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Links 29/6/2020: GnuCash 4.0, Firefox 78 Available

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Cybersecurity: What You Need to Know

      More people than ever use Linux. While Windows and macOS still capture most of the market, nearly 2% of all computers use the operating system. While that may not seem like a lot, the usage share has grown immensely over the last few years.

      While only 2% of desktop computers use the operating systems, 96.5% of the world’s top million domains are powered by Linux servers. That’s because there’s a lot to love about Linux.

      But is Linux safer than macOS and Windows?

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • A minimalist Mac terminal for Linux fans

        I have a confession to make: I have been a Mac user for more than 10 years now. At first, I felt a little shame, given my strong Linux background, but the Mac gives me a Unix-like shell and a great window manager. Because of that history, I have a mix of features that will run on macOS but feel familiar to Linux users. There's no reason it can't port over to Linux (and it has!)...

        For a long time, my preferred terminal was the basic built-in, but I recently switched to iTerm2 because it has much better customization and profile support. One of its key wins for me is that it's easy to transplant settings from Mac to Mac. For daily use, I prefer the Solarized Dark theme, but for presentations, I have a separate profile that enlarges the text and uses a plain black background with more vibrant colors.

      • Top laptops for day-to-day work you can buy in India

        However, it runs on the Ubuntu operating system. So, if you are looking for Windows, then you may consider other laptops.

    • Kernel Space

      • Now firmware can depend on available client features

        At the moment we just blindly assume the capabilities of the front-end client when installing firmware. We can somewhat work around this limitation by requiring a new enough fwupd daemon version, but the GUI client software may be much older than the fwupd version or just incomplete. If you maintain a text or graphical client that uses fwupd to deploy updates then there’s an additional API call I’d like you to start using so we can fix this limitation.

        This would allow, for instance, the firmware to specify that it requires the client to be able to show a runtime detach image. This would not be set by a dumb command line tool using FwupdClient, but would be set by a GUI client that is capable of downloading a URL and showing a PNG to the user.

      • LVFS Serves Up Over 17 Million Firmware Files To Linux Users

        The Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) for hosting firmware files to be consumed by Fwupd for firmware updating from Linux is on quite a streak.

        Over the past month LVFS has now served up over one million firmware files to users. This in turn pushes the overall download count for LVFS firmware files over its lifetime to over 17 million files!

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD EPYC 7F72 Performance On A Linux FSGSBASE-Patched Kernel

        Slated for Linux 5.9 is finally mainlining the FSGSBASE patches that have been floating around the kernel mailing list for years. Testing last week showed the tentative x86/fsgsbase patches helping Intel Xeon Linux performance but with AMD also supporting this instruction set extension going back to Bulldozer, how is it looking on the likes of AMD? Here are some benchmarks.

        In continuation of the Intel benchmarks last week and our various articles in recent times of the FSGSBASE wiring up for the Linux kernel, this article is quite straight-forward in providing some metrics for the AMD impact. For this round of testing an AMD EPYC 7F72 server was used. Assuming the upstream developers don't have second thoughts and not send the support in for Linux 5.9, I'll be back with more desktop/server tests when the 5.9 cycle gets underway in August.

    • Applications

      • DownZemAll! – Qt-based download manager

        In the past few weeks, we’ve written reviews of open source software designed to allow downloading videos from YouTube and other similar services without needing to fire up a web browser. We raved over two command-line tools — youtube-dl and You-Get, and also gave a warm reception to Tartube, a GUI tool.

        These tools don’t really fall within the definition of a download manager. This term is usually ascribed to software that manages a broader range of files over the internet.

        This article examines DownZemAll! (DZA!), an open source standalone download manager. The project also develops a browser extension which works with Firefox and Chrome. The program is a rewrite of DownThemAll!, although that software only offered a browser extension. DZA! can run independently of a web browser.

      • Transmission – A Cross-Platform BitTorrent Client for Linux

        Transmission is a free cross-platform BitTorrent client built to be simple to use, lightweight, secure, and reliable. The open-source BitTorrent client just received a major update since 2018 in the form of version 3.0 and it is now packing a ton of function enhancements, bug fixes, and performance improvements.

        The latest Transmission ships with a new app icon on Linux platforms alongside a symbolic variant for indicating the app is running in GNOME’s top panel. Be on the lookout to know whether your theme overrides the display setting if you’re using a custom theme.

      • Diskonaut – A Terminal Disk Space Navigator for Linux

        diskonaut is a simple terminal disk space navigator built using Rust and supports Linux and macOS. To use it, specify an absolute path in your file system, for example, /home/tecmint or run it in the directory of interest, it will scan the directory and maps it to memory enabling you to explore its contents. It allows you to inspect space usage even during the scanning process.

        When the scanning is complete, you can navigate through subdirectories, getting a visual treemap representation of what’s consuming your disk space. diskonaut allows you to delete files and directories and as a result, tracks the amount of space you have freed up in the process. It also supports keyboard shortcuts to ease navigation.

        Read Also: How to Find Out Top Directories and Files (Disk Space) in Linux

        In this article, you will learn how to install and use diskonaut in Linux systems.

      • DeaDBeeF Player 1.8.4 Released with Updated Soundtouch Plugin

        The forth bug-fix release of deadbeef music player 1.8 series was released a day ago with many fixes.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Shallow Space development resumes, moved to Godot Engine

        Shallow Space, a 3D sci-fi RTS from 2015 that was initially very promising but ultimately ended up in development hell appears to be alive again.

        Writing on Steam, the developer made a post back in May titled "What happened here?" and briefly went over some of the issues. Things like limited resources, things not implemented properly, a publisher backed out on them and a key reseller got hold of a bunch of keys which apparently dried up their sales too.

        The developer went onto mention that since then they've continued learning, becoming a better developer and they've decided they're actually going to give it another go and finish Shallow Space. They've been tinkering behind the scenes for a few months now and have begun talking a little more about their plan.

      • Keep up with Crusader Kings III dev in another explainer video

        Inching ever closer to release on September 1, Crusader Kings III sounds very exciting and the latest developer video diary is out going over decision-making, how to cope with stress, changes made to events, and more.

        The decision system especially sounds like it will make a lot of interesting stories, how you're always working towards something but there's tons of smaller decisions you will be making often to affect characters.

      • Short-form narrative game 'We should talk.' arrives July 16

        It's not what you say, it's how you say it. We should talk. is an upcoming short-form narrative game about having a chat and it looks delightful.

        After a successful Kickstarter campaign, which didn't actually list Linux as a platform, it's confirmed to be releasing with Linux support on July 16. The idea is that it will make you think carefully about the words you choose. Using a 'unique' narrative choice mechanic, you'll craft sentences in response to the in-game characters in We should talk.

      • Monthly Games I've Played In Linux | June 2020

        Show your support and drop a like guys! Showcasing games I've been putting time to within the month, whether they're new or old!

      • Train Valley 2 hits over 1,000 maps on the Steam Workshop

        Need more from Train Valley 2? Well, if you have it on Steam there's an absolute ton of extra community-made content available in the Steam Workshop.

        Train Valley 2 is a train tycoon-style strategy puzzle game. You build tracks to deliver people across a map to different industries, to then deliver products to somewhere else. Build tracks, upgrade your locomotives, keep them constantly moving without letting any crash. It's good fun and some of the included levels are quite a challenge. What about when you've finished though?

        Including a built-in level editor can seriously help the longevity of a game, as there's obviously only so much a developer can directly make. Thankfully, Train Valley 2 has one and it's pretty easy to use which is likely why they've recently hit over 1,000 extra levels for players to play through.

      • Celestial Command adds 3D space physics and a new battle mode

        Celestial Command, a spaceship crafting survival sandbox game that's currently in Early Access doesn't get a lot of attention but it's quietly getting impressive.

        Released into Early Access back in 2014, it's been steadily going a while now. I completely forgot about it in fact, only recently was the first time I actually properly took a look at it. As a huge fan of space games, especially where there's a lot of customization and ship crafting, I'm a bit of a sucker for them and Celestial Command now feels truly promising.

      • Beyond a Steel Sky to release for Linux PC during July

        Beyond a Steel Sky, the exciting looking upcoming game from Revolution Software recently hit Apple Arcade and it appears the Steam release is soon too.

        Confirmed to be launching with Linux support, Beyond a Steel Sky is the long awaited sequel to Beneath a Steel Sky. Revolution Software actually are the original developer of Beneath a Steel Sky, plus Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars, Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror and more. With the Apple Arcade release out, they mentioned on Twitter that "July will not go by without you being able to play the game on Steam".

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Five Favorite Xfce Panel Applets

        Here you go, it’s both a bit of a tutorial on how to use Xfce’s panel applets, as well as something of an in-depth look at five of our writer’s favorites.

