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Links 6/12/2020: Debian Installer Bullseye Alpha 3, Skrooge 2.24.6

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: December 6th, 2020

      It’s been a really great week for Linux news and releases. The KDE Community and PINE64 kicked off the pre-oreders of the next PinePhone Linux phone community edition, System76 teased their first-ever AMD-only Linux laptop, and the Cinnamon 4.8 and Budgie 10.5.2 desktop environments arrived with many goodies.

      On top of that, we had a major OpenZFS (formerly ZFS on Linux) release, the Ubuntu Unity 20.10 distribution launched a flavor for Raspberry Pi devices, Canonical published major Linux kernel updates for Ubuntu, and Raspberry Pi OS received yet another major update.

    • Linux Weekly Roundup

      We hope that you are doing well? We had a peaceful week in the world of Linux Releases but it became busier to the end.

      We looked at a new Linux Distro, by the same developer of Ubuntu Unity, called Ubuntu Web Remix (powered by Ubuntu inspired by Chrome OS), Debian 10.7, Manjaro 20.2, ExTiX 20.12, SparkyLinux 2020.12, and Bluestar Linux 5.9.11 has been released.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux PC company ZaReason goes out of business due to COVID-19

        But one of the nice things about buying a computer running free and open source software is that there’s no shortage of community-based support including forums, chats, and social media groups. And existing customers who are unhappy with the operating system that came with with their computer (the company used to offer a choice of various Linux distros), can always download and install the operating system of their choice as a replacement.

        Meanwhile if you’re in the market for a new PC that comes with Linux pre-installed, there are a growing number of options. System76 has been around for years, and Purism has been making interesting moves in this space (including launching one of the first Linux smartphones).

        In Europe, there’s Tuxedo Computers and SlimBook (which also sells Windows computers).

        And major PC makers including Dell, Lenovo, and HP offer a number of systems with Linux these days as well.

      • Well-Known Linux Laptop Seller Forced to Close
        And sadly for customers of the California-based PC seller its cessation means any active warranty or planned software support has ended too.

        In a storefront notice ZaReason write: “…our product line has been getting smaller and our tech support has been slowing down to a crawl. Unfortunately, the pandemic has been the final KO blow. It has hit our little town hard and we have not been able to recover from it.”

      • Always on Top: An Often Ignored But Handy Feature in Linux Desktop

        “Always on Top” is one of those features that people are either not aware of or they simply ignore it.

        And this surprises me. Because for me, it is one of the features that I simply love to use on Linux desktop.

        If you are not aware of it already, (almost) all applications have this “Always on Top” option. Usually, when you open a new application, it gets the focus and occupies the screen above all other running applications.

        With the “Always on Top” option selected, the application window will always be visible, no matter what other application you open.

    • Server

      • GSoD 2020: Improving the API Reference Experience

        The Google Season of Docs project brings open source organizations and technical writers together to work closely on a specific documentation project.

        I was selected by the CNCF to work on Kubernetes documentation, specifically to make the API Reference documentation more accessible.

        I'm a software developer with a great interest in documentation systems. In the late 90's I started translating Linux-HOWTO documents into French. From one thing to another, I learned about documentation systems. Eventually, I wrote a Linux-HOWTO to help documentarians learn the language used at that time for writing documents, LinuxDoc/SGML.

        Shortly afterward, Linux documentation adopted the DocBook language. I helped some writers rewrite their documents in this format; for example, the Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide. I also worked on the GNU makeinfo program to add DocBook output, making it possible to transform GNU Info documentation into Docbook format.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Web Remix 20.04.1

        Today we are looking at Ubuntu Web Remix 20.04.1. It is created by the developer of Ubuntu Unity Remix and it is inspired by Chrome OS with the power of Ubuntu and looks really good. It uses Gnome 3.36, Linux Kernel 5.4, and uses about 900 MB of ram when idling. Enjoy!

      • Apply Crazy Audio Filters Using PulseEffects - YouTube

        PulseAudio has it's issues but one of the cool things you do get to use if you run it is PulseEffects which is a suite of effects you can use to modify how you sound input and output basically sounds I guess.

      • GNU World Order 383

        Linux, Flatpaks, Android apps, and ChromiumOS on a Lenovo Chromebook

    • Kernel Space

      • Dell Getting Linux Power Management Optimized For Their Latest Systems + Upcoming Tiger Lake Desktop - Phoronix

        Dell's Linux engineers continue working on improving the Linux kernel's handling around S0ix ACPI sub-states for greater energy savings.

        In particular one area that has been problematic is the Intel e1000e network driver that previously disabled S0ix flows due to regressions on some systems with the i219-LM controller. Proper S0ix support though is now critical since Intel effectively ended S3 support with Tiger Lake mobile processors and thus forcing S0ix states for power savings.

      • Linux Appears Close To Supporting LiFi Light-Based Networking With pureLiFi - Phoronix

        PureLiFi, one of the leaders when it comes to Li-Fi for high-speed, light-based wireless technology, has been spending the past few months bringing up their open-source Linux driver to the mainline kernel for their devices.

        The pureLiFi devices like other Li-Fi designs use light rather than radio frequencies for data transmission with promises of multi-Gbps speeds, better reliability, low latency, and better security. It's surely interesting and will be fun to see how Li-Fi plays out in the coming quarters/years -- 802.11bb is expected to be formally released in 2021~2022 for firming up the Li-Fi standard.

      • Intel's Habana Labs AI Driver With Linux 5.11 Begins Prepping For Future ASICs - Phoronix

        Well before Intel bought out AI startup Habana Labs this company with their compelling AI training and inference accelerators has been maintaining an open-source kernel driver in the Linux kernel. That has fortunately continued under Intel's ownership to no surprise and coming up with the Linux 5.11 cycle are more improvements to this accelerator driver for both the Gaudi AI Training and Goya AI Inference products.

      • Better Support For Microsoft Surface Laptops On Linux Is Coming With "SAM" - Phoronix

        Better support for Microsoft Surface laptops on Linux is slowly coming to the mainline kernel.

        After a lot of infrastructure work around the Surface platform support, in recent weeks patches have been under review for enabling the Microsoft Surface System Aggregator Module (SAM / SSAM) on Linux. The Microsoft Surface System Aggregator Module is found on later generation Surface devices and amounts to being an embedded controller. The SAM on some models is responsible not only for battery status handling and thermal reporting but also HID keyboard and touchpad input support.

      • The New NTFS Linux Driver Updated With Better Compression Handling - Phoronix [Ed: Assimilation tactics]

        One of the surprises this year in the Linux kernel world was Paragon Software wanting to upstream their "NTFS3" kernel driver that supports read-write operations on Microsoft NTFS file-systems and is much more full-featured than the existing read-focused NTFS kernel driver or the user-space NTFS FUSE driver. The driver hasn't yet been mainlined but continues to be updated in preparing for that milestone.

        This week saw the "NTFS3" kernel driver patches revved for a fourteenth time as it continues undergoing review for hopefully being included mainline in a kernel cycle or two if all goes well. Paragon was quick to address early feedback following a rather rough first patch and they've been quick to iterate it in response to upstream developer feedback.

      • Intel + Microsoft Continue Work On Replacing More SMM "Black Boxes" With PRM - Phoronix [Ed: Always keeping Linux a step behind to make life hard for users]

        Given all the headaches and concerns from the early days of UEFI SecureBoot, for longtime Linux users hearing Microsoft is working on another firmware-level standard in the name of security may raise concerns... Microsoft in conjunction with Intel has been spearheading the Platform Runtime Mechanism (PRM) that is about moving more code out of the System Management Mode (SMM) and executing it within the OS/VMM context. PRM remains a work-in-progress but the Windows support is already ready within Windows Insiders builds while the Linux support will come after the ACPI specification around it has been finalized.

    • Applications

      • HP's Linux Imaging and Printing Drivers Now Support Ubuntu 20.10 and Debian 10.6

        The biggest change of the HPLIP 3.20.11 release, which comes two months after HLPIP 3.20.9, is support for Canonical's latest Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) operating system, as well as Debian Project's Debian GNU/Linux 10.6 "Buster" operating system point release.

        This means that Ubuntu 20.10 users can now use IPP supported printers as this HPLIP 3.20.11 addresses a USB print issue from the previous release, which also affected the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) and Linux Mint 20 operating system series.

      • 10 Best Free and Open Source Remote Display Software

        Remote Desktop Control displays the screen of another computer (via Internet or local area network) on a local screen. This type of software enables users to use the mouse and keyboard to control the other computer remotely. It means that a user can work on a remote computer as if he or she was sitting directly in front of it, regardless of the distance between the computers.

        Remote desktop applications typically use either the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) or Virtual Network Computing (VNC) protocol. Other remote desktop protocols include Remote Frame Buffer Protocol, Apple Remote Desktop Protocol, NX technology, the X Window System, and the Independent Computing Architecture. In order to establish a remote connection, both the host/server and client have to support the same protocol.

