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Links 11/5/2020: 4MLinux 32.2, Linux 5.7 RC7 and MNT Reform

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Foundation claims 5G NFV first, based on China Mobile code
    • A comprehensive coverage of Open vSwitch and its capabilities

      Open vSwitch is a virtual switch released over 10 years ago and has since been widely implemented into numerous virtual management systems, including OpenStack, OpenNebula and oVirt. However, unless admins have hands-on experience with the technology, they might not be familiar with what it is or how it works.

      Open vSwitch offers a strong service for controlling network connections between VMs running in highly dynamic, multiserver environments such as the cloud. With Open vSwitch, admins get a network control system that can respond and adapt to their systems as they change.

      The Open vSwitch kernel module was built into the Linux kernel since version 3.3. Given its widespread use, it is worth obtaining a basic understanding of Open vSwitch, especially for those working with virtualization and cloud technologies.

    • Hammer and nails

      There is a Linux distribution called Gentoo, named after a type of penguin (of course it’s named after a penguin), where installing an app doesn’t mean that you download a working app. Instead, when you say “install this app”, it downloads the source code for that app and then compiles it on your computer. This apparently gives you the freedom to make changes to exactly how that app is built, even as it requires you to have a full set of build tools and compilers and linkers just to get a calculator. I think it’s clear that the world at large has decided that this is not the way to do things, as evidenced by how almost no other OSes take this approach — you download a compiled binary of an app and run it, no compiling involved — but it’s nice that it exists, so that the few people who really want to take this approach can choose to do so.

      This sort of thing gets a lot of sneering from people who think that all Linux OSes are like that, that people who run Linux think that it’s about compiling your own kernels and using the Terminal all the time. Why would you want to do that sort of thing, you neckbeard, is the underlying message, and I largely agree with it; to me (and most people) it seems complicated and harder work for the end user, and mostly a waste of time — the small amount of power I get from being able to tweak how a thing is built is vastly outweighed by the annoyance of having to build it if I want it. Now, a Gentoo user doesn’t actually have to know anything about compilation and build tools, of course; it’s all handled quietly and seamlessly by the install command, and the compilers and linkers and build tools are run for you without you needing to understand. But it’s still a bunch of things that my computer has to do that I’m just not interested in it doing, and I imagine you feel the same.

    • It Will Take 3-10 Years for Linux to Replace Windows in China

      The latest data from NetMarketShare shows that from March 2020 to April 2020, Linux’s desktop market share increased by 1.5%, and Windows’ share decreased by 2%.

      For a long time, Linux has been regarded as the best substitute for the Windows system. However, although the data shows that Linux’s market share and installation rate are increasing significantly, as far as the Chinese market is concerned, it still takes some time to build a Linux distribution that can replace the Windows system.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The Tuxedo Computers InfinityBook is a mobile solution ready for any user type

          It's a good time to be a user of Linux. I really feel as though I should amend that statement to say, "It's always been a good time to be a Linux user." Of course, that amendment happens to come from someone who's used Linux since the late 1990s and has spent the better part of that time wondering why more people don't use the open source platform.

        But, over the years, the reason could not be more clear: Availability.

        I know, I know. You're probably already rolling your eyes at me. After all, Linux is free and can be had anywhere, anytime, anyhow. Download an ISO, burn it to a USB drive, and install.

        The truth, however, is much more complicated than that, because you must look at this from the average user's perspective. That particular cross section of PC users most often don't have the skills to burn an ISO to a flash drive. That particular barrier to entry is much larger than one might think. Without the ability to get the ISO ready for booting, Linux becomes an impossible option.

      • Modular laptop is designed to be hacked, tweaked and customized

        Laptops have been getting thinner, more powerful and increasingly difficult to customize. The Reform from Berlin's MNT Research dares to be different with open software and open hardware that invites modders to get under the hood and go wild.

        Currently raising production funds on Crowd Supply, the MNT Reform is not tied to any contracts, cloud services, user agreements and so on. It doesn't come with any internal microphones or camera modules, and if you want Wi-Fi, you'll need to plug in a removable PCIe card. But it has been designed to be taken apart, studied, modified, reassembled and more.


        A Vivante GC7000Lite GPU serves up graphics to a 12.5-inch Full HD display, and there's a 128 x 32-pixel OLED panel above the keyboard to view interactions with the system controller. It comes with Debian GNU/Linux 11 loaded onto an SD card, but if you want to run another operating system, you can.

      • Open source laptop runs Linux on i.MX8M

        MNT Research has gone to Crowd Supply to launch a $999, open source hardware “MNT Reform” laptop that runs Linux on an i.MX8M based Boundary Devices Nitrogen8M SOM and offers a 12.5-inch HD screen and an NVMe SSD.

        We first reported on the MNT Reform laptop back in 2017 when the prototype was equipped with a 10-inch screen and an i.MX6 SoC via Fedeval’s TinyRex Ultra module. Now MNT Research has revised the design with an i.MX8M Quad, a 12.5-inch HD display, and NVMe support and has launched it on Crowd Supply.


        At publication time, the MNT Reform crowdfunding campaign had reached about $85K with a goal of $115K, with another 38 days to go. Packages start at $550 for the motherboard with 4GB LPDDR4 and an SD card preloaded with Debian 11, based on the Linux 5.x mainline kernel. You also get an international 110/230V power supply and a heatsink.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 196 - Pounding square solutions into round holes: forced updates from Ubuntu

        Josh and Kurt talk about automatic updates. Specifically we discuss a recent decision by Ubuntu to enable forced automatic updates. There are lessons here for the security community. We have a history of jumping to solutions rather than defining and understanding problems

      • Top 5 Linux Podcasts to Learn About Linux

        These are the top 5 Linux podcasts that allow you to learn Linux, bring communities together and lift up Linux and its users.

      • GNU World Order 353

        Using open source in real life.

      • 2020-05-11 | Linux Headlines

        Pi-hole version 5 brings many new features to the platform, Newton Mail escapes the death of Essential Products, more major Thunderbolt vulnerabilities surface, and KDE users on rolling-release distributions are experiencing some strange behavior.

      • Reduced to the Level of YouTuber Unboxing Videos

        This is TIC TEK TOE, episode 014. Today's episode, which was recorded last week but Marcel didn't edit until today, covers the ongoing COVID-19 isolation, pandemic bread and tourist food, famous chefs and food porn, an apology to Jitsi from Marcel, a happy ending for dot ORG, Universal Basic Income, Ayn Rand, buying wine during the lockdown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and a push from Evan for Some Good News.

      • Positivity, Linux, FOSS and potting sheds

        In conversation with Nick Mailer, founder of The Positive Internet Company, a company that’s been in the free and open-source camp ever since its start. We discuss why every desktop’s a Linux desktop, how the “potting shed” mentality of the British psyche led to ARM’s world domination, and the fact that Positive’s green credentials are usually an afterthought for many of its clients, but a central tenet of the company.

        When it was founded, Positive Internet decided that open source software was the way to go. More than 20 years later, they seem to have been right about that particular choice (although Nick’s love of Perl and Vim may be more debatable). The company was founded in the same year a certain American startup opened shop, though Google has, it has to be mentioned, taken a rather different trajectory.

        With land dedicated to rewilding projects and a data center in the fenlands of Cambridgeshire (where wind power is pretty much unlimited), Positive Internet now has a global reach, with international offices and clients (including a one R. Stallman Esq.) all over the world. We spent an hour with Nick chewing the fat; this podcast is just some of the conversation’s many highlights. Enjoy!

      • Why My Device Wont Work in Linux

        Fix missing devices and issues with drivers in Linux. I am going over updating the kernel which fixes a large majority of device issues, especially with newer hardware.

      • Podcast.__init__: Managing Distributed Teams In The Age Of Remote Work

        More of us are working remotely than ever before, many with no prior experience with a remote work environment. In this episode Quinn Slack discusses his thoughts and experience of running Sourcegraph as a fully distributed company. He covers the lessons that he has learned in moving from partially to fully remote, the practices that have worked well in managing a distributed workforce, and the challenges that he has faced in the process. If you are struggling with your remote work situation then this conversation has some useful tips and references for further reading to help you be successful in the current environment.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.6.12
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.6.12 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 5.4.40
      • Linux 4.19.122
      • Linux 4.14.180
      • Linux 4.9.223
      • Linux 4.4.223
      • Linux 5.7-rc5

        So we've had a calm release so far, with most of the rc's up until now smaller than average.

        That changes with rc5, which is still pretty much in line with historical data, but rather than being slightly on the small side, it is slightly larger than average for this time in the release cycle.

        And for once, this is not really a source of concern for me. Because as mentioned last weekend for the rc4 release, the last rc was likely smaller simply because that week hadn't seen any networking updates, nor some of the usual driver pull requests.

        So 5.7-rc5 is a bit larger than the last few rc5's have been - but it was something I was expecting simply because of some pent-up pull requests that came in this week rather than the week before.

        And while being slightly larger than usual, it's by no means outrageously so. It may have set a new record for number of non-merge commits in the 5.x series, but it did so by one single measly commit: 300 commits in 5.7-rc5 vs 299 commits in 5.6-rc5 (while the average for this time in the release cycle hovers just over 200).

        So nothing in here looks all that worrisome. The diffstat looks fairly nice and flat, and the slightly elevated commit count does seem to be just the usual timing fluctuation.

        The changes are spread out, with nothing really dominating. Drivers, networking, arch updates, kvm, tooling, documentation.. A little bit of everything, and nothing that looks outrageous.

        We'll see what the next few weeks bring, but at least for now it all feels normal, and like the 5.7 release is tracking well.

        So please keep testing, and if you haven't dared a 5.7 pre-release kernel yet, we're well into the "things look calm and safe to test" time.

        I dare you all to prove me wrong. Go ahead, make my day ;)

      • Linux 5.7-rc5 Released With More Changes But Not Worrying Torvalds
        Linus Torvalds did his usual Sunday release dance and shipped Linux 5.7-rc5 as the latest kernel test release.

        Linux 5.7 so far has been tracking as a pleasantly calm kernel and almost boringly regular as noted by Torvalds. But with Linux 5.7-rc5 there are more patches than the recent weekly release candidates as well as being larger than recent kernel RC5 releases. But even with activity ticking up, Linus isn't worried.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Ice Lake "0x78" Microcode Update Having Small But Measurable Performance Hits


        Following new Intel Ice Lake CPU microcode being published on Friday without any change-log and not updating prior Intel CPU family microcodes, I've begun looking at the performance as this first Intel CPU microcode update for Linux users since November. From my initial weekend testing there does seem to be some small but measurable and consistent performance impairments for Ice Lake from this microcode upgrade.

        This Intel Linux CPU microcode update takes the Ice Lake microcode version from 0x46 to 0x78 and is the first update to the Linux microcode repository since last November's round of updates stemming from security changes. Since then new vulnerabilities have been disclosed requiring microcode updates but without any Linux release. If this Friday microcode release is for addressing those updates in recent months, it's not clear why only the Ice Lake microcode was updated and not the prior affected CPU generations as well.

      • Rust Performance Is Getting Hurt On LLVM 10 With Noticeably Longer Build Times

        While our benchmarks of Clang 10.0 have generally been favorable or at least no big regressions compared to LLVM/Clang 9.0, it seems the same can't be said for Rust when shifting their compiler base to LLVM 10.0.

        Rust developer Josh Stone of Red Hat raised the alarms on Friday that LLVM 10.0 through their Git master is seeing not only longer build times and much greater number of instructions when compiling the same code-base.

      • 7-8% compile time slowdowns in LLVM 10
    • Applications

      • Scribus – An Open Source Desktop Publishing Software

          Scribus is a desktop publishing freeware and open source app mainly used for creating books, posters, brochures, magazines, flyers, newspapers, etc.

        Given its support for exporting projects to epub format (regarding e-book creation), it is one of the best alternatives to Adobe’s famous InDesign available in the market.

        Its User Interface is far from strange thanks to its typical arrangement of design creation and editing functions which are organized into segmented panels and view applets as is common to other desktop publishing software.

      • Superpaper is an advanced wallapper app for Windows and Linux with unique features

          Superpaper is an open source cross-platform program for managing wallpapers on Windows and Linux devices (Mac untested) that supports several unique features.

        One of the main features of the application is the ability to span a single wallpaper image across multiple monitors even if these displays have different shapes and sizes.

        Users who are interested in Superpaper need to download the latest version for their devices from the project website over on GitHub. Windows users have the choice between a portable version and installer.

      • Track Your Screen Time in Linux with ActivityWatch

          ActivityWatch is a cross-platform open-source app that helps you track time to gauge your productivity. It lets you track the time you spent on applications, browsers, and if you were AFK (away from keyboard) or the system was hibernating.

        Not just limited to tracking time, but it offers a bunch of useful features with visualizations that help you easily analyze how you spent time to potentially improve your productivity.

        It’s a great alternative to proprietary options like RescueTime and ManicTime.

        ActivityWatch is available for Linux, Windows, macOS and Android. It also offers browser extensions for both Chrome and Firefox. As of now, there’s no app available for iOS on the App Store.

      • Excellent Utilities: Watson – CLI tool to track time

        This is a series highlighting best-of-breed utilities. We cover a wide range of utilities including tools that boost your productivity, help you manage your workflow, and lots more besides. There’s a complete list of the tools in this series in the Summary section.

        The Command Line Interface (CLI) is a way of interacting with your computer. To harness all the power of Linux, it’s highly recommended mastering the interface. It’s true the CLI is often perceived as a barrier for users migrating to Linux, particularly if they’re grown up using GUI software exclusively. While Linux rarely forces anyone to use the CLI, some tasks are better suited to this method of interaction, offering inducements like superior scripting opportunities, remote access, and being far more frugal with a computer’s resources.

        Watson is a CLI-based open source utility that helps you track the time spent on projects. The program also lets you generate reports to provide to clients as and when needed.

      • 11 Excellent Free Mind Mapping Software for Linux Users

        Mind maps are diagrams used to organize information visually in hierarchical ways that show relationships among the elements that make up the map. Drawing mind maps have been proven to be highly effective for getting information in and out of the brain especially when combined with logical note-taking that typically details or summarizes the roles of the map’s components along the way.

        There are various mind mapping software out there ranging from free to paid to open source options. Today, my job is to list the best mind mapping software available to users for free. They are all modern, easy enough to use, and offer sufficient consumer support.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Best NES Emulators For Ubuntu 20.04 LTS: Play Old NES Games

        Best NES Emulators For Ubuntu 20.04 LTS: Play Old NES Games In Ubuntu Operating System

        Who doesn’t love games? It’s hard to find people who have never been through the games in Computer. In this articles, we are going to discuss on the NES emulators for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS so that you can play old NES games in Linux or in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. This article will give you the basic idea of how to play old games in Linux.

        If you know our preferences then we love to play Super Mario in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with NES emulator.

    • Games

      • Sid Meier's Civilization VI is getting 6 new DLC and 6 free updates with the 'New Frontier Pass'

        Today Firaxis Games and 2K made quite a big announcement for the future of Sid Meier's Civilization VI, and it appears they're nowhere near done with it.

        Announcing the New Frontier Pass, which will run from this month until March 2021 it's going to bring in six new DLC packs with six free updates placed in-between their releases for everyone. The free packs will include all sorts of things from balance to new maps. As for the actual DLC, each one will provide at least one new civilization and leader (some have two), new game modes (that might need other DLC), new buildings, new units and quite a bit more.

      • Linux version of Blasphemous still coming, due to arrive with the first DLC

        Back in 2017 game developer The Game Kitchen successfully crowdfunded Blasphemous, a very stylish punishing action-platformer. During the campaign, a Linux version was very clearly advertised but it seems to be missed out of seeing a release. A shame, as it's reviewed well and it does look awesome.

        Blasphemous is a punishing action-platformer that combines the fast-paced, skilled combat of a hack-n-slash game with a deep and evocative narrative core, delivered through exploration of a huge universe comprised of non-linear levels.

      • Exceptionally stylish point and click 'Growbot' will be coming to Linux

        With a release some ways off yet, Growbot has some of the most charming visuals I've seen in some time and for a point and click adventure it sure does look fantastic. I've been following this for some time, as the publisher Application Systems Heidelberg does a lot of great Linux work and they've now fully confirmed that Growbot will be available on Linux.

        Inspired by titles like Loom and Machinarium, it tells the tell of a Growbot in training to become a captain aboard a beautiful biopunk space station. The station is attack by some kind of rapidly growing crystals and it's down to you to point and click to save it.

      • Egosoft, developer of X4: Foundations talks up moving to Blender and appreciating open source

        During a recent livestream, the Egosoft team whose most recently title is X4: Foundations, talked a lot about their plans for the game and they had some fun bits to share on using the open source app Blender.

        They were really very clear about it too, as an Egosoft developer plainly said "I use Blender, it's an open source 3D creation tool since 2008". It seems they were originally using 3ds Max and still use it but in a much smaller way. They've changed their pipeline to open it up more, so they can use Blender which they said "opens the door" for modding as they might be able to distribute an official way since anyone can download and use Blender which I'm sure will excite some X series fans.

      • Godot 4.0 continues advancing with a new modernized lightmapper

        While Godot Engine 4.0 will come with Vulkan API support, it's also bringing in a ton of new advanced rendering options to make it a more enticing target for bigger titles and capable of making more beautiful games.

        Godot 3.2 actually has a lightmapper, however it's a very simple one and it's both limited in features and has performance issues associated with it. With Godot 4.0, they're bringing in a brand new GPU-based lightmapper that is written mostly with Compute Shaders so Vulkan will be doing most of the heavy lifting. Although there's a CPU backup if a GPU doesn't support it. They're also planning to backport it to Godot 3.2 somehow too.


        The lightmapper in Godot 3.2 was a very simple voxel-based lightmapper that used the same code as GIProbe. It was extremely limited and had serious performance and quality problems, so it was seldom used. In fact, the plan is to back-port this new lightmapper to Godot 3.2 too.

      • Bloody roguelike shooter STRAFE gets a big free 'Gold Edition' enhancement update

        STRAFE: Millennium Edition is no more, instead a massive free update went out for the bloody first-person shooter that's so big they changed the name to STRAFE: Gold Edition. Inspired by the classics but with added mechanics of a roguelike, STRAFE has randomly generated levels so nothing is ever the same and it's very fast and very bloody.

        The changelog for it is all kinds of ridiculous and it's quite long. Enemy pathfinding was optimized, there's a new "ACID WRETCH" enemy, a New Game+ option when you've beaten the game that adds an additional level to each zone, the length of the normal game was reduced to 2 zones instead of 3, you can loop runs if you beat NG+ to keep everything but it gets increasingly difficult, enemy blood can extinguish fires, vats of acid can be filled with blood to change it's composition, improved performance and an absolute ton of bug fixes.

      • Space Station 14 is another attempt to capture the spirit of the classic BYOND multiplayer RPG

        Just like Unitystation, Space Station 14 is another game attempting to revive the classic RPG Space Station 13 with cross-platform support on a more modern platform. Not just a remake though as SS14 will be including more advanced graphical features too.

        If you've never heard of it, here's a quick refresher. Space Station 13 is an online RPG made on the BYOND gaming platform. Set on a space station where things tend to go wrong, and often quite quickly with players all taking on different roles. Some try to keep it going, others are out to sabotage, there's random disasters and all sorts of modes. Space Station 14 is a free and open source remake and a continuation of an earlier attempt. Unlike Unitystation though, Space Station 14 doesn't require contributors to use a proprietary game engine (Unity) making it much more open.

      • Keep It Alive - a short game that has you keep a heart beating and a train running from the Pony Island dev

        Just like Unitystation, Space Station 14 is another game attempting to revive the classic RPG Space Station 13 with cross-platform support on a more modern platform. Not just a remake though as SS14 will be including more advanced graphical features too.

        If you've never heard of it, here's a quick refresher. Space Station 13 is an online RPG made on the BYOND gaming platform. Set on a space station where things tend to go wrong, and often quite quickly with players all taking on different roles. Some try to keep it going, others are out to sabotage, there's random disasters and all sorts of modes.

      • Become a tiny pixel hero in 2D action-RPG 'The Cork' with a massive non-linear world

        Currently in development and now seeking some help on Kickstarter, The Cork will put your in the shoes of a real tiny hero named Salem Cairnwright whose home was devastated by a mysterious plague.

        It's already confirmed to be releasing with Linux support, as stated clearly on the Steam store page and the currently ongoing Kickstarter campaign. Plus, it's being made with the fantastic free and open source Godot Engine so it shouldn't have much trouble at all. The Cork pulls in inspiration from classic Metroidvania platformers "with a heavy emphasis on vania" that will include very challenging combat.

      • Open world monster-fusing RPG 'Cassette Beasts' with an 80's new-wave pop aesthetic announced

        Cassette Beasts has just been announced by Bytten Studio, that will see you in an open world adventure where you transform with monsters. It's the same team behind Lenna's Inception and we also have some fun news on how that sold on Linux.

        Welcome to New Wirral, a remote island inhabited by creatures you’ve only dreamed of, nightmares you hopefully haven’t, and a cast of brave folks who use cassette tapes to transform for battle. To find a way home you’ll need to explore every inch of the island, and record monsters to tape to gain their abilities!

        It's partially inspired by the Pokémon fusion generator that became popular recently, Cassette Beasts is an open world, monster-fusing RPG with an 80’s New Wave pop aesthetic and it looks very cool. "I have countless sketchbooks of my own monster designs I drew as a kid," says Jay Baylis, lead artist at Bytten Studio. "So working to create Cassette Beasts feels somewhat like a destined project for me. I couldn’t possibly be more excited."

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Which Linux Desktop Environment is the Best?

        Tom's Hardware "put five of the most popular desktop environments up against each other in a no-holds-barred, seven-round face-off. We've rated GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon, Awesome and Regolith on a 10-point scale based on Installation, Applications, User Experience, User Documentation, Performance, Extensions and Configurability."

      • [Xfce] GitLab CI is up and running

        As announced less than two weeks ago, the next steps in our GitLab migration are following. While we originally planned that the migration from Bugzilla to GitLab issues would be the next step we received generous support from the brand new fosshost project: They provided us with the virtual infrastructure to be able to set up our first GitLab Runner. A huge thank you to the fosshost for welcoming us aboard (and in record time)!

        Standing on the shoulders of the xfce-test project by Florian and with support from Jason we managed to get a Docker container xfce-build up and running that we now use for a (for now: very basic) test, aka “does it build?”. A nice side-effect of having this container published on Dockerhub is that everyone can easily use it locally by running docker pull xfce/xfce-build.

        If you’re curious what’s inside the container you can take a look at the Dockerfile. In short we use the latest Ubuntu 20.04 as a basis and then compile the Xfce core libraries based on the latest Git tag on the master branch.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Interview with Jefferson Nascimento


          Iuse Linux as a main OS from time to time, in 2016 I was searching open source alternatives for drawing, back in the days I was using MyPaint, I never liked Gimp for drawing, so I used an “alternative” copy of other software, but not Photoshop, I never liked to draw with Photoshop. Then I found this piece of software that looked like a good alternative and tried. It fit all my expectations.

          Tough one. Can I say David Revoy? or Wolthera? I learned so much from those two. Ok, enough kidding, I love the layer management. I don’t have to use the mouse to quickly rename and organize everything, I worked in an office where I had to use Photoshop, and man, oh man, I suddenly realized why every artist ever who uses Photoshop doesn’t rename layers, it’s just terrible.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Andrei Lisita: GSoC 2020 with Epiphany

          A student is allowed to participate in GSoC only twice in a lifetime. I’m thinking they chose this rule as an “only once in a lifetime” type of rule would have sounded too dramatic.

          Humor aside, I have actually learned from a colleague over at university that Google implemented this rule because veteran students would keep returning every year taking most of the slots and thus leaving very little room for newcomers to make an entrance. Considering I’m a returning student myself, I can imagine that at the time I could have very easily been part of the problem...

        • 6 months later: nautilus co-maintainership and GSoC mentorship

          It’s been a little over six months since my last blog post. It’s not like nothing happened since; I’ve just not got used to this yet.

          As OndÅ™ej Holý has previously blogged, the (now old) news are that he has invited me to be co-maintainer of the Files app. I was hesitant at first. I’m not sure if it was what’s called imposter syndrome, but I did worry I was not qualified to be maintainer, as I have no formal education on software engineering. I’ve started to overcome my doubts while attending GUADEC 2019, thanks to everyone who encouraged me, and I’ve finally cleared them thanks to OndÅ™ej’s invitation and support. Now I’m happy to have accepted the challenge.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: EndeavourOS 2020.04.11

            EndeavourOS is based on Arch Linux and is considered a spiritual follow-up to the Antergos distribution. Like Antergos, Endeavour provides a live desktop along with a friendly, graphical installer to assist users in getting started with the distribution. Beyond the initial set up, Endeavour mostly tries to provide a vanilla Arch experience with just a few custom tools. I reviewed Endeavour last year and, at the time, it performed fairly well. Back then one of the main features which set Endeavour apart from Antergos was the former used an off-line installer and automatically set up the Xfce desktop environment. Antergos, on the other hand, used an on-line installer and could configure one of about a dozen desktop environments.

          Endeavour's latest snapshot, 2020.04.11 at the time of writing, now provides two main installation methods. We can choose an on-line or off-line installer. The latter still sets up Xfce as the default desktop while the on-line installer can download and configure nine different desktops (Budgie, Cinnamon, Deepin, GNOME, i3, KDE Plasma, LXQt, MATE, and Xfce). We can choose any number of these to install in case we want to try more than one. I wanted to try the new, live version of the distribution, along with some of its new custom utilities. With this in mind I downloaded the 1.7GB ISO file. Endeavour runs on 64-bit (x86_64) machines exclusively and provides one live edition.

          Booting from the live disc provides us with the option of booting into the Xfce desktop normally or doing the same with non-free NVIDIA drivers enabled. Once Xfce loads a small welcome window appears. The window is packed with buttons that open links or programs. For example, some links open a web browser and point us to the distribution's install tips or other on-line support resources. One link updates and relaunches the welcome window. One button is labelled "Initialize pacman keys" and appears to re-fetch verification keys for packages. There is a button for launching the GParted partition manager and another for launching the system installer. There is a Help button, but it only shows command line usage for launching the welcome window, no information about the distribution or the welcome window's features are mentioned.

        • Xubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa - Tickboxer

          I'm a tragic hero, I am. It's not like I said I want my own island with gun emplacements and a fortress, well I did, but that's beside the point. All I wanted was a bunch of nice, solid Linux distros to make me happy, so I can enjoy my testing. But then, more and more, that's not the case. Xubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa is not a release worth its long-term support badge. It's not exciting, it has ergonomic problems, it has bugs, and it offers a lethargic experience. There's really no sense of pride. Inertia only.

          If we look at dry facts, you get an average score across the board. Some problems in pretty much every aspect. Things work, but it's a bare minimum. The sweet momentum that was, back in 2017 or so, gone. Well, there you go. Hopefully, the results will improve over time, but I'm doubtful. I've not seen anything really cool or fresh in the Xfce desktop per se for a while now. Xubuntu could work for those looking for a very spartan XP-like experience. But for anyone looking for a bit more, this ain't the dream distro. 5/10. Peace.

      • New Releases

        • EndeavourOS 2020.05.08 Released: A Friendlier Arch-Based Linux Distro
          Arch-based Linux distro, EndeavourOS, has released a new version 2020.05.08 with minor changes as compared to the last month’s release. The latest edition mainly comprises bug fixes, issues, and performance enhancements.

          Starting with the default Windows Manager, i3 has received small improvements in some components. For instance, keybindings for better keyboard workflow and default Thunar file manager and default Xfce4-terminal for flexible application workflow.

        • 4MLinux 32.2 released.

          This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 5.4.35. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.43, MariaDB 10.4.12, and PHP 7.3.17 (see this post for more details).

          You can update your 4MLinux by executing the "zk update" command in your terminal (fully automatic process).

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Gentoo Family

        • 200th Gentoo Council meeting

          Way back in 2005, the reorganization of Gentoo led to the formation of the Gentoo Council, a steering body elected annually by the Gentoo developers. Forward 15 years, and today we had our 200th meeting! (No earth shaking decisions were taken today though.) The logs and summaries of all meetings can be read online on the archive page.

        • Site Potpourri for Mother's Day [Updated]

          Servers, Part 1. Behind the scenes, TheMightyBuzzard spent the weekend setting up a new server, aluminum. We are gradually moving to a Gentoo Linux base for our servers. Rather than pre-compiled binaries that get downloaded and run locally, Gentoo provides source code for download that one compiles and builds locally. At the moment we have three Gentoo-based servers (lithium, magnesium, and aluminum), one server on CentOS (beryllium), and the rest are on Ubuntu. By moving to Gentoo Linux, we get a streamlined server with a smaller attack surface as only the things we need are built into the kernel. That lone CentOS server? It has been with us from the start and has been no end of a hassle. Several services "live" on it and these need to be migrated before we can retire it. The first stage of that process is underway as Deucalion has been working on bringing up IRC on aluminum. In turn, other services will be brought over. Then we can (finally!) retire beryllium for good! Next on the list are sodium and boron (aiming to have completed by June.) Along with that, there have been new (security and otherwise) releases of other services that site depends on. We intend to get those upgraded as we move to an entirely Gentoo platform. Please join me in wishing them well on the migrations and upgrades!

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Oracle Linux 8.2 Released, It’s Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2

          Based and derived from the sources of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, Oracle Linux 8.2 is here powered by the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 6 (UEK R6) 5.4.17, which is accompanied by the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK) 4.18.0.

          While the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 6 is available for 64-bit (x86_64) Intel and AMD platforms and the ARM64 (AArch64) architecture, the Red Hat Compatible Kernel is only supported on 64-bit (x86_64) Intel and AMD platforms.

        • FESCo Approves Fedora 33 Switching To Systemd-Resolved

          The Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo) today approved the plans for Fedora 33 to enable systemd-resolved by default.

          While systemd-resolved has been around for years and normally Fedora is quick to make use of new systemd features, only with Fedora 33 this autumn will they be making use of its network name resolution code.

        • Ben Williams: F32-20200511 updated Live isos released [Ed: There are new builds of Fedora 32 today]

          The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated F32-20200511-Live ISOs, carrying the 5.6.10-300 kernel.

          Welcome to Fedora 32.

          This set of updated isos will save considerable amounts of updates after install. ((for new installs.)(New installs of Workstation have about 774+MB of updates)).

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

        • Welcome GSoC 2020 Interns

          Fedora has been participating in Google Summer Of Code for a long time and we have had good experience with this. Our process is to call for mentors on mailing lists and community blogs after we apply for the the program. But this doesn’t mean you have to wait for the call for mentors, you can anytime propose a project and we work with you to polish it and try to find the best place for it (be it outreacy or GSoC). We gather project ideas on Mentored Project issues.

        • Deploy IBM Cloud starter kits on Red Hat OpenShift

          IBM Cloud recently introduced the IBM Starter Kit Collection for OpenShift. Install this open source collection to add the most popular IBM Cloud starter kits to your OpenShift Developer Catalog.


          To create an app, just click one of the IBM Cloud starter kit tiles in your OpenShift Developer Catalog. Then follow the steps in the wizard to deploy your app.

        • IBM Drops The "Silliness" - POWERXX Is Indeed POWER10 With Updated Open-Source Patches

          Over the past year IBM engineers have been plumbing "future" processor support into the GCC compiler and related GNU toolchain components. The patches often referred to the work either as "future" or "powerxx" while today is christened as what was pretty much obvious all along: it's POWER10.

          POWER10 has been known from disclosures as the next-generation IBM/OpenPOWER ISA with expected availability in 2021. POWER10 has been rumored to be manufactured on a 7nm process and offer big improvements over existing POWER9 processors.

        • Open mainframe important part of new cloud world, says Broadcom exec [Ed: Paid-for (by IBM) openwashing of IBM]

          As computing technology gains in speed and network agility, “old and well-known” mainframes need to keep up. And that’s what is happening now in a world of cloud, mobile, and open-source technology, according to Greg Lotko (pictured), senior vice president and general manager of the Mainframe Division at Broadcom Inc., which designs, develops and supplies semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions.

        • Open Hybrid Cloud Builds Today, Plans for Future

          Like dozens of other popular tech events, Red Hat Summit 2020 didn’t feature any in-person executive speakers or vendors.

          Instead, the open-sourced enterprise IT software giant’s annual conference was held virtually due to COVID-19 using the very infrastructure and solutions the company brings to its enterprise customers.

          In a virtual keynote, newly minted Red Hat CEO Paul Cormier spoke about the open hybrid cloud, its history and its future, breaking down each word and illustrating how organizations can benefit from a transition to the open hybrid cloud model.

        • Sysadmin book review: The Cuckoo's Egg

          Cliff Stoll, author of The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage, was an astronomer dedicated to the design of telescopic optics at the University of Berkeley. His computer knowledge earned him a position as an assistant systems administrator at the computer center of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory when he could no longer continue his work in astronomy in 1986.

          After auditing the use of the lab computers, which were leased to the students, he found a difference of 75 cents. He began the challenge of finding the user who had not paid for his time of use. This challenge led him on a journey to come face to face with the intruder, whose objective was not to compromise the university system, but instead to compromise the most important government agencies in the country.

          This is a classic story of spies during the Cold War, which actually did happen. It's a walk through the past that helps us to understand many of today's system security concerns.

        • The importance of event-driven architecture in the digital world

          High throughput, resiliency, scalability and speed — the new generation of digital leaders have mastered these capabilities in order to be more competitive, and many of them have accomplished this by leveraging microservices and event-driven architecture (EDA).

          EDA is an approach to develop applications in order to maximize the benefits of microservices. Simply put, EDA is a software development method for building applications that asynchronously communicate or integrate with other applications and systems via events.

        • Top 10 must-know Kubernetes design patterns

          Here are the must-know top 10 design patterns for beginners synthesized from the Kubernetes Patterns book. Getting familiar with these patterns will help you understand foundational Kubernetes concepts, which in turn will help you in discussions and when designing Kubernetes-based applications.

      • Debian Family

        • Markus Koschany: My Free Software Activities in April 2020

          Welcome to Here is my monthly report (+ the first week in May) that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you’re interested in Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

        • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, April 2020

          I sent a (belated) request for testing an update of the linux package to 3.16.82. I then prepared and, after review, released Linux 3.16.83, including a large number of security fixes. I rebased the linux package onto that and will soon send out a request for testing. I also spent some time working on a still-embargoed security issue.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Video Review: Xubuntu 20.04 LTS - See What's New

          The popular lightweight Ubuntu derivative – Xubuntu recently released Long Term Support (LTS) Version supported until April 2023. Powered by the Xfce desktop environment, this release based on the solid Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. However, there are lots of Xubuntu specific changes in this release which makes it a great Linux distribution for older hardware PCs, Laptops as well as high-end machines.

        • How to install League of Legends on Ubuntu 20.04

          In this video, we are looking at how to install League of Legends on Ubuntu 20.04.

        • Rolando Blanco: Upgrade from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.04

          Hello penguins, I hope this short post helps someone.

          As you know, I have been using Ubuntu since 2004, and I must confess that I like it more every day.

          I have already some years (5 years at this time) that I left the country where I was born (Venezuela). Now, I live in the United States of America. Place where I have been able to lay roots and start a new life.

          In my professional world, I had the opportunity to start and advance many new projects. But always have something is common, it is that in many project, some partners who always look at me strangely, when they see my computer desktop and that does not use Windows.

          So they usually ask me, “And what is that?” Obviously, I answer “LINUX, Ubuntu”.

        • Rolando Blanco: Ubuntu 20.04

          I have finally been able to update my Ubuntu to version 20.04. As we know, the update from 18.04 through the command ‘do-release-upgrade’ took a while to arrive, however it was only yesterday that I tried it and it worked perfectly.

          At first glance I have found that my system is working much, but much better, especially in terms of resource consumption; If it was already optimal before, at this time the statistics of it (I use htop) shows that it is much more optimized.


          As usual, in this version we will have 5-year support (until April 2025) for both its desktop and server versions.

        • Canonical at the 9th OSM Hackfest

          To all telecommunications service providers, global system integrators, research institutions, OSM community members and innovators all over the world: heads-up! The 9th OSM Hackfest starts in a few weeks and Canonical will as always be there. We will lead hackfest sessions, answer any questions you may have and help drive the evolution of the OSM project. Due to the COVID-19 complications all over the world, the event will be once more 100% remote. It will take place from 1st to 5th of June. The registration is already open, so do not wait any longer and register at the following page. We are looking forward to meeting you “there”.

          OSM (open source MANO) is an open-source project that enables telcos with MANO (management and orchestration) capabilities for software-based network services. It is hosted by ETSI and supported by 15 global telecommunications service providers. There are 140 organisations involved in total, including Canonical. During the last months, we have seen an increasing commercial interest in OSM as well as initial approaches to onboard real telco workloads on it. The project is taking off right now.

        • Ubuntu Unity Remix 20.04

          Ubuntu Unity Remix is a new Ubuntu-based distribution that utilizes the very popular and beautiful Unity7 desktop environment on top of the Ubuntu code base.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How I track my home's energy consumption with open source

          An important step towards optimizing energy consumption is knowing your actual consumption. My house was built during the oil crisis in the 1970s, and due to the lack of a natural gas connection, the builders decided to use electricity to do all of the heating (water and home heating). This is not unusual for this area of Germany, and it remains an appropriate solution in countries that depend highly on nuclear power.

        Electricity prices here are quite high (around € 0.28/kWh), so I decided to monitor my home's energy consumption to get a feel for areas where I could save some energy.

      • When Contributing to OSS, Open a Discussion First Before Sending a Pull Request

        I have been working for many years now as an open source software developer. I enjoy doing that, but there are some issues that happen when new contributors want to send me a pull request to one of the projects I maintain.

        The main issue is that new contributors tend to send me pull requests directly before even opening a discussion on the change they would like to add, how to add it and why they think it needs to be added.

        This creates many problems, as I generally refuse accepting their pull requests and explain why I did that. But since most of us are “sensitive” human beings these days, those new contributors usually become sad and never contribute to the project again.

        In this post, I’ll try to explain why it is a better idea to open a discussion before sending your pull request to any open source project you would like to contribute to (even if they don’t state this), and why this is extremely important from the OSS’s maintainers point of view.

      • Open source algorithms for network graph analysis help discover patterns in data

        StellarGraph has launched a series of new algorithms for network graph analysis to help discover patterns in data, work with larger data sets and speed up performance while reducing memory usage.


        Tim Pitman, Team Leader StellarGraph Library said solving great challenges required broader context than often allowed by simpler algorithms.

        “Capturing data as a network graph enables organizations to understand the full context of problems they’re trying to solve – whether that be law enforcement, understanding genetic diseases or fraud detection. We’ve developed a powerful, intuitive graph machine learning library for data scientists—one that makes the latest research accessible to solve data-driven problems across many industry sectors.”

      • Proof-of-concept open-source app can cut'n'paste from reality straight into Photoshop using a neural network

        We've written a lot about academic research, startups, and internet giants making use of artificial intelligence. Sometimes source code is shared, and sometimes it isn't, which can be frustrating – we feel that pain.

        For those of you thinking about toying with machine-learning in a practical sense, how about this interesting open-source proof-of-concept application as an inspiration or a starting guide?

        A programmer has built an Android smartphone app in JavaScript and TypeScript, and corresponding back-end server in Python, that allows you to snap a photo of a real object and then transfer that image over the air almost instantly into Adobe Photoshop, with the background automatically removed by a neural network. Support for other imaging editing programs in the works, we're told.

      • From coronavirus tests to open-source insulin and beyond, ‘biohackers’ are showing the power of DIY science

        In March, amateur scientists in Sydney announced they had created a COVID-19 test kit that is simpler, faster, and cheaper than existing tests. While the test has not yet been approved by regulators, if effective it could play a role in scaling up the world’s coronavirus testing capability.

        The test’s creators, associated with a “community lab for citizen scientists” called Biofoundry, are part of a growing international movement of “biohackers” with roots stretching back 30 years or more. Biohacking, also known as DIY biology, takes cues from computer-hacking culture and uses the tools of biological science and biotechnology to carry out experiments and make tools outside any formal research institution.

      • Kubernetes security: New tech, familiar attack vectors

        “Kubernetes helps organizations automate the management of cloud-native applications in new ways, enabling automated scaling, high availability, and resiliency,” says Red Hat security strategist Kirsten Newcomer. “However, as noted in last year’s CNCF-sponsored Kubernetes security audit, Kubernetes is a complex system. And that complexity can lead to increased risk if not appropriately managed.”


        “Kubernetes provides users with a secure, multi-tenant model to access resources like containers,” says Luis Pabon, engineer at Portworx. “Cloud providers have been doing the same thing for a decade, just for VMs.”

        Pabon notes that Kubernetes provides this user segregation and isolation for these resources through the namespace concept. Our sibling site offers a great technical primer: Kubernetes namespaces for beginners.

        “Namespaces contain resources like security keys, secrets, services, applications, and persistent volumes,” Pabon explains. “Kubernetes also uses a role-based access control, or RBAC, for finer-grain access to API objects and resources in a namespace.” Commercial platforms and third-party security tools can also give you a leg up.

      • Kubernetes Storage Developments Enable Remote Work

        As many of us come into our third month of working at home, we have become ever more dependent on technology for keeping in touch and continue working using cloud-based applications and tools. Many of these cloud-based applications run in software-defined containers in large data centers. Kubernetes is a popular open source software platform for managing and “orchestrating” these containers.

      • Events

        • AnsibleFest 2020 is now a virtual experience [Ed: AnsibleFest has been canceled. Red Hat pretends it's still going on because of some webstreams.]

          Each year, AnsibleFest is one of our favorite events because it brings together our customers, partners, community members and Red Hatters to talk about the open source innovations and best practices that are enabling the future of enterprise technology and automation.

        • KDE e.V. board meeting spring 2020

          KDE e.V. is a registered non-profit organization that represents the KDE Project in legal and financial matters. It is an association under German law, which means it has a board of directors. The board meets online weekly to discuss ongoing work – contractors, progress in working groups, external relations – and traditionally a few times a year in-person to deal with bigger jobs.

          Akademy is one of those meetings, where we also meet with the community, our sponsors and advisory board and all our friends. We usually have two more, wherever there are board members (e.g. Berlin or Barcelona, right now).

          With Akademy going online (CfP is open!) this year due to COVID-19, we still need to meet but doing so in-person would be irresponsible. So the board meeting is also online, using BigBlueButton which so far meets our needs for whiteboard, audio, and some video quite well.

        • Backstage Pass to ChefConf Online Chef InSpec Week

          Hopefully you know that Chef InSpec is not only an excellent solution for your infrastructure security and compliance needs, but you can also use it to test your infrastructure as code. If you’re looking for some learned advice from experienced InSpec practitioners, we have some great sessions for you!

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 76 + 77 Beta Web Browser Benchmarks On Ubuntu Linux

            Given last week's release of Firefox 76 and promoting 77 to beta, here are some fresh benchmarks of the recent Mozilla Firefox releases on Ubuntu Linux.

            Over the weekend I ran a fresh round of tests on Firefox 74, 75, 76, and 77 beta 3 off an Intel Core i9 9900KS box.

          • SpiderMonkey Newsletter 4 (Firefox 76-77)

            SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in Mozilla Firefox. This newsletter gives an overview of the JavaScript and WebAssembly work we’ve done as part of the Firefox 76 and 77 Nightly cycles.

          • William Lachance: A principled reorganization of

            I’ve been thinking a bunch over the past few months about the Mozilla data organization’s documentation story. We have a first class data platform here at Mozilla, but using it to answer questions, especially for newer employees, can be quite intimidating. As we continue our collective journey to becoming a modern data-driven organization, part of the formula for unlocking this promise is making the tools and platforms we create accessible to a broad internal audience.

            My data peers are a friendly group of people and we have historically been good at answering questions on forums like the #fx-metrics slack channel: we’ll keep doing this. That said, our time is limited: we need a common resource for helping bring people up to speed on how to use the data platform to answer common questions.

            Our documentation site,, was meant to be this resource: however in the last couple of years an understanding of its purpose has been (at least partially) lost and it has become somewhat overgrown with content that isn’t very relevant to those it’s intended to help.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Community Member Monday: Marco Marinello

          During SFScon – the Free Software Conference in Bolzano – I met Marina Latini, former Chairperson of the Board. We talked about the work I did on LibreOffice Online, and she encouraged me to send the application and become a member of TDF.

          I share the values of TDF, and I love working on something that’s useful for everyone.

        • Glow effect on objects in LibreOffice

          Thanks to SUSE who made this possible, now we have glow effect on objects in upcoming LibreOffice 7.0. Collabora Productivity engineers Tamás Bunth and myself together have implemented it for shapes and pictures.

      • CMS

        • Contegix Welcomes Jon Pugh as Director of Product, Open Source for BlackMesh Drupal Offerings

          Contegix is committed to supporting the Drupal and Open Source DevOps communities, and is demonstrating that commitment by investing in the OpenDevShop platform. Contegix will continue to offer its BlackMesh Drupal support services to organizations with highly complex and secure deployments.

          “One of the many reasons I joined Contegix was their clear intent to support the Open Source DevOps community,” said Pugh. “That commitment is crucial for the DevShop ecosystem to thrive. Open Source is a requirement if you want to host on your own servers or use it locally.”

        • TYPO3 Updates, Magnolia Partners With BigCommerce, More Open Source News

          The TYPO3 community announced the availability of TYPO3 v10.4, also known as TYPO3 v10 LTS. The community believes this version is the most stable to date, featuring modern PHP libraries and many new enterprise features. Here’s an overview of some of the updates for key stakeholders.

      • Public Services/Government

        • Public procurement and open source: levelling the playing field

          RTE (Réseau Transport d’Electricité), the electricity transmission system operator of France, has progressively increased its use of open source software since 2018 and has been including open source software in its procurement since 2019. Recently, RTE published a memo providing guidelines on including open source software in public procurement procedures.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • In pursuit of open science, open access is not enough

            The struggle for control over information and knowledge looms large. When Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web, his intention was to enable researchers to share their work. Not only have our research communication tools and practices thus far fallen short of the decentralization that the Web made possible, but the evolution of the Web itself also reminds us that making vast amounts of linked data readily accessible to third parties can trigger a number of unintended consequences. The dominance of a limited number of social networks, shopping services, and search engines shows us how [Internet] platforms based on data and analytics can tend toward monopoly. In the research information space, contracts are being negotiated establishing de facto terms and conditions for how data analytics services are being provided. Learned societies are being wooed. Research assessment metrics are being proposed. Building blocks for establishing discipline portals are being assembled. The time for the academic community to act in coordination is now.

      • Programming/Development

        • Swift Now Supports More Linux Distributions, Including Ubuntu 20.04

            More specifically, users are now provided with downloadable toolchain and Docker images for Ubuntu 20.04, CentOS 8, and Amazon Linux 2.

          Previously, only Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 were the only Linux distributions supported by Swift.

          The team working on the Swift project explains that more Linux distributions would be added in the coming months, albeit for now, no specifics are available on this and further news on this front is expected to be shared as the work on the project advances.

          “Linux build Dockerfiles are managed in Swift’s Docker repository with the goal of evolving them in the open with the community. Our plan is to continue and grow the number of Linux distributions we support, with CentOS 7, Debian and Fedora the most likely candidates to be added next,” the dev team explains in a blog post.

        • Four P2P distribution tools for Git repositories compared

          Git is a version control system that is decentralized by design. Anyone can run git daemon in a repository to start a Git server. You can also host your repository using a regular web server and HTTP infrastructure. More commonly, though, repositories are distributed through centralized hub services like BitBucket, GitHub, and GitLab. It’s quick, easy, and free to “throw your code up on GitHub” and call it a day. However, there is also a growing number of peer-to-peer (P2P) distributed options to consider as well.

          What if you could distribute your Git repository using the BitTorrent P2P protocol without the need for a central server? Without having to depend on a commercial business’ hosting-generosity and infrastructure. That’s the idea behind GitTorrent, an experimental Git helper and overlay protocol for transferring Git repositories over the popular P2P protocol.

          GitTorrent does away with the idea of a central code distribution server. Instead, it relies on the people who’re using and participating in the project to contribute bandwidth and handle its distribution.

          Similar concepts have popped up around other peer-to-peer protocols including Dat Protocol and IPFS. Each implementation has made different implementation choices and ended up with systems that appear similar at first glance but have fundamentally different trade-offs and priorities. In this article, I’ll explore these differences in-depth and do a comprehensive comparison.

        • Enforcing locking with C++ nonmovable types

          It is a common mistake that when code is changed, someone, somewhere forgots to add a lock guard. The problem is even bigger if the variable is a full object or a handle that you would like to "pass out" to the caller so they can use it outside the body of the struct. This caller also needs to release the lock when it's done.

          This brings up an interesting question: can we implement a scheme which only permits safe accesses to the variables in a way that the users can not circumvent [0] and which has zero performance penalty compared to writing optimal lock/unlock function calls by hand and which uses only standard C++?

        • Why developers are becoming the AI implementation powerhouse

          I always thought application developers and software engineers would be great in implementing data science and AI. They can code, they know how to think logically, and they are driven to solve difficult problems. We also see skilled developers working in the marketplace, while data scientists and machine learning engineers are in short supply comparatively speaking. With automated AI lifecycle management tools and the proliferation of cloud AI environments, today’s developers are given an easier onramp to get data science into their skillset arsenal.

          Upkar Lidder has transitioned from a full stack developer to a developer advocate who is focused on data science and AI. We had a conversation on how a developer can benefit from learning about data science and expanding the scope of his or her role.

        • Improve Git Diffs for Structured Data

          Git has functionality to use alternate programs to produce diffs. Typically this is used to make diffs of non-text, like word documents. There are three things you need to configure for these attributes:

          €  The attribute on the file
          €  The handler for the attribute
          €  The program to do the diffing

          The attribute should go in either .gitattributes or .git/info/attributes in your checkout, or whatever core.attributesFile is configured to point at. Here’s what mine looks like:

          thedata.js diff=thedata

          Very simple. Could easily be based on extension (so the prefix would be *.js) but that would cause more problems in my case.

        • Deploy, track, and roll back RDS database code changes using open source tools Liquibase and Jenkins

          Customers across industries and verticals deal with relational database code deployment. In most cases, developers rely on database administrators (DBAs) to perform the database code deployment. This works well when the number of databases and the amount of database code changes are low. As organizations scale, however, they deal with different database engines—including Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and MySQL—and hundreds or even thousands of databases. This creates a huge load on the DBAs to deploy, track, and perhaps roll back the database changes as and when developers need them to. Moreover, waiting for DBAs to make changes for the developers in an agile environment creates a bottleneck.

        • T^4: Adding Some Color to the Shell

          The first proper video (following last week’s announcement) is up for new T^4 series of video lightning talks with tips, tricks, tools, and toys. Today we just to a little enhancement for the shell enabled color output (if not already on by default).

        • ttdo 0.0.5: Reflect tinytest update

          A maintenance release of our (still small) ttdo package just arrived on CRAN. As introduced last fall, the ttdo package extends the most excellent (and very minimal / zero depends) unit testing package tinytest by Mark van der Loo with the very clever and well-done diffobj package by Brodie Gaslam to give us test results with visual diffs:

          tinytest has an extension mechanism we use, and as tinytest was just upgraded to version 1.2.0 changing, among other nice extensions, one interface by allowing for a new error class argument, we had to rebuild as well in order to document the new argument.

          The release was actually prepared three days ago when tinytest itself was updated, but we waited for the binaries at CRAN to be updated and rebuilt to take advantage of the fully automated submission and test process at CRAN.

        • Python

          • Building Pyrseia III: Server Middleware, Client Senders, CLI and InApp Validators

            I've added the concept of server middleware to Pyrseia. Taking a page from aiohttp's book, each server middleware is basically a coroutine that gets called with 3 arguments: the current request context, a pyrseia.Call instance (which has the function name and arguments), and a coroutine to continue the chain. The type of this continuation coroutine is NextMiddleware, which is an alias for Callable[[CTXT, Call], Awaitable[Any]].

            This gives middleware a very simple interface but a large amount of flexibility. Your middleware doesn't have to call the continuation coroutine, it can return a result or raise an error right then and there. Your middleware can also change the context and Call instance it received in whatever way it wants before passing them on.

          • EuroPython 2020: First part of the program available

            Our program work group (WG) has been working hard over the last week to select the first batch of sessions for EuroPython 2020, based on your talk voting and our diversity criteria. We’re now happy to announce the first 60 talks, brought to you by 61 speakers.

          • CPython on Mobile platforms - Python Language Summit 2020

            "We've got very big news on Android," Russell Keith-Magee told the Language Summit. "We're close to having a full set of BeeWare tools that can run on Android."

            The BeeWare project aims to let programmers write apps in Python for Android, iOS, and other platforms using native UI widgets. Keith-Magee reported that BeeWare has made good progress since his Summit presentation last year. On iOS, "Python worked well before, it works well now," and BeeWare has added Python 3.8 support. Until recently, however, Python was struggling to make inroads on Android. BeeWare's Android strategy was to compile Python to Java bytecode, but Android devices are now fast enough, and the Android kernel permissive enough, to run CPython itself. With funding from the PSF, BeeWare hired Asheesh Laroia to port CPython to Android.

          • How To Upload Images With Django

            One of the most common requirement in any modern web application is the ability to take images or pictures from the users as input and save them on the server however Letting users upload files can have big security implications.

          • Real working hyperlinks in the terminal with Rich

            Since releasing Rich 1.0.0 I've discovered that terminals support hyperlinks. And I don't mean the helpful highlighting of URLs that most terminals do, I mean actual HTML-like hyperlinks that launch a browser.

          • atexit with example

            There is an option in python where you can execute a function when the interpreter terminates.

            Consider this below example, save the code in a file and run it.

          • Interview: The Performance of Python

            Earlier this year, I was supposed to participate to dotPy, a one-day Python conference happening in Paris. This event has unfortunately been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

            Both Victor Stinner and me were supposed to attend that event. Victor had prepared a presentation about Python performances, while I was planning on talking about profiling.

            Rather than being completely discouraged, Victor and I sat down (remotely) with Anne Laure from Behind the Code (a blog ran by Welcome to the Jungle, the organizers of the dotPy conference).

            We discuss Python performance, profiling, speed, projects, problems, analysis, optimization and the GIL.

          • Two Scoops of Django 3.x Released

            We just released the early release (alpha) of the fifth edition of our book, titled Two Scoops of Django 3.x. The 3.x means we are supporting Django 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2 Long Term Support (LTS) releases, ensuring the content will be valid until April of 2024.

          • Interactive Machine Learning Experiments

            This is a collection of interactive machine-learning experiments. Each experiment consists of Jupyter/Colab notebook (to see how a model was trained) and demo page (to see a model in action right in your browser).

          • Episode 5 - How To Use Forms

            On this episode, we will learn about HTML forms and Django’s form system to use when collecting input from users. Listen at Last Episode On the previous episode, we looked at templates, the primary tool that Django provides to build user interfaces in your Django app. Web Forms 101 HTML can describe the type of data that you may want your users to send to your site. Collecting this data is done with a handful of tags.

          • PyDev of the Week: Jan Giacomelli

            This week we welcome Jan Giacomelli (@jangiacomelli) as our PyDev of the Week. Jan is an entrepreneur and blogs about Python.

          • PyCharm helping developers to navigate complexity and be more productive

            Developing in Python is the dream job of many developers out there. According to the latest survey from StackOverflow, Python is the second most ‘loved’ language, and the ‘most wanted’ one. Now, imagine working for a Python software house where you have the opportunity to be part of many different projects, sometimes even simultaneously? It sounds amazing, right? But, of course, it also brings some challenges. You need to communicate more, be aware of different project scopes, take decisions under different technology requirements, and much more. Complexity is also closely related to productivity. While some people excel in this scenario others spend more time finding their way around.

          • Programming languages: Python apps might soon be running on Android

            Thanks in part to the rise of machine learning, programming language Python is hugely popular with developers, but so far mobile devices have been no place for Python applications.

            Yet Python creator Guido van Rossum and some Python developers hope that apps written in Python may one day run natively on iOS and Android devices. That could happen thanks to BeeWare, an open-source project headed up Russell Keith-Magee, which is porting CPython to Android, so apps written in Python can run natively on Android.

          • How to check a file exists in Python

            It is necessary to find out any file exists or not for many programming purposes. For example, it is important to know the file exists before opening a file for reading otherwise it displays an error message. If you want to prevent overwriting any existing file then you have to find out the file already exists or not before writing. There are many built-in functions in python to check the existence of any file. The different ways to check any file exists or not are shown in this tutorial.

          • How to convert the dictionary to JSON in python

            JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a popular file format to present the structured data and transfer the data between the server and the application easily. The structure of this file is similar to some Python objects like list, tuple, and dictionary. You can convert any dictionary object into the JSON object by using dump() and dumps() methods of the json module. This article shows the ways to convert any dictionary object to the JSON object in python.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Minimalist HTML

        This article is about HTML5.

        Note: Some of these *might* break spec, but are so commonplace that they might as well be in here. For example, <title> is required by the HTML spec, but 99% of all browsers will make up something for you if it isn't supplied.

        Note: I wouldn't use this advicefEnergy on production websites. But for quick development, here are some tips that help me.

  • Leftovers

    • Education

      • Our Academic Crisis Is Nigh

        Our student loan debacle may, rare compliments of our collective COVID-19 nightmare, be ready for comprehensive national solutions.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • 'The Next Crisis': Up to 43 Million Americans Could Lose Health Insurance Due to Pandemic, Study Shows

        "The American healthcare financing system was not built to withstand the combined impact of a pandemic and a recession."

      • Trump Officials Ignored Company's Offer in January to Make Millions of N95 Masks

        Progressives on Saturday denounced an “infuriating” report which detailed the Department of Health and Human Services’ refusal to take an American company up on its offer to supply millions of N95 respirators to the government early on in the coronavirus pandemic.

      • 'Criminal Negligence': Trump Officials Ignored Company's Offer to Make 7 Million N95 Masks Per Month in Early Days of Pandemic

        Federal scientist Rick Bright described his communications with Prestige Ameritech in his whistleblower report regarding the administration's response to the Covid-19 crisis.

      • NYT's "Real Coronavirus Death Toll" Is Anything But

        Clearly, the New York Times designers used the most recent data they could get. But that just begs the question: Why didn't they postpone the project when they realized they didn't yet have the data they needed?

      • With My Child Incarcerated During a Pandemic, I Spend Mother's Day in Fear

        This Mother’s Day, with a son in prison, I anticipate one of the most frightening and tear-filled days of my life. There is nothing more traumatic than knowing that your child is sitting in a cold cell, openly threatened with the possibility of contracting the new coronavirus.

      • Why some nurses have quit during the coronavirus pandemic

        Each time a safety regulation changed, she said, she began to feel more like "a sheep sent to slaughter" than a front-line nurse, and she started agonizing between her job and her family.

        By late March, the risks weighed too heavily, and Stanton submitted her resignation.

      • This Script Sends Junk Data to Ohio’s Website for Snitching on Workers

        The script works by automatically generating fake information and entering it into the form. For example, the companies are taken from a list of the top 100 employers in the state of Ohio—including Wendy’s, Macy’s, and Kroger—and names and addresses are randomly created using freely-available generators found online. Once all the data is entered, the script has to defeat a CAPTCHA-like anti-spam measure at the end of the form. Unlike regular CAPTCHAs, which display a grid of pictures and words that the user must identify, the security tool used by the form is merely a question-and-answer field. By storing a list of common questions and their respective answers, the script can easily defeat the security measure by simply hitting the “switch questions” button until it finds a question it can answer.

        To make the code more accessible, software engineer David Ankin repackaged the script into a simple command line tool which allows users to run the script in the background of their computer, continuously submitting fake data to the Ohio website.

      • [Guest post] Revocations, special compulsory licenses, patent strategies & COVID-19: A note on Indian Patent Law

        Indian patent law has several mechanisms to deal with potential abuse of the patent system as well as to ensure affordable access to medicines and public health facilities. Among these are the provisions against evergreening and second indications (section 3(d) of the Patents Act) as well as the provisions relating to revocation (section 64) and compulsory licensing (section 84). However, two hitherto under-explored provisions of the Indian Patents Act have the potential to gain particular relevance in the present time, where the world fights against the Covid-19 pandemic. These are the provisions relating to compulsory licensing upon a notification by the central government (section 92) and the provision for revocation on ground of prejudice to the public (section 66). Both these provisions come into play only after the patent has been granted. These can be significant for access to diagnostic kits, vaccines and drugs undergoing trials (like Remdesivir), which are covered by existing patents. These clauses will not be relevant for any vaccine or drug that is still in the stage of development and for which patent applications are pending.


        The second provision allows the Indian government to revoke a patent if the same is “generally prejudicial to the public” (section 66). Here, the central government will have to hear the patentee before declaring the patent as revoked. It can, perhaps, be argued that any patent that reduces access to medicines during a pandemic is prejudicial to the public. This provision is different from the usual revocation provision (section 64) because it brings in elements of public interest and of what qualifies as prejudicial to the public. Therefore, this section is not dependant on the inherent strength or weakness of the patent itself. For a usual revocation, inter-alia, lack of novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability is required to be proven. But this is not the case with revocation under section 66. However, it should be noted that section 66 is a more stringent provision because it gives the power to revoke. On the other hand, section 92 allows the patent to live and also allows some benefits to the patentee (by way of royalties) and the compulsory licensees. Interestingly, it is reported that Indian government has been approached to revoke the patent on Remdesivir under section 66 ( ).

        It will be prudent if patents do not come in the way of cures and affordable access to such cures for Covid-19. The patent system has enough flexibility to allow for access to all during such emergency situations. For example, if there is any potential vaccine, drug or diagnostic kit(s) covered by one or more patents, and if the existence of such patents comes in the way of providing affordable access to the public then the Indian government has any of the aforesaid two options available to it. Access to the public can be hindered in several ways and each time public access is hindered, public interest suffers. In such a scenario, in the absence of adequate, affordable and meaningful access to medicines or other products, there is a violation of right to health and, consequently, of right to life itself. For example, existence of patents can lead to prohibitive costs for medicines or even excessive royalty rates under a license, both of which can effectively thwart access. Also, existence of patents has the potential to harm both follow-on research/innovation as well as collaborative research efforts. In any such scenario, the government could step in and revoke the patent itself under section 66 by holding that the existence of patent(s) is prejudicial to the public.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • New Thunderbolt hack exposes your files: How to check if you’re safe
        • Thunderspy vulnerability in Thunderbolt 3 allows hackers to steal files from Windows and Linux machines
        • There’s a new Thunderbolt bug, check if your computer is affected
        • Thunderspy Is A New Vulnerability Affecting Thunderbolt Security

          Thunderspy is a class of seven vulnerabilities found within Intel's Thunderbolt 3 hardware and the researchers having found nine realistic scenarios for exploiting these Thunderbolt issues across platforms.

        • Thunderbolt Flaws Expose Millions of PCs to Hands-On Hacking

          On Sunday, Eindhoven University of Technology researcher Björn Ruytenberg revealed the details of a new attack method he's calling Thunderspy. On Thunderbolt-enabled Windows or Linux PCs manufactured before 2019, his technique can bypass the login screen of a sleeping or locked computer—and even its hard disk encryption—to gain full access to the computer's data. And while his attack in many cases requires opening a target laptop's case with a screwdriver, it leaves no trace of intrusion, and can be pulled off in just a few minutes. That opens a new avenue to what the security industry calls an "evil maid attack," the threat of any [cr]acker who can get alone time with a computer in, say, a hotel room. Ruytenberg says there's no easy software fix, only disabling the Thunderbolt port altogether.

          "All the evil maid needs to do is unscrew the backplate, attach a device momentarily, reprogram the firmware, reattach the backplate, and the evil maid gets full access to the laptop," says Ruytenberg, who plans to present his Thunderspy research at the Black Hat security conference this summer—or the virtual conference that may replace it. "All of this can be done in under five minutes."

        • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is Visiting Fans Via Animal Crossing

          After asking her followers for "etiquette" advice re: visiting other people's islands, AOC began making her "House" calls, and apparently the first one went very well. "It was so sweet. Island belonged to a family of three. We exchanged fruit, took pictures, and I signed a bulletin note using my touch screen," she tweeted of the experience. "I was floored by how fast they typed and they taught me about the app."

        • Noted is keyboard-driven note taking app for macOS & Linux

          With keyboard driven desktop environments back in vogue thanks to distros like Pop!_OS 20.04 and Regolith Linux, I figured you might want some keyboard-centric apps to go with ’em!

          Noted is a new note-taking app that’s freely available on Linux and macOS. The app is said to be inspired by Notational Velocity (a popular open source note-taking application for macOS).

          And, just like its inspiration, you can use Noted to make notes, edit notes, and complete notes all without ever touching your mouse.

        • The 20 Best Electronic Design Automation Tools (EDA Tools) for Linux

          Electronic Design Automation tools or simply EDA tools are a class of specialized computer programs developed for aiding in the design of IC chips or PCB boards. They are widely used by microchip manufacturers for developing top-notch electronic products and cutting production costs. EDA programs are essential in a large number of engineering practices, including system design and hardware implementation. Linux offers some of the best such tools for system designers. In today’s guide, our editors have gone over a vast array of these tools and outlined some of the best EDA programs for people working in electronic devices manufacturing.


          The gEDA project is essentially a collection of free and open source electronic design automation tools. Like KiCad, it allows for an extremely productive workflow and can be used for creating the next generation of electrical devices. This suite provides chip manufacturers with tools for schematic capture, prototyping, circuit design, and production, among many more. Moreover, gEDA was developed to overcome the lack of high-quality Linux EDA software. So, a large number of open source collaborators are working on this project and rolling out newer features every now and then.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Provider eObjects published in open source

              The need for the eObjects arose because most of the healthcare-IT applications are being developed without any standards by different agencies and vendors in the public and private sector in India. Each application is developed for standalone use without much attention to semantic interoperability. Later when the thought of interoperability emerges – it becomes difficult to connect the systems and make them talk to each other because they were never designed for that purpose.

              Even if technical and organisational interoperability is done the semantic interoperability may remain a challenge. For example – all applications must have the same facility master. When Application A sends the ANC data for Facility 123, the receiving Application B should understand ANC and uniquely identify Facility 123. Another example is if a hospital application sends the insurance reimbursement bill to the insurance company / government, the recipient application should be able to understand and re-present the same meaning of bill information.

            • Cloudera Delivers Open Standards Based MLOps Empowering Enterprises to Industrialize AI

              Cloudera (NYSE: CLDR), the enterprise data cloud company, today announced an expanded set of production machine learning capabilities for MLOps is now available in Cloudera Machine Learning (CML). Organizations can manage and secure the ML lifecycle for production machine learning with CML's new MLOps features and Cloudera SDX for models. Data scientists, machine learning engineers, and operators can collaborate in a single unified solution, drastically reducing time to value and minimizing business risk for production machine learning models.

            • New switches for open networking in the cloud launched by Arista

              Arista Networks has launched new switches powered by SONiC (Software for Open Networking in the Cloud). Enabled by a new Arista SAI (Switch Abstraction Interface) offering, customers now have the flexibility to deploy SONiC software on Arista switching platforms. This is said to combine the benefits of open source software with Arista EOS for open, high performance, highly available networks.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub and Entryism)

            • FSGSBASE v12 Patches Published With Even Microsoft Intrigued By Its Performance [Ed: Linus Torvalds now bossed by Microsoft employees. They also get to decide what goes into Linux. Entryism is moving fast.]

              Just this weekend we were writing about the eleventh spin of the Linux FSGSBASE patches for this capability that can help out performance going back to Ivy Bridge era processors. Kicking off Monday, version twelve is already out and an explanation why a Microsoft developer has been stewarding these patches across the finish line.

              See the aforelinked article for details on this ongoing saga of mainlining Linux support for FSGSBASE... It's been going on for a long time but now at least it looks like it may have the momentum to get it across the finish line. But how did this go from being something Intel developers were sending out patches on to now Microsoft's Linux kernel developer, Sasha Levin, volleying the new patch series?

            • Source code for seminal adventure game Zork circa-1977 exhumed from MIT tapes, plonked on GitHub

              While classic adventure games (aka interactive fiction) are well represented in the Internet Archive – there’s plenty of playable Zork versions here – this latest trove is source code retrieved from the US university's Department of Distinctive Collections (DDC)'s Tapes of Tech Square (ToTS) collection.

              If you access the repo and its README you’re told the source was written “in the MDL programming language written on a PDP-10 timeshare computer running the ITS operating system.”

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium and firefox), Debian (libntlm, squid, thunderbird, and wordpress), Fedora (chromium, community-mysql, crawl, roundcubemail, and xen), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable), openSUSE (chromium, firefox, LibVNCServer, openldap2, opera, ovmf, php7, python-PyYAML, rpmlint, rubygem-actionview-5_1, slirp4netns, sqliteodbc, squid, thunderbird, and webkit2gtk3), Oracle (firefox, git, gnutls, kernel, libvirt, squid, and targetcli), Red Hat (thunderbird), SUSE (firefox, squid, and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (mailman).

          • RadeonSI Driver Now Supports AMD Trusted Memory Zone

            With the AMDGPU kernel driver adding Trusted Memory Zone support for the Linux 5.8 kernel, Mesa 20.2-devel has now landed support for the RadeonSI driver to make use of this TMZ functionality.

            The AMD Trusted Memory Zone support allows for protecting pages from being read by the CPU and other non-GPU clients can protect against writes to those protected pages.

          • Weekly Security News Roundup: Dacls RAT Begins Targeting Mac Users

            Last week in security news, researchers observed a new version of the Lazarus Group’s Dacls remote-access Trojan (RAT) targeting Mac users via a trojanized two-factor authentication (2FA) app. That wasn’t the only new piece of malware that made headlines last week. Security analysts also unveiled their discovery of a new ransomware family, a new internet of things (IoT) botnet written in Golang and a new mobile banking Trojan.

          • Novel Cross-Platform APT Attacks Targeting Linux Windows and Android
          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Reading the Federalist Papers under lockdown: Is Donald Trump dissolving our union?

        As they are now abundantly and painfully aware that they will not be led by this president in any rational, reality-based manner, they have chosen to team up. It's a bit like a game (though the most earnest imaginable, where lives are on the line) where the governors are picking the best possible teammates. In the end, unselected, Trump is left standing on the sidelines. That image brings a tear to my eye. (Oh, wait — it's this mask fogging up my glasses. Never mind.)

        In "The Necessity of a Government as Energetic as the One Proposed to the Preservation of the Union" (Federalist No. 23, Dec. 18, 1787), Hamilton's argument for the necessity of a strong federal hand in the public defense — which, of course, extends beyond enemy nations — speaks with special purpose to us today: [...]

      • Vets Are Roasting the Loser Mercenaries Imprisoned in Venezuela

        The special forces community, comprising thousands of former soldiers who’ve operated in the many campaigns of the War On Terror since 2001, is particularly blown away by the brazen stupidity of Silvercorp.

        “These are guys who couldn’t make it in the major leagues, so they tried to create a major league of their own to the detriment of their own safety,” said one former special operations member who couldn't allow Motherboard to use their name because they still work in government. “It’s so common to see guys try to play with the big boys and fail miserably. SilverCorp just took it to the extreme.”

        The former soldier believes the three veterans were essentially live-action role-playing mercenaries.

        “If they could hack it doing legit shit, they would have, and they wouldn’t be out chasing down bullshit jobs and contracts with a three man show," he told Motherboard. "There are places for people with real experience to utilize it and do things with it and it’s obvious that Silvercorp did not have the experience or skill sets to be in those places. They were wannabes.”

      • Harry Dunn's alleged killer Anne Sacoolas is now a fugitive on the run as Interpol issues an international arrest warrant for her - nine months after causing the fatal crash and fleeing Britain for America under diplomatic immunity

        The wife of a US intelligence official accused of killing British teenager Harry Dunn is now a fugitive on the run after Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for her.

        Nine months after the fatal crash, after which she fled Britain for the US, Anne Sacoolas is now the subject of an Interpol Red Notice.

        Mrs Sacoolas, 42, is charged in the UK with causing the death of the 19-year-old by dangerous driving following a crash in Northamptonshire in August last year.

        She claimed diplomatic immunity following the collision and was able to return to her home country, sparking a row between the UK and US.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • 'What are we doing this for?': Doctors are fed up with conspiracies ravaging ERs

        Whitney Phillips, a assistant professor of communications who studies the spread of disinformation at Syracuse University, said the coronavirus outbreak offers a look at how conspiracy thinking is now, in some ways, more organized.

        "With conspiracy theories, the reason they're impervious to fact-checking is that they have become a way of being in the world for believers," Phillips said. "It isn't just one narrative that you can debunk. It is a holistic way of being in the world that has been reinforced by all the other bulls--- that these platforms have allowed people to consume for years."

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Climate crisis: Sweden closes last coal-fired power station two years ahead of schedule

          Sweden has closed the country’s last coal-fired power station two years ahead of schedule.

          It becomes the third European country to exit coal completely after Belgium closed its last coal power station in 2016, and Austria ended its final coal-fired energy operations earlier this month.

          The plant at Värtaverket, in Hjorthagen in eastern Stockholm is owned by Stockholm Exergi, a company part owned by the City of Stockholm and which described the closure as “a milestone” for clean energy in Sweden.

        • Finland aims to boost wind power by leasing more state land for construction

          In the next few years Metsähallitus will make enough land available to build wind farm capacity equivalent to a medium-sized nuclear power plant, he says. However ownership of the land will remain in state hands.

    • Finance

      • Congress Members Who Invest in Real Estate Got a Tax Break in the Stimulus Bill

        Congress slipped a provision into the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill that will save wealthy real estate investors billions in taxes. Some lawmakers stand to profit from the legislation meant to weather the impact of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed tens of thousands and left tens of millions out of work.

      • Continuing to Push for Reopening of Economy, White House Takes Extra Precautions As Two Staffers Test Positive for Coronavirus

        "The do what I say, not what I do, mindset at the White House continues."

      • The Ride Gets Rougher: Gig Workers Organize Through a Pandemic

        As companies around the world turn to contactless service, the guidelines and protections gig workers win in the midst of coronavirus will have an incredible impact in the future.

      • The Bailout Is Working — for the Rich

        Ten weeks into the worst crisis in 90 years, the government’s effort to save the economy has been both a spectacular success and a catastrophic failure.

        The clearest illustration of that came on Friday, when the government reported that 20.5 million people lost their jobs in April. It marked a period of unfathomable pain across the country not seen since the Great Depression. Also on Friday, the stock market rallied.

      • Open-source Blockchain Platform Nervos Establishes $5 Million “Equity-Free” Incubator for Early-Stage DLT Initiatives

        Nervos’ program will offer equity-free funding to early-stage blockchain projects. It will also provide dedicated support from the core Nervos team. Additionally, program participants will have access to Nervos’ investor and business partner network.

      • An ECB digital currency – a flight of fancy?

        A recent survey among 66 central banks by the Bank for International Settlements shows that more than 80% are working on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).[1]

        The European Central Bank is one of them.

        Not because we want to keep up with fashionable trends, but because we have to be ready. Ready to embrace financial technological innovation which has the potential to transform payments and money faster, and in more disruptive ways, than ever before.

        We are technology neutral. But if our customers, the people of Europe signalled a change in payments behaviour, we would want to preserve their direct link to the ultimate owner of our currency by maintaining their access to central bank liabilities in euro. Although cash often gets a bad press, demand is not receding. We currently see no indication that the public at large is willing to abandon the valued and trusted advantages of cash. But we are preparing to be ready should things change.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • From Juanita Broaddrick to Tara Reade: In Forty Years Has Nothing Changed at All?

        "If Christine Blasey Ford is credible, then Tara Reade is credible at the very least—and so is Juanita Broaddrick."

      • In the Absence of Federal Action, US States Scramble to Address Hunger Crisis

        As the COVID-19 crisis intensifies, a Depression-era double-whammy food crisis has emerged.

      • The Supreme Court Is Set to Decide If Donald Trump Is Above the Law

        Article II of the U.S. Constitution vests the executive power of the federal government in a president, not a king. Kings rule by fiat. The president is supposed to govern with the consent of the people and in coordination with Congress and the judiciary, the two other co-equal branches of government.

      • The Push to Relax COVID-19 Protections Exposes Age-Old Racial Wounds

        "These are the first shots fired in an uncivil economic war."

      • The 1918 pandemic was linked to a rise in Nazi support. Will this pandemic be similar?

        Though historians have often pointed to Germany's defeat in World War I and dissatisfaction with the post-war Weimar Republic as paving the way for the rise of the Nazis, the Fed study found that "influenza deaths are correlated with the share of votes received by extremist parties in 1932 and 1933."

        The trend particularly favored right-wing extremist parties, Blickle noted. While extreme left parties, like the Communist Party, saw their vote share decline, the Nazi Party, the "clear party of the extreme right," saw gains in support in regions with the highest death rates.

      • Wuhan virus finally alters global perceptions of the PRC: William Stanton

        I believe most countries around the world shared a starry-eyed vision of China after Deng Xiaoping famously “opened up” China, and it appeared nothing could alter it. There was certainly a temporary pause in many countries’ relations with the PRC following the Tiananmen Square Massacre, but it was clear that even the most liberal Western democracies were eager to get beyond Tiananmen and get back to business as usual with the PRC.

        Too Many PRC Misdeeds

        There nonetheless continued to be almost too many PRC transgressions of internationally acceptable behavior for the world to track, much less protest: the relentless crackdown on Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism; the incarceration of a million or more Uighurs; the suppression of Christian churches and Muslim mosques; the ceaseless arrests of dissidents, human rights lawyers, and authors; the expulsions of foreign reporters and newspapers; ongoing reports of organ harvesting; the gradual erosion of “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong; massive intellectual property theft; huge exports of addictive fentanyl; continuing militarization of the South China Sea (SCS) despite a 2016 International Court decision that PRC claims were unlawful; the intentional sinking of Vietnamese and Philippine fishing boats; the support for nuclear and missile programs in Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea; the shipment of fuel and luxury goods to North Korea in violation of UN resolutions that the PRC had supported; and the seduction of developing countries into “debt traps” in support of the PRC’s “Belt and Road” scheme.

      • Obama, Biden Oval Office Meeting On January 5 Was Key To Entire Anti-Trump Operation

        Information released in the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the case it brought against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn confirms the significance of a January 5, 2017, meeting at the Obama White House. It was at this meeting that Obama gave guidance to key officials who would be tasked with protecting his administration’s utilization of secretly funded Clinton campaign research, which alleged Trump was involved in a treasonous plot to collude with Russia, from being discovered or stopped by the incoming administration.

        “President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia,” National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote in an unusual email to herself about the meeting that was also attended by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey, and Vice President Joe Biden.

        A clearer picture is emerging of the drastic steps that were taken to accomplish Obama’s goal in the following weeks and months. Shortly thereafter, high-level operatives began intensely leaking selective information supporting a supposed Russia-Trump conspiracy theory, the incoming National Security Advisor was ambushed, and the incoming Attorney General was forced to recuse himself from oversight of investigations of President Trump. At each major point in the operation, explosive media leaks were a key strategy in the operation to take down Trump.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Appalachia’s Front Porch Network Is a Lifeline

        A traditional gathering place where the public meets the private is now the critical point of contact for families isolated during the pandemic.

      • What Can the Pandemic-Stricken World Learn From Palestinians’ Resilience?

        As a Palestinian woman from Jerusalem and a mental health professional, I am both treating and experiencing the extensive impact and far-reaching ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      • At Least Two Dead After Afghan Police Fire On Protesters

        At least two people were killed and more were injured in western Afghanistan on May 9 when police clashed with hundreds of protesters angry over what they insisted was unfair distribution of food aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, a local lawmaker said.

        Protesters in the western Ghor Province were claiming the humanitarian assistance was being given mainly to people with political connections.

      • Armed 'mob' allegedly tried to enter black family's North Carolina home; white deputy charged

        "Coming to the door like that with a mob of people with guns, what do we expect? What were their intentions?" Monica Shepard told NBC affiliate WECT of Wilmington. "What if he was the person they were looking for or what if I was not home? What would've happened? I don't want to have that conversation. I don't want him to be a statistic. It's scary."

        Kita was looking for Lekayda Kempisty, a 15-year-old girl who had been reported missing earlier in the day. She was later found safe.

        In its effort to find Lekayda, Kita's group was searching for someone named Josiah who used to live next door.

        During the confrontation, Shepard repeatedly tried to point out to the group that they had the wrong house and that a yard sign out front explicitly congratulated "Dameon" on his high school graduation, to no avail, Shepard told news outlets.

    • Monopolies

      • U.S. Trade Representative Releases 2020 Special 301 Report [Ed: Lobbying by blackmail -- how USTR continues to bully the whole world in an imperialistic fashion]

        On April 29th, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), issued the 2020 Special 301 Report. In a press release, the USTR stated that "[t]he Trump Administration is committed to holding intellectual property rights violators accountable and to ensuring that American innovators and creators have a full and fair opportunity to use and profit from their work." The press release also asserts that "[o]ver the last year, USTR has secured strong and enforceable obligations on intellectual property in our historic agreements with China, Canada, and Mexico. The two reports issued today illustrate the Administration's commitment to protecting intellectual property rights and combatting counterfeiting and piracy in online and physical markets."

      • Failure to Identify Related Cases on Civil Coversheet: A Throwback

        A very long time ago, probably 1989 or so, I was involved in a case where a lawyer failed to identify a “related case” on a civil coversheet. Long story short, the plaintiff had filed suit in one jurisdiction (let’s say Iowa state court), and then filed a second suit in another jurisdiction (let’s say Ohio federal court). It waited to serve, and ended up serving the Ohio federal court suit, I guess because Ohio federal court was better than Iowa state court. However, at that time, the federal civil cover sheet asked if there were any pending cases — anywhere — and the lawyer had not listed any.

        Probably nothing would have happened except the defendant, I surmise, learned of the Iowa state court before an important hearing in Ohio federal suit, and at that hearing the defendant’s counsel skillfully (it seemed to me) got the judge to ask questions about previously filed suits, and the attorney for the plaintiff said there had been none.

      • Patents

        • Jury Verdicts and Forward-Looking Royalties

          TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited, et al., Petitioners v. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, et al. (Supreme Court 2020)


          In the decision on review, the Federal Circuit held that the patent owner accused of breaching its FRAND commitment had a Seventh Amendment right to have a jury set the royalty rate in the injunction requiring it to license its worldwide portfolio of patents on FRAND terms, simply because the injunction included a backward-looking royalty payment proposed by the patent owner as part of the consideration that the licensee was required to pay to receive specific performance.

      • Copyrights

Recent Techrights' Posts

The Campaign to 'End' Richard Stallman - Part II - Scaring People Who Produce Videos in Support of Stallman
There are allegations of threats, defamation, and censorship
No News Drought in Techrights
Leaving my job after almost 12 years also contributes to available time for research and publication
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting My Wife
In my view, it is a form of overt sexism
Death Valley
The truth can be twisted
Angola: Microsoft Windows Down From 98% to 12%
Africa is "lost territory" for Microsoft colonialism
[Meme] UEFI 'Secure' Boot's Model of Security
Lion cage with people
Climbing a Tall Mountain for 2 Decades
In Web terms, 20 years is a very long time. Very few sites (or a small proportion of the whole) make it to 20.
If You're Going to Concern-Troll "Linux" Make Sure You Actually Use It (Or Tried It)
Concern-trolling has long been a key ingredient of GNU/Linux Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt
The Serial Strangler From Microsoft is About to Be Served Court Papers
You can run, but you cannot hide
The Campaign to 'End' Richard Stallman - Part III - The Reddit Mob (Social Control Media Controlled, Steered or Commandeered by Wall Street)
This is totally reminiscent of what authoritarian regimes do
Caged by Microsoft
Are you telling me that preventing people from booting their Linux is security?
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 29, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, May 29, 2024
[Chart] Chromebooks in Micronesia Grew at the Expense of Microsoft Windows
As of today...
Linus Torvalds Mocked "Cloud Native" in His Latest Talk (Arguing It's Just Hype), 'Linux' Foundation 'Research' (Marketing) Chooses Proprietary Software to Query Its Adopters
The name "Linux" is overused, abused, even grossly misused
Links 29/05/2024: More Arrests of Regime Critics and Hate Crimes
Links for the day
Brittany Day ( Now Leverages Microsoft Chatbots to Promote Microsoft Propaganda Disguised as "Linux"
What Brittany Day does is an attack both on the Web and on Linux
[Meme] Don't Trust Users to Boot Their Own PCs?
UEFI 'secure' boot
Links 29/05/2024: Hack The Box, Why I Left Healthcare, and Chatbots as Health Risk
Links for the day
Gemini Links 29/05/2024: BESM Retro Second Edition and Itanium Day
Links for the day
Azerbaijan: Microsoft Falls From 99.5% to Almost Nothing or Less Than 20% (Windows Down Sharply, GNU/Linux Surges)
Based on statSounter
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 28, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, May 28, 2024
The Campaign to 'End' Richard Stallman - Part I - Two Canceled Talks in a Row?
RMS has left Europe, so the concept of "delayed" talk is facetious or deeply cynical
An "Efficient Windows 11 Experience" is Removing a Text Editor (Less than 5 Megabytes in Size) and Adding Chatbots That Require a New PC/Datacentre
Vista 11 24H2 update removes WordPad
On Desktops/Laptops in Andorra Windows Fell to Less Than Half, 20% If One Counts Mobile as Well
And this is a European country
[Meme] 3 Years Later
If you're going to start a fight, make sure you can handle it
When You Leave a Bad Employer and Move on to Better Things
Perhaps my main mistake was not resigning from my job sooner
No, Your Site Likely Does Not Need WordPress
I was one of the first users of WordPress
GNU/Linux in Cameroon: Rising Steadily While Windows Falls From 99% to Just 6%
If one also counts mobile (mostly Android)
Monkey See, Monkey Share
on deprivation of users
From 0.17% to 10% or More (GNU/Linux in Dominica)
Dominica isn't well known, but it does seem to have embraced Chromebooks in recent years
Links 28/05/2024: Tensions in East Asia, UK Mandatory National Service
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/05/2024: NetCrawl and Living in Lagrange
Links for the day
Guardian Digital, Inc ( Handed Over Its Web Site to Chatbots That Generate SEO Garbage
They need to be called out on it
statCounter Sees Microsoft Windows at Below 1% in American Samoa
Not even 1%!
Windows Down to 60% of Guam's Desktops/Laptops and Down to a Quarter Overall
No wonder Microsoft is panicking
Today in UEFI 'Secure' Boot Debates (the Frog is Already Boiling and Melting)
Over at LQ today
[Meme] A "Modern" Web's Message in a Bottle
So-called 'security'
Brittany Day: Still Chatbot Slinging, Producing Fake 'Articles' About "Linux"
random garbage produced (and censored) by Microsoft
Almost 4k Gemini Capsules, 5th Anniversary Only Weeks Away
The Web will continue to deteriorate
Microsoft: $1 Million a Day for Contempt of Court Orders (Justice Department)
Microsoft behaves as if it's 100% exempt from laws
Catbodia? In Cambodia, Microsoft's Windows Fell to All-Time Low of Less Than a Quarter.
Cambodia is leaving Microsoft behind
[Meme] Deadnaming
Guess who uses a name that was deprecated well over a decade ago?
[Meme] 'Secure' Boot in a Nutshell
Ask Microsoft if it is "safe" to boot Linux
New Press Report Explains Microsoft Severance and Quiet (Undisclosed) Layoffs
Some people will call this "loophole", whereas others will opine that it is outright illegal (but kept secret to circumvent scrutiny)
Global South is Android/Linux (Windows Era Has Come to an End Already)
I've decided to take a quick glance at South American trends for all operating systems
[Meme] Unified Patent Troll
Unified Patent Court remains illegal and unconstitutional
The European Patent Office is Sinking
Officials (or national delegates) at the European Patent Organisation have long been warned about this (by staff representatives from the European Patent Office), but they ignored the warnings
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Guest Writers (Intimidation)
Some high-profile people have told me that the serial defamer is a "monster" (their word), so why would Neil Brown wish to help him?
Summer in the Air
We have a good pace going on owing to health, positivity, inertia and good software tools
GNU/Linux Activity in Belize
From an economic point of view, Microsoft needn't worry about Belize, but when it comes to preserving the Windows monopoly/monoculture Belize matters
Links 28/05/2024: Back to MP3, NVIDIA Sued by Authors
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/05/2024: Bad Beach and TLS
Links for the day
Microsoft Windows Fell From 100% to Just 7.5% in Sierra Leone
Based on statCounter
In Benin, Microsoft's Windows Fell Below 10%, GNU/Linux Surged to 6% or Higher on Desktops/Laptops
That's nearly 7% - a lot higher than the average in Africa
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 27, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, May 27, 2024