        The Xfce Desktop Environment might be one of Linux’s best kept secrets. Sure, everybody’s heard of Xfce, because on most lists it’s usually the first “alternative” DE, listed right after mainstreamers KDE and Gnome. But unless you’ve actually looked at it or used it, you might think it’s a bare bones simple DE that’s much too basic to be useful.

        That’s partially the fault of open source websites, which much to the chagrin of Xfce devs, nearly always refer to it as “minimalist,” or as a desktop intended for older hardware. This leaves some people thinking that Xfce is old school and offers nothing but a bare-bones experience, something like any number of simple Linux windows managers, or even Windows 3.1.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • GSoC'20 with KDE

          With the first month of the coding period almost over, I have been working on completing the first part of my GSoC project.

          I have been porting to hugo. The website is very old and has lots and lots of pages. It is even older than me! I have been working on porting these pages to markdown removing the old PHP syntax and adding improvements to the design, responsiveness and accessibility of the website.

          I have completed porting the announcements upto the year 2013. I ported the year 2014 as well but I replaced the formatted links into normal ones but I didn’t realise It would break the translations for the pages. So I may have to port these announcements again :( . KDE provides a pot file to its translators and they provide translations in a po file in return. We use a custom extraction script to extract the strings to be translated from the markdown files. The translator is smart enough to ignore some changes to the strings but the changes to the links that I made would break it. It also doesn’t work well with HTML that isn’t inline. I will keep these things in mind in the future.

          I am also working on automating (RegEx is Awesome!) much of the work involved in porting these files which may make up for the time lost.

        • SPDX and the KDE FLA

          KDE repositories are switching over to SPDX identifiers following the specifications. This machine-readable form of licensing information pushes for more consistency in licensing and licensing information.

          Long, long ago I wrote some kind of license-checker for KDE sources, as part of the English Breakfast Network. The world has moved on since then, and supply-chains increasingly want to know licensing details: specifically, what exact license is in use (avoiding variations in wording that have cropped up) and what license-performative actions are needed exactly (like in the BSD license family, “reproduce the Copyright notice above”).

          Andreas Cord-Landwehr has been chasing license information in KDE source code recently, and has re-done tooling and overall made things better. So there’s now changes – via merge requests on our GitLab instance KDE invent – showing up.

          There is one minor thing of note which I’ve discussed with him, and which bears upon the Fiduciary License Agreement (FLA) that KDE e.V. has.

        • Phase 1 Evaluation Status Report

          It has been over a month since the start of GSoC. Phase #1 evaluations will start today. This post is to summarise all the work done by me during phase #1

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Shell's Icon Grid Could See Almost Double The Performance

          On top of an optimization to lower render times and reduce power usage and fixing window culling as another performance optimization, Canonical's Daniel van Vugt also came across another serious optimization for GNOME Shell's icon grid performance.

          Due to hundreds of primitives being recopied from the CPU to GPU each frame, the icon grid performance was being slowed down dramatically. Daniel van Vugt has proposed a change to keep labels now pre-rendered on the GPU rather than having all these unnecessary copies made each frame.

    • Distributions

      • A decidedly non-Linux distro walkthrough: Haiku R1/beta2

        Earlier this month, the Haiku project released the second beta of its namesake operating system, Haiku.

        Haiku is the reimagining of a particularly ambitious, forward-looking operating system from 1995—Be, Inc.'s BeOS. BeOS was developed to take advantage of Symmetrical Multi-Processing (SMP) hardware using techniques we take for granted today—kernel-scheduled pre-emptive multitasking, ubiquitous multithreading, and BFS—a 64-bit journaling filesystem of its very own.

      • Reviews

        • Review: GoboLinux 017

          The GoboLinux project develops a distribution with an unusual goal: reorganizing the operating system's filesystem. The project introduces itself as follows: GoboLinux is an alternative Linux distribution which redefines the entire filesystem hierarchy. In GoboLinux you don't need a package database because the filesystem is the database: each program resides in its own directory. In other words, instead of a package manager placing executable files in /usr/bin, libraries in /usr/lib, and other resources in /usr/share, a program's files are all stored in one tree, such as /Programs/Firefox or /Programs/LibreOffice. This way the user, and package utilities, can remove software by deleting a single directory rather than keeping track of where individual files have been installed.

          GoboLinux uses the the Awesome window manager, which provides a lightweight graphical interface. Version 017 of Gobo removes Python2 in favour of Python3, and also removes GTK2 for GTK3 on the ISO. Audio management is now handled by PulseAudio.

          Gobo makes available one edition of the distribution for 64-bit (x86_64) computers. The download is 1.9GB in size. Booting from this media brings up a series of text-based menus. These menus ask us to select one of six languages from a list, then select our keyboard's layout. With these questions answered we are presented with a text console where we are automatically logged into the root account. A message appears above the command line prompt which lets us know we can run "startx" to open a graphical user interface. The text also explains how to launch the system installer from either the command line or from the Awesome window manager.

          Opening the Awesome environment places a panel at the top of the screen. We can find an application menu in the upper-left corner and the system tray in the upper-right. The wallpaper is mostly black with abstract designs drawn on it. The background appears to be dynamically drawn rather than a fixed image. The volume icon is interesting in that clicking on it changes the colour of the icon (toggling between green and red) and this appears to mute audio.

          The application menu in the live environment contains very few entries. Most of these manage or adjust the Awesome session. I feel it worth noting that to customize Awesome we need to edit a text file, there isn't any point-and-click settings panel. There is a menu entry to open the Awesome manual. Trying to access the manual caused a window to open for a second, then immediately crash without showing the requested documentation or an error.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) review

          Canonical’s latest Ubuntu release, “Focal Fossa”, hit the mirrors at the end of April. So by the time you read this thousands of people will have downloaded it, installed it, and (we’ll wager) been downright impressed with what it has to offer. If you haven’t yet tried it, then you’re in for a treat. Buckle up and we’ll show you what’s new and what you can do with Canonical’s finest.

          If you’ve never tried Linux before, Ubuntu 20.04 is a great place to start. You can try it right now (well in the time it takes you to download and write it to a USB stick) without interfering with your current set up.

      • New Releases

        • Nitrux 1.3.0 Released: A Beautiful Linux Distro With Portable App Format
          Nitrux founder Uri Herrera has released a new point version — Nitrux 1.3.0. The latest v1.3.0 includes several software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and new hardware support.

          Nitrux is one of the unique Linux distributions not only because of its beautiful desktop but also for using a portable universal application format in addition to a package manager like APT and DPKG. Let’s see what more Nitrux 1.3.0 offers.

      • Gentoo Family

        • The 10 Best Gentoo Linux Derivatives To Explore in 2020

          Gentoo Linux derivatives can be the ideal choice for the professional Linux users who don’t want to compromise about the system stability and performance. Some of you might know nothing about Gentoo Linux. Unlike other Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Kali, etc., Gentoo is quite unfamiliar...

          Only the veteran Linux users know about this. And, the people who know about its potential hardly go back to any other distributions. The exclusivity of the Gentoo Linux is that you need to build the whole flashable image from the source code. That sometimes may require a few days based on your machine’s strength.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Sysadmin stories from the trenches: Funny user mistakes

          I was a noob IT guy in the late 90s. I provided desktop support to a group of users who were, shall we say, not the most technical of users. I sometimes wonder where those users are today, and I silently salute the staff that's had to support them since I left long ago.

          I suffered many indignities during that time. I can chuckle about the situations now.

        • Sneak peek: Podman's new REST API

          This one is just between you and me, don't tell anyone else! Promise? Okay, I have your word, so here goes: There's a brand new REST API that is included with version 2.0 of Podman! That release has just hit testing on the Fedora Project and may have reached stable by the time this post is published. With this new REST API, you can call Podman from platforms such as cURL, Postman, Google's Advanced REST client, and many others. I'm going to describe how to begin using this new API.

          The Podman service only runs on Linux. You must do some setup on Linux to get things going.

        • Red Hat Success Stories: Creating a foundation for a containerized future

          Wondering how Red Hat is helping its customers succeed? We regularly publish customer success stories that highlight how we're helping customers gain efficiency, cut costs, and transform the way they deliver software. This month we'll look at how Slovenská sporiteľňa and Bayport Financial Services have worked with Red Hat to improve their business.

        • Apache Kafka and Kubernetes is making real time processing in payments a bit easier

          The introduction of the real time payments network in the United States has presented an unique opportunity for organizations to revisit their messaging infrastructure. The primary goal of real time payments is to support real time processing, but a secondary goal is to reduce the toil of the ongoing operations and make real time ubiquitous across the organization.

          Traditional message systems, have been around for quite some time, but have been a bit clunky to operate. Many times, tasks such as software upgrades and routine patches meant the messaging infrastructure would be down while the update was performed, causing delays in payment processing.This may have been reasonable in a world where payment processing was not expected outside of normal banking hours, but in our always-on digital world, customers expect their payments to clear and settle in real time. Today, outages and delays disrupt both business processes and customer experience.

