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Links 10/7/2020: Debian 8 Long Term Support EOL, Mobian Project, Mesa 20.1.3

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Why Windows Power Users Break Linux

        As more people come to Linux, those of us who help the Windows refugees make the switch will need to be very patient with them. The more someone knows about Windows, the more likely it is that they will break Linux. Handing them a Linux laptop and saying, “Here ya go…” is not enough if they are going to succeed. You’re going to have to hold their hand for a while and telling them to “RTFM” will just drive them back to Windows. Understanding why they struggle as much as they do will help you to help them avoid some of the common pitfalls.

        I specialize in helping people get started with Linux. I’ve helped hundreds of people over the last few years and I can pretty much spot the ones who are going to do well and those who are going to be frustrated. If a client approaches me and they start the conversation with “I’ve been using Windows for 20 years…” I know it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

        The pattern is always the same: I walk them through an install and all is well for about two weeks and then I get a frustrated message from them about how Linux is stupid and doesn’t work. I know without asking that they’ve broken something major or borked up the whole system. I usually can fix the problem and make a good lesson out of it for them. I have gone so far as to walk them through a second installation from scratch. If the system is totally hosed, that’s the best way to go. Give them a clean slate to work with and hope they learned something.

        On the other hand, if a client tells me that they know nothing about computers but they need one to get things done like writing documents, spreadsheets, web surfing and email then they usually have zero issues. I get them setup and I don’t hear from them again. I usually contact then after a month or two and they invariably tell me everything is working perfectly. I got a call from a gentleman I hadn’t heard from in a year and a half recently. He said everything was working nicely but he wanted some advice about upgrading his Linux Mint from 17.3 to 18.1 and could I help him get it right. No problem. Wonderful to hear that all is well!

    • Server

      • What’s up with the Kubernetes ecosystem

        This week’s acquisition of Rancher Labs by the veteran enterprise Linux firm SUSE neatly illustrates the growing momentum of container-based application deployment. It also underlines the importance of Kubernetes as the orchestration tool of choice for managing all those containers.

        So, what does this latest move mean for the broader Kubernetes ecosystem? When containers first garnered corporate attention six or seven years ago, Docker and its tools were the centre of attention. But the focus soon shifted to management frameworks capable of automating the deployment and scaling of containers, and Kubernetes, developed by Google from technology used in its cloud platform, quickly won out.

        Like many open source tools, Kubernetes has its share of rough edges and does not necessarily provide all the capabilities that users need to build a functioning container-based infrastructure. Companies such as Rancher sprang forth to provide a complete software stack built around Kubernetes for those who didn’t want to build it all themselves.

      • MicroK8s HA tech preview is now available
      • Ubuntu Support of AWS Graviton2 Instances
      • Ubuntu Support of AWS Graviton2 Instances

        Ubuntu is the industry-leading operating system for use in the cloud. Every day millions of Ubuntu instances are launched in private and public clouds around the world. Canonical takes pride in offering support for the latest cloud features and functionality.

        As of today, all Ubuntu Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace listings are now updated to include support for the new Graviton2 instance types. Graviton2 is Amazon’s next-generation ARM processor delivering increased performance at a lower cost. This

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E16 – Owls

        This week we’ve been re-installing Ubuntu 20.04. Following WWDC, we discuss Linux Desktop aspirations, bring you some command line love and go over all your wonderful feedback.

        It’s Season 13 Episode 16 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • BSD Now 358: OpenBSD Kubernetes Clusters

        Yubikey-agent on FreeBSD, Managing Kubernetes clusters from OpenBSD, History of FreeBSD part 1, Running Jitsi-Meet in a FreeBSD Jail, Command Line Bug Hunting in FreeBSD, Game of Github, Wireguard official merged into OpenBSD, and more

      • Bad Voltage 3×08: Petrichoronavirus
    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel to Adopt an Inclusive Code Language, Blocks Terms like Blacklist-Whitelist and Master-Slave

        In the wake of Black Lives Matter movement, Linux Kernel developers are also implementing inclusive coding guidelines by dropping words like blacklist and slave.

      • Linux 5.7.8
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.7.8 kernel.

        All users of the 5.7 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.7.y git tree can be found at: git:// linux-5.7.y and can be browsed at the normal git web browser:

      • Linux 5.4.51
      • Linux 4.19.132
      • Linux 4.14.188
      • Linux 4.9.230
      • Linux 4.4.230
      • Linux Developers May Discuss Allowing Rust Code Within The Kernel

        A Google engineer is looking to discuss at this year's Linux Plumbers Conference the possibility of allowing in-tree Rust language support.

        Nick Desaulniers of Google, who is known for his work on LLVM Clang'ing the Linux kernel and related efforts, is wanting to bring up the matter of in-tree Rust support for the kernel. The extent though of allowing Rust within the kernel isn't clear yet but would likely be very limited.

      • Emulating Windows system calls in Linux

        The idea of handling system calls differently depending on the origin of each call in the process's address space is not entirely new. OpenBSD, for example, disallows system calls entirely if they are not made from the system's C library as a security-enhancing mechanism. At the end of May, Gabriel Krisman Bertazi proposed a similar mechanism for Linux, but the objective was not security at all; instead, he is working to make Windows games run better under Wine. That involves detecting and emulating Windows system calls; this can be done through origin-based filtering, but that may not be the solution that is merged in the end. To run with any speed at all, Wine must run Windows code directly on the CPU to the greatest extent possible. That must end, though, once the Windows program makes a system call; trapping into the Linux kernel with the intent of making a Windows system call is highly unlikely to lead to good results. Traditionally, Wine has handled this by supplying its own version of the user-space Windows API that implemented the required functionality using Linux system calls. As explained in the patch posting, though, Windows applications are increasingly executing system calls directly rather than going through the API; that makes Wine unable to intercept them.

        The good news is that Linux provides the ability to intercept system calls in the form of seccomp(). The bad news is that this mechanism, as found in current kernels, is not suited to the task of intercepting only system calls made from Windows code running within a larger process. Intercepting every system call would slow things down considerably, an effect that tends to make gamers particularly cranky. Tracking which parts of a process's address space make Linux system calls and which make Windows calls within the (classic) BPF programs used by seccomp() would be awkward at best and, once again, would be slow. So it seems that a new mechanism is called for.

        The patch set adds a new memory-protection bit for mmap() called PROT_NOSYSCALL which, by default, does not change the kernel's behavior. If, however, a given process has turned on the new SECCOMP_MODE_MMAP mode in seccomp(), any system calls made from memory regions marked with PROT_NOSYSCALL will be trapped; the handler code can then emulate the attempted system call.

      • systemd 246-RC1 Released

        With this being the first systemd release since March, there is a lot in store for the v246 milestone. There are many systemd 246 features including new unit settings, the service manager has support for the cgroup v2 freezer, the CPU affinity setting now supports a NUMA value, systemd.hostname= can be used for setting the hostname from the kernel command line during early boot, hardware database updates, systemd-journald now supports Zstd compression, numerous networkd additions, systemd-cryptsetup now supports activating Microsoft BitLocker volumes during boot, systemd-homed improvements, the new systemd-xdg-autostart-generator, and much more. Just yesterday was one of the latest additions of exposing host OS information to containers.

      • Intel Gen12/Xe Graphics Have AV1 Accelerated Decode - Linux Support Lands

        On top of Intel Gen12/Xe Graphics bringing other media engine improvements and much better 3D graphics support, another exciting element of the next-generation Intel graphics is now confirmed: GPU-accelerated AV1 video decoding!

        There has been talk of Gen12/Xe supporting AV1 at least on the decode side but a lack of hard information to date. But landing this week in Intel's Media Driver for Linux is indeed AV1 decode wired up for Gen12. This is nice to see happen and a bit of a surprise as so far the Intel Media Driver support matrix has lacked any references to AV1.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Nvidia 450.57 Linux Graphics Driver Improves Support for Vulkan Apps, Adds New Features

          Coming hot on the heels of last month’s Nvidia 440.100 release, the Nvidia 450.57 graphics driver is here to add support for NVIDIA NGX, support for Image Sharpening for OpenGL and Vulkan apps, as well as support for Vulkan direct-to-display on DisplayPort displays connected via DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (DP-MST).

          Furthermore, the new release adds an implementation of glNamedBufferPageCommitmentARB extension, which was missing from the Nvidia driver’s support for the GL_ARB_sparse_buffer extension, a new documentation file that exposes a machine-readable list of supported GPUs and features, as well as a new Connector-N display connector name alias type.

        • NVIDIA 450.57 Linux Driver Released With Image Sharpening Option, NGX Library
        • NVIDIA 450.57 is out for Linux with DLSS and NGX, Image Sharpening plus more

          NVIDIA today just released a big new stable driver for Linux with 450.57. It pulls in a whole bunch of big features from the recent 450.51 Beta.

          Compared with the Beta, it looks like it's mostly the same plus a few extra fixes. However, it's worth a reminder now it's stable because everyone should be able to upgrade knowing it's a supported driver version. NVIDIA 450.57 is exciting for a few reasons. One of which is the inclusion of support for NVIDIA NGX, which brings things like DLSS to their Linux drivers.

          There's also now Image Sharpening support for OpenGL and Vulkan, support for Vulkan direct-to-display on DisplayPort displays which are connected via DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (DP-MST), various VDPAU improvements, PRIME enhancements like support for PRIME Synchronization when using displays driven by the x86-video-amdgpu driver as PRIME display offload sinks along with "Reverse PRIME" support too.

        • mesa 20.1.3

          Hi all,

          I'd like to announce Mesa 20.1.3, the third bugfix release for the 20.1 branch.

          There's a lot in there, but more than half of the commits are just updates to our testing infrastructure; nothing out of the ordinary in the driver changes.

          The next bugfix release is planned for 2 weeks from now, on 2020-07-22.

          Cheers, Eric

        • Mesa 20.1.3 Brings More Fixes To The Open-Source Vulkan / OpenGL Drivers

          Mesa 20.1.3 is out as the newest bi-weekly point release for this stable Mesa3D series.

          Mesa 20.2 continues building up a lot of feature work and should ultimately see its first official release around the end of August, but for now Mesa 20.1.x is the greatest when it comes to stable material. Mesa 20.1.3 is now the newest routine update for users of these predominantly OpenGL/Vulkan drivers.

        • Deep dive into OpenGL over DirectX layering [Ed: Microsoft is attacking OpenGL again, the EEE way]

          Earlier this year, we announced a new project in partnership with Microsoft: the implementation of OpenCL and OpenGL to DirectX 12 translation layers (Git repository). Time for a summer update! In this blog post, I will explain a little more about the OpenGL part of this work and more specifically the steps that have been taken to improve the performance of the OpenGL-On-D3D12 driver.

        • Progress Being Made On OpenCL+OpenGL Over Direct3D 12 [Ed: Microsoft pays Collabora to promote proprietary vendor lock-in; see comments]

          That OpenCL/OpenGL-over-D3D12 initiative was announced earlier this year only for it then to become public later that it's principally for the Direct3D 12 support coming to WSL2. With that there can then be the OpenGL graphics and OpenCL compute within the Linux WSL2 instances that in turn end up using the native D3D12 drivers of the host. Besides this layering library being developed with Collabora, Microsoft has also been working on a Wayland compositor as part of the GUI app support and the DirectX Linux kernel driver and Hyper-V DRM driver.

          Collabora for their part have published an update on their engineering effort of translating OpenGL and OpenCL for DirectX 12 consumption. They are making good progress and even have a Doom 3 time demo working. Obviously the resulting performance has been a big concern and focus.

        • Welcoming five new Collaborans!

          With over 15 years' experience in working remotely, Collabora was, and continues to be, uniquely prepared to support our customers and our teams during these challenging times. Despite the many obstacles brought on by the pandemic, we have continued delivering services to our clients, and continue to build and strengthen our engineering and administration teams for the road ahead.

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

    • Benchmarks

      • Phoronix Test Suite 9.8 Released For Open-Source Benchmarking, New Docker Benchmarking Image

        Phoronix Test Suite 9.8 is available today as the latest quarterly stable feature release to our open-source, cross-platform benchmarking software.

        Phoronix Test Suite 9.8 brings numerous improvements as our Q3'2020 update including:

        - Improved handling of test installation failures around failed download URLs and other cases where newer minor revisions of said test profiles have corrected them. The new behavior is to seamlessly use the new minor revisions of test profile updates to correct said failures rather than requiring manual intervention over the version specified.

    • Applications

      • Notorious – A New Keyboard-Driven Note Taking App for Linux

        Notorious is an open-source note-taking app built for GNU/Linux systems using GTK and Python. As a baby application (given that it is new to the apps scene), the developer has made sure that it features the most sort after functionalities in note-taking applications and a few extras.

        Thanks to shortcuts, you can use Notorious from project launch to finish without needing to touch your mouse or trackpad. Summon the shortcuts cheatsheet by pressing ctrl + ?.

        Notes are taken in plaintext by default but you can enable Markdown syntax highlighting if that’s your fancy. You can also choose to use Notorious in light or dark mode and lastly, all notes are saved locally to any directory of your choosing. Sure, you can choose to use any cloud service directory as your storage location.

      • The 10 Best Scanning Tools for Linux System in 2020

        If you are looking for a scanning tool for Linux, then you are in the right place. From the very beginning of digitalization, scanning tools have served us in many ways. If you want to store your paper documents or photos digitally, there is no alternative to scanning tools. Although you get a default scanning tool with the scanner driver, that is not polished to work flawlessly. Besides, these default scanning tools don’t always get the best support from the manufacturers for the Linux platform. This is why you need to look for the scanning tools for your Linux system.

      • Managing tasks with todo.txt and Taskwarrior

        One quote from Douglas Adams has always stayed with me: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by". We all lead busy lives and few ever see the bottom of our long to-do lists. One of the oldest items on my list, ironically, is to find a better system to manage all my tasks. Can task-management systems make us more productive while, at the same time, reducing the stress caused by the sheer number of outstanding tasks? This article looks at todo.txt and Taskwarrior.

        The management of tasks is rather personal and people have completely different approaches and philosophies. This is, of course, reflected in the requirements for, and expectations from, a task manager. Requirements can also change as our interaction with computers changes. For example, while I put a lot of emphasis on managing tasks via the command line in the past, these days I'm more interested in a good mobile app (to add tasks on the go and to receive reminders) and web support (to get an overview of all tasks).

        A good way to filter tasks is also essential for me. One of the reasons for using task-management software is so you can stop worrying about tasks until they become relevant. This requires a way to find relevant tasks when needed, such as when the due date is coming up soon or because you're in a relevant setting or place (often called a "context" in task-management systems). Going to the supermarket would be a good time to bring up a shopping list, for example. Task-management systems offer a number of ways to organize information that can be used in filters, such as tags, contexts (often stored as tags in the form of @tag, such as @home), and lists.

        In a series of two articles, we'll review four systems for managing tasks and to-do items around which open-source ecosystems have formed.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • New Games You Can Play With Proton Since June 2020

        It’s now July 2020 and the Steam Summer Sale has just ended. I hope you took the chance to grab some titles at low prices! We did!

        This time around I will not delve into games with the largest number of reports on ProtonDB. Instead, I focus on recent reports for which the median rating (not the ProtonDB one, my own rating based on the raw data) is something like Platinum or Gold at least (4 or 5 on my scale).

      • SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE arrives for Linux PC on July 16

        Time moves when you move. Ready for more? SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is confirmed to be launching for Linux and it's going to be available on July 16. Even better, if you buy the original SUPERHOT before then it will be yours free.

        It was actually already available on Windows in Early Access for some time but they're now moving to full release for all platforms and they're making a bit of a splash about it. Coming to Linux officially is obviously great news too!

      • Wilderness survival game 'Vintage Story' adding seasons, improved graphics

        Vintage Story, an uncompromising wilderness survival sandbox game inspired by lovecraftian horror themes has a new test release up that makes it an even deeper game.

        Minecraft in style, sure, someone will mention that I've no doubt due to the blocky style. Anything actually like Minecraft? No, quite far from it. The gameplay mechanics have a lot more depth to them and it's quite a lot more interesting but everything also takes a lot more time to learn and get through. Vintage Story's description of being 'uncompromising' certainly holds up at times.

      • Programming puzzle game Monster Logic is out now

        Based on the esoteric programming languages Befunge and Trefunge, the programming puzzler Monster Logic is out now on Steam with Linux support. Note: key provided to our Steam Curator.

        Similar to other logic-block based puzzle games, it has you redirect things around a grid in the shortest way possible. The setup here is a little odd though, instead of logic blocks you're using monsters that do different things. The idea is very much the same though.

      • Trusted Mode is now live for everyone in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

        Valve has now launched the Trusted Mode update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, in their attempt to reduce cheating further - here's what's changed.

        As we mentioned when testing out the Beta in a previous article, it now significantly restricts what's allowed to interact with the game unless whatever it is becomes digitally signed. Well, on Windows anyway. The Linux version does have Trusted Mode but all the tweaks seem to be targeting Windows since that's where most people appear to attempt cheating. Still, it affects everyone and less possible cheating is always a good think for a competitive first-person shooter.

      • Tropico 6 gets a new 'Lobbyistico' adding in a Corruption mechanic

        Not long after Tropico 6 gained a free feature update and a release for Linux arriving on GOG, Limbic Entertainment and Kalypso Media have released the Lobbyistico DLC and it's getting a free weekend on Steam.

        Considering the setting, it's somewhat surprising it took this long for Corruption to be a proper feature of Tropico 6 and that's the name of the game in the Lobbyistico DLC. The European Union has arrived on the isles of Tropico and with it, new buildings such as the El Presidente Club. Invite faction leaders as lobbyists into the El Presidente Club and conduct backroom politics to unlock a unique new set of perks to boost the economy and manipulate faction standings. However, with increased lobby work comes increased corruption, all of which will impact the wider Tropican economy and society.

      • Northgard custom maps can now be played online

        After Shiro Games recently expanded their real-time strategy game Northgard to include a map editor, they've just made that feature even more fun.

        With the initial release of the map editor you could generate a map based on a few options like size and then edit away with different terrain, building placements, enemies, NPCs and more. Once done, upload to the Steam Workshop for anyone else to play in single-player. The map editor is quite intuitive too, with all the options cleanly presented to make some fun creations.

      • Quirky vehicle building game 'Making it Home' enters Early Access on August 6

        Making it Home definitely looks a bit odd. You're a ladybug, building a big contraption to travel from one side of America to the other. Certainly is a peculiar setting that sees you bounce around your vehicle, hoisting sails, squeezing bellows, and spinning propellers. It's the kind of bizarre that looks so quirky it might actually be quite fun.

        Pill Bug Interactive have now announced that Making it Home will be releasing into Steam's Early Access on August 6, and they plan to stick there for around 6 months.

      • Primal Light is out now with some great pixel-art platforming action

        With artwork I instantly fell in love with, the pixel-art action-platformer Primal Light is out now. Made with Godot Engine, developer Fat Gem worked for around three years to come up with their first game.

        "Inhabit Krog, a mysterious blue creature in a red loincloth, as he traverses a labyrinth of ladders, levers, traps, and monsters. Explore the nooks and crannies of a bizarre and evocative world as you hack and slash your way to victory, leaving a graveyard of grotesque bosses in your wake."

      • Into A Dream Releases on PC, Linux, and Mac on Steam July 30

        Filipe F. Thomaz has announced the release date of his 2D narrative-driven game, Into A Dream.

        Into A Dream is a narrative-focused adventure that follows Luke Williams, a man battling severe depression. Delve into Luke’s dreams and memories to help him overcome his inner turmoil, often by solving narrative-based puzzles.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • 20 Best Free Stacking Window Managers

        A window manager is software that manages the windows that applications bring up. For example, when you start an application, there will be a window manager running in the background, responsible for the placement and appearance of windows.

        It is important not to confuse a window manager with a desktop environment. A desktop environment typically consists of icons, windows, toolbars, folders, wallpapers, and desktop widgets. They provide a collection of libraries and applications made to operate cohesively together. A desktop environment contains its own window manager.

        There are a few different types of window managers. This article focuses on stacking window managers which are also known as floating window managers. This is a type of window manager that draws all windows in a specific order, allowing them to overlap, using a technique called painter’s algorithm. All window managers that allow the overlapping of windows but are not compositing window managers are considered stacking window managers, although they can use different methods.

        Stacking window managers allow windows to overlap by drawing them one at a time. Stacking, or repainting (in reference to painter’s algorithm) refers to the rendering of each window as an image, painted directly over the desktop, and over any other windows that might already have been drawn, effectively erasing the areas that are covered. The process usually starts with the desktop, and proceeds by drawing each window and any child windows from back to front, until finally the foreground window is drawn.

        Here’s our recommended free stacking window managers. All of them are free and open source software.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE’s July 2020 Apps Update Improves KTorrent, KMyMoney, KDiff3, and Others

          KDE Applications 20.04.3 is now available as the third and last point release to the latest KDE Applications 20.04 series. It brings various improvements to some of the most popular KDE apps, including the KTorrent BitTorrent client, KMyMoney personal finance manager, and KDiff3 file comparison tool.

          KTorrent 5.2.0 enables faster downloads of your torrents due to the improvements made to the Distributed Hash Table (DHT) functionality. On the other hand, KMyMoney 5.1.0 adds support for the Indian Rupee symbol ₹, the ability to view all account types in the Budget view, as well as a new “Reverse charges and payments” option to OFX imports.

        • KDE's July 2020 Apps Update
        • site now with more App Stores and Downloads
          KDE is All About the Apps as I hope everyone knows, we have top quality apps that we are pushing out to all channels to spread freedom and goodness.

          As part of promoting our apps we updated the pages so folks can find out what we make. Today we’ve added some important new features...

        • KDE Seeing Fresh Improvements For HiDPI Support

          It took the GNOME/Ubuntu side until Canonical developer Daniel van Vugt picked up a 4K display with Intel graphics for various 4K/Intel graphics optimizations to be discovered and continue to be addressed for the GNOME desktop. Now on the KDE side, well known contributor Nate Graham recently picked up a new laptop with HiDPI display and there he has been working to resolve a number of lingering high DPI issues on the KDE front.

          Graham last month picked up a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen4 laptop with a beautiful 4K display. Using that as a daily workhorse has led him to uncover various issues in KDE's HiDPI handling and some fixes already in store while others still being worked on.


          Some of the items still being addressed is Qt scaling on X11, auto detecting the scaling factor on X11, cursors respecting the scaling factor on X11, and various Plasma issues.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.36.4 Brings Better Support for Sandboxed Apps, Fingerprint Authentications
          GNOME 3.36.4 comes three weeks after the GNOME 3.36.3 point release and it’s here with yet another layer of bug fixes, improvements and translation updates to beef up the stability and reliability of the GNOME 3.36 desktop environment.

          Highlights of this new GNOME 3.36 point release include better support for sandboxed apps that contain multiple .desktop files, improvements to the on-screen keyboard size in portrait orientation, as well as improvements to the performance of the Calendar applet and World Clocks styling.

        • This week in GNOME Builder #1

          Hello! My name is Günther Wagner and i try to give some insights in the current development of GNOME Builder. All these changes can already been tested with GNOME Builder Nightly so go ahead and give us feedback! This newsletter is called “This week in …” but probably we won’t post every week. So the interval will be a little bit arbitrary. Let’s start!

        • GNOME Builder ❤️ Rust Analyzer Part 2

          There are two 2 ways to trigger this action. First you can hold off Ctrl and hover the symbol you are interested in. Clicking brings you to that symbol definition.

          The second option is, if you use the vim keyboard movements, to trigger gd in normal mode. As the real vim equivalent this brings you to the definition.

