EPO President António Campinos Promoting Microsoft Proprietary Software (Monopoly) and Software Patents

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 3:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO bailing out Microsoft, which is also bailed out by taxpayers and the US Army, which in turn gets access to EPO data (treasure trove for industrial espionage)

EPO data scandal

Cannot Breathe, EPOSummary: Diplomatic immunity at the EPO, Europe’s second-largest institution, has gone way too far; corruption has become the norm, the media (publishers) is being bribed or intimidated, and nobody seems to care, certainly not politicians, even when the public is being robbed (money and personal data)

THE corrupt EPO is hungry for more grifting, having gotten the appetite with repeated violations of the law — all of which are still going unpunished while the media ‘behaves’ (keeps silent) and the Administrative Council nods approvingly. Earlier today we saw a new comment, which suggests several people outside the EPO are becoming aware and concerned about profound systemic injustice. “I just hope that all people outraged by the present attitude of the Chair of the BA will write to the EBA and request that their amicus curiae briefs will be published,” said this comment. There may be more comments to that effect albeit deleted by the moderator from AstraZeneca.

“Isn’t it ironic that while they outsource the EPO’s systems to Microsoft and instruct stakeholders (outside the EPO) to use proprietary Microsoft formats they also squeeze in this software patents agenda?”It is only our hypothesis, based on past experiences, that the EPO adopted the strategy of noise-making to distract from all that. Last week it posted a pair of diversions in its “news” section (about the above blunder, but basically lying about the whole thing). Then, starting last night, it published pure fluff thrice in two days, maybe in an attempt to discredit facts and distract from the kangaroo court scandal. The first was pure fluff (warning: epo.org link) — maybe the exchange of E-mail or some phonecall. Then the EPO admitted (warning: epo.org link) that it is still shilling for proprietary software of Microsoft with OOXML (“documents in DOCX”). The gish gallop soon resumed, basically promoting (warning: epo.org link) European software patents under the guise of “artificial intelligence (AI)” and “machine learning”. The clueless President (António Campinos) just wrote or said “HEY HI” countless times, trying to impress a gullible crowd. He very well knows — as did Benoît Battistelli — that buzzwords help them bypass the law and basically pretend not to grant software patents while they very obviously do (compelling the examiners to do so or face disciplinary/cautionary action). To quote a portion: “The ELLIS Society is a non-profit association that leading scientists working in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) in Europe established in 2018 for the purposes of founding the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS).”

That’s just more of that “HEY HI” nonsense; don’t fall for it. Isn’t it ironic that while they outsource the EPO's systems to Microsoft and instruct stakeholders (outside the EPO) to use proprietary Microsoft formats they also squeeze in this software patents agenda? Who’s gonna stop them? Certainly not Germany [1, 2]. What a Ponzi scheme of an institution. How many milk farmers are raping this supposedly poor cow?

Links 1/4/2021: Linux Lite 5.4, LineageOS 18.1

Posted in News Roundup at 2:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel’s Vulkan Driver Adds Conservative Rasterization – Helps DXVK/VKD3D For Linux Gaming – Phoronix

          Intel’s open-source “ANV” Vulkan driver now supports the Vulkan EXT_conservative_rasterization extension that is most notably used by DXVK for translating Direct3D atop this graphics API and work is also pending too for VKD3D.

          The conservative rasterization extension was introduced back in Vulkan 1.0.67 from early 2018. The conservative rasterization mode allows for over or under estimation for limiting the rasterization process and ensuring certainty over the rendering behavior.

        • Intel Wraps Up Linux 5.13 Graphics Driver Development By Preparing For Future Hardware – Phoronix

          The past several weeks have seen a few rounds of Intel graphics driver changes sent in to DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 5.13 cycle. This Linux 5.13 Intel graphics driver work has included Alder Lake S enablement and other feature changes. A final batch of “feature” work was sent out this morning for targeting the Intel kernel graphics driver in Linux 5.13.

          This final patch of Intel i915 kernel graphics driver changes for targeting Linux 5.13 is “a pull request of refactoring both to clean up and prepare for future.”

        • Intel Graphics Compiler 1.0.6748 Released With CM-CL Library – Phoronix

          Intel’s open-source developers have released a new version of IGC, the Intel Graphics Compiler that is used by their open-source Linux compute stack, recently was transitioned for use by their Windows driver too, and might eventually be piped into their Mesa OpenGL/Vulkan drivers.

          We haven’t heard anything or seen any new code over the past quarter for integrating IGC into Mesa, so it’s not clear where those plans stand at the moment. But in any case this open-source graphics compiler remains central to their Linux compute stack for OpenCL and oneAPI Level Zero. IGC 1.0.6748 was released this week as their latest tagged version.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: A Reminder

          I was recently interviewed by Boiling Steam, a small Linux gaming-oriented news site focused on creating original content and interviewing only the most important figures within the community (like me). If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the rich open source pedigree of Super Good Code, the interview goes deep into the back catalogue of how things got to this point.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Description

          Last time, I talked a bit about descriptors 3.0: lazy descriptors. The idea I settled on here was to do templated updates, and to do the absolute minimal amount of work possible for each draw while still never reusing any written-to descriptor sets once they’d been cycled out.

          Lazy descriptors worked out great, and I’m sure many of you have grown to enjoy the ZINK: USING LAZY DESCRIPTORS log message that got spammed on startup over the past couple months of zink-wip.


          The goal of zink-wip is to provide an optimal testing environment with the absolute bleeding edge in terms of performance and features. The auto mode should provide that, and the cases I’ve seen where its performance is noticeably worse number exactly one, and it’s a subtest for drawoverhead. If anyone finds any other cases where auto is worse than lazy, I’m interested, but it shouldn’t be a concern.

          With that said, it might be worth doing some benchmarking between the two for some extremely high CPU usage scenarios, as that’s the only case where it may be possible to detect a difference. Gone are the days of zink(-wip) hogging the whole CPU, so probably this is just useless pontificating to fill more of a blog page.

          But also, if you’re doing any kind of benchmarking on a high-end CPU, I’d probably recommend going with the lazy mode for now.

    • Applications

      • gImageReader – Extract Text from Images and PDF’s in Linux

        gImageReader is a free and open-source PDF reader with the ability to extract text from images and PDFs. It is built as a simple Gtk/Qt front-end to Tesseract-OCR, an open-source OCR engine for recognizing texts and patterns in documents and images using Artificial Intelligence.

        On its own, Tesseract is a command-line tool that is restricted to usage by Linux users familiar enough with their terminals. Thanks to gImageReader, everyone can now take advantage of the engine’s OCR efficiency.

        gImageReader works by scanning texts from PDF or picture file in any of the several languages that it supports thanks to the existence of Unicode characters. It features a simple, well-organized customizable user interface through which you can carry out spellcheck and translation tasks.

      • Cockpit 241

        Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly.

        Here are the release notes from Cockpit version 241.

      • Advances in open source CAD software, new open source project aims to bring Linux to Apple, and more

        FreeCAD 0.19′s migration from Python 2 to Python 3 and Qt4 to Qt5 is complete. This newest major feature release includes updates to its navigation cube, dynamic properties, backup file handling, and more.

        FreeCAD 0.19 includes several new features, as well. Icon theme management, a dark stylesheet, a WebGL exporter, Arch Fence, and Arch Truss tools are just a few of the update’s new additions.

        Want to learn more? Visit the FreeCAD wiki for project updates and to learn how you can contribute.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • GNU Linux Debian 10 – during upgrade: pigz: abort: write error on (No space left on device)

        this simply means: no space left on /boot device (too many old kernels there)

        the /boot partition is currently per default only 256MBytes small and fills up fast, when there are no removal of old kernels.

      • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn OpenCL – LinuxLinks

        OpenCL (Open Computing Language) is a framework for writing programs that execute across heterogeneous platforms consisting of central processing units (CPUs), graphics processing units (GPUs), digital signal processors (DSPs), field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and other processors or hardware accelerators.

        OpenCL greatly improves the speed and responsiveness of a wide spectrum of applications in numerous market categories including professional creative tools, scientific and medical software, vision processing, and neural network training and inferencing.

        The framework defines a language to write “kernels” in. These kernels are the functions which are to run on the different compute devices.

        OpenCL is an open standard maintained by the non-profit technology consortium Khronos Group.

      • How to Use Git and Git Workflows – a Practical Guide

        Everyone says you should learn Git—and you should—but let’s be honest: Git is kind of hard.

        Even almost ten years into my software development career, I am still learning about the underlying Git fundamentals and how to use Git more effectively.

        It wasn’t too long ago that I realized I had a fundamental misunderstanding of a key command I’d used countless times.

        Like many other areas in programming, I believe the best way to learn is to just start doing.

      • Install Libreoffice 7.1.2 on Ubuntu / LinuxMint

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install LibreOffice 7.1.2 on Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04, and LinuxMint 20.1.

        LibreOffice released the newer and 2nd version in the 7 series as 7.1.2 and it comes with new features and bug fixes and program enhancements.

        All users are requested to update to this version as soon as possible.

      • Screenly: Digital Sign Solution for Raspberry Pi (Tutorial)

        Screenly OSE is an, open source, digital sign solution that is purpose built for the Raspberry Pi. This can come in handy in any situation where people gather, business, shop, doctor’s waiting room, a church or a community center to name a few. Screenly OSE isn’t the only solution to accomplish this but it is arguably the best solution to accomplish this, or at the very minimum, the cleanest and best polish option I have ever used.

        Bottom Line Up Front: If you have any reason to provide information to people in a commercial, business or community center type situation, this may be a perfect fit for you. If you have any digital pictures and would like to turn a monitor or TV into a picture frame, even home movies, I suppose (that has the potential to be obnoxious), this is a perfect solution for you. If you are looking for a useful, first project, for the Raspberry Pi with substantial application, this is most certainly a perfect project upon which to cut your Single Board Computer teeth.

        This is “Front Page Linux” so, number one, you need a Linux machine to start. I use openSUSE so I will gear this, somewhat, in that direction but this will be general enough that you should be able to accomplish this on any distribution.

      • Tcpdump cheat sheet with examples

        When it comes to network troubleshooting and monitoring, what types of tools you are using make a world of difference. While required tools may vary depending on the types of network problems you are dealing with, there are a set of essential tools that every network administrator must be familiar with, and tcpdump is definitely one of them.

        tcpdump is a command-line tool packet sniffing that allows you to capture network packets based on packet filtering rules, interpret captured packet content, and display the result in a human-readable format. The main power of tcpdump comes from its (1) flexible packet filtering rules and (2) versatile protocol dissection capability. Although GUI-based Wireshark provides equally powerful filtering/dissecting capabilities via a more user-friendly interface, its relatively high memory footprint (for buffering packets) and GUI-based operations make Wireshark unsuitable when you are troubleshooting directly from remote headless servers.

      • Russell Coker: Censoring Images

        A client asked me to develop a system for “censoring” images from an automatic camera. The situation is that we have a camera taking regular photos from a fixed location which includes part of someone else’s property. So my client made a JPEG with some black rectangles in the sections that need to be covered. The first thing I needed to do was convert the JPEG to a PNG with transparency for the sections that aren’t to be covered.

        To convert it I loaded the JPEG in the GIMP and went to the Layer->Transparency->Add Alpha Channel menu to enabled the Alpha channel. Then I selected the “Bucket Fill tool” and used “Mode Erase” and “Fill by Composite” and then clicked on the background (the part of the JPEG that was white) to make it transparent. Then I exported it to PNG.

      • Software Management – RHEL/CentOS

        No matter your use for Linux, be it CentOS or Ubuntu, you will need to manage applications and services. I will cover the ways you can manage your software on a CentOS system, the next article will cover similar management on an Ubuntu system.

        A lot of information will be covered in this article, so be sure you understand how it all works individually and together.

      • The 7 Best Ways to Batch Rename Files in Linux

        Linux users can easily rename files using the mv command. However, the problem arises when you have multiple filenames that you want to rename. Changing the name of every file one by one can be a frustrating task for anyone.

        Luckily, there are several ways to batch rename files in Linux. We’ll discuss the simplest and the most effective methods of doing the same in the subsequent sections.

      • How to use OpenSSL and the Internet PKI on Linux systems

        This article is part two of three covering encryption concepts and the Internet public key infrastructure (PKI). The first article in this series introduced symmetric and public key (asymmetric) encryption in cryptography. If you’re not familiar with the basic concept of public-key encryption, you should read part one before you go ahead with this one.

        In this part, I show you the basics of Transport Layer Security and Secure Socket Layer (TLS/SSL), how the Internet PKI works, and OpenSSL, the Swiss Army knife for TLS/SSL tasks. I cover how to use OpenSSL to create key-pairs and to generate a certificate signing request (CSR) to send to your certificate authority (CA) for signing. After that, I discuss some weaknesses of the Internet PKI you should be aware of.

      • Install and review SpiderFoot network penetration testing tool

        SpiderFoot is an open source intelligence (OSINT) automation tool. It integrates with just about every data source available and utilises a range of methods for data analysis, making that data easy to navigate.

        SpiderFoot has an embedded web-server for providing a clean and intuitive web-based interface but can also be used completely via the command-line. It’s written in Python 3 and GPL-licensed.

      • NGINX HTTPS Reverse Proxy With Basic Auth – Jon’s FOSS Blog

        Lets say you wanted to run a local area network controller web service that was made by a company that you didn’t completely trust, what would be your options? If you wanted proper authenticated+encrypted access to it, you could setup a trustworthy VPN service like OpenVPN and remote into the LAN or you can also setup a reverse https proxy service that handles the TLS channel + basic authentication first before forwarding on the traffic to the internal web service.

      • Linux find largest file in directory recursively using find/du – nixCraft

        I have 500GB SSD installed on my Linux server. My web server is running out of the disk space. I need to find a biggest or largest file concerning file size on the disk. How do I find largest file in a directory recursively using the find command?

        To find a big file concerning file size on disk is easy task if you know how to use the find, du and other command. The du command used to estimate file space usage on Linux system. The output of du passed on to the sort and head command using shell pipes. Let us see how to find largest file in Linux server using various commands.

      • How to Install Mosh Shell as SSH Alternative on Linux

        Mosh, which stands for Mobile Shell is a command-line application which is used for connecting to the server from a client computer, over the Internet. It can be used as SSH and contains more feature than Secure Shell.

        It is an application similar to SSH, but with additional features. The application is written originally by Keith Winstein for Unix like operating system and released under GNU GPL v3.

      • How To Install aaPanel on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install aaPanel on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, aaPanel is also a free and open-source control panel for Linux. It’s easy to install & all the web hosting options are well-categorized for easily managing websites and databases. Also, it is user-friendly and offers GUI for most of the essential Linux services, making your job managing a web server easier.

        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 aaPanel control panel on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How To Encrypt Files on Linux

        In our increasingly digital society, protecting the privacy of sensitive data and our behavior online is a universal concern. Many users switch to Linux for its superior privacy features and the excellent selection of privacy-focused distros that it offers.

        Regardless of the OS you are using, encryption is a critical element of digital privacy. In this article, we explore the best and most reliable methods of file encryption on Linux. Our experts have firsthand experience using these programs and understand the technology behind them, equipping us with the knowledge to help you securely encrypt files on your Linux system and avoid common pitfalls associated with Linux file encryption.

      • How To Enable Hardware Acceleration In Chromium On Raspberry Pi OS (RPi 4) – Linux Uprising Blog

        This article explains how to enable hardware acceleration in Chromium browser running on Raspberry Pi OS (for Raspberry Pi 4).

        By enabling GPU acceleration, the CPU usage should be much lower when playing supported videos (for example on YouTube). In my case, using a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, the main Chromium gpu and renderer processes went down from ~160% and ~130% to under ~30% and 23% CPU usage (according to htop) after enabling hardware acceleration. As a side note, this is a prerequisite for an article I plan on writing soon.

      • Ngrok

        Ngrok is a cross-platform tool that uses cloud services to expose local networked services behind NATs and firewalls over a secure tunnel. Ngrok can also share local websites, build/test webhook consumers, and self-host personal services. Ngrok was created in 2012 by Alan Shreve (@inconshreveable). It operates a free and a paid version.

      • 8 steps to developing an Ansible role in Linux | Enable Sysadmin

        In the article How to use Ansible to configure Vim, I developed an Ansible playbook to configure an initial Vim environment using a few Vim plugins. In this current article, I continue building on the previous example by converting the playbook into an Ansible role.

        Ansible roles allow you to develop reusable automation components by grouping and encapsulating related automation artifacts, like configuration files, templates, tasks, and handlers. Because roles isolate these components, it’s easier to reuse them and share them with other people. You can also make your roles configurable by exposing variables that users can set when calling the role, allowing them to configure their system according to specific requirements.

      • AWS Session Manager with Enhanced SSH and SCP Capability – Linux Hint

        A year ago, new features in the AWS Systems Manager Session Manager were uncovered by AWS (Amazon Web Services). Now users can directly tunnel Secure Shell (SSH) and Secure Copy (SCP) connections from local clients without needing an AWS management console. Users have relied on firewalls for years to access cloud content safely, but these options have encryption and management overhead issues. Session Manager offers cloud providers stable, audited console connectivity without the need for remote access points. One of the challenges faced by users adopting the AWS Session Manager is avoided by incorporating Secure Copy (SCP) functionality. Cloud asset console access was given inside the AWS management console, but so far, there was not any convenient way to transfer files to remote systems. Creating or maintaining a live system needs copying patches or other data to the live instances in certain cases. Now Session Manager grants this without the need for external solutions like firewalls or intermediate S3 use. Let’s look at the procedure to set up SCP and SSH to use them with enhanced capabilities.

      • Find what changed in a Git commit | Opensource.com

        If you use Git every day, you probably make a lot of commits. If you’re using Git every day in a project with other people, it’s safe to assume that everyone is making lots of commits. Every day. And this means you’re aware of how disorienting a Git log can become, with a seemingly eternal scroll of changes and no sign of what’s been changed.

        So how do you find out what file changed in a specific commit? It’s easier than you think.


        The git whatchanged command is a legacy command that predates the log function. Its documentation says you’re not meant to use it in favor of git log –raw and implies it’s essentially deprecated. However, I still find it a useful shortcut to (mostly) the same output (although merge commits are excluded), and I anticipate creating an alias for it should it ever be removed. If you don’t need to merge commits in your log (and you probably don’t, if you’re only looking to see files that changed), try git whatchanged as an easy mnemonic.

      • Get started with XDP – Red Hat Developer

        XDP (eXpress Data Path) is a powerful new networking feature in Linux that enables high-performance programmable access to networking packets before they enter the networking stack. But XDP has a high learning curve. Many developers have written introduction blogs for this feature, such as Paolo Abeni’s Achieving high-performance, low-latency networking with XDP: Part I and Toke’s Using the eXpress Data Path (XDP) in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.

        XDP is based on extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF) and is still fast-moving. The eBPF/XDP coding format and style are also changing. So developers are creating tools and frameworks to make eBPF and XDP applications easy to write. Two of these resources, the libbpf library and the xdp-tools utilities, are the topics of this article.

      • LFCA: How to Manage Software Packages in Linux – Part 7

        This article is Part 7 of the LFCA series, here in this part, you will acquaint yourself with the general system administration commands to manage software packages in the Linux system.

        As a systems administrator, you will be tasked with the responsibility of managing software packages. This includes installing, upgrading, and removing or uninstalling packages from your system.

      • Pivot With/Without Tablefunc – Linux Hint

        A Pivot Table is a powerful tool for estimating, compiling, and reviewing data to find patterns and trends even easier. Pivot Tables can be used to aggregate, sort, arrange, rearrange, group, total, or average data in a dataset to truly comprehend data associations and dependencies. Using a pivot table as an illustration is the easiest way to demonstrate how this method operates. PostgreSQL 8.3 was launched a few years back, and a new version named ‘tablefunc’ was added. Tablefunc is a component that contains several methods that yield tables (that is, multiple rows). This modification comes with a very cool range of features. The crosstab method, which will be used to create pivot tables, is among them. The crosstab method takes a textual argument: a SQL command that returns raw data in the first layout and returns a table in the subsequent layout.

      • Partition a drive on Linux with GNU Parted

        In the 21st century, we tend to take data storage for granted. We have lots of it, it’s relatively affordable, and there are many different types of storage available. No matter how much cloud storage space you’re given for free, there’s nothing quite like having a physical hard drive for your really important (or really big, when you live on a slow network) data. However, few hard drives are sold right off the shelf, ready to use—in an ideal configuration, at least. Whether you’re buying a new drive or setting up a system with a different configuration, you need to know how to partition a drive on Linux.

        This article demonstrates GNU Parted, one of the best tools for partitioning drives. If you prefer to use a graphical application instead of a terminal command, read my article on formatting drives for Linux.

      • Gdu – A Pretty Fast Disk Usage Analyzer for Linux

        In this article, we will take a look at gdu an open-source disk usage analyzer written in go. Gdu is inspired by godu, dua, ncdu, and df.

        The gdu tool is created for SSD drives where parallel processing can be utilized. This tool can also work with HDD with less performance compared to SSD drives. You can also check benchmark results. There are many other similar tools and you have to play with gdu first to see if satisfy your needs.

    • Games

      • The excellent business and building sim OpenTTD arrives on Steam

        Play the open source remake and expansion of Transport Tycoon Deluxe free with OpenTTD, which is finally available on Steam along with a new update available. This project has been going for a long time now, first releasing in 2004 and with it still under active development it is the ultimate and best way to enjoy the classic along with tons of enhancements to make it feel a bit more modern.

      • Virtueror For Linux Will Be Released On April 1st 2022

        Vivaladev, the indie proprietary game developer behind the upcoming Virtueror strategy game, has announced that a GNU/Linux version of the game will be released on April 1st, 2022. The GNU/Linux version will be priced at $1774.99, slightly higher than the Windows edition of the game which will be priced at $14.99, after research done by Wall Street Bets reveal fundamental different in how supply and demand laws apply to GNU/Linux users.


        The games release is a full year away, so there are not that many details about it as of yet. However, it is possible to learn some things about it. Hackers have already leaked an early versoin of the games source code at github.com/vivaladav/iso-rts and there are also several game-play videos leaked at youtube.com/channel/UCUYD1ElkmiIklQRemVGxarw. We expect more leaks to appear the coming year.

        Virtueror has an official website at virtueror.com. It has nothing but a form asking for very personal information such as your e-mail, first name and even last name. You can sign up to what appears to be a e-mail list if you want to follow development. Remember to Salt Your Data! if you do; they do not need anything beyond a working e-mail address to send e-mail updates.

      • Koi Farm, the relaxing koi breeding game releases the source code

        Want to jump in and see how another game is made? Now is another chance! The koi breeding game Koi Farm that released on Steam on February 26 has now released the source code.

        In Koi Farm the idea is simple but effective: you breed differently coloured fish to produce entirely new variations, all while collecting them in your book as cards to progress through them. It’s small, there’s not much depth and yet it’s absolutely wonderful.

      • The popularity of Albion Online continues to grow hitting new heights | GamingOnLinux

        Albion Online, one of the few popular MMOs that actually supports Linux with a native build continues to grow and they’ve given a look at some of the latest numbers. Like a lot of developers, they’ve seen player counts rise during the long COVID-19 pandemic. For Albion Online, this count seem to just keep growing now.

        In a fresh news post the team announced that since the March 17 Call to Arms update, they’ve managed to hit over 140,000 daily average players and they’ve been recently seeing some of the highest ever numbers for both Twitch and YouTube so it’s proving popular for watchers as well as players.

      • The Best Handheld Gaming Devices in 2021

        If you love handheld gaming, then there is no shortage of great handheld gaming devices in 2021. From mainline console manufacturers to Android and Windows/Linux device partners, you have quite a few options if you’re looking for a great handheld gaming experience.

      • Cute Bite is an upcoming vampire raising sim from Hanako Games

        Here’s something a little different and the type of game we don’t cover often – Cute Bite from Hanako Games is an upcoming vampire raising sim where you guide a tiny shrunken vampire back to power.

        “In Cute Bite, you guide your Little Mistress to increase her power by controlling her schedule, sending her to various classes and jobs that will raise her skills. Classes are more effective skill boosts, but they cost money, so becoming successful in the workplace is necessary to pay for more training.”

        Hanako Games have developed several successful games already, with a good history of Linux support including with Magical Diary: Horse Hall, Date Warp, The Confines Of The Crown, Black Closet and Magical Diary: Wolf Hall.

      • Nvidia drivers could make Linux gaming easier, if you have multiple GPUs

        While Linux is praised for its open-source license with a good number of bloatware-exempt and free to use distributions, it’s still not the de facto OS for the best gaming PC, as the majority of the best PC games only run natively on Windows operating systems. Fortunately, Nvidia’s latest GeForce driver isn’t just Rainbow Six Siege getting Reflex and introducing Resizable BAR support on RTX 3000 graphics cards, as there’s a whole lot of love for Linux, too.

        Virtual emulators in Linux, such as Wine, already do a pretty good job of emulating Windows-exclusive applications such as Photoshop, but when it comes to running games, getting the best graphics card to play ball with VMs results in a lot of fiddling around and errors.

        The latest Nvidia driver for Linux enables GPU passthrough support on Windows virtual machines, which should reduce the number of errors users run into when trying to unofficially set up GPU passthrough on Nvidia cards. Could this make Linux distributions serious contenders for gaming PCs, if performance is up to scratch? Not so fast, as there’s a catch.

      • Use awk to calculate letter frequency | Opensource.com

        I recently started writing a game where you build words using letter tiles. To create the game, I needed to know the frequency of letters across regular words in the English language, so I could present a useful set of letter tiles. Letter frequency is discussed in various places, including on Wikipedia, but I wanted to calculate the letter frequency myself.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • LabPlot 2.8.2 released

          We?re happy to announce the availability of the next minor patch release for 2.8. Similar to the previous patch release, this release again contains multiple bug fixes and small new features and improvements only. As usual, the full list of the relevant changes is available in the ChangeLog file, the code and the installers can be found on the dowload page.

          We recommend everybody to update to this patch release of 2.8 to benefit from the recent improvements.

        • SoK 2021 April Report

          All work on the project was finished in march, so all that is left is some minor modifications and writing the project report. I believe that the goals set at the start of the project have been mostly fulfilled: the project does in fact present the information in a clear and beautiful, mobile-friendly way, thanks to the aether-sass theme. It has google-independent search, although it does not use lunar.js as was suggested, and the development news are now in its own section, although the changelogs were left outside of the individual posts for practicality reasons. The screenshots have been updated, but most of them have been removed as we have decided on a simpler homepage which highlights the most important features of the program.

        • Joke: Offline Updates are Here

          A while ago we have talked to you about our plans to switch to offline updates, in an attempt at making the update experience more reliable.

          After some testing we have now rolled out the change to all editions. For further details you can check out the previous blog post. As previously noted, this only affects the out of the box experience when using Plasma’s Discover for updates. Terminal applications and other GUIs are unaffected.

        • Take a Moment

          In our various user interfaces, not only in those made by KDE, really pretty much everywhere, we often have situations that cause the user to think something like “hm, did I click that button?” or “is it doing anything?” or perhaps “is it broken?”. The way we often deal with that is to immediately slap a spinner on something, if we think it might take a long time, or we just wait for things to happen if we think it might happen kind of soon.

          The problem we end up with is, how do we make that choice? Optimally, we’d want to handle the situation where things happen really quickly gracefully, and just not show that spinner. At the same time, we also want to handle the situation where, in some cases, something takes just that little bit longer, and people end up thinking something has broken. The base issue is that it is near impossible to determine how long something is actually going to take before the process has ended, and so we need some way of dealing with that.


          So what we have done now is to actually add this human moment as a base duration unit, called explicitly humanMoment, which we can use in our software. Kirigami already optionally uses this duration of time in its SearchField component, if it has the option turned on to delay firing the automatic accepted signal for situations where the searching thing is expensive (for example if you are doing a search that pulls stuff from online), which also was added for 5.81.


          In short, as of KDE Frameworks 5.81 we will have ourselves a new unit in both Kirigami and Plasma’s Unit classes which will tell you a suitable amount of time to wait before showing the user that something is taking a while to happen. Go forth, and enrich our users’ experiences by not pestering them about things taking a long time until they’re taking a long time, but also before the user gets the impression that it’s taking a long time! ;)

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Setup GTK4 Development Tools on Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE

          Continuing the GTK3 setup, now I present a simple guide to setup GTK4 software development tools with screenshots included the instructions for Fedora and openSUSE operating systems. With this, you can start making desktop applications in C language with the latest version of this infamous widget toolkit that built GNOME. I selected Geany as the code writing tool here. Now rest easy and happy hacking!

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • MX-19.4 now available!

          We are pleased to offer MX-19.4 for your use.

          MX-19.4 is the fourth refresh of our MX-19 release, consisting of bugfixes and application updates since our original release of MX-19. If you are already running MX-19, there is no need to reinstall. Packages are all available thru the regular update channel.

        • MX Linux 19.4 Arrives with Support for Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS and Mesa 20.3

          MX Linux 19.4 comes about five months after the MX Linux 19.3 update and introduces support for the long-term supported Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series for better hardware support, along with updated firmware packages, as well as the Mesa 20.3 graphics stack series.

          Included in the AHS (Advanced Hardware Support) ISO are Linux kernel 5.10.24 and Mesa 20.3.4 for those who need support for newer hardware or want to use MX Linux for gaming. The AHS ISO image is only supported on 64-bit platforms and comes in two flavors with the Xfce 4.14 and KDE Plasma 5.15 desktop environments.

        • Q4OS 4.4 Gemini, testing

          Now that Debian Linux 11.0 Bullseye is frozen, it won’t be long until the final release is announced, so Q4OS 4 Gemini testing branch is approaching the final contours too. The new Q4OS Gemini 4.4 release features Linux kernel 5.10 and Plasma desktop environment 5.20 by default. Trinity desktop environment version 14.0.10 is ready for installation using the Desktop profiler tool. Debian Bullseye packages has been received in their latest versions, Q4OS specific packages has been updated as well.

          Feel free to download live media for 64bit computers from the dedicated Testing releases site. Q4OS 4 Gemini will be in development until Debian Bullseye becomes stable, and it will be supported at least five years from the official release date.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • YaST Packages, Nmap Get Updates in Tumbleweed

          Most of the package updates focused on libraries and YaST packages as well as documentation and nmap.

          The snapshot from Tuesday, 20210330, updated an enormous amount of YaST translations and minor style adjustments and improvements were made with the yast2-theme 4.3.8 update. Extra validations were added to yast2-storage-ng 4.3.50 when creating a striped volume and when editing the physical volumes. The update to the 4.3.63 version of yast2-network brought about a dozen improvements to include adding support to write bridge and bonding configurations. Abstraction library libyui removed a dependency on Xlib and has a new packaging system in the update to 4.1.2. Network scanner nmap fixed a MySQL library that was not properly parsing responses in version 7.91 and the update of purple-lurch, which does secure multi-client end-to-end encryption, had some memory handling improvements in the 0.7.0 version update.

          Topping the list of package updates for snapshot 20210329 was an update of setools 4.4.0 that added a configuration file driven analysis tool and Xfce file manager thunar 4.16.6 removed a dialog box and revamped documentation across components. A memory leak and an integer overflow fix was made in the update of checkpolicy 3.2. File system utility e2fsprogs 1.46.2 fixed warnings when resizing small file systems to a super-large ones. Spell checking library enchant 2.2.15 had some minor build system improvements and requires nuspell 4.1.0 or greater. Other packages that received updates were ffmpeg-4 4.3.2, perl-Net-HTTP 6.21, man-pages 5.11, rubygem-rspec-rails 5.0.1 and more.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.8.5 has been released

          We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.8.5 is generally available as of April 1, 2021.

          Red Hat Satellite is part of the Red Hat Smart Management subscription that makes it easier for enterprises to manage patching, provisioning, and subscription management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux infrastructure.

          Customers who have already upgraded to Satellite 6.8 should follow the instructions in the errata. Customers who are on versions of Satellite prior to 6.8 should refer to the Upgrading and Updating Red Hat Satellite Guide. You may also want to consider using the Satellite Upgrade Helper if moving from Satellite 6.x to Satellite 6.8.

        • Xinuos Sues IBM & Red Hat for Allegedly Copying Software Code

          Xinuos is known for their open-source operating systems (OpenServer) tailored for enterprises.

          Out of the blue, it looks like they filed a copyright infringement and antitrust lawsuit against IBM and Red Hat in the United States District Court of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas and St. John Division.

          Xinuos alleges that IBM illegally copied its server operating system’s source code and engaged with Red Hat to proceed with anti-competitive behavior in the industry.

        • Project Monterey returns to haunt IBM and Red Hat

          A longstanding dispute over Unix copyright infringement has come back to haunt IBM and Red Hat.

          Xinuos, the current owner of UnixWare and OpenServer, has filed a lawsuit claiming that IBM and Red Hat, using wrongfully copied software code, have engaged in additional, illegal anti-competitive misconduct to corner the billion-dollar market for Unix and Linux server operating systems.

          Sean Snyder, president and CEO of Xinuos, described the copyright infringement as having a wider remit than intellectual property theft. “It’s also about market manipulation that has harmed consumers, competitors, the open-source community and innovation itself,” he said.


          The plan was to work with IBM to develop an operating system for modern 64-bit hardware architectures that would allow applications originally created for 32-bit architectures to continue to function, and to include modern features for complex enterprise applications. According to the court papers, Project Monterey gave IBM confidential access to the operating system code owned by Xinuos.

        • Video: AlmaLinux Release Event

          Here’s a video of the AlmaLinux release event this past Tuesday (March 30th). If you look real hard, I made the “We Are AlmaLinux” montage at the beginning. :)

        • AlmaLinux, CentOS’s Million Dollar Replacement, Ready for Prime Time

          Its creator, CloudLinux, built the distribution at warp speed, racing to fill the void left by Red Hat’s EOL announcement for CentOS.

        • CentOS Clone AlmaLinux Released

          AlmaLinux OS, which was developed as a free CentOS replacement following Red Hat’s decision to shift focus from CentOS Linux to CentOS Stream is now available for download and use. According to the announcement, you can use AlmaLinux “for any general purpose computing need, in bare-metal installations, in virtual machines, in containers, on cloud providers,” and ARM support is in the works.

        • AlmaLinux OS Stable Release is live!

          We are very happy to announce that today we are releasing the first AlmaLinux OS stable version. That’s right, you can go right ahead and download the stable version and use it everywhere you need a stable, reliable, Linux distribution. For some time now we also have the conversion script in our GitHub repository, so you can also convert your system to AlmaLinux OS stable using it if you don’t feel like reinstalling from scratch.

          AlmaLinux OS, the forever-free open source enterprise-grade Linux is ready.

          If you’ve been following us on Reddit or on our other social media outlets, you also know we had a live launch party just now. We talked to some of our community, industry partners and team members. You can find the link for the recorded version shortly in here.

        • What Customers Are Saying About Oracle Linux on Gartner Peer Insights [Ed: This does not say Oracle and Larry Ellison bribe Gartner for their corrupt “opinions”.]

          Peer review platforms are becoming increasingly important to buyers when making IT purchasing decisions. This blog will cover the reviews customers have been giving Oracle Linux on the Gartner Peer Insights.

          Almost everyone is familiar with Gartner. Gartner is a world leading research and advisory company, trusted industry-wide to provide fair vendor evaluations through their published research and advisory services.

          Additionally, a few years back, Gartner began to offer Gartner Peer Insights. This online forum allows verified customers to write anonymous and candid reviews about their product experiences. Available online, reviews can be easily accessed and read, facilitating the customer-to-customer reference vetting component commonplace for most major IT purchases.

          Oracle Linux is one of the many products a customer can evaluate on Gartner Peer Insights. Our team is excited to share that Oracle Linux has received largely positive reviews!*

          One recent reviewer described it as “The Ultimate platform.” They go on to share: “The best things I like about it are performance and stability. I can get maximum performance with the least amount of effort and stability wise, I have never had a crash, I am yet to have one. Even when you have situations that may cause problems with other OS or other variants, Oracle enterprise Linux seems to do a better job of catching and handling those exceptions.”

        • Linux on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure: Networking your cloud made easy with short training videos

          In this week’s Training Tuesday blog, we present a set of free, short videos on networking topics related to your Linux cloud instances. These videos demonstrate how to build and administer virtual networks and gateways in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and how to manage your Linux cloud instance network interfaces.

        • RPM 4.17 Planned For Fedora 35 With Better Install Failure Handling, Lua Integration – Phoronix

          While Fedora 34 isn’t releasing until the end of April or so, there is already feature planning that has continued for Fedora 35 that will come in the autumn.

          The latest proposal for Fedora 35 is to make use of the in-development RPM 4.17.

          RPM 4.17 for Fedora 35′s package management needs will provide more robust RPM install failure handling, macro improvements and better Lua integration, API enhancements, better documentation, and a variety of other improvements. RPM 4.17 is looking to be another big improvement for their package management needs and the tentative list of changes is laid out on RPM.org.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Ask Fedora retrospective – 2020

          In the first quarter of 2019, we officially moved the Ask Fedora user support web site to Discourse. You can read more about the migration on the Ask Fedora Retrospective – 2019 published last year.

        • Deploy integration components easily with the Red Hat Integration Operator

          Any developer knows that when we talk about integration, we can mean many different concepts and architecture components. Integration can start with the API gateway and extend to events, data transfer, data transformation, and so on. It is easy to lose sight of what technologies are available to help you solve various business problems. Red Hat Integration‘s Q1 release introduces a new feature that targets this challenge: the Red Hat Integration Operator.

          The Red Hat Integration Operator helps developers easily explore and discover components available in Red Hat OpenShift. One single Operator is now the entry point for getting the latest Red Hat Integration components. The Operator declaratively manages the components we want to enable, the namespaces to which we want to deploy, and their scope in the Red Hat OpenShift cluster using a Kubernetes custom resource.

      • Debian Family

        • Deepin 20.2 Focuses on Improved Performance & User Experience with Some Notable Changes

          Deepin is one of the most beautiful Linux distributions based on Debian’s stable branch. The new release version, Deepin 20 comes with the latest Linux kernels 5.10 and 5.11 along with performance improvements, application updates, and other features.

          Let’s take a look at some of the major changes in this release of Deepin Linux distribution.


          Besides, this release of Deepin uses the Debian 10.8 stable repository by default. The developers also did some work on the performance as it is now optimized for faster and smoother performance.

          Coming to the Desktop, the extend mode of multi-display supports setting the main screen, sub-screen, and gather windows. Also, new shortcuts for multi-display, including OSD switching / Gsetting configuration are included.

        • Deepin 20.2 Released with Linux 5.10 & 5.11 Dual Kernels

          Deepin, a beautiful Linux distribution based on Debian stable, released version 20.2 a day ago.

          Deepin 20.2 features the LTS Kernel 5.10 and stable Kernel 5.11. In Grub boot menu, you can select to boot either Kernel as you want.

          The new release now integrates the Debian 10.8 stable package repository. Thanks to code optimization, you will get less memory occupation for core apps, faster response, enhanced system performance, and smoother user experiences.

          Also, Deepin 20.2 introduced a Downloader app with multiple download protocols support, including HTTP(s), FTP(s), BT, magnet link, etc. And the downloads are extremely fast.

        • Utkarsh Gupta: FOSS Activites in March 2021

          This was my 27th month of active contributing to Debian. I became a DM in late March 2019 and a DD on Christmas ‘19! \o/

          This month was a bit exhausting; lots of moving parts. With the financial year ending, it was even more crazy, with me running around to banks, CA, et al.

        • Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities March 2021

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

        • Raphaël Hertzog: Challenging times for Freexian (3/4)

          By all accounts, Freexian is still a small company which relies largely on me in many aspects. The growth of its business is however providing enough financial margin to allow looking into ways to recruit external help, be it through direct hiring (for French residents) or via long term contracting (for people based in other countries).


          But if we can manage to make a positive impact on Debian through the funding that Freexian brings, then I’m interested to grow the company so that we can pay more people to work on Debian. That growth likely would have to go through some more active sales work. At the same time, it is an opportunity for me to delegate (some of) the administrative work that lies solely on my shoulders (invoicing, day to day customer relationship, etc.).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 5.4 is here to replace Microsoft Windows 10 on your PC

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

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

        • Linux Lite 5.4 Released With Bug Fixes And UI Enhancements

          Linux Lite 5.4 is the third release in Series 5.x. It is now available for download and installation with full UEFI support.

          Linux Lite is a Linux distribution, based on Ubuntu and follows Ubuntu’s Long Term Support (LTS) release cycle. It offers a lightweight desktop experience with a customized Xfce desktop environment. The distro is very beginner-friendly. It was created to make the transition from Windows to a Linux-based operating system as smooth as possible.


          Linux Lite is a Linux distribution, based on Ubuntu and follows Ubuntu’s Long Term Support (LTS) release cycle. It offers a lightweight desktop experience with a customized Xfce desktop environment. The distro is very beginner-friendly. It was created to make the transition from Windows to a Linux-based operating system as smooth as possible.

        • Linux Mint Introduces A Gentle Updates Notification System

          Linux Mint team designed a notification system which acts as a gentle and welcome reminder regarding updates and took great care not to turn it into an annoyance.

          The Mint team did a research and figured out that many causal users recognize the importance of applying the updates, but since the OS doesn’t require them, they used to omit the update installation.

          Statistics showed that Linux Mint users are often running outdated software, which could be no longer supported. Even worse, it could contain exploitable vulnerabilities. To remedy the issue, a new pop-up has been created which lets the user know how many updates are available. It says also why updates need to be applied and lets users view available updates. In addition to, it gives users the option to turn on automatic updates.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 would use Wayland by Default

          To tackle these issues in 2008, another communication protocol was introduced called Wayland. This protocol serves between the display server and the client. Wayland also serves as window manager and display server that uses Wayland is also known as Wayland compositor.

          Since Wayland is termed superior and the latest protocol, we must be aware of the key differences between Wayland and X.

          Ubuntu introduced Wayland back in 2017 with its 17.10 release but then discontinued in 18.04 because of technical and compatibility issues.

          The Ubuntu developers unveiled that Ubuntu 21.04 has decided to switch towards the Wayland display server enabled by default. They are considering it over X because Wayland is a much more secure and modern protocol.

        • New Social Preview brings the latest Ubuntu 21.04 to Windows
        • Ubuntu 21.04 Beta Is Now Available for Download

          Ubuntu 21.04 Beta is here to give us an early taste of the new features and improvements Canonical planned for the next major release of the popular Linux distro. These include the latest Linux 5.11 kernel series, Wayland by default on most configurations, PipeWire support, and nftables as default backend for the firewall.

          While it sticks to the GNOME 3.38 desktop environment series, Ubuntu 21.04 comes with many updated apps from the latest GNOME 40 stack. In addition, it now features support for smartcard authentication, improved AD (Active Directory) integration, and the ability to change the power profile from settings.

        • Kubernetes across clouds: Ubuntu at NVIDIA GTC 2021

          NVIDIA GTC is back again and we’re thrilled to be talking all things Kubernetes with you, on April 12-16! This year too, the conference will be hosted virtually and registration is free, which means even more of us can get together to share knowledge and ideas at the #1 AI conference and workshop!

          Ubuntu and Canonical will be hosting two original GTC sessions, centered around Kubernetes. Whether you’re interested in Kubernetes on workstations, to cloud(s), or the edge, we’ll be showing you how Canonical’s work around MicroK8s and micro-clouds can make Kubernetes simpler for you.

        • Ceph Pacific 16.2.0 is now available

          Today, Ceph upstream released the first stable version of ‘Pacific’, a full year after the last stable release ‘Octopus’. Pacific focuses on usability and cross-platform integrations, with exciting features such as iSCSI and NFS promoted to stable or major dashboard enhancements. This makes it easier to integrate, operate and monitor Ceph as a unified storage system. Ceph packages are built for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Ubuntu 21.04 to ensure a uniform experience across clouds.

          You can try the Ceph Pacific beta by following these instructions, and your deployment will automatically upgrade to the final release as soon as it’s made available from Canonical.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 (“Hirsute Hippo”) Release Date, New Features and Default Wallpaper

          The Ubuntu team announced the release date and the development cycle for Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo.Ubuntu 21.04 is due for release on April 22, 2021.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • LibreOffice 7.1.2 Community available for download

        LibreOffice 7.1.2 Community, the second minor release of the LibreOffice 7.1 family, targeted at technology enthusiasts and power users, is available for download from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/. LibreOffice 7.1.2 includes over 60 bug fixes and improvements to document compatibility.

        For enterprise-class deployments, TDF strongly recommends the LibreOffice Enterprise family of applications from ecosystem partners, with long-term support options, professional assistance, custom features and Service Level Agreements: https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-in-business/

        LibreOffice Community and the LibreOffice Enterprise family of products are based on the LibreOffice Technology platform, the result of years of development efforts with the objective of providing a state of the art office suite not only for the desktop but also for mobile and the cloud.

        Products based on LibreOffice Technology are available for major desktop operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux and Chrome OS), mobile platforms (Android and iOS) and the cloud. They may have a different name, according to each company brand strategy, but they share the same LibreOffice unique advantages, robustness and flexibility.

      • Interview With Jim Hall, Founder of FreeDOS

        We started FreeDOS in 1994. A little history helps here. I grew up with computers. We had an Apple II in our classroom at school, and my brother and I became interested in computers that way. I taught myself BASIC programming by reading books and making my own experiments. I liked to write little games and math puzzles.

        Later, we upgraded to an IBM PC, and that was where I first learned DOS. I thought DOS was a much more powerful environment. Even though the command line was still primitive, I learned how to use the different commands on the system to get around and manage files.

        Over time, I learned about C programming on DOS, and wrote my own DOS programs. I created more powerful and flexible DOS utilities that replaced the standard DOS commands, and wrote other DOS utilities that enhanced my DOS command line experience.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

        • Mozilla

          • A web testing deep dive: The MDN web testing report

            For the last couple of years, we’ve run the MDN Web Developer Needs Assessment (DNA) Report, which aims to highlight the key issues faced by developers building web sites and applications. This has proved to be an invaluable source of data for browser vendors and other organizations to prioritize improvements to the web platform. This year we did a deep dive into web testing, and we are delighted to be able to announce the publication of this follow-on work, available at our insights.developer.mozilla.org site along with our other Web DNA publications.

          • VPNs: Mozilla just added these new feature to its virtual private network
          • Robert Kaiser: Is Mozilla Still Needed Nowadays?

            First of all, the Mozilla project was officially started on March 31, 1998, which is 23 years ago today. Happy birthday to my favorite “dino” out there! For more background, take a look at my Mozilla History talk from this year’s FOSDEM, and/or watch the “Code Rush” documentary that conserved that moment in time so well and also gives nice insight into late-90′s Silicon Valley culture.

            Now, while Mozilla initially was there to “act as the virtual meeting place for the Mozilla code” as Netscape was still there with the target to win back the browser market that was slipping over to Micosoft. The revolutionary stance to develop a large consumer application in the open along with the marketing of “hack – this technology could fall into the right hands” as well as the general novenly of the open-source movement back then – and last not least a very friendly community (as I could find out myself) made this young project grow fast to be more than a development vehicle for AOL/Netscape, though. And in 2003, a mission to “preserve choice and innovation on the Internet” was set up for the project, shortly after backed by a non-profit Mozilla Foundation, and then with an independently developed Firefox browser, implementing “the idea [...] to design the best web browser for most people” – and starting to take back the web from the stagnation and lack of choice represented by >95% of the landscape being dominated by Microsoft Internet Explorer.


            It all feels like we need someone to unfck the Internet right now more than ever. We need someone to collect info on what’s wrong and how it could get better there. We need someone to educate users, companies and politicians alike on where the dangers are and how we can improve the digital space. We need someone who gives us a fast, private and secure alternative to Google’s browser and rendering engine that dominates the Internet now, someone to lead us out of the monoculture that threatens to bring innovation to a grind. Someone who has protecting privacy of people as one of their primary principles, and continues work on additional ways of keeping people safe. And that’s just the start. As the links on all those points show, Mozilla tries hard to do all that, and more.

            I definitely think we badly need a Mozilla that works on all those issues, and we need a whole lot of other projects and people help in the space as well. Be it in advocacy, in communication, in technology (links are just examples), or in other topics.

            Can all that actually succeed in improving the Internet? Well, it definitely needs all of us to help, starting with using products like Firefox, supporting organizations like Mozilla, spreading the word, maybe helping to build a community, or even to contribute where we can.

      • Programming/Development

        • AMD Zen 3 Tuning Backported To The GCC 10 Compiler – Phoronix

          In the past few weeks since the introduction of the EPYC 7003 “Milan” processors there has finally been AMD Zen 3 “Znver3″ tuning work that’s been hurried into the GCC 11 compiler code-base ahead of its stable release in the coming weeks. That initial Zen 3 tuning work has also now been back-ported to the GCC 10 branch ahead of its next point release.

          The past few weeks have seen several commits to GCC Git by SUSE’s Jan Hubicka for correcting/completing the Znver3 targeting being introduced in GCC 11, which should be out later this month or early next month depending upon how the rest of the cycle plays out.

        • Apache Month in Review: March 2021
        • LLVM 12.0-rc4 Released For Squaring Up This Open-Source Compiler – Phoronix

          LLVM 12.0 was supposed to be out around the end of February but blocker bugs have resulted in additional release candidates as the developers work to button up this open-source compiler stack release.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Kent Fredric’s CPAN distributions

            As most of you are probably aware, Kent Fredric sadly passed away earlier this year: notice from his family, on Facebook.

            Kent was a prolific contributor to CPAN and Perl. He released more than 150 distributions of his own to CPAN, but also helped countless other authors and distributions, with bug reports, puil requests, and more.

            When a CPAN author dies, their indexing permissions are dropped from PAUSE, and where they had the first-come permission, that will be passed to the pseudo-user ADOPTME. This flags the distribution as being available for adoption.

            So as of now, all of Kent’s distributions are now available for adoption.

            If you look at Kent’s author page on MetaCPAN, you’ll see 178 distributions (at the time of writing). This means that he was the last person to release those distributions, but in a few cases he didn’t have the first-come permission.

            When you look at his author page on MetaCPAN, notice the leftmost column, with the blue bars. The bars are an indication of the distribution’s position on the CPAN River — a measure of how many other CPAN distributions use that distribution. The more bars, the more dependent distributions. If you hover your mouse pointer over the bars, you’ll see the number of dependents.

            As you can see, many of Kent’s distributions are relied on by other CPAN distributions, and in some cases by thousands. As a result, the PAUSE admins will consider adoption requests carefully, and try to ensure that such distributions are passed into safe hands.

        • Python

          • 5 Python Examples to Read and Write JSON files for Encode and Decode

            JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation, which is a format for structuring data that is very similar to the concept of maps in computer programming. Maps consists of keys and corresponding values. A key has to be unique within a map.

            JSON is light-weight format of representing data as text in a file, whose syntax is borrowed from the syntax used to create JavaScript Objects. Huge data is converted to JSON format for easy processing in various programming languages and transferring to other nodes. It is most commonly used format for requests and responses while working with API calls.

        • Rust

        • Java

          • Jetty vs. tomcat compared

            When you want to write any Java web application, then first understand the Java application server required to run an application. However, it is not easy to select one of the Java application servers as it needs proper knowledge.

            Some amazing Java application servers like Eclipse Jetty and Apache Tomcat offer amazing features and support. Still, many people get confused while choosing one of these platforms while working on their Java web application.

  • Leftovers

    • In-house reveal tips and tricks for tackling licensing valuation

      Sources from Uber, On Demand Pharmaceuticals and Netlist reflect on how courts and creative clauses can help companies with licence valuation

    • Salt Your Data!

      Sharing personal information on the Internet is never a good idea. You never know how the data will be stored, shared and inevitably abused. That includes personal pictures and video you do not explicitly create for a wide audience.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Cuba is a vaccine powerhouse

        When Oxford University began work on its covid vaccine, it promised that the resulting work would be patent-free, with an active tech-transfer assistance program so that developing nations could manufacture their own supplies.

        That promise was broken. The Gates Foundation pushed the racist lie that poor people can’t make safe vaccines – despite world-leading production facilities in the Global South – and convinced the university to sell exclusive rights to Astrazeneca.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (underscore), Fedora (busybox, linux-firmware, and xmlgraphics-commons), Oracle (kernel and kernel-container), Slackware (curl and seamonkey), SUSE (firefox and opensc), and Ubuntu (spamassassin).

          • Jon Chiappetta: More 0’s For Easier Self-Signed SSL-Certificate Fingerprint ID’ing

            So if you’re using a self-signed SSL cert which is for personal use but is public facing (similar to an SSH key upon first connect), you will get a scary warning about it of course! It is recommended to verify the cryptographic hash of that certificate to help ensure that there is no Person-In-The-Middle attack taking place. You can have some fun, at least, with self-signed certs because you can put almost anything in them so I wrote a little script to generate some leading 0’s in the fingerprint field.

          • PHP Supply Chain Attack Shows Open Source’s Virtues and Vices [Ed: SJVN isn’t covering Microsoft catastrophes and instead he’s busy obsessing with classic Free software FUD from Microsoft, on behalf of FUD firms that fund LF. Maybe he wants people to think outsourcing to Microsoft means security. “GitLab, the Linux Foundation and Red Hat are sponsors of The New Stack.” So SJVN is writing on the payroll of fake security companies.]

            Well, that was no fun. On March 28, “two malicious commits were pushed to the php-src repo.” That repository, in case you didn’t know, is the PHP language’s master software code storage site. PHP, by the Web Technology Surveys count, by the way, is used by almost 80% of all websites.

          • PHP Attack Highlights Open Source Supply Chain Security [Ed: This is not security, it is monopoly and centralisation]

            Vaughan-Nichols provides details of the attack and discusses ongoing efforts to secure the software supply chain, such as the sigstore project.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Transitions: Andrei Iancu [Ed: Revolving doors from/by corrupt Iancu; compare to what David Kappos did]

          Former USPTO Director Andrei Iancu has returned to private practice — back at his Southern California firm Irell & Manella. Iancu had been managing partner of the firm before being nominated by President Trump to lead the Patent Office.

Still on Course to Making the Strong Point That FSF Was Right to Bring RMS Back

Posted in FSF at 10:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Days ago: Looks Like the Pro-FSF Petition Will Double the Number of Signatures of FSF Haters

RMS Letter Chart

Summary: Corporate media operatives and concern trolls that mislead the public and defame a person have merely attracted the reaction from people, not corporations, who support the FSF and its founder

Links 1/4/2021: LibreOffice 7.1.2 and GIMP 2.10.24 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 9:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 623: MNM Mail – Email Solution

        Liam Breck joins Doc Searls and Dan Lynch on FLOSS Weekly to discuss email of today. Given its role as a massively popular way to commit cybercrime, it’s easy to see email as a problem that needs a solution. That’s what Breck sees, and why he has created MNM Mail, which he calls “a legitimate email replacement: a client, a server, and a simple protocol between them… designed for everyone.” In this episode Liam joins Doc Searls and Dan Lynch, explaining how mnm works, why the world needs it, and how developers and business folk can join in to help improve it and drive adoption.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 900

        github update, cameras, smart watches, hammocks

      • Noodlings 27 | Flipping my Podcast switch

        This is just a Nate-echo-chamber of ideas but if you are interested in more thoughts and opinions in discussion with other Linux and open source enthusiasts, subscribe to DLN Xtend, a podcast with the Destination Linux Network where I have a chat with my co-hosts Matt and Wendy on a gambit of subjects.

      • Halls of Glowing Apples | Coder Radio 407

        Ruby has gone off the rails this week, and Wes is here to explain what’s happened.

        Plus emails into the show send Chris into a full Linux panic.

    • Kernel Space

      • Announcing the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 6 Update 2 for Oracle Linux

        The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) for Oracle Linux provides the latest open source innovations, key optimizations, and security to cloud and on-premises workloads. It is the Linux kernel that powers Oracle Cloud and Oracle Engineered Systems such as Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Linux on Intel/AMD as well as Arm platforms.

        What’s New?
        The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 6 Update 2 (UEK R6U2) for Oracle Linux is based on the mainline kernel version 5.4. By actively monitoring upstream check-ins and collaboration with partners and customers, Oracle continues to improve and apply critical bug and security fixes to UEK R6. This update includes several new features, added functionality, and bug fixes across a range of subsystems.

        UEK R6U2 can be recognized with a release number starting with 5.4-17-2102 and is an update to the upstream mainline kernel v5.4.83. UEK R6U2 includes upstream LTS bug fixes, with additional patches to enhance existing functionality and provide some minor bug fixes and security improvements.

      • Oracle Releases UEK R6U2 Kernel With New Slab Memory Controller

        Oracle continues advancing their “Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel” as the company’s modified Linux kernel build offered to Oracle Linux users as an alternative to its Red Hat Compatible Kernel for their RHEL-based OS. Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel 6 Update 2 is out to end Q1’2021 with various new features.

        Oracle’s Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 6 continues to be based on the upstream Linux 5.4 LTS kernel series rather than Linux 4.18 as found in the RHEL8 and Oracle’s “Red Hat Compatible Kernel” (RHCK) offering. UEK R6U2 adds in the new slab memory controller proposed last year that can provide major savings on slab memory use. R6U2 also has NVMe storage improvements and a number of improvements to Linux file-systems like Btrfs, EXT4, and XFS. This kernel also back-ports the vDPA driver for the Mellanox ConnectX-6 Dx devices. There are also updated storage device and network drivers for code they previously back-ported to their UEK kernel.

      • Subspace mailing list server

        We have recently announced the availability of our new mailing list platform that will eventually take on the duties currently performed by vger. Off the bat, there were a few questions about how it works under the hood — especially regarding DMARC-friendly cofiguration.

    • Benchmarks

      • Initial Benchmarks Of Fedora Workstation 34 Beta On AMD Ryzen + Radeon

        Following last week’s release of the Fedora 34 beta I’ve begun trying out this latest Fedora Linux build on a variety of test systems. Here are some preliminary figures of Fedora 34 against Fedora 33 stock and updated configurations when running on an AMD Ryzen 5000 series system with Radeon graphics.

        For the first of my benchmarking from Fedora 34 (beta) is a look at Fedora Workstation 34 Beta against Fedora Workstation 33, both when installed out-of-the-box and then Fedora 33 re-tested with all current available stable release updates.

      • Linux Distro Pop OS Now Supports AMD Radeon RX 6000 GPUs

        More than 4 months ago, AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 series launched, and I wrote an enthusiastic Windows-based review here at Forbes. Team Red had finally, triumphantly entered the high-end GPU market and was competing head-to-head with Nvidia. The in-house reference designs were also beautifully built, so that didn’t hurt my recommendation.

        What you won’t find here is my Linux review, because I didn’t do one. However, I did produce a somewhat divisive video that bemoaned the extensive hoops anyone not using Ubuntu LTS had to jump through to get these cards recognized and working on the penguin side of things.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Alejandro Pérez: Fedora 34 Beta Upgrade

        Fedora 34 Beta was release so needed to test, my first move was to upgrade my HP probook machine following the dnf system-upgrade steps works with no issue and my machine came up to Fedora 34 with any issues. To my surprise since have not been on the loop of release, the machine seems faster, it is an old notebook, but works. Love the new Gnome 40, seems faster than before and more comfortable.

        After that upgrade repeated the same treatment on my Mac BookPro with the same results boot faster, nice and smooth interface from Gnome 40, have to give to Gnome team, excellent work.

      • How to format a USB device to Fat32 on Linux

        Do you need to format a USB device to Fat32 on your Linux PC? Can’t figure out how to format a filesystem? We can help! Follow along as we show you how to How to format a USB device to Fat32 on Linux!

      • How to Make a Crypto Paper Wallet • Benzinga

        For this process, you need:

        1. Ubuntu operating system (the OS for the transaction)

        2. LinuxLive or LiLi (a software to help install the Ubuntu OS on your flash drive; ensure to download the latest version)

        3. BitAddress (the software to generate the paper wallet)

        Step 1: Install Ubuntu on your flash.

        Download the LiLi software, open it and insert your flash drive. Ensure that you select the correct drive. Click refresh if the drive is not coming up on the system. Click on ISO/IMG/ZIP and then select the Ubuntu ISO file. Choose only “format the key in FAT32.” A lighting bolt option will appear. Click on it to start the format and installation process.

      • How to Kill Idle Connections in PostgreSQL – Linux Hint

        The first step in making changes or reading some information from a PostgreSQL databank is to establish connections. On the other hand, each link generated overhead utilizing procedure and storage. That’s why a device with minimal resources (read, storage, hardware) can support the limited aggregate of connections. Once the limited aggregate has gone far beyond a point, It should continue hurling errors or denying connections. Within PostgreSQL.conf, PostgreSQL is doing a decent job of limiting links. In this tutorial, we’ll look at the different forms of states that PostgreSQL links can have. We’ll show you how to determine whether the link is active or has been inactive for a long duration, wherein case it can be disconnected to free up the links and resources.

      • How to install Audacity 3.0 on Ubuntu 20.04

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Audacity 3.0 on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Matthias Kirschner’s Web log • Microphone settings – how to deactivate webcam microphone

        As many people out, in the last months I have participated in more remote video conferences than most likely in my whole life before. In those months I improved the audio and video hardware, the lighting, learned new shortcuts for those tools, and in general tried to optimise a few parts.

        One of the problems I encountered on this journey was the selection of the correct microphone. The webcam, which luckily I got already before the pandemic, has an integrated microphone. The sound quality is ok. But compared to the microphone in the new headset the sound quality is awful. The problem was that whenever I plugged-in the webcam, its microphone will be selected as the new default. So I had to manually change the sound setting every time I plug and unplug the webcam.

      • How to use scp/rsync to copy file with a colon (:) in it – nixCraft

        How do I copy a file with a colon punctuation (:) name in it.

      • Linux Id Command Tutorial – Linux Hint

        It is difficult for a new Linux user to monitor users or groups’ names with their Ids/Gids. In Linux distributions, an id is a command-line tool that is used to display the real and effective user’s Id and group’s Ids.

        The real id is the one that owns the system; it points towards you if you’re an account owner. The effective id is similar to Real id but with some limitations.

        You don’t need to download or install the id command utility, as it is a built-in tool in Linux-like systems.

      • Linux Pstree Command Tutorial – Linux Hint

        The best way to display the running process in a system is to display them as a tree hierarchy. In a Linux system, “pstree” helps visualize processes hierarchy which is a less complex way to display running processes.

        The “pstree” command is one of the Linux commands that merge branches through square brackets and display the process as a tree. The root of the tree could be “init” or “pid”.

      • Linux nproc Command Tutorial – Linux Hint

        In Unix-like systems, the “nproc” command is a tool that is used to count the number of available processing units available to the current processes. It also counts the total number of installed processing units present in a system.

        This command is helpful when the CPU is overloaded with various kinds of processes, and you need to display the number of available processing units for the new process.

        The “nproc” is a built-in command in a Linux system that can also be used to diagnose the system.

      • Linux pwd Command – Linux Hint

        The pwd is a helpful command for Linux users who are inexperienced and might get lost in the middle of directories.

        The pwd is an abbreviated form of “Print Working Directory,” or we can call the Current Work Directory. It displays the name of the current directory with the root path.

        It is the most frequently used built-in shell command by Linux system administrators.

      • Jgmenu: Build The Perfect X11 Menu In Style

        There’s a lot of these X11 menu builders out there but Jgmenu does it quite differently to the others, rather than doing it through scripting the menu is defined by the data passed into it which leads to a very flexible system.

      • Install FreeRADIUS & daloRADIUS on Debian 10 + MySQL/MariaDB – ByteXD

        FreeRADIUS is the most widely-deployed, open-source, and free RADIUS implementation. It works as a daemon (operates in the background) in Unix and Unix-like servers. FreeRADIUS is used mainly for

        The RADIUS protocol allows you to authenticate users over a network, authorize them for various actions, and monitor their usage of the network. This framework is referred to as AAA (Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting).

        According to a survey result, FreeRADIUS is used to authenticate over one-thirds of the users on the internet.

        By default, FreeRADIUS has a command line interface, and any changes are made by editing the configuration files that are highly customizable. Since it’s open-source, you can even make changes in the code of the software.

        In this article, we will discuss how to install FreeRADIUS and daloRADIUS on Debian 10.

      • Od Command Tutorial Linux – Linux Hint

        In Linux operating system, “od” is a useful command that converts the input in multiple formats with octal format by-default. As we all know, Octal has a base-8 number used to present binary numbers in a short form.

        Linux developers utilize the “od” also known as Octal Dump, to debug scripts.

        The “od” is an efficient command that helps to understand the complex data which is not human-readable.

      • How to install Cisco Packet Tracer on Linux

        If you use Linux and take the Cisco “Introduction to Packet Tracer” course, you’ll need to install the Packet Tracer application on your computer. The trouble is, Cisco doesn’t do a great job teaching users how to get the app working. In this guide, we’ll show you how to set up How to install Cisco Packet Tracer on Linux.

      • How to install Godot Mono on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Godot Mono on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to play 7 days to die on Linux

        7 days to die is an early access survival horror video game. It is set in an open world and has many survival elements similar to games like Minecraft. In this guide, we’ll show you how to play it on your Linux system!

      • TCPDUMP Beginner Guide – Linux Hint

        Tcpdump is a free and open-source wireless data-network packet analyzer that works on the command-line interface. It is the most commonly used CLI tool to analyze network traffic. Tcpdump allows users to see, read, or capture network traffic transmitted over a network attached to the computer. It is useful in System Administration, Monitoring Network Traffic (for issues or otherwise).

        Originally, it was written in 1988 by four Network Research Group workers at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California. It was organized eleven years later by Micheal Richardson and Bill Fenner in 1999, who created the tcpdump site. Tcpdump works on all Unix-like operating systems. The windows version of Tcpdump is called WinDump and uses WinPcap, the windows alternative for libpcap.

      • PostgreSQL Create Histogram Using Data

        Throughout data processing and analysis, histograms support you to represent frequency distribution and gain insights easily. We’ll look at a few various methods for obtaining frequency distribution in PostgreSQL. To build a histogram in PostgreSQL, you can use a variety of PostgreSQL Histogram commands. We will explain each one separately.

        Initially, make sure you have PostgreSQL command-line shell and pgAdmin4 installed in your computer system. Now, open the PostgreSQL command-line shell to start working on histograms. It will immediately ask you to enter the Server name which you want to work on. By default, the ‘localhost’ server has been selected. If you don’t enter one while jumping to the next option, it will carry on with the default. After that, it will prompt you to enter the Database name, port number, and username to work on. If you don’t provide one, it will continue with the default one. As you can view from the image appended below, we will be working on the ‘test’ database. At last, enter your password for the particular user and get ready.

      • PostgreSQL JSONB Datatype and Functions

        As in the 9.2 Version, PostgreSQL added a quite basic JSON datatype. Underneath the cover, the JSON type of data is text, with a check that perhaps the layout is correct JSON input similar to XML. Eventually, the team found that the volume of JSON processing and specialized searching needed in PostgreSQL would’ve been difficult or rational to enforce over a textual type of data. Hence, they created a binary representation of the JSON datatype with a complete range of operators and methods. Here comes the JSONB data type. The JSONB datatype is indeed a versatile binary storing layout with complete processing, indexing, and search capability. As a result, it pre-processes JSON information to an inner layout, which has only one value per key and ignores additional whitespace or depression, or you may say indentation. Within this guide, you’ll learn how to interact with the JSONB data form in PostgreSQL, as well as some handy operators and methods for dealing with JSONB data.

      • PostgreSQL To_char Timestamp With Timezone

        PostgreSQL formatting methods include a useful collection of tools for translating different data types (date/time, integer, floating-point, numeric) to formatted strings and translating formatted strings back to unique data types. Henceforth, sometimes we need to convert time zones as well. The timing is always recorded in UTC in PostgreSQL timestamps for time zone data form, but it is displayed by default in the browser, session, or user’s local time. One of its helper functions we’ve come to rely on is the TO_CHAR() method, which allows timestamps and timestamps with timezone, among other forms, and enables you to arrange the pieces of a timestamp however you like. A timestamp, a double-precision, the duration, a number, or a numeric value can all be converted to a string using the PostgreSQL TO_CHAR() method. There seems to be a single-argument method, ‘to_timestamp’, that takes a double-precision argument and transforms from Unix epoch to timestamp using time zone. We’ll show you how to do something about this in this post. Let’s take a closer look at to_char() first.

      • Postgresql Generate_Series to Create a Date Series

        You must be familiar with data entry in any database management system. While entering data, you may don’t have time, and you need to ignore gaps in your data or want some consistent series of records. In this situation, PostgreSQL generate_series is applicable to achieve the required goal. As the name indicates, the mechanism of this function contains either 2 or 3 inputs. i.e., generate_series allows you to generate a sequence of records with a starting point, terminating point, and incrementing value (optional). It mainly works on two data types. i.e., Integers and timestamps. To create a sequence of dates, the generate_series function is utilized in different ways.

    • Games

      • [Satire] Godot has been renamed to Godette Engine

        After months of internal debate, we have decided to deal once and for all with a hot topic and the source of much criticism. Godot is being rebranded in order to gain wider appeal and acceptance.


        Since Godot was open sourced, we received countless amount of criticism from a small vocal minmajority of the community, pointing out the lack of professionalism of the Godot logo. Have you ever read comments from community members like these?

      • Dual Shock 4 Controller Battery Percentage GNOME Shell Extension Now Supports GNOME 40

        If you like to play games a lot, you probably already own a controller. For the GNOME desktop environment, someone developed an extension that shows you the controller’s battery remaining power percentage on the top panel, near the system tray area.

        The extension supports Sony Dual Shock 4 and Dual Shock 3 controllers, works with multiple controllers at the same time, and shows controller color too. Gamers will find it very useful if they want to see how much battery power is left in the controller, so they can charge it when needed.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Git Blame Plugin for Kate 21.04

          With KDE Gear 21.04 there will be a new plugin available for Kate: Git Blame.

          Every body knows it is a lot of work to go through bug reports and fix the bugs. As we all know lazy developers (that is the good type) do not want to do tedious work and try to automate boring tasks. This is where the git blame plugin comes in.

          Feed the plugin a crash-dump of an application and provide the git repository of the application sources. The plugin will then, using AI, go process the crash-dump and locate the crash location and the reason for the crash. The plugin can pinpoint the commit (and committer) that introduced the crash. Hens, git blame The plugin can also suggest a fix for the crash. The results where actually surprisingly good. In around 70% of our test cases, the algorithm could generate a good working fix for the crash. The rest needed minor modifications to make them work properly.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • First Look: Dash to Dock Devs are Working on GNOME 40 Support

          First some background. While I dig the look of GNOME 40 and its new horizontal paradigm the ‘dock’ is tucked away on the overview screen by default.

          This isn’t new for GNOME Shell, of course. The dash (the proper name for the favourites bar) has been situated on the left-hand side of the Activities screen since …Well, since GNOME 3 began!

          And in GNOME 40 the dash now sits along the bottom by default which is a change many are thrilled to see — however, as mentioned, it only appears in the Activities screen, as this gif shows…

    • Distributions

      • MX Linux vs. Ubuntu

        Linux is not a limited platform as it has multiple operating systems for multiple works and provides amazing support to the users. We will consider MX Linux and Ubuntu as popular and offer outstanding facilities to the users. We will consider every single aspect of these Linux distros so that you can get complete information about MX Linux vs. Ubuntu without having any trouble choosing between the two.

      • MX Linux Vs. POP!_OS

        The Linux distros list is very long as there are multiple types of Linux distros that work to satisfy every beginner and advanced level user’s requirements. However, Linux enthusiasts always get confused in choosing a particular Linux operating system for their requirements. If you are one of them, then don’t worry; we cover complete information and side by side comparison of different Linux OS. We have provided complete information on MX Linux Vs. POP!_OS to help you choose one of these Linux distros according to your requirements.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Emergency Updates about the direction of Mageia

          Considering the complete lack of bugs in urpm and in the RPM package format, which we’ve grown tired of, The Executive Committee has approved the switch to Debian package manager, apt.

          We will rebuild Cauldron to adopt the .deb package to have it in place for Mageia 9.

          We will also adopt the Arch Installer, ditch Mageia Control Centre for raw conf files, and will also suppress urpm, rpm, dnf, pagure, iurt and mock.

          Infra will be migrated to a fork of Debian build system.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

          • [Satire] Red Hat Launches RHEL Stream to Compete With the Rising Popularity of CentOS Stream

            When Red Hat decided to kill the stable CentOS in favor of rolling release CentOS Stream, it created a sort of revolt.

            The adamant sysadmins who preferred a decade old distribution instead of the goodness of the latest software and updates didn’t like this democratic decision of Red Hat. They foolishly looked for CentOS alternatives despite Red Hat repeatedly telling them that CentOS Stream is for their own good.

        • Fedora 34 beta is available, and it’s a game-changer for the Linux desktop

          Fedora is an odd bird these days–not in what it delivers, but where it sits in the Red Hat family tree. It’s almost an outcast; a desktop in a world of servers. With RHEL and CentOS draining the marketing coffers dry, Fedora never seems to get the love it deserves from Red Hat. That’s especially disappointing when a new release comes out (even in beta) that is as good as Fedora 34. By all measure, the upcoming release of Fedora 34 should have its business parent salivating at the thought of not only one of the more solid releases to date but one of the first releases to get GNOME 40.

        • Xinuos sues IBM

          A company called Xinuos has announced a lawsuit against IBM and Red Hat that has a familiar echo to it. “Xinuos alleges that the IBM and Red Hat conspiracy has harmed the open-source community and specifically Xinuos’ OpenServer 10 product, which is based on FreeBSD, an open-source UNIX-based operating system and alternative to Red Hat’s Linux-based open-source operating system, RHEL. ‘By dominating the Unix/Linux server operating system market, competing open-source operating systems, like our FreeBSD-based OpenServer 10, have been pushed out of the market.’” The full text of the suit [PDF] is available for those wanting the details.

        • SCO Linux FUD returns from the dead

          Believe it or not, SCO’s ancient and long disproved copyright claims that Linux was copied from Unix are returning in a new lawsuit by Xinuos vs IBM and Red Hat.

        • Linux: Hands on with the Fedora 34 Beta

          The Fedora Project announced the Beta release of Fedora 34 last week. As usual, I downloaded it and started trying it out on various of my systems right away. There are a number of interesting points both in the release announcement and in my own experience with it so far…

      • Debian Family

        • Debian-based deepin Linux 20.2 is here and you should switch from Windows 10 now!

          Debian is a great operating system in its own right, but also, it makes for an excellent base for other Linux distributions as well. For example, Ubuntu is probably the most well-known Linux distro and it is based on Debian. There are countless other operating systems, such as Netrunner, that stand on Debian’s figurative shoulders.

          The prettiest and most exciting Debian-based operating system, however, is deepin. This Chinese-developed Linux distribution is probably the most beautiful desktop operating system on the planet; it is arguably better than both Apple’s macOS and Microsoft’s Windows 10 in the style department. deepin has what some consider the most beautiful and intuitive user interfaces.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Lite 5.4 Released with Xfce 4.14, Based on Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS

          Derived from Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS (Focal Fossa), Linux Lite 5.4 aims to bring more Windows users to the GNU/Linux and Open Source ecosystems by updating the Help Manual to make it even easier to learn how to use Linux Lite, updating the icon theme, adding new wallpapers, and fixing various bugs.

          The Help Manual now features a new “Installing Software – From a Terminal using APT” section so you can learn how easy is to install additional package, libraries, and whatnot directly from the terminal emulator using Debian/Ubuntu’s APT package management system.

        • Pop!_OS vs. Zorin OS
        • POP!_OS vs. Linux Mint

          Linux distros are developed to provide excellent compatibility, features, and advanced administrative options. However, it is always confusing to choose one of these Linux distros that can fulfill the requirements as there are multiple types of Linux OS available online. We have covered some of the most important information on two famous Pop!_OS and Linux Mint. By the end of the article, you will get all of the required details upon Pop!_OS vs. Linux Mint to help you choose one of these Linux OS.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 would use Wayland by Default
        • Ubuntu 21.04 without Gnome 40?

          Gnome has been designed as a desktop environment for Unix-based Operating Systems. It gives you a convenient, user-friendly interface and allows users to select appearance from numerous desktop designs. Gnome helped to make the best and focused working environment computing experience for the new user.
          According to news, Gnome 40 arrives in March 2021, a month before releasing a new Ubuntu 21.04.

          As we all know, Ubuntu always comes-up with Gnome features like Ubuntu 20.04 adopts features of Gnome 3.38. But now, Ubuntu 21.04 won’t follow the trend as the upcoming release of Ubuntu 21.04 has decided to change its plan. Ubuntu 21.04 will be continued to Gnome 3.38 with GTK3.

        • Linux Mint outlines better, unobtrusive update notifications

          Clem Lefebvre, head of the Linux Mint project, has written a blog post outlining new notifications that try not to be annoying but also remind users that they need to perform software updates to keep their computer secure. The details arrive a little over a month since Lefebvre pointed to stats that show some users were not applying security updates and in some cases, people were even running end of life versions of Linux Mint.

          The Linux Mint team prides itself on its users controlling their computer rather than the other way around. New Mint versions only ever introduce conservative changes so that the whole operating system doesn’t need to be relearned and users are also given complete control over when, how, and which updates are installed; unfortunately, this mindset has led to some users running outdated, vulnerable software.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.1.2 Office Suite Released with More Than 60 Bug Fixes

          LibreOffice 7.1.2 is here about a month after the first point release in the LibreOffice 7.1 series, which was officially launched two months ago with major changes like a new Additions Dialog for searching, downloading, and installing extensions, as well as a new dialog that lets you select the User Interface flavor of your choice at first start.

          LibreOffice 7.1.2 is a bugfix release that addresses a total of 61 issues across all core components of the office suite, including Writer, Calc, Impress, and Draw, in an attempt to make it more stable, reliable, and suitable for enterprise deployments.

      • FSF

        • Satire: RMS Hate Letter Signers Overtake RMS Support Letter Signers By A Wide Margin Thanks To “Discovered” Mail-in Ballots

          It seemed like love was winning over hate towards the end of March 2021. A letter written by free software users voicing support for Richard Stallman appeared to had gained a very solid lead over a very different vicious hateful letter filled with long-debunked lies, character assassinations and 白左 drivel which was written by GNOME Foundation Executive Director Neil McGovern with a little help from Joan Touzet, Elana Hashman and Molly de Blanc.

          The count stood at 4860 signers voicing support for Stallman and 3082 signers participating in a cruel dark-ages style witch-hunt mob against an elderly man who spent his life fighting for and promoting free software.

          It looked like Richard Stallman had overwhelming support. But looks and be deceasing. It turns out that many of those who are against Stallman had not been counted.

          Molly de Blanc, who serves on the board of directors at the Open Source Initiative, discovered two suitcases full of mail-in signatures against Stallman late Wednesday night. The suitcases were magically discovered after everyone else, including legal observers, were told to go home.

          GNOME Foundation Executive Director Neil McGovern was pleased with the magically discovered suitcases full of support.

        • Gunnar Wolf: And what does the FSF have, anyway?

          Years ago there was a huge argument on why Linux was licensed as GPLv2 only, without the option to relicense under GPLv3. Of course, by then, Linux had had thousands of authors, and they would all have to agree to change license… so it would have been impossible even if it were wanted. But yes, some people decried several terms of GPLv3 not being aligned with their views of freedom.

          Well, so… if the FSF board manages to have it their way, and get everybody mark them as irrelevant, they will still be the stewards of the GPL. Thousands of projects are licensed under the GPL v2 or v3 “or later”. Will we continue to trust the FSF’s stewardship, if it just becomes a board of big egos, with no respect of what happens in the free software ecosystem?

          My suggestion is, for all project copyright holders that are in a position to do so, to drop the “or-later” terms and stick to a single, known GPL version.

        • Christopher Allan Webber: The hurt of this moment, hopes for the future

          Of the deeper thoughts I might give to this moment, I have given them elsewhere. For this blogpost, I just want to speak of feelings… feelings of hurt and hope.

          I am reaching out, collecting the feelings of those I see around me, writing them in my mind’s journal. Though I hold clear positions in this moment, there are few roots of feeling and emotion about the moment I feel I haven’t steeped in myself at some time. Sometimes I tell this to friends, and they think maybe I am drifting from a mutual position, and this is painful for them. Perhaps they fear this could constitute or signal some kind of betrayal. I don’t know what to say: I’ve been here too long to feel just one thing, even if I can commit to one position.

          So I open my journal of feelings, and here I share some of the pages collecting the pain I see around me:

          The irony of a movement wanting to be so logical and above feelings being drowned in them.

          The feelings of those who found a comfortable and welcoming home in a world of loneliness, and the split between despondence and outrage for that unraveling.

        • GNU Projects

          • GIMP 2.10.24 Released For This Open-Source Adobe Photoshop Alternative

            GIMP 3.0 still isn’t out yet but the GIMP 2.10 stable series continues seeing new point releases with additional feature work until that GTK3 version of this image editor / Photoshop alternative is ready.

            GIMP 2.10.24 is another update bringing some minor new features in the absence of GIMP 3.0. GIMP 2.10.24 has support for being able to snap GIMP’s different tools to guides, grids, and vectors outside of the canvas area. Besides the off-canvas point snapping, another big feature of GIMP 2.10.24 is expanded metadata support, including GeoTIFF metadata tag support. Also significant for GIMP 2.10.24 is a “Negative Darkroom” feature for simulating enlargement prints from scans of photo negatives.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • How to pick the right license for your open source project [Ed: As one might expect, the Microsoft-funded sites now attack the GNU GPL with people working for GAFAM now even offering any disclosure]

            At one end of the spectrum, he continued, you have the GNU General Public License, or GPL. “Anyone who modifies your software [and distributes it] will have to contribute back.” This is great from the “encourage to contribute back” perspective, but “in a lot of environments, the GPL is outright banned, which by definition would restrict the kinds of contributions you get.” So, for example, Google restricts use of Affero GPL code because “The license places restrictions on software used over a network which are extremely difficult for Google to comply with.”

            By contrast, with a highly permissive BSD license, he went on, “You have the ultimate freedom. You can do whatever you want with the software.” This would be great except, “Companies aren’t incentivized to contribute back in the same way” as with the GPL.

            For Artillery, it was important to find middle ground between these two licensing philosophies. Because of its use of the MPL, he said, Artillery attracts “contributions from employees of some big corporations…because they know that they can build on top of Artillery without infecting the rest of their code base….So you get this really nice and clean separation.” This separation has resulted in a budding community growing up around Artillery with dozens of external contributors and an expanding portfolio of third-party libraries/extensions.

      • Public Services/Government

        • German private contract tracing app becomes open source after being procured by regional governments

          In Germany, the currently proprietary Luca-App, developed by the start-up Nexenio has caught the attention of multiple regional governments. The app’s purpose is to enable contact tracing at public venues and events, such as restaurants and concerts. Unlike the government-procured Corona-Warn-App (CWA), Luca does not use Bluetooth-assessed proximity to determine infection risk, but a QR-code enabled check-in with a phone’s camera at the entrance of a venue.

      • Programming/Development

        • [Old] No more JS frameworks

          JavaScript frameworks seem like death and taxes; inevitable and unavoidable. I’m sure that if I could be a fly on that wall every time someone started a new web project, the very first question they’d ask is, which JS framework are we using? That’s how ingrained the role of JS frameworks are in the industry today. But that’s not the way it needs to be, and actually, it needs to stop.

  • Leftovers

    • The Allure of Roberto Bolaño

      A wanderer for a good part of his life, Bolaño’s work reflects the uncertainty of his existence.  Likewise, it quite often points the reader towards what is reasonably understood to be the cause of his wanderings over the last thirty years of his life—the overthrow of the socialist government of Chile’s Salvador Allende by the fascist forces of Augusto Pinochet.  Bolaño was arrested by the fascists and spent seven days in detention, only to be “rescued” by two of his former classmates who were prison guards.  Although this historical tragedy is not literally present in many of Bolaño’s works, its spectre lends a darkness to them all.  Even then, that darkness is underscored with a humorous but cynical view of this world humanity has made.  Whether the tale takes place in the Mexican wild lands south of the US border, in the streets of Santiago, Chile or somewhere in between, the fact of dark forces is present; sometimes those forces are characters in these tales and sometimes it is just their presence which is felt.  Poets and prostitutes alike are not spared.  Nor is the author himself.

      This is especially the case in the most recent collection of Bolaño’s works to be released posthumously in English.  Titled Cowboy Graves ,  the three novellas that make up this book are interrelated.  Most describe a family as seen primarily through the son’s eyes.  The political struggle of Chile in the early 1970s is very much part of the story, as is the relationship between the parents who live in two different countries for part of the year.  The coup of 1973, which saw the Left in Chile destroyed and on the run, acts as a main protagonist in the collection, darting in and out of the narrative.  The stories tell of departures and arrivals, soldiers and politics, sexual adventures, twisted love and murder.  The result is a feeling of dislocation and separation, as if the only way the narrator can survive is to be outside of the story he is living.  The disassociative nature of these novellas is reminiscent of a journey outside one’s mind. Outside looking in, if you will.

    • The Places John Lurie Can Take You

      Like many great TV shows, Painting With John teaches its audience how to watch it. John Lurie—writer, director, musician, and star of the series—introduces a general blueprint in the first episode designed to ease viewers into his reflective, playful worldview. The show opens with serene drone footage of an unnamed Caribbean island’s natural landscape, right up until the drone, piloted by Lurie, suddenly crashes. Following the opening credits, Lurie sits at his desk and paints with watercolors while recounting stories from his life. Sometimes he recalls scenes from his childhood years or young adulthood. Other times he describes encounters with various strangers and celebrities (Barry White, Anthony Bourdain, Zach Galifianakis, etc.). Meanwhile, photographer and editor Erik Mockus films Lurie’s painting process in close-up so we can witness the colors mixing and blending on the canvas while he speaks. Painting With John also features whimsical sequences of Lurie at play—dancing, fooling around with a branch that resembles an elephant trunk, rolling tires down a hill—and brief scenes with his longtime assistant, Nesrin Wolf, and aide Ann Mary Gludd James. (They’re credited as cast members in the series.) Lurie’s own music plays throughout each episode, and still photographs of his paintings appear alongside the end credits. A meditative tone pervades this six-episode series, from Lurie’s narration to the warm imagery of the island where he lives to the act of painting itself, sinuously edited together to create the feeling of an eccentric relaxation tape passed among friends.

      To state the obvious , Painting With John isn’t an instructional painting show in the PBS tradition, and thus Lurie doesn’t present any of this material in a straightforward manner. Instead, he frequently interrogates the show’s premise, which is ostensibly a man at a desk talking about life while he paints. He probes this framework partly to undercut the egotism of the enterprise and partly to illustrate the creative artifice upholding all nonfiction. By exposing the strings and wires behind the show, he evinces humility instead of basking in an unexamined self-importance.

    • The City That Pinned Its Renewal on a Self-Chilling Beverage Can Wants Its Money Back

      The city of Youngstown, Ohio, is cracking down on a company that touts itself as the maker of the world’s first self-chilling beverage can, saying it hasn’t lived up to its pledge to hire workers and bring economic development to the city’s long-suffering East Side.

      The move follows an investigation last year by The Business Journal, based in Youngstown, Ohio, and ProPublica, which found that little had happened after the city gave the company behind the Chill-Can a $1.5 million grant to help develop a $20 million research and manufacturing campus. It was one of the largest awards of its kind in city history.

    • ‘Someone Was Out There Deliberately Manufacturing Evidence’

      The March 26, 2021, episode of CounterSpin included an archival interview that Steve Rendall conducted with journalist Robert Dreyfuss about Iraq War intelligence, originally aired February 27, 2004 . This is a lightly edited transcript.

    • Stopgap Methods Won’t Fix Migration Challenge

      A look at realities in Honduras and Guatemala suggests her goal is unattainable.  That’s because past U.S. policies and actions in the region, interventionist and exploitative, contributed to the very life-threatening conditions Harris is targeting. To succeed, the Biden administration must grapple with a dark legacy fashioned by the United States itself.

      In Honduras presently, 62 percent of the population live in poverty, 40 percent in deep poverty. The impact of the pandemic and of hurricanes during 2020 caused 700,000 more Hondurans to fall into poverty and 600,000 more to lose jobs. Estimates of Hondurans facing food insecurity range from 1.3 million – with 350,000 close to starvation – to   2.9 million .

    • Will MLB Celebrate Jackie Robinson While Holding Its All-Star Game In Georgia?

      On April 15, Major League Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day. Every player will wear number 42 and Commissioner Rob Manfred will extoll the legacy of Robinson breaking the MLB’s Jim Crow color line in 1947, while also patting his league on the back for being, as his predecessor Bud Selig put it, “a leader in the civil rights movement.”

      This ceremony is always awkward, given the paucity of Black American managers and execs. It’s also awkward because the reality of integration on the field but erasure in the front office drew the explicit ire of Robinson himself, who spoke out about this gap just before his death almost 50 years ago.

    • Child Unknowingly Tweets From US Nuclear Command’s Account

      “The Command’s Twitter manager, while in a telework status, momentarily left the Command’s Twitter account open and unattended. His very young child took advantage of the situation and started playing with the keys and, unfortunately, and unknowingly, posted the tweet,” Stratcom official Kendall Cooper said in a letter Thalen posted on line.

    • Science

      • Finland to launch high-performing supercomputer this year

        Hard iron materials will be shipped across the sea from the US and then transported to Kajaani via truck. The second stage of delivery is expected to be completed by Autumn.

        Once assembled, LUMI will have multiple applications in a wide range of fields, including AI, astrophysics and climate studies. It could even play a key role in mitigating the effects of the ongoing coronavirus crisis and predicting future pandemics.

      • Evolution of SARS-CoV-2 from Bat to Human Pathogen

        A recent COVID post elicited the comment that we were just a “ray of sunshine.” Following in this tradition, this post concerns a recent report, in PLOS Biology, that the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (which causes COVID-19) evinced the development of a “highly efficient human pathogen” (to quote Billie Eilish, “Duh!”).

        The paper, entitled “Natural selection in the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in bats created a generalist virus and highly capable human pathogen,” was reported by an international team* of researchers. It was known prior to this work that SARS-CoV-2 and the virus that caused the SARS outbreak in 2002-2003 (which these authors term “SARS-CoV-1″ to avoid confusion) arose in bats, and that SARS-CoV-2 is particularly infective in humans, inter alia, for having a furin protease cleavage site (Arg-X-X-Arg/ Arg-X-Arg/Lys-Arg) in its Spike protein, which facilitates protease-related binding to human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) because furin is expressed in human lung tissue. The interesting conclusions drawn by these authors is that mutational adaptations that facilitate human infection by the virus occurred prior to the jump from bats to humans, which accounts (at least in part) for the rapid dissemination/infectivity in the pandemic because the virus did not require long-term incubation to achieve the species switch typical of other zoonotic viruses.

    • Education

      • State Estonian exam set to go ahead despite remote learning

        State exams are held for school leavers at the end of the mandatory period of education (Põhikool) in the Estonian language, or Estonian as a second language, math, and an exam on a subject of the student’s choice.

        The government had said last month that graduating high school will not be dependent on exam results for the 2020/2021 academic year.

      • This Awesome STEM Toy Teaches Coding for Kids Without Using Screens

        Everyone wants the best education possible for their kids. But it’s hard to find enriching activities that don’t involve setting them in front of yet another screen. And teaching them the fundamentals of STEM seems nearly impossible when you’re limiting screen time. And according to data from Engineering For Kids, STEM workers earn 26-percent more than people without a STEM background. So if you want to give your young children a competitive edge without adding more screen time, you need to know about Learn With Mochi, an award-winning screen-free game that teaches coding for kids ages three-to-nine.

      • Germany has money. Why don’t its schools have computers?

        Only 1 in 3 students has access to online learning platforms, compared with more than half in other countries across the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. A €5 billion ($5.9 billion) federal digitization plan, the Digital Pact for Schools, passed two years ago has been slow to pick up steam. It’s only with the pandemic that a public spotlight has been turned on the effects of abysmally poor digitization levels, and the accompanying lockdown has prompted a radical rethinking of the need for digital infrastructure and teacher training.

        “We Germans are programmed to have an organized system that constantly thinks in hierarchy, but we forget the world has moved forward at great speed,” says Matthias Kostrzewa, digitization officer at Ruhr University’s Professional School of Education in Bochum. The pandemic “has been a magnifying glass to show the problems we had not just in schools, but all areas of society. And it’s accelerated the bureaucratic work [of digitization].”

    • Hardware

      • Arm releases details of new architecture for next 300 billion chips

        The British firm, which was acquired by GPU vendor Nvidia in a deal announced in September 2020, mostly designs chips for smartphones, tablets and smart devices.

        Arm said on Tuesday the new architecture was being introduced in response to what it characterised as “global demand for ubiquitous specialized processing with increasingly capable security and artificial intelligence”.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | Care Workers Are Essential But Severely Undervalued

        Care workers are more essential than ever, but most don’t get a living wage or even a single sick day. It’s time to fix that.

        The pandemic has dramatically exposed the vital role that care workers play in our society. As child care centers and schools closed and nursing homes became COVID-19 hotspots, families have strained to juggle work and other responsibilities while taking care of loved ones.

      • Opinion | The Post-Pandemic Epidemic That Is Right On Our Doorstep

        The pandemic exacerbated an already dire housing situation, with millions struggling to find and keep shelter.

        One year ago, the CARES Act was signed into law. Three weeks ago, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan. Both acts mark historic legislation providing necessary immediate relief to millions of Americans, and as the vaccine rollout continues with the smell of spring in the air, images of post-pandemic life arise—that is, if one is privileged enough to escape the far-reaching implications of a deadly global pandemic.

      • No One in This State Is Officially Tracking the Quality of Care in Neonatal Centers

        New Mexico parents worrying over the health of an extremely preterm baby have another reason to be concerned: Their state government provides almost no oversight of the care provided by neonatal intensive care units.

        Thirty-one states, including neighboring Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah, have laws or rules requiring oversight of neonatal intensive care hospitals, according to a 2020 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. Some of these states make sure that hospitals provide care at the levels they claim to, and some periodically review data on patient admissions, transfers and outcomes to identify potential problems.

      • The EU-UK Phony War on Vaccines

        Likewise, the UK’s Brexit rollout has also been on life-support, if not in a hospital bed immediately adjacent to the EU’s— sisterly/brotherly love between the two not quite being what the doctor has been able to prescribe.

        When it comes camouflaging their respective debacles with spin and PR, the UK has an easier time of it, since all it needs to do is cast Brussels as the villain responsible for its Brexit plight.

      • Open-Source Versus Patent Monopoly Financing of Drug Development

        The basic idea of government-funded research should not be hard to grasp since the government already funds a large share of biomedical research. The National Institutes of Health gets over $40 billion a year in federal funding, with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA) and other government agencies getting several billion more. This puts the government’s total spending in the $45 to $50 billion range, compared to a bit over $90 billion from the industry. [1] So the idea that the government would fund research really should not be that strange.

        Most of the public funding does go to more basic research, but there are plenty of instances where the government has actually funded the development of new drugs and also done clinical testing. But under the current system, most of the later stage funding does come from the industry and is funded through patent monopoly pricing. Relying on open-source government-funded research for later-stage development and testing would be a major change.

      • New York Ordered to Vaccinate Incarcerated People; Will Gov. Sign Bill Curbing Solitary Confinement?

        A New York judge has ordered the state to provide COVID-19 vaccines to all incarcerated people, saying that officials “irrationally distinguished between incarcerated people and people living in every other type of adult congregate facility, at great risk to incarcerated people’s lives during this pandemic.” Soffiyah Elijah, executive director of the Alliance of Families for Justice, says advocates have been pushing the state “since the beginning of the pandemic to prioritize the health and safety of incarcerated people,” but those efforts were met with silence. “It’s unfortunate that it took court intervention in order to make the state do what it’s supposed to do,” says Elijah. She also addresses calls for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill passed by lawmakers called the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term ( HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, that would end the excessive use of solitary confinement.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Cisco introduces passwordless authentication by Duo

          Cisco introduces passwordless authentication by DuoNew Delhi: Cisco Secure on Wednesday introduced passwordless authentication by security platform Duo, enabling users to skip the password and securely log into cloud applications via security keys or platform biometrics built into modern laptops and smartphones.

        • Ransomware: Nearly a fifth of victims who pay off extortionists fail to get their data back

          UPDATED Many consumer victims of ransomware scams fail to get access to their data even after they pay off extortionists, according to a survey by Kaspersky.

          The poll found that close to half (46%) of UK ransomware victims paid the ransom to restore access to their data last year, yet an unfortunate 11% of victims who shelled out did not have their stolen data returned.

          Whether they paid or not, only 18% of 1,006 UK victims surveyed were able to restore all their encrypted or blocked files following an attack.

          Internationally the picture is still worse with more than half (56%) paying off extortionists and nearly one in five of whom (17%) failing to get their data back even after paying out.

        • Quick Analysis of a Modular InfoStealer

          Persistence is achieved via a new registry key. Any shortcut created to the location pointed by a subkey Startup will launch the service during logon/reboot.

        • More Ransomware Gangs Targeting Vulnerable Exchange Servers

          The zero-day bugs, four in total, had been targeted in live attacks well before patches were released for them on March 2, with exponentially more adversaries picking them up over the past three weeks, despite the availability of additional mitigations.

          The number of unpatched Exchange installations has dropped significantly, going from roughly 80,000 on March 14 to fewer than 30,000 on March 22.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • UK Child Welfare Charity Latest To Claim Encryption Does Nothing But Protect Criminals

              Once again, it’s time to end encryption… for the children. That’s the message being put out by the UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). And that message is largely regurgitated word-for-word by Sky News:

            • WhatsApp must be investigated on whether it is fiddling with private data to distort market competition

              In January this year, Facebook-owned WhatsApp caused a huge uproar by unilaterally asking its users to accept new terms allowing it to share more private information with parent Facebook for advertising and commercial purposes. What added to the outrage was that if you lived in an EU region, they would not be able to do it, it would be forbidden under their General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), raising strong demand for urgency in similar Indian data protection law.

            • AI experts warn Facebook’s anti-bias tool is ‘completely insufficient’

              Facebook today published a blog post detailing Fairness Flow, an internal toolkit the company claims enables its teams to analyze how some types of AI models perform across different groups. Developed in 2018 by Facebook’s Interdisciplinary Responsible AI (RAI) team in consultation with Stanford University, the Center for Social Media Responsibility, the Brookings Institute, and the Better Business Bureau Institute for Marketplace Trust, Fairness Flow is designed to help engineers determine how the models powering Facebook’s products perform across groups of people.

              The post pushes back against the notion that the RAI team is “essentially irrelevant to fixing the bigger problems of misinformation, extremism, and political polarization [on Facebook’s platform],” as MIT Tech Review’s Karen Hao wrote in an investigative report earlier this month. Hao alleges that the RAI team’s work — mitigating bias in AI — helps Facebook avoid proposed regulation that might hamper its growth. The piece also claims that the company’s leadership has repeatedly weakened or halted initiatives meant to clean up misinformation on the platform because doing so would undermine that growth.

            • Your Tinder Match Will Soon Be Able to Run a Background Check on You

              Match Group — which owns dating and hookup platforms including Tinder, OKCupid and Match.com — is trying to make it easier to obtain data on potential partners. The company announced this month that it will help users run background checks on potential dates. Tinder users will be the first to receive the feature, which will allow them (for a fee not yet determined) to obtain public records on a match, based only on first and last name, or a first name and phone number.

              That data, provided by a nonprofit company called Garbo, will include “arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, and other violent crimes” in order to “empower users with information” to protect themselves. Garbo’s website also indicates that it accepts evidence submitted directly by users, “including police reports, orders of protection and more,” though it’s not clear whether this capability would be integrated into its partnership with Match.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | NY Times Provides US Government Propaganda by Manufacturing Quote by Top Chinese Official

        What Myers does with this deceptive summary of U.S. policy is what I find most striking.

        You know you’re in for a hard sell when the New York Times ( 3/29/21) publishes an article under the headline “An Alliance of Autocracies? China Wants to Lead a New World Order.”

      • ‘Where There Are More Guns, There Are More Gun Deaths’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Guns Down America’s Igor Volsky about ending gun violence for the March 26, 2021, episode of CounterSpin . This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Bloody Crackdown in Burma Since Feb. 1 Military Coup Kills 500+ Amid Resistance from Youth, Women

        More than 500 people have been killed in Burma during protests against the February 1 military coup that toppled Burma’s democratically elected civilian government. At least 141 people were killed over the weekend alone, when soldiers opened fire on civilians demonstrating against military rule in dozens of cities and towns across the country. Children were among the dead, including a 5-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, according to Amnesty International. Burmese troops also fired on a funeral service for a 20-year-old student protester. “We wake up to more bad news every morning, more deaths,” says Aron Aung, a Burmese student studying at the New York Institute of Technology, who also describes how women are helping lead the resistance.

      • Nuclear Weapons Blazing: Britain Enters the US-China Fray

        The comparison is quite apt if we remember the long-anticipated shift in Britain’s foreign policy and Johnson’s conservative Government’s pressing need to chart a new global course in search for new allies – and new enemies.

        Xi’s words in 2019 signaled a new era in Chinese foreign policy, where Beijing hoped to send a message to its allies and enemies that the rules of the game were finally changing in its favor, and that China’s economic miracle – launchedunder the leadership of Deng Xiaoping in 1992 – would no longer be confined to the realm of wealth accumulation, but would exceed this to politics and military strength, as well.

      • “Wipe out China!” US-funded Uyghur activists train as gun-toting foot soldiers for empire
      • Pentagon to Lift Trump-Era Ban on Transgender Troops

        “Trans rights are human rights,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, “and on this #TransDayOfVisibility, I’m pleased to announce we’ve updated DoD policy on the open service of transgender individuals.”

        Reversing one of former President Donald Trump’s most egregious civil rights rollbacks, the Department of Defense announced Wednesday—International Transgender Day of Visibility—that it would soon allow openly trans people to serve in the U.S. military. 

      • Sniper videos a new propaganda tool for the Taliban

        The black-and-white videos show ghostly images of men in combat gear sheltering behind ruined walls in the crosshairs of Taliban snipers, who under cover of darkness pick them off one by one. While the Taliban have been known to use thermal-imaging technology for night-time combat for years, the Afghan insurgents are increasingly publishing sniper videos online as part of an apparent propaganda effort. An investigation by the France 24 Observers shows that most of the videos feature thermal scopes that are commercially available for civilian use.

      • The military has long had an extremism problem. What will it do now to finally solve it?

        “I reported them all up the chain and I can’t remember one person that got in trouble, ever,” Barfield said. “Nothing ever happened.”

        Frustrated, Barfield spoke to reporters about his experience. His superiors reprimanded him for talking to the press without prior authorization, he said, and he left his military work in 2006. Today, he works as a civilian police detective.

        Barfield’s assertion that there were dozens of White supremacists and other extremists in uniform is “overwrought,” said David S.C. Chu, who was the undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, overseeing recruitment and career development, from 2001 to 2009.

      • Indonesia’s map project ignores indigenous land, risks conflicts

        An ambitious Indonesian project to create a single database of the country’s land area and stop conflicts is destined to flounder unless it includes maps created by indigenous communities, advocates said on Wednesday (March 31).

        The One Map policy, rolled out a decade ago and meant to be completed by late 2020, aimed to merge 85 thematic maps of the sprawling archipelago’s 34 provinces into one map, with local communities involved to help settle conflicting claims.

        But to date, the One Map portal is accessible only to government authorities and does not include maps created by indigenous groups, said Ms Rukka Sombolinggi, secretary general of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (Aman).

      • As Militants Seize Mozambique Gas Hub, a Dash for Safety Turns Deadly

        For two days, hundreds of insurgents in the gas-rich region had been laying siege to the coastal town of Palma, firing indiscriminately at civilians, hunting down government officials and setting buildings ablaze as security forces tried in vain to repel them.

        The violence sent thousands of people fleeing, with some rushing to the beach, where a ragtag fleet of cargo ships, tugboats and fishing vessels was ferrying people to safety.

        But at the hotel, with daylight hours dwindling, the local residents and foreign gas workers who remained faced an impossible choice: Either wait inside, defenseless, for a promised evacuation in the morning, or try to make it to the beach.

        In a desperate dash, dozens of people crammed into a 17-vehicle convoy and left the hotel for the oceanfront.

        Only seven vehicles completed the trip.

      • The French armed forces are planning for high-intensity war

        There are other signs that the French armed forces are in the midst of a generational transformation. In January the general staff quietly established ten working groups to examine the country’s readiness for high-intensity war. French generals reckon that they have a decade or so to prepare for it. The groups cover everything from munition shortages to the resilience of society, including whether citizens are “ready to accept the level of casualties we have never seen since world war two”, says one participant. The spectre of high-end war is now so widespread in French military thinking that the scenario has its own acronym: HEM, or hypothèse d’engagement majeur (hypothesis of major engagement). The presumed opponents are unnamed, but analysts point not only to Russia, but also Turkey or a North African country.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Drone Whistleblower Charged With Violating Espionage Act Pleads Guilty

        The following was originally published as part of The Dissenter Newsletter. Daniel Hale, who blew the whistle on the United States government’s targeted assassination program that includes drones, pled guilty to transmitting and retaining “national defense information” in violation of the Espionage Act. The guilty plea by Hale makes him the first whistleblower to be convicted under the Espionage Act during President Joe Biden’s administration. A change of plea hearing was held on March 31 in the Eastern District of Virginia, around a week before Hale was scheduled to go to trial. Judge Liam O’Grady permitted Hale to remain under supervision by a probation officer until sentencing on July 13. Though Hale pled guilty, prosecutors from the Justice Department opposed canceling the trial altogether and refused to dismiss the four remaining charges. Hale’s attorney questioned why this would be allowed. O’Grady seemed to recognize the four remaining charges criminalize much of the conduct already covered in Hale’s plea. Often this is referred to as charge stacking. Yet the judge permitted the government’s extraordinary and unusual request, leaving open the possibility of a trial if prosecutors are unhappy with sentencing. Under President Barack Obama, CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou was targeted in the Eastern District of Virginia with an Espionage Act prosecution. He wound up pleading guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act in order to ensure he only went to prison for 30 months. “I’m disappointed that Daniel Hale’s case was continued in the Biden Justice Department,” Kiriakou shared after learning Hale changed his plea. “I had hopes that Biden’s Justice Department appointee would recognize the public service that Daniel Hale provided when he revealed illegality and abuse in the drone program.” Since Hale is not permitted to offer a public interest defense, Kiriakou added,”That’s an injustice.” “So I hope Judge O’Grady recognizes the good in what Daniel Hale has done and gives him the lightest possible sentence.” Hale was part of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in 2012 and identified “targets” for kill and capture. From December 2013 to August 2014, he was a contractor at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The U.S. government targeted Hale for prosecution after he disclosed documents in 2014 to Intercept founding editor Jeremy Scahill for his “Dirty Wars” project, which included a book and a film. The information he revealed also helped the Intercept publish the “Drone Papers.” Hale  appeared in the 2016 documentary “National Bird.” He wore a pin supporting U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning and followed CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling’s prosecution. The FBI raided his home on August 8, 2014, while the film was in production. He was charged in March 2019 with violating the Espionage Act and other related offenses, and in May, he was arrested. It is unclear why the Justice Department took several years to charge Hale. At the change of plea hearing, O’Grady did not believe Hale posed a flight risk, since he was present at the proceedings. But he was particularly concerned with Hale’s mental health and urged him to notify his probation officer if he felt like hurting himself. Hale, who apparently survived a motorcycle accident recently, told the court he was living with supportive people, who for some time allowed him to share space and without paying rent. He is doing chores and cooking meals for his roommates while quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic.

        A list of documents in the superseding indictment against him points to what Hale allegedly exposed. Prior to the “Drone Papers,” a  report, “Watch Commander: Barack Obama’s Secret Terrorist System, by the Numbers” was published by Scahill and Ryan Devereaux. It exposed how “nearly half of the people on the U.S. government’s widely shared database of terrorist suspects are not connected to any known terrorist group.”

    • Environment

      • Take Corporate Climate Pledges of ‘Net-Zero’ With a Healthy Dose of Skepticism
      • ‘A Crisis for Climate Stability’: Data Shows Rainforest Destruction Accelerated in 2020

        “As in past years, commodity-driven deforestation was the leading cause of tree cover loss.”

        Intentional deforestation as well as drought-induced wildfires made more frequent and severe by the climate crisis drove a significant acceleration of global rainforest loss in 2020, with new figures released Wednesday showing that 12.2 million hectares of tree cover were destroyed in the tropics last year.

      • Refugees gain hope from Latin American example

        The UK’s new plan to control immigration has alarmed human rights groups. A Latin American example could offer hope instead.

      • Opinion | Biden’s Cloudy Climate Vision

        Troubling signs that the White House won’t go big enough in the fight against climate chaos.

        Mainstream media and many large environmental organizations were bullish on President Biden’s early climate actions, but several recent moves, including the announcement of his woefully insufficient infrastructure package, raise significant concerns about the administration’s willingness to take the actions necessary to avert climate chaos. If Biden is serious about tackling climate change, he needs to do more than spend relatively small amounts of money on renewable energy; he will need to directly take on the fossil fuel industry, rather than trying to work with and accommodate oil and gas interests.

      • Australia fires spewed as much smoke into stratosphere as volcano: Study

        The bush fires that ravaged Australia between 2019 and 2020 were so huge that they spewed as much smoke into the stratosphere as a large volcanic eruption, with serious consequences for the environment, according to a study published Thursday (March 18) in the journal Science.

        The stratosphere is the second layer of the atmosphere, right above the troposphere – where we live.

      • Tropical Forest Destruction Accelerated in 2020

        Overall, more than 10 million acres of primary tropical forest was lost in 2020, an area roughly the size of Switzerland. The institute’s analysis said loss of that much forest added more than two and a half billion metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, or about twice as much as is spewed into the air by cars in the United States every year.

      • John Kerry Urged to Help End Flow of Finance From Wall Street to Industries Fueling Climate Crisis

        “A climate action approach that seeks to partner with Wall Street without also holding it accountable is no longer credible in 2021.”

        Just days after he suggested the private sector, not government, will lead the fight against the climate crisis, 145 organizations sent a letter Tuesday urging U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry to use his position to help end “the flow of private finance from Wall Street to the industries driving climate change around the world—fossil fuels and forest-risk commodities.”

      • ‘It’s Not a Border Crisis,’ Says Ocasio-Cortez. ‘It’s an Imperialism Crisis… a Climate Crisis… a Trade Crisis.’

        The New York Democrat also explained how the U.S. carceral system and foreign policy relate to the nation’s immigration system.

        Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to social media Tuesday night with a detailed reminder of the root causes of Central Americans and other migrants seeking asylum at the United States’ southern border.

      • Critics Warn Biden Infrastructure Plan ‘Falls Woefully Short’ on Climate Crisis

        “Biden has pledged to cut carbon emissions 50% and decarbonize our electricity sector, but this proposal won’t even come close.”

        President Joe Biden’s rollout of a $2.26 trillion infrastructure and climate spending blueprint on Wednesday was met with an icy response from progressive advocacy groups and environmentalists, who argued the proposal in its current form is inadequate to the task of combating the climate crisis by overhauling the nation’s polluting energy and transportation systems.

      • Energy

        • EPA Chief Purging Trump-Era Advisors to ‘Focus on Science and Reduce Industry Influence’

          The move, said Administrator Michael Regan, “will ensure the agency receives the best possible scientific insight to support our work to protect human health and the environment.”

          In a move aimed at restoring the role of science at—and public trust in—the Environmental Protection Agency, Administrator Michael Regan announced Wednesday that more than 40 advisers appointed by former President Donald Trump will be fired from the agency.

        • Solar Swells as Coal Collapses: Analysis Shows Rapid Shift to Renewables Underway

          “Cleaner and lower-cost wind and solar, coupled with battery storage, will drive fossil fuels out of the market.”

          The nation’s transition from dirty to renewable energy is “nearing exponential growth”—a shift set to usher in “transformative” impacts within a handful of years.

        • Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard Files Complaint With Massachusetts Attorney General

          Divestment shouldn’t be a difficult choice for our school. Other universities, pension funds, banks, and asset managers have continued to divest from the fossil fuel industry in droves, with institutions controlling more than $14.5 trillion worth of funds joining the movement in whole or in part. In the last year alone, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, Rockefeller Foundation, and Oxford, Cambridge, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, and Rutgers Universities have all committed to partial or full fossil fuel divestment.

          That they’ve done so during the COVID-19 pandemic is further proof to us that divestment is the right move both morally and financially. With a federal administration and unprecedented public momentum set on the decarbonization of our economy, there’s no turning back the clock on the era of fossil fuels. Big Oil’s reign is coming to an end — the industry knows it, which is why it’s fighting tooth and nail to survive — and investors who remain stuck on bygone energy forms will find themselves exposed to significant risk as the economy decarbonizes.

        • Ministry unveils plan to phase out peat burning in Finland

          A panel set up by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has proposed a blueprint for phasing out the use of peat as an energy source.

          The panel handed over its report to Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä (Cen) on Wednesday.

          According to the government programme, the energy use of peat must be at least halved by 2030 due to its high greenhouse gas emissions. The proposals will next be considered by the cabinet.

        • Lithium battery costs have fallen by 98% in three decades

          Batteries have come a long way in 30 years. In the early 1990s the storage capacity needed to power a house for a day would have cost about $75,000. The cells themselves would have weighed 113kg (250lbs) and taken up as much space as a beer keg. Today the same amount of power can be delivered at a cost of less than $2,000, from a 40kg package roughly the size of a small backpack.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Jaguar sighting near northern border give conservationists hope

          New video footage of a young male jaguar on a ranch in northern Sonora has given conservationists hope that North America’s only big cat could soon be seen in greater numbers in northern Mexico and the southern United States.

          Researchers captured footage of a jaguar dubbed “El Bonito” (The Beautiful) on four cameras since December 2020.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Russian Senate approves legislation on ‘zeroing out’ Putin’s presidential terms

        Russia’s Federation Council has approved legislation allowing President Vladimir Putin (and former President Dmitry Medvedev) to run for the presidency in two more elections.

      • Swamp Gas Politics

        Right out of the chute, it’s almost impossible to read their comments without laughing. As Lee reporter  Tom Lutey wrote in his excellent and in-depth article, Daines claims: “Earmarks are a swampy, corrupt D.C. practice that promotes pay-for-play behavior. This toxic culture does nothing but allow Washington elites to fund their pet projects on the Montana taxpayer’s dime, which is why I have introduced legislation to permanently ban this corrupt practice.” Meanwhile, although Rosendale refused to be interviewed, his office unleashed this gaseous bubble: “Rep. Rosendale campaigned on draining the swamp, not becoming a part of it.”

        Mind you, this blather comes following four long years of the former occupant of the White House supposedly “draining the swamp.” Of course it’s rather common knowledge that no administration in recent history has contained as many swamp creatures as Trump’s, which was rife with industry lobbyists running agencies they routinely opposed for their corporate clients. But hey, no need to face the truth when it’s so much easier to just keep repeating the lies.

      • ‘New Era for Marijuana Justice’: New York Legalization Bill Signed Into Law

        One advocate said the law is “rooted in racial and economic justice, in an effort to repair harms while also setting a new standard for anti-racist, class-conscious, and gender-expansive policymaking.”

        Just hours after New York’s state lawmakers passed landmark legislation that not only legalizes recreational adult use of marijuana but also includes key equity and justice provisions, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law early Wednesday, paving the way for cannabis storefronts to start opening as early as next year.

      • Documents Show Trump Officials Skirted Rules to Reward Politically Connected and Untested Firms With Huge Pandemic Contracts

        A top adviser to former President Donald Trump pressured agency officials to reward politically connected or otherwise untested companies with hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts as part of a chaotic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the early findings of an inquiry led by House Democrats.

        Peter Navarro, who served as Trump’s deputy assistant and trade adviser, essentially verbally awarded a $96 million deal for respirators to a company with White House connections. Later, officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency were pressured to sign the contract after the fact, according to correspondence obtained by congressional investigators.

      • Opinion | Was Albert Einstein an Anti-Semite?

        Neve Gordon and Mark LeVine explain why the IHRA definition of antisemitism has been so successful.

        Was Albert Einstein an anti-Semite? Was Hannah Arendt? These questions may sound ludicrous. Yet, according to the definition of anti-Semitism that more than 30 countries — including the United States through the Biden Administration —recently adopted, these  two leading intellectuals could very well be labeled as such. This is due to an open letter they sent on December 4, 1948 to the New York Times, claiming that the right-wing Herut Party in the newly formed State of Israel was ” closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties.”

      • The Media Must Stop Demonizing Immigrants

        Tempe, Ariz.—Over the past several weeks, we’ve all heard the news about what is happening at the border. Most of the headlines and commentary in the media have painted a picture of a “surge” of migrant children crossing the border on their own. They talk about this “security crisis” at the border over and over again. After hearing these news stories, it’s hard not to think that the United States is being invaded by brown children. Which we know is not the reality, but with the amount of coverage this issue gets and the type of narrative that the media focuses on, it’s hard for the public to see it through a different lens: through the lens of humanity.

        At a personal level, watching and reading these news stories is deeply painful. I too, came to this country as a child. I was lucky enough to be able to come with my mother and siblings, but know very well the experience of having to cross the border in search of a better future. For many years as a kid, before I became involved in the immigrant rights movement, I saw the same images and rhetoric on TV. I knew they were talking about people like me—but I didn’t see myself in those images. I never saw my humanity reflected in those stories. We were being called “illegal,” “aliens,” “invaders”—I can go on and on.

      • Biden Picks Kamala Harris to Carry the Carrot and Stick in Central America

        The White House announced recently that Vice President Kamala Harris would take charge of the Biden administration’s “efforts to deter migration to the southwestern border by working to improve conditions in Central America.” The effort would oversee an infusion of billions of dollars into the “ravaged economies” of the so-called Northern Triangle of Central America ( NTCA), comprising the nations of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

      • Microsoft says controversial Georgia law will ‘unfairly restrict the rights of people to vote’

        If it’s not clear why Microsoft would go out on a limb to challenge the state on this particular issue, there are a few things you should probably know: [...]

      • Italy expels Russians after spies ‘caught red-handed’

        The frigate captain was arrested on spying charges after a “clandestine meeting” with the Russian late on Tuesday in Rome, according to a police statement.

        Special operations police stopped both men but only the Italian was arrested. He is accused of passing on “confidential documents” in exchange for money.

        The Russian, an embassy official, avoided custody thanks to diplomatic immunity, police said.

      • ‘Fake’ Amazon workers defend company on Twitter

        Amazon has previously used this handle for its so-called Amazon Ambassadors – real employees who are paid by the firm to promote and defend it on Twitter.

      • How China uses secret loans for geopolitical power

        Why it matters: China is using debt contracts to place it at a geopolitical advantage not only to its debtors, but also to all other rich nations.

        How it works: Chinese debt contracts differ from standard boilerplate in three main ways.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Donald Trump’s Website’s Terms Of Service Rely On Section 230, And Promise To Remove Content That Violates Its Terms

        We had just noted that should Donald Trump ever launch his rumored social media website, it would undoubtedly rely on Section 230 despite the fact that Trump insisted that Section 230 must be repealed and even tried to block military funding if the law wasn’t taken away.

      • Cancelling Art, Dark Mofo and the Offended Classes

        Given what followed, festival organisers might have preferred one of Sierra’s other suggestions: a work that would have involved vast amounts of cocaine.  Social media outrage followed.  People purporting to speak for the offended, while also counting themselves as offended, railed and expectorated.  Festival curator Leigh Carmichael tried to be brave against the howling winds of disapproval.  “At this stage we will push on,” he told ABC Radio Hobart on March 23.  “Provided we can logistically make this work happen, we will.”  He acknowledged that, “These were very dangerous topics, they’re hard, they hurt.”  For criticisms that the work was being made by a Spanish artist, Carmichael was initially clear: to make work taboo for people from specific localities could constitute “a form of racism in itself.”  Then inevitable equivocation followed.  “This artist is about their experience and whether a Spanish artist has the right to weigh in, I don’t know.”

        Within a matter of hours, Carmichael’s position had collapsed: Sierra’s project was cut and put out to sea.  “We’ve heard the community’s response to Santiago Sierra’s Union Flag.”  Grovelling and capitulation before this all powerful community followed.  “We made a mistake, and take full responsibility.  The project will be cancelled.  We apologise to all First Nations people for any hurt that has been caused.  We are sorry.”

      • California Legislators Now Get Into The Pointless & Likely Counterproductive Content Moderation Legislating Business

        Another day, another state house deciding that it needs to jump into the business of content moderation. This time it’s California, and this bill (1) is not nearly as insane as many other states and (2) appears to be coming from well meaning people with good intentions. It doesn’t make it a good bill, however. It was announced this week in a somewhat odd press release from Assembly Majority Whip Jesse Gabriel, who declares it to be “groundbreaking” as well as a “bipartisan effort to hold social media companies accountable for online hate and disinformation.”

      • EFF to Court: Don’t Let Pseudo-IP Thwart Speech, Innovation, and Competition

        Good news: it’s wrong.

        Bad news: the court might not see that, which is why EFF, along with group of small tech companies and advocates, filed an amicus brief to help explain the law and the stakes of the case for the internet.

        The facts here are pretty ugly. The plaintiff is a reporter who discovered that an image of her caught on a surveillance camera was being used in ads and shared on social media without her permission. She’s suing Facebook, Reddit, Imgur and a porn site for violating her publicity rights, The district court dismissed the case on Section 230 ground, following strong precedent from the Ninth Circuit holding that the IP carveout doesn’t include state law publicity claims. Hepp appealed.

      • The Shaping of Things to Come

        The MSM call to ‘censorship’ appears to be part of an effort to control the rules of online readerly engagement in social media platforms — especially Facebook and Twitter, the Big Mouths of the Net — currently underway, but which stretches back to the clarion call moment years ago when a list of “fake news” sites (alternative journalism)  was pushed by WaPo (Bezos, CIA), with sites whose writers often vociferously criticized mainstream coverage events.  The list went over the line, including trenchant publications like Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, and Counterpunch.  There appears to be a “move” on the way we should scouting out for.

        Still, I was mildly struck by the irony of Greenwald rightly savaging the MSM attacks on Substack, given the commentariat on his site that will come at you like white sheet blood cells if you even question his information or its intentions.  I mean, they swarm you and beat you down and down, man. So, yeah, irony. But as is almost always the case with the guy, he knows what he’s talking about, and he is consistently and welcomely, adversarial.

      • Schools Can’t Punish Students for Off-Campus Speech, Including Social Media Posts, EFF Tells Supreme Court

        EFF, joined by the Brennan Center for Justice and the Pennsylvania Center for the First Amendment, said in a brief filed today that a rule the Supreme Court established in the 1960s allowing schools to punish students for what they say on campus in some limited circumstances should not be expanded to let schools regulate what students say in their private lives outside of school, including on social media.

        “Like all Americans, students have free speech protections from government censorship and policing,” said EFF Stanton Fellow Naomi Gilens. “In the 1969 case Tinker v. Des Moines, the Supreme Court carved out a narrow exception to this rule, allowing schools to regulate some kinds of speech on campus only in limited circumstances, given the unique characteristics of the school environment. Interpreting that narrow exception to let schools punish students for speech uttered outside of school would dramatically expand schools’ power to police students’ private lives.”

        In B.L. v. Mahanoy Area School District , the case before the court, a high school student who failed to make the varsity cheerleading squad posted a Snapchat selfie with text that said, among other things, “fuck cheer.” She shared the post over the weekend and outside school grounds—but one of her Snapchat connections took a screen shot and shared it with the cheerleading coaches, who suspended B.L. from the J.V. squad. The student and her family sued the school.

      • [Old] Beating Back Cancel Culture: A Case Study

        It’s easy to decry cancel culture, but hard to turn it back. Thankfully, recent developments in my area of academic specialty—artificial intelligence (AI)—show that fighting cancel culture isn’t impossible. And as I explain below, the lessons that members of the AI community have learned in this regard can be generalized to other professional subcultures.

      • Florida Big Tech Censorship Bill Takes Another Step Forward

        Do social media and big tech companies have too much power when it comes to blocking political candidates from using their platforms? According to a bill backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the answer to that question is “yes,” a position that has prompted no small amount of debate among state lawmakers.

        The bill, titled House Bill 7013, looks to take action against “social media platforms for unlawful practices related to censoring or de-platforming,” statewide candidates, specifically impacting big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Amazon from removing candidates from their platforms.

      • Purab Kohli on web censorship: By censoring content, you are treating adults like children.

        He was among the first crop of Indian actors to jump on to the OTT bandwagon, way back when those platforms had not even entered the Indian market. And even today, Purab Kohli continues to work in such content, and his next, Out of Love’s second season, will be released soon.

        As the OTT craze picks up among actors and audiences alike, he recalls, “I did a show for a major streaming platform in USA in 2014. It was so early in the day that I didn’t even see it when it released since we didn’t quite understand what [Internet] distribution was in India back then! We did not even have the [Internet] speeds to stream YouTube videos, let alone having such a buffet of platforms to choose from.”

        The 42-year-old, who starred in the show Sense8, tells us that the popularity of this medium hit him later when people abroad recognised him.

      • With a Google spreadsheet, a web sleuth tracks the comments that get people jailed in China

        Most punishment of speech in China goes unnoticed: Only a fraction of such “offenses” are mentioned in police notices or referenced in international coverage.

        But since October 2019, a young web sleuth surnamed Wang has been creating a database of cases in which people were punished for online or offline comments critical of the central government. Based on media reports and court records, Wang has documented nearly 2,000 speech crimes in a public Google spreadsheet, arguably one of the few comprehensive records of these “crimes” in China. Censorship makes finding information on such cases a challenge, and the risks associated with creating a database like Wang’s are a deterrent for most.

      • Spotify Has Removed 40 Joe Rogan Episodes To Date — Here’s the Full List

        So how much is “a few,” exactly? According to a tally compiled by longtime Rogan followers, Spotify scrubbed at least 40 episodes from The Joe Rogan Experience as part of its $100 million exclusive deal with the podcaster (we also double-checked the tally and indeed found the episodes missing). Those episodes aren’t available on Spotify currently, and never made it onto the platform.

        Almost immediately after Spotify started transitioning episodes, a number of Rogan followers discovered some glaring omissions. At first, fans noticed that interviews with more controversial guests like Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos were omitted, though neither Spotify nor Rogan offered any comment on the matter.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Report Shows ICE Is Demanding Subscriber Info It Has No Legal Right To With Self-Issued Subpoenas

        Just because your service provider is willing to notify you of the government’s (perhaps unexpected) interest in all your digital belongings doesn’t mean there’s someone standing between you and the government’s flimsy piece of administrative paper.

      • Opinion | A Cold Civil War Is Being Waged by Republicans

        Republicans who failed to overturn the 2020 presidential election are now trying to prevent future electoral defeats through voter suppression.

        In the US, the right-wing voter suppression efforts reached a level not seen since the era of segregation, when white supremacists in the South had passed laws to deny Black Americans the right to vote and threatened everyone who dared to resist with violence.

      • Technopolice at the borders

        How the security-and-surveillance business in the heart of the EU, besides violating fundamental rights, uses exiles as a research lab, funded by European public funds.

      • Macron and Merkel urge Putin to respect Alexey Navalny’s rights and ‘preserve his health’

        Russian President Vladimir Putin had talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel via video conference on Tuesday, March 30, the Kremlin reported. 

      • ‘Independent observers get in the way’: Meduza looks into the prisoners’ rights monitors who met with Navalny — and examines why these watchdog groups include so few human rights defenders

        Having learned about Alexey Navalny’s deteriorating health “from social networks,” members of the Vladimir region’s prison watchdog group visited the opposition politician in Pokrov’s Penal Colony No. 2 on March 27. According to the head of the local Public Monitoring Commission (ONK), which is tasked with overseeing the observance of prisoners’ rights, Navalny asked for help obtaining an injection to treat pain and inflammation, though at the time he could walk on his own. Allegedly, the jailed opposition figure didn’t make any other requests. Following these statements, Navalny — who has developed back pain in prison and started experiencing numbness in one of his legs — conveyed via his lawyers that he had told the commission about a “bunch of complaints,” including the fact that he has yet to receive a diagnosis or his MRI results. Navalny called the commission’s members “a bunch of crooks and liars.” In response, the local ONK’s deputy head asserted that Navalny was “feigning” health problems. Meduza looks into the members of the Vladimir region’s public monitoring commission and investigates why there are so few real human rights defenders in these prison watchdog groups.

      • Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny goes on hunger strike in prison

        Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny has announced a hunger strike to protest the conditions of his imprisonment in Penal Colony No. 2 (located in the city of Pokrov, in the Vladimir region). 

      • Twisting the Law

        Yet that is actually only a distant tip of a huge iceberg. When we study the incidents of police operations (in which killing is too often a result) over the past few decades, we find several levels of irrationality, for which law enforcement remains extraneous. From a civil society perspective, they go so far beyond what could be considered training that, as behavioral traits, they could only be considered cultural. Here’s a brief window into what that means.

        *On March 12, 2017, in an Atlanta suburb, Demetrius Hollins was stopped by two Gwinette County cops while driving. Hollins is black, a 21 year old university student. He questioned being stopped, and one cop started yelling. Hollins reached for his phone, and the cop yelled that there will be no phone calls. “Nobody is going to know about this.” He ordered Hollins out of the car. When Hollins stepped out with his hands up, the cop threw him to the ground, and began beating him. After being handcuffed, and while still lying on the ground, the second cop came over and kicked him in the face.

      • Contact Tracing

        Between Dominican Republic and the world—We’ve yet to find my uncle.

        On September 18, 2020, my stepfather’s elder brother boarded the yola. It was the tail end of hurricane season, which had left 700,000 people without electricity and a reported 1.5 million without safe, drinkable water. Painted an auspicious ocean water blue, the boat, said to be undetectable at night by La Armada de Repùblica Dominicana, held within its interior a gaggle of men who’d paid thousands of dollars in hopes of fleeing the island for the United States.

      • Aging Former Black Panthers Mumia Abu-Jamal & Sundiata Acoli Got COVID-19 & Could Die in Prison

        We get an update on political prisoners Mumia Abu-Jamal and Sundiata Acoli, who contracted COVID-19 but have yet to be released. Acoli is a former member of the Black Panther Party who is now 84 years old and has been in prison in New Jersey for nearly half a century, even though he has been eligible for parole for almost three decades. He was denied parole again in February. His crime involved the killing of a state trooper. Last year, he contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized, and he reportedly has early-stage dementia. We speak with his longtime advocate, Soffiyah Elijah with Alliance of Families for Justice, about whether he will live long enough to appear before the parole board again, and what could happen when his case is reviewed later this year by New Jersey’s Supreme Court.

      • A comedian says he created ‘Darla,’ the anti-union Amazon worker, as a joke

        Over the weekend, one parody account, in particular, caught the attention of reporters and Amazon detractors across Twitter: @AmazonFCDarla. Darla’s profile picture looked fake, but the language used in her tweets was eerily similar to that used by real Amazon employees. Publications like Gizmodo quickly debunked Darla’s account. Her profile picture appeared to have been created by an artificial intelligence program like This Person Does Not Exist. Her account was created in March with no tweets dating back to the beginning of Amazon’s ambassador program. And Darla’s tweets were half-baked “in the way that a troll might tweet,” Gizmodo said.

      • 72 Black executives call on corporate America to fight voting restrictions

        The bottom line: “Corporations have to stand up — there is no middle ground,” Chenault said. “This is about all Americans having the right to vote. But we need to recognize the special history of the denial of a right to vote for Black Americans. And we will not be silent.”

      • Headlines March 31, 2021

        The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is entering its third day. Chauvin faces murder and manslaughter charges for killing George Floyd last May by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. On Tuesday, jurors heard chilling testimony from eyewitnesses, including Darnella Frazier, who was just 17 years old when she used her cellphone to film the killing of George Floyd. Her image was not broadcast on the court television feed because she was a minor at the time of his death.

      • Say Their Names
      • ‘It Wasn’t Right’: Young Witnesses Offer Emotional Testimony in Chauvin Trial

        He was drawn to the commotion by the police car, and quickly became upset when he saw Mr. Chauvin’s knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck. It appeared to be a blood choke, he testified, referring to having seen the hold render people unconscious as a fighter. He grew so frustrated at the officers that he began yelling obscenities at them.

        Mr. Williams then took a highly unusual step: He called the police on the police.

        “I believe I witnessed a murder,” he told a 911 operator, according to a recording of a call he placed that evening that was played in court. On the witness stand, Mr. Williams wiped his eyes as the recording played.

      • Cops Tried To Force a Man To Delete a Video of Them Beating a Suspect. They Got Qualified Immunity.

        In August 2014, Levi Frasier filmed Denver cops beating a suspect during an arrest for an alleged drug deal. The officers punched the accused six times in the face, and when a woman approached the scene screaming, a different cop clutched her ankle, tossing her to the ground—all captured on film.

        The officers didn’t take kindly to the latter point. After the arrest, they surrounded Frasier, searched his tablet without a warrant, and attempted to delete the resulting video. In doing so, a federal court this week acknowledged that the officers violated the First Amendment, with the judges noting that the city’s police training had taught the officers as much: There’s a constitutional right to record government agents making a public arrest.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • AT&T Fights Against New Broadband Definitions, Insists 10 Mbps Upstream Is Good Enough

        In early March, Senators pushed the Biden FCC to update our fairly pathetic definition of broadband, which is currently anything 25 Mbps downstream, 3 Mbps upstream. The Senators proposed something closer to 100 Mbps in both directions, a definition mirrored in a new broadband bill recently introduced in the House.

      • Biden Sets Goal Of 2030 To Provide Affordable Broadband Access For All Americans

        The plan would prioritize funding for “broadband networks owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, and co-operatives,” and sets aside specific amounts for broadband infrastructure projects on tribal lands. Some Republican lawmakers have previously said municipalities that build their own networks are squeezing out competition and proposed a bill that would outlaw the practice.

      • It’s Infrastructure Week! (For Real this Time)

        The Biden plan is headlined by traditional transportation infrastructure. It promises to revitalize 20,000 miles of roads and fix 10,000 crumbling bridges. But the sprawling package also includes funding for targeted to both aging cities (replacing all lead pipes in the nation’s water lines) and flyover country (including bringing broadband Internet to the more than 35 percent of rural Americans who lack access to it). The package seems intentionally crafted for bipartisan appeal. It does not mention high speed rail, but it does include “$80 billion to address Amtrak’s repair backlog.”

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Counsel cautious despite UK’s ‘great step’ towards AI inventorship [Ed: Evil IBM still pushing evil patent policy because the company is drowning and wants to destroy everybody with patents]

          Sources from BenevolentAI and IBM say the UKIPO’s stance on possible reform shows the UK wants to be a leader in AI

        • Lawyers bemoan FRAND uncertainty amid China appeal [Ed: Charlotte Kilpatrick just a megaphone for zealots and litigation profiteers who bankroll her salary to mislead the public and lobby for insane policy]
        • Ranpak and Bardehle victorious in paper cushioning system dispute [Ed: JUVE still publishes marketing spam for notorious liars and it’s spun as news or reporting about the EPO]

          US manufacturer Ranpak sued Storopack for patent infringement at Mannheim District Court at the end of 2014 (case ID: 7 O 210/14), over paper cushioning systems used in packaging. One year later, the court ruled that Storopack infringed the patent with some of its repackaging machines. However, the patent had already expired in the middle of the year.

          Thus, Ranpak did not obtain injunctive relief, only damages. Storopack had to disclose its accounts dating back to 30 December 2004.

        • EPO launches new Online Filing 2.0 service [Ed: Shilling for proprietary software of Microsoft with OOXML and breaking the law in the process]

          On 1 April 2021 the EPO launches its new web-based filing service Online Filing 2.0 [1]. The service is accessible via the EPO’s website with a smart card registered for this service.

          The tool allows the filing of European patent applications, international (PCT) applications and other documents relating to such applications or to patents deriving from such applications in PDF format. International applications can also be filed in XML format. It covers all procedures before the EPO, including those before the boards of appeal.


          During that phase, documents in DOCX can be transformed into XML before filing, by means of WIPO’s converter, which is integrated in the Online Filing 2.0 software.

        • IPO notifies Supreme Court’s latest decision on ‘Extension of Limitation’; Monsanto and Nuziveedu settle long standing patent dispute and more
          BananaIP Counsels > Intellectual Property > IPO notifies Supreme Court’s latest decision on ‘Extensio…
          [Ed: Repeating EPO lies to help justify crimes of the EPO]

          The European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a notice on the 24th of March informing that the oral proceedings before examining and opposition divisions will continue to be held by videoconference in accordance with the applicable decision of the President of the EPO without requiring the agreement of the parties. The notice will apply with immediate effect until the Enlarged Board of Appeal has announced its decision regarding the legality of the mandatory oral proceedings by videoconference.

          The EPO had last year initiated a pilot project which allowed oral proceedings in opposition cases to be carried out exclusively by videoconference so as to avoid a backlog of cases during the pandemic. Video hearings were earlier granted only under “exceptional circumstances” were made mandatory by the EPO in November 2020. The November 2020 notice clarified that videoconferenced oral proceedings before opposition divisions would become mandatory, and consent of the affected parties would not be required.

        • New guidelines for life sciences sector [Ed: This does not mention that today's EPO grants loads of illegal patents in violation of the EPC]

          A new edition of the European Patent Office (EPO) Guidelines for Examination (‘the guidelines’) came into force on 1 March 2021. Relevant to life sciences, this edition includes a new subsection detailing EPO practice with respect to the interpretation of terms relating to amino or nucleic acid sequences, as well as a new section on the examination of claims to antibodies.


          Firstly, they confirm that when an amino acid or nucleic acid sequence is defined by using percentage sequence identity language, this is determined by the number of identical residues over a defined length in a given alignment. If no algorithm or calculation method for determining the percentage of identity is defined, the broadest interpretation will be applied using any reasonable method known at the relevant filing date.

          In addition, it is confirmed that amino acid sequences can also be defined by a degree of similarity, expressed as a percentage of similarity. Similarity is considered broader than identity, as it allows conservative substitutions of amino acid residues having similar physicochemical properties over a defined length of a given alignment. The percentage of similarity is determinable only if a similarity-scoring matrix is defined. If no such matrix is defined, a claim referring to a sequence displaying a percentage of similarity to a recited sequence is considered to cover any sequence fulfilling the similarity requirement as determined with any reasonable similarity-scoring matrix known at the relevant filing date.

          Finally, for amino acid sequences, the guidelines now state that if a percentage of homology is used by the applicant as the only feature to distinguish the subject matter of a claim from the prior art, its use is objected to under Article 84 EPC unless the determination or calculation of the percentage of homology is clearly defined in the application as filed. However, for nucleic acid sequences, homology percentage and identity percentage are usually considered to have the same meaning.

        • Software Patents

          • Q1 2021 Patent Dispute Report

            The one lesson learned in 2020 is that not even a pandemic can stop patent litigation. This again is proving to be true as the world starts the recovery process, patent disputes have not skipped a beat. In fact, the first quarters numbers are in-line with the previous of 1,256 combined patent litigation and PTAB disputes. While litigation remains high, the PTAB appears to be taking a 7% decrease versus last year. This is partially due to the fact more companies are using the re-examination process due to the uncertainty of discretionary denials.


            Samsung, again, is the most prolific PTAB filer (59 filings) and at the same time are the most targeted defendant in patent litigation (10 cases as first-named defendant).

          • This week in IP: EUTM data unpacked, FTC drops Qualcomm case, Warhol infringed Prince photo

            On Monday, March 29, the US Federal Trade Commission formally abandoned its antitrust lawsuit against telecoms company Qualcomm, bringing the four-year battle to a close.

            With the deadline for filing a petition for writ of certiorari at SCOTUS having passed, FTC acting chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter said the commission had decided not to file an appeal because of the “significant headwinds” facing the organisation.

            “The FTC’s staff did an exceptional job presenting the case, and I continue to believe that the district court’s conclusion that Qualcomm violated the antitrust laws was entirely correct and that the court of appeals erred in concluding otherwise,” she said.

            “I am particularly concerned about the potential for anti-competitive or unfair behaviour in the context of standard setting, and the FTC will closely monitor conduct in this arena.”


            Judge Alan Albright announced on Sunday, March 28, that he would transfer VLSI Technology’s second jury trial against Intel to the court in Waco, which sits in the Western District of Texas. The trial will take place on April 12.

            The parties were supposed to have the trial at the Austin courthouse, but the building was closed because of COVID. The lawsuit involves US patent numbers 6,366,522 and 6,633,187.

            It comes four weeks after Intel’s $2.2 billion loss to VLSI in Waco.

            The jury at the District Court for the Western District of Texas ruled that Intel infringed patents belonging to VLSI, awarding the Fortress Investment Group subsidiary $1.5 billion for US patent number 7,523,373 and $675 million for number 7,725,759.

            VLSI Technology v Intel was the second patent jury trial to take place in Albright’s court since his appointment in 2018. It was also the first plaintiff victory.

            Albright’s first jury trial, MV3 v Roku, ended in December 2020 with a win for the defendant.

            Intel is not the only big tech company to see a major loss in a Texas district court recently. On March 19, a jury in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ruled that Apple owed Personalized Media Communications $308.5 million for infringing a digital rights management patent.

      • Copyrights

        • Content Moderation Case Study: Automated Copyright Takedown Bot Goes Haywire (2018)

          Summary: For years, Google and YouTube have included a trusted flagger program by which certain entities that have shown they “are particularly effective at notifying YouTube” of content violations are given more powerful tools with which to do so.

        • Russian Operator of YouTube Rippers Must Face Piracy Claims in US Court

          The Russian operator of YouTube-rippers FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com can be sued in the US, a Virginia federal court has ruled. The court denied a motion to dismiss, concluding that fighting the case in Virginia is not an excessive burden for the defendant. The denial is good news for the major record labels, who want the YouTube rippers to be held accountable for copyright infringement.

        • Pirate Streaming Site Revenue Down, Despite Audience Growth & Innovation

          Revenue generated by pirate site operators in Russia is down for the third successive year. According to a new report by cybersecurity firm Group-IB, the market is now worth around $59m, down from a high of $87m in 2018. Enforcement action by BREIN, the MPA and ACE in 2019 disrupted the market but pirates have been quick to adapt, offering new systems and deploying countermeasures.

        • Composers Warned Against Offering Complete Buyouts of Their Music

          The 77-year-old Ivors Academy and the 128-year-old Musicians’ Union relayed the warning in a newly launched campaign entitled “Composers Against Buyouts.” Said campaign’s announcement blog post begins by highlighting a trio of statistics on the subject, including that 35 percent of media composers have accepted buyouts or work-for-hire agreements and that some 41 percent have “had to give away more of their mechanical rights than they wanted to.”

          Stat number three – “64 percent believe the commissioning environment is coercive” – leads into a brief introduction and a 43-second-long animated clip, which compares royalty deals to buyouts. Then, the multifaceted document plugs an April 21st “Composers Against Buyouts” launch event as well as a single-page “Fair Commissioning Manifesto.”

Gemini Space is Growing (Over a Thousand Known Capsules)

Posted in Site News at 8:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Techrights and capsules

Summary: The Web alternative known as Gemini (where sites are known as capsules) is growing in popularity and scale; we look back at usage statistics for March

Gemini space (or cyberspace over gemini://) is fast-growing and we've attempted to get the Free Software Foundation (FSF) interested. The FSF seems like a good advocate for such a thing (having long warned about proprietary JavaScript), so we were very happy after it had mentioned it in LibrePlanet. Gemini was mentioned explicitly by Mr. Oliva. March was the first month we logged the Gemini capsule of Techrights (it doesn’t specify what’s accessed, only when, and we permanently delete logs after 4 weeks, as usual, as per privacy policies). What’s interesting is that if one plots usage over time, even for just one month, the median goes up over time. Maybe that’s because the capsule is relatively new, but at any rate, 72,305 requests (pages) in one month isn’t something negligible. Almost 800 unique hosts were observed in that period of time.

    919 gemini-log-2021-03-01.log
    857 gemini-log-2021-03-02.log
    886 gemini-log-2021-03-03.log
   2400 gemini-log-2021-03-04.log
   1450 gemini-log-2021-03-05.log
    818 gemini-log-2021-03-06.log
    624 gemini-log-2021-03-07.log
    777 gemini-log-2021-03-08.log
  13196 gemini-log-2021-03-09.log
   2139 gemini-log-2021-03-10.log
    818 gemini-log-2021-03-11.log
    772 gemini-log-2021-03-12.log
    896 gemini-log-2021-03-13.log
    800 gemini-log-2021-03-14.log
    930 gemini-log-2021-03-15.log
    911 gemini-log-2021-03-16.log
    893 gemini-log-2021-03-17.log
    960 gemini-log-2021-03-18.log
    955 gemini-log-2021-03-19.log
  14933 gemini-log-2021-03-20.log
   1701 gemini-log-2021-03-21.log
   1101 gemini-log-2021-03-22.log
   1151 gemini-log-2021-03-23.log
   1429 gemini-log-2021-03-24.log
   1053 gemini-log-2021-03-25.log
    985 gemini-log-2021-03-26.log
    961 gemini-log-2021-03-27.log
   1474 gemini-log-2021-03-28.log
   1620 gemini-log-2021-03-29.log
    943 gemini-log-2021-03-30.log
  12953 gemini-log-2021-03-31.log
  72305 total

If you wish to join the Gemini space with your own capsule, here's where to start. To merely access existing capsules, a GUI is possible to install. It’s a lot like a Web browser and we recently reviewed Moonlander and Lagrange. Lupa observes the known space and currently lists over 1,000 capsules. “There are 1029 capsules,” it says. “We successfully connected recently to 858 of them.”

RMS Petition at 5,000+ and Techrights at 30,000+ Posts

Posted in Site News at 7:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: A gang of corporate operatives and their shells (sponsored by affluent corporations to attack what they’re supposedly standing for) have found out the hard way that their slanderous campaign of hate and libel backfired spectacularly (don’t expect their own sponsorship to last much longer, lack of credibility aside); at the end they merely boosted the popularity of those whom they attempted to discredit and in the process they gave the FSF lots of free publicity (any kind of publicity has an upside)

THE GNOME Foundation and OSI have shot themselves in the foot. By destroying their credibility — in effect bullying the very people they’re lying about and then harassing those who respond to that bullying — they’ve rendered themselves unpopular and obsolete. Their corporate backers (IBM, Microsoft, Google and few others) will likely walk away and stop the moneyflow once those failing institutions are of no use to them anymore.

“When you start such a campaign of vicious intolerance and hate, based on defamation and falsehoods, it’ll only make your target more popular, more vindicated than ever before.”Perhaps failing to understand how forks work, the corporate operatives from the GNOME Foundation actually helped set up a petition in support of the FSF and as shown on the right, it'll soon double the original in terms of signatures.

RMS at 5000The video above actually discusses our 30,000 posts milestone and then recalls all the attempts to ‘cancel’ us (since around 2007, i.e. one year after we started). We discuss this prank petition from the GNOME Foundation and OSI (merely front groups of proprietary software companies; those groups weren’t always like that!) and I mention some hilarious responses I’ve seen in social control media, in effect frantically trying to prevent people from finding facts (refuting media owned and sponsored by those very same proprietary software companies).

Things are becoming calm again at the FSF and we’ve regained focus on the issues we typically cover. This botched witch-hunt has many lessons to teach everybody. When you start such a campaign of vicious intolerance and hate, based on defamation and falsehoods, it’ll only make your target more popular, more vindicated than ever before. Many people who never heard of the FSF and don’t know what RMS stands for finally know about both. They might even go directly to their sites and find out what’s true.

EPO: It is All About Germany, Baby!

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The untold or the unsayable truth is, EPO is mostly about Germany, as we’ve noted over the years (see EPO wiki); the document discussed above shows figures from the EPO itself, confirming that assertion

THE name Europe or EU signifies unity to many who oppose nationalism. Many Eurosceptics love portraying the EU as “German” or “Nazi”, even though the EU is nowhere as bad as the EPO. If the UK should quit something, it’s not the EU but the EPO.

“They cannot duck accountability for eternity, whether that accountability is public opinion or prosecution.”We’ve recently begun doing a series that will run into late April; see the first and second parts with this internal EPO document [PDF] — the main document discussed above. Many more documents will be shown later; some are highly incriminating and may be a hassle for Benoît Battistelli (no matter where he hides) and for António Campinos. They cannot duck accountability for eternity, whether that accountability is public opinion or prosecution. Quite a few people connected to Battistelli got arrested recently. Maybe he’ll be the next person to join that clique behind bars. Maybe

As a side note, one EPO insider wrote to tell us about “1st of April EPO style,” stating: “please consider the recent publication from SUEPO titled “BIT and the mystery of the spaghetti structure”. Who said that the EPO management lacks a sense of humour?”

“Published ahead of the 1st of April, the EPO management acknowledges his complete incompetence in IT matters. They are on a good way! An appreciated next step would be to acknowledge that the HR department is a complete failure, or even that presently the EPO fails to deliver proper (valid) European patents.”

Indeed, the EPO is going down the drain because the management is inadequate, to put it generously; in reality, it’s exceedingly corrupt and the video above points out that the Office President lacks the experience and qualification needed for the job. Have job requirements been reduced to “cover-up” or “complicity”?

The EPO Bundestagate — Part 3 will be published tomorrow. We’ll publish at least one part per day and discuss various documents that accompany the publications.

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:31 am by Needs Sunlight

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