      • Experience the useful features of the Xedit text editor

        The X11 graphic server, distributed by, has a few token applications that show how to program with its provided tools. These range from the TWM desktop to the silly but hypnotic Xeyes. It also includes a text editor called Xedit, a seemingly simple application with enough hidden features to make it a serious editor.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Fail2Ban on Debian 10 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Fail2Ban on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Fail2Ban is a utility that is used to detect and prevent brute force intrusion. By scanning logs for certain actions, such as repeated failed login attempts, Fail2Ban is able to alter firewall configurations to halt further events.

        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 Fail2Ban on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • Finding drivers for your nvidia card and installing nvidia 340 |

        We are going to look at this old computer and put the latest ArcoLinux on it. Then we decide to install nvidia drivers.

      • How to Install and Configure ZSH on Linux Distributions

        Customizing and replacing the Linux terminal bash doesn’t only make it look different from the traditional Linux shell look; it also makes your bash shell more powerful and efficient. On Linux distribution, you can install the ZSH and replace the conventional bash shell. You might get confused with the ZSH and the Tilix terminal emulator; let me clear, the Tilix is just an emulator, where the ZSH is a powerful bash shell for Linux. As the ZSH is more powerful than the current default bash shell, I think Linux might consider the ZSH to set it as the default bash shell. The ZSH is helpful for multitasking and bash-scripting. To use the Z-shell on your Linux system, you don’t need to know any bash scripting knowledge.

      • What are inodes in linux? - The Linux Juggernaut

        An inode is a data structure that contains metadata about a file. When the file system stores a new file on the hard disk, it stores not only the contents (data) of the file, but also extra properties like the name of the file, the creation date, its permissions, the owner of the file, and more. All this information (except the name of the file and the contents of the file) is stored in the inode of the file.

      • How to Create a Linux Bootable USB Flash Drive [Tutorial]

        Whether you are a Linux newbie or a professional admin, having a Linux bootable USB can be handy in a number of situations. It allows users to experience modern Linux distributions without having to install them on their machine first. Luckily, creating a Linux live USB is not that much of a hard job. In this guide, we will present you with several ways to create one for yourself. We are not going to cover some of the advanced features like adding persistence or encryption, though. Nevertheless, this guide should be able to get you started and start experimenting on your own.

      • A guide to Setting advanced file permissions in linux - The Linux Juggernaut

        In our previous post, we have discussed about how to set the standard file permissions in our linux system. In this guide we will see how to set more advanced permissions to our files.

      • How to Install IntelliJ IDEA 2020.3 via Official Linux Tarball in Ubuntu | UbuntuHandbook

        This simple tutorial shows how to install IntelliJ IDEA 2020.3 via its official Linux tarball via PPA.

        For those don’t like Snap and Flatpak packages, IntelliJ IDEA offers official Linux tarball in its download page. You can download the package, extract, and run the executable file to launch the IDE.

        To make things easy, an installer script was made to automatically download the tarball from Jetbrains website, extract the source to /opt/ directory for global use, and finally create an app shortcut so you can launch the program from system application menu.

      • A beginner's guide to using hard links in linux - The Linux Juggernaut

        Every file on the Linux filesystem starts with a single hard link. The link is between the filename and the actual data stored on the filesystem. Even if you delete the original file, the hard link will still has the data of the original file because the hard link acts as a mirror copy of the original file. In this guide, we will see how to create and manage hard links

      • 4 commands you should know to compress files in linux - The Linux Juggernaut

        A common task on most modern operating systems is to combine and compress multiple files into a single file. This could be in order to store files on a smaller device, to make it easy to download files from a website, or to merge and compress files for email transport. This guide focuses on some of the more common Linux utilities that merge and compress files.

      • How to set standard file permissions in linux - The Linux Juggernaut

        Linux operating system allows multiple users to work on the same system simultaneously without disrupting each other. Because of this feature, Individuals sharing access to files pose a risk exposing classified information or even data loss if other users access their files or directories. To address this, we can specify how much power each user has over a given file or directory by setting file permissions.

      • How to manage ownership of files in linux

        The users and groups of a system can be locally managed in /etc/passwd and /etc/group, or they can be in a NIS, LDAP, or Samba domain. These users and groups can own files. Actually, every file has a user owner and a group owner, as can be seen in the following screenshot.

      • A hands-on guide to using groups in Linux - The Linux Juggernaut

        In Linux, Users can be listed in groups. Groups allow you to set permissions on the group level instead of having to set permissions for every individual user. In this guide, we will see how to get the advantage of using groups in our Linux system.

      • How to manage passwords in Linux - The Linux Juggernaut

        In our previous guide, we have discussed on how to secure our passwords in Linux. In this tutorial, we will see how to manage passwords in our Linux system.

      • 3 ways to create and secure passwords in linux
      • [SOLVED] How to enable or fix EditOption in Shutter on Ubuntu/Arch

        In a Linux system, only a few tools are best for taking a screenshot with more advanced options like Edit Photos, Share Image Directly to your server and many other features.

        What happens I have recently installed a shutter in pc system and found Edit Option is not working, after doing research found that this is a dependencies issues.

        So, we will share you how to fix the edit option in shutter.

      • GNU Linux Debian 10 – how to install kvm virtualization (qemu)
      • How to install and use Neofetch on desktop and mobile - Neowin

        If you’ve spent any time looking around Linux subreddits, you may have seen some desktop screenshots where the user has their terminal displaying their system’s specs next to the logo of the operating system they use. While other programs can display information like this, one of the common options is called Neofetch – a program written in bash and available on all the popular operating systems and niche ones.

      • How to Enable AUR repository on Manjaro Linux to install packages - Linux Shout

        Manjaro that is based on Arch is the best way to understand and learn Arch Linux commands. The good thing it is available with all popular Desktop environment interfaces, thus, whether you are an XFCE or Gnome lover, you will have it on Manjaro, out of the box.

        The default package manager of Manjaro or Arch Linux is Pacman that we use to install or update pre-build packages available in its repo, however, to go one step further we can use AUR.

      • How to install Stremio in Manjaro Linux without command line - Linux Shout

        We already have created a tutorial on how to install the Stremio app on Ubuntu Linux Desktop and here we are with Manjaro, though it is not much popular distro as compare to Debian one, however yet a beautiful Arch-based Linux that is easy to use and handles packages graphically, out of the box.

      • How to control mpv via the shell using Playerctl and mpv-pris | Hund

        With the help of Playerctl it’s possible to control various media players like mpv, VLC, cmus, mpd, Spotify and even web browsers using the shell. Because I’m only using mpv myself, that’s what I’m going to talk about here.

        For this to work you need a plugin called mpv-mpris. It adds support for controlling mpv using the standard media keys by implementing support for the MPRIS D-Bus Interface Specification.

      • Setting the BIOS in Asus P8Z77-V LE |

        We investigate how to get inside the bios of this Asus computer. It might be a different in every computer.

        In our case F8 is what we need to get into the bios or the setup or the settings.

        We show in the video all the settings so we can boot into Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Skrooge 2.24.6 released

          The Skrooge Team announces the release 2.24.6 version of its popular Personal Finances Manager based on KDE Frameworks.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Raspberry Pi OS Has a New Release with Improved Audio and Printing Support

          The last update of the Raspberry Pi OS in 2020 is here and it looks like it brings some nice improvements, especially around audio and printing. First, the distro is now using PulseAudio as default sound server instead of ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture).

          This change alone enables out-of-the-box Bluetooth audio support, adds support for playing sounds from multiple sources at the same time, especially when using HDMI output, lets you switch the sound from HDMI to a USB sound card while a video is playing, and makes it easier to manage the default input and output devices.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • How to Emerge Stronger in the Post-Pandemic New Normal [Ed: Article by IWB, who brought GNU/Linux to IBM]

          “What now?,” asked a recent McKinsey article on the implications of Covid for business. “Over the past six months, they have reorganized supply chains, set up remote operations, and made tough financial decisions. But without a COVID-19 vaccine yet available, not much feels different, and the summer pause hasn’t done much to relieve fatigue.”

          “One priority, then, is to reenergize the organization - to act rather than react. Even as the COVID-19 crisis continues to create a world of uncertainty, the goal must be to rebuild for the longer term. Companies that are strong and resilient will be better placed to survive and prosper. Those are qualities that can’t be taken for granted; they need to be cultivated.”

          But, how can a company, - regardless of size or industry, - formulate a rebuilding strategy for the longer term in such an uncertain environment? As former president Dwight Eisenhower famously said when he was the overall Commander of Allied Forces in WWII: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.” In other words, rather than doing so on-the-fly, planning during highly uncertain times requires that companies thoroughly map out their rebuilding strategy, and quickly and flexibly react to the continuing changing circumstances.

        • Openness is the key to innovation, history shows |

          In the first part of this article series—an extended review of the book How Innovation Works by Matt Ridley—I examined Ridley's characterization of innovation: it's gradual, incremental, and collective, and involves extensive collaboration between parties. This, I argued, is why open organization principles are so important and play a major role in fostering innovation.

          In part two of the series, I reviewed Ridley's assessment of the environments where innovation and discovery thrive, and I demonstrated some essential characteristics of the innovation process.

