04.19.21

Links 19/4/2021: LibreSSL 3.3.2, OpenSSH 8.6, Firefox 88

Posted in News Roundup at 1:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #126

      Hello and welcome to this week’s Linux Roundup.

      We had a good week in the world of Linux releases with Pisi Linux 2.2, EndeavourOS 2021.04.17, Amarok Linux 3.1 and Zorin OS 16 Core Beta.

    • Linux Weekly Roundup – Zorin 16, LXQt 0.17, and More

      Presenting this week’s DebugPoint.com weekly roundup series (Week Ending April 18, 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.

    • 21 reasons why I think everyone should try Linux

      When I go on holiday, I often end up at one or more used bookstores. I always find a good book I’ve been meaning to read, and I always justify the inevitable purchase by saying, “I’m on vacation; I should treat myself to this book.” It works well, and I’ve acquired some of my favorite books this way. Yet, like so many traditions in life, it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. In reality, I don’t need an excuse to buy a good book. All things being equal, I can do it any time I want. But having a reason does seem to make the process more enjoyable, somehow.

      In my everyday life, I get a lot of questions about Linux. When caught unaware, I sometimes awkwardly ramble on about the history of open source software or the intellectual and economic benefits of sharing resources. Sometimes, I manage to mention some of my favorite features I enjoy on Linux and then end up reverse-engineering those benefits so they can be enjoyed on another operating system. These discussions are usually enjoyable and informative, but there’s just one problem: None of it answers the question that people are really asking.

    • Run Linux on Refurbished Mini PCs – Part 1

      This is a series of articles about buying a refurbished mini PC to run Linux as a desktop machine. Along the way, we’ll explain what you really need.

      Most of the acceleration toward super-small in desktop PCs has happened over the last decade. Naturally, there are many business machines running today in bulky power tower cases containing dedicated graphics card and multiple disks. But the mini PC revolution in the last decade has seen many desktops shrunk to compact cubes, and even sticks little larger than a USB flash drive.

      What has enabled the size reduction? The main reason lies at graphics acceleration and other essential features have been subsumed under the CPU. Low power CPUs generate less heat which means that it’s easy to keep a computer’s components cool without thermal throttling or noisy fans.

    • Server

      • Kubernetes: Introducing Indexed Jobs

        Once you have containerized a non-parallel Job, it is quite easy to get it up and running on Kubernetes without modifications to the binary. In most cases, when running parallel distributed Jobs, you had to set a separate system to partition the work among the workers. For example, you could set up a task queue to assign one work item to each Pod or multiple items to each Pod until the queue is emptied.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Linux Action News 185

        The major shift in the Linux landscape this week that was hardly noticed, and our thoughts on COSMIC from System76.

        Plus Google adds its weight behind Rust in the Linux Kernel, and the new security features landing in WSL2.

      • Josh Bressers: Episode 267 – Does 0day still mean 0day?

        Josh and Kurt talk about 0day security vulnerabilities. What are they? What were they? And why the name has taken on a new meaning, and that’s OK.

      • AwesomeWM Made My Workflow Even More Awesome

        Switching from BSPWM to AwesomeWM required a lot of changes to made to my day to day workflow and while these changes weren’t always massive they have taken some time to properly get used to.

    • Kernel Space

      • Kernel prepatch 5.12-rc8

        In the end, Linus decided to hold the 5.12 release for one more week and put out 5.12-rc8 instead. “Ok, so it’s been _fairly_ calm this past week, but it hasn’t been the kind of dead calm I would have taken to mean ‘no rc8 necessary’. So here we are, with an extra rc to make sure things are all settled down.”

      • Linus Torvalds forced to delay Linux 5.12

        Linus Torvalds, the maintainer of the Linux kernel, has deferred the final release of kernel 5.12 by at least a week.

        The delay isn’t totally unexpected. Torvalds hinted that the 5.12 development cycle may require an extra week of testing owing to the large number of changes in the previous release candidate (RC).

        “Ok, so it’s been fairly calm this past week, but it hasn’t been the kind of dead calm I would have taken to mean ‘no rc8 necessary’,” wrote Torvalds as he put out the latest RC for testing.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Alyssa Rosenzweig: Dissecting the Apple M1 GPU, part III

          After a few weeks of investigating the Apple M1 GPU in January, I was able to draw a triangle with my own open source code. Although I began dissecting the instruction set, the shaders there were specified as machine code. A real graphics driver needs a compiler from high-level shading languages (GLSL or Metal) to a native binary. Our understanding of the M1 GPU’s instruction set has advanced over the past few months. Last week, I began writing a free and open source shader compiler targeting the Apple GPU. Progress has been rapid: at the end of its first week, it can compile both basic vertex and fragment shaders, sufficient to render 3D scenes. The spinning cube pictured above has its shaders written in idiomatic GLSL, compiled with the nascent free software compiler, and rendered with native code like the first triangle in January. No proprietary blobs here!

          Over the past few months, Dougall Johnson has investigated the instruction set in-depth, building on my initial work. His findings on the architecture are outstanding, focusing on compute kernels to complement my focus on graphics. Armed with his notes and my command stream tooling, I could chip away at a compiler.

          The compiler’s design must fit into the development context. Asahi Linux aims to run a Linux desktop on Apple Silicon, so our driver should follow Linux’s best practices like upstream development. That includes using the New Intermediate Representation (NIR) in Mesa, the home for open source graphics drivers. NIR is a lightweight library for shader compilers, with a GLSL frontend and backend targets including Intel and AMD. NIR is an alternative to LLVM, the compiler framework used by Apple. Just because Apple prefers LLVM doesn’t mean we have to. A team at Valve famously rewrote AMD’s LLVM backend as a NIR compiler, improving performance. If it’s good enough for Valve, it’s good enough for me.

        • More Progress Is Made Understanding Apple’s M1 GPU, Working Towards An Open Driver

          Alyssa Rosenzweig, known for her work on the Panfrost open-source drivr for Arm Mali graphics, has published the latest findings around the Apple M1 graphics processor. In fact, enough understanding to get a shaded, spinning cube rendering on the Apple M1 using a simple demo so far while the open-source driver support is still the goal.

    • Benchmarks

      • Dave Airlie: DOOM (Vulkan) + lavapipe

        For the fun of it I decided to run some real apps on lavapipe.

        Talos Principle is still rando crashing on startup, occasionally whatever magic value ends up being right in uninit memory and it suddenly runs fine.

        I started Rise of the Tomb Raider, and it renders really slowly up to the menu.

      • David Airlie Tries DOOM On CPU-Based Lavapipe Vulkan

        Red Hat graphics driver developer David Airlie has tried running the DOOM (2016) game on the CPU-based Lavapipe Vulkan driver… It works, but isn’t fast and currently requires some hacks.

        After trying The Talos Principle on Lavapipe and finding it randomly crashes at start-up and Rise of the Tomb Raider renders slowly up to the menu stage, the longtime open-source GPU driver developer then decided to try DOOM. With some Lavapipe hacks he did manage to get the game to load.

    • Applications

      • Blanket: Ambient Noise App With Variety of Sounds to Stay Focused

        With the increase in the number of activities around you, it is often tough to keep calm and stay focused.

        Sometimes music helps, but it also distracts in some cases. But, ambient noise? That is always soothing to hear. Who doesn’t want to hear birds chirping, rain falling and crowd chattering in a restaurant? Okay, may be not the last one but listening to natural sound could help in relaxing and focusing. This indirectly boots your productivity.

        Recently, I came across a dedicated player which includes different sounds that could help anyone focus.

        Play Different Ambient Sounds Using Blanket

        Blanket is an impressive ambient noise player that features different sounds that can help you fall asleep or just regain focus by helping you forget about the surrounding distractions.

        It includes nature sounds like rain, waves, birds chirping, storm, wind, water stream, and summer night.

      • PeaZip 7.9.0

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

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

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

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • introduction to IPFS

        If you add a whole directory in IPFS, the top directory hash will depend on the hash of its content, this mean if you want to share a directory like a blog, you will need to publish the CID every time you change the content, as it’s not practical at all, there is an alternative for making the process more dynamic.

        A peer can publish data in a long name called an IPNS. The IPNS string will never change (it’s tied to a private key) but you can associate a CID to it and update the value when you want and then tell other peers the value changed (it’s called publishing). The IPNS notation used is looking like /ipns/k51qzi5uqu5dmebzq75vx3z23lsixir3cxi26ckl409ylblbjigjb1oluj3f2z.ipns, you can access an IPNS content with public gateways with a different notation.

      • How To Install MongoDB on Manjaro 21

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MongoDB on Manjaro 21. For those of you who didn’t know, MongoDB is a popular NoSQL database system. It’s a document-oriented database program with a JSON-like scheme, in which all your data stored as a document with BSON format on the database collection.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the MongoDB on a Manjaro 21 (Ornara).

      • How To Install Docker on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Docker on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Docker is an open-source tool that makes creating and managing Linux containers (LXC) easy. With Docker, the applications reside inside the container on top of the Linux operating system. Docker uses Kernel features such as groups and namespace to allow the independent container to run on a single os instance.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Docker on an AlmaLinux 8.

      • How To Install Prometheus on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Prometheus on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Prometheus is an excellent open-source system and service monitoring system. It collects metrics from configured targets via HTTP calls at given intervals, evaluates rule expressions, displays the results, and can trigger alerts if some conditions are met.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Prometheus monitoring system on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How to Create Multiboot USB from Linux Using Ventoy

        A bootable USB is commonly used as an operating system installer. To create bootable USB download appropriate .iso,.dmg or .img file and then copy/unpack to a USB.

        Commonly, at a time one ISO image is used in a USB and have to reformat drive each time to boot another Operating system. This will end up with many bootable USB drives to keep.

        In this tutorial, I will explain how to create a multiboot USB in Linux using the Ventoy tool. This helps to use a single USB for multiple Operating system installations.

      • How to Install CentOS 7 Minimal in Virtualbox

        In the previous article, we have seen how to install Virtualbox in different flavors of Linux. Now it’s time to choose and install a Guest OS. You can check the official page to check the list of supported Guest OS. I choose CentOS 7 with a Minimal install you can choose whatever OS you prefer.

        Note: The support for CentOS 7 remains unchanged, which means updates and security patches will be available until June 30, 2024. Whereas CentOS 8 support will end at the end of 2021.

      • Linux: How to use Gnome Disks to create new partitions

        Need to quickly make a new hard drive partition on your Linux PC and don’t want to hassle with advanced apps like Gparted or KDE Partition editor? Check out Gnome Disks! It’s an impressive, easy, and versatile tool that you can use to create new partitions. Here’s how to do it.

      • How To Install Kotlin Programming Language on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Kotlin Programming Language on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Kotlin is a statically typed, general-purpose programming language developed by JetBrains, that has built world-class IDEs like IntelliJ IDEA, PhpStorm, Appcode, etc. Kotlin can be used to build front-end, server-side, and Android applications. Kotlin is designed to interoperate with Java and is fully supported on the Android operating system by Google. For sure Kotlin is a modern approach to object-oriented programming (OOP).

        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 Kotlin Programming Language on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • How to install Funkin B-Side Remixes on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Funkin B-Side Remixes on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to safely delete Linux System Logs

        Managing logfiles is a bit weirder in systemd/journalctl. Here’s how to safely clean up old logfiles in Linux.

      • Jakub Kadlčík: Running fedora-review after Copr build

        The single most requested feature in the last Copr RFE survey was support for an automatized running of the fedora-review tool after builds. We finally deployed it into production.

        [...]

        Many people use Copr as a stepping stone towards getting their packages into the official Fedora repositories. The Package Review Process can take a while and Copr is often used for testing the package before it goes to Fedora, and as a temporary repository for users. One of the mandatory steps of the review process is checking the package with the fedora-review tool. Typically, this needs to be done manually in the command line but it is not the only option anymore!

    • Games

      • Valheim gets a needed patch, new terrain-modification system and no more draugr in stones

        It’s been a little while since Valheim got a patch and it seems the developers have been busy, with the latest patch out now with one massive improvement.

        Valheim has proven popular, obviously since it was selling millions each week recently but it seems they may have underestimated what people would be building in the game. They’ve now developed a whole new terrain-modification system – however, you shouldn’t notice any difference. They say it was made to “reduce the number of network instances and make loading faster and smoother” along with minor changes to the hoe and pickaxe along with smoother loading “of areas with a lot of terrain modifications”.

      • The text-based Pro Wrestling Sim will be coming to Linux

        Pro Wrestling Sim is an Early Access text-based pro-wrestling booking simulator and the developer has confirmed they will officially bring it to Linux later.

        You’ve played text adventures, games where you swipe left and right on cards and all sorts in between but what about a booking simulator? In the the game Pro Wrestling Sim you control a wrestling promotion, decide your roster, and create storylines, feuds and matches where the winners and losers are in your hands.

      • Stealth puzzle-platformer Moonshot – The Great Espionage looks like it could be amusing

        Moonshot – The Great Espionage from developer NimbleBeasts is looking good, and it’s coming to Steam in June along with full Linux support built with Godot Engine.

        Moonshot is a stealth puzzle platformer that puts you in the role of a spy of a fictional country in the ‘moon race’ era. In competition with the USA and the Soviet Union, you will have to use espionage and sabotage to make sure that your nation will be the first on the moon.

      • Check out the first teaser for the weird adventure The Season of the Warlock

        The Season of the Warlock, a brand new point and click adventure from developer enComplot has been announced with a teaser and it looks really good.

        Probably one of the best teasers I’ve seen for a point and click adventure, one the developers say is a ” weird adventure game inspired by the gothic tale tradition” with plenty of comedy to go along with it. The plot revolved are the soul of a warlock trapped in a portrait that presents one Lord Alistair Ainsworth with an irresistible offer.

        [...]

        Already confirmed for Linux with system requirements up on Steam, plus their official website makes it very clearly with the big logos at the bottom that can’t be missed.

      • Voxelgram is a sweet 3D version of Picross and it’s now on Linux

        Putting Picross / Nonogram into 3D, Voxelgram is a pretty great puzzle game that sees you use your logical brain to work out what shapes are hidden inside blocks.

        The basic idea is the same as the classic puzzlers. Each line has a number, and you need to work out what blocks should stay and what blocks should go. The 3D space adds a fun twist on it and it’s actually a little complicated to work some of them out – really great way to relax with a coffee.

        No guessing is involved at all, since everything is based on simple logic. There’s even a demo available to give it a go right now which works great.

      • Check out the latest trailer for Stardeus, a space base building colony management sim

        Sprinkle in a little RimWorld, Space Haven, Starmancer and more together and you get what looks like Stardeus. Currently in development by Kodo Linija (Bloody Rally Show), it was originally announced late in 2020 and development has continued apace on it.

      • Ian Jackson: Otter – a game server for arbitrary board games

        One of the things that I found most vexing about lockdown was that I was unable to play some of my favourite board games. There are online systems for many games, but not all. And online systems cannot support games like Mao where the players make up the rules as we go along.

        I had an idea for how to solve this problem, and set about implementing it. The result is Otter (the Online Table Top Environment Renderer).

        We have played a number of fun games of Penultima with it, and have recently branched out into Mao. The Otter is now ready to be released!

        [...]

        Otter is fully functional, but the installation and account management arrangements are rather unsophisticated and un-webby. And there is not currently any publicly available instance you can use to try it out.

        Users on chiark will find an instance there.

        Other people who who are interested in hosting games (of Penultima or Mao, or other games we might support) will have to find a Unix host or VM to install Otter on, and will probably want help from a Unix sysadmin.

      • Godot Showcase – Gravity Ace developer talks about his experience

        Hi, I’m John, I’m a (mostly) solo game developer making games that I want to play. I’ve been making games as a hobby since 2013, mostly by participating in weekend or month-long game jams. My first game was for the One Game A Month challenge. Now I’m working on my first commercial project. My formal training is in programming but I’ve always been interested in art and music as well. Game development is fantastic because it allows me to bring all of that together into a single project.

        [...]

        I’ve made games in a bunch of different engines and frameworks and languages over the years. Haxe, Lua, JavaScript, Java. Those experiences were great but they all fell a bit short in terms of ease of use or features or productivity. I think I discovered Godot not long after the project was open sourced. At the time I was looking for an engine with a built-in visual editor because I was tired of moving things around by typing coordinates in code. I needed something to speed up my workflow and make it less cumbersome to quickly prototype ideas.

        Of course I tried Unreal and Unity but as a full-time Linux user I was unsatisfied with their lack of official support. And those engines felt just so… massive. I chose Godot for a lot of reasons. It’s small, fast, and has first-class support for Linux. It has all the features I need for the games I want to make. It’s open source with great leadership and community. And I think it has a bright future.

      • How Boiling Steam Games: 4 Gaming Rigs

        Computer games are made possible, of course, by the hardware that runs them, whether it is the indie that just needs a bare-bones machine or the latest AAA game on a high res, high refresh rate monitor. On Linux these days we are blessed with choice when it comes to hardware, and can pretty much game the same as those Windows users. Still, I always find it interesting to know what others are using, especially in our niche of the gaming and computing world.

        We just launched our Linux gamer survey for 2021 to gather more data and better understand the Linux gaming community. You can access the survey directly at this link, and should only take about 10 minutes. Also, Ekianjo recently looked at what limited data we have on the trends of CPUs and GPUs in the Linux gaming market.

        Which brings me to the Boiling Steam staff. I thought we’d open the hardware conversation with a dive into what we use and what we may be upgrading next. A few trends have emerged recently, like the new found popularity of VR with the addition of Patola to the staff, as well as cow_killer and myself buying the Valve Index. Let’s see what else we use.

        [...]

        Tell us, readers, how do you game on Linux? What does your list look like? What matters the most in your gaming rig?

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Speeding up apps.kde.org

          Apps.kde.org is a great website listing all the KDE applications and their addons. Under the hood, it’s using AppStream, a standard for adding metadata to Linux applications. The Linux application managers (Discover, GNOME Softwares, …) are displaying them, so they stay up to date and are translated. There was only one problem, apps.kde.org has always been a bit slow to load. It is a problem since slow websites tend to be less visible on Google search results and for the users there aren’t a good browsing experience.

          There were many reasons why it was slow. We designed it earlier in a way that on each page load the backend load the data from json files. On the individual application pages, we only need to read one json file but on the homepage every single JSON files was loaded. The Linux kernel is probably caching every JSON file in the memory so that the IO load wasn’t that bad, but parsing the JSON files still needed to be done on each page load.

          Using PHP and a Symfony (a big PHP framework) for doing the rooting, templating and internalization (loading additional mo files) of the website adds an overhead. The final result was that the load time for just one html files, was between 300ms and 500ms.

          That doens’t sounds like a big deal, but it is one. Rendering a page takes more than just downloading one HTML file, the browser needs to load the other assets (images, CSS and javascript files); it needs to parse the HTML and CSS files and compute the layout. These operations are done in parallel, but the initial loading of the HTML files blocks every other operation. Also, these 300ms loading times can be a lot longer on bad internet connections.

        • Skrooge 2.25.0 released

          The Skrooge Team announces the release 2.25.0 version of its popular Personal Finances Manager based on KDE Frameworks.

        • KDE Gear 21.04 is coming this week! But what is KDE Gear?

          Let’s dig a bit in our history.

          In the “good old days” (TM) there was KDE, life was simple, everything we did was KDE and everything we released was KDE [*]

          Then at some point we realized we wanted to release some stuff with different frequency, so KDE Extragear[**] was born.

          Then we said “KDE is the community” so we couldn’t release KDE anymore, thus we said “ok, the thing we release with all the stuff that releases at the same time will be KDE Software Compilation”, which i think we all agree it was not an awesome name, but “names are hard” (TM) (this whole blog is about that :D)

          [...]

          And people liked “KDE Gear”, so yeah, this week we’re releasing KDE Gear 21.04 whose heritage can be traced to “release service 21.04″, “KDE Applications 21.04″, “KDE Software Compilation 21.04″ and “KDE 21.04″ [***]

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: helloSystem 0.5.0 and Peux OS 21.01

          My pristine copy of Peux booted to a graphical login screen with an image of swirling clouds of coloured smoke in the background. Available usernames are displayed on this page and we can click one to bring up the password prompt. Signing in brings up the Xfce desktop.

          Earlier I mentioned the application menu is unusual in that it displays 30 tightly packed launchers which don’t always have enough room to display the name of the corresponding program under them. Another unusual aspect is we need to double-click icons to launch a program. Alternatively we can click a launcher once, then press Enter to launch the desired item. To switch between pages in the menu (there are three pages of icons on a fresh install), we need to scroll through the icons and, getting to the end of the page moves us to the next page of 30 icons.

          This is unusually cumbersome as it means either using the mouse wheel to scroll through 30 icons per page or selecting the last icon on the page and then moving down to the next page. Luckily we also have the option of typing the name of the program we want to run and this will filter down the list of displayed launchers. However we approach things, this is an inefficient way to access applications.

          While I’m talking about the appearance of the distribution, I found the theme to be difficult on the eyes at times. I didn’t mind the relatively bright theme with purple icons most of the time. However, buttons often display grey text on a white background making them difficult to read. Not all buttons are like this, some are more brightly lit with better contrast, bringing to mind the classic Windows XP Start button, but enough were low-contrast that I soon wanted to adjust the theme.

      • New Releases

        • Zorin OS 16 Beta Released

          According to the announcement, “Zorin OS 16 has been refreshed with a revamped and refined appearance out of the box. We’ve introduced a new, more polished default theme that’s easier on the eyes.”

          Speed was a main focus for this release, so the desktop is now dramatically faster on a range of hardware. “Performance optimizations have been made at every level of the operating system, from the kernel to the desktop environment,” the announcement says.

        • Introducing Zorin OS 16: Test the Beta Today

          Zorin OS 16 has been refreshed with a revamped and refined appearance out of the box. We’ve introduced a new, more polished default theme that’s easier on the eyes. You’ll find detailed touches and delightful animations throughout the system that elevate your computing experience.

          [...]

          You’ll notice that even more apps are available to install from the Software store in Zorin OS 16 than ever before. This is thanks to the addition of the Flathub repository to Zorin OS out of the box. Flathub is the de-facto standard repository from where to get apps using the Flatpak package format. It has flourished into a huge ecosystem of apps and games from many independent developers, as well as software directly from big names like Spotify, Zoom, and Mojang.

          Now Zorin OS comes pre-loaded with the app catalogs of Flathub, the Snap store, and the Ubuntu & Zorin OS APT repositories, as well as the capability to install .deb & AppImage packages and Windows apps (optionally using WINE). Thanks to this, Zorin OS 16 has the largest library of apps available out-of-the-box of any Open Source desktop ever.

        • ZorinOS 16 Beta Review: A Real Windows 10 Replacement With Amazing Looks

          Ubuntu 20.04-based Zorin OS 16 is looking to be a solid release. The UI overhaul gave it a clean looks and the newly added animations give it the oomph. Several other subtle changes make it one of the best Linux distributions of 2021.

      • BSD

        • We have released LibreSSL 3.3.2

          The LibreSSL project continues improvement of the codebase to reflect modern, safe programming practices. We welcome feedback and improvements from the broader community. Thanks to all of the contributors who helped make this release possible.

        • OpenSSH 8.6 was released on 2021-04-19

          This release contains mostly bug fixes.

          New features
          ————

          * sftp-server(8): add a new limits@openssh.com protocol extension that allows a client to discover various server limits, including maximum packet size and maximum read/write length.

          * sftp(1): use the new limits@openssh.com extension (when available) to select better transfer lengths in the client.

          * sshd(8): Add ModuliFile keyword to sshd_config to specify the location of the “moduli” file containing the groups for DH-GEX.

          * unit tests: Add a TEST_SSH_ELAPSED_TIMES environment variable to enable printing of the elapsed time in seconds of each test.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Zorin OS 16 Core Beta

          Today we are looking at Zorin OS 16 Core Beta. It comes with Linux Kernel 5.8, Gnome 3.36, based on Ubuntu 20.04, and uses about 1.3 – 1.5 GB of ram when idling. Enjoy!

        • Zorin OS 16 Core Beta Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Zorin OS 16 Core Beta.

      • Slackware Family

        • This long-lost Linux distro is making a big comeback

          Slackware, one of the oldest Linux distros, has put out the beta of its upcoming 15.0 release, nearly a decade after version 14.0.

          Slackware was created by Patrick Volkerding and had its first release almost three decades back, in 1993. This makes the distro one of the two oldest Linux distros that are still actively maintained (the other being Debian).

          While Slackware is still actively developed behind the scenes, the distro doesn’t put out releases as often as some of the current crop.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Something bugging you in Fedora Linux? Let’s get it fixed!

          Software has bugs. Any complicated system is guaranteed to have at least some bits that don’t work as planned. Fedora Linux is a very complicated system. It contains thousands of packages created by countless independent upstream projects around the world. There are also hundreds of updates every week. So, it’s inevitable that problems creep in. This article addresses the bug fixing process and how some bugs may be prioritized.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian votes for no statement on Stallman’s move back to FSF board Featured

          The Debian GNU/Linux project has voted to stay out of the controversy over Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman rejoining the board in March, by backing the option of not releasing a statement on the issue as an organisation.

        • Jonathan Carter wins second term as Debian leader

          South African developer Jonathan Carter will continue to lead the Debian GNU/Linux project for a second year, after winning the election for the position, the results of which were declared over the weekend.

          Carter had only one opponent, Sruthi Chandran. She contested the elections in 2020 as well, but was unsuccessful that year too.

          Debian uses the Condorcet method for deciding its elections and this system is explained thus: “Consider all possible two-way races between candidates. The Condorcet winner, if there is one, is the one candidate who can beat every other candidate in a two-way race with that candidate.”

          Carter received 421 votes while Chandran was backed by 312 developers. The project has more than 1000 developers spread all over the globe.

        • The missing ps2pdf mystery

          Posting here as a placemarker, putting down the thoughts so far. Will append to this post if/when solved.
          Feodor reported that /usr/lib/cups/backend/pdf-writer wants /usr/bin/ps2pdf, which is missing.
          ‘pdf-writer’ is a script, and I had to hunt where that came from. It is in PET package ‘cups_pdf’. This is an ancient PET, for printing a Postscript or PDF to file. But the GTK print dialog offers “Print to file” as well, so ‘cups_pdf’ is redundant, so have removed that PET.
          I looked at packages.debian.org and found that ‘ps2pdf’ is part of the ‘ghostscript’ package. Interesting, my ghostscript, compiled in OE, doesn’t have it.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 is Releasing This Week! Take a Look at the New Features

          Ubuntu 21.04 is releasing this week on April 22. Some of you might already have upgraded to Ubuntu 21.04 beta to enjoy the latest and greatest (?) version of Ubuntu.

          For the rest, who are curious about what’s new in Ubuntu 21.04, I have curated a list here.

          [...]

          After the failed experiment with Ubuntu 17.10, Canonical is once again going with Wayland as the default display server in Ubuntu 21.04.

          Wayland has been available as an alternate option for past several releases. It is just becoming the default in this release.

          What does it mean to you? Wayland has a tad bit better performance specially when it comes to multiple monitors and HiDPI screen handling.

        • Multi-cloud infrastructure in Italy

          Time is flying and there is less than one month left before the first event that Canonical & Ubuntu organise in Italy. The main topic of the live talk will be multi-cloud infrastructure, having as speakers both Canonical experts & partners.

          On the 12th of May 2021, the 2-hours event will be held on BrightTalk. From live talks from our speakers to Q&A sessions and the opportunity to have a technical conversation with Canonical experts, there will be plenty of occasions to learn about multi-cloud infrastructure.

        • The multicultural and global landscape: a broad target audience

          Considering all of this, what are the practical challenges? From these statistics appears clear that the concept of a global standard that can be applied anywhere is a shallow approach towards multiculturalism. This is the fast-changing and diverse worldwide audience that contemporary designers need to consider during the design process of global products and services. For the effectiveness of the design, but also to avoid ethnicity and gender stereotypes, designers need to integrate and develop cross-cultural methods. Researchers and designers should also consider and acknowledge that their own culture and background can affect, also unintentionally, the objectivity of their findings and the following overall design process.

          When ignoring the spectrum of cultural sensitivities, the design output excludes users and customers, resulting in a failure of the product in those markets. Effective localised cross-cultural products and services go beyond the translation of the language and will appear to the target group as products created within the local culture; “It is expected that when web sites are appropriate and culturally sensitive, then users will have increase access to content and enhanced user experiences” (Cyr and Trevor-Smith 2004). It is therefore important for a successful localisation to include various elements of the user interface and interaction design for an engaging user experience: language, layout, structure, content, navigation, symbols, multimedia, colour scheme.

          As shown in the research “Cultural Representation for Multi-culture Interaction Design” (Sheikh et al 2009), the challenges for an effective design solution for cultural inclusion do not arise only from language, currency, number, date, but also from those cultural differences that affect categorization of items, taxonomy, and concepts. The research focuses on the classification and content organisation, clearly demonstrating that “not only the content, but also the way this content is organised and classified reflects the values and interpretive practices of the culture in which it was produced” (Sheikh et al 2009). The organisation of the web content is often made by a person of a different culture, it is then important to employ cross-cultural research and user testing methods.

          [...]

          User-centred design (UCD) method relies generally on an initial research, where designers or researchers gather information on the target group, and create personas (realistic profiles representing the end users), use cases and scenarios from that data. UCD also relies on the user testing to iterate back to previous phases in order to change and tweak the design, integrating it with the new findings; “In the user-centred design process, we are focused on the thing being designed, looking for ways to ensure that is meets the needs of the user” (B.-N.Sanders 2002).

          The actual end users are involved during the research phase and in the practice with user testing phases with prototypes or design mockups.

        • Building and running FIPS containers on Ubuntu

          Whether running on the public cloud or a private cloud, the use of containers is ingrained in today’s devops oriented workflows. Having workloads set up to run under the mandated compliance requirements is thus necessary to fully exploit the potential of containers. This article focuses on how to build and run containers that comply with the US and Canada government FIPS140-2 data protection standard. To build Ubuntu FIPS140-2 compliant containers you will need the FIPS140-2 certified packages, that can be accessed with an Ubuntu Advantage subscription or with Ubuntu Pro on AWS or Azure

          In our example we will demonstrate building a FIPS container on an Ubuntu Pro FIPS image. Ubuntu Pro FIPS images are available in AWS Marketplace and Azure Marketplace. They are preconfigured and optimized for the US and Canada government’s FIPS140-2 data protection standard. They are premium images designed by Canonical and provide the Ubuntu Advantage benefits, without the need for a subscription. Key features include live kernel patching, enabling longer uptimes, and FIPS140-2 certified components to be used for FedRAMP, HIPAA, and PCI use cases. Ubuntu Pro is backed by a 10-year maintenance commitment by Canonical.

        • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 156 available for testing

          Another update is available for testing: IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 156. As usual for this time of the year, it is a spring clear release that updates lots of software and brings a new exciting feature: Live Graphs.

          Please help us testing this release by providing feedback and reporting any new bugs to our bugtracker. You can also support development with your donation.

          Live Graphs
          Our beautiful graphs are now updating themselves. You can now leave your browser tab open and see bandwidth or CPU usage and everything else always being up to date…

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 13 ways to get involved with your favorite open source project

        Many of my blog’s readers already know lots about open source, but I’m also aware that many know little, if anything, about it. I’m a big, big proponent of open source software (and beyond, such as open hardware), and there are lots of great resources you can find to learn more about it.

        One very good starting point is the one you’re now reading, Opensource.com. It’s run by a bunch of brilliant people for the broader community by my current employer, Red Hat. (I should add a disclaimer that I’m not only employed by Red Hat but also a Correspondent at Opensource.com—a kind of frequent contributor/Elder Thing.) It has articles on pretty much every aspect of open source that you can imagine.

      • Events

        • One more week of CfP

          Usually foss-north takes place ~April. This year, foss-north 2021 will be virtual. We shifted the date to the end of May to try to make it possible to at least go hybrid and have some sort of conference experience, but in light of the current COVID-19 situation and the pace of the roll-out of the vaccination programmes, we decided for a virtual event.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chromium 90 packages – again 32bit related issues

            There’s new ‘chromium‘ and ‘chromium-widevine-plugin‘ packages in my repository. And chromium-ungoogled packages will follow soon.

            Chromium was upgraded to 90.0.4430.72 but unfortunately the 32bit package which I have built (twice) crashes immediately on startup. This happens both on Slackware 14.2 and on -current. The error message looks like it is something different than the glibc-2.3x related seccomp crash behavior in the previous Chromium 89.x releases.
            Since I don’t have hardware that is running a 32bit Slackware OS and could only test on QEMU virtual machines so far, I can not confirm with 100% certainty that the new Chromium will or will not work on your 32bit Slackware OS, which is why I also kept the older 32bit chromium-89.0.4389.114 package in the repository.
            Let me know about your experiences down here in the comments section! I am getting tired of begging Google developers not to break 32bit binaries every major release. I’d be grateful if people running 32bit Slackware who are affected by the 32bit Chromium crashes, would chime in. Else I will eventually have to drop 32bit support.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 88 Released With FTP Support Disabled, Support For JavaScript In PDFs

            Firefox 88.0 is out today as the latest version of Mozilla’s web browser.

            In addition to beginning the QUIC and HTTP/3 roll-out, Firefox 88 has a number of other improvements in tow. Firefox 88 now supports PDF forms that have JavaScript embedded in PDF files… Apparently JS in PDF is a thing for form validation and other interactive elements. Firefox 88.0 on Linux also now supports smooth pinch-zooming using a touchpad, various security improvements, and FTP support has been disabled ahead of its complete removal coming in the near future. The complete removal of FTP support is expected to happen for Firefox 90.

          • Firefox 88 Is Now Available for Download, Enables WebRender for KDE/Xfce Intel/AMD Users

            While it still doesn’t enable AVIF image format support by default, despite the fact that the beta version shipped with AVIF enabled by default, Firefox 88 promises to enable the WebRender feature by default for users using the KDE Plasma and Xfce desktop environments on Intel/AMD machines.

            As you can imagine, this makes your web browsing experience faster and more reliable. Mozilla already shipped WebRender by default for GNOME/X11 users with the Firefox 84 release, but now they are expanding it to more Linux configurations where they believe it’s ready for production use.

          • Firefox 88 Released with Pinch Zoom Touchpad Gesture Support for Linux

            Mozilla Firefox 88.0 was released today. For Linux users now it supports for smooth pinch-zooming using a touchpad.

            Besides that, Firefox 88 introduced a new protection against privacy leaks. Now it confines the window.name property to the website that created it. And it will clear the window.name property when navigating between websites to potential privacy leakage.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • The effect of CPU, link-time (LTO) and profile-guided (PGO) optimizations on the compiler itself

          In other words, how much faster will a compiler be after it’s been built with various optimizations?

          Given the recent Clang12 release, I’ve decided to update my local build of Clang11 that I’ve been using for building LibreOffice. I switched to using my own Clang build instead of openSUSE packages somewhen in the past because it was faster. I’ve meanwhile forgot how much faster :), and openSUSE packages now build with LTO, so I’ve built Clang12 in several different ways to test the effect and this is it…

      • Education

        • `Writing a Technical Book

          I was inspired to write this post after reading a similar post called How to Write a Technical Book by SerHack. Not because there is something wrong with their post, but because I’d like to focus a bit more on what are your options, and also show how I like to work.

          During the last ten years, I have published six technical books about programming. Most of them are self-published works but I recently published Roguelike Development With JavaScript with Apress which is a traditional publisher famous for its programming books. My first popular book was Quick Guide for FirefoxOS Programming published a long time ago. I really like that it got featured in the Leanpub bestseller at the time, it made me really proud. Besides that, I’ve spent the last sixteen years working for a major publisher of Hindu Literature in English.

          The reason behind telling you all this, is because my comprehension about book writing has changed and evolved over time, and what I think is the best way to write a book today is not necessarily the same as my own choices in the past. Basically, I don’t want you to repeat my own mistakes.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Microsoft unveils its own Java distribution [Ed: Well, it’s just an attack on Java, again]

            Microsoft Build of OpenJDK binaries may contain backported fixes and enhancements deemed important to customers and internal users. Some may not have been formally backported upstream and signposted in OpenJDK release notes. Microsoft said it relies on Java technologies for some of its own internal systems, applications, and workloads; Java also powers some Azure infrastructure. The company deploys more than 500,000 JVMs internally, excluding Azure services and customer workloads.

            Microsoft’s history with Java includes being sued by Java founder Sun Microsystems in the 1990s, with Sun alleging that Microsoft was distributing a version of Java that was not compatible with Sun’s, thus violating the “write once, run anywhere” principle of Java. The lawsuit was settled in 2001, with Microsoft agreeing to pay Sun $20 million. The license agreement between the two companies was terminated.

          • [Old] Sun, Microsoft settle Java lawsuit

            The settlement comes one day before the companies were due to meet in U.S. District Court for a case management hearing, where the judge overseeing the dispute had been expected to set a date for the case to come to trial.

          • [Old] Judge restricts Microsoft’s use of Java

            Sun says not only that the Microsoft Virtual Machine is incompatible with Sun’s reference implementation of Java, but also that it causes developers to build Java programs that only operate on Microsoft’s Windows, defeating Sun’s “write once, run anywhere” goal and violating the letter of Sun’s Java licensing agreement.

            Java, touted for its portability, lets software developers create programs that will run on virtually any operating system, such as Windows or Unix. Conformity is a big issue, Sun argues, if Java is to be ubiquitous.

            Sun sued Microsoft in October 1997, alleging the maker of Windows violated its contract with Sun for developing and deploying products using the Java programming language and also Sun’s Java copyright.

          • [Old] Sun, Microsoft settle Java suit

            The germ of the suit began when Microsoft took out a Java license in 1996. Sun contended that Microsoft quickly began to run afoul of the licensing terms and filed the initial lawsuit in October 1997.

            “Microsoft has proven time and again that it is unwilling to abide by the common rules of the Internet,” Patricia Sueltz, Sun’s executive vice president for the software systems group, said in a statement. “Its behavior with regard to the Java technology was just one instance. And when presented with the choice of compatibility or termination, Microsoft chose termination.”

      • Programming/Development

        • Go Embed and Angular

          Hi, there. Today’s article will be a rather short article. In this article I would like to showcase Go 1.16 new embed package. If you are familiar with Go you might know embedding functionality already from famous other libraries like go-bindata. The problem with go-bindata has been that upstream vanished one day and then multiple forks appeared and every company or person was doing their own thing with embedding assets into Go programs. With the new embed package this shall be changed and embedding files shall be officially supported and more easy in the future.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Dancer2 0.301002 Released

            On behalf of the Dancer Core Team, I’d like to announce the availability of Dancer2 0.301002. This release includes a number of enhancements and documentation changes along with several bugfixes. The most notable enhancement is a brand new command line interface, and I highly encourage you to check it out.

  • Leftovers

    • Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s “Hemingway”

      War and peace, fascism, anti-fascism, communism and anti-communism loomed large in the life and work of Ernest Hemingway. An ambulance driver in World War I who was badly wounded, he covered WWII as a journalist and reported on the defeat of Hitler and his henchmen. Also, he went to Spain during the Civil War, identified with the anti-Franco forces and wrote a novel with an anti-fascist hero. From afar, he tracked the Russian, the Chinese and the Cuban revolutions, lived in Cuba on and off from 1939 to 1959 and planned to live there after Fidel, Che and the guerrillas overturned the Batista dictatorship. Instead, Papa went to Idaho, pulled the trigger and ended it all.

      For most of his life, he was a political animal. His prose style was an act of rebellion against the lush, adjective-rich prose and poetry of the advertising and the PR industries in the 1920s. Curiously, or perhaps not, the honchos who mass produce culture, as well as the critics for many of the leading American magazines, would rather explore Hemingway’s gender and sexuality than his politics. Perhaps that’s because sex sells and because American citizens today are often intensely concerned about transgender bathrooms, and what pronouns—she, he, him, her or they— to use to identify themselves, their friends and family members.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | Dear President Biden, A WTO Waiver Is Vital and Necessary

        At the current pace, many countries will be left waiting until at least 2024 to achieve mass Covid-19 immunization.

        Dear President Biden,

      • COVID Profiteering Exposes the Need to Make Marxism Accessible to All

        The pandemic has upended ideas about economic ideology almost as much as it has upended the economy itself. There has been a massive shift of wealth toward billionaires and corporate giants like Amazon, at the expense of workers suffering the most sudden and severe wave of unemployment and impoverishment since the Great Depression. But there has also been paradigm-shifting federal stimulus legislation that has massively (if temporarily) expanded unemployment insurance and anti-poverty funding. Meanwhile, debates continue to rage about the risk of a fourth COVID wave coming from states’ efforts to revive local economies through lifting restrictions on restaurants, bars, and other businesses. There has never been a better time to dive into the world of Marxist economics to understand the current moment.

      • Opinion | Let the Children Play—My Prescription for Covid ‘Learning Loss’

        Play is the mind’s way of finding out how things work, what a person can do, how it feels to do this or that.

        Things are different in school these days.

      • Covid-19 Death Toll Tops 3 Million, Bolstering Call for #PeoplesVaccine

        “As things stand, many countries in the southern hemisphere may not manage to achieve widespread vaccination until 2024. This long delay puts us all at risk.”

        The global death toll from Covid-19 surpassed three million on Saturday, a milestone that spotlighted issues of unequal access to inoculation amid calls for waiving patents on vaccines to urgently boost production and distribution worldwide.

      • BMS, Pfizer win final suit for Eliquis patent

        BMS Korea and Pfizer Korea said they have finally won the suit against local drugmakers over the substance patent of Eliquis (ingredient: apixaban), a cardiovascular drug jointly sold by the two companies.

        On Thursday, the Supreme Court recognized the validity of the Eliquis patent. Upon the ruling, the substance patent of Eliquis will be protected until September 9, 2024.

        The decision is the final outcome of the multiple local drug companies’ lawsuit to invalidate the Eliquis patent filed in March 2015.

        [...]

        Suppose other drug companies manufacture, supply, or sell generic drugs of Eliquis before the patent’s expiration. In that case, they will be deemed to have infringed upon BMS Korea and Pfizer Korea’s patent right.

        “I am very pleased that the validity of the Eliquis substance patent was recognized in Korea, following the case in the U.S. and Canada,” said Kim Jin-young, general manager of BMS Korea.

        Pharmaceutical companies’ intellectual property rights are important to encourage and reward innovation for researching and developing new treatment methods for patients. The intellectual property rights should be protected and respected sufficiently under relevant laws and regulations, she went on to say.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • WordPress to treat Google’s new ad-tracking tech as a security issue

            The project that manages the WordPress content management system, which claims to power about 41% of the Web, will treat Google’s new ad-tracking technology, Federated Learning of Cohorts, as a security issue and block it from working.

          • Google Project Zero will give a 30-day grace period before disclosing security issues

            Google’s Project Zero, a team of dedicated security engineers tasked with reducing the number of “zero day” vulnerabilities around the entire internet, says it will give developers an extra 30 days before disclosing vulnerability issues, in order to give end-users time to patch their software.

            Developers will still have 90 days to fix bugs, but Project Zero will wait another 30 days before it discloses the details of the bug publicly. If a flaw is being actively exploited in the wild, a company will have seven days to issue a patch, and a three-day grace period if requested. But Google Project Zero will wait 30 days before it discloses technical details.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Could your Facebook photos be used for police facial recognition?
            • Domino’s India [cracked]? Credit data of 10L users on ‘sale’ for Rs 4 cr

              In what could add to latest string of cyber breaches at India-based entities, a cyber security researcher on Sunday claimed that credit card details of nearly 10 lakh people who purchased online on Domino’s Pizza India is allegedly being sold for over Rs 4 crore on the Dark Web [sic].

            • Tesla’s In-Car Cameras Raise Privacy Concerns

              Instead, says CR’s Funkhouser, Tesla seems to be using cameras for its own benefit. “We have already seen Tesla blaming the driver for not paying attention immediately after news reports of a crash while a driver is using Autopilot,” she says. “Now, Tesla can use video footage to prove that a driver is distracted rather than addressing the reasons why the driver wasn’t paying attention in the first place.”

              The automaker may use the cameras for as-yet-unforeseen reasons, too, says Davisson. “I think there’s reason to distrust that this is the whole intended purpose of the system on Tesla’s part,” he says. “It may later be repurposed for a system that is designed to track the behaviors of the driver, potentially for other business purposes.”

              Tesla currently allows drivers to opt out of sharing in-car video footage, but even drivers who opt in may not be aware of just how much information they are sharing. Although Tesla says that footage is not paired with a car’s vehicle identification number (VIN), Davisson says occupants’ faces appear to be visible—and those other than the driver may not have consented to being recorded. And it is clear from how the automaker responds to drivers in its Full Self-Driving beta that at least those cars are identifiable, because the company is able to cancel those customers’ participation in the program. In addition, Davisson says Tesla has opened up drivers to potential privacy concerns simply by recording and transmitting the footage, because it could be accessed by malicious actors.

            • Internet: Medium For Communication, Medium For Narrative Control — The Big Picture: Truth & Trust Crises

              Nobody likes to be put in a box, nobody likes to be paralyzed. In a world where the individual is put first, we want to feel in control. Yet, we are lost in a whirlpool of chaotic and clashing ideologies, memeplexes and absolutist templates. Who are we, how should we define ourselves? This makes us distrust any form of authority and renounce classical forms of media. As individuals, we’re looking for authenticity, whatever form it can take even if disingenuous, so that we can find our new roots, our new base. Then, there’s nobody better suited to affirm justice than [Internet] mobs.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • At UN, Aaron Maté debunks OPCW’s Syria lies and confronts US, UK on cover-up
      • Vienna talks reveal Biden team’s attachment to sanctions that would torpedo Iran deal
      • Opinion | The US Did Not Bring Peace, Democracy, or Freedom to Afghanistan

        Twenty years of war and U.S. interference have brought no long-term, positive gains in Afghanistan. War is not the answer—not in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria.  Peace must be our demand.

        As the mother of an Army infantry officer who served for 13 months during former President Barack Obama’s Afghanistan surge, in the Zhari District of the Kandahar Province, I feel tremendous relief that President Joe Biden is calling the troops home from Afghanistan. I also feel an overwhelming sadness for the men and women who served in Afghanistan, especially for those who did not come home, were injured (physically or mentally), or committed suicide.  I also feel great sadness for the huge losses and suffering the Afghan people endured and will continue to endure in their homeland, destroyed by 20 years of war.

      • Pure: Ten Points I Just Can’t Believe About the Official Skripal Narrative
      • 24 Senators Urge Biden to Close Guantánamo Bay Prison

        Echoing recent demands from human rights advocates and former detainees, two dozens members of the U.S. Senate Democratic Caucus on Friday pressed President Joe Biden to finally close the Guantánamo Bay offshore military prison, where 40 men are still being held despite global outrage over the facility and its long record of torture.

      • US orders embassy staff to leave Chad as rebels near capital

        The State Department ordered nonessential U.S. personnel out of Chad on Sunday amid growing concerns about advancing rebel forces in the country.

        The announcement was posted on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Chad, which pointed to the proximity of rebel groups to the nation’s capital.

      • Why investors can’t get enough of Africa’s debt

        The eurobond market has opened a spigot of funding that could be promising for African countries. As in the past, a key will be whether governments end up paying too much for their debts.

      • Highest French Court Rules Killer of Jewish Woman Cannot Stand Trial

        Kobili Traoré, who has admitted to the killing and is in a psychiatric institution, beat Sarah Halimi, 65, before throwing her out the window of her Paris apartment to cries of “Allahu akbar,” or God is great, and “I killed the devil.”

        Mr. Traoré, who was 27 at the time, had been troubled by Ms. Halimi’s mezuza, which “amplified the frantic outburst of hate,” according to one psychiatric report.

        The verdict, more than four years after the killing, ended judicial proceedings in France for the case. The verdict came after a lower-court ruling rejected a trial, and the Halimi family appealed. President Emmanuel Macron made an unusual personal intervention by calling for the case to have its day in court. Outrage in the large French Jewish community has accompanied the long failure to try Mr. Traoré.

    • Environment

      • Study: Humanity Has Ravaged All But 3 Percent Of The Land On Earth

        New research shows that humanity’s influence has already altered about 97 percent of the land on the planet.

        Very little of the land surface on the Earth — just 2.8 percent — can still be considered “functionally intact,” according to a study published Thursday in the journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change. Therefore, the study’s authors, who hail from a long list of universities and institutes in North America and Europe, recommend that conservationists immediately focus on protecting “the few remaining areas of the world that represent outstanding examples of ecological integrity” before its too late.

      • Elite universities are falling short on their green promises

        But ambitious targets drawn up a decade ago for English universities to cut carbon use by 43 per cent by 2020 have mostly been missed. In 2019 it was reported that less than a third of all UK universities were likely to meet this goal.

        Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency also show that the research-intensive universities of the Russell Group are the sector’s biggest polluters, responsible for more than half the gas and electricity emissions from estates and fleet vehicles in the sector.

      • Biden Plans Big Pledge on U.S. Emissions Cuts

        President Joe Biden has assured foreign governments that the United States will make steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade, a pledge designed to reassert U.S. leadership on climate change and spur other industrial powers to make similar commitments in the run-up to Biden’s climate summit next week.

        The move comes several weeks after the release of a United Nations study showing that the world is lagging woefully behind targets set under the Paris climate agreement to prevent global temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, a threshold that climate scientists fear could wreak severe damage on the globe. It comes on the eve of a major speech scheduled for Monday by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is expected to detail American plans to curb emissions.

      • Therapists Are Seeing More Patients Struggle With Climate Anxiety

        Andrew Bryant, a therapist based in Tacoma, Washington, felt helpless the first time climate change came up in his office. It was 2016, and a client was agonizing over whether to have a baby. His partner wanted one, but the young man couldn’t stop envisioning this hypothetical child growing up in an apocalyptic, climate-changed world.

      • Climate Activists Put ‘All Eyes on BlackRock’ With Protests Demanding Shareholder Action

        “We’re giving notice that we’ll be watching to see if BlackRock will actually pour any water on the flames it has started. We’re here because we can’t fix our planet with promises, only action can do that.”

        As corporations around the world prepare for annual shareholder meetings, climate activists held a series of actions leading up to and throughout the weekend in cities around the world that aimed to put “all eyes on BlackRock,” the world’s largest money manager, with nearly $9 trillion in assets under management.

      • Youth Demand US Action on Climate-Induced Loss and Damage in Global South

        “The climate crisis is already causing severe impacts, leading to the loss of lives and livelihoods, and damage to homes, schools, roads, and hospitals.”

        With a day of action and an open letter to the White House and congressional leaders, youth campaigners on Sunday urged the U.S. government to take steps to address “loss and damage,” or severe climate impacts, in developing countries.

      • Opinion | Rescuing the Planet Is Still Possible: The Case for a Global Green New Deal

        It is irrational to rely on capitalist solutions to global warming when it is capitalism itself that has led us towards the current path of a climate catastrophe.

        The theme of the 51st Anniversary of Earth Day is “Restore Our Earth.” To be sure, while there has been a growing level of environmental consciousness since the first Earth Day, and some progress has been made with respect to environmental protection, we are really in a race to save the planet.

      • Energy

        • Opinion | Biden Must Urge Japan to Abandon Dangerous Fukushima Wastewater Plan

          The era of intentionally dumping toxic waste in our one global ocean is, or should be, over.

          The Japanese government just announced that it intends to release over 1.2 million tons of radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant into the North Pacific. This would result in dangerous radionuclides flowing across the ocean to Russia, Alaska, Canada, Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast. The release of this material—which is strongly opposed by local scientists and residents in Japan—would begin in two years and continue for another 40 years.

        • Opinion | New Wind and Solar Up 50% Globally in 2020, as China Beats US by Over 4 to 1

          The United States was lying down on the job.

          The new report on 2020 by the International Renewable Energy Agency reveals that the world’s renewable energy generation capacity increased by an astonishing 10.3% in 2020 despite the global economic slowdown during the coronavirus pandemic. It beats the previous record for an annual increase in this sector by a healthy 50%.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • USDA May Allow Genetically Modified Trees to Be Released Into the Wild

          On August 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a petition by researchers at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) seeking federal approval to release their genetically engineered (GE) Darling 58 (D58) American chestnut tree into U.S. forests. Researchers claim the transgenic D58 tree will resist the fungal blight that, coupled with rampant overlogging, decimated the American chestnut population in the early 20th century. In fact, the GE American chestnut is a Trojan horse meant to open the doors to commercial GE trees designed for industrial plantations.

    • Finance

      • DOJ Sues Trump Ally Roger Stone for Nearly $2 Million in Unpaid Taxes

        The United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit on Friday afternoon alleging longtime GOP operative and political “dirty trickster” Roger Stone owes nearly $2 million in unpaid federal income tax.

      • New SEC chair Gary Gensler sworn into office

        Gensler was sworn in as a member of the SEC three days after the Senate confirmed him to lead the nation’s top financial regulator.

        The Senate voted 53-45 on his nomination, with three Republicans joining all Democrats to vote for him.

      • Biden’s Industrial Policy

        When industrial policy was last debated in the 1980s, critics recoiled from government “picking winners.” But times have changed. Devastating climate change, a deadly pandemic, and the rise of China as a technological powerhouse require an active government pushing the private sector to achieve public purposes.

      • The “Innocence” of Early Capitalism is Another Fantastical Myth

        Such sentiments are, to anyone who cares to pursue a study of history, quite ahistorical. Violence, force and coercion — exemplified in widespread use of slave labor, imperialist conquests of peoples around the world and ruthless extraction of natural resources — pervades the entire history of capitalism. The rise of capitalism can’t be understood outside slavery, colonialism and plunder. To follow up on my previous article discussing how  U.S. domination of the world is rooted in the stranglehold Washington has over the world’s financial institutions and its possession of the dominant currency, let’s conduct a further examination of the history of how capitalism functions, this time highlighting imperialism and violence.

        My inspiration for this examination is my recent reading of John Perkins’  Confessions of an Economic Hit Man . Mr. Perkins, for those not familiar with his book, provides a first-hand account of how the U.S. government employs debt, financial entanglements, bribes, threats and finally violence and assassinations of national leaders who won’t place their economies and resources under the control of U.S.-based multi-national corporations. That is no surprise to anyone paying attention, but the book became an improbable best seller, meaning there must have been many eyes opened. That can only be a positive development.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Navalny’s supporters move forward with next round of protests, without waiting to reach half-million threshold in signature drive

        Alexey Navalny’s supporters have begun mobilizing for another round of protests to demand his release from prison. The activists are moving forward without waiting to reach 500,000 signatures on a petition launched last month. On April 17, Navalny’s spokeswoman announced on social media that Navalny could die “in a matter of days” due to his declining health in prison. In a speech shared on Navalny’s YouTube channel, senior Anti-Corruption Foundation members Ivan Zhdanov and Leonid Volkov argued that any further delay could cost Navalny his life:

      • Opinion | ‘Divisive’: How Corporate Media Dismiss Ideas Unpopular With Elites

        The next time you hear your favorite political proposals being labeled as too “divisive,” “contentious,” or “polarizing” to work, check the polls first.

        New York Times columnist Paul Krugman (Twitter, 12/29/20) described a $2,000 Covid relief check as “divisive,” even though 75% of Americans (and 72% of Republicans) wanted the government to prioritize another universal payment. All too often, words such as “divisive,” “contentious,” or “controversial” are used merely as media codewords meaning “ideas unpopular with the ruling elite”—what FAIR calls “not journalistically viable.”

      • SVR snaps back at Biden

        On April 15th the US dropped a load of sanctions on Russia for election interference, and hacking, and generally being Russia. There is a lot of good info to unpack from the sanctions, but for now let’s look at the way Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR, has responded to being called Cozy Bear. (Hint: They don’t like it)

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Pakistan PM: Insulting Islam’s Prophet Should Be Same as Denying Holocaust

        Khan spoke Saturday after violent nationwide protests this week by a radical Islamist party demanding expulsion of the French ambassador over the publication of cartoons in France depicting the prophet, an act condemned as blasphemous.

      • Florida’s ‘Anti-Rioting’ Bill Gives the Government New Powers That Have Nothing to Do With Riots

        Florida lawmakers passed a new anti-rioting bill Thursday supported by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis despite the objections of civil rights groups, which argue the legislation can and will be abused to target and punish peaceful protesters.

        A read through H.B. 1 shows that it’s been designed so that supporters of the bill can insist that it’s only about fighting criminal and violent riot tactics. But its critics are correct: It contains vague enough wording to allow police to abuse it to shut down protests.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Police vow not to detain journalists covering Daunte Wright protests

        The agency also said officers won’t be using “using chemical spray against someone we know or have reason to know is a member of the media” or “seizing equipment from or ordering someone to stop recording or observing who we know or have reason to know is a member of the media.”

        The statement comes after a temporary restraining order was recently granted by a federal judge in the state that barred law enforcement from arresting or using physical force against journalists who cover the protests.

        Journalists had alleged in court that they were “directed by law enforcement to vacate the protest area, physically grabbed, struck by less-lethal projectiles and rubber bullets, and pepper sprayed.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Democrat Opposed to the PRO Act Was Showered With Cash From Amazon Executives

        Tactics used by Amazon to defeat the union organizing drive at the company’s Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse have highlighted the need for Democrats to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). The legislation is a sweeping proposal that would implement the strongest protections for workers since 1935, when collective bargaining itself was first given legal protection in the United States.

      • A Declassified Case Against Torture

        It sounds like a parody of a post-9/11 spy thriller. But it’s a scenario that keeps recurring in Ali Soufan’s autobiography, The Black Banners (Declassified). Soufan, a retired FBI agent who was pursuing Al Qaeda long before it was a household name, argues that secrecy and the thirst for torture made it harder to protect Americans. We would have been better served, he shows, if Washington had treated terrorism as a law enforcement problem, not an exception to the law.

        Much of Soufan’s story has already been told, both in the heavily censored 2011 edition of his book and in the official 9/11 Commission Report. In the months before September 11, 2001, the CIA failed to give the FBI crucial information that could have stopped the attackers and saved thousands of American lives. In the years that followed, the FBI-CIA rivalry continued to hinder counterterrorism efforts.

        The new edition of The Black Banners—finally fully declassified after a lengthy legal battle—paints an even more disturbing picture. FBI agents had been waging an effective fight against Al Qaeda using ordinary interrogation tactics. But after 9/11, the Bush administration unleashed torture methods that were self-sabotaging as well as immoral.

      • Australian Indigenous Activists Call Out White Feminism’s Deadly Blind Spot

        In a court of law, “testimony” is a form of evidence. And in the social and political sphere, we are now accustomed to the idea that “lived experience” is the gold evidentiary standard when it comes to assessing the moral strength of social-justice causes. So what does it mean when a national broadcaster works to suppress reports of the “lived experience” of Australia’s Indigenous women—in the service of protecting its own ideological framework?

      • A survivor of sexual violence is free after 33 years — but her victimization isn’t over

        Some of the reported “facts” of her case have been simply wrong. She was described as a woman “convicted of bludgeoning her stepfather to death.” Quoting the governor’s commutation statement, which made no reference to the years of sexual abuse Paulinkonis suffered, it was reported that “clemency does not minimize or forgive her conduct or the harm it caused.” Not a word about the context of the crime, her contributions in prison or all the people who have praised her character and fought for her release.

      • 10 facts about Beulah Mae Donald, the woman who took down the KKK

        The People v. The Klan, a four-part CNN Original Series produced by Blumhouse Television, tells the courageous story of Michael’s mother, Beulah Mae Donald, who would stop at nothing to get justice for the senseless killing of her son. Here are 10 facts about the woman behind the bravery.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • FeedBurner stirs in its slumber to announce more feature deprecations

        Last week, Google announced that they’re making changes to FeedBurner. Like everyone else who received the email from Google, I expected this to be the time when the service passed on to the Google Graveyard. However, they merely announced the deprecation of yet more features.

        FeedBurner is a syndication feed “optimization” and analytics service that Google acquired in 2007. It can count feed subscribers, track views and click-through links, a feed-to-email conversion service, WebSub/PuSH, and it presents people that open your feed in a browser with a webpage preview view of the feed. The service is probably best known for its “subscriber count” widgets that many bloggers proudly display on their blogs.

        The search giant announced that the valuable feed-to-email service is being discontinued in July 2021. This is going to be a rude awakening for many, as newsletter services are surprisingly expensive for a service that costs next to nothing to provide. I developed my own feed-to-newsletter service. The high costs of the commercial offerings were one of the main reasons behind my decision.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Public consultation on “Towards a new normal” closed [Ed: EPO breaking the law while pretending the public played a role in such unlawful decisions]

          Your comments on the first draft of the “Towards a new normal” orientation document will be reviewed together with those the EPO’s staff members and considered for integration into the paper.

          The Office intends to present a final draft of the orientation document to the Administrative Council in June 2021, with a view to gradually implementing any new policies after that.

        • Rakovina Therapeutics Inc. Receives European and Canadian Patents on Kt-2000 Series PARP-Inhibitors
        • Apple Wins New Trial in $506 Million Patent-Damages Award[Ed: Rodney Gilstrap at it again, viewing litigation in courts like a business instead of a matter of justice]

          A federal judge tossed a $506.2 million damages award against Apple Inc. after ruling the iPhone maker should have been able to argue that patent owner Optis Wireless Technology was making unfair royalty demands, though he refused to throw out the liability finding.

          Optis and its partners in the case, PanOptis Patent Management and Unwired Planet LLC, claimed that Apple’s smartphones, watches, and tablets that operate over the LTE cellular standard were using its patented technology.

          U.S. District Court Judge Rodney Gilstrap said the jury should have been allowed to consider whether the royalty demand was consistent with a requirement that standard-essential patents be licensed on “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory,” or FRAND, terms.

        • Peloton’s ‘Revolutionary’ Technology Faces Test in Patent Wars [Ed: When it becomes clear patents are for frivolous lawsuits rather than innovation]

          Spinning wheels aren’t the only things that keep Peloton Interactive Inc. moving — the home-exercise company is also waging patent wars with its rivals.

          Already a market leader, Peloton benefited spectacularly from the pandemic, minting founder John Foley as a billionaire. But it still has unfinished business: fending off competitors with lawsuits accusing them of copying the technology built into its $2,000-plus stationary bikes.

          This kind of litigation is common in rapidly evolving industries with several players jostling for dominance. But legal experts say Peloton’s offensive puts its own patents in jeopardy once they are scrutinized in court — despite the company’s claim to be a pioneer of “revolutionary” technology. If these patents are declared invalid by early next year, when the battles are expected to play out, Peloton will lose legal protection for innovations it has called “core” to its fusion of exercise equipment with interactive live and recorded workouts.

        • Toyota And Subaru April 1st Patents Show Plans For Electric Sedan [Ed: Limiting the reach of EVs by patenting them isn't good for the environment; the opposite is true.]

          Many colleagues in the press were furious because they fell for Volkswagen’s April Fool’s prank. Some want these jokes to be banished forever, but that would give us one less opportunity to have fun. When the GR86 Forum revealed patent documents published on April 1st about an electric sedan developed by Toyota and Subaru, we were almost sure that was a joke. A quick search at the USPTO (US Patent & Trade Office) confirmed they are real.

          The date was not the only suspicious thing about the documents. They also showed a body style in which very few manufacturers are betting. Apart from China, sedans are not that popular elsewhere. On the other hand, it is a body style that makes perfect sense for electric cars due to their optimal aerodynamic properties.

        • Nonobviousness: Before and After

          The requirement of nonobviousness, codified in 35 U.S.C. § 103, has been called “the ultimate condition of patentability” because of its crucial function of keeping technically trivial inventions out of the patent system. The obviousness determination must be made based on the state of the invention’s field at a particular point in time—in the Patent Act’s current version, the date that the patent application was effectively filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

          However, in spite of the critical role of time in patent law and the danger that hindsight bias could distort the § 103 analysis when patentability is evaluated long after the relevant date (as it usually is), the seminal Supreme Court obviousness opinion in Graham v. John Deere said little about temporal considerations. Instead, Graham’s lasting contribution was to suggest that the § 103 inquiry is to be divided into two stages based on the source of the proffered evidence. The Court said that as an initial matter, the PTO or a court should look to pre-patent publications and other materials in the public domain and determine the differences between those disclosures and the patent claim at issue. Further, should the parties introduce additional evidence that the Court called “secondary considerations,” such as commercial success of the patented product or failure of others to come up with the claimed invention, decision-makers would need to continue the analysis to determine the relevance and weight of this evidence before making a final judgment on validity. Although courts and commentators disagree vigorously about the relative roles of these two aspects of the nonobviousness calculus, the primary-secondary framework has a central place in the law of § 103.

          This Article shows that Graham’s apparent creation of two tiers of obviousness evidence has caused confusion and error, and should be rejected in favor of a different approach that is focused on time. First, the rigid segmenting of the patentability inquiry into two steps, which is seen in some lower-court decisions interpreting Graham, has caused certain evidence to be arbitrarily discounted or bolstered depending on whether it falls into the primary or secondary silo. Second, and more pernicious, these evidentiary tiers have obscured the significance of time for patentability. This Article argues that, instead, the filing date of the patent application as the default dividing line between the pre- and post-invention state of the relevant field provides a more logical fulcrum around which to organize the § 103 analysis. Accordingly, obviousness evidence should be classified based on whether it came into existence independently of the patent and generally prior to filing (ex ante) or, instead, whether it appeared in response to the invention or during its further, post-filing, development (ex post). This Article demonstrates that the proposed scheme would pave the way to a more rational approach to § 103 by helping decision-makers determine the relevance and weight of various obviousness evidence with greater accuracy.

        • High-Level Overview of Intellectual Property Protection for the Cannabis Industry [Ed: Lawyers never met anything they weren't happy to litigate over, even pot]

          The cannabis industry is booming and as it continues to grow, new cannabis-related businesses are forming in various sectors of industry and new plant varieties, products and techniques are developed daily. Protecting cannabis-related businesses and innovations as they emerge and develop is essential to industry success.

          As the United States drifts toward the legalization of cannabis, the cannabis industry must be able to adapt to the rapidly changing laws and constantly increasing competition. The federal government divides the cannabis plant species into two categories – the hemp category and marijuana category. Hemp is distinguished as having a concentration of less than 0.3 percent delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Federally, marijuana remains illegal under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, whereas the production of hemp as an agricultural commodity was legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill. A majority of states have also decriminalized or legalized some form of medical or recreational usage of marijuana.

          Intellectual property protection can be sought for brand names, logos, packaging, consumer products, cultivation methods, plant varieties, plant by-products and more. Below is a brief overview of the different types of intellectual property protection available for businesses and individuals operating and innovating in the cannabis industry.

        • UK Government’s call for views on artificial intelligence and intellectual property [Ed: Lying firm Bristows uses too many propaganda terms and buzzwords, not substance, to promote toxic agenda]

          On 23 March 2021, the UK Government published its response to its call for views on artificial intelligence and intellectual property. Between 7 September and 30 November 2020, a range of organisations and individuals, including those who are currently commercialising and/or using AI technologies, gave their views on a range of questions such as – should IP protect inventions or works that are made by machines? If so, who should own that IP?

        • Can An Artificial Intelligence (AI) Be An Inventor? [Ed: This "Hey hi" lunacy has gone out of control; what they mean to ask is, will it be OK for computers to generate patents and for those applications to be approved (and who to assign to)?]

          Currently, patent laws require human inventors. For this reason, no country or legal jurisdiction presently allows an Artificial Intelligence (AI) to be an inventor. Such patent laws, however, are typically decades old and we can expect continued debate, and possible legislation, on the topic of whether an AI can be an inventor.

          Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) invent? No, according to various patent offices and patent laws around the world. Resistance to an AI as an inventor primarily stems from the fact that the written text of existing patent laws refers to human inventors, e.g., “individuals” or “persons,” which leaves little or no room for interpretation of a non-human AI as an inventor.

        • Raytheon Technologies Corp. v. General Electric Co. (Fed. Cir. 2021)

          The legal concept of obviousness is tricky. A claimed invention is found obvious if the prior art teaches or suggests all claim limitations and one of ordinary skill in the art would have been motivated to combine the relevant teachings of the references. The inherent subjectivity of such an analysis can lead to reasonable people disagreeing on whether an invention is ultimately patentable. But it does not end there — like an onion, obviousness has layers.[1] Normally, whether the references themselves provide enabling disclosure is not relevant. Except when it is.

          [...]

          Before the PTAB, Raytheon argued that “GE’s expert employed a flawed methodology in deriving the power density of Knip’s advanced engine from the parameters that Knip disclosed,” and that Knip’s disclosure failed to enable a skilled artisan to make the claimed invention. GE countered by stating that “the issue of whether Knip enabled its advanced engine was irrelevant to the question whether a skilled artisan reviewing Knip could make the ’751 Patent’s engine (using any already available materials) without undue experimentation.” Note the subtle difference in the points being made — Raytheon is alleging that Knip does not enable one to make the invention of the ’751 patent, while GE is addressing whether Knip enables one to make Knip’s own engine.

          In any event, the PTAB ultimately found Knip enabling because it allowed “a skilled artisan to “determine a power density as defined in claim 1, and within the range proscribed in claim 1.” As a result, the PTAB concluded that Knip rendered the claims obvious.

        • Software Patents

          • Developing a Digital Health Patent Strategy

            Initially, entrepreneurs and startups operating in the digital health space may seek out patent protection as a way to protect core innovations and prevent competitors from entering their space. This can be especially essential for devices that can be reversed engineered with ease upon entering the marketplace. Patents can also be used to secure fundraising efforts. Venture capital firms and investors typically benchmark a startup against competitors, and having some patent protection can show them that you present a serious investment opportunity for them by taking a forward-leaning intellectual property approach.

            Patents also provide startups opportunities to partner with larger more established companies operating in this space. Late last November, AdventHealth, a health system based in Orlando, Florida, announced that it had partnered with biotech firm Berg to gain insights on patients that tested positive for COVID-19, to aid in reducing mortality rates from the disease.[4] Tech giant Amazon has also announced a partnership with over thirty seven healthcare startups to build innovative, cost-effective ad secure solutions that improve operational and clinical effectiveness while improving patient outcomes for healthcare payers and providers.[5]

      • Trademarks

        • Sweden: Ghost trademarks not likely to be confused due to visual differences

          The Swedish Patent and Market Court (PMD) ruled out a likelihood of confusion between two figurative trademarks for “ghost” and “GHOST VODKA” based on their mere visual differences. In fact, the Court concluded that the sigs were dissimilar, without even analyzing the signs on a phonetical or conceptual level. A good outcome for the defendants but somewhat worrying for rightholders who seek to enforce their rights in Sweden.

          As a short background to this (legally) odd ruling, the Swedish rock band Ghost brought an action for infringement against the UK company Ghost Drinks Ltd and its Swedish distributor, seeking to prohibit the use of the sign GHOST VODKA (fig.) for vodka. The EUTM relied on was registered for alcoholic beverages (except beers) in class 33.

        • TTABlog Test: Is MALIBU SUPPER CLUB Primarily Geographically Descriptive of Restaurant Services?

          The USPTO refused to register the proposed mark MALIBU SUPPER CLUB for restaurant and bar services [SUPPER CLUB disclaimed], finding the mark to be primarily geographically descriptive under Section 2(e)(2). On appeal, the applicant argued that the word Malibu “will be seen by consumers not primarily as a place, but rather as a general reference to luxury and relaxation – a “[glitzy] area that Hollywood movie stars flock to.” How do you think this came out? In re Argent Media Group, LLC, Serial No. 88780676 (April 6, 2021) [not precedential] (Opinion by Judge Frances S. Wolfson).

          [...]

          The evidence established that MALIBU is a generally known geographic location, as shown by gazetteer and dictionary references, that “supper club” is commonly used to identify a type of registrant, that applicant’s services will (admittedly) originate in Malibu, and that consumers will immediately make a connection between the services and Malibu.

          [...]

          Applicant’s third-party registrations for marks containing MALIBU were not life savers for applicant. One group involved goods and services unrelated to restaurant services. Another group contained additional distinctive wording: MALIBU PRINCESS and MALIBU GIRLS for dresses, MALIBU ROAD for clothing, MALIBU BEACH BASICS for handbags.

        • The Authors’ Take – Trademarking “COVID” and “Coronavirus” in the United States: An Empirical Review

          Since its global debut in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a tsunami of trademark applications including the terms “COVID,” “Coronavirus,” and other medical and pandemic-management related terms. In this Article, I examine the applications that have been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office until the end of 2020. In particular, I present a comprehensive set of data regarding the products for which the applications have been filed, the type of filing entities, the legal basis for filing, and the date of filing throughout the relevant period. Based on these data, the COVID-19 pandemic led not only to a large number of filings for medical and pandemic-related products, but also for unrelated and promotional products. Individuals and small businesses were the largest groups of filers, and over two thirds of the applications were based on intent-to-use rather than use in commerce. The number of filings closely mirrored the development of the pandemic during the various months of 2020. In addition, when compared with previous filings for signs including terms related to past sensational events, including pandemics, the numbers of “COVID-19 related” applications were much higher than any previous filings. This confirms the catalyst effect of the COVID-19 pandemic also on the trademark application system, even though a large number of these applications may ultimately not be registered as several signs may be found to be generic or descriptive—in particular for medical and pandemic-related products—or deemed not to function as trademarks—for example if they are used as ornamentations on promotional products. The signs may also be found to be deceptive if they imply a specific cure or solution, when this may not be accurate. Still, the data presented highlight several interesting aspects of the phenomenon of “filing sensationalism,” even though it remains difficult to understand what triggered this large number of filings precisely with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic–a time that we all hope to put behind in the nearest future.

      • Copyrights

        • The French police attempt to censor Yellow Vest protestors with Dirty Dancing’s soundtrack

          Until recently, the French police’s handling of the yellow vest (gilets jaunes) demonstrations was ‘only’ criticized for excessive use of force (notably by the UN Human Rights Council). The “disproportionate” police behaviour was substantiated by extensive video footage recorded by protesters. To avoid videos of their agents’ interventions being shared on social networks, however, the French police came up with an ingenious new weapon: upload filter censorship.

          The story was originally reported in an article published by French newspaper Liberation. Last Saturday, a few yellow vest protesters gathered on the Champs-Elysées and the police intervened to scatter them, on the ground that it is forbidden to demonstrate in this location. When the police noticed that one of the demonstration participants was live broadcasting the scene via his cell phone, one of the officers started to share from his own phone the famous Dirty Dancing song ‘Time of my Life’ (at 1:10 in the video). An attempt to fight against the French police’s reputation for toxic masculinity, you might wonder? The following dialogue however points to a completely different reality “Do you use music to soften the blow?” asks the person filming, “No. If you put this on social networks, you’re going to have a little problem with the SACEM[1]” replies the police officer.

        • New Working Paper: Copyright History in Review

          In the first three reviews, concerning the work of Katie Scott (Becoming Property, 2018, Yale University Press), Derek Miller (Copyright and the Value of Performance , 2018, CUP) and Will Slauter (Who Owns the News?, 2019, Stanford University Press) I chart a change in recent copyright history scholarship: a shift in the focus of copyright history away from books and literary works to other subject matter (visual art, drama and news). These reviews can be read in conjunction with the forthcoming CREATe Working Paper Introduction to Art and Modern Copyright: The Contested Image (CUP, 2018), which is a re-print of the introductory chapter of my own recent monograph Art and Modern Copyright: The Contested Image (the first in depth and longitudinal study of copyright and the visual arts, concerning painting, engraving and photography the UK, 1850-1911). The final review concerns a collection of essays concerning the history of intellectual property more generally edited by Claudy Op den Kamp and Dan Hunter (A History of Intellectual Property in 50 Objects, 2019, CUP) which examines the history of intellectual property law through the lens of 50 different objects. Taken together, the reviews reveal the depth and breadth of historical work in the field and the richness of historical perspectives as a terrain for future study. Those interested to learn more about recent developments in copyright history may wish to attend the Roundtable discussion Copyright History, Book History and Art History: An Interdisciplinary Conversation organised by Will Slauter, and forming part of the annual conference the Society of the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (26-30 July 2021) – to which I will be contributing, along with Katie Scott, Oren Bracha, Marie-Stéphanie Delamaire, Ian Gadd and Will Slauter. Further details about this event will be released later this year.

        • Around the IP Blogs

          CREATe (University of Glasgow) recently published a Working Paper entitled ‘Copyright History in Review’, which traces the expansion of the copyright history discipline towards a greater range of media and subject matter.

          The Kluwer Copyright Blog reflected on the disturbing development of attempted police weaponisation of automated copyright filters in France with the aim of preventing the dissemination of recorded interactions with officers, especially when individuals are exercising their right to protest.

        • How Hollywood Keeps Breeding New Pirates

          The major Hollywood studios have put a lot of effort into making their content available online. There’s an abundance of streaming options and more content than ever before. Still, despite this progress, many international fans of popular TV-shows are still driven to pirate sites, as legal options are abruptly taken away. Why?

        • Spanish-language TV giants team up to take on Netflix

          The Mexican group will be the top shareholder in the new company with a stake of 45 percent under the deal, which covers broadcast, subscription, digital and live television.

          The tie-up is backed by Japanese investment giant SoftBank, US technology titan Google and investment bank The Raine Group.

          The new company is expected to launch a global streaming platform in early 2022 to meet the growing demand for content from the estimated 600 million Spanish speakers in the world, the statement said.

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    Links for the day



  23. EPO Already Wasting Money on Media Manipulation Campaigns for European Inventor Award

    An online-only European Inventor Award 'event' is being used as a pretext/excuse to flood European publishers with money they can rightly perceive as 'hush money'; everyone out there with no spine would likely buckle at the sight of EPO euros and just produce mindless puff pieces that serve to distract from EPO corruption



  24. The Timing of This Melinda Gates Tweet Was Always Curious...

    Remarking on her trip to Africa, where the Gates family lobbies for monopolies on seeds (for profit or course, notably through Monsanto/Bayer, which the Gates family heavily invests in), she posted pure fluff and old photos. And it’s hard to believe she had nothing better to do at the time (better than such nostalgia). As we noted last year: “The above tweet of a beach was posted [by Melinda Gates] on the date of the arrest/search of their employee, who was at their residence at the time.” He was arrested around the very same time this tweet was posted. As we wrote last year (based on detailed documents obtained from the police department): “This tweet was posted 2 hours and 40 minutes after the door was breached and incriminating evidence collected.” He was arrested later that morning at the mansion of Bill and Melinda Gates (the police records contain detailed timelines to confirm the chronology). Melinda’s first name was also in the CP 'stash'.



  25. Media Frenzy Around Gates Divorce Helps Distract From Bill's Crimes

    The distraction from many Gates scandals is cushioned by yet another personal fluff; we would rather see investigative journalism pursuing real answers about real scandals



  26. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 03, 2021



  27. EPO Disregards Animal Welfare

    An often overlooked issue surrounding the second-largest institution in Europe is its impact on millions if not billions of animals; there's ongoing research into that



  28. Links 3/5/2021: Sparky 5.15, Bill Gates Divorce, Netflix Fraud

    Links for the day



  29. Links 3/5/2021: New in OpenBSD 6.9 and Audacity Acquired By Muse Group

    Links for the day



  30. Adding, Seaming Together, Merging, or Concatenating Videos From the Command Line With FFMPEG (Scripting for Streamlining of Workflows)

    In order to enrich the looks of videos with almost no extra time/effort (all scripted, no GUIs should be needed) use ffmpeg with the concat operator; but there are several big gotchas, namely lack of sound and need for consistency across formats/codecs and even sampling rates


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