Links 27/4/2021: University of Minnesota Still in Trouble, Dan Kaminsky Eulogies

Posted in News Roundup at 11:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Linux vs. Windows Server: Which one is for you?

        Linux and Windows Servers are the two popular and important web-hosting services worldwide. They power over 60% of all websites, and it is almost an age-old question: Linux or Windows? When deciding what is the best option for your server needs. These two operating systems have dominated the server market for years, with Linux maintaining a noticeable lead.

        I know you are wondering. Not Linux vs. Windows again! It feels like we will never get to the end of the discussion.

        However, this article will highlight a few of the desirable features of either Linux or Windows servers that will give you an informed decision when choosing the best solution for your business needs. Because let’s face it, there are minimal differences between Windows and Linux in terms of functions and applications. Making the correct choice sometimes is no walk in the park, even for experienced engineers and business managers.

        First, let’s understand the key desirable features of Windows and Linux operating systems you will need for a reliable server.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • WP Briefing: Your Opinion is Our Opportunity

        In this episode, Josepha discusses the importance of co-development and testing for the continued growth and maintenance of the WordPress project.

      • Uninstall Oh My ZSH Right Now And Do This Instead

        Whenever I bring up ZSH there’s always at least one person who thinks I’m talking about Oh My Zsh and get confused when I tell them I think the application serves no purpose so today I thought I should explain again why you shouldn’t bother with Oh My ZSH.

      • Destination Linux 223: Interview with CEO of LBRY (Odysee) Plus Bo’s Hack Snack

        This week’s episode of Destination Linux, we are being joined by Jeremy Kauffman, the CEO of LBRY Inc, to discuss SEC’s recent lawsuit that threatens cryptocurrency and blockchain. We have everyones favorite hacker/pentester, Bo Weaver is joining us again this week for another Bo’s Hack Snack. Then we’ll check out Firefox’s latest release plus take a sneak peak at their upcoming UI redesign. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you.

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 122

        Linux flies on Mars, a new Ubuntu release, the kernel is the subject of an ill-judged study, Linux GUI apps on Windows, KDE Korner, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.12 Released! How to Install it in Ubuntu

        The Ubuntu Mainline Kernel Archive provides the new kernel packages via DEB files.

        The mainline build kernels do not include any Ubuntu-provided drivers or patches. They are not supported and are not appropriate for production use.
        For those prefer using a graphical tool, see this tool to install the latest Kernel.

      • Linux Kernel 5.12 Released, This is What’s New

        The Linux 5.12 kernel has been released – albeit a week later than original scheduled.

        Linus Torvalds announced the release over on the Linux kernel mailing list, writing: “…thanks to everybody who made last week very calm indeed, which just makes me feel much happier about the final 5.12 release.” He adds that despite the extra week’s grace this is “actually a fairly small release overall”.

        I reckon Linus’ definition of ‘small’ may differ from ours, so read on to run through the biggest changes and most notable additions proffered in the latest Linux kernel update.

      • As Linux 5.12 released, Linus Torvalds warns next version will probably be rather large

        Linus Torvalds has emitted version 5.12 of the Linux kernel, and warned the next version looks like a whopper.

        “Thanks to everybody who made last week very calm indeed, which just makes me feel much happier about the final 5.12 release,” he said in his announcement, while referencing last week’s post in which he worried the release may slip a week.


        Among the known additions coming to version 5.13 are support for Apple’s M1 silicon, the addition of a wireless WAN subsystem, more RISC-V support, and provisions for Intel’s standalone GPUs.

      • Slackware Beta: Kernel 5.12 Has Arrived in Testing

        Hell yeah, on 12 th April Pat Volkerding announced the first beta of what will eventually be Slackware 15.0 using a 5.10.29 kernel, ending the changelog entry on his typical cheery note. “I’m going to go ahead and call this a beta even though there’s still no fix for the illegal instruction issue with 32-bit mariadb. But there should be soon (thanks ponce!) No build regressions noted with the official gcc-10.3 release. Please report any new (or old) issues on the LQ Slackware forum. Enjoy! :-)”.

      • GNU Linux-libre 5.12-gnu Is Released

        GNU Linux-libre is a modified versions of the Linux kernel that is truly free software thanks to the removal of all the evil binary blobs modern GNU/Linux distributions include. The ideal is very noble, but the practical result is a crippled and practically useless Linux kernel. A Linux-libre kernel based on Linux 5.12 is now available for those find that to be appealing.


        The GNU Project has a solution: The GNU Linux-libre kernel. It is a specially patched GNU-approved Linux kernel that does not include or rely on any binary blobs unless the source for those blobs is available under a free software license. Linux-libre version 5.12-gnu was just released. It was released as separate tarballs with updated clean-up scripts, kernel patches and ready-to-go packages with cleaned-up Linux kernel sources in several file compression formats. All the files in the Linux-libre 5.12-gnu release can be acquired from https://linux-libre.fsfla.org/pub/linux-libre/releases/5.12-gnu/.

        The release announcement for Linux-libre 5.12-gnu, which came in the form of a mailing list message, notes that this release adds patches eradicating new binary blobs introduced yesterday’s Linux 5.12 release. Those include the OcteonTX2 crypto device, the MXL692 dvb, the Allegro-DVT, the MT7921E wifi chip and BCM VK accelerators.

      • Initial Support For The Apple M1 Lands In Linux 5.13

        As expected, support for the initial Apple M1 SoC support and 2020 Apple Silicon devices (Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air) has landed into the Linux 5.13 kernel.

        During this first day of the Linux 5.13 merge window the various ARM SoC/platform pull requests were submitted and have already been merged to mainline.

      • Linux 5.13 Bringing Code For Intel SGX Within KVM Guests – Phoronix

        Linux 5.11 brought mainline support for Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX) after a lengthy mainlining process. Building off that SGX enclaves support in the mainline kernel more recently has been support for SGX with KVM virtualization and now for mainline Linux 5.13 that guest-side support is landing for KVM guests.

        Software Guard Extensions for KVM allows for a portion of the system meory to be encrypted with an SGX enclaves and used exclusively by a KVM guest that cannot be used by the host or any other guest.

      • The Linux Foundation’s demands to the University of Minnesota for its bad Linux patches security project [Ed: ZDNet isn't disclosing that it has been working as a marketing/front group of the Linux Foundation, i.e. a collective of openwashing corporations]

        To say that Linux kernel developers are livid about a pair of University of Minnesota (UMN) graduate students playing at inserting security vulnerabilities into the Linux kernel for the purposes of a research paper “On the Feasibility of Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software via Hypocrite Commits” is a gross understatement.

        Greg Kroah-Hartman, the Linux kernel maintainer for the stable branch and well-known for being the most generous and easy-going of the Linux kernel maintainers, exploded and banned UMN developers from working on the Linux kernel. That was because their patches had been “obviously submitted in bad faith with the intent to cause problems.”

        The researchers, Qiushi Wu and Aditya Pakki, and their graduate advisor, Kangjie Lu, an assistant professor in the UMN Computer Science & Engineering Department of the UMN then apologized for their Linux kernel blunders.

      • Linux kernel team rejects University of Minnesota researchers’ apology

        Last week, senior Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman announced that all Linux patches coming from the University of Minnesota would be summarily rejected by default.

        This policy change came as a result of three University of Minnesota researchers—Qiushi Wu, Kangjie Lu, and Aditya Pakki—embarking on a program to test the Linux kernel dev community’s resistance to what the group called “Hypocrite Commits.”


        Last week, senior Linux kernel dev Greg Kroah-Hartman reverted 68 patches submitted by folks with umn.edu email addresses in response to these “Hypocrite Commits.” Along with reverting these 68 existing patches, Kroah-Hartman announced a “default reject” policy for future patches coming from anyone with an @umn.edu address.

        Kroah-Hartman went on to allow exceptions for such future patches if “they provide proof and you can verify it,” but he went on to ask “really, why waste your time doing that extra work?”

        The University of Minnesota Department of Computer Science and Engineering responded to the ban by immediately “suspend[ing] this line of research,” promising to investigate the researchers’ method—and the process by which it was approved.

      • Linux 5.13 Power Management Updates Submitted – Phoronix

        Working on the Linux power management code is a never-ending and increasingly important task. The ACPI and power management updates were sent in today for the Linux 5.13 merge window though this isn’t as exciting as some of the recent kernels heavy on CPUFreq and P-State changes.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD EPYC 72F3 Linux Performance For 8-Core Zen 3 Server CPU

        Over the past month we have been quite impressed by the performance of the EPYC 7003 series Milan processors when looking at the top-tier parts, but how does Zen 3 do for lower-tier server CPUs? Recently we were supplied with two EPYC 72F3 processors from AMD for these 8-core high performance SKUs. In our initial look at the EPYC 72F3 Linux performance is seeing how they compare to the similar previous-generation EPYC 7F32 processor.

        With just having our hands on the EPYC 72F3 processors for a few days, the initial look is just some 1P testing compared to the EPYC 7F32 processor for looking at the generational advancement with Zen 3. In the days/weeks ahead will be more tests including the 2P benchmark results and additional comparison figures. Via OpenBenchmarking.org is also already various comparison points that can be made for those interested.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • caja – invalid encoding – how to convert German Windows Filenames with special chars (Windows-1252) to GNU Linux filename.encoding (UTF-8)
      • Make Plasma look like Windows 10 guide

        Why? Why not! There are three reasons why anyone would want to attempt this. One, because they can, ergo nerds who want to have fun. Two, to see how flexible and powerful the Plasma desktop really is. Three, to make Plasma look like Windows, because the target users expect such looks regardless of functionality. Can it work, though?

        After testing a bunch of Windows 7/10 themes in non-Plasma desktops a few days back, I decided to expand my experiment and see how Plasma copes with this rather unnecessary yet interesting challenge. So far, I’ve attempted Mac makeover and Unity customization with fairly decent degrees of success. Now, I’d like to try my luck with the Windows skinning attempt. In my other tests, the results weren’t that promising. Here? Well, below, this be a Plasma desktop made to look like Windows 10. Now, let’s commence.

      • Linux Fu: A Little Bit Of (Network) History Repeating Itself | Hackaday

        These days, embedded systems often have networks and that can make them significantly more complex. Networks are usually pretty nondeterministic and there are a variety of oddball conditions. For example, when your public-access pick and place machine gets written up on Hackaday and you suddenly get a 50X surge in traffic, how does your network stack handle it? While there’s no silver bullet for network testing, there are some tricks that can make it easier and one of those is the tcpreplay utilities that allow you to record complex network traffic and then play it back in a variety of ways. This has many benefits, especially if you manage to capture that one thing that triggers bad behavior sporadically. Being able to play it back on demand can speed up diagnostics considerably.

