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Links 1/6/2020: Linux 5.7, FOSSlife Born, LibreOffice 7.0 Beta1, Linux Mint 20 Making Early Promises

Posted in News Roundup at 4:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Welcome FOSSlife! A new web magazine is born

      With FOSSlife, a new web magazine was launched today. It’s a destination for all who care about the FOSS community and want to follow the trends, tools, projects, programs, and people who define the FOSS experience. The FOSSlife project is proudly supported by Linux Professional Institute (LPI) which is happy to provide a home to this new resource for all existing and future FOSS professionals and enthusiasts.

      The FOSS life is about community, it is about advocacy, and it is about bringing people together and building sustainable, accessible solutions. Everyone is invited to become part of this community, which stands for openness and equality like no other. FOSSlife is intended to be a new place to go, both for experienced experts and for those who are interested in the subject and just starting to come to grips with it.

      “At the Linux Professional Institute, we are committed to spreading FOSS knowledge as well as the spirit which helped free and open source technology become a worldwide phenomenon,” said G. Matthew Rice, Executive Director of the Linux Professional Institute. “It is our mission to promote the use of free and open source by elevating the people who work with it. FOSSlife fits perfectly into this mission, as it helps us share, bundle, and disseminate knowledge about free and open source software and inspire people who are searching for their own approach in gaining this expertise.”

    • LPI Launches FOSSlife Website

      Linux Professional Institute launches FOSSlife, a website for the FOSS community.

      Linux Professional Institute (LPI) has launched FOSSlife, a website for those “who care about the FOSS community and want to follow the trends, tools, projects, programs, and people who define the FOSS experience.”

      According to the announcement, the new website will offer recent news and articles on FOSS technology and advocacy. FOSSlife is intended to be a destination and resource for experts as well as those just starting out on their open source journey.

    • Rocket Girls: A Growing Force for Tech Education and Diversity

      In this section of FOSSlife, we will profile some of the valued partners of the website. In this article, we’ll hear about Rocket Girls, an organization in San Jose, Costa Rica, that’s working to generate opportunities for girls within the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM).

    • The Many Forms of FOSS Advocacy

      “FOSS advocacy means advocating for all users to have freedom. Freedom to control their computing environment, freedom to not be spied on or having their data collected without their consent,” explained Deb Nicholson, director of Community Operations at Software Freedom Conservancy, a not-for-profit charity that helps promote, improve, develop, and defend Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects.

      “It is important because [otherwise] we can’t call it freedom when we force people to choose between access to information, services, entertainment, health care and their autonomy, privacy and security,” Nicholson added.

    • Welcome to FOSSlife

      We’re proud to announce the launch of FOSSlife — a new webzine dedicated to the world of free and open source software.
      We’re proud to announce the launch of FOSSlife – a new webzine dedicated to the world of free and open source software.

      The Free software community has been around for more than 30 years, and it has succeeded beyond anyone’s dreams. Free and open source software drives the Internet, runs the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and lights up the laptops of Fortune 500 executives. In fact, FOSS has become so popular that many people don’t even recognize it as a thing anymore and think of it simply as the way we live.

      But FOSS really is a thing, with challenges, threats, opportunities, and plenty of reasons to celebrate. The FOSS life is about community, it is about advocacy, and it is about bringing people together and building sustainable, accessible solutions. Most of all, FOSSlife is about the software: inventive, expressive, powerful software that is able, stable, and refreshingly free of hype.

      We created FOSSlife to serve as a destination for everyone who cares about the FOSS community and wants to follow the trends, tools, projects, programs, and people who define the FOSS experience. We also serve as an entry point for those who are new to FOSS and are taking their first steps to explore the exciting world of free software.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E10 – Hospital on Wednesdays

        This week we have been teaching our children to build a PC. We discuss where in the world people talk about Ubuntu, bring you some command line love and go over a bumper crop of your wonderful feedback!

      • Going Linux #392 · Accessibility on Linux

        Once upon a time, there were Linux distributions that focused on the needs of computer users with disabilities. Today’s Ubuntu MATE does the best job of any modern desktop Linux at including the broadest out-of-the-box implementation of accessibility software. This is particularly valuable because Windows does not and the “officially supported” software applications for Windows that are focused on accessibility are also extremely expensive.

      • Josh Bressers: Episode 199 – Special cases are special: DNS, Websockets, and CSV

        Josh and Kurt talk about a grab bag of topics. A DNS security flaw, port scanning your machine from a web browser, and CSV files running arbitrary code. All of these things end up being the result of corner cases. Letting a corner case be part of a default setup is always a mistake. Yes always, not even that one time.

      • 2020-06-01 | Linux Headlines

        The Linux kernel packs version 5.7 with exciting additions, version 2.2 of the Foliate eBook reader is out with support for many more formats, and members of the Association of American Publishers sue the Internet Archive over their library lending practices.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.7
        So we had a fairly calm last week, with nothing really screaming
        "let's delay one more rc". Knock wood - let's hope we don't have
        anything silly lurking this time, like the last-minute wifi regression
        we had in 5.6..
        But embarrassing regressions last time notwithstanding, it all looks
        fine. And most of the discussion I've seen the last week or two has
        been about upcoming features, so the merge window is now open and I'll
        start processing pull requests tomorrow as usual. But in the meantime,
        please give this a whirl.
        We've got a lot of changes in 5.7 as usual (all the stats look normal
        - but "normal" for us obviously pretty big and means "almost 14
        thousand non-merge commits all over, from close to two thousand
        developers"), So the appended shortlog is only the small stuff that
        came in this last week since rc7.
        Go test,
      • Linux 5.7 Kernel Released With New Apple Driver, Official Intel Gen12 Graphics
      • The 5.7 kernel is out
      • SD Times news digest: Linux 5.7, Progress MOVEit 2020, and BMC completes acquisition of Compuware

        Linux 5.7 is now available. The updated version includes many changes such as ‘mmc: sdhci: Fix SDHCI_QUIRK_BROKEN_CQE,’ ‘copy_xstate_to_kernel(): don’t leave parts of destination uninitialized’ and the fixed Fix max PFN arithmetic overflow on 32 bit systems,’ among many others.

        The shortlog available here includes the changes that came in this last week since rc7.

      • Linux Kernel 5.7 Officially Released, This Is What’s New

        Seven weeks in development, the Linux 5.7 kernel is finally here. This series brings many goodies for Linux users, including a new and improved exFAT file system implementation, improved perf cgroup profiling, as well as a thermal-aware scheduler that should increase the performance.

        Security-wise, Linux kernel 5.7 also introduces ARM Kernel Pointer Authentication for the ARM64 (AArch64) architecture to protect the kernel against return-oriented programming attacks and a new LSM (Linux Security Module) for BPF (Berkeley Packet Filter) programs called bpf-lsm.

      • Linux Kernel 5.7 Released: The Top 10 New Features You Should Know

        v5.7 introduces several new enhancements to 64-bit ARM architecture such as ARM Activity Monitors (AMU) extension support and in-kernel pointer authentication which was earlier restricted to userspace.

        Furthermore, kernel 5.7 also adds support for new ARM architecture-based devices and SoCs. It includes Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and PINE64’s Pinebook Pro laptop, PineTab tablet, and PinePhone mobile phone.


        Speaking of the other filesystems, Linux 5.7 brings Zstd compression support to the F2FS (Flash-Friendly File System) filesystem. Not only that, but F2FS now also has a new kernel ioctl and mount time display in debugfs. Here is a pull request that contains all enhancements, cleanups, and other bug fixes for F2FS in Kernel 5.7.

        With Linux 5.7, XFS also sees a number of changes coming in two parts for code clean-ups, improved metadata validation, and other bug fixes. The major highlight in XFS is the initial preparation for online repair and filesystem checking.

      • Linux 5.7 Released, This is What’s New

        Linux 5.7 has arrived, serving as the latest mainline release of the Linux Kernel — but what’s changed? Well, in this post we recap the new features and core changes bundled up inside this kernel update.

        As per tradition Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux 5.7 in an email to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML), where he says: “We’ve got a lot of changes in 5.7 as usual (all the stats look normal – but “normal” for us obviously pretty big and means “almost 14 thousand non-merge commits all over, from close to two thousand developers)”.

        Fun fact: Linus recently switched from Intel to AMD, which he hasn’t used for quite a while!

        While the Linux 5.7 kernel will likely be available for testing in Ubuntu 20.10 during development it’s not yet clear precisely which kernel version will be offered in the final stable release come October (and thus be back-ported to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS as a HWE update in 20.04.2 LTS).

      • Linux 5.8 Flipping On ERASE/Discard/TRIM For All MMC Hosts

        The MMC changes for new kernel cycles don’t tend to be particularly noteworthy but it’s a different story with the new Linux 5.8 kernel cycle.

        With Linux 5.8, erase/discard/trim support is being enabled now for all (e)MMC/SD hosts. The Linux kernel has long supported this discard/trim support for MMC/SD but until now it’s been opt-in by the host drivers. But thanks to all of the host driver work and MMC core improvements over the past number of kernel cycles, the developers are content enough with the overall state of the support that they are no longer making it opt-in but will make it supported on all hosts. Of course, the card in question still needs to support these commands for it to be supported, but at least the host capability checks are now removed from MMC core.

      • Linux’s Pstore Picking Up A Block Device Backend For Storing Oops & Panic Messages

        Linux’s pstore “persistent storage” code is seeing a number of improvements for the Linux 5.8 kernel.

        Pstore is the Linux interface to persistent storage for archiving a limited amount of data across reboots, such as for archiving kernel oops or panic messages so they can be easily analyzed following a reboot from such a fatal problem.

      • AMD SPI Driver Sent In For Linux 5.8

        Adding to the multiple new AMD drivers coming with Linux 5.8 is their new SPI controller driver.

        The AMD SPI controller driver (spi-amd) was mailed out in April and for supporting the SPI controller within newer AMD SoCs. This 300+ lines of code driver was previously outlined in this earlier article.

      • AMD Energy Driver Sent In For Linux 5.8 Along With Driver For Industrial/Military SBCs

        The hardware monitoring “HWMON” subsystem updates were sent in today for the newly-opened Linux 5.8 merge window.

        On the hardware monitoring front this cycle the updates include:

        - The new AMD Energy driver for exposing the energy sensors on Zen/Zen2 CPUs. From my own testing so far this new driver is working out quite well albeit long overdue.

      • Want A More Secure Computer At The Cost Of Performance? Linux 5.8 Landing L1d Flushing

        For those very concerned about CPU data sampling vulnerabilities, the Linux 5.8 kernel comes with the ability to flush the L1 data cache on each context switch. That’s good for security, but will hurt the system performance with all the excess L1 cache flushing.

        This work stems from a proposal earlier this year to flush the L1d cache on context switches due to recent snoop assisted data sampling vulnerabilites or the cache data leaked via side channels. This work was carried out by an Amazon engineer so presumably there is some interest in offering this functionality in the AWS space.

      • AMD Radeon Linux Driver Sees Patches For New “Sienna Cichlid” GPU

        Still digging through the 207 patches for the AMD Radeon Sienna Cichlid, but will update if seeing anything else of note. For the most part it’s leveraging the existing Navi code paths but the usual churn surrounding firmware, clock-gating / power management differences, and other modifications in the usual spots for bringing up new hardware. The main code additions primarily pertain to the new DCN3 and VCN3 blocks.

        Given the timing of these patches, the AMD Sienna Cichlid won’t be mainlined until the Linux 5.9 merge window opening in August and then releasing in stable around October. That timeframe at least does point to Sienna Cichlid likely being the “RDNA 2″ graphics card launch coming later in the calendar year.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Why DirectX On Linux? Kernel Developer Questions Microsoft Developer

          Recently, at Build Conference 2020, Microsoft announced a new feature for its Windows subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2). This time, it came up with ‘DirectX loves Linux‘ tagline that aims to further extend the computation capability of WSL2 instances.

          After huge demand from developers, Microsoft brought the GPU hardware acceleration support to the Linux system running on WSL2. For the same, Microsoft submitted the first draft of its new DirectX driver to the Linux kernel. But it does not seem like an easy way for Microsoft to upstream code to Linux.


          Dave Airlie from Intel also put forward his thought that the patch would only add burden on upstream rather than adding any value to the Linux ecosystem. In his latest blog, he also expressed that it doesn’t enhance the Linux graphics ecosystem in any useful direction. Dave even declined to review the code.

          Well, it is quite clear that ‘DirectX on Linux’ has nothing to do with native Linux desktop support. It is not available for bare metal Linux systems but rather only for Linux VM running on WSL2 Windows. As Microsoft’s developer states, currently the driver code strives to add GPU resource sharing capability to Linux guests on WSL2.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Benchmarks – Previously Unimaginable Performance For Sub-$600 Laptops

        A few weeks back I began delivering Ryzen 7 4700U Linux laptop benchmarks for this 8-core Zen 2 mobile CPU with Vega graphics. The results have been very good and the support is in good shape with the latest Linux kernel, but many have been wondering about the Ryzen 5 4500U. The Ryzen 5 4500U is beginning to appear in several $500~600 USD laptops and offers six cores. Here are benchmarks and initial impressions with the Lenovo Flex 5 that features a 14-inch 1080p display, 16GB dual channel memory, 256GB SSD, and the Ryzen 5 4500U all for just $599!

        Given the overwhelming interest by readers in the Ryzen 5 4500U in it appearing in several budget-friendly laptops, curiosity got the best of me for testing this laptop as well as with there not being many (Windows) benchmarks in general for the 4500U at this point. As usual with most laptop vendors not being interested in laptop coverage, I ended up buying the laptop last week as a fun testing candidate given Phoronix turning 16 years old this week – a birthday of benchmarking! The most interesting value laptop I’ve found with the Ryzen 5 4500U has been the Lenovo Flex 5 15-inch 2-in-1 that has the Ryzen 5 4500U with a 1080p display, 2 x 8GB DDR4-3200 memory, Vega graphics, and a 256GB NVMe SSD all for just $599. The particular SKU is 81X20005US for those looking for a sub-$600 laptop.

    • Applications

      • Linux eBook Reader Foliate 2.2.0 Adds Library View, eBook Discovery And Support For Comic Books

        Foliate Linux eBook reader has been updated with support for more book formats, including comic book archive, a new library view (which includes eBook discovery), and various other improvements.

        Foliate is a free and open source GTK eBook reader for Linux. Built with GJS and Epub.js, the eBook reader lets users view read eBook files using multiple layouts: single column, two-column, or continuous scrolling.

        On top of that, it features reading progress slider with capter marks, bookmarks and annotations, customizable font, line-spacing, marings and brightness, custom themes, keyboard shortcuts and touchpad gestures, as well as the ability to open footnotes and look up words (using Wiktionary, Wikipedia and more) in popovers. The application also includes basic text-to-speech support using eSpeak NG and Festival.

      • Foliate Makes Finding Free eBooks Easier, Adds Support for Comics

        Finding free ebooks to read in Foliate, a GTK ebook reader for Linux desktops, just got a whole lot easier.

        The new Foliate 2.2.0 release comes with several enhancements, one of which is better eBook discovery via OPDS. OPDS is the “feed” protocol used by free ebook services like the Gutenberg Project, Standard Ebooks, and Feedbooks to share free works with the wider wold.

        Having the works available from this repos accessible within the app is a nice touch.

        The new “Catalog” feature (to give it its proper name) is accessible as a tab on the new Library view. You can manually add additional OPDS feeds (e.g., the Internet Archive) as well as edit or remove the ones which are there by default.

      • Tartube – Watch And Download Videos from YouTube and more

        A common complaint about YouTube is that to watch the material you need to use a web browser. Fortunately, some creative developers have developed applications that allow you to bypass the web-only barrier of YouTube.

        If you prefer accessing YouTube material from the command-line, we recommend using youtube-dl and You-Get. They offer excellent functionality, and have a large following of both users and developers. But we are conscious that many people prefer an attractive and advanced graphical user interface. You might therefore be interested in Tartube.

        Tartube is an open source program written in Python 3 and uses Gtk 3. It’s partially based on youtube-dl-gui.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Linux Kernel gets an ‘RFC’ patch to help Windows games run in Wine

        A developer for Collabora, the open source consultancy firm that works with the likes of Valve has sent in a Linux Kernel patch aimed at helping Windows games run on Linux through Wine.

        From what’s noted in the patch, which was sent in for gathering comments (RFC = Request for comments), it seems more and more modern Windows applications / games are sidestepping the actual Windows API. The result? It breaks Wine compatibility as “it doesn’t have a chance to intercept and emulate these syscalls before they are submitted to Linux”.

        What they’re going for is an addition to the Linux Kernel, to enable them to filter and find out if the calls being done are from Wine itself or from the Windows application being run. They’re proposing using the seccomp function, used usually for security purposes but this is in no way a security feature it’s just how they’re building the functionality for Wine while re-using what’s available.

    • Games

      • Horror adventure Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask releasing June 18

        Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask, a prologue to a much bigger upcoming point & click horror adventure game is now confirmed to be releasing on June 18.

        Today Red Martyr Entertainment sent word that the Linux version is ready to go so it will be a simultaneous release. It follows the mysterious events that precede a macabre series of murders, allegedly related to devil worship and witchcraft. According to the gameplay, your actions and choices will change how you experience the storyline and what characters you meet.

      • Paradox Interactive founds new studio for their grand strategy games

        Today Paradox Interactive announced the formation of a new studio with Paradox Tinto, with an aim to focus on their grand strategy games.

        Paradox Tinto is located in Barcelona, headed by Johan Andersson, 25+ year veteran of Paradox Development Studio and original creator of the Europa Universalis video game franchise. They’re now putting together a dedicated team to oversee further development on Europa Universalis IV (which supports Linux). After that, they will be responsible for creating new grand strategy games.

      • Geneshift Battle Royale adds daily survival runs, free to keep giveaway soon

        Geneshift, an indie game that’s had many faces over the years and now mostly settled into a Battle Royale as the main part has gained a single-player daily survival run.

        The thing is, Geneshift had a single-player (and co-op) mode for a long time now. The issue is how the big Battle Royale update changed the focus of the game so the current single-player campaign is very different. This now daily survival run helps to bridge the gap a little and give you something extra to blast through and climb the leaderboard on. You go across waves of increasingly deadly enemies to see how long you can survive. If you own the Supporters Edition DLC, which contains the rest of the game (currently free with purchases), you can even do this mode in 4-player co-op.

      • Factorio to release early in August to avoid Cyberpunk 2077

        Factorio, that magnificent indie game about building sprawling conveyor belts and production chains is going to release sooner than originally expected.

        In their latest Friday Facts post, Wube Soft mentioned how Cyberpunk 2077 was now slated to be release around a week before their own launch. They thought that might have a negative effect as it would take attention away from other games. They have a point and so they’ve moved Factorio’s release up to August 14, 5 weeks earlier than originally planned.

      • 5 ‘Open Source’ games that are free to play

        When people think of the Open Source movement, they imagine plain-looking software with a no-frills user-interface that’s “of the geek, by the geek, for the geek”. But did you know that there are many developers who’ve contributed precious time and effort to create “free” computer games that could have otherwise earned them oodles of cash?

        Here are a few fun offerings that are Open Source, which means that they are free to play, and you also get access to the code to tinker with and improve gameplay if you know just how…

      • SteamOS-like Linux distribution GamerOS has a new release up

        GamerOS, a Linux distribution based originally on Arch with a firm focus on an out of the box experience for gaming on your couch (much like Valve’s original idea with SteamOS) has a new release.

        Sounds like plenty of nice changes if you want a Linux-based system to stick under your big-screen TV. If you’ve used Steam Big Picture mode and know your way around it, GamerOS should make it quite easy since that’s what it’s based upon.

        Plenty of the key components behind it have been upgraded with GamerOS 18 including a newer Linux Kernel at 5.6.15, update Mesa drivers 20.0.7, NVIDIA driver 440.82, plus an updated compositor and other bundled packages like RetroArch 1.8.8.

      • EA open sources code from Command & Conquer Remastered Collection

        As they said they would late last month, it appears Electronic Arts have gone ahead and uploaded some of the source code for the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection.

        Dropped onto GitHub recently is a new CnC_Remastered_Collection repository, containing plenty of code for both the original Command & Conquer Tiberian Dawn plus Red Alert. Properly done too, with a GPL3 license to go along with it. They’ve attached some addition terms with it, which the GPL3 allows, to mention things we would expect like not giving rights away to trademarks and such.

      • Stadia Pro now has 17 games to redeem, with Elder Scrolls Online soon

        Google’s game streaming service, Stadia, today adds another 5 titles available for anyone who has an active Stadia Pro subscription to redeem. As promised by Google recently, they continue to expand Stadia and reward those who stick with the Pro tier.

      • You can now roll with a gamepad in Dicey Dungeons

        Dicey Dungeons was one of my favourite releases from last year and it keeps getting better! A fresh update recently released making it even easier to play.

        What is Dicey Dungeons? It’s a deck-building roguelike. You collect cards which form your abilities and travel through various floors of a dungeon taking down enemies as you go. What makes it different is how you play. There’s no mana like other games. Instead, you roll dice and cards activate based on what number die you place inside them. It’s brilliant.

        The thing is though, sometimes you just want to kick back and relax with a gamepad—and now you can. As of the 1.8 update, Dicey Dungeons has full gamepad support and it really does work great. It’s actually a little surprising how good it feels in such a game, almost like it was made for it.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Status report: Week 1

          Hey all! This is my first report of the project’s Coding Period.

        • Coding officially begins

          Today, the Community bonding period finally ended and GSoC’s three months coding period officially begins.

          In the last month, I made myself more familiar with git, qml and javascript. As KDE including Gcompris has been moved to Gitlab so I also changed the configuration of my local repository accordingly and tested it. I read codes of almost all the activities (hope I didn’t miss any) and I am quite comfortable with all now.

        • Basic Subtitling Support in Kdenlive – GSoC ’20

          A month ago I was selected to participate as a student in Google Summer of Code with Kdenlive. The Community Bonding period is coming to an end and the coding period will soon commence.

          In this post, I am going to talk about what the project is about, how I plan to implement it, and what all I have done in the community bonding period to ensure a smooth and bump-free coding period.

        • Plasma Vault and gocryptfs

          I promised gocryptfs support in Vault a long time ago, but I kept failing to deliver on that promise because of other obligations, life and work happenings.

          Now, the beauty of Free Software is that the users do not need to rely only on my free time for new Vault features.

          Martino Pilia sat down and wrote a gocryptfs backend for Plasma Vault which has been merged and will be available in Plasma 5.19. Many thanks for that!

        • Second Beta for Krita 4.3.0 Released

          This is the second beta release for Krita 4.3.0. It’s later than expected because our system for making release builds was temporarily unavailable.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Chinmay Gurjar: Chapter 1: A New Tale Begins

          It was around 23:25(IST) on the 4th of May, my brother and I were glued to our phone screens, the GSoC webpage open, eagerly waiting for the results (he was visibly the more excited one). And BAM! 23:31, I saw my name on the GSoC website. Then followed a tsunami of “congratulations”. I’ve been accepted into GSoC to work with GNOME.

          I applied for the Music project under GNOME. I’ve always fancied music, making music and now I wanted to make a music player to play that music. So, when I saw the Music listed for GSoC, I knew, I just knew that it was the “one”. I started contributing to the project and made some minor fixes, here and there. Those fixes taught me a lot about open source.

        • S Sai Vineet: GSoC 2020 with GNOME: a beginning

          I have been accepted into Google Summer of Code 2020 with GNOME Foundation!
          I am grateful to my mentor albfan and the whole GNOME developer community to have helped me become capable enough to tackle this project. Can’t wait to get my hands dirty and become a strong member of the GNOME community!

        • Adwait Rawat: GSoC 2020, Let’s GO!

          On 5th May 2020, I got an email from google, stating that I got accepted as a participant for Google Summer of Code 2020. The organisation I applied to was GNOME.

          Reason being, I have been contributing to GNOME since early 2019 to various projects such as gitg, libgit2-glib, GNOME Games etc. These contributions were usually minor fixes, but ended up being very educational for someone who was new to open-source.

        • Mariana Pícolo: The beginning of a journey with GNOME on Google Summer of Code

          I’m so excited to announce that I’m being part of Summer of Code 2020 with GNOME!

          In this post, I’ll talk about my experience during the student application period.

        • Nour E-Din ElNhass: The Journey Begins

          Hello everyone, This is the first post in my blog of many up coming posts that will be documenting my journey through the open source world as I’ve been accepted to GSoC internship for 2020, contributing to Gnome organization. I’ll try to document every little detail as possible to try to give the same experience I had.

          So, who am I ? you may be wondering !!

          As said on the home page, I am Nour E-Din, an undergrad student, my first contribution to and open source application was to Evolution. Evolution is the official personal information manager for GNOME.It combines e-mail, address book, calendar, task list and note-taking features. It has been maintained for years, had developed a lot and has many users who use it daily.

        • Apoorv Sachan: The first Contribution, GNOME & GSoC

          Well, why the ants ? Think teamwork, think team effort, interdependent efforts, voluntary involvement, the easy stuff, the hard stuff, the small and the large stuff, they all do it together, collectively and end up making what all of us call an ant-hill. A self sustaining ecosystem capable of supporting various ants, queen ant,the female workers, and male ants and the baby ants of-course. Who will in-turn help build a bigger ant-hill bootstrapped upon its previous design and so on into the future . . . .

          Well enough said about ants ! You get where I am going !

          This post is about how I came to contribute to an open-source project, got started on a journey I had been looking forward to since ever.

        • Nour E-Din ElNhass: The first steps

          It’s already been 3 weeks since I’ve received my acceptance email to GSoC internship. I am going to explain what progress have been made during this time and what I am willing on achieving on the upcoming days .

    • Distributions

      • [Old] Fuchsia

        Fuchsia is an open-source operating system designed from the ground up for security and updatability.

        Fuchsia is…

      • Reviews

        • Review: AutoTux 2.0

          Once AutoTux is up and running it is very close to running Debian 10 with Xfce installed and a macOS-style theme in place. The key feature of the distribution is less about what we end up with and more about how we get there. In other words, the focus of the project is the install process and I feel that is what we should look at when evaluating its merit.

          To its credit, AutoTux does what it claims to do. It almost entirely automates the install process. We transfer the ISO file to removable media, boot from it and the installer is entirely automated. All we need to do is remove the disc at the end and press Enter to restart the computer. It really does not get much more streamlined than that. In the end, we end up with a solid, Debian-based install with a wide array of default applications that should allow most people to get straight to work. This is a fast way to get up and running with a general purpose operating system.

          I have just two concerns when it comes to AutoTux. The first is the message we are shown when the install is over which asks the user to leave the install media in the machine when pressing Enter to reboot. Following this direction results in an endless loop of the system being installed over and over. It may seem like a small detail, but when a project’s install process is just two manual steps, having one of them include a misleading prompt is an unfortunate oversight.

      • New Releases

        • Linux Lite Users Are the First to Install Linux Kernel 5.7, Here’s How

          Released not even 24 hours ago, the Linux 5.7 kernel series ships with lot of goodies, including a new and improved exFAT file system, a thermal-aware scheduler for better performance, ARM64 Kernel Pointer Authentication, a new BFS-based Linux Security Module, and some new features for x86 CPUs.

          If you want to install Linux kernel 5.7 on your Linux Lite computer, now you can. The kernel is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit installations on Linux Lite series 3.x, 4.x, and the just launched Linux Lite 5.0, which is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Here’s how to install it!

        • Linux Lite 5.0 Released With UEFI Support & Other Major Improvements

          Linux Lite is one of the best Linux distributions suitable for Windows users. Not just limited to that, it’s also one of the most preferred lightweight Linux distributions available.

          Linux Lite 4.x series based on Ubuntu 18.04 was good but it didn’t have UEFI support. But, now that Linux Lite 5.0 has finally arrived based on Ubuntu 20.04 and I’m excited to see the changes!

      • BSD

        • OpenBSD 6.7

          Even though OpenBSD’s origin story goes back almost 25 years, there is nothing pre-historic about this project. OpenBSD is a well-renowned powerhouse for innovation. Every day extremely talented developers share their latest software creations — through the OpenBSD project — with all of the world to enjoy, for everyone to use as they see fit.

          This tireless sharing of creativity helped create a world where now virtually every computer and smartphone on the planet contains pieces of OpenBSD software.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE Update Infrastructure Access Through the Data Center

          In Step 2 Toward Enhanced Update Infrastructure Access the time-line for enabling access to the SUSE update infrastructure in the Public Cloud via routing through the data center was announced. As of June 1, 2020 we have started the work necessary to make this possible for all regions in AWS, Azure, and GCE. This marks the beginning of the final phase of a process that started almost 1 year ago with A New Update Infrastructure For The Public Cloud. We expect to have everything completed by no later than the end of June 2020, but will most likely be much faster. The changes from a global IP based access control mechanism to an instance based access mechanism apply to both SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server For SAP Applications (SLES For SAP) on-demand instances and any images released in the future that might access the update infrastructure.

        • Learn how to save money, reduce complexity with SUSE Manager [Ed: Linux has been around since the 1970s, it says. OK, whatever...]

          “The first is cost,” he says. “Linux has been around since the 1970s and has come a long way in that time. In one month (April 2020), Linux installations grew from 1,3% of the total installed base to a 3%. This might not sound like a lot, but it represents massive growth. For some Linux distributions, the grow rate was better than 600%.”


          Brink points out that switching to a Linux front-end and an effective back-end management tool could save organisations a massive chunk of their end user license costs.
          SUSE Manager monitors an organisation’s infrastructure and manages how they deploy services on to front-end devices from a central point.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Overview of Red Hat Satellite 6.7 proxy improvements

          Many organizations utilizing Red Hat Satellite have network policies that block direct access to the internet by the Satellite Server, and instead require that the Satellite Server go through an HTTP proxy to access the internet to synchronize content. Satellite 6.7 introduced some changes and new functionality around its support for connecting to the Red Hat CDN through a proxy that will be covered in this post.

          On versions of Satellite prior to 6.7, it was possible to enable utilization of a global proxy. However, in environments with multiple proxy servers, it was not possible to configure a different proxy server for individual repositories. With Satellite 6.7, in addition to the ability to set a global proxy, it is now also possible to configure proxies at the individual repository level or at the product level.

        • Fedora Community Blog monthly summary: May 2020

          This is the first in what I hope to make a monthly series summarizing the past month on the Community Blog.


          In May, we published 31 posts. The site had 4,964 visits from 2,392 unique viewers. Readers wrote 13 comments. 202 visits came from Fedora Planet, while 716 came from search engines.

        • Red Hat Success Stories: A foundation for network automation and betting on OpenShift

          You hear the expression “betting” on platforms all the time. But Bilyoner Interactive Services in Turkey is really betting on Red Hat OpenShift by deploying a live betting platform on OpenShift with Red Hat Ansible Automation.

          When live sports betting was legalized in Turkey, Bilyoner Interactive Services needed a supported, scalable, and highly available technology foundation to support this new service. By migrating from community open source to Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, Bilyoner used container and microservices technology to quickly create and launch its new live betting platform. As a result, the company reports a five-fold increase in traffic and close to 100% service uptime.

        • Kafka Monthly Digest – May 2020

          In this 28th edition of the Kafka Monthly Digest, I’ll cover what happened in the Apache Kafka community in May 2020.

        • Free cloud native security conference hosted by IBM Developer

          Security concerns remain one of the key factors in enterprises unlocking the true value of the cloud. From modernizing applications with containerized microservices, to securing data while training AI models, or building continuous, secure DevOps pipelines in a growing complex hybrid cloud, developers face myriad challenges when it comes to security in a cloud native hybrid cloud environment. IBM Developer wants security to be one less thing you have to worry about when you’re building high-performance solutions. That’s why we put together the Digital Developer Conference: Cloud Native Security on June 24, 25, and July 1.


          Learn the skills to react with speed and confidence by using solutions on IBM Cloud and Red Hat OpenShift alongside leading open source contributions by IBM and Red Hat to Kubernetes, Istio, Open Container Initiative, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, and Apache Foundation.

        • Enable Sysadmin celebrates one-year anniversary with Sudoers Program

          What started as an idea in early 2019 has now blossomed into a publishing platform with a growing community with more than 100 writers. As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Enable Sysadmin publication, we’re excited to announce a new program for our community of writers.

          On May 5, 2020, we officially launched the Sudoers program for the Enable Sysadmin community. The Sudoers program recognizes our most trusted and committed contributors and provides a framework for becoming an established writer on the site.

          The editorial team has been working closely with 10 of our writers to help establish the first group of members in the Sudoer program. To date, this group of amazing sysadmins has collectively published more than 100 articles on the Enable Sysadmin publication.

        • Enable Sysadmin: A year by the numbers
      • Debian Family

        • Bye Raspbian! Long Live Raspberry Pi OS!

          Last week, we reported a “new” Raspberry Pi 4 SBC with 8GB RAM launched last week, together with a beta version of “Raspbian” 64-bit needed to make full use of the extra RAM, although the 32-bit version can also address the full 8GB thanks to LPAE, but with a limitation of 3GB per process.

          It turns out the launch of the new board, effectively killed Raspbian. But by name only, as the recommended Raspberry Pi operating system is now called Raspberry Pi OS with three 32-bit images namely Desktop with recommended apps such as Wolfgram and Mathematica, Desktop, and Lite for headless applications, as well as the Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit beta that’s yet to be officially released, but can be downloaded from the forums and works on Raspberry Pi 3 and 4 boards.

        • Debian GSoC Kotlin project blog: Kotlin Update

          Kotlin is being packaged under the Google Summer of Code within the Debian organization itself. The major reason behind bringing Kotlin in Debian is to update all the Android packages which are now heavily dependent upon the Kotlin libraries.

          The major work to bring Kotlin into Debian is done for the version 1.3.30, by Saif Abdul Cassim (goes by m36 on IRC) as a part of his GSoC’2019. All his contributions to the team can be found in his blog posts.

          So, for now, we have a bootstrap package and a Kotlin package for the version with 1.3.30. There were still changes needed as we lacked some of the dependencies for Kotlin, and the source package lacked copyright information and didn’t comply with Debian standards.

        • Utkarsh Gupta: FOSS Activites in May 2020

          Here’s my (eighth) monthly update about the activities I’ve done in the F/L/OSS world.

        • Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities May 2020

          This month I didn’t have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

        • Mike Gabriel: My Work on Debian LTS (May 2020)

          In May 2020, I have worked on the Debian LTS project for 14.5 hours (of 14.5 hours planned).

        • Jonathan Carter: Free Software Activities for 2020-05

          I would say that this was a crazy month, but with everything ever escalating, does that even mean anything anymore?

          I lost track of tracking my activities in the second half of the month, and I’m still not very good at logging the “soft stuff”, that is, things like non-technical work but that also takes up a lot of time, but will continue to work on it.


          I’m also moving DPL activities to the DPL blog, so even though it’s been a busy month in the free software world… my activity log here will look somewhat deceptively short this month…

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Using the Lightweight Apt Package Manager Synaptic in Ubuntu and Other Debian-based Linux Distributions

          This week’s open source software highlight is Synaptic. Learn what this good old package manager can do that the modern software managers cannot.

          Synaptic is a lightweight GUI front end to apt package management system used in Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint and many other Debian/Ubuntu based distributions.

          Basically, everything that you can do using the apt-get commands in the terminal can be achieved with Synaptic.

        • Linux Mint 20 Promises Improved Support for NVIDIA Optimus

          The Linux Mint developers have revealed today in their regular monthly newsletter some more new features of the soon-to-be-released Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” operating system, which will be coming later this month based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa).

          One of these upcoming features is improved support for NVIDIA Optimus. In Linux Mint 20, the NVIDIA Prime system tray applet will now let users select the GPU they want to use and also display the GPU renderer, as you can see from the image below, courtesy of the Linux Mint project.

          Moreover, a new “Run with NVIDIA GPU” right-click context menu option was implemented in the applications menu in Cinnamon and MATE desktops to allow users to easily run apps with their dedicated NVIDIA graphics card.

        • Monthly News – May 2020
        • Linux Mint 20 To Better Fend Off Snaps, Improve NVIDIA Optimus Support
    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open source software for open infrastructure

        Implementing infrastructure using open-source software significantly reduces the total cost of ownership (TOC) of your infrastructure. Over the last few years, we’ve seen more and more companies moving to open source. These include Netflix, Uber, Visa, eBay, Wikipedia and AT&T. And this trend will only continue to grow. The migration is driven by better economics, improved flexibility, better integration capabilities and thus, the higher business value provided by the open source software.

        Together with Dell, we hosted a webinar describing all of those benefits in detail. We also demonstrated our joint reference architecture for open infrastructure implementation. In this blog, I expand on the building blocks behind the open infrastructure and explain the role they play in the stack.

      • Another look at the open source bootable USB tool Ventoy

        We looked at the open source bootable USB tool Ventoy back in April 2020 when it first came out. The developer has been very active in the meantime; reason enough to take another look at the application to find out what has changed and improved.

        Ventoy creates bootable USB devices using ISO images. That sounds an awful lot like what established programs such as Rufus do at first, but when you realize that it puts the ISO images on the drive and does not extract them, it becomes interesting.

        Even better, it is possible to place multiple ISO images on the USB device after it has been prepared by Ventoy; this allows you to boot into different Linux systems or install different versions of Windows straight from a single USB device.

      • OSI Charting a Course for 2020 and Beyond [Ed: Why does the OSI take pride in becoming a home for a Microsoft front group like ClearlyDefined?]

        The key to understanding how we move forward is to first remember how we got here. OSI as we know it didn’t exist until 2013.

        Founded in 1998, the organization was held together in its first decade through strong board leadership in Michael Tiemann (2001-2012) and Danese Cooper (2002-2011). Deb Bryant (2012-present), Karl Fogel (2011-2014), Mike Milinkovich (2012-2018), and Simon Phipps (2010-2020) helped OSI begin professionalizing, by hiring General Manager Patrick Masson (2013-present), and becoming more democratic, with the introduction of a community-elected board. Molly de Blanc (2016-2020), Allison Randal (2014-2019), and Stefano “Zack” Zacchiroli (2014-2017) fostered better ties with the free software community. Richard Fontana (2013-2019) elevated legal discussions, taking OSI’s licensing work from knowledgeable hackers to expert practitioners and defining a review process. And Pam Chestek (2019-present) has brought a new level of professionalism to the license review process.

        This is a reductionist and inevitably incomplete view of OSI’s history, but the point is this: OSI has come a long way, and I am forever grateful to the talented and generous individuals who collectively invested decades to get us here.

        Over the last seven years, OSI has: sustained its core mission, shaped policy around the globe, worked tirelessly to mitigate open washing, built an alliance of more than 125 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of people, provided a home for projects like ClearlyDefined, and rolled out programs like FLOSS Desktops for Kids and Open Source Technology Management courses with Brandeis University.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • 10 Best Chrome Extensions to Save Open Tabs in Chrome

            How many times have you been researching stuff online that lead you to open more tabs than you needed? Many times I have even opened tabs and left in the far left corner of my browser because, while they had the information I was interested in returning to use later, I didn’t want to bookmark them. In a way, closing a tab makes me feel like I am done with it. But that was a while ago anyway because I have the power of tab managers under my fingers.

            Tab (or session) managers are productivity tools that enable one to save tabs for later as well as to easily traverse the open ones. Continuing my streak of productivity-related topics, here is my collection of the best extensions that will enable you to take back control of your Chrome tabs and browsing sessions like it’s magic.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 77 new contributors

            With the release of Firefox 77, we are pleased to welcome the 38 developers who contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 36 of whom were brand new volunteers!

          • Mozilla’s Christopher Arnold: Money, friction and momentum on the web

            Back when I first moved to Silicon Valley in 1998, I tried to understand how capital markets here made the valley such a unique place for inventors and entrepreneurs. Corporate stocks, real estate, international currency and commodities markets were concepts I was well familiar with from my time working at a financial news service in the nation’s capital in the mid 1990′s. However, crowdfunding and angel investing were new concepts to me 20 years ago. The emergence of crowdfunding platforms (Kiva, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Appbackr for instance) were more to the advantage of the funding recipient than the balanced two-sided exchanges of the commercial financial system.

            When trying to grasp the way angel investors think about entrepreneurship, my friend Willy, a serial entrepreneur and investor, said: “If you want to see something succeed, throw money at it!” The idea behind the “angel” is that they are the riskiest of risk-capital. Angel investors seldom get payoffs from the companies they sponsor. But they do it to grow a cause they support in spite of the the uncertain outcome of the specific industry initiative they’re funding, much like charitable gifting.

            During the Augmented World Expo in May, I attended a conference session called “Web Monetization and Social Signaling,” hosted by Anselm Hook, a researcher at the web development non-profit Mozilla, where I also work. He made an interesting assertion during his presentation, “Money appears to be a form of communication.” His study was contrasting social signals (such as up-voting, re-tweeting, applauding with emojis) to draw attention to content users discovered on the web, in this case the Firefox Reality VR web browser. There are many reasons for this kind of user “social signaling.” It serves as a bookmarking method, it signals to friends of the user who might also like the content and it gives feedback to the content/comment provider. However, he found in his research that participants actually reacted more strongly when they believed their action contributed financial benefit directly to the other participant. The interactions we need to enable as web developers is a new kind of gesture akin to the act of tipping with cash in offline society.

          • We’ve Got Work to Do

            The promise of America is “liberty and justice for all.” We must do more to live up to this promise. The events of last week once again shine a spotlight on how much systematic change is still required. These events — the deaths at the hands of police and civilians, the accusations that are outright lies — are not new, and are not isolated. African Americans continue to pay an obscene and unacceptable price for our nation’s failure to rectify our history of racial discrimination and violence. As a result, our communities and our nation are harmed and diminished.

            Change is required. That change involves all of us. It’s not immediately clear all the actions an organization like Mozilla should take, but it’s clear action is required. As a starting point, we will use our products to highlight black and other under-represented voices in this unfolding dialog. And we’re looking hard at other actions, across the range of our activities and assets.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Beta1 is Available For Testing

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 7.0 Beta1 is available for testing!

          LibreOffice 7.0 will be released as final at the beginning of August, 2020 ( Check the Release Plan for more information ) being LibreOffice 7.0 Beta1 the second pre-release since the development of version 7.0 started in the beginning of June, 2019. Since the previous release, LibreOffice 7.0 Alpha1, 831 commits have been submitted to the code repository and 179 bugs have been fixed. Check the release notes to find the new features included in LibreOffice 7.0.

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Beta Available For Testing With Its Skia+Vulkan Support
        • Soft edge effect on objects in LibreOffice
        • 500,000 Thanks

          During the past weekend, we got the 500,000th donation since we started counting them, on May 1st, 2013. We are grateful to all the people who have donated, because they help all of us to keep the LibreOffice community growing and developing. The community has worked on translating LibreOffice in over 120 languages, closing the digital gap for many people who can only use LibreOffice in their native language and would otherwise be forced to use an office suite in English or in another foreign language.

          Many donors have added a note to their donation, at the end of the process which starts on the following page: https://www.libreoffice.org/donate/. Here is a list of the most significant from people who have had to access documents stored in a proprietary document format, a unique LibreOffice feature based on libraries developed and maintained by the Document Liberation project, in English or translated into English.

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • Router Freedom challenged by new European rules

            From 21 June a new set of rules will guide the implementation of Router Freedom in Europe. The internalisation of the rules by the 27 EU member states will face challenges with negative consequences for Router Freedom. The FSFE contributed to several improvements of the guidelines and will monitor compliance with them.

            The COVID-19 pandemic shows how dependent people are on the Internet for their work and personal life. In times of lockdown, when people need to stay home and work remotely, the whole internet traffic, encryption, business and work interaction are transferred through personal routers. Since 2013, the FSFE has been advocating for Router Freedom in Europe with outstanding results in Germany and effects beyond its borders. Now, a new set of rules, for which the FSFE contributed to improve, will guide the implementation of Router Freedom in Europe. We summarise the positive outcomes as well as the challenges ahead.

      • Programming/Development

        • Software Product Inventory: what is it and how to implement it.

          The concept of inventory applied to software, sometimes called catalogue, is not new. In IT/help-desk it usually refers to the software deployed in your organization. Along the history, there has been many IT Software Inventory Management tools. I first started to think about it beyond that meaning when working in deployments of Linux based desktops at scale.

          The popularity that Open Source and Continuous Delivering is providing this traditionally static concept a wider scope as well as more relevance. It is still immature though, so read the article with that in mind.

          1.- What is Inventory in software product development?

          I like to think about the software inventory as the single source of truth of your software product so the main element for product development and delivery auditing purposes.

          Isn’t that the source code?

        • 10 tips for maintaining a DevOps mindset for distributed teams

          I am one of the agents of chaos who passionately argued the importance of removing barriers and recognizing that people are the core of a healthy DevOps mindset. Fast-forward to the COVID-19 pandemic, in which collocated teams were forced to disperse overnight into self-isolating distributed entities, relying on technology to bring us all back together in a virtual world.


          A healthy DevOps mindset navigates through different paths of continuous improvement wherein disruption, discipline, and guardrails are the norm. What no one anticipated is the radical disruption we are all experiencing due to the pandemic, and the impact it has on our DevOps and personal mindset, our workflows, and the ceremonies of kanban and agile teams.

          You may recall Tuckman’s theory of group development, which outlines how teams grow into productive high-performers in stages. As expected, most, if not all, agile teams that switched from collocated to remote setup will slide back from the norming and performing stages to the storming stage, as shown in Figure 1.

        • Git 2.27 Demotes The Recently Promoted Transport Protocol v2, Continues SHA-256 Work

          Git 2.27 is out as the newest version of this widely-used distributed revision control system.

          Among the highlights with Git 2.27 are:

          - The Transport Protocol Version 2 support, which was made the default in the previous release, has been demoted. There are some “remaining rough edges” leading to the v2 protocol being demoted from the default in Git 2.27.

        • GitLab Releases Massive Update to CI/CD Platform

          GitLab has updated its CI/CD platform with a raft of capabilities spanning everything from value stream management to cybersecurity. In addition, GitLab announced it is making generally available Gitaly Clusters, which enable DevOps teams to create a warm replica of a Git repository.

          In terms of core DevOps capabilities, the latest release adds the ability to customize the Value Stream Analytics module to specific workflows. GitLab is also planning to make it possible to visualize stages of a workflow.

        • Stripe’s remote engineering hub, one year in

          Last May, Stripe launched our remote engineering hub, a virtual office coequal with our physical engineering offices in San Francisco, Seattle, Dublin, and Singapore. We set out to hire 100 new remote engineers over the year—and did. They now work across every engineering group at Stripe. Over the last year, we’ve tripled the number of permanently remote engineers, up to 22% of our engineering population. We also hired more remote employees across all other teams, and tripled the number of remote Stripes across the company.

        • When to choose C or Python for a command-line interface

          First, a Unix perspective on command-line interface design.

          Unix is a computer operating system and the ancestor of Linux and macOS (and many other operating systems as well). Before graphical user interfaces, the user interacted with the computer via a command-line prompt (think of today’s Bash environment). The primary language for developing these programs under Unix is C, which is amazingly powerful.

          So it behooves us to at least understand the basics of a C program.

        • One thought on “Pulling Data From News Feed Telemetry”

          The write-up is at a very in-depth level, and while there’s an admission that some of the steps could have been performed more easily with ready-made tools, its point is to go through all steps at a low level. So the action largely takes place in GNU Radio, in which we see the process of identifying the signal and shifting it downwards in frequency before deducing its baud rate to retrieve its contents. The story’s not over though, because we then delve into some ASCII tricks to identify the packet frames, before finally retrieving the data itself. It still doesn’t tell you what the data contains, but it’s a fascinating process getting there nonetheless.

          It’s easy to forget that GNU Radio has signal processing capabilities far beyond radio, but it was the subject of a fascinating Superconference talk. We even jumped on the bandwagon in the non-foolish part of our April Fool this year.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: T^4 #4: Introducing Byobu

          The next video (following the announcement, and shells sessions one, two, and three) is up in the T^4 series of video lightning talks with tips, tricks, tools, and toys. This time we introduce the wonderful byobu tool which is called both a ‘text-based window manager’ and a ‘terminal multiplexer’:

        • Python

          • Weekly Check-in #01

            Hey all!! I’m Aghin Shah, a 3rd Year CS undergrad from IIT-Madras. I’ll be working with DFFML, a sub-org under Python Software Foundation during GSoC on Implementing Distributed Orchestrator and Adding DataFlow tutorials.


            I’ll be finishing patches for a couple of issues which I’ve been working on. I’ll also start working on adding basic tutorials for DataFlow.

          • Weekly Check-In #1 – Community Bonding ( 4th May – 31st May )

            Hi, I am Arnav Kapoor a 3rd year Undergraduate student from IIIT-Hyderabad and I will be working with the Scrapinghub sub-org this summer. The project goal is to create a nuarmber-parser library to parse numbers in natural language and incorporate the same with existing libraries.

          • Weekly Check In – 0

            Hello, I am Aditya Kumar. I will be contributing to Scrapy during GSoC’20. This is my first blog of the series.

          • Week 1 check-in

            Welcome to my blog. I am participating in this year’s GSoC program for Panda3D – a suborgansiation under PSF. Today is the start of the coding period. Its 7:00 am in India here and I am starting this memorable day by writing my first blog here on this forum. I have been assigned the task to integrate Recast & Detour tools in Panda3D game engine. Already excited by the project idea, I started playing with the tools of Panda3D during the community bonding period. I did go through a lot of blogs and articles about “recastnavigation”, which is the github repository that provides the Recast and Detour tools. Well, this was pretty much what I did in the previous month, but now starts the actual coding period. I plan to start by planning the classes and functions required to bring recast into the Panda3D world.

          • Weekly Check-in #01 (Week #01)

            Hello World! My name is Saksham Arora. I’m a 2nd year undergraduate student from India pursuing B. Tech in Information Technology. This is my blog for GSoC 2020 @ PSF!
            Over the summer, I’ll be working with DFFML under the umbrella of Python Software Foundation. My project for the summer is to Integrate Image Processing into DFFML!

          • How to Setup Python Development Environment in Ubuntu and Fedora

            If you are trying to set up your Python box and wondering how to begin etc, then you are at the right place. Here, I tried to give you some steps for you to get you started.

          • Weekly Checkin – 0
          • Week 0 : Checking in :))
          • Week 1 check-in
          • GSoC: Week 1: __init__.py
          • First check-in to GSOC’20 @ Python Software Foundation
          • GSoC Week 1: def journey_begins(excited=True):
          • First Weekly Check-in
          • Check-in for week 1
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC: Week #1
          • Weekly Check-In #1
          • Weekly Check-In | Gsoc’2020 | #1
          • Build Physical Projects With Python on the Raspberry Pi

            The Raspberry Pi is one of the leading physical computing boards on the market. From hobbyists building DIY projects to students learning to program for the first time, people use the Raspberry Pi every day to interact with the world around them. Python comes built in on the Raspberry Pi, so you can take your skills and start building your own Raspberry Pi projects today.


            The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK-based charity organization. Originally designed to provide young people with an affordable computing option to learn how to program, it has developed a massive following in the maker and DIY communities because of its compact size, full Linux environment, and general-purpose input–output (GPIO) pins.

          • The Python Language Summit 2020

            For the second year in a row, I was invited to report on the Python Language Summit. It’s a private gathering of Python language implementers (both the core developers of CPython and alternative Pythons), plus third-party library authors and other Python community members. This year, the Summit was held over two days by videoconference. I’m no longer mainly a Python programmer, but it’s still exciting to hear new ideas for the language. The core developers’ decisions affect millions of programmers; it’s a privilege to be in the room where it happens.

          • PyDev of the Week: Seth Michael Larson

            This week we welcome Seth Michael Larson (@sethmlarson) as our PyDev of the Week! Seth is the lead maintainer of urllib3. He also writes a Python blog.


            My first introduction to Python was in my “intro to CS” class at university. I fell in love with the simplicity of the language and the Open Source community. I’d known some programming before
            going to university so it wasn’t my first programming language but I really enjoyed what Python had to offer.

            I remember getting excited by how straightforward sockets and network programming were in Python compared to C or C++, that was definitely a feature that grabbed my attention.

          • Tryton News: Newsletter June 2020

            Since release 5.6 development has restarted, with the first changes already landing in the development branch.

            Our demo servers now no longer require authentication. This helps keep the shared servers accessible to everyone (we often found that people would change the passwords and lock everyone else out).

          • Use FastAPI to build web services in Python

            FastAPI is a modern Python web framework that leverage the latest Python improvement in asyncio. In this article you will see how to set up a container based development environment and implement a small web service with FastAPI.

        • Rust

          • Rust Remains Most Loved Language, According to Stack Overflow Survey

            Stack Overflow has released the results of its 2020 Developer Survey, which was conducted back in February and taken by more than 65,000 people. Of those respondents, just over 52,000 identified themselves as professional developers. Topics covered in the survey included most loved (and dreaded) languages, technologies, and frameworks, as well as career values and employment status.

            According to the survey, Rust remains the most loved language – for the fifth year in a row. Python fell from the second to third this year, with TypeScript moving into the number two slot. Kotlin, Go, Julia, and Dart are next on the list of beloved languages, separated by just a few tenths of a percentage point.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Relief Bills, Plandemic & COVID Conspiracies feat. Colleen Sweeney | Along the Line Ep.91 – Uncategorized
      • The Asian American Reply to Pandemic-Era Racism Must Be Cross-Racial Solidarity

        Violence against Asian Americans and Asian immigrants has surged in response to COVID-19. Anti-Chinese rhetoric and racist misinformation spews from the top leaders of the U.S. as Asian communities are vilified as scapegoats for Trump’s “Chinese virus.” Racial health inequities, leading to disproportionate deaths in communities of color, intensify with each passing day. All of this is occurring amid a backdrop of pre-existing structurally racist policies fueling and deepening public health crises, including the state-sanctioned police violence which continues to terrorize and Black lives every day, with the recent examples being the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd.

      • Are Jobs Returning In Reopened States?

        There could be some selection bias here: States that waited longer may have been in a stronger economic position than those desperate to reopen sooner (although everything above is measured relative to each state’s own jobs trend for its last week in lockdown). And states that never issued stay-at-home orders are, on average, down less in job postings from 2019 (-34.5 percent, as of May 22) than states that still had orders in place as of May 22 (-38.3 percent). But those numbers are also indicative of how little power government orders may have to restart the job market anyway when compared with the power of the virus itself.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Career Choice Tip: Cybercrime is Mostly Boring [iophk: Windows TCO]

          For example, running an effective booter service requires a substantial amount of administrative work and maintenance, much of which involves constantly scanning for, commandeering and managing large collections of remote systems that can be used to amplify online attacks.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (bind9, dosfstools, gst-plugins-good0.10, gst-plugins-ugly0.10, json-c, php-horde, php-horde-gollem, salt, and sane-backends), Fedora (drupal7, marked, NetworkManager, and wireshark), Mageia (gdb, jasper, and json-c), openSUSE (freetds, jasper, libmspack, mariadb-connector-c, sysstat, and trousers), Red Hat (bind), Scientific Linux (bind and freerdp), and SUSE (file-roller and java-11-openjdk).

          • New software security tool to detect bugs in OS

            The Universal Serial Bus (USB) connects external devices to a host. This interface exposes the OS kernels and device drivers to attacks by malicious devices.

            To help detect such vulnerabilities, EPFL researchers have come up with a new security tool called USBFuzz to identify vulnerabilities in the USB driver stacks of widely used operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and macOS.

          • Github uncovers malicious ‘Octopus Scanner’ targeting developers

            The malware is called the Octopus Scanner, and it targets Apache NetBeans, which is an integrated development environment used to write Java software. In its write-up of the attack, the GitHub Security Labs team explains how the malware lurks in source code repositories uploaded to its site, activating when a developer downloads an infected repository and uses it to create a software program.

          • Joomla Team Disclosed Data Breach Occurred Last Week

            Joomla! is one of the biggest CMS in the World, to be specific, it is the 3rd most popular after WordPress and Drupal. Being that big in the industry, even a tiny error can cause millions of users worldwide. Just a few days back, the Joomla! team announced a data breach that occurred accidentally last week.

            Thankfully, the breach does not affect millions but 2,700 users who registered on JRD, Joomla Resources Directory. The incident happened last week when a member of JRD left a full unencrypted backup of JRD on AWS S3 server.


            Most of the users’ information involved in the breach is already public except the IP address and hashed passwords. If anyone found the backup and successfully unhashed the passwords, he can use those passwords on other websites like Gmail, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. to access them. If you are affected by the breach, used the same passwords on Gmail, Facebook, etc. as on JRD platform, change your passwords immediately.

          • KeePassXC review

            KeePassXC appeals to Linux users who want to handle their own password management offline, but the added effort involved and lack of built-in password sync will frustrate casual users.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • A Government Database of 20 Million+ Taiwanese Citizens Leaked in Darkweb [sic]

              According to the actor, the leak is from 2019. Our preliminary analysis noted the last DOB record was from 2008. However, it should be noted that there are certain records with ‘NULL/empty’ DoB records, hence it’s hard to confirm how recent it is.

            • Biggest spy network using illegal VoIP exchange in India busted

              The biggest-ever spy network of Pakistan which was attempting to gather information about the Indian defence in Ladakh, using illegal Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) exchange has been busted in Mumbai by the Military Intelligence of Jammu & Kashmir and the Crime Branch of Mumbai Police.

              One person has been arrested in Mumbai so far. The probe, sources said, is underway to ascertain the identity of other individuals involved in the network and locations of other similar exchanges. Sources said more arrests are expected in the next few days.

              Official sources said that in a joint operation, the crime branch of the Mumbai Police and the military intelligence of the Indian Army unearthed three functional Chinese SIM boxes and one standby sim box along with 191 SIM cards, laptop modem; antennas; batteries and connectors used for an illegal VoIP exchange in Mumbai.

            • [Repeat] Google sued by Arizona for tracking users’ locations in spite of settings

              The AG said that Google’s location tracking is unfair, deceptive, and also against the law: in this case, the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.

              The AG’s Office kicked off its consumer fraud investigation in August 2018, after the Associated Press ran an article titled “Google tracks your movements, like it or not”. The article was based on research from Princeton University that found that Google’s ability to track users’ location histories went far deeper than many of us realized.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • On US College Campuses, Student Groups Call for Closure of Beijing-Funded Confucius Institutes

        Two of the largest U.S. college campus political organizations are calling for the closure of all Confucius Institutes in the United States, saying the Beijing-funded outposts are part of the Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to control discourse on China at American universities.

        The open letter states that China’s actions at U.S. colleges and universities “pose an existential threat to academic freedom as we know it.”

        The Athenai Institute, a recently formed non-profit organization “dedicated to limiting the influence of the Chinese Communist Party on U.S. college campuses, published the letter.

      • A nationwide police riot: Is our outrage about “violence” pointed at the real perpetrators?

        Because something has been revealed here, which even the major voices in mainstream media cannot avoid. It isn’t something about the possibly excessive, possibly regrettable protests or about their ambiguous racial dynamic, issues that until Saturday seemed to dominate the chattering-class social media discourse. It’s about America’s police, which increasingly resemble a lawless, authoritarian third force, largely unconstrained by political leaders, heedless of their own supposed rules and internally compromised by far-right or white supremacist ideology.

        What we have seen in the United States over the last 48 to 72 hours is a nationwide “police riot,” a term made famous more than 50 years ago during the protests outside the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. As David Fahrenthold and Arelis Hernández reported for the Washington Post on Sunday morning, police in Minneapolis and elsewhere sought “a forceful restoration of control,” but “the effect was often the opposite, signaling disorder among those whose job it was to restore order”: [...]

      • Caught on camera, police explode in rage and violence across the US

        The violence appears so widespread and consistent that you could be mistaken for thinking it’s coordinated at a national level. To some extent, it is: President Trump has cheered on police violence like a fan at a sports event, and police departments across the country have styled themselves as military forces after receiving two decades of hand-me-downs from the War on Terror.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • [Astroturfer] farms from North Macedonia and the Philippines pushed coronavirus disinformation on Facebook

        The publisher, Natural News, was one of the most prolific pushers of the viral “Plandemic” conspiracy video, which falsely claimed that the coronavirus is part of an elaborate government plot to control the populace through vaccines, and erroneously claimed that wearing a mask increases the risk of catching the coronavirus.

        Facebook said that it had found foreign [astroturfers] repeatedly posted content from Natural News, an anti-vaccination news site that frequently posts false coronavirus conspiracy theories about 5G towers and Bill Gates. They also posted content from Natural News’ sister websites, NewsTarget and Brighteon, in an effort to artificially inflate their reach.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Major milestone: Coal consumption falls behind renewable energy in the United States

          The milestone, announced Thursday by the US Energy Information Administration, demonstrates the dramatic shift away from coal despite President Donald Trump’s promises to prop up the industry.

          America’s coal consumption collapsed by another 15% last year to its weakest level since 1964, the EIA said. The sixth-straight year of declines for coal occurred even as Trump has slashed environmental regulations and installed a former coal lobbyist to lead the EPA.

          Renewable energy, by contrast, continues to boom as costs fall and climate change concerns rise. Consumption of renewable energy in the United States hit a record high last year, the fourth-straight years of growth, the EIA said.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • A Warning to Joe Biden: Trump Is Winning the Covid-19 Spin Game

        The Republican president is finding a way to turn the coronavirus into something that will rally his base. Can the Democrat say the same?

      • Riot or Resistance? How Media Frames Unrest in Minneapolis Will Shape Public’s View of Protest

        Too often journalists contribute to a troubling hierarchy by adhering to industry norms that work against protest movements that aggressively challenge the status quo.

      • Dark Money Spending Rises Above $100 Million as IRS Ends Donor Reporting Rules

        Political groups that don’t fully disclose their sources of funding have already spent more than $100 million to influence 2020 races, a figure that is sure to rise as “dark money” backed super PACs unload their unprecedented cash reserves.

      • US Campaign Against Cuba’s Medical Brigades Targets Healthcare, Not ‘Forced Labor’

        For decades, Cuba has sent tens of thousands of its medical professionals abroad to work in countries where natural disasters or poverty have left people without healthcare.? In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the catastrophic US response to it, the absurdity of a propaganda war against Cuban medical missions has become more obvious than ever. But you can’t rely on corporate media to explain why.

      • Organizers of 2020′s May Day Actions Are Planning a People’s Strike for June 1

        Permutations of disaster are bearing down with such velocity on working-class people in the United States, it’s not easy to keep abreast — of the harms, but also of the welcome initiatives.

      • With Nation Afire, Trump Deflects by Designating Antifa a Terrorist Organization

        It’s a label that is usually reserved for foreign terrorist organizations and requires, under federal law, that the organization has a foreign nexus, according to CNN’s Josh Campbell. But antifa is a domestic entity with no real organization or leader, so we have to understand this move by Trump for what it is: a blatant attempt at shifting the blame for the unrest and violence onto the left. While many have been quick to blame protesters for the violence, a closer examination of footage shows that police are often escalating conflict unnecessarily by ramming protesters with SUVs and shooting rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas at peaceful protesters, press and even at residents standing on their own front porches.

        Attorney General William Barr announced that federal law enforcement will activate the 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces to apprehend and charge what he described as “violent radical agitators.” “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly,” Barr said in a statement.

      • China Is Not the Enemy — Neoliberalism Is

        Market competition failed in delivering the urgently needed medical supplies and ensuring food distribution in China’s initial stage of the COVID-19 crisis. Again, we have observed the same in the United States. The timeline and the initial handling of the COVID-19 outbreak by Chinese authorities before January 23 are severely contested. But once the central government recognized the severity of the situation, it shifted to an all-out mobilization. China at least temporarily placed people over profits — and switched into disaster relief mode.

      • Social Media Companies Can’t Be Trusted to Protect Our Democracy

        Social media platforms have become a central element of modern political life — too important to allow them to be run according to the whims of either an unbalanced president like Donald Trump or a few tech billionaires like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

      • Did Hacktivist Group Anonymous Take Down Minneapolis PD Website?

        The [Internet] was abuzz late Saturday night with speculation that Anonymous — the decentralized [attacker] collective — had successfully disabled the Minneapolis Police Department website, in retaliation for the murder of George Floyd.

        The Minneapolis PD site, as well as the parent City of Minneapolis site, became inaccessible late Saturday, according to multiple user reports.

        By early Sunday, the sites were still experiencing access problems, sporadically requiring visitors to enter “captchas” verifying they weren’t bots in a front-end hosted by [Internet] security firm Cloudflare — a signal the sites were experiencing a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, designed to render an [Internet] service unusable by flooding it with bogus traffic. (A separate site for the Minneapolis Police Department, insidempd.com, appears to be unaffected.

      • The Only Solution Is to Defund the Police

        Many of these reforms have been implemented in Minneapolis. In 2018, the City issued a report outlining all the procedural justice reforms it has embraced, like mindfulness training, Crisis Intervention Training, implicit bias training, body cameras, early warning systems to identify problematic officers, and so on. They have made no difference. In fact, local activist groups like Reclaim the Block, Black Visions Collective, and MPD 150 have rejected more training and oversight as a solution and are now calling on Mayor Jacob Frey to cut the police budget by $45 million and shift those resources into “community-led health and safety strategies.”

        Unfortunately, at the national level, Democratic members of Congress appear to have learned few lessons from the failures of six years of “police reform.” [...]

      • Trump, Lacking Clear Authority, Says U.S. Will Declare Antifa a Terrorist Group

        First, antifa is not an organization. It does not have a leader, membership roles or any defined, centralized structure. Rather, it is a vaguely defined movement of people who share common protest tactics and targets.

        More important, even if antifa were a real organization, the laws that permit the federal government to deem entities terrorists and impose sanctions on them are limited to foreign groups. There is no domestic terrorism law, despite periodic proposals to create one.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Reuters cameraman hit by rubber bullets as police disperse protesters

        Seward is seen in later footage being treated by a medic near the scene for a deep gash under his left eye. Both men sustained injuries to their arms, and Chavez was hit in the back of the neck.

        The Reuters journalists were clearly identified as members of the news media. Chavez was holding a camera and wearing his press pass around his neck. Seward was wearing a bullet proof vest with a press label attached.

      • Microsoft lays off journalists to replace them with AI

        While Microsoft says the layoffs aren’t directly related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, media businesses across the world have been hit hard by advertising revenues plummeting across TV, newspapers, online, and more.

      • Scott Ludlam’s email to Senator Payne

        I have been invited to convey the attached four pieces of correspondence for your urgent review and response. The undersigned represent a cross party alliance of serving and former MPs, a cross-section of the Australian legal profession, diverse human rights advocates and a large number of writers, publishers and journalists.

        In a matter of only a few days, Julian Assange will face court again in the UK. As detailed in the letters, we seek your urgent intercession in this matter while there is still time.

        Physical copies will be delivered to your office shortly; in the meantime I would appreciate acknowledgement of receipt of these electronic copies.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • May the Screams and Tears and Protests Shake the Very Conscience of This Nation

        If we want to reach a better place on the other side of this, we must refuse to be comforted too quickly.

      • Police Violence Protesters Were Hit With More Police Violence in US Capitol

        As protests against police violence and the killing of George Floyd continued in cities across the U.S. on Saturday, a massive crowd gathered outside President Donald Trump’s White House as demonstrators again turned their ire and demands for justice and healing towards the nation’s most powerful elected official. After tensions built, clashes erupted between law enforcement and demonstrators.

      • Watch: This Is What It Looks Like When the Response to Protests Against Police Violence Is… More Police Violence

        Driving SUVs into demonstrators. Firing paint-ball rounds at people on their own front porch. Pushing an elderly man to the ground. These were just a few of the incidents witnessed as a militarized nation faced off against its own people on Saturday.

      • The Supreme Court Is About to Make Seismic Rulings on Reproductive Rights

        The rights of women to terminate their pregnancies and to receive free contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are on the chopping block. Those challenges to reproductive freedom are consistent with Trump’s agenda of pandering to the religious right while erasing Barack Obama’s achievements. The Supreme Court will rule on these cases during the month of June.

      • ‘I Took the Helmet Off and Laid the Batons Down’: Michigan Sheriff and Police Didn’t Disperse Their Town’s Protest—They Joined It

        “Do I think this has solved the issue between police and unarmed black, human beings? No. But I do believe that this type of leadership is a positive step in the right direction and gives me hope for black men and women around the world and for all of humanity.”

      • ‘As Incoherent as It Is Dangerous’: Trump Threatens to Designate Antifa—Which Isn’t an Actual Group—as Terrorist Organization

        “Let’s be clear,” warned the ACLU. “There is no legal authority for designating a domestic group. Any such designation would raise significant due process and First Amendment concerns.”

      • Why Trump’s Social Media Executive Order Is Troubling, Bizarre, and Dangerous

        Here’s the social media accountability we actually need.

      • Black Lives Matter, Online and in the Streets: Statement from EFF in the Wake of the Police Killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd

        Black lives matter on the streets. Black lives matter on the Internet.?

        EFF stands with the communities mourning the victims of police homicide. We stand with the protesters who are plowed down by patrol cars. We stand with the journalists placed in handcuffs or fired upon while reporting these atrocities. And we stand with all those using their cameras, phones and digital tools to make sure we cannot turn away from the truth.

      • George Floyd death: Lawyer calls it ‘premeditated murder’

        In video footage, Mr Chauvin, 44, can be seen kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for several minutes on Monday. Mr Floyd, 46, repeatedly says that he is unable to breathe.

        “The fact that officer Chauvin kept his knee on his neck for almost three minutes after he was unconscious. We don’t understand how that was not first degree murder. We don’t understand how all these officers haven’t been arrested,” lawyer Crump said.

      • Exclusive: The US Military Is Monitoring Protests in 7 States

        In addition to Minnesota, where a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, the military is tracking uprisings in New York, Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, and Kentucky, according to a Defense Department situation report. Notably, only Minnesota has requested National Guard support. The documents were originally stored on an unclassified server but were subsequently “elevated” to a classified system. While the documents reveal significant National Guard force capabilities in each of the seven states, one Minnesota Guard member expressed concerns about the troops’ lack of training in responding to civil unrest.

      • Op-Ed: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge

        Yes, protests often are used as an excuse for some to take advantage, just as when fans celebrating a hometown sports team championship burn cars and destroy storefronts. I don’t want to see stores looted or even buildings burn. But African Americans have been living in a burning building for many years, choking on the smoke as the flames burn closer and closer. Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.

      • [Old] Trump Makes It Easier for Police to Get Military Equipment

        “We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there’s an occupying force,” Obama said at the time. “Some equipment made for the battlefield is not appropriate for local police departments.”

        Now, after Trump has loosened the program’s requirements, the volume of surplus equipment flowing to police agencies is roughly the same as it was under Obama. But what’s changed is the need for justification, mandated federal supervision and training — and that’s got critics warning about trouble ahead.

        “There is no accountability in place,” said Ed Chung, a former Justice Department official who led the group that advised Obama on the issue.

      • Minn. governor fully mobilizing National Guard, blames out-of-state protesters for violence

        State officials said that around 80 percent of those arrested in the Twin Cities on Friday had come from outside Minnesota

        While “there’s a group of folks that are sad and mourning” about Floyd, Mayor Melvin Carter said, “there seems to be another group that are using Mr. Floyd’s death as a cover to create havoc.”

        John Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, said there were approximately 40 arrests across St. Paul and Minneapolis on Friday night. He said some of those protesting had been linked to white supremacist groups and organized crime.

      • A sheriff put down his baton to listen to protesters. They chanted ‘walk with us,’ so he did

        Flint has drawn national attention for its water crisis, which began in 2014, when city and state officials switched the city’s water supply to save money. It exposed residents to dangerously high levels of lead and resulted in more than a dozen lawsuits.

      • ‘Let’s walk’: Sheriff joins Flint protesters in show of solidarity

        During a protest for George Floyd in Flint on Saturday, the Genesee County sheriff decided to walk along side protesters.

        In a video that has over four million views on Twitter, the sheriff, Christopher Swanson, was encouraged by protesters to walk with them.

        Swanson asked the crowd of people surrounding him to tell officers what they needed to do and protesters began chanting “walk with us.” Swanson responded by saying “let’s walk.”

    • Monopolies

      • Trump Is Doing All of This for Zuckerberg

        There are already widespread news reports of how Trump is trying to “punish” Twitter or Facebook. In reality, the former has given him an unfettered megaphone with no friction for years—only recently adding an extra click to one of his tweets—and the latter surely welcomes the millions his campaign will spend on the forthcoming election. Facebook is also likely to continue algorithmically amplifying divisive, polarizing, or dubious content. Again and again, people tend to underestimate this president, whose grammar and punctuation may leave something to be desired but whose political instincts are keen. What else can you call his ability—in the middle of this summer of pandemic and as a major American city erupts in anger against yet another police killing—to have so many newspapers, analysts, and nongovernmental organizations spend so much time doing close readings of an executive order to assess its legality, coherence, or potential for becoming a law, as if any of that matters an iota. In the meantime, Trump remains focused on the only thing that matters: keeping Facebook in line until November 3, 2020.

      • Patents

        • Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Actavis Laboratories v. Nalproprion Pharmaceuticals

          In the Supreme Court’s recent clarifying campaign through the Federal Circuit’s U.S. patent law jurisprudence, one section of the statute, 35 U.S.C. §112(a) has been noticeably left unscathed. Indeed, avoidance of this statutory section continues a pattern that has existed since the 1952 Patent Act was enacted. It is not for lack of petitions for certiorari, which have included during the Court’s denials in Amgen v. Sanofi; Janssen Biotech, Inc. v. Abbott Laboratories; CoreValve Inc. v. Edwards Lifesciences AG; and Ariad v. Eli Lilly & Co. Last week, the Court’s refusal to consider this section recurred with its denial of certiorari in Actavis Laboratories FL, Inc. v. Nalproprion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

          To recap, the case arose in ANDA litigation over Nalproprion Pharma’s Contrave? extended-release tablets of the combination of naltrexone hydrochloride and buproprion hydrochloride, for treatment of obesity, as claimed in Orange Book-listed U.S. Patent Nos. 7,375,111; 7,462,626; and 8,916,195. The District Court found that Defendant Actavis had not established that one claim (claim 11) of the ’195 patent was invalid for failure to satisfy the written description requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112(a) with regard to the claim limitation reciting USP dissolution methods (“USP1″ versus “USP2″)

      • Trademarks

        • No longer Merck-y – High Court determines issues remitted by Court of Appeal in Merck trade mark dispute

          Quick recap: Merck KGgA (Merck Global) is a German company that traces its roots back to 1668. After the First World War, Merck Global’s US subsidiary (Merck US) became an independent business, trading under the name MERCK in the US and Canada, while Merck Global traded under that name in other countries. A coexistence agreement was signed in 1955 and updated in 1970. The terms of the 1970 agreement were, in extremely brief summary, that each party could only trade in the other’s territory if it used its full name.

