Links 17/2/2021: Tiny Core Linux 12.0, Alpine 3.13.2, Go 1.16, pfSense Community Edition 2.5.0, and XWayland 21.1 Release Candidate

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Use this bootable USB drive on Linux to rescue Windows users

        People regularly ask me to help them rescue Windows computers that have become locked or damaged. Sometimes, I can use a Linux USB boot drive to mount Windows partitions and then transfer and back up files from the damaged systems.

        Other times, clients lose their passwords or otherwise lock their login account credentials. One way to unlock an account is to create a Windows boot disk to repair the computer. Microsoft allows you to download copies of Windows from its website and offers tools to create a USB boot device. But to use them, you need a Windows computer, which means, as a Linux user, I need another way to create a boot DVD or USB drive. I have found it difficult to create Windows USBs on Linux. My reliable tools, like Etcher.io, Popsicle (for Pop!_OS), and UNetbootin, or using dd from the command line to create bootable media, have not been very successful.

      • 5 reasons to use Linux package managers

        In 2021, there are more reasons why people love Linux than ever before. In this series, I’ll share 21 different reasons to use Linux. Today, I’ll talk about software repositories

        Before I used Linux, I took the applications I had installed on my computer for granted. I would install applications as needed, and if I didn’t end up using them, I’d forget about them, letting them languish as they took up space on my hard drive. Eventually, space on my drive would become scarce, and I’d end up frantically removing applications to make room for more important data. Inevitably, though, the applications would only free up so much space, and so I’d turn my attention to all of the other bits and pieces that got installed along with those apps, whether it was media assets or configuration files and documentation. It wasn’t a great way to manage my computer. I knew that, but it didn’t occur to me to imagine an alternative, because as they say, you don’t know what you don’t know.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.4.99
      • Linux 5.10.17
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.10.17 kernel.
        All users of the 5.10 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.10.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.10.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Adding HEVC/H.265 support for NXP’s i.MX 8M

        One of the platforms we have been working on at Collabora is VeriSilicon’s Hantro Codec. This video IP is present on a number of popular SoCs (Rockchip, i.MX8, Microchip) and is marketed as a small and power efficient device, but it also has a feature that makes it specially attractive for open source developers: it is a stateless accelerator.

        Stateless devices do not need firmware to operate, making them more robust and better suited for open source platforms, where having full control over the system is desirable. In this case, the support is split in two: a kernel driver (which is provided by a Video4Linux2 Hantro driver), and a userspace component (which can be provided by frameworks such as GStreamer and FFMPEG).

      • Intel Releases Updated Microcode For Linux Users To Mitigate Xeon Security Issue – Phoronix

        Intel on Tuesday night released the “microcode-20210216″ package as the latest update to their collection of CPU microcode binaries. This time around the only changes to the Intel CPU microcode binaries are for Skylake server CPUs and Cascade Lake B-0/B-1 processors in order to address two vulnerabilities that came to light last year.

      • Dynamic Preemption Support Sent In For The Linux 5.12 Kernel – Phoronix

        Ingo Molnar sent in the scheduler updates for Linux 5.12 today and it includes some notable additions, including PREEMPT_DYNAMIC, which allows changing the kernel’s preemption mode at boot/run-time.

        The CONFIG_PREEMPT_DYNAMIC option when enabled allows setting preempt= at boot time to either none/voluntary/full with full preemption being the default. Distributions can still set the standard PREEMPT controls but this dynamic option allows changing it at boot time without rebuilding the kernel or even at run-time via a DebugFS interface. The kernel relies on runtime patching for changing the kernel preemption mode on the fly.

      • Collabora Continues to Improve Chromebook and Windows Games Support in Linux 5.11

        Collabora informs 9to5Linux today about their contributions to the recently released Linux 5.11 kernel series, which will soon arrive in the stable software repositories of your favorite GNU/Linux distributions.

        A new kernel is out the door, Linux 5.11, and it brings many goodies and better hardware support. Collabora is well known for their awesome contributions to the Linux kernel, and this cycle they continued to improve support for Chromebooks and modern Windows games.

      • New year, new kernel: Collabora’s contributions to Linux 5.11

        Time continues to fly by and 2021 is finally here. A year that could be known as the year of Rust in Linux kernel! Ok, maybe we’re ahead of ourselves here, but it’s fun to think about that. In the meantime though, Linus has released v5.11, so let’s look at what has been contributed by Collabora.

        We are certainly living in very exciting times, working on a kernel that has never been more stable. Or at least, that’s how one feels reading the recent discussions related to kernel version overflow.

      • Announcing the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 5 Update 5 for Oracle Linux

        The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) for Oracle Linux provides the latest open source innovations and key optimizations and security to enterprise cloud and on-premises workloads. It is the Linux kernel that powers Oracle Cloud and Oracle Engineered Systems such as Oracle Exadata Database Machine as well as Oracle Linux on 64-bit Intel and AMD or 64-bit Arm platforms.

        UEK Release 5 maintains compatibility with the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK) and does not disable any features that are enabled in RHCK. Additional features are enabled to provide support for key functional requirements and patches are applied to improve performance and optimize the kernel.


        The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 5 Update 5 (UEK R5U5) is based on the mainline kernel version 4.14.35. Through actively monitoring upstream check-ins and collaboration with partners and customers, Oracle continues to improve and apply critical bug and security fixes to UEK R5 for Oracle Linux. This update includes several new features, added functionality, and bug fixes across a range of subsystems.

      • Graphics Stack

        • XWayland 21.1 Release Candidate Offers Split From The X.Org Server

          XWayland 21.1 is moving forward as a standalone XWayland release separated from the X.Org Server. Given that X.Org Server 1.21 isn’t moving toward release with no one stepping up to oversee that long overdue update, Red Hat engineers have devised the plan for standalone XWayland releases that are separated from the rest of the xorg-server code-base to at least get the updated X11 client on Wayland support out to users.

          The XWayland code within the X.Org Server is one of the main areas still seeing activity on the X.Org Server Git code-base along with other components like xf86-video-modesetting. But short of organizing a new X.Org Server release, the XWayland release is being spun out from there for providing a more manageable, standalone release.

        • xwayland
          Per the schedule posted earlier, here's the first release candidate for
          the standalone Xwayland 21.1.0 release. The second release candidate is
          scheduled two weeks from now, on March 3rd.
          Any and all testing of this release candidate would be greatly appreciated.
          Please report any issues at
          https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/xorg/xserver/-/issues .
          P.S. The shortlogs below include all changes since the 1.20 branch, not
          all of which are relevant for Xwayland.
    • Benchmarks

      • Phoronix Test Suite 10.2.2 Released For Automated Open-Source Benchmarking – Phoronix

        The open-source, cross-platform Phoronix Test Suite 10.2.2 is out today as the newest version of our automated, production-ready benchmarking software framework.

        Building off last month’s Phoronix Test Suite 10.2 quarterly feature release, Phoronix Test Suite 10.2.2 ships a few fixes and minor improvements before switching focus to Phoronix Test Suite 10.4 that is due out in Q2.

    • Applications

      • Boop-GTK – scriptable scratchpad for developers

        Over the years, one of the most emotive areas in the world of Linux is the choice of text editor. Some people are strong advocates of Vim, others prefer Emacs. And there’s tons of other text editors available with strong backing. Having robust opinions is the way the land lies in Linux.

        Boop-GTK is different to the majority of text editors. It’s not a traditional text editor. Instead it’s promoted as a scratchpad designed to help developers work with code snippets. It’s cross-platform software running on Linux, macOS, and Windows.

        Boop-GTK is a clone of Boop, a macOS-only program. Boop-GTK seeks 100% script compatibility with Boop. Both apps offer a streamlined scratchpad. You won’t find formatting tools or other text frippery. Instead, there’s code highlighting and line numbering. How it works is that you start the program, paste some text, run scripts, and optionally copy the text out.

        Press Ctrl+Shift+P to reveal the scripts that are available.

      • 2D Animation App Pencil2D 0.6.6 Released with Crash Recovery Support

        The Pencil2D team announced a new release of its 2D animation software with new feature and various bug-fixes.

        Pencil2D is a free and open-source software to make 2D hand-drawn animations. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and works on Linux, Windows, Mac OS, and FreeBSD. It supports both bitmap and vector graphics, and allows to seamlessly switch between the two workflows.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Coloured manual pages | Hund

        It’s easy to take a lot of things for granted when you’ve been using them for longer than you can remember. Coloured manual pages is one of those things.

        By default, there’s no colours for the manual pages, which can makes it more difficult to distinguish parts and sections of the documentation than it has to be.

      • What does Special Characters and Command Line Editing mean in Linux OS?

        This article will let you walk through the commands to navigate through files and directories in the Linux operating system. You can manipulate directories and files. Some of the tasks are easy to do. When you are using commands for navigation, you have more power and flexibility as compared to using a graphical user interface. While the latter option is easy to perform and is suitable to execute simple tasks, you need the command line for pulling off complicated tasks. Copying HTML files from one directory to another is hard in a graphical user interface; however, it is easier to do in a command-line system. Before I move on to exploring the commands that you can use to manipulate files and directories, I will explain some special characters that you can use in Linux.

      • How to install Doki Doki Literature Club on a Chromebook

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

      • How to play Football Manager 2021 on Linux

        Football Manager 2021 is a simulation management game developed by Sports Interactive and published by Sega. In the game, the player is the manager of a football (soccer) team. The game was never released on Linux, but it is possible to play it on Linux thanks to Steam Play and Proton. Here’s how to do it.

      • 7zip: Linux installation [Guide]

        7Zip is the most popular free-open source archiving tool for Windows. Using 7Zip, users can create a wide variety of compressed archives, and extract them. In this guide, we’ll go over how to get 7Zip working on Ubuntu.

      • How to use LVM snapshots to restore Linux systems | Enable Sysadmin

        It can be cumbersome to create and recreate lab or practice systems. Use LVM and a basic WebUI to quickly restore your Linux systems back to a golden image.

      • How to enable Vmware drag and drop on Manajro VM – Linux Shout

        If you are using Manajro on VMware Workstation player and want to perform drag and drop feature to copy files and folders from host to Manjaro guest, then here are the steps to follow…

        After installing Manjaro on Vmware Virtual machine, the first thing we would like have is the installation of VM tools, however, even after that sometimes we would face problem in sharing files or folder directly from host (WIndow, macOS, Linux) to Guest OS i.e Manjaro. Thus, first we have to install a tool and then need activate Vmblock service to make sure everything work smoothely.

      • How to install OpenMandriva Lx 4.2

        In this video, I am going to show how to install OpenMandriva Lx 4.2.

      • How to create an SFTP-enabled Server on AWS

        AWS Transfer Family supports Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), File Transfer Protocol over SSL (FTPS), and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to transfer files to and from AWS S3 or AWS EFS(Elastic File System). In this article, we will see the steps to create an SFTP-enabled server on AWS which will be accessible publicly.

      • How to Install Odoo 12 on Ubuntu 18.04 with Nginx as a Reverse Proxy

        In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps of installing Odoo 12 on Ubuntu 18.04. We will also install Nginx and configure it as a reverse proxy. Odoo (formerly OpenERP) is a simple and intuitive suite of open-source enterprise management applications such as Website Builder, eCommerce, CRM, Accounting, Manufacturing, Project and Warehouse Management, Human Resources, Marketing, and many more. Odoo comes in two editions, the Community edition which is free, and the Enterprise edition. In our case, we will install and use the Community edition.

      • How to Install Friendica Social Network Platform on Ubuntu 20.04

        Friendica is a free, open-source and decentralized social networking platform that helps you to build and maintain your own social networking projects. It has built-in support for ActivityPub including, Mastodon, Hubzilla, OStatus, Pleroma and more. It allows you to import your websites and blogs into your social stream via RSS/Atom feeds. It provides a powerful user and admin dashboard that helps you to manage your social network from any device.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Friendica with Apache and Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How To Use grep To Search The –help Output To Find Out What CLI Arguments That Begin With A Dash Do – Linux Uprising Blog

        Ever seen a command with a long list of cryptic, one letter arguments that begin with dash / hyphen, and wanted a quick way to find out what each command line argument does? This article explains how to do this.

      • Automation of BIG-IP with Red Hat Ansible Automation and F5

        In part three of our Davie Street Enterprises (DSE) series, we’re going to take a look at how DSE addressed some of its network issues that led to a major outage.

        DSE Chief Architect Daniel Mitchell has been put in charge of Davie Street Enterprises’ (DSE) digital transformation. He’s feeling pressure from management since the website crashed last month, and was down for 46 hours straight. Shifting from one-off configurations and into an Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) model is now critical for DSE. It took a crisis, but management realized that procrastinating isn’t an option and have tasked Mitchell to lead various teams to modernize their infrastructure.

      • Run a Second Linux Desktop with QEMU and KVM

        Sometimes a bit of testing saves the day if you can do it on a disposable Linux machine of some sort. That testing could include installing new software that might be a little invasive, installing lots of hidden, tiny files that would clog up your desktop machine, or maybe trying out unstable software that is not fully released, meaning that your desktop machine might not boot up post-installation. Equally, you might be writing system scripts that you need somewhere safe to run in case they break your other precious settings.

        In this article, we will look at running a second Linux desktop, or virtual machine (VM), inside your main desktop. To do this, we will be using a fantastic piece of virtualization FOSS software called QEMU. It dutifully sits atop the second-to-none KVM, which provides a lower level of virtualization. If that sounds confusing, there’s more information in this article.

        Among the many benefits, one considerable advantage of using QEMU and KVM is that you have a wide range of Linux distributions that you can install on the second desktop, giving you lots of flexibility.

      • Archbox Makes It Easy To Install Software From Arch Linux On Other Linux Distributions (Using A Chroot Environment)

        Archbox is a set of scripts that make it easy to install Arch Linux inside a chroot environment on other Linux distributions, and integrate it with your existing Linux installation.

      • Plasma secrets: additional languages and keyboard layouts

        Welcome to the latest installment in my neverending Plasma desktop games. Today, I want to talk to you about something that is both trivial and complex. The use of other languages on your computer. While I fully believe the only acceptable machine interface language ought to be English, I also understand and appreciate that other people speak and use other languages – after all, I do it myself, four or five languages. You see, I just bragged there.

        On a serious note, sometimes one may need to use non-ASCII 127 keyboard layout. And when that need strikes, you want your operating system to give you friendly help. Well, in today’s guide, I want to show you the clever way the Plasma desktop handles languages and keyboard layouts. Powerful, elegant, and follow me.

