Links 12/4/2021: RSS Guard 3.9.2 and IBM-Funded Hacks Keep Attacking RMS

Posted in News Roundup at 6:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • A Linux Safari to Classify the Genus of This Penguin

      Recently, I took an interest in poking at Gentoo a bit. In the eyes of many desktop Linux users, it’s considered a rite of passage to install this historically significant distribution. I’ve scaled Mt. Arch, so Gentoo Peak is next in my Linux mountaineering.

      Before I started sinking time into it, though, I wanted to see just what I would gain from the formidable task of installing Gentoo. In other words, what does Gentoo bring to the table? A lot, it turns out, but we’ll get there in time.

      This curiosity sent me on a much more interesting Linux safari to explore what truly differentiates distributions. What follows is the classification field guide I wish I had when I began my Linux journey.

    • Is Linux A More Secure Option Than Windows For Businesses?

      There are many factors to consider when choosing an OS, security being among one of the most critical. The general consensus among experts is that Linux is the most secure OS by design – an impressive feat that can be attributed to a variety of characteristics including its transparent open-source code, strict user privilege model, diversity, built-in kernel security defenses and the security of the applications that run on it.

      The high level of security, customization, compatibility and cost-efficiency that Linux offers make it a popular choice among businesses and organizations looking to secure high-value data. Linux has already been adopted by governments and tech giants around the world including IBM, Google and Amazon, and currently powers 97% of the top one million domains in the world. All of today’s most popular programming languages were first developed on Linux and can now run on any OS. In this sense, we’re all using Linux – whether we know it or not!

      This article will examine why Linux is arguably the best choice for businesses looking for a flexible, cost-efficient, exceptionally secure OS. To help you weigh your options, we’ll explore how Linux compares to Windows in the level of privacy and protection against vulnerabilities and attacks it is able to offer all businesses and organizations.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 10 Reasons To Change Windows 10 To Linux

        Windows 10 has been around for a long time, but not everyone likes it. On the other hand, support for Windows 7 ended in early 2020, and users must either upgrade to a new version or look for an alternative. For such cases, there are a huge number of free Linux distributions that you can try and start using.

        In today’s article I will give 10 reasons why you should leave Windows in favor of Linux. Linux-based operating systems are open source and freely distributed, but this is not their only advantage.


        In this article, we’ve covered 10 reasons why you should replace Windows 10 with Linux. Every year there are more and more such reasons. Previously, Linux was positioned only as a system for servers. Now everything is not so bad on home computers. In addition, thanks to Valve for Linux, games have appeared. I hope this article will help those who still have doubts. Have you already switched to Linux? What are the most compelling reasons for you? Write in the comments!

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • MX Linux 19.4 overview | simple configuration, high stability, solid performance.

        In this video, I am going to show an overview of MX Linux 19.4 and some of the applications pre-installed.

      • Destination Linux 221: Our Backup & Data Recovery Methods: Break Glass In Case Of System Failure

        This week’s episode of Destination Linux, we breakdown all of our systems for Backups & Data Recovery! We have some great news on how Open Source is being used to fight rare genetic diseases on multiple fronts. Later in the show, we’re also going to cover Facebooks latest 500 Million record breach. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you.

      • LHS Episode #406: HamPi and HamPC Deep Dive

        Hello and welcome to Episode 406 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, we interview Dave Slotter, W3DJS, of the HamPi and HamPC projects. We learn a little bit about dave, then we take an in-depth look at his ham shack distribution projects. We explore how to get them, compile them, configure and use them and also get support for them. Thank you for listening to this episode of the show. We hope you have a fantastic week and join us again for our next episode.

      • WP Briefing: Who Is WordPress?

        In this episode, Josepha explores the five groups within the WordPress ecosystem and provides a high-level example of how they interact and support one another. As always, stay tuned for the small list of big things and a contributor highlight.

      • Create Beautiful Websites Using Emacs Org Mode

        In my never-ending quest to find the perfect way to create beautiful (yet minimal) websites, I had to try out Org Export in Emacs. Since I tend to write everything in Org Mode these days, it would be amazing to simply be able to convert my Org docs into HTML, and maybe add a little CSS to spice things up.

      • Free Software: Is It Just A Thing Of The Past?

        Free software is an idea that has existed since before the foundation of Linux but has the idea become stuck in the past and is FOSS something that we should move past, this author seems to think so, I disagree though.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.12 release date may be delayed

        The final release of the next version of the Linux kernel might be pushed back by a week, following a larger than expected release candidate (RC).

        One of the largest RC releases, Linux kernel 5.12-rc7, is just the latest in a series of issues that have plagued the current release cycle.

        “I’m still waffling about the final 5.12 release. The fact that we have a big rc7 does make me think that I’ll probably do an rc8 this time around,” wrote Linus Torvalds, the release manager of the mainline Linux kernel.

      • Apple M1 Hardware Support to be Merged into Linux Kernel 5.13

        Linux users will be able to install their favorite distribution on Apple’s M1-based hardware.

        Hector Martin has merged the initial support for Apple M1 hardware into the Linux SOC (System On a Chip) tree. Martin is the founder of Asahi Linux, a project to port Linux to Apple Silicon Macs. The project was started in 2020, using the M1 Mac Mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro hardware. The Asahi goal is “not just to make Linux run on these machines but to polish it to the point where it can be used as a daily OS.”

        Now that M1 support has been merged into the tree, it should make it into the Linux kernel for the 5.13 release (which should come sometime this summer). That does not mean, however, you’ll be able to run Linux on Apple Silicon this summer. In fact, at the moment there is no timetable for full support. The reason for this is porting Linux to Apple Silicon is a daunting task. Because Apple doesn’t release any documentation for the M1 hardware, everything must be reverse-engineered and drivers must then be written.

      • MSM DRM Driver Picks Up Initial Support For The Snapdragon SC7280 – Phoronix

        The MSM DRM driver changes have been sent to DRM-Next for this Freedreno aligned project providing open-source graphics/display driver support for Qualcomm SoCs.

        Most notable to the MSM driver changes slated for Linux 5.13 is the initial support for the SC7280, a forthcoming Snapdragon SoC that has seen rumors and various information in recent weeks. The SC7280 SoC so far has surfaced within reports about future Google Chromebooks. Details on the SC7280 remain light.

      • Intel DG1 Graphics Card Nears Working State On Linux – Phoronix

        While these kernel patches aren’t expected to land until the Linux 5.14 kernel cycle later in the summer, a set of 19 patches published on Monday morning begin allowing a test system to boot with the DG1 graphics card.

        Intel’s open-source driver engineers continue pushing a lot of Linux patches around DG1 specifically and other underlying driver changes for being able to support discrete graphics processors with their i915 kernel driver.

      • Minimizing struct page overhead

        There is a struct page associated with every base page (4K) of system memory, regardless of use. This rather contentious data structure is 64bytes long. While it looks small, it exists for every base page (4K) of system memory regardless of how process page tables (huge pages) may look. Thus, on x86, its overhead is about 1.5% of total physical memory… or for quick math, it is 16 GB per 1 TB. In systems where the Trusted Computing Base (TCB) is small and memory availability is a concern, 1.5% can quickly translate to tens of GB of wasted memory that could be dedicated to guests.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Introducing Pipeworld: Spreadsheet Dataflow Computing

          Now for something completely different. In the spiritual vein of One Night in Rio: Vacation photos from Plan9 and AWK for multimedia, here is a tool that is the link that ties almost all the projects within the Arcan umbrella together into one – and one we have been building towards for a depressing number of years and tens of thousands of hours.


          Pipeworld will join Safespaces in acting as the main requirement ‘driver’ in improving Arcan and evolving its set of features, while Durden takes the backseat and moves more towards stabilisation.

          These projects are not entirely disjunct. Pipewold has been written in such a way that the dataflow and window management can be integrated as tools in these two other environments so that you can mix and match – have Pipeworld be a pulldown HUD in Durden or 360 degrees programmable layers in Safespaces with 3D data actually looking that way.

          The analysis and statistics tools that are part of Senseye will join in here, along with other security/reverse engineering projects I have around here.

          Accessibility will be one major target for this project. The zoomable nature helps a bit, but much more interesting is the data-oriented workflow; with it comes the ability to logically address / route and treat clients as multi-representation interactive ‘data sources’ with typed inputs and outputs rather than mere opaque box-trees with prematurely composed (mixed contents) pixels and rigid ‘drag and drop’ as main data exchange. With programmable text-to-speech and OCR already available to any Arcan application, when combined with the logically

          Another major target is collaboration. Since we can dynamically redirect, splice, compose and transform clients in a network friendly way, new collaboration tools emerge organically from the pieces that are already present.

          Where we need much more work is at the edges of client and device compatibility, i.e. modify the bridge tools to provide translations to non-native clients. A direct and simple example is taking our Xorg fork, Xarcan, and intercept ‘screen reading’ requests and substitute for whatever we route to it at the moment – as well as exposing composed cell output as capture devices over v4l2-loopback and so on.

    • Benchmarks

      • Radeon Vulkan Variable Rate Shading Benchmarks For Boosting RDNA2 Performance

        Landing in Mesa 21.1 on Friday was a variable rate shading (VRS) override for the Radeon Vulkan “RADV” driver for providing significant performance boosts by effectively rendering less. This feature is limited to RDNA2 graphics processors while here are some benchmarks on what it means for 4K gaming with the AMD Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards on Linux.

        The Mesa RADV driver has Variable Rate Shading (VRS) support for trading less rendering for higher performance. The driver allows setting an environment variable (RADV_FORCE_VRS) to force-enable the functionality even for games/software not making direct use of Vulkan VRS. A value of 2×2 will reduce the fragment shader invocations per pixel to one per 2×2 pixels as a decent performance boost while not degrading quality too much. For the benchmarking today I tested the RDNA2 graphics cards available with the 2×2 setting compared to no overrides.

    • Applications

      • Nuvola Player 4.21 Brings Official Support for Linux Mint, Anghami Support, and More

        Nuvola Player 4.21 looks to be a major update to this overlooked media player that gives you instant access to a wide range of popular media streaming services like Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon Music, Jamendo, Tidal, BBC iPlayer, DI.FM, SoundCloud, ownCloud Music, SiriusXM, and many others.

        Two major changes are implemented in this update, the first being official support for the Linux Mint distribution in the way that the player will no longer give you errors during installation and it better integrates with both the Cinnamon and MATE desktop environments, and the second is support for the Anghami Arabic music streaming service.

      • Element Keeps conversations in your control

        You are probably using chat applications like Slack, WhatsApp, Discord, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and another chat app. These are all great to have but in using them you are making a trade-off; you are trading security and privacy for a service that easy to use.

        Matrix is an open standard for communication messages. It is not a server so much as a standard way for clients and servers to talk with each other. The clients and server are open sources. With Matrix, you are not giving your data away to a company that is going to profile you and target advertising at you. This provides a degree of transparency you can look at the code, and you can be confident that it is behaving itself.

        Many developer love Matrix because it let them build on it like Lego bricks and write their clients and servers bots or anything else you can self-host your Matrix server and that means you can create a private community where it knows that your communications are not being intercepted by anybody else. Matrix also has the option for end-to-end encryption, so you know that your messages are private.

        Let’s take a look at a Matrix client known as Element (Riot and Vector) and it is pretty much the reference messaging client.

      • RSS Guard 3.9.2

        RSS Guard is a simple (yet powerful) feed reader. It is able to fetch the most known feed formats, including RSS/RDF and ATOM. It’s free, it’s open-source. RSS Guard currently supports Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian. RSS Guard will never depend on other services – this includes online news aggregators like Feedly, The Old Reader and others.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Use tcpdump and 6 Examples

        Are you trying to capture data packets in order to analyze traffic on your network? Maybe you are a server administrator who has bumped into an issue and wants to monitor transmitted data on the network. Whatever the situation be, the tcpdump Linux utility is what you need.

        In this article, we will discuss the tcpdump command in detail, along with some guides on how to install and use tcpdump on your Linux system.

      • How to play The Forest on Linux

        The Forest works on Linux, but only with Proton’s help, which is a built-in feature of the Linux release of Steam. So, before we can go over how to configure the game, we must demonstrate how to install Steam on Linux.

      • How to Install CopyQ Clipboard Manager 4.0.0 in Ubuntu 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        The CopyQ clipboard manager released version 4.0.0 a day ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 18.04 via PPA.

        CopyQ is a free and open-source clipboard manager with editing and scripting features. The new 4.0.0 release features new script engine with some new functions, better ECMAScript support, improved performance.

      • These 10 Sed Examples Will Make You a Linux Power User

        Editing text files and terminal output is an everyday job for those who administer Linux machines. Command-line utilities like sed allow a user to modify and change the content of a text file right from the terminal window.

        In this article, we will discuss the sed command in detail, along with some essential examples that demonstrate the power of the sed utility in Linux.

      • Forgot Your Linux Mint password- Here is a way to recover it.

        Just like Ubuntu Linux distros, resetting passwords on Linux Mint is the same, you have to use the advance boot option to perform the job. Using this we can even change or reset the root password or some other users as well. Just what you have to do is, restart your Linux PC or laptop in recovery mode and follow the steps given in this article to change the password.

        Linux Mint is quite easy to use distro, however, if don’t remember your current password then just like any other operating system, it won’t let you log in. However, as there is no option to recover the current password of your Linux root and other users. Thus, the only option left with us is resetting it manually using the command line. Well, don’t worry, even if you are a Linux beginner, the steps to do that are really a piece of cake.

      • How to Run Shell Script as SystemD Service in Linux

        Systemd is a software application that provides an array of system components for Linux operating systems. It is the first service to initialize the boot sequence. This always runs with pid 1. This also helps use to manage system and application service on our Linux operating system.

        We can also run any custom script as systemd service. It helps the script to start on system boot. This can be helpful for you to run any script which required to run at boot time only or to run always.

        In our previous tutorial we have provides you instructions to run a Python script using Systemd. This tutorial coverts to run a shell script as Systemd service.

      • Linux 101: How to quickly open a terminal in a specific directory – TechRepublic

        Unlike when working with a server, when using the Linux desktop, I spend more time with a GUI than I do the command line. That doesn’t mean I never touch the command line from within a desktop environment. In fact, I do so on a daily basis. I also try to use it as efficiently as possible.

      • How to Easily Transfer Files between Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone
      • Arch-linux building from source – and Obarun to the rescue

        What if, there was a benefit in building from source, a system that is commonly used by pre-fabricated binary packages, like Arch or any of its forks and desktop flavors? What Arch considers a “clean-chroot” is primarily of need to developers ensuring their package can be both satisfied for all dependencies AND are reproducible, as long as this can be achieved within a constantly rolling distribution. That is open and nearly free condition for you.


        Scratch most of this for several reasons. We are not developers, we are building our own system like Gentoo-ers, k1ss-ers, Crux-ers, and others do. We want to make sure that each of our packages fits well within the parameters of our specific machine, and it wasn’t built on another machine that may not be 100% compatible to ours. One of the aspects of Arch’s clean chroot that shouldn’t be neglected is the tmpfs space a chroot is given. That 20G is borderline enough to build some packages … that may be compiling for half a day and end with an error message “no space left on device“. That is a very sad waste of electricity and processing mileage.

      • Install Wine 6.6 in Ubuntu 20.04 / Linux Mint & Fedora 33

        Wine team released its new development version 6.6

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install wine 6.6 in Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 20.04, Fedora 33, and Linux Mint 20.1.

      • How to use the tail command in Ubuntu Linux

        Everyone knows about the cat command alternative to the tail command , which is used to view the contents of files. But in some cases you don’t need to look at the whole file, sometimes it’s enough to look only at the end of the file. For example, when you want to see the contents of a log file, you do not need what it starts with, you will have enough of the latest error messages.

        To do this, you can use the tail command, it allows you to output a specified number of lines from the end of the file, as well as display new lines online. This article will look at the tail Linux command.

      • How to enable Large Indexes in MariaDB 10 on Debian 10

        This tutorial shows you how to enable large indexes in MariaDB 10 on Debian 10. This refers to the innodb_large_prefix option which exists in MariaDB and MySQL. I will show you how to enable the large index option permanently by editing the MariaDB configuration file and I will also show you how to enable it temporarily in the current database session by using SQL commands. InnoDB large prefix allows it to have index key prefixes up to 3072 bytes (for 16k pages, smaller otherwise).

      • Fix for menu font size in LibreOffice

        This morning posted how LibreOffice was compiled in EasyOS:


        …and mentioned that menu font size is a bit small.
        Well, that is the case for all gtk+3 applications, compared with gtk+2 apps. The reason is, Easy is released with a theme set for gtk+2 apps, but no theme set for gtk+3 apps. So gtk+3 apps use the default theme built-in to gtk+3.

      • Fedora 34/33 Enable root Account Password/Login – If Not True Then False

        This is quick guide howto enable root account password/login on Fedora 34/33.

      • FreeIPA and Foreman Proxy development setup

        I have been avoiding this for like ten years now, but today is the day when I will setup a FreeIPA with Foreman Proxy for development and testing purposes and here are my notes.

