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Links 21/12/2020: Manjaro ARM 20.12, Wayland 1.19 Alpha, Durden 0.6 Released

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Weekly Roundup: GNOME 40 Updates, GTK 4.0, openSUSE 15.3 Alpha and More

      Here's this week's roundup series, curated for you from the Linux and open-source world on application updates, new releases, distribution updates, major news, and upcoming highlights. Have a look.

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: December 20th, 2020

      The twelfth installment of the 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup is here, for the week ending on December 20th, keeping you guys up to date with the most important things that have happened in the Linux world.

      This has been yet another interesting week before we enter the Christmas and the New Year breaks. As you can see below, it’s clear that the launch of Linux kernel 5.10 LTS let its imprint on the Open Source community, but we also have great news about Plasma Mobile, Linux Mint 20.1, Ubuntu Touch, GTK 4, and much more.

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #109

      We had an exciting week in the world of Linux releases. Linux Mint 20.1 Beta, Bluestar Linux 5.9.14, Q4OS 3.13 have been released this week

    • 10 must-read Linux success stories from 2020 |

      Linux probably needs no introduction. The Linux kernel is at the heart of numerous Linux distributions that run on desktops, laptops, and servers. The Android operating system for mobile phones also uses the Linux kernel. In short, Linux is almost everywhere.

      While the "year of the Linux desktop" is often regarded as a pipedream, many people happily use a Linux distribution as their desktop computer operating system of choice. Some of the articles published on in 2020 reflect that fact. Over the past year, many writers shared their Linux experience, and several of them focused on desktop Linux.

      Below, I take a look at's top 10 Linux articles from 2020. From working with the terminal to switching from Mac to Linux and much more, these articles provide a wealth of information about Linux.

    • Desktop/Laptop/Tablet

      • PinePhone: What You Need to Know About this Linux Phone
      • Linux Based Operating Systems for Mobile and Tablet Devices

        Development of non-android, touch based, handheld Linux devices (mainly mobile phones and tablets) have seen rapid progress in the last couple of years. This can be mainly attributed to the advent of Linux phones like PinePhone and Purism Librem 5. These devices are mostly based on the mainline Linux kernel, with patches and some configuration changes. Desktop environments shipped in major Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora are currently not optimized for small screen touch based devices. This article will list user interface environments that are optimized for mobile and tablet devices based on Linux. Most of these environments are currently in pre-alpha, alpha, and beta stages of development.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 385

        An introduction to **SQLite**.

      • Josh Bressers: Episode 246 – Door 21: Bug bounties

        Josh and Kurt talk about bug bounties

      • Linux 5.10, GTK 4.0, CentOS Update, OBS 26.1, Ubuntu Touch | This Week in Linux 130

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got a lot of big updates like the latest release of Linux kernel with version 5.10. A major version update for the GTK toolkit has been released with GTK 4. We’ve got a follow up to the Cen-toss topic from last week. OBS Studio released version 26.1.00 that has a lot of cool Linux related features and I am so excited to try this latest version! We’ve also got distro news from Linux Mint, Debian, openSUSE and some mobile Linux news from UBports. All that and much more coming up right now on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • Linux Action News 168

        Another Google project meets an untimely demise, but we find the silver lining.

        Plus new Matrix goodies, why AWS is investing in Blender, and more.

      • Replace Your Bloated Image Viewer With SXIV - YouTube

        Want an image viewer that is "just an image viewer"? Want an image viewer that follows the Unix Philosophy of "do one thing and do it well"? Want an image viewer that is Suckless-inspired? Then sxiv (Simple X Image Viewer) is the right choice for you. ERRATA: In the video, I mentioned that 'plus' and 'minus' zoom in/out. Then I said 'minus' flips the image vertically. I misspoke. That should be 'underscore'. The 'pipe' character does flip horizontally.

      • Arch Linux Will Forever Be Better After This

        The key feature that seperates a linux distro is it's package manager and soon pacman the package manger for Arch Linux will be recieving a massive change in the form of parallel downlaods which will forever improve it's performance.

    • Kernel Space

      • Top 10 Features of Linux Kernel 5.10

        After seven weeks of constant development, Linus Torvalds finally released Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS on 14th December 2020, and it’s now available to the masses. Linus Torvalds announced this fantastic release on the Linux Kernel mailing list, stating:

        “Ok, here it is – 5.10 is tagged and pushed out. I pretty much always wish that the last week was even calmer than it was, and that’s true here too”.

      • Linux 5.11 XFS Will Flag File-Systems In Need Of Repair

        The main feature change for the XFS driver code in Linux 5.11 is adding a new "needs repair" feature flag. When the XFS code marks a file-system as needing repair, it will refuse to mount until the xfs_repair operation is run on it.

        The XFS kernel code with Linux 5.11 and later will set the "needs repair" flag on a file-system when it's in a known state needing repair via the xfs_repair user-space utility. The updated xfs_repair utility will in turn clear that feature flag once the operation is complete. When needing a repair, xfs_admin should automatically run the repair operation so ideally the user/administrator will not need to issue the user-space command themselves.

      • Radeon RX 6800 XT Seeing Some Slight Gains With Linux 5.11 - Phoronix

        While the Linux 5.11 merge window is only half-way through with prominent pull requests like the DRM / graphics driver updates already have been merged some of the testing has already begun at Phoronix of this new kernel. With the Radeon RX 6800 XT "RDNA 2" graphics continuing to mature, we are seeing slight uplift in some benchmarks when moving from Linux 5.10 stable to Linux 5.11 Git.

        When running some quick Linux 5.10 vs. 5.11 Git tests with the RX 5700 XT and RX 6800 XT while running the same Mesa 21.0-devel build, in a few areas the Linux 5.11 performance is providing some measurable speed-ups.

      • Graphics Stack

        • [ANNOUNCE] wayland 1.18.91

          This is the alpha release for wayland 1.19.

          This release mostly contains bug fixes and minor protocol updates.

          Full commit history below.

        • Wayland 1.19 Alpha Released - Phoronix

          As expected, the Wayland 1.19 release dance has begun.

          Simon Ser released Wayland 1.19 Alpha this morning that contains a mix of minor protocol updates and bug fixes. Wayland 1.19 is hardly a big update in changes or the features being added, but simply because it's been accumulating a lot of minor work for nearly one year is it now going through with the next update. There are grammatical and typo fixes, various other documentation updates, Meson build system updates, and various minor updates around the protocol. But not a lot to get excited over.

    • Benchmarks

      • Durden 0.6 Released

        Hot on the heels of the recent Arcan release, it is also time for a release to our reference desktop environment ‘Durden‘.

        To refresh memory somewhat, the closest valid comparison is probably the venerable AwesomeWM – but there is quite a lot more to it in Durden. It has been my daily driver for around 5 years now and implements all popular window management styles, and some unique ones.

        During this time, it has been used to drive development of Arcan itself — but that will start to wind down now as there is little need for more major features. Instead updates will mainly be improvements to the existing ones before we can safely go 1.0. The two other projects, Safespaces and [Undisclosed], will take its place in helping the engine reach new heights.

      • Arcan Focuses In On Surpassing Feature Parity With X.Org, Releases Durden 0.6 Desktop - Phoronix

        Arcan, the rather unique and innovative display server in development for about five years, is now matching or even surpassing the feature parity with the X.Org Server and have also issued a new release of their "Durden" desktop environment build atop Arcan.

        The last major feature they recently addressed was network transparency support. The secondary area left for hitting X.Org/X11 feature parity was over a drawing API. Some of the other prominent features that Arcan has worked on include migration and recovery support, "hook scripts" for modifying/extending existing functionality, alternate representations / accessibility options, and also moving ahead in areas like integrated audio support, VR, and more.

    • Applications

      • Linux Candy: chucknorris – Chuck Norris jokes in your terminal

        Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open source software in this series.

        Some of the programs in this series are purely cosmetic, frivolous pieces of fun. Candy at their finest. But we also include some programs that aren’t purely decorative.

        There’s a diverse range of programs included in this series. Programs such as eDEX-UI and Variety are actually highly practical programs. ASCIIQuarium has soothing and relaxing qualities for your desktop. Other programs included in this series (such as lolcat, cacafire) are included purely for their decorative qualities. And then there’s some really fun software that just raises a smile or two.

        Carlos Ray “Chuck” Norris is an American martial artist, actor, film producer, and screenwriter. Chuck Norris followed in the footsteps of Bruce Lee to become a popular action star on the big screen, before having his greatest success on television as the star of “Walker, Texas Ranger”.

        Do you want Chuck in your terminal? How about some funny jokes? Then let’s check out chucknorris, a Python script that tells you hilarious Chuck Norris jokes.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Sven Hoexter: Mock a Serial pty Device with socat

        Another note to myself before I forget about this nifty usage of socat again. I was looking for something to mock a serial device, similar to a microcontroller which usually ends up as /dev/ttyACM0 and might output some text. What I found is a very helpful post on stackoverflow showing an example utilizing socat.

      • 10 Examples of using nslookup in linux - The Linux Juggernaut

        The main use of nslookup is to help with any DNS issues you may have. You can use it to find the IP address of a host, find the domain name of an IP address, or find mail servers on a domain. This tool can be used in two modes.

      • SHA256 signature sum check of file
      • Barrier (Synergy) with Wacom Intuos BT M | Definite's Extractor

        I am looking for a more ergonomic pointing device. Thus, I borrow my daughter’s Wacom Intuos BT M drawing tablet a try.

        Fedora 33 Gnome seems to recognize it out of the box, and the gnome-control-center Wacom interface show it properly.

      • Top 14 SS Command Examples to Monitor Socket Connections

        SS is a command line tool is a tool that displays socket statistics and monitor network connections of a Linux system. It has replaced the netstat command which has now been deprecated. The ss command is much faster and prints more detailed network statistics than the netstat command. In this guide, we focus on the how to use ss command to monitor socket connections on a Linux system.

      • How To Install Magento on Debian 10 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Magento on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Magento is one of the world’s most widely used applications for managing E-Commerce sites. Magento is fully customizable to meet the user’s requirements and allowing them to create and launch a fully functional online store in minutes. Magento employs the MySQL relational database management system, the PHP programming language, and elements of the Zend Framework.

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

      • WildFly server configuration with Ansible collection for JCliff, Part 3 - Red Hat Developer

        Welcome to the final installment in this three-part series about using Ansible Collection for JCliff to manage WildFly or Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBoss EAP) instances. Previously, we’ve discussed installing and configuring the JCliff Ansible collection and using its basic features. In this article, we discuss advanced options available with the project’s latest release. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

      • How to Automatically Accept SSH Key Fingerprint?

        SSH Secure Shell is an encryption network protocol that provides secure encrypted communications between two hosts.

        It allows you to connect to a remote machine securely over an insecure network.

        When you connect to a Linux system for the first time, SSH prompts you to accept the fingerprint of the machines to successfully establish the connection, since you do not have a fingerprint in your “known_hosts” file.

        Fingerprint is a shortened version of the system’s public key.

      • Setting Up Arch Linux on Asus A15

        For future projects we will dig more into video, so I felt the need for a laptop with a bit more graphics power. I was also curious about AMD processors, so when a very good offer came along for an ASUS A15 at my local computer store, I pounced.

        These are my notes for setting up Arch Linux on the machine.

        The aim of this write-up is to go from Windows laptop to a fully functional Arch multimedia machine with all my tools ready. For good measure I throw in a bit about dotfile management and how to keep things in sync between multiple machines. It will be a long ride, but hopefully a useful one. Please note that most of this information is not specific to the Asus laptops, but can be applied to pretty much any Windows laptop.

      • How to download the app on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to download the app on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • Remote video streaming from Raspberry PI camera - peppe8o

        Streaming camera video within a Raspberry PI OS Desktop is simple and useful. B

      • How to Use “Git Stash”? – Linux Hint

        If you have the experience of working with Git very frequently, then you must know that you can have multiple branches within a single Git project repository. However, the head of your project repository always points to your recently committed branch. It means that you can only make changes to that branch where the head is pointing in your Git project repository. But at times it happens that you are working on one branch and you realize that you need to add something to a previously committed branch. Also, you do not want to commit the branch yet that you are currently working on as you still want to work on it.

        So you start exploring the solutions through which you can switch your context for a while for which the data of your current working branch is also saved temporarily without being committed. The “git stash” command acts as a blessing in disguise in such situations. The sole purpose of using this command is to save the changes temporarily without committing them while you can work with some previously committed branch. After that, you can simply switch back to your current branch by restoring your stashed work. To explain to you the usage of the “git stash” command in Ubuntu 20.04, we have designed the following helpful yet simple tutorial through which you can easily grasp the working of “git stash”

      • What is the Firewall on Ubuntu – Linux Hint

        Ubuntu firewall doesn’t provide complete power than the standard iptables commands do still, one can control it by the graphical interface because it is less complicated. Ubuntu’s firewall is also known as ufw or uncomplicated firewall because it is easy to use and helpful for performing all of the basic firewall tasks without knowing iptables.

        If you are a Linux user, it is good to know about the firewall and the procedure to enable/disable it. This article covers all commands to enable/disable the firewall on Ubuntu without any error.

      • How to List Users in Ubuntu Linux VPS – Linux Hint

        Linux is an excellent operating system that is widely used for team-based projects. So, it is good to have details about the system’s users. It is easy to obtain details about system users in Ubuntu Linux VPS, and command-line inputs can help the system administrator to verify user permissions and activities in the system.

      • How to Install Reveal.js on Ubuntu 20.04 and Create a Simple Presentation - RoseHosting

        reveal.js is a free and open-source HTML framework that can be used to create fully-featured presentations through a web browser. It is built on open web technologies. It has a rich set of features including, Markdown content, nested slides, PDF export, and JavaScript APIs for controlling the slide navigation.

      • How to add third party modules to polybar

        We have added many modules to the polybar. Every now and again creative people will make new modules and you will find the configuration online.

        Our intention is to share the knowledge how you can add them to your system. It is not our attention to have all modules out there in the config.

      • How to install Hypnotix on Ubuntu 20.04 - a TV application - YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Hypnotix on Ubuntu 20.04 - a TV application by Linux Mint.

      • How To Install Erlang on CentOS 8 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Erlang on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Erlang is a programming language used to build massively scalable soft real-time systems with requirements for high availability. The Erlang runtime system has built-in support for concurrency, distribution, and fault tolerance.

        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 Erlang on CentOS 8.

      • How to Install Microsoft SQL Server on Ubuntu 20.04 [Ed: Bad idea for a lot of reasons]
      • How to Deploy & Manage Ghost Themes Using GitHub Actions [Ed: Merely more Microsoft lock-in]
      • 28 yum command examples for package management in Linux part 1 - The Linux Juggernaut

        For managing software via the command line on our Redhat and Centos systems, we could use rpm directly or use yum which is somewhat of a feature rich front end for rpm. We covered the Linux rpm command and it’s features extensively in an earlier article. Yum is an acronym for yollowdog updater modified. The name yellowdog comes from a distribution of Linux which was focussed on IBMs’ power line of systems in the early 2000s. The yum package manager is an earlier implementation of yep, the package manager used by yellowdog Linux. Yum sitting on top of rpm is the default package management interface for Redhat and Centos systems and older versions of Fedora. After Fedora 22 onwards, yum was switched in favor of dnf and we will cover dnf in a future post.

        The major advantage of using yum over rpm is that yum manages dependencies for packages automatically. So if a package requires python or ruby or any other package then yum will go out and fetch and install these packages and any other dependencies which are needed by the package that we are trying to install. If you are trying to install a package that has dependencies via rpm, then you need to be aware of those dependencies and have the rpm package files for those dependencies available and installed on the system. We need to provide the exact package file name to install it via rpm. Yum allows us to work on a higher level. With yum we don’t need to search the web for the exact package file names. Yum provides us tools to search for packages and install them, all from the command line.

        The yum tool searches for packages and their dependencies in large collections of packages called repositories, on the network.

        Yum maintains a local cache of repository data so that you could query information from the repository even when you are offline.

      • 28 yum command examples for package management in Linux part 2 - The Linux Juggernaut

        In our previous article on the Linux yum command, we covered how we could use the yum package manager to search for packages, install them, query information about packages, check for security updates and update the system to have the latest versions of packages installed. In this article, we’ll show how to use yum to update/downgrade a single package, remove packages and a few other tips and tricks.

      • Using Ansible playbook to install Docker on Centos 7 - The Linux Juggernaut

        Docker is a containerization engine and platform that encapsulates application code along with all of its dependencies inside a container. Containers are like virtual machines but they are more portable, more lightweight, and more dependent on the host operating system. Please do check out our extensive series of posts on docker. In this article, we will explain how to install docker using an Ansible Playbook. Ansible at its core is a task execution engine. It exists to provide a method for developers, operators, and engineers to easily define one or more actions to be performed on one or more computers. This capability represents a step beyond just logging into each computer in question and manually typing out the commands. These tasks can target the local system ansible is running on as well as other systems ansible can reach over the network. Arguably the ability to manage remote systems is the most important aspect of ansible. When combined with the ability to express tasks to be performed in the form of simple to read text files, ansible provides a reusable and repeatable system for managing a fleet of infrastructure. In this post, we will explain how to use a simple ansible playbook to automate the steps described in our earlier post explaining the installation of docker on centos 7.

      • 10 Examples of using Iptraf to monitor network traffic in linux - The Linux Juggernaut

        IPTraf is a network monitoring utility in linux that we can use to monitor IP traffic passing over the network. By using this tool, we can we can monitor various connections like TCP, UDP, ICMP, non-IP counts and also Ethernet load information etc.

      • What you should know about versioning in AWS S3 bucket - The Linux Juggernaut

        Versioning is a means of keeping multiple variants of an object in the same bucket. You can use versioning to preserve, retrieve, and restore every version of every object stored in your Amazon S3 bucket. With versioning, you can easily recover from both unintended user actions and application failures. When you enable versioning for a bucket, if Amazon S3 receives multiple write requests for the same object simultaneously, it stores all of the objects. In this guide, we will see how to do that.

      • Learn how to send emails using Linux in 5 minutes - The Linux Juggernaut

        If I ask you how to send an email, what would you say? You will say go to gmail or yahoo mail and send the email. But, do you know that you can send emails using your Linux command line? Yes! you heard me right.

        We can do this by using the mail command. In other words, it is a simple email client that gives you the basic email facilities. Moreover, this will allow you to send and read emails in your inbox. In this guide, I will show you how to do that.

      • Configuring a caching only DNS server on Centos 7 - The Linux Juggernaut

        DNS (Domain Name Server) is considered a critical component of any enterprise IT infrastructure. DNS runs as a service on a system and a DNS server can have different roles or we could say that DNS servers can be classified into multiple categories. In this quick article we will explain how to setup a caching only DNS server. This type of DNS server is the easiest to understand and setup. All DNS servers cache their queries but a DNS server that has been put in use for the sole purpose of caching DNS queries is referred to as a caching only DNS server. A caching only DNS server is also called a resolver. It queries DNS information and obtains the required information from other DNS servers (the root DNS servers in our case) and stores the query result in it’s cache for future use. The duration for which the query result remains in the servers’ cache is determined by the TTL value. This will help to reduce the DNS resolution time when the same query is performed again within the TTL window.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine-Staging 6.0-RC3 Adds A Few Extra Patches

        Building off Friday's release of Wine 6.0-RC3 is now an updated Wine-Staging build for those that want a more experimental/testing blend of Wine.

        Wine-Staging 6.0-RC3 is still bringing just under 800 patches compared to the current upstream state of Wine. Wine-Staging activity is light at the moment given upstream Wine's feature freeze ahead of Wine 6.0.0 in January. There were though updates to some of the staging patches around syscall emulation, MFPLAT streaming support, and other items.

      • Try a text editor inspired by Notepad++

        If you look online for great open source text editors, you’re bound to come across Notepad++. An enduring and popular editor, Notepad++ is built only for Windows. I use the open source operating system Linux but was nevertheless curious to experience Notepad++. Fortunately for me, I discovered one way to try Notepad++ (yes, it’s WINE) and one way to approximate it.


        Whether you stick with the classic Notepad++ or venture into the newer Notepadqq, you’re bound to find satisfaction with these reliable editors. They give you the features you expect for efficient text editing and the access you need so you can hack together your own extensions. These are both fun, reliable, and dependable projects, so give one (or both) a try today!

    • Games

      • ScummVM: You cannot Comprehend It

        It's time to announce testing for a further two Glk subengines. The first is the Glulx interpreter, for which there are many free games available at the IF-Archive.

        The second is the Comprehend engine games developed by Polarware. Here's where things get a bit more complicated. At the moment, only the first three Comprehend games are reading for testing - Transylvania, Crimson Crown, and OO-Topos. These three are also freely available at the IF-Archive. There is also, however, a re-release of Transylvania also available for free from the Graphics Magician website which isn't yet supported.

      • The latest big free Civilization VI update is out with a slightly less annoying AI | GamingOnLinux

        As the last update of the year (and one we missed from last week), getting in one more turn in Civilization VI might be a little less annoying with the AI tweaks in the December patch.

        With the tweaks aiming to make the AI a bit smarter, other civilizations should no longer constantly ask for demands when they're at a clear disadvantage. There's also new options like "Stop asking me" for friendship, peace and trade agreements. Even better though, is a don't ask again option for items requested by the AI - so we can finally shut them up. Firaxis noted some other additional AI logic improvements so games should feel better overall.

      • Valve tweaks Proton Experimental further to get Red Dead Online running on Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Proton Experimental is the new testing area where Valve and their partner CodeWeavers continue rolling out extra fixes and improvements to the Proton translation layer for Steam Play.

        This work follows on from what was done to get Cyberpunk 2077 working and in a better state on Linux, and they're clearly not done yet. In the latest updates to Proton Experimental they added "better support for Red Dead Online, Kingdoms Reborn, and Anno 1404 - History Edition" and also newly improved video support with "infrastructure work for supporting video playback from Media Foundation".

      • YoYo Games expand their Linux support in GameMaker Studio 2 to the Raspberry Pi

        The Raspberry Pi sure is a versatile device and thanks to GameMaker Studio 2 from YoYo Games, it might even end up as more of a gaming unit with newly added support for exported games.

        In the version release of GameMaker Studio 2 that went live on December 16 (details), it mentioned in the release notes how it now supports "Ubuntu ARMv7" as an output type for their editor. We discovered this thanks to the developer of Shield Cat mentioning on their Patreon post how they've been updating their game to hit higher performance on the Raspberry Pi.

        Curious about more details on this, we reached out to YoYo Games to clarify some details of this new feature. Their CTO, Russell Kay, mentioned this in reply to why they started supporting Linux ARM devices...

      • Pulse-pounding 2D ninja action in 'Cyber Shadow' releases January 26, 2021 | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for some serious action-platforming with an awesome 8-bit inspired style? Cyber Shadow has been confirmed for release on January 26, 2021.

        Coming from developer Mechanical Head Studios who teamed up with Yacht Club Games (Shovel Knight), Cyber Shadow is a pulse-pounding 2D ninja action platformer that allows players to relive the authenticity of the classic 8-bit challenge (with an added convenience or two)!

      • Portal 2: Desolation standalone mod gets a first proper teaser, coming to Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Will the cake be a lie here too? Portal 2: Desolation is an upcoming very high-quality looking mod and they have revealed the first look.

        "'Desolation' tells the story of a cybernetically-enhanced test subject named Diana Mendez. After sustaining injuries, Diana is fitted with Aperture’s BRACE cybernetic system, featuring a suite of robotic upgrades including an integrated Portal Device. When a relentless threat emerges, she must embark on a perilous journey that will see her uncover Aperture’s mysterious past… and maybe even face her own."

        It's been in development for a few years now and it's finally getting closer to release! This is a full standalone story mod too, not just a few levels stitched together. An original story, characters and location for an ambitious sounding experience - exciting!

      • Godot Engine hires another developer, this time for physics fun | GamingOnLinux

        Through 2020 it seems the free and open source game engine Godot Engine has gone from strength to strength, and they've managed to hire another developer.

        Not long after announcing a new hire thanks to funding from Facebook, developer Camille Mohr-Daurat has now been hired thanks to a "generous donation" to work part-time over six months to improve Godot's 2D and 3D physics systems. They said their main goal is to modernise the whole thing - no doubt something that will excite a number of developers using Godot.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KMyMoney 5.1.1 released

          Just in time for the upcoming Christmas Holidays, the KMyMoney development team today announces the immediate availability of version 5.1.1 of its open source Personal Finance Manager.

          This is a maintenance release as part of the ongoing effort to support our users and fix bugs and annoyances. If you think you can support the project with some code changes or your artistic or writing talent, please take a look at the some low hanging fruits at the KMyMoney junior job list. Any contribution is welcome.

          Despite the ongoing permanent testing we understand that some bugs may have slipped past our best efforts. If you find one of them, please forgive us, and be sure to report it, either to the mailing list or on

        • Kdenlive 20.12 is out!

          The team is happy to announce Kdenlive 20.12 release bringing exciting new features like same track transitions, subtitling tool, an overhauled effects layout and the usual batch of bug fixes and usability improvements. Work was done on performance optimizations (by Martin Tobias Holmedahl Sandsmark) resulting in a snappier timeline, improved thumbnail creation and faster project opening.

        • KDE e.V. Windows Store Statistics [Ed: Windows is a waste of time for KDE; need to focus on BSD and GNU/Linux]

          The end of 2020 is nigh, let’s take a look at the current statistics of all applications in the Windows Store published with the KDE e.V. account.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Major Design Changes Coming in GNOME 40, Out Next Year
          Several major user experience and design changes are planned, all aiming to improve the form and function of the “Activities” overview, aka the on-demand workspace accessed by clicking the ‘Activities‘ text button on the top bar in GNOME Shell.

          “Following months of design exploration and 6 separate user research exercises […] the GNOME Shell team has an updated design for the Activities Overview,” Allan Day, user experience designer at Red Hat and GNOME design lead, explains.

          And the new design is a dramatic one.

        • Font Manager: A Simple Open-Source App for GTK+ Desktop

          If you are an experienced Linux user, you might be utilizing the terminal or the tweak tool to manage fonts on your Linux system.

          Honestly, no matter how useful the GNOME tweak tool is — it could be a little too overwhelming just to manage fonts. So, a separate application would be perfectly fine to help you manage fonts.

    • Distributions

      • Manjaro vs. Linux Mint: Which one is for you?

        This leads us to the end of our Linux Mint vs. Manjaro comparison. By now, you should have a clear understanding of which distro is for you! If you are looking for stability, software support, and ease of use, pick Linux Mint.

        However, if you are looking for a distro that supports Arch Linux, Manjaro is your pick. Manjaro’s advantage relies on its documentation, hardware support, and user support.

        In short, you cannot go wrong with any of them. Now, the choice is yours, depending on what you are looking for!

        So, which distro is going to get installed on your machine? Comment below and let us know.

      • Reviews

        • Review: Archman GNU/Linux 2020-11-12 "KDE"

          For the most part my time with Archman was fairly typical of using a modern distribution. The installation went smoothly, the usual, popular open source applications were available, desktop performance was good on the workstation and about average, at least once I had tweaked settings, in the virtual machine. Most applications and settings worked the way I wanted and I generally could just focus on getting stuff done without worrying about the underlying operating system.

          However, there were a number of curious choices and obvious bugs in this release. As I mentioned early on, booting in UEFI mode is a challenge because starting the live desktop is not the default option in the boot menu. There are some little quirks with settings, or the location of some items, but most of them are fine. The big issues for me were to do with package management. I'm very puzzled by Discover being the default package manager when it has no back-end, preventing it from functioning at all. The second package manager wasn't much better since its default view provides access to only one package and dependency resolution seems to be broken. Working with software on the command line works fine so this does not appear to be a problem with Archman as a whole, just the graphical front-end for package management.

          In the end I got along okay with Archman. The distribution did not, in my opinion, do anything remarkably well or stand out from other Arch-based distributions in any way that grabbed my attention. It's a mostly solid operating system with a few notable issues that I could work around. I think the biggest issue most people will likely face is each snapshot offers different editions. Which means if you want, for example, the MATE flavour, you will end up downloading an old snapshot and then installing a lot of updates to bring the system up to date. Otherwise Archman provided a mostly good, occasionally puzzling, but on the whole uneventful experience.

      • New Releases

        • CRUX-Based Kwort 4.3.5 Linux Distro Switches to Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS

          Kwort is a minimalist Linux distro that uses the lightweight Openbox window manager to provide advanced users with a simple, yet very fast and powerful operating system for their personal computers. While Kwort is based on CRUX, it doesn’t requires users to compile the Linux kernel and uses its own package manager called kpkg.

          More than a year and a half in the works, Kwort 4.3.5 joins the very short list of GNU/Linux distributions that have adopted the latest and greatest Linux 5.10 kernel series, which is an LTS (Long-Term Support) kernel branch that will probably receive support for the next couple of years.

      • BSD

        • NetBSD scholarship

          Allen Briggs was one of the earliest members of the NetBSD community, pursuing his interest in macBSD, and moving to become a NetBSD developer when the two projects merged. Allen was known for his quiet and relaxed manner, and always brought a keen wisdom with him; allied with his acute technical expertise, he was one of the most valued members of the NetBSD community.

          He was a revered member of the NetBSD core team, and keenly involved in many aspects of its application; from working on ARM chips to helping architect many projects, Allen was renowned for his expertise. He was a distinguished engineer at Apple, and used his NetBSD expertise there to bring products to market.

          Allen lived in Blacksburg Virginia with his wife and twin boys and was active with various community volunteer groups. His family touched the families of many other NetBSD developers and those friendships have endured beyond his passing.

          We have received the following from Allen's family and decided to share it with the NetBSD community. If you can, we would ask you to consider contributing to his Memorial Scholarship.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • HP EliteBook 840 G7 running openSUSE Tumbleweed

          I was given an incredible gift by my former employer as a parting gift, an HP EliteBook 840 G7. I didn’t unpack it right away as I wasn’t sure how I was going to integrate it into my mess of computer equipment. I have been very happy with my Dell Latitude E6440 and decided my next system was going to be a desktop system.

          Bottom line up front, I am surprisingly pleased with this system. The HPs I have used in times past have been less than stellar and this machine is not at all anywhere close to the same experience. This machine is pretty great and far better than any HP I have ever used. openSUSE Tumbleweed runs fantastically well on this hardware. Setting it up was trivial and it has been a fantastic experience.

      • Arch Family

        • Arch Linux-based Manjaro ARM 20.12 is here for Raspberry Pi 4, Pinebook, Odroid N2, and more
          ARM is the future of desktop computing, and once again, Apple is leading the mainstream in this regard -- its new M1 Mac computers have been very well received. True, Microsoft had Windows on ARM first, but the reality is, consumers didn't care about that. Apple has made desktop computing on ARM popular.

          With all of that said, Linux on ARM predates both Windows and macOS on ARM, and quite frankly, Linux is better equipped to scale to different architectures. The newest Raspberry Pi 4 computer, for instance, can run desktop Linux distros like a champ. And now, Arch Linux-based Manjaro ARM 20.12 is here for Raspberry Pi 4, Pinebook, Odroid N2, and more.

        • Manjaro ARM 20.12 Released with KDE Plasma 5.20, New App for Flashing Images

          The big news in Manjaro ARM 20.12 is the introduction of a new application that makes it easier for users to flash the Manjaro ARM images on SD or eMMC cards. It’s called Manjaro ARM Flasher (manjaro-arm-flasher) and can be installed from the software repositories on top of your Manjaro Linux installation.

          Another interesting new feature of the Manjaro ARM 20.12 release is the ability for the First Time setup to work via SSH (Secure Shell). During the setup, users will be asked to configure the keyboard layout, username, full name, user and root passwords, timezone, locale, hostname, and optional additional user groups.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Shifting Their Git Repositories To "Main", Some To "Rawhide" - Phoronix

          The Fedora Project is the latest open-source software project working to migrate their Git repositories off using the existing default branch name of "master" and instead using "main" but for some repositories will be "rawhide" where it better aligns with the usage in Fedora Rawhide packages to their development development.

        • 4 cool new projects to try in COPR from December 2020 - Fedora Magazine

          COPR is a collection of personal repositories for software that isn’t carried in Fedora. Some software doesn’t conform to standards that allow easy packaging. Or it may not meet other Fedora standards, despite being free and open-source. COPR can offer these projects outside the Fedora set of packages. Software in COPR isn’t supported by Fedora infrastructure or signed by the project. However, it can be a neat way to try new or experimental software.

          This article presents a few new and interesting projects in COPR. If you’re new to using COPR, see the COPR User Documentation for how to get started.

        • Release Osbuild Composer 26

          We are happy to announce that we released osbuild-composer 26.

          It now allows sharing Amazon Machine Images with another account after uploading. This is useful when you run osbuild-composer for others: they don’t need to pass AWS secrects to your instance, but only an account id.

          The composer API gained support for dnf’s mirrorlist and metalink URLs, making building from official Fedora repositories easier.

          It also contains many updates to the RHEL 8.4 images we introduced in the last release, as well as bug fixes and stability improvements.

      • Debian Family

        • MPV vs Mplayer €« etbe - Russell Coker

          After writing my post about VDPAU in Debian [1] I received two great comments from anonymous people. One pointed out that I should be using VA-API (also known as VAAPI) on my Intel based Thinkpad and gave a reference to an Arch Linux Wiki page, as usual Arch Linux Wiki is awesome and I learnt a lot of great stuff there. I also found the Debian Wiki page on Hardware Video Acceleration [2] which has some good information (unfortunately I had already found all that out through more difficult methods first, I should read the Debian Wiki more often.

          It seems that mplayer doesn’t suppoer VAAPI. The other comment suggested that I try the mpv fork of Mplayer which does support VAAPI but that feature is disabled by default in Debian.

          I did a number of tests on playing different videos on my laptop running Debian/Buster with Intel video and my workstation running Debian/Unstable with ATI video. The first thing I noticed is that mpv was unable to use VAAPI on my laptop and that VDPAU won’t decode VP9 videos on my workstation and most 4K videos from YouTube seem to be VP9. So in most cases hardware decoding isn’t going to help me.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Dustin J. Mitchell: Software Development as Surfing

        I grew up on the coast of Maine, where when the ocean temp hits a balmy 55€°F (13€°C, 286€°K) everyone heads to the beach for a swim. I spent a lot of my youth “bodysurfing” in the relatively small summer curlers that crashed on the nearby beach. If you’ve been surfing, you know there’s a “sweet spot” in a wave where it does all the work for you, and it’s a thrill when you find it. Get too far behind the wave, and you’ll fall out of it and wait for the next one. Get too far ahead and the downward flow will dunk you and you’ll pop up behind the wave again.

        Thinking back over the software I’ve been involved with, I think there’s a parallel story.

        Sometimes software development feels like a drag; like we’re struggling to keep up or even falling behind. Maybe that’s too many great ideas and not enough people to implement them. Or maybe implementing those ideas is just so time-consuming that it’s not worth the effort. On a project with a lot of users, a losing battle with bug reports might be behind this feeling of endless struggle.

        At the other end of the scale, a project can feel like summer vacation: plenty of time to work on whatever catches your fancy. Add some snazzy formatting? Sure! Refactor to use that cool new library? Don’t mind if I do! Rewrite it in Rust? Why the heck not? But at some point, reality catches up: in a business product, it turns out customers don’t pay for refactors. In an open-source project, bug reports and feature requests start to pile up, while contributors struggle with merge conflicts and navigating scores of half-finished rewrites. There’s a brief period of panic, and the project finds itself struggling to keep up once again.

      • Nextcloud offers free 5GB accounts for users looking to avoid lock-in

        Open-source file syncing and sharing software company Nextcloud has released migration apps to enable users to move from popular proprietary cloud services to a private cloud platform.

      • FSFE

        • I took FSFE to court. This is my story

          Soon after the first lockdown in Berlin this year I filed a public case in the Berlin Tribunal of Labour Court against the president of Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), Matthias Kirschner, for workplace bullying. Why? A female colleague and me had dared to discuss wage transparency and gender pay gap in the office. Apparently it is common in Germany that this gap exceeds 20%, but we both felt secure that the free software movement is progressive, and cares about being inclusive and equal opportunities oriented. Unfortunately we miscalculated – our boss Matthias was beyond furious. After that office meeting, he told my colleague “there will be consequences”. Our efforts coincided with the resignation of Richard Stallman from the US-based sister organisation of FSFE due to careless revictimisation of female victims of sexual abuse- another gender discrimination issue in our community that would cause the situation in our office to deteriorate quickly. In its reluctant press release on this pivotal change in leadership in the largest free software organisation in the world, the FSFE had opted to honour Stallman for his undeniably long service and overlook the social issues underlying the change – something with which I expressed dissatisfaction, and not without support from colleagues. It led to immediate retribution. I was ordered to rewrite the text and was warned that I had “three hours to do it. Whether we will publish it or not, is going to be my [Matthias', my rem.] decision, not yours”. Free software is in most of our digital infrastructure, and I care a lot about inclusivity in this community to ensure that our most basic tools can be developed by everyone's perspectives for everyone's needs, so I rewrote our announcement. But not only was it never published – it was not even honoured with his feedback.

        • Court case: Matthias Kirschner, FSFE women and volunteers face modern day slavery
          A blog has appeared with details of the allegations against Matthias Kirschner, including workplace bullying, sexism, stalking and underpayment of women.

          Everything in the blog is entirely consistent with the observations of the last fellowship representative: Kirschner is a thin-skinned despot who tries to control everybody around him. We previously covered Kirschner's character defects here.

          We were not sure whether to name the women who were fired by Kirschner. You can see their names on this snapshot of the FSFE web site before Kirschner decided to blame them for his own small-mindedness. Now the women published a blog, will Kirschner publish their names in the next FSFE meeting minutes? Look out for the names Susanne Eiswirt and Galia Mancheva. Their crime? They wanted to be paid.

      • Programming/Development

        • Modern software strategy for manufacturing companies - KDAB

          Software has become a critical factor of our economy. Manufacturing companies must start to think and act software-centric to survive. In this interview, software pioneer Matthias Kalle Dalheimer explains why conventional companies run the risk of becoming commoditized and how they can get ahead of the competition. What are the corner stones of a real modern software strategy? What can the “old economy” learn from the software industry (and vice versa)?

        • At 25, JavaScript Programming Language Is Still Progressing

          JavaScript is still one of the most widely used programming languages. How has it been able to continue its popularity, and where will it be 25 years from now?

        • Future of programming languages is brighter than you think

          It’s hard to generalize which programming languages will define the future of programming, but at least these five programming languages are promising faster, secure, and efficient coding that’ll surely help developers increase their productivity levels. Some of the classic languages are here to stay forever, but the new updates make them look new.

        • Expression Category Taxonomy in C++ – Linux Hint

          A computation is any type of calculation that follows a well-defined algorithm. An expression is a sequence of operators and operands that specifies a computation. In other words, an expression is an identifier or a literal, or a sequence of both, joined by operators.

          In programming, an expression can result in a value and/or cause some happening. When it results in a value, the expression is a glvalue, rvalue, lvalue, xvalue, or prvalue. Each of these categories is a set of expressions. Each set has a definition and particular situations where its meaning prevails, differentiating it from another set. Each set is called a value category.

        • LLVM Adds Additional Protections For Arm's SLS Speculation Vulnerability Mitigation

          Revealed earlier this year was the Arm Straight Line Speculation (SLS) vulnerability. SLS was a Google discovery for modern ARMv8 CPUs where speculative execution past unconditional changes in control flow could lead to information disclosure via side-channel analysis. Arm recommended compiler-based mitigations to insert speculation barriers after vulnerable instructions, which GCC and LLVM began adding opt-in protections right away. This weekend some additional SLS functionality was added for LLVM.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Raku Challenge, Week 92, Issue 1 – Andrew Shitov

            This week’s task has an interesting solution in Raku. So, here’s the task:

            You are given two strings $A and $B. Write a script to check if the given strings are Isomorphic. Print 1 if they are otherwise 0.

            So, we need to compute the difference between the codes of the corresponding characters from both strings, and those differences have to be the same for every character.

          • Raku Advent Calendar: Day 21: The Story Of Elfs, and Roles, And Santas’ Enterprise

            Let’s be serious. After all, we’re grown up people and know the full truth about Santa: he is a showman, and he is a top manager of Santa’s family business. No one knows his exact position, because we must not forget about Mrs.Santa whose share in running the company is at least equal. The position is not relevant to our story anyway. What is important though is that running such a huge venture requires a lot of skills. Not to mention that the venture itself is also a tremendous show on its own, as one can find out from documentaries like The Santa Clause and many other filmed over the last several decades of human history.

            What would be the hardest part of running The North Pole Inc.? Logistics? Yeah, but with all the magic of the sleds, and the reindeers, and the Christmas night this task is not that hard to be done. Manufacturing? This task has been delegated to small outsourcing companies like Lego, Nintendo, and dozens others across the globe.

            What else remains? The employees. Elves. And, gosh!, have you ever tried to organize them? Don’t even think of trying unless you have a backup in form of a padded room served by polite personnel with reliable supply of pills where you’d be spending your scarce vacation days. It’s an inhumane task because when one puts together thousands, if not millions, as some estimations tell, of ambitious stage stars (no elf would ever consider himself as a second-plane actor!), each charged with energy amount more appropriate to a small nuclear reactor… You know…

          • Making myself a present | Playing Perl 6␛b6xA Raku

            My last simple Christmas wish turned out to be quite complex. Testing an idea in actual code can reveal much of the problems that arise from changing CORE concepts. Luckily, we can tweak many things in Raku without changing code in Rakudo. One thing that always bugged me are Mixins of compound types. When mixing in a value, this value will be exposed by a method with the same name as the values’ type object name.

        • Rust

          • Advent of Rust 18 and 19: Parsers and New Math | The Mad Scientist Review

            Today we have to solve arithmetic homework problems, from a bizarro parallel universe where there is no precedence of operators. We get an input file with homework problems that look like 1 + 2 * 3 + 4 * 5 + 6 to which the answer is not 33 as you might expect, but 71 because in the absence of parentheses you just do all the operations from left to right.

            I have in the past had to build a parser for (normal) arithmetic expressions, so in theory I should know how to do this. However, reading the Faster than Lime posts, I have seen that the author is often using a Rust parser generator package called PEG for the problems where I used scan_fmt!(), and it looks quite easy to use. So I decide to use PEG as well to generate this parser.

  • Leftovers

    • New Book Digs Into Government Files to Keep Alive Memory of Radical Folk Artists
    • The New Battle of the Alamo

      Under the guise of making the Alamo more visitor-friendly and inclusive, officials want to erase the Battle of the Alamo from the minds of future generations, Gleim said. The San Antonio City Council and George P. Bush, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, want to turn the Shrine of Texas Liberty, Gleim said, “into a United Nations-run, progressive lesson on the evils of Anglo imperialism.”

      Proponents of the Alamo redevelopment plan—which the City of San Antonio and the Texas General Land Office agreed to in 2018—say Gleim and likeminded Texans are misinformed.

    • Science

    • Hardware

      • How and why I stopped buying new laptops

        Although capitalism could provide us with used laptops for decades to come, the strategy outlined above should be considered a hack, not an economical model. It’s a way to deal with or escape from an economic system that tries to force you and me to consume as much as possible. It’s an attempt to break that system, but it’s not a solution in itself. We need another economical model, in which we build all laptops like pre-2011 Thinkpads. As a consequence, laptop sales would go down, but that’s precisely what we need. Furthermore, with today’s computing efficiency, we could significantly reduce the operational and embodied energy use of a laptop if we reversed the trend towards ever higher functionality.

        Significantly, hardware and software changes drive the fast obsolescence of computers, but the latter has now become the most crucial factor. A computer of 15 years old has all the hardware you need, but it’s not compatible with the newest (commercial) software. This is true for operating systems and every type of software, from games to office applications to websites. Consequently, to make laptop use more sustainable, the software industry would need to start making every new version of its products lighter instead of heavier. The lighter the software, the longer our laptops will last, and we will need less energy to use and produce them.

      • A World Without the IBM PC

        To begin our journey we must have a look at what computers looked like in the golden age of personal computing. A time when we have a wide variety of brands to choose from, all with different, often brilliant ideas. We know the Mac and the PC today, so let us look at the computer brands no longer with us.

      • Jo Christian Oterhals: The fact that Amiga "lost" to the PC was in my opinion not the "Amiga is a toy!".

        As for Windows not being released until 1990, that's plain wrong. Windows 3.0 was released in 1990 and was a huge success compared to earlier version. Windows 1.0 launched in 1985. But you're right if you meant to say "usable version" of Windows :-)

    • Health/Nutrition

      • UPS and Postal Service Workers Struggle With COVID and High Volume
      • Colorado Springs-area promoter fears pandemic will end its run: 'If it's fun, it's not allowed'

        In 2020, events were canceled, gatherings curtailed and holiday traditions shattered.

        Concerts, festivals, celebrations — the COVID-19 pandemic wiped them all out. And the businesses that support them might not be far behind.

        Jim and Pam Wear of Monument have run Pro Promotions Inc. for 30 years, catering largely to the motorcycle riding crowd of Colorado. They’re the folks, for the last decade, behind planning and executing the annual Territory Days in Old Colorado City — the 45th of which was canceled in May. They also produce the large Salute to American Veterans motorcycle rally and festival held annually in Cripple Creek, which was also called off this year.

        There’s also the glossy magazine Pro Promotions produces called Colorado Motorcycling Events Magazine.

      • In-house: brand restrictions may help low-quality goods flourish [Ed: Food and drug monopolists have long sought to portray their competition as unfit for consumption and public health danger. Sad to see so-called 'journalists' relaying lies.]

        Drug makers warn that proposed legislation in Chile could spell dangers for trusted brands – not just those in Latin America

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Windows 10 20H2 Update Reportedly Damages SSD File Systems If You Run ChkDsk
        • Russia could cut off U.S. food and water supply in next cyberattack, Romney says

          Russia acted with impunity when it hacked U.S. government servers in a global cyber-espionage campaign and could do far more damage next time — like cutting off the nation’s water and electricity supply, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney said Sunday.

          Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the Utah senator said the massive cyberattack discovered earlier this week, which officials say could be the biggest hack on the American government ever, must be met with a vigorous response and without delay.

        • Microsoft Caught Up in SolarWinds Spy Effort, Joining Federal Agencies

          Adversaries were able to use SolarWinds’ Orion network management platform to infect users with a stealth backdoor called “Sunburst” or “Solorigate,” that opened the way for lateral movement to other parts of a network. It was pushed out via trojanized product updates to almost 18,000 organizations around the globe, starting nine months ago. Once embedded, the attackers have been able to pick and choose which organizations to further penetrate.

        • Trump Downplays SolarWinds Hack, Pompeo Blames Russia

          President Donald Trump played down the SolarWinds breach and shifted blame to China in his first public remarks on a cyberattack that’s crippled numerous federal agencies.

        • US 'has evidence Russia breached its nuclear networks' in massive cyber attack [iophk: Windows TCO]
        • Security

          • 5 open source security practices from 2020

            Few of us really want to read articles about security. They're usually uncomfortable (and overwhelming) reminders of the things we aren't doing to keep our data safe and secure. Luckily for us, this year, authors specifically focused on writing about manageable security tasks. Some are afternoon projects, while others are small steps you can take to improve your default security settings.

            Here are 13 of our favorites.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Lessons from a Privacy Shield post-mortem on Capitol Hill

              The ECJ’s July Schrems II judgment, which invalidated the Privacy Shield agreement for reasons related to US surveillance law, forced companies to shift to standard contractual clauses (SCCs) as an alternative legal vehicle for protecting personal data sent from Europe to the United States for commercial purposes. While the ruling did not interrupt data flows at the time, the court also insisted that companies bolster SCCs with additional safeguards to guard against the risk of foreign surveillance of transferred data.

              On November 10, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) produced draft guidance recommending, among other things, that companies employing SCCs adopt end-to-end encryption of data. The EDPB also pointed out that end-to-end encryption, while recommended, is not feasible for data transfers to cloud service providers, which require access to data in the clear, or for transfers within a corporate group for shared business purposes such as human resources or customer service. If the EDPB guidance survives unchanged, companies would be legally unable to conduct these major types of transatlantic data transfers. The unexpectedly tough regulatory pronouncement added urgency to US government efforts to negotiate the Privacy Shield’s successor with the European Commission.

            • Apple granted biometrics patents for palm recognition and wearables button

              Palm ID could be the next popular biometric authentication method for consumer electronics, as an Apple patent for a contactless palm recognition system, which could measure palm prints or veins, has been granted to the tech giant by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Apple has also been granted a patent by the USPTO for a fingerprint biometric system for a wearable device, which could be a Touch ID button on an Apple Watch. The patent for an ‘Electronic device including palm biometric sensor layer and related methods’ shows an imaging sensor and potentially Apple’s infrared imaging system being used to perform authentication to the device by sensing “surface distortion.” The image sensing layer could include a substrate, possibly with a photodiode layer, and a layer for narrowing the field of view above that. The system could also use a flood light source operable at between 450 nm and 560 nm, instead of infrared light.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Evolution of U.S.-Backed Death Squads in Honduras

        In 2009, the Obama administration (2009-17) backed a coup against President Manuel Zelaya. Since then, Honduras has endured a decline in its living standards and democratic institutions. The return of 1980s-style death squads operating against working people in the interests of U.S. corporations has contributed to the refugee-migrant flow to the United States and to the rise of racist politics.


      • Ex-UK Ambassador: war on Syria continues with US occupation, sanctions, propaganda
      • NYT Erases US Economic War Against Venezuela

        The New York Times has long played a role in supporting U.S. attempts to dominate Latin America.

      • Why Boko Haram’s attack on Toumour, Niger is a stark warning to neighbouring states

        Terrorists believed to be affiliated with Boko Haram launched a bloody attack on Toumour, a village in southeastern Niger, right on the border with Nigeria, on the night of December 12. At least 28 people were killed. Videos posted on Twitter on December 13 show the village in ruins after the attack.

      • Violence in Nigeria – what and where

        Islamist extremist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for abducting hundreds of boys from a boarding school in Nigeria’s Katsina state, according to an audio recording.

        Last week’s abductions added to growing public anger over violence and insecurity across Africa’s most populous nation.

        The following are details on violence affecting different regions of Nigeria. [...]

      • Berlin Islamist terror attack: A deadly story of failure

        The attack on the Breitscheidplatz Christmas market was the most serious Islamist terror attack in Germany to date. And it was "preventable," according to Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of the domestic intelligence agency at the time.

        Maassen made his testimony in October this year before the Bundestag's parliamentary inquiry committee, set up in March 2018 to establish who was responsible for the many mistakes in the course of the investigation.

        It turned out the police had been aware that Amri was more than just a small-scale drug vendor and failed asylum-seeker. Still, they failed to prevent the attack.

      • The New Humanitarian | Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado: Militants advance as aid access shrinks

        The small group of militants were dismissed as bandits and machete-wielding gangs by Mozambique's government after they began launching attacks in the country's northernmost Cabo Delgado province in October 2017.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Mitch McConnell is no more credible than Donald Trump — but the press sucks up to him

        Amazingly, it doesn't even seem to matter to congressional reporters that McConnell has provided no cogent argument for why he's blocking desperately needed aid. He doesn't need to explain! It's just taken as a given. As I wrote last week, the absolutely unparalleled, truly radical obstructionism by McConnell and his caucus has become normalized — even internalized — by the congressional press corps.

        It's not that reporters don't know better. It's just that whatever the facts are, they continue to shoehorn them into the age-old congressional reporting tropes about both sides slogging it out to the finish line.

    • Environment

      • Criminal complaint against mining company: ‘It is a crime against humanity’

        As reported by Özer Akdemir from Evrensel newspaper, the petition has noted that the International Criminal Court is authorized to put the related persons on trial. Accordingly, the locals have demanded that the 15 people in question be penalized by opening an investigation and lawsuit.

        'A crime is committed against humanity'

        Filing a complaint about "crime against humanity", the petition submitted to the court has referred to scientific studies and reports and underlined that "the activities of the company's executive board members have harmed local ecosystems just as they have committed a crime against humanity by contributing to the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus outbreak through their activities undermining the ecological balance of the planet."

      • Energy

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • As Congressional Leaders Strike Relief Deal, AOC Slams Democrats for Trying to 'Lock Their Left Flank in the Basement'

        Ocasio-Cortez said that while Republicans "leverage their right flank to gain policy concessions and generate enthusiasm," Democrats shut progressives out.

      • Trump Reportedly Floated Michael Flynn's "Martial Law" Suggestion During White House Meeting

        "A week ago 126 of my Republican colleagues violated the Constitution by supporting Trump's attempt to steal the election. How many support Trump's discussion of military dictatorship?" asked Rep. Bill Pascrell.

      • The Final Days of Donald Trump, Absentee President

        During which a petulant manchild tries to wear us out with his refusal to face reality.

      • Belarus on the Edge

        Biden and his presumed Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, have already called for a more vigorous U.S. geopolitical presence in the Middle East and Europe, crucial to the goal of a revitalized neoliberal order presumably in need of more regime changes, possibly new wars that should bring the Pentagon and deep state back to less-disputed prominence in American political life. Biden recently said: “I continue to stand with the people of Belarus and support their democratic aspirations. I also condemn the appalling human rights abuses committed by the Lukashenko regime.”

        Blinken, it turns out, is the ultimate neocon, with an abiding love of the Pentagon, CIA, corporate power, and Israel – matched, of course, by obligatory hatred of Russia and Putin. Blinken and Biden have been allies for nearly two decades, both Democrats havingp vigorously supported the Iraq war as well as the Libya debacle. Both are hell-bent on removing President Assad in Syria, segue to Obama’s unfinished regime-change mission there. Since 2018 Blinken has worked at WestExec Advisors, a strategic firm where the military, CIA, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley converge around shared global ambitions. Among its Beltway exploits, WestExec has serviced a good many Fortune 500 corporations, especially those doing business with the Pentagon.

      • Trump Reportedly Entertained Michael Flynn's "Martial Law" Proposal in Meeting
      • President-Elect Biden's Voting Rights To-Do List

        Trump’s assault on our democracy reinforces the Biden administration’s obligation to do everything within its power to protect the right to vote.

      • Everyday War Crimes: Israeli PM Netanyahu Gets Covid Vaccine, Squatters Get Vaccine, But Not Occupied Palestinians

        Vaccines will be supplied to the hundreds of thousands of government-backed illegal Israeli squatters on Palestinian land in the West Bank, but not to the indigenous Palestinian population.

      • Pentagon officials float possible NSA, Cyber Command split

        The NSA, the Defense Department’s foreign signals intelligence agency, and Cyber Command, the department’s offensive cyber arm, are currently both led by Gen. Paul Nakasone in an arrangement that allows them to share resources and coordinate on priorities, such as protecting U.S. elections against foreign meddling.

        A proposal to end that arrangement was circulated among Pentagon officials in recent days, according to The Wall Street Journal. DefenseOne first reported the news Saturday.

        Whether Defense Department officials intend to follow through on the idea remains unclear.

      • Russian APT could mean USA Collapse. In-Depth Report

        Trump’s COVID failure, which has caused more than 415,000 excess deaths in America with another 600,000 anticipated by next spring or thereabouts, is no longer the single greatest leadership failure in US history. Giving away America’s and its allies’ information technology networks to the Kremlin is worse.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Journalists in India face attacks, legal action, and threats

        In September and October 2020, lists circulating online allegedly identifying journalists as “anti-Hindu” or as “Indian agents” named dozens of local members of the press, police opened investigations into at least two reporters and one media executive, and authorities attacked at least one journalist during the course of his reporting, according to news reports and journalists who spoke with CPJ.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Law Student's Arrest 62-Years Ago Helped Inspire Youth-Led Movements for Social Change

        Bruce Carver Boynton (1937—2020) exemplified the power of a young person to take a principled stand on behalf of human dignity.

      • We Must Remember to #SayHerName in Our Movements Against Police Violence
      • US Votes Against UN Resolution Condemning Nazis, Labels It “Russian Disinformation”

        One of the many dirty secrets from the Second World War is that great numbers of Ukrainians and other ethnic nationalist groups in the USSR rose up to work with Nazi Germany in order to rid themselves of Moscow’s rule. Much of their work included rounding up millions of Jews, gypsies, leftists, homosexuals, and other groups, sending them to concentration camps. With the fall of the USSR in 1991, many of these groups came to the fore again, rewriting their own history to present themselves not as collaborators, but nationalist heroes, struggling under a dual occupation from Germany and Russia, rebranding themselves as respectable conservatives.

        Perhaps the most prominent example of Neo-Nazi power is Ukraine, where the U.S. helped engineer an uprising that brought about a pro-Washington government. In 2015, that new government banned Soviet iconography, made sympathy for communism illegal, and began officially rehabilitating Neo-Nazi groups who participated in genocide in World War II, honoring their supposed sacrifice and patriotism.

    • Monopolies

      • News media code: ball firmly in Federal Govt's court

        The next move in the battle over the news media code lies with the government, after Google essentially said on Friday that nothing in the law that was introduced in Parliament on 9 December was workable.

      • Apple likens market definition in antitrust case against Apple Arcade game subscription service to gerrymandering of electoral districts

        About two months ago, class action lawyers brought a case against Apple over its Apple Arcade game subscription service for iOS, alleging that consumers overpaid because Apple didn't allow other game services such as Microsoft xCloud, Google Stadia, Facebook Gaming, and GeForce Now to be offered on the iPhone and the iPad. The consumer plaintiff's name is John Pistacchio.

        When the deadline for responding to a complaint is up, a defendant must either file an answer to the complaint or a motion to dismiss the case at this earliest procedural juncture. For example, Google brought a motion to dismiss Epic Games' antitrust complaint over its Google Play terms and policies, while Apple decided to defend itself against Epic's App Store case, though some of Apple's defenses would also be typical arguments in favor of outright dismissal.

      • Patents

        • Asia’s top IP teams named; Qualcomm cools on pools; Top pharma royalty deals of 2020; Albright tightens grip on US patent cases; How to halt hold-up; plus much more [Ed: IAM did not mention EPO strikes; it did, however, mention fluff designed to distract from these]

          New research from the EPO sheds light on patenting activity relating to the fourth industrial revolution. We provide the top takeaways.

        • 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) [Ed: Criminals who run the EPO knowingly break the law. They keep looking for tricks by which to justify breaking the law and abolishing due process standards.]

          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.

        • More than an address change: Managing patent recordals [Ed: Wasting time on patents and a lot of money on lawyers instead of actually doing something useful and productive.]

          A wide variety of business changes or initiatives can affect the life and validity of a patent. When these events are directly related to the patent, such as a new licence, a pledge or a transfer of ownership, such as assignment, inheritance or merger, it is rare for a patent owner to forget to register the changes. But, when a company changes its name or address, it’s not uncommon for patent recordals to be overlooked. Unfortunately, this can be far from inconsequential.

        • BIPC Releases Report On Damages In Patent Infringement Cases

          The Beijing Intellectual Property Court ("BIPC") recently released a report on patent infringement cases tried by the BIPC between its establishment in November 2014 up to March 2020. The report examines the effectiveness of judicial remedies on patent infringement cases and suggests areas for improvement.

          During this period, the BIPC received a total of 2,811 patent infringement cases and adjudicated 1,923 cases, with a completion rate of over 68%. 65.5% of the total cases received were settled or withdrawn, while 480 cases were closed by judgements, which accounted for 17% of the total cases. It is important to note that the data is not comprehensive as there are low closing rates for high technology cases, with trials being time consuming and laborious.

        • Other legislation and policy developments in 2020 [Ed: [Ed: Read as, corrupt Thierry Breton wants to impose illegal software patents using UNCONSTITUTIONAL UPC]

          Improving the protection of IP – including by improving the supplementary protection certificates, modernising EU design protection, addressing the impact of new technologies including AI and blockchain, and facilitating rapid rollout of the unitary patent system.

        • Apple Seeks to Cut VirnetX Patent Loss That Could Top $1 Billion

          Apple Inc. said its financial penalty for infringing VirnetX Holdings Corp. patents could swell to more than $1 billion if a federal judge in Texas grants requests for additional interest and royalty payments on top of what juries in two separate cases have ordered the iPhone maker to pay.

          VirnetX has asked U.S. District Judge Robert W. Schroeder III on to tack at least $116 million in interest onto the $503 million jurors awarded in October after concluding Apple infringed two patents related to secure communications in several iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch models.

        • Canadian Intellectual Property Office issues new guidelines for reviewing patent applications

          The Canadian Intellectual Property Office has issued new guidelines for reviewing patent applications, moving from the “problem-solution” approach it had been using to the “purposive construction” test that it was directed to employ by a recent Federal Court of Canada ruling.

          Lawyers say it is a positive move, especially as there appears to be no move to appeal the ruling. But they add they will wait to see whether the new guidance, outlined last month, clearly follows the directive in Yves Choueifaty v. Attorney General of Canada, or simply continues the rules it has been using with new wording.

          “I will say CIPO was very quick in getting the guidelines out,” says Matthew Zischka of Smart and Biggar. “We’ll see where this goes, but I’m not convinced that the guidelines take us sufficiently far away from its old practice.

        • Knolly Bikes alleges patent infringement by Intense Cycles in lawsuit

          British Columbia based bike producer Knolly Bikes has put Intense Cycles in its crosshairs with a lawsuit that alleges patent infringement claimed on a rear suspension design.

          The suit makes the claim that as many as six of Intense Cycles’ models infringe the patent and the firm goes further to say it believes its competitor has directly examined Knolly’s bikes. The models the alleged infringement applies to are Intense’s Tracer, Carbine, Tazer e-bike, Primer 29, Primer S and Primer 27.5.

        • Standard-essential patents and incentives for innovation [Ed: FRAND or SEP a massive attack on innovation and competition; the practice ought to be banned]

          Patent holders whose patents are essential to a standard are usually required to license their patents under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. This requirement is often interpreted as a price cap such that royalties for the patents do not exceed their pre-standardisation incremental values. Using a theoretical model of innovators with interacting technologies, I consider the problem of choosing the incentive scheme to induce welfare-maximising research investments under the condition that it only uses the values created by the innovators, and analyse the prevalent interpretation of FRAND compared to the optimal scheme. It shows that in some cases, this incremental value rule does not lead to the efficient level of innovation investment.

        • Intellectual Property Pools and Aggregation [Ed: There's no such thing as "Intellectual Property Pools"; they mean patent collusion, keeping small players out of some fields]

          This chapter in the forthcoming case book "Intellectual Property Licensing and Transactions: Theory and Practice" covers IP pooling, with an emphasis on patents. It begins with a discussion of the theoretical benefit of pooling, including efficiency gains and the avoidance of blocking positions, thickets and anti-commons. It then addresses antitrust analysis of pooling transactions from Standard Oil (Indiana) v. United States (U.S. 1931) through the 2017 DOJ-FTC Antitrust Guidelines. The chapter then turns to pools created to facilitate standard-setting, including the MPEG-2 and 3GPP Pools, and discusses the concept of complementarity and essentiality of pooled assets. It concludes with brief discussions of Princo v. ITC (Fed. Cir. 2010) and the rise of patent aggregators such as RPX Corp.

        • Shenzhen Court to Set Global FRAND Rate

          According to Renaud et al., the dispute involves 3G, 4G, and WLAN standards, and the court explained that "SEP licensing disputes do not fall into typical contract or infringement disputes, making it necessary to consider a wide range of factors when determining whether jurisdiction is appropriate." The report also states that Sharp can appeal.

        • Paris Court of Appeal declines pan-European ruling in automotive wheels dispute

          According to the Paris Court of Appeal, no pan-European decision can be handed down in a dispute between Hutchinson and two competitors. Usually, in principle, a French court can rule on suspected infringement of a European patent in other EU member states. However, the court has ruled that this is not the case in the dispute between Hutchinson, and its two UK and South African competitors.


          Hutchinson requested that the French Court rule on the allegedly-infringing acts committed by the defendants not only in France, but also in Germany and the UK.

          Tyron Runflat and Global Wheel had challenged the jurisdiction of the French Court to rule on acts occurring outside France. At the end of February 2020, the Tribunal Judiciaire issued a pre-trial order. Here, it declined the Paris courts’ jurisdiction in ruling on infringement in Germany and the UK. As such, the Tribunal Judiciaire limited its jurisdiction to infringement in France only (case ID: 18/08284).

          Hutchinson appealed the decision, and the Paris Court of Appeal has confirmed the pre-trial decision.

          The first of the four defendants, Nottingham-based Tyron Runflat, is a supplier of flat tyre protection for cars, motorhomes, vans and articulated trucks. Global Wheel is a South African manufacturer of steel wheels for trucks and trailers. Dal – formerly Tyron France – is a marketer of tyres and tyre-related safety systems. L.A.VI sells accessories for recreational vehicles such as caravans.

          The plaintiff cited, as a basis for his request, in the case of UK company Tyron Runflat, Article 8(1) of EU regulation “Brussels I bis”. However, in the case of South African defendant Global Wheel, the plaintiff cited Article 14 of the French Code Civil.

        • Software Patents

          • Determining The Value Of A Collateral Using An Index Value Calculated Based On An Appraised Quality/quantity Of Water: Non-technical

            Remember that the so-called "contribution approach", taking into account prior art when determining whether subject-matter was excluded under Art. 52(2) and (3) EPC 1973, is abandoned (Case Law of the Boards of Appeal of the European patent office, I.A.1.4.1 a) and b)

            It must be clear from the wording of the claim or the application that technical means must actually be used to carry out a method step.


            At the end of the first instance prosecution stage, the examining division decided that the subject-matter of the independent claims of the main request (and of first to third auxiliary requests) lacked an inventive step in view of a notoriously-known computer network system. In more detail, most of the claimed features were ignored for the assessment of inventive step since they were considered non-technical...

          • AI Inventions and Sufficiency at the EPO [Ed: Marks & Clerk still uses buzzwords like "Hey Hi" (AI) to promote illegal software patents with help from corrupt EPO management that nowadays also besieges judges]

            The EPO grants many patents for inventions involving machine learning. However, a recent EPO Board of Appeal decision (T0161/18) highlights the importance of drafting such applications carefully so that sufficient details of the training dataset are included. A failure to do so can result in refusal of the application on the grounds of both sufficiency and lack of inventive step.


            With regard to the training of the neural network, the present application stated that the input data should cover a wide range of patients of different ages, genders, constitutional types, health status and the like so that the network did not become specialized.

            However, the application did not disclose which input data were suitable for training the artificial neural network according to the invention, and the application did not disclose at least one data set suitable for solving the technical problem of the invention.

            The board stated that, "The training of the artificial neural network cannot therefore be reworked by the person skilled in the art, and the person skilled in the art cannot therefore carry out the invention."

            The board therefore concluded that the invention was not sufficiently disclosed and thus did not meet the requirements of Article 83 EPC above.


            Patent applications in the field of machine learning must be drafted carefully to ensure that sufficient details of the training dataset are included, and must clearly disclose which input data are suitable for training the artificial neural network.

          • EU report on AI-assisted creativity and invention [Ed: Computer-assisted has become "Hey Hi"-assisted for the sake of radical patent agenda]

            The European Commission has published its final report on Trends and Developments in Artificial Intelligence: Challenges to the Intellectual Property Rights Framework. It finds, where AI is a mere tool of authors and inventors, that no current changes are needed to patent on copyright law but recommends changes to guidance and further research into future legal reforms.

            The report focusses on copyright and patent protection for “AI-assisted creative and innovative outputs” in science (meteorology), media (journalism) and pharmaceutical research.

            Significantly, one of the assumptions of the report is that “fully autonomous creation or invention by AI does not exist, and will not exist for the foreseeable future” and it does not consider whether AI needs to be considered an author or inventor. Nor does it consider the protection of inputs to AI (e.g. datasets) or the use of AI in the moderation or enforcement of IP rights.

      • Trademarks

        • Nike and Warren Lotas Settle Trademark Suit Over “Illegal Fake” Sneakers

          Nike and Warren Lotas have made peace in order to bring an end to their short-but-striking legal battle. On the heels of Nike filing a trademark infringement and dilution lawsuit against Warren Lotas in October for selling lookalike sneaker styles, one of which it marketed as part of a partnership of sorts with longtime Nike collaborator Jeff Staple, counsel for the Beaverton, Oregon-headquartered sportswear giant and the Los Angeles-based streetwear brand told the court that they have “entered into a confidential settlement agreement that calls for final resolution of this dispute.”

          Aside from alerting Judge Mark Scarsi of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California of their out-of-court settlement in the December 11 filing, the parties’ respective counsels proposed a consent judgment and permanent injunction that, if approved by the court, will prohibit Lotas from infringing Nike’s trademark and trade dress going forward.

          Specifically, Warren Lotas will be barred from “manufacturing, transporting, promoting, importing, advertising, publicizing, distributing, offering for sale, or selling any products” that make use of Nike’s trademarks and/or trade dress, including its swoosh logo, “Nike” and “Dunk” word marks, and Dunk silhouette (i.e., “the design of the stitching on the exterior of the shoe, the material panels that form the exterior body of the shoe, the wavy panel on top of the shoe that encompasses the eyelets for the shoe laces, [and] the vertical ridge pattern on the sides of the sole of the shoe, [as well as] the relative position of these elements to each other”), among others.

        • When a strong reputation does not guarantee distinctiveness

          IPKat thanks Kat friends Jennifer Lim Wei Zhen and Claudia Borghini for the discussion below on a recent decision in Singapore regarding trademark distinctiveness.

          A global giant pitted against a relatively smaller company - who would win in a trademark opposition challenge? The decision in Singapore by Principal Assistant Registrar of Trade Marks, Anne Loo (“PAR”), in Discovery Communications, LLC v A-Star-Education Discovery Camps Pte. Ltd. [2020] SGIPOS 4 (“Decision”) shows that it is possible to register a trademark even if it contains the same word as a pre-existing trademark, when the similar word or component has a low level of distinctiveness.

          This case concerns the opposition brought by Discovery Communications, LLC (“Opponent”) against the application by Star Education Discovery Camps Pte. Ltd. (“Applicant”) to register the mark (“Application Mark”).

          The Opponent, who owns the Discovery Channel and another 130 television networks worldwide, is one of the world’s largest mass media companies. It has over 3 billion subscribers in over 220 countries and territories, including in Singapore. Incorporated in Singapore, the Applicant is an education company with operations in Asia Pacific, Europe, the US and the UK. The Applicant had sought to register the Application Mark for its camps aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 14.

        • Retromark Volume VIII: the last six months in trade marks

          As awful as this year has been, I’m constantly reminding myself how lucky us lawyers are. With a few changes in our ways of working, our jobs have continued throughout the year and avoided being literally banned like those of our friends and clients working in areas such as hospitality. That means this eighth volume is no less packed than the seven that have come before it.

        • Products and Services: a guarantee of regionalism for the Amazonian people

          The Peruvian National Intellectual Property (INDECOPI) brings us the news that the Regional Government of Amazonas has received a certification mark. ‘Purum Machu’ is the selected certification mark for the region, which seeks to promote and boost the economy of the region.

      • Copyrights

        • Who Gets Paid for the Music You Listen to?: Revamping Music and Copyright in India (Part I)

          We’re pleased to bring you an in-depth two-part guest post by Akshat Agrawal looking into the ‘incentive/compensation’ structure actually in place for artists in India, its consequences, and a suggested amendment in the copyright law to deal with these issues. Akshat Agrawal is a law graduate from Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat and is currently working as a law researcher cum judicial clerk at the Delhi High Court. He has previously also written two guest posts for us, ‘Masakali 2.0: Unconsented Song Remakes and Ownership of Copyright‘ and ‘The Sensory Copyright Conundrum: An Analysis of the CJEU’s Decision With Respect to Copyright in the Taste of Cheese‘.

        • Who Gets Paid for the Music You Listen to?: Revamping Music and Copyright in India (Part II)

          On a side note, another imperative change, for the Copyright Act, to actually align with the perception of copyright, is for an amendment in Section 13 and 14. This amendment shall specifically provide for a new head called: “Neighboring rights”, in lieu of the protection of sound recording and cinematographic works, as against “copyright” – as these works are accorded limited rights and are rights for investors – as against creators. These rights do not entail the requirement of originality and are specifically present to protect the interests of those who invest, financially, in providing for these works. Therefore, to avoid conflating these rights with the conception of copyright – as primarily being rights of authors- it is imperative to specify that these rights are not copyright, but rather “neighboring” sui generis rights, and these works are not copyrightable works – which require originality as a pre-requisite for protection.

          By conflating authors interests with those of investors, we tend to overlook the most important difference between them – the relevance of the “created expression” in Copyright. These changes shall ensure that Copyright does not serve the purpose of being a “financiers right” and rather helps incentivize authors (in the sense remunerate authors, to the extent required to continue creative endeavors, rather than shifting to marginal sources of revenue) in order to serve the end i.e. the public-interest oriented goal of “more and diverse expressions”. This call for amendments provides us a chance to remedy these flaws – and make copyright enable, rather than restrict, a wide public store of diverse knowledge and culture, for a deliberative, perspective-based, participative and inclusive society.

        • Former Phone Store Employee Sued for Promoting Popcorn Time

          The company behind the film Hunter Killer has sued a former phone store employee who allegedly promoted the piracy app Popcorn Time to customers. The woman in question, who already lost her job due to the accusations, also downloaded the movie herself according to a recently filed complaint.

        • Court: Mass "Copyright Troll" Lawsuits Targeting Danes May Be Illegal

          A mass copyright-trolling scheme in Denmark is at risk of boiling over into criminal action against the companies involved. After hundreds of cases against alleged pirates were kicked out over recent months due to the plaintiffs having no right to sue, a court has warned that the campaign may be threatening Danes' legal security.

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