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Links 15/3/2021: Linux 5.12 RC3, Solus 4.2 Reviewed, XMRig 6.10 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 7:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: March 14th, 2021

      This has been a slow week in Linux news, but we had some very nice releases, both on the hardware and software sides. New Linux computers saw the light of day from TUXEDO Computers and System76, Star Labs added Coreboot support to their LabTop Mk III laptop, and Mesa 21.0 graphics stack launched with many goodies for Linux gamers.

      On top of that, Canonical shared a first look at their upcoming new Ubuntu Desktop installer and announced the upcoming transition to ESM (Extended Security Maintenance) support for Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus), and I’m talking a look at a new Debian-based distro called TeLOS, which promises a different approach on the Linux desktop.

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #121

      We had a peaceful week in the world of Linux releases with the releases of Voyager Linux 20.04.2 and Venom 20210312.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 Launches Thelio Mira: Premium Linux-Based Desktops with AMD Ryzen 5000

        Leading workstation vendors offer Linux-based machines with the latest hardware inside, but those PCs are expensive and are not exactly home-friendly due to their expansive design. Meanwhile, buying a boutique desktop PC with Linux is somewhat tricky. Fortunately for Linux users, there are companies like System76, which just launched its Thelio Mira midrange system that can be equipped with a 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X processor and a leading-edge Nvidia Quadro RTX graphics card.

        System76 doesn’t label the Thelio Mira as a workstation; instead, the company brands it as a professional desktop system. Yet the PC can pack an AMD Ryzen 5000-series processor with up to 16 cores, one or two Nvidia’s Quadro RTX graphics cards (up to the RTX 8000 model), up to 128GB of ECC DDR4 memory, up to 4TB of PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage (using two M.2 drives), and up to 36 TB of HDD storage. Obviously, all the connectivity features that you would expect from a 2021 desktop are all there, too: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, 2.5 GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, USB Type-C, and audio connectors.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • You’re Probably Using Vim & Neovim Wrong

        On a recent live stream someone in chat pointed me towards a blog post about linux called Vim I hate to love you and I knew I had to make a video on it, I think it’s a really good article but I have some disagreements with how the author says Vim should be used.

      • How to free the imagination

        Next-week, I’ll be speaking at the online #LibrePlanet 2021software freedom conference about the problem of fan arts.

      • 142: SUSE IPO, New System76 Desktop, New Tuxedo Laptops, Mesa 21, 7-Zip & More | This Week in Linux

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got some core news to discuss the latest Mesa graphics driver. We’ve also got a lot of distro news related to SUSE, MakuluLinux, Sparky Linux, and Salient OS. In Hardware news, Tuxedo Computers and System76 have announced some new Linux powered computers. We’ve also got everyone’s favorite, Legal News, with patent trolls and IPOs. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • GNU World Order 397

        Interview with Herag, from the Anarcho Book Club podcast.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.12-rc3
        So rc3 is pretty big this time around, but that's entirely artificial,
        and due to how I released rc2 early. So I'm not going to read anything
        more into this, 5.12 still seems to actually be on the smaller side
        overall. Also, because of the rc1 debacle, there has been a bit more
        rebasing than usual, so the history of some of the commits sometimes
        looks more recent than it necessarily is.
        Other than that, things look fairly normal - there's a big peak in the
        diffstat around the io_uring fallout from the new thread creation
        model, and sparc makes an unusual showing on the architecture updates
        side, but other than that it's all the usual things: drivers (gpu,
        net, usb, staging, sound... all over), architectures (x86, arm64,
        s390, powerpc in addition to the already-mentioned sparc), filesystems
        (cifs, nfs) and core kernel (networking, VM, timers, scheduler..).
        And the (by now) quite usual documentation and tooling updates (mainly
        perf tooling and selftests).
        And random other patches.
        Full shortlog appended, although it is a bit larger than usual, so
        maybe not as easy to eyeball as I'd hope.
        With this, we're obviously back to the usual "Sunday afternoon" rc
        schedule, and I think we should be all back to normal in general for
        this release.
        Go beat on it,
      • Linux 5.12-rc3 Kernel Released

        Following the emergency Linux 5.12-rc2 kernel release nine days ago, the Linux 5.12-rc3 is out today as a more pleasant release candidate that is back on the usual Sunday release regiment.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.12-rc3

        The third 5.12 kernel prepatch is out for testing. “So rc3 is pretty big this time around, but that’s entirely artificial, and due to how I released rc2 early. So I’m not going to read anything more into this, 5.12 still seems to actually be on the smaller side overall.”

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Alder Lake P Media Driver Support Published – Phoronix

          This week marked Intel sending out initial Linux driver enablement patches for Alder Lake P mobile support to complement the existing Alder Lake S desktop support that has been coming together in recent months. In addition to the Linux kernel code for ADL-P, the Intel open-source Media Driver code was also updated for video acceleration on this Intel hybrid chip.

          Alder Lake P open-source media acceleration support was merged this week into the GitHub repository for this video encode/decode implementation. Worth noting from that code drop is Alder Lake P having the same media capabilities / codec support as Alder Lake S and in turn the same as Tiger Lake and Rocket Lake Gen12 graphics.

        • Gallium Nine Lands Big Optimization Around Dynamic System Memory Buffers – Phoronix

          In addition to recent commits improving Mesa’s Gallium3D Direct3D 9 “Nine” state tracker and addressing memory issues with 32-bit games, this D3D9 state tracker is now enjoying another performance optimization helping some games.

          Lead Gallium Nine developer Axel Davy merged his code for optimizing dynamic system memory “SYSTEMMEM” buffers. Up to now Gallium Nine did not specifically handle the SYSTEMMEM CPU buffers while now it’s better optimized for this type of buffers.

        • GRVK 0.3 Released For Continuing To Implement AMD’s Deprecated Mantle API Atop Vulkan – Phoronix

          GRVK is the open-source project implementing AMD’s Mantle API on Vulkan. Mantle was the precursor to the Vulkan industry standard and while it’s no longer in use by AMD, there still are some games out there that allow making use of it.

          GRVK allows for such Mantle games to run atop Vulkan not only for AMD drivers/GPUs but also with NVIDIA and Intel graphics too. The original Vulkan API is derived from and built off Mantle so GRVK is able to map rather nicely and has been making progress in recent months. This weekend marks the third tagged release for the project.

    • Applications

      • XMRig 6.10 Is Released

        XMRig is a cross-platform digital currency miner with support for the RandomX, KawPow, CryptoNight and AstroBWT mining algorithms. The latest version is mostly a pure bug-fix release, the http-parser library being replaced by llhttp is the only barely notable change.


        The biggest change in XMRig 6.10 is the replacement of the the long-dead http-parser library with the slightly prettier and actively maintained llhttp library. llhttp is also faster even though it is written in TypeScript while http-parser is written in pure C.

        The source code and binaries for XMRig 6.10 can be acquired from the projects GitHub releases page at github.com/xmrig/xmrig/releases/tag/v6.10.0. You will have to edit src/donate.h and compile from source if you do not want to donate 1% of your CPU time to the XMRig developers, –donate-level 0 will not work unless you change the 1% hard-coded minimum in that header file.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Asterisk on Ubuntu 20.04 | Linuxize

        Asterisk is a popular open-source PBX platform for developing communications applications such as conference servers and VoIP gateways. It is used by individuals, small businesses, large enterprises, and governments worldwide.

        Asterisk features include voicemail, music on hold, conference calling, call queuing, call recording, interactive voice response, SMS messaging, and more.
        This tutorial explains how to install Asterisk on Ubuntu 20.04.

        Ubuntu repositories include an older Asterisk version. We’ll install the latest Asterisk from the source code.

      • How to install Flowblade Video Editor on Linux Mint 20.1 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Flowblade Video Editor on Linux Mint 20.1.

      • How to Grant Admin Privileges to a User in Linux

        Need to get admin privileges in Linux, but not sure how? Today we’ll discuss how to quickly grant administrative rights to a specific user on Ubuntu and Arch Linux.

      • nspawn-runner and ansible

        New goal: make it easier to configure and maintain chroots. For example, it should be possible to maintain a rolling testing or sid chroot without the need to manually log into it to run apt upgrade.

        It should be also be easy to have multiple runners reasonably in sync by carrying around a few simple configuration files, representing the set of images available to the CI.

        Ideally, those configuration files could simply be one ansible playbook per chroot. nspawn-runner could have a ‘chroot-maintenance’ command that runs all the playbooks on their corresponding chroots, and that would be all I need.

      • How To Install Piwigo on CentOS 8

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Piwigo on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Piwigo is a free, open-source, and photo gallery software built on the LAMP stack. It supports multiple media formats, integrated blogs, and custom pages. Piwigo is an ideal CMS tool for photographers, designers, filmmakers, and musicians.

        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 Piwigo Photo Galleryon CentOS 8.

      • How To Install Swift Programming Language on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Swift Programming Language on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Swift is a modern open-source high-performing programming language. Mainly it is used for iOS app development but, you can use it for systems programming, cloud services, and design other applications. It was developed by Apple and released in 2014. Swift was designed as a replacement for the older Objective-C language.

        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 install of the Swift Programming Language on CentOS 8.

      • How to Easily Delete Files and Folders in Linux

        Want to know how you can delete a file or a folder on your Linux machine? Maybe you have some unnecessary files that you want to remove from your system.

        In this article, we will discuss everything related to deleting files and folders in Linux. We will also provide brief information on the various flags and options that you can use while deleting files and directories on your computer.

      • How to use Hyphens in Systemd Mount Points

        Move Fstab mount config that contains hyphens to Systemd.

      • How to Download and install Kali Linux Vmware Image – Linux Shout

        Kali Linux is one of the popular open-source security operating systems meant for advanced users to help in ethical hacking and penetration testing. It is a project by the BackTrack developers that completely based on a Debian substructure and uses Gnome as the desktop.

        As most of us want to learn it for various testing or to be a part of the hacking world. The reason for using Kali Linux could be any, but if you already a Windows, macOS, or Ubuntu Linux user then using Virtualization is the best option to experience Kali Linux. Well, installing OS on VMware or VirtualBox is also a time-consuming process. In such as scenario we can use ready-made images of Kali Linux for Vmware and VirtualBox. This means if anything goes wrong with your current VM installation then you can immediately create a new one without any delay in your work.

      • How To Install Grafana on Linux Mint 20

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Grafana on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Grafana is an open-source data visualization and monitoring suite. It offers help for Graphite, Elasticsearch, Included, Prometheus, and much more databases. The application offers a stunning dashboard and metric analytics, with the potential to manage and create your personal dashboard to possess apps or infrastructure performance monitoring.

        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 the Grafana monitoring and metric analytics on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • How to play Spyro Reignited Trilogy on Linux

        Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a remake of the original trilogy of Spyro games for the PlayStation 1 released in 1998, 1999, and 2000. The game was released on PC in 2019 but never got a Linux release. However, it can be made to work on Linux. Here’s how.

      • Marcin ‘hrw’ Juszkiewicz: U-Boot and generic distro boot

        Small board computers (SBC) usually come with U-Boot as firmware. There could be some more components like Arm Trusted Firmware, OPTEE etc but what user interact with is the U-Boot itself.

        Since 2016 there is the CONFIG_DISTRO_DEFAULTS option in U-Boot configuration. It selects defaults suitable for booting general purpose Linux distributions. Thanks to it board is able to boot most of OS installers out of the box without any user interaction.


        of them named like “boot_*, bootcmd_* scan_dev_for_*”.

        In my example I would use environment from RockPro64 running U-Boot 2021.01 version.

        I will prettify all scripts for readability. Script contents may be expanded — in such case I will give name as a comment and then it’s content.

      • Which Ubuntu Version Are You Using? Here’s How to Check

        Ubuntu is quite serious about releasing new updates for its users. Their quick releases make it hard for Linux users to remember which version they’re currently running on their system. However, you can easily check the current version of Ubuntu using multiple ways.

        In this guide, we will discuss how you can check the Ubuntu version using the terminal and the GNOME desktop.

      • How to get notifications from release-monitoring.org

        I maintain a Copr for Emacs pretest builds. I wanted to have a mechanism to get notified when a new pretest release is available. That way I can keep the pretest RPMs on Copr up-to-date. In this post, I will be talking about the Anitya project, which is hosted at release-monitoring.org and how to get an email notification, when a new release of an upstream project is available.

      • How to Update or Upgrade Ubuntu Offline without Internet

        This guide explains the steps to update Ubuntu offline without an active internet connection.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Solus 4.2

          Solus is an independently developed, rolling release distribution. The project uses the eopkg package manager, which has its roots in the PiSi package manager. The distribution is available in four editions, one of which runs the Budgie desktop which was created by the Solus team. The other three flavours feature the GNOME, KDE Plasma, and MATE desktops. These four editions all run on 64-bit (x86_64) machines and range from 1.7GB to 2.0GB in size.

          I decided to focus on the Budgie edition as it seems to be the flagship of the distribution’s efforts. The new Solus 4.2 release included some key changes. For instance, the release notes mention the system tray for Budgie has been completely rewritten. We are also told the volume control now has a mute button. One big change is the way in which desktop icons are handled. The release announcement mentions past versions of Solus relied on an older version of the Nautilus file manager to handle desktop icons, but desktop icons are now handled by Budgie rather than relying on a third-party solution.


          In a lot of ways running Solus felt, to me, to be similar to running Artix Linux just before I started this review. The two projects have a number of things in common. They are both rolling releases, both use dark themes, both ship with a fairly small collection of software we can build on. I feel as though Artix places more focus on being lightweight with better performance while Solus places more emphasis on looking pretty and having features like a modern-looking notification area.

          The Budgie desktop, which I usually don’t use apart from when I am reviewing Solus, mostly worked well. I like its layout and style more than GNOME, but also appreciate that it imports a number of useful tools from the GNOME family (like the settings panel) which lend more functionality and polish to the Budgie experience.

          Like Artix, Solus finds a good balance between offering just enough applications to get started without overly cluttering the application menu. There is enough functionality to get people started browsing the web, writing letters, and importing appointments into their calendar, without needing to wade through a massive collection of software.

          On the whole, Solus performed fairly well for me and gave me the tools I wanted. The system was stable and, while not super fast, worked smoothly enough. There are two areas where I feel Solus could be improved. Performing manual partitioning could be a nicer experience. Even if the installer just had a button to launch GParted and restart the installer this would save the user from finding and launching GParted manually and then opening the installer again. After that, assigning mount points does not feel clear. I think an obvious drop-down menu or button would be better than making the user click along a highlighted bar looking for the spot that reacts. These are minor issues, but the installer is a big part of a person’s first impressions.

          The other area I felt needed improvement was the software centre. I had terrible luck with managing software. Downloads sometimes failed, the password prompt worked less than half the time, sometimes the centre would simply lock up mid-action and need to be closed. The layout and organization of the software centre is great, but a successful transaction rate of 25% is devastating to the user experience.

          On the other hand, I do applaud the Solus team for trying to provide portable packages, such as Flatpak and Snap, along with popular third-party applications many users will want. New Linux users are often interested in running Spotify, Slack, and Skype so it’s nice to see these readily available.

          On the whole I think Solus is doing well. There are some key areas that can be polished, particularly software management and desktop performance, though otherwise the distribution offers a solid, useful, and attractive experience.

      • Gentoo Family

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Snap interfaces from Android App developer perspective

          If you are already building Snap packages, I guess you know what an “interface” is in the world for Snapcraft. However it seems, the terminology may not be very clear for someone who doesn’t know anything (my developer friends and colleagues) about Snap. So I just wanted to clearly write this one out so that it becomes clear for people coming from Android App development background. I like to think that “permissions” in Android and “interfaces” in Snap world are pretty much interchangeable. I have done a fair amount of Android App development (professionally and privately) in the past six years and have been involved in the Snapcraft ecosystem almost since it’s inception.

        • What The Word Ubuntu Actually Means

          UBUNTU is a very nice story from Africa. The motivation behind the Ubuntu culture in Africa is that an anthropologist proposed a game to the African tribal children.

          He placed a basket of sweets near a tree and made the children stand 100 meters away. Then announced that whoever reaches first, would get all the sweets in the basket.

          When he said ‘ready steady go!”, they all held each other’s hands, ran together towards the tree, divided the sweets equally among themselves, ate the sweets and enjoyed it. When the Anthropologist asked them why they did so, They answered “Ubuntu.”

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Sync and share your (Chromium and more) browser data among all your computers

            I’d like to remind you that after 15 March 2021 the Chrome Sync service provided by Google’s cloud infrastructure will only be accessible by Google’s own (partly closed-source) Chrome browser. All other Chromium-based software products are blocked from what Google calls “their private API services”.
            All non-Google-controlled 3rd parties providing software binaries based on the Chromium source code are affected, not just my Slackware package. The Chromium browser packages that have been provided in most Linux distros for many years, will lose a prime selling point (being able to sync your browser history, bookmarks and online passwords to the cloud securely) while Google will still be able to follow your browsing activities and monetize that data.
            For many people (including myself) using Chromium, the ability to sync your private browser data securely to Google’s cloud and thus get a unified browser experience on all platforms (Linux, Android, Windows, Mac operating systems) certainly outweighed the potential monetary gain for Google by using a product with its origins in Google – like Chromium. Compiling the sources on Slackware allowed me to deal with some of the privacy concerns. But now the balance has been tipped.

            Google took away this Chrome Sync from us Linux Chromium users, and it’s important to come with alternatives.
            If you don’t use Chrome or Chromium, then this article is probably not relevant. I will assume you are using Mozilla’s Firefox and that browser has its own open source cloud sync server. You use Mozilla’s own cloud sync or else setup a Sync Server on a machine which is fully under your control. The same is not possible for Chromium browsers unfortunately, although Brave and Vivaldi – two not completely open source Chromium derivatives – have developed their own cloud sync server implementations. But (again unfortunately) those sync solutions are fully entangled with their own browser products.

        • Mozilla

          • Making Firefox with Client-Side Decorations Look Good in KDE Plasma

            Out of the box, Firefox with client-side decorations doesn’t look good because captions in inactive tabs blend with the background.

            Fortunately, this issue can be easily fixed by adding a style rule in userChrome.css file. First of all, you need to enable the userChrome.css functionality if you run Firefox 69 or later. Go to about:config page, and set toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets to true.

            Next, open the profile directory and create userChrome.css file in a sub-directory named “chrome.” If there is no “chrome” sub-directory, create one. In case you don’t know where the profile directory is, open about:support and click the “Open Directory” button next to “Profile Directory.”

      • FSFE

        • Let’s Fight Back Nonfree JavaScript!

          Many websites damage users’ freedom by sending nonfree JavaScript programs to the user’s browser. We invite volunteers to develop free browser extensions to replace for the JavaScript sent by particular sites (see the lists below).

          Our first response to the problem of nonfree JS code was to develop LibreJS, which enables Firefox-based browsers to detect and block that code. That protects us from running a site’s nonfree JS programs, but does not make the site actually function. Writing an extension for it, as we propose here, would achieve that. It would also avoid the risk inherent in running software straight off someone else’s website.

          We could also solve the problem by convincing the webmasters to correct their sites to function without the JavaScript code, but convincing them proves to be very difficult, since mostly they don’t understand the issue, let alone care about it. Maybe recommending use of these extensions for their sites will convince them to pay attention to supporting non-JavaScript access.

          Therefore we invite volunteers to pick a site and write a browser extension to make that site function, assuming that LibreJS blocks the nonfree JavaScript sent by the site.

          The first thing to do is to look briefly at the licenses of the JavaScript files on the site. Some of them might actually be free software. If some of the JS code sent by the site is free, you can include it in your extension, changing it as needed.

      • Programming/Development

        • Piper Make: First Drag-and-Drop Coding Platform for Raspberry Pi Pico

          In 2019 we saw Piper’s Computer Kit 2, which was a DIY Raspberry Pi 3 Computer for educational purposes. The kit was for kids to educate them on building their own computers and the basics of programming in electronics. This year the company has come up with another educational platform. Meet Piper Make.

          The newly launched Raspberry Pi Pico is capable of a wide range of applications but directly working on the development board for exploring these applications could be difficult for beginners. Additionally, prototyping a project or an application before implementing it is an ideal way for starting. Hence. Piper has launched its first drag-and-drop coding platform for the Raspberry Pi Pico which allows hands-on prototyping for the users.

        • Peter Czanik: Syslog-ng & Pi day

          Today is March 14th, or as many geeks refer to it: Pi day. On this occasion, I would like to show you a syslog-ng configuration, which prints a huge π on the screen, and two recent articles that feature syslog-ng on the Raspberry Pi.

        • Perl/Raku

          • brrt to the future: Why bother with Scripting?

            Many years back, Larry Wall shared his thesis on the nature of scripting. Since recently even Java gained ‘script’ support I thought it would be fitting to revisit the topic, and hopefully relevant to the perl and raku language community.

            The weakness of Larry’s treatment (which, to be fair to the author, I think is more intended to be enlightening than to be complete) is the contrast of scripting with programming. This contrast does not permit a clear separation because scripts are programs. That is to say, no matter how long or short, scripts are written commands for a machine to execute, and I think that’s a pretty decent definition of a program in general.

            A more useful contrast – and, I think, the intended one – is between scripts and other sorts of programs, because that allows us to compare scripting (writing scripts) with ‘programming’ (writing non-script programs). And to do that we need to know what other sorts of programs there are.

          • Twenty years ago…

            Twenty years ago today I released my first CPAN module: Fork::Queue.

            Then there was a group of people supervising module names, and they advised me to move it under the Proc namespace and so it became Proc::Queue.

            A couple of weeks before, a bug on one of my scripts had fork-bombed a production box. I barely remember the details now… just that my manager had a serious conversation with me about the incident.

          • Relatively easy ways to catch memory errors

            If you’re using XS and C in your Perl module, you might have to worry about memory errors.

        • Java

          • Java 16 Pattern Matching Fun

            Java 16 brings Pattern Matching for instanceof. It’s a feature with exciting possibilities, though quite limited in its initial incarnation.

  • Leftovers

    • Russ Allbery: New experimental Big Eight Usenet signing key

      To test the automation, tomorrow the normal monthly checkgroups will be issued, which should result in two control messages, one signed with the new key and one with the old key.

      I’ve used the same key ID for the new key as the old key so that updating will be as simple as importing the new key.

      This key is currently EXPERIMENTAL and I reserve the right to reissue the key if anyone uncovers any problems. If you are in a position to do so, please try verifying the control messages with the new key and verify that the work properly. I plan on making this new key official some time next month and will post a more general announcement to news.announce.newgroups and news.admin.announce at that time.

    • Science

      • Steinar H. Gunderson: Legacy Zip compression models

        Hans Wennberg has published the ultimate guide to the legacy Zip compression models (before Deflate arrived). For someone who grew up with first PKPAK (Arc) and then PKZip, it was an interesting trip down memory lane. Also a pretty good description of how LZW works; I wasn’t aware before.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Social Engineering Tools Kali Linux

            Social engineering derives from the words social and engineering, where social entails personal, professional, and our day-in-day-out lives. On the other hand, the engineering part entails detailed steps to accomplish a given task such that the set target is attained. In other words, it is procedures set and laid down.

            When social and engineering is combined, we get social engineering that entails intrusion based on interaction with humans. It is the kind of intrusion that is non-technical, often involving a person being tricked into breaking the usual security guidelines already set in a given institution.

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

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Sexual Assault Survivor Tara Reade Joins with Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker to Discuss Rape Culture

        Former Biden aide Tara Reade will be the featured guest on Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker’s livestream on Tuesday, March 16 at 8 p.m. EST, as a part of the team’s special presentations commemorating Women’s History Month 2021.

        The #MeToo movement spotlighted how powerful men used their advantageous positions for self-gratification. Tuesday’s discussion will serve to analyze root causes stemming from patriarchy and the gender roles imposed under capitalism, with the aim of demonstrating how people who do not present as male can work to end sexual assaults and uproot the system that enables such incidents.

        A year ago, Tara Reade charged that now-president Joe Biden sexually assaulted her when she worked in his Senate office in the early 1990s

        Ms. Reade’s story has been corroborated publicly by three people who spoke with other news organizations, saying she told them in the past about the alleged assault.


        The livestream will be broadcast on the YouTube, Facebook, Twitch and Twitter profiles of the Hawkins/Walker campaign (see below for information) to hear Ms. Reade and Ms. Leonard detail how even lower-grade inappropriate conduct can have real consequences for a woman’s career, and how rape culture remains pervasive in this country.

    • Monopolies

      • The Authors’ Take – A critical review of intellectual property rights in the Kenyan tea sector

        Agriculture remains the most important economic sector in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, providing over 50% of overall employment, so the acquisition and use of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the sector can have wide-reaching effects. In Kenya, tea (primarily in the form of bulk, dried leaves) is the largest export product by value, and is a major source of income for hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers. In addition to the economic benefit, tea (unlike coffee) is widely consumed in Kenya, and has significant cultural importance.

        With relatively active patent, trade mark, and copyright offices, a functional plant variety protection (PVP) regime, and membership in the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), Kenya is home to numerous tea-related IPRs held by both foreign and local entities in government and the private sector. The Kenyan tea sector is therefore targeted in this paper as a case study for exploring various aspects of the sectoral use of IPRs.

        Throughout the 20th century, foreign (i.e., non-Kenyan) entities were responsible for a majority of the activity in tea-related IPRs protecting innovation (i.e., patents and PVPs). This appears to be shifting in recent years toward more ownership and participation by local entities. Furthermore, the focus of innovation is more diverse for local applicants. Whereas foreign entities largely seek to protect tea plants and methods of processing tea plants, IPR applications from local entities cover a wider spectrum of the value chain for tea and tea-related products.

      • Patents

        • Timing the Venue Inquiry in W.D. Texas

          I wrote earlier about the Federal Circuit’s TracFone decision, calling-out W.D. Texas Judge Albright for his months long delay in deciding defendant’s motions to transfer/dismiss for improper/inconvenient venue. In its decision, the appellate court repeated a prior conclusion that Judge Albright’s approach represented “egregious delay and blatant disregard for precedent.”


          Proper Venue: Congress created a particular venue statute for patent infringement lawsuits (28 USC 1400(b)) that is substantially narrower than the general venue statute used in Federal Courts. (28 USC 1391). For an out-of-state-defendant (such as TracFone), venue in W.D. Texas will be proper if the defendant “has a regular and established place of business” within the district and has also “committed acts of infringement” within the district.


          The Store Closing: The bigger failing of Judge Albright’s opinion is that he did not address the issue of the store closing prior to the complaint being filed. Venue needs to be proper as of the filing of the complaint, and the defendant submitted uncontroverted evidence that the store had already closed. I would recommend to Judge Albright that he draft up a new opinion tonight that also addresses the store-closing issue. Otherwise we’ll likely see a quick reversal from the Federal Circuit.

        • VLSI’s $2 Billion Judgment Against Intel

          Readers probably have already heard about the $2.18 billion judgment a jury rendered earlier this week in a patent infringement suit brought by VLSI Technology against Intel in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. I don’t really have much to add, beyond the commentary available on Patently-O, FOSS Patents, Law360, and Bloomberg Law–except to note that, as the Bloomberg piece states, to date no billion-dollar patent infringement verdict has withstood further review; and for that matter, not many nine-digit awards have either, as far as I recall. This case might provide a vehicle, however, for judicial evaluation of the use of regression analysis to calculate damages, which would be interesting. We’re beginning to see more uses of nontraditional tools for estimating patent damages, including citation counts, conjoint analysis, “die area analysis,” and so on, so perhaps some guidance from the appellate court would be helpful.

        • Around the IP Blogs

          Hopping across to Texas, IP blogs lit up with commentary on a $2.18bn judgment awarded by a jury in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas in a dispute between VLSI Technology and Intel, with coverage collated over on Comparative Patent Remedies.

        • PyroGenesis Announces European Patent Office’s Intent to Grant Plasma Atomization
        • Mr Justice Mellor in toy land orders single liability and quantum trial in Cabo v MGA toy battle

          The first three months of 2020 have so far been pretty active for the UK Patents Court. With now two specialist Patents Court judges installed in the form of Mr Justice Mellor and Mr Justice Meade, the already busy dockets are churning through more interim and trial decisions. So far on Bailii there are 9 cases, but there are several more interim hearing decisions from various application and case management hearings. Of the 9 on Bailii: 3 decisions involved telecoms, 4 life sciences, 1 in the electronic cigarette space…all standard stuff. And then one that caught the AmeriKat’s attention – toys.

          In Cabo Concepts v MGA Entertainment [2021] EWHC 491 Mr Justice Mellor had to decide three main issues in the first case management conference between Cabo Concepts – who were planning to market small plastic collectible character toys and cards called “Worldeez” – and MGA – who market the LOL Surprise! line of dolls who are “characterised by proportionately oversized and cartoon-like head and eyes”.


          No – it stays where it is but with the goal of the trial being listed before a Patents Court Judge with competition law experience. [Note for non-UK litigators: the Patents Court is staffed by judges that are specialist patent judges (Mellor J and Meade J) and other "Chancery Division" judges that are designated to sit in the Patents Court. For patent cases with a technical complexity rating of "4" or "5", those cases should be listed before a specialist patent judge.]

          MGA applied under Civil Procedure Rule 30.5(2) to transfer the case from the Patents Court to the Competition List. By the time of the hearing, both parties agreed that ideally the case would be tried by a judge with dual experience, but with greater experience in competition law. Mellor J accepted MGA’s argument that the core of this case concerned competition law and that with no justification to the unjustified threats claim by way of a patent infringement action, the patent technical complexity was “at the very lowest scale” – being “1″. The Judge also agreed that the passing off and patent threats claims could be dealt with by any of the judges in the Chancery Division.


          The judgment also interestingly ordered the provision of sequential skeleton arguments for trial – which to the AmeriKat appears to be a good idea in certain cases and would joyously avoid the too often “ships passing in the night” sensation.

        • Never Too Late: if you missed The IPKat last week

          Last week, the EPO held its first European Qualifying Examination (EQE) online. GuestKat Rose Hughes echoed some of the experiences of this year’s candidates about a rather complicated start of the examination.

        • Software Patents

          • EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal issues decision G1/19 (simulations) [Ed: This neglects to mention that the judges in question were besieged and pressured (in violation of the law) by Office President]

            Hot off the press: The EPO has issued a decision on G1/19, which relates to the question of inventive step and simulations/simulators.

            As a brief summary, the Enlarged Board of Appeal has ruled that a simulation of a technical system can solve a technical problem by producing a technical effect going beyond the simulation’s implementation on a computer.

            Such a decision may open the door to patentability arguments that relate to the potential of a simulator to have an effect in the real world. We note, however, that the EPO has stopped short of saying that a simulator is patentable by virtue of being based on technical principles underlying the simulated system.

          • EPO’s G1/19 decision has ‘far-reaching’ implications for AI: lawyers [Ed: Media in the pockets of corrupt EPO uses buzzwords like “Hey Hi” to justify the illegal practice of granting software patents in Europe]

            Computer-implemented simulations are patentable but the applicant must show that the invention addresses a technical issue, the European Patent Office has determined.

            The EPO’s enlarged board of appeal handed down the decision (G1/19) yesterday, March 10, holding that the established case law on computer-implemented inventions (CIIs) also applied to computer-implemented simulations.

            UK-based Bentley Systems applied for a patent for a computer-implemented simulation of the movement of a pedestrian crowd through an environment such as a building.

            The EPO’s examining division refused the application on the grounds that the invention lacked an inventive step, arguing that the simulation failed “to contribute to the technical character of the invention”.

      • Trademarks

        • Supreme Does Not Want Unaffiliated Brand to Be Able to Register “EMERPUS” Trademark

          Simply reversing the order of the letters in the word “Supreme,” slapping that made-up word on apparel, and then filing a trademark application for registration for it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”)? That will land you on the receiving end of an opposition proceeding with VF Corp.-owned streetwear brand Supreme. That is, after all, what has played out since Ontario, Canada-based Urban Coolab Inc. filed a trademark application in May 2020 for “EMERPUS” for use on apparel and retail store services.

          In an opposition proceeding initiated in January, counsel for Supreme’s corporate entity Chapter 4 Corp. argued that Urban Coolab’s application should be blocked by the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, as “EMERPUS” is not an indicator of the source of the Canadian apparel brand’s products. Instead, it is “merely [Chapter 4’s] SUPREME word mark spelled backwards” that Urban Coolab is using in an “effort to associate [its] goods and services with [Chapter 4’s] well-known SUPREME brand,” an argument that Chapter 4 bolsters by noting that Supreme has used its own mark in a similar way by adorning its coveted wares with a flipped version of its famed box logo.

          Speaking specifically to its “exclusive federal and common law rights for the ‘SUPREME’ marks,” for which it “owns hundreds of trademark registrations worldwide,” Chapter 4 claimed that it has used the marks “since at least as early as April 1994” when “the first Supreme retail store opened [and] offered a host of clothing, bags and related products and accessories” bearing the Supreme name and red-and-white rectangular logo. As for the “fame” associated with the “SUPREME” trademarks, Chapter 4 pointed to: (1) its “consistent and exclusive of use of the [marks] over nearly the past 25 years in the United States and throughout the world, including in connection with apparel, bags, accessories, skateboard decks, streetwear-related products and other merchandise; (2) unsolicited media attention about the Supreme brand; and (3) the worldwide sales of Supreme branded goods in the hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars.”

      • Copyrights

        • [Guest post] Jaguar goes after replica car manufacturer for copyright infringement

          The legal status of replica cars is at the very least complicated. If you plan to drive your replica car to the grocery store, there are obvious regulatory issues with self-built cars, as well as issues concerning safety standards. And if you think you have a hard time finding cheap car insurance for your Volvo, try getting a good quote on your replica Batmobile.

          Then there is the IP angle. Cars may be protected by copyright as works of applied art (or conceivably even as artistic works) and may additionally enjoy design and trademark protection. A recent trend has even seen car makers seeking to register the exterior shape of the car itself as a trademark [see for instance the IPKat summary on the Jaguar Land Rover decision here]. Any commercialization of replica cars by third parties carries risk of infringing one or several of these IP rights.

          Car makers are well-known for vigorously enforcing their IP rights. In fact, car makers have contributed substantially to the modern development of IP jurisprudence and are repeat players before CJEU in IP litigation (most recently in C-720/18, Testarossa) [Katpost here].

          Car makers’ interest in pursuing the replica market for IP infringement has however historically been tempered somewhat by the fact that the dedicated gearheads who make up the replica car market are often also the car makers’ most dedicated brand loyalists. By enforcing its IP against the replica car market, a car maker may risk damaging its reputation with its core customers but, by allowing infringement to continue, that reputation may in time not be worth much.


          Since the defendant’s replica car was just that, a historically accurate copy of the original C-Type in every painstaking detail (including the lack of exterior door handles, sacrificed I assume on the altar of aerodynamics), the infringement question held little suspense.

          The defendants did however make one interesting last-ditch objection to copyright infringement that gets to the heart of what makes the replica car market special. They argued that the replica did not infringe Jaguar Land Rover’s copyright, based on Jaguar Land Rover’s alleged decades long acceptance and even celebration of replica car culture in general, and Jaguar Land Rover’s discussions with the defendants about their replica C-Type in particular, at various meetings over the years.

          In the end, it came down to a question of evidence, and as Carl Sagan posited with his Sagan standard: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. There had indeed been meetings between Jaguar Land Rover and the defendants but, based on written evidence and witness evidence, the court was not convinced that the defendants had made it clear to Jaguar Land Rover that what they intended to do with their replica C-Type project was a commercial venture, rather than a hobby project for private use. The fact that Jaguar Land Rover had in various way over the years supported or tacitly accepted replica cars and replica car culture did not change this conclusion.

          Jaguar Land Rover’s claims for a prohibition on penalty of a fine were granted, as were claims for destruction of the infringing replica cars. Additionally, the court affirmed that the defendants should pay reasonable compensation to Jaguar Land Rover and awarded the car maker full litigation costs to the high-octane level of €500 000 .

        • Protection of Jewellery: A Combination of Trademark, Design and Copyright Law? – Part I

          The issue of IP protection of jewellery has hardly been discussed or adjudicated upon in India. Generally, it is understood that the sketch of the jewellery design can be protected as artistic work under copyright law, while the actual appearance of the jewellery, such as the configuration, pattern can be protected under design law. But, it’s more complicated than that. There are many questions without clear answers, such as, whether jewellery is protectable under copyright or design law in India, and whether the conversion of original drawings into three-dimensional form, would be termed an ‘adaptation’ or ‘reproduction’. In Part I, I have analysed relevant case laws in an attempt to answer the above issues. Part II will be coming soon, in which I will look into the question of protection of traditional jewellery designs and also explore the possibility of protection of jewellery as ‘shape marks’. These posts will analyse relevant jurisprudence for understanding the applicable IP framework for jewellery protection in India.


          That brings us to another question, what about protection of bespoke designs that have been handcrafted, couldn’t they be protected as works of ‘artistic craftsmanship’? On 9 February, in the case of A. Sirkar v. B. Sirkar Jahuree Pvt. Ltd., the commercial court at Alipore allowed a temporary injunction application for copyright infringement and passing off of jewellery. In this case, both the parties were jewellers and the plaintiff had claimed its jewellery to be the result of ‘artistic craftsmanship’, but the court did not question, discuss or decide upon this aspect. In Pranda Jewelery, the court held gold sheet jewellery to be artistic work itself, i.e., it was protected under the same category as a drawing, and did not discuss anything regarding artistic craftsmanship.

          In Microfibers Inc. v. Girdhar and Co., a division bench of the Delhi High Court observed that the legislative intention behind the Copyright Act, 1957 and Designs Act, 2000 appears to be granting higher protection to ‘pure original artistic works’ and ‘lesser period of protection to design activity commercial in nature’. The term of protection granted by the legislature for copyright is life plus 60 years, while for a design it is 15 years and thus, the court reflected that the legislature intended to treat commerce and art differently.

          After examining the above cases, the answer for IP protection of jewellery does not seem straightforward. It’s difficult to predict what decision a court would give regarding a particular piece of jewellery, whether it would consider the piece to be an artistic work or a design. It cannot be surely determined where design rights begin and copyright protection ceases. The only thing that is clear is that copyright in the original drawing continues to exist, while it ceases to exist for a design under Section 15 of the Copyright Act, 1957, if more than fifty applications are done. If a design has been applied more than fifty times without registration and the court decides to follow the judgement in Biba Apparels, then protection to the original drawing may also not be given. This might leave the jeweller in a position where they can’t prevent others from duplicating their designs.

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