03.02.21

Links 2/3/2021: KDE Plasma 5.21.2, Qt 6.1 Beta, Refund of Pre-installed Windows

Posted in News Roundup at 2:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Cartesi (CTSI) Opens Linux Environment Gates for Avalanche

      Cartesi, the layer-2 decentralized Linux infrastructure announced its integration with Avalanche, the open-source platform for highly decentralized apps. With this integration, Cartesi’s Layer-2 infrastructure will expand within DeFi for the first time. Additionally, it will enable a Linux environment on Avalanche for smart contracts and higher computational scalability. Once the integration completes, the developers building on Avalanche will first time have access to develop smart contracts using Linux and uncountable mainstream software stack.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Refund of pre-installed Windows: Lenovo must pay 20,000 euros in damages

        In a historic judgment in Italy, in a case initiated by FSFE supporter Luca Bonissi, Lenovo was ordered to pay 20,000 euros in damages for abusive behaviour in denying to refund the price of a pre-installed Windows licence. In a motivating gesture for the Free Software cause, Luca donated 15,000 euros to the FSFE.

        We all know how frustrating it is to buy a brand new computer and realise that it comes with a pre-installed proprietary operating system. Some companies have adapted their unfair behaviour and established clearer procedures for consumers to obtain the refund for paid licences of software they do not want to use. However, some computer manufacturers like Lenovo still make it very hard for consumers, forcing them to assert their rights in expensive and exhausting lawsuits. This is the successful story of Luca Bonissi, an Italian developer and long-term FSFE supporter and volunteer, in his relentless quest for getting a Windows licence refund, and how Lenovo was ordered to pay 20,000 euros for its unlawful behaviour during the court proceedings.

      • Star Labs Adds Coreboot Open-Source Firmware Support to Their LabTop Mk IV Linux Laptop

        After several months of development, Star Labs’ engineers finally managed to provide Coreboot support for owners of the Star LabTop Mk IV Linux laptop, providing them now only with an Open Source firmware, but also with a lightning-fast and more secure boot experience.

        Formerly known as LinuxBIOS, Coreboot is a firmware platform designed to replace proprietary firmware in most computers. Coreboot is known to be a lightweight firmware that puts the user in full control of the hardw`are and is designed to perform only the minimum number of tasks necessary to load and run a modern Linux OS.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 114

        Linux on another planet, Chrome OS enjoys huge success, great Firefox improvements, a flawed but well-meaning idea for a laptop, free RHEL for FOSS projects, Xfce news, and KDE Korner.

    • Kernel Space

      • 6 days without electricity: What the inventor of Microsoft Windows-rival Linux did

        Linus Torvalds, the founder of the Linux operating system, recently had to face six days without electricity during the power outages in the North-Western US caused due to the winter storms. He lives in Portland, Oregon and the six-day power outage did not let him tend to the kernel. So, how did the inventor spend his time? By working on the merge window for version 5.12 on the Linux kernel. Torvalds gave the Linux 5.12-rc1 the codename of ‘Frozen Wasteland’ and issued the first release on February 28, as per a report by Phoronix.

        Unable to work on the new kernel cycle due to the six-days-long power cut, Torvalds decided to attend to the Linux 5.12 merge window and succeeded in rolling it out as Linux 5.12-rc1.
        He said in the 5.12-rc1 announcement: “The one thing that perhaps stands out is that this release actually did a fair amount of historical cleanup. Yes, overall we still have more new lines than we have removed lines, but we did have some spring cleaning, removing the legacy OPROFILE support (the user tools have been using the “perf” interface for years), and removing several legacy SoC platforms and various drivers that no longer make any sense.”

      • Linux Kernel 5.12 RC-1 Released with Many ARM Board Support

        The merge window for Linux Kernel 5.12 is closed and with that, Linux Kernel 5.12 RC-1 (release candidate) is now released for testing. This release brings many new features and improvements.

        Linux Kernel 5.12 is going to be the second Kernel release of 2021 following the Kernel 5.11. This release is bringing moderate changes across the Kernel modules. The changes are also not that much compared to the prior releases due to the power cut which is faced by Linus Torvalds for winter ice storm.

        [...]

        Overall, many changes are seen on small form factor devices and the addition of drivers for many new devices across vendors in Linux Kernel 5.12 RC-1. Usual changes across the storage and graphics phase. This means it is going to be a quiet Kernel release.

        Linux Kernel 5.12 will be available with mainstream Linux distributions most probably from Q3 2021 onwards. The LTS releases would stick to the current stable Linux Kernel 5.10.

      • Linux 5.12 Mostly Restores Long-Horrid AES-XTS Performance Introduced By CPU-Bug Mitigations

        AES-NI XTS hardware encryption and decryption performance on Linux has been severely crippled since the Spectre V2 mitigations were introduced to the Linux kernel nearly two years ago. Linux 5.12 has fixes that mostly restores AES-NI XTS performance on the AMD side and those changes slightly increase aex-xts performance on the Intel side.

        [...]

        There is a pretty big difference between 2685.7 MiB/s and 1578.9 MiB/s, yet the lack of a practical effect is probably why this has gone unnoticed for so long. A SATA3 interface caps out at 600 MiB/s so it doesn’t really matter if a full-disk encrypted machine can do hardware accelerated AES-XTS at 601 or 5000 MiB if the disk drive is connected to a SATA interface. It does make a difference if the machine has a bleeding edge high-end NVMe drive, which is likely why this was performance-regression was discovered and fixed. Linux 5.12rc1 performs a whole lot better than previous kernels did when Spectre V2 mitigations are enabled on AMD machines. The difference between the kernels default mitigations and mitigations=off is barely noticeable. That’s a huge improvement mostly thanks to the hard work of Google-asset Ard Biesheuvel

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA introduces lower cost Jetson TX2 NX SO-DIMM module

          NVIDIA Jetson AI modules and developer kits range from the entry-level Jetson Nano module (5W, ~0.5 TOPS) to the high-end Jetson Xavier AGX module (30W, 32 TOPS). The higher-end modules usually come with a 400-pin board-to-board, while cheaper/cost-down modules like Jetson Nano and Jetson Xavier NX feature a 260-pin SO-DIMM connector and small form factor.

          But so far all Jetson TX2 modules came with a 400-pin connector, but this has changed with the introduction of the Jetson TX2 NX SO-DIMM system-on-module that is offered as a cost-down version of Jetson TX2 4GB module.

        • AMDs AMDVLK Vulkan Driver For Linux Remains Horribly Slow At Compute Compared To The Mesa RADV Driver

          AMDVLK v-2021.Q1.4, released late last week, was a huge yawn with a Mad Max specific performance quirk and the API verison updated to Vulkan 1.2.169. The last half dozen releases were equally boring. It is therefore not shocking that the performance-differences between the AMD AMDVLK Vulkan driver and the Mesa RADV driver are the same today as they were half a year ago: The graphics performance is near-identical, with AMDVLK being slightly slower, while the gap between their respective compute performance remains significant.

          [...]

          The MSI Kombustor TessMark benchmarks are clearly doing something the AMDVLK is incapable of handling at acceptable framerates. This is the only test where there is such a gigantic difference so it will probably not matter in the vast majority of games and applications but there could be some that do the same thing – with a huge performance-penalty as a result.

          Basemark GPU v1.2.3 tell as similar story of two nearly equal Vulkan drivers. The Mesa RADV driver has a one frame per second advantage at 4K, so it does get the higher score. The minimum and maximum values are exactly the same in both cases and practical difference just isn’t there.

        • Updated Portal 2 Vulkan Rendering Code Yielding Great Radeon Results

          Valve on Monday rolled out a new Portal 2 build that improves its new Vulkan renderer support. For those interested here are some fresh benchmarks of Portal 2 with OpenGL and Vulkan on the open-source AMD Radeon Linux drivers.

          In February was the surprise announcement of Vulkan rendering API support for Portal 2. Valve is making use of Vulkan with Portal 2 by leveraging the DXVK native library for translating the game’s existing Direct3D 9 usage to Vulkan. The existing OpenGL support for Portal 2 on Linux remains available.

          Valve yesterday released their first significant Portal 2 update since the initial Vulkan rendering support last month. Some of the specific improvements in this latest Portal 2 update include “massively improved” performance for multi-sample anti-aliasing (MSAA) with AMD graphics hardware, overall performance improvements, and a large number of bug fixes — including many Linux-specific fixes.

    • Applications

      • Best Screen Capture Tools for Linux in 2021

        Screenshots come in handy when you want to capture part of or the entire screen usually for elaborative purposes. Screenshots are useful when putting together “How to” tutorials in showing crucial steps that would be better understood using images. Also, you could send a screenshot to a friend or your family to show evidence of a purchase receipt, or guide them in undertaking a task on their PC.

        To capture the entire desktop, simply press the PrtScr button. Captured images are saved in the ‘Pictures’ folder. Another easy way of capturing screenshots is using the SHIFT + PrtScr keyboard combination. This reveals a crosshair pointer that you can drag to grab the area that you wish to capture.

      • Guake Terminal: A Customizable Linux Terminal for Power Users [Inspired by an FPS Game]

        Guake is a terminal emulator that’s tailored for GNOME desktop with a top-down design.

        It was originally inspired from the terminal seen in an FPS game (Quake). Even though it was initially built as a quick and accessible terminal, it is much more than that.

        Guake terminal offers a ton of features, and customizable options. Here, I’ll highlight the key features of the terminal along with the process of getting it installed on any of your Linux distribution.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Padding and aligning data in GNU poke

        It is often the case in binary formats that certain elements are separated by some data that is not really used for any meaningful purpose other than occupy that space. The reason for keeping that space varies from case to case; sometimes to reserve it for future use, sometimes to make sure that the following data is aligned to some particular alignment. This is known as “padding”. There are several ways to implement padding in GNU poke. This article shows these techniques and discusses their advantages and disadvantages.

      • Manually mount a USB drive in the Linux terminal – PragmaticLinux

        Trying to figure out how to manually mount your USB drive in Linux? Look no further. This article explains step-by-step how to manually mount a USB drive in Linux, to a mount point directory of your choice. We’ll do everything directly in the terminal. So you can use this approach not only on your Linux desktop PC, but also when SSH-ed into your Linux server. We’ll cover how to configure write permissions for accessing your USB drive as well.

      • Install intellij-idea on Debian Bullseye/sid via snapd
      • Add these 4 tools to your Linux container toolbox | Enable Sysadmin

        When you need the right tool, there’s nothing like going to your local hardware store and walking the aisles. It’s great to go down the hand tools aisle and check out all the screwdrivers, hammers, hex wrenches, tape measures, and more. Just when you think you’ve discovered the right tool, a thought hits you, if I can do it with a hand tool, I can really get it done with the perfect power tool!

      • How to Setup Pritunl VPN Server on Ubuntu 20.04

        Pritunl is an open-source, simple and easy-to-use VPN server that allows you to setup virtualize your private networks across data centers within a minute. It provides a simple and user-friendly web interface and has an ability to create a wide range of cloud VPN networks. It provides an official client package and supports all OpenVPN clients for most devices and platforms.

        In this tutorial, we will explain how to set up a Pritunl VPN Server and Client on Ubuntu 20.04 server.

