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Links 25/4/2021: QOwnNotes 21.4.4 and GCC 11 Days Away

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 403

        The **bison** and **yacc** commands from the **d** software series of Slackware.

    • Kernel Space

      • University of Minnesota Linux "Hypocrite Commit" Researchers Publish Open Letter

        The drama in kernel land this week was University of Minnesota being banned from Linux kernel development over research they previously carried out looking at "hypocrite commits" and the possibility of intentionally introducing vulnerabilities (such as use-after-free bugs) into the kernel source tree. This weekend those researchers involved published an open latter to the Linux kernel community.

        Word of these university researchers having done a research paper on "hypocrite commits" and carried out their actions with seemingly little to no external oversight and having wasted upstream developer resources and potentially risked the kernel's security raised many concerns in the community.

        In addition to "banning" University of Minnesota from contributing to the upstream kernel, Greg Kroah-Hartman planned to revert all patches. However, so far that has yet to happen on the mainline tree. So far the vast majority of the University of Minnesota patches contributed to mainline over the years were found to be done in good faith.

      • University of Minnesota Researchers Send Apology to Linux Kernel Mailing List

        Earlier this week Greg Kroah-Hartman of the Linux kernel development team banned the University of Minnesota from contributing after researchers there submitted what he called "obviously-incorrect patches" believed to be part of a research project into whether buggy code would be accepted.

        Today the professor in charge of that project, as well as two of its researchers, sent an email to the Linux kernel mailing list saying they "sincerely apologize for any harm our research group did to the Linux kernel community."

      • Antoine Beaupré: Lost article ideas

        I wrote for LWN for about two years. During that time, I wrote (what seems to me an impressive) 34 articles, but I always had a pile of ideas in the back of my mind. Those are ideas, notes, and scribbles lying around. Some were just completely abandoned because they didn't seem a good fit for LWN.


        Those are finished articles, they were published on my website and LWN, but the branches were kept because previous drafts had private notes that should not be published.

      • Graphics Stack

        • LunarG Is Hiring Another Graphics Driver Engineer

          LunarG, the consulting firm known for their contributions around Vulkan and also having been involved with Mesa development over the years and experimenting with Gallium3D features and other interesting efforts like the past LunarGLASS, is looking to hire another experienced graphics driver development engineer.

          Their ideal graphics software engineer would already be experienced with the likes of Vulkan, SPIR-V, and OpenGL as well as having experience with open-source development. They are willing to entertain remote work.

        • VKD3D 2.3: A Major New Release

          So, last week VKD3D (DirectX 12 implemented over Vulkan) reached a new milestone, with version the version 2.3 release. Why is it significant exactly?

          1) It brings the first stable DXR implementation (v1.0) which is a cross-vendor ray-tracing support (while for now only Nvidia drivers work correctly with it).

    • Applications

      • Best Distraction Free Writing Tools for Linux

        Distraction free text editors and writing tools provide a minimal application layout without many user interface elements. These applications allow you to better organize your thoughts and help you improve your writing. Whatever interaction with application is needed, is mainly done through keyboard shortcuts. While you can go fullscreen with most text editors / code editors / IDEs these days, there are some applications solely designed to provide you a distraction free writing experience (especially some Markdown editors). This article will cover a list of such writing tools that provide you an immersive writing experience on Linux.

      • Best Apps to Create Mockups in Linux

        This article will list some useful mockup / wireframe / UX design tools that allow you to create product demos and prototypes. There are numerous web-based proprietary tools available for creating mockups. However, this article will mostly focus on free and open source mockup tools that can be installed and used on Linux. Note that mockups, wireframes, charts and user interface graphics are not necessarily the same terms and they have some differences between them. However, they all serve the same purpose of creating visuals and prototypes of software and other products before you add any functionality to them. This article will cover such tools available for Linux.

      • An Introduction to Free-Open Source Ghost (FOG)

        Managing multiple operating system images or building an OS from ISO is a critical part of any IT infrastructure. If done well by using an image management system, it can save a lot of time. Free-Open Source Ghost (FOG) is a Linux-based server solution that can be used for network cloning and management. FOG allows you to create, manage and deploy various Mac OS, Linux, and OSX versions. Besides, it supports multiple Linux distributions like Fedora, Debian, Centos, Ubuntu, etc. This server-based cloning solution can drastically help reduce installation or update time for new labs or computers.

        It is important to understand that disk imaging or cloning means copying elements from one drive to another. You can create an ideal image with the desired software and settings, upload it to a server and distribute it to other devices from there. In the case of FOG, you can upload and deploy it via a Pre-Boot execution environment.

        This article is a one-stop guide covering an introduction to FOG, its installation, configuration, FOG-Client management, and a detailed Image Capture process.

      • QOwnNotes 21.4.4

        QOwnNotes is a open source (GPL) plain-text file notepad with markdown support and todo list manager for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, that (optionally) works together with the notes application of ownCloud (or Nextcloud). So you are able to write down your thoughts with QOwnNotes and edit or search for them later from your mobile device (like with CloudNotes) or the ownCloud web-service. The notes are stored as plain text files and you can sync them with your ownCloud sync client. Of course other software, like Dropbox, Syncthing, Seafile or BitTorrent Sync can be used too.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Linux DF command – The 3 most used options

        This article will help you to understand what is the use of DF command in Linux and how to use DF command with multiple options. The DF (Disk Free) command is a built in utility to find the available and the disk usage space on Linux servers/storage. This command is used by all the System Administrators, as it is one of their main tasks to monitor the server/storage space.

        This tutorial will help you how to use DF command in Linux with options and examples. All the below examples are tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

      • How to Install Gulp.js on Ubuntu 20.04

        Gulp is an open-source JavaScript toolkit developed by by Eric Schoffstall helps developers to automate & enhance there workflow. It is a good command-line task runner for Node.js applications. Gulp let us automate processes and run repetitive tasks with ease. It provides a feature of piping output from one task as an input to the next.

        This tutorial describes you to how to install Gulp on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux systems.

      • How To Boot UEFI on QEMU

        Most Qemu software runs BIOS (Legacy) initialization software. In many cases, a user may want to run Qemu with UEFI instead of BIOS. Additionally, a user may prefer run Qemu in command line or graphically with Aqemu. Instructions below explain how to do it all.


        Likewise, the same command snippet above should be added to Aqemu if we wish graphical experience virtual machine like VirtualBox. To add it, select your virtual machine > visit VM tab > click Advanced > Advanced Options dialog will open > type the command snippet under the Custom QEMU command line arguments > OK > Apply.

      • Russell Coker: Scanning with a MFC-9120CN on Bullseye

        I previously wrote about getting a Brother MFC-9120CN multifunction printer/scanner to print on Linux [1]. I had also got it scanning which I didn’t blog about.

        found USB scanner (vendor=0x04f9, product=0x021d) at libusb:003:002 I recently upgraded that Linux system to Debian/Testing (which will soon be released as Debian/Bullseye) and scanning broke. The command sane-find-scanner would find the USB connected scanner (with the above output), but “scanimage -L” didn’t.

        It turned out that I had to edit /etc/sane.d/dll.d/hplip which had a single uncommented line of “hpaio” and replace that with “brother3” to make SANE load the driver /usr/lib64/sane/ from the brscan3 package (which Brother provided from their web site years ago).

      • How to Update and Upgrade Manjaro Linux | FOSS Linux

        Manjaro just released their latest OS version – Manjaro 21.0 Ornara, and it’s time to make an upgrade. However, if you’re new to Manjaro – coming from Windows or even a Debian-based distribution (Ubuntu, Pop_OS, Linux Mint,…), then the way Manjaro handles system updates and upgrades might feel a bit unfamiliar and confusing.

        And so, to clear things up, we have put together a detailed read on how to update and upgrade your Manjaro system.

        We will cover a step-by-step tutorial showcasing the entire Manjaro update and upgrade process the “correct” way. But first, we think it’s better to clear out some basic concepts to help you understand how Manjaro is different from Windows and Ubuntu when it comes to system upgrades.

      • Why is my Crontab not working, and how can I troubleshoot it? – Linux Hint

        We all know that Cron or Crontab works as the best job scheduler for the Linux-based system. Whenever you wish to run certain time-bound operations, you can always take the services of the Cron daemon. However, at times, your Crontab might stop working, and you might wonder why? Also, in such situations, you are willing to try out all the possible ways to fix this issue. Therefore, we have dedicated today’s article to the issues that cause a hindrance in the proper working of the Crontab and how they can be troubleshot.

      • Installation of Concrete5 CMS on Fedora Linux

        Concrete5 is a CMS (content management system) which allows users to edit any page via editing toolbar and change its content or design without reading complicated manuals or navigating a complex administration back-end.

        In this article, we'll go over the step by step to install Concrete5 CMS on Fedora Linux. This will include setting up Apache as an HTTP server, various PHP modules, and MariaDB to host the database.

      • How to run a Linux distribution in a container

        This tutorial is written in the first-person by Barry Kauler (BarryK on the forums). Switching to first-person mode now...

        EasyOS is able to run an application in a container, but can also run a complete Linux distribution. This web page introduces containers from a user-perspective: ...which shows an example of a complete distribution desktop running in a container. There is also developer-perspective information on compiling source code inside a container. The page that you are reading now is very much developer-perspective, looking at how a different Linux distribution can be converted to run in a container in EasyOS.

      • How to create a OS-in-container tutorial updated

        Yes, the tutorial was unclear on that point, so I have added explanation about local testing. I received an email, someone wanted to convert the 'Tails' distribution to run in a container. I have added clarification to the tutorial that currently only Puppy-derivatives are supported. Also, Tails is a special secure operating system, and is unlikely to "play nice" in an EasyOS container. The container has its own security restrictions, which may conflict with or neutralize those of Tails. Tails will also have its own special kernel, whereas in a container it will be using the EasyOS kernel.

      • How to Verify SHA1, SHA256, and MD5 Checksum in Windows for Linux OS

        Two days back, one of my friends tried to install Parrot Security OS on his Asus Tuf Laptop. While Installing, he faces an issue. After that, he sends me a snapshot of his Laptop screen with the following error “There was a problem reading data. please make sure you have inserted the installation media correctly. If retrying does not work, you should check the integrity of your installation media (there is an associated entry in the main menu for that).”

      • How To Install Git on AlmaLinux 8 - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Git on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Git is a distributed version control system. Git is a free software designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency. Git offers features like data assurance, workflows, create branches, revert to the previous stage, incredible speed, keep track of your code changes, view logs, and many more. It allows you to perform your work in offline mode and when ready, you need the internet connection to publish the changes and take the latest changes.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of Git on an AlmaLinux 8.

      • How to install WHM Cpanel on AlmaLinux 8 Server - Linux Shout

        To manage Linux servers for hosting purposes most of the services are using WHM’s Cpanel. Although there are many hosting manager software, because of its easy-to-use interface and features, it is one of the best control panels for Web hosting services. And here we will know the steps to install cPanel & WHM on AlmaLinux 8.

      • How to Use Sysbench for Linux Performance Testing? – Linux Hint

        Sysbench is an open-source and multi-purpose benchmark utility that evaluates the parameter features tests for CPU, memory, I/O, and database (MySQL) performance. This tool is important to benchmark the MySQL parameters especially when running a load of the intensive database. It is a freely available command-line tool that provides an uncomplicated and direct way to test your Linux system. This article will provide you the details about the Sysbench command-line tool. We will discuss how to test the performance of Linux OS components through the sysbench utility as well. We have implemented all commands on the latest available Ubuntu 20.04 system.

      • How to Install VNC Server on Debian 10? – Linux Hint

        VNC or Virtual Network Computing is a protocol used to access the graphical desktop environment of your computer and control it remotely. In this article, I am going to show you how to install the VNC server on Debian 10 and access it from a remote computer. So, let’s get started!

      • Grep for Multiple Patterns or Strings – Linux Hint

        Virtual Network Computing or VNC is used to access the graphical desktop environment of your computer and remotely control it. In this article, we are going to learn how we can install VNC Server on Debian 10 and access it from a remote computer as well as other necessary information it entails.

      • Troubleshooting Error: Vim Can’t Open File for Writing – Linux Hint

        Vim is a text editor used in Linux operating systems that help create and update different text files with different extensions. Sometimes, when you try to create files with the Vim utility, you got an error: “Vim can’t open file for writing”. Reasons for this error could be more than one.

      • Ufw Firewall Allow SSH – Linux Hint

        A working firewall is among the first layers of protection in protecting the cloud server. Previously, this was frequently achieved by the use of complex and obscure utilities. There seem to be a lot of features integrated into such packages or utilities, with iptables as perhaps the most common one lately, however learning and using them require some work on the part of the consumer. In this regard, UFW is a much more user-friendly choice. UFW or Unpretentious Firewall is an iptables front-end. Its key purpose is to make controlling the firewall as seamless as possible by including a user-friendly GUI. It’s well enough and famous in the Linux world, with many Linux distributions including it by default. As a result, it’s a flawless place to start when it comes to protecting your server.

      • How to Measure and Show the Progress of a rsync copy Linux? – Linux Hint

        Rsync stands for “remote sync”, which is a free and open-source command-line file synchronization utility used for transferring files and directories to local and remote destinations. It is an efficient utility as it only copies the changes from the source. Hence, it minimizes the amount of data copied to the remote destination. It is used for data backups, mirroring, and transferring data from one location to another.

        Normally when you a copy file using rsync, it does not show any progress bar or the measure of speed or size of data transferred. During large file transfers, you may sometimes want to view the progress of the transfer and the size of the data transferred.

        In this quick tip, we are going to show how to measure and show the progress of rsync when copying the files in Linux. We will also show you how to view the statistics of the file transfer.

      • How to Use Linux lscpu Command Tutorial – Linux Hint

        The beauty of Linux-like systems is that it provides multiple command-line tools for a single operation. Whether you want to download software/packages or fetch any information from hardware/disk drives of the system, you will get several ways according to your needs while using Linux.

        A command-line utility “lscpu” in Linux is used to get CPU information of the system. The “lscpu” command fetches the CPU architecture information from the “sysfs” and /proc/cpuinfo files and displays it in a terminal.

      • Whatis command in Linux – Linux Hint

        In Linux, the “whatis” command is used to offer a one-line overview of command, option, or a flag. Each manual section in Linux contains some definitions. This command looks for the manual and displays the description of the given keyword.

      • Set Date in Linux from the Command Line – Linux Hint

        The date command depicts the date and time of the system. It permits the user to get both date and time in different formats. This command also helps in calculate current, past, and future dates with the help of different operators and format specifiers. For functionalities to be performed, the system clock and clock of the server should be precisely on time. Here are some examples that will increase your knowledge about the date command in Linux.

      • How to Search for a Package on Linux Mint? – Linux Hint

        We can install multiple packages on Linux Mint to enhance the system functionality. A package contains multiple files and information. Searching the installed packages on the Linux Mint system is very straight-forward. We can easily search for the packages through the command line and Synaptic package manager application.

      • Linux Run Multiple Commands in Parallel – Linux Hint

        Parallel processing is the concept of running multiple processes simultaneously. This concept is the crux of today’s modern computer systems. In the very same manner, multiple commands can also be made to run in parallel, and today, we will learn how to do this on a Linux Mint 20 system.

      • How to Use Grep Recursively? – Linux Hint

        Grep command is used to search text from files. It is a versatile pattern that invokes grep with –r. –R option search files recursively from subdirectories, starting from the current directory. The command is run from the top-level directory. For instance /home/abc etc. Grep is a tool for obtaining dependencies while moving from one host to another. If we do not mention a directory in the command, grep will search the current working directory. To perform grep recursively, there are three arguments that we have taken from the man page of grep.

      • How Do I Use Special Characters in the Grep Command? – Linux Hint

        The function of grep is to search the text and apply conditions to them. It is used for searching in more than one file. Grep can identify the text lines in it and decide further to apply different actions which include recursive function or inverse the search and display the line number as output etc. Special characters are the regular expressions used in commands to perform several actions like #, %, *, &, $, @, etc. In this article, we will use special characters. Grep allows the arguments as strings which are specified as a regular expression. It also has the ability to replace a word or a phrase in it. Special characters are not only used as a filename but also as data present inside the file.

      • How to Reload Change to Systemd Unit Files? – Linux Hint

        A unit in systemd is described as any resource that the system is aware of and can be controlled. This is the basic entity for which the systemd knows how to handle with. These resources are stated in the configuration files, which are also known as unit files. Systemd uses these unit files to configure and control different resources like processes and filesystem. The unit file determines how the systemd starts and runs. The unit can of different types, and the most common of them is known as “service”. Unit files are placed under the /etc/systemd/system directory. Systemctl is used to manage services on systemd enabled systems.

        In systemd unit files, you can make configuration changes in different ways. Whatever method you use, remember that whenever you make any changes to the systemd unit file, you will need to reload the systemd to pick up those changes.

      • Linux Count Files in Directory Recursively – Linux Hint

        Sometimes, it’s necessary to figure out the exact number of files available under a specific directory. The problem arises if the directory contains one or more sub-directories. Depending on the number of files and directories, manual counting can be virtually impossible. In this guide, check out how to count files in a directory recursively in Linux.

    • Games

      • The Sunday Section - keeping up with some missed Linux and gaming bits

        Hello and welcome to another Sunday Section here on GamingOnLinux, pointing out a few bits we wanted to cover across the week but didn't get time to do so. Grab a coffee and get ready for a little light reading across a few subjects.

        A new website recently popped up that rounds up a huge list of various open source, experimental, and tiny tools that might be useful for people making games, websites and more. It's a pretty sweet idea and there's absolutely tons on it to discover.

        AMD developer Marek Olšák has proposed a radical redesign of how Linux graphics drivers work. Most people likely won't understand it but the basic idea is that they want to do away with multiple parts that currently increase CPU overhead and latency and replace it all with something simpler and hopefully better.

      • You Wanted Nier Replicant Remaster? Proton Delivers

        Nier Replicant v1.22 followed by a horde of nonsensical figures is a remastered edition of the original Nier Replicant game from 2010. I actually remember it because I had it on Xbox 360 at the time. The Remaster was just released on the 23rd of April 2021, and the good news is that it works out of the box on Proton on most configurations, as indicated by a Gold rating on ProtonDB. Here’s the game as streamed by a Linux user on Nvidia:

      • Play retro video games on Linux with this open source project

        Playing adventure games has always been a big part of my experience with computers. From the earliest text-based adventure games to 2D pixel art, full-motion video, and 3D games, the adventure game genre has provided me with a lot of fond memories.

        Sometimes I want to revisit those old games, but many were released before Linux was even a thing, so how do I go about replaying those games? I use ScummVM, which is honestly one of my favorite open source projects.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xubuntu/Xfce: What's New? April 2021

        This month has been one of my busiest in quite some time. With Xubuntu 21.04 arriving earlier this week, we've been pushing to test and land fixes and translations. Since there weren't any respins of the final image, we didn't have do repeat tests which saved a tremendous amount of time. I'm also continuing to use and hack on elementary which has been a great deal of fun. But before all that...

        Ghost 4.0

        Oh hey, a brand new Ghost release. I was going to write a couple days sooner, but when I see an update notification, I go for it! Ghost 4.0 is a massive release with tons of new features. The standout features to me are the new dashboard, email newsletters, and performance improvements. Here's my thoughts...


        Xubuntu 21.04 is here! This release was one of our largest in quite some time. The latest release includes Xfce 4.16, numerous UX improvements, some packageset updates, a brand new minimal install option on the main image, and many translation updates. Lots of individual contributors came together to make this release a reality, and it really shows. I'm working on a overly descriptive and enthusiastic post for this, you can expect it sometime in the next day or so.

      • Top 8 Desktop Environments For Linux [2021]

        Linux distributions come in various flavors. No matter if users are joining in from Windows, Mac, or any desktop operating system, Linux desktop environments make the onboarding process a lot easier. In this article, I will list the top 8 desktop environments for Linux that you can use in 2021.

        We often see new users asking the purpose of having too many desktop environments for Linux. The answer is simple — more options for users and every desktop environment has its own advantages. Or, if you are tired of using one, install any other that feels good to you.

        The desktop environment is an important part of any Linux distro. It dictates how applications will look & behave on your desktop. Desktop environments have their own set of applications pre-installed on the operating system. So there is always something new and exciting.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • [Older] GNOME 40 Features Overview In Fedora 34 Beta — What Has Changed?

          GNOME is one of the most popular desktop environments out there. While many people have a love-hate relationship with the same, it powers most popular distributions like Pop!_OS, Ubuntu, and Fedora. The new version of GNOME, i.e., GNOME 40, was one of the most awaited releases in the Linux community, and you can finally try it thanks to Red Hat releasing its Fedora 34 Beta with GNOME 40. In this article, let’s look at the latest changes and GNOME 40 features. Let’s get started.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Ubuntu 21.04 "Hirsute Hippo" Review - Why did they even bother?

          Ubuntu is one of my favorite distributions, so naturally I wanted to give 21.04 a try as soon as it was released. Unfortunately, reviewing the latest release of Canonical's desktop Linux distribution has me scratching my head. With mostly nothing new to bring to the table, why'd they even bother?

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD router take 2 (pt. 1): OPNsense ZFS-based installation (by converting FreeBSD)

          This article was bi-posted to Gemini and the Web; Gemini version is here: gemini://

          In 2017 I wrote my longest (by far) series of posts on a single topic: 8 posts on hardware and the FreeBSD-based firewall solutions pfSense and OPNsense. Even after almost four years, some of these posts are still very high on the list of frequently visited pages. A lot has happened since then, though. About time that I get back to the topic! Here’s the list of the old posts: [...]

      • Arch Family

        • How Manjaro is the Best Arch-based Distribution?

          Even though Arch Linux is the most powerful, customizable, rolling-release distribution, with the name for its software repositories, it remains the most difficult to configure and install for beginners. The steep learning curve forces new users to look for Arch Linux derivatives. These new distributions allow users to experience the power of Arch Linux. So far, the most famous straight-out-of-the-box Arch Linux derivative is Manjaro.

          Manjaro is an open-source, user-friendly, independently developed rolling release distribution. It stands out as one of the best Arch-based Linux distribution due to an active development team and a great community. It offers an intuitive user interface and all the Arch Linux benefits suitable for both beginners and experienced users.

          Manjaro is a versatile distribution that offers various styles and preferences. Most of all, the creation of Manjaro architect allows installing any Manjaro flavor, ZFS filesystem, and in general, all the freedom to shape the system. In this article, we discuss all the unique features of Manjaro that make it the subsequent best distribution after Arch.

          Let’s dig deep and list down all the features that make Manjaro the Best Arch-Linux derivative so far.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM Turns To More Optimizations For Linux On POWER10

          With it appearing all the essentials are in place for IBM POWER10 Linux support, in recent days we have seen an uptick in patches from IBM engineers working on POWER10 performance optimizations.

          The big one to call out this week are wake_affine improvements to sched/fair. After IBM found "the benchmark numbers on POWER10 were lesser than expected" they traced part of that back to the Linux scheduling code.

        • IBM’s Systems Business Awaits The Red Hat Effect [Ed: Here they are posting IBM vapourware; the author, Timothy Prickett Morgan, is paid by IBM]

          It is frustrating sometimes how IT vendors talk about themselves, particularly when it comes to public companies and those rare few who report financial results even though they are privately held. The summary data is compiled to give Wall Street and other investors the rosiest possible view of the company and a lot of detail that actually describes the business is missing. As such, we are always playing a kind of mathematical cat and mouse game, trying to catch the truth before it disappears into a hole in the baseboard.

          IBM is no exception, particularly as it is trying to reposition itself after acquiring Red Hat for $34 billion back in October 2018 and spinning off managed infrastructure division NewCo – now called Kyndryl – by the end of this year. That hosting and outsourcing business might generate $19 billion in sales, against the remaining core IBM’s $59 billion, but not matter how Big Blue tries to avoid saying it, that business represents the past, a legacy, and what IBM very much wants to do is reposition the new Red Hat overlay on top of its System z and Power Systems platform businesses and its IBM Cloud (formerly known as SoftLayer), all supported by its vast systems software stack (including database, transaction processing, file system, security, and application development software), as the future. Ironically, we think that IBM is one of the largest consumers of its own systems and related systems software, and when this Kyndryl deal is finally done, will probably be Big Blue’s largest customer.

        • Ex IBM sales manager, fired after battling discrimination against subordinates, wins $11m lawsuit

          On Thursday, a federal jury in Seattle, Washington, found that former IBM sales manager Scott Kingston had been unlawfully fired by the company and denied sales commission after challenging the treatment of subordinates as racially biased. And it awarded him $11.1m.

          The case dates back to 2017 when two IBM sales people within months of each other closed similarly large software sales deals that led to vastly different commission payments. Nick Donato, who is White, received more than $1m for a SAS Institute deal, while Jerome Beard, who is Black, was paid about $230,000 for closing a sale to HCL Technologies.

          Beard was paid about 15 per cent of what he should have received under his agreement with IBM, despite a company policy not to cap sales commissions.

          HP/HPE, IBM, and Oracle have all faced recent lawsuits over the practice of capped commissions, in which companies agree to pay a certain percentage of sales to sales reps and later adjust the sale value downward to reduce their payout obligations.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Update Lands with Wayland Graphics, Pipeline, and Other New Features

          The world's most popular Linux distro just received a major update, delivering heaps of new features, bug fixes, and more.

          Ubuntu 21.04 has been under development for several months. Many Ubuntu fans have eagerly awaited it, but it isn't the next Long-Term Support (LTS) release of the Linux distro. Ubuntu 21.04 is somewhat of a stop-gap between major updates, with the next LTS release, Ubuntu 21.10, coming later in 2021.

          Still, the Ubuntu 21.04 update brings some decent upgrades to the operating system.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Gunnar Wolf: FLISOL ● Talking about Jitsi

          Every year since 2005 there is a very good, big and interesting Latin American gathering of free-software-minded people. Of course, Latin America is a big, big, big place, and it’s not like we are the most economically buoyant region to meet in something equiparable to FOSDEM.

          What we have is a distributed free software conference — originally, a distributed Linux install-fest (which I never liked, I am against install-fests), but gradually it morphed into a proper conference: Festival Latinoamericano de Instalación de Software Libre (Latin American Free Software Installation Festival)

      • Programming/Development

        • GCC 11 Releasing Next Week With Intel AMX, New CPU Support, More C++20/C++23

          GCC 11 is expected to be released next week following its recent release candidates.

          I am currently working on more GCC 11 (and LLVM Clang 12) compiler benchmarks for publishing in the coming days while the highlights of this inaugural GCC 11.1 stable release includes:

          - The default C++ mode is now GNU++17 (C++17) rather than C++14.

        • Steinar H. Gunderson: JavaScript madness

          Yesterday, I had the problem that while from the browser would work just fine against a given server endpoint (which I do not control), talking to the same server from Node.js would just give hangs and/or inscrutinable “7:::1” messages (which I later learned meant “handshake missing”).

          To skip six hours of debugging, the server set a cookie in the initial HTTP handshake, and expected to get it back when opening a WebSocket, presumably to steer the connection to the same backend that got the handshake. (Chrome didn't show the cookie in the WS debugging, but Firefox did.) So we need to keep track of chose cookies. While still remaining on 0.9.5 (for stupid reasons).

        • Russ Allbery: Review: Learning React

          My first JavaScript project was a React frontend to a REST service. As part of that project, I read two books: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide to learn the language foundation and this book to learn the framework on top of it. This was an unintentional experiment in the ways programming books can approach the topic.

          I commented in my review of JavaScript: the Definitive Guide that it takes the reference manual approach to the language. Learning React is the exact opposite. It's goal-driven, example-heavy, and has a problem and solution structure. The authors present a sample application, describe some desired new feature or deficiency in it, and then introduce the specific React technique that solves that problem. There is some rewriting of previous examples using more sophisticated techniques, but most chapters introduce new toy applications along with new parts of the React framework.

        • Jussi Pakkanen: The joys of creating Xcode project files

          I did not think these words could be spoken with a straight face. But they were.

          The Xcode project file is not really even a "build file format" in the sense that it would be a high level description of the build setup that a human could read, understand and modify. Instead it seems that Xcode has an internal enterprise-quality object model and the project file is just this data structure serialised out to disk in a sort-of-like-json-designed-in-1990 syntax. This format is called a plist or a property list. Apparently there is even an XML version of the format, but fortunately I've never seen one of those. Plists are at least plain text so you can read and write them, but sufficiently like a binary that you can't meaningfully diff them which must make revision control conflict resolution a joy.

          The semantics of Xcode project files are not documented. The only way to really work with them is to define simple projects either with Xcode itself or with CMake, read the generated project file and try to reverse-engineer its contents from those. If you get it wrong Xcode prints a useless error message. The best you can hope for is that it prints the line number where the error occurred. Often it does not.

        • Java

          • Best Java EE Frameworks

            Java is still the most famous and trusted programming language for developers. In recent years java is evolving and coming with new features like Frameworks, Java Enterprise Edition that simplify the development of enterprise applications. With the help of a framework, java provides the best solutions for any domain: banking, e-commerce, big data, finance, etc. Frameworks provide a pre-developed code as a template, which a developer can use for creating an application by filling in their code. Java frameworks help the developers to focus more on business logic instead of worrying about general functionalities like exception handling, database connection, etc. Although we have various frameworks developed on java, we will discuss some best and very commonly used frameworks in this article.

  • Leftovers

    • How Not To Run A Vulnerability Disclosure Program

      AmEx has now twice refused my free donation of security information: first when they handed me off to some third-party service bot which demanded I agree totally to their terms or fuck directly off, and second when the third-party service they picked turned out to be run by idiots that have decided that graceful degradation in the face of feature incompatibility, one of the core foundational tenets of the world wide web since its invention, despite a nice two-decade run simply isn’t important anymore in 2021, and that serving blank pages to… you know, security professionals with javascript disabled (pretty much browser security tip #1), is totally fine.

    • Science

      • Peach Genome Dissected to Provide Insights into Ecological Influences

        The humble peach has been the inspiration for pies, album titles, independent movies, and a fictional woman's baseball team, but is also an important food species, yielding 24.5 million tons globally in 2018. Like all plant species, their sessile nature makes them a good target for environmental studies because, unlike most animals, they must respond to changes in their environment by adaptation rather than flight. They have a diverse temperate host range from their origins in southwestern China, being found in temperate and subtropical regions, wet and dry climates, and in harsh environments (high altitudes, severe cold, and drought conditions). This range suggests that the peach is a good species for studying climate effects on their evolution as illustrated by genetic changes, particularly in view of the climate change the globe has been experiencing for the past ~40 years that is expected to continue.

    • Hardware

      • Apple’s M1 Positioning Mocks the Entire x86 Business Model

        x86 OEMs almost never standardize a product family on a single CPU. If a vendor offers more than one thin-and-light laptop in the same product family, the upper-end SKU will offer a higher-end chip. Workstation and gaming boutiques that offer premade systems follow the same pattern. Step up the price stack, and the amount of CPU horsepower available increases.

        There’s an obvious historical reason for this. For most of the past four decades, higher CPU performance cost more money and was more difficult for companies like Intel and AMD to deliver. In the modern era, performance advances have slowed, and minimum spec requirements have slowed with them. Apple is betting that the M1 is good enough to serve a much larger range of markets than x86 can typically address and that the M1’s innate performance is good enough to satisfy consumers at this range of price points.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • How racism found my son on Fortnite

          Fortnite is a wildly popular free third-person shooter video game. For [Internet] babies like Waylon, Generation Alpha — kids born after 2012 — mastering the [Internet] and related technology like Fortnite is their rite of passage. These tech-savvy children navigate technology that makes them far more advanced than children of my era. Artificial Intelligence, facial recognition, and VR stand no chance with an Internet Baby. Once they get the hang of it, it's a wrap. What Fortnite offers to these highly advanced yet still impressionable children and teens is it allows them to bond with other children of different races and cultures while hooking them on the same poisonous pop culture we're all exposed to, all via video game play.

          In Fortnite, a player in survival mode gathers resources, weapons and tools to create bridges and forts as a means of survival. Sorta like The Simms times Final Fantasy on steroids, and the 100-player Battle Royale is similar to a last man standing match in pro wrestling. It has a colorful cartoon scheme that is constantly updated with celebrity skins, trending themes and music. It's addictive, and no wonder — for [Internet] babies, Fortnite is like their Instagram newsfeed.

        • Convicted Post Office workers have names cleared

          The clearing of the names of 39 people follows the overturning of six other convictions in December, This means more people have been affected than in any other miscarriage of justice in the UK.

        • [Old] IFLA and The Gates Foundation: Merry Bedfellows. But For How Long?

          The composition of the board and the descriptions of the board members’ backgrounds suggest that it might not be entirely wrong to call the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the IFLA Global Libraries Foundation merry bedfellows. It thus seems to be the case that the latter has been founded in order to be able to conveniently channel money and influence from the former to IFLA.

          This impression was significantly strengthened when I studied the annual accounts of IFLA’s finances over the past four years. These are found at To get an overview, I compiled the following table: [...]


          Many of us must have noticed that Bill Gates and Mrs. Melinda, through their BMGF and its huge capital, exercise a significant influence in the present world. But who could have guessed that they have taken such a firm grip on the entire global library development?

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Open19 rack standard project goes to Linux Foundation [Ed: Linux Foundation works for Microsoft again. It may sound weird to some, but Linux Foundation does not work for Linux; it is an openwashing front for sponsors that want to borrow the brand/platform.]

                Open19, the open source hardware project which LinkedIn launched in 2017, has moved to the Linux Foundation, under the direction of its founder Yuval Bachar.

                The Open19 project began when LinkedIn developed its own simplified data center hardware including network switches, and spun up a system of rack designs and other open source hardware. After some uncertainty when LinkedIn was bought by Microsoft, the Open19 specifications are now being maintained by the Linux Foundation, where Bachar has moved to a part-time role as a Fellow.

        • Security

          • New cryptomining malware builds an army of Windows, Linux bots [Ed: reminder never to put SSH keys on Windows machines and other back-doored OSes]

            After hacking [sic] into a server and killing competing cryptocurrency miners, the malware will also spread over the network in brute force attacks using SSH private keys collected from various locations on infected servers

          • Critical RCE Bug Found in Homebrew Package Manager for macOS and Linux [Ed: This is a Microsoft (GitHub, proprietary software) issue, not "macOS and Linux". Microsoft loves blaming the victims for its own failures.]

            A recently identified security vulnerability in the official Homebrew Cask repository could have been exploited by an attacker to execute arbitrary code on users' machines that have Homebrew installed.


            The researcher also submitted a proof-of-concept (PoC) pull request demonstrating the vulnerability, following which it was reverted. In light of the findings, Homebrew has also removed the "automerge" GitHub Action as well as disabled and removed the "review-cask-pr" GitHub Action from all vulnerable repositories.

          • HashiCorp is the latest victim of Codecov supply-chain attack [Ed: Microsoft's close partners (in crime) cannot do security]

            The company states that as a result of this, the GPG key used by HashiCorp to sign and verify software releases was exposed.

            Codecov provides software testing and code coverage services to over 29,000 customers.

            On April 1st, Codecov had learned that due to a flaw in their Docker image, threat actors had obtained credentials to the Bash Uploader scripts used by their customers.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Japan should join Five Eyes intelligence network, says ambassador

              The idea of Japan becoming the “sixth eye” is gaining traction just as New Zealand is expressing reservations about any increase in the network’s reach.

              Yamagami, formerly the head of the intelligence branch of Japan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, said: “We keep building specific blocks with the Australian intelligence community and Japanese intelligence community and with the rest of the Five Eyes community.

            • Facial recognition should be banned, EU privacy watchdog says

              The draft rules, which need to be thrashed out with EU countries and the European Parliament, are an attempt by the Commission to set global rules for artificial intelligence, a technology dominated by China and the United States.

              The privacy watchdog said it regretted that the Commission had not heeded its earlier call to ban facial recognition in public spaces.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Challenged on Syria cover-up, OPCW chief lies and US-UK-France evade
      • Moscow police raid home of libertarian activist Mikhail Svetov

        Police officers in Moscow raided the home of Mikhail Svetov on Saturday night, April 24, searching his apartment for several hours before bringing him in for overnight questioning. The libertarian activist and “Civil Society” movement chairman said on Twitter that officers went door-to-door, asking his neighbors to testify against him in their investigation, but everyone apparently refused.€ 

      • Opinion | The New Cold War U.S.-Japanese Summit: Containing China and Reinforcing Hegemony

        The existential truth is that the U.S. and China are caught in the Thucydides Trap, the historic pattern of inevitable tension between rising and declining powers that have too often climaxed in catastrophic war.

      • Biden’s Anti-China Ambitions

        Like his immediate predecessor, Joe Biden is committed to a distinctly anti-China global strategy and has sworn that China will not “become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world, and the most powerful country in the world…on my watch.” In the topsy-turvy universe created by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was, however, Jamie Dimon, the CEO and chairman of JP Morgan Chase, a banking giant with assets of $3.4 trillion, who spoke truth to Biden on the subject.

      • Past Year of White Nationalism Has Shown Ongoing Need for Anti-Fascist Movements
      • Jihadists Kill at Least 11 in Northeast Nigeria Attack

        At least 11 civilians were killed when IS-aligned jihadists invaded a town in northeast Nigerian Yobe state, an official and residents told AFP on Saturday.

        Fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) in eight trucks fitted with machine guns stormed the town of Geidam as residents were preparing to break their Ramadan fast on Friday, leading to a gunfight with troops from a nearby base.

      • Trump supporters could be incited to future violence by his continued promotion of 2020 election lies, DOJ and judges say

        Former President Donald Trump's continued promotion of the "big lie" about the 2020 election could still incite his followers to violence, the Justice Department and judges noted repeatedly this week, as courts weigh the future dangerousness of US Capitol riot defendants.

        Two federal judges this week brought up the disinformation about 2020 from right-wing figures, and even Trump himself, as they considered keeping alleged Capitol rioters in jail before trial.

        And prosecutors from the Justice Department are arguing more explicitly that violent threats stemming from Trump-backed conspiracy theories are still alive, and that Trump supporters could be called to act again.

      • Biden to Publicly Recognize Armenian Genocide, Ending Decades of US Silence
      • Armenians March To Mark Ottoman Massacre Anniversary

        Thousands of Armenians marched in Yerevan on April 23 to commemorate World War I-era mass killings of their kin by Ottoman forces, a bloodletting which U.S. President Joe Biden might reportedly recognize as genocide. The annual torch-lit march was held on the eve of the 106th anniversary of the massacres in which -- Armenians say -- up to 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were killed as the Ottoman Empire collapsed. So far about 30 countries have recognized the events as "genocide," a characterization which Turkey objects to.

      • To 'Honor the Victims' of 20th Century Atrocity, Biden Recognizes Armenian Genocide

        "This principled stand represents a powerful setback to Turkey's century-long obstruction of justice for this crime, and its ongoing hostility and aggression against the Armenian people."

      • Biden recognizes Armenian genocide, defying Turkey in watershed

        US President Joe Biden on Saturday recognized the 1915 killings of Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide, a watershed moment for descendants of the hundreds of thousands of dead as he defied decades of pressure by Turkey.

      • Armenia Is Still Grieving

        The Armenian genocide of 1915 was not an accident. It was a carefully planned sequence of events, designed by the Ottoman Empire’s Young Turks revolutionary government to quell the threat of a population perceived as disloyal. Well over a million Armenian men, women, and children were rounded up in their villages and towns, forced into pathetic columns, and driven toward the Syrian desert to die. By the end of 1916, only an estimated 200,000 deportees remained alive.

    • Environment

      • Climate Change Is a Driving Force in Central American Migration
      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Hebburn care home residents experience wonders of the sea with a virtual visit of Sea Life London Aquarium

          Staff and residents at Barchester’s Bedewell Grange care home in Hebburn were treated to a virtual tour of the underwater sea life by the team aquarium team, getting the chance to see hundreds of species of sea creatures from the care home.

        • Zoo welcomes endangered penguin chick

          "A city zoo has welcomed its first endangered Northern rockhopper penguin chick of the breeding season."

          A city zoo has welcomed its first endangered Northern rockhopper penguin chick of the breeding season.

          The chick is settling in to life at Edinburgh Zoo after hatching on April 18 to mother Bruscetta and father Balboa.

          Staff at the wildlife conservation charity are hopeful gentoo penguin eggs will also begin hatching soon.

          Keepers were delighted to welcome the chick, which arrived in time World Penguin Day on Sunday April 25.

        • Edinburgh Zoo: Endangered penguin chick arrives at new home in Scotland's Capital

          The chick is settling in to life at Edinburgh Zoo after hatching on April 18 to mother Bruscetta and father Balboa.

          Staff at the wildlife conservation charity are hopeful gentoo penguin eggs will also begin hatching soon.

        • World Penguin Day: 6 places you’d never have thought you could see them

          Imagine a penguin, and you probably picture a pure-white snowscape in a David Attenborough programme, the birds huddled together to withstand the polar chill.

          In reality, there are 18 species of penguin, and only two are truly native to Antarctica. The rest are spread through the climates and continents of the southern hemisphere, even reaching up into the tropics.

        • 2021 World Penguin Day: Star of Antarctica

          April 25 marks World Penguin Day. On this day, the annual northern migration of the Adelie penguin, the smallest and the most widespread species of penguin in the Antarctic, commences. This action is followed by five other native breeding penguin species: emperor, king, chinstrap, gentoo and macaroni penguins to escape the long, dark days of winter in the Antarctic.

        • Why is World Penguin Day 2021 celebrated on April 25th? How to take part this year!

          World Penguin Day 2021 is officially here. But why April 25th? Let’s take a look at the origins of the day and why it’s celebrated.

          It’s no secret that wildlife all across the planet is in danger in the 21st century. With increasing pollution levels and rising temperatures due to global warming, there are many species at risk. All penguin species face challenges in 2021 due to changes in their ecosystem such as over-fishing.

      • Overpopulation

        • Women Are Choosing Not To Have Children Because Of Climate Change

          Nearly all of the Americans who answered a small survey published in the journal Climatic Change last November said they were “very” or “extremely” concerned about the well-being of children in future generations facing even worse impacts of climate change than the ones we’re facing today.

          “Speaking more openly about my decision might at least get more people thinking about what more can be done to protect their own children,” Madrid told Yahoo.

    • Finance

      • Opinion | We Must Fight for Economic and Social Rights and Against the Shackles of Debt

        The harms to human dignity caused by over-indebtedness—whether individual or public—are a consequence of unjust policies which violate human rights. Protecting rights must be a core principle of debt justice.

      • Sanders and Warren Call on Biden to Reverse Trump Era Vaccine Apartheid
      • UK annual borrowing hits post-war high of €£303bn - ONS

        The UK's annual borrowing hit a high not seen since the aftermath of the second world war as Covid-19 forced the state to spend to prevent an economic catastrophe, official figures showed.

        The Treasury borrowed €£303.1bn in the year to the end of March, the Office for National Statistics said in its first estimates for the public finances. The highest nominal borrowing since 1947 exploded as Chancellor Rishi Sunak spent to keep workers in jobs and support businesses while trying to contain the pandemic.

        The figure was €£246.1bn more than the previous year and was equal to 14.5% of national output. The last time borrowing as a share of GDP was higher was in 1946 when the figure was 15.2%. The government borrowed €£28bn in March - the highest figure for that month on record and €£21bn more than a year earlier.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Twitter censored tweets critical of India’s handling of the pandemic at its government’s request

        Twitter has removed more than 50 tweets critical of the Indian government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and did so at the request of the Indian government. First reported by Indian news site MediaNama, the Indian government sent Twitter an emergency order on Friday to censor 52 tweets, according to a disclosure notice on the Lumen database. The censored accounts include a sitting member of India’s Parliament, two filmmakers, an actor, and a West Bengal state minister.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Journalism Is in Crisis. Only Public Funding Can Save It.

        What gets less attention on the Left is the prospect of building a media system that isn’t so inclined to advance the interests of those in power. In other words: there’s something terribly wrong with our media, but that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with media in the abstract. On the contrary, access to timely, factual, high-quality journalism is a social good and one that the Left should seek to secure for all people by waging the fight to establish public media alternatives.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Opinion | If Joe Biden Is Truly a 'Union Guy' He Must Strike Dead the Taft-Hartley Monster

        The PRO Act alone is simply not going to get the job done for U.S. workers.

      • Minnesota Workers Took on the National Guard to Defend Black Lives
      • Prioritizing Incarcerated People for Vaccine Quickly Reduced COVID in IL Prisons
      • Your Service Provider’s Terms of Service Shouldn’t Overrule Your Fourth Amendment Rights

        The facts of the case are a little hazy, but at some point, Dropbox identified video files in Mr. Pauli’s account as child pornography and submitted the files to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), a private, quasi-governmental entity created by statute that works closely with law enforcement on child exploitation issues. After viewing the files, a NCMEC employee then forwarded them with a report to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. This ultimately led to Pauli’s indictment on child pornography charges. Pauli challenged the search, but the trial court held that Dropbox’s TOS—which notified Pauli that Dropbox could monitor his account and disclose information to third parties if it believed such disclosure was necessary to comply with the law—nullified Pauli’s expectation of privacy in the video files. After the appellate court agreed, Pauli petitioned the state supreme court for review.

        The lower courts’ analysis is simply wrong. Under this logic, your Fourth Amendment rights rise or fall based on unilateral contracts with your service providers—contracts that none of us read or negotiate but all of us must agree to so that we can use services that are a necessary part of daily life. As we argued in our brief, a company’s TOS should not dictate your constitutional rights, because terms of service are rules about the relationship between you and your service provider—not you and the government.

        Companies draft terms of service to govern how their platforms may be used, and the terms of these contracts are extremely broad. Companies’ TOS control what kind of content you can post, how you can use the platform, and how platforms can protect themselves against fraud and other damage. Actions that could violate a company’s TOS include not just criminal activity, such as possessing child pornography, but also—as defined solely by the provider—actions like uploading content that defames someone or contains profanity, sharing a copyrighted article without permission from the copyright holder, or marketing your small business to all of your friends without their advance consent. While some might find activities such as these objectionable or annoying, they shouldn’t justify the government ignoring your Fourth Amendment right to privacy in your files simply because you store them in the cloud.

      • Brett Kavanaugh Rules Children Deserve Life in Prison With No Chance of Parole

        In September 2018, in between screaming about his love of beer and crying over his love of calendars, Brett Kavanaugh told the Senate Judiciary Committee: “If we want to sit here and talk about whether a Supreme Court nomination should be based on a high school yearbook page, I think that’s taken us to a new level of absurdity.” In fact, lawmakers that day weren’t deciding whether or not to confirm Kavanaugh to the highest court in the land based on “a high school yearbook page” but over credible allegations of sexual assault, which he denied. Nevertheless, Kavanaugh’s position that day was that people shouldn’t be held accountable for things they do as minors. But what he apparently actually meant was that he shouldn’t be held accountable for things he allegedly did as kid, while others deserve life in prison without the possibility of parole.

      • The Cops Trashed Her House. She Says She Was Targeted for Retaliation.

        A Virginia attorney says police destroyed her unlocked front door and ransacked her house based on a bogus search warrant, all as an act of retaliation.

        In a civil rights lawsuit filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Roanoke resident Cathy Reynolds alleges several officers in the Roanoke City Police Department obtained a search warrant on false information, despite her giving consent to a search, and then tore her house apart while a huge crowd watched.

    • Monopolies

      • World IP Day 2021 — how to get started with IP for start-ups and SMEs
      • 10 super cool ways to celebrate World IP Day [Ed: Pure propaganda day, named after a propaganda term too. Of course the paid shills of the litigation industry want you to celebrate those lies...]

        1. If you’re back commuting, grab a Cornish pasty and mini bottle of Scotch whisky at the train station before you head home. While on the train tell the person in front that both items are protected by geographical indications and then congratulate yourself for contributing to good social distancing measures when the person gets up to move to a different seat.

      • Patents

        • Federal Circuit Transitions

          As expected, the Federal Circuit has announced the upcoming transition of Chief Judge from Judge Prost to Judge Moore scheduled for May 22, 2021. Judge Prost has served as chief for seven years, and Judge Moore will begin her seven year term. According to the court announcement, Judge Prost will continue in active service. Congratulations to the Court on a successful transition.

        • T2320/16: are ViCo oral proceedings compatible with Art 116 EPC? [Ed: No, but EPO management breaks the law and then rigs/stacks its tribunals to make the unlawful seem "OK"]

          While we wait for a decision in G1/21 on whether consent of all parties is required for oral proceedings to be held by videoconference (ViCo), we have been provided with a warm-up act of sorts, thanks to the recent publication of the decision in T2320/16.

          In a decision that predates the referring decision for G1/21 (T1807/15), the Board of Appeal in T2320/16 held that holding oral proceedings by ViCo is consistent with the requirements of Article 116 EPC (the right to oral proceedings), even when one of the parties has not consented to the use of ViCo.

        • Diurnal gets another patent for adrenal insufficiency asset [Ed: Overlooks the facts that nowadays EPO grants lots of fake patents with minimal scrutiny; not many of them would withstand a legal challenge in courts]

          Cardiff, Wales-based pharmaceutical company focused on hormonal diseases...

        • Diurnal granted European patent for Alkindi

          Hormonal disease-focussed speciality pharmaceutical company Diurnal Group announced the grant of a patent for ‘Alkindi’, or hydrocortisone granules in capsules for opening, by the European Patent Office on Friday.

        • Patent Office Updates You Need to Know

          The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has confirmed that starting April 1 its temporary fee changes to support those impacted by COVID-19 have ended. Various fees related to extensions of time and late payments were reduced, but those costs have now returned to their usual fee. All fees are listed on the UKIPO website.

          The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has launched electronic patent issuance. Clients who have been granted a Canadian patent will now download their documents in electronic format rather than receiving a paper copy.

          The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced that all visitors from abroad must abstain from visiting the EPO if they have recently visited a high risk area, unless they had a negative COVID-19 test on the fifth day or later after leaving the high risk area. All oral proceedings before the examining and opposition divisions will continue to be held by video conference, without requiring agreement of the parties.

        • Unified Portal now offers prior art searching for US patents

          Unified is happy to announce a new feature to quickly find prior art on US patents with our Portal tool. Through a partnership with PQAI, a researcher will receive the most relevant prior-art results to determine the novelty and obviousness of the patent in question. Unified Portal offers three ways of searching for prior art...

        • 'Utterly Disgusting': Big Pharma Lobby Blitz Against Vaccine Patent Waivers Denounced

          "Millions continue to die because pharma monopolies have created vaccine scarcity in the global south," said one public health campaigner.

        • Software Patents

          • Overview of the Draft Amendment to the Patent Examination Guidelines for Computer Software-Related Inventions [Ed: Misuse of buzzword and hype waves like "artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), big data, blockchain, and autonomous driving" by profiteers of software patents litigation (programmers loathe such patents)]

            However, in recent years, the booming development of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), big data, blockchain, and autonomous driving has led to new types of applications and inventions in various fields, and the patents of these inventions are usually examined from the perspective of computer software or computer implementation. To properly adapt to ongoing changes in technologies, while continuing to meet the practical necessities of examination, there is a need to further amend existing examination guidelines. Therefore, the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) began amending the Examination Guidelines for Computer Software-Related Inventions in 2020 and held a public hearing on February 24, 2021 to collect opinions from various sectors.


            In summary, the draft amendments to the Examination Guidelines for Computer Software-Related Inventions are considerably more extensive than the two previous amendments. To best guide patent practitioners when handling cases involving computer software-related inventions, many patent practitioners strongly recommended at the public hearing held on February 24, 2021 that TIPO include more sample cases (especially positive cases) in the Guidelines, so that patent practitioners can have a stronger basis on which protection for their clients' inventions can be based, further promoting development of emerging IT industry in Taiwan.

          • PTAB Filings Are Down, Institution Rate Is Up In FY 2021

            The number of petitions filed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board is down 31%, while the PTAB instituted 61% of all petitions in the first five months of fiscal year 2021, a slight increase over the prior fiscal year, according to PTAB statistics.

            In the first five months of fiscal year 2021, petitioners filed 518 petitions for inter partes review and 50 petitions for post-grant review. If that pace holds steady, Jones Day partner Matthew Johnson — who penned a blog post Tuesday on the statistics — said the total number of petitions filed this fiscal year will clock in...

          • Improved Predictive Accuracy Will Not Buy Patent Eligibility For Machine Learning [Ed: Still trying to disguise invalid and bogus software patents by spicing them up with hype waves and buzzwords like "hey hi"]

            Within several weeks, the Federal Circuit has held that two Stanford haplotype estimation patent applications lack patent eligibility because their claims are directed to abstract mathematical calculations. The applications covered improved techniques for predicting which collection of alleles are associated with a single parent. In support of patent eligibility, Stanford argued that the claims led to increased accuracy in predicting which genes are associated with a parent. Despite acknowledging this increased accuracy and its benefits, the court held that the increased accuracy in prediction amounted to an improvement in the computational accuracy of an abstract mathematical algorithm. Such an improvement is not deemed as an enhancement to a technological process, which is eligible, but is instead deemed as an enhancement to an abstract idea, which is patent ineligible.

            Like the innovation underlying Stanford's patent applications, machine learning (ML) involves computer-implemented probabilistic models that are used to generate a prediction from complex input data. Consequently, claims directed to ML may also be at risk of being rejected as a patent ineligible abstract idea. This risk is far more significant for claims directed to generally-applicable ML than for claims directed to ML specifically applied to another technological area.

            Examples of ML specifically applied to another technological area include image and facial recognition and intrusion and imminent failure detection in a computer system. Examples of generally-applicable ML include improvements to fundamental ML algorithms and ML design aided by ML, such as ML aided feature engineering, ML aided hyperparameter value exploration and optimization, and ML aided machine algorithm selection.

          • Artificial Intelligence and Automated Systems Legal Update (1Q21) [Ed: There are some portions here that seek to advance same old patent maximalists' propaganda using revived buzzword and delirious lunacy like "hey hi"]

            Regulatory and policy developments during the first quarter of 2021 reflect a global tipping point toward serious regulation of artificial intelligence (“AI”) in the U.S. and European Union (“EU”), with far-reaching consequences for technology companies and government agencies.[1] In late April 2021, the EU released its long-anticipated draft regulation for the use of AI, banning some “unacceptable” uses altogether and mandating strict guardrails such as documentary “proof” of safety and human oversight to ensure AI technology is “trustworthy.”

            While these efforts to aggressively police the use of AI will surprise no one who has followed policy developments over the past several years, the EU is no longer alone in pushing for tougher oversight at this juncture. As the United States’ national AI policy continues to take shape, it has thus far focused on ensuring international competitiveness and bolstering national security capabilities. However, as the states move ahead with regulations seeking accountability for unfair or biased algorithms, it also appears that federal regulators—spearheaded by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”)—are positioning themselves as enforcers in the field of algorithmic fairness and bias.

          • AI (part one): how does AI interact with UK excluded subject matter provisions? [Ed: Lawyers have memorised buzzwords by which to advance toxic patent agenda, in this case "hey hi"]

            , pending any paradigm shift in the capabilities of modern AI systems, as this may significantly influence any response to the consultation.

            Previously the UK Government has defined AI as:

            technologies with the ability to perform tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, and language translation.

            Whilst this might be a good general-purpose definition, it is ill-suited to patent law as it defines AI by its technical effect. This risks fragmenting the definition of AI according to the field of endeavour, or automatically excluding AIs in some fields irrespective of any other technical merits.

            Furthermore by defining AI only by what it can do, it does not capture what AI is. We therefore propose that a better definition of AI for the purposes of patents is...

      • Trademarks

        • Fourth Circuit Affirms E.D.Va.: VAGISAN Confusable With VAGISIL for Feminine Hygiene Products

          The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the E.D.Va's May 23, 2019 decision [TTABlogged here] reversing the TTAB's dismissal of Combe Incorporated's Section 2(d) opposition to registration of the mark VAGISAN for various feminine hygiene products. The Board had found that Combe failed to prove likely confusion with the registered mark VAGISIL for overlapping products. Combe Incorporated v. Dr. August Wolff GmbH & Co. KG Arzneimittel, Appeal No. 19-1674 (Fourth Cir. April 13, 2021) [unpublished].


          Before the Fourth Circuit, Wolfe argued that the district court erred in assessing four of the confusion factors: strength or distinctiveness of the VAGISIL mark, similarity of the two marks, actual confusion, and sophistication of the consumer. The appellate court concluded that the district court’s determinations were not clearly erroneous as to any of these factors.

        • Around the IP Blogs

          The TTABlog reported on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit's decision to affirm a finding that VAGISAN is confusable with VAGISIL for female intimate care products, largely based on survey evidence.

        • The Monopoly Purple – Colours, Shapes and Sizes in the Pharmaceutical World

          While the role of patents in extending monopolies over pharmaceutical products is now widely debated, there is relatively little discussion on the role that trademarks, packaging and visual impressions can play in extending such monopolies. As advertisers are well aware, recall value plays a large role in brand/product recollection and customer loyalty. However, when it comes to pharmaceutical products, this recollection often equates to patient compliance, as patients find it easier to take (for example) the same coloured, same shaped pills as part of a routine. No doubt, this helps ensure that patients take their prescribed medicines as required, but what happens when generic versions of these drugs come out? Generic equivalents of patented products often come out at much cheaper prices after the 20 years of patent protection. However, the strong recall value attached to a product’s visual impression (packaging, distinctive colouration, etc) could mean that a de-facto monopoly is extended indefinitely, for as long as a company has any legal entitlements over that visual impression, such as trademarks, which can be indefinitely renewed.

      • Copyrights

        • New Working Paper – Introduction to Art and Modern Copyright: The Contested Image

          Art and Modern Copyright: The Contested Image is the first in-depth and longitudinal account of the history of copyright relating to the visual arts and concerns the protection of painting, engraving and photography in the UK 1850-1911. Together with the copyright history monographs which I discuss in Copyright History in Review, Art and Modern Copyright can be seen as part of a new wave of recently published scholarship which shifts the focus of copyright history away from its longstanding concern with the protection of books and literary works, to other subject matter (visual arts, drama and news). In the Introduction to Art and Modern Copyright, I argue that art added something new to the making of modern copyright law in the UK – the history of artistic copyright was in many respects distinct from the history of literary copyright – and I provide an overview of the thematic chapters of my book that substantiate that claim: the protection of copyright ‘authors’ (i.e. the claims to protection advanced by painters, photographers and engravers), art collectors, sitters and the public interest. I also make a number of more general claims about the value of copyright history. In particular, rather than looking to history to uncover a point of origin or foundational moment, I draw attention to the value of history as a destabilising influence. In taking us to ways of thinking about copyright that, in some respects, differ starkly from our own and have no authority today or continuity with the present, history can sharpen the critical lens through which we view current copyright debates and lend to us a more flexible way of thinking through legal challenges today.

        • The Rise of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and the Role of Copyright Law – Part I

          From relative obscurity only a few months back, public awareness of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has risen dramatically. This has come about following their use in connection with the transaction of different types of digital content (including artworks), often for exorbitant amounts. The constant online news stream on NFTs is hard to miss, as illustrated by coverage in the New York Times, BBC, The Guardian, CNN, Wired, The Verge, and MIT Technology Review, and even on Saturday Night Live, to name but a few examples.

          Because much of the digital content linked to NFT transactions relates to creative expression, the question arises of how to consider NFTs from the perspective of copyright law, in particular the EU copyright acquis. We address this question in a two-part post. In this Part I we introduce the recent emergence of NFTs and proceed to explain what they are. This will provide a baseline understanding for our analysis of some of the copyright law implications of NFTs in Part II.


          Before diving into the intricacies of copyright law, it is important to understand what exactly an NFT is and what type of operations, uses or transactions it enables. (For additional guidance, see e.g., here). We divide this section into (a) basic characteristics of NFTs and (b) what do NFTs represent?

          a) Basic characteristics of NFTs

          NFTs are created and used in blockchain-based technologies. In simple terms, a blockchain is a distributed database that can record any type of information, where a consensus mechanism ensures that each added entry abides by and is consistent with earlier records on that same database. Depending on the type of blockchain, any entity/user that has access to the distributed ledger can inspect and verify all elements recorded on it, and potentially add to the existing records.

          The basic characteristics of NFTs, as stated in their name, are the following: they are (a) cryptographic tokens of the (b) non-fungible type.

          Tokens can be defined as “digitally scarce units of value the properties and circulation of which are prescribed via computer code”. Tokens come in different varieties and flavours, ranging from coin-related tokens, to securities, assets, shares, etc. The common feature of different types of tokens is that they are computer code that constitutes a digital representation (of something) registered on a distributed ledger. This digital representation can be — if size permits — the digital object itself, its digital fingerprint (or so-called hash); or some kind of metadata which describes the object that is located physically elsewhere, i.e., “off-chain”. An example of the latter is Mattereum which aims to provide token-based representations of physical assets without restrictions, to enable the automated transactability of physical objects through their tokenized representations.

        • How many layers of copyright infringement are in Emily Ratajkowski’s new NFT?

          Model and actress Emily Ratajkowski is selling a link representing a composite image that features a photograph of herself in front of a print by another artist that contains a photo (of herself) taken by (presumably) yet another artist. In other words, she is selling an NFT.

          The New York Times reports that Ratajkowski will be selling the NFT at Christie’s, the storied auction house that sold Beeple’s NFT for $69 million in March. The NFT is, for Ratajkowski, an effort to reclaim images of herself that have been created and sold, sometimes without her permission, throughout her career. Last year, Ratajkowski published an essay in The Cut describing moments when she was unable to control often vulnerable images of herself.

        • YouTube Won't Let "Bogus DMCA" Plaintiff Pirate Monitor Off The Hook

          Last month, Pirate Monitor withdrew from a class action copyright lawsuit against YouTube after the video platform discovered the entity had uploaded its own content in order to allege infringement. However, YouTube insists there is unfinished business and is demanding that Pirate Monitor and its film director operator stop their shenanigans and hand over evidence.

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