Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 9/10/2020: DMEMFS Proposed for Linux, LibreOffice 7.0.2 and GNOME 3.38.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Kubuntu Focus M2 Linux Laptop Launches with Kubuntu 20.04 LTS, Updated Design

        Meet Kubuntu Focus M2, the 2nd generation of the Kubuntu Focus laptop featuring a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H processor with up to 8 cores and 16 threads, and a base clock speed of 2.3GHz and up to 5.1GHz with Turbo Boost technology, up to 64GB DDR4 3200 MHz RAM, up to 4TB of NVMe storage.

        The Kubntu-powered Linux laptop also features NVIDIA’s series of GeForce RTX graphics card with the Turing architecture. Users can choose to buy the laptop with either the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM or the more powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 and 2080 with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM.

      • New Kubuntu Focus M2 Linux Laptop Arrives: 144Hz Display, 64GB RAM

        At the start of this year, the Kubuntu project, in collaboration with Tuxedo Computers, and Mindshare Management, launched a high-powered Linux laptop called Kubuntu Focus.

        Now, as we’re reaching toward the end of 2020, here comes the second generation Kubuntu Focus M2 by the Kubuntu Focus team. Combining the standard Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with a modern, highly-customizable, and beautiful KDE desktop, this ultimate turnkey Linux laptop has just gotten better.

      • Kubuntu Focus M2 Linux laptop from $1,795

        If you are in the market for a Linux laptop you may be interested in the Kubuntu Focus M2 offering a second generation laptop created by Kubuntu Focus. The finely-tuned Focus virtually eliminates the need to configure the operating system on arrival offering users the familiar KDE desktop on top of the industry standard Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

      • Tehama combines secure virtual desktops with the raw power of Linux

        Tehama, the fastest, easiest, most secure way to deploy a global workforce, is pleased to announce that it’s bringing its automated, SaaS-based work environments to Linux with Tehama Linux Desktops.
        Tehama offers Linux users the power of high-performance computing (HPC)-related activities like software or game development, chip design, IoT development and IT administration, defended by Tehama’s highly secure virtual rooms when connecting to the cloud, applications, and corporate and IT infrastructure. It’s a perfect match for those who want their primary desktop to run on Linux.
        Tehama Linux Desktops use a Ubuntu KDE environment by default, and has built-in SOC 2 Type II compliance mechanisms and audit controls for automated compliance, along with zero-trust access, multi-factor authentication and automated security and firewall patches for secure connections. It also uses a pay as you go payment model, meaning you only pay for the time you use.

      • Archiving Satellite Imagery: A Chat About the Lemur Pro with NSIDC

        Chris: There’s two main aspects of what we do: Data storage and data distribution. Our web development team builds web applications so that scientists and the general public can come to our website to browse, download, and analyze our data. A lot of our applications are a combination of a front end, which would typically be written in JavaScript, and a back end written in Python which ties the front end into our database. We do also have some legacy code which we have to maintain as well, but those are the two main languages we use. We house most of our data on CU’s campus, though now we’re starting to move some of our data up into the cloud. That’s our next big project.

        Matt: To add to that, we’re also building tools for generating visualizations on our website. ASINA (Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis) provides recent news on what’s happening in the Arctic and the Antarctic. Then there’s IceBridge, which shows flights of aircraft that have flown over the Arctic and taken photographs and measurements of the ice. You can scroll through all the data that’s available, choose what you want, zoom into areas, look at the thumbnails of the images, and then download the data.

        Matt: I’m also working on a project called QGreenland. We’re building a data package for commercial off-the-shelf QGIS, which is an open source tool for visualizing geographic data. The data package is focused on the geographic region around Greenland, so people who are going out there to do field work can take along this pre-downloaded data package that covers all kinds of disciplines, including atmospheric data, oceanographic data, human activity data, human health data, and animal migration data.

        Matt: Another data package we built contains different categories of data focusing on Greenland. It shows scientific data such as vegetation biomass, ice streams, glacial termini positions, ice sheet velocity, bathymetric data, and locations of bird colonies. It’s aimed at all kinds of scientists, as opposed to our other work which is focused on cryospheric science.


        Matt: A few of us are on Ubuntu 20.04. One of us got their laptop a little earlier with Pop!_OS 18.04 installed. He’s since upgraded, and as far as I can tell he really likes it. At this point my experience with Ubuntu 20.04 has me wishing I went with Pop!_OS 20.04 as well because of snaps. I don’t really like snaps, so I had to go through a good amount of effort to disable them and block them from my system.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • How to install Garuda KDE Ultimate 200831
      • Recycle Your Clipboard History With Greenclip

        Time for another clipboard history manager, Greenclip has a feature that somehow all of the previous ones have just skipped over and that’s being able to actually store images in it, granted there’s a file size limit for some reason but it’s still such an improvement over what we’ve looked at previously, so if you need a clipboard history manager for linux this might be a good option.

      • Checking out the Vivaldi Web Browser

        With the recent news regarding all the trouble at Mozilla, I decided to give Vivaldi a serious try to see if it’s able to become my browser of choice. In this review, you’ll see the browser in action, as well as some of its best features. My overall opinions follow at the end.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E29 – Penny for a sharp gift

        This week we’ve been hoovering with robots and playing Hades. We discuss snaps getting auto-theme install support, the Groovy Gorilla mascot, crowd sourcing featured apps for the Snap Store, touchpad gestures for Linux desktop and Mir still being alive and well! We also round up our picks from the tech news and bring you some events!

      • Six Ways To Support Employees During COVID-19

        What do you do when everything about how you run a business goes out the window?

        Software company Red Hat is regularly recognized as one of the best places to work, in part because of its strong community and culture. But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced employees around the world to work from home, the company had to find new ways to support its employees.

      • My YouTube Studio Tour

        Viewers of the channel have been wanting a rundown of the equipment that I use. So here is a brief tour of my “studio”. Below, I will post some affiliate links to most of the equipment.

    • Kernel Space

      • DMEMFS Is A Proposed Virtual File-System For Linux To Help Save Memory

        Tencent developers have proposed “DMEMFS” as a virtual file-system with the intent of helping to save system memory on large servers such as in public cloud environments.

        DMEMFS is the Direct Memory File-System and allows for reserving portions of the system RAM and it will not be managed by the kernel. The aim is to remove the struct page normally associated with each physical memory page. For desktop users and even most server users this doesn’t equate to much in the way of memory savings, but for hyperscalers and other large server deployments it can equate to some TCO savings.

      • Linux 5.10 To Fix Some HP Laptops Performing Less Than Optimally On AC Power

        Some HP Spectre laptops and possibly other HP models as well should be performing better when running on AC power starting with the Linux 5.10 kernel.

        With at least some HP Spectre laptops, the firmware has been setting the thermal policy to the default but hard-coding an Intel DPTF (Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework) variable that was leading to thermald choosing the wrong DPTF profile and in turn leading to lower performance on AC power where as normally the highest performance is achievable when running on AC power rather than battery.

      • Graphics Stack

        • OpenCL 1.2 Support Merged For Mesa’s Gallium3D Clover While OpenCL 3.0 Is Being Tackled

          With this quarter’s Mesa 20.3 the Gallium3D “Clover” state tracker providing OpenCL support finally can handle version 1.2!

        • AMD Renoir On Linux Could Soon See Lower Power Consumption During Video Playback

          It looks like for Linux 5.11 there could be lower power usage during video playback on DCN 2.1 hardware, namely AMD Renoir.

          Sent out on Wednesday were the latest set of AMD DC patches for their “display core” code shared between Windows and Linux. Of the patches, catching our eye was a DCN 2.1 power optimization for video playback.

          That change amounts to enabling ODM Combine and fullscreen MPO on DCN2.1 hardware, which is most notably Renoir. The full-screen MPO support is regarding multi-plane overlays.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Cache Harder

          It’s just that kind of week.

          When I left off in my last post, I’d just implemented a two-tiered cache system for managing descriptor sets which was objectively worse in performance than not doing any caching at all.


          Next, I did some analysis of actual descriptor usage, and it turned out that the UBO churn was massive, while sampler descriptors were only changed occasionally. This is due to a mechanism in mesa involving a NIR pass which rewrites uniform data passed to the OpenGL context as UBO loads in the shader, compacting the data into a single buffer and allowing it to be more efficiently passed to the GPU. There’s a utility component u_upload_mgr for gallium-based drivers which allocates a large (~100k) buffer and then maps/writes to it at offsets to avoid needing to create a new buffer for this every time the uniform data changes.

    • Applications

      • 14 Best Free and Open Source Orthodox Linux File Managers

        file manager is software that provides a user interface to undertake file management activities with file systems. Common operations performed on files or groups of files include create, open, rename, move, copy, delete, search/find, edit, view print, play, as well as modify file attributes, properties and file permissions. The file manager is one of those essential applications for many users which is almost impossible to function without. Linux is blessed with a good range of file managers that help to make file management a breeze.

        There are a number of different types of file managers, with some stark differences. The most common file managers that we see are navigational file managers, orthodox file managers, and web-based file managers. The less popular types include file-list, spatial, and 3D file managers. The purpose of this article is to examine the finest open source orthodox file managers that are available for the Linux platform.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • VisualBoy Advance | Gameboy Emulation on Linux

        I came upon a situation where I was not able to play any of my Gameboy games when away from home. I stumbled upon a rather fantastic solution that really needs to be shared with the Linux world. An emulator called VisualBoy Advanced.

      • Time-travel action-RPG ‘Last Epoch’ adds customizable loot filters in a major update

        After announcing back in late August that Last Epoch would not be leaving Early Access in 2020, the team at Eleventh Hour Games have been working non-stop on more big upgrades to this action-RPG.

        With another update out now, the patch notes are once again something you need a coffee to go over with. There’s lots big and small, with something a lot of players will be happy about being the new customizable Loot Filters. This is a genuinely slick feature, letting players decide how they want to see their loot drops and it’s all stored as text files so you can share your tweaks with others – brilliant! Lots more came with it like a complete visual overhaul to the second chapter of the story, multiple performance optimizations, new skills, new unique items and lots more.

      • Living and Gaming in UltraWide on Linux

        As I hinted in my recent article about Freesync on Linux, I have recently purchased a monitor for a better work environment at home. The thing I did not mention was that this monitor is in an Ultrawide format. What’s an Ultrawide format, you might ask? Well, it refers to displays with aspect ratios greater than 2. Your regular 16:9 monitor is, by division, less than 2 (16/9 is 1.778 ratio).

        My new monitor is a 34 inches screen with a resolution of 3440*1440 pixels (apparently it’s called WQHD) with an aspect ratio of 2.38. It’s a flat surface one – you can also find curved “gaming” monitors, which seem silly because there’s not much distortion to worry about at this kind of display size (but don’t tell anyone, they like to charge more for that).

      • New Improvements for GPUParticles in Godot 4.0

        The turn of porting the GPU particle system to Godot 4.0 has arrived. This was the final feature that had to be ported over. Like all the rest of the features ported, it managed to get massive improvements.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • [KDE] 20.12 releases schedule finalized

          It is available at the usual place https://community.kde.org/Schedules/release_service/20.12_Release_Schedule

          Dependency freeze is in four weeks (November 5) and Feature Freeze a week after that, make sure you start finishing your stuff!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.38 Desktop Environment Gets First Point Release, Here’s What’s Changed

          Released last month, the GNOME 3.38 desktop environment introduces a new GNOME Tour app, a customizable app grid in GNOME Shell, improved multi-monitor support, better screencasting and screen capturing, improved Flatpak support, better support for sandboxed apps, better Wayland support, and much more.

          GNOME 3.38.1 is here to fix many issues discovered since the release of GNOME 3.38 across many core components and apps. For example, the Epiphany web browser now opens the portal helper in a new tab and only in non-GNOME environments, and the Flatpak app now supports opening of custom CSS and JavaScript files.

        • GNOME 3.38 Point Release Arrives with Fixes Galore

          GNOME 3.38.1 is, as you’d expect, a bug fix follow-up to last month’s stable release. GNOME devs recommend that ‘all distributions shipping GNOME 3.38 … upgrade’ to it as soon as they are able.

          A few errant issues with the GNOME Shell application grid’s (newly introduced) drag and drop reordering are now solved; screencast clips made using the GNOME Shell screen recording feature now show up in recent items list; and the (handy) “password peek” has been finessed.

        • GNOME 3.38.1


          GNOME 3.38.1 is now available. This is a stable bugfix release for 3.38. All distributions shipping GNOME 3.38 are encouraged to upgrade.

          If you want to compile GNOME 3.38.1, you can use the official BuildStream project snapshot…

        • GNOME 3.38.1 Released With An Initial Batch Of Fixes
        • WhiteSur: macOS Big Sur Like Gtk, Gnome Shell And Icon Themes For Your Linux Desktop

          WhiteSur Gtk Theme is a macOS Big Sur like theme for Gnome-based desktops, supporting Gnome Shell, Cinnamon, Xfce, Pantheon, Budgie and Mate desktops.

          The theme pack comes in both light and dark variants, both having regular (with the sidebar slightly transparent in some applications) and solid versions.

          There’s also an optional Plank dock theme for those that want to achieve an even closer look to macOS Big Sur. As a side note, if you use Ubuntu and want to disable Ubuntu Dock so you can use Plank dock instead, see this article.
          The theme requires Gtk 3.20 or newer, so it should work with most Linux distributions, e.g. from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.10, etc.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • UbuntuDDE 20.10 Remix Beta

          Today we are looking at UbuntuDDE 20.10 Remix Beta. It comes fully packed with Deepin 5.2, Linux Kernel 5.8, and uses about 1 -1.2 of ram when idling. It has a couple of bugs, as seen in the video, but it is a brand new release of Deepin and Ubuntu DDE is still a piece of art in the making, so I am sure that it will just get better! Enjoy!

        • UbuntuDDE 20.10 Remix Beta Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at UbuntuDDE 20.10 Remix Beta.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Freetube updated to 0.8.0

          Freetube is an opensource standalone application for viewing YouTube videos with privacy in mind.

        • Mozilla Thunderbird updated to 78.3.2

          Thunderbird is a standalone mail and newsgroup client from Mozilla. If you haven’t moved to web based email then this application is for you.

        • Calibre updated to 5.2.0

          Calibre is meant to be a complete e-library solution. It includes library management, format conversion, news feeds to ebook conversion as well as e-book reader sync features.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Thunderbird, grep, systemd Update in Tumbleweed

          Systemd 246.6, grep 3.5 and Mozilla Thunderbird 78.3.1 became available in openSUSE Tumbleweed this week.

          Four snapshots have been released so far this month.

          The most recent snapshot, 20201007, brought a new version update of the general purpose parser bison 3.7.2, which fixed all known Bison Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure related to the bison program itself, but not the generated code. The GNU C Library, glibc, 2.32 corrected the locking and cancellation cleanup in syslog functions; the update also deprecated the <sys/sysctl.h> header and removed the sysctl function. The snapshot was released a couple of hours ago and started trending at a stable rating of 96, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

          Email client Alpine was the only other package besides the several RubyGem packages there were updated in snapshot 20201005. The alpine 2.23.2 version added a shortcut to broaden or narrow searches and also expanded the configuration screen for XOAUTH2 so it can include the username and tenant. Many of the action/active packages of RubyGem updated from version to, which fixed multiple CVEs. The version of rubygem-bundler-audit fixed an issue with Bundler parsing. Some enhancements were made in the update of rubygem-fluentd from version 1.10.3 to version 1.11.2; the package also refactored the of code in it’s latest release. There were two major RubyGem packages updated in the snapshot. One of those was the Sept. 17 release of rubygem-puma 5.0.0; the package provides new experimental commands and options as well as allowing compiling without OpenSSL and dynamically loading files needed for SSL, add ‘no ssl’ Continuous Integration. The other major update was rubygem-vagrant_cloud 3.0.0. The snapshot is trending stable at a 91 rating.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Migrating C and C++ applications from Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 7 to version 8

          When moving an application that you’ve compiled on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 to RHEL 8, you will likely encounter issues due to changes in the application binary interface (ABI). The ABI describes the low-level binary interface between an application and its operating environment.


          The most straightforward way to avoid compatibility problems when migrating your C and C++ application code from RHEL 7 to RHEL 8 is to rebuild the code on RHEL 8. Users can leverage a containerized or virtualized environment to build and test in a RHEL 8 environment on a RHEL 7 system before migrating to the newer version.

          In some cases, it might be possible to deploy C and C++ applications built on RHEL 7 to RHEL 8 without first rebuilding. If you’ve followed the guidance in the RHEL 7 ACG, and depend only on the C and C++ libraries in compatibility level 1 (CL1), then Red Hat provides a compatible version of those libraries in RHEL 8. Indeed, we maintain stable versions of those libraries for three major RHEL releases. Note, however, that there are no guarantees that RHEL 8 will provide RHEL 7-compatible libraries beyond CL1.

        • AnsibleFest highlights Ansible momentum as IT automation becomes an enterprise imperative

          This month marks the five year anniversary since Red Hat acquired Ansible, and since then, much has changed in the IT automation world. IT organizations have always faced continual pressure to support rapid innovation at-scale, but 2020 has been an especially challenging year. Organizations required solutions that delivered fast responses to changing business requirements, and automation can respond to these needs. As a result, automation has come to the forefront of IT strategy, emerging as a boardroom imperative due to a need for rapid business changes, strong ROI and efficiency benefits.

          According to a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Red Hat, firms are well on their way to pursuing automation with security, efficiency and customer demands in mind. Furthermore, 99% of decision makers report multiple technology and business benefits from their automation software investments, including improved security, improved integration and faster innovation.

        • Red Hat Accelerators: Embracing the tech community to thrive in a new normal

          This year has produced many dynamic global challenges that changed the way people work and, especially, interact. Now, we’ve found ourselves more cut off from our friends, family and co-workers than ever before as we reside in an increasingly virtual world. As necessary restrictions around travel, social gatherings and work from home endure for the foreseeable future, individuals are craving a way to fill these new voids, discover new passions to focus their attention and replace so many missed connections within a new reality. In particular, people are reevaluating what they truly want out of life both personally and professionally, and sometimes the resolution comes from satisfying a little bit of both.


          While video conferencing capabilities have skyrocketed in the last year, it can be nearly impossible to talk in depth on calls with 20, 30 or even 40+ members. While you can gain a lot from the group takeaways, there needs to be an additional opportunity to share your opinions and dive deeper into topics of discussion, or even just have the opportunity for the occasional witty banter and personal rhetoric, one on one. Not only do practitioners have this opportunity to connect directly with other customers, but there are also a plethora of Red Hat subject matter experts and leaders across product lines and business units that are available for you to pick their brains and access candid, unfiltered information. This individualized communication enables Accelerators to share their insights so they can engage in meaningful, personalized conversations.

        • Breaking the stigma of mental health in the workplace

          Early in my career, I felt like I had to be “on” all the time. Even if my boss wasn’t counting my hours, I felt compelled to constantly be engaged with work. If I had some downtime between my tasks, I triple-checked my email. If I had time to read something, I felt like I should read something directly work related. I wouldn’t let myself take a break. It wasn’t just my desire to prove myself that was pushing me, it was anxiety, which I’ve been living with my entire adult life.


          A group of my colleagues formed the Neurodiversity Community three years ago with the mission to support Red Hatters with cognitive differences and raise awareness about neurodiversity. As part of our recognition of World Mental Health Day, we asked members of the community for behaviors they would like to be more common to help break the stigma around mental health in the workplace. This is especially important as people around the world are experiencing increased mental health challenges due to all the events of 2020.

        • 12 factors to measuring an open source project’s health

          In the Open Source Program Office we consider a healthy open source community one that demonstrates open practices, uses open infrastructure, and cultivates an open culture with the goal of becoming more sustainable. But even for the most seasoned community architects, measuring an open source community’s health is a complex, difficult, and sometimes intimidating task.

          That’s because any picture of project health is actually a mosaic. Multiple factors combine to depict a community’s overall health. You’ll never find just one indicator you can point to and say “See? The community is healthy.” (You can, however, find some indicators that immediately show that a community is unhealthy.)

        • Safe Queue in action: Another Call for Code deployment in the field

          Now that we’re in our third year of Call for Code, I’d say one of the most remarkable things about the program is its constant capacity to surprise me with both its broad reach and agility. Call for Code unites hundreds of thousands of developers to create and deploy applications powered by open source technology that can tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. Safe Queue is a great example of that, and our eminent judges recently named Safe Queue one of the top five solutions in this year’s Call for Code Global Challenge. Safe Queue was created by a single developer in Los Angeles, Dave Chura, who happened to hear about Call for Code while watching a video from Lady Gaga on his local evening news.

          Dave was inspired by Lady Gaga’s call to action and decided to contribute his technological know-how to help support his community’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s the fortuitous origin story behind Safe Queue, a solution to replace physical lines at shopping centers, small businesses, and polling places with on-demand virtual lines, to support a safe way to manage entry during COVID-19.

          Back in May, Safe Queue was recognized as part of Call for Code’s accelerated COVID-19 submission deadline, and since then my team and I have worked with Dave to strengthen his solution and incorporate feedback from users in a variety of organizations. Safe Queue uses GPS location data to create a virtual queue of those within 1000 feet of a location, allowing employees to control the queue digitally, and validating entry with a randomly generated QR code for each customer. This solution builds on IBM Cloud Foundry for web app hosting, HERE technologies for geolocation, Twilio for SMS messaging, and IBM Cloudant to store geospatial data.

        • Red Hat Announces Price Reduction On Managed OpenShift Services

          Red Hat has dropped the price of Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated by an average of 75% and also announced an improved service-level agreement (SLA) to 99.95% availability.

        • Fedora Mobility wants to bring the Linux distro to smartphones

          Earlier this year one Fedora user released an unofficial script for building a version of the popular desktop Linux distribution that could run on the PinePhone.

          Now things are starting to look a little more official.

          Fedora Infrastructure Lead Kevin Fenzi made an announcement in the Fedora mailing list recently that the team is reviving the Fedora Mobility SIG, a group of developers interesting in bringing Fedora to phones.

        • Red Hat’s CIO On COVID-19, Cloud And Being A Big Red Hat Customer
        • IBM Jettisons Legacy Services To Focus On Hybrid Cloud

          Today, the Gerstner era of International Business Machines is over, and the Krishna era is truly beginning, as Big Blue is spinning out the system outsourcing and hosting business that gave it an annuity-like revenue stream – and something of an even keel – in some rough IT infrastructure waters for two over decades.

          The spinout, which IBM chief executive officer Arvind Krishna, who took over the helm of the company in April, will create an as-yet-unnamed and publicly traded company that is tentatively being called NewCo, focused on strategic outsourcing and system hosting for some 4,600 companies in 115 countries around the world. And while IBM has not said this, NewCo will also be something else: IBM’s largest customer, which has some interesting ramifications for both companies.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • [Older] Beta Version Of Ubuntu 20.10 And Its Flavors Now Available To Download

          After Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa,” the Ubuntu team has now released the final beta of the next Ubuntu 20.10 codenamed “Groovy Gorilla.”

          Following the 26-week long development cycle, the stable version of Ubuntu 20.10 is scheduled to be released on October 22, 2020, with support for 9 months until July 2021.

          In addition to Ubuntu 20.10 Beta, seven other official Ubuntu flavors have also been released. You can download the ISO image and install the beta version, which you would also be able to upgrade to the final stable release by just updating your system.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 12 factors to measuring an open source project’s health

        In the Open Source Program Office we consider a healthy open source community one that demonstrates open practices, uses open infrastructure, and cultivates an open culture with the goal of becoming more sustainable. But even for the most seasoned community architects, measuring an open source community’s health is a complex, difficult, and sometimes intimidating task.

        That’s because any picture of project health is actually a mosaic. Multiple factors combine to depict a community’s overall health. You’ll never find just one indicator you can point to and say “See? The community is healthy.” (You can, however, find some indicators that immediately show that a community is unhealthy.)

      • openIMIS: Open-source Health Financing Package

        openIMIS is an open-source healthcare finance package that is developed and maintained by active community of developers and packed by several world leading class organization.

        The main goal of it is to provide an efficient healthcare finance system as an alternative for the commercial solutions which usually come with a high cost.

        openIMIS journey started back in 2012, since then, it has been evolving ever since and proven resource and cost-effective in low resources environment and countries. It currently runs in many healthcare facilities in Tanzania, Chad, Nepal, DRC and Cameroon.

      • Top 5 open source alternatives to Google Analytics

        If you have a website or run an online business, collecting data on where your visitors or customers come from, where they land on your site, and where they leave is vital. Why? That information can help you better target your products and services, and beef up the pages that are turning people away.

        To gather that kind of information, you need a web analytics tool.

        Many businesses of all sizes use Google Analytics. But if you want to keep control of your data, you need a tool that you can control. You won’t get that from Google Analytics. Luckily, Google Analytics isn’t the only game on the web.

      • Open Networking And Edge Summit 2020 Delivers

        Last week, I virtually attended ONES 2020, the Linux Foundation’s Open Networking and Edge Summit. I was impressed with the diversity of content at ONES this year, and appreciated the added emphasis on edge (which was the impetus for adding the “E” to the conference name—if you’ve never heard of the event, it’s because it was previously called ONS). Today I would like to highlight what I consider the most compelling announcements and takeaways from the jam-packed 3-day event.

      • Kiwi TCMS 8.7

        We’re happy to announce Kiwi TCMS version 8.7!

      • [syslog-ng] Insider 2020-10: Cisco; Signal Messenger; PCRE dupnames;

        This is the 85th issue of syslog-ng Insider, a monthly newsletter that brings you syslog-ng-related news.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Thunderbird 78.3.2 Is Now Available for Download – What’s New [Ed: Microsoft propagandist pushing Microsoft talking points about Outlook]

            Despite the adoption of Outlook increasing lately, especially among company employees and following the Office 365 suite benefitting from the remote working trend, Thunderbird continues to be one super-popular choice and it happens for good reason

            Not only that it packs a super-advanced feature lineup, but Thunderbird also sports a clean and intuitive interface that can be further customized according to your preferences.

            Right now, Thunderbird works on the following platforms…

          • The EU’s Current Approach to QWACs (Qualified Website Authentication Certificates) will Undermine Security on the Open Web

            Since its founding in 1998, Mozilla has championed human-rights-compliant innovation as well as choice, control, and privacy for people on the Internet. We have worked hard to actualise this belief for the billions of users on the Web by actively leading and participating in the creation of Web standards that drive the Internet. We recently submitted our thoughts to the European Commission on its survey and public consultation regarding the eIDAS regulation, advocating for an interpretation of eIDAS that is better for user security and retains innovation and interoperability of the global Internet.

            Given our background in the creation of the Transport Layer Security (TLS) standard for website security, we believe that mandating an interpretation of eIDAS that requires Qualified Website Authentication Certificates (QWACs) to be bound with TLS certificates is deeply concerning. Along with weakening user security, it will cause serious harm to the single European digital market and its place within the global internet.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.0.2 Is Now Available for Download with More Than 130 Bug Fixes

          LibreOffice 7.0 was launched about two months ago with many new features and enhancements, including support for the OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.3, better compatibility with MS Office formats like DOCX, XLSX and PPTX, HiDPI scaling for Qt5/KDE5, and much more.

          The first point release arrived last month with almost 80 bug fixes, but the LibreOffice development team didn’t stop there so they continued hunting and squashing bugs. As such, LibreOffice 7.0.2 is here today with a total of 131 bug fixes across all core components to improve document compatibility and the overall performance of the office suite.

        • Announcement of LibreOffice 7.0.2

          LibreOffice 7.0.2, the second minor release of the LibreOffice 7.0 family, targeted at technology enthusiasts and power users, is now available for download from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/. LibreOffice 7.0.2 includes over 130 bug fixes and improvements to document compatibility.

          The most significant new features of the LibreOffice 7.0 family are: support for OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.3; Skia graphics engine and Vulkan GPU-based acceleration for better performance; and carefully improved compatibility with DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files.

          LibreOffice offers the highest level of compatibility in the office suite arena, starting from native support for the OpenDocument Format (ODF) – with better security and interoperability features – to wide support for proprietary formats.


          Support for migrations and training should be sourced from certified professionals who provide value-added services which extend the reach of the community to the corporate world. Also, the work done by ecosystem partners flows back into the LibreOffice project, and this represents an advantage for everyone.

      • FSF

        • Free Software Foundation celebrates 35 years in the free software fight

          “I’ve been fortunate to be a member of the FSF staff for almost half of these thirty-five years. Standing up to the biggest, most powerful companies and governments on the planet is exhausting work. In addition to the multiple generations of FSF staff and board members, I want to thank all of the community supporters — activists, hackers, donors, volunteers — who have stuck with us through the ups and downs, knowing the vital long-term importance of the FSF as a staunch protector of computer user freedom. We’ll take a second to celebrate how far we’ve come, and then take that energy to keep moving forward,” John Sullivan, executive director of the FSF, commented.

          According to the foundation, free software gives users the right to run, change, share and contribute as well as helps promote and support other fundamental rights like freedom of speech, press and right to privacy.

          “Our work will not be finished until every computer user is able to do all of their digital tasks in complete freedom — whether that’s on a desktop, laptop, or the computer in your pocket. The fight for free software continues, and we wouldn’t be here without you,” the foundation wrote in a post.

          To celebrate its 35th birthday, the foundation is launching a new FSF video, anniversary-themed artwork and a livestream event with guests from around the world. The artwork features an underwater theme, which can be purchased as a t-shirt or poster.

      • Programming/Development

        • Postman on Linux System: The Best API Tool for Software Developer

          The Postman is a tool that sends requests from a server to a client. You can use Postman to develop APIs, test, and share resources among different applications. An API is an application programming interface that can interact between your database and the server to make your website or application functional. On the other hand, you can say that an API is a middle man who can connect your server with many applications. In Linux, you can use the Postman package to connect a single database among many applications and websites through the API.

          We all know there are many ways to connect multiple computers through the web, Lan, or servers; hence API is the system that can help you to exchange resources among two or more applications. Installing Postman is the easiest and preferable method to maintain the APIs on Linux.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppSimdJson 0.1.2: Upstream update

          A new RcppSimdJson release arrived on CRAN yesterday bringing along the simdjson 0.5.0 release that happened a few weeks.

          RcppSimdJson wraps the fantastic and genuinely impressive simdjson library by Daniel Lemire and collaborators. Via very clever algorithmic engineering to obtain largely branch-free code, coupled with modern C++ and newer compiler instructions, it results in parsing gigabytes of JSON parsed per second which is quite mindboggling. The best-case performance is ‘faster than CPU speed’ as use of parallel SIMD instructions and careful branch avoidance can lead to less than one cpu cycle per byte parsed; see the video of the talk by Daniel Lemire at QCon (also voted best talk).

        • Python

          • Pros and Cons of using Python Web Development

            Python is a powerful programming language for mobile and web development projects. It is also the most popular programming language for AI in 2020. RedI Python development’s use cases in scientific computing, statistics, and education make it one of the highly preferred programming languages for Python programmers.

            python pros and cons

            The open-source programming language launched in 1992 is now on the verge of becoming the most popular and used programming language. Due to the rise in demand for AI and ML applications, Python web programming is now the first thing that comes to mind for coding such applications.

          • Change Figure Size in Matplotlib

            Matplotlib is one of the most widely used data visualization libraries in Python. Much of Matplotlib’s popularity comes from its customization options – you can tweak just about any element from its hierarchy of objects.

            In this tutorial, we’ll take a look at how to change a figure size in Matplotlib.

          • Better user experience with updates in the R plugin

            Over more than one and a half months, we introduced many improvements in the plugin to make your work with it more productive and comfortable.

          • Károly Nagy: Stop using await in a Python forloop

            So asyncio is particularly useful for things like database queries, API requests, IO operation where the CPU wouldn’t do any actual operations but it would stay in WAIT until it gets the requested data from the endpoint.

            While it does wait for this IO other operations can be done. This could be either other work within the same application (think about Tornado for example), handling other request or it can progress with the execution and only wait for the data when it becomes necessary.

          • PyCharm 2020.3 EAP #2

            The second build of PyCharm 2020.3 is now available in the Early Access Program with features and fixes that will make your experience smoother and more productive.

            We invite you to join the program to test, share your thoughts, and help us make a better PyCharm for you and all our users!

          • Make A Landing Page – Building SaaS #75

            In this episode, I added a landing page design to the app that I’m building. By using a Tailwind CSS landing page template, I could fit the design in with my existing CSS tools.

          • Andrew Dalke: Cache and reuse popcount-sorted ChEMBL fingerprints

            The program I wrote in the first essay of this series of ChEMBL fingerprint Tanimoto search algorithms took 2 seconds per query. I wrote a series of new programs which had a higher startup cost in exchange for a faster per-query searches. The final program, in yesterday’s essay took 10 seconds to load but could process 35-90 queries per second, depending on the threshold.

          • Everything you should know about Python’s PIP and PyPi

            PIP is the standard package manager available in python. Although Python’s standard library comes with many useful packages by default, we are not limited to only those packages. In python, we have a vast repository of packages at PyPI, which are developed by many great contributors. With the pip package manager’s help, we can easily install and use any of these packages in our python code.

        • Rust

          • Announcing Rust 1.47.0

            The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.47.0. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

            If you have a previous version of Rust installed via rustup, getting Rust 1.47.0 is as easy as:

            rustup update stable

  • Leftovers

    • John Luther Adams’s Songs for a Vanished World

      Isolation has long been understood as an essential part of artistic creation—hence all those tweets about how we should spend our quarantine writing King Lear. That’s a high bar for most of us to meet, but there is something to the mythic ideal of the artist in solitude, like Georgia O’Keeffe in the desert. In his new memoir, Silences So Deep, the composer John Luther Adams writes of the long period he spent in Alaska, illuminating the effect of his solitude in that place on his life and his body of work.

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Laying ‘Tens of Thousands of Preventable Deaths’ at the Foot of Trump Failures, Top US Health Official Resigns in Protest

        “Nine months into the pandemic, the United States continues to grapple with failed White House leadership,” writes whistleblower Dr. Rick Bright in public resignation letter.

      • How to Cope With Daily Life During a Pandemic

        After all these months and 210,000 deaths, you’d think I’d be used to it all, but I’m not. It doesn’t seem even a little normal yet. I’m still full of absences, missing so much I used to take for granted: hugs and handshakes, rooms crowded for funerals and weddings, potluck dinners and house parties. I miss browsing the stacks at the library and the racks at the thrift shop. I miss going to our Unitarian Universalist congregation and the robust community connection we enjoyed every Sunday.

      • “Super-Spreader” Trump Wants to Return to Oval Office Despite Being Contagious

        At every turn, Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers have opted to hide information around COVID-19 diagnoses rather than disclose it, despite the enormous health risks this creates for everyone around them. In his latest selfish act of endangerment, Trump, still infected with coronavirus, reportedly wants to leave isolation and work from the Oval Office, requiring staff to wear personal protective equipment like a gown, surgical mask and eye protectors supplied at a so-called “isolation cart.”

      • If SCOTUS Strikes Down ACA, Trump’s Health Care Order Cannot Replace It

        The battle over the replacement of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has refocused American attention on the future of the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments Nov. 10 in a case seeking to overturn the law that brought insurance coverage to millions of Americans.

      • Former CDC Chief Urges Current Director to Denounce Trump’s Handling of COVID-19

        In a scathing letter sent late last month as coronavirus cases and deaths surged across the United States, renowned epidemiologist and former CDC chief Dr. William Foege called on the agency’s current director to publicly speak out about the Trump administration’s catastrophic failure to combat the pandemic and apologize for caving to the White House’s influence — even if it means risking his job.

      • Giuliani Coughs on Fox News While Attacking Biden for Urging Mask Wearing

        President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani repeatedly coughed throughout a Monday interview with Fox News as he attacked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for urging Americans to listen to scientific experts and wear masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

      • Fauci: If Precautions Are Not Taken COVID Deaths Could Reach 400K This Winter

        Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a virtual audience this week that they should not be surprised if the coronavirus casualty count ends up being near 400,000 by the end of the winter season.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Amundsen: one year later

              On October 30, 2019, we officially open sourced Amundsen, our solution to solve metadata catalog and data discovery challenges. Ten months later, Amundsen joined the Linux foundation AI (LFAI) as its incubation project.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (activemq, golang-go.crypto, packagekit, and sympa), Fedora (php and xen), Red Hat (bind, kernel, and qemu-kvm), SUSE (qemu), and Ubuntu (golang-github-seccomp-libseccomp-golang and spice).

          • Windows Vs macOS Vs Linux: Best OS For Cybersecurity
          • [Slackware] Chromium 86 update resolves critical security issue

            Google developers have released Chromium 86 to the public. Head over to the “Stable Channel” blog to read more details about this new major version.

            And then get the fresh packages for chromium-86.0.4240.75 ! This is an urgent upgrade request, because the new release plugs a critical security hole in the online payments code which gives the attacker full access to your local machine (CVE-2020-15967: Use after free in payments).

            Chromium 86 addresses 34 other security issues, none of the others are critical.

          • 8 tips to tighten up your work-from-home network

            The TL;DR version of that article is, of course, exactly the same as the headline: if you connect it, protect it.

            Every time you hook up a poorly-protected device to your network, you run the risk that crooks will find it, probe it, attack it, exploit it and – if things end badly – use it as a toehold to dig into your digital life.

            Criminals who figure out how to commandeer a vulnerable device inside your network can use that device to map out, scan and attack your laptop – the one you’re using right now to work from home – as if they were right there beside you.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • After Years Of Claiming It Doesn’t Use Facial Recognition Software, The LAPD Admits It Has Used It 30,000 Times Since 2009

              The Los Angeles Police Department apparently loves using facial recognition tech. It doesn’t like talking about its love for this tech, though. It told the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology it had nothing to give the Center when it asked for its facial recognition tech documents.

            • Announcing Global Privacy Control in Privacy Badger

              Today, we’re announcing that the upcoming release of Privacy Badger will support the Global Privacy Control, or GPC, by default.

              GPC is a new specification that allows users to tell companies they’d like to opt out of having their data shared or sold. By default, Privacy Badger will send the GPC signal to every company you interact with alongside the Do Not Track (DNT) signal. Like DNT, GPC is transmitted through an HTTP header and a new Javascript property, so every server your browser talks to and every script it runs will know that you intend to opt out of having your data shared or sold. Compared with ad industry-supported opt-out mechanisms, GPC is simple, easy to deploy, and works well with existing privacy tools.

            • San Francisco Activists Sue City Over ‘Illegal Dragnet Surveillance’ of George Floyd, BLM Protests

              Such practices by police are “completely at odds with the First Amendment and should never be allowed,” said an ACLU lawyer on the case.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Why a DC Public Relations Firm Pretended to Be Bolivian on Facebook

        The Americas Blog featured a post last week about the growing wave of election interference and misinformation campaigns sweeping Latin America, especially as a tool of right-wing governments and political movements. As these digital operations have grown in popularity, so has the market for firms to organize them. In particular, new details about the recent Latin American operations of a US public relations firm called CLS Strategies illustrate that Americans are not just on the receiving end of manipulative social media campaigns, but are participants in them as well.

      • Hearts on Fire for the 43 of Ayoztinapa

        On the sixth anniversary of the forced disappearance of the 43 Ayoztinapa college students, a flurry of developments is spurring optimism among long traumatized relatives of the students and their dedicated core of supporters.

      • France and Germany to propose EU sanctions against Russia over Navalny’s poisoning

        Germany and France are planning to share proposals for additional sanctions against Russia with their European partners, in response to the poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny. This was announced in a joint statement from the two countries on Wednesday, October 7.

      • A Reckoning Inside the Domestic-Violence Movement

        On a Friday night in July, two police officers in Rollinsford, a small town in eastern New Hampshire, responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at the home of RJ and Sarah Letendre. RJ Letendre, who at the time worked as a police officer in the nearby city of Dover, told the responding officers that during a conversation about a divorce, she attacked him, scratching and biting him.

      • ‘You’re an enemy’: ‘Novaya Gazeta’ releases audio version of Anna Politkovskaya’s report on her first meeting with Ramzan Kadyrov

        To mark the fourteenth anniversary of journalist Anna Politkovskaya’s murder, the producers of Novaya Gazeta’s podcast “Chto Novogo” (What’s New) released an audio recording of her report on her first meeting with Ramzan Kadyrov. The voiceover, including quotes from both Politkovskaya and Kadyrov, was recorded by Russian actress and director Yulia Aug. At the end of the audio report, there’s a recording of Politkovskaya herself, where she explains why she has continued to work as a journalist. 

      • City Apologizes 41 Years After Cops Allowed Klan, Nazis to Kill Anti-Racists

        Nearly 41 years after Ku Klux Klansmen and American Nazis shot dead five anti-racism activists in the town of Greensboro, North Carolina, the city council there has passed a resolution apologizing for the attack and the police department’s complicity in the killings. We speak with two survivors of the 1979 attack, Rev. Nelson Johnson and Joyce Hobson Johnson, who say the city’s apology acknowledges “the police knew and chose to do nothing. In fact, they facilitated what we name now as a North American death squad.”

      • Why the UN must set up an independent body to tackle sexual abuse

        Six years ago, I became a UN whistleblower, intervening to stop the sexual abuse of children by soldiers in Central African Republic. The revelation led to an independent investigation into how the UN had handled the affair and, in 2015, to a damning report that identified severe structural and systemic weaknesses within the UN system.

        At the end of it, in 2016, I resigned from the United Nations, making a final call for structural change in the ethical standards of the organisation.
        Since then, I have looked from a distance as Sweden’s ambassador in Central America, still hoping that the UN would learn from what had happened, and change.
        Last week, though, The New Humanitarian and the Thomson Reuters Foundation published a one-year investigation into (yet another) sex abuse scandal involving the United Nations.
        I read the details with a bone-chilling feeling of déjà-vu coursing through me – the abuse, the denial, the internal closing of the ranks, the excuses, the passing of the buck: It had all happened before. And then a quote from Jane Connors, the UN Victims’ Rights Advocate, perfectly managed to capture all my frustration in one nugget:
        “If you are not getting reports, then something is going wrong.”
        But who was she talking about exactly?
        Was she talking about the victims she is advocating for: women coerced into sex by powerful men who dangled money and food before their eyes, money and food that – because of their desperation – could make the difference between life and death for them and their families?

      • F.B.I. Says a Michigan Militia Plotted to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
    • Environment

      • Russian officials open criminal investigation into pollution that’s nearly wiped out marine life off Kamchatka’s coastline

        Federal investigators in Russia have launched a criminal case in response to the environmental disaster in Kamchatka that’s polluted the waters of Avacha Bay and decimated local marine life. Officials are investigating the incident as pollution of the marine environment and a violation of Russia’s rules for handling environmentally hazardous materials. If convicted, perpetrators face penalties ranging from small fines to as many as five years in prison.

      • ‘60 Minutes,’ ‘The Guardian,’ and Game-Changing New Climate Science

        On Sunday night, America met Michael Mann on 60 Minutes, one of the country’s most watched and influential television news programs for nearly 50 years now. A professor at Penn State University, Mann is one of the world’s most eminent climate scientists, and also one of the most outspoken. The 60 Minutes segment, titled “Cause and Effect,” focused on climate change and California’s ongoing record wildfires, which have burned more than 4 million acres to date. After showing the viral clip of Donald Trump telling state officials that Earth will “start getting cooler,” correspondent Scott Pelley asked Mann about the president’s additional assertion that “science doesn’t know.”

      • 60 Minutes, The Guardian, and Game-changing New Science

        To prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperature, humanity must cut emissions in half by 2030.

      • Energy

        • Lunar Lunacy: Competition, Conflict and Mining the Moon

          The discussion about mining the Moon resembles that of previous conquests: the division of territory; the grabbing of resources; language of theft and plunder.  All of this is given the gloss of manifest destiny and human experiment. Such language is also self-perpetuating: the plunderer is only as good as the amount taken; success is dependent on constant replenishment and expansion.

    • Finance

      • Dying for an i-Phone: an Interview with Jenny Chan

        It was January 2010 and Jenny Chan just heard about the suicides of workers at the Foxconn electronics plant in the Chinese city of Shenzhen.

      • The Worst Part of Trump Paying Zero in Taxes? It’s Probably Entirely Legal

        Donald Trump’s tax returns are a stark illustration of what’s broken with the US tax system: the tax code has one set of rules for the richest 0.1% and another for everyone else.

      • Covid-19 Pandemic Could Push Up to 150 Million Into ‘Extreme Poverty’ by 2021, World Bank Warns

        “Early evidence also suggests that the crisis is poised to increase inequality in much of the world,” says the new report.

      • Trump Scuttles a Fiscal Stimulus Deal…Again!

        This past Tuesday, October 6, Trump pulled the plug once again—a second time—on negotiations on a fiscal stimulus between House speaker, Pelosi, and his Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin.

      • ‘Telling All Working People…to Drop Dead’: Trump Ended Covid Relief Talks After McConnell Said Republicans Wouldn’t Vote for Deal

        “Trump is turning his back on you,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal. “He doesn’t care about workers and families. He only cares about himself.”

      • From the Jailhouse to Wall Street: How Change Happens

        Let us be very clear: the only reason that the fossil fuel industry’s largest financial backer is committing to align its business model with the Paris Agreement is activist pressure.

      • Trump Loses Yet Another Attempt in Appeals Court to Keep His Tax Returns Hidden

        A federal appeals court has unanimously rejected arguments made by lawyers for President Trump regarding a subpoena for his tax returns in a case that’s examining whether he or his business entities engaged in criminal activities over the past several years.

      • The debt crisis looming for poor countries

        A growing number of poor countries, some already in humanitarian crisis, will soon have to choose between servicing their lenders or helping their most vulnerable citizens, as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are warning that the tools to deal with a looming debt crisis aren’t up to the job.
        Low-income nations were due to pay at least $40 billion to banks and bondholders this year, and plans to pause some of those interest payments – let alone cancel any of the principal – are patchy and “too shallow”, according to the World Bank.
        Meanwhile, the UN’s flagship $10.19 billion appeal to raise emergency funds to help the poorest countries respond to the coronavirus pandemic and its humanitarian fallout is stuck at around $2.8 billion.
        Development economists say the impacts of COVID-19 and the global recession threaten to push 150 million people into extreme poverty and cause a “lost decade” of reverses and long-term economic “scarring”.
        World Bank chief David Malpass said this week that, unchecked, the impact of the recession could be “a threat to the maintenance of social order… and even to the defence of democracy.” Malpass said “enormous budget deficits and debt payments” are “overwhelming” some countries.
        The IMF, meanwhile, has warned that the world is at a “critical juncture” to prevent a pandemic-related “debt quagmire”, which could hit people in low-income countries the hardest. The whole “architecture” of debt owed by countries needs an overhaul, it said in a 1 October blog.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Ultimate Egoist

        Just the other day, when he finally got Covid -19, President Trump declared that now he really understood the disease. Now, nine months since epidemiological experts first began to explain its extreme danger and  contagion, during which he had endless warnings from the WHO and CDC, when he participated in daily briefings on the course of the disease from the likes of Dr. Anthony Fauci, and, above all, after more than seven million Americans contracted Covid and more than 200,000 died of it. Now he finally gets it. Only AFTER HE GO IT can he understand it. Unless he gets himself, it’s not real.

      • The joys of grandparenthood: What Putin revealed in the long-awaited finale of his ‘TASS’ interview, in brief

        On Wednesday, October 7, Vladimir Putin’s 68th birthday, the state news agency TASS released the final part of a lengthy interview with the Russian President. Here’s what he said during the finale, in a nutshell.

      • Democracy Isn’t in Peril—It’s on Its Deathbed

        Trump has shown us with disturbing deft how authoritarianism doesn’t suddenly march on democracy like a military parade. Instead, it creeps in bit by bit, being normalized at every step.

      • If Trump ‘Still Has Covid, We Shouldn’t Have a Debate,’ Biden Says of Next Week’s Town Hall Event

        “There will be citizens there in attendance asking questions. So, the obligation is on Donald Trump to prove that he is not contagious.”

      • The Democrats Need to Prepare for the Supreme Court to Overturn ‘Roe v. Wade’

        At a town hall meeting on Monday, Vice President Joe Biden addressed the possibility that a Republican-controlled Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade. Biden said, “The only responsible response to that would be to pass legislation making Roe the law of the land; that’s what I would do.”

      • The Man Protected by ‘Mother’ Has Rarely Dealt With a Woman Like Kamala

        Vice President Mike Pence has a huge challenge Wednesday night. As always in debates, he’s auditioning for a job, but in this election cycle, he doesn’t know which one: Is it the top one, or just Number Two? With Donald Trump still suffering from Covid-19—no matter what his doctors say—Pence has never faced a job interview this complicated. But unless Trump gets too ill—God forbid—to watch the debate, Pence has an audience of one. So he better remember he’s still Number Two.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Suppressing Content To Try To Stop Bullying (2019)

        Summary: TikTok, like many social apps that are mainly used by a younger generation, has long faced issues around how to deal with bullying done via the platform. According to leaked documents revealed by the German site Netzpolitik, one way that the site chose to deal with the problem was through content suppression — but specifically by suppressing the content of those the company felt were more prone to being victims of bullying.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • House Antitrust Report Is a Bold Prescription for Curing Big Tech’s Ills

        The long-awaited report[pdf] by the House Judiciary Committee staff[1] on Big Tech’s monopoly power hits all the right notes—and just a few wrong ones. Following a year of hearings and research, the staff of the Subcommittee on Antitrust found that Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple all have either significant market power or outright monopoly power in a variety of markets. Many of the report’s recommendations echo calls EFF has also made, proof of just how obviously effective, needed, and common-sense they are.

        The power of Big Tech weakens innovation, erodes privacy, and undermines “political and economic liberties,” says the report. We’re pleased to see the report go beyond U.S. antitrust law’s narrow focus on consumer prices. The report also recommends many of the interventions that EFF has championed: new requirements for interoperability, a tougher standard for approving mergers and acquisitions, and stepping up the DOJ and Federal Trade Commission enforcement of the antitrust laws.

      • Stop Pretending The Trump GOP Genuinely Cares About Monopoly Power

        Over the last year or two, a constant drumbeat has permeated tech news coverage. It goes something like this: the GOP is embracing a “populist” agenda by standing up to “big tech.” The modern Trump GOP (with heroic consumer champions like Josh Hawley and Marsha Blackburn in the lead) we’re told, have become stalwart opponents of monopolization, especially in tech. They’re just super concerned about what this power means for free speech, especially given that conservative voices are routinely “censored” on the internet.

      • Facebook Internal Memo Reveals Challenges Social Media Companies Face In Protecting Democracy

        Is social media good or bad for democracy?

      • Patents

        • The Public Interest Defence, and the Public Interest Offence – What Is The Way Forward In This Pandemic?

          On December 24th, 2019, the Delhi High Court had granted an ad-interim injunction in favour of Bristol Myers Squibb Holdings Ireland (BMS) for the infringement of patent number 247381 associated with the drug ‘Apixaban’ by Indoco Remedies Ltd.’s (Indoco) ‘APIXABID’. Recently, Indoco had approached the Delhi Court on ‘public interest’ grounds, requesting permission for the sale of 58,000 strips of Apixabid, manufactured by them prior to the passing of the 2019 order. Indoco’s public interest defence was based on the prevailing pandemic conditions in the country, and it placed literature before the court for establishing that Apixaban is necessary for Covid-19 treatment. The court refused to lift the injunction and stated that Indoco had not put forth any evidence for demonstrating that there was a shortage of Apixaban or that it was not reasonably affordable. It found that the material placed before it did not show any overwhelming public interest that would justify the relief claimed. The court upheld the single-judge bench’s order, finding that since Indoco had manufactured the impugned strips in anticipation of the injunction order, the relief could not be allowed. This is perhaps the first judicial look at ‘public interest’ in the context of patents and Covid-19, and is worth further examination from that lens.


          In Bayer v. Union of India, the IPAB emphasised the importance of ‘public interest’ while upholding the grant of India’s only compulsory license(CL) under Section 84 of the Patents Act, 1970. In this case, Natco proved all the three conditions under Section 84(1) – first, reasonable requirements of the public are not satisfied; second, the invention is not available at a reasonably affordable price and third, the patent is not being worked in India. In Bayer v. Union of India, the Bombay High Court stated that it is a matter of public interest that the Cancer medicine, ‘Nexavar’, ‘is made available to the society in adequate numbers and at a reasonable price.’

          In Novartis v. Cipla (Novartis), the Delhi High Court discussed at length the applicability of public interest doctrine in patent infringement cases. The court relied on Roche v. Cipla (Roche) and distinguishing between the cases stated that – in Roche, the patent in question was under cloud and the defendants had raised a credible defence, and in Novartis, the patent was valid and no credible defence was raised. In Novartis, the court ruled that Cipla was guilty of infringement of Novartis’ patents and had raised public interest grounds in order to avoid the injunction. It was held that merely providing articles and publications that demonstrate the requirement of a drug is not adequate, the defendant needs to establish that there is a shortage of the products in question.

          Justice Prabha Sridevan’s recent article “Is the right to exclusivity a Hamlet question?” published in South Centre speaks directly to the issue at hand and is a wonderful read on her thoughts on how courts should be looking at this ‘hamlet’ question. She ends her piece with these lines:

          “The relationship between the private rights and the public health rights should be spatially expanded in tune with the Constitutional aspirations rather than narrowly viewed as a private grasp of the patent owning few. The Court shall explore the various models of rewarding or compensating the inventor, but the Court shall and is bound to defer to the always superior claim of the right to health over right to exclusivity. Today Hamlet’s question must be answered in favour of life.”


          Whenever new COVID-related treatments and vaccines are invented, invocation of Section 92 would be favourable vis-à-vis invocation of Section 66. In the long term, utilisation of Section 92 would perhaps be wiser as it may not alienate big pharmaceutical companies to the extent Section 66 would. The Section 92 approach is sustainable, in the sense that licenses could be given with a sunset clause, resulting in them being withdrawn as soon as the pandemic is over.

          This is of course assuming that a generic company is willing to manufacture the drug. However, let us also recognise that our legislators have ensured we are not at the mercy of business choices of domestic firms either. If generics don’t step up to the role of applying for CLs or otherwise manufacturing the drugs, the government also has the option of exercising Section 47(4) of the Patents Act – which stipulates that as a condition of the grant of the patent – the government can, without any pre-conditions or procedural requirements – import any medicine or drug for the purpose of distribution (i.e., not sale) through its own hospitals/dispensaries or any hospital/dispensary notified to do so on its behalf. So, in the situation where there is a dire need of wide spread medicines or drugs, this is an available option.

          The present pandemic is the priority, but with epidemics expected to become more common, it is essential to think about the future implications of the measures taken today. It should be ensured that whatever measures are adopted, they are not undertaken in such a manner that disregards future complications.

          Unlike many other countries in the global South, India has production capabilities in order to successfully manufacture the quantum of vaccines required for overcoming the pandemic in India. Unfortunately though, India hasn’t started entering into any advance purchasing agreements, at least as of Sept 18, 2020, when this was acknowledged in the Lok Sabha. There are already signs that there will need to be significant private spending when the Covid vaccine does come out eventually. Dealing with ‘drug nationalism’ and corporate profits also forms a part of the struggle against COVID-19 and to prevent the prolonging of the crisis in India – domestic manufacturing as well as active government action and forethought will become vital.s

        • French Court Awards Record Damages Judgment

          The case is Eli Lilly v. Fresenius Kabi, Tribunal Judiciare de Paris, 11 Sept. 2020, Docket No. 17/10421, and the award comes to €28,000,000. Pierre Véron recently published a post on the decision EPLaw, with links to his more extended commentary and copies of the judgment in the original French and in English translation. As he points out, this is one of many European decisions involving Lilly’s patents on the use of pemetrexed disodium for treatment of lung cancer. In this particular case, the court found the patent in suit valid and infringed. To understand the full context of the decision, including a comparison of the various European judgments involving pemetrexed, read M. Véron’s commentary.


          Eli Lilly and Company and Lilly France v. Fresenius Kabi France and Fresenius Kabi Groupe France, Judiciary Court of Paris, France, 11 September 2020, Docket № 17/10421, by Pierre Véron, Honorary President, EPLAW

          Joining a majority of European Courts, the Paris court has held that Eli Lilly’s patent, claiming the combined administration of pemetrexed disodium with vitamin B12, is infringed by the marketing of pemetrexed diacid, and it has awarded the largest ever patent infringement damages award in Europe (28,000,000 €).

        • “The Federal Patent Court is paying for a political mistake”

          I don’t believe that was the federal government’s strategy. That wouldn’t make sense, for several reasons. Firstly, the UPC would remove the prohibition of double protection and many companies would then validate national and European patents in parallel. Secondly, the UPC would not be able to commence operations on a large scale so quickly. In any case, the UPC would not cause the Federal Patent Court to run out of work for years to come. Thirdly, the age structure at the court is so high in terms of the average age of the judges that one could hire additional staff in good conscience. The court could reduce a surplus within a few years by not filling the positions of those who retire.

        • Around the IP Blogs

          The SpicyIP Blog reported on what may well be one of the first covid-related IP cases. In that case , an Indian pharma company, Indoco, approached the Delhi High Court requesting permission to sale a drug, used as anticoagulant medication, for covid-19 treatment. Such sales had previously been prohibited by the court as part of an ongoing patent infringement lawsuit, initiated by the Indoco’s competitor, BMS. Indoco, invoked “public interest” grounds to justify the sales, but the court denied lifting the temporary injunction.


          The Juve Patent Blog shared an interview with Rainer Engels, former judge of the German Federal Patent Court. Engels expressed his views about the structural reforms required in the German system, the length of proceedings, and how the Unified Patent Court (or its lack of existence) may have influenced developments in Germany.

        • Submissions by third parties in applications

          In my patent class, I just had my students act like patent-examiners and write rejections for pending patent claims. These are all real-cases that recently published and have not yet been examined.

        • New anti-evergreening patent law in Ukraine

          In this guest post, patent expert Dr Olga Gurgula reports on updates from Ukraine as well as highlighting important next steps for the Ukrainain Patent Office. Olga is a Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at Brunel Law School, Brunel University London and Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Martin Programme on Affordable Medicines, University of Oxford. Here is what she has to say about the latest edition of Terrell on the Law of Patents. Here’s what she says:

          The topic of patent evergreening has been in the news for quite some time. For Ukraine, it has been an especially painful issue, where the majority of people suffering from illness pay for medicines prescribed by their doctors from their own pockets, and the prescriptions are typically for patent-protected brand-name drugs. Not surprisingly, therefore, that the statistics are far from positive – the majority of the Ukrainian population is not able to buy expensive medicines, including those required for life-threatening diseases like HIV, hepatitis C and cancer. The WHO, in its 2019 report, noted that ‘spending on medicines was reported as being the main driver of financial hardship for Ukrainian households’. Therefore, the need for more affordable medicines to be made available for the Ukrainian population has been one of the key issues in recent years. To achieve this, a number of reforms have been put in place, including amendments to the Patent Act 1994.


          While these changes to the patent law have the potential of improving access to medicines in Ukraine, it is now the task of the Ukrainian Patent Office to apply this provision. Therefore, it is important that the Patent Office bears in mind the aim of this provision when interpreting and applying it to specific cases. In particular, the addition of this provision to the Patent Act was a strategic policy decision of Ukraine. Its goal is to improve access to affordable medicines by preventing the patenting of trivial modifications of existing medicines that enable pharmaceutical companies to maintain their market monopoly while bringing little or no benefits to the patient. To help the Patent Office in establishing a uniform and predictable practice, it may be useful to develop specific guidance on how such pharmaceutical inventions should be assessed.

        • Software Patents

          • Donate now! to save Europe from Software Patents, says FFII

            The proposed Unified Patent Court would create case law in favour of patentability of software, using the “technical effect” or “as such” loopholes, as confirmed by the European Commission in its 2012 Memo on the UPC.

            Software patents have negative effects on job creation, as small software companies don’t have the resources to defend themselves in court. More and more litigating companies (also called “patent trolls”) are trying to extract money from software companies.

            The UPC is shiedled from any intervention of the European Court of Justice (CJEU) in patent law, as the European Patent Convention (EPC) is international law and not EU law.


            The UPCA also suffers from non compliance with the ECHR art6 “a tribunal established by law” as its rules of procedure are made by an administrative committee. It is also not in compliance with the Rule of Law principle, where the administration (the EPO) cannot be sued for maladministration (refusal to grant for example). The UPC will also make a simple court case more expensive.

            FFII is calling on a public debate within the responsible committees (Legal Affairs and Culture). The vote in the Bundestag is foreseen to be happening with the vote of the Budget in late October or early November, because of the logistics required for the 2/3 majority.

            If the Bundestag ratifies the UPC and fails to send it back for renegotiation, we will have to file a Constitutional Complaint within 30 days, meaning the complaint has to be ready in advance. Although we have a skeleton ready, we are still looking for a lawyer with knowledge in EU law or Constitutional law.

          • $3000 for Trust & Verify Data Protection Prior Art

            On October 8, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $3,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on all of the limitations of dependent Claim 10, including all of the limitations of independent Claim 4 of US Patent No. 7,162,735. This patent is owned by Trust & Verify Data Protection, LLC, an NPE. The ’735 patent generally relates o an arrangement with a protected code that comprises incomplete executable code and a call instruction to a security code such that when the security code is executed, it replaces the call instruction such that the executable code of the protected code is complete.

      • Trademarks

        • News from the virtual Observatory meeting

          After a warm welcome from EUIPO Executive Director Mr Christian Archambeau on day 1, MEP members shared their concerns about the growing proportion (6.8%) of counterfeit products that are entering the European market.

          They all agree that EU-wide collaboration is required, stressing that infringement of IP rights will not be tolerated and that new technologies may support us with addressing this.

          Mr Paul Maier provided an overview of the main activities carried out by the EUIPO through the Observatory. Several completed and planned studies and publications were shared. Those interested can find them here.

          Mr Jacky Marteau of OLAF shared the worrying substantial growth in sales of substandard medical products, connected to COVID-19, and stressed the need for collaboration to address not only this but any counterfeit product that enters the European market.

          A number of speakers provided additional insights into how COVID-19 related counterfeit products are impacting EU markets, sharing examples of fake products that have been seized and that can bring harm to people. An increase is seen not only in medical-related products but also other consumer goods, due to the growth of online shopping.

          Closing day 1, Mr Lopes de Mota, Portuguese Supreme Court judge, stressed the need to act against counterfeits because we need to protect the fundamental rights on which the EU has been grounded.

        • Geographical Indications: India’s PGI application for ‘Basmati’

          On 11th September 2020, the European Commission (EC) published India’s Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) application for ‘Basmati’ under EU Regulation No. 1151/2012 (Regulation). While the origin of Basmati has been contested within India itself, there is opposition by other countries in the Indian subcontinent. Here we identify two critical issues that lead to wider debates in GI scholarship. First, how are GI claims for products with a cross-border origin resolved and what requirements will India need to fulfill? Second, what is India’s objective for protecting Basmati in the EU market and whether GI protection is an adequate strategy for it.

          ‘Basmati’ has been a registered GI in India since 2016 but only seven states can affix the same to its produce. The origin of Basmati within India is controversial owing to Madhya Pradesh’s persistent claim to be included as a producer, a claim that has been repeatedly rejected. The reputation and origin of Basmati outside India is shared by Pakistan, a fact recognized in inter alia the EU’s 2004 agreement with India and Pakistan, APEDA’s own observations in the ‘Sir Basmati’ trademark dispute before the CJEU (APEDA is the registered proprietor of Basmati in India), and several scholarly works. In this light, proving that ‘the geographical area’ as per Article 8 of the Regulation is limited to India seems challenging. Another interesting ground relevant for the present dispute and possible opposition is Article 10 read in conjunction with Articles 5(2) and 7, which require the applicant to establish appropriate linkage between the quality, reputation and other characteristics of the GI – here: Basmati – with its geographical origin. For countries seeking protection in multiple EU member states, one option is an application under Article 49 of the Regulation. This allows for more than one country (either EU or non-EU) to jointly apply for protection in the EU internal market. There are several examples of such cross-border products. However, diplomatic ties between these countries are stronger than those between India and Pakistan which makes filing a joint application in this case difficult. Efforts to initiate joint registration for Basmati since 2005 have not yielded any effective results. In fact, there have been counter moves to challenge GI rights in both countries by producer organizations.

      • Copyrights

        • SENADI Ecuador launched the dedicated website for the Marrakesh VIP Treaty

          On 22 September 2020, the National Service of Intellectual Rights of Ecuador (SENADI Ecuador) launched the dedicated website for the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled (Marrakesh VIP Treaty).

          The Marrakesh VIP Treaty, which has been in force in Ecuador since on 30 September 2016, requires “Contracting Parties to introduce a standard set of limitations and exceptions to copyright rules in order to permit reproduction, distribution and making available of published works in formats designed to be accessible to VIPs [blind, visually impaired, and otherwise print disabled], and to permit exchange of these works across borders by organizations that serve those beneficiaries”.

          Brazil, Ecuador, and Paraguay proposed the Treaty during the 18th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights in May 2009.

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