        The goal is to deploy a libvirt VM with IPA server and Foreman Proxy intergated with it. The domain will be ipa.lan and the host named ipa.ipa.lan. This is NOT how you should deploy production Foreman FreeIPA integration! For that, reading our official documentation and using foreman-installer is suggested instead.

    • Games

      • OpenHV, a free and open source RTS based on the unreleased Hard Vacuum has a stable build

        If you’re looking out for a new real-time strategy (RTS) to play you’re in luck. Recently, OpenHV has a first stable release powered by the OpenRA game engine.

        OpenHV has a fun history, basing the game around an unreleased game named Hard Vacuum that developer Daniel Cook wrote up a Post Mortem for back in 2005. Tons of assets were released under open licenses, along with details on what the gameplay would be like and so OpenHV was created from the ashes. OpenHV also uses the remastered Tyrian Graphics and the Iron Plague artwork by Daniel Cook as well.

      • Get three months FREE of Stadia Pro thanks to Lenovo

        Want to get some free Pro time on Google Stadia? Here’s a chance for you if you act quick enough as Lenovo are giving away 3 months of Stadia Pro for FREE.

        All you have to do is register for an account with their Lenovo Legion Gaming community, confirm your email and then it will send you to a special page to claim which will look like this:

      • Check out the Linux system specs needed for the Metro Exodus port releasing April 14

        Metro Exodus will be officially releasing for Linux on April 14, ahead of the release 4A Games and Deep Silver have put out some new system requirements.

      • Wolfenstein – Blade of Agony releases Chapter 3 plus a revamped Chapter 1 & 2 on April 30

        Even more glorious retro FPS goodness is coming! Wolfenstein – Blade of Agony, the incredible GZDoom story-driven free game will be getting a brand new release on April 30.

        “Blade of Agony is a story-driven FPS. The project is inspired by WWII shooters from the 90′s and early 2000′s, like Wolfenstein 3D, Medal of Honor, and Call of Duty, but with faster-paced gameplay in the spirit of Doom! The game can be played standalone using the GZDoom engine as a base.”


        So running it on Linux is as easy as another other Doom-like mod you want to play so we expect no Linux-specific issues at release. You can also use the Snap / Flathub packages.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE KWin Introducing Item-Based Scenes For Improved Wayland Support

          More KDE KWin Wayland improvements are coming down the pipe.

          KDE developer Vlad Zahorodnii has been working on furthering along the KWin compositor’s Wayland support with one of his latest undertakings to adapt the compositor’s existing window-level-focused scene structure into an item-based scene. The items in turn can represent individual surfaces like tooltips, server-side decoration items, etc. This opens up per-item damage tracking and other possible improvements moving forward and potentially a scene/render graph.

    • Distributions

      • The Best Linux Distros for a Touchscreen Monitor

        The concept of using Linux on a touchscreen monitor or two-in-one computer has come a long way. Touchscreen support is now built in to the Linux kernel, so theoretically, any Linux distribution should run with a touchscreen. That said, not every distribution will be easy to use on a touchscreen, and this comes down to the desktop. This means choosing the best Linux distros for a touchscreen that use the optimal desktop out of the box.

        For example, using a tiling window manager like Awesome or i3 isn’t going to do you much good on a touchscreen. Choose the right desktop (more precisely, desktop environment), and you’ll have a much better time using Linux with a touchscreen.

      • Top 3 Linux Server Operating Systems in 2021

        In this article we will look at several Linux distributions, which are an excellent choice if we want to use them as servers. We chose them precisely because they have an excellent level of security, regular patch maintenance and updates, and huge communities. In addition, there are thousands of tutorials on the Internet for every single thing on how to do it and last but not least they are easy to use.


        Although we have not put them in the top three, not because they are not unique server operating systems, but because they require more patience, knowledge and time, we must mention FreeBSD, Red Hat, Cent OS and Fedora.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 13.0 – Full Desktop Experience

          With the release of FreeBSD 13.0 on the horizon, I wanted to see how it shapes up on my Lenovo T450 laptop. Previous major releases on this laptop, using it as a workstation, felt very rough around the edges but with 13, it feels like the developers got it right.

          I like to keep things simple when it comes to a desktop operating system so the description below is how I went from a fresh install of FreeBSD 13.0RC1 to a working environment that is based on using the XFCE4 desktop experience.

          The FreeBSD install process is simple and well documented in other official locations, so I am not going to repeat that here. However, some of the configuration items that I did select was to use ZFS on Root, encrypted swap and disabled all services (this is a workstation, not a server).

          Once the machine had been rebooted, we need to set it up so that suspend/resume works correctly (and tests as such) and enable power management. The main issue that people have getting the resume part of the suspend/resume to work is not having the drm or xf86 drivers loaded that are applicable to the onboard graphics.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Arch Family

        • Comparison Of Debian vs Arch Linux

          Debian and Arch Linux are what many distributions are based on. But what are they and what are their main differences? Can they be used as an operating system for a server or home computer?

          In their development, they hold radically different views. Debian is the main GNU / Linux distribution with all the ensuing ones. Arch Linux – DIY distribution (do it yourself). But let’s talk about everything in order.

          Let’s start comparing Debian and Arch Linux as usual with the installation. Debian has a graphical installer. Most of the questions are not difficult. Although some points could be automated, such as adding a Grub bootloader. In general, if you read the tips carefully, then even a beginner will cope with the installation. After that, only the basic set of programs will be available to you.

          There are several installation images, by default a small image is offered with the installation of most packages from the Internet. There is also a kit for full installation. However, this is not the best solution, as multiple disks are used. But if you do not need several desktop shells, then download the live image with the desired environment. With it you will not only get acquainted with the distribution, but also get a quick installation.

          Arch Linux does not have a graphical installer, it does not even have a text version. All commands must be registered manually, starting with the disk layout and ending with the installation of the environment and the bootloader. This method of installation scares away not only beginners but also experienced users.

        • MacOs, Windows and Linux running simultaneously on an old PC

          Luke Metoki virtualized MacOS and Windows simultaneously on an 2000s-era PC, with Arch Linux as the host organism. The mad science worked, but Windows was “very sluggish” if not given the lion’s share of RAM.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • [Older] Fedora Linux 34 Beta with GNOME 40 is here

          Oh my. Today is officially the day many of us have been waiting for. Yes, Fedora Linux 34 has officially achieved Beta status, and you can download it immediately. For many Linux users, Fedora is considered the best overall operating system to be based on that open source kernel, and I happen to agree. The distro focuses on truly free and open source software — a pure Linux experience. It is also fairly bleeding edge, but at the same time, it remains stable for everyday use. Hell, even the inventor of Linux, Linus Torvalds, uses Fedora.

          But what is so exciting about Fedora 34 Beta? Well, this pre-release version of the upcoming operating system uses GNOME 40 as its default desktop environment, and version 40 is the most electrifying version of GNOME in years. GNOME 40 is notable for having a horizontal workspace switcher and having the Dash (favorites launcher) moved to the bottom of the screen.

          “Fedora 34 Workstation Beta includes GNOME 40, the newest release of the GNOME desktop environment. GNOME 40 represents a significant rewrite and brings user experience enhancements to the GNOME shell overview. It changes features like search, windows, workspaces and applications to be more spatially coherent. GNOME shell will also start in the overview after login, and the GNOME welcome tour that was introduced in Fedora Linux 33 will be adapted to the new design for an integrated, cohesive look for the desktop,” explains Matthew Miller, Fedora Project Leader.

        • 8 Popular Flatpak Apps You Could Try in 2021

          Flatpak packaging comes baked-in in Fedora and Solus distributions. Gradually, it has gained a dedicated following and userbase.

          If you are coming in late, Flatpak is an application bundle used to distribute and install an app on a Linux-based platform. Flathub is where you usually get Flatpak packaged applications. Have a look at our Flatpak guide for more information.

          If you are thinking about giving Flatpak a try, or if you want to try some cool open-source applications, Flathub offers several tools for your Linux distribution. So, I have made a list of some of the most popular software that you can get now from Flathub.

        • Policy proposal: New Code of Conduct

          The Fedora Council has been working with the Fedora Community Action and Impact Coordinator to update and improve Fedora’s Code of Conduct. This work began with Brian Exelbierd during his tenure as FCAIC and was then picked up by Marie Nordin at the start of 2020. The new draft of the Code of Conduct is more comprehensive than our current Code of Conduct and will be accompanied by a set of Clarifying Statements. The Clarifying Statements are a work in progress.

        • Optimizing server utilization in datacenters by offloading network functions to NVIDIA BlueField-2 DPUs

          By using hardware offloading and dedicated hardware businesses can free up their CPU resources and handle network traffic more efficiently. In this post we’ll look at using NVIDIA BlueField-2 data processing units (DPU) with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Red Hat OpenShift to boost performance and reduce CPU load on commodity x64 servers.

          Modern networks are expected to be able to quickly and securely move a large number of data packets. Processing that data on both the sending and the receiving ends is an expensive operation for servers that are responsible for handling the network traffic. As the server is performing network operations, its CPUs are spending valuable cycles handling the networking tasks and, as a result, have fewer cycles available to run the actual applications or process the data. A practical solution to this problem is to use hardware offloading to transfer resource intensive computational tasks from the server’s CPU to a separate piece of hardware.

        • Combating security challenges with cloud-native AI-driven architecture

          Network security in modern datacenters is primarily focused on the inbound/outbound packet flow, often referred to as north-south traffic. However, the growth of cloud-native applications has driven an explosion of east-west network traffic within a datacenter where applications can create hundreds of thousands of network connections among virtual machines and containers. As a consequence the ability to track, monitor and secure a datacenter in a timely manner has risen above that of any individual or team. To combat this challenge, Red Hat and NVIDIA are working together to protect networks from breaches via real-time AI security analysis.

          NVIDIA’s Morpheus AI application framework is designed to handle a variety of complex security tasks and policies allowing users to develop and deploy AI-enabled security applications efficiently. Morpheus AI provides several pre-trained models, including one with the ability to immediately recognize many types of sensitive personal information, like public cloud or GitHub user credentials, private keys, passwords, and credit card numbers. This pre-trained model enables AI to search through network packets for patterns associated with these credentials and flag exposed data to the enterprise security team.

        • An Introduction to Convert2RHEL: Now officially supported to convert RHEL-like systems to RHEL

          Convert2RHEL is now an officially supported component of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Convert2RHEL enables the conversion of select RHEL derivative distributions into a supportable RHEL system, retaining existing applications and configurations. This is the culmination of multiple teams within Red Hat who have worked to provide solutions and guidance to our customers and the community at large.

          The concept for the Convert2RHEL utility began nearly five years ago when Red Hat engineering was asked to explore how conversions to RHEL might work. Since then, it has evolved as a collaborative effort between Red Hat Engineering and Consulting services, who have used it successfully with many Oracle Linux and CentOS Linux conversions in many large and complex enterprise environments. Due to numerous requests, Red Hat has now productized it as a supported component of RHEL.

          It was important to ensure that access to the Convert2RHEL utility was frictionless and served the broad CentOS Linux user community who wanted to make use of new options such as our no-cost developer subscriptions. In January, Red Hat announced the enhanced no-cost Red Hat Developer Subscription for Individuals and the Developer for Teams subscription (available via sales), which both provide no-cost access to RHEL subscriptions. This includes Red Hat Insights and many management capabilities from cloud.redhat.com.

        • Red Hat named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for third year in a row

          In February 2020 Red Hat proudly announced that we had earned a place on Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. At the time, achieving such a distinction seemed guaranteed to be one of the most memorable moments of the year. 2020 had other ideas, though.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Hirsute Hippo Preview

          Welcome, Ubuntu 21.04! This preview is for you who are curious about this new version of Ubuntu that planned to be released at Thursday, 22 April 2021 with the codename Hirsute Hippo. It features a hippopotamus as a wallpaper now continuing the gorilla wallpaper from the previous release of 20.10. This includes updates to GNOME (the desktop), improvements to Settings (the control panel), LibreOffice (the document suite) alongside the Linux kernel and Wayland technologies inside. Let’s dive in!

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 678

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 678 for the week of April 4 – 10, 2021.

        • Ubuntu Blog: Design and Web team summary – 12 April 2021

          The web team at Canonical run two-week iterations building and maintaining all of Canonical websites and product web interfaces. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work from this iteration.

          This iteration has seen many of the team out of the office as schools are out in the UK. This has not limited the exciting new features and developments from the team.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Nvidia

          • Nvidia to bring GeForce RTX graphics to ARM-based Chromebooks and Linux PCs

            At Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference, CEO Jensen Huang announced that the company was working with industry partners to make its graphics technology more widely accessible. Specifically, Huang mentioned that it is looking to bring its GeForce GPU graphics technology to ARM-based processors that are popular on Chromebooks today.

            “We’re announcing a partnership with MediaTek to create a reference system and SDK for Chrome OS and Linux PCs,” Huang said during his keynote presentation at GTC while highlighting the power efficiency and popularity of ARM processors due to their open licensing model. “Combining Nvidia GPUs and MediaTek SoCs [systems on a chip] will make excellent PCs and notebooks.”

          • Mozilla partners with NVIDIA to democratize and diversify voice technology

            Over the next decade, speech is expected to become the primary way people interact with devices — from laptops and phones to digital assistants and retail kiosks. Today’s voice-enabled devices, however, are inaccessible to much of humanity because they cannot understand vast swaths of the world’s languages, accents, and speech patterns.

            To help ensure that people everywhere benefit from this massive technological shift, Mozilla is partnering with NVIDIA, which is investing $1.5 million in Mozilla Common Voice, an ambitious, open-source initiative aimed at democratizing and diversifying voice technology development.

            Most of the voice data currently used to train machine learning algorithms is held by a handful of major companies. This poses challenges for others seeking to develop high-quality speech recognition technologies, while also exacerbating the voice recognition divide between English speakers and the rest of the world.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Community Member Monday: Gökçe Kuler

          I’m from Aydın, Turkey. Currently I’m studying in my final years at the Computer Engineering department of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University. I’m interested in free software – and enjoy working with free software projects and learning new things aboutthemit. I met free software when I started university via my advisor Necdet Yücel.

          I like playing the guitar and the kalimba. Also, I recently started painting with acrylic paints. I’m vegetarian, and actively participate in animal protection and gender equality projects.

      • FSF

        • Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation speak up on Stallman’s return

          Recently a big controversy surrounding the Free Software Community appeared and cut deep into the community when it was announced without warning that Richard Stallman (RMS) had returned.

          This controversy reached a boiling point, as we covered before with a petition to have Stallman removed. Since then, the FSF repeatedly put out statements about their policies, things that will change, people resigning, a Twitter post and more – but not once did the FSF mention Stallman or what the heck was going on. Finally, multiple weeks later, both the FSF and Stallman have released new statements.

          In the FSF statement, it’s mentioned that FSF staff had no idea what was going on and neither did organisers of LibrePlanet where RMS returning was announced. RMS was voted back in by voting members and the board of directors after “several months of thorough discussion and thoughtful deliberation”. The FSF acknowledge how “badly we handled the news of his election to a board seat” and take “full responsibility”. With RMS back on the board as an “unpaid volunteer” the rules still apply including “prohibitions against conflicts of interest and sexual harassment and those outlining whistleblower processes and fiduciary duties”. The FSF linked to the changes the organisation is committed to implementing and will “continue to pursue additional ideas and actions designed to improve transparency and accountability”.

        • The FSF doubles down on restoring RMS after his non-apology apology [Ed: Corporate Poodle of ZDNet again attacking software freedom and it’s IBM/Microsoft propaganda of hate and defamation; is he sponsored to libel people? Or just a hobby?]
        • Justin W. Flory: What is Freedom?

          Yet what is there to do? The only thing Stallman ever directly gave to me in life was an email explaining elegantly how there was nothing he could do for the Minecraft GPL community fiasco. At a time when I was so personally lost as I saw a community I love tear itself apart, he stood by idly as the so-called steward of these licenses that I was just too naïve to believe in. That experience to me now is amplified in the light of the much more egregious things he is accused of.

          So, the Free Software Foundation welcomes Richard Matthew Stallman back to its board. Wonderful. Congratulations Mr. Stallman. I am going to pause for a moment of sadness and hurt as I contemplate the impact of this moment on our fragile movement, which has much bigger enemies today than it has in its 40 year legacy. But then…

          I will move on. Because we have to. The only way is forward.

        • RMS addresses the free software community

          Ever since my teenage years, I felt as if there were a filmy curtain separating me from other people my age. I understood the words of their conversations, but I could not grasp why they said what they did. Much later I realized that I didn’t understand the subtle cues that other people were responding to.

          Later in life, I discovered that some people had negative reactions to my behavior, which I did not even know about. Tending to be direct and honest with my thoughts, I sometimes made others uncomfortable or even offended them — especially women. This was not a choice: I didn’t understand the problem enough to know which choices there were.

          Sometimes I lost my temper because I didn’t have the social skills to avoid it. Some people could cope with this; others were hurt. I apologize to each of them. Please direct your criticism at me, not at the Free Software Foundation.