      • How to port forward through the firewall on Ubuntu

        Do you use the Ubuntu firewall and need to open up ports to the internet on your system? We can help! Follow along with this guide as we go over ways you can port forward on Ubuntu!

        Note: although this guide focuses on Ubuntu, it will also work on any Linux OS based upon Ubuntu as they also have access to the same firewall.

      • How to set up a persistent Ubuntu USB

        If you find yourself using an Ubuntu live disk a lot for portable computing, you might notice that the files you save to it don’t save and aren’t persistent. That’s because, by default, the Ubuntu live disk doesn’t have persistent storage.


        It is possible to make a persistent Ubuntu USB stick but to do it, and you’ll need to install a unique tool. This tool is known as Mkusb. It’s a unique program that can help you create bootable disks, including ones that allow you to have persistent storage.

        Getting this app installed on Ubuntu requires some tinkering, as it doesn’t come in any of the default Ubuntu software repositories. To get started, open up a terminal window on the Ubuntu desktop. To do that, press Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard or search for “terminal” in the app menu.

        Once the terminal window is open, use the add-apt-repository command below to add the Mkusb PPA to your Ubuntu system. This PPA is currently the only way to get the app working on Ubuntu.

      • 9 Practical Examples of the Linux date Command

        Meet the Linux date command. No, it can’t get you a romantic evening. But it can format the date at the top of a love letter you wrote in the terminal. Close enough? Let’s get started.

        As you’re scripting in Bash, you’ll inevitably need to print a date or time, and that date or time will often need to be in a specific format to satisfy the requirements of other functions. That’s when the date command comes into play.

        As you’ll see, the date command in Linux is both simple and versatile, meaning it will accept all kinds of input and generate dates in a multitude of formats. It also has other special functions for various time-related computing tasks. Learning date’s options and syntax will definitely make you more skilled in scripting, and maybe more punctual.

      • 3 Linux commands you have forgotten about

        Time passes and things change. There is nothing eternal in this world, maybe except taxes but just as people get older and are replaced by younger ones, so Linux commands also get older and are replaced by other “younger”, “more modern” .

        In this article, we’ll look at a few commands that you’ve used a lot before, but you’ve probably forgotten about. People have the ability to forget very quickly and adapt to the new without thinking much about the past.

      • How to install Ubuntu Kylin 21.04

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Ubuntu Kylin 21.04.

      • How to measure the execution time of a command in Linux

        When working on the command line in Linux, you may want to know how much time a particular command has taken (from start to finish).

        If you are new to Linux and looking for a way to do this, you will be pleased to learn that there is a command-line tool that does exactly what you want. The tool in question is called “time”. In this guide, I will show you how to use the time command. We will measure how long a Linux command takes to execute.

        Please note that all instructions and examples mentioned here have been tested on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to install RubyMine on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install RubyMine 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 use FTP or SFTP in Linux command line interface – LinuxTechLab

        FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a network protocol that is used to transfer files to & from a remote location. If you are looking to set up an FTP server, then please go through the tutorials mentioned HERE & HERE.

        In this tutorial, we are going to discuss how to use Linux FTP or SFTP command to manage files and directories FTP server using the command line interface. Though there are many GUI clients available that can be used to manage files but there are many a time when CLI is the best option.

      • How to Install Odoo 11 on CentOS 7 with Nginx as a Reverse Proxy

        In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps of installing Odoo 11 on CentOS 7. We will also install Nginx and configure it as a reverse proxy. Odoo (formerly OpenERP) is a simple and intuitive suite of open-source enterprise management applications such as Website Builder, eCommerce, CRM, Accounting, Manufacturing, Project and Warehouse Management, Human Resources, Marketing, and many more.

        Odoo comes in two editions, Community edition which is free, and Enterprise edition. In our case, we will install and use the Community edition. Odoo 11 requires Python 3.5 which is not available in the CentOS repositories. That is the reason why we cannot install the Odoo package via yum

      • How to Install ProFTPD with TLS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        Transferring files via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is probably still one of the most popular ways to upload files to a server. ProFTPD is a popular and versatile FTP server that is available as open-source software and supports TLS (SSL) for secure connections.

        By default, FTP is an insecure protocol as passwords and data are transferred in cleartext. By using TLS, as we do in this guide, all communication can be encrypted, making FTP more secure.

        This article describes how to configure proftpd with TLS on Ubuntu server 20.04 LTS.

      • Linux 101: What is the Linux $PATH? – TechRepublic

        If you’re new to Linux, you might have heard mention of something called the PATH. Or, you’ve seen it written like: $PATH. What is this mysterious convention? Is it less followed or something dark and dangerous you might want to avoid?

        Actually, the Linux PATH is quite simple, in that it consists of all the directories wherein your user can fun commands from anywhere. Let me explain.

        Let’s say you write a bash script to print out “Hello, TechRepublic!” and named it hello.sh. You give it executable permissions and leave it in your home directory.

      • How to Connect a Projector to Your Ubuntu Computer – Make Tech Easier

        There’s nothing quite as fun or as necessary as using a projector. Whether you’re a teacher using a projector in your classroom or setting up an outdoor movie night on the wall of your house, projectors are a great way to turn an average space up to 11. However, for Linux users, there can sometimes be difficulties getting different displays to work, and it may be important to walk through some troubleshooting steps to get things to work. Here we walk you through how to connect a projector to your Ubuntu computer.

      • How To Disable IPv6 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to disable IPv6 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, IPv6 is enabled by default in Ubuntu. But you may want to disable IPv6 for many reasons. Some programs may cause problems when IPv6 is enabled, So if you are not planning to use IPv6, simply disable it and not worry about any potential problems.

        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 disable IPv6 on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Boxedwine is an emulator that can run Windows apps on the web (or Linux, Mac, or… Windows)

        The free and open source Wine utility that makes it possible to run some Windows applications on Linux and Mac computers is not an emulator, but rather a compatibility layer. The name is actually an abbreviation for Wine Is Not an Emulator.

        But that doesn’t mean you can’t do some pretty cool things when you combine WINE with an emulator. And one developer has done just that to create Boxedwine, a utility makes it possible to run some Windows applications on the web or on a computer running Linux, Mac, or even Windows (which could come in handy if you want to run older apps that don’t work with recent versions of Windows).

        In a nutshell, Boxedwine emulates the Linker kernel and an x86 CPU and then runs an unmodified version of the 32-bit version of Wine, allowing you to run supported16-bit or 32-bit on a host operating system. The developer is also working on a version that may be able to run on the Raspberry Pi 4 or other devices with ARMv8 processors.

    • Games

      • Be a dancing tentacle alien who murders bosses and wears their skulls in Zapling Bygone | GamingOnLinux

        Well, that certainly is a headline isn’t it. I’ll admit that the idea and style of Zapling Bygone pulled me in right away, along with the description of what you’ll be doing. This pixel-art platformer is a skull-swapping alien adventure where you go onto murder bosses and wear their skulls.

        Created by 9FingerGames, it’s another metroidvania platformer that’s bringing in something highly unique. Thanks to the design of the creature you control with the many legs, you get a lot of control. The developer says that everything “responds instantly with absolutely zero horizontal inertia, and control is nevertaken away from the player. You are in full control from the moment you launch the game to the moment you see the end credits.”.


        It’s planned to release for Linux and be mainly supported on Ubuntu, with the developer mentioning they will do their best to ensure it works well.

      • Veil of Dust is an upcoming environmental exploration of what comes after devastating loss

        Trying to survive in a sparse landscape, Veil of Dust: A Homesteading Game puts you in the shoes of someone just trying to keep going and find your way after loss.

        Mixing together elements of a visual novel, with farming, foraging, crafting and more – the developer Calamity Bay Games explains that it’s “historically-grounded” which makes me quite curious about it. However, it’s also mixing in some mystery and magic too so it’s all kinds of things. You need to solve the sudden appearance of some magical beasts, while dealing with the sparse landscape to have enough to eat.

        We spoke with the developer over email who explained that it’s built with GameMaker Studio, and they regularly test their Linux builds.

      • Here’s how to play full Xbox games on Linux with xCloud (video) [Ed: Games you neither own nor control; they spy on you and take up your bandwidth]

        Microsoft mainly built this version because Apple won’t let them make a game streaming app for the Apple App Store, so the web-based method is a workaround for that

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • The New elementary Store is Here

        For the past several months our web team has been working on a new merch store to replace the old manual front-end—and we’re ready to debut that work for you all now.


        We’ve long offered a simple store as a way to get official branded merch while directly supporting development of elementary OS. We’ve partnered with Printful for years thanks to their excellent quality products, but our previous store page was a very finicky PHP app that required manual uploading of print files and fiddling with product JSON—basically, unfriendly to both developers and designers. As a result, we only ever offered a small selection of products and were largely unable to spend the time to design and upload new ones.

        Printful does offer a number of integrations with popular selling platforms like Shopify and Etsy, but they weren’t a good price fit for the relatively low volume plus global reach of our store, nor were they able to be as integrated into our existing website and design style as we’d like.

      • Reviews

        • Deepin 20 Review

          Curious about Deepin 20? Here’s our review to this latest version of the super beautiful and unique China operating system for your computers and laptops. We can say that Deepin is now a fashion in computing ready to compete with Windows and MacOS. This series of release begins with the big switch, from WPS to LibreOffice, and similarly from Google Chrome to Browser, aside from other large improvements in its system most notably the desktop in general and Control Center in particular. Here’s Deepin Twenty for you all!

          Deepin 20 is a fashion, successful beauty operating system with good performance. Among GNU/Linuxes, it has the originality and it is clearer to see in this release. I think it needs mass production as real computers. Several shortcomings exist such as the bad theming of LibreOffice and live session issue but those are covered up by the goodness. If now Lenovo proudly produce Fedora Thinkpads, I think it is not too difficult for them and other brands to produce Deepin Laptops and so on as well. To Deepin Team, thank you very much, you all have made an excellent OS and please continue! Finally, I can say Deepin 20 will be very much appealing to both of Windows’ and MacOS’ users to try and use in their machines. Enjoy Deepin computing to you all!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Adds Support for Active Directory and Other Major Changes

          In a bid to help make Linux more viable for the business desktop, Canonical adds support for Active Directory and a few other notable changes.

          In a move that should surprise no one, Canonical has made it considerably easier for admins to join Ubuntu desktop machines to Active Directory domains and use Group Policy to set password requirements, user access controls, and even tweak desktop environment settings (such as login screen backgrounds and required applications).

          Canonical has even made it possible for the integration of a Ubuntu Desktop into an existing Active Directory domain to be an automated and effortless process, with the help of the System Security Services Daemon (SSSD).

        • Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix 21.04

          Today we are looking at Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix 21.04. It comes with Linux Kernel 5.11, Cinnamon 4.8.6, and uses about 1.5GB of ram when idling. Enjoy!

        • Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix 21.04 Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix 21.04.

        • Why You Can’t Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 (For Now)

          Still waiting to see that Ubuntu 21.04 upgrade prompt? Well, you’re not alone — and it’s not coming anytime soon.

          Turns out there’s a pretty severe bug in the Ubuntu 21.04 upgrade process. The bug is so severe that Ubuntu developers have chosen not to trigger the upgrade notification that many Ubuntu 20.10 users are (rather patiently) waiting for.

          It’s still possible to upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 from Ubuntu 20.10 from the command line but this still carries a risk.

          So what’s up?

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 680

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 680 for the week of April 18 – 24, 2021.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Is a Computer Science Degree Required to Work with Open-Source Software? [Ed: Well, programming does not require a university degree, but it does require actually doing something for skills and experience]

        Open-source software development is booming, and it is creating many innovations, much faster in recent years. It is no wonder that many developers and even students choose to showcase their skills and upgrade themselves with these latest trends.

        Open-source software is distributed with its source code, which makes it available to use. Source code is a part of the software that most people don’t see. That code can be manipulated to control the behavior of a program or application. And programmers can access the source code, change an application, add to it or fix some of the parts that are not working properly.

        The code is shared publicly or is stored in a public repository, and anyone can access it and use it. The Open-Source Software (OSS) comes with a license that includes all the terms that define how the open-source software developers can use, modify, study and distribute the software.

        The most popular licenses are MIT License, Apache License 2.0, GNU General Public License 2.0, GNU General Public License 3.0, and BSD License.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Explains: What is IDFA and why is this iOS update important?

            During last week’s Apple event, the team announced a lot of new products and a new iPhone color, but the news that can have the biggest impact on all iPhone users launched today with iOS 14.5. They are finally giving users the option to get rid of IDFA, or identifier for advertisers, something that Mozilla has been asking for since 2019.

          • Upgrading Mozilla’s Root Store Policy to Version 2.7.1

            Individuals’ security and privacy on the internet are fundamental. Living up to that principle we are announcing the following changes to Mozilla’s Root Store Policy (MRSP) which will come into effect on May 1, 2021.

            These updates to the Root Store Policy will not only improve our compliance monitoring, but also improve Certificate Authority (CA) practices and reduce the number of errors that CAs make when they issue new certificates. As a result, these updates contribute to a healthy security ecosystem on the internet and will enhance security and privacy to all internet users.

          • Chris H-C: Data Science is Interesting: Why are there so many Canadians in India?

            Any time India comes up in the context of Firefox and Data I know it’s going to be an interesting day.

          • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 92
      • Programming/Development

        • Steve Kemp: Writing a text-based adventure game for CP/M

          In my previous post I wrote about how I’d been running CP/M on a Z80-based single-board computer.

        • Rust

          • Congrats to compiler team member Aaron Hill

            Aaron Hill (@Aaron1011) has been contributing to many different parts of the compiler since his start in 2017. Recently, Aaron has been working on finding and fixing bugs and correctness issues in the incremental system, cleanups and improvements to macro expansion and hygiene, as well as miscellaneous bug fixes. Beyond the compiler, Aaron has also implemented support for unwinding in Miri, generating documentation for auto-traits, and future incompatibility reporting in Cargo.

          • Niko Matsakis: Async Vision Doc Writing Sessions VII

            We have previously set 2021-04-30 as the end-date, but I proposed in a recent PR to extend that end date to 2021-05-14. We’ve been learning how this whole vision doc thing works as we go, and I think it seems clear we’re going to want more time to finish off status quo stories and write shiny future before we feel we’ve really explored the design space.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation/Openwashing Services

              • Open Source Joins Efforts to Create Gene Therapies for Rare Diseases

                The OpenTreatments Foundation enables treatments for rare genetic diseases regardless of rarity and geography. The RareCamp Project provides the source code and open governance for the OpenTreatments software platform to enable patients to create gene therapies for rare genetic diseases.

              • OpenAPI Specification 3.1.0 Available Now

                The OpenAPI Initiative (OAI), a consortium of forward-looking industry experts who focus on standardizing how APIs are categorized and described, released the OpenAPI Specification 3.1.0 in February. This new version introduces better support for webhooks and adds 100% compatibility with the latest draft (2020-12) of JSON Schema.

        • Security

          • Computer security world in mourning over death of Dan Kaminsky, aged 42

            When your Register hack asked Kaminsky why he hadn’t gone to the dark side and used the flaw to become immensely wealthy – either by exploiting it to hijack millions of netizens’ web traffic, or by selling details of it to the highest bidders – he said not only would that have been morally wrong, he didn’t want his mom to have to visit him in prison. You can read more technical info on the DNS flaw here.

            Besides discovering the domain-name system weakness, he had been a stalwart of the security research scene for years, and was a much-loved regular at conferences big and small. You can find a YouTube playlist of his DEF CON presentations, for instance, here. He would talk with and advise anyone – even paying the entrance fees for some researchers or letting them crash on his hotel room floor – and it was this generosity that people are overwhelmingly remembering this weekend.


            As a journalist, this was a blessing for your vulture – Kaminsky had no animosity to the press if they were trying to get the full story out, and would explain stuff quickly and simply to make sure coverage was accurate. This hack remembers cancelling dinner plans when he called late one afternoon with an interesting tale: you knew it was going to be a late night of reporting work though it would be worth it.

            There is now a move to see Kaminsky inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. It is an accolade he thoroughly deserves.

            In a statement thanking everyone for their kind words, Kaminsky’s family said he died as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis, and asked for privacy at this time.

          • Computer security world in mourning over death of Dan Kaminsky (The Register)

            The Register reports on the death of security researcher Dan Kaminsky. “Though Kaminsky rose to fame in 2008 for identifying a critical design weakness in the internet’s infrastructure – and worked in secret with software developers to mitigate the issue before it could be easily exploited – he had worked behind the scenes in the infosec world for at least the past two decades.”

          • Cybersecurity World Mourns Over Security Researcher Dan Kaminsky’s Passing

            On Saturday, April 24th, 2021, the computer security world was shaken by the news of the sudden death of Dan Kaminsky, a renowned hacker best known for his contributions in the realm of DNS security. Kaminsky was 42 years old.

            A regular speaker at prestigious cybersecurity conferences including DEFCON and Black Hat – both of whom have expressed their condolences on Twitter, Kaminsky is best known for his groundbreaking DNS cache-poisoning research that prompted an industry-wide movement to address a major Internet security weakness. Kaminsky is also credited with raising awareness of the severity of the 2005 SONY rootkit infections.

    • Finance

      • Cryptocurrency is an abject disaster

        Starting on May 1st, users of sourcehut’s CI service will be required to be on a paid account, a change which will affect about half of all builds.sr.ht users. Over the past several months, everyone in the industry who provides any kind of free CPU resources has been dealing with a massive outbreak of abuse for cryptocurrency mining. The industry has been setting up informal working groups to pool knowledge of mitigations, communicate when our platforms are being leveraged against one another, and cumulatively wasting thousands of hours of engineering time implementing measures to deal with this abuse, and responding as attackers find new ways to circumvent them.

        Cryptocurrency has invented an entirely new category of internet abuse. CI services like mine are not alone in this struggle: JavaScript miners, botnets, and all kinds of other illicit cycles are being spent solving pointless math problems to make money for bad actors. Some might argue that abuse is inevitable for anyone who provides a public service — but prior to cryptocurrency, what kind of abuse would a CI platform endure? Email spam? Block port 25. Someone might try to host their website on ephemeral VMs with dynamic DNS or something, I dunno. Someone found a way of monetizing stolen CPU cycles directly, so everyone who offered free CPU cycles for legitimate use-cases is now unable to provide those services. If not for cryptocurrency, these services would still be available.


        There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of cryptocurrency scams and ponzi schemes trussed up to look like some kind of legitimate offering. Even if the project you’re working on is totally cool and solves all of these problems, there are 100 other projects pretending to be like yours which are ultimately concerned with transferring money from their users to their founders. Which one are investors more likely to invest in? Hint: it’s the one that’s more profitable. Those promises of “we’re different!” are always hollow anyway. Remember the DAO? They wanted to avoid social arbitration entirely for financial contracts, but when the chips are down and their money was walking out the door, they forked the blockchain.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Green Horizons 2020 Exit Interview

        Our 400,000+ votes for 0.3% of the total vote falls in the middle range of Green presidential results. That is pretty good considering that the larger political context and dynamic of this election was the most difficult we have ever faced. 2020 was a referendum on Trump. We competed with a militant lesser-evilism among progressives that was desperately willing to settle for any Democrat to replace Trump.

        The larger political context of presidential races each year has always determined Green results far more than our candidates, message, or campaign execution. Greens generally do better when running against an incumbent Democrat who disappoints progressives than an incumbent Republican who scares progressives. Until the Greens are a major force in American politics and rooted in the political system with thousands elected to local offices and, on that foundation, to states legislatures and the US House, our presidential ticket will be like a cork bobbing in the sea of the larger political dynamic of that year. There are no shortcuts around building a mass-based party at the grassroots that can be our ship to steer our own way through these strong currents.

        Some have suggested running a celebrity is the shortcut to instant competitiveness. We have done that. We had an incomparable celebrity in 2000 with Ralph Nader. Nader had nearly universal name recognition and huge public favorability as an accomplished progressive reformer known as an advocate for the people. 2000 also had a more favorable two-party competition dynamic with Nader running for an open seat against Al Gore, the heir to eight years of Clinton centrism, and a not-yet-scary George W. Bush running as a “compassionate conservative.” Yet Nader still only received 2,882,955 votes for 2.7%. We got our second best result in 2016 when there was also an open seat and the two major party candidates were the most unpopular in polling history. Jill Stein received 1,457,216 votes for 1.1% in 2016.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • World IP Day: Promoting Progress

          Today, April 26, is World Intellectual Property Day. And in the U.S., Congress is granted the power to create copyrights and patents—two key forms of intellectual property—in the Constitution. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, grants Congress the power to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

          All too often, discussion of IP focuses on the second half of that clause—securing to authors and inventors their copyrights and patents. But the first half of the clause is crucial to understanding the true purpose of the U.S. intellectual property system.

          The goal of IP in the U.S. is not to create exclusive rights. The goal is to foster creativity—to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.” And that goal isn’t served by IP that is stronger than is needed any more than IP that is weaker than is needed. As the Supreme Court recently observed in Google v. Oracle, the award of exclusive rights “can sometimes stand in the way of others exercising their own creative powers” and “stifle the very creativity which that law is designed to foster.”

          That’s because the goal isn’t to reward past creativity—it’s to foster future creativity. That’s why the Court observed that the exclusive rights “should not grant anyone more economic power than is necessary to achieve the incentive to create.” Providing an exclusive right as a reward is part of providing that incentive. But if copyright or patent rights provide too much power to a rightsholder who has already created something, it may block others from exercising their own creativity, leading to less future progress.

        • World IP Day [Ed: A whole day named after a lie for lobbying purposes of robber barons and their loyal lawyers]

          Today is WIPO’s World IP Day. This year’s theme is “IP & SMEs: Taking your ideas to market”.

          Such a theme is fully in line notably with the latest IP developments of the European institutions and authorities as further described below.

        • Strong IP Protection A Priority For Current, Ex-USPTO Heads [Ed: USPTO doesn't do "IP" (it's not an ISP), it's doing trademarks and patents; maybe the publishers should learn to stop repeating lies and misnomers]

          The acting director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office joined forces with former agency heads Monday to highlight the importance of intellectual property rights, with ex-leader Andrei Iancu warning that loosening those rights could hamper global efforts to tamp down COVID-19.

          Iancu voiced concern about a World Trade Organization proposal to temporarily waive intellectual property rights to speed up global vaccine distribution. His remarks came during a webinar hosted by the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Licensing Executives Society to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day.

        • Software Patents

          • $3,000 for Cutting Edge Vision prior art

            The ’827 patent generally relates to a camera system, including voice recognition, one or multiple microphones, gaze tracking, touch sensitive inputs and others. The voice recognition unit is operable for, among other things, receiving multiple different voice commands, recognizing the vocal commands, associating the different voice commands to one camera command and controlling at least some aspect of the digital camera operation in response to these voice commands. The gaze tracking unit is operable for, among other things, determining the location on the viewfinder image that the user is gazing upon. One aspect of the touch sensitive inputs provides that the touch sensitive pad is mouse-like and is operable for, among other things, receiving user touch inputs to control at least some aspect of the camera operation. Another aspect of the disclosed invention provides for gesture recognition to be used to interface with and control the camera system. It is currently being asserted against HTC and Sonim Technologies.

          • $2,000 for Mobile Equity Corp prior art

            The ’058 patent generally relates to a system and method that a mobile device is used to initiate and execute a transaction between a customer and a merchant. It is currently being asserted against Walmart.

Richard Stallman Explains What’s Wrong With YouTube From a Free Software Perspective (Update: Transcript)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Google, Videos at 11:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation’s founder, talks about restrictions that exist when it comes to YouTube (the same still applies, except Flash, and it has gotten worse since)

Direct download as Ogg

Transcript added:


(intro music)

RMS: YouTube requires running non-Free Software. Either you have to run Flash Player or you have to run a non-Free JavaScript program. To watch a WebM video from YouTube requires running a non-Free JavaScript program. Although that’s


not inherently necessary. They could serve up the WebM files without that, but they don’t. So I can’t watch things on YouTube and I don’t. I’ve seen other people do it and it seemed that it worked even some months ago without having to log in. Are you saying that they’ve changed that?

Roy: Not necessarily but Google has had other ways to try to


keep track of the users. Increasingly there is linkage even in Android between the Google profiles of people and now they’re also linking the comments in YouTube to people’s Google profile.

RMS: I don’t think you should have a Google profile. At least if you do then you shouldn’t use it for very much. Android is becoming oppressive in its requirements for users to make


an account with Google. But Android is not Free Software. There is the Android source code that Google releases which is Free Software, but that’s quite different from the collection of software that comes in a phone that says it’s running Android. So if you want to see all the details of this, cause there are a lot of details, look at www.gnu.org/philosophy/android-and-users-freedom.html

At the EPO, the Word “Reform” Means Abolition (Abandonment of Staff)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Knocking down the house built half a century ago, predating the EU

Reform by construction

Summary: “Reform” seems to (nowadays) refer to something regressive, not progressive; since the Battistelli days, as a matter of fact, this term has been a misleading euphemism and with enough ‘reforms’ there won’t be an EPO left (at all)

The Central Staff Committee of the EPO recently wrote to António Campinos, whom Benoît Battistelli had left in charge of the corrupt Office management. Truth must be suppressed, right? Otherwise, there might even be arrests

“It is a self-destructive trajectory!”Central Staff Committee (CSC) members recently noted that, in relation to “Education and Childcare Reform” (a subject recently addressed in other letters of theirs; we’ve reproduced some of these), that “the President rejected the[ir] attempt. The consultation on the reform of the Education & Childcare Allowance will thus be a thing of the past on 29 April 2021.” That’s two days from now. “Consultation will be a thing of the past on 29 April 2021,” they noted in a message to staff.

Does staff still play any role whatsoever in EPO policies? Apparently not. The staff does all the actual work, but a bunch of corrupt bureaucrats make all the important decisions on behalf of some shadowy cabal of business people. This is no way to run a patent office!!! It is a self-destructive trajectory! One might think the examiners are empowered to make important decisions regarding patents and patentability, but actually the decisions “come from above” in the form of unlawful guidelines that even instruct examiners to grant European software patents (provided the applications contain some buzzwords like “hey hi”).

Silhouette of catholic preacher“In an open letter to the President,” the CSC said, “we requested that the reform of the Education & Childcare Allowance be adjourned, but that the proposal to amend Article 71 ServRegs be submitted for statutory consultation, for the purpose of extending the education benefits for the post-secondary education to employees who are nationals of the country where they will be serving in the next school year 2021-2022. The President was not impressed and maintained a GCC meeting for bringing the consultation process to a close. In this letter, we made one final attempt to reopen the discussion and make last-minute improvements possible.”

We’ve decided to reproduce (herein, below) this letter, which was authored or at least signed by Alain Dumont, and also the response from the “Mafia” don (the EPO’s staff internally refers to the management as “Mafia”; we’re not joking!)

Here is the letter from the CSC:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

ISAR – R.1081

GCC meeting of 29 April

Reference: sc21049cl-0.3.1/4.2.2
Date: 16.04.2021

Dear Mr President,

Thank you for sending us the agenda of the upcoming GCC meeting on 29 April.

The document on the reform of the Education and Childcare Allowance (GCC/DOC 2/2021) has been distributed “for consultation”. In the past, documents for reforms that profoundly affected staff were first distributed “for information”, followed by a final consultation before submission to the bodies of the Administrative Council, most notably the career reform initiated by your predecessor. This two-step approach would enable you to give due consideration to the observations and comments made by the GCC members at the first meeting.

The CSC is of the opinion that the same approach should be adopted here. Therefore, it requests that document GCC/DOC 2/2021 be reclassified in the category “for information” in accordance with Article 5(2) of the Rules of Procedure. Genuine consultation could then take place at a later GCC meeting.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

The response was as follows (dated “22.04.2021″):

re21052cl – 0.3.1/4.2.2
related sc21049cl

Mr Alain Dumont
Chairman Central Staff Committee

By email: xxxxxxxxxx@epo.org

Your letter dated 16 April 2021

Dear Mr Chair,

I refer to your letter dated 16 April 2021 requesting the document on the reform of the education and childcare benefits (GCC/DOC 2/2021) to be submitted to the GCC on 29 April 2021 for information rather than for consultation.

While some reforms in the past were indeed first submitted to the GCC for information in advance of a formal consultation to allow for exchanges of view to occur, this is not a procedural requirement under the GCC Rules of Procedure.

In the case at hand, extensive discussions and exchanges of information in relation to the education and childcare benefits have already taken place not only in the framework of my meetings with the CSC in September and November 2020, as well as in February 2021, but also in the context of the nine meetings of the Working Group over the past months.

The fact that GCC/ DOC 2/2021 is now submitted to the GCC for consultation therefore logically reflects the level of maturity of the discussions on the topic. It is also consistent with the timeline foreseen to submit the document to the BFC and AC for approval.

In the light of the above, I confirm that GCC/DOC 2/2021 will be submitted to the GCC on 29 April for consultation.

I look forward to a fruitful discussion.

Yours sincerely,
António Campinos

So basically, as usual, the staff is left out in the cold. The rights and the benefits of staff get taken away, little by little, and there’s nothing staff can do about it. Meanwhile, the Office milks the cow and kills the goose for its golden eggs; sooner or later there will be no skilled staff left at the Office, no reputation, and not many valid patents. In some public comments people have already pointed out that the number of applications will be accordingly affected and the proportion that’s valid (as per EPC and courts, not the EPO) decreased significantly. This assures harm to Europe.

The Phone Song

Posted in Humour at 8:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Phones spy on me, I have new notifications, CAN'T STOP!

Summary: Culture reduced to staring at the small screens of devices that are instruments of control over their carriers

IT FOLLOWS me around

Notifications inbound
What is that sound?
New distractions now found

The apps no longer run
Upgrades can be fun
Oh, what have I done?
Politics they shun

Gyroscope always on
My data they’ve won
Is that the sign of a drone?
Google and Apple just groan

The microphone is my “assistant” at home
It knows where else I roam
It’s integrated into Chrome
Intercepted like an ECHELON dome

Phones are all fun and games
They connect Jennifer and James
Meeting across the Thames
Without even knowing each others’ names

Enjoy your romantic dinner
Face down at the screen reader
Who exactly is the winner?
Patience running thinner

Life so so much richer
GAFAM is your teacher!

[Meme] IBM Stinks

Posted in IBM at 8:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

systemd vendor lock-in, CentOS exists, Devuan exists, Let's attack FSF and GPL

Summary: IBM has begun showing too much of its true face or true colours; the community is paying closer attention

ZDNet Evidently Knows the Word ‘Master’ Isn’t Racist (When Not Paid by IBM and Microsoft to Pretend That It is)

Posted in Deception at 11:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Moments ago: (source, albeit spammy)

Train at your own pace to become a master ethical hacker for $43

Summary: An IBM- and Microsoft-funded propaganda site (run by a marketing firm) tells us that “MASTER” is an offensive word. But when paid for other kinds of lies/spam suddenly the word is OK. Is IBM aware? The company that celebrates its founder who saluted to Hitler trying to troll the community and portray us all, collectively, as racist and unruly cats to be herded, carrying the burden of the “original sin” that’s calling a branch in Git “master” (as per defaults)

Links 26/4/2021: GNU Linux-Libre 5.12 and FWUPD 1.6

Posted in News Roundup at 11:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Weekly Roundup – Ubuntu 21.04, Kernel 5.12, and More

      Here’s a quick recap from this week’s DebugPoint.com weekly roundup (Week Ending April 25, 2021). Have a quick read.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Run Linux on Refurbished Mini PCs – Processor – Part 2

        If you need a fast computer but don’t have much to spend, consider picking up an off-lease refurbished system. These PCs are a few years old and have seen some use, but they are often heavily discounted and offer a lot of bang for your buck.

        This series recommends what to choose when buying a refurbished mini PC to run Linux as a desktop computer. For this article we focus on the CPU.


        The central processing unit, or CPU as it’s known in the computer world, is a very important part of the computer, being that it’s the main central processor in your computer.

        For each generation of processor produced, Intel and AMD are guilty of producing a range of CPUs often offering very little difference between them. It’s almost as if these big chip manufacturers want to bamboozle their customers.

        The vast majority of refurbished Mini PCs on the market use Intel silicon. They often contain a desktop CPU with low power requirements.

        One of the main reasons why a refurbished mini PC is an enticing prospect rests with the fact that CPUs only get slightly faster with each generation produced. The days when Intel launched a next generation chip that’s 3 times faster than the previous generation has long since sailed. It’s all because the heat generated by putting billions of very small transistors even closer together is impossible to counter even with efficiency improvements.

        Many Intel CPUs produced 8-10 years ago have comparable single core speeds with their latest generation. Let’s illustrate this with an example.

      • What Linux Distro Students Should Use?

        Of course, it will always depend on your academic needs and the technical specs you’ve got, yet knowing what Linux distro to choose will help you to understand all these important distribution differentiators and choose the relevant architecture support that will work best for your system.

        The best part about Linux is that you can pick the distro according to your hardware and make some modifications. If you belong to the new Linux users, it is good to check Ubuntu Linux or Elementary OS to learn the basics and see what works best for your needs.

        Likewise, if you are an advanced user, there is no reason to ignore Manjaro Linux or Slackware. Of course, it will also require relevant hardware to run all the complex operations, yet if you are majoring in Data Science or work with video or audio applications, this might be a good choice!

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Full Circle Weekly News #207

        EndeavourOS 2021.04.17


        OpenSSH 8.6 Release with Vulnerability fix


        Nginx 1.20.0 released


        Node.js 16.0 JavaScript Server Platform Released


        Tetris-OS – you guessed it


        University of Minnesota Suspended from Linux Kernel Development after Submitting Questionable Patches



        OpenVPN 2.5.2 and 2.4.11 update


        Microsoft begins testing support for running Linux GUI applications on Windows


        Ubuntu 21.04 Distribution Release


        Chrome OS 90 released


        OpenBSD adds initial support for RISC-V architecture


        First version of InfiniTime, firmware for open PineTime smartwatches


        ToaruOS 1.14


        Kuroko 1.1 programming language


      • DEVLOG 2: Another Plasma Panel Bugfix!
    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.12 Released With Many Essential Additions

        Linux Kernel 5.12 brings Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense controller driver and Linux Kernel 5.13 development window kicks off with this stable release.

        Linux Kernel 5.12 is a well-turned release with many essential additions.


        Linux Kernel 5.12 introduces the concept of idmapped mounts. This allows to map the user id of a mount to a different one. This makes possible to share files more easily between multiple users or multiple machines especially in complex scenarios. ID mapping also makes possible to share files from the host with unprivileged containers without having to change ownership permanently.

        This initial implementation comes with ports for FAT and ext4, with other file systems being prepared in next releases.

      • M5Stack UnitV2 Linux AI camera features Sigmastar SSD202D SoC

        But with mainline Linux support progressing nicely, it was only a matter of time until others make a product based on the processor, and M5Stack Unitv2 is an “AI” camera combining SSD202D processor with 128MB DDR3, and a GC2145 2MP camera sensor.

      • Linus Torvalds: Linux 5.12 is a small release but the next one is going to be bigger

        Linus Torvalds announced the arrival of the Linux kernel 5.12 on Sunday, which he flagged as a small update – but one that will be followed by bigger changes in version 5.13.

        “Both the shortlog (appended) and the diffstat are absolutely tiny, and it’s mainly just a random collection of small fixes in various areas,” Torvalds noted.

      • Linus Torvalds hints at massive Linux update coming soon

        Even as he rolls out the latest 5.12 release of the Linux kernel after a week-long delay, principal developer Linus Torvalds has warned that the next release might be even bigger in terms of new features.

        The release cycle for the 5.12 release was an eventful one. Despite seeing off major disruptions, including both natural disasters and man-made incidents, Torvalds was forced to delay the release by a week to allow developers some extra time to make sure everything was in order.

        Linux kernel RCs are pushed out every Sunday by Torvalds, typically seven times per release cycle. Sometimes though, he allows for an extra week of testing, primarily due to the number of changes in the release cycle, as in 5.12.

      • Linux 5.13 Merge Window Kicks Off With Microsoft Surface Improvements, Gigabyte WMI Driver – Phoronix

        Following yesterday’s Linux 5.12 release the merge window for Linux 5.13 is officially open. One of the first pull requests of this new merge window is for the platform-drivers-x86 updates, which primarily encompass Intel/AMD Linux laptop driver support improvements and other related x86 platform drivers.

        Hans de Goede of Red Hat has submitted the x86 platform drivers work for Linux 5.13. Notably this pull request includes a lot of work on Microsoft Surface laptops. There is now the Microsoft DTX driver for the Surface “Detachment System” for the laptop/tablet handling. Notably is now working keyboard and touchpad support on newer Microsoft Surface laptops. To now getting the working touchpad/keyboard on newer Microsoft Surface devices under Linux has required out-of-tree code but now all should be working well with Linux 5.13+.

      • University of Minnesota security researchers apologize for deliberately buggy Linux patches

        Last week, some University of Minnesota (UMN) security researchers kicked a hornet nest, when it was revealed that they’d tried to insert deliberately buggy patches into Linux. Greg Kroah-Hartman, the well-respected Linux kernel maintainer for the Linux stable branch, responded by banning not only them but any UMN-connected developers from contributing to the Linux kernel. Now, the researchers have sort of, kind of, apologized for their mistakes: “We sincerely apologize for any harm our research group did to the Linux kernel community.”


        They then explained, “The “hypocrite commits” work was carried out in August 2020; it aimed to improve the security of the patching process in Linux. As part of the project, we studied potential issues with the patching process of Linux, including causes of the issues and suggestions for addressing them.”

        And, in any case, “This work did not introduce vulnerabilities into the Linux code. The three incorrect patches were discussed and stopped during exchanges in a Linux message board, and never committed to the code. We reported the findings and our conclusions (excluding the incorrect patches) of the work to the Linux community before paper submission, collected their feedback, and included them in the paper. ["On the Feasibility of Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software via Hypocrite Commits"].

      • Linux 5.13 Adding KCPUID For Helping To Bring-Up New x86 CPUs – Phoronix

        The “x86/misc” pull request this morning for the newly-opened Linux 5.13 merge window adds the new KCPUID utility contributed by Intel.

        KCPUID is being added to the Linux kernel source tree by Intel for reporting CPU features as an alternative to the likes of /proc/cpuinfo. KCPUID s a utility to live within the kernel source tree for reliably reporting raw CPU features where as /proc/cpuinfo can sometimes misreport if features were disabled at boot-time and prior to new feature bits being added for /proc/cpuinfo reporting.

    • Applications

      • Richard Hughes: fwupd 1.6.0

        I’ve just released the first release of the 1.6.x series, and since 1.5.x some internal plugin API has been changed and removed. Although we’ve tested this release on all the hardware we have regression tests for, bugs may have crept in; please report failures to the issue tracker as required.

        There are several new plugins adding support for new hardware and a lot of code has been migrated to the new plugin API. The public libfwupd API also has some trivial additions, although no action is required.

      • FWUPD 1.6 Released For Latest Linux Firmware Updating Capabilities

        Version 1.6 of FWUPD is now available for firmware updating of motherboard BIOS and other device firmware under Linux.

        FWUPD along with the Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) continue to be a triumphant success with growing industry adoption from major hardware vendors for updating a variety of device/system firmware under Linux. FWUPD and LVFS have vastly improved the Linux firmware updating service in recent years compared to long ago when firmware updates often meant booting into Windows, booting a FreeDOS image, or similar extra hurdles to jump through in order to manage such updates.

      • MuSE 4.0 Free Software Digital Audio Workstation Brings Redesigned UI

        MuSE is a MIDI and audio sequencer with audio recording and editing support. MuSE supports plug-ins to form a complete digital audio workstation. This GPL-licensed audio software is now up to version 4.0 and with it comes a redesigned user-interface.

        MuSE 4.0 features a redesigned user-interface along with “a huge amount of quality of life improvements.” MuSE 4.0′s redesigned UI features a tabbed UI, a new dark theme, numerous new toolbars, new keyboard shortcuts, and a lot of other polishing compared to prior versions of MuSE.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Search in Wikipedia via the Terminal in Linux

        One of the best things about Linux is its ability to do everything through the terminal. It may never have occurred to you, but you may also have the ability to search and retrieve information from Wikipedia through the majestic terminal itself. In today’s article we will answer the question of how and what we need to browse and search Wikipedia through the terminal line.

      • An Open-Source App to Control All Your RGB Lighting Settings

        No matter whether it is your keyboard, mouse, CPU fan, AIO, and other connected peripherals or components, Linux does not have official software support to control the RGB lighting.

        And, OpenRGB seems to be an all-in-one RGB lighting control utility for Linux.


        OpenRGB is an impressive utility that not only focuses on Linux but also available for Windows and macOS.

        It is not just an idea to have all the RGB lighting settings under one roof, but it aims to get rid of all the bloatware apps that you need to install to tweak lighting settings.

        Even if you are using a Windows-powered machine, you probably know that software tools like Razer Synapse are resource hogs and come with their share of issues. So, OpenRGB is not just limited for Linux users but for every user looking to tweak RGB settings.

        It supports a long list of devices, but you should not expect support for everything.

      • Change text size in Putty Permanently / Windows / Linux / FreeBSD – LateWeb.Info

        PuTTY is an SSH and telnet client, developed originally by Simon Tatham for the Windows platform. PuTTY is open source software and can be install on Linux distributions and also in BSD platforms like FreeBSD.

      • How to Shutdown or Reboot Debian 10

        This small tutorial shows two ways of shutting down or rebooting a Debian 10 server or desktop using the terminal.

      • How to install Kitematic docker manager on CentOS 7/8 – Linux Shout

        Kitematic is a popular Docker GUI management platform that is available for Ubuntu, macOS, and Windows OS. However other distros such as CentOS, OpenSUSE, Fedora, RHEL, etc can build it from source, however, that is not a feasible option for beginners. Thus, instead of that, I tried to bring one easy way to install the Kitematic rpm package on CentOS 7/8, AlmaLinux, OpenSUSE, and others using Alien package convertor.

        In my testing, it worked perfectly, thus, here are the steps which I followed to have this docker management platform on my RPM-based Linux system.

      • How To Install phpMyAdmin on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install phpMyAdmin on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, PhpMyAdmin is a PHP web application that lets us manage a MariaDB/MySQL database from an intuitive graphical interface. It provides a user-friendly web interface to access and manage your databases. To ease usage to a wide range of people, phpMyAdmin is being translated into 72 languages and supports both LTR and RTL languages.

        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 phpMyAdmin on an AlmaLinux 8.

      • Ping command basics for testing and troubleshooting

        I’m sure you recognize that ping is a common and relatively simple command. And, like many basic commands, there are some great options and techniques that make the tool even better. This article explores various tricks and tips to level up your ping knowledge.

        I begin with some basic ping options and then interpret ping results. After that, I explore some advanced use cases. Finally, I cover some ping alternatives and additional approaches.

      • How to install Snap Store on OpenSUSE Leap or Tumbleweed

        Snap Store is the graphical user interface to install various packages available on the Snapcraft repository. Although we can use the command-line interface to use Snapd, however, the GUI will make things much easier. Thus, here is the tutorial to install Snap Store on OpenSUSE Leap.

        Well, the official repository of OpenSUSE comes with all the necessary and popular packages we need, however, yet there are some software or programs that are only available for Ubuntu or Debian, we can install them on this Linux as well using SNAP.

      • How to Create a Sudo User in Ubuntu Linux

        In this tutorial, we will see how to create a new user in Ubuntu 20.04 and how to grant sudo access to the user. As you may aware, any users who want to run commands that require root privileges need to either switch to the root account and submit the command or they should be part of the sudo group.

      • How To Install Neofetch on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Neofetch on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Neofetch is an extremely simple shell script that is used to display your system’s important information on the terminal. Neofetch is mainly developed to be used in screenshots of your system. It currently supports 150+ operating systems including Linux, BSD, Mac OS X, iOS, and Windows.

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

    • Games

      • Heroic Games Launcher for Epic Games on Linux version 1.5.8 is out fixing a critical bug

        Have plenty of games on the Epic Games Store? The Heroic Games Launcher continues maturing to allow you to download and play them on Linux through a native application.

        While the Heroic Games Launcher is a native application built for Linux, sadly Epic still don’t support Linux at all with their store so games will be run with compatibility layers like Wine. Version 1.5.8 is out now adding in macOS support along with initial support for downloading from the Unreal Marketplace – making it easier than ever to grab your goodies on Linux.

      • Project Zomboid has recently seen a nice surge in players on Steam | GamingOnLinux

        Project Zomboid, the long-running Early Access zombie survival game has recently seen a very interesting surge, repeatedly blowing away their previous records for players online.

        As of yesterday, April 25 it managed a new peak player count of 7,191. For a game that’s been in Early Access since 2013, it’s actually pretty incredible to finally see it getting some player recognition. It’s a great game too, one that has continued to evolve in some pretty huge ways.

        While the “stable” build is generally quite behind, they also have a “IWBUMS” (I Will Back Up My Save) Beta on Steam you can opt into at any time, which I imagine most players are on. The upcoming build has masses of new content including new gameplay styles, new character creation, new zombie behaviour, improved combat and gunplay, a new blood system, visibly ripped and damaged clothing, new sound effects, improvements to the levelling system, new visuals for many parts of the game, an improved tutorial – and the list goes on forever.

      • Townseek is an adorable game about a shark exploring the world by airship | GamingOnLinux

        Now and then a Game Jam entry comes along that’s simply wonderful and the latest discovery is Townseek, a game about flying a shark around the world.

        “Born undersea, but with an appetite to soar the skies and explore the world! Now that you’ve got yourself a reliable airship, it’s time to make those dreams come true! Travel far and wide, discovering the exotic landmarks that the world has to offer! Meet the locals from towns far away from each other! Engage in the old tradition of exchanging goods for money! Fish like sharkfolk have never fished before!”

        Completely absurd of course, but the whole idea and the presentation is simply marvellous. Created for the Global Game Jam 2021 and made in Unity, there’s a nice Linux build available to try out on itch.io. It’s free too but you can also donate to the developer.

      • Railroad dispatching management sim Rail Route to release on June 23, try out the new demo | GamingOnLinux

        You’ve built cities, factories with never-ending conveyor belts, rail lines connecting up everything and more – but have you been in charge of train dispatch before? Rail Route brings another fresh take.

        “Rail Route is a management/tycoon/puzzle game based on railroad dispatching. Control the traffic, build out your own network, then optimize and expand. Unlock new technologies, upgrade the infrastructure, and automate operations! Design and share your own maps with the in-game editor.”

      • The Best Open-Source Game I’ve Ever Played

        Your girlfriend’s a cutie, ain’t she? Too bad you’ll have to fight for her…in terms of rap battles. In Friday Night Funkin’, you play the role of… Boyfriend. No, literally, that’s his name. A blue-haired kid that can only speak like this: “beep bo bop”. A kid that’s got a knack for singing into the mic, with his other hand jammed into the pocket of his jeans. Someone that’s got blue balls — literally. You’ll see what I mean when he “breaks”. As if it couldn’t be any less original, his girlfriend is called — yup, you guessed it — Girlfriend. Her dad? Daddy Dearest. The mother? Mommy Must Murder.


        Want to give it a try? You can play the game right through your browser on itch.io. If you want the standalone download, you can get the Windows, Mac, and Linux versions. Beware, however, as of right now the Linux version is running slightly behind the other platforms. If you want the latest version, you can compile the source.

        Source, you say? Yes, that’s right — the game is not only free but it’s open-source! It’s written in this language called Haxe and is distributed under the Apache-2.0 license.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Announces Various App Upgrades With Cutting-Edge Features

          Alongside their Plasma Desktop Environment, KDE develops a huge range of other apps collectively named KDE Gear. These range from content creation apps such as Kdenlive and Kwave to utilities such as Dolphin, Discover, and Index.

          KDE Gear is something new. It includes heaps of improvements to almost all the KDE apps, which we will be exploring here.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME’s GUADEC 2021 Conference Will Take Place July 21–25 to Future-Proof FOSS

          GUADEC 2021 will be GNOME Foundation?s second virtual conference, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will last five days, from July 21st to July 25th. The best part about online conferences is that anyone can attend, saving money on travel costs, accommodation, etc.

          GUADEC is the place where GNOME users and developers from all over the world gather together to share knowledge and discuss the new features and changes of the next major release of the GNOME desktop environment, in this case we?re talking about the upcoming GNOME 41 release, and this year is now different.

    • Distributions

      • 2021 hardcore list of linux without elogind and other systemd trash

        Basically, after some odd experiences with Nutyx and its full turn into systemd-dome, basic functionality of starting X (or alternative graphoc environments) from console with startx/xinit without a display manager, using a simple window manager instead of a desktop, and using very basic utilities that WE KNOW upstream are still healthy (meaning not entangled with init or login management or bus messaging), such as vte terminals, filemanagers (thunar and pcmanfm) was impossible. Why was it impossible? Because they REQUIRE elogind and dbus to be running in order for them to start.

        If such development spreads there has to be a differentiation between distros that include such crap like elogind, for obvious and overly discussed reasons, and DO NOT make their use necessary everywhere that there is no need to make it necessary. In other words, there seems to be a new trend from utilizing elogind to accommodate easily the needs for upstream desktop dependencies, but some distros go out of their way to enforce the use of elogind EVERYWHERE THEY CAN!

        There is a qualitative difference between drinking socially, a cocktail, a beer or two, some wine while dining with friends and comrades, AND being a full blown alcoholic where the first thing you do when opening your eyes, is to reach next to your couch, where you slept with your shoes on, and grab the bottle of 151′ proof rum to rinse your mouth, then swallow the mouthwash. HUGE difference! Nutyx for example, tried the stuff for a little while, and now it has an IV bottle connected to an artery. The next stage is to have runit or runyx starting the shutdown process right after the runit executable itself, being dependent on elogind!

      • 3 beloved USB drive Linux distros

        There are few Linux users who don’t remember the first time they discovered you could boot a computer and run Linux on it without ever actually installing it. Sure, many users are aware that you can boot a computer to an operating system installer, but with Linux it’s different: there doesn’t need to be an install at all! Your computer doesn’t even need to have a hard drive in it. You can run Linux for months or even years off of a USB drive.

        Naturally, there are a few different “live” Linux distributions to choose from. We asked our writers for their favourites, and their responses represent the full spectrum of what’s available.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Continuous learning in Project Thoth using Kafka and Argo

          Thoth’s main role is to advise programmers about different software stacks based on requirements specified by the programmer. The component thoth-adviser then produces a locked software stack.

          This article shows the tools and workflows that let Thoth intelligently respond to programmer requests when it can’t find the relevant packages or related information.


          With a constantly evolving supply of information, providing guarantees to users is difficult. Thoth aggregates information as needed through event-driven learning by using event streams (in Kafka) to trigger complex container workflows (in Argo). Both technologies are highly extensible, so new features are easy to add.

        • Deploying the Mosquitto MQTT message broker on Red Hat OpenShift, Part 2

          The first half of this article introduced the Mosquitto Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) message broker and showed how to build Mosquitto into an image suitable for use in a container. In this second half of the article, you will configure and deploy the Mosquitto image into an application that runs on Red Hat OpenShift.

        • The NeuroFedora Blog: Next Open NeuroFedora meeting: 26 April 1300 UTC

          Please join us at the next regular Open NeuroFedora team meeting on Monday 26 April at 1300UTC in #fedora-neuro on IRC (Freenode). The meeting is a public meeting, and open for everyone to attend. You can join us over:

        • Fedora Magazine: Exploring the world of declarative programming

          Most of us use imperative programming languages like C, Python, or Java at home. But the universe of programming languages is endless and there are languages where no imperative command has gone before. That which may sound impossible at the first glance is feasible with Prolog and other so called declarative languages. This article will demonstrate how to split a programming task between Python and Prolog.

          In this article I do not want to teach Prolog. There are resources available for that. We will demonstrate how simple it is to solve a puzzle solely by describing the solution. After that it is up to the reader how far this idea will take them.

        • Flatpak 1.12 Development Kicks Off with Steam Improvements, Better Support for TUI Programs

          Flatpak 1.12 will be the next major release of the open-source Flatpak system for building, distributing, and running sandboxed desktop applications on GNU/Linux distributions after the Flatpak 1.10 series. It promises several new features like better support for the Steam Linux Runtime mechanism, allowing Steam to launch games with its own container runtime as /usr. In fact, this new feature allows any subsandbox to have a different /usr and/or /app.

          Flatpak 1.12 also promises improved support for TUI (text-based user interface) programs like GNU Debugger, a highly performant reimplementation of ostree prune designed specifically for archive-mode repositories, and support for Flatpak instances of the same app-ID to share their /tmp directory, $XDG_RUNTIME_DIR environment variable, as well as /dev/shm directory.

          • Flatpak 1.11.1 Brings Changes For Steam, Better Support For Command Line Programs

            Flatpak 1.11.1 is out this morning as the first development step towards the eventual Flatpak 1.12 stable release.

            Being the first development release of the new series, Flatpak 1.11.1 does bring some notable feature changes. One of the changes with Flatpak 1.11.1 worth mentioning is allowing sub-sandboxes to have a different /usr and/or /app. This feature is being used initially by the Flatpak Steam effort to launch games within its own container run-time showing up as a replaced /usr. Basically, being able to handle the Steam Linux Runtime within a Flatpak sandboxed environment.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • ROS enterprise support: 15 things you need to know

          With the announcement of Robot Operating System (ROS) Extended Security Maintenance (ESM), we have received many questions from our robotics community interested in knowing more about this enterprise solution. Some of these questions are related to ROS Kinetic End-of-life, others explore how ROS ESM enables security compliance and our enterprise support for ROS. This blog aims to answer some of the most common questions. For more background, please have a look at What is ROS ESM?.


          Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) for Ubuntu underpins ROS ESM and provides extended Linux kernel and open source security updates for the Ubuntu base OS. This includes key infrastructure components, like Ceph, OpenStack and Kubernetes, as well as open source applications, like Python 2, OpenCV3, PostgreSQL, NGINX, and more. Although not part of ROS, many of these applications are commonly bundled with robotics applications.

        • OpenStack CentOS alternatives: 7 reasons to migrate to Ubuntu

          Looking for OpenStack CentOS alternatives after recent changes in the CentOS project?

          Think Ubuntu – the most popular Linux distribution for OpenStack deployments, after CentOS, across development and production environments.

          Wondering what makes Ubuntu different? Here are seven reasons you should consider Ubuntu when planning your CentOS migration.


          You can install OpenStack on Ubuntu via regular deb packages available in the official Ubuntu Archive. As a result, it seamlessly plugs into the existing Ubuntu ecosystem. In addition, you can leverage various official projects, including OpenStack Charms and OpenStack Ansible which enable fully automated OpenStack installation and operations on Ubuntu.

          Refer to the official installation instructions on the Ubuntu website for more information on how to set up a production-grade OpenStack cluster.

          Or try MicroStack – a pure upstream OpenStack distribution, designed for small-scale and edge deployments that you can install with minimal effort. Even on your workstation!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Collabora using AI to enhance VR hand tracking in Monado, the open-source OpenXR runtime

        Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (XR) is continuing to be a very interesting space with lots of innovation going on and Collabora are at the front of this with Monado, the open source OpenXR runtime.

        Reminder: Monado is the first OpenXR runtime for Linux. Monado aims to jump-start development of an open source XR ecosystem and provide the fundamental building blocks for device vendors to target the GNU/Linux platform.

        In a recent blog post update, the team behind it talked about ways of tracking hand poses and the challenges that come along with it. So what are they doing to improve it? Hooking up Machine Learning / AI instead of just relying on vision-based methods of tracking.

      • How we built an open source design system to create new community logos

        As interaction designers on Red Hat’s User Experience (UX) Design and Ansible product teams, we worked for about six months to build a logo family with the Ansible community. This journey started even earlier when a project manager asked us for a “quick and easy” logo for a slide deck. After gathering a few requirements, we presented a logo to the stakeholders within a few days and without much need for iteration. A few months later, another stakeholder decided they would also benefit from having imagery for their materials, so we repeated the process.

        At this point, we noticed a pattern: logo resources like these no longer represented individual requests but rather a common need across the Ansible project. After completing several logo requests, we had built a makeshift series that—without conscious branding and design conventions—created the potential for visual inconsistencies across the Ansible brand. As the logo collection grew, we recognized this looming problem and the need to combat it.

      • The social contract of open source

        Even though I gave a keynote with an accompanying blog post all about setting expectations for open source participation, I felt it was time to do another blog post to directly address the issue of entitlement by some open source users which is hurting open source, both for themselves and for others. I want to get the point across that open source maintainers owe you quite literally nothing when it comes to their open source code, and treating them poorly is unethical. And to me, this is the underlying social contract of open source.

        Do open source projects that produce open source code need to provide anything beyond this? I say no: open source software starts and stops with the software and its license. But what if you want to have a more social aspect to your open source project and somehow be reachable by users? In that case I believe there’s a bit more to be expected in the exchange and it mostly revolves around treating each other like human beings.

      • Events

        • Welcome to Red Hat Summit 2021: A truly global event

          Red Hat Summit is the premier open source event and it’s entering the second year as a virtual experience. We’re truly excited about the chance to meet, virtually, with Red Hat customers, users and partners from around the world. And we do mean around the world, as this year’s Red Hat Summit is a truly global event with a choice of three schedules for our friends all over the globe.

          This year Summit is expanding to become a flexible conference series with a two-part immersive virtual experience as well as a planned global tour of smaller in-person events.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Community Member Monday: Necdet Yücel

          I’m one of the old translators of LibreOffice. I have translated hundreds of thousands of words, but I have no motivation to work on translations for a while.

          Since 2015, the year Gülşah Köse become a LibreOffice developer, more than 15 of my students made contributions to LibreOffice. One of them is Mert Tümer’s, who is an active LibreOffice developer. Gülşah’s work was a major influence for LibreOffice developments in Turkey. I am very proud of my students, who started with her and continued until Gökçe Küler.


          I think we have no choice but to direct students to free software in universities. Because it’s the only chance to to study how the programs work. Reading well-written code, changing it, compiling and redistributing it are the main requirements for being good developers. If we can explain them to students, they will become free software developers.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Linux-Libre 5.12 Kernel Released for Those Who Seek 100% Freedom for Their PCs

            Based on the recently released Linux kernel 5.12, the GNU Linux-libre 5.12 kernel is packed with the same new features as the upstream kernel, but it cleans up many of the newly added drivers, including the BCM VK accelerators, MT7921E wifi, MXL692 dvb, OcteonTX2 crypto, as well as Intel ICE docs and Qualcomm AArch64 DTS files.

            In addition, the GNU Linux-libre 5.12 kernel adjusts the Allegro-DVT driver as it is now out of staging, and cleans up the drivers for Adreno GPU and x86 touchscreens since they were modified in the upstream Linux 5.12 kernel to request new blob names, thus providing 100% free drivers and code to those seeking 100% freedom for their GNU/Linux PCs.

          • GNU Linux-libre 5.12-gnu (Freedo misses Tasha)
            GNU Linux-libre 5.12-gnu cleaning-up scripts, cleaned-up sources, and
            cleaning-up logs (including tarball signatures) have been available
            since last night from our git-based release archive
            git://linux-libre.fsfla.org/releases.git/ tags
            Tarballs and incremental patches are also available at
            The cleaning up scripts have been unchanged since first published for
            There were many newly-added drivers requiring cleaning up: OcteonTX2
            crypto, MXL692 dvb, MT7921E wifi, and BCM VK accelerators.  Some further
            cleanups were needed in Intel ICE docs, and in Qualcomm AArch64 DTS
            files.  The Allegro-DVT driver graduated out of staging and thus
            required adjustments to its cleaning up rules.  Drivers for Adreno GPU
            and for x86 touchscreens were changed upstream to request new blob
            names, so cleaning up adjustments were required.
            This release is in memory of Tasha, Jason Self's feline companion of
            many years.  Jason has long contributed to GNU Linux-libre and
            maintained the popular Freesh distribution of GNU Linux-libre .debs.
            Tasha shared his home, brought him joy, and is sorely missed.
            For up-to-the-minute news, join us on #linux-libre of irc.gnu.org
            (Freenode), or follow me on P2P or federated social media.  Check the
            link in the signature for directions.
            Be Free! with GNU Linux-libre.
            What is GNU Linux-libre?
              GNU Linux-libre is a Free version of the kernel Linux (see below),
              suitable for use with the GNU Operating System in 100% Free
              GNU/Linux-libre System Distributions.
              It removes non-Free components from Linux, that are disguised as
              source code or distributed in separate files.  It also disables
              run-time requests for non-Free components, shipped separately or as
              part of Linux, and documentation pointing to them, so as to avoid
              (Free-)baiting users into the trap of non-Free Software.
              Linux-libre started within the gNewSense GNU/Linux distribution.
              It was later adopted by Jeff Moe, who coined its name, and in 2008
              it became a project maintained by FSF Latin America.  In 2012, it
              became part of the GNU Project.
              The GNU Linux-libre project takes a minimal-changes approach to
              cleaning up Linux, making no effort to substitute components that
              need to be removed with functionally equivalent Free ones.
              Nevertheless, we encourage and support efforts towards doing so.
              Our mascot is Freedo, a light-blue penguin that has just come out
              of the shower.  Although we like penguins, GNU is a much greater
              contribution to the entire system, so its mascot deserves more
              promotion.  See our web page for their images.
            What is Linux?
              Linux is a clone of the Unix kernel [...]
            (snipped from Documentation/admin-guide/README.rst)
          • GNU Linux-Libre 5.12 Released After More Driver Deblobbing, Dedicated To A Cat

            Freshly re-based against yesterday’s Linux 5.12 kernel, GNU Linux-Libre 5.12-gnu is now available as the latest version of this GNU cleansed kernel now carrying a codename of “Freedo Misses Tasha”.

            With GNU Linux-Libre 5.12 there was more driver de-blobbing changes that occurred in the name of trying to prevent binary-only “non-free” firmware from being loaded by the system even if it means reduced hardware support/functionality or missing security updates.

      • Programming/Development

        • The Software Release Life Cycle in DevOps: Why Reinvent The Model?

          In my previous and the first article in this series, I presented a new form and model of DevOps and described its essential components and workflow.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Rakudo Weekly News: 2021.17 Releastable

            Alexander Kiryuhin has announced the Rakudo Compiler 2021.04 Release. A little later than originally planned, because some issues were discovered that needed to be fixed, either in core or in the ecosystem. Kudos to Alexander and all the other people that worked on this release!

            This release comes with new IO::Path methods, and support for Julian Dates in the DateTime class, and a now term that is 38x as fast. Also many stability and speed improvements and other assorted features and fixes. JJ Merelo‘s Alpine-raku docker containers are also updated, as well as the Rakudo Linux Packages (now also including *buntu 21.04) by Claudio Ramirez. A new Rakudo Star release should be available soon.

        • Java

    • Standards/Consortia

      • OpenCL 3.0.7 Released With New Extensions

        The Khronos Group used the International Workshop on OpenCL (IWOCL 2021) to release OpenCL 3.0.7 as the latest OpenCL 3 revision that brings with it some new extensions.

        This OpenCL 3.0 maintenance release brings a handful of new extensions in addition to the usual bug fixes and clarifications. One of the interesting additions with OpenCL 3.0.7 is cl_khr_pci_bus_info for exposing PCI bus information of the OpenCL device. There is also now cl_khr_extended_bit_ops for built-in functions to insert/extract/reverse bits in a bitfield.

        With OpenCL 3.0.7, cl_khr_suggested_local_work_size is a new query for finding out about the suggested local work group size for a kernel on an OpenCL device. This update also adds cl_khr_spirv_linkonce_odr to separately compile and link C++ programs as well as cl_khr_spirv_extended_debug_info for SPIR-V modules to use OpenCL DebugInfo.

      • Vulkan 1.2.177 Released To Help Graphics Translation Layers

        Vulkan 1.2.177 is out today as the newest version of the Vulkan specification and this time around introduces one new extension that aims to help OpenGL translation layers and potentially other implementations atop this graphics API.

        Besides the usual internal and public bug fixes, the main addition to Vulkan 1.2.177 is the VK_EXT_provoking_vertex extension. VK_EXT_provoking_vertex is for changing the provoking vertex convention from the default of the first vertex to instead the last vertex. This change is to match the OpenGL convention of using the last vertex.


        This though isn’t only of relevance to desktop OpenGL but OpenGL ES and Direct3D 11 too may benefit from this extension for matching the provoking vertex convention. This extension was originally first proposed back in 2019 by a Google engineer while now has made it to the official spec.

  • Leftovers

    • Vishal Gupta: Ramblings // On Sikkim and Backpacking

      Sikkimese people, are honestly some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. The blend of Lepchas, Bhutias and the humility and the truthfulness Buddhism ingrains in its disciples is one that’ll make you fall in love with Sikkim (assuming the views, the snow, the fab weather and food, leave you pining for more).

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • FBI gets warrant to HACK PRIVATE SERVERS?

            It’s true. And crazy. The FBI has used a warrant issued by a Texas court to hack into Microsoft Exchange servers which had been previously compromised by hackers with ties to the Chinese government.

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (drupal7, gst-libav1.0, gst-plugins-bad1.0, gst-plugins-base1.0, gst-plugins-good1.0, gst-plugins-ugly1.0, jackson-databind, libspring-java, opendmarc, openjdk-11, and pjproject), Fedora (buildah, containers-common, crun, firefox, java-11-openjdk, nextcloud-client, openvpn, podman, python3-docs, python3.9, runc, and xorg-x11-server), Mageia (connman, krb5-appl, and virtualbox), openSUSE (apache-commons-io, ImageMagick, jhead, libdwarf, nim, nodejs-underscore, qemu, ruby2.5, shim, and sudo), Red Hat (firefox, thunderbird, and xstream), and SUSE (apache-commons-io, java-11-openjdk, kvm, librsvg, and python-aiohttp).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Researchers Found Privacy Leaks with Apple’s Airplay

              For a long time, our easiest option for sharing images and files was to attach them to emails. Advancements were made in texting, and it joined email as a popular sharing mode.


              AirDrop allows the direct transfer of images, videos, and files between iPhones, iPads, and Macs. By default, the option shows options to devices near you that are being used by your contacts.

              A TU blog post explains, “AirDrop uses a mutual authentication mechanism that compares a user’s phone number and email address with entries in the other user’s address book” to determine which available devices belong to your contacts.

              But people with a Wi-Fi-capable device can still launch an attack on your device – even if they are a complete stranger. If you launch the sharing option on your device, you become discoverable to an attacker in your vicinity.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Halberd Corporation Files International Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Application on Treating and Curing Covid-19 Infection Utilizing a Laser
        • SPC reiterates separate comparison principle in novelty assessment [Paywall]

          In a landmark case, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) IP Tribunal clarified that two reference documents which disclosed technical solutions that point…

        • Oral Argument in Minerva Surgical Inc. v. Hologic, Inc.

          The Supreme Court heard oral argument last week in Minerva Surgical Inc. v. Hologic, Inc. over the issue of assignor estoppel (transcript).

          As a reminder, the case arose in an infringement suit over U.S. Patent Nos. 6,782,183 and 9,095,348. The patents were directed to “procedures and devices for endometrial ablation.” Claim 9 of the ’183 patent and claim 1 of the ’348 patent were considered by the Court to be representative…


          The Federal Circuit affirmed with regard to assignor estoppel issue in an opinion by Judge Stoll joined by Judges Wallach and Clevenger. The panel affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment based on assignor estoppel with regard to Minerva’s invalidity defenses in this litigation regarding the ’348 patent.

        • Earth Day 2021: analysis of green technology patent trends [Ed: Greenwashing using patents is a terrible idea because those patents actively harm the planet and access to solutions. But the propaganda mills of lawyers will stop at nothing.]

          Despite a slight dip in patent filings in 2020, a boom in green technology innovation seems likely

        • World IP Day 2021: navigating the pandemic through ingenuity

          The EPO and intellectual property offices around the globe today celebrate World IP Day. A little over a year ago, the world was plunged into a pandemic that has changed the way we work and live. Despite challenges and setbacks, human perseverance and ingenuity is paving the road to recovery.

          For World IP Day 2021, the EPO would like to thank inventors everywhere and highlight just some of the solutions that have inspired us during the pandemic.

        • Software Patents

          • Software patenting and digital creative arts in Europe – Carpmaels & Ransford [Ed: Software patents are not legal, but the litigation giants don't care what's legal and what's not; they support the criminal, corrupt regime at the EPO, which flagrantly breaks the law to flood their "market" with patents (for more lawsuits)]

            Securing a patent for software inventions in Europe is not without its challenges. At first glance it seems that the European Patent Office (EPO) explicitly excludes the patentability of computer programs, giving rise to a common misconception that it is impossible to patent most software inventions. However, the application of the EPO’s exclusions does, in fact, allow for the patentability of software in certain situations.

            The body of case law surrounding digital creations, and the software that produces them, is a particularly interesting and ever-developing area. Digital creative arts and computer graphics, particularly for use in simulation, animation, and video gaming, are rapidly growing markets in the software space. Existing strong growth has been catalysed by an especially sedentary and indoor 2020, with the gaming industry reportedly up 20% in 2020 and the animation and VFX market due to grow by 9% in 2021. We can therefore expect protection for inventions in this space to increase in value alongside its market growth.

          • Webinar on AI-Generated Inventions [Ed: The "hey hi" hype has become a go-to avenue for illegal software patents or software-generated patents]
          • Call routing matrix: technical [Ed: The EPO's Technical Board of Appeal lacks independence and all the Boards are bullied or lobbied by the Office, so the legitimacy of their decision has little or nothing to do with law or EPC. Hence software patents slip in.]

            This decision concerns an European patent application for a wireless device to manage cross-network telecommunication services. While the device is technical per se, the decision depends on whether the distinguishing feature(s) of the application are novel and involve an inventive step over the prior art. Here are the practical takeaways from the decision T 1352/18 (Call routing matrix/AVAYA) of 23.3.2021 of Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.03:

      • Trademarks

        • Turkey: Domestic patent, trademark, design applications rise in Q1 [Ed: Just registering things does not imply or beget innovation etc. but it's certainly helpful to lawyers]

          Turkey saw a remarkable rise in domestic applications of patent, trademark, and design in the first quarter of this year despite the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s industry and technology minister said Monday.

          “Domestic patent applications have increased by 28%, trademark applications have increased by 47% and design applications have increased by 15% year-on-year [in January-March],” Mustafa Varank told a virtual meeting on World Intellectual Property Day.

          This significant progress has been achieved by the enormous investment in human capital and R&D facilities under our administrations, Varank said.

        • In-house counsel reveal how they protect suggestive trademarks

          Counsel from Kraft Heinz, Nestlé and Ziff Davis say distinctive graphics and strong clearance searches can help firms enforce marks such as ‘Vagisil’

        • Amazon Launches IP Accelerator in Canada to Help Small Businesses Secure a Trademark and Protect Their Brands
        • Jeff Bezos loses trade mark battle at the EU General Court

          In an interesting decision earlier this year, the General Court upheld the EUIPO Fifth Board of Appeal’s decision regarding a likelihood of confusion between the Bezos Family Foundation’s application for EU trade mark (EUTM) registration of ‘VROOM’, the name of a global programme aimed at facilitating early brain development, and the earlier EUTM ‘POP & VROOM’, owned by SNCF (France’s state-owned rail company).

          In particular, the Foundation had argued that the elements ‘pop’ and ‘vroom’ in the earlier mark were onomatopoeic expressions which referred to an engine sound, since the opponent’s company is an affiliate of a well-known railway company and the goods designated by that mark concerned the field of transport. The General Court disagreed. According to the Court, this could not in any event reduce the distinctive character of the opponent’s mark in respect of those goods considered as a whole.


          In relation to the comparison of the marks, the General Court considered first that, irrespective of the fact that the onomatopoeic expression ‘vroom’ is not the first part of the opponent’s mark, the Foundation’s mark is included entirely in the opponent’s mark. According to case law, that fact alone is, in principle, liable to create both a strong visual and phonetic similarity between the marks at issue (For Tune v EUIPO (T‑815/16)).

          Secondly, although, as the applicant had claimed, the relevant public normally attaches greater importance to the first part of words, this does not apply in all cases, nor does it call into question the principle that the examination of the similarity of trade marks must take into account the overall impression produced by them.

          Furthermore, contrary to the Foundation’s claim, the onomatopoeic expression ‘vroom’ is not descriptive and could not be regarded as registered only in respect of computer software and mobile applications that relate to the field of transport alone. Therefore, the fact that the onomatopoeic expression ‘vroom’ could be understood as referring to an engine sound, which could potentially be perceived by the relevant public as alluding to that sector, is not sufficient to establish a sufficiently direct and specific relationship between that onomatopoeic expression and computer software and mobile applications as a whole.


          The decision is a nice application of the well-established approach to onomatopoeias. The General Court considered that ‘vroom’ would not be necessary recognized by the public in accordance with this meaning. This is in line with the EUIPO Guidelines, which attach importance to the relevant context.

[Meme] 100% of the Time Working for the 1%

Posted in Humour, IBM at 10:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

You Are An IBM Employee 100% Of The Time; OK sir, work liberates me anyway

IBM Employees 100% Of The Time! 101% for 70% the salary, 99% of the time: If 'work liberates', when one would be optimally free (liberated) if working 100%, just like in forced labour camps or Chinese sweatshops

Summary: If ‘work liberates’, then one would be optimally free (liberated) if working 100% of one’s time, just like in forced labour camps or Chinese sweatshops

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