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Links 25/10/2021: New Slackware64-current and a Look at Ubuntu Budgie

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Star Labs’ StarLite Mk IV Linux Laptop Is Now Available to Order

        The fourth generation of Star Labs’ StarLite Linux laptop series is here, bringing an 11-inch true matte ARC display with an anti-reflective coating and Full HD (1920×1080) resolution, Type II anodized aluminum chassis with a fanless design, a redesigned glass trackpad, a contoured heat plate, and a 2MP webcam.

        Under the hood, the StarLite Mk IV laptop features an Intel Pentium Silver N5030 processor with Intel HD graphics and up to 3.1GHz clock speeds, 8GB 2400MHz RAM, as well as up to 1TB SSD storage with up to 560MB/s sequential read speed and 540MB/s sequential write speed.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.16 Will Be A Great Christmas Gift For Open-Source Fans With Many New Features - Phoronix

        While Linux 5.15 isn't even making its debut for another week or two, there is already a lot to look forward to when it comes to Linux 5.16. Here is a look at some of the new features expected for the 5.16 cycle.

        Thanks to closely monitoring the many "-next" branches and mailing lists, here is a look at material currently queued and on-deck for Linux 5.16 barring any last minute issues or objections from Linus Torvalds once the 5.16 merge window opens in early November. Of course, stay tuned to Phoronix during the Linux 5.16 merge window for details on other interesting merges and other drama that may ensue followed by benchmarks of the new kernel.

      • Bootlin at the SIDO event in Paris, November 10 - Bootlin's blog

        The SIDO is a large event dedicated to IoT, AI, robotics in Paris, and it takes place next to the Open Source Experience event, which as the name suggest is dedicated to all things related to open-source. For Bootlin whose activity is precisely at the junction between embedded systems/IoT and open-source, being present at this combined event made complete sense.The SIDO is a large event dedicated to IoT, AI, robotics in Paris, and it takes place next to the Open Source Experience event, which as the name suggest is dedicated to all things related to open-source. For Bootlin whose activity is precisely at the junction between embedded systems/IoT and open-source, being present at this combined event made complete sense.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Shutter on Linux to Take Screenshots

        A screenshot app is a basic yet important utility that everyone turns out to every once in a while. Although most Linux distros are capable of capturing screenshots by default, having a powerful screenshot app can extend those functionalities even further.

        In this article, we will take a look at Shutter, a free and open-source screenshot program for Linux. We will discuss how you can install Shutter on your system, along with a brief guide on using the tool.

      • Download Unity Editor to install on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux

        Free Unity Hub Editor can easily be downloaded & installed on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux using its APP Image, here we let you know how?

        Although Unity Engine supports the Linux system for a very long time now, however the same was not true for the Unity editor, a GUI interface for it. Using Unity Editor developers can create various cross-platform games 2D or 3D content or games with the help of tools it offers for a wide range of devices.

        Apart from Windows & macOS, Linux users can also download the Unity editor from the official website in a normal way, performing a similar process to Win or macOS users. Yet, here we are to make sure you won’t get stuck somewhere while starting with Unity Editor on Ubuntu or any other Linux system.

      • The Ultimate Guide to Apt and Apt-Get Commands - Make Tech Easier

        For many people coming for the first time into Debian-based Linux distros, package management may seem convoluted. Some tutorials tell you to use “apt,” others “apt-get,” and some really old or specific ones use “aptitude.” It’s high time to get down to the absolute minutiae and explain the “why, where, what, and how” of the strange and somewhat divided world in this little corner of the Linux universe.

      • How to Dual-Boot Windows 11 & Ubuntu - Invidious

        With Windows 11 having been recently released, I decided to refresh my dual-boot video for Ubuntu. In this video, I'll go over the process of setting up a dual-boot between Windows 11 and Ubuntu, so that way by the end of the video you'll have both platforms set up and ready to go.

      • powerstat: Power Consumption Calculator for Ubuntu Linux

        Most users won’t be needing tools like these, but if you’re a bit of a power user, then having the ability to measure the real power consumption rate of your mobile computer (laptop, notebook etc) under Ubuntu Linux can be quite useful.

        For instance, let’s say that you recently upgraded your Kernel (a part of your operating system that communicates directly with the hardware), and the developers claimed that it will enhance the power consumption, then after the upgrade, how can you know if it has really decreased the power usage or not?

        So if you had some sort of a tool that can measure the power consumption of your laptop, then you can use it before and after the upgrade, and then compare the results later and it should do the trick, right?

      • How to Install Nvidia 495.xx Beta Drivers on Linux Mint 20 - LinuxCapable

        Most modern Linux Desktop systems such as Linux Mint come with an Nvidia driver pre-installed in the Nouveau open-source graphics device driver for Nvidia video cards. For the most part, this is acceptable; however, if you are using your Linux system for graphical design or gaming, you may get better drivers.

        Historically, the Nouveau proprietary drivers are slower than Nvidia’s proprietary drivers, along with lacking the newest features, software technology, and support for the latest graphics card hardware. In most situations, upgrading your Nvidia Drivers using the following guide is more beneficial than not doing it. In some cases, you may see some substantial improvements overall.

        The following tutorial will teach you how to install the latest bleeding-edge Nvidia Beta Graphic drivers for Linux Mint 20.

      • How To Setup NTP Server and Client on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install a setup NTP server and client on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, NTP (stands for network time protocol) is used to synchronize the system clock of the client system with the clock of the server. The NTP server has features that allow synchronization between two systems with an accuracy of one nanosecond so that the two systems can communicate easily. System time applies not only to the user but also to the computer itself. In fact, time stamps make it easy to communicate between two or more computers and provide network services properly, as well as optimizing the network card.

        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 the step-by-step installation of the configure NTP server and client 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.

      • How to Create a Basic HTML5 Project in Ubuntu Using Netbeans

        In this 4-article mobile web development series, we will walk you through setting up Netbeans as an IDE (also known as Integrated Development Environment) in Ubuntu to start developing mobile-friendly and responsive HTML5 web applications.

      • How to Install Keras With TensorFlow Backend on Ubuntu - Unixcop

        Keras is an open-source software library that provides a Python interface for artificial neural networks. Keras acts as an interface for the TensorFlow library.

        It is a neural network library based on the Python programming language designed to simplify machine-learning applications. Keras runs on top of frameworks such as TensorFlow.

        So In this guide, we will show you how to install Keras on Ubuntu systems.

      • How to Install Postman REST Client in Debian 11 – Citizix

        In this guide, we are going to explore how to install Postman Client on Debian 11.

        Postman is an application used for API testing. Postman is the Complete API Development Environment with Integrated Tools for Every Stage of the API Lifecycle. It is an HTTP client that provides a graphical user interface through which you can tests HTTP requests while obtain different types of responses. Postman allows us to build, test and modify the API.

        Postman can run PUT, PATCH, DELETE, and various other request methods as well, and also has utilities to help with developing APIs. Free and paid versions are available for Mac, Windows, Linux, and also as a Chrome app.

      • How to install Etcher on CentOS 8 - Unixcop

        balenaEtcher (commonly referred to and formerly known as Etcher) is a free and open-source utility used for writing image files such as .iso and .img files, as well as zipped folders onto storage media to create live SD cards and USB flash drives.

        Etcher is primarily used through a graphical user interface. Additionally, there is a command line interface available which is under active development.

        Etcher is a good choice even for those who are not particularly tech-savvy.

      • How to install Etcher on Ubuntu - Unixcop

        balenaEtcher is a free and open-source utility used for writing image files such as .iso and .img files, as well as zipped folders onto storage media to create live SD cards and USB flash drives.

        Etcher is primarily used through a graphical user interface. Additionally, there is a command line interface available which is under active development.

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to install Etcher on Ubuntu with two methods.

      • vcgencmd command not found - blackMORE Ops

        I have Debian and Ubuntu running on two separate Raspberry Pi 4 8GB. As these are not your usual Raspbian OS, they didn’t come with vcgencmd binaries. Understandably, I received the following error when I tried to measure temperature on my Raspberry Pi 4.

      • Bash tr Command

        `tr` is a very useful UNIX command. It is used to transform strings or delete characters from the string. Various types of transformation can be done by using this command, such as searching and replacing text, transforming string from uppercase to lowercase or vice versa, removing repeated characters from the string, etc. The command can be used for some complicated transformations also. The different uses of the `tr` command have shown in this tutorial.

    • Games

      • Check out the demo for Big Boy Boxing, a playful boss-rush fighter | GamingOnLinux

        Get ready for the punchline! Soupmaster Games announced recently their intent to support Linux with Big Boy Boxing and there's now a demo available on Steam for you to try out.

        "Experience the singleplayer action-boss-rush game with pixel-perfect retro aesthetics and inspiration from classic titles like 'Punch-Out!!', and recent indie hits like 'Cuphead'.

      • Alisa is a horror game throwback to '90s 3D games like Resident Evil | GamingOnLinux

        Successfully funded on Kickstarter the horror game throwback Alisa is out after suffering a few minor release delays and so far it's looking pretty good.

        "Alisa is a classic late-90s style horror-themed action adventure game set in a fantasy universe inspired on the 1920s. You play as an Elite Royal Agent called Alisa. While she is chasing a wanted criminal, she ends up in an old Victorian mansion. She tries to find a way out while being haunted by materialized/mechanized doll-like humanoids. Can you survive the Dollhouse?"

      • Here are five ways the Steam Deck will FAIL if it does. - Invidious

        I'm not saying the Steam Deck is destined to fail, I'm saying "if it DOES fail, this is how."

      • Corpse Party gets a new version for 2021 that's out now | GamingOnLinux

        Yes, there's another Corpse Party that's now been released. It can be a little confusing, as there's been a few but this is the latest from XSEED Games titled Corpse Party (2021).

        Something of a cult classic that was originally released in 1996, that spawned a few remakes for different platforms and some extra games that mixed in elements of a prequel and sequel. The Windows version landed in 2016, with it then coming to Linux in late 2017.

      • Battle for Wesnoth 1.16.0 Finally Available to Download | UbuntuHandbook

        After more than 2 years of development, the new major Battle for Wesnoth 1.16.0 was finally available to download.

        With Wesnoth 1.15.x development releases, it introduced new campaign: Wings of Victory, an Intermediate level Drake campaign with 11 scenarios. A new new single player or coop survival scenario, Isle of Mists is added.

        The add-on World Conquest II (now called World Conquest) has translations support. And users now has ability to add translated titles and descriptions to add-ons.

        It has overhauled the Dunefolk to improve balance against the six Default factions. Most of the Dunefolk faction’s units have new and-or updated animations. There is also a new unit called falconer, which is a branch in the skirmisher line.

      • Linux gamers are way better at finding game bugs than Windows users, says game dev

        Here's some news that Linux users and supporters would probably really like. Kodera Software, a game developer for an indie title called ΔV: Rings of Saturn, has posted some interesting findings about bug reporting in the game.

        The title has been in early access for a couple of years and the developer has noted that about 38% of all the bugs found in its title came from the Linux Community. This is despite just 700 copies out of the total 12,000 units sold being based on Linux, which is just 5.8% of the entire userbase for ΔV: Rings of Saturn. As such, Kodera praises the typical Linux gamer by saying they report back 650% more bugs.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.24 Introduces Fingerprint Reader Support
          KDE Developer, Nate Graham, announced last week that KDE Plasma would be receiving fingerprint reader support in the upcoming 5.24 release. The added support has been a work in progress for some time, but Devin Lin (the primary developer on the feature) finally merged it into 5.24.

          As of now, the fingerprint reader support will allow you to enroll and unenroll fingerprints. Any enrolled fingerprint can then be used to unlock the screen, provide authentication for an app, and authenticate for sudo usage.

          The developers have created a user-friendly GUI for onboarding fingerprints, which can be found in System Settings, but will (obviously) require either a built-in or external fingerprint reader to use. The one caveat is finding an external fingerprint reader that is fully supporte

        • KDE Plasma gets fingerprint reader support, plus preliminary support for NVIDIA GBM | GamingOnLinux

          The team at KDE are producing upgrades for Plasma very quickly, with another weekly update out from developer Nate Graham with some major new bits being hooked up.

          In preparation for the next Plasma release, a fingerprint manager has been added so that Plasma will support fingerprint authentication in the next version. This expanded support allows you to use your fingers for passworded operations like using sudo, unlocking the screen and more.

          Perhaps the bigger one though is initial support for NVIDIA's new GBM (Generic Buffer Manager) backend, which arrived in the recent NVIDIA Beta 495.29.05 driver. This means that eventually when it's stable in NVIDIA drivers, along with a new Plasma release, that KDE should default to it for NVIDIA giving a much improved Wayland session experience. They still have some quirks to work out but it's getting there now.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Jan Schmidt: 2.5 years of Oculus Rift

          Once again time has passed, and another update on Oculus Rift support feels due! As always, it feels like I’ve been busy with work and not found enough time for Rift CV1 hacking. Nevertheless, looking back over the history since I last wrote, there’s quite a lot to tell!

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Absolute64-20211024 released

          Based on Slackware64-current.

          Keeping up with the Slackware 15.0 prep :-) Large code update arox (the Rox-Filer fork Absolute uses as a file manager/image viewer)

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Finding and using disabled recommendations in Red Hat Insights Advisor

          Red Hat Insights is a managed service that continuously analyzes platforms and applications to help enterprises manage hybrid cloud environments. Included with Red Hat subscriptions, Insights uses predictive analytics and deep domain expertise to reduce complex operational tasks from hours to minutes, including identifying security and performance risks, tracking licenses, and managing costs.

          The Red Hat Insights team has been developing Advisor recommendations for many years and the focus has been on proactive recommendations to help customers achieve optimal operational experience.

          At the same time, we’ve also seen a "gap" between the Advisor recommendations that we’ve provided and other recommendations that could really help our customers but in a different manner. To close this gap, Red Hat Insights now provides a new category of recommendations which are called "Red Hat disabled recommendations."

        • AlmaLinux's ELevate Project Makes the Migration from CentOS 7 Easy

          AlmaLinux’s community manager Jack Aboutboul announced the ELevate project, which is their initiative to allow users to upgrade or migrate between any RHEL-based distro.

          The project includes software and methods for migrating CentOS 7 deployments to AlmaLinux 8 without needing to do a lot of heavy lifting and shifting.

          But there’s an even better part. Actually, ELevate capabilities aren’t confined only to CentOS to AlmaLinux moves, but can be used with all migrations between different RHEL-based distributions, such as CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux 8, Rocky Linux 8, or Oracle Linux 8. This will allow maintainers and users alike make migrations smooth and easy.

        • Automation vs. IT jobs: 3 ways leaders can address layoff fears

          Automation was already on the strategic roadmap of many organizations, but the last couple of years sped up the journey.

          “The reality is that the pandemic required organizations to accelerate digital pivots and rapidly automate their businesses,” says Thomas Phelps, CIO of Laserfiche. “Even people-centric processes that were touted as customer-experience differentiators have now been displaced by chatbots, unattended airline check-in kiosks, and self-service checkout lines.”

          IT is both piloting company-wide journeys and undergoing its own internal automation transformation: From help desks to infrastructure operations to software testing and security, multiple tasks and processes that once required manual effort are now or will soon be automated.

        • Various Power Systems Updates And Tweaks - IT Jungle [Ed: Timothy Prickett Morgan is being paid by IBM to write all those puff pieces (for over a decade already)]

          While many IBM i shops have a lot of their core applications on that platform, there are lots of shops that deploy Windows Server for adjacent databases and applications and in other cases some shops have AIX or Linux as well. Windows Server doesn’t run on Power iron, of course, which we have always thought was a shame and still is almost two decades since Windows had a brief showing on Power before Microsoft and IBM pulled the plug.

          But the important thing, here in 2021, is that customers have alternatives if they need certain applications and they want to run them on Power, which is why AIX and Linux support are important for the health and wealth of the Power Systems platform. With IBM owning Red Hat now, we talk quite a bit more about Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the OpenShift container platform that lays on top of it then we do other non-IBM i operating systems. But SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is still important, and obviously so is continued enhancements to IBM’s AIX platform.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Budgie – Ubuntu With Traditional Desktop Experience

          Ubuntu Budgie is an official Ubuntu flavour. Budgie gets its name from the desktop environment it uses, the Budgie Desktop environment. Ubuntu Budgie, which was published as an unofficial Ubuntu flavour in 2016, was swiftly adopted by Ubuntu, which released Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 as the first official Ubuntu flavour in 2017. In this article, I will discuss the key features of Ubuntu Budgie as well as who/why it should be used.

          If you’ve ever wondered why there are so many Ubuntu flavors, and why each one claims to be distinct despite using the same basic operating system, keep reading to discover out. In this article, I will discuss why Ubuntu has gained popularity that makes other communities follow it or base their ideas on top of it.

        • OpenStack Xena and OpenStack Charms 21.10 | Ubuntu

          The release of OpenStack Charms 21.10 brings native support for OpenStack Xena in Charmed OpenStack. This latest version of OpenStack comes with initial support for SmartNICs in Nova and further improvements around Neutron Open Virtual Network (OVN) driver integration.

          In order to further simplify the job of the cloud operations teams, the OpenStack Charms 21.10 release offers improved day-2 automation, including additional charm actions and better upgrade experience, and new operations documentation. Charmed OpenStack users will also benefit from a wider choice of Cinder storage backends.

        • Canonical & Ubuntu at Nvidia GTC 2021 | Ubuntu

          Canonical is once again proud to be a sponsor of the Nvidia GTC event! Happening virtually on November 8-11, the conference will feature a wide variety of sessions on AI, computer graphics, data science, and more.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Apache Foundation Moves From Mirrors to a CDN to Distribute Software

        About a week ago the Apache Software Foundation, home of the Apache Web Server, Hadoop, OpenOffice, and over 350 other open source software projects, announced the end of the line for its system of mirror sites for delivering its software to users, From now on, the foundation will be using a content delivery network instead.

        Most users of open source software, especially those who have downloaded Linux distributions, will be familiar with download mirroring sites, usually just called “mirrors,” which rose to prominence in the 1990s as the internet became the preferred way to distribute software.

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 22 October 2021

        We're wrapping up another great week with the following activities from the Apache community...

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Adobe Illustrator

        Adobe is a large multinational computer software company with over 22,000 employees. Its flagship products include Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, XD, Acrobat DC, and the Portable Document Format (PDF). The products are wrapped up and marketed as the Creative Cloud, a subscription-only way of accessing more than 20 desktop and mobile apps and services for photography, design, video, web, UX, and more

        We are long-standing admirers of Adobe’s products. They develop many high quality proprietary programs. It’s true there are security and privacy concerns in relation to some of their products. And there’s considerable criticism attached to their pricing practices. But the real issue is Adobe Creative Cloud does not support Linux. And there’s no prospect of support forthcoming.

        What if you are looking to move away from Adobe and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not tracked, monetised and attached to Adobe’s ecosystem. We only recommend free and open source alternatives. Our recommended software don’t necessarily replicate every feature of their Adobe counterparts but they offer sufficient functionality for many tasks.

      • Mr Beam: A startup’s journey with SUSE and open source

        “Some scripts I’d written in 2012 are still working on SUSE. I’ve written scripts like automatically switching the DNS servers, because if I need to connect to Wi-Fi on a German train, for example, these things still work, even though the network stack has changed again. There is a consistency in the SUSE architecture, which is something I highly appreciate.” Teja Philipp, Founder, Mr Beam.


        By embracing SUSE Linux, Mr Beam has enjoyed much faster time to market than others in the laser cutter industry.

      • DiamanteDesk: Free, Open-source Ticketing system for enterprise

        DiamanteDesk is an enterprise ticketing support system and help desk solution. It aims to meet all the features that the business needs.

        The aim from it is to help businesses and companies to improve customer service.

        With it, you can send e-mails, private messages via Facebook. It has the ability to customize software according to your own business logic and add features that get your needs. It has the ability to resolve all queries


        The community edition is released under the Open Software License (OSL 3.0).

      • Time Cop: Flutter-based Privacy-first Open-source Time Tracking app for iOS and Android

        The project code is released as an open-source under Apache 2.0 License.

        Although you can purchase a compiled packed version from Apple and Google Android App Store, you can download the code, compile it and run it on your machine for free.

      • Events

        • Oliver Propst: Registrations for GNOME.Asia Summit 2021 are open!

          GNOME.Asia Summit will take place virtually from November 20th – 21st, 2021. It is the featured annual GNOME conference in Asia, focusing primarily on the GNOME desktop, but also covering applications and platform development tools. The Summit brings together the GNOME community in Asia to provide a forum for users, developers, foundation leaders, governments, and businesses to discuss the present technology and future developments.

      • Programming/Development

        • Josef Strzibny: Preloading Rails applications in production

          When it’s time to take your application online, there are several decisions to make. Today I would like to talk about application preloading and explain why I prefer preloading applications in production.

          But first things first. What’s is preloading anyway?

          Preloading the application is a process of loading up all application files and dependencies to virtual memory. If it would be a game, this might be a difference between loading just first two levels of the game versus loading the game as a whole. What’s not loaded at first will be loaded later from the disk when required.

          The opposite of preloading is lazy loading. Lazy loading saves us some memory at first and as a side product makes the boot process faster which might be a decent optimization for large applications.

        • GCC 12 Merges Initial Support For RISC-V's Bitmanip Extensions - Phoronix

          Following the recent RISC-V Bitmanip work in Binutils, the GCC 12 compiler has now landed preliminary support for the RISC-V ISA's bit manipulation extension.

          RISC-V's Bitmanip is a collection of several component extensions intended to help cater the open-source processor ISA for better efficiency that can result in code size reduction, better performance, and reduced energy consumption.

        • Nibble Stew: A call for more downstream testing of Meson

          As Meson gets more and more popular, the number of regressions also grows. This is an unvoidable fact of life. To minimize this effort we publish release candidates before the actual releases. Unfortunately not many people use these so many issues are not found until after the release (as happened with 0.60.0).

          For this reason we'd like to ask more people to test these rcs on their systems. It's fairly straightforward.


          If you have some different setup that has a full CI run (hopefully something smaller than a full Debian archive rebuild) then doing that with the rc version would be the best test.

        • Rust

          • Use Rust for embedded development

            Over the past several years, Rust has gained a passionate following among programmers. Tech trends come and go, so it can be difficult to separate excitement just because something is new versus excitement over the merits of a technology, but I think Rust is a truly well-designed language. It aims to help developers build reliable and efficient software, and it was designed for that purpose from the ground up. There are key features you'll hear about Rust, and in this article, I demonstrate that many of these features are exactly why Rust also happens to be great for embedded systems.


            Using Rust for your embedded development gives you all the features of Rust without the need to sacrifice flexibility or stability.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • The Longest Ever Flight Was Over 64 Days In A Cessna 172 | Hackaday

        Refuelling was handled by lowering a hook via a winch down to a fuel truck that would trail the plane on a straight stretch of road, usually twice a day. The winch would then pull up a fuel hose from the truck, which would be used to fill the belly tank in around three minutes. The same system was used to regularly pull up food, oil and other supplies like towels and water for shaving and bathing.

        Initial attempts faced issues. The plane had been fitted with a brand-new engine from Continental Motors Corp., fitted with an alcohol injection system at Timm’s insistence, despite the protests of lead mechanic Irv Kuenzi. The aim was to reduce carbon build-up over the long duration flight, but the engine suffered burnt exhaust valves which curtailed the third attempt. After the first three flights, the plane had never stayed aloft longer than 17 days.

        Other hurdles came up, too. Timm wasn’t getting along with his co-pilot, and pilots Jim Heth and Bill Burkhart had just set a record of their own. The duo had managed to fly their own Cessna 172 for a full 50 days, landing on September 21 1958. It was clear changes were needed.

    • Hardware

      • The Humble NE-2 Neon Lamp Has A New Trick

        Ah, the humble neon lamp. The familiar warm orange glow has graced the decks of many a DIY timepiece, sometimes in a purely indicating duty, and sometimes forming a memory element in place of a more conventional semiconductor device. Capable of many other tricks such as the ability to protect RF circuits from HV transients, its negative resistance operating region after it illuminates gives us usable hysteresis which can used to form a switching element and the way the pair of electrodes are arranged give it the ability to indicate whether a voltage source is AC or DC. Now, due to some recent research by [Johan Carlsson] and the team at Princeton University, the humble NE-2 tube has a new trick up its sleeve: acoustic transduction.

      • VCF East 2021: Novasaur TTL Computer Sets The Bar | Hackaday

        There was certainly no shortage of unique computers on display at the 2021 Vintage Computer Festival East; that’s sort of the point. But even with the InfoAge Science and History Museum packed to the rafters with weird and wonderful computing devices stretching back to the very beginning of the digital age, Alastair Hewitt’s Novasaur was still something of an oddity.

        In fact, unless you knew what it was ahead of time, you might not even recognize it as a computer. Certainly not a contemporary one, anyway. There’s nothing inside its Polycase ZN-40 enclosure that looks like a modern CPU, a bank of RAM, or a storage device. Those experienced with vintage machines would likely recognize the tight rows of Advanced Schottky TTL chips as the makings of some sort of computer that predates the 8-bit microprocessor, but its single 200 mm x 125 mm (8 in x 5 in) board seems far too small when compared to the 1970s machines that would have utilized such technology. So what is it?

        Inspired by projects such as the Gigatron, Alastair describes the Novasaur as a “full-featured personal computer” built using pre-1980 components. In his design, 22 individual ICs stand in for the computer’s CPU, and another 12 are responsible for a graphics subsystem that can push text and bitmapped images out over VGA at up to 416 x 240. It has 512 K RAM, 256 K ROM, and is able to emulate the Intel 8080 fast enough to run CP/M and even play some early 80s PC games.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (faad2 and mailman), Fedora (java-11-openjdk, libzapojit, nodejs, python-reportlab, vim, and watchdog), Mageia (ansible, docker-containerd, flatpak, tomcat, and virtualbox), openSUSE (containerd, docker, runc), Oracle (firefox and thunderbird), Red Hat (xstream), Scientific Linux (xstream), SUSE (cairo and containerd, docker, runc), and Ubuntu (apport and mysql-5.7, mysql-8.0).

          • Features: How Secure Is Linux?

            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.

          • Features: Best File & Disk Encryption Tools for Linux

            As we rapidly transition to an increasingly digital society, data protection is a greater concern than ever before. Encryption is one of the most effective and widely used methods of securing senstive information from unauthorized parties. In this article, we'll introduce you to eight open-source file and disk encrytion tools we love to help you safeguard critical data and protect your privacy online.

          • LightBasin Hacking Group Switches Focus From Windows To Linux To Target Telecom Sector [Ed: this is not a Linux issue]

            The researchers noted the LightBasin managed to spread the infection via compromised eDNS servers from one telecom company to another via SSH

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Authorities in Sudan must stop imposing telecommunication blackouts to control information flow during military coup - Access Now

        Access Now denounces the imposition of internet shutdowns in Sudan today, October 25, 2021, as military forces seize control of the government in a military coup.

        In a televised news conference, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan declared a state of emergency in the country, seized control of the government, and dissolved the Sovereign Council , Sudan’s transitional government which included both civilian and military members.

        Earlier this morning, the Ministry of Culture and Information stated on Facebook that the military has arrested Sudan’s Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok, and multiple other government officials and is now detaining them in an unknown location.

        Shortly after reports of the military coup hit the media waves, the Sudanese authorities began shutting down access to the internet and telecommunication services. Data from Google Transparency reports and Internet Outage Detection and Analysis (IODA) shows a significant dip in traffic of internet connectivity at about 3:00 am UTC. The shutdown is affecting both fixed and mobile internet connectivity across the country on all major internet service providers.

    • Monopolies

      • Social media giants have released their Compliance Reports for the month of August. We’ve analysed them.

        Google (including YouTube), Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Twitter have released their reports in compliance with Rule 4(1)(d) of the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 for the month of August. The reports highlight some interesting facts and figures, and, again, a massive number of automated takedowns. You can read our analysis of the previous reports here and here, where we discussed the issue of non-publication of data on governmental removal orders.


        The reports lack true transparency as the significant social media intermediaries (SSMIs) have been opaque about the process/algorithms followed by them for proactive takedown of content. Facebook and Instagram state that they use “machine learning technology that automatically identifies content” that might violate their standards, Google uses “automated detection process”, and Twitter claims to use “a combination of technology and other purpose-built internal propriety tools”. WhatsApp has released a white paper discussing its abuse detection process in detail and disclosing how they use machine learning. While WhatsApp has made an attempt to explain how it proactively takes down content, the lack of human intervention in terms of monitoring the kind of content that is taken down is problematic.

      • Patents

        • Nippon Steel’s patent portfolio gives it the litigation edge | IAM

          Patent clashes between major Japanese corporates are almost unheard of, so that makes Nippon Steel’s recently launched action against Toyota in Tokyo one to watch

        • Broad Files Reply to ToolGen's Opposition to Broad's Preliminary Motion No. 3 [Ed: Pretty unbelievable that courts still entertain the lunacy of patents on life and nature; but lobbying has subverted the patent system]

          Notably, however, nowhere in its Reply does Broad does say that it is the case that they had reduced to practice dual-molecule guide RNA CRISPR embodiments in eukaryotic cells prior to the priority dates asserted by ToolGen and granted by the Board in the Interference Declaration herein. While conception and a description of such embodiments in some instances might be sufficient (i.e., it is not the case that a party in an interference must show actual reduction to practice), Broad itself has argued, extensively, that the complicated nature of performing CRISPR successfully in eukaryotic cells makes this a case for a "simultaneous conception and reduction to practice" standard (at least as applied to CVC or ToolGen; see "Broad Files Priority Motion in CRISPR Interference" and "Broad Files Opposition to ToolGen Substantive Preliminary Motion No. 1"). The Cong et al. reference discloses such successes, and as Broad has previously argued the submission date of this paper antedates ToolGen's earliest priority date in this interference. That may be enough for the Board to conclude that Broad had an earlier invention date for the dual-molecule guide RNA CRISPR species in eukaryotic cells; the question then would be whether the Board will excise claims to eukaryotic CRISPR generic for guide RNA configuration but that would effectively leave Broad in a position to preclude ToolGen (or CVC) from practicing sgRNA-comprising eukaryotic CRISPR embodiments. This outcome would be analogous to the outcome of Interference No. 105,048, where CVC was deemed entitled to claims generic as to cell type while Broad was entitled to eukaryotic CRISPR embodiments (see "Regents of the University of California v. Broad Institute, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2018)").

          Briefing on the parties' Preliminary Motions being completed, the Board will hold a final hearing sometime within the next several months.

        • German court calls for better enforcement of preliminary injunctions in patent infringement case [Ed: Another new example of Managing 'IP' being composed directly by litigation firms for lobbying purposes, not just indirectly by writers whom they sponsor to issue propaganda]

          The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf specified the requirements for a bank guarantee as a security for enforcement of a preliminary injunction (decision of June 25 2020, docket no. I-2 U 51/19).

          In the underlying case, the injunction plaintiff first obtained a temporary injunction for patent infringement against the injunction opponent before the Düsseldorf Regional Court, the enforcement of which, as usual in such cases, is dependent on the provision of a security.

        • T 116/18 - Referral to the Enlarged Board on post-published evidence and plausibility of an effect relied on for inventive step (G 2/12) [Ed: Read the comments here, the ones they have not deleted yet. As it stands, the EPO has only the illusion of courts and tribunals, where the expectation of due process and diligence is no better than in China.]
        • Enlarged Board of Appeal to tackle the "Humpty Dumpty-ish" plausibility question (G2/21) [Ed: After the fraudulent 'case' G1/21, the Enlarged Board of Appeal wants another case, G2/21, having not tackled the fraud that its composition is. This morning IP Kat announced that about half a dozen of its writers are leaving. And I'm hardly surprised. It's now run by voices of patent trolls and AstraZeneca.]

          As expected, the Board of Appeal in T 116/18 has now referred to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) questions on the use of post-filed evidence to establish plausibility for an invention. The referral (G2/12) is confirmed in the Board of Appeal's decision in T 116/18 and is also summarised in an EPO press release (here). The Board of Appeal decision makes for an interesting read, as it explores the legal basis (or lack of) for plausibility in the case law and the EPC itself. The Board of Appeal goes so far as to quote the view of Sir Robin Jacob that deriving the plausibility requirement from the EPC strains the meaning of words to breaking point. G2/21 will be closely watched by many, given the potential ramifications of the EBA's answer on the required evidence threshold for patent validity.


          The Board of Appeal noted that in all the decisions requiring the higher bar of ab initio plausibility (including Warner Lambert), plausibility was denied. By contrast, in all of the cited decisions in the ab initio implausibility line, plausibility was acknowledged. This difference highlights the implications that a EBA decision in this referral may have on the requirements for patentability and how broadly an invention may be claimed based on the data provided in the application as filed.

          The Board of Appeal in the referring decision appeared to disagree with the "no plausibility" line of case law, noting that it would permit armchair inventors to claim whatever they thought that it might be possible to prove later (r. 13.7.1). On the other hand, the Board of Appeal also appeared uncomfortable with denying patentees the option of reformulating the objective technical problem to be solved in view of the closest prior art, in view of "decades of case law" permitting this (r. 13.7.2). However, if it is acknowledged that the objective technical problem to be solved may be reformulated, the Board of Appeal in the referring decision agreed that an undue burden would be placed on the patentee to plausibly demonstrate, at the filing date, the technical effect of the invention in view of all possible closest prior art.

        • Upcoming CIPA webinar on the Mercer Review, 29 Oct 2021 [Ed: CIPA UK runs a scam (PEB) and now tries to wash its hands; this mentions (e)EQE -- a second scandal, but one of the EPO]

          CIPA is holding a webinar to discuss the Mercer Review at 12:30, on 29 October 2021 (Friday). Sign-up for the webinar here.

          The Mercer Review was recently published in here. The Review included a list of recommendations to improve training and examination (IPKat). Many of these recommendations were welcome, particularly the recommendations to improve access to the profession, continue the use of online examinations, and potentially align with the eEQE system, and to change to a limited open-book format.


          The panel for the webinar consists of contributors to the review, including Chris Mercer himself, as well as Vicki Salmon, Parminder Lally (CIPA Council), Lindsay Pike (Honorary Secretary of the CIPA Informals) and Lee Davies (CIPA CEO). Despite what might be assumed from this panel, the Review was conducted independently of CIPA governance. It will be interesting to hear how the panel envisages implementation of the Mercer Reviews recommendations.

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