01.04.21

Links 4/1/2021: Linux 5.11 RC2 and ExTiX Deepin 21.1 Live

Posted in News Roundup at 1:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Weekly Roundup: Deepin 20.1, Linux Mint Updates and More

      Here’s this week’s roundup series, curated for you from the Linux and open-source world on application updates, new releases, distribution updates, major news, and upcoming highlights. Have a look.

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #111

      Hello and welcome to our first Linux Roundup of 2021! We wish that you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year celebration!

      Deepin 20.1, Septor 2021, OpenMandriva 4.2-rc, Nitrux OS 2020.12.31, Arch 2021.01.01 and Garuda Linux 210101 have been released this week.

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: January 3rd, 2021

      The fourteenth installment of the 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup is here, for the week ending on December 27th, and the first for 2021, keeping you guys up to date with the most important things that have happened in the Linux world.

      As you can imagine, this past week has been relaxing due to the New Year’s break, but we did had some very nice releases on the first day of the year as it looked like everyone rushed to push their brand-new release out the door in 2021. There were also many updated packages and distros, so check them all out below.

    • Linux Release Roundup #21.01: Planner 2.6, TeXstudio 3.0.2, & More New Releases – It’s FOSS News

      In the Linux Release Roundup series, we summarize the new application and distribution versions release in the last few days. This keeps you informed with the latest developments in the Linux world.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds On The Importance Of ECC RAM, Calls Out Intel’s “Bad Policies” Over ECC

        There’s nothing quite like some fun holiday-weekend reading as a fiery mailing list post by Linus Torvalds. The Linux creator is out with one of his classical messages, which this time is arguing over the importance of ECC memory and his opinion on how Intel’s “bad policies” and market segmentation have made ECC memory less widespread.

        Linus argues that error-correcting code (ECC) memory “absolutely matters” but that “Intel has been instrumental in killing the whole ECC industry with it’s horribly bad market segmentation… Intel has been detrimental to the whole industry and to users because of their bad and misguided policies wrt ECC. Seriously…The arguments against ECC were always complete and utter garbage… Now even the memory manufacturers are starting do do ECC internally because they finally owned up to the fact that they absolutely have to. And the memory manufacturers claim it’s because of economics and lower power. And they are lying bastards – let me once again point to row-hammer about how those problems have existed for several generations already, but these f*ckers happily sold broken hardware to consumers and claimed it was an “attack”, when it always was “we’re cutting corners”.”

      • Linux 5.11-rc2
        Ok, let's be honest - not a lot has happened in the last week or two.
        
        The merge window itself may not have been hugely impacted by the
        holiday season, but that's because all the new code should already
        have been ready before the merge window even opened, so the holidays
        just didn't end up affecting things all that much.
        
        But people have (rightly) mostly been offline since, presumably
        over-eating and doing all the other traditional holiday things. And
        just generally not being hugely active. That very much shows in a tiny
        rc2 release.
        
        I expect next week to slowly start ramping up fixes, but I know some
        people are still on vacation or just in an extended food coma, and
        there's a delay from testing to fixes, so we'll see. Maybe rc3 ends up
        being fairly small too.
        
        It's much too early to say whether this will then end up causing some
        delays in the final release - it's possible, but with 5.11 not being a
        particularly big release maybe it doesn't even matter that we had a
        fairly quiet week or two in the early rc series.
        
        Anyway, for whatever reasons, the few fixes we _do_ have in rc2 tend
        to be mostly in SCSI and block devices. But there's a random
        smattering of other things too. For once, the shortlog is so small
        that you might as well just read it.
        
        Time to slowly crawl out from under all the xmas wrapping paper piles
        and go test...
        
      • Linux 5.11-rc2 Released – It’s Tiny Due To Developers Offline With “Holiday Things”

        So there isn’t much at all to Linux 5.11-rc2 besides a number of SCSI fixes, Intel Snow Ridge C-stable tables added to the Intel Idle driver, a few Ceph fixes, and other random fixes throughout.

    • Benchmarks

      • New + Updated Benchmarks For December 2020 – Phoronix

        In ending out a strong year for OpenBenchmarking.org growth in 2020, there were also many test profile updates and some new test profiles (benchmarks) that were made available in December for Phoronix Test Suite / OpenBenchmarking.org users.

        Among the updates over the past month worth pointing out for those running their own benchmarks via the Phoronix Test Suite are listed below. First up the new tests followed by the updated ones.

