04.09.21

Links 9/4/2021: Kubernetes 1.21 and FFmpeg 4.4 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 7:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Librem 14 Rave

        Now that shipping of the Librem 14 to customers is imminent we should talk about some more details and enhancements we made.

        Like we mentioned before the outside dimensions are almost the same as the Librem 13 was, so the Librem 14 measures: 322mm x 222mm x 17mm.

        The total weight including the 4 cell battery, two SODIMMs and one M.2 SSD is about 1490gr (I am living in Germany, you have to get along with metric units).

      • Star Labs Teases New Linux Laptop with 11th Gen Intel CPUs, 11 Hours Battery Life

        Star Labs are well known for their slim and powerful Linux laptops, currently selling two models, the 11-inch Star Lite Mk III and the 13-inch Star LabTop Mk IV, but the hardware vendor is working on another model, more powerful, bigger, and more beautiful.

        Meet StarBook Mk V, a powerful 14-inch laptop featuring 11th Gen Intel Core processors with Iris Xe graphics, up to 64GB 3200MHz RAM, four 4 ohm speakers, up to 2TB storage, up to 6.85GB/s transfer speeds, and up to 11 hours of battery life.

    • Server

      • MinIO adds key management tools to its Kubernetes object storage product

        MinIO’s open-source Kubernetes object storage product has been beefed up with a trio of new tools that should make it easier to manage. On Wednesday, MinIO announced the new Operator, Console, and SUBNET Health tools for enterprise customers. The company said the new features are designed to help organizations who want to simplify the deployment of multi-tenant, object storage using Kubernetes. The tools should also offer customers greater automation as they ramp up their cloud-based deployments and workloads.

        [...]

        The MinIO Operator is available on all major Kubernetes distributions including Red Hat OpenShift, VMware vSphere 7.0U1, SUSE Rancher, HPE Ezmeral and stock upstream, the company said. It will also be accessible through all the major cloud providers, including Amazon’s Elastic Kubernetes Engine, Azure Kubernetes Service, Google Kubernetes Engine and Anthos.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Xen releases a new version 4.15 after a slightly delayed development process

        The Xen project has released another upgrade to its open source hypervisor.

        Development of this new cut – version 4.15 – proved a little trickier than expected, with initial plans for three release candidates and a March 23rd release stretching to five release candidates and release today, April 8th.

        Was it worth the wait? Xen’s feature list highlights the new ability to export Intel Processor Trace data from guests to tools in dom0, which means tools like Intel’s kernel fuzzer have more to work with and thus a better chance of spotting code nasties.

      • Linux 5.13 Poised To Allow Randomizing Kernel Stack Offset At Each System Call

        The ability to randomize the kernel stack offset at each system call looks like it will land for the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle. This optional feature makes it much more difficult to carry out stack-based attacks on the Linux kernel.

        Back in 2019 was a proposal by Intel engineer Elena Reshetova to allow randomizing the kernel stack offset upon each system call. This code was inspired originally by PaX’s RANDKSTACK feature to enhance the kernel security against exploits relying upon kernel stack determinism. Google engineer Kees Cook ended up taking over this effort and after ten rounds of code review it looks like the code is on deck for Linux 5.13.

      • Initial Apple M1 SoC Support Aims For Linux 5.13 Kernel – Phoronix

        While the independent effort to get the Apple M1 ARM-based SoC working under Linux has just been happening for a few months, with the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle the very preliminary support for Apple’s M1 and initial M1-powered devices looks to land.

        Hector Martin sent in the pull request looking to have the initial Apple M1 support queued up as part of the ARM SoC/platform changes for the Linux 5.13 merge window that will in turn be opening up in a few weeks.

        Since earlier this year have been a few rounds of Apple M1 Linux kernel patches for bringing up the essential drivers needed to get the Linux kernel booting on the 2020 Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air powered by the in-house Apple Silicon. It’s in good enough shape that this very early code is likely to indeed land for Linux 5.13, which in turn will debut as stable in the June timeframe.

      • Linux on Apple M1 silicon is right around the corner

        Preliminary support for Apple M1-powered devices could potentially land in the next version of the Linux kernel, v5.13.

        The efforts are spearheaded by Hector Martin’s crowdfunded Asahi Linux project. From the get-go, Martin’s objective has been to upstream his work to the mainline kernel for wider reach. He’s just submitted the final set of changes that’ll get the Linux kernel to boot on the M1-based devices.

        “Finally! It’s been a long time coming, but it’s done! This is just basic bring-up, but it lays a solid foundation and is probably the most challenging upstreaming step we’ll have to do, at least until the GPU stuff is done,” shared Martin on Twitter.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Google’s VirtIO-GPU “Venus” Vulkan Driver Merged Into Mes 21.1 – Phoronix

          It was just a few days ago was the talking of the VirtIO-GPU Vulkan driver looking to be upstreamed into Mesa and now this Google “Venus” project has indeed landed.

          The VirtIO-GPU Vulkan driver is named “Venus” and is living within the Mesa 21.1-devel source tree now for allowing Vulkan acceleration support within guest virtual machines with the native host system’s Vulkan driver doing the actual leg work.

        • Mesa 21.0.2 Is Released With Minor Bug-Fixes Mostly For AMD Graphics Hardware

          Mesa 21.0.2 is a bug-fix release with small fixes for EGL, the Panfrost driver, the RADV Vulkan driver for AMD and the ACO shader compiler that goes along with it, and a LLVM related fix those of you with older AMD graphics cards will want.

          Mesa 21 was a big release. Mesa 21.0.2 is the second minor bug-fix update to that release.

    • Applications

      • Ulauncher Is A Gorgeous And Super Fast Linux Application Launcher

        Ulauncher is a lightweight application launcher for Linux. It consumes very few system resources and has ability to run on almost every desktop environment.

        Application launchers are software whose main goal is to start and locate other computer programs. They provide a lightning fast way to access and launch apps, and also are especially useful for people who prefer keyboard navigation to mouse.

        Ulauncher is a beautiful application launcher for Linux. Above all, it is open source and easily customizable. Ulauncher has a minimal design and dependent on only a few resources. In addition to, it is very fast, and works on virtually all Linux desktops. It is written in Python and uses GTK as a GUI toolkit.

        Just press the default shortcut key ctrl + space to launch the Ulauncher and directly type the application name to launch it.

      • Kubernetes 1.21: Power to the Community

        We’re pleased to announce the release of Kubernetes 1.21, our first release of 2021! This release consists of 51 enhancements: 13 enhancements have graduated to stable, 16 enhancements are moving to beta, 20 enhancements are entering alpha, and 2 features have been deprecated.

        This release cycle, we saw a major shift in ownership of processes around the release team. We moved from a synchronous mode of communcation, where we periodically asked the community for inputs, to a mode where the community opts-in features and/or blogs to the release. These changes have resulted in an increase in collaboration and teamwork across the community. The result of all that is reflected in Kubernetes 1.21 having the most number of features in the recent times.

      • Kubernetes 1.21 Released With More Than 50 Enhancements

        Kubernetes 1.21 is the first refresh of the Kubernetes release for 2021. This release consists of 51 enhancements, which is the the largest number of improvements in the recent times.

        Kubernetes, or k8s, is a powerful container management tool that automates the deployment and management of containers. It is the next big wave in cloud computing and eliminates many of the manual processes involved in deploying and scaling containerized applications.

        Kubernetes 1.21 comes packed with novelties. So, let’s take a quick look at the more significant changes in this version.

      • Kubernetes 1.21 available from Canonical

        Today, Canonical announces full enterprise support for Kubernetes 1.21, from cloud to edge. Canonical Kubernetes support covers MicroK8s, Charmed Kubernetes and kubeadm. Starting with 1.21, moving forward Canonical commits to supporting N-2 releases as well as providing extended security maintenance (ESM) and patching for N-4 releases in the stable release channel. This allows customers to get new features and product updates for all upstream supported versions and access extended security updates from Canonical for versions no longer supported by the upstream, thus aligning with all major cloud providers for enterprise hybrid cloud Kubernetes deployments.

        “Canonical Kubernetes is about removing complexity around Kubernetes operations from cloud to edge. We bring certified Kubernetes distributions to allow users to bootstrap their Kubernetes journey, as well as a large tooling ecosystem and automation framework combination, for businesses to reap the K8s benefits and focus on innovation in the growing cloud-native landscape. Our users benefit from the latest features of Kubernetes, as soon as they become available upstream”, commented Alex Chalkias, Product Manager for Kubernetes at Canonical.

      • Kubernetes 1.21: CronJob Reaches GA

        In Kubernetes v1.21, the CronJob resource reached general availability (GA). We’ve also substantially improved the performance of CronJobs since Kubernetes v1.19, by implementing a new controller.

        In Kubernetes v1.20 we launched a revised v2 controller for CronJobs, initially as an alpha feature. Kubernetes 1.21 uses the newer controller by default, and the CronJob resource itself is now GA (group version: batch/v1).

        In this article, we’ll take you through the driving forces behind this new development, give you a brief description of controller design for core Kubernetes, and we’ll outline what you will gain from this improved controller.

        The driving force behind promoting the API was Kubernetes’ policy choice to ensure APIs move beyond beta. That policy aims to prevent APIs from being stuck in a “permanent beta” state. Over the years the old CronJob controller implementation had received healthy feedback from the community, with reports of several widely recognized issues.

        If the beta API for CronJob was to be supported as GA, the existing controller code would need substantial rework. Instead, the SIG Apps community decided to introduce a new controller and gradually replace the old one.

      • Linux Release Roundup #21.15: FFmpeg 4.4, KDE Plasma 5.21.4, digiKam 7.2 and More New Releases

        The next major upgrade for the multimedia framework FFmpeg is here as version 4.4. It includes new decoding support and new encoders as well.

        There are some new filters as well. You can explore what’s new in its official changelog.

      • FFmpeg 4.4 Released With AV1 VA-API Decoder, SVT-AV1 Encoding

        FFmpeg 4.4 is out today as a large update to this widely-used multimedia library and with it comes many new features including new demuxers, AV1 support improvements, and other enhancements.

        FFmpeg 4.4 includes a wide array of improvements over last year’s FFmpeg 4.3 release.

      • FFmpeg 4.4 Released with Hardware Accelerated AV1 Decoding, VDPAU Accelerated HEVC and VP9 Decoding

        Dubbed “Rao,” FFmpeg 4.4 is here about ten months after FFmpeg 4.3 as a major release that introduces VDPAU accelerated HEVC 10bit and 12bit decoding, VDPAU accelerated VP9 10bit and 12bit decoding, DXVA2/D3D11VA hardware accelerated AV1 decoding, Intel QSV-accelerated AV1 decoding, NVDEC AV1 hardware accelerated decoding, as well as AV1 encoding support SVT-AV1 and AV1 monochrome encoding support via libaom 2.0.1 or higher.

        New encoders are present in this release, including the ADPCM IMA Ubisoft APM encoder, Cineform HD encoder, ADPCM Argonaut Games encoder, RPZA video encoder, High Voltage Software ADPCM encoder, ADPCM IMA AMV encoder, SpeedHQ encoder, PFM encoder, OpenEXR image encoder, as well as TTML subtitle encoder and muxer.

      • FFmpeg 4.4 Is Released With Support For Even More Encoders, Decoders, Muxers and Filters

        FFmpeg, the all in one Swiss army knife for audio and video encoding and deciding, has made a fine new and rather a big new release. It adds support for AV1 video encoding using SVT-AV1, support for hardware accelerated decoding AV1 video decoding using VAAPI and Intel QSV, support for the Cineform HD encoder and longs lists of other video encoders and decoders, filters and muxers.

        FFmpeg is both a huge library and a shell executable that lets you do everything you may or may not want to do with video files. Lots of video-related free software use it for all their heavy lifting. The mpv video player can play just about every audio and video file you will encounter thanks to the FFmpeg libary. The PeerTube video hosting platform, which recently had a major new release, would not have server-side transcoding capabilities without it. Every single video file uploaded to this website is processed by FFmpeg and made available as VP9 video in 1080p, 720p, 480p and 360p by the TimedMediaHandler plug-in for MediaWiki.

      • Reco – audio recording app designed for elementary OS

        Feature bloat is a term to describe the result of packing too many features and functionalities into a program. Usually, this term is reserved for program that have become overloaded with extra “bells and whistles” features and are no longer able to perform their core function due to these extra add-ons.

        Are you tired of software with each new releases becoming perceptibly slower, use more memory, disk space or processing power, or have higher hardware requirements than the previous version while offering marginal user-perceptible improvements or suffering from feature creep.

        There’s a school of thought that recommends a program does one thing but does it really well. There’s so many feature-laden programs where the vast majority of the functionality is used by a microscopic number of users.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install BlueMail on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux

        Blue Main is a free email app, available for Windows 10/8/7, Linux macOS, Android, and iOS. You can integrate any number of e-mail accounts from any provider, for example from Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, etc. It comes with a simple and easy-to-operate interface but with many functionalities such as push notifications, unified Inbox, Dark theme, calendar, Group Mail, Encryption and Security, and plenty of options for sorting and managing mail.

        Here we will see the simple ways to install BlueMail on Debian-based operating systems.

      • An introduction to firewalld rules and scenarios

        The firewall is a critical security component of your Linux system. See how to filter traffic with zones and rules.

      • How to Install pgAdmin4 on Ubuntu 20.04 – TecAdmin

        pgAdmin is an more advance alternative to phppgadmin. It is the most popular and feature rich Open Source administration platform for the PostgreSQL database server. Which is available for Linux, Unix, macOS and Windows operating systems.

        pgAdmin 4 is the enhanced version and is a complete rewrite of pgAdmin. Which includes a desktop version written in NWjs as well as a web application can be directly deployed on a web server. The desktop version helps you to access it from local machine, while the web server enables you access from remote system.

        In this tutorial, you will learn to install pgAdmin 4 on Ubuntu systems. Also include the steps to add PostgreSQL server to pgAdmin.

      • How to Install AlmaLinux 8 Step by Step

        The discontinuation of CentOS Linux by the CentOS Project in favor of CentOS Stream heralded a lot of uncertainty among developers and CentOS enthusiasts alike. In case you are behind the news, check out this announcement by CentOS Project. Many have opted to settle for other flavors such as Debian and OpenSUSE as a replacement given their stability and reliability which was a hallmark associated with CentOS.

        The CloudLinux team stepped in and developed AlmaLinux to fill the gap left by the departure of CentOS Linux. Formerly known as Project Lenix, AlmaLinux is an open-source fork of RHEL 8 intended to fill the gap left by CentOS Linux. It promises to be completely free and is in fact binary compatible with RHEL8. In this guide, we show you how you can install AlmaLinux 8 step-by-step. If you have installed CentOS 8 / RHEL 8 before, then installing AlmaLinux will be a breeze given the similarities.

      • How to use Docker Bench for Security to audit your container deployments – TechRepublic

        One of the biggest issues surrounding container deployments is security. This is such an issue because there are so many moving parts to be checked. You might have your container manifests perfectly secure, but what about your host? Or maybe your host is sound, but your YAML files are riddled with security holes.

      • How to Install TeamViewer 15 on RHEL/CentOS/Fedora and Debian/Ubuntu

        Teamviewer is a cross-platform, powerful, and secure remote access and control software that can connect to multiple devices simultaneously. It is an all-in-one solution for remote support which can be used for desktop sharing, online meetings, and file transfer between devices connected over the Internet.

        It works on notable operating systems such as Linux, Windows, Mac OS, Chrome OS, and mobile operating systems such as iOS, Android, Windows Universal Platform, and BlackBerry.

      • How to Use Bitwarden to Send Encrypted Text or Files – Make Tech Easier

        If you use a password managers to manage and save your passwords securely, then you might have heard about Bitwarden. It is an open-source password manager that is highly secure with a user-friendly interface. However, one feature that few know of is the ability to send encrypted text or files to others. This feature was recently introduced to Bitwarden in March 2021. Here, we show you how to use Bitwarden to send encrypted text or files.

      • How to Work with Hardlinks and Softlinks in Linux

        Hardlinks and Softlinks are important concepts to understand when you are working in a Unix-like environment. In this article, we will discuss what is the hard link and soft link and how to create them in Linux.

        Linux treats everything as a file. Whether it is a block device, character device, socket, or named pipe Linux will treat them as a file. Hardlinks and soft links are also a type of file that is actually created in reference to another file.

      • How To Install Atom Text Editor on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Atom Text Editor on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Atom is an open-source, cross-platform, feature enrich text editor developed by Github. Atom has attractive features like cross-platform editing, built-in package manager, smart auto-completion, file-system browser, and many more. Apart from features, its beautiful sleek design makes it one of the best text editors for developers.

        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 Atom Text Editor on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • How to Install Steam on Fedora [Beginner's Tip] – It’s FOSS

        Steam provides a desktop client and you can use it to download or purchase games from the Steam store, install the game and play it.

        We have discussed installing Steam on Ubuntu in the past. In this beginner’s tutorial, I am going to show you the steps for installing Steam on Fedora Linux.

      • Containerize and deploy Strapi applications on Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift – Red Hat Developer

        Strapi is the leading open-source headless content management system (CMS). It’s 100% JavaScript, fully customizable, and takes a developer-first approach. Strapi provides you with an interface to create and manage all the resources for your website. You can then build a front end to connect to your Strapi API with your favorite tools and frameworks. Content editors can use the friendly administration panel to manage and distribute content. Strapi is also based on a plugin system, which makes the CMS flexible and extensible.

        Once you’ve built your resources with Strapi’s administration panel and designed a nice front end to serve the content, you will need to deploy the application somewhere. This article shows you how to deploy a Strapi application on a Kubernetes or Red Hat OpenShift cluster.

      • How to Install Joomla with Apache and Let’s Encrypt SSL on Debian 10

        Joomla is a free and open-source content management system used to create, modify and manage the content of a website. It is simple and easy to use so you don’t need to have any HTML or CSS knowledge to build the website. It is written in PHP and uses MySQL as a database. It offers a wide range of features that make it a flexible content management system right out of the box. It comes with hundreds of free extensions that allow you to customize and extend the functionality.

        In this tutorial, I will show you how to install Joomla CMS with Apache and Let’s Encrypt on Debian 10.

      • How to create Cloudwatch alarms for an SQS Queue on AWS

        CloudWatch metrics for SQS queues are collected and pushed to CloudWatch at one-minute intervals automatically. These metrics are provided at no charge in CloudWatch for both standard and FIFO queues. Following are the metrics available in Cloudwatch to view and analyze SQS queues.

      • Transform USB printer into Wi-Fi with Raspberry PI and Cups

        Many of us have an USB printer which every time it needs we have to take near our PC and connect with its cable to print. Raspberry PI with CUPS can transform our old USB printer into a more comfortable Wi-Fi device, enabling a powerful and useful home print server with CUPS

        In this tutorial I’m goingo to show you how to install CUPS in your Raspberry PI Zero W and setup a basic printer server.

