EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.05.20

Links 5/7/2020: Slackel 7.3 Mate Beta and GNOME Gingerblue

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Leftovers

    • Education

      • Student communication shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all

        As much as possible, advisers, faculty members, counsellors, and student services staff need to assess students’ needs and reach out with customised messages to individual students or more granular student segments. Part-time students have different concerns to full-time scholarship students. Science students have different concerns to business students. Many students need mental health counselling or other services.

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Scotland could eliminate the coronavirus – if it weren’t for England

        On 29 June, Scotland reported just 5 new cases, out of 815 for the UK as a whole, and announced no new covid-19-related deaths for the fourth day in a row. The nation could soon have days with no new confirmed cases. “Scotland’s weeks away from that,” says Sridhar. “England’s months away.”

        Yet in practice, Scotland is unlikely to achieve full elimination in the near future, because it has a 154-kilometre border with England. “Many people cross that border every day,” says Sridhar. “I think we will probably never get, without England’s cooperation, to full elimination.”

      • Australia Has a Flesh-Eating-Bacteria Problem

        If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it’s how quickly international travelers can carry a disease from one side of the world to the other. Potential treatments can travel quickly too, but that journey takes concerted action. When I spoke with Asiedu, who now works at the WHO’s Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, he told me that the new research in Australia could be beneficial to Africans, even if they were not its original focus. Thanks in part to Australian doctors’ experience with antibiotic treatment regimes, and following a successful clinical trial in Africa, the WHO will soon be recommending oral—rather than injectable—antibiotics, reducing the need for hospital stays in both Australia and Africa. Researchers at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization are also developing a new environmental test for Buruli ulcer that is based on RNA, which breaks down more rapidly in the environment than DNA. This makes it better suited for identifying places where the bacteria is alive and being actively transmitted.

      • Price Gouging Weekly Round Up – June 2020 #5 | Proskauer Rose LLP

        On June 22, 2020, a bipartisan house bill—Make Medications Affordable by Preventing Pandemic Pricegouging Act (MMAPPP)—was introduced. Sponsored by Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Francis Rooney (R-FL), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Peter DeFazio (D-OR), the bill would prohibit excessive pricing of drugs used to treat any disease that causes a public health emergency by waiving exclusive licenses and compensating patent holders with a reasonable royalty. Additional provisions of the bill include: (1) prohibiting exclusive licensing of new, taxpayer-funded drugs that are used to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or treat COVID-19 in order to ensure universal access to these drugs; (2) requiring the federal government to mandate reasonable, affordable pricing of any new, taxpayer-funded drug used to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or treat COVID-19; and (3) ensuring transparency by requiring manufacturers to publicly report a specific breakdown of total expenditures on any drug used to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or treat COVID-19, including what percentage of those expenditures were derived from federal funds. According to the release by Representative Schakowsky’s office, “[l]ower drug prices should not be a partisan issue. Our proposed reforms are long overdue, and drug price gouging is certainly not exclusive to COVID-19. It will take all of us—Democrats and Republicans—to stop drug manufacturers’ profiteering once and for all. The time for action is now.”

      • Price Gouging Weekly Round Up: June 29, 2020

        In recent weeks, consumers have started seeing a surcharge at local businesses. For example, at one Montgomery County, Maryland restaurant, diners found a disclaimer stating “[t]o help offset restrictions on our business resulting from the COVID 19 crisis, a 4% surcharge has been added to all guest checks.” The disclaimer also stated that “[i]f you would like this removed, please let us know.” According to the President and CEO of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, “[s]ome businesses and restaurants have started utilizing a ‘COVID-19 Fee’ as they navigate operations during this precarious time. . . We understand operators may need to consider how they absorb the additional costs necessary to reopen as many have been struggling and will continue to struggle to keep their doors open.” Maryland’s price gouging law, which applies to, among others, food and beverages, prohibits price increases of more than 10%, though some of the COVID fees in excess of that amount may be permissible to the extent they reflect actual cost increases.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • What a TLS self signed certificate is at a mechanical level

            To simplify a lot, a TLS certificate is a bundle of attributes wrapped around a public key. All TLS certificates are signed by someone; we call this the issuer. The issuer for a certificate is identified by their X.509 Subject Name, and also at least implicitly by the keypair used to sign the certificate (since only an issuer TLS certificate with the right public key can validate the signature).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Under Siege After Facebook Scrutiny

              A group of scientists funded by CZI wrote an open letter to the billionaire last month expressing concern over Facebook’s propagation of misinformation. The letter was just the beginning, organizers say, and the charity’s employees continued the discussion on ways they might push their boss to fix his social network’s hate speech problem.

              “There’s a long history of misinformation at Facebook that has had a negative impact on democracy and society, not only in the U.S., but around the world,” said Martin Kampmann, a CZI-funded scientist who helped organize the letter to Zuckerberg, which now has 277 signees, including several of the charity’s employees.

            • JioMeet clones Zoom app; data-sharing policy raise concerns

              But netizens have pointed out the data-sharing clause in JioMeet T&Cs, which has raised concerns and questions. If you’re a privacy advocate, these clauses might seem worrisome. JioMeet’s privacy policy clearly states that using the free app will grant Jio permission to use both personal and non-personal information with Reliance Jio. From accessing location to SD card contents, phone statistics, conferencing logs and history.

              Jio also noted that it is open to sharing personal data with third parties for display advertising and promotional services and even allow external organizations in the following cases:

            • Gardaí to get ‘electronic key’ to intercept criminal gangs’ encrypted messages

              Laws are being drafted to give State agencies legal powers to intercept encrypted communications.

              The Department of Justice told the Irish Examiner that the proposals “are being prepared” for the Minister for Justice and the Government.

              Gardaí have been calling for powers to intercept and access encrypted devices in recent years. And in July 2019 a top judge told the Government that agencies reported that the current laws were “considerably out of date”.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Taiwan fended off China’s cyber attacks on eve of presidential inauguration

        A spike in cyber attacks from China was detected on May 19, targeting computer systems of the state-run oil refiner CPC Corp. Such activities are traditionally expected around the day of Taiwan’s presidential inauguration, which is intended to cause disruption to society through compromising government agencies, infrastructure facilities, and financial institutions.

        The incident triggered an emergency response from Taiwan’s cybersecurity entities on the Cabinet level, leading to a series of self-defense measures. The counter-effort was spearheaded by the National Center for Cyber Security Technology, with IT experts from the private sector.

      • Iran Has Triggered Nuclear Accord Dispute Mechanism, EU Says

        The European Union’s top diplomat disclosed Friday that he has received a letter from Iran’s foreign minister that triggers a dispute mechanism in the 2015 nuclear agreement, complaining that Britain, France and Germany are not living up to their side of the deal.

        The accord, which Iran signed with the U.S., Britain, Germany, France, China and Russia, has been unraveling since President Donald Trump pulled Washington out in 2018, unleashing sanctions designed to cripple the Islamic Republic’s economy.

        EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that in the letter Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif seeks redress under “the dispute resolution mechanism, as set out in paragraph 36 of the agreement.”

      • The Boogaloo Tipping Point

        The boogaloo movement originally grew from the weapons discussion section (“/k/”) of the anarchic anonymous message board 4chan over the past several years. By 2019, its culture had disseminated across social media into a mix of online groups and chat servers where users shared libertarian political memes. In the past six months, this all began to manifest in real life, as users from the groups emerged at protests in what became their signature uniform: aloha shirts and combat gear. As nationwide unrest intensified at the start of the summer, many boogaloo adherents interpreted this as a cue to realize the group’s central fantasy—armed revolt against the U.S. government.

        In Colorado earlier in May, then in Nevada in June, police arrested several other heavily armed self-identified boogaloo members, who the authorities claimed were on their way to demonstrations to incite violence. Disturbingly, the boogaloo movement is at least the third example of a mass of memes escaping from 4chan to become a real-life radical political movement, the first being the leftist-libertarian hacktivist collective Anonymous, which emerged in 2008; the second was the far-right fascist group of angry young men called the alt-right, which formed in 2015. (The conspiracy theory QAnon might be considered a fourth, but it is more than a political movement.)

        At first glance, armed right-wing militants dressed in floral shirts may seem like another baffling grotesquerie in the parade of calamities that is 2020. However, their arrival can be explained by tracing their online origins. Similar to other right-leaning extremist movements, they are the product of an unhappy generation of men who compare their lot in life with that of men in previous decades and see their prospects diminishing. And with a mix of ignorance and simplicity, they view their discontent through the most distorted lens imaginable: internet memes.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • In lockdown with a conspiracy theorist

        Mary found some comfort in a Reddit group called QAnonCasualties, a support group for people whose loved ones believe in the conspiracy theory. It had nearly 4,000 members by June, nearly eight times the number three months earlier, when lockdowns were beginning around the world. One woman from New Jersey was planning to divorce her husband who she suspects became convinced of the conspiracy while at Alcoholics Anonymous – she reckons he swapped one addiction for another. Others talk about their baby-boomer parents whose belief in QAnon follows decades of devotion to other conspiracies. Finding the community has been helpful to Mary: “I’m not the only one dealing with a family member that is acting like this, who is pushing their family away without even realising it.”

    • Environment

      • Radical warming in Siberia threatens destruction

        The Arctic is feverish and on fire, or at least parts of it are, and that’s got scientists worried about what it means for the rest of the world.

        The thermometer hit a record of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Russian Arctic town of Verkhoyansk on 20th of June, a temperature that would be a fever for a person but this is Siberia, known for being frozen. The World Meteorological Organization said that it’s looking to verify the temperature reading, which would be unprecedented for the region north of the Arctic Circle.

      • Energy

        • Who’s Insuring the Trans Mountain Pipeline?

          A new campaign is demanding these companies respect Indigenous rights and drop their coverage

        • Flooding below China’s Three Gorges raises questions about dam

          Massive flooding seen above and below the Three Gorges Dam is putting its purpose and stability into question.

          In addition to generating electricity, one of the major stated purposes of the Three Gorges Dam was to help put a stop to the endless cycle of flooding seen along the Yangtze River for centuries. However, out of fears that this summer’s floods upstream would overwhelm the mammoth showpiece project, its reservoir has been kept low by allegedly unleashing the sluicegates on lower reaches of the river, resulting in tremendous flooding below.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • With New Infections Soaring, The Trumps Host a July 4th Pandemic Party at the White House

        The White House is preparing to change its messaging on the coronavirus, to tell Americans it simply has to be lived with.

