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Links 10/9/2020: YARH.IO MKI, digiKam 7.1.0, Qt 5.15.1

  • GNU/Linux

    • Making MX GNU/Linux Works with GLIM Multiboot USB

      MX is the currently the first rank operating system on topping even Ubuntu and Mint. However, it is not supported by GLIM multiboot maker. There is a custom way to make MX works with your multiboot flash drive as explained below. This tutorial is a continuation to my previous multibooting the series. Happy working!

    • MX Linux MX-19.2 KDE - Missing in action

      A few weeks ago, something momentous almost happened. I was this close to not doing any more Linux desktop reviews, at all. I've found the exercise absolutely draining lately, with little to no joy to be had from the software at hand. I won't repeat myself, but we all know what gives - the Linux desktop is more or less stuck in the 2014-2015 vibe, and the only thing we get more of are regressions and sadness. But then, I decided to keep testing, with a new approach. I will conduct reviews, but cut them early and short if I feel that there's no value in the experience.

      So, with that in mind, I am going to look at MX Linux MX-19.2 KDE. Now, if me memory serves me right, this would be the first Plasma release for this distro, which normally specializes in lightweight Xfce works. Given that I've been mighty pleased with how the MX team did their distro in the past years, this should hopefully be a worthwhile escapade. After me.


      Then, I discovered that MX 19.2 was running more or less stock KDE from Debian archives, set at version 5.14, which is neither here nor there. Similar to what I observed with Raspberry Pi OS recently. You don't get either of the two LTS Plasma releases, nor the latest Plasma release. Why would I care about a desktop environment that isn't really on anyone's roadmap, doesn't have the necessary fixes introduced in the latest editions, nor support and stability of the long-term versions?


      There are already way too many distros, distro spins and distro editions out there. Roughly 90% too many. Even maintaining a single version can be tough, for small or large teams alike, and splitting thin resources to create an extra edition make things even worse. Finally, what's the actual benefit? Is this going to sway the Windows masses or revolutionize the desktop? This isn't MX Linux specific in any way, but in this mini-review, it rather is. I wish I could be more positive, but hey, I see no real purpose to this particular version. Once more, on a sad note, Dedoimedo out.

    • AWOW AK41 Mini Desktop PC – TeamViewer with Linux – Week 10

      This is a weekly blog chronicling my experiences of using the AWOW AK41 Mini Desktop PC on Linux.

      Remote Desktop Control displays the screen of another computer (via Internet or local area network) on a local screen. This type of software enables users to use the mouse and keyboard to control the other computer remotely. It means that a user can work on a remote computer as if he or she was sitting directly in front of it, regardless of the distance between the computers.

      In the realm of remote desktop software, there’s lots of choices. The obvious focus is VNC related software. There’s lots of VNC clients available. But I’ve received lots of requests to look at TeamViewer.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76’s Lemur Pro: A powerful, ultralight OEM Linux laptop

        If you're looking for a solid general-purpose Linux laptop that looks great, feels great to type on, and has crazy-long battery life, the Lemur Pro will suit you nicely. Although its Intel Comet Lake CPU choices are mediocre performers, you're unlikely to feel "Ugh, this laptop is slow" in normal use. The 298-nit display is bright, sharp, and attractive; the keyboard is great; and the SSD is a top pick also.

        Developers who are constantly compiling code—or anybody else with really heavy multithreaded workloads—might consider passing up the Lemur Pro in favor of a Ryzen 4000-based laptop, though. Its single-threaded performance is good, and most tasks don't really need more than four cores... but the ones that do will run tremendously faster on Ryzen 4000-based systems. You can also get increased multithreaded performance out of a system with one of the higher-end, six-threaded Intel Comet Lake laptops, if you're allergic to AMD.

        We also can't recommend the Lemur Pro for gaming. Comet Lake's built-in UHD 620 graphics is plenty for normal desktop use, video playback, or casual gaming—but Ice Lake's Iris+ or Ryzen 4000's Vega integrated graphics will both kick sand in its face and laugh at it, to say nothing of what a discrete Nvidia GPU would do.

      • Resource management for the desktop

        For as long as we have had desktop systems, there have been concerns about desktop responsiveness and developers have been working to improve things in that area. Over the years, Linux has gained a number of capabilities — control groups in particular — that are applicable to the problem of improving desktop performance, but use of these features has lagged behind their availability. At the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference, Benjamin Berg outlined some of the work that is being done by the Linux desktop projects to put recent kernel features to work. His focus, he began, is on resource management for desktop systems, where the resources in question are CPU time, memory, and I/O bandwidth. Current systems leave applications to compete with each other for these resources, with little supervision. It is possible to favor some applications by adjusting nice (CPU-priority) levels, but such changes take effect at the process level. For the most part, Linux desktop systems are managed at the process level, which is a poor fit to the problem space.

        It should be possible to do better than that by making use of the features provided by control groups. Rather than treating processes equally, it is possible to treat users or applications equally, regardless of the number of processes they run. Control groups can also help to make the desktop more responsive; a desktop manager can use them to implement decisions based on factors like the importance of a service, whether a given user is active at the moment, or whether any given application has the focus.

      • Nemo: Rock Linux on your Chromebook with this handy file manager

        The Files app in Chrome OS is clean, simple, and does exactly what it needs to. You can find your downloads, create new folders, access Google Drive and manage your Android storage. Linux, on the other hand, may feel a bit daunting if you’re trying to see where your files and folders are living. For Linux old-timers, navigating the file system from the terminal is a breeze. However, users like myself that are still learning their way around the “secondary” Chromebook operating system can use a little help finding exactly where stuff exacts. A prime example is when you need to navigate to a specific folder in the Linux container in order to edit a file or perhaps move stuff around. If you don’t know where to look, you’re pretty much out of luck. Thankfully, most Linux distros have some form of a file manager to help you out.

      • Make Linux look like Windows 7

        You shouldn’t be using Windows 7 today. As of January, it officially became an unsupported operating system, and the longer you carry on using it, the more insecure your PC becomes. That’s a shame, as the Windows 7 interface was one of the most popular Microsoft ever devised, and while Windows 10 greatly improves on Windows 8, there’s no way to switch back to anything resembling the old Windows 7 UI.

        Fans of Windows 7 therefore find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, forced to either stick with an operating system that’s increasingly risky, or switch to an interface they’d rather not use.

        But there’s a third way. It’s possible to customise Linux so as to bring the user experience impressively close to Windows 7. This option allows you to stick with a close approximation of your preferred look and feel, while benefiting from ongoing security updates.

        It’s possible to do this with almost any flavour of Linux, but here we’ll focus on customising Ubuntu as its core code is used by a wide variety of other distros, for which the principles will be the same.

    • Server

      • Announcing Istio 1.6.9

        This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.6.8 and Istio 1.6.9.

      • 11 tips for keeping your sysadmin career on track

        It's hard to predict how different sysadmins jobs will be in the coming years. But here are some guidelines gathered during a sysadmin career spanning more than three decades. System administration is a tough job with ever-changing requirements. In the future, if you’re just starting your career as a sysadmin, you will undoubtedly use tools that you can’t even imagine today. Applications make increasingly complex decisions, servers turn into virtual servers, services move into the cloud, new languages and protocols appear, security threats keep getting worse, and the staff you support could be down the hall or thousands of miles away.

        You will almost always have a lot of responsibility without a lot of control over resources. The demands will be great and the surprises endless. The key to thriving in this challenging field of work is keeping your skills relevant, fostering good work habits that will help you get a lot done, and gaining a sense of accomplishment from your work.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Podcast S13E25 – 666

        This week we have been watching The Mandalorian. We discuss a new look for UKUI, HP Z series computers with Ubuntu pre-installed, elementary OS on Pinebook, Active Directory integration in Ubuntu Desktop, and making apps for GNOME. We also round up some picks from the tech news.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 874

        Suse tumbleweed, joel is moving, phones, chromebooks, laptops and tablets

      • FLOSS Weekly 595: Redis Redux - In Memory Data Structure Store

        Redis is an open-source (BSD licensed), in-memory data structure store, used as a database, cache, and message broker. Doc Searls and Shawn Powers check-in with Christoph Zimmermann, who is a community manager of They discuss the multiple ways Reids can be used. They talk about how Redis has expanded in the last ten years and the future of Redis. Christoph believes the future lies with the module ecosystem. Christoph gives examples of how Redis is used with large projects and companies all over the world.

      • Unfettered Freedom, Ep. 6

        Unfettered Freedom is a video podcast that focuses on news and topics about GNU/Linux, free software and open source software.

      • Destination Linux 190: Does Linux Need Proprietary Software?

        The DL Triforce discuss the subject of Proprietary Software in Linux. Does proprietary software belong in Linux, do we even need it? We also have some awesome news from Blender with their latest release & from ProtonMail with Proton Drive. We then head to our gaming section where we take a look at Shing, a ninja based beat-em-up game. Later in the show we’ll give you our popular tips/tricks and software picks. Plus so much more, coming up right now on Destination Linux.

      • VimWiki Diary: Who Needs Scheduling App When You Have Vim

        I've been using vimiwiki to do all of my note taking for quite a while now and I recently did a video on a scehduling app but it didn't click with me until someone mentioned in the comments section that Vimwiki has a built in diary feature called Vimwiki Diary, it doesn't require any extra plugins it just works out of the box.

      • Systemd Is Hated By Many, But Does It Deserve It?

        Systemd is always a hot topic on Linux but a lot of people seem to irrationally hate it or just simply don't provide any reasons why it's a problem so I thought I would try and track down these so called reasons to help some of you guys out. Personally I'm fussed by systemd, it does it's just well enough as an init system but I know there are faster alternatives.

      • Talk Python to Me: #281 Python in Car Racing

        I love to bring you stories of Python being used in amazing places outside the traditional tech silos of pure web development and data science.

        On this episode, you'll meet Robert "Kane" Replogle, who works on the simulation and test software at Richard Childress Racing. The NASCAR team that just finished #1 and 2 in at the Texas Motor Speedway.

        You'll hear how Python is allowing them to model car behavior, air flow, and more much faster than others using outdated tools.

      • Rust, Safe for Marketing | Coder Radio 378

        A special friend of the show joins us to discuss C++ in 2020 and the growing adoption of Rust.

        Plus feedback, a Python surprise and a little small business corner.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.4.64
      • Linux 4.19.144
      • Linux 4.14.197
      • Linux 5.8.8

        I'm announcing the release of the 5.8.8 kernel.

        All users of the 5.8 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.8.y git tree can be found at: git:// linux-5.8.y and can be browsed at the normal git web browser:

      • Amiga Fast File System Return to the Linux Kernel

        When I say “Return” what I mean is, return to a fully functional state.

        I fancy myself a vintage computer enthusiast, although I haven’t done a whole lot with my Amigas as of late, a part of that has been my apprehension in being able to access the data on my old drives. I also realize that ALL my Amigas need to be recapped in order to function correctly. That will come in the near future as David Sterba, a SUSE developer has indirectly put some pressure on me.

        David Sterba has noted 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.” My guess is, reading and archiving any AFFS drives was not an issue but manipulating the data from Linux was an issue.

        “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 as Sterba’s code has made it into rc4 of version 5.9 of the Linux kernel. That is slated to be released to the masses in October 2020.

      • Supporting Linux kernel development in Rust

        The Rust programming language has long aimed to be a suitable replacement for C in operating-system kernel development. As Rust has matured, many developers have expressed growing interest in using it in the Linux kernel. At the 2020 (virtual) Linux Plumbers Conference, the LLVM microconference track hosted a session on open questions about and obstacles to accepting Rust upstream in the Linux kernel. The interest in this topic can be seen in the fact that this was the single most heavily attended session at the 2020 event.

        This session built on prior work by many developers, including a talk last year by Alex Gaynor and Geoffrey Thomas [YouTube] at the Linux Security Summit. At that talk, they presented their work prototyping Rust kernel modules and made the case for adopting Rust in the kernel. They focused on security concerns, citing work showing that around two-thirds of the kernel vulnerabilities that were assigned CVEs in both Android and Ubuntu stem from memory-safety issues. Rust, in principle, can completely avoid this error class via safer APIs enabled by its type system and borrow checker.

        Since then, Linus Torvalds and other core kernel maintainers have expressed openness in principle to supporting kernel development in Rust, so the session at Plumbers aimed to work through some of the requirements to eventually allowing Rust in-tree. The session was proposed and discussed on the linux-kernel mailing list, where some of the topics of discussion were previewed.

        This session, too, featured Thomas and Gaynor, along with Josh Triplett — the Rust language team co-leader and a longtime Linux kernel developer — and a number of other interested developers. They briefly touched on their work so far and some of their initial thoughts and questions before opening the bulk of the time to discussion. They gave a brief example of what kernel-mode Rust code might look like (from Thomas and Gaynor's linux-kernel-module-rust project).

        The speakers emphasized that they are not proposing a rewrite of the Linux kernel into Rust; they are focused only on moving toward a world where new code may be written in Rust. The ensuing conversation focused on three areas of potential concern for Rust support: making use of the existing APIs in the kernel, architecture support, and a question about ABI compatibility between Rust and C.

      • Software and hardware obsolescence in the kernel

        Adding code to the kernel to support new hardware is relatively easy. Removing code that is no longer useful can be harder, mostly because it can be difficult to know when something is truly no longer needed. Arnd Bergmann, who removed support for eight architectures from the kernel in 2018, knows well just how hard this can be. At the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference, he led two sessions dedicated to the topic of obsolete software and hardware. With a bit of effort, he said, it should be possible to have a better idea of when something can be removed.

      • Zhaoxin Preparing Linux Kernel Support For 7-Series Centaur CPUs

        Chinese company Zhaoxin that continues working on x86_64 CPUs based on VIA Centaur Technology is working on supporting their "7" family processors with the Linux kernel.

        Since earlier this year we started seeing some Zhaoxin 7-Series patches while a new set was sent out this week.

        These patches for the "7" family is for the ZX-F / KX-7000 hardware. This family of processors will reportedly launch formally in 2021 and be manufactured on a 7nm process and support not only PCI Express 4.0 but also offer DDR5 memory support and other advancements compared to the ZX-E / KX-6000 family.

      • NVMe over TCP

        Oracle Linux UEK5 introduced NVMe over Fabrics which allows transferring NVMe storage commands over a Infiniband or Ethernet network using RDMA Technology. UEK5U1 extended NVMe over Fabrics to also include Fibre Channel storage networks. Now with UEK6, NVMe over TCP is introduced which again extends NVMe over Fabrics to use a standard Ethernet network without having to purchase special RDMA-capable network hardware.

        What is NVMe-TCP? The NVMe Multi-Queuing Model implements up to 64k I/O Submission and Completion Queues as well as an Administration Submission Queue and a Completion Queue within each NVMe controller. For a PCIe attached NVMe controller, these queues are implemented in host memory and shared by both the host CPUs and NVMe Controller. I/O is submitted to a NVMe device when a device driver writes a command to a I/O submission queue and then writing to a doorbell register to notify the device. When the command has been completed, the device writes to a I/O completion queue and generates an interrupt to notify the device driver.

        NVMe over Fabrics extends this design so submission and completion queues in host memory are duplicated in the remote controller so a host-based queue-pair is mapped to a controller-based queue-pair. NVMe over Fabrics defines Command and Response Capsules that are used by queues to communicate across the fabric as well as Data Capsules. NVMe-TCP defines how these capsules are encapsulated within a TCP PDU (Protocol Data Unit). Each host-based queue-pair and its associated controller-based queue-pair maps to its own TCP connection and can be assigned to a separate CPU core.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Query Stats

          I fell into the abyss of query code again, so this is just a short post to (briefly) touch on the adventure that is pipeline statistics queries.

          Pipeline statistics queries include a collection of statistics about things that happened while the query was active, such as the count of shader invocations.

          Thankfully, these weren’t too difficult to plug into the ever-evolving zink query architecture, as my previous adventure into QBOs (more on this another time) ended up breaking out a lot of helper functions for various things that simplified the process.

        • NVIDIA have a small new Vulkan Beta Driver bug-fix release up

          Yesterday, September 9, NVIDIA released a new update to their Vulkan Beta Driver series to clean up some lingering bugs found. One of which should help Wine.


          Reminder: you know it's a special Beta driver thanks to the additional two numbers on the end of the version string, with the newest stable version of the NVIDIA driver for Linux at 450.66 which released on August 18. This special Vulkan beta driver is where all the shiny new stuff goes in before making its way into the stable release for everyone. Really, it's mostly aimed at developers and serious enthusiasts. Unless you need what's in them, it's generally best to use the stable drivers.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux 5.0 To Linux 5.9 Kernel Benchmarking Was A Bumpy Ride With New Regressions

        Recently carrying out some benchmarks of all major kernel releases from Linux 5.0 through Linux 5.9 ended up yielding some surprising performance changes with the in-development 5.9 kernel. Here's details on this historical look at the kernel performance and what's going on with the Linux 5.9 kernel slowdowns.

        This round of Linux 5.0 through Linux 5.9 kernel benchmarking was done on an AMD EPYC 7702 1P server with ASRockRack EPYCD8 motherboard, 128GB of RAM, and 3.8TB Micron 9300 series NVMe SSD. The EPYC 7702 was chosen for its sheer speed especially when it comes to bisecting the kernel with the regressions/changes ultimately uncovered.

      • A Performance Analysis Of The First Generation Of HPC–Optimized Arm Processors

        In this paper, the authors present performance results from Isambard, the first production supercomputer to be based on Arm CPUs that have been optimized specifically for HPC. Isambard is the first Cray XC50 “Scout” system, combining Cavium ThunderX2 Arm–based CPUs with Cray’s Aries interconnect. The full Isambard system contained over 10,000 Arm cores. In this work, we present node–level performance results from eight early–access nodes that were upgraded to B0 beta silicon in March 2018. We present node–level benchmark results comparing ThunderX2 with mainstream CPUs, including Intel Skylake and Broadwell, as well as Xeon Phi. We focus on a range of applications and mini–apps important to the UK national HPC service, ARCHER, as well as to the Isambard project partners and the wider HPC community. We also compare performance across three major software toolchains available for Arm: Cray’s CCE, Arm’s version of Clang/Flang/LLVM, and GNU.

    • Applications

      • Best Free and Open Source Groupware Software

        Groupware software (often known as collaborative software) is designed to enable users to collaborate, regardless of location, via the internet or a corporate intranet and to work together in a virtual atmosphere.

        The efficiency of a organization can be greatly enhanced by the effective deployment of groupware software. Collaborative applications help to integrate project work so that a group can achieve their tasks and objectives. The term groupware is wide-ranging spanning communications tools (such as email), conferencing tools, and management tools.

      • Ardour 6.3 Open-Source DAW Released with New Loudness Analysis Feature

        Ardour 6.3 open-source digital audio workstation (DAW) has been released as the second maintenance update since the release of the major Ardour 6.0 series with various improvements and some new features.

        The biggest change in Ardour 6.3 is a new Loudness Analyzer & Normalizer feature designed to normalize the loudness by analyzing and calculating the Loudness (LUFS) of a session or a range selection and adding a gain-stage to the master-bus.

      • Cawbird Twitter Client Gains New Features and Lowers Memory Usage

        An updated version of Cawbird, the GTK Twitter client for Linux desktops, is available to install.

        Cawbird 1.2.0 features a modest assortment of improvements, including several aimed at improving overall accessibility. The client is not only able to show alt descriptions on images attached to tweets (via a tooltip) but it now lets you add your own alt images when uploading media.

        Fans of narrow screens will be pleased to know that the app can be scaled down even narrower and still look okay/present tweets cleanly. This will be handy if, say, you’re using it on one of those new fangled Linux phones out there!

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The Humble Unity Games and Game Dev Assets Bundle is live

        Are you an aspiring game developer using Unity or just want to get some extra assets? Check out the Humble Unity Games and Game Dev Assets Bundle, there's a few games too.

        Looking over what's available, it seems like quite a good deal. Compared to the individual prices, you would save quite a lot of money picking up this bundle. From asset packs to full game examples, there's quite a lot across the different tiers.

      • We hired Nathan to work on the manual

        I got hired by the Godot team to work part-time mission to help improve the official documentation.

      • With a rewritten rendering engine that gives Vulkan support, X-Plane 11.50 is out now

        For the Linux version you need at least NVIDIA 440.26 and for AMD they're supporting the 'official AMD GPU drivers' along with amdvlk but they didn't state any particular version.


        It may take a while for things to settle down, especially when it comes to all the addons since a lot of them need updating for the new systems. According to the release announcement, it's a staggered release. With the standalone you can manually check for an update, whereas on Steam it's still in a Beta branch but it seems they will push that to the main install for everyone tomorrow.

      • X-Plane 11.50 Is Here

        X-Plane 11.50 quietly went final yesterday. Very quietly. We’re trying something new with this release: a phased roll-out.

      • Valve cancels Counter-Strike: Global Offensive November Major, dealing with coach cheats

        As the COVID19 pandemic and quarantines around the world continue, another event has been cancelled.

        Much like Valve did with Dota 2, with The International 10 cancelled this year and pushed back to much later in 2021 they're now doing the same with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In a blog post on the official CS:GO website, Valve explained they're "not going to ask players and fans to risk their health in order to attend a Major while the pandemic still poses a threat to travelers".

        They will not be scheduling any Majors until Regional Major Ranking (RMR) LAN events are "safe to hold around the world", so they will be continuing with online RMR events to keep track of the teams.

        Additionally, it was recently announced by ESL that CS:GO had a bug where an e-sports team coach could spectate from anywhere on the map. A pretty big flaw, an obvious cheat and multiple professional coaches took advantage of it. As a result, multiple coaches were handed bans. More were found to have abused the bug, some just admitted to it and so the Esports Integrity Commission opened their own inquiry into it.

      • Come win a key for the upcoming fantasy city-builder Songs of Syx

        We've teamed up with Gamatron to offer you a chance to win a key for their upcoming grand-strategy city-builder Songs of Syx which enters Early Access soon.

        First, here's a bit of a refresher for you. It's actually a pretty big mix of genres with a city-builder at the core. You start off tiny and gradually expand into the tens of thousands. Things end up pretty big in Songs of Syx. You also have multiple races to deal with, other kingdoms, massive real-time battles, trade and so much more.

      • Try out the demo for 'Slide' an upcoming colourful arcade racer

        Reminding me of some classic arcade racers including Mario Kart, SuperTuxKart and others, Slide is along a similar theme with it being easy to jump right in. Mentioned before here on GOL, it's a family-friendly arcade racing game with a colourful animal cast.

        Much like the other aforementioned racers, Slide is seriously easy to get into but can be challenging to actually win. This is due to the power-ups you can grab from boxes, on top of the actual racing mechanics. The tracks take place in rather magical dream-like worlds that don't really make any sense. Animals can slide right off the watery tracks if you're not careful too. You have the ability to jump over obstacles, and dive beneath the surface to build up a sudden boost of speed as well.

      • Kalypso Media delays Spacebase Startopia until Spring 2021

        Kalypso Media sent word that the upcoming space management sim Spacebase Startopia has been delayed, with no exact date now being given.

        Originally due to launch for Linux, macOS and Windows on October 23 they're now only giving a release window of sometime in the Spring of 2021 for all platforms. That's a pretty big delay, with their email noting it will "allow for more development time to further polish the game, ensuring that it reaches the highest quality level possible and meets the high expectations of fans and beta testers" and also it ensures "that the game can launch in more territories and on more platforms from day one".

      • Fantasy card game Faerie Solitaire Dire is out in Early Access

        Puppy Games and Subsoap have put out the latest in the series of card games that mix up the gameplay of some known classics, into something a little more unique.

        It comes with the usual obvious fantasy flair too, including all sorts of weird and wonderful creature card designs. That's one thing I've always loved about this series, it really has some great design work. It's very much a solitaire game at its core but it comes with what they say are "many new and surprising card game mechanics to challenge you". However, there are options to tweak the challenge to your liking.


        Also good to see that they're continuing their Linux support now.

      • Need a new visual novel? Vengeful Heart is out now

        Set in a future where we've thoroughly ruined the planet, Vengeful Heart is a new Visual Novel where water has become like liquid gold.

        Obviously, this means anyone who controls it ends up extremely wealthy and powerful. Vengeful Heart has a world where even seeing a living plant is a luxury, as everyone lives in massive concrete jungle mega cities. It follows the story of Josephine Lace, a young hydraulic engineer eager to climb the corporate ladder and claim a spot at the top. That was, until it's all ripped away leaving Lace half-dead and homeless and now hellbent on taking down the system. A tale of revenge, capitalism, companionship and cyberpunk.

      • AntiMicroX, fork of the popular keyboard to gamepad mapping app has a new release

        AntiMicroX is a fork of the original AntiMicro, a popular open source application designed to help you map a keyboard to a gamepad.

        Sadly, the original project is no longer maintained so AntiMicroX came along to sort that out and continue the project on.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • digiKam 7.1.0 Released with Better Canon CR3
          digiKam photo management software 7.1.0 was released a few days ago with some new features and plenty of bug-fixes.

        • digiKam 7.1.0 is released with Canon CR3 Update and Improvements

          IPTC information interchange model compatibility is improved now with UTF-8 characters encoding and it now makes it possible to use extended charset everywhere in the legacy IPTC text containers.

          In addition to that, a batch queue manager plugin is introduced to apply a texture over images and this is a good addition to your photo management workflow while working with a large set of files.

          The said plugin also improved to fix the “hot pixels” automatically in images.

          As there are hundreds of models fo digital cameras available today from multiple manufactures, it is difficult to add RAW file support frequently in photo management software. RAW files are the unprocessed or minimal processed files containing direct digital camera sensor data, and you need a complex algorithm to process those. However, digiKam always tries to be up to date to support RAW files for most of the latest cameras. With this release, the Canon CR3 model raw data support is improved via the Libdaw library.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.36.6 Desktop Update Arrives with HiDPI and Lock Screen Fixes

          GNOME 3.36.6 continues the monthly release cycle of maintenance updates for the GNOME 3.36 desktop environment, coming exactly a month after the GNOME 3.36.5 point release and bringing more bug fixes and improvements for your favorite GNOME desktop and apps.

          In this release, the GNOME developers addressed issues with the lock screen on Linux systems without GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language) shader support, improved support for HiDPI displays by fixing an app icon scaling regression introduced in previous releases, and added support for Grilo Plugins to run under Flatpak.

        • First Look: 10 Great New Features in GNOME 3.38, Out Next Week

          Now, caveat time: GNOME 3.38 will be released on September 15. The plan is to include all of the changes you can read about below but be aware that things could still change.

          While you won’t be able to install GNOME 3.38 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS the newest version of the desktop environment will feature in Ubuntu 20.10 (which is due for release on October 22, 2020). Keep in mind that Ubuntu does not ship a standard/stock/default GNOME Shell experience. Accordingly, some of what follows may get renamed, relocated, or removed as part of Ubuntu’s packaging process.

        • Budgie Desktop Review: A Beautiful Desktop that Looks Like Gnome

          The next in our series of Linux Desktop Environment reviews is one that’s often overlooked, except by those who are most passionate about it – Budgie. A product of the Solus project, Budgie is a beautiful desktop that aims to provide sane defaults and a beautiful interface. This review discusses the Budgie Desktop user experience, notable features, user experience, and makes some recommendations of where to experience Budgie and who should use it.

          When I first look at Budgie, the first thing I think is “Wow. This is nothing quite like I’ve ever seen before.” I look around at the desktop and think it looks a little like GNOME, a little like KDE, a little like Cinnamon, and a little special in a way that I can’t quite describe. It’s the same but a little different. It looks great, and I find myself eyeballing my designated USB stick to reinstall my system. It’s that engaging right away.

    • Distributions

      • Why Linux still needs a flagship distribution

        This is one of those opinions that tends to be incredibly divisive. It's also one of those opinions I hold very strongly and was recently reminded of when fellow open source evangelist, Jason Evangelho, penned a piece titled "Linux Has A Hardware Problem And We Need To Solve It." In that piece, Evangelho discussed a podcast from Noah Chelliah (co-host of the Destination Linux) in which he highlighted one particular passage...

        That struck me hard. It also made me realize that the idea I've pushed in articles, on podcasts, and in discussions needs to be said again: Linux needs a flagship distribution.

        Let me explain.

      • BSD

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Google Chrome updated to 85.0.4183.102

          The web browser from Google. Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier

        • Vivaldi browser updated to 3.3.2022.39

          Vivaldi is a new web browser based on Chromium that is built by an Opera founder. It’s aimed mostly at power users, but it can be used by anyone.

        • Opera browser updated to 70.0.3728.178

          Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine. It differentiates itself because of a distinct user interface and other features.

        • Inkscape updated to 1.0.1

          Inkscape is a SVG based generic vector-drawing program. Inkscape uses W3C SVG as its native file format. It is therefore a very useful tool for web designers and as an interchange format for desktop publishing.

        • Min Browser updated to 1.16.0

          Min is a smarter, faster web browser. It includes features such as:

          Information from DuckDuckGo in the searchbar.
          Built-in ad and tracker blocking
          Fuzzy search
          Full-text search for bookmarks
          Reading list
          Tabs improvements (tabs open to the right, and fade out when inactive).

      • Arch Family

        • Now Arch Linux ARM Runs on PINE64’s PineTab Linux Tablet

          Early adopters of PINE64’s PineTab will be happy to learn that there’s now a build of the Arch Linux ARM distribution that works on the Linux-powered tablet. I just told you earlier that the Debian-based Mobian Linux distribution announced support for the PineTab Linux tablet, which recently started shipping to those backers who were brave enough to get their hands on PinePhone’s bigger brother.

          And now, I’ve learned that the Arch Linux ARM distribution for mobile devices has an early build for the PineTab Linux tablet, and you can try it right now from the project’s GitHub page. The source code is available for download as well, so happy hacking!

        • Kill Arch Bugs: Help us on the 13th of September!

          We would like to hold a bug wrangling day on the 13th of September to reduce the large amount of open tickets. If you cannot take part in the bug wrangling day, then feel free to help us any time before that event.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 34 Plans to Default Wayland Display Server for KDE Plasma

          The upcoming release of Fedora 34 operating system plans to default to Wayland display server in KDE Plasma spin.

        • Developer resources for building your open source app for Linux on IBM Z and LinuxONE

          The availability of source code and collaborative development runs deep in the IBM Z community and is woven throughout its history. Twenty years ago, the release of Linux on IBM Z was another step along the way to truly bringing open source software to the enterprise.

          As a developer of an open source software project, what does that mean for you? This post provides an in-depth overview of the technical resources available for developers on LinuxONE.

          The processor in an IBM Z or LinuxONE is a big-endian computer architecture, and at the hardware level is not compatible with what you may be familiar with if you’ve only developed for x86. Also known as s390x or z/Architecture, the code needs to be specifically compiled for it. Fortunately, you’re in luck! Since support for Linux on Z arrived 20 years ago, dozens of languages and frameworks, and hundreds of major open source applications have been ported. A small sampling of them can be found in IBM’s validated open source software list, with dozens of updates being made each month — and the sea of applications continues to grow. With collaboration in place with SUSE, Red Hat, and Canonical, their respective Linux distributions also release with IBM Z support. Today you can run everything from a simple web server to your latest Go or Node.js application to Kubernetes on IBM Z by simply running the build commands you’re already familiar with.

        • Red Hat and IBM announce a hybrid-cloud software marketplace

          Sick of looking for programs to run on your Kubernetes-based hybrid cloud? Want to run AI/ML, Big Data, or just a conventional DBMS on Kubernetes without sweating the installation and maintenance details? Red Hat and its owner/partner IBM have a new one-stop-shop for you: Red Hat Marketplace.


          All these programs are, as you'd imagine, certified for Red Hat OpenShift and offered with commercial support. They're also built on the open Kubernetes Operator Framework. This enables you to run them on OpenShift as if they were a cloud service. That means they come ready-made with capabilities such as automated install and upgrade, backup, failover, and recovery.

          There's also a private version of the Marketplace: Red Hat Marketplace Select. With this, besides having easy access to curated, pre-approved software, you can track your people's usage and spending of all the software deployed across hybrid cloud environments.

          If you want, you can use metering for all your Marketplace software. With this, you can see exactly how your staff is using the programs. With this information, you can minimize waste and address the financial risks associated with end-of-year software audits. As part of this, you get a greater choice of pricing models. For example, Red Hat Marketplace allows products to be offered with hourly pricing.

        • IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power 14.0-0

          A new major release of the IBM€® Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power is now available: Version 14.0.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Collaboratively Annotate large-scale DeepZoom images with MicroDraw

        MicroDraw is a lightweight web-based collaborative annotation application for displaying and viewing large-scale (DeepZoom) images. It's completely free and open-source software that comes with no restrictions to use or to modify.

        It's a self-hosted application which means it can be installed and hosted at private hosting for teams.


        MicroDraw is licensed under GNU GPL v3.

      • AOM AV1 Encoder Sees Big Boost With Additional AVX2 Optimization

        It should come as little surprise in general but making use of Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) for multimedia encode/decode is a big deal for performance. While one could hope that by 2020 most open-source encoders were already extensively utilizing AVX(2), that isn't yet the case with the latest being AOM-AV1 picking up another optimization.

        Google engineers have added an AVX2-optimized high bit-depth temporal filter for the AOM-AV1 video encoder.

      • [syslog-ng] Insider 2020-09: Prometheus; proxy; ESK;

        This is the 84th issue of syslog-ng Insider, a monthly newsletter that brings you syslog-ng-related news.

      • Rav1e 0.3.4 AV1 Encoder Now Running On Android, iOS

        Along with Intel's SVT-AV1 0.8.5, another open-source AV1 video encoder seeing a new release this week is the Rust-written rav1e.

        Rav1e 0.3.4 is this new release and notably adds support for running on Google's Android and Apple iOS platforms in addition to its existing support on Windows, Linux, and elsewhere.

      • Kubic with Kubernetes 1.19.0 released

        The Kubic Project is proud to announce that Snapshot 20200907 has been released containing Kubernetes 1.19.0.

      • Why Cloud-Based Architectures and Open Source Don't Always Mix
      • Great Open Source Collaborative Editing Tools

        In a nutshell, collaborative writing is writing done by more than one person. There are benefits and risks of collaborative working. Some of the benefits include a more integrated / co-ordinated approach, better use of existing resources, and a stronger, united voice. For us, the greatest advantage is one of the most transparent. That’s when we need to take colleagues’ views. Sending files back and forth between colleagues is inefficient, causes unnecessary delays and leaves people (i.e. us) unhappy with the whole notion of collaboration.

        With good collaborative software, we can share notes, data and files, and use comments to share thoughts in real-time or asynchronously. Working together on documents, images, video, presentations, and tasks is made less of a chore.

      • Best Free and Open Source Music Players

        There’s a huge raft of free and open source music software available on the Linux platform which is both mature and sophisticated. Linux has many music tools which offer enhanced functionality and integration with internet music services. With most desktop environments having several audio players, together with cross-platform applications, integrated media players, there is a plethora of music players to choose from.

        Like many types of software, the selection of a favorite music player is, to some extent, dependent on personal preferences. Nevertheless, we are confident that the applications featured in this article represent the most appealing music players.

        All music libraries are different, and the right open source music player can make a world of difference – especially if you’ve a large collection.

        If you’re still using a general purpose media player, you’re missing out on a wealth of features that can make organizing, expanding and enjoying your music a walk in the park.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Introducing the Promoted Add-ons Pilot [Ed: Read as, Mozilla will charge developers to become visible]

            We strive to maintain a balance between openness for our development ecosystem and security and privacy for our users. Last summer, we launched a program called Recommended Extensions consisting of a relatively small number of editorially chosen add-ons that are regularly reviewed for policy compliance and prominently recommended on AMO and other Mozilla channels. All other add-ons display a caution label on their listing pages letting users know that we may not have reviewed these add-ons.

            We would love to review all add-ons on AMO for policy compliance, but the cost would be prohibitive because they are performed by humans. Still, developers often tell us they would like to have their add-ons reviewed and featured on AMO, and some have indicated a willingness to pay for these services if we provide them.


            Sponsored placement on the AMO homepage. Developers of add-ons that have a Verified badge have the option to reach more users by paying an additional fee for placement in a new Sponsored section of the AMO homepage. The AMO homepage receives about two million unique visits per month.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice QA/Dev Report: August 2020

          LibreOffice 7.0.0 was announced on August, 5 LibreOffice 6.4.6 was announced on August, 13

        • “Discover LibreOffice” magazines for schools and communities

          Do you work in a school, college or university? Perhaps you’re involved in local community events, and want to help spread the word about LibreOffice? Or maybe you work at a local library or non-profit that could benefit from learning about free and open source software. Well, we have some of these magazines to give away:

          Discover LibreOffice is a complete guide to the suite, with extra articles about OpenDocument, migrations, the community and more. Much of the content was written by members of the LibreOffice community. There’s also an accompanying DVD with LibreOffice 6.1 -- which is a slightly older version, but the disc may be useful in some places without regular internet access.

        • I don’t “need” LibreOffice

          I don’t need LibreOffice. I WANT LibreOffice.

          I am not exactly sure if anyone really “needs” LibreOffice as a product. LO is more an idea, an ideal, than it is a product. For one thing we have had exactly zero customer since the time of OpenOffice all the way to today.

          No one needs LO. I am almost sure about it. I, as one, already have MS Office 365 down my throat by virtue of teaching at a college here in Toronto, Ontario. I don’t “need” to use LO.

      • FSF

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt Design Studio 1.6 released

          We are happy to announce the final release of Qt Design Studio 1.6

          Qt Design Studio is a UI design and development tool that enables designers and developers to rapidly prototype and develop complex UIs. Both designers and developers use Qt Design Studio and this makes collaboration between the two a lot simpler and more streamlined. To get an impression, you should watch this€ video.

        • Qt 5.15.1 Released

          We have released Qt 5.15.1, the first patch release of Qt 5.15 LTS.€ As a patch release, Qt 5.15.1 does not add any new functionality but provides many bug fixes and other improvements.

          Compared to Qt 5.15.0, the new Qt 5.15.1 contains more than 400 bug fixes.€ € For details of the most important changes, please check the Change files of Qt 5.15.1.

        • Qt for Python 5.15.1 Released!

          We are happy to announce that 5.15.1 is finally out!

          On this release, we managed to fix some old bugs like adding __ne__ and __eq__ operators by default to every PySide type, and improve the compatibility that we had with Nuitka, a Python compiler. Still there are some corner cases that needs to be improved, but we are looking forward to being fully compatible. Additionally, there were some corner cases regarding our threading story that are now solved.

          To improve our QML interaction, we now have a new type, QEnum, which can be used as a decorator for Qt objects and Python Enum-based classes, this was required for some changes that will be available in Qt for Python 6.0, so stay tuned!

        • Qt 5.15.1 Released With 400+ Bug Fixes

          Polishing up Qt 5.15 since its May release is now Qt 5.15.1 as the first point release in this last Qt5 series ahead of Qt 6.0 later this year.

          Qt 5.15.1 is squarely focused on shipping bug fixes for the Qt 5.15 LTS series. In the past few months more than 400 bugs have been fixed for Qt 5.15.1.

          Qt 5.15.1 brings many fixes throughout the wide spectrum of Qt components. The complete list of fixes can be found here. One notable fix on the QtWayland front is adding the QT_WAYLAND_FORCE_NONBLOCKING_SWAP_SUPPORT environment variable if the EGL driver supports non-blocking eglSwapBuffers for helping situations where experiencing applications freezing while waiting for buffer swaps.

        • The winding road to PHP 8's match expression

          New to the forthcoming PHP 8.0 release is a feature called match expressions, which is a construct designed to address several shortcomings in PHP's switch statement. While it took three separate request-for-comment (RFC) proposals in order to be accepted, the new expression eventually received broad support for inclusion.

          The match expression story began at the end of March 2020 with an RFC suggesting changes to the switch statement. The proposal, authored by Ilija Tovilo and Michał Brzuchalski, highlighted four shortcomings of switch: the inability to return values from the statement, matches falling through to the next case, "inexhaustiveness", and type coercion.

        • Building a Flutter application (part 2)

          Our previous article explored the fundamentals of Flutter, a cross-platform open-source user-interface (UI) toolkit. We complete our introduction of Flutter by returning to the simple LWN RSS feed headline viewer that was introduced in part one. We will be adding several new features to that application in part two, including interactive elements to demonstrate some of the UI features of Flutter.

          The LWNRssService class introduced in part one is responsible for fetching and processing the RSS feed from LWN using the http and dart_rss packages. This class was used in the former version of the application, implemented in such a way as to block the UI from starting until the feed was loaded. The result was an empty window in the interim, which is not an ideal user experience. There are several ways to solve that problem in Flutter, but here we incorporate the FutureBuilder widget into the LWNHeadlineScreen class (which provides the main interface).

        • Python

          • Bar chart using measures in Power BI

            Today we’ll be learning to create bar chart using measures. As shown below. At times we need to create bar chart using the created measures but by default it create column chart but without any gap between bars.

          • Find & Fix Code Bugs in Python: Debug With IDLE

            Everyone makes mistakes—even seasoned professional developers! Python’s interactive interpreter, IDLE, is pretty good at catching mistakes like syntax errors and runtime errors, but there’s a third type of error that you may have already experienced. Logic errors occur when an otherwise valid program doesn’t do what was intended. Logic errors cause unexpected behaviors called bugs. Removing bugs is called debugging.

            A debugger is a tool that helps you hunt down bugs and understand why they’re happening. Knowing how to find and fix bugs in your code is a skill that you’ll use for your entire coding career!

          • How I learned Python

            I wanted to learn Python because of my passion for programming and need to be able to rapidly develop my skills and knowledge. I had learned some C and C++, and although I enjoyed it greatly these languages were very verbose and had many smaller details that needed to be tracked that didn't necessarily impart any practical knowledge to me.

          • Most Common Python Interview Questions For 2020

            Python is the one of the most sought after skill in today’s marketplace.

            By mastering the Python programming language, you too can join the ranks of programming gurus and wizards that employers seek to fill positions in companies that specializes in fields such as data science, machine learning, business intelligence or are scientific and numerical in nature. To be hired, you you should be proficient with Python and Python interview questions.

            Knowing everything about programming in Python including how to inherit from multiple classes to slicing and working comfortably with all of its data structures including arrays, strings, lists, tuples and matrices.

            The best thing you can do for yourself and your career is to study up and be prepared to answer some tough Python interview questions.

          • "Structural pattern matching" for Python, part 2

            We left the saga of PEP 622 ("Structural Pattern Matching") at the end of June, but the discussion of a Python "match" statement—superficially similar to a C switch but with extra data-matching features—continued. At this point, the next steps are up to the Python steering council, which will determine the fate of the PEP. But there is lots of discussion to catch up on from the last two months or so.

            As a quick review, the match statement is meant to choose a particular code block to execute from multiple options based on conditions specified for each of the separate case entries.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Spotting spaces, and AWK's view of emptiness

            AWK and emptiness. Last month I posted about a function that tallies up pairs of empty/non-empty data items. I used AWK (GNU AWK 4, gawk) to determine whether a field entry was empty or not, but the test I used didn't distinguish between empty and zero.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Why the Apple II Didn’t Support Lowercase Letters

        I recently asked Steve Wozniak via email about why the original Apple II did not support lowercase letters. I could have guessed the answer, but it’s always good to hear the reason straight from the source. Woz’s response was so long and detailed that I asked him if I could publish the whole thing on VC&G. He said yes, so here we are.

      • AMD tease two dates in October for Zen 3 and RDNA 2

        Are you ready for the next generation of AMD processors and graphics? Well, AMD have two events planned in October so it's time to get excited again.

        We don't know exactly what they will announce, as they've only just given us the dates. For Zen 3 their new CPU architecture we're getting something on October 8, and for RDNA 2 their new GPU architecture some event is happening on October 28. Quite a while to wait on both counts, which is a little surprising.

      • AMD Begins Teasing Zen 3 + RDNA 2 With Dates In October

        It's been widely expected AMD will launch their next-generation RDNA 2 graphics cards and Zen 3 processors in Q4 as they previously reported as well as leaks pointing to October reveal dates. Today the company is sharing actual dates for said announcements.

        Via Twitter, AMD shared that "a new journey begins" for Zen 3 on October 8 while for RDNA 2 the date listed is October 28.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Warning of More Pandemics to Come, Public Health Experts Urge Collective Examination of What it Means to Live in 'Harmony with Nature'

        To mitigate risk, governments and communities must work together to rebuild "the infrastructures of human existence."

      • It’s September. That must mean it’s time for fear mongering about the flu vaccine.

        The COVID-19 pandemic has now been going on for nine months, and it’s been six months since the first lockdowns were imposed in the US to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for the pandemic, and the first post I ever wrote about the new coronavirus was on January 30. I bring this up because the other day I came across an article on the website of Dr. Joe Mercola, the über-quack who’s built an online empire that’s made him worth over $100 million, asking Might Flu Shots Increase COVID-19 Pandemic Risk? The short answer is almost certainly no. The long answer follows, beginning by my noting that this particular bit of antivaccine propaganda is very, very, very old. Indeed, the very first post I wrote about this claim that the flu vaccine makes you more susceptible to severe COVID-19 to my surprise turned out to be that very first post I ever wrote about the then brand new coronavirus (which back then hadn’t even received its permanent name yet, leading me to go back to change the article after the WHO finally dubbed the new disease COVID-19 and the virus that causes it SARS-CoV-2), Blaming the flu vaccine for the COVID-19 outbreak: The latest antivaccine misinformation. Back then, antivaxxers were blaming the flu vaccine for having sparked the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China that later spread to become a pandemic based on China’s having allegedly purchased more doses of flu vaccine than a usual year and a tenuous link to some science about viral interference that I’ll explain in a bit more depth in this post because Mercola references it again. The same claim later morphed into a very specific claim by antivaxxers, which is that having received the flu vaccine increases your risk of COVID-19 by 36%, also based on a twisted interpretation of science.

      • Something Is Rotten at Big Meat Inc.

        The industry's sole priority is to funnel revenues into shareholders' pockets.

      • A Pandemic Within the Pandemic

        The spread of coronavirus has created a "perfect storm" for violence against women behind closed doors.

      • Pandemic Reflexes: Lockdowns and Arrests in Victoria, Australia

        Ugly. Rough. Police in the Australian state of Victoria muscling their way in. The father and children watching. It had all arisen because the pregnant mother in question had engaged in conduct defined as incitement. In a post on her Facebook page, Zoe Buhler had urged Victorians to protest the coronavirus lockdown rules over the weekend. She encouraged the practising of social distancing measures to avoid arrest and the wearing of masks, subject to medical exceptions. “Here in Ballarat we can be a voice for those in Stage 4 lockdowns [in metropolitan Melbourne]. We can be seen and heard and hopefully make a difference.”

      • Emails Show How Trump Official at HHS Tried to Get Fauci to Downplay Covid-19 Threat to School Children

        "This sort of story will be recalled years from now as an example of the government interfering with science, with predictably disastrous results."

      • Trump Lied, 190,000 Died
      • 'Reckless Homicide': Audio Tapes Reveal Trump Knew Covid-19 Was 'Deadly Stuff' for Months While Publicly Downplaying Threat

        Critics reserved some outrage for veteran journalist Bob Woodward, who learned the president was lying to the public about the pandemic in March.€ 

      • Medicare for All Would Help End Racial Disparities in the South

        We must take a stand against a for-profit health care system that too often devalues Black lives.€ 

      • Why Herd Immunity is a Distraction

        There has been a spectrum of actions taken by governments to address near-term prevention of the spread of COVID-19. The extremes have ranged from total lockdowns (e.g., Italy, Belgium and Spain); to legal enforcement of quarantines and contact tracing (e.g., Canada and Germany); to much lighter forms of restriction (e.g., Denmark and Norway); to even more minimal restrictions, but with extensive testing and tracing (e.g., Taiwan and South Korea). There have also been some clearly incompetent policies, notably in the United States, where the country’s public health infrastructure has been eviscerated not just by Trump, but also through decades of adherence to a for-profit health care system in which the bottom line has been prioritized over optimal health outcomes.

      • I Crossed Back Into a State of Denial

        All the U.S. officers were professional and courteous, and a couple went out of their way to be pleasant. One apologized for a delay at the secondary screening; something had gone wrong with the machine for a few minutes. But nobody seemed to reckon with the whole reason that the border had been closed in the first place. Here I was, a potential disease carrier crossing a border, and nobody seemed interested or concerned enough to do anything about it. And none of them was taking the elementary precaution of mask wearing to protect themselves and one another.

        It was an apt introduction to the transition between the United States and Canada. On one side of the border, almost everybody took the virus seriously—and few people had it. On the other, the reverse.

      • Drug control law and molecular similarity

        I work in what I'll call algorithmic molecular similarity, where people use an algorithm to characterize if two molecules are similar. There is almost no overlap between those methods and legal molecular similarity, which includes patent law and drug control law. I know little about the topic, so don't trust what I write here in a court of law! In this essay I'll mostly copy&paste some quotes regarding drug control law.


        I started this section with "The US allows patents on molecules with new and useful applications."

        Actually, it's a bit broader than that - a chemical patent may include a Markush structure, where parts of the structure are defined not as a molecular structure but with a more generic description of a class of molecules. You can think of it as a core structure or scaffold with one or more attachment points, generally called R-groups. A Markush structure defines a pattern for each of those attachment points. This process may be recursive.

        This sort of claim is allowed because it's often clear that a wide variety of related compounds may have roughly equal use, and it's not useful to have one molecule = one patent claim.

      • How Colombia’s armed groups are exploiting COVID-19 to recruit children

        Almost as many children are estimated to have joined armed groups in Colombia in the first half of this year as in the whole of 2019, as the economic and social fallout of the coronavirus pandemic provides fertile ground for recruiters amid a resurgence of violence and conflict.

        The trend is the latest example of the failings of Colombia’s peace process following a historic agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016. An estimated 7,000 fighters laid down their arms as the country’s largest guerrilla group demobilised and hope grew that the Andean nation was finally set to turn the page after half a century of conflict. That hope proved fleeting, however. “Other criminal groups simply filled the FARC’s power vacuum,” explained Julia Castellanos, a researcher at COALICO, a coalition of seven NGOs working to monitor and prevent child recruitment.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Vivaldi offers users a 'break' from browsing. No, don't switch to Chrome... don't sw..

          Browser maker Vivaldi has made the bold claim that its latest release will allow users to "pause the internet."

          Alas, its new "Break Mode" only applies to the browser itself. The rest of the desktop will keep on rocking as if nothing had happened. Thus "unplug from continuous work" only really applies if that continuous work happens in Vivaldi as opposed to, say, that little used app Microsoft Word.

        • Windows 10 update reportedly kills Linux support
        • Windows 10 2004 KB4571756 breaks Windows Subsystem for Linux 2
        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Open Source Saturation

              In Supporting Open Source Software I discussed the critical need for better support for contributors to open source projects. Now, Quo Vadis, Open Source? The Limits of Open Source Growth by Michael Dorner, Maximilian Capraro and Ann Barcomb presents statistical evidence suggesting that this problem is affecting the vitality of the open source environment. Follow me below the fold for the details.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • How this open source test framework evolves with .NET

              A software project's design is a consequence of the time it was written. As circumstances change, it's wise to take a step back and consider whether old ideas still make for a good design. If not, you risk missing out on enhancements, simplifications, new degrees of freedom, or even a project's very survival.

              This is relevant advice for .NET developers whose dependencies are subject to constant updates or are preparing for .NET 5. The Fixie project confronted this reality as we flexed to outside circumstances during the early adoption phase of .NET Core. Fixie is an open source .NET test framework similar to NUnit and xUnit with an emphasis on developer ergonomics and customization. It was developed before .NET Core and has gone through a few major design overhauls in response to platform updates.

        • Security

          • Reproducible Builds in August 2020

            In our monthly reports, we summarise the things that we have been up to over the past month. The motivation behind the Reproducible Builds effort is to ensure no flaws have been introduced from the original free software source code to the pre-compiled binaries we install on our systems. If you’re interested in contributing to the project, please visit our main website.

          • Intel AMT Hit By Another "Critical" Security Vulnerability

            Intel's September 2020 security advisories were posted today and include four security advisories around nine vulnerabilities.

            Details on some of the vulnerabilities still aren't loading yet but INTEL-SA-00404 is the most significant this month and it's another Intel AMT/ISM advisory ranked "critical". INTEL-SA-00404 sadly isn't the first major AMT/ISM vulnerability but at least the second AMT vulnerability of the year scoring a CVSS 9.8 out of 10 that is classified as critical.

          • Get started with Docker Bench for Security

            If you've built and deployed Docker hosts, you know it can be a security nightmare. Docker Bench for Security is a free scanning and reporting tool designed to assist with common configuration issues and problems with libraries in the Docker host build.

            This article covers what Docker Bench for Security does and how it works. Then, follow along with a tutorial to set up the security benchmarking tool. Finally, learn some common security vulnerabilities that Docker administrators introduce into the configuration, and how to avoid them. The more secure your build is, the better its Docker Bench for Security score will be.


            This security tool comes as a Docker image to download by default. Alternatively, you can use the direct script download approach.

            Deployment is pretty simple and straightforward. Use an Ubuntu 20.04 LTS VM, and follow a series of simple steps.

            As a best practice, replace any existing version of Docker with the latest release from Docker. Log into the host and configure as required. Use SSH so that you can copy and paste these commands.

          • Raccoon attack allows hackers to break TLS encryption 'under certain conditions'

            A team of academics has disclosed today a theoretical attack on the TLS cryptographic protocol that can be used to decrypt the HTTPS connection between users and servers and read sensitive communications.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (ark, gnupg, go, opendmarc, and python-django), Debian (libxml2), Gentoo (chromium), Oracle (librepo and thunderbird), Red Hat (dovecot and httpd:2.4), SUSE (avahi, kernel, and openldap2), and Ubuntu (xorg-server).

          • Microsoft September 2020 Patch Tuesday fixes 129 vulnerabilities

            Microsoft has published today its monthly batch of security updates, also known as Patch Tuesday. This month, the OS maker patched 129 vulnerabilities across 15 products, ranging from Windows to ASP.NET. Of note is that this month, of the 129 vulnerabilities, 32 were classified as remote code execution issues, which are bugs that permit attackers to exploit vulnerable applications remotely, over a network. Of these 32, 20 also received a severity classification of “critical,” the highest rating on Microsoft’s scale, making the 20 vulnerabilities some of the most important bugs patched across Microsoft products this month.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • Linux servers and workstations are hackers' next target, security researchers warn

              At a time when use of open-source platforms are on the rise, researchers at Kaspersky have warned that sophisticated hackers and crooks are increasingly targeting Linux-based devices using tools specifically designed to exploit vulnerabilities in the platform.

              While Windows tends to be more frequently targeted in mass malware attacks, this is not always the case when it comes to advanced persistent threats (APTs), in which an intruder – often a nation-state or state-sponsored group - establishes an illicit, long-term presence on a network.

              According to Kaspersky, these attacker are increasingly diversifying their arsenals to contain Linux tools, giving them a broader reach over the systems they can attack. Many organisations choose Linux for strategically important servers and systems, and with a "significant trend" towards using Linux as a desktop environment by big business as well as government bodies, attackers are in turn developing more malware for the platform.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • GSoC 2020: Snowflake Proxy on Mobile

              This blog post is about the project I worked on and my experience with Tor under GSoC 2020. After spending a lot of time understanding organizational goals, writing a proposal that aligns with these goals, I eagerly awaited the result of GSoC’s application – a nerve-wracking experience. I’m sure every student who submitted a proposal can relate to this experience. Getting selected to work on the proposal was a fantastic feeling, and knowing that I was going to work for a big and exciting organization like Tor added to the thrill.

              I am very fortunate to have worked with the Tor Project’s anti-censorship team this summer; I worked on Snowflake Proxy on Mobile. The Wiki gives an elaborate sketch about the project; The gist is that this project allows users to run a Snowflake proxy on Android, which helps users in censored countries access Tor. The project is not yet ready for release; some UI/UX work and testing remain to be done, and we hope to wrap up this work over the next few months. If anyone wants to try it out, the URLs point to the local testing environment (Snowbox) for development. It will work if you change the URL to the right broker; they can be changed using the app’s settings, eliminating the need to tweak the code.

            • California Still Needs Privacy Protections for COVID Tracking Apps

              Many states have launched their own versions of exposure notification or tracking apps as a part of their response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. California may be poised to join them. Yet the Golden State still has not enacted any privacy standards for state COVID tracking apps, or for contracts the state may enter to deploy such programs.

              This week, Colorado announced a program using the Exposure Notifications Express (ESE) system. This system, newly baked into Apple’s iOS operating system, will soon also be an option on Google’s Android operating system. It allows tech users to opt-in to a public health program, which alerts them if they’ve been exposed, without requiring them to download a separate app. It is likely to become the easiest path for most smartphone users to participate in exposure notification systems.

            • Google EU Privacy Removal Personal Information Removal Request Form tool fails with Error 403

              EN: Feel violated in my privacy.

              “The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data concerning him or her without undue delay and the controller shall be obliged to erase personal data without undue delay if one of the following reasons applies:”

              “The data subject withdraws his or her consent on which the processing was based pursuant to Article 6 (1) (A) or Article 9 (2) (A), and there is no other legal basis for the processing.”

            • Portland Passes Ban, Public and Private, on Facial Recognition

              As nice as it is to sign on to your phone with Face ID, the technology isn’t always welcome. It’s great for your use but not if someone else is using it on you. This has led Portland to pass a facial recognition ban, both public and private. Portland’s Facial Recognition Ban What is being considered as the toughest facial recognition ban in the United States was passed by the Portland City Council.

            • Post navigation

              Today the City Council of Portland, Oregon, voted unanimously to ban the use of facial recognition technology by City agencies or by private entities in places of public accommodation within the City limits, including at the Portland International Airport (PDX), effective immediately.

              Many local and national organizations and individuals testified eloquently in favor of these proposals. We don’t need to repeat all of their general arguments.

              But a point of particular concern and particular pleasure for us is that the Port of Portland asked the City Council for an exemption from the ban to allow use of facial recognition “for air carrier passenger processing” — and was turned down.

            • PIA's NextGen VPN network is a huge deal, update to try it out now

              The Private Internet Access Next Generation Network is online and functional, but you need to be using the latest version of the PIA client on your device to take full advantage of it. The NextGen VPN Network was first unveiled to our beta testers for a beta preview back in early June of 2020. Following a period of successful testing and rollout, the Private Internet Access Next Generation Network officially came out of beta on June 18th, 2020. Whereas PIA users previously needed to manually select the NextGen Network in the Settings, the NextGen network is now default from v2.4.0 for PIA desktop clients and v3.7.2 for PIA smartphone apps. There are many reasons to try the new VPN servers, which support both OpenVPN and WireGuard€®.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Lukashenko tells ‘RT’ that the voices on last week’s ‘intercepted conversation’ about Navalny’s poisoning were Americans

        The alleged negotiations between Warsaw and Berlin that Belarusian intelligence claimed to have intercepted last week involved Americans, rather than Germans or Poles, said Belarusian President€ Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) in an interview with RT on Wednesday, September 9.€ 

      • “Unforgetting”: Roberto Lovato’s Memoir Links U.S. Military in Central America to Migration Crisis

        We look at how decades of U.S. military intervention in Central America have led to the ongoing migrant crisis, with Salvadoran American journalist Roberto Lovato, author of the new book “Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas.” Lovato recounts his own family’s migration from El Salvador to the United States, his return to the country as a young man to fight against the U.S.-backed right-wing government responsible for grave human rights violations, and his embrace of journalism to tell the stories of people on the margins. “I’m unforgetting a history of not just El Salvador, but the United States and of myself,” says Lovato.

      • Peace Through Weapons Sales to the UAE

        If the American people really want to pursue peace in the Middle East, we€ must pressure Congress to make sure that the U.S.-UAE weapons sales deal does not go through.€ 

      • 'Reducing Troops Not the Same as Ending Wars': Peace Activists Say Trump Drawdown in Iraq Not Nearly Enough

        "Trump is trying to convince voters that is now following through on a campaign promise that he failed to keep in four years and will not fulfill with half measures," says CodePink's Medea Benjamin.€ 

      • Trump’s Fake Anti-War Posturing Works for Him

        In his Labor Day press briefing, Donald Trump blasted the top brass of the American military in terms rarely heard outside of the most radical pacifist sects, describing the Pentagon leadership as greedy warmongers. The context for Trump’s remarks was his hostile response to reports that he had called fallen soldiers “losers” and suckers.”

      • The Current Impasse in Belarus and the Peace Alternative

        Back in the 1970s, the left and even many liberals were clear that Nixon’s dropping napalm on Vietnamese villages was an abomination. By the 1990s, some thought Bill Clinton’s bombing of Yugoslavia was, perhaps, humanitarian. Fast forward to the present, there is sentiment that the US has a global “responsibility to protect” the less enlightened lands in the name of “democracy.” Some on the liberal-left fail to recognize the fallacy of what Jean Bricmont exposes as “humanitarian imperialism – using human rights to sell war.”

      • Boko Haram Terrorists Kill 10 Persons, Abduct Farmers In Borno

        Elsewhere, sources told the newspaper that the jihadists burned three people alive and hacked a fourth to death in another village on the outskirts of Maiduguri also on Sunday.

    • Environment

      • The Climate Crisis Is Happening Right Now. Just Look at California’s Weekend.

        Two weeks ago, after freak lightning strikes torched Northern California but before the inferno of Labor Day weekend had begun, a friend called to talk, like you do when the world is turning to crap and nothing is stable or makes sense. In the past six months she’d fled New York for rural West Marin (due to the pandemic), and West Marin for San Francisco (due to smoke). Now she was planning to leave San Francisco for Los Angeles, as the gross air had descended here. We joked, as I’d joked with every friend this summer, that we should all just drop out and start a commune on a lake in Maine. “Every commune needs lesbians!” she said. “I’ll be our lesbian! California is going to become unlivable!”

        Two weeks ago, this was a funny conversation. By Sunday, it was not.

      • Climate Emergency: Records Tumble as 2 Million Acres of California Burn

        This is climate change in action.€ 

      • Lethal price of climate inertia far exceeds action

        Climate change will impose a lethal price if we do not all pay the far smaller cost of confronting it.

      • Pandemic’s impacts are damaging climate research

        Climate research is suffering permanent damage from some of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impacts, a UN report says.

      • Energy

        • 'We are not locked into fossil fuels in Africa'

          Africa currently accounts for less than 4% of global carbon emissions. But across the continent, standands of living are rising and the entire population is set to double by 2050. Either way, energy consumption in Africa is set to rise, prompting the question: Will this energy take the form of renewables or fossil fuels?

        • Hurricane Laura’s Aftermath: Miles of Oil Sheen in Louisiana’s Wetlands

          For miles along the western Louisiana coastline near the Texas border, I spotted large swathes of land and water that€ appeared coated with oil, visible as the floodwaters receded between the small communities of Grand Chenier and Cameron.€ On September 2 and 3, I also documented oil sheen in waterways along the bayous from Cameron north to the city of Lake Charles and as far east as New Iberia, roughly 130 miles west of New€ Orleans.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Destructive Media Deregulation - With Sue Wilson - The Project Censored Show

        Reporter-turned-media-reformer Sue Wilson joins the program to remind listeners that in spite of extensive and destructive media deregulation, radio and TV stations still have a legal obligation to serve the public interest; she calls on citizens to demand the FCC firmly enforce this mandate. In the final 15 minutes of the show, Nolan Higdon provides a skeptical review of CNN’s new documentary about fake news.

      • Assange on Trial: A Stunning Lack of Transparency and Fairness

        The fine circus that is British justice resumed at London’s Central Criminal Court on September 7, with the continued extradition proceedings against Julian Assange.€  Judge Vanessa Baraitser was concerned that approximately 40 individuals had received remote video access they apparently should not have.€  “In error, the court sent out orders to others who had sought access.€  I remain concerned about my ability to maintain the integrity of the court if they are able to attend remotely.”

      • Trump’s ‘War On Journalism’ Takes Centerstage At Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing

        In the last half-century, journalists James Bamford, Ben Bradlee, Seymour Hersh, and Neil Sheehan were each threatened with prosecution under the Espionage Act. But the U.S. government never followed through with Espionage Act charges against a journalist until 2019, when WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested and charged.

        Trevor Timm, the executive director for the Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF), told a magistrate court judge, “[President Donald] Trump’s administration is moving to explicitly criminalize national security journalism, and if this prosecution is allowed to go forward, dozens of reporters at the New York Times, Washington Post and elsewhere would also be in danger.”

      • Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 7
      • Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day 8

        The great question after yesterday’s hearing was whether prosecution counsel James Lewis QC would continue to charge at defence witnesses like a deranged berserker (spoiler – he would), and more importantly, why?

      • 175 Years in a U.S. Prison? Extradition Trial of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Begins in London

        As the long-awaited extradition hearing for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gets underway in London, his legal adviser, Jennifer Robinson, says the case could set a chilling precedent for press freedoms around the world. “He faces 175 years in prison for doing his job as a journalist and a publisher. That’s why this case is so dangerous,” says Robinson. Assange faces numerous charges, including under the U.S. Espionage Act, related to the release of diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks that revealed war crimes committed by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He faces a possible life sentence if he is extradited to the U.S.

      • Statement of Trevor Timm
      • Day 3: September 9, 2020 #AssangeCase

        Paul Rogers, Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University, took the stand by video link to testify about Julian Assange’s political views and how they factor into the Trump administration’s prosecution of Assange for publishing.

      • Statement of Professor Paul Rogers
      • WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange May Face Up to 175 Years in Prison
      • Chant for Assange
      • UK extradition hearing: final act in campaign to bury Julian Assange

        If the powerful lie to us, we have the right to know. If they say one thing in private and the opposite in public, we have the right to know. If they conspire against us, as George W. Bush and Tony Blair did over Iraq, then pretend to be democrats, we have the right to know.

        It is this morality of purpose that so threatens the collusion of powers that want to plunge much of the world into war and to bury Assange alive in Trump’s fascist America.

      • Journalists Say They Were Barred from Traveling to Cover Ethiopian Regional Election

        arks said the security officers at the airport made it clear that the controversial elections were the reason they were stopping him.

        “They... were also looking at social media posts and previous articles I had written,” he said.

        Marks said security officials kept his passport, press card, residency card, and cellphone and gave no indication how he might retrieve them.

      • Despite Trump Tweet, Order to Dissolve Stars and Stripes Not Yet Rescinded

        But the president’s tweets alone do not indicate policy or dictate law, and Lederer said the Pentagon is “still discussing” the status of the budget order.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Oppositionist Maria Kolesnikova is officially a suspect in a criminal case for illegally attempting to seize power in Belarus

        Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova (Maryia Kalesnikava) has been declared a suspect in a criminal case over an illegal attempt to seize power in Belarus, her lawyer Lyudmila Kazak told RIA Novosti, after visiting Kolesnikova at Minsk’s Pre-Trial Detention Center Number One.€ 

      • Belarusian riot police violently arrested demonstrators at a women’s rally in support of oppositionist Maria Kolesnikova
      • Police in Belarus jail Maria Kolesnikova, the last opposition leader who was still free and in the country

        Belarusian police have jailed opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova (Maryia Kalesnikava) at a detention facility in Minsk, her father told the publication “The head of the Investigative Committee’s Central Criminal Investigations Directorate, Vasilyuk, called and informed me that she’s been jailed. He suggested that I bring her a care package,” Kolesnikov Sr. told reporters.

      • What ‘The New York Times’ Won’t Tell You About Woman Suffrage

        For women around the country, the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which extended the vote to female citizens, was supposed to have been a celebration. Instead, 2020 is the year that wasn’t. The anniversary has been anything but joyous, a victim of the pandemic—and also an occasion for shaming.

      • Over a Dozen Black and Latino Men Accused a Cop of Humiliating, Invasive Strip Searches. The NYPD Kept Promoting Him.

        Christopher McCormack is one of the New York Police Department’s highest-ranking officers. As an assistant chief, he helps oversee drug enforcement and organized crime investigations throughout the city. He was hand-picked for the promotion two years ago by his old friend James O’Neill, who was police commissioner.

        But his ascension started three decades earlier, when he was a rookie cop patrolling drug-infested Washington Heights. “He was always the first guy out of the car,” said Joseph Esposito, his precinct commander at the time. “Always the tip of the spear.” He would earn the nickname “Red Rage” for his ginger hair, fiery temperament and aggressive approach to policing.

      • That Was David Graeber

        I met David Graeber on August 2, 2011, at the first general assembly of Occupy Wall Street. The GA was chaotic, with socialists using a microphone to try to wrangle us anarchists. We wanted something a little less hierarchical, so a handful of us got up and sat in a circle at the other side of the small Wall Street park. Graeber saw us and came over to introduce himself: “Hi, I’m David. Can I sit with you?”

      • 100 Nights of Resistance in Portland

        A few days ago on September 5, the Black Lives Matter protests in Portland reached a milestone, 100 days and nights of protests. Over 400 people attended a rally at Ventura Park to celebrate this event with speakers, musicians and poets, who urged us to keep up the struggle.

      • Biden Urged to Adopt a Good Neighbor Policy Toward Latin America

        Election season is a difficult time to develop good policies towards Latin America, since both Democrats and Republicans cater to the small, but organized, conservative factions of the Latinx community in Florida, vying for their votes. But if Biden wins the White House, there is a chance to reverse the Trump administration policies that have been devastating for Latin America, policies that punish innocent civilians through harsh economic sanctions, destabilize the region through coups and attempts at regime change, and close our borders to desperate people fleeing north in search of safety and opportunity, often as a result of U.S. security and economic policies.

      • Pakistani Christian Sentenced To Death Over 'Blasphemous' Text Messages

        He had been accused by the supervisor of the factory he was worked at of sending derogatory remarks about the Muslim Prophet Muhammad to him in text messages.

        His lawyer said he would appeal the verdict with the Lahore High Court.

        "He has already spent seven years [in custody]. Who knows how many more years he will have to wait till this is over?" Saiful Malook asked.

        Pervaiz has denied the allegations, telling the court during his trial that his supervisor made the accusation only after he had refused to convert to Islam, Malook said.

      • Hong Kong police criticized after video shows officers tackle 12-year-old girl

        The girl was not taking part in the protest, but walking through the downtown Hong Kong area on a mission to buy art supplies when she encountered police in body armor. In video of the incident, she appears to get spooked by the police and try to hurry away, but she's chased by an officer and quickly tackled to the ground.

      • When Muslims leave the faith

        Reasons for leaving Islam vary: Pew finds 25 percent of American ex-Muslims have general issues with religion, 19 percent with Islam in particular, 16 percent prefer another religion, and 14 percent cite reasons of personal growth. Slightly more than half of those leaving (55 percent) abandon religion entirely and slightly less than a quarter (22 percent) convert to Christianity.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Snyders Heart Valve LLC v. St. Jude Medical, LLC (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          Earlier today, the Federal Circuit vacated the final written decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board in an inter partes review involving Appellant Snyders Heart Valve LLC and Appellee St. Jude Medical, LLC, and remanded for proceedings consistent with the Court's decision in Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., 941 F.3d 1320 (Fed. Cir. 2019). Snyders argued that the final written decision at issue on appeal violated the Constitution's Appointments Clause because it was rendered by an unconstitutionally appointed panel of Administrative Patent Judges. Snyders also argued that the remedy in Arthrex is insufficient because it does not allow for review of the Board's decisions by a superior officer and is inconsistent with Congress' intent that Administrative Patent Judges act independently. Snyders further argued that due to the unique circumstances of its case, it was entitled to greater relief than afforded under Arthrex.

          With respect to Snyders' first argument, the Court indicated that the issue had been decided in Arthrex, and that Snyders was entitled to vacatur and remand for a hearing before a properly appointed Board. The Court did not address Snyders second argument, noting that it was bound by Arthrex.

          With respect to Snyders' third argument, Snyders explained that USPTO Director Andre Iancu had served as counsel for St. Jude Medical LLC in a parallel proceeding prior to his appointment as Director. Although Director Iancu had recused himself from the instant case, Snyders argued that the Director's conflict should be imputed to all USPTO employees and that his recusal should impact the remedy available to Snyders. The Court, however, found Snyders' argument to be without merit, noting that the Deputy Director has the authority, under 35 U.S.C. ۤ 3(b)(1), "to act in the capacity of the Director in the event of the absence or incapacity of the Director," and that a conflict requiring recusal qualifies as an "incapacity" within the meaning of the statute.

        • UK patent exams: FD4/P6 survey and model answers

          The UK patent exams are now fast approaching. Candidates are awaiting the "essential information for candidates" which is due to be released 1 month before the exams. With the first exam taking place on 12th October, we should therefore expect the information to be released by the start of next week. Hopefully the information will answer some of the outstanding questions regarding the exams (including the basic question of how long each exam will be?).

          To assist candidates in their preparation for the exams, the PEB has released some FD4/P6 (Infringement and validity) model answers for the 2013 ("Water butts") and 2018 ("Gantry-gate") papers. The model answers can be viewed on the PEB website here. The answers were written by an unpaid volunteer in their own time "who recognised that many candidates did not fully understand what a good FD4 answer should look like". Indeed, there are many schools of thought in the profession as to how FD4/P6 should be approached. FD4/P6 also seems to be the paper that has the worst reputation, to which the comments here on IPKat here and here are a testament.

        • Adding to the Uncertainty of Obviousness-Type Double Patenting

          In Immunex Corp. et al. v. Sandoz Inc. et al., the Federal Circuit found that there was no obviousness-type double patenting because there was no “common ownership” of patents under an agreement where Roche retained key rights to the patents-in-suit. Immunex Corp., v. Sandoz Inc., ___ F.3d ___, No. 2020-1037 (Fed. Cir. July 1, 2020). As set forth below, this case has important implications for both the licensing and prosecution of patents.

          To fully appreciate the import of this case, some factual background is necessary: Roche (the patent owner), Immunex (Roche’s exclusive licensee), and Amgen (an exclusive sublicensee) sued Sandoz for patent infringement in the District of New Jersey pursuant to the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act. Roche’s patents-in-suit related to the fusion protein etanercept, the active ingredient in Immunex’s Enbrel€®, which is used to reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Sandoz did not contest infringement, but instead argued that the patents were invalid. Interestingly, Sandoz sought to invalidate Roche’s patents-in-suit for obviousness-type double patenting using Immunex’s patents, not Roche’s own patents as is typically the case. This argument was based on a novel theory of “common ownership,” a prerequisite for a finding of double patenting.

        • Does your Heart Break for this Patentee?

          Snyders’ US Patent No. 6,821,297 covers a collapsible artificial heart valve that can be attached through a blood vessel rather than open-heart surgery.


          The Federal Circuit found the argument here “without merit . . . the Deputy Director’s role sufficiently removes any potential taint of the Director’s conflict.” The Court did not address the particular issue here regarding the heightened supervisory authority of PTAB judges coming-out-of Arthrex.

        • $1,100 Awarded for KCG Technologies '447 prior art

          Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winners, Ekta Aswal and Raghuram Varadarajan, who split a cash prize of $1,100 for their prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 10,394,447. The '447 patent, directed to a virtual smart phone system for use in automobiles, is owned by KCG Technologies (an NPE) that has asserted similar patents against automotive companies in district court.

          To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

        • $2,000 for Intellectual Ventures '736 Prior Art

          On September 9, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claims 17 and 36 of U.S. Patent 6,618,736. This patent is owned by Intellectual Ventures, an NPE. The '736 patent relates to file systems that are created and archived by providing a set of shared storage units and one or more templates. Each template includes a set of private storage units and a corresponding usage map.

          The ‘736 patent is currently being asserted against Arista Networks. View Intellectual Ventures ‘736 district court litigation.

          APEX STANDARDS has shared US and non-US prior art as well as corresponding claim charting against the patent.

        • How Brexit Will Impact Your IP Rights

          Brexit will not affect European patents and patent applications because these are granted through the centralized procedure before the European Patent Office (EPO) under the European Patent Convention (EPC). As the UK will remain a member of the EPC after Brexit, the UKIPO will still validate European patents, and the UK patent professionals will be entitled to represent right holders before the EPO.

        • EPO Oppositions and Appeals - 2-Day Case Law Workshop (London, UK - October 1-2, 2020) -
      • Copyrights

        • Take-Two Wins Injunction to Kill Red Dead Redemption Enhancement Project

          Take-Two Interactive and developer Johnathan Wyckoff have agreed to a permanent injunction to kill the latter's Red Dead Redemption Enhancement Project. Among other things, Wyckoff - aka 'DemandDev' - hoped to bring the first edition of the videogame to PC. This resulted in a copyright infringement lawsuit which has now been terminated, provided the developer sticks to its terms.

        • Publishers Are Taking the Internet to Court

          When Covid-19 struck, hundreds of millions of students were suddenly stranded at home without access to teachers or libraries. UNESCO reported that in April, 90 percent of the world’s enrolled students had been adversely affected by the pandemic. In response, the Internet Archive’s Open Library announced the National Emergency Library, a temporary program suspending limits on the number of patrons who could borrow its digital books simultaneously. The Open Library lends at no charge about 4 million digital books, 2.5 million of which are in the public domain, and 1.4 million of which may be under copyright and subject to lending restrictions. (This is roughly equivalent to a medium-sized city library; the New York Public Library, by comparison, holds 21.9 million books and printed materials and 1.78 million e-books, according to 2016 figures from the American Library Association.) But the National Emergency Library wound up creating an emergency of its own—for the future of libraries.

        • We’re Happy to Introduce Our Newest CC Chapter: CC Austria!

          CC Austria, supported by Chapter Lead Alexander Baratsits and Representative to the CC Global Network Roland Alton-Scheidl, will continue to address core issue areas through a variety of activities. CC Austria has already submitted a statement as part of the consultation process led by the Austrian Ministry of Justice on the implementation of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. The Ministry of Justice’s initial draft addresses the issues of text and data mining and offers exceptions for digital uses in teaching and learning. Unsurprisingly, the Ministry of Justice has adopted a rights holder-friendly position. For example, the draft provides remuneration for text and data mining for scientific purposes and the priority of licenses for the educational exception. CC Austria has submitted alternative proposals and intends to intensify the public debate on this issue in the coming months.

        • Cloudflare Must Expose Operators of Popular Pirate Streaming Sites

          Anti-piracy coalition ACE is going after the operators of several pirate streaming sites. The members of ACE obtained a DMCA subpoena that requires Cloudflare to hand over the personal details and account information related to 37 domain names, including,,, and

        • Streams For Us & Other IPTV Suppliers Shut Down Following ACE Threats

          Several pirate IPTV providers and resellers, including the popular Streams For Us, have decided to close their doors under pressure from global anti-piracy coalition ACE. Precise details on the decisions behind some of the closures aren't yet clear but an ACE cease-and-desist notice against a primary provider may have had a domino effect.

        • As Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault Plans Link Taxes and Internet Content Regulation, Where Is Navdeep Bains?

          These issues touching on Internet regulation, copyright reform, and online competition, engage both portfolios and both ministers have been mandated to address them. Guilbeault may think of Internet companies as akin to environmental polluters, but is that view shared by Bains?€  If not, it is time for the Innovation, Science and Industry to speak out and live up to his own mandate letter.

        • Human Rights and TPMs: Lessons from 22 Years of the U.S. DMCA

          In 1998, Bill Clinton signed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a sweeping overhaul of U.S. copyright law notionally designed to update the system for the digital era. Though the DMCA contains many controversial sections, one of the most pernicious and problematic elements of the law is Section 1201, the "anti-circumvention" rule which prohibits bypassing, removing, or revealing defects in "technical protection measures" (TPMs) that control not just use but also access to copyrighted works.

          In drafting this provision, Congress ostensibly believed it was preserving fair use and free expression but failed to understand how the new law would interact with technology in the real world and how some courts could interpret the law to drastically expand the power of copyright owners. Appellate courts disagree about the scope of the law, and the uncertainty and the threat of lawsuits have meant that rightsholders have been able to effectively exert control over legitimate activities that have nothing to do with infringement, to the detriment of basic human rights.. Manufacturers who designed their products with TPMs that protected business models, rather than profits, can claim that using those products in ways that benefited their customers, (rather than their shareholders) is illegal.

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[Meme] SPI and 'FSFE': Sponsored by Microsoft to...
women's instincts do not matter to these strongmen
One More (Failed) Attempt to Deplatform the Sites by Harassing and Threatening Webhosts
What we're seeing here is a person who abuses the system in Canada at Canadian taxpayers' expense trying to do the same in the UK, at British taxpayers' expense
[Meme] Shitburger of an LLM
IBM and the Hololens
Links 17/06/2024: Chatbot Nonsense Thrown Under the Bus (Severe Failure, Pure Hype), How to Finance Free Software 'Hackers'
Links for the day
Debian's Personal Attacks Are Upsetting Women, Too
Female Debian Developer: "I Believe Daniel [Pocock] is On the Right Track."
Microsoft's Bing is So Irrelevant in Moldova (1%) That Russia's Yandex is About 5 Times Bigger
How much longer before Microsoft throws in the towel?
12 Days Have Passed Since the Edward Brocklesby Revelations and Debian Project Has Said Absolutely Nothing About That
One must therefore assume they have nothing to say in their defence (covering up severe security failings)
Yes, You Can
Unless you live somewhere like Russia...
[Meme] Listen to the Experts
Bill Gates didn't even finish university]
Roy and Rianne's Righteously Royalty-free RSS Reader (R.R.R.R.R.R.) and the Front-End Interfaces
As the Web deteriorates the availability, quality and prevalence of RSS feeds is not improving, to put it mildly
Algeria Shows High GNU/Linux and Android Adoption, All-Time High and Almost Three-Quarters of Web Requests
GNU/Linux was below 3%, now it is above 3%
Mass Layoffs at Microsoft-owned GitHub (About 80 Percent of the Staff in India Laid Off)
It's not just in India
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 16, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, June 16, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Scarecrows, Moles, Ham Radio, and No IPs
Links for the day
Africa is Android and Green (Chrome, Not Just Android Logo)
In Africa Firefox is almost below 1% now
Coercion From the "Consent" and "CoC" Crowd is a Self-Defeating Tactic
Freedom of the press; Nothing less
Covering Abuses and Corruption
We'll never surrender to blackmail
According to statCounter, GNU/Linux Increased From 3.77% to 3.89% This Month (Worldwide), Windows Now Below 20% in 78 Nations, Below 10% in 27 Nations
Highest since March (for GNU/Linux)
Ubuntu Running Out of Energy
Its planet too is deteriorating
Links 16/06/2024: In Defence of Email and Why Recycling Symbol Lost All Meaning
Links for the day
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Computer Science Course Union and Potentiometer
Links for the day
Cross border crime: sale of Swiss insurance in France and European Union without authorisation
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Letting Microsoft systemd Manage /home Was a Terrible Idea All Along
systemd-tmpfiles, deleting /home
Patriotism is OK, But We Need Facts and Reason, Not Blind Obedience to Authority
Very seldom in the history of human civilisation has groupthink proven to be of real merit
When You Touch One of Us You Touch All of Us
We have a principled, uncompromising stance on this matter
Links 16/06/2024: New Sanctions Against Russia, Fentanylware (TikTok) Causing More Problems
Links for the day
Social Control Media in Japan: Twitter (X) Has Collapsed, YouTube Rising (Apparently)
What a genius Mr. Musk is!
Windows Cleansed in South Africa (Already Hovering Around 10% Market Share)
Plus Microsoft's mass layoffs in Africa
[Meme] Satya Nadella's Windows PC RECALLS Not What He Did
Satya got lucky
Usage of Let's Encrypt in Geminispace Has Collapsed (That's a Good Thing!)
Ideally, or eventually, all capsules will sign their own certificates or have their own CA
North Macedonia: Windows Down From 99.2% to 28.5%
Last year it was even measured at 26%
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 15, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 15, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Hand Held Maneuvering Unit and Hugo Static Files
Links for the day