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Links 13/2/2021: New Release of OpenMandriva, FreeBSD 13.0 Beta 2, Gentoo's Fredric Dies

  • GNU/Linux

    • 4 reasons to choose Linux for art and design

      In 2021, there are more reasons why people love Linux than ever before. In this series, I'll share 21 different reasons to use Linux. Today I'll explain why Linux is an excellent choice for creative work.

      Linux gets a lot of press for its amazing server and cloud computing software. It comes as a surprise to some that Linux happens to have a great set of creative tools, too, and that they easily rival popular creative apps in user experience and quality. When I first started using open source creative software, it wasn't because I didn't have access to the other software. Quite the contrary, I started using open source tools when I had the greatest access to the proprietary tools offered by several leading companies. I chose to switch to open source because open source made more sense and produced better results. Those are some big claims, so allow me to explain.

    • Google proposes way for Fuchsia OS to run Android and Linux programs ‘natively’

      One of the bigger issues with making a new operating system, particularly one that’s being built from scratch like Fuchsia, is that people will rightfully want to be able to run their favorite apps on that OS. In the case of Fuchsia, which could theoretically serve as the successor to both Chrome OS and Android, people would likely expect to be able to run both Android apps and Linux apps, along with native Fuchsia apps.

      Up to now, the expectation was that Fuchsia could accomplish this in the same way that Chrome OS is currently able to run Linux apps, by running a full instance of Linux in a virtual machine. Chrome OS is even set to use this same strategy for its ability to run Android apps, thanks to a project called arcvm.

      However, there are some downsides to the virtual machine approach. For one, managing files between the “host” (Fuchsia, for example) and the “guest” (Android) can be tricky or cumbersome. Additionally, Fuchsia puts an emphasis on security, attempting to keep programs isolated from one another wherever possible. To maintain that level of isolation with Linux apps, Fuchsia would need to run more than one virtual machine, which could bog down performance.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 Takes Open-Source Approach and Unveils a Configurable Mechanical Keyboard

        System76 is a US-based computer manufacturer that provides Linux-based laptops, desktops and servers. They are also the makers of one of the most beautiful Linux-based distro ‘Pop!_OS’.

        They have been teasing the launch of a completely open-source mechanical keyboard for a while now.


        System76’s Launch Configurable Keyboard is supposed to offer a host of user-customizable options and open-source hardware and software.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • JingOS Is An Ipad Inspired Linux Distro - YouTube

        JingOS calls itself the world's first IpadOS-style Linux distribution. JingOS is a brand new Chinese distro that bases off of Ubuntu and uses a heavily modified KDE Plasma desktop that resembles iOS. In this video, I take a quick first look at JingOS 0.6.

    • Kernel Space

      • AMD looking for Linux help

        AMD currently has several job openings on the Linux front which seem to indicate the outfit is stepping up its Linux support.

        According to Phoronix, AMD has been delivering reliable Linux support with its recent launches but it looks like there is room for improvement in areas like more timely compiler support for new processors, better alignment of its new hardware enablement for getting the code not only upstreamed but into distributions for launch-day, and similar areas.

        Looking through AMD’s job ads, Phoronix thinks it looks like AMD is serious about Linux.

      • AMD is looking to hire more Linux engineers
        Chip giant AMD has issued a number of Linux-related job postings in an apparent bid to improve the support for open source software on its hardware.

        The semiconductor company’s increasing footprint in the enterprise space with its recent high-performance computing (HPC) wins, could perhaps be the reason behind the headhunting. Even on the desktop front, AMD is garnering a lot of support from Linux gamers, in terms of adoption of its processors and graphics cards with desktop PCs.

      • Finding real-world kernel subsystems

        The kernel development community talks often about subsystems and subsystem maintainers, but it is less than entirely clear about what a "subsystem" is in the first place. People wanting to understand how kernel development works could benefit from a clearer idea of what actually comprises a subsystem within the kernel. In an attempt to better understand how kernel development works, Pia Eichinger (and her colleagues Ralf Ramsauer, Stefanie Scherzinger, and Wolfgang Maurer) spent a lot of time looking for the actual boundaries; Eichinger presented that work at the 2021 online gathering.

        This work was undertaken to develop a more formalized model of how kernel development works. With such an understanding, it is hoped, ways can be found to make the process work better and to provide new tools. The researchers have a particular interest in safety-critical deployments of Linux. Safety-critical environments are highly sensitive; working software can make a life-or-death difference there. So safety-critical developers have to ensure software quality by any means available.


        At this point, she has some sort of definition of subsystems, twelve of which were identified at the top level. Those twelve were the Arm architecture, drivers, crypto, USB, DRM, networking, media, documentation, sound, SCSI, more Arm stuff (OMAP architecture code, for example), and Infiniband. Along with that, she has a tool that can automate this sort of subsystem detection. It is, she said, "just scratching the surface" of the problem, but it is a start.

        There are a number of ways this work could go in the future. One would be to examine historical kernel releases to build a history of how kernel subsystems have evolved over time. This model can also be used, of course, for the original purpose of determining how well the actual kernel patch flow conforms to the maintainer model. There may be scope for applying this technique to other projects as well.

      • Nouveau With Linux 5.12 Has ~5k L.O.C. Change In Preparing For Ampere - Phoronix

        With Linux 5.11 there is open-source Nouveau KMS support for Ampere GPUs -- just kernel mode-setting without any form of 3D acceleration. The actual hardware acceleration requires more work and also NVIDIA to release the necessary signed firmware binaries. With Linux 5.12 there still is no 3D acceleration but a big set of patches was merged as a step in that direction.

        Nouveau still needs the signed firmware binaries for the GA100 / RTX30 Ampere acceleration but the patches queued into DRM-Next overnight are preparations for Ampere. In fact, it's nearly five thousand lines of code changed across a number of commits and is just restructuring the open-source driver code to be able to cope with all the new engine types and instances with Ampere.

      • The 11 Most Interesting Features For Linux 5.11 - Lots For AMD + Intel This Cycle - Phoronix

        Linux 5.11 stable is expected to be released on Sunday barring any second thoughts by Linus Torvalds that could lead to an eighth weekly release candidate that would in turn push the official release back by one week. In any case, Linux 5.11 will be formally out soon and it's an exciting one on the feature front.

        Linux 5.11 has many features / new hardware enablement from both AMD and Intel, new features like S.U.D. for helping out with Linux gaming, networking enhancements, and more. Below is a look at the eleven most interesting changes to find with the imminent Linux 5.11 release.

      • Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense Controller Driver Coming To Linux 5.12 - Phoronix

        For as rough of a year as 2020 was, one of the many open-source accomplishments was Sony taking up "official" maintenance of their HID driver and ahead of Christmas to much surprise they published an official PlayStation 5 DualSense open-source controller driver for Linux. That PS5 controller driver is now set to be introduced with the imminent Linux 5.12 merge window.

        That PlayStation 5 DualSense controller driver was initially published back in December, just days ahead of Christmas and fully open-source. The driver supports the PS5 controllers via USB and Bluetooth and supports nearly all of the functionality including extras like LEDs, motion sensors, battery reporting, light-bar control, rumble, etc.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Wayland support (and more) for Emacs

          Jeffrey Walsh started off his 2021 presentation with a statement that, while 2020 was not the greatest year ever, there were still some good things that happened; one of those was the Emacs 27.1 release. This major update brought a number of welcome new features, but also led to yet another discussion on the future of Emacs. With that starting point, Walsh launched into a fast-moving look at the history of Emacs, why users still care about it, what changes are coming, and (especially) what was involved in moving Emacs away from the X window system and making it work with the Wayland compositor. There were a number of good things to be found in the 27.1 release, which was a "huge jump" in functionality. Perhaps at the top of the list is support for the HarfBuzz library, which brings improved text-rendering support in multiple languages — and the support for color emoji that no self-respecting 2020s application can be without. Portable dumping was finally added, leading to faster startup and less system-dependent code. Emacs also now supports a tab-based interface, something that "had been asked-for forever", Walsh said.

        • OBS Studio Merges Its EGL-Wayland Code To Natively Support Wayland

          OBS Studio, the cross-platform open-source solution for live streaming and screen recording, has landed the last major piece of its effort to natively support Wayland.

          The EGL/Wayland renderer code that has been under review for about one year was finally merged into OBS Studio. This follows earlier work like EGL on X11 support and other preparations while now at last the EGL-Wayland code has been merged to offer native Wayland support via the new windowing system code path.

        • OSPRay Studio 0.6 Released For Intel's Open-Source Interactive Ray-Tracing Visualizer

          Among Intel's many open-source software accomplishments for 2020 was introducing OSPray Studio as part of oneAPI. OSPray Studio builds atop the existing OSPray ray-tracing engine and inter-connected oneAPI Rendering Toolkit components to offer an open-source scene graph application for interactive visualizations and ray-tracing based rendering. The newest OSPray Studio is now available.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen, EPYC 5~6% Faster Out-Of-The-Box With Linux 5.11

        Now with the CPUFreq fix landing this week in Linux Git, the mainline Linux 5.11 kernel in its near final state is looking in very good shape for AMD Zen 2/3 hardware from Ryzen laptops and desktops through EPYC servers. The Linux 5.11 development kernel was regressed for the better part of the past two months but now that the frequency invariance regression is addressed, not only is the regression gone but generally is performing much better compared to prior kernel versions.

    • Applications

      • Tilix Terminal Emulator 1.9.4 Released, How to Install via PPA

        The Tilix terminal emulator released version 1.9.4 a few days ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10 via PPA.

        Tilix, formerly Terminix, is a free and open-source terminal emulator that uses the VTE GTK+ 3 widget. It features terminal screen splitting and drop-down mode support.

        After one year and a half of development, it finally announced the new release with minimal maintenance. And Tilix is looking for maintainers!

      • Linux Release Roundup #21.07: Debian 10.8, Shutter 0.95, Flowblade 2.8 and More New Releases

        Flowblade is an open-source video editing software for Linux, it is beginner-friendly and contains a lot of useful tools.

        Recently, they have announced Flowblade 2.8, it comes with configurable panel positioning, new themes, new filter selection panel and more.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Chromecast From a Linux PC – Allow Multicast on Firewall

        Google’s Chromecast is a great tool. I use it to cast a browser tab with stock updates to my TV while I work. However, if you are running a Linux PC you might have ran into the “No Devices Found” error. In this Linux quick tip we will show you how to connect to your Chromecast devices from Linux simply by allowing inbound multicast packets.

      • Using Wireshark to Examine FTP Traffic – Linux Hint

        The previous article has provided you with an in-depth understanding of the Wireshark filters, OSI layers, ICMP, and HTTP packet analysis. In this article, we will learn how FTP works and examine FTP Wireshark captures. Before we dig deep into the captured packet analysis, we will begin with a brief understanding of the protocol.

      • How to install Skin Mods in Friday Night Funkin on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Skin Mods in Friday Night Funkin 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.

      • systemd application firewalls by example

        An application firewall, unlike a gateway (router) or system level firewall, is meant to limit the networking of a single application. It can be used to prevent a compromised service from seeing into the local network, prevent programs from calling home, plug metadata leaks, or more tightly control a program’s network access.

      • How to Install and Configure Rocket.Chat on CentOS 8

        In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to install Rocket.Chat on a CentOS 8 server.

        Rocket.Chat is a great self-hosted alternative to Slack. You can even use it as a live chat for your website.

      • Fix Asus Linux laptop stuck at the logo screen

        Have you ever faced this issue where you successfully installed a Linux distribution on your Asus laptop (say Ubuntu), but when you boot your PC, it only shows a blank screen? If yes, this post is for you. We will give you a step-by-step procedure to fix the startup freeze and explain why it happens.

      • Tomas Tomecek: Automake in OpenShift

        It’s Friday evening, 19:00 (7pm) and I just spent more than an hour resolving a problem in anaconda. The problem was that builds sometimes failed with:

        /bin/sh: /sandcastle/docker-io-usercont-sandcastle-prod-20210212-101715691597/missing: No such file or directory The irony, right? A file called “missing” is actually missing.

        Luckily, I was successful and figured it out. Beer incoming.

      • Synchronize your 2FA Gmail with mbsync |

        In comparison to graphical email applications, configuring the command-line clients can be a needlessly painful experience. Not because of the client configuration itself but rather finding out the proper IMAP settings for your account. Personally, I spent more hours on moving my mail into Emacs (and previously into Mutt), than I care to admit. And in the end, it turned out that the only real obstacle was figuring out, how to get the freaking synchronization with Gmail working. Let me share my findings to potentially ease the pain for you.

      • Verify package GPG signature using DNSSEC | Miroslav Suchý

        When you want to be sure that RPM packages installed on your system were not altered, you should enable

        gpgcheck=1 gpgkey=file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora-$releasever-$basearch in your repo file or in dnf.conf. The problem is how to get the file on your disk the secure way?

        We have fedora-repos and distribution-gpg-keys. This will allow you to fetch new keys. But how to fetch the very first GPG key?

        You can either manually download, verify, and rpm --import that key. Fedora has a dedicated page for its GPG keys. This process is manual and boring. Can we utilize something which we can trust? What about DNS signed using DNSSEC?

        Can we put the GPG key in the DNS record and sign it using DNSSEC? We can trust this record and can safely import it.

        This is what Martin Sehnoutka has done in his master thesis Automatic verification of software packages with help of DNS. He even provided patches for DNF, created some DNS records, but then … things stalled. I picked it up a few days ago.

        Fedora now provides GPG keys for Fedora 27+ in DNS. Want to check it?

      • Ubuntu: sources list editing [Guide]

        If you need to edit the software sources list on your Ubuntu PC to add a repo, disable an existing repo, or remove a repo altogether but don’t quite understand how to do it, we can help! Follow along to learn all about Ubuntu sources list editing!


        If you want to add a new repo to Ubuntu by editing your sources list, here’s how to do it with the Software & Updates app. First, find the “Other Software” tab in the app window and click on it with your mouse.

        After accessing the “Other Software” tab, you’ll see a list of software sources enabled on Ubuntu. Keep in mind, “Other Software” is only for non-Ubuntu repositories. Think PPAs or other third-party software repositories.

        To add a new repository to your sources list, find the “Add” button at the bottom-left corner of the screen, and click on it with the mouse. When you’ve clicked on it, you will see a window appear.

      • How to Install PostGIS PostgreSQL database extender on CentOS 8

        PostGIS is a free and open-source database extender for the PostgreSQL Database Management System. It helps you to add some extra functions such as, area, union, intersection, distance, data types, and allow location queries to be run in SQL. With PostGIS, you can store the polygon and point types of the data in the PostgreSQL database.

      • How to Install Ubuntu on Windows 10 - CCM

        Ubuntu is an open-source operating system (OS), based on Linux’ distribution Debia. Ubuntu is appreciated for its secure system, user-friendly interface, and low system requirements, among others. If you are tempted to try this OS, you are in the right place: this article discusses how to install Ubuntu on Windows 10 in dual boot. You can also follow the same steps in order to install Xubuntu or Linux Mint, or even on Windows 8.

      • How to Install XAMPP on Ubuntu 20.04

        XAMPP is a free and open-source web server package developed by Apache Friends. The XAMPP software package comprises the Apache web server, MariaDB database server, PHP, and Perl. It is basically a localized LAMP server that gives developers a suitable environment to test websites and applications before uploading them to a production server.

        The acronym XAMPP stands for: X - Cross-platform, A - Apache server, M-MariaDB, P - PHP and P - Perl. XAMPP can run on Windows, macOS, and all Linux distributions.

        In this guide, you will learn how to install XAMMP on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Use Bash For Loop Commands - Make Tech Easier

        One of the best ways to make your life easier with technology, whether at work or at home, is to harness automation. Automating tasks with scripts and timed jobs is a surefire way to save you time, headache, and effort. However, it’s not immediately clear where to start. Here we show you how to use the Bash for loop command, one of the foundational tools in IT automation, to get you started.

      • How to install RPM packages on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - Linux Shout

        RPM (Red Hat Package Manager) packages are meant to compile and install on RHEL and its based operating systems such as CentOS, Fedora, and more… However, we can also install RPM packages on Ubuntu by converting them to DEB packages. And here in this article, we know how?

        Many times, there are some software packages that are not available for Ubuntu (uses APT package Manager and Debian packages). Even though both RHEL and Ubuntu are Linux but the building format of packages to install on them is different.

      • How to install Snap Store GUI on CentOS 7 or 8 Linux - Linux Shout

        Snap is the universal package manager and software deployment platform that is available to install on almost all popular Linux platforms. It contains hundreds of popular open-source applications that can be installed using just one command of snap. Yes, command, however, all of us are not a big fan of the command line, especially, those who are new to Linux distributions. Thus, to make searching, installing, and removing various programs on your Linux OS, Snap Store is there. It is the GUI front end that runs the snap commands in the background to download and install applications from the Snap repository, just like the iOS store or Microsoft Store.

      • Setting up the perfect web-development environment using docker and ZOL - Techzim

        I have to admit I am as far from winning the world’s best web-developer as it gets, but I give it my best. And also I mostly develop for myself apart from the very rare and little WordPress PHP snippets I have shared with my even more technologically inept friends. Recently though I found myself needing to put on that web-dev fedora for a project on one of my sites.With that being said, I was rusty and even finding the right local development environment was a struggle. Usually, I just use FlyWheel’s LocalWP and Atom. That works well for my much smaller WordPress customisation projects that never seem to go beyond a single page of code but this time it was a more complex project and the limits of LocalWP became quickly apparent.

      • Changing your shell from bash to zsh and back – any desktop | ArcoLinux

        It all depends on the iso you start with Arch Linux, ArcoLinux, ArcoLinuxD or ArcoLinuxB.

        ArcoLinux and ArcoLinuxB users can skip all the installations and just start using our aliases tobash and tozsh to switch.

        If you have started with ArcoLinuxD or Arch Linux you are missing packages and aliases.

      • Adding Let's Entrypt SSL to Webmin Hostname – TecAdmin

        The default Webmin listen on port 10000 with self singed SSL certificate. You will see a security warning in web browser like certificate is not trusted. Many of the organization do not allow to use self singed certificates for several reasons.

        Lets Encrypt is a free and open certificate authority by the non-profit Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). Its provides free ssl certificates for the domains valid for 90 days. You can easily renew certificates before expiration manually or schedule it to renew automatically.

        This tutorial will describe you to setup Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate with Webmin hostname.

      • Setting up a CI system part 2: Generating and deploying your test environment -

        This article is part of a series on how to setup a bare-metal CI system for Linux driver development. Check out part 1 where we expose the context/high-level principles of the whole CI system, and make the machine fully controllable remotely (power on, OS to boot, keyboard/screen emulation using a serial console).

        In this article, we will start demystifying the boot process, and discuss about different ways to generate and boot an OS image along with a kernel for your machine. Finally, we will introduce boot2container, a project that makes running containers on bare metal a breeze!

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 6.2 is now available.

        What's new in this release (see below for details): - Mono engine updated to version 6.0.0, with DirectX support. - Support for NTDLL debugger APIs. - More WinRT support in WIDL. - Xbox One controller fixes on Mac. - Various bug fixes.

        The source is available from the following locations:

        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:

        You will find documentation on

        You can also get the current source directly from the git repository. Check for details.

        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Windows compatibility layer Wine 6.2 is out now | GamingOnLinux

        A fresh biweekly development release is out for the Windows compatibility layer Wine with Wine 6.2 bundling up more of the latest and greatest into a suitable release for you to try.

        For newer readers and Linux users here's a refresher - Wine is a compatibility layer built for operating systems like Linux, macOS and BSD. The idea is to allow other platforms to run games and applications only built and supported for Windows. It's also part of what makes up Steam Play Proton. Once a year or so, all the development is bundled into a stable release.

      • Wine 6.2 Brings Mono 6.0 Engine, NTDLL Debugger APIs - Phoronix

        What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day weekend with some wine... Wine 6.2 is out as the latest bi-weekly development snapshot for running Windows games and applications on Linux/macOS.

        Wine 6.2 isn't the most exciting update in recent time but does at least bring the Mono 6.0 engine and with that DirectX support.

    • Games

      • Godot Engine - Release candidate: Godot 3.2.4 RC 2

        Godot 3.2.4 is shaping up nicely, and a number of issues have been fixed since the first Release Candidate two weeks ago. So it's now time for a RC 2 build to give it another round of testing before the stable release!

        And rejoice macOS users, this release is the first to have the Godot editor binary signed and notarized. Thanks to Prehensile Tales for signing it on behalf of the Godot contributors. (Note: Only the "standard" build is signed for now.)

      • Godot GDScript REPL

        When experimenting with Godot and its GDScript language, I realized that I missed a good old REPL (Read-Eval-Print Loop) to familiarize myself with the language and API.

      • Defold game engine planning Linux improvements through 2021

        Defold, a free game engine with the source code available under a reasonable open license has released a roadmap for 2021 and it's sounding pretty good.

        While not actually open source, the licensing terms are still quite friendly and still far better than some other much more closed licensing like with Unity, Unreal and Game Maker but not as open as something like Godot. Defold is progressing on though and their roadmap for 2021 mentions their plan to continue to improve their Linux support.

      • Cozy management game about dying 'Spiritfarer' is getting a bunch of free updates | GamingOnLinux

        Thunder Lotus appear to have done well with Spiritfarer, their unique management game with a rather cozy atmosphere and a theme based around looking after the dead.

        For those who haven't played it yet: you build a boat to explore the world, then befriend and care for spirits before finally releasing them into the afterlife. During the game you build, farm, mine, fish, talk to lots of different people and travel across the seas and eventually say goodbye to spirits you've looked after. In a press release they noted that three separate updates are coming that will "notably expand upon the game’s main story, as well as adding additional characters, locations, and quality of life improvements" and all will be free.

      • Legend of Keepers sees a final update before it leaves Early Access | GamingOnLinux

        Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Master from developer Goblinz Studio is closing in on the final release, with a fresh big update out now for this mix of dungeon management and turn-based battles.

        It actually reminds me a little of the card game BossMonster (which is great by the way). With you in charge of the dungeon and tasked with protecting it from pesky heroes trying to get all your treasure. You need to setup room after room of traps and in Legend of Keepers you're also dealing with your own creatures that you place in defence. Hits the mark quite well and is quite unique.

      • Strange shape-shifting puzzler Altered releases on March 12 | GamingOnLinux

        Altered from developer Glitchheart is an upcoming meditative puzzle game mixing hard puzzles and a soothing atmosphere, as you move and morph yourself around small areas to complete each puzzle.

        Featuring over 80 puzzles the twist here is that you go through multiple characters / objects to control, each with a unique power of altering their form. The developer says by "understanding their powers, you will gain new intuition for solving interesting puzzles".

      • Valheim managed to sell over 1 million copies in the first week

        We did reach out to the developer to see how the Linux sales went so far but no reply yet. They're only a small team and due to the popularity, they've probably got thousands of emails waiting so it's not really surprising. A lot of it was developed on Linux too, so that's awesome.

      • X4: Cradle of Humanity and the big 4.0 update launching March 16

        Ready to explore a bigger universe? The upcoming X4: Cradle of Humanity expansion along with the big free 4.0 update for all players is now confirmed to launch on March 16.

        Taking the X series from Egosoft back to Earth, it will significantly increase the size of the game's universe giving you new sectors to explore along with two Terran factions to X4: Foundations, along with their economy, ships, weapons and stations.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Perspective grids for comics in Krita

          I'm sharing my perspective grids (CC-0/Public Domain) and show how to use them in Krita: it's a set of PNGs I drag'n'drop over the canvas. I hope they'll be useful for you!.

    • Distributions

      • [Older] Best Linux distro for developers

        Linux inherently works well for coding and testing software. For developers and programmers, almost any Linux distro will be a good fit. When it comes to picking a distro for developing, the biggest factor is just going to be personal preference. Even so, some distros offer certain features that developers may find particularly helpful for their work.

        With so many choices available, the task of choosing a distribution can be overwhelming. At the same time, jumping ship to "distro hop" is very easy to do, and shouldn't be discouraged, as it gives you an idea of what else is available. We aim to make your choice a little easier with this guide, where we list our top picks of Linux distros for developers.

        Join us as we go over our top eight picks of Linux distros, presented in no particular order. Outside of this list, there are still many other good distros that you can try. And it's important to remember that there is no wrong choice. Let the countdown begin.

      • New Releases

        • Educational-Oriented Escuelas Linux 6.12 Distro Released with LibreOffice 7.1, New Note-Taking Software

          Escuelas Linux 6.12 comes three months after Escuelas Linux 6.11, but it’s not your usual maintenance update. In fact, the developers promise a fully update system that offers users access to the all the latest and greatest Open Source software and GNU/Linux technologies, and it’s also more stable, reliable, and secure than ever before.

          On the downside of fully updating the entire system, the ISO image grew considerably, but the developers managed to keep its size at an acceptable level by removing some of the old, unmaintained and unpopular apps from the installation media. These include Adobe Reader, Avidemux, BlueGriffon, Caph, Choqok, FisicaLab, Google Earth, Hugin, Kino, Kstars, Pidgin, Termograf, and FreeOffice.

      • BSD

        • helloSystem: Pre-alpha FreeBSD project chases simplicity and elegance by taking cues from macOS

          A pre-alpha project to make a new FreeBSD-based desktop operating system has adopted a minimalist design intended to appeal to Mac defectors.

          FreeBSD is a Unix-like operating system first released in 1993 based on the Berkeley Software Distribution. The core of Apple's macOS, called Darwin, uses some code from FreeBSD. Despite its high quality, running FreeBSD as a desktop operating system has some challenges, mainly because it is less well supported by third-party vendors than Linux, which in turn is not as well supported as Windows.

          Simon Peter, based in Frankfurt, Germany, founded a project that may make desktop FreeBSD more attractive. Peter is the author of AppImage, a packaging format for portable applications on Linux. He is now working on helloSystem, which uses FreeBSD coupled with a new user interface developed with Qt to create a desktop operating system focused on ease of use.

        • FreeBSD 13.0-BETA2 Now Available
          The second BETA build of the 13.0-RELEASE release cycle is now available.

          Installation images are available for:

          o 13.0-BETA2 amd64 GENERIC o 13.0-BETA2 i386 GENERIC o 13.0-BETA2 powerpc GENERIC o 13.0-BETA2 powerpc64 GENERIC64 o 13.0-BETA2 powerpc64le GENERIC64LE o 13.0-BETA2 powerpcspe MPC85XXSPE o 13.0-BETA2 armv6 RPI-B o 13.0-BETA2 armv7 GENERICSD o 13.0-BETA2 aarch64 GENERIC o 13.0-BETA2 aarch64 RPI o 13.0-BETA2 aarch64 PINE64 o 13.0-BETA2 aarch64 PINE64-LTS o 13.0-BETA2 aarch64 PINEBOOK o 13.0-BETA2 aarch64 ROCK64 o 13.0-BETA2 aarch64 ROCKPRO64 o 13.0-BETA2 riscv64 GENERIC o 13.0-BETA2 riscv64 GENERICSD

          Note regarding arm SD card images: For convenience for those without console access to the system, a freebsd user with a password of freebsd is available by default for ssh(1) access. Additionally, the root user password is set to root. It is strongly recommended to change the password for both users after gaining access to the system.

          Installer images and memory stick images are available here:

          The image checksums follow at the end of this e-mail.

          If you notice problems you can report them through the Bugzilla PR system or on the -stable mailing list.

          If you would like to use Git to do a source based update of an existing system, use the "releng/13.0" branch.

          A summary of changes since 13.0-BETA1 includes:

          o Issues with 32-bit builds have been fixed.

          o Shared libraries have been updated following an update to ncurses.

          o Support for kernel TLS offload has been added (off by default).

          o The mlx5en(4) driver has been included in the amd64 GENERIC kernel by default.

          o Documentation included on installation medium has been removed.

          o A null pointer dereference has been addressed.

          o Other miscellaneous bug fixes.

          A list of changes since 12.2-RELEASE is available in the releng/13.0 release notes:

          Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be updated on an ongoing basis as the 13.0-RELEASE cycle progresses.
      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 “Argon” Officially Released with Linux 5.10 LTS, ARM64 Port

          Dubbed “Argon,” OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 comes about a year after OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 “Mercury” and it’s the first release of this Mandriva derived GNU/Linux distribution to offer a complete ARM64 (AArch64) port that lets you install it on various popular ARM devices.

          Installable images are currently provided for the Raspberry Pi 400, Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, Pinebook Pro, Rock Pi 4A, Rock Pi 4B, and Rock Pi 4C. In time, more ARM devices will be supported, such as the PinePhone Linux phone.

        • OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 is out now

          The OpenMandriva Team is pleased to announce the general availability of the latest stable version. Say hello to OpenMandriva Lx 4.2.

          OpenMandriva Lx is a unique and independent distribution, direct descendant of Mandriva Linux and the first Linux distribution using the LLVM toolchain by default since 2015.

          In the OpenMandriva Lx system the users can do anything they are used to doing with the proprietary systems, but it is free and already includes many pieces of software you have to pay for in the proprietary world, from office suites to video editors to games.

          OMLx 4.2 is now even easier to use with improved OM Welcome, the brand-name tool which makes possible to install a range of well known applications with just one click.

          This release comes with the latest and brightest KDE products (see below for technical details). This version also includes: LibreOffice suite 7.1.0, Krita 4.4.2, Digikam 7.2, SMPlayer 21.1.0, VLC, Falkon browser 3.1, SimpleScreenRecorder 0.4.3; Desktop Presets (om-feeling-like) to customize the appearance of your OpenMandriva Plasma desktop to look and feel similar to other systems you may be used to; Software Repository Selector (om-repo-picker) to enable additional repositories with thousands of additional Free Software packages.

      • Gentoo Family

        • In Memory of Kent “kentnl” Fredric

          Gentoo mourns the sudden loss of Kent Fredric, also known to us by his IRC handle kent\n. He passed away following a tragic accident a few days ago.

          Kent was an active member of the Gentoo community for many years. He tirelessly managed Gentoo’s Perl support, and was active in the Rust project as well as in many other corners. We all remember him as an enthusiastic, bright person, with lots of eye for detail and constant willingness to help out and improve things. On behalf of the world-wide Gentoo community, our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends.

          Please join us in remembering Kent on the Gentoo forums.

        • Gentoo mourns the loss of Kent Fredric

          A brief post on the Gentoo site is in memory of Kent "kent\n" Frederic.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • KDE Applications, systemd update in Tumbleweed

          A minor version update of systemd and KDE’s Applications 20.12.2 were releases in openSUSE Tumbleweed this week.

          Several other package were updated over the course of four snapshots like Wireshark, Mesa, ClamAV, Inkscape and GNU Compiler Collection.

          Snapshot 20210210 updated just three packages in the last 24 hours. Web caching proxy squid had a 4.14 update that fixed a couple regressions and corrected some Web Cache Communication Protocol Security info. The two other package updates were for PyPI with python-scipy updating to 1.6.0 and python-zope.interface updating to 5.2.0, which added support for Python 3.9.

          The open source antivirus package ClamAV updated to version 0.103.1 in snapshot 20210209. The new version 0.103.1 added a new scan option to alert on broken media (graphics) file formats. The feature mitigates the risk of malformed media files intended to exploit vulnerabilities in other software. The version also fixed an issue where the freshclam database validation didn’t work correctly when run in daemon mode on Linux. The patterns-xfce package cleaned up some weak dependencies in its 20210209 update. A simple SSH multi-factor authentication was implemented with the update of the remote desktop client remmina in version 1.4.11; while not finished, a capability to load Python plugins was added. Other packages updated in the snapshot were libp11 0.4.11, video editor pitivi 2021.01, and xfce4-taskmanager 1.4.1.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the weeks 2021/05 & 06

          Apologies for missing the review of the week 2021/05 to be sent out in time. But as you already know from the past, that does not mean the information is being lost. I’ll just give you a review of the last two weeks instead. For Tumbleweed, this means we have seen 8 snapshots being published in those two weeks (0130, 0131, 0202, 0203, 0205, 0208, 0209, and 0210).

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat OpenShift Supports Alpitour Group’s Organization-Wide Digital Transformation

          Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Alpitour Group, the Italian leader in tourism and one of the most important players in Europe, has chosen Red Hat OpenShift as the hybrid cloud platform of choice for its digital transformation as it looks to adapt faster to changing environments and be at the forefront of bringing innovative experiences to customers.

        • SD Times news digest: Dynatrace Software Intelligence Hub, npm 7 released, and Python accepts pattern matching PEP 634

          Winners included Red Hat Integration for API infrastructure, Kong for API services, SmartBear for app analytics and testing, and many more.

        • Containers, Kubernetes and Software Development in 2021

          Although mass migration to containers and management with Kubernetes is undeniable, it’s still new to many teams and can present challenges to developers, administrators and operators. Tushar Katarki, Senior Manager, Red Hat OpenShift Product Management, shares his insights on what’s driving growth, how to overcome challenges your team may face and best practices to make a part of your processes.

        • How to adopt DevSecOps successfully

          Adopting DevOps can help an organization transform and speed how its software is delivered, tested, and deployed to production. This is the well-known "DevOps promise" that has led to such a large surge in adoption.

          We've all heard about the many successful DevOps implementations that changed how an organization approaches software innovation, making it fast and secure through agile delivery to get ahead of competitors. This is where we see DevOps' promises achieved and delivered.

          But on the flipside, some DevOps adoptions cause more issues than benefits. This is the DevOps dilemma where DevOps fails to deliver on its promises.

        • Fedora's "Enterprise Linux Next" Taking Flight To Experiment With Next-Gen RHEL Changes

          Over the past year there has been much chatter about Enterprise Linux Next within the Fedora camp and now this special interest group (SIG) is finally getting underway.

        • DevSecOps: Image scanning in your pipelines using scanner

          According to the Sysdig 2021 Container Security and Usage Report, container security is a growing concern for many organizations. However, there are still some gaps. Container image scanning and privileged containers are two of the most crucial aspects.

          Podman rootless containers (see Running rootless Podman as a non-root user and Rootless containers with Podman: The basics) and OpenShift Container Platform both implement the principle of least privilege by default, which helps administrators to enforce security best practices. Red Hat and Red Hat quay container registry offerings help administrators and developers incorporate image vulnerability scanning into their CI/CD pipelines.

        • Network address translation part 2 – the conntrack tool

          This is the second article in a series about network address translation (NAT). The first article introduced how to use the iptables/nftables packet tracing feature to find the source of NAT-related connectivity problems. Part 2 introduces the “conntrack” command. conntrack allows you to inspect and modify tracked connections.

        • Developing your own custom devfiles for odo 2.0

          Odo 2.0 introduces a configuration file named devfile.yaml. Odo uses this configuration file to set up cloud-native projects and determine the actions required for events such as building, running, and debugging a project. If you are an Eclipse Che user, devfile.yaml should sound familiar: Eclipse Che uses devfiles to express developer workspaces, and they have proven to be flexible to accommodate a variety of needs.

          Odo 2.0 comes with a built-in catalog of devfiles for various project types, so you do not necessarily need to write or modify a devfile to start a new project. You can also create custom devfiles and contribute them to odo’s devfile catalog. This article explores how to create a devfile to adopt an existing development flow to run on a Kubernetes cluster. Our example project is based on Gatsby, a framework for generating websites. Gatsby comes with its own developer tools and recommended development flow, so it presents a good example for adopting existing flows for Kubernetes.

        • The journey to virtualization for cable and media

          The media functions virtualization (MFV) journey is underway at many cable and media companies. MFV can help drive greater agility and efficiency in the methods in which media content is delivered. Red Hat has helped Multiple Service Operators (MSOs) to build their MFV solutions in order to reduce costs, scale efficiently, and decrease time to market.

        • How Red Hat And Intel Are Collaborating To Accelerate 5G Innovation And Adoption

          Red Hat and Intel announced plans to expand their strategic partnership. This new wave of collaboration with Intel is aimed at enabling offerings like Edge computing, 5G radio access networks (RAN), 5G core, hybrid multi-cloud networking and more in enterprise and telecommunications service provider networks. We invited two guests to our show to discuss this collaboration. We hosted Renu Navale, VP & GM – Edge Computing and Ecosystem Enabling Division at Intel and Ian Hood, Chief Technologist, Global Service Provider Business at Red Hat.

      • OpenStack

        • How the OpenStack community is collaborating during the pandemic

          The OpenStack community is BIG. From Argentina to Morocco to Israel to Vietnam, we literally span the globe, so it's not surprising that we largely knew what to do to accommodate COVID-19's circumstances. But it still has been a struggle to keep moving forward and adapt while still delivering Ussuri and Victoria, the 21st and 22nd releases of OpenStack.

          Even if you were working remotely before the pandemic, many things changed. I have worked remotely for over four years, but it was broken up by seeing coworkers and community members in real life roughly once a month at conferences and meetups. But now, I haven't seen any of them in person in a year, and I have twice as many meetings as I used to. My circumstances are certainly nothing like what frontline workers face, but when screen time is your main interaction with humanity, it gets downright lonely.

        • OpenStack Ironic, Cinder volume replication and Glance multi-store – OpenStack Charms 21.01

          Canonical is proud to announce the availability of OpenStack Charms 21.01. This new release includes: a tech-preview version of OpenStack Ironic operators (charms), Cinder volume replication and Glance multi-store support for Charmed OpenStack.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 18 ways to differentiate open source products from upstream suppliers

        In the first three parts of this series, I explored open source as a supply chain, what a product is, and what product managers do. In this fourth article, I'll look at a plethora of methods to differentiate open source software products from their upstream open source projects.

        Since open source projects are essentially information products, these methods are likely to apply to many information-related products (think YouTube creators) that have a component of value given away for free. Product managers have to get creative when the information and material to build your product is freely available to users.

      • Movim | Basic Review & Beginner's Guide

        Once you read about Movim, immediately you will find about Xmpp. It is Jabber, also known as Xmpp, a secure, decentralized, and federated technology everyone can use to chat online existed strongly since 1990's. To give you how great Xmpp network is, actually when you use WhatsApp you use Xmpp, so does with Google Talk and Jitsi, so when you use those you are using Xmpp. To give you a few of its benefits, Xmpp is not controlled by a single company (so unlike Twitter) it is hard to shut down by anyone.

      • Daniel Pocock: Comparing private and peer-to-peer VoIP solutions

        One of the top questions people ask RTC developers around Valentine's Day is whether we finally have a private solution people can use to communicate with their partner.

        There is fresh attention on the issue this year after Twitter and other large providers flexed their muscles and demonstrated that they are more powerful than the US President.


        Achieving independence from cloud services doesn't necessarily give you privacy. There are trade-offs to be made. John Goerzen recently published a blog about privacy issues in current P2P tools.

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 12 February 2021

        Friday arrived quickly --happy Lunar New Year to those who celebrate! The Apache community has had a productive week; let's review...

      • Events

        • Register to attend the FSF's March 22nd seminar on free software licensing

          The Free Software Foundation's (FSF) Licensing and Compliance Lab has years of experience defending the GNU General Public License (GPL) against violations, but we do not do this work alone: we work with volunteers, lawyers, and other organizations on the compliance cases brought to us. The work the compliance team does is valuable for the future of the FSF, as well as for the future of computing. The knowledge gained and the precedents set will be lessons for the next generation of legal professionals working on copyleft and the GPL.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Karl Dubost: Browser Wish List - Bookmark This Selection

            Some of us are keeping notes of bread and crumbs fallen everywhere. A dead leaf, a piece of string, a forgotten note washed away on a beach, and things read in a book. We collect memories and inspiration.

            All browsers have a feature called "Bookmark This Page". It is essentially the same poor badly manageable tool on every browsers. If you do not want to rely on a third party service, or an addon, what the browser has to offer is not very satisfying.

            Firefox gives a possibility to change the name, to choose where to put it and to add tags at the moment we save it.

          • Avoiding "supercookie" tracking

            The release of Firefox 85 at the end of January brought a new technique for thwarting yet-another web-tracking scheme. The use of browser cookies for tracking is well-established and the browser makers have taken steps to block the worst abuses there, but users can also take steps to manage and clear those cookies. The arms race continues, however, as tracking companies are using browser caches to store what Mozilla calls "supercookies", which allow users to be tracked across the web sites that they visit. That has led the browser makers to partition these caches by web site in order to prevent this tracking technique.

            In the interest of faster browsing, web browsers cache lots of resources so that they do not need to make another network round-trip to obtain them. That includes such items as images, style sheets, fonts, HTTP resources (including JavaScript code), DNS query results, TLS certificates, and more. In addition, browsers reuse long-lived connections when another site makes a relevant request; that too can be abused by tracking companies. These companies then sell that information to advertisers and others, which are able to build up a truly creepy amount of correlated information about a user's interests and activities.

            So, as described in a Mozilla security blog post that accompanied the Firefox 85 release, the new browser will be partitioning these caches and connections based on the associated top-level domain. That means there will be no reuse when other sites request the same resources (or could use existing connections). The post notes that Chrome has rolled out a similar change.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Gutter margin in Writer

          Writer now has much better support for gutter margins: not only this margin type can be specified explicitly, it’s also possible to select if the gutter should be on the left or on the top, and it works with mirrored margins as well.

          This work is primarily for Collabora Online, but the feature is fully available in desktop Writer as well.


          Word has a gutter margin feature, and we saw that some UI-level workaround appeared to have something similar based on the LibreOffice technology. We thought it’s much better to impelement this properly, so that the result is interoperable with Word, and also available both in Online and on the desktop.

      • CMS

        • Elementor to Roll Out Significant Pricing Hike for New Customers – WordPress Tavern

          Pricing changes can be a major source of friction for existing customers, as GitLab recently discovered when dropping its Bronze/Starter Tier and imposing a 5x price increase on those features in a higher tier. Although the immediate impact of pricing increases will primarily hit new customers, it’s the existing customers who have been paying for subscriptions for years who have the strongest opinions on the changes. Raising prices to introduce more value for customers or to account for the increased support burden is a natural evolution for companies that experience rapid growth over a short period of time. Getting existing customers to lock in their auto-renewals by offering legacy pricing is also a strategy for ensuring a more predictable financial future for the company. But Elementor’s lack of clarity regarding term length for the discounted renewal pricing is the primary reason for all the agitation in the comments on the announcement.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Carmen Bianca Bakker: Destination status quo

            I recently happened upon an article that argued against the four freedoms as defined by the Free Software Foundation. I don’t actually want to link to the article—its tone is rather rude and unsavoury, and I do not want to end up in a kerfuffle—but I’ll include an obfuscated link at the end of the article for the sake of integrity.

            The article—in spite of how much I disagree with its conclusions—inspired me to reflect on idealism and the inadequacy of things. Those are the things I want to write about in this article.

            So instead of refuting all the points with arguments and counter-arguments, my article is going to work a little differently. I’m going to concede a lot of points and truths to the author. I’m also going to assume that they are ultimately wrong, even though I won’t make any arguments to the contrary. That’s simply not what I want to do in this article, and smarter people than I have already made a great case for the four freedoms. Rather, I want to follow the author’s arguments to where they lead, or to where they do not.

            The four freedoms

            The four freedoms of free software are four condition that a program must meet before it can be considered free. They are—roughly—the freedoms to (1.) use, (2.) study, (3.) share, and (4.) improve the program. The assertion is that if any of these conditions is not met, the user is meaningfully and helplessly restricted in how they can exercise their personal liberties.

            The aforementioned article views this a little differently, however. Specifically, I found its retorts on the first and second freedoms interesting.

      • Programming/Development

        • IPCDump Is A New Tool For Tracing Interprocess Communication On Linux

          Guardicore has announced the availability of IPCDump, a new open source tool for tracing interprocess communication on Linux.


          Additional features include: Support for pipes and FIFOs, Loopback IPC, Signals (regular and real-time), Unix streams and datagrams, Pseudoterminal-based IPC, Event filtering based on process PID or name and Human-friendly or JSON-formatted output.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppSimdJson 0.1.4 on CRAN: New Improvements

          Brendan and I are happy to share that a new RcppSimdJson release 0.1.4 arrived on CRAN earlier today. RcppSimdJson wraps the fantastic and genuinely impressive simdjson library by Daniel Lemire and collaborators. Via very clever algorithmic engineering to obtain largely branch-free code, coupled with modern C++ and newer compiler instructions, it results in parsing gigabytes of JSON parsed per second which is quite mindboggling. The best-case performance is ‘faster than CPU speed’ as use of parallel SIMD instructions and careful branch avoidance can lead to less than one cpu cycle per byte parsed; see the video of the talk by Daniel Lemire at QCon (also voted best talk).

        • Ravgeet Dhillon: Add Unsubscribe link in emails using Google Apps Script

          When setting up our email marketing campaigns or newsletters, one thing that is often forgot is Unsubscribe link. Not providing an option to unsubscribe from the mailing list can land our emails into spam. In this blog, we will look at how we can add an Unsubscribe link in our emails sent using Google Apps Script.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • Learn And Code Confusion Matrix With Python

            The confusion matrix is a way to visualize how many samples from each label got predicted correctly. The beauty of the confusion matrix is that it actually allows us to see where the model fails and where the model succeeds, especially when the labels are imbalanced. In other words, we are able to see beyond the model's accuracy.

          • The 10 Best and Useful Tips To Speed Up Your Python Code

            If someone asks you – “What is the fastest-growing programming language in the world right now?” the answer will be simple. Its python. The worldwide popularity is due to its simple syntax and rich libraries. Nowadays, you can almost do anything with python: Data science, machine learning, signal processing, data visualization – you name it. However, many people claim that python is a little slow while solving grave problems. But the time to execute a program depends on the code one writes. With some tips and tricks, one can speed up Python code and enhance the program’s performance.

  • Leftovers

    • RIP Anne Feeney, Legendary Labor Songwriter, Whose Favorite Place to Sing Was on a Picket Line

      Anne Feeney, the legendary Pittsburgh folk singer-songwriter and self-described rabble-rouser, has died of COVID at age 69. Her death comes a decade after she joined in the Wisconsin uprising against a draconian anti-union bill and “sang its solidarity song,” remembers The Nation’s John Nichols, who covered the protests and is based in Madison.

    • ‘Minari’ Is a Landmark for Asian American Cinema

      Minari’s power is anchored in its incidental details, the most substantial of which are unveiled upon the arrival of the film’s comic relief and catalyst: the grandmother, Soonja (Youn Yuh-jung). Visiting the remote trailer home of the Yis, the family at the center of Lee Isaac Chung’s semiautobiographical immigrant drama set in 1980s Arkansas, Soonja comes bearing gifts that struck me with the kind of ritualistic familiarity so few films do. First she pulls out gochugaru (Korean chili pepper flakes) from her suitcase, followed by anchovies, an essential ingredient that’s the base of so many Korean dishes. Her daughter Monica (Han Ye-ri), the Yi family matriarch, begins to cry; these ingredients are clearly hard to find in the Yis’ new home. “Over anchovies?” Soonja teases, though both know the significance of the gesture.

    • Science

      • Evolution Doesn’t Give a Damn About Us, or the USA

        In 1859, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species. At the end of the book, there is this wonderful passage about the power of natural selection. Darwin writes: “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” The fact that you are reading this now is a product of billions of years of evolution, no small miracle in and of itself.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • In 'Particularly Cruel' Act, Maine Hospital Vaccinates Out-of-State Union-Busters as Vulnerable Residents Forced to Wait

        "It's concerning that MaineHealth would put their own anti-union agenda, and their own bottom line, ahead of the health and well-being of Maine people."

      • 'An Outrage': AstraZeneca Told to Justify Unequal Vaccine Pricing Amid Soaring Profits

        "Why is the global south paying more than rich countries for your #Covid19 vaccine?" Global Justice Now asks the pharmaceutical giant, which has pledged not to profit from the vaccine during the pandemic.

      • Medicare for All the 'Only Way Forward,' Concludes Lancet Panel in Study Detailing Death and Misery Inflicted by Trump

        "Trump's disastrous actions compounded longstanding failures in health policy in the USA. We know what it will take to create a healthy society. We just need the political will to do it."

      • Covid-19: a Nation at War?

        He added: “And as such, I directed the team to be ready to exercise all the authorities I have under the Defense Production Act, and expedite these vaccines.€  And we’re using the Defense Production Act to launch a full-scale, wartime effort to address the supply shortages we inherited from the previous administration.”

        Among Biden’s first actions was to “directed relevant agencies to exercise all appropriate authorities, including the DPA, to accelerate manufacturing, delivery, and administration to meet shortfalls in these twelve categories of critical supplies, including taking action to increase the availability of supplies like N95 masks …” and other products “to accelerate the manufacture, delivery, and administration of COVID-19 vaccine.”

      • Tracking the coronavirus pandemic and vaccine rollouts

        The coronavirus pandemic continues to test humanitarian responses in 2021, while the world faces new questions about how to ensure equal access to vaccines.

        Many countries have started rolling out coronavirus vaccines, but it’s unclear when – and in some cases, how – these vaccines will reach people caught in crisis zones. The COVID-19 pandemic is driving record-breaking humanitarian needs: Global aid response plans total more than $35 billion this year.

      • Why there will be fewer and fewer doctors and medical practices in Germany and the health system will get worse and worse

        Please do not get it wrong, I am also for data protection, definitely, but then we would have to IMMEDIATELY SWITCH OFF Microsoft Windows Office, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Google, if the EU is serious with data protection.

        The EU GDPR is a catastrophe.


        The result: more and more legal uncertainty, fear of doing something wrong, effort and costs for the freelance/self-employed doctor.

        Instead, there will be a centralization, there will be a handful of MVZ GmbHs, large gigantic companies that keep 100 or more doctors in the employee relationship (and will make sure that the doctor profession becomes even less attractive, as is already happening in the old people’s home, where in case of poor pay, the nurses are driven into inhuman treating patients (no time) and burnout.)

        With less and less money and at the same time more and more effort (bureaucracy), the quality of the health care system will get worse.

        In addition, there is enormous expense in billing and reimbursement of costs.

        In addition, there is an enormous staff shortage (the so-called shortage of skilled workers is actually present in the medical field and has reached an extreme extent).

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 154 available for testing

            The first update of the year will be an enormous one. We have been working hard in the lab to update the underlying operating system to harden and improve IPFire and we have added WPA3 client support and made DNS faster and more resilient against broken Internet connections.

            This is probably the release with the largest number of package updates. This is necessary for us to keep the system modern and adopt any fixes from upstream projects. Thank you to everyone who has contributed by sending in patches.

            If you want to help us out, please send us a donation.

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (ansible, chromium, cups, docker, firefox, gitlab, glibc, helm, lib32-glibc, minio, nextcloud, opendoas, opera, php, php7, privoxy, python-django, python-jinja, python2-jinja, thunderbird, vivaldi, and wireshark-cli), Fedora (jasper, linux-firmware, php, python-cryptography, spice-vdagent, subversion, and thunderbird), Mageia (gssproxy and phpldapadmin), openSUSE (chromium, containerd, docker, docker-runc,, librepo, nextcloud, and privoxy), SUSE (containerd, docker, docker-runc, golang-github-docker-libnetwork, kernel, openvswitch, and wpa_supplicant), and Ubuntu (wpa).

          • A major vulnerability in Sudo

            A longstanding hole in the Sudo privilege-delegation tool that was discovered in late January is a potent local vulnerability. Exploiting it allows local users to run code of their choosing as root by way of a bog-standard heap-buffer overflow. It seems like the kind of bug that might have been found earlier via code inspection or fuzzing, but it has remained in this security-sensitive utility since it was introduced in 2011.

            Qualys reported the bug on January 26; it has been in Sudo from version 1.8.2, released in August 2011, up through 1.9.5p1, which was released on January 11. At the same time as the announcement, Sudo released version 1.9.5p2 to fix the problems. The bug has been assigned CVE-2021-3156, which Qualys has dubbed "Baron Samedit". That name combines Baron Samedi, the name of the vodou loa of the dead, with sudoedit, which is integral to the exploit.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Gun Trafficking Investigation Shows The FBI Is Still Capable Of Accessing Communications On Encrypted Devices

              It's been clear for some time that the FBI and DOJ's overly dramatic calls for encryption backdoors are unwarranted. Law enforcement still has plenty of options to deal with device encryption and end-to-end encrypted messaging services. Multiple reports have shown encryption is rarely an obstacle to investigations. And for all the noise the FBI has made about its supposedly huge stockpile of locked devices, it still has yet to hand over an accurate count of devices in its possession, more than two years after it discovered it had been using an inflated figure to back its "going dark" hysteria for months.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | Ending the Other War in Yemen

        The global proliferation of weaponized drones is no surprise and Biden’s plea for peace in Yemen that allows for their continued use is a hollow one.

      • Yemen: “Mission Accomplished”... For Now?

        Bush’s May 1, 2003 announcement on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln would turn out to be wildly overoptimistic. The US invaded Iraq in March 2003. US troops would remain in Iraq for the next eight years, until 2011. In 2014, US forces were back, this time to fight the Islamic State. In 2020, US troops left Iraq under pressure from the Iraqi government.

        US forces were in Afghanistan for nearly two decades after invading in 2001, the longest war in US history. (President Donald Trump withdrew the US from Afghanistan in 2020.)

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Twitter & India Still Arguing Over Whether Or Not Twitter Accounts Supporting Farmer Protests Need To Be Removed

        Last week we wrote about the Indian government threatening to jail Twitter employees after the company reinstated a long list of accounts that the government demanded be blocked (Twitter blocked them for a brief period of time, before reinstating them). The accounts included some Indian celebrities and journalists, who were talking about the headline news regarding farmer protests. The Mohdi government has proven to be incredibly thin-skinned about negative coverage, and despite Indian protections for free expression, was demanding out-and-out censorship of these accounts. The threats to lock up Twitter employees put the company in an impossible position -- and it has now agreed to geoblock (but not shut down) some accounts, but not journalists, activists and politicians.

      • Annoyance Builds At Elon Musk Getting A Billion In Subsidies For Starlink Broadband

        So we've noted a few times how Elon Musk's Starlink is going to be a great thing for folks stuck out of reach of traditional broadband options. Though with a $600 first month price tag ($100 monthly bill and $500 hardware charge) it's not some magic bullet for curing the "digital divide." And without the capacity to service more densely populated areas, the service is only going to reach several million rural Americans. That's a good start, but it's only going to make a tiny dent for the 42 million Americans that lack access to any broadband, or the 83 million currently stuck under a broadband monopoly (usually Comcast). Starlink is going to be a good thing, but not transformative or truly disruptive to US telecom monopolies.

      • Progressives Applaud FAIR Act Reintroduction Aimed at Ending Anti-Worker, Anti-Consumer Forced Arbitration

        "There may be no more blatant example of how giant corporations like Wells Fargo, Equifax, Amazon, and Uber rig our economy than forced arbitration."

      • Opinion | Biden Could Cancel Student Debt With the Stroke of a Pen

        Canceling student debt isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s the economically smart thing to do. It would liberate millions of Americans to meaningfully participate in our economy.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Dumb New GOP Talking Point: If You Restore Net Neutrality, You HAVE To Kill Section 230. Just Because!

        As the FCC gets closer to restoring net neutrality, a new and bizarre GOP talking point has emerged. It goes something like this: if you're going to restore some modest rules holding telecom monopolies accountable, you just have to dismantle a law that protects free speech on the internet! This of course makes no coherent sense whatsoever, but that's not stopping those looking to demolish Section 230, a law that is integral to protecting speech online.

      • Gemini: Is The Modern Web Really Too Bloated? - YouTube

        Recently a few Linux channels have been discussing Project Gemini which like Gopher is another web protocol that tries to approach the web in a fundamentally different way from what we typically see today. Whilst it's never going to replace the current web there are use cases for it along side the existing web.

    • Monopolies

      • Tackling the monopoly problem

        There was a time when people who were exploring computational technology saw it as the path toward decentralization and freedom worldwide. What we have ended up with, instead, is a world that is increasingly centralized, subject to surveillance, and unfree. How did that come to be? In a keynote at the online 2021 event, Cory Doctorow gave his view of this problem and named its source: monopoly.

        Doctorow started by saying that many see the people who pushed technology in the last century as blind, naive optimists. In this view, technologists thought that if we just gave everybody a computer, everything would be fine; they failed to foresee how technology could become a dystopian force. He knows some of those people, mostly through his 20 years working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and he does not agree with this view. The truth of the matter is that nobody starts an organization like EFF because they think that everything is going to be great. Those founders were excited about how amazing things could be, but also terrified about how badly it could all go. They wanted to get technology into people's hands, but also to get the technology policy right.


        What we didn't understand, Doctorow said, was that antitrust law was destroyed in the US by a man named Robert Bork. He is a "perfect market" theorist, who thought that monopolies were good. Laws against monopolies, he argued, only applied if it could be shown that a given situation was causing harm to consumers. At the same time, he made proving that harm nearly impossible. In this world, companies could create monopolies with impunity.

        It is fashionable now to say that the concentration in the technology industry is a result of factors like network effects, first-mover advantages, and data moats. But that is not how these companies created and grew their monopolies; when you have all the money you could need, he said, you can just buy success. Google has made "1.5 successful products" in-house (the search engine and a Hotmail clone); everything else has been bought from elsewhere. These are companies that Google would have been blocked from buying under a strong antitrust regime. Meanwhile many of the other things Google did try to create internally have ended up in the "Google graveyard".

        Network effects are real, but they are also a double-edged sword when interoperability comes into play. One source of interoperability is technology standards, but another is what he calls "adversarial interoperability" or "competitive compatibility". AT&T used to block interoperability by forbidding the attachment of outside equipment to the phone network; once that ban went away, the market for telephone equipment took off. Myspace had a set of captive users — until Facebook created a bot to scrape users' information from the site and port it over.

        Given a chance, companies will create interoperability one way or another, making the market more competitive. This kind of interoperability has been criminalized, though, through mechanisms like copyright, patents, and terms of service. Oracle's ongoing lawsuit alleging that Google violated the copyright on its Java APIs is a classic example. Companies that own this sort of monopoly are doubly fortunate, since the government will intervene to defend the monopoly against those who would try to break it.

      • Patents

        • Fintiv Denials Playing a Role in Huawei Assertion Campaign [Ed: Eastern and Western Districts of Texas weaponises a bad system]

          The PTAB’s precedential Fintiv decision describes a set of factors to be considered when the PTAB decides whether to discretionarily deny an IPR based upon co-pending litigation. And the PTAB has been using discretionary denial at an increasingly high rate, leading to increases in litigation frequency and cost.

          So it isn’t surprising that many of Verizon’s petitions were denied on the basis of Fintiv. Effectively, Verizon had their IPRs denied because they had been sued and the trial could happen a few months before the IPR would conclude. There was no weight given to the likelihood of a stay if the IPR was instituted, no significant weight given to Verizon’s filing of its IPRs in a very short time frame, and no weight given to Congress’s clear intent to have the PTAB conduct reviews of patents that were asserted in parallel litigations.

          So at the end of the day, the Fintiv rule is being applied in a way that harms an American company to the benefit of a company that the U.S. government has alleged to be a national security threat. And this could simply be the start of the problem—Huawei could use its patent portfolio to try to monopolize the network infrastructure market in the same way that Qualcomm has used its portfolio to eliminate competitors in the baseband chipset market.

          U.S. patent policy can’t be protectionist—it has to consider that around half of all U.S. patents go to foreign applicants, and those patents can effectively only be asserted against companies with a U.S. presence. A patent system that goes too far may harm U.S. companies more than it helps them, allowing foreign patent owners to assert patents without concern for cross-exposure to U.S. patent suits.

          If national security is threatened by Huawei becoming a dominant player in 5G, then national security is also harmed by patent policies that make it harder for U.S. businesses to defend themselves against assertions. And national security is harmed by patent policies that make it easier for Huawei to exploit its patents to harm U.S. competitors and U.S.-based customers of competitors.

        • Intellectual property in the digital age in focus at conference held under Portugal’s EU Presidency

          EPO President António Campinos spoke about the importance of supporting innovation at the opening of a high-level online conference on IP held on 11 February on the occasion of Portugal's EU Council Presidency. The event, entitled "The Intellectual Property Metamorphosis in the Digital Transition Age", was organised by the Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), with the support of the European Commission, European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the EPO, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

        • Working together to simplify the patent system: First common practices agreed by EPO member states

          In a move to align administrative practices between the EPO and Europe's national IP offices more closely, EPO member states have agreed on common practices under a joint initiative.

          The first two common practices - in the areas of examination of unity of invention, and designation of the inventor - were endorsed by member states at a meeting of the organisation's Administrative Council in December 2020.

        • Ericsson VP's dissent from European Commission's expert group report on standard-essential patents draws mockery

          On Wednesday, the European Commission finally published the report furnished by its group of experts on licensing and valuation of standard-essential patents (SEPs). As I noted in my commentary, it's not binding on the Commission or anyone else, and it's a collection of different perspectives and proposals. Given that it is what it is, it came as a bit of a surprise that Ericsson vice president Monica Magnusson wrote a dissenting opinion that was published along with other materials accompanying the report. I like the fact that U.S. judges write dissents and concurrences to express minority views, but the expert group report in question was so inclusive that everyone can find something to like and something to disagree with, which should render it unnecessary to distance oneself from it. The report is equidistant from the two camps.

          Nevertheless, Mrs. Magnusson wrote her dissent, "with sadness" and despite holding her "fellow Expert Group members [...] in high esteem." The reason she views the expert group's as a "lost opportunity" is that it "lack[s] a common position on the current situation and future challenges" (which Reuters also noted). And she criticizes that the numerous "opinions and suggestions are often not accompanied by any empirical evidence and often include methods broadly rejected by courts." I wouldn't confuse an expert group for a research team, and in my observation, patent monetization-focused companies like Ericsson believe that the conclusion of license agreements under the threat of injunctions or in connection with commercial agreements constitutes "empirical evidence" of the reasonableness of certain licensing models.

          Politico Pro accurately notes that Ericsson's dissent is driven by a desire to protect its patent licensing stream (actually, they want to grow those revenues), and goes on to question whether this kind of "drama" was needed.


          No matter how often Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm etc. stress that cellular SEPs are typically licensed at the level of handsets and not chips (because of those companies and others doggedly refusing to license baseband chipset makers, except that Qualcomm is more equal than others and secures such licenses for its own baseband chips), the natural choice would still be to license as high up in the value chain as possible. That's the natural way because patent exhaustion works top-down, not bottom-up.

        • Unitary patent system tipped as next biggest IP development in Europe [Ed: Team UPC continues to scatter propaganda about the UPC, which is dead and buried. They hope that by continuing to lie to the public and the politicians they can pull something off.]

          The proposed unitary patent system will proceed in spite of the UK's lack of involvement and be the most influential intellectual property (IP) policy development in Europe over the next three years, the head of the Intellectual Property Office of Ireland (IPOI) has said.

          Speaking at an event hosted by Pinsent Masons in Dublin, Gerard Barrett said, however, that he expects talks to take place to involve the UK in a broadened unitary patent and associated Unified Patent Court (UPC) system in the longer term. EU constitutional experts previously said that "innovative legal solutions" are needed to involve the UK, as a non-EU member state, in the UPC framework.

          "Over time there will be some effort made to try to get a system in place that will include the UK, and Switzerland and [perhaps other countries], because I think it is a huge disadvantage not to have the UK participating in it," said Barrett, who has been controller at the IPOI since 2013.

        • Richard Beddard: the challenge of scoring two top-flight companies [Ed: It says "much-delayed EU Unitary Patent," but it is not delayed, it is dead. They keep repeating their lies.]

          The benefits of the strategy are there for us all to see. It addresses risks like the much-delayed EU Unitary Patent, which for years has threatened to reduce the amount of patent translation required in Europe.

          In this year’s annual report the Unitary Patent gets only one mention in a list of potential legal and regulatory risks. The company has simply diversified away its geographical dependence on Europe and intellectual property.

        • No UK withdrawal from the EPO despite plan to join CPTPP, says government spokesperson [Ed: Saying "government’s decision to rule out membership of the Unified Patent Court and unitary patent system" overlooks the fact that it does not exist and can never exist anymore. Joff Wild continues to be little but a propaganda machine and mouthpiece of white-collars criminals who run the EPO and besiege the staff there in order to steal money and defraud the public.]

          Today’s news will reassure many in the British patent community and beyond concerned that in the wake of the government’s decision to rule out membership of the Unified Patent Court and unitary patent system, the UK’s commitment to its EPO membership might have been threatened by a desire to join the CPTPP. Leaving the organisation would put the EPO prosecution and opposition work done by UK patent attorneys under direct threat, while also forcing patent owners to fundamentally rethink their strategic approaches.

          However, some may note the use of the word “seek” in the statement and remember that it was current UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who, as foreign secretary, originally signed the UK’s instruments of accession to the UPC, before changing his mind. Meanwhile, others might recall that the UK government previously promised the country’s businesses full and tariff-free access to the Single Market post-Brexit and no customs border between the British mainland and Northern Ireland. None of this has turned out to be the case.

          To put it delicately, the UK government sometimes says stuff that does not turn out to be entirely accurate. However, a big difference here is that the EPO is not an EU body and the EPC is an international agreement. It does not pose the same issues of sovereignty as the UPC, which gives a role to the Court of Justice of the European Union under certain circumstances, while there is no trade aspect to the EPC – it is all about patents.

        • Survey: EPO working conditions continue to deteriorate [Ed: Kluwer finally caught up with news, the real news, 10 days old. Better later than never, I guess.]

          According to the results of the survey, carried out by the French group Technologia, the situation at the EPO is deteriorating for various reasons, partly depending on the site, Job Group or Directorate General, but the lack of time is increasingly mentioned. 72% of respondents mentioned this as, against 43% in the 2016 edition of the survey. Other factors are decisions of management (83%), poor atmosphere (58%), lack of consideration (51%), difficulty of the work (16%), ergonomics of the workplace (12%).

          “As a result, the quality of the work is greatly affected. The impossibility of carrying out one’s tasks and doing quality work also impacts on the health of employees, particularly in terms of psychological distress”, according to a summary of the results.


          The questions of the survey were almost identical to those in 2010, 2013 and 2016 editions. According to the report, “the participation rate was negatively impacted by the period of the Covid 19 health crisis in Europe and the lockdown periods implemented in various countries.” According to SUEPO, it sent the survey to EPO president Campinos and the Administrative Council, but there was no reaction. In answer to a query by Kluwer IP Law, an EPO spokesman said the EPO didn’t wish to comment on the survey.

          When António Campinos took office over two years ago, it was hoped he would normalize social relations at the EPO after the Battistelli years. The survey shows that is not the case, and in the last months there have been signs of rising tensions. Last December, for the first time under the presidency of Campinos, a strike was held. The SUEPO wrote to its members it would be the start of a year of social conflict.

        • EUIPO-EPO report shows companies with IP make more money [Ed: Managing IP is, as usual, repeating lies and propaganda from the "Mafia" that runs the EPO]

          A report released on Monday, February 8, by the EUIPO and EPO found that companies with an IP portfolio earned 20% more in revenue per employee than companies without one.

          The report, which analysed a sample of 127,000 European firms across 28 EU member states, also highlighted that IP-owning companies paid salaries that were 19% higher than their non-IP counterparts.

          Results from an econometric analysis made it possible to isolate the effect of IP ownership from other variables such as industry, size of the firm and country of operation.

          A positive association was also found between IP ownership and economic performance, with revenues per employee being 55% higher for IP owners.

          On SMEs, the report showed that only 9% of European small businesses owned any IP, but that companies that did generated 68% higher revenues per employee than similarly sized businesses without IP.


          The referral was made during oral proceedings in appeal case T1807/15, represented by Reddie & Grose, and might mean that parties who do not wish to have their hearings heard virtually could have their cases delayed pending the outcome of the EBoA’s decision.

          Some in-house counsel told Managing IP last year that they didn’t like virtual conferences at the EPO because they could slow down proceedings if connectivity issues arose, and made it more difficult to present complex arguments in an efficient way.

          Others told this publication, however, that patent owners were inappropriately declining virtual appeals at the EPO to slow proceedings and delay the invalidation of low-quality patents.

          Virtual hearings were introduced at the EPO in response to COVID-19, and were intended to help the office avoid a backlog of cases building up while travel and social distancing restrictions were in place.

          In November 2020, the EPO issued a statement that all examination and opposition proceedings would be virtual until September 2021, and that after January 4 2021, the need for both parties to consent to virtual proceedings would be removed.

          The EBoA has yet to announce when it will decide on the legality of virtual hearings. There has also yet to be an official announcement on the status of pending virtual hearings since this referral.

        • Senator Leahy to Take Chair of IP Subcommittee

          I’ve been informed that Senator Leahy will be taking over the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, with Senator Coons moving to a newly reconstituted Privacy, Technology, and the Law Subcommittee.

          Senator Leahy was one of the authors of the 2011 America Invents Act (AIA), and may wish to refocus the committee on the changes that have been made to AIA trials like inter partes review over the past few years. He could also shift the Subcommittee’s focus away from patents and towards other areas of intellectual property.

        • Software Patents

          • Omnitek Partners patent determined to be likely invalid

            On February 10, 2021, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all 4 grounds challenging claims 1-4 (all claims) of U.S. Patent 8,224,569, owned by Omnitek Partners LLC, an NPE. The ‘569 patent generally relates to mapping systems typically used in vehicles. The patent had been asserted in litigation against Toyota and is currently being asserted against Ford, GM, Here Global B.V., Mazda, Volvo, Apple, and Alpine Electronics.

      • Trademarks

        • ‘File 10, hope for one’: counsel on pharma trademarks [Ed: They not only abuse and destroy the patent system by bending it their way (at the expense of everybody else); they also make overzealous trademark policies that make it harder to compete]

          Pharma in-house counsel say a clogged up EU trademark register is an unfortunate by-product of the strict regulatory rules for approving new names for drugs

        • Tiffany case could shake up summary judgment and enforcement

          Businesses such as Coty and David Yurman weigh in on the implications of Tiffany's eight-year trademark battle with Costco as it (hopefully) draws to a close

      • Copyrights

        • Orrin Hatch, Who Once Wanted To Destroy The Computers Of Anyone Who Infringed On Copyrights, Now Lies About Section 230

          Former Senator Orrin Hatch was so anti-technology, and supportive of the anti-technology recording industry, that former music tech startup entrepreneur and sci-fi author Rob Reid referred to him as "Senator Fido" in his comic novel about the music industry, because Senator "Fido" Hatch was such a lapdog of the recording industry that he would be willing to slip whatever anti-tech language they wanted into any new regulation. Even outside of the world of fiction, Hatch was way out there in his anti-technology ideas. In 2003, when he was Chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee, he floated the idea that copyright holders should invest in malware that would literally destroy the computers of anyone who opened an unauthorized file. The suggestion was so crazy that when an exec for an anti-piracy company at the hearing where Hatch raised this idea pushed back saying "no one is interested in destroying anyone's computer," Hatch immediately corrected him and said that, yes, indeed, Hatch himself was very interested in that idea:

Recent Techrights' Posts

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There will be more next week