Behind the Curtains of Cheap and Cheesy PR the EPO is a Machine of Oppression (Against Its Very Own Staff), Tribunal to Rule on Strike Busting

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Union-busting behaviour started a couple of months back with sanctions against the Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO)

You lie to it, you rob it. It finds out you break laws, it wants justice.

Summary: The laughable regime of Campinos is a naked emperor with nothing but diplomatic immunity (almost not a single member of staff trusts the President) and the PR strategic front is becoming worse than pathetic; it’s like the place is run by infantile career-climbing sociopaths with no qualifications, trying to weaponise a sea of money against staff, inquisitive media, and states (by bribing them or hiring lawyers to intimidate/bankrupt them); while the EPO still swims in money its reputation drowns too quickly to ever resurface, recover

THE EPO should never have been granted immunity. Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have both demonstrated that it’s a recipe for “Mafia” (what EPO staff calls the management). It not only leads to illegal European software patents but also unlawful behaviour towards human beings. It’s getting worse all the time, with salaries (of families) crushed, data outsourced, and media threatened/bribed.

“It’s getting worse all the time, with salaries (of families) crushed, data outsourced, and media threatened/bribed.”Just to make a point, earlier today the Office used greenwashing tactics and other meaningless fluff (warning: epo.org link), speaking of “environmental sustainability and diversity & inclusion.” Well, “sustainability” is a notoriously meaningless buzzword. How about ending the crimes and the corruption? No? “Diversity & inclusion” can be name-dropped instead… not that the EPO has any real “diversity & inclusion.”

Seriously, I'm not BattistelliHours apart the EPO’s management used another puff piece/fluff, one might say “pure garbage” (warning: epo.org link), to distract from its behaviour towards everybody, including examiners, applicants, judges and so on.

For the second time in a week the EPO pretends to be some sort of an art gallery instead of a patent office. What on Earth is this?

“Wasn’t Campinos put forth as a fig leaf by the Administrative Council, touted as better than Battistelli even though both fail at dialogue with their own staff and routinely break the law while rigging/stacking tribunals?”For real news one must look deeper than the so-called ‘news’ section of epo.org. Right about now the form about strike deductions being challenged [PDF] is being circulated, citing the employees’ right to go on strike [PDF] as they did back in the middle of December. Campinos is trampling over things that even the Battistelli regime put in place; Campinos seems eager to prove he’s even worse, as some staff nowadays feels or believes. Wasn’t Campinos put forth as a fig leaf by the Administrative Council, touted as better than Battistelli even though both fail at dialogue with their own staff and routinely break the law while rigging/stacking tribunals? Here’s a letter from Campinos:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Date: 24.02.2021

To: the Chairman of SUEPO Central

By email: central@suepo.org

Extension of the application of the coming Tribunal judgements on salary deductions for strike participation

Dear Mr Chair,

Reference is made to your letter of 28 January 2021 in which you requested that the results of the currently pending cases before the Tribunal on the salary deduction for strike participation would be applied to all staff who went on strike since 1 July 2013.

As a preliminary remark, I wish to emphasise that the salary deductions for participation to the strike of 15 December 2020 were applied fully in accordance with the applicable rules (Art. 65 (1) (c) ServRegs jo. point 6 Circ. No. 347 on strikes). This means that, contrary to what is indicated in your letter, the deduction of 1/20th was only applied for strike participation of more than four hours. For fewer hours of strike participation, a salary deduction of 1/40th was applied.

Further, as you mention, the strike regulations – including the salary deductions for participation – have indeed been extensively challenged in the past and ultimately led to complaints before the Tribunal. Given that numerous past cases on this topic have already been dealt with by the Appeals Committee – and that its majority confirmed the lawfulness of the strike deductions, the Office considers it not opportune to make any commitment at this stage and prefers to await the Tribunal’s judgements on the pending cases.

Subsequently, based on a careful and thorough assessment of the judgements and the reasoning invoked by the Tribunal, the Office will decide on the appropriate next steps.

I hope the above clarifies the Office’s position.

Yours sincerely,
António Campinos

Long story short, ‘master negotiator’ Campinos continues to attack the rights of his own staff, burying his own grave and proving to be the EPO’s most disappointing president ever, maybe also the least honest. Suffice to say, the EPO has collected far too much cash, so the issue here isn’t lack of money. Campinos is trying to intimidate staff and prevent future strikes using a ‘reign of terror’ — a familiar tactic (shades of Battistelli). He’s willing to attack staff’s rights.

“Campinos is trying to intimidate staff and prevent future strikes using a ‘reign of terror’ — a familiar tactic (shades of Battistelli). He’s willing to attack staff’s rights.”In the remainder of this week staff will join the efforts of the union to get some sort of justice at ILO (or similar), knowing that the German and Dutch governments allow the EPO to act outside the rule of law. “Challenging excessive strike deductions in 2021,” SUEPO writes, is the next step, and “in order to safeguard their rights, affected staff members must challenge the excessive strike deductions by filing a request for review…”

SUEPO also provided some background as follows:

On 15 December 2020, 1.448 employees representing 22,6% of all staff participated in a strike. It is the highest result of an industrial action since 2016 and a clear signal to the President that there is room for improvement in terms of social peace.

In the January 2021 salary slip, the Office deducted 1/20th of a monthly’s salary for a whole day of strike (instead of 1/30th) or 1/40th for half a day of strike (instead of 1/60th). The excessive strike deductions are already the subject of complaints which are pending in front of the Tribunal.

In an open letter to Mr Campinos on 28 January 2021, SUEPO has requested a confirmation that the outcome of the judgment will apply to all staff who went on strike since the new strike regulations were put in place, namely since 1 July 2013. In his reply of 24 February 2021, Mr Campinos wrote that “the Office considers it not opportune to make any commitment at this stage and prefers to await the Tribunal’s judgements on the pending cases”.


A decision from the President is then due two months after filing the request for review. In case of a rejection, you will then have three months to file an internal appeal.

Nice to see local SUEPO Committees working hard for justice; it gives some hope in an otherwise hopeless and despotic system.

EPO strike

Links 21/4/2021: University of Minnesota Blacklisted Over Defects, Red Hat Satellite 6.9 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • At 140 Million Miles Away From Home Open Source Proved Itself

      NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first powered aircraft to fly on another planet and it runs Linux.

      At 3:34 am on April 19, the NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter took off from the surface of Mars, rose to an altitude of 10 feet for 30 seconds and then safely landed back down. The event marked the first time in the mankind’s history that an aircraft achieved a “powered, controlled flight” on another planet. NASA confirmed at 3:46 am the flight succeeded after receiving data from the helicopter via the Perseverance Mars rover.

      This engineering feat was done with Linux, open-source software, and a NASA-built program based on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) open-source F prime framework.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC – Multimedia – Week 3

        This is a weekly blog looking at the HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC running Linux.

        For this week’s blog, we’ve tested video and audio on the HP machine using the Manjaro rolling distro.

        This machine was made available by Bargain Hardware. Bargain Hardware retails refurbished servers, workstations, PCs, and laptops to consumers and businesses worldwide. All systems are completely customisable on their website along with a vast offering of clean-pulled, tested components and enterprise replacement parts. They supply machines with a choice of Linux distros: Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora.

    • Server

      • Graceful Node Shutdown Goes Beta

        Graceful node shutdown, beta in 1.21, enables kubelet to gracefully evict pods during a node shutdown.

        Kubernetes is a distributed system and as such we need to be prepared for inevitable failures — nodes will fail, containers might crash or be restarted, and – ideally – your workloads will be able to withstand these catastrophic events.

        One of the common classes of issues are workload failures on node shutdown or restart. The best practice prior to bringing your node down is to safely drain and cordon your node. This will ensure that all pods running on this node can safely be evicted. An eviction will ensure your pods can follow the expected pod termination lifecycle meaning receiving a SIGTERM in your container and/or running preStopHooks.

        Prior to Kubernetes 1.20 (when graceful node shutdown was introduced as an alpha feature), safe node draining was not easy: it required users to manually take action and drain the node beforehand. If someone or something shut down your node without draining it first, most likely your pods would not be safely evicted from your node and shutdown abruptly. Other services talking to those pods might see errors due to the pods exiting abruptly. Some examples of this situation may be caused by a reboot due to security patches or preemption of short lived cloud compute instances.

      • Kubernetes dockershim to live on

        When Kubernetes 1.23 is released towards the end of 2021, it will no longer include dockershim. This program enables you to use the Docker containerd container runtime within Kubernetes. Unfortunately, Docker was never designed to be embedded inside Kubernetes, and it’s incompatible with Kubernetes’ Container Runtime Interface (CRI). The fix was for dockershim to bridge the gap between Docker’s containerd and CRI. Maintaining dockershim, however, was a pain so Kubernetes started depreciating it. Mirantis, which now owns the Docker program, will continue to support dockershim in Docker Engine and Mirantis Container Runtime with Kubernetes.

      • Hypergiant and SUSE RGS, taking Kubernetes to the final frontier

        Hypergiant Industries focuses on solving humanity’s most challenging problems by delivering best in class artificial intelligence solutions and products in a host of sectors, including space science and exploration.
        Hypergiant’s SUSE RGS (Rancher Government Solutions)-supported SatelliteONE mission is on track to achieve the impossible in the most hostile environment of all – putting K3s to work in orbit on military satellites, for the very first time.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Our Worst Idea Yet | LINUX Unplugged 402

        You should never host your own email, so we’ve gone and done just that. What we learned trying to build an email server in 2021.

        Plus our take on Ubuntu 21.04, become a master of your schedule with our pick, and a Garage Sale update.

      • mintCast 359 – COSMIC Proportions

        First up, in our Wanderings, I get a fresh stream, Joe sends his keystrokes over the air, Josh has a server dilemma, and Mike heads to space.

        Then, in the News, we get hypnotized, we look at Apple M1 support again, celebrate a birthday, and look to the stars.

      • 10 Tips for Hardening your Linux Servers

        For the first episode in my Enterprise Linux Security series, I go over 10 tips for hardening your Linux servers.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Foundation Bans University After It Intentionally Submitted Buggy Patches

        The University of Minnesota isn’t making any friends in the Linux community. Phoronix reported that Greg Kroah-Hartman, the Fellow at the Linux Foundation responsible for stable releases of the Linux kernel, has banned the University from contributing to that kernel after two students purposely added faulty code to it.

        The students in question published a research paper titled “On the Feasibility of Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software via Hypocrite Commits” on February 10. Those so-called “hypocrite commits” were defined as “seemingly beneficial commits that in fact introduce other critical issues.”

        Although the paper was ostensibly focused on open source software generally, the students devoted much of their attention to the Linux kernel specifically because it’s so popular. The kernel is practically ubiquitous—it’s found in everything from single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi to the most powerful supercomputers.

      • Here’s Why University of Minnesota is Likely to be Banned from Contributing to Linux Kernel Code

        The researchers were testing the feasibility of stealthily introducing vulnerabilities in OSS via hypocrite commits, i.e., seemingly beneficial commits that in fact introduce other critical issues.

        And they chose the Linux kernel project to carry out their experiments.

        Al Viro found that the ‘useless patch’ from Aditya Pakki was likely to be part of this research. Greg Kroah-Hartman (GKH), the second-in-command of the Kernel project after Linus Torvalds, advised not to waste the kernel maintainer’s time such patches.

      • University Banned From Contributing To Linux Kernel For Intentionally Inserting Bugs

        Greg Kroah-Hartman has banned a US university from trying to mainline Linux kernel patches over intentionally submitting questionable code with security implications and other “experiments” in the name of research.

        Stemming from this research paper where researchers from the University of Minnesota intentionally worked to stealthy introduce vulnerabilities into the mainline Linux kernel. They intentionally introduced user-after-free bugs into the kernel covertly for their research paper.


        So those from the University of Minnesota are no longer welcome to contribute to the upstream Linux kernel development.

        In a follow up message is indeed confirmation that the prior University of Minnesota patches to the Linux kernel are going to be reverted.

      • Linux Bans University of Minnesota for Sending Buggy Patches in the Name of Research

        Greg Kroah-Hartman, who is one of the head honchos of the Linux kernel development and maintenance team, has banned the University of Minnesota (UMN) from further contributing to the Linux Kernel. The University had apparently introduced questionable patches into the kernel of Linux.

      • Linux bans University of Minnesota for sending buggy patches in the name of research

        Greg Kroah-Hartman, who is one of the head honchos of the Linux kernel development and maintenance team, has banned the University of Minnesota (UMN) from further contributing to the Linux Kernel. The University had apparently introduced questionable patches into the kernel of Linux.

        The UMN had worked on a research paper dubbed “On the Feasibility of Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software via Hypocrite Commits”. Obviously, the “Open-Source Software” (OSS) here is indicating the Linux kernel and the University had stealthily introduced Use-After-Free (UAF) vulnerability to test the susceptibility of Linux. So far so good perhaps as one can see it as ethical experimenting.

      • Researchers Secretly Tried To Add Vulnerabilities to Linux Kernel, Ended Up Getting Banned
      • Linus Torvalds reluctantly issues one more release candidate for Linux kernel 5.12

        Linux kernel development boss Linus Torvalds has reluctantly issued an eighth release candidate for version 5.12 of the FOSS OS.

        “Ok, so it’s been _fairly_ calm this past week, but it hasn’t been the kind of dead calm I would have taken to mean “no rc8 necessary,” Torvalds wrote in his customary Sunday afternoon (US time) update on the state of kernel development.

        “So here we are, with an extra rc to make sure things are all settled down. It’s not _that_ rare: this is the fifth time in the 5.x series we’ve ended up with an rc8, but I have to admit that I prefer it when a release doesn’t end up needing that extra week,” he added.

        The new version of the kernel will add the ability to run Linux as root partition under Hyper-V, support for the Snapdragon 888, mainlining support for RISC-V boards from SiFive, plus more of Intel’s IOT-centric ACRN hypervisor.

        Torvalds reckons its worth waiting for those features to nail down other recent changes that he said pertain to networking, drivers, and bpf verifier fixes. “Other than that it’s mostly other driver updates (gpu, dmaengine, HID, input, nvdimm) and arch updates (mainly arm and arm64).”

      • Graphics Stack

        • Linux 5.11.16
          I'm announcing the release of the 5.11.16 kernel.
          All users of the 5.11 kernel series must upgrade.
          The updated 5.11.y git tree can be found at:
          	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.11.y
          and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
          greg k-h
        • Linux 5.10.32
        • Linux 5.4.114
    • Benchmarks

      • Ubuntu 21.04 Server Performance Offering Nice Gains For AMD EPYC 7003 Series

        Tomorrow’s release of Ubuntu 21.04 is exciting on the desktop for Wayland by default in supported configurations and many other package updates and enhancements. But even for being a non-LTS release if you are interested in running Ubuntu Server there are some performance improvements to enjoy with newer platforms. Here is a look at the AMD EPYC 7003 “Milan” performance across Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, 20.10, and 21.04 with an AMD EPYC 7763 Supermicro server.

        With newer hardware, generally the newer the Linux distribution means better performance and support. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise although doesn’t always hold true when sometimes there are regressions and other changes that end up lowering the performance in the name of security or other factors. But in any case with Ubuntu 21.04 on AMD EPYC 7003 series hardware we are seeing some nice performance gains to enjoy with this latest Linux distribution release.

    • Applications

      • VirtualBox 6.1.20 Released with Linux Kernel 5.11 & 5.12 Support

        Oracle VirtualBox released version 6.1.20 as the tenth update for the 6.1 release series of the open-source virtualization software.

        For Linux host and guest, the release added support for both Kernel 5.11 and Kernel 5.12. And the maximum MTU size has been increased to 16110 for host-only adapters on Linux kernels 4.10+.

        There are also bug-fixes for Linux guest additions, including vboxvideo module compilation fix for kernel version 5.10.x, and kernel module build fix for RHEL 8.4 beta and CentOS Stream.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install WinSCP on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install WinSCP on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, WinSCP is a popular, free and open-source FTP client program that is available only for Microsoft Windows. Most people prefer WinSCP because of its simple and powerful interface. It is mainly used as an FTP client to transfer files between a local and a remote computer, and also supports secure FTP (sFTP). Please visit the official WinSCP website to gather more information.

        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 WinSCP 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 Fix the Read-Error on Swap-Device Failure in Ubuntu Linux

        The Linux operating system is one of the most stable and secure desktop and server operating systems, no wonder that it is the go-to operating system for most servers.

        System administrators and engineers love Linux for its stability and performance, but occasionally Linux too experiences performance hiccups.

        The “read-error on swap-device” is a relatively common failure on Linux that can cause your system to crash or be non-responsive rendering it unusable. This guide will show you how to fix the read-error on swap-device failure on Ubuntu Linux.

      • Build smaller containers

        Working with containers is a daily task for many users and developers. Container developers often need to (re)build container images frequently. If you develop containers, have you ever thought about reducing the image size? Smaller images have several benefits. They require less bandwidth to download and they save costs when run in cloud environments. Also, using smaller container images on Fedora CoreOS, IoT and Silverblue improves overall system performance because those operating systems rely heavily on container workflows. This article will provide a few tips for reducing the size of container images.

      • Simos Xenitellis: How to setup multiple WordPress sites in LXD containers

        My article was recently published on Linode on how to setup many WordPress websites on a single server, and put each website inside LXD containers. By doing so, you can have greater density on your VPS and more value for money.

      • Setting Up Multiple WordPress Sites with LXD Containers

        LXD (pronounced “Lex-Dee”) is a system container manager built on top of Linux Containers (LXC), and is supported by Canonical. The goal of LXD is to provide an experience similar to a virtual machine but through containerization rather than hardware virtualization.

      • Easily migrate CentOS 8 to CentOS Stream

        Back in December 2020, Red Hat accounted that it will be discontinuing CentOS based on RedHat releases. Instead, it will now release CentOS Stream as the main CentOS distribution. So in short, there will not a CentOS 9 based on RHEL 9 but instead, we will get a CentOS stream, which will serve as an upstream branch of RHEL.

        This has come as quite a shock for the CentOS community because a rolling release is not something that instills confidence in CentOS users & for many years CentOS has been known for its stability but with a rolling release, that might be an issue. CentOS users are already looking for alternate options, especially those using CentOS 6 as it has reached the end of life. Though users that are using CentOS 6 can migrate to CentOS 7 as the EOL for CentOS 7 is 30 June 2024.

        But users that are already running CentOS 8 do not have that option at all as the EOL for CentOS 8 is in December 2021. So What should they do?

      • How to resize a logical volume with 5 simple LVM commands | Enable Sysadmin

        Have you ever wondered how to extend your root or home directory file system partition using LVM? You might have low storage space and you need to increase the capacity of your partitions. This article looks at how to extend storage in Linux using Logical Volume Manager (LVM).

      • How to install the LAMP Stack on CentOS 8

        LAMP is an acronym of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. It is a free and open-source stack used by developers and website administrators to test and host their Web applications. It comes up with 4 components which are Apache (used for hosting a website), MySQL or MariaDB, and PHP – a popular scripting language used to create dynamic web pages. MariaDB or MYSQL are used to store and manage the data.

        In this tutorial, we will learn how to install a LAMP Server on CentOS 8. So, let’s get started.

      • Access your Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift from the command line – Red Hat Developer

        Now that you have your own Red Hat OpenShift instance in our Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift …

        What? You don’t have your place in the free sandbox? Where you can experiment with containers and Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift? Then hurry over to the website and sign up; I’ll wait.

        Okay, now that you have your own OpenShift instance in our Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift, you can log in to the dashboard and click around, take a tour, launch applications—all the cool stuff. But what if you want to run from the command line? The command line is where automation (it’s scripting, but “automation” sounds so much cooler) happens. Building a structure of repeatable actions is, after all, what we developers do.

        How do you get access? This short article will show you. Let’s get started.

      • Install TP-Link AC600 Archer T2U Nano WiFi USB Adapter In Linux – OSTechNix

        In this brief guide, I will explain how to install TP-Link AC600 Archer T2U Nano WiFi USB adapter in Fedora and Ubuntu Linux distributions and how to connect to 5G Wireless Internet connection.

      • How To Install GCC on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install GCC on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is a compiler system produced by the GNU project to support various programming languages. The current version is GCC 9.3, released on March 12, 2020, supporting several major programming languages: C, C++, Objective-C, Objective-C++, Fortran, Ada, D, Go, and BRIG (HSAIL).

        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 GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • Steps to install Blender on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux – Linux Shout

        Blender is an open-source program system meant to create 3D & 2D objects, in which objects and entire scenes can be modeled and can add color and texture to the surfaces of objects. Blender makes it possible to animate characters and to create moving films in which the objects can be seen from different perspectives. Ultimately, these films can be set to music on several tracks and thus convey even more realistic impressions. Hence, in short, it is a well-packaged software that includes 3D modeling, texturing, raster graphics editing, rigging and skinning, soft body simulation, sculpting, rendering, motion graphics, and much more. Video editing is also possible on it.

      • How to install Elasticsearch on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS- Easy steps

        Elasticsearch is an open-source search engine based on Apache Lucene and enables full-text searches in various types of structured and unstructured data such as text data, numerical data, or geodata. The search engine works very quickly, can be used to search large amounts of data (big data), and supports distributed architectures for high availability. Together with Kibana and Logstash, Elasticsearch forms the Elastic Stack.

    • Games

      • Colourful and fun 2D action-adventure Unsung Warriors heads back to Kickstarter

        After a failed first attempt, Unsung Warriors is back on Kickstarter with an updated demo Prologue available to play. Their fresh Kickstarter campaign comes along with a smaller €15,000 goal, with it close to being met already.

        The world of Unsung Warriors is set in Iron-Age inspired Europe, among various Celtic tribes. It mixes fantasy elements with European folk tales and mythology. Through hand-crafted environments you can battle through it entirely alone or in local co-op with a friend.

      • Spiritfarer hits 500K sales with The Lily Update out, Thunder Lotus’ most successful game

        Thunder Lotus have announced that their wonderful game Spiritfarer has hit 500K sales, making it their most successful title to date and The Lily Update has been released.

        This update might be small overall but an important one. It brings in the new character, Lily the Butterfly Spirit, who guides you through several scenes which are supposed to “add depth and detail to the main character Stella’s story” and there’s improvements for local co-op and bug fixes too. Sounds like a really great update to such a unique story and gameplay experience. If you’ve not played it: you guide spirits of the deceased, you are their ferrymaster and look after them before they go to the afterlife.


        …the Linux version on Steam has a delayed update, the GOG version is up to date.

      • Beamdog unleash the huge 2.6 update for Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II, Icewind Dale

        The Enhanced Editions of Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II, Siege of Dragonspear and Icewind Dale just got a bit more enhanced with the huge 2.6 upgrade for all games out now. One that has been in Beta for each game for some time, while all the kinks were worked out because the tech behind them had a big update.

      • Linux Kernel dev bans University of Minnesota for sending malicious patches

        Here is your daily dose of WTF. Linux Kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman has called out “researchers” from the University of Minnesota and banned them from submitting code to the Linux Kernel.

        This story is pretty wild and completely ridiculous. In the name of some apparent research and a written paper titled, “On the Feasibility of Stealthily Introducing Vulnerabilities in Open-Source Software via Hypocrite Commits”, the people involved have now been called out on “sending known-buggy patches to see how the kernel community would react to them”.

        Part of it goes further, as patches have continued to roll in after the paper was published so they are “continuing to experiment on the kernel community developers by sending such nonsense patches” with the patches not actually doing anything at all.

      • Laura Abbott: Untrustworthy research methods

        So by now many people have seen the report that researchers from the University of Minnesota have a paper about trying to introduce bugs in the Linux kernel by submitting malicious patches. The goal was to demonstrate how likely it was for an attacker to be able to introduce bugs without maintainers noticing. At a high level this is a pertinent question that the kernel community has been asking itself for some time. “Linus’ law” about code review finding bugs has been repeated ad nauseam. The issue for many subsystems is figuring out how to scale that review.

        The problem with the approach the authors took is that it doesn’t actually show anything particularly new. The kernel community has been well aware of this gap for a while. Nobody needs to actually intentionally put bugs in the kernel, we’re perfectly capable of doing it as part of our normal work flow. I, personally, have introduced bugs like the ones the researchers introduced, not because I want to bring the kernel down from the inside but because I am not infallible. The actual work that needs to be done is figuring out how to continue to scale efforts like KernelCI to fully test and find issues before they get committed.

        “But isn’t this a supply chain attack” Yes, again, this is a possible attack vector but it’s one the kernel community is well aware of. Actually turning this into an attack would probably involve getting multiple coordinating patches accepted and then waiting for them to show up in distributions. That’s potentially a multi-year time frame depending on the distribution in question. This also assumes that the bug(s) won’t be found and fixed in the mean time. One of the patches submitted by the researchers was cited as being fixed after fuzzing with syzkaller. I don’t know for certain if the original patch was one of the intentionally buggy patches but the point is there’s no guarantee that code you submit is going to stay in the form you want. You’d really have to be in it for the long haul to make an attack like this work. I’m certain there are actors out there who would be able to pull this off but the best fix here is to increase testing and bug fixing, something Greg has been requesting for a long time. (I have other thoughts about the Rust specific bits but the letting people work on bugs part is solid).

      • Apogee returns as Apogee Entertainment to publish indies with Residual as their first

        Residual, an upcoming game from Orangepixel is confirmed to be finished, and they’ve lined up a publisher – the reborn Apogee Software which is now Apogee Entertainment.

        If Apogee doesn’t ring a bell, they’ve been around since 2008 and was actually the original name for 3D Realms even before that. They published games like Duke Nukem: Critical Mass, Rise of the Triad and more recently Crystal Caves HD. Now though, they’re properly back as Apogee Entertainment to focus on publishing indie games.

      • Discord has reportedly ended talks with Microsoft to remain independent

        How about some good news to start your Wednesday off? It seems Discord are no longer in talks with Microsoft and instead may go with an IPO (initial public offering).

        Reported again by the WSJ, this should put to rest the recent rumours and speculation on it. This is a good thing, considering Microsoft already hold a huge amount of power from gaming companies to GitHub, the last thing we need is even more consolidation of power.

      • Jackbox Games get their engine ported to Vulkan and SDL2, try it with Jackbox Party Pack 7

        Jackbox Games emailed in to notify us of something big: they’ve worked with game porter and FNA developer Ethan “flibitijibibo” Lee to port their engine to Vulkan and SDL2 and you can try it in a Beta for The Jackbox Party Pack 7.

        This huge upgrade should make The Jackbox Party Pack 7 (and so hopefully future games too), compatible with Wayland. Jackbox Games mentioned there’s now a “linux-beta” branch on Steam for owners to try out…

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Alpine Linux Vs Ubuntu Comparison

          Should you switch to Alpine Linux? If so, why? Let’s forget the hype and do a detailed Alpine Linux vs Ubuntu comparison. This post is not intended to be a “which is better” guide; it is a comparison of Alpine Linux vs. Ubuntu. Both operating systems are great, and each one has its own pros and cons. Also, we will look at using Alpine Linux as a host operating system and as a container base image.


          Alpine Linux and Ubuntu both have their own pros and cons. Choosing one or the other can depend on many factors. Hopefully the comparison between Alpine Linux and Ubuntu gave you some tips.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Slackware Family

        • Slackware Releases Beta of 15.0 Edition

          Nearly a decade after version 14.0, Slackware has put out a beta of its upcoming 15.0 release.

          Slackware , which is one of the oldest Linux distros, and the most Unix-like, was originally released back in 1993, notes Mayank Sharma.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM blasts employee for using his personal email as a Linux kernel maintainer

          You can’t make this stuff up. The second you believe the world has reached critical mass of the bizarro sort, another strange stunt is uncovered and you have to reset the count back at zero and start keeping track all over again. Recently, that very thing happened. An IBM employee was called to the carpet for using their personal email as a Linux kernel maintainer.

          Thing is, the developer is the maintainer of the IBM Power SR-IOV Virtual NIC driver for the upstream Linux kernel. Because of the work done, IBM should have some say in this matter, and it might make sense for the company to insist the employee use an official email address for commits in the kernel repository.

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.9 now available with Smart Management

          As part of Red Hat Smart Management, we are pleased to announce the availability of Red Hat Satellite 6.9. This release includes a number of new and updated features to help organizations streamline management and automation, along with continued improvements in simplification and a more streamlined connected experience.

          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.

        • Languages and DevOps: Mainframe

          In true DevOps fashion, I nearly forgot to cover the mainframe after saying it warranted its own blog!
          There is a lot going on right now in the mainframe space, so the question of mainframe language choices has several different answers. We’ve got Linux running on the mainframe, we’ve got cross-compiled open source capable of running on the mainframe natively, we’ve got mainframe-based containers and we even have traditional mainframe tools being ported to other platforms (hello, COBOL on Linux!) so that development can happen on smaller platforms but target the mainframe.

          Taken in the order they came available, we have traditional mainframe development, in languages like COBOL and RPG, right on the mainframe in standard LPARs. This has gotten easier over the years, but is still basically the same development environment that was used in the 1980s, with prettier UIs.

        • Paving the path to organizational goals: Consider the bridge not built

          Thomas Sowell opines in Basic Economics that “[…] the real cost of anything is still its value in alternative uses. The real cost of building a bridge is whatever else could have been built with that same labor and material. The cost of watching a television sitcom or soap opera is the value of the other things that could have been done with that same time.”

          Organizations make this determination every time they choose to work on one ticket, project, or objective and key result (OKR) over another. Making this value judgment explicit is critical to a well-functioning organization. To do this effectively, organizations must understand and communicate priorities, and individuals must be incentivized to work towards those priorities.

        • Optimize your RHEL infrastructure: 5 performance areas to focus on

          Would you rather wait for something to become a problem, or do some performance tweaking and optimization to avoid downtime or performance headaches altogether? The answer to that is easy, but deciding what to optimize or troubleshoot isn’t always obvious. In this post we’ll cover some common areas where you can use Red Hat Insights and its Advisor service to solve problems before they start.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Community AMA: Indaba for 21.04

          An indaba is a conference or gathering to discuss matters of importance, originating from the Xhosa and Zulu languages. Following this theme, we are excited to be hosting our first Desktop Indaba this Friday. Everybody is welcome to take part by asking questions for our AMA (Ask Me Anything) part of the session. Learn more below!

        • Deploying Mattermost and Kubeflow on Kubernetes with Juju 2.9

          Since 2009, Juju has been enabling administrators to seamlessly deploy, integrate and operate complex applications across multiple cloud platforms. Juju has evolved significantly over time, but a testament to its original design is the fact that the approach Juju takes to operating workloads hasn’t fundamentally changed; Juju still provides fine grained control over workloads by placing operators right next to applications on any platform. This is exemplified in our most recent changes to how Charmed Operators behave on Kubernetes.

          In recent release candidates of Juju 2.9 (rc7/rc8/rc9/rc10), we’ve done a lot of work to ensure the juju bootstrap process on Kubernetes is as smooth and as universal as possible – meaning it should be easier than ever to bootstrap a Juju controller on a Bring-your-own-Kubernetes!

          But don’t take our word for it, deploy yourself some killer apps on a Kubernetes of your choice…

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Help Quit Chrome

            You may have been familiar with Google Chrome and want to switch to another browser. You may also are aware about Chrome’s privacy issues and big chance it’s your reason to quit it. So, this is a help for you, in a series of Helps like this, to know the secrets behind Chrome and alternative browsers like Mozilla Firefox you can use. This article is written for GNU/Linux users however other OSes users may take benefit too. Happy browsing!

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 88 Released With Several Important Updates, Proton Is On Its Way

            Mozilla Firefox 88 is the final version of Firefox to ship before Mozilla gives Firefox a facelift with the new Proton interface.

            The most important change in Firefox 88 is the fact that Mozilla has disabled support for the FTP protocol. At this point, when Firefox encounters an FTP link, it will attempt to pass it off to an external application.


            Firefox will no longer allow websites to access the window.name set by other sites by clearing the property when users navigate to new websites. This property has been available for websites to store whatever data they choose to. Whenever the user navigates back to a website, Firefox will restore the property to its previous value for that site. This change definitely improve user privacy.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Dgraph GraphQL database users detail graph use cases

          Users of Dgraph Labs’ graph database technology as varied as a nonprofit Christian missionary platform and a financial data services firm are employing graph systems in a variety of applications they say are not achievable with traditional databases.

          Dgraph Labs is one of a number of vendors that offer a graph database, including Neo4j, TigerGraph and Amazon with its Neptune platform.

          The Dgraph graph database has its base in an open source project. The vendor, based in Palo Alto, Calif., also provides the Dgraph Cloud service, a managed database as a service (DBaaS).

      • FSF

        • Why Stallman’s Return to the FSF Doesn’t Help FOSS

          Following the FSF’s announcement, many organizations, including Red Hat, Outreachy, and Free Software Foundation Europe, distanced themselves from the FSF, several FSF board members resigned, and open source leaders wrote an open letter calling for the “entire Board of the FSF to step down and for RMS to be removed from all leadership positions.”

      • Programming/Development

        • Node.js 16 is here with updated platform support, V8 version 9, and more!

          As with most major releases, this release updates the minimum supported levels for platforms and tooling used to build Node.js. Some examples include updating the minimum supported Xcode version to 11 and the GCC version for Linux and AIX platforms to 8.3. Please check the documentation in Node’s building instructions for all the latest minimum levels.

          More interesting is the work being done to add support for the new Apple M1 architecture. The Red Hat team is active in the Node.js build working group, helping to keep the infrastructure running to support the Power PC and s390 architectures, but also helps with work across the other architectures.

          Red Hat’s Ash Cripps, a build work group member for Node.js, has been actively working to install/configure M1 machines so that we can test/build binaries that are compiled for M1 and run natively. Node.js 16 will be the first version to provide native M1 support.

        • Python

          • Python output buffering

            This only works if the script’s stdout is unbuffered. Pipe the output through cat, and you get a long wait, and then the final string, without the animation.

            What is happening is that since the output is not going to a terminal, optimizations kick in that buffer the output and send it in bigger chunks, to make processing bulk I/O more efficient.

            I haven’t found a good introductory explanation of buffering in Python’s documentation. The details seem to be scattered in the io module documentation and they mostly assume that one is already familiar with concepts like unbuffered, line-buffered or block-buffered. The libc documentation has a good quick introduction that one can read to get up to speed.

          • Kushal Das: Adding dunder methods to a Python class written in Rust

            Last week I did two rounds of my Creating Python modules in Rust workshop. During the second session on Sunday, someone asked if we can create standard dunder methods, say __str__ or __repr__. I never did that before, and during the session I tried to read the docs and implement it. And I failed :)

          • Optimize your Python code with C | Opensource.com

            Cython is a compiler for the Python programming language meant to optimize performance and form an extended Cython programming language. As an extension of Python, Cython is also a superset of the Python language, and it supports calling C functions and declaring C types on variables and class attributes. This makes it easy to wrap external C libraries, embed C into existing applications, or write C extensions for Python in syntax as easy as Python itself.

        • Java

          • Glassfish and Payara Auto-clustering: Running Java EE Highly-available Applications In The Cloud

            Building a highly-available clustered infrastructure is one of the most commonly used solutions to achieve 100% uptime for your application. In a clustered environment, there is a number of interconnected instances running the same stack and operating the same data. So cluster is able to handle more load than a single server. It will also add more servers automatically to the cluster as per application demand.

  • Leftovers

    • Happy Doge Day! But Hold on to Your (Digital) Wallet.

      Following January’s quasi-activist pump and dump of GameStop, led by Redditors, cryptocurrency traders seemed to take on the challenge of one-upping them. The world of cryptocurrency is always in some kind of massive upheaval—the market is not known for having quiet days—but at the moment, it’s on an incredible bull run. Prices are climbing, even with the dips. In February and March, non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, which are created using technology based on the Ethereum cryptocurrency, became a household name—at least in some households—following the online artist Beeple’s using one to sell a piece of his digital art for $6.9 million. Now, even Rob Gronkowski is selling them.

      Then, just last week, Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency trading platforms in the United States, went public via a direct listing. Its stock soared 50 percent on the first day. At one point, it was worth $100 billion. For many in the cryptocurrency community, this was, as The New York Times recently described it, a “ cryptocurrency coming-out party.” Coinbase, exploding with new users, is now effectively the face of consumer crypto trading.

    • Reporter’s Alert: Part IV

      We started an online webpage:  Reporter’s Alert . From time to time, we will use  Reporter’s Alert to present suggestions for important reporting on topics that are either not covered or not covered thoroughly. Reporting that just nibbles on the periphery won’t attract much public attention or be noticed by decision-makers. Here is the fourth installment of suggestions:

      1. Among the many reports on the defeat of workers trying to form a union in Bessemer, Alabama’s Amazon warehouse, there was little inquiry into why labor – after a strenuous effort by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) – lost by about a two to one margin with about half the workers not voting. A postmortem would be fascinating regarding:

    • To the Russian president The most complete and updated list of the Western cultural luminaries calling on Putin to grant adequate medical care to Navalny

      A growing list of cultural giants in the West, from celebrated writers to Hollywood stars, are joining an open letter addressed to Vladimir Putin, calling on Russia’s president to grant adequate medical care to imprisoned opposition politician Alexey Navalny, whose life could be at risk after weeks of rapidly declining health. The letter first appeared in French at Le Monde and in English at The Economist. Meduza is now publishing the appeal to President Putin, as well, with an updated list of all signatories. We will update this list as it grows.

    • Grateful Shred – “They Love Each Other”
    • Overture to a Tragedy

      Greetings to you who holds me close. I hold you close because of your beauty (I wanted to possess your beauty)—

      The beauty which leaves your body that remains.

    • Note to Self: Create Non-Exhaustive List of Competitors
    • Health/Nutrition

      • Got Vaccinated?
      • Florida Lawmakers Endorse Wide-Ranging Reforms in Program to Aid Brain-Damaged Babies

        Florida lawmakers backed a series of sweeping reforms Monday to a controversial state program that protects doctors from medical malpractice lawsuits by limiting compensation for children born with catastrophic brain damage.

        Legislation to overhaul the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association was approved unanimously Monday afternoon by committees in both chambers of the Florida Legislature: the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. From there, the bills head to the floor of the Senate and the full House.

      • Opinion | Big Agriculture Is the Problem

        You reap what you sow.

        That we live on a hugely degraded, biologically impoverished planet, in which natural ecosystems are battered, abused, barely clinging on, is now emerging into public consciousness. But the corresponding rise of the superweed, and increasing vulnerability of our crop species, has yet to so register.

      • ‘People Are Not Starving, They Are Being Starved’: 250+ Groups Demand Rich Nations Provide Urgent Food Assistance

        “It is human actions that are driving famine and hunger, and it is our actions that can stop the worst impacts.”

        Over international 250 organizations are demanding urgent action from global governments to address the hunger and famine faced by hundreds of millions—a crisis the groups said is driven largely by policy choices including ignored appeals for a global ceasefire and humanitarian funding.

      • Ady Barkan Takes Medicare for All Fight to California to Prove ‘Single Payer Healthcare Works in America’

        “Medicare for All supporters, this is our most important fight right now.”

        After years of lobbying political candidates and lawmakers in Washington to support Medicare for All and helping to bring the issue to the forefront of the healthcare debate in the 2020 election, advocate Ady Barkan announced Tuesday he is bringing the fight for single-payer healthcare back to his home state of California.

      • Letters From Massachusetts Jail Reveal Struggle To Survive Pandemic Winter

        When it became clear in March 2020 that COVID-19 would spread around the United States, incarcerated people and their advocates on the outside sounded the alarm. They recognized jails would become a powder keg of infection.

        Yet at the state and local level, officials attempted to delude the public into believing that incarceration could somehow be safe during a pandemic, even as reports from the inside grew increasingly dire.

      • Forbes, India and Pandora’s Pandemic Box
      • How Covid Transformed US Theater

        Eric Ting remembers the chill that passed through the room when someone coughed during the California Shakespeare Theater gala in March of last year. The annual fundraising event—essential to the theater’s $5 million budget—was celebrating a turning point for the 47-year-old company, where Ting became artistic director in 2015: He would announce that Cal Shakes was planning to move its offices and shop from Berkeley to downtown Oakland, showing that “where we make our home reflects our priorities,” and he would describe ways the company would be collaborating with community partners. “It was kind of a seminal moment,” Ting says. 1

        Ting had visited Wuhan, China, only a couple of months earlier to celebrate the 103rd birthday of his great-uncle, and amid the gala’s live music, decked-out guests, and raffles for trips to Tuscany and Paris, he sensed a coming calamity, glinting like the bottles of hand sanitizer arrayed along the hors d’oeuvre tables. Indeed, the March 7, 2020, event, he says, turned out to be “the last big party in the Bay Area before everything shut down.” 2

      • How Artificial Feeding Grounds in Wyoming Spread “Mad Elk” Disease

        The operation of feedgrounds has been controversial for decades. Many wildlife advocates argue that the feedgrounds are a natural conduit for the spread of wildlife diseases like brucellosis and Chronic Wasting Disease, a prion disease similar to Mad Cow Disease in cattle.

        The livestock industry strongly supports feedgrounds because they believe it reduces elk conflicts on hay fields. There is also the issue that domestic livestock consumption of public forage on federal lands in summer likely reduces the carrying capacity for wildlife in winter, and the feedgrounds hide this fact.  Feedgrounds like fish hatcheries that hide the degradation of watersheds by artificially sustaining catchable fish.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Magma Project Accelerates with Establishment of Magma Core Foundation and New Members Under Open Governance
              • Magma Project Accelerates with Establishment of Magma Core Foundation and New Members Under Open Governance

                Today, the Magma project, an open-source software platform that gives network operators an open, flexible and extendable mobile core network solution, announced project and community growth since its recent move to the Linux Foundation to establish a neutral governance framework.

                Since moving to the Linux Foundation, Magma has made strides as a community, in partnership with the Open Infrastructure Foundation and OpenAirInterface Software Alliance. The collaboration has formally become the Magma Core Foundation, and project and community growth includes new members, the adoption of a master architecture roadmap, and formation of a neutral governance structure. In addition, the community will host its first Linux Foundation-managed event, Magma Day, co-located with KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2021.

              • The Linux Foundation Hosts Open19 to Accelerate Data Center and Edge Hardware Innovation

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced it will host the Open19 Foundation, an open hardware platform for data center and edge hardware innovation. It is also announcing that one of the original founders of the Open19 project, Yuval Bachar, is joining the Linux Foundation to lead this effort. Project leadership includes premiere members Equinix and Cisco.

              • The Linux Foundation Hosts Open19 to Accelerate Data Center and Edge Hardware Innovation
              • Linux Foundation To Host Open19 Foundation

                Linux Foundation has announced that it will host the Open19 Foundation, an open hardware platform for data center and edge hardware innovation. Yuval Bachar, one of the original founders of the Open19 project, is joining the Linux Foundation to lead this effort. Project leadership includes premiere members Equinix and Cisco.

                Open19 focuses on hardware standards that enable compute, storage and network manufacturers and end users to develop differentiated hardware solutions while protecting their competitive intellectual property.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, php-pear, wordpress, and zabbix), Oracle (java-1.8.0-openjdk and java-11-openjdk), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, kernel, and kpatch-patch), Scientific Linux (java-1.8.0-openjdk and java-11-openjdk), Slackware (seamonkey), SUSE (apache-commons-io, ImageMagick, kvm, ruby2.5, and sudo), and Ubuntu (edk2, libcaca, ntp, and ruby2.3, ruby2.5, ruby2.7).

          • Google Chrome Receives Security Fix Update for Windows, Mac, Linux Devices

            Google has released a update for its Chrome browser on Windows, Mac, and Linux that brings a total of seven security fixes. The list of fixes include one for a zero-day vulnerability that was exploited in the wild. The updated Chrome browser will be rolled out over the coming days, Google said in an advisory. Users are recommended to install the update as early as it reaches their devices. The search giant also credited and rewarded external security researchers who reported the vulnerabilities.

            The updated Chrome browser carries version 90.0.4430.85, according to the advisory released by Google through a blog post. The update is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux devices.

            In terms of security fixes, Google has detailed five of the seven highly critical vulnerabilities that are addressed by the update. The first is recorded as CVE-2021-21222 that is a heap buffer overflow in the V8 JavaScript engine, while the second one is noted under CVE-2021-21223 and is an integer overflow in Mojo interface.

          • antiX: New builds of 4.4 and 4.9 kernels

            New builds of 4.4 and 4.9 kernels should now be available in the repos.

            Newly named to 4.4.0-264 and 4.9.0-264 to avoid the libc6 message ‘Your kernel version indicates a revision number of 255 or greater’

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Facebook’s massive data leak starts to have important knock-on effects – and potentially serious ones for Ireland

              Instead, it seems to think that by constantly repeating the word “privacy” like a mantra, people will believe that it is doing enough to protect sensitive personal data. For example, last week, it issued a press release entitled “ How We Combat Scraping“. It ended with a section “What You Can Do to Help Keep Your Data Safe”, which used the word “privacy” six times, and basically implied that the data breach was somehow users’ fault, and that they really ought to be more careful in future.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Bewildering Search for the Islamic State in Congo

        In 2003, three American college friends set out for Uganda. As they traveled through the north of the country, they were so moved by the suffering caused by the conflict between the government and the warlord Joseph Kony that they started an NGO called Invisible Children to spread awareness about the crisis and raise money for relief projects. Their work eventually drew the attention of Shannon Sedgwick Davis, a young Texas lawyer and CEO of the Bridgeway Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bridgeway Capital Management, a multibillion-dollar hedge fund with investments in oil, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products. For years, Davis had been troubled by the limitations of charity, which she likened to “putting Band-Aids on bullet holes.” In January 2009, she was nursing her 1-month-old second child when she read a report from Human Rights Watch, a Bridgeway grantee, about a series of massacres committed by Kony’s forces. Having fled Uganda, they’d stormed through a cluster of hamlets in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, abducting children and killing their parents. Davis was so outraged that she resolved to seek a new approach to Bridgeway’s work. Documenting atrocities would no longer be enough. The foundation would now endeavor to stop them, militarily.

        Davis funded Invisible Children to lobby the Obama administration to pass the 2010 Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, which called for the development of a military strategy to end the crisis. She then flew to Uganda and persuaded the country’s senior military commanders to host a contingent of US Special Forces troops to help them track Kony down. After Invisible Children’s YouTube video “ KONY 2012”—in which cofounder Jason Russell explains why Americans need to take a stand against Kony—was retweeted by Rihanna, Oprah, and other stars and watched by over 100 million people in six days, Congress swiftly passed a series of bills that allocated more funding to the joint US-Uganda mission to kill or capture Kony.

      • The Strategic Importance of Leaving Afghanistan

        President Joe Biden appears to be the first president since Eisenhower who actually knows the military.  A decade ago, then-Vice President Biden warned President Barack Obama that he was being rolled by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and such generals and “proconsels” as David Petraeus, Stanley McChrystal, and Kurt Eikenberry, who were outrageously lobbying on Capital Hill for a greater force presence in Afghanistan while Obama was leaning toward a reduced presence.  Biden argued privately that “wars were self-perpetuating when generals called the shots,” and that the Pentagon’s demands for a “conditions-based withdrawal” had created an endless war.  Gates’s malicious criticism of Biden over the years has been a response to the vice president’s prescient advice.

        The United States has paid an enormous price in blood and treasure for being wrong about Afghanistan, where we had an immediate goal (removing al Qaeda), but no strategic concerns or vital interests in Afghanistan per se.  The same could be said for our disastrous wars in Vietnam and Iraq, where official lies were used to justify the use of force.  The example of Afghanistan is particularly onerous because the United States, in the wake of 9/11, achieved its mission in less than one hundred days in 2001 with fewer than 500 special forces and CIA operatives.  This diminutive force and the ethnic tribes in the north managed to drive both the Taliban and al Qaeda from the country.  Soon after, the Taliban offered to negotiate its return to Kabul, but the Bush administration was convinced it could succeed where Alexander the Great; Genghis Khan; Tamerlane; Queen Victoria; and Leonid Brezhnev couldn’t.  All failed in the “graveyard of empires.”

      • We Need a Jan. 6 Truth Commission — But Nothing Can Redeem the GOP

        In the immediate aftermath of the November 2020 election, the Republican Party was astonished to find itself still breathing. Sure, Republicans lost the White House and majority control in the Senate, a steep blow. Yet they actually gained seats in the volatile House and held a stout majority on the Supreme Court. The lower courts were packed with Trump seedlings who would take root over the next four decades. Meanwhile, the Democrats’ majority margin in the Senate is as thin as Joe Manchin’s necktie.

      • FedEx Warehouse Shooting Follows Pattern of Violence Against Sikhs Nationwide

        As the Sikh community in Indianapolis and across the United States is in mourning after a gunman killed eight people at a FedEx facility last week, where four of the victims are Sikh, we speak with Simran Jeet Singh, scholar, activist and senior fellow for the Sikh Coalition, which is calling for a full investigation into the possibility of racial or ethnic hatred as a factor in the killings in Indianapolis. A majority of the workers at the warehouse are Sikh, and while authorities have not shared evidence Brandon Hole was targeting Sikh workers when he attacked the FedEx facility, police revealed Monday they previously found evidence that Hole had browsed white supremacist websites. The mass shooting took place as more than 15 states across the U.S., including Indiana, mark April as Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month. “This community, in Indianapolis, all around the world, is really devastated,” says Singh. “Given the pattern of violence against Sikhs, we are demanding a full investigation into the possibility of bias and racism in this attack.”

      • DeSantis Signs Bill Ending Vehicle Driver Liability For Hitting Protesters

        Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) signed a controversial bill into law on Monday that diminishes First Amendment speech and protesting rights. The bill increases civil penalties for those participating in demonstrations, potentially causing those engaged in uprisings or protests to lose their voting rights if they are convicted under its provisions.

      • Police Killed John Thompson’s Friend Philando Castile. Now He Is a Lawmaker Fighting Racist Policing

        We look at the long history of police killings of Black men during traffic stops in Minnesota with state Representative John Thompson, a community activist who was elected last year and has attended protests demanding justice for George Floyd and other victims of police brutality. His friend Philando Castile was killed by police during a 2016 traffic stop in a suburb of St. Paul. “We have every right to be angry, we have every right to be mad, and we have every right to use our voices,” Thompson says. “We have a problem here in this state with policing.” Thompson is part of the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus that has called on fellow lawmakers in St. Paul to halt budget negotiations until police accountability laws are passed.

      • Appeals Court: No Immunity For Cops Who Punched A Man Hanging From A Second Story Window And Tased Him When He Hit The Ground

        It takes a lot to lose your qualified immunity, but these cops — who punched a man’s head while he hung from a bedroom windowsill ten feet off the ground and tased him after he fell and broke his leg — managed to do it.

      • From the Forever Wars to the Hypersonic Wars

        We may be ending the era of “forever wars,” as suggested by President Biden in a televised address on April 15, but that does not mean an end to US involvement in foreign wars. Rather, we are entering a new era of military competition with Russia and China that could easily result in short but very intense and destructive conflicts—call them “hypersonic wars.” Indeed, during the very week that Biden announced the impending US pullout from Afghanistan, the Pentagon disclosed that it had rescinded the Trump administration’s plans to reduce US troop levels in Germany and was sending an additional 500 troops there, members of elite high-tech combat units. “This planned increase in US personnel underscores our commitment to Germany and the entire NATO alliance,” said Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on April 13 during a visit to Berlin.

        It would be easy to interpret Austin’s move as simply an attempt by the Biden administration to compensate for the damage inflicted by Donald Trump on transatlantic relations during his four years in office. Repeatedly chastising the Germans for failing to devote 2 percent of their GDP to defense—as called for under NATO guidelines—Trump ordered the removal of up to 12,500 US troops from Germany (out of the approximately 35,000 stationed there) and the relocation of the headquarters of the Pentagon’s European Command (EUCOM) from Stuttgart to Brussels. Those troops, Austin indicated on April 13, will now remain in Germany, as will the EUCOM headquarters.

      • Opinion | Biden’s Progressive Path Through Afghanistan

        No greater bleeding wound exists for the United States in the world than the unending Global War on Terror.

        Much was to be made in the 2020 campaign about Joe Biden’s promise to be the most progressive president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Most of that commentary was centered around his domestic programs, but some discussion was given to foreign policy—particularly promises to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, renew the START nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, and re-enter the nuclear agreement with Iran.

    • Environment

      • Escazú Agreement Set to Bring Environmental Justice Down to Earth

        The Escazú Agreement is the first treaty in the world to contain specific provisions on human rights defenders in environmental matters.

        Civil society organizations and scientists took part in the U.N. negotiations that achieved government adoption of the agreement in Escazú, Costa Rica on March 4, 2018. Its formal name describes it precisely as the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation, and Justice for Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean.

      • Whatever Happened to Earth Day? How “Act Locally” Became “Shop Locally”

        And it is not as though corporate malfeasance was eliminated in the years after the first Earth Day. To take one of many examples, since 1970 the entire industrial factory farm (concentrated animal feeding operation, or CAFO) system has flourished. Today commercial meat factories have taken over most of the meat production in the US. Over 20,000 CAFOs have concentrated American meat production but have also concentrated American manure production, and now create the overwhelming majority of animal manure in the U.S. This proliferation across the country has been almost entirely unnoticed and unchallenged. They are now polluting our rivers and bays with antibiotic-, hormone- and nitrate-laden runoff, and ruining summer barbeques and property values for anyone who is unfortunate enough to live anyplace near one.

        Of course, we don’t want to discourage Earth Day activities just because they are non-controversial. It is necessary to find ways people can do things appropriate to their level of awareness and commitment. It is a good thing to advocate for more bicycles and recycling options, to replant trees to replace ones we cut down, encourage solar power, and to teach kids how to build worm farms. But, alas, saving the environment cannot occur with non-confrontational projects alone, any more than a drug-infested community can be cleaned up with posters and police visits to schools. A community with drug and crime problems cannot restore a crime-free environment merely with “partnerships” with drug dealers. It must confront its criminal element. Indeed, it would be a foolish community that financed its crime-prevention program with “sponsorships” from drug dealers. If it did, it would get toothless programs to fight crime problems just like the toothless diversions corporations promote to “fight” environmental problems. A community that adopts solutions to either crime or environmental problems that treats criminals or polluters as “partners” and gives them plaques for their “small, but positive steps” is not stopping crime or pollution. It is just becoming, at best, an enabler and, at worst, an accomplice.

      • The Doomsday Glacier Lives up to its Billing

        The proof is found in the numbers. For example, Greenland and Antarctica combined ice mass loss is truly an eye-opener: “The assessment is supported by NASA and the European Space Agency… The team calculated that the two ice sheets together lost 81 billion tons per year in the 1990s compared with 475 billion tons of ice per year in the 2010s—a sixfold increase.” (Source: Greenland, Antarctica Melting Six Times Faster Than in the 1990s, Global Climate Change, NASA, March 16, 2020)

        In all honesty, this article should end right here as 475 billion tons of ice mass loss per annum versus 81 billion tons per annum within only two decades is so riveting and daunting and over the top that nothing more needs to be said. But, there is more….

      • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ed Markey Reintroduce the Green New Deal

        Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) are set to reintroduce the Green New Deal (GND) resolution in Congress on Tuesday. The lawmakers last introduced the legislation two years ago.

      • ‘It Is a Revolution’: Ocasio-Cortez and Markey Reintroduce Green New Deal Resolution

        “We are in a civilization-altering moment in our history and it’s time for America’s political leaders to muster the courage and moral clarity to pass the Green New Deal,” said the Sunrise Movement’s executive director.

        As part of what they are calling “Green New Deal Week,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey on Tuesday led the reintroduction of their landmark resolution envisioning a 10-year mobilization that would employ millions of people with well-paying, union jobs repairing U.S. infrastructure, while reducing pollution and tackling the country’s intersecting climate, economic, health, and racial justice crises.

      • Humanity Faces a Climate Emergency—Shouldn’t That Be News?

        On this day in 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded. In the three months that followed, until the underwater well was finally capped, 130 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. With those millions of gallons came images of animals choked by oil slick, stories of the people along the coast whose livelihoods were destroyed and demands for justice for the perpetrators. In that moment, much of the country understood that we were facing an environmental emergency.

        Eleven years later, that sense of catastrophe has faded even as the environmental emergency has intensified. That single well in the Gulf of Mexico may be capped, but every day, fossil fuels contaminate our air and seas at an alarming rate. The science is clear: Continuing to pollute our earth with dirty energy will drive entire species to extinction, submerge coastal communities beneath rising seas and otherwise alter our planet for centuries. Yet we rarely see high-profile news coverage of the greenhouse gases leaking into the atmosphere each day, calls for consequences for the perpetrators or real action to support the vulnerable people whose lives are affected most by this destruction.

      • Crises Collide: Homeless in America When Climate Disaster Strikes

        This story originally appeared in NBC News and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story

        Cedar Rapids, Iowa—Terri Domer knows well what a brewing storm looks like.

      • Energy

        • Coal Miners Union Says It Would Accept Transition to Renewables With Green Jobs

          The largest union of coal miners in the U.S. announced Monday that it would accept a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy as long as the federal government takes care of coal workers through the provision of green jobs and income support for those who become unemployed.

        • Opinion | Global Climate Policy Reboot: Launching a US-Canada Fossil Fuel Phase Out

          US President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate could spark a transformative shift in global climate action—if the U.S. and Canada embark on a fossil fuel production phase out.

          Although the strategic phase out of fossil fuels is the logical place to start curbing emissions, 25 years of climate negotiations have failed to mobilize a global effort to limit global fossil fuel production. In a few days, President Biden is hosting a Leaders Summit on Climate where he plans to urge global leaders to ratchet up their climate ambition. But all eyes are on the US and Canada, who are on track to consume two-thirds of the remaining global carbon budget. Canada anticipates producing more oil and gas in 2050 than in 2019.

        • ‘Stop Fossil Fuel Madness’: Gulf Coast Advocates Tell Biden to End US Oil and Gas Exports

          “To protect our communities and make good on his promises, Biden needs to end fossil fuel exports now.”

          A group of community leaders from the Gulf Coast backed by a diverse coalition kicked off a new campaign this week demanding President Joe Biden stop fossil fuel exports to help put the brakes on the climate crisis and “build an economy that works for people, not polluters.”

        • ‘A Dire Warning’: IEA Says World on Track to Nearly Wipe Out Covid-Related Emissions Drop

          “Unless governments around the world move rapidly to start cutting emissions, we are likely to face an even worse situation in 2022.”

          The International Energy Agency warned Tuesday that the world is on track to almost completely reverse the 2020 pandemic-related drop in carbon emissions this year due to surging demand for fossil fuels, a finding that underscores the need for an urgent global phase-out of dirty energy to avert the worst impacts of the climate emergency.

    • Finance

      • Civil Rights Groups Call for Universal Cancellation of $50,000 in Student Debt

        “The only solution that addresses the harms of the past and clears the landscape to create a better system going forward is to cancel $50,000 of student debt per borrower.”

        Joining a growing chorus calling for the elimination of student loan debt, three dozen civil rights groups on Monday urged the Biden administration to immediately cancel $50,000 per borrower—a move the coalition says will advance racial equity given how the negative consequences of the shift from publicly funded to debt-financed higher education have hit students of color especially hard.

      • A Third of U.S. Billionaire Wealth Gains Since 1990 Have Come During Pandemic
      • Americans Got a Taste of Paid Leave. Will They Get It for Real?

        The United States is the rare developed country that doesn’t guarantee any paid leave for its residents. For Joe Pierpont and Janet Peck, that has meant major disruptions to their work and income when their children, extended family, or they themselves get sick or need care. Pierpont has worked at a Maaco auto shop in Delaware for five years, but he’s never received paid leave other than a few weeks of vacation time. “They really don’t care about people,” he said of his employer. When something minor comes up, like one of their two kids getting sick, his partner, Janet Peck, who currently doesn’t have a paid job, typically deals with it alone.

        But the family has faced a series of emergencies that have been harder to absorb. Right before the pandemic, their youngest child got an infection that landed her in the hospital for a week. Pierpont couldn’t take any time off from work, so he took care of their older son and shuttled clothes and food to Peck at the hospital 20 minutes away. She more or less lived at the hospital with her daughter. Had Pierpont been able to take a few days off, the couple could have swapped roles so Peck could go home to sleep and shower. When Peck gave birth to her daughter five years ago, she was able to take only unpaid leave from her assistant manager job at a McDonald’s. A few years ago, Peck went to the hospital for a panniculectomy to remove excess skin after gastric bypass surgery. It was supposed to be a one-night hospital stay. Instead, after she lost a “scary” amount of blood, she ended up staying for five nights. To care for their children, who are both autistic, Pierpont took a few days off without pay and then had to ask his mother and a friend who also has special-needs children to help him.

      • What Can We Do to Start Civilizing Our Richest?

        We limit, for instance, how fast motorists can drive. We limit how many ducks hunters can shoot. We limit how much noise our neighbors can make late at night.

        But we have one aspect of contemporary life where no limits ever seem to apply: We let our wealthiest keep getting ever wealthier. And the pace of that enriching is ever quickening.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • After ‘the Death of Hong Kong’s Democracy,’ an Ex-Legislator Fights Beijing From Exile

        In December, facing multiple charges under a new national security law imposed by Beijing, Ted Hui, a former Hong Kong legislator, fled to Europe with his family. Last month, he arrived in Australia, where he will live in exile until it is safe for him to return. Along with other pro-democracy lawmakers, Hui resigned from the Legislative Council in November, after Beijing passed a resolution allowing authorities to disqualify four democrats. The move left the legislature without an opposition camp for the first time since the city’s handover from Britain to China in 1997.

        Alongside a growing number of overseas activists, Hui, 38, is now advocating for Hong Kong democracy from abroad and calling for stronger international responses to Beijing’s crackdown on dissent. China is already pushing back against countries taking in Hong Kong activists. On April 8, Beijing condemned Britain for granting political asylum to Nathan Law, a leading democracy advocate and former lawmaker. The following day the Hong Kong government criticized nations for harboring fugitives and turning “a blind eye to the offences committed by the criminals.”

      • White House Officially Endorses “Long Overdue” DC Statehood

        The White House officially endorsed the effort to make Washington, D.C. the 51st state on Tuesday, calling the region’s statehood “long overdue.” The endorsement comes ahead of a vote on Thursday when the House is expected to pass a bill making D.C. a state.

      • Trump-Appointed Watchdog Blocked Inquiry In Attack of Lafayette Park Protestors

        A Trump-appointed inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) blocked suggested investigations into the Secret Service in 2020, proposed by career staffers, that would have examined the agency’s COVID-19 response and missteps, as well as the violent mistreatment of protesters in Lafayette Square last summer, in order to grant the former president an unimpeded photo op.

      • Next Week’s Census Numbers Could Impact the 2022 Midterm Races

        The United States Census Bureau is set to announce which states saw the biggest population gains and which saw the most losses, a count that could have some influence on federal elections and the composition of Congress in the near future.

      • Opinion | Who’s Rising and Falling on Planet Earth?

        Biden’s anti-China ambitions.

        Like his immediate predecessor, Joe Biden is committed to a distinctly anti-China global strategy and has sworn that China will not “become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world, and the most powerful country in the world… on my watch.” In the topsy-turvy universe created by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was, however, Jamie Dimon, the CEO and chairman of JP Morgan Chase, a banking giant with assets of $3.4 trillion, who spoke truth to Biden on the subject.

      • ‘The Time Is Now’: Watch Live as Ocasio-Cortez, Markey Reintroduce Green New Deal Resolution

        “The Green New Deal envisions a ten-year national mobilization to fight the interconnected economic, social, racial, and climate crises gripping our country,” said a statement from AOC’s office.

        New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey of Massachussetts on Tuesday morning will reintroduce their bicameral Green New Deal resolution in order to center the urgent need for a radical shift in the U.S. government’s response to the climate emergency.

      • Union Leader Presses Biden to Immediately Fire Trump Social Security Holdovers

        “It is unacceptable that nearly 100 days into President Biden’s first term, Social Security employees and the public we serve continue to remain under the thumb of Trump political appointees.”

        The head of a union representing more than 26,000 Social Security employees is using the pages of the largest daily newspaper in President Joe Biden’s hometown to demand the immediate termination of Andrew Saul and David Black, Trump holdovers at the Social Security Administration who have been accused of sabotaging relief checks and undermining seniors’ benefits.

      • Opinion | The GOP Has Blood on Their Hands

        If America is to again be a “shining city on the hill” we must end our gun violence epidemic.

        America, John F Kennedy said, was like John Winthrop’s idealistic “city on a hill.” Ronald Reagan added the word “shining” to that description when he plagiarized Kennedy. And now Republicans across the country want to change the word “city” to “armed encampment.”

      • US House Passes ‘Hugely Important’ Bill to Let Legal Marijuana Businesses Access Banks

        “A supermajority of the House has voted affirmatively to recognize that the legalization and regulation of marijuana is a superior public policy to prohibition and criminalization.”

        Hailed by advocates as an important milestone on the road to full marijuana legalization, the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill that would open the door to banking services for the legal cannabis industry. 

      • Just 12 Super-Rich Donors Spent $3.4 Billion to Sway US Elections Since 2009: Study

        “The time is now to get big money out of politics, and move to the public funding of elections,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders in response.

        A dozen wealthy political donors and their spouses spent a combined $3.4 billion on federal elections in the U.S. between 2009 and 2020, accounting for $1 of every $13 contributed to political candidates and groups in the post-Citizens United era.

      • Democratic Lawmakers Urge Barrett to Recuse Herself From Koch Dark Money Case

        The members of Congress note that Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded advocacy group, mounted a “full-scale campaign” in support of the justice’s confirmation.

        Three Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday urged U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett to recuse herself from a pending case revolving around the nonprofit arm of Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded political advocacy group that spent heavily to ensure Barrett’s confirmation to the bench last October.

      • As Democrats Rise In Virginia, So Does Intra-Party Distrust

        As Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary approached this spring, Josh Stanfield, campaign manager for Democratic Socialist Delegate Lee Carter, began to worry that state party officials and the Department of Elections weren’t treating all candidates equally. Among other worries, he’d heard that some establishment candidates got different (and more accurate) instructions for submitting their nominating petitions than Carter did. That matters, because the first to file is first on the ballot, which research shows can provide a slight advantage. As it turned out, front-runner and former governor Terry McAuliffe wound up at the top of the June 8 ballot; Carter is fourth of five.

        Stanfield filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Elections Department to see if he could find out what happened. He didn’t. But he found out other things. Among the documents Stanfield received were several having to do not with Carter but with another primary election controversy—over whether party officials had been fair to three Black progressives, all challenging Democratic House of Delegates incumbents, who were disqualified by the State Board of Elections for problems with filing required paperwork, including a statement of qualifications and another on their economic interests. (I wrote about the controversy here.)

      • Joe From Scranton

        When Joe Biden was in his early 20s, his new girlfriend’s mother asked him what kind of job he wanted. “President,” he replied, “of the United States.” A college senior at the time, Biden must have appeared brash and full of himself: Who would announce such a goal to someone he presumably wanted to take him seriously? But perhaps he knew something no one else did. Though it took a while longer than he might have hoped—and involved two earlier presidential bids, each embarrassing in its own way—Biden has made it happen at last.

        Of his previous attempts, the 1988 run was likely the more disastrous. It began with Biden promising generational change as he declared his candidacy at the Amtrak station in Wilmington, Del., and it ended with his withdrawal from the race amid allegations of plagiarism. The campaign also had the dubious honor of being featured in Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes, an exhaustive portrait of the leading contenders for the nomination that year that painted none in a flattering light, but Biden least of all. A proud but insecure man, he was depicted as a legislator always pushing on to the next plan before accomplishing the previous one. He was a magnet for those who saw him as a rising star in the Democratic Party, but he kept his aides up to all hours of the night in meandering conversations. He loved to give speeches and work the crowd, yet his most inspiring lines were often stock phrases aimed only at winning the race. He wanted victory but was never entirely clear about what he would do with it once in office.

      • The Dirty Campaign Underlying Ecuador’s “Free and Fair” Election

        For starters, Arauz—a 36-year-old follower of the political leanings of former president Rafael Correa and his Citizens Revolution—barely even got on the ballot. The political party he tried to run under was banned by the National Electoral Council (CNE). He and his supporters formed a new political party and that, too, was banned. Eventually they found a small party that let them borrow their slot, but by then it was late December and the first round of elections was on February 7. The other campaigns had a four or five month head start.

        Arauz, who was virtually unknown, wanted to have Rafael Correa as his vice president, but the CNE banned Correa from being on the ticket. Even more astounding, the electoral authorities actually prohibited the Arauz campaign from even using Correa’s voice or image. But in a show of blatant bias, they didn’t banish Correa’s image from being used in a negative way by his opponents.

      • To Make Nation ‘Stronger and More Just,’ White House Offers Support for DC Statehood

        The statement of administration policy marked the first time the executive branch has backed statehood for Washington, D.C.

        The White House on Tuesday formally offered its endorsement of legislation that would establish statehood for Washington, D.C., giving full representation to the district’s 700,000 full-time residents. 

      • Bowman, Sanders Lead Coalition Demanding ‘Desperately Needed’ Boost to SSI Lifeline

        “People with disabilities and older adults receiving SSI represent some of the most marginalized members of our society. History will not forgive us if we fail to address their needs.”

        A bicameral group of dozens of lawmakers led by Rep. Jamaal Bowman, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and other prominent progressives sent a letter Monday urging President Joe Biden to include “desperately needed” improvements to the Supplemental Security Income program in his forthcoming American Families Plan, which is expected to focus on child care and other key domestic priorities.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Watchdog Says Journalism, the ‘Vaccine Against Disinformation,’ Took Global Hit During Pandemic

        “The coronavirus pandemic has been used as grounds to block journalists’ access to information sources and reporting in the field.”

        In its annual report ranking press freedom in 180 countries, Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday that access to information for journalists has been blocked in nearly three-quarters of the nations over the past year, impeding their ability to share vital public health data with the general population.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘He proved that one man can do a lot’: Dozens of people have gone on hunger strike in solidarity with Alexey Navalny. Here are some of their stories.

        Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny has been on a prison hunger strike since March 31, demanding access to trusted doctors. During this time, his health has seriously deteriorated and his doctors fear he may die. On April 19, Russian prison officials announced that Navalny was being transferred to a prisoners’ hospital located inside another notorious prison facility in the Vladimir region. At the time of this writing, more than 100 people have declared their own hunger strikes in support of Navalny, according to a Facebook page dedicated to the campaign. This solidarity protest was organized by biologist Nikolai Formozov, a former professor at the Higher School of Economics and Moscow State University, who has been on hunger strike since April 10. Meduza spoke to Nikolai Formozov and other people who have joined the hunger strike in solidarity with Navalny. Here are their stories.

      • Navalny supporters see their personal information leaked online in ‘enriched’ database

        A new database has leaked online containing the personal information of individuals who registered to take part in the upcoming “Freedom for Navalny” protests across Russia. This comes after the protest campaign’s email registration database was stolen and leaked online late last week.

      • Moscow City Court to hold closed trial on outlawing Navalny’s political movement as ‘extremist’

        The Moscow City Court will review the lawsuit by the prosecutor’s office seeking to ban Alexey Navalny’s political and anti-corruption network as “extremist” behind closed doors. The court’s spokesperson Ulyana Solopova told the Russian state news agency TASS that this decision was made due to the fact that the case materials have been classified as “secret.”

      • Notes from tomorrow’s underground Navalny’s activists batten down the hatches ahead of new protests and a likely ‘extremism’ designation, moving to remote work and fleeing Russian social networks

        Moscow’s City Court won’t begin reviewing a lawsuit to ban Alexey Navalny’s political infrastructure until next week, on April 25, but the Russian authorities are already treating the nationwide network of opposition activists like an illegal extremist movement. Police officers have come to local coordinators’ homes and raided Navalny’s offices across Russia on an almost daily basis. Beginning on Monday, April 19, some staff started working remotely, but the team says it has no plans to cut back preparations for the next mass protests against Navalny’s incarceration and mistreatment in prison. Meduza asked a handful of activists how they’re handling these tumultuous times.

      • Russian Human Rights Council chairman refuses to visit Navalny in prison

        The chairman of Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council, Valery Fadeev, says that he doesn’t plan to visit the penal colony in the Vladimir region where opposition politician Alexey Navalny is on hunger strike.

      • Opinion | Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue
      • Opinion | Why You Should Be Concerned About the Rise of the Border and Surveillance Industry

        Our world is becoming more walled due to the influence of private profiteers on governments—and increasingly displaced people pay the price.

        The COVID-19 disrupting travel, shutting borders, and redefining what is essential work, Pandemic Borders explores what international migration will look like after the pandemic, in this series titled # MigrantFutures

      • Opinion | Reporting Human Rights Abuses Is Not a Crime

        We stand with the Colombian Peace Community of San José de Apartadó

        Twenty-four years ago, the search for a way out of the unending violent conflict in Colombia saw a significant moment of hope. On 23 March 1997, 1,350 displaced farmers gathered in the remote village of San José de Apartadó in the north-western province of Antioquia to join together and form a peace community. After paramilitaries had roamed the region pillaging and massacring, the local community declared itself neutral in the war, rejecting weapons, drugs, alcohol and cooperation with any armed group. With their community, the people of San José have shown other communities in the country how to break the victim-perpetrator cycle and to build communal alternatives of nonviolence, solidarity and autonomy outside of the dominant culture.

      • Behind Union Defeat at Amazon Bessemer

        Whether or not there was a single defiant mass rally or even a mass meeting organized by the RWDSU at Bessemer during the campaign is unknown. Inside the plant? Or in the parking lot or in the community?

        Union defiance absent

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The GOP Is Using Veterans As Props To Demonize Net Neutrality

        Earlier this year net neutrality opponents (read: US telecom monopolies and those who love them) used veterans as a cheap prop to unfairly demonize California’s shiny new net neutrality law. California’s net neutrality law bans “zero rating,” or the act of imposing bullshit, arbitrary usage caps, then exempting an ISP’s own content (or the content of any individual organization or company) from them. The reason for the ban? Caps are artificial constructs, and exempting select content from them tilts the internet playing field in favor of an ISP or deep-pocketed companies.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Sony Reverses Course On Shutting Down PlayStation Store For PS3, Vita Devices

        Well, well, this is certainly moving fast. Regular readers will recall that we’ve been having a conversation lately about how both customer purchases and video game as art are generally preserved in the face of platforms shutting down the hosting servers that keep all of this data. With a specific eye towards art preservation, this conversation has been largely propelled by Sony’s recent announcement that it would be shutting down support for the PlayStation Store for the PlayStation 3, Vita, and PSP consoles. The consternation over all of this only got worse when it was noticed that Sony’s batteries on the PS3 and PS4 consoles have a weird little time-sync check-in that has to occur with the PlayStation Network if they’re replaced, or else those consoles will be unable to play many, in some cases all, games.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • EPO User Day 2021: Engaging with our users on quality, timeliness and digital user services

          Over 2 100 participants from more than 900 companies registered for this year’s User Day – the first digital edition, which took place on 19 and 20 April. As the event celebrated its 20th anniversary, EPO experts updated users on the latest developments in the Office’s digital services, including during heavily attended breakout sessions on Online Filing 2.0, the EPO Mailbox, PCT filing, and oral proceedings by videoconference (VICO). There were also lively panel discussions on quality and timeliness, the Patent Index 2020 and the future of innovation, as well as new approaches to the areas of environmental sustainability and diversity & inclusion.

        • Linking up with EPO art and artists

          Last week the EPO introduced its art collection to the public by launching the new documentary titled “Exploring Art at the European Patent Office”. With two digital events the Office now offers further insight on its art collection, and invites to an exchange with some of the artists portrayed in the documentary.

        • Why Western Texas might become a new pharma hotspot [Ed: Patent trolls' booster Patrick Wingrove cheering for a rigged system resigned to undermine justice for the sake of litigation profits. Paid-for media in think tank/lobbying mode.]

          There were nine biotech cases at the Texas court in 2020, more than in any other venue apart from Delaware and New Jersey, and that could double this year

        • Eisenführ Speiser strengthens patent practice with Pinsent Masons litigator [Ed: How on Earth is this an article? JUVE has become mostly a marketing spam site, which also habitually copies lies from EPO management]
        • Standard Essential Patents in Italy: a review of the existing case law [Ed: Standards as patent traps and toll booths]

          SEP-related case law in Europe is regularly reported in this blog, and other European platforms. Decisions of courts in UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands on FRAND royalties, anti-suit injunctions, anti-anti-suit injunctions, declarations of essentiality and other SEP issues are often thoroughly commented upon. This is not the case of Italian SEP case law. While being the third-largest economy in the European Union, Italy does not receive the same attention as other countries when it comes to analysing SEPs and their implications on competitive markets. This is also probably due to the fact that the number of SEP cases is lower than in other jurisdictions, with the latest reported decision being released in July 2015.

          This blogpost wants to fill that gap. It briefly summarises the four SEP cases which three Italian courts (in Genova, Trieste and Milan), adjudicated in the latest decade and beyond.


          What does Italian SEP case law teach us? While in one case the SEP owner (Philips) prevailed as the implementers could not be considered willing licensees, in the other three decisions implementers won.

          Particularly relevant – we believe – are the decisions of the Court of Milan in 2012 in Samsung v Apple and in 2015 in Ical et al. v Rovi Guides et al. In the former it was noted that it is crucial to enforce SEPs in a way which is not abusive and does not jeopardise competition, taking into account the need to encourage cultural and scientific progress. The latter clearly highlighted the importance of relying on correct declarations of essentiality. Indeed, accessing accurate information on the scale of exposure to SEPs is extremely important to users of standards, especially small and medium-sized enterprises that have little experience of licensing practices and enter the relevant markets looking for connectivity. This lack of transparency has negative consequences. As noted in the European Commission’s Communication of 29 November 2017, several studies on important technologies demonstrate that, when strictly assessed, only between 10% and 50% of declared patents are really essential.

        • Software Patents

          • Dallas Invents: 117 Patents Granted for Week of April 6 [Ed: Far too many software patents, even some to IBM in this case, being granted. Never mind if courts reject these...]

            • IBM’s cognitive intervention for voice recognition failure


            Dallas Invents is a weekly look at U.S. patents granted with a connection to the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area. Listings include patents granted to local assignees and/or those with a North Texas inventor. Patent activity can be an indicator of future economic growth, as well as the development of emerging markets and talent attraction. By tracking both inventors and assignees in the region, we aim to provide a broader view of the region’s inventive activity. Listings are organized by Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC).

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • DMCA Shortcut Helps Movie Companies Cheaply Identify ‘Potential’ BitTorrent Pirates

          Several movie companies have obtained a DMCA subpoena to identify 25 account holders whose IP-addresses were caught sharing pirated content. This is an effective shortcut without any oversight from a federal judge. It significantly reduces costs and legal hurdles to go after alleged pirates. However, this procedure is not undisputed.

        • YouTube Class Action: Plaintiff Can’t Identify Piracy Without Access to Content ID

          Maria Schneider’s class action lawsuit against YouTube has taken another unusual turn. The complaint alleges massive infringement but thus far identifies no infringing videos. YouTube wants to know exactly what it’s dealing with but Schneider says that since she has no access to Content ID – a big part of why the complaint was originally filed – she can’t easily provide that information.

Links 21/4/2021: VirtualBox 6.1.20, GCC 11.1 Release Candidate, Nginx 1.20.0

Posted in News Roundup at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Benchmarks

      • Initial Radeon vs. GeForce Vulkan Ray-Tracing Performance On Linux – Phoronix

        As outlined in the earlier article, Radeon Software for Linux 21.10 delivers initial Vulkan ray-tracing support via this packaged driver on enterprise Linux distributions. This initial Vulkan ray-tracing support is just in their binary driver stack and hasn’t yet appeared in AMDVLK as their open-source AMD Radeon Vulkan driver build. Hopefully that AMDVLK code drop will come soon for those not wanting to use the packaged driver or running on an unsupported distribution, etc. Meanwhile as mentioned the Mesa RADV Vulkan driver is also working towards Vulkan ray-tracing but will likely be still some more time before that is ready to go and merged into Mesa.


        If you install the new Radeon Software Linux driver you should find VK_KHR_ray_query and the other Vulkan ray-tracing extensions now exposed on Linux. In my tests using the Radeon Software for Linux 21.10 driver it worked out fine across the RX 6700, RX 6800, and RX 6800 XT graphics cards (I still have no RX 6900 series hardware for testing, thus just the RX 6700/6800 series being tested today).

    • Applications

      • VirtualBox 6.1.20 Released with Linux Kernel 5.11 Support, CentOS Stream Improvements

        Three months in the works, VirtualBox 6.1.20 is here to introduce support for the latest and greatest Linux 5.11 kernel series for both hosts and guests. This means that you’ll now be able to install VirtualBox on GNU/Linux distributions powered by Linux kernel 5.11, as well as to run Linux 5.11-based distros in virtual machines.

        On top of that, this release improves support for the CentOS Stream operating system, as well as for the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 operating system release by making sure the kernel module is correctly built, and fixes the compilation of the vboxvideo module for the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series.

      • The 5 Best Linux PDF Editors You Should Try

        Finding a good and reliable PDF editor is a nerve-racking job with all these unwanted opinions flying around on the internet. Everyone has different preferences and use cases for their PDF editor, and choosing the one that suits you the best is important.

        The number of applications available for Linux-based operating systems is immeasurable. But when it comes to PDF editors, only a handful of the apps top the chart. In this guide we have curated a list of the best Linux PDF editors that you can download for free on your computer.

      • Nginx 1.20.0 Is Released

        Nginx developer Maxim Dounin has announced a new stable release of the by-far most popular web server on the Internet with a brief change-log listing “1.20.x stable branch” as the only changes. There is a bit more to the latest Nginx 1.20.0 release than that.


        Every website you visit is served by some kind of web server software. The Apache web server is still the kind of the kill and the go-to solution, it has dominated the web server market since 1995. Russian software engineer Igor Vladimirovich Sysoev released the first version of the BSD-licensed Nginx web server on October 4th, 2004. It gained a small user-base and went doggedly on in the Apache’s shadow until it eventually overtook Apache in terms of total websites available on the Internet in April 2019.

        Nginx served 415 million websites or 35.34% of all websites on the Internet in March 2021 according to Netcraft, beating Apache’s share of 317 million websites by a fair margin.

      • Natron is Alive and Releases v2.4

        Natron, the video compositing FX program, just releases version 2.4 today. We can celebrate as by this we know for sure Natron development is active and running. It can be installed on GNU/Linux, as well as Windows and MacOS. For Ubuntu users, included here’s Natron with screenshots running at 20.04 LTS. By this article we at Ubuntu Buzz also want to tell you that Natron is looking for developers and maintainers so everybody can look at their website for more information. Enjoy Natron!

      • The 10 Best Linux Terminal Emulators

        A terminal emulator client is a graphical application that allows you shell access to the host machine using commands. Terminal Emulator is a lifeline for every Linux distro as it enables you to unleash the true power of Linux.

        A terminal emulator of your choice will say something about you. Are you a system administrator who prefers something lightweight or a developer who requires a terminal emulator full of features and customizable options? Are you comfortable with the default terminal emulator that ships with your Linux distro?

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install NTP Server on CentOS 8

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install NTP Server on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Chrony is an implementation of the Network Time Protocol (NTP). Chrony commonly synchronizes a computer to Internet time servers or other sources, such as a radio or satellite receiver or telephone modem service. It can also be used as a time source/server for client systems.

        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 NTP Server on a CentOS 8.

      • Linux commands for testing connectivity and transfer rates

        There are quite a few tools that can help test your connectivity on the Linux command line. In this post, we’ll look at a series of commands that can help estimate your connection speed, test whether you can reach other systems, analyze connection delays, and determine whether particular services are available.

      • How to Install VSFTP on Ubuntu 20.04 – Cloudbooklet

        Install VSFTP on Ubuntu 20.04. In this guide you are going to learn how to setup a FTP server and provide access to particular directory as chroot for a user.

        This setup is tested on Google Compute Engine VM Instance running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        So this setup works fine for any virtual machine on AWS EC2 Instance or DigitalOcean or any other cloud hosting servers or VPS or Dedicated.

      • How to Install Jupyter Notebook on Ubuntu 20.04 / 18.04

        How to install Jupyter Notebook on Ubuntu 20.04 to share live code with others. In this guide, we’ll show you how to Install Jupyter Notebook on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Here we show you simple ways to install Jupyter on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04 and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint and Elementary OS.
        Jupyter Notebook is an open-source web application that allows you to create and share live code documents with others. Jupyter is a next-generation notebook interface. Jupyter supports more than 40 programming languages including Python, R, Julia, and Scala.

      • How to Create Manjaro Bootable USB – Linux Hint

        Manjaro is a leading open-source Arch-based Linux distribution. It’s a cutting-edge distribution with automated tools that require little to no manual interruption. Manjaro provides a middle ground for users who desire control, performance, and some software stability. Hence, these features make it an ideal distribution for Linux beginners.
        As a Manjaro aspirant, it is ideal to have a live bootable USB. A live USB provides a convenient way for any beginner user to experiment with the distribution without installing it on the system.

        In this article, we cover various ways to create a bootable Manjaro USB in Windows and Linux.

      • How to Dual Boot Manjaro Linux with Windows 10 – Linux Hint

        Among many other features, user accessibility, cutting-edge software, and automated tools make Manjaro the next best Linux distribution. As an Arch Linux derivative, Manjaro provides new users with an Arch experience via an intuitive interface, unique hardware management software, and stable performance.

        This article demonstrates the Manjaro Linux dual boot process with the Windows 10 operating system for Linux beginners. The guide provides details on required BIOS settings, Windows disk partition process and walks you through the step-by-step procedure to install Manjaro 20.2.1 Nibia release with a KDE-plasma desktop environment.

      • Use of “lsof” Command to Find Open Files – Linux Hint

        “lsof” stands for List Open Files. It is a Linux utility for listing down all the open files of a system. This command can be combined with different parameters to modify its output as desired. You can see the details of all of its parameters and flags by seeing the help manual of the “lsof” command.

        In today’s article, you will be able to learn the correct usage of the “lsof” command for finding all the open files in Linux Mint 20.

      • How Do I Do a Reverse DNS Lookup in Linux? – Linux Hint

        DNS process is known as forwarding DNS resolution in which it resolves the domain name with an IP address. Whereas, Reverse DNS Resolution or Reverse DNS lookup, also known as rDNS, is used to determine or resolve the IP address associated with the domain name. As the name implies, it is a reverse DNS lookup process that resolves an IP address back to the domain name.

        Reverse DNS lookup is used by email servers to validate and block spam email messages. If the rDNS check fails, then Email servers by default mark the incoming messages as SPAM. Most of the time, email servers automatically reject the messages from an IP address that does not contain rDNS in place. Therefore, if you need to add an rDNS, you can contact your hosting or IP provider to do it.

        In this article, we will explain how you can perform the reverse DNS lookup process in Linux through the command line environment.

      • How Do I Convert a CER File to PEM? – Linux Hint

        There can be different reasons that you want to convert your security certificates to other formats. One of the reasons is when your system is not accepting the existing format or if your security certificate file is not compatible with the application. Whatever your reason for converting formats for the security certificates files is, you can easily do so using the most convenient and reliable OpenSSL utility.
        OpenSSL is an open-source full-featured command-line utility that is usually used for generating CSR and private keys, installing SSL/TLS certificates, converting security certificate formats, etc.

        In today’s post, we will describe how to convert a CER file to PEM.

      • How to set DNS name servers on Ubuntu Linux? – Linux Hint

        DNS nameservers (resolvers) provide a method to translate the domain name into the IP addresses. It is provided by the ISP (internet service providers) and is used by various other devices to do the DNS lookup for a requested domain.

        We will show you in this tutorial how to set or configure the DNS nameserver using different methods on the Ubuntu system. All configurations have been performed on Ubuntu 20.04 system.

      • How can I exclude directories from grep -R? – Linux Hint

        Grep is indeed a Linux / Unix terminal shell utility that searches a document for a sequence of characters. A regular expression seems to be the term for the textual pattern to be searched. It outputs the row with the outcome when it detects the same match. While browsing across huge log files, the grep query comes in hand. So, grep –R has been used to exclude directories while using some keywords. Let’s discuss grep –R in this tutorial step by step.

      • Getting started with Manjaro Part II – Linux Hint

        Manjaro offers a unique Command-line tool that sets it apart from other Arch-based distributions. The unique Manjaro Hardware detection command-line tool allows control over system hardware configurations and multiple kernels management.

        There are currently two types of Manjaro Hardware detection commands, mhwd, mhwd-kernel. This article introduces the mhwd command, which automates the identification and installation of system hardware. As well as the mhwd-kernel command to enable easy installation and management of multiple kernels in Manjaro Linux.

      • How do I check my NIC card speed Linux? – Linux Hint

        NIC or network interface card provides an interface between your system and a network apart from one wired network or wireless. Every NIC comes with a speed rating like 100 Mbps or 1Gbps. Knowing the NIC card speed can be helpful in different situations. It can help you diagnose performance issues. Knowing the speed limit of the NIC is also helpful if you are upgrading your internet services to higher bandwidth, as it will help you to verify if you can take full advantage of the available bandwidth.

        In this post, we will describe how to check NIC card speed in Linux OS.

      • How to unban an IP in fail2ban – Linux Hint

        Many of the security tools do not protect your system from compromise. Even setting the strongest password does not solve the problem as it can also be broken with several techniques. Fail2ban is a great tool that allows you to ban the IP address that is making incorrect authentication attempts. Rather than allowing a user to make tries and succeeds, it blocks them in the first place. Hence, it prevents intrusion before they comprise your system.

        While making incorrect authentication attempts, sometimes fail2ban can block legitimate connections too. By default, the ban time is 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, a banned IP address is unbanned automatically. However, if a legitimate system is banned and you can’t wait for the ban time to expire, you can manually unban it. In this post, we will describe how to unban an IP address in fail2ban.

      • How to Install Mosh Shell as SSH Alternative on Linux Desktop

        Using an SSH client tool is always helpful and handy for the system administrator and the remote users. In the conventional SSH clients, you may find some network and auto session logout issues. As a system admin, you already realize the importance of the CLI-based remote SSH client. To solve frequent logout, lagging, and packet loss issues, you can install the Mosh SSH as an SSH alternative on Linux. The Mosh stands for the Mobile shell, which is a command-line-based secure shell client for Linux. It doesn’t require a stale and static IP address to establish the connection; moreover, the Mosh SSH shell client is also compatible with mobile devices.

      • New Linux Publication Released: How Linux Works, 3rd Edition: What Every Superuser Should Know by Brian Ward

        I am very excited about this publication not only because it is a great book covering such a large set of Linux-related topics but also because I helped with the technical review.

      • How to install the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 21.04

        The objective is to install the NVIDIA drivers on Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo Linux and switch from a opensource Nouveau driver to the proprietary Nvidia driver.

        To install Nvidia driver on other Linux distributions, follow our Nvidia Linux Driver guide.

      • How to install Blender 2.92 on Deepin 20.2

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Blender 2.92 on Deepin 20.2.

      • How to install Funkin’ High Effort Ugh mod on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Funkin’ High Effort Ugh mod 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.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

      • HOWTO Make Mozilla Firefox Blazing Fast On Linux

        The Firefox web browser is, by default, much, much slower than it can be on Linux. There is, luckily, several ways to make it a whole lot faster by changing one or more configuration options that are not so easy to find or understand. Newly released Firefox 88 made it easier, though you can make older Firefox versions and Firefox LTS versions faster with some trickery. Here’s the options you have and the performance they provide.

      • How to Install Guider Linux Performance Analyzer on Ubuntu 20.04

        Monitoring the real-time state and behavior of the system and each of its components is crucial for any system administrator. Guider is an open-source performance analyzing tool for Linux operating systems. It is designed to measure the use of system resources, analyze it and improve the performance of the operating system.

        In this tutorial, I will show you how to install and use Guider on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Uninstall Chromium and Get Rid of It From Your Computer

        Chromium is the open-source web browser project used by Google to create Google Chrome. It has an interface and functionality similar to Chrome, allowing you to navigate the Internet and take advantage of privacy features. You can set it up on any operating system, including Windows and Mac. It’s also possible to install Chromium on Linux.

      • How to Write a Shell Script in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        A shell script is a Linux-based script in which commands are written, and when a user executes the script, all those commands that are in the script are executed one after another. Think of it this way: You have a task you need to do that requires a certain number of commands to be written by the user, so it’s difficult to write and then execute those commands one at a time, that’s where the shell script comes in.

        To accomplish this task, simply write all of these commands into a single script and save that script file somewhere. Then, when the user needs to do a particular task, all they have to do is run the saved script and the task is done without having to write all the commands again one by one. The shell is an interpreter of the commands that the user writes.

      • How to display GUI dialogs in bash script using Zenity

        We all know that Linux bash scripts are a real strength of Linux. Often we want to display a graphical user interface (GUI) in our scripts to make interaction with users easier. GUI makes any script more user-friendly and beautiful.
        For GTK in shell scripts, there are many options and tools available in Linux.

        In this article, we will show you how to use Zenity to display GUI dialogs in Bash scripts.

        Zenity is an open-source application for displaying simple GUI in shell scripts. It makes scripts more user-friendly by displaying GTK+ dialogs. Zenity is a handy command-line tool for modern shell scripting. Zenity is easy to use and a cross-platform application.

      • Steven Pritchard: Dealing with old ssh implementations

        Over the last several releases, Fedora has removed support for old, broken crypto algorithms. Unfortunately, this makes it harder to deal with old devices or servers that can’t easily be upgraded. For example, I have a switch that I can’t connect to with the ssh on Fedora.

      • How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 from Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy to Hirsute)

        Here are the steps on how to upgrade your Ubuntu 21.04 from Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla to Hirsute Hippo).

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD meetings on the Desktop

          FreeBSD on the desktop is a whole stack – X11, Qt, KDE Frameworks, KDE Plasma and KDE Gear, and Wayland, and Poppler and GTK – o my!

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Hybrid and edge strategies in an open-source world will be key focus during Red Hat Summit on Apr. 27, 28

          When IBM announced its intention to acquire Red Hat Inc. for $34 billion in 2018, it was widely viewed as a sign that the open-source train had finally arrived in the station. Less than three years later, open source has grown to encompass not only the station, but the train tracks and surrounding enterprise territory as far as the eye can see.

          In March, Red Hat released its “State of Enterprise Open Source” report, which, not surprisingly, validated the technology’s widespread enterprise influence. The report found that 90% of IT leaders were using open-source products, primarily in infrastructure modernization, networking and application development.

        • It’s no NBA Top Shot or Beeple, but IBM is making patent NFTs
        • IBM (and Red Hat) employees not allowed to use email for personal hobbies?
        • Ex-IBM Manager Tells Jury Racism Complaint Drew Firing – Law360

          A former IBM sales manager told a jury Monday he was fired for calling out racial disparities in his subordinates’ commissions, kicking off a Zoom trial in Washington federal court.

        • IBM, Red Hat Sued by Xinuos for Allegedly Stealing Code, Using it to “Crush Competition”

          On Wednesday, computer software company Xinuos Inc. filed a complaint in the District of the Virgin Islands against International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) and Red Hat Inc. for purportedly stealing its copyrighted code and using it for anticompetitive conduct in the Unix/Linux paid server operating system market.

          According to the complaint, “IBM and Red Hat conspired to illegally corner a market and crush competition.” Specifically, Xinuos claimed that “IBM stole Xinuos’ intellectual property and used that stolen property to build and sell a product to compete with Xinuous itself” by incorporating core elements of the stolen code into its own code. The plaintiff averred that “ IBM and Red Hat illegally agreed to divide the relevant market and use their growing market powers to victimize consumers, innovative competitors, and innovation itself.” Xinuos proffered that “after IBM and Red Hat launched their conspiracy, IBM then acquired Red Hat to solidify and make their scheme.” Lastly, the plaintiff argued that “IBM has been misleading its investors by falsely claiming all infringement claims against IBM regarding the copied code have been waived.”

      • Debian Family

        • Let’s Try Debian Unstable

          You may have been familiar with the name Debian Unstable also known as Sid and may want to try it. As an Ubuntu user, this curiosity is nothing weird, as every release of Ubuntu itself is created from it, and many persons around you may talk about it pretty often. The secret is, there is no image file to download for it, so you cannot install it as an operating system. This is why I make this simple guide to invite you to try Debian Unstable on your computer. Let’s go!


          You must have a computer with Debian Stable installed. For example, you may install Debian in a virtual machine as it counts as one computer. At the time I write this, Stable is Debian 10. Next time, Stable will be Debian 11. If you do not have one yet, download Debian 10, and install it to your computer. Please be aware that doing this will require you large data transfer and also time. As an example,in an expe riment it requires ~2GB download, ~4GB storage, and no less than 4 hours to finish.


          Finally, post-upgrade may introduce you to multiple packages need to be removed. This can be known by running simply $ sudo apt-get install without argument. It may say “some packages need to be removed by command line apt-get autoremove.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Don’t Miss: Ubuntu 21.04: What’s New? [Video]

          Six months of development have gone into curating Ubuntu 21.04 and the release is backed by 9 months of security and core app updates.

          Ubuntu 21.04 isn’t a game-changing release. Despite the hirsute moniker there’s little nothing hair-raising included, perhaps save for the switch to Wayland — but even that isn’t as prickly as it used to be!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How to take your open source project to the next level

        Open sourcing the code to your software as a service (SaaS) is not sufficient to make it actually be open source. Does that sound contradictory to you? Let me explain.

        Most services that espouse “open source” do so by simply throwing the code over the wall. It’s better than nothing but really misses the point that powers open source: enabling users to make a change to the software they’re using.

        Some other popular services powered by Open Source software, do include the tools used to operate/deploy their service. Pause for applause.

        But that’s also insufficient to actually enable users to become contributors effectively.

      • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0.16

        Tor Browser 10.0.16 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

        This version updates Firefox to 78.10esr. In addition, Tor Browser 10.0.16 updates NoScript to 11.2.4, and adds localization in Burmese.

      • Open-source software: freedom from ethics? [Ed: Media giving space for professional provocateurs who attack the freedom of software in the name of pseudo “ethics”. In his latest speech (LibrePlanet) Richard Stallman explained why all this “ethical source” nonsense is an attack on software freedom and would lead to chaos. The whole “ethical source” can of worms leads to farcical situations like, some people denying you the use of some piece of software unless you can produce proof you received some vaccination.]
      • Nextcloud Now Compatible With WWW-Inventors’ Privacy Initiative

        At Solid World April, the results of a project funded by the European Commission through NLnet and Next Generation Internet were presented. The project developed Solid compatibility for Nextcloud allowing it to act as a Solid server. The integration work allows users of the popular open source on-premises enterprise content collaboration platform to choose a safe place for their private data rather than public cloud services.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 89 Beta Released With UI Changes

            With Firefox 88 released yesterday, the Firefox 89 beta is now available for testing. Notable this time around is refining of the web browser’s user interface.


            Aside from the UI/UIX improvements with Firefox 89, the beta release also continues with privacy/security improvements, support for the Event Timing API, and other enhancements.

          • Firefox 89 Enters Beta Testing with Stunning New Look, Improved Privacy

            You might have heard of Firefox’s forthcoming new design, and it’s finally happening with the Firefox 89 release, due out early this summer. Mozilla was working hard during the past few months on a fresh new look for its open source and free web browser, and let me tell you that it looks stunning.

            The biggest change in this release being a fresh new designed to make your browsing experience more enjoyable, faster, cleaner, and easier to use. Firefox 89’s stunning new look consists of a modern and great looking toolbar with floating tabs, a simplified and cleaner new tab design that easy to customize, streamlined menus, updated infobars and modals, more consistent styling, as well as a brand-new first-run welcome page.

          • Firefox 88 Released, This is What’s New

            The latest version of the famed FOSS app enabled ‘smooth pinch-zooming using a touchpad’ on Linux systems. Additionally, the browser’s built-in PDF form filler now supports JavaScript embeds within PDF files (often used for verification).

            Mozilla says it’s bolstered the browser’s privacy credentials even further in this release by enforcing additional rules to prevent cross-site privacy leaks.

            It’s not all feature additions, however.

            Firefox 88 disables FTP support within the browser. Mozilla say the feature is not widely used and, as is, presents a ‘security risk’ as FTP is a non-encrypted protocol. The feature will be stripped out entirely in a future release.

            Talking of unused features, this update removes the “Take a Screenshot” feature from the Page Actions menu in the url bar (what sits behind the … icon).

          • Mozilla Firefox 88 Is Released

            Mozilla begun developing a brand new web browser engine called Webrender as part of a independent web browser project called Servo ages ago. They begun porting it to Firefox as part of a “project Quantum” in 2016. Mozilla has made it the default compositor on Linux in Firefox 88. It is, as of Firefox 88, enabled even if gfx.webrender.enabled is set to false in the special configuration interface you can get by typing about:config into the Firefox address bar. It is possible to disable it by setting the special gfx.webrender.force-disabled key to false.

            Webrender provides dismal performance out-of-the-box on GNU/Linux. It’s just slow. Mozilla has, luckily, introduced a brand new configuration key for GNU+Linux users using the X display server in about:config called gfx.x11-egl.force-enabled. Flipping that switch makes Firefox render the output form the Webrender compositor using EGL. It is much, much faster. Earlier versions required setting a environmental variable called MOZ_X11_EGL=1 to enable it. That route is still the only options if you are using a Firefox ESR release. See HOWTO Make Mozilla Firefox Blazing Fast On Linux for benchmarks for some detailed benchmarks of Firefox with Webrender and the old Gecko compositor with and without EGL.

          • Riccardo Mottola: ArcticFox to browse on an iBook

            I did quite some work to have “–enable-altivec” work in ArcticFox. The FireFox AltiVec test did not work because it relies on GCC rejecting it if not supported by the CPU.

            Most of the work was getting the 32bit AltiVec code actually work during a 64bit compile on a PPC970. But what about a non-AltiVec build? WIth some #ifdef’s imported from TenFourFox… I was able to get it and produce, while compiling on a G4, a usable G3 optimized binary for Linux.

          • Mozilla Firefox drops FTP. Focuses on DRM, Censorship
          • The Talospace Project: Firefox 88 on POWER

            Firefox 88 is out. In addition to a bunch of new CSS properties, JavaScript is now supported in PDF files even within Firefox’s own viewer, meaning there is no escape, and FTP is disabled, meaning you will need to use 78ESR (though you get two more weeks of ESR as a reprieve, since Firefox 89 has been delayed to allow UI code to further settle). I’ve long pondered doing a generic “cURL extension” that would reenable all sorts of protocols through a shim to either curl or libcurl; maybe it’s time for it.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • 7 Best Free Alternatives to Microsoft Excel – H2S Media

          LibreOffice is a well-known free and open-source office suite. If you are a Linux user such as Ubuntu then this Spreadsheet alternative to Excel would already be on your system. It is a fork OpenOffice project, thus we are not going to mentioned Apache OpenOffice in our list. LibreOffice Office offers a complete set of tools to perform daily document, presentation, Database, and Calculations related tasks. Its spreadsheet application called Calc is a decent Excel alternative.

          Although it uses Open Document Format (.ods) as a native one but can also open and save files in Microsoft Excel- .xls & .xlsx. Further, LibreOffice Calc offers all the basic functions of Excel, e.g. B. pivot tables, charts, text in columns, and much more. Unique features include macros in multiple languages, cross-platform support, and a large collection of third-party extensions.


          Calligra Sheets is a free and open-source spreadsheet application to replace Excel to some extent. It is a part of the Calligra Office suite developed and maintained by KDE. It is a feature-rich calculation tool for creating and editing various business-related spreadsheets. Earlier it was known as KSpread and Calligra Tables.

      • CMS

        • Translating Hugo based websites with Gettext

          In the Linux world, gettext is the gold standard for translating content. It’s powerful; there is a significant amount of tooling around it: there are editors like Lokalize, poedit, weblate and many others, and also libraries and bindings for many languages. But in the web development world, a unified internalization solution isn’t a solved problem yet. Django uses gettext; many js frameworks are using JSON as a key-value store of strings, but other formats exist and sometimes some frameworks provide nothing and everything needs to be done from scratch.

          Unlike Jekyll, Hugo provides some built-in internalization support. This includes the i18n function for translating templates, translatable menus and a way to translate markdown files by adding a translated copies next to the original English file. Unfortunately, this is not enough. There is no way to automatically notify the translators when and how a markdown file changed since a page sent to the translators is the raw markdown file. The second problem is that the translations need to be extracted and injected in three different places and various formats. Hugo uses markdown files for the content, a YAML file for the strings in the HTML templates and a YAML config file for the menu and site metadata translations (e.g. site title). A third problem is that none of these formats are directly usable for the KDE translation system and KDE translators that expect po files to work with their usual tools and workflow.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GCC 11.1 Release Candidate available from gcc.gnu.org
            The first release candidate for GCC 11.1 is available from
            and shortly its mirrors.  It has been generated from git revision
            I have so far bootstrapped and tested the release candidate on
            x86_64-linux and i686-linux.  Please test it and report any issues to
            If all goes well, I'd like to release 11.1 on Tuesday, April 27th.
          • GCC 11.1 RC Released, GCC 12 In Development On Trunk

            The release candidate to GCC 11.1 as the first stable release of GCC 11 is now available for testing. If all goes well GCC 11.1.0 will officially debut next week while GCC 12 is now in development with their latest Git code.

            Red Hat’s Jakub Jelinek announced the GCC 11.1 release candidate today, which has been bootstrapped and tested so far for i686 and x86_64 Linux. He is hoping to release GCC 11.1 officially next week if all goes well.

          • Daiki Ueno: AF_ALG support in GnuTLS

            The Linux kernel implements a set of cryptographic algorithms to be used by other parts of the kernel. These algorithms can be accessed through the internal API; notable consumers of this API are encrypted network protocols such as IPSec and WireGuard, as well as data encryption as in fscrypt. The kernel also provides an interface for user-space programs to access the kernel crypto API.

            GnuTLS has recently gained a new crypto backend that uses the kernel interface in addition to the user-space implementation. There are a few benefits of having it. The most obvious one is performance improvement: while the existing user-space assembly implementation has comparable performance to the in-kernel software emulation, the kernel crypto implementation also enables workload offloading to hardware accelerators, such as Intel QAT cards. Secondly, it brings support for a wider variety of CPU architectures: not only IA32 and AArch64, but also PowerPC and s390. The last but not least is that it could be used as a potential safety net for the crypto algorithms implementation: deferring the crypto operations to the kernel means that we could have an option to workaround any bugs or compliance (such as FIPS140) issues in the library.

      • Programming/Development

        • Rblpapi 0.3.11: Several Updates

          A new version 0.3.11 of Rblpapi is now arriving at CRAN. It comes two years after the release of version Rblpapit 0.3.10 and brings a few updates and extensions.

          Rblpapi provides a direct interface between R and the Bloomberg Terminal via the C++ API provided by Bloomberg (but note that a valid Bloomberg license and installation is required).

          This is the eleventh release since the package first appeared on CRAN in 2016. Changes are detailed below. Special thanks to James, Maxime and Michael for sending us pull requests.

        • Node.js 16 introduces Apple Silicon support

          Node.js 16 was released on April 20, adding Apple Silicon binaries and additional stable APIs to the popular JavaScript runtime.

          The release is the first to ship with prebuilt binaries for Apple Silicon. While Node.js will provide separate tarballs for the Intel and Arm architectures, the MacOS installer will be shipped as a “fat” (multi-architecture) binary. Node.js 16 follows the October 2020 release of Node.js 15.

        • Node.js 16 released with Apple Silicon binaries, JavaScript V8 engine turned up to nine

          Node.js 16 has been released with prebuilt Apple Silicon binaries and version 9.0 of the V8 JavaScript engine.

          Node.js releases appear every six months or so. A new version becomes the current release, and odd numbered releases are supported for only six months, but even numbered releases become long-term support (LTS) releases. The last three LTS releases were therefore 10, 12 and 14 (or Dubnium, Erbium and Fermium), while version 16, once it has had six months to mature, will be known as Gallium.

        • How to install JetBrains RubyMine on Linux

          JetBrains RubyMine is an IDE Integrated development environment) for the Ruby programming language. It is a cross-platform application that works on Mac OS, Windows as well as Linux. In this guide, we’ll show you how to install RubyMine on Linux.

        • First year of the Fortran website

          In April 2020 we created a website for the Fortran language at fortran-lang.org. In exactly one year, it grew to be the first result when you search “Fortran” in Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, Qwant, SearchEncrypt and the second result in Google (after the Wikipedia page for Fortran).

        • Rust

          • Rust Coming Soon To A Linux Kernel Near You [Ed: This title is false as it's all speculative at this point and just because the sponsor of Rust (Google funds Mozilla) wants that to happen doesn't mean it will. Google also pushed NSA back doors into Linux and it was later removed.]

            I’ve been saying that Rust will one day come to the Linux kernel for a while and finally some real work is being done to make this happen, when and if the project will go forward is still up for discussion but we may very well see rust as a 2nd linux kernel language one day.

          • Jacob Hoffman-Andrews joins the Rustdoc team

            Hello everyone, please welcome Jacob Hoffman-Andrews to the rustdoc team!

            Jacob Hoffman-Andrews (@jsha) has been contributing a lot on rustdoc front-end. Thanks to him, the pageload of the rustdoc pages is much faster. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the stuff he’s done recently:

        • Java

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • New Study Finds Satellites Contribute Significant Light Pollution To Night Skies

        The research, accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters, finds that objects orbiting Earth elevate the brightness of the night sky by at least 10 percent over natural light levels, exceeding a threshold that astronomers set over 40 years ago for considering a location “light polluted”.

    • Education

      • Plan S will be a catastrophe for learned societies

        In principle, I have no problem with fully funded open access. But the current debate consistently elides the fact that research published in easily accessible journals, books or websites must be paid for. The big question remains at what point in the production process should the financial transaction happen? For journals, the most common model is that academic institutions pay the publisher a subscription fee to receive online and sometimes hard copy issues for use by students and staff. But those supporting Plan S wish to move to a situation where journal publishers are paid out of the author’s research funding for publishing a paper that is then freely accessible to anyone online.

        This model may work for science and medicine, where published papers have a relatively short citation half-life and the vast majority of researchers are funded by grants that make provision to pay for publication. But there is no rationale as to why the publication model for neuroscience must be the same as the one for ancient Greek. In the arts and humanities, the citation half-life of papers is much longer – years and sometimes decades, not months – and many scholars do not have access to such funding. The mindless managerial mantra that one size should fit all is hopeless.

    • Hardware

      • Power consumption of Game Boy flash cartridges

        Flash cartridges (= “carts”) are commonly used to run Game Boy ROMs, such as homebrew games or dumped officially released games, on real hardware. Different kinds of flash carts with various features and performance characteristics have been available for a long time, but flash carts have in general the reputation of consuming a lot of power, greatly reducing the battery life of a Game Boy system, and possibly causing other additional problems. System stability might suffer, especially on Game Boy Pocket, and flash carts can also increase audible noise. Many of these problems have become more obvious in the recent years, since Game Boy modding is nowadays very popular and many modern mods, such as IPS screens, consume a lot of extra power. Some people claim that certain mods are simply incompatible with flash carts, and sometimes people say an extra regluator mod is needed in order to safely use flash carts. There is some truth to these claims, but unfortunately the fine details tend to matter and these kind of blanket statements can be misleading!

        In order to research the topic, I tested the power consumption of several commonly available flash carts and some of my own designs. In this blog post I intend to show that there is more variation in flash cart power consumption than people might think, and a flash cart can even be more power efficient than a genuine cart!

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Is herd immunity to COVID-19 possible? Experts increasingly say no.

        What Fauci doesn’t explicitly state, but others do, is that with about a quarter of Americans saying they might not want to be immunized, herd immunity is simply not an attainable goal.

        “It’s theoretically possible but we as a society have rejected that,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group. “There is no eradication at this point, it’s off the table. The only thing we can talk about is control.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Discord halts Microsoft talks: report

          Sources close to the matter told The Wall Street Journal that talks with tech giant Microsoft had ended without a deal being reached, though the possibility of rekindling them was left open.

        • Multiple agencies breached by hackers using Pulse Secure vulnerabilities

          Federal authorities announced Tuesday that hackers breached multiple government agencies and other critical organizations by exploiting vulnerabilities in products from a Utah-based software company.

          “CISA is aware of compromises affecting U.S. government agencies, critical infrastructure entities, and other private sector organizations by a cyber threat actor—or actors—beginning in June 2020 or earlier related vulnerabilities in certain Ivanti Pulse Connect Secure products,” the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said in an alert.

        • SolarWinds [Cracking] Campaign Puts Microsoft in the Hot Seat

          Yet it was Microsoft whose code the cyber spies persistently abused in the campaign’s second stage, rifling through emails and other files of such high-value targets as then-acting Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf — and hopping undetected among victim networks.

          This has put the world’s third-most valuable company in the hot seat. Because its products are a de facto monoculture in government and industry — with more than 85% market share — federal lawmakers are insisting that Microsoft swiftly upgrade security to what they say it should have provided in the first place, and without fleecing taxpayers.

        • The Incredible Rise of North Korea’s [Cracking] Army [iophk: Windows TCO]

          North Korea’s cybercrime program is hydra-headed, with tactics ranging from bank heists to the deployment of ransomware and the theft of cryptocurrency from online exchanges. It is difficult to quantify how successful Pyongyang’s [crackers] have been. Unlike terrorist groups, North Korea’s cybercriminals do not claim responsibility when they strike, and the government issues reflexive denials. As a result, even seasoned observers sometimes disagree when attributing individual attacks to North Korea. Nevertheless, in 2019, a United Nations panel of experts on sanctions against North Korea issued a report estimating that the country had raised two billion dollars through cybercrime. Since the report was written, there has been bountiful evidence to indicate that the pace and the ingenuity of North Korea’s online threat have accelerated.

          According to the U.N., many of the funds stolen by North Korean [crackers] are spent on the Korean People’s Army’s weapons program, including its development of nuclear missiles. The cybercrime spree has also been a cheap and effective way of circumventing the harsh sanctions that have long been imposed on the country. In February, John C. Demers, the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division of the Justice Department, declared that North Korea, “using keyboards rather than guns,” had become a “criminal syndicate with a flag.”

        • [Old] The Confessions of Marcus Hutchins, the Hacker Who Saved the Internet [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Hutchins was coming off of an epic, exhausting week at Defcon, one of the world’s largest hacker conferences, where he had been celebrated as a hero. Less than three months earlier, Hutchins had saved the internet from what was, at the time, the worst cyberattack in history: a piece of malware called WannaCry. Just as that self-propagating software had begun exploding across the planet, destroying data on hundreds of thousands of computers, it was Hutchins who had found and triggered the secret kill switch contained in its code, neutering WannaCry’s global threat immediately.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Ubuntu Blog: Canonical & Ubuntu at KubeCon Europe 2021

                It’s that time of the year again! KubeCon and CloudNativeCon Europe 2021 are just around the corner and, as always, Canonical and Ubuntu have a lot cooking in the Kubernetes oven especially for the event. This year, we’ll be showcasing solutions and best practices around Charmed Operators, as well as streamlined Kubernetes at the edge with micro clouds.

                We’ll be at KubeCon on May 4-7th, as well as hosting a co-located event of our own on May 3 so make sure to book a meeting and come by to chat about your K8s use case anytime during the week.

              • SD Times news digest: Android GPU Compute changes, Xilinx’s Kria Portfolio, and ELISA Project expands its global ecosystem

                The ELISA (Enabling Linux in Safety Applications) Project announced that Codethink, Horizon Robotics, Huawei Technologies, NVIDIA and Red Hat joined its ecosystem.

                The project aims to create a shared set of tools and processes to help companies build and certify Linux-based safety-critical applications and systems

                “The primary challenge is selecting Linux components and features that can be evaluated for safety and identifying gaps where more work is needed to evaluate safety sufficiently,” said Shuah Khan, Chair of the ELISA Project Technical Steering Committee and Linux Fellow at the Linux Foundation. “We’ve taken on this challenge to make it easier for companies to build and certify Linux-based safety-critical applications by exploring potential methods to enable engineers to answer that question for their specific system.”

              • Linux, Lyft establish mobile developers collective to build enterprise-grade apps

                To stimulate better collaboration amongst mobile developers, the Linux Foundation has founded one of its first open-source platforms centered around mobile app development. The new group is known as the Mobile Native Foundation, and it will be a collaborative IT infrastructure intended at enhancing the building of Android and iOS smartphone applications.

        • Security

          • Make sure your NVIDIA drivers are up to date, new security issues detailed

            NVIDIA has today revealed a bunch of new vulnerabilities in the GPU drivers that affect both Linux and Windows.

          • CERT-In issues advisory over Facebook leak concerning 6.1 million Indians

            The Computer Emergency Response Team put out an alert on Monday saying that it has been reported that globally there has been a large scale leakage of Facebook profile information. The exposed information includes email addresses, profile ID, full name, job occupation, phone numbers and birth date. According to Facebook, the scraped information does not include financial information, health information or passwords. The company has also claimed that based on its investigation, threat actors scraped this data prior to September 2019, by using Facebook’s “contact Importer” feature, which allows users to find other users by using their phone numbers, said the public advisory.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • TikTok Faces Privacy Lawsuit on Behalf of Millions of Children

              Every child that has used the app since May 2018, regardless of their account status or privacy settings, may have had their private personal information collected for the benefit of unknown third parties, according to the suit filed by Anne Longfield, England’s former Children’s Commissioner.

            • A Global Tipping Point for Reining In Tech Has Arrived

              Around the world, governments are moving simultaneously to limit the power of tech companies with an urgency and breadth that no single industry had experienced before. Their motivation varies. In the United States and Europe, it is concern that tech companies are stifling competition, spreading misinformation and eroding privacy; in Russia and elsewhere, it is to silence protest movements and tighten political control; in China, it is some of both. While nations and tech firms have jockeyed for primacy for years, the latest actions have pushed the industry to a tipping point that could reshape how the global [Internet] works and change the flows of digital data.

            • Law enforcement facial recognition examined as DHS called on to halt Clearview AI use

              The groups, including Mijente, The Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, the ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) review Clearview’s censure by New Jersey’s Attorney General, Canadian Privacy Commissioners and other tech companies, and the frequent use of free trials of Clearview’s facial recognition software by law enforcement officers. DHS agencies have also not been forthcoming about their use of the technology, they say, necessitating further action while they wait for their lawsuit to access their records to play out in court.

              San Mateo Country Sheriff’s Office has tested Clearview’s biometrics around 2,000 times, and is now considering purchasing a license for it, according to the Half Moon Bay Review.

            • Feds Track Down Capitol Rioter With Facial Recognition Hit On His Girlfriend’s Instagram
    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Family of FedEx Mass Shooter Warned Police About Him. How Did He Still Manage to Buy His Guns?

        Authorities in Indianapolis say the mother of Brandon Hole, the former FedEx employee who shot and killed eight people at a company facility last Thursday, called police in 2020 to say her son might commit “suicide by cop,” prompting them to seize his pump-action shotgun. But officials say they did not push for Hole to have a hearing under Indiana’s “red flag” law, which allows police or courts to seize guns from people who show warning signs of violence. “The very thing that the law is designed to prevent — going and buying a new gun — was not even ever sought,” says Nick Suplina, managing director for law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety.

      • Mass Shooting at Indianapolis FedEx Warehouse “Follows Pattern of Violence Against Sikhs” Nationwide

        As the Sikh community in Indianapolis and across the United States is in mourning after a gunman killed eight people at a FedEx facility last week, where four of the victims are Sikh, we speak with Simran Jeet Singh, scholar, activist and senior fellow for the Sikh Coalition, which is calling for a full investigation into the possibility of racial or ethnic hatred as a factor in the killings in Indianapolis. A majority of the workers at the warehouse are Sikh, and while authorities have not shared evidence Brandon Hole was targeting Sikh workers when he attacked the FedEx facility, police revealed Monday they previously found evidence that Hole had browsed white supremacist websites. The mass shooting took place as more than 15 states across the U.S., including Indiana, mark April as Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month. “This community, in Indianapolis, all around the world, is really devastated,” says Singh. “Given the pattern of violence against Sikhs, we are demanding a full investigation into the possibility of bias and racism in this attack.”

      • There are hundreds of posts about plans to attack the Capitol. Why hasn’t this evidence been used in court?

        But a new report by a private research group, and a separate review by NBC News, uncovered hundreds of social media posts discussing plans to move on the Capitol, including a map of the facility and talk of how to create a stampede that would overwhelm Capitol Police.

      • German Navy buys unmanned helicopters

        The Defence Ministry is equipping five corvettes with helicopter drones. This could bring a procurement process that has been going on for 13 years to an end.

      • Jewish women spied, smuggled, and sabotaged under the Nazis’ noses

        Batalion embarked on the project after coming across a neglected Yiddish volume in the British Library called “Women in the Ghettos,” published in 1946. The stories of young women “smuggling, gathering intelligence, committing sabotage, and engaging in combat” astounded her, not least because the author, whose grandparents were Polish Jews who fled the Nazis, had grown up thinking of escape as the only means of resistance available to Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust.

        The successes of the Jewish resistance were minor relative to the scale of the Nazi genocide. (More than 90% of Poland’s Jewish population perished in the Holocaust.) Even so, reading about the intricate underground web of fighters and spies is revelatory. “The Light of Days” traces the experiences of roughly 20 Polish women, based on their own memoirs and testimony, archival material and other historical sources, and interviews with the family members of those who survived the war. In Batalion’s hands, their stories are taut and suspenseful, but the author also weaves in important context about prewar Poland, life in the ghettos, and the progression of the war.

      • PBS documentary, CBS “60 Minutes” segment add to evidence of far-reaching state complicity in January 6 coup attempt

        In an interview clip that has been viewed over 1.4 million times on social media as of this writing, the vice president of the Arizona chapter of the Oath Keepers, Jim Arroyo, said, “Our guys are very experienced. We have active-duty law enforcement in our organization that are helping to train us. We can blend in with our law enforcement and, in fact, in a lot of cases our training is much more advanced because of our military backgrounds.”

        The CBS segment also shows Arroyo discussing civil war during an Oath Keepers meeting. “It’s not a joke,” he says. “This can happen and we need to be ready for it.”

        The production also spotlights the role of the group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, a Yale-educated lawyer and former Army paratrooper. It features open-channel radio communications previously reported in court documents and on the World Socialist Web Site but until Sunday never heard by the public.

      • Will events in Chad force a reset of Sahel strategy?

        Chad sits strategically astride the Sahel and the Horn of Africa and has largely been viewed by Western powers as a critical state in staunching the spread of radical Islam and terrorism from the western Sahel region and as a buffer to the long-term instability coming from Sudan’s Darfur region on Chad’s eastern border. Chad shares its northern border with Libya and has been seen as an important part of regional strategies to stem the tide of instability emanating from its collapse since the overthrow of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

      • US embassy to withdraw staff as Chad rebels advance

        The United States has ordered its non-essential staff in Chad to leave the African country as rebel fighters approached the capital on Sunday after early election results showed President Idriss Deby on course to extend his three-decade rule.

        Deby, who seized power in 1990 at the head of an armed rebellion, is a staunch ally of France and the United States in the fight against Islamist militants in the arid Sahel region.

      • 40,000 displaced in north Mozambique after assault on Palma

        Some 40,000 displaced and urgently needing food, work suspended on a multi-billion-dollar gas investment, and scores of dead still being counted.

        The damage caused by Mozambique’s extremist rebels in their deadly assault on the northeastern town of Palma continues to be assessed. Four weeks after the rebels launched a three-pronged attack, which lasted at least five days, Mozambican police and relief agencies are working to help the thousands uprooted by the violence and restore the town to daily life.

      • Nearly a million going hungry in conflict-hit Mozambique, UN says

        Almost one million people face severe hunger in northern Mozambique, where hundreds of thousands have fled Islamist militant attacks, the United Nations food agency said on Tuesday.

        Islamic State-linked insurgents last month attacked Palma, a town in Cabo Delgado province next to gas projects under development by companies including Total and Exxon.

        The World Food Programme (WFP) said in a briefing in Geneva that 950,000 people are now hungry in Mozambique. It appealed to donors for $82 million to confront the crisis.

      • There is No Moderate Islam, Islam is Islam and that’s it!

        What tends to be more ominous is the crusade on part of Vatican personnel to present Islam as a religion of peace. This was obvious, as in what has now become a yearly custom, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, on behalf of Pope Francis, released last week a message addressed to “all Muslim brothers and sisters” to show solidarity and friendship as they start their month of Ramadan — the same can be said of U.S. President Joe Biden who also extended his “warmest greetings and best wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world.”

        Notwithstanding peaceful and law abiding Muslims, there are two evident factors that would challenge the drive to present Islam in itself as a moderate religion, : the Quran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad himself as written in the hadiths.

      • Fargo activist’s reaction to Derek Chauvin verdict

        Joseph Lewis has been a familiar face across the Fargo metro for the past year in a push for change. He says that change is important to him as a Black man because he wakes up every morning wondering if he’ll be the next George Floyd.

        Lewis gathered with friends to watch history unfold Tuesday, April 20, with the verdicts announced in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the ex-Minneapolis Police officer charged in his killing.

        “This is just a very little step in the right direction and the work that is left to be done involves everyone,” Lewis said.

    • Environment

      • Six reasons why a healthy environment should be a human right

        At least 155 states recognize their citizens have the right to live in a healthy environment, either through national legislation or international accords, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

        Despite those protections, the World Health Organization estimates that 23 per cent of all deaths are linked to “environmental risks” like air pollution, water contamination and chemical exposure.

        Statistics like that are why the United Nations Human Rights Council recently passed a resolution reaffirming states’ obligations to protect human rights, including by taking stronger actions on environmental challenges.

        Here are some of the ways that a compromised planet is now compromising the human right to health.

      • Building back better needs radical change − by us

        We’ve got the money, we’ve got the knowhow, but averting the worst of the climate crisis needs radical change − by us.

      • Energy

        • Solar panels are reaching their limit. These crystals could change that.

          “The efficiency with which solar cells that have these perovskite materials convert sunlight to electrons has increased at a really incredible rate, to the extent that now the efficiencies are close to those of silicon solar cells in the lab,” said Lynn Loo, a professor of chemical engineering at Princeton University and the director of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. “That’s why we are so excited about this class of materials.”

          Perovskite solar cells can also be made relatively easily – unlike silicon cells, which need to be refined at very high temperatures and so need a lot of energy to make. Perovskites can be made as thin sheets at low temperatures, or as inks that can effectively be “printed” onto substrates of other materials, such as flexible rolls of plastic.

    • Finance

      • Turkey Bans Cryptocurrency Payments, Says Risks Are Too Big

        The Turkish central bank banned the use of cryptocurrencies as a form of payment from April 30, saying the level of anonymity behind the digital tokens brings the risk of “non-recoverable” losses.

        The curbs also prohibit companies that handle payments and electronic fund transfers from processing transactions involving cryptocurrency platforms, according to a decree published in the official government gazette on Friday.

      • Indian Government’s Plans to Ban Cryptocurrency Outright Are A Bad Idea

        If the Indian government plans to effectively police its own draconian rules, it would need to seek to block, disrupt, and spy on Internet traffic

        If rumors of a complete ban accurately describe the bill, it would be a drastic and over-reaching prohibition that would require draconian oversight and control to enforce. But it would also be in keeping with previous overreactions to cryptocurrency by regulators and politicians in India.

        India regulators’ involvement with cryptocurrency began four years ago with concerns about consumer safety in the face of scams, Ponzi schemes, and the unclear future of many blockchain projects. The central bank issued a circular prohibiting all regulated entities, including banks, from servicing businesses dealing in virtual currencies. Nearly two years later, the ban was  overturned by the Indian Supreme Court on the ground that it amounted to disproportionate regulatory action in the absence of evidence of harm caused to the regulated entities. A  subsequent report in 2019 by the Finance Ministry proposed a draft bill that would have  led to a broad ban on the use of cryptocurrency. It’s this bill that commentators suspect will form the core of the new legislation.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Britain on the Road to Kleptocracy
      • Biden Quotes ‘Holy Qur’an’ in Ramadan Greeting, says ‘Muslim Americans Have Enriched Our Country Since Our Founding’

        Repetition won’t make this claim true. The claim that the slaves were Muslims, or a significant percentage of them were Muslims, is increasingly common. In fact, however, this is unlikely, as the African slavers were Muslims, and a Muslim generally does not enslave a fellow Muslim, just the Qur’an’s prohibits a Muslim from killing another Muslim (4:92). (There are Muslims who are born into slavery in countries such as Mauritania, but that is a different phenomenon from capturing and enslaving someone.)

      • Election ex machina

        The government has recently accelerated its drive to introduce electronic voting into our electoral infrastructure. Arguments for using electronic voting machines (EVMs) and [Internet] voting (i-voting) suggest that these technologies will ensure fairness and transparency, and improve access to voting (namely, to overseas Pakistanis). The rationale — that computers can record, count and relay votes with far greater accuracy, speed and impartiality than a system overseen by fallible and potentially compromised human actors — appears straightforward enough. To use the prime minister’s parlance, they are ‘neutral umpires’.

        But are they? Neither EVMs nor i-voting are new innovations, yet their use remains deeply controversial. Many developed democracies have either rejected them or reverted back to paper balloting. To know why, it is important to first understand what factors are involved in a free and fair election during the voting process.

      • Technology: Electronic Voting Is No Silver Bullet

        Electoral reforms are back in vogue, with a particular emphasis on electronic voting machines (EVMs) and [Internet] voting for overseas citizens. Both technologies have been around for some decades now, but have been dogged by a troubled history of security flaws and vulnerabilities, some of an extremely serious nature.

        As a result, an interesting paradox has emerged: even as developing countries — such as Namibia, Nigeria, Kenya, and Bangladesh in recent years — are eagerly hopping on to the EVM bandwagon, technologically advanced nations — including the Netherlands, US, Canada, Norway, Germany and Ireland — are rejecting machines en masse and reverting to paper elections.

        The nub of the matter is that EVMs were originally designed to automate elections, not secure them.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • ISIS propaganda in the pandemic era

        ISIS exploits opportunities offered by the information age more extensively than any other terror group in the world and uses new technological tools to its benefit. As far back as March 2018, one of its posters called on supporters to wage jihad against infidels and idol worshippers “by using your money, your hands and your tongues”—that is, through the spoken and written word. Alongside gold coins and an armed fighter, the poster displayed icons of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a computer to underline the importance of online advocacy.

      • NATO tests its hand defending against blended cyber-disinformation attacks

        Member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have banded together in recent days to confront an apparent cyberattack carried out against a NATO member’s critical infrastructure, according to the alliance.

        NATO is also working to battle a stream of disinformation about the attack against island state Berylia that has flooded social media, the alliance said.

        While many world leaders have faced off with blended cyber and disinformation operations in recent years, the NATO members in this case are not in fact facing a real threat. NATO crafted the scenario, which was carried out by a fabricated non-NATO nation-state “Crimsonia,” as part of an annual simulation exercise. Known as Locked Shields, it’s designed to test leaders’ readiness to deal with live cyberthreats. Berylia, the target of the fake attack and disinformation, is also an imagined state.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Florida Criminalizes Mass Protests Ahead of Chauvin Verdict

        As the nation braces for the verdict in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis cop who killed George Floyd last May, the state of Florida has enacted sweeping and draconian restrictions on protest, and even given the state the power to veto local funding funding cuts to police budgets.

        Signing the “Combating Public Disorder Act” into law on Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis declared, “We are taking an unapologetic stand for the rule of law and public safety.” But the Republican, and close Trump ally, also made it plain that the true legislative intent was to criminalizing the protest tactics of those he denounced as “the radical left.”

        The signing brought immediate condemnation from defenders of civil liberties. “Let’s be clear: this is not an anti-riot bill,” said Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Florida. “It is a bill that criminalizes peaceful protest,” he said, adding that the law is a blast from the state’s segregationist past: “Each and every provision harkens back to Jim Crow.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Senior journalist Absar Alam shot in Islamabad

        Senior journalist and former chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Authority (Pemra), Absar Alam, was shot in Islamabad on Tuesday, he said in a video message uploaded on Twitter.

      • Two Sports Journalists, Woman Handball Player Killed In Afghanistan

        Afghanistan continues to see the killing of innocent people despite consistent efforts of brokering peace between the Taliban and the present government. Sports journalists and athletes, especially women, are being targeted by terrorists.

        According to the International Sports Press Association website, two Afghan sports journalist – Aliyas Dayee and Malala Maiwand- were killed while handball player Nooria Tabesh was gunned down.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Messages reveal far-right cops discussed killing, spying

        Documents obtained by Yle have revealed messages exchanged by two Helsinki police officers previously suspected of involvement in a far-right plot to commit acts of violence.

        The messages show that the police officers involved in the far-right group used information received in the course of their professional duties for their own purposes.

      • A Distinctly American Problem Needs Systematic Investigation

        The most constructive way that the federal government responds to avoidable loss of life is arguably in its treatment of aviation. Whenever a plane crash occurs, big or small, headline-grabbing or obscure, a team of experts is dispatched to reconstruct exactly what happened. The aim isn’t to advance a legal process or punish wrongdoers, but to figure out which changes, if any, could prevent it from happening again.

        “Aviation is safe in large part because it learns from its disasters,” my colleague James Fallows, himself a recreational pilot, has argued. The NTSB’s painstaking collection and evaluation of evidence after each accident can take months or even years, but the investigations yield insights that save lives. “From the dawn of commercial aviation through the 1990s,” Fallows writes, “1,000 to 2,000 people would typically die each year in airline crashes. Today, the worldwide total is usually about one-tenth that level.”

        What if every police killing triggered that sort of response?

      • The Chauvin Verdict Represents an Absolute Minimum of Justice

        It’s incredibly important that the jury found Chauvin guilty, but reining in the cops cannot happen through individual prosecutions.

      • Jurors Deliberate in Derek Chauvin Trial as Prosecution Urges Them to “Believe What They Had Seen”

        As jury deliberations are underway in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder and manslaughter for killing George Floyd last May, we go to Minneapolis to discuss final arguments and what is next in the case. We speak with civil rights attorney Nekima Levy Armstrong, who says the prosecution “started strong and ended strong” by reminding “the jury that they could believe what they had seen with their own eyes.”

      • Headlines April 20, 2021

        Jury deliberations have begun in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder and manslaughter for killing George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes last May. On Monday, jurors heard closing arguments in one of the most closely watched criminal trials in years. This is prosecutor Steve Schleicher.

      • What Police Impunity Looks Like: “There Was No Discipline as No Wrongdoing Was Found”

        A jury’s conviction of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd is a historic moment, in large part because it’s an anomaly. Officers who kill civilians are rarely prosecuted, let alone convicted — many aren’t even disciplined by their departments.

        To understand how police impunity works, it’s worth looking at another case, that of Kawaski Trawick.

      • ‘Let This Be a Turning Point’: Chauvin Conviction Sparks Calls for ‘True Justice’

        “This verdict is not a substitute for policy change.”

        This is accountability, but not justice—that was a widely shared sentiment after a jury in Minnesota on Tuesday found Derek Chauvin, a white former police officer, guilty of murdering George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, in Minneapolis last year.

      • Chauvin Guilty on All Counts, Including Murder of George Floyd

        One racial justice advocate said that there are “no victories today,” for “justice would mean George Floyd is still with us.”

        After deliberating for just over 10 hours, the jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin found the former Minneapolis police officer guilty for the murder of unarmed Black man George Floyd last May. 

      • The Chauvin Trial is Dangerously Deceptive

        The election and presidency of Barack Obama fed the dangerous illusion that racism no longer posed barriers to Black advancement and equality in the United States and that the only such barriers left were internal to Black people themselves.

        The constantly repeated lies claiming that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and was linked to al Qaeda and the 9/11 jetliner attackers permitted the messianic dry-drunk militarist George W. Bush to undertake the monumentally criminal and mass-murderous, petro-imperialist invasion of Iraq without being forced from office in a giant popular uprising – and to get absurdly re-elected.

      • Chauvinist Cops and the “Just Is” System That Enables Them

        Cops like Chauvin are vigilantes with badges, but without the white sheets. (Recall, if you will, that many of the folks under those KKK cloaks were ‘respectable’ members of the community — cops, judges, smiths, bartends, etc.) They’ve been guaranteed that, if they snuff the life of a fellow citizen, they will get their day in court. With a virtual guarantee of getting off the charge if they can successfully invoke Qualified Immunity.

        It’s this stark contrast of legal entitlements, this notion that you’re nothing at the hands of these flag-waving monsters, while they enjoy the privilege of protection, involving their Constitutional rights, that flat out rattles and enrages. And when you discover that there’s no remedy — that they can kill, steal your property, and piss on your cat — and you can’t pursue them criminally or civilly, and that little to no internal review of their actions will occur, then you have a right to wonder if America operates as a democracy under the rule of law anymore, and if it hasn’t reached, after “ a long train of abuses and usurpations,” that place in the Preamble to the Declaration where it is our “right” and “duty” to “throw off such government.”

      • Chauvin Trial Verdict: All Roads Lead to 38th & Chicago

        Minneapolis, Minn.—When the verdict is announced in the Derek Chauvin trial, George Floyd Square is full. The air has a slight nip to it, a stark contrast to the weekend’s warmth, and the official workday is not yet over. Still, on Tuesday afternoon, people continue to trickle in. Some shout. Some cry. Some hug.

        Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, had his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes. To decide if it was murder, the jury deliberated for nearly 10 hours. After the verdict is announced, the crowd begins to chant Floyd’s name.

      • The Chauvin Verdict Has to Be Just the Beginning

        Derek Chauvin did not just murder George Perry Floyd Jr. He tortured him to death.

        Maybe that’s what got the jury to find Chauvin guilty on all three counts.

      • Federal Court Tells Minnesota State Police To Stop Attacking, Harassing, And Arresting Journalists Covering Protests

        Minneapolis, Minnesota was still on edge when a cop shot another unarmed black man. The trial of former officer Derek Chauvin is still underway. Last May, Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd for over nine minutes — including two minutes after another officer was unable to detect a pulse.

      • Jury Finds Derek Chauvin Guilty on All 3 Counts for Murder of George Floyd

        The jury has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of killing George Floyd, a Black man, after kneeling on his neck for several minutes.

      • Ilhan Omar Blasts Democrats Over Hypocrisy in Funding Police vs Social Programs

        Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) sharply criticized the disparity between the seemingly endless amounts of money that government officials are willing to spend on the police while essential social programs go begging, at a press conference at the site of Daunte Wright’s murder in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, on Tuesday.

      • Why A Guilty Verdict For Derek Chauvin Doesn’t Change The Reality Of Police Violence

        The murder trial for Derek Chauvin was notable in many ways. Not only was it significant to George Floyd’s family, who was able to receive some semblance of the justice they’ve pushed for since Floyd’s death, but it’s also notable simply because of how rare it is for police officers to be charged for using excessive or fatal force — let alone convicted.

      • Police violence is directed against working people and youth of all racial and ethnic backgrounds

        In each of these killings, the victim was white. Each of these tragic deaths has gone unreported in the national media, which has not challenged the police account of events. There has been no questioning of the claims by police that they feared for their lives and that it was necessary to kill in self-defense. No attention has been given to why such killings happen with regularity and how the events could have been handled differently.

        As of April 14, there have been at least 265 police killings in 2021 across the United States. The police continue to kill at an unrelenting rate of three people per day, a bloody number that has held steady for years, despite popular protests and outrage over one killing after another.

      • Wisconsin community, political leaders react to the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case
    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • The Do’s and Don’ts of Videoconference Oral Proceedings [Ed: Videoconference oral proceedings are themselves a big 'Don't' because they are not legal, but EPO management just breaks the law as usual and then stacks the courts or bullies judges to get its way]

          As many will be aware, there is a challenge to the legality of videoconference Oral Proceedings pending at the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal (G 1/21).[1] In particular, the Enlarged Board has been asked to consider whether such proceedings can go ahead if the parties do not consent to use of the videoconference format. Although the question referred to the Board encompassed Examination, Opposition and Appeal proceedings, the EPO has decided to continue with videoconference Oral Proceedings for both Examination and Opposition matters irrespective of whether or not the parties involved consent to do so.[2]

          A Decision from the Enlarged Board is expected to issue relatively quickly, but unlike most referrals to be Enlarged Board, there does not appear to be much confusion about the direction the EPO will take. The EPO is generally keen to embrace the digital format and recent case law from the Boards of Appeal seems to suggest that the EPO will continue with videoconference Oral Proceedings as the “new normal”.[3] In anticipation that the Enlarged Board agrees, we have compiled our top tips for videoconference Oral Proceedings.

          DO ask for a test call. Even though we are all now familiar with the format, a test call is a good opportunity to confirm that the audio is clear, and the video is working correctly. The test call will also allow you to practice screen sharing and joining/leaving breakout rooms. Test calls need to be requested at least six weeks in advance of the hearing, as only limited time slots are available.

        • World IP Leader Touts Rise In International Patent Filings [Ed: WIPO is a corrupt institution, not “World IP Leader”. Law 360 proving to be a farce. Celebrating patent extremism is a bad thing; if you seriously think more patents make us better off, why not grant a trillion of them a year? It’s doable.]

          The director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization kicked off the virtual spring summit of the Intellectual Property Owners Association on Tuesday with a keynote speech that stressed the growing importance of innovation beyond the U.S. and Europe.

          Singaporean Daren Tang, who took the helm at WIPO, a U.N. agency, in October, opened his remarks by highlighting a 4% growth in international patent filings through WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty in 2020 despite fears that the COVID-19 pandemic would tank new filings.

          While China, the U.S., Japan, Korea and Germany led the charge with the most applications, Tang noted that innovation…

        • NuCana (NCNA) Shares Fall After Suing Gilead Sciences (GILD) in Germany Over Patent Infringement

          NuCana plc (NCNA) stock was slightly down after the British company sued Gilead Sciences (GILD) in Germany, alleging patent infringement for the sale of Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi and relation combination drugs. NCNA shares were down 2.64% to $4.06 per share while GILD was up 0.76% to $66.45 on Tuesday afternoon.

        • Waco jury in VLSI v. Intel starts deliberation: Intel vehemently denies infringement and attacks $3 billion damages claim [Ed: No place in the world disgraces patent law better than Texas; makes one wonder what such laws exist for in the first place...]

          In my previous post on the VLSI v. Intel patent trial in the Western District of Texas, I asked the question of whether the jury will be persuaded that, should it find an infringement, Intel would have paid a $3 billion royalty on two patents that are part of a portfolio that was at some point valued at $7 million. The answer is just a question of days, if not hours: counsel for both parties–Irell & Manella’s Morgan Chu and WilmerHale’s Bill Lee–just delivered closing argument.

          A week ago, Intel’s opening argument emphasized the semiconductor company’s independent research and development. VLSI’s lawyer told the jury that this is irrelevant under patent law: you can infringe whether or not you know the patent. Mr. Chu called this argument “a red herring” and “a signpost in the desert”–but the strict-liability nature of patent law is separate from whether jurors will feel that Intel has committed a wrongdoing it needs to be penalized for, or whether there is, at best, an accidential infringement at issue.

          The “signpost in the desert” was not only the “post” metaphor: Mr. Lee compared VLSI’s efforts to allege an infringement despite a patent having been narrowed on reexamination as “moving the fencepost” in order to develop an infringement theory regardless.

          Most of the argument was very technical, and counsel for both parties tried to put testimony, particularly expert testimony, into a particular context. For example, a point that Mr. Lee made and which might resonate with the jury was that VLSI got an Intel witness to confirm that a page from a document was consistent with one of VSLI’s arguments, but the headline of the document showed that it was just some general technical description and not specific to the accused products. What I consider even more likely to bear weight with jurors is an Intel position on claim construction: Mr. Lee said that this morning he “walked from [his] hotel to the court”: “‘from’ means ‘from’, ‘to’ means ‘to’.” Those kinds of non-infringement arguments appeal to common sense. By comparison, VLSI’s lawyer’s explanations of the meaning of “when” were much more technical–that was necessary in the context, but it just wasn’t as easy to understand as Intel’s interpretation of “from” and “to.” VLSI’s explanation of “determinism” was funny: if you boil an egg for 10 minutes, then you always know what the result is going to be like.

        • Software Patents

          • Could Alice Be Used to Invalidate Diehr? Of Course It Could [Ed: Software patents profiteer (litigation, not invention) Michael Borella is worried that software patents have become pretty worthless in courts; now the USPTO should stop granting these.]

            The Supreme Court’s Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l case has been criticized for setting forth a patent eligibility analysis that is unworkably subjective. As a consequence, the validity of particular types of inventions, especially those in the software and business method space, can be uncertain until undergoing judicial review.

            In a nutshell, Alice sets forth a two-part test to determine whether claims are directed to patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. One must first decide whether the claim at hand is directed to a judicially-excluded law of nature, a natural phenomenon, or an abstract idea. If so, then one must further decide whether any element or combination of elements in the claim is sufficient to ensure that the claim amounts to significantly more than the judicial exclusion. But elements or combinations of elements that are well-understood, routine, and conventional will not lift the claim over the § 101 hurdle. While this inquiry is generally carried out as a matter of law, factual issues can come into play when determining whether something is well-understood, routine, and conventional.

            Having said that, the test in practice usually amounts to eyeballing the claim and determining whether some of its elements recite or involve a judicial exclusion. If so, the remaining elements are considered to determine whether they, individually or in combination, amount to significantly more. In other words, § 101 includes a poor-man’s form of prior art analysis. Also, vague, non-specific or result-oriented elements have little or no weight in the “significantly more” inquiry. So, § 101 also incorporates a form of enablement.

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:45 am by Needs Sunlight

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Some People Who Asked to Be Removed From the Slanderous Hate Letter Against the FSF Are Still Being Denied Removal (But Not All)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 2:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: I am aware of some people (evidence is in the public domain for all to see) who asked to be removed from the hate list; their requests have not yet been processed, or simply denied. Maybe they should ask again. There are silent and selective changes.

OSI hate current

OSI hate archive

diff new-hate.txt old-hate.txt
> Amir Yalon
> Christian Paul (jaller94)
> rany

Snapshot as of minutes ago:

RMS petition 21-04-2021

Let’s see if more names will be removed over time, contradicting what they said about freezing this petition (to deny removal requests).

More below.

$ git log --oneline | nl -v0 | sed 's/^ \+/&HEAD~/' | grep -i Remo
    HEAD~17     1d46fde Remove how-to-sign from translations.
    HEAD~42     9753268 Removed excess dot
    HEAD~43     063eaad Removed excess dot
    HEAD~57     3decc71 Trolling removal (#2544)
    HEAD~77     5f78c04 According to @combacsa's advice, remove a statement asking for signature via PR.
    HEAD~78     534901a Merge pull request #2538 from fortysixandtwo/remove_my_name
    HEAD~82     525ecdd Remove name
    HEAD~94     01e2d0e removed Peter Ludikovsky
    HEAD~99     0e20d5e Remove Rojen Zaman's name and signature. (#2532)
   HEAD~102     0b3bef8 Clarify translation instructions, remove Contributing
   HEAD~103     0276faf Removing GitHub instructions from README
   HEAD~161     10da854 Remove @owl4ce signature
   HEAD~163     6e88803 Remove TomoeMami
   HEAD~393     3e50267 Removed my Signature
   HEAD~502     ddd3378 removes my signature
   HEAD~521     31d2b92 Temporary remove my signature
   HEAD~550     36f447e remove signature
   HEAD~592     934055d remove mail from sig
   HEAD~620     c5d82a4 Remove accidental duplicate names
   HEAD~706     922ce4e Remove OP
   HEAD~854     16d959a Remove my name.
   HEAD~889     ce6dbeb Merge pull request #2058 from amiremohamadi/main
   HEAD~904     06eef0c amiremohamadi signed
   HEAD~936     035a90d Remove me
  HEAD~1279     c057e9d Remove me
  HEAD~1282     e417900 remove me
  HEAD~1341     08205a9 Add signature in support for RMS' removal
  HEAD~1433     dfa9897 Remove signatures from Turkish version
  HEAD~1435     0fa0642 Remove signatures from Turkish version
  HEAD~1453     ca33ac3 Remove My Name From the List
  HEAD~1587     38f1326 Remove possible spam signature
  HEAD~1668     c0d970c Merge remote-tracking branch 'upstream/main'
  HEAD~1972     b262416 Merge remote-tracking branch 'upstream/main'
  HEAD~2073     c5e28e2 Remove Andrei Kvapil (@kvaps)
  HEAD~2830     887ef60 Merge remote-tracking branch 'upstream/main' into main
  HEAD~3109     3c67c8e remove links from signatures list, for uniformity
  HEAD~3145     bbc3d03 remove duplicate signature
  HEAD~3216     267ac44 Remove duplicates
  HEAD~3222     339384c Remove signature with wrongspelled surname (#422)
  HEAD~3235     680049b Added some names, removed one. (#174)

The person who got the ball rolling (just over a day after RMS had made his announcement):

 git log -p | tail -n100
-[Link](url) and ![Image](src)
-For more details see [GitHub Flavored Markdown](https://guides.github.com/features/mastering-markdown/).
-### Jekyll Themes
-Your Pages site will use the layout and styles from the Jekyll theme you have selected in your [repository settings](https://github.com/rms-open-letter/rms-open-letter.github.io/settings). The name of this theme is saved in the Jekyll `_config.yml` configuration file.
-### Support or Contact
-Having trouble with Pages? Check out our [documentation](https://docs.github.com/categories/github-pages-basics/) or [contact support](https://support.github.com/contact) and we’ll help you sort it out.
+- Molly de Blanc (Debian Project, GNOME Foundation)
+- Nathan Freitas
+- Matthew Garrett (Former member of the FSF board of directors)
+- Shauna Gordon-McKeon
+- Elana Hashman (Debian Technical Committee Member, Open Source Initiative Director, Kubernetes SIG Instrumentation Chair)
+- Tom Marble (Software Freedom Conservancy, Evaluation Committee Chair)
+- Neil McGovern (GNOME Foundation Executive Director, Former Debian Project Leader)
+- Deb Nicholson (OSI General Manager, SeaGL Co-Founder)
+- Nadya Peek
+- Julia Reda
+- Eric Schultz
+- Joan Touzet (Apache CouchDB PMC, Former Apache Software Foundation Director)
+- Luis Villa (Former director of the Open Source Initiative and the GNOME Foundation; contributor to the GPL v3 drafting process)
+- Stefano Zacchiroli (Former Debian Project Leader and Former director of the Open Source Initiative)

commit 8b507ebf29306bcf3bf26bc433ca2238186c092d
Author: Molly de Blanc <mdeblanc@edx.org>
Date:   Tue Mar 23 13:43:00 2021 -0400

    Set theme jekyll-theme-tactile

diff --git a/README.md b/README.md
index 1cf37bd..8301545 100644
--- a/README.md
+++ b/README.md
@@ -1 +1,37 @@
-# rms-open-letter.github.io
\ No newline at end of file
+## Welcome to GitHub Pages
+You can use the [editor on GitHub](https://github.com/rms-open-letter/rms-open-letter.github.io/edit/main/README.md) to maintain and preview the content for your website in Markdown files.
+Whenever you commit to this repository, GitHub Pages will run [Jekyll](https://jekyllrb.com/) to rebuild the pages in your site, from the content in your Markdown files.
+### Markdown
+Markdown is a lightweight and easy-to-use syntax for styling your writing. It includes conventions for
+Syntax highlighted code block
+# Header 1
+## Header 2
+### Header 3
+- Bulleted
+- List
+1. Numbered
+2. List
+**Bold** and _Italic_ and `Code` text
+[Link](url) and ![Image](src)
+For more details see [GitHub Flavored Markdown](https://guides.github.com/features/mastering-markdown/).
+### Jekyll Themes
+Your Pages site will use the layout and styles from the Jekyll theme you have selected in your [repository settings](https://github.com/rms-open-letter/rms-open-letter.github.io/settings). The name of this theme is saved in the Jekyll `_config.yml` configuration file.
+### Support or Contact
+Having trouble with Pages? Check out our [documentation](https://docs.github.com/categories/github-pages-basics/) or [contact support](https://support.github.com/contact) and we’ll help you sort it out.
diff --git a/_config.yml b/_config.yml
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..259a24e
--- /dev/null
+++ b/_config.yml
@@ -0,0 +1 @@
+theme: jekyll-theme-tactile
\ No newline at end of file

commit 535a9d11f1e09addf1a15fc318326105e2bc640f
Author: Molly de Blanc <mdeblanc@edx.org>
Date:   Tue Mar 23 13:42:36 2021 -0400

    Initial commit

diff --git a/README.md b/README.md
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..1cf37bd
--- /dev/null
+++ b/README.md
@@ -0,0 +1 @@
+# rms-open-letter.github.io
\ No newline at end of file

They’re still working on it today (someone who works on/for Microsoft Azure (not kidding!)):

$ git log -p | head -n10
commit 67e935e630c29f7b2c16a99cb9f0ef87740e4de7
Merge: 61e2eb1 b7053ad
Author: Elana Hashman <ehashman@users.noreply.github.com>
Date:   Wed Apr 21 08:27:31 2021 +0100

    Merge pull request #2562 from rms-open-letter/mollydb-patch-2

It’s worth noting that most of the software (almost 60%) was coded using a Microsoft language (TypeScript), which is an attack on the original language:

TypeScript in hate letter

People keep asking for removals (this was 11 hours ago):

Removing names

Overt Abuse and Mischaracterisations by Bully de Blanc

Posted in Deception, FSF, GNOME, GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, Microsoft, OSI at 1:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blue hair is not a substitute for skills and experience

Blue hair, Bully de Blanc
This screenshot is real and it is a real account, not a prank

Summary: The campaign to ruin the FSF and silence its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), goes months prior to the hate letter set up by Bully de Blanc, her boss, and the Microsoft-sponsored OSI; they just attack the licence (GPL/copyleft) and they try to redefine things for the corporations which fund them

A reader of ours recently wanted to add some more information on Molly de Blanc, whom we dubbed “Bully de Blanc” last month because of the bullying (some people have since then copied the name; MinceR says “Bully the blanc” or “the blank”).

“Earlier this year (in February) Bully de Blanc attacked the very definition of Free software (in apparent collaboration between the GNOME Foundation and OSI) and the desire to attack RMS was already expressed out in the open (in Bully de Blanc’s blog) months before he even came back to the FSF’s Board.”When someone engages in character assassination (based on deliberate distortion, libel, and a gish gallop of falsehoods), he or she should not be shocked to find online criticism of him or her. This is why when it comes to Bully de Blanc we’ve shown no particular remorse; we objectively explained what we had observed. Earlier this year (in February) Bully de Blanc attacked the very definition of Free software (in apparent collaboration between the GNOME Foundation and OSI) and the desire to attack RMS was already expressed out in the open (in Bully de Blanc’s blog) months before he even came back to the FSF's Board. So they must have waited for an excuse or a “trigger” event.

This post contains a polite, calm, and fact-checked interpretation. It will also quote, anonymously, some people who read this site and have researched the matter themselves.

“I have noticed your video here,” one reader noted. “Please put attention here on [the] official Molly de Blanc profile” (in Debian.org).

“As where she tries to be “Debian developer” but it most probably is over,” the reader said, “as status is “Closed”. That is contradictory information and false representation which in the end is also illegal act. She is stating there to be “I also work at the FSF, and serve on the Open Source Initiative board of directions.” — whereby I do not think she is now at FSF — please verify and use your connections to remove that profile, or archive it. This page says she is not on the board. Maybe she was on both boards, but it is very obvious that she has no clear policy neither on “Open Source” [nor] on FSF, she is image maker. As a conclusion, I wish to point out to a pattern of false representations by Molly de Blanc. I think that it would be worth putting it into the timeline, as I have seen pattern of false representations.”

DreyfusWe too have noticed some of that. “All the roles are past roles,” a reader noted. “She doesn’t remove the roles from web sites, she keeps using all these titles as a substitute for skills.”

To us, it doesn’t necessarily matter whether the credentials are false, outdated, or acquired by means like a romantic relationship. What matters to us is the persistent and ongoing agenda, which was outlined even months before the hate letter was put online, backed by corporate media sponsored by the same corporations that control the OSI and GNOME Foundation. Don’t think those people are just going away and won’t be coming back. They try to induce fear and self-shame to keep RMS silent. He’s still reluctant to do new interviews with us (or with anyone else for that matter). The hate letter was updated just over a week ago, just to say that aren’t accepting a public apology from RMS. Nothing he does will ever make them happy. They’re still concern-trolling the FSF, trying to shun it while taking money from Microsoft (which bribes officials, not just the OSI and Linux Foundation).

To better understand what we’re up against, we must understand the agenda and also understand whose agenda that is. IBM, which is now under fire for abuses against workers, has many reasons to dislike what RMS says.

“If thought can corrupt language, then language can also corrupt thought.”

George Orwell

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