01.25.21

Links 25/1/2021: Huawei on GNU/Linux, NuTyX 20.12.1, Whisker Menu 2.5.3, Lutris 0.5.8.3, Linux 5.11 RC5

Posted in News Roundup at 12:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: January 24th, 2021 (1st Anniversary)

      Believe it or not, today is 9to5Linux’s first anniversary! It is on this day (January 24th) that I’ve launched 9to5Linux.com a year ago and it wouldn’t be possible without your support, so THANK YOU for all your feedback and donations (they were put to good use) so far. Here’s to us and to many more happy years together!

      This has been another amazing week of Linux news and releases as TUXEDO Computers and System76 announced new Linux laptops, Oracle announced Linux 5.10 LTS support for VirtualBox, Raspberry Pi Foundation announced their own silicon, and the KDE Plasma 5.21 desktop environment entered public beta testing. Check them all out in the weekly roundup below, along with all the latest Linux distro and app releases!

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #114

      Hello and welcome to this week’s Linux weekly roundup!

      We had another peaceful week in the world of Linux releases namely, NuTyX 20.12.1, Qubes OS • 4.0.4-rc2, Bluestar Linux 5.10.9, and Redcore 2101-beta.

      The main release of this week is KDE Plasma 5.21 Beta, packed with new features.

      May you have a wonderful week and see you next week!

    • Linux Release Roundup #21.04: Krita 4.4.2, KDE Plasma 5.21, qBittorrent 4.3.3, And More New Releases

      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.

    • Linux Weekly Roundup: Kernel 5.10.10, Plasma 5.21 Beta and More

      Here’s this week’s (ending Jan 24, 2021) roundup series, curated for you from the Linux and the open-source world on application updates, new releases, distribution updates, major news, and upcoming highlights. Have a look.

    • Out of Loss and Disappointment

      I know, many of you are very disappointed with what happened in recent events. I understand the feeling. However, that isn’t what this post is about. My reason for this post is about something good.

      Recently, much evil has been exposed, and that’s a good thing. We now know the real truth about Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and so forth. We now know not to use services provided by these companies. Will I still by somethings from Amazon or Whole Foods? Yes, But not as my first choice. Also, I will not be using any of Amazon’s technology such as AWS.

      [...]

      My laptop runs on GNU/Linux. There is more to come. This is a start of something new. The future awaits us all. Let’s make it better!

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Fearful Huawei finds comfort in Deepin Linux on laptops

        Whenever people discuss the problems Huawei is facing due to the so-called Trump ban the conversation rarely strays from the smartphone discussion and yet Huawei is more than just a smartphone company. Their product line is every bit as extensive as Samsung’s. They don’t just make expensive phones like the P40 Pro, they also make Televisions and even dabble in the laptop game as well. In fact, the stats show that they actually have a very viable laptop business. Have you ever seen a Huawei laptop in real life? Me neither, I just ogle at them on YouTube.The company started marketing their MateBook series back in 2016 when they gained a meagre 2% market share. In 2020 that number has grown to about 17% of the Chinese market and the company is expected to ship about 6 million units of its popular MateBook series in 2020. The company has also said that they have seen a growth of about 250% compared to 2018. Not a bad side business if you ask me.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • TWIL 135: Red Hat’s No-Cost RHEL, Linux on Apple M1 Mac, Google’s Chromium Fiasco | This Week in Linux – TuxDigital

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, Red Hat Announces new updates for the CentOS situation in that you can now get RHEL at No-Cost. We’re also going to be talking about a new piece of hardware from the Raspberry Pi Foundation called the Pico. Then we will check out some more Enterprise-y goodness from SUSE. Plus we’ve got some updates related to running Linux on Apple M1 Mac. We’ve also got some app news related to graphics tools Inkscape & Krita plus a not so ideal update from Google for Chromium. Later in the show we will discuss some distro news including Linux Mint having a big screensaver bug & Ubuntu announced their plans for Ubuntu 21.04 in regards to GNOME 40. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • KDE Plasma 5.21 Beta Run Through

        In this video, we are looking at KDE Plasma 5.21 Beta

      • KDE Plasma 5.21 Beta

        Today we are looking at KDE Plasma 5.21 Beta. As usual, we just do a run-through of the Beta release of the new KDE Plasma desktop environment and when the stable release is out we look at some of the new features that stand out for us, so keep your eyes out for it! However, in this run through you can have a look at some of the new features added and check out the release notes, link below for more info about the changes, and more!

      • Ucollage: Ueberzug Terminal Image Viewer

        Ueberzug is a such a cool program and thanks to it you can make a real image viewer that works inside of your terminal, no need to use ascii, or unicode blocks here we get real image rendering in a terminal.

      • 6 Tips to Start Your Tech Career in 2021
      • Linux Action News 173

        Why we don’t think Red Hat’s expanded developer program is enough, our reaction to Ubuntu sticking with an older Gnome release, and a tiny delightful surprise.

      • GNU World Order 390

        **vbetool** , **Vim** , plus **vorbis-tools** , including **ogg123** , **oggdec** and **oggenc** , **ogginfo** , **vcut** , and **vorbiscomment**.

      • Episode 255 – What if security wasn’t joyless? – Open Source Security

        Josh and Kurt talk about what we can stop doing. We take a position of asking “does it spark joy” for tools and infrastructure. Everyone is doing something they should stop.

      • Attention Arch Users! Replace ‘Yay’ With ‘Paru’. – YouTube

        Are you an Arch Linux user? Do you install packages from the AUR? Do you use the Yay AUR helper? If so, know this–yay isn’t really maintained anymore. Instead, it is recommended that you install paru as a replacement for yay.

      • LHS Episode #389: Jailbird Jamboree

        Welcome to Episode 389 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts discuss illegal activity on the air, the purpose of amateur radio, a remote head unit for the Icom IC-7100, Linux on the Apple M1 chip, a new frontier for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, ethical open-source licenses and much more. Thank you for tuning in and have a great week!

      • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #197

        Ubuntu Making Home Folders Private in 21.04

        https://discourse.ubuntu.com/t/private-home-directories-for-ubuntu-21-04-onwards/19533/2

        Ubuntu 21.04 Makes Phased Updates a Reality

        https://discourse.ubuntu.com/t/phased-updates-in-apt-in-21-04/20345/3

        Tails Has a Focus in 2021

        https://tails.boum.org/news/plans_for_2021/index.en.html

        Project Lenix from CloudLinux Gets a Name

        https://almalinux.org/

        Valve Will Continue Their Linux Investment

        https://store.steampowered.com/news/group/4145017/view/2961646623386540826

        Fedora Kinoite, a New Immutable OS

        https://fedoramagazine.org/discover-fedora-kinoite/

        Microsoft Defender for Linux Servers Now Generally Available

        https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-defender-for-endpoint/edr-for-linux-is-now-generally-available/ba-p/2048539

        Alpine Linux 3.13.0 Out

        https://www.alpinelinux.org/posts/Alpine-3.13.0-released.html

        KaOS 2021.01 Out

        https://kaosx.us/news/2021/kaos01/

        Raspberry Pi OS 2011-01-11 Out

        https://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspios_full_armhf/release_notes.txt

        Flatpak 1.10.0 Out

        https://github.com/flatpak/flatpak/releases/tag/1.10.0

        Wine 6.0 Out

        https://www.winehq.org/announce/6.0

        https://www.gamingonlinux.com/2021/01/wine-compatibility-layer-version-6-released

        Proton 5.13-5 Out

        https://github.com/ValveSoftware/Proton/releases/tag/proton-5.13-5

        Mobian Community Edition PinePhone Out

        https://blog.mobian-project.org/posts/2021/01/15/mobian-community-edition/

      • The MUDDY ethics of Free Software
    • Kernel Space

      • Intel Has A New Driver For Linux 5.12: Reporting Your Laptop’s Hinge/Keyboard Angle – Phoronix

        Intel’s latest open-source Linux driver contribution is a hinge driver that is set to debut with Linux 5.12.

        The “hid-sensor-custom-intel-hinge” driver is for supporting a hinge sensor found in many modern Intel laptops. This sensor is able to calculate the angle of the laptop’s hinge, the screen angle, and the keyboard angle relative to the horizon/ground. I hadn’t realized this sensor was all that common these days but apparently so and enough interest to Intel that they have now provided a Linux driver for exposing this hinge / keyboard / screen angle data.

      • Learn To Get Involved In Linux Kernel Development This Spring

        The Linux kernel mentor program for the spring 2021 period is now accepting applications.

        The Linux Foundation’s mentorship program for getting new developers involved in kernel developer are now accepting applications for their spring initiative. This program is primarily focused on fixing easy-to-address bugs that have turned up via automated testing / tools analyzing the code but not yet addressed upstream.

      • Linux 5.11-rc5
        So this rc looked fairly calm and small, all the way up until today.
        
        In fact, over 40% of the non-merge commits came in today, as people
        unloaded their work for the week on me. The end result is a slightly
        larger than usual rc5 (but both 5.10 and 5.8 were bigger, so not some
        kind of odd outlier).
        
        Nothing particularly stands out. We had a couple of splice()
        regressions that came in during the previous release as part of the
        "get rid of set_fs()" development, but they were for odd cases that
        most people would never notice. I think it's just that 5.10 is now
        getting more widely deployed so people see the fallout from that
        rather fundamental change in the last release.  And the only reason I
        even reacted to those is just because I ended up being involved with
        some of the tty patches during the early calm period of the past week.
        There's a few more still pending.
        
        But the bulk of it all is all the usual miscellaneous fixes all over
        the place, and a lot of it is truly trivial one- or few-liners. Just
        under half the patch is for drivers, with the rest being the usual mix
        of tooling, arch updates, filesystem and core (mm, scheduling,
        networking).
        
        Nothing here makes me go "Uhhuh" in other words.
        
                    Linus
        
      • Linux 5.11-rc5 Kernel Released Following A Busy Sunday – Phoronix

        The fifth weekly release candidate of Linux 5.11 is now available for testing.

        Last week Linux 5.11-rc4 was released and Linus Torvalds characterized it as shaping into a fairly normal release cycle. Linux 5.11-rc5 was quiet too, up until today when there was a rush of last minute pull requests.

    • Applications

      • TV-Lite – GTK 3 IPTV, Sopcast, Acestream Player for Linux

        TV-Lite is a free open-source IPTV player with Sopcast and Acestream handling capabilities, which runs in Linux and Windows.

        TV-Lite aims to be a replacement for the older TV-Maxe. It so far uses VLC for media playback, and need Acestream and / or Sopcast for this program to be able to handle the respective stream types.

        [...]

        Once installed, open the player from system app menu and you can add following line into Menu -> “Manage subscriptions” for free TVs.

      • Explore binaries using this full-featured Linux tool

        In 10 ways to analyze binary files on Linux, I explained how to use Linux’s rich set of native tools to analyze binaries. But if you want to explore your binary further, you need a tool that is custom-made for binary analysis. If you are new to binary analysis and have mostly worked with scripting languages, 9 essential GNU binutils tools will help you get started learning the compilation process and what constitutes a binary.

        It’s natural to ask why you need yet another tool if existing Linux-native tools do similar things. Well, it’s for the same reasons you use your cellphone as your alarm clock, to take notes, as a camera, to listen to music, to surf the internet, and occasionally to make and receive calls. Previously, separate devices and tools handled these functions — like a physical camera for taking pictures, a small notepad for taking notes, a bedside alarm clock to wake up, and so on. Having one device to do multiple (but related) things is convenient for the user. Also, the killer feature is interoperability between the separate functions.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Xrdp on Ubuntu 20.04

        Xrdp is an open-source equivalent of Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). With xrdp installed on a Linux system, users can remotely access the Linux desktop using an RDP client as we shall demonstrate later in this article. It’s completely free to download and use.

        Without much further ado, let’s see how you can install Xrdp on Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 and 18.04.

      • How to Symlink a File in Linux

        A symbolic link, also known as ‘Symlink‘ is a special type of file in Linux, which is used for the purpose of pointing to another file. The symlink does not contain any other data apart from the disk address of the file to which the symlink is pointing to.

        Symlinks are particularly useful as shortcut files; where you can have the symlink of a program/application on your desktop/home folder, instead of the program file and its dependencies.

      • How to Install Wine 5.0 on Debian, Ubuntu and Linux Mint

        Wine is an open-source, free and easy-to-use program that enables Linux users to run Windows-based applications on Unix-like operating systems. Wine is a compatibility layer for installing almost all versions of Windows programs.

        Wine 6.0 is finally released and it comes with an array of numerous enhancements and a total of 40 bug fixes. You can find out all the new features and changelog of this new release on the Wine announcement project page.

      • How to Install Wine 6.0 in Ubuntu

        Wine is a nifty utility that allows users to run Windows applications inside a Linux environment. Wine 6.0 is finally out, and it ships with an array of numerous improvements and a total of 40 bug fixes.

      • How to Change Open File Limit in Linux

        In Linux, there are limits defined by the system for anything that consumes resources. For example, there are limits on how many arguments can be passed to a certain command, how many threads can run at the same time, etc.

        Similarly, there is a limit on the number of open files. As you might know, an open file is actively being used in some of the other programs and hence consumes memory.
        You can view and modify the open file limit with the command ‘ulimit‘.

      • How to Install GVM Vulnerability Scanner on Ubuntu 20.04

        GVM (Greenbone Vulnerability Management) is an open-source solution for vulnerability scanning and vulnerability management. GVM was previously known as OpenVAS.

        Greenbone Vulnerability Manager and OpenVAS are widely used by a number of people in the World including security experts and common users alike who used this all in one suite of tools that works together to run the tests against client computers using its own database of known weaknesses and exploits.

        In this article, we will show How to install and setup GVM on Ubuntu 20.04 to make sure that your servers are protected against attacks.

      • How To Install Wine on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Wine on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Wine is a free and open-source use that allows users to run Microsoft Windows applications in a Linux environment. In the present day, Wine is a must-have tool to get Linux users who don’t want to be able to let go of Windows native software especially gamers.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Wine on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How to boot multiple ISO images from one USB drive on Linux

        A bootable USB drive allows you to instantly run a full-fledged OS from the file system on the USB drive, rather than from the host computer’s hard drive. Such capability is quite useful in various scenarios, for example, when you need to diagnose and repair a corrupted file system of a host computer, or when you want to test drive an alternative OS or the latest release of your favorite Linux distro before installing it. You can easily create a bootable USB by burning an ISO image on a USB drive with tools like Gparted or UNetbootin. There is nothing fancy.

        However, for people like me who would like to try out all sorts of Linux distros and different releases of each distro for testing purposes, as part of writing tutorials, what would be nice is the ability to boot multiple ISO images from a single USB drive. However, a typical bootable USB drive or memory stick can only boot from a single ISO file stored on the drive. It is not only inconvenient as I need to re-format the USB drive with a new ISO file every time I need to boot from a different ISO file, but also quite wasteful as a typical USB drive has much bigger space than a single ISO image. Although it’s possible to boot ISO files using GRUB, it’s rather cumbersome to modify GRUB configuration each time you want to add a new ISO file to try. Also, the GRUB-based approache does not provide the portability of a USB drive.

      • How to compress PDF files on Linux | FOSS Linux

        PDFs offer us one of the most convenient ways of sharing images. However, by stuffing tons of data such as images and graphics, the PDF file size can get too big to share via emails. If you are also suffering from this issue, you have come to the right place. Here, we will show you how to compress a PDF file in Linux to reduce its size drastically. And don’t worry, we have included both GUI and Terminal methods in this tutorial.

      • How to fix error : Conda command not found

        If you have already installed Miniconda and cannot run the commands in the terminal while using zsh, you may find the following helpful.

        In case you have already added the appropriate path environment variable to bashrc and bash_profile files, you would need to add the Miniconda folder directory to the PATH environment variable of zsh shell.

      • How to set up SSH dynamic port forwarding on Linux | Enable Sysadmin

        Dynamic port forwarding allows for a great deal of flexibility and secure remote connections. See how to configure and use this SSH feature.

      • Introduction to ContainerJFR: JDK Flight Recorder for containers

        OpenJDK has long been a top pick for real-world applications and workloads, chosen for its blend of performance, compatibility, reliability, and observability. For many years, JDK Flight Recorder (JFR) and JDK Mission Control (JMC) have contributed to OpenJDK’s success. Until recently, both were commercial features, however, available only for certain users and workloads.

        In 2018, JDK Mission Control and JDK Flight Recorder were open-sourced. JDK Flight Recorder is now built into the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) for later releases of OpenJDK 8 and all versions from OpenJDK 11 onward. Open-sourcing these tools brings their power—always-on, near-zero overhead production profiling and monitoring, application-specific custom events, and unified-core JDK analytical tooling—to all JDK users. On the downside, JDK Mission Control and JDK Flight Recorder have emerged into a world rapidly moving toward containerization, which is not the paradigm that they were designed for.

        The desktop-only JDK Mission Control application requires developers and administrators to access flight recordings on the local disk. Otherwise, one resorts to a complex and potentially insecure setup to connect directly to applications over Java Management Extensions (JMX) in the cloud. Similarly, the bare-metal-focused JDK Flight Recorder allows JVMs to dump recordings into the local filesystem, but not when the application runs inside a container. In that case, the filesystem is not easily accessible from the outside world, and it isn’t possible to retrieve and analyze recordings.

      • Install and Configure Grafana on Kubernetes

        We are going to deploy Grafana to visualise Prometheus monitoring data.

      • How to Install and Use Docker on Ubuntu 20.04 | 18.04

        Docker is a free, open-source and cross-platform containerization tool that helps you to deploy and run the application in an isolated environment. Docker has become one of the most important parts of modern software development and DevOps pipelines.

      • How to Find Cheap Linux VPS? [Ed: Potentially a bit spammy (the links in there)]

        VPS stands for a Virtual Private Server. This is a virtual machine that is commonly used for hosting a web site. You can buy a VPS from a hosting provider companies such as Routerhosting, and based on your requirements. Each VPS provides you a private resource on a server to host your website. Likewise, you can use a shared VPS that is more affordable but in low security. Another noticeable factor for selecting a perfect VPS is operating system. The operating system that you select for VPS will have a strong impact on your business or the field of your action. There are two options available including Windows VPS and Linux VPS. Although there are many basic functions that are common between them, but selecting the OS completely depends on users and their preferences. As you know Linux VPS is more popular than Windows. You can easily find a cheap Linux VPS with great speed, function, and security.

      • 4 ways to identify your current shell (if it’s bash)

        Knowing which run you are using on your system is an important piece of information. Your shell determines your login environment to a large extent as it controls which environment variables get exported, your shell prompt etc. On a Linux system it’s almost certain that you will using the bash shell unless the system administrator has deliberately changed it to something else. In this quick article we will demonstrate four ways you can determines if you are running the bash shell or not.

      • Alan Pope: The Black Oblong of Monospace Mystery

        I originally titled this post “Don’t be afraid of the command line”, but decided “Black Oblong of Monospace Mystery” was more fun. Is the command line really scary? It doesn’t feel like that to me, but I grew up with an interface which looks like this on first boot.

      • What Is DNS Server?

        What is DNS Server? DNS stands for Domain Name System. This is actually a service that runs on all of our computers but majorly it runs the entire internet. We type a website in the browser and with the bling of our eyes the website is open. Have you ever wondered how does that happen? In today’s article, we will learn the process of how the website opens so fast and how DNS plays an important role in this process.

        We already know that every website is saved in a server that is located somewhere in the world. We need to reach this server and ask for the website homepage. In order to reach this Server, we need the address. When we want to visit a person in real life, we need his home address but in the world of the internet, we need the logical address. Internet Protocol, also known as IP Address is the logical addressing system.

        In order to reach a website we need to enter its server IP in the browser and the server will reply with the homepage. Initially, when the internet was in its infancy, people kept the record of IP addresses. Gradually, the internet because huge, and keeping the record of IP addresses was a challenge. The markers of the Internet knew that humans are very good at remembering names than numbers. They came up with the idea of a DNS Server.

      • How to install Proton VPN on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Proton VPN 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 AppImage in Linux

        AppImage is format for packaging applications which is self-contained. It is the universal software package format compatible with various Linux distribution. In the traditional system of installing software packages, you need to download, extract and install on various directories of the system. But with the AppImage there is no extraction, no installation, no root permission, you just download the single package, make it executable and run it with a single click. It includes all the compressed image, dependencies, and libraries needed to run the software. Even to uninstall the application, you will just remove the AppImage file.

      • Install Oracle Virtualbox 6.1.18 in Ubuntu 20.04 / CentOS 8 & Fedora

        Virtualbox an open-source application for running operating systems virtually in our base system and this application available for multiple operating systems (ie) Windows, Linux, and macOS.

        It has a large number of features, high performing software used in enterprise-level and licensed under General Public License (GPL). It is developed by a community based on a dedicated company.

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install Oracle VirtualBox 6.1.18 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 19.10, CentOS 8 / Redhat 8, and Fedora.

      • How To Install Docker on Linux Mint 20

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Docker on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Docker is an open-source project that automates the deployment of the application inside the software container. The container allows the developer to package up all project resources such as libraries, dependencies, assets, etc. Docker is written in a Go Programming language and is developed by Dot cloud. It is basically a container engine that uses the Linux Kernel features like namespaces and control groups to create containers on top of an operating system and automates the application deployment on the container.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Docker on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • How to Secure Email Server Against Hacking with VPN (CentOS/RHEL)

        In this tutorial, I’m going to share with you my tips and tricks to secure CentOS/RHEL email servers against hacking with a self-hosted VPN server. Many spammers are trying to hack into other people’s email servers. If successful, they would use the hacked email server to send large volumes of spam or steal valuable data. Why do we use a self-hosted VPN server? Because it allows you to enable whitelisting, so only trusted users connected to the VPN server can access your mail server.

      • Fixed compile of libvdpau-va-gl in OE

        I posted yesterday about the problem in OpenEmbedded when the compile of a package requires execution of a binary:

        https://bkhome.org/news/202101/fixed-compile-of-samba-without-krb5-in-oe.html

        This problem does not occur if the build-architecture and target-architectures are the same. The problem occurs with a cross-compile.
        Today I had the same problem, with package ‘libvdpau-va-gl’. I had previously compiled this in OE, but now the build-arch is x86_64 and the target-arch is aarch64.

    • Games

      • Lutris game manager v0.5.8.3 out, requires contributors to agree to a CLA

        For regular Linux gamers, Lutris is pretty much a household name by now. For those that aren’t – Lutris is a game manager allowing you to sort through all your games from various stores.

        Not only that it also allows you to manage emulators for your favourite classics, Windows games using the Wine compatibility layer and quite a lot more. It’s very useful and they continue polishing up the overall experience after a huge update went out late last year.

      • Critters for Sale is super weird, first episode out free and the rest this year | GamingOnLinux

        Love you wild adventures? Critters for Sale is one you should take a look at because this is the second time I’ve played it and I still have no idea what the hell is going on.

        Originally released on itch.io back in 2019 which I mentioned here, and a contributor also took a look later, it’s now seen a first episode release on Steam with Critters for Sale: SNAKE. It’s so bizarre! A point and click visual novel adventure, one that’s black and white with a bunch of animated scenes in the middle of the screen.

      • Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood from The Coma devs launches February 10

        Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is going to take you on an adventure that loops over with twists and turns, featuring a narrative time-loop like some kind of Groundhog Day. Developed by Devespresso (The Coma & The Coma 2) and published by Headup, it sounds pretty Oz-esque and amusing with the recognizable Devespresso Games manhwa-style.

        Initially starting off in Early Access, they’ve now announced it will begin on February 10. The roadmap to release suggests the final version will be live in March with one third of the story chapters already available. They’re using Early Access mainly to ensure the full release is nice and smooth.

      • Try the demo for Bittersweet Birthday, a creepy action game with you being hunted

        Bittersweet Birthday is an upcoming action game set inside a mysterious building. You wake up dazed and confused, there’s people after you but someone is trying to help you escape. An interesting setting full of intrigue, with each fight being a unique combat encounter.

        “Bittersweet Birthday is an action game where every combat encounter is a challenging and unique fight. You can also explore different areas and help many of the NPC populating them with their everyday struggles while learning more about the world and its history.”

      • Empire building terminal game Arcane Fortune adds trade, nobility, assassination | GamingOnLinux

        Inspired by the likes of Dwarf Fortress, Civilization, SimCity and more we have the free and open source Arcane Fortune which continues to expanding in features. Played in your favourite command-line terminal application, or just use the pre-made launch script it comes with that sorts out everything for you.

        Seems like it has some genuinely great ideas, and considering how ridiculously popular Dwarf Fortress is, we know that shiny graphics are not a key to success. Perhaps Arcane Fortune will be able to carve out a nice niche.

      • Open-world voxel sandbox game Rising World is going through a rewrite | GamingOnLinux

        After entering Early Access in 2014, JIW-Games have been rewriting their open world sandbox game Rising World to move away from Java and instead use the Unity game engine.

        They actually announced this back in 2019, as part of a post mentioning how changes to the Valve algorithm for showing games had dropped off their store page traffic dramatically. They said about wanting to rework a lot of it and Unity would help them achieve this.

        Back in December they finally showed off the result of their efforts, with a massive overhaul available in Beta that’s now using Unity and they’re continuing to support Linux.

      • Free and open source modern level editor LDtk has a huge new release

        LDtk (prev called LEd) is an in-development free and open source level editor, one that’s modern and designed to be as user-friendly as possible designed by a former dev on Dead Cells.

        A big release just went out out with the 0.7.0 version, which the developer explained has “many important changes to make LDtk production ready and future proof. These changes will allow better support for large projects, better API creation and maintenance, and smoother user adoption”.

      • VICE v3.5 | Versatile Commodore Emulator on openSUSE

        I recently received a little bit of a ribbing, I suppose, via email about not writing about emulators that were not of the Nintendo vintage. This is a fair criticism, I probably spend more time messing with Commodore 64 things such as chatting on IRC with a Commodore 64 or playing with my new THEC64 Maxi (more on that at a later date).

        I have been doing some dabbling with the Commodore 64 again, but instead of just running or configuring things, I am interested in doing some application development. Instead of playing, doing something useful and practical. For real. That said, on a fresh clean installation of openSUSE Tumbleweed on my HP EliteBook I decided to install the latest VICE Emulator using the Open Build Service and do a little poking and playing around. It had been a while since I used the emulator.

        [...]

        Generally, it is more common to see some sort of Raspberry Pi OS or Debian based system as a retro gaming machine but the fine folks of the openSUSE community keep the repos up to date to have the latest in retro Commodore experiences. I love seeing the work being done to keep the Commodore experience alive. I know that much of this work has trickled into other projects which is what make the community based open source projects so wonderful.

        I do want to highlight two individuals that are directly responsible for my excellent experience on openSUSE: Wolfgang Bauer and Karol Sławiński. You see these two names on the package change log for the last year. My sincere thank you goes to them.

        If you haven’t kicked the tires of VICE recently, I highly recommend downloading version 3.5 and giving it another try. The GUI is better, the sound and video is better, the system controls are better based on the change log, the underpinnings are better. I think you will be pleasantly surprised on this refreshed experience.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Whisker Menu 2.5.3 released

        - Fix invalid command expansion with Xfce 4.14 (Issue #39)
        - Translation updates: Basque, Portuguese (Brazil)

      • Xfce’s Thunar File Manager Gets Split View, File Creation Times, and More

        Thunar 4.17 is here as the first milestone towards the next major release that will be part of the upcoming Xfce 4.18 desktop environment, which is now in early development. I know many of you love and use Thunar, so here’s a look at the major new features coming to your Xfce desktop environment.

        The big news is that Thunar now finally features a split view, allowing you to use the file manager as a dual-pane file explorer/commander. I bet many of you were hoping for this feature, so here it is and you’ll be able to use soon on your Xfce desktop, hopefully later this year.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • The Kate Text Editor – January 2021

          It not only got some nice visual refresh but a much better fuzzy matching algorithm.

          The fuzzy matching algorithm is on its way to be upstream to KCoreAddons to be used by more parts of the KDE universe.

          Praise to Waqar Ahmed for implementing this and pushing it to upstream. And thanks to Forrest Smith for allowing us to use his matching algorithm under LGPLv2+!

          [...]

          As you can see on our team page a lot of new people helped out in the scope of the last year. I hope to see more people showing up there as new contributors. It is a pleasure that Waqar Ahmed & Jan Paul Batrina now have full KDE developer accounts!

          Especially Waqar came up with a lot of nifty ideas what could be fixed/improved/added and he did already do a lot of work to actually get these things done!

          I actually wanted to write earlier about what cool new stuff is there, but had too much review requests to look after. Great! ;=) No I can read review request instead of light novels in the evening.

        • Contributing to Konsole

          I never thought I could contribute with Open Source, or even imagined I could change my workspace, in my mind doing it was beyond my programming skills.

          I was a Windows user for a long time, until one day I couldn’t stand anymore how the system was so slow, it was not a top computer, but it was a reasonable one to be that slow.

          So I changed to Debian and used it for a time until change to other distros, but I was amazed how fast it was, of course I couldn’t use all of the same programs I used to work with but I did learn new ones.

        • KDE Plasma 5.21: Everything You Need to Know

          KDE Plasma 5.21 is out and in a Beta way. Just because we are dealing with a Beta version of this Linux-based desktop environment does not imply we shouldn’t be at the edge of our seats. It is a test, and every test needs a pass mark. That is why the Linux community exists; to approve all running tests. Plasma 5.21 Beta has not lost its pretty UI touch. All its Beta upgrades we will discuss are redirected towards improving the usability index of every Linux user that fancy it.

        • Pikasso, a simple drawing application in QtQuick with Rust

          Following my last blog post about using Rust and Lyon to create custom shapes. I’m happy to announce the creation of Pikasso, a very simple drawing program intended to be used on Plasma Mobile.

          Pikasso is very basic and only supports drawing with the mouse/finger and adding rectangles and circles to the scene. An undo feature is also available as well as the possibility to export your beautiful artworks to SVGs. As you can see, Pikasso is not intended to be replacements for Krita. If you want a powerful drawing application just use Krita, it’s awesome. The scope of Pikasso is more similar to Kolourpaint or Paint.exe and intended for children to play a bit with it on Plasma Mobile.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Tiny Core Linux Installation and Review

          The OS architectures supported by Tiny Core Linux are x86. X86_64, and ARM processors. It may not be a complete package for a functional Linux distro or flavor, but the freedom and flexibility it offers is out of the box. Under Tiny Core Linux, you get to push your OS around rather than your OS pushing you around like in other platforms. The speed and simplicity under this Linux distro cannot be substituted. Moreover, the absence of a Desktop environment distractions under its user experience is another plus. It gifts you the perfect tinkering experience due to its lightweight nature.

        • Review: Mabox Linux 20.10

          For me, running Mabox was a curious experience. The reason being that the distribution never seemed to do anything objectively wrong or buggy. Everything worked properly, the system was fast, stable, and often offered multiple approaches to accomplishing tasks. Mabox inherits Arch Linux’s large repositories of software and the cutting-edge packages which make its grandparent famous. The lightweight Openbox window manager is flexible and fast. Plus I like that Mabox doesn’t ship a lot of applications, just some good basics, and gives us multiple tools to add more items we might want. However, Mabox never felt like a good fit for me.

          It’s hard to put my finger on why exactly this was because the distribution, objectively, does a lot of things well. However, the style of the distribution isn’t at all to my taste. The Openbox session is very busy and I like quiet interfaces. Mabox is a cutting-edge rolling release and I like static and boring. Mabox has a tonne of status panels, shortcuts, and an elegant welcome screen. I want my operating system to stay out of the way and not distract me. Mabox has many configuration tools and they all seem to work, but the number of them (and the lack of a central organization for them) can make it harder to find the options I want to adjust.

          I guess what made the experience feel odd is Mabox uses a really minimal window manager, but with all the bells and whistles enabled. It ships with very few desktop applications, yet the menu is crowded with options. The system looks really sleek and modern, but a lot of options require we tweak text-based configuration files by hand. It makes for an odd series of juxtapositions.

          Objectively, I think Mabox is quite good. The only real bug I ran into was Firefox and the desktop panel using the same shortcut, but otherwise the system was fast, smooth, and capable. It just has an unusual approach to several aspects of it. Which makes me feel the distribution is objectively good, but subjectively not to my taste.

      • New Releases

        • NuTyX 20.12.1 available with cards 2.4.124

          I am very happy to announce the new version of NuTyX 20.12.1 and cards 2.4.124.

          The compilation chain is completely rebuilt in addition to glibc 2.32, gcc 10.2.0 and binutils 2.34

          The xorg-server graphics server version 1.20.10, the Mesa 3D library in 20.3.2, gtk3 3.24.24 and qt 5.15.2 are also in their latest versions.

          The python interpreters are ent 3.9.0 and 2.7.18.

          The XFCE desktop environment is updated to version 4.14.3.

          The MATE desktop environment is also updated to version 1.24, the latest version available.

          The KDE desktop environment is available in Plasma 5.20.4, Framework 5.76.0 and applications in 20.12.1. et les applications en 20.12.1.

          Available browsers are: firefox 84.0.2, chromium 87.0.4280.88, falkon 3.1.0, epiphany 3.38.2, etc

          Many desktop applications have been updated as well like thunderbird 78.6.1, Scribus 1.5.6.1, libreoffice 7.0.4.2, gimp 2.10.22, etc.

          Core NuTyX ships with Long Term Support (LTS) kernels: 4.9.253, 4.14.217, 4.19.170, 5.4.92 and 5.10.10 and the latest stable version 5.10.10.

        • Qubes OS 4.0.4-rc2 has been released!

          We’re pleased to announce the second release candidate for Qubes OS 4.0.4.

      • BSD

        • OpenBSD KDE Status Report

          But today we can be happy about an up-to-date KDE stack in OpenBSD. Currently – at the end of January – our stack is very up-to-date: [...]

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2021/03

          Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

          Shame on me for giving you the information about the changes in Tumbleweed during this week only now, but at least technically this is still the review of Week 03. Since the last weekly review, there have been 6 snapshots published (0114, 0115, 0118, 0119, 0120, and 0121).

        • Beneath the code: SUSE Enterprise Linux construction mechanics – Open Source Insider

          As every good developer knows, when you want to learn more about what a platform or tools provider is bringing through the release pipeline: ignore the news, delete the press releases, don’t look at the advertisements… read the coder blogs instead.

          Microsoft’s MSDN has adopted this approach for most of the last decade and it is – very arguably – where the real meat (or plant-based protein substitutes with soya-enrichment) is.

          Also well versed in this practice is German open source operating system softwarehaus SUSE.

          [...]

          Last but not least, Moutoussamy talks about the openSUSE community and how SUSE wants to share more than just code.

          “So next we will talk about some of the underlying processes glueing everything together but also about the great tool we are using: Open Build Service (build) and openQA (test),” he concludes.

          Can we imagine that one day, all technology vendors will talk about the way they actually build code and perform rollout cadence and express the need to balance open source community and commercial requirements in a product that still, ultimately, progresses forward year-on-year? We can dream, surely.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Mate On The Raspberry PI 400

          In a previous article I reviewed the desktop version of Ubuntu on the Raspberry PI 4.

          I came up against quite a few issues whilst using Ubuntu on the PI 4 with the main one being performance. In my opinion running the GNOME desktop on a Raspberry PI is never going to work because GNOME takes too many resources. This isn’t a criticism of GNOME because on a laptop with higher specifications it is a decent desktop environment.

          I received a few criticisms and comments during that review. One of the criticisms was that I should have overclocked the Raspberry PI 4.

          The main comment that I received multiple times is that I should have used Ubuntu Mate.

          So here we are. I have installed Ubuntu Mate and I have been using it for about a month and I am going to share with you my experience.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Release Date & Planned Features

          While development on Ubuntu 21.04 is still (somewhat) early, rumours are already circling about what to expect from the release that Ubuntu developers have dubbed the “Hirsute Hippo”.

          In this post we rundown everything we know so far, including when Ubuntu 21.04 will be released, how long it’ll be supported for, and what kind of new features and key changes its likely to include.

        • Ubuntu 20.10 on the Raspberry Pi 4 Rocks: A Review

          Canonical released Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) at the end of October 2020, and it’s the first release of the popular GNU/Linux distribution to offer an Ubuntu Desktop image for Raspberry Pi computers, supporting only Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi 400 models.

          Ubuntu was already available for the Raspberry Pi, but only as a server, supporting Raspberry Pi 2 and later models. Now, Canonical gives us the opportunity to turn our tiny devices into versatile office or home office computers that can do pretty much anything you throw at them.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How open source is helping solve the plastic pollution problem

        In my work life, I often deal with geospatial data. This data not only carries the customary sorts of attributes we see every day but also geographic attributes, like points, lines, enclosed areas, polygons, and surfaces. This data is typically projected from latitude, longitude, and sea-level-elevation data to other coordinate systems to facilitate analysis and viewing.

        One of the things I find odd about dealing with geospatial data is how much it is monetized and bound up in restrictive license agreements. If you search for “geospatial data” using your favorite search engine, you’ll probably see several pages of links to organizations that sell data or create and sell geospatial analysis and visualization software, all under restrictive licensing. But if you dig deeper, you’ll find some wonderful open data and open source software.

      • 7 ways open source was essential to business in 2020

        The COVID-19 pandemic created many new challenges for businesses in 2020 as they rapidly moved non-essential workers to remote operations. However, it also created tremendous opportunities for innovation as people searched for effective ways to work and collaborate virtually.

        Opensource.com responded to the need by publishing a variety of articles in 2020 on working better with open source. Since it appears working remotely is here to stay for the foreseeable future, make sure you’re doing everything you can to adapt by reading the top seven articles about open source business from 2020.

      • What does “open source” mean in 2021?

        The licensing discourse in the last few weeks has highlighted a difference between what “open source” means and what we’re talking about when we use the term. Strictly speaking, open source software is software released under a license approved by the Open Source Initiative. In most practical usage, we’re talking about software developed in a particular way. When we talk about open source, we talk about the communities of users and developers, (generally) not the license. “Open source” has come to define an ethos that was all have our own definition of.

      • Open-Source Apache CloudStack 4.15 Gets New Look

        The mature open-source cloud infrastructure platform project gets a major update, boasting a new user interface and improved storage subsystem features.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Use Chromium? Sync Features Will Stop Working on March 15

            Users of the Chromium web browser are about to lose access to several key features, including bookmark and password sync.

            Google is cutting off access to a number of private APIs used in Chromium builds from March 15, 2021.

            Among the APIs nixed are those supporting the browser’s account syncing services, translation, and spell checking.

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Firefox 85 Is Now Available for Download, This Is What’s New

            Firefox 85 is the first release of the popular open-source and cross-platform web browser to drop support for the Adobe Flash Player plugin. This means that you won’t be able to re-enable Flash support, especially because the Flash plugin has stopped loading Flash content since January 12th, 2021.

            Now that Flash is gone, let’s take a look at the new features as Firefox 85 comes with a major privacy feature called “Network partitioning,” which promises to improve your privacy while surfing the Web by partitioning the network resources instead of sharing them to eliminate cross-site tracking.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Binutils 2.36 Released With Support For Intel AMX, AVX VNNI, Key Locker – Phoronix

            GNU Binutils 2.36 is out today as the latest version of this collection of binary utilities for Linux/open-source systems.

            As usual the x86_64 space for today’s Binutils update is fairly eventful around supporting new CPU instructions. There is now support for AVX VNNI, HRESET, UINTR, TDX, AMX and Intel Key Locker instructions. All these additions are fairly notable for new and upcoming CPUs, especially the likes of the Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX) and AVX (non-AVX-512) VNNI. Intel’s open-source developers continue doing a good job on ensuring timely support for new CPU features in the Linux space.

          • gcc 11: libgccjit is no longer ‘alpha’
          • GCC’s JIT Library Is No Longer Considered “Alpha” Quality – Phoronix

            With the upcoming GCC 11 compiler release the GNU compiler’s just-in-time (JIT) library is no longer considered to be of alpha quality.

            Libgccjit is considered production quality with GCC 11. GCC 5 was released nearly six years ago already and with that release came the introduction of this GCC JIT library initially developed by Red Hat’s compiler experts. It was initially written as an embed-friendly library, to be used by bytecode interpreters and other potential use-cases with there even having been an experimental Python compiler.

          • GTK4 Toolkit Seeing More Improvements To Its OpenGL Renderer – Phoronix

            While GTK 4.0 has been released, there still is major work to look forward to with future GTK4 releases. One area seeing recent and ongoing improvements is with the toolkit’s OpenGL renderer.

            Even though GTK4 has a Vulkan renderer, the OpenGL renderer is still of interest for cross-platform support particularly for macOS where Vulkan doesn’t exist unless employing MoltenVK. There is also still legacy and other cases like the Nouveau driver stack where Vulkan isn’t available, thus in 2021 working on the OpenGL renderer still pays off.

      • Programming/Development

        • A Beginner’s Guide to R Programming | EC-Council Blog

          R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It is used for complex analysis such as correlation, clustering, and data reduction. Learn everything about the fundamental programming concepts in R and more.

        • Perl/Raku

          • gfldex: Chain calling

            When working with IO::Path we have to take platform dependent directory separator into account. To alleviate the problem .add was added. Surprisingly there is no candidate that takes a list. So we have to chain method calls as if we would use an inferior language.

        • Python

          • Pyston 2.1 Is Blowing Past Python 3.8/3.9 Performance

            With this past week’s release of Pyston 2.1 as an alternative Python interpreter I was curious to see how the performance compared to that of upstream Python… So here are some weekend benchmarks with a Ryzen 9 5900X system.

            On a Ryzen 9 5900X system running Ubuntu 20.10, I ran a few Python benchmarks using its stock Python 3.8.6 installation, Python 3.9.1 as the latest upstream and built from source in an optimized mode, and then the Pyston 2.1 x86_64 Linux binary. Pyston 2.x still is (sadly) binary-only for now.

        • Java

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Perceived Relations Between Gopher Gemini and HTTP

        This piece is written with the expectation that it will attract:

        * Those who are Gopher and Gemini enthusiasts,
        * Those who are the above and have the opinion I’m wrong,
        * Or those who have heard the two and want to know a bit more about them and their relation to the current web.

  • Leftovers

    • 3 stress-free steps to tackling your task list

      In prior years, this annual series covered individual apps. This year, we are looking at all-in-one solutions in addition to strategies to help in 2021. Welcome to day 14 of 21 Days of Productivity in 2021.

      [...]

      Even then, I had to break these tasks down into smaller pieces—download the software, configure NGINX, validate the installs…you get the idea. And that’s OK. A plan, or set of tasks, is not set in stone and can be changed as needed.

    • Dr. Brad J. Cox Ph.D. 1944 – 2021

      [...] Dr. Cox was an entrepreneur, having founded the Stepstone Company together with Tom Love for releasing the first Objective-C implementation. Stepstone hoped to sell “ICPaks” and Dr. Cox focused on building his ICPak libraries and hired a team to continue work on Objective-C, including Steve Naroff. The late Steve Jobs’, NeXT, licensed the Objective-C language for it’s new operating system, NEXTSTEP. NeXT eventually acquired Objective- C from Stepstone. Objective-C continued to be the primary programming language for writing software for Apple’s OS X and iOS.

    • The Postal Service Survived the Election. But It Was Crushed by Holiday Packages.

      In December, amid a crush of packages and record numbers of coronavirus cases, service performance across the U.S. Postal Service network plummeted to the lowest levels in years, with only about 64 percent of first-class mail delivered on time around Christmas.

    • Tech flight: Why Silicon Valley is heading to Miami and Austin, Texas

      While Silicon Valley is by no means ceasing to be the center of the technology industry, there is an undeniable migration afoot for some of Silicon Valley’s elite to cities like Miami: Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian moved from San Francisco in 2017. A year later, Shervin Pishevar, a venture capitalist, bought a house in Miami Beach in 2018. In late 2020, Jonathan Oringer, who founded Shutterstock and became an investor, moved to Miami, as did other notable venture capitalists, including Keith Rabois and David Blumberg.

      It’s not just Miami experiencing this migration. Last month, Oracle, the tech giant, announced it is moving its corporate headquarters from Redwood City, California, to Austin, Texas. Other such moves include Palantir, which decamped for Denver, while Musk said last month he had moved himself to Austin. Hewlett Packard Enterprise also announced last month it was moving its headquarters from San Jose, California, in favor of a Houston suburb.

    • Science

      • Will the last entrepreneurial person leaving the Bay Area please turn off the lights?

        Is this the time that it really happens, when the Bay Area finally begins to lose its ability to attract and keep the critical mass of innovative employees necessary to maintain the region’s primacy in the hi-tech world? Is it really the time to ask: Will the last entrepreneurial person to leave please turn off the lights?

        [...]

        Point taken, but still, consider the following. In December 2020, Hewlett-Packard Enterprises, popularly known as HPE (created as part of the 2015 split of the Hewlett-Packard company), announced that it was moving its headquarters to Houston. HPE focuses on servers, storage, networking, consulting, and support. Younger Kat readers may not appreciate that the founding of the Hewlett-Packard company in Palo Alto in 1939 is often recognized as the beginning of Silicon Valley.

        But being an icon can only take one so far. Thus, while HPE is a Fortune 500 company, still, hand over heart, the core of HPE seems a bit to the side of cutting edge, hi-tech Silicon Valley. This is supported by the relocation choice of Houston rather than Austin.

        Still, Bowles is probably right, to the extent that the flagship companies of the Bay Area hi-tech seem to be staying put, at least for the moment. This suggests that the movement of workers out of the area, as described by Bowles, is not (yet, at least) materially affecting the activities of these core Bay Area companies.

    • Hardware

      • Taking The Full Measure Of Power Servers – IT Jungle

        It is with that in mind that we turn to IBM’s server sales in the fourth quarter of 2020, which were reported on late last week. IBM’s overall revenues continue to slide as it shrinks and it divests itself of businesses, and even as it adds Red Hat to the mix. Sales across all product lines and geographies were off 6.5 percent to $20.37 billion, and after a $2.04 billion restructuring writeoff, net income was down by 63.1 percent to $1.36 billion. By the time IBM has spun off its NewCo managed infrastructure services business, which has about $19 billion in sales later this year, it will pare down to about $59 billion in sales for the remaining company.

        Overall sales of servers, storage, switching to IBM’s direct end user customers and its channel were $2.5 billion, down 17.8 percent, and internal sales of this stuff to other IBM divisions accounted for another $196 million. Total System group sales, therefore, were just under $2.7 billion, down 16.8 percent, with the hardware being $2.09 billion and operating systems being $408 million. The System group had a pre-tax income of $455 million, off 43.3 percent year on year. Not a great quarter, but there was a tough compare to the System z15 launch at the end of 2019 for one thing and a global pandemic for another. Neither Arvind Krishna, IBM’s chief executive officer, nor James Kavanaugh, the company’s chief financial officer, had much to say about the Power Systems line, although as usual they did chat a bit about the System z mainframe. Power Systems sales were off 16 percent at constant currency, and System z sales were down 24 percent, with storage down 17 percent.

      • Dissecting the Apple M1 GPU, part II

        Less than a month ago, I began investigating the Apple M1 GPU in hopes of developing a free and open-source driver. This week, I’ve reached a second milestone: drawing a triangle with my own open-source code. The vertex and fragment shaders are handwritten in machine code, and I interface with the hardware via the IOKit kernel driver in an identical fashion to the system’s Metal userspace driver.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Dr. Birx Criticized for Failing to Speak Out on Trump’s ‘Parallel Data’: Her ‘Legacy is One of Sycophancy and Failure’

        ‘Dr. Birx went out of her way to praise Trump and just straight up lied’

      • Mad Dog Time

        Johnson signalled this at the very start of the pandemic, openly mulling the idea of “taking the blow,” letting the pandemic sweep through the country while keeping the economy open, unlike those loser nations such as New Zealand and China with their timorous lockdowns. Britain would then emerge “like Clark Kent turning into Superman” (he actually said this) to lead the world as a “champion of free trade.” But when his own scientific advisers pointed out this “strategy” would lead to at least 100,000 deaths or more, the public outcry forced Johnson into the stealth strategy he is still employing. The result has been an erratic minimalism, characterized by seemingly bizarre reversals and stupefying cock-ups, which have plunged the country into a spasmodic cycle of lockdowns, ever-deepening economic ruin and a death count of … yes, 100,000, and rising.

        But there is nothing really bizarre about the seeming inability of the Johnson jokers to suppress the virus. Because they aren’t trying to suppress the virus. They lurch from one ineffective approach to another because there is no central plan – and no desire – to combat Covid. Their “policies” are mostly a series of feints and dodges designed to keep the NHS from collapse while waiting for the deus a vaccinum to save the day. Meanwhile, they are doling out tens of billions of pounds in no-bid government contracts to cronies, donors and old university chums for “pandemic response” programs that have been astonishing, catastrophic failures.

      • Don’t Forget About Flint. The Roots of Its Water Crisis Remain Unaddressed.

        When I first heard E. Yvonne Lewis tell the story, it was a hot July day in downtown Flint, Michigan. We and about 70 others had gathered in the high-ceilinged ballroom of the Northbank Center, just west of the river, where the Michigan Civil Rights Commission was conducting its 2016 hearings on how this Great Lakes city learned that its own water was a threat.

      • Dutch Police Clash With Anti-Lockdown Protesters in 2 Cities

        It was the worst violence to hit the Netherlands since the pandemic began and the second straight Sunday that police clashed with protesters in Amsterdam. The country has been in a tough lockdown since mid-December that is set to continue at least until Feb. 9. The government beefed up the lockdown with a 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. curfew that went into force Saturday.

        Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus condemned the violence.

      • DoorDash and UberEats are raising prices on some takeout orders
      • Dr. Birx: Trump presented graphs that I never made
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft and SAP Extend Partnership

          Microsoft and SAP have announced an extension of their existing partnership, one that will see Microsoft Teams integrated into SAP’s suite of products.

        • Security

          • PoC exploit available for SAP Solution Manager flaw

            A serious vulnerability in SAP Solution Manager would allow an attacker can authenticate to vulnerable systems by simply trying to connect, a local researcher has warned, adding that a proof-of-concept exploit is circulating.

          • Ransomware Attackers Publish 4K Private Scottish Gov Agency Files

            On the heels of a ransomware attack against the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), attackers have now reportedly published more than 4,000 files stolen from the agency – including contracts and strategy documents.

            After hitting SEPA on Christmas Eve with the attack, cybercriminals encrypted 1.2GB of information. The attack has affected SEPA’s email systems, which remain offline as of Thursday, according to the agency. However, SEPA, which Scotland’s environmental regulator, stressed on Thursday that it will not “engage” with the cybercriminals.

          • Discord-Stealing Malware Invades npm Packages

            The CursedGrabber Discord malware family, discovered in November, targets Windows hosts. It contains two .exe files which are invoked and executed via ‘postinstall’ scripts from the manifest file, ‘package.json’. One of the .exe files scans user profiles from multiple web browsers along with Discord leveldb files, steals Discord tokens, steals credit-card information, and sends user data via a webhook to the attacker. The second unpacks additional code with multiple capabilities, including privilege escalation, keylogging, taking screenshots, planting backdoors, accessing webcams and so on.

            In the case of the three npm packages, these “contain variations of Discord token-stealing code from the Discord malware discovered by Sonatype on numerous occasions,” said Sonatype security researcher Ax Sharma, in a Friday blog posting.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Zuckerberg’s Biden problem

              Before the Cambridge Analytica story had broken. Before Facebook’s acknowledgement that its platform had been used to help incite ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Before the WhatsApp lynchings in India. Before QAnon and the Proud Boys – Mark Zuckerberg had the world at his feet.

              So much so in fact, that at the start of 2017 he decided to tour America.

            • FTC settles with photo storage app that pivoted to facial recognition

              The Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement with photo storage app Ever that it says used customers’ photos to develop facial recognition technology without telling them, the agency announced Monday.

              Under the terms of the agreement, Everalbum Inc. is required to delete photos and videos of its users who deactivated their accounts, as well as any facial recognition algorithms developed with users’ photos or videos. The company also must delete all “face embeddings,” which it describes as “data reflecting facial features that can be used for facial recognition purposes” that were derived from users’ photos who didn’t give consent for their use.

              Everalbum, which shut down Ever in August and rebranded itself as Paravision AI, is also prohibited from misrepresenting how it collects and uses personal information and how it protects users’ privacy. If it markets software to consumers for personal use, the company has to obtain express consent before using any biometric information it collects from users to create face embeddings or to develop facial recognition technology.

            • US Defense Intelligence Agency admits buying location data off brokers
    • Defence/Aggression

      • Lawmakers move to oust extremists from military

        Lawmakers are taking matters into their own hands to prevent white supremacists and other extremists from joining and remaining in the military.

        Following the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — and the subsequent revelation that nearly 1 in 5 people charged in connection with the riot have some form of military background — Congress plans to insert language into this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to address extremism at the Pentagon and other federal agencies.

      • Capitol [Insurrection] Puts Spotlight on ‘Apocalyptically Minded’ Global Far Right

        And it is. Adherents of racist far-right movements around the world share more than a common cause. German extremists have traveled to the United States for sniper competitions. American neo-Nazis have visited counterparts in Europe. Militants from different countries bond in training camps from Russia and Ukraine to South Africa.

        For years far-right extremists traded ideology and inspiration on societies’ fringes and in the deepest realms of the internet. Now, the events of Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol have laid bare their violent potential.

      • Kyle Rittenhouse’s Bail Terms Amended After Footage of Him at Bar Flashing ‘White Power’ Signs

        Now Rittenhouse is outright prohibited from drinking alcohol, having any weapons, and associating with the kind of people who reportedly greeted him with cheers at the bar and serenaded him with the song “Proud of Your Boy,” which is apparently what the white supremacist Proud Boy group uses as their anthem.

      • Kenosha killing suspect Kyle Rittenhouse’s bond terms changed after bar visit

        Prosecutors sought to change his bond conditions after they alleged Rittenhouse was at a bar in Mount Pleasant with his mother on Jan. 5.

        While there, Rittenhouse drank three beers and was serenaded by five men with a song used as an anthem for the far-right group the Proud Boys, prosecutors said in the motion. He also was seen on video flashing the “OK” sign, which prosecutors said has been co-opted by white supremacist groups.

        Rittenhouse’s attorney has said in court papers that he is not and has never been a member of a white supremacist group. The attorney said Rittenhouse did not object to the new bond conditions.

        While in other parts of the country one must be 21 years old to legally drink alcohol, in Wisconsin people younger than that can drink if they are with a parent.

      • Afghan Official: 600 Freed Taliban Prisoners Rearrested

        Afghanistan’s national security adviser, Hamdullah Mohib, made the announcement Sunday, alleging the men in question had returned to the battlefield to plot deadly attacks against government forces and civilians.

        Under the February 2020 U.S.-Taliban deal, the government had released more than 5,000 insurgent prisoners in exchange for 1,000 security personnel.

      • The pandemic is no excuse to shut the door on refugee resettlement

        COVID-19 is one of the biggest global challenges in modern history, and all nations are grappling with its impacts. But some countries have responded by shutting their doors even further to the world’s most vulnerable.
        Many refugees have lost access to their livelihoods and been pushed to the brink of destitution. Some have even been forced to return to the country they fled, through deportation, or due to a lack of options in their host country. By and large, resettlement and other migration pathways have become increasingly limited during the pandemic.
        At a time when refugees need solidarity from the international community, countries like Australia and the United States have reduced the number of refugees allowed to resettle during 2021.
        Australia cut its resettlement programme by nearly 30 percent; in 2021, the country will allow a maximum of 13,750 refugees to enter. In the United States, the 2021 fiscal year cap has been slashed to just 15,000 people – an all-time low after welcoming more than five times as many as recently as 2016.
        In the past, both countries have played a positive role in helping refugees resettle – Australia through generous support and integration programmes, and the US by traditionally welcoming the bulk of the world’s resettled refugees, at least by absolute numbers.
        The pandemic is no excuse to shut the door. Countries with far fewer resources continue to host the vast majority of the world’s refugees. Wealthy nations around the globe can do more to help ease the burden.

    • Environment

      • A quarter of all known bee species haven’t been seen since the 1990s

        The number of bee species recorded worldwide has been sharply decreasing since the 1990s.

        Eduardo Zattara and Marcelo Aizen at the National University of Comahue in Argentina analysed how many wild bee species are observed each year as recorded in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility – a publicly available platform where researchers and citizens can record sightings of bee species.

        They found that there were a quarter fewer species reported between 2006 and 2015, as compared with the records we have from before 1990.

        The decline is especially alarming considering the number of bee records in this database has increased by around 55 per cent since 2000, so it isn’t down to a lack of observations.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Group seeks protection for 600-year-old tree

          The tree, named ‘Royal Teak Tree’ by the people, could be the second tallest tree in Myanmar, said the leader.

          It measures 188 feet in height and has a circumference of 25 feet and six inches. The tallest tree from Banmauk town in Sagaing region is only about one to two feet taller than it.

        • Opinion | Burning Questions About the Future of Pacific Northwest Forests

          Climate change has played an overarching role in the blazes, but a perfect storm of government mismanagement – privatization, lax enforcement, and outright corruption – has contributed a major share

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘Jim Crow Relic’: Progressives Ramp Up Efforts to Finally Get Rid of Filibuster

        On the Filibuster: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “A Cherished Tool of Segragationists”; former President Barack Obama: “Jim Crow Relic”; and ex-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “Outlived Its Usefulness.”

      • Opinion | Why Liberal Anti-Fascism Upholds the Status Quo

        Late capitalist normality produced Trumpism. Liberal anti-fascism obscures this fact.

      • ED’S DESK: Yahoo Reporter Breaks Story About Daily Tele Story About Channel 7 Story

        ED’S DESK is a new semi-regular column by New Matilda, where we give readers an inside look at the sub-editing process involved in news-making. Or at least, we give you an inside look at what should have been the sub-editing process to correct a steaming pile of sh*t story that actually got published, despite holes in it you could drive a truck through.

      • Trump-Linked Lobbyists Made Big Money From Clients Seeking Last-Minute Pardons
      • An Incredible Omission

        Astonishingly, the unprecedented Order from the Scottish Parliament to the Crown Office to hand over documents does not include the text messages between Peter Murrell and Sue Ruddick, which Murrell lied to parliament did not exist. In fact Peter Murrell does not feature in the request at all.

      • Opinion | In Defense of Civility

        Trump’s rhetoric promoted the January 6th insurrection

      • In interview, Dr. Fauci discusses death threats and the letter he opened that splashed powder on him
      • Twitter Latin America coordinator exposed as right-wing operative, amid anti-AMLO social media purge
      • Biden’s First Days Signal Significant Shift From Trump on Labor and Economy
      • Trump’s Empire

        A comprehensive examination of the Trump administration’s policies demonstrates that across many issues, his presidency was significantly worse than its predecessor, despite both being defined by hyper-militarist policies. At day’s end, both presidents will be remembered for keeping the war machine humming and for the politics of limited-engagement militarism via their avoidance of long-term commitments to large concentrations of ground troops in major military conflicts. Obama’s first term was largely a continuation of the George W. Bush administration’s commitment to large numbers of “boots on the ground” in the “War on Terrorism.” Bush committed more than 160,000 troops to the Iraq war at its height in 2007, and Obama committed more than 100,000 troops to Afghanistan at the height of his escalation from 2010 to 2011.

        While massive troop escalations characterized Bush’s foreign policy in both of his terms, Obama moved toward a “militarist-lite” version of U.S. empire by the mid-2010s, with the war in Iraq having ended, and with Obama’s “surge” of troops in Afghanistan being reduced to the levels that Trump inherited when he assumed office. In the late Obama years, troop concentrations in Afghanistan ranged from 10,000 to 20,000 a year, where they consistently stayed throughout most of Trump’s term. So when we talk of the Obama administration, it’s important to recognize that we’re really talking about two administrations – the one that mimicked the Bush administration and its boots-on-the-ground heavy “War on Terror” during the Democrat’s first term, and the imperial-lite administration of his second term that was marked by other forms of militarism, including a heavy reliance on drone strikes, light troop deployments in conflict zones, and conventional bombing campaigns. These tactics continued to be employd during Trump’s term, amidst a modest troop reduction in Afghanistan that was instituted in 2020.

      • Nixon Impeachment Witness: Cruz and Hawley Should Have No Part in Trump Trial
      • Thousands Detained As Russians Rally To Support Navalny In Biggest Nationwide Protests In Years

        Thousands of Russians were detained across the country amid protests calling for the release of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, with riot police cracking down violently on what were Russia’s biggest anti-government demonstrations in years.

        It was unclear what effect the January 23 protests, which stretched across Russia’s 11 time zones amid subfreezing temperatures, would have on the government of President Vladimir Putin, who remains popular and largely without any political rival.

        The Kremlin has engineered constitutional changes that pave the way for him to potentially stay in power until 2036.

      • Data compiled by Maciej Ceglowski (@pinboard) from FEC public records and Twitter.

        On March 31, 2019, Microsoft gave $10,000 (the maximum amount allowed by law) to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is the key figure preventing DACA legislation from reaching the Senate floor.

      • Colombian party FARC set to change name at its General Assembly

        The FARC party, created after the signing of the Final Peace Agreement in Havana between the Colombian government and the guerrilla of the FARC-EP confirmed that it will change its name to move away from the acronym that identified the most powerful guerrilla in America for more than half a century.

        After signing the Final Peace Agreement in Havana on 24 November 2016 with the then government of Juan Manuel Santos (2010-18), the rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia were transformed into the political party Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común, both abbreviated as FARC.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • After Parler Ban, Rein in Big Tech Now or Cease Being Free Citizens

        The rationale given by all these Big Tech behemoths is that Parler doesn’t do enough to moderate the violent threats its users make on its platform. This is rich, coming from companies that host and circulate Facebook and Twitter, where violent threats proliferate on a daily basis. Twitter has even gone to court, on free speech grounds, to protect the use of its site for organizing protests—even ones where conduct is disorderly.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Watchdog Calls On Turkey To Halt Expulsion Of Iranian Journalist

        Mosaed was sentenced in August by an Iranian court to four years and nine months in prison on charges of “colluding against national security” and “spreading propaganda against the system” after posting a tweet critical of the government’s tackling of the outbreak.

        The CPJ at the time described the ruling as a further attempt by Iranian authorities to try to “suppress the truth.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • ‘The Muppet Show’ is coming to Disney+

        Disney+ announced on Tuesday that all five seasons of the Jim Henson variety series are coming to the streaming service on February 19.

      • ESPN Plus apologizes for ‘technical issue’ during UFC pay-per-view event [Ed: Digital Restrictions (DRM) at work]

        A spokesperson for Disney, which owns ESPN, said in an email to The Verge on Sunday that the company was “aware that a technical issue prevented a portion of users from accessing the early part of the ESPN+ pay-per-view event, and we apologize for that experience. We worked as quickly as possible to identify and resolve the issue.”

    • Monopolies

      • Local search marketing firm urges compromise over news media code

        Digital marketing solutions provider Localsearch has urged the government and Google to reach a compromise on the proposed news media code, saying it fears that else small businesses could suffer.

      • Incoming health secretary unnerves pharma in-house counsel [Ed: So a lobby site of the litigation 'industry' (sector) is still acting like a shaming machine for "Big Pharma"]

        Senior in-house sources in innovator and generic drug companies reveal to Managing IP that they’re concerned about Xavier Becerra’s pharma antitrust record

      • Germany’s Federal Court of Justice gives weight to celebrity consent to media image use

        Shakespeare’s aphorism that all that glisters is not gold might well be borne in mind by fans and followers of celebrities. In two judgments issued on 21 January 2021 (as yet only available as press release summaries), Germany’s Bundesgerichtshof – or Federal Court of Justice – affirmed the personality and image rights of two celebrity plaintiffs whose images were used without consent.

        The “clickbait” case

        The facts of Case I ZR 120/19 concern an online TV guide, which used images of four popular television presenters, including Günther Jauch, in a Facebook post on 18 August 2015. The page administrator wrote that one of the presenters was to retire because of cancer, with a link to an article which truthfully reported Roger Willemsen’s illness. Mr Jauch had not consented to the use of his image as “clickbait” – a lure to direct traffic from social media to the TV guide’s own site – and sought a ‘cease and desist’ order against the site as well as the payment of an appropriate licence fee of at least €20,000.

        The “holiday lotto” case

        Case I ZR 207/19 was brought by the actor Sascha Hehn, who played a cruise ship captain from 2014 to 2019 in the long-running German soap opera Das Traumschiff (the dream ship). Schemes, conflict and relationship drama are brought to a happy end in far-flung locations and on board the ship. Axel Springer AG’s best-selling Sunday tabloid Bild am Sonntag used his image to advertise a pay-to-enter competition, with the first prize being a “dream trip” on a luxury cruise, in a publication of 18 February 2018.

        [...]

        While both decisions concern private property rights in the use of one’s own image, the potential availability of the ‘contemporary history’ defence is situated within a similar justification to commentary such as the UK Leveson Report’s characterisation of media freedom of expression as a public right to receive information, rather than an outlet’s right to express it. This means that both men’s career choices do not vitiate their personal property rights in their own images, in keeping with Germany’s privacy-protective legal culture.

      • Amazon Platforms Have Landed on U.S. Government’s “Notorious Markets” List for a Second Year [Ed: This is a lie. USTR is not US government but a front of corporations.]

        For the second year in a row, a number of international Amazon sites have been included on an official U.S. government intellectual property “black list.” Seattle, Washington-headquartered Amazon’s platforms in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom are name-checked in the annual “Notorious Markets” report, the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) revealed last week, on the heels of a handful of the Jeff Bezos-founded company’s sites being included on the 2019 version of the list, much to the dismay of the $1.56 trillion retail titan.
        After reportedly skirting placement on the USTR’s Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy in 2018, Amazon made headlines in early last year when a handful of its international e-commerce arms were cited on the USTR’s 2019 Notorious Markets list. In connection with its inclusion of Amazon’s platforms in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and India, the USTR asserted for the first time last year that “submissions by right holders expressed concerns regarding the challenges related to combating counterfeits with respect to e-commerce platforms around the world.”
        No small matter, the inclusion of Amazon sites on the U.S. government’s 2019 list, a first for the e-commerce behemoth, was characterized as a “watershed event” early last year by the Wall Street Journal, largely due to the company’s American heritage. Amazon is the first American company to be targeted on the annual list – one that identifies “prominent and illustrative examples of online and physical markets in which pirated or counterfeit goods and services reportedly are available or that facilitate substantial piracy and counterfeiting” – since it was first published by the USTR in 2006.

      • Around the IP Blogs

        Last week, the US Trade Representative (USTR) Office presented the 2020 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy. The Fashion Law Blog discussed how Amazon has been included on the list for the second year in a row and presented comments from Amazon representatives.

      • [Older] The EU’s attempt to regulate Big Tech: What it brings and what is missing

        This week, the European Commission has proposed two long-awaited pieces of digital legislation, the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act. Despite a number of good provisions, there are also major shortcomings which must be addressed to guarantee the protection of digital rights.

        [...]

        We like the Commission’s introduction of an unequivocal list of prohibited practices for gatekeepers. It is high time that the law prevents already dominant tech companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google to abuse their virtually unlimited resources and gatekeeper power to crush (or buy out) competitors.

        The prohibition for gatekeepers to self-preference their own offerings (think: Google Search listing Gmail first when you search for email providers), or to re-use people’s personal data in other products (like Facebook copying your WhatsApp address book over to Facebook) are crucial steps to reign in the biggest platforms’ power over us.

        It is disappointing, however, that the list of prohibited conduct is drafted to cater solely to the needs of “business users” while ignoring the rights and needs of ordinary people. That might also explain, why the Commission somewhat included EDRi’s and other experts’ recommendation to open up some of the gatekeepers’ core services to competing firms, but only in very restricted cases. This provision will not enable users from privacy-friendly social networks, for example, to contact their friends on Facebook without having a Facebook account on their own.

      • Overview of Digital Services Act

        The legal regime for online services has been unchanged since the e-Commerce Directive and as such it reflects the technology, services and thinking of more than twenty years ago. The Commission committed to updating these horizontal rules in its Communication, Shaping Europe’s Digital Future (Feb 2020). A number of European Parliament resolutions, while calling for revisions, also emphasised that some core principles from the e-Commerce Directive still remain valid. So the Digital Services Act (DSA), which is proposed as a regulation not a directive, does not repeal the e-Commerce Directive but builds on it, including the internal market principle found in Art 3 e-Commerce Directive. It is therefore envisaged that there be one Member State with regulatory responsibility for a service provider, that is the Member State in which the main establishment of the provider of intermediary services is located (article 40). By contrast with the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), this is a very simple provision. The proposal does however delete the immunity provisions (Arts 12-15 e-Commerce Directive) and replaces them with a new structure which claims to recognise the impact of some very large actors on not only the economy but also European society. Note the e-Commerce Directive allowed Member States to take their own regulatory action within the limits imposed by EU law; it does not seem that this proposal completely harmonises the field either.

        [...]

        The DSC coordinates the national response and has specific tasks under the regulation (see specifically Art 41). While the DSC is to carry those tasks out in an ‘impartial, transparent and timely manner’ and to ‘act with complete independence’ (Art 39), it does not appear that the DSC needs to be independent in the same was the national supervisory authority is required to be independent in the telecommunications, audiovisual and data protection fields. The Regulation lists the minimum enforcement powers to be granted to the DSC including the power to accept commitments, the power to order cessation of infringements and to adopt interim measures; the power to impose fines. In extreme circumstances it is envisaged that the DSC may “request a competent judicial authority of that Member State to order the temporary restriction of access of recipients of the service concerned by the infringement or, only where that is not technically feasible, to the online interface of the provider of intermediary services on which the infringement takes place” (Art 41(2)(f)). Penalties are not to exceed 6% of the provider’s annual turnover; penalties for failure to comply with information requests are capped at 1%. Users are given the right to comply to the DSC.

        The EDBS is made up of the DSCs, represented by high level officials. In this there seems to be some similarity with existing EU structures (e.g the EDPB under the GDPR). The EBDS may, for example, issue opinions, recommendations or advice and support the development of codes and guidelines as well as supporting joint investigations.

        There are specific provisions relating to the supervision of very large platforms. First of all the relevant national DSC (and the Irish regulator will be clearly one such) will be obliged to “take utmost account of any opinion and recommendation” under the enhanced supervision system set down in Art 50. Further, there is a mechanism whereby the Commission, or the DSCs in destination states may “recommend” the DSC with jurisdiction to investigate a suspected infringement of the DSA. In implementing any decisions, the DSC with jurisdiction must communicate certain information to the EDBS/Commission who may communicate their views when they are of the opinion that any action plan proposed is insufficient. Significantly, the Commission may in some circumstances initiate action in relation to very large platforms. The Commission has power to request information, to interview and to conduct on-site investigations and the Commission may issue interim measures or make commitments binding. The Commission also has the power to adopt a ‘non-compliance decision’ and impose fines. Some of these provisions reflect the approach found in the competition enforcement processes at EU level, including the right of the very large platform to be heard and have access to the file. Again there are questions of overlap in terms of all these powers with the rules pertaining to video sharing platforms and the remit of the AVMSD – which does not have equivalent provisions.

      • Patents

        • IPCom moves global patent litigation role in-house [Ed: JUVE Patent as megaphone (or PR) for nasty, malicious, disgusting patent trolls like IPCom. JUVE is a rogue site now.]
        • UPC: to be or not to be? [Ed: The UPC is pretty much dead already, but law firms cannot let go, they keep mentioning it like it's just a matter of time]

          After BREXIT, ratification and then withdrawal by the UK, a referral to the German Constitutional Court (“Bundesverfassungsgericht“) and finally a ratification by its parliament, the UPC project is once again blocked in Germany, as previously before the Bundesverfassungsgericht. Like the phoenix, the project is constantly reborn. But should we resist, or should we surrender? What think of all this?

          First of all, the ratification process seems endless, so much so that one wonders about a possible outcome in the long run. Some people no longer believe in it. It is true that this is not the first project and that, since the 1975 Luxembourg Convention, the members of the European Patent Organization have been trying, in vain, to establish a common jurisdiction. Meanwhile, the USA have set up the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) in 1982, which has proved its worth since. So what are we waiting for?

        • Canadian Federal Court considers whether Teva’s COPAXONE second medical use patents were obvious-to-try (Teva v Pharmascience)

          A recent Canadian Federal Court decision (Teva v Pharmascience, 2020 FC 1158) adds yet further nuance to the critical question of when a second-medical use patent application should be filed. One option is to file as soon as the clinical trial gets under way, to avoid the very fact of the clinical trail itself becoming prior art (see IPKat: Untested hypothesis in a clinical trial protocol destroys novelty of a method of treatment claim in Australia (Mylan v Sun Pharma). However, filing a patent too early, in the absence of convincing clinical data from a pivotal trial, runs the risk of an insufficiency attack. Instead, you could wait until the results of a clinical trial are in and argue that the success of the trial was non-obvious. If you are lucky, the trial might even demonstrate an unexpected level of efficacy that would further support inventive step. However, such an approach runs the risk of invalidation on the grounds of obviousness. After all, it may be argued, given the substantial resources were put into a clinical trial, surely there must have been some expectation of success?

          [...]

          This Canadian case is yet another reminder of how nuanced the factors in decision of when to file a patent application for a second medical use may be. The resulting patent’s validity will depend not only on the facts of the case, but the jurisdiction you happen to be in. A particular lesson one might draw from this Canadian case is the importance of the disease or indication involved, and the perceived likelihood of success of clinical trials in that disease. Following a successful trial, evaluating what the pre-trial expectation of success must necessarily run the risk of using hindsight. Traversing the gap between sufficiency and obviousness is this field is therefore not a trivial under-taking.

        • In re Fulton (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          Last month, the Federal Circuit affirmed the final determination by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board affirming the Examiner’s rejection of certain claims in U.S. Patent Application No. 12/789,280 as obvious.

          [...]

          In affirming the Board’s decision, the Federal Circuit determined that substantial evidence supported the Board’s finding that a person of ordinary skill in the art would have modified Woestelandt in view of Zohoungbogbo and Malby to arrive at a baked food product containing psyllium-fiber flour. The panel noted that Woestelandt discloses a bread product made from essentially the same ingredients as the claimed invention, including egg as a binder and water source, with the exception that Woestelandt uses wheat flour instead of a low-carbohydrate, psyllium-fiber flour, and that Zohoungbogbo discloses a baking flour composed of 35–50% plant fibers and less than 5% carbohydrates that is a desirable substitute for wheat flour to prepare low-carbohydrate dietetic baked goods. The panel determined that “[t]hese teachings support the Board’s determination that a skilled artisan would have found it obvious to substitute the wheat flour in Woestelandt with the plant-based flour in Zohoungbogbo in preparing a low-carbohydrate dietetic baked product.” The panel also noted that Malby’s teachings regarding the beneficial properties of psyllium support the Board’s finding that a skilled artisan would have substituted the plant fiber in the Woestelandt-Zohoungbogbo baked product with psyllium plant fiber for the reasons suggested in Malby.

          The Federal Circuit disagreed with the Appellant’s argument that Zohoungbogbo does not teach or suggest a gluten-free flour, finding that Zohoungbogbo discloses the use of rice germ as one source of protein other than wheat gluten. The Federal Circuit also disagreed with the Appellant’s argument that Woestelandt and Malby teach incompatible baking techniques, finding that the Appellant failed to cite anything in the record that undermined the Board’s factual findings that the benefits taught by Malby would apply in the asserted combination. Having found the Appellant’s arguments to be unpersuasive, the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the Board.

        • An occasion to seize! [Ed: INPI is extremely corrupt]

          As winter sales have just started in France, it is an ideal moment to mention an occasion to seize in Patent Law: the important judgment regarding the saisie-contrefaçon rendered by the Paris Court of Appeal on November 6, 2020 in the Manitou case.

          The Manitou case is well known to followers of French case law: it has already led to no less than three decisions, including one from the Supreme Court (“Cour de cassation”). In this instance, company JCB realized a saisie-contrefaçon based on two patents (EP 1,532,065 and EP 2,263,965) at Manitou’s premises. Manitou asked the judge to withdraw his ex-parte interim order to seize, which he refused to do. The Court of Appeal did not share the same opinion, considering that the participation in the seizure of a patent attorney who had previously prepared a private report for the benefit of the patentee violated the principle of impartiality of Article 6 of the ECHR. However, the Court of Cassation reversed this decision: the report established by the patent attorney at the initiative of a party did not constitute an expertise within the meaning of articles 232 and seq. of the French Code of Civil Procedure, as a consequence, it did not prevent his subsequent participation in the seizure, because in this context his mission was not submitted to the duty of impartiality (see here).

          Thus, in the judgment of 6 November 2020, the Paris Court of Appeal ruled for the second time in this case, but after the intervention of the Supreme Court[1]. Unsurprisingly, the Judges took up the conclusion of the Supreme Court by applying it to the case in question: in this case, the patent attorney had not been appointed as a judicial expert but had only drawn up a report at the initiative of the person requesting the ex-parte order. The Court further adds that the profession of industrial property attorney is a regulated independent profession submitted to ethical rules, in order to infer that the impartiality of the industrial property attorney must be presumed until proven otherwise because of the statutory independence of this profession.

          [...]

          In any event, the now widespread mania of litigants to invoke human rights, via Article 6 of the ECHR, still has a bright future ahead of it in France, particularly with the recent introduction of opposition proceedings to French patents in which the Director of the INPI will be both judge of the opposition and party to the possible appeal before the Court of Appeal.


        • Does the examiner need to provide a copy of the reference for it to be “on the record” before the PTAB?

          The new petition for certiorari in Samaranayake v. Iancu (Supreme Court 2021) has little chance of being granted, but it does offer some insight on USPTO procedure. I mentioned 35 U.S.C. § 144 in a prior post this week. This case also focuses on Section 144 and asks whether the Federal Circuit exceeded its statutory jurisdiction by creating its own record rather than relying solely on the record before the USPTO.

        • De-Coding Indian Intellectual Property Law

          The subject matter in this case was an antidepressant with patent titled “Pharmaceutical Composition Comprising Phenyl Piperazine Derivatives as Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors” (IN 227963) and was granted protection on 27/01/2009. The drug’s international nonproprietary name (INN) is Vortioxetine. The Petitioner (H Lundbeck A/S) alleged that the Respondent (Hetero Drugs Ltd.) imported the API Vortioxetine thrice in 2016 and subsequently exported substantial quantities of Vortioxetine Hydrobromide to other countries (notably Canada and a few other Latin American countries). It further alleged that Defendant no. 2 (presumably a local contracted manufacturer? Strangely nowhere in the order is the identity of this party revealed!) sought environmental clearance to expand the Respondents’ manufacturing capacity of Vortioxetine Hydrobromide. The Respondents refuted the allegations and claimed that they aren’t using the product in India, rather are exporting it for the purposes of research and development.

          The court rejected the defense of the Respondents, holding that the Respondents did not provide any evidence to prove that the substantial portion of the Respondents’ export was utilised in research and development. (Side note: The trend of courts not substantiating on how plaintiffs have fulfilled the three-factor test required for an interim injunction continues in this case). Now, moving on to the questions around ‘export’.

          Precedents on Interpretations

          The court in the present case did not clarify the rationale behind establishing why export of a good shall be considered as “usage in India”. In common parlance, the term ‘export’ is associated with selling, or transporting for the purposes of selling, of a product from one country to another country. Therefore to regard it as a “use” of the product within the selling country stands in contradiction with the “extraterritorial” nature of the word itself. Let’s look at what precedents have said on how to interpret words used commonly through the legislation: The Delhi High Court in Bayer v. Union of India decision, relied on Polestar Electronic (Pvt.) Ltd. v Additional Commissioner, Sales Tax and Anr., Central Bank of India v State of Kerala and Ors. and Central Bank of India v Ravindra & Ors. to reflect the “two clear strands of reasoning … while interpreting the meaning and purport of general words. One, that plain and natural meaning should be preferred ordinarily, and two, that the context and purpose of the provision should always be kept in mind.” Though, the court in this case held export to mean “selling”, it justified its stance after comparing the use and intended meaning accorded to the common term “export” under different provisions of the Act. In the present case, no such explanation was given by the court for ruling that “export” shall fall within the meaning of “use in India”, which is in contradiction of the general understanding of the word “export” in the first place.