          False accusations — real or imaginary, against me or against others — especially anger me. I knew Minsky only distantly, but seeing him unjustly accused made me spring to his defense. I would have done it for anyone. Police brutality makes me angry, but when the cops lie about their victims afterwards, that false accusation is the ultimate outrage for me. I condemn racism and sexism, including their systemic forms, so when people say I don’t, that hurts too.

        • Statement of FSF board on election of Richard Stallman

          The voting members of the Free Software Foundation, which include the board of directors, voted to appoint Richard Stallman to a board seat after several months of thorough discussion and thoughtful deliberation.

          We decided to bring RMS back because we missed his wisdom. His historical, legal and technical acumen on free software is unrivaled. He has a deep sensitivity to the ways that technologies can contribute to both the enhancement and the diminution of basic human rights. His global network of connections is invaluable. He remains the most articulate philosopher and an unquestionably dedicated advocate of freedom in computing.

          RMS acknowledges that he has made mistakes. He has sincere regrets, especially at how anger toward him personally has negatively impacted the reputation and mission of FSF. While his personal style remains troubling for some, a majority of the board feel his behavior has moderated and believe that his thinking strengthens the work of the FSF in pursuit of its mission.

          We take full responsibility for how badly we handled the news of his election to a board seat. We had planned a flow of information that was not executed in a timely manner or delivered in the proper sequence.

          FSF staff should have been informed and consulted first. The announcement by RMS at LibrePlanet was a complete surprise to staff, all those who worked so hard to organize a great event, to LibrePlanet speakers and to the exhibitors. We had hoped for a more inclusive and thoughtful process and we apologize that this did not occur.

        • The FSF on Stallman’s reinstatement

          The Free Software Foundation has finally issued a statement on why the decision to return Richard Stallman to the organization’s board of directors was taken.

        • A Message from the openSUSE Board [Ed: OpenSUSE is finished. Like Fedora (driving away anything left of the “community”) being a voice of IBM and nothing else, OpenSUSE Board is just a voice of proprietary software reseller of SAP and Microsoft (SUSE)]

          Inclusion is a fundamental pillar of our community and the broader free software and open source communities that we are part of, are connected with, and value.

          We firmly stand against sexism, racism,… and strive to keep our communities open, welcoming, and safe for everyone to join.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt Creator 4.15: New CMake Features

          Qt Creator 4.15 comes with a bunch of features and bug fixes for the CMake Project Manager.

          Below, you have a list of what’s new and a few tips and tricks which would hopefully improve your CMake experience in Qt Creator.

        • 7 Popular Open Source CI/CD Tools

          DevOps is a software development strategy that incorporates agile practices for fast, efficient product creation and release. It focuses on integration of development and operations teams, continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) and automation of tasks and processes.

          Typically, DevOps teams use pipelines to streamline and standardize processes. DevOps pipelines are toolchains that teams can use to automate tasks and provide visibility into the software development life cycle. In this article, we’ll cover seven popular open source CI/CD tools.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Pandemic and european patent application filings in the biomedical field [Ed: When you become a lawyer you quit caring about people and instead obsesses over stuff like patents... and celebrate the Mafia that runs the EPO and breaks the law every day]

        If the European Patent Office (EPO) notes a very slight decrease in the total number of European patent applications filed in 2020 (-0.7%), it nevertheless notes for this pandemic year a strong increase in these filings in the biomedical field.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • New Linux Foundation project takes blockchain and the open source approach to the insurance industry
              • Linux Foundation Hosts Collaboration Among World’s Largest Insurance Companies

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and the American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS), today are announcing the launch of OpenIDL, the Open Insurance Data Link platform and project. The platform will reduce the cost of regulatory reporting for insurance carriers, provide a standardized data repository for analytics and a connection point for third parties to deliver new applications to members.

                openIDL brings together some of the world’s largest insurance companies, including The Hanover and Selective Insurance Group, along with technology and service providers Chainyard, KatRisk and MOBI to advance a common distributed ledger platform for sharing information and business processes across the insurance ecosystem.


                “AAIS, and the insurance industry in general, are trailblazers in their contribution and collaboration to these technologies,” said Mike Dolan, senior vice president and general manager of Projects at the Linux Foundation. “Open governance networks like openIDL can now accelerate innovation and development of new product and service offerings for insurance providers and their customers. We’re excited to host this work.”

                As an open source project, all software source code developed will be licensed under an OSI-approved open source license, and all interface specifications developed will be published under an open specification license. And all technical discussions between participants will take place publicly, further enhancing the ability to expand the network to include other participants. As with an openly accessible network, organizations can develop their own proprietary applications and infrastructure integrations.

        • Security

          • Windows, Ubuntu, Zoom, Safari, MS Exchange Hacked at Pwn2Own 2021

            The 2021 spring edition of Pwn2Own hacking contest concluded last week on April 8 with a three-way tie between Team Devcore, OV, and Computest researchers Daan Keuper and Thijs Alkemade.


            The Zoom vulnerabilities exploited by Daan Keuper and Thijs Alkemade of Computest Security are particularly noteworthy because the flaws require no interaction of the victim other than being a participant on a Zoom call. What’s more, it affects both Windows and Mac versions of the app, although it’s not clear if Android and iOS versions are vulnerable as well.

            Technical details of the flaws are yet to be disclosed, but in a statement sharing the findings, the Dutch security firm said the researchers “were then able to almost completely take over the system and perform actions such as turning on the camera, turning on the microphone, reading emails, checking the screen and downloading the browser history.”

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (kernel and libldb), Debian (mediawiki, qemu, ruby-kramdown, and xen), Fedora (grub2, libldb, libopenmpt, python-pikepdf, python39, samba, squid, and webkit2gtk3), openSUSE (bcc, ceph, gssproxy, hostapd, isync, kernel, openexr, openSUSE KMPs, and tpm2-tss-engine), SUSE (fwupdate and wpa_supplicant), and Ubuntu (spamassassin).

    • Monopolies

      • FOSS Patents: Apple and Google abuse their app store monopolies to obstruct governmental COVID pandemic control efforts in the UK (not even for the first time)

        For a long time I gave Apple and Google the benefit of the doubt with respect to app store policies. When my own app development company got affected by the utterly unreasonable COVID app rules those monopolists had promulgated more than a year ago, I couldn’t help but conclude that the situation was unsustainable. And brought my own antitrust complaints against those companies in multiple jurisdictions (including the UK) though I continue to agree with those companies in some other areas, particularly patent policy.

        It’s bad enough that private companies like the Coronavirus Reporter team and mine were prevented from making our little contributions to the fight against COVID-19. But what’s really unfathomable is that Apple and Google’s hubris even impedes governmental pandemic control efforts.

        This must be a wake-up call for lawmakers, regulators, and courts. Alternative third-party app stores for iOS and Android are absolutely needed. Even governments need such alternatives in a situation like this.

        The BBC’s technology desk editor Leo Kelion reported today that “[a]n update to England and Wales’s contact tracing app has been blocked for breaking the terms of an agreement made with Apple and Google.” Yes, this is about the official contact-tracing app provided by the National Health Service (NHS).

      • Patents

        • Intel emphasizes its independent research and development in second VLSI Technology v. Intel patent trial in Western District of Texas

          As I reported on Saturday, Waco-based Judge Alan Albright of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas denied an Intel motion to transfer or postpone the second VLSI v. Intel patent trial. Intel understandably expressed concern over the possibility of jurors having learned in the local media about the very recent $2.175 billion verdict in another case involving the same parties but unrelated patents. That verdict would be the first of that magnitude to be upheld by the appeals court. Normally, those damages awards don’t stand. The final damages award is zero if the patent turns out on appeal never to have been infringed, or to be invalid; and even if the decision on the merits stands, the amount very often turns out to be excessive. But jurors may take that earlier verdict at face value–and may not fully understand that the outcome of one case over different patents doesn’t mean anything for the case before them, just like the outcome of a hockey game between a team from New York and one from L.A. doesn’t predetermine the result of a football game between teams from the same two cities.

          Today I was one of more than 60 people to dial in and listen to opening arguments. In an order, Judge Albright had stated an incorrect meeting code, but friendly court staff provided the correct one when I contacted them about it. I missed VLSI’s opening statement for that reason, but was just about in time for Intel’s response.

          The patents-in-suit are U.S. Patent No. 6,633,318 on a “method and apparatus for enabling a stand[-]alone inegrated circuit” and U.S. Patent No. 6,366,522 on a “method and apparatus for controlling power consumption of an integrated circuit.” Those patents were originally filed in 2000 by a company named SigmaTel and ultimately acquired by VLSI, a non-practicing entity (NPE) set up specifically for the purpose of buying those patents as Intel noted. One of them has already expired, and the other will expire next month.

        • FOSS Patents: European Court of Justice assigned case numbers to preliminary references in Nokia v. Daimler and Phoenix Contact v. Harting patent cases

          In November, the Dusseldorf Regional Court decided to refer to the European Court of Justice certain questions of component-level licensing of standard-essential patents (SEPs) as well as questions regarding the application of the Huawei v. ZTE SEP injunction framework. In February, Nokia withdrew its interlocutory appeal of that order.

          In January, the Munich I Regional Court’s 21st Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Tobias Pichlmaier) identified a different patent-related question that it would like the top EU court to answer. The Munich court, which is clearly the most popular patent injunction venue in the world by now, would like to enjoy broader discretion in preliminary injunction decisions than its appeals court (which decides patent PI cases consistently with the appeals courts in Dusseldorf and Karlsruhe) allows. I translated that order.


          From what I heard, the translations in the automotive case will be sent to the governments of the EU member states and the parties later this month, with a likely deadline for the European Commission’s, the EU Member States’ and the parties’ observation in early to mid August. I have not been able to find out about the timeline in the preliminary injunction case.

        • Applied UV Receives Patent for Pathogen Destroying Devices in China

          MOUNT VERNON, NY / ACCESSWIRE / April 12, 2021 / Applied UV, Inc. (NASDAQ: AUVI) (“Applied UV” or the “CompanyApplied UV Receives Patent for Pathogen Destroying Devices in China

          “), an infection control technology company that applies the power of narrow-range ultraviolet light (“UVC”) for surface areas and catalytic bioconversion technology for air purification to destroy pathogens safely, thoroughly, and automatically, today announced that the Chinese Patent office has issued a notice granting Applied UV’s patent application for its core pathogen destroying device.

          “We have always maintained that a strong and growing intellectual property portfolio is one of our key assets and will enable us to maintain a sustainable competitive advantage while establishing barriers of entry to future competitors,” said Max Munn, President of Applied UV. “Including China, we have received ten crucial patents for our foundational pathogen destroying technology, which defines an exciting new path to address the global challenge of infection prevention and reinforces the uniqueness of our technology.”

        • A Push to End Germany’s Status as ‘Paradise for Patent Trolls’

          Germany has long been a magnet for global patent litigation, ensnaring companies like Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

          Now a coalition of German blue-chip firms and foreign multinationals, including big U.S. tech firms, is pushing legislation that would lessen the country’s appeal for those seeking to assert their intellectual property.

          Germany’s main patent courts, in Munich, Mannheim and Düsseldorf, systematically order injunctions, or temporary sales bans, for products subject to patent suits. That makes them attractive legal venues for patent holders.

          Key targets of the legislation are so-called nonpracticing entities, or NPEs, which amass portfolios of patents that they license instead of using them in their own products. Critics call them patent trolls.

          The proposed rules aim to make it harder for a plaintiff to win an injunction. The initiative has split Germany’s typically unified business community, pitting some of the country’s biggest patent users against its biggest patent holders.

        • Opinion: Why Biden should leave Bayh-Dole alone [Ed: Team UPC propagandist and liar (many lies have been spread, deliberately) Charlotte Kilpatrick is now lobbying for people who pay her salaries, basically pushing for patent trolls in a think tank disguised as “news” site]

          On his way out the White House door, Donald Trump left a present for the pharmaceutical industry in the form of proposed changes to the Bayh-Dole Act that would weaken protections for access to inventions funded with taxpayer money.

          The reforms in question concern the so-called “march-in” orders that were included in the act as a compromise to ensure that all inventions created with federal funds are made available to the public “on reasonable terms”. In specific circumstances the government can march in and either grant, or require the patent owner to grant, licences to third parties.

        • EPO released the Patent Index 2020: in the year of Covid-19, Italy plays a major role in healthcare innovation [Ed: A much-belated, silly and pointless puff piece for the EPO, as if the applications say anything about merit or quality when both have reportedly collapsed at the EPO, for it's just a rubber-stamping production line]

          The European Patent Office (EPO) released the Patent Index 2020, which gives an overview of the filing activities in the EU during the past year. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic’s dramatic impact on all aspects of the economy, the number of patent applications filed only slightly declined with a 0.7% decrease compared to 2019.

          In this scenario, Italy emerges as one of the fastest-growing European countries in the healthcare innovation sector, achieving an increase in applications well above the average in pharmaceutical patents. Also worth noting is a considerable growth in medical technology, which is now the fourth most relevant technical field in the country.

          Medical technologies, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology all registered strong performance overall at the EPO level as well. Healthcare innovation was the main driver of European patent applications in 2020, with medical technologies in the lead spot among all tech sectors and major growth in the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology fields.

        • Grant Rate by Size and Representation [Ed: As people have long suspected, the patent system is massively tilted in favour of massive corporations and it reinforces monopoly by those who can afford to keep it (and hide legions of lawyers)]

          The chart below shows a measure of patent grant rate for a group of 30,000 recently completed patent prosecution cases. I reported earlier on the grant-rate differential based upon entity size classification: Large>Small>Micro. For this chart, I also added-in a second variable of whether the patent application filings were submitted by a registered US patent attorney or agent. As you might expect, those non-represented cases showed a much lower grant rate.

          The most surprising result: Overall in this sample, I found that over 99% of patent applicants were represented by a US patent practitioner. An important note here is that the focus of this study was non-provisional utility application filings. I expect that the rate of true pro-se applications would be much greater if we looked at provisional patent applications.


          Micro entities are a creation of the America Invents Act of 2011 and allow for reduced fees for individuals without much patenting experience (<5 prior applications filed for themselves) and who are not unduly wealthy (<3x median US household income). Again though, universities can count as micro entities. In my sample, a number of the small and micro entities are universities with a higher grant rate than the average for their category.

          Generally, the USPTO requires non-human legal entities to be represented by a patent practitioners. Of the 22,000+ large entity filings in my sample, I found only 4 that were not represented by a US patent attorney/agent. Those cases appeared to me to be ones where the filer should have claimed small or micro entity status.

        • Patent case: Pirri v. Cheek, USA

          An individual who asserted that he was the co-inventor of a patent directed to a method of “reverse online dating” must pay the attorney fees incurred by one of the named inventors and her company, who successfully defended against the individual’s claims for joint inventorship and various state law torts, including fraud and defamation. According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the federal district court in New York City correctly determined that the case was “exceptional” for purposes of the Patent Act’s fee-shifting provision, based on the “sheer lack of colorable factual (or legal) support” for the claims, as well as for making, through counsel, “tendentious, bizarre, non-responsive and caustically accusatory arguments.” The Federal Circuit also held that the defendants were entitled to sanctions in the form of appellate attorney fees and double costs, against both the complaining individual and his legal counsel (Pirri v. Cheek, March 22, 2021, per curiam).

        • Red Cat Holdings Announces Issuance Of U.S. Patent On Drone Positioning System

          Red Cat Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:RCAT), a leading brand in the drone industry, reports that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. Patent No. 10,877,162 on December 29, 2020 to Skypersonic Inc. Red Cat previously announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Skypersonic in February 2021 and expects to close the transaction in April.

        • The nature of parallel proceedings: EPO trumps Patents Court validity decision after just 2 days [Ed: Corrupt EPO management has long broken the law and attacked courts themselves]

          This consequential judgment, handed down by Mr Justice Marcus Smith on 12 March 2021, addresses the repercussions deriving from two opposing conclusions having been reached, almost concurrently, by the Patents Court and the European Patent Office.

          The patent in question claimed prolonged release pharmaceutical formulations concerning the active ingredient melatonin to improve the restorative quality of sleep in a patient suffering from primary insomnia characterised by non-restorative sleep.

          On 4 December 2020, following an expedited trial, the Patents Court determined Neurim Pharmaceuticals Ltd’s (“Neurim”) EP (UK) 1,441,702 B1 (the “Patent”) to be valid and infringed by Generics UK Limited and Mylan UK Healthcare Limited (“Mylan”). On 16 December 2020 Orders were made in Neurim’s favour, in line with that judgment, but were never sealed (together, the “First Order”).

          Only 48 hours later, the EPO Technical Board of Appeal expressed its oral opinion, that the Patent lacked sufficiency. Neurim withdrew its appeal against the earlier invalidity decision of the Opposition Division (“OD”) and, in consequence, the Patent was revoked. Revocation takes place ab initio, meaning it’s as though the patent never was.

        • Software Patents

          • $2,500 for prior art on Gravel Rating Systems

            On April 9, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,500 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claims 1, 4, 5, 8, and 9 of U.S. Patent 7,590,636. This patent is owned by Gravel Rating Systems, LLC, an NPE.

