost Korea

      I can still recall the early morning cab ride I took many years ago in Daegu, South Korea. I was in a hurry, as usual; too much soju and kimchi the night before. On my way to the hagwan for the morning portion of my day-night split shift to teach EFL to busy university-aged students cramming in some English idioms seemingly between classes. It was the loneliest cab ride I’ve ever taken. No English spoken; I pointed to a map. The interior a shrine of talismans lit by a black light, a weird Wurlitzer melody and a voice of sorrow coming from the tape player, like an oriental version of “In Heaven” from David Lynch’s Eraserhead. Speaking of hung over idioms.

    • Professional Race Car Driver Hires Expert Gamer To Race His Video Game Car

      The esports momentum due to the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t slowing down. And one of things many people are learning now that they’re either spectating or participating in esports for the first time is just how hard it is to be really, really good in these competitions. The days that bore the cliches about unskilled gamers slothing in their parent’s basement are long gone, replaced by corporate sponsorships for sold out events in full-scale arenas. In the absence of traditional IRL sports at the moment, many professional athletes are now getting into esports as well, with autoracing having led the way.

    • Plague Music

      Were Georg Frideric Handel to be beamed back to earth from the celestial realm he has inhabited since his death two-and-a-half centuries ago, he would soon have a Netflix hit, scores of viral YouTube videos with a host of marketing tie-ins—from organ pe(da)loton work-out regimens to a line of prophylactic powdered wigs so fashion-backward they’re actually fashion-forward.


      These scenes are unsettling and prescient, as in Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 film Contagion which drew in so many viewers at the outset of the Corona crisis. Indeed, it is simultaneously inspiring and appalling how entertaining Handel makes his menu of death and destruction, though this is fare no more sinister than lockdown America feasting on the misfortune of the Tiger King. Come to think of it, there’s an oratorio that Handel would easily knock out of the big cat park!

      These communal utterances are indeed great fun, but given the topic of plagues, can’t help remind us that choral singing is an extremely effective way to pass the virus, what with all the explosive consonants firing off droplets like mini-viral bombs bursting in air. The only choirs now singing together do so virtually.

      One of the earliest surviving sound recordings can be marveled at on a then newly-invented Edison wax cylinder from 1888. Barely audible over the chug and hiss of the technology is a choir of 4,000 singing excerpts from Israel in Egypt in London’s Crystal Palace. It sounds like a chorus of the dead, ghosts not just from another century, but from a vanished world.

    • Science

      • Brian Hooker and Neil Z. Miller publish another terrible “vaxxed/unvaxxed” study

        I was looking back at the blog and my blog posts over the last few months and noticed that the last time I wrote anything that wasn’t about COVID-19 was on March 16. I had been feeling that I needed a break from the unrelentingly depressing news about SARS-CoV-2 virus, the pandemic it’s causing, and all the quackery, bad science, and conspiracy theories that it’s provoked and continues to provoke, including the unholy alliance between COVID-19 deniers and the antivaccine movement. Oddly enough, yesterday I was made aware of the publication of a study that in this age of over a hundred thousand Americans dead from a pandemic seems almost quaint by comparison. It is, however, nonetheless still important because it’s yet another example of antivaxxers promoting a favorite myth of theirs, namely that unvaccinated children are healthier than vaccinated children (spoiler: they aren’t) because, of course, they believe that vaccines are toxic brews of horrible chemicals and DNA and tissue from aborted fetuses and therefore cause autism and every manner of chronic health problem, thus making our children the “sickest generation” (another spoiler: they aren’t). Yes, it’s another “vaxxed vs. unvaxxed study,” and it’s just as bad as every other antivax “vaxxed vs. unvaxxed” study out there, but superficially better in appearance. Hilariously, it’s by two antivaxxers whom we’ve met before, Brian Hooker and Neil Z. Miller.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Coverage of School Reopening Needs to Include School Workers

        The eagerness to reopen schools is understandable, but given the intensity of this crisis, the decision must come after a comprehensive review of all factors, which includes the voices of the workers who will be taking on the most risk.

      • Russia’s public health authority issues recommendations for reopening places of worship

        Russia’s public health authority, Rospotrebnadzor, has issued recommendations for gradually allowing worshipers access to temples, Interfax reports, on the basis of a government document in the publication’s possession. 

      • Common Preservation or Extinction?
      • Amid Global Pandemic—With Nearly 363,000 Dead—Trump Terminates US Ties With the World Health Organization

        “When every single country in the world is able to work with the WHO, except for one whose president advocates treating coronavirus with bleach and UV light, who do you think is at fault?”

      • Conditions Close at Hand

        Closest at hand is our Coronavirus pandemic, a virus gone viral in the American mass psyche bringing a close to home sense of our mortality. Our wars didn’t do it, at least our “volunteer” wars. When existentialism was the rage, there was a cerebral “fear and trembling, sickness unto death” but not quite the same thing as worrying whether a surface you touched, or a person you spoke to might have been your own messenger from the Grim Reaper.

      • Air Pollution Mental Illness and Covid-19

        Lockdowns imposed in response to Covid-19 forced millions of people to stay at home, businesses closed and a widespread hush descended. The major beneficiary of the controls has been the natural environment; in particular there has been a dramatic reduction in air pollution everywhere. But as countries begin to lift restrictions, road traffic levels are once again increasing, air and noise pollution rising.

      • U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World

        Donald Trump launched a new vaccine war in May, but not against the virus. It was against the world. The United States and the UK were the only two holdouts in the World Health Assembly from the declaration that vaccines and medicines for COVID-19 should be available as public goods, and not under exclusive patent rights. The United States explicitly disassociated itself from the patent pool call, talking instead of “the critical role that intellectual property plays”—in other words, patents for vaccines and medicines. Having badly botched his COVID-19 response, Trump is trying to redeem his electoral fortunes in the November elections this year by promising an early vaccine. The 2020 version of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan is shaping up to be, essentially, “vaccines for us”—but the rest of the world will have to queue up and pay what big pharma asks, as they will hold the patents.

      • Pandemic Crisis and Recession Can Spark a Fight for Real Change in the US

        American workers have a huge opportunity as a result of this coronavirus pandemic — an opportunity to massively expand union membership in the workplace, and a chance, after decades of being ignored by Congress, to finally win a desperately needed increase in the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 per hour to at least $15 per hour.

      • Nursing Homes Fought Federal Emergency Plan Requirements for Years. Now, They’re Coronavirus Hot Spots.

        On Dec. 15, 2016, the nation’s largest nursing home lobby wrote a letter to Donald Trump, congratulating the president-elect and urging him to roll back new regulations on the long-term care industry.

        One item on the wish list was a recently issued emergency preparedness rule. It required nursing homes to draw up plans for hazards such as an outbreak of a new infectious disease.

      • Many Russians are continuing to ignore social distancing rules. A sociologist explains why.

        During the coronavirus pandemic, being able to maintain social distancing in public spaces has become a vital skill. As it turns out, Russians are not coping with this very well. Meduza asked sociologist Andrey Korbut, a senior lecturer at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics who specializes in the sociology of every life, about the particularities of upholding social distancing in Russia.

      • Venezuela in the 2020 Pandemic

        As of May 27th 2020, in Venezuela, there have been 1,245 coronavirus cases (44 cases per million inhabitants) and only 11 deaths.[1] It remained at 10 for over a month.[2] Venezuela has the lowest percentage of confirmed coronavirus deaths per population in the region (0.4%) and the highest ratio of testing, 31,561 tests per million people, more than any other country in the region.[3]

      • Children Risking Their Lives. How Cute!

        If you really want to understand the ideology corporate media are constantly selling us, it’s often best not to look at how they cover serious news, but what they depict as light-hearted human interest stories. There’s always a stream of them from local and national outlets, designed to pique interest and serve as a balance to the often heavier headline content. Stories along the lines of  “Homeless Man Wins Lottery” or “Local Sisters Accepted to Harvard AND Yale” abound, often appearing at the ends of news broadcasts.

      • Russia’s coronavirus patient population approaches 400,000

        On the morning of May 29, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 8,572 new coronavirus infections in the past day (201 more new cases than the day before) bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 387,623 patients.

      • Trump Opposes Masks Because Culture War Nihilism Is His Last Line of Defense

        I don’t think there’s ever been a U.S. president with more influence with his political base that Donald Trump. All presidents are defended by those who support them, of course. Even the most unpopular failures have diehard fans who stick with them to the bitter end.

      • Masks and COVID-19: an Open Letter to Robert Kennedy Jr and Children’s Health Defense

        I join with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in opposing mandatory vaccinations. I have no faith in products like vaccines that are developed for profit under American capitalism. Manufacturing and marketing occurs without utilizing the precautionary principle, without sufficient testing, and with aluminum-based and other dangerous adjuvants and impurities. The Food and Drug Adminstration’s administrators and regulators come from the corporations they’re supposed to be regulating. They’ll return to the same corporate behemoths when their time in government service is ended, via that revolving door between Big Pharma and U.S. regulatory agencies. Given all of that, how could one not oppose unsafe and compulsory vaccinations? That is why I support Children’s Health Defense, as well as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s great environmental work.

      • How Hydroxychloroquine Could Help Trump…Politically

        This month President Donald Trump boldly continued to promote the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a protection against being infected by covid-19. In an almost off-handed comment during a briefing he said he was taking it himself, although the size of the dosage was not mentioned. At the same time, a new study of 96,000 coronavirus patients on six continents taking the drug concluded that they experienced a 34 percent increase in risk of mortality and a 137 percent increased risk of a serious heart arrhythmias. Those findings would seem to answer Trump’s question of “What do you have to lose?” in encouraging people to take the drug.

      • ProPublica Files Lawsuit Seeking Medical Stockpile Records From HHS

        ProPublica has sued the Department of Health and Human Services, claiming the agency failed to promptly process requests for records about a cache of medical supplies maintained by the federal government.

        The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court in New York, alleges that the delays violated the Freedom of Information Act, a law passed in 1967 whose purpose is to provide the public with information about federal agency operations.

      • No Lessons Learned From Bhopal: the Toxic Chemical Leak at LG Polymers India

        The port city of Vizag or Vishakhapatnam, situated on the south-east coast of India in the State of Andhra Pradesh, is home to several hazardous industries. In the early morning on 07 May 2020, five million people residing in the Vizag Metropolitan Region were rudely woken up by the alarming news of a poisonous chemical leak from a plant producing polystyrene-based products situated about 15 kms away on the outskirts of the city. As a result of exposure to toxic Styrene vapours that escaped from the plant, about 12 people and 32 animals have been killed so far. At least another 1000-odd people – living in the adjacent villages up to a radius of six kms – have reportedly suffered injuries of whom over 800 had to be hospitalized. About 4000 others, who were evacuated in time by some alert volunteers, managed to escape without any noticeable injuries. Nearly 10,000 other residents in the vicinity were forced to vacate their homes in panic. There are also sufficient indications that the environment through which the vapours traversed has been adversely affected. Even a week after the tragedy:

      • BBC launches ‘Corona Bot’ to tackle COVID-19 confusion

        Currently, the tool is available through Messenger for Facebook and the BBC Facebook page, where users can type questions to BBC News; it will answer them using information from BBC News and, where appropriate, the NHS website for England.

        The corporation plans to roll out the tool on other BBC digital platforms and open up the service to other voice assistants, including Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

        Anthony Mullen, senior research director at Gartner, said that collaboration is needed between experts, publishers, distributors and consumers to make sure correct information is distributed. Otherwise, bad actors and bad narratives can prosper.

      • Survey reveals that one third of Russians are coronavirus skeptics

        One third of Russian (32.9 percent) think the coronavirus pandemic is either a fabrication, or that the disease is harmless to humanity, according to the results of a new survey published by RBC.