      • GNU Linux (Debian 10) – how to show and remove all (privacy intrusive) meta info from jpg pictures

        meta infos in jpg pictures can contain quiet a lot of sensitive data:

        what date the picture was taken
        with what camera/phone (Samsung Galaxy S3 did that)
        maybe even: GPS info/location of the picture
        who/what tools processed the picture
        of course as always, this data can be put to good or bad use

        privacy wise it would be probably the best to simply delete it all

      • Migrating Two Factor Auth

        I use a ton of services which either require or recommend 2fa as part of the authentication process. I used to use “Google Authenticator” then more recently “Authenticator Plus”. However Authenticator Plus seems to be no longer maintained. So while I have no problems with it, I think it is time to migrate to something else.

        Step up, Aegis Authenticator, a free, open source authenticator app, available on the play store, and F-Droid.

      • How to Upgrade to KDE Plasma 5.21 from 5.20

        The KDE team announced the release of KDE Plasma 5.21 with many new features. In this quick guide, we explain the steps to upgrade to KDE Plasma 5.21 from 5.20. And give you a quick post update feedback.

    • Games

      • Closed Hands is an upcoming interactive fiction examining extremism and radicalisation | GamingOnLinux

        Set to release with Linux support in March, Closed Hands from developer Passenger Games led by Dan Hett, is an experimental and political video game that explores the complex effects of extremism on a range of cultures and communities.

      • Civilization VI will be expanding the Barbarians in the next free update

        Announced for release on February 25, the next free update for all Civilization VI players will include some updates to the Barbarians with a new game mode.

        No patch notes have been given out yet but they have just recently put up a new developer video, which goes over a bunch of what’s going to be coming. The good news is that unlike some other free updates, it doesn’t require you own any of the DLC. The Barbarian Clans mode is properly free for everyone who owns the base game. While it is an optional game mode, it sounds like a lot of fun. It gives Barbarians multiple clans, and allows them to evolve into City States along with new ways to interact with them like bribes to not attack you or raiding them for gold.

        More customization is coming too with a new leader selection pool, like they added for city states, so you can remove those you don’t like to face in the game or ensure you do meet those you want. A bunch of AI changes are also coming for air units and air combats, with the AI quite a bit smarter about it.

      • GTA III and Vice City get reverse engineered with a new game engine | GamingOnLinux

        Want to revisit the classic GTA III and Vice City? You should take a look at re3 and reVC which not only provide the source code, they also upgrade the experience for both. Available on GitHub in a combine repository split across different branches for GTA III and Vice City, it has been tested by the team working across different systems including Linux.

        Just like other game engine reimplementations, they do require the original data files so it needs a small amount of work to get each going. Considering the age of both though, the re3 and reVC projects are now probably the best way to play each of them on a PC.

      • Pharaoh-like isometric city builder Nebuchadnezzar is out now

        Nebuchadnezzar is an isometric city builder styled like classic Impressions Games titles like Pharaoh and Zeus and it’s out now across both GOG and Steam. Note: key provided by the developer.

        This has been something of nostalgic joy for me, as someone who spent almost entire days playing the 1999 classic Pharaoh. It looks and feels very much like it, only with plenty of enhancements you would expect from a modern game. Considering that Nepos Games is made up of only two people, what they’ve achieved here is very impressive and if you’re after that classic city-builder feel you can’t really go wrong with it.

        “Nebuchadnezzar is a classic isometric city builder game inviting players to experience the mysterious history and culture of ancient Mesopotamia. In the campaign, players get to rule over influential historical cities filled with magnificent monuments.”

      • Valve & Netflix teamed up for a Dota anime series | GamingOnLinux

        If, like me, you’re a bit of an Anime fan you might want to keep an eye on Netflix as DOTA: Dragon’s Blood has been announced for release in March. Yeah, I know, this is not your usual gaming news but it’s gaming related and heck I’m excited about it.

        The story will be centred around a Dragon Knight, with the synopsis being short and sweet “The sweeping fantasy series tells the story of Davion, a renowned Dragon Knight devoted to wiping the scourge from the face of the world. Following encounters with a powerful, ancient eldwurm as well as the noble Princess Mirana on a secret mission of her own, Davion becomes embroiled in events much larger than he could have ever imagined.”

      • Have a NZXT Kraken? You can use GKraken to configure it on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        If you own one of the NZXT Kraken coolers you might want to check out the GKraken project to configure it under Linux. Another wonderful open source project for Linux hardware enthusiasts, where the original hardware manufacturer doesn’t provide official tooling for Linux.

        GKraken has actually been around for a little while, and the original developer Roberto Leinardi has placed it into a form of maintenance mode as they no longer have one. However, it is still being worked on and accepting code from others. A big 1.0.0 release just went up adding in support for the latest generation of NZXT Kraken devices from developer Guy Boldon.

      • Viking strategy game Northgard releases the free Expeditions expansion | GamingOnLinux

        Offering up a new way to play the game and unlock some cosmetic items, Northgard Expeditions is the 5th major expansion to the Viking strategy game and it’s a free update too.

        The free content drop adds an eponymous new quest format, wondrous rewards, and more than 50 craftable cosmetics earned from successful sojourns. You can now undertake Expeditions to amass treasure, with these events available in four varieties that have you follow certain quest-lines available as daily and weekly challenges with different difficult settings. Then you also have Discovery Expeditions that introduce Northgard’s lands and emphasize core game mechanics, as well as Master Expeditions, one-time-only quests tied to story content, achievement unlocks, and the Conquest game mode.

      • Imperator: Rome 2.0 Marius and the Heirs of Alexander content pack out now

        Ready to try Imperator: Rome again? Paradox have been busy overhauling quite a lot of it, with it still being one of the worst rated Paradox titles by users overall.

        They’re committed to it though, clearly and a big free update is out now with Imperator: Rome 2.0 Marius.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • GCompris in the Italian PublicCode catalogue

          The Italian PublicCode catalogue on Developers Italia is a searchable database of open source software that is either developed by Italian public institutions, or sourced from third parties, that can be used by Italian public insitutions.

          Nowadays, Italian public institutions have to revise the catalogue when seeking software to cover their requirements and, only if there is no option that fits their needs in the catalogue, can they seek a proprietary alternative or develop a new one. And if they develop a new one, it needs to be open source and added to the catalogue.

          I first learned about the concept at Akademy 2019, with the keynote by Leonardo Favario who presented the project. Recently, some discussions in the KDE community reminded me about it, and I finally decided to try and include GCompris in this catalogue.

        • What is new in KDE Plasma 5.21

          In this video, we are looking at some of the new features and changes that stand out for me the most in KDE Plasma 5.21.

        • PCLinuxOS: KDE Plasma Desktop updated to 5.21.0

          KDE Plasma packages have been updated to 5.21.0. Through rain, sleet or freezing snow, the packages must roll! It is recommended that you reboot after the update is complete so the new libraries can load.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • A Redesigned GNOME Software is in the Works – and it Looks Great!

          Okay, that’s a bit of snark, vet no, it’s not because I hate!!1 GNOME Software. It is a very important tool tasked with many complex roles. It is a critical link in the Linux experience. No-one is knocking that.

          But, and this is where some folks will take umbrage, GNOME Software does have a bit of ‘reputation’ among many users for being a bit …nonoptimal. Bloated? Memory hog? Slow? Ill-ordered? Constantly spitting error messages?

          Thankfully, work is underway to give the app a redo, iron out usability issues, and buff up its role in the GNOME Shell experience — as this (very lengthy) mockup of proposed changes to the default “Explore” page conveys…

    • Distributions

      • 2020 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Award Winners

        Desktop Distribution of the Year – Ubuntu (20.31%)
        Server Distribution of the Year – Slackware (32.93%)
        Live Distribution of the Year – Slackware Live Edition (41.55%)
        Database of the Year – MariaDB (53.18%)
        Browser of the Year – Firefox (54.82%)
        Desktop Environment of the Year – Plasma Desktop (KDE) (35.54%)
        Window Manager of the Year – Openbox (23.03%)
        Audio Media Player Application of the Year – VLC (29.34%\%)
        Digital Audio Workstation of the Year – Ardour (42.11%)
        Video Media Player of the Year – VLC (67.26%)
        Video Authoring Application of the Year – KDEnlive (44.44%)
        Security Hardening and/or Scanning Application of the Year – nmap (45.83%)
        Network Monitoring Application of the Year – Nagios Core (22.33%)
        IDE of the Year – Visual Studio Code (23.29%)
        Text Editor of the Year – vim (28.34%)
        File Manager of the Year – Dolphin (29.39%)
        Open Source Game of the Year – SuperTuxKart (15.05%)
        Programming Language of the Year – Python (31.14%)
        Backup Application of the Year – Timeshift (23.58%)
        Log Management Tool of the Year – Logstash (33.80%)
        X Terminal Emulator of the Year – Konsole (23.25%)
        Browser Privacy Solution of the Year – uBlock Origin (38.62%)
        Privacy Solution of the Year – GnuPG (33.33%)
        IRC Client of the Year – HexChat (44.83%)
        Single Board Computer of the Year – Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (58.59%)
        Virtualization Application of the Year – VirtualBox (53.76%)
        Container of the Year – Docker (60.58%)
        Linux/Open Source Podcast of the Year – Bad Voltage/Command Line Heroes/GNU World Order (13.59%)
        Secure Messaging Application of the Year – Signal (45.63%)
        Graphics Editor of the Year – GIMP (74.67%)
        Linux Desktop Vendor of the Year – System76 (52.99%)
        Linux Laptop Vendor of the Year – System76 (39.86%)
        Linux Server Vendor of the Year – Dell (31.58%)
        Email Client of the Year – Thunderbird (57.87%)
        Clipboard Manager of the Year – Klipper (52.73%)
        PDF Viewer of the Year – Okular (37.40%)
        Static Site Generator of the Year – Hugo (32.26%)
        Screen Recording and Streaming Tool of the Year – OBS Studio (37.21%)
        Media Server of the Year – Kodi (37.14%)
        Team Communication Application of the Year – Slack (38.24%)
        Music Collaboration Platform of the Year – SoundJack (32.00%)

      • Reviews

        • ExTiX 21.1 Deepin Edition is a beautiful Linux desktop in need of some polish

          I love a beautiful Linux desktop. There’s just something about logging in to find a developer’s work of art greeting you. It’s refreshing and reminds you that anything is possible with enough time and effort.

          With Linux, there have been so many desktops over the years that have absolutely “wowed” me. I believe the first to have ever done that was AfterStep, followed shortly by Enlightenment E16. After that, it was a rather drawn out dry spell of desktops to really evoke an “Huzzah!” from me. If I’m being totally honest, that honor most likely falls on Deepin Desktop. Since Deepin’s arrival, I’ve fancied it the most beautiful desktop on the market.

          Imagine my excitement when I found out that ExTiX Linux was to release a new version, based on Deepin Desktop; it was almost (but not quite) palpable. Without hesitation, I downloaded an ISO and spun up a virtual machine. The end result was a mixed bag of feels and disappointment. Let me explain.

      • New Releases

        • Tiny Core Linux 12.0 Released with Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS, Many Improvements

          A year in the making, Tiny Core Linux 12.0 is powered by the latest and greatest Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series and features up-to-date core components, including the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) 10.2, GNU C Library (Glibc) 2.32, GNU Binutils 2.35.1, util-linux 2.36.1, and e2fsprogs 1.45.6.

          Busybox 1.33.0 is included as well in this release, but it was patched by the Tiny Core Linux devs to load more than nine extensions and remove the “Module has invalid ELF header” error message. In addition, the busybox-aliases script received various additions.

        • Alpine 3.13.2 released

          The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.13.2 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

          This release includes a security update for openssl.

      • BSD

        • pfSense Plus 21.02-RELEASE and pfSense CE 2.5.0-RELEASE Now Available

          We are excited to announce the release of pfSense® Plus software version 21.02 and pfSense Community Edition (CE) software version 2.5.0, now available for new installations and upgrades!

          This is the first release of pfSense Plus software, formerly known as Factory Edition. For more details about the distinctions between pfSense Plus and pfSense CE, read the pfSense Plus Announcement. Customers running the Factory Edition of pfSense software version 2.4.5-p1 and older can upgrade in-place automatically to pfSense Plus software version 21.02 as with any other previous upgrade.

          These versions are the result of an immense development effort taking place over the last several years. Over 550 issues are resolved, including bug fixes, new features, and other significant changes.

        • Netgate Introduces New e-Commerce Store and Appliance Ordering Options
      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • “Fedora Kinoite” Coming For Fedora 35 As An immutable KDE Desktop Spin

          The Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo) has approved plans for “Fedora Kinoite” as the newest spin to debut this autumn alongside Fedora 35.

          Fedora Kinoite is basically an immutable desktop spin that is akin to Fedora Silverblue but making use of the KDE Plasma desktop rather than the GNOME Shell. Fedora Fedora Kinoite will make use of RPM-OSTree, Flatpaks, Podman, and other technologies employed by Fedora Silverblue, but it will be using the KDE desktop.

        • Project OWL announces new release of ClusterDuck Protocol to build emergency mesh networks

          Despite the pandemic, the power of the open source community of developers working together virtually around the world has helped Project OWL (Organization, Whereabouts, and Logistics) advance the ClusterDuck Protocol (CDP) wireless technology in the past year.

      • Debian Family

        • Norbert Preining: Debian KDE/Plasma Status 2021-02-18

          Lots of time has passed since the last status update, and Debian is going into pre-release freeze, so let us report a bit about the most recent changes: Debian/bullseye will have Plasma 5.20.5, Frameworks 5.78, Apps 20.12. Debian/experimental already carries Plasma 5.21 and Frameworks 5.79, and that is also the level at the OSC builds.


          We are in soft freeze now, and only targeted fixes are allowed, but Bullseye is carrying a good mixture consisting of the KDE Frameworks 5.78, including several backports of fixes from 5.79 to get smooth operation. Plasma 5.20.5, again with several cherry picks for bugs will be in Bullseye, too. The KDE/Apps are mostly at 20.12 level, and the KDE PIM group packages (akonadi, kmail, etc) are at 20.08.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • 5 Channel Partner Program and MSP News Updates: Wednesday 17 February 2021 – ChannelE2E

          4. Partner Program – Ubuntu Linux: Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu Linux, says the company’s channel partner program has grown by 5X in three years. Moreover, Canonical’s partners have expanded Ubuntu’s global presence to several new markets, such as Russia, India and Africa, the company says. The partners, spanning all major industries, are building successful businesses around Canonical’s open source technology for the Internet of Things, data centers, private, public, and hybrid clouds, the company says.

        • Canonical’s Partner Program Gets Industry Recognition for its Growth and Depth of Portfolio

          Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, announced today that its channel partner program has grown by five times in three years and expanded its global presence to several new markets, such as Russia, India and Africa. These partners, spanning all major industries, are building successful businesses around Canonical’s industry-leading open source technology for the Internet of Things, data centers, private, public, and hybrid clouds.

