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Links 9/11/2020: Linux 5.10 RC3, Mesa 20.2.2, and Mutt 2.0

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Weekly Roundup: GIMP 2.99.2, LXQt 0.16.0, Sparky Linux 5.13 and More

      Here's this week's roundup series, curated for you from the Linux and open-source world on application updates, new releases, distribution updates, major news, and upcoming highlights.

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: November 8th, 2020

      I’ll start this weekly roundup with a big THANK YOU to everyone who followed 9to5Linux or me on social media. Thank you again to everyone who donated so far, and, if you can afford and you want to help me keep this Linux website alive for as long as possible through this challenging time please consider donating. Even the smallest amount will make a big difference!

      This week has been kinda slow in both releases and news, but I’ll say there were some interesting announcements and let’s not forget about the launch of another tiny Linux computer. Let’s get started, shall we?

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #103

      Hello, we hope that you are doing well.

      We had a peaceful week in the world of Linux Releases. These distros were released during this week; MX Linux 19.3 RC1, Bluestar Linux 5.9.3, Pardus 19.4, and SparkyLinux 5.13.

      LXQt 0.16 desktop environment has also been released in the past week, we are waiting for it to arrive in Lubuntu 21.04 daily builds, and then we will have a look at it.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Review: my new Desktop Computer for a GNU/Linux digital-painting workstation

        So here is a review of the computer I received 48h ago. Quick reminder: I was looking for...

        a performant workstation with a focus on 2D Computer Graphics (Krita/Inkscape/Scribus) Good for multi-monitor setup, video editing, a bit of Blender 3D. Running GNU/Linux with minimal proprietary driver (no Nvidia proprietary driver) No 3D gaming: this a PC for work only. Low budget for a workstation: 1100€ (~$1300)

        I only painted 7h with this PC, made a bit of video editing, recorded a bit; but this is already beyond what I expected for the task this PC is meant to do. I hope it will have a long life!

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Episode 223 – Full disclosure won, deal with it – Open Source Security

        Josh and Kurt talk about the idea behind the full disclosure of security vulnerability details. There have been discussions about this topic for decades with many people on all sides of the issue. The reality is however, if you look at the current state of things, this discussion is settled, full disclosure won.

      • Linux Action News 162

        We review the Raspberry Pi 400. Then discover new features coming to Linux powered Dells.

        Plus an important Let's Encrypt update, and the next billion-dollar tech coming to Linux.

      • GNU World Order 379

        Listener feedback, the **Powertop** package, and the state of Slackware in 2020.

      • Need A Hotkey Daemon Give Dxhd A Try - YouTube

        Sxhkd is great and all but there are some small improvements that could be made to it to make it a much better hotkey daemon and that's what dxhd aims to do, it's very easy to port your config over from sxhkd and adds some neat little additions on top of it.

      • Podcast #12 with James Ramey from Codeweavers - Boiling Steam

        You want podcasts? No need to wait much longer, we are back with a new podcast episode. This time we talk to James Ramey (president from Codeweavers) once again following the recent release of Proton 5.13 and their rebranded offering with PortJump and ExecMode.

      • Do Open Source Projects Ignore You?
    • Kernel Space

      • mesa 20.2.2
        Hi list,

        I know this is coming rather late, but better late than never! Mesa 20.2.2 is now available, and includes numerous fixes. Please enjoy responsibly.

      • Mesa 20.2.2 Released With A Random Assortment Of Fixes

        For those sticking to stable releases of Mesa3D there is Mesa 20.2.2 now available as the latest point release.

        Mesa 20.2.2 comes with a rather random assortment of fixes ranging from a few corrections in RADV as well as to the ACO compiler back-end, several Intel fixes , and other work in the different areas of the growing Mesa3D code-base.

        There aren't any really standout fixes as part of Mesa 20.2.2 but those looking for the full list can see the release announcement.

      • Linux 5.10-rc3
        Things look normal. rc3 is neither particularly small or particularly
        large - it's pretty much average for an rc3 release for the last
        couple of years. As usual, things have picked up a bit from rc2 as
        people are finding things, but that's normal and not worrisome.

        Nothing particularly stands out in the shortlog (appended) or the diffs either - the changes are pretty spread out, with all the usual suspects: drivers (gpu, sound, i2c, networking etc), architecture fixes (x86, powerpc, arm64, risc-v, s390), and various tooling and documentation updates. And to round it out, a random smattering elsewhere (core networking, kernel, some mm and filesystem noise).

        Please test,


      • Kernel prepatch 5.10-rc3

        The 5.10-rc3 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "Things look normal. rc3 is neither particularly small or particularly large - it's pretty much average for an rc3 release for the last couple of years."

      • Linux 5.10-rc3 Released As A "Normal" RC3 Version

        Linus Torvalds just released Linux 5.10-rc3 as the newest test release ahead of stable Linux 5.10 that will be minted in December.

      • Experimental Linux Patches Allow User-Space Peer-To-Peer DMA Between NVMe Drives - Phoronix

        A set of Linux kernel patches posted on friday allow peer-to-peer DMA (P2PDMA) transfers between NVMe drives using existing O_DIRECT operations or the NVMe pass-through interface from user-space.

        These patches allow for user-space transfers between NVMe solid-state drives in a more efficient manner via P2PDMA. The patches though at the moment are marked "request for comments" and there are some technical issues to overcome around scatter-gather lists (SGLs) and one of the DMA interfaces.

      • Intel/AMD

        • New TTM Allocator For AMDGPU Graphics Memory Landing With Linux 5.11 - Phoronix

          The recently proposed new TTM memory management page allocator that can yield 3~5x faster page allocation as tested with the AMDGPU kernel driver will be coming for Linux 5.11.

          Christian König has been working on this new TTM allocator code and where it changes to it by default -- not just for AMDGPU but also the older Radeon DRM driver and for other drivers too like Nouveau and VMWGFX that also make use of the TTM memory management code.

        • Intel "coIOMMU" Can Help With Performance For VMs When Using Direct I/O Access - Phoronix

          Currently when directly assigning I/O devices to virtual machines the guest memory needs to be statically pinned unless using a vIOMMU setup in which case it does not but there are performance implications there as well. Intel engineers though have been working on a virtual IOMMU implementation with DMA buffer tracking to overcome these limitations.

          With Intel's proposed "coIOMMU" implementation there is fine-grained pinning and vendor agnostic support for emulated or para-virtualized vIOMMUs. Yu Zhang of Intel presented at KVM Forum 2020 on this coIOMMU effort.

        • Intel Sends Out Linux Support For SGX Enclaves Support A 40th Time

          Intel didn't manage to get their Software Guard Extensions (SGX) support merged for the current Linux 5.10 LTS kernel cycle and it's still up in the air if it will be pulled in the near-term for providing the mainline kernel with SGX enclaves support.

          SGX enclaves support is about providing protected regions of code/data from unauthorized access or modification. SGX support has been around since Skylake and continues to be built upon including with upcoming Ice Lake Xeon servers. But getting mainline support for SGX has been quite an effort now taking years and as of this week up to forty rounds of code review.


          The SGX v40 Linux patches also have a number of low-level fixes and other code improvements. More details on the SGX v40 Linux kernel patches via the mailing list. We'll see in December if SGX gets pulled into the Linux 5.11 merge window or if the Intel developers will keep working on pushing it to upstream into 2021.

    • Applications

      • Mutt 2.0 Release Notes

        This release was bumped to 2.0, not because of the magnitude of features (which is actually smaller than past releases), but because of a few changes that are backward incompatible.

      • Mutt 2.0 released
    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Set ulimit Value Permanently – Linux Hint

        In Linux, ulimit is a built-in tool to manage resource allocation at global, group, and user levels. For a multi-user system like Linux, such a feature is almost paramount to have. It can prevent the consumption of unwanted system resources like RAM, and CPU power.

      • How to install Google Chrome on Ubuntu 20.10 - YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Google Chrome on Ubuntu 20.10.

      • Hacking WPA2 WiFi Networks | The Linux Rain

        Whatever the reason for wanting to hack a wifi network, it is nonetheless doable. In fact, it’s become child’s play these days.

      • Combining repeat and repeat-complex-command

        In Emacs, you can use C-x z to repeat the last command you input, and subsequently you can keep tapping the ‘z’ key to execute that command again and again. If the command took minibuffer input, however, you’ll be asked for that input again. For example, suppose you type M-z : to delete through the next colon character. If you want to keep going and delete through the next few colons, you would need to use C-x z : z : z : etc. which is pretty inconvenient. So there’s also C-x ESC ESC RET or C-x M-: RET, which will repeat the last command which took minibuffer input, as if you’d given it the same minibuffer input. So you could use M-z : C-x M-: RET C-x M-: RET etc., but then you might as well just keep typing M-z : over and over. It’s also quite inconvenient to have to remember whether you need to use C-x z or C-x M-: RET.

      • Video: podman systemd-based system containers with GUI Desktop |

        In this screencast I show how to build a podman image using the Fedora 33 base image to include httpd, mariadb, openssh-server as well the XFCE desktop environment with a sampling of desktop applications. I then make and run a container with the image and show you how to connect to it with ssh, http, and X2Go. Oh, and I do all of it as a regular user... as a rootless container. The POWER of podman. Obviously watch it in full-screen or download. Enjoy!

      • How to Set Max User Processes on Linux – Linux Hint

        Linux offers the capability to customize almost every single aspect of your system. One such feature is the ability to control the number of processes a user can have. This gives the system admins better control over the system and optimizes resource consumption. This article will show you how to set max user processes in Linux.

      • How to Use Wireshark to Search for a String in Packets – Linux Hint

        In this article, you will learn how to search for strings in packets using Wireshark. There are multiple options associated with string searches. Before going further in this article, you should have a general knowledge of Wireshark Basic.

      • Export MySQL Data To Excel in PHP – Linux Hint

        Sometimes, you may need to export into Excel format from MySQL to use locally. The database or tables of the MySQL database can be exported into various file formats, such as CSV, XML, SQL, Excel, etc., by using the PHP client, phpMyAdmin. It is also possible to export MySQL data using PHP script instead of exporting the data manually. When a web application requires data to be stored in Excel format from the MySQL database, then it is best to use PHP script to perform this task. This tutorial shows you how to export MySQL data using PHP script.

      • How to Capture Wi-Fi Traffic Using Wireshark – Linux Hint

        In this article, you will learn how to capture wireless frames using Wireshark in Linux (Example: Ubuntu. To follow this article, first, you should learn the basics of WireShark in the Wireshark Basic article, and then you can come back here.

      • Zip and Unzip Commands in Linux – Linux Hint

        Zip is a popular cross-platform command used for compressing and archiving data. Compression saves space by shrinking the size of data while archiving makes the transfer of data easier by combining multiple files or directories into a single file. Consider, if we have to transfer 5 files over the internet, each with size 50 megabytes; transferring all the files one by one could take a long time. Compressing the files to reduce the size up to 25MB, and then archiving all of them in a single file will make it much quicker to transfer the files than when they are uncompressed. Zip is the most widely used utility for archiving and compressing files, while the unzip is used for extracting and decompressing the zipped files.

        In this article, we will look at the zip and unzip commands in Linux, along with their command-line options and examples.

      • List Only Directories in Linux With ls and Other Commands

        Listing the contents of a directory is easy. But what if you want to list only the directories, not files and links?

      • Rename all subtitles files with the same name of mp4 files in same folder
      • Editing Custom Fields Using REST API in WordPress - Anto Online

        On December 6, 2016, the WordPress team announced the JSON REST API. The original API came with endpoint for posts, comments, terms, users, meta, and settings. By now, the REST API includes much more functionality like plugins access, custom post and taxonomy types, authorization, and searches. In this post, you will be learning how the posts endpoint works and how you can use that to edit WordPress custom fields. But first, let us start with the basics of using the REST API in WordPress.

      • Openstack RDO && KVM Hypervisor: Setting up KVM Hypervisor on SparkyLinux 2020.9 rolled forward up to 11/08/2020 (VENV)
      • How To Install Kanboard on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Kanboard on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Kanboard is a free and open-source project management tool that uses the Kanban methodology. Kanboard focuses on minimalism and simplicity, it is mainly designed for small teams. It also helps you to manage your projects and visualize your workflow.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Kanboard on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • NordVPN - The most famous VPN service provider for Linux - LinuxH2O

        In this article, you will learn about the NordVPN features and how you can install and setup it up in your favourite Linux distribution without any hustle.

        NordVPN is arguably a celebrity when it comes to VPN service providers. There are many out there claiming to be the best, however, NordVPN seems to have caught everyone’s attention.

      • Using Mailvelope with Yubikey in Linux

        Mailvelope is an extension on web browsers to send end to end encrypted emails. This is a good option available to the users to send end to end encrypted without changing the email service they use. It is licensed under AGPL v3, making it Free and Open Source software. The code is there in Github for the community to have a look. This can be added as an extension to the - Chrome, Firefox and Edge browsers to securely encrypt emails with PGP using your email providers. ​ Mailvelope does provide end to end encryption for the email content but does not protect the metadata (subject, IP address of the sender) from third parties. As most of the email encryption tools, it does not work on the mobile browser. There is a detailed user guide on Mailvelope from the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which is really helpful for the new users.

      • Parabola GNU/Linux-libre: [From Arch 32] plasma-workspace needs manual intervention
    • Games

      • What have you been gaming on Linux recently? Come have a chat | GamingOnLinux

        It's been a little while since we had a community-chat post to round-up what you've all been gaming on Linux lately, so let's have a chat shall we.

        We're all a bit spoilt for choice thanks to the likes of native Linux games, Steam Play Proton, cloud game streaming, lots of great emulators and more that you can all do right on Linux. This often makes choosing a game to play rather difficult doesn't it? It does for me.

        I end up quite often going back to what I see as comfort games, those that you can just repeat over and over and you know them well, like a gaming comfort blanket with the likes of XCOM 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Streets of Rogue and others but there's a new one in my own personal list: Ziggurat 2 which released into Early Access with Linux support in late October.

      • How to play Among Us on a Chromebook with GeForce Now - Steam Version

        Today we are looking at how to play Among Us on a Chromebook. We will be using Nvidia's Geforce Now, to play as it works very well and on most Chromebooks,.

        So, as seen in the video, a person first creates a free or paid GeForce Now account (if you do not have one already). Then we go to the Steam website and create a free account (if you do not have one already) and add Among Us which is a paid game to your library and lastly, we go to the GeForce Now dashboard and launch and play Among Us!

      • FlightGear 2020.3 Released with New Default Keflavík (BIKF) Airport [Ubuntu PPA]

        After 2 years of development, Flightgear 2020.3 was released as the latest stable version of the flight simulator. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, and derivatives.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Customize Xfce Desktop for Modern Look and Productivity

        You can customize the super lightweight Xfce desktop for a modern look and improve productivity by tweaking various settings. In this guide, we explain the steps to configure a basic Xfce desktop installation (for example - Xubuntu) entirely and make it look modern while being productive.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Kicks Off November With More Fixes, Including More Plasma Wayland Work

          The first week of November brought numerous improvements to the KDE stack.

          KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his weekly development highlights and among them for the past week are:

          - The Kate text editor now supports the Zig language server.

        • Kate is soon 20 years old!

          As described here Kate will soon be twenty. My mail to the former KWrite maintainer dates back to “Thu, 14 Dec 2000 18:38:42 +0100”, thought I think I started earlier with actually hacking on that MDI KWrite variant. But just to have some official date, let’s say Kate was born at 14th December 2000, in a bit over one month Kate will turn officially twenty.

        • KDE Android News (November 2020)

          Since Akademy a few things have happened regarding bringing our applications to Android. Here are some of the highlights I’m aware of.

        • [KDE's Albert Astals Cid] 20.12 releases branches created

          Make sure you commit anything you want to end up in the 20.12 releases to them

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GSoD Weekly Summary 7 – Pranali Deshmukh

          This week I finally started working on the documentation for another application: GNOME contacts. It is another core GNOME application, and the next application in my list as per the list posted on the GNOME App Help Tasks Wiki.

        • Evolution added support for EteSync-2.0 – Nour's Blog

          Welcome everyone, in the past weeks, EteSync made some major announcements one of them is releasing EteSync-2.0 which brings new features and made major improvements over EteSync-1.0, you can read more about what the new version brings and how to migrate your EteSync account to EteSync-2.0 from their blog post here.

          And now I am happy to announce that the Evolution-EteSync module has been upgraded to use the new EteSync-2.0 protocol which is built under Etebase and the module is now under GNOME repo, you can check it here.

          This guide will show you how to install the module and how to use it with Evolution, most of the things are as before except that now, you don’t need to enter an encryption password plus other major performance boost.

    • Distributions

      • What an amazing week!!!!! – ArchBang Live Iso

        I am really surprised today ArchBang has had over 3500 downloads this week. An all time record. Have to blame (or thank) Matt at ArchLabs for letting users know of release. Think some comments were also made on Distro Watch. Never going to say ArchBang is perfect and it will always need more work Tried to make it so a user has a range of options to get the job done. If you want to install offline, a fully customized install from the ground up or via arch-install-scripts (the arch way).

        Am looking at adding a mirror selector to abinstall and possibly making a user use gparted to set up partitions. Not that high on my list at the moment but something that would make install a little easier.

      • BSD

        • One or more devices has experienced an unrecoverable error. An attempt was made to correct the error. Applications are unaffected.

          This is not message I wanted to see in my FreeNAS GUI when running brand new disks, but oh well.


          A few months have passed since I started writing this post. In the meanwhile I was monitoring the situation and did not discover any further issues. The pool is running fine and no further scrubs reported any errors. I am therefore concluding that the issue was caused most likely by the above malfunction and has nothing to do with the drive itself.

        • QNAP firmware disable ssh management menu

          as a good boy i just upgraded my QNAP NAS to the latest available firmware,, but after the reboot there's an ugly surprise awaiting for me

          once i ssh'd into the box to do my stuff, instead of a familiar bash prompt i'm greeted by a management menu that allows me to perform some basic management tasks or quit it and go back to the shell. i dont really need this menu (in particular because i have automations that regularly ssh into the box and they are not meant to be interactive).

        • VirtualBox disk I/O on FreeBSD | [bobulate]

          Over on Twitter Allan Jude suggested that I should switch volmode at the ZFS level so that GEOM wouldn’t (potentially) interfere with the disks. I haven’t tried that, and sometimes I like being able to, say, munge the partition table of a virtual disk from the host system. In any case, it’s possible that zfs set volmode=dev zvols/calamares-dev-kamarada will do the trick as well.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Review: Fedora 33 Workstation

          In late October, the Fedora project released Fedora 33 in several different versions. Workstation, Server, and IoT (Internet of Things) are the three core releases. Fedora CoreOS and Fedora Silverblue are considered emerging editions. There are also several spins and variants that feature alternate desktop environments or are tuned to a specific task. I will be focusing on Fedora 33 Workstation for this review.

          Fedora 33 Workstation introduces two interesting new features: Btrfs as the default file system format and swap on zRAM, the later of which was already in use in Fedora IoT. The rest of the updates include the usual refresh and polish of everything. Fedora 33 Workstation ships with version 5.8 of the Linux kernel, GNOME 3.38, and all the various applications and development tools are the latest versions.


          Fedora 33 is the first time I have ever been frustrated with a Fedora release. From the Secure Boot issue to the constantly crashing Firefox tabs, this release of Fedora was not a pleasure to work with. It was not awful, but it was no where near what I have usually experienced from a Fedora release. I am sure all the issues will be fixed eventually, but, for now, I have a hard time recommending Fedora 33. Maybe people with better hardware will have better luck (the Firefox issue does seem to be related to not having enough available RAM), so try Fedora 33 out, if you are a Fedora fan. Maybe things will have improved by the time they put out a possible point release to deal with the Secure Boot issue, but nothing to date has fixed any of the issues I had when working on this review.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 11 "Bullseye" Freezes Coming Up, Debian 13 To Be Trixie

          Debian developers are two months out from the transition and essentials freeze for Debian 11 "Bullseye" that in turn should debut as stable later in 2021.

          Starting on 12 January 2021 is the transition and essentials freeze for the Debian 11 "Bullseye" release. After that Debian maintainers should avoid large/disruptive changes. The soft freeze should then begin on 12 February and the hard freeze on 12 March. The full freeze and actual release of Debian 11.0 have yet to be determined.

        • debexpo: adding "Already in Debian" field for packages list - ひとりしずかに。

          I've sent a merge request to show "Already in Debian" column in packages list on


          This feature is not fully merged yet, but it may be useful to distinguish "This package is already in Debian or not" for sponsor.

        • LazPaint

          There is a new application available for Sparkers: LazPaint


          LazPaint was started to demonstrate the capabilities of the graphic library BGRABitmap. It provides advanced drawing functions in Lazarus development environment. Both provided a source of inspiration for the other and finally LazPaint became real image editor. Thanks to the help of Lazarus community, the program has been compiled on Windows, Linux and macOS.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Edge-native Linux

          Tech innovators use Linux to create intelligent devices for homes, factories, buildings, cities or vehicles etc… These things are deployed at the edge, in privacy sensitive or business critical environments. They require ever more compute to run ever smarter applications.

          A Linux distribution engineered for embedded devices running highly intelligent applications at edge scale is overdue. Let’s discuss what it takes to get there.

          Micro-servers, built on SoCs

          Application processor SoCs are replacing the constrained chips embedded devices used to be built upon. These SoCs integrate multiple CPUs, GPUs, memory, and other capabilities like multimedia encoders/decoders, controllers (USB, BT, wifi) on the same chip.

          These SoCs are powerful enough to run general purpose operating systems and applications. They provide advanced computing capabilities in small form factors and at low price points. The result is a blurring of the line between embedded and general purpose computers.

        • Canonical to Work with Major Telecom Company

          While talking about cloud-based business, nothing is as wide-spread and influential as telecommunications companies. Because of software-defined networking (SDN) and Network functions virtualization (NVF), telecom services are completely run on the cloud. Canonica, best known for its Linux-based OS Ubuntu, has won a significant customer for its Charmed OpenStack cloud software. The customer is none other than MTS, the largest telecom company in Russia.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Manage Any Scientific Laboratory with this Amazing Fee Open-source LIMS Software: eLabFTW

        LIMS or Laboratory Information Management Systems are designed to run labs, function as a collaborative platform for researchers as well as a laboratory notebook.

        LIMS boosts teams productivity, organize lab assets and resources, improve collaborative teamwork and keep organized records in digital forms that eases researchers and technician work.

        Our topic today is about eLabFTW and why do we recommend it as LIMS?

        eLabFTW is a self-hosted completely free open-source (Libre) laboratory information management system. It's designed as a general-purpose laboratory system but proven reliable in medical and biology laboratories, it also works exceptionally for experimental research laboratories.

      • Gaphor: Open-source UML and SysML Modeling Application For Windows, Linux and macOS

        Developers and software engineers are often required to create diagrams in their line of work. As there are many commercial solutions some may feel compelled to buy like I did on macOS, there are few alternative professional solutions like Dia diagram editor.

        Our topic of the day is Gapher a simple yet powerful solution, where we list its features and why it's an important asset for developers and software engineers.

        Gapher is a free open-source simple UML and SysML program. It's a multiplatform solution which means it runs on Windows, Linux and macOS.

      • OpenRazer 2.9 Released With Support For Handling More Razer Peripherals On Linux - Phoronix

        Version 2.9 of OpenRazer is now available as the independently-developed solution for configuring and monitoring various Razer peripherals on Linux like not only their keyboards and mice but also headsets and other hardware.

      • Adam Franco Built Curvature to Find the Fun Roads

        Software developer Adam Franco created Curvature to analyze ten million roads around the world and find the twisty ones. Using OpenStreetMap (OSM) and a ton of math, Curvature ranks roads based on the number and quality of their curvy bits. The result is a map of almost everywhere on Earth you want to spend a sunny day driving or riding. Our conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

      • Events

        • Design Session - Xen FuSA SIG present and future - Xen Project

          In this Xen Summit Design Session, the Xen Functional Safety Special Interest Group (FuSA SIG), outlines the progress of the group around Xen and Certification, what is currently being done, and possible future plans.

          This session goes through the goals of the FuSA, one of which is writing documents for safety certification but also documents used by developers themselves. These two goals are not always perfectly aligned and present challenges in that the documents must meet requirements for certification, but also be readable and usable by the community at large.

        • OSS EU and ELC EU videos available []

          The 2020 editions of Open Source Summit Europe (OSS EU) and Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELC EU) were held virtually October 26-30, along with some other events (KVM Forum, Linux Security Summit, and more). The videos, Q&A, and presentations from those conferences are now available to all at the event site through the month of November. The videos will also be posted to YouTube during the month so that they will be available for the future. The schedule is available as well.

      • Web Browsers

        • ProBeat: Net Applications will no longer track the browser wars

          For more than a decade, I’ve used Net Applications’ NetMarketShare tool to track the desktop browser and operating system markets. The monthly reports have been critical in gauging which browsers and new versions of operating systems are gaining or losing market share. This week, Net Applications released its final NetMarketShare report. The loss could not come at a worse time.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • New GIMP Unstable Build Lets You Test Features Coming in GIMP 3.0
            A major new development version of the GIMP image editor is available for testing – but brace yourself ‘cos it’s a big one!

            GIMP 2.99.2 is an unstable snapshot, and the first towards the long-anticipated, much-hyped, and hugely-significant GIMP 3.0 release. There’s no firm GIMP 3.0 release date devs right now, but they hope to have it out sometime in 2021.

            “We want to release a rock-solid GIMP v3 and need to pay a lot of attention to details. This is where we are now and why we are releasing this first development version,” the GIMP team say of this release.

          • GNU Guix: Introduction to the Guix Data Service, the missing blog post

            The initial motivation came from trying to automate aspects of reviewing patches for Guix. If you have some patches for Guix, one aspect of review might be to apply the patches and then build the affected packages. How do you know what packages are affected though?

            You could try and guess based on the content of the patches, and this could work some of the time, but because Guix packages relate to one another, changing one package may cause dependent packages to change. Additionally, there are places in Guix where small changes could affect a large number of packages, build systems for example. The guix refresh -l command is really helpful when testing packages locally, but it can in some cases miss some packages that are effected by changes, as it only explores the package graph.

            The approach taken to working out what packages are affected by a set of patches, was to record information about all the packages in the "base" revision of Guix, prior to applying the patches, and also record information about the "target" revision generated from applying the patches. With all that information about the two revisions, you can then compare the data to determine what's changed. This goes beyond finding out what packages are affected, and includes things like looking at changes to lint warnings, channel news entries, and more.

      • Programming/Development

        • Simple C++ Hello World Tutorial – Linux Hint

          C++ is a flexible, general-purpose programming language that was originally created in 1985 by Bjarne Stroustrup, a Danish computer scientist. Today, C++ is considered to be one of the most powerful languages used for software development. C++ is used in various domains, such as embedded software, real-time operating systems, game development, and finance, and because it supports both procedural and object-oriented programming styles, it is both strong and versatile.

          In this article, we are going to discuss the basic structure of a C++ program and show you how to write a simple “Hello World” program.

        • Best C++ Editors [Ed: Not recommended as 40% of those are Microsoft]

          Computer Science is one of the hottest prospects these days. With the world around us relying heavily on technology, this comes off as no surprise as everything is gradually becoming digitized and the demand for people skilled in this field keeps on increasing. The Internet has also exploded in the last couple of years and this has in turn led to an increase in the market for computers and devices related to it.

          However, the beauty of Computer Science isn’t only in its high success in the industry but also in how it is structured. It offers the best blend of mathematics and engineering, along with providing a platform where programmers can create and develop things simple with just a computer, similar to how an artist does with a paintbrush. Since Computer Science itself is composed of multiple subfields, there have been various programming languages developed each of which has been specifically designed for certain tasks. One such programming language that is immensely popular and lies at the crux of game development, animations, and operating systems is C++ which shall also be the topic of our discussion in this article where we would be looking at the best editors that are available for C++ programming.

        • How to Read and Write to a File in C++

          In this article, we are going to show you how to read and write to a file in the C++ programming language by using several examples. To understand C++ file operations like read and write, we must first understand the concept of a stream in C++.

        • Convert XML to Associative Array in PHP – Linux Hint

          XML (Extensible Markup Language) is one type of markup language that is used to store the data in a human-readable format. It is different from other markup languages. Every tag of this language is user-defined. Using XML is the better solution to store a small amount of data when you don’t want to use any database for storing data. The data from the XML document can be easily accessed and used in any web application using a PHP script. How the XML document can be parsed and stored into an associative array is shown in this tutorial.

        • Hidden Tuples | Adam Young’s Web Log

          If you are going to write a Sudoku solver, write a brute force, depth first search. You can get it running fast enough.

          But what if you couldn’t? What if the puzzles were so big that solving them by brute force was not computationally feasible? A Sudoku puzzle is build on a basis of 3: The Blocks are 3X3, there are 3X 3 of them in the puzzle, and the rows and columns are are 9 cells (3 * 3) long. This approach scales up. If you were to do a basis of 4, you could use the Hexadecimal digits, and have 16 X 16 puzzles.

          A Basis of K leads to a puzzle size of (K^4). The basis can be any integer. A Basis of 10 would lead to a puzzle size of 1000.


          The digits_out removal is, I think, ineffectual. I convinced myself that I needed it when I wrote it, but I am fairly certain that the cells out side of the found list will never contain those numbers.

          I am not certain if it makes sense to run this algorithm unless it is coupled with other techniques that make use of the small reductions found by it to do larger reductions on the whole board.

          If we go back to our Sudoku puzzles with basis > 3, the tuples found by this technique can be larger than 4. I suspect that there is a relationship of the the nature Basis+1. Thus, for our basis of 10, we probably could expect to find matches with a tuple size of 11, slightly greater than one in ten cells in a house.

          But this algorithm is expensive. The tuple map grows with the number of elements on the board. I’ve not calculated the growth, but I suspect it is of the nature of n^2. Still that should be better than N! or exponential.

        • 3 Free Books to Learn Dart - LinuxLinks

          Dart is a client-optimized programming language for fast apps on multiple platforms. Compile to ARM & x64 machine code for mobile, desktop, and backend. Or compile to JavaScript for the web.

          Dart is a multi-paradigm, object-oriented, class defined, garbage-collected, scripting language using a C-style syntax that transcompiles optionally into JavaScript. It supports interfaces, mixins, abstract classes, reified generics, static typing, and a sound type system.

          Dart is developed by Google and is used to build mobile, desktop, backend and web applications.

          The language is published under the BSD license.

          There are very few free books about programming in Dart.

        • Learning meson €· Martin Pitt

          Last Friday at Red Hat the fourth Day of Learning happened. This time I picked the meson build system. More and more projects have switched to it, like systemd more than 3 years ago, or most of GNOME. Back then I was really impressed by how much faster a systemd build became with meson – but now I actually want to learn it, peek behind the curtain, be able to contribute to projects that use it, and to know if a conversion makes sense.

          Also, I have been sponsoring Jussi’s Debian meson package uploads for years now, it’s really time to understand what exactly I am uploading there!

        • Nibble Stew: Proposal for target-private directories for compilers

          One of the greatest strengths of the classical C compiler model is that all compile jobs are fully isolated. This means that they can be run perfectly in parallel. This same feature is also one of its greatest weaknesses. There are no ways for individual compile jobs to communicate with each other even if they wanted to. This could be useful for things like caching. As an example a compiler might transparently create "precompiled headers" of sorts during one compilation and use them in other compilations if needed. This might also be useful for languages that require scanning steps before building such as Fortran and C++ using modules.


          Meson and CMake already to pretty much exactly this as they store object files in special directories. I don't know enough about Autotools to know how much work it would be, though it does have the concept of higher level build targts. Handwritten Makefiles would need to be tweaked by hand as with every change. Visual Studio solutions are already split up to per-target project files so adding new flags there should be fairly simple.

          The best part is that this change would be fully backwards compatible. If the private dir argument is not used, the compilers would behave in exactly the same way they do now.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • Python Filter Function – Linux Hint

            The filter is a built-in Python function. It filters the specified sequence or iterable through a function that checks each item or element in the iterable to be true or false. To put it simply, the filter function filters the iterable through a function. The given function test each item of the sequence or iterable and returns the true if the item satisfied the given criteria. As a result, the filter() function constructs a new iterator. The most commonly used iterable are lists, tuples, and dictionaries. This article briefly describes the filter() function with the help of examples.


            The filter() is a Python built-in function that is used to filter the iterable on a given function. This article explains the filter() function with examples.

          • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxlix) stackoverflow python report
          • User Authentication €· Matt Layman

            In the previous Understand Django article, we learned about the structure of a Django application and how apps are the core components of a Django project. In this article, we’re going to dig into Django’s built-in user authentication system. We’ll see how Django makes your life easier by giving you tools to help your web application interact with the users of your site.

        • Java

          • Dependency Injection in Java | Adam Young’s Web Log

            You might be thinking that this is a long solved problem. I think I have something a little bit different.

            This is very similar to the C++ based one that I wrote long ago.

            There are several design decisions in this approach that I would like to make explicit.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • The Public Face of Science - Implications of the Covid Crisis

        The Public Face of Science was launched four years ago by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to better understand the complex relationship between scientists and the American public. The initiative has now published three reports.

        The first, Perceptions of Science in America, was published in 2018. It found that a majority of Americans have expressed a great deal of confidence in the scientific community, a confidence which has remained stable over the past thirty years. But, it also found that confidence in science varied based on demographics, including age, race, educational attainment, regional location, political affiliation and other characteristics. The report recommended additional research to better understand why certain topics were particularly controversial, especially climate change, vaccine safety, and genetically modified foods.

        It was followed by Encountering Science in America, which was published in 2019. This second report explored the diverse and expanding range of opportunities for people to learn about science outside the classroom, including visits to science centers and museums, general news sources, online information, social media, and entertainment. It concluded that such a complex landscape calls for a multifaceted approach to the public face of science, and recommended additional research to better understand how effective communications and engagements shape the public’s interest in their understanding and support of science.

        Priorities for the Future, the third and final report, was published in August of 2020. While the report doesn’t directly address the implications of Covid-19 to the Public Face of Science initiative, it does so in an accompanying document which highlights the critical role played by science in ensuring the well-being of individuals and society during the pandemic. “[T]he experience with COVID-19 reinforces the need for continuing thoughtful work to address public access to reliable scientific content and to enhance the public’s capacity to identify and reject misinformation and disinformation (intentionally false information).”

    • Education

      • Joe Biden Won. Here’s What Higher Ed Can Expect.

        One complicating factor: Higher education is now a partisan issue, with Republicans increasingly questioning the usefulness of certain degrees, particularly in the liberal arts. Republicans have also accused higher ed of being biased against conservative viewpoints.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Open environments are where innovative ideas thrive [Ed: More openwashing by IBM]

              In the first article of this series, I examined the nature of the innovation process in great detail. I also discussed some sources of resistance to it. In this second part of my review of Matt Ridley's book How Innovation Works, I will explain the ideal environment in which discoveries are born, protected, and progress into useful products and services, considering certain essential conditions for innovations to flourish. And I will argue that open organization principles are the keys to establishing those conditions.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • AWS preps its own library of public Docker container images [Ed: Making Free software merely a bunch of blobs]

              When you run applications on the cloud, odds are you're actually running them in containers. And many of us aren't creating our own containers of common applications, such as the Apache Web Server, MySQL DBMS, or the Traefik cloud-native edge router. Instead, we simply grab them from the Docker Hub or another repository of popular container images. Unfortunately, for users who don't want to pay for their images, Docker is not a charity. Starting in November, Docker has started limiting Docker container pull requests for anonymous and free authenticated users. To address this issue, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has started working on its own public container registry.

        • Security

    • Environment

      • In the Arctic, 'everything is changing,' massive animal tracking study finds

        "There's changes everywhere you look — everything is changing," said Gil Bohrer, corresponding author of the new study published online Thursday in the journal Science.

        It describes the new Arctic Animal Movement Archive, which compiles data about the movements of 86 species from golden eagles to caribou to bowhead whales across the Arctic over three decades, combining the work of more than 100 universities, government agencies and conservation groups in 17 countries around the world, including more than a dozen in Canada. That allows researchers to observe changes on a scale they had never been able to before.
      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Back from the dead: Race to save Romania's 65 million-year-old fish

          Official estimates number the population at around 10-15 specimens, which are thought to exist on a 1km (0.6 mile) stretch of the shallow, rocky Valsan. This compares with around 200 specimens in the early 2000s.

          But a small team of scientists and conservationists are campaigning to save the endemic fish species, also known as Romanichthys valsanicola.

          And they have been encouraged by a recent discovery in the river.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Biden’s transition team launches its official website and social media accounts.

        President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris took a public-facing step toward building their administration on Sunday, launching a website for their transition team.

      • Is there an alternative to Huawei?

        The trouble is that the costs of ditching Huawei are high: you risk becoming reliant on two big Nordic firms, Nokia and Ericsson, the other main suppliers of 5G gear. In the long run a duopoly is bad for competition and innovation. And in the short run neither firm is infallible. Nokia, in particular, is in trouble. On October 29th it announced a drop in sales of 7% year on year, and its shares plunged by almost 20%. Its new boss said that it had been “clearly behind” on 5G.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Source: Female Iranian Filmmaker Jailed Since 2018 Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

        An Iranian filmmaker jailed since 2018 for her work and criticism of the government has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after going on a hunger strike and attempting suicide in recent months in response to her predicament, according to a knowledgeable source.

        Speaking to VOA Persian from Iran on Monday, a source close to the family of filmmaker Maryam Ebrahimvand, 29, said an Iranian court for government employees notified Ebrahimvand’s lawyer of the verdict the previous day.

        The source said Ebrahimvand was sentenced to seven years in prison for making a film deemed to be vulgar, two years for allegedly spreading disinformation about Iran’s top military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and one year for allegedly insulting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Investigative Journalists Facing 'Vexatious' Lawsuits Aimed at Silencing Them

        Investigative journalists in Europe and elsewhere probing financial crimes are increasingly facing vexing lawsuits, many filed in British courts, aimed at intimidating them into silence, according to a global survey published this week.

        "What came across resoundingly from the results of the survey were that legal threats really are a key concern," said Susan Coughtrie of the Foreign Policy Center, a London-based research policy organization, which oversaw the survey examining pressures reporters in 41 countries face when trying to unearth corruption.

        Respondents said they faced many different efforts to intimidate them, from being trolled aggressively on social media to physical harassment and surveillance as well as being blacklisted by governments, but the threat of legal action is having the biggest impact on their ability to continue their work. The legal fees involved in defending against lawsuits are often enough to force a reporter or media company to back down.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Unions Lost a Major Battle in Their War on the Gig Economy

        The law, Assembly Bill 5, had already been weakened by several carve-outs. But Prop 22 deals a massive blow to A.B. 5's original intent because it means that Uber and Lyft drivers will be mostly exempt from its requirements.

      • Michigan man beaten by cops during arrest challenges immunity protection for police

        When his criminal case was pending, King recalled that one of his attorneys advised him to take a plea deal because most people don't win against the police. "Which felt to me then, and still now, felt wrong to lie and say I did this thing that I didn't do," he said.

        King, who is white, recalled his African-American trial attorney telling him, "if you were Black, they would have killed you."

      • Group knocks IGP for advising policemen to use force against public

        The group said democratic free speeches and assemblies must remain the axiom of democracy and its process in the country and must also be strictly adhered to all the times. It said, as a key member of the UN System, Nigeria must abide by the dictates of international norms and laws including ten basic principles in policing and managing democratic free speeches and assemblies in a democratic republic.

      • Hong Kong security law: Why students abroad fear it

        The national security law that China has imposed on Hong Kong is already curtailing speech in the territory - but it is having a far wider impact.

        It applies to everyone in the world, everywhere in the world. People who break the law can be prosecuted if they go to Hong Kong.

      • Black School Leaders Matter

        Leadership matters. In a crisis, effective leadership matters that much more. In a pandemic the likes of which none of us have seen, leadership can be the difference between absolute success and complete failure.

        America’s public education system was woefully unprepared for COVID-19. Our antiquated system of centralized school districts did little to empower its school leaders to rapidly adapt in such an emergency. In contrast, the autonomy and independence that school leaders like Lagra Newman, Robert Marshall and Shawn Nelms enjoy, enable them to respond in ways that should be replicated.

      • Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro joins local candidates stumping for Biden-Harris
    • Monopolies

      • Brexit and Supplementary Protection Certificates

        What impact will Brexit have on Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs)? The question is complicated as SPCs are national rights governed by EU Regulations – specifically, Regulation (EC) No 469/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 6, 2009, concerning the supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products. There is also Regulation (EC) No 1610/96 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the creation of a supplementary protection certificate for plant protection products. Both Regulations apply in all the EU and EEA member states and some other countries, such as Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia, offer similar legal protection.

      • Counsel must educate juries on US FRAND rates

        As the US Supreme Court's cert denial in TCL v Ericsson means juries choose FRAND rates, lawyers must figure out how to explain FRAND issues to them

      • Delhi High Court patent rules give hope for speedier trials

        In-house and private practice lawyers praise the proposals but would like to see more details on how they will be implemented

      • US election 2020: five IP stories from the year

        In October, Patrick Wingrove revealed that the head of the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division would step down after Trump’s first term regardless of the election result.

        Makan Delrahim later reflected on his tenure as he prepares to depart – probably for the private sector.

      • Patents

        • OXURION NV Confirms New Patents for THR-687 Issued by European and US Patent Offices

          Oxurion NV (Euronext Brussels: OXUR), a biopharmaceutical company developing potential next generation standard-of-care therapies to better preserve the vision of patients with diabetic macular edema (DME), today announces a further strengthening of its intellectual property (IP) portfolio governing THR-687, an integrin antagonist being developed for the treatment of DME.

          The European Patent Office (EPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have both issued new composition-of-matter patents covering THR-687. Patents EP3613739 and US10703752 were issued in November 2020 and July 2020 respectively, and expire in 2039, with possible patent extensions of up to 5 additional years (2044). An international application is still pending.

        • This week in IP: China patent law praised, Led Zeppelin rehearing requested, HTC wins royalties reprieve

          On Wednesday, November 4, the England and Wales High Court struck out a claim that infringement damages for a UK standard essential patent should be calculated based on device sales outside of the UK, because the foreign sales were not caused by the UK infringement.

          In his judgment in IPCom v HTC, Mr Justice Colin Birss set out that SEP damages should not be approached on the same basis as fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing terms, and that Taiwanese phone maker HTC should pay royalties for infringing sales only in the UK.

          By contrast, the UK Supreme Court ruled in Unwired Planet v Huawei that the patent holder's ETSI undertaking empowers the UK courts to determine FRAND licence terms of a patent portfolio including foreign patents.

          Katie McConnell, partner at Hogan Lovells and counsel for HTC, said: “This decision provides welcome clarification that damages for SEP infringement do not follow the global, portfolio approach of FRAND licensing.

          “The judgment is a victory for common sense, avoiding the possibility that a single instance of UK patent infringement will necessarily result in damages liability for global sales for the life of that UK patent, even though no infringement of foreign patents has been proven.”

          IPCom sued HTC in 2011 for infringing its UK patent (EP1841268). In 2017, the England and Wales Court of Appeal found the patent to be valid, essential, and infringed by HTC's original devices, but not by devices that implemented a workaround, which had been court-approved in earlier litigation between IPCom and Nokia.

          IPCom pursued damages in 2019, shortly before its patent expired in February 2020.

        • In-house counsel: how we’ve been fighting NPEs in 2020 [Ed: A patent trolls' lobbyist can't even get himself to use the term "patent troll" and instead uses a misleading, softening euphemism]

          Counsel at Slack and three other tech companies say it’s important to do your research on patent assertion entities, and not to show weakness by settling

        • The bar has been raised: Prevnar€® vaccine case demonstrates the impact of Australian patent law reforms [Ed: Software patents lobbyists from Australia (a litigation giant that doesn't do any actual software) complaining about patent quality, as usual]

          Australia’s Federal Court has delivered judgment in a dispute concerning patents covering improvements in vaccines against Streptococcus pneumoniae, a leading cause of serious infections, particularly in children. The judgment provides the first detailed analysis by a Federal Court judge of the Raising the Bar reforms to Australian patent law concerning sufficiency and support. The decision demonstrates the profound implications of those reforms for permissible claim breadth in Australian patents.

        • Biden IP plan analysis; Apple’s $2bn damages bill; Top global patent dealmakers named; Conversant and RPX agree big wireless licence; China trade secrets concerns; plus much more

          Conversant deal with RPX hands a group of the defensive aggregator's members a licence to portfolio of wireless patents and ends litigation with big name handset manufacturers.

        • Daimler loses to Conversant over connected cars SEP [Ed: Europe sucking up to patent trolls that are being armed by Microsoft]

          In the ongoing battle over connected cars technology, Daimler has recorded another defeat. This time, it's against Conversant Wireless. The Regional Court Munich has upheld the infringement suit against the Stuttgart car manufacturer (case ID: 21 O 11384/19).


          Daimler has announced its intention to appeal against the ruling. A spokesperson of the car manufacturer told JUVE Patent, “Daimler continues to hold the view that a company cannot be prohibited from using standard essential patents if its suppliers are prepared to pay for a corresponding licence. We do not anticipate that this will lead to a stop in production and delivery.”

          If Conversant enforces the judgment, Daimler will face a sales stop of the car models that infringe the claimed patent. The security deposit for enforcing the ruling is €5 million. The comparatively small amount is because the court based its determination on a possible licence fee.

          This is the first case in the dispute between Conversant and Daimler, over a total of four patents. EP 050 expires on 19 January 2021; as such, the court also rejected a request to submit a question – whether a FRAND licence should be offered to suppliers – to the CJEU.

        • Daimler feels the pressure after losing to Nokia again

          In the ongoing connected cars battle, Daimler faces a sales ban after the Regional Court Munich ordered an injunction against the company. The action is based on the infringement of a Nokia UMTS patent. In early August, Daimler lost another suit against Nokia. Today's judgment puts pressure on the Stuttgart car giant.

        • BREAKING: CRISPR priority appeal written decision issued

          Following its decision in January 2020 to uphold the Opposition Division’s decision to revoke EP2771468 (reported here), the Board of Appeal has now issued its written reasons for that decision. As expected, the Board endorses the EPO’s long standing “all applicants” approach i.e. all applicants for a priority application (or their successors in title) should be named on the priority claiming application at its date of filing. The Board also explains why no referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal was necessary. In this case, the application of the “all applicants” approach meant that crucial priority claims were invalid, resulting in an uncontested lack of novelty over intervening prior art. The EPO’s press release summarising the decision can be found here.

          While no appeal of this decision is possible, as discussed in our earlier note, the Patentees could file a Petition for Review by the Enlarged Board of Appeal. We’ll know whether they make this final throw of the dice in about 2 months’ time. Watch this space.

        • Software Patents

          • Patent Protection of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Inventions in Europe

            Partner Vlad Teplitskiy and Silvia Dondi of Bugnion S.p.A hosted a virtual discussion going over European Patent Office (EPO) legal framework and challenges for protecting artificial intelligence and machine learning inventions.

          • On the Patent Eligibility of Graphical User Interfaces: Part I [Ed: Michael Borella is, as usual, pushing fake patents like software patents under the guise of "UI" (courts would throw these out a lot of the time)]

            The evolution of graphical user interfaces parallels the evolution of computing technology itself. As computers grow more powerful and sophisticated, so does their ability to display cutting-edge representations of information to users. Indeed, an entire field of academia, Human-Computer Interaction, has been established to address how to best allow humans to interface with computers, and graphical user interfaces are one of several modalities that are frequently studied.

            The importance of providing a suitable experience for users of software applications cannot be overstated. One of the most visible aspects of any application is its user interface, which is often graphical. Good graphical user interfaces can help applications become successful, while poor graphical user interfaces have the opposite effect and are regularly the subject of frustration and criticism.

            It would be sensible to assume that, as a field ripe with innovation, graphical user interfaces would be commensurately well-disposed for patenting. But this is not the case. Due to a series of Supreme Court decisions, as well as restrictive interpretations thereof by the Federal Circuit, patenting a graphical user interface can be fraught with peril.

            This article applies current state of patent eligibility to inventions involving graphical user interfaces. In doing so, we develop a framework for assessing the patentability of such inventions and provide examples of claims that have both succeeded and failed to meet the eligibility standard.


            The Court rapidly found the claims abstract, noting that "[t]he only difference between the trading screen of [the prior art] and the one claimed is that the axis in [the prior art] displays price values, and the claimed axis displays P&L values." Further, the Court concluded that the identifying and computing steps were "nothing more than mere automation of manual processes using generic computers, which does not constitute a patentable improvement in computer technology."

            Despite the plaintiff arguing that the displaying and moving steps "provide a particular graphical user interface that improves usability, visualization, and efficiency," the Court disagreed. Instead, it found that the claims focus on "providing information to traders in a way that helps them process information more quickly, not on improving computers or technology" and they fail to be non-abstract "because arranging information along an axis does not improve the functioning of the computer, make it operate more efficiently, or solve any technological problem." The Court also found no inventive concept in the combination of claim elements.

            Thus, unlike the static price index of the '304 patent, there apparently was not enough daylight between the prior art and the displaying and moving of first indicator in the '556 patent. This goes to show how some graphical user interface decisions could easily go one way or another not just based on the claim language under review, but also the context of the invention with respect to the prior art.

      • Trademarks

        • Counsel reveal how to stop dead brands coming back to bite

          Sales, licensing and other creative uses may help companies avoid the risk that rivals will use their former brands and confuse consumers

        • Indigenous Land as a Geographical Indication - IPTango

          ‘INPI grants first denomination of origin to indigenous people’ This is the title that the Brazilian Institute Nacional da Propiedad Industrial (INPI) uses for its headlines. My mind started to think of other cases in which a national IPO has recognized in one way or another indigenous peoples and communities. The first, that came into my mind was ‘Tejedurias Wayuu’ [maybe because I love a pretty bag –Xmas list (husband, are you reading this?] (Resolution 71098, 07 Dec 2011) which is a recognized Colombian Denomination of Origin (DO) and it refers to handicraft made by the women from the Wayuu tribe. The second example that came into mind was again from Colombia, the ‘Sombrero Zenu’ (DO) (Resolution 71097 07 Dec 2011) for a hat made by the Zenú Indigenous Reservation [husband, I don't want a hat or a new pot!]. ore in DOs in Colombia here.

          Going back to the title and Brazil, the news was a bit different from what I was expecting. Why? you may ask. The Geographical Indication (GI) granted is the name of an Indigenous land and this is something new to me in the recognition of indigenous peoples on GI. In my previous examples, the DOs name refer to the peoples rather than to the land. While GI usually, if not always refers to the link with the region, or better say, the origin in a given ‘place’ - the terroir, the Colombian examples refer to the people.


          The INPI reports that local biome in the ‘Andirá-Marau’ Indigenous land and the know-how of the indigenous Sateré-Mawé people play a key role in obtaining a differentiated product.

        • Mountain Dew Trademark Battle: David v. Goliath or Misapplication of Prior User Rights?

          The plaintiff Syed Ghaziuddin claimed that he decided to set up a PDW plant in 1997-98 and chose the name ‘Mountain Dew’ because he felt that it indicated something pure, emanating from natural sources. Commenced in 2000, the business gained popularity and received various certifications for meeting high standards of quality. In 2003, his firm Magfast Beverages (‘Magfast’) received a legal notice from PepsiCo’s representatives who had approached the Delhi High Court accusing Magfast of trademark infringement. Magfast then sued PepsiCo for passing off, arguing that the latter had no rights on the trademark as it did not use it in India before 2003. Pointing out that PepsiCo does not sell its PDW branded drink as ‘Mountain Dew’ but as ‘AQUAFINA’, Magfast argued that the MNC cannot prevent it from selling its PDW under that trademark. It accused PepsiCo of passing off its goods as that of Magfast’s. In addition, it leveled charges against PepsiCo of colluding with Times of India and Vartha, a Telugu newspaper, to publish defamatory articles about Magfast which caused loss of reputation and mental agony, seeking damages worth 25 lakh!

          PepsiCo categorically denied carrying out any acts to defame Magfast. It claimed that it has been selling citrus soda named Mountain Dew since 1940 and has immense popularity all over the world. It also owns registered trademarks of the name in 100 countries including ones in India dating back to 1985. Thus, it accused Magfast of engaging in infringing acts.

          (Note: In 2005, IPAB had dismissed a petition by Syed Ghaziuddin which sought to remove PepsiCo’s trademarks from the register on grounds of non-use.)


          More recently, in Toyota v. Prius, limitations were imposed on the pervasive overreach of this doctrine by requiring proof of local goodwill of the international trademark. The court inquired whether Toyota’s ‘Prius’ enjoyed a local reputation among a significant number of consumers in India by 2001, as that was the year when the Indian company adopted the mark. It held that the limited online exposure at the time meant that this local reputation could not have been established in the short period between the global launch of Toyota Prius in 1997 and the defendant’s product launch in 2001. There is, however, a much wider 60-year gap between the global launch of PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew and Magfast’s PDW that allows for consumers to be exposed to the former’s product through other media. Thus, it is quite possible that PepsiCo may seek refuge in this doctrine.

          Moreover, the identical marks are being used over the same Class 32 of goods. Although the court has not addressed this issue in detail, a difference in products has not always been enough to alleviate concerns of likelihood of consumer confusion. In Aktiebolaget Volvo Sweden v. Volvo Steels Ltd., once the existence of trans-border reputation was ascertained, the Indian steel trader had been restrained from using the VOLVO trademark despite the identical international mark in question belonging to an automobile manufacturer.

          For now, Magfast has emerged victorious, but with these issues looming large over what is shaping up into yet another battle between a foreign giant and a homegrown brand, it remains to be seen what course this dispute takes.

        • Around the IP Blogs

          Contrary to the image of peaceful valleys which the words 'Mountain Dew' alone might evoke, PepsiCo has been engaged in a 16-year long trade mark battle in India over whether Hyderabad-based Magfast Beverages enjoys prior user rights over its bottled water brand's identical trade mark. SpicyIP has the latest analysis in relation to PepsiCo's most recent setback.

      • Copyrights

        • Meet My Artificially-Intelligent Virtual Self: Creative Avatars, Machine Learning, Smart Contracts and the Copyright Conundrum

          Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have triggered a dramatic paradigm shift in how we conceive of authorship and creation. Intelligent machines, such as those powered by the new GPT-3 neural network technology, are capable of generating human-like creative expressions, composing text, performing translations and producing other creative outputs once thought to be beyond the ability of computers.

          This article focuses on intelligent applications (or “creative avatars”) that are programmed to replicate the style of a human author (such as Shakespeare, Rembrandt or J.K. Rowling), and the regulatory challenges flowing from the generation of such works. The challenges surrounding the production of such content relate not only to questions of ownership and authorship, but extend to issues of how, if at all, these works can be treated as copyrightable subject matter.

        • Horror Movie Copyright Cases

          While Halloween brings to mind jack-o’-lanterns and spooky scary skeletons, some major horror movie franchises have had their spines tingle from the terrors of copyright infringement. From Friday the 13th to The Stuff, horror films and parodies alike have caused courts to wrestle with difficult copyright issues. We bring you some standout horror movie copyright cases and their interesting implications to the law.


          Cohen created a satirical horror movie called The Stuff. Primarily, Effects Associates created the dramatic end scene where the Stuff factory, which manufactured an alien life form that looked and tasted like frozen yogurt, explodes. The two parties made an oral agreement for production of the special effects shoots, but they did not discuss copyright ownership.

          Cohen was dissatisfied with the scene and only paid Effects Associates half of his promised amount. Yet, Cohen still used the footage in his movie, which was distributed through New World Entertainment. Effects Associates claimed that Cohen did not have the rights to use this footage unless he paid the full contract price.

          The court explained how the Copyright Act requires copyright transfers to be made in writing –there is no exception for moviemakers, which according to Cohen, “do lunch, not contracts.”

          But, the question remained whether Cohen had a license to use the filmed scenes. The court stated that the precedent in Oddo v. Ries controlled – while no oral agreement occurred, the parties’ conduct implied that Cohen had a nonexclusive license to use the scenes. Here, Effects Associates’ conduct suggested a nonexclusive license: Effects Associates created the work at Cohen’s request, intending for Cohen to copy and distribute it. Even though Cohen did not pay the full price for the work, his $56,000 payment implied that the footage’s contribution to the film was not “of minimal value” and without some type of conveyed license.

        • Chilling Copyright Stories for Halloween

          Marion Zimmer Bradley is arguably the central figure in the copyright controversy over fanfiction. Bradley, who was the author of fantasy fiction novels, The Mists of Avalon and the Darkover series, serves as a cautionary tale for commercial writers and fanfiction authors alike. In the 1960’s, Bradley heavily encouraged fanfiction and actively engaged with her fans who, in turn, submitted their works to her for approval. She helped them edit and publish their works in “fanzines” and eventually published 12 anthologies of fan-written stories through fantasy book publisher DAW Books. From the 1970’s to the early 1990’s, Bradley cultivated a sizable universe of fans who astonishingly collaborated harmoniously with her for over two decades. Unfortunately, not all good things are made to last. In 1992, Bradley’s fantasy utopia came crashing down on her. A fan named Jean Lamb wrote a novel titled Masks, using one of Bradley’s characters. Bradley read the novel and gave her feedback as was customary amongst her fan universe. There was some apparent overlap between the themes and characters in Masks and Bradley’s forthcoming Darkover novel, Contraband. There are two sides to every story, so in one version of events the overlap was entirely coincidental, and Bradley had already included those elements in her (yet to be published) work. In the other version, Bradley copied those elements without permission after offering Lamb a few hundred dollars. In that version of events, Lamb attempted to negotiation a better deal, but Bradley shut her down. Whatever the case, once Contraband was announced, Lamb sued Bradley claiming she had stolen her works. This caused Bradley’s publisher to drop her contract and terminate the publication of Contraband. In response, Bradley shut down her fanfiction universe and ceased publishing the fanfiction works of her fans. This move would eventually scare both commercial and fanfiction writers for years to come.

        • Battle Lines Have Been Drawn Over the Protection of Fonts

          A decades-long, quietly simmering battle over the copyrightability of fonts is poised to flare into all-out war in light of recent and largely unreported developments at the Copyright Office. The issue on the table is whether and to what extent fonts are subject to copyright protection. After years of registering digitized fonts, the Copyright Office seems to have reversed course, taking the position that font software – at least in one of its most common forms – does not qualify for copyright protection.

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