      • A Chronicle of a Lost Decade Foretold

        Many on the left still cling to the hope that the COVID-19 crisis will translate into the use of state power on behalf of the powerless. But those in authority have never hesitated to harness government intervention to the preservation of oligarchy, and a pandemic alone won’t change that.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Amazon will no longer support the Echo Look, encourages owners to recycle theirs

          Amazon is discontinuing its Echo Look camera, a standalone device that gave owners fashion advice using artificial intelligence and machine learning. The Look’s companion app and the device itself will stop functioning on July 24th. Between now and July 24th, 2021, Look users can back up their images and videos by making a free Amazon Photos account. (People with existing Photos accounts will have their media backed up automatically.) Anyone who wants to delete all their existing photos and videos will have to do so before the July 2020 deadline; otherwise, they’ll have to call Amazon’s customer service to have them deleted. They can currently delete them through the Look app.

        • “Virtual terrorism”: Far-right trolls are targeting marginalized groups on Zoom calls

          On May 14, thirty-one residents of an East Oakland neighborhood joined a videoconference call to meet with their neighborhood services coordinator to hear updates about upcoming community events and resources available to residents; the meetings, which took place regularly in person prior to the pandemic, recently transitioned to virtual videoconferencing app Zoom. Then, five minutes into the call, the number of attendees jumped up to 72.

          The newly uninvited guests quickly overtook the meeting — first, by chanting the n-word; then by taking control of the screen. The trolls drew swastikas and displayed pornography images for all to see.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • FINOS expands industry presence by joining the Linux Foundation

                Red Hat is part of many communities, and one community that is important to us, and to the financial services industry, is the Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS). This community helps drive open source advancements geared specifically towards the unique needs of the financial services firms, accelerating innovation and collaboration through the adoption of open source software, standards, best practices and governance.

                Red Hat joined FINOS as a Gold Member in spring of 2018, and Red Hat OpenShift is providing the underlying technology for the FINOS Open Developer Platform (ODP), one of the leading venues for community development within the financial services community.

                Red Hat has also contributed its open source leadership experience to the Open Source Readiness Project, which provides governance and open source legal guidance to banks who are first participating in open source. Additionally, we’ve provided our experience and expertise in the hybrid cloud to help progress the Cloud Services Certification project under FINOS, which works to accelerate firms’ journeys to open source readiness.

                Red Hat is also an active member of the Linux Foundation, which is dedicated to building sustainable ecosystems around open source projects, with the goal of accelerating technology development and adoption. The Linux Foundation was founded in 2000, and has helped to establish and build some of the most critical open source technologies in use. Additionally, it has expanded its work beyond Linux, to foster innovation at every layer of the stack.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libexif and tomcat8), Fedora (python38), openSUSE (libxslt), Oracle (git), Red Hat (bind, freerdp, and git), Scientific Linux (git), SUSE (qemu and tomcat), and Ubuntu (apt, json-c, kernel, linux, linux-raspi2, linux-raspi2-5.3, and openssl).

          • FYI: There are thousands of Chrome extensions with so, so many fake installations to trick you into using them

            Efforts to manipulate installation counts in Chrome Web Store extension listings appear to be alive and well, despite a developer’s personal crusade to call attention to the problem.

            Julio Marin Torres has been highlighting suspiciously popular Chrome extensions since January in posts to the Chromium Extensions forum, trying to get Googler to enforce their store policies.

            In an email to The Register, he said Google has taken some action since his initial posts on the subject, but the problem has only gotten worse since then. “Something has to change,” he said. “I think this hurts the entire Chrome Store developer and user community.”

          • NSA warns about Sandworm APT exploiting Exim flaw

            “When CVE-2019-10149 is successfully exploited, an actor is able to execute code of their choosing. When Sandworm exploited CVE-2019-10149, the victim machine would subsequently download and execute a shell script from a Sandworm-controlled domain,” they said.

            The script would then attempt to add privileged users, disable network security settings, update SSH configurations to enable additional remote access, and execute an additional script to enable follow-on exploitation.

          • Morpheus Data Strengthens Security and Automation in Latest Platform Release

            Lastly, the Morpheus software application has been updated to run on an even broader set of operating systems for additional flexibility. New support for Amazon Linux 2, Red Hat Linux 8.x and SUSE Linux is added to existing support for Debian, RHEL 7.x and Ubuntu.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Can You Protect Privacy If There’s No Real Enforcement Mechanism?

              Privacy laws can have a lot of moving pieces from notices and disclosures, opt-in and opt-out consent requirements to privacy defaults and user controls. Over the past few years, there has been significant progress on these issues because privacy advocates, consumer groups, industry voices, and even lawmakers have been willing to dive into definitional weeds, put options on the table, and find middle ground. But this sort of thoughtful debate has not happened when it comes to how privacy laws should be enforced and what should happen when companies screw up, families are hurt, and individuals’ privacy is invaded.

            • Twitter Slams Trump’s Social Media Checks on U.S. Visa Seekers

              Since May 2019, the State Department has required most visa applicants to register every social media handle they’ve used over the past five years on more than a dozen platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. The lawsuit alleges the policy violates applicants’ free-speech rights by subjecting their online speech and associations to scrutiny.

              State and the Department of Homeland Security, the named defendants in the case, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

            • Who profits from our medical records?

              These data owners also sell access to medical and genetic data for many beneficial uses. For example, if researchers want to know the long-term side effects of a drug, they can access 10-years of data for 20 million people and check for side-effects or dangerous drug interactions occurred.

              The critical point here is that, today, patients do not generally own exclusive rights to their own data. Once a patient shares their data, they have little or no say in how it is used. Most of them do not even know their data is being sold, and never see any direct profit from the sale of their data. But that could change. In an age where consumers know that Facebook, Google, Amazon and others are exploiting their electronic data for profit — and governments in Europe and elsewhere are legislating limits on these data uses — the models for medical data ownership may soon be ripe for overhaul.

            • Mark Zuckerberg Worried for Facebook in Hong Kong After China’s Security Move

              The draft law is intended to prevent any threat to Beijing’s authority in the city through secession, subversion, terrorism or foreign interference. It may allow mainland security forces to operate within Hong Kong, and is widely expected to curb personal liberty, such as freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. China’s own media is one of the most controlled of any country in the world and its own social media services are heavily censored.

            • Facebook’s New App Wants Sports Fans Looking at Their Mobile Phones

              Here’s how it works: The commentators will host a so-called venue for each event, where they’ll provide commentary, pose questions or polls and participate in chats tied to a specific moment in the game.

            • Russian regulators reportedly turn to court enforcement officers, after Facebook and Twitter ignore noncompliance fines

              Russia’s battle with Facebook and Twitter has taken another turn: the two social media giants have reportedly failed to pay 4-million-ruble ($56,500) fines imposed for refusing to store Russian users’ data on servers in Russia. A source close to Roskomnadzor (Russia’s federal censor) told the newspaper Kommersant that the agency has submitted a writ of execution to court enforcement officers.

            • Google sued by Arizona for tracking users’ locations in spite of settings

              Arizona has filed suit against Google over tracking users’ locations even after they’ve turned tracking off, claiming that the advertising-fueled tech titan has a “complex web of settings and purported ‘consents’” that enable it to furtively milk us for sweet, sweet ad dollars.


              There is a constant tension between security and privacy. We’re used to governments making arguments about giving up privacy for the sake of security, but the same trade-off can show up in computer security, too. In this case, Apple has implemented an online check for every executable run by a macOS Catalina system. If you’re running macOS 10.15, you might have noticed your system is a bit slower than it should be. It seems that when connected to the internet, a modern Mac will upload a hash of each binary to Apple, assumably to check it against a blacklist of known malware.

              The Reddit thread discussing this issue had a few more interesting observations. First off, one user pointed out that he had observed this issue while flying and connected to the terrible in-flight wifi. A second poster observed that a Mac will take an inordinate amount of time to reboot when connected to a network without internet access.

              While there is likely an upside, this approach is terrible for performance and user privacy, and a breach of trust between Apple and their users. If they wanted to monetize the data, Apple now has a record of which binaries are run by which users and when. This sort of behavior should be documented at the very least, and come with an off switch for those who don’t wish to participate. The fact that it was discovered by internet sleuths is a black eye for Apple.

            • India’s contact tracing app made open source, but will this thwart a surveillance state?

              Two days ago, the government of India announced that it would publicly release the source code for its coronavirus contact tracing app, Aarogya Setu. However, the folks at MIT aren’t terribly impressed with Aarogya Setu’s safety quotient nor its collection of all manner of data beyond what contact tracing demands.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Goodness Gracious, David Ignatius!!

        The Washington Post’s senior diplomatic columnist, David Ignatius, has done it again.  He has a well-earned reputation as an apologist for the Central Intelligence Agency and a defender of increased defense spending and the newly-created Space Force.  Now, Ignatius has added a new plaque to his personal Hall of Fame—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  In an oped for the Post on May 27, Ignatius has defended Pompeo’s fund-raising dinners at the lavish ceremonial rooms of the Department of State, which incidentally was one of the issues being investigated by the State Department’s Inspector General, Steve Linick.

      • The Sociopolitical and Historical Context That Shaped Kashmiri Women Like My Grandmother in the 1940s

        In what ways are women present in political contexts? Kashmiri women, from different walks of life, have managed against all odds to express their agency during the plethora of political, social, and military transformations in the past nine decades. During the growing sense of nationhood in the 1930s, and during the political awakening in the 1940s Kashmiri women forged broad coalitions and informal networks to challenge state-centered, feudal, and elitist notions of identity and security.

      • What’s NATO Up to These Days? Provoking Russia, Draining Healthcare Budgets and Protecting Its Own from COVID

        In November 2019, as experts warned that a novel coronavirus was likely to develop in the near-future, NATO boasted that its European Allies, including the UK, as well as Canada, were boosting their military budgets by an average of 4.6 percent, or an additional $130bn since 2016. The implication is that this increase in military spending is at the expense of healthcare, which is being privatized worldwide.

      • “Trust Was a Central Theme”: We Talked to a Navy Commander About How He Helped Us Uncover Staggering Failures From Senior Navy Leadership

        Retired Navy Cmdr. Bryce Benson was wary when ProPublica reporter Megan Rose reached out to him for an investigation into the 2017 collision of the USS Fitzgerald. The accident was one of the deadliest in the Navy’s history, and Benson had been the captain of the warship.

        ProPublica’s investigative series, “Disaster in the Pacific,” would go on to reveal that failures from senior Navy leaders — who had endangered the Fitzgerald by sending an overworked and undertrained crew to sea with outdated and poorly maintained equipment — were responsible. But at the time that Rose contacted Benson, senior officers blamed him for the collision and had even sought a criminal prosecution.

      • Carrying Out Trump’s “When the Looting Starts, the Shooting Starts” Order Would Violate 4th Amendment, Warn Legal Experts

        “Donald Trump is calling for violence against black Americans. His advocacy of illegal, state-sponsored killing is horrific. Politicians who refuse to condemn it share responsibility for the consequences.”

      • Incel Terrorism

        America is getting back to “normal,” but what does that mean? Mass shootings, for one thing. No school shootings—though that’s mainly because there’s no school. But the other day, a self-proclaimed incel with an AR-15 went and shot up some folks he didn’t know (one in critical condition) in a Glendale, Arizona entertainment center.

      • Saying Quiet Part Very Loud, Netanyahu Calls Palestinians Future “Subjects” as Annexation Looms

        You can’t keep 5 million people stateless forever, that this is monstrous. But apparently, you can do so for many decades, maybe a century or more.

      • Alex Vitale, Chase Madar and Shahid Buttar on Racist Policing

        This week on CounterSpin: The May 26 New York Times reports that authorities are looking into “the arrest of a black man who died after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by an officer’s knee.” Police murder yet another black person in broad daylight, and the Times can’t bring itself to use active verbs. George Floyd was killed by a police officer who remained on the force despite a record of violence and complaints, his murder was covered up as a “medical incident” by the police department, and when people protested the killing, police tear-gassed and shot at them with rubber bullets. Now law enforcement will investigate law enforcement.

      • Minneapolis police leader defending George Floyd’s killers tied to ‘white power’-linked biker gang

        From The Grayzone vault: The record of a pro-Trump Minneapolis police leader defending the killers of George Floyd reveals a past marred in accusations of racist violence, including charges from fellow police officers that he once wore a “white power” badge on his motorcycle jacket.

      • Billions for Defense Contractor Hidden in New House COVID Relief Bill

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

      • Trump Calls Protesters “Thugs” and Threatens “Shooting” in Response to “Looting”

        In response to the uprising in Minneapolis against the brutal arrest and killing of a Black man named George Floyd by a white police officer earlier this week, President Donald Trump suggested he was ready to use state violence against the protesters, tweeting, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

      • Who are the “Wrong Hands” in Yemen?

        Politics makes strange bedfellows. Some of them want to kill us.

      • Without Anger Over Inequality and Lynchings, We Have No Hope for Democracy

        The anger that has erupted in Minneapolis and across the country in response to the brutal killing of George Floyd gives me hope. This anger — whether expressed peacefully or violently — is ignited by a betrayal of human equality. Without this anger, we have no hope for maintaining a democracy in the United States.

      • Police Arrest CNN Journalist During Live TV Coverage of George Floyd Protests

        A CNN journalist and his entire camera crew were arrested by Minnesota state police Friday morning during their live television coverage of the aftermath of Minneapolis protests over the killing of George Floyd.

      • Police Arrested Afro-Latino Reporter While Treating White Colleague “Politely”

        CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez, an Afro-Latino reporter for the TV network, was arrested Friday morning while covering the Minneapolis uprising, which took place in response to the police killing of George Floyd earlier this week.

      • As Minneapolis Protests Over Killing of George Floyd Intensify, Trump Threatens to Send in Military With Green Light to Open Fire

        “The president of the United States is threatening to use live fire on his own citizens.”

      • ‘Never Seen Anything Like This’: Watch Police Arrest CNN Journalist and Camera Crew During Live TV Coverage of George Floyd Protests

        “They arrested a CNN reporter and camera crew for reporting the news but not Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd on camera.”

      • Taiwan email leaks suggest need for increased cybersecurity

        When specific people are targeted by [attackers], phishing emails or fake websites are often used to trick unsuspecting personnel. Additionally, there is always the likelihood that leaks could come from within the group itself.

        In a Facebook post, former National Security Council member Enoch Wu (吳怡農) explained three reasons for Taiwan’s frequent leaks: the lack of a cybersecurity chief, over-reliance on third-parties to police network security, and poor security awareness and practices by government officials.

        Wu suggested that the president create a new cybersecurity chief position in order to better protect digital networks and coordinate efforts among relevant departments. He also said the government should develop a national cloud-based server while at the same time keeping security networks up to date.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Facebook, Instagram Leave Trump’s Threat About Shooting Minneapolis Protesters Unchecked

        While Twitter put Donald Trump in a penalty box for a tweet advocating violence against crowds Minneapolis protesters, Facebook and Instagram for now have left up the same message from the president on their services without any similar warning.


        Twitter’s move to apply fact-checking labels to a pair of inaccurate Trump tweets about mail-in ballots prompted the president to retaliate with an executive order seeking to rescind the legal protections social networks have under current U.S. law if they “censor” speech. Experts say Trump’s order is unconstitutional, representing a legal overreach by the executive branch.

      • Leaked posts show Facebook employees asking the company to remove Trump’s threat of violence

        But then Trump cross-posted to Facebook a tweet that seemed to suggest that violent action be taken against people protesting the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police. “Would it be possible to explain in more detail the interpretation of our community standards?” one employee asked. “Does this post violate them but get an exemption, or is it not violating?”

        But by mid-afternoon Pacific time on Friday, employees had not received a response — and they were beginning to grow frustrated. “It’s egregious that nobody from policy has chimed in or provided any sort of context here,” one employee said. When another employee defended Facebook’s silence by suggesting that top executives were likely debating their next steps, the original poster replied: “They’ve already made an official decision by keeping the post up after it’s been reported. They should communicate their justification for the decision.”

      • Media Corruption? Car Safety Recalls Reported Less When Manufacturers Advertise More [iophk: now study the impact of M$ and its parteners on the supression of tech coverage]

        Is the reporting of media outlets biased in favor of firms that advertise with them? A new study looked at the relationship between advertising by car manufacturers in U.S. newspapers and news coverage of car safety recalls in the early 2000s. The study found that newspapers provided less coverage of recalls issued by manufacturers that advertised more regularly in their publications than of recalls issued by other manufacturers that did not advertise, and this occurred more frequently when the recalls involved more severe defects.

        The study was conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, Loyola Marymount University, Brown University, and the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (GSE). It appears in Management Science.

    • Environment

      • Warmer weather means it’s time to be tick aware

        As warm weather sends people outdoors, some are encountering tenacious pests with no respect for social distance.

        Forget staying 6 feet apart: Ticks go for blood in the hardest-to-reach places on the human body.
        Many of those ticks are infected with Lyme disease. The illness, which was first identified in Connecticut in the 1970s, is found in countries across the Northern Hemisphere. It’s the most common tick-borne disease in both the United States and Europe.
        And the area where Lyme disease is found is expanding.

        Lyme disease is on the rise in the United Kingdom, and climate change is projected to worsen the spread of Lyme across northern Europe.
        According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s now a high incidence of exposure in Midwestern, Northeastern, and mid-Atlantic states.

      • No asteroids needed: ancient mass extinction tied to ozone loss, warming climate

        The end of the Devonian period, 359 million years ago, was an eventful time: Fish were inching out of the ocean, and fernlike forests were advancing on land. The world was recovering from a mass extinction 12 million years earlier, but the climate was still chaotic, swinging between hothouse conditions and freezes so deep that glaciers formed in the tropics. And then, just as the planet was warming from one of these ice ages, another extinction struck, seemingly without reason. Now, spores from fernlike plants, preserved in ancient lake sediments from eastern Greenland, suggest a culprit: The planet’s protective ozone layer was suddenly stripped away, exposing surface life to a blast of mutation-causing ultraviolet (UV) radiation.


        It captures a startling transformation: Healthy fossilized spores, coated in distinctive symmetrical spikes, suddenly grow misshapen, their spikes dilapidated and uneven. Spores are a common fossil because of their armored coat, but they are vulnerable to UV radiation, much like humans; spores can even develop a “tan” in response to UV. The damage Marshall saw is consistent with such exposure, says Jeffrey Benca, an experimental paleobotanist who has linked such damage to the end-Permian extinction. “What they propose seems quite plausible,” he says.

        Marshall argues that the warming climate drove more powerful summer thunderstorms, which could have injected an ozone-depleting mix of water and salts into the stratosphere. As UV rays killed off forests, nutrient runoff into the sea could have caused blooms of plankton and algae, which would have produced more ozone-destroying salts in a runaway feedback. “It looks like it might be a perfect storm,” he says.

        Marshall’s scenario could explain not just the extinction, but also the many natural gas deposits dating from the period, says Sarah Carmichael, a geochemist at Appalachian State University. They formed from decaying organic matter, but no one has explained the needed surge in plankton growth. Nutrient runoff from dead forests could have fertilized the marine life.

        It’s also a portent of what could happen in today’s warming world, where more powerful thunderstorms sometimes “overshoot” the troposphere and inject moisture into the dry, cold stratosphere. When combined with aerosol particles and chlorine molecules, the moisture may eat away ozone.

        But atmospheric scientists can barely agree on whether these ozone depletions are happening now, let alone hundreds of millions of years ago. More overshoots occur now than expected, but whether they are spurring damaging reactions is not yet clear. Elliot Atlas, an atmospheric chemist at the University of Miami who studies this dynamic, is skeptical of Marshall’s theory. It needs much more rigorous testing in models, he says. “Is it impossible? I can’t say that.”

      • South Asia’s twin threat: extreme heat and foul air

        Climate change means many health risks. Any one of them raises the danger. What happens when extreme heat meets bad air?

      • With COP 26 Pushed to Late 2021 Due to Pandemic, World Leaders Urged Not to Delay Climate Action

        “Right now, real leaders should be doubling-down their efforts to ensure a green and just recovery in handling this health crisis and the climate emergency.”

      • Energy

      • Nature

      • Overpopulation

    • Finance

      • Does Neo-Feudalism Define Our Current Epoch?

        When I learned that we were entering a new period called neo-feudalism, my first reaction was to wonder if that was any worse than what we have now. After all, the serf might have suffered from a lack of freedom but at least had lots of time off as Michael Perelman pointed out in “The Invention of Capitalism“:

      • Unearned Income for All

        I live in upstate New York, famous for its populist politics in the 19th century. It produced not only utopian experiments (including the Oneida and Shaker communities), but religious revivals and innovations (the ‘burnt over’ district, the Mormons), as well as political movements (the Underground Railroad and the Suffragette movement). We also had the Rent Wars, in which long-suffering tenants of landlords controlling thousands, even millions, of acres rebelled, in the early 19th century, with limited success, against their economic masters.

      • For America’s Wealthiest, the Pandemic is a Time to Profit

        The American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Michael Strain wrote an op-ed in the New York Times recently explaining how “The American Dream Is Alive and Well,” and that in his opinion this nation has, “bigger issues than inequality.” Strain’s piece is part of the paper’s new pandemic-era series called “The America We Need” and engages in a set of impressive mental gymnastics to conclude that it ought to be of no concern that the rich are getting richer and that it would be better to focus instead on, “the relatively slow rate of productivity growth,” or “the long-term decline in male employment.”

      • Mnuchin and DeVos Sued for Unlawful Seizure of Student Loan Borrowers’ Tax Refunds During Pandemic

        “Secretaries DeVos and Mnuchin have inflicted needless financial pain on student borrowers and their families.”

      • Corporate Lawsuits Could Devastate Poor Countries Grappling With COVID-19

        Wealthy corporations may use trade courts to keep public health measures from cutting into their profits.

      • At Least 9 Million US Households With Children Are ‘Not At All Confident’ They’ll Be Able to Afford Food Next Month, Census Survey Finds

        “Even if they *do* end up getting food, you have to understand the mental and physical toll of living with that kind of fear, and how that affects relationships, work, health, and everything else.”

      • The Great Depression, Coronavirus Style: Crashes, Then and Now

        Many economists believe that a recession is already underway. So do millions of Americans struggling with bills and job losses. While the ghosts of the 2008 financial crisis that sent inequality soaring to new heights in this country are still with us, it’s become abundantly clear that the economic disaster brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has already left the initial shock of that crisis in the dust. While the world has certainly experienced its share of staggering jolts in the past, this cycle of events is likely to prove unparalleled.

      • Newsweek Fails to Note That White House Reopening Guidelines Make Absolutely No Sense
      • In Search of a Lost Socialism

        In May of 1914 — 107 years ago this month — a small, yet vibrant socialist colony on the edge of Los Angeles County took root that is worth revisiting. In the Age of Covid-19, and with the continued violent assault on black and brown people across the US, one must visualize a more peaceful, egalitarian future, where healthcare is free and police are non-existent. The seeds of revolution are all around us, they just need planting. – JF

      • Tens of Millions of Are Out of Work, Why on Earth is Trump Trying to Cut Food Aid?

        In some ways, this horrible pandemic has brought out the best in humanity.

      • A Growing Wave of Bankruptcies Threatens U.S. Recovery

        The bankruptcy epidemic in the U.S. started last year, long before any COVID-19 pandemic had touched down. U.S. retailers ranked among the greatest casualties of 2019 with a total of 17 bankruptcies. Big names among the retail bankruptcies in 2019 included Gymboree on January 16; Charlotte Russe on February 3; Things Remembered on February 6; Payless ShoeSource on February 18; Charming Charlie on July 11; Barneys New York on August 6; and Forever 21 on September 29.

      • Forget “Looting.” Capitalism Is the Real Robbery.

        This morning the president of the United States threatened state-sanctioned murder in response to “looting,” laying bare the way in which white supremacy, capitalism and the state work together to violently repress people who defend Black life.

      • Rep. Katie Porter Accuses UnitedHealth of ‘Putting Profits Before Patients and Providers’ in Midst of Pandemic

        “It’s flat out wrong for the world’s largest insurance company to pass costs on to families in the middle of a pandemic—I want answers.”

      • ‘Cowardly’ and ‘Shameful’: Critics Say Trump Refusal to Release Mid-Year Economic Forecast an Obvious Election Year Ploy

        “It gets them off the hook for having to say what the economic outlook looks like.”

      • More than 1.9 million Russians are officially unemployed — here’s how the government plans to help them

        President Vladimir Putin has announced new support measures for Russians who lost their jobs during the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. During a video conference on the current state of the Russian labor market on May 27, he supported the relevant proposals put forward by Labor Minister Anton Kotyakov.

      • Budget Cockups in the Time of Coronavirus

        Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. Even in their self-celebrated expertise, blunders will happen.

      • Former Federal Reserve Governor Rebukes Central Bank for Using Covid-19 Lending Power to Bail Out ‘Dying’ Fossil Fuel Industry

        “If polluters want to deny the existence of the ongoing bailout, Congress should swiftly repeal these blatant corporate tax giveaways and make fossil fuels ineligible for stimulus lending programs.”

      • The Case for a New Technology to Help Slaughterhouse Workers

        While the meat industry is receiving its massive $16 billion federal COVID-19 bailout, the USDA and Congress should also enact policies and allocate funds that would phase out archaic electrical slaughter methods in favor of CAS.

      • We Must Respond to the COVID Crash Like We Did to the Great Depression — Boldly

        Many economists believe that a recession is already underway. So do millions of Americans struggling with bills and job losses. While the ghosts of the 2008 financial crisis that sent inequality soaring to new heights in this country are still with us, it’s become abundantly clear that the economic disaster brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has already left the initial shock of that crisis in the dust. While the world has certainly experienced its share of staggering jolts in the past, this cycle of events is likely to prove unparalleled.

      • As More Parents Head Back to Work Amid Pandemic, Advocates Demand $100 Billion Federal Boost for Child Care

        “Without child care, there’s no recovery.”

      • California secession would create economic chaos: Letters

        Dan Walters brings into question whether California can stand alone as its own nation. He compares California now to Canada and covers all the basic grounds, allowing the readers to make their own conclusions.

        While California may be able to survive on its own, Walters fails to mention how the United States would survive without such an important state as California. California is largest state in the country with primarily Democratic views, so the political power would drastically change in the union.

        The U.S. prides itself in keeping a balance in politics, however, if California were to secede, that balance will be thrown to the Republican Party.

      • Federal support is critical for California’s economic recovery

        Throughout America right now, business owners are adapting, overcoming and rising to the challenge of COVID-19. They are reconfiguring their restaurants to allow for more space between diners. They are putting tape on the floor so that customers can stay six feet apart while they shop. They are making sure that their employees have the protective gear that helps their guests stay safe. In short, these entrepreneurs are using the same ingenuity and creativity that got them into business in the first place, getting ready to re-open as soon as they are able.

        But these safety measures, while critical, will not be enough on their own to bring the economy even to where it was just a few months ago. The most sophisticated physical distancing policies we implement won’t get customers in the door if they don’t feel safe from COVID-19 or if they don’t have money to spend.


        They need funding to protect local farms, farm workers and food processors so that we can maintain the food supply and keep fresh, healthful produce in our communities.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying

      • Suing Russia’s president An ‘ultra-Putinist’ ex-governor has made history with a lawsuit challenging his dismissal. Here’s his story.

        Mikhail Ignatiev has an interesting list of accomplishments. He lost his job as the head of Chuvashia in January this year after two scandals: first, he advocated “wiping out” bloggers and journalists who praise Western countries, and then he humiliated a fireman by forcing him to jump for the keys to a new fire engine. Ignatiev is now saddling up for his next adventure: becoming the first public official in Russia to contest the presidential order that cost him his governorship. Meduza special correspondent Andrey Pertsev takes a closer look at the man who would take Vladimir Putin to court. 

      • Dimming VP Hopes, Klobuchar’s Failure to Prosecute Police Misconduct Highlighted as Outrage Over Killing of George Floyd Intensifies

        “You can’t refuse to prosecute killer cops and act like you don’t have blood on your hands.”

      • Reminder to the Press: Trump’s Deadly Covid-19 Failures Are Still Happening

        It’s almost as if the D.C. media has forgotten what Trump and the federal government urgently need to do—and could be doing—to save people’s lives.

      • Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia

        Returning to La Paz, Bolivia after last November’s coup was like returning to the scene of a crime. Since Bolivian President Evo Morales was removed from power, right-wing interim President Jeanine Áñez has led the country with an iron fist.

      • Electionland 2020: Trump on Vote by Mail, Poll Worker PPE, Naturalizations and More

        In both his public appearances and on Twitter, President Donald Trump has continued to rail against mail voting, and has accused Democrats of trying to rig the election. This set off alarm bells among voting rights advocates and experts who believe the president is setting the stage to delegitimize the election if he loses. Then, this week, the president tweeted again about mail voting, and Twitter labeled his tweets with a message “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” which linked to this fact-check page. After falsely accusing Twitter of interfering in the election and stifling free speech, Trump threatened “Big action to follow!” On Thursday, Trump signed an executive order that aims to limit the power of social media companies.

      • Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Police and Her VP Quest

        Eighteen years before Minneapolis police killed an unarmed black man named George Floyd on Monday, Minneapolis police killed an unarmed black man named Christopher Burns. Today, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar decries the killing of Floyd. Back then, Minneapolis chief prosecutor Amy Klobuchar refused to prosecute city police for killing Burns.

      • Trump isn’t the Pope and This Ain’t the Middle Ages

        President Trump orders governors to open up the churches.  Churches defy governors and seek to open.  Someone needs to remind both the president and religious institutions that the Middle Ages are over and Modernity won.

      • Trump Is Unbeatable in the Race to the Bottom and So Is the GOP

        In the race to the bottom, Donald Trump is unbeatable. Therefore, so now too is the Republican Party; being under his thumb, it is with him, every step of the way.

      • A Few Good Sadists

        Here’s a flashback that may help to explain how we got to where we are: the day was April 30, 2004. Alexander Cockburn and I were sitting by the pool having a gin and tonic at the old Richelieu Hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter. The concierge, an elegant black man from Haiti named Jean-Claud, dropped a sheaf of papers on our table. “I hope I’m not disturbing you, Mr. Cockburn,” he said. “These just came through for you by fax with a note marked ‘Urgent.’”

      • The Class Politics of Coronavirus Responses in the Americas

        Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is rapidly losing public support, while Donald Trump remains entirely capable of triumphing in November despite his relative unpopularity.

      • Elizabeth Warren Leads Demand to Audit OSHA as Covid-19 Sparks ‘Massive Worker Safety Crisis’

        “OSHA’s failure to take stronger actions will result in more workers being made sick and killed by this virus.”

      • There is No Peace: an Incitement to Justice

        Summer 2014: a year since George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing Trayvon Martin. Another summer of violence and justification: US shells incinerating Palestinian children, devastating UN refuges in Gaza, pounding Afghan villages, again. Another trial of another white man who says he was scared, who had to defend himself with a blast of ammunition against an unarmed black teenager – a womanchild this time, 19, in Michigan this time, shot through a locked screen door. Another police killing on the front pages of the New York tabloids: a big man, a black father, put in a choke hold, kneed in the back as he gasped for air, as he told cops he couldn’t breathe; extinguished for passing a cigarette to someone on a street in Staten Island. He may have been selling looseys, police said, and he refused to submit; they had to bring him down. Then they watched as he expired. “The perpetrator’s condition did not seem serious,” one stated.

      • Facebook won’t take any action on Trump’s post about shootings in Minnesota

        But until late Friday, Facebook had made no comment about whether it intended to take action against Trump’s tweet about the protests in Minneapolis, which included the line, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” That led to consternation among some employees, who asked the company to intervene in posts on Workplace, the company’s internal chat tool.

      • Facebook CEO Says Users Should See Trump Posts ‘for Themselves’

        The social media giant faced questions earlier in the day about why it had not acted on messages from Trump, posted to both Twitter Inc.’s and Facebook’s apps, that contained language Twitter flagged for glorifying violence. The rival social platforms have taken different stances on political speech and fact-checks, with Facebook adopting a more hands-off approach that it says supports free speech and an exchange of ideas. Zuckerberg sought to reinforce that idea in his post.

      • Trump’s Social Media Executive Order Is a Confession of His Ignorance

        The president doesn’t understand the Constitution he’s tasked with upholding, and we’re all paying for it.

      • The real purpose of China’s global propaganda

        With its global propaganda going nowhere, what is Beijing’s strategic calculus? Has China become powerful enough to take on the whole world? Does Xi really believe the West is so weakened by the pandemic that it cannot respond to his expansionism, which is not unlike Mao’s in the 1960s? Or is his bellicose stance itself a manifestation of the enormous economic and political troubles that face the country down the road?

        This author would argue that the aim of China’s global propaganda is not to convince the world that the communist regime governs a peace-loving country with a legitimate foreign policy, political value, and an attractive culture.

        Rather, the campaign is designed to show the Chinese people that rising China is now on a par with the U.S. and on its way to restoring its national pride and glory. That is, the supposedly external global propaganda is aimed at an internal audience.

      • China’s national-security bill for Hong Kong is an attempt to terrify

        The new bill would wreck that. True, the central government is making use of a clause in the Basic Law that allows it to legislate for Hong Kong. But that is permitted only in matters relating to diplomacy, defence and “other matters outside the limits” of Hong Kong’s autonomy. Democrats in Hong Kong argue that the proposed bill is within Hong Kong’s scope. Article 23 of the Basic Law says Hong Kong should enact laws “on its own” against treason, secession, sedition and subversion, as well as to prohibit ties between Hong Kong bodies and foreign political organisations (though an attempt to do so in 2003 was abandoned after a huge protest).

        The central government, then, has no legal authority to add a national-security law to the Basic Law’s annexe. Hong Kong’s Bar Association also points to a lack of any assurance that the new bill will comply with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the Basic Law pledges to uphold.

      • Trump’s Social Media Executive Order Shows Just How Low He’ll Go to Win

        He is—it should go without saying—wrong. Indeed, the whole point of the First Amendment was to establish the right of the people and the media to object to claims by presidents and other powerful officials—especially when those claims are lies.

      • What to Know Before Heading to a Protest

        7. Avoid taking pictures of peoples’ faces and avoid letting others take pictures of yours.

        On January 20, 2017, over 200 people were arrested for protesting at the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump. The prosecution of what became known as the J20 defendants highlighted the danger of photography and live-streaming at protests. Federal prosecutors used video and photos obtained from arrested journalists and protesters to build their cases in an unprecedented mass prosecution. Advertisement

        It’s not just the prosecutors you have to worry about either. Some right-wing groups also conduct their own surveillance. This is why it’s important not to take pictures or video of other people at a protest (except if you’re monitoring aggressive police behavior) and to prevent people from taking pictures of you.

      • A hotspot in the Polar Circle Regional unification plans in northern Russia awaken a dormant protest movement

        On May 13, the leaders of two neighboring regions — Arkhangelsk and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO) — signed a unification memorandum. In the latter region, the possible merger has provoked major protests, inciting everyone from school children to local elected officials. Residents have picketed against the decision, organized demonstrations, and gathered every evening in Lenin Square to sign the NAO’s anthem. Meduza examines how this sleepy northern region of Russia has transformed almost overnight into one of the country’s most contested political hotspots. 

      • Is Stacey Abrams Progressive?

        Stacey Abrams is being widely touted as Joe Biden’s best pick for the vice-presidential nomination. She has been a rising star in the Democratic Party ever since her historic and groundbreaking run in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race. But — while having a black woman on the ticket would be welcome — progressives need to understand that Abrams is firmly entrenched in the centrist establishment wing of the party.

      • Last Stand in the Big Woods

        This essay, excerpted from Red State Rebels: Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, is dedicated to Ron Mitchell, one of the fiercest defenders of wild nature that I’ve ever encountered. Ron died earlier this month, but his legacy lives on in the forest, rivers and mountains he fought, often against great odds and at great personal peril, to protect.

      • Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia

        Following Áñez’s seizure of power, Bolivia has endured the worst state violence and political persecution it has seen in decades.

      • Trump’s Reelection Strategies Are Killing a Massive Number of People

        Let us assume, for the sake of discussion, that there will be a presidential election in 159 days as scheduled. This assumption, given the extent of the COVID pandemic combined with comprehensive Republican resistance to the very notion of voting, requires a leap of faith that would challenge even the vast talents of Simone Biles.

      • Trump Signs Executive Order Aimed at Twitter for Fact-Checking His Bogus Claims

        President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday regarding social media sites, in response to a fact-check he received from Twitter earlier this week, with hopes that his doing so will allow the reinterpretation of a law widely cited as crucial for the birth of the internet.

      • Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Trump’s War on Iran?

        As with George W. Bush’s false WMD claims about Iraq in 2003, Trump’s real goal is not nuclear non-proliferation but regime change.

      • With Trump-Aligned Votes as ‘Anvil Around Her Neck,’ Susan Collins Down 9 Points to Likely Dem Challenger

        The four-term Republican senator from Maine who presents herself as a centrist has faced national criticism for her votes during the Trump administration.

      • It’s Time for Bold Responses to a Stark Crisis

        We live in a time of bitter divisions. Today, even the wearing of masks has become a partisan question.

      • Ethics Complaint Filed to Force Trump’s Covid-19 Vaccine Czar—a Former Pharma Exec—to Submit to Ethics Rules

        “Trump has put a pharmaceutical executive in charge of handing out the government contracts for coronavirus vaccine development. How could this possibly go wrong?”

      • House Democrats Demand Trump Administration Stop Rushing Through Deportations of Migrant Children

        Democratic congressional leaders expressed alarm Wednesday at a sudden acceleration in the deportation of migrant children and in a strongly worded letter requested that the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement “cease this practice immediately.”

        The letter signed by five key House leaders overseeing immigration cited a May 18 ProPublica/Texas Tribune story that found the U.S. government has aggressively begun to rush the deportations of unaccompanied children in its care to countries where they have been raped, beaten or had a parent killed, according to attorneys, court filings and congressional staff.

      • This Billionaire Governor’s Been Sued Over Unpaid Bills. A Judge Just Ordered Him to Pay More.

        The billionaire governor of West Virginia, whose business empire has amassed more than $128 million in judgments and settlements against it for unpaid bills, lost another court case this week that adds millions more to that tally.

        On Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice’s Bluestone Resources Inc. was ordered to pay nearly $2.8 million to a financing company after it stopped making payments on a lease for a bulldozer used in coal mining. In court, Bluestone argued it didn’t owe the full original amount. A judge ruled otherwise, ordering Bluestone to pay $2.7 million in damages and $76,000 in legal fees and costs.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • News coverage of comedy video parodying Russian president and Moscow mayor deleted following calls from officials

        Several Russian media outlets simultaneously deleted news coverage of comedian Maxim Galkin’s immensely popular video parodying a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, The Bell reports. Sources from one of the outlets in question told The Bell that the news was taken down following a phone call from officials.

      • Proudhon v. Facebook: A Mutualist Solution to Cyber Tyranny

        I’m pretty sure this place use to be a democracy. Not America. Contrary to what Broadway may have told you, even our saintly Founding Fathers were little more than racist neocons in pantaloons. I’m talking about the fucking internet. The Anarchist’s American Dream. A brave new world wrestled from the savages of the military industrial complex who birthed it and wilded into a stateless candy land of endless possibilities by fuzzy little daydream believers like Steve Wozniak and Richard Stallman. The place that gave us Linux and Anonymous and Napster. That land of a million possibilities where no kink was left without a chatroom and a 12 year old hacker in Ethiopia could take down the American Federal Government just for the lulz. That glorious pirate utopia of temporary autonomous zones foretold by Hakim Bey, where only censorship was taboo and any lunatic with a Commodore could say whatever the fuck they wanted about the latest twat in the White House and the only recourse was to bitch and troll. Even a confirmed Luddite like myself couldn’t help but to look upon this satanic majesty and swell with pride at the seemingly inevitable supremacy of raw chaos.

      • DC Appeals Court Dumps Lawsuit Claiming Multiple Tech Companies Are Engaged In An Anti-Conservative Conspiracy

        Early last year, a federal court dumped a lawsuit filed by alt-right figureheads Laura Loomer and Freedom Watch (Larry Klayman’s organization) alleging multiple online platforms were engaging in a government-enabled conspiracy to silence them. Mixing and matching liberally from precedent that didn’t say what the plaintiffs thought it said, the lawsuit tried to skirt around things like Section 230 immunity by pretending this was about being unconstitutionally blocked from entering public spaces.

      • Two Cheers For Unfiltered Information

        In the early hours of December 31st, 2019 weeks before the coronavirus was recognized as a budding pandemic, Taiwanese Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director Luo Yijun was awake, browsing the PTT Bulletin Board. A relic of 90s-era hacker culture, PTT is an open source internet forum originally created by Taiwanese university students. On the site’s gossip board, hidden behind a warning of adult content, Yijun found a discussion about the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan. However, the screenshots from WeChat posted to PTT described a SARS-like coronavirus, not the flu or pneumonia. The thread identified a wet market as the likely source of the outbreak, indicating that the disease could be passed from one species to another. Alarmed, Luo Yijun warned his colleagues and forwarded his findings to China and the World Health Organization (WHO). That evening, Taiwan began screening travelers from Wuhan, acting on the information posted to PTT.

      • Fighting The Free Speech Digital Divide Requires Interoperability and Privacy Protection

        When people mention the digital divide, often they’re referring to the divide between people who have access to the internet and those who do not. However, we can also visualize it as the divide between those who benefit from free expression on social media and other digital platforms—and those who don’t.

      • Trump’s Final Executive Order On Social Media Deliberately Removed Reference To Importance Of Newspapers To Democracy

        We wrote a detailed breakdown of the President’s silly, nonsensical, legally wrong Executive Order regarding social media yesterday. A few hours later the official version came out, and it was somewhat different than the draft (though, in no ways better). If you want to see the differences between the draft and the final version, here’s a handy dandy redline version put together by Professor Eric Goldman.

      • No, Twitter Fact Checking The President Is Not Evidence Of Anti-Conservative Bias

        I know we’ve gone through this a bunch already, but there remains no evidence to support the claims of “anti-conservative bias” at major social media platforms. Some people (usually self-claiming conservatives, though they rarely seem to represent actual conservative principles) get really angry about this. But, oddly, none ever seem to present any actual evidence.

      • New Zealand Government Seeking To Expand Its Internet Censorship Powers

        New Zealand has been in the censorship business for years, but the government appears to believe it’s still not doing enough censoring. Legislation stemming from the government’s reaction to the live-streamed Christchurch shooting seeks to expand its ability to block content it deems to be objectionable. In most cases, this means content related to terrorism or violent extremism. But the livestreaming of a mass shooting has created an open-ended definition for the government to work with in conjunction with its criminalization of this act.

      • TikTok blames ‘random’ bug after users complain they couldn’t use hashtags related to George Floyd’s death

        TikTok said Friday that an unintended bug caused view counts of hashtags on the platform’s “upload stage” to disappear, including some tags in reference to the Black Lives Matter movement and others associated with the police-involved death of George Floyd.

        A user first pointed out the error on Twitter, accusing TikTok of blocking hashtags such as #blacklivesmatter or other tags related to Floyd and the protests erupting in Minneapolis and cities across the nation.

      • Let’s go through Trump’s terrible [Internet] censorship order, line by line

        So it’s worth going through the order in more detail — partly to understand the actual policy changes it’s proposing, but also to establish what Trump probably can’t do and pin down when he seems to just be making stuff up. We’ve bolded some especially important parts for emphasis.

        Let’s start with the introduction, which is mostly bluster with no particular legal foundation — and actually goes opposite the courts in one key instance: [...]

      • Joe Biden doesn’t like Trump’s Twitter order, but still wants to revoke Section 230

        Earlier this year, Biden told The New York Times that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act should be “revoked, immediately.” In recent days, President Donald Trump has reinvigorated a controversial debate over amending the foundational internet law after Twitter fact-checked one of his tweets for the first time. Over the last year, Trump and other congressional Republicans have grown concerned over the false idea that social media platforms actively moderate against conservative speech online.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The Odyssey of Elias Demetracopoulos

        In twenty-first-century mainstream media, a real journalist is difficult to find. Instead, one finds multiple purveyors of corporate and government propaganda, entertainers who sensationalize the most meaningless tidbits about the lives of public figures, faux investigations of misdoings that focus on the symptoms and not the causes, and outright liars. Elected and non-elected officials use their forums to attack journalists and their employers; their intention being to cast doubt on any and every article published. The resulting confusion has created a situation where scientific facts have become opinions and illogical and even insane conspiracies are considered truths. Most of those who own the media do not seem to have a problem with this scenario. Even those who claim they do rarely bother to use their power and money to change a policy or take down a corrupt and authoritarian leader—most likely because there is little monetary incentive in doing such a thing.

      • Sale of top Russian business newspaper ‘Vedomosti’ complete

        One of Russia’s top business newspapers, “Vedomosti,” has officially been sold to the company “Sapport,” Gleb Prozorov, the CEO of the newspaper’s now former publisher, “Business News Media,” told Meduza. According to Vedomosti, the agreement was signed on May 28 and will be closed in the coming days. 

      • More than 20 protesters arrested during second day of demonstrations in support of jailed journalist Ilya Azar

        On May 29, single-person demonstrations resumed near the police headquarters in Moscow. Protesters demanded the release of jailed Novaya Gazeta journalist and municipal deputy Ilya Azar, as well as the activists arrested during the solidarity protests the day before. 

      • Exclusive images from inside British court expose Assange’s un-democratic treatment, physical deterioration

        Photographs surreptitiously taken inside a British courtroom and provided to The Grayzone show a visibly disoriented Julian Assange confined to a glass cage and unable to communicate with his lawyers.

      • Protests, vandalism reported outside CNN headquarters in Atlanta

        Demonstrators descended on Atlanta to protest the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man who was killed during a police arrest in Minneapolis this week, and appeared to migrate to the CNN building.

      • RSF Calls For Independent Investigation Into Pakistani Journalist’s Killing

        However, the journalist’s father filed a complaint with the police on May 28 naming several different suspects, including a police officer, said to be linked to a local drug trafficker, RSF said in a statement.

        Mandrani, who had been investigating the activities of this drug trafficker, received death threats from the suspects before his murder, the father was quoted as saying.

      • CNN Reporters Arrested For Covering Protests in Minnesota

        As seen in the video, Jimenez clearly states to law enforcement that the crew will comply with any directions. “Put us back where you want us,” Jimenez says. “We are getting out of your way. Just let us know. Wherever you want us, we will go.”

        Jimenez then described the scene before he is told he is being put under arrest and his hands are zip-tied behind his back. He asks why he is being arrested to no apparent response, after which he is led away and Kirkos and Mendez are arrested.

      • In Moscow and St. Petersburg, peaceful protests in solidarity with arrested journalist end in more arrests

        A series of peaceful, single-person demonstrations in support of arrested journalist and municipal deputy Ilya Azar took place in Moscow on May 28. Earlier that day, Azar was sentenced to 15 days administrative arrest. The court maintained that his peaceful, solo picket in support of “Police Ombudsman” administrator Vladimir Vorontsov constituted a repeated violation of the law on public demonstrations.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner suggests funding cuts for abortion clinics

        During her annual performance report, Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner, Anna Kuznetsova, proposed reducing funding for abortion clinics.

      • In Show of Solidarity, Public Transit Workers Refuse to Transport Police Units or Those Arrested at #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd Protests

        “More than ever, we need a new civil rights movement that is joined with the labor movement.”

      • The Machine Stops

        Given the current confinement imperative, one is confronted everywhere with the idolization of detached digital communication, turning necessity into a virtue.

      • After Days of Protest, Police Officer Derek Chauvin Charged With 3rd Degree Murder for Killing George Floyd

        “Don’t think for a minute that Derek Chauvin would have been arrested if people in Minneapolis weren’t standing up and fighting.”

      • It’s Bigger Than Buildings. America Is Burning

        We didn’t start the fire. America was founded by firestarters. The thieves of land who also stole people and raped and killed and brutalized their way into power. This country was built on the backs of Black folk it didn’t perceive as human and even today it tries to pillage our souls.

      • US Border Patrol Denounced as ‘Rogue Agency’ for Using Predator Drone to Spy on Minneapolis Protests

        “This is what happens when leaders sign blank check after blank check to militarize police, CBP, etc while letting violence go unchecked.”

      • Honduran Family Sues US Govt for Separation Lawyers Say Was Deliberately Meant to ‘Torment and Traumatize’

        “These federal agents made a choice, a cruel and heinous choice, to deliberately inflict pain and trauma upon a family seeking refuge.”

      • Arrests continue in Moscow during second day of protests in solidarity with jailed journalist

        Law enforcement have arrested more protesters outside of the police headquarters in Moscow, during the second day of peaceful, single-person demonstrations in solidarity with arrested journalist and municipal deputy Ilya Azar.

      • Bill to Ban Seclusion and Face-Down Restraints in Illinois Schools Gets Sidelined After Pushback From Administrators

        After months of debate about schools’ use of seclusion and face-down restraints on children, Illinois lawmakers did not act last week on a measure that would have banned the controversial practices immediately, instead delaying the decision until the fall at the earliest.

        Although Gov. J.B. Pritzker and state schools Superintendent Carmen Ayala have vowed to stop the practices of putting children alone in locked rooms and holding them down on the floor, the bill faced opposition from school groups that viewed oversight requirements as too burdensome.

      • Why are Our Leaders Still Putting Their Faith in the Rich?

        The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed fundamental inequalities in this country.

      • Law Enforcement Files Discredit Brian Kemp’s Accusation That Democrats Tried to Hack the Georgia Election

        It was a stunning accusation: Two days before the 2018 election for Georgia governor, Republican Brian Kemp used his power as secretary of state to open an investigation into what he called a “failed hacking attempt” of voter registration systems involving the Democratic Party.

        But newly released case files from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation reveal that there was no such hacking attempt.

      • California Sheriff Refuses to Release People From Jail as COVID Outbreak Rages

        California Sheriff Chad Bianco recently made a splash in the conservative media after he told Riverside County officials that his department would not enforce local public health orders meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A viral video of his statement earned Bianco an interview on Fox News on May 8, where he said it was time for businesses to reopen despite a statewide stay-at-home order.

      • Protest, Uprisings, and Race War

        The moralizing has begun.

      • Anger and Unrest Nationwide as Protests Over Killing of George Floyd Spread Across US Cities

        “When people look to these individuals who are frustrated, who are angry, for not just Mr. Floyd but countless others for whom there was no video evidence, as there was in this case, who lost their lives—that is what you are seeing bubble up.”

      • Minneapolis Protesters Call to Defund the Police

        As thousands take to the streets of Minneapolis to protest against the police killing of George Floyd for the third night in a row, we go to Minneapolis to speak with City Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison. Police pointed an automatic rifle at his head in 2015 when he was peacefully protesting the police killing of another African American man, Jamar Clark. We also speak with Kandace Montgomery with the Black Visions Collective, which is calling for the abolition of police.

      • Arundhati Roy on Indian Migrant-Worker Oppression and India’s Fateful COVID Crisis

        In India there is never one story but thousands, even millions, and so the detrimental impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on this country of more than 1.3 billion, especially among the poor, has been profound, causing immense suffering. Nor did it help matters much when Prime Minister Narendra Modi shut India into immediate lockdown without warning to mitigate Indians from contracting COVID-19. Thousands of day-laborers and migrant-laborers were left stranded in large cities without food or money such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Gandhinagar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Jaipur, and Lucknow, among others. It was the largest lockdown in the world because of COVID-19.

      • The Plague of Racist Cop Murders: Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the COVID-19 Pandemic

        Black Georgia jogger, 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, was murdered in cold blood by three white racists on February 23. Arbery’s family attorneys, led by Benjamin Crump, have charged that his murder was premeditated.

      • White Supremacy is the Virus; Police are the Vector

        Tensions are high as Minneapolis police murdered a black man named George Floyd, not by gunshot, but by an agonizingly long kneel on his neck; which was not released for seven minutes, several of which the man was not breathing. Protest is a place to emerge into the collective and become unoriginal, to humble yourself in silence as others more aware with said experience lead the charge. However, writing should be the place for originality. A place where we solve the problems of theory that informs action.

      • Dissenter Weekly: Reality Winner Predicted DOJ Would Pretend They Never Received Request For Release

        Billie Winner-Davis, the mother of NSA whistleblower Reality Winner, admits she did not believe it. Her daughter told her the Justice Department, or Bureau of Prisons, would claim she never filed for compassionate release at Federal Medical Center Carswell.

        Winner also suggested they would “mysteriously lose the form,” and as it turns out, that is essentially the bureaucratic game they are playing with her life as the coronavirus remains a risk in prisons throughout the United States.

      • Pressley, Omar, Bass, and Lee Introduce Resolution to Condemn Police Brutality and Demand Nationwide Reforms

        “For too long, black and brown bodies have been profiled, surveilled, policed, lynched, choked, brutalized, and murdered at the hands of police officers.”

      • George Floyd death: Ex-officer charged with murder in Minneapolis

        aHennepin County Prosecutor Mike Freeman said Mr Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

        He said he “anticipates charges” for the three other officers but would not offer more details.

      • Across the country, thousands plead for justice as chaos, unrest grows

        Ex-police officer Derek Chauvin was fired Tuesday along with the three other officers involved in the incident. Chauvin was taken into custody Friday and faces third-degree murder and manslaughter charges, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

        A request to Chauvin’s lawyer for comment was not immediately returned Friday night.

        Minneapolis police identified the other officers as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng

      • Civil Rights Attorney: Minneapolis Police Have a Long Pattern of Racist Violence

        Parts of Minneapolis erupted into flames Wednesday night as residents again took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed by white police officer Derek Chauvin on Monday. A viral video shows Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for a number of minutes as Floyd repeatedly says “I cannot breathe.” Three other officers stood by as George Floyd suffocated. They have been identified as Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng. All four officers were fired on Tuesday. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has called on prosecutors to file criminal charges against Derek Chauvin. We speak with civil rights attorney Nekima Levy Armstrong, founder of the Racial Justice Network and former president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP. “What needs to happen is that charges need to be brought immediately against the four officers who killed George Floyd,” she says. “There is simply no justification for what they did or why they did it.”

      • House Dems Demand Trump Admin Stop Rushing Deportations of Migrant Children

        Democratic congressional leaders expressed alarm Wednesday at a sudden acceleration in the deportation of migrant children and in a strongly worded letter requested that the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement “cease this practice immediately.”

      • Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Police and Her VP Quest

        When Amy Klobuchar was running for president, corporate media served as her biggest political base.

      • There is No Vacation Anymore

        Covid has made a mockery of scheduling. Its new order of hibernation or death caught the Republic unawares, despite two months of international warnings and as many afternoons of mediocre golf. Shucks, accidents will happen! But I suspect that in the nursing homes, VAs, slum high-rises, and Shatila-like neighborhoods, something was clearly on the wing if only because nothing was different. Prophecies are the voice of the present, clothed in future tense for personal safety and for parody. Thus did John the Revelator talk about the Roman Empire and Domitian (currency number 666) using seven-headed dragons, whores on shining beasts, seas of blood. John also used plague-ravage as metaphor. Death is a new master from a besieged body. Pathogen or bust? The host is the soft, radical center – or the Seven Churches, corrupt with the day.

      • Top 6 Reasons Authorities Are Cracking Down Hard on Black Protesters While Treating White Supremacist Reopeners With Kid Gloves

        The establishment, of systematic racism, in everything from school resegregation to residential segregation to employment discrimination, needs to be addressed through a second generation of civil rights legislation.

      • Why Central Park Karen Deserves What She Got

        She wasn’t overheard telling a friend that she’d never date a black guy. Or even saying that she wouldn’t do so because she doesn’t find them attractive, or whatever.

        These are the types of opinions and comments that make modern people crinkle their noses and distance themselves from the speaker. Like bad cheese or unwashed feet. And it’s no reason to end someone’s career.

        This was different.

        This was a white woman trying to force a black man to comply by using the history of America’s racism like a nightstick.

        In so many words, here’s what she told him.

      • Proudhon v. Facebook: A Mutualist Solution to Cyber Tyranny

        I’m pretty sure this place use to be a democracy. Not America. Contrary to what Broadway may have told you, even our saintly Founding Fathers were little more than racist neocons in pantaloons. I’m talking about the fucking internet. The Anarchist’s American Dream. A brave new world wrestled from the savages of the military industrial complex who birthed it and wilded into a stateless candy land of endless possibilities by fuzzy little daydream believers like Steve Wozniak and Richard Stallman. The place that gave us Linux and Anonymous and Napster. That land of a million possibilities where no kink was left without a chatroom and a 12 year old hacker in Ethiopia could take down the American Federal Government just for the lulz. That glorious pirate utopia of temporary autonomous zones foretold by Hakim Bey, where only censorship was taboo and any lunatic with a Commodore could say whatever the fuck they wanted about the latest twat in the White House and the only recourse was to bitch and troll. Even a confirmed Luddite like myself couldn’t help but to look upon this satanic majesty and swell with pride at the seemingly inevitable supremacy of raw chaos.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Coronavirus and the Telecom Crisis

        The current Corvis-19 pandemic provides a unique vantage point to assess key social institutions of American life. Sadly, none has failed so gravely as the nation’s health care system, especially as underwritten by the private insurance model. The crisis of the U.S. healthcare system raises the deeper, more fundamental, question as to whether health care is a privilege or a right, a private business or a social utility?

      • Why the USMCA Locks in the Internet Platform Liability System in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

        I have written how the provision benefits freedom of expression in Canada, noting that the absence of a Canadian safe harbour rule has meant the same companies that require court orders before the removal of content for claims originating in the U.S. frequently take down lawful content in Canada based on mere unproven allegations due to fears of legal liability. The Trump executive order purports to support free speech, but the Canadian experience suggests that if the safe harbours were dropped entirely they would have the opposite effect of increasing content removal. At most the order could spark another review of the rules, but Trump’s own trade deal, which is set to take effect by the summer, may severely limit future reforms given that it commits the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to the long-standing U.S. approach on Internet platform liability.

      • Last Minute Addition To Louisiana Bill Hamstrings Community Broadband

        We’ve long noted that roughly twenty states have passed laws either outright banning community broadband, or tightly restricting such efforts. The vast majority of the time these bills are literally written by telecom lobbyists and lawyers for companies like AT&T and Comcast. While the bills are usually presented by lawmakers as an earnest concern about taxpayer boondoggles, the real motivation usually is the prevention of any disruption of their cozy geographical monopolies/duopolies.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Denuvo’s Anti-Cheat Software Now Getting Ripped From Games At Record Speed Too

        Remember Denuvo? Back in the far simpler times of 2016-2018, which somehow seem light years better than 2020 despite being veritable dumpster fires in and of themselves, we wrote a series of posts about Denuvo’s DRM and how it went from nigh-uncrackable to totally crackable upon games being released with it. Did we take a bit too much pleasure in this precipitous fall? Sure, though our general anti-DRM stance sort of mandated dunking on a company that once touted itself as invincible. Either way, it started to get comical watching publishers release a game with Denuvo, have the game cracked in a matter of days, if not hours, and then release a patch to remove Denuvo entirely from the game.

    • Monopolies

      • Innovators reassured by ventilator IP indemnity

        The UK government’s promise to indemnify IP infringement liabilities of new ventilator makers appeases medical device innovators

      • Beijing Treaty in Africa series #1: Algeria (Implementing the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances in Africa)

        The Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances (“Beijing Treaty”) entered into force on 28 April 2020 (3 months after the 30th Contracting Party had submitted its instrument of ratification or accession to WIPO). It now behoves on Contracting Parties to implement the treaty or domesticate the treaty into their respective national laws.

        The Beijing Treaty deals with the intellectual property rights of performers in their audiovisual performances. It grants performers (actors, singers, dancers, etc.) moral rights and various economic rights (the right of reproduction; the right of distribution; the right of rental; the right of making available) for their performances fixed in audiovisual fixations. The most contested provision of the Treaty is Article 12, which allows Contracting Parties to create a legal presumption of transfer of performers’ rights to the producer once a performer has consented to the fixation of his/her audiovisual performance. Bearing in mind that the predominant practice in the audiovisual industry is for performers to transfer any rights regarding their performances to the producer, it is quite likely that the decision of Contracting Parties in terms of Article 12 will determine whether or not the rights afforded by the Beijing Treaty will improve the lot of performers in those countries.

      • Why is it not good to postpone the protection of intellectual property for the time “after the virus”?

        The Coronavirus epidemic caused a downtime in the work of courts and offices. Official and court time limits have been officially suspended in most cases on the basis of the regulations of anti-crisis shield. Does it mean that we should put off all matters connected with the protection of industrial and intellectual property and return to them after the epidemic ends?

        Helena Gajek explains: No, certainly not. We cannot think in this way. Indeed, the Act on the anti-crisis shield, among many regulations laid down in order to facilitate the operation of firms in the times of economic downtime caused by the coronavirus epidemic, contains the provisions pertaining to industrial property matters. Some time limits provided for in the Act on Industrial Property Law, the Act on filing European patent applications and the effects of the European patent in the Republic of Poland are suspended or interrupted.


        H.G.: The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) also extended the time limits until May 1 (in practice May 4) due to the epidemic, but it strongly recommends undertaking regular actions in this time. It needs to be remembered that the electronic means of communication have been the basic way of contacting the EUIPO for many years. As one of the top users of the EUIPO (JWP is at the forefront of the ranking of representatives most often filing EU trademark applications online), we can confirm that the Office in Alicante possesses perfectly prepared tools for cooperation with users via the Internet. The European Patent Office also reacted quickly to the global situation. The EPO has extended the time limits (once again) for performing actions that fall due during the epidemic (i.e. after March 15) until May 4. It also introduced special remedies for users from areas particularly affected by the epidemic. Some procedures requiring the presence of representatives are conducted by videoconference (hearings). It cannot be excluded that the deadlines will be extended again if the situation so requires. It should be emphasized that both the EUIPO and EPO work, even in these difficult times, “normally”.

        Why do we need to proceed? Wouldn’t it be better to wait, since the time limits are suspended by statute?

        HG: All the aforementioned Offices, including the Polish Patent Office, encourage entrepreneurs to undertake planned actions on a regular basis, also in order to avoid excessive accumulation of matters after the end of the pandemic. We may only imagine the adverse effects of this type of “piling up”. Many firms and persons who wait until “the return to normality” may face a situation of a significant slowdown of the Office’s work, for obvious reasons. Settling various matters related to the protection of intellectual property, important for entrepreneurs, may be difficult then, and for certain decisions, undoubtedly, they will have to wait longer. This can be avoided by not giving up the ongoing matters and by initiating new ones if such an initiative (new solution, new idea for a product, sign, design) is born during this particular period. We should remember that many enterprises operate as they have done so far, only adapting their activities to the applicable sanitary requirements, and therefore the Offices also work as usual, although in a slightly changed manner.

      • Survey: In-house to shift COVID litigation work to law firms

        Law firms globally can expect in-house counsel to send them a wave of COVID-created litigation work in the next three months despite many external lawyers being asked to reduce their rates, according to a comprehensive survey by Euromoney’s Legal Media Group (LMG) and Euromoney Thought Leadership Consulting.

        In May, LMG – whose titles include Managing IP, ITR and IFLR – surveyed 435 senior legal and company officials about the impact of COVID-19 on their legal work. General counsel, heads of legal and other figures including chief executives, all from a range of countries and industries and companies of various sizes, took part.

        In asking what type of work counsel will send to external law firms in the next three months, we found that nearly a third (31%) of respondents will be keeping advisers busy with litigation/dispute resolution. This represented a significant jump from the 15% figure when we asked the same question but applied it to the situation today.

      • Patents

        • New means of opposing French patents

          Since April 1, 2020, it is possible to file an opposition against a French patent, before the French Patent Office (INPI). This new procedure is part, with the examination of inventive step[1] and the reform of the utility certificate[2], of the specific intellectual property provisions of the PACTE law (“Plan d’Action pour la Croissance et la Transformation des Entreprises”, Action Plan for Growth and Business Transformation), promulgated by Parliament on May 22, 2019.

          The opposition procedure enables a third party to challenge the validity of a patent, avoiding costly and lengthy legal action, and for which an interest in bringing an action is requested.

          The Intellectual Property Code, as amended by the PACTE law, unveils the outline of the procedure. Guidelines for opposition, providing more details on the procedure, are also being prepared.


          INPI finally rules on the opposition in view of all the written and oral observations. It is important to note that the opposition is deemed rejected if INPI has not acted within four months from the date of the end of the investigation phase. This provision makes, on the one hand, the opponent bear the consequences of a breach of INPI. On the other hand, it ensures a fast treatment of the opposition.

          This new procedure lasts at most fifteen months between the start of the investigation and the decision of INPI.

        • European Patent Office gives green light to prohibit patents on plants and animals

          The Board concluded that plants and animals obtained by ‘essentially biological processes’ are not patentable, with the exception of patent applications filed before July 2017. This verdict is in line with the interpretation of European patent law as decided by the 38 member states of the EPO in 2017. No Patents on Seeds! welcomes the verdict but is also demanding further political decisions to close still existing loopholes. Access to biological diversity needed for further breeding must not be controlled, hampered or blocked by any patents.

          “For more than ten years we have been fighting against patents such as those on broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, melons and cereals. Therefore, we welcome this verdict in the name of the European public, gardeners, farmers and consumers. Knowledge of methods of breeding plants and animals continues to evolve as a common good from the activities of farmers and breeders over centuries, it is not invented by industry. In future, conventionally bred plants and animals have to be kept available for further breeding,” Martha Mertens says for Friends of the Earth Germany.

          “We hope the new verdict will help to put an end to a decade of complete legal absurdity and chaotic decision-making at the EPO. However, there is still a huge risk that big corporations, such as Bayer (previously Monsanto) will try to abuse patent law to take control of our daily food,” says Katherine Dolan for ARCHE NOAH. “The problem is not yet solved. Further political decisions still have to be taken to close the existing loopholes.”

        • Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Office to resume holding oral proceedings

          The European Patent Office (EPO) Boards of Appeal have issued a new communication today advising that, to a limited extent, the Boards of Appeal will resume holding oral proceedings from Monday 18th May 2020. Parties will be contacted accordingly by communication and asked to confirm that they expect to be able to attend in person and that they do not anticipate being affected by travel restrictions.

          With the agreement of all parties concerned, oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal may now also be held by video-conference.

        • Are Patent and Trademark Deadlines Extended Due To COVID-19? (UPDATED)

          As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, patent offices worldwide are taking steps to minimize negative impacts that patent and trademark filers may suffer.

          Many offices have asked their employees to work from home, potentially causing delays. Most or all offices, including the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and European Patent Office (EPO), are conducting oral proceedings via telephone or videoconferencing.


          Overall, all offices are taking measures to help reduce any delays caused by COVID-19.

          Links to certain offices’ COVID-19 webpages are included below. We encourage you to contact us with any questions you might have.

        • Book Review: Overview of the Appeal Proceedings according to the EPC, Third Edition

          The new Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA), which came into force on 1 January 2020, will be a cornerstone in helping the EPO’s Boards of Appeal meet their objectives of settling 90% of cases within 30 months of receipt and reducing the number of pending cases to fewer than 7,000 by 2023.

          The changes in the RPBA 2020 are discussed in detail in the book “Overview of the Appeal Proceedings according to the EPC” by Hugo Meinders, with translations into French and German by Gérard Weiss and Philipp Lanz, all (former) members of the Boards of Appeal.

        • Issues in recognition of Artificial Intelligent entity as Inventor

          Recently, naming an AI entity as an inventor for a patent application has become a critical point of discussion across several industrial quarters…

        • COVID-19 Patent & Trademark Office Updates

          European Patent Office (EPO) has announced that all oral proceedings in opposition scheduled until September 14, 2020, which have not already been confirmed to take place by videoconference, are postponed until further notice. More info.
          French IP Office (INPI) has postponed all deadlines until either July 23, 2020 or August 23, 2020, depending on the case.
          Indian IP Office has issued a notice confirming that the due date for “all deadlines falling during the lockdown period” (March 15 until May 17 2020) are extended until June 1, 2020.
          Australian IP Office launched a free support and assistance services for small to medium Australian businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, on May 25, 2020.
          Other general closures & deadline extensions have been added to the Google document.

        • Looking at EU priority in ARIPO patent applications

          Vítor Sérgio Moreira of Inventa International examines the growing trend in EU priority claims in ARIPO patent applications and looks at which sectors those applications are most likely to originate from.

          In this article, we aim to identify the profile of patent applications filed before the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) in which priority is claimed via a document originating from a European Patent Office Member State (EU priority). In doing so, we intend to acquire more information about the main technological fields and applicants from Europe that seek patent protection with the member states of ARIPO. ARIPO was created by the Lusaka Agreement (1976). It is an intergovernmental organization for cooperation in matters related to patents, trademarks, and other IP rights.

          In respect to patents, ARIPO is empowered to grant patents and administer such rights on behalf of Contracting States of the Harare Protocol (1984). ARIPO applications require the applicant to designate those member states where protection is sought. The ARIPO system does not replace national systems. The results of our research indicate a growing trend in the number of patent applications filed before ARIPO (AP patents) claiming an EU priority. The main technological fields observed are related to the pharmaceutical industry and the agrochemical industry. The applicants are major European corporations with a global presence in their respective industrial sectors.

        • Software Patents

          • Rise in extended reality technology patents suggests market revival

            Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are on the cusp of revolutionising our lives – from the way that we shop to the way that we consult doctors and interact with our communities.

            Extended reality (XR) is a fairly recent addition to the tech dictionary and the world of AR, VR and mixed reality (MR). It refers to all real and virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables. As such, ‘XR’ is an umbrella term that includes and unites AR, VR and MR.


            Figure 1 also shows dedicated XR rivals Oserhout Design Group (ODG) and Magic Leap among the leading patent owners. ODG seemed to have been bolstered by a $58 million investment by 21st Century Fox in 2016, but its market presence has dissipated in subsequent years. Nevertheless, the 20-year old company has already seen its early work in foundational AR patents pay off. In 2014 Microsoft paid around $150 million to acquire a trove of ODG patents after deciding not to buy the company outright. Moreover, ODG claims that a number of AR patents in its collection have been infringed by existing products from companies such as Magic Leap, Google and Facebook, specifically pointing to diagrams of systems like Magic Leap 1 and Oculus Quest, which it claims conflict with its prior art. With a patent sale, ODG’s leadership is looking to recoup enough to pay back the company’s debts.

            Meanwhile, Magic Leap glasses have also plummeted in sales, and the company’s position is of grim concern, especially in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Yet over the years, Magic Leap has managed to hire some top engineers who have developed some great technology that will likely be included in future AR headsets that the company has patented. Therefore, even if Magic Leap’s products expire and the organisation collapses, it will still have intellectual property that other contenders will likely have to license in order to bring their own products to market.

          • Qwikcash LLC patent challenged as likely invalid

            On May 29, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 8,714,445, owned and asserted by Qwikcash LLC, an NPE. The ’445 patent is directed to a cash transfer system. It is currently being asserted against Blackhawk Network, Inc.

          • B# On Demand patent challenged as likely invalid

            On May 29, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 9,553,880, owned and asserted by B# On Demand, LLC, an NPE. The ’880 patent discloses a system that transmits a catalog of electronic files to a requesting user, sets up customer accounts, processes payments from customers to establish file access authorizations, and enables transmission of user-selected files to customers. It is currently being asserted against Spotify.

          • NavBlazer Patent Challenged as Likely Invalid

            On May 29, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 9,885,782, owned by NavBlazer LLC, an NPE. The ’782 patent is generally directed to vehicle navigation systems that provide information about a route (e.g., identifying traffic congestion, weather conditions, etc.). The case against TomTom was terminated earlier this month, but the patent is currently being asserted against Apple, Samsung, LG, Motorola Mobility, and Hyundai for their devices that provide vehicle navigation.

      • Copyrights

        • District Court Mostly Refuses To Terminate The Litigation Testing The Copyright Termination Provision

          The decision this post discusses, Waite v. Universal Music Group, came out at the end of March, but, as one of the leading cases litigating the termination provision of the copyright statute, it’s still worth the attention. Maybe even especially now, as the Copyright Office overtly goes to bat for rightsholders. Because the termination provision speaks to who the rightsholders actually are. Without it, it’s likely to not actually be the artists behind the creation of the works.

        • US Court Hands Down Preliminary Injunction Against Pirate IPTV Provider

          A Florida district court judge has handed down a highly-restrictive preliminary injunction against a ‘pirate’ IPTV provider trading under various names including CBC and X-View. The case was originally filed under seal by TV broadcaster DISH Networks, whose representative tracked down the alleged operator in Belize.

        • US Copyright Office’s DMCA Tweaks Trigger ‘Internet Disconnection’ Concerns

          Last week the US Copyright Office released its long-awaited review on the DMCA’s safe harbor section. While far-reaching proposals such as pirate site blocking and upload filters were not recommended, some proposals have triggered criticism from digital rights groups, who fear that the interests of users are being ignored.

        • Book review: The Making Available Right

          This Kat is delighted to review The Making Available Right: Realizing the Potential of Copyright’s Dissemination Function in the Digital Age by Cheryl Foong (Lecturer, Curtin Law School, Australia).

          This book suggests that copyright has an underserved function – dissemination. And that this dissemination function can be served through a principled interpretation of the making available right. It sets out to demonstrate the utility of the making available right as a tool for advancing copyright’s dissemination function (disseminating the works to the public).

        • CC Search Celebrates Its First Birthday!

          Here’s a look at the top 25 queries this past year,,,


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

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

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Cockpit 220

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

      • My exciting journey into Kubernetes’ history

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

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

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

      • BSD Now 352: Introducing Randomness

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

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

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

      • Bread and Butter Django – Building SaaS #58

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

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

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

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Wayland in 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Applications

      • Ardour 6.0 Released With Massive Changes

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

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

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

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

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

      • 20 productivity tools for the Linux terminal

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

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

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Injustice 2 Now Playable With Proton GE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Stadia Pro subscribers get 5 new games on June 1

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

      • Civilization VI – New Frontier Pass adds Linux support

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

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

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

      • The 20 Best Marvel Games For Android Smartphone in 2020

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

      • BozemanGLUG: June 2020 Meeting (online)

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

      • How to get GOG Galaxy working on Linux

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

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Send your talks for Akademy 2020 *now*

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

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

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

        • Status report: Community Bonding

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

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

        • GSoC’20 with KDE

          About the Project

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

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

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

        • An update to kdesrc-build-profiles utility

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

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

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

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

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

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

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

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

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

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

          You must be really proud to have achieved this result?

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

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

    • Distributions

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

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

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

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

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

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

      • Red Hat Tosses Its Weight Behind Quarkus

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

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

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

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

      • Red Hat Runtimes adds Kubernetes-native Quarkus Java stack

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

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

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

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

      • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.3.19RC1 and 7.4.7RC1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Sven Geuer
        Håvard Flaget Aasen

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

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


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

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

  • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 20.05

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Nextcloud Talk 9 Makes Sharing And Collaborative Editing Documents Easier

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

    • Web Browsers

      • Beaker Browser

        There is a new application available for Sparkers: Beaker Browser

      • Chromium

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

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

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

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

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

        • Should you buy a Chromebook?

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

      • Mozilla

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

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

        • The influence of hardware on Firefox build times

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


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

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

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

        • Writing inside organizations

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

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

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

        • Mozilla’s journey to environmental sustainability

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

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

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

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

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

    • CMS

      • Strapi introduces new open-source headless content management system

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

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

      • Strapi Community Edition Now Generally Available

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

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

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

    • Funding

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

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

    • FSF

      • FSF gives freedom-respecting videoconferencing to all associate members

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

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

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

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

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

      • FSF Now Offering Video Conferencing Service To Its Members

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

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

      • FSF gives freedom-respecting videoconferencing to all associate members

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

      • GNU Projects

        • GNUnet Hacker Meeting 2020

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

    • Programming/Development

      • Float/String Conversion in Picolibc

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

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

        That’s a lot of bits.

      • Fortran newsletter: May 2020

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


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

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

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

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

      • Looking for C-to-anything transpilers

        I’m looking for languages that have three properties:

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

      • Peeking Inside Executables And Libraries To Make Debugging Easier

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

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

      • Python

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

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

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

  • Standards/Consortia

    • It’s Time to Get Back Into RSS

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

  • Leftovers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Science

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

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

      • Where is the best place to view Manhattanhenge?

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

    • Education

      • Coverage of School Reopening Needs to Include School Workers

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

      • US higher education system is ‘capstone of inequality’

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

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

    • Hardware

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

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

    • Health/Nutrition

      • State Terrorism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        They made no mention of the defense contractors.

      • Restaurants in the Pandemic

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

      • Silence=Death: Larry Kramer, RIP

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

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

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

      • Russia’s coronavirus patient population approaches 380,000

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

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

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

      • The Virtues of Not Eating Animals
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • The Day AppGet Died.

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

        • Apache Pulsar joins Kafka in Splunk Data Stream Processor

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

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

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

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

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

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

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

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

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

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

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

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            • New fuzzing tool picks up insecure USB driver code

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

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

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

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

            • NSA: Russian agents have been hacking major email program

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

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

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            • Arizona has sued Google for illegally tracking phone location data

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

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

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

            • macOS 10.15: slow by design

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

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

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

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Future of Forever War, American-Style

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

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

        “Thank you Cowboys,” Trump tweeted.

      • Policing and the Sanctity of Life

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

      • Media Smeared Ahmaud Arbery After His Lynching

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

      • Trump’s War on Arms Control and Disarmament

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

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

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

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • CNN Is Picking Ratings Over Ethics

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

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Is It Time to Boycott the United States?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Censorship/Free Speech

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • To Students and Teachers Targeted by the Israel Lobby

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

      • Several journalists arrested for protesting outside Moscow police headquarters

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

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

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

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

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

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • How Big Tech Monopolies Distort Our Public Discourse

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

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

      • WIPO launches own digital evidence service WIPO PROOF

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

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

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Copyrights

        • YTS Bypasses Security Warnings with Simple URL Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

  • GNU/Linux

    • EPaper Tablet Gets Desktop Linux Install

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

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

    • A pandemic-era LWN update

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

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


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

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • What Makes a System76 Computer?

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

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

    • Server

      • An Introduction to the K8s-Infrastructure Working Group

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

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

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 859

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

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

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

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

      • FLOSS Weekly 580: Sysdig

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

      • 2020-05-27 | Linux Headlines

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

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.6.15

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.6.15 kernel.

        All users of the 5.6 kernel series must upgrade.

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


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

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

      • Linus Torvalds Reveals Everything About His New Linux Computer System

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

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

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

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

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

      • Kees Cook: security things in Linux v5.5

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

      • Cook: security things in Linux v5.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Bao: a lightweight static partitioning hypervisor

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

      • Evaluating vendor changes to the scheduler

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

      • Scheduler benchmarking with MMTests

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

      • The many faces of “latency nice”

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

      • Utilization inversion and proxy execution

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

      • Testing scheduler thermal properties for avionics

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

      • The weighted TEO cpuidle governor

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

      • Graphics Stack

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

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

        • Mesa 20.1.0 drivers released

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

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

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

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

    • Benchmarks

      • GraalVM 20.1, OpenJ9 0.20, OpenJDK Java Benchmarks

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

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

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

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

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

    • Applications

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

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

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

      • Why snap and flatpak are so important to Linux

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Oh yeah, and it’s updated regularly!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • 9 Best Free Linux Webcam Tools (Updated 2020)

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

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

      • Happy birthday Audacity: 20 years

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

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

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

      • 10 Best Audacity Alternatives for Audio Recording and Editing

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

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

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

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

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

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Try the updated free alpha of ski resort builder Snowtopia

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

      • 4 Linux distributions for gaming

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

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

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

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

      • Steam Cloud Gaming confirmed with Steam Cloud Play

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

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

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

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

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

      • Drox Operative 2 gets an action-packed trailer

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

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

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

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

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


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

      • Onsen Master is a hot spring customer management game

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

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

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

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

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

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

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

        • GNOME Devs Make Major Improvements to the Apps Grid

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

          So what’s cooking?

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

    • Distributions

      • 10 Top Most Popular Linux Distributions of 2020

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

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

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

      • Reviews

        • POP!_OS Delivers Outstanding GNOME Experience


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

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

      • New Releases

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

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

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

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

      • BSD

        • Announce: OpenSSH 8.3 released

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • EuroBSDCon 2020 is cancelled.

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

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

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

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • KDE Applications, Wireshark, IceWM update in Tumbleweed

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

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

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

    • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

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

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


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

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

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

      • Using container technology to make a more secure pipeline

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

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

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

      • The advantages of microservices for financial industries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Debian Family

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

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

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


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

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

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Reduce Reloading Download Size on Ubuntu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Design and Web team summary – 27 May 2020

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


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

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

  • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Web Browsers

      • Beaker Browser 1.0 Beta


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

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

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

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

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Presenter mode in LibreOffice Impress without an external display

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

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

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

    • FSF

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

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

      • Licensing/Legal

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

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

    • Programming/Development

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

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

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

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

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

      • Qt for Automation changed to Qt M2M Protocols

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

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

      • Using Visual Studio Code for Qt Applications – Part Two

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

        Build qmake Qt projects

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

      • Where Did Software Go Wrong?

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

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

      • good idea bad implementation crosstalk

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

      • Perl/Raku

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

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

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

      • Python

        • The PEPs of Python 3.9

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

        • How to Write an Installable Django App

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Simplify data visualization in Python with Plotly

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

      • Rust

  • Leftovers

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

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

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

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

    • Education

      • Life in Hell: Online Teaching

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

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • Josh Bressers: Broken vulnerability severities

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

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance