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06.18.15

French Newspaper Les Echos Censors Criticism of Benoît Battistelli and the EPO (Updated)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Paragraphs critical of Battistelli and his EPO buddies are mysteriously removed (after publication) by leading French media

Les Echos is not an entirely terrible newspaper, or at least it wasn’t always the case (ownership has changed). It didn’t refuse to cover some important stories, such as this scoop about Microsoft lobbying French politicians for OOXML. When Les Echos covers the EPO it involves defending the EPO from perceived critics like a judge who said the truth about Željko Topić. We are once again seeing Les Echos carrying water for Battistelli.

Battistelli is undoubtedly an amazing president. It is amazing that he gets to keep his job (for now) after all these scandals at the EPO, including him breaking laws and his refusal to obey court rulings against him. Only a vain elitist would be capable of defending ones like Battistelli and considering the new ownership of Les Echos, it all seems to make sense.

“So it turns out that the EPO is now censoring newspapers, or that the newspapers are self-censoring for fear of the EPO’s thugs.”A reader has told us about the “European Inventor of the Year Award,” an article from the 11th of June, 2015.

“The report of the European Inventor of the Year Award,” says the reader, “which took place in Paris on 11 June 2015, might be of interest.

“It seems that the party was spoiled for Battistelli by the French State Secretary for Digital Economy, Axelle Lemaire who made some comments expressing the French government’s concern about the ongoing social conflict at the EPO.

“It also appears that the French newspaper Les Echos subsequently censored its report by eliminating an earlier mention of Ms. Lemaire’s comments. By a stroke of good fortune, somebody was quick enough to capture the earlier version of the report.”

Days ago we alluded to a Huffington Post article in French, noting that French politicians are getting fed up with Battistelli. He has become a national embarrassment to France, not a source of pride or respect. Some politicians openly speak about this, but will the media inform the French public? See this commentary [PDF] with hyperlinks, highlighting the latest scandal involving media censorship (or self-censorship):

LES ECHOS…. DE LA JOURNÉE DU PRIX DE L’INVENTEUR EUROPÉEN 2015

June 11th, 2015 was the day of THE party. Not the excellent Blake Edward’s 1968 film with Peter Sellers but Mr Battistelli’s lifetime’s achievement in the somptuous Palais Brogniart in Paris. The moderator paid him “the gracious Benoît Battistelli”… Etat de grâce? Well not quite.

The party was spoiled by none other than the French State Secretary for Digital Economy, Axelle Lemaire sent in replacement of the French Minister of Economy, Emmanuel Macron, who had
diplomatically declined the invitation.

First, according to sources among the organisers, Mr Battistelli did not want Ms Lemaire to speak but simply to hand out an award. Obviously, she refused. In her speech [1], she never mentioned the name of Mr Battistelli and dared to mention “the social conflict in the EPO and her concerns for the rights of EPO staff”. Bravo Madame!

“Les Echos”, a French newspaper acting as communication partner for the Office, had first reported on the event in the following way:

“Axelle Lemaire mentionne enfin les conflits sociaux qu’a connu, ces derniers mois, l’Office européen des brevets et rappelle son souci du bien-être des collaborateurs de l’Office.”

Colleagues of the EPO, who have a long tradition and solid expertise of finding quickly pertinent information found it (click here [2]) – just before the publication was censored (click here [3]) to suppress this “affront” to Mr Battistelli.

It does not end there.

Reliable insiders reported that at the end of the ceremony Ms Bergot (PD 43) rushed to the State Secretary to complain about her attitude, boldly stating that the Secretary had no idea how many great things were done at the EPO lately. The tone was such that Ms Lemaire had to remind Ms Bergot that she was addressing an official representative of France. Finally, no one had the courtesy to bid farewell to Ms Lemaire.

Un malheur n’arrivant jamais seul, in the “Huffington Post” (partly owned by “Le Monde”), three members of the French Parliament, three members of the French Senate, and a Member of the European Parliament published a tribune titled L’Organisation européenne des brevets, une zone de non droit en Europe? which reports on the troubled social situation at the EPO.

If one considers that according to members of top management speaking to us on confidential basis, about 2 Mio EUR of applicants’ money were spent (wasted?) this year for this “event”, we hope that the lunch served was at least good.


References:

[1] European Inventor Award 2015, Intervention of Axelle Lemaire, French State Secretary for Digital Economy, 11 June 2015, 12H45

Video available from :
European Commission A/V Services
starting from 109m40s

SUEPO archive
starting from 6m30s

« L’innovation c’est un impératif, un impératif économique. Et ce qui est vrai pour la technologie, l’est aussi pour l’innovation publique, les modes de gouvernance, l’innovation sociale. Et à ce titre, même si ce n’est pas l’objet de notre rencontre ce matin, le gouvernement français connaît les difficultés sociales qui s’expriment au sein de l’Office Européen des Brevets et à ce sujet, l’office a un devoir d’exemplarité, de transparence absolue dans le respect des droits des agents qui y travaillent. »

[2] Les Echos, “Deux Français vainqueurs du Prix de l’inventeur européen” published on 11 June 2015, at 13:10

[3] Les Echos, “Deux Français vainqueurs du Prix de l’inventeur européen” updated on 11 June 2015, at 14:43

The snapshot here [PDF] shows the difference. Here it is as a PNG file:

Les Echos

So it turns out that the EPO is now censoring newspapers, or that the newspapers are self-censoring for fear of the EPO’s thugs. Don’t forget that Željko Topić, Battistelli’s key thug, took people to court (costing them a fortune using highly notorious SLAPP), claiming “defamation” only to lose the case at the end, and not even pay for emotional damage, stress, etc. It’s an effective intimidation tactic — illegal in some US states — that ultimately results in deletionism (out of nervousness and terror). Another censorship scandal from a supposedly scientific institution?

Thankfully we received some enormously valuable information, including snapshots, showing Battistelli’s special treatment in the French media. This guy is a never-ending scandal.

