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Links 14/9/2020: Linux 5.9 RC5, Nvidia Buys Arm From SoftBank

Posted in News Roundup at 5:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Debian Project Leader Jonathan Carter: Wootbook / Tongfang laptop

        I’ve been reading a bunch of positive reviews about the Tuxedo Pulse 14 and KDE Slimbook 14. Both look like great AMD laptops, supports up to 64GB of RAM and clearly runs Linux well. I also noticed that they look quite similar, and after some quick searches it turns out that these are made by Tongfang and that its model number is PF4NU1F.

        I also learned that a local retailer (Wootware) sells them as the Wootbook. I’ve seen one of these before although it was an Intel-based one, but it looked like a nice machine and I was already curious about it back then. After struggling for a while to find a local laptop with a Ryzen CPU and that’s nice and compact and that breaks the 16GB memory barrier, finding this one that jumped all the way to 64GB sealed the deal for me.

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • This Week in Linux 116: Blender 2.90, Fedora ThinkPad Laptop, Nvidia RTX 3000, PinePhone & More

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got a lot of great news with new releases from Blender with version 2.90. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbons with Fedora Linux are now available to order. NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3000 Series have been launched. Manjaro Edition of the PinePhone from Pine64 has been announced. We’ll also take a look at a fantastic article that is on FrontPageLinux.com right now about the History of Unix & Linux. Later in the show, we’ll check out a new release from the team at Linux From Scratch and a new Container based distro from Amazon called Bottlerocket. Linux Mint releases their cool Warpinator tool as a Flatpak and Nitrux announced a pretty big change in their distro structure that will be interesting to see the community reaction for. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • Linux Action News 154

        Our hands-on review of Android 11, and our thoughts on the possible consequences of Nvidia buying Arm Holdings for $40bn.

        Plus why our long-term view for Mozilla took a turn for the worse this week, and two recent enterprise wins for Desktop Linux.

      • Josh Bressers/Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 215 – Real security is boring

        Josh and Kurt talk about attacking open source. How serious is the threat of developers being targeted or a git repo being watched for secret security fixes? The reality of it all is there are many layers in a security journey, the most important things you can do are also the least exciting.

      • LHS Episode #367: Shot Across the Bow

        Hello and welcome to Episode 367 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts tackle some interesting topics from the death of IRLP to higher FCC fees for licensing, an FT-817 add-on project, open source from Huawei, patent trolls, flmsg, flrig, a controversial topic and much more. Than for listening and have a wonderful week.

      • Weekly Dose of Reality

        Doc Searls, Katherine Druckman and Petros Koutoupis talk remote work, survival, and Facebook.

    • Kernel Space

      • Kernel prepatch 5.9-rc5

        The 5.9-rc5 kernel prepatch is out for testing.

      • Linux 5.9-rc5
        Things look fairly normal (except when I look out the window, and the
        world is all gray from the wildfires) and nothing huge here stands
        out. The most noticeable change in the diffstat is likely the revert
        of some i915 relocation changs that caused problems, along with some
        regulator core locking fixes. And they look big only in comparison to
        the rest of it.
        Other than that this is just a fair amount - about par for the course
        for the rc5 timeframe -  of small stuff. About three quarters of it to
        drivers or dts files.
        Outside of that, there's some arch updates (much of it kvm-related),
        along with some documentation fixes and minor filesystem fixes. It all
        looks pretty harmless and small. The appended shortlog gives a
        (boring) overview of the details.
        So aside from the smoke from the fires, and a performance regression
        I'm still looking at, things look normal.
        [ I feel like I should insert the "This is fine" dog cartoon meme here
        as the world burns around me ]
        Stay inside (if you're on the US West coast, at least), stay safe, but
        please test,
      • Linux 5.9-rc5 Looks Fairly Normal Aside From Wildfires + Performance Regression
      • “Microsoft Wants To Create A Complete Virtualization Stack With Linux” [Ed: Microsoft continues trying to turn Linux into proprietary Microsoft software when free software options already exist and work a lot better]

        Microsoft engineers are sending out new kernel patches in looking to expand the Linux support around the Microsoft Hypervisor (Hyper-V).

        While Linux already supports Hyper-V and in fact 50% or more of the VMs on Azure are Linux-based, what Microsoft is working on now is looking to add Linux root partition support with the Microsoft Hypervisor.

      • What’s new in the Linux kernel

        After all these years, the core developers of Linux keep innovating. New versions will be faster and more stable.
        Linux runs pretty much everything: all 500 of the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers; most of the public cloud, even on Microsoft Azure; and 74 percent of smartphones. Indeed, thanks to Android, Linux is the most popular end-user operating system, nudging out Windows by 4 percent (39% vs. 35%).

        So, where does Linux go next? After covering Linux for almost all 29 years of its history and knowing pretty much anyone who’s anyone in Linux development circles, up to and including Linus Torvalds, I think I have a clue.

      • Announcing updated Oracle Linux Templates for Oracle Linux KVM

        Oracle is pleased to announce updated Oracle Linux Templates for Oracle Linux KVM and Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager.

      • Linux 5.10 To Bring Some Improvements For Newer Lenovo Laptops

        With Lenovo working to expand their Linux line-up and already Fedora being offered on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8, more Linux support improvements are on the way.

        As part of offering Fedora and other distributions on more of their products, Lenovo said they will be working more with ensuring good Linux hardware support on their behalf as well as better engaging their hardware partners along with getting involved with the likes of LVFS/Fwupd support. Red Hat engineers in particular have been working quite a bit on polishing up the Linux hardware support and more enhancements are on the way for Linux 5.10.

      • Spinning Rust Gets an Upgrade

        “… we used cassette tape [in school] because we didn’t have floppy disk drives.” – Parker Harris, co-founder of Salesforce.com

        When you say, “I have Linux on my hard drive,” it means you have the operating system image stored on disk. Soon, though, it could mean it’s running on your hard drive. The drive itself will be running Linux. Yikes.

        That’s the vision promulgated by microprocessor vendor ARM with its new Cortex-R82 design. It’s designed to smart-ify hard drives and SSDs (solid-state disks), to the point where they’re standalone computers in their own right. It pushes the concept of computational storage to its logical conclusion, where hard disks do their own data analysis locally, rather than just serve up bitstreams for some other computer to manage. The idea has been around for a while, but actual deployment has been limited mostly to academic and experimental installations.

        The concept also leads to some weird technical, if not philosophical, thought experiments. Where’s the dividing line between disk drive and server? What happens when your storage is smarter than the computer it’s connected to? Where do applications live and where do they run? Is a super-smart hard drive more or less secure than the comparatively dumb ones we have today? And, how long before a “server” is nothing more than a dongle at the end of an Ethernet cable?

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 20.3 + Linux 5.9 Is In Great Shape Against AMDVLK, AMDGPU-PRO

          The Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver “RADV” with its ACO back-end by default is now winning nearly across the board against not only AMD’s AMDVLK Vulkan driver with LLVM back-end but also AMDGPU-PRO with the proprietary shader compiler back-end.

          Recently I wrapped up tests on a Radeon RX Vega 56, Radeon RX 5600 XT, Radeon RX 5700 XT, and Radeon VII graphics cards in a few different driver configurations…

        • Radeon GPU Profiler 1.8 Released With Redesigned Developer Panel

          AMD today released a new version of their Radeon GPU Profiler utility for Linux and Windows systems for profiling games/applications on Radeon graphics hardware under both Linux and Windows.

          Among the changes with this new Radeon GPU Profiler 1.8 release include:

          - Support for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. However, Radeon GPU Profiler continues to require AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan rather than Mesa’s RADV Vulkan.

        • AMDVLK 2020.Q3.5 Vulkan Driver Released With Several Game Fixes

          AMD has kicked off the new week with the release of AMDVLK 2020.Q3.5 as their official open-source Radeon Vulkan driver for Linux systems derived in part from the same sources as their Windows Vulkan driver.

          With AMDVLK 2020.Q3.5 there is updating against the Vulkan 1.2.152 API as well as a change to eliminate an invisible copy of trace buffers on AMD APU platforms. Most interesting though with this routine update are the fixes, to which there are several game fixes.

        • AOMP 11.9 Released For OpenMP Offloading To Radeon GPUs

          AOMP 11.9 was released on Friday as AMD’s LLVM-based compiler with Clang for C/C++ and Flang for Fortran in offloading capable OpenMP code to Radeon GPUs.

          AOMP 11.9 is AMD’s latest work on their LLVM 11 derived code-base for OpenMP GPU compute until the necessary patches have worked their way eventually back into the upstream code-base.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Draw Parameters

          Let’s talk about ARB_shader_draw_parameters. Specifically, let’s look at gl_BaseVertex.

          In OpenGL, this shader variable’s value depends on the parameters passed to the draw command, and the value is always zero if the command has no base vertex.

          In Vulkan, the value here is only zero if the first vertex is zero.

          The difference here means that for arrayed draws without base vertex parameters, GL always expects zero, and Vulkan expects first vertex.


    • Benchmarks

      • Phoronix Test Suite 10.0 Milestone 2 Now Available For Testing

        The second development release of the forthcoming Phoronix Test Suite 10.0-Finnsnes is now available for testing.

        Following last month’s debut of Phoronix Test Suite 10.0 M1 and the alpha of the new OpenBenchmarking.org, the second development release is now available ahead of the planned Phoronix Test Suite 10.0 release in October.

    • Applications

      • Mark Text – simple and elegant open source Markdown editor

        Markdown is a plain text formatting syntax created by John Gruber in 2004. It’s designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write.

        Readability is at the very heart of Markdown. It offers the advantages of plain text, provides a convenient format for writing for the web, but it’s not intended to be a replacement for HTML. Markdown is a writing format, not a publishing format. You control the display of the document; formatting words as bold or italic, adding images, and creating lists are just a few of the things we can do with Markdown. Mostly, Markdown is just regular text with a few non-alphabetic characters included, such as # or *.

      • Best Free and Open Source Linux Configuration Management Software

        System administrators are responsible for the maintenance and operation of a computer system and network. This is a major task with a huge number of decisions to be made regarding the configuration of the system.

        Configuration Management is a term that may not be familiar to many Linux users. But for system administrators the concept will be well known. In a nutshell, Configuration Management software enables administrators to automatically manage the entire configuration of one or multiple computers. An IT team’s main responsibility is to maintain, secure, and operate an organization’s systems and networks. This, in itself, carries a huge responsibility. IT teams that maintain technology infrastructure, deploy applications, and provisioning environments with many manual tasks are inefficient. In modern environments, services are rarely deployed in isolation. Simple applications may need several services to run – such as a web server and a database. Deploying more complex systems, many services may need installing, configuring, and linked together.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Civilization VI’s next DLC arrives on September 24, will bring in Byzantium and Gaul

        The next DLC coming to Civilization VI on September 24 sounds like it’s going to be quite featured filled. Here’s a run down of what to expect.

        Firaxis Games put out a new developer video to talk about it and gave us a brief quick first-look. This is the third of six planned DLC to be included in the New Frontier Pass. In the video they confirmed the two new civilizations will be Byzantium and Gaul, each coming with their own leader. There will also be new districts, new units, two new world wonders, a new map script and a new game mode.


        Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is for Linux is available on the Humble Store and Steam.

      • Bloody Service looks like a unique FMV experience blended with a visual novel

        More FMV goodness? Yes please. Bloody Service mixes in a visual novel with an FMV (full motion video) to bring an intriguing mix that the developer says is a “dark, wild and unsettling love letter to 80′s slashers”.

        Bloody Service is set in an exclusive Hilltop Tennis Club, one where the rich owner recently died, who happened to have conjoined twins. They appear to be heavily disliked and bullied, pushed aside, fortune taken away and so of course they’re now going to be out for a little bit of crazy revenge.


        Note: the developer confirmed Linux support to us on Twitter.

      • Godot Engine documentation is about to get much better with a new hire

        Godot Engine is one of the most exciting, most advanced free and open source game engines around and it’s improving when looking at all angles.

        While the continue polishing the current 3.x release series, and working continues on Godot 4 which will bring with it a huge advancement to their 3D rendering with Vulkan, there’s a lot more going on.

        Recently, it was announced that they’ve hired Nathan from GDQuest in a part-time basis to go over all of the existing documentation and just make it better.

      • Kind Words, the game about writing nice anonymous letters gets a little sweeter

        2019′s Kind Words from Popcannibal is probably one of the sweetest ideas for a game ever made, and with it being a year old the developer went back to give it a bit of an upgrade.

        The full title, Kind Words (lo fi chill beats to write to), is a bit of a mouthful but that’s pretty much exactly what it is. A simple game about getting help and helping others, while you listen to some soothing tunes. I genuinely love it and funnily enough, I’ve left it open plenty to have some chill out beats to write to so it works as advertised for sure. As a game though? Surprisingly people are very nice inside it.

        Popcannibal mentioned that over two million messages have been exchanged, so they came back to update it. There’s a brand new Evergreen room if the others weren’t to your liking. This comes along with a bunch of new sticks too because you can never have enough.

      • Stadia is getting Risk of Rain 2, Immortals Fenyx Rising, Scott Pilgrim and more

        Google have announced multiple new titles are coming to their Linux and Vulkan powered game streaming service, Stadia. This includes some pretty big and popular titles.

        First up is the thoroughly challenging and extremely popular third-person action roguelike Risk of Rain 2, this one was actually confirmed directly by Hopoo Games. They may be a smaller studio but it’s one of 2020′s biggest Windows releases. No word on them supporting the Linux desktop with it but it does work with Steam Play Proton. Since it’s primarily an online game though, there’s always the chance it will break with Proton. Interestingly, Hopoo Games said the Stadia version was thanks to support from Google and it will have an exclusive bonus map called ‘Sundered Grove’ made by their partners at Ghostpunch.

      • FOBIA – St. Dinfna Hotel is an upcoming psychological horror – try the demo

        Pulsatrix Studios are working on FOBIA – St. Dinfna Hotel, an upcoming psychological horror and it appears a number of readers are excited about this one. We’ve had quite a few emails and notifications about it, as they recently put up a demo with Linux support on Steam.

        Fobia is a first-person experience that focuses on mixing together environmental exploration, a little survival and some puzzle solving. You assume the role of a young journalist named Roberto, investigating supernatural events to get a bit of a career boost which leads you to the Santa Dinfna Hotel.

      • Delores: A Thimbleweed Park Mini-Adventure now has a Linux Beta

        Video game developer Ron Gilbert of Terrible Toybox has now put up an official Linux Beta for Delores: A Thimbleweed Park Mini-Adventure.

        This follows on from Gilbert’s adventure with switching to Linux, with them also getting their newer custom game engine running on Linux. You can actually see the source code used for Delores on GitHub. Seems things must be going well, since they made a new post on the official Thimbleweed Park forum which announced a Linux Beta.

      • Albion Online continues pulling in record player counts

        Albion Online is a ‘sandbox’ style MMO where you pretty much do whatever you please, and it’s proving to be quite popular with a healthy growth in players.

        In early May of this year, the team at Sandbox Interactive mentioned how the player-count was continuing to rise with a it seeing a large jump in regularly players from March onwards. As of the latest update to how they’re doing, things are looking really good for Albion Online. The post mentions how the population growth has continued, with a new peak ‘Daily Average User count’ of over 125,000 players.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce 4.16 – New Features and Release Date

        The lightweight desktop environment Xfce project announced the details about the next version Xfce 4.16. Here we take a look at the new features and release dates.

      • Xfce 4.16 Linux Desktop: What’s Coming In The Next Stable Release?

        Xfce is one of the best desktop environments, which is lightweight, fast, and user-friendly. Several popular Linux distros ships Xfce desktop by default or offer a separate image with Xfce such as MX Linux, Kali Linux, Xubuntu, Fedora Xfce spin, and Manjaro Xfce.

        Currently, Xfce 4.14 is the most recent stable version, which arrived last year after a gap of more than four years. Continuing the regular development cycle, André Miranda, one of the core developers of Xfce, has now announced the first preview release of the upcoming Xfce 4.16.

        As per the Xfce release model, Xfce 4.16pre1 is the first development release that will lead to Xfce 4.16, the next stable version to supersede v4.14. Let’s see what new features and improvements are coming in Xfce 4.16:

        Xfce 4.16: A Lightweight Desktop Environment For Linux

      • Xfce desktop environment sees a 4.16pre1 release, better fractional scaling

        Lightweight classic desktop environment Xfce continues advancing, with a new pre-release update available for testing pulling in some great features.

        Their current plan is to have a second pre-release at the end of September and if needed a third in October. With the aim to have the final Xfce 4.16 release in by November. It’s shaping up to be a pretty exciting release, with lots of working going into all areas.

        One of the big addition is support for fractional scaling, giving you better options to get your desktop exactly how you want it to be on whatever resolution that may be.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • How does KDE compare with Mate in detail

          The evolution of Linux has been extraordinary as no one could have imagined how an architecture that only supported the Intel 80×86 processor could go on to become the fastest-growing operating system in today’s market. After numerous setbacks and loads of struggles, the usership of Linux has reached a figure in the millions and it has established itself at the heart of several widely known enterprises.
          As Linux follows the ideology of the open-source movement, it can be installed free of charge and this has, in turn, has led to it becoming an affordable choice for many organizations. On top of this, Linux offers a system that can easily be tweaked and set according to the interests of the users. This customizable nature of Linux also allows it to provide more control to the user, making it more preferable for the industry.

          Linux itself has several different forms of itself, each being tailored to their specific sets of users. From this large list, KDE and Mate are two quite well-known and popular desktop environments, and thus the reason why we would be making them the topic of our discussion in this article.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • How does KDE compare vs GNOME in detail

          Over the years, Linux has greatly evolved from having a simple server-based architecture to now being used in the development of desktop applications. Linux follows the guidelines that it has set strictly and thus builds upon the idea of everything being free and open-source, making it an extremely reliable and secure alternative to look at, keeping in mind all the privacy issues that have taken root in the last couple of years.
          In addition to this, it is silky smooth and has an immaculate performance that does not eat up too much memory resource of your system, which, in turn, has made it much faster and lighter compared to Windows. With so many powerful features bundled inside of it, it is by no surprise to see it rise so much in popularity among the desktop community.

          The most fascinating thing about Linux appears to be the variety of distributions out there that have been built on the Linux Kernel and comprise all its major features along with having some of its own to distinguish among themselves. Among these, the ones that have dominated the Linux world have been the KDE and GNOME communities which are the two go-to desktop environments for Linux.

          Hence, in this article, we will be looking at their pros and cons and how they both compare against each other.

        • Philip Withnall: GUADEC 2020

          During the conference, with the help of Bart, I collected some data about the resource consumption of the servers during GUADEC. After a bit of post-processing, it looks like the conference emitted on the order of 0.5–1tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, the measure of global warming potential). These emissions were from the conference servers (21% of the total), network traffic (55%), and an estimate of the power used by people’s home computers while watching talks (24%).

          By way of contrast, there were estimated emissions of 110tCO2e for travel to and from GUADEC 2019 in Thessaloniki. Travel emissions are likely to be the bulk of the emissions from that conference (insufficient data is available to estimate the other costs, such as building use, food, events, etc.). Of those travel emissions, 98% were from flights, and 79% of attendees flew. The lowest emissions for a return flight were a bit under 0.3tCO2e, the highest were around 3tCO2e, and the mode was the bracket [0.3, 0.6)tCO2e.

          This shows quite a contrast between in-person and virtual conferences — a factor of 100 difference in carbon emissions. The conference in Thessaloniki (which I’m focusing on because I’ve got data for it from the post-conference survey, not because it was particularly unusual) had 198 registered attendees, and modal transport emissions per attendee of 0.42tCO2e.

    • Distributions

      • Linux Mint vs. Manjaro

        Manjaro is an open-source and freely available Arch-based Linux operating system. This Linux distribution provides accessibility and friendliness to all users and comes with various pre-installed applications and software. Linux Mint is an Ubuntu- or Debian-based, community-driven Linux operating environment, and contains several open-source applications. Linux Mint also provides full support to some proprietary software, such as multimedia codecs.

      • KDE Plasma vs. Neon

        As the years have progressed, Linux has seen remarkable improvement in its features. From being a mere, simplistic server-based architecture, Linux has evolved into something far more complex, used to develop desktop applications. If security and reliability are a priority, Linux tops the list of alternates, considering the fact that it has severe guidelines that strictly follow the ideology of free and open-source.

        Privacy is one of the most sought-after aspects in recent times, further adding to the inherent value of Linux systems. If these reasons did not clarify its superiority enough, the fact that it has smooth, effortless performance, fast speed, and light interface clearly gives Linux an edge over Windows.

      • What to expect on EndeavourOS ARM?

        On September 19th we will launch our newest addition to our project, EndeavourOS ARM.

        To make things very clear, the product we’re going to launch isn’t going to be a smooth looking ARM installer, you have to put a little elbow grease into it to get it installed and running on your ARM device.

        Don’t worry, we are going to provide you with an easier install process on the hardware that was available to us for testing during development and we’re going to provide you with some easy to understand manuals for a selection of popular ARM devices that weren’t available during development, to make it easier.

        In theory, EndeavourOS ARM works on any supported ARM device that is supported by Archlinux ARM, as long as the device has enough power to run a desktop environment.

        We’re also going to provide you with a manual for use as a headless server.

        The installation process is going to offer you to install the choice of DE during the process, just like our regular install. However, the main focus of this upcoming release is performance and for you to help us get the script tested on ARM devices that were not available during development, so you can see it as an open invitation to help us getting the project stronger. More info on that will follow on the announcement of the launch.

      • New Releases

        • Linux Deepin 20 Released

          One of the most beautiful Linux distributions on the market has been refreshed.

          Fans of elegant desktops rejoice, Deepin 20 has been released. But this new release isn’t just about refreshing the most beautiful desktop environment on the market, it also has a really nifty trick up its sleeve that other distributions might consider taking advantage of.

          Deepin 20 is built upon Debian 10.5 (aka “Buster”) and nearly every element of the user interface was improved: Icons, animations, multitask viewer, windows, and dialogs, every element of the desktop has been polished. You’ll find support for light and dark themes, color temperature settings, transparency adjustments, and an improved power/battery settings tools.

      • BSD

        • Review: GhostBSD 20.08.04, Finnix 121

          About a month ago the GhostBSD team published a new release. The GhostBSD operating system is based on FreeBSD and focuses on desktop use. It has a graphical installer, some convenient desktop utilities for handling tasks such as installing updates, and ships with the MATE desktop. There is also a community edition of GhostBSD which runs the Xfce desktop instead of MATE. Both editions run on 64-bit (x86_64) machines exclusively.

          Apart from updating MATE to version 1.24.0, the new snapshot of GhostBSD introduces one big change: automated boot environment snapshots during package upgrades. This allows the administrator to have snapshots of the operating system’s filesystem taken prior to each package upgrade, ensuring that if something breaks, we can reboot and rollback the system to its previous state. This should make GhostBSD secure against broken updates in a similar fashion to openSUSE when the latter is installed on Btrfs.

        • FuryBSD 2020-Q3 The world’s first OpenZFS based live image

          FuryBSD is a tool to test drive stock FreeBSD desktop images in read write mode to see if it will work for you before installing. In order to provide the most reliable experience possible while preserving the integrity of the system the LiveCD now leverages ZFS, compression, replication, a memory file system, and reroot (pivot root).

          13.0 coming next year will build on this by allowing further enhancements to this solution with the added ztd compression support. Work is also underway with the GhostBSD development team to see if this new methodology is a good fit for that project, and can be integrated.

        • FuryBSD 2020-Q3 Released For This Xfce/KDE FreeBSD Desktop Distribution

          With the 2020-Q3 release, the LiveDVD is now leveraging OpenZFS including its compression, reroot, and replication functionality, among other features. FuryBSD 2020-Q3 is based on upstream FreeBSD 12.1-RELEASE-p9, ships with the NVIDIA 440 series FreeBSD driver and the FreeBSD 4.16 KMOD, Xfce 4.14 is now available as one of the desktop options alongside KDE, VMSVGA support for VirtualBox 6 usage, and other updated packages. This FuryBSD release also has better laptop support with improved touchscreen/trackpad handling.

        • Creating a VPN Gateway with OpenBSD 6.7

          The solution I came up with to this problem is to setup a VPN gateway on my network using OpenBSD. Any device that sets that machine as it’s gateway will automatically get its traffic tunnelled through the VPN connection. Because I’m setting the VPN up as a second gateway on an existing network, all devices on the network will still be able to talk to each other normally, regardless of which gateway they use.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • We are very sad to announce that José Jorge, who used the login zezinho, passed away on September the 11th

          José was 46 years old, father to 3 children. He, and his 16 year old son, who was accompanying him on a bicycle ride, died September the 11th after being struck by a car.

          José was a major contributor to the world of Free Software, in particular Mageia, his favorite distribution, which he had adopted after Mandrake/Mandriva and in which he had been actively participating for some 20 years. Among his many contributions were the inclusion of hundreds of packages such as Audacity, Chromium, fuse2, gcompris, other very important packages such as various WiFi drivers, as well as many games (bzflag, alienarena, crack-attack, flightgear). He was a tester
          for Mageia Cauldron and a mentor for new packagers.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Two More Weeks to Go: Documentation Survey – Your Chance to Make an Impact!

          This call to action goes to all of you who use our products and solutions and have to rely on the information provided with the technical documents: YOUR feedback is crucial to understand what you REALLY need! You can make an impact now and help shape the future of our documentation. Please participate in the SUSE Documentation Survey 2020 if you want to help us improve – for your own benefit!

      • Arch Family

        • Manjaro 20.1 “Mikah” Released

          The Manjaro team has released Manjaro 20.1 “Mikah,” which uses Linux kernel 5.8 and features improvements to the desktop and window manager.

          Manjaro’s flagship offering is powered by the lightweight Xfce 4.14 desktop environment, while the KDE Plasma and Gnome editions ship with Plasma 5.19.5 and GNOME 3.36.6, respectively. According to the announcement, this release mostly focused on “polishing the user experience.”

        • Manjaro Linux 20.1 ‘Mikah’ is out now with a theme refresh

          Manjaro Linux, the semi-rolling distribution based on Arch Linux has a new stable build release out with Manjaro 20.1 ‘Mikah’. If you already have Manjaro installed, you will already be up to date as all updates just continually roll in but these stable releases mean they put out new up to date iso files for fresh installs.

          Manjaro 20.1 Mikah upgrades pretty much everything. They’re shipping the Xfce 4.14 desktop as their “flagship”, which is their most tested and supported version. They claim only “a few can claim to offer such a polished, integrated and leading-edge Xfce experience”. Things beings a new theme called ‘Matcha’, profile for display configuration and they implemented “auto-application of profiles when new displays are connected”.


          Pamac, the Manjaro made package managing application went through the usual update rounds too. It should be more optimized and perform better, have better error handling, improved searching and bug fixes aplenty. Finally, it comes with Linux Kernel 5.8 as the standard package for all versions of Manjaro.

        • ArchEX Linux Now Ships with Deepin and LXQt Desktops, Linux Kernel 5.8.8

          ArchEX developer Arne Exton informs 9to5Linux about the availability of a new version of his Arch Linux-based ArchEX Linux distribution, which now ships with a dual-desktop setup and latest kernel release.

          ArchEX is a live Linux distribution for everyone who wants to use Arch Linux but doesn’t want to go to all the trouble of installing Arch Linux, which in 2020 is still a thing. It follows the same motto as Arch Linux, “Keep It Simple Stupid.”

          The new ArchEX Linux release comes with the Deepin Desktop Environment or DDE, which everyone knows it’s an eye candy Linux desktop environment, from the Deepin 20 Linux distribution. Deepin Desktop 15.11 is included in this release.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • The future of virtual conferences, service mesh, and more industry trends

          As part of my role as a principal communication strategist at an enterprise software company with an open source development model, I publish a regular update about open source community, market, and industry trends. Here are some of my and their favorite articles from that update.

        • Walicki with Watson

          “Walicki with Watson” seems to be an appropriate way to introduce myself. As a member of the IBM Developer Advocacy team, I am eager to share my experiences with IBM Cloud and the powerful IBM Watson AI APIs. As an edge computing and IoT expert, I’m passionate about helping developers build custom edge, IoT and embedded Linux solutions for their industrial and enterprise use cases.

          If you peer back in time, the computing industry has undergone epochal transformations. Once you experience that transformational technology, you’re quick to realize “This changes everything…” As a way of introducing myself to developers, I’ll rewind the cassette tape a bit and give you some background about my personal career evolution during important inflection points of the computing era.


          Linux – In 1999, I was a founding member of the Linux Technology Leadership Council which established IBM’s Linux strategy and led to the establishment of the Linux Technology Center. For 17 years, I was the architect for the world’s largest enterprise Linux client desktop and desktop virtualization deployment ever conceived. Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the internal Linux@IBM Open Client initiative paved the way for corporate adoption of Linux. Open technologies, open standards, open source, and Linux have been a core IBM strategy.

          I was at LinuxWorld 2001 when Sam Palmisano announced IBM’s billion dollar investment in Linux. Unequivocally, Linux has won. An entire generation of developers have contributed to making Linux great. Today, linux runs the internet and is the foundation of cloud computing. Arguably, Linux saved the mainframe, powers the world’s largest supercomputers, runs on the majority of smartphones in the world and it powers billions of IoT and edge devices. I could not imagine a greater opportunity to help Linux become even more pervasive!

        • Using Debian and RHEL troubleshootings containers on Kubernetes & OpenShift

          You can connect to a running pod with oc/kubectl rsh pod_name, or start a copy of a running pod with oc debug pod_name, but as best practises recommend unprivileged, slim container images, where do you get sosreport, kdump, dig and nmap for troubleshooting ?

        • 25 years and going strong: Why Java matters to the future of banks

          Java has a long history with banks and financial institutions, but what about its future? Does Java have a place in a containerized, cloud-native future? We’d argue yes, especially with Quarkus a full-stack, Kubernetes-native Java framework.

          Earlier this year, Java celebrated its 25th anniversary. As customer needs evolve, Java continues to stand the test of time, being one of the most in-demand and useful programming languages used in a variety of business applications. Banks and financial institutions, which are well-known for being conservative in the use of technology and hesitant to change, were early adopters of Java. They liked its stability, security models and innovation it has allowed.

          In the 25 years since its release, Java has become an important language and platform for financial institutions. You’ll find it running important workloads in many banks and financial institutions. When asked to choose between starting over or updating their existing applications to use cloud-native platforms, banks are likely to choose updating. With the introduction of Quarkus, banks can now continue to leverage Java, while also remaining competitive and innovative in the cloud-native, modern world.

        • Certificate transparency for web and mobile apps

          If you have been following the area of security on the web closely, you’ve probably heard the term certificate transparency, but if you haven’t heard of certificate transparency, fret not. This blog post has you covered.

          In this post, I’ll introduce you to the concept of certificate transparency and then delve into the actions you must take as an app developer in your web or mobile app to implement certificate transparency.


          How much client-side validation is really necessary is a matter of debate. Most browsers perform client-side certificate transparency checks on certificates.

          A compromised certificate affects all users of the certificate. Therefore, the malicious certificate needs to be detected only once whether you have a single user or a million users.

          Third party tools exist that monitor certificate transparency logs for malicious certificates. Depending on your requirements, you can either choose to use such third party tools or simply perform client-side certificate transparency checks each time your mobile app connects to your server.

        • Red Hat Reinforces Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a Foundation for Sensitive Computing with Common Criteria Certification, Commercial Solutions for Classified Status
        • Join IBM Z’s Chief Penguin: 30 startups accepted in IBM’s Hyper Protect Accelerator

          Last year, the IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator introduced 15 startups in the program’s very first cohort, and this year we will be announcing 30 additional companies in our upcoming Cohorts 2 & 3 during IBM Z Day on September 15!

          Our team has spent the past four months assessing and interviewing global early-stage fintech, healthtech, and insurtech startups that handle highly sensitive personally identifiable information and increase access to essential services.

          In an increasingly digital world, the value of customer data has never been greater, and the challenges of keeping data secure have never been more important to businesses and startups alike. ForgeRock reported that 97% of data breaches in 2018 targeted personally identifiable information, and nearly 60% of data breaches targeted health or financial data. As these incidents increase each year, it is our mission to support companies that prioritize keeping this customer information secure from tampering or hacking. Whether it is a healthtech startup disrupting how medical professionals share patient data, or a fintech startup innovating frictionless money transfer in Africa — the impact of keeping data secure will expand who can use and access these essential services.

        • How BBVA has automated processes with Red Hat’s open technologies

          BBVA USA offers customer-focused retail and digital banking and serves thousands of customers a day. To maintain a high standard of customer experience, we realized that our back-end technology solutions needed an upgrade. That meant migrating the dozens of automated business rules engines that were running in legacy technology – and serving more than 150,000 business process requests per month, including requests for commercial loans, mortgages, and other critical services that are both crucial for building trust with customers and advancing the business. Historically, the framework that handled these requests was expensive and cumbersome to maintain, but in just six months, we have successfully implemented Red Hat technologies to migrate to BBVA Nextgen Platform RuleS Cloud Service. Seems impossible, right? Well, not when you have the right technologies – like enterprise open source tools from Red Hat – in place. Read on to learn how we did it.


          The platform uses a combination of public and private clouds, with Red Hat OpenStack as the base on which to deploy and the business process management as a service process engine and RuleS rules engine for automation. There is also a monitoring component, with a real-time KPI dashboard. This means that there is just one console for every task.

        • Women Of Mainframe | Observability In Mainframe DevOps | Open Mainframe Summit
      • Debian Family

        • Is Elive The Best Linux Distro Ever?

          Elive is a Debian-based Linux distro that uses the old E16 window manager. A lightweight yet powerful distro, Elive markets itself as “maybe the best Linux OS ever made.” Does it live it to the hype? I’m going to take a quick look at Elive 3.8.16 beta.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Best Email Clients for Linux Mint 20

          Whenever we talk about the processes of sending and receiving emails, two main entities come into play i.e. the email client and the email server. For the scope of this article, we are only concerned with the email client entity. An email client is basically the user-side interface of the emailing process which is also known as the mail user agent. The job of an email client is to read and manage user emails. Therefore, in this article, we will be talking about the three best email clients for Linux Mint 20.

        • Best Python IDEs for Linux Mint 20

          IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment. An IDE is an application or software that provides many different features for software development. The main components of an IDE include a code editor, a debugger, and automation tools. Apart from these basic components, each IDE also offers a wide range of unique features. Python is a powerful programming language and there are lots of options available for an IDE in this language. However, when working with the Linux operating system, the options provided by IDEs may seem somewhat limited. This article seeks to remove this misconception by providing a list of the three best Python IDEs in Linux Mint 20.

        • Best Linux Mint 20 Remote Desktops

          If you are a support engineer or a system administrator, it must be your routine to come across situations in which you need to troubleshoot different machines and resolve the issues with them so that their users can continue doing their work smoothly. However, there are situations when you do not have the physical access to such problematic devices i.e. you might be residing somewhere else at the time when the problem occurred with a system and it is impossible for you to visit it physically. In such situations, all you need is a remote desktop client with which you can gain complete access to a remotely located machine and can resolve its issues. Therefore, in this article, we will be sharing with you the three best Linux Mint 20 remote desktops.

        • Best Screen Recorders for Linux Mint 20

          If you are fond of creating video tutorials for different software products, then you might have come across the need of recording your screen multiple times. This enables you to walk the viewers through the whole installation and usage process which makes it very easy for them to understand what is happening. Screen recorders ease this task by capturing your screen as you perform any activity and then saving it in video format. Therefore, today we will be sharing with you a list of the three best screen recorders for Linux Mint 20.

        • [Old] Linux Mint 20 isn’t exactly bursting with freshness but, hey, there’s kernel 5.4 and it’s a long-term support release

          The Linux Mint team has released Mint 20 Cinnamon, a long-term support (LTS) release. It is based on Ubuntu 20.04, will be supported until 2025, and new Mint versions will use the same package base until 2022.

          Linux Mint comes in three flavours, all of which are now available in Mint 20 “Ulyana” editions. One uses the minimalist Xfce desktop environment. The second, called MATE, uses a fork of the GNOME 2 desktop, while the third, Cinnamon, uses a fork of the GNOME 3 desktop created and maintained by the Mint team. Cinnamon appears to be the most common choice among Mint users. More details on the origins and difference between MATE and Cinnamon are here.

          Although the Xfce edition is more lightweight, all three have the same stated system requirements: 1GB RAM (2GB recommended), 15GB disk space (20GB recommended) and 1024 x 768 screen resolution. By way of comparison, Canonical recommends 4GB RAM and 25GB disk space for Ubuntu 20.04. Microsoft’s Windows 10 has almost the same minimum requirements as Mint: 2GB RAM, 20GB disk space and an 800×600 display, for 64-bit systems. In practice we think Mint Xfce is likely to perform better than Windows on a low-end PC.

        • An Introduction to Testing Robot Code

          The myriad of different fields that make up robotics makes QA practices difficult to settle on. Field testing is the go-to, since a functioning robot is often proof enough that a system is working. But online tests are slow. The physical environment must be set up. The entire system has to be in a workable state. Multiple runs are needed to build confidence. This grinds development to a halt. To those who took courses in computer science, this is akin to using the auto-grader “as the compiler.” It’s slow, it makes it hard to narrow down what isn’t working, it’s prone to wasting time seeing runs fail for simple errors.

          Many roboticists don’t come from a background in software engineering, and thus haven’t seen firsthand the benefits of having a solid test setup.

        • Ethereum (ETH) 2.0 Guide to Staking on Ubuntu Medalla and Nimbus

          The client testnet on the Status Nimbus Client is based on Ubuntu v20.04 (LTS) x64 server, Go Ethereum Node (code branch), Status’ Ethereum 2.0 client, Nimbus (code branch), Official multi-client testnet public network, Medalla, MetaMask crypto wallet browser extension, Prometheus metrics, and Grafana dashboard.

          The guide also contains information about: Configuring a newly running Ubuntu server instance; Configuring and running an Ethereum 1.0 node as a service; Compiling and configuring the Nimbus client software for Ethereum 2.0; Phase 0 (Medalla testnet) and running as a service; and Installing and configuring Prometheus metrics and setting up a Grafana dashboard.

        • Open Source Security’s Top Threat and What To Do About It

          Lech is responsible for the security and public cloud products at Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Where’s the Yelp for open-source tools?

        We’d like an easy way to judge open-source programs. It can be done. But easily? That’s another matter. When it comes to open source, you can’t rely on star power.

        The “wisdom of the crowd” has inspired all sorts of online services wherein people share their opinions and guide others in making choices. The Internet community has created many ways to do this, such as Amazon reviews, Glassdoor (where you can rate employers), and TripAdvisor and Yelp (for hotels, restaurants, and other service providers). You can rate or recommend commercial software, too, such as on mobile app stores or through sites like product hunt. But if you want advice to help you choose open-source applications, the results are disappointing.

        It isn’t for lack of trying. Plenty of people have created systems to collect, judge, and evaluate open-source projects, including information about a project’s popularity, reliability, and activity. But each of those review sites – and their methodologies – have flaws.


        Solomon Hykes, Docker’s co-founder, strongly disagrees. “GitHub stars are a scam. This bullshit metric is so pervasive, and GitHub’s chokehold on the open-source community so complete, that maintainers have to distort their workflows to fit the ‘GitHub model’ or risk being publicly shamed by industry analysts. What a disgrace.”

        Hykes isn’t the only one who views GitHub stars as a misleading flop. Fintan Ryan, a Gartner senior director, thinks stars are just a game that confuses marketing and the code that’s actually on GitHub. And Microsoft project manager for open-source development on Azure, Ralph Squillace, tweeted, “In my opinion and for Microsoft project [engineering] and management they are worthless. [But] There are always people who seize on them anyway.”

      • How Nextcloud simplified the signup process for decentralization

        When you download the mobile or desktop app, the first thing you see is a choice for “Log in” or “Sign up with a provider.”

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: Extensions in Firefox 81

            In Firefox 81, we have improved error messages for extension developers and updated user-facing notifications to provide more information on how extensions are modifying their settings.

            For developers, the menus.create API now provides more meaningful error messages when supplying invalid match or url patterns. This updated message should make it easier for developers to quickly identify and fix the error. In addition, webNavigation.getAllFrames and webNavigation.getFrame will return a promise resolved with null in case the tab is discarded, which is how these APIs behave in Chrome.

          • Mozilla applauds TRAI for maintaining the status quo on OTT regulation, upholding a key aspect of net neutrality in India

            Mozilla applauds the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for its decision to maintain the existing regulatory framework for OTT services in India. The regulation of OTT services sparked the fight for net neutrality in India in 2015, leading to over a million Indians asking TRAI to #SaveTheInternet and over time becoming one of the most successful grassroots campaigns in the history of digital activism. Mozilla’s CEO, Mitchell Baker, wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Modi at the time stating: “We stand firm in the belief that all users should be able to experience the full diversity of the Web. For this to be possible, Internet Service Providers must treat all content transmitted over the Internet equally, regardless of the sender or the receiver.”

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • FSF

        • Hello world from Eostre Emily Danne, intern with the FSF tech team

          In my hobby work, I’ve worked on making OS installs highly reproducible – my / is a read-only squashfs image that gets periodically rebuilt, my /etc is a git repo, and I keep my /home distributed across a few machines via Syncthing. At the FSF, I’m applying that experience by reimplementing some infrastructure as neat little scripted installs. Without revealing too much about our infrastructure, we have some systems that were created using forgotten knowledge by previous generations of sysadmins; it’s my job to turn the arcane shell invocations in their ~/.bash_history files into something we can eventually manage with Ansible, though for now I’ll just be writing shell scripts that do the same thing.

          This also comes as Trisquel is about to release version 9.0, so I’ll probably end up testing that too.

      • Programming/Development

        • Spritely Goblins v0.7 released!

          I’m delighted to say that Spritely Goblins v0.7 has been released! This is the first release featuring CapTP support (ie, “capability-secure distributed/networked programming support”), which is a huge milestone for the project!

          Okay, caveat… there are still some things missing from the CapTP stuff so far; you can only set up a bidirectional connection between two machines, and can’t “introduce” capabilities to other machines on the network. Also setting up connections is an extremely manual process. Both of those should be improved in the next release.

          But still! Goblins can now be used to easily write distributed programs! And Goblins’ CapTP code even includes such wild features as distributed garbage collection!

        • Qbs 1.17.0 released

          We are elated to announce version 1.17.0 of the Qbs build tool.

          Qbs is a build automation tool designed for flexibility, speed and multi-platform development. It is particularly appreciated for its clean concept, easy-to-learn language and speed. Qbs has been formerly developed by The Qt Company, but since 2019 it is mostly driven by a community of volunteers.

        • Qbs 1.17 Released With This Build System Still Alive

          Back in late 2018 there was the decision by The Qt Company to deprecate Qbs in favor of CMake. The Qbs build system hasn’t been actively worked on by The Qt Company in one year but some community members have been still hacking on it leading to today’s Qbs 1.17 release.

          This build automation tool has nearly three hundred patches compared to the prior release. Qbs 1.17 adds a Cap’n Proto module for a C++ serialization protocol similar to Protobuf, many C/C++ support improvements, Apple Xcode 12.0 support on macOS including universal x86_64/ARM64 binaries, initial support for Qt 6, and Android support improvements.

        • My New Project: zedfs.com

          Because of all of that, I have decided to start a new project called zedfs.com. The blog focuses strictly on ZFS, and I plan to post news and tutorials about ZFS. The plan is to post there biweekly, but we will see how I manage.

        • Sizeof operator in C language

          In this article, we are going to learn about the sizeof operator in C. It is a widely used unary operator in the embedded software development, which helps us to find out the size of the operand.


          Understanding Sizeof

          Before we dive into the sizeof operator discussion, Let us first understand the meaning of the operator. An Operator is represented by a token or symbol which is used to perform an operation such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc. upon values or variables (Operands). For example, “*” is the symbol that is used to represent the multiplication operation, and it works on two operands (result = a * b ;). This is an example of a binary operator.

          However, if an operator works upon only one operand, we call such an operator as a unary operator. The sizeof operator is one of the unary operators that exist in C programming language and apparently, it operates only on one operand. The sizeof operator returns the size of the operand. That means, from the return value of Sizeof operator, we can clearly say how many bytes allocated to hold the particular operand in the computer memory.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • Classic Python Interview Question: the Two Sum Problem

            This article is about a classic challenge that is often given in Python coding interviews. There are several different approaches you could take with this challenge, but the aim is to come up with a solution which has “reasonable” time complexity – i.e. given a large input it will complete within seconds rather than hours…

          • Reading HTML tables with Pandas

            The pandas read_html() function is a quick and convenient way to turn an HTML table into a pandas DataFrame. This function can be useful for quickly incorporating tables from various websites without figuring out how to scrape the site’s HTML. However, there can be some challenges in cleaning and formatting the data before analyzing it. In this article, I will discuss how to use pandas read_html() to read and clean several Wikipedia HTML tables so that you can use them for further numeric analysis.

          • Python 101 2nd Edition Released!

            I rewrote Python 101 almost completely from scratch. I used the original as a guide, but this book is completely fresh. It is based on Python 3.8 and covers lots of beginner and intermediate topics.

          • PyDev of the Week: Débora Azevedo

            This week we welcome Débora Azevedo (@pydebb) as our PyDev of the Week! Débora is active in the PyLadies and DjangoGirls groups as well as teaching Python at PyLadies workshops. Let’s spend some time getting to know her better!


            I’m an educator. I love teaching, and I’m working now as an English teacher in my state’s public network. But I have also taught Python in some PyLadies workshops. I’m doing my master’s degree in Innovation in Educational Technologies. For the past months, I’ve been working on developing educational software to assist deaf children in their literacy process from a bilingual perspective, considering that here in Brazil they learn Brazilian Sign Language and also written Portuguese. In my free time, I like to invest in the community (which has invested so much in me). From meetings online to translating blog posts and managing social media profiles, one thing worth pointing out about me is the involvement in the Python community here in Brazil, especially with PyLadies Brazil, which I contribute the most to. My most beloved hobbies are reading (love both Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), playing guitar and singing. I also write sporadically in my blog (in Portuguese).

          • Use Python to solve a charity’s business problem

            In my first article in this series, I described a problem of dividing bulk supplies into hampers of similar value to distribute to struggling neighbors in your community. I also wrote about how I enjoy solving small problems like this with small programs in various languages and comparing how they do it.

            In the first article, I solved this problem with the Groovy programming language. Groovy is like Python in many ways, but syntactically it’s more like C and Java. Therefore, it should be interesting and instructive to create the same solution in Python.


            Another issue worth mentioning: This isn’t a particularly efficient approach. Removing elements from lists, being careless about repeated expressions, and a few other things make this less suitable for a huge redistribution problem. Still, it runs in a blink on my old machine.

            If you are shuddering at my use of while loops and mutating the data in this code, you probably wish I made it more functional. I couldn’t think of a way to use map and reduce features in Python in conjunction with a random selection of units for repackaging. Can you?

            In the next article, I’ll re-do this in Java just to see how much less effort Groovy and Python are, and future articles will cover Julia and Go.

          • Python vs R, Which is the Best Language for Data Analysis?

            The idea is to make sense of the data you have, to analyse it and share better business prospects in the near future and how you’re going to do it, is with the concepts of analytics. Data Science involves extraction of trends, patterns and useful information from a set of existing data which will be of no use if not analyzed. It is a kind of business intelligence that is now used for gaining profits and making better use of resources. This can also help in improving managerial operations and leverage organizations to the next level.

            If not analyzed this data is going to get wasted whereas if analyzed properly this data can help us in finding information that is powerful to bring in a change in the patterns of how business is already working or going. Just imagine a source of unleashed information exists and you haven’t dived in yet to get the grip of it. Your business can take a competitive advantage of it and do wonders with the data. This is going to extract insights that will allow an advantage to a business or an organization in an economy.

          • Song-basket

            I threw together a Spotify API program called song-basket. I have a few large themed playlists (for example, Instrumental Funk). This app is to help me add songs to them. I can choose a playlist (the basket), and then as I surf around Spotify, it lets me add the current song to the basket with one click. It also shows me whether the current song is already in the basket or not, which they often are. If the song is already in the basket, I don’t have to think about whether to add it, and I don’t have to deal with the annoying “Add duplicate?” question.

          • Kodnito: Slugify Urls in Django

            In this tutorial, we will learn how to slugify urls in Django.

            A Slug is a short label for something, containing only letters, underscores or hyphens.

            Slugs are generally used in URL, For example in a typical blog entry URL:


            In the url, the slugify-urls-in-django is the slug.

          • Interview with Victory Wekwa

            Hello, My name is Victory Chiamaka Wekwa, a graduate of Petroleum Engineering, Python developer, tech enthusiast, open source contributor and aspiring full stack developer.


            I got into programming because I wanted to explore and be as good as my friends that were doing good.

          • Upload Images to Cloudinary from Django Application

            In this tutorial, we will learn how to upload images to Cloudinary from a Django application.

          • Plot With Pandas: Python Data Visualization for Beginners

            Whether you’re just getting to know a dataset or preparing to publish your findings, visualization is an essential tool. Python’s popular data analysis library, pandas, provides several different options for visualizing your data with .plot(). Even if you’re at the beginning of your pandas journey, you’ll soon be creating basic plots that will yield valuable insights into your data.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Similarity principle variations

        That citation “8″ is Concepts and applications of molecular similarity, edited by Mark A. Johnson and Gerald M. Maggiora (1990), published by Wiley. This is an often-cited reference in the cheminformatics literature. Google Scholar knows about 1411 citations to it.

        There’s a subtle nuance to the Maggiora et al. miniperspective quote which I think has been overlooked by many of the people who cite it – the 1990 book doesn’t actually define a similarity principle! That’s why the miniperspective uses the phrases In the context of and emerged.


        Without doubt, the underlying premise of the book is that similar molecules often have similar properties, that measures of similarity can be automated, and that these measures can be used for property prediction and optimization. This is the reason why so many people cite the book.

        But the only use of the term similarity principle is Rouvray’s molecules undergo transitions or reactions they always do so in a way that minimizes changes in the positions of the nuclei, there is no use of similarity property principle, and the closest definition to similar compounds should have similar properties is the structure-macroscopic-property concept.

        Hardly the standard modern formulation!

    • Education

      • Student debt and the end of the liberal arts dream

        Even so, there is very little understanding of why student debt has become so burdensome in recent decades. It’s as if we thought student debt were an unhappy fact of nature, like a weather front that has passed through leaving us with no option but to put on a warmer coat if we can find one, and if we can’t find one, it’s welcome to the Brave New World of Cold and Indifference.

        And yet, it was not so long ago that things were very different. I was born in a working class suburb of San Francisco in 1951. At that time, public education was good, teachers still had some social prestige, universities were affordable (cheap actually), and few students graduated with debt. It was possible for me to sally forth without the threat of young adult bankruptcy.

        In other words, at that time students were freer to choose what they wanted to study and freer to explore careers. As for me, I was free to be a student of literature and philosophy at the University of San Francisco. I learned to play the classical guitar up the hill at Lone Mountain College. I was also a longhair war resistor and draft counselor in the chaplain’s office. And I was mostly sure that I wouldn’t be punished for these decisions, or not punished any time soon.

    • Hardware

      • Nvidia Buys Arm From SoftBank for $40 Billion

        If completed, the transaction would instantly transform Nvidia into one of the most influential players in smartphone technology, a market that had previously eluded it. Arm, which licenses designs that other companies turn into chips, has long defined the computing technology found in most mobile devices. And Arm designs are starting to play a bigger role in cloud data centers.

        But the deal is likely to prompt close scrutiny by antitrust authorities around the world. Influential Arm customers potentially affected by the transaction include Apple, Samsung Electronics, Amazon.com, Qualcomm and Huawei.

      • NVIDIA Announces $40 Billion Deal To Acquire Arm

        The recent rumors panned out and NVIDIA just announced they have reached a definitive deal with SoftBank to acquire Arm.

        NVIDIA is set to acquire Arm in a deal worth $40 billion USD between cash and stock. The deal is expected to take around 18 months to close and NVIDIA has stated their commitment to keeping Arm independent and their brand identity. Additionally, NVIDIA will keep Arm headquartered in the UK and will also expand Arm’s presence there with a new AI research center.

      • NVIDIA to Acquire Arm for $40 Billion from Softbank

        A few weeks ago, I read rumors about NVIDIA acquiring Arm, and I thought it was probably just a joke because of the obvious conflicts of interests since NVIDIA would be providing IP to competitors, who may then be wary of starting designs based on Arm NVIDIA cores and GPUs.

      • NVIDIA confirms $40 billion deal to buy Arm

        Huge industry news to mention this morning! NVIDIA has confirmed they’re buying Arm for $40 billion. This news comes after speculation over it for some time, which yesterday was finally announced.

        Before getting wild with speculation about what will happen, NVIDIA noted a few keys points about the acquisition. Notably, they will actually keep the headquartered presence in Cambridge, UK and expand the R&D there with “establishing a world-class AI research and education center, and building an Arm/NVIDIA-powered AI supercomputer for groundbreaking research”. Additionally, they will be continuing the same open-licensing model that Arm has along with “customer neutrality” and additionally they will be expanding Arm’s IP licensing with some of NVIDIA’s own tech.

        Nothing is actually complete yet though, as these take time to go through all the proper channels. This includes regulatory approvals across he U.K., China, the European Union and the United States which they’re estimating to take 18 months. See the full announcement here.

      • Nvidia will keep ARM licensing “neutral,” wants to license GPU tech, too

        Nvidia has officially announced that it is buying ARM from SoftBank for $40 billion. The deal is one of the biggest tech acquisitions of all time and will see Nvidia control the world’s most popular CPU architecture.

        Nvidia’s press release oddly paints the deal as primarily about “AI,” saying the deal “brings together NVIDIA’s leading AI computing platform with ARM’s vast ecosystem to create the premier computing company for the age of artificial intelligence.” Nvidia apparently sees GPU-accelerated AI as its next big growth sector, and the company currently sells embedded systems for self-driving cars and multi-GPU systems for workstations and servers, offering high-teraflop deep-learning performance. Somehow it thinks ARM will help with this.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Rural Oregon Communities Are Fighting to Keep Out Big Water Bottling Companies

        Water is critical to maintaining the balance of all life on Earth. As humans go, the United Nations estimates that each person needs about 50 to 100 liters a day for drinking and washing. It must be safe, accessible, and affordable. Some corporations claim ownership of fresh water sources to bottle and sell for profit. Others use water as a tool to extract oil and gas from the ground. In this episode of Making Contact, we’ll hear from communities fighting to keep big water bottling companies out of rural Oregon, and to protect water from oil and gas contamination in New Mexico.

      • Workers’ Health Data Collected for COVID Safety Poses Risk to Labor Rights
      • Rural and Native Communities Are Hard Hit by COVID-Era Food Insecurity

        Nonie Woolf, a retired public health nutritionist and chair of Food Access and Sustainability Team Blackfeet, is excited. By October, she says, the program’s Ō´yō´•ṗ´ on Wheels, a refrigerated truck whose name means “we are eating,” will deliver groceries directly to hungry and food-insecure residents of the eight communities that comprise Montana’s Blackfeet Reservation.

      • Brucellosis: The latest and (maybe) silliest COVID-19 conspiracy theory yet!

        I’ve long had a penchant for silly conspiracy theories, sometimes the sillier the better. Unfortunately, since the COVID-19 pandemic spread beyond China to the rest of the world earlier this year, I’ve discovered that even the silliest-sounding conspiracy theories are not necessarily that silly given their potential effects in promoting the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. Sure, I might laugh at COVID-19 deniers who blame 5G and glyphosate for the pandemic or claim that the flu vaccine increases your risk of severe COVID-19, but these conspiracy theories spread as widely as the ones claiming that SARS-CoV-2 was engineered by scientists in a Wuhan lab and that shadowy global forces released SARS-CoV-2 to cause a “plandemic” and get less attention from the more mainstream news and science communication sources that have widely debunked conspiracy theories such as the ones promoted by Judy Mikovits and Mikki Willis. That’s when Orac steps in, hopefully before these more obscure COVID-19 conspiracy theories bubble up from the antivaccine and COVID-19 denier underground to the more “mainstream” crank social media sources. So here I go. Have you heard the one from James Grundvig and Sherri Tenpenny “corona brucellosis“?

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Chromebooks

        • Google wants to separate browser and Chrome OS updates to extend your Chromebook’s life [Updated]

          When buying a new Chromebook, one thing we should all by now be trained to look out for is its “expiration date,” or the date after which you’ll no longer receive updates. It seems Google has found a clever potential solution to make the end of OS updates less of a death sentence for your Chromebook by separating browser updates from Chrome OS updates.

          Update: We’ve now gotten our first look at Google’s efforts to let Chromebooks continue to get browser updates well past their “expiration date.”

        • Google to Separate Chrome Browser from Chrome OS

          In its initial days, Chrome OS usually got dismissed as a sophisticated web browser due its web-first approach and the lack of app compatibility. Chrome OS has significantly evolved as a platform since then and has reached a position where it can serve as the primary operating system in your PC.

          If you’re using a Chromebook as your main computer, you are likely to see an error message that reads “This device will no longer receive the latest software updates. Please consider upgrading” when it reaches end of life. Since Google Chrome is deeply integrated with Chrome OS, this means that you will not receive updates once your Chromebook gets deprecated.

        • What is LaCrOS for Chromebooks and why does it matter?

          Earlier this year, 9to5 Google caught code changes about something called LaCrOS. Work has progressed on this enough to the point where LaCrOS is available in the Canary Channel of Chrome OS 87, appearing as another Chrome browser icon. That’s because Google is decoupling the Chrome browser from Chrome OS on Chromebooks. And it’s using Linux to do this.

          We know this because of a Google document explaining what LaCrOS is and what it stands for: Linux And ChRome OS. That’s right, the Chrome browser will be independent of Chrome OS and appears to be based on a Linux version of Chrome with improved Wayland support.

        • The rise and fall of NewBlue, Google’s attempt to “fix” Bluetooth on Chrome OS

          It is a well-known fact that Google has a rough history with Bluetooth. While the Bluetooth situation on Chromebooks is improving thanks to recent development, many of us who pair Bluetooth peripherals to our Chromebooks like wireless earbuds or mice will know that the wireless experience isn’t perfect. In 2018, with Bluetooth devices on the rise and the launch of the Pixel Slate looming, Google likely felt pressured to tackle this problem. This led to an experiment with a brand new Bluetooth daemon, in an ambitious project known as NewBlue.

          After more than two years of development, NewBlue was enabled by default on all Chromebooks, starting at Chrome OS version 80. The Chromium developers had hoped this would resolve the Bluetooth issues on Google’s browser-based OS; but in the end, NewBlue didn’t last long.

        • Four operating systems: One device. How the Chromebook will become the universal laptop.

          Seriously, when was the last time you did any serious work with macOS or Windows without an internet connection? Anytime this decade? The 2010s? Sure, if you’re editing video, gaming, or working with an older vertical program, you still need a powerful PC with a standalone operating system. But, for most of us, our work lives and dies with the internet.

          Every corporate program–and I mean every corporate program–has first been moving to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. More recently, with Chromebooks leading the way, most major technology companies are moving to a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) model, where even your desktop resides much more on the cloud than in your office.

        • Security

          • On public TLS certificates lifetime

            Ultimately, the client (often a browser or an operating system) identifies the certificate as trustable or not (based on the CA that signed it as well as many other parameters), so the client can decide which parameters to look for and which values are acceptable and which are not. This clients’ freedom makes the whole situation very messy since every client can decide their own set, and a subset of the options accepted by every client can be very small if not empty.

            Since the various CAs are different companies (and often competing among themselves), the problem of coordination is not a new one. In 2005, Melih Abdulhayoğlu, founder and CEO of Comodo Security, proposed to create a voluntary consortium of Certificate Authorities, browser creators, and other companies related to the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). In November 2005, the first meeting of The Certification Authority/Browser Forum (CA/Browser Forum) took place in New York.

            Since the large majority of PKI stakeholders are represented in the CA/Browser Forum , it is in a unique position to be able to mediate the stakeholders’ wishes and to create guidelines that are then (voluntary) followed by everyone.

            To ensure that everyone’s interests (with additional focus on CAs interests) were preserved, to pass any ballot, a proposal has to obtain at least 66.6% of positive votes from the CAs and at least 50% of positive votes from the browsers.

          • Protecting Keys to the Kingdom with Automated Key Management
          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (thunderbird), Debian (libproxy, qemu, and wordpress), Fedora (ansible, chromium, community-mysql, dotnet-build-reference-packages, dotnet3.1, drupal7, grub2, java-1.8.0-openjdk-aarch32, kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, mingw-gnutls, php-symfony4, python-django, and selinux-policy), Gentoo (DBI, file-roller, gnome-shell, gst-rtsp-server, nextcloud-client, php, proftpd, qtgui, and zeromq), openSUSE (gimp, libjpeg-turbo, openldap2, python-Flask-Cors, and slurm), Oracle (.NET Core 3.1, dovecot, go-toolset:ol8, httpd:2.4, and kernel), Red Hat (dovecot, httpd24-httpd, httpd:2.4, and mysql:8.0), and Slackware (thunderbird).

          • KeePassXC is An Amazing Community Driven Open Source Password Manager [Not Cloud Based]

            KeePassXC is a community fork of KeePassX which aims to be a cross-platform port for KeePass Password Safe (available for Windows). It is completely free to use and cross-platform as well (Windows, Linux, and macOS)

            In fact, it is one of the best password managers for Linux out there. It features options for both newbies and power users who want advanced controls to secure their password database on their system.

            Yes, unlike my favorite Bitwarden password manager, KeePassXC is not cloud-based and the passwords never leave the system. Some users do prefer to not save their passwords and secrets in cloud servers.

            You should find all the essential features you will ever need on a password manager when you start using it. But, here, to give you a head start, I’ll highlight some features offered.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Users of adult dating sites exposed in Mailfire data leak

              The database is believed to have affected at least several hundred thousand users across more than 70 websites. Data exposed included notification contents, personally identifiable data, private messages, authentication tokens and links, and mail content.

              The database was found exposed on an unsecured Elasticsearch server Aug. 31 and vendors were contacted Sept. 3. The database was taken offline the same day Mailfare was contacted.

            • Oracle reportedly wins deal for TikTok’s US operations as ‘trusted tech partner’

              Oracle has a history of collaboration with the US government, making its partnership with TikTok a strategic move amid the growing undercurrent of Chinese opposition running through the White House and Congress.

            • Oracle Beats Microsoft in Deal for TikTok’s U.S. Operations

              The terms being discussed with Oracle are still evolving, one of the people said. For example, Oracle could take a stake of a newly formed U.S. business while serving as TikTok’s U.S. technology partner and housing TikTok’s data in Oracle’s cloud servers. Early offers from both parties valued the U.S. business at about $25 billion, but that was before Chinese officials weighed in with new rules imposing limits on technology exports, said people with knowledge of the matter.

            • Oracle wins bid to purchase TikTok: reports

              Tech giant Oracle won a bidding war for control of the U.S. operations of the widely popular Chinese-owned app TikTok on Sunday, according to multiple news reports.

              News of Oracle’s purchase came just minutes after Microsoft, a top competitor for the sale, announced that TikTok parent company ByteDance had informed it that the company’s bid had been rejected.

            • The software company Oracle has won the bid for TikTok’s U.S. assets, according to the Wall Street Journal.

              The software company Oracle has won the bid for TikTok’s U.S. assets, according to the Wall Street Journal.

              On Sunday night, Microsoft’s bid to buy the U.S. operations of the Chinese-owned video app was rejected, leaving Oracle as the frontrunner.

            • [Old] TikTok Admits It Suppressed Videos by Disabled, Queer, and Fat CreatorsTikTok Admits It Suppressed Videos by Disabled, Queer, and Fat Creators

              The admission came after the German site Netzpolitik reported that TikTok asked moderators to watch 15-second videos and decide if the creator looked like the type of person others might want to bully. If so, moderators were instructed to add flags to the accounts of these “vulnerable” users. These flags would stop their videos from being shown to audiences outside their home countries and, in some cases, would even prevent their videos from appearing in other users’ feeds. A list of flagged users obtained by Netzpolitik included people with and without disabilities, whose bios included hashtags like #fatwoman and #disabled or had rainbow flags and other LGBTQ identifiers.

            • Report: TikTok Deal Moves Forward with Oracle

              As the negotiations progressed, the Chinese government changed its export rules stopping TikTok from selling its valuable recommendation algorithm, dubbed “For You,” which queued up the next video for a user to watch.

              It’s unclear if any deal with Oracle would involve the algorithm.

            • Oracle Chosen as TikTok’s Tech Partner, as Microsoft’s Bid Is Rejected

              The Chinese owner of TikTok has chosen Oracle to be the app’s technology partner for its U.S. operations and has rejected an acquisition offer from Microsoft, according to Microsoft officials and other people involved in the negotiations, as time runs out on an executive order from President Trump threatening to ban the popular app unless its American operations are sold.

              It was unclear whether TikTok’s choice of Oracle as a technology partner would mean that Oracle would also take a majority ownership stake of the social media app, the people involved in the negotiations said. Microsoft had been seen as the American technology company with the deepest pockets to buy TikTok’s U.S. operations from its parent company, ByteDance, and with the greatest ability to address national security concerns that led to Mr. Trump’s order.

            • [Old] TikTok encouraged moderators to suppress content from those deemed ugly, poor, or overweight

              In the latest memo, moderators were told to suppress content featuring creators with an “abnormal body shape,” whether that was “chubby,” “obese,” or “too thin.”

              It wasn’t just those with supposed abnormal body shapes, but people moderators deemed unattractive. There was, and perhaps still is, a policy prohibiting “ugly facial looks,” which was described as those with “eye disorders, crooked mouth disease, and other disabilities.” The policy was “not limited to: disformatted face, fangs, lack of front teeth, senior people with too many wrinkles, obvious facial scars, or facial deformities.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • How a US Army Whistleblower Revealed ‘the Apparatus of a Police State’

        In the 1960s, the military had been illegally spying on protesters until Christopher Pyle, a former Army intelligence officer, spoke out.

      • ‘There Has to Be Retribution’: Trump Openly Endorses Extrajudicial Killings of Suspects by Law Enforcement

        “State violence to advance the end of ‘retribution’ is death squad logic,” said one critic.

      • Trump Voices Support for Extrajudicial Executions by Police

        Discussing the recent police killing of a self-described anti-fascist suspected of fatally shooting a far-right activist in Portland, Oregon, President Donald Trump openly endorsed extrajudicial executions in a Fox News interview Saturday, declaring that “there has to be retribution.”

      • Meet The New Anonymous—100 Million BTS ARMY And K-Pop Stans, A Cyber Force To Be Reckoned With?

        Delivering the opening keynote at the virtual Okta Disclosure 2020 security conference on September 3, well-respected cybersecurity analyst the Grugq tackled the application of cyber power. During his highly informative presentation, the Grugq touched on how some non-states have more cyber power that nation-states. In particular, he mentioned K-pop band BTS and their devoted fan base, ARMY (it stands for Adorable Representative M.C for Youth, apparently), which undoubtedly have such cyber power.

      • Taliban renew call for ‘Islamic system’ during historic talks with Afghan government

        Although the Taliban regime was quickly toppled, they regrouped and have since waged an insurgency that has sucked in Afghanistan’s neighbours and troops from dozens of countries, including NATO forces.

      • Trump Calls for ‘Retribution,’ Not Justice, in Portland Shooting

        Although Trump somewhat qualified his remarks by first saying the officers encounter with Reinoehl “ended up in a gunfight,” the president in any way coming close to endorsing extrajudicial violence by law enforcement is dangerous and irresponsible, especially considering the contradicting reports of what actually went down when the Marshalls arrived in Washington to supposedly make an arrest. According to one witness, the “officers never attempted to apprehend Reinoehl and did not issue any commands prior to shooting at him.”

      • ‘Criminal’ obstruction of aid in Yemen, says watchdog

        More than 200 shipping containers of medical supplies, some needed for COVID-19, have been held up since June by Houthi rebels seeking to control aid flows and earn trucking fees: That’s just one allegation of aid obstruction and manipulation detailed in a new report by Human Rights Watch on the restrictions of life-saving assistance to millions of Yemenis.

        In today’s report, “Deadly Consequences”, the US-based watchdog calls for sanctions against Yemeni officials responsible for actions it says may be breaking international humanitarian law because they are denying civilians the aid they need.

        Human Rights Watch (HRW) says both the northern rebel Houthi authorities and the internationally recognised government led by President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which controls much of southern Yemen with its allies, are imposing “onerous bureaucratic requirements” to control the flow of aid or use it as a political bargaining chip.

        Houthi officials denied the allegations, saying they were simply overseeing aid agencies’ work. HRW did not get a response from the government.

        After more than five years of war, pitting the Houthi rebels against a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which backs the largely exiled government, UN agencies say most of Yemen’s 30.5 million people need assistance to get through 2020.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Our Problem is Gullibility, Not Disinformation

        Either our gullibility or our freedom has to give. And it’s much easier to lose freedom than it is to educate a population. The saddest part is that we’re not even talking about the problem. We’re just talking about how people are taking advantage of the problem.

        Controlling the spread of bad ideas is not a strategy. We need to patch if we want to survive.

      • What are the true goals of QAnon? It’s the 21st century’s ultimate catfish scheme

        One of the pieces of so-called “evidence” provided by my friend was a YouTube documentary called “Out of Shadows,” which took the internet by storm in April. Perhaps the most impactful propaganda film of the past few years, “Out of Shadows” is a thinly-disguised QAnon recruitment video that mixes small slices of truth with a whole lot of lies to confuse the viewer into believing various bizarre theories promoted by QAnon. In this final installment, we conclude our analysis of “Out of Shadows,” delve into the Jeffrey Epstein mystery and explain why QAnon is the catfish scheme of all catfish schemes.

      • The Birth of QAmom

        Those who cover the parenting space (what is derisively referred to as the “mommy blogosophere”) are hyper-aware of this shift. “Over the past few weeks, we have seen an uptick in conspiracy theory posts across our channels,” says April Daniels Hussar, managing editor of the parenting website Romper, adding that she’d started noticing this increase at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Mostly, we receive an influx of comments when we feature celebrities and political figures who are believed to be ‘child traffickers.’” She says these comments have primarily been showing up on Instagram and Facebook, with the hashtags #SaveTheChildren and #SaveOurChildren and “links to dubious websites about child trafficking and QAnon.”

      • Mothers for QAnon

        When I interviewed attendees, many talked about how they had come out of a sense of maternal duty to protect the innocent. Very few brought up QAnon’s connections with President Trump, Hillary Clinton or the anonymous 4chan account known as “Q” that started it all. They were here, they said, for the children.

      • QAnon site shutters after reports identifying developer

        One of the largest websites peddling conspiracies related to the rising QAnon movement was shut down after a fact-checking group discovered a New Jersey man behind the site.

      • QAnon Website Shuts Down After N.J. Man Identified as Operator

        According to New Jersey state business records, Patriot Platforms LLC’s address matches Gelinas’s home address. After a Bloomberg News investigation, the Armor of God app was no longer accessible on the Google Play store.

    • Environment

      • How climate change is fueling record-breaking California wildfires, heat and smog

        Since the 1980s, government and oil industry scientists have been anticipating the events that have transpired across the state this past month.

        As one 1988 internal Shell Oil Co. document noted, “by the time the global warming becomes detectable it could be too late to take effective countermeasures to reduce the effects or even to stabilize the situation.”

        “I’m only sorry that in 1989, I could not get an audience for what I wanted to communicate,” said Jim Hansen, a retired NASA researcher and early climate change scientist, of testimony he made to Congress about the issue.

      • Sanders Delivers Message to Lawmakers Who Claim US Can’t Afford Green New Deal: Climate Catastrophe Is ‘Much More Expensive’

        “The Green New Deal is not too expensive because the alternative is far, far more dreadful, more destructive.”

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Humans are destroying wildlife at an “unprecedented” rate, World Wildlife Foundation report warns

          A new report from the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) reveals that population sizes of “mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish” are down by 68 percent since 1970, amounting to an “unprecedented” rate of destruction of Earth’s diverse range of species.

          “Biodiversity is fundamental to human life on Earth, and the evidence is unequivocal – it is being destroyed by us at a rate unprecedented in history,” the WWF explains in its report. The authors cite a number of reasons for the massive loss of wildlife including the industrial revolution, human population growth, increases in global trade and consumption, urbanisation and climate change. The WWF argues that humans are overusing the planet’s biocapacity by at least 56 percent, in the process polluting most of our oceans, destroying 85 percent of the area of wetlands and significantly altering 75 percent of the planet’s ice-free land surface.

        • Firefighters Combating Wildfires Are Facing Dangerously Heightened COVID-19 Risk

          Two forces of nature are colliding in the western United States, and wildland firefighters are caught in the middle.

        • Mystery remains over what started landfill fire
        • ‘The sea is dead’: How fishing and migration collide on Tunisia’s shores

          The fingers of Ahmed’s left hand were covered in cuts as he sat in a café in August on the Tunisian archipelago of Kerkennah. The palm tree-dotted islands resting in the blue waters of the Mediterranean are known for fishing, but also for migration to Italy – and the two intersect.

          Ahmed, 17, the son of an octopus fisherman, had put his hand through a window the night before because his parents wouldn’t let him pilot a boat to Lampedusa – an Italian island that lies nearer the African coast than mainland Italy and has attracted a surge in migrant arrivals.

          “I drive the boat with my dad, so why not?” Ahmed said. “When I am here, I am frustrated, I am angry, I want to leave.”

          Young men with some knowledge of the sea – like Ahmed – have come to play an important role in the recent exodus. They pilot small boats, which are usually destined for fishing, on a one-way journey to Italy, unlike the boats in previous years that would return to Tunisia after delivering larger groups of up to 100 passengers.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Warning ‘Patently False’ Information ‘Will Sow Confusion,’ Federal Judge Blocks Postal Service From Sending Mailers to Colorado Voters

        “The USPS must stop sending misinformation to Colorado voters,” said Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

      • Trump keeps telling people to vote twice, even though that’s a crime

        Not only is voting twice is a crime in North Carolina, even Trump’s tweet might be a violation of North Carolina election law, which specifies that “to induce another to [commit a fraud to register or vote at more than one precinct or more than one time], in the same primary or election” is unlawful.

      • Dark web voter database report casts new doubts on Russian election hack narrative
      • Europe’s Racism
      • The CIA Book Publishing Operations

        One of the alternative press’s most significant scoops of the 1960s was Sol Stern’s February 1967 Ramparts magazine’s exposé revealing that the Central Intelligence Agency had long secretly funded and controlled the National Student Association (NSA). The story was significant because it revealed the NSA was a CIA front, but its greater significance came with the many derivative investigative journalistic pieces published in the months that followed. This later wave of stories used Stern’s methods of tracing CIA funding fronts to reveal a hidden world of CIA infiltrations of organizations. Once Ramparts published the names of the funding fronts the CIA had used, others followed Stern’s methods and in the months that followed, dozens of news stories revealed CIA front operations. These ranged from the funding of labor unions, judicial organizations, professional associations, to publishers and organizations like the International Conference of the Boy Scouts Movement.

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      • Greens demand ballot decision today

        The Green Party candidates for president and vice-president are demanding that the Wisconsin Supreme Court put them on the ballot today.

        “The court should have made a decision by now. We want a decision today to put us on the ballot. We want the absentee ballot process to proceed without further delay,” said Howie Hawkins, the Green presidential candidate.

        The delay in the printing of the absentee ballots that are supposed to be mailed out by September 17 was precipitated by objections by Democratic members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC). WEC staff certified that over 3,000 signatures on the Greens’ ballot petitions were from qualified voters, well over the 2,000 required.

        However, Democrats objected that vice presidential candidate Angela Walker did not properly inform the WEC of her address change within her current home town of Florence, South Carolina. At an August 20 hearing on the the case, a motion to place the Greens on the ballot failed 3-3 in a partisan vote by the commissioners. The Greens appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Republican justices on the court bench hold a 4-3 majority.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Judge Responsible For Filtering Internet Sentenced For Corruption

        A former investigator judge with the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office, Bijan Qassemzadeh Sangroudi, is sentenced to “permanent dismissal from government service, ten years in prison, confiscation of properties achieved through bribery, and payment of a fine” for receiving bribery from local news outlets in Iran, as reported on Saturday, September 12.

        Qasemzadeh’s name was mentioned in the high-profile legal case related to financial corruption and bribery, led by the former deputy of the Islamic Republic’s judiciary, Akbar Tabari.

      • ‘Mulan’ is the latest proof Hollywood has become a Chinese propaganda factory

        Hollywood is accommodating a new era of McCarthyism — imposed this time by Red China.

        It involves everything that Hollywood tells us that it hates — censorship, pressure to conform and blacklists. Yet the studios have seamlessly absorbed Beijing’s dictates into their operations.

        This most iconic American business is now, literally, an agent of Chinese influence.

      • Turkey arrests journalist for ‘insulting’ Turkish sultan on Twitter

        Freelance Turkish journalist Oktay Candemir told Al Arabiya English he was arrested, and his house raided due to “a tweet that satirized Ottoman history.”

        Candemir now faces the charge of “insulting the memory of a dead person,” according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), for his September 3 tweet about a historical drama series produced by Turkey’s state news agency TRT.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Rochester Protesters Say Justice for Daniel Prude Requires Defunding the Police

        On March 23, seven Rochester police officers surrounded, mocked and placed a mesh “spit hood” over Daniel Prude’s head. Prude, a Black man who was nude at the scene, was having a mental health crisis on the wintery evening in the Upstate New York City and needed help, his brother Joe said. The officers told Prude to “calm down” and “relax,” as they pushed a knee into his back and neck, suffocating him until he was brain dead. The Monroe Country Office of the Medical Examiner ruled Prude’s death a homicide by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.”

      • The Loudest Voices Make the Greatest Changes

        Playwright and screenwriter Richard Wesley on Black Lives Matter, Black Power, Trump, and the noise from the balcony.

      • After over 10,000 arrests, what is Hong Kong going to do with all its dissidents?

        What is astonishing about the number of arrests is how they compare with data available for the number of political prisoners on the mainland. A database compiled by the United States’ Congressional-Executive Commission on China estimated that in the entire period 1981 to 2018 there were 9,116 cases involving political prisoners on the mainland. The Commission freely admits that this figure is likely to be an underestimate.

      • Iran executes wrestler whose case drew international attention

        Afkari’s case had drawn the attention of a social media campaign that portrayed him and his brothers as victims targeted over participating in protests against Iran’s Shia theocracy in 2018. Authorities accused Afkari of stabbing a water supply company employee in the southern city of Shiraz amid the unrest.

        Iran broadcast the wrestler’s televised confession last week. The segment resembled hundreds of other suspected coerced confessions aired over the last decade in the Islamic Republic.

      • Letter From Egypt: The Ongoing Plight of Christians

        “The attitude of the Moslems toward the Christians and the Jews is that of a master towards slaves,” reported the British Vice Consul in Mosul in 1909, “whom he treats with a certain lordly tolerance so long as they keep their place. Any sign of pretension to equality is promptly repressed.” Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. (The more things change, the more things stay the same.)

        It is remarkable that in this age of rampant victimology the persecutions of Christians in majority-Muslim societies is a taboo subject in the West. A complex web of myths, outright lies, and deliberately imposed silence dominates it. Thirteen centuries of religious discrimination, causing suffering and death of countless millions, have been covered by the myth of Islamic “tolerance” that is as hurtful to the few descendants of the victims as it is useless as a means of appeasing Islam. The silence and lies, perpetrated by the Western elite class, facilitates the perpetuation of religious discrimination and persecution in Egypt and elsewhere to this day.

      • Russ Allbery: Review: Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?

        Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? is an anthology of essays about policing in the United States. It’s divided into two sections: one that enumerates ways that police are failing to serve or protect communities, and one that describes how communities are building resistance and alternatives. Haymarket Books (a progressive press in Chicago) has made it available for free in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing and resulting protests in the United States.

        I’m going to be a bit unfair to this book, so let me start by admitting that the mismatch between it and the book I was looking for is not entirely its fault.

        My primary goal was to orient myself in the discussion on the left about alternatives to policing. I also wanted to sample something from Haymarket Books; a free book was a good way to do that. I was hoping for a collection of short introductions to current lines of thinking that I could selectively follow in longer writing, and an essay collection seemed ideal for that.

        What I had not realized (which was my fault for not doing simple research) is that this is a compilation of articles previously published by Truthout, a non-profit progressive journalism site, in 2014 and 2015. The essays are a mix of reporting and opinion but lean towards reporting. The earliest pieces in this book date from shortly after the police killing of Michael Brown, when racist police violence was (again) reaching national white attention.

    • Monopolies

      • This week in IP: in-house balance budgets, DoJ updates IEEE letter, Sharp beats Daimler

        The US Department of Justice yesterday, September 10, updated the business review letter it issued to the standards-setting organisation IEEE in 2015, in an attempt to prevent the letter from being “repeatedly and widely misconstrued and misapplied”.

        The original 2015 letter analysed proposed revisions to the IEEE Patent Policy, which were largely opposed by standard essential patent (SEP) owners, and came to the conclusion that the SSO had not violated antitrust law.

        The DoJ’s new supplemental letter, which was intended to “supplement, update and append” the 2015 version, set out that the original letter should not be construed as an endorsement of IEEE’s policy.

        The letter, written by assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim, also set out that the 2015 letter was outdated because of developments in SEP licensing matters such as FTC v Qualcomm, which was recently ruled on by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, over the past five years.

        “We fear that reliance on its analysis, both in the United States and abroad, could actually harm competition and chill innovation,” wrote Delrahim.

        The Antitrust Division’s supplemental letter also encouraged IEEE to consider the letter’s content and all applicable facts when assessing whether an update to the Patent Policy is warranted.

      • Panel: learn difference between know-how and trade secrets

        Speakers from Mastercard, Coty and Appleyard Lees set out how to create a culture that enables trade secret protection

      • Patents

        • New High Court judge leaves lawyers hopeful for future

          Mind-bogglingly clever, friendly, and youthful. The plaudits are there, but what challenges await Richard Meade as he begins life as a High Court judge?

        • Opinion: Has AI already outsmarted IP?

          One of the article’s more notable lines is that “we need to give robots rights”, a statement that is certain to resonate with intellectual property lawyers globally. The potential impact of AI on IP is not only extremely wide-ranging but inherently complex, even straying into the field of philosophy. This is particularly true when it comes to patent inventorship.

          The UKIPO is the latest IP office to try to find much-needed answers to some very difficult questions. In a consultation published this week, the office listed the main areas in which (it believes) AI and IP link together and what the future might hold in this respect. There are 45 questions in total, spanning patents, copyright, designs, trademark and trade secrets. Notably, patents receive more questions (16) than any of the other areas.

          Among the questions on patents is the much-debated issue of inventorship, i.e. whether AI can be considered to have invented a patent. At the moment, the position on this, not just in the UK but also in the US and at the EPO, is no. In 2018 and 2019, parallel patent applications were filed in these jurisdictions listing an AI machine called Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience as the inventor. All have been rejected, but appeals are pending.

        • Auto counsel give tips on IP department integration

          “People might think that we’re a cost and not adding value, and that we’re really just there to spoil the fun,” he said.

        • ‘DABUS’: the AI topic that patent lawyers should be monitoring

          In 2018 and 2019, parallel patent applications were filed at the USPTO, EPO and UKIPO by the applicant – and human – Stephen Thaler. Where an applicant might ordinarily complete the details of the inventor, it was instead explained that said inventor was an artificial intelligence (AI) machine called “DABUS” (short for Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience). DABUS was described as “a type of connectionist artificial intelligence”. It was also said that DABUS had “identified the novelty of its own idea before a natural person did” and therefore the machine should be recognised as the inventor.

          In decisions handed down in 2019 and 2020, all three offices refused the applications. The primary reason for these outcomes concerned the fact that DABUS was a machine, whereas the legal frameworks applied by the EPO, UKIPO and USPTO require the inventor to be a natural person, or human. What is particularly interesting about these decisions is that, until they were given, there was little guidance – or debate – addressing inventorship of inventions made using AI in the US, UK, or Europe as a whole.

        • UPC Structure – local, regional and central divisions

          The UPC will have a Court of First Instance (divided into local, regional and central divisions) and a Court of Appeal (Luxembourg). Cases will commence in any one of these divisions according to the subject matter and the prescribed division set out in the UPCA and the UPC Rules. The main seat of the central division will be Paris with further seats in Munich and one other participating member state (previously this was London until its recent withdrawal from the UPC system).

          The work of the central division will be divided according to the subject matter of the patent in dispute based on IPC classifications: the seat previously assigned to London (but now possibly to be located in Milan) will deal with patents falling into International Patent Classification of WIPO sections (A) Human necessities (including pharmaceuticals but also foodstuffs, tobacco, clothes, furniture, footwear, some agriculture applications and sports and amusements and much more – see here) and (C) Chemistry (which includes genetic engineering) and Metallurgy – see here. Munich will hear cases involving patents in IPC class F, concerning mechanical engineering. All other patent classifications will fall to be heard before the Paris central division.

        • Unwired Planet v Huawei and Huawei/ZTE v Conversant [2020] UKSC 37

          In a landmark decision, the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed the appeals brought by Huawei and ZTE against decisions of the Court of Appeal and the Patents Court below in parallel proceedings against Conversant and Unwired Planet. In so doing, the Supreme Court has set the basis for the UK to be a willing and convenient forum for litigation of standards essential patents in the telecoms sector at a global level.

        • 3D printing and IP: Lessons from the EPO’s ‘Shaping Tomorrow’ conference

          There is a clear geographic bias in terms of applicants, with 47% of applications coming from Europe and 35% coming from the US. Within Europe, Germany is the responsible for the most applications, with 19% of total AM applications, followed by the UK at 5%. It is also interesting to note a clear concentration of AM innovation in the south of England, with far fewer AM inventions originating from the North or from Scotland.

          There are surprisingly few applications originating from Asia, especially consider their strength in other technologies such as AI and 5G. The biggest player in Asia is Japan, which makes up 9% of all AM applications.


          The EPO grants over 100,000 patents a year, and the number of patents that are in force is obviously much higher. Yet, the number of patents that are being infringed is thought to be only a very small proportion of this. A number of reasons have been put forward for this discrepancy, including respect for the monopoly granted by the patent system.

          Another possible explanation is that merely knowing how to make an invention, as disclosed by a patent, does not make it easy to do so. The manufacturing capabilities and know-how required to put an invention into practice on an industrial and commercial scale represent a significant barrier to entry. This is where 3D printing has the power to make all the difference. The ease at which people can make their own products using instructions available online creates a flatter market structure, which is likely to result in an increase in the number of patents that are infringed.

          In addition, there are likely to be many patents which, even if they are infringed, are not enforced. One reason for this is that infringement is not always easy to spot, and patent proprietors may not be fully aware of all their competitors around the world. This trend may be exacerbated by 3D printing, as local production becomes favoured over large-scale centralised manufacturing.

        • Cellular Sep Owners Score Two Victories In Europe

          The Mannheim Regional Court (MRC) in Germany on August 18 decided a patent infringement case brought by Nokia against Daimler. This case is one of four that were filed by Nokia against Daimler in the MRC—with one dismissed, two stayed pending the outcome of nullity actions in the German Federal Patent Court, and this one proceeding to a determination of infringement.

          Nokia asserted EP Patent 2 981 103 asserted against Daimler’s incorporation of cellular communications into its connected vehicles, including its Mercedes-Benz brand. The MRC decided that the Nokia patent was essential to the use of the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standard, Daimler’s cars used the LTE standard, and therefore Daimler’s cars infringed the Nokia patent.

          The MRC issued an injunction against Daimler’s use of the patent, but Nokia may be required to provide a payment of 7 billion euros ($8.2 billion) in security pending the outcome of an appeal to the Higher Regional Court in Karlsruhe. Security bonds are typical under German patent laws in connection with injunctions. In reaching its ultimate decision, the MRC found that neither party had complied with their obligations to engage in FRAND license negotiations and therefore those obligations were irrelevant to the outcome.

        • Patent Protection Abroad: Getting Your Ducks in a Row Before Filing Across the Pond

          For many individuals or businesses seeking to protect their technology, filing a patent application in the United States alone will suffice. However, if there is any prospect of use, manufacture, or sale of the inventive technology outside the United States (OUS), OUS filings should be considered. Even without such prospects, OUS filings can add value to an intellectual property portfolio by making the portfolio more attractive to potential acquirers and investors who may want the option to protect OUS markets. Adding OUS patent assets can also increase the portfolio’s valuation and act as security interests for loans to grow a business.

          Choosing OUS jurisdictions for filing should be based on where the technology is likely to be made, used, or offered for sale by patent applicants or their competitors. In making a decision, the location of manufacturers in the supply chain and ports of entry where title transfers may take place should be considered. Agreements, such as those licensing the inventive technology, may also indicate where OUS filings are advisable or required.

        • Software Patents

          • Factual Allegations Underlying Eligibility

            Once a patent issues, it is presumed valid. “A patent shall be presumed valid.” 35 U.S.C. 282(a). In patent litigation, this has traditionally meant that a complaint for infringement need not re-establish the patent’s validity. Rather, validity challenges arise as affirmative defenses as part of the answer.

            That traditional approach is no longer followed by the courts in the Post-Alice patent eligibility era. Courts now regularly dismiss patent cases upon finding that the patentee failed to state a claim because the patent is invalid under Section 101. In response to that potential, patentees are have begun preemptively bulking-up their complaints with factual allegations to support the patent’s validity.

      • Copyrights

        • Dutch State not liable for incorrect interpretation of private copying exception, says Hague Court of Appeal

          Article 5(2)(b) of Directive 2001/29 (the InfoSoc Directive) provides an optional limitation for “reproductions on any medium made by a natural person for private use and for ends that are neither directly nor indirectly commercial”.

          As some readers may know, the prevailing view in the Netherlands had long been that the private copying exception applied even to copies made of pirated content. That is, when implementing the InfoSoc Directive in 2004, the Dutch legislator assumed that individuals who downloaded illegal content could not be held liable for copyright infringement: only the distribution of copyright work without the author’s consent was considered an act of infringement.

          This view was decisively rejected by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)’s decision in C-435/12 ACI Adam. There, the CJEU held that “national legislation which makes no distinction between private copies made from lawful sources and those made from counterfeited or pirated sources cannot be tolerated.” [at 37]. As a result, the Dutch government’s position on the private copying exception had to be abandoned.

          SEKAM is a Dutch collective management organization that represents the interests of filmmakers. Together with four smaller film studios, it filed suit against the Dutch state, alleging that the government’s incorrect interpretation of Article 5(2)(b) InfoSoc Directive had induced infringement of their authors’ copyrights and had thus been unlawful.


          It appears from the decision that SEKAM did not argue this point on appeal, having agreed with the State that it would not claim legal costs in case the decision was overturned. This is somewhat unfortunate as it seems that more could be said on the issue: isn’t it plausible that at least some users would be triggered by the press release to download pirated content, if only because it announced that doing so would soon become illegal?

        • Nine years after Premier League v. Murphy, Austrian Supreme Court revisits football screening in pubs

          Football fans everywhere are still sipping their drinks in front of TV screens (featuring games in empty stadiums with fake crowd noises), waiting to be allowed into stadiums again. Watching the game with friends at a local pub is not quite the same as before, since patrons must worry about social distancing rules – and (at least some) bartenders about being sued for copyright infringement in the process.


          Part of the answer is that broadcast licensing has evolved in the wake of Murphy and, as a result, the Austrian court did not have to opine on the same issues as the CJEU nine years earlier. Murphy was a case about competition law and free movement of goods as well as about copyright. The Austrian Supreme Court only needed to deal with the latter issue.

          Pre-Murphy, broadcast license agreements used to include strict contractual prohibitions for offering services to customers outside of the licensed territory. The CJEU took issue with these provisions as contrary to EU competition law. To address the concerns of the CJEU, most right holders removed such clauses.

          As a result, thanks to the change in licensing practices, no arguments related to competition law or free movement of services were on the table, the Austrian court only needed to deal with the copyright issue.

        • Anti-Piracy Plug-In Spots Pirate IPTV Sales But Also Makes Big Blunders

          A browser plug-in that aims to deter eBay and Amazon customers from buying pirate IPTV packages was launched this week ahead of the new Premier League season. While the tool does detect most illicit offerings as advertised, it also manages to attach warnings to completely legal sales and in some instances may be anti-consumer.

        • Students at Private Universities Pirate Much More Than Their Public Counterparts

          Private universities in the US are more expensive than public ones and tend to attract ‘wealthier’ students. On average, these students should be able to afford legal streaming services, which they do. However, at the same time, new research shows that these students are also more likely to pirate.

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  2. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 29, 2023

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  3. MS (Mark Shuttleworth) as a Microsoft Salesperson

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  4. First Speaker in Event for GNU at 40 Called for Resignation/Removal of GNU's Founder

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  5. When Jokes Became 'Rude' (or Disingenuously Misinterpreted by the 'Cancel Mob')

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  6. Site Updates and Plans Ahead

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  7. Links 29/05/2023: Snap and PipeWire Plans as Vendor Lock-in

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  8. Gemini Links 29/05/2023: GNU/Linux Pains and More

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  9. Links 29/05/2023: Election in Fedora, Unifont 15.0.04

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  10. Gemini Links 29/05/2023: Rosy Crow 1.1.1 and Smolver 1.2.1 Released

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  11. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 28, 2023

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  12. Daniel Stenberg Knows Almost Nothing About Gemini and He's Likely Just Protecting His Turf (HTTP/S)

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  13. Links 29/05/2023: Videos Catchup and Gemini FUD

    Links for the day

  14. Links 28/05/2023: Linux 6.4 RC4 and MX Linux 23 Beta

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  15. Gemini Links 28/05/2023: Itanium Day, GNUnet DHT, and More

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  16. Links 28/05/2023: eGates System Collapses, More High TCO Stories (Microsoft Windows)

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  17. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 27, 2023

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  18. No More Twitter, Mastodon, and Diaspora for Tux Machines (Goodbye to Social Control Media)

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  19. Links 28/05/2023: New Wine and More

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  20. Links 27/05/2023: Plans Made for GNU's 40th Anniversary

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  21. Social Control Media Needs to be Purged and We Need to Convince Others to Quit It Too (to Protect Ourselves as Individuals and as a Society)

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  22. Anonymously Travelling: Still Feasible?

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  23. With EUIPO in Focus, and Even an EU Kangaroo Tribunal, EPO Corruption (and Cross-Pollination With This EU Agency) Becomes a Major Liability/Risk to the EU

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  24. European Patent Office (EPO) Management Not Supported by the EPO's Applicants, So Why Is It Still There?

    This third translation in the batch is an article similar to the prior one, but the text is a bit different (“Patente ohne Wert”)

  25. EPO Applicants Complain That Patent Quality Sank and EPO Management Isn't Listening (Nor Caring)

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  26. German Media About Industry Patent Quality Charter (IPQC) and the European Patent Office (EPO)

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  27. Geminispace Continues to Grow Even If (or When) Stéphane Bortzmeyer Stops Measuring Its Growth

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  28. Links 27/05/2023: Goodbyes to Tina Turner

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  30. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 26, 2023

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