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Links 8/9/2020: Inkscape 1.0.1 Released, Gentoo's Portage 3.0 Stabilised, KDevelop 5.6 and GStreamer 1.18.0

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 12 Best Tools to Connect Linux Remote Desktop

        A remote desktop is a software that allows a computer system’s desktop environment to be run by another computer system. Remote desktop environments are used in organizations where applications are installed on a central server instead of every individual computer. These applications can be accessed remotely by employees which makes troubleshooting and maintenance easier. Using a remote desktop environment, one doesn’t have to sit in front of another system to operate it. Some of the popular remote desktop protocols are RFB (VNC is based on), NX technology (NX), RDP, X11, and ARD.

        In this article, I will show you a list of software applications to access remote Linux desktop from a client computer. Most of these tools work on the server-client model.

    • Server

      • AWS Bottlerocket Now Generally Available

        Amazon Bottlerocket, an open source Linux-based operating system that is purpose-built to run containers on both virtual machines and bare metal hosts, is now generally available.

        Bottlerocket is a minimal Linux distribution that is aimed at the same market as Google’s container-optimized operating system. Amazon says Bottlerocket was developed based on how Amazon's customers use Amazon Linux to run containers and from running services such as AWS Fargate. Fargate is a compute engine for Amazon ECS and EKS that allows you to run containers without having to manage servers or clusters.

      • Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in August 2020 [Ed: Almost everything GNU/Linux]

        The most reliable hosting company site in August 2020 belonged to, with no failed requests and the fastest average connection time. has now had the most reliable hosting company site three times in 2020. The company provides a range of services including cloud hosting, dedicated servers, colocation and managed services from four locations across the US, Europe and Asia.

        Swishmail appeared in second place, also responding to all of Netcraft's requests in August. Swishmail provides business email services alongside hosting solutions.

        Rackspace, Bigstep and EveryCity appear in third, fourth and fifth places. Rackspace had the second fastest average connection time and has appeared in the top 10 six times in 2020. Bigstep offers "bare metal" cloud hosting to provide the flexibility of cloud hosting but without the associated overhead and performance reductions of virtualization. EveryCity has appeared in the top 10 seven times in 2020 and is the only site that uses SmartOS.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu DesktopPack 20.04 DDE

        Today we are looking at Ubuntu DesktopPack 20.04 DDE. It comes with Deepin Desktop Environment 5.0.0, Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Kernel 5.4, and uses about 1.2GB of ram when idling. This Linux Distro is also available in many different desktop environments, have a look at their website, and download links.

      • Ubuntu DesktopPack 20.04 DDE Run Through

        In this video, we are looking at Ubuntu DesktopPack 20.04 DDE.

      • GTK Cord3: A GTK Rewrite of The Official Discord Client

        Brought to you by the same developer as 6cord today we're looking at GTK Cord3 which is an attempt at a GTK rewrite of the official Discord client and while it's lacking a lot of fundamental Discord functionality I would say it's still going to be fairly usable for most people as long as you're not particuarly interested in voice chat

      • LHS Episode #365: XLX Reflector Deep Dive

        You have discovered the 365th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. Due to new experiences with the D-STAR digital voice system, Russ has decided he wanted to set up a D-STAR reflector. XLX is a multi-protocol, open-source reflector system for D-STAR (and DMR and YSF) that anyone can run on a Pi, in a virtual machine or what have you. Tune in as we have an in depth discussion on downloading, building and running your own XLX reflector plus basic communication using D-STAR. We hope you have a wonderful and digital voice filled week.

      • Linux Action News 153

        The first Thinkpads loaded with Fedora go live, but there is a lot more to the story.

        Plus, the new PinePhone options coming soon, our thoughts on recent Mozilla news, lessons from the GNOME Patent Troll, and AWS Bottlerocket.

    • Kernel Space

      • Amiga Fast File System makes minor comeback in new Linux kernel

        As noted by chief penguin Linus Torvalds in his weekly state-of-the-kernel report, a change to AFFS popped up among what he described as a collection of “the usual suspects” in new submissions to the kernel over the last week.

        The Amiga was ahead of its time, but is now largely a curiosity. However Suse developer David Sterba has noticed that “The basic permission bits (protection bits in AmigaOS) have been broken in Linux' AFFS - it would only set bits, but never delete them. Also, contrary to the documentation, the Archived bit was not handled.”

        “Let's fix this for good, and set the bits such that Linux and classic AmigaOS can coexist in the most peaceful manner,” he added. Torvalds appears to have agreed inasmuch as Sterba’s code has made it into rc4 of version 5.9 of the Linux kernel.

        Torvalds said that while rc4 is a big release – he rated it as “larger than usual” – it’s still “well within the normal range, and not something I'll lose any sleep over.”

      • Graphics and Multimedia

        • Vulkan 1.2.153 Released As Development Switches To "Main"

          Vulkan 1.2.153 doesn't come with any new extensions or major changes aside from an important fundamental change if you are interacting with their Git repository.

          Vulkan 1.2.153 is out this morning with just the usual assortment of documentation fixes/clarifications. About the most noteworthy on that front is adding some developer documentation to the appendices for several extensions like VK_EXT_memory_budget but overall it's a fairly mundane release.

        • Alejandro Piñeiro: v3dv status update 2020-09-07

          Since my last update we finished the support for two features. Robust buffer access and multisampling.

          Robust buffer access is a feature that allows to specify that accesses to buffers are bounds-checked against the range of the buffer descriptor. Usually this is used as a debug tool during development, but disabled on release (this is explained with more detail on this ARM guide). So sorry, no screenshot here.

          On my last update I mentioned that we have started the support for multisampling, enough to get some demos working. Since then we were able to finish the rest of the mulsisampling support, and even implemented the optional feature sample rate shading.

        • V3DV Driver For Raspberry Pi Closing In On Vulkan 1.0

          The V3DV open-source Vulkan driver being developed by consulting firm Igalia for the Raspberry Pi Foundation is nearing official support for Vulkan 1.0.

          V3DV is the modern Vulkan driver for current Broadcom SoCs catering to the Raspberry Pi 4 single board computer and presumably future generations as well. Igalia engineers have been working to wrap up support for Vulkan robust buffer access and multi-sampling with the V3DV code in recent weeks. That went well and more Vulkan demos are now running on the Raspberry Pi 4.

        • AV2 Is In R&D As The Eventual Successor To The AV1 Video Codec

          While AV1 adoption is still taking off and finally seeing desktop hardware with AV1 decode, given the time it takes to develop a new high-end video codec it shouldn't come as too much surprise that "AV2" is already being explored.

          A Phoronix reader tipped us off this morning that the roadmap for the Alliance for Open Media industry consortium that spearheads AV1 has already started with "R&D for AV2 has begun in earnest."

        • Intel Releases SVT-AV1 0.8.5 With More AV1 Encoder Improvements

          Intel's open-source SVT-AV1 encoder that is now being used as the basis for the AV1 Software Working Group and used by Netflix and other organizations for being one of the most performant CPU-based AV1 encoders is out with a new release.

          SVT-AV1 0.8.5 is out this morning with a few improvements on the encoder front. SVT-AV1 0.8.5 adds multi-staged HME support, new quality speed trade-offs tuned for video on-demand use-cases, new optimization pass work, improved lambda generation, and other enhancements. There are also bug fixes, better continuous integration coverage, improvements stemming from static analysis of the code, and more.

        • Víctor Jáquez: Review of Igalia Multimedia activities (2020/H1)

          This blog post is a review of the various activities the Igalia Multimedia team was involved in during the first half of 2020.

        • OpenCV object tracking plugin

          I’ve been selected as a student developer at Pitivi for Google Summer of Code 2020. My project is to create an object tracking and blurring feature.

          The tracking is done by passing the video clip through a pipeline which includes a tracker plugin. So, the first goal of the project was to implement the tracker plugin in GStreamer.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Funday

          I finally managed to get a complete piglit run over the weekend, and, for my own amusement, I decided to check the timediffs against a reference run from the IRIS driver. Given that the Intel drivers are of extremely high quality (and are direct interfaces to the underlying hardware that I happen to be using), I tend to use ANV and IRIS as my references whenever I’m trying to debug things.

          Both runs used the same base checkout from mesa, so all the core/gallium/nir parts were identical.

    • Applications

      • Zim: A Wiki-Like Note-taking App That Makes Things Easier

        Zim is undoubtedly one of the best note-taking apps for Linux but it’s not just another ordinary note app that lets you add ideas/tasks and save them.

        It’s tailored to help you maintain a collection of notes in the form of wiki pages. In other words, you can have a lot of notes (tasks/ideas) and link them to each other that will make it easier to go through what you’ve added in the past.

        Here, I’ll give an overview of the features you get with Zim and how to get it installed on Linux.


        Zim Wiki is definitely a great note-taking app for Linux. You can also use it on your Windows or mac OS system. So, you can have your collection of notes/ideas anywhere you want.

        Unlike some other note-taking applications, you won’t find a mobile client for it as far as I’m aware.

        Overall, it’s an interesting choice for power users with a lot of notes and ideas to keep track of. What do you think about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

      • Inkscape 1.0.1 Released For GNU/Linux, Windows, While macOS Awaits
        Following a major milestone with the release of version 1.0 back in May, the open-source and cross-platform graphics editor Inkscape has a new point version 1.0.1 release.

        The latest release includes several fixes for bugs, tools, and crashes reported in Inkscape 1.0. Additionally, Inkscape 1.0.1 also ships some new experimental features along with translation updates for supported languages.

      • Inkscape 1.0 Gets First Point Release, Here’s What’s New

        Released in early May 2020, Inkscape 1.0 arrived after more than three years in the making as the first mature version of this open source vector graphics editor loved by numerous digital artists, introducing numerous new features and improvements.

        Now, Inkscape 1.0.1 is here with a bunch of cool changes that would probably please users. First, the most exciting change is the fact that the previously experimental Selectors and CSS dialog is now finally ready for production.

      • Inkscape 1.0.1 Released With Many Fixes, Experimental Scribus PDF Export

        Following the major Inkscape 1.0 release happening back in May for this very popular, cross-platform vector graphics program there is the first point release now available.

        Inkscape 1.0.1 comes with globs of fixes throughout... There are about one dozen crash fixes, various tool fixes, better performance (no longer unresponsive) when opening documents with lots of style tags, extensions work, command line improvements, and much more in the way of fixes and further polishing.

      • Inkscape 1.0.1 Released

        Inkscape 1.0.1 is mainly a stability and bugfix release. It also comes with a few new features that hadn't been stable enough to make it into Inkscape 1.0.

      • GStreamer 1.18 Open-Source Multimedia Framework Released, This Is What’s New

        year and a half in the making, GStreamer 1.18 is here to replace the 1.16 series and it’s packed with lots of goodies. Highlights include a new high-level API that apps can use to transcode media files between different formats, better HDR (High Dynamic Range) video information representation and signaling, as well as instant playback rate change support.

        GStreamer 1.18 also introduces AFD (Active Format Description) and Bar Data support, a new sink to produce DASH content, ONVIF trick modes support in the GStreamer RTSP server and client, a new DVB Subtitle encoder element, a new RTMP client source and sink element implementation, and a new SVT-HEVC-based H.265 video encoder.

      • GStreamer 1.18.0 new major stable release

        The GStreamer team is excited to announce a new major feature release of your favourite cross-platform multimedia framework!

        As always, this release is again packed with new features, bug fixes and other improvements.

        The 1.18 release series adds new features on top of the previous 1.16 series and is part of the API and ABI-stable 1.x release series of the GStreamer multimedia framework.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • One Lonely Outpost looks like a promising upcoming space farming sim

        Space farming? On a barren alien world? So it's like a sci-fi Stardew Valley? One Lonely Outpost has my attention recently and it looks sweet.

        This future sci-fi setting for One Lonely Outpost could be interesting, especially considering the mystery surrounding the actual planet. It has no living matter on it, yet it has oxygen and a water system. What's going on? Something about alien ruins and robots, that's what.

        "At every turn you are faced with choices and challenges: will you grow genetically modified crops and face the consequences of fuzzy tomatoes and glowing cabbages, or will you go the organic route and painstakingly hand-graft different species of plants together? Alien ruins will lay in wait for you to explore, but they will test you before giving up their secrets."

      • Popular mobile puzzler Faraway is coming to Linux PC with a Director's Cut

        Faraway: Director's Cut from Pine Studio released on September 22 with Linux PC support, which brings over their very popular mobile puzzler with PC upgrades.

        Across mobile devices, the Faraway series has seen over 5 million downloads, gained various Editor's Choice picks and users have been rating it highly too. Now it's making the initial jump to traditional computers with Faraway: Director's Cut. This will give it some pretty big enhancements like voice-over, upgraded graphics, full 360-FPS movement as expected and more.

        "Ruled by an ancient civilization, this realm is packed with carefully constructed devices. Now with two extra levels, you can explore 20 unique temples filled with puzzles. To reveal all the secrets this place hides, you will have to explore it, find unusual items, solve perplexing puzzles, and prove your worth."

      • Human Diaspora is a new wild-looking Early Access sci-fi FPS

        Made with the wonderful Godot Engine, the first-person sci-fi shooter Human Diaspora is out now in Early Access and it looks wild.

        "You reached for the stars and landed on an alien planet. The only way to save humanity is to fight the enemy invader and secure your place among the strongest. Be it on land, sea or space territories, shoot your way into victory, never accept defeat. Humanity must endure!"

      • Check out two brand new videos of the System Shock reboot including Cyberspace

        The upcoming System Shock reboot from Nightdive Studios has seen quite a few ups and downs over the years since the Kickstarter but it's coming together now.

        With the recent Realms Deep event, many upcoming shooters of all sorts were shown off. Nightdive was involved in this, and decided to show off their remake of the Cyberspace feature. In the original this was a 3D space you could sort-of fly around in, interact with objects and collect things. In the upcoming reboot, it keeps the same basic style but with obvious modern improvements that ends up also looking a bit like Descent.

      • A Fox Tale looks like an absolutely magical platformer with a four legged protagonist

        Sometimes I get a little blown away by the charm of a trailer, this recently happened with A Fox Tale and if you love platformers you need to take a look.

        Honestly, I think it's quite beautiful, magical even with the settings and visuals. Putting you in the paws of a fox, it seems quite unusual too. We've seen a fair few platformers with animal protagonists, robots, people and all sorts but A Fox Tale looks quite unique. Especially so with the graphical style that combines multi layered backgrounds, with parallax effects to bring a 3D element to this pixel art world.

      • Rain Games launch a Kickstarter for Girl Genius - Adventures In Castle Heterodyne

        Based on the multi-award winning Girl Genius comic series, Rain Games (known for Teslagrad, World to the West) have launched their first Kickstarter for Girl Genius - Adventures In Castle Heterodyne.

        What is it? Their plan is to create 3D action-adventure metroidvania, where you play as the main protagonist in the Girl Genius series, Agatha Heterodyne. In the game ytou will be exploring the mysterious Castle Heterodyne, to reclaim Agatha's ancient birthright as a "True Heterodyne". You won't be alone though, you will also be joined by a funny little contraption called a "Dingbot", which will be a controllable minion that you can upgrade as you explore.

        Rain Games explained that work on it is already well underway, and they will be using the Unity game engine with a lot of their own tech, which they used with their previous game World to the West.

      • Retro tactical RPG where time moves when you do 'Fates of Ort' has a big Hero Mode update

        Time only moves when you move, an idea that has been done before but with Fates of Ort being an RPG, it's a little bit different and really fun. "So it's like SUPERHOT but a retro RPG?" Kind of.

        It's thoroughly unusual because it works like it's real-time as soon as you start moving. Very different to being turn-based, because you're not picking things and watching them happen, it's all still you doing it in real-time and you can stop at any moment to take things in and adjust your tactics. Great stuff.

      • Open source NES-style music maker FamiStudio has a big new release

        Another great project we are following is FamiStudio, a free and open source NES-style music maker and they have a fresh release up now.

        Who is this targeting? Mainly chiptune artists and NES homebrewers. Anyone who wants to make chiptune could pick up this quite easily and get going. Could be great for game developers doing retro stuff or anyone really.

      • Upcoming FPS 'Core Decay' gets a new trailer, teams up with 3D Realms

        uring the Realms Deep event, Ivar Hill's upcoming first-person shooter Core Decay was shown off again and they're now teaming up with 3D Realms.

        "The year is 2089. For decades past, the availability of natural resources has declined to the point of societal collapse. Nations are governed by corporations, and the planet is on the brink of an ecological collapse that will leave nothing left alive."

        This promising boomer shooter is now being co-developed and published by 3D Realms, which is quite fitting considering the inspiration from 90s shooters. Core Decay isn't just yet another retro themed shooter though, it has plenty that appears to make it unique including character upgrades with over 100 game-changing implants. Plenty more sounds intriguing about it like the level layout with special alternate routes, a special deep health system that affects multiple body parts and much more.

      • The app can now use a system installed Wine on Linux for Windows-only games

        Without any announcement, the open source application for the indie store added support for Wine in their Linux builds so you get more choice.

        It's an interesting one this. Steam for Linux has Steam Play, which lets you use different compatibility layers like Proton. The new feature in the itch client works a little differently though. It simply detects if you have the Wine compatibility layer installed system-wide, and if you do it now lets you download Windows builds to run with your own version of Wine.

      • The Barony crowdfunding was a success, incoming big updates for everyone

        Barony is a wonderful, challenging co-op first-person roguelike RPG that recent had quite an interesting crowdfunding campaign. It was a success, which means this already released game is going to see some huge upgrades.

        The main point of the campaign, is for a Nintendo Switch port. We're not interested in that here of course but the good news is plenty will come to the PC version. This includes: a UI design overhaul to improve the flow of it, add split-screen play, superior gamepad support, cross-play for Switch and Steam and more. All the improvements built for Switch we will get too.

      • After a rough launch, Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story gets some major upgrades

        Developer Suzaku and Top Hat Studios recently released Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story, and it unfortunately looked like a truly messy launch.

        What is it? "Sense - 不祥的预感: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story is a 2.5D game inspired by Clock Tower and Fatal Frame. With careful attention to pacing, atmosphere and storytelling, Sense hopes to return the horror genre to its roots; celebrating the slow, fearful creep of dread instead of relying on over the top action and jump scares. The ghosts - as glitches on our reality - act as spiritual and paranormal threats, not monsters to be killed. The horror of our story comes from atmosphere and storytelling, not loud sound and artificial effects."

      • Comet 64 is an upcoming programming puzzler set in 1984

        We spoke to the developer, Onur Ayas, who confirmed the upcoming game will support Linux. So far they've tested builds on Ubuntu and said it runs fine. They also mentioned an upcoming demo, so more testing can be done then too.

      • Brutal Fate is an upcoming FPS from the creator of Brutal Doom

        Now this is exciting if you like retro-themed first-person shooters, or what people are now calling boomer shooters. Brutal Fate has been announced from the dev of Brutal Doom.

        This is not a mod, not a spin-off or anything like that. It's a proper standalone game and it looks awesome. Brutal Fate is inspired by 80's and 90's sci-fi movies. It blends the best features of classic shooters such as non-linear level design, a huge arsenal, and large enemy variety with some modern aspects, making it an unique mix that does not tries to hang on nostalgia, but be something of it's own.


        On top of that, the developer has confirmed on Twitter that they do plan to put up a Linux build too along with multiple store support like Steam and GOG.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • LXDE vs XFCE: Which Is the Better Lightweight Desktop Environment?

        In the hunt for lighter Desktop Environments for your Linux system, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the number of choices available to you. The community will send you all over the Internet looking at different DEs, and you’ll end up confused and looking to go back to whatever you had before. We’ve taken the liberty of narrowing the list down to just two choices: LXDE vs. XFCE. We discuss here which is the better lightweight desktop environment.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Akademy 2020 Day 3 - Conference

          Day 2 of the conference stretch of Akademy (day 3 of the overall event) kicked off with a heavy-duty programming courtesy of Ivan ÄŒukić who talked about C++17 and 20 Goodies. Most KDE applications are developed using C++ so Ivan covered the new features that C++17 and 20 bring and how they could be combined with each other.

          Something more user-centric was going on in Room 2, where Marco Martin and Aditya Mehra were Showcasing Plasma Bigscreen, KDE's interface for large smart TVs. Marco and Aditya took attendees through the various features and the technology that powers Bigscreen, such as Plasma, Kirigami, and KDE Frameworks with a touch of Mycroft's open-source voice assistance platform. You can try Bigscreen now by burning it to a micro SD card and loading it into a Raspberry Pi 4 hooked up to your TV.

        • Akademy 2020

          I had the pleasure of speaking at Akademy 2020 this weekend. This year Akademy is virtual, but I still got the feeling of a very interactive event. Interesting questions, greenroom for the speakers, and generally a nice experience. Big thank you to the organizers!

        • Screensharing with MS Teams and KDE: Black Screen

          In the day job we use Microsoft Teams. The good news is that it is running on the Linux Desktop, and specifically KDE. So far, so good, however, there was a problem with screensharing for me.

          Whenever I tried to share my KDE screen, the screen became black, surrounded with a red rectangle as indicator for the shared area. The people who I shared with also just saw the black area, and also the mouse pointer as me.

        • KDevelop 5.6 released

          We are happy to announce the availability of KDevelop 5.6 today.

          This release brings half a year of work, focused mainly on stability, performance, and future maintainability. Many existing features have received small improvements again, and there is one highly-visible addition: optional display of inline notes for problems at the end of the line (commit). Learn more at David Redondo's blog post introducing this feature.

        • KDevelop 5.6 IDE Brings Better Stability, Performance

          Version 5.6 of KDevelop as the KDE-focused integrated development environment is now available.

        • marK is (still) evolving

          In the meantime, a lot of things have happened. Now the project has an official KDE repository and I have been working with Jean Andrade (jyeno) on some improvements, trying to include more interesting features for a release.

          I have improved its GUI, so it is completely different from what you have seen in my previous post. Of course, it still needs some fixes and we need to change some parts of the GUI to be compatible with KF5, but now we have an idea of how marK is going to show its files, options, etc.

        • Akademy 2020 Board Election Results

          During the Annual General Meeting of KDE e.V. at Akademy 2020 elections were held for three board positions. The terms for Aleix, Eike and Lydia were expiring. All three ran for re-election and were re-elected by the membership of the association. As a result, the board and the board-roles are unchanged relative to 2019. The newly-re-elected members will serve 3 year terms.

        • digiKam 7.1 Released with Better Support for Canon CR3 Metadata, Improvements

          digiKam 7.1 has been released as the first major update in the digiKam 7.x series of this open-source, cross-platform and free professional photo management software.

          digiKam 7.1 arrives two months after the release of digiKam 7.0 with various new features and improvements. The most exciting one being better support for the metadata in the RAW files of the Canon CR3 camera.

          While digiKam 7.0 offered basic support for Canon CR3 metadata, digiKam 7.1 displays more exif information, including colors profile, GPS data, and the standard IPTC and XMP containers.

        • digiKam 7.1.0 is released

          After this long summer, we are now proud to release digiKam 7.1.0 today. This maintenance version is a result of a long bugs triage on bugzilla. It introduces plenty of fixes and some features. Check out some of the highlights listed below and discover all the changes in detail.

          digiKam tries to support as many digital cameras’ file formats as possible. Support for RAW files is a big challenge. Some applications have been especially created only to support RAW files from specific cameras, as this kind of support is complex, long, and hard to maintain over time.

          RAW files are not like JPEG images. Nothing is standardized, and camera makers are free to change everything inside these digital containers without ever documenting it. RAW files allow camera makers to reinvent the wheel and implement hidden features, to cache metadata, or encrypt information.

          When you buy an expensive camera, as last Canon devices, you would expect the image provided to be seriously pre-processed by the camera firmware and ready to use immediately. This is true for JPEG, but not RAW files where the format change for each new camera release, as it depends on the camera’s sensor data. This is the case for Cnon CR3 which requires an intensive reverse-engineering that the digiKam team cannot always support well. This is why we use the powerful Libraw library to post-process the RAW files on the computer. This library includes complex algorithms to support all kinds of different RAW file formats, including Canon CR3.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Dynamic Triple Buffering For GNOME Still Being Worked On To Ramp Up The GPU When Needed

          Proposed earlier this summer for GNOME's Mutter was the idea of triple buffering the desktop when the GPU is running behind in order to ideally cause that extra load to ramp up the GPU clock frequencies in order to in turn get back on track with rendering the desktop on-time. A third version of that work is now brewing albeit too late to see with the imminent GNOME 3.38.0 release.

          Canonical's Daniel van Vugt has been working on this dynamic triple buffering for GNOME's Mutter compositor due to the sluggish experience he has sometimes seen with Intel graphics in particular. Switching from double to triple buffering does lead to enough work that it generally causes the GPU performance state to increase.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • New MakuluLinux Distro Puts a 'Shift' in Your Computing Routine

          MakuluLinux Shift is an interesting Linux distro that takes some of the best features of popular desktop environments and rolls them together into one computing platform. It doesn't pit productivity against simplicity. It offers choices of minimal software or full application.

          Shift Linux is easy to use. Yet it has enough bells and whistles to satisfy power users.

          The one area that left me wanting more was the background images. They all are colorful and abstract. Rather than make users add their own image arrays, I would like to see the developer add some of the scenic collections used in the other MakuluLinux distros. The classy image display tool for picking background images seems wasted with such a minimal selection.

          If you want to get a closeup sampling of Shift Linux in action, view this Youtube presentation Raymer made.

        • Evaluating Artix Linux with OpenRC, KDE Edition

          In an article for Distrowatch in July I looked at Artix Cinnamon and Plasma editions with runit to start up and manage services. That indicated a problem in the sense that if reliant on software written for systemd that no ready-made runit service scripts are available for one will have to create their own. Specifically, I had a problem getting my VPN client to work. Let's see if this works any better with the OpenRC flavour of Artix.

          This is really a follow-up but for those who haven't read the original review and not familiar with the distribution here's a quick recap.

          Artix is a systemd-free fork of Arch Linux that grew out of the Arch-OpenRC and Manjaro-OpenRC projects joining forces to provide installable images with alternative init solutions to Arch users who were unhappy with the parent moving to systemd. In fact, Arch was one of the early adopters. While in the beginning only OpenRC might have been offered, Artix now also provides install images using the runit and s6 init software. There's a lot of choice on the download page, only the x86_64 architecture is supported. The project provides Artix basic images of 520MB, similar to a net-install or the Arch install images, and with Cinnamon, MATE, Plasma, Xfce, LXDE and LXQt also ISOs for every major desktop environment. They come in between 939MB and 1.1GB depending on your chosen flavour - not too big a download these days. The page makes it clear what to expect, i.e. only a basic set of applications is included to get the user started. A file manager, a media player (MPV), a network manager, a document viewer, a web browser and the graphical installer. It is then up to the user to add applications and shape the system.

          Every flavour is available for download with any of the three supported init systems. Official images seem to be respun now and then. Although there are weekly images, at the time of writing most stable images were dated from February 2020, with the Xfce ISO labelled 20200506 apparently released in May.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Goodvibes updated to 0.5.3

          Goodvibes is an Internet radio player for GNU/Linux. It aims to be light, simple, straightforward. It has the ability to add your own radio stations to personalize it to your preferences.

        • Ciano updated to 0.2.4

          Ciano is a audio/video converter application for the Linux Desktop. Be sure to set an output folder in Preferences for best results.

        • Melody updated to 2.2.1

          Melody is a simple music player for the Linux Desktop.

        • Headset updated to 3.2.1

          Headset is a desktop music player powered by YouTube and Reddit. Read the description in the Synaptic Package Manager to get the API key for PCLinuxOS or you can apply for one yourself from google.

      • Gentoo Family

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GeckoLinux Launches New Editions with Budgie and Pantheon Desktops

          Two months after refreshing its Stable, Rolling and NEXT editions, GeckoLinux has now launched two extra Rolling and NEXT editions, featuring the beautiful, GNOME-based Budgie desktop environment and elementary OS’ Pantheon desktop environment.

          NEXT and Rolling editions means that both the GeckoLinux Budgie and Pantheon editions are based on the latest openSUSE Leap 15.2 release (NEXT) and openSUSE Tumbleweed (Rolling) operating system, so you can get a taste of both worlds.

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprint 107

          The last two weeks of August the YaST team has kept the same modus operandi than the rest of the month, focusing on fixing bugs and polishing several internal aspects. But we also found some time to start working on some mid-term goals in the area of AutoYaST and storage management. Find below a summary of the most interesting stuff addressed during the sprint finished a week ago (sorry for the delay).

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Bringing together audio and video, PipeWire for Linux is really coming along

          PipeWire, the next-generation of modern Linux audio and video appears to be coming along nicely and it appears it's ready for wider testing.

          Writing in a blog post, Red Hat's Senior Manager for Desktop, Christian F.K. Schaller did a summary of a presentation done by another Red Hatter Wim Taymans. As a quick primer - PipeWire provides a low-latency, graph based processing engine on top of audio and video devices that can be used to support the use cases currently handled by both PulseAudio and JACK and it's made so it can work well with container systems like Flatpak too. PipeWire should also work directly with anything made for ALSA, PulseAudio and JACK - so you shouldn't see breakage with it.

          So how is progess? Great by the sound of it. According to the write-up, it's at a stage where PulseAudio, Jack and ALSA backends should be properly usable and close to 100% complete. Which is why they're ready to ask for wider testing, to have a go at using it on your own Linux systems.

        • CentOS vs. Fedora: Key Differences

          Both Fedora and CentOS are RPM-based Linux distributions. The two share a lot of features in common but still have several differences. In this post, we introduce both Fedora and CentOS and look at their key differences in this CentOS vs. Fedora comparison article.

          CentOS is an open-source Linux distribution focusing on the entire system’s stability and robustness. Since the source code is derived from the famous Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), CentOS has many similar features to Red Hat. Introduced in 2004, CentOS is developed and maintained by the very active CentOS community. It is composed of network and system administrators, managers, and core Linux contributors from all around the world.

        • 10 Years of OpenStack – Julia Kreger at Red Hat
        • Keeping Kubernetes secrets secret

          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 how to manage Kubernetes secrets from Alex Soto Bueno and Burr Sutter.

          Everyone is talking about microservices and serverless architecture, and how to deploy them using cluster managers like Kubernetes. But, what about the secrets (such as certificates, passwords, SSH, and API keys)? The current trend increases the number of secrets required to run our services. This fact places a new level of maintenance on our security teams.

          How can we share and manage these secrets for our services in dynamic scenarios where instances are started automatically, or where there are multiple instances of the same services for scalability reasons? Are you keeping up?

        • A teenage aspiring SysOp in the age of the text-only BBS

          This was when I got into "computer things." I was a young teenager in 1993 when my dad brought home his first PC—a Gateway 2000 486/SX with a whopping 4MB of RAM, and a whole 320MB hard drive. It ran MS-DOS 6.21 and Windows (for workgroups) 3.11.

          In those days, computers just weren't that fast. That little 486 had trouble running Doom; forget about the multimedia experience that is today's internet. So, the majority of what you could do online was text. On top of that, the internet was still a very new thing, and not everyone could get access to it. Broadband was not a thing. Couple that with the fact that my dad was a telco guy, and knew that the internet was pretty much the wild west at the time—I wasn't allowed anywhere near it. That, however, just made me want to explore it that much more.

      • Debian Family

        • Arturo Borrero González: Debconf 2020 online, summary

          Debconf2020 took place when I was on personal vacations time. But anyway I’m lucky enough that my company, the Wikimedia Foundation, paid the conference registration fee for me and allowed me to take the time (after my vacations) to watch recordings from the conference.

          This is my first time attending (or watching) a full-online conference, and I was curious to see first hand how it would develop. I was greatly surprised to see it worked pretty nicely, so kudos to the organization, video team, volunteers, etc!

          What follows is my summary of the conference, from the different sessions and talks I watched (again, none of them live but recordings).

          The first thing I saw was the Welcome to Debconf 2020 opening session. It is obvious the video was made with lots of love, I found it entertaining and useful.

        • Whonix / Kicksecure - for VirtualBox - Point Release!

          Alternatively, in-place release upgrade is possible.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Releases New Ubuntu Kernel Update to Fix a Vulnerability, Patch Now

          Canonical released today a new Ubuntu kernel security update to address a single vulnerability affecting all supported Ubuntu releases. This new Linux kernel security update comes only five days after Canonical released the major kernel updates for all supported Ubuntu releases to patch a total of 17 vulnerabilities, and it only addresses a vulnerability.

          The security vulnerability is CVE-2020-14386, an AF_PACKET memory corruption discovered by Or Cohen. This could be used by a local attacker to crash the vulnerable system by causing a denial of service or possibly execute arbitrary code.

        • Linux Mint teams up with Peppermint OS on a WebApp Manager

          In the latest monthly news on the Linux Mint distribution blog, Mint's Clement Lefebvre talks about a new and interesting application being made.

          They're calling it a WebApp Manager, with the idea that it will help you turn your favourite websites / online web applications into standalones as if they were desktop applications. It's an interesting idea, and one attempted a few times. You can already do so yourself with a bit of know-how but it's not always easy and the end result isn't always great. Which is where this new WebApp Manager comes in.

          Rather than entirely reinvent the wheel though, the Mint team is joining hands with another Linux distribution with Peppermint OS as they already have a similar tool called ICE. They're currently looking at the best way they can work together on it all.

        • 10 Best Ubuntu-based Linux Distributions

          Ubuntu is arguably one of the most popular and widely-used Linux distribution owing to its classic UI, stability, user-friendliness, and a rich repository that contains over 50,000 software packages. Furthermore, it comes highly recommended for beginners who are trying to give a shot at Linux.

          In addition, Ubuntu is supported by a vast community of dedicated opensource developers who actively maintain contribute to its development to deliver up-to-date software packages, updates, and bug-fixes.

          There are numerous flavors based on Ubuntu, and a common misconception is that they are all the same. While they may be based on Ubuntu, each flavor ships with its own unique style and variations to make it stand out from the rest.

        • How Canonical remotely delivers and supports customer cloud deployments

          The widespread shift to remote working in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a disruptive change for countless businesses; some 13% of organisations say they have faced major disruption (1). But at Canonical, remote working has long been the status quo for many of our teams. In spite of the challenging circumstances in which we all find ourselves, Canonical has been able to continue to operate and support our customers despite their working practices undergoing significant changes. Here’s some of our observations and learnings to date.

        • Between Ubuntu 20.04 and MX 19.2 Releases

          Great news for computer users as along with Ubuntu, this year MX also released a new version. The interesting point is that Ubuntu and MX are currently ranked number 4th and 1st respectively and thus among the big five of As a good news, MX still supports legacy thirty-two-bit computers with latest updates for you who cannot get that from latest Ubuntu. One more good news for us is that we can purchase computers with either of two today from vendors like Dell, Lenovo, and Star Labs. Continuing the previous short comparison reviews against Fedora and openSUSE, now this sums up Ubuntu and MX this year for you. Enjoy!

        • Zorin OS 15 Celebrates 1.7 Million Downloads As Newest Version Releases

          A freshly updated version of Zorin OS 15 — a great beginner-friendly Linux distribution based on Ubuntu — releases this week with a handful of important updates and hardware compatibility features.

          The initial version of Zorin OS 15 released back in July 2019 and the team says it has been downloaded 1.7 million times since then, with a surprising 65% of those downloads coming from Windows or macOS.

          “We’ve been working ever since to make Zorin OS 15 even more powerful, accessible, and user-friendly with updates and point releases.,” says creator and co-founder Artyom Zorin.

        • Ubuntu 20.10 Adding Active Directory Support To The Installer

          The "Ubiquity" installer used by the Ubuntu desktop is set to feature Active Directory (AD) integration with the upcoming Ubuntu 20.10 release.

          Given it's late in the cycle and past the feature freeze, a feature freeze exception was sought and granted for adding this optional Active Directory support to the Ubuntu desktop installer.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 647

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 647 for the week of August 30 – September 5, 2020.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Cory Doctorow: IP

        You’ve probably heard of “open source software.” If you pay at€­tention to the politics of this stuff, you might have heard of “free software” and even know a little about the ethical debate underpin€­ning the war of words between these two labels. I’ve been involved since the last century, but even I never really understood what’s going on in the background until recently.

        I was looking up the history of the first free soft€­ware license, and I had a revelation that transformed the way I think about it, which is significant, since, to a first approximation, this stuff is all I think about.

        Some background: “free software” had its origins with AI researcher-turned-activist Richard Stallman who started his GNU project in 1983, leading to the creation of the first “GNU Public License” (GPL). This is a copyright license for computer program€­mers who want to share their work. If you release a program’s underlying source code under the GPL, anyone else is free to...

      • Open source data control for cloud services with Apache Ranger

        As the movement to migrate enterprise data to the cloud gathers steam, there is an active debate on the best approach to securing and protecting it. But before we talk about the details of the various access control frameworks, let us first understand the breadth of challenges a company faces when it begins migrating its data to the cloud. First and foremost is the wide array of storage and analysis or compute services offered by cloud and third-party providers. In other words, when a company decides to move its data to the cloud, it needs to decide the type of repository in which it is going to store its data.

        Each cloud company offers many different data stores, and there are a dozen different services to analyze data once it has been migrated to the cloud. Then there are cloud-native third-party services to allow data science platforms and data warehouses to operate as part of the leading public cloud infrastructure. Each of these services offers a unique mechanism by which to administer access to data consumers such as data analysts and scientists in the organization.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • OpenPGP in Thunderbird 78

            Soon the Thunderbird automatic update system will start to deliver the new Thunderbird 78 to current users of the previous release, Thunderbird 68. This blog post is intended to share with you details about our OpenPGP support in Thunderbird 78, and some details Enigmail add-on users should consider when updating. If you are interested in reading more about the other features in the Thunderbird 78 release, please see our previous blog post.

            Updating to Thunderbird 78 is highly recommended to ensure you will receive security fixes, because no more fixes will be provided for Thunderbird 68 after September 2020.

          • Firefox OneTab - One tab to rule them all

            Occasionally, I get sent software recommendations by email. Believe it or not, I try to test as much as I can, even though it takes me years to go through the wishlist. And sometimes, I skip the queue, because a particular application looks rather interesting. One such example is OneTab.

            This is a Firefox extension, for the post-Quantum world. Indeed, I've lamented the loss of Tab Mix Plus, as it was one of the best, most versatile add-ons for the browser EVAR made Since Firefox 57, I've been a-huntin' for a nice, elegant session manager with gusto. I did find one reasonable candidate - Session Sync. Now, there's another potential champion of tabs, and it's called OneTab.


            OneTab is an interesting extension. It's got lots of goodies, plus one or two big baddies. The two immediate improvements would be not to collapse an existing session, merely create a list, and then just open on-click placeholders for tabs when restoring. This would significantly improve usability with large tab sets, because in the current guise, OneTab is only useful for small tab collections.

            Other than that, this is a clever little Firefox add-on. I like the fact you can create easily accessible lists without any convoluted tricks. This is superior behavior to how Firefox does bookmarks now, and comes really close to what the old session managers of yore did. The ability to exclude sites, or merge lists, is also very neat. A simple product, with lots of hidden gems, but sometimes, the simplicity gets in the way. However, it won't take much to polish the rough bits, and make OneTab into a proper keeper. Le fin.

          • Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker urges European Commission to seize ‘once-in-a-generation’ opportunity

            Today, Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker published an open letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, urging her to seize a ‘once-in-a-generation’ opportunity to build a better internet through the opportunity presented by the upcoming Digital Services Act (“DSA”).

            Mitchell’s letter coincides with the European Commission’s public consultation on the DSA, and sets out high-level recommendations to support President von der Leyen’s DSA policy agenda for emerging tech issues (more on that agenda and what we think of it here).


            As Mitchell notes:

            “The kind of change required to realise these recommendations is not only possible, but proven. Mozilla, like many of our innovative small and medium independent peers, is steeped in a history of challenging the status quo and embracing openness, whether it is through pioneering security standards, or developing industry-leading privacy tools.”

          • Support.Mozilla.Org: Introducing the Customer Experience Team [Ed: Mozilla is is combining the telemetry team with the browser team]

            A few weeks ago, Rina discussed the impact of the recent changes in Mozilla on the SUMO team. This change has resulted in a more focused team that combines Pocket Support and Mozilla Support into a single team that we’re calling Customer Experience, led by Justin Rochell. Justin has been leading the support team in Pocket and will now broaden his responsibilities to oversee Mozilla’s products as well as SUMO community.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Michael Meeks: 2020-09-07 Monday

          As should be obvious to anyone, the solution to committees - is more committees. Apparently this new one would set a technical direction that made more sense.

        • Project vs. Product

          Projects and NGOs do not care about how to become better products for users. Projects that forget their contributors over their users might not know it, but they are already dead. Projects and NGOs need to care about their contributors. In an ideal world they care about their contributors as individuals. The ONLY way projects have to care about users is the way their current and potential future contributors are motivated to use the output of the projects -- themselves or as proxy. Which is why I was repeating the dogma "project over product" again and again when I handed over and left the @tdforg Board of Directors.

        • Best Free and Open Source Office Suites

          An office suite is a collection of related software for knowledge workers. The software is distributed together in a single package, with a consistent graphical interface, and typically with strong integration between the different components.

          The types of software included in an office suite often consist of word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, database and more. For many users the office suite (together with a web browser and email client) represents the cornerstone of their computing day, particularly in the business field. A high quality office suite is therefore a basic necessity for any computing platform to prosper.

      • FSF/Torvalds

        • A morality cabal of Debian users tried to knife Torvalds

          morality cabal of Debian users had a go at censoring IT’s Mr Sweary Linus Torvalds in 2014 according to a leak of documents from Debian-private.

          The documents show a group of Linux developers who were so shocked that Torvalds swore at a conference they were attempting to use the Debian code-of-conduct to get him ostracised from the Linux mother church.

          What appears to have got their knickers in a twist was that: “Linus described the Free Software Foundation as `bigots.’"

        • Since when are six-year-old comments by Torvalds newsworthy?

          Six-year-old comments made by Linux creator Linus Torvalds at the annual Debian conference of 2014 and part of a private mailing list of that project have been leaked to the campaigning website Techrights (formerly BoycottNovell) and written up as though they are hot news.

          The fact that these events have been overtaken by the issue of a code of conduct for the Linux kernel project which Torvalds has lived by has not apparently struck Dr Roy Schestowitz (yes, the honorific is correct) who runs the Techrights site.


          "Honestly, I think those emails are more about Debian culture than they are about me, and you should probably ask the Debian people about them rather than me," was Torvalds' response. I agree with him wholeheartedly.

          I would have liked to elicit a comment from the good doctor too, but he seems to be stuck in the era of IRC. However if he does respond — he has my email address — I will certainly give his opinion an airing.

        • FSFE

          • Call to apply for FSFE support for your local project

            It is no secret that the FSFE's activities are only possible with the priceless help of our contributors and supporters around Europe. In return we support local engagement with our expertise, information material, networks or even financially. To help formalize this process, we run our first call for FSFE community projects.


            Please spread the word within your local groups or other FSFE channels you participate, to ensure everyone knows about it. If you already have a project in mind you like to apply with, check the corresponding detailed information and fill out the form afterwards.

        • GNU Projects

          • Gnuastro 0.13 released
            Dear all,

            I am happy to announce the 13th stable version of GNU Astronomy Utilities (Gnuastro).

            Gnuastro is an official GNU package of various command-line programs and library functions for the manipulation and analysis of (astronomical) data. All the programs share the same basic command-line user interface (modeled on GNU Coreutils). For the full list of Gnuastro's library, programs, and a comprehensive general tutorial (recommended place to start using Gnuastro), please see the links below respectively:


            The full list of new features and bug fixes is available in [1] below. Here are the compressed source and the GPG detached signature for this release. To uncompress Lzip tarballs, see [2]. To check the validity of the tarballs using the GPG detached signature (*.sig) see [3]:

   (5.4MB) (3.5MB) (833B) (833B)

            Here are the MD5 and SHA1 checksums (other ways to check if the tarball you download is what we distributed):

            7b5f57e7c661160c20ab62994ebbea33 gnuastro-0.13.tar.gz cb5073024b5f9180e667561bb6239a6a gnuastro-0.13.tar.lz 48ddc5371d654303ddd4d81204143e55776274af gnuastro-0.13.tar.gz fec97641f4ce15a59cd8cb294f34e46f0ca50369 gnuastro-0.13.tar.lz

            For this version, Sachin Kumar Singh and Joseph Putko have contributed to the source of Gnuastro and Marjan Akbari, Carlos Allende Prieto, Leindert Boogaard, Mark Calabretta, Alexey Dokuchaev, Raúl Infante Sainz, Samane Raji, Joanna Sakowska, Zahra Sharbaf, Ole Streicher provided very useful comments, suggestions and bug fixes that have been implemented. Thanks a lot for helping improve Gnuastro everyone. I am also grateful to the Google Summer of Code project this year for supporting Sachin's great work in this (and future releases).

            If any of Gnuastro's programs or libraries are useful in your work, please cite _and_ acknowledge them. For citation and acknowledgment guidelines, run the relevant programs with a `--cite' option (it can be different for different programs, so run it for all the programs you use). Citations _and_ acknowledgments are vital for the continued work on Gnuastro, so please don't forget to support us by doing so.

            This tarball was bootstrapped (created) with the tools below. Note that you don't need these to build Gnuastro from the tarball, these are the tools that were used to make the tarball itself. They are only mentioned here to be able to reproduce/recreate this tarball later. Texinfo 6.7 Autoconf 2.69 Automake 1.16.2 Help2man 1.47.16 ImageMagick 7.0.10-28 Gnulib v0.1-3869-gc9c4db5dd Autoconf archives v2019.01.06-97-gfd1d25c

            The dependencies to build Gnuastro from this tarball on your system are described here:

            Best wishes, Mohammad
      • Programming/Development

        • Perl/Raku

          • 2020.36 Election Time Again

            The coming two weeks will allow all Rakoons to vote in the first official Raku Steering Council election. Fourteen candidates to fill 7 positions: and here they are in alphabetical order of their first name:

          • Week #76: Prime Sum

            Although I had finished the “Word Search” task a week before, still I didn’t have time to complete the “Prime Sum” task. After checking out others solution to the “Word Search” task, I was feeling low looking back my own solution. To recover from it, I delayed solving the “Prime Sum” task. At the same time, as a protest, I didn’t do Swift solutions for any of the tasks. After few days when I was feeling a little better, I decided to do at least one task better.

            I really enjoyed working on the “Prime Sum” task. I got to learn about Sieve of Erastothenes. When I looked back at the end result, I felt much better. My Raku solution is even better if you look at it. At the end of the day, I was happy with my effort.

          • TIL about Literate Programming

            As a programmer whose first job was in the mortgage software industry, “TIL” has always meant “Truth In Lending” to me: you know, that document that the bank is required to give you when you get a mortgage, that’s supposed to explain how much you’re really paying after all the bank’s hidden finance charges, except the numbers don’t seem to make any sense so you just sign it anyway and don’t know anything more than you did before? Yeah, that one.

            Of course, nowadays it means something else, and I’ve had to redirect my ossified mental patterns into new channels, so that, now when I see “TIL,” I can have my brain recognize it as “Today I Learned.” Which is a handy phrase: it encapsulates feelings of discovery, serendipity, and epiphany all into one. And TIL1 that the way I’ve always tried to write code has a name, a history, and a venerable progenitor—most of my life, without even realizing it, I’ve been trying to use literate programming (only without the tangling).

        • Python

          • Klotski Adventure — Part 1

            I was casually watching Computerphile sudoku solver episode And at the end of the video, Prof. Thorsten Altenkirch drops this puzzle Klotski. Image for post this simple looking puzzle(goal is to get the red block to bottom of the board) is very tricky to solve. He asked to solve this using backtracking.

          • Klotski Adventure — Part 2
          • Video Subtitles & Transcripts Now Available on Real Python

            I’ve got a big update to share today:

            Real Python video courses now have full subtitles and transcripts!

            I think this is going to do a lot for accessibility and making your favorite Python learning resources easier to review & more searchable.

          • Test and Code: 129: How to Test Anything - David Lord

            I asked people on twitter to fill in "How do I test _____?" to find out what people want to know how to test. Lots of responses. David Lord agreed to answer them with me. In the process, we come up with lots of great general advice on how to test just about anything.

          • PyDev of the Week: Nathan Epstein

            This week we welcome Nathan Epstein (@epstein_n) as our PyDev of the Week! Nathan has given talks on various subjects all over the world. He has also written articles for, Codewords and more.


            Why did you start using Python?

            Scientific computing. The ease of use, readability, and library ecosystem makes it a great choice for so many tasks within that space.

            What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

            To varying degrees, I also know R, JavaScript, C, C++, C#, Ruby, and Scala.

            Of those, I think C++ is my favorite. It offers a really nice balance of low-level control and ease of use. But my overall favorite is Python.

          • Abhijeet Pal: Python callable() Explained

            In programming, a callable is something that can be called. In Python, a callable is anything that can be called, using parentheses and maybe with some arguments. Functions, Generators, and Classes are inherently callable in Python.

        • Rust

          • Nicholas Nethercote: How to speed up the Rust compiler one last time

            Due to recent changes at Mozilla my time working on the Rust compiler is drawing to a close. I am still at Mozilla, but I will be focusing on Firefox work for the foreseeable future.

            So I thought I would wrap up my “How to speed up the Rust compiler” series, which started in 2016.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Developers: Programming language C++ is about to get this huge update

        The International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) C++ group, Working Group 21 (WG21), has agreed upon the finalized version of 'C++20', the first major update to the 35 year-old programming language since C++17 from 2017.

        "On Friday September 4, C++20's DIS (Draft International Standard) ballot ended, and it passed unanimously," said Herb Sutter, a Microsoft engineer and long-time chair of WG21 C++ ISO committee.


        Modules, which was led by Google's Richard Smith, stands in for header files and helps isolate the effects of macros while supporting larger builds. As Sutter noted recently, C++20 marks the "first time in about 35 years that C++ has added a new feature where users can define a named encapsulation boundary."

        "Until now, we have had three such language features that let programmers create their own Words of Power by (a) giving a user-defined name to (b) something whose implementation is hidden. They are: the variable (which encapsulates the current value), the function (which encapsulates code and behavior), and the class (which encapsulates both to deliver a bunch of state and functions together)," he wrote.

  • Leftovers

    • Shut Up, History: Paul Coates and Eddie Conway Are Talking

      Awhile back, a friend and I were talking about History and rebellions, and I lamented how the 1871 Paris Commune had failed. My friend, a self-avowed psychic, said, “Yes, history records very few total victories over oppression. That’s because, on this worldly plane, most things are not supposed to work out. It’s all about the trying.”

    • The Original Meaning of ‘Begging the Question’

      Cool, so it induces sleep because it makes people sleepy? Thanks for that. This is a light show using five-dollar words.

      This is why it’s called Circular Reasoning—because you’re giving support by restating your premise.

    • Silver Lake Invests in India’s Byju’s at $11 Billion Valuation

      Private equity giant Silver Lake led a $500 million funding round for Byju’s that valued the Indian online education platform at around $10.8 billion, a person familiar with the matter said.

      Existing backers Tiger Global, General Atlantic and Owl Ventures also took part in the latest funding round, according to the person, who asked not to be named discussing a private deal. The startup remains locked in negotiations over several other rounds of financing. Bloomberg News has reported that Byju’s is close to getting about $400 million from Yuri Milner’s DST Global though that funding has yet to get finalized, the person added.

    • Science

      • “Metabolic optimization” probably won’t save you from COVID-19

        Since COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic on March 11, unsurprisingly much of my concern has focused on the science and pseudoscience of COVID-19. In particular, I’ve concerned myself, both here and at my other blog, with medical misinformation, urban legends, astroturf disinformation campaigns, and conspiracy theories being spread in what is sometimes called a COVID-19 “infodemic”, as well as the regulatory and public health issues regarding proposed COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines. However, there is one disturbing false (or at least highly distorted) narrative that we haven’t really addressed, at least not directly. I’m referring to a narrative that started very early on in the pandemic that “metabolic optimization” through nutrition and lifestyle can protect you against the coronavirus, or at least make it much less likely that you will develop life-threatening illness if you do “catch this cold“, as Del Bigtree so disturbingly and deceptively put it as he vastly understated the dangers posed by the virus and basically proposed leaving those at high risk for serious disease on their own during this pandemic. (I will be quoting him again later, near the end of this post.)

    • Education

      • Remote Learning Makes Punishment Easier Than Connection

        Think of your favorite teacher. Whenever I ask people to do this, they usually tell me about a teacher who saw them: the one who took them aside and encouraged them to pursue art or computer science, who helped counsel them through a personal issue, who attended their Quinceañera — who, ultimately, just cared. By connecting with us in meaningful ways, these teachers not only earned a permanent place in our memories, they also engaged, challenged, and inspired us. Today, our nation’s 56.6 million elementary and secondary students could all use teachers like this, to help shepherd them through the pandemic and into a better future. But even in the best of times, school structures are more conducive to punitive discipline than meaningful teacher-student relationships, especially in our least-resourced schools. Today, with the challenges of virtual learning and the urgent messaging around “COVID slide” – the learning loss students may have suffered while they were out of school – relationships in schools are under further threat, just when students need them most.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Here's a Labor Day Reminder That Trump's Covid-19 Mismanagement Left 27 Million Unemployed, 189,000 Dead, and Food Banks Overwhelmed

        Let's be clear: this is a very sad—and should be a very somber—Labor Day.

      • Trump Is a Health Hazard: The Choice Is Clear on Labor and Workers' Rights in November

        Trump sold himself as a champion of workers, but nurses know it was just a façade.

      • Amazon bars foreign sales of plants to the US following deliveries of mystery seeds

        The USDA says seeds and plants smuggled into the US could do harm to gardens, farms, and the environment, and notes that “mislabeling packages in order to get seeds and other plant materials into the country is agricultural smuggling,” which bypasses rules that prevent invasive species, pests, and plant diseases from getting into the US. Anyone who receives seeds they did not order is warned not to plant them and to contact local authorities.

      • Three lessons from the Global South on combating the pandemic

        As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, more and more people around the world are struggling during lockdowns and economic shutdowns. The coronavirus could nearly double the number of people facing acute hunger, according to the World Food Programme. Recent data collected by BRAC reveals that many families across the Global South can only sustain their food needs for seven days or less; many are trying to cope by eating less. Top-down measures to curb the spread of the virus – dramatic steps like lockdowns and bans on large gatherings – pose an immediate threat to families in the poorest communities. Even in developed countries, local opposition to top-down decrees is undermining the impact of public health initiatives. Resistance to these mandates will only grow if they are not tempered with solutions and leadership from the hardest-hit communities.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Working Too Hard? Take a Break with Vivaldi Browser

          The new Vivaldi browser version 3.3 has been announced for desktops and notebooks and brings with it Break Mode. It helps you achieve that work-life balance that has become too difficult with our increased working from home load.

          Face it – it’s tough to draw that line, and not being able to “unplug” has become a top issue in this new work-from-home era. You’re not punching in and out anymore, and it’s so easy to get wrapped up in your work and not realize several hours have gone by.

        • Vivaldi's Break Mode offers a vacation from the Internet

          Break Mode, according to Vivaldi, is a one-touch mode in version 3.3 of its desktop browser. The new version of the browser will have a small “pause button” in the lower left-hand corner. When you want to pause what you're doing, just press the button. “Easily triggered with a pause button at the left corner of the Status Bar, Break Mode mutes and stops HTML5 audio and videos, hides all tabs, panels, and other content leaving the screen clean,” Vivaldi said.

        • Vivaldi Web Browser Update Lets You Pause the Internet
          Vivaldi 3.3 comes with a built-in “break mode” features that lets you pause the internet. We’re talking distraction-denying, stream-stopping, chat-axing here — shuttering the iris on the internet kaleidoscope.

          “In order to boost health and productivity, you also need to be present outside the browser and more importantly, simply switch off,” Vivaldi co-founder Jon von Tetzchner says of the new features.

          And to help users focus their attention elsewhere Vivaldi has added a ‘break mode’ feature. The feature is triggered by a button in the status bar, using a Vivaldi Quick Command, or by pressing the ctrl + . keyboard shortcut.

        • Vivaldi 3.3 Released with Break Mode to Pause the Internet
          Vivaldi web browser 3.3 was released today. The new release introduces a new Break Mode.

          By clicking on the new pause button at the left corner of the Status Bar, or press Ctrl + “.” on keyboard, Break Mode mutes and stops HTML5 audio and videos, hides all tabs, panels, and other content leaving the screen clean.

          After taking a break, you can resume your browsing activity exactly where you left off by pressing Play to un-pause the browser.

        • Vivaldi Browser 3.3 Brings Break Mode to Pause Internet

          Vivaldi browser released its latest version 3.3 with a pause mode which stops all internet activity with just a click of a button.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (ark, netty, netty-3.9, qemu, squid3, and xorg-server), Fedora (chromium), Gentoo (dovecot and gnutls), Mageia (ansible, postgresql, and python-rsa), openSUSE (curl, freerdp, libX11, php7, squid, and xorg-x11-server), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (thunderbird), Slackware (gnutls), and SUSE (firefox, kernel, and thunderbird).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Fruits of Illegality: The NSA, Bulk Collection and Warrantless Surveillance

              He has become part of the furniture when it comes to discussions about privacy rights and personal liberties, arguably an odd sort of thing for a man who also dealt in the shadows of intelligence secrets. But Edward Snowden has been doing his bit to reveal and chip away at the foundations of the national security state that continues to thrive. The advent of coronavirus and pandemic surveillance will merely serve to advance it, but in June 2013, Snowden’s exposures of National Security Agency practices were raw and unsettling to the wonks of the establishment.

            • Albuquerque Police Engaged in Secret Intelligence Gathering Operation, Leaked Documents Show

              Leaked documents reveal that the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) has engaged in a large-scale data and intelligence gathering operation since 2006 carried out entirely by private citizens and corporate partners. This privatization of data-gathering means APD has avoided community oversight and judicial review in the acquisition of this information, some of which would have required a warrant to collect. In addition, documents show this operation has been used on at least two occasions for explicitly partisan political purposes.

            • Amazon Wants Alexa to Move Into Your Apartment Before You Do

              Before you move in, a smart speaker will be installed that will need no set-up from you—it can even give you a tour before you move in and answer questions about the rental unit. According to The Verge, Amazon insists property managers won't access any tenant data and all voice recordings will be deleted daily, all in the name of offering "custom voice experiences that go beyond the walls of their apartments."

            • TikTok is racing to stop the spread of a gruesome video

              TikTok is trying to remove graphic videos circulating the app that show a man shooting himself with a gun, and banning accounts from people who are re-uploading the clip.

              TikTok says the clip was originally streamed on Facebook and has appeared on other apps. As the TikTok community became aware of the clip, many creators started posting videos warning their followers to look out for an image — a man sitting in front of his desk with a grey beard — and swipe away from the video. Other creators spoke about the most disturbing part of the video being hidden inside more innocuous looking TikToks. A TikTok representative confirmed to The Verge that “clips of a suicide” started circulating on Sunday night.

            • Paul E. Mc Kenney: The Old Man and His Smartphone, 2020 “See You in September” Episode

              The continued COVID-19 situation continues to render my smartphone's location services less than useful, though a number of applications will still beg me to enable it, preferring to know my present location rather than consider my past habits.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Our Fake Commander-in-Chief Steps on a Landmine—Again

        Donald Trump, the Godfather wannabe, treats our troops like toy soldiers to be thrown away.

      • Trump’s Vile Military Comments Are a Window Into His Soul

        On Thursday, Jeffrey Goldberg, editor of The Atlantic, broke a story about alleged comments Donald Trump made about American soldiers in 2018 after canceling a planned visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France—the final resting place of many troops killed in World War I. “Why should I go to that cemetery?” Trump reportedly asked. “It’s filled with losers.” On a separate occasion, he referred to the dead soldiers as “suckers.” Goldberg’s reporting also adds new details to Trump’s well-known disdain for the late Senator John McCain.

      • 'Hurts to Breathe... to Sleep... to Move... to Eat': In First Public Remarks Since Being Shot, Jacob Blake Describes Constant Pain

        "Every 24 hours it's pain, nothing but pain."

      • In Navalny poisoning, rush to judgment threatens new Russia-NATO crisis
      • 'Despicable and Shameless': Outrage Over Duterte Pardon of US Marine who Murdered Trans Woman in Philippines

        Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton was found guilty of homicide and sentenced in December 2015 to 10 years in prison for strangling and drowning 26-year-old Jennifer Laude to death in an Olangapo hotel.€ 

      • ‘Collateral Murder’

        Before he killed himself in Dodge Center, Minnesota, 30-year-old Iraq veteran Danny Holmes would often sit in front of his computer screen looking at photographs in a file marked “Iraq/Graphic.” When he did this, his girlfriend relayed, his lower lip twitched. The pictures had been taken for the US military’s after-action report on an Apache helicopter attack in Iraq on July 12, 2007. The attack became infamous in 2010, when Julian Assange and WikiLeaks released the helicopter video under the title “Collateral Murder.”


        Danny showed them to his 19-year-old girlfriend, Shawnee, two years before he took his life. He told her he’d killed “quite a few” people in the war and said he wasn’t bothered by it. Yet she had seen him, twitching. He didn’t talk much about the war. The story he told most often was of being in a firefight with a man who was also holding a little girl. Danny said he shot the man and the child, too; he had no choice. The story was sometimes detailed, the girl 3 years old with long dark hair, but vague as to time and location; no one in the battalion was able to confirm it. But there was Danny, waking up from another nightmare, telling Shawnee, “I see children everywhere.”

        The little girl who was carried from her father’s van after the attack was 3 or 4 years old. She had glass in her eyes and hair, and had sustained a belly wound. One of the soldiers who discovered the children in the van turned around, vomited and ran, according to former Specialist Ethan McCord, who carried the girl out and then went back for her brother, who was 7 or 8 and had a head wound. McCord told the World Socialist Web Site years later that with the little girl in his arms, he thought of his own daughter. His platoon leader shouted, “Stop worrying about these motherfucking kids.” Back at the base, after cleaning the children’s blood off his uniform, McCord went to his staff sergeant, saying he needed to see someone in mental health. “Quit being a pussy,” McCord says he was told.


        McCord and Stieber had emphasized in their open letter “that what was shown in the WikiLeaks video only begins to depict the suffering we have created.” The enormity of suffering is what ate up Danny Holmes. It is the point Manning and Assange made in exposing secrets of the US war machinery, risking their freedom and their lives. It is the point, actually, that Finkel makes in his books, only Finkel says he has no agenda other than to explain the realities of war to Americans. For that he was awarded a “genius grant.” The soldiers, on the other hand, unextolled, opposed “the destructive policies of our nation’s leaders” and made a plea for honoring “our common humanity.”

        That was a decade ago. We are no closer to it. Assange is a public enemy.

        Somehow, though, the soldiers’ letter did get to Ahlam Abdelhussein Tuman, the widow of the man who’d been driving the van in Iraq, and the mother of the children McCord had carried out. In 2010 she told the Times of London: “I can accept their apology, because they saved my children, and if it were not for them, maybe my two little children would be dead.”

        She added: “I would like the American people and the whole world to understand what happened here in Iraq. We lost our country and our lives were destroyed.”

      • China says Indian troops fired 'provocative' shots in border dispute

        It would be the first time in 45 years that shots were fired there, breaking an agreement barring firearm use.

        Relations between both countries have steadily deteriorated in recent months.

      • Everyone Knows It’s True

        So when it is reported—first in The Atlantic, then by The Washington Post, the AP, CNN, and Fox News—that multiple sources have heard Trump sneer and jibe at America’s fallen, the reporting rings true because it is consistent with the public record. The denials ring false because they defy that public record.

        The things reported fit in the mouth you know. Everybody knows it’s true, and most especially those who have been tasked to deny it.

      • Tracing the history of elite Tibetan unit that left China licking its wounds

        SFF, comprising Tibetan soldiers led by Indian officers, played a key role in capturing important peaks between August 29 and 31. Most Indians would've for the first time heard about Tibetans fighting as part of the Indian Army. But what they do not know is that these intrepid Tibetan soldiers are carrying forward a legacy that began shortly after the Indo-China war of 1962.

        In a two-part series, India Today traces the origins and actions of this covert guerilla force that comprises India's unknown warriors.

      • Experts Warn China-India Standoff Risks Unintentional War

        For 45 years, a series of agreements, written and unwritten, maintained an uneasy truce along the border on the eastern edge of the Himalayan region of Kashmir. But moves and clashes over the past few months have made the situation unpredictable, raising the risk that a miscalculation from either side could have serious consequences that resonate beyond the cold-desert region.

        "The situation is very dangerous on the ground and can spiral out of control," said Lt. Gen. D.S. Hooda, who was head of the Indian military's Northern Command from 2014 to 2016. "A lot will depend on whether the two sides are able to control the volatile situation and make sure it doesn't spread to other areas."

      • Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups re-emerging in Pakistan: Dawn contributor

        Two breakaway factions have re-emerged with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP); the militant Islamic State (IS) group announced its new head for the region; and Baloch and Sindhi insurgent groups became more active in Sindh, suggesting a possible nexus between them.

      • Sweden: Muslims Riot Over Qur’an-Burning

        Yes, that’s quite right. Swedish authorities have made it clear who they think is the real threat: not criminal Muslim migrants, but those who dare offend them. I’m not in favor of burning the Qur’an. I believe people should read it and understand its contents rather than burn it. But in a free society, book-burning is not or should not be illegal. It is part of the freedom of expression; we may dislike it, but to outlaw it would restrict the freedom of expression in ways that would have negative consequences for society in other ways: the group that was prevented by law from being criticized or insulted, including having its holy book burned, would be free from all restraints and able to work its will unchallenged and unopposed.

        If Rasmus Paludin had intended to travel to Sweden to burn a Bible, would anyone have cared? Would he have been banned from the country or arrested? When that police spokesman, Calle Persson, said “We suspect that he was going to break the law in Sweden,” to what law was he referring? Is burning a Qur’an against the law in Sweden? Is Sweden under Sharia now?

    • Environment

      • A Green New Deal for Workers

        Workers in 2020 have a unique opportunity to vote to put two fellow workers in the White House. Howie is a recently retired Teamster and Angela is a dump truck driver. We know the economic realities that working people face in the United States. This Labor Day we call for a better class of people in the White House than the corporate crooks and flunkies that have been occupying it.

        The COVID pandemic and economic collapse have highlighted the race and class inequalities in our society. With more than 35 million jobs lost, millions have lost their employer-connected health insurance in the middle of a pandemic. COVID-19 deaths are disproportionately afflicting working-class people, particularly Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people. The case for universal healthcare through a publicly-funded Medicare for All has never been stronger.


        A poll this week reported that 50% unemployed workers, 8.3 million people, were unable to cover their basic expenses in August.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Party Formerly Known as Republican

        “The€ Republican National Committee€ (RNC) enthusiastically supports President Trump and continues to reject the policy positions of the Obama-Biden Administration, as well as those espoused by the Democratic National Committee today … [and that] the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda.”

      • DeJoy Urged to "Step Aside" in Light of Campaign Finance Fraud Allegations

        With less than two months before U.S. elections in November and amid demands for his immediate firing, high-level Democrats in Congress and the Attorney General of North Carolina called for both state and federal investigations into Postmaster General Louis DeJoy after explosive reporting Sunday afternoon contained allegations that the GOP megadonor now running the U.S. Postal Service criminally violated campaign finance laws.

      • Postmaster General Urged to 'Immediately Step Aside' as North Carolina AG Backs Probe Into Campaign Finance Fraud Allegations

        "It is extraordinarily disturbing that megadonor Louis DeJoy is abusing his power as Postmaster General to help President Trump win reelection, meanwhile apparently demonstrating disregard for key campaign finance laws designed to promote the integrity of our democratic elections," said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn.

      • Trump’s dirty tricks

        Another related device is ‘political technology’, a term for the dirty tricks commonly associated with post-Soviet politics. Such methods include Russia’s covert backing of third-party candidates like Jill Stein in the 2016 US presidential election; Kompromat, or compromising material (epitomised by the search for dirt on Biden in Ukraine); and simply declaring victory before the votes are counted. In the case of the United States, if Trump declares victory before all postal mail-in ballots have arrived, Republican-controlled legislatures in key states could end the counting early to lock in that outcome.

      • Is Trump Planning a Coup d’État?

        This summer, shortly after scores of camo-wearing, heavily armed federal agents descended on Portland, Ore., to attack protesters, Charles Fried, Ronald Reagan’s solicitor general, pondered the implications of what he was seeing on the streets. What he saw scared him; he remembered the use of paramilitaries by fascist leaders in 1930s Europe, where he was born, and he feared he was now witnessing a slide into paramilitarism in the United States. (His family fled the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia.) Fried felt that President Trump was using the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies in a way that was “very menacing. You might as well put brown shirts on them. It’s a very bad thing.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • China imposes new visa restrictions on US media outlets

        The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) said in a series of tweets that at least five journalists from four U.S. news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, CNN and Bloomberg, were impacted by new restrictions imposed by Chinese authorities. The journalists instead received letters granting them temporary status, which China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said could be revoked at any time, according to the group. The affected journalists can continue reporting in the country with the letter.

      • Security Official Threatens More Internet Censorship As Iran Moves Towards Intranet

        Last March, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released a report marking World Cyber Censorship Day, in which Iran's Supreme Council of Cyberspace was named among the twenty governmental and non-governmental organizations with the worst records in cyber suppression.

        The Iranian government has also spent years pursuing a plan to build a domestic intranet separate from the global Internet for security and censorship purposes called the "National Network."

        In April 2019, the Research Center of the Islamic Consultative Assembly estimated that about 190 trillion rials (approximately $4.5 billion) had been spent on creating an intranet last year.

      • Two Charlie Hebdo Instagram accounts temporarily blocked for depicting prophet Mohammed

        Two Instagram accounts of Charlie Hebdo journalists, who had posted the front page of the weekly with the reproduction of the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, were temporarily disabled on Sunday.

        The original publication of the cartoons prompted two jihadist brothers to invade the editorial staff of the magazine in Paris and kill twelve people. The weekly decided to republish the cartoons at the onset of the trial of the suspected helpers in the attack and those in its wake.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The Stalinist Trial Of An Australian Hero: John Pilger On Julian Assange

        Having reported the long, epic ordeal of Julian Assange, John Pilger gave this address outside the Central Criminal Court in London on September 7, as the WikiLeaks Editor’s extradition hearing entered its final stage.

      • Mark Feldstein Statement

        I am a journalism historian and professor at the University of Maryland and serve as its Eaton Chair in broadcast journalism. I earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in 1979 and a PhD from the University of North Carolina in 2002. In between, I worked for twenty years as an investigative reporter at CNN, NBC News, ABC News and local television stations in the US, broadcasting hundreds of reports that won several dozen journalism awards […]

      • Your Man in the Public Gallery: the Assange Hearing Day 6

        I went to the Old Bailey today expecting to be awed by the majesty of the law, and left revolted by the sordid administration of injustice.

      • Assange’s Extradition Hearing Resumes: 7 September 2020

        Press Briefing:€ Assange Extradition Hearing September 2020

      • Media Freedom? Show me the MSM Journalist Opposing the Torture of Assange

        Today, the corporate media that cried “Media freedom” when Extinction Rebellion blocked the billionaire owned propaganda presses, is silent as Julian Assange’s Calvary for bringing real truth unfiltered to the public moves on to its next station; the macabre Gothic architecture of the Old Bailey.

      • Julian Assange Defence Skeleton Arguments
      • The Stalinist Trial Of Julian Assange. Whose Side Are You On?

        When I first met Julian Assange more than ten years ago, I asked him why he had started WikiLeaks. He replied: "Transparency and accountability are moral issues that must be the essence of public life and journalism."

      • As Assange extradition hearing resumes, the future of a free press is on trial
      • The Stalinist Trial of Julian Assange

        Having reported the long, epic ordeal of Julian Assange, John Pilger gave this address outside the Central Criminal Court in London on September 7 as the WikiLeaks Editor’s extradition hearing entered its final stage.

      • Judge Railroads Assange As Legal Team Objects To Fresh Extradition Request

        Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected a request by the legal team for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to remove conduct from a fresh extradition request brought by the United States.

        Defense attorneys also requested that the court adjourn until January after Baraitser refused to take action.

      • 'This is Not Normal': Human Rights, Press Freedom Advocates Denied Remote Access to Assange Hearing

        The WikiLeaks founder, who exposed U.S. war crimes, faces up to 175 years in prison if the U.K. agrees to extradite Assange.

      • UK: Trial Against Julian Assange Resumes In London

        "Journalists and whistle-blowers who reveal illegal activity by companies or governments and war crimes, such as the publications Julian has been charged for, should be protected from prosecution," Assange's attorney Jennifer Robinson said.

        The defense of the Australian journalist is trying to challenge Washington’s attempt to extradite him, claiming that a trial in the U.S. is an abuse of authority with political overtones and that something like that will stifle press freedom and put journalists at risk.

      • Julian Assange objects to US extradition in London court

        The petition, organized by media freedom organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF), was delivered to Downing Street, the seat of the UK government, hours before a US extradition hearing continued against Assange at London's Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey.

      • Julian Assange Appears in London Court for U.S. Extradition Hearing

        From the start, the charges against Mr. Assange have raised profound First Amendment issues because his actions are difficult to distinguish in a legally meaningful way from those of traditional news organizations. It would be unprecedented in American law for such activity to result in criminal convictions, so press freedom advocates have denounced the charges against him and have been watching the case closely.

      • Journalists for US media face possible expulsion from China

        China is delaying the renewal of press cards for at least five journalists working at four US media outlets, an organisation of foreign correspondents said on Monday, making them vulnerable to expulsion in apparent retribution for Washington's targeting of Chinese reporters working in the United States.

      • Saudi Arabia sentences 8 to prison in final Khashoggi murder ruling

        Turkish investigators say a team of 15 Saudi agents had flown to Turkey to meet Khashoggi inside the consulate for his appointment for documents that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancée, who waited outside. The team included a forensic doctor, intelligence and security officers, and individuals who worked directly for the crown prince's office, according to Agnes Callamard, who investigated the killing for the United Nations.

        State media reported that five people were handed 20-year prison sentences, one person was sentenced to 10 years and two people were handed seven-year sentences for the killing of the Washington Post columnist.

      • Saudi Arabia issues final verdicts over Jamal Khashoggi killing

        None of the defendants were named.

        At an earlier stage of the trial in December, the court sentenced five people to death and three to jail saying then that the killing was not premeditated, but carried out "at the spur of the moment". Again, none of the defendants were named.

        Some Western governments, as well as the CIA, said they believed Prince Mohammed had ordered the killing.

      • Saudi court sentences 8 for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi

        The trial has been widely criticized, including by an independent UN investigator. No senior official or anyone suspected of ordering the killing was found guilty. The Saudi government has long maintained that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had no knowledge or involvement in the assassination, despite the CIA concluding last year that he gave the order.

      • Saudi court sentences eight to prison over killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

        The trial was widely criticised by rights groups and an independent UN investigator, who noted that no senior officials nor anyone suspected of ordering the killing was found guilty. The independence of the court was also brought into question.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Race is Not a Noun, it is a Verb

        Part Two of a series. Read Part One here.

      • Can the Democratic Party Rev the Engines to Topple Tyrant Trump?

        Why can’t the Democratic Party landslide the serial corporate criminal and government outlaw Donald Trump? He is a servant of Wall Street and, by his deeds favoring the powerful, a proven “enemy of the people.”

      • This Labor Day, ‘Black Lives Matter’ Means Justice for Black Workers

        The economy was failing Black workers before the pandemic—and now, even as many are deemed essential, they’re being treated as disposable.

      • Corporations Must Reckon With Their Spin of Black Lives Matter

        In a virtual town hall in June, Coca-Cola’s Chairman and CEO James Quincy said: “Diversity and inclusion are among our greatest strengths … We must put our resources and energy toward helping end the cycle of systemic racism.” Dow Chemical’s Chairman and CEO Jim Fitterling similarly committed to being an “ally” helping overcome “systemic oppression.” And Johnson & Johnson’s Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky stated, “unequivocally that racism in any form is unacceptable.” These three proclamations echo others penned by Fortune 500 companies since the public reckoning with police violence and systemic racism has swept across the country in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in May.

      • How Do You Teach Younger Students With an Antiracism Lens?

        Ankita Ajith can recall learning about slavery, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks at her Katy, Texas, elementary school in the Houston area.

      • Absent Appeals to the Left, Biden Faces Challenge to Win Over Latinx Voters

        Though she couldn’t vote in past elections, Lucia Allain has spent over a decade in direct-action politics, advocating for immigrants and Latinxs. In November, Allain, who was born in Peru, will vote for the first time since becoming a United States citizen. The communications manager for the influential immigrant-rights organization The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), Allain is as passionate about politics as anyone in this country; she’s serious about removing President Donald Trump from office. But in anticipation of marking former Vice President Joe Biden’s name on her first-ever ballot, she’s had trouble suppressing a thought:

      • Labor Must Make Defense of Black Lives Its Own Imperative

        Black trade unionists across the U.S. are calling on the labor movement to defend Black Lives Matter protesters and to fight racism in their own ranks. The attacks by police and increasingly violent armed racist militias evoke the memory of many such violent incidents against Black people in earlier periods, from slavery to segregation to the civil rights era.

      • Healing Blanket Project
      • Labor Day 2020: The Power Shift

        No other developed nation has nearly the inequalities of income and wealth found in the U.S., even though all have been exposed to the same forces of globalization and technological change. The three richest people in America have as much wealth as the bottom half of all Americans combined, even as 30 million Americans reported their households didn’t have enough food.

      • A 21st Century Priority: The PRO Act will Revive the Labor Movement and Re-Build the Middle Class

        Step one, commit to defeating the GOP this fall. Step two, commit to demanding that the Democrats follow through and support the PRO Act—or you'll make sure those Democrats who betray labor will be challenged by a true pro-worker candidate in their next primary election.

      • How Workers Can Achieve Real Power

        Our economy is out of whack, and workers know it. Their wages are flat, CEO pay continues to skyrocket, and a pandemic has left tens of millions of workers unemployed and dramatically undermined job security. Income inequality—the gap between the haves and the have-nots—continues to grow, and workers lack the bargaining power to meaningfully address it.

      • Trump’s National Labor Relations Board Is Sabotaging Its Own Mission

        On a June afternoon in 2019, in front of a statue of George Washington at Federal Hall in New York City’s financial district, more than 100 construction workers and activists gathered for a First Amendment rally. Amid chants of “Free speech, free speech!” an approximately 15-foot-tall gray inflatable rat with glaring red eyes bobbed in the sun. The workers, mostly members of Laborers Local 79, weren’t defending speech, exactly. Rather, they were demanding their right to display Scabby the Rat, the mascot deployed at job sites to shame anti-union bosses.

      • Christianity: Empathy Versus Evangelism

        Christianity has built-in contradictions. Certain Christians seek to empower people, while other Christians seek to gain power over them. Some Christians want to comfort people, while other Christians want to convert them. There are Christians who seek to love their neighbors as themselves, and other Christians want to make their neighbors like themselves. Certain Christians believe that people know what is best for themselves, while other Christians believe that they know exactly who and what is best for everyone. For some Christians, faith is about social justice and ethical behavior for other Christians, it is about theological orthodoxy. Certain Christians are committed to creating justice for people in this life, while other Christians stress justification by faith in Jesus Christ alone as the key to salvation in a future life. Not that evangelizing-motivated Christians do not comfort or empower or want justice for people, but they want it on their “Jesus is the Savior of the world” terms. Their unconscious predatory paternalism prevents them from experiencing and honoring other people’s reality and beliefs and negates any real mutually respectful democratic give and take.

      • Trump’s Opponents Need to Portray Him as the True Enemy of the Nation

        A sheriff in Texas was once trailing badly in his re-election campaign. He met with his political friends to discuss how he might regain the lead. After examining different options, he himself came up with a suggestion on how to damage his opponent. “Why don’t we say that he commits bestial acts with pigs?” he asked. His friends shook their heads dismissively, saying that everybody would know that the accusation was untrue. “I know that,” replied the sheriff, “but let’s hear him deny it.”

      • Is Anxiety Freedom Without Direction?

        This is one of the most important lessons that nobody ever teaches explicitly. Not most parents, not most schools. Nobody. We hear that it’s nice to have a purpose, but we don’t hear that it’s essential.

        We should.

      • Cornel West & Ben Jealous on Whether Progressives Can Push Joe Biden Leftward If He Defeats Trump

        In a Democracy Now! special, Harvard professor Cornel West and Ben Jealous, president of People for the American Way and former president of the NAACP, discuss the 2020 DNC, Joe Biden’s vow to fight systemic racism and “overcome this season of darkness in America,” the historic nomination of Kamala Harris as his partner on the ticket, and how the convention was a showcase for a broad anti-Trump coalition, including prominent Republican figures given plum speaking slots, but few voices from the party’s insurgent left wing. “At this moment, with the decline and fall of the American empire, it looks as if the system is unable to generate enough energy to seriously reform itself. It remains sanitized, superficial,” says Dr. West. “I want fundamental change.” Jealous says Biden is someone progressives can work with and pressure. “The theme of this convention was really one of unity,” he notes. “This is a time when we have to come together to defeat a president who is the most evil, the most corrupt that any of us have seen.” We originally interviewed West and Jealous last month as the DNC ended.

      • Kevin Zeese: Irreplaceable

        Kevin Zeese was a major constant reliable presence in the movement for peace and justice. He used writing, editing, online and all other forms of communication. He organized events, protests, occupations. He risked arrest. He ran for office. He was an attorney and used the courts and shared his expertise. He thought independently. He acted collaboratively. He maintained good relations with those he disagreed with — even those he disagreed with over that most disagreeable of topics in a collapsing oligarchy: elections.

      • Resistance in the Age of Trump - Kevin Zeese
      • Rest in Power, Kevin Zeese (1955 - 2020)

        Kevin fought to bring truth every day. We must not lose this struggle.

      • Hawkins Press Secretary and Activist, Kevin Zeese, Has Passed Away
      • Freedom Struggle: Angela Davis on Calls to Defund Police, Racism & Capitalism, and the 2020 Election

        In a Democracy Now! special, we revisit our June 2020 interview with the legendary activist and scholar Angela Davis about the uprising against police brutality and racism launched in May after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The protests have helped dramatically shift public opinion on policing and systemic racism, as “defund the police” becomes a rallying cry of the movement. Davis is professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz. For half a century, she has been one of the most influential activists and intellectuals in the United States and an icon of the Black liberation movement.

      • Judge bans Detroit police from using tear gas, batons or rubber bullets against 'peaceful protesters'

        "For a period of 14 days, to be extended upon a showing of good cause, but not beyond 28 days absent consent by ... the City of Detroit, including the Detroit Police Department ... is enjoined from:

        • Using striking weapons (including, but not limited to, batons and shields), chemical agents (including, but not limited to, tear gas and pepper spray), or rubber bullets against any individual peacefully engaging in protest or demonstrations who does not pose a physical threat to the safety of the public or police;
        • Deploying chemical agents or a sound cannon against persons peacefully engaging in protest or demonstrations without an audible warning and a reasonable amount of time to disperse;
        • Placing in a chokehold or ramming with a vehicle any individual attending a demonstration;
        • Tightening the zip ties or handcuffs placed on any individual to the point that the restraints cause physical injury, including loss of circulation or change in color;
        • Arresting any demonstrators en masse without probable cause.

        "In the event that Plaintiffs seek relief for an alleged violation of this Order, the City must respond to the motion for relief within 24 hours," the 12-page order said.

      • Detroit police chief dismisses judge's ruling on tactics for protests: 'Nothing has changed'

        Detroit Will Breathe, however, alleged in the lawsuit that peaceful protesters have been "tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, beaten and otherwise subjected to unconstitutional excessive force, shot with rubber bullets ... put in chokeholds ... and arrested en masse without probable cause."

        The ruling from Michelson, an Obama appointee, puts a 14-day moratorium on police using striking weapons like batons and shields, rubber bullets or chemical agents like tear gas and pepper spray on any individual peacefully engaging in protest or demonstrations who does not pose a physical threat to the safety of the public or police.

        The order also temporarily prohibits police from arresting any demonstrators en masse without probable cause or tightening zip ties or handcuff restraints to the point where it could result in injury.

      • Either Confess or Die, Agents Warned Award-Winning Student

        An award-winning Iranian student is allegedly under pressure to make a forced televised confession in order to commute his death sentence, his sister says.

        In a tweet on Saturday, Ali Younesi's sister, Aida, said that the Ministry of Intelligence agents in charge of investigating her brother's case gave her brother the option to make a televised confession on August 2.

      • Any Muslim Lawyer Who Defends Kano Musician Sentenced To Death For Blasphemy Has Renounced His Faith, Cleric Says

        Chairman of Sokoto State Ulama Forum of Izala, Sheikh Abubakar Usman Mabera, has said that any lawyer, who defends a Kano State-based musician, Yahaya Aminu-Sharif, recently convicted for blasphemy by a Sharia court has renounced his Islamic faith.

        According to Tribune Newspaper, the Islamic cleric affirmed that a competent Sharia court in Kano had sentenced the musician to death for blasphemy.

    • Monopolies

      • Italy launching probe into Apple, Google, Dropbox over cloud storage

        Italy's top authority on monopolies and trade practices announced a slew of investigations into Apple, Dropbox, and Google over the companies' cloud storage systems.

        In a press release, the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) said that the probes, six in total, were "relate[d] to alleged unfair commercial practices and the possible presence of unfair clauses in the contractual conditions."

      • Patents

        • AntiBody Fragment: A Description of the Federal Circuit?

          Although not en banc, this case was picked-up by five different Federal Circuit judges with two separate opinions and one recusal.

          Sitting by designation as a D.Del. district court, Judge Dyk sided with the accused infringer Genentech by narrowly construing Baxalta’s US7033590. Although perhaps most jury members would need some help with definitions, the disputed terms are incredibly basic and fundamental to anyone involved with biotech.


          ‘590 at Col. 5. Applying this portion of the patent, the district court limited the scope of antibody to molecules having one set of identical H-chains and a set of identical L-chains.

          Genentech’s product uses an antibody organized with a variety of H- and L- chains (not all the H-chains are identical to one another). Thus, Judge Dyk’s requirement of identical chains led to the admission of non-infringement.

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit took Judge Dyk to task — finding that the patent did not suggest such a narrow definition of the term. Dependent claim 4, for instance, identifies the antibody as being selected from “the group consisting of … a chimeric antibody, a humanized antibody, … [and] a bispecific antibody.” The court explains that none of these antibody types in the dependent claim conform with the narrow definition of the term as used in claim 1.

        • USPTO News Briefs

          In a notice published earlier this summer in the Federal Register (85 Fed. Reg. 41570), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that it was extending the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program. According to the Office's notice, the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program has been extended to June 30, 2022, and all parameters will remain the same as in the original pilot program.

          The Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program was initiated on June 29, 2016 (see "USPTO Implements Pilot Program to Support President's National Cancer Moonshot") to provide for earlier review of patent applications pertaining to cancer immunotherapy in support of the "National Cancer Moonshot," an initiative of the Obama Administration to achieve ten years' worth of cancer research from 2016 to 2021 (see "FACT SHEET: Investing in the National Cancer Moonshot"). Under the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program, applications containing at least one claim reciting a method of treating a cancer using immunotherapy are advanced out of turn for examination if the applicant files a grantable petition to make special, with the goal of completing examination of the application within twelve months of special status being granted.

        • That utility model is mine!

          One of the remedies typically provided by patent law to persons whose inventions have been unduly patented by third parties are actions aimed at claiming ownership of the patent. However, such actions are relatively rare, at least in countries like Spain. This is what makes the judgment of 10 December 2019 (Judge Rapporteur, Ángel Galgo Peco) from the Madrid Court of Appeal (Section 28), which deals with this type of action, so interesting. The facts of the case can be summarized as follows:

          On 31 July 2015 company X filed a complaint against company Y and against one Ms Inmaculada, exercising two different legal actions against them: an action against company Y aimed at claiming the ownership of a utility model and an unfair competition action against Ms Inmaculada. The unfair competition action was based on the allegation that Ms Inmaculada, who appeared to have been a former employee of the complainant, had disclosed information to the defendant that allowed the latter to file the application for the utility model. A judgment from Commercial Court number 8 of Madrid on 30 May 2018 upheld the complaint on both counts.

          Company X and Ms Inmaculada filed an appeal before the Madrid Court of Appeal (Section 28), which confirmed the judgment as far as the first limb (claim for ownership of the utility model) but reversed the second limb (unfair competition by Ms Inmaculada). The most interesting aspects of the judgment will be briefly discussed below.

      • Copyrights

        • The Players Klub IPTV Was Targeted By ACE, Seized Domains Reveal

          The Players Klub was a popular IPTV service that initially offered live TV channels and a VOD package at prices starting at just $5. Over the years the prices began to rise then the service rebranded, reportedly due to a hostile takeover. It now transpires that the Alliance For Creativity and Entertainment has taken over the portals through which the service was sold.

        • Nintendo Wants Permanent Injunction to Shut Down Switch Piracy Hack Stores

          Nintendo has asked the court to issue a default judgment and permanent injunction to shut down several stores that sell Team-Xecuter's Switch hacks and mods. None of the defendants has responded in court so the gaming company wants third-party intermediaries, including domain registrars, to be covered by the order as well.

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