        • IBM and LFAI move forward on trustworthy and responsible AI

          For over a century, IBM has created technologies that profoundly changed how humans work and live: the personal computer, ATM, magnetic tape, Fortran Programming Language, floppy disk, scanning tunneling microscope, relational database, and most recently, quantum computing, to name a few. With trust as one of our core principles, we’ve spent the past century creating products our clients can trust and depend on, guiding their responsible adoption and use, and respecting the needs and values of all users and communities we serve.

          Our current work in artificial intelligence (AI) is bringing a transformation of similar scale to the world today. We infuse these guiding principles of trust and transparency into all of our work in AI. Our responsibility is to not only make the technical breakthroughs required to make AI trustworthy and ethical, but to ensure these trusted algorithms work as intended in real-world AI deployments.

        • IBM donates "Trusted AI" projects to Linux Foundation AI

          IBM on Monday announced it's donating a series of open-source toolkits designed to help build trusted AI to a Linux Foundation project, the LF AI Foundation. As real-world AI deployments increase, IBM says the contributions can help ensure they're fair, secure and trustworthy.

          "Donation of these projects to LFAI will further the mission of creating responsible AI-powered technologies and enable the larger community to come forward and co-create these tools under the governance of Linux Foundation," IBM said in a blog post, penned by Todd Moore, Sriram Raghavan and Aleksandra Mojsilovic.

        • IBM donates AI toolkits to Linux Foundation to ‘mitigate bias’ in datasets

          As artificial intelligence (AI) deployments increase around the world, IBM says it’s determined to ensure that they’re fair, secure and trustworthy.

          To that end, it has donated a series of open-source toolkits designed to help build trusted AI to a Linux Foundation project, the LF AI Foundation, as reported in ZDNet.

          “Donation of these projects to LFAI will further the mission of creating responsible AI-powered technologies and enable the larger community to come forward and co-create these tools under the governance of Linux Foundation,” IBM said in a blog post, penned by Todd Moore, Sriram Raghavan and Aleksandra Mojsilovic.

        • PionerasDev wins IBM Open Source Community Grant to increase women’s participation in programming

          Last fall, IBM’s open source community announced a new quarterly grant to award nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to education, inclusiveness, and skill-building for women, underrepresented minorities, and underserved communities in the open source world. The Open Source Community Grant aims to help create new tech opportunities for underrepresented communities and foster the adoption and use of open source.

        • Ansible 101 live streaming series - a retrospective

          That last metric can be broken down further: on average, I spent 3.5 hours prepping for each live stream, 1 hour doing the live stream, and then 1 hour doing post-production (setting chapter markers, reading chat messages, downloading the recording, etc.).

          So each video averaged $30 in ad revenue, and by ad revenue alone, the total hourly wage equivalent based on direct video revenue is... $5.45/hour.

          Subtract the cost of the equipment I use for the streaming (~$1,000, most of it used, though I already owned it), and now I'm a bit in the hole!

      • Debian Family

        • MiniDebConfOnline 2020 - I'm a programmer, how can I help Debian
        • developer-reference challenge: get the bug count down to 0

          As of now, the BTS counts 52 bugs for src:developers-reference and I'd like to get this down to zero, because src:developers-reference is just documenting best practices and this should be easy and done well.

          So, I've been trying to keep the habit of fixing at least one bug per month and I also try to do one upload per month. And I very much welcome your patches, commits, MRs and bug reports, because else it will take more than 5 years. Though I'm hopeful, src:developers-reference is maintained by the debian group on salsa, which is like a thousand people.

        • Cinnamon 4.6 for Debian

          After a few rounds of testing in experimental, I have uploaded Cinnamon 4.6 packages to Debian/unstable. Nothing spectacular new besides the usual stream of fixes. Enjoy the new Cinnamon!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Meet 'Rolling Rhino': A Tool To Convert Ubuntu Linux Into 'Rolling Release'
          Unlike LTS (Long Term Support) or point release, a rolling release is a development cycle that continuously pushes new changes or package updates to the operating system. You can directly pull the latest updates without any need to download and install the new release version.

          Unfortunately, one of the most popular Linux distributions, Ubuntu, does not provide such an edition. Whenever a new Ubuntu version releases, you always need to download and set it up to get all the new updates. Here comes the Rolling Rhino — a tool that lets you convert your normal Ubuntu desktop into a Rolling Release.

        • Ubuntu 20.04-based Linux Mint 20 "Ulyana" now available
          With one more year of support left for Linux Mint 18.2 "Sonya," a new long-term support release is now available, namely Linux Mint 20 "Ulyana." This new release, based on Ubuntu 20.04 "Focal Fossa," arrived at the end of last week and is the first one to drop 32-bit support, but there are quite a few other changes that need to be highlighted.

          Although there are some minor differences between the MATE, Cinnamon, and Xfce releases, we will mention the changes that apply to all of them. In the end, the differences in terms of bundled software and looks are not that big — the main areas that should have an impact on your choice should be the resource usage and the look and feel of the GUI. Without further ado, these are the main changes that Linux Mint 20 "Ulyana" brings to the table...

        • Linux Mint 20 Ulyana Cinnamon release now available
          The development team responsible for creating the Linux Mint operating system of this week announce the release of Linux Mint 20 Ulyana Cinnamon, bringing with it a wealth of new features, tweaks and enhancements. Linux Mint 20 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2025. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use, say its developers.

          Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon includes version 4.6 of the Cinnamon desktop environment, providing the Nemo file manager and support for fractional display scaling, enmabling users to set custom DPI levels at any value between 100 percent and 200 percent for screens with high pixel density.

        • You Can Now Transform Ubuntu into a Rolling Release with “Rolling Rhino”

          If you ever wanted Ubuntu to be a rolling release, now there’s a tool called Rolling Rhino that lets you do exactly that.

          Meet Rolling Rhino, a command-line tool created by Canonical’s Ubuntu Desktop head Martin Wimpress that lets you convert a normal Ubuntu Linux release into a rolling release.

          It sounds great, isn’t it? Well, it is if you don’t want to upgrade your Ubuntu system every time a new release is out. But there’s a catch.

        • Linux Mint 20 "Cinnamon" overview | Sleek, modern, innovative.

          In this video, I am going to show an overview of Linux Mint 20 "Cinnamon" and some of the applications pre-installed.

        • Download Linux Mint 20 LTS Ulyana with Mirrors, Torrents and Checksums

          Following Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release, quickly this month Linux Mint 20 just released as Long Term Support version codenamed Ulyana with its Cinnamon, MATE, and XFCE editions. This release will be supported for five years until 2025. This list sums up all necessary download links, mirrors, torrents, and checksums. This also includes guides to download via torrents, verify your obtained files, make the installation media and install this friendly and amazing computer operating system. Go ahead!

        • What is End of Life in Ubuntu? Everything You Should Know About it

          If you have been following It’s FOSS for some time, you might have noticed that I publish news articles like Ubuntu XYZ version has reached end of life (EoL).

          This end of life is one of those essential concepts that every Ubuntu user should be aware of.

          This is why I decided to write this detailed guide to explain what does an Ubuntu release reaching end of life means, why it matters to you and how to check when your Ubuntu install has reaches end of life.

        • Installing ROS in LXD Containers

          It’s the season for updates. The last few weeks have ushered in ROS 1 Noetic and ROS 2 Foxy, both of which target the recently released Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa. As always, new releases come with trepidation: how can I install new software and test compatibility, yet keep my own environment stable until I know I’m ready to upgrade? This is one of the many good reasons to dive into containers

          In this blog post we’ll create a base LXD profile with the ROS software repositories and full graphical capabilities enabled. Launch containers to meet your robotics needs: everything from software development and system testing through robot operations can be covered within containers.

        • What is Apache Kafka and will it transform your cloud?

          Everyone hates waiting in a queue. On the other hand, when you’re moving gigabytes of data around a cloud environment, message queues are your best friend. Enter Apache Kafka.

          Apache Kafka enables organisations to create message queues for large volumes of data. That’s about it – it does one simple but critical element of cloud-native strategies, really well. Let’s look at the three significant benefits, challenges and use cases of Apache Kafka, and the easiest way to get it running in production.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Use intent parsers for your open source home automation project

        In part 1 and part 2 of this series on the Mycroft open source voice assistant, I laid the groundwork for learning how to create a skill. In part 3, I walked through creating an outline for a skill and recommended creating the skill in pure Python first to ensure the methods work as intended. That way, when things go wrong, you know it is related to how your Mycroft skill is constructed and not the code itself.

      • Practical Open Source Training from ASC Praktijkleren

        FOSSlife: Please give our readers a brief background of Stichting Praktijkleren. How did this organization get started and why?

        Hans Blankendaal: Stichting Praktijkleren is the Academy Support Centre (ASC) in the Netherlands that promotes up-to-date ICT skills in education. Stichting Praktijkleren is a national foundation with 43 academies as members, and it delivers materials for 4,500 teachers and 60,000 students. It came about in 2006 through the initiative of several regional training centers. As of 2018, the activities of the former Netherlands Academy Support Centre have been transferred to Stichting Praktijkleren and continued under the name of ASC Praktijkleren.

        Generally, ASC Praktijkleren supports regional training centers in the field of in-school and out-of-school work-based learning. In collaboration with the teachers at these training centers, Stichting Praktijkleren develops examination products and vocational learning materials and provides support for both students and teachers in the form of advice and mentoring, training, workshops, and conferences.

      • OpenUK Awards Close Tomorrow

        Individual, young person or open source software, open Hardware or open data project or company

        The awards are open to individuals resident in the UK in the last year and projects and organisations with notable open source contributions from individuals resident in the UK in the last year.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 78 Available for Download with New Minimal Linux System Requirements

            That’s right, Firefox 78 is an ESR (Extended Support Release), which is perfect for enterprises that want to provide their users with a very stable and well-tested Firefox release. ESR branches are usually supported for 12 months.

            It replaces the Firefox 68.0 ESR series. This means that GNU/Linux distributions shipping Firefox ESR, such as Debian GNU/Linux, can now upgrade to the latest 78.0 ESR version to offer their users a newer Firefox release with modern features.

          • Extensions in Firefox 78

            In Firefox 78, we’ve done a lot of the changes under the hood. This includes preparation for changes coming up in Firefox 79, improvements to our tests, and improvements to make our code more resilient.

          • UBlock Origin - a powerful Internet purification tool

            Every now and then, I receive an email from a reader asking me why I'm not using uBlock Origin. Or rather, why Adblock Plus and not uBlock Origin? Alas, the question is based on a wrong assumption. I do use it, I use them both (not at the same time), and it's on several of my recommended software lists. But I've never given it a proper review. Time to rectify that.

            The modern Internet is a cesspit. A filthy place with tiny, isolated pockets of goodness. Adblocking isn't there to kill revenue streams for indie websites, it's there to stop nonsense from becoming the dominant force of any and every Web experience. Helping turn the tide are a few brave champions. I've already reviewed uMatrix, and you know my all-time-favorite Noscript. Now, let's have a look at uBlock Origin.


            UBlock Origin will only block ads and trackers by default. But you can do more. You can disable Javascript, media files, fonts, as well as popups. Then, you can also pick elements from a loaded page and manually remove (zap) them, if you like. This can be helpful if you encounter annoyances that aren't picked up by your filters, or perhaps you want to get rid of something you consider harmful or silly, but it doesn't fall under any existing category.


            All in all, uBlock Origin is a fantastic tool. It's powerful, versatile, robust - and it doesn't cause any browser slowdown. Some extensions can be heavy, but in this case, the impact is minimal. Very refreshing and useful. Then, the simple/advanced mode offers the best of both worlds - ordinary users and nerds alike will find the level of control they need and feel comfortable with. Being able to turn Javascript off is another valuable asset.

            I don't have anything bad to say really - some extra rigor is needed now and then, just to make sure you don't end up with legitimate content being blocked. But from what I've seen - we're talking long testing on multiple systems, over a couple of years, the false positives, when they do occur, are far and few in between and usually related to fonts. Ublock Origin does a great job, and its biggest challenge is making a difficult, complex task even easier to present. Should one deliberately seek drawbacks, the abundance of options stored in a small UI could be its Achilles' Heel. It's not easy creating visual minimalism without sacrificing actual functionality, but at the moment, uBlock Origin might be somewhat daunting to those less tech-savvy. Highly recommended, and I hope this finally answers the myriad emails on this topic. May your Internet be pure.

          • The Poetics of Product Copy: What UX Writers Can Learn From Poetry

            Word nerds make their way into user experience (UX) writing from a variety of professional backgrounds. Some of the more common inroads are journalism and copywriting. Another, perhaps less expected path is poetry.

            I’m a UX content strategist, but I spent many of my academic years studying and writing poetry. As it turns out, those years weren’t just enjoyable — they were useful preparation for designing product copy.

            Poetry and product copy wrestle with similar constraints and considerations. They are each often limited to a small amount of space and thus require an especially thoughtful handling of language that results in a particular kind of grace.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • [LibreOffice GSoC] Week 4 Report

          The last week was the 4th week of coding weeks in GSoC program. So this report is final report before phase 1 evaluation . I continued adding support for the non supported items.

        • LibreOffice GSoC Week 4 Report

          Finally, the patch I worked on is merged thanks to my mentor(Muhammet Kara). You can easily access the patch, from here Last Week I marked this feature as an experimental feature. Hamburger button(gear button) is added. Some arrangements have been made for translation in UI elements. There was an error with iOS and Android build. But this problem is solved thanks to Tor Lillqvist and Miklos Vajna. There is a bug with Customize Dialog.

      • Education

        • Draft of my perf book is ready!

          It has been a long journey! I was silent for a while, haven’t posted regularly on my blog. But don’t worry, I’m fine. Instead, I took this situation around coronavirus and focused on writing a book “Performance Analysis and Tuning on Modern CPU”. I started writing this book almost a year ago, so I’m happy I finally can show something to the people. Right now, the early draft is ready and I’m welcoming everybody to review the book and maybe even add something to it. I know a lot of people are struggling right now, so I decided to make the book FREE for all. Eventually, everyone will be able to download PDF version of it.

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • FSFE urges Denmark to make its contact tracing app free software

            The European arm of the Free Software Foundation has urged Denmark to put its Smittestop contact tracing app under a free software license in accordance with the guidance issued by the World Health Organization. According to the Danish government, the source code is not being released to the public because of the supposed risk of security breaches but the FSFE has rebutted this saying that “IT security does not arise through an attackers’ ignorance of the system under attack”.


            FSFE’s effort to have the app put under a free software license is a part of its wider Public Money? Public Code! campaign which urges governments to create legislation which would see any publicly financed software designed for the public sector to be made publicly available under a free software license. It argues that public bodies can benefit from each others' work which will lead to independence from single vendors, potential tax savings, more innovation, and better IT security.

          • Denmark keeps source code of Coronavirus tracing app secret

            Like many other European countries, Denmark also tries to track Sars-CoV-2 infections with a mobile phone tracing app. However, against advice by health organisations and despite positive examples by other countries, the app is proprietary, so not being released under a Free Software (also called Open Source) license.

            Smittestop, the official tracing app released by the Danish government, is supposed to supplement the more traditional ways of combatting the Coronavirus with contact tracing. But instead of releasing the source code of the app under a Free Software license and thereby empowering the public as well as the scientific community to inspect, verify, improve and experiment with it, the app's source code is kept hidden.

            This goes directly against the most recent recommendations from the WHO as well as the EU Commision's eHealth network. In the referenced paper, the WHO specifically states that:

            "There should be full transparency about how the applications and application programming interfaces (APIs) operate, and publication of open source and open access codes. Individuals should also be provided with meaningful information about the existence of automated decision-making and how risk predictions are made, including how the algorithmic model was developed and the data used to train the model. Furthermore, there should be information about the model's utility and insights as to the types of errors that such a model may make."

        • GNU Projects

          • GnuCash 4.0 Released

            Version 4.0 of the GnuCash finance manager is out. Significant changes include a command-line tool for performing a number of functions outside of the graphical interface, explicit support for accounts payable and accounts receivable, translation improvements, and more.

          • GnuCash 4.0 Free Accounting Software Released with Major New Features
            Coming two years after the GnuCash 3.0 series, GnuCash 4.0 is here to introduce a plethora of new features and improvements, as well as updated dependencies, which include GCC 8.0 or Clang 6.0, CMake 3.10, Boost 1.67.0, gettext 0.19.6, GTK 3.22.30, Webkit 2.14.1, and Glib 2.56.1.

            Highlights include a new gnucash-cli command-line tool for updating the prices on books and run reports by name or guid directly from the command line, and the ability to save entry column widths in the Business Document Column (Invoices, Bills, and Employee Vouchers) as defaults for each type of document.

          • Digital Dollar Project In Light Of Recent Congressional Hearings

            There are designs like the David Chaum’s DigiCash and GNU Taler which do have technical solutions for anonymous peer to peer transfers. Digicash declared bankruptcy, GNU Taler is brand new. Pure peer to peer and customer to merchant could operate in a disconnected setting, but for small amounts.

      • Programming/Development

        • Some Open-Source Projects Begin Quickly Working Towards macOS ARM64 Support

          While the first MacBooks / Macs with Apple's 64-bit ARM chips won't be shipping to consumers until around the end of the year and Apple is only sending out a limited number of developer systems, some open-source projects have already been making the necessary build system changes and other preparations for 64-bit ARM Mac builds. This work can be started by untangling assumptions in some of these projects that when building for macOS/Darwin means x86_64 and in some cases better modularizing their logic where they support iOS already with similar chips to what will be appearing in these future computers. Changes can also be started around "fat" binaries for supporting macOS builds that support both x86_64 and ARM64/AArch64.

        • Building a startup using Crystal and Lucky

          Crystal and Lucky are not, in my opinion, ready for the inexperienced programmer. With over 40 years of programming experience, I have still faced challenges.

          The power of Crystal’s macro language means that it is used extensively in packages as powerful as the Lucky web platform. Unfortunately, this means that your programming errors are reported where they occur somewhere in a macro expansion, rather than where you have made them – as you could expect were you calling into functions and methods rather than macros. The result is that error messages resulting from my use of Lucky are often simply indecipherable, yielding neither the location of their origin or, sometimes, even any information about the erroneous statement rather than some macro transformation of that statement. Since the macro system is a code transformation machine, its arguments are not naturally as tightly typed as the rest of the Crystal language. Achieving good error reports for Lucky may require manually-added code to more tightly check the arguments to every macro. Fortunately, the macro mechanism does provide the framework to do such checking, AST nodes yield type information and the file name and line number of where they originate. I don’t know if there is anything that the compiler developers can do to improve error messages regarding macro expansions.

        • Towards greater ecological validity in security usability

          When you are a medical doctor, friends and family invariably ask you about their aches and pains. When you are a computer specialist, they ask you to fix their computer. About ten years ago, most of the questions I was getting from friends and family as a security techie had to do with frustration over passwords. I observed that what techies had done to the rest of humanity was not just wrong but fundamentally unethical: asking people to do something impossible and then, if they got [cr]acked, blaming them for not doing it.

        • Perl/Raku

          • +1 "use v7;" in Perl 7

            This syntax is the history of Perl and is also a mechanism for maintaining backward compatibility with newer versions of Perl.

            The reason this was not used is simply the small granularity.

            I don't remember much about Perl, so I can't tell the difference between use v5.20 and use v5.30.

            And because the warnings and utf8 aren't turn on, I couldn't find a meaning to actively use it.

            use v7; is very easy to understand.

            use v7; Imagine an application user actively uses it instead of writing use strict, use warnings, use utf8;, use feature'say', ....

          • The [Perl] Weekly Challenge #066

            The much awaited event, **Conference in the Cloud” took most of my free time. Having said that I still managed to do Live Coding YouTube videosfor Divide Integers and Power Integers.

            I really enjoyed both tasks, specially Power Integers. It didn’t take long to solve both tasks. I was able to get it done by midweek. But for YouTube video, I had to wait until the conference was over. Thanks to the Chief Editor of Perl Weekly newletter editorial note, I now have 67 subscribers to my YouTube Channel. I would like to thank each and every subscriber. I promise to do regular video every week.

        • Python

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Using Bash traps in your scripts

            It's easy to detect when a shell script starts, but it's not always easy to know when it stops. A script might end normally, just as its author intends it to end, but it could also fail due to an unexpected fatal error. Sometimes it's beneficial to preserve the remnants of whatever was in progress when a script failed, and other times it's inconvenient. Either way, detecting the end of a script and reacting to it in some pre-calculated manner is why the Bash trap directive exists.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Daniel Stenberg: curl ootw: –remote-time

        --remote-time is a boolean flag using the -R short option. This option was added to curl 7.9 back in September 2001.

      • 6 ways HTTP/3 benefits security (and 7 serious concerns)

        HTTP3, the third official version of hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), will not use the transmission control protocol (TCP) as did its predecessors. Instead, it uses the quick UDP internet connections (QUIC) protocol developed by Google in 2012.

        QUIC is a transport layer protocol based on a multiplexed version of user datagram protocol (UDP) connections. Unlike TCP, UDP does not follow the TCP three-way handshake, but uses a single UDP roundtrip. Thus, the QUIC protocol exponentially improves any web component's network performances as it uses UDP for every connection between the user-agent and the web server. Also, QUIC relies on multiplexing to manage multiple interactions between the user-agent and server seamlessly over a single connection, without any one blocking another, thus helping with performance improvements compared to its predecessors.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Global Covid-19 Cases Top 10 Million As HHS Secretary Warns 'Window is Closing' to Get Disease Back Under Control in US

        "This is a very, very serious situation."

      • 'If You Like Your Insurance, You Can Keep It'–Until You Can't

        Lack of healthcare is a death sentence.

      • Some COVID-19 patients aren't getting better. Major medical centers are trying to figure out how to help.

        Major medical centers nationwide trying to understand why some COVID-19 patients continue to have symptoms weeks and even months after having been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

      • Q&A: Want to know about COVID-19 in Haiti? Ask a nurse

        The World Health Organisation declared 2020 “The International Year of the Nurse and Midwife,” marking 200 years since Florence Nightingale founded the profession. But COVID-19 has brought another reason to herald nurses around the world as heroes: their work as frontline responders fighting the spread of the virus. The global pandemic has taken the lives of at least 600 nurses.

        Yet the voices of the world’s 28 million nurses, the vast majority of whom are women, often go unheard. In the U.S., for instance, nurses were not more represented in major publications in 2017 than they had been 20 years earlier – just two percent of healthcare stories included their perspectives.

        In Haiti, where COVID-19 cases are quickly rising and overwhelming a fragile healthcare system, nurses have on-the-ground information about how the pandemic is playing out but little access to public platforms or policymakers to allow them to share that knowledge. As of 25 June, there were 5,847 reported cases and 104 deaths in Haiti.

        “We’re close to everyone – patients, families, doctors, and other staff, so we can gather information,” said Claudia Thomas Riché, the executive director of Nursing Education Collaborative for Haiti  (NECH-CIEH), and a nurse herself. This gives nurses a unique perspective on how to address a confounding new disease like COVID-19, she explained.

      • Briefing: Coronavirus and the halting of asylum at the US-Mexico border
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Databricks moves MLflow to Linux Foundation, introduces Delta Engine

                MLflow, the open source machine learning operations (MLOps) platform created by Databricks, is becoming a Linux Foundation project. It's also getting some new features. The move was announced by Matei Zaharia, co-founder of Databricks, and creator of both MLflow and Apache Spark, at the company's Spark + AI Summit virtual event today.


                With that kind of growth, Zaharia explained that it's important for customers to see the project managed by a vendor-neutral organization. This protects customer investments in MLflow and eliminates any unease that the project might be dependent on Databricks' corporate direction. I still find it odd that Spark itself -- on which the Databricks platform is based -- is an Apache Software Foundation project, whereas associated projects Delta Lake and now MLflow sit under the Linux Foundation. Zaharia explained that the two foundations operate in a similar enough way that it shouldn't impact users and pointed out that Kubernetes and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation are also under the Linux Foundation umbrella, creating useful synergies for the Databricks-launched projects that have moved there.

              • The Linux Foundation Brings Together IT and Finance Teams to Advance Cloud Financial Management and Education
              • 500 Inspiring Individuals Around the World Receive IT Training & Certification Scholarships from The Linux Foundation
              • The Linux Foundation Brings Together IT and Finance Teams to Advance Cloud Financial Management and Education

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the intent to host the FinOps Foundation to advance the discipline of FinOps through best practices, education, and standards.

                The FinOps Foundation includes 1,500 individual members across the globe, representing more than 500 companies with more than $1 billion in revenue each. In the same way that DevOps revolutionized development by breaking down silos and increasing agility, FinOps increases the business value of cloud by bringing together technology, business and finance professionals with a new cultural set, knowledge skills and technical processes. Companies represented among membership include Atlassian, Autodesk,, HERE Technologies, LiveRamp, Just Eat, Nationwide, Neustar, Nike, and Spotify, among others. To become a member and contribute to this work, please visit:

                “Where there is technology disruption, there is opportunity for business transformation. FinOps is exactly this and represents a shift in operations strategy, process, and culture,” said Mike Dolan, vice president and general manager, Linux Foundation Projects. “This type of disruption and transformation is also where community and industry-wide collaboration play critical roles in enabling a whole new market opportunity. We’re pleased to be the place where that work can happen.”

              • SPDX Specification Becomes the Second ISO/IEC JTC 1 Submission From JDF

                Last month, the Joint Development Foundation (JDF), which became part of the Linux Foundation family in 2019, was recognized as an ISO/IEC JTC 1 PAS (“Publicly Available Specification”) submitter. With that recognition, Linux Foundation can put forward specifications to JTC 1 for national body approval and international recognition. Once JTC 1 approves a PAS submission, it becomes an international standard. Also in May, the JDF announced that The OpenChain Specification was the first specification submitted for JTC 1 review for recognition as an international standard.

                The Linux Foundation today announced that the latest SPDX release (version 2.2) is the second specification to be submitted through the JDF to ISO/IEC JTC 1 for approval. In brief, the Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) is an open standard for communicating software bill of material information, including components, licenses, copyrights, and security references. SPDX reduces redundant work by providing a common format for companies and communities to share important data, thereby streamlining and improving compliance. The first version of the SPDX specification was 10 years ago, and it has continued to improve and evolve to support the automation of more software bill of materials information over the years.

              • Accelerating Open Standards development with Community Specifications

                In an earlier post back in May, the Linux Foundation and Joint Development Foundation (JDF) announced its ability to propose international standards by being recognized as an ISO/IEC JTC1 PAS submitter and that it had submitted its first standard, OpenChain, for international review. We also discussed why Open Standards were essential to the Linux Foundation’s efforts, just as Open Source projects are.

                Today, we’re announcing a new way for communities to create Open Standards. We call it the Community Specification, and it allows communities to develop standards and specifications using the tools and approaches that are inspired and proven by open source developers. It’s standards development explicitly designed for Git-based workflows. The Community Specification brings the frictionless approach of open source collaborations to standards development.

                It’s flexible, enabling small and large standards collaborations. And it’s built for growth. When or if the time is right, Community Specification projects can move to the Joint Development Foundation or another standards body. From there, the Joint Development Foundation can provide a path to international standardization.

              • SODA Foundation Gains New Investments, Expands Charter to Address Increasing Need for Data Autonomy

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the SODA Foundation, previously OpenSDS, is expanding to include both open source software and standards to support the increasing need for data autonomy. SODA Foundation hosts an open source, unified and autonomous data management framework for data mobility from edge to core to cloud.

                Premiere members include China Unicom, Fujitsu, Huawei, NTT Communications and Toyota Motor Corporation. Other members include China Construction Bank Fintech, Click2Cloud, GMO Pepabo, IIJ, MayaData, LinBit, Scality, Sony, Wipro and Yahoo Japan.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libtasn1-6, libtirpc, mcabber, picocom, pngquant, trafficserver, and zziplib), Fedora (curl and xen), openSUSE (bluez, ceph, chromium, curl, grafana, grafana-piechart-panel,, graphviz, mariadb, and mercurial), Oracle (nghttp2), Red Hat (microcode_ctl), SUSE (mutt, python3-requests, and tomcat), and Ubuntu (glib-networking and mailman).

          • Josh Bressers: Episode 203 – Humans, conferences, and security: let me think and get back to you in a bit

            Josh and Kurt talk about human behavior. The conversation makes its way to conferences and the perpetual question of if a conference is useful or not. We come to the agreement the big shows aren’t what they used to be, but things like BSides are great experiences.

          • New Chinese malware targeting Windows, Linux machines [Ed: So.... do not install it?]
          • Chinese malware ''Golang'' targeting Windows, Linux machines

            Cyber-security researchers have identified a new variant of cryptominer malware from China-based hackers that is targeting both Windows and Linux machines.

            Called Golang, the new malware variant is aiming at mining Monero, an open-source cryptocurrency created in 2014, according to US-based cyber security firm Barracuda Networks.

          • This Chinese malware is affecting Windows, Linux devices: Here's how
          • New Republican bill latest in long line to force encryption backdoors

            In what seems like Groundhog Day when it comes to encrypted communications, a group of Republican senators last week introduced the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act, which aims to end the use of so-called “warrant-proof” encrypted technology by terrorists and criminals. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced this latest measure to find a way for law enforcement to gain access to devices and data that are protected by unbreakable encryption methods.


            The efforts by lawmakers and federal law enforcement agencies to force Silicon Valley and the tech industry to build backdoors into encrypted devices and communications go back to 1993 when the Clinton Administration’s proposed to create a “Clipper Chip” so the NSA could intercept encrypted voice communications. Since then, a number of proposals to bypass or otherwise negate encryption have been introduced and failed.

            The best known of these anti-encryption efforts is the legal fight waged by former FBI Director James Comey with Apple to force the Cupertino giant into helping the Bureau break into the iPhone of a mass shooter in San Bernardino. Most recently, a bipartisan bill, the EARN-IT Act, which is also backed by Senator Graham, has been widely condemned as a sneak attack on end-to-end encryption.

            The Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act comes after Attorney General William Barr coined a new euphemistic phrase for encryption backdoors, “lawful access,” and began promoting the idea of court-authorized access to the content of encrypted communications. It’s no surprise, then, that Barr is an enthusiastic backer of the bill.

          • Ramping up security options with new NIST 800-53 Mappings

            “More than ever, organizations must balance a rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape against the need to fulfill business requirements.” To that extent, Wind River has NIST 800-53 Revision 4 mappings for VxWorks, Wind River Linux, and Wind River + Star Lab Titanium showing 100% coverage of the applicable controls

            These mappings are in a database format, so that they can be directly consumable by our customers’ requirements management tool for their efforts in showing compliance to the allocation of the controls to their system. Our mappings are expanding on our on-going Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) work for both VxWorks and Wind River Linux. This ensures maximum value to our customers and minimizes disruption to the configuration of their platforms.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Michigan is Trying To Make It Illegal For Companies To Put Microchips In Their Employees

              “While these miniature devices are on the rise, so are the calls of workers to have their privacy protected,” she told ABC.

            • Bill requires employers to keep implanted microchips voluntary for workers

              Companies could still deploy implanted microchips under her bill, but the policy would have to be voluntary rather than mandatory. Indiana recently passed similar legislation for implanted microchips.

              Kahle's bill now heads to the State Senate for consideration. It would have to pass there before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could sign it into law.

            • Starbucks to Pause Advertising on All Social Media Platforms

              Starbucks Corp. is suspending ads on all social media platforms, the latest company reevaluating marketing channels as critics accuse platforms such as Facebook Inc. of failing to control hateful and misleading content.

            • Starbucks is the latest big company to halt advertising on social media

              “We will pause advertising on all social media platforms while we continue discussions internally, with our media partners and with civil rights organizations in the effort to stop the spread of hate speech,” the blog post, titled “Creating Welcoming and Inclusive Online Communities” states.

            • The Government Argues that Edward Snowden is a Recruiting Tool

              As I noted in my post on the superseding indictment against Julian Assange, the government stretched the timeline of the Conspiracy to Hack count to 2015 by describing how WikiLeaks helped Edward Snowden flee to Russia. DOJ seems to be conceiving of WikiLeaks’ role in helping Snowden as part of a continuing conspiracy designed to recruit more leakers.

              Let me make clear from the onset: I am not endorsing this view, I am observing where I believe DOJ not only intends to head with this, but has already headed with it.

            • The value of Tor and anonymous contributions to Wikipedia

              According to a recently published research paper co-authored by researchers from Drexel, NYU, and the University of Washington, Tor users make high-quality contributions to Wikipedia. And, when they are blocked, as doctoral candidate Chau Tran, the lead author describes, "the collateral damage in the form of unrealized valuable contributions from anonymity seekers is invisible." The authors of the paper include Chau Tran (NYU), Kaylea Champion (UW & CDSC), Andrea Forte (Drexel), Benjamin Mako Hill (UW & CDSC), and Rachel Greenstadt (NYU). The paper was published at the 2020 IEEE Symposium on Security & Privacy between May 18 and 20.

              By examining more than 11,000 Wikipedia edits made by Tor users able to bypass Wikipedia's Tor ban between 2007 and 2018, the research team found that Tor users made similar quality edits to those of IP editors, who are non-logged-in users identified by their IP addresses, and first-time editors. The paper notes that Tor users, on average, contributed higher-quality changes to articles than non-logged-in IP editors.

            • TikTok Is Shaping Politics. But How?

              The truth is more complicated. A team of researchers has been analyzing political expression on TikTok since, well, before it was TikTok. While nonusers of TikTok may think it’s bursting onto the political stage rather suddenly, and that it has something like a collective political identity, the research gives a different picture.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Typhoon saved S. Taiwan's coral reefs from bleaching: Researcher

        In the face of these threats, typhoons, despite being disastrous, surprisingly appear to have a cooling effect on coral reefs and prevent widespread bleaching.

        In her research, Lauriane Ribas-Deulofeu, a Ph.D. candidate from the Biodiversity Research Center in Academia Sinica, revealed that during the massive bleaching event that occurred between 2015 and 2016, 7.4 percent of coral reefs in southern Taiwan's Kenting National Park were affected, while Australia's Great Barrier Reef lost over half of its coral cover.

        Ribas-Deufoleu's data suggests the relief of thermal stress introduced by typhoons was the primary reason these two areas were impacted so differently.

      • The Arctic is on fire: Siberian heat wave alarms scientists

        The thermometer hit a likely record of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Russian Arctic town of Verkhoyansk on Saturday, a temperature that would be a fever for a person — but this is Siberia, known for being frozen. The World Meteorological Organization said Tuesday that it’s looking to verify the temperature reading, which would be unprecedented for the region north of the Arctic Circle.

        “The Arctic is figuratively and literally on fire — it’s warming much faster than we thought it would in response to rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and this warming is leading to a rapid meltdown and increase in wildfires,” University of Michigan environmental school dean Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist, said in an email.

        “The record warming in Siberia is a warning sign of major proportions,” Overpeck wrote.

      • Energy

        • California just became the first state to require diesel vehicle manufacturers to go electric

          California just made history by becoming the first state to pass a rule requiring manufacturers of diesel trucks and vans to transition into all-electric sales by 2045.

          The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted in favor of the provision during a virtual meeting after hearing from more than 100 speakers, according to the Fresno Bee. Known as the Advanced Clean Trucks Rule, the rule aims to have electric zero-emission trucks on the road by 2024 and to have nothing but electric zero-emission vehicles by 2045.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • 'Far-Right Ideology' of Trump Public Lands Nominee Why Senate Must Reject Him, Say Groups

        "William Pendley is uniquely unqualified for this position."

      • Russian Cybercrime Boss Burkov Gets 9 Years

        “Nine years is a huge sentence, and the government doesn’t give nine years to defendants who cooperate,” Bukh said. “Also, the time span [between Burkov’s guilty plea and sentencing] was very short.”

      • Sweden must apologize to Kurds over killing of Olof Palme

        Pointing out that Olof Palme's help and support for the Kurds was ignored by the Swedish media, Ikincisoy summed up the conspiracy held against the Kurds with these words: "The conspiracy against the Kurds was very clear. At that time, former PKK members also gave Säpo statements against the PKK.

        Targeting the PKK was a state policy. Anita Gradin, then the Minister of Immigration, claimed in an interview that they were checking on and eventually suppressing radical movements from Latin America and Middle East, and they would do the same to the PKK in a few years. In my view, NATO had given them the task of suppressing the PKK."

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Dr Disrespect breaks silence, but Twitch still refuses to say what’s going on

        The truth: we do not currently know whether Twitch has even banned Beahm, much less the facts around why Disrespect disappeared on Friday, because the company has repeatedly refused to confirm even a ban to The Verge — and declined to deny a new statement from Beahm this evening that claims Twitch won’t even tell him what’s going on.

      • The Chicks Are Owed An Apology

        They were country, but never of the “stars and bars” Dixie kind. It was simply an appellation. In fact, they were all pretty forward and progressive thinking and talking. And man did they get in trouble for it. I guess the new term of the day is “cancelled”, which is kind of an idiotic term, but the howlers really did try to obliterate Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire. From Wiki: [...]

      • UN Reporting on Torture of Assange Banned from Corporate Media

        Nils Melzer, UN Rapporteur on Torture, belatedly learned that Julian Assange was being tortured. Meltzer came to realize that he had been misled by the “news” about Assange in the Establishment media, so he did his own investigation.

        With his findings and impressions in hand, Melzer thought that June 26, the International Day in Support of Torture Victims, would be a fitting occasion to publish an op-ed on the results of his investigation. It turned out that his draft was as welcome as the proverbial skunk at a picnic. Here is a note that Melzer appended to his op-ed once it was finally posted – in Medium:

        “This Op-Ed has been offered for publication to the Guardian, The Times, the Financial Times, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian, the Canberra Times, the Telegraph, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Newsweek. None responded positively.”

        The title given his op-ed in Medium on June 26, 2019 was Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange: On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Torture Victims. Here’s a sample: [...]

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Confederate Flag Represents Sexual Violence

        As a Black woman born in Louisiana, I was elated by NASCAR’s and the U.S. Navy and Marine’s decision to ban the Confederate flag because those are three fewer places where a flag that represents systematic torture is flown.

      • An Interview With Mimi Soltysik, 1974-2020

        "I feel allied with most anyone who seeks the overthrow of capitalism."

      • The Foster System Is a Battleground for the Racist War on Drugs

        New York City’s child welfare office took Ms. EO’s older daughter from her in 2012, after she hit her child on the hand and caused a minor injury. Ms. EO, who identifies as someone with a substance use disorder, was struggling with drinking at the time, but says pointblank that “just because you have an addiction doesn’t mean you can’t be a good parent.” She is currently fighting to be reunited with her youngest daughter, and they both want to be together. Her daughter was traumatized when separated from her mother, harming herself and ending up in psychiatric care. The pain and trauma of separation has taken a terrible toll on both of them, and EO’s drinking initially spiraled out of control under the pain and pressure.

      • #DropOutHickenlooper, Say Indigenous Activists, After 'Disgraceful' Photos Surface of Former Gov in Imitative Native American Dress

        "These actions are not missteps. They are not one-time, isolated incidents."

      • When War Against Black Americans Represents “Peace,” We Must Redefine the Word

        The world now knows about police brutality, what we American Negroes* have experienced as a matter of course since the slave patrols. The “peace officers” that purportedly swore to uphold and defend the Constitution by serving and protecting citizens like George Floyd, murdered him. Maybe “peace officer” seems absurd. The term evokes the Orwellian phrase “war is peace.”

      • Whole Foods Is Quietly Telling Workers Not to Show Black Lives Matter Support

        This week, a group of Whole Foods workers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, walked out after being told they couldn’t wear Black Lives Matter masks because they weren’t part of “the company dress code.”

      • 'Bigot. Racist. Swine': Trump Comes Under Fire for Approvingly Sharing Video of Supporter Shouting 'White Power'

        "If it wasn't already clear, Trump is now openly campaigning as a white supremacist candidate."

      • Let’s Finally Get the Police Out of Pride

        For decades, a battle has been raging in queer and trans communities about the relationship between our communities and the police. Pride celebrations mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, in which queer and trans people fought back against the ongoing violence they faced at the hands of the police. That rebellion happened in the context of widespread anti-police politics of the 1960s and ‘70s, when uprisings against policing were raging across the country across movements against colonialism and racism. In the years after Stonewall, police forces reformed themselves in an attempt to restore their legitimacy, including by hiring cops of color and some gay cops, having cops march in Pride parades, and creating policies and propaganda aimed at portraying the police as protectors and saviors of women, children, LGBT people and other marginalized groups.

      • The Child Inside: In Australia, We Prosecute 10-Year-Olds, Especially If They're Black.

        SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Data from Australia’s criminal justice system shows clearly that we’re failing to rehabilitate children, while making them more likely to reoffend. And yet kids as young as 10 are still being charged with criminal offences. Warwick Jones investigates.

      • Modern Slavery and Woke Hypocrisy

        "According to the U.N.'s International Labor Organization (ILO), there are more than three times as many people in forced servitude today as were captured and sold during the 350-year span of the transatlantic slave trade", Time Magazine March 14, 2019.

        Modern slavery earns criminal networks an estimated $150 billion a year, just slightly less than drug smuggling and weapons trafficking.

      • Woman commits suicide with two daughters

        As per details obtained by The Express Tribune, Muhammad Tahir Qureshi, son of Allah Din, a resident of Mohalla Selwan, and his wife had a dispute over marriage proposals for their daughters. The husband allegedly pressured his daughters to accept the marriage proposals as per his wishes, while the wife and daughters did not agree to the proposals.

        As a result of the dispute, Tahir’s wife and daughters, 12-year-old Anza and 11-year-old Asma, swallowed a poisonous substance.

    • Monopolies

      • Vestigial Use

        As companies voluntarily retire their offensive trademarks, two questions tug at whatever passes for a conscience nowadays. First, can these undesirable marks come back, revived by whomever sees a market niche for these symbols? This may seem like a ridiculous possibility, but on June 21, 2020, an Intent to Use Application was filed on the word mark “Aunt Jemima” by Retrobrands, a Florida LLC, whose mission “is to revive ‘abandoned’ consumer iconic brands and to bring them back to the marketplace.” The second question is, do these intellectual property mea culpas do any good in the face of companies like Retrobrands and the entrenched nostalgia it represents? After all, gallons of maple syrup were transformed into Benjamins, even more Tubmans, over the years. Should not there be some disgorgement in the form of reparations?

        The proposed doctrine of vestigial use under federal trademark law can address both questions. As described below, vestigial use can prevent trademark abandonment, which would potentially allow some enterprising cultural chauvinist from appropriating the mark. Vestigial use, as applied, can also provide a new revenue source that can finance the necessary reparations.

        A vestigial use is the use of a mark to maintain the memory of a brand. Instead of offensive symbols littering the shelves of your local grocery store, they can be relegated to a museum. The idea would be similar to that of Budapest’s Memento Park, where the brutalist statues from the Soviet era have a fitting resting place, about a forty minute bus ride from the Budapest bus terminal in a rural outskirt more habitable than Siberia but just as overlooked. Memento Park is a reminder of ideas gone woefully wrong.


        Picking up on the public domain point, some policy makers may turn to genericide as the appropriate doctrine to put these offensive marks to rest. Arguably the racial stereotypes underlying “Aunt Jemima” or “Eskimo” are generic signifiers for outdated and commonly understood denigrating tropes. However, genericide means that the mark refers to the genus to which a product belongs, not about the signification of marks. Consequently, genericide is not practically suited to put to rest generically offensive marks.

        Even if the proposed doctrine of vestigial use is unconvincing, analyzing it reveals the underlying problem. One reason for posts like this is that the Supreme Court’s decision in Tam rules out the possibility of denying registration or other trademark protections to offensive marks. According to the Court’s logic, “Aunt Jemima” is just another viewpoint under the First Amendment, and viewpoints do not ever really disappear. Their persistence is evinced by companies like Retrobrands and the recurring terms of the current public discourse. Vestigial use acknowledges the persistence of offensive discourse, despite all good intentions. Appropriating this persistence through trademark protection for memorial uses is a reminder of the terms of the cultural and political debate, Memory may at some date lead to the substantive economic and political reforms needed to combat inequality and bigotry. Marks are never dead, and the past is never past, even if undistinguished.

      • Patents

        • Adidas AG v. Nike, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          Although the Federal Circuit faced obviousness issues that were simple to resolve in Adidas AG v. Nike, Inc., it saw an opportunity to continue to clarify its jurisprudence regarding standing on appeal from an adverse final written opinion in inter partes review. Thus, while the merits of the case will have little impact beyond the parties -- apart from a reminder of the burden of proof on appeal for an aggrieved petitioner -- it will go down as another clarifying brick in the wall of the law of standing in circumstances for a petitioner not involved in active litigation.

          In 2012, Nike introduced its Flyknit technology -- shoes with one-piece uppers woven out of lightweight fibers that can provide greater flexibility, support, or durability through the specific weaving of the fibers. Instead of traditional shoe upper design, which had a tongue separate from the rest of the upper, Flyknit shoes required an athlete's foot to slip into the shoe like a sock. Nike has protected its technology with a portfolio of more than 300 patents. But five months after Nike's introduction of Flyknit, adidas introduced a similar product called Primeknit. And adidas's desire to market its Primeknit shoes free of a threat from Nike's patents gave rise to two inter partes review proceedings filed in 2016.


          Before considering the merits of the appeal, the Federal Circuit first was required to determine whether adidas had standing to appeal. Almost anyone can petition for inter partes review,[1] but only a party that has the concrete interest traditionally required for Federal court litigation can pursue an appeal against an adverse IPR decision. Standing requires that the appellant from an IPR show that it has (1) suffered an injury in fact, (2) that the injury is fairly traceable to the adverse IPR decision, and (3) that the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision on appeal. For a patent owner, that showing is straightforward: an adverse final written decision invalidates its patent claims. For an IPR petitioner, however, the showing can be more of a challenge. It must show that it runs some risk of loss from the patent remaining in force. And while that does not require a showing of a specific threat of infringement litigation, the petitioner generally must "show that it has engaged in, is engaging in, or will likely engage in activity that would give rise to a possible infringement suit."

          Here, Nike had not accused adidas of infringing the reviewed patents in the seven years between the launch of adidas's Primeknit line and the filing of its appeal. However, adidas and Nike are direct competitors, not only in athletic footwear but even athletic shoes with knit, unitary uppers. And when adidas had launched its Primeknit line, Nike had sued adidas in Germany for infringement of one of the patents in the Flyknit portfolio. Nike had also sued a third party for infringement of one of the challenged patents based on a design similar to an adidas design. Finally, Nike refused to provide adidas a covenant not to sue. Thus, the Federal Circuit found the facts made the dispute sufficiently concrete to establish standing for appeal.

      • Trademarks

        • When the consumer getting the mark all wrong might be good for the brand holder

          Using a foreign language word as a trademark is often fraught with risk. After all, if the purpose of a mark is to provide an unequivocal marketing message while serving as a badge of origin, the last thing that such a mark should have happen is to be misapprehended. The last thing, that is, except when the misapprehension works to the benefit of the brand.

          Consider this Kat’s recent moment of branding epiphany, when he realized that, for years, he may have completely misunderstand the meaning of the “Caffè Nero” mark, even if his apparent confusion redounded to the benefit of the brand holder.

          This Kat’s wont when visiting London, in pre-Corona times, was to meet colleagues at one of the Caffè Nero locations (his favorite being the one on High Holborn near Chancery Lane). He likes the coffee and the ambience. But what initially attracted him to Caffè Nero was what he perceived as the branding of Italian-style coffee by an edgy invocation of one of ancient Rome’s most notorious emperors. “This is so much cooler than, say, Starbucks or Costa, turning Nero into a brand”, he said to himself, “why not give them a try?”

          Just so Kat readers get a sense of how edgy Nero was, recall his sordid story. Having ruled Rome between 54 AD and 68 AD, his litany included the murder of his mother, Agrippina the Younger ("Smite [first] my womb", she implored as she was being killed, being that part of her body that had given birth to so "abominable a son") and of his pregnant wife Poppaea. He summarily disposed of anyone whom he perceived as disloyal or critical, beginning with the poisoning of Britannicus (who was all of 13 years old) , being Nero’s greatest threat to the throne, and disposing of his erstwhile tutor, the Stoic philosopher Seneca.


          Third, the same mark and brand can have multiple, radically different meanings. How often has this Kat found himself being required by a trademark examiner to explain why a mark is not descriptive. If appropriate, this Kat will point to an alternative, clearly non-descriptive meaning for the term. Sometimes he succeeds, while other times the claim is rejected, without the underlying principle for the decision being made clear.

          What should prevail: the descriptive or distinctive meaning? Can we be so certain that even an arguably descriptive term is in fact viewed otherwise by a consumer? It would seem that we still have much to learn from cognitive psychology and how branding terms are actually processed by consumers.

      • Copyrights

        • The National Copyright Administration of China: no more ‘black hole drama’ in the image market

          On 11 June 2020, the National Copyright Administration of China (NCAC) issued the first document of 2020: The Notice on Regulating the Copyright Order of Photographic Works ('the Notice'). The full text is accessible here (in Chinese).

          The Notice, as a departmental regulation (the NCAC is under the State Council), does not create new laws, but provide guidelines regarding how certain practical issues should be handled. It also restates several relevant provisions pertinent to photographic works in several existing laws, notably: Copyright Law of China (2010 Amendment, ‘the CLC’), Regulation for the Implementation of the Copyright Law of China (2013 Revision. ‘the RI CLC’), and Regulation on the Protection of the Right to Communicate Works to the Public over Information Networks (2013 Revision).


          The Notice contains ten sections, around 1,500 words in total, in which the term 图库 (image library, or stock images provider) is mentioned nine times in total across five sections. Incidentally, readers may recall Visual China Group (VCG), the largest stock image and media footage provider in China, which triggered a firestorm in 2019 when it claimed the copyright of the very first image of a black hole, along with the copyright of the Chinese national flag and the Chinese national emblem

        • [Guest Post] These boots are made for walking...and not for copyright protection

          These famous words of Nancy Sinatra came to this GuestKat as the Danish Supreme Court earlier this month gave a decision concerning the question of copyright protection of works of applied art, to be more precise of apparel. The dispute concerned a pair of rubber boots designed by the Danish entrepreneur and designer Ilse Jacobsen. The rubber boots and belonging laces came and still come in various colours, however the said decision only revolved around the boot model in black with red laces – a combination marketed and sold by Ilse Jacobsen during Christmas season.

          The disputed products were designed in 2000 and put on the market in 2001. In 2015, Morsø Sko Import, launched their pair of rubber boots, the 'VRS-boots'. The VRS-boots were marketed in Danish supermarket chains and in several online stores, where the product were sold at a significantly lower price than the price of Ilse Jacobsen’s boots. As shown below, the boots looked rather similar, although with differences appearing in the text print and details on the back of the boots.

        • Domain Suspended by Registry on Public Prosecutor's Order

          The popular torrent meta-search engine Torrentz2 is no longer accessible through its main .eu domain name. The domain was suspended by the EURid registry pending an investigation, triggered by a Public Prosecutor's order. Torrentz2, meanwhile, continues to be accessible through its alternative .is domain.

        • Amazon Profits From Pirate IPTV So Can't Sue Pirate IPTV Provider, Court Hears

          In April, a coalition of entertainment companies headed up by Universal, Paramount, Columbia, Disney and Amazon sued 'pirate' IPTV provider Nitro TV. In an answer to the complaint, Nitro's operator states that since Amazon profits from sales of 'pirate' IPTV packages on its platform, the action should be barred.

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