      • How to use exisitng VDMK Virtual hard disk in VMware Player – H2S Media

        VMplayer is a popular virtualization platform for Windows, macOS, and Linux. It uses VDMK file format for VMware Virtual Disks to store all data of any virtual machine created on the VMware platform. Here we will learn how to use any existing VDMK file or virtual hard disk with VMware.

        Many times to install some operating system on VMware or VirtualBox, we download the pre-built disk image files. So, if you are getting one in VDMK format that is the default supported format for Vmware, then how to use it? Because if we open it directly in the Workstation Player, an error will come up i.e VMX file is either corrupted or not found. Thus, here is the proper way to use any existing VDMK file in Player.

      • How to Get IP Address of a Docker Container

        Wondering what’s the IP address of your running docker container? You can inspect the running container to get that information.

        sudo docker container inspect container_name_or_ID

        Don’t know the container’s name or ID? Use the command sudo docker ps.

        The inspect command gives you many details about the container you are inspecting. Go towards the end and look into the Networks section to get the container’s IP address.

      • How to Enable HTTP/2 in Apache on Linux System

        On Ubuntu and Debian Linux, you can install the Apache server and host your own website. And, if you ever tried to use the Apache webserver on a Red Hat or Fedora Linux, you might know that the HTTP daemon (httpd) runs in your Linux system’s background to transfer the hypermedia and respond to the server’s request. After installing the HTTP daemon on your system, you can enable HTTP/2.0 on your Linux system.

        When you allow the HTTP/2.0 service on an Apache server, it enhances your server and client’s response rate. Configuring and enabling the HTTP/2.0 services on an Apache server is easy and straightforward.

      • Monitor your Raspberry Pi with Grafana Cloud | Opensource.com

        You may have heard of Grafana, a time-series dashboarding tool that helps you discover what’s going on in your environment. People from hobbyists to enterprise professionals like to use it for visualizations because it is open source and can accept data from myriad sources. This article describes how to use it to monitor your Raspberry Pi as an example of Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring.

        It uses Grafana’s latest offering, Grafana Cloud, a hosted free version that requires a lot less work than setting it up yourself. You can do everything in this article by downloading and installing Grafana, but the hosted version is convenient and lets you focus on other work. (If you really want to experience the pain of setting it up and hosting, you can, but let’s be honest… you probably just want this handy free account.)

      • Splitting the ping

        In this example it takes 63 ms to send a packet, but only 35ms to get it back. To a normal ping this would just show the latency as 109ms, but if we were to start making one-way latency assumptions based on that 109ms value we would have a decent amount of error (maybe up to 10ms) on how long communications would take to arrive.

        But how do we “split” this ping into its transmit and receive time counterparts?

      • How To Install Java on Manjaro 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Java on Manjaro 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Java is a very popular language when it comes to programming. It is a common language for android development and other enterprise solutions. It was first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. Java comprises JRE (Java Runtime Environment) and JDK (Java Development Toolkit). JRE is a set of software applications that help in the deployment of Java applications. JDK is a development environment necessary for the building and compilation of Java applications. Many programs and scripts require Java to run it, but usually, Java is not installed by default on a VPS or Dedicated Server.

        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 Java on a Manjaro 20 (Nibia).

      • How to Speed Up Apache with Varnish Cache on CentOS 7

        Varnish Cache (commonly known as Varnish), is an open-source, popular reverse-proxy HTTP accelerator intended for speeding up web servers. It is engineered for excessively utilized API endpoints and also for dynamic sites that serve massive-content and experience high-traffic.

      • How to Speed Up Nginx with Varnish Cache on CentOS 7

        Varnish Cache (also referred to as Varnish) is an open-source, high-performance HTTP accelerator designed for speeding up web servers. In our last articles, we’ve explained how to setup Varnish Cache for Apache on CentOS 7 and CentOS 8.

        In this article, we will show you how to install and use Varnish Cache as a front-end to the Nginx HTTP server in CentOS 7. This guide should also work on RHEL 7.

      • LHB Digest #21.05: Linux Server Tips, Tutorials and Tools
      • How to Fix – Failed to Start Light Display Manager Error [Solved]

        This post is about guiding you on how to fix the scary error Failed to Start Light Display Manager Error in Linux systems.

        It’s scary. I know. When you expect something to come up on the screen and suddenly face this particular error. It is horrifying because you are lost in a terminal and not sure what to do.

      • How To Install Dropbox on Manjaro 20

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Dropbox on Manjaro 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Dropbox is a Cloud-based file Sharing and file syncing service that allows you to store files in the cloud and share them with other people. Using the Dropbox app you can sync files between your computer and the Cloud and access them from anywhere using your web browser or mobile phone.

        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 Dropbox on a Manjaro 20 (Nibia).

      • How to Enable Tab Groups in Google Chrome – Linux Hint

        Are there too many tabs open in your browser? Are you using Google Chrome? Then Google Chrome offers the “Tab Groups” feature. It’s an interesting way of keeping your tabs organized. All the tabs under the same group are organized neatly, color-coded with proper labeling.

      • How to Enable Brotli Compression in Nginx – Linux Hint

        Brotli compression is a generic-purpose compression technique widely supported across browsers. It’s comparable to the currently available compression methods as it offers 20-26% better compression ratios. Nevertheless, it’s no good unless the webserver is sending compressed text-based resources with the Brotli algorithm.

        In this article, we will learn how compression works in the server and why is it useful? We will also learn to install the Nginx server and get our server to provide Brotli compressed files.

      • MySQL Delete Row or Rows

        MySQL is a free, open-source management framework for relational databases. To work on it, you have to install it on your system first with all the required utilities, e.g., workbench and command-line client. Open the newly installed MySQL workbench as below. You must have to connect your workbench with the database to start working on it properly. After that, you have to create a new schema to perform different queries on the data.

      • How to read command line arguments in a bash script

        A bash script rarely runs standalone. Rather, you often pass one or more arguments to the script from the command line to modify its run-time behavior. The script then reads the supplied arguments, parse and process them accordingly. In more advanced cases, you may want to pass command-line options to your script (e.g., “-h” or “-f my.txt”) to optinally change the default settings of the script. In this tutorial let’s find out how you can pass command-line arguments and how you can handle command-line options in a bash shell script.

      • 6 best tools to monitor disk IO performance in Linux

        Disk IO issues (input/output) are one of the most common causes of poor performance on Linux system.

        This occurs when applications try to quickly read or write too much data on storage device such as hard drives, SAN & NAS, which forcing applications and users to wait.

        top command can be used to see if the CPU is waiting for disk operations to complete. The ‘wa’ metric shows IO-wait, the amount of time the CPU spends waiting for IO completion shown as a percentage.

        In this guide, we will explain how to use various Linux commands to identify disk IO performance issues.

      • How to solve zipimport.ZipImportError: can’t decompress data; zlib not available

        I was able to run, configure and make without any error. When I pass the final command, sudo make install, it shows “zipimport.ZipImportError: can’t decompress data; zlib not available.”

        This issue mostly occurs when zlib is not installed in your system. We can easily fix this issue with the required dependencies. Therefore we will Install zlib libraries for Ubuntu, Debian and Centos, Fedora, Redhat.

    • Games

      • Hack Grid is a clever brain-twisting DOS inspired puzzle game out now

        Created as a love letter to the retro charm provided by the days of DOS, Hack Grid has you throw around coloured pieces on a board until only one is left and it might melt your brain.

        Another wonderful addition to the puzzle genre with easy to understand mechanics. However, it’s totally deceptive. Simple to look at and understand, sure but not easy to actually get through. You move pieces around a board across set lines until only one is left, but pieces need to hit a different colour to remove them. There’s other rules it gradually sprinkles in and it does get complicated.

        [...]

        Also another title made with Godot Engine, lovely to see more being built with it!

      • Godot Engine team grows with another developer now working on rendering | GamingOnLinux

        Godot Engine is definitely going places and the more we hear about this free and open source game engine the more we love it. The team now has another member hired to work on rendering.

        Being free and open source means that developments aren’t suddenly going to see a monthly bill increase to use it, or royalties suddenly increasing or anything of the sorts – as Godot has none of that. Entirely free to use, plus with the source open developers can help improve it.

        Joan Fons is the latest hire, who is now a full-time Godot Engine developer! Fons started contributing three years ago at university, then consulting with a company called Prehensile Tales and now they’re contributing big time to Godot with features like the new CPU lightmapper, which will be landing with the 3.2.4 release. Fons showed off an example of the difference it can make and said it “should make lightmaps a viable option for 3.2″

      • Open source mixed reality library StereoKit adds Linux support

        The XR (VR/AR) space continues to evolve and one of the promising projects there is called StereoKit, an open source mixed reality library and a new release is out now adding in Linux support.

      • Puzzle game Mirrored Pawns challenges your spatial reasoning with opposite movements

        In the new game Mirrored Pawns from Firebelley (Sword Slinger, Cryptographer) it challenges your spatial reasoning as you simultaneously control two characters that move in opposite directions.

        Supposed to be relaxing but that will depend on how you approach such puzzle games. All you have to do across each level is move your two paws to specific tiles by hopping around. One pawn needs to be on each, and with every movement being opposites for them it actually does get quite difficult.

        “When either vertical or horizontal symmetry is active, the non-player pawn will move in the opposite vertical or horizontal direction, respectively. You will need to be careful in your movements and use the puzzle board’s characteristics to your advantage.”

      • How I cut GTA Online loading times by 70%

        Profilers are a great way of finding CPU bottlenecks. There’s only one problem – most of them rely on instrumenting the source code to get a perfect picture of what’s happening in the process. And I don’t have the source code. Nor do I need microsecond-perfect readings – I have 4 minutes’ worth of a bottleneck.

        Enter stack sampling: for closed source applications there’s only one option. Dump the running process’ stack and current instruction pointer’s location to build a calling tree in set intervals. Then add them up to get statistics on what’s going on. There’s only one profiler that I know of (might be ignorant here) that can do this on Windows. And it hasn’t been updated in over 10 years. It’s Luke Stackwalker! Someone, please give this project some love :)

      • SDL2 Lands Native PipeWire Support

        While SDL2-enabled games/applications can already work on PipeWire-based systems like the forthcoming Fedora Workstation 34 thanks to the PulseAudio compatibility layer, the SDL2 library has merged initial support for interfacing with PipeWire.

        Merged on Sunday were various pieces of PipeWire audio support code for the SDL library including the playback/capture sink abilities. SDL2 now has a build time option for enabling PipeWire support as well as for whether to dynamically load it.

      • Gaming in Nitrux pt. 1: Get Started — Nitrux — #YourNextOS

        In general, gaming on Linux used to be limited to the few FOSS games available for the operating system, which is no longer the case, and it has seen steady growth over the past few years. With major companies like Valve providing Steam for Linux, Proton; the development of DXVK, the continuous work put into Wine by its developers, and Indie game developers creating games with Linux support out-of-the-box, the amount of fun for Linux continues to expand.

        This post will be pt. 1, and it will only deal with obtaining games. For pt. 2, there will be performance benchmarks on Nitrux and perhaps a comparison with other distributions, including those purposely built for gaming.

      • Portal 2 gets more DXVK Vulkan improvements with another update | GamingOnLinux

        Valve’s fantastic first-person puzzle game Portal 2 recently had a huge upgrade that pulled in DXVK giving it Vulkan support, with another update out now to further improve it.

        As a reminder: this has nothing to do with Source 2. Portal 2 by default uses Direct3D 9 on Windows and OpenGL on Linux. For the Linux version, original Source engine games like this used a translation layer called ToGL to translate D3D9 to OpenGL. DXVK being added in gives the option to launch Portal 2 with “-vulkan” as a launch option which may improve overall performance.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.21.2 Update Re-Enabled Key Repeat by Default, Improves System Settings

          Coming just one week after the KDE Plasma 5.21.1 update, which improved support for Nvidia Optimus laptops, the KDE Plasma 5.21.2 point release is here to re-enable key repeat by default, something that probably many of you out there were complaining about.

          In addition, the KDE Plasma 5.21.2 update improves the System Settings by addressing a bug that made it crash when attempting to clear the history from the Activities page and making the screens in the Display Configuration page draggable again.

        • KDE Plasma 5.21.2, Bugfix Release for March

          Plasma 5.21 was released in February with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

          This release adds a week’s worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important and include…

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

    • Distributions

      • New Garuda Linux “Hawk Eagle” Released With LibreWolf Browser

        Following its monthly release model, the Garuda team has announced a new version called Garuda Linux “Hawk Eagle” (210225).

        Like all previous releases, this February update also comes with a new edition called KDE Dragonized BlackArch Edition. It features the BlackArch repository, tweaks, and most common tools.

        So, in total, Garuda now has 16 editions with different desktop environments: KDE Multimedia, GNOME, Xfce, LXQT-Kwin, Wayfire, i3WM, Qtile, MATE, Cinnamon, Recbox, UKUI, BSPWM, dr460nized, dr460nized gaming, dr460nized blackarch, Barebone KDE, and GNOME.

        Another important change that Garuda Linux “Hawk Eagle” has brought for all editions (except Xfce and i3WM) is the inclusion of the LibreWolf (with extensions) as the default web browser.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • The State of Enterprise Open Source 2021: Four results that may surprise you

          We’re now in the third year of our The State of Enterprise Open Source report in which we probe the use of and attitudes about enterprise open source. This year we conducted interviews with 1,250 IT leaders worldwide. They weren’t necessarily Red Hat customers and were unaware that Red Hat was the sponsor of this survey, helping us to avoid biased or influenced responses. Most of the questions were repeats from prior years, allowing us to explore trends over time, but we also threw in a few new ones too and got one answer that even we weren’t fully expecting.

        • IBM Begins Adding GCC Support For Z Arch14 – Likely IBM z16 – Phoronix

          GCC compiler patches began appearing this morning for IBM Z “Arch14″ as a future architecture extension for their Z mainframe processors. IBM Z Arch14 will likely correlate to IBM z16.

          IBM z15 was introduced at the end of 2019 as “Arch13″ while today is the first time we are hearing of IBM Z “Arch14″ and the first time seeing any code in the GCC open-source compiler referencing it. Short of some re-branding or change in their numbering scheme at IBM, Arch14 will likely end up being IBM z16.

        • Red Hat’s 2021 Open Source Survey: Who’s Using the Software and Why | IT Pro

          Red Hat’s 2021 State of Enterprise Open Source survey report finds that users trust its security, plan increased use of containers and more.

        • Robin CNS Now Runs On IBM Cloud Satellite

          IBM Cloud Satellite, now generally available, enables clients to run IBM Cloud services in multiple environments—on IBM Cloud, on premises, or at the edge—all delivered as a service. This flexibility will help bring cloud capabilities to where client data resides, in the environment of their choice, while focusing on consistency, user experience, and security.

        • IBM Cloud Satellite Goes GA

          IBM‘s hybrid cloud services are now generally available in any environment — on any cloud, on premises or at the edge — via IBM Cloud Satellite.

          Lumen Technologies and IBM have integrated IBM Cloud Satellite with the Lumen edge platform to enable clients to harness hybrid cloud services in near real-time and build solutions at the edge.

        • Packaging APIs for consumers with Red Hat 3scale API Management

          One of an API management platform’s core functionalities is defining and enforcing policies, business domain rate limits, and pricing rules for securing API endpoints. As an API provider, you sometimes need to make the same backend API available for different consumer segments using these terms. In this article, you will learn about using Red Hat 3scale API Management to package APIs for different consumers, including internal and external developers and strategic partners. See the end of the article for a video tutorial that guides you through using 3scale API Management to create and configure the packages that you will learn about in this article.

          [...]

          The Rate limits policy, shown in Figure 2, enforces call limits on APIs. Limits are defined for each method, and the same package can enforce different limits for each API method. Pricing rules are used to enable metering and chargeback for API calls. Pricing rules are defined for each API method, and the same package can enforce different pricing rules for each API method. Finally, the Features policy lets us define multiple features for each package. 3scale API Management adds metadata tags to each package to uniquely identify and map its available features.

          3scale API Management’s packaging scenario is common, and most API management platforms support something similar. In the following sections, we will look at the different types of plans available from 3scale API Management.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Fedora Code of Conduct Report 2020

          In 2020 we had more than two times the number of CoC reports when compared to 2019. Due to dedicating a lot of time and effort to these situations, we spent a significant amount of time trying to understand why this was happening at these rates. We came up with a couple of theories.

          [...]

          As we look forward to 2021, we hope to introduce an updated Code of Conduct, as well as supporting documentation. Reminder to be kind and considerate to each other as we move into year two of pandemic life, there will surely be new challenges to overcome. We all depend on each other to create a community that is healthy, safe, and happy. Most of all, we love seeing folks self-moderate and stand up for the right thing day to day in our community. Keep it up, and keep being awesome Fedora, we <3 you!

        • Pure Storage teams up with IBM to bring OpenShift hybrid workloads to IBM Cloud Satellite

          Global Kubernetes Data Services Platform, Portworx by Pure Storage, has announced a partnership with IBM to enable OpenShift-based data services to run in hybrid cloud environments with performance, data protection, data security, and mobility on IBM Cloud Satellite.

          IBM Cloud Satellite allows clients to run IBM Cloud services no matter whether it is on a cloud, on-premises, in multi-cloud, or at the edge, which IBM’s research is a growing area with increased proliferation of edge devices. This flexibility brings cloud capabilities to where client data resides, allowing organisations to focus on solving business problems. The product builds on IBM’s deep industry expertise across industries such as telecommunications, healthcare, banking, insurance, travel and transportation.

          The Portworx by Pure Storage partnership fuels hybrid cloud environments by helping Government and enterprises manage and modernise workloads from bare-metal to multi-cloud or anything else in between, with Red Hat OpenShift.

      • Debian Family

        • Emmabuntüs Debian Edition 3 1.04 Released with Debian GNU/Linux 10.8 “Buster” Updates

          About four month in development, Emmabuntüs Linux Debian Edition 3 1.04 comes packed with all the updates from the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series, more specifically it’s based on the Debian GNU/Linux 10.8 update released last month with 45 security updates and 56 other updated packages with bug fixes.

          This means the educational distro is now up to date and safe to use by anyone on their personal computers. Offering up-to-date systems, especially for educational use, is very important and Emmabuntüs Debian Edition does a good job at keeping its users updated at all times.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • You Don’t Need To Ask

          Ubuntu – the Linux distribution – has been around for 17 years. Over that time many projects and initiatives have been started, some successful, others less so. Not everything we try can work out, but as a group, we should feel empowered to try.

          The Ubuntu community isn’t quite the same as it was back in 2004-2010, and nobody I know argues that it is. People who were keen and active contributors may have had circumstantial changes which meant they moved on. Some took on new responsibilities, work, or started family. Some, sadly, have passed away.

          Over time though, new people discover Linux in general, and Ubuntu specifically. There’s a lot of institutional knowledge in the heads of those of us who’ve been around a long time. There are also plenty of documents squirrelled away on the Ubuntu Wiki, the website and in mailing list archives and forums & discourse pages. New people can feel overwhelmed by the entrenched knowledge and processes. We should improve that onboarding process.

          Over the last couple of years some fresh new faces have joined the Ubuntu community. Some have collaborated with existing developers, started new projects and built new Ubuntu Remixes. Whether I personally use them and whether they’re successfull (however you measure that) or not doesn’t matter. What matters is they played with the technology enough to build something on the shoulders of previous developers. I love this facet of Ubuntu.

        • Linux Mint May Resort to Windows 10-Style Forced Updates

          Linux Mint is considering measures to keep users up-to-date, including Windows 10-style forced updates.

          Linux Mint is a popular, community-driven distribution (distro) based on Ubuntu. Unfortunately, like users of other operating systems (OS), many Linux Mint users are slow to update, both applications and the OS itself.

          In a blog post detailing the problem, the Linux Mint teams notes that only 30% of users updated to the latest version of their web browser in less than a week. Similarly, while acknowledging it is hard to get an exact figure, between 5% and 30% of users are running Linux 17.x.

        • Linux Mint starts pushing updates

          Linux Mint will start pushing updates in the same popular way that Microsoft does with Windows 10.

          Last month the Mint team noted that a sizeable number of Linux Mint devices was running outdated applications, packages or even an outdated version of the operating system.

          A sizeable number of devices run on Linux Mint 17.x which was end of lifed in April 2019. A new blog post, published yesterday, provides information on how the team plans to reduce the update reluctance of Linux Mint users.

        • Canonical completes Azure Arc Validation Program, helps increase user confidence in Arc enabled production Kubernetes [Ed: Canonical has been boosting Microsoft for years and it closed bug #1 which basically means they don’t wish to actually replace Windows]
        • Ubuntu Blog: Ubuntu in the wild – 2nd of March 2021

          The Ubuntu in the wild blog post ropes in the latest highlights about Ubuntu and Canonical around the world on a bi-weekly basis. It is a summary of all the things that made us feel proud to be part of this journey. What do you think of it?

          [...]

          This one could interest our Italian readers: Lorenzo Cavassa, Field Engineer at Canonical, will be talking about how to create Kubernetes clusters on any type of substrate, from public clouds to private data centers to the Edge, with the automation and flexibility provided by Juju and Ubuntu.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Codeberg Code Hosting is now with Documentation

        Codeberg is now the only Gitea-based code hosting with its own user guide & documentation! This guides everyone to start their public software development with ease — similar to the guide GitHub users enjoy for years. I like Codeberg as I frequently mentioned it (see here, see here) as the Free Libre Open Source Software code hosting. It is certainly good news and everyone is invited to improve the documentation together. Congratulations, Codeberg!

      • Events

        • Cloud Foundry Summit 2021: Call For Papers Open

          The Summit will allow European attendees to participate, as well, with sessions tailored to the virtual format. The Cloud Foundry Foundation will join forces with the community-elected program committee to curate a program that fosters collaboration among attendees and offers interactive platform education.

        • The Linux App Summit (LAS) returns in May, applications open for talks until March 15 | GamingOnLinux

          Planned to happen online again during May 13-15, the Linux App Summit (LAS) is set to return giving you a chance to listen to talks about the future of application design, development and more for Linux. Last year had some pretty interesting talks, like Linux game porter and FNA developer Ethan Lee giving a presentation on how games get built and packages plus Collabora gave an overview of their work with Valve.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • A Better Terminal for Mozilla Build [Ed: Mozilla is moving in a bad direction that serves Windows, not standards or the open Web or software freedom]

            If you’re working with mozilla-central on Windows and followed the official documentation, there’s a good chance the MozillaBuild shell is running in the default cmd.exe console. If you’ve spent any amount of time in this console you’ve also likely noticed it leaves a bit to be desired. Standard terminal features such as tabs, splits and themes are missing. More importantly, it doesn’t render unicode characters (at least out of the box).

          • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: India’s new intermediary liability and digital media regulations will harm the open internet

            Last week, in a sudden move that will have disastrous consequences for the open internet, the Indian government notified a new regime for intermediary liability and digital media regulation. Intermediary liability (or “safe harbor”) protections have been fundamental to growth and innovation on the internet as an open and secure medium of communication and commerce. By expanding the “due diligence” obligations that intermediaries will have to follow to avail safe harbor, these rules will harm end to end encryption, substantially increase surveillance, promote automated filtering and prompt a fragmentation of the internet that would harm users while failing to empower Indians. While many of the most onerous provisions only apply to “significant social media intermediaries” (a new classification scheme), the ripple effects of these provisions will have a devastating impact on freedom of expression, privacy and security.

          • Karl Dubost: Capping User Agent String – followup meeting [Ed: Hopefully enough people understand the degree to which use agents in a Web browser are leveraged for fingerprinting/tracking/surveillance/abuse]

            A couple of weeks ago, I mentionned the steps which have been taken about capping the User Agent String on macOS 11 for Web compatibility issues. Since then, Mozilla and Google organized a meeting to discuss the status and the issues related to this effort. We invited Apple but probably too late to find someone who could participate to the meeting (my bad). The minutes of the meeting are publicly accessible.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • MySQL from Below

          When you insert data into a database and run COMMIT you expect things to be there: Atomically, Consistent, Isolated and Durable, like Codd commanded us 40 years ago, but also quickly. There is a surprising amount of sophistication being poured into this, but since I do not want to shame MongoDB and Redis developers in this post, I am not going to talk about that much in this place.

          We are instead trying to understand what our databases are doing all day, from the point of view of the storage stack.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Exporting LibreOffice Guides to HTML (Part I)

          LibreOffice is an open source office suite full of tricky secrets. One of my favorites is the possibility to export a text document to XHTML or HTML5, both are W3C standards supported by most modern web browsers.

          But you, the reader, will certainly ask: If I have the Guides in ODT and PDF file format why do I need another format? Why spend energy adding another medium for the LibreOffice Guides?

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Getting Started and Impress Guides – Taming LibreOffice

          Two more volumes of LO 7.0 user guides were published in January: Getting Started Guide and Impress Guide. They are available in free PDF downloads and in low-cost print editions. See this page for links.

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Finally Available to Install via Ubuntu PPA

          The official LibreOffice Fresh PPA finally made the LibreOffice 7.1 packages for Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 20.10.

          LibreOffice, Ubuntu’s default office suite, released version 7.1 almost a month ago. The new release features new Additions Dialog to better integrate extensions, new User Interface select dialog, new widget with styles preview in tabbed Notebookbar.

          LibreOffice Math gets full support of HTML colors, and new examples in Element pane. The Writer application features faster find/replace, a new Style Inspector, and better detection of Unicode in documents. LibreOffice Impress gains new animation presets and adds “Pause/Resume” and “Exit” buttons.

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Community released – Taming LibreOffice

          On 3 February, The Document Foundation announced the release of LibreOffice 7.1 Community, the volunteer-supported version of the office suite. The Community label emphasises the fact that the software is not targeted at enterprises, and not optimised for their support needs. Blog post with more information.

          For enterprise-class deployments, TDF has strongly recommended the LibreOffice Enterprise family of applications from ecosystem partners—for desktop, mobile and cloud—with long-term support options, professional assistance, custom features and other benefits. See LibreOffice in business.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • RPushbullet 0.3.4: Small Update, Nicer Docs

          Release 0.3.4 of the RPushbullet package arrived on CRAN today. RPushbullet interfaces the neat Pushbullet service for inter-device messaging, communication, and more. It lets you easily send (programmatic) alerts like the one to the left to your browser, phone, tablet, … – or all at once.

          This release contains a contributed PR to better reflect an error code, and adds a mkdocs-material-based documentation site (just like a few other packages of mine). See below for more details.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppSimdJson 0.1.4 on CRAN: Small Bugfix

          A quick note to say that we finalized a bugfix release 0.1.5 of RcppSimdJson yesterday which got onto CRAN earlier today. RcppSimdJson wraps the fantastic and genuinely impressive simdjson library by Daniel Lemire and collaborators. Via very clever algorithmic engineering to obtain largely branch-free code, coupled with modern C++ and newer compiler instructions, it results in parsing gigabytes of JSON parsed per second which is quite mindboggling. The best-case performance is ‘faster than CPU speed’ as use of parallel SIMD instructions and careful branch avoidance can lead to less than one cpu cycle per byte parsed; see the video of the talk by Daniel Lemire at QCon (also voted best talk).

        • Remove First Character from String in JavaScript

          In the previous article, you have learned to remote last character of a string in JavaScript. If you are looking for remove last character from string, visit here. This tutorial describe you to how to remove first character of a string in JavaScript. You can choose any one of the following methods.

        • Fortran newsletter: March 2021

          Welcome to the March 2021 edition of the monthly Fortran newsletter. The newsletter comes out at the beginning of every month and details Fortran news from the previous month.

        • Qt

          • Qt 6.1 Beta Released

            I am pleased to announce that we released the first beta of Qt 6.1 today. As the first feature update in the Qt 6 series, Qt 6.1 adds some important new functionality and brings support for multiple additional libraries. We will continue to provide subsequent beta releases via the online installer throughout the beta phase.

          • Qt 6.1 Beta Released With Porting More Modules To Qt6 – Phoronix

            The first beta is out today of the forthcoming Qt 6.1 toolkit.

            It’s not even been three months yet since the official release of Qt 6.0 while Qt 6.1 Beta has already arrived as part of the expedited Qt 6 releases this year in trying to button things up so that more developers are ready to migrate their codebases from Qt 5 to Qt 6 with remaining gaps being filled.

            It was in mid-February that Qt 6.1 Alpha was released as part of the v6.1 release schedule that aims to officially ship Qt 6.1.0 by the end of April.

          • Qt for MCUs – A perfect development platform for the fitness industry

            Historically, the fitness industry has been extremely commoditized, especially in the cardiovascular equipment space. The main cardiovascular products [treadmill, upright stationary bike, recumbent stationary bike, and elliptical machine] have minor differences among the different product brands. For example, a treadmill is made up of a deck, deck cushioning, belt, motor, uprights with handrails, heartrate monitor, tray, “Deadman’s switch” key clip, power switch with cord, and console. These parts are considered “table stakes” meaning every treadmill, regardless of brand, has them.

        • Python

          • Python Developers Survey 2020 Results | JetBrains: Developer Tools for Professionals and Teams

            This is the fourth iteration of the official annual Python Developers Survey, conducted as a collaborative effort between the Python Software Foundation and JetBrains. In October 2020, more than 28,000 Python developers and enthusiasts from almost 200 countries/regions took the survey to reveal the current state of the language and the ecosystem around it.

          • Python Developer Survey Highlights

            The annual Python Developers Survey, conducted by the Python Software Foundation and JetBrains, explores Python usage among 28,000 Python developers from almost 200 countries and regions.

            According to this year’s results, 85% of survey respondents use Python as their main programming language. Additionally, JavaScript is the most popular language to combine with Python, with 75% of web developers using both. “Together with HTML/CSS, Bash/Shell, and SQL, they create a stack of languages where 2 out of every 5 Python devs are using at least one of them,” the report states.

          • 3 features that debuted in Python 3.0 you should use now

            This is the first in a series of articles about features that first appeared in a version of Python 3.x. Python 3.0 was first released in 2008, and even though it has been out for a while, many of the features it introduced are underused and pretty cool. Here are three you should know about.

            [...]

            Python 3.0 and its later versions have been out for more than 12 years, but some of its features are underutilized. In the next article in this series, I’ll look at three more of them.

          • How to Plot Data in Pandas Python – Linux Hint

            Data visualization plays an important role in data analysis. Pandas is a strong data analysis library in python for data science. It provides various options for data visualization with .plot() method. Even if you are a beginner, you can easily plot your data using the Pandas library. You need to import the pandas and matplotlib.pyplot package for data visualization.

            In this article, we will explore various data plotting methods by using the Pandas python. We have executed all examples on the pycharm source code editor by using the matplotlib.pyplot package.

            [...]

            In this article, you have seen how to plot DataFrames in Pandas python. Different kinds of plotting are performed in the above article. To plot more kinds such as box, hexbin, hist, kde, density, area, etc., you can use the same source code just by changing the plot kind.

        • Java

          • Learn Java with object orientation by building a classic Breakout game

            Several of my courses use Processing, a software engine that uses Java. Java is a great language for learning programming concepts, in part because it’s a strongly typed language.

            Despite being free to choose any language or framework for my Breakout project, I chose to continue in Java to apply what I’ve learned in my coursework. I also wanted to use a framework so that I did not need to do everything from scratch. I considered using Godot, but that would mean I would hardly need to program at all.

            Instead, I chose TotalCross. It is an open source software development kit (SDK) and framework with a simple game engine that generates code for Linux Arm devices (like the Raspberry Pi) and smartphones. Also, because I work for TotalCross, I have access to developers with much more experience than I have and know the platform very well. It seemed to be the safest way and, despite some strife, I don’t regret it one bit. It was very cool to develop the whole project and see it running on the phone and the Raspberry Pi.

  • Leftovers

    • Whistle While You Work?
    • A Modest Proposal for Establishing a Strategic Toddler Reserve

      How many times have we had the unfortunate experience of visiting the home of a dear friend or colleague, only to discover everything changed. The warm embrace is replaced by a distracted, beckoning wave; the smartly arranged chambers are now an untidy mess; the well-crafted libations have changed into beer in cans or wine from a box; engaged dinner conversation about politics, art and letters is now a litany of complaints from the host about lack of time, constant exhaustion and frequent bouts of influenza. The source of the unwelcome change is soon apparent; lurking behind our hosts’ skirts and trousers is a child of 1-3 years of age, the toddler.

    • The Hijacking of Perl.com

      For a week we lost control of the Perl.com domain. Now that the incident has died down, we can explain some of what happened and how we handled it. This incident only affected the domain ownership of Perl.com and there was no other compromise of community resources. This website was still there, but DNS was handing out different IP numbers.

      First, this wasn’t an issue of not renewing the domain. That would have been a better situation for us because there’s a grace period.

      Second, to be very clear, I’m just an editor for the website that uses the Perl.com domain. This means that I’m not actually the “injured party” in legal terms. Tom Christiansen is the domain registrant, and should legal matters progress, there’s no reason for me, nor anyone else, to know all of the details. However, I’ve talked to many of the people involved in the process.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘Opponents of Medicare for All Are Deathly Afraid’

        Even if the near-term dream of getting a Medicare for All (M4A) champion into the White House ended with the defeat of Senator Bernie Sanders’s 2020 primary campaign, the fight to win single-payer health care financing in the United States is far from over. The House and Senate M4A bills have over 100 Democratic cosponsors, and Congress’s insurgent left flank is growing. Voters still voice strong support for the reform, and continue to prioritize health care above nearly any other political issue. Meanwhile, a year into the global Covid-19 pandemic, the inequalities at the heart of the market-driven health care system have never been more apparent—and no single policy is better equipped to combat them than M4A.

