Techrights to Delete Articles From All Past Years to Save Disk Space

Posted in Site News at 6:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Published 27,000 posts in Techrights, soon to turn 13.5 years (average of about 2,000 posts per year)

An old scale

Summary: What if we deleted over 25,000 posts?

THE SITE Techrights has a problem. It has had this problem for a long time. It is just too big. For instance, the compressed archive of our WordPress database alone is soon exceeding a gigabyte (it’s 983MB at the moment, based on the latest nightly dump) and the Web account is over 50 gigabytes in size.

Sooo… we have a plan.

Compact this!

The Right To Be Forgotten is the best law ever to be passed!

So any criticism made here in past years will be deleted, giving people a chance to reinvent themselves and reform their reputation.

Mr. Battistelli, all is forgiven! And we forgive, then forget, António Campinos for his past blunders, before and after joining the European Patent Office (EPO).

Oh, yes… and if you haven’t noticed the date yet. If. Now may be a time to check the clock. Because no… we’re not deleting anything. We’re in fact fortifying the site to ensure the information doesn’t go away any time soon.

The real news is that we’ve exceeded 27,000 posts — another milestone for us.

IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 30, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:47 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now


Links 30/3/2020: GNU Linux-libre 5.6, WireGuard 1.0.0

Posted in News Roundup at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Four OS vendors support Huawei’s openEuler-powered Linux distribution platform

      The openEuler Community Charts New Territory, Boosting Innovation in the Multi-Core Heterogeneous Computing Industry

      As the founding enterprise and main initiator of openEuler, Huawei is continuously investing in open source communities. As an open community, openEuler is a shared stronghold co-built by more and more global developers.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Why I switched from Mac to Linux

        In 1994, my family bought a Macintosh Performa 475 as a home computer. I had used Macintosh SE computers in school and learned to type with Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, so I’ve been a Mac user for well over 25 years. Back in the mid-1990s, I was attracted to its ease of use. It didn’t start with a DOS command prompt; it opened to a friendly desktop. It was playful. And even though there was a lot less software for Macintosh than PCs, I thought the Mac ecosystem was better, just on the strength of KidPix and Hypercard, which I still think of as the unsurpassed, most intuitive creative stack.

        Even so, I still had the feeling that Mac was an underdog compared to Windows. I remember thinking the company could disappear one day. Flash-forward decades later, and Apple is a behemoth, a trillion-dollar company. But as it evolved, it changed significantly. Some changes have been for the better, such as better stabilization, simpler hardware choices, increased security, and more accessibility options. Other changes annoyed me—not all at once, but slowly. Most significantly, I am annoyed by Apple’s closed ecosystem—the difficulty of accessing photos without iPhoto; the necessity of using iTunes; and the enforced bundling of the Apple store ecosystem even when I don’t want to use it.

      • Access control lists and external drives on Linux: What you need to know

        Don’t let confusion around external drives on Linux get the best of you, and don’t limit yourself to traditional UNIX permissions. Put access control lists to work for you, and feel free to use native journaled Linux filesystems on your portable drives.

      • 5 best Linux desktop distributions

        Linux distribution on the desktop is an amalgam of the tortoise and the little train that could. Ever so slowly, it continues to move onward and upward, ticking away the market share percentages by a tenth of a point at a time. No matter how slow that journey is, the developers of each distribution will keep going until their version of Linux has finally become accepted by the masses—at which point, one Linux distro will rule them all. Until then, the Linux community will continue to enjoy numerous distributions, ready to take over your desktop. But of those hundreds (nay, thousands) of desktops available, which are the best Linux desktop distributions?

        After using all flavors of Linux distributions, including Red Hat, Zorin OS, Kali Linux Debian, CentOS, and more, for over 20 years, I’ve pretty much seen every type of distribution possible. That much exposure to a specific operating system makes it rather easy to come up with a list of which Linux desktop distributions are the best. And with that in mind, this is my list of Linux distributions that are best suited for overall usage. Remember, this is for the desktop, so server distributions like Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Kali Linux, and SUSE Linux aren’t in the mix.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2020-03-30 | Linux Headlines

        Linux Kernel 5.6 is out with WireGuard support, fre:ac significantly expands its feature set with its 1.1 release, Bruce Perens’ legal battle finally comes to an end, and the IEEE launches a collaborative development platform.

      • Linux-Tech&More QA: Episode 01: The mysterious operating system!

        We seek, through the episodes of this simple and humble series, to provide Linux, technology and science information (and other important information) in an interesting and funny way to “insert” the information into the mind of the follower and to instill principles and values ​​in their personality.

      • Linux Action News 151

        Mozilla puts your money where your mouse is and partners with Scroll to launch Firefox for a Better Web. We’ll explain the details, and why it might just have a shot.

        Plus we try out Plasma Bigscreen, cover Telegram’s really bad news, and much more.

      • Real Python: The Real Python Podcast – Episode 2: Learn Python Skills While Creating Games

        In this episode, Christopher interviews Jon Fincher from the Real Python Team. Jon talks about his recent articles on PyGame and Arcade.

        They discuss if game programming is a good way to develop your Python programming skills, and if a game would make a good portfolio piece. He compares the two popular Python game libraries of Arcade and PyGame, and discusses about how to find assets for your own creations.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.6 Officially Released

        Torvalds says in the official announcement that the development of the next kernel update is unlikely to be impacted substantially by the new coronavirus outbreak, as most engineers are typically working from home anyway.

        However, he does admit that a slowdown is expected due to social distancing and the pandemic.

      • Linux Kernel 5.6 Released With Plenty Of New Features

        The boss of the Linux, Linus Torvalds has released Linux Kernel 5.6. One of the biggest features or improvements that you might see in Linux Kernel 5.6 is that it has a solution for the Year 2038 Problem which means that you can now run your 32-bit system beyond Jan 19, 2038.

        The new kernel also has support for WireGuard VPN, Server-to-server copy for NFSD, Intel Virtual Bus, Qualcomm, Experimental F2FS file compression support, USB4, Amazon Echo speaker and open-source NVIDIA RTX 2000 series.

      • Linux 5.6 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

        Some of those changes are said to allow booting a buildroot-based system on QEMU’s virt board.

        For the full list of commit messages, you can check out the changelog generated with the command git log v5.5..v5.6 –stat. KernelNewbies website should also soon have a Linux 5.6 changelog.

      • Linux Kernel 5.6 Officially Released with Built-In WireGuard Support

        Despite all of the coronavirus challenges we’re facing these days, Linus Torvalds announced the release of the Linux 5.6 kernel series, the first to ship with built-in WireGuard support.

        Development of Linux kernel 5.6 kicked off in early February with the first Release Candidate, but it wasn’t affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Seven weeks and RCs later, the final release of the Linux 5.6 kernel is here with a plethora of goodies.

        WireGuard is now built into the kernel and all future kernels will ship with it


        Of course, there are also numerous new and updated kernels, along with lots of improvements for various components. This makes Linux kernel 5.6 a worthy upgrade for most GNU/Linux distributions.

        However, Linux 5.6 isn’t yet ready for mainstream use because it’s still marked as a “mainline” kernel on the kernel.org website, from where you can also download the source tarball if you’re eager to try it on your machine.

        The rest of the world should wait for the first point release, Linux kernel 5.6.1, before upgrading. With this, the two-weeks merge window for the Linux 5.7 kernel series is now officially open, and Linus Torvalds hopes the coronavirus outbreak won’t affect its development cycle.

      • Linux 5.6 is out with USB4 and GeForce RTX GPU support, plus much more

        A new Linux Kernel version 5.6 has been officially released with some important changes including the addition of support for USB4, and GeForce RTX 2000 series graphics cards with the Nouveau driver.

        Yes, Turing GPU support has arrived with the open source Nouveau driver, along with the proprietary firmware images, as Phoronix.com reports. However, don’t get too excited, as re-clocking doesn’t work yet (getting the GPU to operate at stock clocks), and other important pieces of the puzzle are missing (like no Vulkan support with Nouveau).

      • Linux 5.6 Kernel released with Nvidia RTX 20 graphics support

        The Linux 5.6 Kernel was released this weekend. The popular alternative OS kernel includes some important new features and changes, as well a broader support for modern PC hardware like Nvidia RTX20 and AMD Navi series GPUs. However, in his announcement of the release, Linus Torvalds indicated that progress towards the next release could be impacted by Covid-19.

        Linux specialist site Phoronix characterises the Linux 5.6-rc1 test release kernel as “simply huge,” being stuffed with new and improved features for end-users. HEXUS readers might be particularly interested in the raft of new CPUs and GPUs supported in this release but there is a lot more to discuss, as you will see if you read on.

      • SD Times news digest: Automation Anywhere’s Bot Security, Linux 5.6, and the IntelliSense Code Linter for C++

        The Linux 5.6 kernel was released with WireGuard, USB4, New AMD, and Intel hardware support.

        Linux 5.7 is now open for the landing of new feature work for the next two weeks, and the developers behind the project said that they are currently assuming a “fairly normal 5.7 release.”

        Additional details are available here.

      • Linux 5.6 Ships With Broken Intel WiFi Driver After Network Security Fixes Go Awry

        For those that are normally spinning their own kernels and punctually upgrading to new releases, you will want to hold off on the new Linux 5.6 kernel for the moment if you use the Intel “IWLWIFI” WiFi driver.

        Landing in the kernel right ahead of the Linux 5.6 release were a set of mac80211 security fixes sent in by Intel’s Johannes Berg. Those fixes in turn broke the IWLWIFI driver that supports Intel’s current wireless chipsets on Linux.

      • GNU Linux-libre 5.6-gnu Released After Deblobbing AMD Trusted Execution, Ath11k WiFi

        Following last night’s release of Linux 5.6, the GNU FSFLA folks have put out the Linux-libre 5.6-gnu kernel as their fully-free-software kernel that disallows loading binary kernel modules, disables functionality requiring closed-source firmware/microcode, and other aspects to ensure only free software code is running on the system.

      • GNU Linux-libre 5.6-gnu (GNU Health for all)
        GNU Linux-libre 5.6-gnu cleaning-up scripts, source tarballs, patches
        and binary deltas are now available at
        No changes were required to the cleaning up scripts since -rc7-gnu, but
        since they were ready shortly before the final release, that rc was
        never published.  Binaries are expected to show up in the near future.
        The corresponding upstream release introduced 3 new drivers that request
        and load blobs: AMD Trusted Execution Environment, ATH11K WiFi, and
        Mediatek SCP remoteproc.  The requests for those are inhibited and
        silenced in our release, and so are those for new blobs in nouveau,
        AMDGPU and AMD PSP.
        For up-to-the-minute news, join us on #linux-libre of irc.gnu.org
        (Freenode), or follow me (@lxoliva) on Twister <http://twister.net.co/>,
        Secure Scuttlebutt, GNU social at social.libreplanet.org, Diaspora* at
        pod.libreplanetbr.org or pump.io at identi.ca.  Check the link in the
        signature for direct links.
        Be Free! with GNU Linux-libre.
        What is GNU Linux-libre?
          GNU Linux-libre is a Free version of the kernel Linux (see below),
          suitable for use with the GNU Operating System in 100% Free
          GNU/Linux-libre System Distributions.
          It removes non-Free components from Linux, that are disguised as
          source code or distributed in separate files.  It also disables
          run-time requests for non-Free components, shipped separately or as
          part of Linux, and documentation pointing to them, so as to avoid
          (Free-)baiting users into the trap of non-Free Software.
          Linux-libre started within the gNewSense GNU/Linux distribution.
          It was later adopted by Jeff Moe, who coined its name, and in 2008
          it became a project maintained by FSF Latin America.  In 2012, it
          became part of the GNU Project.
          The GNU Linux-libre project takes a minimal-changes approach to
          cleaning up Linux, making no effort to substitute components that
          need to be removed with functionally equivalent Free ones.
          Nevertheless, we encourage and support efforts towards doing so.
          Our mascot is Freedo, a light-blue penguin that has just come out
          of the shower.  Although we like penguins, GNU is a much greater
          contribution to the entire system, so its mascot deserves more
          promotion.  See our web page for their images.
        What is Linux?
          Linux is a clone of the Unix kernel [...]
        (snipped from Documentation/admin-guide/README.rst)
        Alexandre Oliva, freedom fighter    he/him    https://FSFLA.org/blogs/lxo/
        Free Software Evangelist              Stallman was right, but he's left :(
        GNU Toolchain Engineer           Live long and free, and prosper ethically
      • GNU Linux-Libre 5.6 Kernel Is Out for Those Who Seek 100% Freedom for Their PCs

        Less than a day after the release of the Linux 5.6 kernel series, the GNU Linux-libre project announced the general availability of the GNU Linux-libre 5.6 kernel.

        The aim of the GNU Linux-libre project is to provide the GNU/Linux community with a version of the upstream Linux kernel that’s 100% free. Therefore, the GNU Linux-libre 5.6 kernel is a 100% free version of the Linux 5.6 kernel, shipping only with free and open source drivers.

        GNU Linux-Libre 5.6 kernel deblobs three new drivers that have been included in the Linux 5.6 kernel series, namely AMD Trusted Execution Environment, ATH11K WiFi, and Mediatek SCP remoteproc Additionally, it also cleans up the Nouveau, AMDGPU, and AMD PSP drivers.

      • WireGuard 1.0.0 for Linux 5.6 Released
        Hi folks,
        Earlier this evening, Linus released [1] Linus 5.6, which contains our
        first release of WireGuard. This is quite exciting. It means that
        kernels from here on out will have WireGuard built-in by default. And
        for those of you who were scared away prior by the "dOnT uSe tHiS
        k0de!!1!" warnings everywhere, you now have something more stable to
        work with.
        The last several weeks of 5.6 development and stabilization have been
        exciting, with our codebase undergoing a quick security audit [3], and
        some real headway in terms of getting into distributions.
        We'll also continue to maintain our wireguard-linux-compat [2]
        backports repo for older kernels. On the backports front, WireGuard
        was backported to Ubuntu 20.04 (via wireguard-linux-compat) [4] and
        Debian Buster (via a real backport to 5.5.y) [5]. I'm also maintaining
        real backports, not via the compat layer, to 5.4.y [6] and 5.5.y [7],
        and we'll see where those wind up; 5.4.y is an LTS release.
        Meanwhile, the usual up-to-date distributions like Arch, Gentoo, and
        Fedora 32 will be getting WireGuard automatically by virtue of having
        5.6, and I expect these to increase in number over time.
      • Linux’s WireGuard VPN is here and ready to protect you

        Linus Torvalds has released the newest version of the Linux 5.6. It includes many new and neat features like USB4 support, a fix for the 32-bit Epoch problem, multi-path TCP, and numerous driver patches. The biggest news of all s that Linux now has the popular open-source Virtual Private Network (VPN) WireGuard baked in.

        WireGuard is a radical new approach to VPNs. With its minimal codebase — about 4,000 lines of code — it’s much easier to debug and secure than its rivals such as OpenVPN with its over 100,000 lines.

        Torvalds himself loves WireGuard for its simplicity. Long before he incorporated WireGuard into Linux, Tovalids said “Can I just once again state my love for it and hope it gets merged soon? Maybe the code isn’t perfect, but I’ve skimmed it, and compared to the horrors that are OpenVPN and IPSec, it’s a work of art.”

      • WireGuard 1.0.0 Christened As A Modern Secure VPN Alternative To OpenVPN/IPsec

        In-step with the Linux 5.6 release that mainlined the WireGuard kernel module for this secure VPN tunnel, WireGuard 1.0.0 has now been declared.

        WireGuard lead developer Jason Donenfeld declared v1.0.0 in-step with Linux 5.6′s release. WireGuard has recently gone through more stabilization work, the code has been undergoing a security audit, and more Linux distributions are beginning to support WireGuard.

      • WireGuard VPN makes it to 1.0.0—and into the next Linux kernel

        We’ve been anticipating WireGuard’s inclusion into the mainline Linux kernel for quite some time—but as of Sunday afternoon, it’s official. Linus Torvalds released the Linux 5.6 kernel, which includes (among other things) an in-tree WireGuard. Phoronix has a great short list of the most interesting new features in the 5.6 kernel, as well as a longer “everything list” for those who want to make sure they don’t miss anything.

      • Linux 5.7 Staging’s Spring Cleaning Sees Almost 30k Lines Of Code Dropped

        The staging/IO pull sent in for the Linux 5.7 merge window saw 20.1k lines of code added but 47.9k lines of code removed. Coming in nearly thirty-thousand lines of code lighter is largely thanks to – Dropping Wireless USB and Ultra Wideband support. UWB and WUSB support was cleared out of staging with this technology no longer being of much relevance/adoption and the code within the tree not being maintained. Also flushed out of staging was dropping the existing exFAT file-system driver now that via the VFS tree will be the new Samsung-developed exFAT Linux driver. Also being cleared out with this spring cleaning is the ancient HP 100BaseVG AnyLAN driver from the 90′s.

      • IO_uring Sees More Improvements With Linux 5.7 For This Exciting I/O Tech

        Within minutes of Linux 5.6 being released on Sunday evening, Jens Axboe was already with sending in the start of the various storage areas to the kernel that he oversees with their feature updates for Linux 5.7.

        IO_uring is one of the most exciting happenings in the Linux storage space since its introduction last year in Linux 5.1. With succeeding kernels, IO_uring has continued seeing more features implemented, performance optimizations, and other improvements. That is continuing to happen with the Linux 5.7 kernel now in development.

      • Graphics Stack

        • xorg-server 1.20.8
          Adam Jackson (1):
                Revert "dri2: Don't make reference to noClientException"
          Arthur Williams (1):
                dix: Check for NULL spriteInfo in GetPairedDevice
          Daniel Llewellyn (1):
                os: Ignore dying client in ResetCurrentRequest
          Dave Airlie (1):
                modesetting: remove unnecessary error message, fix zaphod leases
          David Seifert (1):
                Fix building with `-fno-common`
          Dor Askayo (1):
                xwayland: clear pixmaps after creation in rootless mode
          Eric Anholt (1):
                glamor: Fix a compiler warning since the recent OOM fixes.
          George Matsumura (1):
                Restrict 1x1 pixmap filling optimization to GXcopy
          Jon Turney (2):
                Add xf86OSInputThreadInit to stub os-support as well
                Fix old-style definition warning for xf86OSInputThreadInit()
          Jonas Ådahl (1):
                xwayland/glamor-gbm: Handle DRM_FORMAT_MOD_INVALID gracefully
          Kenneth Graunke (1):
                configure: Define GLAMOR_HAS_EGL_QUERY_DRIVER when available
          Maarten Lankhorst (1):
                modesetting: Disable atomic support by default
          Matt Turner (1):
                xserver 1.20.8
          Michel Dänzer (8):
                modesetting: Explicitly #include "mi.h"
                xfree86/modes: Bail from xf86RotateRedisplay if pScreen->root is NULL
                xwayland: Split up xwl_screen_post_damage into two phases
                xwayland: Call glamor_block_handler from xwl_screen_post_damage
                xwayland: Add xwl_window_create_frame_callback helper
                xwayland: Use single frame callback for Present flips and normal updates
                xwayland: Use frame callbacks for Present vblank events
                xwayland: Delete all frame_callback_list nodes in xwl_unrealize_window
          Paul Kocialkowski (4):
                glamor: Propagate FBO allocation failure for picture to texture upload
                glamor: Error out on out-of-memory when allocating PBO for FBO access
                glamor: Propagate glamor_prepare_access failures in copy helpers
                glamor: Fallback to system memory for RW PBO buffer allocation
          git tag: xorg-server-1.20.8
        • X.Org Server 1.20.8 Released With No Sign Of GLAMOR/XWayland-Improved X.Org Server 1.21

          X.Org Server 1.20.8 was released as the newest point release for this current stable branch. X.Org Server 1.20.8 brings a number of fixes with there still being no sign of X.Org Server 1.21 gearing up for release.

          Early May marks two years since the X.Org Server 1.20 release and with no sign of X.Org Server 1.21 as the next feature release, well off what used to be a six month release cadence. That’s a pity due to X.Org Server 1.21 having a number of XWayland improvements, continued work to xf86-video-modesetting, some more PRIME bits, work on GLAMOR, etc. But with Red Hat having X.Org in “maintenance mode” and focusing more on Wayland, there hasn’t been anyone stepping up to organize the X.Org Server 1.21 release even though it’s been talked about every couple of months. X.Org Server 1.21 is already too late for seeing in the likes of Fedora 32 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

    • Applications

      • Rambox is an All-in-one Messenger for Linux

        Rambox is one of the best ways to manage multiple services for communication through a single app installed. You can use multiple messaging services like Facebook Messenger, Gmail chats, AOL, Discord, Google Duo, Viber and a lot more from the same interface.

        This way, you don’t need to install individual apps or keep them opened in browser all the time. You can use a master password to lock the Rambox application. You can also use do not disturb feature.

      • 3 lightweight text editors for Linux

        Anyone can use plain text to work more effectively. The one tool that you need in order to do that is a decent text editor.

        Unless you’re a coder, a system administrator, or a DevOps person, that editor doesn’t need to be brimming with functions and features. A lightweight text editor is more than enough for most people.

        When it comes to picking one, choices abound. You can use the editor that’s baked into your Linux distribution, or you can consider one of these lightweight text editors…

      • Linux Candy: Steam Locomotive – fun command for your terminal

        Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands!!

        Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open-source software in this series.

        Steam Locomotive is a tiny C program, written in 295 lines of code. It’s just a harmless bit of fun.

      • 12 Best Open-Source Software to Try in 2020

        Open-source software feels like an anomaly in today’s corporate tech world. The idea that a community of developers are happy to work on a piece of software – usually for no money – for literally years seems ludicrous, and speaks to the passion that people have for making technology for the benefit of everyone. Open-source devs, we salute you!

        So to honor these tireless workers who quietly make our day-to-day computer experiences that much better, we’ve decided to write up a multi-platform list of what we deem the best open-source software you can get in 2020.

        Do note that there are tons of open-source software out there, and we can’t possibly cover all of them. That said, here are what we think are the best for the end user. Opinions may differ though.

      • 21 Best Free and Affordable Video Editing Software In 2020

        With so many options available in the market, we have curated the list of the best free video editing programs along with affordable ones. This is for people who are just looking to start but are also serious about video editing and want to take it to a professional level.

      • Nageru 1.9.2 released

        Obviously, the Covid-19 outbreak caused some of my streaming events to be cancelled, but that’s a small thing in the big picture. However, I’ve accumulated a fair amount of changes to both Nageru, my video mixer, and Futatabi, my slow motion video server, this winter and spring. I’ve packaged them up and released 1.9.2. As usual, you can get both at https://nageru.sesse.net/, and they’re also on the way up to Debian unstable.

      • Mark Text Markdown Editor 0.16 Released With Experimental Spell Checker, Support For Custom Fonts

        Mark Text, a popular Markdown editor, had a new release over the weekend (0.16.0, followed by 0.16.1 to fix a bug). This update brings an experimental spell checker, file encoding support, support for custom fonts, and much more.

        Mark Text is a free and open source Electron Markdown editor for Windows, macOS and Linux. It features CommonMark and GitHub Flavored Markdown, seamless live preview, multiple edit modes (Typewriter, Source Code and Focus), and support for code fence for all popular languages.

      • Telegram Desktop App Update Adds Chat Folders, New Sidebar

        A new version of the Telegram desktop app for Windows, macOS and Linux is now available — and it hides some very useful new features.

        Desktop Telegram 2.0 echoes some of the changes on offer in the recent Telegram 6.0 update for mobile systems. This includes the ability to organise chats into Chat Folders should you find you have more than is manageable!

      • MystiQ Is An Easy To Use FFmpeg GUI (Multimedia Converter) For Linux And Windows

        MystiQ is a fairly new Qt5/C++ FFmpeg-based audio and video converter for Linux and Microsoft Windows. A macOS version will also be available in the future.

        I want to note that while the application is referred to as “MystiQ Video Converter” on its website, it actually supports both audio and video files.

        This FFmpeg GUI comes with an easy-to-use user interface intended to get things done without distracting the user. It supports all the popular audio and video formats supported by FFmpeg, and comes with many presets.

      • The Status of Universal Package Systems

        Billed as the future of package management, universal package systems like Snappy and Flatpak have failed to live up to their promise.

        Remember universal package systems? Although AppImage, the earliest universal package system, was first released in 2004, the concept did not capture much attention until a decade later, when Canonical released Snappy and Red Hat released Flatpak. Each was presented as the next generation of package managers, usable by any distribution, and as a means to reduce the number of rival technologies. Yet in 2020, both Snappy and Flatpak have receded into the background, and the deb and RPM package management systems continue to dominate Linux, leaving the question of why Snappy and Flatpak did not fulfill their promises.

        Two quick searches on DistroWatch reveal that, out of the 273 active distros listed, 39 support Flatpak, and 35 support Snap packages. At first, those may sound like respectable numbers, until you realize that a much more arcane deviation from the norm, like distros that do not ship systemd, can boast 99 distros. Moreover, those figures consist mainly of major distros that support Flatpak and Snap — often both — but still depend primarily on traditional package managers.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Burning Knight will have you steal everything and make a run for it in the new demo

        Out now is the demo for Burning Knight, an action-packed roguelike with a bit of a twist on the usual dungeon crawling. What’s so different? Well, you’re a bit of a thief. The idea is to run through as much of the Burning Knight’s castle as you can and pinch all the treasures. You can also rescue a few people if you wish.

        What makes it slightly amusing, is the Burning Knight follows you around and they get very angry when you find keys to get into their treasure rooms. Telling you not to touch things and then trying to shoot you when you inevitably go “ooooo shiny!” and then run away with something.

      • Stylish top-down rally game ‘art of rally’ has a demo up now for you to grind some dirt

        Drive away your worries this week with the demo of ‘art of rally’, an upcoming top-down stylish rally game from the creator of Absolute Drift.

        While there’s no current set date for the final release, the demo at least does work very nicely and it’s a lot of fun already. You get to try out two iconic rally cars with one from Group 2 and one from Group B, across a mixed gravel-tarmac stage from Finland full of jumps and all sorts. There’s multiple weather conditions implemented too like fog and rain with different times of day as well.

      • Intel ports AMD compiler code for a 10% performance boost in Linux gaming

        Linux gaming may not be as popular as gaming in Windows, but it is a growing segment. It is also improving, both in terms of support and performance. As it pertains to the latter, Jason Ekstrand, a member of Intel’s open source 3D driver team, is seeing some promising results in a handful of games running in Linux after porting AMD compiler code to Intel graphics hardware.

        The code is derived from ACO, short for AMD COmpiler, which is essentially a shader compiler spearheaded by Valve. First announced last July, Valve at the time said it was intended to deliver the “best possible code generation for game shaders, and fastest possible compilation speed.” It was also intended to replace AMD’s own LLVM compiler.

        As spotted by Phoronix, Ekstrand has enabled an I/O vectorization pass in an Intel driver for Linux, based on open source code originally written for ACO for use in AMD’s Radeon Vulkan drivers.

      • Intel NIR I/O Vectorization Ported From The AMD ACO Back-End – ~10% Performance Boost

        Lead Intel “ANV” open-source Vulkan driver developer Jason Ekstrand has ported an optimization from the Valve-backed AMD “ACO” compiler over to the NIR code-base for delivering some sizable performance improvements.

        Ekstrand has enabled an I/O vectorization pass for NIR that is originally based on the ACO code for the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver. This vectorization pass is enabled for UBOs, SSBOs, global memory, and SLM.

      • Anime tactical-shooter RPG ‘Unconventional Warfare’ successfully funded and coming to Linux

        Unconventional Warfare from developer Nightlife Strangers is now officially funded on Kickstarter and thanks to that it’s confirmed to be coming to Linux. Against their goal of $20K, they only just scraped by with $20,841 which is backed up by a small amount they get monthly from their Patreon page too.

      • Steam and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive once again smash user records

        What seems to be a regular occurrence now during the COVID-19 outbreak, both Steam and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have yet again broken their own concurrent user records.

      • A new OpenRA test build is up for classic RTS action, with more single-player mission support

        The incredible people hacking away on OpenRA have a new test build up to provide a better experience playing Command & Conquer, Red Alert and Dune 2000 on modern systems.

        Building on top of the massive test build earlier this month that added in some major new rendering features like zooming found in other RTS games, this is focused on some final touches and will hopefully be the last test build before a new stable release.

        For Tiberian Dawn (the original C&C) they’ve added in the GDI 08a and 09 mission support, along with a couple bug fixes. For
        Dune 2000 the Ordos 6a mission is now supported, plus they fixed spiceblooms not spawning when the overlaying spice was removed. Red Alert should be smoother now too as minelayers should no longer leak enemy mine positions through the fog, plus there’s numerous balance changes.

      • Game manager ‘Lutris’ has a new release with initial Humble Bundle and VKD3D support

        Lutris, the excellent free and open source game manager for Linux has a fresh release up with some brand new and big features that made it in.

        One of the headline additions is Humble Bundle support, allowing you to login to your Humble Store account and download any of the DRM-free release you own from their store making managing those less annoying. A wonderful addition! Speaking on Twitter, they mentioned that more work needs to be done to match up all the games from Humble to those in their database so it’s ongoing and support will continue to improve.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Developers Are Working on a TV Interface

          The developers of the KDE desktop are hard at work to create a TV interface.

          Never one to remain stagnant, the developers of the KDE desktop are hard at work creating what they have dubbed “Plasma Bigscreen.” This new project has one goal – to develop a user interface aimed at television screens.

          This new interface will also integrate with the open source Mycroft AI voice assistant to create a smart TV platform that will include full voice control and can be expanded with Mycroft “skills.” The platform will be free, open source, innovative, and community supported. Out of the box, Big Plasma will include some simple skills, such as the Youtube Voice Application, which allows users to interact with Youtube via voice command.

          Plasma Bigscreen will also include the Aura Browser, based on the QtWebEngine. This browser has been designed to work completely with arrow key navigation, so you won’t need a mouse to control the app (just your remote). In fact, the entire Plasma Bigscreen interface is intended to be easily used via remote control, and includes experimental support for HDMI-CEC (HDMI Consumer Electronics Control).

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Infrastructure updates

          As you may have noticed from outage and maintenance notes we sent out last week the GNOME Infrastructure has been undergoing a major redesign due to the need of moving to a different datacenter. It’s probably a good time to update the Foundation membership, contributions and generally anyone consuming the multitude of services we maintain of what we’ve been up to during these past months.


          …Red Hat Storage Team who helped out reviewing the Ceph infrastructure design and providing useful information about possible provisioning techniques.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Project Trident 20.02

          Project Trident made a lot of progress very quickly between the time the Alpha snapshot of its new Void base was launched and when the stable release came out. The issues with the desktop not loading were fixed, I got sound working under Trident where it did not under Void, and the ZFS implementation was smooth. I think Lumina, as a desktop, has progressed nicely in the past year or so since I last used it. The distribution’s performance is strong and its resource footprint relatively small. For someone who is interested in either ZFS on Linux or rolling release distributions, Trident is a promising option.

          However, there are several rough edges. The installer is not particularly friendly yet and forces the user to dedicate an entire disk to Trident. While the ZFS implementation is good, it appears to lack boot environments which would be an excellent feature to incorporate, especially with Void’s rolling upgrade approach. I also think Trident’s goal of being a friendly layer on top of Void would be helped a lot by adding a graphical package manager as XBPS’s syntax is a little unusual at times.

          At this point Trident’s Void-based distribution is in its early stages. It is a good first attempt, though there are still a few pieces that can be improved and polished. I’m hopeful that, in six months or a year, Trident will have progressed to a point where I feel comfortable recommending and using it in the long-term. For now I think it is an interesting distribution to try, as it showcases several unusual technologies, but I’m not sure it is ready to be used as a day-to-day operating system, unless the user is comfortable working a lot with the command line and working around a few issues.

      • New Releases

        • Systemd-Free antiX 19.2 Released with Latest Debian Buster Updates

          Coming three months after the first point release, antiX 19.2 is here to provide the community with an up-to-date installation media for new deployments, but also to add some extra features.

          One of these extra features is support for the runit init system, a UNIX init scheme with service supervision, which was bacakported from Debian Sid (Unstable).

          If you want to install antiX with the runit init system, you must download special ISO images that are only made for 32-bit systems. The rest of the ISOs are using the sysvinit init system.

        • Release of openmediavault 5 (Usul)

          After a long development phase i am happy to announce the release of openmediavault 5 (Usul).

          A big thank you goes to all translators, forum moderators and bug reporters for their contributions and support.

          The main features at a glance:

          Using Debian 10 (Buster).

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora’s Git forge decision

          Back in February, LWN reported on the process of gathering requirements for a Git forge system. That process then went relatively quiet until March 28, when the posting of a “CPE Weekly” news summary included, under “other updates”, a note that the decision has been made. It appears that the project will be pushed toward a not-fully-free version of the GitLab offering. It is fair to say that this decision — or how it was presented — was not met with universal acclaim in the Fedora community; see this response from Neal Gompa for more.

        • With Kubernetes Operators comes great responsibility

          Operators are a powerful way to extend the functionality of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and Kubernetes. OpenShift provides features for deploying Operators in a safer way, such as OperatorHub, and the Operator Lifecycle Manager (OLM). In this post we explore safe ways to deploy Operators to Openshift 4.x using OperatorHub, OLM and scoping rules for Operators.

        • The IBM i Community Adapts To The New Normal

          As we enter the third week of the unprecedented coronavirus lockdown that has shut down large swaths of our country, IBM i shops are adapting to the “new normal” along with everybody else. For essential employees in certain industries, that means working in an uncertain and potentially hazardous environment, while for the rest of us, it means telecommuting from home.

          If you work in finance or insurance along the two coasts, chances are good your headquarters has been closed down and your colleagues sent home to work remotely from laptops, smartphones, and PCs. But if your company makes or moves stuff in the industrial heartland of the United States – home to the nation’s strategic paper-products supply – then many of your essential staff are likely trucking right through the coronavirus lockdown. (And if they’re actually in the trucking business, they’re likely enjoying the empty roads.)

      • Debian Family

        • Debian @ COVID-19 Biohackathon (April 5-11, 2020)
          Dear Debian Community,
          There will be an virtual (online) COVID-19 Biohackathon from April 5-11,
          2020 and the Debian Med team invite you help us improve biomedical FOSS
          and the tools/libraries that support those projects.
          Most tasks do not require any knowledge of biology or medicine, and all
          types of contributions are welcome: bug triage, testing, documentation,
          CI, translations, packaging, and code contributions.
          1. Debian related bugs are viewable at [covid19-bugs]
          2. Software awaiting packaging is listed at [covid-19-packages], please
          respond to the RFP with your intent so we don't duplicate work
          3. You can also contribute directly to the upstream packages, linked
          from the Debian Med COVID-19 task page at [covid-19-packages]. Note:
          many biomedical software packages are quite resource limited, even
          compared to a typical FOSS project. Please be kind to the upstream
          author/maintainers and realize that they may have limited resources to
          review your contribution. Triaging open issues and opening pull requests
          to fix problems is likely to be more useful than nitpicking their coding
          4. Architectures/porting: Please focus on amd64, as it is the primary
          architecture for biomedical software. A secondary tier would be arm64 /
          ppc64el / s390x (but beware the endian-related issues on s390x). From a
          free/open hardware perspective it would be great to see more riscv64
          support, but that is not a priority right now
          5. The Debian Med team is also trying to improve the availability of
          automated biomedical pipelines/workflows [robust-workflows] using the
          Common Workflow Language open standard. The reference implementation of
          CWL is written in Python and there are many open issues ready for work
          that don't require any biomedical background [cwltool-issues]
          6. It is very easy to contribute to Debian Med team. We have a lowNMU
          policy for all our packages. Merge requests on Salsa are usually
          processed quickly (but please ping some of the latest Uploaders of the
          package to make sure it will be noticed). Even better if you ask for
          membership to the team and push directly to the salsa repository.
          7. The [debian-med-team-policy] should answer all questions how to
          The main COVID-19 biohackathon is being organized at [covid-19-bh20] and
          for Debian's participation we are using [salsa-covid-19-bh20]
          [covid-19-bugs] https://blends.debian.org/med/bugs/covid-19.html
          [covid-19-packages] https://blends.debian.org/med/tasks/covid-19
          [covid-19-bh20] https://github.com/virtual-biohackathons/covid-19-bh20
          [robust-workflows] https://doi.org/10.1007/s41019-017-0050-4
          [cwltool-issues] https://github.com/common-workflow-language/cwltool/issues
          [debian-med-team-policy] https://med-team.pages.debian.net/policy/
          Michael R. Crusoe on behalf of the Debian-Med team
          (and Andreas Tille on behalf of Michael R. Crusoe ;-) )
        • Debian Linux readies an anti-coronavirus hack-a-thon

          Open-source programmers and engineers have been working on a wide variety of projects to beat coronavirus. These range from hospital management programs to speeding up drug development to building inexpensive ventilators. Now, Debian Linux, one of the oldest and largest Linux distribution communities, is throwing its programming resources into beating COVID-19.

          The Debian Med team is inviting programmers to a virtual COVID-19 Biohackathon from April 5-11, 2020. The Debian Med team wants your help in improving free and open-source biomedical software programs, tools and libraries.

        • Louis-Philippe Véronneau: Using Zoom’s web client on Linux

          Like too many institutions, the school where I teach chose to partner up with Zoom. I wasn’t expecting anything else, as my school’s IT department is a Windows shop. Well, I guess I’m still a little disappointed.

          Although I had vaguely heard of Zoom before, I had never thought I’d be forced to use it. Lucky for me, my employer decided not to force us to use it. To finish the semester, I plan to record myself and talk with my students on a Jitsi Meet instance.

          I will still have to attend meetings on Zoom though. I’m well aware of Zoom’s bad privacy record and I will not install their desktop application. Zoom does offer a web client. Sadly, on Linux you need to jump through hoops to be able to use it.

        • Mike Gabriel: Mailman3 – Call for Translations (@Weblate)

          Over the last months I have found an interest in Mailman3. Given the EOL of Python2 in January 2020 and also being a heavy Mailman2 provider for various of my projects and also for customers, I felt it was time to look at Mailman2′s successor: Mailman3 [1].

          One great novelty in Mailman3 is the strict split up between backend (Mailman Core), and the frontend components (django-mailman3, Postorius, Hyperkitty). All three are Django applications. Postorius is the list management web frontend whereas Hyperkitty is an archive viewer. Other than in Mailman2, you can also drop list posts into Hyperkitty directly (instead of sending a mail to the list). This makes Hyperkitty also some sort of forum software with a mailing list core in the back. The django-mailman3 module knits the previous two together (and handles account management, login dialog, profile settings, etc.).

        • Sven Hoexter: Looking into Envertech Enverbridge EVB 202 SetID tool

          Disclaimer: I’m neither an experienced programmer nor proficient in reverse engineering, but I like at least to try to figure out how things work. Sometimes the solution is so easy, that even I manage to find it, still take this with a grain of salt.

          I lately witnessed the setup of an Envertech EnverBridge ENB-202 which is kind of a classic Chinese IoT device. Buy it, plug it in, use some strange setup software, and it will report your PV statistics to a web portal. The setup involved downloading a PE32 Windows executable, with an UI that basically has two input boxes and a sent button. You’ve to input the serial number(s) of your inverter boxes and the ID of your EnverBridge. That made me interested in what this setup process really looks like.

          The EnverBridge device itself has on one end a power plug, which is also used to communicate with the inverter via some Powerline protocol, and a network plug with a classic RJ45 end you plug into your network. If you power it up it will request an IPv4 address via DHCP. That brings us to the first oddity, the MAC address is in the BC:20:90 prefix which I could not find in the IEEE lists.

        • Paulo Henrique de Lima Santana: My free software activities in February 2020

          I started to talk with Maristela from IEP – Instituto de Engenharia do Paraná and after some messages and I joined a meeting with her and other members of Câmara Técnica de Eletrônica, Computação e Ciências de Dados.

          I explained about FLISOL in Curitiba to them and they agreed to host the event at IEP. I asked to use three spaces: Auditorium for FLISOL talks, Salão Nobre for meetups from WordPress and PostgreSQL Communities, and the hall for Install Fest.

          Besides FLISOL, they would like to host other events and meetups from Communities in Curitiba as Python, PHP, and so on. At least one per month.

        • Covid 19 and the Indian response.

          There have been lot of stories about Coronavirus and with it a lot of political blame-game has been happening. The first step that India took of a lockdown is and was a good step but without having a plan as to how especially the poor and the needy and especially the huge migrant population that India has (internal migration) be affected by it. A 2019 World Economic Forum shares the stats. as 139 million people. That is a huge amount of people and there are a variety of both push and pull factors which has displaced these huge number of people. While there have been attempts in the past and probably will continue in future they will be hampered unless we have trust-worthy data which is where there is lots that need to be done. In the recent few years, both the primary and secondary data has generated lot of controversies within India as well as abroad so no point in rehashing all of that. Even the definition of who is a ‘migrant’ needs to be well-established just as who is a ‘farmer’ . The simplest lucanae in the later is those who have land are known as ‘farmers’ but the tenant farmers and their wives are not added as farmers hence the true numbers are never known. Is this an India-specific problem or similar definition issues are there in the rest of the world I don’t know.


          What is worrying though that people can be infected twice or more as seems to be from Singapore or China and elsewhere. I have read enough of Robin Cook and Michael Crichton books to be aware that viruses can do whatever. They will over time mutate, how things will happen then is anybody’s guess. What I found interesting is the world economic forum article which hypothesis that it may be two viruses which got together as well as research paper from journal from poteome research which has recently been published. The biggest myth flying around is that summer will halt or kill the spread which even some of my friends have been victim of . While a part of me wants to believe them, a simple scientific fact has been viruses have probably been around us and evolved over time, just like we have. In fact, there have been cases of people dying due to common cold and other things. Viruses are so prevalent it’s unbelivable. What is and was interesting to note is that bat-borne viruses as well as pangolin viruses had been theorized and shared by Chinese researchers going all the way back to 90’s . The problem is even if we killed all the bats in the world, some other virus will take its place for sure. One of the ideas I had, dunno if it’s feasible or not that at least in places like Airports, we should have some sort of screenings and a labs working on virology. Of course, this will mean more expenses for flying passengers but for public health and safety maybe it would worth doing so. In any case, virologists should have a field day cataloging various viruses and would make it harder for viruses to spread as fast as this one has. The virus spread also showed a lack of leadership in most of our leaders who didn’t react fast enough. While one hopes people do learn from this, I am afraid the whole thing is far from over. These are unprecedented times and hope that all are maintaining social distancing and going out only when needed.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Roadmap update – Ubuntu support for the Raspberry Pi

          Computing and digital crafting should be accessible to all! This imperative inspires the mission that Ubuntu has been pursuing for nearly two decades now. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is pursuing a similar mission with the single-board, low-cost and high-performance Raspberry Pi computers. With our commitment to official Ubuntu support for the Raspberry Pi, we want to accelerate the commodification of digital innovation.

          Besides bringing the benefits of modern GNU/Linux, Ubuntu makes the latest and greatest free and open source software available on the Raspberry Pi. Ubuntu also brings versatile options for software packaging, delivery and updates. Users will benefit from frequently and reliably published software and long-term support. Ubuntu will provide innovators – in their garage, in schools, in labs or in the enterprise – with a robust software infrastructure to create exciting solutions with their Raspberry Pi.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • OpenTelemetry is now beta!

        OpenTelemetry and OpenCensus have been a critical part of our goal of making platforms like Kubernetes more observable and more manageable. This has been a multi-year journey for us, from creating OpenCensus and growing it into a core part of major web services’ observability stack, to our announcement of OpenTelemetry last year and the rapid growth of the OpenTelemetry community.

      • Google’s OpenTelemetry Reaches Beta For Open-Source Telemetry Purposes

        OpenTelemetry aims to make it easy to provide robust and portable telemetry for cloud-native software. OpenTelemetry supports various programming languages and makes it easy to capture and distribute traces and metrics from arbitrary applications. OpenTelemetry in turn supports sending this telemetry data to different back-ends like Cloud Trace, Jaeger, Prometheus, and others. OpenTelemetry SDKs are offered for the likes of Go, Python, Java, JavaScript, Erlang, .NET, and others.

      • Zeek and Jitsi: 2 open source projects we need now

        Everyone has heard of open source projects like Linux, Kubernetes, and MySQL. Far fewer have heard of ROS (Robot Operating System), Apache Flink, or InfluxDB, though these open source projects, too, are getting noticed. However, virtually no one has heard of open source Zeek or Jitsi, despite their having been around for eons. It’s high time Zeek and Jitsi got their due, as they are serving a particularly big need today given world events.

        Zeek, for example, is a network analysis tool that helps organizations hunt down bad actors that have made it past perimeter defenses (and, let’s face it, they will). In our work-from-home world, Jitsi provides video conferencing. Open source may not be for everyone but these open source projects just might be perfect for your organization.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Add developer comments to your extension’s listing page on addons.mozilla.org

            In November 2017, addons.mozilla.org (AMO) underwent a major refresh. In addition to updating the site’s visual style, we separated the code for frontend and backend features and re-architected the frontend to use the popular combination of React and Redux.

            With a small team, finite budget, and other competing priorities, we weren’t able to migrate all features to the new frontend. Some features were added to our project backlog with the hope that one day a staff or community member would have the interest and bandwidth to implement it.

            One of these features, a dedicated section for developer comments on extension listing pages, has recently been re-enabled thanks to a contribution by community member Lisa Chan. Extension developers can use this section to inform users about any known issues or other transient announcements.


            We’d like to extend a special thanks to Lisa for re-enabling this feature. If you’re interested in contributing code to addons.mozilla.org, please visit our onboarding wiki for information about getting started.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GnuCash 3.9

            GnuCash is a personal and small business finance application, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. It’s designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible. GnuCash allows you to track your income and expenses, reconcile bank accounts, monitor stock portfolios and manage your small business finances. It is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.

            GnuCash can keep track of your personal finances in as much detail as you prefer. If you are just starting out, use GnuCash to keep track of your checkbook. You may then decide to track cash as well as credit card purchases to better determine where your money is being spent. When you start investing, you can use GnuCash to help monitor your portfolio. Buying a vehicle or a home? GnuCash will help you plan the investment and track loan payments. If your financial records span the globe, GnuCash provides all the multiple-currency support you need.

      • Programming/Development

        • Python

          • Lists in python – Python list methods

            In this chapter, we will create simple python programs that will demonstrate the usage of various python list methods.

          • The one where we build a web scrapper and a slackbot – Part 1
          • The one where we build a web scrapper and a slackbot – Part 2
          • Exporting pandas DataFrames into SQLite with SQLAlchemy

            It is common when performing exploratory data analysis, for example when examining COVID-19 data with pandas, to load from files like a CSV, XML, or JSON into a pandas DataFrame. You may then do some work with the data in the DataFrame and want to store it in a more durable location like a relational database.

          • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week – Abigail Mesrenyame Dogbe

            This week we welcome Abigail Mesrenyame Dogbe (@MesrenyameDogbe) as our PyDev of the Week! Abigail is active with the PyLadies organization in Africa and has also helped organize PyCon Africa. Abigail is also a fellow of the Python Software Foundation.


            I worked with the Internal Audit Department at the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) after obtaining a BSc in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa, Ghana. Growing up, I struggled with Mathematics and did lots of drawings, paintings, and singing during my hobbies. My hobbies became numerous as I matured so much that I no longer make drawings and paintings but I’ve found happiness in playing with African beads to make accessories and I still sing a lot, although mostly to smaller groups or to myself.

            I have a great interest in sports such as volleyball, football and swimming as well. During my final year at the university, I was elected as the captain of the women’s volleyball team. We had lots of training sessions and won a few matches. I am actually impressed with how far the team has come after I completed school.

            Also, I have a keen interest in Tech Community Building and I find joy in helping others grow in their career.

          • How to mock in Python? – (almost) definitive guide

            Mock is a category of so-called test doubles – objects that mimic the behaviour of other objects. They are meant to be used in tests to replace real implementation that for some reason cannot be used (.e.g because they cause side effects, like transferring funds or launching nukes). Mocks are used to write assertions about the way they are used – e.g. if they were called, which arguments were used etc. It is a flagship technique of interaction-based testing – checking how objects under test use their collaborators (other objects).

          • Rich adds support for Jupyter Notebooks

            I recently added experimental support for Jupyter Notebooks to Rich.

          • How to Use any() in Python

            As a Python programmer, you’ll frequently deal with Booleans and conditional statements—sometimes very complex ones. In those situations, you may need to rely on tools that can simplify logic and consolidate information. Fortunately, any() in Python is such a tool. It looks through the elements in an iterable and returns a single value indicating whether any element is true in a Boolean context, or truthy.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Daniel Stenberg: curl ootw: –proxy-basic

        This option has been provided and supported since curl 7.12.0, released in June 2004.

      • I had to build a web scraper to buy groceries

        Here’s the deal; very few supermarket chains in Turkey have online stores. Migros Sanalmarket is one of them and it’s arguably the best one. But they don’t have unlimited resources, obviously. When everybody decided to switch to online shopping all of a sudden, they couldn’t handle that demand spike. Even though their delivery system works from 8:30 AM to 10:00 PM every day, it’s virtually impossible to find an empty slot, that is if you play nicely.

  • Leftovers

    • Vintage Byte Magazine Library

      While Macworld and MacUser capture the history of the Macintosh, Byte nicely captures the history of the entire personal computer industry from the early days (Sept 1975) through July 1998 (just two issues shy of 23 years).

      Here for your reading pleasure are the first and second installment of the Byte archives, now including the entire run of the magazine.

      While some of these magazines are available on Archive.org or as torrents, we’ve added quite a bunch of issues that had never been scanned before, and all issues have been lovingly restored by Steve M. to look as good as is possible from a magazine scan.

    • Science

      • The Legacy of the Humble Bilby Tower

        NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey and its predecessor organizations have been using geodesy to map the U.S. shoreline, determine land boundaries, and improve transportation and navigation safety for over two centuries.

        Today, surveyors rely on the Global Positioning System, a constellation of satellites that transmit radio signals from space. When used according to special procedures, GPS receivers on Earth can determine position coordinates to centimeter-level accuracy (less than one-half inch).

    • Health/Nutrition

      • A Pandemic Is No Time for Precarious Work

        There’s never an excuse to send people to work in dangerous conditions with no safety nets and benefits. It’s especially horrendous in the midst of coronavirus.

      • New York Nurses Are Living a Heartbreaking Nightmare

        Last Sunday I worked in the Montefiore Medical Center Moses Division Emergency Department and I want to share with you the real-life story—and most certainly not the worst story.

      • What We Know — and Don’t Know — About Possible Coronavirus Treatments Promoted by Trump

        President Donald Trump’s excitement about decades-old anti-malarial drugs to treat the coronavirus has touched off widespread interest in the medications, hoarding by some doctors, new clinical trials on the fly and desperation among patients who take them for other conditions.

        Many experts say there isn’t enough evidence that the drugs work for the coronavirus, but at least a few say there’s little to lose in giving hydroxychloroquine to patients who are severely ill with coronavirus.

      • Poll Workers Contracted COVID-19 at Primaries Deemed Safe by DNC, Biden Campaign

        Donald Trump is the single individual in US society most responsible for spreading dangerous misinformation about Covid-19 in the midst of a global pandemic. Anyone who echoes him, or his administration’s entreaties to not take going out in public too seriously, is engaging in public endangerment. Anyone who actively encourages people to gather in mass, and in close proximity, is doing so at a mass scale.

      • Why Coronavirus Is Humanity’s Wake-Up Call

        Seeing now the profound failure of our existing institutions, we also awaken to the truth of our possibilities and interconnections with one another and with Earth.

      • Fighting COVID-19 Starts With Universal Access to Water and Sanitation

        Water shutoffs are a huge problem in the U.S.

      • As April 1 Nears and Coronavirus Crisis Continues, Demand to #CancelRent Swells

        “It’s unreasonable to expect thousands and thousands of people who lost their incomes to pay rent and mortgages on April 1st.”

      • Why COVID-19 Could Trigger a Surprise Billing Crisis

        Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A person falls ill. They go to the emergency room, maybe even to the operating room. Unbeknownst to them, they get care from someone who is outside of their insurance network. Weeks later, they receive a bill for tens of thousands of dollars.

      • Coronavirus Shows Us What Our Future Could Look Like During Climate Crisis

        The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly been absorbed into our collective consciousness, remaking the fabric of our lives. Suddenly, millions are sheltering in place, strangers have started wishing each other well when exiting grocery stores, people have stopped touching their faces and shelves that are normally stocked with bleach and hand sanitizer are barren.

      • Coronavirus outbreak exposes the unsustainability of California’s status quo

        The coronavirus outbreak, and the resulting economic fallout, should push all of us to look more critically at the status quo here in California.

        With the UCLA Anderson Forecast determining that the country is now in a recession, an assessment echoed by Bank of America, and that California will be hit harder than the rest of the country, it’s time we reflect on what we’ve allowed to happen in our state.


        Sacramento has been willing to dole out anything state employee unions want, even if the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office flags a lack of justification for doing so.

        Many school districts, like Los Angeles Unified, have been kept under the influence of teachers unions and haven’t been able to make fiscally sound decisions that put students first in years.

        And county and city governments have had to slowly reduce public services to make room for the impact of pension crowd-out.

      • Some beaches stay open, others shut down – why coastal closures are varying during coronavirus response

        In Seal Beach and Laguna Beach, you’ll be ushered off the sand by authorities looking to distance people from each other to curb the coronavirus spread.

        At some California State Parks beaches throughout Southern California, at city-owned lots in Long Beach, at county-run beaches in Orange County and along stretches of coast managed by Los Angeles County, you won’t be able to access parking spots, though as of Tuesday afternoon, those beaches were still be open to people who can walk, jog or ride bikes into the area.

      • Dutch corona mask initiative serves as interface for supply chains

        Dutch Corona Mask (DCM) is looking to rally the Netherlands’ high-tech ecosystem to produce more protective masks. As the coronavirus ravages the world, creating a global shortage on protective gear, DCM has unrolled a new program to unite people, organizations and initiatives to create a Dutch-based supply chain to enhance mask production. The collaboration started on 18 March, when at that time, Netherlands’ hospitals and medical professionals were using more than 100,000 masks a day – quickly depleting reserves.

      • Did I already have coronavirus? Experts say maybe, but it doesn’t mean you’re immune

        Lots of people are looking back at that presumed cold or flu that recently spread through their household or office and asking: Did I already have the novel coronavirus? And if so, what does it mean for me now?

        A meme circulating on social media takes these questions even farther, asking: “Who got sick in November or December and it lasted 10 to 14 days? … If you can answer ‘yes,’ then you probably had the coronavirus. … You guys lived through that. Quit letting the media control you. Now give me back my toilet paper, sports, parades, etc.”

        Like so many posts that go viral, experts say this one mixes a bit of encouraging potential truth with some inaccurate and potentially dangerous misinformation.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • MERA, Mocana, and Osaka NDS Join Automotive Grade Linux

                Automotive Grade Linux, a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open source platform for connected car technologies, announces three new members: MERA, Mocana, and Osaka NDS.

                “With the support of 11 major automakers, we are increasingly seeing more vehicles in production with AGL,” said Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux at the Linux Foundation. “We look forward to working with all of our new members as we continue to expand the AGL platform and the global ecosystem of products and services that support it.”

        • Security

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Vigil for Peace in Yemen, a New Norm

        As COVID-19 threatens to engulf war-torn Yemen, it is even more critical to raise awareness of how the war debilitates the country.

      • One killed, 90 arrested in Katsina for burning police station over suspension of Jumat service

        According to the police spokesman, some disgruntled youths, under the leadership of one Malam Hassan, conducted Friday prayer in one of the Jumat mosques in Kusada, in defiance of the directives.

        “Subsequently, he was arrested for questioning at Area Commander’s office, Malumfashi, which did not go down well with some of his followers.

        “Consequently, today, March 28, 2020, at about 09:00hrs, this particular group organised themselves in such a tumultuous manner, rioting and attacked the police station and over-powered the policemen on duty at Kusada Division.

        “They set ablaze the police station and DPO’s Quarters,” he said.

        Isah explained that the youth also burnt down seven vehicles and 10 motorcycles.

    • Environment

      • Legal Heat Intensifies for Chemical Manufacturers Bayer and BASF

        A Missouri court has ordered Bayer and BASF to pay US$265 million in damages and fines after it was found that a peach farmer lost his orchard because dicamba drifted onto his property.

        The ruling is the first in around 140 cases pending in the US court system, in which dicamba is being blamed for crop damage.

      • David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet is a powerful call to action

        “We’ve not just ruined the planet, we’ve destroyed it,” says David Attenborough, who has spent his days recording the wonders of the natural world, only to realise that his life’s work has, in fact, been to document its demise.

        The reprimand comes from his latest film, David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. With luck, the documentary will hit cinemas and Netflix later this year.

        Attenborough was particularly outspoken when New Scientist sat down with him at a press event ahead of its release. The film is part-memoir, part-lecture on the state of the environment, and its tone is forthright throughout. It is a powerful plea to humanity to turn things around, for the sake of every living thing on the planet.

      • Scottish and UK Governments insist COP26 to go ahead

        There were rumours on Monday that the global summit on tackling climate change would be postponed or cancelled.

        Up to 30,000 delegates and around 200 world leaders are expected to attend the event at the city’s Scottish Events Campus (SEC).

        But with the world reeling from the Covid-19 outbreak there’s some scepticism that there simply won’t be time for the work needed to find meaningful agreement in November.

      • Ecoistic: Greenhouse gas blues – fighting the emission war

        Data from the World Resources Institute (WRI) show that humans have added 2.3 trillion tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere in the last 200 years. Half of this amount was added in the last 30 years.

        Overall, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by 40% since 1750s, i.e. since the Industrial Revolution. CO2 emissions are now around 12 times higher than in 1900 as the world burns more and more coal, oil and gas for energy. We simply cannot continue pumping CO2 into the atmosphere without curbs and controls. The world is warming faster than at any time in the last 12,000 years. The 1990s was the hottest decade in the past millennium.

        Bangalore, currently, with nearly 65 lakh vehicles and more than a thousand industries spewing all sorts of greenhouse gases is racing towards becoming Asia’s most polluted city. And if this trend continues, we will need to leave the city in the next 5 to 7 years. Cases of respiratory disorders, asthma, lung infections, etc., is on the rise every day. The saucer-shaped landscape & topography of Bangalore does not easily allow the greenhouse gases to escape and hence get trapped which is ultimately inhaled by Bangaloreans. This is a major worry & concern if we need to save Bangalore and its population from experiencing a major catastrophe very soon. The carrying capacity of the city is lost and the government needs to re-look at the entire development framework now just for Bangalore, but for the entire state. Regional balance needs to be the focus if we need to sustain urban centres in future.

      • Energy

        • 12,000 Residents, Zero Cars: Utrecht’s New City District To Prioritize Pedestrians And Cyclists

          An urban development plan to radically transform a canalside industrial estate has been drawn up by the municipality of Utrecht together with ten landowners. Subject to agreement by locals, the 60-acre site could be up and running as a dense eco-friendly car-free suburb by 2024.

          The plan envisages a 17-block mixed-use district for 12,000 residents, none of whom would need to use privately-owned cars for their daily needs.

        • Netherlands Utrecht city builds car-free district for 12,000 people

          It is expected to be serviced by 20,000 bicycles but no cars, with construction scheduled to begin in 2022.

          The new 24-hectare community will be home to about 12,000 people and will include 2 new primary schools, a high school, and several health centers, together with an assortment of shops and businesses, according to the report.

          Bike lanes and tram lines will service the community. Only four 60-meter long “logistical roads” will extend into the neighbourhood from the surrounding area to provide access to delivery vans.

      • Overpopulation

        • [Old] Population growth and earth’s human carrying capacity

          Earth’s capacity to support people is determined both by natural constraints and by human choices concerning economics, environment, culture (including values and politics), and demography. Human carrying capacity is therefore dynamic and uncertain. Human choice is not captured by ecological notions of carrying capacity that are appropriate for nonhuman populations. Simple mathematical models of the relation between human population growth and human carrying capacity can account for faster-than-exponential population growth followed by a slowing population growth rate, as observed in recent human history.

        • Earth Day 2020 Webinar: Sustainable Population: A Planet of 3 Billion

          How many people can the Earth support? Tucker makes the case that the Earth’s ‘carrying capacity’ is limited to 3 billion humans, and that humanity’s century-long binge has incurred an unsustainable ecological debt that must be paid down promptly, or else cataclysm awaits. Given that our species has already surpassed 7.5 billion, and is fast approaching 9 billion or more, this is an audacious claim that everyone who cares about the fate of our planet and our species has a responsibility to evaluate for themselves. Tucker, in his exploration of the frontiers of scientific knowledge, urges all of us to question his estimate. He encourages us to marshal our own data and calculations, if we are so inclined, so that we can all engage in this existential debate as educated global citizens equipped to navigate what promises to be an uncertain future.

        • How Many People Can Earth Support?

          What if the Earth’s carrying capacity is limited to three billion humans and humanity’s century-long binge has caused an unsustainable ecological debt that must be paid down promptly or else cataclysm awaits? What if the state of the Earth has come to the point that we fundamentally redefine how we think about the fate of humanity and our planet?

        • Enact law to prevent population explosion: MP demands in RS

          A demand for enacting a stringent law to control population by barring individuals with more than two children from government benefits as well as from contesting elections was made in Rajya Sabha on Friday.

          BJP’s Harnath Singh Yadav made the demand through a Zero Hour mention, saying population explosion was putting enormous burden on resources and environment.

        • Prisons Worldwide Face Coronavirus Crisis: Overcrowding, Lack of Sanitation & Labor at Slave Wages

          And concerns are growing about the health of at least 1 million Uyghur Muslims jailed in prison camps in western China, where at least 13 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the region of Xinjiang. Despite a public health crisis that’s left at least 3,136 dead, China has refused to close its prison camps, where conditions are reportedly dire with rampant overcrowding, lack of sanitation. Writing for USA Today, one human rights advocate called the Uyghurs “sitting ducks for coronavirus,” demanding they immediately be restored to their homes.

          Back here in the United States, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing backlash after announcing Monday New York state would respond to the growing coronavirus outbreak by producing its own hand sanitizer made by prisoners for less than a dollar an hour. Not only will prisoners be making the 75% alcohol hand sanitizer for an average of 65 cents an hour, it’s unclear if they’ll even be allowed to use it to protect themselves from infection because of the level of alcohol. Items with alcohol are typically considered prisoner contraband.

          Well, for more on these issues, we go to Houston, Texas, where we’re joined by Marshall Project reporter Keri Blakinger. She is the publication’s first formerly incarcerated reporter. Her latest piece is headlined “When Purell Is Contraband, How Do You Contain Coronavirus?”

          Well, why don’t you answer that question for us, Keri? Give us a lay of the land. What’s happening in the United States prisons? And then talk about other places, as well.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Safeguarding Elections Amid a Pandemic

        Civil rights groups say a minimum of $2 billion is needed to properly safeguard the upcoming elections amid the coronavirus crisis.

      • Mauna Kea Isn’t Just About a Telescope, It’s About Who Will Decide the Future

        “The mountain brought us together,” Luana Busby-Neff tells me. It’s 200 days into the prayer vigil and blockade that brought the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) to a stop in Hawaii. The 14th giant telescope in Hawaii has been met with major resistance.

      • “Cruel:” Trump Admin. Moves to Take Land of Mashpee Tribe—Whose Casino Plans Irked President’s “Special Interest Friends”—Out of Trust

        The tribal chairman said the announcment came “on the very day that the United States has reached a record 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.”

      • The Lost Month: How a Failure to Test Blinded the U.S. to Covid-19

        The result was a lost month, when the world’s richest country — armed with some of the most highly trained scientists and infectious disease specialists — squandered its best chance of containing the virus’s spread. Instead, Americans were left largely blind to the scale of a looming public health catastrophe.

        The absence of robust screening until it was “far too late” revealed failures across the government, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, the former C.D.C. director. Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins, said the Trump administration had “incredibly limited” views of the pathogen’s potential impact. Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said the lapse enabled “exponential growth of cases.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Charles Barkley to Sell Memorabilia to Build Affordable Housing in His Hometown

        During a recent interview with WJOX 94.5, Barkley revealed that he plans to sell memorabilia from his NBA career to build affordable housing in his hometown of Leeds, Ala.

      • Auburn legend Charles Barkley aims to support affordable housing in Leeds

        It’s no secret that Charles Barkley is a big help to Birmingham. He’s on the investment board at BIG Partnership, which helps drive investments into Birmingham’s 24 Opportunity Zones. In 2018, Barkley joined the Alabama Futures Fund to help local startups. And recently, he donated $1 million to Miles College—the largest single donation in the college’s 122-year-long history. Oh, and he is also involved in Redmont Distilling. Wow, the guy stays busy!

      • Charles Barkley will sell Olympic gold medal, other awards to help build affordable housing in hometown

        Charles Barkley is planning on getting rid of what he calls unnecessary awards and accolades in order to provide affordable and green housing to his hometown of Leeds, Ala. His goal is to use the money from selling items, including his 1996 Olympic gold medal and his 1993 MVP award, to build around 20 homes.

      • Virginity: losing my most ‘valuable’ asset

        My once-boyfriend had now become my abuser. He stepped up the intensity of his interference in my life. Whenever I had exams to prepare for, he wouldn’t let me study. His strategy was simple: in sabotaging my education he could sabotage my career and, as a result, sabotage my prospects for a future with any degree of independence.

        If I ever dared to question his authority, my abuser threatened to expose our secret to my parents. He threated to reveal to my parents that many years earlier, we had had sex. At the very least, such a revelation would mean that I would never be allowed to leave the house again, given the shame that this would bring to my family. At worst, I might even be honour-killed.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • EPO Extends Most Deadlines in Response to COVID‑19 Pandemic
        • EPO Extends Most Deadlines in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

          The European Patent Office has announced that it will be extending some deadlines to 17 April 2020, and that this date may be further extended. The extension will apply to periods expiring on or after 15 March 2020. The extension would apply to some deadlines for both European applications and to international applications (i.e.,applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty) that are the subject of proceedings before the EPO.

          It is very important to note that not all deadlines will be extended according to the above remedy. The rules that determine whether the extension applies are, unfortunately, complex, and so we would not advise relying on this remedy unless necessary. The spirit of this law is to assist applicants where the disruption might prevent a deadline from being met, and so we would encourage that responses are filed in the normal time period if possible.

          In particular, this extension might not apply to deadlines for filing divisional applications or to the date for payment of some renewal fees.

        • COVID-19 IP Update

          IP Australia announces that extensions for due dates may be available, but adds that requests will likely require a declaration stating…

        • EU Commission Publishes Its White Paper on Artificial Intelligence: Will the EU Be (Again) a Rule Maker?

          Today, the European Commission (“Commission”) released a set of documents on Europe’s digital future. Alongside the Commissions’ communications on “Shaping Europe’s digital future” and “A European strategy for data,” the package also includes the much expected “White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) – A European approach to excellence and trust”1 (“Paper”).

          So what is the Paper about—or, rather, not about? First, and as it was anticipated, the Commission dropped—at least for now—the idea of a temporary ban on the use of facial recognition technologies in public spaces. This follows the concerns expressed by various stakeholders about such a prohibitive approach immediately following the leak of a draft version2 of the Paper, which mentioned the idea of a ban, in January this year.

        • Higher Regional Court Of Munich On The Requirements For The Reasons For A Preliminary Injunction In Patent Litigation – Change Of Previous Case Law (Judgment Of December 12, 2019 – Case 2 U 4009/19*) – “Leiterklemme”

          In patent litigation, the reasons for an injunction necessary for the issuance of a preliminary injunction generally require that the validity of the patent-in-suit may clearly be assessed in favor of the applicant.

          The question whether the validity of a patent-in-suit is sufficiently certain needs to be assessed based on the standard of a high probability. This may generally only be assumed if the patent-in-suit has already survived first instance opposition or nullity proceedings or if an exception applies (change of previous case law of Higher Regional Court of Munich, judgement of July 26, 2012, case 6 U 1260/12, BeckRS 2012, 16104; following case law of Higher Regional Court of Duesseldorf, judgment of December 14, 2017, 2 U 17/18, BeckRS 2017, 142305, and Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe, judgment of September 23, 2015, 6 U 52/15, GUR-RR 2015, 509 – Ausruestungssatz).

        • 2020: A Busy Year for CRISPR Patents at the EPO

          The EPO Board of Appeal’s recent revocation of the CRISPR-Cas9 patent, EP2771468 – belonging to the Broad Institute, Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – has garnered a great deal of attention since January. However, IP professionals interested in keeping up to speed with the technology’s patent landscape should also pay attention to several other important CRISPR applications going through the EPO opposition and appeals process this year.

          The Broad Institute and its collaborators were among the innovators working on CRISPR gene editing during its early development in 2012 and 2013. Thanks to a strategy of accelerating the prosecution of their related patent applications at the EPO, they were the first to get granted foundational CRISPR patents in Europe. And several patents other than EP2771468 are now at various stages of the opposition and appeal process.

          Importantly, these include EP2825654, which does not suffer from the fatal priority error that led to the revocation of EP2771468 by the Boards of Appeal. The opposition oral proceedings for this patent have been set for later this year, and the preliminary view of the opposition division is that the claimed subject-matter is not inventive, so there will be keen interest in what conclusion the opposition division reaches at the end of the oral proceedings.

        • Spanish innovation continues to grow, but it has a long way to go [Ed: Nope, innovation and patents are not the same thing]

          Spanish innovation continues to show signs of strength in 2019, according to the European Patent Office (EPO). Last year, patent applications grew 6% compared to the previous year and represented the fifth consecutive year with increases.

          However, the figures still are low. Huawei, which tops the list, registered more patents than all of Spain as a whole, according to the 2019 EPO Patent Index.

        • Safe Orthopaedics: European Patent Office Confirms Validity of Several Key Patents
        • Safe Orthopaedics: the European Patent Office Confirms the Validity of Several Key Patents

          To this day, the company holds a portfolio of nearly 100 delivered patents, covering mainly Europe, United States, China, Canada and Japan. In 2019, several patents for its inventions have been delivered in the United States (instruments kit: US 10,219,845 and preloaded screw: US 9,837,817, innovative pedicle screw: US 10,357,286), in Canada (logistics and traceability of products: CA 2,837,817) and in China on an innovative implant (CN106102617B). Furthermore, Safe Orthopaedics keeps innovating and extending its instrumentation range, with the filing of new patents for spine reduction systems in 2019.

        • Digital technologies drive European patent applications in 2019 – EPO

          New data from the European Patent Office (EPO) shows that digital technologies have taken the lead in patent applications filed for the first time in more than a decade.

        • European Patent Office Informally Announces Intended Extension

          The European Patent Office (EPO) has informally announced that it intends to extend all time limits to 17 April 2020 and that this date may be further extended. At this stage, it appears likely that this extension will apply to periods expiring on or after 15 March 2020. However, due to the informal nature of the announcement, we cannot confirm this date. The extension would apply to time limits for both European applications and to international applications (i.e., applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty) that are the subject of proceedings before the EPO.

          If a party has missed a time limit due to problems caused by COVID-19, legal remedies may be available in addition to those discussed above. Hence, if a deadline before 15 March 2020 has been missed, it still may be possible to respond and advice should be sought from a European patent attorney.

        • Valid Claiming Of Priority Rights In Patent Applications

          On 16 January 2020, the European Patent Office (EPO) Board of Appeal revoked a patent related to CRISPR/Cas9 technology (See), and in doing so delivered one of the most anticipated decisions (See) in the field of biotechnology patents in recent times. This gene-editing technology, which is the subject of a bitter battle for intellectual property rights between two rival parties – The Broad Institute and the University of California (UC), Berkeley, is revolutionizing research in biotechnology.

          The case concerned one of Broad Institute’s CRISPR patents, EP2771468, which was revoked owing to a jurisdictional difference in the interpretation of valid claiming of priority rights. The Broad Institute’s licensing strategy is likely to be compromised by this outcome, as UC Berkeley has already obtained a patent in Europe.

        • Artificial Intelligence: Can a machine be an inventor?

          After the European Patent Office (EPO) invited the applicant to remedy this deficiency, it received – within the stipulated timeframes – an inventor designation that named the inventor as the ‘DABUS machine’, which was described as: “a kind of connectionist artificial intelligence”.

          He subsequently explained that the real designer of the invention was the DABUS machine and that, as it had identified the novelty of its own idea before any human being had done so, it was also its inventor. As the machine’s owner, he argued, he was assigned any IP rights created by the machine.

        • What you need to know about patent extension rights in Israel

          Though it only has a modest domestic drug market, Israel is one of the world’s most important countries when it comes to pharmaceutical research and development, and is home to a plethora of small innovative life sciences companies, not to mention generic giant Teva. Per capita, its researchers file more patents at the EPO and USPTO than those form almost any other country, but understanding the national IP protections available is also important to the country’s innovators.


          The term of an Israeli PTE will be equal to the shortest extension period granted in the recognised countries (US and the EU-5). However, if the product is NOT marketed in any of the recognised countries, the PTE term will be equal to the length of the regulatory approval period in Israel.

          An Israeli PTE will not exceed 5 years and will not extend beyond 14 years from the date of the first marketing approval in the recognised countries.

          An Israeli PTE will expire upon the expiry (for any cause) of the first PTE/SPC granted to a reference patent, or the revocation of a reference patent in any recognised country. Moreover, changes in granted PTE/SPCs for a reference patent or in the status of reference patent in the recognised countries may affect the period of a PTE in Israel, even after the grant of the Israeli PTE.

        • Huawei Claims No 1 spot in European Patent Office Ranking 2019

          Patents help establishing a strong market position, thereby reducing competition for a brand. Furthermore, patent portfolios are also demonstrative of high level of technological capability, specialisation and expertise of a company.

          In that light, in a yet another feat, Huawei Technologies claims the top spot in the European Patent Office (EPO) ranking for 2019. In a recent report published by the EPO, Huawei has been ranked the top telecom company in Europe, with a maximum number of patents in 2019.

          The company ranking reflects the growing importance of digital technologies and Huawei’s leadership in the tech-innovation on a global scale. The report recorded as many as 3,524 patent last year, by Huawei, followed by other industry giants viz.

        • COVID-19 Intellectual Property Update – Important Deadlines Extended

          The Notice published by the EPO in the Official Journal has confirmed that many official deadlines have been extended until 17 April 2020. This extension also applies to many deadlines for international applications. Applicants and patent holders can check here with the EPO to find it which deadlines are affected (updates are regularly posted). The Notice recognises that Germany, in which the headquarters of the EPO are situated, “is experiencing restrictions on the movement and circulation of persons as well as certain services, exchanges and public life in general, which can be qualified as general dislocation within the meaning of Rule 134(2) EPC”. Rule 134(2) EPC provides that should a deadline expire on “a day on which there is a general dislocation in the delivery or transmission of mail in a Contracting State, the period shall extend to the first day following the end of the interval of dislocation for parties which are resident in the State”. In addition, as the State is one in which the EPO is located, the provision extends to all parties and their representatives.

        • COVID-19 Intellectual Property Update – Important Deadlines Extended
        • 2019 EPO Patent Report: Which Countries Top the Innovation Charts? [Ed: EPO PR just mirrored, actual journalism dead]

          The European Patent Office (EPO) revealed it received more than 181,000 patent applications in 2019, up 4% on 2018. The podium remains unchanged, both at global level (USA, Germany, Japan) and in Europe, with France and Switzerland behind the Germans. Digital communication and computer technology are the major growth sectors.

        • Obviousness-type double patenting spurs need for careful counsel

          Pharmaceutical companies in the US tell Managing IP that it’s important to have considered and knowledgeable law firm partners when tackling this increasingly challenging legal doctrine

        • IP Offices position on deadlines during the COVID-19 outbreak

          In light of the recent events in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the European Union and the measures taken by the different Member States, the EUIPO has decided to extend until 1st of May 2020 all time limits expiring between 9th March 2020 and 30th April 2020.

          The Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14th March, which declares the State of Alarm in order to manage the health crisis caused by COVID-19 in Spain, has suspended all time limits of proceedings before public bodies, which will be resumed as soon as said Royal Decree is no longer in force. This has been confirmed by the Spanish Patents and Trademarks Office through a decision issued yesterday by its Director. Nevertheless the SPTO points out that their electronic services are still available, and that the SPTO is analysing the possibility to enable the regular processing of certain proceedings in order to prevent the rights and interests of the parties from being significantly impaired.

          As for the European Patent Office, a notice published by said office in its website (which has not yet been published in the Official journal of the EPO) points out that all time limits expiring on or after the date of the publication of the notice will be extended to 17th April 2020.

        • Global IP Offices Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic
        • COVID-19: Patent and Trademark Office Updates as of March 24, 2020

          Miller Canfield is actively tracking the current status of operations of numerous Patent and Trademark Offices (PTOs) around the world in the light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Below is a chart that shows the status of various countries’ PTOs. This is current as of the date shown above, and we will regularly update the “Current Status” as we receive new information. You can access this chart and other helpful and substantive updates at our COVID-19 Resource Center. Please contact the authors or your Miller Canfield attorney for assistance.

        • JTI Ranks Among Top 100 for European Patent Applications

          JTI was one of the top 100 applicants at the European Patent Office (EPO), according to the EPO’s Patent Index 2019. The ranking cements the JT Group as a leader in innovation, particularly in the field of reduced-risk products, where patent filings more than doubled versus the previous year.

          JTI Intellectual Property Vice President, Stephane Hedarchet said, “Our position as one of the top applicants at the EPO demonstrates our commitment to innovation and is the result of extensive in-house research and development. We are constantly developing new technologies and products, notably for our Ploom and Logic vaping products, that better serve the needs of our consumers.”

        • JTI Ranks Among Top 100 for European Patent Applications
        • Software Patents

      • Trademarks

        • Scope Of Protection Of Weak Marks In Turkey

          In a decision published on 18 December 2019, the Turkish Court of Cassation (COC) ruled that trade marks inspired by descriptive words, which are not allowed to be monopolized, are weak trade marks and cannot be protected like trade marks with a high distinctiveness. Even small differences can make these trade marks distinctive, and owners of weak marks cannot oppose the registration of the same signs with different elements. Mutlu Yıldırım Köse explains

        • COVID-19 IP Update: Italy And The EUIPO

          The Italian Patent and Trademark Office issued a Decree providing for a stay of all official deadlines falling within 9 March and 3 April 2020. Many of the officers of the Italian Patent and Trademark Office are also working from remote to ensure the functionality of the system. The European Union Intellectual Property Office is currently operating as usual, although it continues to monitor developments and has postponed various events and meetings planned for March.

        • ‘Be aggressive and don’t give up’: defeating the serial trademark filer

          Lawyers at Britvic and others reveal their experiences with Michael Gleissner, the mysterious man who operates a large-scale trademark filing and opposition strategy

        • New Law On Trademarks And Geographical Indications

          A new law on trademarks and geographical indications took effect in Bulgaria.

          It changes national legislation Directive (EU) 2015/2436 of the European Parliament and of the Council of December 16, 2015 to approximate the laws of the EU member states with regards to trademarks, whilst the provisions on geographical indications are adjusted with Regulation (EU) No. 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs.

          The new law introduces important alterations with respect to certain aspects of trademark substantive and procedural law, including a new set of absolute and relative grounds for refusal and cancellation, some of which entrench the scope of the Directive (EU) 2015/2436.

      • Copyrights

        • Copyright Holders Continue to Report Fewer Piracy Links to Google Search

          Over the past year, copyright holders have asked Google to remove a little over 500 million URLs from its search engine. This is a 50% decrease compared to a few years ago when the company processed over a billion URLs in a year. At least in part, the decease is likely the result of Google’s anti-piracy measures.

        • YesPornPlease Restricts Access as PayPal & Cloudflare Are Asked to Unmask Operators

          Following a massive lawsuit filed by adult entertainment giant MG Premium, video site YesPornPlease temporarily shut itself down. It is now operating behind what appears to be geo-based blocking mechanism that promotes the use of a VPN. Meanwhile, MG Premium wants permission from the court to force several US-based service providers including Cloudflare and PayPal to reveal what they know about the site’s operators.

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 29, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:22 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now


Links 30/3/2020: Linux 5.6, Nitrux 1.2.7, Sparky 2020.03.1

Posted in News Roundup at 11:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • China’s plan to replace Windows with Linux gets closer

        China has been trying to develop an operating system of its own, but it has historically been not so successful so far. Moreover, China also had a couple of bad experiences with other companies, like when ZTE depended on the US for the processor or the infamous Huawei issue. This time, though, China might just have created the right operating system.

    • Server

      • Kubernetes 1.18 Improves Networking and Security for Cloud Native

        The open source Kubernetes platform has become the defacto standard for enabling cloud native application delivery.

        At its core, Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform, with organizations using it both on-premises and across both public and private cloud provides to deploy, schedule and manage container applications workloads. On March 25, Kubernetes 1.18 became generally available, as the second major release of Kubernetes in 2020, following the 1.17 update that came out on Jan.7.

      • Amazon Introduces Bottlerocket, a Linux-Based OS for Container Hosting [Ed: Modified article]

        Amazon has announced a new Linux-based open-source operating system (OS) called Bottlerocket, which is purpose-built to run containers. Bottlerocket is currently in public preview as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for customers to experiment with.

        The tech giant designed and optimized Bottlerocket specifically for use as a container host, and it comes with a single-step update mechanism. Furthermore, Bottlerocket only includes essential software to run containers. Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS, stated in a blog post on Bottlerocket…

      • CNCF tools: 5 hot open-source cloud solutions for your application stack

        Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is an open-source software collective that aims at making the adoption of cloud-native computing universal. CNCF is driven by a community of developers, end-users, and IT service providers that collaborate to create open-source, vendor-neutral tools. CNCF creates tools for projects that help boost the adoption of cloud-native computing. One such tool is Kubernetes that has singlehandedly changed the way workloads are hosted in the cloud. Kubernetes, which started as a project by Google, is now an official part of CNCF’s impressive and ever-growing cloud-native landscape. These projects are usually hosted on GitHub and help enterprises go cloud-native with ease. CNCF projects go through three phases under CNCF; Sandbox, Incubating, and Graduation. Let’s take a close look at five new CNCF tools that you should consider adding to your application stack.

      • Cloud Foundry spreads wings to cover KubeCF

        The Cloud Foundry Foundation has brought KubeCF under its wing as an incubating project, laying out a path for the full Cloud Foundry experience on Kubernetes.

        The announcement coincides with the release of v1.0.1 of KubeCF, which is an open source distribution of the Cloud Foundry Application Runtime (CFAR).

      • Top Container Management Platforms For Developers & Businesses

        Container management platforms are leveraged by developers to launch, test, and secure applications in resource-independent environments. Containers include components of applications, libraries, or collections of source code that can be used or deployed on demand.

        The container management platforms support users designate resources to optimise performance and balance system workloads. Companies utilise container management platforms to streamline container performance and to evade the complexities of system architectures. Given there are tens of container platforms presently available, in this article, we list the top ones that are most widely used, both free and subscription-based for enterprises-

      • Google launches Kubernetes-built ‘Game Servers’ beta for high-scalability cloud gaming backend

        Google today announced the availability of “Game Servers” in beta test mode, a managed service offering using a service called Agones, which is an open-source game server hosting and scaling project built on Kubernetes.

        Using Agones, game developers and publishers can provide critically needed servers for games to maintain great multiplayer experiences. Game developers now increasingly rely on dedicated severs in order to deliver lag-free and high-fidelity gameplay for connecting players, but scaling in these environments can be difficult.

        In order to open up choice and control for developers, Google said its Agones-based Game Servers will make it easier to deploy, manage and scale servers based on demand.

      • Google Teams Up with Solo.io to Extend Istio

        Google and Solo.io are now collaborating to make open source Istio service mesh more extensible by adding support for WebAssembly (WASM), which was created under the auspices of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and provides a portable target for compiling more than 30 high-level languages.

        Solo.io has been working to marry WASM with Envoy, an open source proxy server being developed under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). The Istio service mesh is built on top of Envoy, so now Google and Solo.io are working toward providing WASM support for Istio.

      • Portshift Announces Kubei Container Runtime Scanning Software with Launch of its Open Source Initiative

        Portshift, a leader in cloud-native workload protection, today introduced Kubei Open Source container scanning software. Kubei is a unique open source Kubernetes runtime images scanning solution, presented to invite developer collaboration for the hardening of runtime environments. Kubei identifies which pods were built from vulnerable images or contain newly discovered vulnerabilities, then it couples the Kubernetes information with vulnerability data for quick and easy remediation.

      • Container runtime scanning open source software launched by Portshift

        Portshift introduced Kubei Open Source container scanning software. Kubei is a unique open source Kubernetes runtime images scanning solution, presented to invite developer collaboration for the hardening of runtime environments. Kubei identifies which pods were built from vulnerable images or contain newly discovered vulnerabilities, then it couples the Kubernetes information with vulnerability data for quick and easy remediation.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 347

        Cloud, containers, and **cgmanager** from the **ap** software series.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E01 – Thirteen

        This week the band is back together. We’ve been bringing new life into the universe and interconnecting chat systems. Distros are clad in new wallpapers, Raspberry Pi’s are being clustered with MicroK8s and the VR game industry has been revolutionsed.

      • 4 Views on Linux Adoption

        4 Views on Linux Adoption In this video, we will be going over 4 points of view when it comes to Linux Adoption.

    • Kernel Space

      • The Best Features Of The Linux 5.6 Kernel From WireGuard To Y2038 Compatibility To USB4

        The Linux 5.6 stable kernel could be released as soon as tomorrow if Linus Torvalds is comfortable with its current state to avoid having an eighth weekly release candidate. Whether Linux 5.6 ends up being released tomorrow or next weekend, this kernel is bringing many exciting changes.

        We have our Linux 5.6 feature overview that was published at the end of the merge window for those wanting a lengthy look at all of the kernel highlights.

      • Linux 5.6
        So I'll admit to vacillating between doing this 5.6 release and doing
        another -rc.
        This has a bit more changes than I'd like, but they are mostly from
        davem's networking fixes pulls, and David feels comfy with them. And I
        looked over the diff, and none of it looks scary. It's just slightly
        more than I'd have preferred at this stage - not doesn't really seem
        worth delaying a release over.
        So about half the diff from the final week is network driver fixlets,
        and some minor core networking fixes. Another 20% is tooling - mostly
        bpf and netfilter selftests (but also some perf work).
        The rest is "misc" - mostly random drivers (gpio, rdma, input) and DTS
        files. With a smattering of fixes elsewhere (a couple of afs fixes,
        some vm fixes, etc).
        The shortlog is appended, nothing really looks all that exciting, and
        most of the discussions I've seen are already about things for the
        next merge window.
        Which obviously opens now as of the release, and I'll start doing
        pulls tomorrow. I already have a couple of pull requests in pending in
        my inbox - thank you.
        And while I haven't really seen any real sign of kernel development
        being impacted by all the coronavirus activity - I suspect a lot of us
        work from home even normally, and my daughter laughed at me and called
        me a "social distancing champ" the other day - it may be worth just
        mentioning: I think we're all reading the news and slightly
        distracted.  I'm currently going by the assumption that we'll have a
        fairly normal 5.7 release, and there doesn't seem to be any signs
        saying otherwise, but hey, people may have better-than-usual reasons
        for missing the merge window. Let me know if you know of some
        subsystem that ends up being affected.
        So we'll play it by ear and see what happens. It's not like the merge
        window is more important than your health, or the health of people
        around you.
      • Linux 5.6 Kernel Released With WireGuard, USB4, New AMD + Intel Hardware Support

        Linus Torvalds just announced the release of the Linux 5.6 stable kernel a few minutes ago. This also means the Linux 5.7 merge window is now open for business.

      • The 5.6 kernel has been released

        Linus has released the 5.6 kernel.

        Some of the headline features in this release include Arm EOPD support, time namespaces, the BPF dispatcher and batched BPF map operations (both described in this article), the openat2() system call, the WireGuard virtual private network implementation, the flow queue PIE packet scheduler, nearly complete year-2038 support, many new io_uring features, the pidfd_getfd() system call, the ZoneFS filesystem, the ability to implement TCP congestion-control algorithms in BPF, the dma-buf heaps subsystem, and the removal of the /dev/random blocking pool.

        See the LWN merge-window summaries (part 1 and part 2) and the (under construction) KernelNewbies 5.6 page for more details.

      • ‘Social distancing champ’ Linus Torvalds releases Linux 5.6, tells devs to put health before next release

        Linux overseer Linus Torvalds given the world version 5.6 of the Linux kernel, and been given the title “social distancing champ”.

        The latter accolade came from his daughter. But he’s tried to live the values it implies by telling the Linux community not to stress about the pace of kernel development.

        “I haven’t really seen any real sign of kernel development being impacted by all the coronavirus activity – I suspect a lot of us work from home even normally,” he wrote.

        “I’m currently going by the assumption that we’ll have a fairly normal 5.7 release, and there doesn’t seem to be any signs saying otherwise, but hey, people may have better-than-usual reasons for missing the merge window,” he added.

      • AMD Sensor Fusion Hub Laptop Driver Unlikely To Land For Linux 5.7

        While we were hoping to see the AMD Sensor Fusion Hub driver introduced in Linux 5.7 for improving the AMD Ryzen Linux laptop experience, that now looks quite unlikely.

        This driver has been sought after by AMD Linux laptop customers since 2018 for supporting the accelerometer, gyroscopic sensors, and other functionality on modern AMD laptops, similar to the Intel Sensor Hub. Patches for the AMD Sensor Fusion Hub (AMD-SFH) driver for Linux were posted in January and underwent a few rounds of review.

      • Amazon Engineer’s Patch For Flushing L1 Cache On Context Switching Revved

        Earlier this month there was the proposal by a Linux kernel engineer for Amazon to flush the L1 data cache on context switches as another safeguard against the ever increasing CPU vulnerabilities.

        The motivation for flushing the L1d cache on context switches is driven as a result of Intel’s data sampling vulnerabilities and this safeguard would be an opt-in feature for those paranoid about system security. Flushing the L1 cache would ensure the data is not being snooped or leaked following a context switch but with all of the cache flushing could significantly hamper the system performance.

      • HDR Display Support Coming To Some Intel Gen9 Graphics On Linux

        For the very common Intel “Gen9″ graphics found on pretty much all current pre-Icelake hardware that is available through retail channels, high dynamic range (HDR) display support could soon be enabled under Linux for a subset of devices.

      • Graphics Stack

        • RadeonSI Experimenting With Compute-Based Culling For Navi/GFX10

          The RadeonSI Gallium3D driver has been experimenting with compute-based culling for GFX10/Navi hardware.

          Well known open-source AMD OpenGL driver developer Marek Olšák has merged experimental support for compute-based culling. Marek simply noted, “This is an experimental feature that might be used in the future.”

        • Mesa’s Continuous Integration To Begin Seeing Testing Coverage For Wine / DXVK

          In hopefully meaning less regressions moving forward for DXVK with the latest open-source Vulkan drivers, the Mesa continuous integration (CI) infrastructure saw support added for playing DirectX (DXGI) traces with DXVK/Wine.

          Consulting firm Igalia under contract for Valve added support for APITrace with DXGI traces to the Mesa CI.

        • Collabora working on making any DirectX 12 driver able to support open graphics and parallel programming APIs

          DirectX is Microsoft’s proprietary hardware-accelerated graphics API for Windows; OpenGL is a cross-platform graphics API; and OpenCL is a cross-platform framework for parallel programming on CPUs and GPUs. Although there are Windows OpenCL and OpenGL drivers for many GPUs, the extent of support varies, and the DirectX implementation may be better optimised. The mapping layers will be delivered as enhancements to the open-source Mesa 3D project, for which Microsoft will provide a new DirectX 3D 12 (D3D12) backend.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ubuntu 18.04 vs. 20.04 LTS Performance Preview With Intel Xeon Scalable

        There is less than one month to go until the official release of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” but we’ve already begun experimenting with it for weeks across a variety of platforms. For the most part we have found Ubuntu 20.04 slated to offer some nice performance improvements, especially if upgrading from the existing LTS series, Ubuntu 18.04. In this article are our initial benchmarks looking at the Intel Xeon Scalable from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to the current 20.04 near-final state.

    • Applications

      • 50+ Essential Linux Apps[2020] for your Linux Distro

        Best Linux Apps 2020: Welcome to Tec Robust. This article is going to be a long stretch of best and essential Linux Applications 2020 for your Linux Distribution. It covers applications for Distros such as Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE, CentOS, Elementary OS, Zorin OS, Debian, Kubuntu, and more. Without any more delay, we will get into the article. Equip your Linux with the best applications listed down here.

      • Install Zoom In Linux Based Operating System

        The world is dealing with coronavirus pandemic. Every nation around the globe is asking its people to stay at home and work from home.

        Many companies are already asking their employees to stay at home and work from home to avoid coronavirus infection.

        Well, there are many tools that you might need while working from home and one of those tools is a video conferencing tool. There are many video conferencing tools available on the internet. Some of them are free and some of them not.

      • Navi – An Interactive Commandline Cheatsheet Tool

        A while ago, we posted some good alternatives to Linux man pages. Those tools skips all theoretical part and gives concise Linux command examples. If you are a lazy Linux user who wants some practical examples for a Linux command, they would definitely help. Today, we will see a similar tool named Navi. Navi is an interactive commandline cheatsheet tool written in Rust. Just like Bro pages, Cheat, Tldr tools, Navi also provides a list of examples for a given command, skipping all other comprehensive text parts.

      • ScreenCloud is an open source image capturing tool that can optionally upload images to Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Imgur

        We have reviewed many screen capturing tools at gHacks including Ksnip, Automatic Screenshotter, Auto Screen Capture, Ashampoo’s Snap 11, or Martin’s favorite program PicPick.


        To finalize it, copy and paste the authorization code generated by the cloud service into the box that the program opened for connecting to your account. You may choose the screenshot naming pattern such as Screenshot at %H-%M-%S representing the time (hours, minutes, seconds) when the screenshot was taken. The result will be something like Screenshot at 19-45-00. Select the folder name that the application should save content to, and whether you want it to copy the public link to the clipboard after the uploading process has been completed.

        Hit the save button and you’re all set to use it.

        The application isn’t portable. The lack of a crop tool in ScreenCloud’s editor was a slight let down for me, but this is intended to be a basic screen capturing tool, besides I’m too used to ShareX’s options.

      • BleachBit 3.9.0 Beta

        Designed for Linux and Windows systems, it wipes clean thousands of applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, and more. Beyond simply deleting files, BleachBit includes advanced features such as shredding files to prevent recovery, wiping free disk space to hide traces of files deleted by other applications, and vacuuming Firefox to make it faster. Better than free, BleachBit is open source.

      • MP4Tools is an open source set of utilities for merging or splitting video files

        Note: The application kept crashing when the play button was used. But it works just fine when adding split points, and the split process was successful. I’m not sure why it crashed, especially since the preview panel displayed the frames of the split points correctly. A quick search on the program’s SourceForge page revealed a similar issue reported by a user. This suggests that it could be a bug in the latest version.


        Both programs in the MP4Tools suite use FFMPEG for encoding videos. MP4Tools is a 32-bit software. It is available for Windows and macOS. Linux users will have to compile it from the source code. It is not a portable application.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine-Staging 5.5 Released With 850+ Patches Atop Wine

        Following Friday’s release of Wine 5.5, Wine-Staging 5.5 is now available as the experimental blend of Wine with some 850+ patches atop the upstream code-base with various features in testing.

        New to Wine-Staging 5.5 is proper handling of long path/file names (greater than 128 characters) that affected some games like Magic: The Gathering Online. Wine-Staging 5.5 also has a fix for Winemenubuilder in properly respecting existing defaults for file-type associations, which stems from a bug report four years ago when Notepad became the default TXT file handler for a user.

    • Games

      • SteamOS Isn’t Dead, Just Sidelined; Valve Has Plans To Go Back To Their Linux-Based OS

        It’s big news for any PC gamer that has been frustrated with Microsoft’s erroneous-laden grip on operating systems for as far back as 1995; with it comes a monumental blow to privacy, not to mention mere control of your PC; updates have a tendency to start when they want to, new OS licenses must be purchased if you change hardware configurations, and applications that Microsoft doesn’t want you using are notoriously finicky to get working.

        Of course, users can simply switch over to Linux if they have had their fill of Microsoft. That switch comes with a slew of changes, however, and dropping reliable applications is a part of the grieving process that must take place when attempting to switch over your OS. Linux does host a plethora of open-source tools that can take the place of past applications; GIMP in lieu of Photoshop, for example. Yet the old applications are never truly replaced 1 for 1; it’s more of a bandage than anything else.

        Even with WINE and other techniques developed over the years to help users with Linux use Windows software, there are plenty of pitfalls and inconveniences that stymie any attempts to maintain Linux over Windows.

      • Lutris 0.5.5 Linux Game Manager Adds Humble Bundle Support, Initial VKD3D Support

        Lutris 0.5.5 is out today as the newest version of this Linux game manager to assist in installing both native and emulated games on Linux. Lutris continues to expand the scope of its “runners” for improving the Linux gaming experience.

        While the version 0.5.5 number may not seem like a big deal, there is actually a lot to find with the Lutris 0.5.5 update. Among the changes with Lutris 0.5.5 are:

        - Initial support for Humble Bundle integration.

      • Try out ‘Critters for Sale’, an exhilarating short horror visual novel with two episodes out now

        The absolutely exhilarating short horror visual novel Critters for Sale, which was originally released the first day of 2019, had its second chapter (“Goat”) available for some time (Jun 2019, actually). Considering how such a hidden gem it is I was going to write about it, but Liam ended up doing it first in this GOL article.


        It still maintains the same fever-dream like visuals, game mechanics and layout, consisting on a left HUD with some key information, a central upper section where all the images and animations are displayed, along with some point and click elements, and finally a center lower section where you see the dialogues and options to advance the story in the available directions. However, regarding the premise, now it features other characters and a different setting, but since this is one of those games where the less you know the better, I will only say that although we’re only grasping the surface of the whole mystery, and while the tone of the story still keeps a personal scope, at this point it’s clear that those responsible for the plot’s main threat not only have enough power to influence the entire world, but also directly encompass the whole history of mankind…

      • ‘Discover my Body’ is a 10 minute long free body-horror minigame about transhumanism and social alienation

        Although there isn’t much more context, given the title’s incredibly short length, the plot of Discover my Body takes place twenty years in the future, in a dystopian society where a strange medical procedure was developed to enhance human consciousness, which is being used by people to escape their miseries and existential despair. You play as a medical student who will be examining this process on the character that you’ll be interacting with, and for that purpose, you’ll be assigned a scanner to look for and inspect specific instances of the procedure’s evolution on this patient’s body.

        I must confess that I “hated” this guy for all his deviancy. It’s one of those characters that you would like to stab repeatedly, only to find out that it’s futile, because he would be enjoying the torment. And while you might think that I disliked the game because of this fact… on the contrary! It’s the living proof that the developer got it right. Apparently reminiscent of David Cronemberg’s horror filmography, Discover my Body is a title that with incredibly minimal elements manages to feel nihilistic and repulsive, and while you never get to see it, you won’t help but imagine how horrific and miserable that futuristic world must be, with any remnant of human dignity and decency absolutely obliterated.

      • Get ready to fail with bridge-building physics as ‘Poly Bridge 2′ has been announced

        Poly Bridge from back in 2016 turned out to be quite a hit, and it’s coming back for another run with Poly Bridge 2 being recently announced for release this year.

        Featuring new levels, new game mechanics, a special custom deterministic physics engine along with an apparently soothing soundtrack as you attempt to build bridges and inevitably watch them crumble into nothing as they fall under the weight of various vehicles.

      • Spies & Soldiers is an upcoming asynchronous online low-fantasy strategy game needing testers

        Currently in development by Ghostbat Games, with a release date scheduled currently for sometime around October, Spies & Soldiers looks like a fun two-player head-to-head asynchronous online strategy game.

      • Thorium Entertainment dig up some new late-game content for UnderMine out now

        UnderMine, the action-adventure rogue-lite brimming with secrets from developer Thorium Entertainment and publisher Fandom, has opened a mysterious new area called the Othermine in the latest update.

        The game follows peasants on a journey into the world below, as they search for both fortune and freedom. You dig deeper and deeper in search of treasures, while also dealing with lots of pesky creatures and some pretty huge boss encounters. When one character meets their unfortunate end, the pick-axe is passed onto another and the cycle begins again. It’s a fun mixture of rogue-lite mechanics, dungeon crawling and action.

        With the Othermine open, it adds in a ton of late-game content for players who’ve conquered the first few areas. They say this mode brings “genuine roguelike design and endless replayability”. After reaching the end of the fourth zone and providing the Gatekeeper with a Nether, peasants can enter the Othermine. With no gold and only base stats, you must rely on a randomized assortment of upgrades, relics, curses, blessings, and familiars to overcome this brand new challenge.

      • Wreckfest | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.04 | Steam Play

        Wreckfest running through Steam Play (Proton 5.0-4) Runs great, all online. Using a PS4 Controller.

      • Trailer Trashers is a perfect couch multiplayer twin-stick party game out now

        Trailer Trashers is a twin-stick local multiplayer shooter from Sakari Games that released this week, it’s their first Linux game and it turns out it’s the perfect amount of ridiculous. Note: Key from the developer.

        It’s a fast-paced shooter with a couple different modes, my favourite being Shotgun Soccer because it’s just absurd. Bullets in all modes bounce off the walls but in this one you’re trying to push a ball into the opposing goal using your shotgun bullets. It gets quite intense and pretty hilarious.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Raspberry Pi Smart TV: Plasma Bigscreen Project Offers Open-Source UI

          With many people stuck at home, the desire for an at-home media center is greater than ever. But what if you could add an open-source user interface (UI), or ditch the one built into your TV, with the help of Raspberry Pi? With Plasma Bigscreen, a new AI voice and KDE open-source development released this week, it’s possible to use your Raspberry Pi 4 as a center of your media hub.

          “Plasma Bigscreen powers the interface on a single-board computer and uses the Mycroft AI voice assistant to provide a smart TV platform,” it says on KDE.org. “Plasma Bigscreen will deliver not only media-rich applications, but also traditional desktop applications redesigned to fit the Bigscreen experience.

        • Plasma Bigscreen Is A New Smart TV Experience Powered By Raspberry Pi 4 And KDE

          Smart TVs are becoming more and more complete computers, but unfortunately there the experience tends to be a tight walled garden between proprietary platform, services and privacy-infringing features. Features which are very cool, like voice control, but in order to not pose a threat to the user privacy should be on a free software stack and depending less on proprietary cloud platforms where possible.

          Plasma Bigscreen is just entering Beta, and is currently available to download and install on the Raspberry Pi 4. On paper, it looks incredible promising for a few reasons:

        • Mirrors for kdenlive-20.04-beta1-x86_64.appimage
        • Kdenlive 20.04 Beta Released With Continuing To Improve The Open-Source Video Editor

          Open-source video editors over the years have generally fallen well short of the stability and feature set offered by proprietary video editing solutions but in recent years at least there has been some measurable progress to the likes of Kdenlive and OpenShot. Out this weekend for testing is the Kdenlive 20.04 beta.

          Kdenlive 20.04 is being prepared as part of the “KDE Applications” 20.04 milestone for next month. For those wanting to help in spotting any last minute bugs, the Kdenlive 20.04 beta is available. For easy convenience across distributions, the AppImage is available of this first Kdenlive 20.04 beta.

        • Season of KDE 2020 and GSOC

          The first thing that one has to do before beginning to contribute to an organization is to build the code of the application from the source. And if this is the first time a person is building an app then he/she should be ready to do a lot of googling and praying for the CMake to compile successfully.

          Kdenlive works with the help of a lot of dependencies and libraries. For the CMake to compile properly the system should have all these libraries installed in it.

          First things first, I got the Kdenlive source code from the GitLab instance of KDE, invent.kde.org. It is always best to checkout from the master to a new branch to prevent committing incorrect changes and spoiling your whole branch. Then I created a build file and ran the CMake code. This returned a LOT of errors when the required libraries and dependencies were not found in my system. Most of the errors were solved when the following command was executed:

        • This week in KDE: The calm before the storm (of new features)

          This week we worked really hard on a lot of important backend stuff that’s not so user-visible but will pay dividends down the road, such as launching applications using cgroup slices. We also did a ton of work on the Breeze Evolution project, however most of it is still in heavy development and not ready to be announced. It should trickle in during subsequent weeks, but until then, have a look at what did get landed…

        • KDE Developers Wrap Up March By Working On Back-End Improvements

          This week in KDE land there weren’t too many new features introduced but a lot of low-level work to foster future features.

          Some of what did come about over the past week includes:

          - Easier switching of time zones from the clock applet.

          - Support for launching applications in Cgroup slices.

        • RSIBreak 0.12.12 released!

          All of you that are in using a computer for a long time should use it!

        • KDE in app stores

          If you use KDE software, there is a good chance you’re on a Linux distribution and you download the software from your distribution’s repositories. But the fact is you can get KDE software from a number of sources on different platforms. As project coordinator for KDE e.V. helping with KDE Goals, I was tasked to look at app download statistics. Join me in my quest to understand how popular KDE apps are in various app stores.

        • New Icon theme

          Like everyone else, I am also in quarantine, and during this quarantine I got closer to the program that I love, inkscape. I started to make smartphone mockups again, which I published on my Instagram profile (maybe I will also make posts here). But I started a new icon theme , since I have many free hours a day, I have a lot of time to devote to this project.

        • This month in KDE Web: March 2020

          This month KDE web developers worked on updating more websites and some progress was made in a new identity provider and a lot of other exiting stuff and a lot of background work was also done.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • TIL Wayfire Supports Background Window Blur in GTK Apps

          One longstanding complaint I hear about modern day GTK apps is that they don’t like anywhere near as fancy as their macOS, Windows, iOS and even KDE Plasma counterparts.

          And a big reason for that is the lack of blur effect support in Mutter (and GNOME Shell at large, though yes: this is changing).

          Thing is, next-gen window compositors based on the Wayland stack are already capable of doing more than just ‘showing’ windows on the screen.

        • An introduction to GNOME shell extensions

          GNOME has a sleek interface, designed to support your work while being out of your way when possible. These considerations depend on your preferences. Some people want all the graphics and the icons, some wants to minimize distractions while remembering how to run stuff with keyboard shortcuts. A known issue is that GNOME has taken away the application menu that is common in other systems. you can add an extension to add it yourself. You write extensions for GNOME in JavaScript, though there are times when you can link to other languages. Because you use JavaScript, you can also use CSS packages such as Bootstrap.

          What are the extensions changing?

          This may seem like an irrelevant question but as you start troubleshooting, you need to know this. Any extension is actually adding code to the gnome-shell. Due to this, your desktop will crash due to a bad extension so test carefully before trusting any code. It is a good idea to remember this both when you are installing other people’s extensions and when you are coding yourself.

          You can learn how to make an extension quickly if you know JavaScript and you follow the documentation at the GNOME wiki. You can start by using the standard tools which create the required files for you. There are only two required files, though, so creating them yourself is not a big task.

        • Marcus Lundblad: Maps in GNOME 3.36

          There’s been quite a while since the last blog post. Since then 3.36.0 was released, and also the first update for the stable 3.36 branch, 3.36.1 has been released.

          As I’ve written about before one of the main features in 3.36 is the support for trip planning for public transit using third party services, as shown here from Paris…

    • Distributions

      • A Beginners Guide to Linux

        The Linux operating system offers a rich mix of features and security that make it a great free and (mostly) open-source alternative to macOS and Microsoft Windows. Because it’s different “under the hood,” consider some of the big-picture aspects of Linux and how it compares to the other desktop operating systems, before you take the plunge.

      • [Older] 5 Linux Distributions for Windows 7 Users

        While you may not find the same applications or tools on Linux – the user interface is what will make you feel comfortable using the OS.

        So, in this article, I shall mention only the distributions that resemble the look and feel of Windows (to some extent, at least).

        Once, you’re done choosing what you want – you can simply take a look around for the essential applications available on Linux, installing themes, and a lot of similar resources available in our portal.

      • Reviews

        • Arcolinux – Too much, too little

          Walking the Tux road, one system at a time. A short while back, I thought a departure from the proven mainstream dozen distros would do me some fresh good. So I grabbed Solus OS, I tested Peppermint, and now, I’d like to embark on an Arch adventure.

          Previously known as ArchMerge, Arcolinux is a distro that obeys Monty Python’s rule of three. Three shall be the number of versions, and the number of desktop environments shall be three. Not two, not four. ArcoLinux has the main edition plus D and B builds for tinkerers. I opted for the Xfce-clad 19.12 release. Without further ado, let’s see what gives.


          I am struggling to reconcile with the polar brilliance of the Linux desktop. Even now, some 15+ years since I started using it, I haven’t gotten used to it. You get something really cool, and then a bunch of random cosmic events that ruin the experience. And this is because most distros aren’t designed with the end user in mind, and they have no product awareness.

          Arcolinux has some interesting points. But this ain’t new, radical or special. You can pick any distro, and it will do something significantly better than others. Then, it will also fail three or five basic things that ordinary folks expect. And most distros have this problem – they do not address the most mundane activities or needs that one wants in a desktop. Arcolinux was fast, it did all right on the connectivity front, but it’s quite rough around the edges, and if you deviate from the dark-theme unicorn, the session loses all traces of fun. Which is not how it’s meant to be. If you want to test something a bit avant-garde, and Arch-based at this, perhaps you want to look at Arcolinux. For me, this is a classic manifestation of a much wider problem in the Linux space, and once again, sadness rules supreme at the end of the short review.

      • New Releases

        • LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2.2 Hotfix

          LibreELEC 9.2.2 (Leia) is a Hotfix release just for the x86_64 Generic (PC, AMD, Intel, NVIDIA …) image.
          It includes a fix for the missing sound at Intel based systems (mainly NUC) due an Linux Kernel bug.
          This is just for the Generic image as the fix only targeting this platform.

        • 4MLinux 33.0 BETA released.

          4MLinux 33.0 BETA is ready for testing. Basically, at this stage of development, 4MLinux BETA has the same features as 4MLinux STABLE, but it provides a huge number of updated packages.

        • Changelog: Nitrux 1.2.7

          Today is the day! — Nitrux 1.2.7 is available to download

          We are pleased to announce the launch of Nitrux 1.2.7. This new version brings together the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and ready-to-use hardware support.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Calls the Linux World to Help Fight the New Coronavirus

          The idea of the online event is to bring the Linux world together in order to improve the way Debian can help the health industry fight against the new coronavirus, and Debian says anyone can contribute with bug triage, testing, documentation, CI, translations, packaging, and code contributions.

          “You can also contribute directly to the upstream packages, linked from the Debian Med COVID-19 task page at [covid-19-packages]. Note: many biomedical software packages are quite resource limited, even compared to a typical FOSS project. Please be kind to the upstream author/maintainers and realize that they may have limited resources to review your contribution. Triaging open issues and opening pull requests to fix problems is likely to be more useful than nitpicking their coding style,” the Debian developers explain.

        • Debian announces COVID-19 Biohackathon

          The Debian platform has many ‘Pure Blends’ available, which are distributions specifically designed to serve the requirements of a specific topic. For example, there is Ubuntu Studio, a version of Ubuntu, particularly for content creation. Or Fedora Labs.

          The team of Debian Med (medical-related Debian variation) has announced a ‘COVID-19 Biohackathon’ between 5 April and 11 April to help with the pandemic that has depredated the world.

        • Biohackathon: GNU/Linux Debian Join Hands To Fight COVID-19

          According to Telegraph, one-fifth of the world’s population is under lockdown in the fight against the COVID-19. Consequently, almost all domains of technology have come forward to help. Open-source giants like OpenSUSE have also started various initiatives to offer support for medical devices and tools.

          Along the same lines, yesterday, the open-source Debian Med team announced the launch of the online Biohackathon for students. The Med team also requested Debian developers to participate and contribute to improving biomedical free and open-source software.

        • Sparky 2020.03.1

          New iso images of Sparky 2020.03.1 of the (semi-)rolling line have been generated.

        • Sparky Linux 2020.03.1 ISO Images Now Available for Download

          The developing team working on Sparky Linux has just announced that new ISO images for version 2020.03.1 of the (semi-)rolling line are now available for download.

          And of course, there are no breaking changes in this release, but only a minor update for the live and install media for Sparky Linux.

          There are technically three important improvements that are part of this new release, as it follows.

          First and foremost, all packages are now updated from the Debian testing repos dated March 27, 2020, so you’re also getting tons of fixes as part of this release.

          Then, the update fixes an issue that blocked booting Sparky 2020.03 that was previously copied on an USB flash drive. This was a particularly inconvenient bug affecting those who used USB media to boot Sparky Linux, so after updating to this version, everything should be working just as expected.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Smart cards login on Ubuntu

          Smart cards have proliferated and are now everywhere, from work ID badges to credit cards and passports. For example, the United States Federal Government uses smart cards to control access to federal facilities and information systems because they offer an extra layer of security and respond to strict government guidelines. If used in a company, these will provide identity confirmation, verification that data has not been changed, and confidentiality via encryption.

          This whitepaper will provide information on how to configure Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to operate with a smart card to provide multi-factor authentication when logging into the system both locally and remotely. For the purposes of this whitepaper, a PIVKey smart card is used as an example since they are readily accessible and contain a few basic credentials.

        • The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Ubuntu Linux

          Before you install Ubuntu on top of your current operating system, it’s a good idea to try it out first. There are various ways to try Ubuntu, and the following guides will help: [...]

        • [Old] Try Ubuntu before you install it

          Running Ubuntu directly from either a USB stick or a DVD is a quick and easy way to experience how Ubuntu works for you, and how it works with your hardware. Most importantly, it doesn’t alter your computer’s configuration in any way, and a simple restart without the USB stick or DVD is all that’s needed to restore your machine to its previous state.

          With a live Ubuntu, you can do almost anything you can from an installed Ubuntu:

        • Do Ubuntu’s Bespoke Changes Make a Separate GNOME OS More Likely?

          In the second part of his take on “what’s wrong with the free desktop app ecosystem and how we can fix it”, Tobias spotlight’s Ubuntu’s divergence from the upstream defaults as symptom of hurdles placed in front of developers who want to target the GNOME experience.

          With GNOME desktop designers and developers (upstream) and the Linux distros shipping it (downstream) often pulling in different directions the ‘target’ developers should try to aim for is, well, a little less clear.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • ASSIA Joins prpl Foundation to Make a Vendor-Neutral Wi-Fi Management Ecosystem a Reality

        Adaptive Spectrum and Signal Alignment, Inc. (ASSIA®) the market-leading supplier of AI-driven broadband and Wi-Fi optimization software, announced its official involvement in the prpl Foundation, an open-source, community-driven, not-for-profit consortium with a focus on enabling the security and interoperability of embedded devices for the smart society of the future. ASSIA makes it possible for service providers’ Wi-Fi management solutions to work with any Wi-Fi router and middleware solution and interoperate, scale, and evolve with technology and standards.

      • Google polishes platinum Cloud Foundry membership badge as foundation takes KubeCF under its wing

        Cloud Foundry, an open-source foundation dedicated to a cloud-oriented application platform, is now incubating the KubeCF project, and has also welcomed Google upgrading its membership to platinum – the highest level.

        Google has been a member of Cloud Foundry since January 2017, but platinum membership represents a higher level of commitment. Google’s Jennifer Phillips, head of Open Source Programs, is to be on the foundation’s board of directors. The other platinum members are Dell EMC, IBM, SAP, SUSE and VMware.

      • The Apache® Software Foundation Celebrates 21 Years of Open Source Leadership

        The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today its 21st Anniversary.

      • The state of open source contribution through the lens of Hacktoberfest

        In 2019, DigitalOcean and the open source community celebrated the sixth annual Hacktoberfest, an inclusive community event that inspires open source participation and maintenance. It was an exciting year with record-breaking numbers of pull requests, participants, and events around the world. From the start, our goal has always been to encourage all types of people, from seasoned developers to total newcomers, to get more involved with open source, all while promoting DigitalOcean’s longstanding values of simplicity, community, and love.

        We recapped Hacktoberfest 2019 on our blog, but in honor of the 22nd anniversary of open source, we decided to dive into the results of our annual participant survey within the context of our seasonal Currents report on the state of open source. This year, we revamped the Hacktoberfest survey to better understand what it means to the community, as well as their involvement with open source projects, key motivators for participating, and more. So how did the community do? Here are some findings.

      • Open source platforms, flexible airframes for new drones

        Multirotor drones excel at vertical lift and hover, while fixed wing drones are great at both distance and wide-open spaces. In February, Auterion Government Solutions and Quantum-Systems announced a two-pronged approach to the rotor- or fixed-wing drone market, with a pair of drones that use the same sensor packages and fuselage to operate as either the Scorpion Trirotor or the Vector fixed wing craft.

        “As we started to develop our tactical UAS Platform, our plan was only to develop a VTOL fixed wing solution (like our Vector),” said Florian Siebel, managing director of Quantum-Systems. “During the development process we decided to build a Tri-Copter Platform as well, as a result of many discussions with law enforcement agencies and Search and Rescue Units.”
        Adapting the fixed-wing fuselage to the tri-copter attachments means the drone can now operate in narrow spaces and harsh conditions. Scorpion, with the rotors, can fly for about 45 minutes, with a cruising speed of zero to 33 mph. Put the fixed wings back on for Vector, and the flight time is now two hours, with a cruising speed of 33 to 44 mph.

      • IEEE Standards Association Launches a Platform for Open Source Collaboration
      • Greg Smith on the strengths and drawbacks of open source software

        There are a lot of tire models available in the world. Most are closed source (or black box), meaning the program code behind them is not available to end users. This is understandable as the code can easily be licensed and its development paid for. Everyone’s got to make a living! This approach, however, makes it much harder to get the best out of the models – if you can’t see their internal workings, it’s harder to maximize their usefulness.

        Other models, such as Magic Formula, are effectively open source, with the equations published in books and journal papers. This means that anyone (if they invest the time) can build and use their own Magic Formula solvers and, in the process, learn the details of how the model works.

        In April 2015, during a session at the 4th International Tire Colloquium at Surrey University, UK, the general idea of open sourcing was discussed. In attendance were various figures from the commercial tire model development community, representatives from car and tire companies who use the models, and a large group of academics involved in more fundamental research. Issues were raised regarding everything from intellectual property concerns and licensing through to technical advances, development strategies and training. Boiling all this down, most discussions centered on one of two approaches.

      • First open-source AI for driverless agricultural vehicles
      • Huawei announced AI Computing Framework MindSpore as Open Source

        During the Huawei 2020 Developer Conference continues online, bringing the latest progress of The Wei Peng and Yan Teng Ecology. According to the agenda of the meeting, the first day of the developer conference (March 27) will focus on Peng Peng, the next day (March 28) will focus on The Teng.

      • New Chinese open-source AI platform launched

        Megvii Technology Limited has announced the launch of a new open-source artificial intelligence platform for developers, Shanghai Daily learned on Thursday.

        Other firms offering such platforms include tech giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Baidu.

      • Open-source AI infrastructure to boost innovation in China

        From smart fever-screening at subway stations to scan-reading diagnosis, artificial intelligence (AI) is on the frontline of China’s battle against the novel coronavirus.

        Behind the smart systems are deep-learning frameworks that emulate the way the human brain learns, like recognizing patterns and coping with ambiguity.

      • Megvii makes deep learning AI framework open-source as China moves to reduce reliance on US platforms
      • Noble.AI Contributes to TensorFlow, Google’s Open-Source AI Library and the Most Popular Deep Learning Framework

        Noble.AI, whose artificial intelligence (AI) software is purpose-built for engineers, scientists, and researchers and enables them to innovate and make discoveries faster, today announced that it had completed contributions to TensorFlow, the world’s most popular open-source framework for deep learning created by Google.

      • Google open-sources framework that reduces AI training costs by up to 80%

        Google researchers recently published a paper describing a framework — SEED RL — that scales AI model training to thousands of machines. They say that it could facilitate training at millions of frames per second on a machine while reducing costs by up to 80%, potentially leveling the playing field for startups that couldn’t previously compete with large AI labs.

      • A case study: Improving patient outcomes with Open Source

        South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) provides the widest range of NHS mental health services in the UK with 52 inpatient wards, outpatient, and community services. As recognition of their digital accomplishments, SLaM have been awarded GDE (Global Digital Exemplar) status.

        Following a two-year pilot of Open-eObs software, the trust had proven the long-term benefits of an open source approach and needed a supplier to further drive their digital ambition.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Karl Dubost: Week notes – 2020 w13 – worklog – everything is broken

            Coronavirus had no impact on my working life for now. The same as usual.

            Mozilla is working well in a distributed team.


            We had an issue with the new form design. We switched to 100% of our users on March 16, 2020. but indeed all the bugs received didn’t get the label that they were actually reporting with the new form design. Probably only a third got the new form.

            So that was the state when I fell asleep on Monday night. Mike pushed the bits a bit more during my night and opened.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 6.4.3 Release Candidate Version 1 Released Today!

          LibreOffice 6.4.3 RC1 Released: LibreOffice is one of the best open-source text editors. LibreOffice comes as default application release of Linux OS. LibreOffice is developed by Team Document Foundation. Today they announced that the LibreOffice 6.4.3 RC1 version has been released. As per their calendar, LibreOffice 6.4.3 RC1 has been released exactly on today!. This RC1 version has many bugs fixes and tweaks in essential features.

      • Funding

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Unifont 13.0.01 Released

            Unifont 13.0.01 is now available. This is a major release. Significant changes in this version include the addition of these new scripts in Unicode 13.0.0:
            U+10E80..U+10EBF: Yezidi, by Johnnie Weaver
            U+10FB0..U+10FDF: Chorasmian, by Johnnie Weaver
            U+11900..U+1195F: Dives Akuru, by David Corbett
            U+18B00..U+18CFF: Khitan Small Script, by Johnnie Weaver
            U+1FB00..U+1FBFF: Symbols for Legacy Computing, by Rebecca Bettencourt

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Gresecurity maker finally coughs up $300k to foot open-source pioneer Bruce Perens’ legal bill in row over GPL

            After three years of legal wrangling, the defamation lawsuit brought by Brad Spengler and his company Open Source Security (OSS) against open-source pioneer Bruce Perens has finally concluded.

            It was clear that the end was nigh last month when California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling against the plaintiffs.

            Spengler and OSS sued Perens for a June 2017 blog post in which Perens ventured the opinion that grsecurity, Open Source Security’s Linux kernel security enhancements, could expose customers to potential liability under the terms of the General Public License (GPL).

            OSS says that customers who exercise their rights to redistribute its software under the GPL will no longer receive software updates – the biz wants to be paid for its work, a problem not really addressed by the GPL. Perens, the creator of the open-source definition, pointed out that section six of the GPLv2 prohibits modifications of the license terms.

          • Elizabeth Warren for President open-sources its 2020 campaign tech
          • Open Source Tools From the Warren for President Tech Team

            In our work, we leaned heavily on open source technology — and want to contribute back to that community. So today we’re taking the important step of open-sourcing some of the most important projects of the Elizabeth Warren campaign for anyone to use.

          • Open Source Fonts Are Love Letters to the Design Community

            Font families can sell for hundreds of dollars. Gotham, a popular typeface used by President Barack Obama’s campaign and many others, costs nearly $1,000 to license a complete set of 66 different styles. But The League of Moveable Type, gives all of its fonts away for free. What’s more, it makes them open source, so that other people can modify the fonts and make their own versions of them.

            And people have. Raleway, designed by Matt McInerney and released in 2010, was expanded from a single weight into a family with nine weights, from “thin” to bold to “black,” each with matching italics, in 2012 by Pablo Impallari, Rodrigo Fuenzalida, and Igino Marini. It’s now one of the most popular font families on Google Fonts, a collection of free fonts hosted by the search giant.

      • Public Services/Government

        • Singapore to open-source national Coronavirus encounter-tracing app and the Bluetooth research behind it

          The app, named TraceTogether and its government is urging citizens to run so that if they encounter a Coronavirus carrier, it’s easier to trace who else may have been exposed to the virus. With that info in hand, health authorities are better-informed about who needs to go into quarantine and can focus their resources on those who most need assistance.

          The app is opt-in and doesn’t track users through space, instead recording who you have encountered. To do so, it requires Bluetooth and location services to be turned on when another phone running the app comes into range exchanges four nuggets of information – a timestamp, Bluetooth signal strength, the phone’s model, and a temporary identifier or device nickname. While location services are required, the app doesn’t track users, instead helping to calculate distances between them.

        • Singapore says it will make its contact tracing tech freely available to developers

          Less than a week after launching an app to track potential exposure to the coronavirus, Singapore is making the technology freely available to developers worldwide.

          The city-state rolled out an app called TraceTogether on March 20 and described it as a supplementary tool for its contact tracing efforts that relied on the recall and memory of infected individuals. Contact tracing is the process of identifying those with close contact with infected patients.

        • Over 600k users installed TraceTogether, app to be made open source

          A mobile application developed by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) that helps in contact tracing for Covid-19 has been installed by more than 620,000 users since its launch last Friday.

          With a decision to make the technology behind it available to developers around the world, even more people could stand to benefit.

          Developed in collaboration with the Health Ministry (MOH), the TraceTogether mobile app works by exchanging short-distance Bluetooth signals between phones.

        • 620,000 people installed TraceTogether in 3 days, S’pore’s open source contact tracing app

          TraceTogether, a mobile app to support contact tracing efforts developed by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH), was launched on Friday, Mar. 20.

        • The Shield: the open source Israeli Government app which warns of Coronavirus exposure
        • Israel Unveils Open Source App to Warn Users of Coronavirus Cases

          A new Israeli app can instantly tell users if they have crossed paths with someone known to have been infected with the coronavirus.

          On Sunday, the country’s health ministry unveiled the app, called “The Shield”(“HaMagen”, in Hebrew.) The app takes location data from the user’s phone and compares it with the information in Health Ministry servers regarding the location histories of confirmed cases during the 14 days before their diagnosis.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • AidData: Powerful lessons in global development

          As a research lab of the university’s Global Research Institute, AidData facilitates innovative research projects that bring students and faculty together to solve global problems.

        • COVID-19 and Collaborative Projects for Life-Saving

          • Pop-Up Open Source Medical Hardware Projects Won’t Stop Coronavirus, But Might Be Useful Anyway. Here’s why.
          • MIT resuscitates 10-year-old design to create open source respirator

            An MIT design has resulted in the E-Vent respirator-design that can be brought online quickly using available valve bag masks used by EMTs and others in emergency situations to ease breathing problems. The advantage of the design, says the MIT team, is that the masks are approved components. The MIT design automatically squeezes the respirator bag.

          • NYU makes face shield design for healthcare workers that can be built in under a minute available to all

            New York University is among the many academic, private and public institutions doing what it can to address the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) among healthcare workers across the world. The school worked quickly to develop an open-source face-shield design, and is now offering that design freely to any and all in order to help scale manufacturing to meet needs.

            Face shields are a key piece of equipment for front-line healthcare workers operating in close contact with COVID-19 patients. They’re essentially plastic, transparent masks that extend fully to cover a wearer’s face. These are to be used in tandem with N95 and surgical masks, and can protect a healthcare professional from exposure to droplets containing the virus expelled by patients when they cough or sneeze.

          • EPAM Introduces COVID-19 Mask For Medical Professionals Designed By EPAM Continuum
          • ‘It’s one small piece’: Area companies develop open-source design for medical face shields, donate 10,000 to KU Health
          • 3D Printers Being Recruited For Health Care Workers’ PPE

          • In progress: Rapid deployment of open-source, low-cost ventilator design

            One of the most pressing shortages facing hospitals during the Covid-19 emergency is a lack of ventilators. These machines can keep patients breathing when they no longer can on their own, and they can cost around $30,000 each. Now, a rapidly assembled volunteer team of engineers, physicians, computer scientists, and others, centered at MIT, is working to implement a safe, inexpensive alternative for emergency use, which could be built quickly around the world.

          • Hundreds of Volunteers Are Working to Create Open-Source Ventilators to Fight Coronavirus

            oronavirus attacks the lungs. In some cases, your throat and chest may rattle from the effort just to breathe. It’s fast become common knowledge that ventilators can be a life-saving intervention — and that there simply aren’t enough of the machines to meet the growing number of patients. As a last resort, some hospitals are deploying the experimental technique of hooking two patients up to one unit.

          • How You Can Help Fight COVID-19 With This Global Open Source Tool

            Folding@Home, a crowdsourced computing project from scientists at Stanford University lets people across world join computing capabilities of their personal computers to form a crowdsourced supercomputer. Folding@Home then carries out research, mostly on diseases like Cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and now COVID-19. With the coronavirus outbreak, Folding@Home comes as a platform that will allow people across the world to play their part. By lending computing powers from their PCs, people can help scientists speed up their research as they have shifted their focus towards coming up with a cure for the deadly pandemic that has sent the whole world in a lockdown.

          • Thanks to KC’s Dimensional Innovations, you can now download designs for an open source face shield

            The simple, all-plastic shield — created by InStore Design Display and in collaboration with DI, The Center for Design Research at the University of Kansas, and The University of Kansas Health System — consists of two interlocking plastic parts cut from PETG, a clear plastic sheet material, that provides significant durability, chemical resistance and excellent formability for manufacturing.

          • The first medically-reviewed open source PPE design is here!
          • This open source ventilator hackathon could help fight the coronavirus

            Infineon engineers developed a 3D printed lung ventilator to help address the shortage of ventilators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

            The German federal government held a hackathon called #WirvsVirus (“We against the virus”) where 42,000 people met to find solutions to challenges from the coronavirus. Infineon engineers, led by Mahmoud Ismail who has a doctorate in lung mechanics, submitted a 3D print design and a design for the electronics and algorithms to develop and open-source lung ventilator.

          • UF researchers design low-cost DIY ventilator
          • UF researchers design low-cost DIY ventilator
          • VU engineers and VUMC doctors team up for open-source ventilator design

            As COVID-19 continues to push unprecedented challenges on medical communities, one of the most pressing threats for hospital staff across the country is a dwindling supply of ventilators.

            Now, an interdisciplinary team of Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center faculty is taking on the challenge by way of a fabricated, open-source ventilator design.

            Led on the Vanderbilt side by engineers Kevin Galloway, research assistant professor of mechanical engineering and director of making at the Wond’ry, and Robert Webster, Richard A. Schroeder Professor of Mechanical Engineering, the team is currently on “version two” of the ventilator prototype and hopes to soon move into the final prototype phase before manufacturing.

          • UF researchers designing low-cost, ‘open source’ ventilator made from hardware store items

            A professor of anesthesiology at the University of Florida is building an “open source” ventilator out of common items from hardware stores, in an effort to meet the desperately high demand internationally due to the coronavirus pandemic.

            Decades ago, Dr. Samsun Lampotang helped build a minimal-transport ventilator while he was a mechanical engineering student at UF. That ventilator became a commercial success, the university says.

          • Amid a critical shortage, pandemic ventilator inventor makes his design open source

            John Strupat wants to make his design open source so it can be used by ‘anyone from anywhere’

          • DarwinAI wants to help identify coronavirus in X-rays, but radiologists aren’t convinced

            Canadian startup DarwinAI and researchers from the University of Waterloo are open-sourcing COVID-Net, a convolutional neural network that aims to detect COVID-19 in X-ray imagery. In response to the pandemic, a global community of health care and AI researchers have produced a number of AI systems for identifying COVID-19 in CT scans.


            “[Though it is by] no means a production-ready solution, the hope is that the open access COVID-Net, along with the description on constructing the open source COVIDx data set, will be leveraged and built upon by both researchers and citizen data scientists alike to accelerate the development of highly accurate yet practical deep learning solutions for detecting COVID-19 cases and accelerate treatment of those who need it the most,” the paper reads.

          • 3D Printing for COVID-19, Part Three: Open Source Ventilators

            Since the initial news flurry about how a network of Italian 3D printing users came to the rescue of a hospital on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak in Northern Italy, a number of new stories have come out about how additive manufacturing (AM) is or could be used to help medical workers. Here we will break down just some of the news that has made headlines recently.

            Due to the overall inundation faced by medical workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak, the store of medical supplies doesn’t meet the demand. As most readers will know at this point, the two biggest medical items currently lacking (aside from medications and COVID-19 tests) are ventilators and masks. In part this lack of supply can be attributed to bureaucratic mismanagement, but even in locations that are well prepared for such an outbreak, there just aren’t enough masks and ventilators to go around.

          • Agencies Release Free COVID-19 Open-Source Assets

            Agencies are lending their talents and resources to help make a difference in the COVID-19 pandemic with the release of open source assets.

            MullenLowe is launching a public-facing version of its proprietary conversation-analysis tool, Speedbag, to help industry professionals navigate this new landscape.
            The tool parses the social conversation around COVID-19 as it relates to key sectors (including alcohol, automotive, construction, finance, grocery, health and wellness, healthcare, the US military, QSR, technology and travel). New categories are being added on an ongoing basis.

          • Engineers Made a DIY Face Shield. Now It’s Helping Doctors

            EARLY LAST WEEK, Lennon Rodgers, director of the Engineering Design Innovation Lab at University of Wisconsin-Madison, got an urgent email from the university’s hospital. Could his lab make 1,000 face shields to protect staff testing and treating Covid-19 patients? The hospital’s usual suppliers were out of stock, due to the spike in demand prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

            After putting his kids to bed, Rodgers went to Home Depot and a local craft store and grabbed supplies, including transparent plastic and a couple of foam mannequin heads. Then he made a hasty prototype at the UW maker space by adapting a construction visor and presented it to his wife, an anesthesiologist. “I was really proud of it, but she put it on and said ‘This is way too heavy,’” Rodgers recalls.

          • Coronavirus outbreak: MIT team working on an open-source, low-cost design of ventilators

            COVID-19: The team, which consists of only volunteers, has been working without any funding and is working anonymously so that people do not call them with inquiries about the project.

          • Coronavirus: University of Florida researchers design ventilator from hardware store items

            Here’s a new project for do-it-yourself lovers. It could save someone’s life.

            A professor of anesthesiology at the University of Florida is building an open-source ventilator out of items consumers can buy from hardware stores as a way to meet the demand for ventilators since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, WCJB reported. The cost? Anywhere from $125 to $150.

          • 10 Covid-busting designs: spraying drones, fever helmets and anti-virus snoods

            Designers, engineers and programmers have heard the klaxon call. The last few weeks have seen a wave of ingenuity unleashed, with both garden-shed tinkerers and high-tech manufacturers scrambling to develop things that will combat the spread of Covid-19.

            Many of their innovations raise as many questions as they answer, though. Could 3D printing now finally come into its own, with access to open-source, downloadable designs for medical parts? If so, will intellectual property infringements be waived, or will altruistic hacktivists still face costly lawsuits? Could mobile phone tracking map the spread of infection like never before, keeping people away from virus hotspots? If so, might governments use the pandemic as an excuse to ramp up surveillance measures post-crisis?

          • Kerala uses open source public utility to fight COVID-19

            The otherwise serene, calm and beautiful southern state of Kerala known for its palm-lined beaches and backwaters, has grabbed the headlines for some not so healthy news off late. The state popularly called God’s own country is the worst hit state by the Novel Coronavirus in India, reporting 95 cases till 24.03.2020 at 08:45 AM (as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare). It is estimated that 50% of Kerala’s population (about 16.5 million) may catch the corona virus at some stage.

          • CURA: an open-source design for emergency COVID-19 hospitals

            In the last weeks, hospitals in the countries most affected by COVID-19, from China to Italy, Spain to the USA, have been struggling to increase their ICU capacity to admit a growing number of patients with severe respiratory diseases, in need of ventilators. Whatever the evolution of this pandemic, it is expected that more ICUs will be needed internationally in the next few months. CURA aims to improve the efficiency of existing solutions in the design of field hospitals, tailoring them to the current pandemic.

          • CURA is the open-source project that reuses containers to house medical units

            Guided by Carlo Ratti, an interdisciplinary team of researchers in continuous expansion provide a not-profit alterative to the tents currently used in field hospitals during the medical emergency.

          • Open-source CURA to turn shipping containers into emergency COVID-19 units

            Hospitals overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic could find a much-needed capacity lifeline in retrofitted shipping containers. An international task force, comprised of designers, engineers, medical professionals and military experts, has unveiled designs to convert shipping containers into plug-in Intensive-Care Pods as part of an open-source design dubbed CURA (Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments). The first CURA biocontainment pod prototype is currently being built in Milan, Italy.

          • Squint/Opera presents CURA: an open-source design for emergency COVID-19 hospitals

            Squint/Opera, the creative digital studio and consultancy, presents CURA (Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments), an open-source design for emergency coronavirus (COVID-19) hospitals.


            The idea is to create extra space for hospitals and medical facilities which are under pressure due to the pandemic. The use of shipping containers means that they are fast to mount and safe to use as isolation wards. CURA could be quickly deployed to cities around the world, allowing medical professionals to respond fast to the spread of the virus despite lack of hospital space.

          • Researchers use open-source software to improve COVID-19 screening with AI

            Researchers at the University of Waterloo have partnered with an artificial intelligence (AI) startup on a project that aims to use AI to improve COVID-19 screening.

            The Waterloo research team publicly released AI software that can better detect infections from chest x-rays and is looking to enlist expertise from around the world to aid in the project.

          • Ireland: Researchers Create Open-Source 3D Printer for Neurophysiology

            Researchers Thomas Campbell and James F.X. Jones, both of the School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Ireland, have a created a new 3D printer for the medical field, detailing their work in the recently published ‘Design and implementation of a low cost, modular, adaptable and open-source XYZ positioning system for neurophysiology.’


            With the integration of the Raspberry Pi 3, the authors were also able to incorporate the Open Computer Vision Library (OpenCV) stating that feature is what makes the system unique in comparison to other XYZ positioning systems. The open-source machine learning software library is used with automated movement, and the creators expect it to transform the exploration of mechanotransduction, the method for sensory neurons to change a mechanical stimulus to an electrical signal.

          • An open-source respirator for 40 Euros – from a 3D printer

            Ventilaid is an unusual project straight out of Poland and just in time for the COVID crisis19: a team of engineers has developed and made available free of charge on the Internet a breathing apparatus that can be printed with a 3D printer for the modest sum of 40 euros.

            The project uses inexpensive and widely available components – it could save the lives of thousands of people in places where access to such devices is difficult. The beta version of the device is ready to be deployed, while work on a second prototype is almost complete. At this stage, the support of specialists like doctors and engineers is necessary. Those who want to help can apply directly via the project’s website.

          • Hospitals turn to crowdsourcing and 3D printing amid equipment shortages

            Earlier this month, the CEO of an Italian 3D-printing startup learned that a hospital near the center of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy was running short on a small but crucial component: the valves that connect respirators to oxygen masks.

            The company that makes the valves couldn’t keep up with the demand, and doctors were in search of a solution.

            “When we heard about the shortage, we got in touch with the hospital immediately. We printed some prototypes. The hospital tested them and told us they worked,” the CEO, Cristian Fracassi, told Reuters. “So we printed 100 valves, and I delivered them personally.”

          • MIT Ventilator Designed With Common Manual Resuscitator; Submitted For FDA Testing

            In many parts of the world the COVID-19 pandemic is causing shortages in hospital space, staff, medical supplies, and equipment. Severe cases may require breathing support, but there are only so many ventilators available. With that in mind, MIT is working on FDA approval of an emergency ventilator system (E-Vent). They have submitted the design to the FDA for fast track review. The project is open source, so once they have approval the team will release all the data needed to replicate it.

          • Techie collective to whip together official WHO-backed COVID-19 app within a week to meet ‘urgent, global need’

            The app, aimed at “location-based containment, triage & response”, is described here. People involved include US-based Dr Daniel Kraft, who describes himself as a “physician/scientist and innovator”; Bruno Bowden, ex-Google; and Dean Hachamovitch, formerly general manager for Internet Explorer. Three WHO representatives – Peter Singer (special advisor), Ray Chambers (global ambassador) and Sameer Pujari (digital health and innovation) – are also listed on the team, which calls itself the COVID App Collective.

          • COVID-19 response: North Junior High teacher uses 3D printer to make N95 masks

            When health care workers sounded the alarm about a serious shortage of N95 masks to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic, people across the state and country started sewing handmade medical masks.

            A St. Cloud school district teacher has also taken up the initiative but in a more high-tech way: printing face masks on a 3D printer.

            “I have the materials. I have a little bit of knowledge. I thought, can I attempt this?” said Rick Wilson, who teaches engineering and technology at North Junior High. “And (the district was) great about it.”

          • Coronavirus: Turning windscreen wiper motors into emergency ventilators

            A group of Spanish innovators is attempting to alleviate the Covid-19 ventilator crisis by developing an ultra-simple machine that uses a car windscreen-wiper motor to turn a manual resuscitation bag into automated breathing aid.

            The machine can be made in four hours by an untrained person, using simple materials such as wood, acrylic or aluminium. “You don’t need special tools. All you need is a saw,” says Lluís Rovira Leranoz, a Barcelona-based robotics maker at prototyping company Protofy, one of the leads on the OxyGEN project.

          • Anomali Offers Open Source Threat Intelligence to Fight COVID-19-themed Cyber Attacks

            In response to the growing threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19)-themed cyberattacks, Anomali, a leader in intelligence-driven cybersecurity solutions, today publicly released over 6,000 open source Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) that were collected, curated, and validated by Anomali researchers. In addition, Anomali has also released a related Threat Bulletin providing a narrative description of the attacks being seen. This actionable threat intelligence, which identifies COVID-19-related threats and the malicious actors looking to capitalize on the pandemic, is available now for organizations to immediately feed into their cybersecurity technologies to rapidly and proactively block the identified threats.

          • Lynn student facilitates open-source community to combat COVID-19

            As the World Health Organization named COVID-19 a pandemic, the global need for medical equipment and fast, effective supply chain management became apparent.

            That’s when Ja’dan Johnson, Lynn University class of 2021 and Watson Scholar, joined MegaBots Founder Gui Cavalcanti to create Open Source COVID-19 Medical Supplies (OSCMS).

            OSCMS launched as a Facebook group March 12 and grew to a community of over 40,000 in less than two weeks. The group’s mission is to mobilize makers and fabricators around the world to generate open-source plans, build a library of medical supply requirements and designs, and create distributable plans for organizing effective local responses to medical supply chain interruption.

          • A 3D-printed ventilator prototype from an open-source project

            A 3D-printed #ventilator prototype from an open-source project


            A research group including the Irish Colin Keogh and Gui Calavanti, CEO and co-founder of Breeze Automation, studied in less than a week the prototype of a ventilator made by 3D parts and other easily available low-cost materials. The project is open-source. The research team is also focusing on other projects for the rapid and cost-effective manufacture of products required for this health emergency, such as masks or other equipment needed by medical personnel.

          • Respirators From 3D Printers: How The Spanish Maker Community Fights Covid-19 From Their Living Rooms

            As hospitals prepare to take in more patients with the coronavirus, they are in acute need of life-saving equipment: ventilators that help patients breathe, face masks and protective gear. The problem is, there aren’t enough of them. And there’s not enough manufacturing capacity to easily hike up production.

            This is where the do-it-yourself (DIY) community in Spain comes in: Under the name Coronavirus Makers, over the last few weeks, thousands of citizens have been connecting online to fight against the shortage of life-saving equipment. From their living rooms and basements, they tinker with ideas and designs, share them, build prototypes and print them out with 3-D printers.

            Ashoka Fellow David Cuartielles and César García, both innovators in the open source space, are helping to curate the Coronavirus Makers Forum that they set up on March 13 as the crisis was getting worse. The Forum takes a bird’s eye view of all the community’s activities, connects members, extracts insights, and builds bridges to health care institutions and experts — to speed up solutions that could save lives.

          • Could a bunch of internet denizens give us more ventilators?
          • COVID-19 Data: Will the Open Source Community Succeed Where the Federal Government Failed?
          • Open Source Face Shield to Help Block COVID-19

            While face masks that block particles from coming into the lungs via the nose and mouth are important to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the eyes and the rest of the face can also be a pathway for the disease to find its way into the body.

            There are now a number of projects around the world, big and small, manufacturing breathing masks as fast as they can. A group of designers and engineers in New York City with access to a machine shop has designed a face shield that can be quickly, cheaply, and easily manufactured using simple tools and supplies available in local hardware stores.

            Details are posted online on how to build new masks, including design files, and you can also help the organization by joining their distribution efforts. All at this link…

        • Open Access/Content

      • Programming/Development

        • Introducing micro.sth

          Many developers turn their noses up at PHP, but I have a soft spot for it. For me, it’s the most approachable programming language by far. It feels intuitive in a way no other languages do, and it makes it possible to cobble together a working application with just a handful of lines of code. So whenever I can’t find a tool for a specific job, I try to build one myself.

          The latest project of mine is a case in point. I was looking for a simple application for keeping a photographic diary, and I was sure that I’d be able to find an open-source tool for that. I searched high and low, but I came back empty-handed. Sure, there are plenty of static website generators, but I’d prefer something that doesn’t require me to perform the write-generate-upload dance every time I want to post a quick update. And I need something that I can use not only to maintain a simple diary, but also store notes, manage tasks, and draft articles — all this without getting bogged down by configuring templates, defining categories, and tweaking settings. And because I want most of my content to be private, I should be able to protect access to it with a password.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RProtoBuf 0.4.17: Robustified

          A new release 0.4.17 of RProtoBuf is now on CRAN. RProtoBuf provides R with bindings for the Google Protocol Buffers (“ProtoBuf”) data encoding and serialization library used and released by Google, and deployed very widely in numerous projects as a language and operating-system agnostic protocol.

          This release contains small polishes related to the release 0.4.16 which added JSON support for messages, and switched to ByteSizeLong. This release now makes sure JSON functionality is only tested where available (on version 3 of the Protocol Buffers library), and that ByteSizeLong is only called where available (version 3.6.0 or later). Of course, older versions build as before and remain fully supported.

        • Git 2.26 fetches faster by default

          With the recent release of Git 2.26, the open source distributed version control system uses version 2 of Git’s network fetch protocol by default.

          This protocol, introduced in 2018, addresses a problem with the old protocol, whereby a server would immediately list all of the branches, tags, and other references in the repository before the client could send anything. Use of the old protocol could mean sending megabytes of extra data for some repositories, even when the client only wanted to know about the master branch.


          New config options, including the ability to use wildcards when matching credential URLs. Git config options can be set for all connections or only connections to specific URLs.

        • IoT Adoption Survey Reveals Open Source Rules

          The Eclipse Foundation’s IoT Working Group has issued a report that reveals that for commercial organizations the IoT is real and adoption is growing, albeit with a degree of caution. As far as IoT is concerned, the open source model clearly dominates.

          Conducted online between October and December 2019, with 366 respondents, the IoT Commercial Adoption Survey was the first exercise of its kind. Its aim was gain a better understanding of the IoT industry landscape by identifying the requirements, priorities, and challenges faced by organizations that are deploying and using commercial IoT solutions. It can be seen as the counterpart of the IoT Developer Survey, which since 2015 has been an annual exercise reporting on the programming languages, platforms, infrastructure and tools used for building IoT solutions.

        • What happens when the maintainer of a JS library downloaded 26m times a week goes to prison for killing someone with a motorbike? Core-js just found out

          In November 2019, Denis Pushkarev, maintainer of the popular core-js library, lost an appeal to overturn an 18-month prison sentence imposed for driving his motorcycle into two pedestrians, killing one of them.

          As a result, he’s expected to be unavailable to update core-js, a situation that has project contributors and other developers concerned about the fate of his code library.

        • [Old] When to assume neural networks can solve a problem

          The question: “What are the problems we should assume can be solved with machine learning?”, or even narrower and more focused on current developments “What are the problems we should assume a neural network is able to solve?”, is one I haven’t seen addressed much.

          There are theories like PAC learning and AIX which at a glance seem to revolve around this, as it pertains to machine learning in general, but if actually applied in practice won’t yield any meaningful answers.

          However, when someone asks me this question about a specific problem, I can often give a fairly reasonable confidence answer provided I can take a look at the data.

          Thus, I thought it might be helpful to lay down the heuristic that generate such answers. I by no means claim these are precise or evidence based in the scientific sense, but I think they might be helpful, maybe even a good start point for further discussion on the subject.

        • Uber Open Sources Piranha Stale Code Remover

          Uber has released an open source version of Piranha, a tool that scans source code to delete code related to stale, or obsolete, feature flags.

          Piranha is run at Uber in an ongoing pipeline for its Android and iOS codebases and has been used to remove around two thousand stale feature flags and their related code. Uber says it has led to a cleaner, safer, more performant, and more maintainable code base.

        • Piranha Is An Open Source Tool That Automatically Deletes Obsolete Code
        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxxi) stackoverflow python report
          • Python: Is And ==

            In Python, == compares the value of two variables and returns True as long as the values are equal.

          • Python File I/O

            Start writing here..In this article, you’ll learn about Python file operations. More specifically, opening a file, reading from it, writing into it, closing it and various file methods you should be aware of.
            What is a file?
            File is a named location on disk to store related information. It is used to permanently store data in a non-volatile memory (e.g. hard disk).

            Since, random access memory (RAM) is volatile which loses its data when computer is turned off, we use files for future use of the data.

          • Python: Pros and Cons of Lambda

            lambda is a keyword in Python, we use it to create an anonymous function. So we also call lambda functions as anonymous functions.

          • Learning pandas by Exploring COVID-19 Data

            The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control provides daily-updated worldwide COVID-19 data that is easy to download in JSON, CSV or XML formats. In this tutorial, we will use the pandas data analysis tool on the comma-separated values (CSV) data to learn some of the basic pandas commands and explore what is contained within the data set.

        • Java

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Using a 40‐year Old Markup Language on the Web

        Historically, troff has been a widely used typesetting language that looks back at a long history.[0] Today’s arguably biggest use of troff are man pages. Man pages come actually in two flavors: ‐man and ‐mdoc macros. The ‐man macros are the ones originally used to typeset the first volume of the UNIX manuals back in the 1970s.[1] In the 80s, the ‐mdoc macros were developed on BSD. The major difference between the two is how much semantic input they allow. ‐man is purely presentational. ‐mdoc is highly semantic; for example, .Pa is a macro to indicate a path. GNU and the entire Linux ecosystem seem strangely attached to the ‐man macros. Furthermore, most “anything to man page” converters output ‐man because they cannot possibly infer the ‐mdoc macros from presentational markup; this is e.g. the case with Mark‐ down. Meanwhile, every BSD, illumos and macOS have moved to ‐mdoc. For more details, see: Kristaps Dzonsons, “Fixing on a Standard Language for UNIX Manuals,” ;login: 34(5), pp. 19‐23, USENIX, Berkeley, CA (October 2009).

  • Leftovers

    • Education

      • Advice from a home-school veteran: Ditch the schedule and let your kids play

        I feel for all these parents now, thrust into a home-schooling world they didn’t choose for themselves, while trying, in many cases, to work from home at the same time. I hope they learn to ditch those whiteboard schedules and stop trying to replicate school. I hope they take this opportunity to give kids what they could use more of: independence, time for play. If schools are assigning work, I hope families can get through it quickly so there’s time for stories. For games. For art. Time for those kids to pursue whatever sets them gleaming.

        For my children, the strategy of relaxing worked. My oldest, that kid who made ridiculous movies about elves? He’s now a cinematographer in Brooklyn — one of his recent projects was the Netflix documentary “Fyre.” The girl who narrated her own cooking shows now works for a nonprofit as a food educator in — when they’re open — New York City public schools. And my youngest, who binged on comics and atlases, is (presumably) off to college this fall, planning to study international relations — and comedy.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Russian [Attackers] Exploited Windows Flaws in Attacks on European Firms

            Analysis of the infrastructure used by the [attackers] led to the discovery of an executable named comahawk.exe that incorporated two local privilege escalation exploits targeting Windows.

            The vulnerabilities, tracked as CVE-2019-1405 and CVE-2019-1322, were patched by Microsoft in November 2019 and October 2019, respectively. Microsoft’s advisories for both these flaws say “exploitation [is] less likely”

            In mid-November 2019, NCC Group, whose researchers reported the vulnerabilities to Microsoft, published a blog post describing the weaknesses. Shortly after, someone made public an exploit named COMahawk that weaponizes CVE-2019-1405 and CVE-2019-1322.

          • Global insurer Chubb hit by Maze ransomware: claim [iophk: Windows TCO]

            According to its own website, Chubb had more than US$177 billion (A$291 billion) in assets and reported US$40 billion of gross premiums in 2019. The company says it has offices in Zurich, New York, London, Paris and other locations, and has more than 30,000 employees.

            iTWire contacted Chubb’s Australian office for comment. A spokesperson responded: “We are currently investigating a computer security incident that may involve unauthorised access to data held by a third-party service provider.

          • Operation Poisoned News: Hong Kong Users Targeted With Mobile Malware via Local News Links

            A recently discovered watering hole attack has been targeting iOS users in Hong Kong. The campaign uses links posted on multiple forums that supposedly lead to various news stories. While these links lead users to the actual news sites, they also use a hidden iframe to load and execute malicious code. The malicious code contains exploits that target vulnerabilities present in iOS 12.1 and 12.2. Users that click on these links with at-risk devices will download a new iOS malware variant, which we have called lightSpy (detected as IOS_LightSpy.A).

          • Surviving the Frequency of Open Source Vulnerabilities

            One hurdle in any roll-your-own Linux platform development project is getting the necessary tools to build system software, application software, and the Linux kernel for your target embedded device. Many developers use a set of tools based on the GNU Compiler Collection, which requires two other software packages: a C library used by the compiler; and a set of tools required to create executable programs and associated libraries for your target device. The end result is a toolchain.


            In preference to working on features or product differentiation, developers often spend valuable time supporting, maintaining, and updating a cross-compilation environment, Linux kernel, and root file system. All of which, requires a significant investment of personnel and wide range of expertise.

          • Netgate® Extends Free pfSense® Support and Lowers pfSense Support Subscription Pricing to Aid in COVID-19 Relief

            Free zero-to-ping support, free VPN configuration and connection support, free direct assistance for first responder | front line healthcare agencies, and reduced pfSense TAC support subscription prices all introduced

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

            • How the hackers are using Open Source Libraries to their advantage [Ed: Conflating hackers with crackers]

              Ben Porter, Chief Product Officer at Instaclustr, writes about how the potential of Open Source Libraries must be balanced with the growing risk of library jacking by hackers.

            • Three Cases Where the Open Source Model Didn’t Work [Ed: Lots of anti-GPL FUD and not taking any account of Microsoft crimes, monopoly abuse, bribes and blackmail]

              So, why didn’t the open source model work in these three cases?

              The main reason is that in all of these cases, data structure specs and the description of algorithms are not the most important piece of the picture.

              The root of the problem is in the variety of real-life situations where bugs and failures may occur and lead to a data-loss situations, which is a total no-go in the real world.

              The open source community is successful, though it has been in create open source programs and platforms, is still no guarantee of industrial-grade software development(3). The core to success in developing a highly reliable solution is a carefully nurtured auto-test environment. This assures a careful track record and in-depth analysis for every failure, as well as effective work-flow, making sure any given bug or failure never repeats. It’s obvious that building such an environment can take years, if not decades, and the main thing here is not to know how something should work according to specs, but to know how and where exactly it fails. In other words, the main problem is not the resources needed to develop the code, the main problem is time needed to build up a reliable test-coverage that will provide a sufficient barrier for data-loss bugs.

              Another problem with open source is that it is usually accompanied by a GPL license. This limits the contribution to such projects almost solely to the open source community itself. One of the major requirements of the GPL license is to disclose changes to source code in case of further distribution, making it pointless for commercial players to participate.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Coronavirus: Under surveillance and confined at home in Taiwan

              I did not expect two police officers to come knocking at my door at 08:15 when I was still asleep in my bed on Sunday morning.

              My phone briefly ran out of battery at 07:30, and in less than an hour, four different local administrative units had called. A patrol was dispatched to check my whereabouts. A text was sent notifying that the government had lost track of me, and warned me of potential arrest if I had broken quarantine.

            • COVID-19 and Social Media Content Moderation

              Content moderation during this pandemic is an exaggerated version of content moderation all the time: Platforms are balancing various interests when they write their rules, and they are making consequential choices about error preference when they enforce them. Platforms’ uncharacteristic (if still too limited) transparency around these choices in the context of the pandemic should be welcomed—but needs to be expanded on in the future. These kinds of choices should not be made in the shadows. Most importantly, platforms should be forced to earn the kudos they are getting for their handling of the pandemic by preserving data about what they are doing and opening it up for research instead of selective disclosure.

              One thing is certain: With enormous numbers of people locked inside, spending more time online and hungry for information, the actions taken by platforms will have significant consequences. They may well emerge from this more powerful than ever. Right now the public is asking tech platforms to step up, but we also need to keep thinking about how to rein them in.

            • Your Bosses Are Trying to Spy on You Now More Than Ever

              Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, more employees are working from their homes, more than ever before. But does that mean managers and business leaders let up with their bizarre, over-reaching workplace surveillance? Not a chance.

              In an office, surveillance tech can be justified a little bit: It’s defensible for an employer to not want workers using company computers for personal business. Surveillance software also be used for cybersecurity. But now? Bloomberg reports that workplace-surveillance software is flying off shelves and being forced on people working in their own homes — a massive breach of trust and privacy.

            • Why cellphone tracking is the wrong way to try and contain COVID-19 at this point

              And even without these issues around implementation, there is no clear evidence that the use of contact tracing or tracking financing information such as purchases through mobile phones is sufficient to enforce physical distancing. Even with its substantial surveillance infrastructure, China had to force people to scan a QR code whenever they left or entered a building, public transit, or street.

            • [Old] EPIC Files Complaint with FTC about Zoom

              According to EPIC, Zoom intentionally designed its web conferencing service to bypass browser security settings and remotely enable a user’s web camera without the knowledge or consent of the user.

            • Video Calling Prompts Privacy Concerns as Pandemic Drives Work, Education Online

              As it stands now, Zoom’s privacy policy says that it may collect personal information, such as payment data and a device’s IP address, from anyone who interacts with its products, while also collecting information about recorded meetings that take place in a video conference. The company also includes a feature, called “attention tracking,” which administrators can turn off as requested, that informs meeting hosts whenever someone has clicked out of the main video call webpage for more than 30 seconds.

              Boyles said she’s concerned about having conversations with students about personal matters, including livelihood and mental health, through online platforms that may not be compliant with the federal standard.

            • Yeah, that Zoom app you’re trusting with work chatter? It lives with ‘vampires feeding on the blood of human data’

              As the global coronavirus pandemic pushes the popularity of videoconferencing app Zoom to new heights, one web veteran has sounded the alarm over its “creepily chummy” relationship with tracking-based advertisers.

              Doc Searls, co-author of the influential internet marketing book The Cluetrain Manifesto last century, today warned [cached] Zoom not only has the right to extract data from its users and their meetings, it can work with Google and other ad networks to turn this personal information into targeted ads that follow them across the web.

              This personal info includes, and is not limited to, names, addresses and any other identifying data, job titles and employers, Facebook profiles, and device specifications. Crucially, it also includes “the content contained in cloud recordings, and instant messages, files, whiteboards … shared while using the service.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump’s Narcoterrorism Indictment of Maduro Already Backfires

        The indictments are another brick in the foundation for a pretext for either a direct U.S. military invasion or a proxy war.

      • Experts: $1 Billion Cut in US Aid to Afghanistan Will Have Serious Implications

        “A $1 billion cut in U.S. aid would be a significant blow to the country. Afghanistan’s GDP is only about $20 billion per year, and much of that comes from international donations,” Johnathan Schroden, an expert on Afghanistan and director of Stability and Development Program at Washington-based think tank Center for Naval Analysis (CAN), told VOA.

      • Death by Drone: America’s Vicious Legacy in Afghanistan

        rdinary Afghans say it has happened to them many times and never—not once—has it made news anywhere outside Afghanistan. Last November, an American Reaper drone targeted a group of villagers in the mountainous area of Afghanistan’s southeastern province of Paktia and killed seven of them. Paktia has long been home to Taliban militants, but local residents say all the victims were civilians, including three women and one child. They had gone to the remote area to graze their cattle and collect wood. Suddenly, they were dead.

        “Nobody wants to listen to us. I doubt that the murderers will face justice one day. God is our only hope,” said Mohammad Anwar, a resident of Zazai Aryub, a district in Paktia. The perpetrators he is talking about are sitting far away in one of the many U.S. military bases where drone operators are working from.

        According to Anwar, who is related to the victims, some families lost their male breadwinners, as often happens after such attacks. “They are desperate. Their future is very uncertain,” he told Foreign Policy in a phone conversation.

        And now it is more uncertain than ever, even after 18 and a half years of war. The newly signed U.S.-Taliban truce contains secret annexes that reportedly will give the Taliban information allowing the Islamist insurgent group to prevent attacks during the U.S. withdrawal. But the Afghan national government and its officials have been cut out of the deal—though it calls for peace talks between various Afghan factions—and even more so, ordinary Afghans, who have no recourse to justice and don’t know whether the drone strikes will let up.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Google Bans Infowars Android App Over Coronavirus Claims

        Google confirmed to WIRED that it removed the app on Friday. The app had more than 100,000 downloads according to Google Play’s published metrics, and was rated “E10+,” meaning safe for all users 10 and older. The Infowars app sold products like supplements and protein powder, broadcast The Alex Jones Show live, and posted videos and articles from Jones and others.

      • Google has banned the Infowars Android app over false coronavirus claims

        The app was apparently removed because of a video posted by radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that, according to Wired, “disputed the need for social distancing, shelter in place, and quarantine efforts meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.” Before it was removed, the app had more than 100,000 downloads, Wired reports.

      • 132 Websites Are Pushing Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories, Says NewsGuard Misinformation Monitor

        NewsGuard’s Coronavirus Misinformation Tracking Center has found 132 sites — 82% of which NewsGuard had identified as unreliable prior to the coronavirus outbreak — that are publishing false claims about the coronavirus. What’s in it for them? Money.

    • Environment

      • Trump Suspends Enforcement of EPA Laws, Because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to suspend its enforcement of environmental laws indefinitely in light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, as The Guardian reports. The move sends a clear signal: pollute with impunity.

        “This temporary policy is designed to provide enforcement discretion under the current, extraordinary conditions, while ensuring facility operations continue to protect human health and the environment,” EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler wrote in an announcement.

      • Air pollution drops as Europeans stay at home

        The ESA observations by the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite show clear declines in pollution. The measurements were taken over 10 days to even out changes in the weather, which affect the concentration of nitrogen dioxide.

        Data from the European Environmental Agency paint a similar picture. The average concentrations of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) in the air in the Italian province of Bergamo, which has been completely paralyzed by the outbreak, were 47% lower last week than during the same week last year, the environmental agency said. The NO2 levels in Rome were 26% to 35% lower than in 2019, the environmental agency said.

        Much of the NO2 pollution comes from car exhausts, which is why the strict controls on citizens movements led to such dramatic declines.

      • Plan to divert Chihuahua’s water to US aborted after protests escalate

        The National Water Commission (Conagua) announced on Thursday that it would not divert additional water from a dam in Chihuahua to settle a 220-million-cubic-meter “water debt” with the United States after protests against the diversion turned violent.

        Conagua said in a Twitter post Thursday afternoon that it had taken the decision to stop the additional water diversion from the La Boquilla dam due to farmers’ rejection of the move, whose aim was to comply with the 1944 bilateral water treaty between Mexico and the United States.

      • Overpopulation

        • Condom Shortage Looms After Coronavirus Lockdown Shuts World’s Top Producer

          A global shortage of condoms is looming, the world’s biggest producer said, after a coronavirus lockdown forced it to shut down production.

          Malaysia’s Karex Bhd makes one in every five condoms globally. It has not produced a single condom from its three Malaysian factories for more than a week due to a lockdown imposed by the government to halt the spread of the virus.

    • Finance

      • Trump and His Allies Have Decided to Preserve Capitalism at Any Cost

        Pastor Tony Spell of Baton Rouge knows what you can do with your social distancing. “The virus, we believe, is politically motivated,” said Spell regarding the 1,170 people who attended services at his Life Tabernacle Church on Sunday. They came on 27 buses from five parishes, and will do so again, because “it’s not a concern,” according to Spell.

      • ‘Unacceptable’: Dems Fume After Trump Announces Plan to Refuse Congressional Oversight of Corporate Bailout Funds

        “This is a frightening amount of public money to have given a corrupt admininistration with zero accountability.”

      • On Strike Now for Three Years, Spectrum Workers Are Demanding Public Ownership

        Cable technician Troy Walcott, along with 1,800 of his fellow members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3, has been striking for three years, and there’s still no end in sight.

      • ‘Far More to Do,’ Say Progressives After House Approves and Trump Signs Corporate-Friendly Coronavirus Relief Act

        “The clock has already started on a fourth bill and we expect and demand that House Democrats fight to ensure that the needs of all communities are met.”

      • Our Economy Is a Sick Beast: The Corporate Debt Crisis Explained

        This time, any industry bailouts must place corporate investment under public control.

      • Cuomo Puts Private Equity Vulture in Charge of Coronavirus Economic Recovery

        New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced at a press conference on Monday, March 23 that he was charging his former high-level aides William Mulrow and Steven M. Cohen with rebuilding New York’s economy in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Cuomo’s former aides have deep ties to Wall Street: Mulrow is a senior advisory director at the private equity giant Blackstone Group and Cohen is chief administrative officer of MacAndrews & Forbes, the conglomerate owned by billionaire Cuomo donor Ronald Perelman.

      • Covid-19: UK Withdrawal from the EU Single Market Must Be Postponed to 2023

        The enormous economic impact of the reaction to Covid-19 is plain for all to see. The effect on economies – which had barely recovered to 2008 levels after the great Banker Theft crisis – is enormous. You cannot just close down businesses and expect them all to restart three months later. Plus the hit to personal finances is going to result in a huge and lasting reduction in consumer demand, exaggerated by what I predict will be a much higher propensity to save against future disaster. Even optimistic economists are expecting a 15% drop in GDP and slow recovery. At recent levels it is going to take some seven years of compound economic growth to recover that.

      • Is Wall Street Killing Grandma?

        As we scramble to locate hospital beds and life-saving equipment during this pandemic, remember that we are fighting two diseases.

      • Shhhhh! The Revolutionary SEC Law That Venture Capitalists and Startups Don’t Use!

        Rule 506(c), to date, is mostly used by real estate funds. Even SEC does not understand why VCs and startups do not use it more. The Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, Keith Higgins, said “one wonders why the new Rule 506(c) exemption has not caught on more widely with issuers who have long clamored for the general solicitation ban to be lifted.” There is the additional requirement of validation, with its increased paperwork load on prospective investors, but the effect of this is reduced by using third party validation companies that shield those documents from view, even by the fund that requested validation.

        I first encountered rule 506(c) after I had been a partner at OSS Capital for a year. I had felt constrained by the restrictions on speech that fund has under rule 506(b). When I started to found a separate company, the business incubator or “venture studio” Incubator.Fund, I resolved to use rule 506(c), and not simply for the free speech advantages. I have dedicated most of my life to charity, as one of the founders of the Open Source movement in software, and did not have a personal network, a phone book full of moneybags to raise funds from privately, as rule 506(b) assumes. The ability to advertise, using rule 506(c), allows me to reach far beyond my personal network.

      • FTC Punishes ‘Detox’ Tea Maker Teami, With a Slap on the Wrist for Influencers Including Cardi B

        the FTC, Teami promoted “deceptive health claims” and arranged for “endorsements by well-known social media influencers who did not adequately disclose that they were being paid to promote its products.” While some influencers did provide adequate disclosures, at least 10, including rapper Cardi B and singer Jordin Sparks, did not and have received warning letters from the government regulator.

        This action marks the first time the FTC has brought legal action against an advertiser using Instagram to promote unsubstantiated health claims, the agency said in a press call Friday morning.

      • COVID-19: The Craziest Things About America Highlighted by this Virus

        The corporate cronyism of America’s political system has been highlighted with a massive kleptocratic bailout, writes Caitlin Johnstone in this summary of U.S. haywire responses to the crisis.

      • How to manage a business without a headquarters

        “Weirdly, things haven’t changed much,” says Kyle Mathews as he sprays disinfectant on his hands. At least at work. His startup, Gatsby, helps websites manage content in the cloud. It has no headquarters and its 50-odd employees straddle the world, from Mr Mathews’s home in Berkeley, California, to Siberia.

        Such “fully distributed” firms were on the rise before covid-19. As national lockdowns spread, conventional ones are forced into similar arrangements. Those that have grown up this way offer lessons.

        Distributed organisations are as old as the internet. Its first users 50 years ago realised how much can be done by swapping emails and digital files. These exchanges led to the development of “open source” software, jointly written by groups of strangers often geographically distant.

        Today most distributed startups have open-source roots. Gatsby is one. Nearly all 1,200 employees of another, Automattic, best known for WordPress, software to build websites, work from home. GitHub, which hosts millions of open-source projects (and was acquired by Microsoft in 2018), may be the world’s biggest distributed enterprise. Two-thirds of its 2,000 staff work remotely. Most firms that build blockchains, a type of distributed database, are by their nature dispersed.

      • Open Application Network partners with Bloq for blockchain infrastructure

        In December 2020, blockchain infrastructure provider Nodesmith announced it would be winding down its support for a number of blockchain networks, including the OAN. Bloq is now working with Nodesmith to ensure infrastructure continuity for The Open Application Network (OAN) via the BloqCloud platform.

      • XRP is a ‘Decentralized, Open-Source Digital Asset’, Ripple SVP Marcus Treacher Rebukes Critics

        Ripple has been criticized for being centralized for years now. In fact, many critics have gone as far as calling XRP a fake cryptocurrency because even though XRP does use the blockchain technology, all existing coins were pre-mined at the beginning. The majority of XRP tokens are still in the hands of the Ripple creators and the company itself.

        Back in 2018, David Schwartz, the Chief Technology Officer of Ripple Labs wrote and published an article titled ‘The Inherently Decentralized Nature of XRP Ledger’ explaining why XRP is far more decentralized than other cryptocurrencies.

        Unfortunately, blockchain experts seem to agree that XRP is not really decentralized, in fact, Matt McKibbin, the founder of Decentranet told CCN that the digital asset is wholly centralized.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Donald Trump Meets the Easter Bunny

        The president has amazingly declared that the people in the United States will be able to resume all their normal activities after Easter, thanks to him.

      • Can Coronavirus Be a Catalyst for Thinking Globally?

        In an age of pandemics and climate crisis, countries’ health, environmental, and development policies are globally important.

      • Media Silent as Poll Workers Contract Covid-19 at Primaries That DNC, Biden Campaign Claimed Were Safe
      • Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections

        In advance of the 2020 Presidential election, KILL CHAIN: THE CYBER WAR ON AMERICA’S ELECTIONS, debuting THURSDAY, MARCH 26 (9:00-10:35 p.m. ET/PT), takes a deep dive into the weaknesses of today’s election technology, investigating the startling vulnerabilities in America’s voting systems and the alarming risks they pose to our democracy. From filmmakers Simon Ardizzone, Russell Michaels and Sarah Teale, the team behind HBO’s 2006 Emmy (R)-nominated documentary “Hacking Democracy,” and producer Michael Hirschorn, KILL CHAIN follows Finnish hacker and cyber security expert Harri Hursti as he travels around the world and across the U.S. to show how our election systems remain dangerously unprotected.

      • The Problem With China’s Victory Lap

        By then, the pandemic was on its way to wreaking havoc on the U.S. economy and its citizens’ way of life—not least because of the actions of Xi Jinping’s own government. Yet in February, Trump again praised for Xi on Twitter, writing that “he is strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus … Great discipline is taking place in China, as President Xi strongly leads what will be a very successful operation.”

      • This Is What an Opposition Party Is Supposed to Sound Like

        Employing a combination of moral outrage and devastating sarcasm, the Vermont senator shamed Republicans in a Wednesday Senate floor speech that ripped into them for prioritizing corporate bailouts while objecting to providing a measure of security for low-wage workers who have lost their jobs as much of the American economy has ground to a near halt.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Barbaric Decisions: Coronavirus, Refusing Bail And Julian Assange

        The ruling angered Doctors for Assange, comprising a list of some 200 physicians scattered across the globe. “Despite our prior unequivocal statement that Mr Assange is at increased risk of serious illness and death were he to contract coronavirus and the evidence of medical experts,” their March 27 statement reads, “Baraitser dismissed the risk, citing UK guidelines for prisons in responding to the global pandemic.” The group cited Baraister’s own solemn words deferring to the wisdom of the UK prison authorities. “I have no reason not to trust this advice as both evidence-based and reliable and appropriate.”

        The medical practitioners took firm issue with the steadfast refusal of the judge to accept the medical side of the equation. Not only was he at “increased risk of contracting and dying from the novel disease coronavirus (COVID-19)”, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, he was also more vulnerable because of the torments of psychological torture and a “history of medical neglect … fragile health, and chronic lung disease.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘Truly a Civil Rights Hero’: Rev. Joseph Lowery Dead at 98

        “We’ve come too far, marched too long, prayed too hard, wept too bitterly, bled too profusely and died too young, to let anybody turn back the clock on our journey to justice,” Lowery said in 2013.

      • Coronavirus makes even finding water to help the needy a struggle in Detroit

        Despite city efforts to restore service to those whose service has been disconnected for non-payment, hundreds — if not thousands — of residents remain in homes without running water, even though hand-washing is vital to slowing the pandemic.

        Detroit has shut off water to more than 141,000 accounts since an aggressive collections campaign began in 2014 in an effort to improve its finances. Last year alone, crews cut service to more than 23,000 homes.

        That’s left many vulnerable to the pandemic, said activists, who spent more than two weeks making phone calls before obtaining pallets of water bottles from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and local merchants.

      • Australian MP Joins Armenian-Assyrian-Greek Initiative for Genocide Recognition

        Member of Parliament and Chair of the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities, John Alexander has signed an Affirmation of Support joining the Joint Justice Initiative launched by the Armenian-Australian, Assyrian-Australian and Greek-Australian communities.

        The Joint Justice Initiative was launched in Canberra last month with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU), Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) and Australian Hellenic Council (AHC), and calls for national recognition of the 1915 Genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against its Christian Armenian, Assyrian and Greek populations.

      • Six shot dead over marital dispute

        Reportedly, a woman belonging to the family of the attackers had eloped with a man from Muhammad Ayub Lashari’s family, leading to a dispute between the two families. The former demanded that the woman and Lashari should be handed over to them but the latter refused. The two sides, reportedly, had held several rounds of negotiations before the incident took place.

      • Teen whose death may be linked to coronavirus denied care for not having health insurance, mayor says

        Parris said the teen went to an urgent care March 18.

        “He did not have insurance, so they did not treat him,” Parris said, adding the boy was sent to a hospital.

        En route, he went into cardiac arrest, according to the mayor. When the teen got to the hospital, he was revived and kept alive for six hours. But, it was too late, the mayor said.

      • Lancaster Teen Who Died Of Possible COVID-19 Complications Lacked Insurance, Delaying Treatment

        A 17-year-old boy in Lancaster, whose death was said to be from COVID-19 but is now being investigated by federal health authorities, sought treatment at an urgent care center but was turned away due to lack of insurance, according to the city’s mayor.

      • Bernie Sanders Leads Probe Into How Amazon Treats Workers During Pandemic

        In a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Representative Ilhan Omar and Senator Bernie Sanders asked the world’s richest man what he was doing to protect his workers in warehouses across the country, at least ten of which already have confirmed cases of coronavirus:

      • Computing Under Quarantine

        Under the current climate of lock-ins, self-isolation, shelter-in-place policies, and quarantine, it is becoming evident to more people the integral role computers play in our lives. Students are learning entirely online, those who can are working from home, and our personal relationships are being carried largely by technology like video chats, online games, and group messages. When these things have become our only means of socializing with those outside our homes, we begin to realize how important they are and the inequity inherent to many technologies.

        Someone was telling me how a neighbor doesn’t have a printer, so they are printing off school assignments for their neighbor. People I know are sharing internet connections with people in their buildings, when possible, to help save on costs with people losing jobs. I worry now even more about people who have limited access to home devices or poor internet connections.

        As we are forced into our homes and are increasingly limited in the resources we have available, we find ourselves potentially unable to easily fill material needs and desires. In my neighborhood, it’s hard to find flour. A friend cannot find yeast. A coworker couldn’t find eggs. Someone else is without dish soap. Supply chains are not designed to meet with the demand currently being exerted on the system.

      • China’s ‘success’ in stopping pandemic a ‘sheer fabrication,’ says US China expert

        Mosher is a celebrated international scholar who became in 1979 the first American research student to conduct anthropological research in China after the Cultural Revolution. He exposed the forced abortions of women due to the CPC’s “one-child policy” and as a result, was barred from entering China again.

        Mosher was also expelled from the PhD program of Stanford University, which became a controversy in the academic world. Critics said Stanford bowed down to Chinese pressure, but the university denied this and said Mosher was dropped because he violated research ethics and compromised the safety of his sources in China.

        Those sources may have aided Mosher in contesting CPC’s claim of defeating the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • If once is a misfortune and twice is careless, three times is…? Genentech loses UK SPC for Lucentis due to costly procedural error

        In the field of patents, an unintentional failure to pay the right fees at the right time can be a very costly mistake. The costs of a mistake are potentially even more significant for Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPC). SPCs provide extra years of patent protection (up to 5 years) based on a marketing authorisation for a clinical product. With a bulk of sales happening during the life of SPCs, SPCs can thus be very valuable to a patentee. A recent case before the UK High Court considered the consequences of underpaying the annuity fees for a UK SPC ([2020] EWHC 572 (Pat)). The UK is unique in requiring these fees to be paid as a lump sum at the start of the SPC term (Rule 116, Patents Rules). Unfortunately for the patentee, it seems there is little that can be done to rectify the mistake of underpayment.

      • Patents

        • CARES Act Text – PTO Related Deadlines
        • Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the USPTO

          The $2 trillion stimulus and economic rescue bill known as the CARES Act is moving forward in the Senate. Although not generally a key aspect of the legislation, the current proposal on the table includes temporary authority for the USPTO Director to “toll, waive, adjust, or modify, any timing deadline” established by the patent or trademark laws or by prior PTO regulation.


          Dir. Iancu has privately indicated a need for the legislation, but has not stated publicly what if he would make any immediate actions or whether he would delegate his authority to the PTAB to make these determinations.

          My reading of the proposal is that it provides authority to the USPTO Director but does not place any requirement on the Director to act. Thus, a particular party who experiences problems with filing or meeting other deadlines will not have a claim under the statute.

          All of the deadlines are easy for the PTO Director to adjust with the one exception being the original filing date. In addition, international obligations may create some problems with adjusting PCT-related dates — although WIPO and the big-five are working through potential arrangements as we sit here today.

        • The President of The Community Plant Variety Office decides on an extension to deadlines due to COVID-19

          Yesterday, the 24th of March, the President of the Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) took a “Decision concerning the extension of time limits” that fall in the period 17 March – 3 May included, until 4 May 2020 for parties to proceedings before the Office and the Board of Appeal.

        • Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Patent Offices and Federal Courts — March 26 UPDATE

          On March 11, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom declared that the COVID-19 outbreak “can be characterized as a pandemic,” cautioning that the WHO has “rung the alarm bell loud and clear.” At the time of the announcement, the WHO noted that there were 118,000 cases reported globally. In the fifteen days since the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic, the number of global cases has almost quadrupled, with the WHO reporting in its latest situation report that as of March 26 there have been 462,684 cases. The Director-General also stated that “[t]his is not just a public health crisis, it is a crisis that will touch every sector – so every sector and every individual must be involved in the fight.” The WHO’s March 11 declaration — and global developments since then — raise the question of how the pandemic is affecting the patent community.

        • Kaken Pharmaceutical Co. v. Iancu (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          Ever since the Supreme Court’s decision in Dickinson v. Zurko, patent applicants (and with the advent of inter partes review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, patentees) have found it difficult to overcome Patent Office determinations of obviousness, due to the deference to factual issues the Zurko case imposed on the Federal Circuit in reviewing PTO decisions. But one Achilles’ heel to these difficulties arises over how the PTO construes claims, which remains subject to de novo review (because all the evidence before the Patent Office is inherently intrinsic evidence). And when the Office (through the PTAB) makes an error in construing a claim, the Federal Circuit remains ready to pounce, which was the basis for the Court overturning the PTAB’s invalidation on obviousness grounds of Kaken Pharmaceutical’s claims in the recent Kaken Pharmaceutical Co. v. Iancu decision.

          The case arose in an IPR over all the claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,214,506, which are directed to methods for topically treating fungal infections in human nails. The Board initiated the IPR on petition by Acrux Ltd. and Acrux DDS Pty. Ltd. (who are not party to the appeal), and found all claims of the ’506 patent to be unpatentable as obvious.

        • Respect for Judgment: Challenging the Federal Circuit’s Unique Finality Rule

          My Civil Procedure class at Mizzou is now “Online Civil Procedure.” The final topic in the course will be “respect for judgments.” A basic setup of our legal system is to offer substantial justice — giving all parties due process including an opportunity to be heard and judged by an impartial tribunal. Once that process is complete, the result is then seen as final and further challenges regarding the same issues or claims are precluded.

          In patent law, the sense of finality and respect for judgment has been substantially complicated with the rise of AIA trials.

          A case-in-point is Chrimar Systems v. Ale USA (Supreme Court 2020). Chrimar is typical of many contemporary cases because it involves parallel district court and PTAB litigation.

        • Fote v. Iancu: R.36 Decisions and the Reasons for Judgment

          We know that a district court judge deciding an issue on the merits must expressly the legal and factual basis for their decision. The rules of appellate procedure don’t provide the same requirement for appellate decisions. However, the Federal Circuit’s local rules suggest that it will issue no-judgments affirmance only when an “opinion would have no precedential value” and the lower tribunal decision is properly affirmed. Fed. Cir. Rules of Practice R. 36.

        • A Follow-up on CyWee and ZTE v. LG and the Public

          A few weeks ago, I covered a PTAB case that illustrates why the PTO’s proposed rule on who bears the burden on amended claims in IPRs is fatally flawed. In that case, ZTE challenged a CyWee patent and LG joined the ZTE petition. But CyWee filed an amended claim that ZTE wasn’t concerned by. ZTE chose not to oppose this amendment, which makes sense—but it’s also actively refusing to allow LG to step in to oppose the amendment. LG argued that they should be allowed to step in, and that the only reason ZTE was blocking them was because of some type of side arrangement between ZTE and CyWee.

          The PTAB panel in the case decided that LG would not be permitted to oppose, claiming the public benefits when a new claim is proposed at the PTAB and no one is permitted to oppose it. They also refused to inquire (or allow LG to inquire) into whether there was a side agreement of the type LG alleged.


          It’s also not unthinkable, given evidence filed alongside the request for rehearing. LG asked ZTE whether it was representing that it had no written or oral agreement with CyWee. In response, ZTE’s lawyer said “I make no representations one way or another.” If there was no such agreement, ZTE’s lawyer could have saved his client time and money by stating that there was no such agreement. A refusal to represent that no such agreement exists suggests that, in fact, there is such an agreement.

          That’s relatively anodyne compared to the words out of Michael Shore’s mouth. Unsolicited, Shore contacted LG’s lawyers after the PTAB’s decision to say, “Get ready for the district court case, buddy.”


          All of this leads back to one main problem—the PTO’s proposal to place the burden for amendments on the petitioner, rather than the patent owner. This case is exceptional because there’s a joined petitioner who would step in—in the average case, if the petitioner didn’t care to oppose an amendment, there’d be no active party bearing the burden and amended claims would effectively sail through unopposed.

          That’s why CCIA suggested to the PTO that it should place the burden on the party where ordinary legal principles suggest it should go—on the party requesting relief, the patent owner. The Board should rehear this case and reverse itself, but more importantly, the Director should revisit the PTO’s proposed rule and determine that a rule placing the burden on the petitioner is inappropriate.

        • European Union: EPO, EUIPO And UK IPO Advice In Relation To Coronavirus Outbreak

          The European Patent Office (EPO), European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) have published advice on measures being taken in view of the world-wide coronavirus outbreak.


          The disruptions due to COVID-19 in Germany qualify as a “general dislocation” under Rule 134(2) EPC in a country where the EPO is located, and so the EPO has issued a notice stating that “periods” expiring on or after 15 March 2020 are extended until 17 April 2020 for all parties and their representatives. In accordance with Article 150(2) EPC, this extension applies also for international applications under the PCT.

        • The Impact of COVID-19 on the European Patent Office

          This is the third part of our three-part series on the impact of the COVID-19 on patent offices around the world (Part 1 was on the USPTO and Part 2 was on the Chinese Patent Office). We focus today on the European Patent Office (EPO), which is the regional patent organization for filing and prosecuting European patent applications. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Europe, the EPO has taken some steps to ease pressure on Applicants and on the Office. The EPO has made a number of announcements regarding coronavirus-related impacts, which are summarized below.

        • Claiming a Super-Augmenting a Persona to Manifest a Pan-Environment Super-Cyborg

          This pro se petition to the Supreme Court has a number of major problems, but does ask one interesting question:

          Whether 35 U.S.C. §112 [the enablement doctrine] is satisfied when the specification of a patent application is enabling to an interdisciplinary team of two or three persons, working in cooperation?

        • Does the requirement for a “technical contribution” in a novel selection survive? (if selecting from convergent lists) (T 1621/16)

          The EPO has famously strict requirements with respect to support for amendments. An important principle in the prosecution of patent applications is that any amendments the applicant makes to the application must have basis or support in the application as filed. The EPO is particularly strict with regards to amendments based on the combination of features from different parts of a patent specification. A recently published decision from the Boards of Appeal (T 1621/16) clarified the criteria for assessing whether a selection from multiple “convergent lists” (i.e. lists with features of increasing preference) is supported.

          The Board of Appeal found that the selection from convergent lists is different in principle from a selection from a normal, non-convergent lists. However, to have basis in the application as filed, the Board reasoned that the selection from multiple convergent lists must not be identified with a previously undisclosed technical feature and must be supported by a pointer elsewhere in the specification. Importantly, basis and novelty are inextricably linked. In particular, the same test for “disclosure” is used. Therefore, if applied by other Boards of Appeal, this decision also has implications for the assessment of novelty of selection inventions from multiple convergent lists.


          The principles of basis and novelty are inextricably linked. The test for novelty and added matter apply the same Gold Standard test that a disclosure must be clearly and unambiguously derivable (Case Law of the Board of Appeal, II.E.1.2.1). The recent Board of Appeal decision on the selection from convergent lists therefore has implications for the novelty of inventions in view of prior art disclosing converging lists. Applying the Board of Appeal’s reasoning in T 1621/16, the selection of multiple features from converging lists in the prior art would be novel if the selection was associated with a previously undisclosed technical feature. The question remains whether the identification of a previously undisclosed technical feature of the selection would also be necessary for novelty.

          The novelty requirement that a selection invention must relate to a “technical contribution” has otherwise fallen out of favour with the Boards of Appeal. Such a requirement is now broadly considered to be more properly associated with an assessment of inventive step rather than novelty. There have been recent calls to refer the issue of whether the requirement is necessary to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA). It will therefore be interesting to see whether the reasoning of T 1621/16 is applied by other Boards. If nothing else, the case is a reminder that the Boards of Appeal may not yet have reached a consensus on the appropriate criteria for assessing the novelty of selection inventions.

        • Oral Arguments at the Federal Circuit (via Telephone)

          The Federal Circuit is set to start holding oral arguments again for the week of April 6, 2020. The arguments not be in-person but rather conducted via telephone (audio only). The currently conceived setup won’t allow non-parties to listen-in on the conversation but the court is recording oral arguments and has indicated that it “will continue to release same-day audio for all arguments.” Additionally, a substantial number of scheduled arguments have been cancelled with a notice that:

          The panel of judges that will decide this appeal has determined that oral argument is unnecessary. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2)(C).

        • Software Patents

          • Europe stands several times more to lose than to gain from condoning Nokia’s refusal to license automotive suppliers

            Antitrust enforcement should simply be a question of legal merits. But the industrial-policy argument that some forces within the European Commission make in Nokia’s (and, by extension, Ericsson’s) favor just doesn’t withstand even superficial scrutiny.


            Europe’s automotive industry dwarfs Nokia and Ericsson with respect to investment in research and development. According to ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association), “EU automotive investment in R&D has increased by 6.7% to reach €57.4 billion annually.” Macrotrends says “Ericsson research and development expenses for the twelve months ending December 31, 2019 were $4.107B, a 8.3% decline year-over-year.” Statista shows that Nokia’s R&D spend is also in decline, down to €4.41 billion. Here’s a column chart (click on the image to enlarge):

          • Facebook, Inc. v. Windy City Innovations, LLC (Fed. Cir. 2020)

            It’s often said that hard cases make bad law. And that is what had happened here: faced with an unreasonable number of potentially asserted claims in litigation, and a Plaintiff not required to identify which of those claims it would actually assert within the filing limit (one-year) between being served with a complaint and filing to initiate an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding, Facebook played the novel gambit of trying to join its own IPR to attack the claims actually asserted against it. At the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, it actually worked (with a little assistance from the USPTO Director). But the Federal Circuit held otherwise, finding that joinder was only permitted for other parties who were seeking review of the same issues, not for the same party seeking to change the scope of the review. Thus, it vacated the PTAB’s decision on the late-added claims, despite otherwise affirming the PTAB’s decision on the merits of the claims.

            The dispute between Facebook and Windy City began on June 2, 2015, when Windy City sued Facebook for infringement of four patents in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. Those four patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,458,245; 8,694,657; 8,473,552; and 8,407,356, have 58, 671(!), 64, and 37 claims, respectively. The Complaint did not identify which of those 830 claims Facebook allegedly infringed. Facebook was served with the Complaint the day after it was filed, and moved to dismiss it on July 24, 2015, arguing that the Complaint was deficient because it did not identify the allegedly infringed claims. Facebook then filed a motion to transfer the case to the Northern District of California on August 25, 2015.


            In addition to the panel opinion, the Federal Circuit included additional views to address the POP’s decision in Proppant, which issued after primary briefing in the appeal, and whether deference would be appropriate. Facebook had earlier suggested the Federal Circuit should defer under Chevron, but the Federal Circuit had never done so with a nonprecedential Board decision (and expressly refused to do so here). But Proppant was precedential, which caused the Federal Circuit to look more closely. Proppant suggested that the Director had discretion to allow same-party joinder, but would only exercise that discretion where fairness requires it and would alleviate unfairness to a party.

            The Federal Circuit again rejected that deference for a number of reasons. First, it found the statute unambiguous, which preempts Chevron deference. Second, although the AIA gave the Director rulemaking authority in relation to the procedures for joinder in IPRs (and therefore deference would be most appropriate), it found that was different from interpreting the statute itself. The panel found that there was no deference indicated for statutory interpretation, just filling in the interstices of the statute. Finally, the Federal Circuit found that there were other ways to alleviate the potential unfairness to parties (including patent local rules, which normally would call for early disclosure of asserted claims) that would cause less disruption to the statutory scheme. Thus, it rejected the Proppant decision.

          • Customer Suit Exception and Stays for Judicial Economy

            Sprouts is a supermarket chain sued by Motion Offense, LLC in W.D.Tex. for infringing its patents, US10013158 & US10021052 (processing and sharing a “data object”). The basic allegation in the case is that Sprouts’ is infringing the patents by using Dropbox. After hearing that its customers were being sued, Dropbox itself brought a declaratory judgment action in D.Del. against Motion Offense seeking a non-infringement declaration.


            In patent cases, courts have recognized a customer suit exception to the first to file rule in a situation where there are parallel lawsuits involving (1) the prime manufacturer/originator of an infringing product/service and also (2) customers of the prime manufacturer. Even if the customers were sued first, courts have found it proper and appropriate to stay those cases pending outcome of the big one against the prime manufacturer. Other approaches abound — including synchronizing motion practice and partial joinder. The guiding principles for all of these approaches is “efficiency and judicial economy” Tegic Commc’ns Corp. v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. of Texas Sys., 458 F.3d 1335 (Fed. Cir. 2006). As stated by Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: The rules “should be construed, administered, and employed by the court and the parties to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.”

          • Rakuten joins open access research group to fast track open source network technology

            Japanese mobile network operator, Rakuten, has formally joined the Open Invention Network, in a bid to speed up research and development of open source mobile network technologies.

            The Open Invention Network is committed to facilitating freedom of action for its community members and users of Linux or open source software. The OIN already has 3,100 members from across the global telecoms community.


            Rakuten is currently Japan’s smallest mobile network operator, but will look to grow its subscriber base rapidly as it scales up its 5G offering throughout the year.

          • Japanese operator Rakuten joins open source research group to fast track R&D
      • Trademarks

        • China says ‘No’ to the malicious filing of Coronavirus-related trade marks

          Recently, this provision has been used to refuse registration of Coronavirus pandemic-related trade mark applications.


          A brief note here: Huoshenshan Hospital (火神山医院, Vulcan Mountain Hospital) and Leishenshan Hospital (雷神山医院, Thor Mountain Hospital) are both urgent makeshift medical facilities in Wuhan, set up specifically to tackle Coronavirus. It took around ten days from the beginning of construction to the admittance of the first patients (BBC report and Telegraph footage). These two field hospitals are quite special to Chinese people, not only because they saved thousands of lives but also because their whole construction processes were livestreamed in real time, round the clock. Tens of millions of people watched the livestreaming (partly because cities were on ‘lockdown’ and people were quarantined at home), and they became so familiar with the construction vehicles at the site that they gave them nicknames, e.g. ‘The Cement King’.

          Dr Li Wenliang (李文亮) is doctor who first warned about the epidemic outbreak. He died, aged 33, in Wuhan after contracting Coronavirus. Needless to say, he will be remembered by many of us. As Professor Dr Jie Qiao said to The Lancet: ‘I deeply mourn for all the medical practitioners passing away in the struggle against this emerging infectious disease, especially Dr Li Wenliang, as one of the whistle-blowers dedicating his young life in the front line. We were encouraged by his dedication to patients and we will continue to fight against the virus to comfort the dead with the final victory.’

        • Are lemmings a threat to the Disney+ brand?

          Ask a Kat reader what comes to his mind when hearing the word “lemming”, and he will probably say: “Aren’t they the rodents [Merpel says, “technically they are voles"] that live in the frozen north and who every so often commit mass suicide by hurtling themselves over a cliff into the wide ocean”. This image of lemmings is now a mainstream metaphor, where accusing a group of “lemming- like behavior” is a way of describing impulsive, herd-like behavior, even mass hysteria, usually ending in a mass disaster.

          The only problem is—it ain’t so. As Alaska state wildlife biologist Thomas McDonough categorically stated in an article published back in 2003 by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, “It’s a complete urban legend” [Merpel says, “Or the wildlife equivalent”], confusing dispersal with migration. If lemmings over-breed, some may, moving as a group, seek an alternative food supply which may, in certain circumstances, lead some of them to venture into the open sea. But acts of intentional mass suicide, vole-style-not a chance.

      • Copyrights

        • Stairway to Heaven: The impact of Zeppelin on Katy Perry’s copyright infringement case – overturned

          The Katy Perry decision for copyright infringement and $2.8M in damages [Katposts here and here] has been overturned. This judgement, made on the 16th March, comes in the wake of the decision on 9th March that Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ did not infringe the copyright of the song ‘Taurus’, [Kat post here].


          At trial, the plaintiffs argued that there were “five or six” protectable elements in their ostinato; length (8 notes), rhythm, melodic content, melodic shape, timbre or quality and colour of the sound, and the placement. Although in their opposition papers they extended this to nine elements. The defendants argued that none of these elements were individually protectable and the court agreed. Highlighting that the plaintiff’s evidence from their expert musicologist was that any single one of those elements would not have been enough, but it was the combination of them that supported his conclusion. Therefore, the plaintiff’s burden to prove the protectable elements of their ostinato was not met.

          Furthermore, the evidence of the musicologist [for the plaintiff, apparently] was that several of the elements where unoriginal to such an extent that the choices were tendencies in popular music “the way that the ostinato resolves is not so much original so much as it is necessary.” The court demonstrated that, as a matter of law, the courts have routinely denied copyright protection for such commonplace elements. As such, pursuant to the extrinsic test, the individual elements of the ostinato were deemed not to be protectable by copyright. [In line with Zeppelin, where the court specifically stated that descending chromatic scale, arpeggios, and other common elements are not protected by copyright, which at the time seemed at odds with the KP case].

        • Allen v. Cooper – U.S. States Have Sovereign Immunity from Copyright Damages

          Last month, this Kat posited my observations and predictions regarding a case before the U.S. Supreme Court about state sovereign immunity in copyright, Allen v. Cooper. Today, the Supreme Court issued a disappointing ruling; all 9 justices concurred that Florida Prepaid (a similar Supreme Court case in the patent context) is binding precedent. As a result, the Court unanimously ruled that Congress did not validly abrogate state sovereign immunity through the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act (CRCA) under neither Article 1 of the Constitution nor under Section 5 of the 14th Amendment.

        • Led Zeppelin ruling should ease burden on copyright defendants

          Lawyers say the Ninth Circuit‘s decision to get rid of the inverse ratio rule will affect all copyright-intensive industries and clear up sloppy analysis

        • [Guest post] ‘Upload filters’ and human rights: implementing Article 17 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market

          The EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (the CDSM Directive) requires the European Commission, in cooperation with copyright holders, services, user groups and others, to meet up to discuss potential practical solutions for the implementation of Article 17 therein (the provision concerning online content sharing service providers (OCSSPs)’ obligations in relation to the making available of user uploaded content (UUC), also known in jargon as the ‘value gap’ provision).

          Article 17 also requires OCSSPs to enter into licensing agreements with rightholders for the making available of copyright content uploaded by users of their service. If a licence is not concluded, these services must make ‘best efforts’ to prevent the making available of infringing content.

        • Publishers Sign Onto a Coronavirus ‘Education Continuity License’

          Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), based in Danvers, Massachusetts, has released a statement today announcing what it calls an “education continuity license” intended “to enable creative approaches to remote teaching and distance learning made necessary by the pandemic.”

          In its statement, the company says that responsible educators in parts of the United States have asked about their need to use copyrighted content and materials “in innovative new ways to support distance learning.”

          In response, CCC says it’s coordinating with rights holders “to authorize the use of their materials at no cost by educators as required by the pandemic during this time of emergency.”

          Copyright Clearance Center stipulates that it isn’t delivering educational materials or content to educators. Instead, it’s offering a new license that will authorize American school districts, educators, parents, and others to make immediate additional uses of materials that they have previously lawfully acquired (italics ours). CCC also says that it will not collect any fees from this “education continuity license” from any party, nor will it charge for its own services in administering the contract.

        • YouTube Refuses to Process DMCA Counternotice for ‘Creepy Bugs’ Cartoon

          An artist who uploaded a parody cartoon to YouTube and received a strike against his channel following a Warner Bros. complaint has been denied the opportunity to fight his corner. MeatCanyon uploaded a cartoon featuring a creepy ‘Bugs Bunny’ and later appealed using a DMCA counternotice. YouTube, however, refused to pass the notice on and dismissed the claim.

        • MPAA and RIAA’s Megaupload Lawsuits Remain on Hold

          A federal court in Virginia has granted Megaupload’s request to place the cases filed by the RIAA and MPAA on hold for another six months. The lawsuits have been frozen for years now and are not expected to start anytime soon, as there’s no progress in the criminal case against the defunct file-sharing service.

The Fall of the UPC – Part IX: Campinos Opens His Mouth One Week Later (and It’s That Hilarious Delusion Again)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The funny thing? Even Team UPC isn’t buying the spiel of António Campinos, deputy clown of wannabe UPC chief.

Reichstag in Berlin

Summary: Team Campinos said nothing whatsoever about the decision of the FCC until one week later, whereupon Campinos leveraged some words from Christine Lambrecht to mislead everybody in the EPO’s official “news” section

THE European Patent Office (EPO) is definitely and undoubtedly a constant source of fury but also an occasional, part-time source of entertainment and amusement because amid all the scandals there are cover-up attempts and hollow face-saving ambitions that verge on black comedy. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but humour is the best medicine when corruption is neither pretty nor funny.

In the previous part (part 8) we covered Team UPC’s shameless spin. It painted the UPC’s death as “life” and bad news (to them) as “actually good news in disguise” or something along those lines. Psychologists and psychiatrists leverage if not ‘prescribe’ such methods.

“Psychologists and psychiatrists leverage if not ‘prescribe’ such methods.”Over at Bristows, the latest blog post is Gregory Bacon’s spin that says: “Although the complaint regarding the Bundestag majority was held to be admissible, that was only by the narrowest majority of the Senate’s eight Justices, i.e. five votes to three.”

Like athletes who say, “I lost only by two seconds.”

Courts don’t work that way. The decision doesn’t come with a “score”.

“Yeah, Johnny, I lost the case, but some people in the jury liked me… see you when I get out of prison!”

It is definitely worth noting that the EPO (management, President, Vice Presidents) waited silently for whole week and abstained from saying anything at all about this blow in the FCC (Team UPC keeps breaking the law) until some lying politician opened the mouth and was possible to quote selectively. EPO management never looked this desperate.

“It is definitely worth noting that the EPO (management, President, Vice Presidents) waited silently for whole week and abstained from saying anything at all about this blow in the FCC…”For those who missed it (this did not receive much publicity), in the German language Christine Lambrecht wrote this little page and the EPO jumped all over it, tweeting the sheer spin of Campinos (warning: epo.org link) as though it is “news”. To quote:

The European Patent Office (EPO) strongly welcomes the announcement of the German government to continue its support for the introduction of the Unitary Patent system in Europe.

In a statement made yesterday on the country’s ratification of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement, German Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection Christine Lambrecht expressed her intention to “carefully evaluate the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court and examine possibilities to remedy the identified lack of form still in the current legislative period.”

The EPO’s official “news” section has increasingly become a platform of propaganda. For a whole week nothing at all was said about the FCC’s decision. And now this from Christine Lambrecht?

They don’t even pretend to be objective. The above is a bunch of nonsense (quotes) from Campinos. He’s ‘pulling a Battistelli’ again. He’s neither honest nor good. He’s a charlatan and a fraud.

Even biased lawyers who run IP Kat (not the old site called IP Kat; it changed) have just reiterated the nature of this decision, saying “this decision will set the UPC back 5 years!”

“They don’t even pretend to be objective.”Magdaleen Jooste wrote: “The German constitutional court upholds complaint against UPC Agreement and implementing act! Read the decision here. It is reported that this decision will set the UPC back 5 years! The main reason for the decision was that the act by which Germany was to ratify the UPC Agreement, was not passed with the required parliamentary majority. Léon Dijkman provided a detailed analysis of the decision by the German constitutional court.”

We probably won’t quote many comments from that blog anymore; IP Kat censors many comments, ‘sanitising’ views it does not agree with because they don’t share the agenda of today’s IP Kat editors.

Anyway, the above “news” from the EPO site makes it rather clear that the “clean” EPO management (Campinos and his mates from EUIPO) is still looking to break the law and violate countless constitutions. It cherry-picks polticians that it selectively cites like a one-party military-turned-state North Korea.

If this does not repulse patent examiners, we wonder what will…

My friend Benjamin Henrion translated Lambrecht as saying: “I will continue to work to ensure that we can provide the European innovative industry with a single European patent with a European patent court.”

You cannot.

“Anyway, Lambrecht may wear something that says “Europe” on her lapel or sleeve. She might also wave a bunch of yellow-blue flags, but clearly Lambrecht misses the point. What Europe needs is a lot more than shallow rhetoric — the type of thing EPO staff has grown tired of.”“Well, Chinese and American industries as well,” Henrion remarked, for “2/3 of patents in Europe are given to them…”

“Most of their “clients” aren’t European. It’s a class (monopoly) thing, not a regional thing,” I told him

Just because the “E” in EPO says “European” doesn’t mean it works for Europe and for Europeans. It employs many, sure, but whose agenda does their work serve? Usually very rich people’s. No, not rich Europeans. Just rich people. Corporations. Multinationals. Monsanto, Exxon, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon…

Huawei untrustworthy? Serving the Chinese military? Danger to Europe? Guess who receives the most European Patents…

Anyway, Lambrecht may wear something that says “Europe” on her lapel or sleeve. She might also wave a bunch of yellow-blue flags, but clearly Lambrecht misses the point. What Europe needs is a lot more than shallow rhetoric — the type of thing EPO staff has grown tired of. Trampling on workers — and on all people — in the name of “unity” won’t make people more united; it might unite them against those who misuse those shiny labels in the service of goals that crush human rights.

Team UPC megaphones absolutely adore Lambrecht for what she said. JUVE is among them. JUVE reinvented itself as lying propaganda and we’ll say a lot more about JUVE’s role in UPC lobbying later in this ongoing series. As Henrion put it: “German Ministry of Justice keeps pushing for the UPC, JUVE interprets it as “Bundestag will vote again” https://www.bmjv.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/DE/2020/032620_Patentreform.html … https://www.juve-patent.com/news-and-stories/legal-commentary/german-government-announces-intention-to-move-forward-with-upc/ … This is not possible as Rules of Procedure are not made by parliament(s).”

“We’ll have a lot more to say about JUVE’s poor coverage later in this series.”True, it is not possible. If anything, this serves to show that the German Ministry of Justice does not understand the law. Yes, the irony. One might expect this from Donald Trump’s USDOJ, not Germany’s Ministry of Justice.

JUVE’s editor tweeted: “UPC latest: just six days after the judgment of the German Constitutional Court, the German government announces its intention to move forward with the Unified Patent Court.”

Did you fact-check, JUVE?

We’ll have a lot more to say about JUVE’s poor coverage later in this series.

What’s being suggested here is illegal and there would be further complaints against overt corruption. This, we might add, might be expected from Donald Trump. Are his grandfather’s relatives still in Germany and getting involved in such reckless politics based upon will and dogma rather than underlying laws and a constitution? Does the FCC have its authority diminished to mere “advisory”?

It’s not only us pointing this out by the way; “Kluwer Patent blogger” (oftentimes Bristows) published “Despite FCC ruling, Germany wants to push ahead with Unitary Patent system” and tweeted this bunch of nonsense only to be blasted in the comments, as usual. Immediately one person wrote: “And don’t forget the Rules of Procedure made by an administrative committee, which is contrary to the caselaw of the FCC, and caselaw of the ECHR on art6.”

“Even Team UPC boosters don’t quite buy the laughable spiel of Campinos and Christine Lambrecht; nor should they if they choose to become grown-ups and realistic rather than jingoistic self-serving liars.”“Concerned observer” wrote: “From the Ministry that brought you the late night shenanigans that ultimately killed the law approving the UPCA we are now served up a new strategy that has all the makings of another farce.

“Why prolong the agony and uncertainty? Why not state the obvious and acknowledge that, at the very least, the first step that will need to be taken is renegotiation and amendment of the UPCA? What is to be gained by not admitting that it will take more than just another vote in the Bundestag?

“Deeply disappointing.”

A vocal UPC booster in Munich quoted: “So a simple re-run of the previous approval law with the same UPCA text will not work. It would most probably also be contrary to EU law if Germany were to ratify an agreement that transfers sovereign rights (part of its jurisdiction)to an international court that is currently/2 https://twitter.com/kluwerblogger/status/1243477267629641728 [] partly located outside the EU and in a state which has explicitly declared that it is not minded to follow EU law and does not want to be subject to the jurisdiction of the CJEU.“

Even Team UPC boosters don’t quite buy the laughable spiel of Campinos and Christine Lambrecht; nor should they if they choose to become grown-ups and realistic rather than jingoistic self-serving liars. No, UPC isn’t for “SMEs” and it was never designed for them, either. The exact opposite is true.

Pretending EPO Corruption Stopped Under António Campinos When It is in Fact a Lot Worse in Several Respects/Aspects (Than It Was Under Benoît Battistelli)

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 6:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Focus on presidential composure/temper misses the point when about 85% of workers want to go on strike

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Summary: Germany’s eagerness to keep Europe’s central patent office in Munich (and to a lesser degree in Berlin) means that politicians in the capital and in Bavaria turn a blind eye to abuses, corruption and even serious crimes; this won’t help Germany’s image in the long run

THE European Patent Office’s (EPO) corruption under António Campinos has been documented here since 2018 and as recently as this month. There’s no concrete reason to believe — only shallow PR ploys to swallow — that he’s better than Battistelli. He’s a continuation of Battistelli and further regression along the very same lines. The agenda or the goal is the same; it has nothing whatsoever to do with innovation or competitiveness.

“The agenda or the goal is the same; it has nothing whatsoever to do with innovation or competitiveness.”In our next post we’ll highlight the latest nonsense from Campinos. It’s about the UPC. SUEPO cited only The Register rather than some law firms on this matter. Rightly so! SUEPO has also, as it promised it would, produced these two English translations [PDF] of German Bundestag discussions [PDF]. We’d like to reprint these in HTML form below (the English version; there’s also French and the originals are both in German). From the document with the questions:

German Bundestag
19th Legislative Period

Printing Material 19/17383

Brief Inquiry

of members of parliament Roman Müller-Böhm, Stephan Thomae, Grigorios Aggelidis, Renata Alt, Nicole Bauer, Jens Beeck, Dr. Jens Brandenburg (Rhein-Neckar), Sandra Bubendorfer-Licht, Dr. Marco Buschmann, Britta Katharina Dassler, Hartmut Ebbing, Dr. Marcus Faber, Daniel Föst, Otto Fricke, Thomas Hacker, Peter Heidt, Katrin Helling-Plahr, Markus Herbrand, Torsten Herbst, Katja Hessel, Manuel Höferlin, Reinhard Houben, Ulla Ihnen, Olaf in der Beek, Dr. Marcel Klinge, Daniela Kluckert, Pascal Kober, Carina Konrad, Konstantin Kuhle, Ulrich Lechte, Dr. Martin Neumann, Dr. Wieland Schinnenburg, Matthias Seestern-Pauly, Frank Sitta, Dr. Hermann Otto Solms, Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Katja Suding, Michael Theurer, Dr. Florian Toncar, Gerald Ullrich, Sandra Weeser, Nicole Westig, Katharina Willkomm, and the parliamentary party FDP

Position and Procedure of the European Parliament

[Material omitted which the reply reproduced]

We ask the federal government…

[Questions omitted which the reply below quoted]

Berlin, 30th January 2020

Christian Lindner and parliamentary party

Berlin, 30 th January 2020

Christian Lindner and parliamentary party

General Production: H. Heenemann GmbH & Co. KG, Printing and Offset Office, Bessemerstraße 83–91, 12103 Berlin,

Distribution: Bundesanzeiger Verlag GmbH, PO Box 10 05 34, 50445 Cologne, Telephone (02 21) 97 66 83 40, Fax (02 21) 97 66 83 44, www.betrifft-gesetze.de
ISSN 0722-8333

To avoid repetition we’ve cut out the introduction and questions above, leaving them in tact below, instead.

The responses (to the questions listed below) are really quite the extraordinary ‘coverup’ with ridiculous excuses and dismissive revisionism. Here it goes:

German Bundestag
19th Legislative Period

Printing Material 19/17809

of the federal government

regarding the brief inquiry of member of parliament Roman Müller-Böhm, Stephan Thomae, Grigorios Aggelidis, other members of parliament, and parliamentary party FDP

– Printing Material 19/17383 –

Position and Procedure of the European Parliament

Preliminary Note of the Inquirer

The European Patent Office (EPO) is the executive body of the European Patent Organization (EPOrg) with headquarters in Munich and has the function to check patent applications and to grant European patents. The EPO was created by international agreement and is a multinational institution with the status of a legal entity (https://www.epo.org/ about-us/foundation_de.html). It was agreed that the EPO will have legal immunity and that only the special rights created by the member countries is legally binding for the EPO (cf. Article 8 of the European Patent Agreement). The competence for legally binding decisions rests with the member countries of the organization in the course of a corresponding conference (https://www.epo.org/about-us/governance_de.html).

In the recent past, the EPO was confronted with widespread criticism. This varied from the announced use of financial means, to the quality standards of patents, to the treatment of employees, and to insufficient independence of the complaint’s offices (https://suepo.org/public/ex18052cdp.pdf, p. 4 and 5). A group of 924 employees criticized that the accelerated procedure during the evaluation of patents would be performed at the expense of quality. In their opinion, this is due to the requirements regarding productivity of the employees of the old management. Correspondingly, the international union within the EPO, the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO), especially criticized that the introduced scoring system would incentivize the examiners to produce masses of patents with low quality (https://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Europaeisches-Patentamt-Patentpruefer-rebellieren-gegen-Qualitaetsverluste-3997082.html).

Besides that, the Federal Audit Office last year criticized the decision by the EPO that the assets of the office are supposed to be used in a financially speculative way (https://www.wiwo.de/politik/europa/rechnungshof-scharfe-kritik-an-finanzgebaren-des-europaeischen-patentamts/22722052.html). In the view of the Federal Audit Office, this is not necessary and may entail higher risks. Additionally, it is objected that through the investment transactions of the EPO, a “shadow budget” is managed in an international agency with public funds that is not covered by the international constitutive act of the member countries and violates democratic principles

The reply was transmitted on behalf of the federal government by writing through the federal ministry of justice and consumer protection dated 10th of March 2020.
Additionally, the printing material contains – in small font – the question text.

(Petra Sorge, Die unheimliche Wette, WirtschaftsWoche vom 22. Juni 2018, S. 35). This continues in a general criticism regarding the state of labor and the legal controls of the EPO (http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/europaeisches-patentamt-deutsches-arbeitsrecht-gilt-hier.724.de.html/?dram:article_id=347579).

Moreover, employee policy was criticized for some time. Employees of the EPO mostly appeared anonymously towards the press, according to their own statements due to fear of sanctions (Petra Sorge, Die unheimliche Wette, WirtschaftsWoche vom 22. Juni 2018, S. 36). Besides that, the right to strike for employees were limited by internal regulations and sick employees were ordered to stay home. Furthermore, measures against critical employees were introduced, such as key logger. There is also talk about an EPO internal investigation unit for employee matters (Petra Sorge, Wo kein Richter …, Cicero vom 3. Mai 2018). The former judge at the Federal Constitutional Court, Dr. Siegfried Broß, says that there are substantial deficits concerning the employment status of the employees. There are employee representatives, but they do not have any constitutive participation rights. Instead, they could only issue recommendations to which the president is not bound (https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/europaeisches-patentamt-deutsches-arbeitsrecht-gilt-hier.724.de.html?dram:article_id=347579).

The Federal Republic of Germany, as member country of the EPO, has a joint responsibility for the EPOrg. With the changed conditions caused by the change within management as of 1st July 2018 (https://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Europaeisches-Patentamt-Chef-Battistelli-tritt-ab-Campinos-tritt-an-3857253.html) and in light of the previous events regarding the EPOrg, according to the inquirer, the question arises, whether and to what extent from the perspective of the federal government, the situation at the EPOrg has changed with the new management.

1. Did the federal government have knowledge about the published accusation in the press of a loss in quality during the patent application examination and the granting of patents as compared to the previous management of the EPO, and how does the federal government assess it?

For the federal government, the quality of the patent assessment by the European Patent Office (EPO) is an important issue. Quality management and quality control must be secured sustainably within the workflow of the EPO. The federal government therefore welcomes the goals, the new president of the EPO has set himself in his strategy plan for 2019 to 2023. The achievement of these goals will be evaluated by the federal government on the basis of annual quality reports performed by the president of the EPO.

2. Did the federal government have knowledge about the published accusations in the press of the “shadow budget” and the financial risk management as compared to the former management of the EPO, and how does the federal government evaluate it?

The cited press reports are known to the federal government. The EPO issues a budget annually, in which also financial investments are considered and explained transparently. A so-called shadow budget does not exist. An appropriate risk management is in place.

Germany had voted against the new investment guideline for the management of cash funds during the 156th meeting of the supervisory board dated 27th/28th of July 2018 on the basis of the statement issued by the Federal Audit Office.

3. According to the federal government, are there deficits in terms of financial management and the treatment of employees at the EPO?

a) If so, what measures would the federal government assume then?
b) If no and from the point of view of the federal government, are the existing rules at the EPO regarding financial management and treatment of employees sufficient?

According to the federal government, there are no deficits as regards financial management at the EPO. The federal government welcomes that the new president of the EPO wants to improve the social climate and treatment of employees, and has introduced initial measures in the course of the strategy plan 2019 to 2023.

4. Did the federal government have knowledge about the published accusation in the press of a violation of rights of employees caused by surveillance and curtailing of labor laws as compared to the former management of the EPO, and how does the federal government assess this?

5. According to the federal government, were there any complaints filed with police with respect to the EPO?

6. Did the federal government have knowledge about the published accusation in the press of employee surveillance by internal investigation groups of the former EPO management, and how does the federal government assess this?

7. Did the federal government have knowledge about the published accusation in the press of a curtailing outsourcing of the complaint’s office under the former EPO management (Petra Sorge, Wo kein Richter …, Cicero vom 3. Mai 2018), and how does the federal government assess this?

Questions 4 to 7 are answered together.

The questions involve confidential disciplinary procedures to which the federal government does not take position. This also applies to the procedures before the internal complaint’s offices.

8. In the view of the federal government, is there a “legal” control that was itself instituted by the EPO, (Petra Sorge, Wo kein Richter …, Cicero vom 3. Mai 2018) which itself ensures an effective legal protection?

9. In the view of the federal government, is the current of the complaint’s offices task as an authority, without being bound to restrictions, sufficiently met?

10. In the view of the federal government, is there a necessity to change the “legal” control system at the EPO?

a) If so, how should it be restructured in the view of the federal government?
b) If no, is it the opinion of the federal government that a legal control at the EPA is sufficient?

Questions 8 to 10 will be answered together.

It is the view of the federal government that an effective legal protection exists against decisions by the EPO. The federal government does not see any need for reform at the moment.

The European Patent Organization (EPOrg) was granted immunity by the national jurisdictions of the member countries as an international organization in the course of its official activity. This corresponds to a normal approach in all international organizations. Consequently, international organizations are not bound to national jurisdictions.

The EPO is a body of the EPOrg (cf. Article 4, Section 2a) of the European Patent Agreement (EPA). The employees of the EPO have the right for an appropriate legal protection before international courts (Administrative court of the International Labor Organization (ILOAT)) (cf. Article 13, Section 1 EPA).

For disputes that affect patent decisions of the EPO, the independent complaint’s offices are responsible. The employees of the complaint’s offices are not bound to instructions during their decision making and are only subjected to the European Patent Agreement (cf. Article 23, Section 3 EPA).

At the 148th meeting of the supervisory body of the European Patent Organization dated 29th/30th of June 2016, the supervisory body approved a comprehensive reform of the complaint’s offices, which further strengthened the autonomy of the complaint’s offices. The reform is effective as of 1st of July 2016.

11. How does the federal government assess the impact of the legal independence of the EPO from national and European law as regards the collaboration of the EPO with the EU member states to solve the criticism towards the EPO?

The immunity granted to the EPA complies with the normal approach at international organizations. It influences the objective collaboration between the EPA and their member states just as little as with other international organizations.

12. Is the federal government in dialogue with the EPO regarding the accusation or several accusations, and if so, how?

a) If so, what results have been achieved so far?
b) If so, what goals does the federal government pursue with a dialogue?

The federal government is in a continuing dialogue with the EPO as regards different issues. Important issues for the federal government are especially patent quality, social climate, and long-term financial stability.

13. In view of the federal government, has the situation as regards the accusation or several accusations improved with the new management?

The federal government especially welcomes the measure that the new EPO president took to improve social climate. This also includes discussions with individual employees as well as regular dialogues with stakeholders. The federal government also supports the intended measures for a further improvement in all other areas as outlined in the strategy plan for 2019 to 2023 by the EPO president.

14. Does the federal government plan to take political as well as legal actions, should the accusations against the EPO continue under the new management, and if so, what?

The federal government has no reason to believe that the accusations against the EPO will continue under the new management.


General Production: H. Heenemann GmbH & Co. KG, Printing and Offset Office, Bessemerstraße 83–91, 12103 Berlin, www.heenemann-druck.de

Distribution: Bundesanzeiger Verlag GmbH, PO Box 10 05 34, 50445 Cologne, Telephone (02 21) 97 66 83 40, Fax (02 21) 97 66 83 44, www.betrifft-gesetze.de
ISSN 0722-8333

We don’t plan to — as we lack time for it at this moment — examine each and every fallacy in the reply. There’s a load of whitewashing lies and embellishments. But let’s consider just the past few days’ EPO abuses, highlighting the fact that nothing is really changing and nothing has changed. They want us to believe that a little presidential shuffle — with the previous president’s mate put in power — solved everything.

Let’s focus on technical abuses and deviation from (i.e. violation of) the underlying laws. This is a topic we had covered for a number of years before we started focusing on big EPO scandals (in the middle of 2014). I’ve observed these issues for nearly 20 years, primarily as a coder.

“I’ve observed these issues for nearly 20 years, primarily as a coder.”As recently as days ago the EPO started advertising this thing called “DigitalisationIndex”. Earlier this past they started misusing terms like “digital technologies” quite a lot; we took note of that several times. They’re looking to justify granting illegal software patents (European Patents on algorithms) under the guise of “Digitalisation”.

Their apparently first tweet on this said: “#Digitalisation is triggering patenting growth. What regions do patent applications in this field come from? Check out this analysis of our latest patent statistics to find out: https://bit.ly/DigitalisationIndex … ”

“Hey hi” (AI) and “4IR” are among the latest buzzwords EPO uses to grant illegal patents on abstract ideas (“ICT” and “CII” are considered too old and not sufficiently exciting). The EPO is run by a bunch of people who choose buzzwords over substance, partly because — as their professional background reveals — they’re simply not technical. It corrodes the image of the EU as some of these people come from EU jobs, notably EUIPO, and the EU actively participates in this promotion of patents on algorithms. In other words, EU officials too are increasingly playing a role in the violation of the EPC. German government officials don’t seem to mind as long as that generates activities on German soil. But that’s a problem. Is lawfulness being compromised for raw profits that are temporary and ruinous to one’s credibility? Also, at whose expense does this activity take place? Europe has far more to it than a bunch of patent litigation lawyers. Earlier today I chatted with somebody about the devastating effect of this patent regime on the European automobile industry. That somebody writes many blog posts on this subject and he’s German.

“Is lawfulness being compromised for raw profits that are temporary and ruinous to one’s credibility? Also, at whose expense does this activity take place?”The corresponding new page (warning: epo.org link) is tied to the so-called 'results' and it provides excuses for lowering the bar, notably buzzwords: “As the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) materialises, it’s not just our factories that are getting smarter – it’s our hospitals, homes, appliances, cars, and wearable devices too. In 2019, digital communication became the new leading field of patent applications at the EPO while computer technology was the second fastest growing. These two technical fields are enabling 4IR by providing the tools for turning technical applications in other fields into smart devices. They are also powering further developments in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G.”

Who wrote this? A technical person or a marketing professional? Likely the latter.

Speaking of marketing, check out this truly shallow EPO ‘news’ from Friday (warning: epo.org link), accompanied by a tweet with the hashtag #EarthHour (greenwashing).

“You only do this because COVID-19 shut you down,” I responded. “Quit the greenwashing…”

“A lot of actual EPO news gets lost in a sea of puff pieces.”Maybe this “news” was designed to distract from the other “news” published on the same day. It was a Campinos lie, which we’ll deal with in our next post.

A lot of actual EPO news gets lost in a sea of puff pieces. Even 3 weeks later some sites are still reprinting EPO press releases as though they’re “news” or “reporting”. The EPO posted this new page (warning: epo.org link) on the same day (“Notice concerning the electronic authentication of decisions and other documents relevant to the decision-making process”) and promoted it in Twitter, in effect overwhelming the site with enough distraction and obfuscation — a subject we shall deal with in our next post.

The EPO’s “decision-making process” is notoriously bad and it is the subject of several ongoing complaints in the German constitutional court. Not only is oversight lacking; judges and examiners are moreover being bullied, so they cannot uphold the EPC (which was supposed to strictly govern the Office).

“…the EPO is making it harder to appeal. It’s going to get vastly more expensive.”And speaking of decision-making process deficit, Emma Foster (Marks & Clerk) reminds us that, effective next week, the EPO is making it harder to appeal. It’s going to get vastly more expensive. This is what she published just before the weekend: “The European Patent Office (EPO) usually reviews its fee structure every two years. In line with this, the EPO has announced that fees will increase from 1 April 2020. We have summarised the fee increases for many frequently paid fees in the table below, most of which are in the region of 4%.

“However, the appeal fee has increased substantially from €2255 to €2705, which equates to an increase of around 20%. The EPO will continue to offer a reduced appeal fee to a) small and medium-sized enterprises; (b) natural persons; and (c) non-profit organisations, universities or public research organisations (i.e. appellants as defined in Rule 6(4) and (5) EPC). The appeal fee for these appellants will soon be €1955, which represents around a 4% increase to the current fee.”

“Even if the EPO committed mass murder in broad daylight, the government would likely help the Office come up with excuses for it.”Before Campinos raised the costs Battistelli had done the same, especially when it comes to ‘transactions’ (Battistelli might call them “products”) that challenge the Office and can serve to expose the collapse of patent quality.

Sadly, judging by the replies at the top, this doesn’t concern or bother the ruling politicians in Germany. Even if the EPO committed mass murder in broad daylight, the government would likely help the Office come up with excuses for it. Heck, in this age of Coronavirus they might even send complainants to 'quarantine' in Haar. Messengers of truth are “poison kitchen” to the EPO’s management.

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 28, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:03 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts