03.21.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 21/3/2021: ‘It’s Time for The Linux Foundation to Stop Ignoring Desktop Linux’ and PeaZip 7.8 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Weekly Roundup – Audacity 3.0, Vivaldi 3.7, and More

      Welcome to the DebugPoint.com weekly roundup series of weeks ending March 21, 2021. Here’s a quick recap of the happenings from the open-source world on the applications, distributions, and various updates.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • It’s Time for The Linux Foundation to Stop Ignoring Desktop Linux

        The Linux Foundation is the sort of official organization behind the Linux kernel project. Linux creator Linus Torvalds draws a salary from the foundation and devotes his entire time managing the awesome Linux kernel project.

        The Linux Foundation spends its time and resources for standardizing and supporting the growth and commercial adoption of Linux. Started in 2000, Linux Foundation has been successful into bringing major technology groups like Intel, AT&T, Google, IBM, Samsung, Huawei, Microsoft, VMWare for the development of Linux kernel. These companies also pay a hefty sum to Linux Foundation for their membership.

        In the last few years, The Linux Foundation has also focused on developing or growing various open source projects under its umbrella, just like the Linux kernel project. These projects include Kubernetes, Automotive Grade Linux, Hyperledger, Cloud Native, Let’s Encrypt, Cloud Foundry and a lot more.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Mozilla & Firefox’s Slow And Painful Death – YouTube

        In the past Mozilla was an internet giant but since 2010 there web browser marketshare has been dwindling almost to the point of irrelevance and I don’t want to see this happens because once Firefox falls there will be nothing stopping Google just doing whatever they want to web standards.

      • Reminder (Libreplanet 2021)

        Reminder: tomorrow, I’ll be speaking at the online #LibrePlanet 2021 software freedom conference about the problem of fan arts. It will be epic, check it out!

      • Linux doesn’t need marketing, it needs HARDWARE

        Linux, as in the whole of GNU/Linux, including all distributions, is amazing, but it’s still stagnating at around one to 2 percent of market share on the desktop. While I don’t think Linux needs to reach more than 5 to 10% market share to start seeing important contributions in terms of third party applications, and AAA developer support, I also think most people have it backwards when they try to imagine what we could do to promote Linux as a whole. They mostly tend to try and promote it through marketing, and I did as well, but in my opinion, what Linux needs to grow, is hardware

      • Want DT’s Desktop? Deploy My Dotfiles! – DT LIVE

        This morning’s live event will feature an important topic that I receive a lot of questions about. And that question is how you can deploy my dotfiles and have your desktop look exactly like mine. It’s not difficult; anyone can do it.

      • Minimal: Saner Web Browsing For A Better World

        Minimal is an interesting project it aims to strip out a lot of the predatory web design practices you’ll see in modern web design, while this project will need a lot of maintenance to continue being useful I think it’s still a really interesting project.

      • GNU World Order 398

        **addr2line** , **ar** , **as** , **ld** from the **binutils** package.

      • This Week in Linux 143: Audacity 3.0, Ubuntu Touch, PinePhone Beta, GNOME 40, Java, Brave Browser | This Week in Linux

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got some App News from Audacity, ONLYOFFICE and a new update to the Java programming language. XWayland has been branched out of X.org into a standalone release, we’ll talk about what this means and why it matters. We’ll check out a preview of GNOME 40 since it is only a few days away. In the Linux Mobile News, UBports announces the latest release of Ubuntu Touch with OTA-16 and Pine64 announced the Pre-Orders of the PinePhone Beta Edition are about to open. We’ve also got a really interesting kickstarter to check out, an LED cube kit for Raspberry Pi called “LumiCube”. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.11.8
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.11.8 kernel.
        
        All users of the 5.11 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 5.11.y git tree can be found at:
        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.11.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 5.10.25
      • Linux 5.4.107
      • Linux 4.19.182
      • Linux 5.13 To Address Some Networking Overhead Caused By Retpolines

        It’s been three years that Retpolines (return trampolines) have been around as part of the Spectre defenses on Linux and kernel developers in particular are still working to better optimize different areas of their code to deal with the performance overhead incurred.

        With the current Linux 5.12 cycle there is an important change to the AES-NI crypto code to overcome the overhead introduced by enabling Retpolines on older Intel systems and old through current AMD hardware where this is needed as part of Spectre V2 mitigations. Those AES-NI code changes in Linux 5.12 for avoiding indirect calls makes a big performance improvement for cryptsetup on Retpolines-enabled hardware. Now with Linux 5.13, the networking subsystem is seeing some tuning to also avoid Retpoline costs.

      • Months After Being Deprecated, Linux Ready To Say Goodbye To WiMAX

        In addition to the legacy IDE driver code ready to go from the mainline Linux kernel, receiving its final death sentence now is also the WiMAX support.

        With Linux 5.11 the kernel demoted the WiMAX networking code down to the “staging” area of the kernel with a plan to remove it should no one step up to maintain the code. Well, no one cares enough about WiMAX support to maintain it, so the kernel support is set to be removed with Linux 5.13.

      • The Long Journey Ahead For Linux On Apple Silicon | Hackaday

        An old joke from the Linux community about its prevalence in computing quips that Linux will run on anything, including some animals. While the joke is a little dated, it is true that Linux can run on just about any computing platform with a certain amount of elbow grease. The current exception is the new Apple M1 silicon, although one group called Asahi Linux is currently working to get Linux running on this novel hardware as well.

        While the Apple M1 is specifically built to run macOS, there’s no technical reason why Linux couldn’t run on it once all of the kinks are ironed out. This progress report from last month outlines some of the current areas of focus, especially around booting non-Mac kernels. The new Apple silicon runs on an ARM processor and because of this it functions more like an embedded device than a PC with standardized BIOS or UEFI. This means a lot of workarounds to the proprietary boot process have to be created to get a Linux kernel to boot. Luckily there are already versions of Linux that run on ARM so a lot of work has already been done, but there’s still much ahead.

      • Graphics Stack

        • The Mesa Graphics Library Developers Are Considering Dropping Android AOSP Support – LinuxReviews

          The developers of the Mesa graphics library, mainly used to provide OpenGL and Vulkan API support on Linux desktop systems, are considering if they should drop Mesas support for the Android ASOP operating system. It would still be possible to build Mesa using the Android NDK toolchain.

          [...]

          Both methods are currently documented at docs.mesa3d.org/android.html.

          Several prominent Mesa developers are currently discussing if they should rid Mesa of all support for the Android.mk build system. Intel-employed Mesa developer Jason Ekstrand has opened a Mesa issue proposing a total eradication of the Android.mk build system.

          Android.mk is currently used by the Android Open Source Project (ASOP) so the change would affect community-maintained Android builds as well as the Androix-x86 project.

    • Applications

      • PeaZip 7.8 Released with Interactive Extraction, New Portable Qt5 Build on Linux

        The biggest new feature in PeaZip 7.8 is a new interactive extraction option that asks users if they want to skip, update or overwrite existing files and folders when extracting archives. On Linux, the option is not enabled by default, so you’ll have to enable it in the ‘Extract’ dialog.

        The new interactive extraction option comes as an alternative to the classic, single-step policy-based extraction method, which is still available in the new release. It provides users with a two-step extraction method across all archive types supported through 7z/p7zip.

      • PeaZip 7.8.0

        PeaZip is an open source file and archive manager. It’s freeware and free of charge for any use. PeaZip can extract most of archive formats both from Windows and Unix worlds, ranging from mainstream 7Z, RAR, TAR and ZIP to experimental ones like PAQ/LPAQ family, currently the most powerful compressor available.

        Open and extract 180+ archive formats: 001, 7Z, ACE(*), ARC, ARJ, BZ2, CAB, DMG, GZ, ISO, LHA, PAQ, PEA, RAR, TAR, UDF, WIM, XZ, ZIP ZIPX – view full list of supported archive file formats for archiving and for extraction.

        PeaZip provides fast, high compression ratio multi-format archiving – view file compression and decompression benchmarks for more information.

      • Audacity 3.0 is Released With A New Project File Format and 160 Bugfixes

        Audacity 3.0 brings several significant improvements to the popular free multi-platform audio editor for Linux, Windows and macOS. The latest version brings a new and improved project file format using SQLite3, a new “Label Sounds” sound analyzer and fixes for a whopping 160 different bugs. The severe lack of any user-interface scaling on GNU/Linux is not addressed so Audacity remains a border-line useless joke on Linux machines with high resolution monitors dispute all the other improvements.

        Audacity 3.0.0 recording a att.mod, a module sound file about carding from the early 1990s. Zoomers won’t be able to relate because they don’t know what “carding” was or why you had to do it if you wanted to call BBSes in foreign countries regularly.

        Audacity is a great audio tool for audio recording and editing as long as you’re stuck with 720p 15″ laptop sized panel or a very large 1080p screen. It lets you combine multiple audio files, convert audio files between different formats and sample rates, cut, copy and paste sections of audio files with unlimited undo and redo in case you get something wrong and much more. It supports plugins, and there are many available for it.

      • Kid3 Audio Tagger 3.8.6 Released with Qt 6 Support [PPA]

        Kid3 audio tag editor 3.8.6 was released a few days ago with new features and important bug-fixes. PPA has updated for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, and Ubuntu 20.10.

        Kid3 3.8.6 adds support for building with Qt 6. And it now provides a nicer default style for Windows users.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install PlayOnLinux on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PlayOnLinux on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, PlayOnLinux is an implementation of Wine which makes it easy to install Windows software on Wine. The purpose of this software is to simplify and automates the process of installing and running Windows applications on Linux platforms. It has a list of applications where you can automate each installation process as much as you can.

        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 PlayOnLinux on CentOS 8.

      • How to Install Thunderbird on Ubuntu 20.04 – Linux Hint

        Thunderbird is a flexible, functional email client available for Linux. It is a multiple-platform, free framework for managing email, news feeds, chat, and calendaring clients. Thunderbird is also easy to set up and customize. One of the key principles of Thunderbird is to promote open standards. This article shows you how to install Thunderbird on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Install ONLYOFFICE Docs for Online Document Editing? – Linux Hint

        ONLYOFFICE Docs is a self-hosted office suite distributed in terms of the AGPLv3 license. It allows editing text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in a browser.

      • Kill Linux Processes the Easy Way with Fkill

        While Linux distributions don’t suffer the ignominy of a blue screen of death, running processes (aka programs) do become unresponsive sometimes. If you run a web browser, media player, ebook reader, etc. on your Linux distribution, each of these is a different process, with a unique process ID and, traditionally, you need to issue a couple of different commands to find this ID and stop it.

        Released under the MIT License, fkill is a cross-platform utility that can be used to interactively kill processes with ease. With fkill, we can scroll through a list of running processes and kill any of them by pressing the Enter key. We can also search through the processes by typing the name of commands / processes into the terminal and the output will be filtered to show any matching entries. This is a world away from how commands such as top are used to list processes via grep and a separate command is then used to kill the process using its PID.

      • How to run Ubuntu from USB

        If you’re looking to run Ubuntu from a USB flash drive, you’ll be happy to know that there are many ways to run Ubuntu from USB. You can take traditional Ubuntu and install it to a USB flash drive, though the OS isn’t built for that and will probably be slow. You can also take a distribution that uses Ubuntu as a core but is designed for a USB flash drive.

        In this guide, we’ll focus on Puppy Linux’s Ubuntu release. The reason for this is that Puppy is specifically designed to run off of a USB flash drive and already has persistent storage set up. It’s much easier to figure out for the average user.

        [...]

        To get your hands on the Ubuntu version of Puppy Linux, head over to the Puppy Linux website. Once on the website, click on the “Download” icon. After clicking on the “Download” icon, locate “Ubuntu Focal 64”. This is Ubuntu 20.04 LTS but specially designed to run on your USB flash drive.

        Original download link for “Ubuntu Focal 64” not working? Try clicking on “Mirror.” It provides an alternative download link to the primary download option.

        Want to download Puppy Linux to your computer through the terminal? Open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard and execute the command below.

      • Install a Multi-Master Kubernetes Cluster with Ansible

        We are going to build a highly available Kubernetes homelab cluster with three control plane nodes and three worker nodes using Ansible.

      • Using the ps Command in Linux to List Processes

        The ps command in Linux is our best asset for listing running processes on a system. But do you know how to use it effectively? ps comes with a small learning curve, thanks to its varying syntax and plethora of (overlapping) options. In this guide, we’ll go over the most useful ps commands that Linux users should know.

        Command syntax for ps can be confusing because it accepts UNIX, BSD, and GNU formatted options. These various syntaxes also produce differing output. As long as you know some of the most common and useful options to supply with your ps command, then you don’t need to worry about the tool’s extensive and intertwined past. We’ll just show you what you need to know.

      • How to Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu

        VirtualBox Guest Additions will help you get the most out of your Ubuntu virtual machine. It gives you automatic resolution scaling, a shared clipboard between the host and VM, and drag and drop ability. The step by step instructions below will explain how to install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu.

      • How to Disable (or Enable) SELinux in AlmaLinux – Linux Nightly

        Just like RHEL and the rest of its derivatives, AlmaLinux comes with SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux) installed and enabled by default. In this guide, we’ll see how to disable SELinux temporarily or permanently. You’ll also learn how to re-enable it later in case you need to turn it back on.

      • How to Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on openSUSE – Linux Nightly

        VirtualBox Guest Additions will help you get the most out of your openSUSE virtual machine. It gives you automatic resolution scaling, a shared clipboard between the host and VM, and drag and drop ability. The step by step instructions below will explain how to install VirtualBox Guest Additions on openSUSE Linux.

      • Updating config.sub in a bitbake recipe | Adam Young’s Web Log

        config.sub is used to determine, among other things, the architecture of the machine. This is used in the configure script for an autotools based make file.

        Older config.sub files don’t know how to handle aarch64, the generic name used for ARM64 servers in the build process. We have a recipe that pulls in code using an older config.sub file and I need to update.

      • How to Customize the Grub Boot Menu With a Background Image

        Want to change the background image for the Grub bootloader? Maybe you got bored of the solid black background and now you want to add an attractive image to your boot menu.

        Here’s how you can easily change the Grub background on your Linux machine.

      • How to Set Up WireGuard VPN on Debian 10

        WireGuard is a general-purpose VPN (Virtual Private Network) that utilizes state-of-the-art cryptography. Compared to other popular VPN solutions, such as IPsec and OpenVPN , WireGuard is generally faster, easier to configure, and has a smaller footprint. It is cross-platform and can run almost anywhere, including Linux, Windows, Android, and macOS.

        Wireguard is a peer-to-peer VPN; it does not use the client-server model. Depending on the configuration, a peer can act as a traditional server or client. It works by creating a network interface on each peer device that acts as a tunnel. Peers authenticate each other by exchanging and validating public keys, mimicking the SSH model. Public keys are mapped with a list of IP addresses that are allowed in the tunnel. The VPN traffic is encapsulated in UDP.

      • Install Volumio on Raspberry PI to get a Smart Radio

        Smart things came in our lives as internet entered everyone home. But not all people know that with Volumio on Raspberry PI you can get a smart Radio, also transforming you old radio in an advanced music box

        In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to install Voumio on Raspberry PI.

        Basically, Volumio is a music player focused on giving users an high fidelity output. It is free and open source, so you can install and use Volumio without paying a license.

        It can play a wide number of media formats, as well as it can get media from your UPNP\DLNA device, Airplay, Spotify and Web-Radios. Volumio people like defining it as an “audiophile sound system tailored to offer uncompromised Audio Quality”.

      • How to update your Linux repositories

        When it comes to installing applications and programs on Linux there are several ways to do it. More advanced users can choose to download the source code

        from the developer’s website and compile it directly on their computer. Something very slow and impractical actually.

        More inexperienced users tend to take the easy way: find and download the binary (e.g. deb) and install it, from the package manager, by double clicking, much like in Windows. Intermediate users who are looking for convenience and ease, make use of the Linux repositories to download, install and update their programs.

    • Games

      • Web Editor PWA, easier HTML customizations, and faster load times!

        Howdy Godotters! Quite a lot happened since my last update. Beside working on the custom HTML shell improvements, and the long awaited fixes for HiDPI/fullscreen, I took some time to make the Web Editor a Progressive Web App as requested by many users. While I was there, I took some more time to rework the loading process of the engine and make it load faster on the Web.

        Web Editor PWA

        If you are not familiar with what a PWA (Progressive Web App) is, you can think about it as a way to “install” a web page on your device.

        In this context, “install” usually means adding a shortcut to the web page in the device desktop or application list, and allow running it while offline. This is great for Chromebook-like devices. Note that for offline support to work, you will need to start the project manager at least once before it can actually work offline.

        In the future, offline support will also be extended to projects exported to HTML5, allowing your players to run your HTML5 projects even under unreliable network conditions.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Maui Weekly Report 9

          Today, we bring you a new report on the Maui Project’s progress.

          Only a few weeks away from the next stable release of MauiKit and the Maui apps, we want to share some of the new features, bug fixes and changes coming to the next stable release.

          To follow more closely the development of the Maui Project or to say hi you can join us on Telegram: https://t.me/mauiproject.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 13.0-RC3 Released With The WireGuard Driver Removed

          A third and final release candidate of FreeBSD 13.0 was warranted ahead of its formal 13.0-RELEASE later this month.

          FreeBSD 13.0-RC3 is out this weekend as what was an “as-needed” milestone ahead of the FreeBSD 13.0 release set to take place around 30 March. Notable with this weeks FreeBSD 13.0-RC3 is the removal of the WireGuard kernel driver “if_wg” due to the change in WireGuard implementations amid concerns over code quality for this original WireGuard driver that was set to be introduced in FreeBSD 13.0. Now the existing WireGuard kernel code was removed but this new implementation won’t land until at least FreeBSD 13.1 due to the timing of this significant change.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • OpenSUSE Tumbleweed’s Very Busy Week With An Entire Rebuild, Latest KDE Packages

          For users of the rolling-release openSUSE Tumbleweed distribution, it’s been a very active past week.

          First up was an entire rebuild of the distribution, which seldom occurs among distributions especially rolling-release distributions where it can then mean multi-gigabyte updates. This latest openSUSE Tumbleweed rebuild of all packages is as a result of picking up the latest GNU C Library (glibc) patches.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Pinephone and Fedora

          First, let me talk about scaling. One of the problems putting a desktop OS into a small screen on a phone is scaling. Phosh (a librem started gnome-shell replacement for small screens) and Phoc (a mutter/window manager replacement that works with Phosh do there best with this issue. There’s a setting to try and resize all windows from all applications, and a way to do it on a case by case basis, however many applications are just not friendly to small screens. They refuse to shrink below a point, or they cut off valuable parts. I guess this might be something thats best solved upstream at the toolkit level, but it’s a hard problem. By default Phosh sets 200% scaling on the pinephone as well. It all depends on how small a screen/type you can handle, but lowering that gets more applications usable. You can do so via: ‘wlr-randr –output DSI-1 –scale 1.25’ for 125% for example. This also makes it harder to press buttons, so beware.

          [...]

          First, let me talk about scaling. One of the problems putting a desktop OS into a small screen on a phone is scaling. Phosh (a librem started gnome-shell replacement for small screens) and Phoc (a mutter/window manager replacement that works with Phosh do there best with this issue. There’s a setting to try and resize all windows from all applications, and a way to do it on a case by case basis, however many applications are just not friendly to small screens. They refuse to shrink below a point, or they cut off valuable parts. I guess this might be something thats best solved upstream at the toolkit level, but it’s a hard problem. By default Phosh sets 200% scaling on the pinephone as well. It all depends on how small a screen/type you can handle, but lowering that gets more applications usable. You can do so via: ‘wlr-randr –output DSI-1 –scale 1.25’ for 125% for example. This also makes it harder to press buttons, so beware.

        • IBM’s CEO and outgoing exec chairman take home $38m in total for 2020 despite revenue shrinking by billions
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • First Look at Ubuntu Budgie 21.04 on Raspberry Pi 4

          Ubuntu Budgie is an official flavor of the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system, and the team behind it announced today the availability of their first Raspberry Pi port, optimized for Raspberry Pi 4 models with 4GB or 8GB RAM and featuring the Budgie desktop environment, of course.

          As you might know, Canonical announced last year in October a Raspberry Pi port of Ubuntu Desktop with the Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) release, giving green light to other official (or unofficial) Ubuntu derivatives to port their flavor to the Raspberry Pi.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF

        • Ingestum: A libre NLP document ingestion library

          Many NLP projects that depend upon the analysis of documents are impaired by the difficulty of transforming source material into a computer-readable format. For example, PDF files are designed for human consumption but can look like a bag full of words to a computer. To address this problem engineers at Sorcero developed Ingestum, a library that is used to “devour” content sources, outputting a format that can be used for additional processing.

        • Remote education: My children’s freedom and privacy at stake

          “During COVID-19 confinement, I saw how all teachers were choosing proprietary video conferencing programs over free software for the continuation of online lessons. I had two options: do nothing about it and let proprietary video conferencing tools spread among my children and their classmates, or try to fight back against this injustice.”

        • Here’s how you can get all your day-to-day computing done with free software

          “Alice, 11, has given multiple talks at technical conferences and will go over more than 10 programs that will replace proprietary with free software.” This great 40 minute talk from LibrePlanet 2021 is absolutely worth watching and sharing.

        • SecureDrop Workstation: Handling unsafe documents safely

          SecureDrop is a whistleblowing platform originally created in 2012 for journalists to accept leaked documents safely from anonymous sources. It’s used by dozens of news organizations including The Guardian, The Washington Post and The New York Times. This talk (at LibrePlanet 2021) introduces the SecureDrop Workstation, the next-generation platform aimed at helping journalists communicate with sources in a high-security environment.

        • Free Software Awards winners announced: CiviCRM, Bradley Kuhn, and Alyssa Rosenzweig

          The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced the recipients of the 2020 Free Software Awards, which are given annually at the FSF’s LibrePlanet conference to groups and individuals in the free software community who have made significant contributions to the cause for software freedom. This year’s recipients of the awards are CiviCRM, Alyssa Rosenzweig, and Bradley Kuhn. As the ceremony was conducted virtually this year, each winner selected the person they wished to present them the award.

          The awards are presented in three categories, each recognizing exemplary achievements in the field of free software.

          The 2020 Award for Outstanding New Free Software Contributor went to Alyssa Rosenzweig, a young developer who was previously a keynote speaker for LibrePlanet 2020. This is the second time this award has been given, after Clarissa Lima Borges won the first annual Outstanding New Free Software Contributor Award at LibrePlanet 2020.

        • Mali GPU free driver project leader gets top FSF award

          Alyssa Rosenzweig, leader of the Panfrost project that aims to reverse engineer and create a free driver for the Mali series of graphics processing units, has received the Free Software Foundation’s 2021 Award for Outstanding New Free Software Contributor.

          The award was presented at the 2021 LibrePlanet conference, an annual event staged by the FSF. Held on Saturday, it featured 63 speakers whose talks were streamed using free software.

          FSF founder Richard Stallman, who presented the award in virtual ceremony, said: “For decades I’ve told people that the most important free program to write is something that we can’t do with free software. [..]

          “This year’s award for a New Outstanding Free Software Contributor goes to somebody who went straight for the most important possible project: reverse-engineering the specs of the Mali GPU.”

          Rosenzweig said, “I believe free software is key to environmental sustainability and protecting civil liberties in a digital world.

        • 2021 Free Software Awards announced

          The Free Software Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2021 Free Software Awards. Alyssa Rosenzweig received the award for outstanding new free-software contributor, the CiviCRM project won the award for social benefit, and Bradley Kuhn received the award for the advancement of free software.

        • LibrePlanet 2021 day one: Taking action to empower users

          As you may be aware, this isn’t the first LibrePlanet conference that has taken place entirely online: in 2020, the timing could hardly have been worse, with coronavirus shutdowns in Massachusetts starting the very week that the conference was scheduled. With only a week to scrap plans we had spent most of a year making, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) still managed to pull off a full, vibrant schedule, and livestreamed using only free software thanks to our wildly talented and dedicated tech team, but we knew that with a bit more time to plan, we could do even more.

          So when it became clear, last fall, that an in-person conference in Boston was still not going to be feasible for spring 2021, we sprang into action trying to find extra ways to make this conference special and memorable.

          An all-online conference had a few advantages and a few disadvantages: on the one hand, scrapping the need to travel meant that many talented voices from all over the globe could submit talks without worrying about plane fare or accommodations. Even better: while the FSF has always made an effort to make LibrePlanet activities available from afar, a fully-online conference could welcome attendees from absolutely everywhere with an Internet connection. Which meant that this conference featured speakers from everywhere from the United States to India, France, Spain, Turkey, and more, with the first count in the morning showing attendees from thirty-two different countries! It also meant that registration for the event has been sky-high, with over 1,100 registrants by this morning (the most ever).

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU poke 1.1 has been released
            I am happy to announce a new release of GNU poke, version 1.1. 
            This is a bug fix release in the poke 1.x series, and is the result of 
            all the user feedback we have received since we did the first public 
            release.  Our big thanks to everyone who provided feedback :) 
            See the file NEWS in the released tarball for a detailed list of 
            changes in this release. 
            The tarball poke-1.1.tar.gz is now available at 
            
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/poke/poke-1.1.tar.gz.
            
              GNU poke (http://www.jemarch.net/poke) is an interactive, extensible 
              editor for binary data.  Not limited to editing basic entities such 
              as bits and bytes, it provides a full-fledged procedural, 
              interactive programming language designed to describe data 
              structures and to operate on them. 
            This release is the product of a month of work resulting in 70 
            commits, made by 10 contributors. 
            Thanks to the people who contributed with code and/or documentation to 
            this release.  In certain but no significant order they are: 
               Bruno Haible 
               Egeyar Bagcioglu 
               Luca Saiu 
               Sergei Trofimovich 
               Kostas Chasialis 
               Mohammad-Reza Nabipoor 
               Morten Linderud 
               Sergio Durigan Junior 
               Thomas Weißschuh 
            My gratitude to you all!  It is a real pleasure to hack with you. 
            And this is all for now. 
            Happy poking! 
            
          • Patches Proposed So Microsoft Debuggers Can Deal With GCC-Built MinGW Executables

            Patches have been proposed for the GCC compiler to ultimately allow MinGW Windows executables to be debugged with Microsoft’s debuggers.

            The set of two dozen patches is for allowing the GNU Compiler Collection to emit debugging information in the PE-specific CodeView format used by Microsoft’s debuggers. This PE-specific CodeView format is partially documented by Microsoft and understood via header files open-sourced by Microsoft as part of their PDB (Program Database) symbol file format.

      • Programming/Development

        • Sebastian Pölsterl: scikit-survival 0.15 Released

          I am proud to announce the release if version 0.15.0 of scikit-survival, which brings support for scikit-learn 0.24 and Python 3.9. Moreover, if you fit a gradient boosting model with loss=’coxph’, you can now predict the survival and cumulative hazard function using the predict_cumulative_hazard_function and predict_survival_function methods.

          The other enhancement is that cumulative_dynamic_auc now supports evaluating time-dependent predictions. For instance, you can now evaluate the predicted time-dependent risk of a RandomSurvivalForest rather than just evaluating the predicted total number of events per instance, which is what RandomSurvivalForest.predict returns.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: An Ode to Stable Interfaces: R and R Core Deserve So Much Praise

          A few days ago, a friend and I were riffing about the wonderful stability of R and (subsets of) R packages. The rigorous ASAN/UBSAN/Valgrind/… checks, while at times frustrating for us package maintainers when we do not have easily replicable setups [1], really help in ensuring code quality. As do of course all other layers of quality control at CRAN, and for R. In passing, I mentioned there was an older blog post demonstrating a little power-law-alike behaviour between the most frequent R Core committer and everybody else.

        • Russ Allbery: pam-krb5 4.10

          pam-krb5 is a relatively simple Kerberos PAM module with no dependencies on larger infrastructure such as sssd.

        • Russ Allbery: rra-c-util 9.0

          rra-c-util is my collection of support functions, Autoconf macros, test programs, and other infrastructure that I use to build other packages.

          This release includes lots of portability work to support the INN 2.6.4 release, much of it by Julien ÉLIE. There are some incompatibilities in the Autoconf macros compared to previous versions, hence the version bump.

        • Thinking in Questions with SQL

          I love SQL, despite its many flaws.

          Much is argued about functional programming vs object oriented. Different ways of instructing computers.

          SQL is different. SQL is a language where I can ask the computer a question and it will figure out how to answer it for me.

          Fluency in SQL is a very practical skill. It will make your life easier day to day. It’s not perfect, it has many flaws (like null) but it is in widespread use (unlike, say, prolog or D).

        • Qt 6.1 Beta 2 Released, Qt-Project.org Called For Revival

          This week marked the arrival of Qt 6.1 Beta 2 for providing the latest bug fixes for this cross-platform toolkit ahead of the planned release next month.

          Qt 6.1 beta launched just at the start of March while now the second beta has arrived while at least three more betas are expected over the coming weeks.

          [...]

          Proposed this week was reviving Qt-Project.org and using it as the “face” of the open-source Qt project. In particular, Qt-Project.org will emphasize how open-source developers can contribute to the open-source project and not to duplicate the content from Qt.io. The proposed initial look and early data for the project site can be found on this page. So far it seems the Qt community is excited about seeing Qt-Project.org restored with a focus on encouraging contributor.

        • Not on the same page

          One of the things you hear often in the Linux world goes like “you don’t need to be a developer to contribute to open source, you can also report bugs”. It turns out that having people reporting “bugs” while there no one to fix them creates more noise than it helps the project. Especially when users start treating the bug tracker like it’s their Amazon wish list. It ends up in a Hellraiser-like situation where your project is pulled apart by hooks in every possible direction… Because I care about the project and because there is a widening gap between where I want to drive the project and the feedback I receive from it, I have chosen to distance myself from certain aspects until a better solution can be found. I had given myself the goal of keeping the issue count on the Lutris bug tracker low. Because handling a higher number of tickets is just harder when development resources are so low and dilutes the real direction of the project into a huge blob of tickets. Being it’s own special kind of project, the client bug tracker also became a bug tracker for games that don’t work under Linux, broken Lutris installers and a help desk for those who have a hard time installing graphics drivers or wine. By simply unsubscribing from the Lutris bug tracker, I simply don’t get notified of new issues created. It avoids this problem of going through my email while still waking up and freaking out because some issue make me go What The Hell!? I like being able to read my email without having to freak out…

        • Let it snow: Android 12 Developer Preview 2 lands, bringing UI and security API tweaks

          Google has rolled out the second Android 12 developer preview, with the pre-release version of the mobile OS largely focusing on security and UI tweaks.

          This is by design it seems, with Google saying it has prioritised developer-facing changes first in order to simplify the work needed to upgrade existing apps.

          On the security front, Android now has a new API to determine the integrity of an installed app by contrasting its checksum against one held by the OS or the Google Play Store.

          The documentation promises support for several hashing algorithms, including SHA256, SHA512, and Merkle Root, and is ostensibly intended for developers wary of unapproved modifications (such as those working on banking apps, or building software with built-in DRM.)

        • Perl/Raku

          • Randal L. Schwartz: “My half-life with Perl” from OSCON 2013 live encore performance

            I’ve been asked by a couple of Perl groups to give a virtual presentation. Writing new material that would only have been shown once is a lot of work for a small reward.

            But, I just happened to be cleaning out my virtual junk drawer, and stumbled across my “half my life with Perl” slide deck that I had presented at OSCON 2013. Most of the stuff is timeless, as it describes Perl’s first 25 years, and my second 25 years and how I influenced Perl, and Perl influenced me, and how my company (Stonehenge) was changed by all of this, and in some ways even changed all of this as well.

        • Python

          • What is Django ORM? – Linux Hint

            In the world of today, technology has become an integral part of our lives as everything around us has become digitized. This is also true even in the business sector. Businesses that fail to employ the right infrastructure and are not able to equip the right technological architecture end up falling behind their competitors. This is mainly because, nowadays, the amount of data that businesses and organizations rely on for their analysis has grown exponentially and as a result, for them to be able to process and interpret it in an efficient manner, they need to have the right set of tools and infrastructure to support them.

            Databases are one of the most popular technologies being used for the collection and organization of data as it allows the data to be easily accessible, manageable, and updated as well. However, these databases require a management system for them to perform these tasks. Mostly, the language SQL is used to perform operations in a database, however, as your application grows and become more complex, it becomes extremely difficult to have an idea as to what exactly each operation is doing. This is where the technique Object Relational Mapping (ORM) comes into the picture. This allows query and manipulation of the data using an object-oriented programming language of your choice. ORMs reduce the complexity of your code and make it more understandable, which, in turn, makes it easier to update, maintain, and reuse the code.

            In this article, we will be taking a look at the Django ORM, which is a Python-based ORM and therefore, one of the most popular technologies being used these days.

        • Java

  • Leftovers

    • Vote for Bonnie Prince Bob in Edinburgh Central

      What would Craig Murray be like if he had charisma, good looks, style and a huge slug of street cred? I came across this video last night. In fact virtually every single point made by Bob is a point I have made on this blog, but it sounds so much more radical coming from him.

    • Peter’s Prayer Poem Shout at the Vernal Equinox
    • On loss of languages

      Digital Language Extinction has been a a problem since the invention of computers, and the World Wide Web greatly accelerates the phenomenon. Today, “Only digitally thriving languages can take care of themselves!”

    • U.S. National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Report: Patent Eligible Subject Matter Reform on the Horizon [Ed: Nowadays everything digital is being branded "Hey Hi"]

      Chapter 12 is dedicated to intellectual property policy. Some hot button issues for reform include: patent eligible subject matter, IP protection for data and the standard essential patent process. Trade secrets may not do the job–especially with weak cybersecurity. The Report also notes: “Lastly, as further evidence that China views IP as essential in its domestic economic development, China continues to pervasively steal American IP-protected technological advances through varied means like cyber hacking of businesses and research institutes, technological espionage, blackmail, and illicit technology transfer.” The report also points to the need for cybersecurity improvements.

    • Around the IP Blogs

      The U.S. National Security Commission, chaired by Eric Schmidt, has released its final report, over 750 pages, titled, National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. The report outlines how the United States may be falling behind on certain artificial intelligence research, particularly compared to China. IP Finance reported on the report.

    • Hardware

      • When you have too much memory for SheepShaver

        SheepShaver is a desperate pun and an unusual emulator: much like Classic on PowerPC Mac OS X, on big-endian PowerPC most of the MacOS and its applications run natively on the processor, in a form analogous to KVM-PR. In fact, SheepShaver on Leopard is pretty much the best way to run Classic applications on Power Macs that must run Leopard, though it also runs on Tiger and presents certain advantages there as well. It existed first on BeOS as a paid product before becoming open source, though multiple later forks fix various problems on modern platforms.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Rusted

              • This Week in Programming: Rust (Likely) Headed for Linux Kernel’s Development Branch

                Rustaceans’ dreams of Rust’s inclusion in the Linux kernel are one tiny, ever so slight step closer to becoming a reality, with this week’s “intentionally bare-bones” inclusion in Linux-next, the development branch of the Linux kernel. When last we looked, Rust was yet a mere twinkle in the eyes of those hoping to use the language in Linux kernel development, with Linux creator Linus Torvalds signaling his approval, and now that twinkle has brightened up just a bit more.

                Curb your enthusiasm, however, as this remains a rather tentative first step of many necessary steps before Rust fully lands in the Linux kernel.

              • Rust Takes ‘Tentative First Step’ Toward Linux Kernel
        • Security

          • Acer reportedly hit with $50 million ransomware demand [iophk: Windows TCO]

            A [cracking] group is demanding $50 million from Acer, Bleeping Computer reported, in what appears to be one of the biggest ransomware demands to date. According to Bleeping Computer, the attackers may have gained access to the Taiwanese computer manufacturer’s network via a Microsoft Exchange vulnerability. The REvil group that carried out a ransomware attack on Travelex last year is believed to be behind the Acer breach as well.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Security research: EU Commission to fund technology to decrypt 5G connections

              European police authorities are invited to submit proposals for the development of an interception platform. Authorities from third countries can also participate in the research project. Several German initiatives, including those of the domestic secret service, served as door openers.

            • Antenna Up: How Subscription Data Decodes Streamers’ Success

              Instead of measuring interest in or viewership of individual shows, Antenna focuses on the relationship between a streamer and its subscribers. It works with budgeting and email apps to pull anonymous customer transaction data, allowing it to see when a person signs up for, say, HBO Max and how long they pay for it before canceling. With access to more than 5 million accounts, Antenna can extrapolate trends from those individual transactions — like when it noticed that signups to the Premium Plus plan of NBCUniversal’s Peacock jumped by 9 percentage points in the two weeks after The Office debuted on the service.

              There are some limits to Antenna’s data, though. It doesn’t yet provide the absolute number of subscribers a streamer attracts on a given day — because it can’t measure all avenues through which a person might sign up — but it can use an indexed figure that shows relative trends. Co-founder and CEO Rameez Tase says the goal is to provide insights that “unlock healthier, more sustainable businesses” as companies transition to direct-to-consumer relationships with audiences.

            • Elon Musk denies cars were used to spy in China: Tesla would be ‘shut down’

              Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk denied claims from the Chinese government that Tesla vehicles could be tied to espionage efforts in the country, arguing such a move would force the electric car manufacturer to “shut down.”

              Musk, while speaking at the virtual China Development Forum on Saturday, responded to new Chinese government restrictions on Tesla products that were revealed publicly this week.

              The billionaire pushed back on the ban, saying he would have nothing to gain from participating in espionage.

            • Elon Musk denies Tesla cars are used for spying in China

              His comments came in response to reports that China’s military had banned Tesla cars from its facilities.

              The military had raised security concerns about the data collected by cameras installed in the cars.

              China is Tesla’s largest market after the US, accounting for about a quarter of the firm’s global sales in 2020.

            • Revealed! Here’s why WhatsApp stopped working in India on Friday evening

              WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook suffered a major global outage on Friday evening that affected users globally. Over 1 lakh users reported issues with Instagram on online outage tracker DownDetector, and over 25,000 users reported issues with WhatsApp.

              Facebook messenger users also experienced issues.

            • New WhatsApp policy violates IT rules: MeitY to HC

              The government has asked the Delhi High Court to restrain WhatsApp from implementing its new privacy policy in the country, saying it violates India’s IT rules on five counts, such as collecting the sensitive personal information of users and sharing of data with its parent Facebook and other third parties.

              The ministry of electronics & information technology (MeitY), in an affidavit, said WhatsApp’s new policy is in breach of Information Technology Rules, 2011. Any “body corporate” such as WhatsApp must comply with the requirements specified in the Act, it said.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • We’re Hurtling Toward Global Suicide

        Those 17 scientists did not want you to despair. “Ours is not a call to surrender,” they wrote. It was meant as a kick in the ass—a reminder that our only chance is a thoroughgoing transformation. Specifically: “fundamental changes to global capitalism, education, and equality, which include inter alia the abolition of perpetual economic growth.” Radical as this call may seem, it was hardly an outlier demand from a few oddball pinko Ph.Ds. In 2019, 11,258 scientists from 153 countries signed a “Warning of a Climate Emergency” that called for “bold and drastic” changes to the economy, including a shift away “from GDP growth and the pursuit of affluence toward sustaining ecosystems and improving human well-being.” Two years before that, the Alliance of World Scientists made a similar call in a “Warning to Humanity” that garnered 15,364 signatures. We are supposed to listen to science now. This is what the scientists are saying: Everything must change.

      • Energy

        • Rivian planning to install 10,000 EV chargers across the US and Canada by 2023

          Amazon-backed electric vehicle startup Rivian will install more than 10,000 fast chargers across the US and Canada by 2023, the company announced. The Rivian Adventure Network is designed to allow quick recharges along highways and also includes Level 2 charges at more remote locations near parks and other destinations.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Garment Workers Win $22 Billion in Historic Victory Against Wage Theft
      • Tax Justice Demonstration in Syracuse NY

        Today the movement for tax fairness is much stronger than when I campaigned against Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2010 on the slogan of Tax the Rich for a Green New Deal. When I debated Cuomo on TV in 2010 arguing for progressive tax reforms instead of Cuomo’s proposed austerity budget, Democratic politicians said it was politically impossible and Republican politicians said I was crazy.

        Today progressive tax reforms are on the table in Albany as it considers its 2022 fiscal year budget thanks to the efforts of a broad statewide coalition ranging from progressives oriented to working inside the Democratic Party like the Working Families Party and Democratic Socialists of America to those of us like the Green Party who are independent. We are united behind a program called Invest In Our New York, embodied in six pieces of legislation, that will institute more progressive state tax structures for income, capital gains, inheritances, wealth, corporate profits, and financial transactions.

        We know where the money is. The rich have it. New York has the highest income inequality of any state in the nation. The rich can easily afford to pay more.

        In 1980, the top 1% took in 12% of all income in New York. By 2015, the top 1% took in 32.4% of all income. That’s like ordering 10 pizzas for the 100 or so people at the rally and letting one person take three of the pizzas all for themselves. They can’t eat that much. The rich don’t need that much money when our schools are underfunded, Medicaid has been cut, state revenue-sharing with cities has been cut, when the homeless need homes, and the jobless need jobs.

        The inequality got even worse during the covid pandemic. US billionaires’ wealth grew by over $1 trillion dollars last year while most people lost income. With a national GDP of $21 trillion, that like all of us paying 5% of every purchase to the billionaires.

        Meanwhile, as income inequality grew in New York, the tax structure became more regressive. Since 1980, the state has flattened its tax income structure, cutting in half the top marginal tax rate and doubling the tax on the lowest marginal income bracket. In 1981, it started rebating 100% of the stock transfer tax. This tax was instituted in 1906, but since 1981 the state has collected the revenue, now worth about $15 billion a year, and rebated it right back to Wall Street.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Twitter says it will appoint rep in Turkey to comply with social media law

        Twitter on Friday announced that it plans to establish a legal representative in Turkey, making it the latest social media company to do so to ensure compliance with a new [Internet] law in the country.

        Twitter said in a statement that upon reviewing the new law, which requires representatives for social media platforms to review content flagged for privacy violations, it had decided to “establish a legal entity” in order to “ensure that Twitter remains available for all who use it in Turkey.”

      • Twitter will set up a legal entity in Turkey to comply with controversial social media law

        Twitter is planning to establish a legal entity in Turkey to continue operating there under the country’s controversial [Internet] law that took effect last year, the company announced late Friday. Under the law, social media companies that have more than 1 million users must store Turkish users’ data in the country.

        Such companies also are required to designate an official representative in Turkey, who must answer requests to take down content that violates privacy within 48 hours. If the companies refuse to comply, they could face fines, advertising bans, and eventually bandwidth reductions that could make the platforms unusable.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Dissenter Weekly: Biden Accused Of Using Trump Rules To Fire Whistleblower

        In this edition of “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola cover a development involving a whistleblower with the Bureau of Land Management, who is being forced out of the agency with a rule adopted under President Donald Trump that was supposed to be revoked.

        Walter Loewen, an environmental analyst, reportedly raised concerns about the devastating impact a Wyoming oil and gas project, would have on birds and other wildlife. Later, Kevin highlights whistleblowing against Shell’s Falcon pipeline in Pennsylvania and celebrates the whistleblowing of Allan McDonald, who helped expose what happened in the Challenger shuttle disaster in 1986. McDonald died on March 6. We conclude with an update on the global campaign to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and an overtime discussion with Shadowproof publishing editor Brian Sonenstein on two ridiculous police proposals in Chicago and New York.

      • Australian Members of Parliament call for Assange’s release

        Senator Peter Whish-Wilson sent a message to supporters and people to make a stand against the extradition of Julian Assange:

      • Bill Maher blasts removal of journalist at Teen Vogue

        “I don’t want to talk about cancel culture every week but I don’t think people understand how much this is a tsunami and how fast the goalposts change, almost on a weekly basis,” Maher said during a segment with guests Nick Gillespie, the editor-at-large of “Reason,” and former Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.).

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • US Teen Who [Cracked] Twitter And Ran Bitcoin Scam Gets 3 Years In Prison

        Turns out, the 18-year-old “mastermind” behind the attack has been sentenced to three years in prison as part of his plea deal, The Tampa Bay Times reported. He will additionally serve three years probation on several cracking] and fraud-related charges.

      • Four more Hindu girls abducted, forcibly converted in Pakistan; police remains complacent, authorities oblivious

        No amount of whistle blowing by International or Indian media seems to have had an impact on the forced conversions in Pakistan. While the dust over kidnapping, abduction and forced conversion of 12-year-old Christian girl Farah is yet to settle down, the incident of abduction of four Hindu girls from the Sindh province comes to light. Yet again. So frequent and repetitive are the incidents of minor girls being kidnapped and forcibly converted that it becomes difficult to segregate the month or even the year.

      • Why I stand by the presumption of innocence

        The presumption of innocence is an important principle. Both men are innocent until proven guilty. A trial by social media doesn’t change that.

        When accusations of harassment and abuse are used for political purposes, as speculated by Die Zeit, it makes it even harder for genuine victims to come forward.

      • Schools keep using algorithms they don’t understand

        Major universities are using advising software that uses students’ race, among other variables, to predict how likely they are to drop out of school, says The Markup.

        The practical consequence is higher probability that college advisors tell Black and other minority students not to aim for certain majors, perpetuating and increasing “educational steering”.

        How higher? The article says that there is a university in the USA where “Black women are 2.8 times as likely to be labeled high risk as White women, and Black men are 3.9 times as likely to be labeled high risk as White men”.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Internet, a Network of Networks

        Exchanging traffic is the underlying fabric which makes the internet tick. No one provider can reach every single device connected to the internet through its own network. Network switch needs to happen somewhere from requester’s network to provider’s network. That’s why it’s decentralized.

        Smaller (Tier 2 and Tier 3) network pay bigger, carrier grade (Tier 1) networks for transport or transit as it is called, of their network traffic to reach far off networks on the internet. Carrier grade networks have optical fiber networks for selling and company usage. These are often called internet backbones as they carry the bulk of international internet traffic.

        On the other hand, peering is a settlement free arrangement with no money exchanging hands between networks which have equal benefits from the arrangement, like Tier 1 networks can exchange traffic with other Tier 1 networks in either direction or between ISPs which need content for their user and content providers which want their content to reach end user. Peering generally happens in Internet exchanges (or internet exchange point). More peering, through internet exchange help ISPs to take data directly from content providers leading to less reliance on transit providers leading to significant cost saving, reduced latency and at times improved redundancy. Internet exchanges provide a net positive impact to the internet connectivity in the region.

    • Monopolies

      • Apple’s Cook, Other Executives to Testify in Fortnite Trial

        Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and software chief Craig Federighi are among the technology giant’s top executives who may testify in its trial versus Epic Games.

        In addition to Cook and Federighi, App Store Vice President Matt Fischer, Apple’s former marketing chief and current Apple Fellow Phil Schiller may also testify, the company said. Other executives who may also take the stand include those in charge of combating fraud on the App Store, facilitating payments, game development, marketing, and developer relations, according to a tentative list of Apple’s witnesses submitted to the court.

      • FOSS Patents: Central issue in upcoming Epic Games v. Apple trial: Apple’s refusal to allow Epic Games Store and other alternative app stores on iOS

        When Epic Games filed its complaints against Apple and Google in August, many people thought this was just about bringing down Apple’s 30% App Store commission and requiring Apple to allow Fortnite to return to the App Store despite its alternative in-app payment system. In response to Epic’s activation of the latter, Apple not only removed Fortnite from the App Store but even announced the termination of another Epic developer account: the one used for the development of Unreal Engine. A temporary restraining order (TRO), which Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers later converted into a preliminary injunction (PI), barred Apple from terminating the Unreal Engine account.

        It’s a common misbelief that Epic just wants to get Apple to reduce the 30% commission. Epic’s original complaint raised some more fundamental issues, and Epic wants to open up iOS more generally for developers and consumers. The most important part here is that Epic–and others–could provide alternative app stores and thereby act as a competitive constraint on Apple in the iOS app distribution market.

        [...]

        While multi-platform app stores, multi-platform in app-payment systems, or cross-platform streaming platforms could help, “Apple imposes a set of technical and contractual restrictions that block critical categories of middleware, interfering with the competitive process and maintaining the market power of the iOS Platform.”

        Another Epic expert witness, Michael Cragg, a summary of whose opinions I’ve uploaded to Scribd (PDF), says Apple’s experts focus “on the wrong product and not Epic’s role as a would-be direct competitor to the App Store.” Apple would like the court to consider the entire game distribution market (across all platforms) as the relevant antitrust market, but Epic’s expert says those Apple experts “do not focus on the right market definition question.”

        Both Michael Cragg and another Epic expert, Nancy Mathiowetz (summary of opinions (PDF)), emphasize in this context that the mere access to, or even the regular use of, alternative devices by iOS users doesn’t really mean much for the purposes of this case. As Michael Cragg notes, “by [Apple's experts'] logic, refrigerators and TVs (let alone stereos and TVs) are in the same market because users ‘have access’ to or ‘regularly use’ both.” But in order for the distribution of games on other platforms to be part of the same relevant antitrust market, there would have to be evidence that “a small but meaningful change in the price or quality of app distribution on either device” would make “users switch from using one distribution channel to another” to an extent that it would be a competitive constraint on Apple’s own decisions.

      • FOSS Patents: Harvard and Georgia Tech professors debunk Apple’s security pretext for App Store monopolism: Epic Games v. Apple

        Apple would have us–and especially competition authorities and courts–believe that there cannot be security without tyranny: in the world according to Apple, there’s either a monopolistic App Store with all its unfair rules and their arbitrary application, or malware will take over our phones.

        To software developers like me, this is transparent fearmongering. But Apple has to say something to defend the indefensible. It can afford more easily than any other company in the world to get some people to say things that independent experts couldn’t possibly say with a straight face. And it may just hope that judges or the decision-makers in competition authorities could be gaslighted when a topic is technical and uneasiness may just be enough to let Apple sustain a harmful monopoly in app distribution.

        Come May, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California will hear what Apple has been telling antitrust authorities around the globe for a while. Fortunately, the other side–Epic–will also be heard. Based on the summaries of the opinions of Epic’s experts on security that were filed on Friday, renowned experts will help the court see through what is just a smokescreen.

      • Patents

        • Teleworking is there to stay at the European Patent Office

          The use of videoconferencing, although not uncontroversial, “will play a key role” in the new normal, according to the EPO. “Over 2 600 oral proceedings were held by ViCo in 2020, compared to less than 900 in 2019. The experience gained not only served as a basis for further improvements, but is also helping the Office to prepare for the projected rise in oral proceedings by ViCo in examination. This year already – as of 8 March – 614 oral proceedings by ViCo for examination have already been held.

          In May 2020, a pilot for ViCo proceedings for opposition was also launched. However, by the end of 2020 a slow uptake of the scheme led to a backlog of around 2 000 more opposition cases than in 2019. Following an extensive assessment published in November 2020, the Office decided to extend the pilot until 15 September 2021. It was also decided that opposition by ViCo would take place as the default from 11 January 2021. As of 8 March, 684 oral proceedings by ViCo for opposition have already taken place.”

          The EPO document also outlines plans for digital training, data protection, online events and communication and other elements of the ‘new normal’: “existing EPO staff are being given new skills to help them face the unique range of challenges posed by teleworking. Similarly, managers are being trained specifically to lead remote and hybrid teams.”

          [...]

          The covid pandemic is also influencing the EPO’s building policy: “In developing a new building investment programme the Office faces two challenges; firstly, the way buildings will be used by staff in a post-pandemic situation cannot be predicted with any certainty, and the occupancy rate can only be estimated at around 50% on any given day; secondly, the roll out of a more extensive teleworking policy could also have a profound impact on the use of EPO buildings. The details of the teleworking scheme are still in development and its full impact on building use is also currently unknown.”

          In the annex on the final pages of the document, findings are summarized of the surveys carried out by Willis Towers Watson (WTW) among staff.

        • EPO releases Patent Index 2020: Applications stable despite pandemic, healthcare innovation soars and the US tops geographic origin of applications outside of Europe [Ed: These numbers would be vastly lower had the EPO followed the law and actually granted European Patents that aren’t fake and doomed to be thrown out by courts]

          As a result of the current global situation, it comes as no surprise that the largest increases in the number of patent applications from last year were in medical technology (2.6%), biotechnology (6.3%) and pharmaceuticals (10.2%).

          The total number of applications in 2020 was 180,250, missing last year’s total by a nominal 1,282 applications.

          Other technical fields that saw increases include electrical engineering, with audio-visual technology up 4.6% and semiconductors up 7.1%.

        • Oral proceedings by video conference [Ed: Completely and entirely failing to note that this practice is outright illegal and corrupt EPO management now stacks panels to pretend otherwise]

          There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has altered the approach that the European Patent Office (EPO) has taken with respect to oral proceedings being held by video conferencing. Prior to 2020, whilst oral proceedings by video conferencing before an Examining Division was possible, this was not an option for Opposition or Appeal proceedings. A pilot project to allow such proceedings began in April 2020 for Oppositions and later in the year for Appeals. For proceedings before the Boards of Appeal, consent was required from all parties to the proceedings in order for them to be held via video conferencing.

          A communication “EPO – Oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal – continuation of the measures adopted due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and revised practice on oral proceedings by VICO” dated 15 December 2020, outlined that as from 1 January 2021, oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal may be conducted by video conference even without the agreement of the parties concerned as made clear in the new Article 15a RPBA. The entry into force of the new Article 15a RPBA is still subject to approval by the Administrative council, however, the communication also outlined that since the new provision clarifies an existing possibility, Boards may adapt their practice as regards to dispensing with the need to obtain agreement of the parties even before the date of entry into force.

          However, the legality of holding oral proceedings without the consent of all parties has been formally questioned, with an Interlocutory Decision from an Appeal Board dated 12 March 2021 (Appeal number T1807/15-3.5.02) referring the following question to the Enlarged Board of Appeal:

        • Hymmen digital embossing patent remains in effect [Ed: It's 2021 and some people apply for patent monopolies on surfaces, chewing gum, and]

          Hymmen has announced that one of the patents from the Hymmen patent portfolio dealing with digital embossing was maintained by the decision of the Opposition Division from the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich, dated March 10, 2021.

          In this decision the EPO had to decide on the oppositions filed by Barbéran, Cefla and Giorgio Macor against one of the Hymmen patents, in this case the patent DLE Digital Lacquer Embossing with the patent number EP 3 109 056. This patent has been in force since February 14, 2018. The subject matter of the patent covers a process for producing a structure on a surface of a flat workpiece as well as a device for implementing this process.

        • ABB Number One Swiss Company for Patent Applications in 2020 [Ed: This just says a lot about company size and nothing about quality of patents or actual worth]

          ABB has again secured the first place among Swiss companies in the European Patent Office’s (EPO) list of patent applicants in 2020. ABB already topped the list of Swiss patent holders in 2019 and 2014.

          The annual list of patent applications is published by the EPO (epo.org) in Munich, Germany, and highlights the companies and countries with the highest number of patents across the globe. In 2020, Switzerland remained the world’s innovation champion with 966 patent applications per 1 million inhabitants followed by Sweden which recorded 434 patent applications per 1 million people. With 8,112 patents, the overall number of applications registered in Switzerland was slightly lower than in 2019 while Sweden registered an increase to 4,423.

        • Webinar on Patent Drafting in Europe [Ed: "Maximise your probability of securing robust patent protection in Europe" even if the patents are not valid, basically by fooling/tricking/cheating examiners, then bullying or taxing others based on bogus monopolies]

          Mathys & Squire will be offering a webinar entitled “Patent Drafting for Success in Europe” on March 25, 2021 at 2:00 pm (ET). Martin MacLean and David Hobson of Mathys & Squire LLP will discuss tips and tricks to build into your drafting practice to safeguard against common pitfalls and maximise your probability of securing robust patent protection in Europe.

        • Sunday Surprises [Ed: Well, the thing called "the Community Plant Variety Office" isn't about community at all but about privatisation and monopolies; they ought to rename]

          Several internship positions are available at the Community Plant Variety Office, including positions in the field of legal advice, communication, or international cooperation. The deadline for the submission of documents is April 30, 2021.

        • Exclusive: You keep using that word; I don’t think you know what it means.

          There are two different statutes regarding Federal Court exclusive jurisdiction over patent cases. One giving US district courts exclusive original jurisdiction over US patent cases and the second giving the Federal Circuit exclusive appellate jurisdiction over appeals in patent cases. 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a) provides Federal district courts with “original jurisdiction of any civil action arising under any Act of Congress relating to patents.” The provision goes on to make clear state courts do not have jurisdiction: “No State court shall have jurisdiction over any claim for relief arising under any Act of Congress relating to patents.” Id. The second provision relates to appellate courts: The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit shall have exclusive jurisdiction over final decisions from US district courts “in any civil action arising under . . . any Act of Congress relating to patents” or where a “compulsory counterclaim” has been asserted “arising under, any Act of Congress relating to patents.” 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a).

          [...]

          Sasso licensed his patents to Warsaw (Medtronic). The parties had a dispute over which products were covered under the license, and Sasso sued in Indiana state court for breach of contract (seeking money damages). The outcome of the contract claim (apparently) largely depends upon whether the products are “covered by a valid claim” of one of Sasso’s patents. So, there probably should have been some detailed patent analysis in the case.

      • Trademarks

        • The eye of the “Tiger” – the Polish boxer’s win [Ed: Tigers have eyes. Do humans own them? The eyes? The tigers? Both? ]

          The Supreme Court largely upheld this. In its reasoning, the Supreme Court stressed that FoodCare had committed acts of unfair competition by violating good practice and the terms of the licence agreement. In addition, the Supreme Court ruled that Dariusz “Tiger” Michalczewski had independently obtained a right to a well-known mark in the energy drinks market. The right to a well-known mark cannot arise for an entity whose use is dependent and based on someone else’s license rights. FoodCare thus could not obtain any rights to the “TIGER” mark and, moreover, may not use other marks containing this element. Also FoodCare could not invoke the “Black Tiger” trademark it acquired in 2013 against Dariusz Michalczewski.

          The judgment, which concludes a long-standing dispute, confirms that cumulative protection of intangible property rights in the intellectual property system, both under trade mark law, unfair competition and protection of personal rights, is justified and expedient. At the same time, this reasoning is part of an EU trend that the personal reputation of the trademark holder is important for the recognition of the trademark and building a brand. Famous people are generally better known to the public and, therefore, their names may have added distinctiveness with respect to certain goods. The problem of taking notoriety for granted is that fame changes over time, and it might be difficult for courts to recall whether a person was famous at some point in the past.

          On the side, in an earlier Supreme Court judgment of 23 October 2020, Dariusz Michalczewski lost his fight to protect the nickname “Tiger” as an exclusive personal good.

          [...]

          The judgment, which concludes a long-standing dispute, confirms that cumulative protection of intangible property rights in the intellectual property system, both under trade mark law, unfair competition and protection of personal rights, is justified and expedient. At the same time, this reasoning is part of an EU trend that the personal reputation of the trademark holder is important for the recognition of the trademark and building a brand. Famous people are generally better known to the public and, therefore, their names may have added distinctiveness with respect to certain goods. The problem of taking notoriety for granted is that fame changes over time, and it might be difficult for courts to recall whether a person was famous at some point in the past.

          On the side, in an earlier Supreme Court judgment of 23 October 2020, Dariusz Michalczewski lost his fight to protect the nickname “Tiger” as an exclusive personal good.

      • Copyrights

        • What happens if an employee writes code in his “personal time” – Penhallurick v MD5 [Ed: Corporations raiding their staff's work (done in personal time outside work)]

          The IPEC has held than an employee produced software in the course of his employment, despite his claims he did most of his work in his own time, at home, and on a personal computer. In the decision, Penhallurick v MD5 Limited [2021] EWHC 293 (IPEC), Hacon J suggested that such factors did not make a difference when the nature of the work in question falls within the scope of duties for which the employee is paid.

          This post focuses on Hacon J’s interpretation of the meaning of “course of employment” for the purposes of first ownership of copyright in works created by employees.

          [...]

          Perhaps the most interesting part of the decision was Hacon J’s approach to interpreting “in the course of his employment”. Hacon J was keen to look at the purpose for which Mr Penhallurick was employed and what his duties were and was apparently not at all affected by the amount of work carried out on the software that Mr Penhallurick did outside of office hours, at home, and with his personal computer.

          Although the dispute was not in the context of the recently imposed home working, it seems to be somewhat forward-looking in its approach that work for an employer can absolutely be performed at home. In other words, the feeling many may have had over the past year seems to be reflected in the context of first ownership of copyright: the line dividing home/personal activity and work is getting harder to draw.

          Going forward, when considering whether work is performed in the course of employment or not, one is better served looking at the duties of the employee to the employer, and not where, when or on what the work is performed.

        • A whole new world: the evolving interaction between EU copyright law and the Internet’s normativity

          Our daily life is studded with hints unveiling how the Internet is becoming a society within our society. From the terms and conditions we subscribe to in order to use it, to consolidated practices in the online world, the Internet mostly functions according to its own rules, which either abide by or clash with legal norms, and at times emulate them. The coexistence of these two normative orders – the legal and the technological – is a long-standing, ever-enchanting, and still highly useful research topic. However, studies on the Internet’s normativity – i.e. the capacity of the online world to self-regulate – tend to culminate in a static picture of legal pluralism (not without masterful exceptions): there is legislation on one side, and the Internet sitting on the other side of the room.

          In my latest book chapter entitled “From harmonization to interlegality: the protection of the end-user in EU copyright law”[1], I explore how the Internet and the law not only coexist, but are increasingly intertwined, reflecting the dynamic reality of digital copyright markets. Intrigued by its ongoing lively reform season, I focus on EU copyright law and, in particular, on its core normative trade-off between incentive and access.

        • US Government Works on Consumer Awareness Campaign to Combat Piracy

          The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is working on a public awareness campaign to combat online piracy and counterfeiting. This plan is welcomed by copyright holders, who offer several suggestions for its implementation. According to the Copyright Alliance, online services should play a key role in educating and warning users about the costs and risks of piracy.

        • ‘Pirate’ IPTV Provider and Reseller Hit With $31m Copyright Lawsuit

          A ‘pirate’ IPTV provider and reseller are being targeted in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by DISH Network in the United States. The broadcaster claims that ChitramTV, which says it is located in Germany, the UK and US, obtains and distributes its channels online via a network of resellers, managed by a Canadian resident. DISH wants more than $31m in damages.

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DecorWhat Else is New


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  23. Links 20/1/2022: 'Pluton' Pushback and Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2

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