      • How Inequity Gets Built Into America’s Vaccination System

        It’s a fact that simply being eligible for a vaccine in America doesn’t mean that you can instantly get one. Yet the ability to get to the front of the line isn’t the same for everyone. ProPublica has found that, whether intentionally or not, some vaccine programs have been designed with inherent barriers that disadvantage many people who are most at risk of dying from the disease, exacerbating inequities in access to health care.

        In many regions of the U.S., it’s much more difficult to schedule a vaccine appointment if you do not have access to the internet. In some areas, drive-through vaccinations are the only option, excluding those who do not have cars or someone who can give them a ride. In other places, people who do not speak English are having trouble getting information from government hotlines and websites. One state is even flat-out refusing to allow undocumented workers with high-risk jobs to get prioritized for vaccination.

      • COVID-19 vaccines, prion disease, and Alzheimer’s: Another old antivax lie is new again

        Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began and antivaxxers made common cause with COVID-19 cranks, deniers, and conspiracy theorists, I’ve been repeating a simple message: Everything old is new again. The pandemic has resulted in a lot of scientists and other people paying attention to the antivaccine movement in a way that they never have before. Many of these newbies have been amazed at some of the antivaccine misinformation and disinformation that have been spread about the new COVID-19 vaccines. False antivax claims about these vaccines include a veritable antivax “greatest hits” of pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, and distortions, a veritable playbook of claims that COVID-19 vaccines kill, cause miscarriages and/or infertility, cause autoimmune disease, “permanently alter your DNA“, are unnecessary because COVID-19 is not dangerous, that the number of cases are exaggerated, and that the vaccines are filled with “toxins” (in the case of the mRNA vaccines, the lipid nanoparticles used to encapsulate the mRNA coding for COVID-19 spike protein). Now two more famous antivax claims from the past are popping up in my social media feeds, and they are related. I’m referring to the false claim that the COVID-19 vaccines cause prion disease and that they cause Alzheimer’s disease. We have “immunologist” Dr. J. Bart Classen to thank for this disinformation and antivaxxers like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. for spreading it.

      • Sovereign 2: Could Cuba’s Covid Vaccine Break Big Pharma’s Grip on Production?

        The worldwide Covid vaccine rollout has gone anything but smoothly, with only a handful of countries able to immunize even 10% of their populations yet with a first dose. Two primary causes of this have been rich nations hoarding precious doses and their refusal to waive the intellectual property rights to their creations, both of which have led to massive shortages across the world, particularly in the global south.

      • Every tenth teenager in Finland shows symptoms of problematic social media use

        As per the study, over 9 per cent of young Finns exhibit problematic behaviour related to social media and 34 per cent are at high risk for the same. The research included data from 3,400 Finnish students aged 11, 13 and 15, who participated in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) school survey.

      • Twitter to label posts with vaccine misinformation

        Twitter is also implementing a strike system for its broader policy on coronavirus vaccine misinformation, where more than one violation will lead to accounts being locked and five or more will trigger permanent suspensions.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Official Evernote Application For Linux Available For Download (Beta)

          Let me start by telling you a bit about Evernote, in case you’ve never heard of it (which is weird, because this is a quite popular application). Evernote is an application for note-taking, organizing, task management, and archiving. Using it you can create notes using text, drawings, add photographs, audio, or web content. Each note can be tagged, annotated, edited, searched, given attachments, and exported. The application is free to use (but not free, open source software) with monthly usage limits, or you can use a paid plan. Up until recently, Evernote was available for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Android and iOS.

        • Security

          • Best Secure Linux Distros for Enhanced Privacy & Security

            As we transition to an increasingly digital society, privacy and security have become areas of central concern – not a day goes by that we aren’t bombarded with security news headlines about hacks, breaches and the increasingly common and worrisome practice of storing and monitoring sensitive personal information, often without users’ consent.

            Luckily for us Linux users, the general consensus among experts is that Linux is a highly secure OS – arguably the most secure OS. While all Linux “distros” – or distributed versions of Linux software – are secure by design, certain distros go above and beyond when it comes to protecting users’ privacy and security. We’ve put together a list of our favorite specialized secure Linux distros and spoken with some of their lead developers to find out first-hand what makes these distros so great. This article aims to help you evaluate your options and select the distro that best meets your individual needs.

          • Is Your Browser Extension a Botnet Backdoor?

            A company that rents out access to more than 10 million Web browsers so that clients can hide their true Internet addresses has built its network by paying browser extension makers to quietly include its code in their creations. This story examines the lopsided economics of extension development, and why installing an extension can be such a risky proposition.

          • Security updates for Tuesday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (bind, intel-ucode, ipmitool, isync, openssl, python, python-cryptography, python-httplib2, salt, tar, and thrift), Fedora (ansible, salt, webkit2gtk3, and wpa_supplicant), Oracle (bind), Red Hat (bind, kernel, and kpatch-patch), Scientific Linux (bind), SUSE (firefox, gnome-autoar, java-1_8_0-ibm, java-1_8_0-openjdk, nodejs10, open-iscsi, perl-XML-Twig, python-cryptography, and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (bind9).

          • Malicious NPM packages target Amazon, Slack with new dependency attacks [Ed: Microsoft delivering malware again, but the media (actually a Microsoft propaganda site in this case) does not mention Microsoft (similar to this)]

            Last month, BleepingComputer reported that security researcher Alex Birsan earned bug bounties from 35 companies by utilizing a new flaw in open-source development tools.

          • Working Spectre exploits for Windows and Linux devices uncovered

            A security researcher has discovered several working Spectre exploits that were uploaded to the VirusTotal database last month. Spectre, along with Meltdown, are two extremely severe hardware vulnerabilities that affect Intel, IBM POWER, and some ARM-based processors.

            While Intel has since implemented hardware mitigations for the vulnerability in newer processors, older ones have to rely on software fixes that come with a performance penalty, which prevents its blanket use. This means that there’s still a large number of systems that are vulnerable to the recently discovered exploits by security researcher Julien Voisin.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • EU Commission to Propose Vaccine Passports for Travel in Europe

              The European Union’s executive arm said Monday it will propose rules for a passport to allow those who have been vaccinated or recently tested for COVID-19 to travel for work or tourism throughout the region.

              From her Twitter account, EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said legislation will be presented later this month for the digital pass, which she called a “green pass,” that hopefully could help EU member nations rebuild their tourism industries.

            • Confidentiality

              • Spectre exploits in the “wild”

                Someone was silly enough to upload a working spectre (CVE-2017-5753) exploit for Linux (there is also a Windows one with symbols that I didn’t look at.) on VirusTotal last month, so here is my quick Sunday afternoon lazy analysis.

                The binary has its -h option stripped, likely behind a #define to avoid detection, but some of its parameters are obvious, like specifying what file to leak, or the kernel base address. The authors didn’t check (or care) that the logging function hasn’t been entirely optimized out, leaving a bunch of strings helping in the reversing process.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • A Disability Day of Mourning: Remembering the Murdered and the Vulnerable

        In 2012, Elizabeth Hodgins shot and killed her 22-year-old son, George, in his childhood bedroom in Sunnyvale, Calif. She then turned the gun on herself. Although she murdered her own child, local news described Elizabeth Hodgins as a “devoted and loving mother.” George, on the other hand, was called “low functioning and high maintenance.” George was autistic, and article after article reinforced a single message: His disability made George somehow responsible for his own death. Another mother who knew the Hodgins family told the San Jose Mercury News: “We don’t know what caused this mother to do this. But every mother I know who has a child with special needs has a moment just like that.”

      • Coup-supporting academics spread lies to censor The Grayzone reporting exposing Ecuador’s pseudo-left candidate Yaku Pérez
      • The “Murder” of John Hunt Morgan: “You Have Just Killed the Best Man in the Confederacy!”

        It was getting dark.

        It was December 1862 in Tennessee.

      • Opinion | Living Up Close and Personal With Our Endless Wars

        Perspectives on the storming of the Capitol from a military spouse.

      • After Years of Propaganda, American Views of Russia and China Hit Historic Lows

        A new Gallup poll finds that U.S. public opinion on China and Russia has crashed to all time lows. Only 20% of Americans hold favorable views towards China. This is a remarkable decline, considering that only three years ago, the majority of the country saw the Asian giant in a positive light. The public image of Russia is barely any better, with just 22% of the country viewing the world’s largest nation in favorable terms and 77% holding unfavorable views towards the country.

      • Coup Leaders, Aung San Suu Kyi Betrayed Democracy in Burma

        However, despite the endless talk about democratization, Burma was, in the years leading up to the coup, far from being a true democracy.

        Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the country’s erstwhile ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), has done very little to bring about meaningful change since she was designated State Counselor.

      • Opinion | Coup Leaders, Aung San Suu Kyi Betrayed Democracy in Burma

        Though we must insist that the return to rule by the military in Burma is unacceptable, we must equally demand that Burma embraces true democracy for all of its citizens, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion.

      • Burmese Scholar: Military Junta Using Terror Against “Entire Population” to Keep Power After Coup

        In Burma, mass protests continue after at least 18 people were killed in anti-coup protests, marking the deadliest day since the February 1 military coup which deposed and detained de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Police fired live ammunition into crowds as Burmese forces steadily escalated their crackdown. One local group says 1,000 people were arrested, including journalists and medical professionals. “The coup group and the entire security sector … have essentially terrorized the entire population,” says Maung Zarni, a Burmese scholar, dissident and human rights activist. “I have seen absolutely nothing like what is happening.”

      • Biden “Illegally” Bombs Iranian-Backed Militias in Syria, Jeopardizing Nuclear Talks with Tehran

        The Biden administration is facing intense criticism from U.S. progressives after carrying out airstrikes on eastern Syria said to be targeting Iranian-backed militia groups. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports at least 22 people died. The Pentagon called the assault a response to recent rocket attacks on U.S. forces in northern Iraq. Those attacks came more than a year after Iraq’s parliament voted to expel U.S. troops — an order ignored by both the Trump and Biden administrations. “Very quickly the Biden administration is falling into the same old patterns of before, of responding to this and that without having a clear strategy that actually would extract us from these various conflicts and actually pave the way for much more productive diplomacy,” says Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute. We also speak with California Congressmember Ro Khanna, who says President Biden’s recent airstrikes in Syria lacked legal authority. “This is not an ambiguous case. The administration’s actions are clearly illegal under the United States’ law and under international law,” says Khanna.

      • John K. Wilson and Abby Martin – The Project Censored Show
      • Nigeria’s school abductions: Why children are being targeted

        Until now, kidnap victims have generally been road travellers in Nigeria’s north-west, who pay between $20 and $200,000 for their freedom, but since the well-publicised abduction in 2014 of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok secondary school by Boko Haram Islamist militants in Borno state, more armed groups have resorted to mass abduction of students.

      • Exclusive: Night-time satellite images show Chinese buildup in Depsang

        The post was established after the 1962 war and has seen consistent upgrades over the past few years.

        The latest imagery suggests that its main building has seen additional auxiliary structures, camps, vehicles and fencing since August 2020.

      • Bandits: Kidnapping school students is lesser evil – Sheikh Gumi

        Controversial Islamic Scholar, Ahmad Gumi on Monday described the kidnapping of school children by bandits as lesser evil.

        Gumi said kidnapping school students was a lesser evil when compared to the ransacking of towns and killing of its residents.

        He made the remark while featuring on BBC Pidgin.

    • Environment

      • Opinion | The Most Effective Method of Minimizing the Impacts of Climate Change Is Ensuring That Everyone’s Basic Needs Are Met

        We must attend to the structural injustices that immiserate so much of this country.

      • ‘The Time Is Now’: Survey Finds Overwhelming International Support for Greater Environmental Protection Ahead of UN Climate Conference

        “We face huge challenges protecting the environment, but global public opinion may no longer be chief among them.”

      • ‘Run The Oil Industry In Reverse’: Fighting Climate Change By Farming Kelp

        In the race to stall or even reverse global warming, new efforts are in the works to pull carbon dioxide out of the air and put it somewhere safe.

        One startup in Maine has a vision that is drawing attention from scientists and venture capitalists alike: to bury massive amounts of seaweed at the bottom of the ocean, where it will lock away carbon for thousands of years.

        The company is called Running Tide Technologies, and it’s prototyping the concept this winter. On a recent day in the Gulf of Maine, boat captain Rob Odlin says the task itself isn’t much different from any other in his seafaring career, whether chasing tuna or harvesting lobster.

      • British American Tobacco’s Illegal Smokes Burn Through Mali’s Quest for Self-Determination

        Shortly after separatist militant groups took northern Mali in 2012, British American Tobacco (BAT) began flooding the West African nation with unbranded packs of cigarettes aided by another large tobacco company and the French-backed Malian state. The smuggled smokes arrive through ports in neighboring Guinea, Togo, and Benin from where they are transported to distribution points inside Mali and moved across the Sahara into Libya, Algeria, and Europe by an assortment of rebel militias, al Qaeda offshoots, and jihadists in a hugely profitable enterprise, that is further fragmenting the former French colony.

      • Green Party urges Chancellor to make polluters pay in Spring Budget

        Ahead of Rishi Sunak’s Budget announcement on Wednesday (3 March), the Greens have put forward their proposals to shift the economy towards more urgent climate action while also ensuring support is provided to those who are suffering the most during the Covid crisis. [1]

      • Biden’s Tough Stance on China Will Lead to Global Climate Doom

        Slowing the pace of climate change and getting “tough” on China, especially over its human rights abuses and unfair trade practices, are among the top priorities President Biden has announced for his new administration. Evidently, he believes that he can tame a rising China with harsh pressure tactics, while still gaining its cooperation in areas of concern to Washington. As he wrote in Foreign Affairs during the presidential election campaign, “The most effective way to meet that challenge is to build a united front of US allies and partners to confront China’s abusive behaviors and human rights violations, even as we seek to cooperate with Beijing on issues where our interests converge, such as climate change.” If, however, our new president truly believes that he can build an international coalition to gang up on China and secure Beijing’s cooperation on climate change, he’s seriously deluded. Indeed, though he could succeed in provoking a new cold war, he won’t prevent the planet from heating up unbearably in the process.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • The Villain Leshner

        Hart originally enlisted, he recounts, because “It was clear to me that the poverty and crime in the resource-poor community from which I came was a direct result of recreational drug use and addiction. I reasoned that if I could stop people from taking drugs, especially by fixing their broken brains, I could fix the poverty and crime in my community.” Over the course of a decade, his own research and a critical reading of colleagues’ papers led him to question whether recreational drug use inevitably causes brain damage.

        In a chapter called “Drug Addiction is Not a Brain Disease,” Hart reexamines some concepts he had accepted en route to a PhD in neuroscience and a professorship at Columbia. For example, “The overly simplistic idea… that when a person experiences pleasure, including from recreational drugs, they do so because the dopamine neurons in the nucleus accumbens have become active. Methamphetamine, for example, causes a release of dopamine in the brain region and this increased release is correlated with feelings of pleasure. This basic but highly incomplete knowledge essentially led me, and many, many others, to conclude that there must exist discernible and meaningful brain differences, especially in these dopamine-rich areas, between those who use drugs and those who do not. These differences, I thought, must be the cause of addiction and other problems related to drug use.

      • Financial Reserves and the Racial Wealth Gap

        There is excellent research on how the Black-white wealth gap left Black households more vulnerable (see resources below).  But let’s consider the racial wealth divide in financial reserves as measure of precariousness as the U.S. entered into the pandemic.  A much higher percentage of Black and Latino households are part of the vulnerable “underwater nation,” with zero or negative wealth.

        According to the most recent Federal Reserve data, 14 percent of white households had zero or negative wealth.  An estimated 28 percent of Black households had zero or negative wealth, twice the level of whites. And 26 percent of Latino households had zero or negative wealth.

      • To Help Fund Covid Recovery and Redress Inequality, Warren Unveils Wealth Tax on ‘Ultra-Millionaires’ and Billionaires

        “A wealth tax is popular among voters on both sides for good reason: because they understand the system is rigged to benefit the wealthy and large corporations,” said the Massachusetts Democrat.

      • Opinion | COVID-19 Has Exacerbated Extreme Levels of Inequality. It’s Time for a Billionaire Wealth Tax

        The US’s billionaires have amassed democracy-distorting concentrations of wealth and power as millions have been thrown into poverty.

      • ‘Failure to Deliver Is Not an Option’: Khanna, Omar, AOC, and 20 Other House Dems Push VP to Overrule Parliamentarian on $15 Wage

        “If we don’t overrule the Senate parliamentarian, we are condoning poverty wages for millions of Americans.”

      • ‘A Huge, Huge Deal’: Biden Issues Public Statement of Support for Alabama Amazon Workers Fighting for Union

        “We haven’t had this aggressive and positive of a statement from a president of the United States on behalf of workers in decades.”

      • Rep. Ro Khanna: Democrats Should Ignore the Senate Parliamentarian and Pass $15 Minimum Wage Hike

        The House of Representatives has voted to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package that includes an increase to the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour, which could now be stripped out in the final bill after the unelected Senate parliamentarian found it does not comply with budget rules. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have also said they’ll oppose the measure. Congressmember Ro Khanna of California says the parliamentarian “misruled” in this case and that Democrats should pass the wage hike anyway. “I don’t know any part of this country where someone can survive on $7.25,” he says. “There is precedent for not listening to the parliamentarian’s advice, and we are hopeful that the vice president, or whoever is in the Senate chair, will do that.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Reporter Extraordinaire: The Pioneering Pathways of James Ridgeway

        I have never met a more honest, meticulous, humble, and productive reporter so persistent in getting the hidden story out to the people, whatever the odds. For Jim, reporting what wasn’t going to get reported was his way of seeking justice for the downtrodden, the powerless, and everyone else unfairly afflicted.

        He broke many stories with his articles in the New Republic, the then formidable Village Voice, the Guardian, the Nation, CounterPunch and Mother Jones, among other publications that featured his terse, vivid prose.

      • A Rapidly-Globalizing World Needs Strengthened Global Governance

        These difficulties result from the global nature of the problems. An individual nation is unable to institute adequate measures to safeguard public health because diseases spread easily across national boundaries. Similarly, an individual nation cannot stave off the deterioration of the climate because the climate is a worldwide phenomenon. Furthermore, an individual nation cannot prevent warfare (including the drift to a disastrous nuclear war) because nations live in a state approaching international anarchy, with each relying on its own military strength to safeguard what it views as its national interests.

        Of course, the need for concerted global action to address global crises has long been recognized. At the end of World War II, when the most destructive conflict in world history demonstrated the limits of the nation-state system, world leaders created the United Nations to take on new tasks, particularly the task of fostering international security. And, to some extent, the UN has been successful in dealing with international problems. But over the decades since the founding of the UN, it has become obvious that the world organization is too weak and underfunded to meet all the challenges of a rapidly-globalizing world.

      • As White House Backs For the People Act, New Calls to Get Rid of Filibuster

        “The For the People Act could be the last best chance to fix our broken democracy,” Common Cause told lawmakers.

      • Biden Criticized for Lack of Transparency After Refusing to Publicize Virtual Visitor Logs

        “We’re in a pandemic. People meet by video conference instead of in person. Why offer to release visitor logs and then keep virtual meetings secret?” asked one watchdog.

      • Steve Cobble Waged a 50-Year Campaign for Justice and for Peace

        Steve Cobble was hailed as a political genius for his historic interventions on behalf of candidates from George McGovern to Bernie Sanders. Yet Cobble, who died Friday at age 69, always said he was just a long-haired student radical who turned to politics because he thought it might be the best way to stop wars and dismantle the military-industrial complex.

      • After a Decade of Misrule, the People of Haiti Have Had Enough

        On Sunday, the people in Port-au-Prince filled its broad boulevards, blowing the traditional celebratory one-note vaksen horn, waving Haitian flags and branches of trees, and singing improvised songs, as well as the rousing Haitian national anthem. And I mean “filled,” curb to curb and out of sight against the horizon, coming and coming. There were similar protests in six other cities in Haiti. The Port-au-Prince demonstration was not like the lesser, though important, protests we’ve seen in Haiti in recent years against cost-of-living increases and food prices and gas taxes and government corruption. This well-organized, massive protest was an economy-stopping, throat-swelling, regime-changing political demonstration, more like the ones that preceded and followed the ouster of the Duvalier dynasty in February 1986. “Aba diktati,” read many of the handwritten pancartes held up by people in the surging crowd. Down with dictatorship.

      • Governor Cuomo, Sexual Harassment, and Senator Gillibrand’s Silence

        The dam is breaking in New York as more people come forward with stories about Governor Andrew Cuomo. Aside from Assembly member Ron Kim, so far it’s mostly been young women—like Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett—with the least political capital taking all the fire. That includes their champions in the Legislature, Senators Alessandra Biaggi and Jessica Ramos, and Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou and others, who’ve been doing wall-to-wall media, breaking down the relationship between corruption, Covid, and workplace harassment, while the heavyweights in the state have to be dragged out of hiding.

      • Perspectives on the Storming of the Capitol from a Military Spouse

        Do a Google search and you’ll find very little suggesting that the January 6th attack on the Capitol in any way resembled a war. A notable exception: a Washington Postop-ed by former Missouri secretary of state and Afghanistan combat veteran Jason Kander. He saw that day’s violence for the combat it was and urged congressional representatives and others who bore the brunt of those “armed insurrectionists” to seek help (as, to his regret, he hadn’t done after his tours of duty in combat zones).

        Now, take a look back at that “riot” and tell me how it differs from a military attack: President Trump asked his supporters to “fight like hell” or “you’re not going to have a country anymore.” He swore he would go with them, though he didn’t, of course, just as those who launched and continued our “forever wars” of the last almost 20 years sent Americans to fight abroad without ever doing so themselves. Trump’s small army destroyed property with their metal baseball bats and other implements of aggression, in one case even planted pipe bombs near Republican and Democratic party headquarters (that didn’t go off), and looted congressional chambers, including carrying away House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern.

      • Trump Got Vaccinated Secretly, Because Otherwise He Might Have Helped the Country

        Maggie Haberman of the New York Times reported the news on Monday, noting that Trump and Melania got the vaccine all the way back in January, when they were still living in the White House. The news is more than a little frustrating considering the impact a public show of faith in the safety of the vaccine could have had on his supporters, who as it turns out are disproportionately hesitant to inoculate themselves.

      • Watch: Sacha Baron Cohen roasts “co-star” Rudy Giuliani during Golden Globes acceptance speech

        During awards acceptance speeches, it’s typical to hear someone thank their partner, their parents and maybe God — but “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” actor and director Sacha Baron Cohen spent a portion of one of his acceptance speeches at Sunday’s Golden Globes spotlighting the “work” of former New York mayor and Trump legal counsel Rudy Giuliani, who Baron Cohen credited as his “co-star” in the award-winning film.

      • YouTube Suspends Rudy Giuliani Again for Election Fraud Claims

        YouTube’s strikes system revokes a user’s uploading privileges for two weeks if they violate the company’s content policies for the second time within a 90-day period. If Giuliani runs afoul of the video site’s rules again in the same timespan, his channel will be permanently shut down. The former mayor was previously suspended in January for election misinformation, and YouTube temporarily prevented him from making money from ads that run with his videos.

      • Rudy Giuliani just lost his YouTube privileges for two weeks

        If Giuliani gets a third strike in the same 90-day period following the first, his channel will be permanently removed from YouTube, according to the company’s strikes policy.

      • YouTube Suspends Rudy Giuliani Again

        Rudy Giuliani has been suspended from YouTube again for continuing to push falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election.

        The personal lawyer for Donald Trump will not be allowed to upload videos to his channel for two weeks amid his continuing crusade against the outcome of the election, which Trump lost to President Joe Biden. YouTube also cited his apparent promotion of nicotine for the suspension.

      • France’s former President Nicolas Sarkozy convicted of corruption, sentenced to jail

        The court said Sarkozy is entitled to request to be detained at home with an electronic bracelet.

      • BREAKING: Nigerian govt jams Radio Biafra in Lagos

        “The illegal Radio, which broadcasts incendiary messages, is notorious for spewing fake, inflammatory and inciting content”, a statement read.

      • UN experts urge international probe of Navalny poisoning

        Agnes Callamard, the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, and Irene Khan, the top expert on freedom of opinion and expression, insisted on the need to ensure accountability for the “sinister poisoning”.

        They demanded Navalny’s “immediate release” from a Russian penal colony, where he was transferred last week from a Moscow prison.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Mote in Your Own Eye

        This blog remains, as far as I am aware, blocked in Russia. (Am receiving messages it is not currently blocked, at least on several major ISPs, which is good news). It is, to the best of my knowledge, the only western political blog of wide readership which advocates stripping Russia of all the colonial possessions it obtained contemporaneously with, indeed in competition with, the growth of the British Empire. That a blog which champions Independence for, inter alia, Dagestan, Chechnya and Tatarstan, and which says Crimea should be given back to the Tatars, is condemned by the political Establishment as pro-Kremlin is, on the face of it, paradoxical.

      • Utah Prematurely Tries To Dance On Section 230′s Grave And Shows What Unconstitutional Garbage Will Follow If We Kill It

        As Mike has explained, just about every provision of the social media moderation bill being proposed in the Utah legislature violates the First Amendment by conditioning platforms’ editorial discretion over what appears on its services—discretion that the First Amendment protects—on meeting a bunch of extra requirements Utah has decided to impose. This post is about how everything Utah proposes is also barred by Section 230, and why it matters.

      • 6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published anymore because they portray people in ‘hurtful and wrong’ ways
    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Moscow judges are getting meaner New investigative report by ‘Proekt’ shows how the capital’s courts are harsher than ever against arrested protesters

        Moscow judges are losing their patience with political activists. A new investigative report by Proekt found that the capital’s courts are now jailing arrested demonstrators far more often than in years past. Journalists studied case records involving suspects arrested at opposition rallies earlier this year and at protests in 2017 and 2019, when similar-size crowds turned out against corruption and election fraud, respectively. Despite the fact that half of the records for the 2021 cases are still unpublished, Proekt collected evidence showing that Moscow judges are now much harsher in trials involving protesters.

      • Culpability and Recalibration: MBS and the Killing of Jamal Khashoggi

        This state sanctioned killing was a vile, clumsy effort against a journalist and critic of a person who has come to be affectionately known in brown nosing circles as MBS, the ambitious, bratty Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.  Since then, every effort has been made on his part, and his followers, to repel suggestions of guilt or involvement.

        It is worth remembering how the narratives were initially developed.  First, the killing was denied as a libel against the kingdom.  “Mr Khashoggi,” claimed an official statement from the Saudi authorities, “visited the consulate to request paperwork related to his marital status and exited shortly thereafter.”  Then, his death was accepted, but deemed the result of a dreadful accident in which the men in question had overstepped.  The death subsequently became the work of a blood thirsty gang of sadists who had acted on their own volition or, as US President Donald Trump called them, “rogue killers”.

      • Khashoggi fiancee demands punishment for Saudi prince

        But the United States stopped short of applying sanctions against the 35-year-old de facto Saudi leader, known by his initials MBS.

      • U.S. Says Saudi Crown Prince MBS Approved Assassination of Khashoggi, But He Avoids Any Sanctions

        The Biden administration has released a declassified report that finds Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, responsible for the assassination of Saudi dissident and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. But the U.S. does not plan to sanction the crown prince, though the administration has announced travel restrictions to dozens of other Saudi officials. The decision is being criticized by human rights groups and friends of the late Khashoggi. “It’s important to not point fingers but also to sanction MBS … and to treat him as the pariah he is, like Biden promised during the campaign,” says Abdullah Alaoudh, who works as a researcher for Democracy for the Arab World Now, or DAWN, the organization founded by Khashoggi. We also speak with California Congressmember Ro Khanna, who welcomes the release of the report. “They need to follow that up with concrete action,” he says. “At the very least, MBS shouldn’t be allowed to come to the United States.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Roku to Buy Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising Business

        Nielsen’s AVA business includes includes the measurement firm’s automatic content recognition (ACR) and dynamic ad insertion (DAI) technologies, and supports addressable advertising efforts, which seek to match marketers with consumers that fit specific targets (i.e. shopping for a new car, expecting a baby, etc) and automatically insert more relevant ads into the programs they are watching.

        The deal “will accelerate Roku’s launch of an end-to-end DAI solution with TV programmers,” the company says. At the same time, Roku and Nielsen have struck a deal to integrate Nielsen’s advertising and content measurement products into Roku boxes, allowing for more data and precision around what content and ads Roku users are viewing. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    • Monopolies

      • What the AT&T Breakup Teaches Us About a Big Tech Breakup

        In the world of antitrust, the calls to “break up” Big Tech companies translate to the fairly standard remedy of “structural separation,” where companies are barred from selling services and competing with the buyers of those services (for example, rail companies have been forced to stop selling freight services that compete with their own customers). It has been done before as part of the fight against communication monopolies. However, history shows us that the real work is not just breaking up companies, but following through afterward.

        In order to make sure that the Internet becomes a space for innovation and competition, there has to be a vision of an ideal ecosystem. When we look back at the United States’ previous move from telecom monopoly into what can best be described as “regulated competition,” we can learn a lot of lessons—good and bad—about what can be done post-breakup.

        Cast your mind back, back to when AT&T was a giant corporation. No, further back. When AT&T was the world’s largest corporation and the telephone monopoly. In the 1970s, AT&T resembled Big Tech companies in scale, significance, and influence.

      • Ant’s Employees Expected a Windfall. They Got Unsellable Shares

        But now employees of Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co. are stuck holding shares so difficult to value that even the company itself is struggling to determine a fair price. It has shelved a share buyback program for current and departing staff, in part because of uncertainty over how to value the company, according to Ant executives familiar with the matter.

      • Patents

        • In Claim Construction: Module Means Means

          Rain and Samsung agree that this case comes down to claim construction. And, as typical, the patentee is attempting to thread the needle with a construction that is broad enough to be infringed, but narrow and specific enough to avoid invalidation. The district court construed one term narrowly — resulting in no infringement. On appeal, the Federal Circuit focused on a separate term — and found its indefiniteness rendered the claim invalid.

          Rain’s US Patent 9,805,349 covers a method for delivering apps via a computer network using a webstore and server authentication. The claim requires “a user identification module configured to control access of said one or more software application packages.” If you have been following patent claim construction over the past decade: You know that the focus here will be whether this “module” limitation invokes 35 U.S.C. § 112 ¶ 6 as a means-plus-function term. And, if so, is it indefinite for failing to provide sufficient structural support in the specification.

          Normally, patent claims are expected to spell out the actual structure of the invention — not just its function. However, § 112 ¶ 6 (now renamed § 112(f)) allows a patentee to avoid adding those specifics in combination claims by including an element “as a means or step for performing a specified function without the recital of structure, material, or acts in support thereof.” The statute goes on to include an important caveat, the element “shall be construed to cover the corresponding structure, material, or acts described in the specification and equivalents thereof.” The statute does not spell-out what happens when the specification lacks any corresponding structure — but the courts have filled the gap. A means-plus-function claim that lacks corresponding structural disclosure in the specification is deemed invalid as indefinite.

          [...]

          During prosecution the patent examiner had expressly stated that the limitation “does not invoke 112, 6th paragraph, or 112(f).” However, the examiner’s somewhat cryptic reasoning was that a 112(f) means limitation cannot exist within a method claim. On appeal, the Federal Circuit noted the examiner’s error: “Applicants are free to invoke § 112 ¶ 6 for a claim term nested in a method claim.”

        • Sisvel vs. Haier: Federal court raises bar for implementers in SEP disputes

          At the end of November 2020, in the ongoing Sisvel vs. Haier dispute, the German Federal Court of Justice ruled that Haier had infringed a second Sisvel SEP. Furthermore, the court decided that the Chinese mobile phone manufacturer did not make sufficient efforts to obtain a FRAND licence, in order to be entitled to a FRAND licence (case ID: K ZR 35/17). Now, the court has published its decision with detailed reasons.

          In 2014, Sisvel filed a suit against Haier in Germany for the infringement of two European patents. These protect the GPRS and UMTS mobile communications standards. In its latest decision, the Federal Court of Justice has thus reinstated a previous ruling of the Regional Court Düsseldorf.

          Therefore, Sisvel is entitled to receive injunctive relief and damages by February. The disputed patent EP 12 64 504 expired just over a month ago.

          Under the name “FRAND Einwand II,” the latest ruling will be decisive for future SEP suits in Germany. The highest German patent court has set a new doctrine in SEP and FRAND disputes, summarised as “Increased requirements for licence willingness for implementers”.

        • A chaotic start to the eEQEs [Ed: EQE again, but IP Kat actively censored reports about the real EQE scandal, which involved EPO corruption]

          Today is the first day of the online EQE (eEQE), following on from Monday’s online pre-EQE . Unfortunately, it seems that things have not begun well. Reports have reached this Kat that some candidates experienced significant issues with the online system during the first session of Paper D today.

          The EQE Examination Secretariat has chosen to carry out the European exams using a more advanced online set-up than that used by the PEB last year for the UK patent exams (which, in the end, turned out to be nothing more than a Zoom chat room for candidates and invigilators (IPKat)). The EPO is instead using the WISEflow system in combination with the “LockDown browser”. The online proctoring system for the eEQE combines human and software based invigilation. As usual, Delta Patents has done a sterling job of keeping candidates informed in the run up to the European examinations.

