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Links 8/7/2020: Huawei’s GNU/Linux PC, Sparky 5.12, and Endless OS 3.8.4 Released

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Huawei’s ARM-based desktop PC could leave you scratching your head

        Part of the problem is Huawei’s replacement for Windows, a Linux-based Unity OS (not to be confused with Ubuntu’s Unity). While the OS itself performed smoothly, the apps running on it didn’t. The YouTuber even had to pay 800 RMB ($115) to get access to the UOS app store which had a very limited selection of software. Any Linux user would expect popular proprietary software like Microsoft Office and Adobe’s Creative apps to be absent but the store also strangely didn’t support running 32-bit programs either.

      • Librem 14 Launch FAQ

        There has been a lot of excitement ever since we announced the Librem 14 last week. There has also been quite a few questions. In this post we’ll go through some of the most Frequently Asked Questions for those of you still deciding whether to pre-order and take advantage of our $300 off sale...

      • “Borealis” may be the key to bringing Steam to Chromebooks but what is it?

        For months, we have been digging and theorizing about exactly how Google and Valve would bring “official” Steam support to Chrome OS. Based on conversations with Google’s product manager for Chrome OS, the developers at Google were working closely with Valve to build a Steam package that would leverage the same container technology use by Crostini which is used to deliver Linux apps to Chromebooks. I quickly presumed that this would mean an installation package for Steam that would simply install via .deb package or a terminal command in the native Debian Linux found on Chrome OS. It appears that I was wrong.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #355: Warp Two

        Hello and welcome to the 355th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts wrap up Field Day 2020 and then dive into other topics including: RSGB webinars, the WIA, the QSO Today Ham Expo, open-source COVID-19 tracking software, Linux Mint 20, ADS-B trackers for Raspberry Pi and much more. Thank you for listening and have a great week out there.

      • #wiLinux Podcast: Amy Rich | Director of Engineering

        Amy Rich has been an Ops person for over 25 years at a variety of companies, helped ship Firefox to hundreds of millions of users, owned her own consulting business, helped organize multiple conferences for USENIX, and written professionally on the topic of UNIX systems administration.

      • #WOMENINLINUX Podcast: Amy Rich – Redox

        On this episode of the #WomenInLinux Podcast we have Amy Rich!


        In her head, she frames what she loves about her job as “bringing order from chaos.” Amy values being able to use her technical and professional skills to make a positive difference in the world.

        These days her job title reads “Sr. Director of DevOps” at Redox. and a member of the Board of Directors of the USENIX Association. In her spare time she’s a board/card game addict, Star Wars LEGO nerd, horrible guitar player, fan of music, books, and movies, and enjoy taking pictures of the places traveled.

      • #wiLinux Podcast: Denise Barreto | Community & Leadership

        Denise W. Barreto is an entrepreneur, author and TEDx speaker with over 20 years of leadership and marketing experience across multiple industries. As founder and managing partner of Relationships Matter Now her firm serves businesses of all sizes, non-profit and government agencies who want to better leverage their relationships to grow their bottom line through strategic planning, HR system infrastructure, organizational and leader development and inclusion and diversity strategy.

      • #WomenInLinux Podcast: Lynn Langit – BigData/Cloud Architect

        Lynn Langit creates big data and cloud architectures with AWS, Microsoft, Google, and OpenStack technologies. She also works with SQL Server, MongoDB, Google Big Query, Redis, Neo4j, and Hadoop.

        Lynn is also the cofounder of Teaching Kids Programming, and has spoken on data and cloud technologies in many countries. She is an ACM Distinguished Speaker.

      • #WomenInLinux Podcast: Julie Gunderson – Community Manager

        Former Community Manager for Taos.

        Julie Gunderson is a DevOps Advocate at PagerDuty, where she works to further the adoption of DevOps best practices and methodologies. She has been actively involved in the DevOps space for over five years and is passionate about helping individuals, teams and organizations understand how to leverage DevOps and develop amazing cultures. Julie has delivered talks at conferences such as DevOpsDays, Velocity, Agile Conf, OSCON and more, as well as being community moderator at Julie is also a founding member and co-organizer of DevOpsDays Boise.

    • Kernel Space

      • Better Mouse Reporting For The Linux Virtual Terminal Is Being Worked On

        The mouse reporting functionality offered by the Linux VT console is rather basic and seemingly seldom used by text-based, mouse-aware programs. However, a series of patches was sent out this week for improving the implementation to provide for more xterm-like mouse reporting.

      • GNU Guix Begins Publishing System Images Based On Hurd

        Earlier this year was news of GNU Guix wanting to replace their Linux kernel usage with the Hurd microkernel. For those interested, the project recently began producing system images with indeed Hurd wired up for this software distribution.

        The plans laid out earlier this year were on switching to Hurd for increasing "security and freedom for their users."

        A Phoronix reader tipped us off that the Guix project is indeed offering the system images powered by the Hurd micro-kernel.

      • Redditor Boots Linux Kernel 5.8 On 30-Year-Old Intel Processor via Floppy Disk

        Do you remember your first PC on which you booted Linux from floppy? Well, Floppy disk is almost dead. The majority of people now use USB sticks or DVDs to install Linux distros on their PCs. However, retro enthusiasts love to revive their old hardware and relive the flashback.

        Recently, a Redditor who goes by the name ‘FozzTexx’ demonstrated the latest stable Linux Kernel 5.8.0-rc2+ running from his floppy disk. He successfully booted a tiny kernel on a 30-year-old 32-bit Intel 80486 (i486 or 486) CPU.

      • Linux kernel developers: This new BLM coding style avoids words like blacklist

        Key Linux kernel maintainers have largely welcomed a new proposal by Intel engineer and fellow kernel maintainer Dan Williams to introduce inclusive terminology in the kernel's official coding-style document.

        The first to sign off on Williams' proposal were Chris Mason and Greg Kroah-Hartman. But other maintainers have approved the proposal too, which requires kernel developers to avoid using the words 'slave', for development trees and branches, and 'blacklist'.

      • Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'

        In the light of the 2020 "global reckoning on race relations" the Linux kernel developers have stepped up with proposed new inclusive terminology guidelines for their coding community.

        The proposal came from Intel principal engineer Dan Williams and won support from other Linux maintainers including Chris Mason and Greg Kroah-Hartman.

        Words to be avoided include "slave", with suggested substitutions such as secondary, subordinate, replica or follower, and "blacklist", for which the replacements could be blocklist or denylist. The proposal has allowed for exceptions when maintaining a userspace API or when updating a code for a specification that mandates those terms. The existing Linux kernel coding style, described here, and has made no mention of inclusive language.

        The proposal is to add a new document, to be called Linux kernel inclusive technology, which will give the rationale for the changes. Referencing the fact that "the African slave trade was a brutal system of human misery deployed at global scale," the document has acknowledged that "word choice decisions in a modern software project does next to nothing to compensate for that legacy."

      • Zstd'ing The Kernel Might See Mainline With Linux 5.9 For Faster Boot Times

        It looks like the long ongoing work for compressing the Linux kernel image with Zstd might finally soon be mainlined, potentially for next month's Linux 5.9 cycle kicking off as the "v6" patches sent out this week were done as a Git pull request.

        Nick Terrell of Facebook has been the one herding these Zstd patches for the Linux kernel and trying to get them upstream. Facebook is already using them in production on their many web servers.

        Facebook found that using a Zstd compressed kernel image shrunk their x86_64 decompression time from 12 seconds to 3 seconds with formerly using XZ compression. The actual boot time dropped by about two seconds using Zstd over XZ. When testing the Zstd-compressed kernel on their AArch64 servers, Facebook found the decompression time shrunk from 27 seconds to 8 seconds.

      • "ATGC" Aims To Offer Greater Garbage Collection Efficiency For F2FS

        F2FS as the Flash-Friendly File-System for Linux continues to see a lot of interesting developments for this file-system beginning to appear on more Android devices and elsewhere given its feature set from flash optimizations to native encryption and compression capabilities.

        The newest F2FS feature work worth mentioning is support for age-threshold based garbage collection (ATGC). This ATGC garbage collection is geared to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the background garbage collection for the file-system by evaluating older candidates first based on a defined age threshold.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Testing Accidents

          Armed with a colossal set of patches in my zink-wip branch and feeling again like maybe it was time to be a team player instead of charging off down the field on my own, I decided yesterday morning to check out Erik’s MR to enable ARB_depth_clamp that’s been blocked on a failing piglit test for several weeks. The extension was working, supposedly, and all this MR does is enable it for use, so how hard could this be?

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT / Ryzen 7 3800XT / Ryzen 9 3900XT Linux Performance In 130+ Benchmarks

        After the AMD Ryzen 3000XT series was announced last month, these new higher-clocked Zen 2 desktop processors are shipping today. Here are 130+ benchmarks on each of the Ryzen 5 3600XT, Ryzen 7 3800XT, and Ryzen 9 3900XT parts compared to various Intel and AMD CPUs. Tests under Ubuntu Linux and also complemented by performance-per-Watt / power and performance-per-dollar data points.

        These "XT" processors were announced in mid-June as still being Zen 2 based like the rest of the Ryzen 3000 desktop line-up but with slight increases to the base and boost clock frequencies to ratchet up the competition on Intel's new Comet Lake processors.

      • Summing Up AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT vs. Core i9 10900K, Ryzen 5 3600XT vs. Core i5 10600K

        Complementing this morning's AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT / Ryzen 7 3800XT / Ryzen 9 3900XT Linux benchmarks, here is a side-by-side look at the Ryzen 9 3900XT up against the Core i9 10900K and the Ryzen 5 3600XT up against the Core i5 10600K for these competing processors. This is a quick look at how these competing models stack up in the 130+ benchmarks utilized so far.

        Due to short on time and the Phoronix Test Suite being able to present data visualizations in countless different ways, for this morning's article these graphs weren't included but here they are for another way of looking at all the raw performance numbers.

    • Applications

      • Why I stick with xterm

        I use xterm. That's right, xterm. It may seem like an old school choice, and I do use GNOME 3 now as well, but after many years of trying some and ignoring others, then going back to old standbys, I find I don't need (or like) newer stuff like GNOME Terminal.

        My philosophy: Start simple, improve over time, and aim for productivity.

      • Avidemux 2.7.6 Released with New Encoder/Decoder [How to Install]

        Avidemux video editor 2.7.6 was released a day ago with new video encoder / decoder, and many improvements. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 16.04.

      • Tauon Music Box – Modern Streamlined Music Player for Linux Desktop

        Touan Music Box is a modern, comfortable and streamlined music player for the playback of your music collection.

        The software is written in Python, and uses GStreamer or optionally BASS Audio Library for playback.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Playing SpringRTS games on Linux gets easier with Flatpak

        SpringRTS, the free and open source game engine for playing various real-time strategy games is now even easier to get running on Linux. If you've never heard of SpringRTS: it originally started to bring the classic Total Annihilation into proper 3D and since has expanded over years to become a full game engine with all sorts of games made for it.

        The developers recently announced a new official Flatpak package up on Flathub, enabling users across many different Linux distributions to easily grab the official SpringLobby and keep it nicely up to date. SpringLobby is the official UI for playing online and offline, plus it has a built-in feature to download missing content while trying to play with others.

      • Unique puzzle-adventure 'OneShot' now has a Linux build on itch

        If you've been itching to play the surreal puzzle adventure OneShot since it arrived on, we've got good news for you. While OneShot is not exactly a new game being originally released in 2016, it only gained Linux support last year in April 2019. Back in March 2020, the developer then went further and released it onto game store but it was missing the Linux build.

        It became part of the massive charity bundle that happened recently, so I've no doubt plenty of you who picked it up didn't even realise you owned it. Thankfully, on June 19 the developer added the standalone Linux build too so you can go ahead and play it on Linux.

      • Khronos Group open sources the OpenXR Conformance Test Suite for VR & AR

        In another important step forwards for free and open standards, plus the future of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, the Khronos Group have open sourced their OpenXR testing suite.

        What is OpenXR? It's an open standard for Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), collectively known as XR. It's picking up wide industry adoption, and hopefully means developers won't have to repeatedly rewrite code as they can support a single standard across platforms—something vitally important for the future of XR. It's gotten to the point where even Valve have decided to go all-in with OpenXR in their SteamVR.

      • OpenXR Conformance Tests Open-Sourced

        The Khronos Group today continued with their relatively recent trend of the past few years of open-sourcing their conformance tests. The OpenXR conformance tests are now open-source.

        The Conformance Test Suite for this industry-standard for AR/VR is now available as open-source under an Apache 2.0 license. This makes it easier for those developing OpenXR implementations to test against this publicly available set of tests, including the likes of the open-source Monado OpenXR runtime.

      • Floor-destroying party game 'Hammer Dongers' adds rockets and new maps

        Hammer Dongers is a great idea for a party game, pitting up to four people against each other in small levels with the ability to destroy the very ground beneath your feet.

        Currently free while it's in development, not only does it have a good idea but it's also a huge amount of fun because the gameplay is nicely streamlined. You each start with a big Hammer, which you can use to smash the ground and have it fall away to hopefully take down an opponent. With the latest update, they've overhauled the maps with a Castle theme to include new traps and contraptions. There's also a Rocket Launcher because why the heck not.

      • Free and open source space RPG 'Destination Sol' has a big 2.0 release

        Destination Sol might not be a name known to all but it's a sweet little space exploration RPG that's free and open source, plus it's getting big updates.

        The 2.0 release of Destination Sol was released on July 5, bringing with it much easier and expanded modding support. So easy in fact, you should be able to download extra Modules and drop them into the Modules folder to have them work. This release also adds in more ships, more guns and more of everything else.

      • Make nefarious goods in Basement, now up on GOG

        Basement, a game about building up a business making some questionable goods to fund development of a video game is now available DRM-free on GOG.

        You need to deal with other gangs, cops, crazy junkies, a mysterious investor and even ghosts from the past. After being in Early Access for quite some time and in development for 5 years, towards the end of last year it fully released on Steam and now you can also pick it up from GOG.

      • Railway Empire is getting a Complete Collection on August 7

        Publisher Kalypso Media and their in-house developer Gaming Minds Studios have announced that Railway Empire - Complete Collection is coming on August 7.

        After over two years of updates some of which overhauled and improved major parts of the game like re-workings of competitor AI, the addition of a gigantic complete North American map, almost 20 free updates, an all-new Challenge Mode, new buildings and countless other quality of life improvements and bug fixes it seems they're finally done with it. This full edition will bring together all of the eight expansions under one roof, giving new players the easy option of getting it all together.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.19.3
        • KDE Plasma 5.19.3 Desktop Environment Arrives with More Than 30 Changes

          Packed with more than 30 changes, the KDE Plasma 5.19.3 update is here to make the logout action in the Lock/Logout widget work again, improve the deletion of multiple application shortcuts in the new Global Shortcuts page, and fix a very annoying bug affecting scrolling in a GTK app, which stopped working when a Plasma notification appears.

          Moreover, GNOME’s Nautilus file manager is now listed in the Default Applications page under System Settings when it’s installed, and the System Settings no longer crashes when there are no file managers installed and you open the Applications page.

        • Week 4 and 5: GSoC Project Report

          This is the report for week 4 and week 5 combined into one because I couldn’t do much during week 4 due to college tests and assignments, so there was not much to report for that week. These two weeks I worked on implementing interactions between the the storyboard docker and timeline docker (or the new Animation Timeline docker). Most of the interactions from the timeline docker to the storyboard docker are implemented.

        • Cantor - Plots handling improvments

          this is the third post about the progress in my GSoC project and I want to present new changes in the handling of the external packages in Cantor. The biggest changes done recently happened for Python. We now properly support integrated plots created with matplotlib. Cantor intercepts the creation of plots and embedds the result into its worksheet. This also works if multiple plots are created in one step the order of plots is preserved. Also, text results between plots are also supported.

        • Google Summer of Code 2020 - Week 4

          According to my GSoC proposal, I should be done with the general purpose graph layout capabilities for Rocs and free to start working on layout algorithms specifically designed to draw trees. This is not the case for a series of reasons, including my decision to write my own implementation of a general purpose force-based graph layout algorithm and failure to anticipate the need for non-functional tests to evaluate the quality of the layouts. I still need to document the functionalities of the plugin and improve the code documentation as well. Besides that, although it is not present in my original purpose, I really want to include the layout algorithm presented in [1], because I have high expectations about the quality of the layouts it can produce.


          By taking advantage of the properties of trees, even simple solutions such as my one-day experimental implementation can guarantee some desirable layout properties that the general purpose force-based layout algorithm can not. For instance, it guarantees that there are no intersections between edges or between nodes. The force-based layout algorithm I implemented can generate layouts with pairs of edges that intersect even when applied to trees.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Rebuild of EvanGTGelion: Getting Things GNOME 0.4 released!

          We are very proud to be announcing today the 0.4 release of Getting Things GNOME (“GTG”), codenamed “You Are (Not) Done”. This much-awaited release is a major overhaul that brings together many updates and enhancements, including new features, a modernized user interface and updated underlying technology.

        • GNOME 3.37.3 Released With More Features, Code Improvements

          GNOME 3.37.3 is out today as the newest development snapshot working towards the September release of GNOME 3.38.

          GNOME 3.37.3 is another routine development snapshot inching closer to GNOME 3.38. Among the changes with the 3.37.3 milestone include:

          - The GNOME Web Browser (Epiphany) now supports muting individual tabs, a run-in-background option for web apps, a --search command line option, a dark mode for the view source mode, and a wide range of other fixes/improvements.

          - The latest GTK4 toolkit development code has added more APIs, a Tracker3-based search engine implementation under the GtkFileChooser, dropping App Menu support from GtkApplication, improving X11 sync when the NVIDIA binary driver is used, various OpenGL renderer improvements, and other changes.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Release | Endless OS 3.8.4

          Endless OS 3.8.4 was released for existing users today, July 6th, 2020. Downloadable images for new users will be available in the next few days.

          Live + Installer USB now working again

          On Endless 3.8.0 a problem was introduced on installer USB devices created with our Endless Installer for Windows. These devices can be used to try Endless on a live boot, but the actual installation process would fail. This is now fixed with Endless OS 3.8.4 images (you should not need to download a new Endless Installer for Windows, as the problem was in the actual OS image, not in the installer tool), where these USB devices can be used both for trying Endless OS live and for installing it.

      • Gentoo Family

        • Gentoo on Android 64bit Release

          Gentoo Project Android is pleased to announce a new 64bit release of the stage3 Android prefix tarball. This is a major release after 2.5 years of development, featuring gcc-10.1.0, binutils-2.34 and glibc-2.31.

        • Gentoo On Android 64-Bit Sees New Release After 2+ Years

          Gentoo's Project Android is out with a new stage3 Android prefix tarball for those wanting to enjoy a Gentoo experience atop a rooted Android device.

          This new stage3 tarball of Gentoo for Android is their first major release in two and a half years for this path that allows running the Gentoo environment on top of most Android devices, but still the caveat of the device needing to first be rooted.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Insights: Your very own security consultant

          When it comes to system maintenance and management, the most critical aspect is to keep all operating systems as safe and secure as possible. This is where Red Hat Insights steps in - it helps users manage security in an easy and convenient way by analyzing system configurations. Since Red Hat Summit 2020, Red Hat Insights has extended capabilities to manage operational efficiency and security risks.

          Note: Insights is included in all Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscriptions.

        • Improve your code: Tales from confinement without a debugger

          Now that I have coded for some years, I’ve noticed that I have picked up some bad habits along the way. Over-dependence on the debugger is one of them. I often use it as a high-powered crutch, which frequently leads me waist-deep into stack traces, rarely stopping to think things through. I get lost inside 20 levels of recursion and wonder why an irrelevant variable is being tickled.

          Granted, there are many good uses for a debugger, but I’m at 40% on the good use scale. My uses usually start benign but then degrade into cancerous abstractions. So, for my 20th GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) hacking anniversary, I decided to give myself the challenge of one month without a debugger. Here is the tale.


          When I first started hacking GCC, newbies at Red Hat were put on old toolchain support duty. Nine times out of 10, those bugs had already been fixed upstream. I got quite adept at running two parallel gdbs, single-stepping until I found a difference in the codes, and eventually finding the patch that fixed the bug. My technique was effective, but taught me very little about the underlying problem that I was “fixing.”

          Now, I’m a gray-bearded old fogey, and I can’t count the number of times I have put a breakpoint on the garbage collector to find out who created a chunk of memory, just to save time analyzing the where of a given optimization.

        • How Fedora and Outreachy Helped Me Hone My Flexibility With Timelines

          Update: I’m in the seventh week of my Outreachy internship with Fedora! I am working to create a GraphQL API for Bodhi. The following image shows a Gantt chart of the ideal timeline that my mentors and I came up with to get the project up and running...

        • Fedora 33 Btrfs by default Test Day 2020-07-08

          A new change proposal has been submitted for the Fedora 33 release cycle which entails usage of btrfs by default for Workstations, Servers and Spins across x86_64 and ARM architectures As a result, QA teams have organized a test day on Wed, July 08, 2020. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test cases and materials you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

        • CentOS Community newsletter, July 2020 (#2007)

          We are pleased to announce the general availability of CentOS Linux 8.2.2004. Effectively immediately, this is the current release for CentOS Linux 8 and is tagged as 2004, derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 Source Code.

        • CentOS Stream Begins Seeing RHEL 8.3 Bits, Real-Time Repository

          Introduced alongside CentOS 8 last year was CentOS Stream as a developer-focused, rolling-release of CentOS/RHEL. With those processes getting squared away and CentOS recently debuting its RHEL 8.2 rebuild, CentOS Stream is beginning to see new and interesting material.

          In particular, early work from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 development is beginning to hit CentOS Stream. There is also an updated installer for CentOS Stream, new modules are coming, and perhaps most significant is the introduction of a real-time/RT repository. These RT packages are optimized for latency-sensitive workloads. The repository can be optionally enabled for those interested in optimizing their software stack for RT workloads.

        • Learn CentOS - Managing Storage

          The Learn CentOS series continues with another episode, this time checking out the concept of storage. The /etc/fstab file will be covered, as well as mounting, unmounting, and formatting storage media.

        • VR hits a new milestone, Mozilla's growing open source voice library, change in Redis maintainers, and more open source news

          In this week’s edition of our open source news roundup, Mozilla updates its open source voice stack, a tool to tame VR cybersickness, and more open source news.

        • Kafka Monthly Digest – May 2020
        • Kafka Monthly Digest – June 2020

          In this 29th edition of the Kafka Monthly Digest, I’ll cover what happened in the Apache Kafka community in June 2020.

        • Introduction to Watson AutoAI

          AutoML is a current buzzword that appears in a lot in tech industry articles and research, and is a product offering in many vendor product catalogs. It’s also one of the topics that I get asked about, such as “How to approach AutoML products”, “Will these products perform all of the steps of the machine learning lifecycle while giving me as a data scientist some control over the parameters?”

        • Red Hat Learning Subscription News Flash 5: First look at Red Hat Remote Certification Exams
      • Debian Family

        • SparkyLinux 5.12 Released with Epiphany Browser, Openbox Noir, and More

          SparkyLinux 5.12 has been released today as a new maintenance update in the stable series of this desktop-oriented, Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution for your personal computer.

          Coming two months after the SparkyLinux 5.11 point release, SparkyLinux 5.12 is fully synced with the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” repositories as of July 5th, 2020, which means that it comes with up to date technologies and applications.

          Included in this release, there’s the Linux 4.19.118 LTS kernel, Mozilla Firefox 68.10.0 ESR web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird 68.9.0 email client, LibreOffice 6.1.5 office suite, and VLC 3.0.11 media player. Also, the MinimalGUI edition now ships with the Epiphany browser instead of Otter Browser.

        • Sparky 5.12

          A quarterly update point release of Sparky 5.12 “Nibiru” of the stable line is out. This release is based on Debian stable 10 “Buster”.

          Changes between 5.11 and 5.12: ● system upgraded from Debian stable repos as of July 5, 2020 ● Linux kernel 4.19.118 ● Firefox 68.10.0esr ● Thunderbird 68.9.0 ● VLC 3.0.11 ● LibreOffice 6.1.5 ● Otter Browser replaced by Epiphany Browser (MinimalGUI) ● added Openbox Noir to the desktop list to be installed as a choice (via MinimalGUI & MinimalCLI and APTus) ● ‘debi-tool’ replaced by ‘gdebi’ ● disabled package list updating, during installing Sparky via Calamares; even you install Sparky with active Internet connection, the Debian or Sparky server can be temporary off, so it could stop the installation

        • Raspberry Pi 4, now running your favorite distribution!

          With lots of help (say, all of the heavy lifting) from the Debian Raspberry Pi Maintainer Team, we have finally managed to provide support for auto-building and serving bootable minimal Debian images for the Raspberry Pi 4 family of single-board, cheap, small, hacker-friendly computers!

          The Raspberry Pi 4 was released close to a year ago, and is a very major bump in the Raspberry lineup; it took us this long because we needed to wait until all of the relevant bits entered Debian (mostly the kernel bits). The images are shipping a kernel from our Unstable branch (currently, 5.7.0-2), and are less tested and more likely to break than our regular, clean-Stable images. Nevertheless, we do expect them to be useful for many hackers –and even end-users– throughout the world.

          The images we are generating are very minimal, they carry basically a minimal Debian install. Once downloaded, of course, you can install whatever your heart desires (because… Face it, if your heart desires it, it must free and of high quality. It must already be in Debian!)

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Extensions in Firefox for Android Nightly (Previously Firefox Preview)

            Firefox for Android Nightly (formerly known as Firefox Preview) is a sneak peek of the new Firefox for Android experience. The browser is being rebuilt based on GeckoView, an embeddable component for Android, and we are continuing to gradually roll out extension support.

            Including the add-ons from our last announcement, there are currently nine Recommended Extensions available to users.

          • Adding prefers-contrast to Firefox

            In this article, we’ll walk through the design and implementation of the prefers-contrast media query in Firefox. We’ll start by defining high contrast mode, then we’ll cover the importance of prefers-contrast. Finally, we’ll walk through the media query implementation in Firefox. By the end, you’ll have a greater understanding of how media queries work in Firefox, and why the prefers-contrast query is important and exciting.

            When we talk about the contrast of a page we’re assessing how the web author’s color choices impact readability. For visitors with low vision web pages with low or insufficient contrast can be hard to use. The lack of distinction between text and its background can cause them to “bleed” together.

          • Browser Wish List - Tabs Time Machine

            It would be interesting to see the exact distribution, because there is a cohort with a very high number of tabs. I have usually in between 300 and 500 tabs opened. And sometimes I'm cleaning up everything. But after an internal discussion at Mozilla, I realized some people had even more toward a couple of thousand tabs opened at once.

            While we are not the sheer majority, we are definitely a group of people probably working with browsers intensively and with specific needs that the browsers currently do not address. Also we have to be careful with these stats which are auto-selecting group of people. If there's nothing to manage a high number of tabs, it is then likely that there will not be a lot of people ready to painstakly manage a high number of tabs.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Simulated Animation Effects Week#5

          I’ve started past week by going over my implementation of simulated animation effects and getting rid of the rough parts, so it would be somewhat ready to be merged into LO master. While doing so, realized I’ve forgot to add support for other types of ongoing animations in parallel with a simulated animation.

          So to implement this, I thought all animation instances would have a reference to box2DWorld, if box2DWorld is initiated (as in there’s a simulated animation going on), these animations would supply box2DWorld with required information on how to update shape corresponding to this animation instance. The information supplied would have the uno shape reference of that animation effect, type of the update box2DWorld will perform (change position, appear/disappear, change size etc.), and if required any additional info (for instance, if it is an path motion animation, it would supply the updated position of the shape).

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.5 Beta 1

          WordPress 5.5 Beta 1 is now available for testing!

          This software is still in development, so it’s not recommended to run this version on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.


          Keep your eyes on the Make WordPress Core blog for 5.5-related developer notes in the coming weeks, breaking down these and other changes in greater detail.

          So far, contributors have fixed more than 350 tickets in WordPress 5.5, including 155 new features and enhancements, and more bug fixes are on the way.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNUnet 0.13.0 released

            We are pleased to announce the release of GNUnet 0.13.0. This is a new major release. It breaks protocol compatibility with the 0.12.x versions. Please be aware that Git master is thus henceforth INCOMPATIBLE with the 0.12.x GNUnet network, and interactions between old and new peers will result in signature verification failures. 0.12.x peers will NOT be able to communicate with Git master or 0.13.x peers. In terms of usability, users should be aware that there are still a large number of known open issues in particular with respect to ease of use, but also some critical privacy issues especially for mobile users. Also, the nascent network is tiny and thus unlikely to provide good anonymity or extensive amounts of interesting information. As a result, the 0.13.0 release is still only suitable for early adopters with some reasonable pain tolerance.

          • Glibc-HWCAPS To Help With AMD Zen Optimizations, Other Per-CPU Performance Bits

            Experimental patches under discussion for the GNU C Library (glibc) would make it easier to dynamically load optimized libraries (shared objects) on systems depending upon the CPU in use and its hardware capabilities. This glibc-hwcaps work stems from the desired work on being able to better leverage Linux performance optimizations on AMD Zen-based systems but the hardware capabilities patches themselves can help any CPU microarchitecture family in more easily shipping optimized support.

      • Programming/Development

        • The Current State of Open-Source Testing Tools

          Tricentis and three survey project collaborators recently published findings that provide new insights on global trends in open-source testing.

          The study focused on the open-source tool testing industry, not how or if companies and software developers test their code. This is an issue that confronts both open-source and commercial or proprietary software.

          The results revealed that a lack of technical skills is the major roadblock to open-source tool adoption, with 30 percent of organizations surveyed saying they lacked the skills to adopt open-source tools, according to Kevin Dunne, senior vice president for strategic initiatives at Tricentis.

        • DevOps Tools: Why We Don't Need More CI/CD Suites
        • How to install the Go language on Linux

          Go is one programming language that's on the rise. In fact, according to Popularity of Programming Languages, Go is at No. 14 and steadily climbing up the ranks. Go is used specifically for distributed systems and highly-scalable network servers and has replaced C++ and Java in Google's software stack.

          Chances are, you'll be using Go sometime soon. For those who develop on Linux, you can't just install it from the standard repositories. So how do you install this popular programming language on the open source operating system? Fear not, I'm going to show you.

        • What if? Revision control systems did not have merge

          A fun design exercise is to take an established system or process and introduce some major change into it, such as adding a completely new constraint. Then take this new state of things, run with it and see what happens. In this case let's see how one might design a revision control system where merging is prohibited.

        • What you need to know about hash functions

          There is a tool in the security practitioner's repertoire that's helpful for everyone to understand, regardless of what they do with computers: cryptographic hash functions. That may sound mysterious, technical, and maybe even boring, but I have a concise explanation of what hashes are and why they matter to you.

          A cryptographic hash function, such as SHA-256 or MD5, takes as input a set of binary data (typically as bytes) and gives output that is hopefully unique for each set of possible inputs. The length of the output—"the hash"—for any particular hash function is typically the same for any pattern of inputs (for SHA-256, it is 32 bytes or 256 bits—the clue's in the name). The important thing is this: It should be computationally implausible (cryptographers hate the word impossible) to work backward from the output hash to the input. This is why they are sometimes referred to as one-way hash functions.

          But what are hash functions used for? And why is the property of being unique so important?

        • GStreamer 1.17.2 unstable development release

          The GStreamer team is pleased to announce the second development release in the unstable 1.17 release series.

          The unstable 1.17 release series adds new features on top of the current stable 1.16 series and is part of the API and ABI-stable 1.x release series of the GStreamer multimedia framework.

          The unstable 1.17 release series is for testing and development purposes in the lead-up to the stable 1.18 series which is scheduled for release in a few weeks time. Any newly-added API can still change until that point, although it is rare for that to happen.

          Full release notes will be provided in the near future, highlighting all the new features, bugfixes, performance optimizations and other important changes.

          The autotools build has been dropped entirely for this release, so it's finally all Meson from here on.

        • Qt Design Studio - Sketch Bridge Tutorial Part 1

          Welcome to this Qt Design Studio Sketch Bridge Tutorial, to follow along with this you will need the commercial Qt Design Studio 1.5 Package and Sketch Bridge, macOS and Sketch installed (I'm using 66.1).

          With this tutorial I want to show you how to build up a sketch project that creates a clean export and import into Qt Design Studio (which i will refer to as qds for the rest of the tutorial), uses symbols and instances for proper componentization and goes back and forth from Sketch to qds in iterative loops building up a more complex scene from simple building blocks. I'll also cover some of the most common issues i come across from other users and the tips and tricks I've developed while working with the Bridge Plugin.

          I think it's important before we start to clarify that although Sketch allows designers to achieve their design concepts in a flexible and open ended manner, in order to have a pixel perfect design built around developer friendly components in qds, it is very important to structure and prepare your project in a certain manner, and although that is not overly complex to learn it does take some time and knowledge to do it well. My hope is this tutorial will provide you with the necessary experience to bring your designs much closer to this point. With this caveat out the way let's dive right in and start designing.


          Now we have the default background state for the button let’s create the other two states we want to use for this tutorial, a hover and pressed state.

          We can do this by duplicating our original rectangle, renaming the layers and then putting them side by side for now so we can see the design changes in parallel, to make this a bit easier we can drag the symbol width out so we can fit our buttons side by side, we will be resizing this after we are done with the design.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Solidity

          Solidity is an object-oriented, high-level language for implementing smart contracts. Solidity lets you program on Ethereum, a blockchain-based virtual machine that allows the creation and execution of smart contracts, without requiring centralized or trusted parties.

          Solidity is statically typed, supports inheritance, libraries and complex user-defined types among other features.

          With Solidity you can create contracts for uses such as voting, crowdfunding, blind auctions, and multi-signature wallets.

          Solidity was influenced by C++, Python and JavaScript. Like objects in OOP, each contract contains state variables, functions, and common data types. Contract-specific features include modifier (guard) clauses, event notifiers for listeners, and custom global variables.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Late Weekly challenge 67 #1 only

            I wrote some library to make combination in 2013. I was overwhelming when I found this challenge but I found that it is buggy !!!

            I think that finding combination isn't necessarily written using recursive calling. so this is my first "working" solution.

        • Python

          • Flask project setup: TDD, Docker, Postgres and more - Part 3

            In this series of posts I explore the development of a Flask project with a setup that is built with efficiency and tidiness in mind, using TDD, Docker and Postgres.

          • Stop working so hard on paths. Get started with pathlib!

            In version 3.4, python shipped with a new module in the standard library, pathlib . At the time of its release, I remember hearing some fanfare around it, but I didn’t quite understand the point of it. I had only recently stopped adding strings together to create paths to the files and folders I needed to work with, in favor of using the os and os.path modules. It took me a little while to experiment with it and plumb the documentation for useful bits. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about the pathlib module, and as I have said before, it is my favorite module in the standard library. While that’s the case, most people I talk to about it are working to hard to access files and folders with python. Many have either not heard about it, or they still don’t understand it.

          • Paolo Amoroso: Redesigned the Mobile Experience

            On smartphones, now the focused REPL pane takes up most of the screen. The redesign takes advantage of native mobile design patterns and lets you switch to a different pane from the bottom navigation bar. There are panes for the code editor, the console, and the output.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #6
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Blog Post | Gsoc'2020 | #6
          • Django Testing Toolbox

            What are the tools that I use to test a Django app? Let’s find out!

            You might say I’m test obsessed. I like having very high automated test coverage. This is especially true when I’m working on solo applications. I want the best test safety net that I can have to protect me from myself.

            We’re going to explore the testing packages that I commonly use on Django projects. We’ll also look at a few of the important techniques that I apply to make my testing experience great.

          • Adding New Columns to a Dataframe in Pandas (with Examples)

            In this Pandas tutorial, we are going to learn all there is about adding new columns to a dataframe. Here, we are going to use the same three methods that we used to add empty columns to a Pandas dataframe.

          • Pointers and Objects in Python

            If you’ve ever worked with lower-level languages like C or C++, then you may have heard of pointers. Pointers are essentially variables that hold the memory address of another variable. They allow you to create great efficiency in parts of your code but can lead to various memory management bugs.

            You’ll learn about Python’s object model and see why pointers in Python don’t really exist. For the cases where you need to mimic pointer behavior, you’ll learn ways to simulate pointers in Python without managing memory.

          • Python 101 – Debugging Your Code with pdb

            Mistakes in your code are known as “bugs”. You will make mistakes. You will make many mistakes, and that’s totally fine. Most of the time, they will be simple mistakes such as typos. But since computers are very literal, even typos prevent your code from working as intended. So they need to be fixed. The process of fixing your mistakes in programming is known as debugging.

            The Python programming language comes with its own built-in debugger called pdb. You can use pdb on the command line or import it as a module. The name, pdb, is short for “Python debugger”.

          • beagle 0.3.0

            beagle is a command line tool for querying a hound code search service such as

          • Python Flask Tutorial: How to Make a Basic Page (Source Code Included!)

            Python Flask is a crucial tool I use daily to prototype my ideas and bring a product to market faster than triditional methods like PHP or Ruby.

            These benefits make it the ideal tool for small teams or startups trying to get an MVP off the ground. It removes the need to worry about complexities and just focus on making cool websites. Today I am going to show you how to make a basic page in Flask and pass input back through to a Python function on the backend.

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #428 (July 7, 2020)
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 6 Blog
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #6
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 5 Check-in
        • DTrace

          • Introducing dwatch, the ultimate DTrace tool

            With over 3.5 years of development time and over 16 rounds of refactoring and enhancement, my tool dwatch for DTrace has reached maturity and is quickly becoming the new hip tool for all your monitoring tasks. I would like to show you how to do everything from watching the system process scheduler in realtime to filtering out filesystem events.

        • R

          • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppSimdJson 0.1.0: Now on Windows, With Parsers and Faster Still!

            A smashing new RcppSimdJson release 0.1.0 containing several small updates to upstream simdjson (now at 0.4.6) in part triggered by very excisting work by Brendan who added actual parser from file and string—and together with Daniel upstream worked really hard to make Windows builds as well as complete upstream tests on our beloved (ahem) MinGW platform possible. So this version will, once the builders have caught up, give everybody on Windows a binary—with a JSON parser running circles around the (arguably more feature-rich and possibly easier-to-use) alternatives. Dave just tweeted a benchmark snippet by Brendan, the full set is at the bottom our issue ticket for this release.

          • Dirk Eddelbuettel: AsioHeaders 1.16.1-1 on CRAN

            An updated version of the AsioHeaders package arrived on CRAN today (after a we days of “rest” in the incoming directory of CRAN). Asio provides a cross-platform C++ library for network and low-level I/O programming. It is also included in Boost – but requires linking when used as part of Boost. This standalone version of Asio is a header-only C++ library which can be used without linking (just like our BH package with parts of Boost).

    • Standards/Consortia

      • EFF Joins Coalition Calling On the EU to Introduce Interoperability Rules

        Today, EFF sent a joint letter to European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, highlighting the enormous potential of interoperability to help achieve the EU’s goals for Europe’s digital future. EFF joins a strong coalition of organizations representing European civil society organizations, entrepreneurs, and SMEs. We are calling on the European Commission to consider the role interoperability can play in ensuring that technology creates a fair and competitive economy and strengthens an open, democratic, and sustainable society. Specifically, we urge the Commission to include specific measures requiring interoperability of large Internet platforms in the forthcoming Digital Services Act package. This will strengthen user empowerment and competition in the European digital single market.

        Interoperability mandates will enable users to exercise greater control over their online experiences. No longer confronted with the binary choice of either staying on dominant platforms that do not serve their needs or losing access to their social network, users will be able to choose freely the tools that best respect their privacy, security, or accessibility preferences. Interoperability rules will also be crucial to ensure a dynamic market in which new entrants and innovative business models will have a fair shot to convince users of their value.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • How not to treat a customer

        First, my complaint to Simply NUC about the recent comedy of errors around my attempt to order a replacement fan for Cathy’s NUC.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Agonizing Lag in Coronavirus Research Puts Pregnant Women and Babies at Risk

        In late June, after three months of near silence on the topic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finally weighed in on a question of critical importance to millions of American women and families: How dangerous is the coronavirus for pregnant women and new mothers?

        The CDC had been asserting that pregnant women don’t seem to be at higher risk for severe complications from the virus. As recently as late May, a spokesperson told ProPublica, “Current evidence shows pregnant women have the same risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as adults who are not pregnant.”

      • Covid-19 Has Put Algeria’s Peaceful Revolution on Hold

        Before the Coronavirus crisis brought the world grinding to a halt, Algeria was alive with demonstrations. At the beginning of last year, after our president announced that he would be running for a fifth term, the people had finally had enough: Starting February 22, 2019, Algerians flooded the streets every Friday, millions of people filling the cities with protesting voices. Men and women of all ages walked side-by-side to express their frustration with the political system, demanding change.

      • Fireworks: United States of Covid
      • Donald Trump at 130,000 and Rising
      • As COVID Ravages the US, Trump’s Campaign Insists It’s “Totally Harmless”

        As President Donald Trump gears up for his reelection campaign, one issue is clearly causing him some consternation: the seemingly unchecked spread of coronavirus throughout the United States under his watch.

      • Agonizing Lag in Coronavirus Research Puts Pregnant People and Babies at Risk

        In late June, after three months of near silence on the topic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finally weighed in on a question of critical importance to millions of American women and families: How dangerous is the coronavirus for pregnant women and new mothers?

      • Sanders Calls on "Do-Nothing" Senate to Pass Sweeping COVID Stimulus Legislation

        Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday slammed the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate for refusing to act to address the coronavirus-induced public health and economic crises that continue to intensify, throwing millions more out of work, overwhelming hospitals, and endangering countless lives.

      • No, the Americans With Disabilities Act doesn’t say shop owners have to let maskless people into their stores

        One of the more depressing aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the way that it has revealed just how politicized public health has become, including fights over relatively benign requirements such as wearing a mask in public buildings. The politicization of public health mandates is not new (nothing involving public policy can escape some degree of politics), but what is unprecedented is the level of politicization we are seeing now, including the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA, as you will see. Indeed, I first noted this a few years back when it became apparent that school vaccine mandates were becoming increasingly politicized as a result of antivaxxers’ successful messaging to the right wing by portraying school vaccine mandates as government overreach and an assault on “parental rights” and “health freedom”. Indeed, by 2015 and the second Republican Presidential Debate, several GOP candidates were blatantly pandering to the antivaccine movement by expressing support for “parental rights” and support for widely applied “personal belief exemptions” to school vaccine mandates. It wasn’t long before several powerful right wing antivaccine groups, such as Texans for Vaccine Choice and Michigan for Vaccine Choice were wielding considerable influence in Republican Primaries at the local level in some states, which saw a significant number of antivaccine legislators elected and working to block any attempt to eliminate nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates.I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised, then (although I am a little bit) that the same politicization has infected the response to COVID-19, in particular, the discussion over whether mandates requiring mask wearing as a strategy to slow the spread of coronavirus. I will also admit that my knowledge of history was a little lacking, as I did not know that during the 1918 influenza pandemic there was resistance to mask wearing and that there was even an Anti-Mask League (also dubbed the “Sanitary Spartacans“) formed in 1919 in San Francisco. History repeats, only more intensely than 100 years ago. Also, there wasn’t the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) for antimaskers to abuse then, as there is now.

      • Trump and the GOP's Handling of Covid-19 Is Sheer Lunacy

        The economy isn't roaring back. What's roaring back is Covid-19. Until it's tamed, the economy doesn't stand a chance.

      • As Covid-19 Crisis Continues, UNEP and Global Partners Release 10-Point Plan to Prevent the Next Pandemic

        "The science is clear that if we keep exploiting wildlife and destroying our ecosystems, then we can expect to see a steady stream of these diseases jumping from animals to humans in the years ahead."

      • American Dreams of Relocating to New Zealand Soared as Nations Diverged on Covid-19 Response

        About 80,000 Americans visited the country's immigration website in April and May.€ 

      • Fears of Going 'Through Hell Again' as US Covid Infection Rate Hits Record High for 27th Straight Day

        "With American lives on the line, the question now is whether members of the Republican Party will continue to stand by in silence as the President peddles fiction about a deadly virus."

      • Russian health authorities claim that only 40 medical workers have officially died of COVID-19

        In mid-June, health officials reported that 489 medical workers in Russia had potentially died of the coronavirus. But as of last Friday, July 3, Russia’s Health Minister Mikhail Murashko maintained that there have only been 40 confirmed coronavirus deaths among the country’s healthcare professionals. Russia’s health authorities have only made official statements about the number of these deaths on a few occasions: here’s a brief timeline of their claims.

      • How coronavirus hit Aden: A Yemeni doctor’s diary

        As COVID-19 courses through Yemen, taking an unknown number of victims in a country already decimated by war, Dr Ammar Derwish, 32, has been documenting the toll on his community.

        He lives in Aden, where one of his first jobs was treating trauma patients in the early months of the now more than five-year conflict, when the southern port city was besieged in the fight between the internationally recognised government and Houthi rebels. Now his home city has been hit so hard by coronavirus that the UN believes a quarter of its population may be infected, and hospitals have had to turn away patients with symptoms. So, between jobs and not associated with any hospital, caring for his own community has become Dr Derwish’s full-time unpaid occupation. Shortly after Aden’s first COVID-19 cases were announced in late April, he purchased supplies with his own money and began making house calls to sick neighbours and friends. As he fasted for Ramadan, he himself fell ill, and friends and relatives succumbed to the virus. But Dr Derwish continued to treat the sick, taking meticulous notes on his phone – notes that became this diary.

        Since COVID-19 began in China and then went on to attack a lot of other countries, I remained in a state of denial, even though I took some minor precautionary measures. I’m not hiding that. Seeing all the other countries falling down when faced with it, when my country still had no cases, made me think “Oh, maybe it forgot about us, as always”, but this time it was a good thing for Yemen to be forgotten. I thought maybe Yemen’s isolation would save us. Or that perhaps we have better immune systems because we deal with lots of other diseases that people in Western countries have probably never even heard of.

        One of the things that made me hesitant to believe what was happening around the world is that most of the information regarding the disease is coming from governments, both here and in the West. It was coming from governments that we in Yemen lost trust in a long time ago.

        I never expected to see what is happening right now, here in Aden. The situation is insane. People are falling down, one by one, like dominoes. Especially the old and middle-aged. It starts with fever, then very quickly comes difficulty breathing, and then sudden death. People are still afraid, and they hate to hear the name of the virus. Even some medical staff won’t say it in public, like it’s cursed.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • The Best Free Office Suites for Linux in 2020

          FossMint is particular about FOSS and related projects or partnerships. Sadly, though, not all the applications that are vital to certain needs fall under that category. Maybe someday they will but until then, potential users deserve the right to know about all their alternatives.

        • SoftMaker Office 2021 – The Premium Microsoft Office Alternative for Linux [Ed: How typical of FOSSMint to distract from what's actually FOSS]

          I imagine this will be great news for Windows users who recently switched to working from a Linux distro. You no longer have to miss your Microsoft Office workflow thanks to SoftMaker.

          SoftMaker Office 2021 is a Multi-Platform Office suite application created to be the perfect alternative to Microsoft Office Suite. It is designed to enable you to create impressive documents, calculations, and presentations with ease, coupled with seamless compatibility with Microsoft Office – no conversion needed.

        • FreeOffice 2021 – The Closest Free Alternative to Microsoft Office

          FreeOffice 2021 is the latest version of free office software from SoftMaker. In fact, you wouldn’t be wrong if you called it the free version of SoftMaker Office 2021 seeing as it offers the same suite of applications.

        • IGEL First to Deliver Microsoft Teams Optimization with Citrix Workspace App Linux Client
        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (php7.3), Fedora (gst), Mageia (libvirt, mariadb, pdns-recursor, and ruby), openSUSE (chocolate-doom, coturn, kernel, live555, ntp, python3, and rust, rust-cbindgen), Oracle (virt:ol), Red Hat (file, firefox, gettext, kdelibs, kernel, kernel-alt, microcode_ctl, nghttp2, nodejs:10, nodejs:12, php, qemu-kvm, ruby, and tomcat), SUSE (libjpeg-turbo, mozilla-nspr, mozilla-nss, mozilla-nss, nasm, openldap2, and permissions), and Ubuntu (coturn, glibc, nss, and openexr).

          • Lawsuit & Bi-Partisan Group Of Senators Seek To Push Back On Trump Administration's Attempt To Corrupt The Open Technology Fund

            Last month we wrote about how the newly appointed head of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) had cleaned house, getting rid of the heads of the various organizations under the USAGM umbrella. That included Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting... and the Open Technology Fund. The general story making the rounds is that Pack, a Steve Bannon acolyte, planned to turn the famously independent media operations into a propaganda arm for the Trump administration. Leaving side the concerns about why this is so dangerous and problematic on the media side, we focused mostly on the one "different" organization under the USAGM banner: the Open Technology Fund.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Coalition Against Stalkerware Expands Membership

              Privacy and security are both team sports, and no one person or organization completely changes the landscape alone. This is why coalition-building is often at the heart of activism. In 2019, EFF was one of the ten organizations that founded the Coalition Against Stalkerware, a group of security companies, non-profit organizations, and academic researchers that support survivors of domestic abuse by working together to address technology-enabled abuse and raise awareness about the threat posed by stalkerware. Among its early achievements are an effort to create an industry-wide definition of stalkerware, encouraging research into the proliferation of stalkerware, and convincing anti-virus companies to detect and report the presence of stalkerware as malicious or unwanted programs.

              Stalkerware is the class of apps that are sold commercially for the purpose of covertly spying on another person’s device. They can be blatantly marketed as tools for “catching a cheating spouse” or they may euphemistically describe themselves as tools for tracking your children or employees’ devices. The key defining feature of stalkerware is that it is designed to operate covertly, to trick the user into believing that they are not being monitored.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Key US Ally Indicted for Organ Trade Murder Scheme

        As the web of lies spun by Clinton and Albright has unraveled, and the truth behind their lies has spilled out piece by bloody piece, the war on Yugoslavia has emerged as a case study in how U.S. leaders mislead us into war.

      • In Burkina Faso, violence and COVID-19 push children out of school and into harm's way

        When 13-year-old Martine left her village in northern Burkina Faso for a safer town last year, she hoped to restart an education disrupted by jihadist violence. But, alone without her parents —who stayed behind — new risks soon arose: in December she was dragged from a wedding party and raped by a man three times her age.

        “If I was living at home, my parents never would have allowed me to go to the wedding alone and this would never have happened,” said Martine, whose surname is being withheld to protect her identity.

        As jihadist-linked violence surges in Burkina Faso, children are facing particularly severe hardships: more than half of the roughly one million Burkinabe now displaced across the country are 18 and under, and many have been forced out of school by attacks and threats from extremists.

        Rights groups and local authorities say the situation is particularly dire for children like Martine, whose parents sent them away to towns where it is safer to go to school but, without parental supervision, are falling victim to exploitation and abuse from sexual violence to child marriage and labor.

        The risks have been compounded by a nationwide shutdown of more than 20,000 schools, which was introduced in March as a response to the coronavirus pandemic and will continue until September. The closures have left an unknown number of minors alone and with little to do in unfamiliar places.

        To help children who are out of school – due to both violence and the pandemic – Burkina Faso’s ministry of education has begun broadcasting primary and secondary school lessons on radio and TV.

        But as students miss out on months of education – and some miss out on years due to violence ongoing since 2015 – the government and aid groups say remote schooling is no substitute for in-person learning and cannot combat the growing dangers many children are facing.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • There’s a Hidden Economic Trendline That is Shattering the Global Trade System

        Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has recently conceded: “In general, economic thinking has privileged efficiency over resilience, and it has been insufficiently concerned with the big downsides of efficiency.” Policy across the globe is therefore moving in a more overtly nationalistic direction to rectify this shortcoming.

      • Re-Organizing Labor
      • Facebook and Its Big Tech Cronies Are Upgrading Their Anti-Union Tools

        Recently, Facebook unveiled its new Facebook Workplace, a Slack Connect-like intranet-style chat and office collaboration tool that allows administrators to censor certain words, company spokespeople explained, such as “unionize.” The Workplace program with built-in labor suppression is simply the most recent example that suggests, contrary to stereotypes of open and egalitarian corporate cultures, big tech is not that different from Walmart when it comes to its attitudes towards unions.

      • Trump Administration Discloses Some Recipients of $670 Billion Small Business Bailout

        After months of delays and outright refusals, the Trump administration publicly released the names of some companies that received taxpayer money through the Paycheck Protection Program.

        You can see a list of the businesses here. If you work at a business that received aid from the PPP or another bailout program, please tell us about it.

      • Companies Owned by This Billionaire Governor Received up to $24 Million in Bailout Loans

        Companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his family received up to $24 million from one of the federal government’s key coronavirus economic relief programs, according to data made public Monday.

        At least six companies from Justice’s empire showed up on the list of Paycheck Protection Program aid recipients released by the Small Business Administration.

      • Trump Friends and Family Cleared for Millions in Small Business Bailout

        Businesses tied to President Donald Trump’s family and associates stand to receive as much as $21 million in government loans designed to shore up payroll expenses for companies struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to federal data released Monday.

        A hydroponic lettuce farm backed by Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr., applied for at least $150,000 in Small Business Administration funding. Albert Hazzouri, a dentist frequently spotted at Mar-a-Lago, asked for a similar amount. A hospital run by Maria Ryan, a close associate of Trump lawyer and former mayor Rudy Giuliani, requested more than $5 million. Several companies connected to the president’s son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, could get upward of $6 million.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Topple the Electoral College

        Donald Trump has convinced himself that defending statues of those who fought to preserve human bondage will get him reelected. In a carefully choreographed appearance at Mount Rushmore on the eve of the Fourth of July, the president, who has been complaining for weeks about efforts by anti-racist campaigners to remove statues of Confederate generals and agents of colonialism, fretted, “Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.”

      • 'They Are Failing': Nationwide Day of Action to Target GOP Senators for Going on Vacation as Pandemic Surges

        "Millions of workers—essential and unemployed—do not have the luxury of a vacation and our elected officials are not entitled to take one during this crisis."

      • Is Dan Snyder Really Changing the Washington Team’s Name?

        We are so close. After decades of demonstrations, meetings, and boycotts, the Washington football team has finally entered internal discussions about changing its dictionary-defined slur of a name. For the past 25 years, team owner Dan Snyder has refused to listen to the National Congress of the American Indian, the Idle No More movement, and the host of Native American activists who have pleaded with him to do the right thing. He has ignored the American Psychiatric Association, which concluded that these brands harm children. But this time, it’s different: He’s being forced to listen to his sponsors.

      • A Shattered Nation Isn’t Buying Trump’s Angry Nationalism

        Donald Trump is a merchant of anger, a grievance-monger who bonds with his political base over shared resentments. This makes it difficult for him to handle celebratory holidays like Independence Day, which are normally meant to be joyous and unifying events. In the hands of other politicians, Independence Day can be an occasion for somber reflection or for uplifting messages about national achievements. But for Trump, the joy taken in reflecting on America’s success has an emotional potency only if it helps him do what he truly loves: attack his enemies.

      • The Meaning of the 1811 Independence for Today’s Venezuela

        For any country the celebration of independence is of great historical importance and pride. July 5 marks the 209th anniversary of Venezuela’s independence. The meaning of the term “independence” has certainly occupied central stage in the last 21 years of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela. Former President Hugo Chávez and current President Nicolás Maduro have made independence and sovereignty the pillars on which the Bolivarian process rests with full participation of all Venezuelans as protagonists. There is no compromise on that today as Simon Bolivar did not compromise in the nineteenth century.

      • Trump’s Reelection Kick-Off Fell Flat. Does He Really Want to Be President?

        A twin-bill tantrum by a petulant president served as a shabby replacement for actual fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend, as Donald Trump delivered a spectacle of divisive balderdash at the headstone of manifest destiny in South Dakota and at his own house of ill repute in Washington, D.C.

      • Frederick Douglass Statue Torn Down on Anniversary of Famous July 4 Speech

        A statue of Frederick Douglass, a formerly enslaved Black abolitionist in the mid-1800s who helped to transport other enslaved people seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad, was removed from its pedestal in a park in Rochester, New York, by vandals over the weekend.

      • For All The Hype, Trump's Favorite 'News' Channel (OAN) Faces Shrinking Footprint

        The President's favorite sycophancy channel, OAN (One America News) has seen no shortage of headlines in the recent weeks for its dubious "news" programming. Said programming has included claims that elderly people are Antifa agitators, that the coronavirus was created in a North Carolina lab as part of a "deep state" plot, all while banning polls that dare to suggest that dear leader may not be doing all that hot in the wake of corruption, incompetence, and a raging pandemic. That's before you get to media allegations that the outlet has some uncomfortable parallels to Russian state TV.

      • “He Wasn’t Invited”: How Trump’s Racist Mt. Rushmore Celebration Violated Indigenous Sovereignty

        Amid ongoing protests against systemic racism and state violence, Trump attacked protesters, vowed to defend statues of colonizers and white supremacists, and ignored Indigenous sovereignty over the area, when he held an Independence Day rally at Mount Rushmore, sparking even more protests that led to 15 arrests. “The Black Hills, or what we know as He Sápa, is the cultural center of our universe as Lakota people,” says Indigenous scholar and activist Nick Estes, a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and assistant professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico. “More than 50 different Indigenous nations actually have origin stories or ties or spiritual connections to the Black Hills.”

      • Take It Down!: Symbolic Politics Is Just That

        No one can right the wrongs perpetrated in the past and yet we must address the injustices of the present.

      • Sanders Calls on 'Do-Nothing' Senate to Approve $2,000 Monthly Checks, Cancel Rent, and Expand Medicare

        "This I know: nothing will happen unless the American people stand up, fight back, and demand, in overwhelming numbers, that the Senate act."

      • 'The Swamp Is Alive and Well': Trump-Connected Lobbyists Have Raked in $10 Billion in Covid-19 Aid for Corporate Clients

        "The crisis offered an especially lucrative opportunity for those lobbyists who enjoy close ties to President Donald Trump and his administration—and they seized it."

      • Foreign Election Interference: Who is to Blame?

        Ever since the Russian election interference in 2016, the€ New York Times€ € has been blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for the new Cold War with the United States.€  On July 2, it ran a front-page article that headlined the United States “stands on the sidelines” while the Kremlin conducts a “wave of aggression.” On July 1, the€ Times€ ran an oped article by former national security adviser Susan Rice, reportedly on the short list as a possible Biden vice presidential candidate, describing a White House run by “liars and wimps catering to a tyrannical president who is actively advancing our arch adversary’s nefarious interests.”€  In view of the blame being assigned to Putin, perhaps it’s time to remind readers of the€ Times€ of the U.S. record of intervention in foreign elections.

      • Why JPMorgan Chase Should Give $1 Billion to Black Neighborhoods in Chicago

        In June, an investigation by two Chicago newsrooms, City Bureau and WBEZ, analyzed more than 168,000 bank loans between 2012 and 2018. The team found that for every $1 banks loaned in Chicago’s white neighborhoods, they invested just 12 cents in the city’s Black neighborhoods. These findings reflect a grim truth that many researchers on urban affairs have long observed: Housing discrimination may be illegal, but residential segregation and de facto redlining have remained the norm.

      • Egyptian Activist Laila Soueif on the Jailing of Her Children & the Fight Against Authoritarianism

        Egyptian authorities have arrested scores of people, including doctors, medical workers, journalists, lawyers and activists, as the country grapples with the coronavirus outbreak. “Unlike nearly every other country in the Middle East, Egypt has not released thousands of prisoners as a precaution against the coronavirus. Instead, it’s arrested more people and cut off communication,” says Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous. One of the most high-profile arrests is that of Sanaa Seif, a film editor and the youngest member of one of Egypt’s most prominent activist families. Sanaa’s brother, Alaa Abd El-Fattah — a leading figure of the 2011 revolution — was released from prison last year after serving a five-year sentence on trumped-up charges, but was rearrested in September and remains behind bars in pretrial detention. In an exclusive interview, we speak with their mother, Laila Soueif, who is a professor of mathematics at Cairo University and one of the most outspoken and active advocates for prisoner rights in Egypt.

      • To Defeat Systemic Racism, America Must End Endless War

        As we look inwards to dismantle America's legacy of racism that pervades the law enforcement and national security apparatuses, we must also recognize that racism and militarism are mutually reinforcing.

      • Vladimir Putin’s cousin is now the head of an anti-corruption political party in Russia

        Vladimir Putin’s cousin, Roman Putin, has been elected to serve as the president of Russia’s “People Against Corruption” political party. In a secret-ballot vote, Roman Putin was chosen for a five-year term as the head of the party, reports RIA Novosti. He says the group’s top priority is now to compete in regional elections this September and later in elections for the State Duma.€ 

      • Here’s why statisticians are calling Putin’s constitutional plebiscite the most fraudulent vote in Russia’s recent history

        Researchers who study Russia’s electoral statistics believe that the recent nationwide plebiscite on constitutional amendments is the most dishonest vote the country has seen since the year 2000. According to statisticians, their “tests” have revealed a number of red flags that support these claims: from a statistical point of view, the official results in many precincts can’t be attributed to fair voting processes. Researchers say that the only explanation is that somehow, officials responsible for tallying the votes changed the results. According to official data from Russia’s Central Election Commission, a little more than half of the country’s eligible voters supported the changes to the constitution. But if you exclude all of the “excess” votes from precincts that don’t pass statistical “tests,” it turns out that less than a third of Russia’s voters supported the amendments.

      • The ‘certain nuances’ of prosecuting journalists The Kremlin’s spokesman explains why policing ‘justifications of terrorism’ isn’t an assault on free speech

        On Monday, July 6, a military court in Pskov convicted journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva of “justifying terrorism” in an article where she argued that Russia’s federal authorities are partly to blame for a suicide bombing against an FSB building in Arkhangelsk. Though prosecutors wanted her imprisoned for six years, the court only fined her 500,000 rubles (almost $7,000). At a press conference hours after the verdict was announced, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov fielded questions from reporters about the case.

      • ‘Ten people were definitely killed’ Activist Olga Baranova talks about the ongoing persecution of LGBTQ people in Russia’s Chechnya

        On June 30, HBO released Welcome to Chechnya, a documentary film about activists carrying out secret evacuations to get LGBTQ people out of Russia’s repressive Chechen Republic. Filming began in 2017, when the persecution of suspected gay men in Chechnya was at its height. During the documentary’s premier at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, Meduza spoke to one of its main subjects, activist Olga Baranova, about the making of the film, how the situation in Chechnya has changed in the last three years, and how LGBTQ people who fled the region are rebuilding their lives.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Trump’s Racist Mt. Rushmore Celebration Violated Indigenous Sovereignty

        Amid ongoing protests against systemic racism and state violence, Trump attacked protesters, vowed to defend statues of colonizers and white supremacists, and ignored Indigenous sovereignty over the area, when he held an Independence Day rally at Mount Rushmore, sparking even more protests that led to 15 arrests. “The Black Hills, or what we know as He Sápa, is the cultural center of our universe as Lakota people,” says Indigenous scholar and activist Nick Estes, a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and assistant professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico. “More than 50 different Indigenous nations actually have origin stories or ties or spiritual connections to the Black Hills.”

      • New 'National Security' Law Threatens Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protesters With Life In Prison

        Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 with the understanding the Chinese government would not strip away the rights granted to Hong Kong residents prior to the handover. The Chinese government has no intention of honoring that agreement, which has prompted months of protests.

      • Indigenous Historian Nick Estes on Toppling Statues, Racist Team Names & COVID-19 in Indian Country

        President Trump’s visit to Mount Rushmore comes after months of escalating coronavirus infections in Native communities, but Indigenous scholar and activist Nick Estes says South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, like many of her Republican counterparts across the U.S., has taken a “hallucination-based approach to the COVID-19 pandemic,” and notes she refused to enforce social distancing at this weekend’s event that attracted thousands of people. He also reacts to growing pressure on the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians to change their racist names.

      • Defendants appeal sentences in controversial ‘Seventh Studio’ case

        Lawyers for the well-known film and theater director Kirill Serebrennikov and the other individuals convicted in the controversial “Seventh Studio” embezzlement case have filed an appeal against the verdict handed down by Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court, RIA Novosti reports.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Chinese 5G Plans Start At $10, Showing The 'Race to 5G' Isn't Much Of One

        We've noted for a while that the "race to 5G" is largely just the byproduct of telecom lobbyists hoping to spike lagging smartphone and network hardware sales. Yes, 5G is important in that it will provide faster, more resilient networks when it's finally deployed at scale years from now. But the society-altering impacts of the technology are extremely over-hyped, international efforts to deploy the faster wireless standard aren't really a race, and even if it were, our broadband maps are so terrible (by design) it would be impossible to actually determine who won.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Regulators Urged to Block Uber's "Domination Game" Acquisition of Postmates

        "These destructive delivery apps... were built to monopolize an essential service and reap profits for investors."

      • EU Commission opens antitrust investigation into Apple’s App Store rules

        The European Commission has launched a formal antitrust investigation into Apple and the rules on its App Store. The investigation opens over a year after Spotify issued a complaint over Apple’s App Store practices. An e-book/audiobook distributor also submitted a separate complaint on similar grounds over the impact of the App Store rules on competition in the e-book and audiobook market.


        Article 101(1) TFEU prohibits agreements between undertakings which may affect trade between Member States and which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the internal market, where that object or effect is appreciable. A non-exhaustive list of such agreements include those which directly or indirectly fix prices or any other trading conditions.

        The investigation will determine whether the contractual obligations imposed by Apple on app developers have an appreciable effect on competition in the market for music streaming services and e-books, by giving an unfair advantage to Apple’s own rival apps.

        Article 102 TFEU, on the other hand, prohibits the abuse of a dominant position by an undertaking within the internal market, such as by imposing unfair prices or trading conditions. The investigation will need to establish whether, by dictating the terms of the App Store, Apple has been abusing its dominance as the only app store supplier for iOS devices to influence competition in the market for music streaming apps and e-books.

      • Patents

        • EPO launches new platform to help researchers in the fight against coronavirus

          The European Patent Office (EPO) has published a new, expanding “Fighting coronavirus” platform designed to help researchers and decision-makers benefit from patent information in their fight against the new coronavirus. The first data sets released on this platform concerns antiviral vaccines and pharmaceutical therapeutics, with more resources to be released in the coming weeks covering, for example, diagnostics and medical technologies and devices.

        • STIM wins another patent victory for its smoltification feed

          Norwegian feed producer STIM announced that it has achieved another success in terms of patenting its feed SuperSmolt FeedOnly as the European Patent Office (EPO) has expanded the company’s patent rights for the feed.

          The decision by the EPO expands the range of feed ingredients that fall within patent protection. That means that other feeds, which STIM claims imitate SuperSmolt FeedOnly – a patented product that induces smoltification in salmon – now constitute infringements on STIM’s patent.

        • Salmon smolt feed producer hopes to ward off larger competitors with strengthened patent rights

          The strengthened rights expand the range of feed ingredients that fall within patent protection, so that existing feeds imitating SuperSmolt FeedOnly now constitutes infringements on the patent.

          Furthermore, the EPO decided the practical use of such feeds in itself is considered a breach of patent.

          This comes in the wake of STIM€´s victory against feed giant BioMar in Oslo District Court in March of this year.

          The court found BioMar guilty of patent infringement related to its product Intro Tuning, ruling it was a copy of STIM's SuperSmolt FeedOnly.

          "SuperSmolt FeedOnly has unique qualities, so we can understand that others might be tempted to look to our solutions, but we are happy that both the court system as well as EPO concludes that these rights belong to us," said STIM CEO Jim-Roger Nordly.

          "I truly hope and believe that we no longer need to spend our time and resources in order to defend that."

          The first patent application regarding SuperSmolt FeedOnly was delivered in 2014 and the first granting from EPO came in 2019.

        • Immunex Corp. v. Sandoz Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          The Federal Circuit held recently that the "all substantive rights" test, used heretofore to determine the identity of the "patentee" for purposes of satisfying 35 U.S.C. ۤ 281, should be the standard for determining common ownership in applying the judicially created doctrine of obviousness-type double patenting (ODP), in Immunex Corp. v. Sandoz Inc. This decision may serve to complicate the legal landscape for patent licensees when addressing a common ownership question. As in the St Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan decision, ultimately contract law, not patent law, provides the basis for the Court's decision in this case.

          The case arose in litigation under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA, relevant provisions codified under 42 U.S.C. ۤ 262(l)) over Sandoz' biosimilar application for its product Erelzi, a generic form of Enbrelۨ (etanercept), which is used for reducing the signs and symptoms of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. Etanercept is a fusion protein "made by combining a portion of a 75 kilodalton human tumor necrosis factor receptor protein (the extracellular portion) with a portion of immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1), specifically, the portion including the hinge region, CH2 and CH3 domains." Immunex is the exclusive licensee of Hoffmann-La Roche for U.S. Patent Nos. 8,063,182 (to the etanercept composition of matter) and 8,163,522 (methods for making etanercept).

          Immunex received FDA approval for Enbrel€® and entered into a royalty-bearing license agreement for Roche for patents and applications that contained claims relevant to this product (including the '182 and '522 patents). Amgen later acquired Immunex and entered into an "Accord and Satisfaction" agreement with Roche, the purpose of which was "to eliminate the continuing obligations to pay royalties to Roche." The terms of this agreement gave Immunex a "paid-up, irrevocable, exclusive license to the U.S. patent family for the patents-in-suit." Relevant to the Federal Circuit's decision, the Agreement gave Immunex "the sole right to grant sublicenses, to make, have made, use, sell, offer for sale and import products covered by the patent family" and "the exclusive right to prosecute patent applications in the U.S. patent family." Immunex also received the right to enforce the patents in the first instance, Roche reserving the right to sue (and retain all damages received) upon Immunex' notice that it would not bring suit. Also, Roche can practice the claimed invention only for internal, research purposes under the terms of the agreement.


          Here, the Accord and Satisfaction agreement did not satisfy this test, according to the panel majority. While there are many factors that can be assessed for this determination, the panel focused on two: "enforcement and alienation," and "the scope of the licensee's right to sublicense, the nature of license provisions regarding reversion of rights, the duration of the license grant, and the nature of any limits on the licensee's right to assign its interests in the patent," citing Alfred E. Mann Found. v. Cochlear Corp., 604 F.3d 1354, 1360-1 (2010). Under Delaware law, the majority applied the de novo standard of review regarding interpreting the District Court's construction of the terms of the contract and clear error for parole evidence of the parties' intent (although in view of the express terms of the agreement the Federal Circuit found no need to resort to parole evidence).

          With regard to the parties' intent, the District Court found, and the Federal Circuit agreed, that the parties "specifically intended for the Accord & Satisfaction to be a license such that Roche would remain the owner of the patents-in-suit." This determination was supported in the District Court by the express language of the agreement (wherein it was termed a "license") as well as testimony from an Amgen witness. This portion of the District Court's opinion came in for criticism by the panel opinion, the majority stating that "we have clarified that 'whether a transfer of a particular right or interest under a patent is an assignment or a license does not depend upon the name by which it calls itself, but upon the legal effect of its provisions,'" citing Lone Star Silicon Innovations LLC v. Nanya Tech. Corp., 925 F.3d 1225, 1230 (Fed. Cir. 2019) (emphasis in original) (quoting Waterman v. Mackenzie, 138 U.S. 252, 256 (1891)).

        • Return of the Orange Book? German Federal Supreme Court revisits FRAND in Sisvel v. Haier

          Sisvel acquired the patent in suit (the patent expired in 2016), declared essential to ETSI’s GSM standard by its previous owner Nokia, and submitted a FRAND declaration. Sisvel approached Haier in 2012 for a global portfolio license, as Haier was offering standard-compliant mobile phones and tablets in Germany. However, the parties were unable to agree on a license. Finally, Sisvel sued Haier for infringement at the Düsseldorf Regional Court in 2014 while Haier sued for nullity at the Federal Patent Court in 2015. In the infringement proceedings, the first instance Court found the patent to be infringed, dismissing Haier’s FRAND defence and finding Haier had delayed the negotiations. In 2017, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (Mobiles Kommunikationssystem) upheld the finding of patent infringement but denied an injunction as it considered Sisvel’s licensing offer non-compliant with the non-discrimination prong of FRAND.

          Appealing the case to the Federal Supreme Court, the parties limited scope of the points on appeal by withdrawing the injunction claim after the patent’s expiration. In the meantime, the patent’s validity was partly confirmed by the Federal Supreme Court. On appeal, the Federal Supreme Court essentially granted Sisvel’s appeal.

        • Sufficiency of a Range: UK Supreme Court

          This important patent decision comes from the UK Supreme with a holding that Regeneron’s patents are invalid for insufficiency of the disclosure. The insufficiency doctrine in the UK is parallel to US enablement law.


          Typically a claimed “range” in patent law is thought of as a numerical spread with the claim covering all potential embodiments in-between. The full-scope of a claimed range must be enabled, and this is a common attack-point for defendants. Here, the claims do not specify such a range, but the defendant was able to characterize the claimed replacement regions as constituting a wide swath of potential transgenic mice — thus a range (“range of products”). The Supreme Court agreed here that it is the full scope of claimed “range of products” that must be enabled.

          In the case, the trial court sided with the defendants — holding that “the teaching in the patent did not enable any type of mouse within the range to be made, let alone mice across the whole of the relevant range.” (quoting here from the Supreme Court opinion). The appellate court disagreed — finding that the claim did enable something within the claimed scope — and that the disclosure was sufficient because the invention was inventive and groundbreaking.

          Finally, at the Supreme Court, the Lord Justices followed a third path – that ultimately resulted in the claims being invalid. Like the appellate court, the Supreme Court agreed that some embodiments covered by the claim were enabled. However, the court ruled that “some embodiments ” was not enough.

        • Software Patents

          • $3,000 for Prior Art on Patent Owned by Acacia's Subsidiary, Unification Technologies

            On July 7, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $3,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 9,632,727. The patent is owned by Unification Technologies, LLC, a subsidiary of Acacia Research Corp., a well-known NPE.

            The '727 patent generally relates to managing data stored on non-volatile storage media over the provision of solid-state drive (SSD) devices. This patent has been asserted in district court 3 times this year against companies such as Micron, HP, and Dell.

          • Fraunhofer HHI H.266/Versatile Video Coding (VVC) Halves the Data Requirements of H.265

            There’s a lot of hype around AV1 royalty-free video codec since it has backing from large companies, better characteristics than H.265 or VP9, and is already used by YouTube and Netflix.

          • SecureWave patent held unpatentable

            On July 7, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final written decision in Unified Patents, LLC et al. v. SecureWave Storage Solutions Inc. et al., holding all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 7,036,020 unpatentable. The ‘020 patent is owned by SecureWave Storage Solutions, an affiliate of Quarterhill Inc. (f/k/a Wi-LAN Inc.), a well-known NPE. The ‘020 patent, directed to securing areas of a memory device to limit access to stored data, has been asserted against Kingston Technology and Micron.

      • Trademarks

        • More Disputes Over Trademarked Area Codes. Why Is This Allowed Again?

          There are plenty of times when I have questioned why something that the USPTO granted a trademark on should be allowed to be registered at all. But one example that flummoxes me the most is that you can go out there and trademark area codes. You don't hear about this all that much, but AB InBev made this somewhat famous when it acquired Chicago's Goose Island Brewing, including the trademark for its "312" brand of beer, and proceeded to file for trademarks on allllllll kinds of area codes.

        • Indivisibility and visibility in invalidity proceedings of a Community design

          On June 10, 2020, the General Court of the European Union conferred a judicial gift on IP enthusiasts with its judgement in case T-100/19 L. Oliva Torras v EUIPO - Mecánica del Frío (Attelages pour véhicules), providing an intricate analysis of a series of procedural and substantial issues regarding Community design invalidity. While the entire judgement is worthy of attention, this blogpost will focus on probably the two most noteworthy aspects of the decision: (i) the [in]divisible character of the ground of invalidity; and (ii) the necessity that EUIPO’s decisions be based on reasoned statements.


          In this case, the context of article 25(1)(b) CDR implies that the requirements in articles 4 to 9 CDR must be applied cumulatively, such that the failure to satisfy even one of them may lead to a finding of invalidity under article 25(1)(b) CDR, whose purpose is to determine whether or not a Community Design was validly registered at the outset. [Community Designs are examined only after their registration, if challenged in an invalidity proceeding, since no examination on absolute grounds is carried out by the EUIPO.]

          The General Court rejected the Board of Appeal's interpretation of the indivisibility of the ground of invalidity under article 25(1)(b) CDR as requiring an assessment of all the requirements of articles 4 to 9 in order for the contested design to be declared invalid. It noted that the scope of the invalidity action should be determined by the arguments, facts and evidence adduced by the parties in the invalidity proceeding.

      • Copyrights

        • Amsterdam Court of Appeal issues dynamic blocking injunction in long-running dispute between BREIN and ISPs

          The Amsterdam Court of Appeal (CoA) recently issued a dynamic blocking injunction against two Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Ziggo and XS4All, aimed at preventing access to notorious torrent site The Pirate Bay [Dutch decision here, English translation here, courtesy of BREIN]. The decision is part of a long-running dispute, which started in 2010 and led to the landmark ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in C-610/15 Stichting Brein [Katposts here and here].

          The decision is the latest in a series of judgments by European courts which impose, in one form or another, blocking injunctions to prevent large-scale online copyright infringements [Katpost on a recent decision from Sweden here, and see here for a recent review article by Berdien van der Donk]. Not even ten years ago, such injunctions were controversial, but following a series of CJEU rulings – in particular, C-314/12 UPC Telekabel Wien – they now seem commonly accepted.

          The Amsterdam CoA's decision is interesting because it applies, in great detail, the UPC Telekabel Wien framework to the case at hand.

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