        Print server is a computer able to share a printer over a network. It also includes advanced features like, for example, managing print jobs, applying user-based permissions, keep under control printing costs and so on.

        Many of current enterprise-grade laser printers already include some sort of printer server capabilities, often connected to a central print server to manage accounting, billing and maintenance.

      • How To Change Your Themes In Linux

        Since so many viewers of the channel are trying out minimal Linux distributions (like Arch Linux) and installing window managers on top of that, one of the common questions I get is “what programs do I need to install to be able to change my program’s themes?”

      • How to reduce lag in Friday Night Funkin on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to reduce lag in Friday Night Funkin on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

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

    • Games

      • Euro Truck Simulator 2 expands with Iberia DLC out now

        Continuing to be one of the most popular games on Steam, Euro Truck Simulator 2 from Prague-based SCS Software expands once again with a fresh location out now with the Iberia DLC release. Looks like SCS did good again, as the user reviews are rolling in and it’s looking good overall.

        “The Iberian Peninsula is full of rich and diverse landscapes, from semi-arid southeastern deserts to the green coniferous forests. Iberia is home to numerous historic villages and towns, narrow streets, old churches and impressive castles. Visit the capital of Spain, Madrid, the coastal capital of Portugal, Lisboa, a wide amount of coastal cities like Málaga and Olhão, and many of the inland cities. Be an important part of the strong export economy and deliver cargo from Iberia through Europe.”

      • Stadia announces even more games coming, Borderlands 3 free for a few days on Pro

        Google continues announcing more and more games for their cloud gaming / game streaming service Stadia, with a bunch of indie games from their Stadia Makers program coming. Plus new releases out now and free play days for Borderlands 3.

        First up the wonderful adventure The Darkside Detective is out now on Stadia, plus the developer announced the upcoming The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark will be available on Stadia at launch too.

        Want to try out Stadia with another free game? As long as you have Stadia Pro, which you get a free month of when you make a Stadia account, Borderlands 3 is free to play until Monday April 12 at 4PM UTC.

      • Streets Of Rage 4 – Mr. X Nightmare DLC and free update announced

        Did you love Streets Of Rage 4? We sure did and there’s plenty more of it coming with Streets Of Rage 4 – Mr. X Nightmare. Additionally a free patch is also planned!

        “After the events of Streets of Rage 4, our heroes wanted to prepare themselves for future threats. Axel, Blaze and their mates will start a very special deranged training with the help of Dr. Zan, who built an AI program from the remnants of Mister X’s brain that simulates every kind of danger they could be facing.”

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Launches the Qt 5 Patch Collection

          To support and maintain a stable Qt 5 for KDE Gears and Frameworks, KDE will maintain a patch collection.

          At the end of 2020, Qt 6 was released to serve as the next-gen Qt application framework. This new iteration has made it possible to deliver more modern software and KDE has every plan to fully adopt this new release for the entire software stack.

          However, KDE still very much relies on Qt 5 for both desktop and applications. With KDE’s goal of migrating to Qt 6, they had to do something to ensure nothing falls by the wayside. To that end, KDE has decided (until Qt 6 adoption is finalized), to maintain a collection of patches for the Qt 5.15 release. These patches will include both security and standard fixes to make sure KDE continues to remain secure and stable.

        • SoK Final Status Report

          For the Season of KDE 2021, I decided to work on Okular’s website. Okular is a multifaceted program that I use almost every day for my PDF reading and annotating needs, although it can do much more. Sadly, its website was a bit outdated and not mobile friendly. I thus proposed to rewrite the Okular website using the HUGO framework, in a similar way as was done with the kde.org main website, and keeping consistency with other KDE applications such as Konsole.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • [Old] Poudriere Guide

          The ports system is one of FreeBSD’s greatest advantages for users who want flexibility and control over their software. It enables administrators to easily create and manage source-based installations using a system that is robust and predictable.

          While the benefits of this feature are great, some of the most common complaints against port-based management are the time and resources it takes to compile each software program. This becomes even more of a problem when you manage many servers, each compiling its own ports. While FreeBSD packages offer an alternative that speeds installation, they sacrifice control that ports allow.

          To resolve this issue, administrators can use an application called Poudriere to create and manage custom packages. While technically designed to package a wide variety of architectures, Poudriere is often used as a packaging environment to package and host an entire infrastructure of FreeBSD servers.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • What’s the Difference between Mageia and OpenMandriva?

          Mandriva, an European operating system originated from France, was once the easiest to use computer OS before Ubuntu from the family of GNU/Linux. It has two popular derivatives namely Mageia and OpenMandriva from France. For dear readers who are curious about their differences and commonalities, for example to start using computer with either one, this comparison article is for you. As a starter, in this article M means Mageia and O means OpenMandriva. Let’s go!

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Two Tumbleweed Snapshots Update Fetchmail, Mesa, More

          The two snapshots updated more than 30 packages and the latest snapshot, 20210406, gave rolling release users an update of Mozilla Firefox 87; the new release had several fixes including a fix to the video controls, which now have visible focus styling. The video and audio controls are now keyboard navigable. Firefox also sets a useful initial focus in the Add-ons Manager. New features in the browser release include the “Highlight All” feature on the “Find in Page”, which now displays tick marks alongside the scrollbar that correspond to the location of matches found on that page; this is a great feature for those who do keyword searches. Mozilla updates in the snapshot were finished as Thunderbird updated to version 78.9.0. The bugfix update for the email client had some security fixes and a fix for fields that were unreadable in the Dark theme in the General preferences panel. The update of fetchmail 6.4.18 fixed the configuration parser in fetchmailconf, which had an effect in version 6.4.16 when –sslcertfile was added to the configuration dump. The new version of fetchmailconf –version now prints the Python version in use. The snapshot gave users the 5.11.11 Linux Kernel, which had some changes for btrfs and x86 KVM. Other packages updated in the snapshot included spamassassin 3.4.5, git 2.31.1 and attr 2.5.1, which fixed a libtool library versioning regression.

      • Arch Family

        • Arch Linux Adds an Easy-to-Use Guided Installer

          Arch Linux has finally decided to add a comfortable-to-use guided installer and let people install the otherwise beloved distribution on their machines in a few minutes. Previously, the team behind the project has refused to offer an official installer, pointing users to third-party solutions, lengthy instructions, and not so helpful forum threads. After all, this is a distro for power users, so there’s definitely a bar keeping newcomers and noobs out.

          The new installer, using the package name ‘archinstall,’ offers a step-by-step guided installation procedure that should last for no longer than five minutes, according to Michael Larabel, who gave it a spin. Users select their desired language and the graphical user interface of choice, set a root account password, define the file-system parameters, and then let the installer do the drive partitioning with the given options. Network interface configuration, package updates, and every other basic thing are all handled by the installer.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • How a growing ecosystem of 90+ partners creates opportunities for clients with IBM Cloud for Financial Services

          In 2019, we introduced an industry-first platform called the IBM Cloud for Financial Services to help financial institutions host mission-critical workloads with confidence while adhering to stringent security and compliance regulations. Today marks an exciting milestone for IBM. The IBM Cloud for Financial Services, now supporting Red Hat OpenShift and other cloud-native services, is generally available and backed by EY, Tata Consultancy Services, and a growing ecosystem of more than 90 independent software vendors (ISVs) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers.

        • Build and run regulated workloads in the cloud

          Maintaining compliance with industry regulations and avoiding costly and embarrassing security breaches are now a standard part of any software modernization or cloud migration effort. In July of 2020, IBM introduced the IBM Cloud Framework for Financial Services and the IBM Cloud for VMware Regulated Workloads designed to reduce the time to migrate and deploy on the cloud. Today, IBM announced additional options for banks to run regulated workloads in the cloud with support for managed Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud and virtual services on an advanced virtual private cloud (VPC) infrastructure. In this post, I cover a few of the most important developer-focused areas that are part of the IBM Cloud for Financial Services.

        • IBM, Red Hat partner with Celonis on process mining software

          IBM and Red Hat have struck a partnership with Celonis to push process mining software that identifies inefficiencies in business processes across an enterprise.

          The Celonis Execution Management System (EMS) pulls real-time data from enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems and applies process intelligence and automation capabilities to improve execution of business processes across an organization. The product primarily targets organizations engaged in digital transformation projects.

        • More Peer Reviews – Learn What Customers Say About Oracle Linux on Trust Radius

          As we discussed in a previous blog about peer review platforms, these mediums are becoming increasingly important to buyers when making IT purchasing decisions. This blog will cover the reviews customers have been giving Oracle Linux on TrustRadius.

          TrustRadius is a trusted review site for business technology. Optimized for content quality and data integrity, it helps buyers make better product decisions based on unbiased and insightful reviews. TrustRadius also help vendors harness and scale the authentic voice of its customers. Oracle Linux is one of the many products a customer can evaluate on TrustRadius.

      • Debian Family

        • Sean Whitton: consfigurator-live-build

          One of my goals for Consfigurator is to make it capable of installing Debian to my laptop, so that I can stop booting to GRML and manually partitioning and debootstrapping a basic system, only to then turn to configuration management to set everything else up. My configuration management should be able to handle the partitioning and debootstrapping, too.

          The first stage was to make Consfigurator capable of debootstrapping a basic system, chrooting into it, and applying other arbitrary configuration, such as installing packages. That’s been in place for some weeks now. It’s sophisticated enough to avoid starting up newly installed services, but I still need to add some bind mounting.

          Another significant piece is teaching Consfigurator how to partition block devices. That’s quite tricky to do in a sufficiently general way – I want to cleanly support various combinations of LUKS, LVM and regular partitions, including populating /etc/crypttab and /etc/fstab. I have some ideas about how to do it, but it’ll probably take a few tries to get the abstractions right.

          Let’s imagine that code is all in place, such that Consfigurator can be pointed at a block device and it will install a bootable Debian system to it. Then to install Debian to my laptop I’d just need to take my laptop’s disk drive out and plug it into another system, and run Consfigurator on that system, as root, pointed at the block device representing my laptop’s disk drive. For virtual machines, it would be easy to write code which loop-mounts an empty disk image, and then Consfigurator could be pointed at the loop-mounted block device, thereby making the disk image file bootable.

          This is adequate for virtual machines, or small single-board computers with tiny storage devices (not that I actually use any of those, but I want Consfigurator to be able to make disk images for them!). But it’s not much good for my laptop. I casually referred to taking out my laptop’s disk drive and connecting it to another computer, but this would void my laptop’s warranty. And Consfigurator would not be able to update my laptop’s NVRAM, as is needed on UEFI systems.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 4 ways open source gives you a competitive edge

        Building a tech stack is a major decision for every organization. While picking the right tools will set your team up for success, picking the wrong solutions or platforms can have devastating effects on productivity and profitability. To succeed in today’s fast-paced world, organizations must make smart investments in digital solutions that enable them to move faster and increase operational agility.

        This is precisely why more and more organizations of all sizes and across all industries are embracing open source solutions. According to a recent McKinsey report, open source adoption is the biggest differentiator for top-performing organizations.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Support.Mozilla.Org: What’s up with SUMO – Q1 2021

            Starting from this month, we’d like to reenact our old tradition to have the summary of what’s happening in our SUMO nation. But instead of weekly like the old days, we’re going to have a monthly updates. This post will be an exception though, as we’d like to recap the entire Q1 of 2021.

          • Sequoia: Super Powering End-To-End Email Encryption In Mozilla Thunderbird

            We are thrilled to release the first version of the Octopus, an alternate OpenPGP backend for Thunderbird built on top of Sequoia.

            The Octopus is a drop-in replacement for RNP, the OpenPGP library shipped with Thunderbird 78. In addition to providing all of the RNP functionality that Thunderbird uses, the Octopus also includes a number of enhancements. These fall into several categories. The Octopus restores some functionality that was present in Enigmail, but removed or has not yet been reimplemented in Thunderbird’s OpenPGP integration. In particular, the Octopus uses GnuPG’s keystore, interacts with gpg-agent, integrates GnuPG’s web of trust information, and updates certificates in the background. The Octopus includes a number of security fixes and improvements. For instance, it fixes Thunderbird’s insecure message composition, and automatically encrypts in-memory secret key material at rest. The Octopus adds a few performance improvements, such as, parsing the keyring in the background and using multiple threads. And, the Octopus has better support for parsing less usual, but not necessarily esoteric, certificates and keys.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNUnet 0.14.1 Is Released

            The latest version of the technically interesting GNU overlay network GNUnet so buggy you are lucky if it stays up for five minutes before gnunet-service crashes and you’re disconnected from the network. The sparse graphical GTK applications for it are still practically useless jokes that look like they were coded by a drunk highschool student during a lunch-break.

      • Public Services/Government

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Covid-19 underlines the need for full open access

            The fight against Covid-19 has illuminated the value of rapid and borderless access to research. But while most coronavirus studies were commendably made freely available to all, it remains a different matter for much of the world’s publicly funded university research.

            Change is possible, however. Publishers, research institutions and their funders are now working together to deliver open access (OA) publishing that enables high-quality research output to be accessed free at the point of publication.

      • Programming/Development

        • IBM Set To Release COBOL Compiler For Linux

          IBM has announced that they will release a proprietary GNU/Linux version of their IBM COBOL compiler on April 16th. The Linux version will be fully compatible with IBM’s existing COBOL compiler products for z/OS and AIX. Pricing is unknown.

        • STMicroelectronics releases Cellular IoT Discovery Kit

          STMicroelectronics B-L462E-CELL1 Discovery kit brings together the critical hardware and software building blocks to quickly develop power-conscious Cellular IoT devices that connect to the Internet through LTE-Cat M and NB-IoT networks.

        • Andy Wingo: sign of the times

          Hello all! There is a mounting backlog of things that landed in Guile recently and to avoid having to eat the whole plate in one bite, I’m going to try to send some shorter missives over the next weeks.

          Today’s is about a silly thing, dynamic-link. This interface is dlopen, but “portable”. See, back in the day — like, 1998 — there were lots of kinds of systems and how to make and load a shared library portably was hard. You’d have people with AIX and Solaris and all kinds of weird compilers and linkers filing bugs on your project if you hard-coded a GNU toolchain invocation when creating loadable extensions, or hard-coded dlopen or similar to use them.

          Libtool provided a solution to create portable loadable libraries, which involved installing .la files alongside the .so files. You could use libtool to link them to a library or an executable, or you could load them at run-time via the libtool-provided libltdl library.

        • HPVM 1.0 Released As LLVM-Based Compiler For CPUs / GPUs / FPGAs / Accelerators

          The latest open-source compiler infrastructure effort seeking to target a wide spectrum of devices from CPUs through GPUs, FPGAs, and accelerators is HPVM. The HPVM project today celebrated its 1.0 milestone.

          Like most compiler projects these days, HPVM is based on the LLVM compiler stack. HPVM was also born at the University of Illinois where LLVM itself was first started. We covered the initial work on HPVM more than a year ago in University of Illinois Releases HPVM As Heterogeneous Parallel Systems Compiler.

        • Python

          • Improve Your Python Skills by Coding a Snake Game

            Snakes like to eat apples. At least in the game you are about to code.

            We just published a course on the freeCodeCamp.org YouTube channel that will teach you how to create a snake game using Python and Pygame.

            This course was developed by Dhaval Patel from the popular codebasics YouTube channel.

            This course is for beginners. All you need to know is basic Python. You will learn to build a complete end-to-end project in Python.

        • Rust

          • Gping: Rust Clones For Everyone And Everything

            I’ve covered tons of rust rewrites/clones on this channel and today we’re covering another one, this is Gping, a rust clone of Ping but with a graph, however it does a bit more than just pinging servers.

  • Leftovers

    • Waiting since 1972: Vladivostok family receives apartment after nearly 50 years on social housing waitlist

      In 1972, Elena Safonova’s parents moved into a barrack in Russia’s far-eastern city of Vladivostok. They applied for social housing and were put on a waitlist, where they remained for the rest of their lives. At one point, six Safonov family members were living in that same barrack. Though Elena’s parents have since passed away, she continued the family’s fight for social housing. On April 7, a Vladivostok court satisfied a claim from municipal prosecutors, who had confirmed that the Safonov family had been waiting for adequate housing for nearly 50 years.

    • Science

      • Giraffe Genome Reveals Relevant Adaptations

        The giraffe is the tallest extant terrestrial animal, and its iconic long neck (6 feet) provides advantages for foraging for food and detecting predators on the veldt over long distances. As a consequence, however, the giraffe has a blood pressure two-fold higher than other ruminant animals needed to bring blood to the brain that is so far away from the animal’s heart.

        An earlier (2016) study of giraffe genome and genome of the related okapi (Okapia johnstoni) was not optimal, being restricted to 17,210 genes identified by comparison to cattle (Bos taurus) genome. Last Wednesday, a team of Chinese and Norse scientists published a paper entitled “A towering genome: Experimentally validated adaptations to high blood pressure and extreme stature in the giraffe,” in Science Advances. In this paper, the authors described their work on Rothschild’s giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), which provided a higher “completeness” for this genome than previous studies. The analysis provided the sequence of a 2.44 Gb assembly covering about 98% of giraffe genomic DNA. Using comparisons with genomic DNA of cattle, goat, and okapi (with sperm whale as “outgroup”), the authors reported an assemblage of a putative common ancestor between giraffe and cattle; this resulted in a prediction of an evolutionary history of 4 chromosome fissions and 17 fusions that has resulted in the 15 haploid chromosome complement of modern giraffes (albeit admitting the need for further analysis to understand the significance of this result).

    • Education

      • Dream Jobs Are a Myth, and More Wisdom From ‘An Ordinary Age’

        Over the past year, COVID-19 has radically altered young adulthood as we know it. It has disrupted timelines and milestones, like graduations or securing a first job. It has exacerbated inequities, and reconfirmed what young people already knew: this isn’t a one-size-fits-all phase of life, and young adults are firmly living in the “real” world, packed with real pressures and responsibilities. It has also isolated us, left us feeling uniquely alone: Like we’re the only ones who might have a “messy” path, or not know what comes next. Like we’re the only ones who feel we’ve failed in some way.

        The stories of young adulthood in this book won’t capture every lived experience, but my hope is that the narratives shared in it remind us that we aren’t in it alone, and reminds you that you’re good enough — right now, as is. Not your best self, not your future self: Your ordinary self, right now.

    • Hardware

      • Next victim of chip shortage will be your home [Internet] router

        Carriers have been quoted order times as long as 60 weeks, more than doubling previous waits, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

        Sharp coronavirus manufacturing shutdowns a year ago were exacerbated by a prolonged surge in demand for better home broadband equipment, said Karsten Gewecke, head of European regional business for Zyxel Communications Corp, a Taiwan-based router-maker. Since January, it’s asked customers to order products a year in advance, he said, because the lead time for components like chips from Broadcom Inc. doubled to a year or more since then.

      • Sixty-Week Delay on Router Orders Shows Scale of Chip Crisis

        Broadband providers are seeing delays of more than a year when ordering internet routers, becoming yet another victim of chip shortages choking global supply chains and adding challenges for millions still working from home.

        Carriers have been quoted order times as long as 60 weeks, more than doubling previous waits, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Fauci Admits PPE Shortages Under Trump Increased Covid Death Toll of Frontline Healthcare Workers

        More than 3,600 health workers died of Covid-19 during the first year of the pandemic, according to a new investigation.

        Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., admitted in an interview with  The Guardian Thursday that major shortages of masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment under the Trump administration contributed to the deaths of more than 3,600 healthcare workers during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.

      • Opinion | Showering Big Pharma With Taxpayer Dollars Won’t Solve Vaccine Supply Issues

        Privatization has left us scrambling for vaccines in today’s pandemic—a dangerous situation that last week drove the desperate Trudeau government to announce a $415 million federal contribution to the expansion of vaccine production capacity at the old Connaught plant, now owned by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur.

        Canada’s faltering COVID-19 vaccine rollout is all the more stunning in light of news that little Cuba is on the brink of having its own vaccine—actually one of five COVID vaccines being developed by the tiny nation’s booming biotech industry.

      • Russian Direct Investment Fund asks Slovakia to return batch of ‘Sputnik V’ vaccines

        The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has asked Slovakia to return a batch of “Sputnik V” coronavirus vaccines.

      • Headlines April 08, 2021

        Global coronavirus cases are soaring to levels not seen since January’s record peak of infections, led by massive outbreaks across Europe, the Americas and parts of Asia.

      • New York City Kills COVID Rule That Led to Repeated School Closings Despite No Evidence of Outbreaks

        New York City announced on Thursday an end to its rule that had led to thousands of public school closures despite little evidence of COVID-19 outbreaks. Schools will now only be closed if testing shows there is viral spread within a school.

        Under the old rule, schools were closed if testing found two positive results, regardless of the school’s size and even if the cases were apparently unlinked, such as those involving kids grades apart who never crossed paths. ProPublica contacted 10 epidemiologists and physicians, nearly all of whom said the policy didn’t make sense. “It’s ridiculous. Obviously ridiculous,” said Dr. Uché Blackstock, a former professor at New York University who now runs a firm focused on addressing racial inequities in health care.

      • When Births Go Horribly Wrong, Florida Protects Doctors and Forces Families to Pay the Price

        A birth gone horribly wrong left Jasmine Acebo with profound brain damage and a bleak future, one defined by wheelchairs, mechanical airways, feeding tubes, frequent hospitalizations, in-home nursing and constant pain.

        Unable to work, her overwhelmed mother became dependent on food stamps and sometimes cash assistance. She watched helplessly when her newborn convulsed with seizures. She saw her daughter turn blue and nearly suffocate during a feeding.

      • I Got My Second Shot Yesterday — and the US Saw 73,200 New COVID Cases

        I’m not sure what I was expecting after receiving my second COVID vaccine shot. Would the skies part in glory? Would flights of angels sing me a tune? Maybe some dancing Grateful Dead bears on the hood of my car? “One way or another, this darkness has got to give…”

      • Michigan signals the emergence of a B.1.1.7 pandemic in the United States

        The seven-day moving average stands at 6,431 daily COVID-19 cases, up nearly six-fold from its lows in mid-February. The positivity rate on tests has climbed to 17 percent, meaning that 17 of every 100 COVID-19 tests confirm a new infection, up from a low of 3.1 percent more than a month ago.

        Based on genetic testing, health officials estimated that 70 percent of new Michigan cases are caused by the B.1.1.7 variant, also known as the UK variant, which devastated southeast England last December and has since crossed the Atlantic and become the dominant variant in Florida and much of the Northeast and Midwest.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • [Old] signify: Securing OpenBSD From Us To You

        There was a PGP usability study conducted a few years ago where a group of technical people were placed in a room with a computer and asked to set up PGP. Two hours later, they were never seen or heard from again. Even though the end user is actually shielded in most cases from ever directly interacting with signify, I felt it was important that users be able to quickly understand how everything worked.

        We wanted to ensure all the code involved in signing met our quality standards. Without digressing too much, we have much more control over the quality of code that’s developed in tree versus code developed elsewhere and imported.

        The complexity of the code is also a factor. All those complex features require lots of complex code, which balloons the size of the import and makes auditing nearly impossible. Even if a perfect PGP codebase existed, how would we be able to identify it? Or as Prof. Green put it, “Can someone who built GnuPG 2.1.1 on Debian/Ubuntu give me a hint on which libgpg-error you used?” If he doesn’t which libgpg-error to use, I doubt I’m going to pick the right one.

      • Proprietary

        • Screw it, I’ll host it myself

          A drinking game recommendation (careful, it may and probably will lead to alcoholism): take a shot every time you find out how someone’s data has been locked and their business was jeopardized because they didn’t own, or at least back up their data.

          Owning your data and your tools

          Owning your data is more than just having backup copies of your digital information. It’s also about control and privacy. It’s about trust. I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust a lot of services with my data (the ones I do are few and far between).

        • Major DC insurance provider [cracked] by ‘foreign cybercriminals’

          CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Plan District of Columbia (CHPDC) suffered a data breach carried out by what it described as a “foreign cybercriminal” group in January that potentially impacted sensitive data, the company told customers this week.

          The insurance provider notified customers in writing through a letter obtained by The Hill and through an online announcement on Monday.

        • British software reseller files £270 million antitrust court action against Microsoft
        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • pngoverlay-cairo utility now in woofQ [Ed: It is a longstanding issue that Puppy Linux, EasyOS and so on are outsourced to GitHub (Microsoft). When people bring that up in the forums it doesn't go down so well and Barry wants to abandon those forums.]

            EasyOS, and older pups, have the ‘pngoverlay’ utility, which overlays two 48×48 PNG images. We use it to create the “close box” on the partition icons on the desktop.
            /usr/sbin/pngoverlay is written in BaCon, and has been very troublesome. It requires the executable to be in the same folder as the icons, if build it in OE, a cross-compile environment, it compiles but segfaults when try to use it. It changes the “PWD” variable, that I commonly use in scripts — that one took me by surprise!
            We also have /usr/sbin/pngoverlay.sh, that uses ‘netpbm’ utilities. It was broken but I fixed it in 2020.
            Mick (01micko on the forum) has written two replacements in C, ‘pngoverlay-gtk’ and ‘pngoverlay-cairo’. I am now retiring the BaCon ‘pngoverlay’ and using Mick’s ‘pngoverlay-cairo’.

          • AMD ROCm 4.1.1 Released To Clarify Some HIP Bits [Ed: AMD ought to delete GitHub because it is proprietary software for Microsoft monopoly]

            Toward the end of March was the AMD ROCm 4.1 release with a few new features. Released today is ROCm 4.1.1 with seemingly no real code changes but just to clarify two items around ROCm’s HIP.

            ROCm 4.1.1 brings documentation updates around HIP for their environment variable handling and HIP installation instructions.

          • Elastic and Confluent Partner to Develop Enhanced Experience for Kafka and Elasticsearch Users

            Today, Elastic (NYSE: ESTC) announced an expanded strategic partnership with Confluent, Inc. to deliver the best integrated product experience to the Apache Kafka® and Elasticsearch community. Through this alliance, Elastic and Confluent will enhance existing product integrations and jointly develop new capabilities to help users easily combine the benefits of the Elastic Stack and Kafka.

        • Security

          • Encryption is either secure or it’s not – there is no middle ground

            The principle of end-to-end encryption underpins a system of communication where only the communicating users can read the messages. To this end, it exists to prevent any potential eavesdroppers (telecom providers, internet providers, law enforcement agencies) from being able to access the cryptographic keys needed to decrypt the conversation.

          • Microsoft Teams And Zoom Hacked In $1 Million Competition
          • Pwn2Own 2021 – Security researchers hack Exchange, Teams, Zoom, Safari, Chrome, Edge, Parallels, Windows, Ubuntu
          • Google Chrome blocks port 10080 to stop NAT Slipstreaming attacks

            As this vulnerability only works on specific ports monitored by a router’s Application Level Gateway (ALG), browser developers have been blocking vulnerable ports that do not receive a lot of traffic.

            Currently, Google Chrome is blocking FTP, HTTP, and HTTPS access on ports 69, 137, 161, 554, 1719, 1720, 1723, 5060, 5061, and 6566.

            Today, Google has stated that they intend to block TCP port 10080 in Chrome, which Firefox has already blocked since November 2020.

          • Surveillance

            • “Vaccine Passports”: ACLU Warns of Privacy Nightmare That Could Create “Two-Tiered Society”

              As people try to find a safe way to gather and travel during the pandemic, there is growing interest in documenting who has been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19. The World Health Organization has warned so-called vaccine passports may not be an effective way to reopen, and healthcare professionals argue vaccine certificates may further exacerbate vaccine inequality. New York is already testing a digital vaccine passport app made by IBM called the Excelsior Pass, while countries including the U.K. and Israel have issued their own versions of electronic vaccine certificates. The U.S. government has ruled out the introduction of mandatory vaccine passports at the federal level, but many private companies are now developing COVID-19 tracking systems. ACLU policy analyst Jay Stanley says smartphone-based vaccine passport apps “raise a lot of questions” around privacy, access and discrimination. “We have systems in place already for proving you’ve been vaccinated,” he says. “Is that system so broken that we need to construct an entirely new electronic system?”

            • The Virtual Wall: Documents Show CBP Plans For Surveillance Towers At US-Mexico Border

              The United States government plans to expand a program for monitoring the Mexico border through cutting edge artificial intelligence technology.

              At the vanguard of the project is Anduril, a nerd-chic tech firm with ties to Palantir. Delivery orders, statements of work, and contracts obtained by Shadowproof help to illustrate the scope and potential outcomes of Anduril’s work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 

            • Fallback Directories – Upcoming Change

              This is to announce that the Tor Project network team will soon change how fallback directories are selected as we are about to update that list.

            • Corona pass can be doctored, warns IT security expert

              Peter Kruse, the founder of IT security company CSIS, points out to DR that it “does not take a genius” to reuse the result of an old test to make it look like it is one carried out within the last 72 hours.

              “It is virtually impossible for a teacher or a hairdresser to check whether a test result is legitimate when the results are issued as they do,” he lamented.

              All it takes is two clicks on an [Internet] browser, he added.

            • Another day, another data breach. Here’s how to see if you’ve been exposed

              In early April, security experts made public the details of yet another Facebook data breach, this one affecting over half a billion users. As originally reported by Business Insider, personal information on 533 million Facebook users spanning 106 countries surfaced in a hacking forum, with records including email addresses, phone numbers, full names, locations, birthdays, and relationship statuses. This data traces back to a vulnerability fixed by Facebook in 2019, which allowed the scraping of profiles.

            • Got your covid shots? You might have to prove it. [Ed: Linux Foundation pushing mass surveillance again, using COVID]

              “It’s a jumble,” says Jenny Wanger, who oversees covid-related initiatives for Linux Foundation Public Health. “This is all just a sign of how massively underfunded our public health infrastructure has been for so many years.”

            • Confidentiality

              • [Old] Ed25519 for SSH

                To summarize: Ed25519 is a modern and secure public-key signature algorithm that brings many desirable features, in particular the resistance against several side-channel attacks.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Ukraine says it will no longer visit Minsk for peace talks. Is this another sign of future conflict?

        Kyiv will no longer be sending its delegation to Minsk for negotiations within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine ( TCG). The reason? “Belarus today is under the influence of Russia and Kyiv has no trust in this territory.” This was announced by Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Oleksii Reznikov on Monday, April 5 — his pronouncement came against the backdrop of an ongoing escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Meduza spoke with sources close to the Ukrainian leadership to find out whether these statements could threaten the entire negotiation process.

      • ‘More offensive than defensive’ Open source analysts trace Russian troops to an army camp in the Voronezh region — on the border with government-controlled Ukrainian territory

        Russian troops are concentrating in a new army camp in the Voronezh region, reports the Moscow-based Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT). Based on open source analysis, CIT determined that Russian forces are setting up camp about 250 kilometers (155 miles) from Ukraine — in an area that borders territory controlled by Kyiv, not the self-proclaimed people’s republics. While CIT describes this position as “more offensive than defensive,” its analysts still believe that this “threatening” deployment may very well be an effort to ratchet up the pressure on Kyiv and Washington.

      • Ex-Iranian Diplomat: Revived Nuclear Talks Must Start with U.S. Lifting of Crippling Sanctions

        The United States and Iran are holding more indirect talks as part of a push to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, after former President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord nearly three years ago. The two countries agreed to set up two expert-level working groups along with other signatories of the 2015 deal, which is formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. While Iran formally remains in the JCPOA, it has faced international criticism for increasing production of nuclear materials it says are for peaceful purposes. The United States has imposed some 1,600 different sanctions on Iran in a move that has also made it harder for Iranians to import food and medicine, a situation that became even more dire during the pandemic. The main hurdle to reviving the nuclear deal is doubt over the U.S. commitment to diplomacy, says Seyed Hossein Mousavian, Middle East security and nuclear policy specialist at Princeton University and former spokesperson for Iran on its nuclear negotiations with the European Union. “The U.S. needs to do some serious steps to revive the trust,” Mousavian says.

      • Pentagon campaign to recruit Vietnam as military ally against China exposed delusions of US war strategy
      • Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jody Williams Slams Biden Admin for Claiming Landmines Are a “Vital Tool”

        The Biden administration is facing criticism from human rights groups after it announced this week it will leave in place a Trump-era policy to allow military commanders to use landmines across the globe. A Pentagon spokesperson described landmines as a “vital tool in conventional warfare” and said restricting their use would put American lives at risk, despite Biden’s campaign promise to promptly roll back Trump’s policy. Jody Williams, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, says landmines were invented “in order to maim people” and have a devastating impact on children, women and the elderly around the world. “It is an indiscriminate weapon that has no place on this planet.”

      • Biden Administration Slammed for Claiming Landmines Are a “Vital Tool”

        The Biden administration is facing criticism from human rights groups after it announced this week it will leave in place a Trump-era policy to allow military commanders to use landmines across the globe. A Pentagon spokesperson described landmines as a “vital tool in conventional warfare” and said restricting their use would put American lives at risk, despite Biden’s campaign promise to promptly roll back Trump’s policy. Jody Williams, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, says landmines were invented “in order to maim people” and have a devastating impact on children, women and the elderly around the world. “It is an indiscriminate weapon that has no place on this planet.”

      • Strasbourg Mosque a Lightning Rod for Broader French-Turkish Tensions

        PARIS – The cement skeleton of the unfinished Eyyub Sultan mosque in France’s eastern city of Strasbourg has become a repository for myriad grievances, ranging from local partisan wrangling to longstanding friction between Islam and this country’s staunchly secular creed.

        The grievances also reflect mounting fears within the European Union about Turkey’s growing international influence.

        Claiming concern over foreign — and specifically Turkish — meddling, a top French official launched legal proceedings this week against a decision by Strasbourg’s leftist government to subsidize the construction of the mosque, designed to be Europe’s largest.

      • China is betting that the West is in irreversible decline

        China’s rulers are majoritarians. Their hold on power involves convincing most citizens that prosperity, security and national strength require iron-fisted, one-party rule. They unblushingly put the interests of the many over those of the few, whether those individuals are farmers evicted to build a dam, ethnic minorities re-educated to become biddable workers, or dissenters who must be silenced. China is a hard challenge for liberal democrats precisely because its tyranny in the name of the majority is backed by lots of Chinese, albeit at a terrible cost to outliers and minorities. Today, Chinese ideas about global governance sound like a majoritarian world order. Ruan Zongze, a scholar at the foreign ministry’s Xi Jinping Diplomatic Research Centre, explained the official line in a press briefing. He denied that China wanted to export its values. But he outlined a vision of multilateralism-by-majority that—by according no special legitimacy to liberal norms—would be a safe haven for Chinese autocracy. Mr Ruan scorned governments that “use the pretext of democracy to form alliances”. He called that “fake multilateralism”, adding that developing countries need not endure finger-pointing from a West that does not speak for the world. As engines of global growth, China and other emerging economies should have a bigger say, he declared. “Those who represent future trends should be the leading force.”

    • Environment

      • Despite Pandemic Shutdowns, CO2 Now at Levels Unseen in 3.6 Million Years

        NOAA warned that carbon dioxide and methane “continued their unrelenting rise in 2020.”

        U.S. government scientists warned Wednesday that despite temporary drops in planet-heating emissions due to shutdowns triggered by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, “levels of the two most important anthropogenic greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane, continued their unrelenting rise in 2020.”

      • Energy

        • Sanders Slams Big Oil CEO Who Refuses to Testify at Senate Climate Hearing

          “These companies are producing a significant percentage of the carbon that we use, which is destroying our planet, and we want to know what they are doing to transform their companies away from fossil fuel.”

          In the latest example of Big Oil’s failure to face public scrutiny for a global crisis driven primarily by its products, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Thursday that a fossil fuel CEO has refused an invitation to testify at a congressional hearing on climate change next week. 

        • Greenpeace Takes Aim at Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Biden Tax Plan

          Greenpeace USA responded critically on Wednesday after the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a new report offering more details about President Joe Biden’s Made in America tax plan — part of the $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure proposal that the president unveiled last week.

        • Could a ‘Crypto Climate Accord’ erase cryptocurrencies’ carbon footprint?

          The “accord” is led by the private sector — not governments — and outlines a few preliminary objectives. It seeks to transition all blockchains to renewable energy by 2030 or sooner. It sets a 2040 target for the crypto industry to reach “net zero” emissions, which would involve reducing pollution and turning to strategies that might be able to suck the industry’s historical carbon dioxide emissions out of the atmosphere.

          Lastly and perhaps most realistically, it aims to develop an open-source accounting standard that can be used to consistently measure emissions generated by the crypto industry. They also want to develop software that can verify how much renewable energy a blockchain uses.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Tallinn street to close for two weeks to help frogs migrate

          A street in Tallinn’s Haabersti district will temporarily close for two weeks to allow thousands of frogs to safely migrate to their spring breeding grounds.

        • Mexican Wolf Depredation Investigations…Again

          Both of the reports are about really young dead calves, estimated to have been killed 6 – 12 days prior, in close (~20 yards) proximity to each other. There were no wolf tracks near either scene, but “It was reported that a wolf was seen in the area the previous day.” Notwithstanding the fact that the kill occurred well before the wolf was reportedly seen, or that only coyote tracks and scat were found at the scene, these two calves were confirmed as having been killed by Mexican wolves.

          And I won’t post the pics here but if you are so inclined to check them out at the docs linked above, do those photos look like bite marks or hemorrhaging to you, or might it just be some blood pooling up in the limbs after sitting for 6-12 days? And what’s with the scraped-off fur being measured in the second photo of the second file? Maybe the caliper points looked more damning in person? Dunno. I’m no expert, but it seems a little less than conclusive.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Ulyanovsk regional governor resigns after 16 years in office to run for State Duma

        The governor of Russia’s Ulyanovsk region, Sergey Morozov, has announced his resignation, as well as his plans to run for the Russian State Duma.

      • McConnell-Led Opposition to Infrastructure Plan May Haunt GOP in Next Elections

        From his candidacy announcement in 2015 until the last months of his dismal presidency, Donald Trump supported big infrastructure plans — in theory. In fact, as the pandemic took root, he argued that, with interest rates low and investors looking for safe places to park their money, the time was right for a $2 trillion investment in infrastructure upgrades.

      • GOP Threatens to Out Donors as “Defectors” to Trump If They Don’t Give Monthly

        The political fundraising arm for Republicans in the House of Representatives and Republican House candidates used a pre-checked box on its website that threatened donors with outing them to former President Donald Trump if they unchecked it. The box, if left checked, would set donors up to become recurring givers to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

      • Are Virginia Democrats Running Progressive Challengers Out of the 2021 Primary?

        The Democratic Party’s post-Trump revival began in Virginia in 2017. That’s when a state, local and national backlash against the racist demagogue helped the party win the top three races—governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general—and 15 House of Delegate seats, missing taking the majority by a tie in one district, which got settled by selecting the name of the winner, a Republican, from a ceramic bowl. Democrats then took the majority of Virginia’s House of Representatives delegation in 2018, and won control of the state General Assembly, both the House of Delegates and the state Senate, in 2019.

        But to paraphrase the old rap song: more incumbents, more problems. Now some Virginia Democrats are in a circular firing squad, with progressive party insurgents blasting the establishment. Last week the state Board of Elections, chaired by a Democrat, disqualified three House of Delegates candidates who were challenging Democratic incumbents, for various problems with filing campaign paperwork. All three happen to be Black. The state NAACP quickly spoke out against “the appearance of disparate treatment of candidates of color…who sought to challenge incumbent legislators.”

      • Karen Carter Peterson’s Ready to Bring Some ‘Don’t Mess Around’ Progressivism to D.C.

        When then–Representative Steve King, a white nationalist Republican from Iowa, attacked Hurricane Katrina victims in 2019, he learned that you don’t mess with Karen Carter Peterson. King claimed at a 2019 town hall meeting in his district that Iowans were prepared to help one another after disasters hit, while Louisianans responded to the 2005 hurricane by “looking around saying, ‘who’s gonna help me, who’s gonna help me?’”

        Peterson, a progressive Democrat who has since 1999 represented New Orleans in the state House and state Senate, tore into King.

      • Manchin Pens Op-Ed Against Filibuster Reform, Using Section 304 to Pass Bills

        Senator Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat from West Virginia and a key vote in the evenly divided “upper chamber” of Congress, penned an op-ed this week that reiterated he would not support changes to the filibuster, while also indicating he may stand opposed to other means Democrats could use to avoid GOP obstruction of legislation.

      • Ted Cruz Illegally Used Campaign Funds to Promote His Book, Watchdog Says

        Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) broke campaign finance law in using donations to fund promotions for his book, a government watchdog alleged Wednesday.

      • Grassroots Organizers Mobilize to Defend Kshama Sawant Against Recall Effort

        On April 1, Washington State’s Supreme Court ruled that a recall campaign against Kshama Sawant, Seattle’s unabashedly socialist city councilor, could proceed. Having won a string of groundbreaking victories for working people, Sawant has earned the fierce ire of capital.

      • Putin and Merkel discuss Donbas and Navalny

        On Thursday, April 8, Russian President Vladimir Putin had a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, reports the Kremlin press service. 

      • Russian court jails Navalny supporters for prison rally

        A district court in the Vladimir Region has sentenced four of Alexey Navalny’s supporters to administrative arrest for their involvement in a protest rally outside of the penal colony where he is being held on Tuesday, April 6.

      • Australian Minister’s Phone [Cracked] as Report Reveals Hong Kong Link

        A second senior Australian government minister has revealed his mobile phone was [cracked] through the Telegram messaging app, with a media report saying the phishing scam was aimed at revealing contact details of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.

        Health Minister Greg Hunt’s office said in an emailed statement on Thursday that “a cyber security attempt to impersonate the minister has been referred to the Australian Federal Police and investigations are underway.” That follows Monday’s statement by Finance Minister Simon Birmingham that he had been targeted.

      • Events in the long life of Britain’s Prince Philip

        1921: Prince Philip is born on the Greek island of Corfu, the only son of Prince Andrew, younger brother of the king of Greece. His mother is Princess Alice of Battenberg.
        1922: The family relocates to France after Philip’s father is forced into exile. His uncle, the king, is forced to abdicate during general unrest.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Russia Ramps Up Censorship Beef With Twitter Using Deep Packet Inspection Tech

        Over the last decade Russia has accelerated the government’s quest to censor the internet. That was most conspicuous with the passage of a 2016 surveillance bill that not only mandated encryption backdoors, but effectively banned VPN providers from operating in the country unless they were willing to spy and censor at Putin’s behest. Many VPN providers weren’t keen on that, so they simply stopped doing business in the country.

      • Lawyer Whose Main Claim To Fame Is Suing A News Org To Get It Shut Down, Now Complains About ‘Cancel Culture’

        As a bit of a reminder/disclaimer, Charles Harder was the main lawyer in the lawsuit against us, in which the plaintiff said directly that his intent was that we needed to be shut down. Of course, Harder’s bigger claim to fame was his success in shutting down Gawker, thanks to a concerted effort by a billionaire who didn’t like Gawker’s reporting.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Border Wall Construction May Continue as Biden Is Pushed to Permanently Scrap It

        Although President Joe Biden vowed on the campaign trail to stop the construction of the southern border wall promoted by his predecessor, the White House as of this week has not yet asked Congress to revoke the project’s funding, and a Cabinet member reportedly admitted that the administration may still authorize additional work to fortify some unfinished sections of the barrier, including installing surveillance technologies in certain areas.

      • Exactly Where Was Derek Chauvin’s Knee, and Does It Matter?

        Stiger said kneeling on Floyd for as long as Chauvin did amounted to deadly force, because “the pressure that was being caused by the body weight could cause positional asphyxia.” He said the danger of positional asphyxia, which has been widely recognized for decades, exists whenever a handcuffed arrestee is restrained on his stomach for an extended period of time. He noted that applying pressure magnifies that risk.

      • Early vote counts show Amazon warehouse workers not likely to unionize in Bessemer, Alabama

        As vote-tallying paused for the night, 1,100 employees had voted against unionizing, compared to 463 in favor. The tally presented a nearly insurmountable climb for union supporters to obtain the 1,608 votes needed to win.

      • Amazon union vote in Alabama draws 55 percent turnout

        More than half of the employees at Amazon’s Bessemer, Ala., warehouse voted in the high-stakes union election, according to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).

        Turnout exceeded the labor group’s expectations, with more than 3,200 ballots submitted to the National Labor Relations Board. More than 5,800 workers were eligible to vote.

        But the turnout does not give any clear indication of whether a majority of workers cast ballots to unionize.

      • Public vote counting starts for Amazon union drive in Alabama

        The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has begun publicly tallying votes for a proposed Amazon workers’ union in Alabama, which would be the first of its kind nationwide. The count, conducted over Zoom, may not include all potentially eligible ballots, but it will offer an early look at the results.

        The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) announced yesterday that 3,215 ballots were received from the roughly 5,800 workers at BHM1, a fulfillment center located in Bessemer, Alabama.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Uninformed Legislators Shoot Down Right To Repair Legislation In Colorado

        As we’ve noted a few times, 2021 is seeing record interest in new right to repair laws. Driven by grass roots activism, such laws are being pushed in more than fourteen states. Most variations not only protect your right to repair hardware you own, they open the door to more independent repair shops, and fewer corporate giants attempting to monopolize repair (Apple, John Deere, Microsoft, Sony, many more).

    • Monopolies

      • Big Talk on Big Tech—but Little Action

        U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar didn’t mince words about Mark Zuckerberg.

        The Facebook founder was effectively a hypocrite, Klobuchar said in March, as she opened her first hearing as chair of the Senate subcommittee on antitrust. Zuckerberg and his fellow tech titans talk a good game about the need for “disruptive” new technologies and companies to keep capitalism fresh and vital. But during his time as Facebook CEO, Zuckerberg has crushed or simply purchased any start-up that might disrupt Facebook’s dominance, said Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat. And she trotted out Zuckerberg’s own emails to prove it—in one he lamented that if new brands “grow to a large scale, they could be very disruptive to us.” In another, Zuckerberg wrote that when one is building market dominance, “it is better to buy than compete.”

        That is what he’s done, carefully buying out potentially competitive platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp. Nor have Zuckerberg and his fellow multibillionaires had to worry much about solidifying their dominance as Washington mostly looked the other way for the past few decades. Instead, Klobuchar said, legislators have typically responded by “holding hearings and throwing popcorn at a screen.”

      • Patents

        • German firm Graf von Westphalen makes push into patent litigation [Ed: What the heck is this? What happened to JUVE? It’s marketing spam by Konstanze Richter, disguised as ‘articles’… yet again. Some publications that used to do “OK” work have either shut down or defected to PR/marketing/spam, i.e. lying to people as their new business model. How is this even an article? It should be marked “advertising”.]
        • Simmons & Simmons strengthens London and Amsterdam teams with patent attorneys [Ed: Even Christina Schulze, who used to do actual journalism, has been reduced to marketing spam for aggressive firms. Pure spam, not reporting, is their business model now.]
        • European Patent Office: So You Missed a Deadline – What’s Your Excuse?

          In decision J 0010/20, a Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office had to consider several excuses for missed deadlines:

          1. “I filed the grounds of appeal six weeks late because of COVID-19!”

          The Board considered whether the appeal was admissible in view of the European Patent Office’s Notice of 1 May 2020, which stated that because of “the disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak” all periods expiring on or after 15 March 2020 were extended to 2 June 2020.

          The Board did not agree with the analogous application of Rule 134(2) EPC used in this EPO notice, since Rule 134(2) EPC only refers to the delivery or transmission of mail, and it was questionable whether it can be applied to more general disruptions.

        • New EPO Guidelines for Examination: Key changes for the life sciences industry

          A new edition of the EPO Guidelines for Examination (‘the guidelines’) came into force on 1 March 2021. Relevant to life sciences, this edition includes a new subsection detailing EPO practice with respect to the interpretation of terms relating to amino or nucleic acid sequences, as well as a new section on the examination of claims to antibodies.

          [...]

          The new guidelines now state that a novel, further antibody binding to a known antigen does not involve an inventive step unless a surprising technical effect is shown by the application, such as an improved affinity, an improved therapeutic activity, a reduced toxicity or immunogenicity, an unexpected species cross-reactivity, or a new type of antibody format with proven binding activity.

          If inventive step relies on an improved property in comparison to the antibodies of the prior art (which must be enabled), the main characteristics of the method for determining the property must also be indicated in the claim or by reference to the description. Notably, in the case of binding affinity, the structural requirements for conventional antibodies inherently reflecting this affinity must typically comprise the six CDRs and the framework regions because the framework regions also can influence the affinity.

          An inventive step can also be acknowledged if the application overcomes technical difficulties in producing or manufacturing the claimed antibodies.

        • OLD VERSUS NEW: A look at the new patent regime

          Patents are a very important form of intellectual property (IP). It is one of the hardest IP rights to obtain. It gives the owner of a patent a monopoly on the exploitation of an invention for a period of time. Some well-known examples are pharmaceuticals and medicines, which can be very high revenue earners for the patent owner while the patent is in existence.

          On January 23, 2020, the Jamaican Parliament passed the long-awaited Patents and Designs Act (the New Act). The New Act will replace the Patent Act, 1857 (the Old Patent Act) and the Designs Act, 1937 (the Old Designs Act). The New Act is not yet in force, and there has been no indication as to when it will come into force.

          The New Act will allow Jamaica to participate in the Patent Cooperation Treaty (the PCT). The PCT is an international patent law treaty and provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions in each of its contracting states. By filing one international patent application under the PCT, applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in many countries. The PCT now has 153 Contracting States.

        • Nokia settles patent fight with Lenovo

          Finland’s Nokia has settled a multi-year patent fight with China’s Lenovo Group, the world’s biggest PC maker, resolving all pending litigation across all jurisdictions, the companies said on Wednesday.

          While terms of the cross-license agreement remain confidential, Lenovo will make a net balancing payment to Nokia, the Finnish telecom equipment maker said.

        • This week in IP: Google v Oracle unpacked, EUTM celebrates 25th birthday, USPTO creates COVID award [Ed: Microsoft has turned Nokia into a parasite]

          Nokia announced on Wednesday, April 7, that it had settled all patent licensing litigation with Chinese company Lenovo over the alleged infringement of 20 video-compression technology patents.

          Though the terms of the cross-licensing agreement remain confidential, Lenovo has agreed to make a net balancing payment to Nokia.

          Jenni Lukander, president of Nokia Technologies, said: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Lenovo. The agreement reflects Nokia’s decades-long investments in R&D and contributions to cellular and multimedia standards.

          “We appreciate, and very much respect, the constructive spirit Lenovo brought to our negotiations, and look forward to working together to bring further innovation to their users around the world.”

          Nokia began its litigation with Lenovo in 2019 and had cases in the US, Germany and Brazil. In September the Lower Regional Court of Munich issued an injunction against the Chinese company and ordered a recall of all products from retailers. Two months later the Munich Higher Regional Court stayed the injunction.

          John Mulgrew, chief IP officer of Lenovo, commented: “Our agreement with Nokia reflects the value of both Nokia’s technology leadership and Lenovo’s continued investment in 5G innovation. The global accord struck will enable future collaboration between our companies for the benefit of customers worldwide.”

          Nokia is a leading standard essential patent owner with more than 3,500 patent families declared essential to 5G and over 20,000 families in total.

          The settlement resolves all pending litigation and proceedings in all jurisdictions between the two companies.

        • Todos Medical Receives Notice of Allowance from European Patent Office for Patent Application Covering Diagnosis of Cancer Using Proprietary Artificial Intelligence TBIA Immune Profiling Platform [Ed; "Hey hi" buzzwords sneaked in again to get patents on algorithms (classification)?]
        • Immutep Jumps on European Inroads

          Immutep Limited (NASDAQ:IMMP) rose sharply in Thursday trading. Immutep shares gained 5% on Wednesday after the company announced the grant of patent number EP3317301 entitled “Combination therapies comprising antibody molecules to LAG-3″ by the European Patent Office.

        • Brazilian Supreme Court grants preliminary injunction that puts pharmaceutical patents at risk
        • Software Patents

      • Trademarks

        • LEGO wins design patent case against German company at EU court

          A European court has ruled in favor of the Danish toy giant, finding that its building block design is protected. Critics say the firm is using its heft to crush competition.

        • Then and now: 25 years of the EU trademark [Ed: Lawyers-funded think tank doing puff pieces about EUIPO, which has a corruption problem]

          With the EUIPO celebrating a significant milestone, Managing IP looks backs at the early days of the EU trademark and how it has drawn in 2.2 million filings since

          [...]

          Away from trademarks, the registered Community design had become available in 2003, giving an extra weapon in the armoury of companies operating in the EU.

          Amid these improvements, trademark filings have remained popular outside as well as inside EU borders. Graulund says the long-lasting popularity of the CTM/EUTM in the US is unsurprising – “it’s convenient to have Europe in one go” – while Sammon suggests that China’s top position in 2020 shows how well trusted the system is further afield.

          But despite the overwhelmingly positive appraisal of the past 25 years, there are some concerns that from those on the ground. As McLeod notes, there is an increasingly and arguably too rigid approach to classification and inherent registrability. “I am not sure that penalising applicants whose specifications do not fit – by denying them fast-track processing – is fair, particularly when you consider how fast technology moves these days.”

          There are bound to be challenges, of course, but from the outside looking in, it seems the EUIPO is self-confident enough to deal with whatever challenges the future may hold. Here’s to another 25 years.

      • Copyrights

        • Taylor Swift Fans Share Notes on How to Make the Old ‘Fearless’ Disappear

          Friday, Swift will be releasing “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” a remake of her 2008 sophomore album, and it’s understood that many Swifties who support the singer’s choices will want to retire the original from their digital collections or playlists. But what if songs from “Fearless” — Big Machine’s version — accidentally pop up as choices on streaming sites, like old boyfriends whose pictures you thought you’d burned but hadn’t? Is there a way to make these unsightly reminders of songs that had once been most-playeds but have now joined the self-forbidden list never appear as recommended possibilities again?

          There is. The Twitter account @swifferupdates is one of at least several offering advice on how to make Swift’s OG Big Machine tracks (or at least the ones that she has yet released replacements for) disappear from fans’ Spotify recommendations for good.

        • Cloudflare Doubts DMCA Takedown Company’s Fake Employee and Special Bots

          Cloudflare has faced quite a few copyright challenges in courts already, but a case filed by two wedding dress manufacturers is taking an unforeseen turn. At a Pennsylvania federal court, the CDN provider filed a motion to demand evidence from the companies’ DMCA takedown partner, to find out more about a fake employee profile and its speedy takedown bots.

        • Jetflicks Defendant Knew Pirate Site Was Illegal, Threatened to Report Founder to MPAA

          Before it was shut down, Jetflicks was reportedly one of the largest pirate streaming services in the US. To date, three defendants have indicated that they relied on professional advice suggesting the platform was legal but the Government is far from convinced. According to a new filing, the defendants knew exactly what they were doing and one even threatened to report another to the MPAA.

        • What Google’s API copyright win over Oracle means

          If you listen to Oracle, then the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) deciding that application programming interfaces (API) can’t be strictly copyrighted because fair use applies was an awful decision. Google, the victor, disagrees. But, while this was a major win for Google, it was an even bigger win for all software developers — yes, even Oracle’s — and for open API and open-source software in particular.

        • The Google Vs Oracle Saga Is Finally Over. The US Supreme Court Ruled In Favor Of Google.

          The American Oracle-corporation filed a lawsuit against the American Google-corporation of over Google’s use of Java API headers on the Android platform in August 2010. That saga is finally over after it had dragged for more than a decade. The supreme court rules that Google’s use of the API headers in questions does not violate Oracle’s imaginary property rights.

          The Google vs Oracle court-case over Google’s use of Java API headers was kind of a big deal ages ago. Google took 11,500 lines of API headers and structures from Sun’s Oracle-owned Java implementation and used that as a vital part of their Android operating system.

          A judge which some programming experience ruled in Google’s favor in 2012. Oracle wasn’t happy with that outcome, so the court-case dragged on and on. And on. And on. The US supreme court finally ended the whole saga with a ruling in Google’s favor on April 5th, 2021.

        • Google won… but did we win?

          In the long-running Google v. Oracle lawsuit tango, Google came out on top after the US Supreme Court ruled 6-2 in favor of Google. So to answer the question in the title… well, first… it’s not a zero-sum game.

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