      • We Must Understand the Sordid History of Voter Suppression to End Its Use

        Below is an exclusive excerpt of the upcoming graphic novel Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy, published by First Second of Macmillan publishing and available July 7. Unrig, written by Daniel G. Newman with illustrations by George O’Connor, outlines key problems in U.S. democracy, proven solutions and stories of activists working to effect change. It documents the influence of money in politics, gerrymandering, voter suppression, the failings of the Electoral College, our current voting methods and more. The chapter below focuses on the history of voting rights in the United States and how to fight back against voter suppression.

      • Tech billionaire Peter Thiel may ditch Trump because he thinks Trump will lose

        Thiel was a vocal supporter of the president in 2016, speaking at the Republican National Convention in 2016 and donating $1.25 million that year to his campaign and other adjacent political groups and causes. Thiel, who earned his fortune co-founding PayPal before becoming one of the earliest Facebook investors, has no plans on donating any money to Trump’s campaign this year, the report says.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • University apologises for Black Lives Matter ‘censorship’ email

        Liverpool John Moores University has apologised for asking staff to check with its communications team before using institutional social media accounts to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

        The email, sent by head of corporate communications Ben Jones to LJMU social media account holders, urged “caution” when it came to liking, sharing or retweeting when attempting to engage with or show support for issues related to Black Lives Matter and slavery commemorations.

      • Conservatives are flocking to a new ‘free speech’ social media app that has started banning liberal [sic] users

        Many others followed suit. Parler, founded in August 2018, touts itself as an “unbiased” social media platform focused on “real user experiences and engagement.” In recent weeks, it has become a destination for conservatives who have voiced their disapproval of how mainstream platforms such as Facebook and Twitter moderate content.

        But as with every other platform on the [I]nternet, Parler’s free speech stance goes only so far. The platform has been banning many people who joined and trolled conservatives.

      • Hong Kong libraries pull books by territory’s pro-democracy activists in wake of China security law

        Wong said he believed the removal of the books was sparked by the security law.

        “White terror continues to spread, the national security law is fundamentally a tool to incriminate speech,” he wrote on Facebook, using a phrase that refers to political persecution.

        Searches on the public library website showed at least three titles by Wong, Chan and local scholar Chin Wan are no longer available for lending at any of dozens of outlets across the territory.

        An AFP reporter was unable to find the titles at a public library in the district of Wong Tai Sin on Saturday afternoon.

        Hong Kong’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which runs libraries, said books had been removed while it is determined whether they violate the national security law.

      • Weaponised censorship: The final demise of free expression in Egypt’s media

        In what was described by free speech advocates as part of an ongoing assault on press freedom in Egypt, the Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) recently banned journalists and social media users from reporting on sensitive political and economics topics.

        According to the regulator, print, online and TV media outlets, as well as social media platforms, will only be allowed to quote formal statements released by official bodies about the conflict in Libya, Sinai, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the coronavirus pandemic.

        Known for allegedly being controlled by the security authorities and the government, the council presents itself as an independent entity that monitors media performance in Egypt.

      • Pregnant Women Have Received False Results From This DNA Paternity Test

        I know those last two names all too well. Almost a decade ago, while working for New Scientist magazine, I published an investigation into HGC’s prenatal paternity test. I spoke to women whose lives were upended by incorrect results and spent months dissecting the test’s serious scientific flaws. Shortly after my article was published in December 2010, HGC and its CEO, Yuri Melekhovets, sued for libel, setting up a long legal battle that finally came to an end in April this year.

        In December 2018, I was vindicated in a ruling from a Canadian court. “No matter how damaging or disparaging it may be to the plaintiffs, the truth can never be actionable,” the judge wrote, concluding that the criticisms made in my original article were justified.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Jamal Khashoggi murder: Turkey puts 20 Saudis on trial in absentia

        The Saudi trial was dismissed as “the antithesis of justice” by a UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard, who concluded that Khashoggi was “the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution” for which the Saudi state was responsible.

      • When will they come for journalists?: Hong Kong press freedom under the new national security law

        The survey found 98 per cent of those who responded flatly opposed the law. 87 per cent believed that freedom of the press would be “severely affected.” 90 per cent said journalists’ safety would be threatened, 93 per cent said that they feared media outlets would be punished for covering sensitive subjects, and 63 per cent said they were “very pessimistic” about the future of press freedom in Hong Kong.

        Now that the text of the national security law has been released, the fears of the Hong Kong press corps have been proven right. While large portions of the law deal with the offences and penalties for secession, subversion, terrorist activities, collusion with foreign governments and external elements that all endanger national security, the text also has numerous areas that can be seen as enabling constraints on the free press.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Latest Federal Court Cases – June 2020 #3

          This week’s case of the week deals with issues relating to obviousness and standing in a consolidated appeal of two final written decisions issued in inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”). The IPRs were brought by adidas, challenging two Nike patents directed to methods of manufacturing an article of footwear with a textile upper, both of which cover Nike’s Flyknit products. The PTAB held that adidas did not demonstrate the challenged claims were unpatentable as obvious, and adidas appealed. On appeal, the Federal Circuit found that adidas has standing and affirmed the PTAB’s decisions that adidas had failed to meet its burden of proof on obviousness.

          First, as to standing, Nike argued that adidas lacked standing to appeal because adidas could not establish the requisite “injury in fact” since Nike had not threatened to sue adidas for infringement of the patents at issue. The Court disagreed, explaining that an appellant need not face a specific threat of infringement to establish the required injury. Rather, adidas’s risk of infringement is concrete and substantial, and thus injury was established, because (1) adidas and Nike are direct competitors, (2) Nike previously accused adidas of infringing a different Flyknit patent, (3) Nike asserted one of the two patents at issue against a third-party product similar to adidas’s product, and (4) Nike had refused to grant adidas a covenant not to sue. The Court therefore found that adidas had standing to appeal the PTAB’s final written decisions.

          Next, as to obviousness, in the IPRs, adidas challenged the claims of Nike’s patents as obvious in view of two prior art combinations. The PTAB held that adidas had failed to demonstrate that a person of ordinary skill in the art would have been motivated to combine the references. Certain challenged claims, called the Base Claims, are directed to a method of “mechanically-manipulating a yarn with a circular knitting machine … to form a cylindrical textile structure.” The method claimed by the Base Claims involves removing a textile element from the textile structure and incorporating it into an upper of the article of footwear. The PTAB construed the Base Claims as “encompass[ing] methods related to both pre-seamed and unseamed garments and garment sections.” Certain other challenged claims, called the Unitary Construction Claims, limited the Base Claims by requiring the textile element to be a single material element wherein portions of it have different textures and are not joined together by seams or other connections.

          As to the first prior art combination, the PTAB found that adidas failed to show a motivation to combine because the “unitary construction” limitation excluded the type of seams taught by the primary reference, known as “pre-seaming.” As such, combining the two references would require altering the principles of operation of the primary reference, or would render it inoperable for its intended purpose. On appeal, adidas argued that substantial evidence did not support the PTAB’s findings because both references discuss knitting in multiple layers and a skilled artisan would have been motivated to combine the references to reduce waste. adidas further argued that the pre-seaming differences between the two references are irrelevant in view of the PTAB’s construction of the Base Claims. That is, in view of the PTAB’s construction of the Base Claims as including both pre-seamed and unseamed garments, adidas argued that all that was necessary was evidence of a suggestion to extend the teachings of the primary reference. The Court disagreed, explaining that the obviousness inquiry asks more than whether a skilled artisan could combine references, but instead asks whether they would have been motivated to do so. Because of the fundamental differences between the two references, the Court concluded that substantial evidence supports the PTAB’s finding that a person skilled in the art would not have been motivated to combine them.

        • European Commission circling above–and still failing to help resolve–patent licensing dispute over automotive components

          Last week, MLex published a report by Khushita Vsant (not paywalled, though most MLex reports are available only to subscribers, which is why I rarely have the chance to link to them) on a “third round of questions” the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) expects automotive suppliers to answer sometime this week.

          MLex says the questionnaire “also asks carmakers about ‘have-made’ rights in Nokia’s license offers.” An academic paper recently discussed the shortcomings of such “have-made rights”, and I commented on it. The Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office of Germany) summarized the parties’ positions, including Nokia’s offer to grant “have-made rights,” in its submission to the courts hearing Nokia’s German patent infringement complaints against Daimler, but clearly wasn’t persuaded that the availability of “have-made rights” would obviate the need for judicial clarification on the availability of a full component-level license affording suppliers freedom to operate.

          On the one hand, it’s a positive sign that Daimler’s and its suppliers’ antitrust complaints against Nokia are still being preliminarily investigated by DG COMP. On the other hand, the Commission’s hesitance to launch formal investigations is in stark contrast to a variety of cases involving American companies (you name them).

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mt Rushmore event: ‘I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux’

          “Nothing stands as a greater reminder to the Great Sioux Nation of a country that cannot keep a promise or treaty than the faces carved into our sacred land on what the United States calls Mount Rushmore,” Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier said in a statement condemning Mount Rushmore and the Trump event.

          Young has spoken out against Trump and the use of his songs at rallies in the past, writing an open letter earlier this year critiquing Trump’s presidency and throwing support behind former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

        • Pirate Streaming Site Uses Associated Press For Promo Campaign

          Pirate sites generally operate in secrecy but, in order to get noticed, they need some kind of promotional outreach. Streaming site YolaMovies has rediscovered a rather old fashioned but effective way to do so. Instead of going through social media, the site is using the Associated Press to issue several press releases which, with help from Google, result in plenty of eyeballs.

        • Illegal Streaming Business Models to be Investigated By Royal United Services Institute

          The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies says it will conduct an investigation into the financial business models of organized crime groups involved in illicit streaming. The project is being funded by the UK Intellectual Property Office, the MPA, and the Premier League, among others.

Technological Progress? Only If We Assume The Wrong Things…

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux at 10:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: When we’re told that we’re all dumb we’re being given increasingly dumb technology (and they tell us dumber is better)

THE user is dumb
Dumb-di-di-dumb

Who needs a keyboard?
Just use the bloody palm

Phone: Is this... Better than this?

You can scroll down the “wall”
Can purchase and pay
Join in and play ball
Who need more than a finger’s pinch anyway?

RSS readers are tedious
Too much clutter is hideous
The users are dumb di-di-dumb
Just have a chance to “like” with a thumb!

RSS: Is this... Better than this?

Sites are disgusting
Too many options for dumb di-di-dumb users
Strip off everything
It’s like lyrics for one to sing

EFF: Is this... Better than this?

Who needs navigation anyway?
It confuses the dumb reader
Let’s do the same to desktop navigation
Let Canonical be the babysitter

KDE: Is this... Better than this?

Who needs all the eye candy?
Who wants a functional interface?
The users are presumed too dumb di-di-dumb
Let’s bring them down to pace

500 disjoint projects?
Throw them all into one
One God, one IBM, hosted by Microsoft
Sounds like a lot of fun!

systemd: Is this... Better than this?

Our computing experience is reduced to a K.I.S.S.
On technical users we certainly piss
Back doors, telemetry, DRM and other antifeatures?
Oh, those we don’t want you to miss

The bloat is growing
The displays are shrinking
One Web page of an article won’t be like blinking

Four cores and four gigabytes
Those may never suffice
For 30 trackers and 30 MB of fonts
Downloaded not once but twice!

Your computing will excel
Excel for the spies
Why are you moaning
Who do you despise?

Follow the plan
You may never know when
It’ll be safer and better to work with paper and pen

Linux Foundation Still Owned and Controlled Largely — and More Over Time — by Surveillance Companies (Openwashing Services for Bad Practices and Bad Actors)

Posted in Deception at 8:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Last year: The Linux Foundation is Deep in the ‘Surveillance Capitalism’ Industry Now | Linux Foundation and the Big Surveillance Industry, Media Industry, Microsoft Azure

Essential Worker: Data mining; data piling

Summary: The Linux Foundation‘s growing role in spying or the focus on data-mining operations is an eternal reminder or warning that the Foundation follows power and money, not freedom or ethics (it began as a salary-paying venture, crowdfunding among large corporations which conduct mass surveillance)

Sharing is Caring, as Those Who Share Usually Care

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software at 8:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sharing is also anti-racist

Among giants

Summary: Going back to our human roots, people who cooperate and collaborate are vastly more likely to survive and thrive; Free software is almost guaranteed to become the norm when/once everyone demands it (proprietary software is too divisive, supremacist and even racist)

THE animal kingdom is an amazing thing. But it’s not a kingdom. There’s no king. There’s also no capitalism there. Animals tend to help and share among their “kind”; in modern society, by contrast, people hoard and are trained to think that it’s all about themselves. Instead of sharing the water in the well they build fences around wells and then charge people for “access” (to gain capital). That’s just what Bill Gates did to software (comparing sharing to theft).

“When you create something, assuming it’s copyleft-licensed, it’s virtually ‘owned’ by nobody (or everybody). Without a CLA, there’s no real ‘owner’, either.”Those who think such allegations are far fetched and removed from reality are likely just sufficiently indoctrinated. Maybe they spend their day posting photos of themselves (selfies, obviously) in Facebook, then sharing holiday photos in some distant place (to brag about air mileage).

Anyway, Free software is inherently against such nonsense. When you create something, assuming it’s copyleft-licensed, it’s virtually ‘owned’ by nobody (or everybody). Without a CLA, there’s no real ‘owner’, either. Commons first.

Nature has a limited capacity. The capacity for hate, however, is limitless. If people learn to share with one another, irrespective of economic means (and this correlates with race unfortunately), racial disparities will be greatly reduced over time. To use an example that makes it easier to understand, how many people who are born in Africa can afford a Photoshop licence? Without being stigmatised as “pirates” by Adobe, as if they’re collectively the moral equivalent of Somali youths who violently attack boats…

“Nature has a limited capacity. The capacity for hate, however, is limitless.”To comprehend the democratising nature of Free software is not too hard. To quote Bill Gates, alluding to poor people just over a decade ago: “It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not.”

That, by some people’s standards, would be a racist statement (given the context, being poor Chinese people). But due to PR budgets people are wrongly led to think that Gates is racially tolerant, not a white supremacist/eugenicist, just like his wife.

Systems Can Crash and People Can Die by Changing Language (Even in Parameter and Function Space) to Appease Activists

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 7:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There are also purely practical considerations to be taken into account (and the worst culprits are Windows people)

Microsoft Apologizes, Removes 'Big Boobs' String From Linux Code
Older: Microsoft Apologizes, Removes ‘Big Boobs’ String From Linux Code

Summary: It seems clear that Intel takes the lead in trying to change Linux not in technical means but purely social means; even when (and where) that can compromise the robustness of the kernel (Intel is nowadays known for profoundly defective chips with back doors)

MANNERS are a good thing. Being polite is also always preferable. It might not always be possible, but it is preferable.

“The company which commits so many crimes claims to be a source for good, a voice for ethics.”It’s difficult to forget how people who wrote bad code complained about Torvalds. Eventually he was even ‘removed’ from the project — his own ‘baby’ — for about a month. Intel played a big role in that. As we’ve noted before, Intel keeps coming back. The company which commits so many crimes claims to be a source for good, a voice for ethics. Welcome to the brave new world… white is black, black is white.

It’s no secret that changing words inside code (not literature) can complicate things, break things, become an expensive development venture and even cause systems to fail/break down (unexpectedly). Some mission-critical systems (aviation, hospitals and disaster recovery) are also impacted. It’s an endless adventure; you’ll never please everyone. Just taking the latest article from Phoronix, it says “A.k.a. Spectre, Meltdown, etc.” and we all know what “Spectre” is to “Master” and what “Meltdown” is to people with mental health issues [1].

Should we remove all mentions of these terms as well? Where does it end? By the way, slavery is not a thing of the past but a thing of the present. Many Africans are still enslaved by fellow Africans and many are sold as slaves. Deleting particular words may make it harder to explain the problem, which is still ongoing (see the UN’s Web site).

“Remember how Intel viciously attacked children’s education in Africa.”The other morning coverage in Phoronix says there’s an effort wherein “Linux Kernel [is] Preparing New Guidelines For Using Inclusive Terminology” (included in circulation are two people from the Linux Foundation, one from Intel, another from Facebook and lastly one from Google). To quote Michael Larabel: “The exception being granted though is where changing the terminology could potentially break the user-space ABI given the kernel’s longstanding guarantees on not breaking that interface.” (Many comments on this, 54 as of this morning, with more noteworthy comments — 21 of them so far — in CNX Software under “New Tech Vocabulary for 2020 Could Break Software Compatibility”)

Not many have mentioned the aspect of debugging being necessary (if not rewriting of software units, followed by a lot of testing). It can also harm backward compatibility and thus increase electronic waste, harming the environment. We all know that a lot of electronic waste (basically Western trash) is being shipped to Africa, outsourcing the pollution to ‘lesser’ races, right? So much for justice…

Looking at the original, however, and bearing in mind what some Intel employees already did to sanitise Linux (see “New Patch Replaces F-Words in Linux Kernel Code with “Hug”) while Intel became speech police in the whole project, this is what we have from Intel’s Dan Williams ([PATCH] CodingStyle: Inclusive Terminology):

Recent events have prompted a Linux position statement on inclusive
terminology. Given that Linux maintains a coding-style and its own
idiomatic set of terminology here is a proposal to answer the call to
replace non-inclusive terminology.

Cc: Jonathan Corbet <corbet@lwn.net>
Cc: Kees Cook <keescook@chromium.org>
Signed-off-by: Chris Mason <clm@fb.clm>
Signed-off-by: Greg Kroah-Hartman <gregkh@linuxfoundation.org>
Signed-off-by: Dan Williams <dan.j.williams@intel.com>

Documentation/process/coding-style.rst | 12 ++++
Documentation/process/inclusive-terminology.rst | 64 +++++++++++++++++++++++
Documentation/process/index.rst | 1
3 files changed, 77 insertions(+)
create mode 100644 Documentation/process/inclusive-terminology.rst

diff –git a/Documentation/process/coding-style.rst b/Documentation/process/coding-style.rst
index 2657a55c6f12..4b15ab671089 100644
— a/Documentation/process/coding-style.rst
+++ b/Documentation/process/coding-style.rst
@@ -319,6 +319,18 @@ If you are afraid to mix up your local variable names, you have another
problem, which is called the function-growth-hormone-imbalance syndrome.
See chapter 6 (Functions).

+For symbol names, avoid introducing new usage of the words ‘slave’ and
+’blacklist’. Recommended replacements for ‘slave’ are: ‘secondary’,
+’subordinate’, ‘replica’, ‘responder’, ‘follower’, ‘proxy’, or
+’performer’. Recommended replacements for blacklist are: ‘blocklist’ or
+’denylist’.
+
+Exceptions for introducing new usage is to maintain a userspace ABI, or
+when updating code for an existing (as of 2020) hardware or protocol
+specification that mandates those terms. For new specifications consider
+translating specification usage of the terminology to the kernel coding
+standard where possible. See :ref:`process/inclusive-terminology.rst
+<inclusiveterminology>` for details.

5) Typedefs
———–
diff –git a/Documentation/process/inclusive-terminology.rst b/Documentation/process/inclusive-terminology.rst
new file mode 100644
index 000000000000..a8eb26690eb4
— /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/process/inclusive-terminology.rst
@@ -0,0 +1,64 @@
+.. _inclusiveterminology:
+
+Linux kernel inclusive terminology
+==================================
+
+The Linux kernel is a global software project, and in 2020 there was a
+global reckoning on race relations that caused many organizations to
+re-evaluate their policies and practices relative to the inclusion of
+people of African descent. This document describes why the ‘Naming’
+section in :ref:`process/coding-style.rst <codingstyle>` recommends
+avoiding usage of ‘slave’ and ‘blacklist’ in new additions to the Linux
+kernel.
+
+On the triviality of replacing words
+====================================
+
+The African slave trade was a brutal system of human misery deployed at
+global scale. Some word choice decisions in a modern software project
+does next to nothing to compensate for that legacy. So why put any
+effort into something so trivial in comparison? Because the goal is not
+to repair, or erase the past. The goal is to maximize availability and
+efficiency of the global developer community to participate in the Linux
+kernel development process.
+
+Word choice and developer efficiency
+====================================
+
+Why does any software project go through the trouble of developing a
+document like :ref:`process/coding-style.rst <codingstyle>`? It does so
+because a common coding style maximizes the efficiency of both
+maintainers and developers. Developers learn common design patterns and
+idiomatic expressions while maintainers can spot deviations from those
+norms. Even non-compliant whitespace is considered a leading indicator
+to deeper problems in a patchset. Coding style violations are known to
+take a maintainer “out of the zone” of reviewing code. Maintainers are
+also sensitive to word choice across specifications and often choose to
+deploy Linux terminology to replace non-idiomatic word-choice in a
+specification.
+
+Non-inclusive terminology has that same distracting effect which is why
+it is a style issue for Linux, it injures developer efficiency.
+
+Of course it is around this point someone jumps in with an etymological
+argument about why people should not be offended. Etymological arguments
+do not scale. The scope and pace of Linux to reach new developers
+exceeds the ability of historical terminology defenders to describe “no,
+not that connotation”. The revelation of 2020 was that black voices were
+heard on a global scale and the Linux kernel project has done its small
+part to answer that call as it wants black voices, among all voices, in
+its developer community.
+
+Really, ‘blacklist’ too?
+========================
+
+While ‘slave’ has a direct connection to human suffering the etymology
+of ‘blacklist’ is devoid of a historical racial connection. However, one
+thought exercise is to consider replacing ‘blacklist/whitelist’ with
+’redlist/greenlist’. Realize that the replacement only makes sense if
+you have been socialized with the concepts that ‘red/green’ implies
+’stop/go’. Colors to represent a policy requires an indirection. The
+socialization of ‘black/white’ to have the connotation of
+’impermissible/permissible’ does not support inclusion.
+
+Inclusion == global developer community efficiency.
diff –git a/Documentation/process/index.rst b/Documentation/process/index.rst
index f07c9250c3ac..ed861f6f8d25 100644
— a/Documentation/process/index.rst
+++ b/Documentation/process/index.rst
@@ -27,6 +27,7 @@ Below are the essential guides that every developer should read.
submitting-patches
programming-language
coding-style
+ inclusive-terminology
maintainer-pgp-guide
email-clients
kernel-enforcement-statement

Notice the mention of ‘redlist/greenlist’; we've already mentioned why that too can be interpreted as "racist". It’s a never-ending game and nuance brought to such ‘overdrive’ (oversensitivity) means no good will come out of it. Richard Stallman has just remarked on the word “whitening” being phased out (even when it literally means just that, e.g. dental products).

“Intel is using black people (exploiting legitimate race grievances) to socially-engineer and interject disruption into a project it cannot control because of the GPL.”There aren’t many African contributors in Linux not because of the language but because African nations are poor and lack access to particular computing resources (sometimes Internet connections as well). Maybe focus on those latter issues before obsessing over the colour of some alert or a rule? Companies like Intel would rather have us speaking/bickering about race issues than class/wealth issues. Remember how Intel viciously attacked children’s education in Africa. All in the name of profit! Intel is using black people (exploiting legitimate race grievances) to socially-engineer and interject disruption into a project it cannot control because of the GPL.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. New readfile() System Call Under Review For Reading Small~Medium Files Faster

    Besides readfile() being simpler, the other intended use-case is for helping in performance due to less system calls. Greg does note that utilizing readfile should help performance, especially due to “syscall overheads go up over time due to various CPU bugs being addressed.” A.k.a. Spectre, Meltdown, etc.

    The readfile system call review is in this kernel thread. Hopefully it will be reviewed punctually and well to possibly make it into the Linux 5.9 cycle next month.

  2. Linux Kernel Preparing New Guidelines For Using Inclusive Terminology

    The new inclusive terminology documentation applies to new code being contributed to the Linux kernel but ultimately in hopes of replacing existing code with words deemed not inclusive. The exception being granted though is where changing the terminology could potentially break the user-space ABI given the kernel’s longstanding guarantees on not breaking that interface.

    These new guidelines for Linux kernel developers call for initially avoiding words including “slave” and “blacklist” to instead use words like subordinate, replica, follower, performer, blocklist, or denylist.

António Campinos Should Speak to Peasants, Not Litigation Lawyers

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“A campino (Portuguese: [kɐ̃ˈpinu]) is a cattle herder in the Portuguese region of Ribatejo. Campinos work on horse-back, using a long pole (a pampilho or lance) to manage and direct the herd. Campinos are also known for their distinctive attire, which consists of a green and red stocking cap with a tassel, white shirt with full sleeves, red vest, short dark trousers and white stockings. This is similar to the traditional attire of the forcado, the difference being mainly in the colours.”English Wikipedia

Hill Top Town

Summary: Mr. Campinos does not work for campinos but against campinos; he represents the people who sue or threaten them using ludicrous patents that should never have been granted (e.g. in Ethiopia)

ANY time António Campinos is going around the world he would inevitably take photo ops with a bunch of lawyers/officials but never poor people. Unlike his father, he does not even pretend to care for the common people. The Battistellis are renowned if not notorious for Mafia connections; French officials warned about Mr. Battistelli before he became President of the European Patent Office (EPO); he then removed these officials. The EPO never recovered from this ‘Mafia-like’ culture.

“Don’t be misled by the name. António does not work for the campinos. He works for the Mafia.”The EPO lost sight of the world’s population and its needs. Not only did it grant loads of patents on life and nature. It also impeded access to medicines and green technology (granting patent monopolies in that domain means restricting access to solutions).

Judging by a recent survey, Campinos has fooled almost nobody with his one-on-one meetings. 2 years down the road people rightly view Campinos as the force of occupation (Portuguese as a language did not spread by peaceful means). Whose occupation? Maybe Battistelli’s Mafia. A lot of the same thugs, Battistelli’s mates and their relatives, are still in positions of power. Campinos keeps them for himself.

Don’t be misled by the name. António does not work for the campinos. He works for the Mafia. Think Antonio Balsamo.

Christine Lambrecht (German Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection) Ignores the Fact That Even Patent Experts Reject the Unitary Patent (UPC)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 5:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And “more than 71.4 % of judges no longer support the UPC,” based on a recent survey

Christine Lambrecht
Photo source

Summary: The debacle single-handedly caused by and attributable to Christine Lambrecht, who is eager to appease litigation lawyers, is made yet worse by the fact that people in this domain/profession reject what she’s trying to ram down people’s throats

PRESIDENT António Campinos from the European Patent Office (EPO) has said nothing about the FCC’s decision except that foolish praise of the ludicrous statement from Christine Lambrecht. Campinos disregards judges and courts almost as much as Benoît Battistelli did (if not more so). Later he’ll wonder why only about 3% of the staff trusts him based on a recent survey.

“Brexit is, in its own right, an incompatibility for the UPC.”Last week we became aware of an article in which a law firm called Cohausz & Florack explains: [via Lexology]

The UPC is now being widely questioned. According to a Juve survey of more than 600 patent experts in April 2020, 55.3% actually reject it. Only 33.6 % of those questioned still support it. The result is even clearer among the attorneys and judges surveyed: 56.5 % and 59.4 % of patent attorneys and attorneys-at-law respectively and more than 71.4 % of judges no longer support the UPC. Industry representatives are also rather skeptical: 43.5 % of company representatives stated that they no longer support the current UPC.

According to Juve, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular see a negative impact through the UPC. “The main reason is the increased costs”, says Dr. Natalie Kirchhofer, patent attorney and partner at COHAUSZ & FLORACK. “For innovative SMEs in particular, these costs, which are many times higher than those incurred in the enforcement of own inventions before the UPC, play an important role in their competitiveness”. Gottfried Schüll, patent attorney and partner at Cohausz & Florack, is also critical of the lack of jurisdiction of the national patent infringement courts for granted EP patents, which will come eventually with the UPC: “This means that patent owners who are looking for inexpensive legal protection need to resort to national German patents. European patent law is becoming a law for corporations. SMEs, the pillar of German competitiveness, will not benefit from the advantages of European unification of patent protection. In fact, the opposite is the case”.

“Even for large corporations with huge patent portfolios, for example in IT, e-technology, communication technologies and the pharmaceutical industry, uncertainties are to be expected under the UPC – among other things, about which legal remedies are possible under the UPC and how these are influenced by national experience through the choice of local chambers”, says Dr. Arwed Burrichter, patent attorney and partner at COHAUSZ & FLORACK.

As Great Britain was still involved in the drafting of the UPC Rules of Procedure, these are also significantly influenced by common law aspects. These are now no longer accessible to professional representatives at the UPC, since, due to Brexit, the British colleagues are no longer available. There is therefore no essential basis for a consistent application of the law.

Brexit is, in its own right, an incompatibility for the UPC. FFII is working on a statement or complaint to that effect already.

D Young & Co LLP’s Jonathan DeVile has meanwhile noted: [via Lexology]

At the end of March 2020, EPO President Campinos pronounced strong support for the statement by the German Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, Christine Lambrecht, of her intention to remedy the deficiencies in the legislative procedure which led to the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) declaring the agreement by the German Parliament (Bundestag) of the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent (UPCA) to be void. So was that just another bump in the road for the UPCA?

The Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent Agreement (UPCA) was agreed in 2013 and enough countries had ratified the agreement for it to come into existence, that is, if Germany had ratified. Of course the concept of the UPCA is even older than the European Patent Convention; the UPCA being its latest incarnation.

Even after the Brexit vote in 2016, the UK Government under Prime Minister May ratified the UPCA in 2018, perhaps encouraged by a legal opinion obtained by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) that the UPCA was an international treaty and therefore open to the UK after Brexit. Then came a complaint in 2017 filed by a private citizen to the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) that the vote in the Bundestag violated the constitutional rights of German citizens.

In March 2020 the FCC ruled partially in favour of the complaint that the vote in the Bundestag in 2016 for Germany to adopt the UPCA was unconstitutional and therefore void. The Bundestag requires a majority of two thirds of its members to adopt an Act affecting the constitutional rights of German citizens. According to the FCC, although those members of the Bundestag present at the time voted unanimously to adopt the UPCA, the formal requirement for a majority of two thirds of the members of the Bundestag had not been satisfied. However there is some nuance in respect of the analysis and the conclusion in reaching this decision by the FCC, which would appear to have wider ramifications.

It has since then been noted that the substance of the complaint gives additional grounds for rejection of UPCA and therefore what Lambrecht is doing will merely disgrace the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, making it seem like it’s neither for justice nor for consumers. The title of the above article says “end of the road” and it seems growingly apparent that law firms are sort of ‘bailing out’ and giving up on the UPC. Whether another incarnation of UPCA will materialise is another question; it can take a decade or more. Without the UK, moreover, the value of such a system (and consent for it) would be greatly reduced.

“If “lobbyism” drives the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, then it makes Germany as a whole look like a ‘banana republic’.”Back in March we explained that the UPC had died due to Brexit. Another blow was the constitutional complaint in Germany, then the UK’s official position (rejecting the UPC) and finally the FCC’s decision, which was the final nail in the coffin.

And speaking of nail in the coffin, Lambrecht political career may be over. What she did in the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection disgraces not only the ministry but the person who has only led it for about a year.

Lambrecht should listen to constituents and experts, not a bunch of lobbyists. If “lobbyism” drives the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, then it makes Germany as a whole look like a ‘banana republic’. People are already complaining and damage is done based on underlying facts.

[Humour] The Linux Foundation is Not Even Using Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux at 3:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Linux Foundation Newsletter is Microsoft Windows and Proprietary IIS

Star Trek Peas: Got Linux? He's Not Even Using It!

Summary: The Linux Foundation does not support Linux except in name; it is important to remember that

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts