04.26.21

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.

        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

        https://endeavouros.com/news/our-april-release-is-available/

        OpenSSH 8.6 Release with Vulnerability fix

        https://lists.mindrot.org/pipermail/openssh-unix-dev/2021-April/039306.html

        Nginx 1.20.0 released

        http://nginx.org/

        Node.js 16.0 JavaScript Server Platform Released

        https://nodejs.org/en/blog/release/v16.0.0/

        Tetris-OS – you guessed it

        https://github.com/jdah/tetris-os

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

        https://lkml.org/lkml/2021/4/21/143

        https://cse.umn.edu/cs/statement-cse-linux-kernel-research-april-21-2021

        OpenVPN 2.5.2 and 2.4.11 update

        https://github.com/OpenVPN/openvpn/releases/tag/v2.5.2

        Microsoft begins testing support for running Linux GUI applications on Windows

        https://devblogs.microsoft.com/commandline/the-initial-preview-of-gui-app-support-is-now-available-for-the-windows-subsystem-for-linux-2/

        Ubuntu 21.04 Distribution Release

        https://releases.ubuntu.com/21.04/

        Chrome OS 90 released

        https://chromereleases.googleblog.com/2021/04/stable-channel-update-for-chrome-os_21.html

        OpenBSD adds initial support for RISC-V architecture

        https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-cvs&m=161914575319702&w=2

        First version of InfiniTime, firmware for open PineTime smartwatches

        https://www.pine64.org/2021/04/22/its-time-infinitime-1-0/

        ToaruOS 1.14

        https://github.com/klange/toaruos/releases/tag/v1.14.0

        Kuroko 1.1 programming language

        https://github.com/kuroko-lang/kuroko/releases/tag/v1.1.0

      • 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
            {scripts,sources,logs}/v5.12-gnu.
            
            Tarballs and incremental patches are also available at
            <https://www.fsfla.org/selibre/linux-libre/download/releases/5.12-gnu/>.
            
            
            The cleaning up scripts have been unchanged since first published for
            -rc6.
            
            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.
            
            https://social.bobcall.me/@jxself/106022448796141042
            
            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.
            
            http://www.gnu.org/distros/
            
              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.
            
            http://www.fsfla.org/anuncio/2010-11-Linux-2.6.36-libre-debait
            
              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.
            
            http://libreplanet.org/wiki/LinuxLibre:Devices_that_require_non-free_firmware
            
              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.
            
            http://linux-libre.fsfla.org/
            
            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.

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