        • F-star Granted Composition of Matter Patent for FS118, a Bispecific Antibody Targeting LAG-3 and PD-L1

          F-star Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSTX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing next generation immunotherapies to transform the lives of patients with cancer, today announces the European Patent Office (EPO) has granted a patent with claims protecting the composition of matter of F-star’s FS118 molecule throughout Europe. The expiry date of the patent, not including any potential extensions to the standard 20-year term of protection, is expected to be June 2037.

          According to the EPO’s decision, grant of European Patent number 3472207 will take effect on January 20, 2021. The decision to grant this patent follows the EPO’s December 10, 2020 notice of intent to issue the patent, which was not challenged by any third party.

        • The Selection Invention Paradox at the EPO – Direct and unambiguous disclosure under Art 54 and 123(2) EPC [Ed: Patent law firms. Pushing Microsoft Word documents as 'articles'.]
        • Cannabis: Patents in Europe [Ed: Patent litigation firm Kilburn & Strode LLP pushing for yet more ridiculous patents on life and nature itself]

          Patents are a powerful tool in Europe to protect inventions in the rapidly-growing field of cannabis-derived therapeutics.

          Commercialisation and uptake of natural cannabis-based products is increasing, particularly in the medical field. Breakthroughs in research are yielding effective cannabis-based therapies for a variety of medical indications. Sativex/Nabiximols is approved for the treatment of spasticity. Epidiolex is approved for the treatment of seizures in rare and severe forms of childhood epilepsy. Cannabis is touted as a wonder-drug by many. Its effects on the human body are numerous and these approved therapies are the tip of the iceberg – more will surely follow.

          Cannabis products typically comprise a class of compounds known as cannabinoids, which are often derived directly from the natural cannabis plant. The human body also produces its own similar compounds in the endocannabinoid system. At least 140 different cannabinoids are known to exist naturally, but the most widely researched cannabinoids for medicinal use are ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

          It is well known that research is costly, particularly in the field of medicine. The patent system supports this research by granting a monopoly to patent proprietors. This enables patentees to recoup the investment required. However, patenting cannabis and other naturally-occurring substances can present a challenge, since significant legal roadblocks exist in some territories.

        • NLS Pharmaceutics Ltd. Announces Notice of Allowance of a New Technology Patent Covering Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder & Narcolepsy

          STANS, Switzerland, Jan. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — NLS Pharmaceutics Ltd. (NLS), a Swiss biotech firm focusing on the development of novel treatments of rare neurological diseases including narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia and Kleine-Levin Syndrome and of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), announced today that the European Patent Office (EPO) issued a Notice of Intention to Grant NLS’s patent application covering a novel formulation of mazindol for treatment of ADHD and sleep related disorders. On November 23, 2020, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) issued a similar notice of allowance for the counterpart Canadian application. NLS awaits the impending grant of the European and Canadian patents.

        • BonelliErede hires former president of Milan’s appeals court [Ed: They cannot spell out UPC correctly ("unitary patent courts"). Do they have a clue what they talk about?]

          Tavassi is currently president of the Association of European Competition Law Judges and vice president of the Intellectual Property Judges Association. She is also a member of the panel of experts responsible for drafting rules for Europe’s unitary patent courts, and until last year was a national judge on the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the Munich-based European Patent Office. On top of that, she is also a professor of industrial law at the University of Pavia.

        • Patents in the UK post Brexit [Ed: This spreads misinformation about the UPC and cannot even spell it out right, “Unified Patents [sic] Court” (UPC)]

          The UK has now formally withdrawn from the proposed European Union UPC project, which aims to introduce a more streamlined and cost-effective framework for patent litigation in the EU. Despite recent constitutional challenges in Germany, there is still significant support for pushing ahead with the project in the EU27. All patent owners with patents in the EU27 and relevant licensees should therefore keep a watching brief in order to be ready to participate in the expected sunrise period if the court goes ahead

        • Software Patents

          • Webinars on IP Law and Strategy for AI in Europe [Ed: Promotion of the HEY HI ("AI") loophole for software patents where these are clearly not legal]

            Gowling WLG will be offering a three-part US Tech Webinar Series. The third webinar in that series, which is entitled “IP Law and Strategy for AI — A European Perspective,” will be offered from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET on January 28, 2021. Matt Hervey and Neil Hendron of Gowling WLG (London) will talk about IP law and strategy for AI in the context of evolving commercial, technical, legal, and regulatory environments.

          • European Union: Patenting AI In The EPO Guidelines [Ed: Providing yet more proof that they “HEY HI” (AI) hype is a Trojan horse for illegal software patents in Europe]

            In this episode of the Best Practice podcast, Bastian walks you through the section on AI and machine learning in the EPO’s patent examination guidelines. He makes the point that they are too restrictive when it comes to patenting AI innovations.

            At the end of the episode, Bastian shares some of his best tips for how to draft AI patent applications so that they fulfill what’s in the guidelines.

          • The European Patent Office has granted SSH Communications Security Corporation a further patent for PrivX® technology

            The European Patent Office (EPO) has granted SSH patent number EP 3495976 on the use of virtual smart cards in temporary certificate-based passwordless access such as the SSH PrivX technology.

            Passwords are a hassle to use, and they present significant security risks for users and organizations of all sizes, with an average of one in every 250 corporate accounts compromised each month. The World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates that cybercrime costs the global economy $2.9 million every minute, with roughly 80 percent of those attacks directed at passwords. Furthermore, password management is very costly: according to the analyst firm Gartner, up to 20 to 50 percent of all help desk calls are for password resets.

          • Is the cost of AI a barrier to IP offices?

            [Ed: Truly laughable "HEY HI" (AI) piece, pushing a bunch of nonsense for patent maximalist agenda at the EPO. And "head of data science at the European Patent Office (EPO)" is a lousy buzzword as job title.]]

            Artificial intelligence (AI) can significantly improve the day-to-day operations of an IP office, but policymakers need to invest now to secure its full potential, said leading data experts this week.

            Speaking at a panel hosted by WIPR Patents Live, Alexander Klenner-Bajaja, head of data science at the European Patent Office (EPO), said better transparency was key to the success of AI: “There is a lot of mistrust, you always hear this ‘black box’ thing about AI. I argue we need to make the human capable of following the reasoning of the machine.”

            “You don’t need to be a fully trained engineer to understand what’s going on. [In the case of patent classification], you can easily calculate which terms contributed most to a machine’s decision and you can visualise it,” Klenner-Bajaja said.

            “I would like to make all of that very transparent. Then we can say that the AI has been trained by a human expert and we can show exactly how it came to its decision.”

      • Trademarks

        • Chile and the Madrid Protocol: are we close yet?

          In December 2020, the draft Agreement to approve the Madrid Protocol was entered into the first Chilean Constitutional procedure. The discussion of the draft began on December 15, 2020 at the Foreign Relations Committee of the Chamber of Deputies.

          The bill (Bulletin 13,929) relates to the international registration of marks. During the discussion, the subsecretary of International Economic Relations; the subsecretary of Economy; and INAPI’s director, explained the benefits and scope of the draft. The Ministry of the Economy and the National Institute of Industrial Property (INAPI), are seeking to promote national trade marks in the international market.

        • General Court affirms minimal distinctiveness requirement in Oatly’s trade mark appeal

          The General Court turned to defining the relevant public at hand. At first instance, it had consisted of the public in the EU Member States with English as an official language, Ireland and Malta, who could be characterised as displaying an average level of attention when selecting their preferred products. Oatly did not dispute their inclusion, but sought to add those consumers who are ‘deemed’ English-speaking, in Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden, thanks to their high level of English ability. The General Court accepted this submission, agreeing to take evidence of their perception of the mark into account.

          So, how might the EU Anglosphere perceive IT’S LIKE MILK BUT MADE FOR HUMANS? EUIPO submitted that the Board of Appeal had seen the words as a promotional slogan of particular appeal to vegans and those with a lactose intolerance or milk allergy, but that the perception of the general public (of which these consumers made up a non-negligible part) had nonetheless been taken into account.

          On their reading, the average consumer of the relevant goods would be aware of the animal milk consumption debate and milk’s biological function of feeding baby animals. To them, the slogan would simply tell them of the relevant goods’ similarity to animal milk and consequent (better) suitability for human consumption – that is, a promotional message only.

          Oatly countered with a characterisation of the relevant public as made up of the average consumer, without ‘extreme or minority opinions’ (apologies to vegan Kat readers), who buys everyday consumer goods. To this consumer, the slogan might challenge their preconceptions of milk – as a substance essentially produced for humans – and be tied to Oatly products. It buttressed this argument by pointing to a Swedish judgment as well as British and Dutch press reactions to the advertising campaign launch.

          [...]

          With this judgment, the General Court confirms that the distinctiveness test is essentially about whether a cognitive process is sparked in the average consumer’s mind, by which she can consistently identify goods marked with the same sign as having a common commercial origin. The dispute between the parties about whether the mark is “original, imaginative, paradoxical, surprising, thought provoking and unexpected” was, as a result, not ultimately of huge consequence.

          This limited view means that considerations of whether a mark will successfully do everything in the marketplace that a firm’s advertising department might like should not come into the registration process. In so doing, it seemed to sidestep the debate about whether these other functions are discrete or derivative from the origin function, perhaps leaning towards the former in its emphasis on non-origin functions also being fulfilled without the suggestion that they are subsidiary.

      • Copyrights

        • Book review: Drafting Copyright Exceptions

          Hudson, Reader at King’s College London, introduces her book by stating that we need a new paradigm through which to view the operation and drafting of copyright exceptions. And just before the reader might begin to think this is another book analysing the justifications and role of copyright exceptions, Hudson quickly departs by saying that the majority of the literature takes a top-down or ‘law in books’ approach, whereas this research considers the ‘law in action’, which uses an understanding of the practices of non-legal actors; the creators, copyright owners and users.

          To illustrate, the case of CCH Canadian Ltd v Law Society of Upper Canada [2004] 1 SCR 339 saw the Supreme Court of Canada hand down a judgement that received favourable academic commentary, declaring it a landmark case with far-reaching effects regarding the conceptualisation of exceptions. However, Hudson details in chapters 7 and 8, the reception of the case within Canadian cultural institutions, using not only publicly available information but also empirical research including interviews with institution staff and representatives of peak bodies. A compelling and concerning argument is presented, that in the five years following the judgement, a significant gap emerged between the academic interpretation of the case and the muted response within the institutions. Awareness of the case itself was mixed and few changes to procedures were made.

          Whilst reading, this Kat recalls times that she has worked with companies, publishers and organisations in the UK, that also reflect the same experience, after the UK updated its copyright exceptions in 2014. Whilst this is an anecdotal experience, Hudson demonstrates the issue to be a very real concern.

          Delving deeper, the book explores what the law in action means for the drafting of copyright exceptions. In particular, chapter 2 makes predictions for when a legal command is better drafted, highlighting the crucial role that empirical analysis has in helping to determine better drafting.

          [...]

          Whist Hudson’s research supports the implementation of fair use in other jurisdictions, she is careful to note that “standards are not inevitably superior to rules, nor is fair use the end point of a mature legal system.”

        • Pirate Streamers Save UFC 257 After ESPN+ Collapses Under The Load

          The lead up to last night’s UFC 257 Poirier v McGregor was notable for the UFC’s threats to target an illegal streamer, warning that his house was being watched, his phone was tapped, and police were standing by. While that guy reportedly backed down, many others didn’t – which is fortunate since ESPN+ went down under the load, forcing legitimate buyers (including UFC fighters) to request pirate streams.

        • 130 Billion Pirate Site Visits in 2020: It’s Marketing Treasure

          Last year there were over 130 billion visits to pirate sites worldwide, with the United States as the number one traffic source. New data from piracy tracking company MUSO further shows that streaming piracy remains dominant. While piracy is often framed as a threat, MUSO also uses its data to help copyright holders market their content to this untapped audience.

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