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Links 19/12/2019: Alpine 3.11.0 and Rust 1.40.0

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Microsoft Caught Putting Ads In Windows 10 Flagship Apps

        Microsoft has once again begun including advertisements in both their mail and calendar apps that are built into Windows 10. According to official sources, the ads are here to stay and cannot be removed. What's gotten users frustrated about this is that these apps are bundled into Windows 10 – a product that they paid money for. Is this the beginning of mass advertisement in premium software?

        This is apparently not the first time Microsoft has attempted integrated ads. The same ads were spotted last year at which time the company claimed they were just an experiment. It would appear that the experiment has ended and ads are now live across all devices. Even though there is currently no way to disable or remove the advertising, Microsoft has suggested that users submit formal feedback on the decision if they want the ads to disappear.

      • Kubuntu Focus Linux Laptop Announced for 2020 with 6GB Nvidia GTX 2060, 32GB RAM

        The Kubuntu team announced today in collaboration with Tuxedo Computers and MindShareManagement Inc., the upcoming availability of the first-ever officially recognized Kubuntu laptop, called Kubuntu Focus.

        Targeted at gamers, developers, and power users, Kubuntu Focus comes with very powerful components and it's ideal for those who seek performance and compatibility in a portable computer that comes pre-installed with the latest Kubuntu release, an official Ubuntu flavor featuring the KDE Plasma Desktop environment.

        The Linux-powered laptop will also come pre-loaded with some of the most popular Open Source software for video and image editing, web development, as well as deep learning, support for Steam games, and many other supported software packages for the KDE Plasma desktop environment.

      • Chrome OS 79 Adds Media Controls in Lock Screen, Mouse Acceleration Control

        Just a few days after the release of its Chrome 79 web browser, Google promoted the Chrome OS 79 Linux-based operating system for Chromebooks to the stable channel, rolling out now to all supported devices.

        Based on the recently released Google Chrome 79 web browser, which landed for Linux, Android, macOS, and Windows platforms last week, Chrome OS 79 is here with a bunch of improvements and new features, starting with media controls in the lock screen to make it more convenient for users to control their media.

        The new media controls in lock screen feature allows users to control their media right from the lock screen when they're listening to audio on their Chromebook. Users will be able to play, pause, and skip audio tracks Spotify, YouTube Music, and many other apps without unlocking their Chromebook.

    • Server

      • Holding The Line In The Enterprise

        Over the past several decades, the various forms of Hewlett Packard have found and leverage profit pools – it is really amazing just how much of the company’s success came from LaserJet ink and how priting’s profits allowed it to make the investments to broaden its systems business from a small line of proprietary machines to a big player in scientific workstations (the original Apollo systems, thanks to an acquisition) to an innovator in RISC/Unix systems for the datacenter. The cash flows from its revenue streams gave it the chance to eat Compaq/Digital/Tandem as well as EDS to create an alternative to the IBM behemoth in the datacenter in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But in more recent years, Hewlett Packard has been paring itself down to the bare enterprise essentials and walked away from unprofitable hyperscaler, cloud builder, and service provider system sales and sold off most of its services and software businesses to boot.

      • IBM

        • Telco service providers and partners want greater agility: Get there with a modernized OSS/BSS

          Communication service providers (CSPs) regularly invest in their network and business operations in order to deliver the best customer experience they can. To advance their operations support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS), they and their solution vendors are using cloud-native applications built on microservices architectures to accelerate innovations and enable dynamic, elastic scaling. This foundation also allows them to migrate to DevOps methodologies and automated CI/CD pipelines. All of these can help deliver shorter time to market and increased agility, key elements for improved customer experience.

          ACG Research expects automation, as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics, to permeate all the BSS and OSS. Consider some of the benefits that can be achieved by adding a common task automation platform: faster, dependable delivery of services and new tools to help with security and compliance. Orchestrating this with business process automation and decision management could allow for complex, highly flexible service provisioning.

        • What does an open source program office do?

          As more organizations realize the advantages of open source, many are looking for ways to integrate open source technologies and strategies into their own business practices. But they've learned that simply throwing developers into an open source project and hoping for the best isn't enough to really reap those advantages. Increasingly, organizations are also recognizing the need for building centralized open source programs offices (OSPOs) that nurture, guide, and align open source best practices with business strategy.

          In fact, that work is so important that even a company like Red Hat, which lives and breathes the open source way, established an OSPO.

          So what does an OSPO do?

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • BSD Now 329

        In this episode, we interview Michael W. Lucas about his latest book projects, including the upcoming SNMP Mastery book.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Announcing NVIDIA PhysX SDK 5.0

          PhysX 5.0 is just around the corner, and we wanted to provide a look at all the new features! In this version, available soon in 2020, we?ll be introducing support for a unified constrained particle simulation framework.

        • NVIDIA's Open-Source PhysX SDK Nearing 5.0 Release

          NVIDIA's PhysX SDK physics implementation, which NVIDIA has been providing open-source code drops on, will soon see a 5.0 release.

          NVIDIA's PhysX 5.0 is bringing a unified constrained particle simulation framework, built-in Finite Element Model (FEM) support, improvements around liquid simulations, arbitrary mesh enhancements, and various other changes.

    • Benchmarks

      • Mesa 20.0's RADV + ACO Vulkan Driver Now Consistently Beating AMD's AMDVLK Linux Driver

        The Mesa RADV Vulkan driver paired with the Valve-funded ACO compiler back-end is yielding an incredibly power competitor to AMD's own AMDVLK Vulkan driver that is derived from the source-code of their shared Windows Vulkan driver code-base. Here are some year-end benchmarks looking at the RADV vs. RADV ACO vs. AMDVLK Vulkan driver Linux gaming performance on Ubuntu with several generations of Radeon graphics hardware.

        Mesa 20.0-devel was from the Oibaf PPA this week for providing the very latest RADV Vulkan driver support as well as ACO, which has been mainlined since Mesa 19.3 but requires the RADV_PERFTEST=aco environment variable for enabling. The AMDVLK driver used was their latest public release, AMDVLK 2019.Q4.4 that came out last week. Throughout all testing, a Linux 5.5 kernel snapshot was in use.

    • Applications

      • Tmux vs. Screen tool comparison

        A Terminal multiplexer is a program that can be used to multiplex login sessions inside the Terminal. This allows users to have multiple sessions inside a single Terminal window. One of the important features of the Terminal multiplexer is that users can attach and detach these sessions.

        In this article, we will learn about the most popular Terminal multiplexers that are Tmux and Screen. We will first learn what these tools are, along with some of their features and working. In the end, we will compare both tools.

        We are using Debian 10 OS for explaining the procedures discussed in this article.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The Steam Winter Sale is now live with a special Holiday Market

        Another year is almost up, it's getting chilly and Valve's annual Steam Winter Sale has now gone live so go warm yourself up with a toasty new game.

        There's thousands on sale as always. You likely know what you're after already, I'm sure most readers have wishlists full of games ready to be picked up.

      • Dota Underlords just went through another small evolution and the Underlord Jull enters

        Valve have tweaked how you play Dota Underlords once again with some significant changes to the flow of the game.

        Now, you no longer choose an Underlord before you start a game. Instead, you pick them during a match. In Standard and Duos, Underlords are chosen at Round 10, while in Knockout this happens at Round 2. You don't pick specific talents for them now either, instead they have two fighting styles to pick between.

      • Basketball Classics looks like a great 5 on 5 retro sports game now available

        Developed Namo Gamo recently released their retro-inspired sports game Basketball Classics, what they say "bridges the gap between retro and today’s simulation games".

        After being in Early Access for over a year, it released yesterday with a few improvements to the AI and some Steam Achievements added in.

      • Google pulls in Typhoon Studios to work on games for Stadia

        Today, Google announced that Typhoon Studios have joined their new Stadia Games and Entertainment studio.

        Typhoon Studios are currently working on Journey to the Savage Planet, which they've confirmed is still being developed and published across multiple platforms. It wasn't mentioned directly, but it likely means that Journey to the Savage Planet will release on Stadia too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kdenlive 19.12 Released with Powerful New Audio Mixer, Master Effects

          Ho, ho, hurrah — my favourite Linux video editor has a new version out and boy does it deliver a some pretty substantial improvements!

          “Highlights include huge performance improvements resulting in a faster and smoother timeline, a new audio mixer, master effects (audio/video), and better audio waveform display to name a few,” says Farid Abdelnour, a developer on the app.


          The new mixer appears to offer far greater control over audio and should enable those who know-wot-dey-are-doin to craft some really immersive sound mixes — so keep an eye, and perhaps an ear, out when watching your favourite ‘nix YouTubers!

          New ‘Master Effects‘ let editors quickly apply audio or video effects to ALL tracks, i.e. the entire composition. This is a really important feature that will make it much, much easier to create highly stylised edits with less effort.

          A major memory issue with the timeline has been solved, and rendering thread settings have been tweaked to provide faster rendering times.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GPaste Review – The Best Clipboard Manager for Gnome

          Before we go into what a clipboard manager is, I suppose we should mention what a clipboard is. When you copy, paste or cut, you are using the clipboard. You would be surprised how many people do not know the cut, copy, and paste program is called a clipboard. When you copy (highlight text and hit Ctrl+C or right click and select copy) you save that highlighted text to the clipboard. The clipboard usually only provides a single “slot” to save data and is overwritten with each new copy.

          A clipboard manager is a program that adds functionality to the operating systems clipboard. The most basic function is to keep a running history of things saved to the clipboard for later use. As we will find out, GPaste builds on this with many more features.

        • Best Gnome distro of 2019

          Ladies and gentlemen and rare penguins. It's time for another best-of article. Today, I'm going to cover the Gnome desktop. Just a handful of sunsets ago, we did the Plasma finals, with Kubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine as the lucky winner. Now, we shall look across the playground at the other major camp.

          Gnome hasn't been the same since the integer increment from 2 to 3. What used to be super-slim, super-fact and super-ergonomic desktop became a minimalistic platform that just doesn't work for me, mostly because it removes essential components from the classic desktop formula that people need and expect. That doesn't mean Gnome can't be enjoyed, with some rigorous alterations and tweaking. In fact, there are some pretty decent systems wearing this guise out there. Let's see which one deserves to be the champion for this year. Follow me.

          Zorin OS 12.4 Core

          I tested this distro around March. Beforehand, I did some Fedora 29 tweaking and a Mint Cinnamon review, but while these could be bundled under the Gnome banner, I decided to exclude them; the former since I had really tested it back in 2019, and we have Fedora 30/31 for the current year, and the latter because Cinnamon is its own desktop.

          I have to say, Zorin delivered a pretty impressive show - near-flawless results in the important categories, like phone connectivity, network connectivity and such, good customization and accessibility, a colorful application set, and lots of small gestures toward the common users. Definitely sailing smooth on the uniqueness front. But performance and battery life were typically bad, and font clarity was quite tricky. That said, this was a pretty slick distro, and a fresh dose of hope for my jaded, battered soul.


          Sometimes, it's not easy wrapping up articles, especially when they carry a less-than-ideal resolution. I am biased when it comes to certain things, but then I have to externalize my message and think of what the common user would want or need. When it comes to Gnome, I spend more time with CentOS than other distro, and maybe one day it could become a daily driver in my home. Maybe. A big maybe. But as a desktop, it takes effort that Zorin doesn't, and Zorin is a smart, brave effort to transform a difficult baseline into a friendly, unique system, which is why it's the winner in this article.

          We're not done, though. There's still Xfce to do, and after that, we'll look across the entire Linux spectrum, and see what gives. My needs are quite simple and yet quite stringent, and it often takes a lot of work and testing before I allow myself to introduce new software into my production setup. So far, no big cliffhangers here, you know where I stand when it comes to operating systems. But I am always looking out for the next thing, hoping there might be something out there, something that will break the cycle of apathy and compromise. To be continued.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Ubuntu-based Peppermint 10 Respin Linux distribution available for download

          Back in May of 2019, Peppermint 10 was released. The Ubuntu-based operating system is great for those switching from Windows, but also, it makes a fine operating system for Linux experts too. It may not be as popular as, say, Linux Mint, but it is still a solid option.

          Today, fans of Peppermint -- and the entire Linux community, really -- have reason to celebrate. No, version 11 of the operating system is not released. However, Peppermint 10 Respin is now available for download!

        • Peppermint 10 ‘Respin’ Released with Updated Theme and New Utilities

          An updated version of Peppermint 10 is now available to download.

          The latest refresh of the lightweight Linux distro comes based on top of the Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS point release and, somewhat notably, provides both 32-bit and 64-bit install images.


          Flash these bootable images to a USB stick and you can “try” the OS out on your hardware without installing anything. If you like what you see, you can use the same image to install the complete system.

        • Alpine 3.11.0 released

          We are pleased to announce the release of Alpine Linux 3.11.0, the first in the v3.11 stable series.


          Linux 5.4 kernel (linux-lts) Support for Raspberry Pi 4 (aarch64 and armv7) Initial GNOME and KDE support Support for Vulkan MinGW-w64 and DXVK support Rust is available on all architectures except s390x

        • Alpine Linux 3.11 Released with Linux Kernel 5.4 and Raspberry Pi 4 Support

          Alpine Linux creator Natanael Copa announced today the availability of Alpine Linux 3.11.0, a major update that brings numerous new features, improvements, updated components, and lots of bug and security fixes.

          Shipping with the latest Linux 5.4 kernel series, the Alpine Linux 3.11.0 release is here to add support for Raspberry Pi Foundation's Raspberry Pi 4 Model B single-board computer, which can be installed using either the AArch64 (ARM 64-bit) and ARMv7 images.

          Alpine Linux 3.11.0 also adds initial support for the GNOME and KDE Plasma Desktop environments, which users can install from the main software repositories, support for the next-generation Vulkan graphics API, along with support for the DXVK Vulkan-based translation layer for Direct3D 9, 10, and 11.

        • Alpine Linux 3.11 Introduces KDE/GNOME Desktop Support, Raspberry Pi 4 Compatibility

          Alpine Linux is a distribution that prides itself on being "small, simple and secure" with being a lightweight distribution built off Musl libc and Busybox and popular for use within containers. But with today's Alpine Linux 3.11 release they are seemingly pursuing desktop Linux support.

          With Alpine Linux 3.11 is support for running the KDE and GNOME desktops on the distribution. Beyond that, Alpine Linux 3.11 has support for Vulkan and even support for the DXVK translation layer that is used for Linux gaming.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Slackware Family

        • Chromium 79 for Slackware – trouble for 32bit?

          In the comments section of a previous post I already hinted at the problems I have in getting a Chromium package compiled on 32bit Slackware 14.2. The issue started with the first stable release of the Chromium 79 sources and in particular with the ‘gn’ tool which is used by Google to generate the ninja build files for Chromium. The ‘gn’ code was updated with C++17 features and that is too modern for the gcc-g++ 5.5.0 compiler package in Slackware 14.2.

      • Fedora Family

        • Linux Day 2019 – Italy

          Linux Day is an Italian event promoted by the Italian Linux Society and locally organized by many LUGs and associations in a lot of cities all around the country. It could be considered the main Italian FLOSS event organized by non commercial entities, and community-driven by many passionate volunteers. The fact that it is held in many cities instead of organizing a big event in a single place, it is a way to facilitate the approach of people to local Linux/FLOSS communities, then also many students, people with limited time and resources and also just merely curious citizens have the possibility to get in touch with the FLOSS universe and know people that animate such world.

          Sadly, in the last years we are looking at a slow decrease of cities where Linux Day events are organized. Last year there were 77 events (92 in 2015 and 135 in the 2010 edition, just to give an idea), while this year there were 58 events. Although, it’s worth noting that some cities and communities joined forces in one single place. But unfortunately such decrease is perfectly in line with the current status of many FLOSS communities: it is so hard to find new passionate contributors. There are some proposals to change the style of the Linux Day, and transform it in many regional events in order to join forces and ideas where needed. We will see how it will go.

          This year there were Fedora representatives in four cities: Bari, Ivrea and Pisa. Linux Day in Catania was postponed due to a weather alert that was disastrous in some places of Sicily. However it took place on November 23. In Ivrea there was a talk hosted by dariolesca. In Bari there was a talk (and much more!) hosted by corsaro. In Pisa there was a booth managed by alciregi, and lewis41.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • OpenStack and Kubernetes architecture on rails with Canonical and Dell EMC

          Canonical and Dell EMC have announced the release of a new OpenStack reference architecture – providing customers with a tested, certified framework for deploying Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack solution on top of Dell EMC’s best-of-breed PowerEdge servers. This follows the availability of a Kubernetes reference architecture solution made available in 2018.

          Enterprises looking to modernise their IT infrastructure are all too often held back by the time it takes to configure and test new technology in their environments. Overcoming this challenge demands ready-made solutions that can minimise the cost and complexity of implementation.

          EMC hardware is the preferred platform for OpenStack deployments, powering 33% of users’ clouds. While on the software side, Canonical is a leader in delivering cloud infrastructure, and more than 50% of production OpenStack deployments run on Ubuntu. The new reference architecture will help enterprises enjoy the best of both worlds, offering proven guidance on how to rapidly deploy the leading OpenStack solution on the leading hardware.

          With the benefits of predictable costs and open standards, OpenStack has established itself as a highly popular alternative to traditional virtualisation technologies – and this newly published reference architecture makes it easier than ever to migrate from VMWare to Canonical OpenStack on Dell EMC servers. Similarly, OpenStack is increasingly replacing inflexible, proprietary network function virtualisation (NFVi) solutions, and Ubuntu-based OpenStack already powers the majority of Tier 1 telcos.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla VR Blog: Browsing from the Edge

            We are currently seeing two changes in computing: improvements in network bandwidth and latency brought on by the deployment of 5G networks, and a large number of low-power mobile devices and headsets. This provides an opportunity for rich web experiences, driven by off-device computing and rendering, delivered over a network to a lightweight user agent.

            As we’ve improved our Firefox Reality browser for VR headsets and the content available on the web kept getting better, we have learned that the biggest things limiting more usage are the battery life and compute capabilities of head-worn devices. These are designed to be as lightweight, cool, and comfortable as possible - which is directly at odds with hours of heavy content consumption. Whether it’s for VR headsets or AR headsets, offloading the computation to a separate high-end machine that renders and encodes the content suitable for viewing on a mobile device or headset can enable potentially massive scenes to be rendered and streamed even to low-end devices.

          • The Rust Programming Language Blog: Announcing Rust 1.40.0

            The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.40.0. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

          • This Week in Rust 317

            Always wanted to contribute to open-source projects but didn't know where to start? Every week we highlight some tasks from the Rust community for you to pick and get started!

            Some of these tasks may also have mentors available, visit the task page for more information.

          • Presenting the MDN Web Developer Needs Assessment ( Web DNA) Report

            We are very happy to announce the launch of the first edition of a global, annual study of designer and developer needs on the web: The MDN Web Developer Needs Assessment. With your participation, this report is intended to shape the future of the web platform.

            The MDN Web DNA Report 2019.

            On single-vendor platforms, a single entity is responsible for researching developer needs. A single organization gets to decide how to address needs and prioritize for the future. On the web, it’s not that straightforward. Multiple organizations must participate in feature decisions, from browser vendors to standards bodies and the industry overall. As a result, change can be slow to come. Therefore, pain points may take a long time to address.

            In discussions with people involved in the standardization and implementation of web platform features, they told us: “We need to hear more from developers.”

            And that is how the MDN Web Developer Needs Assessment came to be. We aspire to represent the voices of developers and designers working on the web. We’ve analyzed the data you provided, and identified 28 discrete needs. Then, we sorted them into 14 different themes. Four of the top 5 needs relate to browser compatibility, our #1 theme. Documentation, Debugging, Frameworks, Security and Privacy round out the top 10.

          • More Questions About .org

            A couple of weeks ago, I posted a set of questions about the Internet Society’s plan to sell the non-profit Public Interest Registry (PIR) to Ethos capital here on the Mozilla blog.

            As the EFF recently explained, the stakes of who runs PIR are high. PIR manages all of the dot org domain names in the world. It is the steward responsible for ensuring millions of public interest orgs have domain names with reliable uptime and freedom from censorship.

            The importance of good dot org stewardship spurred not only Mozilla but also groups like EFF, Packet Clearing House and ICANN itself to raise serious questions about the sale.

            As I noted in our original post, a private entity managing the dot org registry isn’t an inherently bad thing — but the bar for it being a good thing is pretty high. Strong rights protections, price controls and accountability mechanisms would need to be in place for a privately run PIR to be trusted by the dot org community. Aimed at the Internet Society, Ethos and ICANN, our questions focused on these topics, as well as the bidding process around the sale.

            On Monday, Ethos CEO Erik Brooks published a blog post replying to Mozilla’s questions. The public response is appreciated — an open conversation means more oversight and more public engagement.

            However, there are still critical questions about accountability and the bidding process that have yet to be answered before we can say whether this sale is good or bad for public interest organizations. These questions include:

            1. For the Internet Society: what criteria, in addition to price, were used to review the bids for the purchase of PIR? Were the ICANN criteria originally applied to dot org bidders in 2002 considered? We realize that ISOC may not be able to disclose the specific bidders, but it’s well within reason to disclose the criteria that guided those bidders.

          • Mike Hoye: Over The Line

            We knew from the beginning that this was going to be a hard process; that it had to be not just transparent but open, not just legitimate but seen to be legitimate, that we had to meet our hard operational requirements while staying true to our values in the process. Today, after almost a year of research, consulting, gathering requirements, testing candidate stacks and distilling everything we’ve learned in the process down to the essentials, I think we’ve accomplished that.

            I am delighted and honored to say that we have one candidate that unambiguously meets our institutional and operational needs: we have decided to replace IRC with Riot/Matrix, hosted by Modular.IM.

            While all of the candidates proved to be excellent team collaboration and communication tools, Riot/Matrix has distinguished itself as an excellent open community collaboration tool, with robust support for accessibility and community safety that offers more agency and autonomy to the participants, teams and communities that make up Mozilla.

            That Matrix gives individual community members effective tools for both reporting violations of Mozilla’s Community Participation Guidelines (“CPG”) and securing their own safety weighed heavily in our decision-making. While all of the candidates offered robust, mature APIs that would meet the needs of our developer, infrastructure and developer productivity teams, Riot/Matrix was the only candidate that included CPG reporting and enforcement tooling as a standard part of their offering, offering individual users the opportunity to raise their own shields on their own terms as well as supporting the general health and safety of the community.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Enthusiast students building LibreOffice – Report from Bootcamp in Ankara

          Developing in C++ is not easiest thing you can do in ICT. But if you have some C++ knowledge and skills, it brings you great possibilities. What to think of building LibreOffice and working somewhere in the million lines of code? In Ankara, at the Hacettepe University’s Beytepe Campus, 40 students joining the LibreOffice Developer Bootcamp, just arrived at that point.

      • Programming/Development

        • GStreamer Rust bindings 0.15.0 release

          A new version of the GStreamer Rust bindings, 0.15.0, was released.

          As usual this release follows the latest gtk-rs release, and a new version of the GStreamer plugins written in Rust was also released.

          This new version features a lot of newly bound API for creating subclasses of various GStreamer types: GstPreset, GstTagSetter, GstClock, GstSystemClock, GstAudioSink, GstAudioSrc, GstDevice, GstDeviceProvider, GstAudioDecoder and GstAudioEncoder.

        • Cloud computing training startup acquires Linux Academy
        • A Cloud Guru and Linux Academy F.A.Q.

          I know this was a big surprise for everybody — our customers, and the staff of both companies! As part of the announcement we provided a high-level view of the vision for bringing the companies together, and naturally, that leads to a bunch of questions. Today, I want to give some more clarity & answer many of the customer questions we’ve seen out there.

          Let me start by reiterating the vision. Ryan & I started A Cloud Guru because we believed there was a better way of helping people learn technology & access to new opportunities. We’ve always cared about building training that is engaging, hands-on and focused on helping people put their learnings into practice. Training for technology shouldn’t be boring. It should be as exciting & engaging as the technology itself… you’ll achieve your goals if you are enjoying the learning experience. The best way to do this is to build, get hands-on & have fun (even laugh!)

          We’ve always deeply admired Linux Academy’s commitment to hands-on learning. The LA team took it to the next level with their hands-on labs’ capabilities & integrated training environments. We LOVE this and love the deep & comprehensive content that Linux Academy has produced.

        • Looking into the next 20 years of enterprise Java

          Over the past few posts, we’ve taken a look at some of the innovations, milestones, and proud moments of the past 20 years of enterprise Java. Now it’s time to look forward and think about where enterprise Java is going in the next few decades.

          Even the most optimistic Java practitioners probably wouldn’t have predicted that enterprise Java would be as healthy and ubiquitous as it is today. In the past 20 years, other platforms have grabbed at the brass ring and wound up eating dirt instead. Will Java continue to hold its ground, flourish, or decline?

        • Python

          • django-environ and django-debug-toolbar - Building SaaS #39

            In this episode, we set up a couple of tools that will be at the base of development. The first tool was django-environ to control Django settings from environment variables. The second tool was the django-debug-toolbar to help with debugging pages in future work.

            We started the stream with an upgrade to Django 3.0.1 because of a security release that was announced today. For a new project, I don’t recommend upgrading packages all the time, but security releases are my exception to that rule.

          • PyCharm 2019.3.1

            Have you made some plans to build a cool side project over the holidays? We polished PyCharm further to make sure you can focus on getting it done! Tweet us @pycharm to tell us about your project!

          • Web scraping using Python

            Web scraping is an automated way to extract and process information from internet websites in a very large amount. Data on the internet websites is not structured, which can be collected and structured through web scraping. Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo have bots that scrape data from internet websites and index them on their search pages. Data can also be extracted using APIs, which is probably one of the best ways to extract data from the web. Famous websites like Facebook, Google, Amazon provide users with well structured APIs to interact with data, but you won’t see these APIs everywhere. For example, if you want to get regular updates on your favorite products for discount offers or you want to automate the process of downloading episodes of your favorite season one by one, and the website doesn’t have any API for it then the only choice you’re left with is web scraping.Web scraping may be illegal on some websites, depending on whether a website allows it or not. Websites use “robots.txt” file to explicitly define URLs that are not allowed to be scrapped. You can check whether if website allows it or not by appending “robots.txt” with the website’s domain name. For example,

            In this article, we’ll use Python for scraping because its very easy to setup and use. It has many built-in and third party librariaries that can be used for scraping and organizing data. We’ll use two Python libraries “urllib” to fetch the webpage and “BeautifulSoup” to parse the webpage to apply programming operations.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Able2Extract Professional 15: A Great PDF Tool for Linux

          There you have it, readers! Just a peek behind the features and good look at the major improvements that are headlining this release.

        • Vivaldi 2.10 Released with Better Site Compatibility, More Customization Options

          Vivaldi Technologies released today the Vivaldi 2.10 web browser for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows desktop platforms, a release that introduces a major change to offer out-of-the-box compatibility with websites.

          The major change in the Vivaldi 2.10 release is about the web browser changing its UA (User Agent) string, which would identify it as a supported Chromium web browser on numerous websites where Vivaldi was not supported before, such as Google Docs or Netflix, because it was blocked by the competition.

          As such, after updating to Vivaldi 2.10, users will be able to smoothly browse all those websites without any incompatibility issues. For more technical details about why Vivaldi is changing its user agent, we recommend checking out the video attached below and a more in-depth blog by Vivaldi's QA Lead, Ruarí Ødegaard.


          Other than that, Vivaldi 2.10 continue to improve the overall experience for users by adding more tweaks in keyboard handling, improvements in the Address Bar layout, improvements in extension toggling, as well as improvements in Quick Commands. You can download Vivaldi 2.10 for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows systems right now through our free software portal.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • flexiWAN, Telefónica Join Hands For Modular Open Source Networking

              Israel-based open source SD-WAN vendor flexiWAN said it has teamed up with Telefónica to create value added SD-WAN based services through the flexiWAN open source and modular SD-WAN solution.

              As part of the alliance, flexiWAN and Telefonica are working towards service differentiation, feature modularity with the ability to easily integrate 3rd party applications and tiered service cost structure.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • TUF Receives CNCF’s Graduate Distinction

                The Update Framework (TUF) has become the first specification and first security-focused project to graduate from the Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

                TUF is the ninth project to graduate, following Kubernetes, Prometheus, Envoy, CoreDNS, containerd, Fluentd, Jaeger, and Vitess. For projects to move from the maturity level of incubation to graduation, they must demonstrate thriving adoption, an open governance process, and a strong commitment to community, sustainability, and inclusivity.

        • Security

          • A profile of Cliff "Cuckoo's Egg" Stoll, a pioneering "hacker hunter"

            Cliff Stoll (previously) is a computing legend: his 1989 book The Cuckoo's Egg tells the story of how he was drafted to help run Lawrence Berkeley Lab's computers (he was a physicist who knew a lot about Unix systems), and then discovered a $0.75 billing discrepancy that set him on the trail of East German hackers working for the Soviet Union, using his servers as a staging point to infiltrate US military networks.


            Stoll's work in the Cuckoo's Egg affair presaged many of the common tools used by security pros today, like the ubiquitous "intrusion detection system," as well as "honeypots." And Stoll's work also inspired one of the first cybersecurity research centers, at Lawrence Livermore National Labs. Security researchers still treat the book as a touchstone and find new lessons in it.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (git, libgit2, and shadow), Debian (debian-edu-config and python-django), Fedora (python-django), Mageia (apache-commons-beanutils, fence-agents, flightcrew, freerdp, htmldoc, libssh, pacemaker, rsyslog, samba, and sssd), Oracle (freetype and kernel), Scientific Linux (freetype and kernel), SUSE (firefox, spectre-meltdown-checker, thunderbird, xen, and zziplib), and Ubuntu (python-django).

          • Osquery vs. OSSEC: Which Is Best for Linux Security in 2020?

            OSSEC is an open-source, host-based intrusion detection system that works on both Linux and Windows operating systems.

            Typically, your security teams will deploy OSSEC whenever they need something running on the server to alert them about potential intrusions. You can use it to monitor log files and send automated alerts if it detects a rootkit or a suspicious file change.

            The OSSEC configuration uses a client-server architecture, so OSSEC can be run with or without an agent. On the latter, the server will connect with each machine, analyze its status, and report the findings.

            Since its inception in 2008, OSSEC has established itself as a reliable tool among security professionals. Today, OSSEC is still in use in many big industries, including finance, banking, and also tech companies. In all cases, these are companies with a meaningful Linux footprint; you would very rarely see an all-Microsoft shop using OSSEC.

          • Zigbee/Surveillance

            • Tech heavyweights join Zigbee in launching open source smart home consortium

              Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance have formed a “Connected Home over IP” group to develop an open source smart home connectivity standard. Meanwhile Silicon Labs plans to relaunch its Z-Wave spec as a “ratified, multi-source wireless standard” open to all silicon and stack vendors for development.

              Three of the leading smart home device vendors have joined up with the Zigbee Alliance to launch a royalty-free, IP-based home automation connectivity standard. The Project Connected Home over IP working group will develop open source reference implementations for the standard posted on GitHub, followed by a device certification program.

            • Amazon, Apple, Google and Zigbee join forces for an open smart home standard

              The biggest names in the connected home category are reaching across the aisle to create an open-source standard. Marquee names Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance are leading the charge here.

            • Apple, Amazon, and Google team up with Zigbee to create an open smart home standard in a bid to get rid of proprietary standards
            • Apple, Google, And Amazon Join Forces To Create CHIP

              Apple, Google, Amazon, and the Zigbee Alliance have all teamed up to work on an open-source network standard. The new working group has already gone live under the name of “Project Connected Home over IP” or CHIP.

              According to the new website, the project is aimed at simplifying development for manufacturers and increase compatibility for consumers. By building upon Internet Protocol (IP), the project aims to enable communication across smart home devices, mobile apps, and cloud services and to define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Terrorists Blow Up Gas Pipeline In Bolan

          Unknown terrorists have blown up the Gas Pipe Line (GPL) leading to Quetta with explosive material .According to Gas Department gas supply to different parts of Quetta has been suspended.

          Teams have departed to repair GPL. Levies forces have cordoned off the area and started. Search operation.According to Levies unknown terrorists have blown up GPL in Dahadar near Bolan. The pipe line caught fire after explosion resulting suspension of gas supply to different parts of Quetta.

        • A Coal Baron Funded Climate Denial as His Company Spiraled Into Bankruptcy

          As his coal mining company hurtled into bankruptcy, Robert E. Murray, the former chief executive, paid himself $14 million, handed his successor a $4 million bonus and earmarked nearly $1 million for casting doubt on man-made climate change, new court filings show.

          The company, Murray Energy, filed for bankruptcy protection in October, reporting $2.7 billion in debts and more than $8 billion in obligations, in large part to pension and health care plans for workers. But those debts appear to have done little to scale back the spending habits of Mr. Murray, a prominent supporter of President Trump who helped engineer dozens of climate change and environmental rollbacks over the past three years.

          The 79-year-old coal executive has been a vocal denier of the established science that human activities like the burning of coal are causing climate change and once warned that his dying industry must receive subsidies from the federal government “to make sure grandma doesn’t die on the operating table.”

    • Finance

      • Samsung Electronics board chairman jailed on union-busting charge

        Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) board Chairman Lee Sang-hoon was sentenced to 1-1/2 years jail on Tuesday for sabotaging legitimate union activities, a South Korean court said.

        Lee and about 25 other defendants were charged with sabotaging union activities by subcontracted workers at Samsung Electronics’ repair unit, Samsung Electronics Service Co Ltd.

        When union activities took place at Samsung Electronics Service in 2013, Samsung Group’s now-defunct elite strategy office developed and implemented strategies to hinder the union’s operation, Seoul Central District Court ruled.

        Samsung executives and employees were, to different degrees, involved in finding out sensitive information about union members to convince them to leave the union, inducing the closure of subcontracting firms with active unions and delaying negotiations between labor and management.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Treaty bans extradition of Julian Assange to the US, lawyers to argue

        The Australian appeared via videolink in Westminster Magistrates Court in London on Thursday for a case management hearing.

        Assange sniffled as he sat unshaven and wearing glasses, a white shirt and a mauve sweater. At the court, his lawyer Edward Fitzgerald outlined some of the evidence Assange's team would put forward at the full extradition hearing due to start on February 24, saying they could call up to 21 witnesses to testify.

        "We say that there is in the treaty a ban on being extradited for a political offence and these offences as framed and in substance are political offences," he told the court.

        Other arguments would feature medical evidence, public denunciations by leading US political figures, and details from the case of Chelsea Manning, an ex-intelligence analyst who was convicted by a US Army court-martial in 2013 of espionage and other offences for leaking secret cables to WikiLeaks.

        There would also be information from an investigation led by a Spanish judge into "revelations about bugging of conversations with his lawyers" during Assange's long stay in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

    • Monopolies

      • Brussels Bar Association issues rules on legal privilege during saisie contrefaçon

        The Brussels Bar Association (Dutch speaking section, hereafter BBA) recently issues the third guideline since it was created in 1994. In this Guideline the BBA instructs its members how they should safeguard the attorney-client privilege in the event of a saisie contrefaçon at the client. Since the Brussels courts have exclusive competence for patent litigation in Belgium and since most Belgian patent litigators are a member of the BBA, the Guideline essentially covers any patent-related saisie contrefaçon in Belgium.

        The Guideline was issued because shortly before a court appointed expert leading a saisie contrefaçon had among others seized the strategic memorandum drafted by specialised intellectual property lawyers retained by the party that was subject to the saisie. Notwithstanding explicit protest by that party as well as by its lawyers, the expert studied and even used the legally privileged content of the document. The lawyers informed the Dean of the BBA of the violation of their legal privilege, as required by their professional ethics rules. The Dean consequently instructed the lawyers of the seizing party to order the expert to stop using and return any legally privileged information. Notwithstanding repeated demands from the lawyers of both sides, the expert refused to comply with these. He stated that he could only be instructed by the judge that had appointed him. This left the lawyers of the party that was subject to the saisie no other choice but to initiate court proceedings against the expert. In parallel the Guideline was adopted by the BBA.

      • KOL280 | Fallible Animals Ep. 12: Property Rights, Argumentation Ethics, and Praxeology

        “Joining me today is patent attorney and libertarian theorist Stephan Kinsella. Mr. Kinsella is the author of the book, Against Intellectual Property, and is the founder and director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom. He is also the founder and editor of Libertarians Papers, and he’s a member of the Editorial Board of Reason Papers.

      • Patents

        • Hague Court of Appeal stays enforcement of patent injunction

          As part of the appeal, VG Colours requested the CoA to stay enforcement of the decision pending the appeal. The CoA granted VG Colours' request for three reasons [par. 4.10]: (i) the district court had failed to consider some of VG Colours' arguments; (ii) the enforcement caused very significant damage to VG Colours; and (iii) there was a considerable risk that HE Licences would not be able to provide recourse for this damage if the district court's decision was overturned on appeal.

          The district court's failure to take into account some of VG Colours' arguments. In first instance, Hanson/HE Licences had partially abandoned the patent, limiting its claim scope. VG Colours was allowed to respond to the limitation and it did, but the district court refused to hear some of its arguments because they did not relate to the limited claims per se and so should have been advanced at the beginning of the proceedings.

          According to the CoA, this was unjustified. VG Colours advanced the arguments it felt were strongest against the original claims; it could not be expected to advance every imaginable argument in anticipation of a potential change in claim scope. What is more, the district court had not taken into account VG Colours' non-infringement defence because it was supposedly advanced too late. But the CoA found that VG Colours' first written submission clearly stated the defence so that the district court should have dealt with it.


          All in all, this Kat applauds the CoA for the pragmatic approach it takes in its decision. There is certainly room for reasonable disagreement on the outcome: in the preliminary relief proceedings, VG Colours had put forward exactly the same arguments for a stay, but there the court denied them. Indeed, the absence of non-infringing alternatives and great damage to VG Colours' business may just as well be read as a confirmation of the patent's value. That's a call that only the court can make and it is probably impossible to convey all the underlying factual nuances in the decision.

          The important thing, then, is to signal a willingness to consider the real-world consequences of injunctions and the circumstances of their grant. Parties and courts in future cases can build on such signals and so further develop the European acquis on the complex issue of patent injunctions. This decision represents an important step towards that goal.

        • Broad Files Reply Brief to Berkeley's Opposition to Substantive Motion No. 1

          In early November, Senior Party the Broad Institute (along with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) filed their response to Junior Party the University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, "CVC") Opposition to the Broad's Substantive Motion No. 1 in Interference No. 105,166.

          Pursuant to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's rules, the Broad's Reply Brief follows formulaically with Senior Party's point-by-point rebuttal of CVC's grounds for opposition. CVC's first asserted opposition argument was that "judgment estoppel" (quotation marks in opposition brief) does not exist in any form that would prelude this interference. The Broad characterizes this argument as "remarkable," and that it "not only displays a lack of understanding regarding the development of the estoppel rule in interferences, but it also misstates common law estoppel principles." Segueing to the question of "motion estoppel" under Rule 41.127(a), the Broad traces the provisions of this Rule to former Rule 1.658(c), which provided (according to the Broad) for "broad application of estoppel for any type of interference judgment and further listed specific motions that needed to be raised lest motion estoppel apply, including failure to move to add a new claim" (which the Broad argues is the case here). These considerations did not change with revision of the interference rules, according to the Reply Brief, and thus the Board remains empowered under the rules to grant its motion that CVC should be estopped in this interference by the Board's judgment in the prior interference (No. 105,048).

        • Section 285 Fee Award: Whole Case Must be “Exceptional;” Exceptional Portion is Insufficient

          IV sued Trend Micro back in 2010 for infringing its U.S. Patent Nos. 5,987,610, 6,073,142, 6,460,050, and 7,506,155. After substantial back and forth, we eventually learned that the patents are invalid as directed toward abstract ideas. See Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp., 838 F.3d 1307 (Fed. Cir. 2016). On motion, the Judge Stark then awarded attorney fees to Trend Micro based upon the changed testimony of IV’s expert witness at trial in the parallel Symantec case.

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • Book Review:The Parody Exception in Copyright Law

          Overall, the book argues for a more holistic approach in the consideration of the parody exception, specifically determining the legality of the use with reference to freedom of expression.

          This book is the go-to book for Parody. It would be of interest to anyone curious about the copyright defence for parody, and a vital source for lawyers, practitioners, academics, and policy makers who are involved in the interpretation, application, or research of parody. It will also be of use to copyright and other stakeholders, including users who might benefit from the parody exception.

        • CJEU rules that the provision of ebooks is an act of communication to the public (so there is NO digital exhaustion under the InfoSoc Directive)

          Does EU copyright law allow the establishment of second-hand markets for subject matter (other than software) in digital format?

          This is the question that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) substantially answered this morning when it handed down its much-awaited judgment [not yet available on the Curia website] in Tom Kabinet, C-263/18.

          The answer of the Court is that there is NO such thing as 'digital exhaustion' of the right of distribution under Article 4 of the InfoSoc Directive. More specifically, the provision of ebooks falls within the scope of the right of communication to the public, in relation to which there is no possibility of exhaustion (see Article 3(3)).


          First, Recital 28 in the preamble to the InfoSoc Directive appears to link the right within Article 4 of the InfoSoc Directive to the ‘right to control distribution of the work incorporated in a tangible article’ (emphasis added).

          Second, Recital 29 in the preamble to the same directive clarifies that ‘[t]he question of exhaustion does not arise in the case of services and on-line services in particular’. In relation to this recital, in its follow-up to the 1995 Green Paper, the European Commission noted how ‘a large consensus exists that no exhaustion of rights occurs in respect of works and other subject matter exploited on-line, as this qualifies as a service.’

          Third, in relation to the right of communication/making available to the public, Article 3(3) of the InfoSoc Directive rules out that this right be subject to exhaustion.

          Fourth, it should be recalled once again that, by adopting the InfoSoc Directive, EU legislature transposed into the EU legal order the WIPO Internet Treaties. The agreed statements to Article 6 of the WIPO Copyright Treaty provide that the expressions ‘copies’ and ‘original and copies’ in the context of the right of distribution exclusively refer to fixed copies that may be put into circulation as tangible objects.

          Finally, since its early case law, the CJEU has been careful in drawing a distinction between the right of distribution, which would be subject to exhaustion, and other rights for which no exhaustion would occur. For instance, in Coditel, the Court did not find that requiring payment of a fee for each public performance of a film would be contrary to EU law. A similar distinction between the consequences of the first sale of a copyright work or a copy thereof for the exhaustion of the right of distribution and other economic rights was also made in Warner Brothers and Metronome Video and Tournier.

Recent Techrights' Posts

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Covering Abuses and Corruption
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Patriotism is OK, But We Need Facts and Reason, Not Blind Obedience to Authority
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