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



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