          The company also announced that Regis Paquette, Vice President Global Alliances, Public Cloud and Channels, has been included by CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, in its 2021 Channel Chiefs honor.

          The impressive momentum of Canonical’s channels program is the result of four different initiatives. First, the deeper engagements with all major OEMs such as IBM, Dell EMC, Ericsson etc. to help them build solutions based on Canonical technologies.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • ‘It’s where the industry is heading’: LibreOffice team working on WebAssembly port • The Register

          The LibreOffice team has been working on a port to browser-hosted WebAssembly, and hopes for a working demo by summer 2021. “It’s the way the industry is heading,” said Document Foundation board member Thorsten Behrens.

          Browser-based versions of the open-source office productivity suite already exist in the form of Collabora Online and LibreOffice Online (LOOL), mainly developed by Collabora.

          The Document Foundation, steward of the LibreOffice project, said that it is “not planning to develop and fund a cloud solution similar to existing products from Google and Microsoft” because this is “not in line with the original mission of the project.”

          Instead, it has provided the code for other providers to deploy, although the foundation added that this code is missing essential pieces, such as authentication, which are down to the provider.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU poke 0.90 pre-released in alpha.gnu.org

            GNU poke (http://www.jemarch.net/poke) is an interactive, extensible editor for binary data. Not limited to editing basic entities such as bits and bytes, it provides a full-fledged procedural, interactive programming language designed to describe data structures and to operate on them.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Pirated Themes and Plugins on Official WordPress Site [Ed: General Public License, or GPL, not GNU]

            It’s clear that anyone is free to create derivative works based on all plugins and themes that are considered derivative works.

            That said, the WordPress.org GNU Public License page acknowledges there may be legal gray areas about what is considered a derivative work.

      • Programming/Development

        • Linux vs Windows: Which is better for programming

          Most people are using Windows as their main PC operating system. However, if you’re new to programming, you may see a lot of references to Linux byprofessionals in the field. This is also an operating system; in fact, one of the most popular, Android, according to the Linux official website, is powered by this OS.


          Linux boasts a closely-knit thriving community of programmers and developers. Being an open source-code operating system, it lets its users connect easily. They learn from each other and help one another whenever the system experiences any disruption.

        • Clang LTO PR Submitted For Linux 5.12, But x86_64 Support Not Included Yet

          The pull request is pending that would allow Clang Link-Time Optimizations (LTO) to be enabled when building the Linux 5.12 kernel with this alternative compiler. The initial pull request has the compiler optimization work ready for the core infrastructure and 64-bit ARM (AArch64) while the x86_64 support isn’t expected until the Linux 5.13 cycle.

          Last month we outlined the Clang LTO ambitions for the mainline Linux kernel and it getting into position for 5.12. Clang Link Time Optimizations are being pursued for greater performance as well as being necessary for supporting Clang’s Control-Flow Integrity (CFI) handling with the kernel.

        • LLVM 11.1 Released To Deal With ABI Breakage – Phoronix

          LLVM 11.1.0 has been tagged as a special release to deal with ABI breakage on LLVM 11.0.

          While these days LLVM’s versioning scheme rarely sees a x.1.0 release with generally just sticking to bumping the major version number and squeezing in a point release or two per cycle, LLVM 11.1.0 is out today as a special release between LLVM 11.0.1 and the upcoming LLVM 12.0.

        • Sysadmin hardware: Considerations for planning a PC build  | Enable Sysadmin

          Now that all of the hardware has been considered, you need to figure out what software you will run on your new system. Of course, multi-booting is an option. But be sure to consider the cost of any operating systems or other software you wish to install in your overall budget.

        • 4 tech jobs for people who don’t code

          In the first article in this series, I explained how the tech industry divides people and roles into “technical” or “non-technical” categories and the problems associated with this. The tech industry makes it difficult for people interested in tech—but not coding—to figure out where they fit in and what they can do.

          If you’re interested in technology or open source but aren’t interested in coding, there are roles available for you. Any of these positions at a tech company likely require somebody who is tech-savvy but does not necessarily write code. You do, however, need to know the terminology and understand the product.

          I’ve recently noticed the addition of the word “technical” onto job titles such as technical account manager, technical product manager, technical community manager, etc. This mirrors the trend a few years ago where the word “engineer” was tacked onto titles to indicate the role’s technical needs. After a while, everybody has the word “engineer” in their title, and the classification loses some of its allure.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Method-ish | Playing Perl 6 b6xA Raku

            In my last post I once again struggled with augmenting classes from CORE. That struggle wasn’t needed at all as I didn’t change state of the object with the added method. For doing more advanced stuff I might have to. By sticking my hand so deep into the guts of Rakudo I might get myself burned. Since what I want to do is tying my code to changes the compiler anyway, I might as well go all in and decent into nqp-land.

        • Python

          • How to Install Python in Ubuntu

            Almost every Linux distribution comes with a version of Python included in the default system packages. But on occasion, due to some reasons, you might not find Python installed on an Ubuntu system.

            Let’s take a closer look at how you can install Python on Ubuntu, with a brief guide on updating the Python package as well.

          • How to send an SMS message using Python – PragmaticLinux

            Curious about how you can send an SMS message from Python for free? This article presents a ready-made Python function to send an SMS message. Simply copy-paste the function into your own Python program and voilà, you are all set. The demonstrated Python code to send an SMS, builds on the Textbelt web API. Textbelt allows you to send one SMS for free every day. Great for server monitoring purposes, where you do not expect issue on a regular basis.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Introduction to named pipes on Bash shell – LinuxConfig.org

            On Linux and Unix-based operating systems, pipes are very useful since they are a simple way to achieve IPC (inter-process communication). When we connect two processes in a pipeline, the output of the first one is used as the input of the second one. To build a so called “anonymous” pipe, all we have to do is to use the | operator. Anonymous, or unnamed pipes last just as long as the processes they connect. There is, however, another type of pipe we can use: a FIFO, or named pipe. In this article we will see how named pipes work and in what they are different from the standard pipes.

        • Rust

          • Benjamin Bouvier: A primer on code generation in Cranelift

            Cranelift is a code generator written in the Rust programming language that aims to be a fast code generator, which outputs machine code that runs at reasonable speeds.

            The Cranelift compilation model consists in compiling functions one by one, holding extra information about external entities, like external functions, memory addresses, and so on. This model allows for concurrent and parallel compilation of individual functions, which supports the goal of fast compilation. It was designed this way to allow for just-in-time (JIT) compilation of WebAssembly binary code in Firefox, although its scope has broadened a bit. Nowadays it is used in a few different WebAssembly runtimes, including Wasmtime and Wasmer, but also as an alternative backend for Rust debug compilation, thanks to cg_clif.

            A classic compiler design usually includes running a parser to translate the source to some form of intermediate representations, then run optimization passes onto them, then feeds this to the machine code generator.

            This blog post focuses on the final step, namely the concepts that are involved in code generation, and what they map to in Cranelift. To make things more concrete, we’ll take a specific instruction, and see how it’s translated, from its creation down to code generation. At each step of the process, I’ll provide a short (ahem) high-level explanation of the concepts involved, and I’ll show what they map to in Cranelift, using the example instruction. While this is not a tutorial detailing how to add new instructions in Cranelift, this should be an interesting read for anyone who’s interested in compilers, and this could be an entry point if you’re interested in hacking on the Cranelift codegen crate.

        • Go

          • From the rooftops shout it out: Go 1.16 ready to go (onto more 64-bit architectures)

            Go 1.16, the latest iteration of the programming language used in infrastructure projects like Docker and Kubernetes, has been released, and adds support for 64-bit ARM architecture on macOS as well as packages to facilitate file bundling and accessing metrics.

            With no language changes present in the release, the embed package which is now part of the core library is amongst the more stand-out features of Go 1.16. Once imported, a program can use the package via the //go:embed directive followed by a variable declaration (string type, or a slice of a byte type, or FS) to embed files and work with their contents.

          • Go 1.16 is released

            Today the Go team is very happy to announce the release of Go 1.16. You can get it from the download page.

            The new embed package provides access to files embedded at compile time using the new //go:embed directive. Now it is easy to bundle supporting data files into your Go programs, making developing with Go even smoother. You can get started using the embed package documentation. Carl Johnson has also written a nice tutorial, “How to use Go embed”.

            Go 1.16 also adds macOS ARM64 support (also known as Apple silicon). Since Apple’s announcement of their new arm64 architecture, we have been working closely with them to ensure Go is fully supported; see our blog post “Go on ARM and Beyond” for more.

          • Go 1.16 released

            Version 1.16 of the Go language is available. New features include an “embed” package, Apple Arm64 support, use of modules by default, and build-performance improvements; see the release notes for details.

  • Leftovers

    • We Need to Talk About Judas

      The new film, Judas and the Black Messiah, is worth seeing, talking about and analyzing with a variety of historical lenses. The historical lenses include the history of Black Cinema, revolutionary cinema, African American history and the history of political repression in the US in general.

      Every once in a while, an important political film gets released by a major Hollywood company, even though the company’s owners don’t fully grasp how the message of the film might detract from their usual class interests. In that context, Judas is like the 1973 film, The Spook Who Sat by the Door. Like Judas, Spook was produced by Black men who took it upon themselves to raise money, make the film against all odds and then approach Hollywood for distribution. In 1973, United Artist decided to back the film, thinking it could make money as a typical blaxploitation movie. Shortly after it was released and its political significance emerged, United Artists, with alleged encouragement from Hoover’s FBI, pulled the film (even though it was making money), destroyed all but one of the prints and stored the negative under a different name so it would be hard to find[1]. In 1973, as in 1969 when Chairman Fred and many other revolutionaries were murdered, the FBI was confident that it was winning. Today in 2021, law enforcement in general is having a crisis of identity, and the FBI in particular is far removed from the infallible G-man image that once appeared on TV, as portrayed by Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Cointelpro no doubt exists under a different name, but more and more people are aware that the FBI and other law-enforcement are not above plotting political assassinations.

    • Science

      • Bolstering Alarm Over Scientists’ Warnings, New Study Finds Sea Level Rise Projections ‘Are On the Money’

        “If we continue with large ongoing emissions as we are at present, we will commit the world to meters of sea level rise over coming centuries.”

      • Nuclear Rockets to Mars?

        The 104-page report also lays out “synergies” in space nuclear activities between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. military, something not advanced explicitly since the founding of NASA as a civilian agency supposedly in 1958.

        The report states: “Space nuclear propulsion and power systems have the potential to provide the United States with military advantages…NASA could benefit programmatically by working with a DoD [Department of Defense] program having national security objectives.”’

      • First, the basics: who mowed that lawn, and when should it matter?

        In other words, what “Artificial Intelligence” really delivers is an ever growing decoupling of the ability to get something done as specified, from any need to be (humanly) intelligent to do so. I already covered this fact, explaining why robots can NEVER dance. GPT-3 is the latest, text-specific development in this decoupling process.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • State Lawmakers Propose Tough New Bills to Curb Rising Drug Prices
      • State Laws Restricting Community Broadband Are Hurting US Communities During The Pandemic

        We’ve talked for years about how telecom monopolies like Comcast and AT&T have ghost written laws in more than twenty states, banning or hamstringing towns and cities looking to build their own broadband networks. We’ve also noted with COVID clearly illustrating how broadband is essential for education, opportunity, employment, and healthcare, such restrictions are looking dumber than ever. Voters should have every right to make local infrastructure decisions for themselves, and if big ISPs and armchair free market policy wonks don’t want that to happen, incumbent ISPs should provide faster, cheaper, better service.

      • Trouble in Vaccine Land: The Wiliness of South Africa’s Coronavirus Variant

        The South African variant has been given a few designations: 501Y.V2 or B.1.351.  Within it lies a mutation –N501Y – which suggests a greater degree of contagiousness.  Another, E484k, might bypass the human immune system, thereby blunting the effectiveness of the vaccines.

        A study on the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against N501Y and E484k mutations found that the vaccine did still work, but with less efficacy.  The authors of the study treaded carefully, making it clear that the study had made assumptions about levels of neutralisation.  The biological functions of N501Y and other mutations also remained “to be defined for viral replication, pathogenesis, and/or transmission in animal models.”

      • How Spanish Can Help Us Survive Viral Times
      • Emails Reveal US Officials Joined With Agrochemical Giant Bayer to Stop Mexico’s Glyphosate Ban

        “We’re seeing more and more how the pesticide industry uses the U.S. government to aggressively push its agenda on the international stage and quash any attempt by people in other countries to take control of their food supply.”

      • ‘A Failed State’: Power Outages Amid Freezing Weather in Texas Threaten Lives and Covid Vaccines

        “This crisis is brought to you by deregulation.”

      • The latest antivaccine lie about COVID-19 vaccines: “They’re gene therapy!”

        I had been debating whether to write about something other than COVID-19 this week, given how thoroughly the pandemic has come to dominate the blog (at least my contributions), to the point where it seems that I write about little else. On the other hand, there’s a topic that’s been bugging me, a niggling annoying bit of antivaccine disinformation that I keep seeing as it pops up hither, thither, and yon in antivaccine social media and on antivax websites and blogs, to the point where I finally feel as though I have to break down and address it. Such is life.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • DARPA and the Linux Foundation Create Open Software Initiative to Accelerate US R&D Innovation, 5G End to End Stack

                The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced it has signed a collaboration agreement with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to create open source software that accelerates United States government technology research and development innovation.

                Under the agreement, DARPA and the LF will create a broad collaboration umbrella (US Government Open Programmable Secure (US GOV OPS) that allows United States Government projects, their ecosystem, and open community to participate in accelerating innovation and security in the areas of 5G, Edge, AI, Standards, Programmability, and IOT among other technologies. The project formation encourages ecosystem players to support US Government initiatives to create the latest in technology software.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (openssl and ruby-mechanize), Fedora (chromium, jasper, roundcubemail, spice-vdagent, and webkit2gtk3), openSUSE (python-bottle), Oracle (dotnet, kernel, and Unbreakable Enterprise kernel-container), Red Hat (redhat-ds:11, RHDM, and RHPAM), SUSE (jasper, kernel, and screen), and Ubuntu (thunderbird and wpa).

          • SLES 15 Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG)

            We are proud to announce that DISA, the Defense Information Systems Agency, published a Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Speak Up for Real Privacy in Virginia

              Take Action

              Virginia: Speak Up for Real Privacy

              The bill has passed through the House Committee on Technology, Communications, and Innovation and is headed to a floor vote in the House this week.

            • The US Government can search your phone at the border without a warrant

              The US government has more power to violate constitutional rights at the border or within 100 miles of it than it does elsewhere in the country. This differentiation has long been used to violate the privacy of American citizens when they cross through the Constitution-exempt zone surrounding the United States and her airports. Importantly, this is a separate type of privacy violation than many arms of the government are actively participating in by buying location data and other data from citizens’ phones from third parties instead of obtaining it from the device itself.

            • The battle over the EU’s far-reaching ePrivacy Regulation enters its final and crucial stage

              The press release of the Council of the EU has a good summary of its main features. Importantly, the ePrivacy Regulation will cover not just electronic communications content, but also communications metadata. Also welcome is that the rules will apply to machine-to-machine data, for example generated by Internet of Things devices. Unfortunately, one of worst proposals in the new text concerns metadata. As is well recognized now, metadata is arguably richer and more revealing than even content, and therefore requires strict safeguards in order to preserve privacy. The Council of the EU wants to create a huge loophole that would allow companies to process metadata for a purpose other than that for which it was collected, even when this is not based on the user’s consent. This would be subject to a variety of vague “safeguards”, including the use of pseudonymization, which offers very little protection for privacy.

            • Signal Needs to do Better For its Response to the Anti-Censorship Community – It’s FOSS News

              Signal has managed to gain a huge number of active users after Elon Musk’s tweet and numerous other recommendations from key personalities that also include Edward Snowden who usually recommends using Signal.

              Undoubtedly, Signal is one of the most private WhatsApp alternatives available out there.

              However, some recent events that involved some security researchers from the Anti-Censorship community reporting a critical flaw for Signal’s censorship circumvention technique for Iran has led me to think how Signal as a company responds and presents itself to the open-source community in general.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump Faces First Civil Suit Over Role in Inciting Followers to Attack Capitol
      • UN expert details crushing human toll of US sanctions on Venezuela
      • ‘Crucial’ New Project Exposes How Far-Reaching US War on Drugs ‘Has Contaminated Six Critical Systems’

        “If we want drug war reparations,” said Drug Policy Alliance’s executive director, “we need to identify ALL the ways the drug war intentionally harms our communities.”

      • A Second Civil War?

        You may believe that abortion is murder but capital punishment is not. I believe that abortion is serious and tragic, but still it is better that it be safe, legal and rare. I believe capital punishment is cruel and unusual and has been too capriciously and unjustly applied.

        I believe that the scientific method, posing a hypothesis and testing it to see if it is true, indicates we are in the midst of a human-caused global climate emergency that will take a new level of cooperation among all the nations in the world. You may believe that the science of climate shows inconsistencies and that warming and cooling are natural cycles independent of human activity.

      • Opinion | The Case Against Jared Kushner’s Nobel Nomination

        Former US presidential son-in-law is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize over his role in Arab-Israeli normalisation.

      • Executed in Russia ‘Novaya Gazeta’ investigation reveals evidence of extra-judicial killings in Chechnya

        The independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta has published a new investigation into alleged extra-judicial killings carried out by security forces in Russia’s Chechnya. Reportedly, at least 27 people were killed in the region’s capital, Grozny, in January 2017. In the first part of the investigation, published on Monday, February 15, correspondent Elena Milashina references official documents allegedly obtained from the Chechen Interior Ministry, which indicate that law enforcement officers did in fact detain a number of the deceased. According to police officials in the region, however, these arrests never took place. Meduza summarizes the main findings from the investigation.

      • ‘Is Our Blood Worth Less?’ Afghan Anguish After European Court Sides With Germany Over Airstrike That Killed 90 Civilians

        “I wanted the court to provide justice, to have mercy on us,” the lead plaintiff in the case said following the ruling.

      • Ignoring Repression and Dirty Tricks in Coverage of Ecuador’s Election

        Ecuadorians went to the polls on February 7 to elect a new president, vice president and National Assembly. A week before the election, a widely reposted Reuters article (1/29/21) by Alexandra Valencia and Venezuela-based reporter Brian Ellsworth explained that “nostalgia for better times under former leftist president Rafael Correa has pushed one of his proteges into the lead.” The protégé in question is Andrés Arauz, a 36-year-old economist who was part of the Correa government’s economic team, including a stint as head of its central bank, during the ten years that it was in office (2007–17).

      • Andrés Arauz: Ecuador’s Presidential Front-Runner on COVID, Austerity & Ending U.S. Interference

        Ecuador’s presidential front-runner says the country is facing a “double crisis” of COVID-19 and austerity. “We need a renewal in our politics,” Andrés Arauz tells Democracy Now! The left-wing economist secured nearly 33% of the vote in the first round of Ecuador’s presidential election on February 7 but fell short of the 40% needed to win outright. He will face right-wing banker Guillermo Lasso or Indigenous candidate Yaku Pérez in a runoff election on April 11, depending on the results of a recount after both candidates secured just over 19% of the vote. Arauz has pledged to end austerity measures imposed by Ecuador’s outgoing right-wing President Lenín Moreno and is close to former President Rafael Correa, who led the country from 2007 to 2017 and has been credited with lifting over a million Ecuadorians out of poverty. Arauz served in Correa’s administration as director of the Central Bank and later as a minister. Arauz says he would seek to work with the Biden administration, if elected, and rejects attempts to interfere in Latin American affairs. “We need to talk about peace, democracy, development as the key issues in Latin America,” says Arauz. “We do not want foreign interference in our region. … We hope the Biden administration will stay away from trying to create division within the region.”

      • ‘Step Off, United States’: Progressive International Voices Solidarity With Haitians Rising Up Against Dictatorship

        “The Progressive International stands with the people of Haiti, striking across the nation against the dictatorship of Jovenel Moïse.”

      • UN cash crunch still delaying Libya rights abuse probe

        But so far a UN-wide cash crunch means the 16-member team, which has a mandate “to document alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by all parties in Libya since the start of 2016”, hasn’t actually done any investigating on the ground.
        The UN adopted a proposal in October to postpone the investigation due a lack of funds, and Olka Nakajo, the mission’s Geneva-based interim coordinator, confirmed to The New Humanitarian last week that it was still to really get underway for the same reason.
        “Due to the liquidity crisis [at the UN]… the mission has not yet started,” Nakajo said. “A start-up independent team has… initially identified key interlocuteurs, including civil society, regional organisations, and… contacts outside the country,” she said, adding that experts would be deployed to Tunis, where they will be based, as soon as money does arrive.

      • A Libyan town reckons with its past horrors and uncertain future

        Wadah al-Keesh is used to handling dead bodies; fighters and civilians abandoned on Libya’s front lines. But a decade after the violent revolt that unseated Muammar Gaddafi – and after yet another year of fighting – recovering people from mass graves in a town notorious for brutal violence against civilians is different.
        “The first body I touched, I felt intimidated,” recalled 31-year-old al-Keesh, one of a 30-member government forensic team combing through Tarhouna’s fields and emptied prisons. “The body was so decomposed that if you didn’t carry it carefully, it would break.”
        It wasn’t just the fragility of the human remains – left out or buried longer than he was accustomed to – that startled him. It was the eerie emptiness of the town.
        During 2019 and 2020, Tarhouna became a strategic base for eastern forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army, as they tried to take the capital, Tripoli, from the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA). When al-Keesh arrived in June 2020, the clashes had just petered out. Around 16,000 people had recently fled Tarhouna – some 60 kilometres south of the capital – and its surroundings.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Excuses for Acquittal: The Sequel

        Support independent cartooning: join Sparky’s List—and don’t forget to visit TT’s Emporium of Fun, featuring the new book and plush Sparky!

      • ‘Proekt’ investigation links Putin aide to persecution of historian Yuri Dmitriev

        On Tuesday, February 16, St. Petersburg’s Third Court of Cassation allowed the 13-year prison sentence given to historian and activist Yuri Dmitriev to stand. Following this ruling, the investigative outlet Proekt released a report connecting Yuri Dmitriev’s persecution to presidential aide Anatoly Seryshev — the former head of the Karelian FSB.

      • Trump’s Future in Politics Diminished by Impeachment Trial, House Managers Say
      • The next wave The West is preparing a new round of sanctions against Russia, but who really pays, and what’s the point, in the end?

        On February 8, 2021, at the initiative of the Permanent Representation of Poland to the European Union, two of Alexey Navalny’s associates — Leonid Volkov and Vladimir Ashurkov — held a meeting with Western diplomats. According to Polish state radio network Polskie Radio 24, which published a report from the meeting, the ambassadors of Great Britain, the U.S., Canada, and Ukraine were also present, along with representatives of the EU’s diplomatic corps. According to Reuters, Volkov and Ashurkov spoke about the West’s policy towards Russia, including possible sanctions against individuals in Putin’s inner circle.

      • The Head of Every Table: Joe Biden’s Impossible Foreign Policy Aspirations

        Introducing key members of his national security team, Joe Biden exulted, “America is back. Ready to lead the world, not retreat from it. Once again, sit at the head of the table. Ready to confront our adversaries, and not reject our allies.” In his confirmation hearings, Secretary of State Antony Blinken—said to have a “mind meld” with the president—echoed the sentiment: “America at its best still has a greater ability than any country on earth to mobilize others for the greater good.”

      • GOP Senators Told Stacey Plaskett They Were Afraid to “Stand Out on a Limb”
      • The 43 Senators of the Republican Sedition Caucus Are Every Bit As Guilty as Donald Trump

        The 43 Republican senators who blocked the conviction of Donald Trump for the high crime of inciting insurrection to overturn the results of the 2020 election refused—for reasons of ideological delusion and blind partisanship—to hold a guilty man to account.

      • Democrats Threw Away the Chance to Call Witnesses. I’m Still Not Over It.
      • The Impeachable Trump
      • How to Hold Senate Republicans Accountable

        Donald Trump’s relentless campaign to overturn the election he lost culminated in the mob that invaded the Capitol. His abuse of power and dereliction of duty clearly merited impeachment and conviction. His guilt is not in question; the masterful presentation of the case in the Senate trial by House impeachment managers left no doubt.

      • Rania Khalek slams phony impeachment “soap opera”
      • Pelosi Calls for “9/11-Type” Commission on January 6 Capitol Attacks
      • ‘Unsmiling Political Hack’: Trump Fires Off Insults at McConnell, Vows to Work Against Weak Republicans

        “The problem with Trump and McConnell attacking each other is that they’re both kinda right about each other,” noted one observer. 

      • You Don’t Deserve Anything…

        The blatant evidence of their scorn that irks me today is the most recent $600 “stimulus” payment. My objection may seem like a little thing, but it’s the little things that should tip us off to their distain, like when people briefly rolls their eyes when you offer an opinion. Not only do most nations (with less wealth than ours) offer their citizens medical care during this pandemic, but they also offer their people monthly checks, a UBI, so they don’t starve to death. So far, the U.S. has offered two payments, both woefully inadequate for even the month in which they were offered. Congress argues endlessly about these payments. They say they are not needed. They say they are too much. They say we should be looking to do other things other than pay citizens to survive. This is because the subtext of the discussion heralds back to the American myth that we are rugged individuals with bootstraps that we are responsible for pulling up (despite that violating Newtonian physics), and if we can’t do for ourselves…well, they don’t say it publicly, but if not, we can just fucking die. We don’t deserve to live unless we are elite, entitled million- or billionaires that graduated from Ivy League schools.

        However, these are the large issues that should be obvious. The telltale sign, the eye-rolling moment, that signals just how much contempt our “representatives” feel for us regarding these payments, is that this $600 installment was issued in the form of a debit card rather than a paper check. Review the fine print that accompanied your “stimulus” card. If you wish to use it, unless you memorize the exact circumstances to avoid them, you will be charged fees. There is a fee for using certain ATMs. There is a five dollar fee if you want to shift it to your very own bank, though they will waive that fee the first time you do it.

      • The Case for Prosecuting Trump: Elie Mystal on Why Criminal Charges Are Still Possible — and Needed

        Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has authorized a 9/11-style commission to further investigate the January 6 insurrection and the actions that led up to it, as calls grow for the criminal prosecution of former President Donald Trump after his acquittal in his second Senate impeachment trial. The Nation’s justice correspondent Elie Mystal says House impeachment managers presented “a fairly compelling case for criminal liability” for Donald Trump over the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. “I think there’s a case for indictment. I think we should at least try,” he says.

      • Opinion | Parler Is Now in the Hands of a Right-Wing Extremist Seeking a Radical Rewrite of the Constitution

        Mark Meckler has a long history of creating organizations to mobilize far-right activists.

      • Parler’s Found A New Host (And A New CEO)… For Now

        On Monday Parler announced to the world that it was back with a new host (and a new interim CEO after the board fired founder and CEO John Matze a few weeks ago). The “board” is controlled by the (until recently, secret) other founder: Rebekah Mercer, who famously also funded Cambridge Analytica, a company built upon sucking up social media data and using it to influence elections. When Matze was fired, he told Reuters that the company was being run by two people since he’d been removed: Matthew Richardson and Mark Meckler.

      • Opinion | Recent Events Reveal Urgent Need for Civics Education in the US

        If citizens do not have the basic knowledge to defend our democracy, they will be drawn to the delusional and irresponsible declarations and promises of immoral leaders who build their base by spinning lies.

      • Opinion | 43 Republican Senators Chose To Stand With the Seditionists Rather Than Defend the Republic

        What we saw Saturday was a profile in cowardice. Had there been a secret ballot, the Senate vote to convict Donald Trump likely would have been overwhelming.

      • Opinion | The GOP Is a Dangerous Cult That Democrats Should Not Negotiate With

        We either have a future based on lies, violence, and authoritarianism—or on unyielding truth, unshakeable civility, and democracy.

      • Citing Anti-KKK Law, NAACP and Rep. Bennie Thompson Sue Trump and Far-Right Allies Over Capitol Attack

        “Donald Trump needs to be held accountable for deliberately inciting and colluding with white supremacists to stage a coup, in his continuing efforts to disenfranchise African-American voters.”

      • Opinion | Cuomo and Newsom Symbolize the Rot of Corporate Democrats—and the Dire Need for Progressive Populism

        More than ever, many entrenched Democrats are worried about primary challenges from the left. Such fears are all to the good.

      • The Trump Cult and Its Future

        From what I can gather the greater number eschew this mythology but stubbornly maintain that the 2020 election was stolen. They don’t necessarily believe it was stolen by space aliens in collusion with the Venezuelan communists who controlled the voting machines. But it was surely stolen by somebody. This is a central unifying doctrinal point for the Trump community.

        We’re talking people who appear rational in their daily lives, capable of grasping and accepting empirical research results when they’re at work, repairing their cars, balancing their checkbooks, making medical decisions. They can gauge distances and reverse park, and figure out their remote control devices. Their brains are normal. They realize there is an objective world outside their own minds. But they are unfazed by multiple vote recounts and court judgments. Their brains reject certain objective facts, as though programmed to shut them out.

      • Is Biden Committing Diplomatic Suicide Over the Iran Nuclear Agreement?

        Cautious international optimism toward Biden is very much based on his commitment to Obama’s signature diplomatic achievement, the JCPOA or nuclear agreement with Iran. Biden and the Democrats excoriated Trump for withdrawing from it and promised to promptly rejoin the deal if elected. But Biden now appears to be hedging his position in a way that risks turning what should be an easy win for the new administration into an avoidable and tragic diplomatic failure.

        While it was the United States under Trump that withdrew from the nuclear agreement, Biden is taking the position that the U.S. will not rejoin the agreement or drop its unilateral sanctions until Iran first comes back into compliance. After withdrawing from the agreement, the United States is in no position to make such demands, and Foreign Minister Zarif has clearly and eloquently rejected them, reiterating Iran’s firm commitment that it will return to full compliance as soon as the United States does so.

      • It’s a Myth that Presidents Welcome Movement Pressure — and Biden is No Different

        In recent years, this tale has often been used to encourage social movements to maintain pressure on elected officials, even sympathetic ones, once these politicians assume power. There’s only one problem: The story isn’t true. Upon examination it has all the markings of an apocryphal legend, and it is highly unlikely that the meeting in question ever took place. Yet because the parable raises one of the most crucial issues of our current political moment — how those who voted against Trump should interact with the new administration — it is valuable to consider what the story gets right about the relationship between movements and presidents, and what it gets wrong.

        As Joe Biden begins his first term in the White House, the stakes of this discussion are considerable. Far from welcoming outsider pressure, politicians committed to insider dealmaking have a long track record of dismissing and disparaging critics who push them to do better — and they have often preferred to demobilize the supporters who got them elected rather than face heat from potentially unruly movements. Organizers committed to stopping such demobilization must accept that it will likely earn them the ire of the White House.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Conservative News Outlet Ordered To Pay More Than $250,000 In Legal Fees To Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

        Last summer, California’s anti-SLAPP law gave MSNBC host Rachel Maddow an early exit from a bogus defamation lawsuit brought by one of the few “news” outlets that’s farther to the right than Fox News, One America News.

      • 230 Matters: One Week Until Our Event & Discussion With Section 230′s Authors

        Get your tickets for Section 230 Matters before February 23rd »

      • Turkey’s Free Speech Clampdown Hits Twitter, Clubhouse — But Most of All, The Turkish People

        Out of the major foreign social media platforms used in Turkey, only Twitter has not appointed a local representative and subject itself to Turkish jurisdiction over its content and users’ policies. Coincidentally, Twitter has been drawn into a series of moderation decisions that push the company into direct conflict with Turkish politicians. On February 2nd, Twitter decided that three tweets by the Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu violated its rules about hateful conduct and abusive behavior policy. Access to these tweets was restricted rather than removed as Twitter considered them still in the public interest. Similarly, Twitter decided to remove and delete a tweet by the AKP coalition MHP leader Devlet Bahçel, where he tweeted that student protestors were “terrorists” and “poisonous snakes” “whose heads needed to be crushed”, as the tweet violated Twitter’s violent threats policy.

        Yaman Akdeniz, a founder of the Turkish Freedom of Expression Association, told EFF 

        As in many other countries, politicians in Turkey are now angry at Twitter both for failing to sufficiently censor criticism of Turkish policies, and for sanctioning senior domestic political figures for their violations of the platform’s terms of service. 

      • Cloudflare Must Block Pirate IPTV Services, Appeals Court Confirms

        Last year Cloudflare was ordered to block access to the sites of customers who provided illegal IPTV services. The CDN provider appealed the injunctions, arguing that it’s merely a neutral intermediary, but without result. Two separate orders released over the past several days confirm that Cloudflare must block domain names and IP-addresses of the pirate IPTV services.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Russian prosecutors ask court to fine Navalny 950,000 rubles for slandering war veteran

        A state prosecutor has asked Moscow’s Babushinsky District Court to fine opposition politician Alexey Navalny 950,000 rubles (nearly $13,000) for slandering a World War II veteran, Meduza’s correspondent reported from the courtroom on Tuesday, February 16.

      • New EFF Report Shows Cops Used Ring Cameras to Monitor Black Lives Matter Protests

        “The emails we received raise many questions about what the LAPD wanted to do with this video,” said EFF Policy Analyst Matthew Guariglia. “Police could have gathered hours of footage of people engaged in First-Amendment-protected activity, with a vague hope that they could find evidence of something illegal. LAPD should tell the public how many hours of surveillance footage it gathered around these protests, and why.”

        EFF filed its public records request with LAPD after widespread complaints about police tactics during the protests in May and June of 2020. After receiving the emails in response to our request, we asked for clarification from the LAPD about what it was looking for and how much video it wanted. The agency said simply that it was attempting to “identify those involved in criminal behavior.”

        “Outdoor surveillance cameras like Ring have the potential to provide the police with video footage covering every inch of an entire neighborhood. This poses an incredible risk to First Amendment rights,” said Guariglia. “People are less likely to exercise their right to political speech, protest, and assembly if they know that police can get video of these actions with just an email to people with Ring cameras.”

      • Indonesia’s Proposed Online Intermediary Regulation May be the Most Repressive Yet

        This rush of national regulations started with Germany’s 2017 “NetzDG” law, which compels internet platforms to remove or block content without a court order and imposes draconian fines on companies that don’t proactively submit to the country’s own content-removal rules. Since NetzDG entered into force, Venezuela, Australia, Russia, India, Kenya, the Philippines, and Malaysia have followed with their own laws or been discussing laws similar to the German example. 

        NetzDG, and several of its copycats, require social media platforms with more than two million users to appoint a local representative to receive content takedown requests from public authorities and government access to data requests. NetzDG also requires platforms to remove or disable content that appears to be “manifestly illegal” within 24 hours of notice that the content exists on their platform. Failure to comply with these demands subjects companies to draconian fines (and even raises the specter of blocking of their services). This creates a chilling effect on free expression: platforms will naturally choose to err on the side of removing gray area content rather than risk the punishment. 

        Indonesia’s NetzDG variant—dubbed MR5—is the latest example. It entered into force in November 2020, and, like some others, goes significantly further than its German inspiration. In fact, the Indonesian government is exploring new lows in harsh, intrusive, and non-transparent Internet regulation. The MR5 regulation, issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo), seeks to tighten the government’s grip over digital content and users’ data. 

      • First Circuit Rejects Device Search Challenge, Says The Fourth Amendment Doesn’t Apply At Our Nation’s Borders

        US borders continue to be lawless places. Not because there’s more criminal activity there, but because the Constitution that protects us away from borders (and international airports, etc.) barely applies at all within 100 miles of them.

      • Guatemala Takes a Hard Line Against Migrants—With US Support

        Guatemala City— On January 18, hundreds of Guatemalan soldiers armed with batons and wooden poles, backed by the Guatemalan National Civilian Police, violently confronted and dispersed thousands of Honduran migrants and asylum seekers who had formed a caravan in the hope of reaching the United States.

      • Is Solitary Confinement a Form of Torture? Q&A with journalist James Ridgeway
      • LAPD Requested Ring Footage of Black Lives Matter Protests

        According to emails obtained by EFF, the LAPD sent requests to Amazon Ring users specifically targeting footage of Black-led protests against police violence that occurred in cities across the country last summer. While it is clear that police departments and federal law enforcement across the country used many different technologies to spy on protests, including aerial surveillance and semi-private camera networks, this is the first documented evidence that a police department specifically requested footage from networked home surveillance devices related to last summer’s political activity.

        A map of Ring-police partnerships in the United States. Clicking the map will bring you to an interactive version.

        In May 2019, LAPD became the 240th public safety agency to sign a formal partnership with Ring and it’s associated app, Neighbors. That number has now skyrocketed to more than 2,000 government agencies. The partnerships allow police to use a law-enforcement portal to canvass local residents for footage.

      • Backlash Forever | Dissent Magazine

        When a young Chuck Schumer arrived at Harvard in 1967 as a freshman, he joined the great political stirring of those years—who could resist it? But Abbie Hoffman he was not. “I was faced with what Alexander Hamilton called mobocracy,” Schumer recalled in his coauthored 2007 book Positively American. He became a College Democrat, canvassed for Eugene McCarthy, and eschewed the radicals. Campus members of the New Left’s Progressive Labor faction horrified him, and he felt “sickened” seeing protesters scream at cops. “The police weren’t pigs. They were the people I’d grown up with. They were my neighbors. My friends. They were the Baileys [imaginary Irish-American Long Islanders with whom Schumer consults on decisions].” Soon enough, Schumer’s party—the College Dems and, of course, their friends the non-college Dems—would pay the price. “By the late ’70s,” Schumer observed, “the Baileys did not trust the Democrats anymore, and the Democrats weren’t listening to the Baileys.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Why Chicago is the top forum for counterfeit fights [Ed: When lawyers infest a city]

        The Northern District of Illinois had a surge in cases last year after creative efforts by the court and Chicago-based firms to fight counterfeiters

      • Patents

        • FOSS Patents: Nokia withdraws interlocutory appeal of ECJ referral of component-level patent licensing question: dilatory tactics, disrespectful style

          We’re witnessing the third stage of Nokia’s decline. First it failed to stay competitive in the handset business. Then its business model turned ever more trollish and its patent litigation strategies ever more abusive. The third and latest downturn is that Nokia is now abusing not only its patents, but also its procedural options in litigation.

          Throughout almost 11 years of blogging about patent litigation, I have acknowledged on numerous occasions when parties played the litigation game smart. Very recently, I even gave automotive supplier Continental credit for an interesting strategy in a Delaware state court, even though I bashed them in 2019 for their U.S. antisuit motion (which indeed went nowhere). Up to a certain point, litigants–whether plaintiffs or defendants–are simply in their right to exercise their procedural rights for tactical purposes. But beyond that point, such behavior is no longer legitimate, even if it is still technically legal. For example, trolls that file dozens of cases against a single defendant over the course of a few months–or simultaneously sue hundreds of defendants–give patent assertion a bad name. I still have the greatest respect for the skills of Nokia’s in-house litigators and outside counsel, but in recent months it has gone a bit too far with its withdrawals of cases just on the eve of trials or decisions.

          In December, Nokia dropped two patent infringement cases against Daimler in Dusseldorf just before trial (at a point where the court presumably had already spent a lot of time studying the pleadings and preparing the trial), only to refile in Munich. And now, just before Presiding Judge Dr. Thomas Kuehnen (“Kühnen” in German) of one of the patent-specialized divisions of the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court was going to rule on Nokia’s interlocutory appeal of the lower Dusseldorf court’s preliminary reference to the European Court of Justice, Nokia has withdrawn its appeal. Today a spokesman for the Dusseldorf appeals court informed me by email (appellate case no. 2 W 21/21).

        • FOSS Patents: Nokia’s losing streak in appeals courts continues: injunction gets lifted after Daimler’s licensing offer is considered FRAND-compliant

          Nokia launched its standard-essential patent (SEP) assertion campaign against Daimler almost two years ago in hopes of gaining so much leverage that it could force Daimler to take a costly license either from Nokia itself or from the Avanci group. It took almost a year and a half before Nokia obtained its first injunction against Daimler, which was in fact its first German SEP injunction ever. On Friday, that one imploded as the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court’s Sixth Civil Senate (Presiding Judge: Andreas Voss, “Voß” in German) allowed Daimler to prevent the enforcement by providing security to the amount of 75 million euros. The injunction was not enforced for even one day.

          This blog has mentioned Judge Voss many times, but that was almost a decade ago, when he was the presiding judge of the Mannheim Regional Court’s Seventh Civil Chamber. A few years ago he became an appellate judge, and with so many disputes being settled relatively early on, I haven’t been to that appeals court even once. But Judge Voss’s order to stay the enforcement of that Nokia v. Daimler injunction from Mannheim is an extremely important one, not only with a view to that particular dispute but also with a view to many other SEP cases.


          While the injunction is stayed, Nokia is still allowed to enforce its claim for an accounting. If Nokia does so, Daimler has to provide a whole lot of documentation enabling Nokia to quantify its damages claim. That’s a major administrative burden on Daimler, yet better than not being able to sell its Mercedes cars.

          I may very well talk about this Karlsruhe decision again in the near term, and possibly translate some passages. One tidbit is worth sharing: when calculating the collateral Daimler as to provide, the appeals court mentions the possibility that it could take five years until a final decision–and in that context, the possibility of having to await the ECJ’s decision on component-level licensing (as a result of the preliminary reference from Dusseldorf) is mentioned. I found that part very interesting. Nokia will not be amused.

        • Opinion: Are some European patent attorneys resistant to change? [Ed: Ed Conlon, mouthpiece of EPO management (the ones who rob the institution), is insulting people who merely try to uphold the law and stop outsourcing of courts to another continent]

          The video call has been a staple of the pandemic, but it seems some European patent attorneys have had enough and want its use in EPO appeal proceedings reviewed.

          At issue is whether the EPO is legally allowed to mandate parties to appear by video conference in appeal proceedings. The EPO ruled in December that it is, with the change taking effect on January 1, but a large chunk of European patent attorneys say it shouldn’t be. Just last week, it emerged that a German firm had asked an EPO Board of Appeal (BoA) to refer the issue to its Enlarged Board of Appeal.

        • Earley’s application comes too Late

          In its December 2020 decision, the Federal Circuit sided with the PTO — upholding the PTAB conclusion that Mr. Earley’s claims were obvious based upon Earley’s own prior invention. The court has now also denied Early’s petition for rehearing. Earley represented himself pro se. His filings at the Federal Circuit were not pretty, and I expect that sealed his loss — even if he had a good underlying argument on the merits. Still his innovations are pretty interesting.

          Earley’s pending application, APN No. 12/925,235, claims priority back to a 2009 filing date. His prior patent, PAT No. 6,949,842 reaches back to a 2001 provisional and issued as a patent in 2005 — so it was 102(b) prior art.

        • Italy’s patent market ripe for harvest [Ed: JUVE propaganda rag views Italy as little but a pile of potential patents]

          The north of Italy has a long industrial heritage. Factories and skyscrapers jostle for space along the skyline, which sweeps from the western city of Turin across to the metropolis of Milan, and down into the canals of Venice. This region, and Italy’s northernmost cities, is also home to some of the country’s – and increasingly Europe’s – most important patent courts.

          The prominence of the intellectual property sector in this region is not surprising. A nation of inventors, Italy has a proud tradition of protecting its goods, and preserving its scientific and artistic heritage. Years of patent litigation surround its famed espresso coffee machine, first patented in 1884 by Angelo Moriondo in Turin.

          But Italy has faced several obstacles conspiring to constrain future innovation in the region. The patent court system is fragmented. Italy’s smaller enterprises regularly appear in one of 21 IP courts to defend their products; legislation dictates each region must have a specialist IP court. Lawyers cite poor English language skills among Italy’s old guard of patent lawyers as strained at best. The economy, which has long fluctuated, has never particularly favoured advancing its IP sytem. At first glance, Italy’s future in patent litigation seems in disarray.

        • In-house fear EPO guidelines could increase patenting cost [Ed: Public fears EPO propaganda rags like Managing IP ignore all the real scandals and crimes of the EPO to shift attention to phony, lesser issues]

          Attorneys say they fear more office actions and increased costs and time if guidelines are applied too strictly

      • Copyrights

        • Here we draw again: the never-ending debate around street art and its removal

          Spain, February 2021. This is a story about rap, graffiti and law. And no, you are not meant to spot the odd one out.

          We are in Barcelona, elections are approaching, street artists paint and authorities whitewash. Same old story? Possibly. But this time with music in the background and a freedom-of-expression-special-vibe.

          Coming to the merits, last Sunday, Spanish artist Roc Blackblock reproduced on one of the walls of the Plaça de les Tres Xemeneias the face of the king emeritus surrounded by phrases in support of the controversial rapper Hasél, convicted of glorifying terrorism and insulting the crown. Quite interestingly, this work had been authorised by the relevant bodies. Still, less than 24 hours later, Blackblock’s graffiti was erased by a municipal cleaning team. Then, the City Council apologised for its mistake and asked the author of the graffiti to repaint it.


          In this sense, the US Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA), which expressly regulates this aspect at its section 106 (d) (1) (B), attributes to the artist the specific right to “prevent any destruction of a work of recognised nature”. Applying this provision, in the famous 5Pointz judgment [Katpost here; 1709 Blog here], the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled in favour of a group of graffiti artists after G&M Realty, without warning, had whitewashed their works, which had been (authorised and) displayed on a collection of dilapidated warehouses in New York City.

          However, at this stage, similar rulings are far from being adopted in Europe. Indeed, the right to object to the destruction of a copyright work can be inferred based on the right of integrity accorded under Art. 6bis of the Berne Convention (i.e. “the right to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the said work, which would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation”) and national implementations thereof. In Spain, the relevant provision to look at is Article 14.4 LPI which, in line with Berne, states that this right is infringed not only by the deformation, alteration or modification of a work, but also by any “attack against it that would be prejudicial to its legitimate interests or detrimental to its reputation”. In this respect, one of the more relevant decisions concerning street-art in this country is the ruling of 6 November 2006 of the Tribunal Supremo of Madrid in case no. 1082/2006 confirming that, in principle, the demolition of the wall on which the work is reproduced may constitute an infringement of the author’s moral rights (but excluding it in the specific case “in view of the circumstances”- i.e. the poor conditions of the building). Quite interestingly, in its decision, the Tribunal expressly took into account the temporary character of street art, somehow implying that this would justify possible limitations to the scope of protection (“dada las características de la obra… no nace con vocación de perennidad, sino con una vida efímera”).

        • NZ Government Lawyers Spent 40,500 Hours Battling Kim Dotcom and Megaupload

          After more than nine years of legal battles, the staggering cost of the various copyright-related cases against Kim Dotcom and Megaupload have now been made public. Government lawyers in New Zealand have spent 40,500 hours working on cases related to Dotcom, in addition to burning through more than US$2.6 million in ancillary costs.

        • Save the Date for the 2021 CC Summit!

          After consulting with our community, we’re excited to build on the success of last year’s virtual event and host the second-ever virtual CC Global Summit from 20-24 September 2021! Join thousands of leading activists, advocates, librarians, educators, lawyers, technologists, and more to discuss a range of topics, from the future of open and the unknowns of artificial intelligence to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on open science.

Self-Hosting Where Feasible, Decentralised (P2P) Where Practical, World Wide Web for the Rest

Posted in Site News at 3:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Hosting a site and disseminating vital (but potentially sensitive or suppressed) information isn’t easy; we now use several protocols in parallel and in conjunction (part of a largely automated workflow) to make censorship more difficult, both technically and legally

THIS month has been very productive compared to last month. If we didn’t write as many stories as we had planned and hoped, that’s mostly because we were busy porting the site over to Gemini (similar to Gopher but better), creating new programs/code in the process (it’s in self-hosted Git), and speaking to people in “Gemini space” while customising our capsule to have feeds and getting it listed, indexed etc. So far this week more than half a million connections were made to our Gemini capsule, mostly to scan and index it. We still have about half the site to covert to the capsule — a process that takes about half a day for each year (there are 15 years in total).

“Those justifying the censorship are a lot more powerful than us (some even write books about climate change while owning and flying four private aircrafts; they also try to ban encryption, except when they use it), so we need technical means to stifle their agenda. The political means are bought and paid for.”Digital independence and technological simplicity remains key to durability of information. As we noted earlier this year, Groklaw had gone down in October and only came back online some time in January. This is the sort of scenario we hope to avoid. There’s a lot of planned obsolescence in software and complexity — sometimes artificially-introduced — contributes to it. It’s not a made up or a ‘superficial’ problem; it’s very widespread even outside the realm of software. Companies want to sell and sell… (even the same thing, again and again)

The above video isn’t much but an extension of a video taken with an external webcam to show an ARM laptop and SBC which manages IPFS and Gemini for us. This video shows the remaining 3 computers (3 dual-head laptops), which make a total of 5. My wife uses a dual-head laptop, but I’m not counting that. She mostly runs Tux Machines, which shares the same physical server as the Techrights site. Almost every night this past week Tux Machines was under DDOS attacks, with times of attack varying somewhat (I assume to catch us asleep, off-guard). We cannot serve 30,000 pages in 30 seconds, sorry….

Seeing the nature of attacks on the World Wide Web (ClownFlare is not a solution but part of the problem) and growing levels of censorship (typically justified by the mass media by associating the censored with “threats”, “violence” and so on) we need to put our eggs in more baskets. Those justifying the censorship are a lot more powerful than us (some even write books about climate change while owning and flying four private aircrafts; they also try to ban encryption, except when they use it), so we need technical means to stifle their agenda. The political means are bought and paid for.

Leaving Outsourced Communication Platforms Behind

Posted in Deception at 2:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The lack of autonomy and independence in publishing is further exacerbated by concentration of power — including the power to censor — in the hands of billionaires with shared agenda; the only way to disempower them is to move away because those who control the system will always resist any means by which the masses can bring about systemic change and this is one of the reasons they keep passing new laws (or censorship rules), for and by themselves


S noted earlier today, Twitter had suspended my account without an explanation, without notification, without any recourse, without a right of appeal. This wouldn’t be the first time I lose such an account in such a site, albeit it’s usually due to sites going out of existence. Let this be a reminder of the dangers of ‘outsourced’ communications and social control media, which I’ve long warned about and was reluctant to even ‘join’ in the first place (Techrights as a site never joined and it had long used IRC, instead), seeing what happened to Digg.com. Once upon a time we all had blogs and other sites which prevailed as long as we wanted them to. We had RSS feeds and censorship was a lot harder, both legally and logistically. Twitter is one of many (Facebook is another notable one) and the World Wide Web as a whole isn’t designed to withstand attacks on platforms, as Parler found out this year. IPFS solves many of these issues (for distribution) and Gemini can be economically (cheaply) hosted in one’s home.

“There’s a lot more to be said about this issue, which is sadly suppressed and barely spoken about (in the mainstream at least).”Nowadays we have so-called ‘journalists’ whose entire ‘portfolio’ is just some Twitter and/or Facebook account. Microsoft too censors people in this fashion (see LinkedIn and GitHub for plenty of examples). Is it a case of Stockholm Syndrome? The video about urges people to move away from all those centralised platforms.

There’s a lot more to be said about this issue, which is sadly suppressed and barely spoken about (in the mainstream at least). It’s not a “right wing” and “violence” issue. The media hardly suggests real alternatives other than itself and these monopolistic conglomerates, which together share among themselves (the oligopoly) the lion’s share of people’s “screen time”. There’s also an overlap in the ownership sense.

Twitter Controls Society on Behalf of Corporations and Oligarchs (Social Control Media Was All Along Just That)

Posted in Deception at 9:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: As corporations such as Microsoft have become sponsors of Twitter and Free software advocates like myself are seeing their accounts suspended (even the President of the FFII, one day apart from my own suspension), it’s certainly raising perfectly legitimate questions about who Twitter really serves

ABOUT a fortnight ago Twitter suspended myself and others who are free software advocates critical of patents on software and life/nature [1, 2]. This was preceded by other sneaky censorship, which had grown increasingly prevalent over time.

“They love to claim that they’re cracking down on far right or something violent, but that’s an illusion.”Well, Twitter has suspended my account again and I have no idea why. I said nothing rude today. Hardly anything controversial, either. They seem to target anyone who does not fit a mainstream narrative, with censorship being applied loosely, based on broad criteria. One theory is that some “HEY HI” (AI) algorithm or some rogue moderators did not agree with me on something I had written, but who knows? They don’t even say! Maybe the marketing people, who receive money from Microsoft, have some strings attached to that money. Again, who knows when no reason is specified? That Twitter is suspending users is bad enough. That it now suspends users like myself without explaining the reason or offering the ability to query (ask them why) is another. They love to claim that they’re cracking down on the far right or something violent, but that’s an illusion. Here they go again, flushing down almost 1 million tweets of mine. Without prior warning or even as much as an explanation. I consider myself to be a left-leaning person, yet I am not allowed to express an opinion in Twitter anymore (account suspended without an explanation), so who is actually allowed to express an opinion there? Corporations and billionaires?

Student Protest in ErlangenTwo weeks ago Twitter was blackmailing Twitter users including myself into deleting tweets which were factual. Without deleting those, the suspension would be permanent. This time there’s not even as little as an explanation. It’s tempting to say “delete Twitter” after those oppressive measures of theirs and had I known how serious a matter it is, I would have deleted my account myself. Last year I already decided to no longer access Twitter and I downloaded a full archive. Now I cannot even download an archive of my own tweets. As shown in the video, if I press “Download an archive of your data” it says “Your account is suspended and is not permitted to perform this action.”

What I think is quite astonishing is that Twitter can magically suspend (disappear retroactively), without even specifying any reason, an account from 12 years ago (one of their early users) with about a million impressions per month (it used to be more) just because of a tweet or two that they don’t even specify. If Twitter exists to serve and to hail oligarchs (or advertisers), then the public deserves to know. Twitter needs to be shunned for this. It’s fast becoming a selective propaganda network. It throws out the very same people who made it what it is.

Links 17/2/2021: Q4OS 3.14, F(x)tec Pro1-X Updates, and WordPress 5.7 Beta 3

Posted in News Roundup at 4:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel’s oneDNN 2.1 Released With NVIDIA GPU Support, Initial Alder Lake Optimizations – Phoronix

        oneDNN 2.1 is the latest feature-packed update to this oneAPI component formerly known as DNNL and before that was MKL-DNN. The oneDNN 2.1 release has a variety of improvements when running on Intel Gen / Xe Graphics, mostly various performance optimizations. On the Intel CPU front is also a number of optimizations including BFloat16 for Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs supporting the Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX, coming with Sapphire Rapids), CPU ISA hints support, various AVX-512 optimizations, and initial support for processors with AVX2 and DL-BOOST (the combination debuting with Alder Lake). There is even some INT8 optimizations for CPUs with SSE4.1 and a number of other low-level improvements.

      • Linux 5.12 Should Be Able To Boot As The Root Partition On Microsoft’s Hypervisor – Phoronix

        As part of increasing the Linux virtualization support within the Microsoft space, they were working to allow Linux root partition support with the Microsoft hypervisor. The “root partition” with their hypervisor is similar to Xen’s Dom0 for in turn starting and managing the unprivileged domains. Linux 5.12 is set to have the Hyper-V code changes to allow the Linux kernel to work as the root partition on Microsoft’s Hypervisor.

      • 5.12 Merge window delayed

        Those of us who are watching the mainline kernel repository may have been wondering why it appears that no pull requests for the 5.12 merge window have yet been acted upon. The problem, it seems, is power outages caused by the severe winter weather in the US Pacific northwest. Until that gets resolved, which could take a few days, the 5.12 merge window is likely to remain on hold.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD EPYC Performance With FreeBSD 13 Beta

        Last week when conducting preliminary benchmarks of the new FreeBSD 13 operating system beta we found broad and significant performance improvements on Intel hardware but how is this popular BSD operating system performing for AMD EPYC? Here are some initial performance tests looking at FreeBSD 12.2 stable to FreeBSD 13 beta on an AMD EPYC 7F52 server.

    • Applications

      • ‘Spot’ is a Native Spotify App for Linux, Built in GTK & Rust

        The official Spotify Linux client… Well, it exists, but I use the (superb) Spotify CLI client ncspot for my music streaming activities— however a GUI alternative is on the way!

        Spot is an open source Spotify client created specifically for Linux. It’s built in GTK and Rust, and leverages the ace librespot library. While this player (like other third-party Spotify apps) requires a Spotify Premium account to function, most of the core features are present and working.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Izhar Firdaus: How to get ILI9486 Raspberry Pi 3.5” LCD to work with Fedora ARM

        Fedora ARM provides a full fledged Linux distro with rich ecosystem of server packages available for the ARM ecosystem.

        However, ever since Fedora released an official ARM spin, specialized Fedora derivative for Raspberry Pi such as Fedberry and Pidora pretty much went out of development, and getting Rpi accessories to work with Fedora ARM, especially those that does not work with upstream Linux.org kernel, is not quite obvious,

        In this tutorial, we would go about in getting ILI9486/XPT2046 3.5” LCD, which I bought from Lazada to work with Fedora ARM on Rpi3, up until the point where a framebuffer device is available for attaching CLI console to the display. The process provided by this tutorial in theory should also work with several other LCD devices, but because I only have this 3.5” LCD, so I can only test against it.

      • How To Install LEMP on Manjaro 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install LEMP on Manjaro 20. For those of you who didn’t know, LEMP stands for Linux, Nginx (pronounced as Engine X), MySQL/MariaDB, and PHP or Perl or Python. All components are free and open-source software, and the combination is suitable for building dynamic web pages. The LEMP stack is one of the most popular server configurations in the world.

        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 LAMP Stack on a Manjaro 20 (Nibia).

      • Smart ways to compare files on Linux

        Commands for comparing files have proliferated since the early days of Linux. In this post, we’ll look at a suite of commands available for comparing files and highlight the advantages that some of the newer ones provide.

      • How to install the Opera Browser on Linux Mint 20.1

        In this video, we are looking at how to install the Opera Browser on Linux Mint 20.1.

      • How to install Tux Paint on a Chromebook

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

      • How to Setup Nginx with Let’s Encrypt using ACME on Ubuntu 20.04

        In a previous tutorial, we described how to obtain a free SSL/TLS certificate from Let’s Encrypt by using Certbot.

        In this tutorial, we would like to show you another way that you can easily obtain and renew a free SSL/TLS certificate from Let’s Encrypt by using the acme.sh script on Ubuntu 20.04.

        If you do not yet have a working NGINX web server, here is an easy NGINX installation guide that you can follow.

      • How to Fix NTFS Partition Failed to Mount Error in Linux

        In this article, we will show how to fix NTFS failed to mount errors such as “Failed to mount ‘/dev/sdax’: Input/output error, NTFS is either inconsistent, or there is a hardware fault, or it’s a SoftRAID/FakeRAID hardware”.

      • btrfs: Differentiating bind mounts on subvolumes

        The btrfs inspect-internal logical-resolve command is used to find a file related to a logical-address. This can be useful when btrfs reports a corruption at an specific logical address, making it easy for the user to find the corrupted file.

      • Use WPScan to scan WordPress for vulnerabilities on Kali – LinuxConfig.org

        Vulnerabilities in WordPress can be uncovered by the WPScan utility, which comes installed by default in Kali Linux. It’s also a great tool for gathering general reconnaissance information about a website that’s running WordPress.

        Owners of WordPress sites would be wise to try running WPScan against their site, as it may reveal security issues that need patched. It can also reveal more general web server issues, such as directory listings that haven’t been turned off inside Apache or NGINX.

        WPScan itself is not a tool that can be used maliciously while performing simple scans against a site, unless you consider the extra traffic itself to be malicious. But the information it reveals about a site can be leveraged by attackers to launch an attack. WPScan can also try username and password combinations to try and gain access to a WordPress site. For this reason, it’s advised that you only run WPScan against a site that you own or have permission to scan.

      • How to install Curl on Ubuntu

        The Curl application is one of the most widely used tools on all of Linux, and even outside of Linux. It can be used to download files from the internet, upload files, and much more. It is also a backend to many other tools you may run into on the Linux platform.

      • How to install Wireshark on Ubuntu

        Wireshark is a network analysis program for Linux, as well as other platforms. It can be used to capture and dissect network traffic. In this guide, we’ll show you how you can get Wireshark up and running on Ubuntu.

      • A simple iptables firewall script to block all ports except port 80 and give port 22 to certain ip’s | Webleit.info

        This simple script is very useful and very simple and will give you the basics of what you can do with linux iptables firewall.

      • How to host your own local Git repository with Gogs – TechRepublic

        Your company might have code that you’d rather not risk hosting on a third party. Although the likes of GitHub should generally be trusted, you simply never know when disaster might strike. Of course, in this modern era, that could happen anytime, anywhere. Or, maybe you want to hand over the control of code collaboration to your developers, and give them all of the tools they need to make that work.

    • Games

      • Metro Exodus to Get Free Enhanced Edition on PC; Linux and Mac Versions Coming Soon

        4A Games have announced that a free Enhanced Edition update is in the works for the PC version of Metro Exodus.

        This Enhanced Edition will be a major overhaul to the game’s performance and graphical features, and is aimed predominantly at gamers with high-end machines.

        The update focuses on further enhancements and performance upgrades to the game’s Ray Tracing support, as well as adding DLSS 2.0 support for NVIDIA hardware. This includes all-new Fully Ray Traced Lighting Pipeline, new features to the Ray Traced Global Illumination and Emissive Lighting, and an upgrade to the game’s Temporal Reconstruction technology.

        Since all of these new overhauls are based around Ray Tracing and other demanding GPU features, the Enhanced Edition will require a newer GPU that supports Ray Tracing in the first place. The Enhanced Edition will be a free update for all current owners of the game on PC, regardless of what digital storefront you have the game on.

      • The Humble Plug In (And Play!) Digital Bundle is live and worth a look

        In need of a few new games? The Humble Plug In (And Play!) Digital Bundle is now live and worth a look. Nice to see too, as it’s been a little while since we had a reasonable bundle of games from Humble.

        Like we usually do, we shall highlight those with Linux builds in bold text to help you at a glance.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.21 Released With New Breeze Twilight Theme – Front Page Linux

          KDE Community has announced the official release of the KDE Plasma 5.21 desktop environment. Plasma 5.21 brings with it a massive amount of updates and improvements including a new redesigned interface of the Kickoff application launcher, a brand new theme called Breeze Twilight and many more enhancements. KDE says that “Plasma 5.21 is all about upgrading the looks and usability of Plasma” and this release shows how much time and effort has gone into it.

          I’ve been using KDE Plasma as my daily driver desktop environment since at least 2014 and it’s seems to get better with every release. It’s no surprise to long time readers of Front Page Linux that I’me always excited to see a new release of Plasma. Though, if you aren’t aware of my KDE fandom then be sure to check out the video I made about My Top 5 Reasons I Use KDE Plasma.

        • Plasma 5.21

          Find, reach and run your apps faster and easier than ever with Plasma’s new app launcher.

          The new launcher features two panes to make it simple to locate your programs and comes with improved keyboard, mouse, and touch input, boosting accessibility across the board.

          Support for languages with right-to-left writing (such as Japanese and Arabic) has also improved. We have also included an alphabetical “All Applications” view, a grid view for your favorite tools, and placed all the power actions (“Sleep”, “Restart”, “Shut Down”, etc.) at the bottom of the launcher pop-up so they are always visible and available.

          Last but not least, we have fixed most of the bugs reported by users, guaranteeing a smoother access to all your stuff.

          If you prefer the old Kickoff app launcher however, it is only few clicks away in KDE’s software store.

        • Sok 2021 Update

          I started my Sok project in January and in February my college decided to have the end semester exams, hence I had to halt the work a little bit but since my exams are done I have resumed work and will be continuing with the project.

          Currently I have figured out the APIs and done test runs for twitter and mastodon but for some reason Facebook just doesn’t want to comply and let me use their API . Now I’m figuring out the final endpoints for my API and then will start work on a basic frontend for the same.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Q4OS 3.14 Centaurus, stable

          An update to Q4OS 3 Centaurus LTS has been released. The new 3.14 Series receives the recent Debian Buster 10.8 update, updated Debian stable kernel and important security and bug fixes. This update brings along a few Q4OS specific improvements, for example Virtualbox guest additions automatic installation guide, a convenient script for setting the default web browser for Plamsa as well as Trinity desktop and cumulative upgrade covering all the changes from the previous stable Q4OS 3 Centaurus release.

          Current users only need to perform a regular update to get all the new features. Anyone is welcome to download installation media images from the Downloads section of the Q4OS website.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • First Look: AlmaLinux

          AlmaLinux is a new and upcoming distribution that’s aimed to be a replacement for CentOS. Also forked from RHEL, AlmaLinux aims to be the “Forever Free Enterprise-Grade Distribution”. In this video, I give AlmaLinux a first look and share my thoughts.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Power Systems Security: More Than The Sum Of Its Parts [Ed: "Sponsored Content" as per the disclosure. "Our site is paid-for IBM propaganda and we've quit pretending otherwise..."]

          Make no mistake: It’s a good thing that Power Systems servers can run multiple operating systems. From an IBM i perspective, it ensures more R&D dollars from IBM to support the hardware. It seems doubtful IBM would spend billions to develop processors like Power9 and the forthcoming Power10 chip if IBM i customers were the only users.

        • 4 reasons to join open source Project Alvearie and help solve healthcare’s toughest problems [Ed: IBM outsourcing code to Microsoft again]

          Some key technologies we’re incorporating into Alvearie include OpenShift, Kubernetes, Python, and several Apache projects, such as Spark, Kafka and NiFi. Other industries like finance, manufacturing, and telecom have used these technologies to solve complex data challenges. Contributing to Alvearie gives you the opportunity to learn those technologies, and learn new approaches to solving data issues at an enterprise scale.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Engicam PX30.Core SoM & devkit run Ubuntu 20.04 with mainline Linux

          Linux 5.11 was released a few days ago, and it’s always interesting to check out the changelog to find new hardware platforms that support mainline Linux. One of those is Engicam PX30.Core SoM based on Rockchip PX30 quad-core Arm Cortex-A35 processor.

          Engicam also worked with Amarula Solutions to develop an Ubuntu 20.04 image with mainline Linux compatible with EDIMM 2.2 and CTouch 2.0 carrier boards for PX30.Core CPU module.

          The company says the module supports Android, Linux using Buildroot or Yocto Project, and a Debian image is also provided. Engicam PC30.Core is designed for industrial applications, transportation, robotics, and biomedical/medical devices.

          The product page has more information, including software and hardware manuals which are available through a free registration, which I tried, but the confirmation link did not work for me.

        • 0GB O/S?

          Yes, sir I did that. Unreleased, would not install. Lets bring you up to date.
          Don’t get the Goodies?

          New Repositories I suggest you install it. It is smart enuff, even though in the past I told you not to do it in the past.

        • Alan Pope: All Ahead Stop

          I’d thought it might be a hardware issue, or some weird driver glitch. I hadn’t looked into it too much because it happened so infrequently, only often enough I’d remember, but not enough to really annoy me or lose data. When I saw Andrew mention it on Telegram my interest was piqued, and perhaps we were seeing the same issue.
          I agreed to file a bug, which was easier for me because my system still “worked” whereas his was basically unusable when the issue occured. So I filed bug 1910866 from my desktop which was running Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) at the time. Andrew followed up with more information from his Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system.

          Kai-Heng Feng, one of the kernel engineers at Canonical, was on the case helping Andrew to find out where the problem was located. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to trigger the bug as often as Andrew, so he took over providing debugging information to Kai-Heng. I found it fascinating to follow along the conversation on that bug (somewhat helplessly) as Andrew and Kai-Heng exchanged suggestions and progress. I think it’s actually a great example of how to identify where in the kernel an error started happening.

          By the end of January there was a fix in place for the 5.8 kernel update, prepared by the kernel team. This closes out the issue for Andrew on 20.04, and for anyone on 20.10 too. However, in the meantime, I decided to upgrade to Ubuntu Hirsute – 21.04 to-be. I figured it might be fun to run the very latest of everything prior to the new release in April. We’re not compelled to do that in Canonical, but it’s a good idea for as many people to run the development release as possible, and still do their job.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Louis-Philippe Véronneau: What are the incentive structures of Free Software?

        Theory is nice, but it’s even better when you can back it up with data. Sadly, most of the papers on the economic incentives of FOSS are either purely theoretical, or use sample sizes so small they could as well be.

        Using the data from the StackOverflow 2018 survey, I thus tried to see if I could somehow confirm my previous assumptions.

        With 129 questions and more than 100 000 respondents (which after statistical processing yields between 28 000 and 39 000 observations per variable of interest), the StackOverflow 2018 survey is a very large dataset compared to what economists are used to work with.

        Sadly, it wasn’t entirely enough to come up with hard answers. There is a strong and significant correlation between writing Free Software and having a higher salary, but endogeneity problems made it hard to give a reliable estimate of how much money this would represent. Same goes for writing code has a hobby: it seems there is a strong and significant correlation, but the exact numbers I came up with cannot really be trusted.

        The results on community as an incentive to writing FOSS were the ones that surprised me the most. Although I expected the relation to be quite strong, the coefficients predicted were in fact quite small. I theorise this is partly due to only 8% of the respondents declaring they didn’t feel like they belonged in the IT community. With such a high level of adherence, the margin for improvement has to be smaller.

        As for altruism, I wasn’t able get any meaningful results. In my opinion this is mostly due to the fact there was no explicit survey question on this topic and I tried to make up for it by cobbling data together.

        Kinda anti-climatic, isn’t it? I would’ve loved to come up with decisive conclusions on this topic, but if there’s one thing I learned while writing this thesis, it is I don’t know much after all.

      • TDF 9th Anniversary

        Nine years ago, on February 17, 2012, The Document Foundation was registered in Berlin as a charitable foundation, the home of LibreOffice. Today, TDF Members can legitimately celebrate by picking a glass of champagne – there should be enough for everyone – for a virtual cheers. We look forward to the day we will be able to meet again in person, because the pandemics will be over. For the time being, stay safe, and enjoy the 9th anniversary of The Document Foundation. Cheers!!!

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.7 Beta 3

          This software is still in development, so it’s not recommended to run this version on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with it.

      • Programming/Development

        • How to Learn Programming For Beginners – How to Start Coding

          Do you want to learn programming? We are discuss in this article, How to learn Programming For beginners. Learning to code is a modern new skill that is popular these days. You have follow some common approach. For example, buy some programming related books, explore on-line blog post, or you have enroll on-line tutorial course to learn Programming.

          For beginners, it is a million-dollar question right now and I assure you that you will find the answer here.

          If you still have some doubts about becoming a programmer, let’s talk about the hefty paychecks that they are receiving. According to the latest statistics, the median package of an average software developer is somewhere around $132,000 per annum. If that doesn’t trigger your attention, I guess you may want to reconsider!

        • A sunset surprise

          I dug into some sunrise/sunset data to find the answer. When I found it, I realised that it would be very hard to explain what was happening without pictures, which is why this post has data graphics instead of the usual terminal screenshots!

          My data source was the excellent timeanddate.com website. I used the site to get sunrise and sunset times for our town in Tasmania, as well as solar noon times (more on that later). The data for December 2020 and January 2021 are shown below in the “clock” time curves:

        • Python

          • Dictionaries in Python

            You can define a dictionary by enclosing a comma-separated list of key-value pairs in curly braces ({}).

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Cops Write To Zoom Over Toolkit, Farm Leaders’ Role To Be Probed: Sources

        With the Delhi Police intensifying its probe into a farmers’ protest toolkit shared by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg earlier this month, the role of farmer leaders may also be probed, sources have said. The Delhi Police have also written to video communications app Zoom, say sources, to seek details of the attendees at a virtual meeting on January 11, which was also attended by activists Disha Ravi, Nikita Jacob, Shantanu.

        All three of them attended the meeting before the Republic Day to gather online support for the farmers’ tractor rally that descended into chaos in some parts of the national capital. Facing conspiracy and sedition charges, Disha Ravi was arrested last week. Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk are also wanted in the case linked to the online document.

        The Delhi Police are also trying to probe funding in the toolkit case, sources have said, adding they have so far not got a reply from Google on the document being investigated.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • The Linux Foundation Announces the Election of Renesas’ Hisao Munakata and GitLab’s Eric Johnson to the Board of Directors

                Today, the Linux Foundation announced that Renesas’ Hisao Munakata has been re-elected to its board, representing the Gold Member community. GitLab’s Eric Johnson has been elected to represent the Silver Member community. Linux Foundation elected board directors serve 2-year terms.

                Directors elected to the Linux Foundation’s board are committed to building sustainable ecosystems around open collaboration to accelerate technology development and industry adoption. The Linux Foundation expands the open collaboration communities it supports with community efforts focused on building open standards, open hardware, and open data. It is dedicated to improving diversity in open source communities and working on processes, tools, and best security practices in open development communities.

        • Security

          • Write HTML, Not JavaScript

            So, TL;DR: If we’re going to encourage a more static web, let’s write actual static websites rather than deferring it all to JavaScript. Use JS where necessary, but no more than that. if you have to ask yourself, “should I really need JavaScript just to do this?”, then you probably don’t.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The Long History of the FBI’s Surveillance of Martin Luther King

              The files of King’s life will not be fully unsealed by the FBI until February 2027, and the film ends by asking historians whether the release of those files, which include salacious details of his personal life, will change how he is perceived by the public. But the greater question may be whether this will force the federal government—and the American people—to face the sordid history of surveillance of radical “subversive” groups that, many years later, are lionized for their heroism.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • When Buddhists Back the Army

        In a country with seven different ethnic groups each constituting more than 2 percent of the population, Buddhism has often been employed for nationalistic purposes. Buddhist monks were often important in this, both before and after independence. Buddhist monks are recorded to have taken part in both armed and passive resistance to British colonial rule as early as the 1880s. As the movement for independence grew in the 1940s, one of the most common slogans fused religion and nationality: “To be Burmese means to be Buddhist!” The same martial vision of the nation that fearfully excludes religious minorities has persisted since independence. After independence, monks also took part in suppressing resistance by minority ethnic groups to successive Burmese governments. In particular, the Rohingya were often denied the status of an ethnicity and instead called the Bengali by prominent figures. “If we are weak,” Ashin Wirathu said to other monks in 2013, “our land will become Muslim.” When Aung San Suu Kyi defended the Tatmadaw in The Hague, she did not even use the word Rohingya. By denying the existence of ethnic differences and demanding the Rohingya be eradicated, the Buddhist Bamar majority promotes national homogeneity.

      • Israel: How a Trifecta of Court Cases Could Cement King Bibi’s Reign

        Three judicial matters have been in Israeli headlines recently, all of them very serious in nature and all likely to serve Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming Israeli elections.

      • A lesson from Trump’s acquittal: Bipartisanship won’t save democracy — Democrats must fight the GOP

        The grim reality here is that the reason Republicans voted to acquit Trump is not that they are “afraid” of their pro-insurrectionist base, a bit of common Beltway wisdom that allows Republicans off the hook for their own complicity. It’s because most Republican leadership agrees with Trump’s anti-democratic goals, even if some, like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are uneasy about the violence of Trump’s methods.

        Using Trump’s lies about “election fraud” as cover, Republicans in 28 states have introduced more than 100 bills meant to bar Democratic voters from the polls, usually with restrictions that make it harder for working-class people or people living in racially diverse cities to vote. “You can draw a pretty straight line between the baseless and racist accusations of voter fraud and the kinds of bills we’re seeing introduced,” explained Hannah Klain, a Brennan Center fellow, who co-authored an analysis of the new bills. In other words, far from being offended by Trump’s coup, Republicans are exploiting it to justify further efforts to gut democracy.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Meet the Undercover Anti-Fascists

        A journalist and online researcher, Conger specializes in infiltrating and exposing the violent far right. Using dummy accounts and pseudonyms, she lurks in private chat rooms and invitation-only forums used by neo-Nazis, militias, Proud Boys, and other right-wing extremists. When she sees someone make threats or plan for violence, she screenshots the person’s messages, digs up the person’s real identity and employer, and publishes her findings on her Twitter account, @SocialistDogMom, where she has more than 110,000 followers.

        Because of her work, Conger is well known among the people she tracks. Members of the online far right have made grotesque sexual comments about her and expressed a desire to physically harm or kill her. She knows this because, in some cases, she’s observed them saying these things without them realizing it. She anticipated some of those people being in the crowd on January 6th, and with her buzz-cut blond hair and slight build, Conger feared she would be easily recognizable. When she got to Washington, she put on the wig and a pair of sunglasses and met up with a friend who is a trained medic.

    • Environment

      • Democrat John Fetterman Takes ‘No Fossil Fuel’ Pledge for US Senate Run

        “Climate change is an existential threat, and we need to transition to clean energy as quickly as possible,” says Pennsylvania’s lt. governor.

      • Millions will die if world fails on climate promises

        Action to keep climate promises could prevent millions of deaths each year. Unless nations try harder, that won’t happen.

      • Bill Gates, Climate Warrior. And Super Emitter.

        Even before the release of his book this week, Gates’s move into climate change has made waves—an interview on 60 Minutes, op-eds in Time magazine and The Guardian, and a podcast with actor Rashida Jones. Given Gates’s track record of success inserting himself into other policy debates—everything from US education to global health—it seems likely he will continue to take up oxygen in the climate discourse going forward.

        If so, he proceeds from a precarious position, not just because of his thin credentials, untested solutions, and stunning financial conflicts of interest, but because his undemocratic assertion of power—no one appointed or elected him as the world’s new climate czar—comes at precisely the time when democratic institutions have become essential to solving climate change.

      • Energy

        • Bitcoin hits $50,000 for first time

          This crypto craze is also attracting the attention of politicians and celebrities. In a bid to attract tech firms leaving San Francisco and New York, Francis Suarez, the mayor of Miami, has proposed that his city’s government be allowed to pay its workers in bitcoin. Jack Dorsey, the boss of Twitter, and Jay Z, a rapper-turned-music-mogul, are donating 500 bitcoin (currently worth around $23m) to a blind trust intended to develop the cryptocurrency’s use in India and Africa.

        • Bitcoin Mining Uses More Electricity Than All of Argentina

          Scientists from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School have built an interactive analysis tool to calculate the real energy cost of bitcoin cryptocurrency. Using their energy use model, the researchers found that bitcoin mining uses more energy each year than the entire country of Argentina.

          That sounds like a wild stat, but energy use has always been a key part of bitcoin’s story. Let’s go back to the beginning and see how we got here.

    • Finance

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Get On Gab

        If you’re a leftie, get on Gab. No, I’m serious. If you’re fair and objective, you’ll agree echo chambers are not a good thing. Gab is already growing at an incredible rate and no doubt there are already more diverse people joining. Gab’s strength is it’s totally pro-free speech mantra, but also the entire infrastructure is owned and built by Torba and his team, so it won’t get wiped out like Parler did when Amazon decided to flex it’s censorship muscles.

      • Opinion | Reversing Myanmar’s Coup Isn’t Enough. Here’s How to Build a Better Burma

        Myanmar’s military should be held accountable for the coup, but the West needs to make sure they are punished for their abuses against the country’s minorities as well.

      • Digital warfare: Myanmar’s cyber crackdown explained

        These lightning-quick moves by the new junta have tech experts, rights groups, and citizens worried that [Internet]-hungry Myanmar will soon be as cut-off as during the previous military regime. The military has so far ordered four temporary [Internet] shutdowns, starting on February 1 — the day of the putsch — when civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was detained.

      • Myanmar military shuts [Internet] access for second night

        Internet access has been restored by Myanmar’s new military rulers after it was blocked for the second night in a row.

        The blackout — the fourth shutdown since the February 1 coup came as the junta tries to stifle dissent by the demonstrators demanding the release from detention of their elected leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and the restoration of democracy.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Police Forces Have Long Tried to Weed Out Extremists in the Ranks. Then Came the Capitol [Insurrection]

        Their presence has brought to a boil questions that have been simmering for years: How many law enforcement officers nationwide subscribe to extreme or anti-government beliefs, and how, precisely, can agencies weed them out? Leaders in law enforcement say that public servants must be held to a higher standard than private individuals when it comes to accepting the results of an election and performing their duties.

        Police chiefs from the largest North American cities, meeting in an online conference this past week, agreed to work together to try and block members of far-right organizations or others with radical views from entering their ranks.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Browsers and websites should PUBLIC, not private roads

        If you can read this post is because, right now, you are using one of those software programs called “Web Browsers”. Without web browsers you could not use any website. We could safely say that they are among the most important, and most useful kind of software program for billions of people worldwide.

        We already knew that the Web and web browsers have become obscenely complex. Today, we also know that a small, but relevant part of that complexity is there only to benefit big companies that cannot be bothered to play nice.

    • Monopolies

      • FOSS Patents: Epic Games files antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP): media reports

        Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) and the Financial Times report that Fortnite and Unreal Engine maker Epic Games has filed an EU antitrust complaint against Apple. Epic is being represented by Clifford Chance (the FAZ article quotes Mr. Ashwin van Rooijen), a major global firm that has been a key player in many EU tech antitrust matters over the years.

        When asked why they filed this complaint against only Apple, and not simultaneously against Google, Epic’s lawyers apparently said that Apple was presently the focus of EU antitrust enforcement in this context. There is an ongoing investigation of Spotify’s complaint against Apple. Both Epic and Spotify are members of the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF), an organization whose positions on app distribution Microsoft has supported publicly without joining the organization.

        For proper disclosure, I am a member of the informal #AppRising movement and brought my own complaints against Apple and Google in multiple jurisdictions last month (EU case numbers: AT.40747 Apple, AT.40748 Google). I consider this kind of topic to be the single most important tech antitrust issue of the 2020s. Standard-essential patent (SEP) issues continue to be very important, but are eclipsed by the #AppRising. But the concerns raised by app developers are diverse, and just like I haven’t seen Epic comment on my complaint regarding COVID-related apps, I don’t want to take a position on Epic’s (and others’) complaints over in-app payments–which doesn’t mean that I necessarily disagree, just that at this point it’s too early for me to speak out on a legally complex issue.

      • Patents

        • Pros And Cons Of Using The European Patent Application System Rather Than Separate National Patent Applications? [Ed: This article contains the lie that UPC is coming when in fact UPC is dead because it's not constitutional]

          The European Unitary Patent is intended to address some issues concerning patent validation and renewal costs for the member states of the European Union but it will be subject to the same prosecution costs as the current European patent application system.


          It is not currently possible to enter France via a national patent application from a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application. From a PCT application, patent protection in France is only available via the EPO route.

          If an applicant were to apply for patent protection by filing national patent applications in each of the remaining four countries, the filing, translation and local attorney fees would typically be significantly greater than the cost of filing a European patent application.

          The prosecution costs and timeline for patent applications in each of the above countries can also vary significantly, with no certainty that the same scope of protection will be obtained in each.

          There exists a general understanding that, if protection is sought in three or more European countries, then it is often most pragmatic to apply at the EPO for a European patent, rather than national patent applications. This is because the total costs are often comparable and the EPO route will avoid the need to manage three different co-pending patent applications for each country, often in three different languages.

        • Functional Claim “Raises the Bar for Enablement”

          The decision here provides another anti-functional-limitation decision — this time rendering Amgen’s monoclonal antibody claims invalid. Although enablement decisions traditionally differed greatly between biotech and computer innovations, the decision here relies heavily on the Federal Circuit’s recent software decision in McRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games Am. Inc., 959 F.3d 1091 (Fed. Cir. 2020).

          The first jury sided with Amgen, the patentee, finding that Regeneron had failed to prove that the asserted patents lacked enablement or written description. On appeal, the Federal Circuit vacated the resulting final judgment and ordered a new trial based upon errors in evidentiary rulings and jury instructions. On remand, the second jury again sided with Amgen. The district court though favored the defendant and awarded Judgment as a Matter of Law (JMOL) for lack of enablement. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has affirmed.


          In this case the burdens are important. The jury found that the defendants had not met their burden of clear-and-convincing evidence of invalidity. The district and appellate courts considered the same evidence and flipped — holding that the only reasonable outcome that a jury could reach is that the claims were proven invalid with clear and convincing evidence.

          Amgen argued that that the potential breadth of the claims was “artificially inflated” by Sanofi; that the “millions” number was contested on the facts; and “A reasonable juror could easily have rejected Sanofi-Regeneron’s argument [as not] clear and convincing.” On appeal, the Federal Circuit notes that they are “not concerned simply with the number of embodiments but also with their functional breadth,” although the court later appears to side with the defendant in concluding that “the evidence showed that the scope of the claims encompasses millions of candidates.”

        • Swedish Stirling AB: Year end report 2020

          Swedish Stirling files a new patent application for the company’s product, the PWR BLOK 400-F, with the European Patent Office (EPO). The application covers the process for how residual gases are fed into and burned off in the Stirling engines’ fuel chambers to give more efficient conversion. The aim of the application is to further strengthen the protection of the technology in the run-up to the commercial rollout and start of serial production.

        • What impact will Brexit have in the long term?

          In patents, meanwhile, nothing substantive has changed as the UK remains part of the EPC and EU law has very little impact on patent law. “There is unlikely to be significant divergence in patent law because UK courts are very closely aligned with the EPO,” says partner Kristina Cornish.

          However, in the longer term there are some areas where there may be pressure for change. One is the law on Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs). These are national rights, and not directly affected by Brexit. But UK practitioners and judges generally view the legislation as less than perfectly drafted and there are reasonable questions about whether the SPC regime should be extended to other products, such as medical devices, and whether the term of protection should be changed. Kristina says: “Brexit may be an opportunity to review the law on SPCs – the question is would this lead to a desirable outcome?” Partner Nick Bassil adds: “Many patent owners filed SPC applications before December 2020 to avoid any potential disruption following the end of the transition period.”

          Research may also be affected by Brexit, given the importance of EU research grants, especially for SMEs. The UK is remaining in the Horizon Europe programme, but leaving the Erasmus+ university exchange system (and setting up a replacement named after Alan Turing). “These changes may have an impact on investment on research in the UK – we will have to wait and see,” says Nick.

        • Software Patents

          • Cedar Lane patent held unpatentable

            On February 12, 2021, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final written decision in Unified Patents, LLC v. Cedar Lane Technologies Inc. holding the asserted independent claim of U.S. Patent 7,173,177 unpatentable. The ’177 patent was assigned to Cedar Lane from AVInnov, an NPE, and was previously owned by Intellectual Ventures. The ’177 patent, directed to indicating on a user interface whether items in a playlist are owned or unowned, had been asserted against several companies such as Spectrum (Charter Communications), T-Mobile, Disney, Dish Network, CBS Corp., and others.

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:30 am by Needs Sunlight

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