        • Bilal Elmoussaoui: libhandy-rs v0.6.0 is out!

          Recently I kind of took over the maintainership of libhandy-rs, the Rust bindings of libhandy. I have since then been preparing for a new release so that Rust & GTK app developers can update to the latest gtk-rs release as soon as possible. I also heavily depend on it on my various little apps.

        • Easily speed up CI by reducing download size

          Every time a CI pipeline runs on GitLab, it downloads the git repository for your project. Often, pipeline jobs are set up to make further downloads (of dependencies or subprojects), which are also run on each job.

    • Distributions

      • Solus Stands on Its Own

        If I had to pick one operating system of the year, I would be picking Ubuntu MATE 16.04, if Solus hadn’t come along and stolen the title.

        If it was a contest (and let’s admit it; it is.) this would be nothing short of a gripping and dramatic victory for Solus’ lead developer Ikey Doherty and team, especially in this new generation of proven and truly great Linux systems. If it wasn’t for the fact that the Linux community at-large was full of such amazing and cooperative people, I would call it a distro war.

        Now, before I get called out for trying to “sensationalize”, let’s get something straight. In recent weeks I have heard the words “competition” and “competitors” used more in the interchange of “fellow developers of other distros” than I have ever heard in my years of involvement with open source.

        And I’m proud to say that I welcome it with open arms. Nothing makes you better than someone trying to outdo you. At the moment, no one is trying to outdo you like Team Solus, so you’d better eat your Wheaties.

      • New Releases

        • Debian-Based Neptune 6.5 Linux Distro Released with Improved Hardware Support, Latest Apps
          Believe it or not, Neptune 6.5 is the first point release to the latest Neptune 6.0 series, which was launched last year in August as the first to be based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series.

          Dubbed “Jet,” Neptune 6.5 is here mainly to beef up hardware support, especially for UEFI computers with Secure Boot, by bumping the kernel to the Linux 5.6 series, which actually reached end of life last month, as well as the systemd init system to version 245.6, and by updating various of the included proprietary firmware.

          Software-wise, this release comes with some of the latest apps and core components, including the LibreOffice 6.4.5 office suite, Inkscape 1.0 vector graphics editor, Chromium 83 web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird 68.10 email client, VLC 3.0.11 media player, as well as the FFmpeg 4.1.4 multimedia framework and PulseAudio 13 sound system.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Unleashing Cloud Native (and Edge!) Futures

          You will have now seen our announcement to acquire Rancher Labs. This is an incredible moment for SUSE, for Rancher, and I would dare to say for the entire industry and adoption of cloud native and container-based technologies. I personally could not be more excited to bring Rancher into the fold! Rancher enables computing everywhere with seamless deployment of containerized workloads from the core to the edge to the cloud. And like SUSE, Rancher is 100% open source and focused on enabling users, developers, customers and partners to successfully adopt and benefit from those open source technologies. Several years ago, when I first met the leaders of Rancher, it was already clear they had a very strong, forward looking and disruptive vision of how open source based innovation can pragmatically best serve developers and customers’ business purposes, not only today but for the future as well. We had long and intense discussions with Sheng and Shannon about this vision; we had great exchanges with Darren about the various components and directions of Kubernetes and its ecosystem – the good, the bad and the ugly – and what to do about it after the transaction closes. I’m confident that joining forces will unleash a lot of open source based innovation serving real life needs! Following initial Rancher success with early adopters, even before Kubernetes, enterprises worldwide now see the tangible benefits of modern, modular and easy to use Kubernetes Management solutions. As Kubernetes becomes adopted by more enterprises, it will redefine how organizations run key solutions everywhere from on-premises to the cloud to the edge. Kubernetes is the de-facto standard for container orchestration/management, with a vibrant open source community, and it is also a solid and ubiquitous connective tissue for countless open source innovations, from simplifying the life of developers and business applications, to enabling different types of infrastructures and adding AI/ML capabilities.

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprint 103

          Before introducing the recent changes in the YaST land, the team would like to congratulate the openSUSE community for the release of Leap 15.2. It looks like a pretty solid release, and we are proud of being part of this project.

          Having said that, let’s focus on what the team has achieved during the past sprint.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Linux Desktop To Switch From EXT4 To Btrfs Filesystem By Default

          A few months ago, with the release of the latest Fedora 32, the development of the next stable version Fedora 33 started. As the development cycle of 33 is still underway, a new proposal was sent to bring major changes to the Fedora desktop variants.

          The proposal includes transitioning from ext4 to Btrfs filesystem by default for Fedora Workstations and Spins across x86_64 and ARM architectures. Subsequently, Fedora developers also organized a test day on July 8, 2020, to experiment with the new filesystem features.

        • PHP version 7.2.32, 7.3.20 and 7.4.8

          RPMs of PHP version 7.4.8 are available in remi repository for Fedora 32 and remi-php74 repository for Fedora 30-31 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 7 (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.3.20 are available in remi repository for Fedora 30-31 and remi-php73 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.2.32 are available in remi-php72 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

        • Stirring things up for Fedora 33

          The next release of the Fedora distribution — Fedora 33 — is currently scheduled for the end of October. Fedora's nature as a fast-moving distribution ensures that each release will contain a number of attention-getting changes, but Fedora 33 is starting to look like it may be a bit more volatile than its immediate predecessors. Several relatively controversial changes are currently under discussion on the project's mailing lists; read on for a summary.

        • Making compliance scalable in a container world

          Software is increasingly being distributed as container images. Container images include the many software components needed to support the featured software in the container. Thus, distribution of a container image involves distribution of many software components, which typically include GPL-licensed components. We can't expect every company that distributes container images to become an open source compliance expert, so we need to build compliance into container technology.

          [...] Package maintainers and package management tools have played an underappreciated role in source availability for over two decades. The focused nature of a package, the role of a package maintainer, and the tooling that has been built to support package management systems results in the expectation that someone (the package maintainer) will take responsibility for seeing that the sources are available. Tools that build binaries also collect the corresponding sources into an archive that can be delivered alongside the binaries. The result is that most people don't need to think about source code availability. The sources are available in the same unit as the delivery of the executable software and via the same distribution mechanism; for software delivered as an RPM, the corresponding source is available in a source RPM.

          In contrast, there is no convention for providing the source code that corresponds to a container image.

          The many software components in a container image often include GPL-licensed software. Companies that may not have much experience with distribution of FOSS software may begin distributing GPL-licensed software when they start offering their software in the form of container images. Let's make it straightforward for everyone, including companies who may be new to FOSS, to provide source code in a consistent way.

        • Relive summer of OSCON: Fight COVID-19 with Node-RED and Call for Code

          The first round of the Summer of OSCON may be over, but you can still answer the Call for Code and explore how you can use Node-RED and other open source technologies to create solutions that fight COVID-19.

          Join IBMer John Walicki in a replay of his OSCON live-coding session. He shows you how to use Node-RED and APIs from the Weather Channel related to Covid-19 to quickly build out a tracking application.

        • Behavior is easy, state is hard: Tame inconsistent state in your Java code

          DevNation Tech Talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions plus code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, you’ll learn the root cause of common inconsistent state-related bugs in your production Java code—and how to solve them—from Edson Yanaga and Burr Sutter.

          NullPointerException on a field that was never supposed to be null? A negative value on an “always positive” field? Ever wondered why these bugs happen? You’re not alone. Watch this session to learn the root cause of these common bugs in production Java code, and how to solve them by applying some interesting techniques in your business code.

        • Culture of Innovation: Using AI to Solve Problems at Red Hat

          Red Hat is continually innovating and part of that innovation includes researching and striving to solve the problems our customers face. That innovation is driven in part through the Office of the CTO and includes Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage and use cases such as the Open Hybrid Cloud, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. We recently interviewed Michael Clifford, Data Scientist in the office of the CTO, here at Red Hat about these very topics.

        • Fedora documentation is now multilingual

          The Fedora project documentation website provides a lot of end-users content. All of this content is now translateable, providing a powerful tool for our multilingual communication. Writers will continue to work as usual. The publishing tools automatically convert content and push it to the translation platform. Then, translated content is automatically published.

      • Debian Family

        • Mobian Project Wants to Bring Debian GNU/Linux to Mobile Devices

          If you thought for a second that the Linux phone market lacks operating systems you can try, think again as developers are just getting started. After postmarketOS announcing their PinePhone Community Edition, now there’s a new project called Mobian, which promises to bring Debian to Linux phones.

          That’s right, you can now install and use a pure Debian GNU/Linux operating system on your PinePhone. Mobian helps you do that by integrating the standard Debian GNU/Linux packages with the GNOME-based Phosh (Phone Shell) user interface developed by Purism for their Librem 5 phone.

        • Mobian is a Linux-based smartphone OS based on Debian
          Now that there are a handful of smartphones designed to run GNU/Linux distributions, there are a growing number of developers creating phone-friendly operating systems.

          One of the latest is called Mobian, and while it’s not exactly a brand new distribution, it is a set of software that makes it possible to run the popular Debian operating system on a smartphone or tablet.

          The developers did that by adding the Phosh user interface to Debian to make it look and feel more like a smartphone operating system and also by adding a set of mobile apps for web browsing, file management, gaming and communications.

        • Debian 8 Long Term Support reaching end-of-life

          The Debian Long Term Support (LTS) Team hereby announces that Debian 8 "jessie" support has reached its end-of-life on June 30, 2020, five years after its initial release on April 26, 2015.

          Debian will not provide further security updates for Debian 8. A subset of "jessie" packages will be supported by external parties. Detailed information can be found at Extended LTS.

          The LTS Team will prepare the transition to Debian 9 "stretch", which is the current oldstable release. The LTS Team has taken over support from the Security Team on July 6, 2020 while the final point update for "stretch" will be released on July 18, 2020.

          Debian 9 will also receive Long Term Support for five years after its initial release with support ending on June 30, 2022. The supported architectures remain amd64, i386, armel and armhf. In addition we are pleased to announce, for the first time support will be extended to include the arm64 architecture.

          For further information about using "stretch" LTS and upgrading from "jessie" LTS, please refer to LTS/Using.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Google and Canonical bring Flutter apps to Ubuntu Linux
          For all its benefits in security, performance, and openness, the Linux operating system is still avoided by many computer users because of its software catalog. It’s not that Linux lacks app but it lacks the sort of apps that people are used to on Windows and Mac or even on Android and iOS. There is no shortage of projects that try to bring some sort of compatibility with those apps, like WINE for Windows and Anbox for Android. A different strategy, however, is writing apps in a way that makes them run on all or most platforms. That’s the premise behind Flutter and it’s now coming to Linux, at least on the Ubuntu flavor of Linux.

        • Canonical and Google enable Linux desktop app support with Flutter through snap

          I welcome any additional investment in Linux or other operating systems that aren’t the macOS or Windows, but this one has a major downside: it’s all tied to Canonical’s snaps and Snap Store. In case you are unaware – snaps are quite controversial in the Linux world, and Linux Mint, one of the most popular Linux distributions, has taken a very proactive approach in removing them. Their reasoning makes it very clear why snap is so problematic:

        • SD Times news digest: Android 11 Beta 2, Instana rolls out granular role-based access control, and React Native 0.63

          This release achieves the Platform Stability milestone, which means that Android 11’s APIs and behaviors are finalized.

          From Beta 2, developers can release compatibility updates with confidence that the platform won’t change, according to Android.

          Developers can enroll to get Android 11 Beta updates over-the-air for Pixel 2, 3, 3a, and 4 devices.


          The Ubuntu team has produced a new GTK+ based host for Flutter apps on all Linux distros.

          “For more than a year we’ve been expanding our focus to include desktop-class experiences, both for the web and for the desktop operating systems: macOS, Windows, and Linux,” Flutter wrote in a blog post.

          The Flutter SDK for Linux is available as a snap in the Snap Store. Once the Flutter SDK is installed on a Linux machine, to build a desktop app users will need to upgrade to the Flutter dev or master channel and enable Linux desktop support.

        • Google’s Flutter Apps are Coming to Desktop Linux Thanks to Ubuntu
          Flutter is Google’s open-source UI toolkit that helps developers build native apps tailored for Web, Android, iOS, and macOS (alpha stage). You might want to check out their GitHub page and documentation to learn more.

          As of now, there’s no proper support for Windows — but it’s something in-progress.

          But, the good news is — Canonical and Google are going to closely work together to bring Flutter app support to Linux distributions as per the official announcement...

        • Google And Ubuntu Join Forces To Make Desktop Linux Even Better
          Even the most beautiful, secure and intuitive operating system is effectively useless without a healthy assortment of useful apps to compliment it. Software is the holy grail. It’s the foundation of an ecosystem. It’s what primarily attracts users to iOS or Android on mobile, and Windows, macOS or Linux on the desktop. So what happened this week between Google and Ubuntu-maker Canonical is a massive step forward in improving the selection of software available on desktop Linux.

        • Google Teams Up With Canonical To Announce Linux Alpha For Flutter
          Canonical, the company behind the most popular Ubuntu Linux, has partnered with Google to enable Linux desktop app support with the Flutter UI toolkit. Subsequently, Google has released Linux alpha for Flutter.

          With this release, developers can now easily install Flutter SDK via Snap (Ubuntu’s universal package manager), develop applications for Linux desktops, and distribute them through Canonical’s app store, Snap Store.

        • Canonical enables Linux desktop app support with Flutter

          Google’s goal for Flutter has always been to provide a portable toolkit for building beautiful UIs that run at native speeds, no matter which platform you target. To validate this capability, we started by focusing on the mobile platforms Android and iOS, where we’ve seen more than 80,000 fast, beautiful Flutter apps published to Google Play.

          To build on this success, for more than a year we’ve been expanding our focus to include desktop-class experiences, both for the web and for the desktop operating systems: macOS, Windows, and Linux. This work includes extensive refactoring of the engine to support desktop-style mouse and keyboard input, as well as resizable top-level windows. It also includes new UI capabilities that adapt well to desktop, like Material Density support and the NavigationRail, and experiments with deep integration into the underlying desktop OS with experiments in Dart:FFI and access to the system menu bar and standard dialogs. All of this work was to ensure that in addition to being suitable for mobile-style experiences, Flutter is ready to handle full-featured, full-sized desktop apps.

          It has long been our vision for Flutter to power platforms. We’ve seen this manifest already at Google with products like the Assistant, so now we’re thrilled to see others harnessing Flutter to power more platforms. Today we are happy to jointly announce the availability of the Linux alpha for Flutter alongside Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, the world’s most popular desktop Linux distribution.

        • What’s This New Ubuntu ‘Rolling Rhino’ And Do You Need It?

          In the project’s own words, Rolling Rhino “is a simple tool to convert Ubuntu Desktop, and the official desktop flavours, that has been installed from a daily image into a ‘rolling release’ by opting into and tracking the devel series.”

          Wimpress emphasizes that Rolling Rhino is for “the toughest of Ubuntu users.” It’s certainly not for the faint of heart. That’s because it will overhaul your Ubuntu installation with the development branch of the distro’s software packages. These are fresh, constantly updated, and not nearly as widely tested as the stable packages actually employed on Ubuntu. In gaming vernacular, we might compare the development branch to “early access” or alpha / beta builds.

        • Raspberry Pi 4: Could Ubuntu Be On The Way?

          On the surface the Raspberry Pi 4 8GB may not have been a revolutionary release, but it has finally brought the power of a low cost 64 bit desktop computer to homes around the world. From day one the Raspberry Pi has used a Linux based operating system, initially a rather limited release of Debian, called Raspbian which has evolved over the years to become Raspberry Pi OS. But there are times when a more refined desktop experience would benefit the user.

          For over 15 years Ubuntu have provided a Linux distribution that offers a more friendly and forgiving means to delve into the Linux ecosystem.

          On a recent Ubuntu Podcast, Martin Wimpress, Director of Engineering at Canonical the company which publishes Ubuntu, hinted that “maybe we’re working on Ubuntu desktop for the Raspberry Pi”. Martin Wimpress was brought in to work on the main Ubuntu release based on his work in the Ubuntu MATE community.

          There is a high chance that this will be ready for Ubuntu 20.10 due for release in October 2020.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • [syslog-ng] Insider 2020-07: TLS; capabilities; 3.27;

        This is the 83rd issue of syslog-ng Insider, a monthly newsletter that brings you syslog-ng-related news.

      • Top 6 Open Source Bitcoin Wallets, Rated and Reviewed for 2020

        The biggest appeal of open source wallets is that their code can be reviewed and publicly audited for potential security issues. As a result, open source software is often more robust than closed-source. The same goes for bitcoin wallets.


        Whether you’re a beginner who needs a fantastic UI to help you navigate the intricacies of an open source wallet or you’re a developer who needs a platform that allows you to build on a secure base, these wallets will give you everything you’re looking for.

      • Trademarks

        • Michael Meeks: 2020-07-08 Thursday

          Mail chew; interested to see Open Usage announced for holding and managing FLOSS trademarks in a light-weight way. If it can reduce the galloping bureaucracy and the risk of in-fighting that can come with formal governance structures, as well as avoiding the extraordinarily overheads of formal entities, that sounds rather positive. Just having the pleasant, collegial engineering relationships in a project without the overhead would be great. Then again, I guess SFC, SPI, Public Software and others already provide nice containers for projects with varying degress of flexibility, lets see what happens.

        • Google and The Linux Foundation want to help open source projects manage their trademarks

          Google and The Linux Foundation have been two major players in the open-source software community. Now, the two are independently committing to help open source projects manage their trademarks effectively and judiciously. Google has announced a new foundation called Open Usage Commons along with academicians and industry partners, while The Linux Foundation has reiterated its support for fair open source licensing and trademark ownership via its Project Hosting program.

          The efforts from both groups emphasize independent and neutral ownership of a trademark by a community instead of a single company or stakeholder. This is because trademarks such as a logo, badge, or even the name of the project are often hallmarks of quality and must be used wisely and consistently. Open Usage Commons and The Linux Foundation wish to standardize the process of using—or reusing—trademarks while also partaking in conformance testing of the open source forks.

        • Bradley M. Kuhn: Organzational Proliferation Is Not the Problem You Think It Is

          Of course, I'm thinking about all this today because Conservancy has been asked what we think about the Open Usage Commons. The fact is they're just getting started and both the legal details of how they're handling trademarks, and their governance documents, haven't been released yet. We should all give them an opportunity to slowly publish more and review it when it comes along. We should judge them fairly as an alternative for fulfilling FOSS project needs that no else addresses (or, more commonly are being addressed very differently by existing organizations). I'm going to hypothesize that, like Linux Foundation, Open Usage Commons will primarily be of interest to more for-profit-company focused projects, but that's my own speculation; none of us know yet.

          No one is denying that Open Usage Commons is tied to Google as part of their founding — in the same way that Linux Foundation's founding (which was originally founded as the “Open Source Development Labs”) was closely tied to IBM at the time. As near as I can tell, IBM's influence over Linux Foundation is these days no more than any other of their Platinum Members. It's not uncommon for a trade association to jumpstart with a key corporate member and eventually grow to be governed by a wider group of companies. But while appropriately run trade associations do balance the needs of all for-profit companies in their industry, they are decidedly not neutral; they are chartered to favor business needs over the needs of the general public. I encourage skepticism when you hear an organization claim “neutrality”. Since a trade association is narrowed to serving businesses, it can be neutral among the interests of business, but their mandate remains putting business needs above community. The ultimate proof of neutrality pudding is in the eating. As with multi-copyright held GPL'd projects, we can trust the equal rights for all in those — regardless of the corporate form of the contributors — because the document of legal rights makes it so. The same principle applies to any area of FOSS endeavor: examine the agreements and written rules for contributors and users to test neutrality.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Browser Wish List - Tab Splitting for Contextual Reading

            On Desktop, I'm very often in a situation where I want to read a long article in a browser tab with a certain number of hypertext links. The number of actions I have to do to properly read the text is tedious. It's prone to errors, requires a bit of preparation and has a lot of manual actions.

          • Mozilla Privacy Blog: Laws designed to protect online security should not undermine it

            Mozilla, Atlassian, and Shopify yesterday filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Van Buren v. U.S. asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider implications of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for online security and privacy.

            Mozilla’s involvement in this case comes from our interest in making sure that the law doesn’t stand in the way of effective online security. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) was passed as a tool to combat online hacking through civil and criminal liability. However, over the years various federal circuit courts have interpreted the law so broadly as to threaten important practices for managing computer security used by Mozilla and many others. Contrary to the purpose of the statute, the lower court’s decision in this case would take a law meant to increase security and interpret it in a way that undermines that goal.

          • Changes to storage.sync in Firefox 79

            Firefox 79, which will be released on July 28, includes changes to the storage.sync area. Items that extensions store in this area are automatically synced to all devices signed in to the same Firefox Account, similar to how Firefox Sync handles bookmarks and passwords. The storage.sync area has been ported to a new Rust-based implementation, allowing extension storage to share the same infrastructure and backend used by Firefox Sync.

            Extension data that had been stored locally in existing profiles will automatically migrate the first time an installed extension tries to access storage.sync data in Firefox 79. After the migration, the data will be stored locally in a new storage-sync2.sqlite file in the profile directory.

          • SpiderMonkey Newsletter 5 (Firefox 78-79)

            SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in Mozilla Firefox. This newsletter gives an overview of the JavaScript and WebAssembly work we’ve done as part of the Firefox 78 and 79 Nightly release cycles.

            If you like these newsletters, you may also enjoy Yulia’s weekly Compiler Compiler live stream, a guided tour of what it is like to work on SpiderMonkey and improve spec compliance.

          • Testing Firefox more efficiently with machine learning

            At Mozilla we have around 50,000 unique test files. Each contain many test functions. These tests need to run on all our supported platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android) against a variety of build configurations (PGO, debug, ASan, etc.), with a range of runtime parameters (site isolation, WebRender, multi-process, etc.).

            While we don’t test against every possible combination of the above, there are still over 90 unique configurations that we do test against. In other words, for each change that developers push to the repository, we could potentially run all 50k tests 90 different times. On an average work day we see nearly 300 pushes (including our testing branch). If we simply ran every test on every configuration on every push, we’d run approximately 1.35 billion test files per day! While we do throw money at this problem to some extent, as an independent non-profit organization, our budget is finite.

            So how do we keep our CI load manageable? First, we recognize that some of those ninety unique configurations are more important than others. Many of the less important ones only run a small subset of the tests, or only run on a handful of pushes per day, or both. Second, in the case of our testing branch, we rely on our developers to specify which configurations and tests are most relevant to their changes. Third, we use an integration branch.


            The early results of this project have been very promising. Compared to our previous solution, we’ve reduced the number of test tasks on our integration branch by 70%! Compared to a CI system with no test selection, by almost 99%! We’ve also seen pretty fast adoption of our mach try auto tool, suggesting a usability improvement (since developers no longer need to think about what to select). But there is still a long way to go!

            We need to improve the model’s ability to select configurations and default to that. Our regression detection heuristics and the quality of our dataset needs to improve. We have yet to implement usability and stability fixes to mach try auto.

            And while we can’t make any promises, we’d love to package the model and service up in a way that is useful to organizations outside of Mozilla. Currently, this effort is part of a larger project that contains other machine learning infrastructure originally created to help manage Mozilla’s Bugzilla instance.

          • Async Interview #8: Stjepan Glavina

            Several months ago, on May 1st, I spoke to Stjepan Glavina about his (at the time) new crate, smol. Stjepan is, or ought to be, a pretty well-known figure in the Rust universe. He is one of the primary authors of the various crossbeam crates, which provide core parallel building blocks that are both efficient and very ergonomic to use. He was one of the initial designers for the async-std runtime.

          • Missing structure in technical discussions

            People are amazing creatures. When discussing a complex issue, they are able to keep multiple independent arguments in their heads, the pieces of supporting and disproving evidence, and can collapse this system into a concrete solution.

          • Thank you, Julie Hanna

            Over the last three plus years, Julie Hanna has brought extensive experience on innovation processes, global business operations, and mission-driven organizations to her role as a board member of Mozilla Corporation. We have deeply appreciated her contributions to Mozilla throughout this period, and thank her for her time and her work with the board.


            We look forward to continuing to see her play a key role in shaping and evolving purpose-driven technology companies across industries.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Might Delay Its "Personal Edition" Branding Or Change To "Community Edition"

          In response to the largely critical feedback of LibreOffice 7.0-RC1's branding as "Personal Edition" for the standard version of this open-source office suite, the branding is being reconsidered to either delay it until LibreOffice 7.1 or potentially relabel it as the "Community Edition" version.

          Lothar Becker, the chairman of The Document Foundation's Board of Directors, wrote today in an open letter to the community that they are still seeking more feedback and evaluating their options with regards to the new branding that led to LibreOffice being labeled "Personal Edition" so ecosystem partners of LibreOffice can offer "Enterprise Edition" solutions built around this open-source office suite.

        • Marketing plan draft: Discussion about options available, and timetable

          Dear community,

          thanks for the feedback on the marketing plan draft via different channels so far. We want to let you know and have you take part, as the board is discussing the options now available with that draft.

          In the meantime, some more feedback will be integrated in the document already and will be published on next Monday. This is still not the last chance for a change for version 7.0.0, but we will reach that point soon.

          The last change for all strings and tags would be possible the latest by Monday, July 20. With some preliminary phase for decision making of the board the public feedback phase on all this will end by the time of the next public board call, i.e. Friday, July 17, 1300 Berlin time.

        • LibreOffice QA/Dev Report: June 2020
      • Programming/Development

        • First PHP 8 alpha released

          The PHP project has released the first alpha of PHP 8, which is slated for general availability in November 2020. This initial test release includes many new features such as just-in-time (JIT) compilation, new constructs like Attributes, and more. One of twelve planned releases before the general availability release, it represents a feature set that is still subject to change.

          The PHP 8 release is being managed by contributors Sara Golemon and Gabriel Caruso. Dubbed "Alpha 1", this first release of PHP 8 is one of three releases to be done prior to a feature freeze. During this time, more widespread testing of new features is performed by the community and implementation details are worked out. This process will continue until August 4, at which point the feature set will be frozen to coincide with the first beta release scheduled for August 6.

        • What you need to know about automation testing in CI/CD

          Test automation means focusing continuously on detecting defects, errors, and bugs as early and quickly as possible in the software development process. This is done using tools that pursue quality as the highest value and are put in place to ensure quality—not just pursue it.

          One of the most compelling features of a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) solution (also called a DevOps pipeline) is the opportunity to test more frequently without burdening developers or operators with more manual work. Let's talk about why that's important.

        • Generics for Go

          The Go programming language was first released in 2009, with its 1.0 release made in March 2012. Even before the 1.0 release, some developers criticized the language as being too simplistic, partly due to its lack of user-defined generic types and functions parameterized by type. Despite this omission, Go is widely used, with an estimated 1-2 million developers worldwide. Over the years there have been several proposals to add some form of generics to the language, but the recent proposal written by core developers Ian Lance Taylor and Robert Griesemer looks likely to be included in a future version of Go.


          Generics, also known as "parameterized types" or "parametric polymorphism", are a way to write code or build data structures that will work for any data type; the code or data structure can be instantiated to process each different data type, without having to duplicate code. They're useful when writing generalized algorithms like sorting and searching, as well as type-independent data structures like trees, thread-safe maps, and so on. For example, a developer might write a generic min() function that works on all integer and floating-point types, or create a binary tree that can associate a key type to a value type (and work with strings, integers, or user-defined types). With generics, you can write this kind of code without any duplication, and the compiler will still statically check the types.

        • Fixing a common antipattern when loading translations in Qt

          I’m a Polish guy working with computers, mostly on Windows. However, the lingua franca of the IT industry is English, so every time I see a tutorial for some dev tool, it’s in that language. To lessen the burden of decoding which menu entry in the tutorial corresponds to which menu entry on my PC I decided to run the system with an English display language. I still want the rest of the i18n-related stuff (date format, keyboard, currency etc.) to be in Polish however.


          As you can see, Thunderbird and Windows Settings show up in English but Qt Linguist is encrypted with some overengineered Slavic cipher (aka Polish language). What I further noticed, is that this incorrect language selection is particularly prevalent in Qt-based applications. Subsequent digging revealed that this antipattern is widespread in Qt world, see the relevant GitHub search (requires login).

        • Python

          • The (non-)return of the Python print statement

            In what may have seemed like an April Fool's Day joke to some, Python creator Guido van Rossum recently floated the idea of bringing back the print statement—several months after Python 2, which had such a statement, reached its end of life. In fact, Van Rossum acknowledged that readers of his message to the python-ideas mailing list might be checking the date: "No, it's not April 1st." He was serious about the idea—at least if others were interested in having the feature—but he withdrew it fairly quickly when it became clear that there were few takers. The main reason he brought it up is interesting, though: the new parser for CPython makes it easy to bring back print from Python 2 (and before).

          • Release: PyCharm 2020.1.3

            PyCharm 2020.1.3 is out with some important bug fixes. Update from within PyCharm (Help | Check for Updates), using the JetBrains Toolbox, or by downloading the new version from our website.


            If you’re on Ubuntu 16.04 or later, or any other Linux distribution that supports snap, you should not need to upgrade manually, you’ll automatically receive the new version.

          • Python Anywhere: Outage report 7 July 2020

            We had an unplanned outage the day before yesterday; it was our first big one since July 2017. It was caused by an extremely unlikely storage system failure, but despite that it should not have led to such a lengthy downtime, and should not have affected so many people. We have some plans on what our next steps should be, and will be implementing at least some of them over the coming months.

          • Using module __dir__ and __getattr__ for configuration
          • Enrolling Students - Building SaaS #64

            In this episode, we worked on a view to enroll students into a grade level for the school year. I added all the context data and used Tailwind to design the form layout to pick from a list of available grade levels. We added a variety of unit tests to prove the correctness.

            The enrollment page needed three pieces of data in the context to complete the form. We added the student, school_year, and grade_levels data to the context and wrote tests to show the data in there. We also protected that data from any erroneous access by another user.

            When the data was set, we worked on the template for the form. I set the header to make the enrollment action clear and created the radio input selectors to show the different grade level options. We cleaned up the design and user experience by including some Tailwind CSS classes which made the radio inputs much easier to select.

            At the end of the stream, we wrote the happy path test for the POST request to prove that the enrollment record exists after submission.

          • Top 8 Online Resources To Learn Anaconda In 2020
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC Week 6: Begin the Phase 2
  • Leftovers

    • John Prine as Tender Poet: The Best That I Could Do
    • Van Gogh’s Literary Influences

      In 1888, Vincent Van Gogh sold The Red Vineyard, a vibrant field of color abuzz with laborers, to an intimate supporter of the hungry artist for today’s equivalent of $2000. These days, a single painting by Van Gogh can go for as much $66m at Sotheby’s, and Van Goghâ„¢ is a billion dollar industry. And the topper is that The Red Vineyard, if sold today, probably would be the single most expensive painting ever bought, not because it was the most popular artist’s best, but because it’s the only one he ever sold in his lifetime. (Wow.)

    • Education

      • ICE Threatens to Deport International Students If Schools Move Classes Online

        As President Trump pressures states to reopen schools in the fall despite an alarming surge in new coronavirus cases, ICE says international students studying at U.S. universities could face deportation if their schools switch to online-only courses. The U.S. issues more than a million student visas a year, and international students account for as much as a third of the undergraduate student body at many colleges and universities and often constitute the majority of graduate students. “I have yet to see a justification for this,” says immigration attorney Fiona McEntee, who notes that international students contribute about $41 billion to the U.S. economy per year. We also speak with Jian Ren, a Chinese international student pursuing a Ph.D. at Rutgers University.

      • If Schools Reopen This Fall, More People Will Likely Die. Full Stop.

        The front page of Tuesday’s Miami Herald tells you all you need to know about the rising dread and panic being felt across the country by millions of parents with school-age children. Bang in the center of that front page is the headline, “Miami-Dade restaurants, gyms closing to fight COVID surge.” Snuggled in to the left-side column is another headline: “Florida schools ordered to reopen in August.”

      • Trump Threatens to Cut Funding for Schools If They Don't Reopen in the Fall

        President Donald Trump threatened on Wednesday morning to cut federal funding to schools that choose not to reopen their doors this fall in response to concerns about coronavirus.

      • Teachers Say Rush to Reopen Schools Without Covid-19 Safety Plan Shows Trump and DeVos 'Do Not Care About Students'

        "America must listen to the health experts on when to reopen schools and to educators on how to return to in-person instruction."

      • ICE Threatens to Deport or Bar International Students If Schools Move Classes Online Due to Pandemic

        As President Trump pressures states to reopen schools in the fall despite an alarming surge in new coronavirus cases, ICE says international students studying at U.S. universities could face deportation if their schools switch to online-only courses. The U.S. issues more than a million student visas a year, and international students account for as much as a third of the undergraduate student body at many colleges and universities and often constitute the majority of graduate students. “I have yet to see a justification for this,” says immigration attorney Fiona McEntee, who notes that international students contribute about $41 billion to the U.S. economy per year. We also speak with Jian Ren, a Chinese international student pursuing a Ph.D. at Rutgers University.

      • Will COVID-19 halt asylum in the United States for good?

        Violence and persecution don’t stop for a pandemic. Every day, people arrive at national borders urgently seeking protection. While there is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused havoc around the world, there are also man-made consequences that could be avoided.

        Since the public health crisis began, more than 150 countries have closed their borders, fully or partially, to contain the spread of the virus. The problem is that at least 99 of those countries have made no exceptions for asylum seekers, according to the UN. As a result, vulnerable families and children across the globe have been halted at borders; those with pending asylum claims wait in limbo; and lives continue at a standstill for people who have already experienced trauma and instability.

        Arguably, the situation at the US southern border is among the most dire.

        For decades, the United States has been a global leader in welcoming people seeking protection from violence in their home countries. Yet, since March nearly 43,000 asylum seekers, including unaccompanied children, have been turned back at the US southern border after the US government implemented travel and asylum restrictions.

        Public health experts point out that these restrictions do little to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The policy targets asylum seekers while providing broad exemptions to US citizens, permanent residents, and those travelling to the United States for education, trade, or commercial purposes. In May, the US government announced that the policy would remain in place until it was “no longer necessary to protect the public health”, extending it indefinitely.

        The current ban on asylum is one of the latest in a series of efforts by the US government to limit long-held protections inherent in the US asylum system. In January 2019, the US government announced the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico”, which force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claim is processed. New MPP cases are no longer being accepted while the border is closed, but those impacted by “Remain in Mexico” over the past year continue to live in limbo.

    • Hardware

      • Debian's Enrico Zini: Laptop migration

        HP requires 10 business days to repair my laptop under warranty. I cannot afford that length of downtime.

        Alternatively, they quoted me 375€+VAT for on-site repairs, which I tought was very funny.

        For 376.55€+VAT, which is pretty much exactly the same amount, I bought instead a refurbished ThinkPad X240 with a dual-core I5, 8G of RAM, 250G SSD, and a 1920x1080 IPS display, to use as a spare while my laptop is being repaired. I'd like to thank HP for giving me the opportunity to finally buy a ThinkPad.

        Since I'm migrating all my system to the spare and (hopefully) back, and I might be doing more such migrations as I now have a spare laptop for experiments, I'm documenting what I need to be fully productive on new hardware.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Supreme Court Ruling Means 126,000 May Lose Contraception Coverage

        The United States Supreme Court delivered a blow to reproductive rights on Wednesday, siding with the Trump administration in a case that gave employers across the country more leeway in denying contraception to workers if it goes against the company’s morals.

      • Reopening vs. Lockdown is a False Dichotomy

        California is seeing a surge in coronavirus infections, and most of our government misleaders, from Governor Gavin Newsom on down, are trying to sweep the true story under the rug with the same kind of blowhard fake news that we hear from the Trump administration.

      • Trump Health Secretary Says US Healthcare Workers 'Don't Get Infected' With Covid-19 (94,000 Have Contracted the Virus)

        While the true toll Covid-19 has taken on healthcare workers is not yet known, one investigation found that more than 760 have died from the virus.

      • Trump Health Secretary Says Health Care Workers Don't Get Infected With COVID

        Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday falsely claimed that healthcare workers “don’t get infected” with Covid-19 “because they take appropriate precautions” as he attempted to make the case for reopening schools in the fall — even with coronavirus cases surging across the United States.

      • Sacrificing People to Corporate Profit

        While millions of workaday families have lost jobs, income and their future financial security, corporate bosses and billionaires are surreptitiously building new channels into the system for looting an even greater share of America's wealth.

      • The New NYC? Houston Hospitals Struggle with “Astonishing” Rise in Coronavirus Cases

        As COVID-19 cases rise and hospitalizations are soaring, hospitals in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California are running out of ICU beds. On Tuesday, Texas set a grim new record of 10,000 new cases in a single day. “It’s been astonishing,” says Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Dr. Sheri Fink, who has been reporting from Houston’s largest hospital. “They’ve been adding unit after unit after unit just to care for coronavirus patients.”

      • 600+ Groups Warn 'Unprecedented' Wave of Corporate Lawsuits Could Imperil Global Fight Against Covid-19

        "A spate of cases now could result in a 'regulatory chilling' effect, in which governments water down, postpone, or withdraw actions to tackle the pandemic from the fear of such payments, which could be deadly."

      • The Merits of Medicare for All Have Been Proven by This Pandemic

        A pandemic is not the time to be having discussions about how to design a national health care system. The fact that the United States, which has 4 percent of the world’s population, leads the world with 25 percent of all coronavirus infections, indicates at a glance that something about our nation’s health care is irredeemably broken. In just a few months, more than 40 million Americans became unemployed in a country where a majority are expected to obtain health care through employer-provided insurance. Even the New York Times has pointed out that, “Nothing illuminates the problems with an employer-based health care system quite like massive unemployment in the middle of a highly contagious and potentially deadly disease outbreak.”

      • Madeline Peck: Quarantine Slump

        You can vote by liking my comment with the video in it here on the mojo page!

        Last week I submitted some logo ideas to the Nest ticket and I had to clean up the ones they enjoyed. Went through some inkscape tutorials to refresh and see if I was doing anything slower then some tips and tricks.

        Attended Boston’s lightning talks and got me thinking of potentially doing my own towards the end of the summer.

        Going through the changes for the coloring book so I can send them out in an email to the reviewers by Friday hopefully, and speaking of the reviewers.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Four years of Zephyr

                The Zephyr project is an effort to provide an open-source realtime operating system (RTOS) that is designed to bridge the gap between full-featured operating systems like Linux and bare-metal development environments. It's been over four years since Zephyr was publicly announced and discussed here (apparently to a bit of puzzlement). In this article, we give an update on the project and its community as of its v2.3.0 release in June 2020; we also make some guesses about its near future.

                The authors are both Zephyr developers working for Nordic Semiconductor; Cufí was the release manager for the v2.3.0 release.


                The Zephyr kernel supports multiple architectures and scheduling algorithms. There are cooperative and preemptive threads, along with facilities for reducing interrupt latencies and guaranteeing the execution of key threads. An optional user mode can use the Memory Protection Units (MPUs) typically present in microcontrollers to isolate and sandbox threads or groups of threads from one another and the kernel.

                Zephyr supports six major architectures (x86, Arm, ARC, NIOS II, Xtensa, and RISC-V) and also runs in emulation. Both 32- and 64-bit processor support exists for some architectures. Within the Arm architecture, the emphasis has been on the usual 32-bit Cortex-M cores, but experimental support for Cortex-R and Cortex-A (including 64-bit Cortex-A) exists and continues to improve. Beyond "real hardware," Zephyr runs on QEMU, and as an ELF executable. It supports a simulated radio, which can save time and expense when testing and debugging radio frequency (RF) issues. In all, there are upstream support files for over 200 "boards".

                Zephyr has logging and shell subsystems. These have configurable transports, including traditional serial ports (for both) and over the network (for logging). Logging is optionally asynchronous; in this case, a separate thread actually sends log messages. The logging calls themselves post compact messages to a queue, which can be done quickly, so logging can be done even from within interrupt context.

                Hardware-specific APIs are built around a lightweight device driver model that is tightly integrated with the kernel. It supports a wide range of peripherals and sensors under this common model. Multiple storage options are available. These range from basic key-value storage optimized for NOR flash to filesystems.

        • Security

          • FreeBSD Security Advisory FreeBSD-SA-20:19.unbound
          • GCC Compiler Lands Mitigation For Arm's Straight Line Speculation Vulnerability

            It took a month after Arm disclosed the CPU "SLS" vulnerability and when the LLVM compiler landed their initial mitigation, but the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) now has mitigations as well for this Straight Line Speculation vulnerability.

            The Straight Line Speculation vulnerability could lead to instructions on ARMv8 processors being executed following a change in control flow. Mitigating SLS involves using SB instructions for a speculation barrier following vulnerable instructions.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox), Debian (ffmpeg, fwupd, ruby2.5, and shiro), Fedora (freerdp, gssdp, gupnp, mingw-pcre2, remmina, and xrdp), openSUSE (chocolate-doom), Oracle (firefox and kernel), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-lts-xenial, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon and thunderbird).

          • Mozilla Security Blog: Reducing TLS Certificate Lifespans to 398 Days

            We intend to update Mozilla’s Root Store Policy to reduce the maximum lifetime of TLS certificates from 825 days to 398 days, with the aim of protecting our user’s HTTPS connections. Many reasons for reducing the lifetime of certificates have been provided and summarized in the CA/Browser Forum’s Ballot SC22. Here are Mozilla’s top three reasons for supporting this change.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Global Privacy Regulators Probe Facial Recognition Firm Clearview AI

              The privacy regulators of the UK and Australia have announced a joint investigation into controversial facial recognition firm Clearview AI.

              “The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have opened a joint investigation into the personal information handling practices of Clearview AI Inc., focusing on the company’s use of ‘scraped’ data and biometrics of individuals,” a brief statement read.

              “The investigation highlights the importance of enforcement cooperation in protecting the personal information of Australian and UK citizens in a globalized data environment.”

              The Manhattan-based software firm leapt to notoriety early this year after a New York Times report claimed that the startup had scraped as many as three billion images from social media sites to add to its database.

              That makes it a useful resource for police and intelligence agencies, which can query images they capture against the database. The FBI’s own trove of images is said to contain little more than 600 million.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Afghanistan: What is to be Done?

        The mainstream media is asking the wrong questions regarding the possibility of Russian bounties for American soldiers.€  Over and over, they ponder what did the president know and when did he know it?€  These were important questions that Senator Howard Baker asked of President Nixon during Watergate, but they are meaningless questions for Donald Trump, given his ignorance and indifference.€  Trump has mishandled every foreign policy and national security issue for the past three and a half years; why would anyone expect him to get this one right.€  The fact that he was making a series of calls to President Vladimir Putin regarding a return to the G-7 even as his National Security Council was discussing the bounty issue and the intelligence community was providing threat warnings to NATO members with troops in Afghanistan is simply too bizarre for words.

      • Trump Is Trying to Hide US and Israeli War Crimes by Attacking the ICC

        A war crimes complaint has been filed against Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump adviser Jared Kushner in the International Criminal Court (ICC). It is now up to the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor to decide whether the complaint should be pursued. If the prosecutor launches a preliminary examination and finds reason to believe they committed war crimes, the court could then authorize a full investigation.

      • The exorcist: How a confessed murderer became one of Russia’s most famous priests, took over a convent, and started cursing the Church and the state

        Russian public life has its share of COVID dissidents, skeptics, and deniers, but Schema-Hegumen Sergii is a story of his own. The 65-year-old Russian Orthodox priest, whose title indicates a commitment to especially advanced asceticism and sacred rites, doesn’t just deny the existence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sergii has harshly criticized both secular and Church officials who have closed down cathedrals to prevent the spread of the disease. In the last two months, Sergii has become a symbol of ultraconservative resistance to the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church alike. After targeting anti-pandemic efforts in the clergy, he has called on voters to boycott the constitutional plebiscite that allowed Vladimir Putin to “zero out” his term count. Father Sergii has been barred from preaching since late May, but that didn’t stop him from seizing control of a convent he founded and threatening to defend it against the Russian police. Now, the Sredneuralsk Women’s Monastery is awaiting its fate with nuns, Cossacks, pilgrims, and children still inside. Meanwhile, a Church court ruled on July 3 that Sergii should be stripped of his clerical rank. Meduza special correspondent Andrey Pertsev traveled to Sergii’s hideout to follow his story and hear from his flock.

      • UN Special Rapporteur: US Drone Strike Killing Iranian Gen. Soleimani Was Unlawful

        Not only was Soleimani’s killing unlawful, it set a very bad precedent.

      • GOP Has Unhinged Meltdown After Ilhan Omar Makes Simple Call to 'Dismantle All Systems of Oppression'

        "Just to be clear, Ilhan Omar is under attack by the rightwing media machine for statements that are utterly normal and totally uncontroversial when they're delivered by white, non-Muslim politicians."

      • China and Hong Kong Face Off
      • Nowhere to turn for women facing violence in Kashmir

        The threat of violence against women is escalating amid coronavirus lockdowns around the globe. But one region that has lived through a military clampdown for nearly a year – Indian-administered Kashmir – could have foretold the surge.

        Being shut in by government order is nothing new in Kashmir, nor is the resulting spike in gender-based violence, women’s advocates say.

        The region has seen decades of conflict, militarisation, protests, and violent crackdowns. Kashmir has essentially been on lockdown since August 2019, when India scrapped the region’s semi-autonomous status, bringing the former state of Jammu and Kashmir under direct control of the central government. Authorities imposed a communications blockade and security forces patrolled the streets, shut down public transportation, and closed markets.

        Though some restrictions continued to ease in early 2020, India-wide coronavirus lockdowns beginning in March extended clampdown conditions in an already militarised region – and kept survivors of domestic violence shut in with their abusers.

        Cases of domestic violence and general violence against women surged tenfold to more than 3,000 a year during a previous clampdown in 2016 and 2017, according to statistics from the Jammu and Kashmir State Commission for Women, a now-defunct government institution established to protect women and children’s rights and ensure quick prosecutions.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Harper's Gives Prestigious Platform To Famous Writers So They Can Whine About Being Silenced

        There's a slightly bizarre Letter on Justice and Open Debate that Harper's Magazine is publishing, signed by a long list of famous people (many of whom I respect, and plenty of whom I think are terribly entitled wannabe "controversial" intellectuals who are really just assholes). The framing of the letter is one I've heard quite a lot of late: concerns that there is some sort of "illiberal attack on free speech," in which certain individuals and their ideas are no longer even allowed. It's the more intellectual argument against so-called "cancel culture." And, yes, there are examples of people being shut down for expressing their ideas, but it is much less common than people would have you believe. In many cases, what people are complaining about is not that their speech is being shut down, but that they are facing consequences for their speech being ridiculous.

    • Environment

      • What Do the Racial Wealth Gap, Police Brutality, and the Climate Crisis Have in Common? Wall Street

        The biggest banks, it turns out, are every bit as complicit in the climate crisis as they were in the slave trade.

      • Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast: 2020 Improvements

        Each summer, warming weather draws mid-Atlantic nature lovers, recreational boaters, and fishing enthusiasts to the shores of Lake Erie. The same change of season creates optimal conditions for rapid growth of algae. While most blooms of algae aren’t harmful, some such as the blue-green algae Microcystis produce toxins that have harmful effects on people, fish, marine mammals, birds, and local economies. Blooms like these are called harmful algal blooms, or HABs.

        Lake Erie is more than a summer playground — it’s the primary source of drinking water for all surrounding communities. For these reasons, NOAA produces the Lake Erie HAB Forecast to aid those responding to bloom impacts and help members of the public make informed decisions if a bloom is affecting their area. Since 2016, the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products & Services has issued operational forecasts to supplement seasonal bloom severity projections from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science . Users have relied on twice-weekly forecast analysis of bloom position and potential for movement or mixing of surface bloom concentrations, in addition to forecast water currents, and recent satellite imagery.

        But many drinking water intakes and prime fishing spots are located below the lake surface, beyond the view of aerial and satellite imagery. To better accommodate the needs of resource managers and tourists alike, the Lake Erie HAB Forecast is now enhanced by the integration of a 3D hydrodynamic model developed by research partners within the Office of Oceanic & Atmospheric Research. Recent satellite imagery is used to produce an estimate of daily Microcystis bloom locations alongside a five-day forecast of bloom movement. Along with these enhancements, the Lake Erie HAB Forecast website has also been redesigned to help users more easily and quickly understand maps and key elements. Bloom movement is also now provided as an animation with plots for vertical movement of Microcystis at select sampling locations.

        HABs may continue to affect Lake Erie, but lakeshore communities now have better decision-making tools to help ensure safe drinking water and lake recreational activities.

      • Precision Marine Navigation

        NOAA's Precision Marine Navigation team is creating new online services to enable more efficient access to the NOAA data that powers private-sector marine navigation products. The goal is to foster innovation, improve navigation safety, aid in more efficient coastal route planning, and help mariners make informed decisions as they navigate our nation's waterways.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • "All the Credit He Gave Us:" Time to Drop Hamilton's Economics

        The June 3 premiere of Hamilton on streaming service Disney+ marked the end of a five-year wait for audiences who hadn’t seen the hit musical on stage.

      • Welcome to Hectobillionaire Land

        You don’t hear much about millionaires these days in America. Which makes some sense. Add up all our nation’s personal wealth, divide by our number of people, and we have an average wealth per person in the United States today of about $300,000. At that average, a family of three worth a million dollars turns out to be barely better off than any family of three would be if our country’s wealth were spread perfectly even.

      • COVID Exposes “Significant Racial Health Inequities” as Black, Brown & Indigenous People Suffer Most

        The coronavirus continues to hit communities of color the hardest, with federal data showing African American and Latinx people are nearly three times more likely to be infected and twice as likely to die from the virus compared to their white neighbors. There were “pretty significant racial health disparities” even before COVID-19 ravaged the country, says Dr. Uché Blackstock, emergency medicine physician in New York and founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, a company working to fight racism and bias in health services. “What we saw in the pandemic these first few months is these really significant racial health inequities being exposed and even amplified.” We also continue to speak with award-winning New York Times correspondent Dr. Sheri Fink.

      • The 'Camo Economy' Hides Military Costs and Exacerbates Inequality

        Pentagon contractors like Lockheed Martin exploit their political connections to maintain a system that generates huge corporate profits and executive pay at taxpayer expense.

      • Beware the 21st Century Robber Barons

        This great shift in bargaining power from workers to corporate shareholders has created an increasingly angry working class vulnerable to demagogues peddling authoritarianism, racism, and xenophobia.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • News Company's 'Digital Audience Director' Fails To Understand Embedding, Issues Bogus DMCA Takedown Notices

        Here comes DMCA abuse to ruin everyone's retweeting. T. Greg Doucette -- who has been covering acts of violence by police officers in response to George Floyd protests -- was recently hit with a bogus takedown notice on behalf of Seattle's King 5 television station. Here's the start of Doucette's thread on the bogus takedown, during which he begs for the opportunity to "curbstomp" Tegna, Inc. in court for being so stupid as to consider an embedded video to be copyright infringement.

      • The Great American Lie

        The Financial Times recently reviewed a slew of business books whose titles speak volumes about denial in America.

      • Just How Far Can Trump Go in an Emergency?

        In the hours after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld started executing emergency policies that would have, if they had been fully implemented, ended American democracy. The policies were a special form of executive action, dating back to the Eisenhower administration, known as “presidential emergency action documents.” These were, in essence, secret presidential orders, made without congressional oversight, setting protocol for government response to nuclear attacks or a comparable crisis.

      • Why the US-China Rivalry Is Thwarting Transnational Solidarity

        At a peaceful protest in Hong Kong in January, Keisha Brown saw few other Black faces amid the chanting protesters, colorful banners, and national flags from across the world. Although Brown, a scholar focusing on Chinese history and Sino-Black relations, couldn’t understand many of the speeches or song lyrics, she was unexpectedly moved to tears.

      • To Keep Americans Safe, We Have to Get Billionaires Out of Politics

        Billionaires and the super rich have spent 40 years, since the beginning of the Reagan Revolution, telling us how wonderful America would be if only rich people ran the show. That's called oligarchy, not democracy.

      • What Systemic Really Means

        US multinational companies often use philanthropy to cover up the misdeeds that made them rich. Since May they have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to African American organisations, including Black Lives Matter. This generosity to a movement fighting ‘systemic racism’ looks a lot like insurance; perhaps the directors of Amazon, Apple, Walmart, Nike, Adidas, Facebook and Twitter, who know the meaning of ‘systemic’ better than anyone, are worried that activists challenging structural inequality in the US will soon find other targets, closer to home, than police brutality.

      • Charles Booker Could Have Won

        For a week now, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what just happened in Kentucky, where progressive firebrand Charles Booker almost beat all the odds in the US Senate Democratic primary race. It’s not because I’m any stranger to electoral heartbreak. When I was 20, I moved from Brooklyn to a town I’d never heard of in Wisconsin to help a Democrat named Rob Zerban run a campaign to unseat Representative Paul Ryan, then the chair of the House Budget Committee. Years later, I moved to New Hampshire to work for the first Democratic socialist in modern history to mount a serious campaign for president. I’ve had my share of heartbreak.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Why Does Richard Blumenthal Always Feel The Need To Lie About Section 230?

        Richard Blumenthal has spent years trying to undermine Section 230 of the CDA. Unlike some Senators who have only just jumped onto the silly, counterproductive bandwagon, Blumenthal has been mad about 230 since long before he was even a Senator. Back in 2008, when he was Connecticut's ambitious grandstanding Attorney General, he attacked Craigslist because people had found some ads for sex work on the site. Again, this was protected by Section 230, so Blumenthal just kept threatening Craigslist until it finally made a change: rather than allowing its adult ads to be placed for free (as it had in the past), it required payment with a credit card, which Craigslist (quite reasonably) said would likely discourage more sketchy ads, and would leave a paper trail for law enforcement for any illegal activity. Blumenthal initially celebrated this victory... before turning around and grandstanding again two years later... that Craigslist was now "profiting" off of sex work because it was charging for those ads (ignoring that it only did so because he pressured them, even though he knew he was limited by 230).

      • Hong Kong's National Security Law Allows Police To Censor The Internet, Compel Decryption

        The national security law the Hong Kong government passed solely with the intent of shutting down protests and local dissent is amazingly bad. It criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism, and foreign interference. Violators of any of these purposely vaguely defined terms face potential life imprisonment.

      • Post No Evil: Content Moderation Decisions Are Always Trickier Than You Think

        Two years ago, we told anyone who wanted to understand the impossibility of content moderation to listen to an episode of the podcast/radio show Radiolab. Obviously, content moderation questions are back in the news again, and Radiolab recently re-released the episode with some updated content. Most of it is the same, but there's some more at the end to relate it to the latest news with the various attacks on social media coming from the president, the DOJ, and Congress.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The End of the American Newspaper

        Since the birth of the Word Wide Web in March 1989 (at 00:00PT/ 08:00 CET) and the rise of Facebook and the like, the preferred business model of newspaper has been in steep decline as advertising revenue shifted from print media towards the Internet with Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the largest winners. This meant that many newspapers are under severe financial stress while others have closed up shop all together. American readers are faced with a tremendous decline of printed newspapers. Perhaps the decline of local newspapers started even earlier than the arrival of Google, Facebook, YouTube, etc.

      • Journalist and Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov arrested in Moscow

        Pyotr Verzilov, a Pussy Riot member and the publisher of the independent legal news website Mediazona, has been arrested in Moscow.

      • Journalists in cities across Russia protest Ivan Safronov’s arrest on treason charges

        Journalists in cities across Russia have begun holding single-person demonstrations outside of regional Federal Security Service (FSB) offices, in support of Ivan Safronov — a former Kommersant and Vedomosti defense correspondent, and Roscosmos communications advisor, who was arrested on treason charges on July 7. The investigation accused Safronov of passing classified information to Czech intelligence about Russia’s military cooperation with Middle Eastern and African countries. According to his defense attorneys, however, the FSB hasn’t presented any evidence of his involvement in the crime. Safronov himself denies any guilt. Solo pickets in support of Safronov began in Moscow and St. Petersburg on the day of his arrest: Moscow police arrested at least 28 people for protesting, but in St. Petersburg no one was detained.

      • Tuesday’s shitshow: Morning, noon, and night, here’s how Russian journalist Ivan Safronov’s arrest and treason hearing unfolded on day one

        On July 7, federal agents arrested “Roscosmos” communications adviser and former Kommersant and Vedomosti correspondent Ivan Safronov on suspicion of high treason. The authorities also searched his home and office, as well as the apartment of his ex-girlfriend, Holod Media editor-in-chief Taisiya Bekbulatova (a former Meduza correspondent). Outside the Federal Security Service’s headquarters in Lubyanka Square, during Safronov’s arraignment hearing, dozens of journalists picketed, each taking turns holding up signs in his defense, and police officers arrested them, one by one, for an unlawful assembly. Here’s a detailed rundown of everything Meduza’s correspondents witnessed on day one of the Safronov affair.

      • Ivan Safronov’s defense lawyers appeal his two-month arrest

        Defense attorneys for former investigative journalist and Roscosmos communications advisor Ivan Safronov have appealed his two-month arrest, his lawyer Ivan Pavlov, the head of the human rights organization “Team 29,” told Interfax.€ 

      • Landmark Supreme Court Ruling Affirms Native American Rights in Oklahoma
    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • 'Enough Is Enough': 44 Groups Slam House Democrats for Including Hyde Amendment in Spending Bill

        "It is long past time for our elected officials to put an end to abortion coverage bans once and for all, so no one is denied abortion care because of how much money they make or how they get their health insurance."

      • Key U.S. Ally Indicted for Organ Trade Murder Scheme

        When President Clinton dropped 23,000 bombs on what was left of Yugoslavia in 1999 and NATO invaded and occupied the Yugoslav province of Kosovo, U.S. officials presented the war to the American public as a “humanitarian intervention” to protect Kosovo’s majority ethnic Albanian population from genocide at the hands of Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. That narrative has been unraveling piece by piece ever since.

      • Pence Aide Katie Miller Admits She Was Unaffected by Seeing Family Separations

        Katie Miller, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, says she was sent to the border to see family separations in a bid to make her “more compassionate” — but “it didn’t work,” according to a new book.

      • Abolish Policing, Not Just the Police

        WALLACE SHAWN: So, the following program is brought to you by Haymarket Books.

      • It’s Now Ghislaine Maxwell’s Turn

        Since Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in a jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10, 2019, many wondered what happened to Ghislaine Maxwell. “I’ve heard she’s in Brazil, I’ve heard she’s in France, I’ve heard she’s in California,” Lisa Bryant, director of the Netflix docuseries€ Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, “Who knows where she is, really?” Some wondered if she would suffer the same fates as Epstein and her father, Robert Maxwell – death.

      • Why Has Society Failed to Integrate Grief Into Public Life?

        In 2017 the Hebrew Home at Riverdale in the Bronx in New York City hired Rachel Kauder Nalebuff to investigate resilience among nursing home staffers. Why, it wondered, do some people have the fortitude to work alongside death and dying for decades, while most people burn out? Kauder Nalebuff is trained not as a social worker or an anthropologist but as a playwright; her report was to take the form of a play. In interviews, staffers of every rank and function described their work to her, its challenges, and its rewards. A housekeeper named Rosa ran errands for residents with her own money and on her own time. Keresha, a cashier in the cafeteria, insisted, “You cannot have a job like this and think it’s just a job.” Compassion and patience emerged as clear through lines, linking all care workers who were able to endure and find meaning in their profession. But so too did a deep and daily grief, which staffers had little time or support for metabolizing. Residents die every day, and there’s always more work to be done. “We’re losing money with an empty bed,” an anonymous employee noted bluntly. In the resulting play, A Knock at the Door, the staffers performed monologues drawn from these interviews, creating space for mourning out of the material of their lives.

      • Lopez Obrador's Visit to Trump is a Betrayal of the U.S. and Mexican People

        To praise a tyrant is to insult a people. López Obrador’s proposed visit to Washington is an insult to the American people, and especially to the 37 million Mexican migrants who live in the United States.

      • US Government Plays Games With Reality Winner’s Life As Coronavirus Outbreak Is Confirmed At Carswell

        As a coronavirus outbreak at Federal Medical Center Carswell spreads, the United States government maintains National Security Agency whistleblower Reality Winner did not show her confinement placed her “at a risk substantial to justify early release.” Prosecutors additionally insist Winner confused a request for a reduction in her prison sentence with a request for home confinement and never started the “administrative procedure” that must be completed before going to a district court for relief.But Winner’s attorney Joe Whitley calls this a “nonsensical theory” that her “request was not a request under the compassionate release statute.” The district court did not “embrace” this position, although it denied her appeal. “The entire colloquy is emblematic of the government position regarding Reality’s compassionate release request and its scattershot approach to the COVID-19 pandemic at large,” Whitley declares. “In short, because [the Bureau of Prisons] was not prepared for this type of pandemic, a prisoner’s last and only resort is the district court.” Billie Winner-Davis, her mother, told Shadowproof that her daughter feels she is “suffering through this hell in a black hole where nobody seems to know or care what’s happening to them.”

        She believes denying her release was wrong and “could have saved her” from the suffering she currently must endure.

      • Beyond Prisons: Historian David Stein Reflects On Ascent Of Abolition

        Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein are joined by historian and abolitionist David Stein for an episode of the Beyond Prisons podcast.

        David penned an excellent article in 2017 with Dan Berger and Mariame Kaba entitled, “What Abolitionists Do.” He reflects on this article in this moment of greater awareness of abolition and shares his thoughts and experiences from spending time in abolitionist spaces.

      • ‘It doesn’t need to be called public outcry’ The Kremlin’s spokesman responds to the controversial Safronov case

        On the morning of July 7, federal agents in Moscow arrested Ivan Safronov on treason charges. He was arraigned in court later that day and sentenced to two months in jail. Safronov had recently started working as a communications advisor to the head of Russia’s space corporation “Roscosmos,” after nearly ten years of reporting on the Russian military-industrial complex for top business newspapers like Kommersant and Vedomosti. According to the investigation, Safronov passed classified information about Russia’s military to Czech intelligence. His lawyers, on the other hand, are appealing his imprisonment, maintaining that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) hasn’t presented any evidence of his involvement in the crime. Safronov maintains that he’s not guilty. Here’s how Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov responded to reporters’ questions about Safronov’s case the day after his arrest.

      • Russian authorities reportedly have expert testimony corroborating treason charges against journalist Ivan Safronov

        The treason case against former investigative journalist Ivan Safronov reportedly includes at least two expert testimonies, corroborating allegations that he transmitted classified information to foreign intelligence agents, Open Media reports.€ 

      • ‘Be ready for anything’ Lawyer and human rights defender Ivan Pavlov on treason cases in Russia

        In Moscow on July 7, federal agents arrested Ivan Safronov — a former investigative journalist for the respected Russian business newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti, who recently took a job as a communications advisor to the head of the Russian space corporation “Roscosmos.” Safronov was accused of high treason for allegedly collaborating with Czech intelligence. To find out more about treason cases in Russia and the ways Safronov’s case could develop, Meduza spoke to Ivan Pavlov, the lawyer at the head of the human rights organization “Team 29,” which specializes in these types of cases. Ivanov was also part of the team of five lawyers who represented Safronov during his arraignment on July 7 (he was sentenced to two months in jail).

      • EFF To Supreme Court: Violating Terms of Service Isn’t a Crime Under the CFAA

        Washington, D.C.—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and leading cybersecurity experts today urged the Supreme Court to rein in the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)—and protect the security research we all rely on to keep us safe—by holding that accessing computers in ways that violate terms of service (TOS) does not violate the law.The Supreme Court will for the first time consider if the CFAA—which outlaws accessing computers “without authorization” or “exceeding authorized access”—also criminalizes access that violates the TOS companies impose to control the use of their websites, apps, and computer systems.Overbroad interpretations of whether someone exceeds authorized access to a computer under the draconian CFAA have turned on compliance with TOS, meaning private companies across the country get to decide who prosecutors can go after for alleged computer crimes. The Supreme Court’s decision will have far-reaching implications for many people, but especially security researchers, whose work discovering security vulnerabilities is vital to the public interest but often requires accessing computers in ways that contravene TOS.“To give a timely example, security researchers have faced legal threats from companies waving the CFAA at them after reporting flaws in voting technologies,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Andrew Crocker.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘All Tomorrow Carry’ By Special Interest

        The New Orleans punk band released their sophomore album “The Passion Of,” which the group describes€ as “a precise and deranged vision of punk, an apocalyptic celebration, a step forward into a perverse and uncertain landscape.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • House Passes Massive Broadband Bill That Surprisingly Doesn't Suck

        The majority of broadband bills that wind their way through Congress don't actually address the most pressing problem in US telecom: a lack of meaningful broadband competition. Often the bills focus almost exclusively on heavy subsidization of incumbent telecom monopolies, an approach that requires a level of diligence the U.S. has historically not been capable of. The Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, which passed the House last week, certainly includes its fair share of subsidization, including $80 billion in fiscal year 2021 to help deploy fiber broadband networks to the underserved parts of the country.

    • Monopolies

      • CJEU completely abolishes SPCs for new therapeutic applications in Santen judgment (C-673/18)

        The question whether SPCs should be available for new therapeutic applications of previously approved active ingredients has been a matter of debate ever since the SPC Regulation for Medicinal Products came into force in the European Union more than a quarter-century ago. While a literal reading of the SPC Regulation would clearly seem to exclude any such possibility, as Article 3(d) requires that the marketing authorization relied upon for an SPC must be the “first” marketing authorization for the corresponding product and Article 1(b) defines the term “product” as simply the active ingredient or combination of active ingredients of a medicinal product, the interpretation of these provisions has been put under scrutiny in a number of referrals to the Court of Justice of the EU.

        While the CJEU had initially endorsed a restrictive approach in Pharmacia Italia (C-31/03), MIT (C-431/04) and Yissum (C-202/05), it surprisingly made a complete U-turn in the Neurim judgment (C-130/11) rendered in 2012. In this decision, the Court found that, in the case at hand, the grant of an SPC was not precluded by the existence of an earlier marketing authorization for the same active ingredient.

        Yet, the precise conditions and the scope of applicability of the Neurim approach have given rise to considerable controversy and divergent approaches in different EU member states. A referral to the CJEU aimed at clarifying these conditions was made by the Paris Court of Appeal in 2018 (as previously reported on this blog) and left practitioners in eager anticipation of the CJEU’s forthcoming judgment. The fact that this judgment has now been rendered by the CJEU as a Grand Chamber of 13 judges testifies to the significance of the issues at stake.


        While there is no further discussion of Neurim in the Santen judgment, it appears safe to assume that Neurim has been overturned in its entirety.

        With today’s judgment in Santen, the CJEU has certainly succeeded in reducing the infamous complexity of the European SPC system, albeit at the price of significantly curtailing the incentives for pharmaceutical research and development. This adds to the CJEU’s recent and equally restrictive decisions in Abraxis (C-443/17) (discussed here) and Boston Scientific (C-527/17) (discussed here). One might take this opportunity to reflect upon Lord Justice Jacob’s emphatic admonition in his judgment [2011] EWCA Civ 228 that led to the Neurim referral:

        “In short, if Neurim are wrong, then the [SPC] Regulation will not have achieved its key objects for large areas of pharmaceutical research: it will not be fit for purpose.”

        Lastly, after the CJEU’s decision in Santen, it would appear that the pending referral in Novartis (C-354/19) has become obsolete, which was meant to address the question of whether the grant of a second SPC for a different therapeutic application is precluded if the second SPC is filed by the same rights holder who has already been granted a first SPC for the same active ingredient. For now, it seems, the long-lasting controversy over the availability of SPCs for second medical uses has finally been put to rest.

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • The Light That You Shine can be Seen: Federal Circuit on Seal

            This is a case about open courts and the public nature of our civil justice system. During litigation, Uniloc designated some amount of material as “highly confidential” as defined by a protective order entered by N.D. Cal. Judge Alsup. Apple then referenced the material in a motion to dismiss as did Uniloc in its brief-in-opposition. The parties filed motions to seal the material with the district court–with Uniloc indicating that the documents “contain sensitive, confidential and proprietary information related to financial data, licensing terms and business plans with respect to various Uniloc entities … disclosure of this extremely sensitive information would create a substantial risk of serious harm to the Uniloc entities.”

            EFF then intervened into the case requesting the documents be unsealed (after first asking the parties to un-seal). The sealed information related to Uniloc’s ownership of its patents. Because Uniloc was in the process of threatening and suing a dozens of of entities, that information was especially of-interest to the public.


            On the merits the Federal Circuit affirmed the original no-seal order but then vacated to consider interests of third-party licensees who had been promised confidentiality. In its decision, the court contrasted a prior decision in Apple v. Samsung.

          • Novel, Technological, and an Abstract Idea

            The examiner actually allowed the claims back in 2014 with a notice of allowance just before the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice. The applicant paid the issue fee, but the PTO withdrew the application from issue. The examiner then issued a new rejection — finding the claims ineligible as directed to an abstract idea under Alice. That decision was affirmed by the PTAB and by the Federal Circuit (R.36 judgment without opinion). This setup leads folks to fight hard — they were given real hope via notice of allowance and that was pulled-out from under them.


            The petition particularly point to its claims that require debiting with a e-readable device (credit card) and communication with a financial network. The petitioner argues that a benefit of the solution here is that it works with existing credit card networks and thus does not need an expensive merchant retrofit. “[T]he ability to use a conventional card reader and an existing credit card network are advantages of this technical solution, as the use of conventional electronic hardware and card networks that are already in use at most point of sale registers allows for use of this solution by retailers without purchasing or installing any new hardware.”

      • Copyrights

        • Estate Of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Alleges Copyright Infringement Over Sherlock's Emotional Awakening

          Let us do a little decuctive reasoning, shall we? Copyright law has a term length. While that term length has been extended to the point of near-bastardization, that copyright exists on a term at all leads any investigator to conclude that the makers of that law intended for copyright protections on a given work to come to an end. If distinct characters and settings are offered copyright protections, as they are, then it reasons that those, too, were intended to have those protections end after a prescribed period of time. And if Sherlock Holmes is a literary character, an assertion that cannot be doubted, then it stands to reason that the law as written intended for the copyright protections covering his character were also to end after a period of time.

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