Links 15/3/2021: Linux 5.12 RC3, Solus 4.2 Reviewed, XMRig 6.10 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 7:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: March 14th, 2021

      This has been a slow week in Linux news, but we had some very nice releases, both on the hardware and software sides. New Linux computers saw the light of day from TUXEDO Computers and System76, Star Labs added Coreboot support to their LabTop Mk III laptop, and Mesa 21.0 graphics stack launched with many goodies for Linux gamers.

      On top of that, Canonical shared a first look at their upcoming new Ubuntu Desktop installer and announced the upcoming transition to ESM (Extended Security Maintenance) support for Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus), and I’m talking a look at a new Debian-based distro called TeLOS, which promises a different approach on the Linux desktop.

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #121

      We had a peaceful week in the world of Linux releases with the releases of Voyager Linux 20.04.2 and Venom 20210312.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 Launches Thelio Mira: Premium Linux-Based Desktops with AMD Ryzen 5000

        Leading workstation vendors offer Linux-based machines with the latest hardware inside, but those PCs are expensive and are not exactly home-friendly due to their expansive design. Meanwhile, buying a boutique desktop PC with Linux is somewhat tricky. Fortunately for Linux users, there are companies like System76, which just launched its Thelio Mira midrange system that can be equipped with a 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X processor and a leading-edge Nvidia Quadro RTX graphics card.

        System76 doesn’t label the Thelio Mira as a workstation; instead, the company brands it as a professional desktop system. Yet the PC can pack an AMD Ryzen 5000-series processor with up to 16 cores, one or two Nvidia’s Quadro RTX graphics cards (up to the RTX 8000 model), up to 128GB of ECC DDR4 memory, up to 4TB of PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage (using two M.2 drives), and up to 36 TB of HDD storage. Obviously, all the connectivity features that you would expect from a 2021 desktop are all there, too: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, 2.5 GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, USB Type-C, and audio connectors.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • You’re Probably Using Vim & Neovim Wrong

        On a recent live stream someone in chat pointed me towards a blog post about linux called Vim I hate to love you and I knew I had to make a video on it, I think it’s a really good article but I have some disagreements with how the author says Vim should be used.

      • How to free the imagination

        Next-week, I’ll be speaking at the online #LibrePlanet 2021software freedom conference about the problem of fan arts.

      • 142: SUSE IPO, New System76 Desktop, New Tuxedo Laptops, Mesa 21, 7-Zip & More | This Week in Linux

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got some core news to discuss the latest Mesa graphics driver. We’ve also got a lot of distro news related to SUSE, MakuluLinux, Sparky Linux, and Salient OS. In Hardware news, Tuxedo Computers and System76 have announced some new Linux powered computers. We’ve also got everyone’s favorite, Legal News, with patent trolls and IPOs. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • GNU World Order 397

        Interview with Herag, from the Anarcho Book Club podcast.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.12-rc3
        So rc3 is pretty big this time around, but that's entirely artificial,
        and due to how I released rc2 early. So I'm not going to read anything
        more into this, 5.12 still seems to actually be on the smaller side
        overall. Also, because of the rc1 debacle, there has been a bit more
        rebasing than usual, so the history of some of the commits sometimes
        looks more recent than it necessarily is.
        Other than that, things look fairly normal - there's a big peak in the
        diffstat around the io_uring fallout from the new thread creation
        model, and sparc makes an unusual showing on the architecture updates
        side, but other than that it's all the usual things: drivers (gpu,
        net, usb, staging, sound... all over), architectures (x86, arm64,
        s390, powerpc in addition to the already-mentioned sparc), filesystems
        (cifs, nfs) and core kernel (networking, VM, timers, scheduler..).
        And the (by now) quite usual documentation and tooling updates (mainly
        perf tooling and selftests).
        And random other patches.
        Full shortlog appended, although it is a bit larger than usual, so
        maybe not as easy to eyeball as I'd hope.
        With this, we're obviously back to the usual "Sunday afternoon" rc
        schedule, and I think we should be all back to normal in general for
        this release.
        Go beat on it,
      • Linux 5.12-rc3 Kernel Released

        Following the emergency Linux 5.12-rc2 kernel release nine days ago, the Linux 5.12-rc3 is out today as a more pleasant release candidate that is back on the usual Sunday release regiment.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.12-rc3

        The third 5.12 kernel prepatch is out for testing. “So rc3 is pretty big this time around, but that’s entirely artificial, and due to how I released rc2 early. So I’m not going to read anything more into this, 5.12 still seems to actually be on the smaller side overall.”

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Alder Lake P Media Driver Support Published – Phoronix

          This week marked Intel sending out initial Linux driver enablement patches for Alder Lake P mobile support to complement the existing Alder Lake S desktop support that has been coming together in recent months. In addition to the Linux kernel code for ADL-P, the Intel open-source Media Driver code was also updated for video acceleration on this Intel hybrid chip.

          Alder Lake P open-source media acceleration support was merged this week into the GitHub repository for this video encode/decode implementation. Worth noting from that code drop is Alder Lake P having the same media capabilities / codec support as Alder Lake S and in turn the same as Tiger Lake and Rocket Lake Gen12 graphics.

        • Gallium Nine Lands Big Optimization Around Dynamic System Memory Buffers – Phoronix

          In addition to recent commits improving Mesa’s Gallium3D Direct3D 9 “Nine” state tracker and addressing memory issues with 32-bit games, this D3D9 state tracker is now enjoying another performance optimization helping some games.

          Lead Gallium Nine developer Axel Davy merged his code for optimizing dynamic system memory “SYSTEMMEM” buffers. Up to now Gallium Nine did not specifically handle the SYSTEMMEM CPU buffers while now it’s better optimized for this type of buffers.

        • GRVK 0.3 Released For Continuing To Implement AMD’s Deprecated Mantle API Atop Vulkan – Phoronix

          GRVK is the open-source project implementing AMD’s Mantle API on Vulkan. Mantle was the precursor to the Vulkan industry standard and while it’s no longer in use by AMD, there still are some games out there that allow making use of it.

          GRVK allows for such Mantle games to run atop Vulkan not only for AMD drivers/GPUs but also with NVIDIA and Intel graphics too. The original Vulkan API is derived from and built off Mantle so GRVK is able to map rather nicely and has been making progress in recent months. This weekend marks the third tagged release for the project.

    • Applications

      • XMRig 6.10 Is Released

        XMRig is a cross-platform digital currency miner with support for the RandomX, KawPow, CryptoNight and AstroBWT mining algorithms. The latest version is mostly a pure bug-fix release, the http-parser library being replaced by llhttp is the only barely notable change.


        The biggest change in XMRig 6.10 is the replacement of the the long-dead http-parser library with the slightly prettier and actively maintained llhttp library. llhttp is also faster even though it is written in TypeScript while http-parser is written in pure C.

        The source code and binaries for XMRig 6.10 can be acquired from the projects GitHub releases page at github.com/xmrig/xmrig/releases/tag/v6.10.0. You will have to edit src/donate.h and compile from source if you do not want to donate 1% of your CPU time to the XMRig developers, –donate-level 0 will not work unless you change the 1% hard-coded minimum in that header file.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Asterisk on Ubuntu 20.04 | Linuxize

        Asterisk is a popular open-source PBX platform for developing communications applications such as conference servers and VoIP gateways. It is used by individuals, small businesses, large enterprises, and governments worldwide.

        Asterisk features include voicemail, music on hold, conference calling, call queuing, call recording, interactive voice response, SMS messaging, and more.
        This tutorial explains how to install Asterisk on Ubuntu 20.04.

        Ubuntu repositories include an older Asterisk version. We’ll install the latest Asterisk from the source code.

      • How to install Flowblade Video Editor on Linux Mint 20.1 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Flowblade Video Editor on Linux Mint 20.1.

      • How to Grant Admin Privileges to a User in Linux

        Need to get admin privileges in Linux, but not sure how? Today we’ll discuss how to quickly grant administrative rights to a specific user on Ubuntu and Arch Linux.

      • nspawn-runner and ansible

        New goal: make it easier to configure and maintain chroots. For example, it should be possible to maintain a rolling testing or sid chroot without the need to manually log into it to run apt upgrade.

        It should be also be easy to have multiple runners reasonably in sync by carrying around a few simple configuration files, representing the set of images available to the CI.

        Ideally, those configuration files could simply be one ansible playbook per chroot. nspawn-runner could have a ‘chroot-maintenance’ command that runs all the playbooks on their corresponding chroots, and that would be all I need.

      • How To Install Piwigo on CentOS 8

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Piwigo on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Piwigo is a free, open-source, and photo gallery software built on the LAMP stack. It supports multiple media formats, integrated blogs, and custom pages. Piwigo is an ideal CMS tool for photographers, designers, filmmakers, and musicians.

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

      • How To Install Swift Programming Language on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Swift Programming Language on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Swift is a modern open-source high-performing programming language. Mainly it is used for iOS app development but, you can use it for systems programming, cloud services, and design other applications. It was developed by Apple and released in 2014. Swift was designed as a replacement for the older Objective-C language.

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

      • How to Easily Delete Files and Folders in Linux

        Want to know how you can delete a file or a folder on your Linux machine? Maybe you have some unnecessary files that you want to remove from your system.

        In this article, we will discuss everything related to deleting files and folders in Linux. We will also provide brief information on the various flags and options that you can use while deleting files and directories on your computer.

      • How to use Hyphens in Systemd Mount Points

        Move Fstab mount config that contains hyphens to Systemd.

      • How to Download and install Kali Linux Vmware Image – Linux Shout

        Kali Linux is one of the popular open-source security operating systems meant for advanced users to help in ethical hacking and penetration testing. It is a project by the BackTrack developers that completely based on a Debian substructure and uses Gnome as the desktop.

        As most of us want to learn it for various testing or to be a part of the hacking world. The reason for using Kali Linux could be any, but if you already a Windows, macOS, or Ubuntu Linux user then using Virtualization is the best option to experience Kali Linux. Well, installing OS on VMware or VirtualBox is also a time-consuming process. In such as scenario we can use ready-made images of Kali Linux for Vmware and VirtualBox. This means if anything goes wrong with your current VM installation then you can immediately create a new one without any delay in your work.

      • How To Install Grafana on Linux Mint 20

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Grafana on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Grafana is an open-source data visualization and monitoring suite. It offers help for Graphite, Elasticsearch, Included, Prometheus, and much more databases. The application offers a stunning dashboard and metric analytics, with the potential to manage and create your personal dashboard to possess apps or infrastructure performance monitoring.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Grafana monitoring and metric analytics on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • How to play Spyro Reignited Trilogy on Linux

        Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a remake of the original trilogy of Spyro games for the PlayStation 1 released in 1998, 1999, and 2000. The game was released on PC in 2019 but never got a Linux release. However, it can be made to work on Linux. Here’s how.

      • Marcin ‘hrw’ Juszkiewicz: U-Boot and generic distro boot

        Small board computers (SBC) usually come with U-Boot as firmware. There could be some more components like Arm Trusted Firmware, OPTEE etc but what user interact with is the U-Boot itself.

        Since 2016 there is the CONFIG_DISTRO_DEFAULTS option in U-Boot configuration. It selects defaults suitable for booting general purpose Linux distributions. Thanks to it board is able to boot most of OS installers out of the box without any user interaction.


        of them named like “boot_*, bootcmd_* scan_dev_for_*”.

        In my example I would use environment from RockPro64 running U-Boot 2021.01 version.

        I will prettify all scripts for readability. Script contents may be expanded — in such case I will give name as a comment and then it’s content.

      • Which Ubuntu Version Are You Using? Here’s How to Check

        Ubuntu is quite serious about releasing new updates for its users. Their quick releases make it hard for Linux users to remember which version they’re currently running on their system. However, you can easily check the current version of Ubuntu using multiple ways.

        In this guide, we will discuss how you can check the Ubuntu version using the terminal and the GNOME desktop.

      • How to get notifications from release-monitoring.org

        I maintain a Copr for Emacs pretest builds. I wanted to have a mechanism to get notified when a new pretest release is available. That way I can keep the pretest RPMs on Copr up-to-date. In this post, I will be talking about the Anitya project, which is hosted at release-monitoring.org and how to get an email notification, when a new release of an upstream project is available.

      • How to Update or Upgrade Ubuntu Offline without Internet

        This guide explains the steps to update Ubuntu offline without an active internet connection.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Solus 4.2

          Solus is an independently developed, rolling release distribution. The project uses the eopkg package manager, which has its roots in the PiSi package manager. The distribution is available in four editions, one of which runs the Budgie desktop which was created by the Solus team. The other three flavours feature the GNOME, KDE Plasma, and MATE desktops. These four editions all run on 64-bit (x86_64) machines and range from 1.7GB to 2.0GB in size.

          I decided to focus on the Budgie edition as it seems to be the flagship of the distribution’s efforts. The new Solus 4.2 release included some key changes. For instance, the release notes mention the system tray for Budgie has been completely rewritten. We are also told the volume control now has a mute button. One big change is the way in which desktop icons are handled. The release announcement mentions past versions of Solus relied on an older version of the Nautilus file manager to handle desktop icons, but desktop icons are now handled by Budgie rather than relying on a third-party solution.


          In a lot of ways running Solus felt, to me, to be similar to running Artix Linux just before I started this review. The two projects have a number of things in common. They are both rolling releases, both use dark themes, both ship with a fairly small collection of software we can build on. I feel as though Artix places more focus on being lightweight with better performance while Solus places more emphasis on looking pretty and having features like a modern-looking notification area.

          The Budgie desktop, which I usually don’t use apart from when I am reviewing Solus, mostly worked well. I like its layout and style more than GNOME, but also appreciate that it imports a number of useful tools from the GNOME family (like the settings panel) which lend more functionality and polish to the Budgie experience.

          Like Artix, Solus finds a good balance between offering just enough applications to get started without overly cluttering the application menu. There is enough functionality to get people started browsing the web, writing letters, and importing appointments into their calendar, without needing to wade through a massive collection of software.

          On the whole, Solus performed fairly well for me and gave me the tools I wanted. The system was stable and, while not super fast, worked smoothly enough. There are two areas where I feel Solus could be improved. Performing manual partitioning could be a nicer experience. Even if the installer just had a button to launch GParted and restart the installer this would save the user from finding and launching GParted manually and then opening the installer again. After that, assigning mount points does not feel clear. I think an obvious drop-down menu or button would be better than making the user click along a highlighted bar looking for the spot that reacts. These are minor issues, but the installer is a big part of a person’s first impressions.

          The other area I felt needed improvement was the software centre. I had terrible luck with managing software. Downloads sometimes failed, the password prompt worked less than half the time, sometimes the centre would simply lock up mid-action and need to be closed. The layout and organization of the software centre is great, but a successful transaction rate of 25% is devastating to the user experience.

          On the other hand, I do applaud the Solus team for trying to provide portable packages, such as Flatpak and Snap, along with popular third-party applications many users will want. New Linux users are often interested in running Spotify, Slack, and Skype so it’s nice to see these readily available.

          On the whole I think Solus is doing well. There are some key areas that can be polished, particularly software management and desktop performance, though otherwise the distribution offers a solid, useful, and attractive experience.

      • Gentoo Family

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Snap interfaces from Android App developer perspective

          If you are already building Snap packages, I guess you know what an “interface” is in the world for Snapcraft. However it seems, the terminology may not be very clear for someone who doesn’t know anything (my developer friends and colleagues) about Snap. So I just wanted to clearly write this one out so that it becomes clear for people coming from Android App development background. I like to think that “permissions” in Android and “interfaces” in Snap world are pretty much interchangeable. I have done a fair amount of Android App development (professionally and privately) in the past six years and have been involved in the Snapcraft ecosystem almost since it’s inception.

        • What The Word Ubuntu Actually Means

          UBUNTU is a very nice story from Africa. The motivation behind the Ubuntu culture in Africa is that an anthropologist proposed a game to the African tribal children.

          He placed a basket of sweets near a tree and made the children stand 100 meters away. Then announced that whoever reaches first, would get all the sweets in the basket.

          When he said ‘ready steady go!”, they all held each other’s hands, ran together towards the tree, divided the sweets equally among themselves, ate the sweets and enjoyed it. When the Anthropologist asked them why they did so, They answered “Ubuntu.”

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Sync and share your (Chromium and more) browser data among all your computers

            I’d like to remind you that after 15 March 2021 the Chrome Sync service provided by Google’s cloud infrastructure will only be accessible by Google’s own (partly closed-source) Chrome browser. All other Chromium-based software products are blocked from what Google calls “their private API services”.
            All non-Google-controlled 3rd parties providing software binaries based on the Chromium source code are affected, not just my Slackware package. The Chromium browser packages that have been provided in most Linux distros for many years, will lose a prime selling point (being able to sync your browser history, bookmarks and online passwords to the cloud securely) while Google will still be able to follow your browsing activities and monetize that data.
            For many people (including myself) using Chromium, the ability to sync your private browser data securely to Google’s cloud and thus get a unified browser experience on all platforms (Linux, Android, Windows, Mac operating systems) certainly outweighed the potential monetary gain for Google by using a product with its origins in Google – like Chromium. Compiling the sources on Slackware allowed me to deal with some of the privacy concerns. But now the balance has been tipped.

            Google took away this Chrome Sync from us Linux Chromium users, and it’s important to come with alternatives.
            If you don’t use Chrome or Chromium, then this article is probably not relevant. I will assume you are using Mozilla’s Firefox and that browser has its own open source cloud sync server. You use Mozilla’s own cloud sync or else setup a Sync Server on a machine which is fully under your control. The same is not possible for Chromium browsers unfortunately, although Brave and Vivaldi – two not completely open source Chromium derivatives – have developed their own cloud sync server implementations. But (again unfortunately) those sync solutions are fully entangled with their own browser products.

        • Mozilla

          • Making Firefox with Client-Side Decorations Look Good in KDE Plasma

            Out of the box, Firefox with client-side decorations doesn’t look good because captions in inactive tabs blend with the background.

            Fortunately, this issue can be easily fixed by adding a style rule in userChrome.css file. First of all, you need to enable the userChrome.css functionality if you run Firefox 69 or later. Go to about:config page, and set toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets to true.

            Next, open the profile directory and create userChrome.css file in a sub-directory named “chrome.” If there is no “chrome” sub-directory, create one. In case you don’t know where the profile directory is, open about:support and click the “Open Directory” button next to “Profile Directory.”

      • FSFE

        • Let’s Fight Back Nonfree JavaScript!

          Many websites damage users’ freedom by sending nonfree JavaScript programs to the user’s browser. We invite volunteers to develop free browser extensions to replace for the JavaScript sent by particular sites (see the lists below).

          Our first response to the problem of nonfree JS code was to develop LibreJS, which enables Firefox-based browsers to detect and block that code. That protects us from running a site’s nonfree JS programs, but does not make the site actually function. Writing an extension for it, as we propose here, would achieve that. It would also avoid the risk inherent in running software straight off someone else’s website.

          We could also solve the problem by convincing the webmasters to correct their sites to function without the JavaScript code, but convincing them proves to be very difficult, since mostly they don’t understand the issue, let alone care about it. Maybe recommending use of these extensions for their sites will convince them to pay attention to supporting non-JavaScript access.

          Therefore we invite volunteers to pick a site and write a browser extension to make that site function, assuming that LibreJS blocks the nonfree JavaScript sent by the site.

          The first thing to do is to look briefly at the licenses of the JavaScript files on the site. Some of them might actually be free software. If some of the JS code sent by the site is free, you can include it in your extension, changing it as needed.

      • Programming/Development

        • Piper Make: First Drag-and-Drop Coding Platform for Raspberry Pi Pico

          In 2019 we saw Piper’s Computer Kit 2, which was a DIY Raspberry Pi 3 Computer for educational purposes. The kit was for kids to educate them on building their own computers and the basics of programming in electronics. This year the company has come up with another educational platform. Meet Piper Make.

          The newly launched Raspberry Pi Pico is capable of a wide range of applications but directly working on the development board for exploring these applications could be difficult for beginners. Additionally, prototyping a project or an application before implementing it is an ideal way for starting. Hence. Piper has launched its first drag-and-drop coding platform for the Raspberry Pi Pico which allows hands-on prototyping for the users.

        • Peter Czanik: Syslog-ng & Pi day

          Today is March 14th, or as many geeks refer to it: Pi day. On this occasion, I would like to show you a syslog-ng configuration, which prints a huge π on the screen, and two recent articles that feature syslog-ng on the Raspberry Pi.

        • Perl/Raku

          • brrt to the future: Why bother with Scripting?

            Many years back, Larry Wall shared his thesis on the nature of scripting. Since recently even Java gained ‘script’ support I thought it would be fitting to revisit the topic, and hopefully relevant to the perl and raku language community.

            The weakness of Larry’s treatment (which, to be fair to the author, I think is more intended to be enlightening than to be complete) is the contrast of scripting with programming. This contrast does not permit a clear separation because scripts are programs. That is to say, no matter how long or short, scripts are written commands for a machine to execute, and I think that’s a pretty decent definition of a program in general.

            A more useful contrast – and, I think, the intended one – is between scripts and other sorts of programs, because that allows us to compare scripting (writing scripts) with ‘programming’ (writing non-script programs). And to do that we need to know what other sorts of programs there are.

          • Twenty years ago…

            Twenty years ago today I released my first CPAN module: Fork::Queue.

            Then there was a group of people supervising module names, and they advised me to move it under the Proc namespace and so it became Proc::Queue.

            A couple of weeks before, a bug on one of my scripts had fork-bombed a production box. I barely remember the details now… just that my manager had a serious conversation with me about the incident.

          • Relatively easy ways to catch memory errors

            If you’re using XS and C in your Perl module, you might have to worry about memory errors.

        • Java

          • Java 16 Pattern Matching Fun

            Java 16 brings Pattern Matching for instanceof. It’s a feature with exciting possibilities, though quite limited in its initial incarnation.

  • Leftovers

    • Russ Allbery: New experimental Big Eight Usenet signing key

      To test the automation, tomorrow the normal monthly checkgroups will be issued, which should result in two control messages, one signed with the new key and one with the old key.

      I’ve used the same key ID for the new key as the old key so that updating will be as simple as importing the new key.

      This key is currently EXPERIMENTAL and I reserve the right to reissue the key if anyone uncovers any problems. If you are in a position to do so, please try verifying the control messages with the new key and verify that the work properly. I plan on making this new key official some time next month and will post a more general announcement to news.announce.newgroups and news.admin.announce at that time.

    • Science

      • Steinar H. Gunderson: Legacy Zip compression models

        Hans Wennberg has published the ultimate guide to the legacy Zip compression models (before Deflate arrived). For someone who grew up with first PKPAK (Arc) and then PKZip, it was an interesting trip down memory lane. Also a pretty good description of how LZW works; I wasn’t aware before.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Social Engineering Tools Kali Linux

            Social engineering derives from the words social and engineering, where social entails personal, professional, and our day-in-day-out lives. On the other hand, the engineering part entails detailed steps to accomplish a given task such that the set target is attained. In other words, it is procedures set and laid down.

            When social and engineering is combined, we get social engineering that entails intrusion based on interaction with humans. It is the kind of intrusion that is non-technical, often involving a person being tricked into breaking the usual security guidelines already set in a given institution.

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

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Sexual Assault Survivor Tara Reade Joins with Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker to Discuss Rape Culture

        Former Biden aide Tara Reade will be the featured guest on Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker’s livestream on Tuesday, March 16 at 8 p.m. EST, as a part of the team’s special presentations commemorating Women’s History Month 2021.

        The #MeToo movement spotlighted how powerful men used their advantageous positions for self-gratification. Tuesday’s discussion will serve to analyze root causes stemming from patriarchy and the gender roles imposed under capitalism, with the aim of demonstrating how people who do not present as male can work to end sexual assaults and uproot the system that enables such incidents.

        A year ago, Tara Reade charged that now-president Joe Biden sexually assaulted her when she worked in his Senate office in the early 1990s

        Ms. Reade’s story has been corroborated publicly by three people who spoke with other news organizations, saying she told them in the past about the alleged assault.


        The livestream will be broadcast on the YouTube, Facebook, Twitch and Twitter profiles of the Hawkins/Walker campaign (see below for information) to hear Ms. Reade and Ms. Leonard detail how even lower-grade inappropriate conduct can have real consequences for a woman’s career, and how rape culture remains pervasive in this country.

    • Monopolies

      • The Authors’ Take – A critical review of intellectual property rights in the Kenyan tea sector

        Agriculture remains the most important economic sector in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, providing over 50% of overall employment, so the acquisition and use of intellectual property rights (IPRs) in the sector can have wide-reaching effects. In Kenya, tea (primarily in the form of bulk, dried leaves) is the largest export product by value, and is a major source of income for hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers. In addition to the economic benefit, tea (unlike coffee) is widely consumed in Kenya, and has significant cultural importance.

        With relatively active patent, trade mark, and copyright offices, a functional plant variety protection (PVP) regime, and membership in the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), Kenya is home to numerous tea-related IPRs held by both foreign and local entities in government and the private sector. The Kenyan tea sector is therefore targeted in this paper as a case study for exploring various aspects of the sectoral use of IPRs.

        Throughout the 20th century, foreign (i.e., non-Kenyan) entities were responsible for a majority of the activity in tea-related IPRs protecting innovation (i.e., patents and PVPs). This appears to be shifting in recent years toward more ownership and participation by local entities. Furthermore, the focus of innovation is more diverse for local applicants. Whereas foreign entities largely seek to protect tea plants and methods of processing tea plants, IPR applications from local entities cover a wider spectrum of the value chain for tea and tea-related products.

      • Patents

        • Timing the Venue Inquiry in W.D. Texas

          I wrote earlier about the Federal Circuit’s TracFone decision, calling-out W.D. Texas Judge Albright for his months long delay in deciding defendant’s motions to transfer/dismiss for improper/inconvenient venue. In its decision, the appellate court repeated a prior conclusion that Judge Albright’s approach represented “egregious delay and blatant disregard for precedent.”


          Proper Venue: Congress created a particular venue statute for patent infringement lawsuits (28 USC 1400(b)) that is substantially narrower than the general venue statute used in Federal Courts. (28 USC 1391). For an out-of-state-defendant (such as TracFone), venue in W.D. Texas will be proper if the defendant “has a regular and established place of business” within the district and has also “committed acts of infringement” within the district.


          The Store Closing: The bigger failing of Judge Albright’s opinion is that he did not address the issue of the store closing prior to the complaint being filed. Venue needs to be proper as of the filing of the complaint, and the defendant submitted uncontroverted evidence that the store had already closed. I would recommend to Judge Albright that he draft up a new opinion tonight that also addresses the store-closing issue. Otherwise we’ll likely see a quick reversal from the Federal Circuit.

        • VLSI’s $2 Billion Judgment Against Intel

          Readers probably have already heard about the $2.18 billion judgment a jury rendered earlier this week in a patent infringement suit brought by VLSI Technology against Intel in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. I don’t really have much to add, beyond the commentary available on Patently-O, FOSS Patents, Law360, and Bloomberg Law–except to note that, as the Bloomberg piece states, to date no billion-dollar patent infringement verdict has withstood further review; and for that matter, not many nine-digit awards have either, as far as I recall. This case might provide a vehicle, however, for judicial evaluation of the use of regression analysis to calculate damages, which would be interesting. We’re beginning to see more uses of nontraditional tools for estimating patent damages, including citation counts, conjoint analysis, “die area analysis,” and so on, so perhaps some guidance from the appellate court would be helpful.

        • Around the IP Blogs

          Hopping across to Texas, IP blogs lit up with commentary on a $2.18bn judgment awarded by a jury in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas in a dispute between VLSI Technology and Intel, with coverage collated over on Comparative Patent Remedies.

        • PyroGenesis Announces European Patent Office’s Intent to Grant Plasma Atomization
        • Mr Justice Mellor in toy land orders single liability and quantum trial in Cabo v MGA toy battle

          The first three months of 2020 have so far been pretty active for the UK Patents Court. With now two specialist Patents Court judges installed in the form of Mr Justice Mellor and Mr Justice Meade, the already busy dockets are churning through more interim and trial decisions. So far on Bailii there are 9 cases, but there are several more interim hearing decisions from various application and case management hearings. Of the 9 on Bailii: 3 decisions involved telecoms, 4 life sciences, 1 in the electronic cigarette space…all standard stuff. And then one that caught the AmeriKat’s attention – toys.

          In Cabo Concepts v MGA Entertainment [2021] EWHC 491 Mr Justice Mellor had to decide three main issues in the first case management conference between Cabo Concepts – who were planning to market small plastic collectible character toys and cards called “Worldeez” – and MGA – who market the LOL Surprise! line of dolls who are “characterised by proportionately oversized and cartoon-like head and eyes”.


          No – it stays where it is but with the goal of the trial being listed before a Patents Court Judge with competition law experience. [Note for non-UK litigators: the Patents Court is staffed by judges that are specialist patent judges (Mellor J and Meade J) and other "Chancery Division" judges that are designated to sit in the Patents Court. For patent cases with a technical complexity rating of "4" or "5", those cases should be listed before a specialist patent judge.]

          MGA applied under Civil Procedure Rule 30.5(2) to transfer the case from the Patents Court to the Competition List. By the time of the hearing, both parties agreed that ideally the case would be tried by a judge with dual experience, but with greater experience in competition law. Mellor J accepted MGA’s argument that the core of this case concerned competition law and that with no justification to the unjustified threats claim by way of a patent infringement action, the patent technical complexity was “at the very lowest scale” – being “1″. The Judge also agreed that the passing off and patent threats claims could be dealt with by any of the judges in the Chancery Division.


          The judgment also interestingly ordered the provision of sequential skeleton arguments for trial – which to the AmeriKat appears to be a good idea in certain cases and would joyously avoid the too often “ships passing in the night” sensation.

        • Never Too Late: if you missed The IPKat last week

          Last week, the EPO held its first European Qualifying Examination (EQE) online. GuestKat Rose Hughes echoed some of the experiences of this year’s candidates about a rather complicated start of the examination.

        • Software Patents

          • EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal issues decision G1/19 (simulations) [Ed: This neglects to mention that the judges in question were besieged and pressured (in violation of the law) by Office President]

            Hot off the press: The EPO has issued a decision on G1/19, which relates to the question of inventive step and simulations/simulators.

            As a brief summary, the Enlarged Board of Appeal has ruled that a simulation of a technical system can solve a technical problem by producing a technical effect going beyond the simulation’s implementation on a computer.

            Such a decision may open the door to patentability arguments that relate to the potential of a simulator to have an effect in the real world. We note, however, that the EPO has stopped short of saying that a simulator is patentable by virtue of being based on technical principles underlying the simulated system.

          • EPO’s G1/19 decision has ‘far-reaching’ implications for AI: lawyers [Ed: Media in the pockets of corrupt EPO uses buzzwords like “Hey Hi” to justify the illegal practice of granting software patents in Europe]

            Computer-implemented simulations are patentable but the applicant must show that the invention addresses a technical issue, the European Patent Office has determined.

            The EPO’s enlarged board of appeal handed down the decision (G1/19) yesterday, March 10, holding that the established case law on computer-implemented inventions (CIIs) also applied to computer-implemented simulations.

            UK-based Bentley Systems applied for a patent for a computer-implemented simulation of the movement of a pedestrian crowd through an environment such as a building.

            The EPO’s examining division refused the application on the grounds that the invention lacked an inventive step, arguing that the simulation failed “to contribute to the technical character of the invention”.

      • Trademarks

        • Supreme Does Not Want Unaffiliated Brand to Be Able to Register “EMERPUS” Trademark

          Simply reversing the order of the letters in the word “Supreme,” slapping that made-up word on apparel, and then filing a trademark application for registration for it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”)? That will land you on the receiving end of an opposition proceeding with VF Corp.-owned streetwear brand Supreme. That is, after all, what has played out since Ontario, Canada-based Urban Coolab Inc. filed a trademark application in May 2020 for “EMERPUS” for use on apparel and retail store services.

          In an opposition proceeding initiated in January, counsel for Supreme’s corporate entity Chapter 4 Corp. argued that Urban Coolab’s application should be blocked by the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, as “EMERPUS” is not an indicator of the source of the Canadian apparel brand’s products. Instead, it is “merely [Chapter 4’s] SUPREME word mark spelled backwards” that Urban Coolab is using in an “effort to associate [its] goods and services with [Chapter 4’s] well-known SUPREME brand,” an argument that Chapter 4 bolsters by noting that Supreme has used its own mark in a similar way by adorning its coveted wares with a flipped version of its famed box logo.

          Speaking specifically to its “exclusive federal and common law rights for the ‘SUPREME’ marks,” for which it “owns hundreds of trademark registrations worldwide,” Chapter 4 claimed that it has used the marks “since at least as early as April 1994” when “the first Supreme retail store opened [and] offered a host of clothing, bags and related products and accessories” bearing the Supreme name and red-and-white rectangular logo. As for the “fame” associated with the “SUPREME” trademarks, Chapter 4 pointed to: (1) its “consistent and exclusive of use of the [marks] over nearly the past 25 years in the United States and throughout the world, including in connection with apparel, bags, accessories, skateboard decks, streetwear-related products and other merchandise; (2) unsolicited media attention about the Supreme brand; and (3) the worldwide sales of Supreme branded goods in the hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars.”

      • Copyrights

        • [Guest post] Jaguar goes after replica car manufacturer for copyright infringement

          The legal status of replica cars is at the very least complicated. If you plan to drive your replica car to the grocery store, there are obvious regulatory issues with self-built cars, as well as issues concerning safety standards. And if you think you have a hard time finding cheap car insurance for your Volvo, try getting a good quote on your replica Batmobile.

          Then there is the IP angle. Cars may be protected by copyright as works of applied art (or conceivably even as artistic works) and may additionally enjoy design and trademark protection. A recent trend has even seen car makers seeking to register the exterior shape of the car itself as a trademark [see for instance the IPKat summary on the Jaguar Land Rover decision here]. Any commercialization of replica cars by third parties carries risk of infringing one or several of these IP rights.

          Car makers are well-known for vigorously enforcing their IP rights. In fact, car makers have contributed substantially to the modern development of IP jurisprudence and are repeat players before CJEU in IP litigation (most recently in C-720/18, Testarossa) [Katpost here].

          Car makers’ interest in pursuing the replica market for IP infringement has however historically been tempered somewhat by the fact that the dedicated gearheads who make up the replica car market are often also the car makers’ most dedicated brand loyalists. By enforcing its IP against the replica car market, a car maker may risk damaging its reputation with its core customers but, by allowing infringement to continue, that reputation may in time not be worth much.


          Since the defendant’s replica car was just that, a historically accurate copy of the original C-Type in every painstaking detail (including the lack of exterior door handles, sacrificed I assume on the altar of aerodynamics), the infringement question held little suspense.

          The defendants did however make one interesting last-ditch objection to copyright infringement that gets to the heart of what makes the replica car market special. They argued that the replica did not infringe Jaguar Land Rover’s copyright, based on Jaguar Land Rover’s alleged decades long acceptance and even celebration of replica car culture in general, and Jaguar Land Rover’s discussions with the defendants about their replica C-Type in particular, at various meetings over the years.

          In the end, it came down to a question of evidence, and as Carl Sagan posited with his Sagan standard: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. There had indeed been meetings between Jaguar Land Rover and the defendants but, based on written evidence and witness evidence, the court was not convinced that the defendants had made it clear to Jaguar Land Rover that what they intended to do with their replica C-Type project was a commercial venture, rather than a hobby project for private use. The fact that Jaguar Land Rover had in various way over the years supported or tacitly accepted replica cars and replica car culture did not change this conclusion.

          Jaguar Land Rover’s claims for a prohibition on penalty of a fine were granted, as were claims for destruction of the infringing replica cars. Additionally, the court affirmed that the defendants should pay reasonable compensation to Jaguar Land Rover and awarded the car maker full litigation costs to the high-octane level of €500 000 .

        • Protection of Jewellery: A Combination of Trademark, Design and Copyright Law? – Part I

          The issue of IP protection of jewellery has hardly been discussed or adjudicated upon in India. Generally, it is understood that the sketch of the jewellery design can be protected as artistic work under copyright law, while the actual appearance of the jewellery, such as the configuration, pattern can be protected under design law. But, it’s more complicated than that. There are many questions without clear answers, such as, whether jewellery is protectable under copyright or design law in India, and whether the conversion of original drawings into three-dimensional form, would be termed an ‘adaptation’ or ‘reproduction’. In Part I, I have analysed relevant case laws in an attempt to answer the above issues. Part II will be coming soon, in which I will look into the question of protection of traditional jewellery designs and also explore the possibility of protection of jewellery as ‘shape marks’. These posts will analyse relevant jurisprudence for understanding the applicable IP framework for jewellery protection in India.


          That brings us to another question, what about protection of bespoke designs that have been handcrafted, couldn’t they be protected as works of ‘artistic craftsmanship’? On 9 February, in the case of A. Sirkar v. B. Sirkar Jahuree Pvt. Ltd., the commercial court at Alipore allowed a temporary injunction application for copyright infringement and passing off of jewellery. In this case, both the parties were jewellers and the plaintiff had claimed its jewellery to be the result of ‘artistic craftsmanship’, but the court did not question, discuss or decide upon this aspect. In Pranda Jewelery, the court held gold sheet jewellery to be artistic work itself, i.e., it was protected under the same category as a drawing, and did not discuss anything regarding artistic craftsmanship.

          In Microfibers Inc. v. Girdhar and Co., a division bench of the Delhi High Court observed that the legislative intention behind the Copyright Act, 1957 and Designs Act, 2000 appears to be granting higher protection to ‘pure original artistic works’ and ‘lesser period of protection to design activity commercial in nature’. The term of protection granted by the legislature for copyright is life plus 60 years, while for a design it is 15 years and thus, the court reflected that the legislature intended to treat commerce and art differently.

          After examining the above cases, the answer for IP protection of jewellery does not seem straightforward. It’s difficult to predict what decision a court would give regarding a particular piece of jewellery, whether it would consider the piece to be an artistic work or a design. It cannot be surely determined where design rights begin and copyright protection ceases. The only thing that is clear is that copyright in the original drawing continues to exist, while it ceases to exist for a design under Section 15 of the Copyright Act, 1957, if more than fifty applications are done. If a design has been applied more than fifty times without registration and the court decides to follow the judgement in Biba Apparels, then protection to the original drawing may also not be given. This might leave the jeweller in a position where they can’t prevent others from duplicating their designs.

Meme: EPO Encryption, Brought to You by (and for) Microsoft to Subvert

Posted in Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 6:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Corporate espionage part of the new standard

So-called encryption

Summary: With Microsoft in control of the entire ‘life cycle’ or the protocol of so-called 'encryption' at the corrupt EPO it seems abundantly clear that Microsoft gets access to all the data (as does the US government/military), including highly confidential communications, just as intended all along (by Microsoft, not the EU or the GDPR)

The German Constitutional Court Needs to Recognise That the EPO’s Tribunals Are Not Independent and EPC Has Not or Isn’t Being Honoured for Quite Some Time Now

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 6:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The software patents situation at the EPO isn’t being resolved and probably cannot be resolved as long as corrupt management besieges judges who were all along supposed to be entirely autonomous and unafraid of Office management

THE EPO isn’t functioning. Granting lots and lots patents is “functioning” in the same sense pouring oil into the ocean (or up from the bottom of the ocean like BP did a decade ago) is “extracting”…

“The notorious bodyguard from the EPO is also in prison. Will the people he ‘guarded’ (with illegal weapons) join him?”At this moment of time, given the opportunity to speak to patent examiners discreetly (European patent examiners) you’re almost always guaranteed to hear that patent granting collapsed in terms of quality or validity, which are pretty much the same thing (surrogates). Even the EPO’s own studies (internal) confirmed this, but the EPO muzzled those who studied the matter. That’s just how defunct the Office has become. It’s a truth- and science-denying institution, eager to just pile up loads of money and then plunder that money by shrewdly-engineered schemes and scams. Nicolas Sarkozy is in prison. Who’s next? The notorious bodyguard from the EPO is also in prison. Will the people he ‘guarded’ (with illegal weapons) join him? Some are connected to Sarkozy.

The lockThe only astounding thing, as pointed out in the video above, is that there seems to be coordinated silencing in patent blogs, which seem highly determined to suppress discussion about all that, even in the comments section.

Recently, besieged judges decided to “play it safe” and say OK to a President who had pressured them to approve software patents. We’ve covered it before and we have cited some ‘coverage’ (from self-serving law firms) in Daily Links since then. No real reporting or journalism about it, just shameless marketing from lawyers looking to profit from European software patents, even of courts throw these out. Just like Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos is pressuring the judges to rule in a particular way, which means there’s no independence at all. Even by their own admission. In the weekend we caught up with two more pieces about it, both from law firms and their front groups. Or media operatives.

The video above discusses this self-serving post which said: “Hot off the press: The EPO has issued a decision on G1/19, which relates to the question of inventive step and simulations/simulators.”

It’s actually a day late, not “Hot off the press…”

“As a brief summary,” they said, “the Enlarged Board of Appeal has ruled that a simulation of a technical system can solve a technical problem by producing a technical effect going beyond the simulation’s implementation on a computer.”

Did the Board have independence? No. More laughable was this ridiculous puff piece about “hey hi”, which spoke to no software professionals or representative body of theirs. They spoke to representatives of patent trolls, such as Bristows. They said: “The EPO’s enlarged board of appeal handed down the decision (G1/19) yesterday, March 10, holding that the established case law on computer-implemented inventions (CIIs) also applied to computer-implemented simulations.”

Where are the actual software professionals? Nowhere. Where’s the mention of the lack of judicial independence? Nowhere, of course. We’re meant to just blindly believe that the issue went away. Like magic!

Dr Ingve Björn Stjerna has meanwhile translated Justice Huber’s remarks on EPO complaints. A day after the decision above he published the following in his Web site:

Constitutional court judge Prof. Huber on the situation at the European Patent Office (11/03/2021)

As is known, several constitutional complaints against acts of the European Patent Office are currently pending before the German Constitutional Court (“BVerfG”), in which, inter alia, a violation of the fundamental rights to effective legal protection (Art. 19 (4) GG) and to the lawful judge (Art. 101 (1) sentence 2 GG) is complained of (cf. docket no. 2 BvR 2480/10, 2 BvR 421/13, 2 BvR 786/15, 2 BvR 756/16 and 2 BvR 561/18).

In the newest edition of one of the leading German commentaries on the German Grundgesetz, BVerfG judge Prof. Peter Huber, who is the judge rapporteur in the above-mentioned constitutional complaint proceedings, comments on the situation at the European Patent Office with regard to Art. 19 (4) GG as follows (von Mangoldt/Klein/Starck/Huber, Grundgesetz, 7th ed. (2018), Art. 19 GG, para. 540 ff., footnotes have been removed, translation from German):

“Against this background, the increasing erosion of the suspensive effect through the Europeanization of administrative procedural law (…) does not lead to a conflict with the claim to validity of the legal protection guarantee of Art. 19 (4), even if it encourages the trend towards a reduction of the German level of legal protection.

The same principles apply to the European Patent Office in Munich, which was established on the basis of the Convention on the Grant of European Patents (EPC) concluded on 5 October 1973, and has the task of granting a ‘European bundle patent’ as an intergovernmental body within the meaning of Art. 24 (1) in a uniform granting procedure according to uniform requirements. Its decisions can be appealed (Art. 106 EPC), these appeals are decided by Boards of Appeal with judicial independence (Art. 23 EPC). Their proceedings are designed in a judicial way, their activities are materially judicial in nature.

The compatibility of this possibility of appeal with the minimum standard of effective legal protection required by the Grundgesetz (Art. 24 (1), 79 (3), 19 (2) and (4)) is not hindered by the fact that the Boards of Appeal are not courts institutionally separated from the European Patent Office (Art. 15 EPC). This is because, on the one hand, the demands for structural congruence between the German legal system and intergovernmental bodies within the scope of application of Art. 24(1) did not prevail, and, on the other hand, the minimum level of effective legal protection required by Art. 19 (2), which must not be fallen short of even in the case of supranationalization of jurisdictional functions, is marked less by the institutional separation of the second and third powers than by the possibility of having any infringement of rights reviewed by an appeal to an independent body in a judicial procedure. This minimum is guaranteed under the EPC.“

The relevance of these comments with regard to the prospects of success of the aforementioned constitutional complaint proceedings is left to the reader’s assessment.

The part which bothers us says: “Its decisions can be appealed (Art. 106 EPC), these appeals are decided by Boards of Appeal with judicial independence (Art. 23 EPC). Their proceedings are designed in a judicial way, their activities are materially judicial in nature.”

Is there no recognition at the FCC that the EPC has long been violated by the EPO? Or that judges at Boards of Appeal complain about their lack of judicial independence?

“Those quotes are not good news for us,” one Free software activist told us.

We mostly agree. It’s important to convey the simple fact that the Boards or tribunals of the EPO aren’t functioning and questions about their independence are being squashed. Contrary to what today’s “Kat” would wish for us to think…

Contacting Your (European) Member of Parliament/Representative to Report EPO-Microsoft GDPR Abuses

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 1:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: We urge Techrights readers who are European to raise concerns and explain to local politicians why the EPO should enjoy impunity no more; the latest scandal, which we’re exposing, should be sufficient legal ground

THE latest António Campinos scandal concerns privacy violations and illegal contracts with Microsoft, an American company notorious for privacy abuses and bribery.

“Tell them that Europe’s second-largest institution is breaking the law, enabling illegal surveillance on many people.”We urge anyone who is reading this and is a European citizen to contact political representatives. Who represents you? Check this page.

MEPs list

The above is an example for Belgium.

“Time to raid the offices of EPO managers, just as authorities in Europe raided Microsoft’s offices for rampant corruption.”Remember that the UK is also (still) in the EPO (and has historically been outspoken at times regarding Benoît Battistelli), so a partly outdated list of representatives (pre-Brexit, before departure from EU) is available online too. They have contacts and can still sway things inside the EPO, at the very least through UK-IPO and delegates to the Administrative Council of the EPO, set to ‘meet’ again just over a week from now. Here’s an example of UK MEPs for one region of the UK (there are more in the page):


Tell them that Europe’s second-largest institution is breaking the law, enabling illegal surveillance on many people. It’s possible that this has been done for personal financial gain. An investigation is long overdue. There’s no reason to honour diplomatic immunity anymore. Time to raid the offices of EPO managers, just as authorities in Europe raided Microsoft’s offices for rampant corruption.

Meme on encryption

Note to Readers: It’s Only When We Cover Microsoft-EPO Scandals That We Receive Legal Threats and Other Pressure from the EPO

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 1:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft as your 'encryption' master

Summary: The António Campinos privacy blunder echoes or perpetuates the blunder of Benoît Battistelli, who illegally spied on people; but this time Microsoft (US) does the spying

THE very moment we started this series we’ve come under rather bizarre attacks, threats to our very existence. This happened in 2015 after we had revealed leaked and incriminating EPO communications about Microsoft. It happened again later (Microsoft again).

“We’ve backed up what we can (disseminating among trusted associates), we put key documents in IPFS, and we have a Gemini capsule. Some is decentralised and some is self-hosted.”Curiously enough, all we can say is that any time we touch a Microsoft-EPO scandal media pieces get spiked (e.g. by the BBC, just prior to publication) and takedown of several of our articles is demanded, sometimes by multiple law firms. It’s curiously factual, isn’t it? How much have they got to hide?

Today we published the sixth part of a series which is very long and may take another fortnight to cover. We’ve backed up what we can (disseminating among trusted associates), we put key documents in IPFS, and we have a Gemini capsule. Some is decentralised and some is self-hosted.

As noted as soon as we started this series, there have been suppression attempts. We were warned about DDOS attacks and only minutes later something rather intriguing did happen (as if some intense intelligence operations were going on in the background). The predictions proved accurate in some sense and also somewhat familiar, at least in the sense that similar things happened in the past.

We intend to publish as if nothing poses a threat and we hope to finish the series with no disruption to the plan and the publication pipeline/outline. We don’t wish to dump all the publications at once for two reasons; 1) people cannot digest information quickly enough; 2) it would induce immense production burden.

The (e-)EQE Statement From the EPO Makes Things Even Worse as Victims of the Catastrophic Exam Feel Offended and Angry

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 1:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The European Qualifying Examination (EQE) became utter shambles because of a defunct patent office that not only fails to organise an online exam (almost a paradox and impossibility) but also insults those harmed because of technical failures, never mind numerous incompatibilities with the law

EARLIER today AstraZeneca Kat wrote again about the “first European Qualifying Examination (EQE) online.” This time the focus was on the EPO‘s utterly poor response, which proves that António Campinos hired (or kept) truly incompetent managers, some of them being residues of the Benoît Battistelli nepotism scandals. An onslaught of negative comments can already be found in this thread (15 of them when I recorded this video, plus 115 comments here). The experiences and the responses are consistently bad. A few hours ago there was a follow-up saying: “Last week, the EPO held its first European Qualifying Examination (EQE) online. GuestKat Rose Hughes echoed some of the experiences of this year’s candidates about a rather complicated start of the examination.”

It’s good that they cover this sort of stuff, but they continue to avoid covering EQE corruption. When I bring that up in the comments they delete my comment (it never shows up), so they basically cover up for EPO management.

“They turn the user’s own equipment into a remotely controlled ‘zombie’, so from a technical point of view it’s an act of technical sabotage.”Anyway, as noted in the video above (it only highlights 3 comments, out of more than a hundred in total!) those exams are likely illegal for many different reasons and on many different levels. They require things that violate human rights inside one’s home; they basically ban computers you control instead one ones that control the you, the user. They turn the user’s own equipment into a remotely controlled ‘zombie’, so from a technical point of view it’s an act of technical sabotage.

The video would likely have been a lot longer had my browser not failed to work (as happened to some people taking this exam). I mention the prospects of cheating, power outages, Internet outages and there are many more issues like poorer households where it’s hard to isolate oneself from other tenants.

The reputation of the EQE is now truly appalling. Had the EPO canceled EQE for several consecutive years, bearing the pandemic in mind, the integrity of these exams would at least not be harmed this much. Suffice to say, the conceited statement from the EPO, which shocked some people who took the exam (the patronising tone is infuriating), would be better avoided altogether, or at least reworded profoundly. JUVE copy-pasted that nonsense and omitted all the mildly negative bits; JUVE has, in the sense, enhanced the EPO propaganda. We did a video about that a few days ago.

“For big proponents of the UPC, such as AstraZeneca and its lawyers, this might be enough of a reason to suppress critical comments about EPO management. When it comes to highlighting technical issues, all seems safe. But not challenging the EPO for corruption.”What we’re witnessing here is the collapse of the EPO on many levels, across not just patent examination and administration but also examination as in EQE. No wonder the UPC collapses time after time. The judges (or Justices) in Germany know a thing or two about disarray in EPOnia and it impacts their judgement. They don’t even plan to deal with the pair of complaints for at least a couple of years; in other words, they’re OK with the UPC never happening. Ever.

For big proponents of the UPC, such as AstraZeneca and its lawyers, this might be enough of a reason to suppress critical comments about EPO management. When it comes to highlighting technical issues, all seems safe. But not challenging the EPO for corruption. The hands freeze when it comes to typing anything at all regarding the latter, almost as if there’s a blood clot in the hand.

EPO and Microsoft Collude to Break the Law — Part VI: A Not-so-safe Harbour

Posted in Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 12:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previous parts:

Safe Harbour
Thanks to the efforts of Max Schrems, the Safe Harbour Agreement was invalidated in October 2015

Summary: Examining the so-called ‘Safe Harbour’ Agreement, which was neither safe nor a harbour

To ensure that the personal data of European citizens was protected in a manner complaint with EU data protection regulations after it had been transferred to the USA, deals such as the Safe Harbour Agreement and the EU-US Privacy Shield were drafted and implemented to address the shortcomings of nationwide data protection in the USA.

As it turned out, these agreements did not last very long. The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) overturned them both because in practice they did not live up to the agreed data protection standards.

These CJEU rulings were a slap in the face for the politicians in the European Parliament who had rubber-stamped the agreements despite warnings from data protection advocates.

The CJEU judgements also gave a clear indication that future agreements of this kind must deliver genuine data protection if they are to be upheld.

“On top of this, there is also the concern and suspicion that commercially lucrative data from the EU can (and will) be tapped on the American side.”This effectively creates an impasse because US providers are subject to American legislation such as the PATRIOT Act, the USA FREEDOM Act, and the CLOUD Act, which are designed to ensure that US authorities and intelligence agencies have access to personal data of EU citizens.

On top of this, there is also the concern and suspicion that commercially lucrative data from the EU can (and will) be tapped on the American side.

However, in July 2000, in the context of an examination of the adequacy of the protection of personal data transferred to other countries, the European Commission took the position that the “Safe Harbour” principles developed by the US were in compliance with Article 25 of the EU Data Protection Directive 95/56/EC and would provide “adequate protection” for the transfer of personal information from the EU to the US.

The European Commission thus gave approval for transfers of personal data to the US by means of executive decision no. 2000/520/EC, the so-called “Safe Harbour decision”.

However, in 2013 this decision was called into question by the Snowden revelations.

The game was over on 6 October 2015 when the CJEU delivered its judgment in the case of Maximillian Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner.

“…in 2013 this decision was called into question by the Snowden revelations.”In this judgment the Court invalidated the European Commission’s Safe Harbour Decision, because “legislation permitting the public authorities to have access on a generalised basis to the content of electronic communications must be regarded as compromising the essence of the fundamental right to respect for private life”.

Maximillian Schrems
Max Schrems in front of the office of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner in Dublin

This landmark judgment of the CJEU in data protection matters which is colloquially known as “Schrems I” was largely due to the efforts of one individual, the Austrian activist and author Maximilian “Max” Schrems who had initiated a legal action in his capacity as a Facebook user claiming that his Facebook data were insufficiently protected.

In essence Schrems argued that the Safe Harbor system would violate his fundamental right to privacy, data protection and the right to a fair trial under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The striking down of the Safe Harbour Decision by the CJEU resulted in further talks between the EU Commission and the Obama Administration aimed at establishing “a renewed and sound framework for transatlantic data flows”.

The outcome of these talks was a revised framework for regulating transatlantic exchanges of personal data which became known as the EU-US Privacy Shield.

“…the Privacy Shield turned out to be rather porous and it was also struck down by the CJEU in July 2020 in the context of a further legal challenge mounted by Max Schrems.”The European Commission approved the Privacy Shield on 12 July 2016 and it entered into effect the same day.

However as we shall see in the next part, the Privacy Shield turned out to be rather porous and it was also struck down by the CJEU in July 2020 in the context of a further legal challenge mounted by Max Schrems.

Links 14/3/2021: KDE Gear 21.04 Branches, Anger Over EPO Statement on EQE

Posted in News Roundup at 8:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System 76 Thelio Mira Is A Desktop Powered By AMD Ryzen 5000

        System76 launches its latest Linux-focused desktop computer called Thelio Mira. Pricing starts at $1,499.

        The Mira sits between the base Thelio desktop and the Thelio Major in terms of size, cost, and upgradability. It bears a slightly larger footprint than the base Thelio at a dimension of 17.18″ x 9.96″ x 13.03″ (or 436.35 x 253 x 331mm). Mira has the benefit of holding up to two graphics cards, versus the one GPU the base desktop can have.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Linux Action News 180

        The A-Team assembled to make open source more trustworthy, why we might be about to find out how much SUSE is worth, and some essential project updates.

      • BitWarden CLI Would Be Amazing If Only…

        Bitwarden has been my password manager of choice for quite a while but I had never got around to testing out the CLI client since I’m typically just using it inside of a web browser but today that’s going to change a bit.

      • Can you REPLACE CHROME OS with this Linux distro that runs ANDROID APPS?

        Chrome OS has been getting more and more popular, as chromebooks prices are relatively low, and many people just need a browser to work. But this system is still completely owned by Google, tied into their services, and as such, not very private. FOrtunately, there is an alternative on the horizon, and it’s called Ubuntu Web Remix.

    • Kernel Space

      • Google Proposes Multi-Generational LRU For Linux To Yield Much Better Performance

        Google engineer Yu Zhao sent out patches proposing a “multigenerational LRU” implementation for the Linux kernel’s least recently used (LRU) handling for memory page replacement.

        The engineers working on multi-generational LRU found the Linux kernel’s current page reclaim code to be too expensive for CPU usage and making poor choices over what to evict. But with this new LRU implementation it’s more “performant, versatile, and straightforward” with promising results.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Wayland in 2021

          A year ago I wrote about my Wayland setup on Linux. This year I would like to give you a small update on how I am going with Wayland on Arch Linux and how it is my daily driver at home and work.

    • Applications

      • How Grep Got Its Name? The History Behind Grep’s Creation

        If you’re a Linux user, you must have probably come across the oddly-named Grep utility to search for patterns in files or piped output from commands. You may wonder where the program got its name.

        This article will explain grep’s origins along with some brief information on the role of Grep in modern Linux culture.

      • AudioTube, a client for YouTube Music

        Recently I started working on a small new project, AudioTube. It is a client for YouTube Music made with Kirigami that works equally well on mobile devices and desktops.

      • 7-Zip For Linux Is Here After 20 Years As A Windows Exclusive

        Igor Pavlov, the developer of widely popular among Windows users 7-Zip archiving tool, has released the first official builds of 7-Zip for Linux.

        The 7-Zip archiving tool is the open-source software created by Igor Pavlov back in 1999. 7-Zip is an archiving tool widely popular among Windows users. It is able to open zip, gzip, bzip, tar, and RAR files, along with a many others. You can use 7-Zip to create a cabinet of similar files that will help you organize everything. The best thing about file compression is that you lessen the size of the file or files that you archived. This means you will have even more free space for other new and bigger files.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • nslookup Linux Command Explained With Examples

        nslookup is a network administration tool for querying the DNS (Domain Name System) servers to obtain domain name or IP address mapping. nslookup can also be used to query several different types of DNS records such as MX, NS and SOA records.

        This tool is often used for troubleshooting DNS or name resolution issues. In short, the Domain Name System provides mapping between human readable names (like www.google.com) and their associated IP addresses (like

      • How To Install Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates Using Certbot

        Step by step tutorial how to use the Let’s Encrypt certbot to install SSL certificates for free and automatically renew them.

        Above all Let’s Encrypt is an open source and it is completely free. It allows anyone to install a trusted SSL certificate on their website and benefit from the enhanced security an encrypted connection provides. Unlike a self-signed SSL certificate, a Let’s Encrypt certificate is recognized as fully verified, and displays the padlock icon in the address bar of modern web browsers.

      • Citations

        The more I want to incorporate some way to create citations in a document, the more I’m starting to hate citations and bibliography management with a passion. The document in question is supposed to export well to both HTML and PDF, the latter via TeX. While the bibliography management in TeX and friends is more or less “solved,”Through a monumental effort and probably some tears, as I imagine—BibTeX has been released 36 years ago. the story looks rather different for bibliography management in HTML.

      • How to Create Indices in PostgreSQL – Linux Hint

        Indices are specialized search tables used by databank hunt engines to accelerate query results. An index is a reference to the information in a table. For example, if the names in a contact book are not alphabetized, you would have to go down every row and search through every name before you reach the specific phone number that you are searching for. An index speeds up the SELECT commands and WHERE phrases, performing data entry in the UPDATE and INSERT commands. Regardless of whether indexes are inserted or deleted, there is no impact on the information contained in the table. Indexes can be special in the same way that the UNIQUE limitation helps to avoid replica records in the field or set of fields for which the index exists.

      • How to Install ReactJS on Ubuntu 20.04? – Linux Hint

        React or Reacts was launched in 2011. It is a front-end JavaScript library that is used to develop UI components. It is managed by Facebook and open-source developers.

        ReactJS is an open-source library that makes it effortless to create and maintain interactive UI specifically for single-page applications. Many developers are using it because of its flexibility, integrity, and its feature to bring Html directly into JS. Many well-known corporations such as Facebook, Uber, and Instagram used the ReactJS framework to create interfaces.

      • How to Install Anaconda in Linux Mint 20? – Linux Hint

        Anaconda is a popular Python platform that is widely used in Machine learning and its associated fields. It contains many open-source data packages, and we can also install more than 7500 data packages using Anaconda repositories.

        Anaconda can be installed on Linux Mint 20 from the installer script.

      • Install and Review Cockpit on Lubuntu 20.04

        What is Cockpit?

        Cockpit is a Linux application that allows you to manage Linux itself via the web. As an example, you can see which applications are running or install updates without having to log in to the machine. It also allows you to connect to and control other machines.

        Why use it?

        It allows you to monitor the system, to have a look at things without having to use a graphical environment and its integration with the terminal makes it flexible and convenient.

      • How to Install Evernote (Nixnote2) on Linux Mint? – Linux Hint

        Evernote is a multi-platform and popular note-taking application. It helps us organize and manage daily tasks by providing prominent features such as listing, sketching, and note-taking. We can easily integrate the Evernote application to Gmail, Outlook, etc.
        Evernote application is not available Linux. However, various unofficial Evernote clients are available for Linux. Among those, Nixnote2 is a lightweight Evernote client available for Linux. It provides all the Evernote’s features on Linux Desktop.

        This guide explains the Nixnote2 installation on Linux Mint.

        Nixnote2 can be installed on Linux Mint from the Software Manager application and the terminal. Moreover, the Evernote web client is available for Linux Mint via snap.

      • How to Install Signal Messenger on Linux Mint? – Linux Hint

        Signal Messenger is a popular, multi-platform application used for sending instant messages, making audio and video calls. It is widely used due to the privacy features that it provides to the end-user.
        Signal can be installed on Linux Mint from the software manager application, official Signal repository, snap, and flatpak application manager.

        This post will discuss the installation process of Signal Messenger on Linux Mint.

      • How to Use PostgreSQL Materialized Views – Linux Hint

        Views in PostgreSQL are graphical tables that display data from the corresponding tables. Common views can also be modified. PostgreSQL takes the concept of views to the next stage by allowing views to store information materially, referred to as materialized views. A materialized view preserves the output of a time-consuming, complicated query, allowing you to query the results quickly at any time. Materialized viewpoints are frequently used in data warehouses and business intelligence applications because they are helpful in situations that require fast access to data.

      • PostgreSQL UUID Types and Functions – Linux Hint

        The PostgreSQL UUID, or Universal Unique Identifier, is specified by RFC 4122 and has a 128-bit length. Internal algorithms are used to construct the UUID, and each value is distinct. PostgreSQL has its own UUID data type and generates them with modules. The UUID data type is commonly cast off within distributed databases because this data type ensures singularity, rather than the SERIAL type, which only generates singular values inside a single database. While PostgreSQL allows you to save and contrast UUID values, this one does not have methods for creating them at its core. Rather, it relies on third-party packages that have specific UUID generation algorithms.

        Let us now take a look at certain representations of UUID values, as seen in the diagram below. A UUID is made up of 32 bits of hexadecimal digits with up to four hyphens, as seen in the diagram below. A UUID can also have a value of 0, which means that all bits are empty.

      • How to Use Quota on Ubuntu? – Linux Hint

        A Quota is a built-in feature of the Linux kernel that is used to set a limit of how much disk space a user or a group can use. It is also used to limit the maximum number of files a user or a group can create on Linux. The filesystem where you want to use quota must also support quota. Some of the filesystems that support quota on Linux are ext2, ext3, ext4, xfs, etc.

        In this article, I will show you how to use quota in a multi-user environment on Ubuntu. So, let’s get started.

      • How To Disable WiFi on Linux System: GUI and CLI Methods

        Disabling Wifi on a Linux desktop might be essential if you’re running an old computer that requires an external USB wifi adapter or need to use an ethernet cable. From my personal experience, I can say that using an ethernet cable to connect internet provides better services no matter which Linux system you’re operating. If you disable Wifi on a Linux-operated laptop, it could also save your battery life. If you’re a professional Linux user, you might be more comfortable using the CLI mode than the GUI methods of disabling Wifi.


        To disable Wifi on Linux, you don’t need to know anything but basic computing knowledge. Modern Linux distributions have a very smooth and straightforward desktop environment that is easy to operate. You can find network, Wifi, and other connectivity settings on the setting panel on your Linux system.

        This post will cover both GUI and CLI methods of disabling Wifi on the Debian, Red Hat, and Fedora Linux systems. As different Linux distributions might use the same DE, I’ll describe the method of disabling Wifi based on the Linux desktop environment, not based on Linux distributions.

      • nspawn-runner and btrfs

        systemd-nspawn has an interesting –ephemeral option that sets up temporary copy-on-write filesystem snapshots on filesystems that support it, like btrfs.

        Using copy on write means that one could perform maintenance on the source chroots, without disrupting existing CI sessions.


        If you want to try it out, you can find the code on KDE’s GitLab, invent. In addition to the common dependencies of Qt and Kirigami, it requires the ytmusicapi and youtube_dl python packages, which you can install using pip if they are not packaged in your distro.

        Keep in mind AudioTube is still in an early state of development. Next I will look into implementing better error handling. Of course I am always happy about merge requests :)

        So far there is one known issue left: On Manjaro, Python always tries to encode / decode as ascii, which makes the app crash with some data. I can’t say yet whether it affects other distros too, but it doesn’t happen on my debian testing install. As a workaround, setting LC_ALL=en_US.utf8 helps.

      • How To Install Ansible on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Ansible on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Ansible is a radically simple IT automation engine that simplifies cloud computing, configuration management, program setup, intra-service orchestration, and several other IT needs. Ansible uses a very simple language (YAML, in the form of Ansible Playbooks) that allows you to spell out your automation jobs in a way that means plain English. Using Ansible you can control multi-host or device simultaneously using a single command. You don’t need to install the client in the apparatus or each server.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of Ansible on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How I stand working with Windows VMs

        Sometimes you find yourself in the need of having to use Windows, to port your applications to the platform using the awesome Craft buildsystem.

        Since as Plasma users, the Windows GUI (especially the Powershell terminal emulator) is most likely only going to be a disappointment, let’s set up an openssh server, so we can use the virtual machine from our beloved terminal emulator, Konsole.

        Microsoft themselves describe how this can be done in a tutorial.

      • lisp-use-for-transpose-chars

        I had thought that Emacs’ C-t was mainly about correcting typos. It turns out to be extremely useful when working on Lisp macros which themselves write macros. This typically involves nested quasiquotation, where you can have multiple alternating sequences of open parentheses and backticks, or of commas, quotation marks and ampersats. While you’re working on it you often need to reorder these character sequences and C-t does a great job.

      • How to play Cyberpunk 2077 on Linux

        Cyberpunk 2077 is a 2020 open-world RPG developed and published by CD Projekt Red. It centers around fictional Night City in a neon-covered tech future. Here’s how to get it working on your Linux system.

    • Games

      • Go Norse in the Crusader Kings III: Northern Lords pack releasing March 16

        The last of the announcements from Paradox Insider today to be covered here on GOL is Crusader Kings III: Northern Lords, a Norse themed ‘Flavor Pack’ for one of 2020′s best games. Meant to keep players going until the first major expansion, Northern Lords pulls in the popular Norse culture some more with new events and themes related to Norse society.

      • Stellaris: Nemesis launches April 15 giving you more power than ever | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for the ultimate power? Stellaris: Nemesis will launch on April 15 bringing with it some huge additions to Paradox’s space strategy game.

        Putting the fate of the entire galaxy in your hands, Nemesis will allow players to actually become an end-game crisis or rally the whole galaxy against it. Paradox said “There are many paths to power, and players can either embrace order and unity as a Galactic Custodian to combat endgame crises – or choose chaos with the Menace option to BECOME the endgame crisis, savoring the silence of a galaxy where theirs is the only voice that matters. Long story short: Nemesis gives fans the most powerful tools ever available in Stellaris”.

      • Paradox resumes development on Surviving Mars, new update and expansion planned

        Surviving Mars from Paradox Interactive and originally Haemimont Games from 2018 is being revived and expanded under a different developer named Abstraction.

        Paradox will be launching an In-Dome Buildings Pack, developed in partnership with long-time community modder Silva. In addition, a free Tourism Update is planned to launch on Monday, March 15. The Tourism Update that will be free for everyone adds in an RC Safari, adds buildings, and more with Paradox saying we can expect some of the most requested tourism features to be added in with rewards and consequences.


        If you don’t own Surviving Mars, it’s available for Linux from Humble Store, GOG, Paradox and Steam.

      • Retroarch Not Working? Here’s a Bunch of Fixes – Make Tech Easier

        Retroarch’s game detection and playlist update features are great if you are using it to play around a dozen ROMs. That, though, defeats its very purpose, to be a frontend for hundreds of games on different systems.

        Unfortunately, when dealing with extensive ROM collections, scanning a directory filled with ROMs to detect the games automatically can take a lot of time. Does your collection span multiple systems with large ROMs (like the Playstation, Gamecube, or anything newer)? In such scenarios, this “scanning” can eat up your whole evening.

        An additional problem is that Retroarch can’t recognize many popular formats, even if its own cores support them. For example, good luck trying to automatically scan a folder filled with games for Sony’s first PlayStation in compressed PBP format. After what could be hours of waiting, you will still have an empty list in front of you.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • 10 Best And Most Popular Icon Themes For Linux

        Icon themes are the easiest way to change the looks of your Linux desktop. Here is the list of the 10 best icon themes you should try.

        Not being tied to how the desktop looks and operates is one of the many perks of being a Linux user. Are you bored with the icon theme set currently installed on your Linux machine?

        You can find many icon sets to radically change your desktop’s looks, especially when you combine them with a matching wallpaper and window color theme. So let’s take a look at 10 of the best Linux icon themes that will upgrade your OS’s look.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Gear 21.04 releases branches created

          Make sure you commit anything you want to end up in the 21.04 releases to them

          We’re already past the dependency freeze.

          The Feature Freeze and Beta is this Thursday 18 of March.

        • Sok Update 3

          Here is the third update on how things are going on with KDE Social.

          I am mostly done with the twitter and mastodon part of things and something that was big hurdle which is figuring out a proper way to schedule posts on the server side .

          I have pushed most stuff to master now .


          A small announcement : I am looking for testers for this project now . I have put up detailed instructions on KDE’s gitlab README to build and run this . Currently the only supported platform is Linux . Instructions will be similar for Windows since this is based on python . I don’t have any experience using a macintosh so I can gaurantee anything about that. Although please do reach out to me if you successfully build it on there.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Alexander Mikhaylenko: Reinventing tabs

          These tabs are used in multi-window apps such as web browsers, text editors, file managers or terminal emulators. They are opened and closed by the user, they can be reordered, dragged between windows or into new windows by dropping them on desktop. They need scrolling. They always have a title and a close button, sometimes an icon and/or a spinner. They hide when only one tab is present. They can be closed by middle clicking, they have context menus. Sometimes they can be pinned or have an extra icon, for example an audio playback indicator. Sometimes they need confirmation on closing.


          However, this is very basic. Mobile tab switchers are often very elaborate, for example using 3D stacks of cards, grids, carousels or lists with previews. Unfortunately, all of that is off limits in GTK 3. However, with GTK 4 it’s not, and we can do things such as this:


          Having a proper overview would also allow to finally remove the tab popover from Epiphany, which is still there in 40, but only shows when the tab bar starts scrolling.

          A GTK 4 port of HdyTabView and HdyTabBar is complete and fully working and just needs code review, though the overview is not a reusable widget yet.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS Replacements For Your Production Linux Servers

          CentOS 8 suddenly has its life cut short to the end of 2021. 5 Linux distributions you may want to consider for CentOS replacements.

          On December 8th, 2020, Red Hat shocked the Linux world. They announced they would be shifting all of their investment in CentOS Linux from the popular downstream CentOS distribution. This is where history repeats itself. Back in 2004, Red Hat did the same thing by EOL’ing all versions of “Red Hat Linux” and forced users to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

          If you are currently using CentOS 8 you will have to find an alternative operating system to use. Its end-of-life cycle has been cut short in December, 2021. But if you use CentOS 7 you do not have to take any action right now. CentOS 7 will reach its end-of-life June 30th, 2024.

          Red Hat will not release any new CentOS distributions, only CentOS Stream. CentOS will no longer be a stable point distribution but a rolling release. In addition to, the announcement clearly stated that CentOS Stream is not a replacement for CentOS Linux. Therefore many CentOS users feel betrayed and are looking for a way out. They find out that their “until-2029” distro had become an “until-2021” distro.

          Below is a list of 5 Linux distributions that you can consider as a possible replacement for your current CentOS server.

      • Debian Family

        • SparkyLinux 2021.03 Comes With An Added KDE Plasma Desktop

          SparkyLinux 2021.03 is the first snapshot in 2021 of Sparky which is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye“.

          Above all SparkyLinux is a desktop-oriented Linus distribution based on the Debian. The project offers a ready to use operating system with a set of various customized lightweight desktops to choose from. As a result it is fast, lightweight and fully customizable.

          The project was born in 2011 as an Ubuntu remix. After a few months of testing, the base system has been changed to Debian and it was renamed to SparkyLinux.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Kodi 19.0 “Matrix” Brings A Wealth Of Changes And Improved Decoding

        Kodi 19.0 “Matrix” brings a new features, visual makeover, and significant improvements to playback to this popular home theater software.

        Kodi is one of the most popular media center applications. It combines many media sources into one easy-to-navigate interface. After a wait of almost 2 years, Kodi 19 is now finally rolling out, nicknamed “Matrix”.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • [Old] Exploring Borland dBase IV for DOS

          Last week I took a dive into the office life of yesteryear with Microsoft Works 3.0 for DOS. Now I’m exploring some more retro business software, this time delving into the ancient database management system known as Borland dBase. dBase was THE first commercially successful DBMS in computing history, and in fact it is still active today, which would give it one of the longest lifespans of any major application software. It began its life in 1978 as a software package for PTDOS and CP/M dubbed Vulcan. It was later bought by Ashton-Tate, renamed dBase, and ported to the Apple II line and to DOS. During the 80’s and 90’s it went through several vastly different versions and was copied by many different software companies, soon being acquired again by Borland Software, who created a third version known as dBase III. dBase is now on its eleventh incarnation, last released by dBase LLC in early 2017.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.7 Brings You Fresh Colors And An Improved Editor

          WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza” was released today. It comes with a few great enhancements, both in core and the editor. Let’s dive in!

          WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza” is the first WordPress release of 2021. It is named in honor of Esperanza Spalding, a modern musical prodigy. The new version brings improvements to the WordPress block editor functionality, user interface, and more.

      • Programming/Development

        • ZenTao: an open-source project management system for coders

          ZenTao is an open-source project management system for software developers, teams, companies, freelancers both on-site and remotely.

          It’s an application lifecycle management solution that facilitates Agile development.

          ZenTao has an open-source version and it is released under ZPL, version 1.2.

          ZenTao is offered in three versions, open source/community, pro, and biz.

        • Clang CFI Patches For The Linux Kernel Aim To Provide Better Security – Phoronix

          Now that Clang LTO support was merged into Linux 5.12 for x86_64 and ARM64, Google engineers have sent out their patches enabling Clang Control-Flow Integrity (CFI) support for the Linux kernel.

          Clang’s CFI support depended upon the link-time optimization (LTO) support first landing in the kernel. Now that LTO is in place, Sami Tolvanen and the other Google engineers sent out their kernel patches for bringing up the CFI security feature.

        • Managing the Console with the iostream Classes in C++ – Linux Hint

          In computing, the console is the computer keyboard and the computer monitor. In the past, output was sent directly to the monitor screen and not to a window displayed on the monitor. For the ordinary computer user, applications today do not use the monitor explicitly. These applications use windows displayed on the monitor. However, the computer programmer still needs to use the monitor screen. Though the programmer still needs to use the monitor screen, the operating system does not allow him to do that. The operating system provides a window that simulates the monitor screen. In the Windows Operating System, this window is called the Command Prompt. In the Linux Operating System and its variants, this window is called the terminal.

          It is expected that the reader already knows how to use the Command Prompt or the Terminal. This article explains how to read characters and strings from the keyboard and send characters and strings to the terminal (or command prompt). Every C++ programmer needs to know in this article.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • [Old] Piping curl to s(hell)

            Below I prepared a harmless script for you to execute, please copy the following line and paste it into your terminal (or a text editor – you shouldn’t trust a random blog post): [...]

          • [Old] Don’t Pipe to your Shell

            It’s everywhere. Sometimes they tell you to ignore certificates as well (looking at you, Salt). That’s dumb.

            The main reason I think it’s dumb (other than running arbitrary commands on your machine that could change based on user agent to trick you) is its failure mode.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Recalling the Travails of the ‘Big Stick’

      A military establishment primarily intended to deter and defend became an instrument of power projection.

    • [Old] Taking control of your own data

      Given the recent reports about Atlassian handing over control over their user’s personal Trello account to their former employer I’ve started paying more attention to the way I store my personal data. While I’ve been enthusiastic about the idea of self-hosting various services for a while, reading the aforementioned news further pushed me to migrate to several self-hosted alternatives to popular online services.

      Below I listed several self-hosted applications that I run for my personal needs. Hopefully this list will be able to help other people find alternatives to various online services and self-host as much of their data as possible.

      As the recent events prove self-hosting is not only a matter of a worldview or philosophy but simply a basic step towards protecting your own data which as many people as possible should take. I can only imagine how disrupted someone’s life could be by a cloud storage provider denying someone access to all their files or an email server maintainer simply locking them out of their only email account.

    • Hardware

      • Dima Kogan: Making the Supernova E3 tail light brighter

        I got a dynamo hub for my bike and a fancy headlight. It’s sweet, but I’m discovering that there’re no standards for making tail lights work, so I just had to do some light reverse-engineering and soldering. And this is the findings.

        Different manufacturers do tail lights differently. Most tail lights are not connected directly to the dynamo, but to the headlight instead. Busch+Müller tail lights take an AC signal that looks very similar to what the hub is producing. You’re not supposed to hook it up to the hub directly, but it does appear to work, and it’s not clear how the headlight’s tail-light output is different from the hub input. I haven’t scoped it.

        Supernova tail lights work differently. Some guy on the internet reverse-engineered the headlight circuit showing an LM317 regulator producing 5.9V for the tail light. I have a Supernova E3 tail light (original one; model E161). The case says “6V”, which is close to the 5.9V they give it. It wants its 6V, but I don’t have a Supernova headlight, so I don’t have 6V to give it. I do have a USB charger, so I have 5V instead. Giving it 5V does appear to work, but that results in less brightness than I would like. Presumably the voltage difference is to blame?

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Jayapal, Dingell to Unveil Medicare for All Act Exactly One Year After 1st Covid Cases Confirmed in Every State

        “This past year makes it incredibly clear why we must pass Medicare for All.”

      • Go read this story about how bad software helped slow coronavirus vaccine distrib

        According to Technology Review, the agency knew it needed a robust, one-stop shop that could be used by patients, clinics, employers, and government officials. But instead, the CDC spent $44 million on something called the Vaccine Administration Management System —-VAMS— built by consulting firm Deloitte (via no-bid contracts) which was so inadequate that it has driven some states to try to patch together their own vaccine distribution systems instead.

      • Accelerating Application Programming Interfaces for Scientific Discovery:Researcher Perspectives [PDF]

        The discussions explored the utility and prevalence of using standardized APIs, such as the FHIR® and FHIR Bulk Data Access APIs, for research to enable scientific discovery, and gathered perspectives from stakeholder representatives in the research community actively working on various initiatives in biomedical and clinical informatics, clinical trials, and other types of health research.

        The findings establish a baseline of activity and current successes using APIs for research and identified the remaining challenges and opportunities for making standardized APIs and apps work for researchers. The findings also highlight various examples of emerging APIs and apps used in the research community and for novel use cases.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Faulty Software Snarls Vaccine Sign-Ups

          When coronavirus vaccines first became available, state health officials in Virginia turned to software recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to schedule appointments. But people complained that the software, called VAMS, was too confusing for older adults to use.

          So the state switched to another system, PrepMod — but that had problems, too. Links sent to seniors for their appointments were reusable and found their way to Facebook, leading to one vaccination event in Richmond with dozens of overbookings. Some of those people threatened health care workers when they were turned away.

        • What went wrong with America’s $44 million vaccine data system?

          Her frustration is echoed by millions of Americans who have struggled to get vaccines through various chaotic systems. But unlike others in some states, she wasn’t encountering these problems with a third-party consumer service like Eventbrite, or even through an antiquated government system. She was on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s brand-new, $44 million website called VAMS—the Vaccine Administration Management System, built by the consulting firm Deloitte.

        • Defective Software program Snarls Vaccine Signal-Ups

          When coronavirus vaccines first turned accessible, state well being officers in Virginia turned to software program really useful by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention to schedule appointments. However folks complained that the software program, known as VAMS, was too complicated for older adults to make use of.

          So the state switched to a different system, PrepMod — however that had issues, too. Hyperlinks despatched to seniors for his or her appointments have been reusable and located their method to Fb, main to 1 vaccination occasion in Richmond with dozens of overbookings. A few of these folks threatened well being care employees once they have been turned away.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Sigstore Is A New And Free Code Signing Service By Linux Foundation

                The Sigstore project will enable developers to sign specific aspects of their development process. This will ensure that files and other assets carry strong, tamper-proof encryption.

                The Linux Foundation, today announced the sigstore project. Founding members include Red Hat, Google and Purdue University. Sigstore improves the security of the software supply chain. It enabling the easy adoption of cryptographic software signing backed by transparency log technologies.

                An inherent weakness of open source code is that it’s difficult to determine its provenance how it was built. That means that it’s prone to supply chain attacks.

        • Security

          • Ready Set & Go!!!

            I added a new “Security Repository” today. What is that? It is unlike the normal security repositories. I added thousands of tools to allow you to do penetration testing. Get this I will be the target. I have spent months closing security holes. Repostorm put me way ahead of Ubuntu as well Kali Linux off the rip. I am working on bringing UNO (Ultimate Network Optimizer) not only to Optimize, but as a security tool. I am still not done, eventually I will drop my IP online and ask you to hack me. Proper term is crack me. Software I am writing is getting off the chain. 93% is where I have been at. Still have internet and still access my network.

          • Ransomware “Paralyzes” Spanish Employment Agency

            Although the payroll system is said not to be affected, face-to-face appointments have had to be cancelled around the country, as the attack has knocked out workstations in 710 SEPE offices and the laptops of remote workers, according to trade union CSIF. It claimed the agency had been “paralyzed” by the attack.

          • Microsoft Exchange Server hacks ‘doubling’ every two hours

            According to Check Point Research (CPR), threat actors are actively exploiting four zero-day vulnerabilities tackled with emergency fixes issued by Microsoft on March 2 — and attack attempts continue to rise.

            In the past 24 hours, the team has observed “exploitation attempts on organizations doubling every two to three hours.”

            The countries feeling the brunt of attack attempts are Turkey, the United States, and Italy, accounting for 19%, 18%, and 10% of all tracked exploit attempts, respectively.

          • Everything you need to know about the Microsoft Exchange Server hack
          • Microsoft Delivers Patches for 89 Vulnerabilities in March Security Release

            The March bundle is 60 percent larger than last month’s update Tuesday tally, according to Eric Feldman, a senior product marketing manager at software security solutions company Automox, in a patch Tuesday “Overview” article. The March patches contain 14 CVEs rated “Critical,” with five under active exploit.

          • Nim-Based Malware Loader Spreads Via Spear-Phishing Emails

            Spear-phishing emails are spreading the NimzaLoader malware loader, which some say may be used to download Cobalt Strike.

            The TA800 threat group is distributing a malware loader, which researchers call NimzaLoader, via ongoing, highly-targeted spear-phishing emails.


            They cited several major differences between NimzaLoader and BazaLoader: For instance, the two samples use different code-flattening obfuscators, different styles of string decryption and different XOR/rotate-based Windows API hashing algorithms, they said. Other tactics that set NimzaLoader apart include the fact that the malware doesn’t use a domain-generation algorithm and that it makes use of JSON in its command-and-control (C2) communications.

          • Third French hospital hit by cyberattack

            A hospital in southwest France has seen some of its IT systems paralysed by a “ransomware” cyberattack, its management said Tuesday, the third such incident in the last month.

            The 320-bed facility in Oloron-Sainte-Marie near the Pyrenees mountains was hit by the attack on Monday, with screens displaying a demand in English for $50,000 in Bitcoin.

            Hospital workers have had to revert to working with pens and paper, since digital patient records are not available.

            The management system, used to monitor medicine stocks and other supplies, has also been affected at a time when the hospital is taking part in vaccination efforts against COVID-19.

          • Cyberattacks against K-12 schools rose 18% in 2020, report finds

            And while the first three months of 2020 were largely a continuation of the trends of 2019 — a year in which ransomware against the education sector surged — the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic create new threats for schools, all while officials’ were scrambling to outfit teachers and students for virtual learning environments.

          • Microsoft’s Exchange Server Security Problem Is Gaining Steam

            The handful of Exchange Server zero-day flaws Microsoft announced earlier this month has snowballed into a much broader problem.

            On March 2, Microsoft issued out-of-band security patches to address four zero-day Exchange Server flaws being exploited by an advanced persistent threat group (APT) it dubbed “Hafnium.” The Hafnium group is thought to have used the four flaws in combination to carry out a widespread government and industry espionage campaign.

            Microsoft is now warning that unpatched Exchange Servers are getting attacked to install ransomware dubbed “DearCry.” This new ransomware apparently was first detected and reported by researcher Michael Gillespie at the ID-Ransomware Web site, per this Friday Kaspersky Threatpost article.

            Since March 2, attacks on Exchange Server implementations worldwide have “tripled every two hours,” according to a Thursday announcement by Check Point Software. Notably, the spike in activity seems to be coming from other attackers besides the Hafnium APT group because they aren’t completing all of the attack steps.

            “To date, hackers have yet to carry out the full chain of attack successfully,” the Check Point researchers noted regarding these more recent Exchange Server attacks.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Boy killed over friendship with girl in Karnataka’s Kalaburagi

        The boy’s father, Mallikarjun Kolli, said his son was allegedly forced to drink and smoke ganja, and the assailants murdered him when he was in drunken stupor. “Instead of killing my son, they should have spoken to me if he was not on the right path,” he said.

      • Brussels bombers ‘murdered elderly man as a test’

        In June 2018 Krayem then said “Khalid explained it was an elderly person and that they had wanted to test what it was like to kill someone”.

        Krayem, a Swedish national, was caught on CCTV with Khalid el-Bakraoui shortly before the metro bomber blew himself up.

      • Desecrated and Defecated on: Churches in Europe under Islam

        A few days after Muslim migrants firebombed an 800-year-old Swedish church twice over the course of four days—once on Jan. 20, 2021 and another on Jan. 24—a Feb 4 report came out saying that 829 “hate crimes” against churches in Sweden have been reported between just 2012-2018, or about 138 attacks on average every year.

      • Military might, market ideology and moral posturing: A toxic combination that has poisoned America

        People who start businesses are now referred to, in all seriousness, as “job creators.” The term implies that our attitude toward them should be reverential, as if creating jobs were the purpose of having a business instead of a necessary expense and, as such, to be minimized. Venerated as beneficent “job creators,” employers are free to revert openly to exploitative labor practices. Shouldn’t workers then be called “wealth creators,” wealth being founded quite openly and unabashedly on their exploitation?

      • ‘The Stories Are Heartbreaking.’ What 1 Reporter Witnessed In Mozambique’s Violence

        For more than three years, northern Mozambique has been ravaged by violence and destruction, as a local Islamic insurgency has grown in intensity and brutality. More than 1,300 civilians have been killed, according to one estimate, and some 668,000 have been internally displaced — nearly half of whom are children.

        The violence has been centered in Cabo Delgado, one of the poorest regions in Mozambique. For years, the region was largely ignored by the central government, until large reserves of oil and gas were discovered offshore. As international oil companies have moved into the area, fighters have stepped up their attacks, terrorizing villagers, burning homes, destroying farms and publicly beheading women and children.

      • Deradicalization Program in Indonesia Not Very Effective in Curbing Extremism

        Although Indonesia has set up a deradicalization program to address the growing radicalism among Muslims, it has not been able to prevent the spread of extremism in correctional facilities.

        A recent analysis by researchers from the University of Indonesia shows that one member from a terrorist network like Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) can recruit, on average, four to five people during the country-run deradicalization program.

      • Islamist Extremists Try to Silence Dutch Author With Death Threats

        But after one particular TV appearance, as one critic wrote, it was “as if a bomb exploded in her parents’ community.” The main problem was her battle with orthodox Islam, with the questioning of a culture in which, as “Büsra” puts it, girls are forced to live “like houseplants” and become “breeding hens” once they are forced into a marriage. “Is this what I live for?” “Büsra” muses. “Is God then happy with my tragedy?”

        Phones rang in the Gül household the day after her appearance on a talk show in early February. Lale’s parents listened, horrified, to friends and relatives explaining to them what their daughter actually had written, how she had exposed their private life to the outer world, and how she had spoken against their faith. Some of what her parents heard was untrue. An uncle threatened “to punch my teeth out of my mouth,” she told the “Volkskrant.” And her mother, Lale says, defended him. “I can’t say he’s wrong,” she says her mother told her. “You asked for it with that book.”

      • Far-Right Bolivia Coup Leader Jeanine Añez Arrested on Terrorism, Sedition Charges

        “The authors and accomplices of the dictatorship that looted the economy and attacked life and democracy in Bolivia” must “be investigated and punished,” said Evo Morales, the former president.

      • EU drones: Permanent permit for maritime surveillance

        This year, the EU is again conducting drone flights for many Member States. Due to many unfulfilled requests, unmanned capabilities are now being expanded. Two drones from Austria and Portugal have become established for coastguard missions. One of the manufacturers has now received a Europe-wide certificate for the first time.

      • Opinion | Dear Breonna: One Year Later

        We reflect on her life, her senseless death, and why we will always say her name.

      • A Year After Breonna Taylor’s Killing, Family Says There’s ‘No Accountability’

        Exactly one year ago, Louisville police gunned her down in her home. Now, her name is a ubiquitous rallying cry at protests calling for police reforms, and many social justice advocates point to her story as an example of how difficult it can be to hold police accountable for violent acts.

        The Louisville incident unfolded during a botched narcotics raid, when officers forced their way into her apartment in the early morning hours of March 13, 2020. Taylor was not the target of the raid and the suspect police were searching for was not at Taylor’s home.

      • ‘Say Her Name’: Rallies and Marches Mark One-Year Anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s Killing

        “This is not a celebration. This is the anniversary of something that should not have happened.”

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Bitcoin surges past $60,000 for first time

          Critics argue Bitcoin is less of a currency and more of a speculative trading tool that is open to market manipulation.

          There is also concern over its environmental impact, with huge amounts of energy needed to conduct transactions.

        • Bitcoin passes $60,000 for first time

          The system requires massive computer processing power in order to manage and implement transactions.

        • How Bitcoin’s vast energy use could burst its bubble

          President Biden’s top economic adviser described Bitcoin as “an extremely inefficient way to conduct transactions,” saying “the amount of energy consumed in processing those transactions is staggering”.

        • Why does Bitcoin need more energy than whole countries?

          Undisputed numbers are hard to come by because of the complex nature of the calculations. Back at the start of 2017, Bitcoin was using 6.6 terawatt-hours of power a year. In October 2020, that was up to 67 terawatt-hours. Now a few months later, it has nearly doubled to 121 terawatt-hours, the Cambridge researchers found, enough to run their entire university for nearly 700 years.

          By these same calculations, if Bitcoin were a country, only 30 other countries would use more electricity. It would surpass the yearly power needs of the UAE, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Belgium, Austria or Israel.

        • [Old] Yellen sounds warning about ‘extremely inefficient’ bitcoin

          Mining bitcoin requires users to solve complex mathematical equations using high-powered computer setups. The electric consumption used in the process leaves an annual carbon footprint equal to the nation of New Zealand, according to Digiconomist.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Gallery: 32-year-old bat found in Estonia

          The Brant’s bat, “Tõmmulendlane” in Estonian, has a life expectancy relative to its body size of around twice that of human beings, while the species also holds the record for oldest recorded bat worldwide (at least 41 years of age – ed.). The practice of tagging bats via a ring attached to a limb (see gallery) allows conservationists and others to log ages and life-spans.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Malaysia Uses Emergency Powers to Impose ‘Fake News’ Law

        Lawyers and rights groups say they are alarmed both by the details of the order and by the lack thereof. They say the rules are missing a clear definition of fake news and in effect let authorities ignore the standards for prosecuting an alleged crime set out in the country’s Evidence Act.

        “That means it would be very easy for them to basically charge anyone under this law,” said Ding Jo Ann, an adviser to Malaysia’s Center for Independent Journalism.

        By imposing fines and jail time on anyone who refuses to give passwords or encryption codes to authorities investigating related cases, the ordinance “will create a climate of fear,” Lawyers for Liberty, a local rights group, said in a statement.

        The Bar Council of Malaysia told local news outlet Free Malaysia Today that the ordinance lets authorities ignore several fair trial rules, making it a “highly dangerous piece of legislation which has the potential to be abused.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • EPO declares eEQE format went “very smoothly”, but do candidates agree?

          Last week the European Qualifying Exams (EQEs) for patent attorneys were held online for the first time. The EPO has now released a statement, declaring the digital EQE a “success”. The considerable achievement of getting the eEQE up and running in time for the exams this year should be recognised. However, the EPO’s positive summary is at odds with the reported experience of many candidates during the examination week, and has been criticised by some for not being sensitive to candidates’ concerns. The EPO’s message on the first eEQE also came before the window for candidate feedback had closed.


          However, in this Kat’s opinion it is also important for the EPO to acknowledge the issues with the eEQE this year, if they are to avoid the same issues in the future. Comments from candidates (see e.g. DeltaPatents) reveal a great deal of dissatisfaction with the system and how it was run. The EPO’s statement does not acknowledge or address these concerns, and downplays the impact of the particular issue in Paper D1.1. It is also apparent that the examination papers (particularly Papers B and C) were even more challenging than usual this year, suggesting that they had not undergone the same scrutiny as in previous years, and included a number of errors (e.g. mis-numbered questions). This Kat will be monitoring developments and looks forward to seeing how the EPO will address these issues.

        • Stanford’s Abstract Idea: A Method for Resolving Haplotype Phase

          This case appears to potential be a good test case on patent eligibility for the U.S. Supreme Court. The Federal Circuit here held that Stanford’s bioinformatics innovation – “a method for resolving haplotype phase” – lacks eligibility under Section 101 because it is directed to an abstract idea under Alice Corp.

          Gene inheritance is a super interesting biologic process. Each person inherits a set of chromosomes from each parent. At times, it is helpful to understand which genes came from which parent — especially if tracing disease patterns or researching various diseases. The problem though is that the chromosomes are not labelled “dad” & “mom” (except potentially the sex linked one).

          The general purpose of the invention is to provide a better method for figuring out which genes are associated with which parent. The approach is to first obtain allele data from the subject as well as three other family members (two parents and a sibling). The claims then use a statistical inference process (Hidden Markov Model) to identify the likely inheritance state. The claims define key parameters of the model (the hidden states). In addition to HMM, the claims also require a series of error-reduction techniques that use population data as well as consideration of sequencing errors. The prior art includes other methods of resolving haplotype phase, and other would-be non-infringing methods have also been developed since then. [Read Claim 1]. Apparently, the prior-art method had ~80% accuracy while the invention here boosts accuracy to ~98% (for heterozygous positions).

        • Software Patents

          • Third time’s a harm? Microsoft tries to get twice-rejected compression patent past skeptical examiners

            In June, 2019, Microsoft applied for a US patent covering enhancements to a data encoding method known as rANS, one of several variants in the Asymmetric Numeral System (ANS) family that form the foundation of data compression schemes used by Apple, Facebook, Google, various other companies, and open source projects.

            Its US patent application was published on the last day of 2020. Recently, the inventor of ANS, Jarosław Duda, assistant professor at Institute of Computer Science at Jagiellonian University in Poland, expressed concern that if Microsoft’s patent application is granted, anyone using software that incorporates an ANS-based encoder could be at risk of a potential infringement claim.


            “Google ended up abandoning that application,” said Alex Moss, staff attorney for the EFF and Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents, in an email to The Register. “But it looks like Microsoft picked up right where it left off.”

            “Professor Duda’s concerns about the Microsoft application are similarly well-founded: these are broad claims that implicate practically any use of ANS without adding anything new and non-obvious,” said Moss.

            The USPTO has already said as much, Moss explained: It has rejected this application twice before, including a final rejection for obviousness.

            The USPTO issued a non-final rejection of the application on May 21, 2020. Microsoft sought a review of the decision and the patent agency then issued a final rejection on October 27, 2020.

            Yet on March 2, 2021, Microsoft tried one more time to get its patent application approved. In a USPTO explanatory filing, attorney Kyle Rinehart said, “The Applicant respectfully disagrees with the rejections.”

            “Microsoft’s recent filing takes advantage of what’s called the “After Final Consideration Pilot 2.0″ program,” Moss explained. “This program was started under former Director of the Patent Office, Andrei Iancu, and before leaving office, he extended the program through September 30, 2021.”

      • Copyrights

        • RIAA Takedown Notices Target Spotify, Deezer, and Apple Music

          The RIAA is known to use DMCA notices to remove pirated content from the Internet. These takedown requests are generally aimed at pirate sites and stream-rippers, but in recent weeks the organization went after legitimate streaming services as well. Apparently, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon, Tidal and Apple Music host ‘copyright infringing’ content too.

        • Men Ordered to Pay 7 Million Euros in Damages For Illegal Sports Streaming

          Five men who administered a ring of 20 pirate sports streaming sites were found guilty of intellectual property offenses by a court in France last summer. After being handed sentences ranging from fines to 12 months in prison, the court has decided that three of the men must now pay Canal Plus, beIN Sports and RMC Sport more than seven million in euros in damages.

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