          Now, in this concluding part of my review, I bring these ideas alive by recounting case studies of innovative discoveries throughout history.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-49

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. EPEL 6 has reached end-of-life. Fedora 34 Change proposal which require infrastructure changes are due on Wednesday, 16 December. Congratulations to the newly-elected members of Council, FESCo, and Mindshare.

        • Fedora + Raspberry Pi 4

          As stated in the wiki, #Fedora is still not officially supported on the #Raspberry Pi 4.

      • Debian Family

        • SparkyLinux’s December 2020 Debian Bullseye ISOs Ship with Linux Kernel 5.9

          SparkyLinux 2020.12 comes with up-to-date packages from the Debian Testing software repositories, where the Debian Project develops the next major release of their operating system, Debian GNU/Linux 11, dubbed Bullseye. SparkyLinux’s packages have been synced with the Debian Testing repos as of December 3rd, 2020.

          This is the first release to ship with the latest Linux 5.9 kernel series for top-notch hardware support. The Linux kernel 5.9.11 is included by default in the December 2020 ISOs, but users will also be able to install the latest Linux kernel 5.9.12, as well as the 6th Release Candidate of the upcoming Linux kernel 5.10 LTS from SparkyLinux’s unstable repositories.

        • And the last few architectures are getting done - Debian 10.7 edging ever closer

          And we're through the live images as far as we can reasonably go. There remain a couple of MIPS architectures to build and IBM s390x - we have no hardware to test these.

          It's now 23:30 UTC - so that's 12 1/2 hours since we started and Sledge has another couple of hours to wait before the last images can be signed and the image release can be pushed.

        • Debian Installer Bullseye Alpha 3 release
          The Debian Installer team[1] is pleased to announce the third alpha
          release of the installer for Debian 11 "Bullseye".

          Improvements in this release ============================

          * apt-setup: - Remove mention of volatile repo from generated sources.list file (#954460). * base-installer: - Improve test architecture, adding support for Linux 5.x versions. * brltty: - Improve hardware detection and driver support. * cdebconf: - Make text interface report progress more accurately: from the very beginning, and also as soon as an answer to a question has been given. * choose-mirror: - Update Mirrors.masterlist. * console-setup: - Improve support for box-drawing characters (#965029). - Sync Terminus font with the xfonts-terminus package. - Fix Lithuanian layout (#951387). * debian-cd: - Only include Linux udebs for the latest ABI, making small installation images more useful. * debian-installer: - Bump Linux kernel ABI to 5.9.0-4 - Drop fontconfig tweaks introduced in the Debian Installer Buster Alpha 1 release (See: #873462). - Install kmod-udeb instead of libkmod2-udeb. - Mimick libgcc1 handling, for libgcc-s1. - Clean up the list of fake packages. - Replace the mklibs library reduction pass with a hack, copying[124] from the host filesystem for the time being. - Add explicit build-depends on fdisk on arm64, amd64 and i386 now that util-linux doesn't depend on it anymore. - Add grub2 to built-using (#968998). - Fix FTBFS with fakeroot by adjusting the /dev/console check (see #940056). * debian-installer-utils: - Adjust fetch-url's use of file descriptors for recent udev versions (#967546). * debootstrap: - Only install apt-transport-https on stretch and earlier, HTTPS support was merged into the core apt package for buster (#920255, #879755). * finish-install: - Drop upstart support entirely (#923845). * fonts-noto: - Fix Sinhala support in the installer (#954948). * grub-installer: - Update templates, to make them fit for UEFI systems and new kind of system storage media (#954718). * kmod: - Split kmod-udeb off of libkmod2-udeb and actually ship the libraries in libkmod2-udeb (#953952). * locale-chooser: - Activate new languages: Kabyle, Occitan. * partman-auto: - Bump /boot sizes in most recipes from between 128 and 256M to between 512 and 768M (#893886, #951709). - Import partman-auto/cap-ram support from Ubuntu, to allow capping RAM size as used for swap partition calculations (#949651, #950344). This allows us to cap the minimum size of swap partitions size to 1*CAP, and their maximum size to a maximum of 2 or 3*CAP depending on architecture. Default is set to 1024, thus capping swap partitions to between 1 and 3GB. * partman-efi: - Remount /cdrom read-write if it also happens to be used as /boot/efi (#967918). - Remove usage of the efivars module, and stop looking for /proc/efi. efivarfs is the current interface, and /proc/efi went away a long time ago. * partman-partitioning: - Include ntfs-3g-udeb on arm64. * partman-target: - Add a hint to the new fstab about using `systemctl daemon-reload` after changing /etc/fstab (#963573). * systemd: - Install 60-block.rules in udev-udeb (#958397). The block device rules were split out from 60-persistent-storage.rules in v220. This fixes a longstanding bug where UUIDs would not be used for filesystems on initial installation. * util-linux: - Take over eject-udeb (#737658). * win32-loader: - Introduce UEFI boot manager and Secure Boot support (#918863).

          Hardware support changes ========================

          * debian-cd: - Enable graphical installer for arm64. - Exclude lilo-installer and elilo-installer udebs for all archs. - Stop making XFCE single CD images. - Stop making DVD ISO images 2 and 3 for amd64/i386 (they are still available via jigdo). * debian-installer: - Update Firefly-RK3288 image for new u-boot version. - [arm64] Add support for firefly-rk3399, pinebook-pro-rk3399, rockpro64-rk3399, rock64-rk3328 and rock-pi-4-rk3399 to u-boot images and netboot SD card images. - [arm64] Make all netboot sdcard images start at offset 32768, for compatibility with rockchip platforms. - Add OLPC XO-1.75 laptop support (#949306). - Enable GTK build for arm64. - Add support for NanoPi NEO Air (#928863). - Add wireless-regdb-udeb to Linux builds that include nic-wireless-modules. - efi-image: Improve sizing calculation to reduce wasted space. - efi-image: Include DTB files in the ESP for armhf and arm64 systems. This should make U-Boot based systems work better when booting via UEFI. * flash-kernel: - Add FriendlyARM NanoPi NEO Plus2 (#955374). - Add Pinebook (#930098). - Add Pinebook Pro. - Add Olimex A64-Olinuxino and A64-Olinuxino-eMMC (#931195). - Add SolidRun LX2160A Honeycomb and Clearfog CX (#958023). - Add SolidRun Cubox-i Solo/DualLite variants (#939261). - Add Turris MOX (#961303). * linux: - Move any compression modules to kernel-image udeb; drop compress-modules udeb. - Make input-modules udeb depend on crc-modules. - [arm64] Add i2c_mv64xxx to i2c-modules udeb. - [arm64] Add drivers/pinctrl to kernel-image udeb. - [arm64] Add analogix-anx6345, pwm-sun4i, sun4i-drm and sun8i-mixer to fb-modules udeb. - [arm64] Add pwm-sun4i to fb-modules udeb. - [arm64] Add armada_37xx_wdt to kernel-image udeb (#961086). - [mips*] Drop hfs-modules udeb. - [x86] Add crc32_pclmul to crc-modules udeb. - Add crc32_generic to crc-modules udeb. - Reverse order of cdrom-core and isofs/udf udebs: the latter ones now require the former. - Drop zlib-modules udeb (zlib_deflate is now always built-in). - Add f2fs-modules udeb.

          Localization status ===================

          * 78 languages are supported in this release. * New languages: Kabyle, Occitan. * Full translation for 16 of them.

          Known bugs in this release ==========================

          * There seems to be no known major bug as of yet.

          See the errata[2] for details and a full list of known issues.

          Feedback for this release =========================

          We need your help to find bugs and further improve the installer, so please try it. Installation images, and everything else you will need are available at our web site[3].

          Thanks ======

          The Debian Installer team thanks everybody who has contributed to this release.

          1. 2. 3.

        • Debian Installer Bullseye Alpha 3 Switches To Linux 5.9, Larger /boot - Phoronix

          While the Debian 11 "Bullseye" freezes don't get started until January, the Debian Installer for Bullseye has been in alpha for just over a year. Today marks the third alpha release of the Debian Installer for Bullseye.

          Notable with this alpha update is switching over to the Linux 5.9.0-4 kernel. Linux 5.9 is currently the latest stable kernel series. We'll see if Linux 5.10 ends up making it into Debian 11 "Bullseye" especially as this will be a Long-Term Support (LTS) kernel release maintained for a period of at least five years, so presumably they will try to align on this kernel version for Bullseye.

        • Offsite backups to from an Asustor NAS

          I have an Asustor (Nimbuster 4 / AS5304T) NAS at home, which allows me to perform regular backups. Unfortunately, I couldn't manage to find a way to configure remote backups from the NAS to using the "Remote Sync" option of the "Backup & Restore" app provided in the ADM OS of the Asustor NAS.

          I'm used to using rsync -e ssh commands and would have expected some such configuration to be possible... it may just be some UI issue, but I couldn't find how to add one for

        • Thorsten Alteholz: My Debian Activities in November 2020

          Unfortunately a day only has 24h. As the freeze is approaching, I had to concentrate a bit more on keeping my packages in shape. So this month I only accepted nine packages. The good news, I rejected no package. The overall number of packages that got accepted was 328.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Debian GNU/Linux 10.7 “Buster” Is Now Available for Download with 38 Security Updates

          Coming two months after Debian GNU/Linux 10.6, this update is here to offer the community new installation and live images of the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series release that include up-to-date packages and all the latest security patches.

          The Debian GNU/Linux 10.7 media packs a total of 54 updated packages with miscellaneous bug fixes, as well as a total of 38 security updates that address some of the latest vulnerabilities. All of these updates have already been made available to exiting Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” users through the official software repositories.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • foss-north pod – a look at the stats

          The foss-north pod about Licenses and Copyright has been around since May 1st, so I decided to talk a look at the stats. We gather very little statistics, but what I know is that we have 635 followers on YouTube and 108 over at (a peertube instance). We also serve the pod directly from, where we keep 14 days of access logs. What can we read out from them?

          First of all – we decided to provide the pod as ogg or mp3, and it seems like a majority of you prefer the ogg version.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Tired of paying an Adobe subscription? Best subscription-free photo editors revealed - Amateur Photographer

            With features such as Layers, Masks, retouching tools and advanced brushes, the ‘GNU Image Manipulation Program’ can be used for all kinds of amazing edits and effects, and all for nothing. But Gimp is not just a free Photoshop alternative, it also represents the work of a wide community of generous coders and developers, who’ve honed it over the years from its beginnings as a simplistic image editor into the slick package available today, one that can hold its own against any of the other choices mentioned here.

            It’s not the easiest image editor to grasp, but the same could be said of Photoshop and Affinity Photo. What’s more, there’s a vast array of presets, helpful tutorials and plug-ins out there that will help you get up and running. Feature-rich, customisable and completely free, Gimp is unique.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Cory Doctorow: IP [sic]

            You’ve probably heard of “open source software.” If you pay at€­tention to the politics of this stuff, you might have heard of “free software” and even know a little about the ethical debate underpin€­ning the war of words between these two labels. I’ve been involved since the last century, but even I never really understood what’s going on in the background until recently.

            I was looking up the history of the first free soft€­ware license, and I had a revelation that transformed the way I think about it, which is significant, since, to a first approximation, this stuff is all I think about.

            Some background: “free software” had its origins with AI researcher-turned-activist Richard Stallman who started his GNU project in 1983, leading to the creation of the first “GNU General Public License” (GPL). This is a copyright license for computer program€­mers who want to share their work. If you release a program’s underlying source code under the GPL, anyone else is free to: [...]

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • New White Paper: Considerations for Mandating Open Interfaces

          The general sentiment among competition experts, policymakers and other stakeholders is that existing competition policy is not addressing the economic and societal concerns of online monopolies and dominance in the digital economy. In this light, the past years have seen a number of prominent reports and proposals, predominantly in Europe and the United States, outlining a range of recommendations to update existing competition policies.

          Among the proposed measures are those that seek to govern the use of software services and systems, including proposals to mandate the technical mechanisms for data portability, for access to data, and even the use of specific standards to ensure interoperability across instant messaging systems. Yet, while these proposals vary in focus, scope, and goals, there is a common denominator across all whereby technical interfaces are mandated to be designed or operated in a certain way (either explicitly or implicitly).

          This mandating of open interfaces is important. If done well, it could bring economic, social, and technical benefits, reduce the risk of market failure, and stimulate sustainable innovation. Done poorly, it can threaten these outcomes and jeopardize other policy goals, such as privacy, security, and the resilience of systems.

      • Programming/Development

        • Developer Sandbox Upgraded Retrospective | SUSE Communities

          A few weeks ago we upgraded the Developer Sandbox from Cloud Application Platform 2.0 to 2.1 successfully! It went so well that I wanted to wait a little while to write this so I could be sure that it did indeed go as smoothly as it appeared to!

          Prior to the upgrade, I had a few hesitations about the upgrade because we were also upgrading the Kubernetes version from 1.14 to 1.18 which meant laddering up worker and control plane versions. This meant compute nodes being destroyed and recreated several times in fairly rapid succession. Is also meant an upgrade to Minibroker from 1.0 to 1.1 and an upgrade to the latest version of Stratos as well! All of these moving parts meant a significant amount of risk as well as an unknown amount of downtime.

        • How I Made a Self-Quoting Tweet

          I'm just going to post the final code here with a brief description of each function. I'm sure there are numerous ways the code could be improved (for one it should probably take the machine ID and other guesswork bits as arguments).

        • Perl/Raku

        • Rust

          • Advent of Rust 5: Help Arrives

            Welcome to the latest installment of the stream-of-consciousness log of me trying to learn the Rust programming language by doing the programming puzzles on Advent of Code 2020.

            I’ve noticed that these logs, while still long, are becoming shorter. On Day 1 I wrote 6000 words, on Day 2 5000, and on Day 3 and 4 just under 4000. (Today’s is a bit over 3000.) I think that’s because I’m solving the puzzles with fewer mistakes that I have to write about solving! Eventually I expect that I won’t keep writing one post per day because that level of detail won’t be interesting anymore, but let’s see how today goes.

        • Java

          • 100 Frequently asked Java Interview Questions and Answers

            Java is becoming the most prominent and widely-used programming language at the moment. So, preparing well for Java interview questions has become essential for every programmer who seeks jobs. In fact, Java is the first secure, class-based, and reliable object-oriented language of the modern world. Java is used in different domains like information technology, banking, financial services, scientific and research community, retail, and the stock market. Various technologies use Java as the important core of their functionalities.

            With the increasing usage and popularity, the job opportunity of Java is also increasing. To utilize these lucrative opportunities, you have to face the platform with intelligence and witty answers. To build up the interviewee’s self-confidence, he must have previous knowledge about the question patterns of the job interview and the common Java interview questions and answers that are usually asked.

  • Leftovers

    • Remembering Debra White Plume

      Seen through her guileless eyes, the humble truth of our kinship and solidarity beneath the real—though disproportionately unequal—oppressions of empire, became clear.

    • Our experience with the Fediverse, and why we left

      Should you become part of the Fediverse by creating an account? It isn’t up to us to decide this, of course.

      If you only want to read the content of others, we recommend subscribing to their RSS feeds. Your RSS subscriptions are private and more decentralized than any Fediverse account. And you need to manage one account less on the internet.

      If you want to be an active part of the Fediverse, be prepared for the same problems as on any other social network. We decided to leave the Fediverse for now.

    • Science

      • Timnit Gebru’s actual paper may explain why Google ejected her

        The head of Google AI, Jeff Dean, wrote in an email to employees that the paper “didn’t meet our bar for publication.” He wrote that one of Gebru’s conditions for continuing to work at Google was for the company to tell her who had reviewed the paper and their specific feedback, which it declined to do. “Timnit wrote that if we didn’t meet these demands, she would leave Google and work on an end date. We accept and respect her decision to resign from Google,” Dean wrote.

        In his letter, Dean wrote that the paper “ignored too much relevant research,” a claim that the paper’s co-author Emily M. Bender, a professor of computational linguistics at the University of Washington, disputed. Bender told MIT Technology Review that the paper, which had six collaborators, was “the sort of work that no individual or even pair of authors can pull off,” noting it had a citation list of 128 references.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the latest tech company to leave Silicon Valley, and is moving to Houston

        The coronavirus pandemic has given a number of tech companies and prominent Silicon Valley figures an excuse to exit California. Without many needing to go into an office every day, many are questioning the high cost of living and the state's hefty taxes amid a broader shift to remote work. But HPE's move is particularly notable because Hewlett-Packard was one of the original Silicon Valley success stories, founded by partners Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in a garage in Palo Alto 1939. In 2015, that company split into HPE and hardware maker HP Inc., which is not moving.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Waiting on the Vaccine
      • States With Lax COVID-19 Restrictions Are Spreading the Virus to Their Neighbors

        For months after Washington state imposed one of the earliest and strictest COVID-19 lockdowns in March, Jim Gilliard didn’t stray far from his modular home near Waitts Lake, 45 miles north of Spokane.

      • We are in the greatest cataclysm of our history: It's not an SNL skit

        It's not funny anymore. I've watched the continuing collapse of our national health and economy with abject horror. We are going through the greatest cataclysm the world has seen since the Great Depression. More people are now dying each day than we lost on 9/11. On Thursday, there were more than 200,000 new COVID cases. Over 100,000 people are now hospitalized. About 3,000 people are dying every day from the virus, meaning that we are approaching 100,000 deaths per month. CDC director Robert Redfield, who appears to have regained the use of his vocal chords since Trump was defeated, told a virtual conference of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday that "before we see February, we could be close to 450,000 Americans hav[ing] died from this virus." That means more than a half-million of us will have died before vaccinations are widely available.

        Nearly 714,000 people filed for unemployment last week, a slight drop from the week before, but "it's still bad," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at the accounting firm Grant Thornton in Chicago, according to a report in The New York Times. "The fact that more than eight months into the crisis initial claims are still running at such a high level is, in absolute terms, bad news," said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at the consulting firm MFR. "Moreover, with the pandemic again worsening, it is likely that claims will remain quite elevated for some time to come."

      • The US’s Neglect of the Elderly Has Turned Murderous

        If present trends continue, researchers predict that, by February, 450,000 Americans could die of COVID-19. If those deaths follow the same pattern as we’ve so far seen, that will mean 360,000 elders gone before the buds appear on trees. We may never know precisely how many of these deaths could have been avoided with an effective national response, but reliable estimates suggest tens of thousands might have been saved.

      • With winter approaching, homeless shelters face big challenges against coronavirus

        The coming winter and the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium at the end of the year have advocates concerned that a big wave of people will need shelter in a system that is already strained.

        "That influx of people is something we haven't seen in my lifetime. Both will cause an influx of people into a system that does not have the ability to absorb a really huge increase in the number of individuals," Whitehead said. "Right now in the country, there's not one city that has enough shelter space for all the homeless people in their community."

        About 568,000 people experienced homelessness on a single night in the U.S. in 2019, according to findings from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

      • U.S. Diplomats and Spies Likely Targeted by Radio Frequency Energy, Long-Withheld Report Determines

        The confidential government study, released to Congress after four months of being kept under wraps and obtained by Foreign Policy, presents the most comprehensive account to date of what could be causing mysterious health problems of American diplomats and intelligence officials. The U.S. government has not publicly disclosed the cause of the possible attacks—or even if it knows from where the radio frequency energy could have originated.

      • The Earth on Fire

        However, what has come down to us is that Demeter-Earth blessed the wheat seeds in the ground for a prosperous harvest. The Greeks were convinced that the land and the natural world were sacred and indispensable for civilization.

        The Greeks were not alone in worshipping the natural world. Other civilizations like the Egyptian, the Babylonian, the Persian and the Chinese considered the natural world and the Earth sacred.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • High-Severity Chrome Bugs Allow Browser Hacks
          • As Hospitals Cope With a COVID-19 Surge, Cyber Threats Loom [iophk: Windows TCO]

            By targeting providers with attacks that scramble and lock up data until victims pay a ransom, [crackers] can demand thousands or millions of dollars and wreak havoc until they’re paid.

          • Kmart, Latest Victim of Egregor Ransomware – Report [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Retail stalwart Kmart has suffered a ransomware attack at the hands of the Egregor gang, according to a report.

            The incident has encrypted devices and servers connected to the company’s networks, knocking out back-end services, according to BleepingComputer. The outlet obtained the purported ransom note that claims to have compromised Kmart’s Windows domain.

            The company was purchased by Transformco in 2019 – and the holding company is apparently impacted as well. The site, used internally, is offline, which is a state of affairs that employees confirmed to the outlet was due to the ransomware attack.

          • Vancouver Metro Disrupted by Egregor Ransomware [iophk: Windows TCO]

            The attack took place on Dec. 1 and left Vancouver residents and other users of the public transit service unable to use their Compass metro cards or pay for new tickets via the agency’s Compass ticketing kiosks, according to media reports. Translink officials avoided acknowledging the attack for two days, passing it off as a technical issue before being pressed by multiple local news agencies about what really was going on.

          • Episode 231 – Door 06: 6 wifi risks … that don’t actually matter – Open Source

            Josh and Kurt talk about the non problems with public wifi we love to pretend matter

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Surveillance laws to be overahuled after review by former ASIO chief

              A review of Australia's intelligence agencies has recommended that the law governing the activities of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation should continue to distinguish between foreign intelligence and security intelligence.

            • Becomes China’s First Online Mall to Test Digital Yuan

              JD Digits, the e-commerce giant’s fintech affiliate, will launch a pilot program this month, and customers will pay for certain items with digital yuan, it said on its official WeChat account. About 100,000 digital cash vouchers, worth 20 million yuan in total, will be issued to residents of Suzhou city in the eastern province of Jiangsu on Dec. 11.

            • Police Drones Are Starting to Think for Themselves

              But the latest drone technology — mirroring technology that powers self-driving cars — has the power to transform everyday policing, just as it can transform package delivery, building inspections and military reconnaissance. Rather than spending tens of millions of dollars on large helicopters and pilots, even small police forces could operate tiny autonomous drones for a relative pittance.

              That newfound automation, however, raises civil liberties concerns, especially as drones gain the power to track vehicles and people automatically. As the police use more drones, they could collect and store more video of life in the city, which could remove any expectation of privacy once you leave the home.

              “Communities should ask hard questions about these programs. As the power and scope of this technology expands, so does the need for privacy protection,” said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Project on Speech, Privacy and Technology. “Drones can be used to investigate known crimes. But they are also sensors that can generate offenses.”

            • Novel Online Shopping Malware Hides in Social-Media Buttons

              According to researchers at Sansec, the skimmer hides in fake social-media buttons, purporting to allow sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Cyberattackers are gaining access to websites’ code, and then placing the fake buttons on checkout and e-commerce pages.

            • Financial data firms are more valuable than financial firms themselves

              By several metrics, investors tend to value financial data companies more highly than other types of best-in-class companies in that sector, from trading firms and banks to money managers. Data companies usually come out ahead when you look at ratios of market value to sales (price to sales) and earnings (price to earnings). This suggests investors are more keen on firms like London Stock Exchange Group, the British market infrastructure company that’s acquiring data provider Refinitiv, and MSCI, an index operator. Put another way, stock buyers are more willing to buy companies that collect financial data than the ones that generate it. (Stock exchanges tend to make a large chunk of their money by selling trading data.)

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump Has Pushed Ahead With Drone Strikes, Putting US Citizens in the Crosshairs
      • Crimes and Punishments

        Trump has increased the number of legally permitted methods of execution while pursuing forgiveness for members of his inner circle who have been convicted of crimes or might be charged in the future.

      • Congress Is Deadlocked on Covid Relief But Came Together to Fund the Pentagon for $740 Billion

        There is always money for war.

      • Pearl Harbor ceremony marking 79th anniversary of attack closed to public amid virus

        Seventy-nine years later, the coronavirus pandemic is preventing Ganitch and other survivors from attending an annual ceremony remembering those killed in the attack that launched the United States into World War II. The 101-year-old has attended most years since the mid-2000s but will have to observe the moment from California this year because of the health risks.

      • Arizona Capitol Museum releases USS Arizona virtual tour on Pearl Harbor Day

        The video is a component of the museum’s Virtual Field Trip Program offered to Arizona’s k-12 students. It will be available on the museum’s website on December 7, 2020:

        According to Hobb’s Office, additional videos and artifacts from the Capitol Museum’s USS Arizona Collection will be featured on the museum’s social media pages. Some of the highlighted artifacts include relics salvaged from the ship’s wreckage, medals earned by various members of the ship’s crew, and personal belongings donated by retired Lt. Cmdr. Louis A. Conter, one of the two USS Arizona survivors still living.

      • Nearly 90 Percent of Republicans in Congress Will Not Admit Biden Won, Report Says

        Biden might be a bit too optimistic about reality setting in once the electoral college votes later this month. The Post’s report also says that “Republicans still won’t publicly commit now to considering the Democrat the legitimately elected president when he wins the majority in the electoral college.”

        Trump is maintaining a tight grip over the Republican Party by not conceding and by sending out surrogates like campaign adviser Lara Trump to lie about election results.

      • US Troops to Withdraw From Somalia Amid Ongoing Terror Threat

        Some 700 U.S. troops are in Somalia, helping local forces in the fight against the al-Shabab insurgency. The mission has gone largely unnoticed in the U.S., but it has been a key component of the Pentagon’s campaign to combat al-Qaida worldwide.

      • A new law would unshackle China’s coastguard, far from its coast

        Soon CCG 3901 will have extra ammunition. In November China published a draft law that would empower the coastguard to demolish other countries’ structures built on Chinese-claimed reefs, and to board and expel foreign vessels. In some circumstances it could even fire on hostile ships. The deadline for public comment expired as The Economist went to press.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Tibetan Writer Arrested in Qinghai, Whereabouts Unknown

        Police in northwestern China’s Qinghai province arrested a popular Tibetan writer and poet on Wednesday after monitoring his activities for signs of political dissent over a long period of time, according to Tibetan sources.

        Gendun Lhundrup, aged 46 and formerly a monk at Rongwo monastery in Rebgong (in Chinese, Tongren) county in the Malho (Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, is now being held in an undisclosed location, a Tibetan living in exile told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Friday.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • What I Learned From My Brush With Trump

        We journalists should have been tougher on Mr. Trump, questioning his every lie and insult. We should not have let him get away with his racism and xenophobia. We should never again allow someone to create an alternative reality in order to seize the presidency.

        Perhaps it was the pandemic that was most responsible for putting an end to Mr. Trump’s presidency. But the entire debacle might have been avoided if we had simply paid greater attention — and offered more resistance — to the words and gestures of the undeserving man who descended the golden escalator of Trump Tower in 2015.

      • WikiLeaks founder's fate hangs in balance

        The father of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange retains hope that the incoming Biden administration will look more favourably on his son's plight than the previous US government [...]

      • Silencing dissent: WikiLeaks and the violation of human rights

        WikiLeaks has raised fundamental questions about human rights and free speech both in Australia and around the world – and about Australia's place in the world.

        When WikiLeaks first appeared in 2006, it was publishing important information that had been kept from the public but was essential for human rights accountability. From the classified Guantanamo Bay manual detailing US torture techniques, to the Minton report detailing Trafigura's toxic dump on the Ivory Coast affecting over 100,000 people which the company had suppressed with a gag order in the UK, WikiLeaks' releases were enabling us as lawyers to have the information we needed to do our job.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • In Major Victory for Immigrant Rights, Judge Orders Trump Admin to Restore DACA
      • Trump's Plan to Revive the Gallows, Electric Chair, Gas Chamber, and Firing Squad Recalls a Hideous History

        The authorization of additional execution methods sends a€ message about the lengths the Trump administration will go to kill as many death row inmates as possible before Joe Biden takes office and, as expected, halts the federal death penalty.€ 

      • Corporations Paying Lawmakers to Outlaw Protest Is a Crime Against Democracy

        More communities are standing up to pipelines. The fossil fuel industry wants to make that a felony. We need to push for "Protesters' Bills of Rights" in state legislatures to codify the right to protest.

      • Uber made big promises in Kenya. Drivers say it's ruined their lives.

        Uber came to Kenya, a country of densely populated cities without efficient public transportation, and aggressively signed up drivers while increasing ridership by dropping prices.

        Interviews with more than 80 current and former drivers in Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa show that, in Kenya's biggest markets, untold numbers of Uber drivers are drowning in debt.

        But Uber drivers in Kenya are not alone in their experiences. In 2017, Uber agreed to pay the U.S. Federal Trade Commission $20 million to resolve allegations that it misled drivers with exaggerated earnings claims and did not provide accurate information about vehicle financing information.

      • Auschwitz museum head fights for imprisoned Nigerian teen

        Thirteen-year-old Omar Farouq faces the prospect of spending his youth in prison in Nigeria after a Shariah court in the northern city of Kano found that he had used blasphemy during a quarrel with a friend in summer.

        The director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, Piotr Cywinski, heard about the case by chance through an acquaintance. Shortly afterward, a memorial site employee received an award for academic work devoted to the fates of children imprisoned at the German concentration camp from 1940 to 1945.

      • Lao Christians Evicted From Their Village Return, But Can’t Build Homes

        Seven Lao Christians evicted from their homes in southern Saravan province in October for refusing to renounce their faith have returned to their village, but are being refused permission to rebuild homes demolished by authorities when they were first thrown out, RFA has learned.

        The seven, who are members of two families in the Pasing-Kang village of Saravan’s Ta-Oesy district, were evicted on Oct. 10 and forced to live rough in the forest before returning to their village in early November, one of the group told RFA’s Lao Service on Wednesday.

      • Journalist Ilya Azar files claim against Russian authorities with ECHR

        Journalist and Moscow City Duma deputy Ilya Azar has filed a claim with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over the 15 days administrative arrest he was sentenced to in May for holding a single-person demonstration.

      • ANILCA at Forty: Promises to Keep

        The impetus for ANILCA came in a simple provision of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 that directed the Secretary of Interior to withdraw up to 80 million acres of federal land in Alaska for the possible establishment of conservation areas (Listen to audio interviews of Fran Mauer and then-Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus on ANILCA.

        A national campaign to lobby Congress developed soon after and grew exponentially following the 1976 election of Jimmy Carter who immediately took a personal interest in passing Alaska lands legislation.€ Environmental groups across the Nation organized the Alaska Coalition which led the lobbying effort.€ The campaign involved the greatest citizen action since the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Preservation of the wild character of vast landscapes that still remained in Alaska was the primary motivating idea that galvanized the American people into action. The feeling was that in Alaska we had a last chance to preserve wildlife and wilderness on a vast scale that was no longer possible elsewhere in the country.

      • Reverb of the Repressed: Race and Classlessness

        But the pattern to the voting suggests that deficiencies in the Democratic Party were also a stimulus since Trump’s support increased among the groups the Democrats have historically attracted, especially racial and ethnic minorities, the lower/working class, and the LGBT community. Comparing 2016 with 2020, it increased 6 points with black men; 5 points with black women; 4 points with Hispanic men; 5 points with Hispanic women; and 3 points with white women. The overall numbers showed a decrease in white support, a minus 1 point, mainly because of the decline in support by college-educated white men. But they show an increase for working-class white men. There is no comparable breakdown yet for the Asian population, but overall it increased for Trump by 7 points. Regarding class, Trump made gains among the non-college degreed population—Biden drew those with even some college—and those making under $50,000 per year, by 3 points (Chris Alcantara et al, “How Voters Shifted From 2016 And Swung States For Biden And Trump,” Washington Post, 11/12/2020).

        And while voters banished the tweeter-in-chief—though just barely, contravening the 8-10 percentage points the polls predicted he would lose by—they retained a conservative bulwark against “liberalism” in Congress (certainly not against progressivism, virtually banished from the Democratic platform). The Republicans made gains in the House, securing 7 more seats, and are likely to hold the Senate.

      • Martyred Missionaries: The Lives and Legacies of Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, Ita Ford, and Dorothy Kazel

        In their lives, work, and tragic, untimely deaths, the women inspired people in El Salvador who, deeply moved by their ultimate sacrifice, would at long last prevail in their freedom struggle.

        Four Women, One Calling

      • The Death and Resurrection of a “Cult” Poet

        The dean of Black writers, Louise Merriweather, is also missing. Her Daddy Was a Number Runner, a Harlem classic, did not receive the backing that powerful interests accorded a few male novelists of her time and those interests were probably offended by some of her characterizations. The novel takes place in the 1930s, and the prevalent conditions then–evictions, police brutality, etc.–exist now. Of course, if she were a white novelist of her stature there would be no need for a Go Fund Me effort to assist in her recovering from the Covid virus. She’s bedridden and requires round the clock care.€  She’s $6,000 short of her $30,000 goal.

        The male novelists of her generation, to flatter liberal book buyers, were required to pose as the literary sons of a white master. Maybe that’s why novelist Ralph Ellison, who cited as his influences Eliot, Faulkner, and Hemingway, named Vachel Lindsay as Henry Dumas’s literary father. Lindsay would probably object.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • With Simington Vote, The GOP And Big Telecom Maneuver To Cripple The Biden FCC

        We've noted at length how the GOP is rushing this week to appoint Trump ally Nathan Simington to the FCC. Simington, you'll recall, wrote Trump's ridiculous executive order targeting Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the essential law that protects freedom of expression and innovation on the internet. The bumbling attack is necessary, you're told, to "fix" the social media "censorship" of Conservatives that doesn't actually exist. In other words, an unqualified appointment pushing an idiotic solution to a nonexistent problem that actually creates new, unnecessary headaches.

    • Monopolies

      • Cory Doctorow: The Monopoly Web Is Already Here

        Then there’s then there’s code, there’s technology. Challenging tech monopolies involves doing things, not just, like, founding alternatives to Mastodon or Diaspora, but also creating these bridges that connect the monopoly platforms with new market entrants.

        The fourth piece of this is norms. So right now, people’s imaginations are so constrained. You see this, for example, in the fight over the copyright directive in the EU last year, which mandated that all platforms would have to install copyright filters, similar to the ones that Google uses for content ID. The idea was that if you could shift a couple of points from Big Tech’s balance sheet to Big Content’s balance sheet, that Big Content would drop a few crumbs on the table of actual performers and creators. I’m 100% here for the performers and the creators but the idea that all you can hope for is a slightly more benevolent dictator, shows you just how constrained our imagination is.

        What if instead we said, ‘Hey, let’s have a competitive landscape, where they actually do have to bargain with us. Well, let’s have blanket licenses where the money goes to us and not to the labels. So companies that do tech, big and small, can offer access to this to music but we get paid directly when it happens because it’s a statutory regime. It’s a new law. So you have a new norm that makes a new law. ‘

      • PACTE brings major changes in French IP law

        The PACTE law is a set of new French laws implementing the economic reform decided by the French government.

      • German Tax Circular Has Wide-Ranging Implications for IP Transactions and M&A [Ed: Patents as a vehicle of tax evasion in Germany. Corporate tax evasion.]

        On November 6, 2020, the German Ministry of Finance (BMF) issued a circular (the “Circular”) interpreting a long-ignored provision of German tax law confirming that German income tax applies to the licensing and transfer of intellectual property that is registered on a German register. The tax applies even where there is no German party or other German connection to the transaction and where the German-registered IP is just one component of a global transaction.

        Because the Circular is an interpretation of existing law, it applies to future transactions as well as transactions that took place in prior open tax years, possibly as far back as 2013. Consequently, taxpayers should be taking an inventory of their prior transactions to determine where the tax may apply. Moreover, the impact of the Circular should also be addressed as part of tax due diligence in international M&A transactions.


        For over 70 years, German tax law has contained a provision that imposes German income tax when there has been a license or sale of IP that is registered on a domestic IP register. In essence, the law creates taxable nexus in Germany by virtue of the domestic registration. However, enforcement is difficult where there is no German party to the transaction. Moreover, income tax treaties could potentially apply to mitigate or eliminate the tax. As a result, compliance with the law was negligible.

