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Links 22/4/2020: Valve's Proton at 6,500 Games, NixOS 20.03 Released, Python 2 Subset and Ubuntu 20.04 Out Shortly

  • GNU/Linux

    • What's vexing Linux-loving Gophers? A few things: Go devs want generics, easier debugging

      The survey throws up some notable points. A typical Gopher develops on Linux (66 per cent) and/or Mac (53 per cent) rather than Windows (20 per cent) – a strong showing for Linux compared to most developer surveys. The top application types worked on by Go coders are API or RPC (Remote Procedure Call) services (71 per cent), CLI (Command Line) programs (62 per cent), libraries and frameworks (48 per cent), and web services returning HTML (47 per cent). They are working on web applications (66 per cent), databases (45 per cent), network programming (42 per cent) and systems programming (37 per cent) – all areas where Linux is strong. Still, the preference for Mac over Windows is an indicator of Gopher culture.

    • BigBlueButton review

      However, the software must be installed on an Ubuntu Linux server, and its installation and ongoing maintenance requires a strong working knowledge of this operating system. Therefore, many schools instead use third-party BigBlueButton managed web hosting companies that install, host, and maintain their BigBlueButton installation for them.

    • New Mainframe Models

      In these days of lockdown and spending all day at home, it’s always good to have news of a new baby in the family. And that’s what we got last week. IBM has shared with its extended mainframe family (and the rest of the world) the news about its two new mainframe products, the z15 Model T02 and LinuxONE III Model LT2.

      The z15 platform was originally launched last September, with the z15 Model T01 and LinuxONE III LT1. Their outstanding feature was the ability for data to be ‘encrypted everywhere’, both in transit and at rest and without impacting system performance. This uses the, so called, Data Privacy Passports. Other standout features were increased physical compute capacity, high availability options, and support for container-based development and applications (using the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform).


      Perhaps the biggest talking point with these models is IBM Secure Execution for Linux, a hardware-based security technology that creates isolated Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) that restrict access to business critical or sensitive data, but still allow administrators and developers to perform their jobs. Secure Execution is a way to mitigate insider threats to enterprise data. Basically, Secure Execution provides a KVM-based virtual machine that is fully isolated and protected from the hypervisor with encryption keys that only the IBM Z hardware and firmware have access to.

    • IBM == Insecure Business Machines: No-auth remote root exec exploit in Data Risk Manager drops after Big Blue snubs bug report

      IBM has acknowledged that it mishandled a bug report that identified four vulnerabilities in its enterprise security software, and plans to issue an advisory.

      IBM Data Risk Manager offers security-focused vulnerability scanning and analytics, to help businesses identify weaknesses in their infrastructure. At least some versions of the Linux-powered suite included four exploitable holes, identified and, at first, privately disclosed by security researcher Pedro Ribeiro at no charge. Three are considered to be critical, and one is high risk.


      IBM however did say that it had fumbled the report. "A process error resulted in an improper response to the researcher who reported this situation to IBM," a company spokesperson told The Register. "We have been working on mitigation steps and they will be discussed in a security advisory to be issued."

      Ribeiro dismissed IBM's response in an email to The Register. "Well, what can I say," he said. "It's a joke right? I think it's pretty sad that I have to disclose a zero-day and shame them publicly to get them to patch critical vulnerabilities in a security product, while they sell themselves as an elite company providing security services."

    • Performance Assessments

      • OpenZFS Sees 3x Throughput Boost For ZVOL Sync Write Performance

        Last week brought FreeBSD support merged into OpenZFS and it turns out there is another recently-merged exciting advancement for this cross-platform open-source ZFS file-system code in terms of a big speed boost.

        A Phoronix reader tipped us off that around the start of April was a big performance improvement that was merged.

        Up until this change, sync writes to a ZVOL were done serially. But with the new code, ZVOLs are processed concurrently with sync writes in parallel. Following this change, "The result is that the throughput of sync writes is tripled."

      • There Is Now A WireGuard Benchmark For Testing Linux Networking Performance

        With WireGuard added to the Linux 5.6 kernel and it being back-ported to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and its tools getting packaged up by more Linux distributions, it's finally the year of WireGuard. With its usage set to skyrocket as supported kernels and the WireGuard utilities become available out-of-the-box on more distributions, there is now a WireGuard benchmark for stressing the kernel and its support.

      • Phoronix Test Suite 9.6 Released With Many Benchmark Result Viewer Improvements

        Phoronix Test Suite 9.6.0 is now available as the newest quarterly feature release to our cross-platform, open-source benchmarking software.

        Most notable with this Q2'2020 update is Phoronix Test Suite 9.6 having a large number of improvements to its modern benchmark result viewer that was originally introduced in Phoronix Test Suite 9.0.

    • Server

      • Cluster API v1alpha3 Delivers New Features and an Improved User Experience

        The Cluster API is a Kubernetes project to bring declarative, Kubernetes-style APIs to cluster creation, configuration, and management. It provides optional, additive functionality on top of core Kubernetes to manage the lifecycle of a Kubernetes cluster.

        Following the v1alpha2 release in October 2019, many members of the Cluster API community met in San Francisco, California, to plan the next release. The project had just gone through a major transformation, delivering a new architecture that promised to make the project easier for users to adopt, and faster for the community to build. Over the course of those two days, we found our common goals: To implement the features critical to managing production clusters, to make its user experience more intuitive, and to make it a joy to develop.

      • How Kubernetes contributors are building a better communication process

        Kubernetes (k8s for short) communication grew out of a need for people to connect in our growing community. With the best of intentions, the community spun up channels for people to connect. This energy was part of what helped Kubernetes grow so fast, and it also had us in sprawling out far and wide. As adoption grew, contributors knew there was a need for standardization.

        This new attention to how the community communicates led to the discovery of a complex web of options. There were so many options, and it was a challenge for anyone to be sure they were in the right place to receive the right information. We started taking immediate action combining communication streams and thinking about how to reach out best to serve our community. We also asked for feedback from all our contributors directly via annual surveys to see where folks were actually reading the news that influences their experiences here in our community.

      • Amazon Plumbing Nitro Enclaves Support For Linux To Isolate Highly Sensitive Data

        Amazon is working on upstreaming support into the Linux kernel for AWS Entro Niclaves for additional isolation around highly sensitive data within the EC2 cloud.

        As explained on the AWS page, "AWS Nitro Enclaves enables customers to create isolated compute environments to further protect and securely process highly sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII), healthcare, financial, and intellectual property data within their Amazon EC2 instances. Nitro Enclaves uses the same Nitro Hypervisor technology that provides CPU and memory isolation for EC2 instances."

      • Datacoral achieves Amazon Linux 2 Ready designation

        Datacoral, a Data Engineering Company, announced today that it has achieved the Amazon Linux 2 Ready designation, part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Service Ready Program. This designation recognizes that Datacoral's Data Engineering Platform has been validated to run on and support Amazon Linux 2.

      • How Container Technologies Are Transforming the IT Landscape

        Container and Docker technologies represent a new economic reality that keeps the developer at the center of the IT revolution from big-sized machines to app-driven systems. Calling it a shift from heavily weighed machine to lightweight technologies is not wrong.

        From manpower to automated systems, that’s apparent in the container and Docker ecosystem in numerous ways.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Brunch with Brent: Sri Ramkrishna | Jupiter Extras 71

        Brent sits down with Sri Ramkrishna, seasoned GNOME community member, founder of Linux App Summit, and Principle Ecosystems Engineer at ITRenew. We discuss his experiences in the GNOME community since 1998, the value of building relationships across communities, the increasing importance of non-technical roles in open source projects, and more.

      • LHS Episode #340: Hamlib Deep Dive Redux

        Welcome to the 340th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts revisit Hamlib, the rig-, rotor-, amplifier- and tuner-control library that is at the heart of many applications' intregration with your ham radio gear. Our guest tonight is Michael Black, W9MDB, the maintainer and lead developer of the Hamlib project. We explore every aspect of the software from where to get it to how to use it and even some esoteric use cases with remote serial devices and more. Thank you for listening and we hope you have a wonderful week.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E04 – Indoor umbrellas

        This week we’ve been playing virtual board games. We discuss the new generation of Linux phones, bring you some command line love and go over all your wonderful feedback.

      • 2020-04-20 | Linux Headlines

        Debian elects its new Project Leader, The Tor Project lays off over one-third of its staff, Facebook enters the live-streaming market, and Aptoide reports a major security breach.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.6.6
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.6.6 kernel.

        All users of the 5.6 kernel series must upgrade.

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

      • Linux 5.5.19
      • Linux 5.4.34
      • Linux 4.19.117
      • Linux Kernel 5.5 Reaches End of Life, Upgrade to Linux 5.6 Now

          Released earlier this year in January, the Linux 5.5 kernel series introduced some interesting new features, such as full support for the latest Raspberry Pi 4 models, better Wi-Fi connectivity, SMB multichannel support, and support for using CIFS as root file system.

        It also brought improvements to the Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF), cross device offloaded copy for NFS clients, the ability to add alternative names to network interfaces, as well as KUnit, a new unit testing framework for the Linux kernel.

      • TLB State Access Being Tightened Up On Linux For Better Security

        The latest Linux kernel security work being pursued by Thomas Gleixner is tightening up access around the kernel's per-CPU TLB state access for the translation lookaside buffer.

        Currently this x86 per-CPU TLB state access is in exported code that can be accessed by kernel modules, originally done just to satisfy KVM virtualization needs. In beefing up the security, Gleixner has been reworking the x86 TLB state code so only the few bits needed by KVM can still be accessed outside of the core kernel code while the rest will now be hidden away given that there should be no legitimate access needs of it outside of the core kernel code.

      • Garrett: Linux kernel lockdown, integrity, and confidentiality

        The Linux kernel lockdown patches were merged into the 5.4 kernel last year, which means they're now part of multiple distributions. For me this was a 7-year journey, which means it's easy to forget that others aren't as invested in the code as I am. Here's what these patches are intended to achieve, why they're implemented in the current form and what people should take into account when deploying the feature.

        Root is a user - a privileged user, but nevertheless a user. Root is not identical to the kernel. Processes running as root still can't dereference addresses that belong to the kernel, are still subject to the whims of the scheduler and so on. But historically that boundary has been very porous. Various interfaces make it straightforward for root to modify kernel code (such as loading modules or using /dev/mem), while others make it less straightforward (being able to load new ACPI tables that can cause the ACPI interpreter to overwrite the kernel, for instance). In the past that wasn't seen as a significant issue, since there were no widely deployed mechanisms for verifying the integrity of the kernel in the first place. But once UEFI secure boot became widely deployed, this was a problem. If you verify your boot chain but allow root to modify that kernel, the benefits of the verified boot chain are significantly reduced. Even if root can't modify the on-disk kernel, root can just hot-patch the kernel and then make this persistent by dropping a binary that repeats the process on system boot.

      • Garrett: Linux kernel lockdown, integrity, and confidentiality

        Matthew Garrett has posted an overview of the kernel lockdown capability merged in 5.4.

      • Linux 5.8 To Properly Support The RME Babyface Pro High-End Audio Hardware

        While a peculiar name for some expensive audio hardware, the Linux 5.8 kernel is set to properly support the RME Babyface Pro and RME Babyface Pro FS.

        The RME Babyface Pro is a 24-channel USB 2.0 audio interface. The RME Babyface Pro FS meanwhile is its successor as a 24-channel 192 kHz bus-powered USB audio interface. The high-end RME Babyface Pro FS retails for around $899 USD.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA Announces MONAI Open-Source AI Project

          NVIDIA has announced MONAI as their newest open-source initiative.

          MONAI is an open-source AI project developed jointly with King's College London and is intended to help facilitate healthcare research.

          MONAI builds off NVIDIA Clara medical imaging technology, DLTK, DeepNeuro, PyTorch, and other software components while being domain-optimized for healthcare data.

        • Alyssa Rosenzweig rewarded with Google Open Source Peer Bonus

          Google Open Source has announced their 2020 first quarter Google Open Source Peer Bonus winners, and Alyssa Rosenzweig, Software Engineer at Collabora, is among the recipients!


          In Alyssa's case, she has been recognized for her ongoing work on Panfrost, the free, Open Source graphics software stack for modern Mali GPUs. The project has been progressing quickly, with experimental OpenGL ES 3.0 support landing in Mesa earlier this year. Stay tuned in the coming days for more updates!

    • Intel

      • Intel SVT-AV1 0.8.2 Released With Many Significant AV1 Encoder/Decoder Improvements

        Intel's open-source SVT-AV1 encoder/decoder for AV1 content continues becoming quite featureful while being extremely performant. Out today is SVT-AV1 0.8.2 with more significant work not only on the encoder side but also decoder.

        Today's release of SVT-AV1 0.8.2 on the encoder side adds more AVX2 and AVX-512 optimizations, provides initial super resolution support, better warp motion, 16-bit pipeline support, memory optimizations, and many other improvements to enhance the encode process.

      • Intel Landing More Driver Work Needed For Discrete GPU Linux Support

        Landing today in Mesa 20.1-devel were some of the OpenGL/Vulkan-side driver changes needed as part of Intel's road to bringing up discrete Xe GPU support under Linux.

        For months we have been reporting on various elements of Intel's discrete GPU bring-up for Linux, which is largely on the kernel side with device local memory support, various code restructuring to make the driver less iGPU focused, multi-GPU support, and SVM support.

      • Intel Working On Slim Bootloader Integration Improvements For The Linux Kernel

        Slim Bootloader is the open-source initiative Intel announced in Q3'2018 for providing a very bare bones BSD-licensed open-source firmware implementation. We're now seeing new Linux patches for improving the integration with the Slim Bootloader.

        The Slim Bootloader has been designed from the start to be a very lightweight EFI implementation that is derived from Coreboot and designed to be secure as much as it is optimized and lightweight. Recently we haven't heard too much about Slim Bootloader but it's fortunately alive and well.

      • Fanless Comet Lake mini PC Ships with Intel Core i7 Quad or Hexa-core Processor

        The company claims the computer support both Windows 10 and Linux distributions. Besides a power adapter and the two antennas, the mini desktop PC also ships with a vertical stand. VESA mounting is also possible, but as I understand it the bracket is not included.

      • Rugged Apollo Lake mini-PC has triple HDMI ports

        IEI’s “IDS-310-AL” mini-PC for rugged signage applications runs Linux or Win 10 on an Apollo Lake SoC with triple HDMI displays, 2x GbE, 3x USB 3.0, SATA, mini-PCIe, and M.2.

    • Applications

      • BleachBit 4.0 Open-Source System Cleaner Adds Major Changes and Improvements

          One of the major changes of BleachBit 4.0 is support for Python 3 to ensure the application will work well on the latest releases of the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, such as Ubuntu 19.10 or the upcoming Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, which dropped support for Python 2.

        This release also brings dedicated packages for the Fedora Linux and openSUSE Tumbleweed distributions, making it easier to install the software on these popular GNU/Linux distributions. For Fedora Linux, is also enables cleaning of DNF autoremove.

      • Wireguard – the open-source answer to VPN shortfalls?


        Most end-users’ experiences of VPNs (virtual private networks) are from when they’ve needed to “dial into” the office or workplace, remotely.

        That’s something that, right now, millions of people have to do from their homes. And while many organizations’ resources are located in the cloud, there’s still a significant number of services, applications, filestores, and resources that are on-premise — thus the continuing need for VPNs to gain access. READ NEXT VPN providers put to the test as millions work from home

        “Dialing-in” is often still the terminology used in conversation, but that’s ironic because the process of working inside a VPN “tunnel” is very much reminiscent of the days of dial-up internet connections: slow to establish connection, glacial in responsiveness of apps & services, prone to breaking, and often the subject of frustration (and irritable calls to IT support staff).

      • System Cleaner BleachBit 4.0.0 Released with Python 3 Port
        Free open-source system cleaning tool BleachBit 4.0.0 was released a few days ago. Now it’s running on Python 3 instead of Python 2.

      • QuiteRSS 0.19.4 (21.04.2020) [Ed: This is the RSS reader we use. Highly recommended, this is its new release.]
    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Into the Breach gets support for nine more languages, Linux and touch

        “There is now a fully native Linux version of Into the Breach! If you already own the game on any storefront that normally supports Linux (Steam, Humble, or GOG), you should soon have the Linux version available for download,” Writes Subset Games.

        Adding to the compatability of the game together with Linux support is touch controls. For those playing the game on a PC with a touchscreen (usually found in laptops) tapping on the display at any time will switch controls over to it.

        This new feature is particularly exciting as it may mean that Android and iOS ports are on the way. Outside of the PC the game is available on the Nintendo Switch, so that’s the way to play the game on the go for now.

      • Unique and stylish looking survival adventure 'Help Will Come Tomorrow' released with Linux support

        Help Will Come Tomorrow, a crowdfunded game developed by Arclight Creations, that takes place around the Russian October Revolution is out now.

      • Paradox are giving away Cities: Skylines - Parklife DLC free until April 26

        Cities: Skylines is pretty much the gold standard of city building on any platforms and it has some good expansions too. One of which, Cities: Skylines - Parklife, can be picked up free.

        It's one of the bigger DLCs available for Cities: Skylines and it's proven to be quite popular with players too. With it you can build new amusement parks, nature reserves, city parks and zoos, and giving new life to your empty land with custom parks and gardens.

      • Serfs is a new in-development medieval RTS that looks promising, it just added Linux support

        Currently in development, Serfs, a medieval styled real-time strategy game that feels quite like a city-builder with warfare now has Linux support.

      • FOSS Ultima 7 game engine 'Exult' has a new big stable update after 16 years

        Ultima 7, what a classic. Released originally back in 1992 it continues to live on thanks to open source. Exult is a FOSS game engine for it and it finally has a fresh release.

        16 years in the making! The last stable update for Exult was back in 2004. The release actually marked the 28th anniversary of Ultima VII - The Black Gate too, so they picked the timing for it nicely. Like with a lot of open source projects, it took time due to real life and some developers moving onto other things.

      • Valve details more changes for Artifact 2.0, with expanded single-player content coming

        Valve continue to revamp Artifact behind the scenes for the upcoming re-release with Artifact 2.0 and they've discussed more changes that will come for their Dota themed card game.

        We already know it's no longer going to have card purchases, making it less of a gamble and more about the gameplay but now we know some more of Valve's plans and it's sounding exciting now. In the latest post from yesterday on Steam, they detail surprisingly quite a lot. What really caught my eye though was the mention of more single-player content.

      • Epicinium - a strategy game where nature is a finite resource, to release free and going open source

        Epicinium is a name I've not heard in some time. After a failed Kickstarter in 2018, they're back with their strategy game and the team at A Bunch of Hacks have a new plan for it which includes open source.

        As a reminder on what it actually is first. Epicinium was covered here on GOL some time ago, as they had a fun sounding idea for a simultaneous turn-based strategy game. In Epicinium, nature is a finite resource and the map will change as the game goes on with a "Global warming system". This system will add weather effects to mix up the gameplay, adding "depth and variety" and you need to keep an eye on the changing climate or it can leave your troops in a bad spot.

      • With tons of weapons and turn-based combat that feels real-time 'Fractalis' enters Early Access

        Here's your morning dose of pixel art with Fractalis, a new roguelike that's just entered Early Access with some smooth turn-based combat that feels almost real-time. The combat and movement actually reminds me of the excellent Jupiter Hell, with no turn buttons to click it just keeps on going to the point that you can easily forget it's both grid-based and done in turns.

      • Drag[en]gine Game Engine Release 1.0

        The first public release of the Drag[en]gine Game Engine is up and kicking. To get your fill head over to which is the new home of everything related with the Drag[en]gine Game Engine and the Epsylon Game. You can also look at the IndieDB Engine Profile as well as the engine project page on gamedev.

        Under the Download Section you can find all available downloads for Linux and Windows. Linux is the main development target so you get the most value out of it there.

        No matter if Gamer or Developer you need to install the Game Engine first (green box). The game engine installation is shared across all titles build upon it. Install once and not worry about compatibility issues with every new title you obtain.

        If you are a Developer also install the Development Environment (blue box). The engine is Free Software (L-GPL) so you do not have to worry about royalties nor legal trip-wires. Due to the GLEM design you are free to use any licence on your title you want (including commercially proprietary).

      • Minigalaxy, the FOSS Linux client for GOG adds support for Wine

        While GOG don't support their own Galaxy client on Linux (yet?), work continues by the community on Minigalaxy, a streamlined free and open source Linux client for GOG.

        Minigalaxy version 0.9.4 went out today, with the biggest feature being the addition of Wine support. This means, if you have Wine installed, you can download Windows games from GOG using Minigalaxy and run them. The feature is quite simple right now, with no settings to change between different Wine versions but it's a great start. Making Minigalaxy just that little bit sweeter to use.

      • Posts on Hannes Hauswedell's homepage: Game-streaming without the "cloud"

        With increasing bandwidths, live-streaming of video games is becoming more and more popular – and might further accelerate the demise of the desktop computer. Most options are “cloud-gaming” services based on subscriptions where you don’t own the games and are likely to be tracked and monetised for your data. In this blog post I present the solution I built at home to replace my “living room computer”.


        If you haven’t done so already, install Steam. It is available in Debian/Devuan non-free repositories as steam but will install and self-update itself in a hidden subfolder of your home-directory upon first start. You need a steam-account (free) and you need to be logged in for everything to work. I really dislike this and it means that Steam quite likely does gather data about you. I suspect that using non-Steam games makes it more difficult to track you, but I have not done any research on this. See the end of this post for possible alternatives.

        The first important thing to know about Steam on Linux is that it ships many system libraries, but it doesn’t ship everything that it needs and it gives you no diagnostic about missing stuff nor are UI elements correctly disabled when the respective feature is not available. This includes support for hardware video encoding and for playing windows games.

      • Build up your collection of Paradox DLC with the latest build your own Humble Bundle

        Well, this is a little different. Humble Bundle have teamed up with Paradox Interactive to allow you to build your own bundle of DLC for their games. Yes, you read that correctly.

        This is not a game bundle but a DLC bundle. Thinking on it, it's actually a pretty good idea. Some Paradox games do have quite a long list of DLC, which can be a bit intimidating. For certain games, the DLC can be pretty massive too so this is a good chance if you've been wanting to build up Stellaris or BATTLETECH.

      • Games to break the boredom of quarantine: Up to half off on Jackbox games

        You'll download the game on Steam for PC, Mac or Linux.

      • Valve's Proton project has brought 6,500 Windows games to Linux so far

        Microsoft should be afraid

        With Valve's Steam Machines initiative retired and SteamOS being in limbo, it's a good time to look at how the addition of Proton to Steam Play has worked out in the almost two years it's been available. Built on the shoulders of giants like Wine and DXVK, it's the ultimate expression of Gabe Newell's disdain for Microsoft, and a blessing for people who won't go back to Windows 10 even if it was built on top of the Linux kernel.

        By now it's no secret that Valve has been trying to find a solution for Linux fans to be able to enjoy the same games you can play on Windows.

        When the company tried to deliver an integrated hardware and software solution in the form of Steam Machines, it forgot to think of why anyone would want to use them. In 2018, after that failed experiment was finally concluded and Steam Machines were purged from the storefront, Valve came up with the most sensible solution -- a set of compatibility tools built into Steam Play called Proton. The move was hardly revolutionary, as it was essentially a forked (modified) version of Wine with some additional patchwork and libraries - most notably DirectX over Vulkan (DXVK), which is a translation layer for DirectX 9/10/11 games. But if you go by ProtonDB, there are now over 6,500 Windows games that now work on Linux with little to no effort on the gamer's part.

      • Proton has brought about 6000 games to Linux so far

        Apart from the new games that Proton brings us on a regular basis, it’s also important to look as a whole how Proton has changed the landscape over time. While the numbers are always pretty much available on the front page of ProtonDB, I take a slightly different look at it to build a graph of “Platinum” games (i.e. working out of the box without any tricks) to Linux using Proton.


        This does not even take in account games that are playable with minor modifications (adding a launcher flag, changing the name of an .exe in a directory, etc…) so the real number of games you can actually enjoy with Proton is way higher than that. But “Platinum” sets the bar high and we ought to judge Proton on its promise: making Windows games work on Linux with just one click.

      • Proton has brought about 6000 games to Linux so far

        Proton is one of the biggest contributions to desktop Linux in at least the past ten years. Thanks to Proton, I now play all my games on Linux, and could finally just remove Windows from my desktop altogether. All I do when I want to buy a game that doesn’t support Linux natively is check ProtonDB, and if the rating is platinum (works out of the box) or gold (might need to run a command, move a file around, or select a specific Proton version in Steam), I just buy it without further issues. If it’s rated silver, I’ll take a more detailed look and weigh the work vs. the benefit.

      • A Week With Salient OS

        There’s been a surge of Arch users over the past few years, especially with Manjaro. I’ve been curious as to why that is. They have preferred Arch over their traditional Debian/Ubuntu setups, to the point where the meme, “btw I use Arch” has become a thing.

        After doing a bit of homework, specifically looking at videos from Chris Titus Tech, I’ve learned that the benefit Arch has over Debian is mainly related to software management — how they’re maintained and upgraded. Arch Linux has updates to your software packages every day — perhaps two or three times a day! This is due to Arch using a rolling release model — as soon as an update has been pushed to one or more of your installed applications, the software updater will notify you, giving you access to bleeding-edge software. This is a huge benefit in contrast to having to use a personal package archive (PPA) for most of the packages that you want to have the latest version for on Debian or Ubuntu; not to mention the fact the PPA can go down later on.

        Of course, though, there’s a small catch to having the latest software. Ubuntu may only get updates every six months, but the software is more stable, and would therefore be more useful in an environment where minimal downtime is needed. With Arch, even though we may have the latest and greatest in terms of software, they have had less baking time in the oven and may introduce issues that we might not get with an older, but more stable, release. The frequency of the updates may also irk some users who just want to do their work, whatever that is. If the user wants to bypass the everyday updates, they should get done at least once a month, or better yet, once a week.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • [Older] KDE Neon Goes For The TV With Plasma Bigscreen

          Like the name implies, Plasma Bigscreen is a Linux-based operating system — a modified ARM version of KDE Neon, specifically — designed for living room usage and navigation. The desktop environment Plasma Bigscreen uses is, well, Plasma Bigscreen, and features the open-source MyCroft AI assistant for voice commands. Plasma Bigscreen also includes libcec — the CEC stands for “Consumer Electronics Control” and allows the operator to control their TV with either a standard remote or a voice-controlled one.

          It’s easy to set up, according to the official website. You’ll need a Raspberry Pi 4 (unfortunately in my testing it won’t work with model 3 — but I think my Pi’s broken anyway) and a MicroSD card 8 GB or greater in capacity. Download the image, flash it to the SD card, put the card into the Pi, then give it power. Connect the Pi to your TV and then follow the on-screen instructions with your TV remote to connect to the Internet and create or log in to an existing MyCroft account.

    • Distributions

        • EndeavourOS – Learn Arch The Right Way
          EndeavourOS came out last year after we had one of our favorite arch-based distros discontinued. Initially, the team released the first version with Xfce desktop environment but today they support several other desktop environments.

          EndeavourOS is one of very few Linux distributions that do not claim to provide easy to use GUI tools to learn Linux. Actually, the team promotes the distro as a terminal-centric distro that gives you your favorite desktop environment with a few basic utilities and active friendly community support.

        • IPFire Linux Firewall Distro Improves Its Intrusion Prevention System
          The monthly Core Updates for the IPFire 2.25 Linux firewall distribution continue with version 143, which ships with an updated toolchain based on GNU C Library 2.31, GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 9.3.0, and GNU Binutils 2.34.

          IPFire 2.25 Core Update 143 also optimizes the build system to take advantage of large amounts of memory on computers to use less I/O resources by no longer writing large temporary files to disk.

        • IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 143 released

           Hey all you cool cats and kittens,

          this is the official release announcement for IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 143 - another update that brings you loads of improvements for IPFire and its build system. We have updated the toolchain and many other essential system libraries as well as including many bug and security fixes.

          The toolchain - all tools to build the distribution like compilers, linkers and essential system libraries - have been updated and are now based on glibc 2.31, GCC 9.3.0, binutils 2.34.

          The build system has also been optimised to take advantage of machines that have a lot of memory and uses less I/O resources by not writing any large temporary files to disk any more when this can be avoided.

        • New Releases

        • BSD

          • FuryBSD 2020-Q2 images are available for XFCE, and KDEd

            The Q2 2020 images are not a visible leap forward but a functional leap forward. Most effort was spent creating a better out of box experience for automatic Ethernet configuration, working WiFi, webcam, and improved hypervisor support.

        • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

          • What's new in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2?

            Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.2 brings new features and improvements to existing ones across the board. RHEL 8.2 includes installation enhancements and a better in place upgrade experience, to resource management for optimizing workloads on large systems, to new container tools to improve use of RHEL and the Red Hat Universal Base Image (UBI). We have a lot to cover. so let's get started!

            RHEL is about much more than just the bits that we deliver with each release. We are focused on providing tools that allow you to more easily manage and maintain your RHEL instances across the hybrid cloud. RHEL 8.2, along with Red Hat Insights, includes several features to improve management, installation, and upgrades.

            RHEL 8.2 adds subscription registration to the installation, and you can also enable Red Hat Insights at install time as part of the process. This helps streamline setup and gives Insights monitoring right out of the box after the install is complete.

          • Here comes Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2

            Red Hat is kicking rump and taking names now that it's part of IBM. Red Hat revenue was up 18% in the last quarter and up almost 50% over last year. Why? One reason, as IBM CFO Jim Kavanaugh said, was Red Hat's been "leveraging IBM's deep client relationships." The other reason is that Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and the hybrid cloud built upon it have proven very popular. Now, the company is taking the next step in securing this business lead with the latest release of RHEL 8.2.


            To improve containerized workloads, RHEL 8.2 introduces Udica. This is a new tool for more easily creating customized, container-centric SELinux security policies. When applied to a specific workload, Udica can reduce the risk that a process can "break out" of a container to cause problems across other containers or the host itself.

          • Red Hat debuts RHEL 8.2 enterprise Linux with intelligent monitoring capabilities

            Linux software company Red Hat pushed out a major update to its Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, one week before its annual Red Hat Summit 2020 event kicks off in digital form.

            Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 is the latest version of the company’s flagship operating system for business users. RHEL, as it’s known, supports diverse workloads in physical, virtualized and cloud environments. The company sells specialized versions of the platform for servers, mainframe, SAP applications, desktops and OpenStack.

            The new release builds on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, a version of the OS that the company said was redesigned for the hybrid cloud era, with support for multiple public cloud computing platforms. Highlights of of the release include new intelligent management and monitoring capabilities and enhanced container tools that enable more isolation and privacy for application developers.

            The new management and monitoring capabilities in Red Hat Insights are likely to be especially welcome at a time when many companies are operating with skeleton crews to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. With limited staff available, firms are struggling to monitor and manage their information technology stacks properly, Red Hat said.

          • Red Hat CodeReady Studio 12.14.0.GA and JBoss Tools 4.14.0.Final: Tool and UI updates

            In the previous article, I introduced JBoss Tools 4.14.0 final and Red Hat CodeReady Studio 12.14 for Eclipse 4.14 (2019-12), focusing on the big new features: OpenShift Application Explorer view, feedback loops, and new Quarkus tooling. This article focuses on the many smaller additions and updates. Here, I’ll quickly run through the new features and small changes that improve the development experience in Hibernate Tools and the Java Developer Tools (JDT) extensions, which were updated for Java 13. I’ll also highlight UI changes to platform views, dialogs, and toolbars.

          • Red Hat CodeReady Studio 12.14.0.GA and JBoss Tools 4.14.0.Final: OpenShift and Quarkus updates

            JBoss Tools 4.14.0 and Red Hat CodeReady Studio 12.14 for Eclipse 4.14 (2019-12) are here and waiting for you. For this release, we focused on improving container-based development, adding tooling for the Quarkus framework, and fixing bugs. We also updated the Hibernate Tools runtime provider and Java Developer Tools (JDT) extensions, which are now compatible with Java 13. Additionally, we made many UI changes to platform views, dialogs, and toolbars.

          • Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces 2.1: Improved cloud tools bring more languages, better flow

            We are pleased to announce the release of Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces 2.1. Based on Eclipse Che, its upstream project, CodeReady Workspaces is a Red Hat OpenShift-native developer environment enabling developer teams for cloud-native development.

          • Video: Mainframe systems programmer Torrie McLaughlin on the importance of COBOL in her toolkit

            In this New Faces of IBM Z video interview, mainframe systems programmer Torrie McLaughlin shares how her mainframe and COBOL skills have helped her bring value to the banking industry. Find out what she does and how learning these technologies took her career in an exciting new direction. After working in the military, Torrie went back to school with no programming background, stumbled upon COBOL, and now believes is it the crucial foundation of her work as a systems programmer.

          • Node.js 14 release: New diagnostic tools, features, and performance enhancements

            Users can expect and plan for a new current release every April and October, with the latest even-numbered release being promoted to LTS in October. Today’s release will be promoted to LTS in October 2020. The predictable timetable for quality releases has increased adoption of the next LTS release over time.

            It’s April, which means it’s time for another Node.js release. Today, we’re releasing Node.js 14, with new features that are important to Node.js users, including IBM’s customers. While it won’t be promoted to long-term support (LTS) until October, we need our customers and the greater ecosystem to try it out and give us feedback. This will allow us to address any issues in advance and make sure both the release, the ecosystem, and our customers are ready when it’s promoted.

            The 14.x release delivers key enhancements, including the addition of Diagnostic Reports as a stable feature, an experimental async local storage API to let you trace a transaction through different steps within a process and to external resources, support for internationalization, and easier native module use.

          • New API from The Weather Company helps developers build solutions to track COVID-19

            The Weather Company unveiled a new disease tracker API for Call for Code developers that aggregrates COVID-19 data from trusted primary sources and tracks where the coronavirus is spreading over time. With this API, developers can create solutions to inform local, state, and county officials as they plan shelter-in-place guidelines and show citizens how adhering to those restrictions has a positive impact in slowing COVID-19 disease progression.

            The disease tracker API is exclusively available to developers who are participating in the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge and building solutions to fight the impact of COVID-19. Developers who have accepted the challenge can register and receive a time-limited API key.

          • Recognizing the 2020 Red Hat Innovation Awards honorable mentions

            Earlier today, we announced the winners of the 2020 Red Hat Innovation Awards; however, that’s just part of the story. Now in its 14th year, the Red Hat Innovation Awards are designed to recognize the technological achievements of Red Hat customers around the world. Creative thinking, determined problem-solving and transformative uses of Red Hat technology are evident not just in our winners but throughout the entire pool of award nominees.

            We’re excited to recognize an additional group of Red Hat customers using open source technology to make waves in their respective industries. Let’s take a closer look at this year’s honorable mentions - Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad, ExxonMobil, Tata Consultancy Services, Telefonica Movistar Argentina and Turkcell.

          • Helping developers engage with community projects

            One of the most common issues seen with experienced professional software developers who start to work on community software is a reluctance to engage with public communication channels, like mailing lists. Understanding the reasons why, and helping your developers engage with the community, is a key to creating a successful and fruitful relationship with the community you are working with.

            In my experience, some common reasons for this reluctance include a lack of confidence in written English skills, a perceived lack of technical skills, nervousness related to public peer review, and perceiving community interaction as "communication" or "marketing," which they believe is not part of their job.

          • Announcing the winners of the 14th annual Red Hat Innovation Awards

            Now in its 14th year, the Red Hat Innovation Awards recognize the technological achievements of Red Hat customers around the world who demonstrate creative thinking, determined problem-solving and transformative uses of Red Hat technology. This year's winners are Argentine Ministry of Health and Social Development, BMW Group, Edenor, Ford and Vodafone Idea Limited.

          • Red Hat Smart Management with Satellite 6.7 introduces deeper integrations across the portfolio, enhanced security and content management

            Last year at Red Hat Summit 2019, we introduced Red Hat Smart Management, combining the flexible and powerful infrastructure management capabilities of Red Hat Satellite with the simplicity of cloud management services for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat Smart Management enables users to keep Red Hat Enterprise Linux running efficiently on any platform, while reducing repetitive tasks, expediting at-scale resolution of threats and improving the total cost of ownership.

            This year, we’re expanding the features and capabilities of both Red Hat Smart Management and Red Hat Insights to help make it even easier for users to more securely manage environments supported by Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat Insights will now include more cloud management services, providing more comprehensive visibility into two key use cases: operational efficiency and security and compliance risk management. Since Red Hat Insights is included in active Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions at no additional cost, users can access these capabilities today. To augment the ability to take swift action on risks identified by Red Hat Insights, we are introducing the Cloud Connector in Red Hat Smart Management to provide direct integration between Red Hat Insights and your on-premises Red Hat Satellite infrastructure. Now users can put the alerts from Insights into action through remediation of risks directly from the Red Hat Insights dashboard with the push of a button. Red Hat Smart Management with Satellite 6.7 will execute at-scale remediations of Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments in the cloud and on-premises.

          • Strengthening the partner ecosystem today, tomorrow and beyond

            Looking back on my 25-year career, it’s clear the circumstances we face now are truly unprecedented. We are all adapting to a changing world, both personally and professionally. As we join together to navigate these challenges, please know that Red Hat is here to help.

            One thing that has not changed is Red Hat’s commitment to working with and through our partner ecosystem to support customers. In times like these, we find that the open source way keeps us grounded and focused on collaboration and transparency to enable creativity and innovation. Fix a bug, inspire a better solution, unite for the greater good.

          • Máirín Duffy: Resilience and trolls*

            Recently, two separate people called something myself and other Fedora Design Team members worked on “crap” and “shit” (respectively) on devel list, the busiest and most populous mailing list in the project.


            I have been working through a University of Pennsylvania online course on resiliency that was recently made free as in beer due to its applicability in the COVID-19 pandemic we’re all dealing with.

            (Yes, internet trolls really are not as dire as some of the issues many of us are going through right now that this generous offerings was meant to try to help – death, sickness, food insecurity, job insecurity, isolation, and more. But no, there’s no reason why we couldn’t apply the framework taught in the course on something stupid like trolls as practice for the heavier things!)

            The course is called Resilience Skills in a Time of Uncertainty and it is taught by Karen Reivich who is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an engaging instructor and the course materials are put together extremely well. I’m going to walk you through what I’ve learned so far, directly applying it to the devel list

          • David Cantrell: rpminspect-0.12 released

            I released rpminspect-0.12 today. A lot of time has passed since the 0.11 release and that was deliberate. The bulk of changes for this release were related to the test suite and bug fixing.

          • Fedora 32 election schedule

            One of the core aspects of my job at the Fedora Program Manager is the management of the Fedora elections. After each release, the community chooses members of the Fedora Council, the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo), and the Fedora Mindshare Committee. These bodies help to set the course of the project. Because these elections are so important to the future of Fedora, I am making a one-time change to the election schedule.

            Normally, the election process starts the week after a release. Assuming Fedora 32 releases as scheduled on Tuesday, the usual schedule would have voting take place between 28 May and 11 June. However, because of the upcoming move of Fedora infrastructure to a new data center, the Elections app is expected to be offline from 20 May to 1 July.

        • Debian Family

          • Debian Dropping A Number Of Old Linux Drivers Is Angering Vintage Hardware Users

            More than a few Phoronix readers have written in over the past few days expressing outrage that Debian GNU/Linux is dropping a number of old hardware drivers.

            Earlier this month the Debian "X Strike Force" team decided to drop a number of obsolete input and video drivers from Debian. The basis in dropping these old input and display drivers is "They are either unmaintained upstream or provide no value to the distribution."

            Among the drivers affected were for Mach 64, ATI Rage R128, Savage, Silicon Motion, SiS, Trident, and NeoMagic graphics hardware. This is for hardware like the ATI Rage 128 that is more than 20 years old along with many of the other hardware supported by these drivers. Originally the Geode display driver was also set to be removed but later kept in. Input drivers for Elo touchscreens, MuTouch, and others were also dropped.

            Among those jumping in on the bug report and mailing list were pointing out the r128 driver is used by old Apple hardware and others saying that Debian supporting old hardware is important.

            Upstream these X.Org drivers are still "maintained" in that they may see a release every few years to fix compiler warnings or compatibility with new xorg-server releases but are seldom actually tested on the actual hardware by the developers -- often with those maintaining these drivers upstream not having hardware access -- and sometimes these drivers upstream end up sitting around broken for years.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

          • Ubuntu 20.04: The most exciting new features
            Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa) will be unleashed on April 23rd, 2020. The first reports of this new release were mostly focused on a new release of GNOME and a few other aesthetic tweaks, plus a couple of additional performance enhancements.

            But we are talking about Ubuntu, one of the most user-friendly and enterprise-ready desktop Linux distributions on the market. So of course the developers weren't going to settle for having their 28th named release standing as an uneventful occasion. So it should come as no surprise that, in recent days, the news that Ubuntu was going to do something really important for this update came down the pipe.

          • Linux Mint 20: New features, Release date, and more

            Unlike the previous releases, Linux Mint 20 will only be available for 64-bit machines. The current long-term support (LTS) release Linux Mint 19.3 ‘Tricia’ was released in December 2019.

            For the uninitiated, LTS releases get support for a more extended period than the short-term versions. Linux Mint follows Ubuntu’s footsteps when it comes to supporting the LTS editions that will get five years of support and are considered as enterprise-grade releases. Linux Mint 19 will continue getting support until 2023, and the Linux Mint 20 will be supported until 2025.

            Codename ‘Ulyana’

            Ever since the very first version of Linux Mint codenamed ‘Ada’ was released back in 2006, all new versions belonging to a new series (such as 18.x or 9.x) are given feminine code names that start with the next letter of the alphabet. Every name except ‘Sarah’ for Linux Mint 18 ends with the letter ‘a’, making the names sound pleasant to the ears.

            For instance, the last 4 LTS releases of Linux Mint 19 based on Ubuntu 18.04 have been named with nicknames starting with the letter ‘T’ – Tara, Tessa, Tina, and Tricia. Naturally, it follows that the next 4 LTS releases of Linux Mint 20 will have names that start with the letter ‘U’.

          • Ubuntu Touch OTA-12 Launch Date Announced

            The work on Ubuntu Touch advances, and the team developing the project has just announced that a new testing build is ready to go live.

            In other words, Ubuntu Touch OTA-12 will be released on May 6, and testers are all invited to install the new version, try it out, and then send feedback to help further polish the experience and resolve bugs.

            As with every Ubuntu Touch update, there are several changes coming in OTA-12, with three very important highlights.

            First, it’s the upgrade from Mir 0.24 to Mir 1.2, the developing team announces in a blog post.

            Then, it’s a change that concerns the Lomiri version bundled with the OS.

          • Things You Should Know About Ubuntu 20.04

              Ubuntu 20.04 release is just around the corner and you may have a few questions and doubts regarding upgrades, installation etc.

            I hosted some Q&A sessions on various social media channels to answer doubts of readers like you.

            I am going to list these common questions about Ubuntu 20.04 with their answers. I hope it helps you clear the doubts you have. And if you still have questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

          • 2004 to 20.04 LTS: Ubuntu in popular culture

              When we launched Ubuntu back in 2004, our mission to make well-supported, free open source software available to everyone, everywhere was a bold one – but today, Ubuntu is one of the world’s most popular operating systems. One consequence of that popularity is that Ubuntu has very much entered the public consciousness, and its influence can be seen across all kinds of popular culture.

            With the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release almost upon us, we thought it would be a good time to look back over the last 16 years and highlight some of our favourite Ubuntu pop culture appearances.

          • Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS overview | Easy.Excellent.Expert.Elaborate.

            In this video, I am going to show an overview of Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS overview and some of the applications pre-installed.

          • Pop!_OS 20.04 New Keyboard Shortcuts

            In this video, we are looking at some of the new default keyboard shortcuts in Pop!_OS 2.04.

          • Ubuntu 20.04: What’s New? [Video]

            With the Ubuntu 20.04 release so close I can hear it breathing, I’ve put together a short video to show you the most notable user-visible changes to ship in it.

            Now, fair warning: LTS releases are always a difficult one to cover. The cumulative list of changes from LTS to LTS is huge, but while that list is new to the majority it is old news anyone staked out on an interim releases.


            But know this. Ubuntu 20.04 is the most secure, stable, and scalable version of Ubuntu to date. A truly well-crafted OS that delivers a first-class experience whether you’re a software engineer hopping on the latest technologies or a high school student fed up of blue screens and forced updates.

            The Focal Fossa is frickin’ fantastic.

          • Ubuntu 20.04: What's New?
          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Released : Download Now [ ISO] [Ed: This page is wrong. It has not been formally released yet.]

            Finally, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has been released and available for the download. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS will be supported for the next five years till April 2025.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • iPhone 7 Becomes a Linux Phone Thanks to postmarketOS Hack

        Linux phones are becoming more of a common thing these days, with more and more companies investing in such a device, but as it turns out, you can actually create your very own Linux smartphone at home without spending hundreds of dollars.

        Someone has managed to install postmarketOS on an iPhone 7 using the checkra1n jailbreak tool that helped flash a Linux kernel on the device.

        As you can see in the screenshot here, the project doesn’t yet have a GUI, so everything comes down to the command line, but given it’s all just a work in progress, further improvements are obviously on their way.

      • Forget About Zoom — Here are 3 Open Source Zoom Alternatives

        The first open source video conferencing solution that comes to mind is Jitsi. It is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license and written in both Java (For desktop/mobile) and Javascript (Web client).

        Jitsi is one of the best open source alternatives for Zoom, because it is not just a client/server app. Instead, the Jitsi team releases all their libraries, APIs, server instances and infrastructure as open source. This makes you capable of inspecting any single component you may think of (E.g for government requirements) or deploying your own instances of everything.

        Their clients are open source too. They provide mobiles apps for iOS and Android, and a web client for everything else.

      • Summer internships at the FSF! Apply by May 10

        Do you believe that free software is crucial to a free society? Do you want to help people learn why free software matters, and how to use it? Do you want to dig deep into software freedom issues like copyleft, Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), or surveillance and encryption? Or, do you want to learn systems administration, design, or other tasks using only free software?

        The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is looking for interns to spend the summer contributing to work in one of three areas: campaigns, licensing, or with our tech team.

        While in-office intern positions here in Boston are typically preferred, due to COVID-19, this summer the FSF is only hosting remote interns. As such, applicants from anywhere in the world will be considered.

      • Say hello to the newest Collaborans!

        In these times of disruption and uncertainty, how about some positive news for a change? Let's take a moment to celebrate the newest members of our engineering and administration teams, who came onboard earlier this year!

        Based in France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Brazil, these newest Collaborans join our worldwide team of highly skilled engineers, developers and managers who all share a common passion for technology and Open Source.

      • Alternative Free Software for Architecture and Design

        An alternative to Windows or Mac OS is the Linux Mint. Linux is a generally known operating system although rarely used. Apart from free of charge, its distributions have become increasingly more complete, professional and productive.

      • Using Open Source Tools To Fight COVID-19

        The Open Source Center at the Digital Impact Alliance (OSC at DIAL) was created to strengthen the open source ecosystem and provide support to digital platforms like SORMAS and DHIS2 that have been developed to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

        For years, global health experts have been saying that another pandemic with the speed and severity to rival those of the 1918 influenza epidemic was a matter not of if but of when. Factors like climate change only increase the risks of new outbreaks around the world as vector-borne diseases move to new areas. Sadly, when a health crisis like this arises, it is usually the most impoverished communities that are impacted most, because resources are scarce and fewer systems exist to support the most vulnerable.

        Technology has an important role to play in supporting better health in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). As we see with SORMAS and DHIS2, organizations have responded to these new risks by developing technologies that give people tools and data to fight outbreaks like COVID-19. OSC has also provided direct support to other platforms like Medic Mobile, Ushahidi, and Open Street Map that have been deployed to support COVID-19 response. Beyond health, we have also seen how technology platforms can positively impact lives through remote learning, mobile payments, and messaging applications.

        The OSC is working to make open source tools more accessible, deployable, and interoperable. To that end, DIAL has created their Online Digital Global Goods catalog (currently a beta product). This tool tracks over 200 products that support health, development, and better lives. Sadly, many of these products are not well known and not used as effectively as they might be.

      • Is Open Source Analytics in Your Budget?

        Open source code is generally high-quality and the software’s capabilities are often innovative, thanks to the community of developers who continually test and enhance it. And because that community can be extremely large and located throughout the world, this can happen around the clock, resulting in fast code review and fixes and reliable, cutting-edge software.

      • Intel Deep Learning Reference Stack 6.0 Released For Maximizing Performance

        Two years ago Intel announced the open-source Deep Learning Reference Stack with providing an easy-to-use, performance-focused stack for exploiting deep learning capabilities on Intel x86_64 hardware. Today marks version 6.0 of this toolkit.

        Deep Learning Reference Stack releases have been focused on adding new tools and performance optimizations with this week's DLRS 6.0 release doing the same.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chromium Kiwi Browser now completely open source
            The developing team at Geometry Ou Communication this week announced their Kiwi Browser is now 100% open source. Kiwi is based on Chromium and WebKit, the engine that powers the most popular browser in the world so you won’t lose your habits. “Kiwi Browser is made to browse the internet, read news, watch videos and listen to music, without annoyances.”

            The full Kiwi Browser source code is now available to download from Github, and uses the same three-clause BDS license as Chromium. Enabling you to create your own fork right away if desired, although the developer also encourages other people to help with the development of Kiwi Browser. A Discord community has been set up for the Kiwi Browser, where you can discuss development and share ideas.

          • Over 2 billion Google Chrome users warned of security risk on Windows, macOS and Linux

            Google has issued a critical warning for Chrome users across Windows, macOS and Linux, and has advised users to update their apps to the latest version of the build. A stable release version 81.0.4044.113 of Chrome is being seeded by Google and will reach users in the coming weeks.

            In a short blog post, Google warned users of its popular browser Chrome to update to the latest version whenever available. This is due to a bug that made the browser vulnerable to attack and exploitation. Having said that, the details about this particular security risk is being kept under wraps as Google wants to first get the latest update to users that fixes the issue.

          • Google Releases Much-Awaited Chrome Update; Alerts 2 Billion Users About Security Flaws Across Windows, Mac & Linux

            "The stable channel has been updated to 81.0.4044.113 for Windows, Mac, and Linux, which will roll out over the coming days/weeks," Google said in a blog post last week. "This update includes 1 security fix," it added.


            "The community help forum is also a great place to reach out for help or learn about common issues," Google said. "Access to bug details and links may be kept restricted until a majority of users are updated with a fix. We will also retain restrictions if the bug exists in a third party library that other projects similarly depend on, but haven't yet fixed," it added.

          • Google Issues Warning For 2 Billion Chrome Users

            Are you a Google Chrome user? Google has issued a warning of a vulnerability in its Chrome browser across Windows, Mac and Linux - urging users to upgrade to the latest version of the browser (81.0.4044.113).

            Google just gave its two billion Chrome users a brilliant (if long overdue) upgrade, but it doesn’t mask all of the controversial changes, security problems and data concerns which have worried users about the browser recently. And now Google has issued a new critical warning you need to know about.

            Picked up by security specialist Sophos, Google has quietly issued a warning that Chrome has a critical security flaw across Windows, Mac and Linux and it urges users to upgrade to the latest version of the browser (81.0.4044.113). Interestingly, at the time of publication, Google is also keeping the exact details of the exploit a mystery.

          • Google Chrome and desktop icon refresh problem

            Looking around, I did find a Chromium bug report from 2015, which also mentioned a workaround. Needless to say, the specific workaround is no longer available, as the user icon is no longer present in the Chrome window border, and flags occasionally come and go, as they represent experimental browser features. But this was a good starting point, so I went about testing and tweaking, until I found the right solution. After me.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox browser privacy features explained

            As we’re all online more these days, the Firefox browser privacy features have never been more important. For instance, as you’re hopping through different sites searching for pantry recipes or immunity boosters, Enhanced Tracking Protection is blocking third-party trackers from collecting that data and serving you ads that are eerily on the nose. Or, when you’re researching the difference between cold, flu and seasonal allergy symptoms, private browsing mode will automatically erase your private browsing history (because your symptoms are your business).

          • How Using a Team Charter Helps Our Distributed Firefox User Research Team Connect and Align

            Firefox User Research is a distributed team within Mozilla dedicated to conducting mixed methods research to define and support work related to Firefox products and services, present and future. Currently, the team consists of 11 people across North America: a director, a research operations specialist, and nine researchers with different backgrounds, training, and experiences.

          • Engineering code quality in the Firefox browser: A look at our tools and challenges

            Over the years, engineering teams at Mozilla have introduced tooling for code quality. This toolchain works at various stages of the complex Firefox development cycle. In this article we’ll take a look at the types of tools we’ve developed, some of the challenges they address, and the architecture solutions we’ve developed.


            Firefox is a vast (21M lines of code) open source software project which grew from Netscape in 1998. We use multiple languages (C++, Rust, JavaScript, Python, and more), manage hundreds of changes every day, and handle a repository of several gigabytes at scale. This makes for some unique challenges.

      • CMS

        • How I use Hugo for my classroom's open source CMS

          People love Markdown text with good reason—it is easy to write, easy to read, easy to edit, and it can be converted to a wide range of other text mark up formats. While Markdown text is very good for content creation and manipulation, it imposes limitations on the options for content display.

          If we could combine the virtues of Markdown with the power and flexibility of Cascading Style Sheets, HTML5, and JavaScript, that would be something special. One of the programs trying to do this is Hugo. Hugo was created in 2013 by Steve Francia; it is cross-platform and open source under an Apache 2.0 license with an active developer community and a growing user base.

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • How did FSFE go astray?

            To help eliminate gossip and innuendo, we've updated the About page with a brief, fact-based summary of how FSFE ran off the rails. We hope this clarifies some ambiguity, the crisis in FSFE has breen brewing for a long time and didn't spontaneously arrive with any one volunteer or decision.

            In 1985, the FSF was founded by Richard Stallman.

            In 2001, a group of volunteers split from FSF and started using the name FSF Europe, now FSFE, for a new organization. They promised to be subject to an agreement with FSF but they abandoned the agreement and stubbornly continued using the name FSFE anyway.

            In 2009, these people promised volunteers that they would be better than the FSF by giving volunteers membership, as Fellows and giving them permission to vote.

            In 2016, Elias Diem, a Fellow in Switzerland invited Richard Stallman from the real FSF to speak at a joint FSF-FSFE event.

            Diem subsequently died in an accident.

            Shortly afterwards, FSFE received a EUR 150,000 bequest.

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Shepherd 0.8.0 released
            We are pleased to announce the GNU Shepherd version 0.8.0.  This release
            represents 31 commits by 7 people, primarily bug fixes and small
            additions to the programming interface.

            ● About

            The GNU Daemon Shepherd or GNU Shepherd is a service manager written in Guile that looks after the herd of system services. It provides a replacement for the service-managing capabilities of SysV-init (or any other init) with a dependency-based system with a convenient interface. The GNU Shepherd may also be used by unprivileged users to manage per-user daemons (e.g., tor, privoxy, mcron, etc.) It is written in Guile Scheme, and is configured and extended using Guile.

            The GNU Shepherd is developed jointly with the GNU Guix project; it is used as the init system of Guix, GNU’s advanced GNU/Linux distribution.


            ● Download

            Here are the compressed sources and a GPG detached signature[*]:

            Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:

            Here are the SHA1 and SHA256 checksums:

            1b1cea9c1271ef21611e8b717e9fd37c3c165bdc shepherd-0.8.0.tar.gz 940eb3e8a6f2ee710925b35ace3ee003cc8a38ff017a121d471bb5573e628b0a shepherd-0.8.0.tar.gz

            [*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the .sig suffix) is intact. First, be sure to download both the .sig file and the corresponding tarball. Then, run a command like this:

            gpg --verify shepherd-0.8.0.tar.gz.sig

            If that command fails because you don't have the required public key, then run this command to import it:

            gpg --keyserver \ --recv-keys 3CE464558A84FDC69DB40CFB090B11993D9AEBB5

            and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.

            This release was bootstrapped with the following tools: Autoconf 2.69 Automake 1.16.2 Makeinfo 6.7 Help2man 1.47.13

            ● Changes since version 0.7.0 (excerpt from the NEWS file)

            ** Kill the whole process group when the PID file doesn’t show up (&lts;>) ** ‘make-kill-destructor’ kills the process group ** New ‘default-pid-file-timeout’ SRFI-39 parameter ** New #:file-creation-mask parameter for ‘make-forkexec-constructor’ ** ‘make-forkexec-constructor’ creates log files as #o640 (&lts;>) ** Improve documentation and examples ** Ensure man pages are up to date (&lts;>) ** Fix compilation on systems without ‘prctl’ such as GNU/Hurd ** Remove kludge that would send SIGALRM every second ** Address “error in finalization thread” warning ** ‘make-forkexec-constructor’ no longer supports old calling convention

            The first argument must be a list of strings. Passing several strings has been deprecated since 0.1.

            Please report bugs to address@hidden. Join address@hidden and address@hidden for discussions.

            Ludovic, on behalf of the Shepherd herd.
          • GNU Shepherd 0.8 Released As An Alternative To Systemd

            GNU Shepherd, the official init system and service manager of the GNU operating system, is out with its newest update.

            This Guile-written service manager is up to version 0.8.0 and has seen just under three dozen commits from seven developers since the previous release.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Top 5 open source licenses trends

            Everybody has a favorite database project. Well, most of you do anyway… If you do, you may feel protective about what people can and cannot do with it. That usually comes down to the open source license. And man, licenses can get people's backs up, so it's good to know where things are headed when you're picking a license for a project or just trying to understand what's out there. Thankfully the folks at WhiteSource do a deep dive each year to let us know what's happening with all the open source packages and files in their database. Here are five trends to know about open source licenses.

      • Programming/Development

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Elixir

          Elixir is a dynamic, functional language designed for building scalable and maintainable applications. Besides scalability, Elixir is noted for its speed, good garbage collection, dynamic typing, immutable data, and high reliability.

          Elixir is a relatively new functional programming language that runs on the Erlang virtual machine. Elixir builds on top of Erlang and shares the same abstractions for building distributed, fault-tolerant applications.

          The language is published under the Apache License 2.0.

        • Perl/Raku

          • 2020.16 Rash In Progress

            Arne Sommer has started publishing a number of blog posts on how to create a Raku shell (a command line interpreter like Bash). The first instalments cover paths, loops, catching interrupts and running external programs. In interesting introduction to many Raku features. And maybe the start of something really cool! (/r/rakulang comments).

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 056: Diff-K and Path Sum

            I totally ignored the fact that the input array is sorted. My solution works for any input array, but it’s still rather efficient.

            The basic trick is that we don’t have to compute $A[$i] - $A[$j] for each combination or $i and $j. We know $k from the very beginning, so we can just iterate the array for the first time to store it in a hash, and iterate it for the second time to check the hash whether the corresponding number exists in the array.

        • Python

          • S. Lott: Why Python is not the programming language of the future -- a response

            This is an interesting article with some important points. And. It has some points that I disagree with.

          • EuroPython 2020: Ticket sales started
          • Building a Python community in Colombia: John Roa, 2018 Q4 CSA Recipient

            PyCons take place throughout many parts of the world. Each PyCon is different in its own way; drawing from its own geographical location as well as local history and culture. In 2017 another beautiful country opened its doors to a new PyCon, with the launch of PyCon Colombia.

            PyCon Columbia stands out for its attention to detail, superb planning, and well-curated content. "What struck me about PyCon Colombia was how well thought out and organized it is. Particularly for a fairly new conference, it was exceptional in how carefully and completely things had been organized," says Naomi Ceder, Chair of the PSF Board of Directors, who delivered the keynote at PyCon Colombia 2018. Reflecting this dedication, on the PyCon Colombia website the conference comments that it is one "made with love." Like a ship needs a captain for smooth sailing, a PyCon needs one too. John Rao is that person for PyCon Colombia as he has been the chair of PyCon Colombia since its first edition in 2017. It is for this reason that the Python Software Foundation is pleased to recognize John Roa for the 2018 Q4 Community Service Award:

            The Q4 award also went to John Roa for his work as a founder and Conference Chair of PyCon Colombia.

          • Python Coding Interviews: Tips & Best Practices

            You’ve made it past the phone call with the recruiter, and now it’s time to show that you know how to solve problems with actual code. Whether it’s a HackerRank exercise, a take-home assignment, or an onsite whiteboard interview, this is your moment to prove your coding interview skills.

            But interviews aren’t just about solving problems: they’re also about showing that you can write clean production code. This means that you have a deep knowledge of Python’s built-in functionality and libraries. This knowledge shows companies that you can move quickly and won’t duplicate functionality that comes with the language just because you don’t know it exists.

            At Real Python, we’ve put our heads together and discussed what tools we’re always impressed to see in coding interviews. This course will walk you through the best of that functionality, starting with Python built-ins, then Python’s native support for data structures, and finally Python’s powerful (and often underappreciated) standard library.

          • Dropping Tutorial Paralysis, Building a Django Blog From Scratch

            Have you ever wanted to create awesome stuff with Django like making your own blog or any other app but don't know where to start? Or are you tired of taking lazy tutorials?

          • How To Fix – FATAL: Peer authentication failed for user “postgres” Error

            Peer authentication failed error arrives when you try to login to your PostgreSQL user but authentication fails because by default psql connects over UNIX sockets using peer authentication instead of password authentication.

          • Effective Python Testing With Pytest

            Testing your code brings a wide variety of benefits. It increases your confidence that the code behaves as you expect and ensures that changes to your code won’t cause regressions. Writing and maintaining tests is hard work, so you should leverage all the tools at your disposal to make it as painless as possible. pytest is one of the best tools you can use to boost your testing productivity.

          • The Three of Wands: Building Pyrseia I: The Idea

            Over at Highrise, we're looking to replace our internal Python RPC library. The in-house solution we're using now isn't particularly bad, but it doesn't integrate well with Mypy, which is a Python typechecker that might be useful to us. It's also somewhat boilerplate-y, and very coupled to our particular set of design choices. This series of articles follows my attempts to do better, in the form of a modern, open source, fully customizable RPC library. I've decided to call the library Pyrseia, which is an ancient greek method of long distance communication.

          • How I use Python to map the global spread of COVID-19

            The spread of disease is a real concern for a world in which global travel is commonplace. A few organizations track significant epidemics (and any pandemic), and fortunately, they publish their work as open data. The raw data can be difficult for humans to process, though, and that's why data science is so vital. For instance, it could be useful to visualize the worldwide spread of COVID-19 with Python and Pandas.

          • Using Python to visualize COVID-19 projections

            Using Python and some graphing libraries, you can project the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, and also display the total number of deaths for a country (this article uses India as an example) on a given date. Humans sometimes need help interpreting and processing the meaning of data, so this article also demonstrates how to create an animated horizontal bar graph for five countries, showing the variation of cases by date.

          • Python 3.7.4 : A simple addon for Blender 3D version 2.8 .
          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #417 (April 21, 2020)
          • Goodbye Python 2 programming language: This is the final Python 2.7 release

            After 11 years of supporting programming language Python from the 2.7 branch, the Python Software Foundation has released the last ever update for it and is urging users to move on to Python 3 to continue receiving first-party support.

            Python 2.7 support was meant to end in 2015 but was extended five years until 2020, six years after Python's creator, Guido van Rossum, announced Python 3 and implored users to "move on to Python 3".

          • Python 2.7.18, the last release of Python 2

            The CPython core developers are pleased to announce the immediate availability of Python 2.7.18.

          • Python 2.7.18, the end of an era
            I'm eudaemonic to announce the immediate availability of Python 2.7.18.

            Python 2.7.18 is a special release. I refer, of course, to the fact that "2.7.18" is the closest any Python version number will ever approximate e, Euler's number. Simply exquisite!

            A less transcendent property of Python 2.7.18 is that it is the last Python 2.7 release and therefore the last Python 2 release. It's time for the CPython community to say a fond but firm farewell to Python 2. Users still on Python 2 can use e to compute the instantaneously compounding interest on their technical debt.

            Download this unique, commemorative Python release on


            Python 2.7 has been under active development since the release of Python 2.6, more than 11 years ago. Over all those years, CPython's core developers and contributors sedulously applied bug fixes to the 2.7 branch, no small task as the Python 2 and 3 branches diverged. There were large changes midway through Python 2.7's life such as PEP 466's feature backports to the ssl module and hash randomization. Traditionally, these features would never have been added to a branch in maintenance mode, but exceptions were made to keep Python 2 users secure. Thank you to CPython's community for such dedication.

            Python 2.7 was lucky to have the services of two generations of binary builders and operating system experts, Martin von Löwis and Steve Dower for Windows, and Ronald Oussoren and Ned Deily for macOS. The reason we provided binary Python 2.7 releases for macOS 10.9, an operating system obsoleted by Apple 4 years ago, or why the "Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler for Python 2.7" exists is the dedication of these individuals.

            I thank the past and present Python release managers, Barry Warsaw, Ned Deily, Georg Brandl, Larry Hastings, and Łukasz Langa for their advice and support over the years. I've learned a lot from them—like don't be the sucker who volunteers to manage the release right before a big compatibility break!

            Python 3 would be nowhere without the critical work of the wider community. Library maintainers followed CPython by maintaining Python 2 support for many years but also threw their weight behind the Python 3 statement ( Linux distributors chased Python 2 out of their archives. Users migrated hundreds of millions of lines of code, developed porting guides, and kept Python 2 in their brain while Python 3 gained 10 years of improvements.

            Finally, thank you to GvR for creating Python 0.9, 1, 2, and 3.

            Long live Python 3+!

            Signing off,


            2.7 release manager
          • Python 2.7.18, the end of an era

            Python 2.7.18 is out. This is the last release and end of support for Python 2.

          • Introducing ndindex, a Python library for manipulating indices of ndarrays

            One of the most important features of NumPy arrays is their indexing semantics. By "indexing" I mean anything that happens inside square brackets, for example, a[4::-1, 0, ..., [0, 1], np.newaxis]. NumPy's index semantics are very expressive and powerful, and this is one of the reasons the library is so popular.


            These limitations may be annoying, but are easy enough to live with. The real challenge when working with indices comes when you try to manipulate them. Slices in particular are challenging to work with because the rich meaning of slice semantics. Writing formulas for even very simple things is a real challenge with slices. slice(start, stop, step) (corresponding to a[start:stop:step]) has fundamentally different meaning depending on whether start,stop, or step are negative, nonnegative, or None. As an example, take a[4:-2:-2], where a is a one-dimensional array. This slices every other element from the third element to the second from the last. What will the shape of this sliced array be? The answer is (0,) if the original shape is less than 1 or greater than 5, and (1,) otherwise.

          • How to patch in Python?

            (monkey-) patching is a technique for changing code behaviour without altering its source. It is done in runtime, usually by overriding attributes of existing objects. An object can be an instance of some sort, a class or even a module. The technique is most commonly (ab)used for tests when we cannot pass mocks in a simple way.


            Gevent made requests a coroutine-friendly library and thanks to concurrency, it enabled our example server to handle over 13.5 times more requests per second.

            In the end, we have a program that has coroutine-based concurrency (same principle as in asyncio or node.js) but its code still looks like synchronous one. We do not need special, cooperative libraries or async/await keywords in our code. It’s almost like magic.

          • Installation of Jupyter on external hard disk/ USB

            We have to use Jupyter notebooks for Machine Learning at our university. Jupyter needs a lot of space on the hard disk and I was able to remember (from vocational school) that we were able to install PHPMyAdmin on a USB stick. You have a transportable web application on this way. I had this goal for Jupyter and the Python environment on Linux.

        • Rust

          • Programming language Rust's adoption problem: Developers reveal why more aren't using it

            Rust has been voted the "most-loved" programming language by developers on Stack Overflow for four years in a row. But the Rust project now admits it has an adoption problem among developers and organizations.

            Rust's adoption issue surfaced in January's Stack Overflow's 2019 survey, which revealed that despite developers' positive feelings toward Rust, 97% of them hadn't actually used it.

            Rust maintainers have now explored the adoption challenges in their latest annual survey of nearly 4,000 developers across the world. Of those who use Rust full-time, most developers report working in back-end web applications, distributed systems, and embedded systems.

          • In Rust we trust? Yes, but we want better tools and wider usage, say devs

            "The overriding problem hindering use of Rust is adoption," according to the language's official survey, with some developers struggling to be productive and hampered by limited IDE support.

            Rust is the "most-loved" language, the StackOverflow research says, and has been for four years in a row, but the new study shows that one in five Rust developers do not feel productive in the language. The top reasons cited as barriers to adoption were the need for better training and documentation, improved libraries, and more IDE integration.

            "As a small business, even 4-6 weeks to become productive is a lot to ask," said one respondent.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • New font with Unicode-compatible Creative Commons license symbols

        Version 13 of the Unicode Standard — the world’s leading standard for characters, symbols, and emoji — was announced in early March 2020. The addition of the Creative Commons (CC) license symbols caught my interest among the 5390 new characters added in version 13.

        Creative Commons is a set of permissive free-culture licenses that are meant to encourage sharing. Think of it as the open-source code for creative works. Read the Creative Commons License Primer if you’re unfamiliar with their licenses. The different CC licenses are associated with symbols that represent what rights the license restricts. E.g. the 🄏 non-commercial symbol is used to represent licenses that restrict commercial exploitation.

      • How to get computers made 40 years apart talking to each other

        Hypothetical: You've got two computers you need to move files between. Software, saved games, documents… whatever the type of files, you've got ‘em on one computer. And you need to get them to another one. Just one wrinkle – one of those computers was made in 2020 (let's say a laptop running Linux or Windows 10)… and the other was produced four decades earlier (let's say an old Apple II).

      • Course on Interoperability in Health Informatics - now free

        To that matter, Edx offers a particularly relevant course in the current context and this collection on Health Informatics Data and Interoperability Standards.

      • The Decline of Usability

        Another apparently unfashionable UI standard is the menu bar. It used to be a lowest common denominator between platforms and, when still present, it works basically the same on Windows, Mac and Unix-likes. For the most part, it even keeps the traditional "File, Edit, View" approach to things. The Gnome designers, however, have decided that such menus are apparently a bad feature and they should probably never have been used in the first place. To rectify more than three decades of such folly, they have created... something I'm not sure what to call.

        One of the tricks up their sleeve is the hamburger menu. On smartphones, it's a great feature, but on the desktop, it's unnecessary: If there's anything we have on today's wide screen displays, it's horizontal space. In Gnome, it seems to be a catch-all for UI operations that didn't end up somewhere else.

      • The decline of usability

        We can find solace in the fact that trends tend to be cyclical, so there’s a real chance the pendulum will eventually wing back.

  • Leftovers

    • The Pleasures of Eating Matzo

      When the good weather allows it, I get together with my friend Manny Greer and sit on the bench in front of our favorite coffee-house in Soho, Ground Support, whose owner, Steven, is a good friend of ours. Although he is much younger than we are (he is in his forties, Manny is 95-years-old and I’m 80) we have a good banter among us.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Our Response to the Coronavirus Demonstrates How Far America Has Careened Off Track

        We can’t make the masks we need, but we pour billions into an unnecessary military build-up.

        Stephen Kinzer is a former New York Times reporter and the author of Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (2006) and Reset Middle East: Old Friends and New Alliances: Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Iran (2011).

      • The Coronavirus Pandemic and Our Civilizational Crisis

        Although the coronavirus pandemic is not unique in its global reach, it, nevertheless, reminds us of the deficiencies inherent in the systems within which we operate. Indeed, all such infectious diseases exist in specific contexts that determine how lethal they will be and what will be the extent of our capacities for dealing with the death and disruption accompanying them.

      • "Donald J. Trump Ventilators"

        Although it should have come as no surprise, Donald Trump’s unprecedented decision to add his name to stimulus checks going out to millions of Americans under the CARE Act still has left jaws dropping across the beleaguered land, which is approaching 650,000 cases of the COVID-19 virus Trump predicted would soon be down to zero (“like a miracle”).

      • 'A Snapshot of a System In Breakdown': States Forced to Smuggle PPE Under the Nose of the Feds

        "The federal covid response has entered a new phase of political sadism."

      • The Fire Fauci Brigade

        The intemperate volcano that is the US President has done much to burn its way through prominent appointments. As the title of former GOP strategist Rick Wilson’s book goes, Everything Trump Touches Dies. There seem few more important individuals in the United States than Dr Anthony Fauci, and that, for the White House, is a problem. No burning bushel can distract from the orange tufted centre of power that is Donald Trump, and Fauci, as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been giving much to distract.

      • With 4,268 new cases in the past day, Russia's official coronavirus count hits 47,121 patients

        On the morning of April 20, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 4,268 new coronavirus infections in the past day, bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 47,121 patients. A day earlier, health officials reported 6,060 new cases.

      • Feinstein Urges Newsom to Negotiate with Trump over Increasing Water Exports to Agribusiness

        On April 15, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representatives Jim Costa, TJ Cox, John Garamendi, and Josh Harder sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom imploring him to reach an agreement with federal agencies through negotiation, rather than judicial action, on increasing water deliveries from the Delta€ to San€ Joaquin Valley corporate agribusiness interests.

      • Russia's National Guard gets 1.3 billion rubles for medical equipment to fight coronavirus

        Russia’s federal government has allocated 1.3 billion rubles ($17.5 million) to the National Guard to procure medical equipment needed to combat the spread of coronavirus, according to a new order issued by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. The funds are earmarked for the purchase of ventilators, non-contact digital thermometers, air disinfectants, and more.

      • A Moscow hospital discharged a woman who complained of fever. She died near her home one hour later.

        A resident of Moscow’s Marfino district died on a bench near the entrance of her home on April 18, within an hour of being discharged from the hospital, according to the news agency TASS. According to the TV channel REN and the Telegram channel Baza, the woman’s name was Elena Chuklova. She was just 48 years old.

      • Millions of Essential Workers Are Being Left Out of COVID-19 Safety Protections

        As news emerged that the novel coronavirus was infecting hundreds of workers in meatpacking plants, Gregoria Rivas began worrying that her chicken processing facility in North Carolina wasn’t doing enough to protect workers like her from the virus.

      • Covid-19 Exposes the Death Penalty’s Selfishness

        Capital punishment has always been perverse, but during our country’s struggle with the coronavirus, its selfishness sticks out like a sneeze, its sickly aerosols joining racism, classism, and festering immorality€ — all the hallmarks that have long-infected its practice.

      • De-Funding the World Health Organization: Unethical, Cruel, and Dangerous for the World

        Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse than a global pandemic that has reached all corners of the earth, infecting over 2 million people and killing over 146,000 — over 33,000 so far in the U.S. — President Trump has announced that the U.S. will suspend all funding to the World Health Organization.

      • The Geopolitical Streisand Effect: The More China And The WHO Try To Silence Taiwan, The More Attention Its Success Fighting COVID-19 Gets

        Last week, a full page advertisement appeared in the NY Times, that was crowdfunded by nearly 27,000 people (mostly from Taiwan), with the provocative line: "WHO can help? Taiwan." Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen posted a picture to her Facebook page:

      • Russia’s Orthodox Easter amid the coronavirus pandemic

        Late into Saturday evening and before the crack of dawn on Sunday, Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter over the weekend. This year’s services had to reckon with self-isolation containment measures in place to curb the spread of coronavirus, which led many churches across Russia to close their doors to the public and broadcast their ceremonies online. In some areas, however, churches remained open to worshippers, who came to celebrate Easter while wearing masks and socially distancing — sometimes.

      • COVID-19, Poverty and Structural Violence

        As a nation, obviously, there are so many things we can do better. There always will be. Yet, what the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made all too apparent is how we have not appropriately dealt with poverty in the United States. This is not just about the Trump Administration, it is about all past presidential administrations and past congressional sessions which have largely ignored the issue in favor of corporate concerns, or more lucrative economic programs, and/or private interests. At times, poverty has been on the governmental agenda, and at times, some legislation has been passed. But in all honesty, why has poverty not been a more major issue to tackle?

      • 'Heroes': Healthcare Workers Stand in Street to Block Right-Wing Protest Against Colorado Stay-at-Home Order

        "When they're telling us not to contribute to what they're seeing in the hospital every day, listen."

      • How Ecuador Descended Into Corona Chaos

        In the last few days and weeks, media outlets around the world have been publishing shocking stories and images of the COVID-19 crisis in Ecuador. Scenes of corpses abandoned in the streets of Guayaquil, Ecuador’s second-largest city, have shaken audiences in Latin America and beyond. Statistics, even the highly untrustworthy official ones, have confirmed the dire picture of a fast accelerating crisis. Whereas on March 17 just 111 people had tested positive for COVID-19, by April 13, 7,529 were reported to be infected, and 355 people were reported to have died. Bearing in mind the difficulties of cross-country comparisons and disparities in testing, Ecuador now has the highest per capita COVID-19 death toll in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the second-highest per capita number of COVID-19 cases. So how did Ecuador, and the city of Guayaquil in particular, with 70 percent of national cases, reach this point?

      • Starving the Cities and States

        Disaster capitalism is in high gear. The stock market plunged, so Trump, hysterical, whipped out the federal checkbook. The result? Unlimited bailouts of shoddily-run corporations, criminally managed banks and other assorted oligarchs with their hands out. But hey, it got the stock market soaring, because now investors know Washington will rescue them, whatever idiocies they commit. Everybody else is on their own. After they cash that one-time stimulus check, they get to join the rest of the unemployed in the line at the food bank. Meanwhile the lifeline for the 22 million people who have lost their jobs is their unemployment check. For that they turn to their state. And guess what? The Covid-19-caused economic shutdown is bankrupting the states.

      • Medical Staffing Companies Cut Doctors’ Pay While Spending Millions on Political Ads

        Private equity-backed medical staffing companies that have cut doctors’ pay are continuing to spend millions on political ads, according to Federal Communications Commission disclosures.

        The ads amount to $2.2 million since Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency on Jan. 31. About $1.2 million has been spent since President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration on March 13, the disclosures show.

      • Trumpian Nationalists Have Met Their Match in COVID-19

        “Where does incompetence end and crime begin?” asked an appalled German chancellor in the First World War on learning that his chief military commander planned to renew his bloody but futile attacks on the Western Front.

      • The Reason COVID-19 and Climate Seem So Similar: Disinformation

        For a long time, the story went that the tobacco industry cooked up disinformation and then spread it to the fossil fuel guys, the chemical industry, pharma, you name it. But one thing that became incredibly clear when we began digging into PR firms and specific publicists was that this version of history was not quite right; if disinformation strategies were cooked up by any particular industry it was the public relations industry, which put these strategies to work on behalf of fossil fuels, tobacco, chemical manufacturers and more, often all at the same€ time.

      • On Badass Nurses: I Want My Death To Make You Angry
      • Lifting Stay-in-Place Rules Won’t Fix Economy If Virus Still Rages, Fauci Says

        A number of protests across the country took place over the weekend, in which participants argued against stay-in-place orders meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and in favor of “reopening the economy” as pushed by President Donald Trump.

      • Cities across Russia see virtual protests against self-isolation restrictions

        Residents of Rostov-on-Don held a virtual rally against self-isolation restrictions on April 20, using the “Conversations” tool on the mobile apps Yandex.Maps and Yandex.Navigator.€ During the virtual rally, locals dropped pins near the regional government building and wrote messages about the impact of self-isolation orders, ranging from lost jobs to ineligibility for social assistance. In general, participants demanded one of two things: either the authorities introduce a full quarantine regime (which would provide local residents with guaranteed social assistance from the government) or the removal of restrictions preventing people from going to work. Hundreds of comments appeared over the course of the digital protest.

      • Trump’s Inaction on the COVID-19 Crisis Seems More Deliberate Each Day

        Within the heart of the problem is this ventricle: Donald Trump defines “sacrifice” as “what other people do to make me happy.” Trump enjoys having his picture taken with evangelical ministers laying hands on him like he’s the very Rock of Ages, but in truth, the man wouldn’t know genuine sacrifice if it walked up and stuffed a live bat down his pants.

      • Governor Whitmer’s Lockdown Approval Rating Surpasses Trump’s

        Despite Trump’s calls for residents of Michigan to “liberate” themselves against stay-in-place policies implemented by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a recent poll shows greater support and approval for Whitmer’s response to the coronavirus than the president’s among citizens of The Great Lakes State.

      • Officials Knew Coronavirus Could Spread at the Houston Rodeo and Proceeded With the Event Anyway

        Days before the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo kicked off, area politicians celebrated this great piece of Americana — dubbed the world’s largest livestock show — which was going forward in the age of the coronavirus.

        Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, a 29-year-old rising political star, posted on Facebook on Feb. 28 how “pumped” she was for rodeo season, sharing a list of her favorite songs. “Look forward to seeing y’all there! #RodeoHouston.”

      • Most Illinois School Districts Did Not Have Approved E-learning Plans Before the Pandemic

        Long before the coronavirus crisis shut down Illinois schools, state education officials had encouraged districts to prepare for circumstances when they would have to teach remotely. But most of the state’s 852 school districts didn’t have e-learning plans in place when schools closed in mid-March, a ProPublica Illinois-Chicago Tribune analysis has found.

        Many of those districts have found themselves scrambling to figure out how best to teach students when they can’t be face to face. They have had to search for the best online platforms — Google Meet or Zoom or Flipgrid or Seesaw? — and try to determine how many students lacked internet service while districts that had already established the logistics have been able to pivot more easily into actual instruction.

      • COVID-19 'Liberate' Groups Are the Same Ones Pushing Climate Denial

        The response among many American public officials and the public at large to the COVID-19 pandemic has, in many ways, paralleled the response to the climate€ crisis.

      • Time for Fauci to Quit?

        If Fauci hangs in there and stresses the inevitability of a second wave of deaths closer to election time if the lockdowns end prematurely, he might just manage to steer Trump away from this cliff.

      • Cobra Is Not Enough! Congress Must Expand Medicare Coverage to Everyone for Duration of Coronavirus Crisis

        Big problems demand big solutions: Congress Must Expand Medicare Coverage to Everyone in America for the Duration of the Crisis.

      • "They Wanted To Kill Us With Stones": Cop On Attack On Quarantine Team

        The group who had attacked police and healthcare workers at the minority-dominated Padarayanapura in the city on Sunday night had raised slogans ''kill police'' when the team went to quarantine some people, the police alleged in an FIR.

        Around 100 to 120 people rushed out onto the road targeting the police and health workers who wanted to pick up primary and secondary contacts of coronavirus patients.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Git v2.26.2 and others
            Today, the Git project is releasing the following Git versions:

            v2.26.2, v2.25.4, v2.24.3, v2.23.3, v2.22.4, v2.21.3, v2.20.4, v2.19.5, v2.18.4, and v2.17.5.

            These releases address the security issue CVE-2020-11008, which is similar to the recently addressed CVE-2020-5260.

            Users of the affected maintenance tracks are urged to upgrade.

            The tarballs are found at:


            The following public repositories all have a copy of the 'v2.26.2' and other tags:

            url = url = git:// url =

            Attached below is the release notes for 2.17.5; all the newer maintenance tracks listed at the beginning of this message are updated with the same fix, so I won't repeat them here.

          • Git Sees Another Round Of New Releases Due To Security Issue

            Last week saw a slew of new Git releases due to a security issue over the newline character creating a possible credential leak. This week is another round of emergency Git releases due to a similar security bug.

            Git 2.26.2 is out today along with new point releases from Git 2.25 through Git 2.17. These new Git releases are coming as a result of a similar security bug to last week's problem.

          • Why Online Voting Won't Work, Even in a Pandemic

            But as Motherboard has reported extensively, voting machines and using the internet in any way to exercise our most democratic right could call into question the integrity of the results and leave systems vulnerable to manipulation. Or, as the Democratic party discovered during its Iowa caucuses this past January, the entire vote count is at the mercy of a terrible app.

            On this week’s CYBER we have Motherboard reporter Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai on to discuss why online voting isn't ready for prime time.

          • Massachusetts, Indiana Settle With Equifax Over 2017 Data Breach

            As part of a settlement approved in January, Equifax will have to set aside $380 million for payments to affected individuals, attorney fees of $80 million, and other costs. The states that filed a lawsuit against the company will receive a total of $175 million.

            However, Massachusetts and Indiana are not included in that multistate settlement as they filed their own lawsuits against Equifax. The attorneys general of Massachusetts and Indiana announced last week that they have each reached a settlement with the company for $18.2 million and $19.5 million, respectively.

            The Equifax breach impacted roughly 3.9 million residents of Indiana and nearly 3 million people in Massachusetts.

          • Detroit hospital network says data breach affected more than 100,000 patient accounts [iophk: Windows TCO]

            The attack against the hospital network occurred months before U.S. facilities started responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

          • Beaumont security breach puts personal information of 112,000 people at risk [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Beaumont discovered in late March that employee email accounts had been accessed May 23-June 3, 2019 by a third party, potentially compromising such patient information as name, date of birth, diagnosis, diagnosis code, procedure, treatment location, treatment type, prescription information, Beaumont patient account number, and Beaumont medical record number.

          • IT Services Giant Cognizant Attacked by ‘Maze’ Ransomware [iophk: Windows TCO]

            The company, which has about 300,000 employees, said it was hit by the “Maze” #ransomware group and is engaging law enforcement authorities.

          • Cognizant Hit by 'Maze' Ransomware Attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

            According to cybersecurity firm McAfee, [attackers] who deploy Maze threaten to release information on the [Internet] if the targeted companies fail to pay.

            "We are in ongoing communication with our clients and have provided them with indicators of compromise and other technical information of a defensive nature," Cognizant added.

            It did not respond to a request from Reuters for further comments on the incident.

          • Cognizant hit by ‘Maze’ ransomware attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

            “Cognizant can confirm that a security incident involving our internal systems, and causing service disruptions for some of our clients, is the result of a Maze ransomware attack,” Cognizant said in a statement. It added that its internal security teams, supplemented by leading cyber defense firms, are actively taking steps to contain this incident.

          • Cognizant hit by 'Maze' ransomware attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

            New-Jersey headquartered IT services provider Cognizant on Saturday said that it had faced a ransomware attack on Saturday that has caused disruptions to its clients.

            The company released a statement on Saturday on its official website. “Cognizant can confirm that a security incident involving our internal systems, and causing service disruptions for some of our clients, is the result of a Maze ransomware attack,” it said.

            The Maze ransomware was discovered in 2019 and has since gained notoriety.

          • COVID-19’s impact on Tor

            We had to let go of 13 great people who helped make Tor available to millions of people around the world. We will move forward with a core team of 22 people, and remain dedicated to continuing our work on Tor Browser and the Tor software ecosystem.

          • Tor Project lets go of a third of staff due to COVID-19

            The Tor Project, the non profit organization behind the Tor (The Onion Router) Browser, has let go of roughly a third of its staff due to the COVID-19 crisis. Tor is known as a private browser developed for use by dissidents in oppressive countries and others that need their internet use anonymized. Tech companies and organizations around the world have been affected by this pandemic, and it’s sobering to see the Tor Project have to let go of staff during this time period where Tor use is arguably ever more crucial.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (webkit2gtk), Debian (awl, git, and openssl), Red Hat (chromium-browser, git, http-parser, java-1.7.0-openjdk, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, qemu-kvm-ma, rh-git218-git, and rh-maven35-jackson-databind), Scientific Linux (advancecomp, avahi, bash, bind, bluez, cups, curl, dovecot, doxygen, evolution, expat, file, firefox, gettext, git, GNOME, httpd, ImageMagick, java-1.7.0-openjdk, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, kernel, lftp, libosinfo, libqb, libreoffice, libsndfile, libxml2, mailman, mariadb, mod_auth_mellon, mutt, nbdkit, net-snmp, okular, php, polkit, poppler and evince, python, python-twisted-web, python3, qemu-kvm, qt, rsyslog, samba, squid, taglib, telnet, texlive, thunderbird, unzip, wireshark, and zziplib), SUSE (apache2), and Ubuntu (git and python2.7, python3.4, python3.5, python3.6, python3.7).

          • Russian IT Security Updates

            As part of the April „fix Tuesday“, Microsoft fixed 113 vulnerabilities in various products, including three zero-day vulnerabilities in Windows that were used in attacks to execute arbitrary code and increase privileges.

            Two zero-day issues (CVE-2020-1020 and CVE-2020-0938) were contained in Adobe Type Manager Library and affected all supported versions of Windows, including Windows 7.

            the Third vulnerability ( CVE-2020-1027 ) affected the Windows kernel and allowed the attacker to increase their privileges and execute code with kernel privileges.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘The US Reaction to Pressure to Ease Sanctions Was to Double Down’
      • The Mountains Sing

        I was born near New York City in 1973, the year the United States officially ended its war in Vietnam and brought home the last of its combat troops. The Vietnam War, known to the Vietnamese as The American War, was always something removed from me, even as I read history after history, watched documentaries and, as a Marine Corps officer, researched copies of wartime Marine Corps manuals. Despite that the war waged for another couple of years after my birth for the Vietnamese people, that the peoples of Cambodia and Laos suffered mass killings and atrocities while I was a boy, and that to this day, as I am now a man in his late forties, both Vietnamese and American families, in the millions, suffer death and disability from the poisonous and lasting effects of Agent Orange, not to mention the thousands who are killed and maimed each year due to the unexploded remnants of millions of tons of US bombs dropped on Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, the war had little personal effect on me. Even with my connection now to many Vietnam veterans and my experience meeting scores of family members who have lost husbands, fathers and brothers to Agent Orange, a connection to the war in Vietnam to my own life and my own experiences at war in Afghanistan and Iraq has been simply academic or theoretical.

      • Tatar Islamic Scholar Arrested For Allegedly Running Branch Of Banned Islamic Group

        Nagiyev also said that law enforcement authorities in Tatarstan have already added Naumov to a list of extremists, although his trial is still pending.

        Since 2013, several alleged members of Nurcular have been arrested across Russia.

        Nurcular was founded in Turkey by Islamic scholar Said Nursi, who died in 1960. It has been banned in Russia since 2008.

      • What Coronavirus? PAK busy Missile testing, orchestrating terror in Kashmir

        With reports of people dying due to starvation in Pakistan during coronavirus lockdown and showing discrimination while evacuating VIPs from London, the country's government appears to have different priorities right now. From test-firing missiles in the Arabian Sea to continuing infiltration attempts in Kashmir, Pakistan's agenda appears to be more focused on matters that should not take precedence over saving the lives of PAK citizens.

      • Zambian official says Glencore reverses plan to shutter copper mines

        Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu also denied a report MCM and other Zambian mines might be bargaining chips in ongoing debt negotiations with China.

        A Wall Street Journal report on Friday said, citing Zambian officials, that the government was considering giving China mining assets including Mopani as collateral in exchange for deferral or forgiveness of its sizeable debt.

        Zambia’s external debt stood at $11.2 billion by end-June 2019, the finance minister said in March, with about a third of that foreign debt owed to China.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • John Oliver Blasts Rush Limbaugh, Right-Wing Misinformation About Coronavirus

        While Oliver was incensed by conservative media as a whole, he paid particular attention to Limbaugh, who reaches roughly 15 million listeners with his syndicated talk show—including President Donald Trump. Calling Limbaugh “a man with millions of listeners, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and almost certainly, a room in his basement that his housekeeper isn’t allowed to go into,” Oliver pointed out that even well into the health crisis, the broadcaster has continued to provide his audience with “some fabulously wrong information.”

      • Governors call Trump’s bluff on testing capacity: “The president is simply lying"

        But governors from both parties fact-checked these claims as false. The U.S. is currently processing about 150,000 tests per day, according to the Covid Tracking Project. However, Harvard researchers estimate that the U.S. will have to conduct upwards of 500,000 to 700,000 tests per day to be able to reopen by mid-May.

        Testing is needed to identify and isolate new cases and trace their contacts to prevent further outbreaks.

        "To say that the governors have plenty of testing — and they should get to work on testing, somehow we aren't doing our job — is just absolutely false," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, told CNN on Sunday. "Every governor in America has been pushing and fighting and clawing to get more tests."

    • Environment

      • 4 Myths Pushed By Climate Deniers — And How to Debunk Them

        What’s more is that if we simply redirect some of the US$ 5.2 trillion in subsidies and tax cuts that governments continue to supply the fossil fuel sector, which is at the centre of spewing out massive amounts of carbon emissions that drives global warming, we could make a big difference. This number that the industry receives amounts to 6% of global GDP, and according to the Climate Central, if we just set aside 1% of the world’s GDP for climate action, we could lower carbon emissions, reduce air pollution deaths and increase government revenue to be put aside for the green economy and health sectors.

      • [Old] Ecuadorian children bring case against government

        Nine children aged between seven and 14 who live in the contaminated lands of Sucumbios in the Ecuadorian Amazon have taken their government to court in a landmark case which is awaiting resolution after the lockdown. 

        The state owned Petro Amazonas and the Ministry of the Environment are on the receiving end of the action with the children demanding the cessation of all gas flares in their villages which contaminate the Amazon air they breathe. 

        They are being supported by UK environmentalist Nicola Peel, who is in the vicinity researching the effects of the oil industry on indigenous people and the environment. She and local lawyer Pablo Fajardo accompanied the nine children who handed in the legal demands to the courts at the end of February.

      • International Mother Earth Day: 22 April

        Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Nature is suffering. Australian fires, heat records and the worst locust invasion in Kenya. Now we face COVID -19, a worldwide health pandemic link to the health of our ecosystem.

        Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can increase contact and the transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans (zoonotic diseases) like COVID-19.

      • What Is Earth Day Live? The Largest Online Mass Mobilization in History

        For this upcoming 50th anniversary of Earth Day, youth and other climate activists had planned on holding a massive worldwide strike and thousands of public demonstrations to demand that leaders in the public and private spheres take action on climate change. Of course, in-person gatherings are not possible right now. But in a remarkable showing of agility and creativity, the US Youth Climate Strike Coalition has transformed the event into the largest online mass mobilization in history — Earth Day Live, which will take place April 22–24.

      • Earth Day's 50th anniversary goes digital amid coronavirus pandemic, with virtual protests, video teach-ins and more

        "It is depressing," Hayes said. "But I got a message for you: We've not reached the end of the line. We've still got time to be able to turn this around before we reach tipping points that do become irreversible."

      • This Earth Day, We Should Repent

        Places that seemed to European explorers like Eden will now become uninhabitable, and everywhere, the attempt to master nature will leave us more subject to it. We pride ourselves on cleverness and we sought to remake the world with our knowledge. We looked to the future for consolation and to posterity for vindication. But unless we make a great turn, it seems safe to assume we will go down as the greatest fools who ever lived.

        Yet, in a technocratic age, we still think in terms of plans and blueprints to be “implemented.” International institutions, even more than governments, are obsessed with targets and indicators. All this despite the evidence: The United Nations statistician Howard Friedman has found, for example, that, except for debt relief, none of the organization’s Millennium Development Goals had a discernible effect.

        It is time, then, to consider a new kind of declaration. A declaration of responsibility, acknowledging what we have done and recognizing we were mistaken: a simple expression of collective responsibility for what is wrong.

      • Why You Should Care About Earth Day During the Global Coronavirus Pandemic

        On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans participated in protests, festivals, and rallies on the very first Earth Day. The occasion launched the modern environmental movement and helped pave the way for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) later that year. Soon after, Congress passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, three pieces of legislation that improved public health and inspired countless conservation efforts. On that Earth Day, 10% of the population of the United States came together to protest industrial pollution and demand a sustainable future. And it worked: Our democracy responded with action that saved lives.

      • E.P.A. Weakens Controls on Mercury

        The Trump administration on Thursday weakened regulations on the release of mercury and other toxic metals from oil and coal-fired power plants, another step toward rolling back health protections in the middle of a pandemic.

        The new Environmental Protection Agency rule does not eliminate restrictions on the release of mercury, a heavy metal linked to brain damage. Instead, it creates a new method of calculating the costs and benefits of curbing mercury pollution that environmental lawyers said would fundamentally undermine the legal underpinnings of controls on mercury and many other pollutants.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • How YOU Can Dump Trump

        Neither the human race, nor American democracy, nor the US economy will survive more of this. Our further existence as a species depends on you.€ € 

      • Sanders Won the War of Ideas

        As Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama endorse Joe Biden, the final deathblow to the Bernie campaign is dealt. Beyond the sickening numbness I feel in my gut, there’s a terribly familiar cynicism setting in, the kind of deep-rooted anger that at present, has no place to go. Once again, I feel almost naïve for thinking we could defy the corporate stranglehold on our national politics that has become so painfully predictable for at least a couple of decades. And when it comes to Bernie Sanders, the Democratic establishment already revealed its hand so clearly in 2016. The DNC and the Democratic Party will not allow Sanders to lead the Democratic ticket, no matter how wildly popular he is.

      • Though 'Children Need Peace Now More Than Ever,' US and Russia Block UN Efforts to Impose Global Ceasefire

        American and Russian diplomats have publicly praised calls for a global ceasefire, but say they cannot sign on to a blanket agreement.€ 

      • Why are Americans So Servile to a Clown President?

        Titles are very important to Americans. So is paperwork.

      • COVID-19 and the Wasting Disease of Normalcy

        “But what of the price of peace?” asked Jesuit priest and war resister Daniel Berrigan, writing from federal prison in 1969, doing time for his part in the destruction of draft records. “I think of the good, decent, peace-loving people I have known by the thousands, and I wonder. How many of them are so afflicted with the wasting disease of normalcy that, even as they declare for the peace, their hands reach out with an instinctive spasm in the direction of their loved ones, in the direction of their comforts, their home, their security, their income, their future, their plans — that twenty-year plan of family growth and unity, that fifty-year plan of a decent life and honorable natural demise.”

      • 'Congress Must Cover Paychecks of Every US Worker,' Says Sanders as Laid-Off Americans Struggle to Obtain Benefits

        "Our job now is to join the rest of the industrialized world and pass the Paycheck Security Act."

      • Trump Disrupts the Distinction Between Personal Loyalty & Constitutional Allegiance

        Donald Trump was elected president to disrupt our government and society; to drain the swamp. The specifics were vague, but the understanding was that someone had to change the “system”. As Trump said at the 2016 Republican nominating convention in Cleveland, “Only I can fix it.” And, he wants explicit loyalty to him from government employees as the means for doing that.

      • Pandemic and Protest

        It’s not surprising that certain individuals and groups in US society are starting to publicly protest the ongoing quarantine measures undertaken because of the COVID-19 virus. From the several hundred (mostly) men who strapped on their guns and drove around the capital of Michigan to the Brooklyn Orthodox community members protesting the fact that they cannot hold traditional burial services for their dead, the frustration with the current situation was certain to spill over into these types of scenarios. Add to that the college spring breakers in Florida and the holy roller pastors holding services of hundreds. Then, there’s Ivanka Trump flying to New Jersey to celebrate Passover while the majority of believers held virtual Seders or streamed their Easter services on their device.

      • Strange Attractors: On Being Addicted to Trump and His Press Conferences

        (Un)Reality TV, 2020-Style.

      • That Leaked Labour Party Report

        I have now read my way through all 851 pages of the suppressed and leaked Labour Party report on its handling of anti-semitism complaints. It is an important document, that is fundamental to understanding a major turning point in UK history, where Northern European social democracy failed to re-establish itself in the UK.

      • Trump's Beijing Problem: Starting a New Cold War

        If Joe Biden should become the next president of the United States, there are many serious international situations that require the diplomatic tools of the Department of State and not the coercive tools of the Department of Defense.€  The erratic and unpredictable policies of Donald Trump over the past three years have compromised numerous political arrangements with both allies and adversaries and, in the case of Sino-American relations, have placed us on a glide path toward a “cold war” and possible confrontation between two of the largest military and economic powers in the global community.

      • Trump's Reelection Strategy: Pit Workers Against Democrats

        Will blaming the Democrats for economic hardship caused by the pandemic that he himself mishandled help Trump again squeak out a narrow electoral college victory?

      • Three pro-gun activist brothers are behind several Facebook groups calling for protests against coronavirus lockdowns

        According to The Post, the Dorr brothers also manage several pro-gun groups across a few states and have bypassed certain laws that would require them to register as lobbyists, arguing that they are grassroots organizations.

        A spokesperson for Facebook told The Post that the groups were not removed because the activity was not illegal in the states the groups are based in.

      • Trump Sides With Coronavirus in Endorsement of COVID-19 Truther Protests

        In egging on the protestors, Trump is also undercutting his administration’s own guidelines “30 Days to Slow the Spread,” issued April 2nd, which call on all Americans to “avoid social gatherings, especially those with more than 10 people” and to “avoid discretionary travel” — with encouragement from Trump himself for every American to “do their patriotic duty and help us to achieve a total victory” over the pandemic.

        All three of the states Trump is tweeting about, however, have social-distancing orders put in place by Democratic governors, including Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer — whom Trump frequently derides as “the woman in Michigan” and a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. There are also protests in Ohio, where Republican Gov. Mike DeWine was an early adopter of anti-COVID-19 measures, but Ohio (as of publication time) hasn’t made Trump’s liberation Twitter list.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Virtual vigil for writers and activists at risk in Saudi Arabia

        Join ALQST, English PEN and Reporters Without Borders on 24 April for our monthly vigil in solidarity with writers, journalists and activists at risk and imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

      • Trump warns Americans that Fox News is "on a bad path" after Nancy Pelosi appears on the network

        Trump appears to have grown increasingly uncomfortable with his coverage on the right-wing network, even after nemesis Shep Smith's abrupt retirement last October. On April 2, Trump lashed out at a Fox reporter during a coronavirus briefing. A few days later, he did the same to a different reporter. In February, he attacked multiple network shows and personalities for critical coverage. On Jan. 28, Trump tweeted that Fox News was "really pathetic" and "so politically correct" when Wallace discussed impeachment with Democrat Chris Van Hollen, wondering again "what the hell is happening" at the network and suggesting that Wallace meet Smith's fate.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Next Coronavirus Bill Must Protect the 2020 Elections

        First, it was a public health crisis. Now, it’s decimating the economy. And for it’s next trick, the coronavirus is threatening to undermine the 2020 election.

      • Another Federal Court Says Chalking Tires Is A Violation Of The Fourth Amendment

        In one of the more surprising Fourth Amendment decisions ever handed down, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled "chalking" tires for parking enforcement was a search and, as such, violated the Constitution. The ruling, handed down last spring, sided with the plaintiff. It found that the use of chalk to mark tires for parking enforcement was an investigative act. The intrusion onto citizens' private property -- their cars -- for investigative reasons (rather than the community caretaking function the government claimed) was impermissible without a warrant, even if the cars were parked on public streets.

      • The US’s Failed Response to the Pandemic Is Rooted in Anti-Blackness

        With the speed of lightning, the coronavirus crisis is waking all of the U.S. up to a reality most Black people have known for decades — our country fails the most marginalized. Our systems were ill-prepared to help everyday people sans pandemic. Now in the midst of one, the sun is shining down on their cavernous cracks created by deep-seated anti-Blackness. The reality is we are a country built on a racist house of cards, and the pandemic is showing us how racism — specifically anti-Blackness — impairs our ability to respond, hurting all of us.

      • Oversight Board Calls Out Austin PD For Revamping Policies To Minimize Citizen Complaints

        The Austin (TX) police department barely avoided being hit with a DOJ consent decree a little over a decade ago. The sheer number of recommendations makes you wonder where the consent decree bar sits at the DOJ.

      • Several hundred people violate self-isolation to attend protest in Russia's Vladikavkaz

        Russia doesn’t have a president who is urging “liberation” against efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, but many people in Vladikavkaz have nevertheless had their fill of self-isolation requirements imposed by the local authorities. On Monday, April 20, between 500 and 1,500 residents gathered outside the city's regional administration building. According to MBK Media, the demonstrators protested the loss of their jobs and what they say is inadequate information from public officials about the pandemic.€ 

      • Imagining Protest in a Quarantined World

        Kelly Hayes talks with Lisa Fithian about how we can resist from a distance.

      • ICYMI: Watch "At Home With EFF," A Virtual Discussion of COVID-19 and Digital Rights

        We're excited to announce our next virtual At Home With EFF event this Wednesday at noon (PT), with special guests€ Jeff Deutch€ of Syrian Archive and Mahsa Alimardani of Article 19. Join us€ for€ a conversation€ on content moderation, and the explosion of new, potentially privacy-invasive apps.

        What's At Home With EFF, you ask? In addition to€ the€ over€ 30 critiques, commentaries, and€ guides we've written to€ help users, governments, organizations, and companies€ maintain€ an open and secure approach to combating the pandemic, we're also holding virtual events. This will be our second:€ during the first, on April 2,€ EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn laid out EFF's€ major€ considerations in protecting our security and privacy€ during the pandemic. Afterwards, Activism Director Elliot Harmon spoke with Special Advisor and author Cory Doctorow about emergency medicine and emerging technologies like 3d-printed ventilator parts and open access science. After a short, entertaining trivia round,€ Staff Attorney Saira Hussain spoke with€ Cindy about the use of surveillance technologies€ to stop or slow€ the spread of coronavirus. You can watch the video below.€ 

      • Trump's Praise for Astroturf Protests Is a Divisive Reelection Strategy

        President Trump’s daily coronavirus briefing rallies aren’t even attempting to be relevant to the ongoing pandemic anymore. To the extent it even comes up, it’s entirely Trump bragging about anything that’s gone right and blaming others for everything that’s gone wrong. If you want to know the latest information about the emergency, you’ll need to look elsewhere. These are Trump campaign rallies done for the strict purpose of energizing his base.

      • A Patriot's Day Message

        For so long the world’s governments and media lied on Palestine. That is one of the biggest understatements of the century.


        Human rights law is not a theory, not subject to the coordinated dehumanization of a people’s name. Human rights is the right to a dignified life, to your name, and to the honoring of your story and the true spirit with which you live.

      • Gig Workers at Instacart and Grocery Stores Demand Safety Gear and Hazard Pay
      • 'Minority Report Union-Busting' Tactics at Whole Foods Decried Following Reporting on Company's Labor Activism Heat Map

        The company, which is owned by Amazon, uses factors like race, turnover, and "loyalty" to determine each store's score.€ 

      • 27-year-old Yazidi woman murdered in Hildesheim

        It has been known for some time that violence against women has increased significantly in the wake of the corona crisis. All over the world, women face violence and oppression from men. Since the pandemic, women have been exposed to domestic threats and murder. Women who cannot free themselves because of the quarantine and whose calls for help do not reach possible supporters experience violence in an inhuman way and are killed.

      • Lawyers booked for breach of curfew while accompanying their client to the police headquarters

        Mauritius is under a sanitary curfew since about a month now. People are advised to stay at home and not to venture outside unless they have a Work Access Permit and are going to their workplace or going out to get essential items (e.g food provision, medicines, etc).

        Police officers are on regular patrols across the island and they have also set up road blocks in certain places to ensure that the curfew is being respected.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • 'A level playing field': digital giants will have to pay for news

        Global giants such as Google and Facebook will be forced to pay for content in a radical overhaul of Australia's $10 billion [Internet] advertising business, in a bid to shield local publishers from the economic wreckage of the coronavirus crisis.

        Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will impose a mandatory code on the digital giants after losing faith in their work on a negotiated settlement with Australian media companies to reimburse them for news and other content.

    • Monopolies

      • Unshocking Report: Trump Admin Is Historically Terrible At Reining In Destructive Monopolies

        You need only look at its treatment of the telecom industry to understand that the Trump administration doesn't give a flying damn about U.S. monopolies (or the impact those monopolies have on consumers, prices, innovation, or the market). Despite being one of the least competitive (and least popular) industries in America, the administration has taken a hatchet to telecom consumer protections, often using bogus data and fraud to do it. Massive, competition and job-eroding mergers are rubber stamped before the administration even sees the data. Any pretense at meaningful oversight is theater.

      • Patents

        • INFORMATIVE: Conference Paper Public Accessibility – Insufficient Proof

          As was previously noted here, the PTAB recently designated one decision as precedential and four as informative concerning the necessary showing for proving up a reference as printed publication prior art. Here is an in depth review of another of the informative decisions.

          The PTAB recently designated a number of cases regarding procedures for determining whether a prior art reference is a “printed publication.” We have previously discussed the issue in the context of a dissertation. In this blog we present an review of In-Depth Geophysical, Inc. v. ConocoPhillips Company, IPR2019-00849, Paper 14 (Sept. 6, 2019), which the PTAB designated as informative and contains a discussion of the public accessibility issue in the context of a conference paper.

          In this inter partes review, the Petitioners In-Depth Geophysical, Inc. and In-Depth Compressive Seismic, Inc. (Petitioners) challenged the validity of U.S. Patent No. 9,632,193 owned by ConocoPhillips Company (Patent Owner), in part based on a paper submitted to the Annual Meeting of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) by the inventor, Li, and coworkers in 2012. The PTAB decision resolved the critical issue of whether the Li paper qualified as prior art, and specifically whether it was “sufficiently accessible to the public interested in the art” more than one year before the critical date.

        • SCT: Procedural Rules Should Not Unwind the Power of IPR’s to Cancel Bad Patents

          The statutes authorizing inter partes review proceedings (IPRs) provides the USPTO Director with substantial latitude in determining whether or not to grant initiate an IPR. One limitation is that an IPR petition must be filed within 1-year of the petitioner (or privy) being served with a complaint fo infringing the patent. 35 U.S.C. €§315(b). The PTO cancelled Click-to-Call’s patent claims, but the Federal Circuit vacated that judgment after holding that the PTO should not have initated the IPR. The issue on appeal was whether a lawsuit that had been dismissed without prejudice still counted under the €§315(b) time-bar. No, according to the PTO; Yes, according to the Federal Circuit.


          Justice Ginsburg delivered the opinion joined in fully by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Breyer, Kagan, and Kavanaugh. Justices Thomas and Alito joined with the decision except for the policy statements found in III.C.

        • Thryv, Inc. v. Click-to-Call Technologies, LP (2020)

          Today, in Thryv, Inc. v. Click-to-Call Technologies, LP, the Supreme Court ruled that the provisions of 35 U.S.C. ۤ 315(b), which preclude a petitioner from filing an inter partes review petition more than one year after being served with a complaint alleging infringement, are barred from judicial review under 35 U.S.C. ۤ 314(d). The Court's decision reversed an en banc Federal Circuit opinion that the time bar was reviewable, Wi-Fi One, LLC v. Broadcom Corp., as well as the panel decision in the case at issue below.


          According to the majority, the time bar question is "closely tied" to the statutory provisions precluding judicial review because ۤ 315(b) sets forth a circumstance in which "[a]n inter partes review may not be instituted." The opinion finds that "[w]e need not venture beyond Cuozzo's holding that ۤ314(d) bars review at least of matters 'closely tied to the application and interpretation of statutes related to' the institution decision, for a ۤ315(b) challenge easily meets that measurement." The opinion calls the time bar "integral to, indeed a condition on, institution" in support of its holding that ۤ 314(d) bars review of PTAB decisions under ۤ 315(b).

          The majority voiced policy concerns that if a patent owner was allowed to appeal Board determinations under ۤ 315(b), such appeals would "tug against that objective [providing an efficient mechanism for weeding out "bad patents," a term that is usually a signal on the philosophical leanings of the Court], wasting the resources spent resolving patentability and leaving bad patents enforceable." The Court foresaw that a patent owner would appeal on ۤ 315(b) untimeliness grounds "only if she could not prevail on patentability, [and consequently] ۤ315(b) appeals would operate to save bad patent claims." The Court also noted that its decision was consistent with the statutory scheme, which "so consistently elevat[es] resolution of patentability above a petitioner's compliance with ۤ315(b)" because the Board's adjudication on the merits is thereby preserved.

          The opinion further notes that, if Congress had wished to limit the extent of ۤ 314(d) as patent owner and the dissent contend, it could have easily drafted the legislation to recite that the appellate review bar of ۤ 314(d) be limited to Board determinations under ۤ 314(a).

        • In Thryv, Supreme Court Clarifies Bar On Review of Institution Decisions

          This shouldn’t be surprising. If the problem is the rule that the Patent Office is applying, it should have been challenged when the rule was made—and if the rule was never promulgated in the first place, then challenges under the APA remain available. (In fact, a recent Federal Circuit opinion suggested that all PTO procedural rules not made via notice-and-comment are illegitimate.)

          And if the problem is that the rule is right, but was misapplied by the panel, then the harm is already experienced and impossible to mitigate by the time appeal rolls around. Dismissing the invalidation of an invalid patent just because of a procedural defect at institution only creates more harm by leaving an invalid patent around.

          And the ultimate determination that a patent is invalid is still reviewable, meaning that a valid patent will still survive even if the threshold determination of institution is in error. That is, effectively, a harmless error—the only loss the patent owner experiences is the cost of defending their patent, a cost they’d have incurred anyway in asserting it. While that kind of expense is important, the expenses other parties incur in defending themselves against invalid patents are as well—expenses that inter partes review helps reduce.

          There are sure to be concerns that the Patent Office could now do whatever it wants without any possibility of review. But if the Office truly exceeds the statute—not adopts an interpretation that is reasonable given panel decisions, even if eventually overturned en banc—remedies remain. For egregious violations, the Court leaves open the possibility of mandamus. And for actions that are arbitrary and capricious, or which violate due process, or which are clearly outside the permissible bounds of the statute, such as institution of an IPR based on €§ 112, review remains possible.

      • Trademarks

        • Pitbull Just Made History By Trademarking His Signature Yell

          Pitbull's grito is actually kind of historic. The NYU School of Law believes this might be the first time a specific sound made in a musical recording has been successfully trademarked. For that to have even happened means Pitbull's 'EEEEEEEYOOOOOO' is immediately recognizable as a sound that only he would have the audacity to record and put on every song. Think of it like a painter signing their work, but their signature is the sound of tires screeching before a car slams into a tree. The implications are huge. Now if you illegally sample a song, a musical artist will be able to sue for copyright infringement and trademark infringement. This is a win for petty musicians everywhere!

        • “SUPERMAN” enjoys high degree of recognition, says EUIPO Opposition Division

          In an interesting decision delivered earlier this month concerning an opposition filed by DC Comics, which owns the figurative mark “SUPERMAN” (pictured below), the EUIPO Opposition Division acknowledged that this mark enjoys a high degree of recognition and, as such, is eligible for protection under Article 8(5) EU Trade Mark Regulation (EUTMR), even despite that the well-known character of the trade mark had been only sufficiently demonstrated for one class of goods (Class 16) [...] Earlier trade marks with a reputation in the EU or in a Member State enjoy extended protection in accordance with Article 8(5) EUTMR.


          The Opposition Division did not deem it problematic that reputation could not be established in relation to all goods and services covered by the earlier mark. The EUIPO was able to extend its finding concerning the recognition for goods in Class 16 to goods under Class 28. This extension was sufficient to then establish a ‘link’ between the signs and, further, also find for a risk of risk of injury and unfair advantage.

          The EUIPO also considered it insufficiently demonstrated that DC Comics's sign enjoyed reputation for Class 41 services. Whilst this conclusion may appear surprising in the lay world, it is a useful reminder of the importance of the quality of the evidence filed before the Office (see here for an example of evidence fail not too long ago).

      • Copyrights

        • Streaming Site Nites.TV Gets 'Seized' After Going Viral, But Questions Remain

          Movie and TV show streaming site hit the mainstream during the past few weeks, with news sites on several continents reporting on the platform seemingly out of nowhere. Now, however, the site is redirecting to the anti-piracy portal of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment after an apparent seizure. Strangely, a number of things don't add up.

        • Book Piracy Scandal at Australian Govt. Could Trigger Police Referral

          Today, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull published his memoir 'A Bigger Picture'. Interestingly, many of his former political rivals and allies have already received a pirated copy of the book over the past few days. This massive unauthorized sharing infuriated the book's publisher, which will refer the matter to the police.

        • MPA Doesn't Want Kenya to Simply Copy the DMCA, It Should Do Better

          The Motion Picture Association sees a potential trade deal between the US and Kenya as a good opportunity to introduce more innovative and effective anti-piracy measures. Instead of simply copying the DMCA, Kenya could do better, perhaps by implementing a staydown policy and limiting safe harbors for online services.

        • Tech Giants Join the CC-Supported Open COVID Pledge

          Momentum continues to swell in support of the Open COVID Pledge, with the announcement today by Amazon, Facebook, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Microsoft, and Sandia National Laboratories, that they are pledging their patents to the public to freely use in support of solving the COVID-19 pandemic. Following in the footsteps of Intel, Fabricatorz Foundation, and many others, these companies join as Founding Adopters of the Pledge by releasing hundreds of thousands of patents for use worldwide by researchers, scientists, and others who are working to end the and minimize the impact of the disease, including through research, diagnosis, prevention, and containment.

        • The Simpsons Shows Precisely How One Should Handle Derivative Homage Works

          When it comes to derivative works, copyright in America has a long and storied history of stifling new and creative expression in favor of control by some ultimately-creative original author. Frankly, the section of copyright law that gives authors of content control over derivative works never made much sense to me. Or, at least, it appears to be a wholesale contradiction of the idea/expression dichotomy that is also supposed to exist in copyright law. Still, we've seen all kinds of fallout from the derivative works section of the law spill over into the real world, from laughable attempts by musical artists to control short phrases to derivatives building off of the original author's secondary work. The point is that the general consensus among most creators appears to be that derivative works outside of the author's control are the enemy and should be beaten down by any means necessary.

        • Australia Gives Up Any Pretense: Pushes Straight Up Tax On Facebook & Google To Pay News Orgs

          Last week we wrote about France's push to force Google to pay legacy news organizations for the high crime of... sending them traffic. That was somewhat expected, as under the EU Copyright Directive, some version of this will show up in every EU country over the next few months (though France's first approach is particularly dumb). Down in Australia, they're not subject to the EU Copyright Directive, but it's not stopping them from taking the same ridiculous approach:

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