            The ’636 patent relates to a method and system comprising of receiving information input into a database and organizing items of information in the database. This allows the user to quickly share and obtain information about the data stored. It is currently being asserted against Kohl’s, Lowe’s, McAfee, T-Mobile, Costco, and Target in the Eastern District of Texas.

          • Per se abstract?

EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 15: Different Strokes for Different Folks

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series index:

  1. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 1: How the Bundestag Was (and Continues to be) Misled About EPO Affairs
  2. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 2: Lack of Parliamentary Oversight, Many Questions and Few Answers…
  3. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 3: A “Minor Interpellation” in the German Bundestag
  4. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 4: Parroting the GDPR-Compliance Myth
  5. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 5: The Federal Eagle’s Disconcerting Metamorphosis
  6. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 6: Dr Petri Starts the Ball Rolling…
  7. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 7: Ms Voßhoff Alerts the Bundestag…
  8. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 8: The EPO’s Tweedledum, Raimund Lutz
  9. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 9: A Veritable Virtuoso of Legal Sophistry
  10. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 10: A Faithful Lapdog Despised and Reviled by EPO Staff
  11. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Appendix (Benoît Battistelli’s Vichy Syndrome): Georges Henri Léon Battistelli and Charles Robert Battistelli
  12. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 11: The BMJV’s Tweedledee: Dr Christoph Ernst
  13. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 12: A Worthy Successor to His Mentor?
  14. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 13: The Failed Promise of a “Good Governance” Guru…
  15. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 14: The Notorious Revolving Door
  16. You are here ☞ Different Strokes for Different Folks

Wolfgang Schmitt-Wellbrock and Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer
Wolfgang Schmitt-Wellbrock (left) pictured in 2010 with an official of the Ministry for Traffic (centre) and the head of the German Patent & Trademark Office, Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer (right).

Summary: Dr. Ernst and Raimund Lutz colluded to protect EPO management from a much-needed investigation; Ernst has since then been rewarded with a do-nothing job by António Campinos

Christoph Ernst’s disappointing track record in the area of EPO governance makes it tempting to speculate about how things might have turned out if someone with more integrity and backbone had headed the German delegation on the Administrative Council during the Battistelli era.

It should not be forgotten that in December 2010 it was by no means a given that Ernst would end up in this position.

EPO OJ 2011 EPO OJ Schmitt Wellbrock
The deputy representative and ad interim head of the German delegation in December 2010 was Dr Wolfgang Schmitt-Wellbrock.

At that time, Lutz had just stepped down due to his impending appointment as EPO Vice-President. The alternate or deputy head of delegation was another official of the Justice Ministry, Dr Wolfgang Schmitt-Wellbrock, who acted as the ad interim head of delegation until Ernst’s appointment in April 2011.

“The alternate or deputy head of delegation was another official of the Justice Ministry, Dr Wolfgang Schmitt-Wellbrock, who acted as the ad interim head of delegation until Ernst’s appointment in April 2011.”All other things being equal, Schmitt-Wellbrock might have been expected to move in to fill the gap left by Lutz in December 2010 and take over as head of the German delegation.

There is no information available to explain why this didn’t happen. So we are left to speculate as to why Ernst ended up as Lutz’s successor instead of Schmitt-Wellbrock.

It’s not clear what became of Schmitt-Wellbrock subsequently but as far as is known he is now in retirement.

What is interesting to note is that Schmitt-Wellbrock’s name turns up in German media reports from 2016. He was appointed by the Federal Justice Ministry to head an investigation into a covert surveillance scandal in the state of Thuringia (formerly part of the Soviet-controlled East German Democratic Republic).

The investigation was launched after it was revealed that Thuringian police had automatically intercepted and recorded tens of thousands of telephone communications since the late 1990s without the knowledge or consent of those being recorded.

Schmitt Wellbrock
Schmitt-Wellbrock presenting his report on a covert surveillance scandal involving police in the state of Thuringia in December 2016.

Schmitt-Wellbrock presented his report on the Thurinigian covert surveillance scandal in December 2016.

“As we will show in the coming parts, Ernst colluded in this regard with his mentor, EPO Vice-President Raimund Lutz, the apparent purpose of their collusion being to derail efforts to push for a reform of the EPO’s data protection framework.”By an ironic twist of fate, a little over a year earlier in the autumn of 2015, Schmitt-Wellbrock’s colleague from the German Justice Ministry, Christoph Ernst, had been busy trying to organise the cover-up of a covert surveillance scandal in the European Patent Office in an attempt to neutralise the impending “threat” of a parliamentary inquiry by the Legal Affairs Committee of the Bundestag.

As we will show in the coming parts, Ernst colluded in this regard with his mentor, EPO Vice-President Raimund Lutz, the apparent purpose of their collusion being to derail efforts to push for a reform of the EPO’s data protection framework.

EPO President Campinos Lying to JURI

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Benjamin Henrion recorded today's hearing and uploaded it. “Campinos,” according to him, claims that (to paraphrase) “London [is] irrelevant to get UPCA running” (that’s very obviously a lie), so what we have here is António Campinos lying on behalf of the entire EPO, just as Benoît Battistelli did. Campinos has decided to “have fun,” we’ve been told, speaking of UPCA “upper law” (which is meaningless junk) at around 51:00. He clearly didn’t come prepared and he mumbles a lot. What awful leadership for what was supposed to be the best of Europe’s science…

Supporting RMS With a Meme!

Posted in Site News at 4:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Published on April 5, 2021.

Last updated on April 12, 2021.

Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 4.0), original here.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, these do contain some words, seems we are not skilled enough. If you have a nice one, Send it to us, we may be able to publish it here. In any case, sometimes 1,000 words are necessary.

Stallman about Epstein: calling him a “sex offender” tends to minimize his crimes.
    I think the right term for a person such as Epstein is “serial rapist”. Epstein about his crimes: I’m not a sexual predator, I’m an
   “offender.” It’s the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel.

Stallman may have a point that words matter

These guys were Epstein's friends:Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Prince Andrew, Bill Gates,
      Rafael Reif, Prof. Lawrence Krauss, Prof. Alan Dershowitz... All of them still in their positions, undisturbed. This guy never met Epstein, called him a serial rapist: Richard Stallman, got canceled.


The master of a re-education camp is yelling the multiplication tables at Richard Stallman, who has more complex mathematical formulas in his mind. The caption says: Inquisitive minds not allowed.

Scientific thinking not allowed

A sing on a door says: Richard Stallman Knightfor Justice. Also, Hot LAdies. Caption: Stallman never wrote this. It was vandalism... or a joke?

The horrifying sign on the door

A picture of a mattress that says: Of the 1001 uses for a mattress, some people can think of just one... and it's not sleeping.

The single purpose of a mattress

A drawing of a mouse embracing its child, with the image of Stallman's pleasure card attached. A caption says: The harassment of tender embraces.

The danger of a pleasure card

If You Want to Support a Real Community…

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, IBM, Red Hat at 4:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: We’ve just mentioned the fake 'community' of openSUSE and now it’s time to examine what Fedora has truly become under IBM

THE GNU Project started in 1983 and in 1991 it was made more viable in everyday life owing to a kernel called Linux, which over time got more closely integrated or at least conjoined in what would be called “GNU/Linux distros” (or distributions). I knew and worked with with the person who made the first distribution (MCC). GNU is still around, it’s more widely used than ever before (even if corporate media refuses to say its name), and its steward, the FSF, brought back (at a public capacity) the founder of GNU, who was also all along the chief of the GNU Project. Meanwhile, the company which bragged about just monetising the whole thing (and brain-draining some projects in the process) is turning its so-called ‘community’ into some sort of police state.

“GNU is still around, it’s more widely used than ever before (even if corporate media refuses to say its name), and its steward, the FSF, brought back (at a public capacity) the founder of GNU, who was also all along the chief of the GNU Project.”Here’s the news discussed in this video and previous posts of ours [1, 2, 3] (shown in the above video).

The bottom line is, those of us who want to support a real community will back GNU and the FSF, which has now earned over 6,260 signatures in support of its decision to bring back to the Board its very own founder! Latest graph below.

RMS statement letter
Plotted minutes ago, based on the latest git repositories’ data

OpenSUSE Hates Your Freedom, But It Loves the Proprietary Software Reseller That Is the True ‘Master’ of OpenSUSE

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, OpenSUSE at 12:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: OpenSUSE is inclusive of Microsoft and other companies that attack human rights and enable nationalists; but apparently what bothers OpenSUSE very, very much is the people who started the operating system SUSE is selling

Hours ago Richard Stallman (RMS), the founder of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), made a statement [1] along with the Board of the FSF [2], as later noted by LWN [3]. Why did the openSUSE Board [4] then decide to reuse a hypocritical statement composed and published 10 days ago? What is there for openSUSE to gain? Nothing.

“With the FSF you at least know what you get; the uncompromising and principled position of RMS isn’t a weakness but a strength.”This video discusses how foolish it was of openSUSE and what it tells us about openSUSE (or who truly controls openSUSE). It has hardly changed for the better since the Microsoft-Novell days.

Don’t Free software communities realise that associating with defamatory hate letters and self-harming campaigns does them a lot of harm and drives away potential volunteers/contributors? Who are they trying to impress? Affluent sponsors like monopolies? Libel is not tolerance.

With the FSF you at least know what you get; the uncompromising and principled position of RMS isn’t a weakness but a strength. Many people have stepped up to support the RMS-supporting FSF lately, some financially. The “open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation” is meanwhile approaching 6,260 signatures. Still rising.

  1. RMS addresses the free software community
  2. Statement of FSF board on election of Richard Stallman
  3. The FSF on Stallman’s reinstatement
  4. A Message from the openSUSE Board

Links 12/4/2021: Lagrange 1.3.2, Linux 5.12 RC7

Posted in News Roundup at 5:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: April 11th, 2021

      This week has been slow on news due to the Easter holidays, so we only saw the release of a new maintenance update for the latest KDE Plasma 5.21 desktop environment series, a new major update for the Getting Things GNOME to-do app, a new KDE Frameworks release, as well as a new major FFmpeg release.

      On top of that, Arch Linux adds the ArchInstall guided installer in the April 2021 ISO snapshot, KDE promises to keep their Qt 5 apps up to date until they finish the transition to Qt 6, KDE neon devs announce offline updates, Star Labs teases another Linux ultrabook, and GNOME 41 gets a final release date.

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #125

      Hello and welcome to this week’s Linux roundup.

      We had a peaceful week with only the release of Garuda Linux 210406.

      Have a great week and stay safe!

    • Linux Weekly Roundup – XScreenSaver, Sway, Plasma 5.21.4, and More

      Presenting this week’s DebugPoint.com weekly roundup series (Week Ending April 12, 2021) series, refined for you from the Linux and the open-source world on application updates, new releases, distribution updates, and major news. Take a look.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Lenovo M93 Ultra Small Desktop PC- OBS Studio – Week 6

        This is a weekly blog looking at the Lenovo M93 Ultra Small Desktop PC running Linux.

        This week’s blog looks at video recording on the Lenovo M93. When it comes to software, Linux offers a fantastic array of free and open source programs. In the vast majority of areas there’s a wide range of programs to choose from. Sometimes the amount of high quality open source software is bamboozling. But there’s still a few areas which are dominated by a single program. In the case of video recording and streaming, the stand out open source program is OBS Studio.

        Modern graphic cards perform a variety of tasks. They aren’t just designed for gaming. Many cards help offload video encoding and decoding from the CPU. This helps to lower power consumption and free up resources for the rest of the system. In the case of OBS Studio, this program relies heavily on the GPU. But the Lenovo M93 doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card. This ultra small PC uses the Intel HD Graphics 4600, a mobile integrated graphics solution by Intel launched in May 2013. Performance of the graphics unit is widely reported as in the low-end segment.

      • How Google is continuing to chip away at Microsoft’s productivity dominance [Ed: Even the Microsoft boosters admit Microsoft is in trouble…]

        The paths of the digital advertising giants may just be beginning to diverge. While Google will remain dependent on advertising revenue for years to come, the company’s levelheaded approach regarding threats to that business may be indicative of a broader shift that could have the future of the company looking a lot more like Microsoft than Facebook.

        As we were recently reminded when Microsoft executive Brad Smith testified regarding Google’s dominance, the two companies have a long-running rivalry. It has included Microsoft chasing Google in online search and mobile phone operating systems and Google chasing Microsoft in cloud computing, productivity suites, and PC operating systems. The startup display of the Surface Duo, which shows the Microsoft logo on one screen and the Android logo on the other, is a great metaphor for the companies’ relationship — separated by a divide designed to bend but not break.

      • [Older] 13 Places to Buy Linux Laptops in 2021

        Almost all the non-Apple computers sold these days come with Windows preinstalled on them. The standard procedure for Linux users is to buy such a computer and then either remove Windows and install Linux, or dual boot Linux with Windows.

    • Server

      • Kubernetes 1.21: Introducing Suspended Jobs

        Jobs are a crucial part of Kubernetes’ API. While other kinds of workloads such as Deployments, ReplicaSets, StatefulSets, and DaemonSets solve use-cases that require Pods to run forever, Jobs are useful when Pods need to run to completion. Commonly used in parallel batch processing, Jobs can be used in a variety of applications ranging from video rendering and database maintenance to sending bulk emails and scientific computing.

        While the amount of parallelism and the conditions for Job completion are configurable, the Kubernetes API lacked the ability to suspend and resume Jobs. This is often desired when cluster resources are limited and a higher priority Job needs to execute in the place of another Job. Deleting the lower priority Job is a poor workaround as Pod completion history and other metrics associated with the Job will be lost.

        With the recent Kubernetes 1.21 release, you will be able to suspend a Job by updating its spec. The feature is currently in alpha and requires you to enable the SuspendJob feature gate on the API server and the controller manager in order to use it.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux could run on Apple M1 chips in just a few months

        Apple’s latest M1-based range of laptops and desktops has impressed many with the impressive speed boost over Intel chips. While many macOS fans have been eagerly waiting for their favorite apps to be ported across, others have been waiting to the arrival of Linux.

        And with the launch of version 5.13 of the Linux kernel, this should become a reality. The hard work of developers means Linux support could be coming to M1 Apple devices as soon as June this year.

        Support will initially, understandably, be somewhat rudimentary. But it will at least be official and — hopefully — rather more reliable than cobbled-together hacks. While the early stage of support will mean that not everything will be working as everyone might hope, it will serve as an important starting point from which to build.

      • Linux will soon get official support for M1 Macs

        There are several different ongoing projects to bring Linux to the latest Macs – including the news back in January of a working version based on a variant of Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi – but we may soon get official support. The upcoming Linux kernel 5.13 is in “good enough shape” to work with Apple’s M1 computers, writes Phoronix.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.12-rc7

        The 5.12-rc7 kernel prepatch is out; it’s rather larger than Linus would have liked. “End result: I’m still waffling about the final 5.12 release. The fact that we have a big rc7 does make me think that I’ll probably do an rc8 this time around. But it ends up depending a bit on how the upcoming week goes, and if things are deathly quiet, I may end up deciding that an rc8 doesn’t really make sense.”

      • Linux 5.12-rc7
        Oh well. rc5 was big. rc6 was small. And now rc7 is big again. In
        fact, it's the biggest rc7 (at least in number of commits) we've had
        in the 5.x series.
        It's mostly due to networking fixes (of which rc6 had none), and none
        of them should be all that scary, but it's never great when we have
        such a big rc. It's particularly annoying at the end of the release
        window like this.
        End result: I'm still waffling about the final 5.12 release.  The fact
        that we have a big rc7 does make me think that I'll probably do an rc8
        this time around. But it ends up depending a bit on how the upcoming
        week goes, and if things are deathly quiet, I may end up deciding that
        an rc8 doesn't really make sense.
        So we'll see.
        Anyway, networking (both core and drivers) is over half of the rc7
        patch, with the rest being a fairly random collection of fixes all
        over. We've got other driver updates (sound, rdma, scsi, usb..) some
        fs fixes (io_uring, umount, btrfs, cifs, ocfs), minor arch fixes (arc,
        arm, parisc, powerpc, s390, x86), and other misc fixes.
        The shortlog is appended, although it's obviously not as nice and
        small and readable as I'd have liked at this point in the release..
        Please do test,
      • Linux 5.12-rc7 Kernel Released – It’s Big And Causing Some Concern

        The Linux 5.12 stable kernel release is quickly approaching but may be challenged by an extra release candidate.

        Following last weekend’s “positively tiny” Linux 5.12-rc6 kernel, Linus Torvalds released Linux 5.12-rc7 a few minutes ago. The 5.12 kernel has bumped back to being larger than expected for this late stage of development. Linus has yet to decide if this will mean an extra week’s worth of testing or if things are looking good for releasing as stable and avoiding an extra release candidate.

      • The Mesa RADV Vulkan Driver Will Soon Have An Option That Boosts Performance 30%+ On RDNA2 GPUs By Rendering Less

        Those who have the very latest Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards from AMD will get the option of doing fewer fragment shader invocations per pixel rendered in Vulkan games when Mesa 21.1 is released come May. This can provide a huge performance-boost, or nearly none at all, depending on the game or workload. The new Mesa option requires variable rate shading support in hardware, so it is only for those who have a shiny new GPU from AMD.


        The RX 6000 series graphics cards (“RDNA2″) from AMD are currently the only cards cards with the required hardware support. It is simply not possible to implement this on older graphics cards from AMD.

        Those lucky enough to have the shiny new and supported graphics hardware will be able to run Vulkan applications with a new RADV_FORCE_VRS= variable that can take the arguments 2×2, 1×2 and 2×1.

      • Linux 5.13 Will Stop Restricting CPU Power Metrics Access For AMD Energy Driver – Phoronix

        Following the PLATYPUS discovery last year that CPU energy information could be used for possible side channel attacks, the Intel RAPL counters were not only restricted to root but the “amd_energy” driver for exposing CPU energy information on supported Zen series CPUs was also dialed back to root-only in the name of security. Linux 5.13 is introducing a new mechanism so AMD CPUs will be able to still read the energy counters even if not operating as root.

        Linux hardware monitoring subsystem (HWMON) maintainer Guenter Roeck authored a change to the AMD_Energy driver and went ahead and committed it on Friday to his hwmon-next tree ahead of the Linux 5.13 merge window opening up later in April. The restricting of energy counters to root privileges as a result of the side-channel attack is “annoying” and so he slightly modified the behavior of the driver. As PLATYPUS relies on quick and accurate energy readings, the approach is to make it…. slightly less accurate.

      • LTP: Linux Test Project, Bootlin contributions

        The Linux Test Project is a project that develops and maintains a large test suite that helps validating the reliability, robustness and stability of the Linux kernel and related features. LTP has been mainly developed by companies such as IBM, Cisco, Fujitsu, SUSE, RedHat, with a focus on desktop distributions.

        On the embedded side, both the openembedded-core Yocto layer and Buildroot have packages that allow to use LTP on embedded targets. However, for a recent project, we practically tried to run the full LTP test suite on an i.MX8 based platform running a Linux system built with Yocto. It turned out that LTP was apparently not very often tested on Busybox-based embedded systems, and we faced a number of issues. In addition to reporting various bugs/issues to the upstream LTP project, we also contributed a number of fixes and improvements

    • Applications

      • CopyQ 4.0

        CopyQ is an advanced clipboard manager with editing and scripting features. CopyQ monitors system clipboard and saves its content in customized tabs. Saved clipboard can be later copied and pasted directly into any application.

      • fmedia 1.24

        fmedia is a fast asynchronous media player/recorder/converter for Windows, Linux and FreeBSD. It provides smooth playback and recording even if devices are very slow. It’s highly customizable and can be easily extended with additional plugins. Its low CPU & memory consumption saves energy when running on a notebook’s battery.

      • Atmosphère 0.19.0 released; adds support for Switch firmware 12.0.0

        @SciresM has released the latest version of Atmosphère. Version 0.19.0 adds support for Nintendo Switch on firmware 12.0.0 and the release is also bundled with hbl 2.4.1, and hbmenu 3.4.0. In addition to some stability improvements and bug fixes, version 0.19.0 of Atmosphère includes improvements to mesosphere. The release note mentions that the current focus of Atmosphère’s development is on the implementation of the host target connection protocol.

      • Create and Edit EPUB Files on Linux With Sigil

        Sigil is an open source EPUB editor available for Linux, Windows and macOS. With Sigil, you can create a new ebook in EPUB file format or edit an existing EPUB ebook.

      • Top 10 Image Editors for Linux

        When it comes to adding fun and dynamism to boring and drab pictures, image processing apps come into play. Numerous image editing applications are available to bring life to your black and white photos and patch your torn photographs. If you are a Linux user and searching for the best image editors, thanks to the open-source group of developers, there are plenty of them.

      • Tools for Monitoring Disk Activity in Linux

        Disk activity refers to the percentage of time the currently running disk is busy performing various activities. Activity includes disk read, and disk writes activity, etc. There are various parameters on which Disk activities are being monitored.


        Throughout this article, we discussed various tools that can be used to monitor Disk Activities in Linux-based operating systems. Every tool delivers its own set of features, which helps the user analyze how their system behaves from the inside.

        By detailed analysis, system admins can make the desired changes in their system configurations to make their system work faster and smoother. These tools produce results that show the system’s current state, disk health, network bandwidth utilization, and a lot more.

        Using these tools can make system admins troubleshoot issues related to disk and operating systems in a go. It will allow them to save time while troubleshooting and keep their system in a proper state while performing heavy resource utilization tasks.

      • Lagrange 1.3.2 Is Released

        Lagrange is the by far best graphical web browser for the Gemini “space” (A purely text-based web equivalent for hackers). The latest release is mostly a bug-fix for the big 1.3.0 release on March 31st. It fixes a crash for those upgrading from v1.2 caused by older now invalid CA configuration, pixel ratio detection has been improved and there’s a handful of other fixes relating to the sidebar, bookmarks, the Gopher URL support and keybindings.


        Lagrange is a special-purpose browser for the “Gemini Space”. It has no idea what to do if you enter a regular web https:// URL in the address bar so it will simply refer that to the systems regular web browser. It does the same with regular web links on Gemini sites.

        Lagrange 1.3.0, released on March 31st, was a major new release with some big improvements in a number of areas. It added the option to have pre-formatted collapse on page loads, it started showing alternative text when hovering over pre-formatted text blocks and it got code to correctly handle unknown URL schemes. Page rendering was also improved with better color themes, it got better spacing for bullets and lists, it got lager content buffers for smoother browsing on larger Gemini pages and it got smarter word wrapping. The already great graphical user-interface got the ability to apply user interface scaling immediately upon closing the Preferences (prior versions had to be restarted to make scaling settings take effect), git got soft shadows for pop-up menus, highlighted domain names in URL fields, and a few other small improvements.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to create new users in OpenShift with htpasswd and OAuth

        Red Hat OpenShift is an enterprise-ready Kubernetes platform that offers many powerful features that meet today’s enterprise needs. For example, one feature of OpenShift is its flexible way of integrating with different authentication mechanisms, whether basic authentication, LDAP, Active Directory, OpenShift login, GitHub login, and so on.

        As you start OpenShift the first time, you might find it super easy to leverage the htpasswd utility, which is a built-in tool for most Linux distributions and macOS. This article demonstrates how you can create your own htpasswd file and add it to Red Hat OpenShift through an intuitive web interface.

      • Fedora Magazine: Scheduling tasks with cron

        Cron is a scheduling daemon that executes tasks at specified intervals. These tasks are called cron jobs and are mostly used to automate system maintenance or administration tasks. For example, you could set a cron job to automate repetitive tasks such as backing up database or data, updating the system with the latest security patches, checking the disk space usage, sending emails, and so on. The cron jobs can be scheduled to run by the minute, hour, day of the month, month, day of the week, or any combination of these.

      • Beginner’s Guide to Docker Restart Policy

        Docker provides a restart policy option to let your containers restart automatically in case of certain events or failures.

        This is extremely helpful in scenarios where you have to restart the Docker host (your Linux server) or if the service running in the container fails.

        Docker restart policies are applied on a per-container basis. There are two ways to assign restart policy to a container. You can set it in the YAML file if you are going to use Docker Compose or Swarm or Kubernetes.

        You can also set the restart policy directly in the command line when you run a container:

      • Install VirtualBox guest additions in Ubuntu 20.04 – PragmaticLinux

        Bummed that you can’t change the screen resolution in your freshly installed Ubuntu virtual machine? An easy fix exists for this: You just need to install the VirtualBox guest additions in your Ubuntu virtual machine. Besides automatically adjusting the screen resolution, you also get support for a bi-directional clipboard and shared folders. This article explains how to install the VirtualBox guest additions in an Ubuntu virtual machine.

      • LFCA: Learn Basics of Network IP Addressing – Part 9

        In our previous chapter of the LFCA series, we defined a computer network and briefly brushed over some of the general Linux networking commands that you can use to retrieve useful network information such as your IP address, subnet mask, open ports and so much more.

        In an interconnected world, networks play a huge role in enhancing seamless communication, access to information, and file-sharing. Because of computer networks, you can check your email, purchase a plane ticket, and download files.

        To better understand computer networks, we go a step further and look at the following salient points.

      • How To Install Chatwoot on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Chatwoot on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Chatwoot is an open-source, real-time messaging platform that also provides simple and elegant live chat for your websites, collaborates with other agents and messaging apps, and more. This means that you can integrate your social media chat e.g Facebook, Twitter, email, WhatsApp e.t.c to one central place. This will effectively help you have eyes on all your platforms and respond to customer requests in real-time.

        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 Chatwoot on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • [Older] How to install Chrome browser on Kali Linux 2021

        Chrome Browser is a proprietary version of Google’s open-source Chromium. However, on one hand, Chromium is available to install on Kali Linux via its official repository, the Chrome is not. Yes, for this Google browser, we have to either add its repository to Kali manually or get the Deb file from the official website of Chrome.

        Here we will show you both the methods of installing the Google Chrome browser on Kali Linux.

      • How to Remove All Files from a Directory in Linux

        In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to use rm command to remove all files safely from a directory. This document helps you delete non-hidden files, files with specific extensions, hidden files inside a directory.

      • How to compile LibreOffice in EasyOS

        Yesterday I posted about dependencies of LibreOffice compiled in OpenEmbedded…

      • PostgreSQL Substring Function

        PostgreSQL is an open-source database that runs on all operating systems, i.e., Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows, etc. It is an object-relational database management system that helps run dynamic websites and applications. A substring contains characters in a sequence within a string. PostgreSQL substring function is useful in getting specific parts of a string by applying queries on strings and tables. This article will help you to learn this feature while manipulating both strings…

      • How to Install RealVNC VNC Viewer on Linux

        RealVNC VNC Viewer is a very popular VNC client. RealVNC VNC viewer is a cross-platform VNC client. RealVNC VNC Viewer is available on Windows, Linux, Mac, and many other devices.
        The RealVNC VNC Viewer client connects to remote computers via the VNC (Virtual Network Computing) remote desktop protocol.

        To connects to a remote computer with the RealVNC VNC Viewer, the remote computer must have the VNC server program installed and configured. Many articles at LinuxHint.com and many other websites you can read to learn how to install and configure the VNC server program on your desired Linux distribution. This is out of the scope of this article.

        This article will show you how to install RealVNC VNC Viewer on some of the most popular Linux distributions and connect to a remote computer with RealVNC VNC Viewer. So, let’s get started.

      • Why NFS servers generally have a ‘reply cache’

        In the beginning, NFS operated over UDP, with each NFS request and each NFS reply in a separate UDP packet (possibly fragmented). UDP has the charming property that it can randomly drop arbitrary packets (and also reorder them). If UDP drops a NFS client’s request to the server, the NFS client will resent it (a ‘retransmit’ in the jargon of NFS). If UDP drops the server’s reply to a client’s request, the client will also resend the request, because it can’t really tell why it didn’t get a reply; it just knows that it didn’t.

      • How to review Apache tomcat access logs – Linux Hint

        Nowadays, there is a tremendous pace in the software development cycle. All the Organizations have codebases containing a huge number of codes consisting of web pages interlinked. There are many circumstances when a system crashes or behaves unexpectedly.
        To analyze and debug the issue, developers and system administrators look into the Log files to find the system’s problems. In reality, when a system is down, log files are often used as the primary source of information.

        In every system, system administrators maintain all the activities related to requests received from various users and store them in a file called log files.

        To debug the system, we can refer to the individual log files to gain insight into the system and move through the various timestamps to know the system’s state.

        In this article, we’ll go into the specifics of these logs below: we’ll go through what’s stored in Apache access logs, where to find them, and how to review Apache tomcat access logs. It makes the system admins keep track of all the information and activities happening within their system.

      • Is List Only Directories Recursively in Linux?

        The word “recursive” refers to the fact that a Linux or Unix operating system commands deals with the contents of folders, and if a folder has subfolders and documents, the instruction still functions with all of those documents (recursively). It could be possible that the child directory has its own set of files and folders (for example, large folders), so on and so forth. You will use different Linux instructions to recursively traverse each folder before making it to the edge of the specified folder. At that level, Linux instructions return to a turnoff of the tree and repeat the process for any sub-folders that exist. In this tutorial, you will learn all the methods to list the directories recursively.

      • How to Install and Configure an NFS Server on Ubuntu 20.04

        NFS or Network File System is a distributed file system protocol that allows you to share directories over a network. With NFS, you can mount remote directories on your system and work with the files on the remote machine as if they were local files.

        By default, the NFS protocol is not encrypted and does not provide user authentication. Access to the server is restricted by the client’s IP addresses or hostnames.
        This article explains how to set up an NFSv4 Server on Ubuntu 20.04. We’ll also show you how to mount an NFS file system on the client machine.

      • How to change the hostname in Ubuntu Linux

        What is a hostname? On a computer network, the host name is a label that is assigned to a device connected to a computer network and that is used to identify the device in various forms of electronic communication, such as the World Wide Web.

        If you decide that the name chosen at installation time or assigned automatically is not what you want, you can follow the steps below to update to a new name.

        The hostname should be unique on a network and should identify individual machine. There should not be two machines with same hostname.

      • Superfast update of ArcoLinux

        There are lots of more tutorials about updating. There is even two playlists on Youtube just about updating. Watching these videos will learn you how to manage your operating system.

        Here we just want to update and get on with our work.

        You can use these commands as you see fit.
        We have added the frequency behind it as indication. Again you are free to do it differently.

        update – ArcoLinux packages, third-party packages build for ArcoLinux and Arch Linux packages – DAILY
        upall – updating all AUR packages – any package you installed additionally – DAILY
        skel – copy/pasting /etc/skel content to your home directory and making a backup of .config folder – MONTHLY
        cb – copy/pasting content from /etc/skel/.bashrc to ~/.bashrc + making it work (source) – MONTHLY

      • SurfingKeys: Browser Vim Keys Better Than Ever

        There’s a ton of these vim browser extensions and I was recently told about another one called Surfingskeys which has some nice advantages to it over something like say Vimium, is it worth switching to.

      • How to install OpenTTD on a Chromebook – based on Transport Tycoon Deluxe

        Today we are looking at how to install OpenTTD on a Chromebook, a game based on Transport Tycoon Deluxe. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

        Please take note that the mouse pointer is glitchy in the game, but it does work.

      • How to Install VLC Media Player on Ubuntu / Debian Linux – LateWeb.Info

        VLC media player is a free, open source multimedia player developed by the non-profit organization VideoLAN. VLC supports almost all known media formats for video and audio, DVD and Video CD. The program offers video streaming from remote computers and servers without loss of quality.

        For more details about VLC Media Player, please check its official website.

        Ubuntu is a modern GNU / Linux distribution developed by Canonical and the surrounding community. The first version was released on October 20, 2004 and is based on one of the largest Linux distributions – Debian.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 6.6 Released with Updated Mono, Improved Plug & Play Driver Support

        Wine 6.6 was released a few days ago as the latest development release of the Windows compatibility layer.

        In the new release the Mono engine is updated to version 6.1.1 with upstream updates. DWrite and DnsApi libraries are now converted to PE. And it improved plug & play driver support.

        Other changes in Wine 6.6 include various bug-fixes to Windows applications and games, e.g., Evil Twin, Half-life, Breath of Fire IV, Google drive, Legends of Runeterra, and more.

    • Games

      • In less than three years Proton and Steam Play have changed the world of Linux gaming by running more than 14 thousand games

        Few games were as highly anticipated by the end of 2020 and ended up making as much noise (though mostly for bad reasons) as Cyberpunk 2077. The ambitious CD Projekt Red title came with so many bugs and performance issues, especially on next-gen consoles. last, that Sony ended up removing it from its digital store and until the sun today it has not returned.

        The best version, most reviews agreed, is the PC version, one that could also be played almost from day one on Linux. Yes, one of the most powerful and technically ambitious triple-A games of recent times, played better on Linux than on a PS4 (depending on the PC of course). The point is, if that story doesn’t tell us already how different the Linux gaming landscape is today than it was 5 years ago, nothing will.

      • Godot Engine – Tiles editor progress #3

        It’s time for a third progress report on the TileMap and TileSet editors rework! Updates are likely less visually appealing than in the previous progress report, but a lot of groundwork has been done since then.


        A significant part of my work those past two months has mostly been about reimplementing most of the already existing TileSet features, while introducing more flexibility to it. Most of TileSet’s systems (rendering, collisions, physics, navigation, …) are now using a concept of “layers” (this might be renamed). This allows you to customize the properties that the tiles themselves expose. As an example, you could now define several PhysicsBodies per tile with different collision layers/masks. This was not possible before.

        The remaining of this section describes the TileSet changes I made. Right now, there is no way to edit the tiles’ properties in an efficient way. They are only editable using a dedicated inspector for now, but I plan to implement a way to paint values over tiles in the TileSet editor. However, most properties can now be visualized in the tile atlas.

      • Build engine port backed by GZDoom tech ‘Raze’ has a 1.0 release with Vulkan support

        Raze is a fresh attempt to bring together many different games under one roof including Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, Redneck Rampage, Shadow Warrior and Exhumed/Powerslave.

        It’s actually mainly developed by Christoph Oelckers, one of the lead developers on ZDoom/GZDoom so it’s not surprising Raze is using GZDoom tech to make more classic first-person shooters easier to run with an up to date game engine.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Scene Items in KWin by Vlad Zahorodnii

          If your background includes game development, the concept of a scene should sound familiar. A scene is a way to organize the contents of the screen using a tree, where parent nodes affect their child nodes. In a game, a scene would typically consist of elements such as lights, actors, terrain, etc.

          KWin also has a scene. With this blog post, I want to provide a quick glimpse at the current scene design, and the plan how it can be improved for Wayland.


          At the end of March, an initial batch of changes to migrate to the item-based design was merged. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but even with those initial changes, you will already see some improves in the Wayland session. For example, there should less visual artifacts in applications that utilize sub-surfaces, e.g. Firefox.

          The end goal of the transition to the item-based design is to have a more flexible and extensible scene. So far, the plan is to continue doing refactorings and avoid rewriting the entire compositing machinery, if possible.


          In short, we still have some work to do to make rendering abstractions in KWin fit well all the cases that there are on Wayland. However, even with the work done so far, the results are very promising!

        • A new face for the Qt Project

          project, could learn how to contribute. Additionally, for current members, having a good way of representing this contribution information will help to analyze these contributions for different Qt modules, and help the decision-making process to boost the development in some modules.

          This information is already spread in many places, mainly in our wiki, which doesn’t facilitate newcomers that don’t know their way around to easily find, which raised the motivation of creating a one-page site which will play the role of being the face of the Qt project.

        • Walled gardens

          Plasma Mobile aims to be not a walled garden, and provides a full control/freedom to users, which interestingly also comes with freedom to use the walled garden inside your open garden.

          If user can not have this freedom or is actively being pushed towards ecosystem liked by the developers, then what we have created is a walled garden with illusion of being open garden.


          Where we aim that users have full control over their data and do not use closed systems.

          Which is why we need to find a balance between both of this goals/mission. We need to make sure that our default user experience does not make use of closed ecosystem software and at same time if users/developers have preference or requirement of using other systems we enable them to do so to best of our capability.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Venom Linux 20210312

          I believe the Venom Linux project is still relatively young and, I suspect, the work of one developer. With this in mind it is perhaps unfair to judge the project harshly as it seems to still be finding its feet. Some aspects of the design appeal to me. I have a growing fondness for relatively lightweight distributions and ones which keep the under-the-hood components simple. However, I think Venom takes this to an uncomfortable extreme.

          The project currently has very little documentation, relatively few packages available, few utilities most people would need to get set up, such as a graphical network connection manager, an office suite and a full featured terminal. The distribution is surprisingly light in memory which is great, but it was unusually hard on my CPU.

          The package manager mostly worked well, apart from failing to compile one package, but the fact it needs to build packages from source code is deal breaker for me. It would be faster for me to go into town, buy another computer, and install another distribution featuring LibreOffice on it than wait for Venom to compile the suite from source.

          All of this is to say that while most of what Venom provides works, it provides very little. Some people, myself included, can appreciate a minimal starting foundation, but I do like to have some more basics like volume control and printer support easily available.

          Venom is, as the project’s website says, targeting people who are advanced Linux users, folks who want to use the command line, people who want to build from the ground up. In this way it’s not dissimilar to CRUX or Arch Linux. However, it offers fewer tools, documentation, and packages than the latter, making it a more niche distribution.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • What’s the Difference between openSUSE and OpenMandriva

          Here’s a comparison between openSUSE and OpenMandriva (continuing our comparison involving Mageia) the two European computer operating systems from our Free Libre Open Source Software community. The most obvious similarity from both is their name, which includes the word OPEN, which comes particularly from the Open Source Movement. In this article we will see several interesting stuffs from both around their architectures, distributions, control center, etc. so we know about their YaST and OMCC, respectively. If you want to know more similarities and differences of these two OSes, this article is for you. To make it easier to read, OS below is for openSUSE while OM is for OpenMandriva. Let’s go!

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Next Open NeuroFedora meeting: 12 April 1300 UTC

          Please join us at the next regular Open NeuroFedora team meeting on Monday 12 April at 1300UTC in #fedora-neuro on IRC (Freenode). The meeting is a public meeting, and open for everyone to attend. You can join us over:

      • Debian Family

        • Steve McIntyre & Debian: threatening researchers in gender and diversity studies

          This is chilling. A researcher studying diversity will be completely ostracized.

          These threats are the dark side of Debian that most people don’t see. Debian leaders try to create an image of being helpful and friendly while deleting any facts or people who are not convenient.

          It is also hypocrisy. The Debian Social Contract, point #3 states We will not hide problems. How could McIntyre forget that?

          The lack of diversity is a huge problem. Less than two percent of Debian Developers are female while thirty-one percent of Non-Developing Developers are female. This suggests there is lower trust in women and insufficient effort to change things.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache Software Foundation Welcomes 40 New Members

        The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) welcomes the following new Members who were elected during the annual ASF Members’ Meeting on 9 and 11 March 2021:

        Maxime Beauchemin, Bolke de Bruin, Wei-Chiu Chuang, Jiangjie (Becket), Pablo Estrada, Dave Grove, Madhawa Kasun Gunasekara, Nathan Hartman, Tilman Hausherr, Georg Henzler, Xiangdong Huang, Nikita Ivanov, Yu Li, Geoff Macartney, Denis A. Magda, Carl Marcum, Matteo Merli, Aaron Morton, Aizhamal Nurmamat kyzy, Enrico Olivelli, Jaikiran Pai, Juan Pan, Pranay Pandey, Arun Patidar, Jarek Potiuk, Rodric Rabbah, Katia Rojas, Maruan Sahyoun, Aditya Sharma, Atri Sharma, Ankit Singhal, Michael Adam Sokolov, Simon Steiner, Benoit Tellier, Josh Thompson, Abhishek Tiwari, Sven Vogel, William Guo Wei, Ming Wen, Andrew Wetmore, and Liang Zhang.

        The ASF incorporated in 1999 with a core membership of 21 individuals who oversaw the progress of the Apache HTTP Server. This group grew with Committers —developers who contributed code, patches, documentation, and other contributions, and were subsequently granted access by the Membership…

      • 6 open source tools and tips to securing a Linux server for beginners

        Because so much of our personal and professional data is available online today, it is important for everyone—from professionals to general internet users—to learn the basics of security and privacy. As a student, I’ve been able to gain experience in this area through my school’s CyberPatriot initiative, where I’ve had the opportunity to interact with industry experts to learn about cyber breaches and the basic steps to establish a system’s security.

        This article details six simple steps to improve the security of your Linux environment for personal use, based on what I have learned thus far as a beginner. Throughout my journey, I have utilized open source tools to accelerate my learning process and familiarize myself with higher-level concepts related to securing my Linux server.

      • Send your scans to a Linux machine over your network
      • Encrypt your files with this open source software
      • Inkscape [Releases] Beta Download for Version 1.1

        Inkscape will be launching it’s much-awaited 1.1 update in the coming months, but in the meantime, you can download the beta on the official website.

      • Web Browsers

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Writer Guide 7.1 is just out!

          The LibreOffice documentation team is happy to announce the immediate availability of the Writer Guide 7.1

          The book is a complete guide for advanced user the want to explore the best resources of LibreOffice Writer, the word processor of the LibreOffice suite. Covering advanced topics such as styles, illustrations, indexes and table of contents, master documents, form design, document automation and more, this guide will bring your word processing skills to a professional level.

          The Writer Guide 7.1 is a joint effort of Jean Weber and Kees Kriek, who reviewed and updated The LibreOffice 6.4 Writer Guide with the new features of LibreOffice 7.1, released last February.

          “I enjoy writing user documentation for LibreOffice because it gives me an excuse to learn about new and improved features that I might otherwise not know about. The team members are good to work with, friendly and helpful. I especially want to thank Kees Kriek for reviewing all the chapters of this book.”

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU World Order 401

            Thoughts on the changing face of free and open source software.

          • Intel Rocket Lake Target Added To GCC 11

            While Intel is often very proactive in adding new CPU families to the open-source GCC and LLVM/Clang compilers where it tends to land a year or more in advance of the processors actually shipping, occasionally there are slipups. Today in fact the “Rocket Lake” support finally was merged into GCC 11 days ahead of that compiler release and after the CPUs were already launched at the end of March.

            This morning the Rocket Lake support was merged so users/developers can enjoy the likes of -march=rocketlake beginning with GCC 11 and possibly back-ported to a future GCC 10.x point release.

          • G’MIC 2.9.7 Is Released

            G’MIC is a really advanced framework for image processing. It can be used stand-alone or as a plug-in for GIMP and other image manipulation software. The latest version is a minor update to the G’MIC development branch that will eventually lead to a big 3.0 release. 2.9.7 brings better support for .webp images, a new meigen command and two bug-fixes.

          • Andy Wingo: guile’s reader, in guile

            Like many language implementations that started life when you could turn on the radio and expect to hear Def Leppard, Guile has a bottom half and a top half. The bottom half is written in C and exposes a shared library and an executable, and the top half is written in the language itself (Scheme, in the case of Guile) and somehow loaded by the C code when the language implementation starts.

            Since 2010 or so we have been working at replacing bits written in C with bits written in Scheme. Last week’s missive was about replacing the implementation of dynamic-link from using the libltdl library to using Scheme on top of a low-level dlopen wrapper. I’ve written about rewriting eval in Scheme, and more recently about how the road to getting the performance of C implementations in Scheme has been sometimes long.

            These rewrites have a quixotic aspect to them. I feel something in my gut about rightness and wrongness and I know at a base level that moving from C to Scheme is the right thing. Much of it is completely irrational and can be out of place in a lot of contexts — like if you have a task to get done for a customer, you need to sit and think about minimal steps from here to the goal and the gut doesn’t have much of a role to play in how you get there. But it’s nice to have a project where you can do a thing in the way you’d like, and if it takes 10 years, that’s fine.

      • Programming/Development

        • Claudio Cambra: On finishing Season of KDE: improving Kirigami docs

          I wrote my first Season of KDE blog-post 3 months ago… and have since forgotten to write any updates. It’s time to address that!

          Since January, I’ve been working mainly on improving the documentation for Kirigami. Back then, the Develop wiki had some pages teaching newcomers how to create a Kirigami application, but these were a little disjointed and didn’t really lead readers towards any specific goal.

          There were also a lot of aspects and components of Kirigami that weren’t properly documented. Some of the existing materials also needed revising in terms of style, structure, and clarity.

        • How to Install and Use Ruby on Linux Distributions

          Ruby is one of the most used and easy to use programming languages. Ruby is an open-source, object-oriented interpreter that can be installed on a Linux system. Many programmers prefer Python over Ruby to start learning basic programming, but Ruby can handle large web-frameworks and web applications. Once you start learning Ruby, you would find it less machine-like and not repetitive. If you’re confused between Ruby and Ruby on Rails, I must mention that they are not the same; Ruby is a programming language; on the other hand, Ruby on Rails is a web framework.

        • Jelmer Vernooij: The upstream ontologist

          The Debian Janitor is an automated system that commits fixes for (minor) issues in Debian packages that can be fixed by software. It gradually started proposing merges in early December. The first set of changes sent out ran lintian-brush on sid packages maintained in Git. This post is part of a series about the progress of the Janitor.

          The upstream ontologist is a project that extracts metadata about upstream projects in a consistent format. It does this with a combination of heuristics and reading ecosystem-specific metadata files, such as Python’s setup.py, rust’s Cargo.toml as well as e.g. scanning README files.

        • Demystifying programs that create programs, part 1: A disassembler

          People appear to enjoy the blog posts about me porting different compilers to OpenBSD. What I would like to do for the next couple of posts beginning with this one is to take a step back and de-complexify these programs. Both the D compiler and the GNU Modula-2 compiler are highly complex pieces of software. But at their core they are the exact same thing: a program that can create programs. We need not explore something so complex in order to learn how to create a program of our own that creates programs. In this series of blog posts, we will create two programs that will help us demystify programs that create programs: first, in this blog post, we will create a disassembler, or a program that reads a program and produces a higher-level representation (assembly); second, in a couple of subsequent blog posts, we will create an assembler, a program that understands that higher-level assembly language and produces a program from it.

        • Demystifying programs that create programs, part 2: Starting an assembler

          It’s time to tackle the inverse of a disassembler. It will take a lot more effort than our disassembler, but I believe we are up for it. For today, let’s sit down and plan our assembler and begin coding up some boilerplate at least and see how far we get.

        • Demystifying programs that create programs, part 3: Globals, passes, and error handling

          Let’s continue writing our assembler. Today, I want to set up any global variables we might need and also set up error handling.

        • Demystifying programs that create programs, part 4: Parsing

          On this episode of building our Z80 assembler, we are going to learn how to parse a line of assembly into tokens. We’ll need to do this so that we can figure out what that line of assembly is trying to tell us. Then we will be able to generate the correct object code for that line.

          You may have heard about concepts such as abstract syntax trees, or top-down and bottom-up parsers, or LL and LALR parsers. We are going to discuss none of that. We are instead going to take a much more direct approach: we will assume every line of assembly is its own independent universe. We can therefore parse a line and generate object code in one step. Once we have done that, we will discard the line we are currently working with, read the next line, and repeat the process.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Calculating EV battery charge pricing with Perl

            Presently I have great interest in “EVs” Electric Vehicles but I haven’t seen any data on how much it would cost to charge an electric vehicle from 0 % to 100 % battery charge at home in NYC ( So I wrote a Perl script to do just that ) but before we dig in into it I explain a few things about Electric Vehicles.

            Electric Vehicles will have a battery capacity that is represented by kilowatt-hour units or kWh for short.

            An EV’s driving range is represented in miles units ( In the US ) and the average mileage is determined by the EPA battery range rating ( the bigger the battery capacity usually means the more driving range you will have in a car ) after conducting a few tests ( so in reality your mileage will vary ).

            Electric vehicles have an onboard charger which determines its charging rate in Kilowatt per Hour and it varies by car makers. Most EV car owners will install a Level 2 charger that is usually capable of charging cars up to 7.2 kWH rate using 220 volt electric circuit with 32 amps of power ( but there are chargers that can go at a higher rate ).

            Ok now that I explained a few things lets dig into the data used to make my script.

            I checked my electric bill and found that my electricity rate in NYC is $0.13 cents per kWh.

            For comparison I phoned a friend in Florida to get electricity rates where he lives which is $ 0.07 cents per kWh. ( Almost half of NY rate )

    • Standards/Consortia

      • The rise of online readability scrapers

        There are a new breed of services coming out that purport to make the modern web less frustrating to use in specific circumstances. But they’ve incurred the wrath of creators in doing so, and don’t address the structural issues for why we’re at this point.

        A recipe site scraper was the most recent and publicised example. Its developers claimed the tool removed superfluous paragraphs of text surrounding actual cooking instructions, based on the perception that recipe sites are mostly filler. In the social media space, “unroll” services present long Twitter threads on a single page, making them as easy to read as a blog.

        Both of these types of services address a real need people online have, for better or worse. I love reading about the history of a family recipe, but there are far more people who think the padding is only there to serve more ads. Likewise, as long as people insist on using Twitter’s threads feature instead of linking to a blog post, unroll services render them more accessible.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Feast Your Eyes on the Trillion-Dollar SUV

      The concentration of America’s wealth has hit still another terrifying new milestone.

      The Expedition, an SUV that can seat eight passengers, rates as the biggest SUV Ford makes. So how much can an Expedition be worth? That all depends. If the eight passengers sitting in an Expedition happen to be the eight wealthiest Americans, the net worth of that Expedition and everyone in it — as of yesterday — would be over $1 trillion. To be more precise: $1.023 trillion dollars, plus the value of the vehicle.

    • John Prine – Summer’s End
    • Remote work tips: availability heat map

      When your team goes remote or when you are creating a new remote or distributed team, you need to reconsider the most basic ground rules. Most are a given when colocated. One of these ground rules to reconsider is people’s availability.

      At the office, you expect people to be available more or less at similar times, even if your organization promotes flexi-time or core hours, such expectation is mostly there. But when you go remote or even in the case of companies moving towards flexi-days (many will after COVID-19) availability is something that needs to be carefully considered and agreed within the context of the team or department.

      This article will focus on one of those ground rules, availability, including a simple but powerful way of starting the conversation with your team members about it, which has a major impact in scheduling.

      I have written before about the need to redefine those ground rules when going remote in several articles. I list them at the end of this article, in the References section. I mentioned in one of those articles that my former colleague back during my Linaro days, Serge Broslavsky, showed me a visualization to start the conversation about availability that I found so useful that I use it ever since. I have mastered it over time, have used it frequently and even assigned it a name: availability heat map. But before describing what it is, let me start by justifying why you should focus energy in reconsidering availability.

    • A bit of XENIX history

      These are kinds of stories that need to be written down for posterity, of we risk losing a lot of valuable information and backstories to some of the less successful technology products of our time.

    • Hardware

      • Russell Coker: Storage Trends 2021

        Last year NVMe prices were very comparable for SSD prices, I was hoping that trend would continue and SSDs would go away. Now for sizes 1TB and smaller NVMe and SSD prices are very similar, but for 2TB the NVMe prices are twice that of SSD – presumably partly due to poor demand for 2TB NVMe. There are also no NVMe devices larger than 2TB on sale at MSY (a store which caters to home stuff not special server equipment) but SSDs go up to 8TB.

        It seems that NVMe is only really suitable for workstation storage and for cache etc on a server. So SATA SSDs will be around for a while.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • More Than 3,600 US Health Care Workers Have Died in the Pandemic’s First Year

        More than 3,600 U.S. health care workers perished in the first year of the pandemic, according to “ Lost on the Frontline,” a 12-month investigation by The Guardian and KHN to track such deaths.

      • [Older] Norway penguins get vaccinated, isolation nearly over

        They have been living under strict confinement measures for months, but soon the second shot of a life-saving vaccine will let them go outside and get back to their normal lives.

        While it sounds like a familiar story, in this case their normal lives involve sliding about on their bellies, frolicking in icy water and catching fish in their mouths.

        Twenty-nine gentoo penguins at Norway’s Bergen Aquarium have had a tarp stretched over their pen since early December after cases of a highly infectious bird flu strain, H5N8, were detected in the country.

        “Because of this, the Food Health Authority introduced a curfew: all birds in captivity must be kept under a roof,” aquarium director Aslak Sverdrup told AFP on Thursday.

      • How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines

        On February 11, 2020, public health and infectious disease experts gathered by the hundreds at the World Health Organization’s Geneva mothership. The official pronouncement of a pandemic was still a month out, but the agency’s international brain trust knew enough to be worried. Burdened by a sense of borrowed time, they spent two days furiously sketching an “R&D Blueprint” in preparation for a world upended by the virus then known as 2019-nCoV.

        The resulting document summarized the state of coronavirus research and proposed ways to accelerate the development of diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines. The underlying premise was that the world would unite against the virus. The global research community would maintain broad and open channels of communication, since collaboration and information-sharing minimize duplication and accelerate discovery. The group also drew up plans for global comparative trials overseen by the WHO, to assess the merits of treatments and vaccines.

        One issue not mentioned in the paper: intellectual property. If the worst came to pass, the experts and researchers assumed cooperation would define the global response, with the WHO playing a central role. That pharmaceutical companies and their allied governments would allow intellectual property concerns to slow things down—from research and development to manufacturing scale-up—does not seem to have occurred to them.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • What if We Made Paying Ransoms Illegal?

          A lot of what I reacted to was the notion that this would be easy. “Disappear in a month”, he said. That’s hyperbole but I should have ignored it and focused on the argument.

          The part that most people latched on to, including me, was the notion that making something illegal can stop it from happening. As many pointed out, history has taught us that this doesn’t work many times. The war on drugs. Alcohol prohibition. The list goes on.

        • Setting up Starlink, SpaceX’s Satellite Internet

          So I thought, why not let a cousin who lives out in a rural area try it out while I figure out what to do about mounting ‘Dishy’ (a common nickname for the Starlink satellite dish) on my own house?

          After all, my cousin Annie, who lives in Jonesburg, MO, currently pays for the maximum available DSL plan to her farm (Haarmann Farms), and gets a measly 5 Mbps down, and 0.46 Mbps up—on a good day: [...]

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Facebook ‘knew about phone number data leak vulnerability two years before issue was fixed’, claims security researcher

              As Facebook defends its actions over a massive data leak, one researcher says he notified the company of the issue a full two years before the problem was fixed.

              Last week, Business Insider revealed that the personal data of more than 500 million Facebook users had been posted in a low-level hacking forum where phone numbers were being offered for sale.

              Facebook has defended itself in a lengthy blog post, pointing out that the data was obtained by scraping, rather than [cracking].

            • Facebook says [crackers] ‘scraped’ data of 533 million users in 2019 leak

              The data included phone numbers, birth dates, and email addresses, and some of the data appeared to be current, according to US media reports.

              The stolen [sic] data did not include passwords or financial data, according to Facebook.

              Scraping is a tactic that involves using automated software to gather up information shared publicly online.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Former hostage responds to top diplomat calling Al Qaeda a US ‘asset’ in Syria
      • Biden, Blinken and DOD

        As an indication of his worldview, it is revealing to note Blinken’s membership in the Center for Strategic and International Studies(CSIS). According to its website, the CSIS “has been dedicated to finding ways to sustain American prominence and prosperity as a force for good in the world.” One is not being particularly cynical when they point out that the good this statement is referring to is the good of Wall Street, and not necessarily Main Street. The CSIS bills itself as a nonpartisan entity. It is funded in large part by war industry contractors, energy corporations and US based banks with an expressed purpose of “maintaining US prominence” in the world. Given the nature of its board of trustees, it’s clear that what that nonpartisansship means is it represents the power elites that run the United States. Democrats and Republicans share a common goal of ensuring the US remains the world’s most powerful state. The differences of opinion the parties have on certain issues do not exist when it comes to enveloping the world in the web of US imperialism. There are differences in how to go about this, but not on the goal itself. This is why both parties are up in arms about China’s rising star and Russian challenges in the Mideast and Europe. The non-partisan nature of the Board lies in the inclusion of both US capitalist parties, not in the inclusion of anti-capitalist or anti-imperialist viewpoints.

        Biden, Blinken and DOD

      • Iran starts up advanced centrifuges in nuclear deal breach

        The IR-5 and IR-6 centrifuges allow uranium to be enriched more quickly and in greater amounts than the Iran’s first generation devices, which are the only ones that the 2015 deal allows it to use.

      • Reports of atrocities by child soldiers, alleged beheadings during Moz attacks – UN

        The UN has expressed deep concern amid reports that about 12 bodies have been beheaded and buried in a shallow grave outside Palma Hotel, in Mozambique.

        The reports about the bodies came on the same day when President Cyril Ramaphosa flew into Mozambique to join the South African Development Community (SADC) leaders attending the extraordinary Troika Summit meeting to plan how they can deal with the violent attacks by insurgents.

        UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said there were reports of atrocities carried out by child soldiers, alleged beheadings during attacks by non-State armed groups, and clashes in the Cabo Delgado region.

      • UN warns Tanzania not to reject people fleeing Mozambique violence

        United Nations teams have received “worrying” reports that Tanzania has rejected over 1 000 people seeking refuge from an Islamic State-claimed attack on a town in northern Mozambique, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Tuesday.

        The 24 March attack on the town of Palma, adjacent to gas developments worth $60 billion, sent the town’s residents scattering in all directions, with some fleeing into dense forest while others escaped by boat.

      • Denmark deploying special forces to Mali

        The government has unveiled intentions to dispatch a special forces unit to Mali.

        The group, which will also consist of surgeons and staff officers, will assist the French-led Task Force Takuba tackle terrorism in the embattled west-African country.

        Moreover, the government also wants to redeploy a transport aircraft to help the UN-led MINUSMA mission in the country.

        “The threat from the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda’s terror violence remains serious. They desire to create an oasis for their extremist violence and regime of death in west Africa,” said foreign minister, Jeppe Kofod.

    • Environment

      • ‘The Time Is Now to Go Forward’: Sanders Says Dems Can’t Waste Time Catering to Obstructionist GOP

        “When the scientists tell us we have five or six years before there will be irreparable damage done because of climate change, I’m not going to slow down.”

        Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said Saturday that amid the immediate emergencies of climate change, Covid-19, mass unemployment, and homelessness, congressional Democrats cannot afford to dampen their infrastructure ambitions in the hopes of winning support from obstructionist Republicans.

      • Sanders Calls on Democrats to Pursue Big Legislative Agenda Without Republicans

        Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said Saturday that amid the immediate emergencies of climate change, Covid-19, mass unemployment, and homelessness, congressional Democrats cannot afford to dampen their infrastructure ambitions in the hopes of winning support from obstructionist Republicans.

      • Energy

        • Opinion | Greening Earth and Creating Jobs, Biden to Slash Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Extend Wind, Solar Credits

          Together, wind and solar account for 40 percent of electricity sector jobs in the United States.

          Reuters reports that President Biden intends to slash tax subsidies for fossil fuels like coal and petroleum and to use taxes instead to encourage renewable energy. Since jobs in the coal industry are plummeting, and since job growth in renewable electricity is over 3 percent a year, Biden’s plans will actually increase employment.

        • Ending Fracking by 2035

          Ottenberg: The first thing that came to my mind when I finished the book, where you’ve done all this research for “Up to Heaven and Down to Hell,” and spent time there and lived in fracking country – do you think Biden should ban fracking and what does that mean with regard to 100 companies causing 70 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas, over the last 30 years?

          Jerolmack: The first thing to make clear is that Biden can’t ban fracking in most places. He can only ban fracking on public land, which, in America, more than two thirds of fracking occurs on private land. And the only way that fracking can be banned on private land is either at the state level or through congressional action. What he can do is ban new leases on public land. And he’s put a moratorium on them and if you asked me should he turn that into a ban, yes, absolutely. It’s clear that to get even close to meeting our targets for emissions reductions to prevent planetary warming at the catastrophic level, we need to leave fossil fuels in the ground.

        • Power consumption of old computers

          I run a server from home, utilising old hardware. I want to know how much power this actually consumes, but I have no way to measure it directly.

          More specifically, I have used an old laptop for this, but its battery is permanently shot (the device won’t power on with the battery connected but works just fine without it, drawing power from the charger only). I already have a replacement – an (almost) equally old “multimedia” desktop with a mini-ITX motherboard. I had to replace the “mini” PSU with a normal-sized one. It says 300W on the label (this is not how much power it draws all the time, just the maximum it can provide).

          I want to know how much electricity each setup constantly cosumes.

    • Finance

      • Domestic Workers Need Federal Protections — Even More So Amid a Pandemic

        I’m a domestic worker. You can just imagine how badly COVID-19 has impacted my income.

      • Opinion | American Consumers Deserve Better Than US Retailers Like Costco Provide

        Grocery chains like Costco in the U.S. need to commit to making substantial changes that improve the welfare of chickens in their supply chains here at home.

        Imagine a food so filthy that it requires chemical disinfection prior to packaging and sale. Now imagine that the average American eats almost 100 pounds of it every year. Sadly, that product is not imaginary. It’s chicken, and few US consumers know the grisly truth about how it’s produced.

      • Opinion | What’s Really Behind the Opposition to a $15 Minimum Wage

        Fifty-seven senators from both parties are determined to preserve an economic system that rewards the rich and punishes the poor.

      • Pentagon and Tax Cheats Already Cost Taxpayers Far More Than Biden’s Job Plan

        Is President Biden’s $2.3 trillion jobs plan too big? Conservatives are arguing that the package is too expensive and its broad reach is unnecessary.

      • The Basic Deal Between Corporate America and the GOP is Alive and Well

        The deal has proven beneficial to both sides, although not to the American public. Campaign spending has soared while corporate taxes have shriveled.

      • Chinese Regulators Levy Record $2.8 Billion Fine On Alibaba

        Chinese authorities have fined Alibaba $2.75 billion for alleged antitrust violations, Reuters and other news agencies reported.

        The fine, according to Reuters, equals about 4 percent of Alibaba’s 2019 domestic revenue and allegedly came in response to several years of market-power abuses, especially refusing to let some merchants it worked with also work with other eCommerce companies.

        “This penalty will be viewed as a closure to the anti-monopoly case for now by the market,” Hong Hao, head of research at BOCOM International, reportedly told Reuters. “It’s indeed the highest profile anti-monopoly case in China. The market has been anticipating some sort of penalty for some time … but people need to pay attention to the measures beyond the anti-monopoly investigation.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | Arizona Republicans Declare Their Opposition to Democracy

        After officially objecting to the federal reforms in the For the People Act, the state legislature is considering a raft of voter suppression bills.

      • Trumpism Is Not Just an American Problem. It’s Festering in the UK.

        When Donald Trump was driven out of office, many of us hoped that would be the end not just of the man himself, but of the politics he represented. In the U.K., however, Trumpism has continued to gain momentum. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party, the U.K. government has taken a distinct authoritarian turn, using the pandemic as a cover for introducing laws and regulations to criminalize protest and facilitating police repression against communities of color.

      • Endorsed by Trump Allies, Disgraced Former Missouri Governor Will Run for Senate

        Missouri has embarrassingly made international headlines several times as of late. In January 2018, then-Gov. Eric Greitens admitted to having an affair and was subsequently probed for blackmail and assault. That February, he was formally charged. That April, a bipartisan report was released by the Missouri House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight, which detailed graphic allegations against the former governor. This prompted Missouri’s then-Attorney General Josh Hawley to call on Greitens to “ resign immediately.”

      • Google’s Project Zero Finds a Nation-State Zero-Day Operation

        Google’s Project Zero discovered, and caused to be patched, eleven zero-day exploits against Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Windows, and iOS. This seems to have been exploited by “Western government operatives actively conducting a counterterrorism operation”: [...]

      • Russia fines TikTok over calls for minors to join protests

        A Moscow court on Tuesday fined TikTok more than $30,000 for failing to delete posts calling for minors to join unsanctioned protests in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

        The court said on its Telegram channel that the video-sharing platform had been found guilty of failing to remove information that violates Russian law and sentenced to an administrative fine of 2.6 million rubles ($34,000/28,000 euros).

        The ruling comes as Russia ramps up pressure on foreign tech platforms, with a Moscow court also hitting Twitter on Friday with three fines totalling 8.9 million rubles ($116,700/99,000 euros) for the same violation as TikTok.

    • Disinformation

      • Ken Burns’ vicious Hemingway smear: PBS series totally ignores writer’s lifelong leftist politics

        Instead of considering how anyone might feel and behave while struggling with hemochromatosis, depression, brain damage and alcoholism, all while receiving little to no medical intervention, Burns and Novick are content to cast Hemingway as a narcissistic bully. Crucial to their presentation of Hemingway as a loathsome and delusional figure is the inclusion of his intense concerns that the FBI was surveilling him. Hemingway’s suspicion that two men in a Ketchum, Idaho, restaurant were federal agents, and that men working in the local bank after hours were scrutinizing his finances, are treated as nothing more than the psychotic ravings of a lunatic.

        On the issue of the FBI, and Hemingway’s politics more broadly, Burns and Novick manage a surprising achievement — they outperform the dishonesty they exercised when presenting Hemingway’s health problems.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Have Your Say! Public Consultation On #CHATCONTROL Plans Open Until 15 April

        The EU Commission is drafting permanent legislation on the automatic searching of all online activities, including personal electronic mail and messages of each citizen, for suspicious content in the search for child pornography. Suspected cases would be notified to the police. An online consultation is underway until 15 April. It includes questions on whether private communications should be covered and whether backdoors to end-to-end encrypted communications services should be required to enable this monitoring.

        Such privatised mass surveillance is unprecedented in western democracies and would have unacceptable consequences for our freedom of communications and expression. According to police reports, in the vast majority of cases, innocent citizens come under suspicion of having committed an offence due to unreliable processes.

        Therefore, please participate in the ongoing consultation. The responses will be taken into account by the Commission when deciding on the content of the planned legislation. So far, almost only child protection organizations and industry stakeholders have participated.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Assange Countdown to Freedom

        Sunday, April 11,  will mark the two year anniversary of the kidnapping, incarceration, and torture of journalist and publisher Julian Assange.

      • Two Years After Assange’s Arrest, Biden Can End Trump’s Assault On Press Freedom

        WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been detained at the high-security Belmarsh prison in London for two years. During that time, Assange became the first publisher to be indicted under the United States Espionage Act and prevailed after a district judge denied the U.S. government’s extradition request. He completed a sentence for “jumping bail” when he sought asylum from Ecuador. He also survived multiple COVID-19 outbreaks in prison. “It’s long past time for this injustice to end, and we continue to appeal to the United States and the Department of Justice to drop the appeal and all the charges against Julian. This gross injustice must come to an end,” WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson declared. Stella Moris, Assange’s partner, acknowledged the protests and solidarity actions that are planned throughout the world. Mobilizations were planned for April 11 in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., Denver, Chicago, Raleigh, San Jose, Seattle, Tulsa, Toronto, London, Glasgow, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Mexico City, Melbourne, Perth, Auckland, and Wellington. Several actions will take place over the course of the week in cities like Boston, Berlin, Brussels, Dresden, Vienna, and Hamburg.   “Anniversaries are a platform to educate, nurture compassion and solidarity, and bring like-minded people onboard,” Moris stated. The U.S. Justice Department dramatically escalated the political prosecution against Assange on April 11, 2019, when it unsealed a single charge indictment against the WikiLeaks founder. Ecuador allowed British police to enter their London embassy and drag him to a van. While video posted showed a vulnerable person in distress, begging the United Kingdom and everyone around the world to resist this prosecution, many focused on his unkempt appearance—his long hair and shaggy beard—and mocked him. Nils Melzer, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, shared, “During my visit, he explained to us that his shaving kit had been deliberately taken away three months earlier.” This was all part of Ecuador President Lenin Moreno’s U.S.-backed pressure campaign to force Assange to leave the embassy. In 2012, Assange was granted political asylum, when Rafael Correa was president of Ecuador. Correa’s administration considered “legal evidence” that Assange would not receive a fair trial if extradited to the U.S. and endorsed Assange’s fears of due process violations and cruel and inhuman treatment if he was handed over to Sweden.  At Assange’s extradition trial in September, his defense team presented evidence of an espionage operation backed by U.S. intelligence that was carried out against him at the London embassy. Undercover Global S.L., a Spanish security company, bugged the embassy and had a “real obsession” with spying on Assange’s legal team. Beyond that, U.C. Global Director David Morales talked about plots to kidnap Assange or even poison him, and the company ordered employees to steal diapers so they could figure out if he fathered a child. In October 2019, a Spanish high court charged Morales with offenses “related to violating the privacy of the WikiLeaks founder and passing the information on to the United States’ intelligence services,” according to El Pais. That case is still unfolding in Spain, however, the Justice Department has sought to obstruct proceedings by refusing cooperation unless whistleblowers from the company reveal their identities. The unsealed indictment against Assange was initially limited to a “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” offense under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and a general statute against any conspiracies to “defraud” the U.S. government, which prompted a number of Western pundits to erroneously insist prosecutors avoided a case that would implicate the First Amendment. However, the indictment declared, “The WikiLeaks website publicly solicited submissions of classified, censored, and other restricted information. Assange, who did not possess a security clearance or need to know, was not authorized to receive classified information of the United States.” The indictment relied upon language straight from the Espionage Act. Prosecutors explicitly singled out Assange as an “aider” and “abettor” of “espionage” for publishing unauthorized disclosures of classified information, even though reporters and editors at media organizations throughout the world routinely produce stories based upon sensitive documents without a U.S. security clearance. A little over a month later, in May 2019, the U.S. Justice Department unsealed a superseding indictment with 17 charges under the Espionage Act. It dispelled any illusions journalists throughout the world may have had.

      • Marking Two Years Since Assange’s Arrest, Press Freedom Advocates Demand Biden DOJ Drop All Charges

        “Shame on the U.S. and U.K. It’s time to free Assange!”

        Press freedom advocates on Sunday marked the two-year anniversary of Julian Assange’s arrest at the hands of British police by demanding that the Biden administration immediately drop all U.S. charges against the WikiLeaks publisher, who is currently facing 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • United States: Eleventh Circuit Says Winn Dixie’s Inaccessible Website Does Not Violate The ADA

        After two and a half years of deliberation, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit finally issued a decision in Gil v. Winn Dixie, overturning the trial court’s finding that Winn Dixie violated the ADA by having an inaccessible website. Rather than clarifying the state of the law on website accessibility, the decision makes the law on website accessibility even more complicated.

        Plaintiff Gil, who is blind, sued grocery retailer Winn Dixie alleging that the business violated the ADA by having a website that he could not access using screen reader software. He claimed that he wanted to use the website to order prescriptions which he would pick up at the store. He later also claimed that he wanted to download online coupons onto his rewards card for use at the store. After a bench trial, the district court concluded that the website was not accessible to screen reader users and that Winn Dixie had violated the ADA. The district court found that it did not need to decide whether websites are covered by the ADA because, in this case, the website was “heavily integrated” with Winn Dixie’s physical stores (which are undoubtedly public accommodations) and acted as a “gateway” to them. The court issued a detailed injunctive relief order which, among other things, required Winn Dixie to make its website conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guideline 2.0 Level AA – a privately developed set of criteria for web accessibility that has not been adopted as a legal standard under the ADA for public accommodations websites.

      • Because Of Winn-Dixie, Companies Threatened With Website-Accessibility Litigation Can Raise Stronger Defenses

        Courts in other parts of the country disagree with the Eleventh Circuit, so the decision will not stop the flow of litigation by itself. Rather, it gives companies new arguments to resist website-accessibility claims, it makes the choice of venue more important, and it increases the chances that the Supreme Court will eventually need to resolve the issue.

      • Websites Not Bound by ADA Accessibility Rules, 11th Circuit Finds

        In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the Atlanta-based appeals court ruled that although “inaccessibility online can be a significant inconvenience,” supermarket chain Winn-Dixie cannot be found liable under Title III of the ADA for having a website that is inaccessible to disabled people who use screen-reading software.

        Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in places of public accommodations, including hotels, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, grocery stores, parks, schools and museums.

        “All of these listed types of locations are tangible, physical places. No intangible places or spaces, such as websites, are listed. Thus, we conclude that, pursuant to the plain language of Title III of the ADA, public accommodations are limited to actual, physical places,” U.S. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Branch, a Donald Trump appointee, wrote on behalf of the majority.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Boeing’s comma drama: Commas and taking the description into account when construing a claim (T 1127/16) [Ed: Some fake patents from EPO again. And it took a decade to throw them out!]

          It is not only the choice of words that matter in patent claim interpretation. As the recent decision in T 1127/16 shows, grammar can be similarly important. In this decision, the lack of a comma in a claim led to a successful added matter objection against Boeing’s patent EP1798872. Caught in the inescapable trap of added matter that cannot be deleted without unallowably broadening the claim, the patent was found invalid on appeal. However, aside from the obvious lesson to be scrupulous in your claim drafting, the decision in T 1127/16 is also worth a read for the Board of Appeal’s comments on the primacy of the claims over the description for determining the scope of protection, as was also recently discussed in the High Court’s application of the doctrine of equivalents (IPKat).

        • Hanwha Q Cells files patent infringement suits against Astronergy in Germany [Ed: Instead of tackling climate warming issues they sue each other over patents while corrupt EPO does greenwashing with terms like "greentech" (alluding just to patent monpolies)]

          South Korea-based solar module manufacturer Hanwha Q Cells has filed another patent infringement suit with the Düsseldorf Regional Court: this time against Astronergy Solarmodule GmbH.

          The Korean company filed the lawsuit on March 12 and, a week later, a separate lawsuit with the France Federal Court of Justice.

          The legal action against Astronergy follows the patent lawsuit initiated by Hanwha Q-Cells in Germany, the USA and Australia in March 2019, against Longi, Jinko Solar and REC. The latter trio are said to have infringed existing patents held by Hanwha Q-Cells for its passivated solar cell technology.

          While Hanwha Q-Cells’ patent infringement suit was largely thrown out in the USA, the judges at the Düsseldorf district court ruled in the first instance in favor of the South Korean photovoltaic manufacturer. Jinko Solar, REC and Longi Solar appealed the judgment. Longi said, at the beginning of the year, that the appeal hearing is scheduled for April 22, 2021. Hanwha Q-Cells has now also confirmed that the appeal will probably take place in April, before the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court.

        • Nokia Settles Patent Dispute With Lenovo
        • CVC Files Motion Opposing Broad Motion to Correct Inventorship [Ed: Hard to believe that some people still lobby for patents on life and nature, serving to discredit the very legitimacy of the patent system with its supposed purpose]

          Last December, Junior Party University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (hereinafter, “CVC”) filed its Substantive Motion No. 3 under 37 C.F.R. § 41.121(a)(1) asking for judgment of unpatentability for all claims in interference under 35 U.S.C. § 102(f) or (if post-AIA) 35 U.S.C. § 115(a) for “failure to name all inventors of the alleged invention” against Senior Party The Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University (hereinafter, “Broad”) in Interference No. 106,115. Recently, Broad filed its opposition to this motion. At the time, Broad filed a responsive motion asking for leave to correct inventorship, and CVC recently filed its motion opposing Broad’s attempt to effect a post hoc inventorship correction, the details of which are set forth herein.

          CVC begins its opposition brief by asserting that Broad has not established that it is entitled to this relief, as required under 37 C.F.R. § 41.121(b). The basis of this argument comes first from the language of the statutes — 35 U.S.C. §§ 116 and 256 — permitting inventorship correction. This language requires an applicant or patentee, respectively, provide proof of the facts surrounding the change and an identification of the inventors who should properly be named (“on application of all the parties and assignees, with proof of the facts and such other requirements as may be imposed”). Second, CVC argues that Broad did not provide consent for one of the individual — Shauiliang Lin — to be added as an inventor. Third, CVC alleges that the motion is barred by laches and submitted in bad faith. And finally, CVC argues that as a matter of jurisdiction the Director — not the Board — has sole authority to change inventorship and that there is no evidence that the Director has delegated this authority to the Board.

        • Is this the golden age of battery innovation? [Ed: EPO puff piece which conflates innovation with patents]

          Will the lightning pace of battery innovation last? A report by the European Patent Office and International Energy Agency has shown the massive growth of battery technology innovation since 2000 and given an insight into how and where innovation will continue.

        • Medlab’s NanaBis drug dramatically improves cancer-induced bone pain for first patient group in treatment study

          Last week, Medlab announced the European Patent Office would grant a patent covering the use of NanoCelle in European member states as well as the UK until 2036.

        • The rise in remote working and how DIAMS iQ can help [Ed: This mentions the EPO, but fails to say that what it does with the hearings is illegal and it now stacks the tribunals to cover that up]

          Crucially, when asked about the future, more than two-thirds of respondents predicted they would have fewer face-to-face meetings, do less business travel and work more from home. These views also reflect the safe assumption that hearings, events and meetings will take place remotely in the coming period. For example, at the European Patent Office (EPO), oral hearings will be held by video conference as standard until at least September 2021. Meanwhile, major event organizers such as the International Trademark Association (INTA) plan to host meetings virtually or in a hybrid form until the end of this year at the earliest.

        • Sunday Surprises [Ed: Today's IP Kat posts spam and ads for EPO management; quite the opposite of what it once did.]

          On April 22-23 and on May 17-19, the European Patent Office will be offering “Opposition Matters reloaded” and “Examination Matters reloaded”, a reprise of two 2020 courses that sparked high interest among the patent attorneys.

        • As Rich Countries Shield Pharma Monopolies, Just 0.2% of Covid Vaccine Doses Have Gone to Poor Nations

          “We need the cooperation of the whole world and the elimination of all the barriers to the production and distribution of vaccines.”

          The head of the World Health Organization estimated in a recent address that of the more than 700 million coronavirus vaccine doses that have been administered across the globe, just 0.2% have gone to people in low-income nations—inequity that experts warn will persist unless rich countries end their obstruction of an international effort to suspend vaccine patents.

        • Opinion | A Vaccine Summit: Taking the Pandemic Seriously

          This would mean suspending intellectual property claims over these vaccines.

        • Opinion | Vaccine Apartheid: A Threat to an Inclusive COP26

          Rich nations are vaccinating one person every second while the majority of the poorest nations are yet to give a single dose.

          The ongoing global inequality in people’s access to life-saving Covid-19 vaccines is not just a global public health issue, it also threatens the inclusivity of the COP26 climate negotiations and other important global summits. The already delayed climate talks or COP26 to be held in Glasgow, originally scheduled for November 2020 and moved to 1-12 November 2021, may have to be postponed again or radically changed because of the continuing global coronavirus pandemic.

        • Software Patents

          • Financial Product Differentiation Using Patents – A Canadian Example (Part 2) [Ed: Lawyers look at everything in terms like patents and litigation]

            As I mentioned in my previous post, quant and TOBAM funder Yves Choueifaty’s journey towards securing a Canadian patent for his process of constructing “anti-benchmark” securities portfolios has not been easy.


            Despite the mention of a computer, the Canadian patent examiner rejected his process under Section 2 of the Patent Act for being outside of the definition of invention. Machines like computers and methods that are computer-implemented are indeed fully contemplated as inventions in Canada. However, the Examiner seemed to take the position that Choueifaty had not himself actually invented anything to do with computers. So, the Examiner embarked on a problem-solution analysis to distill out the computing aspects in the analysis, leaving behind only the residue of disembodied steps and calculations as targets for the rejection.

            Choueifaty appealed to the Patent Appeal Board. He filed a declaration by TOBAM’s Head of Research stating that the claimed steps and calculations, when executed on a computer, would significantly increase the computer’s functionality, in terms of computational speed gains.

          • Farmobile Receives U.S. Patent for Its Farming Data and Collection System [Ed: Software patents on data collection or farming data, not in the sense of data-farming]

            Farmobile has been granted a U.S. patent for its “Farming Data Collection Exchange System.” The cloud-based system is capable of capturing, processing, and sharing machine-generated data while being used for operations such as fertilizing, planting, spraying, or harvesting crops. It includes a relay device that is installed in machinery that automatically receives, stores, and processes detailed machine and ag data captured by the machine during an operation.

            The technology enables real-time collection, tracking, monitoring, sharing, and monetizing of a farm’s critically important data. This includes details like the amount of seed, fertilizer, water, and pesticide used on a field; how often the field was treated with a certain chemical; which parts of the field were untreated; weather conditions during an operation; the equipment used to perform an operation; and the equipment settings activated or deactivated during an operation.

            Farmobile was issued two other patents for its “Distributed Transaction-Based Security and Tracking of Agricultural Machine and Agronomic Data.” The first was granted in 2019 by the USPTO and the second in 2020 by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. The patents give Farmobile the exclusive right to use blockchain in both countries to track electronic agricultural data sets through associated exchange transactions.

      • Trademarks

        • The Lego Case T-515/19: A building block castle built up on sand

          In Lego A/S v EUIPO (T-515/19), the General Court (“GC”) considered the scope of protection of a design, consisting of the representation of a building-block that is part of a larger Lego building set.

          The implications of the present judgment may change the paradigm of design protection in the EU since it considerably enlarges the scope of protection granted to modular systems.

          This author is not inclined to opine on whether greater or lesser protection for modular systems is preferable, but he disagrees with the argumentative path by which the GC reasons in its judgment.

          The following analysis sets out that, with the purpose of broadening the scope of protection of modular systems, the GC misconstrued Art. 8 of Regulation No 6/2002 on Community designs (“CDR”).

      • Copyrights

        • Google v. Oracle: Lessons for Innovators

          The holding in Google v. Oracle, No. 18-956, slip op. (U.S. Apr. 5, 2021), worth a cool $9 billion, is that Google and others are free, under the fair use doctrine of copyright law, to copy Oracle/Sun’s Java API (application program interface) code. They’re also free, under copyright law, to write their own implementing code or to have others do so. Taking these two points together, Google escaped liability for infringement of Oracle’s copyrighted Java code. They can have Java programmers write apps to run on the Android operating system. And they can thumb their noses at Oracle.

          Let’s unpack the term API for those of us who are not steeped in interface code. An “app” is like a customer walking into a restaurant. The computer on which the app runs is like the kitchen. An API is like the waiter that goes back and forth between the customer and the kitchen. The Supreme Court has just held in Oracle that the waiter has to serve every customer that enters the restaurant.

          Oracle’s predecessor Sun wrote the Java code and made some effort to protect the APIs with patents and copyrights. Google did not want to pay Oracle/Sun for a license to use the Java code in its Android systems. So Google wrote its own code (or at least 99% of it), and it incorporated, that is, copied, the APIs. The Oracle/Sun patents fell by the wayside: A jury found that Google did not infringe Oracle’s patent claims. And now the Supreme Court has held that under copyright law, it was okay for Google to use the APIs without any obligation to Oracle, because (1) Google’s use was held to be new and transformative, (2) the APIs comprised less than 1% of Java’s total code, and (3) the APIs were held to be functional, thus making it “fair use” for Google to copy and use the same.

        • Supreme Court Tech Ruling Could Have Wider Effects on Copyright

          The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Google didn’t infringe Oracle’s copyright when it copied some Java code into early versions of the Android operating system. The decision is—to borrow a Bidenism—a big fucking deal. It will take lawyers and courts years (and thousands of billable hours of attorney time) to work out all the ways this case is going to change copyright practice. But right off the bat, it’s clear that there are at least three important things that this case tells us that go beyond Google’s fight with Oracle—things about the Supreme Court and partisanship, about some fundamental aspects of copyright that we’re still arguing about, and about some of the reasons that copyright isn’t the best tool for everything we’re using it for. It also raises one huge question: What, if anything, does the case mean outside the software industry?

        • Playing music in parks will no longer be copyright infringement

          Playing music in Taiwan’s parks will no longer constitute an infringement of the Copyright Act, after seven major amendments were passed at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday (April 8).

          The amendments mean that people will be able to play music on devices at parks without worrying about copyright infringement. It is the biggest change in the law for 20 years.

        • Oscar Nominations Boosted the Piracy Numbers of Best Picture Contenders

          Winning the Oscar for “best picture” is the most prestigious accolade a movie can get. Aside from the honor that comes with it, revenue tends to increase as well. The same is true for piracy. Data collected by TorrentFreak shows that being nominated already triggers a piracy boost. This is something to keep in mind, especially in countries where legal options are lacking.

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 11, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:02 am by Needs Sunlight

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