Some tell us that they “don’t know exactly what caused Les Echos to alter its story-line but the following facts may give some clues:

Les Echos belongs to the French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton – Moët Hennessy).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LVMH

The chairman and CEO of LVMH is the french “oligarch” Bernard Arnault:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Arnault#LVMH

At the time of the acquisition, the staff of Les Echos protested:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7080079.stm

Arnault stated that he would respect the paper’s editorial independence if his company LVMH bought it:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/07/05/industry-arnault-les-echos-dc-idUSL0416454220070705

According to French press reports Arnault is close to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy:

http://lexpansion.lexpress.fr/actualite-economique/bernard-arnault-et-nicolas-sarkozy-proches-depuis-longtemps_1158948.html

In the context of French politics, Battistelli is a member of Sarkozy’s party (formerly UMP, recently re-branded as “Les Républicains”): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_for_a_Popular_Movement

As a UMP member, Battistelli has some minor local political role on the town council of St. Germain-en-Laye:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beno%C3%AEt_Battistelli#Local_political_life

In the past, Les Echos has published the occasional “puff piece” about Battistelli and his role as President of the EPO.
For example:

http://www.lesechos.fr/30/09/2014/LesEchos/21782-159-ECH_benoit-battistelli-president-de-l-office-europeen-des-brevets–oeb-.htm

Against this background, it’s probable that Battistelli has some “hot line” to Les Echos which enables him to get unfavorable coverage pulled in the twinkling of an eye…

The source wishes to “stress that [there is] no information about what exactly happened behind the scenes here, but it’s possible to speculate…”

When I worked as a journalist for an external site with clients (advertisers) and corporate politics I saw entire paragraphs of mine removed. This is usually done by another person, e.g. an editor. Perhaps Battistelli has some powerful connections in the Les Echos offices.

Update: “In the mean time,” quite fortunately and in a very timely fashion, “IPKat has covered this incident” (to paraphrase a reader). According to this, European taxpayers’ money is wasted not only on self-glamourising events for the EPO’s public image but also media distortion, or yet more paid ‘placements’ (corrupting the media). Les Echos journalists wrongly assumed that they were in the business of journalism and attended the event to give fair coverage. Not so! Not allowed!

As IP Kat puts it right now, “the French newspaper Les Echos, chosen by the EPO as its media partner, acted like a newspaper rather than a “media partner” and initially released a report of the event including Ms. Lemaire’s criticisms. That quickly changed. The story was pulled and re-released in a more anodyne (and acceptable) form within hours, Ms. Lemaire’s comments disappearing from the edited report. Winston Smith would have counted it as a good day’s work.”

Wow! The EPO is once again paying big and influential newspapers to produce fake ‘coverage’. What a misuse of public money.

“Merpel feels sorry for the EPO management,” she says. “After all, if you’re spending about €2 million of applicants’ and patentees’ money on a showcase event, you’d expect everyone to know their place and bow the knee, non? More seriously, it is a very welcome sign that one of the major EPO member states is now publicly calling the EPO to account, and is publicly reminding the Office of its duty to uphold the rights of staff. Will other member states be as courageous, she wonders?”

To quote a reader of ours: “It seems that Les Echos was acting as a “media partner” for the EPO in providing coverage of the European Inventor of the Year Award.”

This means that Les Echos has effectively been reduced to articles for sale. The stakeholders even get to shape these articles as they see fit (post-publication).

Amid Microsoft Collapse Stephen Elop is Finally ‘Fired’, But Not Before He Cost Many Thousands of People (at Nokia) Their Job, Destroyed Linux-based Platforms, and Spread Patents to Patent Trolls

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stephen Elop has a long track record of corporate destruction (his expertise)

Summary: Lesser-explored aspects of Microsoft’s corporate sinking, which the company disguises as ‘shakeup’ while releasing (yet again) its demolition man, Stephen Elop

THIS post tackles various issues that the corporate media overlooked. First, Elop’s exit merits more analysis and retrospection; second, Microsoft’s state is much more revealing right now, as well as Microsoft’s stance on Google and Android; finally, comments are needed about Elop’s legacy, which makes the world a much more dangerous place for Free/libre software.

The big news isn’t Elop being fired but Microsoft setting itself on fire after a misguided strategy which revolved around destruction rather than creation (giving Nokia’s patents to patent trolls, killing Nokia’s multiple Linux efforts, and so on). Many executives are leaving in droves right now and we are hardly surprised. There are certainly more layoffs on the way, but puff pieces like this new one from Microsoft sympathiser Mark Hachman (of the shameful IDG) serve to distract from that. More “restricted boot with uefi” is Microsoft’s last hope, assures us a reader, basically ensuring it is exceptionally hard to remove Vista/7/8/10 from PCs after OEMs were bribed to preinstall it.

Tackling the media’s narrative in this case, let’s look at the repetition of deceptive terminology. The media repeats Microsoft’s words, but here is the basic rule (based on history): when Microsoft says “reorg” it means layoffs and “shakeup” means key managers are fleeing/abandoning. We wrote about this for nearly a decade. Common euphemisms like “shake-ups” (with or without a dash) or “reorg” (for layoffs) are very frequent an utterance at Microsoft and it’s all damage control. Corporate journalists don’t do their job; they don’t look any further or any deeper.

What we really have here is a departure of Mark Penn, Microsoft’s anti-Google guy [1, 2, 3, 4] (and by extension anti-Android guy). He is out, so Microsoft’s strategy to incite against Google must have failed pretty badly. Quoting damage control from Microsoft’s booster, “Eric Rudder, whose Microsoft bio indecisively describes him as both Vice President of Advanced Technology and Education, and Vice President of Advanced Strategy, is also leaving.” Rudder, a longtime thug from Microsoft (see and recall his role in dirty tricks [1, 2, 3]), was probably essential to Microsoft’s abusive monopoly. They are attacking GNU/Linux behind the scenes. They are top-level executives — people who rally the troops and pressure (or bribe, or blackmail) other executives, even politicians. Their departure is probably a news bigger than Elop’s ‘departure’ (more on that later).

The Nokia angle was covered the most (as the leading story), but almost nobody mentioned that Elop got a massive bonus for destroying Nokia and passing it to Microsoft. He is a very rich man, having made a lot money from demolition.

Nokia expert Tomi Ahonen wrote:

So the Elop nonsense and destructive managment methods lasted only 15 months under Satya Nadella’s watchful eye at Microsoft. He is effectively fired from Microsoft. The company realigns handsets into one division under Windows headed by Exec VP Terry Myers. And Elop plus two other senior execs are kicked out with the press release out today.

Good riddance. Stephen Elop was the worst CEO in corporate history. He clearly was at fault on the top, when he went to Microsott, that same ex-Nokia handset unit with Lumia running on Windows Phone never did any better. Today we’ve seen new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella examine Elop’s performance of the flagship future division – you remember Nadella’s introductory remarks to his employees were all about mobile and the cloud – now Elop is gone. And look at the text of the press release. Not one word about ‘mobile’ or ‘handsets’ or ‘Lumia’ in the actual announcements (only one mention on the bottom from the description of Microsoft the company being a ‘mobiile-first’ company). What a huge shift away from the failing Lumia unit to ‘Windows and Devices’ ie Surface will do fine, Xbox is doing fine. Lumia is dead.

Now someone will be running the Lumia unit under Exec VP Myers for a while, and then when they see it is irretrievably dead, they will quietly shut down that business. This is a VERY clear sign of the writing on the wall. And sadly for any ex-Nokia employees, expect more layoffs to come in the aftermath of this announcement and the ‘consolidation’ within that new business unit. I think the ex-Nokia handset unit has no more than 24 months ahead of this point, and may be shut down far faster than that. Clearly Nadella knows how to read mathematics and the math about Elop’s business was brutal. Elop is gone! A day of somber celebrtaions in Finland and all who were fired by that clown will think – at least he also got fired.

Finally good news from Microsoft because it shows that it’s dying, much like its efforts to derail Android. As iophk put it: “none, not even Ahonen, remind us that Elop was a mole and fulfilled the sale to Microsoft as a requirement for receiving his 25m bonus.”

Nadella’s hogwash of corporate collapse (in his E-mail) is hilarious if properly dissected. To quote the British media, “Nadella said in an email to employees: “We are aligning our engineering efforts and capabilities to deliver on our strategy and, in particular, our three core ambitions.

“This change will enable us to deliver better products and services that our customers love at a more rapid pace.””

Nadella is talking complete nonsense. It was probably written by someone else (PR) and just signed by Nadella. Nilay Patel asks (in his headline), “What company will Stephen Elop steal for Microsoft next?”

He dubs Elop “Trojan Horse, King of Thieves” and says: “So now that Elop is free to roam the badlands once again, it’s only fair to ask what new company he might infiltrate as part of an elaborate Microsoft M&A strategy. Here’s a quick list.”

Watch how Elop destroyed companies before he even joined Microsoft. He is a very evil Trojan horse and it’s important to check where he goes next. He is a demolition man, not a manager. Therein lies the real story.

Dice Holdings (Slashdot and SourceForge) Spreads More Microsoft Propaganda After the SourceForge Malware Scandal

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 9:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Slash.dot.net

Decommissioned
Slashdot just a shadow of its former self, and for good reasons

Summary: Slashdot is corrupted to the same degree as SourceForge, not too long after the hiring of Microsoft boosters; the commenters in Slashdot bully Free software proponents — a complete reversal of what the site used to be like

The SourceForge malware scandal as we’d like to call it (turning a GNU program into a Windows blob with malware) was mentioned only in our daily links for it was self-explanatory, it was crystal clear (no room for ‘damage control’), and articles about it didn’t need further comment or significant correction. It is time to highlight a different problem, which is the Slashdot bias (editorial control) and the steering of that site. Some blogs accused Slashdot of not covering the SourceForge scandal because it’s a sister site, also owned by the same company (Dice Holdings).

Dice Holdings is now taking its shameless tactics further. Having turned Free software into malware (by hijacking accounts), it now uses Slashdot to push Microsoft propaganda and promote Mono, calling it “Insight”. It should be noted that the pro-Mono/Microsoft article from Slashdot was pushed by Nerval's Lobster, i.e. Microsoft Nick, who joined two years ago as "Senior Editor". It’s like a coup. Dice is a joke. What it does here is shameless because it reads like an advertisement for Mono and Xamarin, Microsoft’s Trojan horse and close partner (almost subsidiary, funded in part by Microsoft veterans). Here is how Slashdot (apparently Microsoft Nick) put it:

In the eleven years since Mono first appeared, the Linux community has regarded it with suspicion. Because Mono is basically a free, open-source implementation of Microsoft’s .NET framework, some developers feared that Microsoft would eventually launch a patent war that could harm many in the open-source community. But there are some good reasons for using Mono, developer David Bolton argues in a new blog posting (Dice link). Chief among them is MonoDevelop, which he claims is an excellent IDE; it’s cross-platform abilities; and its utility as a game-development platform. That might not ease everybody’s concerns (and some people really don’t like how Xamarin has basically commercialized Mono as an iOS/Android development platform), but it’s maybe enough for some people to take another look at the platform.

Dice Holdings has zero credibility not just when it comes to SourceForge; people oughtn’t trust Slashdot either. One reader told us that there is now an anti-Free software mob there (in the comments) and showed us extensive evidence. We swapped dozens of E-mails about it and observed threads that we would rather not share as that might feed (and help) the trolls. So, Slashdot has become somewhat of a cesspool both in the content/story section and the comments.

Congratulations, Dice Holdings, for destroying valuable Free software resources that you’ve viewed as assets to be milked to the point of implosion.

IDG’s Jihad Against Free/Libre Software Perpetuates Myths About Software Security (Through Obscurity)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD at 8:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Soundsky

Summary: Many Free/libre software-hostile articles from IDG (worsened this past week) exploit public miscomprehension or misunderstandings about computer security

TECHRIGHTS readers are advised to treat with great caution the output of IDG, perhaps the biggest network writing in a variety of languages about technology on the Internet (the paper publications of IDG are mostly defunct by now).

Readers may still recall the regular FUD from Sonatype [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], a firm which is not itself anything like a Free software firm but sure likes to talk about Free software (negatively). Sonatype’s shameless and self-promotional talking points are now being masqueraded as media articles (in the IDG network) and for extra FUD they are reposted it in many sites of IDG, even rarely-accessed ones. It smacks of misuse of media resources. They are also modifying the headline for extra reach (SEO in the news aggregators) with this same FUD that is based on/derived from a self-promotional Sonatype press release.

“If Edward Snowden’s NSA and GCHQ leaks taught us anything, it’s that proprietary software is not secure and Free software should not tolerate proprietary blobs or hardware (e.g. in hard drives).”Sonatype should issue/produce a study on how many proprietary systems are not being patched. Or worse: say how many don’t get fixed by the vendor; how many bits of proprietary software have severe flaws with never even fix issued? How many flaws are not being revealed to the public? See how Microsoft admits hiding flaws. What about back doors (intentional flaws)? Abandoned software with secret code is almost guaranteed to be Swiss cheese. These debates are mostly missing from corporate media. Only yesterday security guru Bruce Schneier wrote: “One of the biggest conceptual problems we have is that something is believed secure until demonstrated otherwise. We need to reverse that: everything should be believed insecure until demonstrated otherwise.”

Glancing at another IDG piece from the past few days, it looks like there is agenda, maybe the editor’s or publisher’s (Microsoft and Apple are big clients, e.g. with advertising and IDC contracts). The piece is a one-sided attack on Free software security; flaws in Free software aren’t any worse (or more in quantity) than in proprietary software, developers are just not hiding them. That’s not hard to understand, is it? IDG likes to promote this ‘New Illusion’ of Free software being not secure (part of the latest FUD wave/strategy), using bugs with “branding” [1, 2, 3], irrespective or real severity.

If Edward Snowden’s NSA and GCHQ leaks taught us anything, it’s that proprietary software is not secure and Free software should not tolerate proprietary blobs or hardware (e.g. in hard drives). Don’t let IDG change the consensus. Surely IDG has the budget to hire some technical journalists who can challenge myth makers, but would that ultimately suit the agenda and appease existing customers?

Links 18/6/2015: Red Hat Results Imminent, Tor Browser 4.5.2

Posted in News Roundup at 7:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Small is beautiful – free software column

    Free software, like the web, is promoted by corporations when it is useful to their profit margins. Many disparate organisations collaborate and contribute to GNU/Linux and other free and open source software projects, because they are beneficial to their bottom lines and seldom for altruistic reasons. Contributing to GNU/Linux reduces development costs and encourages open standards. open standards are useful because they reduce barriers to entry for technologies that were ‘not invented here’.

  • Server

    • Mi Amiga: One Michigan School District’s Three-Decades-Old Hero Computer That Still Manages HVAC Today

      As I’m sure I’ve mentioned in the past, I’ve worked most of my professional life in the tech industry, specifically working for a managed services consultant in Chicago. One of the things we do is advise our clients on hardware rotations. Client machines, like desktops and laptops for instance, are typically recommended on a four to five year rotation. Because, let’s face it, a five year old computer is either functionally worthless or is probably hanging onto a single strand of twisted copper before crapping out entirely, amirite?

    • 1980s computer controls GRPS heat and AC

      A 30-year-old computer that has run day and night for decades is what controls the heat and air conditioning at 19 Grand Rapids Public Schools.

    • 5 steps to becoming a quality Docker contributor

      But getting started on a new codebase can be daunting. Docker has many, many lines of code. Fixing even the smallest issue can require reading through a lot of that code and understanding how the pieces all fit together.

    • LUCI4HPC

      The software described in this article is designed for a Beowulf-style cluster. Such a cluster commonly consists of consumer-grade machines and allows for parallel high-performance computing. The system is managed by a head node and accessed via a login node. The actual work is performed by multiple compute nodes. The individual nodes are connected through an internal network. The head and login node need an additional external network connection, while the compute nodes often use an additional high-throughput, low-latency connection between them, such as InfiniBand.

    • Linbit Launches New Synchronous Server Storage Software

      DRBD9 provides enterprise Linux users with synchronous server storage replication including support for native remote direct memory access, or RDMA, and OpenStack integration.

    • Linode introduces KVM to help it move away from Xen

      The upgrade to KVM is very easy to carry out, on a Xen Linode’s dashboard, there is a link on the right sidebar titled ‘Upgrade to KVM’. Once you do the upgrade you should then be switched over to KVM. If you want to set your account to default to KVM for new Linodes just go to your Account Settings and set the ‘Hypervisor Preference’ to KVM, any new Linodes you create will be KVM. On a 1GB instance, one user reported the downtime to be between 8-9 minutes while he switched to KVM.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Creator of Linux on the Future Without Him

      The conversation, combined with Linus Torvalds’s aggression behind the wheel, makes this sunny afternoon drive suddenly feel all too serious. Torvalds—the grand ruler of all geeks—does not drive like a geek. He plasters his foot to the pedal of a yellow Mercedes convertible with its “DAD OF 3” license plate as we rip around a corner on a Portland, Ore., freeway. My body smears across the passenger door. “There is no concrete plan of action if I die,” Torvalds yells to me over the wind and the traffic. “But that would have been a bigger deal 10 or 15 years ago. People would have panicked. Now I think they’d work everything out in a couple of months.”

    • Linus Torvalds: Linux Kernel Would Be OK in a Couple of Months If I Die
    • Linux Kernel 3.12.44 LTS Brings Many Updated Drivers, EXT4 and x86 Improvements

      On June 16, Jiri Slaby informed us about the immediate availability for download of the forty-fourth maintenance release of the Linux 3.12 kernel, a long-term supported (LTS) branch.

    • The Linux Foundation opens scholarship program — will you apply?

      Are you happy with your life? Maybe you are stuck in a dead-end job. Maybe you are unemployed and living on your mom’s couch. Hell, maybe you just need to enhance your skills for your current job. You know you need to make a change, but you keep putting it off. What is a smart path to take?

      Linux. Yes, careers involved in Linux are in high demand. Getting certified in some way is not only personally rewarding, but also improves your employment potential by bolstering your resume. If you do not have money for such a thing, I have good news — you could get a scholarship from The Linux Foundation. In other words, you can get a free education and certification. Will you improve your life by applying?

    • Learn KVM and Linux App Development with Linux Foundation Instructor Mike Day

      Linux Foundation instructor Mike Day is an expert in Linux hypervisors and led IBM’s work on the Xen and KVM hypervisors as a Distinguished Engineer. But he came upon his calling almost by accident, having been “thrown into the project with colleagues who had worked on hypervisors for more than a decade,” he said.

      “It was a real challenge for me but not too long after that I became viewed as an expert on the subject,” said Day, who now teaches KVM and Linux developer courses for Linux Foundation Training.

    • diff -u: What’s New in Kernel Development

      When you run a program as setuid, it runs with all the permissions of that user. And if the program spawns new processes, they inherit the same permissions. Not so with filesystem capabilities. When you run a program with a set of capabilities, the processes it spawns do not have those capabilities by default; they must be given explicitly.

    • Linux Foundation Beefs Up Scholarship Program

      The Linux Foundation Training Scholarship Program provides funds to applicants who otherwise would not have the ability to attend Linux Foundation training courses. It attempts to help developers, IT professionals, and promising students to build Linux careers and contribute to shaping the future of the operating system and the enterprise.

    • Linux Foundation Calls for Submissions for Expanded 2015 Linux Training Scholarship Program
    • 2015 Linux Training Scholarship Program is now Accepting Applications
    • Who’s Afraid of Systemd?

      Last year, the free software community was full of debates about systemd, the system manager that replaces init, the process that boots a Linux system. Now that systemd is uneventfully running the latest releases of major distributions like Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu, you might imagine that opposition to it is melting away — but you’d be wrong.

      Instead, casual references on social media show that the rumors are as common as ever. And while you don’t hear much recently about Devuan, the anti-systemd fork of Debian, it is still trudging towards a release while making the same arguments as ever.

      The situation is not unique. Some free software circles have always seemed to require an enemy. For instance, in the first decade of the millennium, it was Mono, an adaptation for Linux of Microsoft’s .Net. Hundreds of thousands of words were written denouncing Mono, yet today it attracts no attention, although it is still available in repositories.

      Perhaps, too, free software users are becoming conservative as they age, as indicated by the user revolts against GNOME and KDE. Yet no precedent comes close to the viciousness of attacks on systemd, or had so little foundation, either.

    • Understanding Systemd
    • What will be the future of Linux without Linus?

      Linus: I’ve never been much of a visionary — instead of looking at huge plans for the future, I tend to have a rather short time frame of ‘issues in the next few months’. I’m a big believer in that the ‘details’ matter, and if you take care of the details, the big issues will end up sorting themselves out on their own.

    • [Reposted] The creator of Linux OS is calm about the future
    • If I get hit by a bus, Linux will go on just fine says Linus Torvalds

      Just a few days after asking the Linux community to let him take a break, Linus Torvalds has said the project he kicked off 1991 can now get along without him.

      He was, characteristically, blunt in his recent interview with Bloomberg, saying Linux would survive his death.

    • Another angle… Linux: a future without Torvalds [reposted in Ireland]
    • Will Linux survive the death of Linus Torvalds?
    • Linus Torvalds Says Linux Can Move On Without Him
    • Linux Top 3: Linux 4.1 delayed 1 Week, Kaos and Clonezilla Update

      Linux 4.1 is going to take a little longer than some of its predecessors, with Linus Torvalds release a rare eighth release candidate on June 14.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Cinnamon 2.6 – a Linux desktop for Windows XP refugees

      Cinnamon is best known as one of the two default desktops for Linux Mint, which is fast approaching its next major update. Mint 17.2 will include the brand new Cinnamon 2.6, just released, when delivered later this year.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME’s Music Is Getting Some Major New Features

        There is more to GNOME than just the desktop environment. GNOME is a stack of apps, and many of those applications are constantly improved and worked on. Allan Day, one of GNOME’s designers and developers, detailed some of the changes that are being made to the Music app.

      • Examining the design patterns

        I wanted to share a brief update on the Outreachy project that Gina and I are working on, where Gina is preparing for a usability test in GNOME.

        So far, we’ve been in an “information gathering” mode, where she has been learning about some of the basics of usability testing. In our next step, Gina will now start doing an analysis in preparation for a usability test.

      • Plans for GNOME’s apps

        I’ve been a bit quiet about GNOME’s applications of late. This isn’t because nothing has been happening, though – quite the opposite. We’ve been steadily working away behind the scenes, and our application designs have evolved considerably.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Further Adventures in Calculate Linux

        I’ve been experimenting in Calculate Linux lately because it offered a modern KDE without systemd or selinux installed by default, and perhaps a bit because of my nostalgia for Gentoo. Things got off to a rocky start, but after ironing out most of wrinkles and I’m finding myself right at home. I think you could too.

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Why I use Gentoo Linux (and if you develop software you should too)

        I first discovered Gentoo Linux when I left Oracle/Sun in 2010, gave up my Mac and decided to experiment with creating a mac-like desktop experience on Linux. The initial reason was the optimizations you can do to squeeze every bit of performance out of your hardware (I’d bought a cheap Lenovo laptop).

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Switching Over To GCC 5.1.1

        The current stable version of GCC 5, GCC 5.1.1, has been added to openSUSE Factory and in turn will see all packages rebuilt against this new compiler and this will become the default compiler in the openSUSE Tumbleweed snashot due out later in the week.

      • Default compiler for Tumbleweed updating to GCC 5

        The newest GNU Compiler Collection was checked in today to openSUSE Factory, which is the rolling development code base for Tumbleweed, as the default compiler, so all packages will be rebuilt against GCC 5 and the next Tumbleweed snapshot will include GCC 5.1.1

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed Linux Switches to GCC 5 as Default Compiler

        On June 16, the openSUSE Project, through Douglas DeMaio, had the great pleasure of announcing that the Tumbleweed version of the openSUSE Linux operating system has moved to the 5.x branch of GCC (GNU Compiler Collection).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Minio Lands $3.3M Seed Round To Build Out Open Source Storage Project

        When venture capitalists open their wallets and hand out $3.3 million for a seed round, you have to figure the new company has some industry veterans with startup experience, and such is the case with Minio, an open source cloud storage product being built by veterans from Gluster.

        Gluster was purchased by Red Hat in 2011 for $136 million.

      • Ravello Empowers Open Source Community With Free Smart Labs on AWS and Google for Red Hat Certified Engineers
      • Rackspace’s Carl Thompson Named 2015 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year
      • Red Hat (RHT) to Release Quarterly Earnings on Thursday
      • Rite Aid, Red Hat, Smith & Wesson earnings in focus
      • Red Hat Earnings Expected to Rise

        Optimism surrounds Red Hat, as it gets ready to report its first quarter results on Thursday, June 18, 2015. Analysts are expecting the company to book a profit of 27 cents a share, up from 24 cents a year ago.

      • Is Red Hat’s (RHT) Q1 Earnings Likely to Surprise Estimates?

        Red Hat reported strong results in the last quarter with both earnings and revenues surpassing the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.

      • Fedora

        • antiX, Debian, Fedora, and More

          The Fedora Wiki got a new entry last month that makes one wonder if Fedora really wants users at all. If folks complain it’s because they didn’t read the information provided or don’t understand what they’re reading. Users are too dumb or lazy to file bugs reports and would rather complain than test “every possible feature and/or configuration switch.” Hardly anyone bothers to read the source code or its license and, if they do, they’d rather complain than write the code to fix whatever their complaint is themselves. If they do write the fix and it’s not committed, then they’ll complain rather than learn from it. Folks are going to complain, so just ignore it.

        • Fedora 22 review – Fiascoed

          And so, without any application testing, any customization, desktop effects, resource usage testing, and some other bits and pieces, we must bring the Fedora Twenty-Two KDE review to a halt. Because the distro is dead, and it can’t cope with some simple updates and installs. Really a shame. It reminds me that Fedora is a testbed. But it used to be quite stable recently, and now, we’re back in 2010.

          I really am disappointed. I wish I had some better news for you, but this release simply doesn’t cut it. It’s riddled with bugs, even when it works, and then it stops working. Slow, laggy, average hardware compatibility including Nvidia problems, a less than ideal presentation layer, all in all, a rushed edition with no soul or passion. You can’t fake those. Grade we must, and so Fedora 22 gets a very feeble 2/10. See you around.

        • A Quick Look At Fedora 22 “XFCE” | What’s New
        • Fedora 22 – workstation – Gnome – Do not disturb

          Fedora 22 comes with the newest version of Gnome – 3.16. You’ve probably heard about this already. The new version brought quite a few shiny changes, a major one of which was a brand new notification area. You don’t have a notification bar at the bottom any more, your notifications now come up at the top with the calendar. It’s really neat! More information can be found in the release notes here.

        • Testing rawhide apps using xdg-app

          An important aspect of xdg-app is application sandboxing, which will require application changes to use sandbox-specific APIs. However, xdg-app is also a good way to deploy and run non-sandboxed (or partially sandboxed) regular applications.

        • Contribute to pkgdb2

          Pkgdb2 is the application managing in Fedora, who is allowed to access which git repo containing the files necessary to build the packages present in the distribution.

        • IRC on Hubs

          Still, since the idea for hubs is also to help new contributors get integrated more smoothly into the Fedora community, an effective way to message people did seem like it would be valuable. Since the team/project hubs will have the ability to include an embedded IRC channel, using IRC to send private messages seemed logical. But Fedora Hubs is not an IRC client – it will use IRC to send private messages between users and to enable the channel discussions, but every channel must be directly associated with a hub and the messaging interface will only support messages between Hubs users, not to anyone external. This is an active design choice that Mo and I made, based on the concept of keeping the hub as the central organizing principle of this app in order to help fend off scope creep.

    • Debian Family

      • Chrome, Debian Linux, and the secret binary blob download riddle

        “Anyway, I haven’t said that banning such software from Debian would be the only solution… but at least these incidents come far too frequent recently, so apparently something needs to be done at Debian level to pro-actively prevent future cases/compromises like this.”

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Portable wireless speakers run Linux on a Raspberry Pi

      Axiom’s portable wireless 150W speakers stream music from the web, mobile devices, or USB, and include a WiFi access point and a 9- or 18-hour battery pack.

      Speaker and home theater manufacturer Axiom has found Kickstarter success with its AxiomAir wireless speaker system, which has surpassed its $75,000 goal to reach $121,000, with 25 days to go before the July 12 deadline. Two dozen $475 packages were still available at publication time. Other packages go for $497, said to be more than $300 under the retail price, or $950 for a two-pack, among other discounted combo packs.

    • PowerPC based IoT gateway COM ships with Linux BSP

      The rugged Arcturus “uCP1020″ COM for IoT/M2M gateways runs Linux on Freescale’s QorIQ P1020, with up to up to 64GB eMMC, three GbE ports, and a baseboard.

    • Official Raspberry Pi Case starts at $8.59

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation launched the first official case for the Raspberry Pi, which exposes all ports and features a clip-on lid for adding HATs.

      A variety of third-party enclosures for the Raspberry Pi have become available over the years, but the vendors no doubt realized the Raspberry Pi Foundation would eventually build one of their own. The time has come, with the unveiling of the “Official Raspberry Pi Case.”

    • Linux-based Sierra Wireless IoT module has 3G or 4G radios

      Sierra Wireless unveiled a Cortex-A5 based “AirPrime WP” IoT module with 3G or 4G radios, plus a modularly expandable, open-source “mangOH” carrier board.

      We’ve seen plenty of low-power, Linux-ready Internet of Things computer-on-modules, mostly based on Qualcomm’s MIPS-based Atheros SoCs. The Linux-based AirPrime WP modules from Sierra Wireless instead tackle IoT and industrial M2M with integrated cellular radios. A 3G HSPA+/EDGE/GPRS/GSM version called WP75xx is due in the fourth quarter while a WP8548 version that adds 4G LTE is due in Q1 2016.

    • Finally, an official Raspberry Pi case has been released!

      Rejoice Pi fans! The team behind Raspberry Pi have announced an official case for the Pi 2 Model B and the Pi Model B+. The case was announced today on their blog and is available from all the main Pi retailers for a cheap £6 (which works out to about $9).

    • Raspberry Pi Open Source Wireless Speakers Hit Kickstarter (video)

      Axiom Audio has this week unveiled a new range of wireless speakers they have added to their existing range that are powered by the awesome Raspberry Pi mini PC.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Stockmann to sell Academic Bookstore

    Stockmann announced on Thursday a plan to sell off its Academic Bookstores to Swedish media conglomerate Bonnier Books. In accordance with the newly inked letter of intent to sell, the bookstore will continue to operate in connection with the department store chain after the acquisition.

  • UK Anti-Doping agency to issue statement over Mo Farah

    UK Anti-Doping are to issue a statement on Thursday, which will respond to newspaper claims that Mo Farah missed two drugs tests leading up to the London Olympic Games in 2012.

    A report in the Daily Mail says the double Olympic champion missed one test in 2010 and another after joining forces with coach Alberto Salazar the following year.

    Salazar, who manages the Nike Project in Oregon, is currently under suspicion after a TV documentary made allegations against the 56-year-old with regards to doping abuse.

  • Science

    • The 100-year-old scientist who pushed the FDA to ban artificial trans fat

      No one was more pleased by the Food and Drug Administration’s decision Tuesday to eliminate artificial trans fats from the U.S. food supply than Fred Kummerow, a 100-year-old University of Illinois professor who has warned about the dangers of the artery-clogging substance for nearly six decades.

      “Science won out,” Kummerow, who sued the FDA in 2013 for not acting sooner, said in an interview from his home in Illinois. “It’s very important that we don’t have this in our diet.”

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • US Navy Soliciting Zero Days

      The National Security Agency may find and purchase zero days, but that doesn’t mean it’s sharing its hoard with other government agencies such as the U.S. Navy, which apparently is in the market for some unpatched, undisclosed vulnerabilities of its own.

      A request for proposal posted last Wednesday—which has since been taken down—to FedBizOpps.gov was a solicitation by the Naval Supply Systems Command seeking a CMMI-3 (Capability Maturity Model Integration) contractor capable of producing operational exploits that integrate with commonly used exploitation frameworks, the RFP said.

    • Tuesday’s security advisories
    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Your data is at risk if you are running iOS or Mac OS X

      Six university researchers from Indiana University have revealed that Apple’s password manager, Keychain, is susceptible to hackers. If exploited, the flaw would give a hacker access to the users passwords. The really worrying thing here is that Apple has known about the issue for months and still hasn’t managed to issue a fix.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Superabundant bird decline mirrors Passenger Pigeon

      One of Eurasia’s most abundant bird species has declined by 90% and retracted its range by 5000 km since 1980 a new study shows.

      Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola was once distributed over vast areas of Europe and Asia, its range stretching from Finland to Japan. New research published in the journal Conservation Biology suggest that unsustainable rates of hunting, principally in China, have contributed to not only a catastrophic loss of numbers but also in the areas in which it can now be found.

  • Finance

    • Jeb Bush: Next President Should Privatize Social Security

      Jeb Bush thinks the next president will need to privatize Social Security, he said at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Tuesday — acknowledging that his brother attempted to do so and failed. It’s a position sure to be attacked by both Republicans and Democrats.

    • RBS payment failure could last days

      About 600,000 payments that failed to enter the accounts of RBS customers overnight may not be completed until the end of the week, the bank has said.

      Payments of wages, tax credits and disability living allowance were among those that failed to be credited to accounts.

      RBS initially said some payments were “missing”, but it had now identified and fixed the underlying problem.

      Delayed payments would be processed “no later than Saturday”, it said.

    • Why Obama’s Trade Deal May Come Back From the Dead | Interview with Richard Wolff

      Tyrel Ventura and Tabetha Wallace from Watching the Hawks interview Professor Richard Wolff about the House vote to reject the Trans Pacific Partnership and where this massive trade deal will go from here.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Truth Avoided by Mainstream Media Liars

      So here is a challenge to the Sunday Times, BBC and rest of the mainstream media.

    • Typography Is Why Jeb’s Logo Is Worse Than a Piece of Crap

      Jeb! is fine, as far as logos go. It’s uninspired, sure, but it gets the job done. But as a piece of typography, it’s crap.

    • British attack on Edward Snowden foiled by real journalists

      I woke up on Sunday and checked the news as I usually do. “British spies ‘moved after Snowden files read’” exclaimed the BBC, probably hoping to whip up anti-Russian/Chinese sentiment, immediately I rolled my eyes, surely revealing mass spying to the billions being spied upon is more important than a few spies having to be moved.

      After reading the headline, I was left puzzling, I was sure that Snowden handed everything he had over to journalists. A day later my understanding of the issue had been confirmed, Glenn Greenwald said that Snowden doesn’t have access to the documents anymore and hasn’t been able access them since they were handed over in 2013.

  • Censorship

    • European Court strikes serious blow to free speech online

      The Estonian courts had found that Delfi AS, the news portal, should have prevented clearly unlawful comments from being published in the portal’s comments section, even though Delfi had taken down the offensive comments as soon as it had been notified about them. When Delfi lodged a complaint with the European Court, the Court concluded unanimously that the domestic courts’ findings were a justified and proportionate restriction on Delfi’s right to freedom of expression.

    • Shock European court decision: Websites are liable for users’ comments

      In a surprise decision, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg has ruled that the Estonian news site Delfi may be held responsible for anonymous and allegedly defamatory comments from its readers. As the digital rights organisation Access notes, this goes against the European Union’s e-commerce directive, which “guarantees liability protection for intermediaries that implement notice-and-takedown mechanisms on third-party comments.” As such, Peter Micek, Senior Policy Counsel at Access, says the ECHR judgment has “dramatically shifted the internet away from the free expression and privacy protections that created the internet as we know it.”

    • UAE man faces $68,000 fine for swearing on WhatsApp

      Swearing at someone via WhatsApp in the UAE could land you with a $68,000 (£45,000) fine, under a new law.

      Those living in the country could also face jail, and foreigners deportation.

      The new law was brought to light when the UAE’s supreme court ordered the retrial of a man fined $800 for the offence, arguing the fine was too lenient.

  • Privacy

    • Belgian privacy watchdog sues Facebook ahead of summit

      Privacy will be on the docket at a Belgian court on Thursday — and Facebook will be the defendant.

      The Belgian Privacy Commission has sued Facebook and will take the world’s largest social network to court on Thursday for allegedly violating privacy laws both in Belgium and in the European Union. Speaking to Belgian news outlet DeMorgen, the country’s chairman of the Privacy Commission William Debeuckelaere said that Facebook’s behavior “cannot be tolerated.” He added that he hopes the court will force Facebook to change its privacy practices.

    • Adjusting to a World Where No Data Is Secure

      Imagine a piece of information that would be useful to store digitally if it could be kept secure, but that would do more harm than good if it ever fell into the wrong hands. With Friday’s news that “hackers have breached a database containing a wealth of sensitive information from federal employees’ security background checks,” just that sort of fraught information has arguably been exposed to hackers.

    • UK Police Carry Out Facial Scans Of 100,000 People Attending Music Festival

      The ostensible reason for this massive surveillance is to catch people who steal mobile phones, but that really doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. The database that the 100,000 faces were matched against was “custody images from across Europe”, but it seems improbable that criminals would travel all the way across Europe to this particular music festival in the hope that they might be able to relieve a few spaced-out musicgoers of their phones. Nor was general criminal behavior an issue: apparently, last year there were just 91 arrests with 120,000 people attending. It’s more likely that the facial scans were born of a desire to see if the hardware and software were capable of capturing such large numbers and comparing them with the pan-European database.

      [...]

      It’s easy to see this kind of technology being rolled out ever-more widely. First at other music festivals — purely for safety reasons, you understand — and then, once people have started to get used to that, elsewhere too. Eventually, of course, it will become routine to scan everyone, everywhere, all the time, offering a perfect analog complement to the non-stop, pervasive surveillance that we now know takes place in the digital world.

    • Strong Encryption and Anonymity Are The Guardians Of Free Expression

      EFF has signed on to a joint civil society statement welcoming the groundbreaking report supporting encryption and anonymity by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, David Kaye. The Special Rapporteur will present the report on June 17th at the 29th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

    • Bruce Schneier: Sure, Russia & China Probably Have The Snowden Docs… But Not Because Of Snowden

      Given all the fuss over the ridiculous article this past weekend — which has since been confirmed as government stenography rather than actual reporting — security maven Bruce Schneier has written up an article making a key point. It’s quite likely that the underlying point in the article — that Russian and Chinese intelligence agencies have access to the documents that Snowden originally handed over to reporters — is absolutely true. But, much more importantly, he argues, the reason likely has almost nothing to do with Snowden.

    • China and Russia Almost Definitely Have the Snowden Docs

      Last weekend, the Sunday Times published a front-page story (full text here), citing anonymous British sources claiming that both China and Russia have copies of the Snowden documents. It’s a terrible article, filled with factual inaccuracies and unsubstantiated claims about both Snowden’s actions and the damage caused by his disclosure, and others have thoroughly refuted the story. I want to focus on the actual question: Do countries like China and Russia have copies of the Snowden documents?

      I believe the answer is certainly yes, but that it’s almost certainly not Snowden’s fault.

    • Government faces call to review ‘self-destruct’ email policy

      The Government is facing calls to review a little-known policy under which Downing Street emails “self-destruct” after three months.

      Any messages which David Cameron’s aides fail to save and store are automatically deleted – a practice that campaigners claim is designed to thwart later freedom of information requests.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • Amazon Bans Kodi/XBMC App Over Piracy Concerns

      Amazon has removed the popular media center Kodi from the app store claiming it facilitates piracy. The software, formerly known as XBMC, doesn’t link to or host any infringing content, but third-party add-ons are giving the software a bad reputation.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Big changes coming to IKEAHackers

        Some months ago I received a Cease and Desist (C&D) letter from the agent of Inter IKEA Systems B.V., citing that my site IKEAhackers.net has infringed upon its intellectual property rights. In that letter they asked that I agree to voluntarily transfer the domain name IKEAhackers.net to them, failing which they reserve the right to take any legal action it deems necessary against me.

    • Copyrights

      • BMI song lawsuits make rounds in Jersey bars

        That mistake could cost this restaurant to the tune of several thousands of dollars for each of the four songs that Broadcast Music Inc. claims the venue played one Friday night in May 2014.

      • Publisher Strips Hergé’s Heirs of Millions of Dollars in Rights to Tintin Drawings

        The heirs of Hergé, the creator of the popular Tintin comics, were dealt a crushing blow in Dutch court this week. In a shocking decision, the court ruled that they do not have the rights to the iconic boy reporter character.

        The ruling hinged on the unexpected production of a long-lost 1942 document in which Hergé, whose real name was Georges Remi, transferred the Tintin rights to his publisher, Casterman.

      • MPAA: Google Assists and Profits from Piracy

        The MPAA is refusing to hand over documentation discussing the legal case it helped Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood build against Google. According to the Hollywood group, Google is waging a PR war against Hollywood while facilitating and profiting from piracy.

      • Pirate Bay’s Gottfrid Svartholm Loses Hacking Appeal

        Following the largest case of its type in Denmark, in October 2014 Gottfrid Svartholm was found guilty of hacking IT company CSC. The Pirate Bay founder immediately appealed but after a technically complex hearing a jury at the High Court today unanimously upheld the decision of the lower court.

      • Neil Young, Donald Trump Spar Over ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ Use

        When Neil Young released his anthemic track “Rockin’ in the Free World” off 1989′s Freedom, the song quickly became a rallying cry in post-Reagan America for “American values” and the fall of communism. With George H. W. Bush still settling into his presidency, Young criticized the president’s ideology, specifically referencing Bush’s “thousand points of light” comment and blasting Republicans for what he felt was a disregard toward the lower-class.

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