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Links 14/12/2020: Linux 5.10, TTOS Linux 1.1.2 in Review

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #108

      We had a relatively peaceful week, but I have a feeling we can expect at least a few major releases this year.

      Endless OS 3.9.1, Mageia 8-beta2, GeckoLinux 999.201205, and GeckoLinux 152.201210 have been released this week.

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: December 13th, 2020

      Big thank you again to all the donors and to everyone who followed us on social media. You guys rock! You know who you are and you’re awesome for helping me keep this Linux news website alive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      This week has been quite interesting with not so many exciting Linux news, but a few of them very interesting. TUXEDO Computers is relentless in launching new Linux laptops, Valve was awesome at enabling support for the Cyberpunk 2077 video game on Linux, and Linus Torvalds brought us the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Public lightweight sway developer desktop with OSTree and podman/toolbox

        One and a half year ago I switched to a self-built OSTree based minimal i3 desktop and never looked back. Despite running Fedora updates-testing and finding/reporting lots of regressions, I have never had a situation where a simple rpm-ostree rollback would not have saved the day. There is zero cruft accumulating, neither due to upgrade drift from config files nor due to piling up added/changed files in /usr. And development or trying something out are now more flexible and comfortable than ever, mostly thanks to the progress in the container space.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Going Linux #400 €· Listener Experiences

        Stories from our listener minions help us to celebrate our milestone 400th episode! From chocolate chip cookies to to accessibility on Arch, we have something of interest to many.

      • Linux Action News 167

        We explain the major changes to CentOS this week and break down the top four criticisms. Plus Google makes their Fuchsia intentions a bit more clear, and why Linux 5.10 is a BIG deal.

      • Open Source Security Podcast Episode 239 – Door 14: Backdoors

        Josh and Kurt talk about backdoors in open source software

      • Kubuntu Rocks Titan technology YouTuber Chris Titus

        As you know from our previous post, back in 2019 the Kubuntu team set to work collaborating with MindShare Management Ltd to bring a Kubuntu dedicated laptop to the market. Recently, Chris Titus from the ‘Chris Titus Tech’ YouTube channel acquired a Kubuntu Focus M2 for the purpose of reviewing it, and he was so impressed he has decided to keep it as his daily driver. That’s right; Chris has chosen the Kubuntu Focus M2 instead of the Apple MacBook Pro M1 that he had intended to get. That is one Awesome recommendation!

      • Picom Has Too Many Forks: Which Ones Are Useful - YouTube

        There are some many picom forks out there and many of them are incredibly useful so today we're going to go over this absolute mess of forks to see which ones you should actually look at as well as a bit of history on how picom and previously compton got into this state.

      • Linux Mint 20.1 Backgrounds Slideshow

        In this video, we are looking at the beautiful backgrounds of the upcoming Linux Mint 20.1.

      • Full Circle Weekly News #193

        Linux Coming to Apple M1 Macs New Ubuntu Members Manjaro 20.2 Nibia Out BlackArch 2020.12.1 Out

        Nitrux 1.3.5 Out

        KDE Plasma 5.20.4 Out

        Cinnamon 4.8 Out

        OpenZFS 2.0 Out

        Linux Kernel 5.10 rc6 Out

        System76 Pangolin Announced

      • GNU World Order 384

        **soma** and **sox**.

    • Kernel Space

      • You Can Now Install Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS on Your Linux Lite PC, Here’s How

        Linux kernel 5.10 is an LTS (Long-Term Support) release and brings several new features and various improvements, along with a bunch of updated and new drivers for better hardware support, so that alone might be a good reason to upgrade your kernel.

        Highlights of Linux kernel 5.10 LTS include support for the ARMv8.5 memory tagging extension, support for the SM2 digital-signature algorithm, support for Amazon Nitro enclaves, reduced latency of multiple file operations for the EXT4 file system, and the ability to transmit data on multiple flows simultaneously.

      • Linux Kernel 5.10 is officially out now as a Long Term Support release | GamingOnLinux

        A brand new Long Term Support release is out now with the Linux Kernel 5.10, the very beating heart of the whole Linux system which brings plenty of new features and hardware support.

        With it being a new LTS, it's going to get updates and bug fixes for a much longer time than usual providing a good solid base for at least two years for Linux distributions.

      • Linus Torvalds Releases Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS: Here’s What’s New
        As usual, after two months of development, Linux creator Linus Torvalds has officially released a new mainline Linux Kernel 5.10. It is also the latest Long Term Support (LTS) kernel, which will be maintained and receive bug fixes for the next five years until 2026.

        Starting with the update on filesystem side, XFS filesystem now supports timestamps to the Year 2486 instead of earlier limitation to the Year 2038, and EXT4 supports fast commit mode for faster file overwrite performance.

      • Linux Kernel 5.10 Released. This is What's New

        A new, stable Linux Kernel 5.10 release is announced by Linus Torvalds. This is the last Kernel release of the year 2020 and it is the next Long Term Support (LTS) Kernel. It brings some interesting improvements across processors, graphics, ports, and file system areas.

      • Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS Officially Released, This Is What’s New

        After seven weeks of development, Linux 5.10 is finally here as the latest and greatest kernel series for GNU/Linux distributions wanting top-notch hardware support. Not only that, but it’s a long-term supported (LTS) branch, which means that it will probably receive support over the next 5 years.

        Highlights of Linux kernel 5.10 LTS include support for the ARMv8.5 memory tagging extension, support for the SM2 digital-signature algorithm, support for the ISO 15765-2:2016 CAN transport protocol, support for the IGMPv3/MLDv2 multicast protocol, and support for Amazon Nitro enclaves.

      • The 5.10 kernel has been released

        Significant changes in this release include support for the Arm memory tagging extension, restricted rings for io_uring, sleepable BPF programs, the process_madvise() system call, ext4 "fast commits", and more. See the LWN merge-window summaries (part 1, part 2) and the KernelNewbies 5.10 page for more details.

      • Linux 5.10 LTS Released As One Of The Biggest Kernel Releases In A While

        As expected, Linus Torvalds today officially released Linux 5.10. Besides being the last kernel release of 2020, this is a significant milestone in that it's also a Long Term Support (LTS) kernel to be maintained for at least the next five years and also is a huge kernel update in general with many new features.

        Linux 5.10 features new hardware support including early bring-up around Intel Rocket Lake and Alder Lake, continued work on Intel Gen12/Xe Graphics, a number of storage/file-system improvements, and more. See our 10 most interesting features of Linux 5.10 or our complete Linux 5.10 feature overview.

      • Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS Released

        Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS is now officially available for the download. It is the latest Long Term Support’ release and the team is planning to maintain Linux 5.10 until 2026 .

      • Linux 5.10
        Ok, here it is - 5.10 is tagged and pushed out.

        I pretty much always wish that the last week was even calmer than it was, and that's true here too. There's a fair amount of fixes in here, including a few last-minute reverts for things that didn't get fixed, but nothing makes me go "we need another week". Things look fairly normal.

        It's mostly drivers - as it should be - with a smattering of fixes all over: networking, architectures, filesystems, tooling.. The shortlog is appended, and scanning it gives a good idea of what kind of things are there. Nothing that looks scary: most of the patches are very small, and the biggest one is fixing pin mapping definitions for a pincontrol driver.

        This also obviously means that the merge window for 5.11 will start tomorrow. I already have a couple of pull requests pending - you guys know who you are, and thank you.

        The most notable thing about the 5.11 merge window will be obvious to anybody who takes a look at the calendar: realistically speaking, we only have one week before the holidays are upon us, and everybody is much too distracted. That means that I will be particularly strict about the whole "the merge window is for things that are ready *before* the merge window starts".

        Now, I'm sure you all want to go off for holidays too, and I'm actually surprised that I don't have more early pull requests pending. So I think the whole "everything you send me should have already been done" is something we can all sign up for. But exactly _because_ of the timing, I will simply not be very interested in any new late pull requests that come in the second week of the merge window: I expect to still be handling some of the backlog that week _anyway_, but I certainly do not want to get more of it.

        So if it's not already in linux-next, and if you aren't happy sending it in this upcoming week because it's not quite done yet, you should basically plan on not getting it into 5.11 at all. There will be releases after that one, don't worry.

        This has _technically_ been the rule before too, it's just that I generally haven't been all that hard-nosed about it, and have let things slide if it wasn't _too_ egregious. This time around I have fairly clear reasons why I'm just going to enforce that "it had better be ready before the merge window even opened" rule.

        If my overflow handling then ends up being interrupted by the holidays, I may end up delaying rc1 just to catch up, but I hope and expect that that won't even be needed. We'll see. But even if it does happen, it most certainly will _not_ mean that I will take pull requests that came in after the holidays.

        Actual fixes that would be valid even outside the merge window are obviously not affected by that rule.

      • Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS Released, This is What’s New

        An all-new Linux kernel release is here, so in this post we do our level best to rundown the core changes and key features ticking away at the heart of it.

        Linux 5.10 is the latest mainline kernel update (as of December 14) and the latest ‘Long Term Support’ release too. Kernel devs plan to maintain Linux 5.10 all the way until 2026 – one year longer than Linux 5.4 LTS.

        Linus Torvalds, Linux founder, announced the Linux 5.10 release on the Linux Kernel mailing list with his usual low-key flare, stating: “Ok, here it is – 5.10 is tagged and pushed out. I pretty much always wish that the last week was even calmer than it was, and that’s true here too.”

      • AMD Smart Access Memory / Resizable BAR On Linux Still Ripe For Improvement - Phoronix

        Following Mesa 21.0 beginning to see AMD Smart Access Memory optimizations, I ran some benchmarks looking at the current state of S.A.M. / Resizable BAR support on Linux with Radeon graphics.

        As has been outlined previously, the Linux kernel has actually supported resizable BAR for a while (or Smart Access Memory as referred to by AMD) while on the user-space driver side just this past week with Mesa 21.0 did we begin seeing the mentioned RadeonSI improvements. Details on verifying if Resizable BAR support is enabled on Linux can be found via this forum thread.

      • Open-Source Graphics Driver Updates For Linux 5.11 Have Lots Of Intel + AMD Presents - Phoronix

        While there are a lot of driver improvements throughout, as usual those on Intel HD/UHD/Iris/Xe Graphics and AMD Radeon graphics with their first-rate open-source graphics drivers have a lot of grand improvements to find with the forthcoming Linux 5.11 cycle.

        While Linux 5.10 isn't even out yet (it should be released tonight barring any last minute problems), due to Direct Rendering Manager co-maintainer David Airlie of Red Hat going on holiday for the next week, he sent in the DRM feature pull early to Linus Torvalds. This includes all of the big ticket features expected on the DRM side with the Linux 5.11 cycle.

    • Applications

      • Announcing CuteVNC

        Having a single screen connected to my PC, I was wondering if I could use my nice BQ M10 tablet running UBports as an additional screen. The idea was that if I could convince the X server to create a new virtual display, and then run the x11vnc server on it, I could then connect the tablet to it and enjoy my desktop on two screens. Yes, the M10 has not such a big display, but it couls still be useful to host a window with a mail or a chat client, so that I would not need to switch between applications just to check if new emails or chat messages have arrived (and I hate instant notifications, so I tend to disable them in every program that allows me to).

        Anyway, I digress. I found some articles, and specifically this question, that show how one can add a new virtual screen and connect to it via VNC. I tried it and it kind of worked, but there were some visual artifacts that annoyed me (most likely due to the AMDGPU drivers), so I'll defer the creation of a demo video till when I'll have figured out a better setup. But the main point is that the idea, in principle, can work.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install TeamSpeak Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install TeamSpeak Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, TeamSpeak is a VoIP (voice-over-Internet Protocol) solution first released in 2001 and most popular with those who play team-based online games. The software has two parts, a server, and a client, both of which can be installed on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

        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 TeamSpeak 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.

      • List or Show Tables in MySQL – Linux Hint

        MySQL is one of the most famous open-source and freely available DBMS (Database Management Software System). It has an easy-to-use interface and is famous for its speed. If you are doing a job as a database administrator in some big organization, you often need to go through a large number of databases and their tables. So, in this article, we are going to learn how we can list or show tables in the MySQL shell.

      • Introduction to Btrfs Filesystem – Linux Hint

        Btrfs (B-Tree Filesystem) is a modern copy-on-write (CoW) filesystem for Linux. Btrfs aims to implement many advanced filesystem features while focusing on fault tolerance, repair, and easy administration. The btrfs filesystem is designed to support the requirement of high performance and large storage servers. It is suitable for petabyte-scale data centers as well as cellular smartphones.In this article, I am going to discuss the Btrfs filesystem and its features. So, let’s get started.

      • MySQL Update Statement – Linux Hint

        MySQL is an open-source Database Management system, which can be used for both small and large projects. Developed by The Oracle Corporation, it uses standard SQL behind it. In database management, CRUD operations are a kind of basic requirement to know.

        In this article, we will learn to update the data in MySQL tables using MySQL’s provided UPDATE statement. An UPDATE statement is basically a DML (Data Manipulation Language) statement because it modifies or updates the data.

      • How to Use Aircrack-ng – Linux Hint

        Most of the time, people never think about the network to which they are connected. They never think how secure that network is and how much they risk their confidential data on a daily basis. You can run vulnerability checks on your wifi networks by using a very powerful tool called Aircrack-ng and Wireshark. Wireshark is used to monitor network activity. Aircrack-ng is more like an aggressive tool that lets you hack and give access to Wireless connections. Thinking as an intruder has always been the safest way to protect yourself against a hack. You might be able to grasp the exact actions that an intruder will take to obtain access to your system by learning about aircrack. You can then conduct compliance checks on your own system to ensure that it is not insecure.

        Aircrack-ng is a full set of software designed to test WiFi network security. It is not just a single tool but a collection of tools, each of which performs a particular purpose. Different areas of wifi security can be worked on, like monitoring the Access Point, testing, attacking the network, cracking the wifi network, and testing it. Aircrack’s key objective is to intercept the packets and decipher the hashes to break the passwords. It supports nearly all the new wireless interfaces. Aircrack-ng is an improved version of an outdated tool suite Aircrack, ng refers to the New Generation. Some of the awesome tools that work together in taking out a bigger task.

      • How to do Network Configuration on Oracle Linux 8? – Linux Hint

        Before using the Internet on any device particularly a computer system, it is always recommended that you perform certain necessary network configurations on that device. These configurations are done to ensure that your Internet works smoothly and with all the desired protocols with which you want it to run. Also, whenever your Internet is lagging or you face some trouble while connecting to it, you are always asked to check the network configurations to figure out if something is messed up over there.

        Once you fix the issues with your network configurations, you can gain back access to your Internet connection. That is why network configurations are considered extremely useful in any operating system. Today, we will be learning the method through which you can easily do network configuration on your Oracle Linux 8 system which is a relatively newer flavor of the Linux operating system.

      • Configure Kubelet Out of Resource Handling, or How to Stop EKS Kubernetes Nodes from Going Down

        Kubelet has the ability to specify eviction thresholds that trigger the kubelet to reclaim resources. We are going to use them with our EKS worker nodes.

      • How to install MuseScore on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install MuseScore on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to Search files with case-insensitive names in Linux – TecAdmin

        find is the basic Unix command used to search files recursively under a directory tree. It is default available in all the Linux operating systems.

        All the Linux command line users must be aware about uses of Linux find command. It The find command traverse under a directory tree and capable to search files or directory based on defined search pattern. It also provides option to search files with names in uppercase or lowercase or mixed case.

      • The 20 Best Raspberry Pi Books For Beginner and Expert Developers

        The Raspberry Pi is a cheap, small-sized PC that connects to a PC screen or TV, and it utilizes a standard console and mouse. It is a competent little gadget that empowers individuals of any age to learn how to program in dialects like Python and Scratch, thereby making it super beneficial. These are the coolest things that can be made with a Raspberry pi – a Homemade smartphone, Netbook, a Solar weather station, Twitter Bot, a multi-room music system, Radio, a portable gaming console, Microwave, etc. That is why it has become quite important and has also motivated many programmers to learn Raspberry Pi, and for that, you will require a perfect set of Raspberry Pi books to proceed.

      • 5 Funny Linux commands, Literally, we can do?

        Every time we come with useful commands or How to? But this time, I thought, why not show some funny Linux commands.

        Open your terminal and get started for the fun journey of Linux Terminals. I’ll cover for both Debian (apt) and RHEL (yum) based distribution.

        Fun journey begins : )

    • Wine or Emulation

      • 3 New Games You Can Play With Proton Since Nov. 2020

        This is going to be a short update this time around. Why only 3 games you might say? I don’t know, maybe because the biggest game of all time was supposed to be released in November 2020? Or it could just mere coincidence…


        So that’s it for now… you can go back to playing Cyberpunk 2077 (if it works on your machine/config).

    • Games

      • OBS Studio 26.1 rolls out with Virtual Camera output on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        After only two Release Candidates for testing, OBS Studio 26.1 has now officially rolled out with some fun new features for all supported platforms. If you're planning to do any sort of video creation on Linux, OBS Studio is now practically the standard. It's our go-to solution for everything when it comes to video creation (and plain audio recording since it has some easy real-time filters) and being free and open source is a nice big plus.

        This release follows shortly after announcing YouTube as a new sponsor, so they have plenty of funding to keep bringing on new and advanced feature releases.

      • Grab an up to date MangoHud with NVML, GOverlay and vkBasalt on Ubuntu with a new PPA | GamingOnLinux

        For users on Ubuntu-based distributions, PPAs are often needed for you to get the latest and greatest software since if you're not using Snaps or Flatpaks (and sometimes they don't work due to the containers), a lot of software is stuck in place until a newer version of Ubuntu.

        What's the fuss here then? Well, Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distribution users can now grab the excellent MangoHud gaming overlay, the vkBasalt Vulkan post processing layer and the GOverlay application for managing them both in a tidy UI all nicely up to date from this PPA. The build of MangoHud included also has NVML (NVIDIA Management Library) enabled, meaning out of the box it should allow showing GPU metrics from NVIDIA GPUs.

      • Quirky family-friendly animal racing game Slide releasing February 2021 | GamingOnLinux

        Enjoy your family-friendly kart-racing styled arcade games? Slide was pretty good from the demo we tried back in September, and it now has a release date. French indie developer Oneiric Worlds announced it's going to release February, 17th 2021 for Linux, macOS and Windows.

        In Slide, Animal Race, you can play with up to 8 total players, as you each ride cute and colourful animals in vibrant environments. Jump to avoid obstacles, use bonuses and master the diving mechanics on the crazy tracks to outrun the horde! Or you can just take a tour and enjoy the view, while listening to the sympho-ethnic soundtrack. That's up to you. The game is family-friendly and accessible to beginners and kids thanks to autopilot options; but to win the race, you'll truly have to master all the game mechanics.

    • Distributions

      • Best Free Linux Distributions for Desktops and Servers

        Almost every Linux distribution is available to download for free. However, there are some editions (or distros) may ask for a fee in order to purchase it. For instance, the ultimate edition of Zorin OS is not free and needs to be purchased.

        If you already know about some of the best Linux distributions available, you probably do not need this list. It is meant for absolute beginners who may have had a misconception that Linux distros need to be purchased.

        So, in this article, I focus on the free Linux distributions that you can try, whether its for general purpose home usage, i.e. desktop or for a production-grade server.

      • Reviews

        • Review: TTOS Linux 1.1.2

          The TTOS Linux distribution is based on Debian's Stable branch and the main edition of TTOS ships with the KDE Plasma desktop environment. There are other editions of TTOS mentioned on the project's Downloads page which ship with a variety of other desktops such as GNOME and Trinity in case people want an alternative to Plasma. Though I noticed these alternative editions are distributed under separate SourceForge projects, making them appear to be community editions. I downloaded the main Plasma edition for my trial. This edition is available as a 64-bit (x86_64) build exclusively.

          The TTOS website does not provide much information on what sets this distribution apart from other projects, the exceptions being a tool called PerformaSync. Not a lot of information is presented, but it appears as though PerformaSync provides on-line storage and file synchronization, similar to Nextcloud.

          Usually I don't talk much about project websites, but this one seems to be unusually terse and it gave me spare time to poke around while my copy of their ISO was downloading. One thing which stood out is the project's logo is saved under a filename which identifies it as "apple touch". I'm not sure why TTOS would save their logo filename as "apple touch", but it was one of what turned out to be several visual quirks of the project and this puzzle set the tone for my experience with this distribution.


          If I had to sum up my impressions of TTOS in a word it would be "unfinished". Despite being on the DistroWatch waiting list for over a year, the project feels as though it is still on the drawing board. The website offers very little information about the distribution or its add-on sync product. There is virtually no documentation, the wiki is empty, there are no support forums or mailing lists. The documentation links in the system installer don't provide release information, the welcome screen features typos and labels that don't fit on their buttons. We can't restart the computer from within Plasma, which is an unusual limitation.

          The Debian core of the operating system is pretty solid, with a lot of software available, but TTOS doesn't appear to offer anything over plain Debian with the KDE Plasma desktop installed. It might actually be a less pleasant experience since GTK-based applications are practically unusable with the default TTOS theme settings. Not to mention TTOS is a surprisingly heavy distribution on disk and in memory without a clear benefit to excuse the extra weight.

          This distribution feels like it was rushed out the door, possibly to promote the commercial PerformaSync service, without taking time to test it and polish up the various issues.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Mageia 8 Beta 2 Linux distro now available with KDE Plasma, GNOME, and Xfce
          Development of Mageia 8 seems to be moving along nicely, which is great news for users of that Linux-based operating system. Back in August, we shared that the first Beta of the distribution was available for testing, and now today, the second Beta arrives. As with the first Beta, the second is available with your choice of three desktop environments -- KDE Plasma, GNOME, and Xfce.

          "We are happy to announce the release of Mageia 8 Beta 2. After a long time since the beta 1, we look forward to hearing your feedback and thoughts so that we can continue to get Mageia 8 ready for release. As we said in a previous post, a lot of work had to be done for the base system upgrade, java, kernel, and the graphical stack. These upgrades are now in a state that allows for the Beta 2 ISOs to be built and tested," explains The Mageia Development Team.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora users, move to Debian or openSUSE before Red Hat shafts you

          Users of the Fedora Linux community distribution would do well to switch over to an alternative like Debian GNU/Linux or openSUSE before Red Hat leaves them in the lurch too.

        • Centos and the end of a horrible year (Part II
          2020 will be for most people one of the worst years in their living memory. The world is under lockdown because of SARS-Corona Virus 2 or better Covid-19. As I’m a member of a risk group, my social life is already for almost 9 month limited to telephone and video calls.

          And on top of all that, in the last month of 2020 two of my favorite software projects changed directions and removed the main reasons why I’m using them. This blog post is about Centos. The Graylog Blog post was Part I.

        • Jens Kuehnel: Graylog or the end of a horrible year (Part I)

          2020 will be – for most people – one of the worst years in their living memory. The world is under lockdown because of SARS-Corona Virus 2 or Covid-19. As I’m part of a risk group, my social life is for almost 9 month limited to telephone and video calls.

          And on top of it all – two of my favorite software projects dramatically changed directions in December 2020 and removing the main reasons why I’m using them. This blog post is about Graylog. The Centos Blogpost comes later.

        • Ben Cotton: How Do You Fedora?

          If you follow the Fedora’ Community Blog, there’s a good chance you already know who Ben is.

          Ben’s Linux journey started around late 2002. Frustrated with some issues on using Windows XP, and starting a new application administrator role at his university where some services were being run on FreeBSD. A friend introduced him to Red Hat Linux, when Ben decided it made sense to get more practice with Unix-like operating systems. He switched to Fedora full-time in 2006, after he landed a job as a Linux system administrator.

          Since then, his career has included system administration, people management, support engineering, development, and marketing. Several years ago, he even earned a Master’s degree in IT Project Management. The variety of experience has helped Ben learn how to work with different groups of people. “A lot of what I’ve learned has come from making mistakes. When you mess up communication, you hopefully do a better job the next time.”

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Releases New Ubuntu Kernel Updates to Fix Data Corruption Bug

          The Ubuntu kernel updates published on December 2nd introduced a regression in Linux kernel’s software RAID10 driver, which, when used with fstrim, could lead to data corruption. The bug was also reported by users on Ubuntu’s Launchpad.

          Therefore, Canonical released today a new set of kernels for Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS systems on all supported architectures to address the said regression.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Open access: A problem way beyond one nation one subscription

            The idea of OA emerged with the philosophy that the investors (taxpayers) must have seamless access to the knowledge generated from their investment. This movement gained momentum in the early 2000s, largely fuelled by Budapest (2002), Berlin (2003), and Bethesda (2003) declarations. They challenged the profit-based scientific publication model that had hijacked research publications for many decades and campaigned for scholarly publications to be free to read and reproduce with proper citation.

            The idea of OA emerged with the philosophy that the investors (taxpayers) must have seamless access to the knowledge generated from their investment. This movement gained momentum in the early 2000s, largely fuelled by Budapest (2002), Berlin (2003), and Bethesda (2003) declarations. They challenged the profit-based scientific publication model that had hijacked research publications for many decades and campaigned for scholarly publications to be free to read and reproduce with proper citation.

            The rat race of citations and rankings

            the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore has been spearheading the OA movement in India under the leadership of Prof. Subbiah Arunachalam, known as “Mr. Open Access”. Recently, the ‘open access week’ was celebrated where Prof. Jean-Claude GUÉDON, professor at the Université de Montréal and one of the signatories of the Budapest Declaration, was invited as the key speaker. He emphasised how the scholarly journals are entirely driven by the research preferences of an elite coterie of commercial editors, reflecting mainly the North-Atlantic business interests, and largely ignoring the global south. Journal ranking, impact factors, citations, etc. are the tools to attract researchers and improve market share and ultimately lead to making ‘science a commodity’.

      • Programming/Development

        • Eagle's Path: rra-c-util 8.4 (2020-12-13)

          I've released a new version of my collection of utility libraries, Autoconf macros, and similar support infrastructure, primarily to include changes in the upcoming remctl and INN releases.

        • Russ Allbery: remctl 3.17

          remctl is a simple GSS-API-based RPC system designed to be as trivial to deploy as possible for sites already using Kerberos.

          I owe various people deeper reviews of remctl feature changes, but alas this release is not that. This is a bit of a stopgap maintenance release primarily to fix a testing problem on Debian that booted remctl out of testing. The basic problem is that a lot of test machinery assumes that every system will have an IPv4 address available, but this is not necessarily true on modern systems. This release only fixes the tests that don't use Kerberos. The tests that require Kerberos have much deeper assumptions that the IPv4 loopback will be available, and will require later work (hampered by the fact that I personally don't have such an environment readily available that also has access to a KDC and need to construct something in Docker or some similar container system).

          This release also adds support for PHP 8 in anticipation of a possible Debian migration (some minor C source cleanup was required, nothing major), fixes some Python build system problems, and incorporates the changes from rra-c-util 8.4.

        • Speeding up the compilation-startup cycle when fine-tuning your code |

          Our computers are getting faster and faster, but compilation and startup times are still something we want to avoid.

          One situation where waiting for compilation and startup to finish feels like a waste is when you are fine-tuning an aspect of your application. For example when you are adjusting spacing or colors in a user interface. Having to wait between each iteration not only costs us time, it also makes us less likely to do more experiments.

          In this article I am going to show a few tricks to reduce these pains.

        • What's new in PHP 7.4? | LibreByte

          The PHP development team announced, on november 2019, the immediate availability of PHP 7.4.0. This release marks the fourth feature update to the PHP 7 series.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Day 14: Writing Faster Raku code, Part I – Raku Advent Calendar

            Last year, in Perl land, I discussed the result of my attempts to optimize the performance of an expression parser which is part of my Perl-based Fortran source-to-source compiler. An expression parser takes strings representing expressions in a programming language (in my case Fortran) and turns it into a data structure called a parse tree, which the compiler uses for further analysis and code generation.

            I have recently been writing quite a bit of Raku code but so far I had not looked at its performance. Out of curiosity I decided to rewrite and optimise this Fortran expression parser in Raku.

          • The Twelve Days of Dancer, 2020 Edition | Jason A. Crome []

            Need some joy this holiday season? Head over to the Dancer Advent Calendar for this year's Twelve Days of Dancer. With a little help from our friends, we've put together a 12-day mini advent calendar featuring some great software built in Dancer, some helpful tips and tricks, new features, and more.

        • Rust

        • Java

          • Enterprise Java Transformation Continues with Jakarta EE 9

            The open-source Jakarta EE Project released its first major update in a year on Dec. 8 with the launch of Jakarta EE 9.

            Jakarta EE is an open-source project run by the Eclipse Foundation. It's the successor to Java EE, which was the enterprise edition platform of Java, where development was led by a group of vendors including Oracle. In February 2018, Oracle announced that it was going to transition Java EE development over to the Eclipse Foundation to make the effort more open.

            The Jakarta EE 8 release in September 2019 marked the first release of Java EE under the direction of the Eclipse Foundation, but it was only an initial step as the code itself still used the javax.* package namespace. That changed with the release of Jakarta EE 9, with that Java namespace changing to jakarta.*, creating a new foundation for future enterprise releases. Beyond just the namespace, the process by which Jakarta EE is put together is very different from how it was when the project was known as Java EE.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • fre:ac is an open source audio converter for Windows, Linux and Mac

        fre:ac supports many audio and video input formats including FLAC, MP3, AAC, WAV, OGG, OGA, APE, MAC, WMA, MP1, MP2, M4A, M4B, M4R, AIF, AIFF, AIFC, CAF, W64, FR64, AU SND, VOC, IFF, SVX, SF, PAF, PVF, WVE, HTK, AVR, SPX, AC3, MP4, 3GP, AMR, AEA, AT3, AA3, OMA, OMG, DSF, DFF, DSS, DTS, FLC, F4V, M4V, ISMA, MKV, MKA, MLP, MOV, MPG, MPEG, QCP, RA, WEBM, WMV, OFR, AVI, CUE and TAK.

  • Leftovers

    • New Book Highlights Need for Solidarity for Humans to Survive Global Collapse
    • Education

      • Rundown Schools in Low-Income Communities Face Long-Term Closures Amid COVID
      • Failing Students Need Support, Not Blame

        Students don't fail because they are lazy. They fail because something is wrong in their lives—and right now, so much is wrong.

      • Academics must not rage against ‘death by blank screen’

        I have been reflecting on my own online experience as both teacher and learner. When I was delivering programmes to 50 to 100 participants over the summer, I sometimes taught for hours without seeing anyone’s face. I wanted interaction, so I did have the feeling that I was getting less engagement than I would expect at “normal” times. On the other hand, I am conscious that when I attend development sessions as a participant, we are sometimes encouraged to switch our cameras off (to “conserve bandwidth”, according to the explanation at one event). I also have to admit that my newfound anonymity had positive aspects: it meant I didn’t have to stare at the assembled faces or, perhaps worse, at my own.

        So what do my students have to say when I ask about their blank screens? They tend not to refer to their own or their peers’ lack of engagement. Instead, they talk about feeling vulnerable, about being judged and about concerns they have about their surroundings. Others say their devices do not have cameras or that their cameras are broken. Whether or not this is the case, it is certainly true that some of our students are accessing sessions on their phones – whether by choice or because this is the only device they have access to.

        But eventually we come back to the core question. Is presenting a blank screen to the world rude, unprofessional or disrespectful, as some academics argue, and so something to be challenged or “punished”? Or is it, as many students tell me, safe, inclusive and a way of reducing anxiety caused by Zoom fatigue?

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • [Crackers] backed by Russian government reportedly breached US government agencies [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Reuters reported that in addition to [cracking] Treasury and the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the hackers may have breached other US government entities.

            Government officials considered the [crack] dire enough that the National Security Council held an emergency meeting at the White House on Saturday.

          • Suspected Russian [attackers] spied on U.S. Treasury emails - sources

            The U.S. government has not publicly identified who might be behind the [attack], but three of the people familiar with the investigation said Russia is currently believed to be responsible for the attack. Two of the people said that the breaches are connected to a broad campaign that also involved the recently disclosed hack on FireEye, a major U.S. cybersecurity company with government and commercial contracts.

            In a statement posted here to Facebook, the Russian foreign ministry described the allegations as another unfounded attempt by the U.S. media to blame Russia for cyberattacks against U.S. agencies.


            The [attackers] are “highly sophisticated” and have been able to trick the Microsoft platform’s authentication controls, according to a person familiar with the incident, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak to the press.

          • U.S. Government Agencies Hit by [Attackers] During Software Update

            “We have identified a global campaign that introduces a compromise into the networks of public and private organizations through the software supply chain,” FireEye said in a blog post late Sunday. “This compromise is delivered through updates to a widely-used IT infrastructure management software -- the Orion network monitoring product from SolarWinds.”

            The series of attacks could rank it among the worst in recent memory, as Austin, Texas-based SolarWinds Corp. sells technology products to a Who’s Who list of of sensitive targets. These include the State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, the FBI, all five branches of the U.S. military, and 425 corporations out of the Fortune 500, according to the company’s website and government data.

          • Researchers underline care taken to craft SolarWinds trojan campaign

            Researchers from FireEye and Microsoft claim to have discovered a global intrusion campaign, using the Orion network monitoring system sold by SolarWinds, with a trojan being implanted into a file which was part of updates for the product; the compromised file was given the name SUNBURST. The software runs on Windows.

          • SolarWinds product used to attack private, public sector: FireEye claim

            American cyber security firm FireEye, which last week said it had suffered a breach and lost its attack tools, says it has identified a global campaign to compromise public and private sector bodies through corruption of software supply chains, using software that runs on Windows.

          • Windows MountLocker ransomware working through affiliates: claim

            Researchers from the Blackberry Research and Intelligence Team say they have been tracking the activities of affiliates of the MountLocker ransomware group, another one of the numerous ransomware groups that attacks Microsoft's Windows operating system.

          • Attackers hit US Treasury through Microsoft Office 365; SolarWinds opens door to others

            Microsoft software has once again proved to be the weak link and opened the path for cyber attacks, this time to the US Treasury Department and an entity that deals with Internet and telco policy.€ The network management software SolarWinds appears to have opened the door for other agencies to be attacked.

          • Auto services firm Inchcape hit by Windows Ransomexx ransomware

            Automotive services provider Inchcape Australia appears to have been compromised by the Windows Ransomexx ransomware, with the cyber criminals who hit the company leaking some data that they stole, on the dark web. The company has about 1500 employees in Australia.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • GOP Lawmaker Claims 'Trump Is Listening to the Many of Us Who Are Urging Him to #PardonSnowden'

              The NSA whistleblower has used his platform to pressure the president to pardon someone other than himself: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

            • Tech Giants Gird for Business Threats Under Strict New EU Laws

              The new Digital Markets Act, set to be proposed by the European Union on Tuesday, targets so-called gatekeeper companies, platforms with the power to control distribution in their markets.

              Such platforms will be prohibited from giving preferential treatment to their own products and services, along with other practices. They won’t be allowed to use data from competitors that sell on their marketplace, for instance, or use data about rivals obtained through advertising activities, according to a person familiar with the matter.

            • Microsoft patents tech to score meetings using body language, facial expressions, other data

              Microsoft is facing criticism for its new “Productivity Score” technology, which can measure how much individual workers use email, chat and other digital tools. But it turns out the company has even bigger ideas for using technology to monitor workers in the interest of maximizing organizational productivity.

              Newly surfaced Microsoft patent filings describe a system for deriving and predicting “overall quality scores” for meetings using data such as body language, facial expressions, room temperature, time of day, and number of people in the meeting. The system uses cameras, sensors, and software tools to determine, for example, “how much a participant contributes to a meeting vs performing other tasks (e.g., texting, checking email, browsing the Internet).”

            • Mobile ECG device firm AliveCor sues Apple for alleged patent infringement

              Medical device company AliveCor has levied a lawsuit against Apple alleging that the Apple Watch electrocardiogram feature infringes on a trio of its patents.

              The lawsuit, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on Monday, claims that the ECG functionality on the Apple Watch Series 4 and later infringes on its intellectual property related to use wearable sensors to improve cardiac monitoring technology.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Joe Biden should heed environmentalists’ calls, become first plastic-free prez: Activist

        On Tuesday, the Plastic Pollution Coalition, Greenpeace, and over 500 other activist groups rolled out the Presidential Plastics Action Plan, which urges Biden to take eight executive actions to tackle plastic pollution and become a “Plastic Free President.” Among those eight executive actions are suspensions of subsidies for plastic producers and termination of government purchases of single-use plastic, according to the advocacy group.

      • A Roadmap for the Biden-Harris Administration: Redesigning Farm Systems for the Climate Crisis

        A just transition for farming must not only consider reforms to farm policy, but also aligned reforms in financial, trade, environmental, and competition policy.

      • Energy

        • Russia's Forgotten Nuclear Disaster

          Government workers descended on the small towns in and around Chelyabinsk, twenty of which were soon evacuated. Around ten thousand people, mostly peasants, were forced out, leaving their pets and possessions behind. Farmers were instructed to slaughter their cows, destroy fertile farmland, and kill off their crops. Their livelihoods and way of life were destroyed, and no reason was given as to why they had to take such drastic measures so quickly.

        • China's carbon neutrality comes up short against dirty Belt and Road

          China's continuing investments in dirty energy in developing countries runs counter to its promise of reaching carbon neutrality by 2060.

          The construction of coal-fired plants carries weight in China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a multi-trillion-dollar project that aims to fund infrastructure in partnering countries and increase China's regional clout. Between 2000 and 2018, 23.1 percent of the US$251 billion (NT$7 trillion) invested by China’s two biggest policy banks on overseas energy projects was spent on coal plants, AFP said.

    • Finance

      • To Win Georgia and the Senate, Democrats Need to Go All-In on $15 Minimum Wage

        Georgia is ripe for this kind of economic message.

      • Bezos, McConnell, and COVID Capitalism

        She said that six of her co-workers had tested positive for COVID since October 22, because “safe social distancing is not only being ignored but discouraged,” adding that “when we express our discomfort to management, we are yelled at about filling orders faster, or told that we can take a leave of absence without pay.”

      • If Democrats Want to Succeed, They Will Have to Implement Policies That Primarily Benefit the Working Class

        Progressives cannot just sit by and expect Biden or the Democratic Party to do the right thing.

      • The Effect of Tax Avoidance Crackdown on Corporate Innovation [Ed: "Innovation" as meaningless buzzword used to subvert accountability for corporate crimes]

        To constrain the use of intangible assets in tax-motivated state income shifting, many U.S. state governments adopted addback statutes. Addback statutes reduce the tax benefits that firms can gain from creating intangible assets such as patents. Using a sample of U.S. public firms, we examine the effect of addback statutes on corporate innovation behavior. First, the adoption of addback statutes leads to a 4.77 percentage point decrease in the number of patents and a 5.12 percentage point decrease in the number of patent citations. Second, the “disappearing patents” resulting from addback statutes have significant economic value. Third, after a state adopts an addback statute, a firm with material subsidiaries in that state assigns fewer patents to subsidiaries in zero-tax states, whereas the number of patents assigned to the other states does not change. Overall, our findings suggest that addback statutes impede corporate innovation.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • America's Political Divide: A Modest Proposal

        The idea of "one America" might be passé.

      • Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics

        And when it comes to the course of US politics, there is the distinct stench of putrefaction. And, while America’s putrescent corpus decays further, the unmistakable rasp of circling vultures becomes inescapable, the smell overwhelming.

        Enter: Donald Trump – the vulture made flesh. And, as the President-elect circles high above his prey, awaiting the moment that he and his Wall Street-Pentagon flock can begin their feast, it remains for the rest of us to consider just what we’ve lived through, and how the history of this low-water mark will be written.

      • Paper Ballots Played a Key Role in Defending the Integrity of the 2020 Election
      • The Israel-Morocco peace deal Donald Trump has brokered is risky

        That old conflict kicked off in 1975, when Morocco annexed Western Sahara after Spain, the colonial power, pulled out. Polisario, which the UN considers the legitimate representative of the Sahrawi people, resisted—but they were outnumbered and outgunned. With Morocco in control of about two-thirds of the territory, and Polisario controlling the other third, the UN brokered a ceasefire deal in 1991 that promised the Sahrawis a referendum on independence. Morocco, though, has obstructed the process. The vote has yet to take place.

      • MAGA Protesters Chant ‘Destroy the GOP’ at Pro-Trump Rally

        Despite these protesters’ efforts, the Electoral College is still scheduled to vote on Monday, and the vote will make Biden’s victory official.

      • House Democrat says a provision in the 14th Amendment means some GOP members shouldn't even be seated

        Pascrell cites Article 1, Section 5 of the Constitution, which gives each chamber of Congress final authority over membership, as well as Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which says:

        No person shall be a senator or representative in Congress, or elector of president and vice president, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

        "Stated simply, men and women who would act to tear the United States government apart cannot serve as members of the Congress," writes the longtime Trump critic.

      • Chaos in Washington as Trump refuses to concede, Republican leader suggests secession of pro-Trump states

        A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police Department said they had treated several people with stab wounds and had arrested six for brawling. At least one police officer was also injured in the clashes. In the evening, police shut down traffic in parts of downtown Washington and sealed off Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House.

      • Democrat asks Pelosi to refuse to seat lawmakers supporting Trump's election challenges

        Pelosi’s office didn’t comment on Pascrell’s request, but in a Dear Colleague letter sent Friday evening, Pelosi said the Republicans are “subverting the Constitution by their reckless and fruitless assault on our democracy which threatens to seriously erode public trust in our most sacred democratic institutions, and to set back our progress on the urgent challenges ahead.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Let Everybody Vote, Even If They're Incarcerated

        What value is a democracy that actively seeks to silence the voices of its most vulnerable citizens?

      • Husband gave triple talaq from US over phone: Hyderabad woman

        Saba Fatima said that he was in touch with her from Boston, and used to send money for her daily needs. However, on October 6, she said he called up her father and “pronounced talaq without any reason”.

        “Since then, he has not been in touch with me and has blocked my number. I have tried to reach out to my mother-in-law, who lives in Dubai, and my sister-in-law who lives in London. They first assured me of justice, and later they also blocked my number,” she said.

    • Monopolies

      • Anti-trust suits notwithstanding, Google, Facebook on Biden transition team

        Facebook and Google officials have been taken on as part of the team that is helping the new US administration effect its transition to power.

      • Financial Terms in License Agreements [Ed: "Intellectual Property Licensing" is nonsensical propaganda; what they mean is submission to monopolies based on the fiction/lie that ideas are "property"]

        This chapter in the forthcoming casebook Intellectual Property Licensing and Transactions: Theory and Practice (2020, forthcoming), discusses the financial terms of IP licensing agreements including fixed payments, running royalties, sublicensing income, milestone payments, equity compensation and cost reimbursement, as well as most-favored and audit clauses. Numerous areas of recent controversy are addressed including the establishment of royalty rates through the entire market value rule (EMVR) versus the smallest salable patent practicing unit (SSPPU) rule, royalties for bundled rights, rules of thumb discredited by the courts, royalty escalation clauses and more. Examples are drawn primarily from biotechnology, high-tech and copyright licensing practice.

      • Patents

        • Olha que coisa mais linda! INPI Brazil launched the English and Spanish versions of its website [Ed: This patent office gives it away; it doesn't work for its country but for multinationals]

          INPI Brazil highlighted that the new versions are addressed to foreigners with the goal of sharing relevant content on IP and disseminating information about its activities.

          In this way, INPI Brazil expects to expand the international scope of its services as well as to promote further partnerships to foster innovation and the creation of IP assets.

          The new versions are still in beta phase. Thus, further improvements may be expected.

        • German Bundestag Approves Ratification Bill on the Unified Patent Court Agreement

          The European Patent Office (EPO) is ready to register the first Unitary Patents. For Unitary Patents to become available, the UPCA has to enter into force which requires the ratification by 13 of the 25 participating EU Member States, including France, Germany and Italy. In Germany, the UPC bill will now be submitted to the German upper house (Bundesrat) for approval later this year. Once the German ratification procedure is complete, it's anticipated that the final preparatory steps could be taken to set up the Unitary Patent Court in 2021. The UPC could then start its work in 2022.

        • UPC – Progress on German ratification

          The EPO has welcomed the news, explaining that “in Germany, the UPC bill will now be submitted to the German upper house (Bundesrat) for approval later this year. Once the German ratification procedure is complete, it's anticipated that the final preparatory steps could be taken to set up the Unitary Patent Court in 2021. The UPC could then start its work in 2022.”

        • “The German parliament’s quick UPC solution is risky” [Ed: This is not a solution at all and it'll backfire on Germany and its credibility worldwide]

          Following a recent vote by the German parliament, the UPC could go into a provisional application period. Politically, this is a good sign. By opening a new unified court, continental Europe would demonstrate its ability to act as a community. But the danger of another constitutional complaint still hangs over the fast-developing project.

        • Around the IP Blogs [Ed: Well, this links to some patently false 'news' about UPC as might be expected from Team UPC; IP Kat speaks of "threats of new constitutional complaints, which might stop the project altogether." The threat is the UPC itself (an attack on the constitution), not complaints seeking to uphold the Rule of Law.]

          The German Bundestag has approved draft legislation to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement and this news hit the IP Blogosphere. ManagingIP, the European IP Helpdesk, the HGF blog, and the Juve Patent Blog each shared their opinion regarding the future of the UPC, including threats of new constitutional complaints, which might stop the project altogether.

        • FOSS Patents: Two new FRAND complaints filed with U.S. district courts: Lenovo v. Nokia (N.D. Cal.) and Ericsson v. Samsung (E.D. Tex.)

          Within four days of each other, two FRAND complaints have been filed in district court. One of them takes one aspect of the ongoing Nokia v. Lenovo standard-essential patent (SEP) dispute to the Northern District of California, and the other ushers in a "sequel" to an earlier Ericsson v. Samsung patent spat. At this stage--with the ink barely being dry on those complaints--I primarily just wish to make the complaints available here and provide some high-level information. When the defendants have answered (or moved to dismiss), I'll go into more detail. Both appear to be driven by the notion that a good offense is sometimes the best defense.

        • 2020 Patent Exam – Are you Smarter than a 2L?

          At the University of Missouri, my patent law class is practice based – with students drafting claims, rejecting claims, responding to office actions, and participating in a patent law moot court competition. The class is pretty much fully packed. Still, I also give them a short final exam to ensure sure that they have learned the basics. This year’s exam is based upon an actual pending patent application for the Boss Hammer. Note – I played with the actual facts and claims a bit to make it all more straightforward.

        • COVID-19 Vaccines: Patent Ownership and the Barriers to Equitable Access

          The race to develop vaccines for COVID-19 has edged closer to its finishing line with at least three candidates announcing positive results from their vaccine trials. While this may appear to be the light at the end of the tunnel, the focus now shifts towards equally challenging issues of availability, accessibility, and affordability of vaccines. In this post, I discuss the vaccines developed by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford, the complex ownership status of their intellectual property, the bilateral pre-purchase deals struck with higher-income countries and their implications on the Global South.


          On 9th November, US Pharma giant Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech became the first to announce that ‘BNT162b2,’ the vaccine developed through their collaborative efforts, had shown over 90% effectiveness after the conclusion of Phase III trials. They will be supplying 50 million doses of one of the first ever messenger RNA-based vaccines by the end of 2020 and 1.3 billion doses by 2021. While no safety hazards have been noted, the vaccines will require ultra-cold storage at below -70 degree Celsius temperature and will only survive for 24 hours at refrigerator temperature (2-8 degrees Celsius). It is priced at a hefty price of $39 (nearly INR 3000). Today, UK gave an emergency approval to this vaccine.

          A week later, US-based Moderna declared that its mRNA-1273, another mRNA-based vaccine, had shown 95% effectiveness. It is set to be priced at $25-37 (approx. INR 1900-2800) per dose depending on quantities purchased. Similar to Pfizer-BioNTech, this vaccine will have to be stored frozen at -20 degrees Celsius. However, it may be kept at refrigerator temperature for a month making downstream transportation relatively easier.

          The highly anticipated AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, AZD1222, claims 70% efficacy as per interim data, a figure that is estimated to increase to 90% if the dosage is altered. Unlike the other two vaccines, this one utilizes a genetically modified common-cold virus. What makes the Oxford vaccine an attractive candidate is its price, which, following a no-profit pledge by AstraZeneca, is to be capped at $3 (approx. INR 222) per dose. It is also capable of storage at normal refrigerator temperature giving it a logistical edge over the other two.

          A few other candidates are Russia’s Sputnik V and vaccines being developed by Sanofi-GlaxoSmithKlien, J&J, and Novavax.

        • Prison for over 200 fraudulent Chinese patent applications yielding 900,000 RMB in government awards

          According to a news report by 知识产权界, on December 3, 2020, the People’s Court of Shehong City, Sichuan heard the corruption and bribery case of defendant Guo, and the corruption case of defendants Chen, Wu, and Wu . The court of first instance sentenced Guo to 6 years and 8 months imprisonment, fined Guo 400,000 yuan, and ordered him to refund the economic losses caused by his corruption. Guo had fraudulently filed and obtained 231 utility model patents and then applied for awards of 3,000 RMB (~$459 USD) each from Shehong County Government’s intellectual property award funds.

          The court found that Guo and others used Shehong local enterprises, farmers, technology companies and others to file utility model patents in their names. After the government awarded the 3,000 RMB to these companies or individuals, they would transfer the RMB to Guo. The Court also found that Guo accepted bribes totaling 251,625 RMB.

          Shehong, like many cities, offers awards for patent grants. Specifically, the Shehong County Authorized Patent Incentive Measures (Trial)” (Shefu Office [2011] No. 91) offered 5,000 RMB per invention patent grant, 3,000 RMB per utility model patent grant, and 1000 RMB per design patent grant. In comparison, Guangzhou currently offers up to 3,000 RMB per Chinese invention patent but no awards designs or utility models. Note that foreign patents grants yield 20,000 RMB awards in Guangzhou. (See 广州市知识产权工作专项资金管理办法 for more details). In contrast, Shanghai is more generous with up to 50,000 RMB/foreign patent. (See 上海市专利资助办法 for more details).

        • Software Patents

      • Trademarks

        • As Face Masks, Shields Become a Fashion Category of Their Own, Brands Are Rushing to File Trademark Applications

          The U.S. market for face masks is positively booming. Projected to reach $6 billion in 2021, according to investment bank KeyBanc Capital Markets, companies are placing their bets on demand for not only utilitarian face coverings but decorative, and even luxury-level ones, as the item of COVID-centric protective gear has swiftly evolved into a fashion ornament – albeit a mandatory one in most jurisdictions – and created a new category of accessory in the process, one that is being compared to the likes of “it” bags and the latest trend in coveted sneakers. Since the outset of the global health pandemic, the notion of logo-laden, designer face masks has become increasingly less taboo, and as the practical need to wear a mask endures, the attitude of many consumers has shifted. The result? A new emphasis on the fashion aspects of these necessary accessories in addition to the purely functional ones. “Face coverings might be a matter of practicality in the era of COVID-19,” the Los Angeles Times’ Lindzi Scharf wrote in September. “But for the 1 percent, fancy masks and shields have become a new opportunity to project individual status.” “This kind of evolution is natural. It may be inevitable. It is the kind of human impulse fashion is built to serve,” the New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman asserted in April. Against that background and in light of a drastic drop in sales of many of their other offerings, fashion brands – from burgeoning young upstarts to established names in the high fashion arena – have clamored to enter the face mask market to meet mounting consumer demand.

      • Copyrights

        • MediaFire Counters La Liga's 'Baseless' Piracy Accusations

          A few weeks ago, Spanish football league La Liga nominated several sites and services for the US Trade Representative's upcoming 'notorious markets' report. The Texan company MediaFire was highlighted in the cyberlocker category, characterized as a pirate service. In a late reply, MediaFire counters the claims, stating that they are inaccurate and unsupported.

        • Pirate IPTV Provider Must Pay DISH $15.8m in Damages

          Back in January, US broadcaster DISH Network filed a sealed complaint targeting the Florida-based owner of a pirate IPTV service operating under several brand names. After almost a year, the case has now been concluded. In addition to complying with a permanent injunction, defendant Robert Reich has agreed to pay DISH more than $15.8m in damages.

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[Meme] The Doyen and the Colonel
EPO continues to prioritise lawbreaking over knowledge
EPO Union Action: Next Week SUEPO The Hague and SUEPO Munich Talk About New Pension Scheme (NPS) and Salary Savings Plan (SSP)
So there are basically 32 days left for more people to intervene
[Meme] Wait Till Systemd-Recall
The only thing Linux still needs is a forensics backdoor
GNU/Linux Up This Month in India (or Why Famous Criminal Bill Gates Keeps Visiting Modi)
truth tends to catch up with people
Microsoft Poetterix is Work in Progress
Linux's New DRM Panic 'Blue Screen of Death' In Action
24/7 Work Discipline
it's not so much about how much (or how long) one works, it's about how one works and whether one feels comfortable doing it
Adamant Conformism is an Enemy of Science
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man"
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 17, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 17, 2024
Links 18/06/2024: Further Mass Layoffs and Gemini Leftovers
Links for the day
At IBM, "Brownnosing is the Norm."
Many of these comments are from IBM insiders
Myanmar/Burma: Google Gains One Percent, Microsoft Loses One Percent Since the LLM Hype ('Bing Chat')
it's not hard to understand LLMs didn't replace real search and didn't replace Google, either
[Meme] KISS, not SAAS
Gemini Protocol turns 5 in exactly 2 days
Hostageware: The Threat of Clown Computing (or 'SaaS', Another Misnomer or Buzzword) to Computer Users Everywhere
This problem isn't limited to Free software adopters
Six on the Beach: After Losing Six Continents Microsoft is Losing Oceania Too
Based on the 6- or 7-continent view of the world
Links 17/06/2024: Mass Layoffs Accelerating in Tech, Concerns About Impact of the Net
Links for the day
Gemini Links 17/06/2024: Hyprland Analysed and No Use for Betrusted
Links for the day
Microsoft Can Never Make a Comeback Anymore, the Community is Shutting It Out
We're relying on the real community, not fake ones or coopted ones
The World is Becoming (or Has Already Become) Linux
An intercontinental success story
Georgia: Bing Share Fell by Half Since 'Bing Chat' (LLM Hype), Fell Behind Yandex As Well
Georgia's situation is interesting
[Meme] Community of People to be Exploited, Then Thrown Away, Left Behind or Even Slandered front page
Alexandre Oliva's FSF disposition
During my recent trip for LibrePlanet, I was fortunate to have, or at least start, long conversations with nearly everyone in FSF staff
[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