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08.17.20

The FSF Knows That GitHub is Proprietary Software and It Also Understands Whose

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 11:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GitHub is Proprietary Software

RMS on Microsoft Github

Zerline and Knauth at GitHub

Summary: If the goal is to outsource code to Microsoft, then the Linux Foundation‘s Zemlin isn’t much different from the FSF’s “zerline” (RMS wouldn’t have endorsed that)

Cray Research Was Founded by Seymour Cray, Not Jim Zemlin’s Grandfather (and No, Zemlin Cannot Really Speak Japanese as He Claims)

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 9:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Signs of career-climbing posers (taking credit for other people’s accomplishments or status ‘by association’)

Jim Zemlin's interview

Jim Zemlin on Japanese

Summary: Tall tales and stretching facts (to the point of seeking status based on other people’s achievements, including Linus Torvalds’) are the hallmark of sociopathic behaviour, compensating for a lack of personal merit

Jim Zemlin Gave Himself ~30% Pay Increment in a Couple of Years

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel at 9:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rewarded for selling out the Linux Foundation (to companies that are against Linux)?

LF salaries
As disclosed last year (latest on public record). The currency above is US dollars.

Summary: Since selling out to Microsoft and outsourcing almost every LF project to Microsoft (GitHub, which is proprietary software with vendor lock-in) the payments to non-technical managers at the LF shot up

EPO Should Quit Blaming COVID-19 for Its Demise

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Left or right

Summary: The EPO’s management is happy to exploit the public health crisis to do unreasonable things and even illegal things; at the same time that very same management is blaming that crisis for a crisis of its own making (planned demolition of the Office)

THE European Patent Office (EPO) has not changed targets and quotas. It has not given its staff any more breaks; many work overtime now. And yet, EPO management has the audacity to exploit COVID-19 to cut staff. This is the ‘reward’ staff gets for working until midnight and sometimes past midnight (small hours of the morning) whilst also home-schooling.

“The underlying issue is extremely dishonest and abundantly uncaring management. It only cares about milking the Office for what’s left of it (until the managers kill it).”António Campinos is not working hard. He drinks hard (same fetish as Benoît Battistelli, a Frenchman like him). He’s barely even online, according to a SUEPO publication from June/July. The lazy fat cats who are EPO management aren’t going to the Office and they hardly work from home, either. They give themselves yet more bonuses — during a pandemic no less! — whilst increasing pressure/burden on staff and signing off on plans to cut off salaries, benefits and even staff numbers. In effect making a decision to lay off staff in private (during a pandemic and without any consultation).

Under normal circumstances there would be EPO protests and an uproar. But it’s not possible right now because of the pandemic and they’re totally exploiting it, whilst at the same time blaming what they exploit for their own irrational actions. They want to have it both ways. The underlying issue is extremely dishonest and abundantly uncaring management. It only cares about milking the Office for what’s left of it (until the managers kill it).

Team UPC Has Almost Vanished

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Two birds (Bird & Bird)? Two birds, one stone?

Two birds is right

Summary: The remnants of Team UPC are a pathetic pale dot in a sea of change; sadly, however, the corruption of the EPO means that its own doom is next

LAST week there was some discussion about the future — or lack thereof — of UPC. It was towards the end of the week and there has been virtually nothing in the media about it. After all, reporting about the absence of something is hard. Benjamin Henrion kept an eye on that; there was nothing to report.

Just like the European Patent Office (EPO), the UPC is all silence these days. No progress, nothing! Even Bristows has said nothing for a whole month and over the past 4+ months only Myles Jelf and Gregory Bacon said anything at all about it.

“Even Bristows has said nothing for a whole month and over the past 4+ months only Myles Jelf and Gregory Bacon said anything at all about it.”The EPO isn’t quiet because things are well and it cannot be blamed on holidays/summer, either. It’s not like people are flying places; António Campinos is going nowhere (no photo ops in a very long time), Benoît Battistelli could last been seen more than a year ago in public, and over the past few days Kluwer Patent Blog and IP Kat had not so very positive things to say about the quality of service at the EPO (the comments in particular were rather telling).

Systems perish when they discredit themselves, harming their legitimacy and capability of recruiting talent. In the case of the UPC, all the lying and dirty tricks have not paid off; one might say that they backfired as soon as states realised that they had been misled, even blatantly lied to.

“In the case of the UPC, all the lying and dirty tricks have not paid off; one might say that they backfired as soon as states realised that they had been misled, even blatantly lied to.”If the EPO wishes to return to its noble days, it needs to hold accountable all the crooks who gambled its money away, issued flawed patents (to fake so-called ‘production’) and canned workers’ rights. There’s a very slim chance this can ever happen, especially with the likes of Mr. Breton in the Commission.

Europe is slowly recovering from COVID-19 — with or without vaccination (remember it takes many years to not only develop but also properly test a vaccine; patents aren’t helping!) — but the EPO isn’t recovering and the UPC already ran out of oxygen. It’s clinically dead.

“Remember that CIPA was a major driving force behind UPC. These people are rogue. Their exam is a sham or a scam. People feel very strongly about it.”Based on what we’re being told, EPO workers already navigate their future by planning for a post-EPO career. It’s not clear what will happen to European patent systems as a whole; we just hope there will be a return to patent quality, not quantity. It’s not a numbers game. Seeing the many comments about PEB (and CIPA) in IP Kat this month, we can tell for certain that everyone in this profession is concerned. “CIPA is poacher and gamekeeper,” one new comment said, “keeping the defective exam system going for decades is all part of the rotten and corrupt process for restricting the numbers.” There are even comments more blunt than this one. Remember that CIPA was a major driving force behind UPC. These people are rogue. Their exam is a sham or a scam. People feel very strongly about it.

Techrights does not oppose patents; it opposes bad patents. Not every patent that gets granted has a net positive effect. That much is very obvious.

Links 17/8/2020: Linux 5.9 RC1, Parrot 4.10 Release

Posted in News Roundup at 3:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • OpenShift joins the Argo CD community (KubeCon Europe 2020)

        As Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift platform adoption grow and organizations move a larger portion of their infrastructure to these platforms, organizations are increasingly faced with the challenge of managing hybrid multicluster environments across the public cloud and on-premises infrastructure. While this approach brings flexibility and scalability to managing applications, the ability to ensure configuration consistency across these clusters, and the ability to roll out applications to multiple clusters in a consistent manner becomes a necessity. Enter the Argo CD GitOps Kubernetes Operator.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 367

        Hey, it’s time for another **Debian** anniversary

      • Are Free Software And Open Source Really So Different?

        The terms free software and open source get thrown around a lot but it seems like everybody just assumes that these terms actually make sense outside of very tiny group so today I thought I would try and help that group grow a little larger and do my best at explaining the differences between free software and open source software and provide a practical distinction.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.9-rc1
        This merge window felt a lot more normal than 5.8, and all the stats
        confirm thar it seems to be the usual size.
        
        The only thing that stands out is yet another AMD GPU header file
        drop, but by now that almost counts as "usual" too. It does mean that
        the diff stats are dominated by those AMD updates, and almost exactly
        half of the diff is under drivers/gpu/drm/amd/, but it's the usual big
        register definitions (presumably once more generated from the hw
        files) and doesn't really matter in the big picture.
        
        If you ignore that, stats look very normal. Even ignoring the AMD GPU
        updates, drivers are still about 60% of the patch, and it's all over.
        Outside of drivers, it's the usual mix of architecture updates,
        documentation, core networking, tooling and filesystem updates.
        
        "Normal size" is still obviously pretty big, so the appended is just
        my merge-log as usual. For details, dig down into whichever area
        excites you in the git tree...
        
                              Linus
        
      • Linus Torvalds Announces First Linux Kernel 5.9 Release Candidate
      • Linux 5.9-rc1 Kernel Released – Line Count Dominated By AMD Radeon Navi 2 Additions
      • Kernel prepatch 5.9-rc1
      • Linux 5.9 Features New GPU Support To Numerous Security + Performance Optimizations

        Linux 5.9-rc1 is set to be released this evening in marking the end of the two-week long merge window where new features are introduced for the cycle.
        Linux 5.9 is shaping up to be another big release with as of writing having seen 456k lines of code added to the kernel tree this merge window since v5.8. For the Linux 5.9 merge window as of now there’s been 727,379 insertions and 270,919 lines of code removed across 13,177 files. In comparison the Linux 5.8 merge window that was one of the largest ever saw 543k lines of code added while Linux 5.7 of its more modest size saw 263k lines added back during its merge window.

      • Google offers first part of its in-house M:N thread code as open source to Linux kernel

        Google has confirmed it plans to contribute some of its in-house threading code to the Linux kernel, but hasn’t disclosed its motivations beyond a desire to share.

        As described by Googler Peter Oskolkov on the Linux kernel mailing list, the tech is “an M:N userspace threading subsystem backed by Google-private SwitchTo Linux Kernel API. This subsystem provides latency-sensitive services at Google with fine-grained user-space control/scheduling over what is running when, and this subsystem is used widely internally (called schedulers or fibers).”

        Scheduling and managing threads matters when you want to make sure your CPU cores don’t lie idle if there’s work they could usefully be doing. M:N threading is one approach, and it’s typically more efficient than the 1:1 approach most kernels tend to use.

        The Register asked Google to explain what it’s up to with this contribution to the kernel and was told simply: “Threading technology is widely used across Google.”

        Which makes a lot of sense given Google tries to wring the most out of its colossal server fleet.

      • Graphics Stack

        • LLVMpipe Has Patches Bringing It To OpenGL 4.5 Support

          For years Mesa’s LLVMpipe software rasterizer has been bound to OpenGL 3.3 support but finally in recent months Red Hat’s David Airlie has been tackling OpenGL 4.x support… Right now in Mesa it’s at OpenGL 4.3 but there are patches seemingly to be mainlined very soon that will take it up to OpenGL 4.5.

          As it stands right now, Mesa 20.2 will ship in a few weeks with OpenGL 4.3 support for LLVMpipe rather than OpenGL 4.3. But David Airlie has continued hacking away at the missing GL4 features and now has this LLVM-powered software OpenGL driver hitting OpenGL 4.5 with patches under review.

    • Applications

      • FetchCord – Display Your System Info as Discord Rich Presence

        FetchCord is a simple tool grabs your system information and displays it as Discord Rich Presence.

        FetchCord is written in Python 3 and relies on Neofetch for your basic system information. With the handy tool, you’ll see your system info inside Discord user’s profile.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Patches Revived For 64-bit POWER Support, Hangover To Run Windows Apps On POWER

        Going back many months have been work on making Wine work nicely on 64-bit POWER (POWER9) for ultimately being able to handle Windows programs on IBM POWER/OpenPOWER hardware. The latest Wine work has now been sent out for benefiting this CPU architecture popular with free software purists.

        André Hentschel has sent out his latest 22 patches for porting Wine to PPC64 (64-bit POWER). This comes from cleaning, re-basing, and splitting up earlier POWER patches sent last year.

    • Games

      • The Best Voice Chat Apps for PC Gaming

        Mumble VoIP application is equipped with encryption so that your data is always secure. This application offers low latency audio streaming so that there are minimum lags during the chat. The positional sound support provided by this app gives a more realistic feel to the players.

        Mumble app gives a number of permissions to the admin which can be used to manage all the users on the server. Besides, this app lets the players use middleware called “Ice” to get additional features like channel viewers, web interfaces, authenticators and so on.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kdenlive 20.08 is out

          Kdenlive 20.08 is out with nifty features like Interface Layouts, Multiple Audio Stream support, Cached data management and Zoombars in the Clip Monitor and Effects Panel but one may argue that the highlights of this release are stability and interface improvements. This version received a total of 284 commits with some major contributions from new developers. (Thanks Simon and Julius)

        • Please contribute your syntax highlightings upstream to KSyntaxHighlighting

          Looking around the internet a bit for Kate related stuff, I stumbled over the current incarnation of the Haskell re-implementation of KSyntaxHighlighting: skylighting. They reuse the highlighting definitions we provide and convert them to some Haskell data structures to do the highlighting. pandoc uses this to provide highlighting for included code snippets.
          Out of curiosity I wanted to know how up-to-date they are in respect to the files we keep in our repository, but interesting enough their repository actually contained some files we didn’t have at all.
          This was now rectified by importing the missing files to the official KSyntaxHighlighting repository. During that process, some minor faults detected by our compile time static checker for syntax files were fixed, too.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Will Thompson: Bustleman’s Holiday

          The main user-facing change is a great new icon, designed and drawn by Tobias Bernard. (Unfortunately the Flathub website still shows the old one for CDN cache reasons, but you can feast your eyes above or in your favourite app centre.)

          I also rewrote some parts of the app from Haskell to C. In particular, it no longer uses the Haskell D-Bus implementation and libpcap binding, instead using GDBus and GVariant (via some minimal hand-written FFI bindings) and some mostly-existing C code, respectively. Me circa 2008 would be horrified to learn that I’ve done this, and me circa 2020 is sad to be introducing more unsafe code, but the net result is a smaller app with way fewer transitive dependencies.

          Why can’t it use GDBus via GObject Introspection, you ask? GLib didn’t have a D-Bus implementation in 2008, and there was no GObject Introspection support for Haskell. These days, bindings for Gio etc. generated via GObject Introspection exist, but migrating Bustle to these would amount to a rewrite, and I don’t have the time or stomach for that. (These libraries all have my name on them because I made a small start at the generator back in 2011 with the express goal of using them in Bustle, but I’d be amazed if any of my work is still present.)

        • Apoorv Sachan: The Final Piece

          The final piece in the puzzle still remains. The Open-With page, of the properties dialogue. Open-with page is a rather un-noticed but a very significant part of the properties-dialogue, It allows us to set, change the application which would launch for a particular file based on it’s MIME type.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Zenwalk Linux 15.0-200703a

          In some ways my experiences with the Zenwalk system installer and the distribution’s netpkg software manager largely reflected my overall view of the distribution. These tools, like Zenwalk in general, cover basic needs and perform tasks quickly, but there are some rough edges and things take more steps to get working than on most other distributions.

          Zenwalk covers the basics of functionality, but I found doing anything outside of that, particularly if it involved installing more software, took a long time and tended to require manual steps that most distribution’s automate. Zenwalk’s software tools don’t work with multiple repositories seamlessly, and in the case of Flatpak Hub, the system is not set up with a repository at all. I also find the lack of dependency resolution at this point a strange omission. Not installing required dependencies automatically does not cut down on bloat, it just prevents software from working. In a similar vein, the system installer takes over twice as many steps to install as Linux Mint or Fedora, but does not offer us much additional useful customization.

          Visually, in a lot of ways, Zenwalk is beautiful. I really like the layout and dark theme used by the Xfce desktop. However, the visual tone is inconsistent. Sometimes windows are dark, sometimes they are transparent. Sometimes the system looks sleek and modern, yet the notifications look like they were (to quote someone who saw me using Zenwalk) “designed by a hyper five year old.” The login screen sometimes labels its input fields, and sometimes it does not. Sometimes the application menu disappears, other times it is visible and beautiful.

          All of this is to say Zenwalk has some rough edges. Which is understandable, it is a development snapshot after all. However, I wonder if its classic-style base will be appealing to many users. Using text-based installers, console-based service management, and package management without dependency resolution all feel like legacies of the past at this point. They work, in their fashion, but require more manual effort on the part of the user without, in my opinion, much benefit for their minimalism. People who like Slackware and Xfce will probably appreciate Zenwalk, but I’m not sure people from outside the Slackware community will have a reason to try this distribution.

      • New Releases

        • Parrot 4.10 Release Notes

          We are proud to announce the release of Parrot OS 4.10. This new version includes many important updates to make the distribution more reliable and more secure.

          [...]

          Parrot OS is a rolling release distribution, and updates flow in the repo as soon as they prove to be stable and reliable.

          Version numbers (like 4.8 or 4.9) are just tags we assign to the current state of the project every time we think there are enough updates accumulated in the repo to need a refresh of the ISO file. In fact every Parrot version represents exactly a refresh of our ISO files to collect all the accumulated pieces together into something tested and reliable.

        • First Official MX Linux 19.2 Featuring KDE Plasma Desktop Released

          A few months ago, the MX Linux team released the second point version of its MX Linux 19 ‘Patito Feo’ series. Then, following the high user demand, last month it revealed the beta ISO of MX Linux 19.2 with KDE Plasma desktop for the first time.

          Now, the team has announced the first officially supported Debian-based MX/antiX family distribution featuring KDE Plasma 5.14.5. The new MX Linux 19.2 KDE is a 64-bit only version with Advanced Hardware Support (AHS) enabled.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat’s channel tackles the challenge of monolithic legacy applications

          Once an enterprise Linux specialist, Red Hat is now providing answers to some of the biggest questions being asked of corporate and government IT.

          The company’s OpenShift container platform, for instance, was key to the modernisation of New Zealand Customs’ legacy CusMod applications, taking them from a dependence on proprietary hardware into hybrid cloud.

          The fact that Datacom engineered that shift along with Section6 providing modernisation services points to another aspect of the vendor’s strategy — apart from having what country manager Derek Wilson says are a couple of direct customers, Red Hat remains a channel-based business.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Turns 27 Years Old, Happy Birthday!

          Today is Debian Day and the day when the Debian Project, the maker of the Debian GNU/Linux universal operating system, turns 27 years old.

          That’s right, believe it or not, it’s been 27 years since the late Ian Murdock established the Debian Project back in August 16th, 1993, in an attempt to develop a GNU/Linux distribution, which is now known as Debian GNU/Linux.

          The first ever Debian GNU/Linux operating system version was released just a month later, on September 15th, 1993. And now, 27 years later, it is being used by millions of computer users all over the world, either directly by using Debian GNU/Linux or indirectly by using one of the numerous derivatives.

          There are so many Debian derivatives out there that I can’t even count them all, the most popular of them all being Ubuntu, of course, which in turn is the base for numerous other derivatives, such as the very popular Linux Mint. But they all have one thing in common, Debian!

        • Happy Birthday to Debian, CPAN, and Mutt

          27 years ago today, in 1993, Debian first appeared in the world. August 16th has since been recognized as “DebianDay,” celebrated shortly before the annual Debian Conference — with lots of ways to get involved, according to Debian.org…

        • DebConf20 talk recorded

          OK, one step back. Why are we doing this? Because our hardworking friends of the DebConf20 video team recommended so. In order to minimize connecitvity issues from the variety of speakers throughout the world, we were requested to pre-record the exposition part of our talks, send them to the video team (deadline: today 2020-08-16, in case you still owe yours!), and make sure to be present at the end of the talk for the Q&A session. Of course, for a 45 minute talk, I prepared a 30 minute presentation, saving time for said Q&A session.

          Anyway, I used the excellent OBS studiolive video mixing/editing program (of course, Debian packages are available. This allowed me to set up several predefined views (combinations and layouts of the presentation, webcam, and maybe some other sources) and professionally and elegantly switch between them on the fly.

          I am still a newbie with OBS, but I surely see it becoming a part of my day to day streaming. Of course, my setup still was obvious (me looking right every now and then to see or control OBS, as I work on a dual-monitor setup…)

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • CryptPad: An Encrypted Open Source Google Docs Alternative for Privacy Cautious Users

        CryptPad is an amazing open-source online suite for creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations, boards, and more. The best part is that all the documents are encrypted. Take a look at CryptPad in this week’s open source software highlight.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Starts Off With Presentation Improvements, Inclusive Config Options

          While LibreOffice 7.0 was just released earlier this month, with the code branching having already happened earlier this summer, there are a number of changes already accumulating in the code-base for LibreOffice 7.1.

          As usual for the release rhythm of this open-source office suite, LibreOffice 7.1 as the next installment should likely be out in late January / early February as that is their traditional target that complements their early August summer release.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Why I switched from Vim to Emacs

            I have been a loyal Vim user since, well, I don’t even remember any longer. Over the years, I tried other editors, but Vim commands and keyboard shortcuts are second nature to me, so much so that I ended up doing :w every time I wanted to save in another application. So, for a long time, I stuck with Vim for all my note-taking and writing. By combining Vim with Markdown syntax, I could easily export my notes to any format for other uses or sharing with my colleagues.

            I’ve always enjoyed working in a terminal, but I usually needed other applications for my email, calendar, and tracking the time I spend on various tasks, which I like to do for numerous reasons. I tried different cloud solutions, kanban boards, and email clients, but I kept looking for a way to do it all in a terminal. I tried some great projects for time tracking and kanban on the command line—but there was always something missing in my workflow. That is until I read an article about using Org mode in Emacs.

            I had tried Emacs before and found out there are even more commands and keyboard combinations to keep track of in Emacs than Vim! However, every time I read an article explaining different ways to use Org mode, it seemed like Emacs was the solution I was looking for. So I made another venture into the world of Emacs.

          • Use GNU on Windows with MinGW

            If you’re a hacker running Windows, you don’t need a proprietary application to compile code. With the Minimalist GNU for Windows (MinGW) project, you can download and install the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) along with several other essential GNU components to enable GNU Autotools on your Windows computer.

      • Programming/Development

        • Go 1.15 Improves the Go Linker, Small Object Allocation, and More

          The latest release of the Go language, Go 1.15, focuses on improving the toolchain, runtime, and core libraries. Besides improving the linker and allocation for small objects, Go 1.15 deprecates X.509 CommonName, supports a new embedded tzdata package, and more.

          Go linker changes aim to reduce memory and CPU time usage as well as to improve code robustness and maintainability.

        • [GSoC] Address Sanitizer, Part 2

          Hello again! Its been a month since my last blog. So, there are many updates I’d like to share. I’ll first cover the Address Sanitizer (ASan) algorithm in detail and then summarize the progress made until the second evaluation period.

          If you recall my last post, I had briefly talked about the principle behind ASan. Now, let us discuss the ASan algorithm in much more depth. But first, we need to understand the memory layout and how the compiler’s instrumentation works.

          [...]

          Now, as we have looked at the memory mapping and the instrumented code, let’s drive into the algorithm.

        • Python

        • Java

          • What makes Java open source?

            If you’re using Java to write business applications, you may know that Java Standard Edition (SE) is not open source software. It is not managed by a foundation, like Python or JavaScript, and in January 2019, Oracle changed its policy to require a commercial license for any use of SE, from the developer’s local environment to production.

            This change also raised a lot of questions in open source communities about licensing compliance and Java usage. If you’re still confused, this article will guide you through how these changes apply to Java developers.

  • Leftovers

    • Education

      • Over 70 pct of religious school graduates regret İmam Hatip education – survey

        While 73 percent of graduates of the school say they would not study at the institution again if they were given a choice, 68 percent of current students said they were unhappy with studying at a İmam Hatip and undecided about their future, Birgün newspaper cited the study as saying.

        Under the 18-year leadership of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, himself an İmam Hatip alumnus, the schools to train Islamic clergy have catapulted in number – from 450 when he came into power, to over 5,000 today.

        Only 38 percent of respondents said they chose to attend İmam Hatip schools on their own volition, while 51 percent said they made the choice at the request of their families, the Ensar survey found.

    • Hardware

      • Nordic Semi nRF21540 RF front end module Extends the Range of nRF52/nRF53 Bluetooth SoC’s

        A little while ago, we wrote about RFCat N32 board integrating Meshtek-H52 module with nRF52832 2.4GHz multi-protocol SoC and a Skyworks power amplifier increasing power by up to 30 times to extend the wireless range to up to 200 meters.

        It turns out Nordic Semi outed its own range extender module late last year with nRF21540 RF front end module (FEM) that integrates a power amplifier (PA) and low noise amplifier (LNA) optimized to boost the link budget of the nRF52 and nRF53 multi-protocol wireless SoCs.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • COVID Deaths Continue to Surge in Countries Led by Far Right Authoritarians

        As the globe enters the sixth month since the World Health Organization (WHO) classified COVID-19 as a pandemic, cases and death rates in countries led by far right authoritarians continue to surge. The vast majority of nations have sought out the advice of experts and coordinated internationally to implement safeguards, yet the right-wing nationalist leaders of the U.S., Brazil, India and Russia have intensified the pandemic — creating more death and uncertainty.

      • Our Race Against the Clock to Affirm Water as a Human Right

        On the ten year anniversary of the United Nations historic vote to recognize water as a basic human right, Barlow reflects on where we go from here.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Safest Voting Method Is Using Paper, Leading Cyber Expert Says

        The election infrastructure, which includes voter databases and vote-tallying and vote-reporting systems, is “very, very, vulnerable to [cr]acking,” Alperovitch added. “I’m not so much concerned about foreign entities interfering in the paper process, but we do need to make sure that states are prepared to take in the huge number of mail-in ballots that will come in.”

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft tells Windows 10 users they can never uninstall Edge. Wait, what?

          This is a very good browser. It’s like Chrome — Redmond based it on the Chromium platform, after all — but it’s better.

          Microsoft has, however, been annoying Windows 10 users by making it very difficult to ignore — or even eliminate — Edge. Some believe Edge is stealing their Chrome data.

          Even those still on the terminal Windows 7 system are annoyed.
          One reader even described Edge as malware because of the way Microsoft tried to force his wife’s Windows 7 system to adopt its new browser.

          You might imagine Microsoft could rethink this strategy. You might imagine a lava of conscience will have drifted over Redmond’s vast mountain.

        • Security

          • Josh Bressers: Episode 210 – Cult of Information Security

            Josh and Kurt talk about the current state of information security. There are aspects that resemble a cult more than we would like. It’s not all bad though, there are some things we can do to help move things forward. This episode shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

          • Cloud firewalls for WordPress

            If you use WordPress, then WordPress itself takes care of a ton of security issues and keeps resolving new ones in every update. Recent update WordPress 5.5 provides features to auto-update themes and plugins to improve site security.

            In this article, I will talk about some of the very common security threats for websites and how to secure our websites using cloud-based firewalls for WordPress.

          • PCLinuxOS: Wireshark updated to 3.2.6

            Wireshark is a network traffic analyzer for Unix-ish operating systems. It is
            based on Qt5, a graphical user interface library, and libpcap, a packet capture and filtering library.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • No Longer Leader of the Free World: Trump Admin. Humiliated at UN over Iran Arms Embargo

        The resolution, presented by the US ambassador to the UN and aimed at an indefinite extension of the UN arms embargo on Iran, failed 13-2.

      • Military Recruiters Are Targeting High Schoolers Facing Financial Insecurity
      • Military Recruiters Don’t Belong in High Schools

        Recruiters deliberately exploit the financial and social insecurities of teenagers to enlist more soldiers.

      • Mozambique’s Growing Insurgency Takes Strategic Port

        Militants aligned with the Islamic State seized a key port in gas-rich northern Mozambique on Wednesday after days of fighting. The attack was the fourth assault on Mocimboa da Praia this year. The Mozambican military, which suffers from low morale and a lack of resources, has struggled to contain a growing insurgency in the north that has killed almost 1,000 civilians since it began in 2017, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). The military reportedly ran out of ammunition while trying to push back the latest assault.

        Analysts doubt that the militants will be able to maintain control of the port. The Defense Forces of Mozambique said operations to retake the area were ongoing but that their efforts were complicated by the militants’ use of civilians as human shields. The attacks underscore the insurgency’s growing sophistication as well as the security forces’ inability to repel the militants from points of strategic infrastructure.

      • ‘Urgent need’ to stop erosion of nuclear order

        The President of the Conference on Disarmament, Shameem Ahsan, spoke in his capacity as the Ambassador of Bangladesh, saying that “a broad majority of the Member States” were not happy that the Conference had not delivered any substantial progress over the last two decades.

        Stressing the need to “draw upon collective wisdom and act together towards reaching a broad consensus”, he noted that the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings in Japan, reminded the international community of the “real and harrowing consequences of war” and the growing urgency to free the world of nuclear weapons.

      • Northern Nigerian Muslims Need To Re-educate Themselves By Fadumo Paul

        If some people feel offended by a song and consider it as blasphemy to the extent of calling for the death of a fellow citizen, I think it should also be made known to them that we’re offended by such beliefs. The belief that people should be killed to satisfy the law of blasphemy is ridiculous alone, but that it makes some people feel priggish, is evil. I feel tempted to think that some of the people that are supporting the blasphemy ideology in Nigeria may have been secretly supporting Boko Haram for doing what they cannot do by themselves. Perhaps, it is one of the reasons the insurgency in that area has lasted for this long.

        The freedom of expression protected by the section 39(1) of the Nigerian constitution is the only “hope and tool of freedom for common people”, and some of us will defend it, by all lawful means, regardless of our individual religious beliefs.

      • POW sufferings remembered in Taiwan on 75th anniversary of end of WWII

        Hurst, a Canadian ex-pat who has dedicated more than two decades of his life studying the history of POW camps in Taiwan, said that aside from today’s activities, a remembrance week for POWs will take place in November, to be highlighted by a wreath-laying ceremony at the site of a former POW camp in New Taipei City. According to TPCMS research, more than 4,000 POWs, including American, British, Australian, and Dutch prisoners, were held at 17 camps or related facilities set up by the Japanese Imperial Army in Taiwan between 1942 and 1945. Up to 42 percent of them were killed or died in captivity.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Debunking 3 Viral Falsehoods About Kamala Harris

        As Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced that he had selected Senator Kamala Harris of California as his vice-presidential running mate, [I]nternet [astroturfers] got to work.

        Since then, false and misleading information about Ms. Harris has spiked online and on TV. The activity has jumped from two dozen mentions per hour during a recent week to over 3,200 per hour in the last few days, according to the media insights company Zignal Labs, which analyzed global television broadcasts and social media.

    • Finance

      • The AFT Has Endorsed the Green New Deal. What’s Stopping the AFL-CIO?

        The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the second largest teachers’ union in the country, passed a resolution in support of the Green New Deal at its biennial convention at the end of July. The Green New Deal, federal legislation introduced in early 2019, would create a living-wage job for anyone who wants one and implement 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030. The endorsement is huge news for both Green New Deal advocates and the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States. The AFT’s endorsement could be a sign of environmental activists’ growing power, and it sends a message to the AFL-CIO that it, too, has an opportunity to get on board with the Green New Deal. But working people’s conditions are changing rapidly, and with nearly half of all workers in the country without a job, the leaders of the AFL-CIO and its member unions may choose to knuckle down on what they perceive to be bread-and-butter issues, instead of fighting more broadly and boldly beyond immediate workplace concerns.

      • The Basic Case for a Wealth Tax

        America’s 12 wealthiest now control $1 trillion of wealth. The only practical way to address this extreme wealth concentration: a tax on accumulated grand fortune.

      • Condemnations of Chicago “Looting” Prioritize Property Over Black Lives

        The city of Chicago, like many large urban centers that serve as home to significant numbers of Black people, is often misunderstood and pummeled with the markers of being “violent” and “dangerous.” Despite the city’s desire to publicize its tourism and other neoliberal amenities to attract global financial capital, people visiting the city are generally warned against going to its South or West sides, where the vast majority of Black people live.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Nigeria’s blasphemy cases in focus

        Yahaya Aminu Sharif was found guilty of using derogatory expressions against the Muslim Prophet Muhammad in a song and was sentenced by a court to death by hanging on Monday.

        Sharif had reportedly sent the song around on WhatsApp in March, prompting angry demonstrators to burn down his family house.

        Sharif may appeal the verdict.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Under siege: why Hong Kong’s press remains defiant

        This rapidly deteriorating environment threatens both local journalists and the operations of the many international media organisations which have made the city their regional base. After meeting with an extensive media presence at the front lines of protests over the past year, Hong Kong police has been pushing for a formal accreditation system for journalists. But in the face of strong opposition from groups including the Hong Kong Journalists Association, which fear obstruction to the media’s work, the police force has failed to convince the government, and appears to have taken matters into its own hands, refusing reporting access to certain media outlets and effectively instituting their own ad hoc accreditation system.

      • In Belarus, Journalists Beaten and Detained, Internet Cut

        About 80 violations against the media have been documented since the election, according to the Belarusian Association of Journalists, which monitors attacks on journalists. Cases include reporters beaten by police, hit by rubber bullets, mistreated in custody, deported, or who had equipment confiscated or destroyed.

        International journalists, including news crews for Russian and British broadcasters, were released relatively quickly, but several local journalists remain in detention. Internet and cell phone service were slowed or blocked in a move that human rights experts said was deliberate.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Cops Have Repeatedly Attacked and Obstructed Street Medics During BLM Rebellion

        “Move! Move! Move to the west, you are subject to arrest. Move to the west now, this is a riot!” a dystopian voice blared over a police loudspeaker in Portland on the night of August 12, after over 70 continuous days of revolt in solidarity with Black lives in the Oregon city.

      • Solidarity Forever: Essential Workers, Public Goods, and How We Are in This Together

        When we live with solidarity as a strong value, we all do better when it comes to pandemics, and when it comes to other problems that arise in our social matrix, such as climate change.

      • Coronavirus: Have We Already Missed the Opportunity to Build a Better World?

        What can we learn now about crisis and making enduring change?

      • Turkey femicides are rising — with Erdogan poised to make the violence worse

        Advocacy groups that monitor violence against women say the problem is only getting worse. We Will Stop Femicide, an advocacy organization that tracks domestic, gender-based violence against women — often known as femicide — suggests a steady increase of killings in the last decade. According to their data, over 2,000 women were killed from 2008 to 2017. Although the government avoids commenting on the increase in femicides, a recent report by Turkish law enforcement asserts similar numbers, concluding that close to 2,500 women were killed in those same years. Both datasets show a downward spike in only one year, 2011, the year Turkey signed and promoted the Istanbul Convention.

        But even as feminists are calling for the full execution of the convention, Turkey’s government is thinking about leaving it. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party, AKP, met on Aug. 13 to decide whether Turkey should pull out of the international accord.

      • ‘We will be victims of an honour killing,’ say Saudi sisters at risk of deportation from Turkey

        Now the sisters are stranded in Istanbul, terrified that their family members – who are actively pursuing them – will find a way to bring them back and subject them both to an honour killing.

      • [Old] Bombs, shootings are a part of life in Swedish city Malmo

        Violent crime in Malmo has declined since 2017, when a total of 58 bombs exploded and 81 shootings took place in the region. But there’s still a long way to go until it loses its reputation for crime.

      • ‘Muslim Women Bravely Asked Hindu Mob to Leave us’: ‘Caravan’ Journalists Recount Attack

        New Delhi: “When rule of law breaks down, the society descends into chaos and violence and ultimately everybody suffers,” said Prashant Bhushan, eminent lawyer, while addressing a press conference in Delhi’s Press Club of India. The press conference was organised on Thursday to condemn the attack on the three journalists of The Caravan in Subhash Mohalla of North East Delhi’s North Ghonda on August 11 by a violent mob.

        Speakers included noted author Arundhati Roy, senior journalists Anand Sahay and Shahid Abbas, the political editor of Caravan magazine, Hartosh Singh Bal, along with Bhushan.

        Bhushan invoked recently deceased poet Rahat Indori’s couplet, “Lagegi aag to aayege ghar kayi zad me. Yaha pe sirf hamara makan thodi hai.” ‘If a fire breaks out, many houses will be burnt. It will not just be my house.’

        “They beat up people who speak against the government and the police stands helplessly like bystanders,” he added, referring to police inaction when it came to controlling the mob, as alleged by the three reporters.

    • Monopolies

      • Amazon Probed by German Antitrust Body Over Prices: FAZ

        The Federal Cartel Office is “investigating whether and how Amazon influences retailers’ pricing” on its marketplace, Andreas Mundt told FAZ in an interview.

      • An Uber and Lyft shutdown in California looks inevitable — unless voters bail them out

        Khosrowshahi doesn’t have to shut down Uber in California to make this point. Along with Lyft and DoorDash, his company has over $110 million in cash it can spend to sway voters on Prop 22, according to CalMatters. By comparison, pro-AB5 labor groups have only $866,000. That could be enough to score a win.

      • Patents

        • Apple Owes Tech Companies $506M For Patent Infringement, Jury Says

          Apple said Tuesday it plans to appeal a decision by a Texas federal jury that said the tech giant should pay a group of telecom companies more than $506 million for willfully infringing patents covering 4G LTE technology, in one of the few in-person jury trials to take place since the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered courtrooms nationwide.

        • Apple returns fire in Koss AirPods patent infringement battle

          Apple is firing back against Koss’s patent lawsuit with a filing of its own, with Apple claiming not only that the personal audio manufacturer’s claims are baseless, but also that it broke a confidentiality agreement.

          In July, Koss filed in the U.S. District Court in Waco, Texas accusing Apple of infringing several patents it owns relating to wireless earphone technology, and that selling AirPods, AirPods Pro, and Beats by Dre products is a violation. Furthermore, the HomePod and Apple Watch were also targeted under another patent relating to configuring wireless devices to work on a wireless network.

          In a new filing with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California San Jose Division, Apple one-ups Koss’ five-count lawsuit with one containing six counts. While the first details an alleged breach of contract, the other five each declare Apple didn’t infringe on each of five patents that Koss is using in its own complaint.

        • US Postal Service Files Blockchain Voting Patent Following Trump Cuts

          A new patent has been filed by the U.S. Postal Service, or USPS, which appears to use Blockchain technology to make mail-in voting a safe alternative to physical polling stations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This news follows recent comments from President Donald Trump concerning the mail service’s funding as part of his fight against mail-in voting.

          “This development relates to a voting system that also incorporates the use of cryptographic elements, such as blockchains, as are used with cryptographic currencies, to track and secure the vote by mail system,” said a patent filing, dated Aug. 13, 2020.

          COVID-19 remains a global hot topic as the 2020 U.S. presidential elections draw near. Mail-in voting has also surfaced as a point of contention among members of the country’s political parties. Trump opposes the movement, and has suggested withholding further USPS funding as a preventative measure, a CNBC article said.

          Although mail-in voting allegedly opens the door for potential voter fraud, voters seek ease of access when recording their political preference in a multi-faceted battle. This has been made more complicated amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. “In some embodiments, a blockchain allows the tracking of the various types of necessary data in a way that is secure and allows others to easily confirm that data has not been altered,” the patent detailed.

        • Working Requirements In The Patent System: A Critical Analysis

          The condition that the patentees must satisfy the reasonable requirements of the public is an accepted principle under the patent law regimes. This is a significant legislative tradition of the IP system and none of the developed countries have departed from this key norm. The working requirement is one of the major tools for a developing country to balance its international commitments and domestic development needs. The existing system points out the need to be specified and harmonize the concept in international agreements with a global welfare perspective that could be adopted by national legislation. The purpose of having a ‘working requirement’ under a patent system is to ensure access to the patented product and the technology which would be disclosed after the term of protection is over. This paper critically explains Working Requirements’ in the Indian Patent System.

        • Lobbyists win a round in fight over protecting farmers’ rights to seeds

          Despite a political push to push the changes quickly through Congress, a campaign by Sin Maíz No Hay País was successful in getting the proposed changes taken off of the congressional agenda and their discussion postponed for a future date. A new proposal for the law is expected when the Congress reconvenes in September.

          The impetus for the changes comes with entrance into force of the USMCA, the updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trade deals like the USMCA oblige countries like Mexico and Brazil to adopt the latest version of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) Convention, or UPOV-91.

        • What’s In A Name? Curver Luxembourg and Its Implications for Design Patents

          This Article examines design patent law in the context of the 2019 Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision of Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions, Inc. It first explains the law of design patents as it was prior to the Curver Luxembourg decision — providing an overview of the three key requirements for design patent eligibility, the concept of an article of manufacture, and the design patent prosecution process. Then, it examines the Curver Luxembourg decision itself: the background of the case, the district court decision, and its affirmation on appeal. Finally, it examines the decision’s implications for design patent law, industry reactions to the decision, and specifically considers the increased importance of patent titles and the decision’s impact on the scope of prior art.

        • Did the America Invents Act Change University Technology Transfer?

          University technology transfer offices (TTOs) are the gatekeepers to groundbreaking innovations sparked in research laboratories around the U.S. With a business model reliant on patenting and licensing out for commercialization, TTOs were positioned for upheaval when the America Invents Act (AIA) transformed U.S. patent law in 2011. Now almost ten years later, this article examines the AIA’s actual effects on this patent-centric industry. It focuses on the five key areas of most interest to TTOs: i) first to file priority; ii) broadening of the universe of prior art; iii) carve-out to the prior commercial use defense; iv) micro-entity fees; and v) post grant proceedings to challenge patent validity.

          For the most part, TTOs have adapted well to the AIA changes. This is not least because universities have a widespread pro-publication culture that caused TTOs to adopt policies that were already AIA-friendly. But some AIA changes have caused TTOs to rethink certain patent filing strategies and in some cases shift how they work with their university faculty clients. TTOs are also facing other cultural challenges to their licensing model that they must address with creative solutions, some of which may push the boundaries of the traditional TTO mission. This article presents and analyzes the AIA changes. It then discusses their effect on university technology transfer by relaying anecdotes and explanations collected directly from the TTOs through interviews. Beyond reporting about policy shifts, the nuanced and at times surprising explanations also convey the tensions faced by TTOs as they market innovation, including balancing earning revenue for the inventor and the university with a mission to transfer the innovation into the world for impact. The article can therefore serve as a springboard for discussing broader questions, including the AIA’s effect on all industries that are reliant on patent value, and extrapolating generally to reflect on the true impact of the AIA.

        • B/E Aerospace, Inc. v. C&D Zodiac, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          In its petition, Zodiac defined the “Admitted Prior Art” as certain portions of the challenged patents, including Figure 1, which discloses a flat, forward-facing lavatory wall immediately behind a passenger seat that has a rear seat leg extending toward the back of the plane (referred to as an “aft-extending seat support”).

          The Board found that a skilled artisan would have found it obvious to further modify the Admitted Prior Art in view of U.S. Patent No. 3,738,497 (“Betts”) to include the “second recess” to receive passenger seat supports.

          Zodiac argued that the logic of using a recess to receive the seat back applies equally to using another recess to receive the aft extending seat support.

          Zodiac’s expert opined that the addition of a second recess “is nothing more than the application of a known technology (i.e., Betts) for its intended purpose with a predictable result (i.e., to position the seat as far back as possible). Zodiac’s expert explained that a skilled artisan “would be motivated to modify an enclosure, such as a lavatory, to include a second recess to receive aft facing seat supports”; that this “modification is nothing more than the application of known technology for its intended purpose”; and that the “result of such a modification is predictable, allowing the seat to be positioned further aft in an aircraft.”

          Second, the Board found that Zodiac “established a strong case of obviousness based on the Admitted Prior Art and Betts, coupled with common sense and the knowledge of a person of ordinary skill in the art.”

          On appeal, the Court found that there is no dispute that the prior art reference to Betts, which describes a contoured wall design, meets the “first recess” claim limitation. Only the “second recess” limitation was at issue.

          The Federal Circuit ultimately agreed with the Board’s conclusion that it would have been obvious to further modify the Admitted Prior Art/Betts combination to include the claimed “second recess” to receive passenger seat supports.

          First, the Federal Circuit found that such a modification recess was nothing more than the predictable application of known technology. The prior art yields a predictable result, the “second recess,” because a person of skill in the art would have applied a variation of the first recess and would have seen the benefit of doing so.

        • Life of a Patent Infographic

          Professor Yaniv Heald (GSU Law) has created the following helpful infographic of the patent prosecution process: PDF Life of a Patent Infographic (Aug. 14, 2020).

          Only one thing is certain in the life of a patent: all roads lead to the public domain.

      • Copyrights

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, August 16, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:20 am by Needs Sunlight

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