    • Applications

      • BleachBit 4.2.0 – Neowin

        When your computer is getting full, BleachBit quickly frees disk space. When your information is only your business, BleachBit guards your privacy. With BleachBit you can free cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, and discard junk you didn’t know was there.

        Designed for Linux and Windows systems, it wipes clean thousands of applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, and more. Beyond simply deleting files, BleachBit includes advanced features such as shredding files to prevent recovery, wiping free disk space to hide traces of files deleted by other applications, and vacuuming Firefox to make it faster. Better than free, BleachBit is open source.

      • Docker Alternative Container Tools in 2021

        Docker is the most popular and widely used free and open-source container management system. Docker helps in building, deploying, and shipping software applications in an isolated environment; known as a container. A container contains the libraries, dependencies, and configurations required for the software package to run and work properly.

        In the past, Docker has been the only go-to easy-to-use containerization technology. Many projects have come as Docker alternative and competitors in the market over the past few years. Some of the common Docker alternatives in the market are listed as follows.

      • Linux Schools: New Client Version Available

        Linux Schools client version 7.0.1 is now available for download from https://sourceforge.net/projects/karoshi/files/karoshi_client/

        This version is being released to address EFI support which was broken on version 7.0 and intermittent slow log in times.

      • wtwitch – A Twitch client written in Bash

        I just found out about a new Twitch client called wtwitch. It’s written in Bash and it uses the Twitch API and the streamlink package to provide Twitch browsing, subscription, and playback functionality without signing up for a Twitch account and without loading or executing Twitch’s proprietary JavaScript.

        Here’s how it looks when you list the online channels you have subscribed to:

      • Introducing Tumpa, to make OpenPGP simple with smartcards

        Generating OpenPGP keys in an offline air-gapped system and then moving them into a smart card is always a difficult task for me. To remember the steps and command-line options of gpg2 correctly and then following them in the same order is difficult, and I had trouble enough number of times in doing so when I think about someone who is not into the command line that much, how difficult these steps are for them.

        While having a chat with Saptak a few weeks ago, we came up with the idea of writing a small desktop tool to help. I started adding more features into my Johnnycanencrypt for the same. The OpenPGP operations are possible due to the amazing Sequoia project.

        [...]

        A lot of work :) This is just the beginning. There are a ton of features we planned, and we will slowly add those. The UI also requires a lot of work and touch from a real UX person.

        The default application will be very simple to use, and we will also have many advanced features, say changing subkey expiration dates, creating new subkeys, etc. for the advanced users.

      • The 10 Best Linux Remote Desktop Tools

        Remote Desktop tools are essential if you want access to resources or services from another PC that is not in the same physical location as you. Say, for example, you are on a camping trip but wish to remotely access your work machine. This remote machine can be in your office desktop computer or laptop with updates on what is happening in your work environment.

        A practical scenario is a checkup on your work network performance. Under such circumstances, you need a remote desktop tool with authenticated access to your office computers to perform tasks that would also be possible if you were physically present in the target environment.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Unable to boot into ArcoLinux – pass on parameters to the Linux kernel

        There are other options you can add besides nomodeset
        nouveau.modeset=0 (this is a zero) or 1 (false = 0 and true = 1)
        i915.modeset=0 or 1
        radeon.modeset=0 or 1
        modprobe.blacklist=nouveau nvidia

      • How to Convert PDF to Image in Linux Command Line

        pdftoppm converts PDF document pages to image formats like PNG, and others. It is a command-line tool that can convert an entire PDF document into separate image files. With pdftoppm, you can specify the preferred image resolution, scale, and crop your images.

      • How to Install Scribus (Desktop Publishing Tool) on Linux

        Scribus is a free and open source desktop publishing (DTP) tool available for Linux, UNIX and Windows platform. Scribus is used to create PDF files, e-books, newsletter, magazines and posters etc. It can also be used to edit the existing PDF file.

        In this article, we will learn how to install and use scribus on different Linux distributions to create publication. To Install scribus, sudo rights or privilege access is needed

      • How to Install VeraCrypt and Create Encrypted Disk in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        This simple tutorial shows how to install VeraCrypt and create encrypted hard drive, USB stick in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Linux Mint 20, Ubuntu 20.10.

        VeraCrypt is a free and open-source disk encryption software based on TrueCrypt 7.1a. It works on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS.

      • How to Run Traceroute in Linux – Linux Hint

        Traceroute is a tool in Linux that allows you to investigate the routes of network packets. It can help you in identifying the limiting factor of network packet journeys. Traceroute is also useful for troubleshooting sluggish network connections. This guide shows you how to run traceroute in Linux.

      • How to Check Running Processes in Linux Mint 20? – Linux Hint

        We know that it must be sent to the central processing unit (CPU) whenever we want to execute a program on any computer system. However, as soon as a program is brought from hard disk to RAM for getting scheduled on to the CPU, the status of this program is changed to a process. That is why, whenever we talk about anything that is running on the CPU, it is always known as a process. Whether you are using the terminal application, or browsing the Internet, or even editing a document, all of these tasks and many others like these are known as processes.

        In the Windows operating system, we have the task manager utility that can be used to see all the currently running processes. However, if you are a Linux user, you might also want to know which processes currently consume your CPU cycles. Fortunately, there are multiple ways in Linux as well through which you can conveniently get the information about all the processes that are currently running on your system. Now, we are going to look at some of these methods.

      • How To Make an Awesome Custom Shell with ZSH – Linux Stans

        Are you tired of that boring old standard bash shell you get after a generic install of your exciting new Linux OS? – if so, there are a few different shells to choose from, you have csh, ksh, bash, to name but a few;

        In this tutorial, I will show you how to install, configure and customise the ZSH shell and make it how you want it. For this tutorial, I will be using an install of Manjaro Linux with XFCE desktop, however, the steps will be fairly similar across a broad variety of desktop environments and console terminals.

      • ::meta synthax::: Emmanuel Kasper: How to move a single VM between cloud providers

        I am running since a decade a small Debian VM, that I use for basic web and mail hosting. Since most of the VM setup is done manually and not following the Infrastructure As Code pattern, it is faster to simply copy the filesystem when switching providers instead of reconfiguring everything.

      • How to get email done with BlueMail for Linux – Real Linux User

        We still mail each other an awful lot, despite the enormous growth in alternative electronic communication tools such as WhatsApp, Telegram and the Apple Messages app. In addition to emailing each other directly, we also frequently register on websites to receive newsletters, we receive confirmations for actions, we receive financial updates from formal instances, and we are also overloaded with email that we just do not want to receive but get anyway. Our mailboxes are therefore overloaded day in, day out, and Inbox Zero, the digital goal so much sought after by many, is usually unreachable for most of us. But that might change for you with the free BlueMail email application for Linux, that offers unique functionality not seen in other email applications. In this article I will describe how to get email done with BlueMail for Linux.

      • How to install Runescape on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Runescape on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to install notepadqq in Ubuntu 20.04.

        Today we are looking at how to install notepadqq in Ubuntu 20.04. The process is rather easy as you can see in the video tutorial. A person opens a terminal and runs the command below in it. Enjoy!

      • How to install notepadqq on Ubuntu 20.04 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install notepadqq on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Where to find the wallpaper of a nice screenshot | Arcolinux.com

        People always ask me where can I find this or that wallpaper.

        When making tutorials variety is providing new wallpapers all the time.

        I never go look for a wallpaper.

        If there is a wallpaper I like, I will save it on my account at https://desktoppr.co/erikdubois.

        As a result it will be saved on my dropbox that is linked to that website.

      • Solving the message : reboot and select proper boot device
      • Mount exFAT USB from Linux | Pen Drive Linux

        How to mount, access and use an exFAT formatted USB drive from within Linux. Most newer Linux distributions already ship with exFAT FAT64 filesystem support via the FUSE library and related utilities. However, many older Ubuntu based distributions did not. The following solution covers the simple process of enabling exFAT detection from older Ubuntu based distributions.

        exFAT (Extended Fat), a proprietary filesystem created by Microsoft, was introduced to remove the 4GB file size limitation. Making it a suitable replacement for the older Fat32 filesystem. Most modern USB flash drives arrive exFAT formatted from the factory. So it is nice to be able to use them out of the box across multiple operating systems without the need to reformat.

      • Install and Configure Squid Proxy Server on Debian 10 (Buster) – Linux Hint

        Squid is one of the most used proxy servers for controlling internet access from the local network and securing the network from illegitimate traffic and attacks. They are placed between the client and the internet. All the requests from the client are routed through an intermediate proxy server. Squid works for a number of services like HyperText Transport Protocol (HTTP), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and other network protocols.

        Besides serving as a proxy server, Squid is mostly used for caching frequently visited web pages from a web server. So when a user requests a page from a web server, the requests first go through the proxy server to check if the requested content is available. This reduces the server load and bandwidth usage and speeds up the content delivery, thus improving the user’s experience.

      • Changing your shell from bash to zsh and back – any desktop

        Our systems have Bash as our standard shell.

        We could change to Zsh as shell. You can find the Zsh website here, the github here and the themes here.

    • Games

      • Valve Revises Steam’s December 2020 Linux Marketshare To 0.74%

        The numbers Steam posted on New Year’s Day for the December 2020 Linux gaming marketshare showed a drop of 0.33% down to just 0.57%. That is a rather large drop but now Valve has updated their numbers and point to Linux still regressing percentage wise but not as bad as originally reported.

        After being at 0.9% for the month of November, Valve’s revised December 2020 numbers put the Linux gaming marketshare at 0.74%, or a drop of 0.16% but at least not as significant that was pushing the Linux gaming size at just a half-percent.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: MocaccinoOS

          Though it is not explicitly stated, it looks like the idea here is to provide new applications and dependencies through containers to better handle dependencies and allow for for more stable upgrades.

          At the time of writing there are two editions of Mocaccino. The first is Mocaccino Micro, a distribution which runs on the musl C library. It is stated to be based on Linux From Scratch using Luet for package management. Micro is minimal and reportedly suited for cloud and Docker, deployments. The second edition is Mocaccino Portage, a Gentoo-based operating system suited for desktop environments. At the moment it appears Mocaccino Portage is available in one desktop flavour: GNOME.

          The Mocaccino website repeatedly warns us development of the project is still in its early stages. The distribution is not, the developers tell us, ready for production. We should regard Mocaccino, therefore, as an interesting work in progress. This approach is reflected in the documentation which is sparse and mostly talks about how to migrate from an existing Sabayon installation to Mocaccino and set up the new project’s software repositories.

          I downloaded both editions of Mocaccino. The Portage edition with the GNOME desktop is a 2.2GB ISO file while the Micro edition weighs in at a relatively small 334MB.

      • New Releases

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GRUB, u-boot, kernels and DTB loading (on the BPi M2 Zero and others)

          While I was experimenting with the BananaPi M2 Zero board, I soon needed to adopt its device tree file (dtb).

          Fortunately, the friendly members of the openSUSE:Factory:ARM community quickly hinted me at the grub2 “devicetree” command which can be specified similar to “linux” or “initrd” to name a file that’s loaded as device tree.

          Unfortunately, there is no way to make this really persistent, short of editing the grub generator scripts which will get lost on every grub2 update.

          The other option would be to decompile the board’s DTB file (“/boot/dtb/sun8i-h2-plus-bananapi-m2-zero.dtb” in my case), change and then recompile it, replacing the original file. This has two downsides: first, it will get overwritten with every update of the “dtb-sun8i” package (no idea how often this will be the case) and second, you might want to have the original file as fallback ready. In general, editing package managed files is not a good idea in my book, if it can be avoided it should be.

        • openSUSE Stickers to Enhance your Tech

          I have not been one that has been real huge on stickers. Historically, I have not been one to sticker anything up, I have enjoyed keeping things plain, ordinary and uniform or incognito. With my recent computer acquisition, the very nice, sleep albeit cold HP EliteBook felt very impersonal. I felt, it needed a touch of green, a touch of happiness and maybe a little less of the cold and detached presentation it provides. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for that, just not today on this machine.

          I did a little searching on the webs and I found a site that provides many, many options for stickers. That company is called RedBubble. What is interesting about this site is that it is like an Etsy of stickers and merchandise. If you do a search for openSUSE or Ubuntu, you will get different products by different designers. I do not know the business model here but I am very fascinated by having these options available.

          Since I have an almost unhealthy obsession with openSUSE, I had to take my rather plain and uninspiring, cold, metal machine into something with a bit of warmth.

      • Debian Family

        • Utkarsh Gupta: FOSS Activites in December 2020

          This was my 24th month of contributing to Debian. I became a DM in late March last year and a DD last Christmas! \o/

          Amongs a lot of things, this was month was crazy, hectic, adventerous, and the last of 2020 – more on some parts later this month.
          I finally finished my 7th semester (FTW!) and moved onto my last one! That said, I had been busy with other things™ but still did a bunch of Debian stuff

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Check for Outdated Snaps [Ed: Canonical: let's hook up with Microsoft for surveillance to scan your system]

          I don’t consider myself a ‘Developer’ but I maintain a bunch of snaps in the Snap Store, and threw together a shell script which I’m sharing here in case it’s useful to other publishers. The goal of the script is to go through each snap and check to see if there’s a newer version of it upstream than currently published in the store. As such it’s not meant for end-users, but for people like me who publish multiple snaps from different places, and want to keep on top of them.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Daniel Stenberg: Age is just a number or two

        Kjell, a friend of mine, mailed me a zip file this morning saying he’d found an earlier version of “urlget” lying around. Meaning: an older version than what we provide on the curl download page. urlget was the name we used for the command line tool before we changed the name to curl in March 1998.

        I’ve been reckless with some of the source code and keeping track of early history so this made me curios and when I glanced through the source code for urlget 2.4, shipped in October 1997. Kjell had found a project of his own where he’d imported the urlget sources as that was from before the days curl was also a library.

        [...]

        I could now also once and for all note that the first release of HttpGet (version 0.1) was done on November 11, 1996. My personal participation in the project began at some days/weeks after that, as it is recorded that I provided improvements in the HttpGet 0.2 release that was done on December 17 the same year.

        I’ve always counted the age of curl from March 20, 1998 which is when I first released something under the name “curl”, but since we released it as curl 4.0 that is certainly a sign that the time up to that point could possibly also be counted into its age.

      • dav1d 0.8 Released With More Optimizations – More AMD Performance – Phoronix

        Dav1d 0.8 was released this weekend (and subsequently 0.8.1 too) as the latest major release for this CPU-based AV1 decoder hosted by the VideoLAN project. Dav1d continues to be about offering the best AV1 decode speed and with the v0.8 series are even faster results — so here are some of our initial data points as well from some weekend benchmarking.

        Dav1d 0.8 offers up more optimizations. One of the main optimizations this cycle is the introduction of a picture buffer pool. Under Windows at least the usage of this picture buffer pool can improve performance by up to 10%. There are also more AVX2 and SSE/SSSE3 optimizations too.

      • Events

        • 7 enlightening talks from All Things Open 2020

          All Things Open, a technology conference held in October every year, is always a wonderful learning experience. For 2020, the conference shifted to an online format, which had its ups and downs. The chance encounters with acquaintances in the hallways and having lunch with friends were noticeably absent, but the learning experience was as good as always. Honestly, in some ways, it was better because everyone got a front-row seat, and there were no standing-room-only talks.

          One major advantage of the online format was that all of the talks were recorded, so people who missed the conference can watch the hundreds of talks available in an All Things Open 2020 playlist on YouTube.

          Hundreds of talks is a lot, so to provide some suggestions of where to start, I’ll briefly cover seven of the talks I attended. I also attended an excellent talk by Opensource.com’s Jen Wike Huger about how to write an article, but I will let her explain her talk in her own words.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Chinese Translators Team – News: 2020 summary
            Thank you all for the great effort in 2020. 
            Despite the difficulties from many directions, we as a team have achieved something proudly. 
            1. This year, the total number of new translations was more than 
            in 2019.  The Turkish team made an impressive progress, both 
            in terms of new translations and in terms of updating the existing 
            ones.  Other notably good teams are Chinese ("Simplified"), 
            Spanish and French.  The Japanese team considerably reduced 
            the amount of outdated translations throughout the year. 
            The table below shows the number and size of newly translated 
            articles and the translations to convert to the PO format 
            in important directories (as of 2020-12-31). 
            
      • Public Services/Government

        • A key finding from OSOR’s report on Open Source

          The importance of OSS in public sector across Europe is affirmed by governments increasingly incorporating OSS as part of their country’s political and legal framework, with 26 out of the 28 countries studied having put in place legal and political initiatives referring to OSS.

          The first identified initiative within the policy and legal framework addressing OSS dates back to 2001. Since then, every year, both political and legal initiatives have increased significantly, reaching a total of 100 initiatives over the course of two decades.

          Although OSS is just one digital technology that can help guide the digital transformation, the benefits afforded to users in terms of transparency, adaptability, and collaborative potential positions OSS as a highly unique offering available to all public sector bodies.

          This report highlights the impact of this gradual realisation across Europe, culminating in the implementation of various OSS initiatives and the establishment of OSS bodies.

      • Programming/Development

        • LLVM Adds Initial Support For PowerPC LE – Phoronix

          LLVM has added support for PowerPC LE (32-bit) as its newest target.

          While LLVM has supported the PowerPC architecture for years, to date it’s been focused on the big endian support. Most PowerPC hardware supports both big and little endian modes and can be switched at run-time. While Linux and others tend to focus on PowerPC support in big endian mode, LLVM has added a PowerPC LE option.

        • Side-Effect Learning
        • Perl/Raku

          • Raku Performance and Physics::Unit – Physics::Journey

            I have been able to spend some time on the Physics::Unit module over the holidays and to expunge some of the frustrations that have crept in regarding the compile times of raku.

            The basic problem I have been wrestling with is the desire to express physical SI units using the raku custom postfix operator mechanism without having to wait for 30 mins for raku to compile my module.

            This is the story of how judicious design, lazy execution, trial & error and the raku power tools got from 30 mins to under 13 secs!

            Let’s start by looking at the sunlit uplands. Imagine a raku which provides a simple and intuitive tool for scientists and educators to perform calculations that automatically figure out what the physical units are doing.

          • gfldex: Internal indirection

            With writing more and more shell scripts in Raku, I realised that I call a MAIN by a MAIN in a very indirect manner. I wondered if I can find a way to reduce the indirection to get rid of the extra process and at least some of the overhead of Proc::Async. First we need a script to call.

            [...]

            Quite in contrast to Perl 5, for Raku I never used EVAL much. Not because I’m scared — there was little reason for code generation. After all, between the two of us I have always been the more evil twin.

        • Python

          • Validating XML Schema of OVAL Documents with Python

            OVAL is the Open Vulnerability Assessment Language, which uses XML based documents to define vulnerabilities based on characteristics of a host system. It can also be used to gather information about the host. When an OVAL file is evaluated, it generates a report file with the results of the vulnerability evaluation or a system characteristics file containing information gathered from the host.

            [...]

            There are, however, still scenarios where a Definition file can use elements from more than one additional schema. This will commonly occur when using elements from the independent-definitions-schema, which contains functionality that can be used across multiple operating systems such as hashing files, checking environment variables and reading file contents. A Definition file written for Windows that uses both the Windows schema and Independent schema would not be possible to validate with lxml by passing in any single one of the default schema files. Passing in only one of the required schemas would cause the validation to fail on elements found in the schema that has not been provided to the Python script.

          • This is Why Python Will Stay Among The Top Languages in 2021 – Python Land

            Python has a long history, starting around 1991 with its first release in a newsgroup called alt.sources. Since then, we all know how omnipresent the language has become. Last year, Python ranked second in Redmonk’s list of the most popular programming languages. And I can tell you… this year won’t be different.

        • Java

          • Avoid the Telescoping anti-pattern in Java

            The Telescoping anti-pattern is widely-spread, just like a virus. It starts with good intentions.

            [...]

            With the above, you preserve the original constructor with two parameters and it calls a new constructor with three parameters and a default value of 0 for z. This will ensure that the new z property will not break previous implementation of the Example object.

            This saves you from having to fix older code and that’s why it’s a widely spread practice recognised as a design anti-pattern.

            The drawbacks of the telescoping constructor is that it is confusing, ugly and incorrect from clean code point of view. Instead, the correct way to address such a problem with an increasing number of class properties is using the so called Builder.

          • How to create immutable objects and properties in Java

            Being able to create an immutable object in Java is one of the most essential skills for any Java programmer. Such objects are needed when you want to rest assured that a created object cannot change for whatever reason.

            The common approach is to create an object with private final fields and allow only getters for these fields. However, if you reference directly these properties when returning them you are making them mutable.

  • Leftovers

    • Education

      • What is more important, reading or job prospects?

        In the past several years, UNESCO and UNICEF have sounded the alarm about an “education crisis” in developing countries. Worldwide, says UNESCO, 56% of primary-school-age children are not achieving minimum proficiency levels (MPLs) in reading. In sub-Saharan Africa, the figure is 85%.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • How open principles will impact the future of work | Opensource.com

              Consider the transformation of work throughout the Industrial Revolution (between the 1700s and 1800s). It drove many people from rural farm work into factories in the cities, fundamentally altering their lifestyles. It required new, more specialized skills (rather than the kind of artisanship common in rural economies). As we examine our own personal work environments in the decades to come, we’ll see a potential reversal of the trends we saw during the Industrial era: from hierarchy and interchangeable general skills and activities to the reinstatement of horizontal collaboration and more specialized mastery (back to artisanship).

              This time, though, these changes come on a global scale rather than a local one, and the speed of change is far more accelerated.

              And in this new work environment, open organization principles will play a vital role.

              In this series, I’ll review The Shift, a book by Professor Lynda Gratton—a book that, while written in 2014 from data assembled in 2010, still rings true today (and will in the future, too). In this book, Gratton projects how work will change around 2025 and 2050. This is vital information, as it will help us make sound choices when preparing for and developing our careers moving forward.

              [..]

              These five forces will prompt fundamental changes to the way we work in the future, Gratton argues. But we need to begin preparing for that future now. In the next article of this series, I’ll explain Gratton’s outlook and a few scenarios for grappling with a rapidly changing future. How could a person look at those changes as career opportunities? On the other hand, what would happen if a person simply ignored those changes to come? I’ll review Gratton’s thoughts on those questions. Also, I’ll also explain how open principles can form the heart of necessary changes.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Lessons from Sweden about going cashless

              In ten years the proportion of Swedes using cash has fallen from 40 to 9%. Today, Just 1% of Sweden’s GDP circulates as cash, compared to 11% in the Euro zone.

            • When algorithms meet debt…

              Everyone must be aware of four (no, five) problems. Especially lawyers.

              We “First World” countries love to hate the so called “China’s Social Credit System”. And surely there is a lot to object to such system. The problem is being unable to recognize the same thing, when it happens at home. Especially, maybe, when it comes to debt.

              Debt has been in society probably since well before the formal adoption of “money”, but (both as individuals, and at the social level) we haven’t quite managed how to deal with it yet. That is why, probably, debt and its “management” are a growing problem today. The snapshot below is about how Indians could land in a debt trap without even realizing it, and the thumbnail of this post comes from a 2018 report on Silicon Valley startups working on debt collection algorithms.

            • Really smart cities help their stores to go Dark

              The digital dark side or retailing is more smart than dark.

              Two weeks ago, I commented a very sensible proposal to protect brick and mortar local stores, based on building small local “Amazons”, rather than actually boycotting Amazon.

              In addition to that strategy, or maybe as complement of it, here is a very interesting development coming out in (at least) the UK and the USA: shops going over to the “dark” side.

              [...]

              On one hand, this is bad, because many of those places may end up strenghtening big players like Amazon, the only ones who can surely “pay all of their rent and they pay it on time”. In London, and everywhere else, of course.

              Another reason why that could be the end result is that “Overburdened courier services like the US Postal Service prioritise pick-ups from huge warehouses”, not lilliputian, isolated “High Street Stores”.

              [...]

              Less fablabs and startup incubators, more community owned warehouses, with local staff with decent contracts, bike-based, properly slow delivery…

              It may be less glamorous, but it could be much, much smarter.

            • Sometimes the best data are those that do not exist

              Or, what you can learn about privacy from Soviet weapon’s philosophy.

              [...]

              The AK-47 assault rifle was designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1947. Since then “up to 100 millions AF-47s have been made”

              One of the main reasons of the AK-47 success is that Kalashnikov did not design a rifle to achieve greatness: he designed it to “achieve averageness – under any possible conditions”, and one of essential ways to achieve that goal was to have “a SMALL number of moving parts”.

              However search engines and advertising services are regulated, make sure they work in the same way. The less personal data are there to begin with, the less can break. Just like with AK-47s.

            • Confidentiality

              • What THIS “Google Down” put in full view

                On December 14th, for about an hour, the most famous broker of behavioral advertising did not allow the world population to give it monetizable data, due to technical problems.

                This is how Paolo Vecchi rightfully described the Google outage happened three days ago. What is important is what the outage demonstrates.

    • Environment

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Cambodian conservationists find five nests of frog-headed turtle

          WCS Cambodia’s Mekong Regional Coordinator Nhuon Chanty told The Post that the first nest they discovered had 32 eggs, but within a week the team had found four more nests.

          “If we total the number of eggs in the five nests we found, there were more than 150 eggs. We will collect these frog-headed turtle eggs and put them in a safe place for them to hatch, ” he said.

          The frog-headed turtle breeding season runs from November to May.

        • Five critical things for our oceans

          Money is needed to rescue the oceans, of course. Lots and lots of it. That is not the point. It is the “mainstream” part that concerns me. Because, today, “mainstream finance” is what still does, thanks to digital technology, totally dumb stuff like high speed trading.

      • Overpopulation

        • The planet is obese

          In the last years, a team of scientists has calculated, as accurately as possible, the current values and composition of both masses.

          According to their conclusions, in 2020 biomass amounts (not counting water) to a little less than 1.2 trillion tonnes.

          Anthropogenic mass, instead, was a little over half a trillion tonnes by the end of the 20th century. Since then, in just 20 more years, it has doubled and this year became equivalent to the biomass. In other twenty years, if we keep doing things the same way, anthropogenic mass will be three times the (left) biomass.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Monopolies

      • Trademarks

        • Around the IP Blogs

          The seemingly never-ending saga of the United Patent Court being challenged in Germany courts continues [see an earlier post by The IPKat here], this time with two new constitutional complaints filed against the UPC. Juve Patent has reported on this recent turn of events.

          [...]

          Following the transposition of Art. 45 the Trade Mark Directive (EU) 2015/2436 at the end of 2019, the French IP Office (INPI) acquired new competences with regard to revocation and declaration of invalidity of trade marks. Kluwer Trademark Blog reviewed the INPI’s first decisions on the matter.

        • The ICC IP Roadmap 2020 [Ed: International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) as lobbyist and think tank for oligarchs with their protectionism agenda]

          The ICC IP Roadmap 2020 is a guide addressed to policymakers, researchers, legal and business professionals as well as the general public. Over 60 contributors from around the world participated in the publication.

          The latest edition covers patents, trademarks, copyrights, designs, trade secrets, traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions, big data, artificial intelligence, sustainability, climate change, piracy, and counterfeiting, among other topics.

          The ICC IP Roadmap 2020 is available in English. However, the Spanish and Portuguese versions will be published in 2021.

        • Washington and Cleveland football teams review names

          Janet Satterthwaite reports on the latest developments regarding the rebranding of the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians.

          Sometimes we need to be grateful for a win, even if it’s not for all the right reasons. In this case, the Washington football team is changing its name from THE REDSKINS because of a general backlash against all kinds of racism, as opposed to the narrower and long-running cause of indigenous rights and trade marks.

        • How Is The French INPI Coping With Its New Attributions Since 1st April 2020?

          Decision [DC20-008/3319571/SGU of 10/07/2020] clarifies how the exclusivity, attributed to both the Administration and the Courts, but in different situations, is to be understood.

          Indeed, INPI has exclusive jurisdiction for rectification/cancellation actions for non-use, as a principal action, save where the rectification/cancellation for non-use is in fact related to a infringement or unfair competition claim, previously filed before the Civil Courts, in which case, the Civil Courts retain exclusive competence.

          The Respondent for rectification had sued the Applicant before the Marseille IP Court for infringement of its FADA COLA mark in classes 32 & 33 of the international classification.

          The Applicant then filed for total rectification/cancellation for non-use of the FADA COLA mark in classes 32, 33 & 43, as a principal claim before INPI.

          Notwithstanding the fact that the claims were only partially identical, INPI’s decision specifies that Article L 716-5 of the Intellectual Property Code does not provide for the competence to be divided out so that the Marseille Court is exclusively competent to hear the cancellation for non-use in its entirety. The decision also relied on the traditional principle of the proper administration of justice but also a fairly unheard-of principle of “litigation unity” [«unité des litiges»].

      • Copyrights

        • Finnish Article 17 implementation proposal prohibits the use of automated upload filters

          On Monday, the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture held a public hearing on the implementation of Article 17 of the Copyright Directive. As part of this meeting, the Ministry outlined its proposal for a user rights-preserving “blocking procedure” that substantially deviates from all other implementation proposals that we have seen so far.

          The procedure presents a radical departure from the approach that is underpinning other user rights-preserving implementation proposals (such as the Austrian and German proposals) and the Commission’s proposed (and much delayed) Article 17 implementation guidance. Instead of limiting the use of automated filters to a subset of uploads where there is a high likelihood that the use is infringing, the Finnish proposal does away with automated blocking of user uploads entirely, but not with automated detection of potential infringements.

          The Finnish proposal relies on mandatory use of content recognition technology by platforms and the rapid notification of rightsholders of uploads that match works for which rightsholders have provided them with reference information. However, platforms are only required to disable access to uploaded content after rightsholders have provided them with a properly justified request to block a particular upload…

        • Web Scraping Is Vital | Stop at Zona-M

          Web scraping means collecting data from websites automatically, by writing programs, sometimes very simple ones, that do all the job (I have written several tutorial myself on how to do it. It is what Google, and every other search engine, do every second, if they must provide any service. In general, it is hard to overestimate the importance of this activity for students, researchers, businesses, watchdogs and “fact checkers” of any kind.

          Journalists, for example, have used scrapers to collect data that rooted out extremist cops, tracked lobbyists, and uncovered an underground market for adopted children.

          Web scraping is essential for democracy, and human rights in general. This is why The Markup filed an amicus brief in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court this week that threatens to make scraping illegal.

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