Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 7/5/2020: GCC 10.1 and postmarketOS Milestone

Posted in News Roundup at 11:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Entropy Overhaul
      • Entropy Overhaul | BSD Now 349

        Encrypted Crash Dumps in FreeBSD, Time on Unix, Improve ZVOL sync write performance with a taskq, central log host with syslog-ng, NetBSD Entropy overhaul, Setting Up NetBSD Kernel Dev Environment, and more.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 3 3100 + Ryzen 3 3300X Offering Great Budget Linux CPU Performance

        At the end of April AMD announced the Ryzen 3 3100 + Ryzen 3 3300X and these Zen 2 budget processors are now shipping. Here are our initial benchmarks of the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 and Ryzen 3 3300X processors running on Ubuntu Linux compared to an assortment of old and new Intel/AMD CPUs with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 is a four core / eight thread part with a 3.6GHz base clock and 3.9GHz boost clock. This CPU has a 16MB L3 cache and 65 Watt TDP rating. This CPU will retail for around $99 USD.

    • Applications

      • DeaDBeeF is an open source music player for Linux

        Foobar2000 is the go-to music player for many users (including myself). Though it isn’t available on Linux, you can opt for an alternative like DeadBeef.

        The program’s interface is minimal and the playback controls are at the top (its almost like Foobar), but DeadBeeF has a colorized progress bar and volume slider. The large pane below the controls is the playlist pane. It supports tabs, so you can open/manage multiple playlists at the same time.

        The pane has many columns inlcuding the current playing status, artist name, album, track number, title, and the duration of the track. Right-click on a column to edit/remove it. You can group columns too. Select the add column option to add any of the following: Album art, Year, Band/Album Artist, Codec, Bitrate or a Custom column.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Castle Game Engine looking to improve gamepad support thanks to SDL2

        Castle Game Engine might not be as well known as other free and open source game engines, however it does look rather useful and the developers continue to pull in improvements.

        A big improvement coming soon is a complete re-work of how they handle gamepads. This includes a “serious improvement of joysticks API, access to a huge joysticks database by SDL2 with hundreds of joysticks definitions, autodetection of joysticks, detection of connection/disconnection of joysticks”. It’s nice to see more developers look to use parts of SDL2 since it has excellent cross-platform support.

        The Castle Game Engine crew announced they’re needing some help, as they have a very limited set of hardware to test on. To speed things up, they built a Linux and Windows test application for detecting gamepads using this new code.

      • Get immersed in a classic MUD (Multi-User Dungeon) with Mudlet

        Open source, free and cross-platform is what we like to see here. Sometimes we cover some real classic gaming too and today we’re talking a bit about entering a MUD with Mudlet.

        What is Mudlet? Not something we’ve covered often that’s for sure. It’s an application that aims to enhance the MUD (Multi-User Dungeon) experience for both players and developers. MUDs are usually text-based adventures that take elements from RPGs while mixing in multiplayer and larger worlds. They’re quite a unique experience.

        Mudlet has been around for some time now, keeping the MUD scene alive and it’s regularly being upgraded with big new features to push what’s possible.

      • CHANGE: A Homeless Survival Experience does a good job to highlight issues and it’s out now

        This isn’t a comedy game, far from it, the team said it’s a “hate letter to the growing indifference in the world” created as a response to growing inequality and some of their own experience of nearly becoming homeless. They’re trying to help too, as 20% of the profits will also be going to “charities focused on the issue of homelessness”.

        It’s not even a wild idea for a game. We see games constantly come out focused on over the top violence, sex, drugs and more but rarely do we see games focused solely around issues like homelessness.

      • Channelling inspiration from Zelda, the open-world ‘Adventure In Aellion’ launches on July 22

        Adventure In Aellion is an upcoming drop-in / drop-out co-op adventure game, which the developers claim ‘evokes the spirit of Legend of Zelda’.

        With a big open-world to explore full of secrets to find, dungeons to explore and more it can be played entirely in solo. However, it will also have cross-platform online play so that others can join you to solve puzzles and help with battles.

      • Slavic fantasy exploration adventure ‘The End of the Sun’ is up on Kickstarter now

        Time travelling slavic fantasy adventure, The End of the Sun, is now crowdfunding on Kickstarter and they plan to have full Linux support. One we’ve talked about here a few times now, as the setting has certainly piqued our curiosity.

        Set in the world of slavic rites, beliefs, legends, and their everyday life. The End of the Sun is set in a small village where the line between myth and reality began to fade perilously. As someone with the ability to travel through time, you’re following the trail of the secretive fugitive when you come across the village but it’s empty. What happened here? That’s for you to find out apparently.

      • Awesome looking adventure ‘BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION’ should now look great on AMD & Intel GPUs

        BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION the latest game from THE BROTHERHOOD (CAYNE / STASIS), has been updated for Linux and it now appears to work great across AMD and Intel GPUs with the open source Mesa drivers.

        BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION is a 2D isometric adventure game set in the distant future. Explore a post-apocalyptic landscape, solve puzzles, meet new friends and make powerful enemies, mediate conflicts and fight for your life as you unravel the secrets of the world around you.
        Originally releasing in February this year, BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION then came to Linux in Beta shortly after in March. From there, the developer has continued to polish it showing some real care and attention on the Linux version.

        It seemed they were facing issues with Mesa drivers (AMD / Intel) and video rendering with the Unity game engine, thankfully they’ve now solved it. Explaining in a little more detail on Steam, they mentioned using a shader to enhance video playback output but it wasn’t failing nicely and created a black box so they’ve managed to sort it—great! Now even more people can enjoy it easily on Linux.

      • Free to play MMO ‘Albion Online’ is going very strong with 500K monthly players during April

        Not many popular MMO games have Linux support but Albion Online does and it appears that in terms of player population overall they’re doing well.

        Right now a lot of games are seeing a surge in player numbers, thanks in part due to millions more staying at home due to the worldwide situation with the Coronavirus. It seems Albion Online has also grown thanks to this, as they’ve shown off in a recent update.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE/Plasma 5.18.5 for Debian

          After the KDE Apps update 20.04, now the recently released Plasma 5.18.5 is ready for Debian.

          Furthermore, since the most recent version of the KDE frameworks have been uploaded to Debian/experimental, I have adapted the packages to make upgrades to the versions in experimental – and hopefully soon in unstable – smooth. I am also working with the Debian KDE Qt Team to update KDE Apps and Plasma in Debian proper. Stay tuned.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • How Ubuntu Made GNOME Shell Faster in 20.04


          So you won’t be surprised to hear that this particular developer has once again played a major role in delivering major performance improvements to the desktop, as on show in the recent Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release.

          Not all knights ride on horseback or wear shiny armour.

          Now, in a forum post Daniel explains some of his canny-code changes in more detail and I won’t lie: some of the engineering effort taking place beneath the hood, in the engine is …incredibly complicated sounding.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • DragonFlyBSD 5.8.1 Released Due To HAMMER2 Bugs, Kernel Fixes

          DragonFlyBSD 5.8 debuted in March while now shipping is v5.8.1 as the latest update for this BSD operating system.

          While just over two months have passed since the v5.8 milestone, DragonFlyBSD 5.8.1 has less than two dozen changes. Making up this point release are some compilation fixes, minor optimizations and random fixes to the kernel code, fixing two “serious deduplication bugs”, a “serious memory leak” in the nmalloc code of their libc, and other fixes.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Oracle Linux 8 Update 2 Released, Now Defaulting To UEK R6 Kernel For New Installs

          Following the recent release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, Oracle has now released Oracle Linux 8 Update 2 as their RHEL8-based distribution with various extra features on top and even an alternative kernel option.

          Oracle Linux 8 Update 2 has the RHEL 8.2 changes plus more. One interesting change is that beginning with this release, the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is included as part of the install image and is in fact the default kernel on first boot for new installations. The Red Hat Compatible Kernel will remain available, but UEK R6 is their now default kernel.

        • The future of Fedora Community apps

          The Community Platform Engineering team (formerly Community Infrastructure) indicated in July of 2019 that they have a higher workload than the team can bear. To ease this, they evaluated the applications that fit their mission statement. The applications that didn’t fit the mission were proposed for hand off to the community.

          I am happy to say there is a lot being done to preserve the applications that our community values. I have been working with the Fedora Project Leader (FPL), Fedora Program Manager (FPgM), Community Platform Engineering team (CPE), and the Open Source Program Office (OSPO) at Red Hat to transition app hosting and maintenance from CPE to OSPO.

        • Fedora Classroom Session “IRC101”

          In short, the IRC101 session will be a guide for newcomers to How to get started with IRC with the Fedora community & hang out with other contributors in IRC. After finishing the session you will have the knowledge to setup your IRC client and start communicating with other Fedora People.

        • OpenShift Container Storage 4 and logging with Elasticsearch and Cluster Logging Operators

          Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform cluster administrators can deploy cluster logging using a few CLI commands and the OpenShift Container Platform web console to install the Elasticsearch Operator and Cluster Logging Operator. The cluster logging components are based upon Elasticsearch, Fluentd, and Kibana (EFK). The collector, Fluentd, is deployed to each node in the OpenShift Container Platform cluster. It collects node and container logs and writes them to Elasticsearch (ES).

        • Red Hat’s Virtual Summit Crowds Hint at Future Conference Models [Ed: 3 false words in the headline. It was just a webstream and press releases to accompany the stream. No "crowds", no "summit", no "conference". Red Hat did pay some publishers to produce puff pieces.]

          In what could be a trial run for more of the same, Red Hat last week held a first-ever virtual technical summit to spread the word about its latest cloud tech offerings.

          CEO Paul Cormier welcomed online viewers to the conference, which attracted more than 80,000 virtual attendees.

          The company made several key announcements during the online gathering and highlighted customer innovations around Kubernetes, hybrid cloud and next-generation computing.

          As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous tech events around the world have been canceled, postponed or turned into online-only events. This year’s Red Hat Summit was the biggest yet, according to Cormier.

          Cormier’s keynote focused on the history of open source, virtualization, and hybrid and cloud technologies. While all of those concepts began as ideas, they now are integrated deeply into our daily lives, he said, especially hybrid cloud.

          One of his prevailing themes was the role innovation plays in the operations of tech companies. Cormier emphasized Red Hat’s pursuit of innovation in the use of hybrid technology, which he said is essential in order to scale. To that end, he detailed the growing partnerships with industry leaders including Ford Motor Company, Verizon, Intel, Microsoft and Credit Suisse.

          “Hybrid requires a common development, operations, security and automation environment. This is essential in order to scale. Hybrid isn’t a trend. It’s a strategic imperative,” he said.

        • Beginner guides, Windows, networking, and more Ansible news
        • Linux stories: When backups saved the day

          One day, I was on vacation, having a barbecue and some beer, when I got a call from my colleague telling me that the terminal server with the ERP application was broken due to a failed update and the guy who ran the update forgot to take a snapshot first.

          The only thing I needed to tell my colleague was to shut down the broken machine, find the UI of our backup/restore system, and then identify the restore job. Finally, I told him how to choose the timestamp from the last four hours when the restore should finish. The restore finished 30 minutes later, and the system was ready to be used again. We were back in action after a total of 30 minutes, and only the work from the last two hours or so was lost! Awesome! Now, back to vacation.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • QEMU and libvirt enhancements in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Ubuntu is the industry-leading operating system for cloud hosts and guests. Every day millions of Ubuntu instances are launched in private and public clouds around the world. Many launched right on top of Ubuntu itself. Canonical takes pride in offering the latest virtualization stack with each Ubuntu release.

          In Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), users can find the recently released QEMU version 4.2 and libvirt version 6.0 available on day one. These new versions have brought a number of key updates to the virtualization stack. Here are the most notable ones…

        • How to preserve old software – with snaps

          If you have been using computers for some time now, you probably have fond memories of this or that piece of software from the past, an application or a game that was fun, useful and just plain great, but which isn’t available any longer. For those who have had a chance to experience the digital boom of the 90s and early 2000s, software has gone from spartan DOS applications shared on floppy disks to large, network-connected tools that can solve complex problems, often using detailed, realistic graphics. The revolution also led to significant changes in underlying technology and formats, and almost overnight “old” tools became obsolete. And of course, there’s the steady onward march of progress, and we often have to leave software behind.

          However, sometimes, there is still time and place for old applications in the modern world. This could be legacy software that your business relies on, and which may not have suitable (modern) replacements. There could also be the question of cost and complexity in replacing these legacy tools, as they are often deeply woven into workflows, with delicate setups and intricate workarounds. As the old adage goes: if it ain’t broken, don’t touch it.

          Old applications may not necessarily solve or address every contemporary use case, but they can be of real, practical value. Or you may want to use them out of pure nostalgia, like perhaps the old games. Indeed, there are ways to preserve ancient content, even if it’s no longer available in standard online archives. Leave no (software) behind – with snaps!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Funding

        • There Are Many Interesting Google Summer of Code 2020 Open-Source Projects

          Google this week announced accepted projects for Summer of Code 2020 as their virtual engagement for getting students involved in open-source development. As usual, there are a lot of interesting GSoC projects.

          Google Summer of Code is the annual project funded by Google where they pay student developers to get involved in open-source development by working on different defined tasks.

        • Announcing Google Summer of Code 2020 projects

          We are very happy to announce The NetBSD Foundation Google Summer of Code 2020 projects:

          Apurva Nandan – Benchmark NetBSD
          Jain Naman – Curses library automated testing
          Nikita Gillmann – Make system(3) and popen(3) use posix_spawn(3) internally
          Ayushi Sharma – Enhance the syzkaller support for NetBSD
          Aditya Vardhan Padala – Rumpkernel Syscall Fuzzing
          Nisarg Joshi – Fuzzing the network stack of NetBSD in a rumpkernel environment
          Jason High – Extending the functionality of the netpgp suite

          The community bonding period – where students get in touch with mentors and community – started on May 4 and will go on until June 1. The coding period will be June 1 to August 24.

      • FSF

      • Programming/Development

        • Daniel Stenberg: Review: curl programming

          Not long ago I discovered that someone had written this book about curl and that someone wasn’t me! (I believe this is a first) Thrilled of course that I could check off this achievement from my list of things I never thought would happen in my life, I was also intrigued and so extremely curious that I simply couldn’t resist ordering myself a copy. The book is dated October 2019, edition 1.0.

          I don’t know the author of this book. I didn’t help out. I wasn’t aware of it and I bought my own copy through an online bookstore.

        • Learn at home: a guide for parents #2
        • Perl/Raku

          • Conference in the Cloud

            At the Conference in the Cloud, expect to see Perl and Raku presentations. Core presentation topics in the past have included Perl 5 and Perl 6 (now Raku) and organizers plan to continue the same way moving forward. Just like the Perl and Raku Conference, The Conference in the Cloud is organized and run by volunteers. There will be two or more presentation tracks, each with 20-50 minute talks on a variety of technical topics throughout each day.

        • Python

          • Understand global variables scope in python

            Two types of variables can be defined in most of the programming languages. These are global variables and local variables. The variables which are defined outside the function is called a global variable. This variable is accessible and changeable from anywhere in the script. The variable which is declared inside the function is called the local variable. But if the same variable name exists as global and local variables then the variable inside the function will get the priority and the value of the global variable will be ignored. The scope of the global variable in the python script is shown in this tutorial using various examples.

          • How to use union on python set

            The unordered collection of items is called set in Python. Any item can be added or removed from the set but the value of any item in set is not changeable like a tuple. Every item in the set must be unique. Set does not contain any index like list or tuple, so each item of the set can’t be accessed by index like list or tuple. Sets are mainly used for different types of mathematical operations in Python like union, intersection, difference, etc. Different symbols are used to perform different types of operations. Pipe ( | ) is used for union operation on sets. How to declare sets and perform union operation on them are explained in this tutorial.

          • Remodeling Data Relationships – Building SaaS #55

            In this episode, we’re remodeling! I changed the model relationship between GradeLevel and Course from a ForeignKey (1 to many) to a ManyToManyField. We talked through the change and started fixing all the tests that broke.

            After explaining the change that I wanted to make and why I want to make it, I explained how a foreign key and many to many relationship at the database level.

            Once we had the conceptual foundation in place, I started with the documentation. We looked at the ManyToManyField and what changes were needed to convert a ForeignKey to a ManyToManyField.

          • My Software Development Journey – Read Time: 4 Mins

            As the saying goes “It takes a Village to Raise A Child” has never been ringing true to me till this day. Looking back in the amount of work getting back to upgrade my skill to be relevant for the local startup scene as a developer in Singapore. Devouring endless amount of youtube video, books, podcast, and Udacity React Nanodegree one bite at a time has helped to shape me into who I am now.

            I think it might make sense to put it here as if there wasn’t anyone like them creating technical content has helped to be my mentors to guide me on what I know now. People like Justin Michel from Coding for Entrepreneurs, Chris Hawkes in Chris Hawkes, Brad from TraverisMedia with lastly Daniel Roy Greenfield & his wife Auredy Roy Greenfield for Two Scoops of Django helped a lot while I am stumbling to stand up.

          • PyCharm 2020.1.1

            PyCharm 2020.1.1 is out and we’ve fixed small issues, including usability problems introduced by version 2020.1. Update from within PyCharm (Help | Check for Updates), using the JetBrains Toolbox, or by downloading the new version from our website.

          • Python Development Setup Using Visual Studio Code
  • Leftovers

    • A Kingston Reasoning with Legendary Guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith

      Back in early March, before “social distancing” and travel restrictions became the norm, before in many ways literally and figuratively (except online, at home, and in our hearts), the music died – killed by the coronavirus – one of my wildest dreams as a reggae fan came true.

    • “Is There No Balm in Gilead?”

      The biblical prophet Jeremiah was bemoaning the spiritual sickness of the people of the Kingdom of Judah in the sixth century BCE.

    • How Kraftwerk’s Synth Wizard Florian Schneider Rewired the World

      Kraftwerk pioneered the idea of a synthesizer group that didn’t pretend to be anything else, challenging the boundaries between organic and artificial sounds. As Schneider said in Rolling Stone, “We don’t make a distinction between an acoustic instrument as a source of sound and any sound in the air outside or on a manufactured tape. It’s all electric energy, anyway.” They had the air of artists born into a history they rejected, building a musical world where they could be permanent aliens. They mocked the Seventies rock ideal of youth as a utopia — they were still in their twenties when they posed as Old Hollywood mad scientists on Trans-Europe Express, one of the decade’s most brilliant album covers.

    • Etsy sales doubled in April thanks to homemade masks

      Etsy began pushing homemade masks in early April, and the results panned out in a big way: total sales on the platform doubled last month, by and large thanks to a surge in face mask sales. For comparison, Etsy’s marketplace sales figures between January and March were up only 16 percent.

      More than 12 million face masks were sold during April, totaling around $133 million in sales. Etsy says they represented the second largest category of product sales across the entire site during the month of April.

    • Education

      • College Students Are Considering Gap Years If Classes Are Still Remote In the Fall

        One main reason behind students’ reluctance to return to campus in the fall is their disappointment in how remote learning has gone this semester. Many students feel that the quality of education has nosedived. Students can no longer go to office hours to get face time with their professors or go to the library to study, and taking classes online can be tricky if a professor or student does not have their own computer or a reliable internet connection. What’s more, many students have expressed that trying to focus on school in the middle of a global health crisis has taken a huge emotional toll.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Our Slaughterhouses Aren’t Just for Cattle, Hogs, and Poultry Anymore. Add People.

        Some businesses make us feel all warm and cuddly. Like bakeries. Who can resist smiling just thinking about the smell of newly baked bread? But other businesses — like meatpacking — we do our best to ignore. Who wants to think about blood and guts and squealing pigs?

      • Russian government proposes three-step plan for lifting quarantine restrictions

        Anna Popova, the head of Russia’s public health authority, Rospotrebnadzor, has presented a three-step plan for the gradual easing of quarantine restrictions.

      • Third Russian Cabinet member diagnosed with COVID-19

        Russia’s Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. She is now the third Russian Cabinet member to test positive for the disease.

      • For the fourth consecutive day, Russia confirms more than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the country’s official count over 165,900

        On the morning of May 6, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 10,559 new coronavirus infections in the past day (there were 10,102 new cases than the day before), bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 165,929 patients.

      • Head doctor quits Omsk hospital after media reports dozens of healthcare workers forming long lines for COVID-19 testing

        The head doctor at the Kabanov City Hospital No.1 in Omsk willingly resigned on May 5, after media reports drew attention to the clinic’s staff forming a long lineup outside of the hospital building the day before. The employees were reportedly waiting to undergo coronavirus testing. The Omsk region’s Health Minister, Irina Soldatova, said that Sobolev, “was unable to save his team and could not take the necessary measures [to ensure] epidemiological safety.”

      • The TSA Hoarded 1.3 Million N95 Masks Even Though Airports Are Empty and It Doesn’t Need Them

        The Transportation Security Administration ignored guidance from the Department of Homeland Security and internal pushback from two agency officials when it stockpiled more than 1.3 million N95 respirator masks instead of donating them to hospitals, internal records and interviews show.

        Internal concerns were raised in early April, when COVID-19 cases were growing by the thousands and hospitals in some parts of the country were overrun and desperate for supplies. The agency held on to the cache of life-saving masks even as the number of people coming through U.S. airports dropped by 95% and the TSA instructed many employees to stay home to avoid being infected. Meanwhile, other federal agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs’ vast network of hospitals, scrounged for the personal protective equipment that doctors and nurses are dying without.

      • Reporter Laurie Garrett Warns COVID-19 Pandemic May Last 36 Months or More

        As President Trump starts to reopen the country, Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Laurie Garrett predicts the pandemic will last at least 36 months. Meanwhile, a top government vaccine specialist says he was forced from his job after he resisted the administration’s promotion of untested treatments for COVID-19. Garrett predicted the pandemic. In an extended interview, she discusses what’s next.

      • COVID-19 Task Force to Refocus on “Opening” the US Despite FEMA and HHS Doubts

        President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday that the coronavirus task force would not be disbanding, as had been previously reported, but will transition to focus on the task of “opening up” the United States’ economy, shifting away from its present task of mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 across the country.

      • Coronavirus and the Banality of Evil

        The UK government’s failure to respond swiftly and effectively to the pandemic can and should be considered evil.

      • ‘Trump Death Clock’ Unveiled to Spur Accountability for President’s Fatal Covid-19 Failures

        “This suffering cannot be forgotten,” says project’s creator.

      • Moscow reportedly bought tons of not very-accurate Chinese-made coronavirus tests

        Moscow authorities purchased hundreds of thousands of test kits for coronavirus antibodies from the Netherlands at the end of April. However, these rapid tests are actually made in China, and are not very accurate, reveals a new report from the investigative outlet IStories. 

      • To Prevent the Next Pandemic, We Need Meaningful Oversight of Animal Agribusiness

        We must act now to protect animals, workers, and public health from the meat industry. 

      • Body Bags Instead of Requested Covid-19 Testing Kits for Native American Clinic Seen as Cruel Metaphor

        “Are we going to keep getting body bags or are we going to get what we actually need?”

      • Native American Clinic Receives Body Bags Instead of COVID-19 Testing Kits

        A Seattle-area Native American health center in April received body bags instead of requested equipment to handle the coronavirus in what tribal officials described as a “metaphor” for how the Indigenous population is being treated by local, state, and federal governments around the country as the pandemic continues to rage.

      • How Safe Are Nursing Homes Near Me? This Tool Will Help You Find Out.

        Nursing home residents have been among those hardest hit by the new coronavirus. In some states, more than half of the recorded deaths have been long-term care residents. Some of the homes have been cited for putting residents at “immediate jeopardy” of harm or death, our analysis showed.

        And many of the affected homes have been previously written up for violating federal standards. That’s true in California, New Jersey and New York.

      • Episode 82 – The COVID Chronicles #4: New York City – Along The Line Podcast
      • US Commission on the Pandemic of 2020: No Culpability, No Accountability for 70,000 Americans Killed in 60 Days

        There will likely be a US Commission on the Pandemic of 2020, the verbiage of which will mirror the 911 Commission Report. Fault will be placed on a lack of federal, state and local coordination and sharing of medical intelligence among the three levels of American government. The US federal administration will be admonished with a few tough words and that, as they say, will be that.

      • Kachchh Camel Herders: Lockdown Last Straw?

        “I am selling some vegetables, but there’s not much profit in it. We all are sitting at home, idle, mostly. The local cement factory is running, but we aren’t going to work,” Karim Jat tells me on the phone from Mori, his village in Lakhpat taluka of Kachchh district. Karim Jat is a maldhari of the Fakirani Jat community. In the Kachchhi language ‘mal’ refers to animals, and ‘dhari’ means guardian or possessor. Across Kachchh, the maldharis rear cows, buffaloes, camels, horses, sheep and goats.

      • Whistleblower alleges Trump administration ignored coronavirus warnings

        In his complaint, Bright claims he was excluded from an HHS meeting on the coronavirus in late January after he “pressed for urgent access to funding, personnel, and clinical specimens, including viruses” to develop treatments for the coronavirus should it spread outside of Asia.

      • Fact check: Trump falsely claims Obama left him ‘nothing’ in the national stockpile

        “When we left, there was a pandemic plan,” Lurie said. “There was a checklist about where you’re supposed to do when. All of that stuff was in place, and it was quite comprehensive. That plan should have been activated that first week in January, and if you look at Rick Bright’s whistleblower complaint, you see multiple attempts to do that.”

        She said that the Obama administration had left a crucial contract in place to speed the production of masks but that the contract was dropped after Trump took office in 2017. Another plan created under the Obama administration that would have developed reusable masks was deployed too late to boost current efforts, she said.

        Fugate said the stockpile was supposed to be the first line of defense — not the only resource in an emergency.

      • Australian government fails to recoup clopidogrel costs from Sanofi

        “The Commonwealth sought to recover part of its expenditure on Sanofi’s drug Plavix (clopidogrel) under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), being the additional amount it said it paid to subsidise the cost of the drug to patients during the period when Apotex was restrained from entering the market with its generic version of clopidogrel. As is usual, in return for an interlocutory restraint by the Court and pending a decision about the validity and infringement of its patent, Sanofi was required to provide an undertaking that it would compensate any person adversely affected by the interlocutory injunction (interlocutory injunction decision here). The relevant patent was upheld in part in the first instance judgment but revoked on appeal. Special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia was refused.

        This paved the way for claims for compensation by any person adversely affected by operation of the interlocutory order. Apotex made a claim, which was ultimately settled. The terms of the settlement have not been made public save that a provision preventing Apotex from assisting any other party in a claim was held to be unenforceable because it had a tendency to interfere with the administration of justice.

        The Commonwealth also made a claim for compensation. A threshold question of whether certain statutory provisions in the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth) established an exhaustive statutory code limiting the Commonwealth’s right to recover under the undertaking given by Sanofi was referred as a stated case directly to Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia, which held that it did not.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Finland’s Nokia to Buy Back Its 2021 Bond Worth 500 Million Euros and Issue a New One

          The purpose of the tender offer is to manage Nokia’s overall indebtedness, it said a statement. Nokia also announced it planned to issue new euro-denominated fixed-rate notes.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, keystone, mailman, and tomcat9), Fedora (ceph, firefox, java-1.8.0-openjdk, libldb, nss, samba, seamonkey, and suricata), Oracle (kernel), Scientific Linux (firefox and squid), SUSE (libvirt, php7, slirp4netns, and webkit2gtk3), and Ubuntu (linux-firmware and openldap).

          • World Password Day — Privileged Password Management Best Practices and Benefits
          • The Complicated Firewall

            Until recently, I was content using the Uncomplicated Firewall that comes built-into Ubuntu. And it’s called uncomplicated for a reason: its complicated counterpart – the iptables. It’s not to say that iptables are difficult to comprehend or even impossible to use, but is rather massive. In other words, it has immense capacity and functionality, and as such is perhaps a lot more complicated.

            Iptables are used for ipv4 packet filtering as well as NAT. For ipv6, there’s ip6tables. Iptables allows its users to configure incoming/outgoing traffic to be modified, allowed, denied or re-routed. An incoming packet is passed through the table rules one by one. If it matches an existing rules, the action is carried out. If it does not, by default, it is allowed in.

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

            • Kaiji: New Chinese Linux malware turning to Golang

              It is not often that you see a botnet’s tooling written from scratch. The Internet of things (IoT) botnet ecosystem is relatively well-documented by security specialists. New threat actors are generally discovered quickly due to the inherent noise caused by DDoS operations, both in terms of infecting new machines and conducting operations. Simply, it is difficult to hide such overt activities. Most DDoS actors do not invest resources in creating custom tooling, unless they require specific capabilities, and resort to using well-known botnet implants (e.g. Mirai, BillGates).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Harrisburg University Researchers Claim Their ‘Unbiased’ Facial Recognition Software Can Identify Potential Criminals

              Given all we know about facial recognition tech, it is literally jaw-dropping that anyone could make this claim… especially without being vetted independently.

            • UK City Leaves Nearly Nine Million License Plate/Location Data Records Exposed On The Open Web

              Government officials always remind us that the price of order and lawfulness requires us, as a society, to give up some of our privacy and liberty. It shouldn’t be that way, but it almost always is.

            • Cryptoparty Ann Arbor: A Case Study in Grassroots Activism

              Grassroots activism, in its many forms, allows a community to mobilize around a shared set of ideals and creates an environment whereby participants can share information and resources to help facilitate the advancement of their common aims.

              The Electronic Frontier Alliance (EFA) is a grassroots network of community and campus organizations, unified by a commitment to upholding the principles of the EFA: privacy, free expression, access to knowledge, creativity, and security.  An active member of the EFA, Cryptoparty Ann Arbor, connects with their community by hosting digital security workshops with an emphasis on educating people about privacy issues in the digital age.

            • Second Paraguay Who Defends Your Data? Report: ISPs Still Have a Long Way Towards Public Commitments to Privacy and Transparency

              Keeping track of ISPs’ commitments to their users, today Paraguay’s leading digital rights organization TEDIC is launching its second edition of ¿Quién Defiende Tus Datos? (Who Defends Your Data?), a report in collaboration with EFF. Transparent practices and firm privacy commitments are particularly crucial right now. During times of crisis and emergency, companies must, more than ever, show that users can trust them with sensitive information about their habits and communications. While Paraguayan ISPs have made progress with their privacy policies and taking part in forums pledging promotion of human rights, they still have a long way to go to give users what is needed for fully building this trust.

              Paraguayan ISPs should make greater efforts in being transparent about their practices and procedures as well as having stronger public commitments to their users, such as taking steps to notify users about government data requests.

            • Growing storm over UK’s coronavirus tracing app shows how not to do it

              As this blog noted a couple of weeks ago, many governments around the world are looking to introduce coronavirus tracing apps to help take their countries out of lockdown. The hope is that such apps can be used by millions of people to pinpoint potential new cases of Covid-19 so that medical interventions can be made quickly and efficiently. Most countries are opting for a decentralized approach, which is better able to protect the highly personal data that is collected. In the EU, France and Germany had both chosen a centralized approach. But Germany has now reversed its position, and said that it will be building a decentralized app using the Apple-Google framework. The French government is under pressure to change its mind too. But the most fervent supporter of the centralized approach is the UK.

            • India’s Covid-19 Contact Tracing App Could Leak Patient Locations

              Independent security researcher Baptiste Robert published a blog post today sounding that warning about India’s Health Bridge app, or Aarogya Setu, created by the government’s National Informatics Centre. Robert found that one feature of the app, designed to let users check if there are infected people nearby, instead allows users to spoof their GPS location and learn how many people reported themselves as infected within any 500-meter radius. In areas that have relatively sparse reports of infections, Robert says hackers could even use a so-called triangulation attack to confirm the diagnosis of someone they suspect to be positive.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump’s Anthem Has Always Been “Live and Let Die.” Now We See the Consequences.

        A seamless vision of this country’s ever-flowering dystopia unspooled itself in Arizona yesterday. Donald Trump, in furtherance of his quest to reopen the U.S. economy in the middle of the beginning of a lethal pandemic, visited a Honeywell International face mask factory in Phoenix… and refused to wear a mask, despite the big sign at the door telling visitors to WEAR A MASK.

      • Our History Is the Future: Lakota Historian Nick Estes on Indigenous Resistance to Climate Change
      • Mapping Militarism 2020

        A new collection of maps found here displays what militarism looks like in the world. Here’s a brief guide to using and understanding them.

      • Suspected DNC & German Parliament Hacker Used His Name As His Email Password

        You may have seen the news reports this week that German prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for Dmitry Badin for a massive hack of the German Parliament that made headlines in 2016. The reports about the German arrest warrant all mention that German authorities “believe” that Badin is connected to the Russian GRU and its APT28 hacking group.

      • US Mercenaries Captured in Venezuela After Failed Coup Attempt

        We look at an incredible story unfolding in Venezuela of a failed coup attempt. Did a former Green Beret mastermind it? Two Americans have been arrested in Venezuela. President Nicolás Maduro claims the U.S. was behind the plot. “It looks like a bad Rambo movie, or a really bad telenovela,” says Miguel Tinker Salas, author of The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture, and Society in Venezuela. He notes that “the U.S. is seeking regime change … and the consequences for Venezuela could be very dire going forward.”

      • The Washington Post’s Neocons are Beating Cold War Drums…Again

        The Washington Post has a reputation as liberal and even left-of-center, although its editorial pages are dominated by neoconservatives who support the idea of American exceptionalism and the extreme operational tempo of America’s military.  In the past week, we have been treated to a series of oped essays that are supportive of expanded American military power and a political, if not military, confrontation with China.

      • Beware the Pentagon’s Pandemic Profiteers

        At this moment of unprecedented crisis, you might think that those not overcome by the economic and mortal consequences of the coronavirus would be asking, “What can we do to help?” A few companies have indeed pivoted to making masks and ventilators for an overwhelmed medical establishment. Unfortunately, when it comes to the top officials of the Pentagon and the CEOs running a large part of the arms industry, examples abound of them asking what they can do to help themselves.

      • Westrop and Smith: Jamaat-e-Islami More Dangerous in the U.S than Muslim Brotherhood

        According to Westrop, Western counter-Islamism analysts have long focused the bulk of their attention on the Muslim Brotherhood and its various offshoots in the U.S. and Europe. While the Brotherhood is indeed dangerous, other Islamist groups “have flourished under the lack of spotlight, and no group has flourished quite so well and so successfully as Jamaat-e-Islami.” Founded in India in the 1940s and today “very active here in the US,” it has proven very adept at advancing its ideology, yet “until about a year or two ago, very few in America had heard of the group.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The Press Is Amplifying a Dangerous Know-Nothing Ideology

        The anti-lockdown protests aren’t the first time the media has been swindled into cheerleading an extremist faux libertarianism.

      • [Older] Fox News Is Desperately Trying to Turn Coronavirus Protests Into the Next Tea Party

        Hogan’s deputy communications director also noted that Monday’s Reopen Maryland–organized rally in Annapolis saw “more media inquiries” than actual protesters. Indeed, the gatherings have typically featured attendees in the dozens or low triple figures, making Michigan’s Thursday crowd of roughly 3,000 an outlier. Though the likes of Fox have framed the protests as an organic grassroots push, a good number have been organized through a network of Facebook pages that appear to have been launched by a right-wing activist family known for using pro-gun and anti-abortion social media posts to harvest data, per reports from the Washington Post and NBC News. Aaron, Ben, Chris, and Matthew Dorr are reportedly behind pages that have accumulated more than 200,000 members in total, such as New Yorkers Against Excessive Quarantine and Minnesotans Against Excessive Quarantine. However, given Facebook’s newly announced ban on groups advocating for social distancing violations, it’s unclear how much longer these groups will be allowed to exist on the platform. The family declined requests for comment from NBC News and the Post, but Ben Dorr called accusations of them running a scam operation “fake news” in a response to the Philadelphia Inquirer. In one of the Dorrs’ most successful pushes, over 100,000 Facebook users have joined a Wisconsinites Against Excessive Quarantines group, and at least 300 of those members RSVP’d for an “Operation Gridlock” protest next week. (The group’s creator, Ben Dorr, lives in Iowa, NBC News found.) The scheduled rally is a rip-off of Michigan’s “Operation Gridlock,” which was staged by a group backed by the billionaire family of Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos.

    • Environment

      • US farm workers face worsening lethal heat

        By 2100, US farmers can expect more lethal heat, the equivalent of two months when it’s unsafe to pick crops.

      • Energy

        • Anti-Immigrant Trump Promotes Burning Fossil Fuels That Will Displace Millions Toward U.S.

          Some 3.5 billion people are going to end up living in places where it is unbearably hot by 2070. And likely a lot of them will have to leave for somewhere else.

        • Fossil Fuel Firms Linked to Trump Get Millions in Coronavirus Small Business Aid

          U.S. fossil fuel companies have taken at least $50 million in taxpayer money they probably won’t have to pay back, according to a review of coronavirus aid meant for struggling small businesses by the investigative research group Documented and the Guardian.

        • Colorado Plans to Eliminate Emissions from Road Transportation

          The state’s Energy Office recently released the Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan 2020, an update to the 2018 EV plan that established a target of 940,000 EVs by 2030. The new plan retains that target and lays out a vision for a “large-scale transition of Colorado’s transportation system to zero emission vehicles.” That vision includes electrifying all light-duty vehicles and making all medium and heavy-duty vehicles zero-emission (including electric, hydrogen, and other zero emissions technologies).

        • House Democrats Highlight Impacts of Trump Admin’s Favors for Fossil Fuels During Pandemic

          The discussion, titled “Behind the Curtain: The Trump Administration’s Fossil Fuel Agenda During the Pandemic,” was part of an ongoing series of live-streamed forums hosted by the Committee on coronavirus impacts on at-risk populations. The conversation, which included several guest speakers, highlighted how vulnerable communities are hit with the simultaneous impacts of the virus, industrial pollution, and the climate crisis. In addition, the discussion voiced concerns over the way federal agencies have been bestowing favors upon fossil fuel corporations while restricting public input.  

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • We Created the Anthropocene, and the Anthropocene Is Biting Back

          It’s clear from a recent litany of disasters—from the coronavirus pandemic to America’s deadliest wildfire in a century—there are forces that cannot be domesticated.

        • India readies the world’s first safe zone for sea cucumbers

          According to Hisham, sea cucumbers are crucial to the marine ecosystem, performing similar functions to earthworms in the land ecosystem. Their extinction will have a devastating impact on the marine ecosystem, he said.

          Till 2001, there were no legal hurdles in catching sea cucumbers. The blanket ban came into effect after the implementation of the Wildlife Protection Act of 2001. In the past, sea cucumbers were directly caught and shipped overseas. Now the hunters clean and freeze and add preservatives before shipping to the market hubs.

        • Chainsaw Medicine on the Ochoco

          Hurray for Central Oregon Land Watch and Oregon Wild for suing the Ochoco National Forest over its proposed Black Mountain Vegetation Management Project near Big Prairie.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • What the President Continues to Say (About the Plague)

        In two previous pieces in CounterPunch I compiled Donald Trump’s statements on the COVID-19 pandemic up to April 19th (early evening). Here is a continuation of that list.

      • Trump Must Choose Between a Global Ceasefire and America’s Long Lost Wars

        As President Trump has complained, the U.S. does not win wars anymore. In fact, since 1945, the only 4 wars it has won were over the small neocolonial outposts of Grenada, Panama, Kuwait and Kosovo. Americans across the political spectrum refer to the wars the U.S. has launched since 2001 as “endless” or “unwinnable” wars. We know by now that there is no elusive victory around the corner that will redeem the criminal futility of the U.S.’s opportunistic decision to use military force more aggressively and illegally after the end of the Cold War and the horrific crimes of September 11th. But all wars have to end one day, so how will these wars end?

      • The Joker We Deserve: Unmasked Power and Our “Slicey Dicey” President

        Donald Trump has done it again. Will wonders ever cease? Trump, who is not a doctor but is, in his own words, “like a person that has a good you know what” as he plays at being one on TV, attempted to shed new light on the coronavirus by “jokingly” suggesting Americans inject themselves with bleach and, in the process, exposed himself to ridicule and renewed doubts about both his credibility and his sanity.

      • Victory for ‘Basic Democracy’ as Judge Orders New York to Reinstate Sanders, Yang, and Others to 2020 Primary Ballot

        “I hope that the New York Board of Elections takes from this ruling a newfound appreciation of their role in safeguarding our democracy,” Andrew Yang said in a statement.

      • Back to Work! Trump’s COVID-19 Capitalist Cure Back to Work!

        U.S. capitalism’s would-be savior, the “moron” President Donald Trump, sees his re-election prospects tied to a “re-invigorated” economy based on sending U.S. workers back to work close to the height of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. 63,000 Americans have died of this pandemic as of this writing. Another 2,000 more perish daily. Yet “back to work” is ever on the agenda of Trump and the ruling rich, whose statisticians hunt for a “safe” mathematical formula that factors in ever-changing rates of infections and deaths with corporate profits lost. Few deny that whatever the calculations regarding the safety of a generalized return to work, they will soon after become obsolete when an inevitable second wave of this terrible disease, estimated to be far worse than the present horror, takes its tolls.

      • ‘We’ll Fight This’: Groups Outraged Over DeVos ‘Gutting’ Title IX Protections for Survivors of Sexual Violence

        “We refuse to go back to the days when rape and harassment in schools were ignored and swept under the rug.”

      • Senator Wyden And Others Introduce Bill Calling The DOJ’s Bluff Regarding Its Attempt To Destroy Section 230 & Encryption

        One of the key points we’ve been making concerning Attorney General William Barr and his DOJ’s eager support for the terrible EARN-IT Act, is that much of it really seems to be to cover up the DOJ’s own failings in fighting child porn and child exploitation. The premise behind the EARN IT Act is that there’s a lot of child exploitation/child abuse material found on social media… and that social media companies should do more to block that content. Of course, if you step back and think about it, you’d quickly realize that this is a form of sweeping the problem under the rug. Rather than actually tracking down and arresting those exploiting and abusing children, it’s demanding private companies just hide the evidence of those horrific acts.

      • McConnell’s Pandemic Priority Is Appointing Conservative Judges

        Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and President Donald Trump have exhibited a unique determination to appoint young, far right judges to the federal bench over the past three and a half years.

      • Mitch McConnell Pours Dark Money Into Maine Sen. Susan Collins’s Reelection

        A dark-money group aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is dropping more than half a million dollars on an advertisement shielding Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, an embattled Republican incumbent, from criticism of her response to the coronavirus outbreak.

      • If Joe Biden Drops Out, Bernie Sanders Must Be the Democratic Nominee

        A major party’s presumptive nominee enmeshed in multiple sexual harassment and assault scandals dropping out months before the general election is the sort of thing that seems like it could never actually happen — until it does. My bet is still that Joe Biden will power through the uproar over Tara Reade and accept the Democratic nomination in a few months down the road, but I’m not a fortune teller, and neither is anyone else.

      • Hungarian government suspends EU data protection rights

        The Hungarian government has announced plans to suspend its obligation to certain protections laid out in EU data protection law until the current ‘state of emergency’ period has been declared over.

        The new measures, announced on Monday (4 May), include the suspension of the rights to access and erasure of personal information, and those who lodge a complaint or exercise their right to a judicial remedy will also have to wait for the proceedings to start until after the government proclaims an end to the state of danger.

        The decree also relaxes the obligation of authorities to notify individuals when collecting personal data, when certain authorities act with the purpose of “coronavirus case prevention, recognition, exploration, as well as prevention of further spreading.”

        In this vein, strict notification requirements are to be replaced with general information published electronically and made available about the “purposes, legal grounds, and scope” of processing.

        In response, opposition politician Bernadett Szél said she will turn to the Hungarian Constitutional Court.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Muting Justice: Rescheduling Julian Assange’s Hearing

        It is suitably repugnant that this theatre continues even as British politicians sing the praises of press freedom. Last week, Britain’s foreign secretary Dominic Raab added his name to those of the Dutch, French and German foreign ministers to “celebrate the crucial role journalists play around the world,” thereby doing their little, and inconsequential bit, to commemorate World Press Freedom Day. What was particularly repellent in the statement was the cap doffing to this year’s theme, being very WikiLeaks, as it were, and equally shunned in practice. “This year’s theme ‘Journalism without fear or favour’ emphasises the importance of taking action to secure independent journalism as a prerequisite for a functioning society.”

        The statement also rings hollow when considering the entire scope of Assange’s hearings, which have been poorly conducted, appallingly managed and meagrely rationed in terms of resources. Those covering the case have also been treated with mild contempt. The very fact that it has dragged on in purgatorial fashion for so long suggests a form of torment by prolongation, a macabre display of institutional corruption. The US imperium wants its man and Britain will deliver, but must be seen to be observing some due process, however shoddy.

      • Journalism in Egypt now ‘effectively a crime’, Amnesty International says

        Journalism in Egypt has effectively become a crime over the past four years as authorities clamp down on media outlets and muzzle dissent, Amnesty International has said in a report.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Hedge Fund ‘Asshole’ Destroying Local News & Firing Reporters Wants Google & Facebook To Just Hand Him More Money

        Have you heard of Heath Freeman? He’s a thirty-something hedge fund boss, who runs “Alden Global Capital,” which owns a company misleadingly called “Digital First Media.” His business has been to buy up local newspapers around the country and basically cut everything down to the bone, and just milk the assets for whatever cash they still produce, minus all the important journalism stuff. He’s been called “the hedge fund asshole”, “the hedge fund vampire that bleeds newspapers dry”, “a small worthless footnote”, the “Gordon Gecko” of newspapers and a variety of other fun things.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • ‘Job Creating’ Sprint T-Mobile Merger Triggers Estimated 6,000 Non-Covid Layoffs

        Back when T-Mobile and Sprint were trying to gain regulatory approval for their $26 billion merger, executives repeatedly promised the deal would create jobs. Not just a few jobs, but oodles of jobs. Despite the fact that US telecom history indicates such deals almost always trigger mass layoffs, the media dutifully repeated T-Mobile and Sprint executive claims that the deal would create “more than 3,500 additional full-time U.S. employees in the first year and 11,000 more people by 2024.”

      • China Is Happy to Fill the Leadership Vacuum Left by the U.S.

        The regime in Beijing was quick to recognize the opportunity the pandemic presented. The deeper the U.S. sunk into its crisis, the more China could prove its superiority. In March and April, Beijing dispatched teams of doctors to 16 countries. At the same time, it provided more than 125 countries and four international organizations with relief supplies. While Italy was begging Europe for help at the beginning of the crisis, the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma was supplying the EU with 2 million protective masks.

    • Monopolies

      • Facebook Removes Hundreds Of Disinformation Accounts Linked To Russia, Iran, And Georgia

        The suspended accounts were active on both Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook owns, and were linked to eight networks, the California-based social-media giant said.

        The networks based in Russia and Iran focused their content internationally, while two networks in the South Caucasus nation of Georgia, along with two in the United States and one each in Mauritania and Burma (also known as Myanmar), operated with domestic audiences in mind.

        All the networks were created before the coronavirus pandemic, but the company said it found people behind the campaigns had “opportunistically” used coronavirus-related posts to build an audience and drive people to their content.

      • Patents

        • PTO Patent Licensing Marketplace Shows Potential, But Will Licensors Embrace It?

          This month, the PTO announced that it would be opening up an online licensing market, “Patents 4 Partnerships.” The market, which will initially focus on COVID-related patents, is intended to provide a centralized and easily accessible database of U.S. patents and published patent applications that have been voluntarily made available for licensing.

          There’s a number of reasons to think that this would be good for the patent system—if patent owners actually use it and if license information is public. Unfortunately, that seems less than likely. And there’s some concerns with what’s already there.


          The real question is whether patent owners will actually put their patents up for license. It’s possible that some will, but many patent owners treat licensing activity as highly confidential and wouldn’t want to provide a list of the patents they’re licensing, much less making the terms or licensees public information. And they often have little interest in having a fixed set of license terms, preferring to negotiate extremely specific licenses that use differential pricing (i.e., different parties pay different prices) in order to maximize their profits.

          Given all that, it’s questionable whether many patent owners will participate. And if major licensors aren’t participating, it’s not clear what the value of this marketplace would be.

          Even if licensors were interested in openly announcing their patents and terms, it’s unclear whether potential licensees will use the marketplace. Engineers don’t tend to say “I want to make a robot arm, let me go look for robot arm patents to license,” they just figure out how to make a robot arm. (That’s reflected in the high rate of independent invention—most cases of infringement aren’t cases of copying, they’re cases of someone inventing the same thing a little later.) And if there’s no customers for licenses, it’s one more reason that patent owners won’t list their patents for licensing.

          The Patents 4 Partnerships program isn’t a bad idea if it sees use, but it’s not at all clear that it will.

        • Patent case: Drahtloses Kommunikationsnetz, Germany

          The case concerns the transfer of a priority right from an employee to his/her employer and the relevant time zone for determining the priority:

          1. The validity of the transfer of rights to an invention by the employer by claiming it as a service invention is governed by the law applicable to the employment contract.

          2. The rights and obligations of the contracting parties that result from a legal agreement on the transfer of a priority right are not to be judged according to the law applicable to the priority application, but according to the law applicable to contracts between the parties. If the agreement is made between the employee inventor and his/her employer, the agreement is governed by the law applicable to the employment contract.

        • Software Patents

          • Uniloc USA, Inc. v. LG Electronics USA, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

            Uniloc, owner of U.S. Patent No. 6,993,049, brought an action for infringement of that patent against LG in the Northern District of California. The District Court granted LG’s motion to dismiss on the pleadings, agreeing with LG that the claims were directed to patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Uniloc appealed.

            The patented technology relates to Bluetooth-enabled and similar networks. These networks involve a primary station and at least one secondary station that form ad hoc networks (piconets) with one another. Joining such a network involves an inquiry procedure, in which primary stations identify secondary stations and the secondary stations can request to join the piconet, and a page procedure, in which a primary station can invite the secondary stations to join the piconet. According to the patent, “it can take several tens of seconds to complete the inquiry and page procedures so that a device joins a piconet and is able to transfer user input to the primary station.”

            Further, secondary stations can be battery operated, and may enter a low-power “park” mode by stopping active communication with the primary station. A parked station must be polled in order to restore its ability to communicate with the primary station. This polling process may also take several tens of seconds.

      • Copyrights

        • RIAA’s Misuse of the DMCA Can’t Go Unpunished, Spinrilla Tells Court

          Popular mixtape platform Spinrilla wants the RIAA to be held liable for sending inaccurate takedown notices. Responding to a motion to dismiss from the music industry group, the mixtape service stresses that the RIAA was well aware of its wrongdoing and that it doesn’t matter whether any files were actually removed or not.

        • Jetflicks Streaming Site Founder Wants Evidence Suppressed, US Govt. Says No Way

          During a 2017 raid on homes owned by Kristopher Dallmann, the alleged founder of the Jetflicks streaming service, FBI agents removed him from the premises at gunpoint, declined his request for a lawyer, and insisted he waived his Miranda rights. On this basis, certain evidence should be surpressed, Dallmann now argues. This version of events is hotly contested by the US Government, which insists everything was done by the book.

        • The Oscars Ends DVD Screeners For Reasons Other Than Piracy, Which Will Of Course Continue

          Oscars DVD screeners, the DVDs that get sent out to judges that are up for an award, have been an on again, off again topic for years at Techdirt. These screeners were at one time a very prevalent source for pirated films that showed up on the internet. There was once some irony in the MPAA and film industry insisting that piracy could be solved by tech companies if only they would nerd hard enough, yet here are these screeners going out the doors that supposedly were secure and turned out not to be. It was all bad enough that the MPAA wanted to ban screeners entirely, which pissed off filmmakers enough that the lobbying group ended up having to back down.

        • Fans Port Mario 64 To PC And Make It Way Better, So Of Course Nintendo Is Trying To Nuke The Project

          I’m lucky enough to own a decades old Nintendo 64 and a handful of games, including the classic Mario 64. My kids love that game. Still, the first thing they asked when I showed it to them the first time is why the screen was letterboxed, why the characters looked like they were made of lego blocks, and why I needed weird cords to plug it all into the flat screen television. The answer to these spoiled monsters’ questions, of course, is that the game is super old and wasn’t meant to be played on modern televisions. It’s the story of a lot of older games, though many PC games at least have a healthy modding community that will take classics and get them working on present day hardware. Consoles don’t have that luxury.

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  6. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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  12. Links 19/1/2022: Wine 7.x Era Begins and Istio 1.12.2 is Out

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  13. Another Video IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

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  18. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

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  19. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022

  20. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day

  21. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge

  22. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

    Links for the day

  23. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022

  24. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

    Links for the day

  25. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)

  26. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

    The EPO maintains a culture of illegal surveillance, inherited from Benoît Battistelli and taken to a whole new level by António Campinos

  27. Gemini Rings (Like Webrings) and Shared Spaces in Geminspace

    Much like the Web of 20+ years ago, Gemini lets online communities — real communities (not abused tenants, groomed to be ‘monetised’ like in Facebook or Flickr) — form networks, guilds, and rings

  28. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

    Links for the day

  29. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities

  30. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens

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