        In recent months, however, taxpayers, their advisors and their external auditors began to focus on the potential application of the law to a wide variety of transactions with particular attention on potential criminal tax exposure for failure to comply. Because of the numerous uncertainties regarding the scope and application of the law, taxpayers have been taking different approaches with respect to compliance, and some have reached out to the German tax authorities for clarification.


        In an apparent about-face, on November 20, only two weeks after issuing the Circular, the BMF proposed legislation that would significantly reduce the application of the law. Under the proposed legislation, German tax on transactions involving German-registered IP would only apply if the IP is exploited in Germany through a German permanent establishment or facility of the licensee. Mere registration of the IP on a German register would no longer be sufficient nexus to trigger the tax.

        If enacted, the law would retroactively apply to all open tax years. This is a surprising development considering the Ministry had only recently issued its Circular, on November 6, confirming the application of the tax. That said, the Ministry did not withdraw the Circular which remains the current authoritative position.

      • UK lawyers avoid being ‘short changed’ over audience rights

        In-house counsel welcome the UKIPO’s decision to remove ‘EEA’ as an address for service option, but say it could complicate some prosecution work

      • Patents

        • Apple escape and new order set stage for Texas venue clashes

          US lawyers say Apple’s successful mandamus petition at the Federal Circuit will spur a spate of similar challenges and patentee incorporations in Texas next year

        • Eli Lilly counsel reflects on twists and turns of Alimta lawsuits

          Ivan Burnside tells Managing IP how the pemetrexed case on salt substitution shook up European patent law

        • Vigilance key for drug innovators under China linkage regime

          A short litigation window and no notification system for drug patent owners remain pain points, despite progress

        • FOSS Patents: Nokia's pre-trial forum-shopping extends to its dispute with Lenovo as well (not just Daimler)

          Just a quick follow-up to yesterday's post, Desperate-defiant Nokia withdraws two Dusseldorf patent cases against Daimler, trollishly refiles in Munich--where it's losing ground as well. The extent of the problem is even greater. Over the weekend I've learned that there's another recent case in which Nokia engaged in the same appalling practice--I said "appalling" because it's utterly disrespectful of a court and of the other parties to withdraw cases shortly before trial only to bring them in a venue presumed to be more sympathetic to plaintiffs.

          Nokia's dispute with Lenovo involves some of the same issues as its spat with Daimler. In Munich, that includes the determination of collateral (bond or deposit to be provided if an injunction is enforced during an appeal) and the application of the Court of Justice of the EU's Huawei v. ZTE framework for deciding whether a SEP holder is entitled to injunctive relief against a particular defendant. Nokia had won an injunction against Lenovo in Munich, but the computer maker--represented by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's Prince Wolrad of Waldeck and Dr. Nina Bayerl--successfully moved the appeals court for an enforcement stay.

          Irrespectively of that defeat, Nokia still rests its hopes on the court below, the Munich I Regional Court. And the failed Finnish handset maker dreads Dusseldorf after last month's referral to the CJEU of various component-level licensing and other SEP enforcement questions.

        • UPC

          • Around the IP Blogs [Ed: As usual, no critics are cited. At all. This is lobbying.]

            The UPC Preparatory Committee has reacted with enthusiasm to the approval in the German Bundestag of the ratification legislation for the Unified Patent Court Agreement. Kluwer Patent Blog reported on this new development.

          • Vestager Seeks Patents Overhaul Amid Court Fights Over Cars [Ed: Bloomberg L.P. pushing UPC agenda is consistent with the widespread understanding that it's designed to make the rich even richer... and destroy 'pesky' small businesses which disrupt monopolies]

            The European Union will seek to overhaul the system for key patents such as those that have fueled legal battles between car makers and technology companies, the EU’s technology chief said Wednesday.

            Margrethe Vestager promised that regulators will weigh reforms to improve the framework in place for so-called standard-essential patents and work on industry-led initiatives “to reduce frictions and litigation.”

            The EU move could help avoid repeats of lengthy legal battles such as Nokia Oyj’s effort to get Daimler AG to pay more for mobile technology used in cars. While Daimler wants the underlying patents be licensed to its various component suppliers, Nokia wants to charge per car at a much higher price.

            Companies often seek court help to determine whether certain technology patents are valid and how much should be paid for licensing technology seen as essential for an industry. The EU has frequently been asked to weigh in on how much is fair for key technology.


            The EU urged governments to rapidly roll out the bloc’s first-ever unified patent system. Without further setbacks, the so-called unitary patent, which would provide companies for the first time with a single protection and enforcement of their inventions across 25 of the EU’s 27 member nations, could start operating in 2022, the commission said.

          • Bulgaria Amends Patent Law [Ed: See below. UPC hopefuls. If... Which won't happen. Litigation firms lie about it.]

            Certain provisions concerning the Unitary Patent have been added, but they will apply only if and when the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court enters into force.

          • Germany gives Unified Patent Court project fresh impetus

            German law makers have given the Unified Patent Court (UPC) project fresh impetus by passing legislation that is necessary to enable the proposed court system to become operational.

          • Unified Patent Court & unitary patents on the horizon for 2022? [Ed: No, this is a lobbying tactic; they have done this for a decade.]

            The draft legislation required for Germany to ratify the UPCA and the Protocol on Provisional Application has been before the German Parliament since the beginning of June 2020. On 26 November 2020, the German Bundestag adopted with the necessary qualified majority the draft ratification bill including the consent to the UPCA. This is an important step and has been welcomed by the EPO President. A second constitutional complaint is of course possible but Germany is now able to move forward with the ratification process.

          • The translations of Article 17 DCDSM: when words can damage or heal

            My study on the translations of Article 17 under Directive (EU) 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market (DCDSM), supported by C4C, explores how the ‘best efforts’ translations in the EU Official Journal may affect Member States’ transposition and impact users of online content-sharing service providers (OCSSPs). Spoiler alert: only 10 out of the 24 official EU language translations ensure a correct Article 17 transposition.

            The analysis combines translation quality assessment (TQA) techniques with interviews of legal experts in key Member States. The focus was on (1) the translations’ accuracy according to the intended meaning of ‘best efforts’ in its original context and (2) the possible approaches to ensure more accurate and harmonized transpositions.

          • UPC is ‘a done deal’, say IP counsel [Ed: Managing IP think tank is once again pushing fake news as headlines, far from the first time! It's a pattern.]

            Lawyers say another UPC challenge would fail, and that now is the time to start preparing an IP strategy

          • This week in IP: UPC is ‘done deal’, WIPO clocks 50,000 squatters, NY ‘copyright troll’ suspended [Ed: Notice how Managing IP think tank reprints its own lies to boost dying UPC]

            The German Federal Constitutional Court would be unlikely to accept a second constitutional challenge to the Unified Patent Court even if it were filed, according to lawyers.

            It means that after several years of waiting, the UPC could be entering its final stretch towards ratification.

            On November 26 the Bundestag approved a draft ratification act with the necessary two-thirds majority. The next step is a vote in the upper house, the Bundesrat, on December 18, when the agreement is expected to pass.

        • Europe/EPO

          • European Commission takes steps to bolster plant breeders' rights
          • A round-up of recent Decisions from the Boards of Appeal at the EPO [Ed: Notice how they never end mention that the Boards of Appeal at the EPO lack independence, which invalidates their ability to operate]

            Despite the obvious difficulties in holding in person oral proceedings in view of the current situation with COVID-19, the Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Office have stayed busy, issuing hundreds of Decisions since our last issue of Inside IP. Here, we take a look at some of those Decisions from the Technical and Legal Boards of Appeal.

          • User survey on the amendment of the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal by adding a new Article 15a (oral hearing as a video conference)

            May oral proceedings before courts be held as pure video conferences, even in times outside of a pandemic? For oral proceedings before the EPO Boards of Appeal, this question has gained attention in light of a proposed amendment of the Rules of Procedure. BARDEHLE PAGENBERG has participated in the user survey conducted by the EPO’s Boards and the Boards of Appeal Committee. We propose “hybrid hearings” to combine the benefits of hearings with physical attendance and video conferences. Please see our opinion below.

          • Patent Commercialisation by Research Institutions

            On the 24 November 2020 the European Patent Office (EPO) published the results of a new study titled "Valorisation of scientific results - Patent commercialisation scoreboard: European universities and public research organisations”. This study explores the way in which these institutions exploit their patent rights, and the challenges to doing so. Such exploitation can be an important source of revenue for these institutions, as well as providing an opportunity to further develop inventions for wider use, and as such maximising the potential of these rights is an important objective for many.


            Given the fact that a large number of inventions are not being well-commercialised at present, investing in TTO/TLOs may be money well spent for an institution as the lack of sufficient resources has a direct impact on the success of commercialisation attempts. New staff can bring new personal and business contacts that can be approached for potential partnership, which can be a rich source of commercialisation deals, while investment in additional third party support can aid the seeking of commercialisation deals outside of known contacts as well as manage any complex negotiations.

          • T 509/18 – Less is not always more when it comes to disclosure…

            An appeal decision for European case T 0509/18 addresses the question of what the EPO considers to be an enabling disclosure in the field of machine learning. The appellant was TK Holdings Inc. and the application relates to a system and method for determining driver alertness. The Board of Appeal ultimately upheld the appealed decision refusing the application for an insufficient disclosure. The decision underlines that the risk of not disclosing enough details in your application applies equally to machine learning inventions and reinforce a serious lesson for applicants: fail to provide a sufficiently detailed disclosure and your application may be incurably doomed.

          • New rules of procedure for EPO Boards of Appeal – amending claims in appeal

            Since 1 January 2020 the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO have become stricter. This has serious consequences for the timing of sending requests for amendments in pending patent applications or granted patents in opposition. IP managers responsible for spending money on European patent applications and patents should be aware that their European patent attorneys will ask for higher budgets during first-instance EPO proceedings because it has now become difficult, if not impossible, to ‘repair’ in appeal proceedings what has been omitted at first instance. Appeal proceedings are, essentially, only a new opportunity to convince the EPO of a viewpoint already presented in first-instance proceedings. It is advisable to be aware that the new rules of procedure also apply to pending appeals, even if filed long before 1 January 2020.

          • EPO priority claim entitlement – the “same applicants” approach upheld

            In a Press Communiqué dated 6 November 2020, the EPO summarises the Technical Board of Appeal 3.3.08 written decision recently issued in case T 844/18 confirming the revocation of a patent related to CRISPR gene editing

          • Roll Call: Are all Inventors Accounted for in a Foreign Filing with the EPO?

            Earlier this month, the European Patent Office (“EPO”) explained why it upheld a decision revoking a patent applied for by Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard (“Broad Institute”) related to CRISPR gene editing. In particular, the decision cited a lack of novelty due to an invalid claim to priority—for inadvertently failing to list all the inventors from the priority application—highlighting the grave consequences associated with simple technical errors.

          • Functional implementation of a lottery game: non-technical

            This decision is a good reminder that the technical implementation of an otherwise non-technical method has to be rather specific to be patentable. The more high-level and functional the implementation is claimed, the lower the chances of success at the EPO.

          • Patent Office Updates You Need to Know

            The Supreme Court announced November 25, 2020, that it will hear all oral arguments scheduled for the January session by telephone conference and will provide a live audio feed to the media. The Justices and counsel will all participate remotely. The Court building remains open for official business only and closed to the public until further notice.

            The European Patent Office (EPO) released an update providing users with an overview of the measures taken by the EPC contracting states with respect to extensions or interruptions of periods, on November 30, 2020.

            The German Bundestag approved the ratification bill on the Unified Patent Court Agreement, on November 26, 2020.

      • Trademarks

        • Unsolicited trade mark renewals: warning

          MARQUES members will already know about misleading invoices as warned about on the EUIPO website. They may also want to watch out for other recent activities that have caused confusion and concern for some brand owners. This is the receipt of unsolicited offers to renew trade marks at inflated prices, which are being sent by an unregulated entity that effectively implies it has an official capacity for sending it. A redacted example of such a notice is here.

          The sender of these notices is Stern Young & Partners. Despite appearances, it is not a trade mark attorney or law firm and no registered attorneys or lawyers seem to work there. It is a recently formed UK company, set up by a Swedish individual with a €£1 issued share capital.

          The notice implies that the trade mark was in the sender’s record system, effectively suggesting it may be the official attorney on record or address for service when it is not.

          It is an offer to renew but at a very high price (€£1,320 to renew a UK mark in one class, where the official fee is €£170) and on contractual terms highly favourable to the sender.

        • India: ‘Appy Fizz’ v. ‘Fizzy Apple’ - Parle Agro Pvt. Ltd. v. Walmart India Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. - Kluwer Trademark Blog

          It is not common that local Indian companies sue multinationals for infringement in India – and win. However, recently, just that happened: Parle Agro Pvt. Ltd. (“Parle ”) sued multinational retail giant Walmart India Pvt. Ltd. and Ors. (“Walmart India”) at the Bombay High Court for violating its trademark/trade-dress when it launched a deceptively similar packaging and sold an apple-flavoured drink called “Fizzy Apple”. Parle is a well-known Mumbai-headquartered beverage company founded in 1985, which is currently dominating the sparkling juice segment providing an alternative to other carbonated, sugary and sweetened drinks, with an over 90% market share. On the other hand, Walmart India, a wholly owned subsidiary of Walmart Inc., the world’s leading retailer renowned for its efficiency and expertise in logistics, supply chain management and sourcing, entered India in 2007.

          Walmart India started marketing, producing and selling an apple flavoured drink under the name of ‘Fizzy Apple’ using the packaging shown below on the right. Parle brought an action for infringement at the Bombay High Court based on its trademark ‘Appy Fizz’ registered for a variety of fruit-based beverages, as well as its trade dress. Their product looked as shown below on the left.

      • Copyrights

        • Stevie Nicks Sells a Share of Her Publishing Rights for $100 Million

          Primary Wave didn’t share financial details of the sale, but The Wall Street Journal reported that Nicks sold an 80% stake in the catalog, valuing the deal at about $100 million. The deal includes several of Nicks’s biggest hits as a solo artist and member of Fleetwood Mac including “Landslide,” “Edge of Seventeen” and “Dreams,” the last of which returned the charts for the first time in 40 years after resurfacing on TikTok.

          Primary Wave has previously purchased stakes in several prominent artist catalogs like Disturbed and Ray Charles.

        • 'Downloading' Videos From Netflix & Disney+ To Keep is Possible But Delivers 'Meh' Results

          Various software tools aggressively promoted online have the stated purpose of allowing people to download movies and TV shows from services including Netflix and Disney+. While most work on a base level by providing a file that can be stored and watched independently of the service in question, the results are a poor replacement for the services themselves.

        • Domain Registrar Can Only be Held Liable for Pirate Sites As a Last Resort

          The highest court in Germany has clarified that domain name registrars should only be held liable for pirate sites if all other options fail. The order is part of a drawn-out battle between Universal Music and domain registrar Key-Systems. Universal Music now has to show that taking direct legal action against the defunct torrent site or its hosting company was futile.

        • In-house want enforcement reform amid EU copyright divergence

          Member states are beginning to consider how to implement the Copyright Directive into national law, sparking potential areas of divergence

        • Further developments on Italian enforcement against illicit distribution of sport events

          In a 2019 post on this Blog (here), we analysed the impact of illegal distribution of audiovisual content and the new wave of dynamic injunctions that the Court of Milan has adopted through orders against Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on the basis of complaints filed by the Lega Calcio with some major broadcasters. According to the Communication of the European Commission COM(2017) 708, dynamic injunctions are injunctions which can be issued for instance in cases in which materially the same website becomes available immediately after issuing the injunction with a different IP address or URL and which is drafted in a way that allows it to also cover the new IP address or URL without the need for a new judicial procedure to obtain a new injunction.

          Specifically, the Court of Milan ruled that the ISP must block access to the IP addresses used to access the domain name of the illicit IPTV services (together with the URL associated with the domain name), as well as any other IP address uniquely used to access the domain name of the illicit IPTV services and any other top level domain name (i.e. .org, .it, .com., .net etc.) associated with the second level domain name of the illicit IPTV services. The orders have immediate effect with regards to the ISP, which must comply without delay to inhibit access to the illicit services, taking into consideration the technical measures that the ISP has already adopted in similar cases and imposing fines for any delay in complying with the order 48 hours from the notification.


          According to AGCOM’s October Resolution, the rationale of the legislative change is to be found in the need to include within the scope of the Regulation those subjects who, despite the presence of content in violation of the Copyright Law, under current provisions cannot be recipients of an order to selectively remove the content uploaded illegally because the servers used are located abroad. In such cases, in the absence of the new powers for AGCOM, it would only be possible for the Communication Authority to make an order to block access to the site. The provision therefore intends to fill this regulatory gap by giving AGCOM the power to impose orders for the selective removal of digital works or for disabling access to digital works disseminated in violation of the Copyright Law through instant messaging services, where, until now, the only possible outcomes were disabling access to the entire service or archiving the procedure

        • Why Metadata Matter for the Future of Copyright

          The legislative agenda of the past two decades – both in Europe and further afield – has been about adapting copyright to the requirements of the information society. The administrative means to make use of those new opportunities by licensing at the right source and allocating revenues to the right recipients, in a world of interactive and intertwined content, have not been harmonised at the same pace. In the copyright industries of the 21st century, metadata are the grease required to make the engine of copyright run smoothly and powerfully for the benefit of creators, copyright industries and users alike.

        • In Memoriam Prof Sterling

          After stepping down from IFPI in 1973, Adrian began the second major stage in the journey namely resuming practice both in Sydney and in London, specialising in national and international copyright law and data, and of course publishing ... The third stage, and perhaps what he enjoyed most, was when he became a copyright teacher at the age of 65 years. He was appointed first to Queen Mary University of London and then subsequently also to King’s College, London. … His main legacy is the generations of academics, students and practitioners, who were imbued with his unique expertise and his unwavering enthusiasm for copyright. He was unabashedly dedicated to his students and helped many of them to become established and recognised professionals in their fields. In return there is so much affection for him around the world.

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