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Links 15/6/2020: Linux 5.8 RC1, 4MLinux 33.0 and digiKam 7.0.0 RC Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Mainframes and Open Source Tools

        Mainframes used to be hard enough to get right – all the issues with IMS fast path databases, etc, etc – but you could understand it. Certainly, after about 40 years, it became second nature. And like Luke and the Force, you could feel what sort of effect a change was likely to have on the running of the system. You could bring up a green screen and work your magic. And younger mainframers and outsiders would look on with awe.

        But, nowadays, the arcane world of the mainframe is being opened up to youngsters with their open source software knowledge and they can make changes. They are able to develop new applications using their arcane techniques. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the products that younger (and, to be fair, some more experienced) people were using to interact with the mainframe. You can think of it as a beginner’s guide to the brave new world we live in.

        In many ways, the mainframe first embraced the world of open source back in 1990s when sites began to turn their back on SNA and moved to TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), and we’re all perfectly used to that now. Then in 2000, IBM announced Linux on mainframes. Linux is an open source operating system. Linux on Z is free software under the GNU General Public License. Again, we’re all very used to that.

      • AWS CEO Andy Jassy: 6th-Gen EC2 instances a ‘Game-Changer’

        The C6g instances were designed for compute-intensive workloads, including high-performance computing, batch processing, video encoding, gaming, scientific modeling, distributed analytics, ad-serving and CPU-based machine learning inference. The R6g instances are for workloads that process large data sets in memory, including open-source databases such as MySQL, MariaDB and PostgreSQL; in-memory caches such as Redis, Memcached and KeyDB; and real-time, big data analytics.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 358

        Listener email about **simple-mtpfs**, and then **groff** and **groffer** from Slackware **ap** software series. $ simple-mtpfs –list devices $ sudo simple-mtpfs –device “1: blah (MTP)” –verbose /mnt/floppy/

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.8 Kernel Features Include New Intel/AMD Capabilities, Security Improvements, Optimizations

        Linus Torvalds is expected to release Linux 5.8-rc1 following the two week long Linux 5.8 kernel merge window. Here is our overview of all the big changes coming with this next version of the Linux kernel.

        Linux 5.8 won’t be out as stable until early to mid August but there is a lot coming for this summer 2020 kernel upgrade from many processor improvements, a fair amount of new hardware enablement, a variety of security enhancements, and other new kernel infrastructure like the general notification queue, cable testing infrastructure in the network code, and continued advancements to the open-source Intel/Radeon graphics drivers. Given the release timeline for Linux 5.8, this will likely be the kernel version shipped by the likes of Ubuntu 20.10 and Fedora 33 this autumn. Here are the highlights for Linux 5.8 based on my original reporting.

      • EXT4 Per-Inode DAX Support Sent In As A Last Minute Linux 5.8 Addition

        Hours ahead of the expected Linux 5.8-rc1 release that also marks the merge window closure of new features for this next kernel version, a secondary EXT4 file-system set of changes were just mailed in.

        Ted Ts’o sent in this last minute pull request as first he was waiting on the necessary DAX infrastructure bits to land as part of the XFS pull request and wrapping up some regression/bug fixes. The main feature of this pull is enabling per-inode DAX support for EXT4, similar to the XFS functionality that came this window as well.

      • Linux 5.8-rc1
        So I didn't really expect this, but 5.8 looks to be one of our biggest
        releases of all time.
        As of -rc1, it's right up there with v4.9, which has long been our
        biggest release by quite a bit in number of commits. Yes, 5.8-rc1 has
        a couple fewer commits than 4.9-rc1 did, but in many ways it's a much
        more comprehensive release despite that.
        The 4.9 kernel was artificially big partly because of the greybus
        subsystem that was merged in that release, but also because v4.8 had
        had a longer rc series and thus there was more pent up development. In
        5.8, we have no sign of those kinds of issues making the release
        bigger - there's just simply a lot of development in there.
        And there are other kernel releases that have had more new lines -
        v4.12 ends up being the undisputed size champion in that regard,
        simply because it had a _huge_ number of new lines due to lots of
        register descriptions for the AMD GPU drivers. Other kernels have been
        similarly big due to particular subsystems (v4.2 had another AMD GPU
        driver line count bump, 2.6.29 had a big staging driver additions,
        But again, 5.8 is up there with the best, despite not really having
        any single thing that stands out. Yes, there's a couple of big driver
        changes (habanalabs and atomisp) that are certainly part of it, but
        it's not nearly as one-sided as some of the other historical big
        releases have been.
        The development is really all over the place: there's tons of fairly
        fundamental core work and cleanups, but there is also lots of
        filesystem work and obviously all the usual driver updates too. Plus
        documentation and archiecture work.
        In fact, while 5.8-rc1 is "up there with the best" when it comes to
        both number of commits and number of new lines, it's actually the
        outstanding champion when it comes to number of files changed.  And
        again, that's not because of some single tree-wide simple scripting
        thing (the kernels with lots of SPDX license line changes have a lot
        of files changed), but simply because of lots and lots of development
        So in the 5.8 merge window we have modified about 20% of all the files
        in the kernel source repository. That's really a fairly big
        percentage, and while some of it _is_ scripted, on the whole it's
        really just the same pattern: 5.8 has simply seen a lot of
        IOW, 5.8 looks big. Really big.
        In pure numbers: over 14k non-merge commits (over 15k counting
        merges),  ~800k new lines, and over 14 thousand files changed.
        It's worth noting that despite the size, it doesn't necessarily look
        like a particularly troublesome release at least so far. Yes, the pure
        size made this merge window a bit more stressful than I like, because
        I _really_ like to have a few days of calm at the end to look at some
        of the pull requests in more detail. This time around that never
        really happened. But I only really had two pull requests I ended up
        wanting to go through in more detail, so it all worked out fine.
        So the pure size of this merge window did make me (once again)
        consider making it more of a hard rule that pull requests with new
        features (as opposed to the second wave of pull requests with just
        fixes) absolutely _have_ to come in during the first week of the merge
        window, but honestly, _most_ of the pull requests did in fact do that.
        No, not all, and it could have been a bit more organized, and maybe I
        got snippy with somebody, but on the whole things were pretty smooth
        despite the large size.
        Famous last words. Let's see what happens during the rest of this release.
        But at least right now, while 5.8 looks like a very large release, I
        don't get the feeling that it's particularly troublesome.
        Knock wood.
        Appended is the merge-log as usual. If you didn't get the idea yet
        (IT'S BIG!) the shortlog would be much too unwieldly, even more so
        than usual.
      • Linux Kernel 5.8-rc1 Released: “One Of The Biggest Releases Of All Time”

        Following the release of Linux Kernel 5.7, Linus Torvalds has now announced the first release candidate of the Linux kernel 5.8. During the two-week merge window for the upcoming Linux Kernel 5.8, it has received one of the highest numbers of merge commits.

        With v5.8-rc1, Linux 5.8 has become the second biggest version with over 14k non-merge commits, 800k new lines, and 14k file changes (about 20% of all kernel source repository files). Currently, Linux 4.9 is the biggest ever release in the number of commits owing to a large greybus subsystem and merging of some of the v4.8 pent up codes.

      • Linux 5.8-rc1 Arrives As One Of The Biggest Releases Of All Time

        Linus Torvalds just released the Linux 5.8-rc1 test build as what he describes as one of the biggest releases of all time.

      • Linus Torvalds Kicks Off Development of Linux Kernel 5.8 as the “Biggest Release of All Time”

        Linus Torvalds has kicked off the development cycle of the upcoming Linux kernel 5.8, which he dubbed it as one of the “biggest releases of all time”.

        Two weeks after the release of the Linux 5.7 kernel series, the merge window for the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel is now officially closed and the first Release Candidate (RC) milestone hit the streets for public testing.

        And it looks like Linux 5.8 is shaping up to be one of the “biggest releases of all time,” according to Linus Torvalds, who said that it’s almost on par with the Linux 4.9 kernel and could be even bigger due to a lot of development for new features and improvements across all components, including architecture, file systems, drivers, and documentation.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.8-rc1

        Linus has released 5.8-rc1 and closed the merge window for this release. By the end, 14,206 non-merge changesets found their way into the mainline repository, making this one of the busiest development cycles ever.

    • Benchmarks

      • GNOME X.Org vs. Wayland Performance + Power Usage On Fedora 32 With AMD Renoir Laptop

        As part of our ongoing testing of the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U and Ryzen 7 4700U “Renoir” mobile processors, here is some Wayland vs. X.Org data with the GNOME desktop on Fedora Workstation 32.

        Here are a collection of metrics when testing the GNOME Wayland vs. X.Org performance and related power / usage statistics on Fedora Workstation 32 running off the Lenovo laptop with Ryzen 5 4500U.

    • Applications

      • Top Screen Recorders on Ubuntu 20.04

        Screen recording is one of the most important activities for users who wish to make tutorials, create a presentation, or share videogame screenshots, or record screen videos. There are many screen recording tools present in Ubuntu Linux. In this article, I have compiled the best and reliable screen recording software tools for Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa.

      • HandBrake 1.3.3 Open-Source Video Converter Brings Better SSA and Flatpak Support, More

        This release improves support for MKV files by fixing an issue that made ISO 639-2/B language codes not to be set correctly, which affected Hebrew, Indonesian, Japanese, and Yiddish languages, and improves Intel QSV memory footprint and H.265 memory buffer size as needed by newer Intel Media SDK.

        HandBrake 1.3.3 also adds better support for SSA (SubStation Alpha) subtitles by fixing a handling issue of overlapping imported SSA subtitles and improving support for out-of-order SSA subtitles. Also improved is Flatpak support, especially the build efficiency of the Intel QSV Flatpak plugin.

      • HandBrake 1.3.3

        HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. Handbrake can process most common multimedia files and any DVD or BluRay sources that do not contain any kind of copy protection.

      • HandBrake 1.3.3 Released with Improved Intel QSV Support

        HandBrake video transcoder 1.3.3 was released today with a number of bug-fixes and improvements.

      • HandBrake 1.3.3 Released

        The HandBrake Team is pleased to announce the release of HandBrake 1.3.3. This release focuses on fixing a number of bugs and issues with the 1.3.1 release.

      • 3 Tools for PDF manipulation

        PDF (Portable Document Format) is one of the most used document format for exchanging information due to its great flexibility and portability, here anothers feautures we can mention:

        - It allows encapsulating text, fonts, images and other information necessary to view the document.

        - It is platform independent, both software and hardware, so as its name implies it is extremely portable.

        - It is a standard and open format.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Battle for Wesnoth 1.14.13 Fixed 2 Major Long-standing Bugs

        Battle for Wesnoth 1.14.13 was released today as the new maintenance release for the turn-based strategy game.

        The new release fixed two major long-standing issues affecting all Wesnoth players, with effects varying from the innocuous to the game-breaking depending on the game content being played as well as the system configuration.

      • The itch.io charity bundle hits over $6 million and ends soon

        The incredible itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality has just continued growing but it will all be ending soon.

        When mentioning it a few days ago, it had only recently broke four million dollars for charity. Now? It’s hitting closer to seven million dollars. That’s incredible and itch have done a great job at bringing creators together to enable it to happen. For a $5 minimum purchase to support the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Community Bail Fund there’s around 1,659 items included from games to art assets and all sorts of stuff in between.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma is Switching to a Windows-style Icon-only Task Bar

          In KDE Plasma 5.19 and earlier the “task manager” applet included on the bottom desktop panel (often referred to as a ‘desk bar’) uses a “buttoned” layout by default. This shows a separate horizontal “chip” for each open application and window, and usually displays the app or window’s title.

          But for Plasma 5.20 the KDE development team want to use an icons-only task manager layout by default.

        • digiKam 7.0.0-rc is released

          Just few words to inform the community that 7.0.0 release candidate is out and ready to test two month later the third beta release published in April.

          After a Covid-19 containement stage at home, this new version come with more than 740 bug-fixes since last stable release 6.4.0 and look very promising. We are in finalisation stage now to be ready to publish the 7.0.0 final final release while this summer.

          A good new is the availablity of digiKam in official FlatPak repositories to help end-users to install quickly the application under a compatible Linux systems.

          Thanks to all users for your support and donations, and to all contributors, students, testers who allowed us to improve this release.

          digiKam 7.0.0 source code tarball, Linux 32/64 bits AppImage bundles, MacOS package and Windows 32/64 bits installers can be downloaded from this repository. Don’t forget to not use this beta in production yet and thanks in advance for your feedback in Bugzilla.

        • Top 10 reasons to use KDE as your Desktop Environment

          If you are a big fan of Linux desktop environments, you must have seen how rough the journey has been for KDE desktop 4.x iteration. Upon launch in 2008, KDE 4 came with a lot of issues. From bugs, low quality features to poor performance. Were it not for the improvements and minor releases, KDE desktop would have slowly faded away into the books of history.

          From early releases to the current version 4.5, KDE Desktop has risen to become one of the most fantastic Linux desktop environments. Take a look at the Top 10 reasons why you should use KDE as your Desktop Environment.

        • An Air Cooler For The 21st Century

          The next item on my list was the compute element. Now most sane people would use an Arduino or some sort of microcontroller. I needed something a bit more versatile. For what its worth, I have a few smart home accessories at home, and I’m more or less a full-time Apple user at this point. All my smart home devices are HomeKit compatible, and I wanted to be able to yell at Siri to control my cooler. So I needed something that would be comparitively easier to program, would have enough oomph to run a server to respond to HomeKit Accessory Protocol – which, by the way, is now a fully open protocol so anyone can create non-certified accessories and even create control apps for non-Apple platforms – requests and had WiFi. So of course, the only logical choice was a Raspberry Pi. I chose a Raspberry Pi 3 A+ – it’s smaller than the regular models but still has the full GPIO array, has only 512MB RAM (which seems enough, I mean, do I really need a 4GB air cooler), and is, most importantly, really cheap – at just 27 EUR.


          I’m currently really happy with the way the cooler now works, and I find myself exclusively using HomeKit to control it. The Web UI definitely needs some work, and I might end up adding scheduling features to it, or automatic control based on the weather outside. I will definitely add a few temperature sensors – one for the water temperature, one for ambient temperature, and one probe right in front of the fan to measure effective wind temperature.

          Because Go produces statically linked binaries and I need no operating system dependencies to run them, I was finally able to move to an Aarch64 (ARMv8) distribution, currently running Ubuntu Server 20.04. Yes, my cooler runs Ubuntu and I don’t know how I feel about it. Amongst other things (like having a more recent kernel and packages than Raspbian and being 64-bit), I also found it really easy to set up the network for first boot so that I never needed a monitor and keyboard and could just SSH in right after plugging the SD card in and turning on the machine. I also set up systemd-resolved to expose Multicast DNS so that even with a dynamic IP I can address my cooler with its hostname. The only thing I currently don’t like about Ubuntu Server is its forced use of Netplan, but I don’t know if I’m bothered enough to replace it with NetworkManager yet.

        • Virtual Plasma Sprint 2020

          This weekend the Plasma team’s annual sprint took place. Due to the Corona pandemic we had to cancel our original week-long in-person meet up end of April in Augsburg, Germany hosted by our friends at TUXEDO and settled for an online sprint instead. In anticipation of more virtual sprints KDE has set up its own BigBlueButton instance – an open source web conferencing system for online learning.


          The meeting notes are being refined a little right now and should arrive on the plasma-devel mailing list in the coming days. This week’s experience made me confident that Akademy 2020 – also happening online – will work out great! Nevertheless I hope that eventually we’ll be able to catch up on our original sprint plans and meet in Augsburg again, physically.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Implementing Gtk based Container-Widget: Part — 1

          The widget that I’ll be implementing will go into the GNOME’s new widget library, Handy. Handy is a library that packs widgets for developing adaptive applications.

          The name of the widget is not yet final, so for now, I’ll call it NewWidget. This NewWidget is a container widget for managing layout; therefore, its implementation starts by sub-classing GtkContainer.
          A container widget is something which can take in other widgets as its child and based on the properties the widget has to handle their sizes and positions of the children, among other things.

        • 33 Excellent GNOME Desktop Extensions (Updated 2020)

          Freedom of choice is a central plank of open source software. It should be the user who decides how their computer is configured. That’s very relevant when choosing and configuring a desktop environment. One of Linux’s best features is its modularity.

          Extensibility relates to the ability to customize a desktop environment to an individual’s preferences and tastes. This flexibility is offered by themes, extensions, and applets. The principle provides for enhancements without impairing existing system functions.

          GNOME ships with a System Settings tool which isn’t as diverse as some of its peers. There’s still useful options such as a simple way to enable remote access and file sharing. If you’re serious about customizing GNOME, you’ll need the Tweaks (previously known as GNOME Tweaks) utility. It’s not an official GNOME app, but it offers some advanced tinkering for GNOME Shell. But when it comes to micro-configuring the GNOME desktop to your preference, Tweaks is not a complete solution. Fortunately, there’s an awesome range of extensions that provide additional functionality.

    • Distributions

      • EndeavourOS community, you are incredibly awesome!

        At this moment we live in a shaken up world and its effects are brutally visible, whether it is in front of your doorstep, in your own home, at work or on the news. Don’t worry, I’m not going to bring you our view on the state of the world, that isn’t our intention. After all, we’re a Linux distro where everybody is welcome from several walks of life.

        No, the reason for my somewhat doom and gloom intro has all to do with something we as devs of this distro already knew, but it has reached far beyond the Endeavour realms. I’m talking about our booster rockets and fuel tank that keeps Endeavour orbiting in the Linux universe: Our incredible community…

        Only a year ago, Joe, Fernando, Manuel and I were figuring out how to develop the platform Endeavour was going to use. With that all sorts of questions and doubts surrounding it.

      • Reviews

        • Review of Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

          Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa was released by Canonincal on April 23, 2020. Focal Fossa is named after a feline creature from Madagascar and includes a wide range of improvements and new features. We have been testing this distribution for nearly a month, and from our experience, this distro offers a promising user experience and is ultra-fast compared to Ubuntu 19.10.Focal Fossa has many new and exciting improvements, some of which are discussed below.


          Ubuntu 20.04 has added most of the apps in its official repository and recommends installing these apps via the APT package manager. Canonical developed the snap framework as a package management tool for installing packages or snaps via snapd, a REST API DAEMON.


          Ubuntu 19.10 introduced ZFS technology, a new file system, and Ubuntu 20.04 has improved on this technology a lot in the latest update.

        • Review: Regolith Linux 19.10.0-R1.3 and distri

          The distri package manager downloads software very quickly. With the possible exception of Alpine Linux’s package manager, this may be the fastest package manager I have encountered. I suspect this is in part because of the way distri packages are organized. The packages appear to be entirely self-contained, bundling their dependencies inside a single SquashFS archive. (I could not confirm dependencies are bundled, but it seemed this way in the packages I downloaded.) This means the package manager can skip resolving dependencies and unpacking the archive. Instead it seems the bundle is downloaded as a single file and then mounted or accessed as needed. Whenever I ran a new command, such as vim or bash, a message would appear on the console indicating the software was being mounted.

          Again, there is not much documentation on how distri works, but it looks as though new software is downloaded into the /roimg directory. Then unpacked or accessed through the /ro directory. Symbolic links are set up in /sbin which point to the executables. For instance, when I install the vim package, the SquashFS archive appears under /roimg and a directory containing the bundled programs is placed in /ro. A symbolic link, called vim, is placed in /sbin which points to the appropriate program in /ro. This may seem a little complicated, but it works and appears to side-step dependency issues. This makes distri an interesting alternative to other portable packaging approaches, such as AppImage and Flatpak as distri integrates software into the rest of the operating system more seamlessly.

          Most of the available packages appear to be simple command line tools or developer utilities. There are a handful of graphical utilities and applications, but most are low-level command line programs.

          As the project’s website warns, distri is not intended to be used as a day to day operating system. It is an experimental platform and one that does not offer support or much in the way of documentation. Some interesting ideas are presented (such as fast, minimal, portable package management). I certainly can get behind the idea of transferring programs and their dependencies through SquashFS archives. It is fast, portable and, with the use of symbolic links, seems to avoid breaking conventions the way other distributions like GoboLinux do. I’m curious to see if distri can complete with alternatives like AppImage, though first I suspect the interface and documentation will need to expanded.

      • New Releases

        • 4MLinux 33.0 Released with Hybrid ISOs, nnn File Manager, and Mesa 20

          With the 4MLinux 33.0 release, the developer added a set of new features and functionality to the distribution. The most important one being the fact that the ISO images are now hybrid, which means that you can write them to USB sticks using the dd command and boot them on both UEFI and BIOS systems.

          Other new features present in the 4MLinux 33.0 release include support for Brotli compressed data streams, a new TFTP daemon for the 4MLinux Server edition, and nnn file manager installed by default in the 4MLinux (desktop) edition.

        • 4MLinux 33.0 STABLE released.

          The status of the 4MLinux 33.0 series has been changed to STABLE. Edit your documents with LibreOffice and GNOME Office (AbiWord 3.0.4, GIMP 2.10.18, Gnumeric 1.12.47), share your files using DropBox 96.4.172, surf the Internet with Firefox 76.0.1 and Chromium 81.0.4044.92, send emails via Thunderbird 68.8.1, enjoy your music collection with Audacious 4.0.3, watch your favorite videos with VLC 3.0.10 and mpv 0.32.0, play games powered by Mesa 20.0.1 and Wine 5.8. You can also setup the 4MLinux LAMP Server (Linux 5.4.41, Apache 2.4.43, MariaDB 10.4.12, PHP 5.6.40 and PHP 7.4.5). Perl 5.30.1, Python 2.7.17, and Python 3.8.2 are also available.

        • 4MLinux 33.0 is here with Brotil Support, Hybrid data streams

          The lightweight Linux distribution 4MLinux released the latest stable version 33 with new features and latest app updates.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu-based Linux Mint 20 ‘Ulyana’ BETA is here, but the 32-bit version is canceled and Snapd is removed

          Back in March, we told you about the upcoming Linux Mint 20. Code-named “Ulyana,” it was a very controversial announcement as the developers decided to cancel the 32-bit version. After that bombshell, the devs further shocked the world by revealing their intention to remove Snapd starting with version 20 of the operating system. Don’t forget, all of this follows the unpopular decision by the developers to pull both GIMP and VLC from Mint too.

          And now, the BETA of Linux Mint 20 is officially here. The pre-release operating system comes with Linux kernel 5.4 and is based on Ubuntu 20.04. Linux Mint 20 even has official support until the year 2025! Best of all, you can choose among three desktop environments — Cinnamon (4.6), MATE (1.24), and Xfce (4.14). What really has the developers hot and bothered, however, is a new program called “Warpinator.”

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL 12.3

          PostgreSQL is a widely-known relational database system. We evaluated PostgreSQL using Jepsen’s new transactional isolation checker Elle, and found that transactions executed with serializable isolation on a single PostgreSQL instance were not, in fact, serializable. Under normal operation, transactions could occasionally exhibit G2-item: an anomaly involving a set of transactions which (roughly speaking) mutually fail to observe each other’s writes. In addition, we found frequent instances of G2-item under PostgreSQL “repeatable read”, which is explicitly proscribed by commonly-cited formalizations of repeatable read. As previously reported by Martin Kleppmann, this is due to the fact that PostgreSQL “repeatable read” is actually snapshot isolation. This behavior is allowable due to long-discussed ambiguities in the ANSI SQL standard, but could be surprising for users familiar with the literature. A patch for the bug we found in serializability is scheduled for the next minor release, on August 13th, and the presence of G2-item under repeatable read could be readily addressed through documentation. This work was performed independently, without compensation, and conducted in accordance with the Jepsen ethics policy.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • [LibreOffice GSoC] Week 2 Report

          The last week was the second week of coding weeks in GSoC program. I continued adding support for the non supported items.

          The last week I left the cell background color item in this patch not merged. But now it’s merged.

          I worked this week on adding support to Comments option in Writer You can find the work in this patch. And Also extending the ability of ComboBoxUIObject selection modes in this patch.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • Open Search Foundation

            recently I learned about the Open Search Foundation in the public broadcast radio (Bayern 2 Radio Article). That surprised me: I had not heard about OSF before, even though I am active in the field of free software and culture. But this new foundation made it into the mainstream broadcast already. Reason enough to take a closer look.

            It is a very good sign to have the topic of internet search in the news. It is a fact that one company has a gigantic market share in searching which is indeed a threat to the freedom of internet users. The key to be found in the web is the key to success with whatever message or service a web site might come up with, and all that is controlled by one enterprise driven by commercial interests. That should be realized by a broad audience.

            The Open Search Foundation has the clear vision to build up an publicly owned search index as an alternative for Europe.

      • Programming/Development

        • OpenBLAS 0.3.10 Released With Initial BFloat16 Support, x86_64 Optimizations

          A new feature release is now available for this leading open-source BLAS linear algebra library.

          With this Sunday’s release of OpenBLAS 0.3.10 there is initial BFloat16 (BF16) support and initial implementation in SHGEMM, imported various LAPACK bug fixes, thread locking improvements, an API for setting thread affinity on Linux via OpenBLAS, CMake build system improvements, support for MIPS 24K/24KE processors based on P5600 kernels, optimized SGEMM kernel for Cortex-A53, improved ThunderX2 performance, various performance improvements for recent x86_64 CPus, AVX-512 fixes, and other fixes throughout and various optimizations.

        • irk Eddelbuettel: T^4 #6: Byobu Sessions

          The next video in our T^4 series of video lightning talks with tips, tricks, tools, and toys (where we had seen the announcement, shells sessions one, two, and three, as well as byoby sessions one and two) is now up at YouTube. It covers session management for the wonderful byobu tool that is both a ‘text-based window manager’ and a ‘terminal multiplexer’:

        • Evgeni Golov: naked pings 2020

          But IRC is not the only means of communication. There is also mail, (video) conferencing, and GitHub/GitLab. Well, at least in the software engineering context. Oh and yes, it’s 2020 and I still (proudly) have no Slack account.

          Thankfully, (naked) pings are not really a thing for mail or conferencing, but I see an increasing amount of them on GitHub and it bothers me, a lot. As there is no direct messaging on GitHub, you might rightfully ask why, as there is always context in form of the issue or PR the ping happened in, so lean back an listen ;-)

        • RVowpalWabbit 0.0.14: More Keeping CRAN happy

          Another maintenance RVowpalWabbit package update brings us to version 0.0.14. This time CRAN asked us to replace the (long obsoleted C-library) function ftime(). Along the way, we also updated links in the DESCRIPTION file to the (spiffy!!) new vowpalwabbit.org website, updated Travis use and fine-tuned some autoconf code in configure.ac.

          There is a newer package rvw based on the excellent GSoC 2018 and beyond work by Ivan Pavlov (mentored by James and myself) so if you are into Vowpal Wabbit from R go check it out. It should go to CRAN “eventually” once we have better mechanisms to support external libraries.

        • Writing a brainfuck compiler.

          So last night I had the idea that it might be fun to write a Brainfuck compiler, to convert BF programs into assembly language, where they’d run nice and quickly.

          I figured I could allocate a day to do the work, and it would be a pleasant distraction on a Sunday afternoon. As it happened it only took me three hours from start to finish.

        • Daniel Berrange: Announce: Entangle “Potassium“ release 3.0 – an app for tethered camera control & capture

          I am pleased to announce a new release 3.0 of Entangle is available for download from the usual location:


          This release has a mixture of new features and bug fixes, as well as improved translations….

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • Conditionally Logging Expensive Tasks

            Imagine you want to log something that is, potentially, expensive to calculate. For example, in DEBUG mode, you would like to count the classes of the objects in gc.get_objects() and log those counts: this is often a useful technique for diagnosing reference leaks. This is pretty heavy to calculate, and logging it always sounds wasteful.

          • Making Python Integers Iterable

            Iterables in Python are objects and containers that could be stepped through one item at a time, usually using a for … in loop. Not all objects can be iterated, for example – we cannot iterate an integer, it is a singular value. The best we can do here is iterate on a range of integers using the range type which helps us iterate through all integers in the range [0, n).

          • 10 Best Python IDEs for Linux Programmers in 2020

            Python is a general-purpose programming language for building anything; from backend web development, data analysis, artificial intelligence to scientific computing. It can also be used for developing productivity software, games, desktop apps, and beyond.

            It’s easy to learn, has a clean syntax and indentation structure. And an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) can, to some extend, determine one’s programming experience when it comes to learning or developing using any language.

          • Python 3.9.0b3

            Python 3.9 is still in development. This release, 3.9.0b3, is the third of five planned beta release previews. Beta release previews are intended to give the wider community the opportunity to test new features and bug fixes and to prepare their projects to support the new feature release.

          • Python 3.9.0b3 is now available for testing

            On behalf of the entire Python development community, and the currently serving Python release team in particular, I’m pleased to announce the release of Python 3.9.0b3.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: [Week 2] Check-in
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #3
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-In: Week 3
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-In #2 ( 7th Jun – 14th Jun )
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 2 Check-in
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC: Week #3
          • Auto-link a Host-provided Package into a Virtualenv

            There are Python packages that are basically a PITA to get compiled into your virtualenv. The one I constantly hit when doing GStreamer, DBus, IBus, etc is gobject-introspection (a.k.a. gi).

          • Search your favorited tweets and articles with Twitter Discover

            If you’re like me, you use Twitter’s likes or favorites as bookmarks, to help you come back to a tweet or article later. If you’re also like me, you’ve been using Twitter way too much and after more than ten years you have amassed over 2,000 likes and many more retweets with useful links and articles that you wanted to find later.

            But you never found them again. Because Twitter doesn’t give you a way to search your own retweets or favorites. And even if it would, a text search based on tweet contents would probably not be good enough, when you consider tweets that only contain a link, or tweets that have a comment that’s not representative of the article they link to. Ideally, you’d be able to find links to articles based on the text in the tweet, but also based on the text of the actual article.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • New Vulkan Extension Proposed For DirectFB Support

        The DirectFB library once popular with embedded systems and other environments needing formerly a full X11 stack (or now, Wayland) remains in an abandoned state with no real upstream development any longer and the project site long dead, but with a newly proposed Vulkan extension could allow this modern graphics API to run on top of it.

        VK_EXT_directfb_surface was proposed for allowing Vulkan to support surfaces for DirectFB consumption.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Hospital’s COVID-19 Policy Separated Native American Mothers From Their Newborns

        A prominent women’s hospital here has separated some Native American women from their newly born babies, the result of a practice designed to stop the spread of COVID-19 that clinicians and health care ethicists described as racial profiling.

      • Amid Growing Death Toll in Brazil, Bolsonaro’s Handling of the Covid-19 Pandemic Condemned as ‘Pitiful’

        “This is the worst public health crisis we’ve faced—and it has come at a time when we have the worst government in the world.”

      • State Investigating Hospital With Coronavirus Policy That Profiled Pregnant Native American Mothers and Separated Them From Newborns

        New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced on Twitter Saturday that state officials would investigate allegations of racial profiling of pregnant Native American women at a top hospital in Albuquerque.

        Lujan Grisham was reacting to a story published Saturday by New Mexico In Depth and ProPublica revealing that Lovelace Women’s Hospital had a secret policy for screening Native American women for coronavirus based on their appearance and home ZIP code, according to several clinicians who work there.

      • Coronavirus: Do I have to go back to the office when it reopens?

        With state and local governments allowing more businesses to re-open, employers and employees have questions about what they should — and shouldn’t — expect in the workplace.

        The state has issued guidelines for various types of business, but little has prepared most of us for navigating a return to work during a pandemic when missteps could kill.

        We contacted employment law experts and state authorities to help answer questions about the new rules, including everything from disclosing workplace cases to temperature screening.

      • Death by Crosspollination: the Uncontrollable Natural Occurrence that Could Kill Organic Farming and the Legal Solutions to Save An Industry

        Overall, this note’s objective is to advance legally sound approaches that protect the dignity of the farmer, preserve the integrity of their crops, and hold multinational agribusinesses accountable for crosspollination infringing upon private lands. Part I briefly examines the history of agriculture from the discovery of domestication of plants to today, where humans are now able to manipulate genome structures in order to create crops that are resistant to chemical products and insects. In addition to the evolution of agriculture itself, Part I examines the accompanying evolution of law surrounding agriculture with emphasis placed on the evolution of laws related to the patenting of plants and GMOs. The goal of Part I is to provide a foundation to understand how far humans have come in growing food and how that has affected the farmer. Part II explores the problems that existing GMO laws have created for organic-crop farmers and the farming community as a whole, while highlighting the need to protect the rights and integrity of the minority organic growing community. Part III further illustrates these problems with case examples that demonstrate the practical implications of our GMO laws. Part IV offers proposed legislative changes aimed at alleviating the problems that organic farmers now face. Suggested legal changes include: (1) Federal legislation modeled after California and Maine’s agriculture codes, which create a requirement of intent for any patent infringement suit against organic farmers; and (2) State legislative action to codify the relationship between Monsanto and its growers as an agency relationship. Finally, Part V explains how the policies suggested in Part IV are legally and constitutionally sound and how they will help alleviate the problems for organic farmers, as explained in Parts II and III.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Ubuntu 18.04′s Heavily Patched Kernel Opens Door To Lockdown Bypass, Breaks Secure Boot

            With Ubuntu 18.04 when running on its Linux 4.15 kernel and not one of the newer hardware enablement kernels, in the mess of patches back-ported to the release it ends up being vulnerable to bypassing the kernel lockdown security and compromising UEFI Secure Boot that is persistent across reboots.

            WireGuard lead developer Jason Donenfeld discovered a security issue with the Ubuntu 18.04 default kernel. The current kernel is not protecting the SSDT EFI entry point and that can lead to injecting ACPI tables and subsequently loading unsigned kernel drivers into the system even with UEFI Secure Boot enabled. A proof-of-concept attack disables KASLR address space layout randomization in the process and also survives kernel reboots.

          • Josh Bressers: Episode 201 – We broke CVSSv3, now how do we fix it?

            Josh and Kurt talk about CVSSv3 and how it’s broken. We started with a blog post to explain why the NVD CVSS scores are so wrong, and we ended up researching CVSSv3 and found out it’s far more broken than any of us expected in ways we didn’t expect. NVD isn’t broken, CVSSv3 is. How did we get here? Are there any options that work today? Where should we go next?

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Covid 19: “massive data-sharing contracts”

              Making the rounds on Twitter is news of the UK government’s release of the “massive data-sharing contracts” that it has entered into with various tech companies, relating to Covid 19.

              According to the OpenDemocracy website, this release occurred only after pressure from openDemocracy, and “hours before” they were due to issue legal proceedings to demand their release.

              The web page linked above has on it links to what are said to be the contracts that the UK government released. The contracts are with Google, Faculty, Palantir and Microsoft, respectively. According to openDemocracy, the contracts are concerned with an…


              Faculty is allegedly a company that has connections with Dominic Cummings, and has received several government contracts. OpenDemocracy alleges that the disclosed contract is worth £1M.

              The contract is headed with the “Crown Commercial Service” name and logo, and is described as a “G-Cloud 11 Call-Off Contract (version 4)” – whatever that means. It appears to be a typically turgid form of government contract, running to 48 pages. Most of it is boilerplate language.

              The “call-off contract value” is stated to be “£930,000 excluding VAT”, and the “call-off contract description” is “provision of strategic support to the NHSX AI Lab”.

            • Cell data: Coloradans getting out more, staying home less

              As restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus have been eased, Colorado residents are spending their days at home far less than in recent months, recently collected cellphone data show, nearing pre-pandemic levels.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Judge orders Seattle to stop using tear gas during protests

        Durkan, a former U.S. attorney, “believes the court struck the right balance to protect the fundamental constitutional right to exercise protest, with the need to also ensure public safety,” spokeswoman Kamaria Hightower said in an email.

        Durkan also has requested reviews of police actions from the Office of Police Accountability and the city’s inspector general. Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste also said Friday the agency will stop using gas until further notice, particularly amid the pandemic.

        This week, demonstrators have turned part of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood into a protest center with speakers, drum circles and Black Lives Matter painted on a street near a police station. Police largely left the station after the chaos last weekend, when officers tear-gassed protesters and some demonstrators threw objects at them. Police sprayed tear gas just two days after the mayor and police chief said they were temporarily halting its use.

      • London protests: ‘We stopped somebody from being killed’

        The individual pictured carrying a white man to safety following a clash between protest groups in London has said he and his friends “stopped somebody from being killed”.

        Patrick Hutchinson was widely praised after a photo of him helping the man on Saturday went viral.

        Describing the events behind the image, he told the BBC the situation “wasn’t going to end well” without their help.

        “I scooped him up into a fireman’s carry and marched him out,” he said.

        A number of peaceful anti-racism protests took place in London and other cities across the UK on Saturday.

        But groups including some far-right activists also congregated in the capital, and more than 100 people were arrested after violence broke out and police were attacked.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • From Hurricane Maria to COVID, Gas Lobbyist-turned-Trump Energy Lawyer Uses Crises as ‘Opportunity’

          On May 1, the DOE issued a proposal to limit environmental reviews for LNG export permit proposals so that the review applies to only the export process itself — literally “occurring at or after the point of export.” The rule would take off the table for consideration lifecycle greenhouse gas analyses, broader looks at both build-outs of pipelines and power plants attached to the export proposals, and other potential environmental impacts.

      • Wildlife/Nature

      • Overpopulation

        • Migrant crossings into Europe spiked in May: report

          In May, there were almost 4,300 illegal border crossings, newspapers from the Funke Media Group reported, citing figures from Frontex. That’s almost three times as many compared to the previous month.

          The EU’s asylum agency has previously warned that the pandemic could ultimately trigger more arrivals in the future — particularly if it leads to food shortages and more turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Pause On PMPRB Reform: Implementation Of New Pricing Regulations Delayed To 2021

        The Regulations were published in August 2019, touted by the government as “the most significant reforms to the regulations since their introduction in 1987″, and being necessary to give the PMPRB “the tools to protect Canadians from excessive prices and make patented medicines more affordable”.

        The industry has been speculating for weeks that the coming-into-force date for the Regulations would be delayed, since the details of how industry would report sales of patented medicines to PMPRB under the amended Regulations have still not been established. Draft Guidelines, which establish price tests and reporting requirements, were first published in November 2019. However, PMPRB received extensive feedback on those draft Guidelines, and stated that it would be making “significant” changes to the Guidelines before they are finalized. Without the final Guidelines, a delay in the coming-into-force date for the Regulations seemed inevitable.

        The announcement from PMPRB indicates that stakeholders will be given “…a limited period of time in which to submit their views in writing prior to the Guidelines being finalized.” This suggests that PMPRB will not engage in wide consultation on the draft before settling on the final Guidelines.

      • Patents

        • The Admissibility of Patent Prosecution History as Evidence in Canada

          This past May, the Federal Court of Canada published two additional decisions (the CCM and the Jempak decisions)[1],[2] that provide additional guidance and clarity on the admissibility of “prosecution history”[3] evidence in a patent proceeding under Section 53.1 of the Patent Act[4] (the “Act”). This bulletin provides a summary of what we have learned about this relatively new Section thus far, and how the application of this Section by the courts may impact the manner in which Canadian patent applications are prosecuted. This bulletin will be of interest to inventors, patentees, and patent counsel.


          In addition, claims construction in Canada is no longer necessarily limited to the “four corners of the specification”. Rather, with the introduction of section 53.1 of the Act, “purposive construction of patent claims in Canada now includes three prongs: (1) the claims themselves; (2) the disclosure [in the patent]; and (3) the prosecution history in Canada, when used to rebut a representation made by the patentee as to the construction of a claim in the patent”.[17] Such expanded scope will likely affect how patent practitioners prosecute patent applications in Canada, including how and when to appropriately request accelerated examination under the patent prosecution highway program.

        • Patent Office Aggregates Covid-19 Information on Its Site

          The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office created a web page aimed at easing the process for companies and inventors during the coronavirus pandemic.

          The webpage, dubbed the USPTO COVID-19 Response Resource Center, contains aggregated virus-related information on patent licensing, consumer fraud and international invention efforts.

          The Patents 4 Partnerships program, a database created by the PTO for coronavirus-related patents available for licensing, is part of the new website, the office said in a statement Wednesday. So is a link to an expedited patent examination program for small businesses working on coronavirus-related drugs or treatments.

        • Why Patents Don’t Stop People From Stealing [sic] Your Invention

          I used to believe that patenting an invention meant no one could steal it from me.

          This was when I was new to the intellectual property game, and naïve. Soon enough, I discovered that’s not the way patents work.

          It was 2003, and spring in San Francisco. I remember walking up the steps of the federal courthouse and finding the room with my name it: Stephen Key Design V Lego.

          How did I get here? I’d done everything right! Or so I thought….

          Let me explain.

        • Patent Law’s Purposeful Ambiguity

          The ambiguity of language is an unremarkable, yet persistent force within our legal system. In the context of patent law, ambiguity presents a particularly acute dilemma; namely, while describing technological innovations is a salient feature of the patent system, affecting the validity and scope of one’s property right, the blunt nature of language makes this task particularly difficult. This paper argues to address this vexing fixture, patent doctrine purposely embraces ambiguity as a linguistic accommodation that provides measured flexibility for actors to claim and describe their innovations. It should not be surprising, therefore, that some of patent law’s most venerable doctrines, such as the requirements for enablement and definiteness reflect this form of ambiguity — two doctrines directly tethered to the disclosure function of patent law.

          At first blush, it may seem ironic that purposeful ambiguity would find a home in patent law, given that patent jurisprudence is a property rights regime so closely related to technological fields steeped in empirical certainty. But from a greater remove, ambiguity has an important role in a well-functioning patent system, providing judges, practitioners, and policymakers with room to lithely navigate the ex ante-ex post incentive continuum.

        • A Call for a Relaxation of IP Rights during Coronavirus Pandemic

          Aimed to ensure people´s health, Colombian congressmen together with a group of citizens have requested the President of the Republic to take the appropriate measures for allowing the use of medicines and technologies protected by intellectual property rights to address the challenges posed by the current pandemic situation.

          Based on the text of the Political Constitution, the petitioners have requested to adopt, within the shortest possible time, the measures required for relaxing the current intellectual property rules and the patent system, to facilitate access to medicines, technologies, chemical reagents, vaccines, and the medical devices used to diagnose and treat the coronavirus. In their opinion, the rising infection rates put human lives at risk and jeopardise the health system, which justifies a decision of this kind.


          While the petitioners recognise the declaratory of public interest for medicines, technologies, vaccines, medical devices and supplies, as a step forward in fighting the virus, for them, it is yet not clear whether such declaratory will be enough for issuing compulsory and statutory licences or, if a resolution from the Ministry of Health will also be required.

        • Webinar: EPO Case Law on Priority

          Christopher Rennie-Smith, European Patent Consultant, former Chairman and legal member of a Technical Board of Appeal of the EPO; former member of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO

        • Deadly pitfalls and lessons learned – claiming priority at the EPO

          In a recent high stakes CRISPR/Cas patent opposition case, the EPO Boards of Appeal have once again confirmed their strict and formalistic approach towards the (in)validity of priority claims. It is essential to know the EPO’s strict requirements for validly assigning the priority right.

          Within 12 months of filing a first patent application, the applicant or its successor in title can file subsequent applications throughout the world, benefitting from the first application’s early filing date if priority is validly claimed. In a recent high stakes CRISPR/Cas patent opposition case, the EPO Boards of Appeal have once again confirmed their strict and formalistic approach towards the (in)validity of priority claims. It is essential to know the EPO’s strict requirements for validly assigning the priority right, particularly if the applicants are different between the priority and the subsequent application. Most importantly, the assignment must occur prior to filing the subsequent application. A late or missing assignment cannot be remedied retroactively. As in the recent CRISPR/Cas case, finding the priority claim to be invalid for formal reasons can lead to the invalidation of the entire patent if relevant prior art was filed or published in the priority year. This chapter explains the EPO’s requirements for a valid transfer of the priority right and summarises the relevant case law.

      • Trademarks

        • Private or infringing use? Cigars, cognacs and ball bearings in CJEU’s tale of counterfeiting

          On 30 April 2020 (C-772/18), the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) addressed a contentious issue in trademark enforcement. It discussed the definition of “use in the course of trade”, especially as opposed to storing or importing in counterfeit trade. The CJEU examined Article 5(1) and (3)(b), (c) of Directive 2008/95 at the request of a Finnish court. The CJEU’s position is in line with the trend of expanding the notion of ‘use in the course of trade’ and limiting the margin of manoeuvre for counterfeit traders.

          The case facts were that a resident of Finland received a consignment from China containing 150 ball bearings for spare parts. Each of these bearings was marked with a counterfeit trademark. The goods were released from customs and the Finnish resident kept them at his home, after which he sent a consignment of the goods to Russia. His only involvement was in the storage of the infringing goods as an intermediary. In return he did not receive money, but payment in kind – cigars and cognacs.


          The term “use in the course of trade” is vague, but plays an essential role in limiting trade mark protection

        • Punitive damages in China’s new Civil Law

          On 28 May, the Civil Law of the People’s Republic of China was officially adopted, and it will come into force on January 1, 2021. This is a milestone in the history of civil legislation in China.

          There are seven parts and 1260 articles in the Civil Law, which are general principles, property rights, contracts, personality rights, marriage and family, inheritance, tort liability and supplementary provisions.

          As a kind of private right, intellectual property belongs to civil law. Although intellectual property does not appear in the Civil Law as an independent chapter, there are many provisions related to intellectual property and technology contract in the Civil Law.

          Punitive damages for IP infringement

          In order to strengthen the protection of IP rights and to increase the cost of infringement, the Civil Law stipulates that the owner of the infringed right can request punitive damages if the infringement is conducted intentionally and the circumstances are serious.

      • Copyrights

        • The Internet Archive has ended its ‘emergency library’ early

          The Emergency Library is part of the Open Libraries initiative, in which the Internet Archive scans libraries’ books, allowing digital “check-outs” via a waiting list. But the Emergency Library did away with the waiting lists and made the scanned books immediately available.

          The intent was to keep the Emergency Library up and running through June 30th. But on June 1st, publishers Hachette, Penguin Random House, Wiley, and HarperCollins sued the Internet Archive for copyright violations. The Authors Guild said in March that the Internet Archive was “acting as a piracy site” that violates authors’ rights to their works.

        • Popular Pirate Sites Slowly ‘Disappear’ From Google’s Top Search Results

          Google doesn’t always show the most relevant results to users. Much to the delight of copyright holders, popular pirate sites have started to ‘disappear’ from the search engine. This goes far beyond traditional DMCA takedown notices and is not without collateral damage.

        • What Are IPTV Resellers and Why Has Reddit Just Banned Them, Twice?

          This week Reddit banned the popular /r/iptvresellers sub-Reddit for violating the site’s rules. When a new sub-Reddit was created covering the same topic, Reddit quickly banned that too. So what exactly is an IPTV reseller, how do they operate, and why is Reddit so keen to get rid of them?

        • Australian copyright law is inhibiting the development of AI – what options does the Australian government have?

          The five fair dealing provisions (s 40-43 Copyright Act 1968) covering use for research and study, news reporting, criticism and review, parody and satire, and in judicial proceedings are unlikely to apply for various reasons. For instance, fair dealing for research and study is unlikely to apply when large amounts of entire works are reproduced for machine learning purposes, since it generally only allows use of parts of works (see, e.g. the position of the Australian Law Reform Commission Report 122, par 11.65). As another example, developing AI to be used in judicial proceedings or for providing legal advice is unlikely to be covered by the fair dealing exception when such an AI system is developed by a third party rather than by judges, lawyers or other qualified persons. Certain specific exceptions might be of some use but would not eliminate the infringement risk entirely. For instance, temporary copying exceptions available in s 43A and 43B of the Copyright Act 1968 may cover some of the temporary reproductions accruing during the process of machine learning. However, they are unlikely to cover copies made when creating a data set since these copies are not temporary or incidental.

          As a result, when Australian AI developers need to use copyright-protected content for machine learning purposes, they generally need to get licenses from copyright owners. In some cases this might be quite feasible. For instance, Facebook’s broad Terms of Service probably allow Facebook to use any content uploaded by its users for AI training purposes, as long as it is used to ‘make [the] service better’. In many other cases, when large amounts of content belonging to different right holders (known and unknown) is needed, licensing is not a viable option.


          There are generally two options that the Australian government could consider: the first is facilitating licensing of content for machine learning/TDM purposes by e.g. introducing compulsory or extended collective licensing; and the second is introducing new (or amending existing) copyright exceptions to cover machine learning. The paper cited below assesses these options and reaches a conclusion that a specific exception for text and data mining, similar to that in the EU, is best capable of reaching a balance of interests between AI industries and right holders whose content is being used in the training of AI systems.

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Gemini Lets You Control the Presentation Layer to Suit Your Own Needs

    In Gemini (or the Web as seen through Gemini clients such as Kristall) the user comes first; it's not sites/capsules that tell the user how pages are presented/rendered, as they decide only on structural/semantic aspects

  2. The Future of Techrights

    Futures are difficult to predict, but our general vision for the years ahead revolves around more community involvement and less (none or decreased) reliance on third parties, especially monopolistic corporations, mostly because they oppress the population via the network and via electronic devices

  3. [Meme] UPC for CJEU

    When you do illegal things and knowingly break the law to get started with a “legal” system you know it’ll end up in tears… or the CJEU

  4. Links 20/1/2022: 'Pluton' Pushback and Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2

    Links for the day

  5. The Web is a Corporate Misinformation/Disinformation Platform, Biased Against Communities, Facts, and Science

    Misinformation/disinformation in so-called 'news' sites is a pandemic which spreads; in the process, the founder of GNU/Linux gets defamed and GNU/Linux itself is described as the problem, not the solution to the actual problems

  6. Links 20/1/2022: McKinsey Openwashing and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day

  7. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022

  8. Links 20/1/2022: Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3 and FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released

    Links for the day

  9. Links 19/1/2022: XWayland 22.1 RC1 and OnlyOffice 7.0 Release

    Links for the day

  10. Links 19/1/2022: ArchLabs 2022.01.18 and KDE's 15-Minute Bug Initiative

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  11. When Twitter Protects Abusers and Abuse (and Twitter's Sponsors)

    Twitter is an out-of-control censorship machine and it should be treated accordingly even by those who merely "read" or "follow" Twitter accounts; Twitter is a filter, not a news/media platform or even means of communication

  12. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022

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

    Links for the day

  14. Another Video IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    It seems very much possible that IBM (or someone close to IBM) is trying to purge me from Twitter, so let’s examine what they may be trying to distract from. As we put it 2 years ago, "Watson" is a lot more offensive than those supposedly offensive words IBM is working to purge; think about those hundreds of Red Hat workers who are black and were never told about ethnic purges of blacks facilitated by IBM (their new boss).

  15. What IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    Let's 'Streisand it'...

  16. Good News, Bad News (and Back to Normal)

    When many services are reliant on the integrity of a single, very tiny MicroSD card you're only moments away from 2 days of intensive labour (recovery, investigation, migration, and further coding); we've learned our lessons and took advantage of this incident to upgrade the operating system, double the storage space, even improve the code slightly (for compatibility with newer systems)

  17. Someone Is Very Desperate to Knock My Account Off Twitter

    Many reports against me — some successful — are putting my free speech (and factual statements) at risk

  18. Links 18/1/2022: Deepin 20.4 and Qubes OS 4.1.0 RC4

    Links for the day

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

    Links for the day

  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022

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

    Links for the day

  22. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge

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

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  24. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

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

    Links for the day

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

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  27. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

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

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

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  30. 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

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