01.29.21

Links 29/1/2021: Alpine 3.13.1, Week-Old Libgcrypt Code Has Flaw (Not Yet in GNU/Linux Distros)

Posted in News Roundup at 2:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop/Tablet

      • New Linux-based tablet OS – JingOS set for January 31 launch

        There is something very special that is going to occur on January 31st, 2021. The world will witness the launch of a brand-new operating system meant for use on a tablet device. JingOS, as the platform is named, is based on Linux and will spawn into other variants as well. For instance, there is going to be one that would be ideal for smartphone-like devices.

        Again, if all of that seems familiar, that is because the approach is the same as has been adopted by Apple for its iPad and iPhone line of devices. Those behind the JingOS said they have modeled it around the iPadOS to come up with something that is simple to use while supporting top-notch performance.

    • Server

      • DevOps, DevApps and the Death of Infrastructure [Ed: Sponsored "article"]

        In 1897, rumors swirled that the great American humorist, Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) was ill. Eventually, rumors turned to belief that he had passed away. The English correspondent for the New York Journal, Frank Marshall, inquired of Twain whether this was true. Twain famously responded…

        [...]

        For these reasons, companies not only have to move faster, but they have to adopt processes and tooling that enable them to move faster — in order to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives. That includes adopting cloud services that reduce the time to value, and adding other capabilities — like integration-as-code and CI/CD. At the end of the day, companies need to focus their energy on differentiated services that provide an advantage to their company. Moving to a more serviceful approach to developing and maintaining digital experiences is the pathway to a better and more agile online presence.

      • Infrastructure Is Not Dead, Just Disappearing from View

        The same can be said about infrastructure, writes Mark Hinkle at The New Stack. “As serverless grows, it’s not that infrastructure is dying; instead, it’s becoming more abstracted and out of sight.”

        “In fact, there is more infrastructure in use than ever, but the administration of those servers, routers and storages are being delegated to a smaller group of skilled administrators—helped by improved tools and automation,” says Hinkle, who is co-founder of TriggerMesh and former Executive Director of Node.js Foundation.

        Additionally, he says, “as we continue to move toward a services-based IT economy, we trade in self-administered servers for services, and delegate the administration of infrastructure to cloud providers.”

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • How To Enable DRM Restricted Content In LibreWolf

        LibreWolf is a web browser based on Firefox, but it has a lot of security and privacy settings enabled by default. One of the restrictions with LibreWolf is that DRM-restricted content such as Netflix and Hulu will not play in LibreWolf. The fix for this is not very obvious.

      • Mastodon: Your Gateway To The Fediverse

        Twitter is a mess right now so there’s no better time to leave it and join the Fediverse and one popular way to do so is with Mastodon, which works very similar to other micro bloggers but has some great advantages I’ve moved instances since recording to linuxrocks.online as mstdn social have got a little ban crazy and even blocked DistroTube’s instance

      • Linux Mint 20.1 “Ulyssa” Xfce overview | Light, simple, efficient. – YouTube

        In this video, I am going to show an overview of Linux Mint 20.1 “Ulyssa” Xfce and some of the applications pre-installed.

      • Production report episode 34: Wasabi

        Here is a video about the process of episode 34, with making-of, sharing my thought about Wasabi, the scenario and a new major story arc in preparation. I really hope this production report will give you a “backstage feeling” in my making of Pepper&Carrot episode 34. I’m sharing my sketches, storyboard and visual (without spoiling the next episode). This is the first time I’m writing a making-of article as a full video by the way. I try to adapt with the modern time to produce contents on Internet (and accept detailed articles published on blogs are probably not something read by newer generations). I’m not comfortable that much with the media with my heavy French accent and English mistakes, with the tone of work required by video-editing and then uploading; but I really think it’s the best media to communicate a complex message and concepts with ease for the audience.

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel Publishes Initial Linux Driver Patches For New “Display13″

        Intel’s open-source driver developers have begun posting patches for bringing up “Display13″ as their next-gen display IP that looks like it will be introduced after the upcoming Rocket Lake / Alder Lake / DG1 platforms.

        Patches surfaced for a first time today in the context of this new “Display13″ block as their newest display intellectual property. Display13 is described as “a pretty natural evolution” from Display12 as found with Gen12 graphics hardware in the likes of Tiger Lake, Rocket Lake, DG1, and Alder Lake S. The code out today is not introducing any new platform support but is just laying the groundwork around the new Display13.

      • Linux patch reveals AMD’s RDNA2 GPUs support Duty Cycle Scaling power management feature for ultraportable devices

        The DCS feature was discovered in a recent Linux patch and it looks like it is designed specifically for laptop GPUs, even though it is supported on the high-end RX 6800 series, as well as the upcoming RX 6700 mid-range models. DCS reduces power consumption by turning the core off when thermal and power limits are exceeded.

      • Linus Torvalds sounds the death knell for Linux Itanium support

        Linus Torvalds, the principal developer of Linux, has unveiled a patch marking the code for the Intel Itanium as “Orphaned”.

        While Intel formally discontinued the Itanium series of processors almost two years ago, the architecture is still supported by the Linux kernel. However, along with a fix for an issue with the architecture, Torvalds noted that it’s about time the kernel developers focused their efforts elsewhere.

      • Linux Kernel Orphans Itanium Support, Linus Torvalds Acknowledges Its Death

        Just last week I wrote about Itanium IA-64 support in Linux kernel being broken for a month during the Linux 5.11 kernel cycle. That was fixed but since then another regression came to light that had been affecting all IA-64 hardware since a patch was merged back in October. A fix for that latest regression has landed while in the process now marking the Itanium architecture as orphaned.

        Last year when converting the Itanium architecture code to use the legacy timer tick, that ended up regressing the architecture support. That regression broke the IA-64 code and led to RCU stall errors and a fast system clock. The precise cause of that regression wasn’t figured out due to lack of hardware access but the patch at least fixes the support.

      • Linux maintainer says long-term support for 5.10 will stay at two years unless biz world steps up and actually uses it

        Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman has responded to complaints that the current promise of two years for 5.10 is not enough, explaining that support is not automatic but requires commercial help.

        Version 5.10 of the kernel was released in December and designated a “long-term maintenance” release, which generally means six years of support with important bugfixes and security patches. Broadcom’s Scott Branden spotted that the official release table only specifies two years of support for 5.10, which has a projected EOL (end of Life) of December 2022. He raised a query on the kernel mailing list.

        “The 5.10 LTS kernel being officially LTS supported for 2 years presents a problem,” he said. “Why would anyone select a 5.10 kernel with 2 year LTS when 5.4 kernel has a 6 year LTS… a 2 year declaration is not LTS any more.”

        Maintainer Kroah-Hartman was quick to explain. First, he refuted the idea that two years is not LTS. “A ‘normal’ stable kernel is dropped after the next release happens, making their lifespan about 4 months long. 2 years is much longer than 4 months, so it still is a “long term supported” kernel,” he said.

    • Applications

      • Element Made Easy | Setup Security Phrase and Key

        Are you facing issues with Element’s security phrase and key? Here’s an easy guide, step by step, everyone can practice to setup them. You are required to have Element on two devices, web and phone pair is better, to do that. Hopefully this helps you and now let’s go!

        Element can be used just fine with skipping verification. When you need to skip? When both devices are logged out, then either one (much easier if it is desktop) wants to login, select SKIP and continue to Element. Once a device logged in successfully, now you can verify both like explained above.

      • Hushboard Mutes Your Microphone While Typing – Linux Uprising Blog

        The PyGTK3 application sits in the tray, waiting for you to type, and as soon as you start typing it mutes your microphone. The Hushboard microphone icon displayed as a tray/appindicator changes depending on your microphone state: enabled or muted. The tray also allows you to pause Hushboard and quit the application.

        The small program is only 3 weeks old, and its description says this is “an app for Ubuntu”, but it should work on other Linux distributions as well, as long as PulseAudio is used. In fact, the application is currently packaged for Arch Linux (AUR) and as a Snap package (which is supported across many Linux distributions).

        Note that to see the Hushboard tray icon when using the Gnome desktop, you must have an extension installed that provides this, like the AppIndicator and KStatusNotifierItem Support extension (this is installed by default on Ubuntu, there’s no need to install anything else).

      • Linux monitoring tool: Install OMD on CentOS 6

        In this tutorial, we will learn to install OMD on CentOS 6 & to use it. OMD or Open Monitoring Distribution is one of the best things that will make every System Admin’s day. OMD is an open-source server, network monitoring, Linux monitoring tool that comes bundled with a number of pre-installed monitoring applications.

      • Why and How to Do Your Taxes with Open Tax Solver

        Perhaps the biggest advantage of OTS is that it is the best way to protect the security of your data. You should be aware that, due to open back doors present on all Windows computers, it is simply not safe to store your data including bank accounts and passwords on a Windows computer. Because of this problem, many people have switched to the free and more secure Linux platform. Unlike many commercial programs, OTS is available in a version for use on Linux computers. (note: OTS is also available for Windows and Mac computers just in case you have not yet made the change to Linux).

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Git Add All Files

        When working on software projects, it is quite common for developers to add new files to their repositories.

        In some cases, you may want to change some of your existing files. In other cases, you may want to add untracked files to your repository.

        In both cases, you will need to use the same Git command : Git Add.

        In this tutorial, you will learn how you can easily add all your files to your Git repository.

      • Full Circle Magazine #165

        * Command & Conquer : LMMS
        * How-To : Python, Podcast Production, and Ventoy

      • How to Create a Linux VPS Server on ScalaHosting – LinuxBabe

        ScalaHosting is my recommended VPS (Virtual Private Server) provider for running email servers. This article is going to explain how to create a Linux VPS on ScalaHosting.

      • How To Check If GUI Is Installed In Linux From Commandline – OSTechNix

        The other day one of our blog follower tried to install Katoolin and it broke his Ubuntu machine. He couldn’t get past the login screen. He somehow managed to recover his broken Ubuntu system without reinstalling it. However, this time his machine was booting on CLI mode only. It seems like the graphical DE has gone, but he is not so sure. He asked me that how could he find if GUI is there or not at this point. If you are ever in this situation, here are a few tips to check if GUI is installed in Linux from commandline.

      • Bash Shell: Replace a String With Another String In All Files Using sed and Perl -pie Options

        How do I replace a string with another string in all files using sed, Bash or Perl?The post Bash Shell: Replace a String With Another String In All Files Using sed and Perl -pie Options appeared first on nixCraft.

      • BASH Script Review Bash 2021 – YouTube

        Let’s hang out and take a look at some cool scripts!

      • How to Install Ardour Audio Workstation 6.5 via PPA in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        This simple tutorial shows how to install the free audio workstation Ardour 6.5 in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and / or Linux Mint 20.x via PPA.

        Ardour 6.5 was released with support for plugins in Steinberg’s VST3 format, on Linux, Windows and macOS. As usual, there’s various bug fixes and improvements ranging from the minor to the extremely useful.

        The new release has been made into the main repositories for next Ubuntu 21.04. For Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, a backport PPA by Ubuntu Studio packaging team now maintains the package.

      • How to Install Blender 3D in Ubuntu 20.04

        Blender 3D is a professional open-source 3D graphics and animation software. It has a rich feature set like animations, visual effects, 3D modeling, and motion graphics. It produces great results and is used in professional film production. It can be used on multiple different platforms and supports around 34 different languages. In this guide, I will show you how to install Blender 3D on Ubuntu 20.04. The same instructions will work also on a Mint 20 system.

      • Build Your Own Operating System

        Choose how you want your Operating System to look, packages it contains, and Nothing else! No Bloat, Spyware, or Big Tech!

      • How to check if bash variable defined in script – nixCraft

        need to set a bash environment variable called PURGEIMAGE and take specific actions in my script. For example, if PURGEIMAGE set, then purge images from CDN else just URL. I am going to call my script as PURGEIMAGE=yes ./purgecache.sh url1 url2. So how do I know if a bash variable set at the CLI and used in my bash script running on Linux or Unix-like systems?

      • How to create Cloudwatch alarms for an SNS Topic on AWS

        Cloudwatch to view and analyze metrics for SNS Topics we have in our account. Cloudwatch can give us better insight into the performance of our SNS topics. Cloudwatch provides NumberOfMessagesPublished, NumberOfNotificationsDelivered, NumberOfNotificationsFailed and many more metrics for SNS Topics. In this article, we will see steps to create an alarm for the “NumberOfNotificationsDelivered” metric for the existing SNS Topic. The “NumberOfNotificationsDelivered” gives insight into a number of messages delivered successfully from the SNS topics to subscribing endpoints.

        Before proceeding with this article, it is assumed that you already have an SNS Topic in the account. To create an alarm you must have a topic in the account. Also, if you want to get notified when the alarm is triggered, you must have an SNS Topic with a confirmed subscription to it.

      • How to install Network Security Toolkit | FOSS Linux

        Network Security Toolkit is one of the various distributions intended for Linux penetration testing. The core reason for existence is providing an open-source alternative for users to access network security applications under one roof. It is a simple look at the Network Security Toolkit as an aid for network administrators and security experts in general. It is also based on Fedora Linux.

        Network Security Toolkit can run on x86/x86_64 platforms and has a .iso image that is bootable. It is also open source and provides access to some of the best security applications. The number of security tools in the toolkit exceeds 125. Besides, there is a web user interface for users to access the tools and carry out the necessary configurations quickly, be it network related, administration, or even analysis related.

        As a network expert, you will find this tool superior in security breach analysis and an exemplary device to monitor traffic hitting the organization through the servers.

      • A Guide to systemd journal Maintenance [With Examples]

        Systemd comes with many built-in features to manage the system logs. In this guide, we explain how you can manage system journals, logs and take action on them such as rotating, archiving, and clear logs. We also explain the manual systems journal clean method and using config file changes.

      • How to Install and Use Redshift on Ubuntu 20.04

        Redshift is a tool that is used to adjust the color temperature of your screen according to your surroundings. The color temperature adapts to the time of the day. A different color temperature is set for the night and daytime. It applies a red hue or redness effect to your screen or graphical display. This helps reduce eye strain and lessen the risk of delayed sleep in case you are working in front of the screen at night. This guide touches base on how to install and use Redshift on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Set up LAMP(Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) Stack on Ubuntu 20.04 – Linux Hint

        You might have just started building your dynamic web application in PHP, and you want to set up the LAMP Stack. LAMP term comes from the Linux Operating System, Apache server, MySQL database, and PHP language. Let’s get started with the installation of LAMP Stack on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Set up RPM Fusion on Fedora Linux?

        Any Linux distro can be described as a combination of the Linux kernel and various packages on top. The system devs have to decide which packages can be available from the official repositories. Fedora is no different. It follows a set of rules when it comes to supporting packages through the official Fedora repos…

      • Advanced Network Configuration in Debian 10 (Buster) – Linux Hint

        In this guide, we will see various ways to configure various network operations on the Debian system. Although this guide is for the Debian system, most operations should run on other Debian based systems like Ubuntu and other Linux operating systems as well.

      • Automatically Build Docker Images in Debian 10 (Buster) – Linux Hint

        Docker is an on-demand technology these days as many big companies are using it to reduce their workloads. It is used for building, packaging, and deploying applications on top of container technology. Docker can run a high resource utilization application with minimum resource usage. The hypervisor-based virtualization requires lots of resources by installing an entire operating system, whereas Docker uses very lightweight and scalable containers to run applications.

      • Configure OpenStack Network Service- Step By Step Guide – Linux Hint

        OpenStack is an open-source cloud platform that provides infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) for private, public, and hybrid cloud computing. OpenStack Foundation manages and develops the OpenStack project. The OpenStack provides a wide range of services for processing, storage, and networking inside a data center.
        OpenStack has full capability to deploy virtual machines (VMs) and handle various tasks required for managing a cloud environment. With its horizontal scaling feature, it can spin up more as per requirement.

        One of the important features of OpenStack is that it an open-source software. Microstack is a tool for installing the OpenStack environment in a very easy way. If you have previously gone through the custom steps of installing OpenStack, you might see the real pain of customizing and configuring various installation steps. But with Microstack, it is simply 2-3 steps of the process. In this guide, we have used the Microstack based variant of OpenStack. You can use any other way to install OpenStack, but with Microstack, things got very simple.

      • Difference Between ARM64, ARMel, and ARMhf – Linux Hint

        Most of us, while looking to buy a new smartphone, tablet, or any electronics gadget we see the term “ARM vXXX” processor in the specifications list. But we hardly bother to know what is an ARM processor. So in this guide, we will explore in brief ARM processors.

      • Bless: Linux hex editor installation [Guide]

        Bless is a hex editor for Linux and Windows. It is a high quality, full-featured editor written in the mono programming language. Bless comes packed with excellent features that anyone looking for a hex editor on Linux will love. Here’s how to install it on Linux.

      • Ubuntu: list installed packages [Guide]

        If you’re an Ubuntu user, you will want to view all of the programs installed on your computer at some point. The trouble is, Ubuntu doesn’t exactly make this easy for new users. There aren’t any official tools pre-installed with Ubuntu that new users can use to view installed packages.

      • How to record your screen and take screenshots on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at a brand new feature in Chrome OS (arrived in Chrome OS 88), and that is a native screen recorder and revamped screenshot taker. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

      • How to install and use ClamAV on Ubuntu Server 20.04 – TechRepublic

        Linux is a very secure platform. However, that doesn’t mean it’s invulnerable to malware and other types of attacks. Because of that, you must take every precaution possible to prevent and/or detect issues.

        One of the many things you can do is install and use ClamAV, which is an open source antivirus engine for detecting trojans, viruses, malware, and other malicious threats. ClamAV is reliable, free, and easy to use.

        I’m going to walk you through the installation of ClamAV on Ubuntu Server 20.04. Once installed, we’ll test it against the well-known Eicar test file and then we’ll set up an automated task to run the scans.

      • How To Install PyCharm on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PyCharm on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, PyCharm is an intelligent plus fully-featured IDE for Python developed by JetBrains. This also provides support with regard to Javascript, Typescript, and CSS, etc. You can furthermore extend PyCharm features simply by using plugins. By making use of PyCharm plugins you may also get support with regard to frameworks like Django, Flask. We can also make use of PyCharm for other development languages like HTML, SQL, Javascript, CSS, and even more.

        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 PyCharm Community Edition on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

    • Games

      • Plague Inc: The Cure is out now, free until ‘COVID-19 is under control’

        Plague Inc: Evolved just got the biggest expansion it’s ever seen with Plague Inc: The Cure. You can play it free right now too, as there’s no cost until ‘COVID-19 is under control’.

        Really great stuff from Ndemic Creations who worked together with global health organisations including the WHO, CEPI and GOARN. The idea here is to simulate how the world reacts to fight off a deadly disease so it’s very much the opposite of what you do in the normal Plague Inc: Evolved. You can read more behind the scenes work on the CEPI website page for the game. It tries to keep to real science often, although there’s often plenty that has to be simplified due to such a real thing being vastly complex.

      • Free cross-platform game engine Defold is now on Steam

        Looking to make games? Defold is a pretty great option that has wonderful cross-platform support and it’s free too, available under a pretty open license (but not open source).

        With an editor that’s available across Linux, macOS and Windows so you can develop anywhere you like. It can also export games to all three and HTML5, Android and iOS as well. A fully featured game engine, with the source code available to view if needed.

        “Defold is a completely free to use game engine for development of desktop, mobile and web games. There are no up-front costs, no licensing fees and no royalties. The source code is made available on GitHub with a developer-friendly license. The Defold editor runs on Windows, Linux and macOS and includes a code editor, debugger, profiler and advanced scene and UI editors. Game logic is written in Lua with the option to use native code to extend the engine with additional functionality. Defold is used by a growing number of developers to create commercial hits as well as games for game jams and in schools to teach game development. Defold is known for its ease of use and it is praised for its technical documentation and friendly community of developers.”

      • Spacebase Startopia confirmed for launch on March 26 with Linux support | GamingOnLinux

        Kalypso Media and Realmforge Studios have now confirmed that Spacebase Startopia is now ready to launch on March 26. The delayed release will see it supported on Linux and we expect it to work well, considering the great work Realmforge did with Dungeons 3.

        Spacebase Startopia sells players the galactic dream: managing their very own donut-shaped space station. Overseen and assisted (when it feels like it) by the base’s prickly on-board AI, players will play Commander to their floating home-away-from-home, kitting out the station’s three unique decks with a variety of galactic gadgetry whilst tending to the wants and needs of a diverse array of vacationing extra-terrestrials. In multiplayer, up to 4 players can work together to build the galaxy’s greatest getaway, or seek oblivion upon their rivals with daring feats of economic sabotage.

      • Gravity in Space is a highly unusual physics-based space shooter out in Early Access

        Here’s your chance to try out the most unusual physics-based space action game I’ve ever seen. In Gravity in Space you fly around various weird maps filled with small planets, rocks and more in a tiny little spaceship you control with six degrees of freedom.

        Now available in Early Access and it will remain there for at least six to twelve months, it’s actually quite surprising. The developer sent a copy for us to test early, and the control system and overall quirky uniqueness of it is thoroughly charming and like nothing else. The flight controls definitely take some getting used to as you swing your ship around various celestial bodies.

      • Dungeon crawling action-RPG Sword of the Necromancer is out now | GamingOnLinux

        After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the dungeon-crawling action-RPG Sword of the Necromancer is out now.

        “Turn your foes into allies using the forbidden powers of the Sword of the Necromancer and help Tama reach the dungeon’s depths in order to gain enough power to bring Koko back from the dead. Gather a little army of monsters, equip yourself with weapons and relics and level up to take on the guardians that stand between you and your objective.”

        [...]

        Sadly, the Linux version is currently a bit of a mess. They’re using GameMaker Studio, which is somewhat notorious for not having the best Linux support overall. In this case though, the developer has bundled a ton of unnecessary dependencies which is causing issues so it won’t launch on most Linux distributions right now.

      • The System76 Guide to Gaming on Pop!_OS

        Developed by Valve Software, Proton works through Steam Play to take games developed for Windows and translate their code into a language that’s compatible with Linux. To do this, it uses tools like DirectX Vulkan that would normally have to be installed and maintained by each user. Built from a fork of WINE, Proton translates Windows commands into code compatible with Linux systems, allowing games to launch and run smoothly. The end result for Linux users is the desired outcome: Buy the game, install it, and press play.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Changelog: Nitrux 1.3.7

          Today is the day! — Nitrux 1.3.7 is available to download

          We are pleased to announce the launch of Nitrux 1.3.7. This new version brings together the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and ready-to-use hardware support.

          Nitrux 1.3.7 is available for immediate download.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Every Contribution Matters

          GNOME is lucky to have a healthy mix of paid and volunteer contributors. Today’s post looks at how we can keep it that way.

          I had some time free last summer and worked on something that crossed a number of project boundries. It was a fun experience. I also experienced how it feels to volunteer time on a merge request which gets ignored. That’s not a fun experience, it’s rather demotivating, and it got me thinking: how many people have had the same experience, and not come back?

          I wrote a script with the Gitlab API to find open merge requests with no feedback, and I found a lot of them. I started to think we might have a problem.

        • 7 Best Gnome system monitor alternative Linux applications

          Similarly, if we have a machine running on Linux and to get an idea about the system load, the network interface, and the temperatures of the processor and chipset; what hardware is actually in the system? We can use Task Managers and process viewers.

          We need answers to this question not only just to find out the Linux system performance in everyday life but also sometimes to look at the hardware and its utilization to know where a bottleneck might occur. The diagnostic logs of hard drives and the system temperatures also allow an assessment of the system’s health.

        • Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off ·

          Some pronounce ‘Linux’ (the kernel) as ‘Lie-nucks’ and others say ‘Li-nucks’. Similarly many pronounce ‘Ubuntu’ (the Linux distribution) as ‘ooh-bun-too’ whereas the official pronunciation is ‘oo-boon-too’, but I’ve also heard ‘yoo-bun-too’ too. It goes further, some prefer to pronounce the hard ‘G’ in ‘GNOME’ (the desktop environment) as ‘guh-nome’ whereas others prounce it with a silent ‘g’ like a common garden ‘nome’. There’s countless examples.

        • Welcome to the January 2021 Friends of GNOME Update

          In December we worked with the Universidad Catolica in Paraguay to host a GNOME event. This event featured four sessions to help people get started in contributing to GNOME and finding a place in the GNOME community. This was a project of the University Outreach Initiative. If you’re interested in seeing an event at your university or participating in one, please contact the University Outreach Initiative.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Alpine 3.13.1 released

          The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.13.1 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

        • Clonezilla Live 2.7.1 Brings Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS With Improved ExFAT Support

          Clonezilla is a free and open-source disk imaging/disk cloning program that allows you to do system deployment, system backup, and recovery. It is designed by Steven Shiau and developed by the NCHC Free Software Labs in Taiwan.

          There are three variants of Clonezilla: Clonezilla live, which is a small bootable GNU/Linux distribution for x86/64 based computers, Clonezilla lite server, and Clonezilla SE.

          Recently, A new stable version of Clonezilla live was released with major changes including a kernel update to Linux kernel 5.10.9-1, an updated underlying GNU/Linux operating system, and the addition of exfatprogs.

          This release also includes other improvements and bug fixes. Let’s take a look at these changes brielfy.

        • Nitrux 1.3.7 Release Adds Latest LTS Kernel Support, KDE Plasma 5.20.5, And A New Application Menu

          If you are not familiar with Nitrux, it is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that comes equipped with NX Desktop (based on the KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment), KDE Applications, Debian package manager with Advanced Packaging Tool.

          However, it is not just another Ubuntu-based distribution. You can learn more about it in our interview with its creator.

          Now, in a recent blog post, they have announced the release of Nitrux 1.3.7. Here, let me highlight what’s new.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • RubyGems, sudo, libvirt update in Tumbleweed

          Three openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released since the last update.

          Several RubyGems were updated in the first two snapshots of the week and an update to sudo came in the most recent 20210127 snapshot.

          A 10-year-old Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures that allowed root-level access was fixed with the update to sudo 1.9.5p2. Patches for CVE-2021-3156 were also backported in maintenance updates for openSUSE Leap. A minor version update of virtualbox to 6.1.18 fixed some nested virtualization hangs when executing symmetric multiprocessing with nested-guests under certain conditions on Intel hosts. An update was made to jhead, which is a command-line tool for displaying and manipulating exif header data in jpeg images; the 3.04 version removed an unnecessary warning with some types of GPS data and fixed a few bugs, including one bug that did not clear exif information when processing images. Some buttons were disabled in the update of yast2-network 4.3.41, which also added basic support for writing the network configuration to the NetworkManager backend.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2021/04 – Dominique a.k.a. DimStar (Dim*)

          This week felt like I was fighting with OBS and openQA, and packages breaking Tumbleweed. This also shows in the number of released snapshots: ‘only’ 3. But there was a huge gap between 0121 (reviewer last week) and 0126 (first published snapshot this week). But I’m sure you all prefer longer gaps, but working snapshots. The longer the gap, the more packages are in there, so the total net change remains the same. This wee, we released 0126, 0127, and 0128.

        • Grab a cool wallpaper for your Linux desktop

          I tweeted about a blog post which I published on opensuse.mu, explaining how I configured the GNOME desktop theme Yaru (by the Ubuntu community) on my openSUSE Tumbleweed machine. The tweet got a lot of reaction, not just for the blog post or cool Yaru theme but also for the nice wallpaper showing penguins using a computer.

        • Web Development Sprints To Start Next Week

          The openSUSE Project will begin monthly web development sprints to address feedback provided by attendees of the Jan. 23 meetup regarding the results of the End of the Year Survey.

          [...]

          The web sprints are open for people to provide feedback to the community about the various websites openSUSE has for on-boarding people who install openSUSE and people who want to learn more about the distributions, tools and technologies. The sprints will focus on several aspects of web development and enhance the structure of the websites to better direct users toward helpful links, resources and communication tools. The web sprints seek participation from new, current and former users to provide feedback to developers with the desire to better understand how people navigate the openSUSE websites.

          Gaining feedback on the best communication channels to help people solve technical issues and better ways to show people how to get involved in the project are desired outcomes from the web development sprints.

          The sprints will provide a useful way for people to voice their feedback and gain knowledge about web development and technologies.

      • Arch Family

        • Best Arch-based Linux distros of 2021

          Arch Linux is one of the most popular Linux distributions that’s made a name for itself for its customizability and software repositories that are replete with bleeding edge software. Arch adheres to a rolling release model, which means you can install it once and keep updating it till eternity.

          For all its advantages, Arch remains one of the most cumbersome distros to configure and install. In fact, even though the installation process is one of the best documented ones, it’s elaborate and involved enough to scare away everyone except hardcore geeks.

        • [Arch Linux] PHP 8.0 and PHP 7 legacy packages are available

          The php package has been updated to version 8.0. Please refer to the upstream migration guide. As some applications are not compatible with PHP 8 yet we provide a php7 package which can be installed alongside version 8. Packages that depend on PHP reflect this update and will require php7 if needed. You might need to update your configuration accordingly.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Rocky Linux gets a new sponsor—Gregory Kurtzer’s startup, Ctrl IQ

          Gregory Kurtzer, co-founder of the now-defunct CentOS Linux distribution, has founded a new startup company called Ctrl IQ, which will serve in part as a sponsoring company for the upcoming Rocky Linux distribution.

          Rocky Linux is to be a beneficiary of Ctrl IQ’s revenue, not its source—the company describes itself in its announcement as the suppliers of a “full technology stack integrating key capabilities of enterprise, hyper-scale, cloud and high-performance computing.”

        • Write a Quarkus function in two steps on Red Hat OpenShift Serverless

          Serverless functions are driving the fast adoption of DevApps development and deployment practices today. To successfully adopt serverless functions, developers must understand how serverless capabilities are specified using a combination of cloud computing, data infrastructure, and function-oriented programming. We also need to consider resource optimization (memory and CPU) and high-performance boot and first-response times in both development and production environments. What if we didn’t have to worry about all of that?

          In this article, I’ll walk you through two steps to write a serverless function with superfast boot and response times and built-in resource optimization. First, we’ll use a pre-defined Quarkus function project template to write a serverless function. Then, we’ll deploy the function as a native executable using Red Hat OpenShift Serverless. With these two steps, we can avoid the extra work of developing a function from scratch, optimizing the application, and deploying it as a Knative service in Kubernetes.

        • Words-Really-Matter GitHub Action enforces inclusive word choice in Markdown [Ed: IBM is promoting Microsoft monopoly, lock-in, and an outright attack on software freedom. Moreover, IBM is trying to obscure its racist roots.]
        • [Red Hat] Embracing Real Time Payments with Cloud Technology
      • Debian Family

        • qemu-sbuild-utils merged into sbuild

          qemu-sbuild-utils have been merged into sbuild and are now shipped as package sbuild-qemu. The executables have been renamed from qemu-sbuild-* to sbuild-qemu-*, to be consisent with the other utilities provided by sbuild.

          I may or may not have botched the transitional dummy package, but as the original package never migrated to testing (this was deliberate) and popcon was low, I’m confident that people will manage.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Cosmo Communicator running Ubuntu Touch operating system surface online

          The smartphone market currently is divided between two different types, based on their software — Android and iOS. There have been a few other options in the market, such as Windows Phone and others, but none of them were successful.

          There was a mobile operating system called Ubuntu Touch, based on the popular Linux distribution — Ubuntu. While Canonical, the company behind Ubunut, gave up its efforts on Ubuntu Touch, here is one of the best example of the device running it.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 will use Wayland display server by default

          Canonical’s Sebastien Bacher has announced that Ubuntu 21.04 will ship with the Wayland display server as the default, replacing X.Org. Bacher confirmed that NVIDIA users will still default to X.Org due to some on-going issues but the company hopes that these will be fully resolved by the time of the next Ubuntu LTS release in April 2022.

          If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because Canonical actually set Wayland as the default in Ubuntu 17.10 almost four years ago but found that the software was not ready to be released in the then-upcoming Ubuntu 18.04 LTS which would be used on production machines. Since then, other distributions have adopted Wayland and bugs have been worked out enough so that Canonical is ready to give it another shot.

        • With 21.04, Ubuntu is Switching to Wayland by Default Again

          Ubuntu tried to use Wayland as the default display server in Ubuntu 17.10 and burned its hands. It looks like, Ubuntu is willing to try Wayland as default once more with Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo.

          For those who are unware, a display server is an underlying utility that enables your operating system to have graphical capability.

          Linux distributions have been using the legacy Xorg display server for decades. There are a couple of new, next generation display servers and Wayland is one of them.

        • Focal and 5.8 HWE kernel woes

          The Lubuntu support team has noticed some issues with the HWE kernel (5.8) on 20.04 and certain hardware. We have a post on our Discourse forum with information that we currently know. We will add more information to the post as we continue to get it.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open source tools and tips for staying focused

        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 19 of 21 Days of Productivity in 2021.

        Maintaining focus for a long period of time is difficult. And yet, we often find ourselves in situations where we have to work on a project for hours, or days, or even weeks at a time.

      • Cracks are showing in Enterprise Open Source’s foundations

        The more corporate-friendly open source has become, the more power has been ceded to giant mega corporations. And who’s to blame? Well, sadly, after some deep introspection, I have to admit maybe I’m a part of the problem!

        Anyways, these events are causing a lot of developers to second guess their dismissal of the open source ‘licensing weirdos’ who always yell about the importance of choosing the right license. But maybe they’re onto something. Maybe blindly adopting permissive open source licenses to invite more corporate ownership isn’t the right answer.

      • Open source leader in White House, Mapbox gets open source alternative, and more

        When President Joe Biden announced appointments to his administration, open source enthusiasts saw a familiar name. David Recordon, who has worked in open source as a developer and manager for nearly 20 years, joins the administration as the White House Director of Technology.

        Recordon is a familiar face in the White House: He previously served as the first Director of White House IT in the Obama administration. His agenda under Biden is expected to prioritize next-gen technologies like facial recognition and predictive analytics.

      • Open Source and the Mainframe with Rocket Software

        Open source enables developers to quickly create and deploy containers and business services across public and private infrastructures. Open source tools allow DevOps teams to harness the power of the mainframe.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Mozilla RUINS Firefox, Google RUINS Chromium.

            It’s feels like every day is moving farther away from the idea of a FREE AND OPEN SOURCE web. That’s depressing, especially watching Mozilla make dumbfounding decisions that further diminish its market standing.

        • Mozilla

          • [Older] Chris Cooper: Wait and Hope

            After 15 years, today is my final working day at Mozilla.

            When people leave Mozilla, they frequently exercise their privilege to send one final email to the entire company saying goodbye. I’ve elected not to do that and am instead posting my thoughts here. Call it hubris, but there aren’t many people left at Mozilla who can appreciate what 15 years means. Most of my colleagues have already moved on.

            2020 has been hard. Layoffs at Mozilla, and the threat of more layoffs, made this a particularly rough year. As a manager, putting on a brave face for others has left me emotionally spent at the end of every week. This is on top of the malaise associated with a decade of declining market share (and associated relevance) for Firefox.

            As I reach the end of my tenure at Mozilla, inevitably I look back to try to figure out what I could have done differently to make Mozilla more successful. Did I miss a window of opportunity somewhere to help Firefox succeed? Might this year have been avoided, or its impact softened?

            In broad strokes, sure, I could have worked longer or harder, pushed to get projects completed faster or to a higher standard. More specifically, if we had accelerated our transition from tinderbox to buildbot, or from buildbot to Taskcluster, could we have kept better pace with competitors? Maybe we could have recognized the scaling needs sooner and avoided migrating our entire continuous integration infrastructure twice?

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Introducing the ScriptForge Basic Libraries

          ScriptForge libraries are an extensible and robust collection of macro scripting resources for LibreOffice to be invoked from user Basic macros. Users familiar with other BASIC macro variants often face hard times to dig into the extensive LibreOffice Application Programming Interface even for the simplest operations. By collecting most-demanded document operations in a set of easy to use, easy to read routines, users can now program document macros with much less hassle and get quicker results.

          ScriptForge abundant methods are organized in reusable modules that cleanly isolate Basic programming language constructs from ODF document content accesses and user interface(UI) features.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • January GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: Twenty-three new releases

            23 new GNU releases in the last month (as of January 28, 2021):
            alive-2.0.3
            binutils-2.36
            bison-3.7.5
            ed-1.17
            findutils-4.8.0
            gama-2.13
            gnuastro-0.14
            gnupg-2.2.27
            gsasl-1.10.0
            gsasl-1.10.0
            guile-3.0.5
            help2man-1.47.17
            libgcrypt-1.9.0
            libsigsegv-2.13
            mailutils-3.11.1
            mit-scheme-11.0.91
            moe-1.11
            nano-5.5
            nettle-3.7
            parallel-20210122
            parted-3.4
            tar-1.33
            wget-1.21.1

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Sci-Hub’s Fight Against Private Ownership of Knowledge

            For almost ten years now, the Kazakhstani programmer Alexandra Elbakyan has been publishing academic research on her online portal Sci-Hub, providing open access to papers that would otherwise be restricted behind paywalls. According to the platform, the number of hosted articles currently exceeds 85 million, making her a frequent target of copyright lawsuits. While she has her fair share of critics, Elbakyan has also been praised by numerous academics for her radical approach to democratising knowledge that is otherwise inaccessible to many.

            This interview was conducted by Hoçâ Cové-Mbede, a writer, graphic designer and cultural vector, who focuses on interviews-as-templates to explore topics fuelled by Silicon Valley criticism, guerilla media, surveillance aesthetics and technology + information. Cové-Mbede’s work has been featured on platforms such as the Institute of Network Cultures, The Wrong Biennale, TTT in Art & Science, The Quietus and Metal Magazine.

      • Programming/Development

        • INN 2.6.4

          INN 2.6.4 has been released. This is a bug fix and minor feature release over INN 2.6.2, and the upgrade should be painless. You can download the new release from ftp.isc.org or my personal INN pages. The latter also has links to the full changelog and the other INN documentation.

        • Configuration Database – Michael Jansen, Drive By Coding

          I am about to release a new open source project. Unfortunately I am about to release it anytime soon now for at least one month. So to put some pressure on myself lets talk about it publicly.

          My day-to-day job is no longer programming. Started there but slowly got into Build and Configuration Management, then Release Management and finally did some jobs as a deployer. You could say now I do anything AFTER the source code is ready. Build, Release, Deployment, Monitoring and Test Automation (CI/CD).

          In the last years, perhaps even decade, the idea of using development techniques during all stages of the delivery pipeline became much more popular and gained a name: DevOps. I started from development so its kinda second nature to me to use version control, separate configuration from code and do testing. Ok … on the last part there is still room for improvement :).

        • POSIX Socket with C Programming – Linux Hint

          A POSIX Socket or simply a Socket is defined as a communication endpoint. For example, if two parties, A and B, intend to communicate with each other, then it will be required that both of these parties establish a connection between their respective endpoints. A socket provides the communicating parties with a gateway through which the messages travel. If we talk in terms of the client and server, then the job of the server-side socket will be to listen to the incoming connections, whereas the client-side socket will be responsible for connecting to the server-side socket. This article is intended to make the concept of POSIX socket with C programming much clearer.

        • POSIX Semaphores with C Programming – Linux Hint

          POSIX refers to the Portable Interface of the OS, which is an IEEE standard, developed to assist portability of different applications. POSIX is an effort to build a common standardized version of UNIX through a collaboration of vendors. It would make porting apps among hardware platforms easier if they are effective. Hewlett-Packard is integrating POSIX into its licensed MPE/iX OS version 5.0 and HP/UXX version 10.0, respectively (its UNIX).

          The POSIX standard has much more than ten parts, however, two are easily obtainable. POSIX.1 describes C programming interfaces (i.e., a system call library) for files, procedures, and I/O terminals. The C POSIX package library for POSIX platforms is a framework of the C standard library. This is established at the very same time as standard ANSI C. To make POSIX compliant with standard C, several attempts have been made. POSIX provides additional features to those implemented in standard C.

        • Posix Mutex with C Programming – Linux Hint

          Today’s article will be focused on the usage of Posix Mutex with C programming in Linux Mint 20. However, before heading on to our main example, we would first like to clear out a few terminologies, so you can easily understand the example scenario that we will be sharing with you. In operating systems, the concept of threading is used extensively. Threads are basically sub-processes that are delegated with different tasks. You can consider the following example to understand the working of threads.

          Suppose there is a main thread A, whose job is to calculate the sum of the variables w and y where w=x+1, and y=z+2. The values of the variables x and z are to be fetched by the user. In this scenario, we can create two threads, B and C. The job of thread B will be to take the value of the variable x from the user, increment it by 1, and save it in the variable w. The job of thread C will be to take the value of the variable z from the user, increment it by 2, and then save it in variable y. Finally, both of these threads will handover these results to the main thread A, which will then calculate their sum and display the final result.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Re-release Of Cro::RPC::JSON

            For a couple of reasons I had to revamp the module and change it in a non-backward compatible way. To avoid bumping api again and because versions 0.1.0 and 0.1.1 contained a couple of serious enough problems, I considered it more reasonable to pull out these versions from CPAN. Not the best solution, of course, but neither one I was fully OK with.

        • Python

          • Machine learning made easy with Python | Opensource.com

            Naïve Bayes is a classification technique that serves as the basis for implementing several classifier modeling algorithms. Naïve Bayes-based classifiers are considered some of the simplest, fastest, and easiest-to-use machine learning techniques, yet are still effective for real-world applications.

            Naïve Bayes is based on Bayes’ theorem, formulated by 18th-century statistician Thomas Bayes. This theorem assesses the probability that an event will occur based on conditions related to the event. For example, an individual with Parkinson’s disease typically has voice variations; hence such symptoms are considered related to the prediction of a Parkinson’s diagnosis. The original Bayes’ theorem provides a method to determine the probability of a target event, and the Naïve variant extends and simplifies this method.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

  • Leftovers

    • 4 tips for preventing notification fatigue

      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 18 of 21 Days of Productivity in 2021.

      One thing I notice when I talk to people about productivity is that almost everyone is doing it to keep a clearer head. Instead of keeping all our appointments in our heads, we put them on a digital calendar that alerts us before the event. We have digital or physical notes so that we don’t have to remember every little detail of something. We have to-do lists to remind us to do the things we need to do.

    • AOC, Pelosi Say Trade Bans by Robinhood on GameStop Stocks Warrant Inquiry
    • How the Ongoing GameStop Fiasco Highlights the Sinister Nature of Modern Casino Capitalism

      “Wall Street and stock market are metaphors for a society rotting from self-indulgence, greed, widening inequality, and financial entrepreneurship that builds nothing, improves nothing, creates nothing, and solves nothing.”

    • Robinhood denies claims that it sold GameStop shares out from under its traders

      No, Robinhood tells The Verge, it didn’t sell off full shares of GameStop, AMC, and other buzzy stocks without permission from its traders.

      That contradicts the stories of twelve people who spoke with The Verge, saying that the app unexpectedly sold off their holdings in some of these companies. Quite a number of Robinhood users expressed their surprise on social media today that the app was selling off their stakes, and we tracked down a dozen of them. These traders didn’t believe they had prompted the sales, and they said they weren’t aware of anything on their account that would have automatically triggered them.

    • GameStop Shows Rising Power of Retail Traders, Says Reddit Co-Founder

      Reddit Inc.’s unprecedented influence on GameStop Corp. stock shows that markets must adapt to a world where retail investors are gaining some of the power big financial firms have long held, according to Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of the online forum.

    • Lawmakers rip Robinhood’s decision on GameStop

      Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle erupted in anger Thursday after online stock trading platforms barred users from buying skyrocketing shares of companies targeted by a Reddit forum.

      The decisions allowed hedge funds and other well-established investors to continue buying the stocks, spurring charges of hypocrisy across the political spectrum from such figures as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas.)

      The Democratic leaders of the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committees announced they would each convene hearings on the state of the stock market, online trading platforms and how Congress should bolster financial rules meant to protect amateur investors.

    • Class-action lawsuit filed against Robinhood for restricting trading

      The stock trading app Robinhood was hit with a class-action lawsuit Thursday almost immediately after restricting the trading of stocks popularized by a Reddit forum.

      The suit, filed in the Southern District of New York, claims that the day-trading app “purposefully, willfully, and knowingly removing the stock ‘GME’ [GameStop] from its trading platform in the midst of an unprecedented stock rise thereby deprived retail investors of the ability to invest in the open-market and manipulating the open-market.”

    • GameStop’s ‘roller coaster’ stock whipsaws investors as online brokers restrict trades

      However, furious users complained online that they were unable to transfer funds to their bank account or to other trading platforms that had not restricted the stocks. Robinhood did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

      The stocks included AMC, BlackBerry, Bed Bath & Beyond, Express, GameStop, Koss, Naked Brand Group and Nokia. Traders will only be able to close their positions, the company said.

    • Alexandria Ocasio Cortez Calls Robinhood’s Block on Trading GameStop, Other Stocks ‘Unacceptable’

      The idea to stick it to Wall Street emerged out of a Reddit chat room, where rookies planned to invest in names like GameStop and AMC Entertainment that are heavily shorted by hedge funds. This week, shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment ballooned more than 400 and 300 percent, respectively.

      However, Robinhood was quick to take drastic steps on Thursday, barring users from being able to freely trade their GameStop stock and only allowing them to close out their positions.

      In response, Ocasio-Cortez threatened to hold a congressional hearing over the trading app’s actions.

    • Reddit’s GameStop Stock Frenzy Represents a Complicated Challenge to Wall Street Capitalism

      Amid the clouds of confusion that surround our financial system for many, the sheer novelty of this scenario is itself a barrier to figuring out what the stock is going on here. So let’s try to break it down and see what we can learn from what’s going on.

    • Redditors took on hedge funds over GameStop and AMC Theatres stock and won. So what now?

      GameStop isn’t popular with the electronics and entertainment companies that develop the games and sell the systems, which are constantly pushing users to pay a little bit more, whether it’s for nickel-and-dime extra features or subscription services or by making users download games at prices they set rather than purchasing physical discs used. To gamers — who are a large and active part of Reddit — that makes GameStop the friend of the little guy.

      Recently, though, the company had turned into a whipping boy for Wall Street: In April, it was trading at $2.80 a share after the company announced in March that it would close more than 300 stores. (It upped the number to 400 to 450 in September and then said in December that it would close 1,000 more by March.)

      At close on Wednesday, GameStop’s stock was worth $347.51 per share.

      This is what happened in between.

    • No let up in short squeeze, retail frenzy forces funds to cover

      Shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings each more than doubled on Wednesday, forcing hedge funds to take heavy losses as they unloaded short positions, sparking calls for scrutiny of anonymous stock market trading posts on social media.

      The short squeeze was so sharp that funds were selling long positions in stocks to pay for the losses, which contributed to a slide in Wall Street’s main indexes.

    • Responsibly Recycling Computers in the Age of COVID-19 | IT Pro

      Recycling computers is costly – but donating them to refurbishers is a way to avoid the cost while helping those economically affected by the COVID crisis.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • University will stop using controversial remote-testing software following student outcry

          The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign announced that it will discontinue its use of remote-proctoring software Proctorio after its summer 2021 term. The decision follows almost a year of outcry over the service, both on UIUC’s campus and around the US, citing concerns with privacy, discrimination, and accessibility.

          Proctorio is one of the most prominent software platforms that colleges and universities use to watch for cheating on remote tests. It uses what its website describes as “machine learning and advanced facial detection technologies” to record students through their webcams while they work on their exams and monitor the position of their heads. The software flags “suspicious signs” to professors, who can review its recordings. The platform also enables professors to track the websites students visit during their exams, and bar them from functions like copy / pasting and printing.

        • Macs reach 23% share in US enterprises, IDC confirms

          The analyst firm also took a measure of how Apple’s other products are performing in the enterprise, saying: “Macs, of course, are not the entire story around Apple devices in the enterprise. According to IDC’s 2020 enterprise survey, iPhones account for 49% of the smartphone installed base among U.S. enterprises, and iPads account for the majority of tablets used in business.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Linux Foundation, Blacks in Technology Announce New Scholarships

                According to the foundations, Blacks in Technology will award 50 scholarships per quarter to promising individuals, and the Linux Foundation will give each recipient a voucher to register for any Linux Foundation-administered certification exam for free.

              • Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF): Reflection and Future

                The Open Source Software Foundation (OpenSSF) officially launched on August 3, 2020. In this article, we’ll look at why the OpenSSF was formed, what it’s accomplished in its first six months, and its plans for the future.

                The world depends on open source software (OSS), so OSS security is vital. Various efforts have been created to help improve OSS security. These efforts include the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) in the Linux Foundation, the Open Source Security Coalition (OSSC) founded by the GitHub Security Lab, and the Joint Open Source Software Initiative (JOSSI) founded by Google and others.

              • aicas, AVL, and Citos Join Automotive Grade Linux

                Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open source platform for connected car technologies, announces aicas, AVL, and Citos as new Bronze members.

                “The AGL ecosystem continues to grow globally with strong support from eleven automakers across Asia, Europe, and North America,” said Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux at the Linux Foundation. “We look forward to working with all of our new members as the AGL platform continues to expand with a wide ecosystem of products and services that support it.”

        • Security

          • Sudo Vulnerability Discovered: How To Protect Your System From Baron Samedit – Front Page Linux

            We tend to associate free with good. That’s not the case though when what is free is unauthorized root-level access to your Linux systems! On January 26, 2021, a vulnerability, CVE-2021-3156, was disclosed that affects just about every Linux or Unix distribution that utilizes the sudo functionality.

          • Researchers: Beware of 10-Year-Old Linux Vulnerability

            The vulnerability, called “Baron Samedit” by the researchers and officially tracked as CVE-2021-3156, is a heap-based buffer overflow in the Sudo utility, which is found in most Unix and Linux operating systems.

            Sudo is a utility included in open-source operating systems that enables users to run programs with the security privileges of another user, which would them give them administrative – or superuser – privileges.

            The bug, which appears to have been added into the Sudo source code in July 2011, was not detected until earlier this month, Qualys says.

            “Qualys security researchers have been able to independently verify the vulnerability and develop multiple variants of exploits and obtain full root privileges on Ubuntu 20.04 (Sudo 1.8.31), Debian 10 (Sudo 1.8.27), and Fedora 33 (Sudo 1.9.2). Other operating systems and distributions are also likely to be exploitable,” the researchers say.

          • Australian Govt in top five industry sectors for data breaches

            The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner was notified of 539 data breaches during the July-December 2020 period, an increase of 5% on the figure of 512 reported during the previous three months.

          • Prolific Botnet Is Disrupted by Six-Nation Enforcement Team [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Known as Emotet, its malware has targeted a wide range of networks including global financial institutions and local school districts. Once infected, they become part of the Emotet botnet capable of infecting additional machines. Since April, Emotet has infected more than 1.6 million electronic devices and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for its criminal operators, who are largely in eastern Europe, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

            The Justice Department made its announcement a day after Europol unveiled the joint operation, including the arrest of multiple alleged members of the Emotet network.

          • Sec researcher welcomes Emotet takedown, but fears it may return

            Veteran security researcher Chester Wisniewski says the takedown of the Emotet botnet is to be welcomed but notes that the primary Emotet operators were not apprehended, which meant that they would rebuild new infrastructure and go back to business as usual.

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (dnsmasq, erlang, flatpak, go, gobby, gptfdisk, jenkins, kernel, linux-hardened, linux-lts, linux-zen, lldpd, openvswitch, podofo, virtualbox, and vlc), Fedora (erlang, firefox, nss, and seamonkey), Gentoo (imagemagick, nsd, and vlc), openSUSE (chromium and python-autobahn), Oracle (firefox and thunderbird), Red Hat (thunderbird), Scientific Linux (thunderbird), SUSE (firefox, jackson-databind, and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (libxstream-java).

          • Critical security problem in Libgcrypt 1.9.0

            The GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG or GPG) project has announced a critical security bug in Libgcrypt version 1.9.0 released January 19. “Libgcrypt is a general purpose library of cryptographic building blocks. It is originally based on code used by GnuPG. It does not provide any implementation of OpenPGP or other protocols. Thorough understanding of applied cryptography is required to use Libgcrypt.” Version 1.9.1 has been released to address the problem and all users of 1.9.0 should update immediately. It is a heap buffer overflow, but no version of GnuPG uses the 1.9 series yet. “Exploiting this bug is simple and thus immediate action for 1.9.0 users is required. A CVE-id has not yet been assigned. We track this bug at https://dev.gnupg.org/T5275. The 1.9.0 tarballs on our FTP server have been renamed so that scripts won’t be able to get this version anymore.”

          • “Serious” vulnerability found in Libgcrypt, GnuPG’s cryptographic library – Help Net Security

            Libgcrypt 1.9.0, the newest version of a cryptographic library integrated in GnuPG has a “severe” security vulnerability and should not be used.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • China releases draft of major new privacy law: why it matters to everyone online

              The New America post points out that the PIPL draws quite heavily on the GDPR, which provides further proof of the influence of the latter legislation, something noted many times before on this blog. In the draft, the definitions of personal information, sensitive information, individual rights, and legal bases for processing, all have similarities to the EU framing. However, China’s requirements for national security mean that there are important differences when it comes to data flows.

            • Google salvaged Robinhood’s one-star rating by deleting nearly 100,000 negative reviews

              Google is actively removing negative reviews of the Robinhood app from the Google Play Store, the company confirmed to The Verge. After some disgruntled Robinhood users organized campaigns to give the app a one-star review on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store — and succeeded in review-bombing it all the way down to a one-star rating — the company has now deleted enough reviews to bring it back up to nearly four stars.

            • Democrats introduce measure to boost privacy, security of health data during pandemic

              A group of Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate on Thursday introduced legislation intended to increase the privacy and security of personal health data collected in connection to the COVID-19 pandemic.

              The Public Health Emergency Privacy Act would ensure that health data collected during the pandemic could not be used for anything other than public health efforts, along with addressing a slew of potentially discriminatory practices.

              These include banning the use of personal health data from contact tracing apps to prohibit voting or to limit housing, education, and employment opportunities.

            • Apple CEO says ‘recent events’ show ‘risk’ of social media algorithms pushing disinformation

              Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday knocked social media giants over business models that have used algorithms that he says allowed disinformation narratives and conspiracy theories to flourish online.

              Cook’s comments at the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference did not specifically identify individual social media companies, but multiple platforms have widely faced mounting scrutiny over their handling of content moderation after the violent insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

            • Twitter, Facebook Had Even More Deceptive News in 2020, Study Says

              Content from discredited websites that masquerade as journalism proliferated on Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. in 2020 despite the companies’ efforts to stem disinformation, according to research from the German Marshall Fund.

            • Police Use of Facial Recognition in NYC Targeted by Activists

              Public opinion has not changed with regard to police use of facial recognition. Additionally, this is a very sensitive time between the public and police in the United States. This makes it not a surprise that activists are fighting the police use of facial recognition in New York City. What is a surprise is that this push is from international activists. Activists Pushing for Facial Recognition Ban These civil rights activists have past cases on their side. Amnesty International has already fought successfully in Oakland, California; San Francisco, California; and Somerville, Massachusetts.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Blowback: Trump’s Sanctions on Yemen Are Already Backfiring

        HAJJAH, YEMEN, NEAR THE SAUDI BORDER — “We thought that aid from the U.S. would feed our children, not that American sanctions would see them dying from hunger,” a Yemeni father who wished only to be called J. A. from the border city of Abs near Saudi Arabia told MintPress.

      • Who is Alexei Navalny? Behind the myth of the West’s favorite Russian opposition figure
      • More Military Influence and Spending Has Not and Will Not Make Us Safer
      • Saying ‘Peace Not Going to Break Out… Anytime Soon,’ Raytheon CEO Sees ‘Solid Growth’ in Middle East

        The head of the world’s fourth-biggest arms maker showed no concern that the Saudis can’t buy his bombs—for now. 

      • “This Is War”: Inside the Secret Chat Where Far-Right Extremists Devised Their Post-Capitol Plans

        When the FBI arrested Edward “Jake” Lang on Jan. 16 for his alleged role in the U.S. Capitol attack, court documents show agents had followed a seemingly straightforward trail from his public social media to collect evidence. “THIS IS ME,” Lang wrote over one video that showed an angry mob confronting police officers outside the Capitol. The same post showed him trashing a police riot shield.

        The government charged Lang with committing assault and other crimes, but the account of his activities spelled out in court papers doesn’t mention how the 25-year-old spent the 10 days between the riots and his capture: recruiting militia members to take up arms against the incoming Biden administration by way of an invitation-only group on the messaging app Telegram.

      • The world is facing an upsurge of nuclear proliferation

        In the past 20 years most countries with nuclear ambitions have been geopolitical minnows, like Libya and Syria. In the next decade the threat is likely to include economic and diplomatic heavyweights whose ambitions would be harder to restrain. China’s rapidly increasing regional dominance and North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenal haunt South Korea and Japan, two of Asia’s largest powers. Iran’s belligerence and its nuclear programme loom over the likes of Saudi Arabia and Turkey (see article). Proliferation is not a chain reaction, but it is contagious. Once the restraints start to weaken they can fail rapidly.

      • Second officer from Capitol [insurrection] dies by suicide, police chief says

        Five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, died in events related to the attack. The New York Times and The Associated Press have reported that Sicknick was hit in the head by a rioter wielding a fire extinguisher. Contee said in his testimony that 65 of his officers were injured in what he described as a “battle.”

        “Many more sustained injuries from the assault — scratches, bruises, eyes burning from bear mace — that they did not even bother to report,” Contee said.

        The Capitol Police union said in a statement Wednesday that nearly 140 D.C. and Capitol police officers were injured, and that one officer would likely lose an eye. Gus Papathanasiou, the chairman of the union, said some officers had not been issued helmets prior to the attack and sustained head injuries.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • It’s Still Early, but Signs Point To an Israel-First Biden Presidency

        Now that the Democratic party is in power in America and controls both the executive and legislative branches of government, they would do well to listen to what young people have to say about the Democratic agenda regarding Israel and Palestine. During a panel discussion that I hosted before the elections that can be found on the “Miko Peled Podcast” or at Mikopeled.com, a panel of young American voters from different backgrounds and different ethnicities discussed what they thought about the Democratic platform regarding this vitally important issue.

      • ‘Kevin McCarthy Answers to These QAnon Members’: AOC Rips Republicans for Embracing Violence, Misogyny, and Racism

        “No consequences means that they condone it.”

      • AOC Asks Who’s Leading the House GOP — Kevin McCarthy or Peddlers of QAnon?
      • The Kadyrovs’ nest New investigation ties condos in high-end Moscow complex to Chechen leader’s relatives

        The investigative outlet IStories has released a new investigation linking several pieces of high-end Moscow real estate to relatives of Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov. What’s more, these relatives — or their spouses — occupy prominent positions in the Chechen leadership. And they’ve failed to include their Moscow properties in their asset declarations.

      • After the raids State investigators arrest Navalny’s associates as suspects in a criminal case

        After raiding the homes and offices of Alexey Navalny’s closest associates on Wednesday, January 27, Moscow law enforcement made a number of arrests during the night. Opposition figure Lyubov Sobol, who works for Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), has been placed in custody for 48 hours, along with Navalny’s brother Oleg, and Doctors’ Alliance director Anastasia Vasilieva. Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina has also been detained. All of the detainees are considered suspects in an ongoing investigation into the criminal violation of sanitary and epidemiological rules during the protests opposing Navalny’s detention in Moscow on January 23.

      • ‘The power is on your side now — but this won’t last forever’ Alexey Navalny’s statement in court during the hearing challenging his detention

        On January 28, the Moscow Regional Court rejected an appeal from opposition figure Alexey Navalny and his lawyers, who were seeking his release from pre-trial detention. Navalny will remain at Moscow’s Matrosskaya Tishina remand prison, where he was placed in custody after returning to Russia from Germany on January 17. During the hearing, Navalny addressed the court via a video link from the prison. Here’s Meduza’s translation of Navalny’s speech.

      • Moscow court refuses to release Alexey Navalny from pre-trial detention

        During an appeals hearing on Thursday, January 28, the Moscow Regional Court refused to release opposition figure Alexey Navalny from pre-trial detention.

      • The Future of U.S. Democracy Promotion

        Streets are blocked off, barricades are up, and armed police and National Guard are everywhere. The inauguration itself is taking place in front of a deliberately minimal crowd, as if the authorities are somehow pulling off an inside job.

        These precautions are eminently sensible, given the threat of right-wing violence. And the last thing the new administration wants on its first day of office is to hold a very visible super-spreader event in the nation’s capital.

      • Biden Era Full of Challenges

        We were very, very fortunate to come through a dark tunnel with nobody to call for help. Who is there to help but America? One could cry. I did, watching the sparkling inauguration, a welcome relief, a shining spectacle on a hill.

        Biden, fulfilling campaign pledges to fix broken promises, launched his presidency like a rocket, reportedly signing about 30 executive orders in his first 48 hours. Fully 14 of them corrected Donald Trump’s right-wing corrosive actions and the rest dealt with the pandemic and the struggling economy.

      • With Parler down, QAnon moves onto a ‘free speech’ TikTok clone

        For every user turned off by the presence of Q content, there are others who are drawn in. Like Parler and Gab before it, Clapper has become a popular home for conservatives who disagree with the moderation decisions of large tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and especially TikTok. Scrolling through Clapper-related hashtags on TikTok, like #joinclapper, there are dozens of videos of users announcing their transition to the TikTok free-speech clone.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Jewish Groups Warn of Fallout from Anti-Semitism Label for Criticism of Israel

        Jerusalem —Not even a week after violent, anti-Semitic rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, a collective of Jewish groups urged then President-elect Joe Biden to target activism critical of Israel.

      • Discord is no longer banning r/WallStreetBets — it’s helping them

        Discord is now helping the r/WallStreetBets team moderate its new server. The company originally banned the group yesterday due to “hateful and discriminatory content” and revealed it had sent repeated warnings to the team managing the community.

        Those warnings, for whatever reason, were ignored, but now the r/WallStreetBets team and Discord are working together. Discord staff are actively working with the server’s team to help with moderation. At least one Discord staffer, who is now in the new WallStreetBets server, is also helping with infrastructure problems related to the rapid growth the community is experiencing.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Opinion | The FCC Seeks to Hinder Female and Minority Broadcast Ownership for Policies Favoring Concentrated Corporate Ownership

        The Supreme Court, hearing a challenge on Tuesday, should reject insufficient regulatory oversight.

      • Pro Bono Push To Fight Australia’s COVID-19 Fuelled Puppy Farm Industry Expansion

        A Victorian animal rights group has launched a legal service that from next week will provide free preliminary legal advice to pet owners who have recently purchased a puppy, that became sick shortly after arriving home.

      • Patents

        • Illumina illuminated in the twilight of Birss J’s Patents Court career – part I

          Whilst a comprehensive explanation of the scientific background to Illumina’s patents is far beyond the scope of this note, a short summary of DNA sequencing may help to provide some context for readers.

          DNA sequencing is the technique of “reading” the sequence of molecules that make up a particular DNA strand and thereby identify the genome of the species under investigation. Four bases are identified during the sequencing process (assigned the letters C, G, A or T) and it is the order of these letters which gives the DNA sequence. DNA sequencing was devised in the 1970s and, broadly, two methods were developed. In one method the DNA strands are chemically cut at known places and the separate pieces identified so as to establish the sequence. In another method a template DNA strand is manipulated so as to copy itself into multiple strands that end at a chemically controlled length. The length of the strand depends on a so called chain terminator or blocking molecule and results in strands ending with a particular base (identified with the letter C, G, A or T). These strands can be labelled and analysed to determine the DNA sequence of the template strand. Since this method involves synthesising additional DNA it is an example of “sequencing by synthesis”.

          Three of the patents in suit (the modified nucleotide patents[1]) relate to a method of sequencing or, as described by the judge at paragraph 50: “Briefly put, the invention(s) claimed in the modified nucleotide patents are concerned with using an azidomethyl group as a reversible chain terminator in sequencing by synthesis”. The key prior art citation, a pair of papers called “Zavgorodny”, also related to azidomethyl blocking molecules but did not concern DNA sequencing. Therefore, in considering how the skilled person would read Zavgorodny a central issue for the judge was to identify the characteristics of the skilled person in the first place.

          [...]

          Finally, there are several practical points relating to witnesses that are worthy of note. First of all is the judge’s criticism of the late arrangements made by the defendants’ legal teams in relation to their witnesses providing evidence by video link[11]. It remains to be seen if virtual or “hybrid[12]” trials are here to stay but, in such trials, it is clearly important to make advanced preparations for witness evidence to be given remotely (particularly if witnesses are based abroad). In his summary of the witnesses, Birss J also gave a reminder that the evidence of expert witnesses can be of assistance to the Court regardless of whether the witness had been working on the problem of the patent at the relevant time[13]. What is important, however, is that expert witnesses “give candid and objective evidence” and do not argue the case for the party which has called them[14]. The judge also, in addressing a deposition from one of the named inventors on three of the patents in suit, explained why evidence from an inventor is does not assist the Court given that inventors (by their nature) are unlikely to represent the “skilled person armed only with the common general knowledge” (paragraph 215). Finally, in a paragraph with the curious heading “The witnesses not called, and questions not asked” Birss J noted that both sides contended that the other had access to witnesses (for example the author of prior art) who could have provided relevant evidence but were not called. Instead of drawing any negative inferences from this the judge “decided to decide this case as best I can based on the evidence that is here, of which there is a lot, rather than speculating about why there is not even more evidence”.

          As noted at the start of this summary, the Illumina case could be Birss J’s last substantive judgment until his deserved promotion to the Court of Appeal. With Lord Kitchin in the Supreme Court and Arnold and Birss LJJ in the Court of Appeal, the benches of the appellate courts are well stocked with judges who have spent their careers steeped in patent law and other areas of IP. Further, the announcement last week that James Mellor QC will join Meade J in the Patents Court has been universally welcomed by practitioners. We are all living in times of great uncertainty but the strength of the English Patents Court and higher courts is not in doubt.

        • Top 2020 US patentees reveal prosecution strategies

          Micron, Toyota and others reveal how they engage examiners, divide patent prosecution work and overcome Section 101 issues

        • China wakes up in global SEP litigation [Ed: “FRAND” is a misnomer as a major scam — a scam that nevertheless the litigation sector promotes so long as it profits from this scam]

          On 25 December 2020, the pace at which global patent courts are prohibiting each other from setting FRAND licence rates, or prohibiting the parties from enforcing patent injunctions, reached a new high. Since then, a heated debate about anti-suit injunctions (ASIs) in patent disputes has raged.

          So, what happened on Christmas Day? On Samsung’s request, the Wuhan Intermediate Court of China issued an ASI (case ID: (2020) E 01 Zhi Min Chu 743). The Chinese court established its jurisdiction to set a global FRAND rate in the licensing dispute between Ericsson and Samsung. It also prohibited the Finnish mobile phone company from enforcing an injunction against Samsung under its 4G and 5G patents. Furthermore, Ericsson may not have a FRAND licence set by any other court.

          The Wuhan ASI is already extensive. But the Chinese judges went one step further by prohibiting Ericsson from seeking an order elsewhere to restrict Samsung from enforcing the ASI from Wuhan. The Chinese judges ordered an ASI and an AAASI (anti-anti-anti-suit injunction) in one fell swoop.

          One German patent judge says, “In doing so, the judges in Wuhan developed the antidote to the AASIs recently issued by German or US courts”. This development is very worrying, with Western patent experts speaking of the events in Wuhan leading to a “dangerous escalation.”

        • Plaintiffs consider bench trials to combat litigation backlog [and] Continental takes Nokia FRAND dispute to Delaware

          This week, Managing IP spoke to four in-house counsel, two private practice lawyers and one judge to reveal how courts and lawyers in the US are managing the COVID-induced trial holdup.

          When courts shut down in response to COVID last year, lawyers and judges stepped up their game and learned the ropes of remote litigation.

          But most jury trials could not be conducted remotely in 2020 and courts built up a significant backlog of intellectual property cases (and other matters), which has continued to be a source of frustration for in-house counsel managing litigation this year.

          [...]

          On Tuesday, January 26, Continental filed a complaint against Nokia in the Delaware Chancery Court to force the telecoms company to license standard essential patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms.

          The complaint in Delaware is another battle in a much larger FRAND war that has heated up on both sides of the Atlantic.

          Continental, an automotive supplier, alleges that it is a willing licensee and has been unable to reach an agreement with Nokia despite negotiations.

          The complaint is illustrative of wider FRAND disputes between patent owners and licensees on what is considered “fair”, and which courts should be allowed to establish FRAND rates when two parties cannot agree.

          Nokia has insisted that licensing should take place with the end user, in this case Continental.

        • BioArctic receives European patent for new antibodies targeting Alzheimer’s disease

          BioArctic AB (publ) (Nasdaq Stockholm: BIOA B) announced today that the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a decision to grant European patent EP 2 448 968 B1 for novel antibodies that could be developed into a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The antibodies target a shorter (truncated) form of amyloid beta (pE3-Aβ) and are linked to the company’s project AD1503. The patent enters into force on 27 January 2021 and expires in 2030.

        • Germany: CJEU referral on current practice in PI proceedings

          With a decision of 19 January 2021, the Munich Regional Court (file number 21 O 16782/20) referred following question to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling:

          Is it compatible with Article 9 (1) of Directive 2004/48/EC that in proceedings for provisional measures the Higher Regional Courts with jurisdiction of the last instance generally refuse to issue provisional measures due to the infringement of patents if the patent in suit has not survived first instance opposition or nullity proceedings?

          The background to this is the current practice of the Higher Regional Courts of Düsseldorf, Mannheim and Munich: A sufficiently secured validity of the patent that is inter alia prerequisite for the finding of a ground for a preliminary injunction (that again is besides the claim for an injunction required for the granting of a preliminary injunction) could only be assumed – with a few exceptions – in case the patentability was not only confirmed in the examination in the prosecution proceedings, but in addition in principle the patent must have “survived” controversial first instance validity proceedings meaning opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office (EPO) or nullity proceedings before the Federal Patent Court.

        • 1st Virtual Cambridge Information & Intellectual Property Meeting (CIIPM) is a great success

          Dr Nigel Clarke (Head of IP Knowledge Research, Future and Emerging Technologies Analysis, European Patent Office), opened the meeting, describing the EPO’s curated patent data resource on coronavirus, in support of researchers in the field. Nigel was followed by Robert Austin (Patent Information Analyst, Unilever PLC) giving a fascinating overview of the patent searcher’s experience of EPO oppositions. Cathy J Curling (Curling Consulting) followed, discussing the benefits and challenges of different approaches to creating value from innovative sensor and display technologies.

        • EPO Allows A New Form Of Evidence [Ed: Using COVID to lower the standards of patent law]

          On December 15, 2020, the European Patent Office issued a decision on a new admissible form of evidence in patent proceedings, which entered into force on January 1, 2021. In a world dominated by a pandemic, where traveling is difficult, and ecological issues arise (e.g. the carbon footprint of every traveler), the EPO decision is considered to be very reasonable and welcomed.

          According to previous Rule 117 of Implementing Regulations of EPC, when the European Patent Office considers necessary to hear a party, witness, or expert, or to carry out an inspection, it shall take a decision, setting out the investigation to be carried out, relevant facts to be proved and to set out the date, time and place of the investigation. If the hearing of a witness or expert is requested by a party, the decision shall specify the period within which the requester must make known the name and address of any witness or expert concerned. In the light of previous Rule 118, at least two months notice of a summons issued to a party, witness, or expert to testify shall be given unless they agree to a shorter period.

        • Software Patents

          • Review of EPO Software Decisions in 2020 [Ed: Ongoing attempts by corrupt EPO management to make passable patents on algorithms]

            A review of EPO software decisions in 2020, and a look at the statistics and some of the more interesting cases published in 2020.

            It does not seem possible to write any review of 2020 without mentioning Covid-19. However in this case we shall limit it to noting that the cancellation of most in-person oral proceedings at the EPO lead to a comparatively low number of published decisions by the electronic and software-focused boards of appeal (247 vs 339 in 2019) and that Board 3.5.03 held the first appeal hearing by video conference in May 2020. Previously only Examining Division Oral Proceedings had been held by video conference and rarely; it will now be quite routine, saving costs for applicants.

            On substantive issues it was a year of evolution rather than revolution and in particular there was no decision from the Enlarged Board of Appeal on the simulation referral made in 2019. This decision has the potential to substantially change the EPO’s approach to software-implemented inventions more widely than simulation and modelling but all signs from the Oral Proceedings were that a confirmation of existing case law is most likely. The concept of the Notional Business Person continued to be a useful tool for separating the technical from the non-technical in suitable cases – in some cases with positive outcomes for the patent proprietor – but Comvik remains the most widely cited case.

          • Patent report highlights AI boom [Ed: Litigation profiteers are misusing hype and buzzwords like "Hey Hi" to push illegal software patents]

            The research revealed that in the first half of 2020 alone, around 650 AI patent applications per month were published in areas ranging from autonomous vehicles and speech recognition to drug discovery.

            It found European applicants had a higher success rate than their US counterparts, and identified an acceleration in Chinese applicants who accounted for around 7 per cent of AI applications published in 2019.

            Mike Williams, Chartered (UK) and European Patent Attorney from Marks & Clerk, said: “Research and development in AI continues to grow, and as well as seeing large-scale investment into AI start-ups, the proportion of AI applications from larger filers is growing. This tells us there is a growing appetite from more established companies to become increasingly active in the AI space.

      • Trademarks

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