Bill Gates Exposed

Posted in Bill Gates at 6:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Published this week: Bill Gates known for ‘womanizing,’ naked pool parties, biographer says (a day after the same publisher commented on the reason/catalyst for the divorce being Epstein)

Last year: Bill and Melinda Gates Employee Took Photos of Young Boys at the Beach | Detectives Found That Bill Gates’ Engineer Took Photos of Latino Boys at the Beach. His Child Pornography Files Included Similar Material.

Bill Gates nude

Bill Gates on nudists

Summary: While publishers like ZDNet worked hard (on Microsoft’s budget) to distract us from real scandals many nefarious things were happening; are we witnessing the fall of Gates?

Welcome to ZDNet’s ‘Linux’ Section…

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 5:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

About an hour ago: You Look for Linux News and Instead It’s Microsoft Noise and Openwashing

ZDNet's 'Linux' section...
Mary J. Nichols

Summary: ZDNet, which defamed RMS to help distract from Bill Gates scandals, is doing what the sponsors (IBM, Microsoft, Linux Foundation) pay for

Europe’s Second-Largest Institution, the EPO, is Partly Based in the United States

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 5:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The EPO has outsourced its operations, including its ‘courts’, to the United States; this seems to be the so-called ‘New Normal’ [1, 2]

THE EPO wants to fool the world. When it’s not busy burning tens of millions of euros gaming the media is it issuing some distracting self-serving lies in the “news” section of its site.

“It’s hard to not understand why EPO staff is pissed off and why so many went on strike a few months back, in spite of the risks associated with such an action.”“Testing of Zoom for OPs in examination has already started through ad hoc conversion of OPs by Skype for Business with the agreement of the applicant and/or representative,” the EPO says (warning: epo.org link) today, but both are a violation of the EPC and GDPR. EPO management is just outsourcing to the US, yet again. The EU authorities don't seem to care.

Shaved Ice Bear: Skype illegal? OK, we'll provide another illegal optionTowards the end, this video mentions this article about the António Campinos regime shamelessly breaking laws under the guise of ‘New Normal’. We mentioned this article in the morning. Well, law-breaking was already normalised by Benoît Battistelli. Campinos is just… “finishing the job”…

It’s hard to not understand why EPO staff is pissed off and why so many went on strike a few months back, in spite of the risks associated with such an action.

You Look for Linux News and Instead It’s Microsoft Noise and Openwashing

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, Windows at 4:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Imagine trying to go about doing your own ‘business’, only to be confronted by paid-for plugs (sponsored) by the people trying to undercut/undermine your business; welcome to “Linux” in 2021

THANKS to the flailing Linux Foundation and sellouts such as SUSE, one cannot really avoid the thing that GNU/Linux seeks to replace. Microsoft tries hard to interject itself into just about everything, even Linux.

“Microsoft tries hard to interject itself into just about everything, even Linux.”This isn’t a novel Microsoft tactic. See the quote at the bottom to better understand the pattern we’re dealing with.

All the links from this video (in order) can be found here, but we’re omitting some of the worst ones, such as SUSE having the audacity to celebrate/champion Microsoft while shunning the FSF and RMS — the very origin of the operating system SUSE sells.

Related posts: [Humour] SUSE is Becoming Novell Again | SUSE is Still Pushing Microsoft Proprietary Software and Bragging About the Novell Patent Collusion With Microsoft

“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”

Microsoft's chief evangelist

Links 11/5/2021: Maui 1.2.2 and Tor Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 2:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Microsoft launches new open-source project to bring Linux tool eBPF to Windows [Ed: Microsoft loves Linux... when it helps sell Windows or bring code to Windows]

        Microsoft has launched a new project which has the aim of bringing Linux kernel tool eBPF (Extended Berkeley Packet Filter) to Windows.

        The company insists that the move to get the technology working in Windows does not represent creating a fork of eBPF. Instead, it will use existing projects, including the IOVisor uBPF project and the PREVAIL verifier, to run eBPF programs and APIs on top of its own operating systems — specifically Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 or above.

      • Microsoft Bringing eBPF Support To Windows

        eBPF has been one of the greatest Linux kernel innovations of the past decade and now Microsoft has decided to bring this “revolutionary technology” to Windows Server and Windows 10.

      • Mainline Linux gains accelerated video decoding for Microchip’s SAMA5D4

        Lately at Collabora, we have been working on the next generation of video codec devices. Stateless hardware accelerators provide more control over the codec pipeline resulting in improved power savings among other benefits.

        One of these devices is the VeriSilicon’s Hantro Codec. It is featured on a number of SoC from Rockchip to NXP’s i.MX8 series. Recently one of our colleagues, Benjamin Gaignard, has been working on HEVC/H.265 support for the NXP’s i.MX8 M

        I’m pleased to share that the Hantro V4L2 kernel module has gained support for another SoC, the Microchip SAMA5D4. The device features a single decode unit supporting MPEG2, VP8 and H.264 streams, alongside the built-in post-processing unit.

      • Linux 5.10.36
        All users of the 5.10 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.10.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.10.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.4.118
      • ‘A fair amount of stuff, all over the place’: Torvalds closes merge window for Linux 5.13 with support for Apple M1

        Linus Torvalds has closed the merge window for Linux 5.13 with the first release candidate, which includes initial support for Apple’s M1 processor along with “a fair amount of stuff, all over the place.”

        The closing of the merge window means that the new code which has been accepted by the Linux development community as both desirable and sufficiently stable is included in the first release candidate for the new kernel, which is generally feature-complete. The work is now focused on stability and fixing problems, ahead of the stable release which usually follows within a couple of months.

        On this occasion Torvalds said that “there’s a lot in there,” of which a third is auto-generated from hardware descriptions and 60 per cent driver changes. That still leaves room for a number of significant new features. Overall, there are 12,015 files changes, 631,309 insertions, and 246,239 deletions.

        The changes include initial support for Apple M1 processors, based on the work of Arnd Bergmann, Hector Martin, and others.

      • Preliminary Apple M1 Support Added To Latest Linux Kernel

        Linux Torvalds has announced availability of Linux kernel 5.13 release candidate that adds preliminary support for Apple’s M1 system-on-chip along with a number of improvements to the operating system itself, reports 9to5Linux.com.

        The most interesting addition to Linux kernel 5.13 is preliminary support for Apple’s M1 SoC, something that developers have been working on for months now. While Linux does support Arm and can run on various SoCs such as the Raspberry Pi, Apple’s M1 is considerably different from other processors, so making Linux run on this chip was a tough challenge.

        At this point Linux 5.13-RC1 can boot on an M1-based system, but does not support all features of the SoC. For example, GPU support is still not even half-baked.

        “This is just basic bring-up, but it lays a solid foundation and is probably the most challenging up-streaming step we’ll have to do, at lease until the GPU stuff is done,” said Hector Martin, a software developer, reports The Register.

        Availability of Linux kernel 5.13-RC1 means that the Linux development community finds that the new build is almost ready for release, with an anticipated final release due in June / July.

      • Looking At An Early Performance Regression In Linux 5.13 – Scheduler Related

        Since the Linux 5.13 merge window began settling down and especially now with 5.13-rc1 out the door, I’ve been ramping up performance testing of the Linux 5.13 kernel. So far I’ve been seeing one area where the kernel is regression and stems from the scheduler changes this cycle.

        I’m still early on in the benchmarking process in testing a range of systems with Linux 5.13 compared to 5.12 stable, but from testing on an Intel Core i9 11900K “Rocket Lake” system in particular was a bit intrigued by one of the performance drops on 5.13 that led me to looking closer at it yesterday…

        On the Rocket Lake system as well as a Core i5 9400F system (among the few systems tested so far with preliminary benchmarks), the context switching performance as measured by the well known Stress-NG took a nose dive…

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA 460.80 Linux Driver Released With New Laptop GPU Support, Bug Fixes

          With today NVIDIA announcing the GeForce RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPUs, they have issued the 460.80 Linux driver as their newest long-lived driver release.

          The NVIDIA 460.80 Linux driver adds support for the GeForce RTX 3050 / RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPUs along with the laptop GPUs of the T600, T1200, RTX A2000, RTX A3000, RTX A4000, and RTX A5000 GPUs. These additional laptop GPUs were already supported by the latest NVIDIA 465 series Linux driver but have now been brought back to the long-term 460 series driver branch.

        • NVIDIA released the stable Linux 460.80 driver following their new GPU releases

          Following on from the news earlier that NVIDIA has released the RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti for laptops, their new stable driver 460.80 is out for Linux.

          As always for NVIDIA, they push out a new driver right away to get Linux support for their GPUs hooked up day and date with the release.

        • NVIDIA 460.80 Driver Released with Support for New Laptop GPUs, Bug Fixes

          The NVIDIA 460.80 video driver is here to bring support for a plethora of new laptop GPUs, including the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, NVIDIA T600, NVIDIA T1200, NVIDIA RTX A5000, NVIDIA RTX A4000, NVIDIA RTX A3000, and NVIDIA RTX A2000.

          In addition, it addresses various bugs that were present in previous versions. For example, it fixes two regressions, one that could prevent eglQueryDevicesEXT from correctly enumerating GPUs on multi-GPU systems where access to the GPU device files was restricted for some GPUs, and the other one that could cause system hangs when changing display resolution on SLI Mosaic configurations.

        • AMDGPU Appears Ready To Flip On ASPM For More GPUs To Help With Power Savings

          With Linux 5.13 AMD began enabling ASPM by default in the AMDGPU DRM driver for Navi 1x, Vega, and Polaris GPUs. Looking ahead to potentially 5.14, AMD appears to be ready to flip on this power-savings feature for the Radeon RX 6000 series (Navi 2x) along with older pre-Polaris GPUs too.

          PCI Express Active State Power Management (ASPM) has been a tricky situation on Linux especially for years. Due to quirky motherboards as well as some problematic PCIe cards, this feature while part of the PCI Express standard hasn’t often been used by default due to various problems that can come up with quirky hardware as well as the latency when returning from the ASPM state. When working nominally, ASPM is designed to provide active-state link power management to cut power to the PCIe link when otherwise idle and can often deliver measurable power savings for laptops and desktops.

        • AMD Publishes Radeon Rays 4.1 As Open-Source

          Last year Radeon Rays 4.0 brought Vulkan support while dropping OpenCL and at the same time no longer being open-source… This GPU-accelerated ray intersection library used by the likes of Radeon ProRender is out today with version 4.1 and now it’s back to being open-source.

          Today with AMD’s Radeon Rays 4.1 release they are celebrating that it’s now “open source!” Though that’s just for Radeon Rays 4 as mentioned with their prior release having gone closed-source compared to prior releases, but thankfully it’s now returned to being open-source.

    • Applications

      • Axel – A Command-Line File Download Accelerator for Linux

        If you are the kind of person who enjoys downloading and trying out several Linux distributions, we are sure you will welcome with open arms a download accelerator that talks the talk and walks the walk – one that does what its description says.

        In this guide, we will introduce you to Axel, a lightweight wget clone that was no dependencies (other than gcc and makeutils).

      • HP Printer Driver HPLIP 3.21.4 Released with HP Envy 6400 Support

        HP printer drivers for Linux, HPLIP, released version 3.21.4 today with new devices and Linux distros support.

        HPLIP 3.21.4 is a small release adds HP Envy 6400 series printers support, and adds new systems LinuxMint 20.1, Debian 10.8 support. Ubuntu 21.04 is not yet supported though it has been released for a few weeks.

        And it does not install in Ubuntu 20.04 in my case, though it works in Ubuntu 20.10 and Ubuntu 18.04.

      • An introduction to the Quay container registry

        If you’re working on a cloud environment that requires the Continuous Integration (CI) process from CI/CD, you need to consider how to store and manage the built packages. What do I mean by packages? These packages can be archive files like WAR or EAR files for Java, but they can also be containerized images that include the compiled sources combined with a programming run time. They might also be base images like NodeJS, CentOS, RHEL, Windows, Python, etc. If you want to store and manage container images, you need to have a container image registry that is easy to operate yet flexible, powerful, and secure enough to meet the industry standard.


        A cloud environment that requires the Continuous Integration (CI) process from CI/CD, might leave you wondering how to store and manage the built packages. Container images can be a challenge to organize but I hope you can see now that Quay provides several functionality levels and options for you and your environment.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Brendan Gregg: Poor Disk Performance

        People often tell me they don’t understand performance tool output because they can’t tell what’s “good” or “bad.” It can be hard as performance is subjective. What’s good for one user may be bad for another. There are also cases where I can’t tell either: The tools only provide clues for further analysis.

      • [Solved] system-config-firewall: command not found

        When you get the error message “system-config-firewall: command not found” on your CentOS Server while trying to configure the firewall on the shell, then the text interface version of the firewall configuration utility is missing.

      • Use the Alpine email client in your Linux terminal | Opensource.com

        Email is an important communications medium and will remain so for the foreseeable future. I have used many different email clients over the last 30 years, and Thunderbird is what I have used the most in recent years. It is an excellent and functional desktop application that provides all the features that most people need—including me.

        One of the things that makes a good system administrator is curiosity—and I have more than my share. Over the last few months, I have become dissatisfied with Thunderbird—not because of anything particularly wrong with it. Rather, after many years, I grew tired of it. I was curious about whether I could find an email client to provide a better (or at least different) experience than Thunderbird and be at least as efficient.

      • scan multiple log subdirectories for the latest log files and tail them
      • Finding the right cost for bcrypt/pbkdf2

        Foreman uses bcrypt with variable cost as the default password hashing approach, but I learned that bcrypt is not approved for passwords by NIST the other day. Before finishing my patch, I wanted to see what are the sane iteration counts for PBKDF2-HMAC-SHA algorithm which is approved by NIST. Here are results to give you rough estimation from my Intel NUC i3 8th gen running i3-8109U, a CPU from 2018…

      • How To Completely Uninstall MySQL Server on Ubuntu – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to completely uninstall the MySQL server on Ubuntu. For those of you who didn’t know, MySQL is a relational database management system (RDBMS) that runs as a server providing multi-user access to a number of databases. The MySQL source code is freely available because it was originally developed as freeware. MySQL is written in C and C++ and is compatible with all major operating systems. MySQL can be used for a variety of applications but is most commonly found on Web servers.

        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 completely remove MySQL 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.

      • How To Install And Use Yarn Package Manager In Linux – OSTechNix

        This guide explains what is Yarn, how to install Yarn package manager in Linux and finally describes the basic usage of Yarn.

      • How To Install Nginx With Google PageSpeed Module on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial we will show you how to install Nginx with Google PageSpeed Module on Ubuntu 20.04, as well as some extra required by Nginx

      • How To Take Screenshots On A Chromebook [Tutorials For Chromebook] | Itsubuntu.com

        If you are new a Chromebook users then you might have confusion while using it but slowly you will get used to with your Chromebook. It will far easier for you if you get to know about the various Google Chromebook keyboard shortcuts.

        Today we will you show you the easy method to take full-screen or partial screenshots on Google Chromebook.

      • How to Enable/Disable Automatic Login in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        It is common practice for users to have to provide authentication information in order to log on to a Linux system. This helps protect sensitive or personal files, emails, and other data that reside on your system from any physical intrusion. However, if your system is in an already secure location that is free from any privacy threat, you can save yourself the trouble of providing your user credentials every time you log in. In this article, we will show you two ways to enable/disable automatic login to your Ubuntu system…

      • How to Install FFMPEG 4.4 via PPA in Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04, & 21.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        FFmpeg 4.4 “Rao” now can be installed in all current Ubuntu releases easily via an Ubuntu PPA.

        FFmpeg is a free and open-source solution to record, convert and stream audio and video. The major 4.4 version was released almost a months ago with PGX decoder, AV1 encoding support SVT-AV1, AV1 decoder with hardware acceleration used only, AV1 VAAPI decoder, and so many other new features.

        Thanks to Rob Savoury, an Ubuntu PPA is available contains the packages for all current Ubuntu releases.

        Upgrading FFmpeg is not recommended for beginners unless you know what you’re going to do. It may cause dependency issue for some multi-media apps that depends on specified version of a media library.

      • How to Install Pop Shell Window Tiling Extension on Ubuntu 20.04

        Using your mouse to interact with more than two windows at a time or copy-paste code from your browser to editor can get tedious. This usually takes some time because you always need to minimize the first window in order to access another one. This is where a tiling window manager comes in.

        Pop!_OS shell is an auto-tiling window manager that was developed by the Pop!_OS dev team. It is a GNOME extension running on top of the GNOME shell. You can use it to position your windows and control the layouts in which you want your windows to be placed. This will definitely improve your workflow and save time.

      • How to Install Vagrant in Linux

        In this article, you will learn how to install Vagrant in Linux distributions using a standard repository with the help of a package manager.

      • How to enable port 587 (submission) in postfix

        Some internet access providers have port 25 disabled in their routers to prevent spam. If you run your own email server in a data center, you might have to enable the submission port (587) in postfix to be able to send emails from your local email client to your own mail server.

      • How to install zabbix agent and add hosts to Zabbix server on CENTOS 8 / RHEL 8 – Unixcop

        Zabbix Agent is a program that works on remote client machines, which need to be monitored by the Zabbix server.The agent gathers the data from the remote client machines and sends it to the zabbix server. All the remote client machines which are required to be monitored need zabbix agent installed on them.

      • Linux Essentials – Symbolic Links

        In this episode of Linux Essentials, we take a look at symbolic links, aka “symlinks” aka “soft links”. In addition, a brief discussion on inodes is featured, as well as the difference between soft links and hard links.

      • [ Easy ] Cisco Webex Install On Ubuntu Linux – LateWeb.Info

        Cisco Webex is an American company that develops and sells web conferencing and videoconferencing applications. It was founded as WebEx in 1995 and taken over by Cisco Systems in 2007. Its headquarters are in Milpitas, California.[citation needed]

        Its software products include Webex Meetings, Webex Teams, Training Center, Event Center, Support Center, Sales Center, MeetMeNow, PCNow, Webex AIM Pro Business Edition, Webex WebOffice, and WebEx Connect. All Webex products are part of the Cisco Systems collaboration portfolio.

        In this tutorial we are going to install Cisco Webex in Ubuntu 21.04 Linux with the official .deb package provided by webex.

      • [ Easy ] Skype Install On Ubuntu Linux [Ed: Gives Microsoft a lot of control over one's PC]
      • YUM commands – Unixcop

        In this article, we will learn how to install, update, remove, find packages, manage packages and repositories on Linux systems using YUM (Yellowdog Updater Modified) tool developed by RedHat. The example commands shown in this article are practically tested on our CentOS 8.3 server, you can use these material for study purpose, certifications or just to explore ways to install new packages and keep your system up-to-date. The basic requirement of this article is, you must have a basic understanding of commands and a working Linux operating system, where you can explore and practice all the commands listed below.

      • Osysinfo: A Basic CLI Tool to See Your System Details on Linux

        Osysinfo is a CLI tool that aims to provide basic information within multiple areas of your system.

      • Easy guide to assign Static IP Address on CentOS / RHEL (7 & 8) – LinuxTechLab

        DHCP servers are used almost in all organizations or even in our home routers for assigning IP addresses to get access to the internet. Usually, when we enable our network interface on our CentOS 7 or 8 systems, an IP address is assigned automatically through that DHCP server & we have access to the internet or to our LAN network. But we might be required to assign static IP addresses in our CentOS 7 or 8 machines.

      • Build an API using Quarkus from the ground up

        Building a production-ready application has a ton of moving parts. Most of the time, developers create a new project using some sort of tool, like Maven archetypes, and then go from tutorial to tutorial piecing together everything that is needed for their application. This article tries to bring all the parts together and provide a single full reference to the work that needs to be done for a Quarkus application. You can find all the examples from this article on GitHub.

    • Games

      • Podcast #14 with Luke Short: Steam on ChromeOS?

        We have a new episode out, with Luke Short! The name may not be familiar to you (yet!). Luke is a former Red Hat employee and is currently employed at VMWare, specialized in cloud deployments (Kubernetes)… but in his private time he happens to really like Chromebooks and ChromeOS. He happened to write back in March on his blog a full article dedicated to the progress of several technologies that would make it possible at some point to run Steam directly on Chromebooks (x86 ones). We decided to talk to him to learn more about this topic, and what he thinks may be happening later in this year. By the way Steam running on ChromeOS is one of the major predictions we compiled for 2021 along with active folks on the Linux gaming scene.

      • Flowstone Saga is an upcoming JRPG-inspired adventure from the dev of Tangledeep

        Set in the Tangledeep universe and featuring a unique puzzle-battle system, Impact Gameworks have now properly revealed their new JRPG-inspired adventure Flowstone Saga.

        Technically, it was already revealed under the name of Puzzle Explorers: A Tangledeep Story but sadly they had a failed crowdfunding attempt for it. So they went back, continued expanding it and providing free Alpha builds to anyone from their official site. Now it’s back, bigger and better under the name Flowstone Saga.


        Given how beautifully Tangledeep worked on Linux, and Linux builds of this game have been available for a while – we expect it to do quite well overall for Linux fans.

      • Social deduction hacking game Untrusted has left Early Access to positive reviews

        Inspired by the Werewolf/Mafia genre and similar games, Untrusted from developer evolvedlabs has now left Early Access and it seems it has done quite well.

        “In Untrusted (or “Untrusted – Web of Cybercrime”), hackers from the fictional NETSEC group are tasked in hacking a specific server on a computer network. NETSEC members must use their skills and wits to outsmart the undercover AGENTs that will try each night to perform arrests or have other players become snitches for them.”

      • Vircadia, the free and open source 3D virtual world is going to the web

        Vircadia, the open source successor to the former High Fidelity VR project, a 3D virtual world for VR and desktops is now going to be coming to your web browser. The founder and project lead, Kalila Lakeworth, emailed in the very interesting news on how they’ve teamed up with the Linux Professional Institute to make this happen.

      • Check out Sonic Robo Blast 2, a 3D open-source Sonic the Hedgehog fangame built from Doom

        A reader recently let us know of Sonic Robo Blast 2, a 3D free and open source sonic game built from the open source Doom Legacy game engine.

        SRB2 is closely inspired by the original Sonic games from the Sega Genesis, and attempts to recreate the design in 3D. While SRB2 isn’t fully completed, it already features tons of levels, enemies, speed, and quite a lot of the fun that the original Sonic games provided.


        Check it out on the official site. Available for Linux on Flathub.

      • Liftoff: Micro Drones puts FPV drone flying into a miniature world

        Love flying drones? LuGus Studios, developer of the highly rated Liftoff: FPV Drone Racing have announced Liftoff: Micro Drones as their next racing and drone flying sim. While Liftoff: FPV Drone Racing focused on big drones, Liftoff: FPV Drone Racing as the name suggest shrinks things down with any indoor area becoming an exciting aerial playground thanks to the focus on tiny drones.


        Liftoff: Micro Drones is planned to be released in Early Access on Steam for Linux, macOS and Windows in late 2021.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Maui 1.2.2 Release

          This version of Maui brings new features and bug fixes to Maui’s applications and the frameworks they rely on. The changes introduced in this release will make your experience with apps like the Index file manager, Vvave music player, and Nota text editor much more enjoyable and fun.
          Read on to find out how Maui’s software has improved and what new features to look out for…

        • Testing the latest Plasma and KF5 in Nitrux

          Nitrux is a Linux distribution that offers a relatively up-to-date system, including, of course, the latest stable version of Plasma and the KDE Frameworks, which comes by default in the distribution. However, it’s also possible to further test the beta releases and even the Git builds, all thanks to the hard work of the KDE Neon developers. This is fantastic since we can enjoy all the new features that the KDE community is working on before they’re tagged as stable, for example, the floating dock feature in Latte Dock.
          In this tutorial, we’ll update our Plasma and KF5 Frameworks all the way to the Git builds. It goes without saying that you should only do this at your own risk.
          With that said, we’ll start by updating to dev/stable and then to dev/unstable.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Bodhi Linux 6.0 Now Available

          Bodhi Linux 6.0, which is based on Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, is now available for download.

          The latest version of this minimalist Linux distro features a refreshed look with “a new bootloader theme, as well as new boot splash and login screens with nice effects” along with other improvements, reports Marius Nestor.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Talks About CentOS Past, Present, and Future | Data Center Knowledge

          Making the case for CentOS Stream, Red Hat experts promise that the much more frequently released updates will be stable.

        • Putting parenting first: How Red Hatters have juggled work and family

          “It was just a whirlwind,” Caitlyn Speranza says, remembering her return to work at Red Hat after giving birth to daughter, Zelda. “We had picked out a daycare and put down deposits. We were ready. And then I got a call from my manager saying that everyone was going to work from home, and everything changed.”

          COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives, but as school work shifted to virtual and child care facilities closed, the transition has been keenly felt by parents. “I had to adjust to what had changed in my role while I was out, as well as figuring out how to be a first-time mother,” Speranza says. “All I could think was: ‘How am I going to juggle all of this?’”

          At first, it was just about getting through the day, but before long Speranza found it less difficult to manage with the support of her husband and her Red Hat team, with the more flexible environment Red Hat was offering. “Realizing that I can manage a full-time job and also raise my daughter has been the biggest win.”

        • The machine learning life cycle, Part 1: Methods for understanding data – Red Hat Developer

          I think of machine learning as tools and technologies that help us find meaning in data. In this article, we’ll look at how understanding data helps us build better models.

          This is the first article in a series that covers a simple life cycle of a machine learning project. In future articles, you’ll learn how to build a machine learning model, implement hyperparameter tuning, and deploy a model as a REST service.

        • Digital transformation: How to accelerate with care

          Certain aspects of digital transformation have been constants during the pandemic. For example, people and process trump technology. Forced experimentation moved projects ahead that had been stuck in the “maybe someday” file.

          That said, organizations are still learning. They’re starting to consider how their digital transformation efforts might land post-pandemic. And they’re doubling down on cybersecurity as their digital assets become an increasingly important and threatened part of their businesses. How are CIOs and other leaders doing this? We heard instructive insights at two MIT Sloan CIO Symposium panel discussions in recent weeks.

        • Updated Chart for Fedora’s Organization [Ed: Fedora Council at the centre, controlled by IBM]

          The “How is Fedora Organized?” page on Fedora docs has been updated with the org chart below. This chart shows governing bodies, teams, editions/spins, and initiatives. Is your Fedora thing missing? Feel free to open a ticket on the Fedora Mindshare Committee Pagure repo to ask for an update.


          One of the first things I did when I became Fedora Community Action and Impact Coordinator (FCAIC) was to make a draft of an organizational chart for Fedora. I brought it to a Fedora Council face-to-face (when we used to have IRL face-to-faces!). It was met positively but with many questions. For example, what was going on with Ambassadors? What is CommOps now? Is the Websites team active? Should we design the chart to be how it is, or how we want it to be?

          Without many solid answers to those questions, work life continued on and COVID happened. I was also swept up into a bunch of different projects like the updated Code of Conduct, community revamps, and figuring out how to organize virtual events for the Fedora community. I can happily say all of these things are well under way and I was able to swing back around to this project in April of 2021.

        • Kafka Monthly Digest – April 2021

          This is the 39th edition of the Kafka Monthly Digest! In this edition, I’ll cover what happened in the Apache Kafka community in April 2021.

        • Think 2021 – The Developer Ecosystem and IBM are Building Together

          As we’re hearing at Think 2021, we are at an inflection point for enterprise developers, with more responsibility shifting to you and your work as the critical success factor for hybrid cloud environments. You already face the dilemma of needing to create and deploy new features as quickly as possible while maintaining high availability and resiliency for existing applications, and those challenges will only increase as more critical workloads move to the cloud.

          A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study found that a typical enterprise uses nearly 8 clouds from multiple vendors, and in the next three years, hybrid cloud adoption is expected to grow by 47%. The average organization will be using nearly 6 clouds. To help ease this transformation, my team’s goal is to help you build together: increasing capabilities for developers and lifting burdens that have previously hindered your innovation.


          My biggest takeaways from Think 2021 are that in the era of hybrid cloud, investing in our skillsets and building together collaboratively are fundamental to our work. My role at IBM is to ensure we’re equipping you with the tools and capabilities to help you meet the increasing demands you face each day.

          In addition to the resources I’ve mentioned here, I encourage you to visit IBM Developer to explore all the code, content, and community resources we offer. And if you’re interested in learning more about building together, check out IBM’s Hybrid Cloud Build team, which supports the migration and modernization of ecosystem partner products, services, and other offerings across open hybrid cloud environments.

        • Artificial Intelligence (AI) jobs: 3 in-demand skills
        • What is fog computing?

          In the early days, computers were big and expensive. There were few users in the world, and they had to reserve time on a computer (and show up in person) to have their punchcards processed. Systems called mainframes made many innovations and enabled time-shared tasks on terminals (like desktop computers, but without their own CPU).

          Skip forward to today, when powerful computation is as cheap as US$35 and no larger than a credit card. That doesn’t even begin to cover all the little devices in modern life that gather and process data. Take a high-level view of this collection of computers, and you can imagine all of these devices outnumbering grains of sands or particles in a cloud.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Review of the XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro on Linux

          Here is my deep review of the XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro on GNU/Linux (Kubuntu 20.04)! The large, 24″ QuadHD pen tablet. I’m testing all the part as I could on this video. XP-Pen sent me this tablet for free in exchange of a video review and I want to be transparent about this deal. It was a good opportunity and I had full freedom in our agreement (that’s why I accepted). I hope you liked it, I took a lot of passion and fun to make this review. I hope I’ll be able to continue to make more in the future!

        • Lifeboat – Deploy Xojo Web Apps Anywhere! Redirects, www, and Ubuntu 21 prMac

          Tim Parnell is pleased to announce new features for Lifeboat, the server management software! Lifeboat was created to help anyone that wants to write a web app deploy a web app. This latest version configures redirects, handles www. prefixes automatically, and introduces Ubuntu 21.04 support.

        • Ubuntu Blog: Design and Web team summary – 11 May 2021

          The web team at Canonical run two-week iterations building and maintaining all of Canonical websites and product web interfaces. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work from this iteration.

          This iteration, part of the team joined the Product Roadmap sprint.

        • Xubuntu 21.04 overview | A operating system that combines elegance and ease of use.

          In this video, I am going to show an overview of Xubuntu 21.04 and some of the applications pre-installed.

        • Stephen Michael Kellat: Keeping It Brief

          I’ve been doing some junkbox surgery to resuscitate an amd64 desktop. It will be running Xubuntu and should be running Impish Indri if I ever get the USB stick written to do the install. Dr. Frankenstein would be proud of this monster I created, I think.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Krita Dev Fund Campaign — First Update!

        Here’s our first update on how the work for Krita 5 is going!We’re bringing you these updates to show what’s going on in Krita and why it’s a good idea to join Krita development fund! But first a short video by Ramon Miranda showing one the new features in Krita 5: the painting recorder. The painting recorder was created by Shi Yan and improved by Dmitry Utkin. Eoin O’Neill is sponsored to improve the interaction with ffmpeg. Also, looks at the nice new icons created by Timothee Giet!

      • Introducing Open Saves: Open-source cloud-native storage for games [Ed: 'Open' surveillance with code hosted by proprietary software platform in NSA PRISM. 'Free' spied-on disk space.]
      • Google Cloud’s Open Saves Offers Storage Interface for Game Developers [Ed: LPI does Google openwashing that aids mass surveillance and potentially espionage operations, too]

        Google Cloud and game publisher 2K have announced Open Saves, an open source, cloud-native storage interface for video game developers.

      • Announcing Dæmon engine Beta 0.52 [Ed: GitHub isn’t a good place to host this]

        We merged our 0.52 branch and tagged the 0.52 release. Unvanquished 0.52 Beta will be released on 14th of May, this Friday. The countdown is ticking! While we are packaging the game and reaching out to server owners to update their servers to be ready on that day, we announce the Dæmon engine.

        Note: this is a raw engine, the software component executing the game code in a virtual machine and rendering the game while dealing with input and network. This is a component of an open source ecosystem but not an integrated editing platform like Godot.

      • Daemon Engine 0.52 Beta Continues Advancing The id Tech 3 Open-Source Code In 2021 – Phoronix

        The Daemon engine that has been in development for many years as part of the Unvanquished open-source game project released their long-awaited 0.52 beta ahead of the game’s next beta later in the week. Daemon was originally based on the open-source id Tech 3 game engine but in 2021 continues pushing ahead working on features like WebAssembly support and renderer enhancements.

        Daemon Engine 0.52 Beta represents the latest work on this open-source game engine and one of the few serious remaining contenders trying to advance the id Tech 3 open-source code two decades later.

      • Jonathan Riddell: OpenUK Awards 2021 Looking for Nominations

        Do you know a person, project or organisation doing great work in open tech in the UK? We want to hear about it. We are looking for nominations for people and projects working on open source software, hardware and data. We are looking for companies or orgnisations working in fintech with open, helping achieve the objectives of any of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Nominations are open for projects, organisations and individuals that demonstrate outstanding contribution and impact for the Diversity and Inclusion ecosystem. This includes solving unique challenges, emphasis transparency of opportunities, mentorship, coaching and nurturing the creation of diverse, inclusive and neurodiverse communities. And individuals who you admire either under 25 or of any age.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New release: Tor

            We have a new stable release today. If you build Tor from source, you can download the source code for Tor on the download page. Packages should be available within the next several weeks, with a new Tor Browser likely next week.

            Tor fixes several bugs in earlier version, backporting fixes from the 0.4.6.x series.

          • New release candidate: Tor

            There’s a new release candidate available for download. If you build Tor from source, you can download the source code for Tor from the download page on the website. Packages should be available over the coming weeks, with a new Tor Browser release likely next week.

            Tor is the first release candidate in its series. It fixes a few small bugs from previous versions, and adds a better error message when trying to use (no longer supported) v2 onion services.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Begins Landing GTK4 Support Code

          Ahead of this week’s LibreOffice 7.2 Alpha and the feature freeze / branching next month, initial GTK4 toolkit support code has begun landing in this open-source office suite.

          Caolán McNamara of Red Hat has been leading the charge on getting GTK4 toolkit support added to LibreOffice with the initial push having happened yesterday.

          Don’t get too excited though for the moment as it’s still a work-in-progress but seems to be coming along at least well enough that this is sliding in for LibreOffice 7.2 rather than being diverted to the next cycle. The initial push of two thousand lines of code on top of the existing GTK3 support downplayed the usability of it. But then over the past day we’ve seen more than two dozen commits further refining this GTK4 code.

        • LibreOffice Native Language Projects in 2020

          By helping to translate and market LibreOffice around the world, native language projects bring enthusiasm and passion to the global community. Here’s what they did in 2020…

      • CMS

        • Welcome to Openverse [Ed: GitHub and Slack are not open at all. What the heck is going on here?]

          Following the recent statement by WordPress’s co-founder Matt Mullenweg and the Creative Commons CEO, Catherine Stihler’s post, I’m happy to formally announce that CC Search is now part of the WordPress open source project, newly coined Openverse. Both Matt and I are long-time supporters of Creative Commons. I hope that this will provide a long-term, sustainable challenger to closed source photo libraries and further enhance the WordPress ecosystem.


          Stop by the Slack channel, #openverse, and take a look at the code repositories moved under the WordPress organization here on GitHub.

      • Programming/Development

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Theater in the Time of Pandemic

      Oscar Castro’s saga began, like that of so many of his compatriots, when the Chilean military overthrew the democratically elected government of Socialist Salvador Allende in September 1973 and installed a reign of terror. While many of Chile’s cultural figures—I was among them—opted for exile, my friend Oscar decided to stay behind and test the limits of the regime’s ferocious censorship.

      A little over a year after the coup, on October 14, 1974, Oscar and his company, El Aleph, premiered a play that cobbled together texts from the Bible, Don Quixote, Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince. It was all presumably innocuous material, save for two scenes. In one, the captain of a shipwrecked boat goes down, vowing that better days would someday come, and in the other, at the end of the play, a prophet promises that his words of hope and courage would outlive him, continue beyond death. Oscar hoped that the audience would understand the allegorical references to Salvador Allende, who had died in the presidential palace defending democracy, but that the secret police would be less savvy.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • FBI Confirms Darkside Behind Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack [Ed: Microsoft Windows]
        • Cyberattack-Induced Shutdown of Major US Pipeline Renews Calls for Clean Energy [Ed: Microsoft Windows, not Russia]

          “One nice thing about the sun is that it is hard to take it down with a cyberattack,” says activist Bill McKibben.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • The Linux Foundation and NGMN team up to power the future of 5G [Ed: Abusing the term “End to End”]

                The Linux Foundation and the Next Generation Mobile Network Alliance (NGMN) are collaborating on ‘end-to-end 5G and beyond’.

                The two have officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) stating they will be involved in collaboration regarding the future of 5G.

              • Open Source API Gateway KrakenD Becomes Linux Foundation Project [Ed: Overt openwashing (mis)using the name "Linux"]

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced it is hosting the Lura Project, formerly the KrakenD open source project. Lura is a framework for building Application Programming Interfaces (API) Gateways that goes beyond simple reverse proxy, functioning as an aggregator for many microservices and is a declarative tool for creating endpoints.

              • Open source API gateway KrakenD lands at the Linux Foundation

                KrakenD will continue to exist as it is today, but it’s now donating its core framework/library to the Linux Foundation — what will be known as the Lura Project. Its core mission is to offer an “extendable, simple, and stateless high-performance API gateway framework,” either for on-premises or cloud deployments, according to Lombarte.

              • What’s up with… OneWeb, NGMN + Linux Foundation, Delta Fiber

                The Linux Foundation and the Next Generation Mobile Network Alliance (NGMN) are teaming up to collaborate on efforts related to “5G and beyond.” NGMN says its new strategy, which places “a particular focus on Mastering the Route to Disaggregation, Sustainability and Green Future Networks, as well as on 6G and the continuous support of 5G’s full implementation,” is “complementary to the efforts of the Linux Foundation’s LF Networking and LF Edge umbrella projects, as well as others like LF Energy operating within the telecom, IoT, and networking spaces.” The duo note in this announcement that particular areas of collaboration will likely include “sustainability, network automation and network autonomy based on Artificial Intelligence, security, edge cloud, virtualization, disaggregation, cloud native, and service-based architecture” and more. So, quite a lot to talk about then!

              • Linux to work with NGMN on priorities for 5G and 6G mobile [Ed: Very gross abuse of the term “End to End” and brand “Linux”. Linux Foundation is, at this point, killing “Linux” as a brand by overusing it and rendering it rather meaningless.]

                The Next Generation Mobile Network Alliance (NGMN), which represents operators and vendors, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Linux Foundation for formal collaboration regarding end-to-end 5G and beyond.
                Anita Döhler (pictured), CEO of the NGMN Alliance, said: “open source is gaining increasing relevance for the strategic topics of our work programmes — such as mastering the route to disaggregation, green future networks and 6G. We are delighted to partner with the Linux Foundation to jointly drive our mission for the benefit of the global ecosystem.”

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (hivex), Fedora (djvulibre and thunderbird), openSUSE (monitoring-plugins-smart and perl-Image-ExifTool), Oracle (kernel and kernel-container), Red Hat (kernel and kpatch-patch), SUSE (drbd-utils, java-11-openjdk, and python3), and Ubuntu (exiv2, firefox, libxstream-java, and pyyaml).

          • Testssl.sh – Testing TLS/SSL Encryption Anywhere on Any Port

            testssl.sh is a free and open-source, feature-rich command-line tool used for checking TLS/SSL encryption enabled services for supported ciphers, protocols, and some cryptographic flaws, on Linux/BSD servers. It can be run on macOS X and Windows using MSYS2 or Cygwin.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Age of Intersectional Empire Is Upon Us

        My homie Ofelia Cuevas sat spellbound before the CIA recruitment video that folks are still fussing about a week later. The video featured a black suited, code-switching, Latina with plenty of attitude—the kind of attitude Ofelia likes to inspire in her Ethnic Studies students at the University of California, Davis. The confident, thirtysomething woman in the video also wore pumps and big golden hoop earrings. Many a working-class homegirl wears the earrings as a way of embracing their inner Aztec warrior goddess in the parts of the Southwestern United States, like California, that used to be called Mexico. Ofelia and I grew up around fierce, young women who sported hoop earrings back in the 1980s, just before I decided to join war against a US-backed fascist military dictatorship in El Salvador.

      • Why We Shouldn’t be Surprised Some Chinese-Americans Donated to the Proud Boys

        It should, however, worry Democrats.

        Democrats have been counting heavily on shifting demographics with regard to their party’s future. Their hope is that as America diversifies and becomes a less white nation, elections will trend Democratic. However, news of large numbers of Chinese Americans supporting white nationalist groups demonstrates once again that demographics are not that simple.

      • Covid: Un-United States of Guns
      • Democrats Are Calling on Biden to Renew Diplomacy With Iran

        More than 50 Democratic National Committee members and party leaders, including Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and California Representative Barbara Lee, are calling on President Joe Biden to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal and lift the aggressive Trump-era sanctions on the country. The letter, which was organized by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and sent to Biden on Monday, is the first political letter DNC members and other state officials have sent to the administration about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

      • Opinion | We Cannot Afford to Forget the Death and Damage Trump Has Caused

        Trump’s big lie and all that it has provoked are still with us. If we forget what has occurred the trauma will return, perhaps in even more terrifying form.

      • The Fateful Choice: Nuclear Arms Race or Nuclear Weapons-Free World

        After decades of progress in reducing nuclear arsenals through arms control and disarmament agreements, all the nuclear powers are once again busily upgrading their nuclear weapons capabilities. For several years, the U.S. government has been engaged in a massive nuclear “modernization” program, designed to refurbish its production facilities, enhance existing weapons, and build new ones. The Russian government, too, is investing heavily in beefing up its nuclear forces, and in July 2020, President Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian navy would soon be armed with hypersonic nuclear weapons and underwater nuclear drones. Meanwhile, China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea are expanding the size of their nuclear arsenals, while Israel is building a new, secret nuclear weapons facility and France is modernizing its ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and missile-carrying submarines.

        This nuclear buildup coincides with the scrapping of key nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the Iran nuclear agreement, and the Open Skies Treaty.

      • 50+ DNC Leaders Urge Biden to Lift Sanctions and Rejoin Iran Nuclear Deal

        “As Democrats, we must put diplomacy at the center of our foreign policy and prove that America fulfills its commitments as a responsible actor on the world stage,” says Rep. Barbara Lee, who signed the letter.

      • New Oklahoma Bill Bans Teaching About Racism Because It Causes “Discomfort”
      • Programmed for War

        I know, I know: President Joe Biden has announced that our combat troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by 9/11 of this year, marking the 20th anniversary of the colossal failure of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to defend America.

        Of course, that other 9/11 in 2001 shocked us all. I was teaching history at the U.S. Air Force Academy and I still recall hushed discussions of whether the day’s body count would exceed that of the Battle of Antietam, the single bloodiest day of the Civil War. (Fortunately, bad as it was, it didn’t.)

      • Liz Cheney Plays the Martyr — But She Helped Build the Monster That Is the GOP
      • Opinion | Woke: The CIA Seeks Hip Diverse Torturers For Their Murderous Global Campaigns Please
      • The GOP Continues to Rally Around Trumpian “Stop the Steal” Rhetoric
      • Opinion | Endless War Is A Feature of Our National Programming

        On pulling the plug on the war machine.

      • Czech Republic to seek compensation from Russia for 2014 explosions in Vrbetice

        The Czech Republic plans to claim $47 million in compensation from Russia for the two fatal explosions at military ammunition depots in Vrbetice in 2014, Czech Finance Minister Alena Schillerová said during a television interview on May 9. 

      • Meet the Neo-Nazi Advising Colombian Police on How to Break the National Strike
      • Venezuela: And Yet It Moves

        Far from being attributable to mere dogmatism, this is, I believe, essentially a problem of ontology. Ontology can be reduced to the simple question of what there is, to use the nice, flatfooted phrase of philosopher W. V. O. Quine. Quine thought that this question had a relatively simple solution. We should be pragmatic. If it gets you nowhere to conceive the bunny in your yard as composed of “undetached rabbit parts” (Quine’s favorite example) or as a mere instance of the Rabbit Idea (Plato), then you had better adopt another conception of the basic units of reality.

        The same advice could be given to the left today, with its tendency toward crude monisms and dualisms. In effect, if a world composed mostly of one or two big entelechies doesn’t seem to be producing results—and it doesn’t—then perhaps we should start to see the world with a different set of building blocks. Here I would like to suggest that at least one of those building blocks should be people. What do people want and think? Let’s not make political judgments without knowing what is happening on the ground and in people’s minds. Questions of desirability, acceptability, and aspirations should all be taken into account. If that is done—instead of searching for only one or two Prime Movers with which to assimilate all existing things—then perhaps the organized left could finally catch up with popular movements and rebellions.

      • Inside the Khudozhestvenny After seven years of renovations, one of Russia’s oldest cinemas reopens in Moscow

        In April, Moscow’s Khudozhestvenny Cinema, one of the oldest movie theaters in Russia, reopened after seven years of renovations. This was far from the first remodeling in the cinema’s history, which spans more than 100 years. In the early 20th century, it was rebuilt by Fyodor Schechtel, the well-known architect behind Moscow’s Yaroslavsky Railway Station. While some elements Schechtel’s design have survived the latest overhaul, there’s a lot about the cinema that’s entirely brand new. At Meduza’s request, architectural journalist Asya Zolnikova looks into what has been preserved and what was changed inside the Khudozhestvenny Cinema — and examines why the new interiors have some drawing parallels to old Hollywood, but have left others saying that the renovation wasn’t the most successful.

      • America’s Suffers Attack of Selective Islamophilia

        In SE Asia and the Middle East, millions of lives have been sacrificed. Fabrications – imperial deceits carefully reworked as truths, juxtaposed with the tired pretexts of spreading “democracy, freedom and human rights”, results of which are still pendant 17 years after the invasion and illegal military occupation of Iraq. Promoting “democracy” abroad that is desperately wanting in America itself is a reflection of the country’s infantile mien coupled with a ravenous domestic appetite for silver screen heroes tasked with saving humanity, from perishing at the hands of caped scoundrels or hideous looking extraterrestrial aliens. After the digital celebrities have pulled off their heroic, money spinning missions on the screen, America will resume normal service and turn on its own minorities at home along with the usual suspects abroad with unparalleled reckoning.

        A truly authentic embodiment of evil in the post-WWII era, George W. Bush, had been quick to fabricate the term “axis of evil”. It provided the perfect cover and distraction from his own then impending genocidal blood lust which was to be let loose on Iraq, a year later. That this extreme misanthrope and regime changer at that, should be sick to the stomach at fellow aspiring domestic regime changers, albeit feeble ones, compared to his own insatiable blood thirst should carry a modicum of conscience, must surely stretch credulity.

      • “These Are Not ‘Clashes’”: Media Slammed for Coverage Amid Deadly IDF Attacks on Gaza

        A U.S. State Department spokesperson also faced criticism for refusing to condemn the reported killing of Palestinian children.

      • Three Children Reported Among Those Killed by IDF in Gaza as Netanyahu Threatens ‘Great Force’

        The deadly strike followed Hamas rockets fired in response to Israeli forces’ brutal crackdown on Palesinian protesters.

      • Amid Protests of Palestinian Evictions in Jerusalem, Israel Raids Al-Aqsa Mosque
      • Opinion | Western Media Continues to Report Israel’s Blatant Brutality as ‘Clashes’ and ‘Scuffles’

        Were the media concerned with speaking truth to power, the case of Sheikh Jarrah perfectly exposes the magnitude of Israeli hypocrisy and deceit.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • ‘Sends a Terrible, Terrible Message’: Sanders Rejects Top Dems’ Push for a Big Tax Break for the Rich

        “You can’t be on the side of the wealthy and the powerful if you’re going to really fight for working families.”

      • Why the PRO Act is a Game-Changer for Labor and the Economy

        Although the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 protects the right of workers to collectively organize without fear of retaliation from employers, most of Amazon’s tactics were technically legal. With a nearly endless source of money to fund its barrage of misinformation and fearmongering, Amazon will likely manage over and over again to convince its workers that unions, not management, are their enemy.

        While several unions represent Amazon’s European workers, no group of Amazon workers in the United States has thus far managed to win the right to unionize, suggesting that there is something unique about our approach to labor organizing that stands in the way. And, in legal challenges, the U.S. Supreme Court has often sided with corporations over workers. Given the court’s current conservative dominance, this is unlikely to change.

      • The Structure of Wealth and the Global Money-Making Apparatus

        British military strategists feared that the middle classes could become a revolutionary class and assume the role that Marx intended for the proletariat. Torn between growing social impoverishment, on the one hand. and the shameless life of the super-rich, on the other, the global knowledge, working, and service elites could unite to form a powerful alliance of interests. This new class would then fight for their own interests against capitalism and the super-rich.

        These super-rich signify wealth concentrations. Over the period of neoliberalism, the rich have become richer and richer. Secondly, there is also a class problem and the question of whether a new ruling class has been formed on the basis of these accumulation processes. Thirdly, this is also a question of whether in our time neoliberalism has turbo-charged the process of a new kind of wealth-structure. This new super-rich ruling class is based on a network, a network best described as the new Global Money Making Apparatus or GMMA. In Europe – and elsewhere – it consists of five groups with similar interests:

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • To Protect Voters and Democracy, We’re Going to Need to Fight

        Last week, Florida Governor DeSantis signed an extreme anti-voter bill into law that limits the use of drop boxes and places additional barriers on those requesting absentee ballots, making it more difficult for Floridians to vote. The bill is yet another all-out assault on our democracy.

      • Sanders Warns Biden Against Pushing Too Hard for Bipartisanship With Republicans
      • Report Reveals Major Corporations Are Funding Lawmakers Behind Anti-Democracy Bills

        “It is now more urgent than ever to build a just transition away from fossil fuels and fight off attacks against protest and our freedom to vote, so that we can have a planet our communities can thrive on.”

      • US Voters Want Much More Covid-19 Relief—and They Want It Now: Poll

        “Simply put, more is required to ensure that we build a more resilient, equal economy that works for more people.”

      • Former Trump Official Says GOP’s Focus Is on Gaming the System to Win Midterms
      • Crashing Out in Hartlepool: Labour Ills and Teflon Boris

        The scene of Hartlepool is one of profound, social decay.  Its decline, wrote Tanya Gold on the eve of the by-election, “meets you like a wall of heat.”  She noted an era lost, the trace of lingering memories.  Hartlepool was once known for making ships.  “Now it makes ennui.”  Male unemployment is a touch under 10%. Rates of child poverty are some of the highest in the country.  Services have been withdrawn; the once fine Georgian and Victorian houses are mouldering.

        The seat presented the Conservatives an opportunity to take yet another brick out of Labour’s crumbling red wall.  Prime Minister Boris Johnson made visits to back his candidate, Jill Mortimer, hardly a stellar recruit.  Labour was suffering establishment blues.  They struggled to find a pro-Brexit candidate.  Their choice – Paul Williams – was a Remainer who formerly represented the seat of Stockton, which returned a leave vote of 69.6%.  It was a statement of London-centric politics, the Labour of the city rather than the locality; the Labour of university education rather than the labour of regional working class.

      • ‘Generation on Fire’: Sunrise Movement Activists to March 400 Miles From New Orleans to Houston

        “We’re living in constant crisis: hurricanes, superstorms, jobs that break our bodies and could be taken away at any minute. This is an emergency, but it isn’t an accident.”

      • Those Scottish Elections, and What Happens Now

        Well, there is no denying an overwhelming SNP victory, with an increased vote, increased seats, increased percentage and double the support of the next largest party. Together with the Greens there is a substantial pro-Independence majority in the Parliament, so that matter is settled. Personally I would welcome an SNP/Green coalition with a guaranteed pro-Independence majority of at least fourteen (depending on who is presiding officer). It would remove the Tory jibe that there is not a majority government. But I suspect the SNP will prefer to go it alone again.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Cancel Culture and the Bankruptcy of Liberalism

        His is a from-the-ground view based on 26 years as a lawyer for the United Steelworkers union and from other personal experiences, including demonstrating for Black Lives Matter and his friendship with anti-war activist Molly Rush, to whom the book is dedicated.

        After a courageous lifetime of service to peace and justice causes, the octogenarian Molly Rush tweeted a statement in favor of non-violent protest, which was unfairly construed as racist. For this supposed transgression, she was “canceled” by former comrades, devastating her and the peace movement in Pittsburgh.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Trump DOJ Investigated Internal Leaks By Obtaining Journalists’ Phone Records

        Donald Trump liked to use the “Deep State” as a rhetorical punching bag. Whenever he stuck his foot in his mouth or found himself under investigation for abusing his powers, he claimed the “Deep State” just couldn’t handle having such a strong truth-teller in the Oval Office. But he apparently liked the “Deep State” enough to allow it to go after his personal enemies, even as he portrayed himself as a warrior against the excesses of federal power.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • What ‘Girlhood’ Means in 2021

        One of the first things readers will notice about Melissa Febos’s new essay collection, Girlhood, is that large parts of it take place not in the period of youth referenced by the title, but rather in adulthood, where the long tentacles of growing up as a girl still twist and take hold. This might be the book’s foremost premise: While girlhood is a time that a person ages out of, its imprint is not so easily left behind. Or as Febos puts it in an essay on her evolving relationship to consent: “[It] could be said more accurately that I was possessed by that younger version of myself. I knew that I couldn’t…have a different experience unless I found her first.”

      • The Tattered Insider Histories of Our Possible Future Ambassadors

        One week later, the Washington Post reported that Biden will likely nominate former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who personally helped cover up the police murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014, as ambassador to Japan.

        It’s a particularly egregious example of the longstanding practice of presidents doling out cushy ambassadorships to old friends, high-dollar donors, or political allies, especially those deemed too toxic for more powerful posts in the Cabinet (as Emanuel has been) or executive branch agencies. Being the ambassador to a wealthy nation allied with the U.S., while still carrying some responsibilities, is often more or less a multiyear vacation on the government’s dime.

      • The UC System’s Policing Expansion Belies Its Stated Commitment to Racial Justice

        The University of California has proposed shocking changes to its policing policies. These changes are directly contrary to national trends toward de-escalation, greater accountability, and alternatives to armed response. The new, costly policies not only expand the coercive power and discretionary authority of the UC Police Department but also continue to inflate its bloated budget.

      • Immigrants to the Rescue

        The German birth rate is considerably below what’s needed to replace the population. German seniors, meanwhile, are living longer and drawing more on state resources for their pensions and health care.

        There are basically two ways out of this demographic crisis. First of all, Germany could boost its birth rate.

      • Shadow Wall

        The memorial stretches along the Nieuwe Keizersgracht over 200 Jewish names, or rather Dutch names that were still a little too Jewish

        Engraved plaques set in concrete moss-etched bricks & ants crawling over the names the ages & which death camp collected their shoes, took their lives

      • Families of Victims and 270+ Groups Call for UN Inquiry Into US Police Violence and Systemic Racism

        “It’s past time for our nation to tackle racial inequity, injustice, and discrimination that permeates American life and institutions.”

      • Battling Xenophobia

        Ms. Silva, a migrant from Mexico who picked oranges in groves south of Bakersfield, told a New York Times reporter, “it’s like suddenly they realized we are here contributing.” She explained, “those of us without papers live in fear that immigration will pick us up. Now we are feeling more relaxed.” With the Trump administration acknowledging the threat of disruption to the nation’s food supply, Ms. Silva and millions of others who lacked documents gained, at least temporarily, some respite from relentless anxiety about apprehension, detention, and deportation.

        A year has passed, and a new president is in office who has vowed to open a path to citizenship for the 11 million people who, like Ms. Silva, own neither green cards nor citizenship papers. The president’s proposal, however, has run into serious roadblocks. Prominent Senate Republicans like John Cornyn of Texas say that such reform must wait until the “crisis at the border” is dealt with.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Heritage Minister Guilbeault Says Bill C-10 Will Regulate Social Media Users With Large Number of Viewers

        Guilbeault’s response: it’s not the government, it’s the CRTC. I suspect few will find comfort in assurances that an unelected government regulator will determine what is regulated on social media. With each passing day it becomes increasingly clear that Bill C-10 should be withdrawn and the government should start over.

      • Baltimore Prosecutor Asks FCC To Go After Local News Broadcasters She Doesn’t Like

        It’s not often you see a politician ask the FCC to step in to punish a news station. And for good reason: the First Amendment. Politicians are welcome to fight speech they don’t like with more speech, but they shouldn’t be calling for a federal government investigation of a TV station just because they don’t like the slant of the stories about them.

      • The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 87: What You Need to Know About Bill C-10

        House of Commons, May 5, 2021House of Commons, November 18, 2020Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, April 23, 2021CBC News, User-Generated Content Exemption Was ‘Not Necessary’: GuilbeaultStanding Committee on Canadian Heritage, May 6, 2021CTV News, Question Period, May 9, 2021

      • The Dish ‘Fix’ For The T-Mobile Merger Is Looking More And More Like A Ridiculous Mess

        Remember when the FCC rubber stamped the Sprint T-Mobile merger without looking at the facts? Remember when a long line of economists and experts noted the merger would likely erode competition, raise rates, and kill jobs — and both U.S. regulators and the court system completely ignored them? And remember when the FCC and DOJ both cobbled together a “fix” to this problem by trying to throw some spectrum at Dish Network, a proposal we noted was likely to fail?

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Pfizer CEO Pens Open Letter on COVID-19 Vaccine IP Waiver [Ed: Patent litigation profiteer Donald Zuhn is lobbying to kill millions of people to protect the profits of greedy companies that value money, not lives]

          On Friday, Dr. Albert Bourla, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer, sent an open letter to Pfizer employees regarding the U.S. Trade Representative’s announcement last week that the Biden-Harris Administration would support waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Bourla (at right) begins the letter by noting that the U.S. Trade Representative’s announcement had “created some confusion” about whether Pfizer had “done enough to ensure fair and equitable distribution of our COVID-19 vaccine” and whether the proposed waiver was “going to bring solutions or create more problems.” The Pfizer CEO’s letter sought to address these questions.

        • Oral proceedings in examination moving to Zoom

          From this autumn the EPO intends to hold oral proceedings (OPs) in examination by Zoom. This follows the positive experience gained in recent months from opposition OPs held via Zoom (over 1400 so far in 2021). As part of the overall modernisation of its communications infrastructure the EPO plans to transition away from Skype for Business by the end of this year.

          Testing of Zoom for OPs in examination has already started through ad hoc conversion of OPs by Skype for Business with the agreement of the applicant and/or representative. In the coming weeks users may notice that summonses to examination OPs scheduled for the autumn no longer specify the videoconference (VICO) platform to be used – this will be clarified closer to the date of the OP.

        • US Patent Number 11,000,000 [Ed: Celebrating the number of monopolies is about as dumb as celebrating the number of COVID cases/deaths. Those aren't surrogates for innovation, and moreover the bar is lowered to game the number.]

          On May 11, 2021, the USPTO issued US Patent Number 11,000,000. Eleven million. Don’t forget that the office has issued another 1,000,000 design+plant patents and an additional 10,000 patents from 1791 to 1836 before the current numbering system was established. I was a junior in college at Princeton when Patent No. 5,500,000 issued to John Feagin covering a zip-tie method for suturing. Over the past 25 years, the number of U.S. patents has effectively doubled.

      • Copyrights

        • Pirate Release Group NTG Shut Down By Alliance For Creativity & Entertainment

          The Alliance For Creativity and Entertainment has announced that it has “put a permanent end” to the activities of piracy release group NTG. Working online under the pseudonym ‘notthegrinch’, the operator of the group ripped movies and TV shows from streaming services and uploaded them to several major private trackers from where they spread to more public services.

        • 123Movies.la Shut Down By Alliance For Creativity and Entertainment

          After being founded in 2017, 123movies.la grew to become one of the most popular pirate streaming sites online. But along with tens of millions of monthly visitors, its profile also drew unwanted attention. The site’s domain is now in the hands of the Alliance For Creativity and Entertainment after its operator reached an agreement with ACE and agreed to close down.

        • Twitch Takes Steps To Make It Even Easier To Issue DMCA Strikes Against Streamers

          If you’ve been following along with us, the past several months haven’t gone great for streaming platform Twitch. It all started with Twitch’s decision to simply nuke a bunch of streamer content as a result of a massive influx of DMCA notices it received. While Twitch streamers and some in the public went ballistic over this, the company decided to try to distract the world with bright shiny objects like emojis, only to continue to let the DMCApocalypse continue even after it apologized for its lack of transparency. Then Amazon, which owns Twitch, put on Twitch’s GlitchCon and spent a pretty penny on it, while streamers on the platform wondered why Amazon didn’t just spend that money on the licensing needed to keep streamers out of copyright jail. Fresh into 2021, Twitch then gave creators tools to help avoid copyright strikes, which mostly consisted of convenient ways to delete a bunch of their own content while not bothering to put in a method for policing DMCA abuse.

The Next Generation of Free Software (or Software Freedom) Activism, Tackling Newer Problems

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 7:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Berlin sunset
It gets worse during the night shift…

Summary: New challenges as labour rights and human rights are further eroded, thanks to ‘high’ ‘tech’ with its very ‘innovative’ ‘features’

TOIL at the tracks
Of exploitation it reeks
To impose it they have tricks
“Safety checks” and “health” ticks

Get a new phone, install some essential “apps”
In privacy policies remain many gaps
Data brokers buying maps
In policies they lobby for a lapse

Red DisplayGet on the Web site
Press “OK”, it’s pointless to have a fight
Implied consent won’t bite
Upload everything you think is right

Geolocation is a feature for all
Leave the microphone on, even after the call
Assistants everywhere, even at the bowl
More microphones for improved accuracy, one inside the toilet roll

Someone is phoning, even late at night
Pick it up quickly, the boss complaints about the site
“It’s down, it’s down, put it on the cloud!”
“There’s nothing I can do, boss, no reason for a fight!”

Down goes the light, back you go to bed
The assistant keeps alerting, very bright red
“What is it now, notifications LED?”
“This is the WORST sleep I’ve ever had!”

Mass Litigation Over the Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP), Basically an Attack on All EPO Staff, Even EPO Pensioners

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I'll pretend to talk to you, then ignore your suggestions, then shout at you, then wonder why dialogue breaks down, then leave the Office in disgrace
Battistelli’s ‘monkey puppet’. Monkey see, monkey do… and monkey shout

Summary: “Importance of a binding and unambiguous erga omnes declaration” stressed by staff representatives of the EPO in a new letter to Benoît Battistelli‘s successor of choice, António Campinos, who has done nothing so far except attacking (or robbing) EPO staff, even EPO pensioners

The EPO’s Central Staff Committee (CSC), which we've just mentioned in relation to crushing of staff and their families, has also issued the letter below. It said it had “made two constructive proposals for the good administration of justice in the dispute on the Salary Adjustment Procedure. The reason was that we were reluctant to recommend to staff to identify test appellants. We regret that the President refused our proposals.”

“The EPO is going downhill. Even for people who used to work there.”“In our open letter,” they told staff, “we emphasise that a binding and unambiguous erga omnes declaration will lead us to announce appropriate recommendations to staff. Staff should have the right that the outcome of the dispute on the Salary Adjustment Procedure is applied toward everyone (Latin: erga omnes). An overload of the system for the settlement of disputes can be avoided.”

Here’s the full open letter as HTML:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Reference: sc21062cl
Date: 07.05.2021

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO
ISAR – Room 1081


Your letter of 28 April 2021 – Legal proceedings on the Salary Adjustment Procedure

Dear Mr Campinos,

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) regrets that your letter of 28 April 2021 does not contribute to structuring the legal proceedings on the Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP). You simply refuse the two constructive proposals that the CSC made in the previous letter dated 1 April 2021. These proposals aimed at a smooth administration of the dispute before the Appeals Committee in case your decisions on the numerous requests for review should be negative.

It is not only for this reason, however, that the CSC must reject any insinuations of a “reluctance to – should the case progress to the stage of the internal appeal – contribute to a good administration of justice.” A binding and unambiguous erga omnes declaration will lead the CSC to announce appropriate recommendations to staff. In view of the large number of requests for review on the SAP, there is a risk that the system for the settlement of disputes will soon become overloaded.

The CSC would like to emphasise its availability to discuss possible means of avoiding such an overloading with your administration. Should you for example be ready to open the discussion on a locus standi of the CSC or any other mechanisms of a structured approach to mass litigation, this would definitely contribute to the functioning of the European Patent Office. It would also contribute to the smooth running of the service. With regard to Article 10(2)(a) EPC and Article 34(1) ServRegs, this is in our common interest.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Sampels
Acting Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

Months ago Campinos demoted SUEPO in the fashion of ‘dialogue’; it nowadays feels like the same sanctions were unjustly imposed on just about anyone who speaks for staff, even elected officials (not tyrants erected for and by Battistelli and his ilk). The EPO is going downhill. Even for people who used to work there.

The European public deserves to know all this — and become better aware of the real facts — because over the past week the EPO bombarded media all around the world with many dozens (maybe over a hundred!) puff pieces and press releases. We still see new examples, even this week, albeit they’re mostly relegated to Daily Links (with accompanying commentary) due to lack of time to properly cover/rebut. This PR campaign is costing a fortune. It's also highly risky. This latest EPO ‘news’ item (fluff about Europe Day 2021; warning: epo.org link) reveals that it’s also a risk and liability that jeopardises the stability of the European Union.

EPO ‘Dialogue’ With Staff Representatives is as Dead as ‘Dialogue’ With the Union

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Talk to staff, go on with your plan regardless
‘Dialogue’ as a mere box-ticking exercise

Summary: “Yet another failure of social [sic] dialogue [sic] for Mr Campinos,” according to staff representatives, who rightly bemoan the Office president not giving a damn about staff; things quickly deteriorate in Europe’s second-largest institution, which does even worse things than granting loads of illegal European software patents (harming software producers and users alike)

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO has circulated a publication that deals with an ongoing problem, universally exacerbated (globally, worldwide) with “COVID” as the perfect catch-all excuse/justification. This is a very big problem, applicable not just to EPO staff, and Mr. Bausch has just written about it again. Don’t let the so-called ‘new normal’ become a wholesale elimination of human and labour rights [1, 2]. The ‘new normal’ should not be ‘no normal’ or perverse abnormality.

“Don’t let the so-called ‘no normal’ become a wholesale elimination of human and labour rights.”“We summarise the consultation,” the CSC wrote, “the minor amendments to the initial proposal, the unsolved issues created by the reform and the incomplete transitional measures in our publication.” Here’s the full text of it — text which isn’t entirely confidential but António Campinos would rather keep private because it can disrupt his multi-million PR campaign (paid-for puff pieces about EIA, apparently more such pieces and bigger budget than Benoît Battistelli‘s because we’re overrun by such fluff this year).

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich, 7 May 2021
sc21060cp – 0.2.1/4.4

Education and childcare allowance reform: A summary

The reform of the Education and Childcare allowance was tabled on 4 May 2021 in the GCC for consultation. It is the final stage before submission to the delegations in the Administrative Council. The Hague together with Vienna and Berlin are severely hit by this reform, which will reduce their long-term attractivity. When the dust has not even settled after the adoption of the new salary adjustment procedure, this is yet another failure of social dialogue for Mr Campinos.

Consultation via an unanswered mailbox and futile meetings

Our experience with the education and childcare allowance reform has now shown that the purported mandate of the President and his administration to restore social peace has gone up in smoke. We have witnessed a complete disregard for the concerns of staff and their representatives. The administration claims that the nine working group meetings with staff representatives and the dedicated mailbox for staff to directly send their concerns to the administration are evidence of social dialogue. However, in practice the working group meetings were nothing more than a formality that the administration merely endured to be able to tick the box of having “discussed” the reform with staff representation, and the hundreds of emotional emails sent to the administration, detailing family situations and the potential impact, not only went unanswered but also had very little effect on the reform, such that we wonder if they were even read by the members of the administration in the working group.

The conclusive indicator of whether the concerns of staff have been considered and whether a bona fide consultation has taken place regarding the reform is not a count of (potentially useless) working group meetings or the existence of a dedicated mailbox (that could simply redirect incoming emails straight to the trash), but rather how the initially proposed reform was amended to reflect the input from staff and their representatives.

Only minor amendments to the initial proposal

From the reform proposal that was presented during the very first working group meeting, only two minor changes were made, which are:

• the increase of the young child allowance from 350 to 700 euros where childcare costs exceed the latter sum, and
• a higher ceiling for primary and secondary school direct costs in PoEs without a European School, namely Vienna and Berlin only.

Major unsolved issues created by the reform

Issues that were raised many times by staff and their representatives, and notably have still not been addressed are, among others:

• school fee ceilings in The Hague remain significantly lower than the cost of the European School Munich (ESM) of ~17,000 euros per child per year,
• the difference in regulations between type I and type II European Schools creating inequality between cost-free education provisions at the two big PoEs,
• not a single International School fee covered within the ceilings for Vienna, so no cost-free education option,
• the lack of an afterschool care allowance impacting all sites,
• the fundamentally flawed idea of redistribution of the childcare allowance from those who depend on it to be able to work, to those who have no childcare costs, which creates massive inequality and is regressive in nature,
• the insufficiency of the 700 euros in The Hague considering creche costs of ~2,400 euros per month for full-time care compared to, for example, ~160 euros for the public creche in Munich, ~875 for the EPO in-house creche in Munich, or ~1,450 euros for the bilingual crèche Nymphenburg in Munich,
• the abolishment of extra assistance with the costs of the creche for colleagues in the lowest grades (up to G6), upon which these colleagues heavily depend,
• unequal treatment between colleagues in different PoEs, and the lack of promised site specific solutions in The Hague,
• younger siblings not being covered by transitional measures means some children may still be forced to change school due to insurmountable issues with children attending two different schools (e.g. distance between schools, differing school hours, differing holiday timetable, unaffordable cost above ceiling etc.),
• perversion of the very purpose of a childcare policy, which is to support families so parents are able to work, such that the reform throws away the baby with the bath water,
• undefined meaning of “direct” and “indirect” costs regarding the education allowance,
• the D&I implications of the childcare allowance reform, which discourages female participation in the workforce and/or motivates part-time working, which is particularly pertinent for colleagues in lower grades.

Incomplete transitional measures

The transitional measures were the only area where the administration showed some (though not much) willingness for discussion, since they were not already defined before the first working group meeting. The administration decided that children enrolled in an international school for the year 2021/2022 will have the direct costs reimbursed until the end of their secondary education, provided they do not change school. There is also a provision for children who are registered for the first year of school in 2022/2023 to be covered by transitional measures. However, despite the Office having stated that provisions for siblings were being considered, this never materialised and as such they do not benefit from the transitional measures. Furthermore, the administration rejected outright the simple and fair idea to allow all children, born or unborn, of current staff to be included in transitional measures on the grounds that it would be too complicated (although we beg to differ).

Mistrust will persist

One of the major issues at the EPO is low confidence in senior management decisions, evidenced by the last staff survey, and this issue was identified as an opportunity for improvement. However, the handling of this reform has shown us once again that the President and his administration have no intention to listen to the voice of staff and their representatives, and we expect that the next staff survey will show no improvement on this front. Trust in the Office is incredibly low, particularly in the PoEs where the reform hits hardest. It has not gone unnoticed that the PoE where the vast majority of management are stationed has been relatively unscathed by the reform, nor has it been overlooked that while families with young children will suffer, the post-secondary education allowance has been protected such that the pockets of management are untouched.

Proposal to postpone reform but include nationals rejected

The President and his administration have again shown their inflexibility and rejected our request to postpone the reform and immediately include the nationals in the post-secondary education allowances until the remaining issues have been resolved. We do not understand why there is such a hurry, especially in times of a pandemic, for a reform that was originally claimed to be cost neutral. We now await the opinion of the Budget and Finance Committee and ultimately the decision of the Administrative Council, but we won’t be holding our breath…

Your Central Staff Committee

In about 7 weeks from now Campinos will have complated 3 years inside the Office; the reliable inside sources suggest he won’t seek renewal of his term, which was appalling for a lot of reasons. He likes to measure all the wrong things, not patent quality, brain drain (staff), and aspects like outsourcing of the Office to another country (through Microsoft). What’s left of the EPO? A bunch of contractors, no real recruitment, and waste of tens of millions of euros, devoted or set aside for media puff pieces that distract from all the failures and corruption. Perception management campaigns aren’t cheap and moreover, based on the staff surveys, they’re not effective, either.

Gee, why is my staff angry?
Guess why…

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