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Links 22/6/2020: LibreOffice 7.0 Beta 2, EasyOS 2.3.2, Linux 5.8 RC2

Posted in News Roundup at 10:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • We bought Walmart’s $140 laptop so you wouldn’t have to

        Unfortunately, those theoretically better specs didn’t pan out in reality. Under Fedora 32—selected due to its ultra-modern kernel, and lightweight Wayland display manager—the EVOO was incredibly balky and sluggish.

        To be fair, Fedora felt significantly snappier than Windows 10 had on this laptop, but that was a very, very low bar to hurdle.

        The laptop frequently took as long as 12 seconds just to launch Firefox. Actually navigating webpages wasn’t much better, with very long pauses for no apparent reason. The launcher was also balky to render—and this time, with significantly lower memory usage than Windows, I couldn’t just blame it on swap thrashing.

        In fact, for a little while I turned swap off entirely, with the command swapoff -a. This didn’t noticeably improve performance—and trying to run fio with swap disabled invoked the dreaded oom-killer, so I gave up and enabled it again


        The typical consumer, clearly, is out of luck—but what about us geeks? Personally, I use low-powered Linux laptops in many different roles—including but not limited to airplane entertainment, “backup laptop” for presentations at conferences, and small fleets of them as Wi-Fi test devices. I had high hopes that the EVOO might be able to fulfill that role.

        Although standard Chromebooks work reasonably well as dirt-cheap Linux laptops, they need a fair amount of finagling to get there. If you don’t take them apart and change a hardware setting to allow permanent installation, they have a distressing tendency to occasionally “forget” how to boot into Linux. When this happens, you can get stranded with working ChromeOS. It takes an hour or two of work before you can get back to your “real” operating system.

        I would have loved for this EVOO laptop to fit that niche and finally free me from fighting the ChromeOS hardware ecosystem. Unfortunately, this device is just too underpowered to make that reasonable—and that’s even before you get to the weirdly rearranged keyboard or the anemic USB2 “internal” Wi-Fi, which only supports 802.11n at 2.4GHz.

        There may be a purpose this laptop is well-suited to—but for the life of me, I cannot think what it might be.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 92

        Will reminisces about netbooks, Joe has a new Pinebook Pro, Facebook’s complex morals, Bountysource worries the community, and KDE Korner.

      • GNU World Order 359

        More about groff. Here’s a math equation: .EQ e = mc sup 2 .EN # prepocess math equation and convert to pdf $ eqn my.ms -Tpdf | groff -ms -Tpdf > my.pdf # or just use groffer $ groffer -e example.ms -ms Quick conversion of an equation in eqn format to a bitmap: $ echo “e = mc sup 2″ | eqn2graph -format jpg -density 300 > my.jpg Chemistry: .cstart R1: ring pointing right R2: ring pointing right put C8 at 4 put H10 at 5 with .V6 at R1.V4 .cend $ chem example.chem | groffer -p

      • Xmonad TreeSelect Is A Unique Menu System

        I discovered this interesting Xmonad module called TreeSelect that displays your workspaces or a list of actions in a tree-like format. You can select the desired workspace/action with the mouse or with the HJKL keys. This module is fully configurable and very useful if you like to have a lot of workspaces.

      • Josh Bressers: Episode 202 – The convergence of application security

        Josh and Kurt talk about the security of applications. We talk about the security of infrastructure all the time, but what happens when we combine infrastructure into an application or solution?

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.8-rc2
        So 5.8 may end up- being a big release, but rc2 looks fairly normal.
        Despite having one pull request that missed rc1 by five minutes (and
        thus getting pulled into rc2) and having a couple of small series of
        "post-rc1 cleanup after we're past the conflicts",  and despite being
        one of the largest merge windows ever, last week was fairly calm.
        So rc2 isn't particularly big or scary, and falls right in the normal range.
        We'll see how much of that is the usual "catch our breath after the
        merge window", and how much of that is just "5.8 looks fairly normal
        despite being large".
        Shortlog appended, there's nothing that looks alarming to me. It's a
        mix of arch fixes, GPU driver fixes, filesystems, selftests and misc
        small noise all over.
        So whether you're a father or not (and whether you live in one of the
        countries that celebrate it today or not), have a happy Father's Day.
        And go test, it's not scary. Ok?
      • Linux 5.8-rc2 Released For This Big Summer 2020 Kernel
      • Kernel prepatch 5.8-rc2

        The second 5.8 kernel prepatch is out for testing.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA A100 PCIe Accelerator Now Shipping For Servers

          After announcing the NVIDIA Ampere architecture at last month’s virtual keynote, beginning today the NVIDIA A100 PCI Express accelerator is now shipping in GPU compute servers.

          NVIDIA announced more than 50 A100-powered servers are on the way from their partners at the likes of ASUS, Dell, HPE, Lenovo, Gigabyte Server, and others. Some 30 designs should be out this summer and more later in the year.

        • What is VulkanRT – Vulkan Run Time Libraries?

          Games have certain system requirements that must be met in order for them to run. These requirements are for both hardware and software. You need a specific GPU model or newer, a specific OS, and additional frameworks and libraries installed on your system in order to play a game. Each game has its own requirements and it will clearly state them.

          A small subset of games need something called the Vulkan RunTime or VulkanRT. Generally speaking, if you have a GPU that can run the game in question then that GPU probably also has support for VulkanRT but, there’s a way to check and getting the Vulkan RunTime on your system is easy.

        • Vulkan support for older Raspberry Pi models is now a thing

          While work is underway officially to bring Vulkan API support to the Raspberry Pi 4, what about the older models? An NVIDIA engineer decided to get it done as announced on Twitter.

          The NVIDIA engineer, Martin Thomas, worked on the RPi-VK-Driver which is now available to grab from GitHub to bring Vulkan API support to models prior to the Raspberry Pi 4. Thomas said they had been working on it for two years and they said it’s the “first low-level GPU driver for the Broadcom Videocore IV GPU”.

        • AMDGPU Patches Revived For Better Hot Device Unplug / External GPU Handling

          More than one month ago we reported on AMDGPU patches proposed for better hot unplug handling, mainly for the use-case of external GPU solutions if disconnecting them while the system is still running to avoid a range of show-stopping problems. It’s been a quiet few weeks but that work has now seen a new revision.

          AMD driver developer Andrey Grodzovsky sent out the second version of this hot device unplug handling for AMDGPU but even with the improvements is still considered a proof of concept state. The hope once these patches are fully vetted is to avoid application crashes and other problems that current can happen when unplugging an “eGPU” or otherwise emulating a GPU unplug/remove event via sysfs.

        • Vulkan 1.2.145 Released With VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state

          There have been a few Vulkan spec updates without any new extensions introduced but this weekend’s Vulkan 1.2.145 revision does bring new functionality.

          Besides the usual assortment of documentation fixes and clarifications, Vulkan 1.2.145 adds VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state.

    • Benchmarks

      • Open-Source NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2000 “Turing” 3D Driver Performance

        Going back to the end of 2018 was initial open-source “Nouveau” driver work on RTX 2000 / Turing GPUs as of Linux 5.0. But due to the lack of signed firmware images at the time, there was no actual hardware acceleration but just display/modesetting. The accelerated Turing support has come together recent so now here are benchmarks showing the open-source GeForce RTX 2060 and RTX 2080 performance of this open-source driver compared to the proprietary official driver.

        The accelerated RTX 2000 series support on the kernel side came at the start of the year for Linux 5.6 with the necessary changes in place. That came as NVIDIA finally published their signed, binary-only firmware for the GeForce GTX 1600 and RTX 2000 series GPUs.

    • Applications

      • dav1d 0.7.1 AV1 Decoder Boosts 32-bit Arm Performance By ~28%

        For those trying to carry out AV1 video decoding on a 32-bit Arm environment, the new dav1d 0.7.1 decoder should be a heck of a lot faster.

        Dav1d 0.7 released last month with various performance optimizations particularly on the Intel/AMD x86_64 CPU front. With high-end hardware on dav1d 0.7, it’s even possible to decode 1080p content at 1080+ FPS.

      • Mahmoud Khalil: Back On Track

        During the Community Bonding Period, I met with Alberto(my mentor) on Hangouts. We got to know each other more, and he gave me a task so that I get more familiar with the libgit2 and it’s wrapper that we use in Vala and in gitg libgit2-glib. During the implementation of the task, I got more comfortable with the workflow of gtk development, and I read more about the Meson Build System and how to build Gtk Application with it.

        The task was to create a tool to compare two commits with each other using libgit2-glib and show the result to the user in TextView Widget. The user would have to enter the SHAs of the two commits, then we would use those two SHAs to compute the difference between the two commits and show the result to the user. Here is the link for the project.

        I had to read more about the libgit2 library to understand more how it works. There are some useful examples on the website here, I also read more about the different data structures used to handle storing the “Commits”, and the “Diff” in each repository.

        I had some difficulties during the implementation, since I didn’t really know how delegate methods work, so I had to read more about them to understand what and why they’re used.

      • Strawberry – A Fork of Clementine Music Player & Organizer

        Strawberry is an open-source fork of Clementine music player aimed at music collectors and audiophiles.

        Strawberry is written in C++ with Qt 5 toolkit. The development started in 2018 while Clementine was not in active development (now development of Clementine revives).

      • Tuir: Why Open The Reddit Website, Just Use Your Terminal
      • Linux tools for improving your time management

        Are you someone who uses a lot of copy and paste functions between several documents in your day to day usage? If so, then Clipboard Indicator should become one of your go-to solutions. Install Clipboard Indicator as a GNOME extension to your Linux distribution. In my experience, it has a minimum performance impact on GNOME Shell—at least, less than other solutions I have tried.

        This tool adds an indicator menu to the top panel and caches your clipboard history. You can set the history size, preview the number of characters you want to view. It shows notifications on copy and acts as a temporary space to store whatever you copy.

      • A New VLC Media Player 3.0 is Available to Download

        VLC got its latest major update v3.0.10 since the last one v3.0.8 in December 2019 and it now ships with a handful of significant improvements. The most notable is its support for handling SMB2/3 shares with libsmb2 which enables users to stream content from local Samba shares.

        The latest VLC also features improved handling of RAW H264/HEVC and MP4 files, and an improved seek function on the HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol.

        This is coupled with a number of DVD-related fixes that mainly solve menu navigation bugs and DVD reading crashes, improved audio quality for Chromecast streaming, YouTube URL playback, and of course, important security patches.

        Other changes include an update to Twitch and VLSub scripts, faster adaptive start, and new buffering control options, enabled Live seeking for HLS, multiple adaptive stack fixes, improved network buffering, added support for amem audio up to 384KHz, etc.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Civilization VI cross-play to return June 25 with a huge update

        It is now confirmed that not only will Civilization VI be getting a massive update on June 25, cross-platform online play will also properly return too.

        Firaxis Games themselves put out a post on Twitter, confirming this last week and then replying to us to mention that includes Linux. Aspyr Media, who ported it to Linux and macOS also confirmed this on Twitter too. This is going to be good news, since the recent updates prevented many people playing together.

      • Transport Fever 2 gets much expanded modding and new features

        For modding the scripting interface was reworked, there’s a new UI, an in-game console for LUA scripting was added, custom cargo models are possible, they added support for dynamic game resources, per-save mod settings are possible and the list of what they’ve added to boost modding goes on for a while. It’s also good to see Linux was not an afterthought here, as it’s possible to do it on Linux too as the model editor has a Linux build and the new official Modding Wiki mentions Linux plenty too.

      • Exit: A Biodelic Adventure has outrageous art and a world where everything is alive

        A world in which computers can be fed and cured, where DNA-passwords open gene-locks, insect hormones revitalize memory, biofactories that give birth to household utensils and a lot more await in Exit: A Biodelic Adventure.

        There’s also something about an epidemic ravaging the human race, enslaving them and involving a big Worm. You also apparently at some point even enter your own spine. Quite possibly the weirdest title I’ve ever seen, with a most peculiar setting and yet I felt the absolute need to explore it.

      • PS1-styled horror ‘Alisa’ is fully funded and coming to Linux

        Tank controls, PS1 styled graphics and a whole lot of atmosphere awaits you in Alisa and it’s coming to Linux now it’s been fully funded thanks to Kickstarter backers.

        Set in an alternate fantasy 1920s, you play as an Elite Royal Agent called Alisa. You’re hot on the tail of a wanted criminal and somehow end up stuck in a haunted old victorian mansion filled with mechanized doll-like humanoids and it’s pretty freaky.

      • Titanfall 2 | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 20.04 | Steam Play

        Titanfall 2 running through Steam Play on Linux

      • Try out the demo of Insatia, a carnivorous worm simulator

        Do creepy crawlies freak you out? You might want to avert your eyes for this one. Insatia is an upcoming game about carnivorous worms and it’s delightfully different.

        Mentioned briefly here on GOL back in 2019, it’s still coming along in development with a full release coming ever closer. Taking place inside a laboratory Professor Pokrovsky breeds all sorts of creatures and you get to help out by controlling these creatures, as weird as it is. With fast-paced and somewhat tactical combat, it’s an eat or be eaten miniature world you’re exploring in each small level. Eat and get bigger to eat things bigger than you but get too big and you become slow and unwieldy so others might start eating away at your tail.

      • Dodge everything possible with slick tunes in HyperCore, a musical rhythm bullet-hell

        Need something to truly get your bloody pumping? HyperCore mixes together a bullet-hell with a musical rhythm game in the style of a retro space shooter.

        Cutting to the chase right away on this one, it’s absolutely fantastic. Actually quite a bit blown away by HyperCore. Pumping music with wonderful colourful visuals that beat along with the flow, it’s really quite something. You fly around the outside of the action in a confined circle, as you try to avoid everything the game throws at you with semi-procedural generation so it’s somewhat different on each run. I’ve had a seriously tough job to climb through the high-scores on this but it’s been brilliant to try.

      • What have you been playing recently?

        It’s Sunday and another week has flown by, in part thanks to all the wonderful limited-time demos that have been available for a few days during the Steam Game Festival.

        Thanks to the Steam festival, the choice of gaming available has been tougher than ever. Do you jump through your vast backlog of titles or wet your taste-buds with one of the demos? Choices, choices. Here’s a reminder of some recent interesting new releases for Linux:

        Alwa’s Legacy
        ATOM RPG Trudograd
        Attentat 1942
        Burning Knight
        Megaquarium: Freshwater Frenzy
        Poly Bridge 2

      • How to play Prey (2017) on Linux

        Prey is a first-person shooter developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It takes place in an alternate timeline in the Space Race where human-kind progresses to space travel much quicker than in real life. In the game, the player controls Morgan Yu, aboard a space station as he fights off hostile aliens.

        Prey was released in 2017 on PS4, Xbox One and Windows 10 to critical acclaim. Despite its many awards, the game never made it to Linux. However, it can run on the Linux platform, thanks to Proton. In this guide, we’ll show you how to set it up.

      • Sail Forth Demo | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 20.04 | Native

        Sail Forth Demo running natively on Linux. The demo is available as part of the Steam Game Festival.

      • SkateBird Demo | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 20.04 | Native

        SkateBird Demo running natively on Linux. The demo is available as part of the Steam Game Festival.

      • Snowtopia Ski Resort Tycoon Demo | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 20.04 | Steam Play

        Snowtopia Ski Resort Tycoon Demo Demo running through Steam Play on Linux. The demo is available as part of the Steam Game Festival.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.19 on openSUSE Tumbleweed

          It was not so long ago that Plasma 5.18 graced my computer and very excitingly, 5.19 is here now. Since Tumbleweed is my main Linux system I use, I decided to share my experience on openSUSE Tumbleweed but it should be noted that you can enjoy Plasma 5.19 on Leap as well using the backports repositories. Leap is not my preferred method but it is an option.

          Bottom Line Up Front: It is another fantastic release with much attention being made to the finer details that enhance the usability experience without taking away from any of its functionality.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Shell UX Plans: The Bigger Picture

          It’s hard to believe, but we’re coming up on 10 years of GNOME Shell. Though GNOME 3.0 wasn’t released until April of 2011, design and development were in full swing in mid-2010, and had been for some time.

          Of course, the shell has not been standing still since then. Many important areas have been refined and iterated on since those early days, including the notifications, the app grid, and the system status area.

        • GNOME Shell Continues Eyeing Improvements As It Approaches 10 Years Old

          While GNOME 3.0 didn’t debut until early 2011, GNOME 3.0 and GNOME Shell have now been in development for a decade. While GNOME Shell has come a long way over the past ten years, the UI/UX folks are still eyeing further enhancements to this widely used Linux desktop.

          Tobias Bernard shared the latest user experience plans for the GNOME Shell as part of the GNOME Shell/Mutter blog.

        • GUADEC 2020 + Covid-19 = Online Conference

          To be honest, I did’t alert too much what event happening around but I think GUADEC is worth to steal my attention because I am Gnome lover and this is good chances to join the event because this year, GUADEC 2020 will take place entirely online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So you (me and someone else who far from europe) don’t need to go europe to join :P

          This event is coming next month start from 22nd July – 28th July 2020. GUADEC, it’s a once-a-year event that brings us together to collaborate, celebrate, and learn; meet our colleagues and friends; and strengthen the most special part of the GNOME project.

          Maybe most of participant actualy will be sad because unable see each other in person this year. But this will be open oppurtunity for someone who cannot affort for travel if held as usual but now they can!

    • Distributions

      • Foreseeing Trisquel 9 – Will Win Old and Modern Computers

        Trisquel 9 is actively discussed in Users Forum. Since the announcement published by project leader, these days, it is centered actively in a last year thread, and later this one, and this one. They report things they found after downloading and running Trisquel 9 on their computers (either it is good or bad) and that are fun to see. Some even reported that the latest testing image already runs flawlessly.

        To me, this forum is the best place for beginners to learn about Software Freedom. The members are friendly and clear, the source of my news about completely free software technology. From them I know Invidious, and Mastodon too, and many other useful things now I use daily. From them I learned many things I don’t know about hardware especially devices which depends to proprietary software which in turn refuse to work with GNU/Linux. They are quick to bring new things around our vast community, let’s say, Purism Librem and PINE64 devices, into discussions. I invite everyone to join this awesome forum!

      • Reviews

        • Let’s Compare Zorin OS and elementary OS

          After writing Zorin for Windows Users, I realized how strong it intended for new comers that it might be more user friendly than Ubuntu, Fedora, or openSUSE. One closest operating system came in my mind is elementary OS. I think it would be nice to compare both in brief. Now I present you my comparison so you grasp more information from both. Enjoy fun computing!

      • BSD

        • WireGuard Support Merged Into Upstream OpenBSD

          Following WireGuard being merged into Linux 5.6, the attention turned in recent months by WireGuard developers onto seeing their kernel port upstreamed in OpenBSD. As of this weekend, the WireGuard upstreaming in OpenBSD is their latest accomplishment.

          It was just last month we reported on the WireGuard port to the OpenBSD kernel and their hopes of upstreaming it. That goal has already been reached as of today.

        • Getting Started with NetBSD on the Pinebook Pro

          If you buy a Pinebook Pro now, it comes with Manjaro Linux on the internal eMMC storage. Let’s install NetBSD instead!

          The easiest way to get started is to buy a decent micro-SD card (what sort of markings it should have is a science of its own, by the way) and install NetBSD on that. On a warm boot (i.e. when rebooting a running system), the micro-SD card has priority compared to the eMMC, so the system will boot from there.

        • WireGuard imported into OpenBSD

          WireGuard is a layer3 tunnel that can be run in passive mode, only sending packets when something needs to reach the other side (unless you enable heartbeats). It only allows selected modern crypto algorithms and hashes, chosen to be performant on CPUs which lack crypto accelerators, while still being secure. WireGuard packets are sent over UDP, and can run over and transport both IPv4 and IPv6. It handles NAT/port redirects and endpoints changing IP addresses, which is very nice when changing from wired to wifi or vice versa.

      • Gentoo Family

        • Calculate Linux 20.6 Released: A Gentoo-Based Optimized Distribution

          lexander Tratsevskiy, lead developer of Calculate Linux, has announced the release of a new point version, Calculate Linux 20.6. The latest v20.6 majorly contains several system optimization updates, bug fixes, and new software changes.

          As usual, Calculate Linux (CL) 20.6 arrives in several flavors such as Calculate Linux Desktop (CLD), Calculate Directory Server (CDS), Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS), and Calculate Scratch Server (CSS). Additionally, Desktop edition features five desktop environments, namely, KDE, Cinnamon, LXQT, MATE, and Xfce.

        • Calculate Linux 20.6 Released with Zram, Zstd, and Better Wi-Fi Support

          Based on Gentoo, Calculate Linux 20.6 is here to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Calculate Linux project and introduces some major performance improvements through the use of Zram as a replacement for the traditional Swap partition and Zstd for the Linux kernel, modules and initramfs. In addition, kernel modules that are installed as packages come as Zstd archives too.

          Furthermore, this release switches to PulseAudio as default sound system for better audio, improved Wi-Fi support, improves the removal of orphan dependencies, implements suspend action for laptops when closing the lid, and adds pre-configured Passman and FreedomMarks web browser extensions for Nextcloud support. Also, Chromium comes with pre-configured uBlock Origin add-on for blocking ads.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • What is RedHat OpenShift?

          We live in a software-driven world, where organizations are expected to deliver increasingly complex applications with speed and agility across diverse IT environments.

          Those who understand the value of securing a competitive advantage by leveraging modern tools to make the software development process more efficient are always looking for innovative solutions and don’t hesitate to integrate them into their workflow if the benefits they offer are attractive enough.

        • CentOS Linux 8.2 (2004) Released: Free/Community Version Of RHEL 8.2

          The CentOS community has released the third iteration of CentOS Linux 8 series, tagged as 2004. The latest release, CentOS 8.2 (2004), supersedes the previous CentOS 8 (1911).

          CentOS 8.2 is rebased on the newest Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.2 source code. Hence, CentOS 8.2 is fully compatible with upstream RHEL 8.2 and derives all major changes along with its own enhancements.

        • A development roadmap for Open Data Hub

          Open Data Hub (ODH) is a blueprint for building an AI-as-a-Service (AIaaS) platform on Red Hat’s Kubernetes-based OpenShift 4.x. The Open Data Hub team recently released Open Data Hub 0.6.0, followed up by a smaller update of Open Data Hub 0.6.1.

          We recently got together and discussed our plans and timeline for the next two releases. Our plans are based on the roadmap slide deck that we put together and presented during the Open Data Hub community meeting on April 6.

          In this article, we present our roadmap for the next several Open Data Hub releases. We would like to emphasize that the target dates are optimistic, describing what we would like to achieve. With the current state of the world and vacation time coming up, these dates might change.

        • 2 billion minutes served: The Red Hat Customer Portal celebrates 10th birthday

          In the 10 years since its launch, Red Hat’s users have spent an estimated 2 billion plus minutes on the Red Hat Customer Portal. That’s more than 3,800 years that customers have spent on the site getting support, documentation, updates, and more.

          The Red Hat Customer Portal launched on June 22, 2010 to provide a single place for customers to access the services that make up a Red Hat subscription. Prior to the launch, subscription resources and tooling were hosted across many Red Hat websites.

          Since then, the Customer Portal has increased in scope, function, and use. The Portal delivers comprehensive product documentation, intelligent troubleshooting tools, security updates, technical support, as well as Red Hat expert and community-powered knowledge—helping customers plan, deploy, maintain, and manage their Red Hat solutions.

        • HACKADAY LINKS: JUNE 21, 2020: IBM 1400

          When Lego introduced its Mindstorms line in 1998, in a lot of ways it was like a gateway drug into the world of STEM, even though that term wouldn’t be invented for another couple of years. Children and the obsolete children who begat them drooled over the possibility of combining the Lego building system with motors, sensors, and a real computer that was far and away beyond anything that was available at the time. Mindstorms became hugely influential in the early maker scene and was slowly but steadily updated over the decades, culminating with the recently released Mindstorms Robot Inventor kit. In the thirteen years since the last release, a lot has changed in the market, and we Hackaday scribes had a discussion this week about the continued relevancy of Mindstorms in a time when cheap servos, microcontrollers, and a bewildering array of sensors can be had for pennies. We wonder what the readers think: is a kit that burns a $360 hole in your pocket still worth it? Sound off below.


          Everyone needs a way to unwind, and sometimes the best way to do that is to throw yourself into a project of such intricacy and delicate work that you’re forced into an almost meditative state by it. We’ve seen beautiful examples of that with the wonderful circuit sculptures of Mohit Bhoite and Jiří Praus, but here’s something that almost defies belief: a painstakingly detailed diorama of a vintage IBM data center.

      • Devuan Family

        • Review: Devuan GNU+Linux 3.0.0

          Devuan is a Debian-based distribution which removes systemd, along with dependencies on systemd, from the operating system. Devuan uses SysV init software by default and the release notes mention OpenRC is available as an optional service/runlevel manager while runit is in the repositories as an alternative init implementation.

          Devuan 3.0.0 is based on Debian 10 and has builds available for the 32-bit (x86), 64-bit (x86_64), armhf, arm64, and ppc64el architectures. The project further makes available Desktop, Server, Minimal, and Net-install editions. We are also offered Live and Install flavours of media for most editions. In other words, Devuan follows Debian’s example in having a lot of download options before we even begin the install process.

          I thought it worth noting that while Debian’s default install media does not include non-free firmware which is often used for wireless networking, and users who require non-free firmware need to download alternative media. In contrast, Devuan’s editions all ship with non-free firmware and provide the option of removing it.

      • Debian Family

        • Easy Buster version 2.3.2

          EasyOS versions 1.x are the “Pyro” series, the latest is 1.3. Easy Pyro is built with packages compiled from source using ‘oe-qky-src’, a fork of OpenEmbedded. Consequently, the builds are small and streamlined and integrated. The Pyro series may have future releases, but it is considered to be in maintenance status.
          The “Buster” series start from version 2.0, and are intended to be where most of the action is, ongoing. Version 2.0 was really a beta-quality build, to allow the testers to report back. The first official release was 2.1.
          The main feature of Easy Buster is that it is built from Debian 10 Buster DEBs, using WoofQ (a fork of Woof2: Woof-CE is another fork, used to build Puppy Linux).
          The advantage of Buster over Pyro is access to the large Debian package repositories. That is a big plus.
          On the other hand, DEB packages have many dependencies, and the end result is a release considerably larger than Pyro with similar app selection. For example, the download file of Pyro 1.2 is 418MB, Buster 2.1 is 504MB — despite the Buster build having less apps (Pyro has Qt5 and big Qt5-based apps such as Scribus, this is all missing from the Buster build, but can be installed).

        • EasyOS version 2.3.2 released

          A very nice utility for anyone who wants to know what is going on when the drive is active — that you know by the noise that a platter-type drive makes, and an activity LED. iotop will show what processes are responsible for the activity.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Blog: Design and Web team summary – 22nd June 2020

          My name is Wayne, I’m part of the Brand team that sits within Web & Design. I’ve been at Canonical for almost 2 years now, in those 2 years I have worked across many areas of the business and have helped update the brand and see it pushed out across a number of our sites from, canonical.com, ubuntu.com to jaas.ai, as well as in videos and documents. I’ve had the privilege to design the last 4 mascots for the Desktop Team and helped the Yaru team with theming.

          Canonical is my first ‘client-side’ role, having previously worked for Design and Ad agencies. My previous role was as Head of Digital and Design for an independent Ad agency specialising in tech clients, designing everything from large scale websites to integrated campaigns and full brand refreshes for companies as far as silicon valley. The clients I’ve worked for range from the likes of Apple, Safeway, Mattel and Mobil to Cisco, BT, Oracle, Orange and Vodafone. I helped launch Ancestry.com into the UK and designed the packaging for a No1 best selling DVD, back when they were a thing (showing my age!).

          When not at work I enjoy all sports, playing golf and cricket, watching football and rugby when I can wrestle the remote control from my 3 children, who pretty much run me ragged but are my world.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Jitsi Meet: A Free & Open Source Video Conferencing Solution That is Also Free to Use Without Any Set Up

        Looking for an open source alternative to Zoom? Try Jitsi Meet. It is open source solution and you can use it for free on their server or host on your own server.

      • 7 open source alternatives to VS Code

        Visual Studio Code, also known as VS Code, is a code editor for Linux, Windows, and macOS. It’s the kind of editor that walks the line between editing text and managing your entire codebase, like an integrated development environment (IDE). It’s extensible through plugins and has proven to be a reliable text editor that’s easily beaten out formidable non-open rival editors.

        Microsoft released VS Code as open source, but the version you download from Microsoft is not open source. However, you have several options for using VS Code as open source or selecting one of its open source alternatives.

      • Mastodon Fun – Sharing Free Software and Ubuntu Touch Together

        To me now, Mastodon social network is fun and friendly with supportive people easily found around field I love and they are quite active. This month, I shared many things with many people including GNU/Linux, Free Software, and surprisingly Ubuntu Phone! I learned here that PinePhone with UBPorts collaboration has been awesomely trending recently. And many more interesting stuffs. This article is my adventure summary in Mastodon I wish to be helpful to you. Now let’s see the story!

      • Fraidycat – organize your content

        For people that read lots of weblogs, a news aggregator (often known as a feed reader) makes keeping track of them easier. This type of software can be a time-saver as you don’t need to keep viewing tons of different websites. There are a number of different file formats which information publishers use. The most frequently ones are RSS and Atom. RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication.

        Feed readers’ popularity has waned over the years. This is because feed readers aren’t really a central hub for internet content. These days, there’s a plethora of interesting information on a wide variety of platforms, including Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud that don’t support RSS, and other services like YouTube and Pinboard that do support RSS but it’s not always clear how to find their feeds.

        If you’re looking for software that acts as a central hub for internet content, you should try Fraidycat. It isn’t a feed reader. And while it does gather news headlines from websites, it has much wider coverage letting you follow interesting people via YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Instagram, SoundCloud streams, and more.

        Fraidycat offers a browser extension for Chrome/Chromium and Firefox. There’s also a standalone program available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. Both the browser extension and standalone program are free and open source software.

      • Molly de Blanc (GNOME): Fire

        The world is on fire.

        I know many of you are either my parents friends or here for the free software thoughts, but rather than listen to me, I want you to listed to Black voices in these fields.

        If you’re not Black, it’s your job to educate yourself on issues that affect Black people all over the world and the way systems are designed to benefit White Supremacy. It is our job to acknowledge that racism is a problem — whether it appears as White Supremacy, Colonialism, or something as seemingly banal as pay gaps.

        We must make space for Black voices. We must make space for Black Women. We must make space for Black trans lives. We must do this in technology. We must build equity. We must listen.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Beta 2 is available for testing

          LibreOffice 7.0 Beta 2 is available for downloading and testing.

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Beta 2 Released For This Open-Source, Vulkan-Supported Office Suite

          LibreOffice 7.0 is aiming for release in early August but for that release to be a success they need help in testing.

          LibreOffice 7.0 beta came at the start of June while out now is the second beta for those wanting to help test this cross-platform, open-source office suite after many fixes landed in recent weeks.

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Beta2 is available for testing

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 7.0 Beta2 is available for testing!

          LibreOffice 7.0 will be released as final at the beginning of August, 2020 ( Check the Release Plan for more information ) being LibreOffice 7.0 Beta2 the third pre-release since the development of version 7.0 started in the beginning of June, 2019. Since the previous release, LibreOffice 7.0 Beta1, 257 commits have been submitted to the code repository and 142 bugs have been fixed. Check the release notes to find the new features included in LibreOffice 7.0.

          LibreOffice 7.0 Beta2 can be downloaded from here for Linux, MacOS and Windows, and it can be installed alongside the standard version.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Health starts the migration to Weblate

            Our friends from Weblate (www.weblate.org) have provided hosting for GNU Health!
            The import of the strings for the official languages is already there (https://hosted.weblate.org/projects/gnu-health/).
            During the coming days, we’ll organize the teams, adapt the scripts, links to mercurial, etc..

          • GNU Guile 3.0.3 released

            We are pleased to announce GNU Guile 3.0.3, the third bug-fix release of the new 3.0 stable series! This release represents 170 commits by 17 people since version 3.0.2.

            The highlight of this release is the addition of a new baseline compiler, used at optimizations levels -O1 and -O0. The baseline compiler is designed to generate code fast, for applications where compilation speed matters more than execution time of the generated code. It is around ten times faster than the optimizing continuation-passing style (CPS) compiler.

          • GNU is Looking for Native English Speakers for Proofreading and Translations

            We at the GNU Project love languages. Here are two main things we do in this area and how you can join to help.

      • Programming/Development

        • KDAB on Qt: Why is my screen dark

          Your 3D environment (aka: scene) normally has several elements and those elements each have their own properties. One element of particular importance is ‘you’, the viewer of the scene. If you aren’t in a room, you can’t be expected to see what is in that room. With 3D scenes, the viewer is usually referred to as the camera. (Unlike in 2D where it’s often called a window or view)


          Part of the camera’s properties are the near and far clipping planes, which specify the closest point to the camera which is visible, and the furthest away point. Anything closer than the near plane, or further away than the far plane, will be clipped and hence invisible.

          Of course, you can get something in between. If your cube is 200 units across, sitting at 900 units from the camera, and the far plane is at 1000 units … you will see half of it.

          The solution here is to set the near and far plane distances appropriately to the scene you’re working in: sometimes this is easy, everything is a similar scale and stays a consistent distance to the camera. Other times, it’s a huge topic which requires redesigning your renderer to avoid artefacts : especially when you have large distances or tiny objects. For more on this, and why selecting good near/far value is hard, read up ‘depth buffer precision’.

        • Upgrading Limesurvey with (near) zero downtime

          Limesurvey is an online survey tool. It is very powerful and commonly used in academic environments because it is Free Software (GPLv2+), allows for local installations protecting the data of participants and allowing to comply with data protection regulations. This also means there are typically no load-balanced multi-server szenarios with HA databases. But simple VMs where Limesurvey runs and needs upgrading in place.

          There’s an LTS branch (currently 3.x) and a stable branch (currently 4.x). There’s also a 2.06 LTS branch that is restricted to paying customers. The main developers behind Limesurvey offer many services from template design to custom development to support to hosting (“Cloud”, “Limesurvey Pro”). Unfortunately they also charge for easy updates called “ComfortUpdate” (currently 39€ for three months) and the manual process is made a bit cumbersome to make the “ComfortUpdate” offer more attractive.

        • RcppGSL 0.3.8: More fixes and polish

          Release 0.3.8 of RcppGSL is now getting onto CRAN. The RcppGSL package provides an interface from R to the GNU GSL using the Rcpp package.

          Peter Carbonetto let us know in issue #25 that the included example now showed linker errors on (everybody’s favourite CRAN platform) Slowlaris. Kidding aside, the added compiler variety really has benefits because we were indeed missing a good handful or two of inline statements in the headers—which our good friends g++ and clang++ apparently let us get away with. This has been fixed, and a little bit of the usual package polish and cleanup has been added; see the list of detailed changes below.

        • LLVM Is Looking At Establishing An “Incubator” Process For Encouraging New Sub-Projects

          In addition to changing the acceptable language within the LLVM project, another topic this week sure to be interesting is on the establishing of an “incubator” process similar to that of Apache Incubator projects.

          Due to the rather high bar currently set for accepting new LLVM sub-projects, LLVM project founder Chris Lattner has proposed an “incubator” process after the idea was presented by one of his former colleagues.

        • T^4 #7 and R^4 #5: R and CRAN Binaries for Ubuntu

          A new video in both our T^4 series of video lightning talks with tips, tricks, tools, and toys is also a video in the R^4 series as it revisits a topic previously covered in the latter: how to (more easily) get (binary) packages onto your Ubuntu system. In fact, we show it in three different ways.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl 5.32 Released With Unicode 13.0 Support, Performance Enhancements

            Perl is out this weekend with Perl 5.32 as the latest version of this interpreted programming language.

            Perl 5.32 introduces the isa operator to test whether a given object “is a” instance of a given class or derived class of it. Perl 5.32 also adds Unicode 13.0 support, script runs are no longer experimental, at least three security fixes, and several performance enhancements.

          • CY’s take on PWC#065

            There are a lots we can discuss besides coding… They are on public politics. (1) I just want peace, as many Ladakhis wish. I am a non-comformist buddhist and I did travel to Ladakh, I miss people there but I have been in debted to them. And Mohammad Anwar, our organizer of Perl Weekly Challenge, is an Indian. His (and Ryan’s) encouragement and effort has been one of the factors keeps me code for PWC. (2) I have mixed feelings towards “PRC” (see Wikipedia if you haven’t been thinking of a country yet), and I believe it is the mode of the feelings of “silent majority” in Hong Kong… (My online activity might get (or have been) cracked(i.e. disturbed by black-hat hackers) by expressing any positive feelings towards “PRC”.)

            Let go back to coding, a more rational place.

            This had been a busy week for me, both from restaurant work, and responsibilities from hostel, therefore I thought I could just code and blog on Task #1. However, Task #2 is “lucrative” — in the sense of diffculity — , — I could learn a lot from coding it –, — if I coded it elegantly, I could show off my solution around –, I have finally coded a “dirty” solution and hope seeing other PWC teammates’ elegant solutions.

          • The [Perl] Weekly Challenge #065

            Having missed the blog last week, I wanted to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I did catch up the last week blog this week. How did I get time this week around? Well, I delayed Live Coding session for Perl and Raku until Sunday.

        • Python

  • Leftovers

    • Marco Wirén appointed Chief Financial Officer of Nokia; Kristian Pullola to step down

      Wirén, who will be based at the company’s headquarters in Espoo, Finland, is currently President of Wärtsilä Energy and Executive Vice President of Wärtsilä Group, a global leader in smart technologies and lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. Wirén has held a number of CFO and other senior financial roles, including CFO of Wärtsilä Group; CFO of SSAB Group, a global specialized steel company; and CFO of Eltel Networks, a provider of technical services to the electrical and telecommunications industries.

    • [Old] Nokia’s new chairman: 5g market will develop rapidly and speed up R & D

      Sina science and technology news in the morning of May 28, Beijing time, according to foreign media reports, sari Baldauf officially became chairman of Nokia on Wednesday, succeeding Risto silasmaa.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • When Barnes and Noble Warehouse Workers Got Sick, They Organized and Won

        I have been working the night shift at a Barnes & Noble warehouse in Monroe, New Jersey, for the past 16 years. For decades I have witnessed abuses at my workplace, but the COVID-19 crisis spurred me into collective action for the first time.

      • Time to Hold Agribusiness Accountable for Its Climate Footprint

        IATP’s new study on Big Dairy makes the connection between emissions and the rural crisis

      • Your Boss’s Personal Beliefs Should Not Dictate Your Health Care

        As a practicing OB/GYN, I have the privilege of taking care of patients seeking reproductive health care, including birth control. I have patients who have started on birth control pills because they don’t want to be pregnant. I have patients who have decided to get a hormonal IUD to prevent pregnancy and treat heavy bleeding. I have patients with complex medical problems who make decisions that balance the management of their medical problems, consideration of the risks of pregnancy and the impact that different birth control options may have on their care. I have patients who have decided to track their own cycles to control when they get pregnant. The fundamental thread is that these patients have choice.

      • Apple will re-close some stores in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Arizona due to coronavirus spikes

        Stores closing June 20th include two in Florida, at Waterside Shops and Coconut Point; two in North Carolina, at Southpark and Northlake Mall; one in South Carolina at Haywood Mall; and six in Arizona, at Chandler Fashion Center, Scottsdale Fashion Square, Arrowhead, SanTan Village, Scottsdale Quarter, and La Encantada.

      • Apple to Close Some U.S. Stores Again as Covid-19 Spikes

        The global coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, with a record 150,000 cases reported Thursday, said World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Cases have recently spiked in some U.S. states, including Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, California, Texas and Arizona, prompting local governments to consider new measures.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • First ARM Macs will be MacBook Pros and an all-new iMac: report

          The first ARM Mac is likely to be a 13-inch MacBook Pro in Q4 2020 or Q1 2021, Kuo says; the form factor is believed to be similar to the current model. Production of the Intel version will reportedly cease once the ARM model is introduced, though there’s no word on whether the same will be true for the iMac. Kuo also believes a new ARM-based MacBook design will start production in mid-2021.

        • Security and the Web

          • List of BEST SQLi TOOLS

            SQL injection also referred to as SQLi, is a technique in which data-driven applications can be attacked via maliciously injected SQL code. Attackers can access, modify, or destroy databases by using SQLi. It is one of the most common techniques used in Web Hacking.
            While SQL Injection can be dangerous, executing different commands by web page input to perform SQLi can be a very hectic job. From gathering data to developing the right payload can be a very time-taking and sometimes frustrating job. This is where the tools come into play. There are numerous tools available for testing and exploiting different types of SQL Injections. We will discuss some of the best ones.

          • Daniel Stenberg: webinar: testing curl for security

            curl runs in some ten billion installations in the world, in virtually every connected device on the planet and ported to more operating systems than most. In this presentation, curl’s lead developer Daniel Stenberg talks about how the curl project takes on testing, Q&A, CI and fuzzing etc, to make sure curl remains a stable and secure component for everyone while still getting new features and getting developed further. With a Q&A session at the end for your questions!

          • Daniel Stenberg: curl user survey 2020 analysis

            Analyzing this huge lump of data, comments and shared experiences is a lot of work and I’m sorry it’s taken me several weeks to complete it. I’m happy to share this 47 page PDF document here with you:

            curl user survey 2020 analysis

            If you have questions on the content or find mistakes or things looking odd in the data or graphs, do let me know!

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • China to create ‘national security agency’ in Hong Kong despite international concerns

              China will set up a “national security agency” in Hong Kong to oversee a forthcoming new law aimed at cracking down on dissent in the city, state media said on Saturday.

              The new law also would override any existing Hong Kong laws that may conflict with it once it is implemented, Xinhua news agency said in a report detailing the draft legislation.

            • Bahrain, Kuwait and Norway contact tracing apps among most dangerous for privacy

              Contact tracing apps in Bahrain, Kuwait and Norway follow an invasive centralized approach, posing a great threat to privacy. These systems capture location data through GPS and upload this to a central database, tracking the movements of users in real-time. Qatar’s “EHTERAZ” app is capable of optionally activating live location tracking of all users or of specific individuals (at the time of writing it remains turned off).

              Authorities in all these countries can easily link this sensitive personal information to an individual, as Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait require users to register with a national ID number, while Norway requires registration with a valid phone number.

            • Facebook in Talks for Neiman Marcus’ Space at Hudson Yards: WWD

              If Facebook takes over the space, it would add to the lease the tech giant signed last year for more than 1.5 million square feet of space in the same development.

            • French court upholds ruling fining Google $56 million for data protection violations

              The French Council of State ruled that Google had violated the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by not providing sufficient “transparency” for Android users on how their data would be used for targeted advertisements, according to the translated French ruling.

              The council upheld a previous 2019 ruling by France’s National Data Protection Commission, or CNIL, that sanctioned Google for breaching the GDPR by making it difficult for users to understand how their personal data was being used.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Donald Trump Is a Menace to American Democracy. But He Didn’t Come Out of Nowhere.

        This uprising is attacking the neoliberal settlement at its racist and securitized core, winning support for the demand to defund police and reinvest in basic services. The decades-long rollout of the security state displaced class conflict. The current movement reignites it, demanding a state that funds care instead of repression.

        Trump is the president that American history gave us to manage an unprecedented, interlocking crisis. Our situation is undeniably horrifying. But liberals will find no salvation in their impulse to return to “normal,” whatever that was. The crisis has resurrected demands that Trump “follow the science,” and he certainly should have. But what counts as “truth” in Washington has long been subordinated to the whims of the powerful, and the exigencies of keeping a crisis-beset system churning forward.

        Liberals are right that Trump’s authoritarianism poses a threat to this country and the world. What they can’t grasp is that the rules were a pretext not only for repression but also for distraction. Our norms and institutions can’t save us from Trump because they helped make him president. If we want people to respect norms and institutions, we must build new norms and institutions that are worthy of people’s respect. For now, expect more cynicism. And more revolt.

    • Environment

      • Cyclone Amphan Is a Warning for the United States

        The storm ravaged India and Bangladesh all the worse because of social and economic inequality. The same, or worse, could happen here.

      • [Old] The Sierra Club Hosting Panel Discussion on film “Dark Waters” and PFAS Contamination

        This movie follows the true story of a corporate attorney Rob Bilott (played by Mark Ruffalo) who discovers that a growing number of unexplained deaths are connected to chemical manufacturing giant DuPont, which has been contaminating the town of Parkersburg, West Virginia with unregulated chemicals. The company used PFAS to make Teflon for non-stick pans and a host of other consumer products.

        It’s discovered that PFAS are forever chemicals that slowly accumulate, never leaving the bloodstream, and ultimately causing various types of cancer (liver, kidney, testicular), thyroid disease, and birth defects. The movie’s ending includes DuPont settling a class-action suit for $671 million, which settlement was orchestrated by a consortium of law firms, including Levin Papantonio; Taft Stettinius & Hollister, and Hill Peterson.

      • Racism and Environmental Justice

        The story of Billot and Parkersburg in West Virginia was in a typically white community, but similar stories have occurred in black communities all across the USA. The Flint water crisis in a majority-black neighbourhood and ‘cancer alley’ in Louisiana consists of a number of majority-black communities. Even communities around Detroit and the Bronx in New York are worse-affected by pollution compared to majority-white communities.

        ‘Cancer alley’ is unsurprisingly named because of the high number of deaths due to cancer. The 85-mile stretch of the Mississippi River in Louisiana is home to a huge number of plastic and petrochemical plants that have easy access to the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico. An article from the end of last year looked into the town of St. Gabriel that is surrounded by petrochemical plants – 30 within ten miles and 13 within just three miles. There are still no official studies linking the high rate of cancer to the close location of many highly pollutant industries, but it’s no coincidence that people living nearby have much greater chance of developing cancer than the average American.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The President’s “Comeback Celebration” in Tulsa Tanked

        Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale on Monday tweeted that more than 1 million people had registered for tickets to President Donald Trump’s much-hyped rally at the end of the week in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

      • President of Country Drinks Glass of Water With One Hand, (Small) Crowd Goes Wild
      • As Trump Sows Division, Poor People’s Campaign Ignites ‘Transformative Action’ to Address Interwoven Injustices

        “Those in power today want nothing more than to stop this kind of movement,” said Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis. 

      • Debunking Trump and Corporate Media’s WHO/China Coverup Conspiracy Theories

        FAIR has criticized the plausibility of various origin theories regarding Covid-19 (4/17/20, 5/7/20), and of unfounded allegations of a Chinese cover-up laundered by corporate media (4/2/20, 4/9/20). Other persistent myths are allegations of Chinese manipulation of the World Health Organization (WHO), and blaming Chinese secrecy for the lack of early action on containing the coronavirus.

      • Trump Panned for ‘Campaign of Hate,’ Saying He Called for Less Covid-19 Testing

        “Once again the president is revealing that he seems to see this primarily as a public relations crisis, not as a deadly pandemic.”

      • TikTok Teens and K-Pop Stans Say They Sank Trump Rally

        “It spread mostly through Alt TikTok — we kept it on the quiet side where people do pranks and a lot of activism,” said the YouTuber Elijah Daniel, 26, who participated in the campaign. “K-pop Twitter and Alt TikTok have a good alliance where they spread information amongst each other very quickly. They all know the algorithms and how they can boost videos to get where they want.”

        Many users deleted their posts after 24 to 48 hours in order to conceal their plan and keep it from spreading into the mainstream [I]nternet. “The majority of people who made them deleted them after the first day because we didn’t want the Trump campaign to catch wind,” Mr. Daniel said. “These kids are smart and they thought of everything.”

      • The North Face pulls its Facebook advertising in solidarity with civil rights groups

        The NAACP tweeted a link to an Associated Press story that quotes the chief executive of the group, Derrick Johnson, who calls Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, the tech company’s CEO, “complacent in the spread of misinformation” that is damaging to democracy.

      • Civil rights groups call for ‘pause’ on Facebook ads

        “It is clear that Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, are no longer simply negligent, but in fact, complacent in the spread of misinformation, despite the irreversible damage to our democracy. Such actions will upend the integrity of our elections as we head into 2020,” said NAACP CEO Derrick Johnson in a statement.

      • The North Face is the biggest brand yet to join Facebook ad boycott

        Outdoor apparel brand The North Face has become the best-known company yet to commit to an advertising boycott of Facebook in light of the social media platform’s handling of misinformation and hate speech — a move that could open the door for other brands to do the same.

        The brand’s decision responds to a pressure campaign by top civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, known as #StopHateForProfit, which on Wednesday began calling for advertisers to suspend their marketing on Facebook in the month of July.

      • See Roger Waters’ Socially Distanced Take on Pink Floyd’s ‘Two Suns in the Sunset’

        “That we allow Nuclear Weapons to exist in a world controlled by deranged sociopaths is, in itself, a deranged arrangement,” Waters added “We are many they are few. We could just say no, to the whole MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) insanity. It makes zero sense and is potentially omnicidal.”

      • What would happen if Twitter and Facebook switched off Trump?

        But social media companies are now coming under pressure to perform a greater regulatory role. “This puts them in a tremendous conundrum,” says Joshua Tucker, professor of politics and co-director of the Center for Social Media and Politics at NYU. The American left is demanding more regulation, but if the platforms are seen as more heavy-handed with right-wing content, the right cries anti-Conservative bias. “Taking away the Twitter account of the president of the United States – there is no way that that would not be seen as an incredibly partisan move, even if he absolutely deserved it,” says Tucker.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Katie Hopkins permanently suspended from Twitter for promoting hate speech

        Hopkins has sparked outrage on numerous occasions in recent years with comments on race, religion and immigration – which had led to her becoming the subject of a petition urging Twitter to remove her from the site.

      • Hong Kong Residents Are Erasing Their Own Internet Histories Before China’s Big Crackdown

        The details of the draft law have yet to be unveiled, but China experts and activists in Hong Kong fear that part of the new restrictions will see China import its draconian surveillance and censorship network, known as the Great Firewall, into the city. It may not happen overnight and Hong Kong’s position as a global financial hub will mean a different approach is needed compared to mainland China. But for those most at risk of being silenced and arbitrarily thrown in prison, there’s little doubt that the Great Firewall is coming for them.

        “When Beijing decides to rule the city with an iron fist, it is foreseeable that China will extend its censorship apparatus to Hong Kong,” said Joshua Wong, a student activist and politician who was one of the leaders of the Umbrella movement earlier this decade.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • I’m Protesting for a World That Affirms My Black Son’s Life Matters

        During a recent Black Lives Matter march in New York City, I got a text with a photo of my son. The screen showed an image of him in bed, smiling in that goofy, mischievous way he smiles. I pressed the phone to my chest, and then held it up. His face bobbed between protest signs. I protested for him. I want a world where his life matters.

      • For a Racism-Free 22nd Century, We Need a Billionaire-Free 21st

        The dead hand of grand fortunes past is still poisoning our present.

      • Propaganda 101: How Tony Abbott Won Australia’s Highest Honour For ‘Service To Indigenous Communities’

        SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Ever fond of slogans, Tony Abbott defined his ‘Prime Ministership of Indigenous Affairs’ by his mantra of ‘get kids to school’, ‘get adults to work’, and ‘make communities safe’. But six years after rising to the highest office in the land, the figures on Abbott’s performance in boosting black employment, school attendance and community safety are in. And they’re a complete train wreck. Chris Graham investigates. Additional research by Matilda Duncan.

      • Lessons From Cuban Police

        Contrary to the image of brutal and repressive communists, police in Cuba offer an instructive example for activists in the United States.

      • Following Supreme Court Rulings, Trump Attacks the Independence of the Judiciary

        This past week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down three rulings that were music to the ears of liberals: The court declined to take up a case, brought by the Trump administration, challenging California’s sanctuary cities’ rights in withholding cooperation from ICE. It ruled against allowing workplace discrimination against LGBTQ Americans, with Trump-nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch penning the decision. And finally, with Chief Justice Roberts casting the swing vote and writing the majority opinion, it held that the way in which the administration had sought to scrap DACA wasn’t legally sound and that, for now at least, DACA would continue.

      • Trump’s Firing of US Attorney Berman Prompts Calls for Congressional Probe

        At the request of Attorney General William Barr, President Donald Trump fired U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman in Manhattan on Saturday, less than a day after the top prosecutor publicly disputed claims from Barr that he had resigned voluntarily.

      • John Bolton and Liberals’ Irrational Hatred of Trump

        It’s irrational to invest someone like John Bolton with credibility, when Bolton lied and deceived us into war.

      • Alternatives to Policing—The Case for Public Health and Community Development Investments

        To understand why excessive policing can perpetuate cycles of violence, consider how governments around the world have extended “the discourse of war beyond the context of military hostilities traditionally understood.” In 1964, US President Lyndon Johnson announced a War on Poverty as he attempted to lay the foundations for a welfare state. In 1971, President Richard Nixon called drug abuse “public enemy number one” and declared a War on Drugs. In 2001, President George W. Bush declared a global War on Terror in response to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. In 2020, the War on COVID-19 framing directs our attention not to science and humanitarianism, but towards “division, fear, and security-based force.”

        With billions of dollars of military hardware given to American police departments to advance their “war on crime and drugs” agenda, cities and communities have not become safer. In 2016, Baltimore had the second-deadliest year per capita on record with 318 killings. A report that same year from the US Department of Justice found that the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) engaged in massive discriminatory policing including unnecessary force, unjustified stops, and disproportionate targeting of African-Americans. In 2017, officers in the BPD’s Gun Trace Task Force were indicted on federal racketeering charges for massive abuses of power.

      • Atatiana Jefferson: ‘Why I will no longer call the police’

        James Smith has never wanted much to do with the police but he called them to check on his neighbour in the Texas city of Fort Worth, because it was late at night and her front door was wide open. Soon afterwards he heard a gunshot, and later saw the dead body of a 28-year-old woman, his neighbour’s daughter, carried out on a stretcher.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Biogen Int’l GmBH v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. (N.D.W. Va. 2020)

          The written description requirement has had a twenty-five year renaissance, particularly in the chemical and biotechnology arts as a way of restricting claim scope to what an inventor has actually invented (see Regents of the University of California v. Eli Lilly & Co. and “Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Eli Lilly & Co.”). In view of the unpredictability of these arts (compared with the mechanical arts; but see Tronzo v. Bionet and Gentry Gallery, Inc. v. Berkline Corp.), the same evidence that supports non-obviousness (due to the skilled worker not having the requisite reasonable expectation of success) can also restrict the scope of what has been described (because there can be much less reliance and supplementation of what the person of ordinary skill would know for disclosures that fail to satisfy the possession test of written description due to that unpredictability). These conflicting rubrics were part of the District Court’s decision last week that Biogen failed to provide adequate written description in ANDA litigation styled Biogen Int’l GmBH v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.

          The case arose over Mylan’s attempt to get regulatory approval and come to market with a generic equivalent of Biogen’s Tecfidera® (dimethyl/monomethyl fumarate) multiple sclerosis drug.


          Mylan’s arguments on its written description defense were grounded on certain characteristics of the ’514 specification and its prosecution history. The ’514 patent reflected Biogen’s more general research goal of finding treatments for neurological disorders, including but not limited to multiple sclerosis (MS). Mylan noted that the original named inventor was not a clinician but rather a research scientist investigating the mechanism of action of the claimed compound. Specifically, the research underlying the ’514 patent disclosure showed that DMF could activate a particular metabolic pathway (the Nrf2 pathway). One important consequence of this inventor’s testimony is that he “denied that his research could be extrapolated to a clinical dose of DMF; it ‘was never the focus of [his] work to inform the clinical dosing of [DMF].’” This inventor, Dr. Lukashev, was the only named inventor on the earliest priority applications from which the ’514 patent claimed priority.

          As originally filed, the claims of the application that matured into the ’514 patent did not recite methods of treatment but rather were drawn to methods for identifying compounds that affected the Nrf2 pathway. However, in April 2011, Biogen received the results of a Phase III clinical study showing that a 480mg/day dose of DMF was effective in treating MS (specifically). Apparently in response, Biogen replaced the then-pending claims with claims that eventually issued, changed the title of the application, and added as an inventor the scientist who posited that this dosage would be particularly effective as an MS treatment; significantly to the written description calculus Biogen did not supplement its specification which permitted it to rely on a February 8, 2007 earliest priority date. In addition, Biogen filed a stand-alone provisional application expressly directed to MS treatment with 480mg/day of DMF. Biogen subsequently abandoned this application when the ’514 patent was allowed.

      • Copyrights

        • Tom Petty’s Family Decries Trump’s Use of ‘I Won’t Back Down’ at Tulsa Rally

          The Petty estate continued Saturday, “Tom wrote this song for the underdog, for the common man and for EVERYONE. We want to make it clear that we believe everyone is free to vote as they like, think as they like, but the Petty family doesn’t stand for this. We believe in America and we believe in democracy. But Donald Trump is not representing the noble ideals of either. We would hate for fans that are marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage.”

          Trump has not commented on the cease-and-desist notice on social media.

        • Some Pirates Believe They Can Do These Things Legally But Most Probably Can’t

          Copyright law is rarely straightforward, something which leaves some situations open to interpretation. Today we take a look at some activities people believe they may be able to partake in legally but in most circumstances almost certainly can’t.

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Gemini Gone Mainstream: German Media Now in Geminispace

    With the likes of TAZ embracing Geminispace/Gemini Protocol we seem to have reached some sort of inflection point; taz.de did in fact add official presence to Geminispace

  2. Links 28/1/2022: LSFMM 2022 and 2021 UI Study Results From Elementary's Distro

    Links for the day

  3. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 27, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 27, 2022

  4. Links 28/1/2022: GNU Poke 2.0 and OPNsense 22.1 Released

    Links for the day

  5. Links 27/1/2022: Archinstall 2.3.1 and Nix 2.6.0

    Links for the day

  6. On the Internet, Trust Should Not Become Centralised

    “Trust” is a word that lost its meaning in the era of “TPM” and fancier names for 'Palladium'; we need to reject this idea that computers need to check with Microsoft if the operating system is trusted (not just Windows!), check with Gulag/Chrome if a Web site is trusted, and whether it's OK to run some application/s on one's own computer (as if Jim Zemlin et al get to decide what is trusted)

  7. Microsoft-Connected Publishers Suffer and Perish With Microsoft (While Peddling 'Fake News' for Their Beloved Sponsor)

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  8. Links 27/1/2022: Mabox Linux 21.11 Herbolth and PipeWire 0.3.44

    Links for the day

  9. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 26, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 26, 2022

  10. [Meme] EPO: Pursuing an Eastern and Western District of Europe (for Patent Trolls and Software Patents)

    With the EPO so flagrantly lying and paying for misinformation maybe we should expect Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos to have delusions of grandeur… such as presiding over the Eastern and Western District of Europe, just like Mr. Gilstrap and Mr. Albright (political appointment by Donald Trump, ushering in “the swamp”)

  11. Gemini at 2,000: 86% of Capsules Use Self-Signed Certificate, Just Like the Techrights Web Site (WWW)

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  12. [Meme] UPC: Many Lies as Headlines, Almost Exclusively in Publishers Sponsored by EPO and Team UPC to Produce Fake News (Lobbying Through Misinformation)

    Lest we forget that EPO dictators, like Pinky and the Brainless Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, have long littered the EPO's official Web site as well as publishers not directly connected to the EPO (but funded by it) with disinformation about the UPC

  13. EPO as the 'Ministry of Truth' of Team UPC and Special Interests

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  14. Microsoft 'Delighted' by Windows 11 (Vista 11) Usage, Which is Only 1% Three Months After Official Launch and Six Months After Release Online

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  15. Links 27/1/2022: Preinstalled GNU/Linux (Ubuntu) and Arch Linux-Powered Steam Deck 30 Days Away

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  16. Don't Fall for Microsoft's Spin That Says Everything is Not Secure and Cannot be Secured

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  17. At Long Last: 2,000 Known Gemini Capsules!

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  18. Links 26/1/2022: Gamebuntu 1.0, PiGear Nano, and Much More

    Links for the day

  19. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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  20. Links 26/1/2022: No ARM for Nvidia, End of EasyArch, and WordPress 5.9 is Out

    Links for the day

  21. Why the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Still Just a Fantasy and the UPC's Fake News Mill Merely Discredits the Whole Patent 'Profession'

    Patents and science used to be connected; but now that the patent litigation 'sector' is hijacking patent offices (and even courts in places like Texas) it's trying to shove a Unified Patent Court (UPC) down the EU's throat under the disingenuous cover of "community" or "unity"

  22. Links 25/1/2022: Vulkan 1.3 Released, Kiwi TCMS 11.0, and antiX 19.5

    Links for the day

  23. Gemini Milestones and Growth (Almost 2,000 Known Gemini Servers Now, 39,000 Pages in Ours)

    The diaspora to Gemini Protocol or the transition to alternative 'webs' is underway; a linearly growing curve suggests that inertia/momentum is still there and we reap the benefits of early adoption of Gemini

  24. [Meme] Get Ready for Unified Patent Court (UPC) to be Taken to Court

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent system that’s crafted to empower EPO thugs isn’t legal and isn’t constitutional either; even a thousand fake news 'articles' (deliberate misinformation or disinformation) cannot change the simple facts because CJEU isn’t “trial by media”

  25. The EPO Needs High-Calibre Examiners, Not Politicians Who Pretend to Understand Patents and Science

    Examiners are meant to obstruct fake patents or reject meritless patent applications; why is it that working conditions deteriorate for those who are intellectually equipped to do the job?

  26. Free Software is Greener

    Software Freedom is the only way to properly tackle environmental perils through reuse and recycling; the mainstream media never talks about it because it wants people to "consume" more and more products

  27. Links 25/1/2022: Git 2.35 and New openSUSE Hardware

    Links for the day

  28. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 24, 2022

  29. Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

    Links for the day

  30. Proprietary Software is Pollution

    "My daughter asked me about why are we throwing away some bits of technology," Dr. Andy Farnell says. "This is my attempt to put into words for "ordinary" people what I tried to explain to a 6 year old."

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