          So far, so good, until the Internet came along and ruined everything. Merck Global ended up suing Merck US for trade mark infringement in the UK on the basis of use of “MERCK” by Merck US on various websites, social media platforms and email addresses, which Merck Global said were targeted at the UK (Merck US also made some presentations physically in the UK, but Merck Global did not allege any actual sales or offers for sale by Merck US in the UK). Broadly speaking, Merck Global won at first instance and on appeal (reported by the Kat here and here, respectively), but various issues were remitted to the High Court for further consideration (because the first instance judgment did not contain sufficiently detailed findings in relation to some of the points in dispute).

      • Copyrights

        • How Anonymous Are Cloud Torrenting Services?

          Cloud torrenting services are an ideal tool to download content swiftly. They also help to hide your IP-address from the public at large. However, are they really anonymous? We asked the leading cloud torrenting services what their policies are.

        • ACE/MPA Seize Four More Sites For Facilitating Movie & TV Show Piracy

          The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment and the Motion Picture Association of America have ‘seized’ four more domains for being involved in piracy activities. While the domains don’t appear to be particularly big players, they add to a growing list of online portals being quietly placed under the control of the massive global anti-piracy coalition.


Links 1/6/2020: OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 2020.05, Linux Lite 5.0 Release, FreeBSD 11.4 RC2

Posted in News Roundup at 7:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 356

        Learn a little Postscript in this episode about **Ghostscript**.

      • Test and Code: 115: Catching up with Nina Zakharenko

        One of the great things about attending in person coding conferences, such as PyCon, is the hallway track, where you can catch up with people you haven’t seen for possibly a year, or maybe even the first time you’ve met in person.

        Nina is starting something like the hallway track, online, on twitch, and it’s already going, so check out the first episode of Python Tea.

        Interesting coincidence is that this episode is kind of like a hallway track discussion between Nina and Brian.

      • How to install Google Chrome on Pop!_OS 20.04
      • Are Custom Linux Kernels Faster than Stock?

        Are Custom Linux Kernels Faster than Stock? Benchmarks are done and will be compared using phoronix test suite. We will be analyzing 3 kernels, Liquorix, Mainline, and Xanmod.

    • Kernel Space

      • Reiser4 Updated For Linux 5.6 Kernel Support

        While the Linux 5.7 kernel is likely being released as stable today, the Reiser4 port to the Linux 5.6 kernel is out this weekend.

        Edward Shishkin continues working on Reiser4 while also spearheading work on the new Reiser4 file-system iteration of the Reiser file-system legacy. Taking a break from that Reiser5 feature work, Shishkin has updated the out-of-tree Reiser4 patches for Linux 5.6.0 compatibility.

        This weekend on SourceForge he uploaded the Reiser4 patch for upstream Linux 5.6.0 usage. This is just porting the existing 5.5.5-targeted code to the 5.6 code-base with no mention of any other bug fixes or improvements to Reiser4 in this latest patch.

      • The Generic USB Display Driver Taking Shape For Linux 5.9~5.10

        One of the interesting new happenings in the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver space is a Generic USB Display stack including a USB gadget driver that together allow for some interesting generic USB display setups. This work was motivated by being able to turn a $5 Raspberry Pi Zero into a USB to HDMI display adapter.

      • The Linux Kernel Deprecates The 80 Character Line Coding Style

        The Linux kernel has officially deprecated its coding style that the length of lines of code comply with 80 columns as the “strong preferred limit”.

        The Linux kernel like many long-standing open-source projects has a coding style guideline that lines of code be 80 columns or less, but now that while still recommended is no longer going to be as enforced.

        This stems from Linus Torvalds commenting on Friday that excessive linebreaks are bad and is against ugly wrapped code that is strictly sticking to 80 characters per line. This is part of the broader trend that most are no longer using 80×25 terminals but with today’s high resolution displays the terminal sizes are often larger though some preferring the default in order to allow more terminals to be displayed simultaneously on their nice displays.

      • clean up kernel_{read,write} & friends v2
        Not necessarily.
        Excessive line breaks are BAD. They cause real and every-day problems.
        They cause problems for things like "grep" both in the patterns and in
        the output, since grep (and a lot of other very basic unix utilities)
        is fundamentally line-based.
        So the fact is, many of us have long long since skipped the whole
        "80-column terminal" model, for the same reason that we have many more
        lines than 25 lines visible at a time.
        And honestly, I don't want to see patches that make the kernel reading
        experience worse for me and likely for the vast majority of people,
        based on the argument that some odd people have small terminal
        If you or Christoph have 80 character lines, you'll get possibly ugly
        wrapped output. Tough. That's _your_ choice. Your hardware limitations
        shouldn't be a pain for the rest of us.
        Longer lines are fundamentally useful. My monitor is not only a lot
        wider than it is tall, my fonts are universally narrower than they are
        tall. Long lines are natural.
        When I tile my terminal windows on my display, I can have 6 terminals
        visible at one time, and that's because I have them three wide. And I
        could still fit 80% of a fourth one side-by-side.
        And guess what? That's with my default "100x50" terminal window (go to
        your gnome terminal settings, you'll find that the 80x25 thing is just
        an initial default that you can change), not with some 80x25 one. And
        that's with a font that has anti-aliasing and isn't some pixelated
        And most of my terminals actually end up being dragged wider and
        taller than that. I checked, and my main one is 142x76 characters
        right now, because it turns out that wider (and taller) terminals are
        useful not just for source code.
        Have you looked at "ps ax" output lately? Or used "top"? Or done "git
        diff --stat" or any number of things where it turns out that 80x25 is
        really really limiting, and is simply NO LONGER RELEVANT to most of
        So no. I do not care about somebody with a 80x25 terminal window
        getting line wrapping.
        For exactly the same reason I find it completely irrelevant if
        somebody says that their kernel compile takes 10 hours because they
        are doing kernel development on a Raspberry PI with 4GB of RAM.
        People with restrictive hardware shouldn't make it more inconvenient
        for people who have better resources. Yes, we'll accommodate things to
        within reasonable limits. But no, 80-column terminals in 2020 isn't
        "reasonable" any more as far as I'm concerned. People commonly used
        132-column terminals even back in the 80's, for chrissake, don't try
        to make 80 columns some immovable standard.
        If you choose to use a 80-column terminal, you can live with the line
        wrapping. It's just that simple.
        And longer lines are simply useful. Part of that is that we aren't
        programming in the 80's any more, and our source code is fundamentally
        wider as a result.
        Yes, local iteration variables are still called 'i', because more
        context just isn't helpful for some anonymous counter. Being concise
        is still a good thing, and overly verbose names are not inherently
        But still - it's entirely reasonable to have variable names that are
        10-15 characters and it makes the code more legible. Writing things
        out instead of using abbreviations etc.
        And yes, we do use wide tabs, because that makes indentation something
        you can visually see in the structure at a glance and on a
        whole-function basis, rather than something you have to try to
        visually "line up" things for or count spaces.
        So we have lots of fairly fundamental issues that fairly easily make
        for longer lines in many circumstances.
        And yes, we do line breaks at some point. But there really isn't any
        reason to make that point be 80 columns any more.
      • Linus Torvalds Argues Against 80-Column Line Length Coding Style, As Linux Kernel Deprecates It

        “Yes, staying withing 80 columns is certainly still _preferred_,” notes the official commit message for this change. “But it’s not the hard limit that the checkpatch warnings imply, and other concerns can most certainly dominate. Increase the default limit to 100 characters. Not because 100 characters is some hard limit either, but that’s certainly a ‘what are you doing’ kind of value and less likely to be about the occasional slightly longer lines.’”

    • Applications

      • Martin Michlmayr: ledger2beancount 2.2 released

        I released version 2.2 of ledger2beancount, a ledger to beancount converter.

      • NetworkManager 1.26 Development Progressing With New Functionality

        NetworkManager 1.25.2-dev is the latest development version of this important Linux networking component in the road towards NetworkManager 1.26.

        NetworkManager 1.25.2-dev was bumped this weekend as another milestone towards the upcoming 1.26 stable release of this widely used component for configuring wired and wireless networking on Linux and other platforms. Some of the changes building up so far for NetworkManager 1.26 include:

        - A new “firewalld-zone” option that is enabled by default that will install a firewalld zone for connection sharing and put the IPv4/IPv6 shared mode interfaces in this zone.

      • Chrome Is Reaching The Point Of Good X11 + Wayland Support In Same Build

        Google’s Chrome/Chromium web browser is finally reaching the stage where having both the X11 support and Ozone abstraction layer for Wayland can be enabled concurrently in the same build.

        Thanks to the work by Google, Igalia, and others, the Chrome/Chromium code-base is nearly at the stage where the traditional X11 support can be built along with the Ozone platform support concurrently. Ozone is the platform abstraction layer being worked on for years for handling low-level input/graphics and necessary for Wayland support as well as various embedded use-cases and other platform abstraction capabilities. An overview of the Ozone code can be found here.

      • Best Linux Remote Desktop Tools For Ubuntu 20.04 LTS To Share Your Desktop In 2020

        7. KDE Connect
        KDE Connect helps you to enable remote desktop sharing with the help of Android and Linux applications.

        8. VNC Connect
        VNC Connect is a simple and secure remote desktop sharing tool for Linux. VNC Connect is equipped with 256 bit AES session encryption and it uses Remote Frame Buffer protocol to remotely control another computer.

      • RapidDisk version 6.1 released

        RapidDisk is an advanced Linux RAM Disk which consists of a collection of modules and an administration tool. Features include: Dynamically allocate RAM as block device. Use them as stand alone disk drives or even map them as caching nodes to slower local disk drives.

      • Experience With Mastodon
      • Share PeerTube Videos on Mastodon
    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • A New Kernel Patch Is Being Discussed That’s Needed For Newer Windows Games On Wine

        Newer Windows games/applications are making use of system call instructions from the application code without resorting to the WinAPI and that is breaking Wine emulation support. A Linux kernel patch is now being worked on for addressing this issue in the form of system call isolation based on memory areas while having a smaller performance hit than alternatives.

        With newer Windows software executing system call instructions without going through the Windows API, Wine isn’t able to intercept and emulate those system calls and thus breaking the support. Wine can’t really rework its handling of every system call as that would thrash the performance. So a Linux kernel-based solution is being sorted out.

    • Games

      • Cloud FTW: Steam on Chrome OS may not look like we thought

        Back in January, word got out that Google and Valve were collaborating to bring some form of native Steam client to Chrome OS. Director of Product Management Kan Liu told Android Police that the project would leverage Crostini, aka Linux on Chrome OS. Because I spend a good portion of my days tinkering with Linux on my Chromebook, I hastily presumed that Steam would be delivered in some sort of Chrome OS-optimized Linux package. While that could still be a possibility, it appears that Valve may look to the Clouds in Steam’s next evolution.

      • Soldat source code released and a story of how it all started
      • King makes its Defold Engine open source

        Ritzl explained that moving Defold to an open source model can help build trust with developers, which is an important aspect of operating a game engine. By providing dev teams access to the source code, they also become more self-sufficient; being able to physically see the code should help them better understand how the engine works. Ritzl hopes that this understanding spills over into the greater development community as individuals share their findings with cohorts.

        Established by King this month, the Defold Foundation’s primary function is to keep the Defold engine open source, and prevent third parties from monetizing it. Based in Sweden, the foundation will continue to update and support the Defold Engine by optimizing it for various platforms, systems, services, and technologies in coming months and years. Ritzl said that he hopes this will result in better accessibility for game developers, which will benefit the games industry as a whole.

        “The foundation is an independent legal entity,” Ritzl explained. “It is in many ways similar to a corporation, but foundations have a separate legal status in Sweden. When a foundation is created, the founder sets a number of objectives for the foundation, and these objectives cannot be changed once the foundation is created. This makes it possible for a founder to ensure that donations given to a foundation is managed according to the wishes of the founder.”

      • Project Cars 2 | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.10 | Steam Play

        Project Cars 2 running through Steam Play on Linux. Using my Logitech G29 which also worked as expected.

      • Valve continues to improve Linux Vulkan Shader Pre-Caching

        Recently we wrote about a new feature for Linux in the Steam Client Beta, where Steam can now sort out Vulkan shaders before running a game. With the latest build, it gets better.

        The idea of it, as a brief reminder, is to prepare all the shaders needed for Vulkan games while you download and / or before you hit Play. This would help to stop constant stuttering seen in some games on Linux, mostly from running Windows games in the Proton compatibility layer, as native / supported Linux games would usually do it themselves. Just another way Valve are trying to get Linux gaming on Steam in all forms into tip-top shape.

      • Steam Ironing Out Shader Pre-Caching For Helping Game Load Times, Stuttering

        Valve developers have been working on Vulkan shader pre-caching with their latest Steam client betas to help in allowing Vulkan/SPIR-V shaders to compile ahead of time, letting them be pre-cached on disk to allow for quicker game load times and any stuttering for games that otherwise would be compiling the shaders on-demand during gameplay, especially under Steam Play.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • April/May in KDE Itinerary

          It has been a busy two month since the last report again, KDE’s source code hosting is now using Gitlab, we got the 20.04 release out, notifications were significantly improved, and we are now leveraging OpenStreetMap in more places, with even more exciting things still to come. The global travel restrictions have been hampering field testing, but they have most certainly not slowed down the development of KDE Itinerary!

        • GSoC’20 Wrapping up Community Bonding Period

          As the coding period of GSoC is going to begin in the next 2 days. In this blog, I am going to write all about what I did during the community bonding period.

          During this period I have interacted with my mentors and finalized the multiple datasets of a few activities. Recently, the GCompris project has been moved to GitLab so I set up my account over there and also asked my mentors how can I push my branches to the server and everything else. I have also gone through the code of the memory activities and planned about the resources I will be using. I have also set up my environment as to how to test the GCompris on the android platform. I plan to start my work with the enumeration memory game activity so I have created a branch for it and pushed it to the server.

        • Timezones, yes please

          One of the bits of Calamares that I think is most terrible is the timezone selector. So I was very happy to read Volker’s ideas about timezone-mapping.

          Calamares is a universal Linux installer, used by some dozens of Linux distro’s. It is built as a framework, customizable by downstreams to their liking. This is basically a service to the small-distro Linux community, and PRs are very welcome .. but I digress.

          Part of installation is picking a timezone to put the system in. Calamares offers a map, and you click on it, and it picks a likely location, and off you go. The technology used is simple: there’s a PNG for each timezone (this sounds familiar). The user clicks on the PNG of the world map, and the mouse coordinates are mapped to a location (longitude and latitude), the location is mapped to a zone offset that gets mapped to a timezone image, and the image is drawn.

        • The Community Bonding Period Ends

          It has been almost a month, since the commencement of community bonding period and the phase was mostly good. I spent most of my time lurking over the IRC in passive reconnaissance mode, force of habit I mostly speak less and I know it is not a good one especially being part of an open-source community. I used to attend all the meetings and tried to get accustomed with the workflow of the community and got to know about everything hot and spicy that is taking place whether it is Krita finally on android or new contributors working on some bugs.

        • KDE Conference India 2020: A very late post

          KDE India Conference 2020 was successfully organized in Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology. It was a three-day event, from Jan 17 to Jan 19. There were talks about Libre, Open Source Software and how software is developed using C++ and the Qt Framework. Hands-on workshops were also organized on C++, Qt and QML which gave attendees a good start on how to start their journey with C++ and Qt Framework. The conference was able to educate 200+ attendees throughout the conference. Refreshments were provided to all present for the conference on all 3 days. Every day of the conference concluded with dinner at various good places in Delhi with all the speakers, organizers and volunteers.

        • About me, who am I?

          I am Shubham, a final year undergraduate student, pursuing B.E(Bachelor of Engineering) at BMS Institute of Technology and Management, Bangalore, India. I am an open source enthusiast and developer, mostly working with C++ with Qt framework. I also have decent knowledge of C, Java, Python, bash scripting, git and I love developing under linux environment. Previously I was selected as one of many GSoC students to be mentored by this amazing organization, which is KDE. This year also, I applied again to KDE as a student and was fortunate enough to get selected. I will be developing for Cantor project. Apart from coding, in my spare time I go for Cricket or Volleyball to keep myself refreshed.

        • Integrated Documentation in Cantor

          Cantor is an application that lets user use their favourite mathematicalapplications from within a nicely KDE-integrated worksheet interface. It offers assistant dialogs for common tasks and allows users to share their worksheets withothers. Cantor is one of many KDE educational projects. It supports a variety of backends, be it Maxima, Octave, Python, R and many more and that too packed in a single intuitive GUI. The current version of Cantor does not have support for viewing backend’s documentation inside the application itself. For example, to view Maxima’s documentation or help, the application provides an external link pointing to the Maxima’s official documentation page which is opened in a fresh browser window. This has the obvious drawback of requiring an active internet connectivity.

        • Klinker library in KDE Connect Sms app

          So today GSoC’s three months coding period officially begins. Last one month I spent bonding with my mentors and have tried to establish the prerequisites required for the rest of the project. My project for GSoC 2020 is to improve the MMS support to KDE Connect’s SMS app.
          During the community bonding period, the first challenge we had to face was to implement a way to send MMS messages from KDE Connect’s android app and it becomes more challenging when you will come to know that android’s MMS API’s are hidden and there is no documentation available for the same. This task alone becomes beyond the scope of a GSoC project.
          With the help of some luck, we found the Klinker library which is an opensource sm-mms library for android. I spent some time going through its implementation and after having the understanding of how it works, I started implementing it in KDE Connect and within two weeks I was able to send MMS messages through KDE Connect for the first time.
          I would say, It is a great library for third-party android developers who wants to implement similar functionality in their applications.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Litigators of the Week: Shearman Trio Stands Up for Open Source Software

          Our Litigators of the Week are a team from Shearman & Sterling led by litigation partners Matt Berkowitz and Kieran Kieckhefer and associate Joy Wang. Working pro bono for the non-profit GNOME Foundation, they won a victory for literally everyone in the world in a patent fight over free and open-source software.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Nitrux 1.2.9 Is Out with KDE Plasma 5.18.5 and Linux 5.6, Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), Nitrux 1.2.9 is here with some major under-the-hood changes, latest Maui apps, and all the newest KDE technologies for a modern desktop OS.

          The biggest news is the move to Linux OEM builds instead of mainline builds, providing users with automatic updates. And this new stable version ships with the latest Linux 5.6 kernel series for better hardware support.

          Also, starting with this release, users won’t have to reinstall the operating system when new Nitrux releases are available. “Updates to new releases will be provided through the package manager,” said developer Uri Herrera.

        • Linux Lite 5.0 Final Released

          Linux Lite 5.0 Final Codename Emerald is now available for download and installation.

          This is the most feature rich, complete Linux Lite release to date. This is the release many people have been waiting for.
          See below for details.

        • Linux Lite 5.0 Officially Released, It’s Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          The Linux Lite 5.0 distribution is out now and looks to be the most feature-rich and complete release to date of this Ubuntu-based OS .

          Based on the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system, Linux Lite 5.0 (codename Emerald) is here with a lot of goodies for fans of this lightweight GNU/Linux distribution.

          Highlights include out-of-the-box UEFI Secure Boot support, a new “Integrity Check” feature during live boot to ensure your PC is in good state, a new update notifier that checks for updates twice per day, and no hidden telemetry.

          The highly configurable FireWallD firewall has been included as well in this release to replace GUFW, but it isn’t enabled by default.

        • Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 5.0 ‘Emerald’ is here to replace Microsoft Windows on your PC

          Windows 7 and Windows 10 aren’t bad operating systems. In fact, they are both quite good. With that said, the newest version of Windows 10 has many bugs. Unfortunately, since Windows 7 is no longer supported, some of its users are stuck in a conundrum. They have to decide whether to use an unsupported Windows 7 or upgrade to Windows 10 that is full of telemetry and other “spying” that passes their information to Microsoft’s servers.

          Thankfully, there is another option — switch to Linux. Yes, modern Linux-based operating systems will be supported (unlike the now-obsolete Windows 7) and most will run great on aging hardware (unlike Windows 10). Linux Lite is one of the best Linux distributions for Windows-switchers, as it is lightweight, modern, and familiar.

        • Whonix VirtualBox – Point Release!

          Whonix is being used by Edward Snowden, journalists such as Micah Lee, used by the Freedom of the Press Foundation and Qubes OS. It has a 8 years history of keeping its users safe from real world attacks.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 11.4-RC2 Now Available
          -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
          Hash: SHA256
          The second RC build of the 11.4-RELEASE release cycle is now available.
          Installation images are available for:
          o 11.4-RC2 amd64 GENERIC
          o 11.4-RC2 i386 GENERIC
          o 11.4-RC2 powerpc GENERIC
          o 11.4-RC2 powerpc64 GENERIC64
          o 11.4-RC2 sparc64 GENERIC
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 BANANAPI
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 BEAGLEBONE
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 CUBIEBOARD
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 CUBIEBOARD2
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 CUBOX-HUMMINGBOARD
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 RPI-B
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 RPI2
          o 11.4-RC2 armv6 WANDBOARD
          o 11.4-RC2 aarch64 GENERIC
          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
          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 SVN to do a source based update of an existing
          system, use the "releng/11.4" branch.
          A summary of changes since 11.4-RC1 includes:
          o The wpa_supplicant.conf(5) file has been fixed in bsdinstall(8).
          o An update to the leap-seconds file.
          o An update to mlx5_core to add new port module event types to decode.
          o SCTP fixes.
          o LLVM config headers have been fixed to correctly add zlib support.
          o The ena(4) driver has been updated to version 2.2.0.
          o loader(8) fixes for userboot.
          o Fixes for compliance with RFC3168.
          o A ps(1) update to permit the '-d' and '-p' flags to be used mutually.
          o A knob to flush RSB on context switches if the machine has SMEP has
            been added.
          o A fix to Vagrant images requiring the shells/bash port.
          A list of changes since 11.3-RELEASE is available in the releng/11.4
          release notes:
          Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be
          updated on an ongoing basis as the 11.4-RELEASE cycle progresses.
          === Virtual Machine Disk Images ===
          VM disk images are available for the amd64, i386, and aarch64
          architectures.  Disk images may be downloaded from the following URL
          (or any of the FreeBSD download mirrors):
          The partition layout is:
              ~ 16 kB - freebsd-boot GPT partition type (bootfs GPT label)
              ~ 1 GB  - freebsd-swap GPT partition type (swapfs GPT label)
              ~ 20 GB - freebsd-ufs GPT partition type (rootfs GPT label)
          The disk images are available in QCOW2, VHD, VMDK, and raw disk image
          formats.  The image download size is approximately 135 MB and 165 MB
          respectively (amd64/i386), decompressing to a 21 GB sparse image.
          Note regarding arm64/aarch64 virtual machine images: a modified QEMU EFI
          loader file is needed for qemu-system-aarch64 to be able to boot the
          virtual machine images.  See this page for more information:
          To boot the VM image, run:
              % qemu-system-aarch64 -m 4096M -cpu cortex-a57 -M virt  \
          	-bios QEMU_EFI.fd -serial telnet::4444,server -nographic \
          	-drive if=none,file=VMDISK,id=hd0 \
          	-device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd0 \
          	-device virtio-net-device,netdev=net0 \
          	-netdev user,id=net0
          Be sure to replace "VMDISK" with the path to the virtual machine image.
          === Amazon EC2 AMI Images ===
          FreeBSD/amd64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:
            eu-north-1 region: ami-0e03245dc3ecc5d35
            ap-south-1 region: ami-0100269e4d1a56492
            eu-west-3 region: ami-04d69369363a0d91f
            eu-west-2 region: ami-054fee32718b85ae0
            eu-west-1 region: ami-0b4ed21ce2fcffb67
            ap-northeast-2 region: ami-0ab69ea831245c032
            ap-northeast-1 region: ami-014ed1c7002845dae
            sa-east-1 region: ami-0779883a279143da5
            ca-central-1 region: ami-03526c4e41fbc5c0c
            ap-southeast-1 region: ami-0a1526319c431a535
            ap-southeast-2 region: ami-07b5f0fabb533a3ca
            eu-central-1 region: ami-0538d62ee3be9f769
            us-east-1 region: ami-059d76ab6e6e4063a
            us-east-2 region: ami-0c46e32a6eb527e29
            us-west-1 region: ami-0d46479f45e84d1f2
            us-west-2 region: ami-04d001870b4236742
          === Vagrant Images ===
          FreeBSD/amd64 images are available on the Hashicorp Atlas site, and can
          be installed by running:
              % vagrant init freebsd/FreeBSD-11.4-RC2
              % vagrant up
          === Upgrading ===
          The freebsd-update(8) utility supports binary upgrades of amd64 and i386
          systems running earlier FreeBSD releases.  Systems running earlier
          FreeBSD releases can upgrade as follows:
          	# freebsd-update upgrade -r 11.4-RC2
          During this process, freebsd-update(8) may ask the user to help by
          merging some configuration files or by confirming that the automatically
          performed merging was done correctly.
          	# freebsd-update install
          The system must be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before
          	# shutdown -r now
          After rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to install the new
          userland components:
          	# freebsd-update install
          It is recommended to rebuild and install all applications if possible,
          especially if upgrading from an earlier FreeBSD release, for example,
          FreeBSD 11.x.  Alternatively, the user can install misc/compat11x and
          other compatibility libraries, afterwards the system must be rebooted
          into the new userland:
          	# shutdown -r now
          Finally, after rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to remove
          stale files:
          	# freebsd-update install
        • May 2020: OpenSMTPD 6.7.1p1 release, table-procexec and many PoCs

          TL;DR: Worked on the OpenSMTPD 6.7 release; Did a lot of work on the new table API; Wrote several PoCs;

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 2020.05 snapshot

          OMLx ’Rock’ (currently 4.1) is for users who want a stable system.

          Please note that Rock system will receive only bug fixes and security updates.

          The user wishing for the latest and brightest without having to wait for a new release may want to install ’Rolling’ instead, our new release branch which we are going to officially announce very soon.

          By default, only /main repository is enabled in OpenMandriva releases. If you want to find out all the packages available please use Software Repository Selector (om-repo-picker) and enable additional repositories. Guide here.

          From time to time we make available Rock snapshots that include fixes for bugs reported after release, and/or important new improvements.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Q&A: How open source made Kubernetes appealing to enterprise app developers

          A: We are at an interesting inflection point right now with computing. We went from physical hardware to virtual machines to containers and to concepts like serverless computing. And we’re asking questions like, “Can it get even smaller?”

          We’re trying to make the underlying platform more powerful, but less and less visible. So if it’s invisible to developers, do we just stop caring about it?

          But you could make the same argument with Linux, right? If the application is done well, and Linux is doing its job, you shouldn’t care about it. It’s just running, it’s fast, it’s scalable. Kubernetes probably follows that path more than anything.

        • How open source communities work and what enterprises can learn
        • Inside Red Hat: Its open source heritage means big opportunity in cloud computing

          The open source proposition has been embedded in Red Hat’s roots since the company’s founding in 1993 and has since remained at the core of its guiding principles, with Linux operating system (OS) at the heart of all its innovations. Vendor loyalty and clearly charted paths were the mantras many companies operated on for years, while “digital transformation” was barely on an enterprise’s short-term road map.

          Then a decade ago, cloud adoption surged, creating the impetus to embrace more agile and flexible development models, and open source technologies emerged.


          While the topic of COVID-19 did not overtly dominate the discussions or significantly color the overarching Red Hat messaging, it became clear that the ability to pivot rapidly, embrace change and remain flexible will underscore Red Hat’s efforts to successfully promote transformation amid the pandemic. Red Hat’s reputation has historically been predicated on its open and agile approach to development and deployment, long before such attributes were considered valuable, let alone essential.

        • Red Hat: Holding Its Own and Fueling Open Source Innovation

          When IBM acquired Red Hat for $34 billion in 2019, it was considered the industry’s largest software acquisition. The synergy between the two companies led them to become one of the leading hybrid multi-cloud providers globally.

          In most acquisitions, the acquired entity sometimes loses momentum and sheds some of its original luster. This does not seem to be the case with Red Hat.

      • Debian Family

        • Free software activities in May 2020

          The Open Source Initiative held their twice-annual multi-day ‘face-to-face’ board meeting — this time held virtually — and participated in the accompanying conversations on strategy, tactical and governance issues, as well as the usual discussions regarding licensing and policy (minutes pending). I also attended the regular monthly meeting for Software in the Public Interest (minutes).

        • Sparky news 2020/05

          The 5th monthly report of 2020 of the Sparky project:

          ? Linux kernel updated up to version 5.6.15 & 5.7-rc7
          ? added to repos: Riot-desktop which replaces Riot-web, Xdman, RadioStation (a fork off Radiotray-Lite), Beaker Browser
          ? Sparky 2020.05 of the rolling line released
          ? Sparky 2020.05 Special Editions released
          ? new app: ‘spterm’ (Sparky Terminal) – a very simple terminal emulator (a fork of k3rmit) which will be used by Sparky tools
          ? new desktop: Openbox Noir – a variant of the Openbox, which provides dark and modern looks and feel of a lightweight desktop; by lami07

        • OpenOCD snapshot uploaded to Debian experimental

          One of the things I maintain in Debian is OpenOCD. I say maintain, but it’s so far required very little work, as it’s been 3 years since a release (0.10.0). I’ve talked about doing a git snapshot package for some time (I have an email from last DebConf in my inbox about it, and that wasn’t the first time someone had asked), but never got around to it. Spurred on by some moves towards a 0.11.0 release I’ve built a recent snapshot and uploaded it to the experimental suite in Debian.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Magazine #157

          This month:
          * Command & Conquer
          * How-To : Python, LivePatch, and Rawtherapee
          * Graphics : Inkscape
          * Graphics : Krita for Old Photos
          * Linux Loopback
          * Everyday Ubuntu : Turbogfx 16
          * Ubports Touch : OTA-12
          * Review : Ubuntu, Lubuntu and Budgie 20.04
          * Ubuntu Games : Eagle Island
          plus: News, My Story, The Daily Waddle, Q&A, and more.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • What is open source project governance?

        In many discussions of open source projects and community governance, people tend to focus on activities or resources like “speaking for the project” or “ownership of the web domain.” While documenting these things is useful, they aren’t truly governance matters. Alternately, others focus exclusively on technical matters like election rules, codes of conduct, and release procedures. While these might be the tools of governance, they’re not governance itself.

        So what exactly is open source project governance?

        In short, governance is the rules or customs by which projects decide who gets to do what or is supposed to do what, how they’re supposed to do it, and when.

        This definition of governance can prompt important questions for open source communities seeking to evolve their governance models. Let’s explore how.

      • Stop ‘Reinventing The Wheel’: Almanac Creates Open-Source Templates Library With $9M Seed Round

        Almanac, a cloud-based platform for professionals to create, collaborate and share open-source work documents, announced a $9 million seed round of funding on Thursday led by Mike Maples Jr., a Floodgate partner.

      • How open source fostered the community spirit in the tech world
      • RudderStack raises $5M seed round for its open-source Segment competitor
      • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache? CloudStack? v 4.14
      • Five Ways Open-Source Software Can Benefit You and Your Research
      • 10 Best Open Source and Free App Builders — Plus, The Top App Development Agencies to Hire in 2020, According to App Developers Rating Platform
      • Beyond Linux and macOS: The best alternatives to Windows

        FreeDOS is, as its name allows us to guess, an heir to MS DOS. A free and free version If you are looking for alternatives to Windows pro, you don’t want multitasking or a graphical interface. Here you can run all MS-DOS programs and enjoy the classic adapted to the times. It receives continuous updates and works on any standard PC if you want to use any of the old code and classic operating system programs.


        Among the best alternatives to Windows is ReactOS and so much so that from their website they promise that you wouldn’t notice the change. It came in the late nineties to imitate the windows operating system and it is an open source system compatible with most Windows applications and drivers. It was launched in 1996 as a clone of Microsoft and now, more than twenty years later it is still a good free option and with continuous updates, with a window system … it may seem retro algo’And obsolete at times but it can be a good option if you are looking for something new. You can download it from its website and, like most of this list, you will find the instructions and all doubts about its operation from the website itself. community behind ReactOS.

      • Events

        • Welcome to ChefConf Online Week

          Welcome to ChefConf Online week! On the surface, this year’s event looks a lot different than years past. While we’ve moved to a new online format, what hasn’t changed is creating the opportunity for the Chef community to gather in one place, learn about what’s new in the DevSecOps and Automation space, get best practices and expert guidance from your peers, and have some fun and celebrate what makes our community so special.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • TenFourFox FPR23 available

            TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 23 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). This blog post was composed in the new Blogger interface, which works fine but is slower, so I’m going back to the old one. Anyway, there’s no difference from the beta except for outstanding security fixes and as usual, if all goes well, it will go live Monday evening Pacific time.

      • CMS

        • Strapi Announces General Availability of Popular Open Source Content Management System, Adds Enterprise Support

          Strapi, the company spearheading the development of the most popular open-source headless content management system (CMS), today announced the general availability of its Community Edition after 24 months of rapid iteration. The company also announced the availability of paid support for enterprises deploying Strapi in production and disclosed plans for an Enterprise Edition, which is currently in private beta testing with select companies.

          The Strapi CMS is completely customizable using application programming interfaces (APIs) so that content from databases and files can be accessed for display on websites, smartphones, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Strapi works with all the JAMstack static site generators and front-end frameworks (like Gatsby.js, Next.js, Nuxt.js, Angular, React, Vue.js), provides support for both SQL and NoSQL databases and can be easily deployed anywhere: on-premises, in a PaaS (Platform as a Service) or any public cloud. The flexibility and extensibility of the Strapi CMS combined with the simplicity of creating powerful APIs in minutes give content creators and developers unprecedented easy access to content enabling them to build better digital experiences.

      • Finance: BTCPay, Bitcoin and Bitamp

        • Cryptocurrency Documentary to Air on Discovery Science Channel

          “Open Source Money,” a documentary series on a crypto firm fully financed with cryptocurrency will air on cable television in the United States.


          Since the publishing of Bitcoin’s (BTC) whitepaper in 2009, the public awareness of cryptocurrencies and blockchain has come a long way. From an obscure technology known only to information technology enthusiasts and cybercriminals, it has since gained adoption and recognition from major public figures.

        • Science Channel to air blockchain series in July; “Space Launch Live” rescheduled

          Produced by Vision Tree Media, Open Source Money (pictured) will examine the history of the Disney-incubated blockchain technology company that was launched in 2017.

        • Start-Up Says Its Open-Source Protocol Can Make Exchanges Obsolete

          A young Dutch start-up says its innovative blockchain platform could put centralized exchanges out of business.

          Hybrix offers an open-source protocol that allows value to be freely transported between all distributed ledgers. It is complemented by a token that is “technically borderless” and not confined to any single blockchain.

          According to the company, it currently supports 32 blockchains and 387 tokens, including some of the industry’s best-known networks: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Zcash.

        • OKCoin Grants $100,000 To BTCPay Server Toward Its Open-Source Development

          Today, San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin announced a $100,000 donation to open-source bitcoin payment processor project BTCPay Server.

          The funding comes as part of the OKCoin Independent Developer Grant, which was launched last year. BTCPay Server’s product is free to use and its dependent on such contributions to continue operations.

        • Bitcoin Is Open Source Software That Runs on Nodes Distributed on The Network

          On the internet there are many sites that perform an exchange function, exchange currency with a commission. In these spaces you can speculate on the oscillations. Once you buy in bitcoin then then does the coin become impossible to trace?

          Yes and no: if I buy an asset whose value fluctuates and sell it with a profit, then it will be up to me to declare (or not) the capital gain. But once turned into bitcoin, isn’t it money that is no longer traceable?

          No, the exchange accounts are verified with an identity card and often with proof of residence, you are super-registered. Then, in the network there are various mixing systems – as it is called – that allow you to lose track of who bought what.

        • Bitcoin Cash Tokenization Bolstered by the Creation of an SLP Foundation

          A new organization has been created called the SLP Foundation and it aims to bolster SLP development, growth, and common practices. The Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) is an easy-to-use system that allows anyone to create tokens on top of the BCH chain. The new SLP Foundation will be a nonprofit group and it has already been funded by many crypto proponents since the idea came to life.

        • Bitamp launches open-source Bitcoin wallet

          Bitamp, an easy to use client-side open-source Bitcoin wallet, has recently launched its flagship product, a wallet that can send and receive BTC from anywhere, on any device. One can log in with their seed and private key or create a new wallet by recording a 12-word seed on the Company’s website.

        • Bitamp Launches Open-Source Wallet

          Although Bitcoin mobile wallets are a dime a dozen, users may miss the simplicity of the simple web wallet which can provide the most anonymity and security for users on the go. Bitamp was recently launched to address this need.

          The team behind Bitamp has created an easy to use Bitcoin web wallet that allows users to maintain access to their private keys. Users can send and receive BTC from anywhere without downloading a mobile app that may only be available on Android or iOS. The ability for users to access their wallets on any device creates the perfect conditions for maintaining anonymity.

        • Bitamp Launches Secure, Privacy-Centric Open Source Bitcoin Wallet

          As the world economy sets out on a long path to recovery, cryptocurrencies are expected to play a major role as a store of value during uncertain times. In such a scenario, having a reliable and trustworthy application that allows users to manage their cryptocurrencies in a safe and secure manner can be immensely helpful. Recently launched Bitamp’s Bitcoin wallet aims to be just that, and rightly so.

        • BitAmp – The Next New Open Source Wallet

          The developers behind new entrant Bitamp’s Bitcoin wallet have created an easy-to-use client-side open-source Bitcoin wallet to fill this need. The Bitamp wallet allows users to send and receive Bitcoin from anywhere, on any device. The interface also allows users to create new Bitcoin wallets in an instant by writing down a 12 word seed. Users who have generated seed phrases on other platforms such as Electrum, Mycelium, Ledger, can access their Bitcoin anonymously and securely via the Bitamp site.

          With Bitcoin’s open source roots, it comes as no surprise that Bitamp’s product was developed as a web based open-source wallet free for everyone. The Company’s developments are funded by donations and the product is released under an MIT license.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Open Source Vet Joins Taylor English IP Team In San Antonio

            Taylor English Duma LLP announced this week it has hired a veteran intellectual property attorney from Dykema Gossett PLLC who is experienced with open source software to the firm’s intellectual property practice in San Antonio, Texas.

            Van Lindberg joined Atlanta-based Taylor English as partner in March after serving as a member at Dykema Gossett for about three years, where he represented companies in high-stakes litigation and inter partes reviews.

            Before that, Lindberg made his name in the open source community by serving as general counsel, vice president of technology and vice president of intellectual property at cloud computing service company Rackspace,…

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • How Open-Source Data Can Drive Automotive Innovation
          • LiDAR-Captured Road Data Now Publicly Available in Open-Source Machine Learning Dataset

            Scale AI says COVID-19 has shown the value of autonomous vehicles for no-contact delivery. They’re making real-world road data available to train machine learning models to this end.

            Last week, Scale AI released PandaSet to the open-source community. According to Scale AI, PandaSet is the world’s first publicly-available machine learning dataset to include images from forward-facing solid-state LiDARs and mechanical spinning LiDARs. These two LiDAR technologies from Hesai will allow ML development teams to reap complex, real-world road data.

          • Podcast: Why should you take a closer look into Open Source GIS?
          • This German town replicated itself in VR to keep its tourism alive

            Nicolai Reith, Head of the Control and Communication department and advisor to the Mayor of Herrenberg, told Cities Today: “You don’t have to make a decision and then see [what happens]; you can see before you make the decision what the effect will be via the digital twin. This makes it easier to make the right decision for our city council, politicians, and citizens.”Herrenberg is already using the digital twin, which incorporates super-computing and technologies typically deployed in advanced aerospace, to visualize city data and citizens’ emotional responses to inform better decision-making.

            There are now plans to develop the emerging area of virtual tourism for the town, which has a population of around 31,000.

            “We have a very beautiful city center so tourists can explore it in a digital way with VR glasses before they come to Herrenberg, which is an interesting benefit for the future,” Reith said.


            The team then added in geographic information system (GIS) data and traffic control systems data to incorporate topography, road geometry , and detailed traffic flows. Using the open-source fluid dynamics code OpenFOAM — which is typically used for modeling fuel injector sprays or airplane aerodynamics —they also created realistic models of the movement of wind and emissions through the city.

      • Programming/Development

        • XSD2Go – Automatically generate golang xml parsers

          Most of my readers will probably have an experience with the wide spread XML applications like RSS or Atom feeds, SVG, XHTML. For those well known XML applications you will find good library encapsulating the parsing for you. You just include existing parser in your project and you are done with it. However, what would you do if you cannot use it (think of license mismatch), or what would you do if there was no parsing library at all?

          There are many XML applications around. Here comes a (probably incomplete) list of XML formats, I had to touch in my past life: Atom, DocBook, Office Open XML, OpenDocument (ODF), OSCAL, Rolie, RSS, SAML, SCAP (+dozens of sub-formats), SOAP, SVG, XMPP, Epub, WS-Policy, XHTML, XSLT.

        • 8 IT jobs in flux

          If there’s one universal piece of advice for IT professionals, it’s “don’t get too comfortable.” The role or project you were hired for may quickly evolve or even become obsolete as the technology landscape changes. Your important title, such as scrum master or agile team lead, may lose its prestige if your organization someday gives up on agile practices.

          In the ever-evolving IT industry, it’s up to individuals to stay adaptable. It’s also up to leaders to help each person on the team recognize the value they bring to the organization outside of their job description – and to reallocate, re-organize, and re-imagine talent as appropriate.

        • What is Deno? | AWS Open Source Blog

          Deno’s approach to ES Modules is generating a lot of debate around package management, especially concerning security. For example, will this prevent another left-pad incident? Regardless of your gut reaction, I highly recommend reading the docs.

          I think the explicitness of import-from-URL will make developers think carefully about dependency management; however, I suspect many teams will handle this problem similarly to how they handle npm: with lock files, proxies, and white-listed internal registries.

        • drat 0.1.6: Rewritten macOS binary support

          A new version of drat arrived on CRAN overnight, once again taking advantage of the fully automated process available for such packages with few reverse depends and no open issues. As we remarked at the last release fourteen months ago when we scored the same nice outcome: Being a simple package can have its upsides…

        • Stack Overfow Developer Survey 2020

          Ruby is now in consistent decline, I have read people linking this to Twitter moving away from Ruby on Rails. My observation is that Ruby on Rails seems to have gone out of fashion in favor of lightweight server frameworks and I would suggest that Kubernetes has sidelined Puppet, so organizations aren’t bring in Ruby via apps/frameworks they want to use.

          I am curious that the Hack language (from Facebook) might be splitting the PHP community whilst PHP’s killer apps are being eroded. WordPress is still hugely popular, but in generally I observe that blogs have been replaced by social media (Facebook, Medium, etc), rather than running Wikimedia organizations seem in love with Confluence, and that SMB company websites are being captured by WIX, Shopify et al. Wikimedia was using HHVM but is not following it to Hack and Box had success with HHVM but I can’t find any update.

          I think that Go is taking share from Python and somewhat Java. Google itself is using Go internally which radiates outwards in terms of mindshare of their alumni. A range of software written in Go is currently vogue (Kubernetes, Docker etc Although Docker seem to have stumbled with Docker Swarm and Redhat is shipping their own) which means it will be in organizations via that software.

        • The 14 most loved programming languages, according to a study of 65,000 developers
        • Converting snake_case keys to camelCase in Elixir

          Converting a snake_case map keys to camelCase is a pretty common task in the snake-case-style languages working with the JavaScript frontend. Here are the basics in understanding how you can convert maps to camelCase style in Elixir.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 62: Sort Email Addresses

            Write a script that takes a list of email addresses (one per line) and sorts them first by the domain part of the email address, and then by the part to the left of the @ (known as the mailbox).

            Note that the domain is case-insensitive, while the mailbox part is case sensitive. (Some email providers choose to ignore case, but that’s another matter entirely.)

            If your script is invoked with arguments, it should treat them as file names and read them in order, otherwise your script should read email addresses from standard input.

        • Python

          • Duck Typing

            Duck typing is the idea that instead of checking the type of something in Python, we tend to check what behavior it supports (often by attempting to use the behavior and catching an exception if it doesn’t work).

          • The Iterator Protocol

            Iterators are all over the place in Python. You can often get away without knowing and understanding the word “iterator”, but understanding this term will help you understand how you can expect various iterator-powered utilities in Python to actually work.

          • How I learnt Django

            I am a Python developer and I love writing and building awesome stuff for people to use.

            This is a quick post for newbies about to dive into Django, here I’ll give short summaries of my experience in learning Django and tips/advice on how to work with Django.

          • Contrast sinks fangs into Python

            Contrast Security is one of those firms talking about the new breed of so-called self-protecting software, where AI and machine learning come to the fore with predictive functions make our infrastructure layers ever more autonomous.

            The company is now focused on the open source programming language Python due to its widespread use in web application development.

            As many readers will know, Python is a dynamic language equipped with built-in data structures and simple syntax – which makes it attractive for rapid application development as well as a scripting language.

            In terms of use, Python is used by Netflix to stream videos to more than 100 million homes worldwide, power the photo-sharing site Instagram and aid NASA in space exploration.


            Contrast’s platform includes: Interactive application security testing (IAST), which is run in preproduction, detects vulnerabilities in both custom code and libraries during normal use by gathering data from running code.Software composition analysis (SCA), which analyses libraries to identify potentially vulnerable third-party and open-source components.

          • Splitwise Telegram Bot

            Splitwise is a free tool for friends and roommates to track bills and other shared expenses.

            I created a telegram bot with which you can integrate your Splitwise account and can use Telegram for managing your expenses.

        • Java

          • Java at 25: Pluralsight’s Teachers Weigh In

            Oracle kicked off its celebration of Java’s 25th anniversary, which arrived officially on Saturday, with … you guessed it: online content. It’s disappointing not to be able to celebrate the language and platform that is, let’s face it, running world IRL. But Big Red mounted an able effort on its “Moved-by-Java” site with inspiring personal stories from its Java team and the larger Java community, many of which are genuinely inspiring. If you haven’t already, be sure to check it out.

            I was a bit ahead of the festivities last month when I talked with Rich Sharples, senior director of product management at Red Hat, about how Java had faired over the years compared with other technologies debuting in 1995. Feel free to check that out, too.

          • How Java helps deliver the groceries

            Did James Gosling and his team of developers ever predict the sheer breadth of complex challenges Java helps solve today? From helping build mobile apps, to managing the intricacies of delivering groceries through intelligent robotics and automation, here’s why Java is a key language we’ve chosen for our mission to transform the online grocery sector through intelligent software and automation technology.

          • Why the pull request process could work beyond development – Coffee Talk: Java, News, Stories and Opinions: Why the pull request process could work beyond development

            The open source movement has changed the way we make software. The developer community always has access to publicly available code to edit and improve software quality.


            For example, as good as my Node.JS programming skills might be — and on a good day they can be quite good — do you really want me to have my way with the Docker engine source? First off, I don’t have any real expertise with Go — the language in which Docker and the Docker engine are written — beyond writing a Hello World. Second, even if I could program effectively in Go, I don’t have the proper understanding about the Docker engine required to make a useful contribution. But as the saying goes, give a developer a source code editor, a compiler and an internet full of documentation and the next thing you know, for better or worse, you’ll have code that wants to make its way into the world.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • How open standards guide us in a world of change

        As I write this article in my home office in Beaverton, Oregon, a Portland suburb, I’m relying (and reflecting) on years of work that went into standards like TCP/IP, HTTP, NTP, XMPP, SAML, and many others, as well as open source implementations of these standards from organizations such as the Apache Software Foundation. The combination of these standards and technologies is literally saving lives, as many of us are able to work from home while “flattening the curve.”

        Nothing has dominated the news more in 2020 than COVID-19. Yet, in the midst of challenging time, I’ve found opportunities for personal and industrial renewal. By fortunate (some may say unfortunate) timing, I found myself switching roles in the middle of this crisis from helping to build and run Open Source Program Offices (OSPOs) to becoming the executive director at OASIS Open, a standards development organization that is helping bring standards and open source together in practical and productive ways.

        Looking through the many articles on Opensource.com related to standards (and there are quite a few), I went on an interesting journey through the different thought processes—and sometimes biases—that people involved in each community have. What stood out most was this: both standards professionals and open source advocates want the same thing—better technology that we all can rely on.

        As I was transitioning to this new role at OASIS, some colleagues and friends in the open source world that I’ve been a part of for many years questioned my motivations for making this move. In explaining why I took this job, I reflected on the larger role I think the intersection of standards and open source can play, especially in the current crisis we all face.

  • Leftovers

    • The Glory and Duty of Beating Swords to Plowshares

      “The question isn’t: did the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 have a lawful excuse to do what they did. The question is, what’s our excuse not to do more? What will rise us?”

    • Education

      • U.S. to Expel Chinese Graduate Students With Ties to China’s Military Schools

        The visa cancellation could affect at least 3,000 students, according to some official estimates. That is a tiny percentage of the approximately 360,000 Chinese students in the United States. But some of those affected might be working on important research projects.

      • Exploring higher education indicators

        This report explores what kind of education indicators are used by external quality assurance agencies, funding mechanisms and international university rankings and whether they are fit for purpose.

      • Anti-intellectualism is back — because it never went away. And it’s killing Americans

        The late Gore Vidal once confessed, with characteristic rapier wit, “I love stupidity. It excites me.” But the excitement and hilarity of human foibles and failures diminish rapidly when the consequences include more than 100,000 corpses.

        Stupidity is a steadfast provider of humor and tragedy in Freedom Central, otherwise known as the United States. Recent highlights of American imbecility stretch from the creation of reality television to the election of a man that genre made famous, who boasted of his own intelligence with the claim, “I know words. I have the best words.”

        As stupidity reigns supreme in both culture and politics, irony searches for its audience. So do public health experts, virologists, doctors, nurses, professors and other much-maligned “elites” who have the audacity to try to save the lives of “real Americans” with the knowledge acquired through the treasonous instrument of formal education.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The “Pro-Life” Movement’s Response to COVID-19 Reveals Its Hypocrisy

        As communities reel from the devastating impacts of COVID-19, conservative politicians and lawmakers in an alarming number of states have capitalized on the fear and scarcity surrounding the pandemic. They are using legitimate health concerns as a smokescreen to enact anti-choice abortion bans. They have done so under the pretense of public safety, but their actions jeopardize the health and well-being of their communities.

      • COVID-Related Fiscal Issues Could Become New Excuse to Privatize Drinking Water

        Is Chester, Pennsylvania, the proverbial canary in the coal mine? Sure does look like it.

      • Overdose Deaths Have Skyrocketed in Chicago, and the Coronavirus Pandemic May Be Making It Worse

        As COVID-19 kills thousands in Chicago and across Illinois, the opioid epidemic has intensified its own deadly siege away from the spotlight, engulfing one public health crisis inside another.

        More than twice as many people have died or are suspected to have died of opioid overdoses in the first five months of the year in Cook County, when compared with the same period last year, according to a ProPublica Illinois analysis of medical examiner’s office death records. There have been at least 924 confirmed or suspected overdose deaths so far in 2020; there were 461 at this time last year. And much like the coronavirus outbreak, the opioid epidemic has disproportionately affected African Americans on Chicago’s West and South Sides.

      • Pay-for-Delay: Who Does the Generic Industry Lobby Represent?

        The generic industry lobby, Association for Accessible Medicines (“AAM”), often represents the public interest. In the pharmaceutical industry, it challenges brand drug companies’ anti-competitive conduct. It fights for lower prices for consumers. And it has built up goodwill for its work in these areas.

        But there is one glaring exception. Brand and generic companies often settle patent litigation. And sometimes they do so with the brand paying the generic to delay entry. To state the obvious, generics do well when brands pay them to stay off the market. But AAM’s fierce advocacy in favor of these “pay-for-delay” settlements has not received the attention it deserves.

        This essay addresses this gap. It analyzes AAM’s advocacy against congressional pay-for-delay legislation and its briefs in two recent cases involving a Federal Trade Commission challenge and California legislation. The essay concludes that in defending these blatantly anti-competitive deals, AAM does not represent the public interest.

      • Regulatory Malfunctions in the Drug Patent Ecosystem

        Patent protection for several of the world’s best-selling and most promising drugs — biologics — has begun waning. Over the next few years, many other drugs in this category will lose critical patent protection. In principle, this should open the United States market to competition, as more manufacturers are now able to produce relatively cheaper versions of these expensive drugs, known as biosimilars. That, however, has not been the case. This Article examines this problem in the context of the articulation between anticompetitive behaviors and regulatory interventions in the biopharmaceutical arena, and argues for a novel solution: a timelier response provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the form of license revocation when follow-on innovators fail to compete.

        In one significant case, the FDA approved several biosimilar versions from different manufacturers that would in principle compete with the biologic drug Humira — the largest-grossing drug in the United States and worldwide — but the manufacturer of Humira entered into multiple agreements with biosimilar manufacturers to keep the drug out of the United States market until 2023, while making it available elsewhere from 2018 onwards.

        An abundant stream of scholarship has examined the relationship between pharmaceutical markets and antitrust mechanisms to curb anticompetitive behaviors. This Article moves the debate in a new direction. Because antitrust responses generally face a time lag, the Article posits that an additional regulatory intervention is needed outside antitrust law, and it argues that the FDA is institutionally well placed to provide a first-line checkpoint for anticompetitive agreements that result in non-commercialization of approved drugs. While novel, this proposal incorporates a solution that has been hiding in plain sight: the FDA regulatory framework allows the Agency to revoke licenses under certain circumstances, including some forms of inaction on the part of the licensee. This Article shows that the FDA not only has the authority, but also the statutory obligation, to revoke the licenses of biosimilar manufacturers who deliberately fail to bring their products to market within a reasonable period of time.

        Many of the biologics slated to lose patent protection in the first half of the 2020s are routinely used in the treatment of some of the most challenging medical conditions of our time, including certain cancers and auto-immune diseases. At a time when concerns over drug prices are at the forefront of political and social debates, finding ways to instill competition into post-patent markets remains a crucial task. The solution put forth in this Article furthers the interests of different parties, as it clears the pathway for motivated biosimilar manufacturers to bring their products to a profitable market while bringing down overall costs for health systems and, in particular, for patients in need of extremely expensive pharmaceuticals.

      • Pharma leaders shoot down WHO voluntary pool for patent rights on Covid-19 products

        The heads of some of the world’s largest drug makers expressed a mix of confusion and resistance to a World Health Organization voluntary pool to collect patent rights, regulatory test data, and other information that could be shared for developing Covid-19 therapies, vaccines, and diagnostics.

        The WHO effort reflects mounting concern that some Covid-19 medical products may not be accessible for poorer populations. By establishing a voluntary mechanism under the auspices of the WHO, the goal is to establish a pathway that will attract numerous governments, as well as industry, universities and nonprofit organizations. But not every executive likes the idea.

        “At this point in time, I think it’s nonsense, and… it’s also dangerous,” said Pfizer (PFE) chief executive Albert Bourla in remarks at a forum Thursday organized by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations. Companies are “investing billions to find a solution and, keep in mind, if you have a discovery, we are going to take your (intellectual property), I think, is dangerous.”

        Similarly, AstraZeneca (AZN) chief executive Pascal Soriot argued at the forum that intellectual property is “a fundamental part of our industry and if you don’t protect IP, then essentially, there is no incentive for anybody to innovate. What is important is for companies to volunteer to provide their products at no profit, like we’re doing right now in case of a pandemic or crisis, when it’s needed.”

      • USPTO Launches “IP Marketplace” Related To COVID-19

        The USPTO created a web-based platform (https://developer.uspto.gov/ipmarketplace/search/patents) that identifies patents that may be useful in the creation of technologies to combat the coronavirus/COVID-19 disease. The website lists various patents and patent publications, seven pages with about 24 per page, that include links to the patents or publications, Issue/Publication dates and other bibliographic information. There is also a column indicating if Licensing is available for the patents/patent applications listed. The patents and applications listed have been apparently asked by the patentee/patent applicant to be included (from the tab “About the Platform):

        If you want to make your inventions available for licensing, the IP Marketplace Platform provides a centralized and easily accessible place to list U.S. patents and patent application publications. It offers to potential licensees a database of available technologies that permits searches using a variety of parameters.

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump Boosts Nuclear Weapons Spending, Fueling a New Arms Race

        Spending by the world’s nine nuclear nations climbed to nearly $73 billion in 2019, nearly half of it by the United States alone. At the same time, the Trump administration has prioritized nuclear weapons in its defense budget while abandoning nuclear treaties, fumbling negotiations and confounding allies. The administration’s lack of coherent goals, strategies or polices have increased nuclear dangers, leaving the U.S. “blundering toward nuclear chaos with potentially disastrous consequences.” Those are the findings of two separate reports published in May that examine nuclear spending and strategy under Trump.

      • What ACLU Says Was Trump Call to “Literally Murder Protesters,” Facebook Says Doesn’t Violate Standards

        “Facebook has once again failed to act against an explicit violation of its own rules and has allowed the violent and racist post to remain up.”

      • LAC standoff | India-China border row will be resolved through diplomacy, says Rajnath Singh

        The standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China would be resolved through diplomatic dialogue and India’s effort was also to ensure that tensions did not rise further, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday, in the first comments by a member of the Cabinet Committee on Security on the almost month-long standoff.

        “As of now, dialogue is on with China both at the military and diplomatic level,” Mr. Singh said in a television interview. India’s policy had been very clear that “we should have good relations with all neighbours.” Both India and China have resolved incidents that arose from time to time through dialogue and existing mechanisms, he said.

    • Finance

      • Without Relief, Millions of Tenants Are Ready for a Rent Strike Revolution

        Calls to “cancel rent” are catching fire. First came a couple of tweets on Twitter. Then progressive firebrands like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed the #CancelRent movement. Now, millions are on a rent strike. Even presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has declared his support for rent and mortgage forgiveness. As millions of tenants mobilize to cancel rent, they are not asking nicely or relying on lip service from politicians. Rather, millions of tenants are taking action by using a powerful time-tested strategy: rent strikes.

      • Newsweek Fails to Note That White House Reopening Guidelines Make Absolutely No Sense

        It’s critically important that media provide accurate reporting on what our governments are choosing to do, and what price we are likely to pay for their choices.

      • Media Elite Denounce Looting Even as Billionaires Reap Record Profits from Taxpayer-Funded Bailouts

        A mountain of studies on wealth inequality have shown its corrosive effect on social cohesion, with the more unequal a society gets, the less likely people are to see themselves as participants in a community and view others as a threat.

        (By: Alan Macleod, Mintpress News) The extrajudicial killing of African-American man George Floyd by Police Officer Derek Chauvin sparked a storm of protests both in Minneapolis and across the country. These have included large peaceful demonstrations, but also arson, destruction of property and looting. Police have abandoned multiple precincts in the face of overwhelming popular rage.

        The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. consistently argued that looting is the language of the unheard and oppressed, a physical manifestation of their marginalization. However, many in the establishment, particularly on the right, have not interpreted the events as such, and appear scandalized by them.

      • “Germ-Ridden Masses” – How America’s Wealthy Elite Describe the Rest of Us
      • French court clarifies the nature of bitcoins: A consumable, fungible, intangible asset

        As we mentioned in our March issue, in late February France’s first instance commercial Court of Nanterre, which has jurisdiction over many banks and major corporations, issued a remarkable and highly publicized ruling involving the characterization of the nature of bitcoins (BTC) under French law.

        BitSpread, a FinTech company offering investments services in alternative assets, had entered into several BTC loan agreements with the French cryptoassets exchange Paymium between 2014 and 2016. As a result of the hard fork splitting BTC with bitcoin cash (BCH) that took place in August 2017, BitSpread received 1,000 BCH. A few months later, at the end of the term of the loan agreements, BitSpread returned the original BTC loan amount to Paymium. However, Paymium also demanded the transfer of the BCHs.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Trump’s Authoritarian Executive Order Is an Assault on Free Speech—Not a Defense of It

        It may be tempting to shrug off the president’s spat with a social media platform, but we ignore such chilling conduct at our peril.

      • Microsoft ‘to replace journalists with robots’

        Microsoft is to replace dozens of contract journalists on its MSN website and use automated systems to select news stories, US and UK media report.

      • Jeff Shell Re-Shapes NBCUniversal in First Big Moves as CEO

        The Comcast-owned media conglomerate will put broadcast and cable operations under a single executive, Mark Lazarus, while combining CNBC with NBC News and MSNBC under Cesar Conde. Andy Lack, the chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, will step down as a result.

      • With fact-checks, Twitter takes on a new kind of task

        In addition to disputing misleading claims made by US President Donald Trump about mail-in ballots this week, Twitter has added fact-checking labels to thousands of other tweets since introducing the alerts earlier this month, mostly on posts about the coronavirus.

        The company does not expect to need additional staff for the undertaking, Twitter spokeswoman Liz Kelley said on Saturday. Nor is it partnering with independent fact-checking organizations, as Facebook and Google have, to outsource the debunking of viral posts flagged by users.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Sinclair CEO says he’s pivoted to local news and sports to avoid streaming services ‘sea of blood’

        Sinclair Broadcasting President and CEO Christopher Ripley has one of the most powerful positions in the country when it comes to local news — and now sports, after the company’s $9.6 billion acquisition of the former Fox/Disney-owned Regional Sports Networks in August.

        Sinclair also acquired a slice of the New York sports channel YES Network, in a partnership with Amazon. In a recent interview, Ripley talked about the upcoming presidential election, Sinclair’s “fair and balanced” news in light of broad criticism for airing “must-run” segments with conservative viewpoints, and the “sea of blood” that is the streaming wars. This interview has been edited for brevity.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • First-ever Chinese civil code adopted at national legislature: no ‘IP section’, yet still relevant

        ‘To make a civil code of China’s own is the dream of generations of Chinese civil jurists’, said Professor Wang Liming, chairman of the Civil Law Division under the China Law Society, and executive vice president of the Renmin University of China.

        The adoption of the CCC is a landmark event in Chinese civil legislation history. For decades, developing a comprehensive civil code appeared like a long-cherished wish to many. The first attempt to issue a civil code began as early as 1911, with the Draft Civil Code of the Great Qing Dynasty, and was accomplished with the help of Japanese scholars Yoshimasa Matsuoka and Kotaro Shida. Since the establishment of the PRC in 1949, four civil law codifications have been initiated (in 1954, 1962, 1979 and 2001, respectively), but all failed for various reasons.

        In particular, during the 1980s, given the rapid and enormous changes in society, and the difficulties that followed China’s achievement of a social consensus on many issues closely related to people’s livelihood, legislators took a step-by-step approach by, namely, putting aside the adoption of a civil code as an end goal and starting from separate legislations (e.g. changing from wholesale to retail strategy). Several laws were promulgated at that time, such as the General Principles of Civil Law, the Contract Law, the Succession Law and the Marriage Law.

      • Patents

        • Ajinomoto v. ITC, the Doctrine of Equivalents, and Biomolecule Claim Limitations at the Federal Circuit

          The doctrine of equivalents (DOE) allows a court to hold an accused infringer liable for patent infringement in spite of the fact that the accused product (or process) does not fall within the literal scope of the asserted patent claim(s). Prosecution history estoppel (PHE), which can be triggered by a narrowing amendment of a patent claim during patent prosecution, or by arguments made during prosecution, imposes significant constraints on the ability of a patentee to assert the DOE. The 1990s and early 2000’s saw a proliferation of legal commentary postulating that the DOE would play an important role in protecting inventions arising out of biotechnology, particularly biomolecules (i.e., proteins and DNA/polynucleotides), and stressing the need for biotechnology patentees to avoid amendments or arguments during patent prosecution that might trigger PHE. In fact, however, prior to 2019 the Federal Circuit does not appear to have issued an opinion finding infringement under the DOE in a case in which the relevant claim limitation recites a biomolecule. It finally happened in Ajinomoto Co. v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, with a divided panel of the Federal Circuit holding that a claim limitation reciting a DNA sequence, defined in terms of the amino acid sequence of a protein encoded by the sequence, was infringed under the DOE by a DNA sequence encoding a protein having a different (but similar) amino acid sequence and equivalent function. This article begins with a brief overview of the DOE and PHE, and explains why DOE was at one time seen as particularly critical for the enforcement of patent claims reciting biomolecules. It then summarizes and analyzes the results of a Westlaw search designed to identify any and all Federal Circuit decisions applying the DOE and/or PHE to a claim limitation reciting a biomolecule, including the court’s most recent decision Ajinomoto.

        • The USPTO’s Fast-Track Patent Program Spurs On COVID-19 Innovations

          The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced another new initiative relating to COVID-19 to help encourage innovation for products and processes related to COVID-19. Starting on May 8th, micro and small entity status applicants can apply for the “COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program”, which offers expedited examination of eligible applications without an additional fee. This program will provide assistance to small and micro entities such as small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and Universities looking to bring potentially life-saving COVID-19 innovations to market as quickly as possible.

          The Program’s goal is to reach final disposition of applications in the program within twelve months, and potentially as quickly as 6 months, from the date prioritized status is granted. This is a significant acceleration as it can take years before obtaining a granted application under the normal procedure. The absence of an additional fee is also a welcome offering. Normally for expedited examination, the USPTO charges $1,000 for micro entities and $2,000 for small entities.

        • Intentional Waivers of Privilege and the Opinion of Counsel: Can the Scope of Disclosure be Managed

          In any given patent dispute, the protections afforded by the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrines are foundational assumptions when documentation is created and client communications take place. The purpose of each doctrine is to encourage “full and frank communication” between lawyer and client, and afford attorneys the opportunity to permit thorough trial preparation without the fear that such material will become available to opposing counsel through discovery. Therefore, memorandum, e-mails and transcribed voicemails often contain sensitive information created based on the parties’ belief that the sensitive information will not become available to opposing counsel. However, when creating such sensitive documentation, attorneys may not always carefully consider the fact that the sensitive material may later be displayed-larger than life-to a jury examining whether their client has engaged in willful patent infringement.

        • Software Patents

          • Apple, Cisco Get $4.2 Million in Attorneys’ Fees in Patent Case

            Apple Inc. was awarded over $2.3 million and Cisco Systems Inc. over $1.9 million in attorneys’ fees in California federal court for defending against a patent infringement suit that the court said should “never have been brought.”

            Straight Path IP Group Inc. sued Apple, Cisco, and others for allegedly infringing four patents related to point-to-point internet communication. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidated the relevant parts of the patents, but the Federal Circuit reversed, finding the PTAB had construed a patent term too broadly. The PTAB upheld the patents’ validity on remand under the narrower construction, and the Federal Circuit affirmed.


            But the court disagreed because Straight Path’s “exceptional claims were the but for cause of those fees.” Apple and Cisco “were entitled to mount a comprehensive defense” against “claims that (again) should not have been brought,” the court said.

            “What goes around comes around, and not always in expected ways,” the court said.

            Straight Path also argued it shouldn’t have to pay Cisco because the Patent Act doesn’t contemplate an award based on a flat-fee arrangement with attorneys instead of a reasonable hourly rate. The Patent Act “mandates no specific calculation method and does not foreclose reimbursement of an alternate billing scheme like Cisco’s,” the court said.

            “One month shy of four years old, these suits—which should never have been brought—are finally put to rest,” the court said.

            Judge William Alsup wrote the opinion.

          • Apple Patent Wins Sent Back to PTAB by Fed. Cir. Under Arthrex

            Apple Inc. victories in two proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board were vacated and remanded by the Federal Circuit in a Thursday nonprecedential opinion after the owner of the challenged patent argued the PTAB judges were unconstitutionally appointed.

            Personalized Media Communications LLC will get a new chance to save parts of U.S. Patent No. 8,559,635, covering a system for targeting broadcast communications to specific users, following the Federal Circuit’s decision in Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew Inc.

          • Apple, BlackBerry Score Win Over Uniloc Wireless Patent

            Apple Inc. and other tech companies convinced a patent office tribunal to invalidate claims in a wireless network patent owned by patent holding company Uniloc 2017 LLC.

            Uniloc’s U.S. Patent No. 7,167,487 is obvious in light of another patent and previous publications, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board said in decisions entered Tuesday.

            Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. LTD challenged the validity of the patent’s claims at the agency tribunal. Blackberry Corp. was also joined to the proceedings as a challenger to Uniloc. The parties had identified various proceedings in different federal courts between Uniloc and large tech companies that…

      • Trademarks

        • Book review: The Confusion Test in European Trade Mark Law

          The doctrine of likelihood of confusion is the core infringement test for trade mark law. This book is the first comprehensive and systematic account of the EU confusion test – looking at its application by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), by national courts, and by the CJEU. The authors set out to articulate a clear set of rules that – they argue – are being consistently applied by European courts and tribunals, inclusive of the sub-factors that might be applied in specific circumstances.

        • Zara Responds to $3 Million Amiri Lawsuit: “Your Jeans are Generic, Functional”

          Amiri “does not own any protectable trade dress rights” in a $1,150-plus style of jeans, Zara argues in its recently-field response to the lawsuit that the burgeoning Los Angeles-based brand filed against it early this year. Despite the federal trade dress infringement and unfair competition claims that Amiri makes in connection with the $3 million lawsuit that it filed against “serial infringer” Zara in a federal court in California in January, Zara claims that Amiri lacks the necessary rights in the alleged trade dress at issue, as the design of its MX2 jeans is not protectable.
          In the answer that counsel for Zara filed with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California late last month, the Spanish fast fashion giant admits that it began selling its $50 “Combination Skinny Jeans … in or about December 2019,” a style that Amiri claims has “the same distinctive pleated leather panel detailing, side zippered thigh pockets, zippered knee closures, and skinny fit washed denim” as its celebrity-favored MX2 jeans. But even if it did offer them up to consumers in its brick-and-mortar stores across the globe and on its e-commerce site, Zara denies that it is legally in the wrong for doing so.


          More than that, Zara further argues that Amiri’s claims are barred by the (alleged) fact that while it asserts that it suffered damages “believed to be in excess of $3,000,000,” the brand did not actually suffer any damages as a result of Zara’s alleged infringement (i.e., its sale of inexpensive, lookalike jeans). The fast fashion giant also asserts that it is shielded from infringement liability in connection with its use of the design at issue amounts to fair use, a defense to copyright and trademark infringement.
          As for whether there is any merit to Zara’s claims, its assertion that Amiri’s purported trade dress lacks distinctiveness is an interesting one. While AMIRI’s MX2 pants have certainly been the subject of a fair share of unsolicited (i.e., not directly paid-for) media attention thanks to their adoption by celebrities, which bodes well from a secondary meaning perspective, it would be interesting to see whether AMIRI would actually be able to show that consumers link the trade dress at issue to a single source given that other, bigger brands, namely, Saint Laurent (under the direction of Hedi Slimane) and Balmain (in its halcyon Christophe Decarnin days), have showed similar style pants before the release of the MX2’s).

      • Copyrights

        • Fact Checking the Fact Check: Is Circulation of Free E-Newspapers Permitted under Copyright Law?

          When the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions came into effect, the physical distribution and door step delivery of newspapers became affected. Faced with these constraints, most newspapers started offering free trials on their websites for e-papers and even free PDFs of the day’s paper.

          This also led to a surge in e-papers getting forwarded on social media by individuals, rather than newspapers themselves. Newspaper Dainik Bhaskar then came out with a piece claiming that downloading and circulating PDFs of e-papers was illegal. This was perhaps a result of an alleged advisory issued by the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) to its members. The advisory took the position that downloading, modifying and/or circulating e-papers were illegal and members should take strict legal action against this.

          IndiaToday did a fact-check on this. As per it, the Dainik Bhaskar claim was not entirely true because circulation of free PDFs was not illegal. Thus, the thrust of the IndiaToday fact-check was that as long as the e-paper was free, one could circulate it.

          To what extent are the claims of Dainik Bhaskar and IndiaToday true?

        • What do copyright and authorship mean in the crowdsourced realm known as the Omegaverse?

          Addison Cain was living in Kyoto, volunteering at a shrine and studying indigenous Japanese religion. She was supposed to be working on a scholarly book about her research, but started writing intensely erotic Batman fan fiction instead.

          It happened almost by accident. It was 2012, and Ms. Cain — who grew up in Orange County, Calif., under a different name — was three years out of college, alone abroad with a lot of time on her hands. Her command of Japanese was halting, and English titles in bookstores were wildly expensive. So Ms. Cain started reading things she could find for free online, and soon discovered fanfic — stories by amateurs that borrow characters and plots from established pop-cultural franchises.

          Ms. Cain began devouring works set in the world of Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy. She decided to write some of her own, featuring Batman’s nemesis Bane as a sexy antihero, and posted them for free online. She quickly developed a fan base, becoming something of a star in her sub-subgenre.

          A few years later, she was living in Arlington, Va., and working as a bartender when she began to wonder if she could turn her hobby into a business. Her husband and parents discouraged her from pursuing something so impractical. Agents were equally dismissive, rejecting or ignoring Ms. Cain’s queries for more than a year. Then, a fellow writer helped Ms. Cain send a manuscript to Blushing Books, a small publishing house in Charlottesville. An editor read it overnight and sent her a contract the next day.

        • Netflix Impostor Bombards Google With Fake DMCA Takedown Notices

          From just a few thousand flagged URLs per week the number of DMCA takedown notices Netflix sent to Google skyrocketed to over a million recently. The reason for this increase wasn’t clear initially but Google now believes that it’s dealing with a Netflix impostor, which could be a pirate site trying to downrank the competition.

        • Watch Tower DMCA Subpoena Row Settled After Judge Hands Out Vulgarity Warning

          A row over whether a judge should allow the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society to obtain the identity of someone who uploaded ‘pirated’ Jehovah’s Witness videos to YouTube is effectively over. Concluding possibly one of the most foul-mouthed cases on record, the judge dismissed all claims of fair use while advising an anonymous movant that vulgarity in court filings “is not a good idea”.


Links 30/5/2020: Godot Editor Under Web Browsers, Alpine Linux 3.12.0 and EasyOS 2.3

Posted in News Roundup at 2:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux at Home: Brew Great Beer with Linux

      In this series, we look at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged. The change of lifestyle enforced by Covid-19 is an opportunity to expand our horizons, and spend more time on activities we have neglected in the past.

      In recent weeks we’ve seen a gradual relaxation of lockdown restrictions in many countries. But this could be short-lived. For example, schools across South Korea only opened briefly before having to return to online teaching. It seems very likely that we’ll still be spending more time at home.

    • Server

      • K8s KPIs with Kuberhealthy

        Last November at KubeCon San Diego 2019, we announced the release of Kuberhealthy 2.0.0 – transforming Kuberhealthy into a Kubernetes operator for synthetic monitoring. This new ability granted developers the means to create their own Kuberhealthy check containers to synthetically monitor their applications and clusters. The community was quick to adopt this new feature and we’re grateful for everyone who implemented and tested Kuberhealthy 2.0.0 in their clusters. Thanks to all of you who reported issues and contributed to discussions on the #kuberhealthy Slack channel. We quickly set to work to address all your feedback with a newer version of Kuberhealthy. Additionally, we created a guide on how to easily install and use Kuberhealthy in order to capture some helpful synthetic KPIs.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E09 – Breaking mirrors

        This week we’ve been getting older and adding plugins to OBS Studio. We discuss Ubuntu being certified on the Raspberry Pi, Unity Remix, if Microsoft should buy Canonical and WSL getting GUI app support. We also round up our pick from the general tech news.