          [...]

          It is as of yet unclear how many candidates were unable to access the question paper in the appropriate language, or how long it took for all candidates to receive the correct paper. There will undoubtedly be calls for the Examination Secretariat to compensate those affected.

          Let’s hope the EPO are able to sort out some of these teething problems by tomorrow’s exam. At the very least, it seems that better communication from invigilators might help to alleviate some of the stress experienced by candidates during the course of the exam itself.

        • A welcome statement of diverse views or a damning indictment of a hopelessly fractured system? On the EU SEPs Expert Group report and the state of SEP licensing

          Patents covering standards – Standard essential patents (SEPs) – offer their owners R&D incentives/rewards in the form of time-limited monopolistic rights; in contrast, technology standards must be used widely by all players in the market to ensure interoperability. The relationship between patents and standards is thus one of potential, and often actual, conflict.

          In the absence of a framework to promote harmonious licensing, SEP owners could, if they wish, use the patent enforcement system to ‘hold up’ or prevent their competitors from launching rival products that use the same standards. There is a related risk that the exercise of monopoly power by SEP owners could lead to the need for implementers to obtain multiple licences (known as the problem of ‘royalty-stacking’).

          The need to obtain multiple licences is particularly evident when it comes to multi-component ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) products that contain many parts, including home devices, game consoles, personal computers, smartphones, and automobiles. In these circumstances a variety of manufacturers are involved in the production process, forming a hierarchical supply chain. The risk of ‘hold-up’ is high in these industries.

          To minimise risks SEP owners typically must commit to licensing their SEPs on ‘FRAND’ terms (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory). Of course, it occurs frequently that the parties cannot agree on what the FRAND terms should be, which can lead to acrimonious disputes and costly litigation. Guidelines on FRAND from independent policy-makers or courts can be useful to provide a measure of clarity to negotiating parties.

        • FOSS Patents: Law profs to Federal Circuit: China’s antisuit injunction case law is consistent and compatible with U.S. approach, Ericsson’s anti-antisuit injunction against Samsung should be overturned

          Many people in other parts of the world, especially in Europe, don’t like to hear this, but this world isn’t as multipolar as some would have it. Instead, there are simply two economic superpowers, the U.S. and China, who are rivals in many ways and whose political systems are fundamentally different, but quite often it is in their interest to work together. Coopetition, so to speak.

          Ignorant of that reality, the anti-antisuit injunction Ericsson obtained in the Eastern District of Texas against Samsung’s antisuit injunction from the Wuhan Intermediate People’s Court is premised on a disdain for China as a patent jurisdiction–and the underlying assumption that what’s good for China must be bad for the U.S., and vice versa. Like a zero-sum game. The Texas court also wrongly accused Samsung of hypocrisy due to a misunderstanding that happened to me as well: Samsung’s requests for U.S. import bans (in response to similar petitions by Ericsson) didn’t involve SEPs.

          Antisuit injunctions (ASIs), anti-antisuit injunctions (A2Sis), anti-anti-antisuit injunctions (A4SIs) and recently even anti-anti-anti-anti-antisuit injunctions (A4SIs; see this Juve Patent article of Februar 26 on a Munich ruling) are a mess–if not mayhem–that needs to be addressed through an international treaty sooner or later (sooner if you ask me, but definitely not in the form of mandatory arbitration). Until a sustainable solution has been put in place, the question is when a national court should defer to a foreign court–or keep escalating until someone will issue an A5SI, A6SI or whatever else might earn an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.

          Are U.S. interests served by the Federal Circuit lifting the A2SI from Texas, or by affirmance?

        • Software Patents

          • Tough year ahead for Nokia, Ericsson moving ahead: analyst

            “Not only is Nokia absent from the key Chinese RAN market, it is also struggling in North America due to lower volumes due to its reduced market share and price erosion, which is higher in North America than other parts of the world,” owen said. “In addition, the vendor expects significant currency headwinds during 2021.

            “On a more positive note, [we] believe that Nokia has a very competitive mid-band RAN portfolio and there could be some upside following the completion of the C-band auctions in the US. In Europe, Nokia is gaining market share due to the absence of Chinese vendors.”

          • $2,000 for Media Chain prior art

            On February 18, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 10,885,154. The patent is owed by Media Chain LLC, an NPE. The ’154 patent generally relates to systems and methods for monetizing the reproduction of digital media content for the rights-holders of the digital media content. The ’154 patent is being asserted against Roku in the Western District of Texas.

      • Copyrights

        • Taylor Swift, Evermore Theme Park Dispute Escalates As Swift’s Team Countersues

          In early February, we discussed an extremely dumb lawsuit brought by a theme park in Utah called Evermore against Taylor Swift, who recently released an album called Evermore. The whole thing is buckets of stupid, with the Evermore theme park claiming that because it released a couple of songs on Apple Music, this somehow puts them in the same marketplace as Taylor Swift. Then there were complaints that Swift’s album pushed search results down for the theme park, which doesn’t trademark infringement make.

        • The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 78: Jennifer Jenkins on What Copyright Term Extension Could Mean for Canada

          Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, February 24, 2020

        • US Court: Pirate Streaming Sites Operator Must Pay $16.8m in Damages

          A court in Texas has handed down a significant judgment against the operator of several ‘pirate’ streaming sites that offered content in breach of copyright law. In addition to statutory damages amounting to $16.8m, a broad injunction orders domain seizures and prevents most Internet companies from doing business with the sites’ operator.

        • ‘US Government Should Protect the Public from Copyright Extremes’

          The Re:Create Coalition has sent a letter to the new US Congress, warning lawmakers that heavy-handed copyright policies can do more harm than good. The group wants to keep current DMCA safe harbors in place but encourages penalties for abusive and fraudulent takedown notices. In addition, copyright law should be amended to prevent Internet disconnections based on one-sided piracy accusations.

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  3. Links 12/5/2021: HAProxy Data Plane API 2.3 and Mousepad 0.5.5

    Links for the day



  4. IBM is Destroying Red Hat, Squeezing Red Hat's Work for Cash, Laying Off Staff, and Asking Staff to Resign

    Layoffs are not a new thing at IBM (hardly so in the past couple of decades or more), but they're oversensitive about the Red Hat agenda



  5. [Meme] Longing for the Original IP Kat...

    It would be nice to see more posts critical of injustice at the EPO, as we've just noted



  6. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 2: Just Another Pro Forma Rubber-Stamping Exercise?

    Half a decade after Benoît Battistelli ‘kidnapped’ and then defamed judges (it started in 2014) António Campinos has done nothing to restore lawfulness at the EPO, as controversial referral case G 1/21 shows; in fact, they recently approved European software patents after pressure from Campinos himself



  7. Why I'm Using Just a Landline and Recalling My Richard Stallman (RMS) Interview on Working Locally or How the Signal Processor in Phones is a De Facto Back Door

    A longer-than-expected rant about what mobile phones have turned into and a look back at (or listen to) what Richard Stallman (RMS) told me way back in 2013



  8. The European Campinos Award

    The campinos (peasants) of Europe shall gather around for another ceremony championing farmers and nurses... or not



  9. Personal Thoughts About the EPO 'Kangaroo Court' Scandal

    Some unscripted and unedited thoughts about the current EPO scandal/series, which shows intervention such as stacking by António Campinos, continuing the tradition of Benoît Battistelli with his attacks on justice itself



  10. Doing Justice by Reporting Injustice

    Europe's second-largest institution, helped by Europe's largest, is engaging in a massive attack on the very concept of the Rule of Law and incredibly enough the so-called 'press' (or 'media') doesn't report on it



  11. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 11, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 11, 2021



  12. Links 12/5/2021: New Audacity and Musescore Owner Named, Microsoft May Lose "JEDI" (Trump's 'Bailout Package')

    Links for the day



  13. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 1: Rumours of a Kangaroo Court at EPOnia

    EPO's President Benoît Battistelli viciously attacked judges and slandered judges; António Campinos adopts a more 'soft power' approach, but nevertheless the impact is the same



  14. Bill Gates Exposed

    While publishers like ZDNet worked hard (on Microsoft's budget) to distract us from real scandals many nefarious things were happening; are we witnessing the fall of Gates?



  15. Welcome to ZDNet's 'Linux' Section...

    ZDNet, which defamed RMS to help distract from Bill Gates scandals, is doing what the sponsors (IBM, Microsoft, Linux Foundation) pay for



  16. Europe's Second-Largest Institution, the EPO, is Partly Based in the United States

    The EPO has outsourced its operations, including its 'courts', to the United States; this seems to be the so-called 'New Normal'



  17. You Look for Linux News and Instead It's Microsoft Noise and Openwashing

    Imagine trying to go about doing your own 'business', only to be confronted by paid-for plugs (sponsored) by the people trying to undercut/undermine your business; welcome to "Linux" in 2021



  18. Links 11/5/2021: Maui 1.2.2 and Tor Releases

    Links for the day



  19. The Next Generation of Free Software (or Software Freedom) Activism, Tackling Newer Problems

    New challenges as labour rights and human rights are further eroded, thanks to 'high' 'tech' with its very 'innovative' 'features'



  20. Mass Litigation Over the Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP), Basically an Attack on All EPO Staff, Even EPO Pensioners

    “Importance of a binding and unambiguous erga omnes declaration” stressed by staff representatives of the EPO in a new letter to Benoît Battistelli‘s successor of choice, António Campinos, who has done nothing so far except attacking (or robbing) EPO staff, even EPO pensioners



  21. EPO 'Dialogue' With Staff Representatives is as Dead as 'Dialogue' With the Union

    “Yet another failure of social [sic] dialogue [sic] for Mr Campinos,” according to staff representatives, who rightly bemoan the Office president not giving a damn about staff; things quickly deteriorate in Europe’s second-largest institution, which does even worse things than granting loads of illegal European software patents (harming software producers and users alike)



  22. The FSF Needs to Reject OSI (and Open Source) Along With Much-Needed Rejection of the GNOME Foundation (Not the Same as the GNOME Project)

    Response to a good little speech (unscripted apparently) by Geoffrey Knauth, who explained his position on Open Source about a year ago



  23. Links 11/5/2021: Bodhi Linux 6.0, Coreboot 4.14, and DragonFly BSD 6.0

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 10, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 10, 2021



  25. Keynote by FSF President Geoff Knauth and Executive Director John Sullivan

    To quote the source: “FSF president Geoff Knauth became the president of the FSF in 2020, but has served on the FSF board of directors for over twenty years. FSF executive director John Sullivan started work with the FSF in 2003, and has never stopped since, with past roles including the FSF’s first Campaigns Manager and later the Manager of Operations.”



  26. Richard Stallman on Companies That Are “Only Pretending to be American Companies”

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, speaks about US politics being captured and dominated by large and multinational corporations in pursuit of just money and power



  27. Last Night's Talk by Richard Stallman About Software Freedom

    An inspiring new talk reminds many of us why loads of people continue to support the founder of the Free Software Movement



  28. Links 10/5/2021: Huawei's GNU/Linux Laptops and Kotlin 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  29. Richard Stallman on Writing rm, ls, and cp (Also Working on Bison)

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains what programs he developed in the eighties



  30. Raise the Roof

    Out comes the taxpayers’ subsidy, assured; with military the sky is the limit (and bailout guaranteed)


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