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Links 8/3/2021: Waffle 1.7.0 and a Look at the New Pardus (19.5)

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: March 7th, 2021

      This week has been really interesting as we saw the release of Manjaro ARM’s first update in 2021, Arch Linux’s first ISO release powered by Linux kernel 5.11, which finally and completely fixes the touchpad on my Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 laptop, KDE’s Plasma Mobile sees its first major update in 2021, and Lenovo brings another ThinkPad laptop to Linux.

      On top of that, Linus Torvalds kicked off the development cycle of the upcoming Linux 5.12 kernel, Star Labs finally adds Coreboot open-source firmware to its Linux laptops, Valve’s Steam Link finally gets ported to Linux as a Flatpak and Snap, and Canonical chooses to use Google’s Flutter to build future Ubuntu apps.

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #120

      We had a full week in the world of Linux Releases with Pardus 19.5, Bluestar Linux 5.11.2, OpenSUSE 15.3-beta, Robolinux 12.03, MakuluLinux Lindox 2021-03-05, and SparkyLinux 2021.03.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The Kubuntu Focus M2 Linux Notebook Gets Nvidia's GeForce RTX 30-Series GPUs
        Kubuntu Focus has started to offer Nvidia's GeForce RTX 30-series graphics processor with its Kubuntu GNU/Linux distribution-based M2 laptop aimed at gamers and performance-hungry professionals.

        Linux-based laptops are usually niche products for people with very specific requirements, so there aren't many configurations available. Yet, a few companies offer high-end notebooks with powerful hardware that can compete against their Windows-powered counterparts. Kubuntu Focus is one of the vendors that offers such machines.

      • Lenovo M93 Ultra Small PC Running Linux – Week 1

        This is a weekly blog looking at the Lenovo M93 Ultra Small Desktop PC running Linux.

        We previously published a series of articles on the AWOW AK41, an inexpensive quad-core mini PC. Rather than put a different mini PC under the spotlight, we plumped for an enticing alternative, a refurbished Lenovo Ultra Small Desktop PC.

        Along the way, we’ll make comparisons to the AWOW. We chose a refurbished Lenovo that retails on ebay for €£185 in the UK. The Lenovo is cheaper than the AK41 but as it was supplied with a painfully slow 5400 RPM mechanical hard drive, we replaced that component with a spare SSD. The secondhand value of the SSD when added to the cost of the Lenovo brings parity in cost.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.11.4
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.11.4 kernel.

        All users of the 5.11 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.11.y git tree can be found at: git:// linux-5.11.y and can be browsed at the normal git web browser:


        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.10.21
      • Linux 5.4.103
      • Linux 4.19.179
      • Linux 4.14.224
      • Linux 4.9.260
      • Linux 4.4.260
    • Benchmarks

      • Waffle 1.7.0
        Hi all,

        I'd like to announce waffle 1.7.0 as available for download immediately.

        Notable changes since 1.6.0: - wayland: Support for the xdg-shell protocol. - surfaceless: Implement window resize - GLX/WGL: Behave correctly in the presence of ARB_create_context - tests: Rework and extend test suite - cmake: Bump requirement to 2.8.12 - man: Spelling and associated fixes. - GBM: Pass valid arguments to gbm_surface_create_with_modifiers - apple: Build fixes
      • Waffle 1.7 Released For Runtime OpenGL / Windowing System Selection

        It's been a while since last having anything to report on Waffle as the library abstracting OpenGL and windowing system selection to run-time while this weekend marked its v1.7 release.

        The Waffle project allows deferring OpenGL API and window system selection to run-time to easily switch between OpenGL vs. OpenGL ES as well as for Wayland vs. X.Org and other options. While the project site is rather stale at this point, those wanting to learn more can visit

    • Applications

      • ZeMarmot Is Working On Searchable Layer Groups, Stored Layer Selection And Other Cool Features For GIMP

        ZeMarmot is a 2D animation film project that uses free software to create animated films and other artwork made free available under the Art Libre and Creative Commons licenses. It is easy to see what software you are using daily is missing. Jehan from ZeMarmot has written code for several cool new features that make his GIMP experience better.

        ZeMarmot is an animated 2D movie made freely available under the Creative Commons by-SA/Art Libre licenses. They use free software to create their movie.

        Jehan, a ZeMarmot member from France, has also been a major GIMP contributor since 2012. He is working on some interesting new features for the GNU Image Manipulation Program such as searchable layer groups, pattern-matching selection and stored layer selection.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install CloudPanel on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install CloudPanel on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, CloudPanel is an open-source server management control panel designed to be fast, easy to use, and customizable. This piece of software supports management of Domains, Linux services, Cron jobs, FTP services, System security through IP and Bots blocking, User management, Cloud platforms support, among many others.

        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 the CloudPanel Control Panel 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.

      • Install ProjectSend on Ubuntu 20.04 with Nginx (LEMP Stack) - LinuxBabe

        This tutorial will be showing you how to install ProjectSend on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with Nginx web server.


        You can install ProjectSend on your home server or a VPS (virtual private server). You also need a domain name, so later on your will be able to enable HTTPS to encrypt the HTTP traffic. I registered my domain name from NameCheap because the price is low and they give whois privacy protection free for life. ProjectSend can be installed without a domain name, but it really doesn’t make sense if you don’t encrypt the HTTP connection to prevent snooping. I recommend buying a domain name, if you really want to tinker with server software and use them to the fullest potential.

      • How to Self Host Jitsi Meet With Docker [Step by Step Guide]

        Jitsi Meet is an open source videoconferencing software that you can self-host. It is a good alternative to proprietary services like Google Meet or Zoom.

        Jitsi Meet can be integrated with other open source tools like Nextcloud, Rocket.Chat or Synapse (Matrix implementation) to give you a comprehensive solution.

        With some limitations, Jitsi Meet can be used for free on their server. For premium features, you can opt for Jitsi as a Service from Jitsi developers. You may also deploy it on your own server? I'll help you with the self-hosting part.

      • How to Install WordPress using Nginx in Ubuntu Linux

        WordPress is the most used, user-friendly, free, and open-source content management system (CMS) and website builder for both beginner and professional developers. Creating a website was never so easy and straightforward before WordPress. It doesn’t require any programming and coding experience. WordPress has a lot of free and premium themes and plugins that you can use to design your website. Installing WordPress is not a hard task on a Linux machine. You can install WordPress easily on your Ubuntu/Debian Linux with the Nginx server.

      • How To List Disks on Linux – devconnected

        For the system administrator, checking that disks are working properly is a big concern.

        In many cases, you will have to list all the disks available on your computer, with their sizes, in order to make sure that they don’t run out of space.

        If they were to run out of space, you could essentially have your server down, preventing all your users from accessing it.

        In this tutorial, we are going to see how you can easily list disks available on your Linux machine.

      • Building a Linux container by hand using namespaces | Enable Sysadmin

        How user namespaces related to container security.

      • How to Set a Static IP Address in CentOS Linux

        An IP (Internet Protocol) Address is a unique numerical representation of a computer on a network. Every computer connected to the Internet is identified by an IP Address.

        Usually, IP addresses are dynamically assigned to a computer by a dedicated server called DHCP Server (Dynamic Host Control Protocol), and hence change from time to time as and when the connection is lost and reestablished.

        However, there are scenarios where a static IP address is more preferable; Eg. In large corporations, where it removes the load of using DHCP for each computer in the organization.

        Today, we will learn how to set a static IP address on a local network in CentOS.

      • Installing VMware workstation player on Linux - LinuxH2O

        A quick guide, installing VMware workstation player on Linux. The guide is for all kinds of Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Manjaro, Mint, Kali, Elementary, Pop os, MX Linux, Fedora, etc.

        VMware is a commercial company that offers many products and services in the area of cloud and virtualization. One such product is the VMware workstation player, which allows desktop virtualization though it is a premium commercial tool but comes with free use for personal non-commercial use.

        VMware can be a great alternative to the famous VirtualBox, offered by Oracle. Now, let’s see how to get it up and running in your favorite Linux distribution.

      • How To Install FFmpeg on Manjaro 20 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install FFmpeg on Manjaro 20. For those of you who didn’t know, FFmpeg is open-source software (also a command-line tool) for transcoding multimedia files. It contains a set of shared audio and video libraries such as libavcodec, libavformat, and libavutil. With FFmpeg, you can convert between various video and audio formats, set sample rates, capture streaming audio or video, and resize videos.

        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 FFmpeg on a Manjaro 20 (Nibia).

      • CPU Isolation – Nohz_full – by SUSE Labs (part 3)

        The “nohz_full=” kernel boot parameter is the current main interface to configure full dynticks along with CPU Isolation.

      • Linux pee Command – Tee Standard Input Into Pipes

        The Linux pee command will split your output into two streams… Yes, pun intended. It is another incredibly useful tool provided by the moreutils package. Although the name and description may give you a chuckle, this is a serious utility. Let’s take a look at the pee command and it’s basic usage.

      • How to Create Disk Partitions with Parted Command in Linux

        Managing storage devices is one of the essential skills that any Linux user or systems administrator worth his salt needs to have. There are numerous ways of creating disk partitions in Linux, both graphical and on the command-line. In this guide, we feature an opensource tool known as parted. Parted is a collaborative effort of two developers – Andrew Clausen and Lennert Buytenhek.

        We are going to take you through the parted command along with how to create disk partitions.

      • OPNsense set up and configure DNS Over TLS (DoT)

        OPNsense is an open-source, FreeBSD-based firewall and routing security software. It also acts as a DNS resolver for all of your desktops and mobile devices. Let us see how to configure the OPNsense DNS resolver to encrypt all DNS queries to protect from eavesdropping to increase our privacy and security.

        All DNS queries routed using plaintext. We either use UDP and TCP protocol 53 in plaintext, and your ISP or an attacker/hacker can monitor transmissions even if you use HTTPS, the DNS queries and answers of the site leaked. Hence we need to encrypt our DNS queries to protect ourselves. DNS over TLS (DoT) is nothing but a security protocol for encrypting DNS traffic using the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. The main objective is to increase your security and privacy.

      • Install Drupal in Raspberry PI - peppe8o

        Drupal is, before all, a Content Management System (CMS). Between their users you can find, for example, City of London web page, New York web page, Tesla and many others.

        Drupal focuses to make working well these features that everyone refers as standard, like easy content authoring, reliable performance, and excellent security. It also aims to get macimum felxibility with modular core, enabling website owners to extend functionalities by installing add-ons.

        Like quite all CMSs, you can customize your website appearence by selecting your favourite theme.

      • How to install V.S. Whitty Full Week on a Chromebook - Friday Night Funkin Mod

        Today we are looking at how to install the V.S. Whitty, Friday Night Funkin, mod 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.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kdenlive 20.12.3 is out

          The last maintenance release of the 20.12 series is out with the usual batch of usability and bug fixes. The highlights include lots of polishing of the Subtitling Tool and adding a spell checking feature. The Titler also got a fair amount of usability improvements most notably fixing the invisible text cursor. Fixes were also made to the chroma key color picker and various clip selection issues. The Windows version received fixes to resetting the config file and finding downloaded title templates and lumas.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Alpine Linux Review: Ultimate Distro for Power Users

          Alpine Linux is gathering a lot of attention because of its super-small size and focus on security. However, Alpine is different from some of the other lightweight distros we covered on FOSSLinux. It isn’t your typical desktop distribution as it is terminal-based like Arch and is marketed as a “general purpose distro.”

          It is currently widely adopted as a Docker container thanks to its ultra-small footprint. However, it can be used for all sorts of Linux deployments that benefit from small, resource-efficient Linux distros.

          Now, that statement might feel too generic. But don’t worry, as we have put together an in-depth and comprehensive review of Alpine Linux, giving you a detailed look at what it has under the hood and how to use it. As such, by the end, you should have a clear understanding of whether you should consider Alpine Linux as your next Linux distro.

          So without further ado, let’s dive in.

        • Review: Artix Linux in 2021

          Artix Linux is a fork (or continuation as an autonomous project) of the Arch-OpenRC and Manjaro-OpenRC projects. Artix Linux offers a lightweight, rolling-release operating system featuring alternative init software options, including OpenRC, runit, and s6. The distribution is available in many editions, including Base, Cinnamon, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, KDE Plasma and Xfce. With all of the desktop options, combined with the available init choices, there are 21 editions, not including community spins from which to choose. All editions appear to be built for 64-bit (x86_64) machines. Picking randomly, I selected Artix's Plasma edition featuring the runit init software. The download for this edition is is 1.3GB. Browsing the other editions it looks like most flavours are about 1.1GB to 1.3GB in size, though the minimal Base edition is a compact 618MB.

          The project's live media boots to the KDE Plasma desktop. On the desktop we find multiple documentation and README icons. There is also an icon for launching the system installer. The default layout places a panel at bottom of the screen where we can find the application menu and system tray. The default wallpaper is a soft blue while the theme for windows and menus is dark with high contrast fonts.


          Artix Linux is one of those distributions I really enjoy using and yet struggle to review in a meaningful way because it doesn't really go out of its way to introduce new or exciting features and everything works smoothly. The distribution is wonderfully easy to install, offers top-notch performance, and is unusually light on resources. Artix is somewhat minimal, but still ships enough software to be immediately useful right out of the gate. We can browse the web, install packages, view files, and play videos. Meanwhile the application menu isn't cluttered with a lot of extras. The developers clearly expect us to install the functionality we need, while doing a really good job of providing enough for the desktop environment to feel base-line useful right from the start.

          Artix does a nice job of balancing performance and functionality while also juggling ease of use against not getting in the way. There is a little documentation, but no initial welcome screen or configuration wizards that might distract the user.

          The one piece I felt was missing was a graphical package manager which would have made it easier to build the extra functionality I wanted on top of the base distribution. However, that one piece aside, I felt as though Artix was really well designed and put together, at lease for someone like me. It's not a distribution geared toward beginners, it's not a "first distro". It is a bit minimal and requires command line knowledge. However, for someone with a little experience with Linux, for someone who doesn't mind the occasional trip to the command line or installing new applications as needed, then Artix provides an excellent experience. It's fast, light, looks (in my opinion) great with the default theme, and elegantly walks the line between minimalism and having enough applications ready to go out of the box to be immediately useful. I'm unusually impressed with how smooth and trouble-free my experience was with this distribution and the fact it offers such a range of desktop and init diversity is all the more appealing.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Pardus 19.5

          Today we are looking at Pardus 19.5, the XFCE edition. It comes with Linux Kernel 4.19, XFCE 4.12, based on Debian 10, and uses about 1GB to 1.5GB of ram when idling. Enjoy!

        • Pardus 19.5 Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Pardus 19.5.

      • Debian Family

        • SparkyLinux 2021.03 Release Introduces a KDE Plasma Edition, Xfce 4.16 Update, and More Upgrades

          SparkyLinux is a Debian-based operating system that aims to provide a fast, lightweight and fully customizable experience to the user. Out of the box, the user has the option to choose from four different desktop environments that will be provided with a set of pre-installed open-source software.

          The developers behind Sparky Linux have announced the release of “SparkyLinux 2021.03” which is based on the “Bullseye” testing branch of Debian and is a rolling release distribution.

          This new release features many updates and new desktop environments. Let’s have a look at what is on offer.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Top 25 icon themes for Ubuntu

          An icon is a graphical representation of something. It can be termed as being a symbolic thing or noted figure. An icon theme is, therefore, a combination of icons that share the same feel and look. Thus, when a user selects a specific icon theme, all the apps will look and feel as specified by the icon theme used.

          In this article, we shall concentrate our findings on the top 25 icon themes for Ubuntu. If you are bored by the old Ubuntu look, then this is the right article for you.

          Icon themes are the easiest way to change the look and feel of your Ubuntu desktop. Your Ubuntu desktop is transformed to your desired theme. If you are stuck and wish to give your Ubuntu a new feel, try out the tricks highlighted in this article.

        • Finding Ubuntu Crash Reports

          Back when we shipped Unity desktop as the default desktop environment in Ubuntu, there was a simple button to take a user to their previously uploaded crash reports. There was also an easy, graphical way to disable crash reporting.

          I say was in the past tense, but Unity still exists in the Ubuntu repository. Indeed there’s even a revived Ubuntu Unity Remix. So those of us who prefer Unity can still run it, despite it not getting a lot of new development or maintenance since 2017.

          In fact on my ThinkPad X220 I have Unity installed on the Ubuntu 21.10 release, which still performs very nicely.

        • Ubuntu Studio review

          For many years, Ubuntu Linux OS has been a lifesaver, bringing many older computers I have owned, inherited, and found, back to life. Since its release back in 2004, it has become one of the most powerful and popular Linux OS in history. First off, it’s impossible not to love something that does everything the expensive big boys do but does them for free.

          Ubuntu Studio is similar to regular Ubuntu, but comes with a suite of software geared toward creatives and the productivity standards included in regular Ubuntu builds such as LibreOffice. Most of the software suite you find on Ubuntu Studio is Linux-based and available to download for free. And you can also find a free version for Mac and PC if you’re interested in trying them out on your computer.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 6 open source tools for wedding planning

        If I were to say I had planned on writing this article a year or so ago, I would be wrong. So, I'll give you a small amount of backstory about how this came to be.

        On March 21st, I will be "getting married." I put that in quotes because I got married in Las Vegas on March 21, 2019. But I'm getting married again because my mom, who told us to elope, decided she was wrong and wanted a real wedding. So here I am, planning a wedding.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • International Women’s Day – March 8, 2021

          A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.

          We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.

      • Programming/Development

        • How to manipulate strings in bash

          Without explicit support for variable types, all bash variables are by default treated as character strings. Therefore more often than not, you need to manipulate string variables in various fashions while working on your bash script. Unless you are well-versed in this department, you may end up constantly coming back to Google and searching for tips and examples to handle your specific use case.

          In the spirit of saving your time and thus boosting your productivity in shell scripting, I compile in this tutorial a comprehensive list of useful string manipulation tips for bash scripting. Where possible I will try to use bash's built-in mechanisms (e.g., parameter expansion) to manipulate strings instead of invoking external tools such as awk, sed or grep.

          If you find any missing tips, feel free to suggest it in the comment. I will be happy to incorporate it in the article.

        • Python Generators

          Python generators are very powerful for handling operations which require large amount of memory.

        • We got lucky

          If you’re having enough production incidents to be able to evaluate your preparation, you’re probably either unlucky or unprepared ;)

          If you have infrequent incidents you may be well prepared but it’s hard to tell. Chaos engineering experiments are a great way to test your preparation, and practice incident response in a less stressful context. It may seem like a huge leap from your current level of preparation to running automated chaos monkeys in production, but you don’t need to go straight there.

          Why not start with practice drills? You could have a game host who comes up with a failure scenario. You can work up to chaos in production.

        • React Testing Library – Tutorial with JavaScript Code Examples

          This post will help you to learn what React Testing Library is, and how you can use it to test your React application.

          This tutorial will assume you already know some basic JavaScript and understand the basics of how React works.

          React Testing Library is a testing utility tool that's built to test the actual DOM tree rendered by React on the browser. The goal of the library is to help you write tests that resembles how a user would use your application, so that you'll have more confidence that your application work as intended when a real user do use it.

        • Why I Moved From Ops to DevOps (and why you might want to)
        • fs-extra to fs

          I’m a big fan of the fs-extra module for Node.js. It has made my life much easier over the years. However, as I migrate my modules from CommonJS to ECMAScript Modules (ESM) and as I’m looking at bundling Place into a single JS file for deployment using esbuild, I’ve started removing third-party dependencies wherever I can easily replicate their behaviour using modules from the Node standard library.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | 9 Skillful Struggles Happening Right Now

      Learn some lessons from these nonviolent struggles around the world working to bring justice, equity and change to their communities.

    • Science

      • Canadian Nobelists warn country over innovation malaise

        One clear need at the federal level, Professor McDonald said, was for the creation of a single point of contact to help scientists – whether individuals or part of a large team – negotiate the legal hurdles associated with forming international partnerships.

        “The government can do more than it does to encourage science and technology cooperation,” he said. “It’s very difficult, when someone is attempting to bring together a large international collaboration, to know exactly who it is that one needs to speak to in Ottawa.”

        On the university side, Professor Strickland said, there were still too many faculty members who gave the message that students in the sciences should aspire to careers in academia, when the bulk of the jobs are elsewhere.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | Sounds of Silence: Extinction Is Erasing the Earth’s Music

        Writer Kathleen Dean Moore turns her ear to nature’s sounds and what we’re losing as species disappear.

      • Teachers are terrified that experts don't really know how risky re-opening schools is

        The Daily News made no mention of the essential role played by the United Federation of Teachers, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators and the tens of thousands of staff that implemented a complex and expensive plan that included mandatory testing of 20 percent of all of the staff and students in each school.

        Nor did the newspaper make any mention of the steep and deadly learning curve the de Blasio administration had been on from the earliest day of the pandemic when it downplayed the virus before it shut the schools down mid-March. And the de Blasio administration has been anything but transparent.

        As The City newspaper reported in May, the city was slow to close down its schools as the virus was getting traction in the community and resisted the United Federation of Teachers' (UFT) call to shift to remote learning, despite mounting evidence the pandemic was starting to take a toll.

      • The World Needs Syringes. He Jumped In to Make 5,900 Per Minute.

        In late November, an urgent email popped up in the inbox of Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices, one of the world’s largest syringe makers.

        It was from UNICEF, the United Nations agency for children, and it was desperately seeking syringes. Not just any would do. These syringes must be smaller than usual. They had to break if used a second time, to prevent spreading disease through accidental recycling.

        Most important, UNICEF needed them in vast quantities. Now.

      • Mexico moves closer to becoming the world's largest legal cannabis market

        The Chamber of Deputies, Congress' lower house similar to the U.S. House of Representatives, will take up the issue early next week, Martha Tagle Martínez, a member of the chamber's health committee, said in a series of tweets.

        The Senate approved the legalization of medical marijuana almost four months ago, and two months later, the Health Ministry published rules to regulate the use of medicinal cannabis.

        Former President Vicente Fox, who is on the board of global medical marijuana company Khiron Life Sciences Corp., said he sees the potential for Mexico to cash in on much-needed job creation, economic investment and medical advancements.

        A regulated market could also help to lessen the cartel violence that has become synonymous with the country.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Microsoft Attack Blamed On China Morphs Into Global Crisis [iophk: Windows TCO]

            The attack, which Microsoft has said started with a Chinese government-backed [cracking] group, has so far claimed at least 60,000 known victims globally, according to a former senior U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation. Many of them appear to be small or medium-sized businesses caught in a wide net the attackers cast as Microsoft worked to shut down the [attack].

            The European Banking Authority became one of the latest victims as it said Sunday that access to personal data through emails held on the Microsoft server may have been compromised. Others identified so far include banks and electricity providers, as well as senior citizen homes and an ice cream company, according to Huntress, a Ellicott City, Maryland-based firm that monitors the security of customers, in a blog post Friday.

          • Windows ransomware gangs will hit all creatures big and small [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Ransomware operators are catholic in their approach to breaking into businesses, and the size of a business really appears to be of no import. A good example of this is the compromise last week of a small businessman from Ohio whose annual turnover is barely US$150,000 (A$194,687).

            The man, who requested anonymity, is a close friend of the writer, and the site which was compromised does not really need to be exposed to the Internet.There is no indication on the site as to the company's annual revenue, but it has a professional look as the man himself has been in the IT business for more than three decades and knows the value of a decent website.

            However, as he himself confessed on Monday morning, he had committed two cardinal sins: one, he had been running Windows on the site which ended up being breached, and two, he had neglected to lock down his Internet facing sites.

          • Ubuntu Blog: Security podcast: February

            Welcome to the first post of our series based on the Ubuntu Security Podcast! I’m Alex Murray, the Tech Lead for the Ubuntu Security team at Canonical. Each month, I will be covering the most interesting security fixes around Ubuntu, as well as an in-depth discussion of the different vulnerabilities that we’ve been addressing. I will also talk a bit more about some of the other services that are related to security with Ubuntu, like kernel live patching, extended security maintenance, and more.


            This update concerns Apport, the Ubuntu crash handler. When an application crashes, Apport hooks into the kernel to find out what process stopped working properly. The kernel can then execute the crash handler to find out information regarding the faulty process and build up a crash report that can be sent to developers. Since Apport is run as root by the kernel, it needs to drop privileges so that it doesn’t overstep the bounds of the user whose application crashed and inadvertently collects more privileged information or enables a possible root privilege escalation attack. That’s what different vulnerabilities often try to exploit, and the one we fixed recently was in the same vein.

            As I said, when Apport runs, it tries to read information about the process and the various files in the proc file system. It figures out things like which user ID the process is running as, and then it drops privileges to run as that user before finding out other details about the process. Unfortunately, the attackers realized that if you could manipulate certain files there, even things like the process name, Apport would then get confused while trying to figure out what the details of the process were, and in the end, fail to properly drop privileges. As a result, an attacker could possibly then get code execution as root.

            We worked with the researchers who found this vulnerability after they reported these via Launchpad to us. In particular, Senior Engineer Marc Deslauriers on our team worked with them to mitigate these vulnerabilities in Apport.

          • How Secure Is Linux?

            The general consensus among experts is that Linux is a highly secure OS - arguably the most secure OS by design.


            The security of the OS you deploy is a key determinant of your security online, but is by no means a sure safeguard against malware, rootkits and other attacks. Effective security is dependent upon defense in depth, and other factors including the implementation of security best practices and smart online behavior play a central role in your digital security posture. That being said, choosing a secure OS is of utmost importance, as the OS is the most critical piece of software running on your computer, and Linux is an excellent choice as it has the potential to be highly secure - arguably more so than its proprietary counterparts - due to its open-source code, strict user privilege model, diversity and relatively small user base.

            However, Linux is not a “silver bullet” when it comes to digital security - the OS must be properly and securely configured and sysadmins must practice secure, responsible administration in order to prevent attacks. Also, it is crucial to keep in mind that security is all about tradeoffs - both between security and usability and between security and user-friendliness. LinuxSecurity Founder Dave Wreski explains, “The most secure system is one that is turned off, covered in cement, and located at the bottom of the ocean - but this system is obviously not very usable. Admins should configure their systems to be as secure as is practical within their environment. In regards to convenience, Linux has a bit of a learning curve, but offers significant security advantages over Windows or MacOS. It’s a tradeoff that’s well worth it if you ask me.”

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Tech giants in brewing battle over tracking, ads

              Silicon Valley giants are drawing battle lines over personal data collection practices and targeted ads as the threat of regulation looms.

              As Apple presses ahead with plans to give users greater control over their privacy, companies like Facebook and Google have aligned themselves over the latter's more measured approach to scaling back tracking features.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Biden Iran envoy boasted of depriving civilians of food, worsening Iranian inequality in sadistic sanctions manual
      • Civil War 2.0

        About a week later, on June 6, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies were engaged in a firefight and attacked with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), claiming the life of one deputy. Shortly after, active duty U.S. Air Force sergeant and self-identified libertarian Steven Carrillo was arrested and charged for the pair of attacks. Five days later a second suspect, Robert Justus Jr., turned himself over to authorities. Both suspects have since pleaded not guilty to the charges.

        According to federal authorities, it appears the attacks were launched during the BLM protests to deflect suspicions or trigger a violent response against demonstrators. Investigators also found the word “Boog” scrawled in blood on the stolen vehicle used by Carillo, along with a Hawaiian-themed patch. Authorities later announced that Carillo and Justus were linked to a group known as the Boogaloo bois.

      • Right-wing Central American leaders praise neoliberal ‘Biden Plan’ to strengthen US ‘sphere of influence’
      • Humanitarian imperialism: How the media exploits liberals' empathy to sell them war

        If history is any judge, further aggressive actions will also be met with approval by corporate media, who have continually found creative ways to pitch such actions to the traditionally anti-interventionist left, primarily through the use of progressive language to justify Washington's global agenda.

        Media are experts in using progressives' empathy and compassion against them, presenting them carefully selected images and stories of suffering around the world, and suggesting that U.S. military power can be used to alleviate it. As such, intervention is sold to the U.S. left less on the basis of fear than of pity.

        But when, as in the examples below, U.S. actions make the situation worse for the peoples affected, the corporate press is careful to ignore or gloss over that suffering, or at least not present it as a direct consequence of U.S. meddling in other nations' affairs.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Goldman Crypto Chief Flags Institutional Demand Driving Boom

          Cryptocurrency enthusiasts argue that digital tokens and the underlying blockchain technology are gaining acceptance among more mainstream institutions and investors. The derivatives market and new investment products have made digital assets more easily accessible. Some strategists posit that the asset class is a potential diversifier for portfolios, while others are more skeptical and blame speculators for inflating a possible bubble in Bitcoin and other cryptos.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | The Talented Mr. Bin Salman

        The Saudi prince, like the Patricia Highsmith character, is a confidence man, serial killer, and all-around psychopath. The United States should stop enabling him.

      • As Biden Unveils Order to Boost Voting Access, Dems Urged to Beat Back GOP Voter Suppression

        "Government, at all levels, should tear down barriers to the ballot, not build them as we are seeing in far too many places," said Wade Henderson of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

      • Biden's Commerce Secretary is Pure Clintonism

        President Joe Biden selected RI Gov. Gina Raimondo as Commerce Secretary on January 7, 2021 and she was approved by Congress, after some theatrical and positively-demented anti-Chinese red-baiting from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Cancun), on March 2. This came after being previously mentioned for several other Cabinet positions in the immediate aftermath of the November election.

        Thus closes a certain chapter of my journalism career. I’ve been reporting on Raimondo for several years [1] now and predicted almost four years ago exactly in a CounterPunch column [2] her career was far from over.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Say NO to Big Tech deciding Global Governance of Big Tech

        But instead of such an organization, we now face the unbelievable prospect of “a Big Tech led body for Global Governance of Big Tech”.

        This prospect comes from a proposal for a new “strategic and empowered” body with substantial digital policies related roles, in which corporation and government nominees will participate as equals. This is unacceptable. Equally unacceptable, if not worse, is that this Body will rely largely on corporate funding, and maybe also assigning seats only to funders. This is a new low for the UN, and an unthinkably dangerous direction for the future of global governance.

        It is dangerous to give a private funding base to a regulator body for global digital governance. And it is even absurd, in a moment when calls for stronger regulation of Big Tech are rising in the EU, as well as in US and many other countries.

      • The Authors' Take - The Commission’s vision for Europe’s Digital Future: Proposals for the Data Governance Act, the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act – A critical primer

        In November and December 2020, the EU Commission has presented a triad of proposals concerning data governance, the regulation of gatekeepers in digital markets and the regulation of digital services (namely including an ambitious, yet considerate, reform of provider liability in Europe as well as the introduction of certain duties of diligence in particular for very large platforms). Specifically, this Digital Services Package respectively comprises a proposed Data Governance Act (DGA), Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA). Altogether, these bills represent the hitherto most ambitious and broad regulatory project in the field of data and digital services regulation worldwide.

        While the (rather heterogeneous) DGA as well as the DSA will also have to be critically discussed in detail (and partly are in the paper), immediate attention has to be paid to the fundamentals of the DMA Proposal, namely, the necessary discussion of its legal basis, objective and context. To put it in a nutshell, the Proposal represents a hybrid approach to specific regulation of gatekeeper platforms, which comprises prominent elements of competition law as well as certain elements of unfair practices regulation and some other objectives (such as the efficient enforcement of certain rights relating to protection of personal data). Taken together, most of this makes perfect sense as a European Magna Carta for businesses’ and customers’ competitive freedoms vis-à-vis core platform intermediary and infrastructural services. Practically, in its current form, the proposal would effectively apply to the GAFAM-companies and a handful of further gatekeeper platforms.

        However, notwithstanding the substantive competition law elements within this regulatory approach, the Proposal is only based on Art. 114 TFEU as an instrument of internal market harmonization. Against this background, presently, the main fundamental weakness of the Proposal concerns the integration in the context of or at least a more specific co-ordination with European and national competition law. This has practical consequences since sufficiently consistent and specific provisions on coordinating public enforcement of the Commission on the one hand and of the Member States’ authorities (in particular on the additional basis of competition law) on the other are lacking in the Proposal. In fact, this latter more practical aspect is partly linked to the former more fundamental aspect, since contextual integration in the realm of competition law (and consequently the use of Art. 103 TFEU as an additional basis for the Proposal) would allow to make use of the European Competition Network under Regulation 1/2003 for the public enforcement of the DMA Proposal’s provisions in order to efficiently coordinate EU and national enforcement, based on both, the DMA Proposal and EU or national competition law. Apart from that, a European legal framework for private remedies and enforcement in regard to the obligations laid down in the Proposal seems of paramount importance, since otherwise there is a considerable danger of disharmonization and inefficiency in regard to diverse or lacking private remedies according to the different Member States’ respective national contract, tort and unfair competition laws.

      • Around the IP Blogs

        The JIPLP Blog also featured a commentary on the Digital Services Package initiative, advanced in December 2020 by the European Commission. The post addresses competition law aspects of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), one of the three proposals included in the Digital Services Package (together with the Digital Governance Act and the Digital Services Act).

      • FOSS Patents: Apple may already have lost the strategic battle over antitrust market definition in multiple European jurisdictions: App Store monopoly

        Never before has there been so much hope that the mobile app store tyranny may come to an end. It's a marathon, not a sprint. There'll be appeals, and the freedom fighters of the Digital Era may experience setbacks. But the first week of March 2021 may very well be judged by history as the end of the beginning.

        I've previously commented on the app store bill adopted by the Arizona House of Representatives. This is just the first legislative hurdle of three, and there may be court challenges even if the state senate voted in favor and the governor signed. But it shows that the app store liberation movement is able to build political majorities and overcome Apple and Google's counterlobbying. Initiatives are underway in multiple states, and it varies by state whether Democrats or (as in Arizona) Republicans take the lead.

        On the other side of the Big Pond, Apple's purely pretextual defenses of its app store monopoly are falling apart.

      • Counsel reveal how pharma can benefit from patent arbitration [Ed: Views from the public not even sought because this propaganda site is a front group for patent profiteers, including predators from pharmaceutical companies (or their lawyers)]

        Counsel should keep good records to ensure they walk away from arbitration with a positive result, say those who have presided over pharma patent disputes

      • Patents

        • Second medical use dosage regimen claim successfully traverses both insufficiency and "obvious-to-try" attacks (T 0799/16) [Ed: Again, as usual from AstraZeneca shills, no mention of the fact that those EPO Boards of Appeal lack independence -- a fact they repeatedly complain about]

          The decision in T 0799/16 is a rare example of dose claim found both sufficient and inventive by the EPO Boards of Appeal. The claim was found to be sufficiently disclosed over the entire scope of the claim, despite the claimed treatment being shown as non effective in almost two thirds of patients. The Board of Appeal (3.3.01) further found the claim inventive in view of prior art disclosing clinical trial information, information that included the claimed dose itself. The key factor in persuading the Board of Appeal on both counts was the particularly challenging nature of the target indication.

          The case related to Acorda's patent (EP 2377536) relating to a 4-aminopyridine (branded as Fampridine) dosage regime for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). The granted claims specified 4-aminopyridine for use in a method of increasing walking speed of a patient with MS, wherein the 4-aminopyridine was administered as a 10 mg twice daily dose (Bid).

        • Cross-Examination of French Judges (Interview Part I: National Introspection) [Ed: Team UPC does not mention that France has a corrupt patent system and that corruption has spread to EPO]

          It’s an understatement to say that it’s not always very easy to be a French patent litigator in transnational litigation, in any case a good dose of humor is needed: how many jokes have I heard about our jurisdictional system? Then you have to accept that France is almost systematically considered as the territory at the bottom of the pack. The main reason for this is that our Courts are still underestimated, often seen as anti-patentee, slow, unable to order preliminary injunctions, or even and (especially) not “specialized”… In short, they would be just (and perhaps) good at ordering seizures (i.e. “saisie-contrefaçon”), and still… At the end of the day the idea of Paris as an epicenter of the UPC is easily mocked and seen as presumptuous (see comments from a previous post here).

        • Sen. Tillis Sends Letter to President Regarding Next USPTO Director [Ed: Politicians as bribed moles (see him and his colleagues) of the litigation fanatics and patent profiteers]

          Last month, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, sent a letter to President Biden regarding the selection of the next Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Sen. Tillis (at right) noted that "at this critical juncture in our nation's history, we cannot take our innovation and creative economy for granted," and urged the President to work together with Congress "to provide strong protections for our innovative and creative works."

        • German and UK IP firms dominate top EPO representative list for 2020
        • Top EPO and PCT IP firms named; Ups and downs of licensing in a pandemic; IPRs post-Iancu; Big Pharma patent monetisation peril; Asia shift for SEPs; and much more

          Firms from Germany and the UK accounted for nearly 90% of applications filed at the EPO by the top 50 representatives last year, new data reveals

      • Trademarks

        • The Authors' Take - Final decision from a UK Community Design Court clarifies how to interpret a registered design

          The decision in Rothy's Inc v Giesswein Walkwaren AG [2020] EWHC 3391 (IPEC) (16 December 2020) relates to a design for ballerina shoes, which an informal, women's slip-on shoe, with a relatively thin, flexible sole and a wide, low heel. This decision is the last judgment handed down by a UK court acting as a Community Design Court. David Stone, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, was faced with the task of construing what was protected as the Registered Community Design.


          In determining what constitutes the claimed design, the judge rejected the submission of the Claimant that he should take into account a shoe made to the design. This would clearly risk introducing features extraneous to those claimed in the registration. As the judge pointed out, whilst superficially attractive, this argument is circular – to determine if the proffered shoe is indeed a shoe made to the design, one first needs to assess what the registration means.

          The judge also rejected the submission of the Claimant that he should consider the description of the claimed design in the US design patent application from which priority was claimed. It cannot be correct to import subject matter from a priority application in this manner, in particular when the effect would be to circumvent Article 36(6) of the Community Design Regulation which stipulates that the description of a RCD does not affect the scope of protection.

          This leaves only the images of the registered design to define what is claimed in the registration. The judge scrutinised closeups of the images on the EU IPO website, and concluded that the patterning shown on the upper depicts a knitted fabric. This led to the conclusion that the RCD possessed individual character, as neither of the pleaded prior designs had knitted uppers (both were suede).

      • Copyrights

        • A French Appeals Court Has Found Jeff Koons Guilty of Copyright Infringement Again—and Hiked Up His Fines

          In a double hit of bad news for art star Jeff Koons, a French appeals court not only upheld a 2018 decision that found him and the Centre Pompidou guilty of copyright infringement, but also increased his fine.

          French photographer Frank Davidovici initially brought the lawsuit in 2015, alleging that Koons had copied his photo for an ad campaign for the clothing line Naf Naf. Koons’s 1988 sculpture Fait d’hiver, from his “Banality” series, depicts a woman lying in snow next to a pig wearing a ring of roses and a barrel around its neck, and penguins standing nearby. Davidovici’s photo also shows a female model lying in snow in a similar position with a pig (which is the Naf Naf mascot), also wearing a small barrel around his neck. Davidovici’s image did not feature penguins, and his model wore a jacket as opposed to Koons’s model, who wore a revealing mesh top.

        • [Old] 10 of the Most Famous Cats Throughout History | Purina

          We're a nation of cat enthusiasts, so it should come as no surprise that there's so many famous cats in the world. Find out who made our top 10 list.

        • Overbroad DMCA Takedown Campaign Almost Wipes Dictionary Entries From Google

          A software review site recently tried to remove links to 'competitors' that lifted its writings without permission. While this urge is understandable, the execution was far from perfect. In addition to using long phrases to identify copied content, the site also asked Google to remove pages that mentioned "here is a brief introduction," or even the word "outstanding."

        • Warning! Pirate Devices Threaten US National Security...Apparently

          A study carried out by a group funded by the entertainment industries is warning of a potential national security disaster in the US. The Digital Citizens Alliance says that law enforcement, national security and military personnel are exposing systems to threats through their use of pirate devices. But are they?

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