      • All Good Things | TechSNAP 430

        It’s a storage showdown as Jim and Wes bust some performance myths about RAID and ZFS.

        Plus our favorite features from Fedora 32, and why Wes loves DNF.

      • Episode 11: Advice on Getting Started With Testing in Python

        Have you wanted to get started with testing in Python? Maybe you feel a little nervous about diving in deeper than just confirming your code runs. What are the tools needed and what would be the next steps to level up your Python testing? This week on the show we have Anthony Shaw to discuss his article on this subject. Anthony is a member of the Real Python team and has written several articles for the site.

        We discuss getting started with built-in Python features for testing and the advantages of a tool like pytest. Anthony talks about his plug-ins for pytest, and we touch on the next level of testing involving continuous integration.

      • LHS Episode #348: The Weekender XLIX

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

      • 2020-05-29 | Linux Headlines

        An 8 gigabyte version of the Raspberry Pi 4 is available for purchase, Apache’s Subversion celebrates 20 years of version control with its 1.14 release, Genymobile improves its ability to control unrooted Android devices over ADB, Google’s Android Studio 4.0 launches with some major changes, and the Godot project previews a browser-based version of its game editor.

      • Python Bytes: #183 Need a beautiful database editor? Look to the Bees!
      • Talk Python to Me: #266 Refactoring your code, like magic with Sourcery

        Refactoring your code is a fundamental step on the path to professional and maintainable software. We rarely have the perfect picture of what we need to build when we start writing code and attempts to over plan and overdesign software often lead to analysis paralysis rather than ideal outcomes.

        Join me as I discuss refactoring with Brendan Maginnis and Nick Thapen as well as their tool, Sourcery, to automate refactoring in the popular Python editors.

    • Kernel Space

      • Improved EXT4 + XFS DAX Implementation Appears Ready To Go For Linux 5.8

        Adding to the expected changes for Linux 5.8 is improved EXT4 and XFS file-system direct access “DAX” support.

        DAX is the means of direct access to files backed by persistent memory (such as Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory) without needing to be copied via the page cache. Thus DAX bypasses that extra copy for reads/writes to the storage device and mapping the storage device directly into user-space.

      • The Top Linux 5.7 Features From Apple Fast Charge To Official Tiger Lake Graphics

        Assuming no last minute concerns, the Linux 5.7 kernel is set to debut as stable this weekend. Given all the weeks since the merge window and our many articles covering all the feature activity at that point (and not to be confused with our activity of new work being queued for the upcoming Linux 5.8 cycle), here is a look back at some of the top features of the Linux 5.7 kernel.

        Among the most interesting new features and improvements for Linux 5.7 include:

        - Intel Tiger Lake “Gen12″ graphics are now enabled by default in being deemed stable enough for out-of-the-box support where as on prior kernels the support at the time was hidden behind a kernel module parameter.

      • Performance-Helping FSGSBASE Patches Spun For Linux A 13th Time

        The FSGSBASE Linux kernel patches that have the potential of helping performance going back to Intel Ivy Bridge era CPUs in select workloads have now hit their 13th revision to the series in the long-running effort to getting this support mainlined.

      • Linux’s Hardware Monitoring “HWMON” Picking Up Notification Support

        In addition to the AMD Zen “amd_energy” driver coming for Linux 5.8, another late change now queued into hwmon staging is introducing notification support for the hardware monitoring subsystem.

        HWMON subsystem maintainer and Google employee Guenter Roeck has queued up notification support for this subsystem. This serves as a generic notification mechanism not only to notify user-space but also the thermal subsystem for any HWMON driver events. In the HWMON context, these events could be important like warnings/critical alarms over detected temperatures or voltages for different components.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Monado OpenXR runtime development gaining momentum: version 0.2, multi-layer support & more!

          With the excellent (online) edition of Augmented World Expo 2020 in full swing this week, what better time to announce version 0.2 of the Monado OpenXR runtime for Linux!

          It’s been a very busy three months since the last Monado developer update and there are a number of exciting developments to share. Most importantly however, a big thanks to everyone who has contributed patchs, bugs and ideas to the project thus far, and who have cheered us on. The Monado OpenXR community is growing and we’re very proud to be part of it.

        • Monado OpenXR runtime for Linux 0.2 out, continues advancing VR

          Collabora have today announced the release of Monado 0.2, their open source OpenXR (VR / AR) runtime for Linux. Their work continues to be quite amazing and it’s progressing rapidly.

          In the previous update, they showed off how Monado could run the Blender OpenXR VR Session which was already pretty amazing. Now they’re going even further. One big addition is support for multiple layers at a time, they say it’s important for things like UI rendering and another step towards supporting overlay applications like xrdesktop or Pluto VR.

        • Monado 0.2 OpenXR Runtime Brings Multi-Layer Support, New Controller Support

          Monado as the leading open-source OpenXR implementation for AR/VR headsets is out with a new release.

          Since February’s release of Monado 0.1 there has been a lot of activity on the Monado front, in turn thanks to new software leveraging it like Xrdesktop 0.14.

          Monado 0.2 ships with multi-layer support, compositors and drivers run in their own service process, Vive Wand and Valve Index controllers are now supported as 3DOF controllers, Bluetooth LE and Google Daydream 3DOF support, experimental libsurvive driver support, optional systemd socket activation support, and various other improvements.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD EPYC 7F72 vs. Intel Xeon Gold 6258R – Latest EPYC Rome vs. Xeon Cascade Lake Benchmarks

        Following the Xeon Gold 6250 vs. EPYC 7F32 benchmarks from earlier this month, here is a look at the latest x86_64 server CPUs we have our hands on with the EPYC 7F72 and Xeon Gold 6258R being benchmarked against a lineup of other competing AMD EPYC and Intel Xeon processors under the new Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        The EPYC 7F72 is the third and last product of the AMD EPYC 7Fx2 line-up to test for these high frequency SKUs. The EPYC 7F72 is a 24-core / 48-thread processor with a 3.2GHz boost and 3.7GHz boost frequency while having a 240 Watt TDP like the EPYC 7F52. While the EPYC 7F52 16-core CPU has a 256MB L3 cache, the EPYC 7F72 comes in at just 192MB. But this actually puts the EPYC 7F72 cheaper than the EPYC 7F52 at $2450 USD compared to $3100.

    • Applications

      • 9+ Best Linux Screen Recorder On Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        This post is for you if you are using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and looking for a perfect screen recorder for Ubuntu. These tools are applicable for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS too.

      • MyPaint – Tablet Friendly Drawing Program Releases v2.0.1

        A while back in February 2020, MyPaint brought the major release of its 2.0.0 version with some massive changes which I have summarised. This current release is a bug-fix and maintenance update of the prior release and brings you a solid application with features and enhancements ironing out if any bugs remained after the major version.

      • Best Digital Audio Workstation Apps For Linux In 2020

        Let’s look into the list of some of the best digital audio workstation apps for Linux in 2020.

        Tracktion is a cross-platform freeware digital audio workstation apps for recording and editing audio and MIDI. Tracktion software is written in C++.

        LMMS is another popular DAW for Linux. It is a free and cross-platform digital audio workstation. LMMS is a 100% free, open-source, community-driven project.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Godot Engine

      • Godot Editor Running In A Web Browser

        Hello Godotters! It’s-a me, Fabio! In the last few months, thanks to the great sponsorship of Mozilla I’ve been working on a big surprise for Godot 4.0, namely making the editor available as an HTML5 application.

        This DOES NOT mean that we will move completely to the Web like other engines did. It will only be provided as a complementary option to the native editor, as a way to lower the entry barrier. Let me explain further.

      • Mozilla Sponsored The Godot Game Engine To Port Their Editor As An HTML5 Web App

        While we have been eager for Godot 4.0 as the open-source game engine update bringing big renderer improvements and initial Vulkan support, it also turns out there will be a new offering on the editor front…

        Mozilla has been sponsoring a Godot developer for several months to make the game engine’s editor available as an HTML5 application that can run within the browser. Godot intends to make this web-based editor complementary to their existing native application.

      • Godot Engine running in a web browser is now a thing

        Godot Engine just keeps on advancing in new and interesting ways. This free and open source game engine can now be run in a web browser – yes really.

        Writing on the official blog, developer Fabio Alessandrelli mentioned that thanks to a sponsorship from Mozilla they’ve been able to make Godot Engine available as a HTML5 application. Currently, it needs either Firefox Nightly or a very recent Chromium based browser, due to the features it needs like Shared Array Buffer.

    • Games

      • Akurra to support Linux without a stretch-goal on Kickstarter

        Game developer Jason Newman who is currently crowdfunding Akurra, mentioned here on GOL recently, has decided they no longer need a stretch-goal for Linux support.

        What is Akurra? A retro styled puzzle game, inspired by the likes of Chip’s Challenge, Star Tropics, Sokoban, and Zelda. Push blocks into holes and over pits, avoid spikes, explore caves, and ride sea turtles in order to find keys, gems, and stars that unlock new paths and friends to aid you as you explore a collection of islands chock-full of puzzles and secrets.

      • The latest RimWorld update opens up more possible paths

        RimWorld was already a deep game, with so much on offer it’s easy to get completely sucked into it and now that’s going to be even more possible.

        With the latest update, the developer mentioned their aim has been to open up RimWorld to more progression paths. Enabling you to take the game in whatever direction tickles your fancy including tribal, outlander, pro-Empire, anti-Empire, neutral Empire, use Psycasters or not, use drugs or not, use ranching or not and whatever else. The point was to have the game AI and world respond sensibly to where you’re headed.

      • Space Grunts 2 is a roguelike with card-based combat out now

        Merging together elements of a card-based deckbuilder with a traditional turn-based roguelike, Space Grunts 2 from Orangepixel has now left Early Access. Note: Key provided by the developer.

        This is the 9th game from Orangepixel to support Linux, and might possibly be my favourite yet! A very easy to get into game, with a satisfying gameplay loop that sees you travel through procedurally generated sci-fi environments with a tight pixel-art style.

      • Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert will be partially open-sourced alongside remaster launch

        Today, EA gave another update regarding the upcoming Command & Conquer Remastered Collection, specifically about modding support for the two games in it, Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert. Surprisingly, it was revealed today that EA will be open-sourcing some key parts of the game.

        The open-sourced material, “TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll and their corresponding source code,” will be under the GPL version 3.0 license, and will be released into the wild alongside the Remastered Collection’s launch on June 5. Regarding this move, EA producer Jim Vessella said that “this is a key moment for Electronic Arts, the C&C community, and the gaming industry, as we believe this will be one of the first major RTS franchises to open source their source code under the GPL.”

      • Warhammer 40,000: Gladius gets a new DLC, major update and Steam Workshop

        Proxy Studios and Slitherine continue supporting Warhammer 40,000: Gladius, with some major news dropping yesterday.

        Firstly, a new ‘Assault Pack’ DLC has been released that adds in a new unit for each faction. As the name leads on, it’s focused on raw offensive power to give you new tactical options in battle. This pack is $4.99 / £3.99 / €3.99. Quite a small DLC and the appreciation of it likely depends on how big a fan of Gladius you are, seems a bit pricey for just a few units.

      • Historically-accurate WWII adventure Attentat 1942 looking at Linux builds

        Attentat 1942, a historically-accurate adventure about World War 2 from developer Charles Games has recently switched to the Unity game engine and is looking into Linux support.

        Originally released in 2017, it was made using Adobe AIR which dropped Linux support many years ago and Adobe themselves won’t even be supporting AIR at all directly as it’s moving over to HARMAN. For game development, there’s now far better tools available for cross-platform development. The developer actually made a little blog post on Gamasutra about moving to Unity.

      • Darkest Dungeon gets a Free Weekend, Butcher’s Circus on Linux later

        Darkest Dungeon got a big free new DLC recently with The Butcher’s Circus but it comes with a caveat for Linux gamers.

        The Butcher’s Circus adds the first PvP mode into Darkest Dungeon, one that’s entirely separate to the main single-player game so it doesn’t interfere with it. It’s pretty much an arena mode, with two sides picking 4 heroes to battle with. Sounds fun though and with the Darkest Dungeon style I can never get enough of.

      • Spacebase Startopia confirmed for launch on October 23

        Realmforge Studios and Kalypso Media have announced that Spacebase Startopia will be launching on October 23. This will be a simultaneous launch across Linux, macOS and Windows which is fantastic. Realmforge Studios did good work on Dungeon 3 which worked wonderfully on Linux so we expect good things again here,

        Spacebase Startopia is a fresh take on the classic and much loved Startopia from Mucky Foot Productions, which originally released in 2001. They say it will offer up a mixture of a building sim with city-building and base-management mixed in with some RTS-styled skirmishes.

      • Path of Exile adds a Vulkan Beta, another step closer to Linux support

        Path of Exile, the free to play online action RPG just recently released a huge update that adds in a Beta version of their new Vulkan API rendering system.

        To be clear: while Path of Exile does not support Linux officially, getting Vulkan into it is progress towards it since it’s a cross-platform open graphics API. The developer talked a bit about this in a previous interview we covered, when they were talking about Path of Exile 2 and Linux was directly mentioned.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: all about the apps

          This week we landed a lot of nice improvements for KDE’s apps, which I’ve highlighted below! Of course we didn’t forget about Plasma, so have a look-see…

        • Screen Zoom and Mouse Indicator for Teachers using KDE Desktop

          Teacher who uses computer can zoom in and increase cursor visibility on screen aside from drawing free lines and displaying keystrokes. Thanks to KDE developers, Plasma desktop has these all enjoyable teaching features built-in since a long time. You do not need to install any application, just enable them on the System Settings. Together these make a complete environment for teaching especially for screencast and live presentation. I make this short article and also a video below to explain how to do that. Finally, if you want this superb teaching ability I suggest you to use Kubuntu the friendly operating system on your computer. Happy teaching!

        • KDE Ending Out May With UI Tweaks, Bug Fixes

          KDE Plasma 5.19 is due for release very soon (9 June) but that hasn’t kept KDE developers from already working on Plasma 5.20 and other components for this open-source desktop.

          Among the changes ironed out by KDE developers as we hit the end of May include:

          - The Dolphin file manager now supports mounting ISO images via the context menu when clicking on said file.

        • KOrganizer Overview – You Will Love Calendar Scheduling on Computer

          KOrganizer is a colorful and useful calendar application for computer. For years, it helps me schedule my works, teaching, and personal life and also reminds me for important appointments so I won’t forget any task I should do. It works offline and can also work with online calendar services you have. After I wrote many articles about it before, now I want to sum them up in a simple yet thorough overview of this awesome tool. Thanks to all KOrganizer developers I could reach up to this point with it. Let me share with you, it is fun! I believe you will also love scheduling after reading this. Happy scheduling!

        • How To Enable KOrganizer Desktop Integration

          As I said on previous KOrganizer Overview, it can be integrated to your desktop. To do so, simply right click your desktop clock > Configure Digital Clock > Calendar > enable PIM > PIM Event Plugin > enable calendars you have > OK. Now all schedules from KOrganizer are synchronized with clock’s calendar. For more details watch a six minutes video below. For further learning, see additional last section. Happy scheduling!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Meet the GNOMEies: Efstathios Iosifidis

          I am a veterinarian and I work at a vet practice. In 2010, my friend Kostas and I had a dream to revive openSUSE community in Greece. Our project was very successful, and the global community trusted us to organize the openSUSE conference in 2013. During that period I got involved in other open source projects and communities. Right now I travel to different cities to attend national and international conferences, I speak and represent open source projects on those events. I was in the organization committee of GUADEC 2019.


          Do you have any other affiliations you want to share?

          I am openSUSE member. I also contribute to other communities such as GNU Health, Nextcloud, ONLYOFFICE, ownCloud.

          Why did you get involved in GNOME?

          My first distro was Ubuntu and then Fedora. Both using GNOME. During my involvement with openSUSE global community, I met my friend Isabel Valverde. She was into GNOME community and she dragged me into GNOME community.

          Why are you still involved with GNOME?

          GNOME is one of the most important open source software/desktop environment. I would like to thank the community that releases new versions with many features. I use a powerful “tool” for free, so the least I can do is translate and promote it so more people can use it. Although I’m involved in other communities, GNOME is one of the most friendly and awesome ones.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Fedora 32 Workstation review – Tux over troubled waters

          The spring season continues. We shall now embark on a Fedora journey. If you followed my tirades over the past few years, you will probably have noticed that I did manage to find some semblance of reasonable productivity with Fedora, albeit after heavy modifications and tweaking. You can of course sample of those experiences by reading my reviews – Fedora 29, Fedora 30 and finally the yesteryear Fedora 31 article.

          There’s much more, but I’m sure, if you want, you’ll find the material. Anyway, on my eight-boot test laptop, I’ve had both versions 30 and 31 installed, and typically, I’d go for an in-vivo upgrade. But I wanted to start from scratch, and get a sense of how the system behaves au naturel, without any trace of my years-long polish and trim. So here we go.

      • New Releases

        • Alpine Linux 3.12 Released with Initial MIPS64 Port, Support for YubiKeys

          While not a major milestone, Alpine Linux 3.12 is here to introduce initial support for the MIPS64 (Big Endian) architecture. This means that you can now install the distribution on this platform.

          On top of that, this new stable release also introduces initial support for the D programming language, also known as Dlang.

        • Alpine Linux 3.12.0 Released
        • Alpine Linux 3.12 Released With D Language Support, MIPS64 Port

          Version 3.12 of the Alpine Linux lightweight distribution built around musl libc and Busybox is now available for this platform popular with containers and other embedded use-cases.

          While MIPS owner Wave Computing filed for bankruptcy earlier this month and other major setbacks in recent years for the MIPS architecture (including the abandoning of their Open MIPS plans), Alpine 3.12 is the first release now supporting 64-bit MIPS. MIPS64 big endian is supported by Alpine Linux 3.12 for the many MIPS64 systems still out there.

        • Today is the day! — Nitrux 1.2.9 is available to download

          We are pleased to announce the launch of Nitrux 1.2.9. This new version brings together the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and ready-to-use hardware support.

          Nitrux 1.2.9 is available for immediate download.

        • EasyOS version 2.3 released
        • Easy Buster version 2.3

          EasyOS versions 1.x are the “Pyro” series, the latest is 1.3. Easy Pyro is built with packages compiled from source using ‘oe-qky-src’, a fork of OpenEmbedded. Consequently, the builds are small and streamlined and integrated. The Pyro series may have future releases, but it is considered to be in maintenance status.
          The “Buster” series start from version 2.0, and are intended to be where most of the action is, ongoing. Version 2.0 was really a beta-quality build, to allow the testers to report back. The first official release was 2.1.
          The main feature of Easy Buster is that it is built from Debian 10 Buster DEBs, using WoofQ (a fork of Woof2: Woof-CE is another fork, used to build Puppy Linux).
          The advantage of Buster over Pyro is access to the large Debian package repositories. That is a big plus.
          On the other hand, DEB packages have many dependencies, and the end result is a release considerably larger than Pyro with similar app selection. For example, the download file of Pyro 1.2 is 418MB, Buster 2.1 is 504MB — despite the Buster build having less apps (Pyro has Qt5 and big Qt5-based apps such as Scribus, this is all missing from the Buster build, but can be installed).

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Leap “15.2″ Enters Release Candidate Phase

          The openSUSE community, contributors and release engineers for the project have entered into the release candidate phase today after the Build “665.2” snapshot was released for the upcoming openSUSE Leap “15.2” version.

          In an email to the openSUSE Factory mailing list, Leap release manager Lubos Kocman recommended Beta and RC users using the “zypper dup” command in the terminal prior switching to the General Availability (GA).

          The release candidate signals the package freeze for software that will make it into the distribution. Among some of the packages that are expected in the release are KDE’s Plasma “5.18” Long-Term-Support version, GNOME “3.34” and Xfce “4.14”. New package for Artificial Intelligence and data scientist will be in the release. The release will also contain the tiling Wayland compositor Sway, which is a drop-in replacement for the i3 window manager for X”11”. The DNF package manager has been rebased to version “4.2.19”, which brings many fixes and improvements. In addition, a lightweight C implementation of DNF called “Micro DNF” is now included. Pagure, which provides an easy, customizable, lightweight solution for setting up your own full-featured Git repository server, has been updated to version “5.10.0”. A list of some of the packages in Leap “15.2” can be found on the openSUSE Wiki.

        • openSUSE Leap 15.2 Hits RC Phase With GNOME 3.34 + KDE Plasma 5.18, Sway

          OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 has progressed to its release candidate phase ahead of the official release planned for the first week of July.

          Now onto release candidate builds, openSUSE Leap 15.2 is under a package freeze. This next version of openSUSE Leap has GNOME 3.34, KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS, and Xfce 4.14 as its primary desktop offerings. This is also the first release of Leap to contain the Sway Wayland compositor as an option. OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 also is bringing new packages for AI and data scientists, an updated DNF package manager, and many other package updates.

        • Maintaining SUSE Linux support during the pandemic

          The global pandemic and resulting government shelter-in-place or quarantine measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus have shifted the priorities of IT organizations away from non-critical maintenance and upgrades. Unfortunately, the planned end of General Support date for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 12 Service Pack 4 happens to be in the middle of this crisis. At SUSE, we understand the strain the current environment is putting on your IT operations so we have an option to help you keep your systems supported and secure.

          General Support for SLES 12 SP4 ends on June 30, 2020. Normally, organizations would either upgrade to a SLES service pack/version that still has full support or purchase up to 3 years of Long Term Service Pack Support (LTSS). Available today, organizations with current subscriptions of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP4 are eligible to receive continued access to patches and updates in the LTSS repositories free of charge for 3 months starting July 1, 2020, through September 30, 2020. Platforms included in this offer are x86-64 and IBM Z/LinuxOne. This gives IT teams more time to complete upgrade plans and evaluations at a time when staffing is limited and the focus is on keeping the business operational.

        • Developing Software for Linux on Mainframe at Home

          When developing for architectures that are not mainstream, developers often have challenges to get access to current systems that allow to work on a specific software. Especially when asking to fix an issue that shows up only on big endian hardware, the answer I repeatedly get is, that it’s hard to get access to an appropriate machine.

          I just recently saw reports that told that the qemu project made substantial progress with supporting more current Mainframe hardware. Thus I thought, how hard could it be to create a virtual machine that allows to develop for s390x on local workstation hardware.

          It turned out to be much easier than I thought. First, I did a standard install of tumbleweed for s390x, which went quite easy. But then I remembered that also the OBS supports emulators, and specifically qemu to run virtual machines.

        • openSUSE for INNOVATORS Project is born

          It is with great enthusiasm that I announce the INNOVATORS for openSUSE project, is an initiative to share projects, articles and news about innovative projects on the openSUSE platform developed by the community and public and private companies.

          All information on this wiki is related to innovative projects that use augmented reality technology, artificial intelligence, computer vision, robotics, virtual assistants and any and all innovative technology (in all hardware plataforms ).

        • Highlights of YaST Development Sprints 99 and 100

          One hundred development sprints, that’s a nice rounded number… and a good moment to rethink the way we write and publish our reports.

          Yes, you read it right. This post will be the last one following our traditional format, assuming something can already be called “traditional” after four and a half years. As we will explain at the end of this post, subsequent reports will look more as a digest with links to information and not that much as a traditional blog post that tries to tell a story.

      • Arch Family

        • Latest BlackArch Linux ISO Adds More Than 150 New Hacking Tools, Linux 5.6

          Coming five months after the previous release, the BlackArch Linux 2020.06.01 ISOs are here packed with more than 150 new tools for all your penetration testing and ethical hacking needs.

          According to the team, this latest BlackArch Linux ISO a high-quality release, which means that all the included packages have been quality tested and numerous bugs were fixed, including missing dependencies.

          This is also the first BlackArch Linux release to ship with a newer kernel, namely Linux 5.6. The Linux kernel 5.6.14 is included in the ISO images for better hardware support.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Software Collections 3.5 brings updates for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

          Red Hat Software Collections 3.5 and Red Hat Developer Toolset 9.1 are now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Here’s what that means for developers.

          Red Hat Software Collections (RHSCL) is how we distribute the latest stable versions of various runtimes and languages through Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, with some components available in RHEL 6. RHSCL also contains the Red Hat Developer Toolset, which is the set of tools we curate for C/C++ and Fortran. These components are supported for up to five years, which helps you build apps that have a long lifecycle as well.

        • Empowering remote teams to collaborate in a WFH world

          Many more people are working at home these days, and although much of this started with COVID-19, remote work from home (WFH) could become standard procedure for businesses around the world.

          Team members may no longer work on-site, in the same building, but proper communication and collaboration is still the foundation of teamwork. Of course, this means teams need to conduct remote meetings on a regular basis, more than they ever have before. Many of us already attend conference calls all the time, but remote meetings—where every team member is working from home—that is a completely new encounter for most teams.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-22

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Fedora 30 has reached end-of-life. Elections voting is open through 11 June.

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

        • Earn a badge with the new IBM Blockchain Foundation Developer course
      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Rolando Blanco: Ubuntu Desktop Makeover

          I must confess that since Ubuntu started, there have been a lot of changes that we have experienced on our desktop (each time for the better). However, I have always loved changing its appearance, to one more according to my particular tastes, sometimes up to 3 changes per year. This is one of the features that I like most about GNU / Linux, the freedom to adapt everything to my liking.

          This time, I wanted to make some slight changes in search of elegant minimalism.

          This is how I started testing a new icon pack and a tool that works as a widget and that animates my desktop, for this I used Conky.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • SUSECON Digital (halfway) – I’m with the Band!

          When I last posted, about a month before SUSECON, I was a little bit worried. As with any event, you’re never quite certain how things are going to turn out. I should not have worried…
          After over 53,000 of you read my post (thank you!) we worked night and day to finish recording, polishing, posting and hosting the best content we have ever had the pleasure to serve up at a SUSECON event. And when we opened the virtual doors on May 20, thousands of you poured through those doors to get a taste of what we were serving. (So many, in fact, that we had some troubles getting the login info out to some people – my very sincere apologies for that!) So after nine days of offering open source for the enterprise on a silver platter, here’s a quick recap of where we stand:

        • EuroPython 2020: Schedule published

          After the 2nd CFP, we found that we had so many good talk submissions that we were able to open a fourth track.


          If registrations continue as they currently do, we will have a few hundred people waiting to participate in your sprint projects, so this is the perfect chance for you to promote your project and find new contributors.

          Participation in the sprints is free, but does require registration. We will provide the necessary collaboration tools in form of dedicated Jitsi or Zoom virtual rooms and text channels on our Discord server.

        • foss-north: Enablement Talks

          During foss-north 2020 we had a group of talks related to using free and open source in various settings. I call them enablement talks. Someone with a more salesy mind might have said success stories.

          This year we had tree such talks. One from about SVT’s (the Swedish public TV broadcaster) video streaming platform by Gustav Grusell and Olof Lindman, one from arbetsf?rmedlingen (the Swedish public employment service) by Johan Lin?ker and Jonas S?dergren, and about Screenly OSE by Viktor Petersson, a digital signage solution.

        • Heads up → Online MiniDebConf is Online

          I know most Debian people know about this already – But in case you don’t follow the usual Debian communications channels, this might interest you!

          Given most of the world is still under COVID-19 restrictions, and that we want to work on Debian, given there is no certainty as to what the future holds in store for us… Our DPL –fearless as they always are– had the bold initiative to make this weekend into the first-ever miniDebConf Online (MDCO)!

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Marco Zehe: Welcome to Marco’s Accessibility Blog 2.0!

            Well, after 13 years, I felt it was time for something new. Also, as I wrote recently, Mozilla now has a dedicated accessibility blog, so I feel that I am free to do other things with my blog now. As a sign of that, I wanted to migrate it to a new platform.

            This is not to say the old platform, WordPress, is bad or anything like that. But for my needs, it has become much too heavy-weight in features, and also in the way how it feels when performing day to day tasks. 80% of features it offers are features I don’t use. This pertains both to the blog system itself as well as its new block editor. But those features don’t get out of the way easily, so over the months and actually last two to three years, I felt that I was moving mountains just to accomplish simple things. It has nothing to do with the steadily improving accessibility, either. That is, as I said, getting better all the time. It just feels heavy-weight to the touch and keyboard when using it.

          • Jeff Klukas: Encoding Usage History in Bit Patterns

            Monthly active users (MAU) is a windowed metric that requires joining data per client across 28 days. Calculating this from individual pings or daily aggregations can be computationally expensive, which motivated creation of the clients_last_seen dataset for desktop Firefox and similar datasets for other applications.

            A powerful feature of the clients_last_seen methodology is that it doesn’t record specific metrics like MAU and WAU directly, but rather each row stores a history of the discrete days on which a client was active in the past 28 days. We could calculate active users in a 10 day or 25 day window just as efficiently as a 7 day (WAU) or 28 day (MAU) window. But we can also define completely new metrics based on these usage histories, such as various retention definitions.

          • Mozilla VR Blog: WebXR Viewer 2.0 Released

            We are happy to announce that version 2.0 of WebXR Viewer, released today, is the first web browser on iOS to implement the new WebXR Device API, enabling high-performance AR experiences on the web that don’t share pictures of your private spaces with third party Javascript libraries and websites.

            It’s been almost a year since the previous release (version 1.17) of our experimental WebXR platform for iOS, and over the past year we’ve been working on two major changes to the app: (1) we updated the Javascript API to implement the official WebXR Device API specification, and (2) we ported our ARKit-based WebXR implementation from our minimal single-page web browser to the full-featured Firefox for iOS code-base.

          • Mozilla VR Blog: Scaling Virtual Events with Hubs and Hubs Cloud

            Virtual events are unique, and each one has varying needs for how many users can be present. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the different ways that you can consider concurrency as part of a virtual event, the current capabilities of Mozilla Hubs and Hubs Cloud for supporting users, and considerations for using Hubs as part of events of varying sizes. If you’ve considered using Hubs for a meetup or conference, or are just generally interested in how the platform works, read on!

          • Extensions in Firefox 77

            Firefox 77 is loaded with great improvements for the WebExtensions API. These additions to the API will help you provide a great experience for your users.

            Optional Permissions

            Since Firefox 57, users have been able to see what permissions an extension wants to access during the installation process. The addition of any new permissions to the extension triggers another notification that users must accept during the extension’s next update. If they don’t, they won’t receive the updated version.

            These notifications were intended to provide transparency about what extensions can do and help users make informed decisions about whether they should complete the installation process. However, we’ve seen that users can feel overwhelmed by repeated prompts. Worse, failure to see and accept new permissions requests for updated versions can leave users stranded on older versions.

          • Moving SUMO Community synchronous communications to Matrix

            As some of you already know, Mozilla has been working for some time to replace its official synchronous communication tool, and earlier this year we decided to launch our own Matrix instance to host our public conversations.

            In SUMO, we historically maintained a Telegram group to enable synchronous communications, and now we want to transition it to the new Mozilla Matrix.

          • Asa Dotzler: 20 Years with Mozilla

            Today marks 20 years I’ve been working full-time for Mozilla.

            As the Mozilla organization evolved, I moved with it. I started with staff@mozilla.org at Netscape 20 years ago, moved to the Mozilla Foundation ~17 years ago, and the Mozilla Corporation ~15 years ago.

            Thank you to Mitchell Baker for taking a chance on me. I’m eternally grateful for that opportunity.

      • FSF

        • Introducing Amin Bandali, intern with the FSF tech team

          Hi there, I’m Amin Bandali, often just bandali on the interwebs. I wear a few different hats around GNU as a maintainer, Web master, and Savannah hacker, and I’m very excited to be extending that to the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as an intern with the FSF tech team for spring 2020.

          Growing up around parents with backgrounds in computer engineering and programming, it did not take long for me to find an interest in tinkering and playing with computers as a kid, and I first came into contact with GNU/Linux in my teenage years. My first introduction to the world of free software came a few years later, when a friend kindly pointed out to me that what I had vaguely known and referred to as “open source” software is more properly referred to as free software, and helped me see why “open source” misses the point of free software. After learning about and absorbing the ideas and ideals of free software, I have since become a free software activist. As a computer scientist who enjoys studying and hacking on various programs and sometimes writing my own, I have made a point of releasing all I can under strong copyleft licenses, particularly the GNU AGPL license.

          My involvement with the GNU Project started in 2016, first as a volunteer Web master, and later as one of the maintainers of GNUzilla and IceCat late last year. Also around the same time, I led a group of volunteers in organizing and holding EmacsConf 2019 as a completely online conference, using only free software tools, much like the excellent LibrePlanet 2020. I love GNU Emacs, and use it more than any other program. GNU Emacs helps me do a wide variety of tasks such as programming, reading and composing emails, and chatting via IRC.

      • Programming/Development

        • Hello Android development world

          Today at Red Hat we have another “Day of Learning”. To this day I have never touched Android development, just installing various flavours and configuring it. But I’ve been curious about it for a while now, mostly to be able to fix a little thing here and there in all the great things available on F-Droid. So today was an excellent opportunity!

          The first thing to do is to install Android Studio. This is quite straightforward – download the tarball, unpack it, and run studio.sh inside it. It even bundles a Java Runtime Environment, so I was quite surprised that it was not missing any dependency even on my radically minimal system (I fully expected having to install tons of stuff in toolbox).

        • Performant Containerized Go* Applications with Intel? Advanced Vector Extensions 512 on Clear Linux* OS

          Major cloud software such as Docker*, etcd*, Istio*, Kubernetes*, Prometheus*, and Terraform* use the Go* programming language for core cloud infrastructure components. Why are they using Go? Compared with many other scripting languages, Go is fast!

          This article shows how to develop performant Go applications that leverage Intel? Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel? AVX-512) and a Go container based on Clear Linux* OS to improve the performance potential of Go.


          Go is an open source programming language with concurrency mechanisms that help developers make full use of multicore and networked machines. It is expressive, modular, and efficient. Go based data science and analytic applications typically leverage gonum, a set of libraries for matrices, statistics, and optimization. Libraries like gonum build on top of a lower-level BLAS (Basic Linear Algebra Subroutines) layer.

          Gonum / netlib creates wrapper packages that provide an interface to Netlib CBLAS implementations. Because netlib uses C and CBLAS, using gonum/netlib provides indirect use of an Intel processor’s Intel AVX-512 capability, if available on the running system. The gonum/netlib recommended BLAS layer for performance on Linux is OpenBLAS.

          OpenBLAS is an optimized open source BLAS library based on GotoBLAS2 1.13 BSD version, implemented in C. It provides a BLAS layer implementation with Intel AVX-512 acceleration that is adaptable to Intel? Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (Intel? AVX2) or Intel? Streaming SIMD Extensions (Intel? SSE) only platforms.

        • Intel’s Clear Linux Working On AVX-512 Optimized Golang Container

          One of the latest performance optimizations being pursued by Intel on the open-source Linux side is providing an AVX-512-optimized container for Golang usage.

          Intel’s Clear Linux crew has assembled a new container providing AVX-512 tuned Go language support paired with AVX-512 optimized Glibc, OpenMP, and OpenBLAS libraries for operating on Intel’s Xeon Scalable servers.

        • Some notes on Corona

          In many ways, very little has changed in the way I work on Free Software projects. I get paid to do so – partly on Calamares, partly on other things – and there simply was no switch-to-remote work for me. Sitting at my desk, two monitors, FreeBSD underneath and Linux VMs in my face, with IRC for realtime communication: that’s been part-and-parcel of work for years now and nothing has changed there.

          Except that now there’s people in the house.

          One thing I notice is that when kid[1] is at the machine next to mine, it’s distracting. But how distracting, depends on what is on-screen. Java code only a little, until I feel the urge to ask what’s the issue – then I’m the cardboard cutout dog. Geometry Dash also only a little, since the rhythmic clicking of the mechanical keyboard mostly makes the same sound as my own keyboard when I’m doing something derpy like re-indenting chunks of CMakeLists.txt. Minecraft, on the other hand, drives me nuts. I just can’t work sitting next to that.

          The Slimbook sees a lot more work now, when I flee to the living room. But that’s where online lessons are happening, so I need to sneak around (sometimes out around the side of the house to cross to the other end of the room) because I don’t want to be broadcast accidentally to 20 students listening to middle-school explanations of quadratic equations. The equations are written on the blackboard painted onto one wall of the room.

          kid[0] had final exams cancelled out from under them, so they graduated from school with very little sound or fury. We wrote out a CV together and they now have a job (in “smart” lockdown times!) until the end of the summer and the start of university.

        • This’ll make you feel old: Uni compsci favourite Pascal hits the big five-oh this year

          Pascal, a descendant of ALGOL 60 and darling of computer science courses for decades, turns 50 this year.

          For engineers of a certain age, Pascal was hard to avoid in the latter part of the last century. Named for 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal, the language is attributed to Swiss computer scientist Niklaus Wirth and was created in part due to Wirth’s frustration with the process to improve the ALGOL 60 language.

          Involved in the ALGOL X effort, Wirth proposed ALGOL W, which, while not deemed a sufficient advance over ALGOL 60, became Pascal in 1970.

        • Perl/Raku

          • The [Perl] Weekly Challenge #062

            Once again, Neil Bowers, came up with another exciting task for all Team PWC members. Like always, it was fun task. Thanks to Ryan for providng sample data and expected result based on the definition of the task. Half the job done already. The only thing left for the us, is get on with the job. I noticed Raku needed slightly different approach then the Perl. It could be I am doing something very badly. I am happy to correct myself, if you find anything silly. More on this, later down below.

            However the second task of the week, N Queens, turned out to tough nut to crack for me. For the first, since I started contributing, I gave up on this. Technically speaking, I did attempt to solve it with the help of my 11 year old daughter, but it was only limited to 2D rather than 3D as expected in the task. Therefore I decided not to submit my solution. Having said that I didn’t want to loose my work, so just for record, I am sharing in this blog, just in case, if I want to re-visit the code.

          • New Arel like SQL Manager

            Some months ago I started working in a system similar to ActiveRecord. But then it became pretty big so then I centered my attention in a SQL AST manager instead.

            So I made a library that is basically an Arel port. You can see the README with most of the basic info. After looking at implementations in CPAN I realized there are many of them already but all of them based on hash structures.

        • Python

          • Add interactivity to your Python plots with Bokeh

            In this series of articles, I’m looking at the characteristics of different Python plotting libraries by making the same multi-bar plot in each one. This time I’m focusing on Bokeh (pronounced “BOE-kay”).

            Plotting in Bokeh is a little more complicated than in some of the other plotting libraries, but there’s a payoff for the extra effort. Bokeh is designed both to allow you to create your own interactive plots on the web and to give you detailed control over how the interactivity works. I’ll show this by adding a tooltip to the multi-bar plot I’ve been using in this series. It plots data from UK election results between 1966 and 2020.

          • Bruteforcing Emails Using a Simple Python Script

            Brute forcing is an essential part of hacking – it is the last resort, it offers hope and sometimes, it just works! Have you ever wanted to code a small script that would bruteforce email servers for you?

            It is imperative to remember that our brute forcing efforts are only as great as our password list, and as such, the list must be chosen with care. That said, first and foremost, we need to import the two modules we will need from Python.

          • Best Python Game Engines

            To write computer games (us oldies call them video games!), you may be wondering, “Where do I start?” To make a playable game in a decent timeframe while also learning how the program works, you will need a game framework. The framework creates many of the constructs that you will need for your games to function. You do not want to invent these yourself. These include how to draw anything to screen, how to detect a collision, and how to keep the score.

            Even making things move on the screen is complex without some underlying library. In this article, you will learn about which packages do what and how easy it is to get started on your game.

          • Week 1 Check-in

            During the community bonding period, i am working on the first step of my proposal. I have used shlex to split the shell script into tokens, and then find the seperator(&&|;) to concatenate the commands. After the review from my mentor, we find that we can improve the code. We do not need to split into tokens at first. Instead, we can directly find the seperator(&&|;) to seperate the commands. This will save a lot of time, since we are not going through every word in the shell script.

          • Backing up and restoring Zato Single Sign-On data

            This article presents a procedure for backing up all of Zato Single Sign-On (SSO) data and restoring it later on.

            A single Zato server with SQLite is used for simplicity reasons but the same principles hold regardless of the size of one’s environment or the SQL database used.

          • Attrs, Dataclasses and Pydantic

            Attrs also adds a nice string representation, comparison methods, optional validation and lots of other stuff to your classes, if you want to. You can also opt out of everything; attrs is very flexible.

            Attrs became so popular, that since Python 3.7 we also have the dataclasses module in the standard library. It is predominantly inspired by attrs (the attrs team was involved in the design of data classes) but has a smaller feature set and will evolve a lot slower. But you can use it out-of-the box without adding a new requirement to your package.

          • How to handle bulk data insertion SQLite + python

            When it comes of handling huge amount of data, the most common things that developer always does is to store data in a single manner each SQL statement has a new transaction started for it. This is very expensive, since it requires reopening, writing to, and closing the journal file for each statement. Despite that fact that they can do it in a bulk transaction. Now how do we did this? I’ll show you.

            Let’s say you have 20,000 candidate records to be inserted in your database. It really makes sense to consider a bulk transaction right? Sure why not.

          • Convert Bytearray to Bytes in Python

            Many different types of data objects are supported by Python. Two of them are the objects bytearray and bytes. The bytearray() function returns an array object of bytes. This object is changeable and supports the integer number from 0 to 255. The bytes() function returns bytes objects, is not changeable, and supports the integers from 0 to 255. This article will describe these functions and explain how bytearray objects can be converted into bytes objects.

          • List Intersection in Python

            Many object variables exist in python to store a variety of data types. The list is one of these variables and can store different types of data for different needs. Sometimes, we need to find common, uncommon, or both common and uncommon data items from the multiple lists for programming purposes. Python contains several built-in functions and operators that can perform these types of tasks for Python sets. Finding common data from the multiple lists is called list intersection, but there is no operator or built-in function for lists like sets to find the common data items from multiple lists. This tutorial will show you how to intersect lists in Python.

          • How to Execute Shell Commands in Python Using the Subprocess Run Method

            Subprocess is a built-in Python module that can be used to create new processes and interact with their input and output data streams. In simpler terms, you can use it to run shell commands and run executable binaries usually scattered in various “bin” folders across a Linux file system. You can also supply a full path to an executable binary and use any command-line switches associated with the binary. This article will explain how to use the subprocess module and its run method in Python apps. All code samples in the article are tested with Python 3.8.2 on Ubuntu 20.04.

          • How to Use the Python Isalpha Function

            Sometimes, we need to check the content of data for programming purposes. There are many different types of built-in functions in Python for string data to check the content This content may include letters, numbers, or other special characters. The isalpha() function is one of the useful built-in functions of Python that can be used to find out whether or not the content of the data is alphabetic. This function searches the alphabet in the starting of the string value. If the starting value of the string is a letter, then this function returns true; otherwise, it returns false. This tutorial will show you how to can use the isalpha() function in Python.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Blog #1

            Hello Everyone, this is Soham Biswas currently in 2nd year pursuing my Bachelor’s(B.Tech) degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Institute of Engineering & Management, Kolkata. I have been selected for GSoC’ 20 at sub-org FURY under the umbrella organisation of Python Software Foundation. I will be working on building sci-fi-like 2D and 3D interfaces and provide physics engine integration under project titled “Create new UI widgets & Physics Engine Integration”.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: First Blog GSoC 2020
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #1
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC Blog : Week 1

            Since most of the places including my university are closed due to the pandemic outbreak, I decided to get a head start and start with the project early. During the community bonding period, I had video conference meetings with my mentors scheduled every week on Wednesday. During these meetings i interacted with the mentors to have a coherent understanding of how the project design and implementation will be managed over the course of the entire period.

            Since my project involves a lot of theoretical understanding of concepts such as ray marching, I spent the period going through the theory of each topic.This week also involved going through the documentation for shaders used in VTK.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Community Bonding Check-in

            I had an onboarding meeting with my mentors where we got to know each other a bit better. They advised me to play around with uarray and unumpy without any goal in mind which I found to be a very good advice. I played a bit with special methods by implementing a simple Vector2D class and used the code in this notebook with some print statements to understand better the protocols and how they are called. I wanted to start earlier on my project so I took over a PR from one of my mentors which adds multimethods for the linalg module.

            What is coming up next?

            I’m going to continue the PR that I have been working on since it still isn’t finished and I will also follow the proposed timeline and start adding multimethods for other routines like checking class equality in array elements. Some mathematical constants and their aliases are also missing so I will be adding these too and probably refactoring the existing ones into classes. This week marks the end of my college classes but I still have some assignments and exams coming up in the following weeks so there’s a lot of work ahead of me to proper balance both university studies and GSoC but I wouldn’t have it other way.

          • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxxx) stackoverflow python report
        • Rust

          • In Rust, we lust: Security-focused super-C++ language still most loved among Stack Overflow denizens

            Rust for the fifth year in a row has held its position as the most-loved programming language in Stack Overflow’s annual developer survey, even if it’s not the primary language for most programmers and not many jobs require it.

            Rust, beloved by 86 per cent of respondents this year, recently celebrated five years since its 1.0 release. After years of appreciation for its memory safety features, speed, and other benefits, the language is making the move from an aspirational technology to a growing presence in savvy software organizations.

  • Leftovers

    • An Oath for Hypocrites

      Do you feel plagued by things like the plague?

    • About That City on A Hill

      Once upon a time, the goal of our aborning country among Puritan emigrants to the New World was “we shall be as a city upon a hill” – a haven.

    • Why Does W.E.B. Du Bois Matter Today?

      In their new book, W.E.B.? Du Bois: A Life in American History,Charisse Burden-Stelly?and Gerald Horne pose the question that every scholar of African American history, a central part of all US history, must sooner or later approach. W.E.B. Du Bois is without question one of the largest, perhaps the very largest, figure in African-American history. Fellow Pan African C.L.R. James argued vociferously, a half century ago, that even describing Du Bois as a giant of “Black History” made it too easy for establishment intellectuals, liberal as well as conservative, to push him? and his work to the side of “American history” or “World history.”? He belongs in the center of our picture.

    • In Search of the Chos?n People of Lost Korea

      I can still recall the early morning cab ride I took many years ago in Daegu, South Korea. I was in a hurry, as usual; too much soju and kimchi the night before. On my way to the hagwan for the morning portion of my day-night split shift to teach EFL to busy university-aged students cramming in some English idioms seemingly between classes. It was the loneliest cab ride I’ve ever taken. No English spoken; I pointed to a map. The interior a shrine of talismans lit by a black light, a weird Wurlitzer melody and a voice of sorrow coming from the tape player, like an oriental version of “In Heaven” from David Lynch’s Eraserhead. Speaking of hung over idioms.

    • Professional Race Car Driver Hires Expert Gamer To Race His Video Game Car

      The esports momentum due to the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t slowing down. And one of things many people are learning now that they’re either spectating or participating in esports for the first time is just how hard it is to be really, really good in these competitions. The days that bore the cliches about unskilled gamers slothing in their parent’s basement are long gone, replaced by corporate sponsorships for sold out events in full-scale arenas. In the absence of traditional IRL sports at the moment, many professional athletes are now getting into esports as well, with autoracing having led the way.

    • Plague Music

      Were Georg Frideric Handel to be beamed back to earth from the celestial realm he has inhabited since his death two-and-a-half centuries ago, he would soon have a Netflix hit, scores of viral YouTube videos with a host of marketing tie-ins—from organ pe(da)loton work-out regimens to a line of prophylactic powdered wigs so fashion-backward they’re actually fashion-forward.


      These scenes are unsettling and prescient, as in Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 film Contagion which drew in so many viewers at the outset of the Corona crisis. Indeed, it is simultaneously inspiring and appalling how entertaining Handel makes his menu of death and destruction, though this is fare no more sinister than lockdown America feasting on the misfortune of the Tiger King. Come to think of it, there’s an oratorio that Handel would easily knock out of the big cat park!

      These communal utterances are indeed great fun, but given the topic of plagues, can’t help remind us that choral singing is an extremely effective way to pass the virus, what with all the explosive consonants firing off droplets like mini-viral bombs bursting in air. The only choirs now singing together do so virtually.

      One of the earliest surviving sound recordings can be marveled at on a then newly-invented Edison wax cylinder from 1888. Barely audible over the chug and hiss of the technology is a choir of 4,000 singing excerpts from Israel in Egypt in London’s Crystal Palace. It sounds like a chorus of the dead, ghosts not just from another century, but from a vanished world.

    • Science

      • Brian Hooker and Neil Z. Miller publish another terrible “vaxxed/unvaxxed” study

        I was looking back at the blog and my blog posts over the last few months and noticed that the last time I wrote anything that wasn’t about COVID-19 was on March 16. I had been feeling that I needed a break from the unrelentingly depressing news about SARS-CoV-2 virus, the pandemic it’s causing, and all the quackery, bad science, and conspiracy theories that it’s provoked and continues to provoke, including the unholy alliance between COVID-19 deniers and the antivaccine movement. Oddly enough, yesterday I was made aware of the publication of a study that in this age of over a hundred thousand Americans dead from a pandemic seems almost quaint by comparison. It is, however, nonetheless still important because it’s yet another example of antivaxxers promoting a favorite myth of theirs, namely that unvaccinated children are healthier than vaccinated children (spoiler: they aren’t) because, of course, they believe that vaccines are toxic brews of horrible chemicals and DNA and tissue from aborted fetuses and therefore cause autism and every manner of chronic health problem, thus making our children the “sickest generation” (another spoiler: they aren’t). Yes, it’s another “vaxxed vs. unvaxxed study,” and it’s just as bad as every other antivax “vaxxed vs. unvaxxed” study out there, but superficially better in appearance. Hilariously, it’s by two antivaxxers whom we’ve met before, Brian Hooker and Neil Z. Miller.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Coverage of School Reopening Needs to Include School Workers

        The eagerness to reopen schools is understandable, but given the intensity of this crisis, the decision must come after a comprehensive review of all factors, which includes the voices of the workers who will be taking on the most risk.

      • Russia’s public health authority issues recommendations for reopening places of worship

        Russia’s public health authority, Rospotrebnadzor, has issued recommendations for gradually allowing worshipers access to temples, Interfax reports, on the basis of a government document in the publication’s possession.?

      • Common Preservation or Extinction?
      • Amid Global Pandemic—With Nearly 363,000 Dead—Trump Terminates US Ties With the World Health Organization

        “When every single country in the world is able to work with the WHO, except for one whose president advocates treating coronavirus with bleach and UV light, who do you think is at fault?”

      • Conditions Close at Hand

        Closest at hand is our Coronavirus pandemic, a virus gone viral in the American mass psyche bringing a close to home sense of our mortality. Our wars didn’t do it, at least our “volunteer” wars. When existentialism was the rage, there was a cerebral “fear and trembling, sickness unto death” but not quite the same thing as worrying whether a surface you touched, or a person you spoke to might have been your own messenger from the Grim Reaper.

      • Air Pollution Mental Illness and Covid-19

        Lockdowns imposed in response to Covid-19 forced millions of people to stay at home, businesses closed and a widespread hush descended. The major beneficiary of the controls has been the natural environment; in particular there has been a dramatic reduction in air pollution everywhere. But as countries begin to lift restrictions, road traffic levels are once again increasing, air and noise pollution rising.

      • U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World

        Donald Trump launched a new vaccine war in May, but not against the virus. It was against the world. The United States and the UK were the only two holdouts in the World Health Assembly from the declaration that vaccines and medicines for COVID-19 should be available as public goods, and not under exclusive patent rights. The United States explicitly disassociated itself from the patent pool call, talking instead of “the critical role that intellectual property plays”—in other words, patents for vaccines and medicines. Having badly botched his COVID-19 response, Trump is trying to redeem his electoral fortunes in the November elections this year by promising an early vaccine. The 2020 version of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan is shaping up to be, essentially, “vaccines for us”—but the rest of the world will have to queue up and pay what big pharma asks, as they will hold the patents.

      • Pandemic Crisis and Recession Can Spark a Fight for Real Change in the US

        American workers have a huge opportunity as a result of this coronavirus pandemic — an opportunity to massively expand union membership in the workplace, and a chance, after decades of being ignored by Congress, to finally win a desperately needed increase in the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 per hour to at least $15 per hour.

      • Nursing Homes Fought Federal Emergency Plan Requirements for Years. Now, They’re Coronavirus Hot Spots.

        On Dec. 15, 2016, the nation’s largest nursing home lobby wrote a letter to Donald Trump, congratulating the president-elect and urging him to roll back new regulations on the long-term care industry.

        One item on the wish list was a recently issued emergency preparedness rule. It required nursing homes to draw up plans for hazards such as an outbreak of a new infectious disease.

      • Many Russians are continuing to ignore social distancing rules. A sociologist explains why.

        During the coronavirus pandemic, being able to maintain social distancing in public spaces has become a vital skill. As it turns out, Russians are not coping with this very well. Meduza asked sociologist Andrey Korbut, a senior lecturer at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics who specializes in the sociology of every life, about the particularities of upholding social distancing in Russia.

      • Venezuela in the 2020 Pandemic

        As of May 27th 2020, in Venezuela, there have been 1,245 coronavirus cases (44 cases per million inhabitants) and only 11 deaths.[1] It remained at 10 for over a month.[2] Venezuela has the lowest percentage of confirmed coronavirus deaths per population in the region (0.4%) and the highest ratio of testing, 31,561 tests per million people, more than any other country in the region.[3]

      • Children Risking Their Lives. How Cute!

        If you really want to understand the ideology corporate media are constantly selling us, it’s often best not to look at how they cover serious news, but what they depict as light-hearted human interest stories. There’s always a stream of them from local and national outlets, designed to pique interest and serve as a balance to the often heavier headline content. Stories along the lines of? “Homeless Man Wins Lottery” or “Local Sisters Accepted to Harvard AND Yale” abound, often appearing at the ends of news broadcasts.

      • Russia’s coronavirus patient population approaches 400,000

        On the morning of May 29, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 8,572 new coronavirus infections in the past day (201 more new cases than the day before) bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 387,623 patients.

      • Trump Opposes Masks Because Culture War Nihilism Is His Last Line of Defense

        I don’t think there’s ever been a U.S. president with more influence with his political base that Donald Trump. All presidents are defended by those who support them, of course. Even the most unpopular failures have diehard fans who stick with them to the bitter end.

      • Masks and COVID-19: an Open Letter to Robert Kennedy Jr and Children’s Health Defense

        I join with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in opposing mandatory vaccinations. I have no faith in products like vaccines that are developed for profit under American capitalism. Manufacturing and marketing occurs without utilizing the precautionary principle, without sufficient testing, and with aluminum-based and other dangerous adjuvants and impurities. The Food and Drug Adminstration?s administrators and regulators come from the corporations they?re supposed to be regulating. They’ll return to the same corporate behemoths when their time in government service is ended, via that revolving door between Big Pharma and U.S. regulatory agencies. Given all of that, how could one not oppose unsafe and compulsory vaccinations? That is why I support Children’s Health Defense, as well as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s great environmental work.

      • How Hydroxychloroquine Could Help Trump…Politically

        This month President Donald Trump boldly continued to promote the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a protection against being infected by covid-19. In an almost off-handed comment during a briefing he said he was taking it himself, although the size of the dosage was not mentioned. At the same time, a new study of 96,000 coronavirus patients on six continents taking the drug concluded that they experienced a 34 percent increase in risk of mortality and a 137 percent increased risk of a serious heart arrhythmias. Those findings would seem to answer Trump’s question of “What do you have to lose?” in encouraging people to take the drug.

      • ProPublica Files Lawsuit Seeking Medical Stockpile Records From HHS

        ProPublica has sued the Department of Health and Human Services, claiming the agency failed to promptly process requests for records about a cache of medical supplies maintained by the federal government.

        The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court in New York, alleges that the delays violated the Freedom of Information Act, a law passed in 1967 whose purpose is to provide the public with information about federal agency operations.

      • No Lessons Learned From Bhopal: the Toxic Chemical Leak at LG Polymers India

        The port city of Vizag or Vishakhapatnam, situated on the south-east coast of India in the State of Andhra Pradesh, is home to several hazardous industries. In the early morning on 07 May 2020, five million people residing in the Vizag Metropolitan Region were rudely woken up by the alarming news of a poisonous chemical leak from a plant producing polystyrene-based products situated about 15 kms away on the outskirts of the city. As a result of exposure to toxic Styrene vapours that escaped from the plant, about 12 people and 32 animals have been?killed so far. At least another 1000-odd people – living in the adjacent villages up to a radius of six kms – have reportedly suffered injuries of whom over 800 had to be hospitalized. About 4000 others, who were evacuated in time by some alert volunteers, managed to escape without any noticeable injuries. Nearly 10,000 other residents in the vicinity were forced to vacate their?homes in panic. There are also sufficient indications that the environment through which the vapours traversed has been adversely affected. Even a week?after the tragedy:

      • BBC launches ‘Corona Bot’ to tackle COVID-19 confusion

        Currently, the tool is available through Messenger for Facebook and the BBC Facebook page, where users can type questions to BBC News; it will answer them using information from BBC News and, where appropriate, the NHS website for England.

        The corporation plans to roll out the tool on other BBC digital platforms and open up the service to other voice assistants, including Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

        Anthony Mullen, senior research director at Gartner, said that collaboration is needed between experts, publishers, distributors and consumers to make sure correct information is distributed. Otherwise, bad actors and bad narratives can prosper.

      • Survey reveals that one third of Russians are coronavirus skeptics

        One third of Russian (32.9 percent) think the coronavirus pandemic is either a fabrication, or that the disease is harmless to humanity, according to the results of a new survey published by RBC.

      • A Chronicle of a Lost Decade Foretold

        Many on the left still cling to the hope that the COVID-19 crisis will translate into the use of state power on behalf of the powerless. But those in authority have never hesitated to harness government intervention to the preservation of oligarchy, and a pandemic alone won’t change that.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Amazon will no longer support the Echo Look, encourages owners to recycle theirs

          Amazon is discontinuing its Echo Look camera, a standalone device that gave owners fashion advice using artificial intelligence and machine learning. The Look’s companion app and the device itself will stop functioning on July 24th. Between now and July 24th, 2021, Look users can back up their images and videos by making a free Amazon Photos account. (People with existing Photos accounts will have their media backed up automatically.) Anyone who wants to delete all their existing photos and videos will have to do so before the July 2020 deadline; otherwise, they’ll have to call Amazon’s customer service to have them deleted. They can currently delete them through the Look app.

        • “Virtual terrorism”: Far-right trolls are targeting marginalized groups on Zoom calls

          On May 14, thirty-one residents of an East Oakland neighborhood joined a videoconference call to meet with their neighborhood services coordinator to hear updates about upcoming community events and resources available to residents; the meetings, which took place regularly in person prior to the pandemic, recently transitioned to virtual videoconferencing app Zoom. Then, five minutes into the call, the number of attendees jumped up to 72.

          The newly uninvited guests quickly overtook the meeting — first, by chanting the n-word; then by taking control of the screen. The trolls drew swastikas and displayed pornography images for all to see.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • FINOS expands industry presence by joining the Linux Foundation

                Red Hat is part of many communities, and one community that is important to us, and to the financial services industry, is the Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS). This community helps drive open source advancements geared specifically towards the unique needs of the financial services firms, accelerating innovation and collaboration through the adoption of open source software, standards, best practices and governance.

                Red Hat joined FINOS as a Gold Member in spring of 2018, and Red Hat OpenShift is providing the underlying technology for the FINOS Open Developer Platform (ODP), one of the leading venues for community development within the financial services community.

                Red Hat has also contributed its open source leadership experience to the Open Source Readiness Project, which provides governance and open source legal guidance to banks who are first participating in open source. Additionally, we’ve provided our experience and expertise in the hybrid cloud to help progress the Cloud Services Certification project under FINOS, which works to accelerate firms’ journeys to open source readiness.

                Red Hat is also an active member of the Linux Foundation, which is dedicated to building sustainable ecosystems around open source projects, with the goal of accelerating technology development and adoption. The Linux Foundation was founded in 2000, and has helped to establish and build some of the most critical open source technologies in use. Additionally, it has expanded its work beyond Linux, to foster innovation at every layer of the stack.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libexif and tomcat8), Fedora (python38), openSUSE (libxslt), Oracle (git), Red Hat (bind, freerdp, and git), Scientific Linux (git), SUSE (qemu and tomcat), and Ubuntu (apt, json-c, kernel, linux, linux-raspi2, linux-raspi2-5.3, and openssl).

          • FYI: There are thousands of Chrome extensions with so, so many fake installations to trick you into using them

            Efforts to manipulate installation counts in Chrome Web Store extension listings appear to be alive and well, despite a developer’s personal crusade to call attention to the problem.

            Julio Marin Torres has been highlighting suspiciously popular Chrome extensions since January in posts to the Chromium Extensions forum, trying to get Googler to enforce their store policies.

            In an email to The Register, he said Google has taken some action since his initial posts on the subject, but the problem has only gotten worse since then. “Something has to change,” he said. “I think this hurts the entire Chrome Store developer and user community.”

          • NSA warns about Sandworm APT exploiting Exim flaw

            “When CVE-2019-10149 is successfully exploited, an actor is able to execute code of their choosing. When Sandworm exploited CVE-2019-10149, the victim machine would subsequently download and execute a shell script from a Sandworm-controlled domain,” they said.

            The script would then attempt to add privileged users, disable network security settings, update SSH configurations to enable additional remote access, and execute an additional script to enable follow-on exploitation.

          • Morpheus Data Strengthens Security and Automation in Latest Platform Release

            Lastly, the Morpheus software application has been updated to run on an even broader set of operating systems for additional flexibility. New support for Amazon Linux 2, Red Hat Linux 8.x and SUSE Linux is added to existing support for Debian, RHEL 7.x and Ubuntu.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Can You Protect Privacy If There’s No Real Enforcement Mechanism?

              Privacy laws can have a lot of moving pieces from notices and disclosures, opt-in and opt-out consent requirements to privacy defaults and user controls. Over the past few years, there has been significant progress on these issues because privacy advocates, consumer groups, industry voices, and even lawmakers have been willing to dive into definitional weeds, put options on the table, and find middle ground. But this sort of thoughtful debate has not happened when it comes to how privacy laws should be enforced and what should happen when companies screw up, families are hurt, and individuals’ privacy is invaded.

            • Twitter Slams Trump’s Social Media Checks on U.S. Visa Seekers

              Since May 2019, the State Department has required most visa applicants to register every social media handle they’ve used over the past five years on more than a dozen platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. The lawsuit alleges the policy violates applicants’ free-speech rights by subjecting their online speech and associations to scrutiny.

              State and the Department of Homeland Security, the named defendants in the case, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

            • Who profits from our medical records?

              These data owners also sell access to medical and genetic data for many beneficial uses. For example, if researchers want to know the long-term side effects of a drug, they can access 10-years of data for 20 million people and check for side-effects or dangerous drug interactions occurred.

              The critical point here is that, today, patients do not generally own exclusive rights to their own data. Once a patient shares their data, they have little or no say in how it is used. Most of them do not even know their data is being sold, and never see any direct profit from the sale of their data. But that could change. In an age where consumers know that Facebook, Google, Amazon and others are exploiting their electronic data for profit — and governments in Europe and elsewhere are legislating limits on these data uses — the models for medical data ownership may soon be ripe for overhaul.

            • Mark Zuckerberg Worried for Facebook in Hong Kong After China’s Security Move

              The draft law is intended to prevent any threat to Beijing’s authority in the city through secession, subversion, terrorism or foreign interference. It may allow mainland security forces to operate within Hong Kong, and is widely expected to curb personal liberty, such as freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. China’s own media is one of the most controlled of any country in the world and its own social media services are heavily censored.

            • Facebook’s New App Wants Sports Fans Looking at Their Mobile Phones

              Here’s how it works: The commentators will host a so-called venue for each event, where they’ll provide commentary, pose questions or polls and participate in chats tied to a specific moment in the game.

            • Russian regulators reportedly turn to court enforcement officers, after Facebook and Twitter ignore noncompliance fines

              Russia’s battle with Facebook and Twitter has taken another turn: the two social media giants have reportedly failed to pay 4-million-ruble ($56,500) fines imposed for refusing to store Russian users’ data on servers in Russia. A source close to Roskomnadzor (Russia’s federal censor) told the newspaper Kommersant that the agency has submitted a writ of execution to court enforcement officers.

            • Google sued by Arizona for tracking users’ locations in spite of settings

              Arizona has filed suit against Google over tracking users’ locations even after they’ve turned tracking off, claiming that the advertising-fueled tech titan has a “complex web of settings and purported ‘consents’” that enable it to furtively milk us for sweet, sweet ad dollars.


              There is a constant tension between security and privacy. We’re used to governments making arguments about giving up privacy for the sake of security, but the same trade-off can show up in computer security, too. In this case, Apple has implemented an online check for every executable run by a macOS Catalina system. If you’re running macOS 10.15, you might have noticed your system is a bit slower than it should be. It seems that when connected to the internet, a modern Mac will upload a hash of each binary to Apple, assumably to check it against a blacklist of known malware.

              The Reddit thread discussing this issue had a few more interesting observations. First off, one user pointed out that he had observed this issue while flying and connected to the terrible in-flight wifi. A second poster observed that a Mac will take an inordinate amount of time to reboot when connected to a network without internet access.

              While there is likely an upside, this approach is terrible for performance and user privacy, and a breach of trust between Apple and their users. If they wanted to monetize the data, Apple now has a record of which binaries are run by which users and when. This sort of behavior should be documented at the very least, and come with an off switch for those who don’t wish to participate. The fact that it was discovered by internet sleuths is a black eye for Apple.

            • India’s contact tracing app made open source, but will this thwart a surveillance state?

              Two days ago, the government of India announced that it would publicly release the source code for its coronavirus contact tracing app, Aarogya Setu. However, the folks at MIT aren’t terribly impressed with Aarogya Setu’s safety quotient nor its collection of all manner of data beyond what contact tracing demands.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Goodness Gracious, David Ignatius!!

        The?Washington Post’s senior diplomatic columnist, David Ignatius, has done it again.? He has a well-earned reputation as an apologist for the Central Intelligence Agency and a defender of increased defense spending and the newly-created Space Force.? Now, Ignatius has added a new plaque to his personal Hall of Fame—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.? In an oped for the?Post?on May 27, Ignatius has defended Pompeo’s fund-raising dinners at the lavish ceremonial rooms of the Department of State, which incidentally was one of the issues being investigated by the State Department’s Inspector General, Steve Linick.

      • The Sociopolitical and Historical Context That Shaped Kashmiri Women Like My Grandmother in the 1940s

        In what ways are women present in political contexts??Kashmiri women, from different walks of life, have managed against all odds to express their agency during the plethora of political, social, and military transformations in the past nine decades. During the growing sense of nationhood in the 1930s, and during the political awakening in the 1940s Kashmiri women forged broad coalitions and informal networks to challenge state-centered, feudal, and elitist notions of identity and security.

      • What’s NATO Up to These Days? Provoking Russia, Draining Healthcare Budgets and Protecting Its Own from COVID

        In November 2019, as experts warned that a novel coronavirus was likely to develop in the near-future, NATO boasted that its European Allies, including the UK, as well as Canada, were boosting their military budgets by an average of 4.6 percent, or an additional $130bn since 2016. The implication is that this increase in military spending is at the expense of healthcare, which is being privatized worldwide.

      • “Trust Was a Central Theme”: We Talked to a Navy Commander About How He Helped Us Uncover Staggering Failures From Senior Navy Leadership

        Retired Navy Cmdr. Bryce Benson was wary when ProPublica reporter Megan Rose reached out to him for an investigation into the 2017 collision of the USS Fitzgerald. The accident was one of the deadliest in the Navy’s history, and Benson had been the captain of the warship.

        ProPublica’s investigative series, “Disaster in the Pacific,” would go on to reveal that failures from senior Navy leaders — who had endangered the Fitzgerald by sending an overworked and undertrained crew to sea with outdated and poorly maintained equipment — were responsible. But at the time that Rose contacted Benson, senior officers blamed him for the collision and had even sought a criminal prosecution.

      • Carrying Out Trump’s “When the Looting Starts, the Shooting Starts” Order Would Violate 4th Amendment, Warn Legal Experts

        “Donald Trump is calling for violence against black Americans. His advocacy of illegal, state-sponsored killing is horrific. Politicians who refuse to condemn it share responsibility for the consequences.”

      • Incel Terrorism

        America is getting back to “normal,” but what does that mean? Mass shootings, for one thing. No school shootings—though that’s mainly because there’s no school. But the other day, a self-proclaimed incel with an AR-15 went and shot up some folks he didn’t know (one in critical condition) in a Glendale, Arizona entertainment center.

      • Saying Quiet Part Very Loud, Netanyahu Calls Palestinians Future “Subjects” as Annexation Looms

        You can’t keep 5 million people stateless forever, that this is monstrous. But apparently, you can do so for many decades, maybe a century or more.

      • Alex Vitale, Chase Madar and Shahid Buttar on Racist Policing

        This week on CounterSpin: The May 26 New York Times reports that authorities are looking into “the arrest of a black man who died after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by an officer’s knee.” Police murder yet another black person in broad daylight, and the Times can’t bring itself to use active verbs. George Floyd was killed by a police officer who remained on the force despite a record of violence and complaints, his murder was covered up as a “medical incident” by the police department, and when people protested the killing, police tear-gassed and shot at them with rubber bullets. Now law enforcement will investigate law enforcement.

      • Minneapolis police leader defending George Floyd’s killers tied to ‘white power’-linked biker gang

        From The Grayzone vault: The record of a pro-Trump Minneapolis police leader defending the killers of George Floyd reveals a past marred in accusations of racist violence, including charges from fellow police officers that he once wore a “white power” badge on his motorcycle jacket.

      • Billions for Defense Contractor Hidden in New House COVID Relief Bill

        When they passed another bill this month to help the tens of millions of Americans left unemployed and hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrats in the House of Representatives touted the $3 trillion legislation’s benefits to working people, renters, first responders and others struggling to get by.

      • Trump Calls Protesters “Thugs” and Threatens “Shooting” in Response to “Looting”

        In response to the uprising in Minneapolis against the brutal arrest and killing of a Black man named George Floyd by a white police officer earlier this week, President Donald Trump suggested he was ready to use state violence against the protesters, tweeting, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

      • Who are the “Wrong Hands” in Yemen?

        Politics makes strange bedfellows. Some of them want to kill us.

      • Without Anger Over Inequality and Lynchings, We Have No Hope for Democracy

        The anger that has erupted in Minneapolis and across the country in response to the brutal killing of George Floyd gives me hope. This anger — whether expressed peacefully or violently — is ignited by a betrayal of human equality. Without this anger, we have no hope for maintaining a democracy in the United States.

      • Police Arrest CNN Journalist During Live TV Coverage of George Floyd Protests

        A CNN journalist and his entire camera crew were arrested by Minnesota state police Friday morning during their live television coverage of the aftermath of Minneapolis protests over the killing of George Floyd.

      • Police Arrested Afro-Latino Reporter While Treating White Colleague “Politely”

        CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez, an Afro-Latino reporter for the TV network, was arrested Friday morning while covering the Minneapolis uprising, which took place in response to the police killing of George Floyd earlier this week.

      • As Minneapolis Protests Over Killing of George Floyd Intensify, Trump Threatens to Send in Military With Green Light to Open Fire

        “The president of the United States is threatening to use live fire on his own citizens.”

      • ‘Never Seen Anything Like This’: Watch Police Arrest CNN Journalist and Camera Crew During Live TV Coverage of George Floyd Protests

        “They arrested a CNN reporter and camera crew for reporting the news but not Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd on camera.”

      • Taiwan email leaks suggest need for increased cybersecurity

        When specific people are targeted by [attackers], phishing emails or fake websites are often used to trick unsuspecting personnel. Additionally, there is always the likelihood that leaks could come from within the group itself.

        In a Facebook post, former National Security Council member Enoch Wu (吳怡農) explained three reasons for Taiwan’s frequent leaks: the lack of a cybersecurity chief, over-reliance on third-parties to police network security, and poor security awareness and practices by government officials.

        Wu suggested that the president create a new cybersecurity chief position in order to better protect digital networks and coordinate efforts among relevant departments. He also said the government should develop a national cloud-based server while at the same time keeping security networks up to date.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Facebook, Instagram Leave Trump’s Threat About Shooting Minneapolis Protesters Unchecked

        While Twitter put Donald Trump in a penalty box for a tweet advocating violence against crowds Minneapolis protesters, Facebook and Instagram for now have left up the same message from the president on their services without any similar warning.


        Twitter’s move to apply fact-checking labels to a pair of inaccurate Trump tweets about mail-in ballots prompted the president to retaliate with an executive order seeking to rescind the legal protections social networks have under current U.S. law if they “censor” speech. Experts say Trump’s order is unconstitutional, representing a legal overreach by the executive branch.

      • Leaked posts show Facebook employees asking the company to remove Trump’s threat of violence

        But then Trump cross-posted to Facebook a tweet that seemed to suggest that violent action be taken against people protesting the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police. “Would it be possible to explain in more detail the interpretation of our community standards?” one employee asked. “Does this post violate them but get an exemption, or is it not violating?”

        But by mid-afternoon Pacific time on Friday, employees had not received a response — and they were beginning to grow frustrated. “It’s egregious that nobody from policy has chimed in or provided any sort of context here,” one employee said. When another employee defended Facebook’s silence by suggesting that top executives were likely debating their next steps, the original poster replied: “They’ve already made an official decision by keeping the post up after it’s been reported. They should communicate their justification for the decision.”

      • Media Corruption? Car Safety Recalls Reported Less When Manufacturers Advertise More [iophk: now study the impact of M$ and its parteners on the supression of tech coverage]

        Is the reporting of media outlets biased in favor of firms that advertise with them? A new study looked at the relationship between advertising by car manufacturers in U.S. newspapers and news coverage of car safety recalls in the early 2000s. The study found that newspapers provided less coverage of recalls issued by manufacturers that advertised more regularly in their publications than of recalls issued by other manufacturers that did not advertise, and this occurred more frequently when the recalls involved more severe defects.

        The study was conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, Loyola Marymount University, Brown University, and the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (GSE). It appears in Management Science.

    • Environment

      • Warmer weather means it’s time to be tick aware

        As warm weather sends people outdoors, some are encountering tenacious pests with no respect for social distance.

        Forget staying 6 feet apart: Ticks go for blood in the hardest-to-reach places on the human body.
        Many of those ticks are infected with Lyme disease. The illness, which was first identified in Connecticut in the 1970s, is found in countries across the Northern Hemisphere. It’s the most common tick-borne disease in both the United States and Europe.
        And the area where Lyme disease is found is expanding.

        Lyme disease is on the rise in the United Kingdom, and climate change is projected to worsen the spread of Lyme across northern Europe.
        According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s now a high incidence of exposure in Midwestern, Northeastern, and mid-Atlantic states.

      • No asteroids needed: ancient mass extinction tied to ozone loss, warming climate

        The end of the Devonian period, 359 million years ago, was an eventful time: Fish were inching out of the ocean, and fernlike forests were advancing on land. The world was recovering from a mass extinction 12 million years earlier, but the climate was still chaotic, swinging between hothouse conditions and freezes so deep that glaciers formed in the tropics. And then, just as the planet was warming from one of these ice ages, another extinction struck, seemingly without reason. Now, spores from fernlike plants, preserved in ancient lake sediments from eastern Greenland, suggest a culprit: The planet’s protective ozone layer was suddenly stripped away, exposing surface life to a blast of mutation-causing ultraviolet (UV) radiation.


        It captures a startling transformation: Healthy fossilized spores, coated in distinctive symmetrical spikes, suddenly grow misshapen, their spikes dilapidated and uneven. Spores are a common fossil because of their armored coat, but they are vulnerable to UV radiation, much like humans; spores can even develop a “tan” in response to UV. The damage Marshall saw is consistent with such exposure, says Jeffrey Benca, an experimental paleobotanist who has linked such damage to the end-Permian extinction. “What they propose seems quite plausible,” he says.

        Marshall argues that the warming climate drove more powerful summer thunderstorms, which could have injected an ozone-depleting mix of water and salts into the stratosphere. As UV rays killed off forests, nutrient runoff into the sea could have caused blooms of plankton and algae, which would have produced more ozone-destroying salts in a runaway feedback. “It looks like it might be a perfect storm,” he says.

        Marshall’s scenario could explain not just the extinction, but also the many natural gas deposits dating from the period, says Sarah Carmichael, a geochemist at Appalachian State University. They formed from decaying organic matter, but no one has explained the needed surge in plankton growth. Nutrient runoff from dead forests could have fertilized the marine life.

        It’s also a portent of what could happen in today’s warming world, where more powerful thunderstorms sometimes “overshoot” the troposphere and inject moisture into the dry, cold stratosphere. When combined with aerosol particles and chlorine molecules, the moisture may eat away ozone.

        But atmospheric scientists can barely agree on whether these ozone depletions are happening now, let alone hundreds of millions of years ago. More overshoots occur now than expected, but whether they are spurring damaging reactions is not yet clear. Elliot Atlas, an atmospheric chemist at the University of Miami who studies this dynamic, is skeptical of Marshall’s theory. It needs much more rigorous testing in models, he says. “Is it impossible? I can’t say that.”

      • South Asia’s twin threat: extreme heat and foul air

        Climate change means many health risks. Any one of them raises the danger. What happens when extreme heat meets bad air?

      • With COP 26 Pushed to Late 2021 Due to Pandemic, World Leaders Urged Not to Delay Climate Action

        “Right now, real leaders should be doubling-down their efforts to ensure a green and just recovery in handling this health crisis and the climate emergency.”

      • Energy

      • Nature

      • Overpopulation

    • Finance

      • Does Neo-Feudalism Define Our Current Epoch?

        When I learned that we were entering a new period called neo-feudalism, my first reaction was to wonder if that was any worse than what we have now. After all, the serf might have suffered from a lack of freedom but at least had lots of time off as Michael Perelman pointed out in “The Invention of Capitalism“:

      • Unearned Income for All

        I live in upstate New York, famous for its populist politics in the 19th century. It produced not only utopian experiments (including the Oneida and Shaker communities), but religious revivals and innovations (the ‘burnt over’ district, the Mormons), as well as political movements (the Underground Railroad and the Suffragette movement). We also had the Rent Wars, in which long-suffering tenants of landlords controlling thousands, even millions, of acres rebelled, in the early 19th century, with limited success, against their economic masters.

      • For America’s Wealthiest, the Pandemic is a Time to Profit

        The American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Michael Strain wrote an op-ed in the New York Times recently explaining how “The American Dream Is Alive and Well,” and that in his opinion this nation has, “bigger issues than inequality.” Strain’s piece is part of the paper’s new pandemic-era series called “The America We Need” and engages in a set of impressive mental gymnastics to conclude that it ought to be of no concern that the rich are getting richer and that it would be better to focus instead on, “the relatively slow rate of productivity growth,” or “the long-term decline in male employment.”

      • Mnuchin and DeVos Sued for Unlawful Seizure of Student Loan Borrowers’ Tax Refunds During Pandemic

        “Secretaries DeVos and Mnuchin have inflicted needless financial pain on student borrowers and their families.”

      • Corporate Lawsuits Could Devastate Poor Countries Grappling With COVID-19

        Wealthy corporations may use trade courts to keep public health measures from cutting into their profits.

      • At Least 9 Million US Households With Children Are ‘Not At All Confident’ They’ll Be Able to Afford Food Next Month, Census Survey Finds

        “Even if they *do* end up getting food, you have to understand the mental and?physical toll of living with that kind of fear, and how that affects relationships, work,?health, and everything else.”

      • The Great Depression, Coronavirus Style: Crashes, Then and Now

        Many economists believe that a recession is already underway. So do millions of Americans struggling with bills and job losses. While the ghosts of the 2008 financial crisis that sent inequality soaring to new heights in this country are still with us, it’s become abundantly clear that the economic disaster brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has already left the initial shock of that crisis in the dust. While the world has certainly experienced its share of staggering jolts in the past, this cycle of events is likely to prove unparalleled.

      • Newsweek Fails to Note That White House Reopening Guidelines Make Absolutely No Sense
      • In Search of a Lost Socialism

        In May of 1914 — 107 years ago this month — a small, yet vibrant socialist colony on the edge of Los Angeles County took root that is worth revisiting. In the Age of Covid-19, and with the continued violent assault on black and brown people across the US, one must visualize a more peaceful, egalitarian future, where healthcare is free and police are non-existent. The seeds of revolution are all around us, they just need planting. – JF

      • Tens of Millions of Are Out of Work, Why on Earth is Trump Trying to Cut Food Aid?

        In some ways, this horrible pandemic has brought out the best in humanity.

      • A Growing Wave of Bankruptcies Threatens U.S. Recovery

        The bankruptcy epidemic in the U.S. started last year, long before any COVID-19 pandemic had touched down. U.S. retailers ranked among the greatest casualties of 2019 with a total of 17 bankruptcies. Big names among the retail bankruptcies in 2019 included Gymboree on January 16; Charlotte Russe on February 3; Things Remembered on February 6; Payless ShoeSource on February 18; Charming Charlie on July 11; Barneys New York on August 6; and Forever 21 on September 29.

      • Forget “Looting.” Capitalism Is the Real Robbery.

        This morning the president of the United States threatened state-sanctioned murder in response to “looting,” laying bare the way in which white supremacy, capitalism and the state work together to violently repress people who defend Black life.

      • Rep. Katie Porter Accuses UnitedHealth of ‘Putting Profits Before Patients and Providers’ in Midst of Pandemic

        “It’s flat out wrong for the world’s largest insurance company to pass costs on to families in the middle of a pandemic—I want answers.”

      • ‘Cowardly’ and ‘Shameful’: Critics Say Trump Refusal to Release Mid-Year Economic Forecast an Obvious Election Year Ploy

        “It gets them off the hook for having to say what the economic outlook looks like.”

      • More than 1.9 million Russians are officially unemployed — here’s how the government plans to help them

        President Vladimir Putin has announced new support measures for Russians who lost their jobs during the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. During a video conference on the current state of the Russian labor market on May 27, he supported the relevant proposals put forward by Labor Minister Anton Kotyakov.

      • Budget Cockups in the Time of Coronavirus

        Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. Even in their self-celebrated expertise, blunders will happen.

      • Former Federal Reserve Governor Rebukes Central Bank for Using Covid-19 Lending Power to Bail Out ‘Dying’ Fossil Fuel Industry

        “If polluters want to deny the existence of the ongoing bailout, Congress should swiftly repeal these blatant corporate tax giveaways and make fossil fuels ineligible for stimulus lending programs.”

      • The Case for a New Technology to Help Slaughterhouse Workers

        While the meat industry is receiving its massive $16 billion federal COVID-19 bailout, the USDA and Congress should also enact policies and allocate funds that would phase out archaic electrical slaughter methods in favor of CAS.

      • We Must Respond to the COVID Crash Like We Did to the Great Depression — Boldly

        Many economists believe that a recession is already underway. So do millions of Americans struggling with bills and job losses. While the ghosts of the 2008 financial crisis that sent inequality soaring to new heights in this country are still with us, it’s become abundantly clear that the economic disaster brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has already left the initial shock of that crisis in the dust. While the world has certainly experienced its share of staggering jolts in the past, this cycle of events is likely to prove unparalleled.

      • As More Parents Head Back to Work Amid Pandemic, Advocates Demand $100 Billion Federal Boost for Child Care

        “Without child care, there’s no recovery.”

      • California secession would create economic chaos: Letters

        Dan Walters brings into question whether California can stand alone as its own nation. He compares California now to Canada and covers all the basic grounds, allowing the readers to make their own conclusions.

        While California may be able to survive on its own, Walters fails to mention how the United States would survive without such an important state as California. California is largest state in the country with primarily Democratic views, so the political power would drastically change in the union.

        The U.S. prides itself in keeping a balance in politics, however, if California were to secede, that balance will be thrown to the Republican Party.

      • Federal support is critical for California’s economic recovery

        Throughout America right now, business owners are adapting, overcoming and rising to the challenge of COVID-19. They are reconfiguring their restaurants to allow for more space between diners. They are putting tape on the floor so that customers can stay six feet apart while they shop. They are making sure that their employees have the protective gear that helps their guests stay safe. In short, these entrepreneurs are using the same ingenuity and creativity that got them into business in the first place, getting ready to re-open as soon as they are able.

        But these safety measures, while critical, will not be enough on their own to bring the economy even to where it was just a few months ago. The most sophisticated physical distancing policies we implement won’t get customers in the door if they don’t feel safe from COVID-19 or if they don’t have money to spend.


        They need funding to protect local farms, farm workers and food processors so that we can maintain the food supply and keep fresh, healthful produce in our communities.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying

      • Suing Russia’s president An ‘ultra-Putinist’ ex-governor has made history with a lawsuit challenging his dismissal. Here’s his story.

        Mikhail Ignatiev has an interesting list of accomplishments. He lost his job as the head of Chuvashia in January this year after two scandals: first, he advocated “wiping out” bloggers and journalists who praise Western countries, and then he humiliated a fireman by forcing him to jump for the keys to a new fire engine. Ignatiev is now saddling up for his next adventure: becoming the first public official in Russia to contest the presidential order that cost him his governorship. Meduza special correspondent Andrey Pertsev takes a closer look at the man who would take Vladimir Putin to court.?

      • Dimming VP Hopes, Klobuchar’s Failure to Prosecute Police Misconduct Highlighted as Outrage Over Killing of George Floyd Intensifies

        “You can’t refuse to prosecute killer cops and act like you don’t have blood on your hands.”

      • Reminder to the Press: Trump’s Deadly Covid-19 Failures Are Still Happening

        It’s almost as if?the D.C. media has forgotten what Trump and the federal government urgently need to do—and could be doing—to save people’s lives.

      • Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia

        Returning to La Paz, Bolivia after last November’s coup was like returning to the scene of a crime. Since Bolivian President Evo Morales was removed from power, right-wing interim President Jeanine á?ez has led the country with an iron fist.

      • Electionland 2020: Trump on Vote by Mail, Poll Worker PPE, Naturalizations and More

        In both his public appearances and on Twitter, President Donald Trump has continued to rail against mail voting, and has accused Democrats of trying to rig the election. This set off alarm bells among voting rights advocates and experts who believe the president is setting the stage to delegitimize the election if he loses. Then, this week, the president tweeted again about mail voting, and Twitter labeled his tweets with a message “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” which linked to this fact-check page. After falsely accusing Twitter of interfering in the election and stifling free speech, Trump threatened “Big action to follow!” On Thursday, Trump signed an executive order that aims to limit the power of social media companies.

      • Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Police and Her VP Quest

        Eighteen years before Minneapolis police killed an unarmed black man named George Floyd on Monday, Minneapolis police killed an unarmed black man named Christopher Burns. Today, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar decries the killing of Floyd. Back then, Minneapolis chief prosecutor Amy Klobuchar refused to prosecute city police for killing Burns.

      • Trump isn’t the Pope and This Ain’t the Middle Ages

        President Trump orders governors to open up the churches.? Churches defy governors and seek to open.? Someone needs to remind both the president and religious institutions that the Middle Ages are over and Modernity won.

      • Trump Is Unbeatable in the Race to the Bottom and So Is the GOP

        In the race to the bottom, Donald Trump is unbeatable. Therefore, so now too is the Republican Party; being under his thumb, it is with him, every step of the way.

      • A Few Good Sadists

        Here’s a flashback that may help to explain how we got to where we are: the day was April 30,?2004. Alexander Cockburn and I were sitting by the pool having a gin and tonic at the old Richelieu Hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter. The concierge, an elegant black man from Haiti named Jean-Claud, dropped a sheaf of papers on our table. “I hope I’m not disturbing you, Mr. Cockburn,” he said. “These just came through for you by fax with a note marked ‘Urgent.’”

      • The Class Politics of Coronavirus Responses in the Americas

        Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is rapidly losing public support, while Donald Trump remains entirely capable of triumphing in November despite his relative unpopularity.

      • Elizabeth Warren Leads Demand to Audit OSHA as Covid-19 Sparks ‘Massive Worker Safety Crisis’

        “OSHA’s failure to take stronger actions will result in more workers being made sick and killed by this virus.”

      • There is No Peace: an Incitement to Justice

        Summer 2014: a year since George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing Trayvon Martin. Another summer of violence and justification: US shells incinerating Palestinian children, devastating UN refuges in Gaza, pounding Afghan villages, again. Another trial of another white man who says he was scared, who had to defend himself with a blast of ammunition against an unarmed black teenager – a womanchild this time, 19, in Michigan this time, shot through a locked screen door. Another police killing on the front pages of the New York tabloids: a big man, a black father, put in a choke hold, kneed in the back as he gasped for air, as he told cops he couldn’t breathe; extinguished for passing a cigarette to someone on a street in Staten Island. He may have been selling looseys, police said, and he refused to submit; they had to bring him down. Then they watched as he expired. “The perpetrator’s condition did not seem serious,” one stated.

      • Facebook won’t take any action on Trump’s post about shootings in Minnesota

        But until late Friday, Facebook had made no comment about whether it intended to take action against Trump’s tweet about the protests in Minneapolis, which included the line, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” That led to consternation among some employees, who asked the company to intervene in posts on Workplace, the company’s internal chat tool.

      • Facebook CEO Says Users Should See Trump Posts ‘for Themselves’

        The social media giant faced questions earlier in the day about why it had not acted on messages from Trump, posted to both Twitter Inc.’s and Facebook’s apps, that contained language Twitter flagged for glorifying violence. The rival social platforms have taken different stances on political speech and fact-checks, with Facebook adopting a more hands-off approach that it says supports free speech and an exchange of ideas. Zuckerberg sought to reinforce that idea in his post.

      • Trump’s Social Media Executive Order Is a Confession of His Ignorance

        The president doesn’t understand the Constitution he’s tasked with upholding, and we’re all paying for it.

      • The real purpose of China’s global propaganda

        With its global propaganda going nowhere, what is Beijing’s strategic calculus? Has China become powerful enough to take on the whole world? Does Xi really believe the West is so weakened by the pandemic that it cannot respond to his expansionism, which is not unlike Mao’s in the 1960s? Or is his bellicose stance itself a manifestation of the enormous economic and political troubles that face the country down the road?

        This author would argue that the aim of China’s global propaganda is not to convince the world that the communist regime governs a peace-loving country with a legitimate foreign policy, political value, and an attractive culture.

        Rather, the campaign is designed to show the Chinese people that rising China is now on a par with the U.S. and on its way to restoring its national pride and glory. That is, the supposedly external global propaganda is aimed at an internal audience.

      • China’s national-security bill for Hong Kong is an attempt to terrify

        The new bill would wreck that. True, the central government is making use of a clause in the Basic Law that allows it to legislate for Hong Kong. But that is permitted only in matters relating to diplomacy, defence and “other matters outside the limits” of Hong Kong’s autonomy. Democrats in Hong Kong argue that the proposed bill is within Hong Kong’s scope. Article 23 of the Basic Law says Hong Kong should enact laws “on its own” against treason, secession, sedition and subversion, as well as to prohibit ties between Hong Kong bodies and foreign political organisations (though an attempt to do so in 2003 was abandoned after a huge protest).

        The central government, then, has no legal authority to add a national-security law to the Basic Law’s annexe. Hong Kong’s Bar Association also points to a lack of any assurance that the new bill will comply with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the Basic Law pledges to uphold.

      • Trump’s Social Media Executive Order Shows Just How Low He’ll Go to Win

        He is—it should go without saying—wrong. Indeed, the whole point of the First Amendment was to establish the right of the people and the media to object to claims by presidents and other powerful officials—especially when those claims are lies.

      • What to Know Before Heading to a Protest

        7. Avoid taking pictures of peoples’ faces and avoid letting others take pictures of yours.

        On January 20, 2017, over 200 people were arrested for protesting at the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump. The prosecution of what became known as the J20 defendants highlighted the danger of photography and live-streaming at protests. Federal prosecutors used video and photos obtained from arrested journalists and protesters to build their cases in an unprecedented mass prosecution. Advertisement

        It’s not just the prosecutors you have to worry about either. Some right-wing groups also conduct their own surveillance. This is why it’s important not to take pictures or video of other people at a protest (except if you’re monitoring aggressive police behavior) and to prevent people from taking pictures of you.

      • A hotspot in the Polar Circle Regional unification plans in northern Russia awaken a dormant protest movement

        On May 13, the leaders of two neighboring regions — Arkhangelsk and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO) — signed a unification memorandum. In the latter region, the possible merger has provoked major protests, inciting everyone from school children to local elected officials. Residents have picketed against the decision, organized demonstrations, and gathered every evening in Lenin Square to sign the NAO’s anthem. Meduza examines how this sleepy northern region of Russia has transformed almost overnight into one of the country’s most contested political hotspots.?

      • Is Stacey Abrams Progressive?

        Stacey Abrams is being widely touted as Joe Biden’s best pick for the vice-presidential nomination. She has been a rising star in the Democratic Party ever since her historic and groundbreaking run in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race. But — while having a black woman on the ticket would be welcome — progressives need to understand that Abrams is firmly entrenched in the centrist establishment wing of the party.

      • Last Stand in the Big Woods

        This essay, excerpted from Red State Rebels: Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, is dedicated to Ron Mitchell, one of the fiercest defenders of wild nature that I’ve ever encountered. Ron died earlier this month, but his legacy lives on in the forest, rivers and mountains he fought, often against great odds and at great personal peril, to protect.

      • Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia

        Following á?ez’s seizure of power, Bolivia has endured the worst state violence and political persecution it has seen in decades.

      • Trump’s Reelection Strategies Are Killing a Massive Number of People

        Let us assume, for the sake of discussion, that there will be a presidential election in 159 days as scheduled. This assumption, given the extent of the COVID pandemic combined with comprehensive Republican resistance to the very notion of voting, requires a leap of faith that would challenge even the vast talents of Simone Biles.

      • Trump Signs Executive Order Aimed at Twitter for Fact-Checking His Bogus Claims

        President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday regarding social media sites, in response to a fact-check he received from Twitter earlier this week, with hopes that his doing so will allow the reinterpretation of a law widely cited as crucial for the birth of the internet.

      • Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Trump’s War on Iran?

        As with George W. Bush’s false WMD claims about Iraq in 2003, Trump’s real goal is not nuclear non-proliferation but regime change.

      • With Trump-Aligned Votes as ‘Anvil Around Her Neck,’ Susan Collins Down 9 Points to Likely Dem Challenger

        The four-term Republican senator from Maine who presents herself as a centrist has faced national criticism for her votes during the Trump administration.

      • It’s Time for Bold Responses to a Stark Crisis

        We live in a time of bitter divisions. Today, even the wearing of masks has become a partisan question.

      • Ethics Complaint Filed to Force Trump’s Covid-19 Vaccine Czar—a Former Pharma Exec—to Submit to Ethics Rules

        “Trump has put a pharmaceutical executive in charge of handing out the government contracts for coronavirus vaccine development. How could this possibly go wrong?”

      • House Democrats Demand Trump Administration Stop Rushing Through Deportations of Migrant Children

        Democratic congressional leaders expressed alarm Wednesday at a sudden acceleration in the deportation of migrant children and in a strongly worded letter requested that the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement “cease this practice immediately.”

        The letter signed by five key House leaders overseeing immigration cited a May 18 ProPublica/Texas Tribune story that found the U.S. government has aggressively begun to rush the deportations of unaccompanied children in its care to countries where they have been raped, beaten or had a parent killed, according to attorneys, court filings and congressional staff.

      • This Billionaire Governor’s Been Sued Over Unpaid Bills. A Judge Just Ordered Him to Pay More.

        The billionaire governor of West Virginia, whose business empire has amassed more than $128 million in judgments and settlements against it for unpaid bills, lost another court case this week that adds millions more to that tally.

        On Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice’s Bluestone Resources Inc. was ordered to pay nearly $2.8 million to a financing company after it stopped making payments on a lease for a bulldozer used in coal mining. In court, Bluestone argued it didn’t owe the full original amount. A judge ruled otherwise, ordering Bluestone to pay $2.7 million in damages and $76,000 in legal fees and costs.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • News coverage of comedy video parodying Russian president and Moscow mayor deleted following calls from officials

        Several Russian media outlets simultaneously deleted news coverage of comedian Maxim Galkin’s immensely popular video parodying a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, The Bell reports. Sources from one of the outlets in question told The Bell that the news was taken down following a phone call from officials.

      • Proudhon v. Facebook: A Mutualist Solution to Cyber Tyranny

        I’m pretty sure this place use to be a democracy. Not America. Contrary to what Broadway may have told you, even our saintly Founding Fathers were little more than racist neocons in pantaloons. I’m talking about the fucking internet. The Anarchist’s American Dream. A brave new world wrestled from the savages of the military industrial complex who birthed it and wilded into a stateless candy land of endless possibilities by fuzzy little daydream believers like Steve Wozniak and Richard Stallman. The place that gave us Linux and Anonymous and Napster. That land of a million possibilities where no kink was left without a chatroom and a 12 year old hacker in Ethiopia could take down the American Federal Government just for the lulz. That glorious pirate utopia of temporary autonomous zones foretold by Hakim Bey, where only censorship was taboo and any lunatic with a Commodore could say whatever the fuck they wanted about the latest twat in the White House and the only recourse was to bitch and troll. Even a confirmed Luddite like myself couldn’t help but to look upon this satanic majesty and swell with pride at the seemingly inevitable supremacy of raw chaos.

      • DC Appeals Court Dumps Lawsuit Claiming Multiple Tech Companies Are Engaged In An Anti-Conservative Conspiracy

        Early last year, a federal court dumped a lawsuit filed by alt-right figureheads Laura Loomer and Freedom Watch (Larry Klayman’s organization) alleging multiple online platforms were engaging in a government-enabled conspiracy to silence them. Mixing and matching liberally from precedent that didn’t say what the plaintiffs thought it said, the lawsuit tried to skirt around things like Section 230 immunity by pretending this was about being unconstitutionally blocked from entering public spaces.

      • Two Cheers For Unfiltered Information

        In the early hours of December 31st, 2019 weeks before the coronavirus was recognized as a budding pandemic, Taiwanese Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director Luo Yijun was awake, browsing the PTT Bulletin Board. A relic of 90s-era hacker culture, PTT is an open source internet forum originally created by Taiwanese university students. On the site’s gossip board, hidden behind a warning of adult content, Yijun found a discussion about the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan. However, the screenshots from WeChat posted to PTT described a SARS-like coronavirus, not the flu or pneumonia. The thread identified a wet market as the likely source of the outbreak, indicating that the disease could be passed from one species to another. Alarmed, Luo Yijun warned his colleagues and forwarded his findings to China and the World Health Organization (WHO). That evening, Taiwan began screening travelers from Wuhan, acting on the information posted to PTT.

      • Fighting The Free Speech Digital Divide Requires Interoperability and Privacy Protection

        When people mention the digital divide, often they’re referring to the divide between people who have access to the internet and those who do not. However, we can also visualize it as the divide between those who benefit from free expression on social media and other digital platforms—and those who don’t.

      • Trump’s Final Executive Order On Social Media Deliberately Removed Reference To Importance Of Newspapers To Democracy

        We wrote a detailed breakdown of the President’s silly, nonsensical, legally wrong Executive Order regarding social media yesterday. A few hours later the official version came out, and it was somewhat different than the draft (though, in no ways better). If you want to see the differences between the draft and the final version, here’s a handy dandy redline version put together by Professor Eric Goldman.

      • No, Twitter Fact Checking The President Is Not Evidence Of Anti-Conservative Bias

        I know we’ve gone through this a bunch already, but there remains no evidence to support the claims of “anti-conservative bias” at major social media platforms. Some people (usually self-claiming conservatives, though they rarely seem to represent actual conservative principles) get really angry about this. But, oddly, none ever seem to present any actual evidence.

      • New Zealand Government Seeking To Expand Its Internet Censorship Powers

        New Zealand has been in the censorship business for years, but the government appears to believe it’s still not doing enough censoring. Legislation stemming from the government’s reaction to the live-streamed Christchurch shooting seeks to expand its ability to block content it deems to be objectionable. In most cases, this means content related to terrorism or violent extremism. But the livestreaming of a mass shooting has created an open-ended definition for the government to work with in conjunction with its criminalization of this act.

      • TikTok blames ‘random’ bug after users complain they couldn’t use hashtags related to George Floyd’s death

        TikTok said Friday that an unintended bug caused view counts of hashtags on the platform’s “upload stage” to disappear, including some tags in reference to the Black Lives Matter movement and others associated with the police-involved death of George Floyd.

        A user first pointed out the error on Twitter, accusing TikTok of blocking hashtags such as #blacklivesmatter or other tags related to Floyd and the protests erupting in Minneapolis and cities across the nation.

      • Let’s go through Trump’s terrible [Internet] censorship order, line by line

        So it’s worth going through the order in more detail — partly to understand the actual policy changes it’s proposing, but also to establish what Trump probably can’t do and pin down when he seems to just be making stuff up. We’ve bolded some especially important parts for emphasis.

        Let’s start with the introduction, which is mostly bluster with no particular legal foundation — and actually goes opposite the courts in one key instance: [...]

      • Joe Biden doesn’t like Trump’s Twitter order, but still wants to revoke Section 230

        Earlier this year, Biden told The New York Times that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act should be “revoked, immediately.” In recent days, President Donald Trump has reinvigorated a controversial debate over amending the foundational internet law after Twitter fact-checked one of his tweets for the first time. Over the last year, Trump and other congressional Republicans have grown concerned over the false idea that social media platforms actively moderate against conservative speech online.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The Odyssey of Elias Demetracopoulos

        In twenty-first-century mainstream media, a real journalist is difficult to find. Instead, one finds multiple purveyors of corporate and government propaganda, entertainers who sensationalize the most meaningless tidbits about the lives of public figures, faux investigations of misdoings that focus on the symptoms and not the causes, and outright liars. Elected and non-elected officials use their forums to attack journalists and their employers; their intention being to cast doubt on any and every article published. The resulting confusion has created a situation where scientific facts have become opinions and illogical and even insane conspiracies are considered truths. Most of those who own the media do not seem to have a problem with this scenario. Even those who claim they do rarely bother to use their power and money to change a policy or take down a corrupt and authoritarian leader—most likely because there is little monetary incentive in doing such a thing.

      • Sale of top Russian business newspaper ‘Vedomosti’ complete

        One of Russia’s top business newspapers, “Vedomosti,” has officially been sold to the company “Sapport,” Gleb Prozorov, the CEO of the newspaper’s now former publisher, “Business News Media,” told Meduza.?According to Vedomosti, the agreement was signed on May 28 and will be closed in the coming days.?

      • More than 20 protesters arrested during second day of demonstrations in support of jailed journalist Ilya Azar

        On May 29, single-person demonstrations resumed near the police headquarters in Moscow. Protesters demanded the release of jailed Novaya Gazeta journalist and municipal deputy Ilya Azar, as well as the activists arrested during the solidarity protests the day before.?

      • Exclusive images from inside British court expose Assange’s un-democratic treatment, physical deterioration

        Photographs surreptitiously taken inside a British courtroom and provided to The Grayzone show a visibly disoriented Julian Assange confined to a glass cage and unable to communicate with his lawyers.

      • Protests, vandalism reported outside CNN headquarters in Atlanta

        Demonstrators descended on Atlanta to protest the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man who was killed during a police arrest in Minneapolis this week, and appeared to migrate to the CNN building.

      • RSF Calls For Independent Investigation Into Pakistani Journalist’s Killing

        However, the journalist’s father filed a complaint with the police on May 28 naming several different suspects, including a police officer, said to be linked to a local drug trafficker, RSF said in a statement.

        Mandrani, who had been investigating the activities of this drug trafficker, received death threats from the suspects before his murder, the father was quoted as saying.

      • CNN Reporters Arrested For Covering Protests in Minnesota

        As seen in the video, Jimenez clearly states to law enforcement that the crew will comply with any directions. “Put us back where you want us,” Jimenez says. “We are getting out of your way. Just let us know. Wherever you want us, we will go.”

        Jimenez then described the scene before he is told he is being put under arrest and his hands are zip-tied behind his back. He asks why he is being arrested to no apparent response, after which he is led away and Kirkos and Mendez are arrested.

      • In Moscow and St. Petersburg, peaceful protests in solidarity with arrested journalist end in more arrests

        A series of peaceful, single-person demonstrations in support of arrested journalist and municipal deputy Ilya Azar took place in Moscow on May 28. Earlier that day, Azar was sentenced to 15 days administrative arrest. The court maintained that his peaceful, solo picket in support of “Police Ombudsman” administrator Vladimir Vorontsov constituted a repeated violation of the law on public demonstrations.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner suggests funding cuts for abortion clinics

        During her annual performance report, Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner, Anna Kuznetsova, proposed reducing funding for abortion clinics.

      • In Show of Solidarity, Public Transit Workers Refuse to Transport Police Units or Those Arrested at #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd Protests

        “More than ever, we need a new civil rights movement that is joined with the labor movement.”

      • The Machine Stops

        Given the current confinement imperative, one is confronted everywhere with the idolization of detached digital communication, turning necessity into a virtue.

      • After Days of Protest, Police Officer Derek Chauvin Charged With 3rd Degree Murder for Killing George Floyd

        “Don’t think for a minute that Derek Chauvin would have been arrested if people in Minneapolis weren’t standing up and fighting.”

      • It’s Bigger Than Buildings. America Is Burning

        We didn’t start the fire. America was founded by firestarters. The thieves of land who also stole people and raped and killed and brutalized their way into power. This country was built on the backs of Black folk it didn’t perceive as human and even today it tries to pillage our souls.

      • US Border Patrol Denounced as ‘Rogue Agency’ for Using Predator Drone to Spy on Minneapolis Protests

        “This is what happens when leaders sign blank check after blank check to militarize police, CBP, etc while letting violence go unchecked.”

      • Honduran Family Sues US Govt for Separation Lawyers Say Was Deliberately Meant to ‘Torment and Traumatize’

        “These federal agents made a choice, a cruel and heinous choice, to deliberately inflict pain and trauma upon a family seeking refuge.”

      • Arrests continue in Moscow during second day of protests in solidarity with jailed journalist

        Law enforcement have arrested more protesters outside of the police headquarters in Moscow, during the second day of peaceful, single-person demonstrations in solidarity with arrested journalist and municipal deputy Ilya Azar.

      • Bill to Ban Seclusion and Face-Down Restraints in Illinois Schools Gets Sidelined After Pushback From Administrators

        After months of debate about schools’ use of seclusion and face-down restraints on children, Illinois lawmakers did not act last week on a measure that would have banned the controversial practices immediately, instead delaying the decision until the fall at the earliest.

        Although Gov. J.B. Pritzker and state schools Superintendent Carmen Ayala have vowed to stop the practices of putting children alone in locked rooms and holding them down on the floor, the bill faced opposition from school groups that viewed oversight requirements as too burdensome.

      • Why are Our Leaders Still Putting Their Faith in the Rich?

        The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed fundamental inequalities in this country.

      • Law Enforcement Files Discredit Brian Kemp’s Accusation That Democrats Tried to Hack the Georgia Election

        It was a stunning accusation: Two days before the 2018 election for Georgia governor, Republican Brian Kemp used his power as secretary of state to open an investigation into what he called a “failed hacking attempt” of voter registration systems involving the Democratic Party.

        But newly released case files from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation reveal that there was no such hacking attempt.

      • California Sheriff Refuses to Release People From Jail as COVID Outbreak Rages

        California Sheriff Chad Bianco recently made a splash in the conservative media after he told Riverside County officials that his department would not enforce local public health orders meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A viral video of his statement earned Bianco an interview on Fox News on May 8, where he said it was time for businesses to reopen despite a statewide stay-at-home order.

      • Protest, Uprisings, and Race War

        The moralizing has begun.

      • Anger and Unrest Nationwide as Protests Over Killing of George Floyd Spread Across US Cities

        “When people look to these individuals who are frustrated, who are angry, for not just Mr. Floyd but countless others for whom there was no video evidence, as there was in this case, who lost their lives—that is what you are seeing bubble up.”

      • Minneapolis Protesters Call to Defund the Police

        As thousands take to the streets of Minneapolis to protest against the police killing of George Floyd for the third night in a row, we go to Minneapolis to speak with City Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison. Police pointed an automatic rifle at his head in 2015 when he was peacefully protesting the police killing of another African American man, Jamar Clark. We also speak with Kandace Montgomery with the Black Visions Collective, which is calling for the abolition of police.

      • Arundhati Roy on Indian Migrant-Worker Oppression and India’s Fateful COVID Crisis

        In India there is never one story but thousands, even millions, and so the detrimental impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on this country of more than 1.3 billion, especially among the poor, has been profound, causing immense suffering. Nor did it help matters much when Prime Minister Narendra Modi shut India into immediate lockdown without warning to mitigate Indians from contracting COVID-19. Thousands of day-laborers and migrant-laborers were left stranded in large cities without food or money such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Gandhinagar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Jaipur, and Lucknow, among others. It was the largest lockdown in the world because of COVID-19.

      • The Plague of Racist Cop Murders: Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the COVID-19 Pandemic

        Black Georgia jogger, 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, was murdered in cold blood by three white racists on February 23. Arbery’s family attorneys, led by Benjamin Crump, have charged that his murder was premeditated.

      • White Supremacy is the Virus; Police are the Vector

        Tensions are high as Minneapolis police murdered a black man named George Floyd, not by gunshot, but by an agonizingly long kneel on his neck; which was not released for seven minutes, several of which the man was not breathing. Protest is a place to emerge into the collective and become unoriginal, to humble yourself in silence as others more aware with said experience lead the charge. However, writing should be the place for originality. A place where we solve the problems of theory that informs action.

      • Dissenter Weekly: Reality Winner Predicted DOJ Would Pretend They Never Received Request For Release

        Billie Winner-Davis, the mother of NSA whistleblower Reality Winner, admits she did not believe it. Her daughter told her the Justice Department, or Bureau of Prisons, would claim she never filed for compassionate release at Federal Medical Center Carswell.

        Winner also suggested they would “mysteriously lose the form,” and as it turns out, that is essentially the bureaucratic game they are playing with her life as the coronavirus remains a risk in prisons throughout the United States.

      • Pressley, Omar, Bass, and Lee Introduce Resolution to Condemn Police Brutality and Demand Nationwide Reforms

        “For too long, black and brown bodies have been profiled, surveilled, policed, lynched, choked, brutalized, and murdered at the hands of police officers.”

      • George Floyd death: Ex-officer charged with murder in Minneapolis

        aHennepin County Prosecutor Mike Freeman said Mr Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

        He said he “anticipates charges” for the three other officers but would not offer more details.

      • Across the country, thousands plead for justice as chaos, unrest grows

        Ex-police officer Derek Chauvin was fired Tuesday along with the three other officers involved in the incident. Chauvin was taken into custody Friday and faces third-degree murder and manslaughter charges, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

        A request to Chauvin’s lawyer for comment was not immediately returned Friday night.

        Minneapolis police identified the other officers as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng

      • Civil Rights Attorney: Minneapolis Police Have a Long Pattern of Racist Violence

        Parts of Minneapolis erupted into flames Wednesday night as residents again took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed by white police officer Derek Chauvin on Monday. A viral video shows Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for a number of minutes as Floyd repeatedly says “I cannot breathe.” Three other officers stood by as George Floyd suffocated. They have been identified as Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng. All four officers were fired on Tuesday. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has called on prosecutors to file criminal charges against Derek Chauvin. We speak with civil rights attorney Nekima Levy Armstrong, founder of the Racial Justice Network and former president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP. “What needs to happen is that charges need to be brought immediately against the four officers who killed George Floyd,” she says. “There is simply no justification for what they did or why they did it.”

      • House Dems Demand Trump Admin Stop Rushing Deportations of Migrant Children

        Democratic congressional leaders expressed alarm Wednesday at a sudden acceleration in the deportation of migrant children and in a strongly worded letter requested that the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement “cease this practice immediately.”

      • Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Police and Her VP Quest

        When Amy Klobuchar was running for president, corporate media served as her biggest political base.

      • There is No Vacation Anymore

        Covid has made a mockery of scheduling. Its new order of hibernation or death caught the Republic unawares, despite two months of international warnings and as many afternoons of mediocre golf. Shucks, accidents will happen! But I suspect that in the nursing homes, VAs, slum high-rises, and Shatila-like neighborhoods, something was clearly on the wing if only because nothing was different. Prophecies are the voice of the present, clothed in future tense for personal safety and for parody. Thus did John the Revelator talk about the Roman Empire and Domitian (currency number 666) using seven-headed dragons, whores on shining beasts, seas of blood. John also used plague-ravage as metaphor. Death is a new master from a besieged body. Pathogen or bust? The host is the soft, radical center – or the Seven Churches, corrupt with the day.

      • Top 6 Reasons Authorities Are Cracking Down Hard on Black Protesters While Treating White Supremacist Reopeners With Kid Gloves

        The establishment, of systematic racism, in everything from school resegregation to residential segregation to employment discrimination, needs to be addressed through a second generation of civil rights legislation.

      • Why Central Park Karen Deserves What She Got

        She wasn’t overheard telling a friend that she’d never date a black guy. Or even saying that she wouldn’t do so because she doesn’t find them attractive, or whatever.

        These are the types of opinions and comments that make modern people crinkle their noses and distance themselves from the speaker. Like bad cheese or unwashed feet. And it’s no reason to end someone’s career.

        This was different.

        This was a white woman trying to force a black man to comply by using the history of America’s racism like a nightstick.

        In so many words, here’s what she told him.

      • Proudhon v. Facebook: A Mutualist Solution to Cyber Tyranny

        I’m pretty sure this place use to be a democracy. Not America. Contrary to what Broadway may have told you, even our saintly Founding Fathers were little more than racist neocons in pantaloons. I’m talking about the fucking internet. The Anarchist’s American Dream. A brave new world wrestled from the savages of the military industrial complex who birthed it and wilded into a stateless candy land of endless possibilities by fuzzy little daydream believers like Steve Wozniak and Richard Stallman. The place that gave us Linux and Anonymous and Napster. That land of a million possibilities where no kink was left without a chatroom and a 12 year old hacker in Ethiopia could take down the American Federal Government just for the lulz. That glorious pirate utopia of temporary autonomous zones foretold by Hakim Bey, where only censorship was taboo and any lunatic with a Commodore could say whatever the fuck they wanted about the latest twat in the White House and the only recourse was to bitch and troll. Even a confirmed Luddite like myself couldn’t help but to look upon this satanic majesty and swell with pride at the seemingly inevitable supremacy of raw chaos.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Coronavirus and the Telecom Crisis

        The current Corvis-19 pandemic provides a unique vantage point to assess key social institutions of American life. Sadly, none has failed so gravely as the nation’s health care system, especially as underwritten by the private insurance model. The crisis of the U.S. healthcare system raises the deeper, more fundamental, question as to whether health care is a privilege or a right, a private business or a social utility?

      • Why the USMCA Locks in the Internet Platform Liability System in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

        I have written how the provision benefits freedom of expression in Canada, noting that the absence of a Canadian safe harbour rule has meant the same companies that require court orders before the removal of content for claims originating in the U.S. frequently take down lawful content in Canada based on mere unproven allegations due to fears of legal liability. The Trump executive order purports to support free speech, but the Canadian experience suggests that if the safe harbours were dropped entirely they would have the opposite effect of increasing content removal. At most the order could spark another review of the rules, but Trump’s own trade deal, which is set to take effect by the summer, may severely limit future reforms given that it commits the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to the long-standing U.S. approach on Internet platform liability.

      • Last Minute Addition To Louisiana Bill Hamstrings Community Broadband

        We’ve long noted that roughly twenty states have passed laws either outright banning community broadband, or tightly restricting such efforts. The vast majority of the time these bills are literally written by telecom lobbyists and lawyers for companies like AT&T and Comcast. While the bills are usually presented by lawmakers as an earnest concern about taxpayer boondoggles, the real motivation usually is the prevention of any disruption of their cozy geographical monopolies/duopolies.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Denuvo’s Anti-Cheat Software Now Getting Ripped From Games At Record Speed Too

        Remember Denuvo? Back in the far simpler times of 2016-2018, which somehow seem light years better than 2020 despite being veritable dumpster fires in and of themselves, we wrote a series of posts about Denuvo’s DRM and how it went from nigh-uncrackable to totally crackable upon games being released with it. Did we take a bit too much pleasure in this precipitous fall? Sure, though our general anti-DRM stance sort of mandated dunking on a company that once touted itself as invincible. Either way, it started to get comical watching publishers release a game with Denuvo, have the game cracked in a matter of days, if not hours, and then release a patch to remove Denuvo entirely from the game.

    • Monopolies

      • Innovators reassured by ventilator IP indemnity

        The UK government’s promise to indemnify IP infringement liabilities of new ventilator makers appeases medical device innovators

      • Beijing Treaty in Africa series #1: Algeria (Implementing the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances in Africa)

        The Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances (“Beijing Treaty”) entered into force on 28 April 2020 (3 months after the 30th Contracting Party had submitted its instrument of ratification or accession to WIPO). It now behoves on Contracting Parties to implement the treaty or domesticate the treaty into their respective national laws.

        The Beijing Treaty deals with the intellectual property rights of performers in their audiovisual performances. It grants performers (actors, singers, dancers, etc.) moral rights and various economic rights (the right of reproduction; the right of distribution; the right of rental; the right of making available) for their performances fixed in audiovisual fixations. The most contested provision of the Treaty is Article 12, which allows Contracting Parties to create a legal presumption of transfer of performers’ rights to the producer once a performer has consented to the fixation of his/her audiovisual performance. Bearing in mind that the predominant practice in the audiovisual industry is for performers to transfer any rights regarding their performances to the producer, it is quite likely that the decision of Contracting Parties in terms of Article 12 will determine whether or not the rights afforded by the Beijing Treaty will improve the lot of performers in those countries.

      • Why is it not good to postpone the protection of intellectual property for the time “after the virus”?

        The Coronavirus epidemic caused a downtime in the work of courts and offices. Official and court time limits have been officially suspended in most cases on the basis of the regulations of anti-crisis shield. Does it mean that we should put off all matters connected with the protection of industrial and intellectual property and return to them after the epidemic ends?

        Helena Gajek explains: No, certainly not. We cannot think in this way. Indeed, the Act on the anti-crisis shield, among many regulations laid down in order to facilitate the operation of firms in the times of economic downtime caused by the coronavirus epidemic, contains the provisions pertaining to industrial property matters. Some time limits provided for in the Act on Industrial Property Law, the Act on filing European patent applications and the effects of the European patent in the Republic of Poland are suspended or interrupted.


        H.G.: The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) also extended the time limits until May 1 (in practice May 4) due to the epidemic, but it strongly recommends undertaking regular actions in this time. It needs to be remembered that the electronic means of communication have been the basic way of contacting the EUIPO for many years. As one of the top users of the EUIPO (JWP is at the forefront of the ranking of representatives most often filing EU trademark applications online), we can confirm that the Office in Alicante possesses perfectly prepared tools for cooperation with users via the Internet. The European Patent Office also reacted quickly to the global situation. The EPO has extended the time limits (once again) for performing actions that fall due during the epidemic (i.e. after March 15) until May 4. It also introduced special remedies for users from areas particularly affected by the epidemic. Some procedures requiring the presence of representatives are conducted by videoconference (hearings). It cannot be excluded that the deadlines will be extended again if the situation so requires. It should be emphasized that both the EUIPO and EPO work, even in these difficult times, “normally”.

        Why do we need to proceed? Wouldn’t it be better to wait, since the time limits are suspended by statute?

        HG: All the aforementioned Offices, including the Polish Patent Office, encourage entrepreneurs to undertake planned actions on a regular basis, also in order to avoid excessive accumulation of matters after the end of the pandemic. We may only imagine the adverse effects of this type of “piling up”. Many firms and persons who wait until “the return to normality” may face a situation of a significant slowdown of the Office’s work, for obvious reasons. Settling various matters related to the protection of intellectual property, important for entrepreneurs, may be difficult then, and for certain decisions, undoubtedly, they will have to wait longer. This can be avoided by not giving up the ongoing matters and by initiating new ones if such an initiative (new solution, new idea for a product, sign, design) is born during this particular period. We should remember that many enterprises operate as they have done so far, only adapting their activities to the applicable sanitary requirements, and therefore the Offices also work as usual, although in a slightly changed manner.

      • Survey: In-house to shift COVID litigation work to law firms

        Law firms globally can expect in-house counsel to send them a wave of COVID-created litigation work in the next three months despite many external lawyers being asked to reduce their rates, according to a comprehensive survey by Euromoney’s Legal Media Group (LMG) and Euromoney Thought Leadership Consulting.

        In May, LMG – whose titles include Managing IP, ITR and IFLR – surveyed 435 senior legal and company officials about the impact of COVID-19 on their legal work. General counsel, heads of legal and other figures including chief executives, all from a range of countries and industries and companies of various sizes, took part.

        In asking what type of work counsel will send to external law firms in the next three months, we found that nearly a third (31%) of respondents will be keeping advisers busy with litigation/dispute resolution. This represented a significant jump from the 15% figure when we asked the same question but applied it to the situation today.

      • Patents

        • New means of opposing French patents

          Since April 1, 2020, it is possible to file an opposition against a French patent, before the French Patent Office (INPI). This new procedure is part, with the examination of inventive step[1] and the reform of the utility certificate[2], of the specific intellectual property provisions of the PACTE law (“Plan d’Action pour la Croissance et la Transformation des Entreprises”, Action Plan for Growth and Business Transformation), promulgated by Parliament on May 22, 2019.

          The opposition procedure enables a third party to challenge the validity of a patent, avoiding costly and lengthy legal action, and for which an interest in bringing an action is requested.

          The Intellectual Property Code, as amended by the PACTE law, unveils the outline of the procedure. Guidelines for opposition, providing more details on the procedure, are also being prepared.


          INPI finally rules on the opposition in view of all the written and oral observations. It is important to note that the opposition is deemed rejected if INPI has not acted within four months from the date of the end of the investigation phase. This provision makes, on the one hand, the opponent bear the consequences of a breach of INPI. On the other hand, it ensures a fast treatment of the opposition.

          This new procedure lasts at most fifteen months between the start of the investigation and the decision of INPI.

        • European Patent Office gives green light to prohibit patents on plants and animals

          The Board concluded that plants and animals obtained by ‘essentially biological processes’ are not patentable, with the exception of patent applications filed before July 2017. This verdict is in line with the interpretation of European patent law as decided by the 38 member states of the EPO in 2017. No Patents on Seeds! welcomes the verdict but is also demanding further political decisions to close still existing loopholes. Access to biological diversity needed for further breeding must not be controlled, hampered or blocked by any patents.

          “For more than ten years we have been fighting against patents such as those on broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, melons and cereals. Therefore, we welcome this verdict in the name of the European public, gardeners, farmers and consumers. Knowledge of methods of breeding plants and animals continues to evolve as a common good from the activities of farmers and breeders over centuries, it is not invented by industry. In future, conventionally bred plants and animals have to be kept available for further breeding,” Martha Mertens says for Friends of the Earth Germany.

          “We hope the new verdict will help to put an end to a decade of complete legal absurdity and chaotic decision-making at the EPO. However, there is still a huge risk that big corporations, such as Bayer (previously Monsanto) will try to abuse patent law to take control of our daily food,” says Katherine Dolan for ARCHE NOAH. “The problem is not yet solved. Further political decisions still have to be taken to close the existing loopholes.”

        • Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Office to resume holding oral proceedings

          The European Patent Office (EPO) Boards of Appeal have issued a new communication today advising that, to a limited extent, the Boards of Appeal will resume holding oral proceedings from Monday 18th May 2020. Parties will be contacted accordingly by communication and asked to confirm that they expect to be able to attend in person and that they do not anticipate being affected by travel restrictions.

          With the agreement of all parties concerned, oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal may now also be held by video-conference.

        • Are Patent and Trademark Deadlines Extended Due To COVID-19? (UPDATED)

          As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, patent offices worldwide are taking steps to minimize negative impacts that patent and trademark filers may suffer.

          Many offices have asked their employees to work from home, potentially causing delays. Most or all offices, including the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and European Patent Office (EPO), are conducting oral proceedings via telephone or videoconferencing.


          Overall, all offices are taking measures to help reduce any delays caused by COVID-19.

          Links to certain offices’ COVID-19 webpages are included below. We encourage you to contact us with any questions you might have.

        • Book Review: Overview of the Appeal Proceedings according to the EPC, Third Edition

          The new Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA), which came into force on 1 January 2020, will be a cornerstone in helping the EPO’s Boards of Appeal meet their objectives of settling 90% of cases within 30 months of receipt and reducing the number of pending cases to fewer than 7,000 by 2023.

          The changes in the RPBA 2020 are discussed in detail in the book “Overview of the Appeal Proceedings according to the EPC” by Hugo Meinders, with translations into French and German by Gérard Weiss and Philipp Lanz, all (former) members of the Boards of Appeal.

        • Issues in recognition of Artificial Intelligent entity as Inventor

          Recently, naming an AI entity as an inventor for a patent application has become a critical point of discussion across several industrial quarters…

        • COVID-19 Patent & Trademark Office Updates

          European Patent Office (EPO) has announced that all oral proceedings in opposition scheduled until September 14, 2020, which have not already been confirmed to take place by videoconference, are postponed until further notice. More info.
          French IP Office (INPI) has postponed all deadlines until either July 23, 2020 or August 23, 2020, depending on the case.
          Indian IP Office has issued a notice confirming that the due date for “all deadlines falling during the lockdown period” (March 15 until May 17 2020) are extended until June 1, 2020.
          Australian IP Office launched a free support and assistance services for small to medium Australian businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, on May 25, 2020.
          Other general closures & deadline extensions have been added to the Google document.

        • Looking at EU priority in ARIPO patent applications

          Vítor Sérgio Moreira of Inventa International examines the growing trend in EU priority claims in ARIPO patent applications and looks at which sectors those applications are most likely to originate from.

          In this article, we aim to identify the profile of patent applications filed before the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) in which priority is claimed via a document originating from a European Patent Office Member State (EU priority). In doing so, we intend to acquire more information about the main technological fields and applicants from Europe that seek patent protection with the member states of ARIPO. ARIPO was created by the Lusaka Agreement (1976). It is an intergovernmental organization for cooperation in matters related to patents, trademarks, and other IP rights.

          In respect to patents, ARIPO is empowered to grant patents and administer such rights on behalf of Contracting States of the Harare Protocol (1984). ARIPO applications require the applicant to designate those member states where protection is sought. The ARIPO system does not replace national systems. The results of our research indicate a growing trend in the number of patent applications filed before ARIPO (AP patents) claiming an EU priority. The main technological fields observed are related to the pharmaceutical industry and the agrochemical industry. The applicants are major European corporations with a global presence in their respective industrial sectors.

        • Software Patents

          • Rise in extended reality technology patents suggests market revival

            Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are on the cusp of revolutionising our lives – from the way that we shop to the way that we consult doctors and interact with our communities.

            Extended reality (XR) is a fairly recent addition to the tech dictionary and the world of AR, VR and mixed reality (MR). It refers to all real and virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables. As such, ‘XR’ is an umbrella term that includes and unites AR, VR and MR.


            Figure 1 also shows dedicated XR rivals Oserhout Design Group (ODG) and Magic Leap among the leading patent owners. ODG seemed to have been bolstered by a $58 million investment by 21st Century Fox in 2016, but its market presence has dissipated in subsequent years. Nevertheless, the 20-year old company has already seen its early work in foundational AR patents pay off. In 2014 Microsoft paid around $150 million to acquire a trove of ODG patents after deciding not to buy the company outright. Moreover, ODG claims that a number of AR patents in its collection have been infringed by existing products from companies such as Magic Leap, Google and Facebook, specifically pointing to diagrams of systems like Magic Leap 1 and Oculus Quest, which it claims conflict with its prior art. With a patent sale, ODG’s leadership is looking to recoup enough to pay back the company’s debts.

            Meanwhile, Magic Leap glasses have also plummeted in sales, and the company’s position is of grim concern, especially in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Yet over the years, Magic Leap has managed to hire some top engineers who have developed some great technology that will likely be included in future AR headsets that the company has patented. Therefore, even if Magic Leap’s products expire and the organisation collapses, it will still have intellectual property that other contenders will likely have to license in order to bring their own products to market.

          • Qwikcash LLC patent challenged as likely invalid

            On May 29, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 8,714,445, owned and asserted by Qwikcash LLC, an NPE. The ’445 patent is directed to a cash transfer system. It is currently being asserted against Blackhawk Network, Inc.

          • B# On Demand patent challenged as likely invalid

            On May 29, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 9,553,880, owned and asserted by B# On Demand, LLC, an NPE. The ’880 patent discloses a system that transmits a catalog of electronic files to a requesting user, sets up customer accounts, processes payments from customers to establish file access authorizations, and enables transmission of user-selected files to customers. It is currently being asserted against Spotify.

          • NavBlazer Patent Challenged as Likely Invalid

            On May 29, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 9,885,782, owned by NavBlazer LLC, an NPE. The ’782 patent is generally directed to vehicle navigation systems that provide information about a route (e.g., identifying traffic congestion, weather conditions, etc.). The case against TomTom was terminated earlier this month, but the patent is currently being asserted against Apple, Samsung, LG, Motorola Mobility, and Hyundai for their devices that provide vehicle navigation.

      • Copyrights

        • District Court Mostly Refuses To Terminate The Litigation Testing The Copyright Termination Provision

          The decision this post discusses, Waite v. Universal Music Group, came out at the end of March, but, as one of the leading cases litigating the termination provision of the copyright statute, it’s still worth the attention. Maybe even especially now, as the Copyright Office overtly goes to bat for rightsholders. Because the termination provision speaks to who the rightsholders actually are. Without it, it’s likely to not actually be the artists behind the creation of the works.

        • US Court Hands Down Preliminary Injunction Against Pirate IPTV Provider

          A Florida district court judge has handed down a highly-restrictive preliminary injunction against a ‘pirate’ IPTV provider trading under various names including CBC and X-View. The case was originally filed under seal by TV broadcaster DISH Networks, whose representative tracked down the alleged operator in Belize.

        • US Copyright Office’s DMCA Tweaks Trigger ‘Internet Disconnection’ Concerns

          Last week the US Copyright Office released its long-awaited review on the DMCA’s safe harbor section. While far-reaching proposals such as pirate site blocking and upload filters were not recommended, some proposals have triggered criticism from digital rights groups, who fear that the interests of users are being ignored.

        • Book review: The Making Available Right

          This Kat is delighted to review The Making Available Right: Realizing the Potential of Copyright’s Dissemination Function in the Digital Age by Cheryl Foong (Lecturer, Curtin Law School, Australia).

          This book suggests that copyright has an underserved function – dissemination. And that this dissemination function can be served through a principled interpretation of the making available right. It sets out to demonstrate the utility of the making available right as a tool for advancing copyright’s dissemination function (disseminating the works to the public).

        • CC Search Celebrates Its First Birthday!

          Here’s a look at the top 25 queries this past year,,,


Links 29/5/2020: Genode OS 20.05 and FSF Video Conferencing Service

Posted in News Roundup at 3:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Cockpit 220

        Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 220.

      • My exciting journey into Kubernetes’ history

        Choosing the right steps when working in the field of data science is truly no silver bullet. Most data scientists might have their custom workflow, which could be more or less automated, depending on their area of work. Using Kubernetes can be a tremendous enhancement when trying to automate workflows on a large scale. In this blog post, I would like to take you on my journey of doing data science while integrating the overall workflow into Kubernetes.

        The target of the research I did in the past few months was to find any useful information about all those thousands of GitHub issues and pull requests (PRs) we have in the Kubernetes repository. What I ended up with was a fully automated, in Kubernetes running Continuous Integration (CI) and Deployment (CD) data science workflow powered by Kubeflow and Prow. You may not know both of them, but we get to the point where I explain what they’re doing in detail. The source code of my work can be found in the kubernetes-analysis GitHub repository, which contains everything source code-related as well as the raw data. But how to retrieve this data I’m talking about? Well, this is where the story begins.

      • First new Docker release under Mirantis appears
    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • BSD Now 352: Introducing Randomness

        A brief introduction to randomness, logs grinding netatalk to a hault, NetBSD core team changes, Using qemu guest agent on OpenBSD kvm/qemu guests, WireGuard patchset for OpenBSD, FreeBSD 12.1 on a laptop, and more.

      • Bad Voltage 3×05: This Podcast Will Self Destruct

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we are rendered with one meelion triangles.

      • Bread and Butter Django – Building SaaS #58

        In this episode, I worked on a views and templates. There are a number of core pages that are required to flesh out the minimal interface for the app. We’re building them.

        I began by showing the page that we were going to work on. I outlined the changes I planned to make, then we started.

        The first thing we added was data about the school year, the main model on display in the page. I showed how to mock in the elements before adding real data.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Wayland in 2020

          It is nearly a year since my last blog article about Wayland on Linux. Thus I thought it is time for an update on how my desktop with sway developed. What happened?

        • Mainline Linux Kernel Starts Seeing A NVIDIA Tegra X1 Video Input Driver

          While the Tegra X1 SoC (Tegra210) has been available for several years, finally with the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel is a mainline driver contributed by NVIDIA for the video input support.

          The Tegra X1 features a high-end video input controller that can support up to six MIPI CSI camera sensors concurrently.

        • AMDVLK 2020.Q2.4 Released With TMZ Enabled, Improved Memory Allocation

          As the first open-source code drop in two weeks, AMDVLK 2020.Q2.4 is out today as the latest update to this official open-source AMD Radeon Vulkan driver stack for Linux.

          AMDVLK 2020.Q2.4 comes with improved memory allocation for systems not using any local invisible memory, command buffer prefetch is now disabled for local memory, TMZ is enabled, and a back-end optimization for kills is used. There are also several bug fixes concerning the Radeon Graphics Profiler and other targeted bug fixes.

        • Khronos Releases OpenVG 1.1 Lite For High Quality Vector Graphics On Mobile

          It’s been a while since hearing of OpenVG as The Khronos Group’s hardware-accelerated 2D vector graphics API. But today they announced a “Lite” version of OpenVG 1.1.

          OpenVG 1.1 as their latest version came back in 2008 and since then there hasn’t been much to report on this vector graphics API besides maintenance tasks and a short-lived OpenVG Gallium3D state tracker. Out today though is the provisional specification of OpenVG 1.1 Lite.

    • Applications

      • Ardour 6.0 Released With Massive Changes

        Ardour – the open-source Digital Audio Workstation software brings huge changes with its latest version.

        Digital audio workstation (DAW) apps are used to record, edit, and create/produce audio files. DAW apps come with a wide range of configuration options based on their types. Using DAW apps, you can record music, songs, speech, radio, TVs, sound effects, podcasts, and these apps also help you to mix & alter multiple recordings and produce a single track.

      • Looking for Some Good Note Taking Apps on Linux? Here are the Best Note Apps we Found for You

        No matter what you do — taking notes is always a good habit. Yes, there are a lot of note taking apps to help you achieve that. But, what about some open-source note taking apps for Linux?

        Fret not, you don’t need to endlessly search the Internet to find the best note taking app for Linux. Here, I’ve picked some of the most impressive open-source note taking apps available.

      • 20 productivity tools for the Linux terminal

        Many of us, admittedly, only use computers because they’re fun. But some people use computers to get stuff done, and their theory is computers are supposed to make things faster, better, and more organized. In practice, though, computers don’t necessarily improve our lives without a little manual reconfiguration to match our individual work styles.

        Kevin Sonney likes to design systems, not just for networks but for improving his own workday, and this year he covered 18 different productivity tools in a series of 20 articles. This article gets all of Kevin’s favorite tools in one place and provides a quick summary of what each one can do for you.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Injustice 2 Now Playable With Proton GE

        It’s all good in the fighting game neighborhood. Quite a number of fighting games are now available to play on Linux thanks to Proton, and now we can add another to that list with Injustice 2, with a customized version of Proton: Glorious Eggroll.

      • Total War: WARHAMMER II – The Warden & The Paunch DLC out now on Linux

        Feral Interactive announced today that the work has been completed on porting over the Total War: WARHAMMER II – The Warden & The Paunch DLC. A short delay as we’ve come to expect, with it being available on Windows since May 21. Not long to wait though and Feral always communicate how it will be “shortly after” when these things get announced.

      • Total War: WARHAMMER II – The Warden & The Paunch DLC out now for macOS and Linux
      • Total War: WARHAMMER II – The Warden & The Paunch DLC Is Out Now for Linux

        Feral Interactive launched today The Warden & The Paunch DLC (Downloadable Content) for the acclaimed Total War: WARHAMMER II video game for Linux and macOS platforms.

        Officially launched on May 21st and coming three months after the massive Mandate of Heaven DLC, The Warden & the Paunch is the latest Legendary Lords Pack for the award-winning and critically acclaimed Total War: WARHAMMER II turn-based strategy and real-time tactics video game.

        It introduces two new Legendary Lords from the world of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Eltharion the Grim, which leads Tor Yvresse for the High Elves, and Grom the Paunch, which commands the Broken Axe Tribe for the Greenskins.

      • A fractured future and a beautiful yet dark style, Resolutiion is out now

        Resolutiion, an absolutely beautiful fast-paced action-adventure from Monolith of Minds and Deck 13 is out now.

        Striking artwork, questions that you constantly want answered and action awaiting around every corner. Resolutiion shows a very fractured and broken future, it’s dark and unsettling and nothing really makes any sense. Not that it actually needs to, I often found myself just walking around to take in the environment.

        There’s definitely a sense of overwhelming loss here, both from the world and the player. You’re slowly and loosely guided along with most of it left to you to figure out. Some kind of devastating war in the past still lingers in the minds of those you meet. You’re some kind of old augmented killer, more robot than person now, escorting a curious AI that reached out to you. Nothing is as it seems.

      • Stadia Pro subscribers get 5 new games on June 1

        Each month, subscribers of the Stadia game streaming service with the Pro tier get free games and in June they’re getting an additional five.

      • Civilization VI – New Frontier Pass adds Linux support

        After a delay, the first part of the Civilization VI – New Frontier Pass with the Maya & Gran Colombia Pack is now available in the Linux version.

        Not up to speed? The New Frontier Pass for Civilization VI is a new season of DLC, with free updates that will be released in between each through to March 2021. Civilization VI as a service? Well Firaxis Games and 2K seem to think it might work, that’s a lot of extra content coming.

        It was originally planned to simultaneously launch for both Linux and macOS but it seems issues came up as 2K sent us in a statement. A week later and it’s here along with the latest patch. However, cross-platform online play is now unavailable. On Twitter, Aspyr Media mentioned this was based on a priority of just getting the DLC out, although that was mentioning macOS the same would apply here. We have reached out to Aspyr to be sure and clarify if Linux will be getting cross-platform online play back soon too.

      • The 20 Best Marvel Games For Android Smartphone in 2020

        Who doesn’t love to play the superhero games? Especially when the gaming characters are from your favorite marvel comic series, then what else is needed. From recent comic characters of avengers to old & toughest wolverine, you will find out many cool superheroes and villains in those Marvel Android games.

      • BozemanGLUG: June 2020 Meeting (online)

        3) The dolphin-emu Nintendo Gamecube emulator… the younger son asked about it so I installed it on his new-to-him Linux machine and darn it, it works pretty well.

      • How to get GOG Galaxy working on Linux

        Do you own games on GOG.com? Want to get the GOG Galaxy client set up on your Linux PC to enjoy some video games? Follow along with this guide as we show you how to get GOG Galaxy working on Linux!

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Send your talks for Akademy 2020 *now*

          The Call for Participation is still open for two weeks more, but please make us a favour and send yours *now*.

          This way we don’t have to panic thinking if we are going to need to go chasing people or not, or if we’re going to have too few or too many proposals.

          Also if you ask the talks committee for review, we can review your talk early, give you feedback and improve it, so it’s a win-win.

        • Status report: Community Bonding

          I’m checking in today to let you know what I did in my GSoC project these past weeks. This Community Bonding period was really wonderful; although I’ve been more or less involved with the project since 2016, I’ve acquainted myself with the efforts of each of the members, and so far it’s been a wonderful experience.

          During these past weeks, I’ve been preparing for the coding period by talking with Boudewijn and Wolthera about the particulars of Krita’s file format and build system. The objectives for the past two meetings were:

        • GSoC’20 with KDE

          About the Project

          The project involves improving KDE Web Infrastructure. KDE has a lot of websites and some of them like the main website could use an update.

          The first part of the project involves porting kde.org to use Hugo- A go based static site generator. kde.org is very old and thus contains a lot of pages. This project would involve porting most of the pages to markdown so as to make the website faster and easier to develop.

          The second part of the project involves updating Season of KDE website. The goal is to use more modern tooling and add some new features. This project is a part of the transition of KDE websites from LDAP to OAuth based authentication. OAuth is a much more modern approach to authentication and would solve some headaches with the current authentication system.

        • An update to kdesrc-build-profiles utility

          kdesrc-build is an amazing tool that makes building KDE projects a breeze.

          Now, I like having several build profiles for the projects I’m working on. The main build done by kdesrc-build is done with gcc, but I keep also a parallel build with clang, and some builds that incorporate static analysis tools and such.

          At first, a long time ago, I was doing all this with shell scripts. But that approach was not really scalable.

          Then I wrote a small tool that builds on kdesrc-build, but allows you to define different build profiles.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Gnome settles Patent litigation: Amanda Brock, CEO OpenUK interviews Neil McGovern, ED of Gnome Foundation and Board Director at OpenUK

          “Firstly, Congratulations Neil and very well done. This is probably the best possible result Gnome could have had right?

          “I believe so, yes. We have managed to secure a more certain future for all of open source software and sent a very strong message to other patent holders that attempts to bring suit against us will be at best, futile.”

          The Open Source Community response to Rothschild, I am resisting calling them a troll, was probably a bit of a shock to Rothschild. Can you tell us a bit about it and the amount raised from so many people and organisations?

          “This has happened before, when Groupon tried to register GNOME as a trademark, despite us already holding it. This time. we managed to raise over $150,000 from over 4,000 individual donors. One of the strengths of the community is how passionately we care about what we do, and how we rally around each other when there’s trouble.”

          You must be really proud to have achieved this result?

          “Absolutely! Although the patent hasn’t been invalidated, we have secured a bigger prize – the protection of open source software from a large non-practicing entity.”

          Sherman and Sterling are a huge global law firm and acted as Gnome’s pro bono legal counsel? How did that come about?
          “It came a little out of the blue! I was flying back from GUADEC (our annual conference) when this all kicked off, and when I landed, I had an email from Matt Berkowitz offering pro-bono representation. They had been monitoring patent filings and saw this one, so reached out to us.

    • Distributions

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

      • Red Hat Advances Java on Kubernetes, Delivers Quarkus as a Fully-Supported Runtime for Cloud-Native Development

        Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced an expansion of its application services portfolio with the addition of Quarkus as a fully supported framework in Red Hat Runtimes. With Quarkus, Red Hat is advancing Java on Kubernetes and bridging the gap between traditional Java applications and cloud-native environments.

      • Quarkus, a Kubernetes-native Java runtime, now fully supported by Red Hat

        Java was introduced 25 years ago, and to this day, remains one of the most popular programming languages among developers. However, Java has developed a reputation for not being a good fit for cloud-native applications. Developers look for (and often choose) alternative frameworks such as Go and Node.js to support their cloud-native development requirements.

        Why learn another language when you can use your existing skills? Quarkus allows Java developers to leverage their expertise to develop cloud-native, event-driven, reactive, and serverless applications. Quarkus provides a cohesive Java platform that feels familiar but new at the same time. Not only does it leverage existing Java standards, but it also provides a number of features that optimize developer joy, including live coding, unified configuration, IDE plugins, and more.

      • Red Hat Tosses Its Weight Behind Quarkus

        Following recent announcements, Red Hat is now ready in fully supporting Quarkus to enhance its Kubernetes support.

        Quarkus is a Kubernetes-native Java stack to make the language more appealing in cloud-native use-cases. Quarkus optimizes the Java experience for containers and serverless environments.

      • Red Hat Delivers Quarkus As A Fully Supported Framework In Red Hat Runtimes

        By adding Quarkus as a supported runtime, Red Hat is helping to bring Java into the modern, cloud-native application development landscape and to approaches like microservices, containers and serverless, and enabling Java developers to continue working in the language they know and love.

      • Red Hat Runtimes adds Kubernetes-native Quarkus Java stack

        Red Hat’s Quarkus, a Kubernetes-native Java stack, is now supported on the Red Hat Runtimes platform for developing cloud-native applications.

        A build of Quarkus is now part of Red Hat Runtimes middleware and integrates with the Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes container platform for managing cloud deployments, Red Hat said this week.

      • Building a Ceph-powered Cloud: Deploying a containerized Red Hat Ceph Storage 4 cluster for Red Hat Open Stack Platform 16

        Ceph is the most popular storage backend for OpenStack by a wide margin, as has been reported by the OpenStack Foundation’s survey every year since its inception. In the latest survey, conducted during the Summer of 2019, Ceph outclassed other options by an even greater margin than it did in the past, with a 75% adoption rate.

      • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.3.19RC1 and 7.4.7RC1

        Release Candidate versions are available in testing repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests, and also as base packages.

        RPM of PHP version 7.4.7RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 32 or remi-php74-test repository for Fedora 30-31 and Enterprise Linux 7-8.

        RPM of PHP version 7.3.19RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 30-31 or remi-php73-test repository for Enterprise Linux.

      • How I benefit from a Red Hat subscription in a time of crisis and beyond
      • Red Hat OpenShift Helps Asiakastieto Group Bring Account Insight To Life
      • IBM Data Asset eXchange Adds New Data Sets
    • Debian Family

      • New Debian Developers and Maintainers (March and April 2020)

        The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

        Paride Legovini (paride)
        Ana Custura (acute)
        Felix Lechner (lechner)

        The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

        Sven Geuer
        H?vard Flaget Aasen

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Canonical Fixes Linux Kernel Regression in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, 19.10 and 18.04 LTS

        The regression was introduced with the latest security updates released last week for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), as well as Ubuntu 19.10 and 18.04.4 LTS. The regression affected Linux kernel’s OverlayFS file system implementation causing the Docker registry to keep restarting.

        Affected kernels are Linux 5.4 (generic, generic-lpae, lowlatency, oem and virtual flavors) in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS 64-bit installations and Linux 5.3 (generic, generic-lpae, lowlatency, raspi2 and snapdragon flavors) in Ubuntu 19.10 and Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS 32-bit, 64-bit and ARM (Raspberry Pi (V7)) systems.

  • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 20.05

      Genode 20.05 takes our road map’s focus on the consolidation and optimization of the framework and its API to heart. It contains countless of under-the-hood improvements, mostly on the account of vastly intensified automated testing, the confrontation of Genode with increasingly complex software stacks, and stressful real-world work loads. You will find this theme throughout the release notes below. The result of this overhaul is captured in the updated version of the Genode Foundations book (Section New revision of the Genode Foundations book).


      Even though Genode is able to run on top of the Linux kernel since the very beginning, Linux was solely meant as a development vehicle.

    • Genode OS 20.05 Adds Capability-Based Security Using SECCOMP, Drops Python 2 + Rust

      Version 20.05 of the Genode open-source operating system framework is now available with many improvements.

      Genode OS 20.05 contains various work particularly on the consolidation and optimization front. There is also better 64-bit Arm support, documentation improvements, and capability-based security using SECCOMP on Linux.

      Genode OS 20.05 has improvements to its consistent block encrypter, retired its Noux runtime environment, removed Rust support after no one has been maintaining its support in years, dropping Python 2 given its EOL status and Python 3 support being in good shape, MSI-X support on x86, and various other updates.

    • Talk 9: big step forward for team calls, efficient work flows and open source back-end

      Nextcloud GmbH is glad to announce the upcoming major release of Nextcloud Talk that will include significant improvements for teams collaborating remotely, including easy document sharing with drag’n’drop, in-call collaborative document editing and significant modifications to facilitate calls with more participants. Together with this release, our partner Struktur AG makes the high-performance back-end available under the AGPL license. A first release candidate of Talk 9 is available today and the final release is expected in about two weeks. Most of the improvements in the area of performance and scalability have been backported to the stable Talk 8 series, making them available to users right now.

    • Nextcloud Talk 9 Makes Sharing And Collaborative Editing Documents Easier

      The upcoming major release of Nextcloud Talk will include improvements for teams collaborating remotely, including easy document sharing with drag’n’drop, in-call collaborative document editing and significant modifications to facilitate calls with more participants.

    • Web Browsers

      • Beaker Browser

        There is a new application available for Sparkers: Beaker Browser

      • Chromium

        • Chrome 84 Beta: Web OTP, Web Animations, New Origin Trials and More

          Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Learn more about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 84 is beta as of May 28, 2020.

        • Chrome 84 Beta Brings Better Web Animations API, Experimental WebAssembly SIMD

          Following the recent Chrome 83 release, Chrome 84 has now been promoted to beta.

          The Chrome 84 Beta is bringing Web OTP API (SMS Receiver API) support on Android, significant improvements to its Web Animations API implementation, WebAssembly SIMD support with a 128-bit value type is now available via the Origin trials (experimental functionality) along with a Cookie Store API, Idle Detection API, and other trial features.

        • Should you buy a Chromebook?

          With more and more people buying laptops to work or learn from home, a lot of folks are probably looking into the prospect of switching to a lighter, cheaper Chromebook instead of a traditional Windows or Mac laptop. Chromebooks come at a wide range of price points and with a variety of features, but the big question for most people is about Chrome OS itself. How hard is it to switch? What are Android apps like? Does Linux support really work, and how well? Do Chromebooks make good tablets? Can I use Firefox on one? We’ll cover as much of that as we can in this post.

      • Mozilla

        • Firefox features for remote school (that can also be used for just about anything)

          Helping kids with school work can be challenging in the best of times (“new” math anyone?) let alone during a worldwide pandemic. These Firefox features can help make managing school work, and remote summer classes if those are on your horizon, a little easier.

        • The influence of hardware on Firefox build times

          I recently upgraded my aging “fast” build machine. Back when I assembled the machine, it could do a full clobber build of Firefox in about 10 minutes. That was slightly more than 10 years ago. This upgrade, and the build times I’m getting on the brand new machine (now 6 months old) and other machines led me to look at how some parameters influence build times.


          The XPS13 being old, it is subject to thermal throttling, making it slower than it should be, but it wouldn’t beat the 10 years old desktop anyway. Macbook Pros tend to get into these thermal issues after a while too.

          I’ve relied on laptops for a long time. My previous laptop before this XPS was another XPS, that is now about 6 to 7 years old, and while the newer one had more RAM, it was barely getting better build times compared to the older one when I switched. The evolution of laptop performance has been underwelming for a long time, but things finally changed last year. At long last.

          I wish I had numbers with a more recent laptop under the same OS as the XPS for fairer comparison. Or with the more recent larger laptops that sport even more cores, especially the fancy ones with Ryzen processors.

        • Writing inside organizations

          My team keeps snippets, which kinda-sorta feels like a blog-like interface for sharing context. We keep our snippets in a google doc largely because it has a low barrier to entry and it’s a fast solution. However, I find that keeping snippets in a doc really limits the value I personally get from keeping a weekly log. Ostensibly, the value to writing snippets is keeping my team up to date on my work. However, I find that the secondary personal benefits are the ones that keep me motivated to write updates.

        • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: May 2020 Edition

          IMPORTANT: Firefox 78 is the next ESR (Extended Support Release) version. That’s a more stable version designed for enterprises, but also used in some Linux distributions, and it remains supported for about a year. Once Firefox 78 moves to release, that content will remain frozen until that version becomes unsupported (about 15 months), so it’s important to ship the best localization possible.

        • Mozilla’s journey to environmental sustainability

          The programme may be new, but the process has been shaping for years: In March 2020, Mozilla officially launched a dedicated Environmental Sustainability Programme, and I am proud and excited to be stewarding our efforts.

          Since we launched, the world has been held captive by the COVID-19 pandemic. People occasionally ask me, “Is this really the time to build up and invest in such a large-scale, ambitious programme?” My answer is clear: Absolutely.

        • Mozilla Privacy Blog: An opportunity for openness and user agency in the proposed Facebook-Giphy merger

          Facebook is squarely in the crosshairs of global competition regulators, but despite that scrutiny, is moving to acquire Giphy, a popular platform that lets users share images on social platforms, such as Facebook, or messaging applications, such as WhatsApp. This merger – how it is reviewed, whether it is approved, and if approved under what sort of conditions – will set a precedent that will influence not only future mergers, but also the shape of legislative reforms being actively developed all around the world. It is crucial that antitrust agencies incorporate into their processes a deep understanding of the nature of the open internet and how it promotes competition, how data flows between integrated services, and in particular the role played by interoperability.

          Currently Giphy is integrated with numerous independent social messaging services, including, for example, Slack, Signal, and Twitter. A combined Facebook-Giphy would be in a position to restrict access by those companies, whether to preserve their exclusivity or to get leverage for some other reason. This would bring clear harm to users who would suddenly lose the capabilities they currently enjoy, and make it harder for other companies to compete.

    • CMS

      • Strapi introduces new open-source headless content management system

        Strapi, the company behind the most popular open-source headless content management system (CMS), has announced the general availability of its Community Edition after two years of development. The business also announced paid support plans and disclosed plans for an Enterprise Edition, which is already in private beta testing.

        What’s a headless CMS you ask? Unlike such popular CMSs as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, a headless CMS doesn’t bother with the website’s front-end. Instead, all its focus is on the back-end content repository, which is used for storing and delivering structured content. This content is then made available for display via a RESTful API, typically using JSON or XML.

      • Strapi Community Edition Now Generally Available

        Open-source headless CMS Strapi has announced the general availability of its Community Edition after 24 months of rapid iteration.

        The company also announced the availability of paid support for enterprises deploying Strapi in production and disclosed plans for an Enterprise Edition, which is currently in private beta testing with select companies.

        The Strapi CMS is completely customizable using application programming interfaces (APIs) so that content from databases and files can be accessed for display on websites, smartphones, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

    • Funding

      • COVID-19 Crisis: FOSS Responders Raises $115,000 To Support Community

        Conference cancellations have caused financial loss, unmet fundraising trajectories and missed business opportunities. For example, the Open Source Institute, the organisation that ratifies open source licences, has indicated that it needs $600,000 to meet its funding goals for 2020 while the Drupal Association has had to layoff employees after cancelling events and needs to fundraise $500,000.

    • FSF

      • FSF gives freedom-respecting videoconferencing to all associate members

        The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is now offering all FSF associate members free “as in freedom” videoconferencing as an additional member benefit. Becoming a member now helps you push back against increased societal pressure to use nonfree software to communicate with coworkers, friends, and loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, and after.

      • Free Software Foundation announces freedom-respecting videoconferencing for its associate members

        The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced free “as in freedom” videoconferencing for its associate members and their communities. This service will help everyone push back against increased societal pressure to use nonfree software to communicate with friends, collaborators, and loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, and after.

        The FSF has been raising the alarm about encroachments upon freedom by remote communication tools since social distancing guidelines were issued. The FSF’s new videoconferencing service powered by free software comes after several of its recent publications warned users about widely used nonfree applications for remote communication and education, like Zoom.

        “The freedoms to associate and communicate are some of our most important. To have the means to exercise these freedoms online controlled by gatekeepers of despotic software is always dangerous and unacceptable, only more so when we can’t safely gather in person,” executive director John Sullivan explains. “We are a small nonprofit and can’t provide hosting for the entire world, but we want to do our part. By offering feature-rich videoconferencing in freedom to our community of supporters, and sharing how others can do it, too, we demonstrate that it is possible to do this kind of communication in an ethical way.”

      • FSF Now Offering Video Conferencing Service To Its Members

        In aiming to promote freedom-respecting video conferencing at a time when other platforms like Facebook and Zoom are exploding in popularity as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the Free Software Foundation is offering a video conferencing system for its associate members.

        This Free Software Foundation video-conferencing is powered by Jitsi Meet. Jitsi Meet is a simple, open-source free video conferencing platform that does support desktop sharing, Etherpad multi-user document editing, integrated chat, and other capabilities. The Free Software Foundation did modify their Jitsi Meet instance to reduce server-side logging and other tweaks in the name of privacy and software freedom.

      • FSF gives freedom-respecting videoconferencing to all associate members

        Dear Chinese Translators:
        Are you interested in having a video conference using Jitsi?

      • GNU Projects

        • GNUnet Hacker Meeting 2020

          We are happy to announce that we will have a GNUnet Hacker Meeting from 17-21 of June 2020 taking place online. For more information see here.

    • Programming/Development

      • Float/String Conversion in Picolibc

        When linked together, getting from float to string and back to float is a “round trip”, and an exact pair of algorithms does this for every floating point value.

        Solutions for both directions were published in the proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN 1990 conference on Programming language design and implementation, with the string-to-float version written by William Clinger and the float-to-string version written by Guy Steele and Jon White. These solutions rely on very high precision integer arithmetic to get every case correct, with float-to-string requiring up to 1050 bits for the 64-bit IEEE floating point format.

        That’s a lot of bits.

      • Fortran newsletter: May 2020

        Welcome to the first monthly Fortran newsletter. It will come out on the first calendar day of every month, detailing Fortran news from the previous month.


        If you came to this newsletter from elsewhere, welcome to the new Fortran website. We built this site mid-April and hope for it to be the home of Fortran on the [I]nternet, which traditionally there hasn’t been any to date. Look around and let us know if you have any suggestions for improvement. Specifically, Learn and Packages are the pages that we’ll be focusing on in the coming months. Please help us make them better!

      • Android Studio 4.0 Released With Overhauled CPU Profiler, Clangd For C++ Code

        Android Studio 4.0 is out today with this IDE bringing a number of improvements for developing Google Android apps.

        Android Studio 4.0 comes with a new motion editor, an upgraded layout inspector, enhancements to its built-in CPU profiler, smart editor features, Clangd support for C++ language analysis, new feature handling support, continued expansion of Kotlin support, and much more.

      • Looking for C-to-anything transpilers

        I’m looking for languages that have three properties:

        (1) Must have weak memory safety. The language is permitted to crash on an out -of-bounds array reference or null pointer, but may not corrupt or overwrite memory as a result.

      • Peeking Inside Executables And Libraries To Make Debugging Easier

        At first glance, both the executables that a compiler produces, and the libraries that are used during the building process seem like they’re not very accessible. They are these black boxes that make an application go, or make the linker happy when you hand it the ‘right’ library file. There is also a lot to be said for not digging too deeply into either, as normally things will Just Work? without having to bother with such additional details.

        The thing is that both executables and libraries contain a lot of information that normally is just used by the OS, toolchain, debuggers and similar tools. Whether these files are in Windows PE format, old-school Linux a.out or modern-day .elf, when things go south during development, sometimes one has to break out the right tools to inspect them in order to make sense of what is happening.

      • Python

        • Ga?l Varoquaux: Technical discussions are hard; a few tips

          This post discuss the difficulties of communicating while developing open-source projects and tries to gives some simple advice.

          A large software project is above all a social exercise in which technical experts try to reach good decisions together, for instance on github pull requests. But communication is difficult, in particular between diverging points of view. It is easy to underestimate how much well-intended persons can misunderstand each-other and get hurt, in open source as elsewhere. Knowing why there are communication challenges can help, as well as applying a few simple rules.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • It’s Time to Get Back Into RSS

      A lot of people who were on the internet in the early 2000’s remember something called RSS. It stands for really simple syndication, and it allowed content creators to publish updates to the world in a well-understood format.

      The idea—which seems strange to type out—is that millions of people in the world could create and publish ideas, thoughts, and content…and then people who enjoyed that content would collect sources into a reader, which was called, well, an RSS Reader.


      But perhaps most devastating was the web’s move to an advertising model, which RSS runs directly counter to. With RSS you get the content itself, which your reader can choose to display in different ways. Advertisers hate that. They want you to see the original website so they can show you ads the way they want you to see them.

      I’m sure social media sites had an effect too, because—like aggregators—they were singular watering holes that guaranteed something exciting when you showed up. The common denominator is the move from more effort to less. It’s like in WALL-E, where we turn into morbidly obese people on hoverchairs being shuttled between stimuli.

      Regardless of the percentages, all those factors combined to destroy the model of getting raw content directly from the source.

      Well, it’s time to bring that back. It’s time to return to RSS.

      Google Reader is still dead, but if I remove my nostalgia glasses, feedly is probably better now than Reader ever was. It’s what I’ve been using for years now.

  • Leftovers

    • Close To Zero: NOT.
    • Donald Trump’s executive order is ‘plainly illegal,’ says co-author of Section 230

      Under Section 230, [I]nternet companies have broad immunity from liability for the content created by their users. The draft order, announced on Wednesday, would open the door for the Commerce Department and the Federal Communications Commission to reinterpret the law, and authorize the Federal Trade Commission to craft a tool for reporting bias online.

      The Communications Decency Act was approved in 1996 and authored by Sens. Chris Cox (R-CA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). In a statement Thursday, Wyden said: [...]

    • ‘Grotesque’: While 41 Million People Lost Jobs Due to Covid-19, US Billionaires Grew Nearly $500 Billion Richer

      “Billionaire wealth is surging at the same time that millions face suffering, hardship, and loss of life. This is a grotesque indicator of the deep inequalities in U.S. society.”

    • The richest billionaires became vastly richer during pandemic, even as stocks tumbled

      A report from Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies’ Program for Inequality arrived at this conclusion after analyzing the earnings of American billionaires between mid-March, when the coronavirus pandemic began to impact the American economy, and mid-May. They found that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos added $34.6 billion to his wealth and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg added $25 billion to his wealth, putting them at the top of the list in terms of billionaires who made gains to their fortunes. When it comes to the percentage by which their fortunes have increased, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk saw his net worth increase by 48 percent to $36 billion, while Zuckerberg’s wealth rose by 46 percent to $80 billion.

    • Progressives Say ‘People Know Who Real Looters Are’: Not Those Angry Over Police Killings, But Oligarchs Robbing Nation Blind

      “Americans know who the real looters are. It’s the billionaires who plundered America for $434 billion during the pandemic while the essential workers keeping our country? afloat make barely over minimum wage.”

    • Science

      • Operation Warp Speed: Are we rushing COVID-19 vaccine development?

        I write about vaccines a lot, mainly antivaccine nonsense, and have been doing so ever since I first started this blog, as hard as it is to believe, over 15 years ago. While regular people, namely those who don’t pay much attention to antivaccine pseudoscience and the conspiracy theories of the antivaccine movement, might have thought that the COVID-19 pandemic might prod antivaxxers to change their views and become more amenable to vaccines, those of us who’ve been following the antivaccine movement for a long time knew better. Indeed, what actually happened is far from any sort of epiphany on the part of antivaxxers, in which they realize that the only escape from coronavirus is a vaccine. In fact, antivaxxers have not only doubled down, but they’ve teamed up with COVID-19 deniers, who downplay the severity of the threat from the pandemic, and conspiracy theorists, who posit claims such as the claim that SARS-CoV-2 was the product of a laboratory, that 5G made people susceptible to the virus, that those who get the flu vaccine are more likely to become seriously ill from coronavirus, or even that glyphosate and e-cigs are to blame for COVID-19. This should come as no surprise, though, because at the heart of antivaccine views are conspiracy theories, and COVID-19 is a magnet for conspiracy theories. One of these is the belief on the part of antivaxxers that COVID-19 is being exaggerated in order to impose forced vaccination. Unsurprisingly, antivaxxers have already launched a pre-emptive disinformation war against an as-yet nonexistent coronavirus vaccine, and the hype over coronavirus vaccine development efforts, such as the Moderna vaccine, is a

      • Where is the best place to view Manhattanhenge?

        This year, the celebration will be different. Most people will avoid crowds because of the covid-19 pandemic, which has hit New York particularly hard. Social-distancing rules require groups to meet at a distance and prohibit gatherings of more than ten people. Some may view the spectacle from their apartment windows, roofs or fire escapes. Those who venture out might consider consulting our map of last year’s Instagram posts to know where they might get good shots and still avoid the crowds. Either way, the event is sure to generate some breathtaking images on social media which, luckily, can be enjoyed by anyone, locked down or not.

    • Education

      • Coverage of School Reopening Needs to Include School Workers

        When Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, wrote in the New York Times (3/10/20) that K–12 school closures might be unnecessary in the fight against Covid-19, because children rarely get sick from exposure, there was a curious omission. Shouldn’t a scholar of public health, writing about schools for the nation’s leading newspaper, be fully aware that schools are also populated with adults—from teachers to administrators, food workers to therapists? Many of them are in the 45–64 age group that is dying from the coronavirus at a rate about equal to their proportion of the population. Alas, the editors missed this problem.

      • US higher education system is ‘capstone of inequality’

        His book, The Merit Myth: How Our Colleges Favour the Rich and Divide America, argues that selective universities have “trapped themselves in a race for prestige and money”. Co-authored by Peter Schmidt, an education writer, and Jeff Strohl, CEW’s research director, it highlights that students with less social and financial capital are “ruthlessly sorted into colleges with fewer resources” and, as a result, have lower chances of graduating and finding good jobs than their better-off peers.

        “US colleges reinforce intergenerational, racial and class privileges, then magnify and project these inequities into the labour market,” the book says, adding that just 19 per cent of prospective black and Latino students with high SAT scores go to selective institutions, compared with 31 per cent of their white counterparts.

    • Hardware

      • Christian Schaller: Into the world of Robo vacums and Robo mops

        So to conclude, would I recommend robot vacuums and robot mops to other parents with you kids? I would say yes, it has definitely helped us keep the house cleaner and nicer and let us spend less time cleaning the house. But it is not a miracle cure in any way or form, it still takes time and effort to prepare and set up the house and sometimes you still need to do especially the mopping yourself to get things really clean. As for the question of iRobot versus other brands I have no input as I haven’t really tested any other brands. iRobot is a local company so their vacuums are available in a lot of stores around me and I drive by their HQ on a regular basis, so that is the more or less random reason I ended up with their products as opposed to competing ones.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • State Terrorism

        50,000 lives were sacrificed to the President’s delays, denials, and bungling of the coronavirus cries in the interest if the Dow and his re-elecetion. Its as though he could shoot 50,000 people on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.

      • With Nation Focused on Pandemic, Trump Interior Dept. to Greenlight Killing of Bear Cubs and Wolf Pups in Their Dens

        “Killing has no place in our National?Wildlife?Refuges.”

      • Warnings of ‘Catastrophic Consequences’ as Locust Swarms Hit India and Pakistan in Midst of Coronavirus Crisis

        For India, the invasion comes alongside “eviscerating heat.”

      • Hidden in the New House Coronavirus Relief Bill: Billions for Defense Contractors

        When they passed another bill this month to help the tens of millions of Americans left unemployed and hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrats in the House of Representatives touted the $3 trillion legislation’s benefits to working people, renters, first responders and others struggling to get by.

        They made no mention of the defense contractors.

      • Restaurants in the Pandemic

        The NYT ran a column by a bar-restaurant owner telling of the horrible circumstances facing restaurants during and after the shutdown period. While the restaurant industry is among the hardest hit sectors, and many will not survive, a few of the complaints in the piece need some qualification.

      • Silence=Death: Larry Kramer, RIP

        Larry Kramer (1935-2020) died on Wednesday, May 27th, of pneumonia. He was 84 years old and, during much of his adult life as a writer and activist, he battled – both personally and politicly – the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He is survived by his husband, David Webster.

      • If We Don’t Fight Back, We Die: Larry Kramer’s Full Speech at the 2019 Queer Liberation March

        Upon the death of trailblazing AIDS activist Larry Kramer, we feature one of his last major speeches, when 4 million people took to the streets of New York City in 2019 for the largest LGBTQ Pride celebration in history to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising that sparked the modern-day LGBTQ movement. There were two marches: Revelers marched down Fifth Avenue cheered on by millions for the WorldPride parade; and in Sheridan Square, at the site where gay and trans people clashed with police in 1969, tens of thousands gathered for the anti-corporate Queer Liberation March. Democracy Now! was there when Larry Kramer addressed the crowd from the stage, in his wheelchair. “I’m approaching my end. But I still have a few years of fight in me to scream out,” Kramer says. “To scream out the fact that almost everyone gay I’ve known has been affected by this plague of AIDS.” Click here for our interview with ACT UP members and Tony Kushner remembering trailblazing AIDS activist Larry Kramer.

      • Russia’s coronavirus patient population approaches 380,000

        On the morning of May 28, Russian officials announced that as many as 150,993 people in Russia are known to have recovered fully from COVID-19, including 8,785 in the past day. Also in the last 24 hours, another 174 people reportedly died from the disease, raising Russia’s total number of fatalities officially caused by coronavirus to 4,142.

      • GOP Lawmaker Hid Positive COVID Results From Democrat Colleagues for Over a Week

        Democratic lawmakers in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives are upset with their Republican colleagues after a member of the GOP caucus revealed he had tested positive for coronavirus but had hid the test result for more than a week from officials across the aisle.

      • The Virtues of Not Eating Animals
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Red Cross urges halt to cyberattacks on healthcare sector amid COVID-19 [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The Red Cross called for an end to cyberattacks on healthcare and medical research facilities during the coronavirus pandemic, in a letter published Tuesday and signed by a group of political and business figures.

          Such attacks endanger human lives and governments must take “immediate and decisive action” to stop them, the letter stated.

        • FBI offers US companies more details from investigations of health care [cr]acking

          Criminal and state actors continue to target U.S. clinical trial data, trade secrets, and the “sensitive data and proprietary research of U.S. universities and research facilities,” the FBI told industry in an advisory this week. “Likely due to the current global public health crisis, the FBI has observed some nation-states shifting cyber resources to collect against the [health care and public health] sector, while criminals are targeting similar entities for financial gain.”

          The advisory, which CyberScoop obtained, includes multiple examples since February of state-linked [attackers] trying to compromise and retain access to the networks of organizations in the U.S. health care and public health sector. It is the latest in a series of warnings from U.S. officials about similar cybersecurity incidents as the race for a coronavirus vaccine intensifies.

        • Microsoft copied its new Windows Package Manager from rival AppGet, claims developer

          Beigi interviewed in December, and then never heard anything back from the company for nearly six months until he received a 24-hour heads up that Microsoft was launching winget last week. “When I finally saw the announcement and the GitHub repositories, I was shocked? Upset? I wasn’t even sure what I was looking at,” says Beigi.

          Beigi claims the “core mechanics, terminology, the manifest format and structure, even the package repository’s folder structure” of Microsoft’s winget are all heavily inspired by AppGet. Microsoft only briefly mentions AppGet once in its announcement, in a throwaway line that lists other Windows package managers.

          “What was copied with no credit is the foundation of the project. How it actually works,” explains Beigi in a separate Reddit post. “And I don’t mean the general concept of package / app managers… WinGet works pretty much identical to the way AppGet works.”

        • The Day AppGet Died.

          TLDR; I’m no longer going to be developing AppGet. The client and backend services will go into maintenance mode immediately until August 1st, 2020, at which point they’ll be shut down permanently.

        • Apache Pulsar joins Kafka in Splunk Data Stream Processor

          Splunk built out its event streaming capabilities with a new update, released Wednesday, to its Data Stream Processor to bring in more data for analysis on the Splunk platform.

          The DSP technology is a foundational component of the information security and event management vendor’s Data-to-Everything approach.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative drops $3.8M on 23 biomedical open-source projects [Ed: A surveillance scion is openwashing the family's dirty 'surveillance capitalism' empire]
            • Oracle’s open-source alter ego behind some of its most popular products

              Open-source innovation may not be the words evoked by a legacy technology company such as Oracle, a company turning 43 years old next month. But the fact is that — like many companies — Oracle’s paid products and services are actually loaded with ingredients from open-source communities, including Linux, to which it is also a contributor.

              This circular ecosystem of contributing and borrowing back enables some of the versatility and cross-environment compatibility in the company’s latest database and hybrid-cloud offerings.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Building a successful open source community: How coordination and facilitation helps projects scale and mature

                We tend to think of the primary goals of the Linux Foundation’s projects as producing open software, open hardware, open standards, or open data artifacts — the domain of participating programmers & engineers, system architects, and other technical contributors.

                However, successful projects engaging a broader ecosystem of commercial organizations, particularly when raising funds, benefit from active leadership besides pure technical contributions. Contributors often have work outside the project that often puts demands on their time. It takes real time to build and coordinate a commercial ecosystem, ensure stakeholders are engaged, recruiting and onboarding members, create a neutral governance culture (often amid competitors competing), and to keep various aspects of the ecosystem aligned such as when end users begin to participate.

                Many Linux Foundation projects fundraise to provide resources for their community. This is an excellent benefit for the technical community when the business ecosystem comes together to invest and help the community obtain resources to build a thriving community and ecosystem. A typical fundraising model in our community is to offer an annual membership structure that provides a yearly fund for the project.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (dovecot, dpdk, knot-resolver, and unbound), Mageia (ant, libexif, and php), SUSE (libmspack), and Ubuntu (php5, php7.0, php7.2, php7.3, php7.4 and unbound).

          • 5 Kernel Live Patching Tools That Will Help To Run Linux Servers Without Reboots

            Within IT organizations, there are processes and practices so routine that they are invisible. It doesn’t matter if such processes and practices are flawed, or if there exists a better way: if something has worked for a few years, people stop looking for alternatives. This perfectly describes current approaches to kernel patching.

            Right now, most organizations patch the servers by planning reboot cycles. Because rebooting the server fleet is a headache that causes downtime, people put it off for as long as they can. Which means patches aren’t applied as early as possible. This gap between patch issue and its application means risk, malpractice and may cause non-compliance.

            This standard approach to kernel patching exposes servers to malicious intent by threat actors on multiple attack vectors, putting IT organizations at risk of major security issues. Anyone tasked with keeping their organization safe from cyber attacks should be seeking a better way to run Linux servers without reboots (ideally, for years).

            In this article you will learn what is live patching, how it ensures the uptime, what 5 tools are available to help you run servers for years – without reboots and what are the advantages and drawbacks of each tool.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • USB systems may have some serious security flaws – especially on Linux [Ed: ZDNet's FUD is going places; the tests were mostly done on Linux, so it's hardly shocking that the bugs found were in Linux. But it's presented as Linux being particularly bad.]

              Academics have developed a new tool that allowed them to discover 26 previously unidentified vulnerabilities in the USB driver stack used by many popular operating systems including Linux, macOS, Windows and FreeBSD.

            • New fuzzing tool picks up insecure USB driver code

              Matthias Payer at the federal polytechnic school in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Hui Peng at Purdue University, United States, said [pdf] that they leveraged open-source components such as QEMU processor emulator to design a tool that’s low-cost and hardware independent, called USBFuzz.

            • New fuzzing tool for USB drivers uncovers bugs in Linux, macOS, Windows

              With a new fuzzing tool created specifically for testing the security of USB drivers, researchers have discovered more than two dozen vulnerabilities in a variety of operating systems.

              “USBFuzz discovered a total of 26 new bugs, including 16 memory bugs of high security impact in various Linux subsystems (USB core, USB sound, and network), one bug in FreeBSD, three in macOS (two resulting in an unplanned reboot and one freezing the system), and four in Windows 8 and Windows 10 (resulting in Blue Screens of Death), and one bug in the Linux USB host controller driver and another one in a USB camera driver,” Hui Peng and Mathias Payer explained.

            • NSA: Russian agents have been hacking major email program

              The U.S. National Security Agency says the same Russian military hacking group that interfered in the 2016 presidential election and unleashed a devastating malware attack the following year has been exploiting a major email server program since last August or earlier.

              The timing of the agency’s advisory Thursday was unusual considering that the critical vulnerability in the Exim Mail Transfer Agent — which mostly runs on Unix-type operating systems — was identified 11 months ago, when a patch was issued.

              Exim is so widely used — though far less known than such commercial alternatives as Microsoft’s proprietary Exchange — that some companies and government agencies that run it may still not have patched the vulnerability, said Jake Williams, president of Rendition Infosec and a former U.S. government hacker.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • ‘We Live to Fight Another Day… Keep Calling,’ Say Privacy Defenders as House Postpones Vote to Reauthorize FBI Mass Spying Powers

              “Leadership will be working hard behind the scenes to strike some sketchy back room deal and try to get this through. We can’t let that happen. Keep the pressure on.”

            • Ron Wyden: It’s Time Congress Helped Americans Protect Their Privacy

              Americans today are faced with a dilemma – there is a vast universe of products to let us control everything in our lives with a voice command or touch of a button. We can unlock our doors, turn on the heat, track our exercise routines and our baby monitors and perform a million other tasks in ways that make life easier or more efficient.

            • EFF to Court: Broadband Privacy Law Passes First Amendment Muster

              When it comes to surveillance of our online lives, Internet service providers (ISPs) are some of the worst offenders. Last year, the state of Maine passed a law targeted at the harms ISPs do to their customers when they use and sell their personal information. Now that law is under attack from a group of ISPs who claim it violates their First Amendment rights. The lawsuit raises a number of issues—including free speech and data privacy—that are crucial to maintaining an open Internet. So EFF filed an amicus brief arguing that Maine’s law does not violate the First Amendment. The brief explains that the law’s requirement that ISPs obtain their customers’ opt-in consent before using or disclosing their personal information is narrowly tailored to the state’s substantial interests in protecting ISP customers’ data privacy, free speech, and information security.

              The case is called ACA Connects v. Frey. We were joined by three other groups dedicated to both free speech and data privacy on the Internet: the ACLU, the ACLU of Maine, and the Center for Democracy and Technology.

            • ‘Big Tech’ Blinders Let Other Privacy Violators Off The Hook

              After over a decade of largely uncritical admiration from journalists, policymakers, and the public, the United States’ biggest tech companies have experienced a swift fall from grace.

            • Watch EFF Cybersecurity Director Eva Galperin’s TED Talk About Stalkerware

              Stalkers and abusive partners want access to your device for the same reason governments and advertisers do: because “full access to a person’s phone is the next best thing to full access to a person’s mind,” as EFF Director of Cybersecurity Eva Galperin explains in her TED talk on “stalkerware” and her efforts to end the abuse this malicious software enables.

            • German Constitutional Court Says Unjustified Surveillance Of Foreign Citizens Is Illegal

              The German government pretended to be bothered by the NSA’s spying when the Snowden leaks began, claiming surveillance of overseas allies was somehow a bit too much. It had nothing to say about its own spying, which was roughly aligned with the NSA’s “collect it all” attitude. This could be chalked up to “Five Eyes” envy, perhaps. The NSA works with four other countries to hoover up massive amounts of data directly from internet fire hoses located around the world, but Germany has never made the cut.

            • Pelosi Accused of ‘Trying to Do an End-Run Around Her Own Party’ by Sending Spy Powers Bill to Conference

              “Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Schiff have done everything in their power to ensure the House cannot vote on the warrantless surveillance of Americans’ internet activity.”

            • ACLU Sues Tech Firm to Halt ‘Unlawful, Privacy-Destroying’ Facial Recognition Activities

              Clearview AI’s behaviors, said one attorney, “represent one of the largest threats to personal privacy by a private company our country has faced.”

            • We’re Taking Clearview AI to Court to End its Privacy-Destroying Face Surveillance Activities

              The company’s surveillance activities are a threat to privacy, safety, and security.

            • Immunity Passports Are a Threat to Our Privacy and Information Security

              With states beginning to ease shelter-in-place restrictions, the conversation on COVID-19 has turned to questions of when and how we can return to work, take kids to school, or plan air travel. Several countries and U.S. states, including the UK, Italy, Chile, Germany, and California, have expressed interest in so-called “immunity passports”—a system of requiring people to present supposed proof of immunity to COVID-19 in order to access public spaces, work sites, airports, schools, or other venues. In many proposed schemes, this proof would be stored in a digital token on a phone. Immunity passports would threaten our privacy and information security, and would be a significant step toward a system of national digital identification that can be used to collect and store our personal information and track our location.Immunity passports are purportedly intended to help combat the spread of COVID-19. But there is little evidence that they would actually accomplish that.On a practical level, there is currently no test for COVID-19 immunity; what we have are antibody tests. But we don’t know whether people with antibodies have immunity. Meanwhile, there has been a flood of flawed tests and fraudulent marketing schemes about antibody tests. Even when validated tests are widely available, they may not be 100 percent accurate. The system should be a non-starter unless it can guarantee due process for those who want to challenge their test results. This has often been a problem before; as we saw with the “no-fly” lists created after 9/11, it is very difficult to get off the list, even for those whose inclusion was a mistake. The problem with immunity passports isn’t just medical—it’s ethical. Access to both COVID-19 testing and antibody testing is spotty. Reports abound of people who fear they have been infected desperately trying to get tested to no avail. Analysis has shown that African Americans are far less likely than white, Hispanic, or Asian patients to be tested before they end up in the emergency room. Mobile testing sites administered by Verily (a subsidiary of Google’s parent Alphabet) require people to have a smartphone and a Google account. Residents in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, were turned away from testing sites because they didn’t have cell phones. Requiring smartphone-based immunity verification to access public spaces like offices and schools would exacerbate existing inequities and reinforce a two-tiered system of the privileged, who can move about freely in society, and the vulnerable, who can’t work, shop, or attend school because they don’t have a cell phone or access to testing.?We’ve been here before. When yellow fever struck the South in the 1850s, those thought to be “unacclimated” to the disease were unemployable. This burdened black and lower-income people more than privileged members of society. As we saw then, conditioning access to society on immunity incentivizes “bug-chasing”—that is, people deliberately trying to get sick in order to get the immunity passport. No one should have to expose themselves to a potentially deadly disease with no cure to find work.

              Risks of Digitized Immunity Passports The push for immunity passports has largely been premised on the promise of technological solutions to a public health crisis.?A proposed bill in California, for example, would use blockchain technology to facilitate an immunity passport system on peoples’ smartphones. We oppose this bill. Technological advancements such as blockchain technology or other methods? of implementation do not address our objections to this type of system in of itself.Moreover, digital-format immunity passports could normalize digital-format proof-of-status documents more generally. Advocates of immunity passports visualize a world where we can’t pass through a door to a workplace, school, or restaurant until the gatekeeper scans our credentials. This would habituate gatekeepers to demand such status credentials, and habituate the public to submit to these demands.This digital system could easily be expanded to check not just a person’s immunity status, but any other bit of personal information that a gatekeeper might deem relevant, such as age, pregnancy, HIV status, or criminal history. The system could also be adjusted to document not just a particular person’s status, but also when that person passed through a door that required proof of such status. And all data of all such passages could be accumulated into one database. This would be a troubling step towards digital national identification, which EFF has long opposed because it would create new ways to digitally monitor our movements and activities.Digital format documentation also brings the risk of presenting such documentation under duress to varying authorities. Handing over your phone to police, unlocked or not, includes significant risks, especially for people in vulnerable communities—risks that could lead to unintended consequences for the presenter and a potential abuse of power by law enforcement.Moreover, requiring people to store their medical test results in a digital format would expose private medical information to the danger of data breaches. Again, this is hardly new—we have seen exactly these types of breaches in the past when medical information has been digitized and collected. Just last year, for example, an HIV database in Singapore leaked the personal information of more than 14,000 individuals living with HIV.We should learn from our past mistakes, and ensure that technology works to empower people, instead of creating new vulnerabilities.?

            • Two Federal COVID-19 Privacy Bills: A Good Start and a Misstep

              COVID-19, and containment efforts that rely on personal data, are shining a spotlight on a longstanding problem: our nation’s lack of sufficient laws to protect data privacy. Two bills before Congress attempt to solve this problem as to COVID-19 data. One is a good start that needs improvements. The other is a misstep that EFF strongly opposes.

              The Public Health Emergency Privacy Act (PHEPA) was introduced by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Mark Warner, and U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo, Jan Schakowsky and Suzan DelBene. It has some major elements that privacy advocates have called for. It requires opt-in consent and data minimization, and limits data disclosures to government. It has a strong private right of action and does not preempt state laws. And it bars denial of voting rights to people who decline to opt-in to tracking programs. But it does not protect such people from discrimination in access to employment, public accommodations, or government benefits. Also, it has overly broad exemptions for manual contact tracing, public health research, public health authorities, and entities regulated by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

            • Arizona has sued Google for illegally tracking phone location data

              Arizona has filed a lawsuit against Google for “deceptive and unfair practices used to obtain users’ location data.” Specifically, Google has been collecting location history in its Search and Maps app to tie to your Google account even if you have explicitly told Google that you want to opt out of storing your Location History. If you tell Google that you don’t want your Location History stored, these apps still store it under My Activity, instead. This issue has affected millions of Android users as well as millions of Apple users that use Google maps or Google Search on their iPhone or iPad. The lawsuit is a direct result of a 2018 report from the Associated Press which broke the news on Google’s Location History fiasco. The report highlighted Google’s own support page on how “Location History” can be turned off:

            • House delays vote on renewing FISA surveillance powers to grant FBI warrantless access to internet history

              Your internet history is safe from the FBI… for now. Government surveillance powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) – which have sat unrenewed since March – failed to be renewed this week in the House despite passing earlier this year. The FISA renewal vote came up as H.R. 6172, the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act and was pulled from the House floor on Wednesday and Thursday. A key difference between the version of this bill that the House passed in March and the version that the House didn’t pass today is that the FBI would have been able to access the internet history of Americans without a warrant. Also, key officials including President Trump and the leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) spoke out against the renewal.

            • macOS 10.15: slow by design

              Apparently, Apple is making macOS Catalina phone home so much it’s making the operating system slow, laggy, and beachbally, as Allan Odgaard details.

            • Facebook will start verifying the identities of accounts that keep going viral

              Facebook will now require people behind individual profiles with “high reach” to verify their identity, the company announced today. Facebook hopes this will ensure users are seeing more authentic posts from people, instead of ones from bots or users concealing their identity. The change follows a similar move two years ago in which Facebook required viral page owners to disclose their identities and locations, following numerous accounts of overseas content farms using partisan US politics to game Facebook’s algorithms, go viral, and cash in on ad revenue.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Future of Forever War, American-Style

        Covid-19, an ongoing global human tragedy, may have at least one silver lining. It has led millions of people to question America’s most malignant policies at home and abroad.

      • President Amplifies ‘Cowboys for Trump’ Calls for Executing Democrats

        “Thank you Cowboys,” Trump tweeted.

      • Policing and the Sanctity of Life

        Compassionate policing exists right now and simply needs to expand beyond the reach of militarism and racism, which invade policework like a virus.

      • Media Smeared Ahmaud Arbery After His Lynching

        While it took two and a half months for the authorities to finally make arrests in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, corporate media were much quicker to follow the time-honored practice of besmirching victims of racist violence (FAIR.org, 3/22/17).

      • Trump’s War on Arms Control and Disarmament

        A successor to the Trump administration will have to rebuild the credibility of the Department of Justice and the effectiveness of such regulatory agencies as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Finance Protection Agency.? It will have to rebuild the intelligence community, which has been heavily politicized, and the Department of State, which has been hallowed out.? Now, you can add the field of arms control and disarmament to the list of reclamation projects because of the hostile and counterproductive acts of the Trump administration.

      • Nepal issues a new map claiming contested territories with India as its own

        At issue is about 300 square kilometers (115 square miles) of mountainous land incorporating Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani. Nepal’s new map locates the small stretch of disputed land within its northwest border, between China and India.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • CNN Is Picking Ratings Over Ethics

        Meanwhile, some other states have performed much better than New York in the face of the pandemic, but their governors haven’t gotten the same kind of adoring media attention. It’s a long-standing media critique that stories in New York and Washington, D.C., get attention disproportionate to stories elsewhere in the country, but that’s not the only factor at play here. If they wanted to share the spotlight, perhaps Governors Jay Inslee of Washington and Mike DeWine of Ohio should have considered having brothers with plum TV gigs.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Is It Time to Boycott the United States?

        The G7 kicked Russia out over its invasion of Crimea. Does the U.S. assault on international laws, treaties, and democracy itself warrant the same treatment?

      • People are accidentally throwing out their stimulus check — because it looks like junk mail

        To help taxpayers identify the card, the IRS said in an FAQ that the cards will bear the Visa logo and are issued by MetaBank. A letter included with the card explains that the card is the Economic Impact Payment Card. More information is available at eipcard.com.

        To activate the card, taxpayers need to call 1-800-240-8100 to verify their identity and set their PIN. They should also sign the back of their card.

        The card can then be used like a regular debit card, for online transactions or swiped at the store, where users can also opt for cash back.

      • Report: ATM Skimmer Gang Had Protection from Mexican Attorney General’s Office

        A group of Romanians operating an ATM company in Mexico and suspected of bribing technicians to install sophisticated Bluetooth-based skimmers in cash machines throughout several top Mexican tourist destinations have enjoyed legal protection from a top anti-corruption official in the Mexican attorney general’s office, according to a new complaint filed with the government’s internal affairs division.

      • Ban on high speed [I]nternet extended till June 17 in Jammu Kashmir

        The Indian government on Wednesday extended the ban on 4G [I]nternet services in Jammu and Kashmir and restricted it to 2G network only. Internet connectivity with Mac-binding to continue till 17th June or until further orders, the authorities said.

        Mobile [I]nternet was completely suspended earlier in May during the Handwara encounter that was launched in search of two terrorists affiliated to Hizbul Mujahideen.

      • Zuckerberg Says Twitter Is Wrong to Fact-Check Trump [iophk: they aim to lose 47 U.S.C. § 230 protections and, if relevant, common carrier status]

        Facebook, under fire for spreading divisive material and misinformation largely shelved an effort to make conversations on the platform more civil, according to the Wall Street Journal. Facebook executives viewed the effort as “paternalistic” and were worried about accusations of censorship from the right, the paper said.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Moderation v. Discretion v. Censorship: They’re Not The Same

        Moderation is a platform operator saying “we don’t do that here”. Discretion is you saying “I won’t do that there”. Censorship is someone saying “you can’t do that anywhere” before or after threats of either violence or government intervention.

      • Mark Zuckerberg’s Ridiculously Wrong, Misleading, And Self-Serving Statements Regarding Twitter Fact-Checking The President

        As we continue to deal with the fallout of our thin-skinned President throwing a hissy fit over Twitter daring to provide more context to conspiracy theory nonsense that Trump himself tweeted, Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has apparently decided that it’s more important to stomp on Twitter while it’s down, rather than protect the wider internet. In a shameful display of opportunistic nonsense, Zuckerberg went on Fox News and pretended that Facebook was somehow not interested in moderating content the way Twitter did:

      • The Two Things To Understand About Trump’s Executive Order On Social Media: (1) It’s A Distraction (2) It’s Legally Meaningless

        We’ve officially reached pure silly season when it comes to internet regulations. For the past two years now, every so often, reports have come out that the White House was exploring issuing an executive order trying to attack Section 230 and punish companies for the administration’s belief in the myth that content moderation practices at large social media firms are “biased” against conservatives.

      • Trump Executive Order Against Social Media Giants Denounced as Unlawful Ploy to ‘Eviscerate Public Oversight of His Lies’

        “Undoubtedly the first step down an increasingly dark path of Trump using the power of his office to intimidate media companies, journalists, activists, and anyone else who criticizes him into silence.”

      • To Students and Teachers Targeted by the Israel Lobby

        University students and instructors periodically drop into my inbox with stories of repression and reprisal for having criticized Israel—or merely for having spoken favorably of Palestinians. ?In some cases, faculty have been demoted or fired, or have been denied tenure.? In other cases, they’ve lost funding or opportunities to publish.? They’ve been threatened, if only implicitly (plenty of times the threat is explicit). ?Students have been profiled by websites aiming to destroy their careers (pro-Israel zealots are expert snitches) or subject to some kind of disciplinary action.

      • Several journalists arrested for protesting outside Moscow police headquarters

        Several journalists were arrested for protesting outside of the Moscow police headquarters, including Mediazona editor-in-chief Sergey Smirnov, and Ekho Moskvy journalists Tatyana Felgenhauer and Alexander Plyushchev, reports the Telegram channel “Apologiya Protesta.”?

      • Trump Executive Order Misreads Key Law Promoting Free Expression Online and Violates the First Amendment

        This post based its initial analysis on a draft Executive Order. It has been updated to reflect the final order, available here.

        President Trump’s Executive Order targeting social media companies is an assault on free expression online and a transparent attempt to retaliate against Twitter for its decision to curate (well, really just to fact-check) his posts and deter everyone else from taking similar steps.? The good news is that, assuming the final order looks like the draft we reviewed on Wednesday, it won’t survive judicial scrutiny. To see why, let’s take a deeper look at its incorrect reading of Section 230? (47 U.S.C. § 230) and how the order violates the First Amendment.

      • SmileDirectClub Sues NBC For $2.85 Billion, Claims Factual Statements And Quotes From Customers Are Defamatory

        SmileDirectClub — maker of in-home dental appliances — is back in the lawsuit business. A couple of years ago, the company sued Lifehacker over an article originally titled “You Could Fuck Up Your Mouth With SmileDirectClub.” The company claimed any criticism of its products and techniques was defamatory. Despite the original inflammatory headline, the Lifehacker piece was even-handed, warning potential customers that semi-DIY dental work has some downsides. SmileDirect voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit a week later, perhaps sensing a judge — even one in bogus lawsuit-friendly Tennessee — might not agree that critical opinions, however harsh, were libelous.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Following the arrest of politician and former ‘Meduza’ special correspondent Ilya Azar, we are demanding his immediate release

        One of Russia’s most well-known journalists, former Meduza special correspondent Ilya Azar, was sentenced to 15 days administrative arrest in Moscow earlier today. In the days of the old news website Lenta.ru, he wrote brilliant stories on politics in Russia and the near abroad, and breathed new life into the interview genre. During the summer of 2019, Azar — who at that point had already been serving as a municipal deputy for two years — became one the main, new politicians on the scene in Moscow, beginning with his efforts to protect arrested Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov, and then later during his defense of the right of opposition politicians to stand for election to the Moscow City Duma.

      • Local Broadcasters Forget Journalism Ethics, Air Amazon PR Fluff Instead

        While US journalism is certainly in crisis mode, it’s particularly bad on the local level, where most local newspapers and broadcasters have been either killed off or consolidated into large corporations, often resulting in something that’s less news, and more homogenized dreck (see: that Deadspin Sinclair video from a few years back). Data suggests this shift has a profoundly negative impact on the culture, resulting in fewer investigations of corruption, a more divided and less informed populace, and even swayed political outcomes as nuanced local coverage is replaced with more partisan, national news.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • How Big Tech Monopolies Distort Our Public Discourse

        Long before the pandemic crisis, there was widespread concern over the impact that tech was having on the quality of our discourse, from disinformation campaigns to influence campaigns to polarization.

        It’s true that the way we talk to each other and about the world has changed, both in form (thanks to the migration of discourse to online platforms) and in kind, whether that’s the rise of nonverbal elements in our written discourse (emojis, memes, ASCII art and emoticons) or the kinds of online harassment and brigading campaigns that have grown with the Internet.

      • WIPO launches own digital evidence service WIPO PROOF

        WIPO acts as a time-stamping authority (TSA) by issuing a token (a unique digital fingerprint of a digital file in any format and size) which, once it is generated, is stored on WIPO servers in Switzerland.

        It is important to highlight that the digital file is not uploaded to WIPO servers but rather “a strong cryptographic hashing function processes [it] … while still in its original location, producing a hash value uniquely identifying that file”.

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • Webinar Materials – Recent PTAB Discretionary Denials Rulings – Changes to § 314 and § 325

            Our speakers from Microsoft, WilmerHale, and Unified hosted a lively conversation focused on the recent changes to § 314 and § 325, and followed how certain cases, like General Plastics & NHK Spring, could bring about future APA challenges to the de facto rules. For background on this topic, read Unified’s recent report on the subject: unifiedpatents.com/insights/2020/5/13/ptab-procedural-denial-and-the-rise-of-314

            Thank you to the panelists for covering such a key concern facing the Board. It’s an important issue and we’re hoping our study can shed some light on the dramatic rise in discretionary denials.

          • Barbaro Technologies, LLC v. Niantic, Inc. (N.D. Cal. 2020)

            In the field of computer gaming, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently granted Defendants’ Rule 12 motion alleging that claims 1, 3, and 6 of U.S. Patent No. 8,228,325 (the ’325 Patent) are invalid as claiming patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Plaintiff Barbaro Technologies, LLC (hereinafter “Barbaro”) had contended that the video games Ingress and Pokémon Go, developed and published by Defendant Niantic, Inc. (hereinafter “Niantic”), infringed these claims. The suit also involves U.S. Patent No. 7,373,377, of which the ’325 Patent is a divisional. However, Niantic’s motion only addressed the claims of the ’325 Patent.

            The ’325 Patent claims a computer system for providing a “three-dimensional virtual thematic environment” (abbreviated in the opinion and hereinafter as “3D VTE”). The background of the ’325 Patent notes that “virtual environments, especially those present on the internet, for example, have not provided the user with a real world experience.” The ’325 Patent thus aims to integrate audio, video, 2D/3D technology, and other applications or services (e.g., “mini-applications,” as the ’325 Patent calls them, such as word processing programs or email programs) in order to provide a virtual and real world experience to users. More particularly, the ’325 Patent describes that the 3D VTE can be a gaming environment, geographic environment, or other theme of environment in which and with which a software application can simulate real-world interaction. For example, a user can select a city to visit and the software will integrate real-world data (e.g., satellite and street view images, 2D/3D graphics) into a 3D VTE resembling the city that the user can navigate and interact with, such as in a third or first person view. For instance, a user might travel down a street in the simulated city and “enter” a bookstore by clicking a mouse on the virtual representation of the bookstore. The ’325 Patent lists numerous examples of real-time and real-world data that can be integrated into 3D VTEs, such as sports scores, film, news, and a “real-world geographic location of a user.”

      • Copyrights

        • YTS Bypasses Security Warnings with Simple URL Update

          A few days ago, popular torrent site YTS was flagged as a potential phishing site by Chrome and Firefox. Today, these warnings have disappeared but not because the problems were resolved. YTS simply switched to a new URL structure, ditching the problematic /movie/ subcategory.

        • Russia Adopts Law to Block Pirate Apps and if Necessary, App Stores Too

          Russia’s State Duma has adopted new legislation that will enable copyright holders to take far-reaching action against apps facilitating access to pirated content. If the owners of the apps themselves fail to take action, the new legislation will compel services such as Google Play and Apple’s App Store to remove the tools or find themselves blocked by local ISPs.

        • Neil Young Plans to Beat the Bootleggers With His Own Series

          Neil Young is taking a page from the Bob Dylan playbook by creating his own version of the Bootleg Series. He has yet to roll out exact details, but the plan is to take famous concert bootlegs, track down the actual master recordings and release them himself via his website.

          “We have ripped off all of the original art from the bootlegs,” he wrote on the Neil Young Archives. “No expense will be spared. The only difference will be the radically better sound from our masters.”

        • The Chalk Pencil infringement claims have been erased: Lanard Toys v. Dolgencorp

          This Kat is always excited to see intellectual property cases concerning product designs, as these cases present a great opportunity to explore the intersection of various IP regimes in a single work. Earlier this month, this Kat got his wish: the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals decided Lanard Toys Limited v. Dolgencorp LLC – a case concerning the design of a chalk-holder. Lanard Toys filed this suit against Dolgencorp, alleging infringement of a design patent, copyright, and trade dress, as well as unfair competition.

          In this case, the Federal Circuit provided substantial guidance on claim construction and infringement analysis regarding design patents. Concerning Lanard’s copyright claim, the Court also addressed the separability of the design of a useful article from the useful article itself, considering the separability analysis outlined in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands. Additionally, the Court addressed secondary meaning as it relates to product design trade dress protection.


          That is not to say that the Lanard Chalk Pencil should be eligible for copyright protection. However, rather than relying upon separability, the Court could have found the pencil design ineligible for copyright protection for a want of originality. Lanard acknowledged that the design is that of a “cartoonish No.2 pencil;” this design is a generic representation of a ubiquitous item with the addition of the phrase “Chalk Pencil.” Rather than restricting separability such that the design of a chalk holder with the external appearance of a pencil is inseparable from the associated useful chalk holder, the chalk holder design should have been denied copyright protection due to its lack of originality.


Links 28/5/2020: OpenSSH 8.3, New Mesa Release, Raspberry Pi 4 News, Fedora 32 Elections

Posted in News Roundup at 1:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • EPaper Tablet Gets Desktop Linux Install

      ePaper is an interesting thing, providing a non-backlit viewing experience that is much more akin to reading a book than staring at a screen. The reMarkable tablet is a device designed around just such a display, and [davisr] has been hacking away at the platform. His latest work brings full-fat Linux to the fore.

      The work builds upon [davisr]’s earlier work, installing a microSD slot in the tablet to make development easier. Getting Linux running required a custom kernel, but once sorted, working with the reMarkable is easy. apt is available for easy software installs, and the tablet is demonstrated using several different pieces of software, like mtPaint and Xournal.

    • A pandemic-era LWN update

      We are living through interesting times that present challenges in a number of areas, including running a business. While we think of LWN primarily as a community resource, it is also a business that is not unaffected by the ongoing pandemic. It is, we figure, a good time for a status update, especially since we have some news to share.
      Never has our 2002 decision to move to a subscription model looked like a better idea. Revenue from advertising has reached a level that is essentially indistinguishable from zero, with little sign that it will improve anytime soon. But we didn’t depend on advertising because we work directly for our readers; as long as you all support us, we will be in good shape.

      Subscriptions have definitely fallen off a bit in the last few months, and we’ve had subscribers dropping off with a note saying that they had lost their job and needed to cut expenses. But the drop-off has not yet reached a point where we are seriously concerned about it; for that, we can only say “thank you!” to all of you for continuing to support us as the world gets weirder. A special thank-you is due to all of you subscribing at the Project Leader or Supporter levels; it really does make a difference.


      Back in 1997 when work began on what eventually became LWN, we were driven by a strong sense of optimism about the future of Linux and free software. That optimism has been tested by ups and downs over time, but it has largely been borne out; Linux has been more successful than any of us could have imagined, and LWN is still here at the center of it. And we are still optimistic; we have managed to pull together an outstanding community of readers that will continue to support us for as long as we keep doing good work.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • What Makes a System76 Computer?

        In homage to the revolutionary age of 1776, System76 revolutionizes open source technology and declares independence from our proprietary rulers. But what are the key ingredients that go into making a computer so revolutionary? The following delicious details outline the qualities we value in all of our computers. Note: Licking your screen is not an effective way to taste the deliciousness of this blog post.

        System76 users depend on heavy computational power to get their work done, and in some cases require a literal heavy computer. Our hardware is designed to support top-line processors and graphics cards, allowing you to consistently plow through your workload. We’re not going to call on a sedan to do a bulldozer’s job.

    • Server

      • An Introduction to the K8s-Infrastructure Working Group

        When Kubernetes was formed in 2014, Google undertook the task of building and maintaining the infrastructure necessary for keeping the project running smoothly. The tools itself were open source, but the Google Cloud Platform project used to run the infrastructure was internal-only, preventing contributors from being able to help out. In August 2018, Google granted the Cloud Native Computing Foundation $9M in credits for the operation of Kubernetes. The sentiment behind this was that a project such as Kubernetes should be both maintained and operated by the community itself rather than by a single vendor.

        A group of community members enthusiastically undertook the task of collaborating on the path forward, realizing that there was a more formal infrastructure necessary. They joined together as a cross-team working group with ownership spanning across multiple Kubernetes SIGs (Architecture, Contributor Experience, Release, and Testing). Aaron Crickenberger worked with the Kubernetes Steering Committee to enable the formation of the working group, co-drafting a charter alongside long-time collaborator Davanum Srinivas, and by 2019 the working group was official.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 859

        windowmaker, covid, 3d printing, homebuilt systems, usb, thunderbolt

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E08.5 – When a broken clock chimes

        We announce the Ubuntu Podcast crowd-funder on Patreon and why, after 13 years, we are seeking your support.

        It’s Season 13 Episode 8.5 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • FLOSS Weekly 580: Sysdig

        Sysdig is an open-source system monitoring and troubleshooting tool for Linux, with cross-platform capabilities on Windows and Mac OS. You can manage security and compliance for Kubernetes and have an open platform with embed security and validate compliance.

      • 2020-05-27 | Linux Headlines

        Ardour 6 is out with major changes under the hood, CoreOS Container Linux is officially unmaintained, TeleIRC version 2.0.0 lands with a complete rewrite, the FIDO Alliance launches an instructional campaign, and PeerTube outlines its newest fundraising goals.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.6.15

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.6.15 kernel.

        All users of the 5.6 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.6.y git tree can be found at:
        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.6.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:


      • Linux 5.4.43
      • Linux 4.19.125
      • Linux 4.14.182
      • Linux 4.9.225
      • Linux 4.4.225
      • You can build Linus Torvalds’ PC: Here’s all the hardware and where to buy it

        Linus Torvalds is the most famous programmer in the world, father of the Linux operating system. and maker of the near-universal Git distributed version control system. He also builds his own developer workstation and recently upgraded his PC to a speedy AMD Threadripper 3970x-based processor. But a computer is more than a CPU.

      • Linus Torvalds Reveals Everything About His New Linux Computer System

        While choosing a new Linux desktop or computer hardware, we always search and ask for advice if anyone can recommend the best setup for us. But have you ever wondered if you could build your Linux PC like the one the father of Linux uses?

        If you really admire Linux founder Linus Torvalds and want a PC with similar specifications, you’re now all set to go. Yes, in the latest exclusive conversation with Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols from ZDNet, Linus disclosed all his PC hardware specs and Linux desktop information. So, let’s get to know how to build Linus Torvalds’s like PC.

      • The New AMD Energy Driver Is Working Out Well On Linux For Per-Socket/Core Reporting

        Of the many features coming for Linux 5.8 one of the new drivers we are very much looking forward to is the AMD energy driver for finally exposing per-core and per-socket/package energy reporting of Zen/Zen2 CPUs under Linux. It’s working out well so far in my evaluation.

        CPU energy/power reporting is something that I and many other Linux users have long wanted to see under Linux for Zen CPUs, since it’s exposed after all on Windows with Ryzen Master and other software. In the past AMD also maintained the “fam15h_power” driver for power reporting back on Bulldozer CPUs. But until Google sent out RAPL Zen patches recently and this “amd_energy” driver was then sent out by AMD engineers, there wasn’t much public activity on getting this capability for existing Zen processors. There has also been the out-of-tree “Zenpower” driver for offering this based on public MSR data for Zen, albeit that driver isn’t mainline, not maintained by AMD, and conflicts with k10temp when loading.

      • Kees Cook: security things in Linux v5.5

        I got a bit behind on this blog post series! Let’s get caught up. Here are a bunch of security things I found interesting in the Linux kernel v5.5 release:

      • Cook: security things in Linux v5.5

        Kees Cook takes a look some changes improving security in Linux 5.5. Topics include restrict perf_event_open() from LSM, generic fast full refcount_t, linker script cleanup for exception tables, KASLR for 32-bit PowerPC, seccomp for RISC-V, and more.

      • Statsfs: A Proposed Linux File-System For Kernel Statistics

        Statsfs is a new RAM-based file-system proposal by a Red Hat engineer that is designed for exposing kernel statistics to user-space.

        Currently when kernel subsystems want to expose different statistics to user-space, it’s done via DebugFS (or sysfs). In the case of DebugFS, users generally need root privileges to access the data and users are often left to implement their own tools for each different subsystem exposing the statistics differently.

        Red Hat’s Emanuele Giuseppe Esposito has hacked together Statsfs in order to reduce kernel duplication of different subsystems working on their statistics reporting, avoid dirtying DebugFS with different statistics code, and making it easier for user-space to aggregate and display different kernel statistics.

      • Google Engineers Are Becoming Concerned Over Some Arm Platforms Lacking Spectre V2 Mitigations

        As a result of at least “a few AArch64 platforms” lacking firmware support for mitigating Spectre Variant Two, Google engineers are evaluating the possibility of Retpolines for the 64-bit Arm architecture.

        Google’s Anthony Steinhauser raised concerns that with these 64-bit Arm systems lacking their firmware support for mitigating Spectre V2, they could be compromised. Steinhauser noted, “In particular, on those systems, we believe the speculated targets of indirect branches in kernel code could potentially be controlled by userspace code.”

      • Bao: a lightweight static partitioning hypervisor

        Developers of safety-critical systems tend to avoid Linux kernels for a number of fairly obvious reasons; Linux simply was not developed with that sort of use case in mind. There are increasingly compelling reasons to use Linux in such systems, though, leading to a search for the best way to do so safely. At the 2020 Power Management and Scheduling in the Linux Kernel summit (OSPM), José Martins described Bao, a minimal hypervisor aimed at safety-critical deployments.

      • Evaluating vendor changes to the scheduler

        The kernel’s CPU scheduler does its best to make the right decisions for just about any workload; over the years, it has been extended to better handle mobile-device scheduling as well. But handset vendors still end up applying their own patches to the scheduler for the kernels they ship. Shipping out-of-tree code in this way leads to a certain amount of criticism from the kernel community but, as Vincent Donnefort pointed out in his session at the 2020 Power Management and Scheduling in the Linux Kernel summit (OSPM), those patches are applied for a reason. He looked at a set of vendor scheduler patches to see why they are being used.

      • Scheduler benchmarking with MMTests

        The MMTests benchmarking system is normally associated with its initial use case: testing memory-management changes. Increasingly, though, MMTests is not limited to memory management testing; at the 2020 Power Management and Scheduling in the Linux Kernel summit (OSPM), Dario Faggioli talked about how he is using it to evaluate changes to the CPU scheduler, along with a discussion of the changes he had to make to get useful results for systems hosting virtualized guests.

      • The many faces of “latency nice”

        A task’s “nice” value describes its priority within the completely fair scheduler; its semantics have roots in ancient Unix tradition. Last August, a “latency nice” parameter was proposed to provide similar control over a task’s response-time requirements. At the 2020 Power Management and Scheduling in the Linux Kernel summit (OSPM), Parth Shah, Chris Hyser, and Dietmar Eggemann ran a discussion about the latency nice proposal; it seems that everybody agrees that it would be a useful feature to have, but there is a wide variety of opinions about what it should actually do.

      • Utilization inversion and proxy execution

        Over the years, the kernel’s CPU scheduler has become increasingly aware of how much load every task is putting on the system; this information is used to make smarter task placement decisions. Sometimes, though, this logic can go wrong, leading to a situation that Valentin Schneider describes as “utilization inversion”. At the 2020 Power Management and Scheduling in the Linux Kernel summit (OSPM), he described the problem and some approaches that are being considered to address it.

      • Testing scheduler thermal properties for avionics

        Linux is not heavily used in safety-critical systems — yet. There is an increasing level of interest in such deployments, though, and that is driving a number of initiatives to determine how Linux can be made suitable for safety-critical environments. At the 2020 Power Management and Scheduling in the Linux Kernel summit (OSPM), Michal Sojka shone a light on one corner of this work: testing the thermal characteristics of Linux systems with an eye toward deployment in avionics systems.

      • The weighted TEO cpuidle governor

        Life gets complicated for the kernel when there is nothing for the system to do. The obvious response is to put the CPU into an idle state to save power, but which one? CPUs offer a wide range of sleep states with different power-usage and latency characteristics. Picking too shallow a state will waste energy, while going too deep hurts latency and can impact the performance of the system as a whole. The timer-events-oriented (TEO) cpuidle governor is a relatively new attempt to improve the kernel’s choice of sleep states; at the 2020 Power Management and Scheduling in the Linux Kernel Summit, Pratik Sampat presented a variant of the TEO governor that tries to improve its choices further.

      • Graphics Stack

        • mesa 20.1.0
          Hi all,
          I'd like to announce Mesa 20.1.0, the first release for the 20.1 branch.
          Being the first release of this new branch, there can be issues that
          will be discovered now that the new code will be widely used, so you may
          want to stay on the 20.0.x releases until the 20.1.1 release, scheduled
          for 14 days from now on 2020-06-10.
          One already known issue that I want to point out is that Unreal Engine 4
          has a bug in its usage of glDrawRangeElements() causing it to be
          called with a number of vertices in place of the `end` parameter,
          that was recently revealed. This is an annoying bug that we haven't
          worked around yet. For more details:
          Andrii Simiklit (1):
                i965/vec4: Ignore swizzle of VGRF for use by var_range_end()
          Bas Nieuwenhuizen (4):
                radv/winsys:  Remove extra sizeof multiply.
                radv: Handle failing to create .cache dir.
                radv: Do not close fd -1 when NULL-winsys creation fails.
                radv: Implement vkGetSwapchainGrallocUsage2ANDROID.
          D Scott Phillips (1):
                anv/gen11+: Disable object level preemption
          Danylo Piliaiev (3):
                meson: Disable GCC's dead store elimination for memory zeroing custom new
                mesa: Fix double-lock of Shared->FrameBuffers and usage of wrong mutex
                intel/fs: Work around dual-source blending hangs in combination with SIMD16
          Dave Airlie (1):
                llvmpipe: compute shaders work better with all the threads.
          Eric Engestrom (4):
                .pick_status.json: Update to a91306677c613ba7511b764b3decc9db42b24de1
                tree-wide: fix deprecated GitLab URLs
                docs: Add release notes for 20.1.0
                VERSION: bump to 20.1.0 release
          Erik Faye-Lund (1):
                zink: use general-layout when blitting to/from same resource
          Gert Wollny (1):
                r600: Fix duplicated subexpression in r600_asm.c
          Hanno B?ck (1):
                Properly check mmap return value
          Icecream95 (1):
                panfrost: Fix background showing when using discard
          Jason Ekstrand (3):
                nir/lower_double_ops: Rework the if (progress) tree
                nir/opt_deref: Report progress if we remove a deref
                nir/copy_prop_vars: Record progress in more places
          Kristian H?gsberg (1):
                freedreno: Use the right amount of &'s
          Nataraj Deshpande (1):
                dri_util: Update internal_format to GL_RGB8 for MESA_FORMAT_R8G8B8X8_UNORM
          Pierre-Eric Pelloux-Prayer (1):
                amd/addrlib: fix forgotten char -> enum conversions
          Rhys Perry (1):
                nir: fix lowering to scratch with boolean access
          Rob Clark (1):
                freedreno: clear last_fence after resource tracking
          Samuel Pitoiset (2):
                radv: handle different Vulkan API versions correctly
                radv: update the list of allowed Android extensions
          Timothy Arceri (2):
                glsl: stop cascading errors if process_parameters() fails
                glsl: fix slow linking of uniforms in the nir linker
          Vinson Lee (3):
                r600/sfn: Initialize VertexStageExportForGS m_num_clip_dist member variable.
                r600/sfn: Use correct setter method.
                freedreno: Add missing va_end.
          git tag: mesa-20.1.0
        • Mesa 20.1 Released With Numerous Linux Graphics Driver Improvements

          Mesa 20.1 has managed to release on time today as this quarter’s feature update to this collection of open-source user-space graphics driver components.

        • Mesa 20.1.0 drivers released

          The latest in open source graphics drivers for Linux has released, with Mesa 20.1.0 now out with tons of changes and improvements everywhere.

          Info for new users: if you’re using AMD / Intel, you’re likely using something in Mesa, which includes a bunch of different drivers. Unlike NVIDIA, they use open source drivers which will be bundled with your Linux distribution.
          With this being the first release of a new branch, the Mesa team do advise you either stick with your current Mesa version or wait at least until Mesa 20.1.1 when they clean up any pressing issues. Mesa 20.1.1 is current scheduled for June 10. The first big new release is usually classed as a development release.

        • AMD Lines Up Another Batch Of Radeon Graphics Fixes For Linux 5.8

          Linux 5.8 features for the Radeon “AMDGPU” kernel driver include the likes of Navi soft recovery and better handling of critical thermal faults on Radeon GPUs as well as enabling TMZ support. With feature work being capped off already on the DRM graphics front for Linux 5.8, AMD developers have been tidying up the code and readying more fixes for all of the new code set to premiere with this imminent merge window.

    • Benchmarks

      • GraalVM 20.1, OpenJ9 0.20, OpenJDK Java Benchmarks

        Given the release last week of GraalVM 20.1 as well as last month’s release of Eclipse OpenJ9 0.20, here are some fresh JVM benchmarks up against multiple OpenJDK releases.

        For this fresh round of Linux benchmarking are numbers off the latest OpenJDK 8, OpenJDK 11, OpenJDK 14.0.1, OpenJDK 15 EA24, GraalVM 20.1 CE Java 8, GraalVM 20.1 CE Java 11, OpenJ9 0.20 Java 8, and OpenJ9 0.20 Java 11 for reference purposes. Note while Oracle made some OpenJDK 15 Java performance improvements stemming from our earlier testing, those changes don’t appear to have been incorporated yet into OpenJDK 15 EA24. As usual, all of this testing was done with each configuration in its out-of-the-box/default settings.

      • Ryzen 9 3900X/3950X vs. Core i9 10900K In 380+ Benchmarks

        Following our initial Core i5 10600K and Core i9 10900K Linux benchmarks last week, here is a much larger comparison I have been working on since then in looking specifically at the Ryzen 9 3900X and 3950X against the Core i9 10900K. It’s the largest to date with nearly 400 benchmarks being tested, most of them real-world test cases.

        The past number of days I have been running this Core i9 10900K vs. Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Ryzen 9 3950X comparison with 381 benchmarks out of 138 distinct applications/workloads on both systems. With this round of benchmarking the Gigabyte Z490 AORUS MASTER and ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO were at play with 2 x 8GB DDR4-3600 Corsair memory, Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD, and Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics. Benchmarking was run off Ubuntu 20.04 LTS while upgrading to the Linux 5.7 Git kernel for the very latest kernel bits. All other Ubuntu 20.04 packages were at their respective defaults.

    • Applications

      • What Is Flatpak And How To Install Flatpak Apps On Ubuntu And Other Linux

        Package management is one of the important features of any Linux distro that eases the method of Linux apps installation and maintenance. Different Linux distros follow different methods to package and distribute software.

        But the same feature sometimes becomes a stumbling block for some people switching to different Linux distributions. They find it hard to understand the new package manager and fail to install the applications. To resolve such issues with multiple package managers, Linux distro has evolved to produce universal package management systems such as Snap, Appimage, and Flatpak.

      • Why snap and flatpak are so important to Linux

        The internet is a fickle beast. Just when you think a company or community of developers have come out with a bit of technology that could help an operating system or piece of software rise above, that wacky internet sneaks up to say, “Nay, nay!”

        I remind myself over and over to not read the comment sections. But I do, and I see the flame wars that once threatened to slice and dice the heart of Linux rise back up. Once upon a time it was vi vs. emacs and GNOME vs. KDE.

      • Display Pressed Keys In Screencasts With Screenkey (Now With Python 3 And GTK 3 Support)

        Screenkey is a tool that shows keystrokes on the screen, great if you’re recording screencasts, video reviews or demos.

      • Twin-panel File Manager Sunflower 0.4 Released with GTK3 Port

        Small and highly customizable twin-panel Sunflower file manager released version 0.4 after many years of development.

        Sunflower 0.4 brings new interface based on GTK3. The code is ported to Python3. As a result of this rewrite performance has gone up as well.

        There are still many issues in the new release. Emblems are completely missing, drag and drop is broken and keyboard shortcuts are broken due to some upstream problems. And these will be fixed in upcoming weeks.

      • Android Mirroring App ‘Scrcpy’ Just Added a Bunch of New Features

        If you read this blog regularly enough you’ll be familiar with scrcpy, an ace root-free way to mirror your Android smartphone on your Ubuntu desktop and interact with it.

        Scrcpy is free, it’s open source, it’s awesome.

        Oh yeah, and it’s updated regularly!

        Which is what this post is about: telling you what’s new and notable in the latest release, scrcpy 1.14 — so let’s get to it!

      • Ardour goes harder: v6.0 brings ‘huge engineering changes’ to open-source digital audio workstation

        The sound-tinkerers among you will be pleased to learn that Ardour 6.0 is out, representing a major upgrade of the open-source digital audio workstation for Linux, macOS and Windows.

        Ardour is a full-featured audio mixer and editor with unlimited tracks and non-destructive editing, patching and routing, video sync for soundtracks, and plugin support for AudioUnits on macOS, VST on Windows and Linux, and LV2 on all platforms. Automation is possible with Lua scripting. It is an alternative to the popular Audacity, another cross-platform audio editor, but Ardour has a more complete set of features for audio engineers.

      • Ardour 6.0 Open-Source Digital Audio Workstation Brings Huge Engineering Changes

        While not so visually different from the previous 5.x series, Ardour 6.0 comes with many under-the-hood changes to make this powerful DAW software more reliable and usable for any musician or sound engineer.

        Highlights include full latency compensation that works everywhere, no matter the routed signals, global varispeed through a new a high-quality resampling engine, which also lays the groundwork for making Ardoud sample-rate agnostic, as well as cue monitoring, which lets musicians listen to the input signal and hear themselves performing at the same time.

      • 9 Best Free Linux Webcam Tools (Updated 2020)

        A webcam is a video capture device that is either connected to a computer directly (typically by USB) or over a computer network. Many modern netbooks and laptops have a built-in webcam.

        Webcams spice up online communication by offering real-time video chat and webcasting. These tiny cameras enable users to chat in realtime with friends and family, send video email around the world, to videoconference with co-workers and clients, and even to broadcast a TV-like channel over the net. Other people use a webcam as part of a security system, making use of motion detection to receive image and video intrusion alerts, both interior and exterior, of a building or home.

      • Happy birthday Audacity: 20 years

        Here is a next update for my ‘Digital Audio Workstation’ (DAW) software collection.

        Today, 28th of May 2020, the Audacity multi-track audio recorder turns 20 years old! This is a nice moment to also release the Slackware packages (only targeting -current, sorry) for their latest and greatest, Audacity 2.4.1 which was released a week ago as a quick bug-fix to the long-awaited 2.4.0.

        Along with this new Audacity release, I also have new packages for wxGTK3 ( which you’ll need for Audacity to show its graphical user interface…

      • 10 Best Audacity Alternatives for Audio Recording and Editing

        Our digital/online world is blooming with all sorts of amazing internet audios and videos, Whether you are a YouTuber, Singer, Dancer or any casual user, you need to have a quality audio recorder and editor to do your stuff.

        There is no comparison of some of the coolest and reliable apps on the internet when it comes to recording and editing, one such app is Audacity, which offers a cross-platform for editing and recording.

        AudacityAudacity is capable of recording and playing sounds as well as import and export to different formats. Do whatever you want to with this app as it is equipped with unlimited features to edit sounds using features like cut, copy, paste, tracks mixing and effects application to the recordings, etc.

        Many are happy with Audacity and looking for no other option. But, as they say, everything comes with limitations so it’s important to always keep a check on alternatives too.

        Through this article, we will introduce you to some of the best Audacity alternatives for Audio recording and editing which may convenience you to try them at least once!

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Ethan Lee: Troubling Times for Porters in a Proton World

        It has been a while we did not get in touch with Ethan Lee directly, also know as ‘flibitjibibo’ on the interwebs. The man needs no introduction as he is behind the ports of numerous games on Linux (including Transistor pictured above), and the author of FNA, an multiplatform FOSS framework made to be compatible with the now-abandoned XNA from Microsoft. We had a long conversation back with him in the days (check out our podcast from that time). We thought it’s a good time to check with him what is going on now that Proton has been out for quite a while and we now have sufficient perspective on how it impacted the market of porting games on Linux.

      • Linux Gaming Has A Serious Problem That Nvidia And AMD Can Solve

        Through the lens of an enthusiast, Linux gaming is healthy. Valve and Codeweavers (the company behind Wine) have boosted its profile significantly since introducing Proton, a compatibility solution that lets you play literally thousands of Windows-only games across dozens of Linux distributions. Ditto that for great services like Lutris, which employs Wine and pre-configured scripts to make installing games from Epic, Origin and Blizzard a mostly painless click-and-go affair. But the real problem with Linux gaming in 2020 has nothing to do with actual games.

      • Electronic Arts to release ‘Command & Conquer Remastered’ source code to allow for modding

        Electronic Arts (EA) says it will allow players to mod its upcoming Command & Conquer Remastered Collection by making the game open source.

        The video game company’s creative director Jim Vessella announced that due to popular demand, EA will be “releasing the TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll and their corresponding source code under the General Public License (GPL) version 3.0 license”.

        He added that the move “to open source their source code under the GPL” was a first for EA, and possibly for any major real time strategy (RTS) franchise.

        With this, modders would have access to a new Map Editor as well as the ability to design maps, create custom units, replace art, alter gameplay logic and edit data.

        “Our goal was to deliver the source code in a way that would be truly beneficial for the community, and we hope this will enable amazing community projects for years to come,” Vessella said, in a blogpost.

      • EA is releasing the source code for Command & Conquer: Red Alert and Tiberian Dawn
      • Missile Command: Recharged Blasts onto Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, Mac, and Linux

        Iconic interactive entertainment producer Atari? and developer Nickervision Studios are delighted to announce today that Missile Command: Recharged?, the neon-lit reimagining of the beloved classic, is now available on Nintendo Switch? and PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, with an Epic Games Store release coming soon!

        Based on the 1980 arcade classic, Missile Command: Recharged delivers a visually captivating, deliciously difficult experience designed for modern gamers and fans of the original, alike. Following a highly successful launch on iOS and Android mobile platforms, Missile Command: Recharged brings the fun to a broader audience for even more classically-inspired and fully-charged fun.

      • The Last Faith, a dark gothic metroidvania is coming to Linux

        Currently in development and crowdfunding on Kickstarter, The Last Faith looks like an impressively styled pixel-art dark gothic metroidvania.

        The Last Faith is a Metroidvania that promotes a deep exploration style gameplay with non-linear levels. While you travel around the giant map, you have control over the way you want to be next. Every single spot counts, as you can discover new items, new secret areas, particular puzzles to solve and unique enemies.

      • Try the updated free alpha of ski resort builder Snowtopia

        Snowtopia, currently in development with a free version available while it’s early on continues to be a promising new building sim that has you build a ski resort.

        You’ve built theme parks, massive roller coasters, zoos and all sorts but a ski resort is another slightly different twist on the building and management sim. A genre I love because they’re great fun to relax with and zone-out somewhat while you what everything. Snowtopia definitely has that enticing feel to it, the appreciation for people-watching as they all slide around on the snow.


        A lot more is planned to come before it has a traditional Early Access release, which should hopefully be later this year. Going by a roadmap they shared you’re going to need security personnel, there will be a research system, new animations for the skiers, more buildings, more objectives and so on. Impressive so far though and seems to work wonderfully already.

      • Red Planet Farming is a new free game about feeding colonists

        Growing crops on Mars is no easy task as you’re about to find out with Red Planet Farming, a new and free strategy game.

        You take on the role of the Agricultural Director of Mars, your job is to ensure the survival of various outposts across the barren planet by producing food in various shelters. Not an easy job, due to the extreme and constantly changing weather patterns on Mars. You will be with dust storms, radiation, extreme cold, meteor showers and other terrible things.


        Developed by a group of graduates and current students of the NYU Game Center in Brooklyn, New York. They received funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Games Production Grant, a yearly award to fund game development at the NYU Game Center to support and help raise understanding of science, technology and economics. You can read a little more on that here. They even had NASA lend a hand for some technical support and advice.

      • 4 Linux distributions for gaming

        Gaming on Linux got a thorough kickstart in 2013 when Valve announced that their own SteamOS would be written on top of Linux. Since then, Linux users could realistically expect to play high-grade games that, in the past, required the purchase of a Windows computer or gaming console. The experience got off to a modest start, with just a few brave companies like CD Projekt Red, Deep Silver, Valve itself, and others putting the Linux penguin icon in their compatibility list, but eventually, even Gearbox and Square Enix were releasing their biggest titles on Linux. Today, Valve’s Proton project helps ensure that even titles with no formal Linux release still work on SteamOS and other Linux distributions.

      • Viking strategy game Northgard gets a map editor, Steam Workshop support

        Northgard, the excellent real-time strategy game about warring viking tribes from Shiro Games just got another huge free update to expand what’s possible with it.

        With the all-new Map Editor you can create, alter, and transform custom battlefields. Various parts of maps can be changed like placing resources, strategic structures, terrain elevation and more. It’s a full built-in tool that’s going to be a map makers dream for Northgard. Shiro said you can externally modify other parts of the game too like unit data and scripting to make entirely new parts like victory conditions. This also comes with Steam Workshop support for easy sharing and downloading.

      • Steam Cloud Gaming confirmed with Steam Cloud Play

        According to new Steam documents, Valve will be launching Steam Cloud Gaming soon with a Beta of Steam Cloud Play.

        It will require developers to opt in, and they’re required to support Cloud Saves (or another online save method), otherwise gamers will lose their data. Developers will continue to be paid the same way, since users still need to buy the games on Steam.

        Before you get too excited though, the documents say the first service connecting with it will be NVIDIA GeForce NOW. For Linux gamers then, it means next to nothing since NVIDIA have been silent on any plans for Linux support with it. However, it’s clearly early on and Valve are still building features and adding to their server capacity.

      • Build a Raspberry Pi 4 Retro-Gaming Console with RetroPie (Complete Guide)

        I love Linux, and I love retro-gaming, and in this video I show you how to create your very own retro-gaming console with RetroPie on the powerful new Raspberry Pi 4.

      • Drox Operative 2 gets an action-packed trailer

        Coming soon is Drox Operative 2 from Soldak Entertainment, a starship action RPG with warring alien races, fierce space battles, a dynamic, evolving galaxy.

        It was supposed to be releasing yesterday, May 27 but with delays to the Steam review process everything has been a bit delayed. On top of that, Soldak had their build rejected initially according to a blog post due to some minor issues that needing sorting. Drox Operative 2 might release this week, next week or later. Sometime soon, whenever Valve get to approvals again.

      • Dungeons of Clay has a wild style and a lot of action

        The latest game from ShotX Studio has been announced with Dungeons of Clay, an ever-changing action-platformer dungeon crawler and it looks great.

        Explore the ever-changing dungeons in the surreal world made of clay. Unlock the hidden secrets, overcome the dangers, defeat dreadful creatures and reap the treasures to acquire almighty power.


        It’s coming to Linux, just like their previous titles…

      • Onsen Master is a hot spring customer management game

        You’ve built cities, managed theme parks and run across kitchens to prepare dishes but have you managed a hot spring before? I sure haven’t and Onsen Master looks and sounds amusing.

        With gameplay that seems to resemble the idea of Overcooked that looks like it could be a lot of fun, as you rush around to prepare ingredients to heal up your visitors across the fantasy island of Izajima. You’re tasked with reconnecting “the communities that surround each onsen, and discover the supernatural world that they’ve long since been disconnected from”.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Cinnamon 4.6 Arrives with Fractional Scaling, Nemo Improvements, and More

          Announced earlier this year in January, the Cinnamon 4.6 desktop environment saw the light of day a couple of weeks ago. While there’s no official announcement for this major release, I did some digging to highlight the most important changes.

          Probably the biggest new feature of Cinnamon 4.6 is support for fractional scaling on HiDPI/4K displays. The feature was finally implemented in the Display Settings panel under the Zoom Level drop-down.

          Users will be able to choose values between 100% and 200%, such as 125%, 150%, 175%, for each of the connected monitors. Also in the Display Settings panel there’s now the ability to change the frequency of monitors.

        • GNOME Devs Make Major Improvements to the Apps Grid

          Since GNOME 3.38 is on house to ship in Ubuntu 20.10 (barring any tradition-flattening calamities …Which, given how things are going atm, is a distinct possibility) these are changes which you and I, as Ubuntu users, will likely benefit from come October.

          So what’s cooking?

          First up: the Applications screen drops the “Frequents” button that sira at the bottom of the grid. The apps grid is now just a single, vertically scrolling pane of application icons arranged in alphabetical order by default.

    • Distributions

      • 10 Top Most Popular Linux Distributions of 2020

        We are almost half of the year 2020, we thought it right to share with Linux enthusiasts out there the most popular distributions of the year so far. In this post, we will review the top 10 most popular Linux distributions, the ones with most page hits during the last 6 months as per Distrowatch.

        First published on 31 May 2001, DistroWatch has been the most reliable source of information about open-source operating systems, with a particular focus on Linux distributions and flavors of BSD. It collects and presents a wealth of information about Linux distributions consistently to make it easier to access.

        Although it is not a good indicator of a distribution’s popularity or usage, DistroWatch remains the most accepted measure of popularity within the Linux community. It uses Page Hit Ranking (PHR) statistics to measure the popularity of Linux distributions among the visitors of the website.

      • Reviews

        • POP!_OS Delivers Outstanding GNOME Experience

          System76 regularly updates this distro without requiring constant reinstallation. The developer updates POP!_OS on a rolling release cycle.

          The operating system gets updates, security patches and updated releases as they are ready. Rolling releases ensure that you never have to handle ISO installations again with configuring settings to recreate the same look and feel of the current version.

      • New Releases

        • Linux Kodachi 7.0 Security-Focused OS Moves to Linux 5.4, Based on Xubuntu 18.04 LTS

          Linux Kodachi OS 7.0, a secure, anti forensic, and anonymous operating system, has been released with new tools, new features, and many improvements.

          Coming nine months after version 6.3, the Kodachi OS 7.0 release is dubbed “Katana” and it’s here to introduce a new kernel series, namely the long-term supported Linux 5.4 from the latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) release, which arrived in late April 2020.

          However, Kodachi OS 7.0 is still based on the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) series, most precisely Xubuntu 18.04 LTS as it uses the lightweight Xfce desktop environment by default. Of course, the new kernel stack brings better support for newer hardware.

      • BSD

        • Announce: OpenSSH 8.3 released

          OpenSSH 8.3 has just been released. It will be available from the mirrors listed at https://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

      • OpenSSH 8.3 released (and ssh-rsa deprecation notice)
        OpenSSH 8.3 has just been released. It will be available from the
        mirrors listed at https://www.openssh.com/ shortly.
        OpenSSH is a 100% complete SSH protocol 2.0 implementation and
        includes sftp client and server support.
        Once again, we would like to thank the OpenSSH community for their
        continued support of the project, especially those who contributed
        code or patches, reported bugs, tested snapshots or donated to the
        project. More information on donations may be found at:
      • OpenSSH Will Deprecate SHA-1

        In January, a pair of researchers published details of the first practical chosen prefix collision on SHA-1, showing that the aged hash algorithm, which had already far outlived its usefulness, was now all but useless. All of the major browsers had already abandoned SHA-1, as had most of the large certificate authorities, but it is still in use in many other places, including embedded systems and some cryptography systems.
        One of the more widely deployed applications that still supports SHA-1 is OpenSSH, the open source implementation of the SSH protocol that is included in a huge number of products, including Windows, macOS, many Unix systems, and several popular brands of network switches. On Wednesday, the OpenSSH developers said that a future version of the app will drop support for the use of the RSA public key algorithm, which uses SHA-1.
        “It is now possible to perform chosen-prefix attacks against the SHA-1 algorithm for less than USD$50K. For this reason, we will be disabling the “ssh-rsa” public key signature algorithm by default in a near-future release,” the OpenSSH developers said in the release notes for version 8.3 on Wednesday.

      • Dangerous SHA-1 crypto function will die in SSH linking millions of computers

        Developers of two open source code libraries for Secure Shell—the protocol millions of computers use to create encrypted connections to each other—are retiring the SHA-1 hashing algorithm, four months after researchers piled a final nail in its coffin.

        The moves, announced in release notes and a code update for OpenSSH and libssh respectively, mean that SHA-1 will no longer be a means for digitally signing encryption keys that prevent the monitoring or manipulating of data passing between two computers connected by SSH—the common abbreviation for Secure Shell. (Wednesday’s release notes concerning SHA-1 deprecation in OpenSSH repeated word for word what developers put in February release notes, but few people seemed to notice the planned change until now.)

      • EuroBSDCon 2020 is cancelled.

        It is with great disappointment that we were forced to conclude it is not possible to run the conference as usual. As such, there will be no EuroBSDCon 2020.

        There will be no virtual conference, as we feel we can’t provide much in that area not already provided by BSDCan.

        We hope to resume our conference next year, in Vienna. We will try to announce the relevant dates as soon as possible.

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • KDE Applications, Wireshark, IceWM update in Tumbleweed

        The last week has produced a total of three openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots bringing the total amount of snapshots for the month to 18.

        All 18 snapshots have recorded a stable rating above 91, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer. With 14 of them, recording a rating of 99 and the last two snapshots trending at a 99 rating.

        The most recent 202000526 snapshot provided the 3.2.4 release of Wireshark. The new version fixed a Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures where it was possible to make Wireshark crash by injecting a malformed packet onto the wire or by convincing someone to read a malformed packet trace file. Linux Kernel 5.6.14 re-established support for RTL8401 chip version. DNS server and client utilities package bind 9.16.3 fixed to security problems and added engine support for OpenSSL Edwards-curve Digital Signature Algorithm implementation. Document viewer evince 3.36.1 updated translations, fixed an incorrect markup in the Czech User Interface and updated the French help image. SSL VPN client package openconnect 8.10 installed a bash completion script and fixed a potential buffer overflow with security communications library GnuTLS. GNOME’s 0.30.10 image organizer shotwell, which was the subject of a recently settled a patient lawsuit, modified web publishing authentication to comply with Google’s requirements.

    • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

      • Fedora 32 elections voting now open
      • FESCo election: Interview with Michal Novotny (clime)
      • FESCo election: Interview with Frantisek Zatloukal (frantisekz)
      • Council election: Interview with Till Maas (till)
      • Council election: Interview with James Cassell (cyberpear)
      • Council election: Interview with Aleksandra Fedorova (bookwar)
      • Council election: Interview with Alberto Rodriguez Sanchez (bt0dotninja)
      • Mindshare election: Interview with Alessio Ciregia (alciregi)
      • Mindshare election: Interview with Daniel Lara (danniel)
      • Mindshare election: Interview with Maria Leandro (tatica)
      • Mindshare election: Interview with Sumantro Mukherjee (sumantrom)
      • Disrupted CVE Assignment Process

        Due to an invalid TLS certificate on MITRE’s CVE request form, I have — ironically — been unable to request a new CVE for a TLS certificate verification vulnerability for a couple weeks now. (Note: this vulnerability does not affect WebKit and I’m only aware of one vulnerable application, so impact is limited; follow the link if you’re curious.) MITRE, if you’re reading my blog, your website’s contact form promises a two-day response, but it’s been almost three weeks now, still waiting.


        We could have a debate on TLS certificate verification and the various benefits or costs of the Firefox vs. Chrome approach, but in the end it’s an obvious misconfiguration and there will be no further CVE requests from me until it’s fixed. No, I’m not bypassing the browser security warning, even though I know exactly what’s wrong. We can’t expect users to take these seriously if we skip them ourselves.

      • June 10 webinar: Cloud-native development for continuous integration with IBM Wazi

        IBM Wazi for Red Hat CodeReady workspaces simplifies hybrid application development. Developers can leverage open and familiar development tools, deliver a CI/CD pipeline that integrates z/OS into a multi-cloud architecture, and transform testing on mainframes by shifting left transaction-level testing. Be sure to catch the June 10 webinar, Cloud Native Development for Continuous Integration with IBM Wazi, to learn about this new technology. Rosalind Radcliffe, IBM Distinguished Engineer in System Enterprise DevOps, and Mitch Ashley, CEO and Managing Analyst of Accelerated Strategies Group, Inc., give you all the details.

      • Using container technology to make a more secure pipeline

        In our last post we talked about using Multi-Category Security (MCS) instead of Multi-Level Security (MLS) to provide isolation on systems with different levels of sensitivity. In this post we’ll cover creating a more secure pipeline via containers.

        A common pattern in MLS environments is to have a series of processes to guarantee the flow of information between networks at different levels, but to guarantee that no information gets accidentally leaked. These pipelines are sometimes called dirty word filters.

        Imagine an MLS environment, where you have two networks connected to a machine. One of the networks is at Top Secret and the other network is at Secret. Now you might have a process downloading content from the Top Secret Network, another process, the filter process, examining the downloaded content and moving approved data from the Top Secret content to the Secret content. Finally you have a third process that is taking the Secret content and sending it out the Secret network.

      • The advantages of microservices for financial industries

        Forces ranging from technological disruption, to demographic shifts, will change the way banking is done, according to the 2020 Banking and Capital Markets Outlook from Deloitte Insights. The report says that banking will increasingly be more open and transparent, more intelligent and tailored, and more secure and seamless.

        Achieving this state of financial services – one in which there is greater internal collaboration and is synchronized to market demands – won’t be without challenges, the report says, pointing to “technical debt, or the lack of technology system modernization, which is a huge impediment to transformation.”

      • Red Hat Shares ― Special edition: Red Hat Summit 2020 Virtual Experience recap

        Red Hat Summit 2020, like most things this year, looked a little different than in the past. This year’s theme was “From here, anywhere.” But the shift from an in-person to a virtual event resulted in a Summit perhaps better characterized as “From anywhere, here.” While we weren’t able to gather in San Francisco as originally planned, the virtual event gave us the privilege of connecting with so many more open source enthusiasts (56,063* so far, to be exact) worldwide.

      • How to be prepared for changes in Red Hat Smart Management and Satellite

        In my work as a Red Hat Technical Account Manager (TAM), one of my responsibilities is ensuring my customers are aware of the roadmap for various Red Hat products. This includes informing customers of upcoming changes to products, such as features being deprecated, and helping them plan for these changes.

        The Satellite 6.7 release notes listed that several items are deprecated and would be removed in a future release of Satellite. This post will cover several of these items, and what customers can do to prepare for these changes. I would recommend reviewing the release notes to see if any of the other items might affect your Satellite environment.

    • Debian Family

      • Proxmox VE 6 and later offers container features, better security

        The virtualization industry is full of proprietary and open source products that provide IT administrators with a variety of options for deploying their virtual environments. One product in particular that has not received as much attention is Proxmox VE, an open source virtualization management platform that tightly integrates both the KVM hypervisor and Linux container (LXC) technologies. Proxmox VE’s most recent release, 6.1, includes the latest updates to the product, such as new container features, easier management, better security and improvements in availability.

        Admins might choose a propriety product to get a system that’s highly polished and well supported, or they might opt for an open source offering in order to have access to the codebase and reduce operating costs. Proxmox VE 6 released in July of 2019 and was quickly followed by version 6.1 that following December.


        Proxmox Virtual Environment, or Proxmox VE, is a complete server virtualization platform based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Proxmox VE is a free, open source OS and is known for its ability to manage both KVM and LXC in a single, unified platform. By incorporating both KVM and LXC into its platform, Proxmox VE can deploy a wide range of use cases.

        According to Proxmox VE documentation, the platform supports the most demanding Linux and Windows application workloads, while still delivering performance and high availability (HA). For example, admins can scale out compute and storage resources as their requirements change, starting with a single node and expanding to a large cluster to accommodate growing workloads.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Reduce Reloading Download Size on Ubuntu

        Reload is the process refreshing the information of download sources in an Ubuntu system. If you observe, you will find that actually Ubuntu downloads several dozen megabytes of data when reloading and in fact you can reduce up to half size. This article supplies you information to tinker with that with sources.list configuration and APT command. You will see best of this in an experiment-dedicated system if you have. Lastly, I practiced this on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa and you can practice this also on other versions. Enjoy tinkering!

      • ZFS focus on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS: ZSys general principle on state management

        After our previous general presentation of ZSys, it’s “”“time”“” to deep dive to one of its main predominant feature: state management!

        A little technical detour first. as this question will necessarily arise, especially from those familiar with ZFS concepts.

        We have purposively chosen the “state” terminology to prevent system administrators and in general, all those familiar with ZFS to confuse if with snapshot datasets.

        Basically a state is a set of datasets, all frozen in time (apart from the current state), which regrouped together forms a system “state” that you can chose to reboot on.

        Those group of datasets can be either made of snapshot datasets (read only) (which is what most of advanced ZFS users will expect), but it can also be filesystem datasets (read write), made of filesystem datasets clone of the current state datasets. You can boot to any of those.

      • Design and Web team summary – 27 May 2020

        The web team here at Canonical run two-week iterations. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work from this iteration.


        My name is Bartek (also known as bartaz around the interwebz). I live in Poznań in Poland and I’m a web developer. I’ve been a software developer for over 10 years now, working in front-end related technologies for most of this time. IE6 was still a thing when I started trying to make browsers display what I want them to, jQuery was not a thing yet, and nobody even dreamed of React.

        I joined Canonical four years ago as a front-end developer to work on snap store dashboard and after about a year I moved to the Web and Design Team, where I continued working on snap related projects such as snapcraft.io and build.snapcraft.io. A couple of months ago I moved to Vanilla squad where I develop and enhance our Vanilla framework.

  • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Open Source YouTube Alternative PeerTube Needs Your Support to Launch Version 3

      PeerTube (developed by Framasoft) is a free and open-source decentralized alternative to YouTube somewhat like LBRY. As the name suggests, it relies on peer-to-peer connections to operate the video hosting services.

      You can also choose to self-host your instance and also have access to videos from other instances (a federated network, just like Mastodon).

      It is being actively developed for a few years now. And, to take it up a notch, they have decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign for the next major release.

    • 9 open source JavaScript frameworks for front-end web development

      About a decade ago, the JavaScript developer community began to witness fierce battles emerging among JavaScript frameworks. In this article, I will introduce some of the most well-known of these frameworks. And it’s important to note that these are all open source JavaScript projects, meaning that you can freely utilize them under an open source license and even contribute to the source code and communities.

      If you prefer to follow along as I explore these frameworks, you can watch my video.

    • Web Browsers

      • Beaker Browser 1.0 Beta

        I recently reviewed the Beaker Browser. About a week after that review was published, the devs released Beaker 1.0 Beta. And that changes almost everything I had observed in the previous article.

        This made me do an entire article on the new Beaker Browser.Here’s what’s been changed!

        One of the most significant changes to Beaker is the introduction of a new protocol. Up to now, Beaker has used the Dat protocol to distribute content. Beta 1.0 replaces Dat with Hypercore.

        One of the components is Hyperdrive version 10, which was released the same days as Beaker. Hyperdrive is “a POSIX-like filesystem implementation, written in Node.js, that’s designed to be the storage layer for fast, scalable, and secure peer-to-peer applications.”

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Presenter mode in LibreOffice Impress without an external display

        I typically use LibreOffice Impress for my talks, much to some folks’ surprise. Yes, you can make slides look okay with free software! But there’s one annoying caveat that has bothered me for ages.

        Impress makes it nearly impossible to enter presenter mode with a single display, while also displaying slides. I have never understood this limitation, but it’s existed for a minimum of seven years.

        I’ve tried all sorts of workarounds over the years, including a macro that forces LibreOffice into presenter mode, which I never was able to figure out how to reverse once I ran it…

    • FSF

      • CTO Talk: Q&A with Seldon’s Clive Cox

        I’m more of a “meeting the Buddha on the road” kind of guy. However, influences along the way have been the usual suspects like Alan Turing and people such as Richard Stallman who promoted open source.

      • Licensing/Legal

        • OPPO Find X2, X2 Neo, X2 Lite, and Moto G7 Android 10 kernel source code now available

          The foundation of the Android OS is built on top of the Linux kernel, thus Android device makers are obliged to provide the source code (upon request) for any Linux kernel binaries that ship on their devices. Besides the source code release for the retail release software, OEMs should also publish the updated Linux kernel source code for any future software updates in order to comply with the GNU General Public License v2. Motorola, for example, is quite good at releasing Linux kernel source code for all the updates they roll out, and they have now published the kernel source code for the Moto G7’s Android 10 update. OPPO, on the other hand, has shared the initial kernel sources for a bunch of phones from the Find X2 lineup.

    • Programming/Development

      • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache? Subversion? 1.14.0-LTS

        The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today Apache? Subversion? 1.14.0-LTS, the latest release of the popular centralized software version control system.

      • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache Subversion 1.14.0-LTS
      • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache? Subversion? 1.14.0-LTS
      • Apache Updates Subversion – SVN 1.14 LTS Released

        For those making use of the Subversion centralized version control system as an alternative to Git, SVN 1.14 LTS is now available.

        With Subversion 1.14 being an LTS release, a particular emphasis was put on fixing bugs in this open-source VCS but there are also some new features. Subversion 1.14′s Python bindings finally support Python 3 while maintaining Python 2 support, a new tool to support deduplication (svnadmin build-repcache), and more.

      • Qt for Automation changed to Qt M2M Protocols

        Qt M2M Protocols is now automatically included for free to every new Qt Device Creation subscription. The additional distribution license price has been removed as well.

        Qt Application Development license holders can buy Qt M2M Protocols separately.

      • Using Visual Studio Code for Qt Applications – Part Two

        In the last blog post we saw an essential, C++ oriented, Visual Studio Code setup. That was enough to get going right away, but we can still definitely do more and better. Here I’ll show you how to get a complete setup for your qmake and CMake projects, all this while also wearing a Qt hat (on top of my C++ hat) and having a deeper look at the Qt side.

        Build qmake Qt projects

        Qmake is not integrated with Visual Studio Code the way CMake is, so setting up a qmake project for build is slightly more convoluted than doing the same with CMake. This means we’ll have to define our own build tasks. We’re going to do this in two stages: build steps definition and build steps combination, leveraging the fact that Visual Studio Code implements task dependencies and ordered sequential execution of dependencies.

      • Where Did Software Go Wrong?

        Computers were supposed to be “a bicycle for our minds”, machines that operated faster than the speed of thought. And if the computer was a bicycle for the mind, then the plural form of computer, Internet, was a “new home of Mind.” The Internet was a fantastic assemblage of all the world’s knowledge, and it was a bastion of freedom that would make time, space, and geopolitics irrelevant. Ignorance, authoritarianism, and scarcity would be relics of the meatspace past.

        Things didn’t quite turn out that way. The magic disappeared and our optimism has since faded. Our websites are slow and insecure; our startups are creepy and unprofitable; our president Tweets hate speech; we don’t trust our social media apps, webcams, or voting machines. And in the era of coronavirus quarantining, we’re realizing just how inadequate the Internet turned out to be as a home of Mind. Where did it all go wrong?

      • good idea bad implementation crosstalk

        Unfortunately products like the latter seem quite common. Most things in my house are still rather dumb because regrettably few products are actually the same thing, but smarter. Instead smart devices are inevitably some inscrutable machine intelligence physically manifested in my house. So no thanks. Battle lines drawn, everybody pick a side, good idea or bad implementation, and fight!

      • Perl/Raku

        • Perl Hacks, Perl School, and the future of Perl publishing

          Dave Cross, long-time Perl user, trainer, and author, recently released The Best of Perl Hacks, a curated collection of his best posts from his Perl Hacks blog. His imprint, Perl School, has published six e-books, including two that I wrote.

          There’s an unrelated book, Perl Hacks: Tips & Tools For Programming, Debugging, And Surviving, by chromatic, Damian Conway, and Curtis “Ovid” Poe. It’s also very good, but completely separate from Dave’s.

      • Python

        • The PEPs of Python 3.9

          With the release of Python 3.9.0b1, the first of four planned betas for the development cycle, Python 3.9 is now feature-complete. There is still plenty to do in terms of testing and stabilization before the October final release. The release announcement lists a half-dozen Python Enhancement Proposals (PEPs) that were accepted for 3.9. We have looked at some of those PEPs along the way; there are some updates on those. It seems like a good time to fill in some of the gaps on what will be coming in Python 3.9

        • How to Write an Installable Django App

          In the Django framework, a project refers to the collection of configuration files and code for a particular website. Django groups business logic into what it calls apps, which are the modules of the Django framework. There’s plenty of documentation on how to structure your projects and the apps within them, but when it comes time to package an installable Django app, information is harder to find.

          In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to take an app out of a Django project and package it so that it’s installable. Once you’ve packaged your app, you can share it on PyPI so that others can fetch it through pip install.

        • Pros and Cons of Python: A Definitive Python Web Development Guide

          Python is a powerful programming language for mobile and web development projects. It is also the most popular programming language for AI in 2020. RedI Python development’s use cases in scientific computing, statistics, and education make it one of the highly preferred programming languages for Python programmers.

          The open-source programming language launched in 1992 is now on the verge of becoming the most popular and used programming language. Due to the rise in demand for AI and ML applications, Python web programming is now the first thing that comes to mind for coding such applications.

          But is Python for web development even worth it? It definitely is. Some of the top companies use Python web programming in their technology stack.

        • Simplify data visualization in Python with Plotly

          Plotly is a plotting ecosystem that allows you to make plots in Python, as well as JavaScript and R. In this series of articles, I’m focusing on plotting with Python libraries.

      • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • The Asian Pivot
    • How To Start A Blog If You’re Not A Nerd

      So you want to start a blog, but you don’t have a masters degree in computing? I think that everyone should be able to blog, regardless of their technical ability. This post will give you everything you need to get going.

    • Introducing The Tech Policy Greenhouse: Let’s Have Thoughtful Conversations About The Biggest Tech Policy Challenges

      Today we’re introducing something very new: the Tech Policy Greenhouse. This is a project that I’ve been working on for about two years now, and I’m both thrilled and relieved to finally be getting it out the door. It starts from this basic premise: many of the biggest issues facing technology and innovation today are significant challenges that have no easy answer. Every possible approach or solution (including doing nothing at all) has tradeoffs. And yet very few people seem willing to admit that, as admitting to tradeoffs in policy proposals is seen as a sign of weakness or giving in. But the issues facing innovation policy today are too big and too important to not have a truly open discussion.

    • Education

      • Life in Hell: Online Teaching

        I had long heard rumors from academicians about how “online teaching is a nightmare,” “online teaching ruined my life,” “online teaching sucked the brains out of my head,” “online teaching is a new and insidious form of labor degradation,” and the like.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (drupal7 and unbound), Fedora (libEMF and transmission), Mageia (dojo, log4net, nginx, nodejs-set-value, sleuthkit, and transmission), Red Hat (rh-maven35-jackson-databind), SUSE (dpdk and mariadb-connector-c), and Ubuntu (thunderbird).

          • Security flaw in ARMv7 allows hackers to gain control over smart cars

            Security vulnerabilities are quite commonly found in autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles that feature a number of smart technologies and applications to improve vehicle safety and driving experience. Last week, security researcher Till Kottmann discovered a misconfiguration in the Git web portal of Daimler AG, the automotive company behind the Mercedes-Benz car brand, that allowed him to create an account on Daimler’s code-hosting portal and download more than 580 Git repositories containing the source code of onboard logic units (OLUs) installed in Mercedes vans.

            According to Kottmann, there wasn’t any account confirmation process in the company’s official GitLab server, which allowed him to register an account using a non-existent Daimler corporate email. He was able to download 580 Git repositories from the company’s server and made it publicly available by uploading the files in several locations such as file-hosting service MEGA, the Internet Archive, and on his own GitLab server.

            Last year, researchers at Pan Test Partners uncovered critical security holes in popular car alarms that could have been exploited by cyber criminals to unlock car doors, activate car alarms, and turn on car engines, all of which could allow criminals to steal cars with great ease.

            The firm found how certain third-party car alarms, whose sellers claim to offer enhanced security to owners of keyless entry cars, featured gaping security holes that allowed criminals to geo-locate cars in real time, find out the car type and details of their owners, disable car alarms, unlock cars, disable immobilisers, and even kill car engines when they were running.

          • Meet unc0ver, the new jailbreak that pops shell—and much more—on any iPhone

            Unc0ver, by contrast, works on any device running any version of iOS released since September 2017 or later. The flaw the new jailbreak exploits is located in the OS kernel. That means that unc0ver is less capable then Checkm8 is of disabling or bypassing certain iOS restrictions and security mechanisms. For example: the unc0ver provides no access to JTAG, an interface for debugging and emulating processors.

          • Josh Bressers: Broken vulnerability severities

            This blog post originally started out as a way to point out why the NVD CVSS scores are usually wrong. One of the amazing things about having easy access to data is you can ask a lot of questions, questions you didn’t even know you had, and find answers right away. If you haven’t read it yet, I wrote a very long series on security scanners. One of my struggles I have is there are often many “critical” findings in those scan reports that aren’t actually critical. I wanted to write something that explained why that was, but because my data took me somewhere else, this is the post you get. I knew CVSSv3 wasn’t perfect (even the CVSS folks know this), but I found some really interesting patterns in the data. The TL;DR of this post is: It may be time to start talking about CVSSv4.

            It’s easy to write a post that made a lot of assumptions and generally makes facts up that suit whatever argument I was trying to make (which was the first draft of this). I decided to crunch some data to make sure my hypothesis were correct and because graphs are fun. It turns out I learned a lot of new things, which of course also means it took me way longer to do this work. The scripts I used to build all these graphs can be found here if you want to play along at home. You can save yourself a lot of suffering by using my work instead of trying to start from scratch.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Hell Hath No Fury Like A Federal Law Enforcement Agency That Keeps Finding Some Way To Break Into IPhones

              Nothing has made the FBI more irritated than its ability to break into phones it swears (often in court!) it cannot possibly get into without the device maker’s assistance. The agency doesn’t want third-party vendors to offer solutions and it doesn’t seem to want its own technical staff to find ways to get stuff from encrypted devices. It wants the government to tell companies like Apple to do what they’re told. It will accept any solution that involves a mandate, whether it’s from a federal court or our nation’s legislators. It will accept nothing else.

            • Privacy and Zambonis in the Age of COVID-19: My Ian Kerr Memorial Lecture
            • Our First Greenhouse Topic: Privacy

              For decades the internet has flourished on the back of innovation, creativity, adaptation, and hard work. But while this technological revolution spurred no limit of incredible inventions, services, and profit, a drumbeat of scandals have highlighted how privacy and security were often a distant afterthought — if they were thought about at all.

            • Former NSO Employees Says The Company Impersonated Facebook To Deploy Malware

              As Facebook’s lawsuit against Israeli malware purveyor, NSO Group, continues, more facts are coming to light that undercut the spyware vendor’s claims that it’s just a simple software developer that can’t be blamed for the malicious acts of its customers.

            • Top EU data protection agency under pressure to act against Internet giants as GDPR turns 2 years old

              A few weeks ago, this blog noted that there were questions hanging over the GDPR, not least the fact that no major fines had been issued against top Internet companies. The GDPR has just passed the two-year mark, and many have taken the opportunity to weigh in on this issue. For example, the data protection agency in Ireland, which would be responsible for issuing fines against the main online players, has just written a post on its GDPR enforcement plans. It says that the country’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) has submitted a draft decision about a Twitter data breach to the other data protection authorities in the EU, as it is required to do under the GDPR. This means a public statement on the case should follow fairly soon.

            • [Old] How to fight back against Google AMP: As A Web User And A Web Developer

              This week I also got two AMP links sent to me via Telegram and to see those Google URLs replacing unique domain names made me a bit sad on behalf of the owners of those sites. As a site owner myself, it feels like sovereignty of a website being taken away.

              Other than people sharing links with me, I rarely encounter AMP in the wild. It is possible to restrict Google AMP from your life both as a web user and as a web developer. Here’s how you can fight back against Google AMP.

            • Websites Conducting Port Scans

              Security researcher Charlie Belmer is reporting that commercial websites such as eBay are conducting port scans of their visitors.

            • Google Sued by Arizona Over Collecting User Location Data

              With the location tracking setting turned off, the Alphabet Inc. unit collects information deceptively through other user settings, such as “Web & App Activity,” according to a lawsuit filed in state court Wednesday by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

              “Google makes it impractical if not impossible for users to meaningfully opt-out of Google’s collection of location information,” according to the lawsuit, which is based in part on a 2018 report from the Associated Press.

            • Apple Buys Machine-Learning Startup to Improve Data Used in Siri

              The engineering team from Waterloo, Ontario-based Inductiv joined Apple in recent weeks to work on Siri, machine learning and data science. Apple confirmed the deal, saying it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

              Inductiv developed technology that uses artificial intelligence to automate the task of identifying and correcting errors in data. Having clean data is important for machine learning, a popular and powerful type of AI that helps software improve with less human intervention.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • A Note from the Ministry of Staple Guns

        The City of Portland, Oregon, and Multnomah County, are doing the best job in the country at kicking the can down the road.? Now is the time to push for a real solution to the housing crisis, here and across the USA.

      • The Attacks on China Must Stop

        The world is supposed to be pulling together to defeat the Coronavirus and to some extent it is. Earlier on Russia sent special equipment to the US and recently the US has sent some to Russia. China has aided Italy and Africa with doctors and equipment.

      • US accuses Russia of sending military personnel to support the ‘Wagner’ PMC in Libya

        According to the African Command of the US Armed Forces, AFRICOM, Russia has deployed a military fighter aircraft to Libya.?

      • India and China square up on their Himalayan border

        General Naravane is correct to say that face-offs are not unusual. Because the border between India and China is undefined, encounters between patrols on the “line of actual control” (LAC) are common. Beyond the demarcation issue lie vast, intricate and unresolved territorial disputes that led to a war in 1962. What makes the present imbroglio unusual is three things. One is the scale of forces involved. Another is the fact that encounters have twice deteriorated into fisticuffs in the past month; first at Pangong lake, and later at Naku La in Sikkim, over 1,000km away in the eastern part of the border.

        Third, and perhaps most important, some of the alleged land-grabs seem to have occurred in the Galwan river valley area, beyond China’s own claim-line, ie, in territory which was not thought to be disputed. The valley is fraught with historical baggage: it was overrun by China in the lightning war in 1962, though later handed back. On May 25th the Global Times, a state-run tabloid in Beijing, stated baldly that “the Galwan Valley region is Chinese territory”.

      • Suspected Islamist militia kills at least 17 in northeastern Congo

        The ADF have killed hundreds of people since late October last year when the army began an operation to oust them from their bases near the Ugandan border. The fighting has hampered efforts to end an Ebola epidemic.

        While the insurgents, who are originally from Uganda, have pledged allegiance to Islamic State and the group has endorsed some attacks by the ADF, researchers say there is no evidence of close collaboration.

      • Far-Right’s Political Crimes Are on the Rise in Germany

        Although politically motivated crimes represent only a tiny fraction of the 5.3 million crimes recorded in Germany last year, they are “significant” in terms of their importance to the stability of democracy, the political system, and of the constitutional order, Seehofer said.

    • Environment

      • We cannot ignore the links between COVID-19 and the warming planet

        Let us be clear: We are not talking here about future warming, which is already of great concern. We are talking about the effects of a rise of 1oC that we have already experienced. Even with such “modest” warming, a stunning barrage of extreme events have happened in recent years, many of which cannot be explained in the absence of climate change.

    • There is space for carbon storage underground

      Capturing it remains a challenge. But there should be no lack of? permanent safe carbon storage underground.

    • A Comradely Letter: What’s a Progressive to Do?

      This article is a call-to-arms on global warming. But before I turn to my main concern, I need to express some thoughts about the 2020 presidential campaign and the way we understand it. After I lay that out, I’ll connect those campaign-related thoughts with the issue of climate change.

    • Energy

    • Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Chechen leader Ramzan Kadryov declares himself ‘absolutely healthy’ following reports of hospitalization

      Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced that he is absolutely healthy, during an Instagram Live stream with the director of Grozny.tv Akhmed Dudaev.? This comes after media reports that he was hospitalized in Moscow for a suspected case of COVID-19.

    • National Values: Reality or Propaganda?

      Joe Biden, presumptive Democratic Party presidential candidate, thinks he knows what?American values?are. Here are some of them: “inclusivity, tolerance, diversity, respect for the rule of law.” Biden defines these as among the “democratic values that define us.”

    • Joe Biden, Rape Culture, and Living in the Dark

      It’s hard when someone you like, someone you think is a good man or woman, is accused of rape. Our first instinct is to not believe it. That’s normal. But that cannot be the end.

    • As US Death Count Nears 100,000, Trump Indulges His Ego and Deflects Blame

      Donald Trump had quite a day for himself on Tuesday. During a Rose Garden event intended to promote protections for senior citizens with diabetes, the man who recently pondered the possibility of injecting COVID-19 patients with disinfectant mused audibly on the potential virtues of insulin… for himself.

    • Trump and GOP Want COVID-19 Protections for Bosses — But Not Workers

      A new Morning Consult poll finds that nearly three-quarters of all voters — including 63 percent of Republicans — agree that COVID-19 testing should be required for workers returning to their jobs as states lift stay-at-home orders and businesses reopen, but don’t expect to see any such requirement come from the Trump administration or Republicans in Congress. The GOP has consistently sided with employers over issues of workplace safety as pro-business forces push to reopen the country and jump-start the economy, which Trump sees as crucial to his reelection.

    • One Rule for Me and Another for Everyone Else: The Cummings Coronavirus Factor

      Leaving crises to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s management skills will never disappoint those who favour chaos and the attractions of vague direction.? The double standard is to be preferred to the equal one.? With the United Kingdom sundered by death and the effects of COVID-19 (the PM himself having had his battle with the virus), the population was hoping for some clarity.? When, for instance, would the lockdown measures be eased?

    • There’s Only One Reason Trump and the GOP Don’t Want Mail-in Voting

      Vote-by-mail makes voting easier. And when voting is easier, Republicans have a much harder time suppressing the vote.

    • Adam Schiff Ripped as ‘Biggest Hypocrite in Congress’ for Undermining Effort to Curb FBI Spy Powers

      “He constantly talks about how the Trump administration is dangerous and authoritarian. But time and time again he has done everything in his power to ensure that the Trump administration has essentially limitless domestic surveillance authority.”

    • Trump, Twitter, And Free Speech

      Content moderation at scale is impossible to do well. But, also content moderation of a world leader spewing blatant conspiracy theories may be just as difficult, and that’s not even at scale.

    • Trump Threatens to Shred First Amendment to Defend ‘Free Speech’

      After weeks of tweeting misinformation about mail-in voting, Twitter on Tuesday decided to slap a small disclaimer on some of President Trump’s posts on the subject. “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” reads a link to a string of reputable reports about proxy voting, which is practiced in both Democratic and Republican states, and has not been proven to lead to widespread fraud, contrary to what the president has claimed repeatedly.

      Trump’s response was to threaten to cancel the First Amendment.

    • Trump Threatens to “Close” Twitter for Fact Checking His Tweets on Voting

      President Donald Trump is threatening that his administration “will strongly regulate, or close” social media sites that attach disclaimers to inaccurate or misleading content, following an incident in which Twitter fact-checked his tweet about mail-in voting.

    • White House organizes harassment of Twitter employee as Trump threatens company

      Twitter fact-checked Trump’s tweets late on Tuesday afternoon by attaching information designed to clarify common lies and misinformation on mail-in voting resulting in rampant voter fraud, which is untrue and unsupported by any evidence. According to a Twitter spokesperson, the tweets “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots.” Tapping or clicking the link attached to Trump’s tweets that says “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” leads to a series of news articles and links debunking the lies.

    • When The Problem Isn’t Twitter But President Trump

      President Trump is not happy with Twitter. But a lot of other people were already unhappy with Twitter. As his tweets have grown more abusive by the day, and the non-insane public has naturally grown more outraged by them, there has been an increase in calls for Twitter to delete his tweets, if not his account outright. But what’s worse is the increase in calls that sound just like what Trump now demands: that Section 230 must be changed if Twitter is unwilling to take those steps. Both are bad ideas, however, for separate, although related, reasons.

    • Trump Supporters Single Out Twitter Employee After Site Fact-Checks President’s False Tweets

      The online attacks against Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of site integrity, came after the social network on Tuesday added a fact-checking label — for the first time — to a pair of Trump’s tweets that contained several falsehoods about mail-in ballots.

    • Trump wants to fight Twitter more than regulate it

      For years, Donald Trump’s fight against social media companies has been a one-man boxing match. He calls them out over bias, and they rewrite policies making him the one exception to their rules, taking care never to punch back. But on Tuesday, Twitter slapped back for the first time ever, labeling two tweets as making false and misleading claims about mail-in voting.

    • Republicans working on legislation to strip Twitter of federal liability protections

      The lawmakers began work on legislation following Twitter’s decision to add warnings to two tweets by President Trump this week in which he railed against California’s decision to expand mail-in voting. Trump tweeted without evidence that mail-in voting could increase voter fraud.

      Both Hawley and Gaetz argued that Twitter’s decision to flag the tweets called its legal liability protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act into question. Section 230 protects social media platforms from facing lawsuits over what users post.

    • All the President’s Lies About the Coronavirus

      President Donald Trump has repeatedly lied about the coronavirus pandemic and the country’s preparation for this once-in-a-generation crisis.

      Here, a collection of the biggest lies he’s told as the nation endures a public-health and economic calamity. This post will be updated as needed.

    • AP FACT CHECK: Trump falsely blames Obama for pricey drugs

      President Donald Trump tangled the facts when he asserted Tuesday at a White House Rose Garden event that “Obamacare” raised prescription drug costs for older people — the opposite is true.

    • Twitter fact-checks a misleading Trump tweet for the first time

      Twitter has been reluctant to enforce its own rules against Trump’s tweets in the past. Although Trump has tweeted and retweeted many seemingly rule-breaking posts, a few loopholes protected him, including exceptions for tweets from government entities and considerations for the “newsworthiness” of an otherwise rule-breaking tweet. Last year, Twitter announced that in rare cases it would limit the reach of tweets from large accounts held by government officials that were in violation of its rules. The covid-19 “infodemic” has forced most social-media platforms to change how they enforce their rules as potentially dangerous misinformation about the pandemic spreads.

    • Mail-in Voting Triggers an Unhinged Trump Rant

      Seemingly terrified of losing his reelection bid at least in part due to mail-in voting, President Trump continued to be dishonest about the process’s legitimacy in a tweet so packed with lies it’s surprising he was able to fit them all within the character count.

      Trump’s Sunday morning factless tweet began with a proclamation: “The United States cannot have all Mail-In Ballots.” What followed was a greatest hits list of falsehoods, conspiracy theories, doctoring of documents and physical intimidation, all topped with something seemingly straight from a QAnon forum: “Trying to use Covid for this Scam!”

    • Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has voted by mail 11 times in 10 years

      In fact, the Tampa native has voted by mail in every Florida election she has participated in since 2010, according to a Tampa Bay Times review of her voting history. Most recently, she voted by mail in the state’s March 2020 presidential primary, just as Trump did after he made Florida his new permanent home.

    • Kayleigh McEnany voted by mail 11 times in 10 years, but claims mail-in ballots invite rampant fraud

      McEnany, who like President Donald Trump is a resident of Florida, has cast ballots by mail in every election in the state in which she has participated, according to the Tampa Bay Times. That tally includes the March 2020 Republican primary, in which Trump also voted by mail.

      The press secretary has nonetheless attempted to defend Trump’s false claims that proposals to expand mail-in voting will “substantially” increase voter fraud and result in a “rigged election.”

      Those false claims led Twitter to flag the president’s tweets with fact-check labels for the first time.

    • Trump’s Press Secretary Says It’s Okay for Her and Trump to Vote by Mail

      As she spent the better part of last week defending President Donald Trump’s constant attacks against mail-in voting, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany apparently failed to disclose that she herself had engaged in the practice with great frequency.

    • Let’s Move On From Boris

      Boris has a new slogan, “Move on”, which he deployed repeatedly today in his appearance before the House of Commons Liaison Committee. Remembering short slogans is fairly well the extent of his political skills, and he contrived to look pleased with hmself for remembering this one. The public, he solemnly informed those watching, now wanted the narrative to “Move on” from the Dominic Cummings debacle.

    • Trump to ‘sign executive order about social media’
    • It looks like Trump’s draft executive order targeting Facebook and Twitter got leaked online
  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • In Search Of A Grand Unified Theory Of Free Expression And Privacy

      Every time I ask anyone associated with Facebook’s new Oversight Board whether the nominally independent, separately endowed tribunal is going address misuse of private information, I get the same answer—that’s not the Board’s job. This means that the Oversight Board, in addition to having such an on-the-nose proper name, falls short in a more important way—its architects imagined that content issues can be tackled substantively without addressing privacy issues. Yet surely the recent scandals that have plagued Facebook and some other tech companies in recent years have shown us that private information issues and harmful-content problems have become intimately connected.

    • Trump to sign executive order on social media on Thursday: White House

      The American Civil Liberties Union said the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution limits any action Trump could take. Facebook and Google declined comment. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

    • Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Urgent Interim Classification of Publications and Prevention of Online Harm) Amendment Bill

      The Bill authorises an Inspector of Publications to issue a take-down notice for objectionable online content. The take-down powers are aligned with current powers of seizure of objectionable publications under the Act.

      Take-down notices will be issued to an online content host, directing the removal of a specific link, so that the relevant objectionable material is no longer viewable in New Zealand. An online content host that does not comply with a notice to take down content as soon as is reasonably practicable (without reasonable justification for delays) will be subject to civil pecuniary penalties. It is intended (but not required by the Bill) that the authority to issue a take-down notice will only be exercised in situations where other options for seeking the removal of objectionable content online have proven ineffective. The current collaborative practice of requesting online content hosts to voluntarily remove identified objectionable content will continue to be the first and preferred approach.

    • Michigan Gov. Whitmer says she censors herself when speaking about Trump to ensure continued federal assistance

      The President for years has spread lies about voter fraud in the US and has recently ratcheted up his attacks against mail-in ballots. He falsely insisted that there is “tremendous fraud involved and tremendous illegality,” even though Trump himself has voted by mail in Florida.

  • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Vietnam Journalists Arrests a ‘Chilling Message’ From Nervous Ruling Party-RSF

      “Vietnam must stop treating independent journalists as enemies of the state, and must allow the press to work freely and without fear of trumped-up charges and prison time,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative.

      Journalist Pham Doan Trang told RFA’s Vietnamese Service that things are getting worse for Vietnam when it comes to tolerating dissent and likely to get even tougher in the run up to the January ruling party congress.

      “Police are not only making arrests, but also beating the arrested people and threatening and provoking their relatives,” she said.

      “Freedom has always been restricted, but nowadays it seems to be narrower and there’s more and more violence. From now until the party congress, the scope of freedom can be tightened more and more, and the suppression will increase,” added Trang.

    • Covid risk for Julian Assange at next court hearing

      Julian Assange is due to appear in court by video link from Belmarsh prison next Monday, 1st June, just days after the Ministry of Justice admitted that Covid 19 is far more widespread in prisons than was previously announced.

      On doctor’s advice, Assange did not participate in the last two procedural hearings, as moving through the prison to use the communal video room would put him at even greater risk of contracting the virus.

      Assange has an underlying lung condition that makes him especially vulnerable to Covid 19.

      On Tuesday, the Ministry of Justice provided a ‘more robust way’ of reporting coronavirus cases which saw the number of staff who have tested positive jump from 563 to 873 in a week.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Leaders Must Act to Protect Refugees and Internally Displaced People in Africa

      The window of opportunity for containment is shutting fast. We must work together quickly to stop the spread of Covid-19 among the continent’s most vulnerable populations.

    • Captured Courts: Senate Dems Call Out GOP For Assault On Judiciary

      The report, titled Captured Courts: The GOP’s Big-Money Assault on the Constitution, Our Independent Judiciary, and the Rule of Law, examines a decades long effort by conservative interests to “fix” the federal court system to serve their political agenda. This effort has accelerated under the Trump administration and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch?McConnell.

    • George Floyd, Chris Cooper and the Racist Terror Faced by Black People in the US

      “I can’t breathe” — that’s what George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, repeatedly told a white Minneapolis police officer who pinned him to the ground Monday with a knee to his neck. Video of the police attack went viral. Now four officers have been fired. This comes as another video went viral of a white woman calling the cops on a Black man in New York City’s Central Park and falsely accusing him of “threatening her life” after he asked her to leash her dog. We discuss these developments and more with Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University and National Book Award–winning author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and How to Be an Antiracist.

    • Fascism: Is it Too Extreme a Label?

      In examining two productions of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. A Parable Play.(1) ?Bertolt Brecht wrote about the rise of Ui, which illustrated Hitler’s rise to power that was resistible –but was not, we see some elements related to today’s events.

    • Canada’s Seat at the UN Security Council May be Coveted But is Far From a Sure Bet

      Next June the United Nations Assembly will hold elections at its 74th session for five non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council (UNSC) starting on January 1, 2021 for the period 2021–22.

    • New PEN America Report Warns Surge of Anti-Protest Laws in Trump Era Is ‘Danger to Expressive Rights of All’

      “There has been a determined movement, occurring largely outside the public eye, to delegitimize public protest and paint demonstrators as dangerous or even criminal.”

    • ‘A Disgusting Display’: Police Fire Rubber Bullets, Stun Grenades, and Tear Gas at Demonstrators Protesting Killing of George Floyd

      “What is happening tonight in our city is shameful,” Rep. Ilhan Omar said of police behavior.

    • Police Fire Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas at Protest Against Killing of George Floyd

      Minneapolis police officers dressed in riot gear fired rubber bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades into crowds of protesters that gathered late Tuesday to demand justice for the killing of George Floyd after video footage showed a cop kneeling on the back of the man’s neck as he cried out, “I cannot breathe!”

    • The Irony of American Freedom

      In “Freedom Is a Constant Struggle,” political activist Angela Y. Davis invokes?a?song?from the Freedom Movement, which says freedom is a constant dying, we’ve died so long we must be free.?Davis appreciates this irony: “We’ve struggled so long, we’ve cried so long, we’ve sorrowed so long, we’ve moaned so long, we’ve died so long, we must be free, we must be free. And of course there’s simultaneously resignation and promise in that line, there is critique and inspiration: we must be free, we must be free but are we really free?”

    • ‘Just Let the Patriot Act Die You Cowards’: House Lawmakers Urged to Vote Down Flawed Domestic Spy Bill

      “It would be unconscionable for the Democratic House to pass any PATRIOT Act reauthorization without critical privacy reforms.”

    • Romina Ashrafi: Outrage in Iran after girl murdered ‘for eloping’

      Iran’s Islamic penal code reduces punitive measures for fathers and other family members who are convicted of murder or physically harming children in domestic violence or “honour killings”.

    • Police In Iran Arrest Father Of 13-Year-Old Girl For ‘Honor Killing’

      The thirteen-year-old girl was killed with a sickle in the city of Hovigh, Talesh county, northern Iran. Her father was detained after widespread reaction to the tragedy across the country and on social media.

    • Tibetan Students, State Workers Barred From Religious Events in Lhasa

      Saga Dawa, which falls on the fourth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar and began this year on May 23, commemorates the Buddha’s birth, death, and enlightenment, and is traditionally celebrated in Buddhist countries around the world.

      Though Lhasa’s famous Jokhang Temple and other religious sites are now open to the public, “students, government workers, and persons drawing a state pension are not allowed to take part in religious events,” one resident of the city told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

    • Poland is shocked by pedophilia documentary

      The Primate of Poland has informed the Vatican about new cases of pedophilia uncovered in a recent documentary. The Church and government are both under pressure following the revelation of what happened to the victims.

    • Minnesota Catholic diocese to pay $22.5M to sexual assault victims, file for bankruptcy

      The Diocese of Saint Cloud, Minn., has agreed to pay victims of past clerical sexual abuse $22.5 million and file for bankruptcy, making it the fifth of the state’s six Catholic dioceses to take such a step if the settlement is approved.

      The agreement will settle claims made against more than 40 priests by about 70 plaintiffs, with the allegations dating back to the 1950s, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. While many of the accused priests have since died, at least one was still in active ministry in Elk River as recently as 2015, according to the newspaper.

      The agreement would also require the diocese to turn over its files on the accused priests.

    • Bird-watcher rips woman who called the cops on him over viral Central Park dog dispute: ‘I wasn’t having it’

      That changed when bird-watcher Christian Cooper pulled out his phone and captured Amy Cooper calling police to report she was being threatened by “an African American man.” The widely watched video – posted on Facebook by Christian Cooper and on Twitter by his sister – sparked accusations of racism and led to Amy Cooper getting fired.

      “Unfortunately, we live in an era with things like Ahmaud Arbery, where black men are seen as targets,” Christian Cooper told CNN. “This woman thought she could exploit that to her advantage, and I wasn’t having it.

    • Though Busily Ranting on Twitter, Trump Completely Silent on Police Killing of George Floyd as Biden Demands Federal Probe

      “George Floyd deserved better and his family deserves justice. His life mattered, I’m grateful for the swift action in Minneapolis to fire the officers involved—they must be held responsible for their egregious actions,” said Biden.

    • Protesters clash with Minneapolis police after George Floyd death: Here’s what we know

      The horrifying video spread quickly on social media earlier in the day, showing the officer driving his knee into the Floyd’s neck as the man repeatedly says he can’t breathe.

      Four officers involved in the Monday incident have been fired, and Floyd’s family and their attorney, Ben Crump, have called for their arrests. Police have not identified the officers, but attorney Tom Kelly said he was representing Derek Chauvin, the officer seen with his knee on Floyd’s neck.

    • Minneapolis police, protesters clash almost 24 hours after George Floyd’s death in custody

      Four officers were fired after a video showed one of them kneeling on a handcuffed black man’s neck and ignoring pleas that he couldn’t breathe.

    • There’s Only One Possible Conclusion: White America Likes Its Killer Cops

      George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police in broad daylight this Memorial Day weekend. We know he was murdered because video shows Floyd handcuffed and pinned under the knee of an officer who was crushing his throat into the pavement. Floyd could be heard telling the officer that he couldn’t breathe. He could be heard telling the officer, “Don’t kill me.” Onlookers were heard begging the officer to stop killing the man.

      The police didn’t stop. The police are never going to voluntarily stop killing black and brown people. The killings will continue until the majority of white people in this country make the killings stop.

    • Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

      “Initially … it was just being looted, but at some point, a fire started,” he said, adding he wasn’t sure how it began.

    • Louisiana cop fired for saying ‘unfortunate’ more black people didn’t die of coronavirus

      The police department said in a statement on its Facebook page that it was made aware of Aucoin’s comments. Chief Joshua Hardy “looked into it,” and the officer was terminated.

    • How to Safely and Ethically Film Police Misconduct

      At the human rights organization WITNESS, where I work as the senior U.S. program coordinator, we’ve learned that video has a greater chance of making an impact when it’s filmed ethically and strategically, and released in coordination with advocacy and legal efforts. Using the camera in your pocket can be a valuable way to ensure the world bears witness to abusive policing and systemic racism, help hold authorities accountable, and advocate for the real safety of our communities. To help you film safely, ethically, and effectively, see the guidance below: [...]

    • Top Legal Expert On Torture Identifies U.S., UK, & Canadian, Govs., As The World’s Top Torturers

      Unlike in Hitler’s Nazi Party, America’s regime is bipartisan and entails the billionaires in both of the fascist regime’s two political Parties. By means of dividing the billionaires into these two contending political teams, one Democratic and the other Republican, the post-WW-II myth of a ‘democratic’ United States continues to be spread both nationally and internationally, in order for the regime to continue to be called ‘democratic’, long after democracy’s having actually expired in the U.S.

    • LAPD’s Hollywood Office: How The Department Shaped ABC’s ‘The Rookie’

      Through this video essay, Tom Secker examines the Los Angeles Police Department’s Entertainment Trademark Unit, which deals with Hollywood.

      Secker, host of “Spy Culture,” focuses on ABC’s “The Rookie,” a television show that he says “dilutes and trivializes sexism and racism in the LAPD, police brutality, and excessive force, violation of civil rights, predictive policing and rogue cops and LAPD corruption, including the Rampart scandal.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T Won’t Stop Lying About ‘Fake 5G’

      Big wireless carriers haven’t been exactly honest when it comes to the looming fifth-generation wireless standard (5G). Eager to use the improvements to charge higher rates and sell new gear, carriers and network vendors are dramatically over-hyping where the service is actually available, and what it can actually do. Some, like AT&T, have gone so far as to actively mislead customers by pretending that its existing 4G networks are actually 5G. AT&T took this to the next level last year by issuing phone updates that changed the 4G icon to “5GE” on customer phones, despite the fact that actual 5G isn’t really available.

  • Monopolies

    • Local TV Stations Pilloried for ‘Shamelessly’ Passing Off Amazon-Scripted Propaganda as News

      “Jeff Bezos can run as many scripted news segments he wants. It still doesn’t change the fact that he made $34.5 billion over the course of this pandemic while putting his workers in harm’s way and shirking on their hazard pay.”

    • WATCH: 9 Local TV Stations Pushed the Same Amazon-Scripted Segment

      While most TV news professionals have scoffed at the idea of running Amazon-provided content as news, at least 9 stations across the country ran some form of the package on their news broadcasts. The package—you can view the script Amazon provided to news stations here—was produced by Amazon spokesperson Todd Walker. Only one station, Toledo ABC affiliate WTVG, acknowledged that Walker was an Amazon employee, not a news reporter, and noted that Amazon had supplied the video. Other stations that ran the Amazon-provided content as a news package include: [...]

    • Patents

      • Mannheim Regional Court’s Second Civil Chamber updates position on standard-essential patent injunctions — FRAND-compliant defendants in the clear

        Access to standard-essential patent (SEP) injunctions in Germany remains in flux. This is the third post in a row to share news regarding the situation in Mannheim, the “diversity venue” du jour.

        One week ago, I reported on the position taken by the Mannheim Regional Court’s Second Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Dr. Holger Kircher) in a Nokia v. Daimler trial earlier that week. Effectively, Judge Dr. Kircher’s panel told the parties (behind closed doors, but without insisting on confidential treatment of that part of the conversation) that the judges were going to reverse their Huawei v. ZTE-related approach of several years: they were going to start their analysis with the implementer’s counteroffer.

        Toward the end of yesterday’s post on Conversant’s quartet of patent infringement complaints against Daimler in Munich, I mentioned that in a Nokia v. Lenovo trial on Friday, the Mannheim court’s other patent-specialized division–Presiding Judge Dr. Peter Tochtermann’s Seventh Civil Chamber–had distanced itself from the other panel’s stance.

        Meanwhile I’ve obtained a copy of a clarifying order by Judge Dr. Kircher and his side judges Sender and Dr. Seibel, dated Monday, May 26, 2020, in that Nokia v. Daimler case.

      • USPTO Announces Further Extension of Certain Patent Deadlines for Small and Micro Entities

        In a notice posted on its website earlier today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that it was further extending the time to file certain patent-related documents and to pay certain required fees, but only for certain types of entities. As with the initial extensions announced by the Office on March 31, 2020 (see “USPTO Announces Extension of Certain Patent Deadlines”) and the extension of those deadlines announced by the Office on April 28, 2020 (see “USPTO Announces Further Extension of Certain Patent Deadlines”), the additional extensions are the result of the temporary authority provided to the USPTO by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020.

      • Nonexcludable Innovations and COVID-19

        Some of the most widely discussed COVID-19 interventions include vaccines, drugs, and medical devices—typical interventions for many diseases, whether the cause of a pandemic or not. These interventions share a further similarity—they’re all generally excludable. That is, the owner of a particular invention can generally exclude others from practicing it without permission. In a classic account of IP, it is this excludability that encourages their development in the first instance. But as Professors Amy Kapczynski and Talha Syed have explained, some knowledge goods are more excludable than others. In this post, we describe why many successful COVID-19 interventions—washing hands, wearing face masks, even the proning of patients in a hospital setting—are generally nonexcludable and thus likely to be underincentivized by IP-based market rewards. Policymakers tasked with encouraging COVID-19 innovation should attempt to correct for this asymmetry in excludability.


        A number of interventions that have emerged in the context of COVID-19 have limited excludability. Consider mask wearing. At present, the best evidence suggests that wearing masks in public helps reduce the spread of COVID-19—whether it is an exhaustive review of the existing literature, empirical studies done in the context of seasonal coronaviruses, mathematical models of COVID-19, or other scientific articles. After initially recommending against the use of masks in public by most Americans, the CDC has now recommended the use of cloth masks “in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain,” such as grocery stores.

        But this knowledge about the benefits of wearing of masks in public—particularly DIY cloth masks—is highly nonexcludable. The holder of a patent on a method of wearing masks in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (should it even issue) would not reasonably be able to enforce that patent. Systematically enforcing patent violations would not be practical, given the vast numbers of Americans wearing masks in public (73%, in a recent AP poll). It might be easier to sue entities (like grocery stores) who require shoppers to wear masks, on grounds of inducement of infringement, but this is difficult to imagine, given the social pressure on such a patentholder not to enforce their rights. And the same argument applies to knowledge about the benefits of other public health measures—it is hard to imagine enforcement of a patent related to hand washing or social distancing.

        As another example, consider proning, in which COVID-19 patients are simply placed on their stomachs (in the prone position) rather than on their backs. According to a series of studies (including multiple on COVID-19 specifically—see here, here, and here for a selection, but also here in the pre-COVID-19 context), proning may increase patients’ oxygen saturation and may help patients avoid being placed on a ventilator. It may even lower their risk of death.

      • A Dynamic Reversal by the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal

        The Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office has decided that the exclusion from patentability of essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals now also extends to plant or animal products that are exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process for European patents or pending European patent applications that were granted or filed from July 1, 2017, on.

        Plants and animals exclusively obtained by essentially biological processes are excluded from patentability, according to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (“EBA”) of the European Patent Office (“EPO”). This reversal of the EBA’s previous rulings was issued late last week in the eagerly anticipated opinion in referral G 3/19 (“Pepper”).

        To recap, after the Broccoli-II and Tomato-II decisions (G 2/12 and G 2/13) affirmed the patentability of products derived from essentially biological processes, the European Commission issued a Notice indicating that the Biotech Directive should have been interpreted to exclude such products from patentability (see our June 2015 Commentary, “Clarifying or Confirming the Extent of Process Exclusion under Art. 53(b) EPC?” and our December 2016 Alert, “Clarifying or Confusing? The European Commission Chews on Tomatoes and Broccoli”). In order to comply with the Notice, the EPO Administrative Council introduced Rule 28(2) EPC in July 2017 (see our July 2017 Commentary, “Clarifying or Conforming? The EPO Bows to the European Commission”).


        The interpretation of Article 53(b) EPC given in G 3/19 is said to have no retroactive effect on relevant European patents or pending European patent applications that were granted or filed before July 1, 2017.

      • Software Patents

        • Meet the Western District of Texas—NPEs Certainly Have

          For years, the Eastern District of Texas was the favored stomping ground for patent trolls. Short times from filing to trial, shorter trials, judges with local rules friendly to patent plaintiffs, and a jury pool that tended to be friendly to plaintiffs all contributed to this. It probably didn’t hurt that Eastern District judges were significantly less likely than average to grant defendants summary judgment and, more recently, significantly less likely to stay a case pending IPR.

          And NPEs were likely particularly interested in the fact that the Eastern District gave NPEs a win at trial almost twice as often as the average court would.

          But with the Supreme Court’s 2017 TC Heartland decision, NPEs had a much harder time suing defendants in the Eastern District. Since most defendants had no presence in the district, NPEs could no longer rely on it being an option in their lawsuits, especially after some of the more far-reaching attempts to keep cases in Eastern Texas were slapped down by the Federal Circuit.

          Enter Judge Alan Albright and the Western District of Texas.


          Many litigators predicted a rise in litigation in the Western District of Texas. They were right. Since Judge Albright was seated, patent filings in his court have risen significantly. In the first four months of 2020, 258 new patent cases were filed in the Western District. That’s an eightfold increase over the same period in 2018, before Judge Albright was seated.

          And this isn’t an instance in which productive companies are flocking to the district to file their cases. This increase has been driven mostly by NPEs. Unified Patents attributes more than 70% of the new cases to an NPE, and the vast majority of those are from the sort of large patent aggregators that the AIA and TC Heartland decisions had the largest impact on.

          That shouldn’t be surprising. The presence of many tech companies in Austin—inside the Western District—combined with Judge Albright taking a very harsh view of motions to transfer cases means that those cases won’t go elsewhere. And once you’re in Judge Albright’s court, a plaintiff can rest easy in the knowledge that patent trolls who file cases in his court can almost definitely never face an IPR.

        • $1,000 Awarded for Slotznick Prior Art

          Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winners, Ekta Aswal and Rajesh Singh, who split the winning cash prize of $1,000 for prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 7,137,127. The ’127 patent is generally related to user-generated embedded information transfer and was granted to Benjamin Slotznick, an NPE-individual.


          The ongoing contests are open to anyone, and include tens of thousands of dollars in rewards available for helping the industry to challenge NPE patents of questionable validity by finding and submitting prior art in the contests.

    • Trademarks

      • Beef in veggieland: Hague court rules that INCREDIBLE BURGER infringes IMPOSSIBLE BURGER trade mark

        One of this Kat’s favourite journalistic pieces of the last year was a foray, by Tad Friend for The New Yorker, into the world of vegetarian burgers [here]. In particular, it chronicles Pat Brown’s mission to “save the planet from environmental catastrophe”. His strategy? The Impossible Burger, a 100% plant-based burger.

        As suggested by Elon Musk, the way to change the world is to start a business. And so, Pat Brown took on the beef industry, which he considers the greatest contributor to climate change. The piece describes the ascent of vegetarian burgers [and the painstaking opposition they face from various quarters] and raises thought-provoking questions about what, exactly, makes us love our favourite foods.

        It was therefore nice to see that Impossible Burger has become so successful that it faces competition from a major player in the food industry – Nestlé – which recently introduced the “Incredible Burger”. Given his mission, Pat Brown was probably happy, too, but less so about the name. Hence, Impossible Foods brought suit against Nestlé for infringement of its European Union Trade Mark IMPOSSIBLE BURGER before the district court of the Hague [Dutch decision here, courtesy of IE-forum]. In it’s decision yesterday, the Hague court forbid Nestlé to further infringe Impossible Foods’ trade mark in the entire EU.

    • Copyrights

      • Vapor Store Looks a Lot Like a Popcorn Time For Pirated Steam Games

        Popcorn Time made thousands of headlines after being dubbed the ‘Netflix for Pirates’ and a new piece of software released this week could be making some early steps towards becoming its counterpart for pirated games. Like Kodi, Vapor Store doesn’t come with any unlicensed media installed but after a simple tweak can provide access to a huge library of Steam games.

      • Stores Selling Switch Piracy Hacks ‘Disappear’ Following Nintendo Lawsuit

        Last week Nintendo sued the operators of nine online stores for enabling widespread piracy. The websites in question offered Switch hacks and mods linked to Team-Xecuter, including an upcoming release of a Switch Lite hack. While the lawsuits are just starting up, they already seem to have had an effect as most stores have now disappeared. Or have they?

      • A Plan to Pay Artists, Encourage Competition, and Promote Free Expression

        Update/Correction, May 27 2020, 2PM Pacific. An earlier version of this article contained the phrase “the the online music industry is currently generating more revenues than the music industry did at the height of the CD bubble”; this has been corrected to read “the online music industry is currently generating more revenues than the music industry at any time since the CD bubble.”

        As Congress gets ready for yet another hearing on copyright and music, we’d like to suggest that rather than more “fact-finding,” where the facts are inevitably skewed toward the views of the finder, our legislators start focusing on a concrete solution that builds on and learns from decades of copyright policy: blanket licensing. It will need an update to make it work for the Internet age, but as complicated as that will be, it has the profound benefit of adhering to copyright’s real purpose: spurring creativity and innovation. And it’s far better than the status quo, where audiences and musicians alike are collateral damage in an endless war between giant tech companies and giant entertainment companies.

      • With Theaters Closed, The Trailer For Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Debuts In Fortnite Instead

        With the explosion of the video game industry and the technology that has come along with it, it’s starting to get really fun to see what creative minds can do inside of the gaming realm. It’s turning games into something much more than they would have been 20 years ago. Back then, games were singular in purpose: play the video game. Today they can be so much more when done right. They can be a social ecosystem. They can be economies onto themselves.


Links 27/5/2020: CoreOS Container Linux Reaches Its End-Of-Life, 2020 GNOME Foundation Elections Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 11:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Systemd Will Change How Your Linux Home Directory Works

      The team behind systemd want you to adopt a new way of managing home directories. Calling it a “new way” is putting it lightly—this is a real paradigm shift for Linux. Here’s everything you need to know about systemd-homed, which is likely coming to a Linux distro near you.

      When systemd was introduced in 2010, the Linux community split into three camps. Some thought it was an improvement, and others thought it was a flawed design that didn’t adhere to the Unix philosophy. And some didn’t care one way or the other.

      The backlash from the opposers was loud, heated, and, in some cases, almost fanatical. Lennart Poettering, a software engineer at Red Hat and co-developer of systemd, even received death threats.

    • Raspberry Pi 4: Chronicling the Desktop Experience – Calculators – Week 31

      This is a weekly blog about the Raspberry Pi 4 (“RPI4”), the latest product in the popular Raspberry Pi range of computers.

      The desktop calculator is a small utility that’s shipped with all major operating systems. It’s usually a standard affair, and designed for basic use. They typically include trigonometric functions, logarithms, factorials, parentheses and a memory function.

      In this article I’m surveying some of the notable calculator software available for the RPI4. I’m not looking at computer algebra systems although they are available from the RPI4. Let’s first look at galculator.

    • While waiting for the Linux train, Bork pays a visit to Geordieland with Windows 10

      Bork!Bork!Bork! As the UK tentatively returns to work and those who must venture back onto public transport, we were happy to learn that even in these changed times, Windows remains as wobbly as ever.

      Today’s entry comes from Register reader Dan.

      Snapped last week, the Newcastle Station Info Point is terribly poorly, with three pop-ups showing Windows’ escalating levels of distress.

      The first sign of wobbling was the “Close programs” message, which tends to pop up when Microsoft’s OS is getting short of resources. Things went downhill from there.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • This is the first AMD Ryzen laptop to come with Linux – making it easier than ever to ditch Windows 10

        Want a Linux laptop with an AMD Ryzen processor? Then you might be interested in the latest creation from a German PC maker, which is claiming a ‘world first’ with its Tuxedo Book BA15 having an AMD chip and Linux pre-installed.

        While you can install Linux on many laptops if you so wish, having it arrive with the operating system already on the machine and fully configured means you don’t have to go through the hassle of wiping the portable of Windows 10 and installing (then setting up) the alternative OS. Also, those laptops which do come with Linux on-board run with Intel processors.

      • Tuxedo Book BA15 Linux laptop with 25hr battery from $935

        A new Linux laptop is now available to purchase with prices starting from $935, powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U (4x 2.1 – 3.7 GHz Quad-Core, 8 Threads, 4 MB Cache, 15 W TDP) and offering two slots for super fast SSDs in space-saving M.2 form factor, 1x NVMe or SATAIII, 1x NVMe (both as M.2 socket).

        The Linux laptop is equipped with a huge battery capable of providing up to 25 hours of use on a single charge. Other features include Wireless LAN / WLAN standards: 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n/ax, Gigabit LAN (Realtek RTL8168/8111 Ethernet, 10/100/1000 Mbit), HD Webcam / camera including microphone and AMD Ryzen 5 3500U (4x 2.1 – 3.7 GHz Quad-Core, 8 Threads, 4 MB Cache, 15 W TDP) supported by DDR4 SO-DIMM.

      • TUXEDO Computers’ Latest Linux Laptop Is a Power House for Gamers

        The TUXEDO Book XA15 laptop is a power house, coming equipped with a powerful AMD Ryzen 3000 desktop processor and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2000 Refresh series graphics cards.

        Designed by TUXEDO Computers as a high-end gaming machine, the TUXEDO Book XA15 Linux-powered laptop offers customers a high-end mobile workstation for gaming and graphic renderings with desktop-class performance.

        Customers can choose between a wide-range of AMD Ryzen 3000 series CPUs, including the Ryzen 5 3600, Ryzen 5 3600X, Ryzen 7 3700X, Ryzen 7 3800X, or Ryzen 9 3900X and Ryzen 9 3950X.

        And the best thing about having a laptop equipped with a desktop processor is that you can easily upgrade or repair it.

    • Server

      • Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud: what is the difference?

        Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud are two exclusive terms that are often confused. While the hybrid cloud represents a model for extending private cloud infrastructure with one of the existing public clouds, a multi-cloud refers to an environment where multiple clouds are used at the same time, regardless of their type. Thus, while the hybrid cloud represents a very specific use case, multi-cloud is a more generic term and usually better reflects reality.

        Although both architectures are relatively simple to implement from the infrastructure point of view, the more important question is about workloads orchestration in such environments. In the following blog, I describe the differences between hybrid clouds and the multi-cloud and discuss the advantages of orchestrating workloads in a multi-cloud environment with Juju.


        In turn, multi-cloud simply refers to using multiple clouds at the same time, regardless of their type. There is no dedicated infrastructure that facilitates it. There is no dedicated link, single IdM system, unified LMA stack or an integrated network. Just instead of a single cloud, an organisation uses at least two clouds at the same time.

        The goal behind the multi-cloud approach is to reduce the risk of relying on a single cloud service provider. Workloads can be distributed across multiple clouds which improves independence and helps to avoid ‘vendor lock-in’. Furthermore, as the multi-cloud is usually a geographically-distributed environment, this helps to improve high availability of applications and their resiliency against failures. Finally, the multi-cloud approach combines the best advantages of various cloud platforms. For example, running databases on virtual machines (VMs) while hosting frontend applications inside of containers. Thus, workload orchestration remains the most prominent challenge in this case.

      • Kubernetes for Data Science: meet Kubeflow

        Data science has exploded as a practice in the past decade and has become an undisputed driver of innovation.

        The forcing factors behind the rising interest in Machine Learning, a not so new concept, have consolidated and created an unparalleled capacity for Deep Learning, a subset of Artificial Neural Networks with many hidden layers, to thrive in the years to come.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Look what’s inside Linus Torvalds’ latest Linux development PC

        In a Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML), Linus Torvalds, Linux’s top developer, talked about the latest progress in the next version of Linux: Linux 5.7-rc7. Along the way, he mentioned, “for the first time in about 15 years, my desktop isn’t Intel-based.” In his newest development box, he’s “rocking an AMD Threadripper 3970x.” But a computer is more than just a processor no matter how speedy it is, so I talked with Torvalds to see exactly what’s in his new box.

      • Linux Founder Switches Allegiance To AMD After 15 Years As Intel Customer

        Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) has made strong inroads into the CPU processor market following the launch of the Ryzen series in 2017. Companies and tech leaders are also gravitating toward AMD, as its processors boast a superior price-to-performance ratio.

        More recently, Linux open source operating system founder Linus Torvalds has said he is ditching Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), which was his processor for a one-a-half decades, and is switching over to AMD.

        “In fact, the biggest excitement this week for me was just that I upgraded my main machine, and for the first time in about 15 years, my desktop isn’t Intel-based,” Torvalds said while announcing Linux 5.7-rc7 kernel.

      • Micron’s HSE Open-Source Storage Engine Ticks Up To v1.7.1

        Announced at the end of April was Micron’s HSE as a new open-source storage engine designed for offering speedy performance and lower latency on modern solid-based storage, especially for systems employing 3D XPoint technology. Version 1.7.1 of HSE was released today as their first open-source release since going public with this technology.

        HSE 1.7.0 was released a week prior to Micron announcing this open-source project in April while has now been succeeded by v1.7.1. This heterogeneous-memory storage engine over the past month has seen a number of fixes throughout, cleaning up code as a result of code review, fixing up some of the examples, and other work.

      • Linux 5.8 Feature Queue Has Multiple Performance Optimizations, Intel Rocket Lake, Other Hardware

        If all goes well Linux 5.7 should reach stable this weekend and that in turn will mark the start of the Linux 5.8 merge window. With our monitoring of the various “-next” branches for weeks already, here is a look at some of what is on the table for this next version of the Linux kernel.

      • Using regmaps to make Linux drivers more generic

        Very few developers enjoy maintaining drivers out of the Linux kernel tree due to a number of reasons like the lack of stable driver APIs, or the possibility that a driver duplicates pre-existing kernel functionalities like, for example, an entire networking stack from scratch.

        Factoring out common driver infrastructures into generic, reusable modules is much more desirable to deduplicate code, fix common bugs and have unified interfaces. To no surprise, this has been, and continues to be, a constant Linux kernel development effort. In this article, we will examine a specific instance of this process, namely the effort to make the Synopsys MIPI DSI host controller driver more generic so it can support more device revisions and SoC platforms.

      • Input and Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA 440.66.15 Vulkan Linux Driver Offers Up More Fixes

          NVIDIA has been quite aggressive recently with their new Vulkan beta drivers for Windows and Linux with today marking another such release.

          NVIDIA over the course of May is now on their third Vulkan beta series after the prior two added new Vulkan extensions and different fixes, including improvements to their KHR ray-tracing support. Today’s release is focused squarely on delivering more fixes to users/developers.

        • NVIDIA released a new 440.66.15 Vulkan Beta Driver

          NVIDIA continue advancing their Vulkan drivers with a brand new Beta now available that pulls in a good bunch of fixes. This is driver version 440.66.15, released May 26.

        • Linux Getting Fixed Up For Handling Pointing Sticks On Some Touchpads

          For input devices on some laptops that are a combination of a pointing stick and touchpad, the Linux kernel’s multi-touch driver will finally begin handling them correctly.

          At least for Synaptics and Elan devices that offer a combination of a pointing stick and touchpad, the Linux kernel has been ignoring the input events from the pointing stick. But with Linux 5.8 that will change in properly handling the combo multi-touch devices via the hid-multitouch driver and this change is set to be back-ported as well to the various Linux kernel stable series being supported.

        • Mesa 20.1 Features Include Big Improvements For Open-Source Intel, Radeon Graphics Drivers

          The release of Mesa 20.1 is imminent as the latest quarterly feature update to this collection of open-source OpenGL/Vulkan drivers predominantly in use by Linux systems. Here is a look at the many exciting improvements with Mesa 20.1.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • GOG Summer Sale is live, with demos for upcoming Linux games

        DRM-free store GOG has today released their huge Summer Sale, full of discounted games and they’ve also put up some fun demos for upcoming games.

        Much like what Steam are planning with the Steam Game Festival, GOG are getting in on the action and a little early too. Thanks to that you can now grab demos for CARRION, Spiritfarer and Vagrus – The Riven Realms: Prologue. All three of them well worth trying!

      • Slime Rancher adds more treasure to find, more adventures coming

        Slime Rancher, the absolutely adorable game about adventuring and catching little (and sometimes big) slimes has a fresh update and a tease about future content.

        For the completionist adventurer, Monomi Park have added in two new Treasure Pods to find and unlock on your travels. These special pods add a fun element to the exploration, requiring you to spend some monies earned to open them and get some extra goodies.

      • Half-Life was going to get a Ravenholm spin-off

        It’s emerged that the Half-Life series was going to go into other directions, with a Ravenholm spin-off that was planned and you can see some footage.

        Noclip, a creator of documentaries has done a new feature-length video on the history of the game studio Arkane, who are known for titles like Arx Fatalis, Dishonored and more. As it turns out they were also involved in what was internally known as Ravenholm. It was originally worked on by Junction Point Studios, who later handed it to Arkane Studios, who were hired by Valve to start a Half-Life project.

        Ravenholm was never formally announced and eventually cancelled. However, bits of it did leak a few times which according to the documentary is part of the cause of some Half-Life 3 / new episode speculation but they said it was never being considered as a normal episode in the series but as a standalone game.

      • Escape Velocity: Override remaster Cosmic Frontier: Override gets funded

        Cosmic Frontier: Override, the remaster of the classic Escape Velocity: Override has managed to get successfully funded with the finishing of their Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. Being developed by Evocation Games and Peter Cartwright, who is one of the original scenario designers.

        The Kickstarter ended on May 26 with £38,783 in funding from just over 1,000 backers. Not only is it fully planned to support Linux, they will also be open sourcing the game engine used named Kestrel. They said that will happen after release, not during development for “practical reasons”.

      • Beyond Blue gets a release date, Linux looks to be later

        Beyond Blue looks like a wonderful narrative adventure, one made with the help of real science and they recently announced a June 11 release date.

        The press email only mentioned “PC” which is usually used in place of Windows and then specific consoles, so we looked to get that cleared up since it was originally announced for Linux. When speaking to the developer E-Line Media about the Linux version they stated, “The production team is working out a plan that will launch Linux as soon as we are able.”. Good to see it’s still coming!

      • Check out the second teaser for Spiritfarer, looks super sweet

        Spiritfarer from developer Thunder Lotus, the “cozy management game about dying” gains a second gameplay teaser ahead of a release later this year.

        From the same team that gave us Sundered and Jotun, it’s looking and sounding extremely promising. You play as Stella, ferrymaster to the deceased, a Spiritfarer. Build a boat to explore the world, then befriend and care for spirits before finally releasing them into the afterlife. Farm, mine, fish, harvest, cook, and craft your way across mystical seas. Join the adventure as Daffodil the cat, in two-player cooperative play. Spend relaxing quality time with your spirit passengers, create lasting memories, and, ultimately, learn how to say goodbye to your cherished friends. What will you leave behind?

      • The best Linux games

        Although there has been a change in the gaming industry for several years, Windows is and remains the undisputed top dog among gaming operating systems. Nevertheless, more and more titles are available for Linux: With Steam, Ubuntu and GOG, users now have a decent game collection available . These include numerous free online games and iconic retro games.

        The best place to go for Linux games is certainly the Steam platform . More than 13,000 games are currently available. In addition to numerous indie games, well-known AAA titles can also be found.

        On the Ubuntu Software Center you can find free and paid Linux games . The focus is more on the category of arcade and board games. However, the key is in the store, because the Steam client can be downloaded there to access the well-known Steam games that are also available for Windows. To be able to use the center, however, you must create a user account. Alternatively, Steam Linux download is available from the Internet.

      • Burning Knight is a roguelike where you rob a dungeon, coming soon

        At least the setting is honest, you’re totally robbing the dungeons in Burning Knight and then attempting to flee.

        Burning Knight is an action-packed procedurally generated roguelike, with fast-paced action and plenty of exploration across various floors in the Burning Knight’s castle that you’re stealing goods from. It can turn into a bullet-hell in some rooms, there’s hundreds of items to find and they can be combined to “build your very own game-breaking combos” and it does sound awesome.

        The developer, Rexcellent Games, just announced on Twitter yesterday that it’s now actually complete. They’re waiting on Valve’s approval, and it looks like it will hopefully release next month. SteamDB captured the date changing to June 5 but that might be a temporary date.

      • Stadia gets Elder Scrolls Online on June 16, 1440p in web and more

        A few bits of Stadia news for you as Google have announced the next set of additions coming to their game streaming service.

        For players who were a bit let down by resolution options, there’s some good news. As some players already saw across the last few weeks and today being made properly official, 1440p is now an option when playing Stadia in a web browser.

      • Humble Cities: Skylines Bundle is up for some easy city building

        Cities: Skylines, one of the finest city builders ever is now available in a big Humble Bundle for you to grab the base game and lots of extra content.

        This is honestly a ridiculously good deal and probably the cheapest Cities: Skylines has ever been. For £1 you can get Cities: Skylines and the Deep Focus Radio DLC. Even if you only go for that, there’s a lot to enjoy without any expansions.

      • Python Qt5 – PyQt5 and PyGame compatibility with source code.

        This tutorial tries to solve from the objectives related to solving and stabilizing compatibility errors between PyQt4 and PyQt5 and creating a common interface between PyQt5 and PyGame.
        There is always the same problem in programming when the developer for some reason has to change classes, methods and functions and reusing the old code is no longer valid.
        In this case, common or other errors occur, which leads to a waste of time.

      • EA to Release 2 Command & Conquer Games’ Source Code to Help Modders

        EA has announced that it’s releasing the source code for Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert in an effort to support the series’ modding community ahead of the launch of Command & Conquer Remastered.

        Announced in a blog post on May 21, EA has decided that it will release the dynamic-link library (.dll file) and for both Tiberium Dawn and Red Alert, as well as the games’ respective source codes. This will allow modding of the remastered game, something highly requested by fans.

      • EA Goes Open-Source with Command & Conquer Remastered Collection

        Today, Command & Conquer Remastered Collection lead producer Jim Vessella posted a community update outlining the game’s commitment to the modding scene.

        EA will be releasing the TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll – some dynamic libraries for developers to work with – and their corresponding source code under the GPL version 3.0 license. This license allows EA to let others view and use the source, but still have ownership.

        This makes Command & Conquer one of the first major RTS franchises to provide their source code to users in this fashion, allowing aspiring modders opportunities to build custom maps, units, art and gameplay logic into the classic Command & Conquer experience. Incredible!

      • Roadwarden, an impressive text-adventure RPG has a new demo

        Roadwarden, an upcoming game that doesn’t quite fit into a particular genre but takes elements from RPGs and text adventures has a fresh demo.

        You are a Roadwarden, a brave stranger putting his life in danger to make a difference in this grim world. While most people would never risk a solitary journey through the wilder parts of the land, you – as a Roadwarden – willingly accept the struggle to live up to your promise to guard travellers, connect isolated villages, support merchants and repel attacking creatures, bandits or even undead.

      • Megaquarium: Freshwater Frenzy expansion announced

        A big new paid DLC expansion and free update has been announced for the aquatic spin on theme park building with Megaquarium: Freshwater Frenzy. Developed by Twice Circled, which is a one-person studio from Tim Wicksteed. Their first game was Big Pharma in 2015, which also supported Linux and went onto grossing over $2 million since release.

        Freshwater Frenzy is the first expansion to their second game, Megaquarium, that originally released in 2018. This expansion will focus on giving you more options for expanding your carefully designed aquarium with an all-new freshwater habitat. This environment includes new possibilities and options for fish husbandry, including breeding fish and developing hybrids, creating and maintaining healthy pH levels, and a new freshwater focused campaign.

      • Burning Knight is an roguelike where you rob a dungeon, coming soon

        At least the setting is honest, you’re totally robbing the dungeons in Burning Knight and then attempting to flee.

        Burning Knight is an action-packed procedurally generated roguelike, with fast-paced action and plenty of exploration across various floors in the Burning Knight’s castle that you’re stealing goods from. It can turn into a bullet-hell in some rooms, there’s hundreds of items to find and they can be combined to “build your very own game-breaking combos” and it does sound awesome.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma Mobile update: April-May 2020

          It’s been a while since the last status update on Plasma Mobile, so let’s take a look at what happened since then.

          To assist new people in contributing, we organized a virtual mini Plasma Mobile sprint in April. During the three days, we discussed many things, including our current tasks, the websites and documentation, our apps and many other topics. Most of our important tasks have been asigned to people, many of them have been implemented already.

          On Saturday, there was a training day, with four training sessions on the technology behind Plasma Mobile…

        • Contributing to KDE is easier than you think – Websites from scratch

          This is a series of blog posts explaining different ways to contribute to KDE in an easy-to-digest manner. The purpose of this series originated from how I feel about asking users to contribute back to KDE. I firmly believe that showing users how contributing is easier than they think is more effective than simply calling them out and directing them to the correct resources; especially if, like me, said user suffers from anxiety or does not believe they are up to the task, in spite of their desire to help back.

          Last time I talked about websites, I taught how to port current KDE websites to Markdown, and this led to a considerable influx of contributors, since it required very little technical knowledge. This blog post however is directed to people who are minimally acquainted with git, html/css, and Markdown. We will be learning a bit of how Jekyll and scss work too.

        • KIO FUSE Beta (4.95.0) Released

          It’s a great pleasure to announce that KIO FUSE has a second Beta release available for testing! We encourage all who are interested to test and report their findings (good or bad) here. Note that, the more people who test (and let us know that they’ve tested), the quicker we’ll be confident to have a 5.0.0 release. You can find the repository here.

          To compile KIO FUSE, simply run kdesrc-build kio-fuse or follow the README. If your distributor is really nice they may already have KIO FUSE packaged but if they don’t, encourage them to do so!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Looking for candidates for the 2020 GNOME Foundation elections

          I forgot to write this a few days ago; I hope it is not too late.

          The GNOME Foundation’s elections for the Board are coming up, and we are looking for candidates. Of the 7 directors, we are replacing 4, and the 3 remaining positions remain for another year. You could be one of those four.

          I would like it very much if there were candidates and directors that fall outside the box of “white male programmer”; it is unfortunate that for the current Board we ended up with all dudes. GNOME has a Code of Conduct to make it a good place to be.

        • Se buscan candidat@s para las elecciones 2020 de la Fundación de GNOME
        • GNOME Foundation Board of Directors: a Year in Review

          The 2020 elections for the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors are underway, so it’s a good time to look back over the past 12 months and see what the current board has been up to. This is intended as a general update for members of the GNOME project, as well as a potential motivator for those who might be interested in running in the election!

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Hands-On With Drauger OS

          Using Ubuntu as the backbone, Drauger OS has been in development for about two years and is essentially a distribution designed with gamers in mind, giving gamers what they need to start gaming out of the box whilst providing little to nothing else in terms of pre-installed software. In order to shave off some hardware usage, it ships with XFCE as the desktop environment; some panels have been moved around to give the user a GNOME-like experience, and as of right now this is the only edition that Drauger OS comes with.

          Per my chat with Thomas on his Discord channel, the name was inspired by one of the enemies encountered in Skyrim — Wikipedia terms it as “an undead creature in Norse mythology.” Funnily enough, the spelling of “Drauger” is unintentional, but he doesn’t plan on spelling it back to “Draugr” as it would require too much work within the codebase.


          Frankly, not right now. I’ve had several frustrating issues with the installer, issues with partitioning, and a huge turn down is the fact NVIDIA users can’t really game with this distribution. That being said, Drauger OS is currently a beta, so I expected these hiccups. I do like the color scheming, I do like how it’s using a stable distribution as the backbone, and I have faith that the gaming experience will improve over time. Several of these problems I have let Thomas aware of, and he’s probably working on them as I write this.

      • New Releases

        • Simplicity Linux 20.7 Alpha is now available

          We are pleased to announce the release of Simplicity Linux 20.7 Alpha. All versions are based on Buster Dog (which you can find here) with the 5.6.12 XanMod kernel, PCManFM as the desktop and XFCE4-Panel. We chose the latter two over Cinnamon because we’ve decided that Simplicity was getting a little bloated, and dropping Cinnamon cut a lot of this bloat.

          With people working from home more, we have had a redesign of Mini 20.7. It has web based versions of Google Docs, Gmail, Taiga and Spotify like earlier releases, but it also includes Messenger, Mega, and Photopea so that you can do more without having to have a powerful laptop to run local applications.

      • BSD

        • Open Letter to the TrueOS Community: TrueOS Discontinuation

          Hey TrueOS Community! I just wanted to take a few minutes to address what some of you may have already guessed. With a heavy heart, the TrueOS Project’s core team has decided to discontinue the development of TrueOS for the foreseeable future. We’ll still be heavily involved in other Open Source projects like FreeNAS & TrueNAS CORE. We’re incredibly proud of the work we put into TrueOS and its predecessor, PC-BSD.

          TrueOS source code will remain available on GitHub for others that may want to continue the work that we started so many years ago. I can’t explain just how much we appreciate you all being loyal fans of TrueOS and PC-BSD in the past. We’re confident that even though this is a hard decision, it’s also the correct decision because of the exciting new projects that we’re all becoming more involved in like TrueNAS CORE. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Slackware Family

        • Plasma5 for Slackware: KDE 5_20.05. Also, new Ardour 6.0

          Anew batch of Plasma5 packages for Slackware-current is available now. The KDE-5_20.05 release is also the last monthly update you’ll see from me for a while in my ‘ktown‘ repository. I expect Pat to add Plasma5 to Slackware-current, but I am done waiting and have an urgent need to dedicate my spare time to other matters. With PAM finally added to the core distro, there should no longer be a showstopper for getting rid of KDE4 and replacing it with Plasma5.

          And remember, these packages will not work on Slackware 14.2. Along with adding the May batch for -current, I have removed the old (KDE 5_17.11) Plasma5 packages that were still in my ‘ktown’ repository for Slackware 14.2. They have been un-maintained for two and a half years, who knows what security issues they cause. If you really want or need Plasma5, migrate to Slackware-current please.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fighting exploits with Control-Flow Integrity (CFI) in Clang

          Many available exploits are based on techniques such as Return Oriented Programming and Shell Code Injection and execution, as well as other ways an attacker can gain control and subvert the expected execution flow from an application’s execution flow. These exploits aren’t novel, nor are techniques to try to prevent them. Compilers deploy a wide range of hardening at compilation-time to mitigate the risk of arbitrary code execution. These include Stack Canaries, Stack-clash protection, and FORTIFY_SOURCE as examples of builtin protections against stack corruption and control flow integrity.

          With that in mind we are going to have a look at the Control-Flow Integrity (CFI) protection implemented by the Clang compiler for x86_64 architecture.

        • Red Hat Software Collections 3.5 and Red Hat Developer Toolset 9.1 now generally available

          The latest versions of Red Hat Software Collections and Red Hat Developer Toolset are now generally available. Red Hat Software Collections 3.5 delivers the latest stable versions of many popular open source runtime languages and databases natively to the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform. These components are supported for up to five years, helping to enable a more consistent, efficient, and reliable developer experience.

        • Build Smart on Kubernetes with OpenShift from anywhere in the world

          The Build Smart on Kubernetes World Tour is a series of in-person and virtual workshops around the globe that help you build the skills you need to quickly modernize your applications. This World Tour provides a hands-on experience and teaches the basics and more of working with Kubernetes using the hybrid-cloud, enterprise container platform Red Hat? OpenShift? on IBM Cloud?.

        • IBM Data Asset eXchange launches new data sets and exploratory Watson Studio notebooks

          The IBM? Data Asset eXchange (DAX) is an online hub for developers and data scientists to find free and open data sets under open data licenses. A particular focus of the exchange is data sets under the Community Data License Agreement (CDLA). Since launching the exchange in 2019, the Center for Open-Source Data & AI Technologies (CODAIT) team has been working on steadily adding new data sets to the exchange, as well as resources that help explore these data sets.

          Our latest update to the Data Asset eXchange adds a host of new data-related assets and user experience enhancements. For existing data sets, we’ve added seven new Watson Studio notebooks as well as three Watson Studio projects (a new class of data assets that package multiple notebooks together). Along with these notebooks, we’ve also added eight new data sets to the exchange, featuring domains such as oil extraction, remote sensing, and speech recognition. Finally, we are working on improving the way DAX displays data set previews. We have begun to add data glossaries and detailed metadata sections to provide users with extra context behind a data set’s features and use cases. We have also started working on accommodating text, image, and audio data record preview allowing users to sample data sets without having to download the entire data set archive.

        • New container capabilities in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2

          In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1, we added new container features including full support for rootless Podman, Podman Play/generate Kube, and container images for the Golang toolset (“A minor release with major new container capabilities”). Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 hits the ground with an even bigger set of features.

        • End-of-life announcement for CoreOS Container Linux

          As we’ve previously announced, Fedora CoreOS is the official successor to CoreOS Container Linux. Fedora CoreOS is a new Fedora Edition built specifically for running containerized workloads securely and at scale. It combines the provisioning tools and automatic update model of Container Linux with the packaging technology, OCI support, and SELinux security of Atomic Host. For more on the Fedora CoreOS philosophy, goals, and design, see the announcement of the preview release and the Fedora CoreOS documentation.

          We’d love for you to try Fedora CoreOS and get involved! You can report bugs and missing features to the issue tracker and discuss Fedora CoreOS in Fedora Discourse, the development mailing list, in #fedora-coreos on Freenode, or at our weekly IRC meetings.

        • CoreOS Container Linux Reached End of Life, Here Are Some Alternatives

          Today, we’re saying goodbye to another great GNU/Linux distribution, CoreOS Container Linux. The well-known container-focused distro is no more and will no longer receive updates or security patches.

          May 26th was the last day the distribution was supported by CoreOS. It’s been pulled for new subscribers on the AWS Marketplace and all published resources will be deleted after September 1st, 2020.

        • Red Hat’s CoreOS Container Linux Reaches Its End-Of-Life
        • How the fabric8 Maven plug-in deploys Java applications to OpenShift

          The fabric8 Maven plug-in, often abbreviated FMP, can be added to a Maven Java project and takes care of the administrative tasks involved in deploying the application to a Red Hat OpenShift cluster.

        • EMEA: Asiakastieto Unlocks Open Banking Innovation with Red Hat
        • COVID-19, climate change, and the urgent need for innovation

          We are facing a time of unprecedented crisis. While the COVID-19 pandemic puts lives and livelihoods at immediate risk, climate change is an existential threat for humanity. Global challenges such as these are colossal tests of leadership and demand global answers. As the UN Secretary General put it, “We are in this together — we will get through this together.” To effectively address these unfolding human crises, we must put human rights at the heart of the response. We need to reaffirm our common values of humanity and solidarity. And we need to think outside the box. To that extent, leveraging technology for good is essential, as it now allows us to adapt at levels previously unthinkable.

          Innovation in key areas of technology including cloud computing, AI, and open source means it is now easier than ever to quickly pivot towards addressing the most pressing issues we face. A great example is the Call for Code challenge, which quickly pivoted to take on COVID-19 when the global impact of this pandemic became apparent. Within six weeks, the solutions that emerged addressed everything from how we can keep a physical distance when queuing at stores to helping small businesses re-emerge stronger after a crisis. Many of these are already being considered for deployment opportunities.

        • Bringing Java into the Kubernetes-native future with Quarkus

          By now, you may have seen this funny word floating around the Java development community: Quarkus. And, you may have seen the latest Red Hat news around it, that we are excited to welcome Quarkus as an official Red Hat Runtime.

          But, what does this mean, and why should you be excited about Quarkus? This post will dive into what it means to take Java into the modern, distributed, Kubernetes-first, cloud-native application development world we are in today, and why it is so important.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Biggest Impact Of Open Source On Enterprises Might Not Be The Software Itself

        Open source software underpins many of the applications we use today, whether critical for our society to function, or just for our ability to share photos of our quarantine-sourdough with strangers. The code itself has clearly changed our software applications, but what deeper, underlying impact on software delivery and organizational culture have we seen through this process?

        In this article, I had the privilege of speaking with three industry luminaries that have contributed to building open source projects and communities for many years. I wanted to learn from them about the diffusion of software delivery practices from communities and projects into companies and products.

      • Mark Rotteveel and documentation team migrated the first documents to asciidoc
      • Open-Source and Closed-Source Monitoring Tools Compared (2020 Edition)

        Some benefits of using free and open-source software include decreased software costs, increased security and stability, protecting privacy, education, and giving users more control over their own hardware. Today, free and open-source software is everywhere. For instance, operating systems such as Linux and descendants of BSD are in widespread use and are powering millions of servers. Free-software licenses and open-source licenses are also used by many software packages. Furthermore, the free-software movement and the open-source software movement are online social movements that are accessory to the widespread adoption of free and open-source software.

      • Events

        • Annual Report 2019: Native Language Projects – events around the world

          Canadian LibreOffice supporter Marc Paré set up LibreWaterloo, to “have a local presence on the Canadian scene with respect to the LibreOffice project and software. We would like to connect with local LibreOffice coders and users, and “to have fun” should be one of the pillars and principles we strive for.”

          He continues: “I spoke at a meeting of the KW Non-Profit Sys Admin (KWNPSA) where I am a co-coordinator, and I announced the creation of the new LibreWaterloo community group. There, I did a two hour presentation on the status of The Document Foundation, along with LibreOffice and the benefits of starting a group. There were approximately 15 people at the meeting, and a couple of people came to trouble-shoot their software; however, the meeting was not to trouble-shoot issues, but to discuss if there was an interest from the Sys Admin group.”

          Marc set up an organizing committee of three people to start with, and has plans for more events and localisation in Canada’s indigenous languages.

      • Web Browsers

        • Stuart Langridge: Browsers are not rendering engines

          An interesting writeup by Brian Kardell on web engine diversity and ecosystem health, in which he puts forward a thesis that we currently have the most healthy and open web ecosystem ever, because we’ve got three major rendering engines (WebKit, Blink, and Gecko), they’re all cross-platform, and they’re all open source. This is, I think, true. Brian’s argument is that this paints a better picture of the web than a lot of the doom-saying we get about how there are only a few large companies in control of the web. This is… well, I think there’s truth to both sides of that. Brian’s right, and what he says is often overlooked. But I don’t think it’s the whole story.

          You see, diversity of rendering engines isn’t actually in itself the point. What’s really important is diversity of influence: who has the ability to make decisions which shape the web in particular ways, and do they make those decisions for good reasons or not so good? Historically, when each company had one browser, and each browser had its own rendering engine, these three layers were good proxies for one another: if one company’s browser achieved a lot of dominance, then that automatically meant dominance for that browser’s rendering engine, and also for that browser’s creator. Each was isolated; a separate codebase with separate developers and separate strategic priorities. Now, though, as Brian says, that’s not the case. Basically every device that can see the web and isn’t a desktop computer and isn’t explicitly running Chrome is a WebKit browser; it’s not just “iOS Safari’s engine”. A whole bunch of long-tail browsers are essentially a rethemed Chrome and thus Blink: Brave and Edge are high up among them.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 74
          • Mozilla Localization (L10N): How to unleash the full power of Fluent as a localizer

            Fluent is an extremely powerful system, providing localizers with a level of flexibility that has no equivalent in other localization systems. It can be as straightforward as older formats, thanks to Pontoon’s streamlined interface, but it requires some understanding of the syntax to fully utilize its potential.

            Here are a few examples of how you can get the most out of Fluent. But, before jumping in, you should get familiar with our documentation about Fluent syntax for localizers, and make sure to know how to switch to the Advanced FTL mode, to work directly with the syntax of each message.

      • FSF

        • Don’t miss your chance to win fabulous prizes: Get your friends to join the FSF!

          As you may already know, every associate member is incredibly valuable to the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Since most of our funding comes from individual donations and memberships, associate members aren’t just a number. Each new membership magnifies our reach and our ability to effect social change, by demonstrating your commitment to the crucial cause of software freedom.

          Right now, FSF associate members have the opportunity to reap some fantastic rewards by participating in our virtual LibrePlanet membership drive. We still have the raffle prizes generously donated by Technoethical, Vikings, JMP.chat, and ThinkPenguin for this year’s LibrePlanet conference, which we held entirely online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, we’re giving them away to those who go the extra mile to help us grow by referring new annual associate members to sign up!

        • May GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: 12 new releases!


        • Licensing/Legal

          • Qt Online Installer 3.2.3 Released

            We are happy to announce Qt Online Installer / Maintenance Tool 3.2.3 has been released.

            We have fixed a few translation issues. Please read the details in ChangeLog.

            The page, introducing Qt Open Source usage, has been slightly modified. The goal has been to clarify the Qt Open Source usage.

          • Qt Updates Its Online Installer To Clarify Open-Source Obligations

            Following yesterday’s release of Qt 5.15 LTS as the last series before Qt 6.0, The Qt Company has now released a new Qt Online Installer.

            Qt Online Installer 3.2.3 is out with a few translation fixes and they have reworked their “Qt Open Source usage” page. The page lays out the open-source usage obligations for the toolkit under the GPLv2/GPLv3/LGPLv3. The page also allows users to buy Qt or choose the right license and lays out the various obligations when using the open-source version.

      • Programming/Development

        • Photoframe Hack

          Sometimes you just want to get something done. Something for yourself.

          You do not intend it to be reused, or even pretty.

          You build a tool.

          My tool was a photoframe with some basic overlays. I wanted the family calendar, some weather information (current temperature + forecast), time, and the next bus heading for the train station.


          I also have a bunch of REST calls to my local home assistant server. Most of these reside in the HassButton class, but I also get the current temperature from there. These are hardcoded for my local network, so needs refactoring to be used outside of my LAN.

          All of these interfaces require API keys of one kind or another – be it a proper key, or a secret URL. These are pulled from environment variables in main.cpp and then exposed to QML. That way, you can reuse the components without having to share your secrets.

        • Writing the Ultimate Locking Check

          In theory a clever programmer could discover all the bugs in a piece of software just by examining it carefully, but in reality humans can’t keep track of everything and they get distracted easily. A computer could use the same logic and find the bugs through static analysis. There are two main limitations for static analysis. The first is that it is hard to know the difference between a bug and feature. Here we’re going to specify that holding a lock for certain returns is a bug. This rule is generally is true but occasionally the kernel programmers hold a lock deliberately. The second limitation is that to understand the code, sometimes you need to understand how the variables are related to each other. It’s difficult to know in advance which variables are related and it’s impossible to track all the relationships without running out of memory. This will become more clear later. Nevertheless, static analysis can find many bugs so it is a useful tool.

          Many static analysis tools have a check for locking bugs. Smatch has had one since 2002 but it wasn’t exceptional. My first ten patches in the Linux kernel git history fixed locking bugs and I have written hundreds of these fixes in the years since. When Smatch gained the ability to do cross function analysis in 2010, I knew that I had to re-write the locking check to take advantage of the new cross function analysis feature. When you combine cross function analysis with top of the line flow analysis available and in depth knowledge of kernel locks then the result is the Ultimate Locking Check! Unfortunately, I have a tendency towards procrastination and it took me a decade to get around to it, but it is done now. This blog will step through how the locking analysis works.

        • Raising the ground

          To read this blog I recommend you to be familiar with C programming language and (not mandatory) basics about SDL2. The main goal of this blog is not to give you a copy and paste code, instead it will guide you along the way until you get results by your own merit, also if you find any issues/mistakes/room for improvement please leave a response, thanks for reading.

        • Include jQuery in web pages – Local or CDN

          In the last article of the learn jQuery series, we learned to create jQuery development environment. Fortunately, it was pretty easy to create. In this article, we will learn to include jQuery on our web pages. In this article, we will fire our first jQuery code and will see it working in our web browser.

        • LLVM 11 Merges AMD Radeon GCN Offloading For OpenMP

          While AMD has been working on AOMP for Radeon OpenMP offloading as their downstream of the LLVM/Clang compiler suited for GPU compute offloading to their hardware, at least some of that work is beginning to appear back in upstream LLVM.

          Merged today into LLVM 11 Git is support for OpenMP offloading for the AMD GCN architecture, including setting of LLVM’s CUDA mode. This part 1 patch is just a few dozen lines of code thanks to the AMDGPU back-end long being in upstream LLVM as well as the necessary infrastructure already being there for OpenMP device offload. Great to see this happening and hopefully more of these Radeon GPU compute changes will be hitting the LLVM tree shortly.

        • What is The Mediocre Programmer?

          This book is a personal journey for both of us. It’s a memoir of my time as a programmer and my feelings along the way. I’ve thought many times about giving up and finding a different career path but doing anything other than being a computer programmer scares me even more. Does that mean I’m stuck in a perverse ouroboros of self-pity and self-doubt? Hardly. It means that I need to dig deeper to understand why I chose the path of being a programmer and realize that it took a lot to get here and it’s going to take a lot more to get where I want to be. It’s a commitment to seeing things as they are now and moving forward from wherever I’m standing.

          I hope you’ll join me on this journey.

          (The book is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (CC-BY-SA). You are encouraged to read it, share it, and use it to help others through their struggle).

        • Meet your new robotic best friend: the MiRo-E dog
        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #422 (May 26, 2020)
          • Real Python: A Beginner’s Guide to Pip

            What is pip? pip is the standard package manager for Python. It allows you to install and manage additional packages that are not part of the Python standard library. This course is an introduction to pip for new Pythonistas.

          • Return people from a list and dictionary with Python

            In this article, we are going to return a list of names that show whether that person is nice or naughty based on True (Nice) or False (Naughty) value from the ‘was_nice’ key within a list of dictionaries pass into either the get_nice_names function which will only return the name of a person who is nice or get_naughty_names function which will do vise versa.

          • Python 101 – Learning About Loops

            There are many times when you are writing code that you will need to find a way to iterate over something. Perhaps you’ll need to iterate over the letters in a string or the objects in a list. The process of iterating over something is done via a loop.

            A loop is a programming construct that allows you to iterate over chunks. Those chunks could be the letters in the string or the lines of a file.

          • Data visualization made simple in Python with Seaborn

            Plotting in Seaborn is much simpler than in Matplotlib. While Matplotlib makes the hard things possible, Seaborn makes complicated things uncomplicated by giving you a range of plot types that “just work.”

          • A simple Python HTTP server for your sysadmin toolbox
          • Qt for Python 5.15.0 is out!

            Hello everyone! We are really happy to announce that Qt for Python 5.15.0 is now out! ??

            As always, you can get the latest via: pip install pyside2, or just upgrading your current installation: pip install -U pyside2.

            At the same time we wanted to release another version for users still on 5.14, so we decided to release too. You can get it via pip install pyside2==

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Awk Cheatsheet And Examples

            Awk is a great utility for text parsing and maniupulation. All unix operating systems have Awk installed by default. If you are on Windows. Please check out at the bottom of this tutorial on how to install and enable awk on Windows.

          • Printing repeats within repeats, and splitting a list into columns

            Repeats within repeats. BASH printf is a complex piece of machinery. The man page says a printf command should look like printf FORMAT [ARGUMENT]…, which makes it seem the “argument” is the thing to be printed and the “format” describes how.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • LATEX.css

        This almost class-less CSS library turns your HTML document into a website that looks like a LATEX document. Write semantic HTML [...] add to the of your project and you are good to go. [...]

  • Leftovers

    • KKR to Invest $1 Billion to Build Data Centers in Europe

      The investment firm is teaming up with industry veteran Franek Sodzawiczny to launch Global Technical Realty, which will develop and build data centers for large technology companies in Europe, the people said. The venture could be announced as soon as Wednesday, they said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.

      Data centers are drawing increasing interest from private equity firms as more companies outsource the storage of vast information sets to third-party providers. Macquarie Group Ltd., Digital Colony and EQT AB are among investors that have done deals in the sector.

      Sodzawiczny, who previously founded Zenium Data Centers, will become chief executive officer of GTR, according to the people. Zenium received backing from billionaire George Soros’s Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd. and was acquired by CyrusOne Inc. in 2018.

    • Education

      • My Advice to the Class of 2020

        This time of year is normally filled with joy and celebration, as millions of graduates across the country take their first steps into the “real world”.Some of you reading this are families of graduates. Some are graduates yourselves. Either way, you may be thinking of all the 2020 graduates who didn’t get a ceremony, celebrated with loved ones over Zoom, and are entering into the most uncertain jobs market since the Great Depression.I am, too.So here’s my message to the Class of 2020:I’m not going to beat around the bush. These are hard times. You’re graduating into the worst economy in 80 years, and we don’t have any idea when or how the economy will recover. Much depends on the course of this tragic pandemic. On the other hand, I don’t want you to despair. You have your entire lives in front of you. And you have your education, and, hopefully, resilience and fortitude.The multiple crises we’re facing are also opportunities to remake this nation and the world, hopefully into more just societies.In this spirit, I wanted to share with you a final class I taught a few years back, when I and my students were still all together in a classroom. In watching it, it seemed to me that the lessons still hold, especially in this pandemic and economic crisis — the importance of personal resilience, the inevitability of failure, the challenge of designing your own hoops to jump through, the new careers and forms of work you’ll encounter, the central importance of gaining wisdom about yourself. I hope these ideas give you the courage to face the future with realism and resourcefulness, and the confidence to dedicate at least some of your life to fortifying the common good.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Lake of Ozarks Partygoers Who Ignored Social Distancing Told to Self-Isolate

        Memorial Day weekend is traditionally spent with friends and family members, and is commonly seen as the unofficial start of summer. In the era of COVID-19, however, many barbecue events and grill outs were understandably canceled or at least modified, to coincide with social distancing recommendations put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

      • Survey Shows 1 in 5 Teachers—Citing Covid-19 Concerns—Likely Won’t Return to US Schools This Fall

        Polling also showed that nearly six in 10 parents may refuse to send their children back to classrooms next semester.

      • Feds Made It Harder to Free Prisoners Amid COVID, Even as Barr Promised Releases

        Even as the Justice Department announced that federal prisons would release vulnerable, nonviolent inmates to home confinement to avoid the spread of COVID-19, the agency was quietly adopting a policy that makes it harder for inmates to qualify for release, not easier. The result has been that more than 98% of inmates remain in federal custody, while a handful of celebrity inmates, like former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, have been released to home detention.

      • Trump Ridicules Biden’s Use of a Face Mask as US COVID Infections Near 2 Million

        President Donald Trump shared a tweet that seemed to have ridiculed the way Joe Biden, his presumed Democratic Party opponent in this year’s presidential race, looked while wearing a mask during a Memorial Day Ceremony.

      • Let’s Pay Attention to What COVID-19 Is Trying to Tell Us About Climate Change

        It’s pointing us to a healthier and more resilient world if we chose to listen. We have no time to lose.

      • ‘How the Trump White House Sees You’: Top Economic Adviser Under Fire for Calling Workers ‘Human Capital Stock’

        “They’ve always been indifferent to human life. And in the face of mass death, the masks are coming off.”

      • Is Mitch McConnell Blocking State Aid to Enrich Vulture Funds and Bolster Corporate Control of the Economy?

        Without further assistance from the Federal government, all states will be obliged to make draconian cuts in their budgets.?

      • TRUMP-20: The Other Pandemic

        In the destructive wake of TRUMP-20, Americans should practice media-distancing. Daily reports that expose us to Trump, his lies, his racism, and the never-ending circus that surrounds him are detrimental to your health, particularly if you have a pre-existing condition such as high blood pressure. The toll it has taken on the nation’s health is immeasurable. The bloated orange man with the funny hair and Mussolini pout no longer amuses, if indeed he ever did.

      • ‘You can throw the official figures in the trash’ Data analyst says Russia’s coronavirus statistics show signs of fraud

        Boris Ovchinnikov, one of the founders of the “Data Insight” e-commerce research agency, says he’s analyzed Russia’s official coronavirus statistics and determined that the data could be falsified at the federal level.

      • Across Colombia, red flags of despair fly as harsh Covid lockdown is extended for a third time

        Colombia’s infection rate is relatively low, but its ruthlessly enforced lockdown is causing hunger and nationwide anger. In the working class districts of Bogota, signs of desperation are everywhere.

      • As New Zealand Eliminates COVID, Epidemiologist Says “We Look at Trump’s Behavior & We’re Horrified”

        To learn how New Zealand has largely eliminated COVID-19, we continue our extended interview with Michael Baker, an epidemiologist who is a member of the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s Technical Advisory Group and advising the government on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He describes how the country’s response compares to the government actions in the United States and worldwide.

      • The Gods of Small Things

        One of the great things about the Covid-19 silver lining playbook is the opportunity it affords to come out of the closet, like Bradley Copper, about my sapiensexuality. There, I’ve said it. I’m on the cyberprowl for minds who want to have a good old-fashioned LeftHandOfDarkness mind-fuck together. Makes no difference if you’re black or white, long as you know what I mean. Zoom-Zoom. See you in/out there in our new-fangled pop-up postmod Brady Bunch world.

      • Governments are Using COVID-19 Crisis to Crush Free Speech

        Stop those non-humans who are writing and provoking our people,” says Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov in an Instagram video. The non-humans he objects to are journalists who criticise the Chechen authorities for mishandling their response to the Covid-19 epidemic.

      • Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service releases updated numbers on coronavirus cases in the prison system

        According to an official statement from the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN), Russia’s prison system has recorded 980 cases of COVID-19 among its employees, Interfax reports.

      • Ramzan Kadyrov posts photo of meeting in Grozny following reports of his hospitalization for COVID-19

        On his Telegram channel, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said that he was taking part in a meeting of the regional headquarters for combatting the coronavirus in Grozny on May 26.?

      • The Covid-19 Conspiracies of German Neo-Nazis

        Where there are conspiracy theories, German Neo-Nazis are never far away. Indeed, the Corona pandemic is a welcoming vehicle for German Neo-Nazi to broadcast their ideology and to recruit new members. The belief in conspiratorial forces behind the 2020 Corona crisis isn’t just nonsense; it is a dangerous symptom of democratic societies’ plight to be exploited by its enemies.

      • The Banality of Evil, COVID-19 Edition

        As the COVID-19 pandemic ran its deadly course in New York, governor Andrew Cuomo ?affirmed a state policy forbidding nursing homes to reject suffering from the disease.

      • Brazil’s Reckless COVID Response Threatens Indigenous Survival

        As Brazil sees more than 800 deaths in 24 hours and nearly 400,000 confirmed cases, we look at COVID-19’s devastating impact on Brazil’s Indigenous peoples, who are dying at double the rate of the rest of the country. We speak with world-renowned Brazilian photojournalist Sebasti?o Salgado, who wrote an open letter to right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, who called the virus a “little flu,” to warn him the pandemic is “an extreme threat to their very survival.”

      • Tennessee’s Secret to Plentiful Coronavirus Testing? Picking Up the Tab.

        To reopen businesses and public spaces safely, experts say, states need to be testing and contact tracing on a massive scale. But only a handful of states are doing enough testing to stay on top of potential outbreaks, according to a state-by-state analysis published by NPR.

      • As Trump Golfed and Downplayed COVID, US Death Count Pushed Past 100,000

        On Tuesday afternoon, the United States of America surpassed a grim milestone as more than 100,000 deaths resulting from COVID-19 were officially recorded.

      • Hawaii Considers an Explicitly Feminist Plan for COVID-Era Economic Recovery

        “The road to economic recovery should not be across women’s backs,” reads the first sentence of Hawaii’s Feminist Economic Recovery Plan.

      • More than 130,000 people in Russia have now recovered from COVID-19

        On the morning of May 26, Russian officials announced that as many as 131,129 people in Russia are known to have recovered fully from COVID-19, including 12,331 in the past day. Also in the last 24 hours, another 174 people reportedly died from the disease, raising Russia’s total number of fatalities officially caused by coronavirus to 3,807.

      • COVID-19: A magnet for medical conspiracy theories

        Conspiracy theories having to do with medicine are quite common, and we’ve written about them here before, particularly among the antivaccine movement. I even coined a term, the “central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement” and argued that the entire antivaccine belief system, as disparate as the individual beliefs and subsidiary conspiracy theories that make it up can be, can basically be boiled down to the contention that vaccines are dangerous but “they” are hiding it from you. Who are “they”? They’re the CDC, medical profession, big pharma, and the rest of government who, in the central conspiracy theory, “know” that vaccines cause autism and all manner of harm but are covering up the evidence. That’s why the antivaccine propaganda and conspiracy movie disguised as a documentary VAXXED resonated so much, telling, as it did, the story of the “CDC whistleblower“, who supposedly revealed that the CDC “knew” that the MMR vaccine greatly increased the risk of autism in African-American boys but “covered it up” in the study in which that result was supposedly found. That this “evidence” came in the form of an incompetent reanalysis of a CDC-published paper by a biochemical engineer turned clueless epidemiologist named Brian Hooker mattered not at all. In this, the “CDC whistleblower” conspiracy theory very much resembled the Simpsonwood conspiracy theory from the early 2000s, in which Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. pushed a claim that the CDC “knew” that thimerosal in vaccines was causing autism but covered it up at a conference at the Simpsonwood conference center near Atlanta in 2000.

      • Amazon Delivery Driver Says He Was Fired For Asking About Coronavirus

        FAE Distributors is an “Amazon Delivery Service partner. ”Amazon describes the program like this: “DSP owners are responsible for hiring, training, developing, and retaining a team of 100 high-performing, hardworking employees, operating with up to 10-40 vans.” These companies are contracted by Amazon to deliver packages and must undergo three weeks of training to become part of the program.

        Andre Kirk, an FAE delivery worker, told Motherboard that on April 4 he asked in the workforce’s public GroupMe whether anyone had tested positive for coronavirus. FAE’s owner Demoine Harvey told the chat that no one had tested positive, then in a private chat chastised Kirk, adding that it wasn’t a group concern but “the entire world concern” so Kirk should direct all questions to him directly. When Kirk shared those messages in the GroupMe, Kirk was immediately kicked out and the GroupMe dissolved. Motherboard has reviewed these messages.

      • 43 Million Americans Are About to Lose Their Health Insurance Because of Our Employer-Based Health Care System

        Taking this uncertainty into account, the Urban Institute’s analysts provide separate estimates as to how many workers will be thrown off their employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) under different unemployment scenarios. If unemployment hits 20 percent, just over forty-three million Americans will lose their ESI — the figure being a staggering fifty-six million should it reach 25 percent. Though some will qualify for Medicaid or be able to purchase individual coverage for themselves (income permitting), the report’s authors find that millions will become completely uninsured even in less pessimistic unemployment scenarios. Ultimately, as many as 7.5 million Americans could lose insurance entirely in the event the unemployment rate climbs to 25 percent.

      • Cruises and Covid19

        FastCompany has a brief article about bookings for cruises in August [2]. There have been many negative comments about this online.

        The first thing to note is that the cancellation policies on those cruises are more lenient than usual and the prices are lower. So it’s not unreasonable for someone to put down a deposit on a half price holiday in the hope that Covid19 goes away (as so many prominent people have been saying it will) in the knowledge that they will get it refunded if things don’t work out. Of course if the cruise line goes bankrupt then no-one will get a refund, but I think people are expecting that won’t happen.

        The GQ article highlights some serious problems with the way cruise ships operate. They have staff crammed in to small cabins and the working areas allow transmission of disease. These problems can be alleviated, they could allocate more space to staff quarters and have more capable air conditioning systems to put in more fresh air. During the life of a cruise ship significant changes are often made, replacing engines with newer more efficient models, changing the size of various rooms for entertainment, installing new waterslides, and many other changes are routinely made. Changing the staff only areas to have better ventilation and more separate space (maybe capsule-hotel style cabins with fresh air piped in) would not be a difficult change. It would take some money and some dry-dock time which would be a significant expense for cruise companies.


        The entertainment options that cruises offer are greatly desired by many people. Most cruises are aimed at budget travellers, the price is cheaper than a hotel in a major city. Such cruises greatly depend on economies of scale, if they can’t get the ships filled then they would need to raise prices (thus decreasing demand) to try to make a profit. I think that some older cruise ships will be scrapped in the near future and some of the newer ships will be sold to cruise lines that cater to cheap travel (IE P&O may scrap some ships and some of the older Princess ships may be transferred to them). Overall I predict a decrease in the number of middle-class cruise ships.

        For the expensive cruises (where the cheapest cabins cost over $1000US per person per night) I don’t expect any real changes, maybe they will have fewer passengers and higher prices to allow more social distancing or something.

        I am certain that cruises will start again, but it’s too early to predict when. Going on a cruise is about as safe as going to a concert or a major sporting event. No-one is predicting that sporting stadiums will be closed forever or live concerts will be cancelled forever, so really no-one should expect that cruises will be cancelled forever. Whether companies that own ships or stadiums go bankrupt in the mean time is yet to be determined.

      • SARS, MERS and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) treatment: a patent review

        Introduction: Coronavirus has been responsible for several virus outbreaks since 2003, caused by SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, and currently SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), the causative agent of coronavirus disease in 2019. COVID-19 has become a global public health emergency because of its high virulence and mortality capacity. This patent review aims to provide an overview of the patents that present possible treatments for SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV.

        Areas covered: To treat SARS, MERS and SARS-CoV-2, researchers have filed patents for a number of therapeutic agents. Most of the treatments found were protease inhibitors aimed at proteases such as PLpro, 3CLpro, RNA helicase, and Spike protein, or used monoclonal antibodies and interferons. In addition, the use of Chinese folk medicine and its multitude of medicinal plants with strong antiviral properties was reinforced. Thus, these therapies used in previous epidemics can serve as an aid in the new pandemic by SARS-CoV-2 and be a starting point for new treatments.

        Expert opinion: The various antiviral alternatives presented in this review offer therapeutic options to fight coronavirus infections. If shown to be effective, these drugs may be extremely important in the current pandemic.

      • European Commission proposes €750B EU recovery package

        The European Commission called for a €750 billion recovery plan on Wednesday that would use an unprecedented scale of joint debt incurred by the bloc’s 27 member countries in a bid to revive economies decimated by the coronavirus.

        The rescue and recovery plan is bolted onto a revised seven-year budget proposal — the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) — totaling €1.1 trillion for the years 2021 to 2027. The budget plan will now be subject to fierce negotiation among EU heads of state and government, and requires their unanimous approval. Top officials hope to reach a deal by summer.

        “Today we face our very own defining moment,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament as she presented her plan. “What started with a virus so small your eyes couldn’t see it, has become an economic crisis so big you simply couldn’t miss it.”

      • Commission puts forward massive €750bn stimulus against corona-crisis

        The European Commission will propose later on Wednesday (27 May) an unprecedented fiscal stimulus of €750 billion, mostly made up of grants that do not need to be reimbursed, to overcome the deepest recession in EU history.

        “The Commission proposes a €750 billion recovery fund which is added to the common instruments already launched. A European turning point to face an unprecedented crisis,” Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni revealed in a tweet.

        Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will present the details of the updated multi-annual financial framework (MFF) and its new recovery fund before the European Parliament this afternoon, after the college of commissioners adopts it.

        The recovery fund will include a total of €500 billion given to member states through grants and an additional €250 billion via favourable loans.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Spotify finally removes its 10,000-song library limit

          While Spotify has more than 50 million songs available to customers to stream at any time, until today, there was a hard limit of 10,000 songs that users could save to their own “Your Music” collections on Spotify for easy access.

        • Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield on competing with Microsoft, the future of work, and managing all those notifications

          Butterfield joined me on The Vergecast to talk about everything from racing to meet the surge of users during the pandemic, competing with Microsoft, the future of offices, and keeping Slack as an Electron app on the desktop.

        • Slack CEO: Microsoft is ‘unhealthily preoccupied with killing us’

          Butterfield expands on why he thinks Microsoft is “unhealthily preoccupied” with Slack and compares Teams to more of a competitor to Zoom. Slack obviously has its own voice and video calling features, but it’s not the primary focus of the app, and often, businesses integrate Zoom or Cisco’s WebEx instead. Microsoft has been moving businesses from Skype for Business to Teams, which traditionally focused on voice and video calling.

          Ultimately, Butterfield thinks Microsoft is trying to force the Teams comparison because “Microsoft benefits from the narrative that Teams is very competitive with Slack. Even though the reality is it’s principally a voice and video calling service.”

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Google Open-Sources AI for Using Tabular Data to Answer Natural Language Questions

              Google open-sourced Table Parser (TAPAS), a deep-learning system that can answer natural-language questions from tabular data. TAPAS was trained on 6.2 million tables extracted from Wikipedia and matches or exceeds state-of-the-art performance on several benchmarks.

              Co-creator Thomas Müller gave an overview of the work in a recent blog post. Given a table of numeric data, such as sports results or financial statistics, TAPAS is designed to answer natural-language questions about facts that can be inferred from the table; for example, given a list of sports championships, TAPAS might be able to answer “which team has won the most championships?” In contrast to previous solutions to this problem, which convert natural-language queries into software query languages such as SQL, which then run on the data table, TAPAS learns to operate directly on the data and outperforms the previous models on common question-answering benchmarks: by more than 12 points on Microsoft’s Sequential Question Answering (SQA) and more than 4 points on Stanford’s WikiTableQuestions (WTQ).

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • EdgeX Foundry Hits 5 Million+ Container Downloads

                EdgeX Foundry, a project under the LF Edge umbrella organization within the Linux Foundation, has announced a major milestone of hitting 5 million container downloads and the availability of its “Geneva” release.


                Keith Steele, EdgeX Foundry Chair of the Technical Steering Committee, added: “With at least 50% of data being stored, processed and analyzed at the edge we need an open, cloud-native edge ecosystem enabled by EdgeX to minimize reinvention and facilitate building and deploying distributed, interoperable applications from the edge to the cloud. In 3 short years, EdgeX has achieved incredible global momentum and is now being designed into IOT systems and product roadmaps.”

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • India’s Aarogya Setu App Goes Open Source

              India has finally released the source code of its coronavirus tracking app, Aarogya Setu, on GitHub, nearly two months after its launch coupled with several privacy-related concerns.

            • Aarogya Setu goes open-source: What it means for the end user
            • Aarogya Setu becomes open source: What does it mean?

              As an answer to that today the government of India has made the Android version of the Aarogya Setu app open source, which means developers will be able to inspect the source code of the app and modify for changes. The source code of the Android version is already available for review and collaboration. All developers and researchers can visit this link to participate: https://github.com/nic-delhi/AarogyaSetu_Android.git

              The government has announced that the iOS version of the application will be released as open-source within the next two weeks and the server code will also be released subsequently. The government has also said that nearly 98 per cent users of Aarogya Setu app use an Android phone. The app is available for both iOS and Android users.

            • Government of India makes Aarogya Setu app open source; here is what it means

              Alderson isn’t the only one to have raised alarm over privacy issues in the Aarogya Setu app. New Delhi-based Software Freedom Law Centre has alleged that the app collects sensitive user data such as a user’s gender and travel history, The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) has also alleged that Aarogya Setu lacks transparency.

            • India’s contact tracing app is going open source [Ed: India gives Microsoft control over mass surveillance tool]

              The source code will be published on GitHub at midnight Tuesday.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (sqlite3), Fedora (libarchive and netdata), openSUSE (dom4j, dovecot23, gcc9, and memcached), Red Hat (devtoolset-9-gcc, httpd24-httpd and httpd24-mod_md, ipmitool, kernel, kpatch-patch, openvswitch, openvswitch2.11, openvswitch2.13, rh-haproxy18-haproxy, and ruby), and SUSE (freetds, jasper, libxslt, and sysstat).

          • Patterns of Compromise: The EasyJet Data Breach

            It has been a withering time for the airlines, whose unused planes moulder in a gruelling waiting game of survival. The receivers are smacking their lips; administration has become a reality for many. Governments across the globe dispute what measures to ease in response to the coronavirus pandemic; travel has been largely suspended; and the hope is that some viable form will resume at some point soon.

          • Google Authenticator enables device-transfers, no back up/export options

            You’ve probably seen calls to “secure your account” with a second-factor authentication (2FA) app all over the web. Online services promote it as a way to improve the security of your online account. After you’ve enabled 2FA, you need to know your username and password as well as a one-time use token (a four–six digit code) generated by your 2FA app.

            When you enable 2FA with an online service, it “installs” a secret into your 2FA app?—?often by scanning a QR-variety matrix barcode. The client app can then generate a one-time use login token derived from the shared secret. You type in that token when you log in to the service. The service can generate its own token following the same process and compare the two login tokens. If a bad actor intercepts the token, it can only be used once and will be worthless in the future.

          • Smart cars vulnerable to hack that could enable ‘remote control’
          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • House to vote on whether the FBI can access internet history without a warrant: Act now to Save Internet Privacy

              Internet privacy is on the line as Congress votes this week on whether or not the FBI will be able to access the internet history of Americans without a warrant. The House of Representatives is likely planning to vote on H.R. 6172, the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020, tomorrow May 27th, 2020. As is, the bill will allow the FBI to access your internet history without a warrant. Thanks to the widespread pushback against this frankly unconstitutional clause, Representative Lofgren (D-CA) and Representative Davidson (R-OH) are expected to introduce an amendment that would curb this proposed overstep of government surveillance with support from the Speaker of the House.

            • Senate Talking Points Say Warrantless Collection Of Internet Use Data Keeps Terrorists From Killing Us

              The Senate tried and failed to erect a warrant requirement for the FBI’s collection of US citizens’ internet browsing data. The amendment to the FISA reauthorization fell one vote short — something that could have been avoided by having any of the four missing Senate supporters show up and actually support the thing. The House has a chance to pass this amendment before sending the bill to the president, but they’ve decided to engage in some unproductive infighting instead.

            • A Mess In The House: Dirty Pool As Rep. Schiff Inserts Loophole To Help The FBI Spy On You

              As the debate continues over the renewal of some Patriot Act provisions for NSA surveillance techniques, the House now has a chance to correct a failure by the Senate, by one measly vote, to require a warrant for the FBI to go sifting through your internet histories that the NSA scooped up along the way. The intelligence community refuses to reveal how often this is done, but Senator Wyden is indicating that it’s a lot more than you think — and he’s been right pretty much every time he’s made those suggestions.

            • The House Is Voting on Section 215, Again. The Bill Still Needs More Reform

              Later this week, the House of Representatives is once again voting on whether or not to extend the authorities in Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act—a surveillance law?with a rich history of government overreach and abuse, along with two other PATRIOT Act provisions, and possibly, an amendment.

              Congress considered several bills to reauthorize and reform Section 215 earlier this year, but the law expired on March 15 without renewal. In the days before that deadline, the House of Representatives passed the?USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act, without committee markup or floor amendments, which would have extended Section 215 for three more years, along with some modest reforms.?However, the Senate failed to reach an agreement on the bill, allowing the authorities to expire.

            • Facebook reportedly ignored its own research showing algorithms divided users

              An internal Facebook report presented to executives in 2018 found that the company was well aware that its product, specifically its recommendation engine, stoked divisiveness and polarization, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

              Yet, despite warnings about the effect this could have on society, Facebook leadership ignored the findings and has largely tried to absolve itself of responsibility with regard to partisan divides and other forms of polarization it directly contributed to, the report states. The reason? Changes might disproportionately affect conservatives and might hurt engagement, the report says.

            • Facebook Executives Shut Down Efforts to Make the Site Less Divisive

              “Our algorithms exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness,” read a slide from a 2018 presentation. “If left unchecked,” it warned, Facebook would feed users “more and more divisive content in an effort to gain user attention & increase time on the platform.”

              That presentation went to the heart of a question dogging Facebook almost since its founding: Does its platform aggravate polarization and tribal behavior?

              The answer it found, in some cases, was yes.

              Facebook had kicked off an internal effort to understand how its platform shaped user behavior and how the company might address potential harms. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg had in public and private expressed concern about “sensationalism and polarization.”

              But in the end, Facebook’s interest was fleeting. Mr. Zuckerberg and other senior executives largely shelved the basic research, according to previously unreported internal documents and people familiar with the effort, and weakened or blocked efforts to apply its conclusions to Facebook products.

            • NSO Group Impersonated Facebook to Help Clients Hack Targets

              Infamous Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group created a web domain that looked as if it belonged to Facebook’s security team to entice targets to click on links that would install the company’s powerful cell phone [cr]acking technology, according to data analyzed by Motherboard.

            • Trump urges GOP to vote against bill reauthorizing surveillance powers

              But the Senate included new legal protections for some FISA warrant applications in a win for civil liberties-minded lawmakers, and the amended bill passed 80-16, forcing it to go back to the House for a second vote. The Justice Department opposed the changes, saying that they would “unacceptably degrade” the U.S. government’s ability to carry out surveillance.

            • FBI can’t use evidence from phone’s lock screen without warrant, Washington judge says

              If your phone’s lock screen displays anything that might be used as evidence of a crime, the FBI needs to have a warrant before they can use it in court, according to a U.S. District Court judge in Seattle, Washington.

              Judge John Coughenour ruled this week that while police can take a person’s phone at the time of their arrest and place it in the department’s search inventory, investigators cannot use the contents of the lock screen as evidence after the fact, according to court documents.

            • China’s health scores for citizens won’t go away when coronavirus does

              A government app that used digital bar codes to control citizen movements at the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in China is likely to become a fixture in people’s daily lives.

              Hangzhou, a southern Chinese city home to tech giants like Alibaba, said on Saturday (May 23, link in Chinese) that it plans to “normalize” the use of the app, which was rolled out in February, and turn it into a “‘firewall’ to enhance people’s health and immunity” after the pandemic recedes.

            • Maximator, a European spy pact to rival the Five Eyes, comes to light

              In a paper published last month, Mr Jacobs publicly revealed the existence of the Maximator alliance for the first time, to the considerable irritation of those who had kept it under wraps for decades. The group was formed in 1976, when Denmark joined forces with Germany and Sweden to intercept and decipher messages sent by satellites, a burgeoning method of communication. The Netherlands joined two years later, bringing its intercept stations in the Carribean to the table, and France in 1985. The group is alive and well today.

            • ByteDance Hit $3 Billion in Net Profit Last Year

              TikTok parent-company ByteDance Ltd. generated more than $17 billion in revenue and more than $3 billion in net profit last year, figures that show the startup, already the most valuable in the world, is growing at a brisk rate, according to people familiar with the matter.

            • Atmos Home Develops First “Local” Voice-Powered Home Hub

              Home hubs have always had a major privacy flaw for one reason: they all beam your voice commands back to a central server.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • A Whistleblowing Visionary Offers a Ticket to Our Future—If We Take It

        Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has a reputation for legislative mastery. She frequently uses it on behalf of corporate interests, however, not the invisible workers making less than minimum wage.

      • US Government Attempts To Bureaucratically Thwart NSA Whistleblower Reality Winner’s Appeal For Compassionate Release

        The coronavirus may infect NSA whistleblower Reality Winner while she is incarcerated at a women’s prison hospital. She has a history of respiratory illness that makes her exceptionally vulnerable. Yet, the United States government contends they have no record of Winner ever submitting a request for relief. Prosecutors further suggest—even if the warden for Federal Medical Center Carswell received a request for release from Winner—that she did not follow the appropriate process so her appeal should be denied.

        Winner pled guilty in 2018 to one count of violating the Espionage Act when she disclosed an NSA report to The Intercept. She believed the report contained evidence that Russian hackers targeted United States voter registration systems during the 2016 election.

      • Twitter tags Trump tweet with fact-checking warning

        President Trump has used Twitter as a platform to pick fights with other politicians and celebrities. Now he may be in for a fight with the platform itself.

        Following the firm’s decision to label his tweets as misleading, he claimed on Twitter that the company was stifling free speech and that he wouldn’t allow it. But Twitter as a private company gets to set its own rules for what happens on its platform.

        The trouble for many was that up until Tuesday the firm didn’t seem to be enforcing its rules when it came to the US president or other global leaders.

        This is not the first time President Trump has made claims on Twitter that some say would have gotten less powerful people blocked from the site.

      • Twitter labeled Trump tweets with a fact check for the first time

        On Tuesday, Twitter highlighted two of Trump’s tweets that falsely claimed mail-in ballots would lead to widespread voter fraud, appending a message the company has introduced to combat misinformation and disputed or unverified claims.

        “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” read the message beneath each tweet. It linked to a curated fact-check page the platform had created filled with further links and summaries of news articles debunking the assertion.

        Twitter said the move was aimed at providing “context” around Trump’s remarks. But Twitter’s unprecedented decision is likely to raise further questions about its willingness to consistently apply the label to other Trump tweets that have been deemed misleading by third parties, particularly as the president has lobbed baseless allegations against former Rep. Joe Scarborough regarding the death of a congressional staffer years ago.

      • Twitter fact checks Trump’s tweets for the first time, calls mail-in voting claim ‘misleading’

        Twitter slapped a fact check label on a pair of “misleading” tweets by President Donald Trump on Tuesday in which he railed against mail-in voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

      • Twitter adds fact-check warnings to Donald Trump tweets

        The social media site added a warning phrase to two of Trump’s tweets in which he called postal voting “fraudulent” and predicted that “mail boxes will be robbed”.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • New York Uber and Lyft Drivers Sue Cuomo Over Refusal to Pay Unemployment Benefits During Pandemic

        “I work hard and follow the rules to support my family. The state should also follow the rules and pay drivers what we are owed so we can survive this crisis.”

      • Demanding End to ‘Failed Billionaire-Backed’ Policies, 200+ Teachers and Activists Urge Biden to Go Bold on Public Education

        “The public health and economic emergencies resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic have only made public education more vulnerable. It is no exaggeration to say that the future of public education itself is at stake.”

      • Killer Capitalism’s COVID-19 Back-to-Work Imperative

        Over the past several weeks, daily new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. have remained in the 22,000–25,000 range. By June 1, it is estimated that the number of deaths each day will rise to 3,000. Yet all 50 states now have begun lifting socially-protective measures aimed at containing the coronavirus, planning to “re-start” the U.S. economy – primarily by sending workers back to work. Why is this, and what really should be done?

      • Trump Adviser Says “Human Capital Stock” Should Get Back to Work

        As the United States trembles on the verge of 100,000 COVID deaths and nearly 1.7 million confirmed infections — a “badge of honor” in the fetid mind of Donald Trump — the question of how we got to this horrific place stands out like a pustule on the skin of the nation. Trump has wielded outsize influence in driving this ship onto the reef, to be sure, but he has not acted alone.

      • Countries Rushing to Reopen Risk Causing an ‘Immediate Second Peak’ In Covid-19 Infections and Deaths, WHO Warns

        Dr. Mike Ryan, director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, called on countries that have seen a decline in cases to continue imposing social distancing and testing strategies.

      • Dying to Work

        The pandemic is still with us. After the first tentative steps to ease the lockdown in Germany – the most successful large European country to halt the spread of the virus thanks to massive testing – the disease has shown signs of spreading faster.

      • Arkansas Can’t Secure Financial Assistance Site So Governor Decides To Call The Person Discovering The Breach A Criminal

        The best place for a messenger is six feet under, according to the governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson. Despite being a founding chair of Governors for CS [Computer Science] (according to Slashdot), Hutchinson has decided to blame a security researcher for the state’s inability to properly secure one of its websites. Lindsey Millar, who reported the breach exposing the sensitive information of the site’s users, reports that Governor Hutchinson is trying to villainize the person who stumbled upon the unexpected data flow.

      • The Financial Catastrophe That Coronavirus Brought to Small Towns

        Kevin Smith, the mayor of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, feels abandoned by the federal government. On Easter Sunday, a storm hit his city of 10,000, one of the poorest in the state. It knocked out power for most residents; those who’d used SNAP benefits to stock their refrigerators saw their groceries spoil. Streets flooded. Sewers overflowed. In the thick of a pandemic, debris blocked roads to the hospital.

        His city faces a loss of up to 30% in revenue because of the coronavirus, but doesn’t qualify for direct federal stimulus funding, which is reserved for those with populations of 500,000 or more. So at a time when his city needs infrastructure the most, he is weighing cuts and layoffs.

      • As COVID-19 Continues, Governments Must Shield Emergency Measures From Investor-State Arbitration

        How governments are responding to COVID-19 was the focus at this year’s virtual World Health Assembly (WHA), which concluded on May 19. The premier annual event in the international public health community tackled not only medical issues such as drug patent rules and neglected tropical diseases but also the economic fallout of the worst pandemic in our lifetimes.

        Throughout the weeks prior, officials engaged in intense horse-trading over the language of a resolution on COVID-19. Some of the main areas of contention, media reports said, were how to address things like the pandemic’s impact on vulnerable workers and poverty levels and how to use international treaties to protect emergency health measures from unnecessary legal hurdles, such as from intellectual property rules.

        One issue that officials should consider as they prepare for the short- and medium-term aftermath of COVID-19 is the prospect that they may soon face massive arbitration targeting such measures, due to the investor–state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism embedded in a vast web of international investment treaties.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Donald Trump, Resign Now for America’s Sake: This is No Time for a Dangerous, Law-breaking, Bungling, Ignorant Ship Captain

        Where are the calls for Trump’s resignation? Since his first months in the White House, Trump has been the most impeachable, most lawless, most self-enriching, most bungling President in U.S. history. He relies entirely on lying and scapegoating to avoid taking responsibility for his failures. Trump didn’t even win the popular vote – the Electoral College selected him. President Trump has fomented chaos and corruption in his administration without encountering insistent demands for his resignation.

      • Is Stacey Abrams Progressive?

        The Georgia Democrat, while clearly forward-thinking on voting rights and other key issues, has repeatedly thrown her lot in with the corporate wing of the party.

      • Criminogenic Politics as a Form of Psychosis in the Age of Trump

        In its late stages, capitalism morphs into a form of neoliberal fascism. In this instance, the structural misery produced by capitalism via its destruction of the welfare state, safety net, and its growing investment in accelerating inequality and criminalizing all social problems merges with the theater of racism, racial cleansing, hyper-masculinity, ultra-nationalism, militarism, scapegoating the vulnerable, and the politics of disposability. Cruelty and hate now become a badge of honor among the financial, political, and corporate elite. One consequence is not merely a criminogenic political and economic system, but a state of barbarism that reflects a death-dealing psychosis among political leaders such as Trump and Bolsonaro.

      • So Wait, People Really Think The Barr DOJ’s Investigation Into Google Is In Good Faith?

        Late last week, news emerged that the DOJ would likely be bringing a massive antitrust lawsuit against Google. Reports suggest this is the culmination of a full year of saber rattling by Bill Barr, who has made “antitrust inquiries” into “big tech” a top priority at the DOJ:

      • Trump’s “Uncreative Destruction” of the US/China Relationship

        Economists like to think of the wreckage caused by stock market downturns, widespread bankruptcies, and corporate downsizing as “creative destruction.” As it destroys the old and the dysfunctional, the capitalist system continually spurs innovation, much as a forest fire prepares the ground for new growth.

      • Democratic Congressman Calls for Probe Into Former White House Official’s $3 Million Mask Deal

        A senior Democratic congressman on Tuesday called for a watchdog probe into a $3 million Indian Health Service contract given to a former White House official to provide masks to Navajo Nation hospitals hit hard by the coronavirus.

        ProPublica reported on Friday that IHS granted the contract for 1 million respirator masks to Zach Fuentes, a former deputy chief of staff to President Donald Trump, 11 days after Fuentes formed his company. The contract was granted with limited competitive bidding.

      • Bill Barr Promised to Release Prisoners Threatened by Coronavirus — Even as the Feds Secretly Made It Harder for Them to Get Out

        Even as the Justice Department announced that federal prisons would release vulnerable, nonviolent inmates to home confinement to avoid the spread of COVID-19, the agency was quietly adopting a policy that makes it harder for inmates to qualify for release, not easier. The result has been that more than 98% of inmates remain in federal custody, while a handful of celebrity inmates, like former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, have been released to home detention.

        In two memos, one in late March and a second in early April, Attorney General William Barr directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which is part of the Justice Department, to begin identifying inmates who could safely be released to home confinement — essentially house arrest. They instructed prison officials to grant “priority treatment” to inmates deemed to present minimal risk to the public.

      • Trump Surprises GOP With Threat to Pull RNC Convention Out of North Carolina

        One of President Donald Trump’s many targets on Memorial Day Weekend has been North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, who he says is moving too slowly on the state’s reopening. Railing against Cooper on Twitter, Trump threatened to pull the 2020 Republican National Conventional out of Charlotte — and CNN is reporting that Republicans involved in the planning of the convention were “completely blindsided” by Trump’s threat.

      • Hong Kong Legislature Surrounded by Riot Police Ahead of Expected Protests

        “The idea of one country, two systems is broken,” he said after a late dinner at McDonald’s. “China said it would stick to that agreement, but that’s not the case.”

      • Democrats want to restrict political ad targeting ahead of the 2020 election

        On Tuesday, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced a bill that would upend political advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google.

        The Banning Microtargeted Political Ads Act would bar platforms like Google and Facebook from allowing advertisers to target messages based on the demographic or behavioral data of their users. The Federal Elections Commission would act as the primary enforcer of these proposed rules, but the bill leaves room for individuals to bring civil action on companies accused of violating it. A court could award anywhere from $100 to $1,000 in relief for negligent violations and $500 to $5,000 for reckless ones.

        “Microtargeting political ads fractures our open democratic debate into millions of private, unchecked silos, allowing for the spread of false promises, polarizing lies, disinformation, fake news, and voter suppression,” Eshoo said.

      • Anti-War Groups Push Biden and the Democrats to Rethink Foreign Policy

        The letter, which made a practical case for Biden and the Democrats to embrace a more progressive approach to international affairs, was organized by Demand Progress and signed by organizations such as MoveOn, Indivisible, Just Foreign Policy, Peace Action, and the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

        “As the Coronavirus pandemic reveals, our country and many others are woefully unprepared for the crisis that we now face. Without extraordinarily bold leadership, this is likely to be the beginning of a period of profound instability for the entire planet, given the intensifying climate crisis that is also now underway,” explained the groups. “Just as the domestic policy debate has shifted significantly in recent years, the current global context demands that we act boldly to redefine the role of the U.S. in the world.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • If You’re Reporting On Trump’s Supposed Plans For ‘Anti-Conservative Bias’ Panel, Shouldn’t You Mention The 1st Amendment?

        Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that “President Trump is considering establishing a panel to review complaints of anti-conservative bias on social media.” That story is likely behind a paywall, though Fox News (natch) reposted most of it and lots of tech news sites wrote up their own versions of the report.

      • Petition calls for investigation into Twitter censorship after hiring of Li Fei-Fei

        A White House petition was created last week after news broke that the Twitter accounts of Chinese dissidents started to disappear after a controversial Chinese-American artificial intelligence (AI) expert was hired to serve on the company’s board.

        On May 11, Twitter announced in a press release that it was hiring Li Fei-Fei (李飛飛), an AI expert and former vice president of Google, to its board of directors as a “new independent director” with immediate effect. Li quit Google in 2018 after a trail of leaked internal emails revealed that she appeared to be more concerned about the public relations damage to Google’s image if news broke about the company’s work on Project Maven than the ethical issues raised by over 3,000 Google employees.

      • YouTube is deleting comments with two phrases that insult China’s Communist Party

        YouTube is automatically deleting comments that contain certain Chinese-language phrases related to criticism of the country’s ruling Communist Party (CCP). The company confirmed to The Verge this was happening in error and that it was looking into the issue.

        “This appears to be an error in our enforcement systems and we are investigating,” said a YouTube spokesperson. The company did not elaborate on how or why this error came to be, but said it was not the result of any change in its moderation policy.

        But if the deletions are the result of a simple mistake, then it’s one that’s gone unnoticed for six months. The Verge found evidence that comments were being deleted as early as October 2019, when the issue was raised on YouTube’s official help pages and multiple users confirmed that they had experienced the same problem.

      • Why Google Is Investing In Taiwan’s Tech Talent

        The U.S. search giant ultimately wants a relatively low-cost and secure base in Northeast Asia, says Standard Chartered’s Phoo. Costs, including labor, run higher in Japan and South Korea than in Taiwan. The island has made power supplies more stable in the past two years, he adds.

      • Chinese scholars pressured over criticism of state on Covid-19

        According to news reports and testimony from some of those involved, there has been an increase in online harassment and censorship, and in some cases interventions by universities and the police, as Beijing bristles against international criticism.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Journalist arrested for individual picket in support of jailed ‘Police Ombudsman’

        Journalist and municipal deputy Ilya Azar was arrested while holding an individual picket near the Interior Ministry building in Moscow, the human rights outlet OVD-Info reports.

      • Judge Sends Devin Nunes’ SLAPP Suits Against CNN And Washington Post Off To Their Proper Venues

        It appears that at least one judge handling Devin Nunes’ various SLAPP suits in Virginia has caught on to at least some of what’s going on here. Judge Robert E. Payne has now transferred two of his lawsuits — the ridiculous defamation filing against CNN and the even sillier SLAPP suit against the Washington Post — to better venues. In both cases, the judge seems pretty fed up with Nunes’ lawyer, Stephen Biss, opening both by quoting what was said to Biss in yet another one of his silly SLAPP suits:

      • Trump Administration and the?Washington Post: Picking Fights?Together

        For the past several months, the Trump administration has been picking fights—using cold war rhetoric regarding China and applying a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.? The editorial writers of the?Washington Post?for the past few weeks have written a series of pieces that support a hard line against China, and on May 24th the?Post’s?lead article was a chauvinist attack on Iran that had the rare attribute of being both counterfactual and counter-instinctive.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

    • Patents

      • USPTO Rule Making: Codify SAS, Eliminate Presumption in Favor of Petitioner

        The USPTO is seeking comments on amending certain PTAB Rules of Practice. While it proposes many amendments, two seem key: one for instituting on all challenged claims and grounds (to conform with SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu, 138 S. Ct. 1348 (2018)) and the other to eliminate the presumption at institution favoring the petition as to testimonial evidence. Comments will be accepted through June 26, and the notice is available here.

        As to the first major proposal, as amended the PTAB will institute an IPR, PGR, or CBM proceeding on all claims and all grounds if preponderant evidence in the petition shows at least one claim is unpatentable.


        Interestingly, the Office specifically asked for input as to implementation, stating “the Office may apply any rule changes, if adopted, to all pending IPR, PGR, and CBM proceedings in which a patent owner’s preliminary response is filed on or after the effective date.”

      • Patent case: Nippon Shokubai Co., Ltd. vs. Basf SE, EPO

        Nippon Shokubai filed an opposition against the grant of BASF’s patent. In relation to the payment they filed EPO Form 2300E, which – erroneously – did not indicate any payment method in box X ‘Payment’, which then indicated ‘not specified’. In the accompanying letter the professional representative had indicated that the opposition fee could be deducted from their deposit account.

        The Opposition Division held the opposition filed by the professional representative of Nippon Shokubai deemed not to be filed because payment of the opposition fee was not effected in a timely manner under the new rules for automatic debiting (ADA 2017).

      • Odyssey Logistics v. Iancu: Two of the three bears in an APA challenge

        One of my biggest head-scratchers when I studied administrative law in law school were the timing rules for bringing challenges under the Administrative Procedures Act. It wasn’t because of a lack of comprehension, but instead due to the way these rules can block off judicial review of agency action. Individually the timing rules make sense, but collectively they produce a Three Bears-type situation that can trap the unwary: the timing of challenges has to be just right, or the challenge will get tossed for being either too early or too late.

        This case involves two challenges to actions taken by the PTO and one challenge to a set of rules published by the PTO in 2011. The first two challenges were dismissed as two early and the third was too late.

        Count I involved a request for rehearing by the relevant Technology Center Director following the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) reversal of the examiner’s objections to Odyssey’s application. Odyssey challenged the propriety of the request on procedural grounds at the PTO, but then filed a challenge in the Eastern District of Virginia before the PTAB ruled on the request for rehearing. The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s holding that the PTAB decision was not a “final agency action” under the APA. Nor did the Federal Circuit see this as a situation involving an abusive use of agency rules to delay proceedings that justified compelled action by the court.

      • CAFC: Obviousness and Non-Limiting Reference Numerals in Claims: Grit Energy Solutions, LLC v. Oren Technologies, LLC.

        The Federal Circuit, in vacating the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) decision in an inter partes review (IPR) that claims in a patent were not obvious, held that, for an obviousness inquiry, reference numerals in the claims “do[] not limit the disclosure of the claims.” Grit Energy Solutions, LLC v. Oren Technologies, LLC, 2019-1063 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 30, 2020) (patent-in-suit is U.S. Patent No. 8,585,341).

        The ‘341 patent “requires (a) the container to have a gate with a pin fixedly affixed thereto, and (b) the support structure to have an actuator with a receptacle.” During the IPR, Grit Energy argued that the ‘341 patent was obvious over U.S. Patent No. 7,252,309 and French Patent Application No. 2,640,598. The court noted that it is undisputed that the ‘309 Patent “discloses the opposite of the ‘341 configuration,” and the ‘598 application’s “non-limiting example, standing alone, discloses the opposite of the ‘341 configuration.” However, the parties disputed whether claim 5 of the ‘598 application discloses the ‘341 configuration. Claim 5 of the ‘598 application is reproduced here.

      • Patent Law Ain’t Broke, So Don’t Fix It

        “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies to patent law as much as anything else. Our patent system is working, yet some want to change it in a way that will weaken the system of making sure all patents are valid.

        With the prospect of faulty foreign drugs and tests being marketed to Americans for the coronavirus, now is a good time to protect against attempts to hurt American companies actually producing real products to test and fight COVID-19.

        Techdirt reported on March 16, 2020, one such U.S. company was sued by Labrador Diagnostics “which does not seem to exist other than to file this lawsuit, and which claims to hold the rights to two patents (U.S. Patents 8,283,155 and 10,533,994) which, you’ll note, were originally granted to Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos — the firm that shut down in scandal over medical testing equipment that appears to have been oversold and never actually worked.” According to the report, Theranos sold patents to Fortress Investment, and Fortress “then set up this shell company, ‘Labrador Diagnostics,’ which decided in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic it was going to sue one of the companies making COVID-19 tests, saying their test violates those Theranos patents, and literally demanding that the court bar the firm from making those Covid-19 tests.”

        Thankfully, instead of needing to spend millions of dollars and years in federal court, especially if there are appeals by one side or the other, Congress created a process to streamline such disputes in rare, but important cases.

        The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has a proceeding called the Inter Partes Review (IPR) that was created in 2011 as part of the America Invents Act. That proceeding allows patents to be reviewed to see if they should not have ever been granted. A patent might not have been eligible to have been granted in the first place if so-called “prior art” existed to show the item or process the patent covers already exists or is already patented. Duplicate patents are sometimes missed by overworked patent examiners during the review process. Also, there are situations where the patented item is not “new, novel or non-obvious,” which is the required standard for a patent. The IPR is a proceeding that reviews whether the patent should have ever been granted and is conducted by an administrative body of expert patent examiners called the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

      • The Doctrine of Equivalents Fails to Save Patent Infringement Suit: Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., et al, v. Covidien LP

        Following a bench trial, the District Court of Massachusetts held that Ethicon’s “shepherd’s hook” design for finger actuation of a forceps is not equivalent to a “finger loop” claimed by Covidien’s patent no. 9,241,759, and thus Covidien had failed to establish infringement for Ethicon’s Enseal X1 Large Jaw vessel sealer. Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. v. Covidien LP, No. 16-12556-LTS (D. Mass., April 24, 2020.) The court provided an interesting analysis under the Doctrine of Equivalents.


        The Federal circuit applies two articulations of the test for equivalence. Under the insubstantial differences test, ‘[a]n element in the accused device is equivalent to a claim limitation if the only differences between the two are insubstantial.’” Honeywell Int’l Inc. v. Hamilton Sundstrand Corp., 370 F.3d 1131, 1139 (Fe. Cir 2004)). Alternatively, “[t]he function-way-result test provides that ‘an element in the accused device is equivalent to a claim limitation if it performs substantially the same function in substantially the same way to obtain substantially the same result.’’’ Voda v. Cordis Corp., 536 F.3d 1311, 1326 (Fed. Cir. 2016.

      • Software Patents

        • Federal Circuit Finds Fault in PTAB’s Determination of Obviousness Without Proper Notice

          In Nike v. Adidas (Fed. Cir. April 9, 2020) (precedential), the Federal Circuit addressed the notice provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) as they relate to the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB or Board) determination in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding. Specifically, this precedential decision held that notice is required when the PTAB advances a novel theory of unpatentability.

          Originally, Adidas filed a petition for inter partes review of a patent owned by Nike. After the petition was granted, Nike filed a motion to amend requesting cancellation of a number of claims and entry of substitute claims. This decision centered around dependent claim 49, which recited, in part, “second stitch configuration forms a plurality of apertures in the flat knit textile element, the apertures formed by omitting stitches in the flat knit textile element and positioned in the upper for receiving laces.”

        • Federal Claims Court Finds Prosecution History Estoppel in Allowable Dependent Claims

          In the recent decision of IRIS Corporation Berhad v. United States of America, the United States Court of Federal Claims had the opportunity to evaluate the Doctrine of Equivalents (DOE) in view of applicant actions during prosecution. More specifically, this case centered around the applicant’s actions of incorporating dependent claim material into an independent claim and whether those actions led to prosecution history estoppel.

          This case arose when IRIS sued the United States Department of State for patent infringement by its manufacture and importation of certain electronic passports. The patent at issue, U.S. Patent No. 6,111,506 (“the ‘506 Patent”), was directed to a method of making an identification document.

        • CAFC Holds Patent-Ineligible Claims to Ranking Stations in Ad-hoc Radio Network: Cisco Systems, Inc. v. Uniloc 2017

          Patent claims directed to “determining a master/slave rank of each station” in an ad hoc radio network are directed to the patent-ineligible “abstract idea of selecting the highest ranked station.” Cisco Systems, Inc. v. Uniloc, 2017, No. 2019-2048 (Fed. Cir. May 13, 2020) (opinion by Judge Moore, joined by Judges O’Malley and Taranto) (non-precedential). The Federal Circuit therefore affirmed a decision by the Northern District of California under FRCP 12(c) dismissing a cause of action for patent infringement of claim 6 of U.S. Patent No. 6,980,522 based on patent-ineligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101.


          Unlike Finjan, Inc., v. Blue Coat Systems Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2018), Thales Visionix, Inc. v. U.S. (Fed. Cir. 2016), and other cases where a technical improvement supported patent-eligibility, here the claim did not recite any technical structure or specific arrangement. As the court put it, “[t]he entirety of the claim is simply the abstract idea [of ranking] and nothing more.”

          The patent owner also argued that claim 6 should have survived Alice step one at the motion to dismiss stage because it had made allegations as to why the claimed invention was unconventional. The court disagreed, because the patent owner had made only general statements that were “sweeping conclusory statements” and not “factual allegations.”

          Alice step two could not save the ’522 patent; there was no saving inventive concept. Instead, as the patent owner admitted, “the ’522 patent [uses] known computer hardware and . . . wireless protocols (like Bluetooth).”

        • Federal Circuit Uses Claim Construction to Overturn Lack of Enablement: McRO v. Bandai Namco

          In its second time considering a patent, the Federal Circuit upheld the district court’s ruling on noninfringement but overturned its ruling of lack of enablement in McRO v. Bandai Namco. The decision rested on the claim construction of one term, “vector.” That construction excluded the accused products from the scope of the patent, but it likewise excluded examples that the defendants had offered of embodiments that were not enabled by the patent.

          McRO owns the sole patent at issue, U.S. Patent No. 6,611,278, which covers a “method for automatically animating lip synchronization and facial expression of animated characters.” The patent describes automating the modeling of an animated character’s mouth according the phoneme being spoken by the character. A phoneme is the smallest unit of spoken speech, i.e., a single sound. For each phoneme, a “morph target” is applied to a model of the neutral position of the character’s mouth. Each morph target is a set of “deltas,” each of which is a vector representing the change in position of a vertex of the mouth model from the neutral position to a phoneme-specific position. Each delta can be scaled by a “morph weight” between 0 and 1.


          McRO asserted the patent against everyone who’s anyone in the videogame space, including Bandai Namco, Sony, LucasArts, Activision, Blizzard, Disney, Square Enix, and others, in the Central District of California. The district court initially held the patent invalid for ineligible subject matter, but the Federal Circuit overturned that decision in 2016 (covered by this blog here) and let the case continue. The district court then ruled that the patent was invalid and not infringed, leading to this second appeal to the Federal Circuit.

        • When Are Preambles Limiting?

          In his recent article Without Preamble, Stanford professor Mark Lemley surveys the morass of law on determining when patent claim preambles are limiting, and he predicts that it will be swept away if the Supreme Court ever faces the issue. Given that possibility, how should practitioners think about drafting preambles when applying for a patent?

          Much of legal academic literature provides little use for practitioners, instead proposing grand constitutional theories, doing social science on legal institutions, or setting out policy arguments for changing the law. Professor Lemley’s article falls under the more useful category of doctrinal analysis: surveying a field of law and offering some original points that practitioners would do well to think about.

        • Without Preamble

          The Federal Circuit is ignoring a significant share of the words of patent claims. That’s a bad idea as a matter of policy. It is virtually impossible to tell when the court is going to do it. And it’s inconsistent with the idea that the claims define the scope of the invention, and with how the Supreme Court thinks about claim construction and its closest analogies, statutory interpretation and construing contracts.

          The culprit is a labyrinthine set of rules the Federal Circuit uses to decide whether or not to include the “preamble” to a patent claim as a part of the claim. The words of the preamble, which can sometimes amount to more than half of the whole claim, might or might not be treated as part of the invention depending on a complex of factors, including whether the claim reads as a complete sentence without it, whether the same words are used in both the preamble and the body of the claim, whether the body of the claim includes the magic word “said,” whether the preamble merely claims a use, benefit, or environment for the claim, and whether the preamble “is necessary to breathe life and meaning into the claim.”

          In Part I I discuss the bizarre body of law around patent claim preambles and how the law got to its current confused state. In Part II I suggest that the rule serves no useful purpose, and that if and when the Supreme Court gets such a case it should and will sweep the rule away. Patent applicants should be drafting patents with that fact in mind, and the rest of us should be interpreting claims with one eye on the fact that this is a doctrine whose days are numbered.

        • Claim Preclusion Does Not Apply to Ineligible Subject Matter: VideoShare, LLC v. Google LLC (W.D. Tx.)

          The sins of the parent patent will not be visited on the child patent, at least in the Western District of Texas. An earlier determination of ineligible subject matter does not trigger claim preclusion against an infringement suit asserting a patent issued from a continuation application from the earlier patent. VideoShare, LLC v. Google LLC, Civ. No. 6-19-CV-00663-ADA (W.D. Tx. May 4, 2020).

          Because this case involves claim preclusion (or res judicata, if you like Latin), the conflict necessarily started in an earlier case. Back in 2013, VideoShare sued Google in the District of Delaware for infringing U.S. Patent No. 8,464,302, “Method and System for Sharing Video with Advertisements over a Network.” The accused product was YouTube. The court invalidated the ’302 patent as ineligible subject matter under § 101, and the Federal Circuit confirmed the result.

          The current case features the same parties and the same accused product, with the case now relocated to the Waco, Texas. VideoShare accused Google—specifically YouTube—of infringing U.S. Patent No. 10,362,341. The ’341 patent is a continuation of the ’302 patent from the Delaware case. During prosecution of the ’341 patent, VideoShare had to use a terminal disclaimer to overcome a double-patenting rejection over the ’302 patent.


          But the court goes further than just that outcome. “The Court concludes that the doctrine of claim preclusion cannot be readily applied to analyzing patent eligibility” or to either step of the Alice test. “[B]ecause one element of claim preclusion is whether or not the two patents have the same scope, if the scope of the first patent was not determined when evaluating its patent eligibility, then it is axiomatic that claim preclusion based on patent ineligibility cannot apply to the second patent.” For both Alice steps, differences in claim language, unconstrued terms in the later-asserted patent, and changes in the type of claim (apparatus, method, etc.) can change the outcome.

        • Lack of Algorithm in Specification Renders Means-Plus-Function Claim Indefinite

          The Eastern District of Texas held that the only asserted claim of U.S. Patent No. 6,452,515 was indefinite because “the term ‘[means] for encoding these labels in a random order’” (alterations in original) invokes 35 USC § 112 ? 6, and “the specification of the ‘515 Patent does not disclose an algorithm for performing the encoding function required by this limitation.” Uniloc 2017 LLC v. Google LLC, No. 18-cv-00501-JRG-RSP (E.D.Tex. May 1, 2020).


          Following the claim construction order, Google filed a motion for summary judgment of invalidity. The court, in citing H-W Tech., L.C. v. Overstock.com, Inc., 758 F.3d 1329, 1331 (Fed. Cir. 2014), held that “[s]ummary judgment is a proper means for deciding invalidity due to indefiniteness.” Since the court’s claim construction order held “that the only asserted claim in this case is indefinite,” the court granted Google’s motion for summary judgment of invalidity.

        • Design Choice and Obviousness under 35 U.S.C. § 103 at the Federal Circuit: Uber Tech., Inc. v. X One, Inc.

          The Federal Circuit has reversed a PTAB determination of non-obviousness because, where the PTAB found no motivation to combine references, the Federal Circuit found a combination of references presented a simple design choice between a predictable, finite number of possibilities. Uber Tech., Inc. v. X One, Inc., No. 2019-1164 (May 5, 2020) (Chief Judge Prost, joined by Judges Dyk and Wallach) (precedential). This is an interesting case for patent applicants, patent owners, and patent challengers alike. On the one hand, for patent examiners and patent challengers, this decision reinforces the looseness of the requirement to show a reason to combine references to show obviousness under 35 U.S.C. § 103 and KSR Intern. Co. v. Teleflex Inc. (S. Ct. 2007). On the other hand, for patent applicants and owners, the court did identify a specific showing to support obviousness that will be unavailable in many cases.

          Claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,798,593 recite techniques for mobile devices to exchange location information according to a “buddy list” that could be dynamically generated and updated.

        • Claim Interpretation and Definiteness of Terms of Degree

          During claim construction, Kitsch argued to the Court that claim 1 was indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112 and could not be construed because the phrase “water repellent” was relative and failed to provide the necessary definitive metes and bounds. Specifically, Kitsch argued that all fabrics are water repellent to some degree, providing supportive extrinsic evidence indicating that all fabrics have a water repellency rating. In contrast, Deejayzoo asserted that the phrase had a plain and ordinary meaning.

          The Court sided with Deejayzoo for two reasons. First, the Court pointed out the intrinsic evidence of record, including a Figure showing water beading on fabric, a description of specific types of water relent fabrics in the Specification of the ‘930 patent, and example water repellent fabric distributors provided in the Specification. Second, the Court noted that it may be technically correct that a fabric haves 0-100% water repellency, however, Kitsch failed to address how a person of ordinary skill would understand the phase and that common parlance of “water repellent” does not include such a broad definition. Ultimately, the Court found “water repellent” not indefinite and did not construct the claim to have a specific meaning.

        • EDTx Hands Down Indefiniteness Ruling in Semcon v. TCT Mobile

          The Eastern District of Texas recently issued a claim construction ruling with a couple interesting rulings on indefiniteness in the case of Semcon IP v. Louis Vuitton and TCT Mobile (April 29, 2020).

          TCT Mobile is a mobile communication company whose brands include Alcatel, Blackberry, and TCL Communications. Semcon IP is a patent assertion entity whose patents cover “fundamental technology for adjusting the processor clock and voltage to save power based on the operating characteristics of the processor.” The patents include Nos. 7,100,061; 7,596,708; 8,566,627; and 8,806,247, all part of the same family. Semcon sued TCT Mobile, along with fashion brand Louis Vuitton, for infringement as part of an assertion campaign against multiple companies in the Eastern District of Texas.

          While the court construed twelve terms in its 64-page ruling, the most interesting rulings were on indefiniteness of two terms appearing in dependent claims of the asserted patents. The court found “sleep state” definite but “said change in operating conditions” indefinite.


          Semcon did not fare as well with the term “said change in operating conditions,” which the court found indefinite. The disagreement here was over antecedent basis. The chain of dependency for the claim including the term does not recite the words “a change in operating conditions” but does recite “a change in frequency of said first clock signal,” “adjust said first clock signal by a first value,” “adjust said clock signal by a second value,” and “change said first value to a third value and to change said second value to a fourth value.” Semcon pointed to these terms as providing an antecedent basis. The court disagreed. “It is not clear whether the change in operating conditions refers to the generic change in frequency of the first clock signal in the PLL circuitry, the first-value adjustment to the first clock signal, the second-value adjustment to the second clock signal, the change in frequency to provide the processor frequency (due to the first-value adjustment), or the change in frequency to provide the component frequency (due to the second-value adjustment). Perhaps the change in operating conditions refers to all of these or some subset of these?” Thus, the term was indefinite.

        • Nokia-fed Avanci-aligned patent troll Conversant stepped up litigation campaign against Daimler: now four cases pending in Munich

          Nokia used to be the pride of Europe in its field, but it failed (as the saying goes, the higher you climb, the harder you fall), and a result, its patents have become not the, but certainly a scourge of Europe.

          In October I discovered a German Conversant v. Daimler lawsuit because it was mentioned in a U.S. court filing. Nokia gave Conversant a package of cellular standard-essential patents (SEPs)–a practice commonly referred to as “privateering” that anybody in Brussels trying to dissuade the European Commission from enforcing EU antitrust law against Nokia should be ashamed of.

    • Trademarks

      • C&D Bullying: Everyone Can be Groucho Marx/Competent Lawyering in an Age When Everyone can be Groucho Marx

        I regularly present on legal ethics in patent practice at CLE conferences around the country, and, less often, on general ethics or other IP ethics areas, such as trademark practice. While doing some research a couple of years ago for one of those, I ran into the phenomenon of “trademark bullying,” which is when a powerful trademark owner sends a C&D letter to a small business, threatening a tour of the pits of misery (wait for it) if the small business doesn’t stop using the big business’ mark.

        Of course, these letters are often necessary for trademark owners to avoid dilution, and so on. And, of course, C&D letters aren’t as significant a part of a patent litigation as trademark litigation, but there are lessons to be learned for all. So excuse the slightly off-topic post.

        The hook I developed for talking about this is a bit of interesting history. It seems that after Warner Brothers released the movie Casablanca, the Marx Brothers decided to do their parody of “Night in Casablanca.” Apparently (there is some doubt), this caused Warner Brothers to inquire about the movie. Groucho Marx used that request to create a firestorm of publicity, poking fun at the (alleged) claim to own the word “Casablanca,” which, of course, was the name of a city. Marx’ letter and a bit about this is here. It’s worth a read (even though if you’re like me, you would rather do anything than look at a computer screen). Marx’ tactic of using sarcasm and portraying WB as a bully worked and the Marx Brothers’ movie was more of a hit than it likely otherwise would have been.

      • XOXO’ word mark cannot be registered as a trade mark, says EU General Court

        XOXO – what does one first think of when they see/hear the expression? Some may equate it with hugs and kisses, others may immediately think to follow it up with “…Gossip Girl” [*slowly raises hand*], some may recall the US fashion brand, and those who have been stuck on the video streaming services for perhaps a bit too long may come up with the Netflix original film of the same name [not this Kat though - Google brought it up, I swear]. Regardless of its repertoire of potential associations, marks including and consisting solely of ‘xoxo’ have been registered as trade marks in various countries. However, in T-503/19, Global Brand Holdings LLC – the company behind US brand ‘XOXO’ – found themselves once again unable to register it at the EU level, due to the mark being found devoid of distinctive character.


        If you wanted a restatement of the independence of the EU trade mark system, you need look no further. It once again illustrates the difficulty faced by companies attempting to promulgate their brand worldwide – there is no guarantee that a mark eligible for trade mark protection in some territories will be granted such protection in others.

    • Copyrights

      • How A Feud Among Wolf-Kink Erotica FanFic Authors Demonstrates What The Copyright Office Got Wrong In Its DMCA Report

        Last week, we wrote about one of the biggest, glaring flaws in the Copyright Office’s long awaited report on the DMCA 512′s safe harbors was its refusal to recognize how frequently it’s abused to take down legitimate works. As if on cue, over the weekend, the NY Times has quite the story about a feud in (I kid you not), wolf-kink erotica fan fiction, that demonstrates how the DMCA is regularly abused to punish and silence people for reasons that have nothing to do with copyright.

      • Cloudflare Ordered to Reveal Operators of Popular Pirate Sites Manga1000.com

        Shogakukan, one of Japan’s largest manga publishers, has been given permission to obtain the personal details of the operators of one of Japan’s most popular pirate manga sites. The DMCA subpoena compels Cloudflare to reveal what it knows about the people behind Manga1000.com, a near top-500 site in its home country.

      • Hellboy’s $270,000 Piracy Damages Calculation Fails to Convince Judge

        The makers of the film Hellboy have suffered another setback in court after their second attempt to convince a judge that a $270,000 judgment against torrent site and uploader MKVCage failed. The filmmakers calculated the damages amount by multiplying the alleged infringements by the Blu-ray retail price, but this is not sufficient.

      • FOIA: Film industry lobbies South Africa’s Parliament to suspend Copyright Amendment Bill

        Through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) has obtained 311 pages of correspondence between officials from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) and employees of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and other entities including law firms on matters regarding South Africa and copyright policy. The correspondence dates from December 2018 to November 2019 and reveals an assiduous campaign mounted by the MPA and RIAA to thwart the passage of South Africa’s Copyright Amendment Bill in the South African Parliament and to prevents its signing by the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa.

        The MPA and RIIA, working in concert with the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) petitioned USTR to impose higher tariffs on South Africa (by revoking the Generalized System of Preferences) over concerns with, inter alia, the fair use provisions contained in South Africa’s Copyright Amendment Bill.

      • Best Sites to Download Subtitle for Your Movies & TV Series

        OpenSubtitles is among the biggest platforms for subtitles with north of 5 million subtitles in 50+ languages. Elmedia Player for Mac has integrated support which enables users to watch movies with subtitles without having to download them manually. Users can also upload subtitles, make requests, participate in a forum, install recommended browsers and extensions, and follow its blog.

        The new website features a simplified approach to finding subtitles as users can choose to search for subtitles using a series or movie title, IMDB ID, or go to their dedicated pages.

      • Punitive damages introduced into the Draft of the Amended Copyright Law of China

        On 26 April 2020, the Draft Amendment to the Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China (‘CLC’) was submitted to the 17th meeting of the standing committee of the 13th National People’s Congress for deliberation. It was then published on 30 April 2020 to solicit opinions from the public (See here for an online-translatable version of the Draft Amendment’s full context).

        Since its enactment in 1991, the CLC has been amended approximately every decade (the first amendment occurred in 2001 and the second occurred in 2010). Of particular concern in the Draft Amendment this time is the proposal to significantly increase the cost of infringement by incorporating punitive damages.

      • The Ninth Circuit rules that The Moodsters characters are ineligible for copyright protection, denies panel and en banc rehearings: Daniels v. Walt Disney Company

        Although U.S. copyright protection extends only to original works of creative expression, sufficiently distinctive elements – such as the characters in a fictional work – may be protected by copyright. Not only are the films, Godzilla, Rocky, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial protected by copyright, but the respective characters for which each film is named are also protected by copyright.

        In March, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that The Moodsters characters, a line of five, color-coded, anthropomorphic emotions are not subject to such protection for a want of sufficient delineation. This ruling came at the end of the lawsuit initiated by The Moodsters creator, Denise Daniels, against Walt Disney Company, alleging that the film Inside Out infringed her copyright in The Moodsters characters.

        Daniels petitioned to have the decision reheard by the same 9th Circuit panel or the 9th Circuit en banc following this unfavorable ruling. On May 4, 2020, the 9th Circuit denied her petition, re-affirming that The Moodsters characters are not entitled to copyright protection in an amended ruling. Lacking copyright protection for The Moodsters characters, the 9th Circuit affirmed the dismissal of Daniels’ copyright infringement claim.


        The second prong of the Towle test allows for some change in visual appearance between different iterations of a character, but requires “consistent, identifiable character traits and attributes.” Those traits must compose a character that is “immediately recognizable as the same character whenever it appears.”

        Many of the identifiable traits of The Moodsters characters cannot form the basis of copyright protection. The concept of various colors representing particular emotions is not creative expression, but rather an idea. Copyright protection does not extend to ideas, but to original works of creative expression only. Were the concept of using colors to represent emotions a form of expression, it would still fail to qualify for copyright protection; the concept of emotions represented by colors is not original to the Moodsters.

        Of the traits that are eligible for consideration, there is little consistency between different iterations of the characters. In the first iterations – the pitchbook and the pilot – The Moodsters resembled insects with “tall antennas that act as ‘emotional barometers’ to form a distinctive shape and glow when an emotion is strongly felt.” In the second generation of The Moodsters, the characters resemble “lovable bears” with detective hats; rather than serving as emotional barometers, the second generation of The Moodsters helps children “investigate” their emotions. Even the names of The Moodsters changed across various iterations, with three different names for each character. Because the only consistent traits were the colors and emotion pairs for each character, The Moodsters characters failed to satisfy the second prong.

      • YouTube took down Michael Moore’s film attacking renewable energy

        The controversial film Planet of the Humans, produced by Michael Moore, was taken down from YouTube on Monday because of a copyright infringement claim. The complaint was filed by photographer Toby Smith, who was alarmed that his work was used in a film that he doesn’t support, The Guardian reports.

        “I don’t agree with its message and I don’t like the misleading use of facts in its narrative,” Smith said to The Guardian. A few seconds of Smith’s video, Rare Earthenware, were used in Moore’s film, which criticizes renewable energy.

      • J.K. Rowling is releasing a new book chapter-by-chapter online for free

        J.K. Rowling will stagger the release of her new children’s novel The Ickabog over the next seven weeks, publishing the book in tiny chapters online and making it available to readers for free.

        Rowling is hosting The Ickabog on a new website with anywhere from “a chapter (or two, or three)” being published at a time, according to Rowling’s note. The first two chapters are available to read now, and although there’s no description of what the story entails, The Ickabog seems to have more in common with traditional fairy tales. Picture faraway kingdoms with lords and kings. Although the idea came to her while she was writing her wildly successful Harry Potter series, that’s the one thing it is not.

        “It isn’t Harry Potter and it doesn’t include magic,” Rowling wrote. “This is an entirely different story.”


Links 26/5/2020: SHIFT13mi GNU/Linux Tablet, Linux Kodachi 7.0 and Some Qt Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 7:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • SHIFT13mi Linux-friendly tablet with replaceable mainboard scheduled for 2021 release

      German smartphone maker Shift makes phones that are designed to be modular and easy to repair. And now the company has introduced a tablet with the same design ethos.

      The SHIFT13mi will be a 2-in-1 tablet with a 13.3 inch touchscreen display, a detachable keyboard, support for Windows 10 or Linux, and upgradeable, replaceable, and repairable components.

    • SHIFT13mi Linux tablet now available to pre-order

      German hardware manufacturer Shift is now accepting preorders for their new SHIFT13mi Windows 10 and Linux tablet with prices starting from €1,222 or roughly $1,330. The 13 inch touchscreen display comes complete with a detachable keyboard and features a design allowing users to upgrade, replace and repair internal components themselves.

      “The SHIFT13mi will be in the development stage by the end of 2020 and details may still improve. As soon as changes occur, we will update this list. You can support us with your pre-order in this project phase and thus benefit from the cheaper pre-order conditions. There is no risk for you: If the SHIFT13mi does not meet your expectations, you can withdraw from the purchase contract at any time up to 14 days after receiving the device.”

      The SHIFT13mi is equipped with a full HD display with finger and pen touch support, powered by an Intel Core i5 Tiger Lake processor, supported by up to 64GB of LPDDR4 of RAM and fitted with a SSD for OS and storage.

    • Tuxedo Computers Joins the Ryzen Bandwagon

      Tuxedo Computers has released the Tuxedo Boot BA15 with an AMD Ryzen 3500 CPU.

      Not one to rest on reputation, Tuxedo Computers has upped the ante for their Linux pre-installed options. This time around, the Linux-only computer manufacturer has released the first-ever Ryzen-powered Linux laptop. The Tuxedo Book BA15 has one option for CPU—the AMD Ryzen 5 3500. As for GPU, the BA15 ships with the AMD Radeon Vega 8.

      This could be considered significant, given only days ago Linus Torvalds (the creator of Linux) announced he’d moved his main machine away from an Intel CPU to an AMD Ryzen. Torvalds claims the AMD Threadripper 3970x has his test builds of the kernel running three times faster than they were with the Intel chip.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Python Podcast: Dependency Management Improvements In Pip’s Resolver

        Dependency management in Python has taken a long and winding path, which has led to the current dominance of Pip. One of the remaining shortcomings is the lack of a robust mechanism for resolving the package and version constraints that are necessary to produce a working system. Thankfully, the Python Software Foundation has funded an effort to upgrade the dependency resolution algorithm and user experience of Pip. In this episode the engineers working on these improvements, Pradyun Gedam, Tzu-Ping Chung, and Paul Moore, discuss the history of Pip, the challenges of dependency management in Python, and the benefits that surrounding projects will gain from a more robust resolution algorithm. This is an exciting development for the Python ecosystem, so listen now and then provide feedback on how the new resolver is working for you.

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 90

        The deeper implications of all of Microsoft’s recent announcements, good news for Munich, GNOME, and KDE, and mixed news for VR on Linux.

      • mintCast 335.5 – Big Ol’ Lug

        In our Innards section, we’re making good on the promise to include more community.

    • Kernel Space

      • Qualcomm Adreno 650 + 640 GPUs To Be Supported By Mainline Linux 5.8 Kernel

        The crew working on the MSM DRM driver from Freedreno / Google / Code Aurora (Qualcomm) have an interesting batch of changes for this open-source GPU driver for Qualcomm Adreno hardware come Linux 5.8.

        New hardware to be supported by this open-source MSM driver in Linux 5.8 include Qualcomm’s Adreno 405, 640, and 650 series. The Adreno 405 is an old, low-end part from the 400 series and used by the Snapdragon 415/615/616/617 SoCs. The Adreno 405 support isn’t particularly exciting but it’s there for those interested along with the relevant MSM8x36 changes to the MDP5 code.

      • Linux 5.8 Picking Up A Quirk For Being Able To Reboot The 2009 MacBook Without Hangs

        With the upcoming Linux 5.8 cycle a quirk is being added to be able to reboot the 2009 era Apple MacBook without needing to boot with any special flags.

        Up to now the 2009 Apple MacBook (Macbook6,1) required a reboot=pci boot parameter added to the kernel otherwise when rebooting the system there would be a hang. This late 2009 MacBook (MC207LL/A) with Core 2 Duo CPU is very slow by today’s standards and hopefully many of you still aren’t using it in production, but should you be doing so and running new kernel releases, with Linux 5.8 the kernel can reboot without hanging or needing to manually add the flag.

      • AMD Energy Driver Queued Ahead Of Linux 5.8 For Core/Package Power Sensors

        Landing this weekend in hwmon-next ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel cycle is the recently reported on “amd_energy” driver for supporting AMD Zen/Zen2 core and package energy sensors.

        This is the recently reported on work of a Google engineer allowing AMD Zen CPUs to expose power usage on Linux via the Runtime Average Power Limiting (RAPL) framework. The amd_energy driver is making it to the Linux 5.8 kernel by way of the hardware monitoring “hwmon” subsystem thanks to this Google open-source contribution.

      • Linux chief says he’s picking AMD over Intel

        Linux overseer Linus Torvalds has revealed he has replaced the Intel processor on his PC with the 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970x.

        Furthermore, he dropped hints that he hopes to someday have an ARM-powered system.

        In his weekly State of the Kernel blog post, Torvalds announced that the development process of the Linux 5.7 rc7 has been hassle-free and smooth, and that a regular release looks on the cards for next week.


        Whatever the case, Torvalds’ system processor has more cores than any currently offered by Intel.

      • Linus Torvalds Now Uses AMD instead of Intel

        Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux and Git now uses AMD box as his main rig for work instead of an Intel one.

        During the Linux Kernel 5.7 rc7 announcement, Linus mentioned his primary machine.

      • Linux Creator Linus Torvalds Ditches Intel CPU Over AMD Threadripper

        A few days ago, with the release of Linux Kernel 5.7-rc7, Linus Torvalds shared his biggest excitement of the week. After a long span of 15 years, he has finally upgraded his personal desktop, replacing his previous Intel CPU with the AMD Threadripper 3970x.

        Linus further confirmed that he has not yet switched to ARM, rather he has only dropped his Intel-based CPU to adopt AMD. However, in 2015 while expressing his views on security and the future of ARM-powered laptops, Linus affirmed having a machine with an ARM in the coming year.

      • Reiser5 File-System Working On New Features Like Data Tiering, Burst Buffers

        Reiser5 was announced back on New Year’s Eve with support for local volumes and supporting parallel scaling out and other improvements over the long-in-development but never mainlined Reiser4. While Reiser5 was not met with enthusiasm, Edward Shishkin has continued working on this next-generation file-system and today announced the latest round of improvements.

        Shishkin announced today with support for dumping peaks of I/O load to a proxy device with Reiser5, “Now you can add a small high-performance block device to your large logical volume composed of relatively slow commodity disks and get an impression that the whole your volume has throughput which is as high, as the one of that “proxy” device!”

      • Graphics Stack

        • Steam Beta adds Vulkan shader processing

          Valve has enabled the next step towards making Steam games on Linux run smoother in the latest Steam Beta release.

          This is something Valve has been working towards for some time now, as the Steam Client has been able to download pre-compiled GPU shaders, which you might have seen when something pops up in your Steam Downloads with an OpenGL and Vulkan icon below.


          It doesn’t just do it for installed games, it will do it as you’re downloading them too, so by the time you’ve finished downloading it might even be all ready.

        • Adaptive-Sync/VRR Seeing Port To xf86-video-modesetting Driver

          Currently if wanting to use Adaptive-Sync/FreeSync variable refresh rate support of the AMDGPU DRM kernel driver you need to be using the xf86-video-amdgpu X.Org driver for proper handling as well, but a port of the DDX bits to the generic xf86-video-modesetting driver is in the works.

          This is still obviously contingent upon the DRM kernel-side support in the AMDGPU DC code, but for those using this generic DDX driver, it at least allows the Adaptive-Sync/VRR handling there.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • 10 Best PSX Emulator Programs You Have to Try

        To know what PSX emulators are, we must first discuss what console they’re emulating: the PS1.

        Made from a failed collaboration between media titans Nintendo and Sony, Sony’s PlayStation line has long since come out as the one of if not THE most dominant console gaming platform of its generation. The PlayStation series had a long and storied history and an enormous library of gaming classics. So much so that if you have a box of all the PS1 games out there and randomly take a game off it, chances are you get a game classic for your perusal. And even if no one’s making them anymore, it’s possible to experience some of those groundbreaking classics for yourself today through the help of emulators.


        Let’s start with an awesome all-in-one emulator program called RetroArch. RetroArch is an open-source multi-platform emulator that’s available not only on Windows, but also on Linux, and Android. RetroArch already comes equipped with its very own front-end GUI and gives users the ability to download a huge variety of emulation cores for various consoles and handhelds. (Do note though that the PSX cores are powered by Mednafen, which we’ll discuss later in this article.)

        RetroArch isn’t just a single emulator but is instead a collection of emulators, which the program calls “cores,” that allows you to play a lot of classic games not only for the PS1 but also from dozens of other consoles all on one PC. RetroArch still needs to have a PlayStation BIOS file for emulation, so that might be a major hurdle for some new users. The PS1 core on this program is named Beetle PSX, and it’s pretty great compared to most standalone original PlayStation emulator programs.

      • Test Tube Titans: Taster Trial lets you play with colossal mutants for free

        Test Tube Titans which released back in March has you create and mutate massive unwieldy creatures, and now there’s a sort-of demo you can try.

        One of the big parts of Test Tube Titans is the control system. It’s clumsy, with per-limb control so everythings that little bit harder than it would be normally. Control each foot as you attempt to walk around and destroy everything. I personally found it to be a huge amount of fun though!

      • The International Battle Pass for Dota 2 is up with a Guilds feature

        While the date for The International has been pushed back likely into 2021, the Battle Pass has gone ahead to help provide funding for it.

        As usual 25% of the Battle Pass funds go towards the overall prize-pool, with the rest going to Valve. Considering how much that 25% ends up being, it’s a huge earner for Valve. Last year it broke records hitting over 34 million dollars, which made it the biggest single prize pool ever for an esports tournament like it.

        This year it comes with a new Guild system, letting anyone join together but only Battle Pass owners can actually create a guild. You all work together to level up your Guild, while earning rewards in the process. There’s daily contracts, guild challenges and a guild chat integration.

      • Heroic Labs becomes a Defold game engine sponsor

        Recently, game developer King transferred the source code for the Defold game engine over to a new Defold Foundation where they opened up the source and now they have a new sponsor.

        There was a bit of an issue with the initial source opening for Defold, as they initially claimed it was “open source” but their license was tweaked in a way that made it not OSI-approved open source. Now they’ve moved over to calling it “source available”. With that sorted, they’re moving onto bigger things.

        Like other such projects, they allow the community to donate money to help development but they also take on corporate sponsors. King, the original copyright holder is currently a “Platinum” partner which provides them around $4,000 a month. Announced today is the inclusion of Heroic Labs as a “Gold” level partner, which should provide them a further $2,000 a month.

      • You can build you own Devolver Digital bundle and save monies

        If you’re after some new games to kick-start your week, you should check out the Devolver Digital bundle over on Humble Store. It’s one of their special build-it-yourself bundles allowing to pick a few games, and get a higher discount if you pick up more at the same time.

      • 5 Gaming Headsets With Great Linux Compatibility

        There are a lot of great gaming headsets out there for PC gamers. But what ones work well with your Linux PC? Find out in our list of 5 USB gaming headsets that work with Linux!

        All of the headsets on this list work very well on Linux, but they’re not the only gaming headsets available. What’s your favorite gaming headset? Does it work well with Linux? Tell us about it in the comment section below!

      • 4 Gaming Laptops That Best Handle Linux

        Are you a Linux gamer in the market for a new gaming laptop? Can’t figure out what laptop will work well with your favorite Linux-based operating system? We can help! Here are 4 gaming laptops that handle Linux well!

      • First person exploration adventure Estranged: Act II is out

        Acting as a standalone sequel to the free Estranged: Act I, solo developer Alan Edwardes has now released Estranged: Act II.

        It’s a first-person adventure that mixes in plenty of exploration in different environments, a few puzzles and a little action and horror too. A thoroughly mixed bag of genres blended together. You assume the role of a lone fisherman, stranded on a mysterious island during a violent storm.

      • Free to Play Puzzle-Dating Sim Helltaker Now Available on Linux and Steam OS

        Vanripper (Lukasz Piskorz) has announced that free to play puzzle-dating sim Helltaker is now available on Linux, and Steam OS.

        Launching on May 11th, the game is a fusion of visual novel dating sim and puzzle game. You have entered hell for one purpose- to create a harem from cute demon girls.

        Play through navigation based puzzles with limited moves, and attempt to reach multiple demon girls at the end. These puzzles can be skipped if you desire.

      • Classic multiplayer action game Soldat is now open source

        Soldat, a side-scrolling multiplayer shooter that was ridiculously popular in the early 2000s is now open source.

        They’re now working on Soldat 2, which will be a much upgraded Unity remake with all sorts of advanced features. To give back to the community though, the classic Soldat has been put up on GitHub under the MIT license. Interestingly, this is not the current live version but an in-progess 1.8 build with some key differences

      • Steam Achievement Manager ‘SamRewritten’ has a new release

        Need to tweak your Steam Achievements? Perhaps a game doesn’t correctly unlock them or you want to start fresh again on a game – SamRewritten can help you do that. It’s an open source Steam Achievements Manager for Linux and there’s a new release out recently.

      • Strategic multiplayer artillery game ShellShock Live is out now

        ShellShock Live is an awesome tribute to games like Scorched Earth, Pocket Tanks, and Worms and after many years in development it’s finally released.

        If you’ve never played either of those classics (madness), it’s a side-scrolling game of artillery. Each player controls a tank they’re able to position anywhere they can reach, and you take it in turns to pick a weapon and fire in the hopes of annihilating the other side. It’s simple but ShellShock Live advances the classics in many great ways that makes it genuinely super fun. There’s fully destructible terrain, upgrades and it can be played in single-player and online.

      • What Never Was: Chapter II gets a boost from an Epic MegaGrant

        What Never Was, a short story-driven adventure game from Acke Hallgren has been given a funding boost for What Never Was: Chapter II.

        Not played What Never Was? It’s a first-person game focused on exploration and puzzle-solving about Sarah, having to shoulder the arduous task of clearing out her grandfathers attic, and soon finds that not everything about the attic is what it seems.

        The first part has been well received, showing that on a small budget some great experiences can be made and the developer had been planning a sequel. The developer announced on Steam recently, that Epic Games have approved them to get an Epic MegaGrant to help fund development. Hallgren also confirmed it’s not going to be an EGS exclusive.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Ignored Category in DigiKam

          Last week, as part of my GSoC Project with DigiKam, I implemented a new feature to effectively Ignore faces. The feature had been requested multiple times, and was in-fact necessitated due to the power of DigiKam’s Facial Recognition Algorithm.

          DigiKam will often detect and then try to recognize faces in photos that the user perhaps doesn’t recognize himself! With the implementation of this new feature, the user could just mark such faces as Ignored. Faces marked as Ignored will not be detected by the Face Detection process in the future, nor will they be considered during the recognition process.

          Only Unknown Faces are allowed to be marked as Ignored, this stems from the logic that if you confirmed a face, i.e. gave it a name, then it is someone you know, and hence marking them as Ignored doesn’t really make sense.

        • Sunsetting XRandR Brightness

          One of the first features I added back then was smooth brightness changes. PowerDevil supports three ways of changing screen brightness: through XRandR configuration, through DDC (display data channel, for desktop monitors, experimental and not built by default), and by writing to sysfs (/sys/class/backlight or /sys/class/leds). Since the latter requires privileges and uses a helper binary through KDE’s KAuth framework, I only implemented the animation for the XRandR code path, which was executed in the same process.

          Obviously, XRandR doesn’t work on Wayland, and it seems that modern graphics drivers don’t support changing brightness through it anymore either. I recently sat down and wrote a patch to have the helper binary execute a similar animation. KAuth works quite magically by exposing methods defined in an .actions file through DBus and then calling them as slots through Qt’s meta object. Unfortunately, the way it is designed doesn’t allow for delayed replies, which I wanted to use so the job only finished once the animation was completed in order to keep PowerDevil’s state consistent. I then found that KAuth randomly keeps its helper running for 10 seconds, more than enough for a 250ms animation.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME seeking feedback on defining GNOME software

          In a post made from Red Hat developer Allan Day, who sits on the GNOME Foundation Board, they put out an official proposal to attempt to clear up with is and isn’t official GNOME software. Why are they doing this? Well, they said it’s not a big issue but it appears it can cause some legal headaches which they’re trying to solve.

          What they’re proposing is essentially a set of new overall branding guidelines. These will clarify official and unofficial GNOME software, while also helping to promote both sets. Software will be split across “Official GNOME software” which has full access to GNOME branding and trademarks, as decided by their release team. The other is what they will call “GNOME Circle”, not official but also still able to be part of GNOME and they will have access to their own branding plus access to host on GNOME’s own infrastructure but that’s not required.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • GoboLinux 017 released

          Version 017 of the decidedly non-traditional GoboLinux distribution has been released. “This release introduces a simplified model for recipe management and contribution that’s fully integrated with the Compile build tool. The recipe tree is now a plain Git repository managed via GitHub cloned into your /Data/Compile/Recipes directory and used by the GoboLinux Compile tool directly.”

        • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 145 is available for testing

          Ihope everyone is making their way okay through this pandemic. In case you got bored, we have a brand new Core Update available for you for testing.
          It introduces new metrics for OpenVPN and ships the largest number of package updates that we have ever had, fixing various bugs and carrying plenty of security-related fixes.

        • Kali Linux 2020.2 Released – Download DVD ISO Images

          Kali Linux (formerly known as BackTrack Linux) announced the release of Kali Linux Version 2020.2 on May 12th, 2020. Kali Linux is a Debian based distribution specially focused on penetration testing and digital forensics use.


          The GNOME desktop environment has also been updated to its latest version – GNOME 3.36. The KDE Plasma and XFCE environments have also received a polished look.


          The new Kali 2020.2 gets rid of the ‘kali-linux-everything’ option from the installer. This resolves the issue that was present in the earlier version (Kali 2020.1) where users had to select “everything” which took much longer to retrieve very large meta-packages.

          Now, every desktop environment and Kali-Linux-large meta-packages are cached in the ISO image and users get to select what they need to install.

        • Linux Kodachi 7.0 ‘Katana’ Released: Browse The Internet Anonymously

          Linux Kodachi is one of the most secure operating systems that offer complete privacy and anonymity. Now with the latest full system update, Warith Al Maawali, developer of Linux Kodachi, has released a new point version Linux Kodachi 7.0.

          The latest edition further strengthens the security of the OS with the addition of new security packages, updates, and bug fixes. Kodachi 7.0 is built upon the Xubuntu 18.04 LTS featuring the latest stable Linux kernel 5.4. Let’s take a look at all the new features of Kodachi 7.0 —

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Here’s Ubuntu Budgie 20.04 LTS – See What’s New

          The Ubuntu Budgie team has been announced and released Ubuntu Budgie 20.04 LTS On April 23rd, 2020. Ubuntu Budgie 20.04 LTS is the second Long Term Support (LTS) version after the 18.04 release. It will be supported with security and software updates for 3 years, until April 2023, This release rolls-up various developments, fixes and optimizations that have been released since the 18.04 LTS.

          Ubuntu Budgie 20.04 LTS ships with the latest Budgie Desktop 10.5.1 series by default, an elegant menu applet by default, a Budgie-based NetworkManager applet by default, a completely revamped Window Shuffler, support for switching between desktop layouts with a single click and a new desktop wallpaper rotator and workspace switcher.

        • Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS – Features the Latest UKUI 3.0 Desktop Environment by Default

          The Ubuntu Kylin Team has been announced and released Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS On April 23rd, 2020. Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS is the fourth Long Term Support (LTS) version after 14.04, 16.04, 18.04 release. It will be supported with security and software updates for 3 years, until April 2023, This release received numerous improvements over previous releases.

          Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS features the latest UKUI 3.0 desktop environment by default and it’s powered by the most recent and advanced kernel, Long term Support of Linux kernel 5.4. which brings improved hardware support (among other features).

          Ubuntu Kylin default theme improved, introduced a dark variant, which it comes with two variations that user can switch from “Ubuntu Kylin Control Center”. The start menu is completely revamped with New layout, full-screen window to your heart’s content; carefully categorized, intelligent search with one key, default, and full-screen size switch to your choice, provide alphabetical sorting and sorting by function, more convenient to find.

        • UbuntuDDE Remix 20.04 LTS overview | Powerful Ubuntu with the most beautiful desktop environment.

          In this video, I am going to show an overview of UbuntuDDE Remix 20.04 LTS and some of the applications pre-installed.

        • LibreOffice 7 Alpha Early looks on Linux Mint 19.3 (installation guide and quick look)

          In this video, we are looking at LibreOffice 7 Alpha on Linux Mint 19.3, installation guide and quick look.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • [Mageia] Chronicle in May

          It’s been a very long time since you’ve heard from us on this blog. Now it’s time to give you some fresh news, because no matter what it seems, a lot of work has been done since then.


          Many teams — the dev and QA teams in particular — are now working on a schedule for the upcoming Mageia 8. It is now available online. It seems this summer is going to be all about testing our new release!

          You can already take part in the testing and check if all of our Drak tools are functioning properly, and help the QA team. The coming months should allow us to report any new bugs or update existing reports in our Bugzilla. If you are comfortable working with Perl, your coding skills will be much appreciated to help correcting all the known bugs in our Drak tools.


          A security alert has been published concerning our current version of LibreOffice, which is also EOL at the end of the month… Therefore, LibreOffice’s latest version 6.4.4 has been built and is currently being thoroughly tested.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • T-Systems And Suse: Boost For Hana And Linux

          T-Systems is one of the biggest SAP hosting and cloud providers worldwide supporting roughly seven million SAP users. The biggest Hana database instance that T-Systems hosts has 36 terabytes. The multi-cloud provider also takes care of monitoring, managing and operating Hana-based SAP applications like S/4.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • ZFS focus on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS: ZSys general presentation

          In our previous blog post, we presented some enhancements and differences between Ubuntu 19.10 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS in term of ZFS support. We only alluded to ZSys, our ZFS system helper, which is now installed by default when selecting ZFS on root installation on the Ubuntu Desktop.

          It’s now time to shed some lights on it and explain what exactly ZSys is bringing to you.


          As you can infer from the above, we will have a lot of state saves. While we allow the user to manually save and remove states, as most of them will be taken automatically, it would be complicated and counter-productive on a daily bases to handle them manually. Add to this that some states are dependent on other states to be purged (more on that in … you would have guess, the next blog post about state!), you can understand the complexity here.

          The GC will have also its dedicated post, but in summary, we are trying to prune states as time passes, to ensure that you have a number of relevant states that you can revert to. The general idea is that as more time pass by, the less granularity you need. This will help saving disk space. You will have a very finer grain states to revert to for the previous day, a little bit less for the previous weeks, less for months… You get it I think. :)

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 632

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 632 for the week of May 17 – 23, 2020.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Working Remotely with FOSS tools

        These last few months have been really wonderful in enabling me to catch up on making sure that as much of the technology that I use to be working online is indeed free and open source tools.

      • How to write about open source software

        One way to get started with an open source community is to write about it. You can contribute to technical documentation, share how you use the software, or write an article for Opensource.com. But getting started writing is easier said than done. The two most common excuses I hear for not writing are: “I have nothing new to say” and “I’m not a good writer.” I’m here to dispel both of those myths.

      • Events

        • Libre Graphic Meeting online 2020 Livestream

          After Canada, Germany, Spain, Brazil and more; the famous Libre Graphic Meeting 2020 was finally happening in France! But unfortunately, due to the worldwide pandemic, the in real life event was canceled. The event was then converted into an online event and I decided to contribute with offering a livestreaming session: a Krita digital painting workshop. I’ll share on this one some step by step for my speedpainting technique; the theme: “Here be dragons”.

          If you want to participate, connect to the program page on Friday 29 May, 15h00 (Paris Time); a “LIVE” button will be available on the top to access the video stream and you’ll get also documentation on how to chat to interact with me during the livestream. It’s free, open access, and the content of the video will be shared later under an open license.

      • Web Browsers

        • WWW

          • Daniel Stenberg: curl ootw: –socks5

            –socks5 was added to curl back in 7.18.0. It takes an argument and that argument is the host name (and port number) of your SOCKS5 proxy server. There is no short option version.

          • How does the Glean SDK send gzipped pings

            Within the Glean SDK, the glean-core Rust component does not provide any specific implementation to perform the upload of pings. This means that either the language bindings (e.g. Glean APIs for Android in Kotlin) or the product itself (e.g. Fenix) have to provide a way to transport data from the client to the telemetry endpoint.

            Before our recent changes (by Beatriz Rizental and Jan-Erik) to the ping upload system, the language bindings needed to understand the format with which pings were persisted to disk in order to read and finally upload them. This is not the case anymore: glean-core will provide language bindings with the headers and the data (ping payload!) of the request they need to upload.

            The new upload API empowers the SDK to provide a single place in which to compress the payload to be uploaded: glean-core, right before serving upload requests to the language bindings.

      • CMS

        • Why Drupal is the Best CMS

          Some CMS packages require a license, while free products may be unreliable. Drupal 8 is open-source software licensed under the GPL. It is distributed free of charge, with no restrictions on use. This means you can customize the functions as you see fit. Today, the sheer number of community-contributed modules is astonishing — over 43,000!

          The platform may be refined and adjusted following your needs. You will not be dependent on Drupal creators. Features may be added and removed with ease. The open-source nature also means that functionality is under constant scrutiny from the vast international community, so any bugs are detected and fixed in no time.

        • Create interactive content in WordPress with the H5P plugin

          WordPress is best known as a website content management system, but it also a great learning management system (LMS) for delivering online courses. If that is what you are looking for out of WordPress, then H5P should be the top plugin on your list.

          H5P is a way to create and share interactive HTML5 content, including presentations, games, quizzes, forms, and more, in a browser. You can download a wide variety of content types from H5P’s Examples and Downloads page, or you can create unique content to embed in your WordPress site.

          H5P provides plugins and integrations for WordPress, Moodle, Drupal, Canvas, Brightspace, Blackboard, and more. In this article, I will show how to use H5P in WordPress to create a reading comprehension quiz for students.

      • Programming/Development

        • A Quick Look At GCC 10.1 PGO Optimization Benchmarks

          Following the GCC 10.1 compiler optimization benchmarks posted this weekend, a number of readers were wondering about the impact of Profile Guided Optimizations (PGO) on the new GCC 10 compiler. Here are some preliminary data points on that front.

          Profile-Guided Optimizations basically amount to optimizing each binary after having collected various profiles/metrics as hints provided back to the compiler during the optimization process. PTS has a PGO module to make that instrumentation setup easy with first running the benchmarks, then rebuilding with the necessary PGO instrumentation and re-running each benchmark to generate the profile, and then rebuilding with that collected profile information on a per-test basis. So with that it’s very easy to see the potential impact from PGO.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Chapel

          Chapel is an open-source, high-productivity, productive, parallel-programming language in development at Cray Inc., and is designed to run on multi-core PCs as well as multi-kilocore supercomputers.

          The language aims to support general parallel programming, and make parallel programming at scale far more productive.

          The language is also portable and released under an open-source license.

          Here’s our recommended tutorials to learn Chapel.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • Reporting Exceptions in Python Scripts with Sentry

            Python scripts are the glue that keep many applications and their infrastructure running, but when one of your scripts throws an exception you may not know about it immediately unless you have a central place to aggregate the errors. That’s where adding Sentry can solved this distributed error logging problem.

            In this tutorial, we’ll see how to quickly add Sentry to a new or existing Python script to report errors into a centralized location for further debugging.

          • Luke Plant: Keyword-only arguments in Python

            Keyword-only arguments are a feature that has been around since Python 3.0. But I’ve seen and used them much less use that I could have. They are described in PEP 3102, which is pretty readable, but I think they could benefit from more exposure with examples and rationale.

          • Creating and Modifying PDF Files in Python

            The PDF, or Portable Document Format, is one of the most common formats for sharing documents over the Internet. PDFs can contain text, images, tables, forms, and rich media like videos and animations, all in a single file.

            This abundance of content types can make working with PDFs difficult. There are a lot of different kinds of data to decode when opening a PDF file! Fortunately, the Python ecosystem has some great packages for reading, manipulating, and creating PDF files.

          • Will McGugan: Rich gets Richer

            Since my last post on Rich there have been a number of improvements.


            Coverage has reached 97% which is not bad at all. To be honest though it is the use of type annotations throughout which gives me the most confidence.

          • rdiff-backup – A Powerful Incremental Backup Tool Now Supports Python 3

            This improvement was officially released and published on March 15, 2020, with Version 2.0.0 and distributed on the GitHub site.

            The much appreciated Rdiff-backup application allows users to back up a directory to another remote or local destination. One of the key strengths of the application, is its simplicity.

          • Security Release for issue9351

            A vulnerability in sao has been found by Benjamin Kunz Mejri at Vulnerability-Lab. But they publish it without using our responsive disclosure procedure so we had to make this fix in the hurry.

            With issue9351 , the web client does not escape the HTML tags from user data. This allow cross-site scripting attack which result in session hijacking, persistent phishing attacks, persistent external redirects to malicious source.

          • Precision data plotting in Python with Matplotlib

            Matplotlib is the alligator of the plotting zoo. It’s been around for a while, but it’s still got plenty of bite. Matplotlib gives you precise control over your plots—but, like anything precise and powerful, this sometimes forces you to think harder than you might want to.


            All this power is great, but there must be a handful of plots that people want to make all the time. Why can’t somebody wrap Matplotlib in a high-level interface that makes things much simpler? That’s been done, and it’s called Seaborn. We will look into that next time.

            In the meantime, congratulations on your first Matplotlib visualization!

        • Qt

          • Using Modern CMake with Qt

            KDAB’s Kevin Funk presented Using Modern CMake with Qt at Qt Virtual Tech Con last month.

            Kevin reported that the Qt Company did a great job moderating the sessions at this event, and there was a lively Q&A at the end – Kevin had to pick from about 60 questions, so this is a hot topic.

            Now the event is over you can access the talks, including Kevin’s and the answers he had time for, and also Kevin’s slides, below this abstract.

          • Qt Design Studio 1.5 released

            We are happy to announce that the Qt Design Studio 1.5 is now available via the online and offline installers.

            Qt Design Studio 1.5 comes with a fully supported 3D editor which enables designing seamlessly integrated 2D and 3D UIs.

            We have taken the best concepts from Qt 3D Studio and ported them over to Design Studio. This is the first time we have a one unified designing tool that supports both 2D and 3D.

            To streamline collaboration between designers and developers Qt Design Studio can be used by both, designers and developers.

          • Qt 5.15 LTS Released

            I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve released Qt 5.15 LTS today. Qt 5.15 is going to be the last feature release of the Qt 5 series. As such, it is a bit special, and a lot of work has gone into preparations towards Qt 6, our next major release. While Qt 5.15 is supported as usual for all our users, Qt 5.15 will also provide long-term support for three years to all commercial license holders, including the new Qt for Small Business. Option for extended support is available after the three year support period.

          • Qt 5.15 Released With Graphics Improvements, Preparations Ahead Of Qt 6

            Qt 5.15 is a big LTS update and the last ahead of the Qt 6.0 release expected before the end of 2020. Qt 5.15 offers many graphics improvements, including the isolating its OpenGL renderer to a plug-in and experimental support for Vulkan with its Wayland platform code. Qt’s embedded EGLFS layer has introduced support for Vulkan via the VK_KHR_display extension. Qt 5.15 additionally is bringing greater multi-threading within QImage scaling/conversion methods, support for rendering to multiple surfaces with Qt Multimedia, qmlformat to format QML code according to the QML coding guidelines, support for the nullish coalescing operator with QML, an updated Qt WebEngine, native file dialog support on Android, and countless other improvements for this open-source toolkit.

        • Rust

          • Kushal Das: Using Rust to access Internet over Tor via SOCKS proxy

            Tor provides a SOCKS proxy so that you can have any application using the same to connect the Onion network. The default port is 9050. The Tor Browser also provides the same service on port 9150. In this post, we will see how can we use the same SOCKS proxy to access the Internet using Rust.

  • Leftovers

    • Holy Beaver
    • In St. Petersburg, a graffiti mural celebrating Joseph Brodsky’s 80th birthday was covered over almost as fast as it went up

      On the day that would have been Russian poet Joseph Brodsky’s 80th birthday, May 24, a graffiti mural of his image appeared in St. Petersburg. It was painted on the wall of a school on Pestelya Street, located across from the Muruzi House, where Brodsky lived from 1955 to 1972 (his former apartment there is now a memorial museum). The image was based on a photo of Brodsky, taken by Italian photographer Graziano Arici in Venice in 1989. “It seems like an excellent place for a selfie has appeared here,” wrote the Brodsky Museum in a post on its official Instagram page.?

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Sure Way to End Concerns About China’s “Theft” of a Vaccine: Make it Open

        In the last couple of weeks both the New York Times and National Public Radio have warned that China could steal a vaccine against the coronavirus, or at least steal work in the U.S. done towards developing a vaccine. Both outlets obviously thought their audiences should view this as a serious concern.

      • Human rights defenders map the spread of respiratory diseases in the Russian prison system

        A group of human rights defenders and lawyers have launched a new project called “Grey Zone” (“Seraya zona” in Russian), which maps information on cases of respiratory illnesses in Russia’s prison colonies and pre-trial detention centers.?

      • Nearly 200 Groups in Canada Vow to Fight for Covid-19 Recovery That Puts Human and Ecological Health First

        “The choices we make now about how to recover from this pandemic will shape not only our health and economic future, but also the future of human life on this planet.”

      • $3,278 ER Visit for Coughing Fits and Fever Amid Covid-19 Pandemic Highlights Failure of For-Profit System

        “Congress and insurers have made all of these promises to waive copays for treatment and testing but we’re hearing that’s not always the reality.”

      • Make a Resilient, Localized Food System Part of the Next Stimulus

        From wasted food, to the exploitation of farmworkers, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it painfully clear that this country’s food system must be changed. Politicians must pass further stimulus legislation that includes policy to reform our inflexible, consolidated food system to prepare for future crises.

      • The Next Death Wave from Coronavirus Will Be the Poor, Rural and White

        What do you call a crisis that kills a hundred thousand Americans? It all depends on who does the dying.

      • Dubious State Testing Numbers May Be Screwing Up National CDC Reports

        Health officials in Texas, Georgia, Vermont and Virginia acknowledged this week that they have been combining viral and antibody test results. Those results may well have painted an inaccurate picture of how the coronavirus has spread over time, and led to an overestimation of how well officials are tracking the contagion.

      • More than 350,000 people have now been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Russia

        On the morning of May 25, Russian officials announced that the country recorded?8,946 new coronavirus infections in the past day (347 more cases than the day before). This brings the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 353,427.

      • Challenges of the Evolving Coronavirus Pandemic

        On May 19, 2020, two notable events occurred in Brazil: for the first time in the country, there were more than a thousand COVID-19 deaths and its president, Jair Bolsonaro, gave an interview via Instagram to the blog website de Magno where he said, laughing, “The one on the right takes chloroquine, the one on the left takes Tubaína”, a brand of soft drinks from the interior of the state of S?o Paulo. Bolsonaro’s words revealed one of the most marked consequences of the coronavirus infection: the ignorance and insensitivity of numerous politicians worldwide in their response to the pandemic.

      • [Older] How Denver businesses plan to deal with face mask enforcement

        Beginning Wednesday, any customer entering a Denver business will be required to put on a mask.

        That part is straightforward. But what happens when people refuse to do so?

        It’s a question that cities and states around the country are grappling with as mandatory mask orders become more common to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. While compliance only takes a cloth mask, the mandate has generated strong backlash in parts of the country, with deadly consequences in at least one instance.

        Groups from Florida to California have argued loudly that such orders are unconstitutional restrictions on individuals’ freedom. Several states and municipalities have been forced to retract their mask orders after threats of violence and physical abuse were directed at business employees.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, dovecot, openconnect, and powerdns-recursor), Debian (cracklib2, feh, netqmail, ruby-rack, tomcat7, and transmission), Fedora (dovecot, kernel, log4net, openconnect, python-markdown2, and unbound), Mageia (ansible, clamav, dovecot, file-roller, glpi, kernel, kernel-linus, libntlm, microcode, nmap, pdns-recursor, unbound, viewvc, and wireshark), openSUSE (ant, autoyast2, dpdk, file, freetype2, gstreamer-plugins-base, imapfilter, libbsd, libvpx, libxml2, nextcloud, openconnect, openexr, opera, pdns-recursor, python, python-rpyc, and tomcat), and SUSE (salt, tomcat6, and zstd).

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Carbon dioxide emissions fall – but by accident

        The good news is that carbon dioxide emissions have fallen in line with global agreement. But we have chance to thank for that.

      • Praising Emissions Reductions Due to Coronavirus Plays Into Right-Wing Strategy

        A study published in Nature Climate Change recently found that, in early April, daily global carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 17 percent compared to the 2019 mean levels. Because of shelter-in-place rules and businesses being closed, people have been driving and flying less, leading to lower emissions.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • This Year’s Forest Fire Season Could Be Even Deadlier

          The world’s forests could soon join the growing list of casualties of the coronavirus pandemic. The fire season is approaching for many. And governments grappling with COVID-19 are rolling back enforcement of environmental protections that are crucial for containing the fires.

        • Grizzlies, Lynx, Bull Trout and Elk on the Chopping Block for Trump’s Idaho Clearcuts

          What would you do if you caught Trump’s Forest Service trying to slip through huge clearcuts and bulldozing roads into an already over-cut area? How about if the Forest Service then denied the potential presence of endangered species the agency is supposed to be keeping from extinction, lied about the existence of a wild and scenic river in the area, and ignored passionate pleas from long-time local citizens to save a few trees for a dwindling elk herd?

        • Saving the Lionhead Wilderness

          One of the most outstanding wildlands on the Custer Gallatin National Forest is the 43,759-acre proposed Lionhead Wilderness. The Lionhead lies along the Continental Divide and rises up above ?Hebgen Lake near West Yellowstone. The Madison River and Quake Lake on the north, while Targhee Pass on the south and Raynold Pass on the west all delineate the boundaries of this area. It is the southernmost extension of the Madison Range which are sometimes referred to as the Henry’s Lake Mountains. ?Part of this roadless area exists on the Targhee National Forest and Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forests.

        • The Mismanagement of Wildlife in Utah Continues to be Irrational and a National Embarrassment.

          The greater sage-grouse, now threatened with extinction, once occurred in the tens of millions. It has declined in over 93% of it range in the Sagebrush sea in seven western states. This largest of our grouse may be on its way to oblivion if not protected by the Endangered Species Act, first proposed in 2003 but never enacted due to widespread resistance from development and grazing interests. There are no places in Utah that sagebrush and its forbs and grass understory, so important for grouse rearing, have not been seriously degraded by 150 years of over-grazing by sheep and cattle. Would it have asked too much to have a sage-grouse park where livestock were excluded?

    • Finance

      • A Spontaneous Rebellion of Low-Wage Workers Is Rising Up Amid Pandemic

        Workers are fighting for their lives—even as they save ours.

      • ‘Here We Go Again’: Richest Hospitals Sitting on Billions in Cash Got Golden Bailouts Compared to Those Serving Poorest

        “If you ever hear a hospital complaining they don’t have enough money, see if they have a venture fund.”

      • Without More Federal Funds, Half of All Child Care Centers Could Close Forever

        As the days of a national shutdown stretched on, Aliya Johnson-Roberts knew she would have to start cutting employees’ hours and laying off some of her staff. When her child care center in northeast Philadelphia closed its doors in mid-March due to the coronavirus, she immediately started to lose out on a large portion of her revenue: $7,000 a month in tuition from private-paying families, co-pays from families who receive state support, and money she would normally receive through a federal food program. Johnson-Roberts, who has 35 employees to support and $20,000 a month in rent for the building that houses Bustleton Learning Center, estimated she would likely run out of money by early June.

      • If the Federal Government Won’t Fund the States’ Emergency Needs, There is Another Solution

        Many states are now experiencing severe budget deficits as they cope with the combined collapse of tax revenues and corresponding expansion of spending brought about by the coronavirus. Although the most recent $3 trillion fiscal package of the House Democrats proposes significant funding for the state and local governments, the GOP and the president have already said it’s “DOA.” That’s despite the fact that California Governor Gavin Newsom has already announced that the federal government has “an ethical obligation” to send money to the states in order to fund many of the frontline workers working to contain the coronavirus.?New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also has called for hundreds of billions more in federal funding for the states not only to get through this phase of the crisis but also to protect their citizens moving forward in the event of a feared second wave. Absent this assistance from the federal government, many of the country’s states might have to introduce cuts amid a crisis at a time when the economy has already collapsed into a depression. That would be the worst thing to do at this juncture.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics