The EPO’s War on Justice and Assault on the Law — Part 5: Battistelli’s “Swedish Chef”

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 11:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previously in this series:

The “Swedish Chef” Carl Josefsson
Carl Josefsson – Battistelli‘s Swedish Chef

Summary: The EPO‘s ‘courts’ are controlled by the people whom they’re supposed to judge on; this has been the case for at least half a decade

As we saw in the last part, Battistelli’s “reform” of the Boards of Appeal in 2016 raised a lot of unanswered questions, in particular concerning its effects on the independence of the Boards.

The members of the Boards were upset and protested about their impending deportation to Haar. Here’s a concisely-put reminder from AMBA: [PDF]

AMBA - Resolution on Haar

But there was one lucky beneficiary of this dubious “legal fudge”, Carl Josefsson, who had the honour of being the first appointee to the newly created position of “President of the Boards of Appeal”.

“It is very clear that Josefsson’s appointment at the EPO was vetted by Battistelli and Kongstad and there is every reason to believe that they chose their man with great care.”Josefsson’s appointment was announced by the Administrative Council in December 2016 (warning: epo.org link) and he took up his new job in March 2017.

Before moving to the EPO, Josefsson was a Senior Judge at the Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm.

He also played a leading role in “Team UPC” as a member of the UPC Advisory Panel between 2013 and 2016. In this capacity he was involved in the preselection and training of UPC judges. (Warning: epo.org link)

From the document at hand: [PDF]

Sweden UPC 2016

It is very clear that Josefsson’s appointment at the EPO was vetted by Battistelli and Kongstad and there is every reason to believe that they chose their man with great care.

“Nothing that has happened at the Boards of Appeal since then would call that assessment into question.”It is worth recalling that Battistelli had ensured that Rule 12a of the EPC (warning: epo.org link) was drafted to give himself a de facto veto over the appointment of the President of the Boards of Appeal:

The President of the Boards of Appeal shall be appointed by the Administrative Council on a joint proposal made by the Committee established under Rule 12c, paragraph 1, and the President of the European Patent Office.

For this reason it is apparent that Josefsson could not have secured the position as President of the Boards of Appeal without Battistelli’s endorsement.

Already back in 2019 it was reported that Josefsson was reckoned by EPO insiders to be a “safe pair of hands” who did his best to please his political masters and someone who could be counted upon to do his best to avoid “upsetting the apple cart”.

Nothing that has happened at the Boards of Appeal since then would call that assessment into question.

As a matter of fact, it is very clear that Josefsson’s performance to date has been very much to the satisfaction of his overlords on the Administrative Council.

“As a matter of fact, it is very clear that Josefsson’s performance to date has been very much to the satisfaction of his overlords on the Administrative Council.”This can be gauged from the fact that his appointment – which was not due to expire at the end of February 2022 – has already been pre-emptively renewed for another five years.

The renewal was announced by the Administrative Council in December 2020. (Warning: epo.org link)

This means that unless something unexpected happens, Josefsson intends to remain at the helm of the Boards of Appeal until at least the end of February 2027.

Since he took up his position at the EPO, Josefsson has given the distinct impression of being a “bought man” who knows what side his bread is buttered on.

However, a number of details which have emerged about his previous life in Sweden suggest that he wasn’t always such a vapid conformist.

In the next part, we will present some interesting revelations about Josefsson’s earlier career before he joined Team Battistelli at the EPO.

Links 14/5/2021: KDE Plasma 5.22 Beta and GNOME 40 in Gentoo

Posted in News Roundup at 6:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76’s Launch Configurable Keyboard Is Now Available for Pre-Order

        Promising a comfortable, fully customizable, and more efficient workflow, the Launch keyboard features an aluminum chassis with rubber feet for stability and a detachable lift bar to adjust it at a 15 degrees angle. It features a high-speed USB hub with two USB-C and USB-A ports that offer up to 10 Gbps transfers.

        Since it’s a configurable keyboard, Launch comes with additional keycaps and a convenient keycap puller so you can easily swap keys to match your personal workflow, a novel split Space Bar that can be swapped with a Shift, Backspace, or Function key to reduce hand fatigue while typing, as well as only three keycap sizes to vastly expand configuration options.

      • Meet System76’s First Mechanical Keyboard

        System76 is best known for selling Linux laptops and developing the Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS distro, but keyboards?

        Today (May 12) is launch date for the System76 ‘Launch’, a compact and highly configurable mechanical keyboard which — fact fans — is entirely open source. Schematics for the PCB and chassis, and firmware code are all freely available.

        Naturally System76’s first keyboard offers tight integration with Pop!_OS and its novel tiling features. But you don’t need to run Pop!_OS to use it. This keyboard and its desktop companion app work on Linux (naturally) but also macOS and Windows too.

      • Launch from System76 – The Nerdiest Keyboard Around

        Per the press documentation, the Launch is “engineered to be comfortable, fully customizable” and make day-to-day life with a keyboard more efficent. Users of Pop!_OS will particularly benefit from this, but the Launch also works on other distros, Mac, and Windows. It’s handmade in Denver, Colorado, USA, consisting of an aluminum chassis, a custom PCB, and rubber feet.

      • System76 Launch is an Open Source Mechanical Keyboard

        The System76 Launch configurable keyboard is designed to provide the user controlled keyboard experience, with open source mechanical and electrical design. It has open source firmware and associated software, and a large number of user configuration opportunities.

        Linux PC company System76 has been selling laptop and desktop computers with Linux software for over a decade. The company also develops one of the most popular Linux distribution in the market named Pop!_OS. But now, PC manufacturer System76 is becoming an accessory maker too.

      • System76′s New Launch Keyboard With Configurable Layers – Front Page Linux

        System76 has announced today the launch of the Launch Keyboard. This is a configurable keyboard designed and made in-house by System76. They say that it is “engineered to be comfortable, fully customizable, and make your workflow more efficient”. This mechanical keyboard has a lot of interesting features that I am very curious to try out such as the Split Spacebar offering a unique customization option, ability to easily remap keys with their configuration app and multiple layers functionality providing many ways to personalize it.

        You may be wondering “what is so special about a mechanical keyboard?”, a few years ago I was wondering that too. I have been using a mechanical keyboard for a little while now and I can say with confidence that I will never go back. For years, I thought it was just a hipster thing to want a fancy keyboard vs the $10 keyboards I had been using most of my computing life. I never truly understood the value but that’s really just because I had never taken the leap into getting one since they tend to have a relatively high price attached to them.

      • The Chromebook turns 10: Cheap, safe, powerful — and still gaining on Windows | ZDNet

        A decade ago, I said the Chromebooks would be Windows PC killers. I got that wrong. But I wasn’t as wrong as you might think. Today, Microsoft is hard at work turning Windows from a standalone PC operating system into a cloud-based Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) with its Cloud PC model. Who had that idea first? Who proved that users would accept a cloud-based desktop? That would be Google with the Chrome OS.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Signal Demonstrates Why Online Privacy Is Crucial

        Recently Signal had an Amazing idea for a marketing campaign on Instagram, rather than just running boring Instagram ads they instead decided to show put the sort of data that was being used to target that user to show the importance of privacy.

      • Linux for Noobs #5: Ten tips for a successful Migration

        Migrating from one platform to another is always a challenge, and when it comes to Linux, there are some ways you can make the process easier. In this video, I go over ten tips that can help make your transition to Linux smoother.

    • Kernel Space

      • Upcoming Linux Kernel 5.13 Release to Bring Official Support for Apple’s M1 Chip

        Linux is getting official support for Apple’s M1 Macs, and we could see a June release date for the upcoming Linux Kernel 5.13 release. The first Release Candidate build of Linux Kernel 5.13 was released this week, and Linus Torvalds has confirmed that it supports Apple’s M1 chip.

        The release notes of the new 5.13 Kernel notes that it adds support for several chips based on the ARM architecture, including the M1. This will offer users the ability to run Linux natively on the new M1 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac.

      • Linux 5.14 To Bring SimpleDRM Driver, VC4 HDR, Marks More AGP Code As Legacy – Phoronix

        In addition to the initial batch of AMDGPU changes for Linux 5.14 that were mailed in on Thursday to DRM-Next, the initial DRM-Misc-Next pull also was sent off on its way to DRM-Next ahead of this next kernel cycle.

        Years ago Phoronix readers may recall the SimpleDRM driver that was proposed as a very simple DRM/KMS driver for frame-buffer drivers. Coming with Linux 5.14 is now a new “SimpleDRM” driver that is a new take on the solution. The driver finally being mainlined is a Direct Rendering Manager / Kernel Mode-Setting driver for simple frame-buffer platform devices.

      • Qualcomm Adreno 660 Support Published For Open-Source MSM DRM Driver

        The Adreno 660 is the GPU found within the Snapdragon 888 SoC as a significantly improved graphics processor compared to the Adreno 650. Support for the Adreno 660 is now on the way to the open-source MSM DRM driver for the Linux kernel.

        Jonathan Marek is again the one tackling this support. Enabling the Adreno 660 within the open-source MSM DRM driver though isn’t too great of a burden over the existing Adreno 650 support. For this kernel driver it’s just a little over one hundred lines of new kernel code involved.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMDVLK 2021.Q2.2 Driver Re-Released – Phoronix

          Back in April we wrote about the AMDVLK 2021.Q2.2 Vulkan driver update for Radeon Linux systems while as some driver deja vu this driver version with the same changes have been re-released.

          As noted last month, with the AMDVLK 2021.Q2.2 driver release the headers have been re-based against Vulkan API 1.2.174 and there are two listed new features. AMDVLK 2021.Q2.2 adds support to dynamic enable of color writes and partial nested command buffer support in the GPU debug layer.

        • AMD Radeon Open Compute 4.2 Is Released

          The latest AMD ROCm compute stack has nothing new for Linux desktop users, and there is no mention of OpenCL in the release notes. It is still incapable of providing compute capabilities to desktop applications like Blender. Data center customers can enjoy new platform macros and several other improvements to the ROCm tools and libraries.

        • AMDVLK 2021.Q2.2 Driver Is Re-Compiled And Re-Released

          AMD has released new binary versions their AMDVLK 2021.Q2.2 driver that was originally released on April 28th. We have no idea what, if anything, is different in the new re-release, We can only speculate that the only change in the re-release is that the “new” version is compiled with an updated version of AMD’s LLVM compiler fork.


          The release notes remain the same as they were when 2021.Q2.2 was first released on April 28th. The old release notes mention that the Vulkan apiVersion (from the Vulkan headers) was bumbed to 1.2.17, that color writes can be enabled dynamically and that there were three minor bug-fixes relating to DCC color compression, the AMD switchable graphics layer being ignored in some cases and out of memory errors if AMDVLK is installed on a machine with no AMD GPU.

    • Applications

      • Szyszka – New Fast Batch File Renamer For Linux, Windows, Mac

        Szyszka is a new batch file renaming tool written in Rust programming language with GTK+ 3 toolkit. And it works on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS.

        The name, Szyszka, is Polish word which means Pinecone. The tool has a very simple user interface, simple click “Add Entries”, press and hold Shift, or Ctrl to select your desired files. Add folder is not supported in the first 1.0 release, it is however marked as planned feature.

      • F2: Fast And Safe Batch Rename Tool For The Command Line (Cross-Platform)

        F2 is a command-line file and folder batch renaming tool written in Go. The tool is fast, safe (runs several validations before renaming, and allows undoing the batch rename), and runs on Linux, macOS and Microsoft Windows.

        The mass rename command line tool is fairly new, having its first stable release back in February 2021, but it’s already quite mature, with features like string replacement, insertion of text as a prefix, suffix or other position in the file name, change the letter case, rename using auto-incremental numbers, and so on. Find and replace using regular expressions is also supported.

        The tool can show a preview of the new file and folder names (simply omit the -x command line flag, which is used to apply the changes), and it also supports undoing the last batch renaming operation in case you change your mind and want to revert the changes.

        To ensure that the rename operations are safe, F2 also runs several validations before carrying out a rename operation. In case the tool finds conflicts, like the target destination already existing, invalid characters in the target path, an empty filename, etc., it can automatically resolve them using the –fix-conficts / -F flag.

      • 6 Command Line Utilities for Viewing File Content in Linux

        Files are one of the most important things that you interact with on a Linux PC. Some of the most common files you will encounter on a Linux system include configuration files, log files, and scripts.

        The ability to easily view files from the command line is a powerful feature that Linux provides to its users. This guide will show you the different command-line utilities that you can use to view files in Linux.


        This guide has shown you the different ways in which you can view files in Linux. Being able to view and work with files directly from the command line is key. While these utilities offer features that allow you to search for strings, there are various other commands like the grep utility that you can use for filtering output on your system.

        In addition to the terminal, users can also manage and navigate through their file system graphically. Several file manager applications are available on Linux that you can try for free.

      • Translate Text From One Language to Another in Linux

        Want to translate a text string between multiple languages using the terminal? Maybe you came across a message written in a different language while browsing the internet and want to know what it means. Luckily, Linux has several command-line applications that you can use to convert words from one language to another.

        In this article, we will discuss two utilities, DeepL Translator and Translate Shell, which allow a user to translate strings to another language directly from the system terminal.

      • Nautilus Terminal Updated With Nautilus 40 Support, Context Menus

        Nautilus Terminal, a plugin that embeds a terminal into Nautilus file manager, was updated recently with support for the latest Nautilus (Files) 40.

        Using the Nautilus Terminal plugin, you can embed a terminal into the Nautilus (Files) file manager window, which can be toggled using the F4 key (this is configurable). The terminal follows the file manager navigation, with cd being automatically executed when navigating through folders in Nautilus. You can also drag and drop files or folders onto Nautilus Terminal, and it will auto-complete their path.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Docker Container Lifecycle – Docker Tutorials – TechTutorialSite

        To understand the concept of Docker containers or containerization in general, it’s important to first understand the Docker container lifecycle. Maintaining a microservice application deployed through containers with complex requirements is not easy. To add to it, the only possible way to maintain Docker containers is through a command line. Hence, keeping track of each Docker container through a single command line becomes difficult.

        Docker comes packed with tools and commands to manage our containers in the most efficient manner. Hence, leveraging these commands will make your lives a lot easier. If you know your Docker container commands, spinning up a Docker container is just a piece of cake.

        In this tutorial of the Docker tutorial series, we will discuss the Docker container lifecycle in detail. We will discuss all the possible states in the Docker lifecycle and see how to manage containers in all these states with the help of corresponding Docker commands.

      • Docker Push | How to push Docker Images to Dockerhub?

        You can use the Docker push command to push images to the Docker hub. Docker hub allows us to create repositories where we can store and manage Docker images. Repositories are a set of similar images identified by their tags. For example, Docker contains several versions of Ubuntu images inside the Ubuntu repository. Each Ubuntu image is identified by a separate tag such as xenial, 18.04, 20.04, focal, etc.

        Pushing images to the Docker hub is fairly simple. Once you have pushed images to the Docker hub, you can easily share them with your organization members. In fact, you can even use the Docker push command to push images to your private and locally hosted repositories. You can create local private registries using the registry image that the Docker hub provides.

      • How to Set Timezone and Sync Server Time with NTP in Linux

        In this article we will learn what the NTP is, how to sync your server time and date using systemd-timesyncd network time service, and how to change the timezone in Linux.

        You can easily keep your system’s date and time accurate by using NTP (Network Time Protocol). It lets you to synchronize computer clocks through network connections and keep them accurate. Basically a client requests the current time from a remote server, and uses it to set its own clock.

      • How to connect Ubuntu Linux Desktop 21.04 to an Active Directory domain

        Ubuntu 21.04 was made available last month, and it has been quite the hit with both end users and businesses. Although you won’t find a massive amount of new features, what is there should be considered a significant step forward for enterprise and other business use cases.

        One particular feature that network and security admins will greatly appreciate is the ability to easily connect Ubuntu Desktop to an Active Directory domain. With this newly added ability, Linux desktops have become a more viable option for companies. The added benefit of this is users will be working on a more reliable and secure platform.

      • Docker Tag | How to tag Docker images? – TechTutorialSite

        We can use the Docker tag command to add metadata to Docker images. They convey essential information about the version of a specific image. Docker registries such as Docker hub store images in repositories. A repository is a set of similar images but different versions identified using tags. For example, the Ubuntu repository in the Docker hub has several Ubuntu images, but all of them have different tags such as 18.04, focal, xenial, bionic, etc.

        Docker tag is just a way to refer to a particular version of an image. A fair analogy is how we use Git tags to refer to specific commits in history. We can use Docker tags to provide specific labels to an image. They can be considered an alias to image IDs.

      • What Is Checksum (Definition): How to Generate a File Checksum

        If you’ve been around for a while in the world of computers and, why not, even cybersecurity, you may have heard the term checksum thrown around here and there, even in casual “How have you been” conversations. That’s mainly because checksums are still a reliable way to assess whether or not a batch of data or a single item corresponds to certain parameters or has suffered various modifications.

      • Important Docker Image Commands – Docker Tutorials – TechTutorialSite

        Docker provides us with various tools and utilities to create, manage, and share applications in isolated and packaged environments called containers. It uses multi-layered read-only templates called images to define the container environment which will run our application. We can use some important Docker image commands to maintain and manipulate Docker images easily.

        After having worked with Docker for a considerable amount of time, you might have several Docker images already in your system. If you don’t know the basic image commands, it might be very difficult to manage such a huge number of images. To make this easier, Docker allows us to use simple image commands in the command-line to easily manage tons of images simultaneously.

      • How to Customize the Login Screen on KDE Plasma

        When it comes to the personalization and customizability of Linux desktops, the KDE Plasma desktop environment takes the cake with an incredible amount of themes and tweaks. It offers a wide range of options to make your desktop look unique.

        While customizing the icons or splash screen are straightforward in KDE Plasma, not many people know that you can change the login screen theme. This article is there to help you out.

      • Docker Container Logs | How to Tail Docker Logs? – Tail Docker Logs

        Docker logs provide essential information about the commands and processes that are being executed inside the container. This is helpful in cases when your containers fail to work or gets crashed. You can tail Docker logs to find the exact set of commands that were responsible for the failure. Docker logs also help you to monitor the processes inside the container by live-streaming the process details.

        Docker provides us with logging mechanisms that can be used to perform debugging at the daemon as well as container level. In this article, we will discuss how to display the container logs and tail Docker logs to get only the specific lines. You can check out our complete free Docker tutorial.

      • Docker Container Start Command | How to Start a Docker Container?

        You can use the Docker start command to startup containers that are stopped. You can use it to start one or more than one stopped container simultaneously. The Docker container start command will start the container and run it in the background. This will start all the processes running inside the container. This is different from the Docker run command which is used to create a new container. When we execute the run command on an image, it will pull the image, create a new container, and start it automatically. However, you can only invoke the Docker start command on containers that have already been created before.

      • Stop all Containers | How to stop, remove, and Kill all Docker containers?

        Docker allows us to use the Docker rm and Docker stop commands to remove or stop one or more containers. However, if you want to stop and remove all the containers simultaneously, you can combine sub-commands to list all containers with the Docker stop and remove commands. Moreover, we can only remove those containers that are not actively running in our host machine.

        Hence, it’s very necessary to stop all the containers before we try to remove them. We can either use the force option along with the Docker rm command to remove all containers forcefully or first stop all Docker containers and then remove them. We can also use the Docker kill command along with a sub-command to kill all the containers simultaneously.

      • Docker commit command | How to commit changes to Docker containers?

        We can use the Docker commit command to commit changes to Docker containers. Consider the following situation. When you want to run an application inside Docker containers, you might have to install packages and dependencies inside the container. Initially, you can use Dockerfile instructions to install these packages directly. However, once you have created a container, it’s not possible to keep making changes inside the Dockerfile every time you want to install something inside the container.

        Also, as soon as you exit the container, all the changes inside it are lost immediately. So, you will have to go through the same process again and again. Hence, if you want the changes to persist, you can use the Docker commit command. The commit command will save any changes you make to the container and create a new image layer on top of it.

      • How to auto scale Kubernetes pods for microservices

        In Kubernetes, cluster capacity planning is critical to avoid overprovisioned or underprovisioned infrastructure. IT admins need a reliable and cost-effective way to maintain operational clusters and pods in high-load situations and to scale infrastructure automatically to meet resource requirements.

      • Docker container create | How to create Docker containers?

        You can use the Docker container create command to start a container from an image. However, the container create command only creates a writable container layer over the image. Simply put, it creates a container instance but does not start a container. The container create command is almost similar to “docker run -d” with the exception that it never starts a container. You can then use the “docker start” command to start the container whenever you want.

        This command is useful when you just want to set up the configuration of the container beforehand so that it is ready when you want to start the container. On running the container create command, the status of the container is created.

      • Docker exec Command | Execute commands in Docker containers

        You can use the Docker Exec Command to execute commands inside running Docker containers. If you already have a Docker container running and you want to execute an executable command inside it, you can use the Docker exec command. However, the only constraint is that the target container’s primary process (PID = 1) should be running.

        Suppose you have an Ubuntu container running in the background. And you want to create a file inside the container but you don’t have access to the bash of the container. In such a case, you can use the Docker exec command to run a touch command inside the container. This will create your new file.

      • Docker container remove | How to delete Docker containers?

        You can use the Docker container rm or Docker rm command to remove or delete Docker containers. However, before you remove a container, you need to make sure that the container is not actively running. You can stop the containers using the Docker stop command before removing the containers. Another workaround is that you can use the –force option to forcefully remove containers. If you want to delete or remove all containers together, you can use a sub-command to list all container IDs along with the Docker rm command.

      • How To Install Vivaldi Browser on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Vivaldi Browser on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Vivaldi is quite an instant web browser. Created and developed by a former Opera developer, it adds many particularly modifications good options. For example, it uses the Blink engine which is the same as Google Chrome so we will have guaranteed compatibility and speed. On the other hand, it has quite a high customization capacity at almost all levels.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of PufferPanel on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How To Install Adobe PDF Reader On Ubuntu 21.10
      • Creating and removing users in Ubuntu Linux – Linux Concept

        Creating users in Ubuntu can be done with one of two commands: adduser and useradd. This can be a little confusing at first, because both of these commands do the same thing (in different ways) and are named very similarly. I’ll go over the useradd command first and then I’ll explain how adduser differs. You may even prefer the latter, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

      • How to restart the Ubuntu network interface

        If you’re using Ubuntu, you may need to know how to restart your network interface. Thankfully, Ubuntu makes it very easy to restart the network interface. In this guide, we’ll go over various ways you can restart the Ubuntu network interface.

      • Understanding users and groups in Linux

        When it comes to a server, users are essential—without users to serve, then there’s no real need for a server in the first place. The subject of user management itself within the world of IT is in and of itself quite vast. Entire books have been written on particular authentication methods, and whole technologies (such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, or LDAP) exist around it. This article will look at managing users that exist locally to our server and the groups that help define what they can do.

    • Games

      • Check out the first Total War: WARHAMMER III gameplay reveal, coming to Linux late in 2021

        Today we’ve seen the first official gameplay of the upcoming Total War: WARHAMMER III from Creative Assembly, SEGA and porting studio Feral Interactive.

        Before it gets into the gameplay though, it also shows off the Trial By Fire trailer that was released by itself yesterday which gets you in the mood for some action. This is the final game in the Total War Warhammer trilogy, and it’s pleasing to see that we will have all three officially on Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 Beta Released. Download and Test Now.

          The KDE team announced the release of KDE Plasma 5.22 Beta and it is available for download and test. We take a look at what’s incoming in this new Plasma release.

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 Beta Released with Stability and Usability Improvements

          KDE Plasma 5.22 brings big changes like the new Plasma System Monitor app introduced in the KDE Plasma 5.21 release as a replacement for KSysguard as the default system monitoring app, a new adaptive panel transparency feature to help you make both the panel and the panel widgets more transparent, support for activities on Wayland, as well as support for searching through menu items from the Global Menu applet on Wayland.

          Task Manager’s “Highlight Windows” feature has been improved as well to only highlight windows when hovering over their thumbnail in the tooltip by default, it’s now possible to change the text size in sticky note widgets, accessibility and keyboard navigability has been greatly improved in System Settings, as well as overall Wayland support.

        • Plasma 5.22 Beta: The Quest for Stability and Usability

          This is the Beta release of Plasma 5.22. To make sure that end-users have the best possible experience with Plasma 5.22, KDE is releasing today this test version of the software. We encourage the more adventurous to test-run it and report problems so that developers may iron out the wrinkles before the final release scheduled for the 8th of June.

          Plasma 5.22 is gearing up to be a leap forward with regards to stability and usability. Developers have concentrated their efforts on ironing out hundreds of bugs and removing paper cuts, while also tweaking details. The aim of Plasma 5.22 is to allow users to become even more productive and enjoy a smoother experience when using KDE’s Plasma desktop.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 40 available in Gentoo

          GNOME 40 was released at the end of March, and yesterday I added the last bits of it to Gentoo. You may not think that’s fast, and you’d be right, but it’s a lot faster than any GNOME release has been added to Gentoo that I can recall. I wasn’t looking to become Gentoo’s GNOME maintainer when I joined the team 18 months ago. I only wanted to use a GNOME release that was a little less stale. So how did I get here?

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

      • BSD

        • GhostBSD 21.05.11 ISO now available

          This new ISO contains some vital fixes, like dhcpcd not starting properly, Software Station random crashes, a fix to start VirtualBox properly on the live session, and some software updates.

        • KDE on FreeBSD 2021o3

          As we trundle along and northern hemisphere spring interrupts my coding with activities like “you have rhubarb, bake something”, the KDE-on-FreeBSD team keeps chasing rainbows and software updates.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Cloud Native Data Protection for Your SUSE Agile Data Platform with TrilioVault for Kubernetes

          Data protection is essential, especially as you move from development to production. Technologies fail, people make mistakes, disasters happen, and malicious actors disrupt. Implementing effective data protection with the right tools is critical but can be a challenge in today’s hybrid- and multi-cloud IT landscapes.

        • Shells, openSUSE Unite with Partnership [Ed: Family of VPN tycoon (Lee) wants to reduce your GNU/Linux experience to just a VPS]

          A startup bringing personal workspaces in the cloud for students, workers, coders, and creators along with a Linux project for developers, system administrators and users are teaming up to extend the use of a secure desktop from any device, anywhere.

          Shells and openSUSE Project have entered into a partnership to expand the use of Shells with the availability of openSUSE distributions on Shells’ private virtual desktop environment powered by cloud computing.


          A key member of the Shells tech team involved with the collaboration is Debian developer and former Purism Chief Technical Officer Zlatan Todoric.

          “The Shells and openSUSE collaboration is one of those that we all enjoy in the FLOSS community,” Todoric said, who is currently serving at Shells’ Vice President of Technology. “Sharing knowledge, ideas, and helping each other to benefit the entire community is obviously what it is all about. openSUSE is a well known integrator and has vast experience in desktop and cloud environments, and having them as an option for our Shells cloud computers is a win-win solution for everyone. The collaboration will continue to expand even further as time goes on and I can already tell you that the openSUSE experience on Shells is going to be loved.”

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Develop and deploy applications faster by becoming a Red Hat Certified Cloud-Native Developer

          Quarkus is an exciting development in open source technologies. This Kubernetes-native Java application framework brings the familiar reliability and maturity of Java with container-ready capabilities and developer-friendly features such as live reload, fast boot time, and imperative and reactive coding styles.

          As organizations take advantage of cloud-native microservices architectures, Quarkus allows developers to more quickly build, test, and deploy their applications, improving application time to market.

        • Fedora’s default license for content is now CC BY-SA 4.0

          The Fedora Council has approved a change from from the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) license to the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA 4.0) license for material classified as “content”. This message is the official public announcement of that change, which is effective as of today, the 13th of May 2021.

        • IBM Introduces CodeNet for Programming Language Translation

          IBM has announced Project CodeNet, a large-scale research dataset aimed at helping teach AI to code.

          “Computer scientists have been long fascinated by the possibility of computers programming computers,” according to the announcement, but the problem is not easily solved. If, for example, programming language translation were easy, legacy languages like COBOL would have been converted to modern alternatives by now. But, programming languages have context and complexity that go beyond a straightforward rules-based translation approach.

        • Receive Side Scaling (RSS) with eBPF and CPUMAP

          High-speed network packet processing presents a challenging performance problem on servers. Modern network interface cards (NICs) can process packets at a much higher rate than the host can keep up with on a single CPU. So, to scale the processing on the host, the Linux kernel sends packets to multiple CPUs using a hardware feature named Receive Side Scaling (RSS). RSS relies on a flow hash to spread incoming traffic across the RX IRQ lines, which will be handled by different CPUs. Unfortunately, there can be a number of situations where the NIC hardware RSS features fail; for instance, if the received traffic is not supported by the NIC RSS engine. When RSS is not supported by the NIC, the card delivers all packets to the same RX IRQ line and thus the same CPU.

          Previously, if hardware features did not match the deployment use case, there was no good way to fix it. But eXpress Data Path (XDP) offers a high-performance, programmable hook that makes routing to multiple CPUs possible, so the Linux kernel is no longer limited by the hardware. This article shows how to handle this situation in software, with a strong focus on how to solve the issue using XDP and a CPUMAP redirect.


          XDP runs an eBPF-program at the earliest possible point in the driver receive path, when DMA rx-ring is synced for the CPU. This eBPF program parses the received frames and returns an action or verdict, acted on by the networking stack.

        • Why should developers care about GitOps?

          As a software developer, your primary role is to deliver bits: pieces of executable ones and zeros that work as designed and expected. How do those bits make it into a container or virtual machine (VM)? Who cares?

          You. You care. I know you do, because developers are wired like that. At some point, obviously, you’ve observed your code working properly (because all your code is bug-free, right?), so you’re very much interested in seeing that it runs the exact same way in testing, staging, and production.

        • Fedora Linux 35 – Call for Test Days – Fedora Community Blog

          Hi Fedora users, developers, and friends! It’s time to start thinking about Test Days for Fedora Linux 35.

          For anyone who isn’t aware, a Test Day is an event to get a bunch of interested users and developers together to test a specific feature or area of the distribution. Test Days usual focused around IRC for interaction and a wiki page for instructions and results You can run a Test Day on just about anything for which it would be useful to do some fairly focused testing in ‘real time’ with a group of testers; it doesn’t have to be code. For instance, we often run Test Days for l10n/i18n topics. For more information on Test Days, see the wiki.

          Anyone who wants to can host their own Test Day, or you can request that the QA group helps you out with organization or any combination of the two. To propose a Test Day, just file a ticket in fedora-qa repo. See fedora-qa#624 as an example. For instructions on hosting a Test Day, see the wiki.

          You can see the schedule by looking at the repo. There are many slots open right now. Consider the development
          schedule, though, in deciding when you want to run your Test Day. For some topics, you may want to avoid the time before the Beta release or the time after the feature freeze or the Final Freeze.

        • How to hire Site Reliability Engineers (SREs): 5 top qualities | The Enterprisers Project

          Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) continues to gain momentum among IT organizations. According to the Upskilling 2021: Enterprise DevOps Skills Report, 47 percent of survey respondents (up from 28 percent in 2020) say SRE is a must-have process and framework skill. As the demand for strong SRE skills rises, so does SRE hiring.

          However, a challenge for business and hiring managers is determining which skills, traits, and competencies make a strong site reliability engineer. In light of the upcoming SRE-focused SKILup Day conference, I asked several DevOps Institute Ambassadors and SRE subject matter experts to weigh in on what makes a great SRE. Here’s what they had to say:

        • Building open organizations to make a better life more sustainable for everyone | Opensource.com

          In the first article in this series reviewing The Age of Sustainable Development by Jeffrey Sachs, I discussed the impact of economic development on the environment, and I explained how open organization principles can help us begin building sustainable, global economic development plans for the future.

        • 5 reasons to host your container registry with Pulp

          Linux containers have greatly simplified software distribution. The ability to package an application with everything it needs to run has helped increase stability and reproducibility of environments.

          While there are many public registries where you can upload, manage, and distribute container images, there are many compelling arguments in favor of hosting your own container registry. Let’s take a look at the reasons why self-hosting makes sense, and how Pulp, a free and open source project, can help you manage and distribute containers in an on-premises environment.

      • Debian Family

        • Bits from Debian: New Debian Developers and Maintainers (March and April 2021)

          The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

          Jeroen Ploemen (jcfp)
          Mark Hindley (leepen)
          Scarlett Moore (sgmoore)
          Baptiste Beauplat (lyknode)
          The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

          Gunnar Ingemar Hjalmarsson
          Stephan Lachnit


      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-17 Released – Still Working Toward Ubuntu 20.04 Transition

          The UBports community this week released Ubuntu Touch OTA-17 as the latest version of this Ubuntu smartphone/tablet spin that is currently supporting more than two dozen different devices.

          Ubuntu Touch OTA-17 brings support for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro and Xiaomi Redmi 3s/3x/3sp devices on top of exisiting devices supported. Ubuntu Touch OTA-17 also brings support for near-field communication (NFC) hardware where it’s supported by devices with the Android 9 hardware compatibility layer. Ubuntu Touch OTA-17 also brings various camera software fixes, a Macedonian keyboard layout, and upgrades from Mir 1.2 to Mir 1.8.1.

        • Ubuntu Blog: Ubuntu in the wild – 13th of May 2021

          The Ubuntu in the wild blog post ropes in the latest highlights about Ubuntu and Canonical around the world on a bi-weekly basis. It is a summary of all the things that made us feel proud to be part of this journey. What do you think of it?

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Sailfish OS 4.1 brings new apps, features, and bug fixes, as support ends for the Jolla Phone

        Sailfish OS is a Linux-based operating system for mobile devices that made its debut on the Jolla Phone, which first shipped in 2013. Jolla shifted its focus from hardware to software years ago, and with Sailfish OS 4.1 rolling out now, the company says it’s ending support for the original Jolla Phone.

        Sailfish OS 4.1 does, however, support a number of newer devices including the Jolla C, Jolla Tablet, and several Sailfish Xperia smartphones as well as the Planet Computers Gemini PDA.

        The latest version of Sailfish OS also brings a number of bug fixes and a handful of new apps and features.

      • [Older] Xilinx launches Kria chips to handle AI for edge applications

        He added, “It’s a clear indication that the adaptive nature of FPGAs doesn’t need to be relegated to just the power user-programmable logic engineer anymore. And with Ubuntu support on the way, these dev kits could go mainstream in a hurry.”

      • IAR Systems’ build tools for Linux now available for Renesas RL78

        IAR Systems has extended its build tools portfolio and now supports deployment in Linux-based frameworks Renesas’ low-power RL78 MCUs, enabling organisations to streamline building and testing workflows.

      • Carrier board and edge AI system expand upon Jetson Xavier NX

        Forecr’s compact, $905 “DSBox-NX2” edge AI system integrates the Jetson Xavier NX version of its $242 “DSBoard-NX2” carrier board, which also supports the Nano and TX2 NX. Features include 8GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC, GbE, HDMI, 2x USB, CAN, and 3x M.2.

        Ankara, Turkey based Forecr has begun shipping a DSBox-NX2 embedded computer that runs Ubuntu 18.04 with Nvidia JetPack on Nvidia’s Jetson Xavier NX module. The DSBox-NX2 is based on a Jetson carrier board called the DSBoard-NX2, which like the DSBox-NX2 appears to have been introduced earlier this year. Forecr is a brand and sub-business of eight-year-old, Ankara-based Mist Elektronik, which created the unit after becoming an Nvidia partner.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • This DIY shuttle mission control box looks like a blast! | Arduino Blog

          Becoming an astronaut is probably one of the top careers on any child’s list, but it’s not all that practical, especially when they’re still seven years old. That’s why Gordon Callison wanted to create a virtual shuttle mission control game that simulates a space shuttle launch with tons of different features for his kid to use.

          The project he made is composed of many different panels that compose a box with three main surfaces that display/control various aspects of the shuttle’s journey. These include pre-flight checks on the right, launching the shuttle in the middle, and telemetry displays on the right. The whole thing fits neatly into a briefcase, but don’t let that relatively small size mislead you- it’s packed with plenty of LEDs and buttons. To control all of these, Gordon went with an Arduino Mega, along with a couple of shift registers for toggling a bank of 32 LEDs on and off. Sound effects can also be played through an Uno and Adafruit Sound Board whenever the shuttle takes off or is done orbiting.

        • Slot machine piggy bank makes saving your coins more fun | Arduino Blog

          There’s really no joy in saving money until it comes time to spend it, of course. But in an effort to gamify things a bit, YouTuber “Max 3D Design” has come up with a beautiful slot machine that surely puts a spin on traditional piggy banks.

          The device itself was modeled in Fusion 360 and the fairly substantial design took a week of printing to produce. It features four LED matrices that rotate reel symbols, obscured by a thin film to make it appear as one display. Inside a screw conveyor system is used to transport coins, which eventually pop out of an opening at the end. This screw is actuated by a small stepper motor, and the gaming process is started by dropping a coin past a pair of wires under the control of an Arduino Uno.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • James Bottomley: The Community Corrosive Effects of CLAs

        As one of the kernel DCO advocates, I’ve written many times about using the DCO instead of a CLA for copyright and patent contributions under open source licences. In spite of my obvious biases, I’ll try to give a factual overview of the cases for the DCO and CLA system. First, it should be noted that both the DCO and any CLA are types of Contribution Agreements (a set of terms by which contributors are agreeing to be bound). It should also be acknowledged that the DCO is a far more recent invention than CLAs. The DCO was first pioneered by the Linux kernel in 2004 (having been designed by Diane Peters, then of OSDL) and was subsequently adopted by a broad range of open source projects. However, in legal terms, the DCO is much less well understood than a standard CLA type agreement between the contributor and some entity, which is largely the reason you find a number of lawyers still advocating for the use of CLAs in various open source projects: because they’d like to stick with something that has more miles on it, or because they’re invested in the older model of community, largely pioneered by Apache. The biggest problem today is that the operation of most CLAs is asymmetrical: they take from the contributor more rights than the open source code actually needs, so lets begin with a summary of each type of Contribution Agreement.

      • Daniel Pono Takamori is Conservancy’s Newest Employee

        Software Freedom Conservancy is pleased to announce that Daniel Pono Takamori has joined as Community Organizer and Nonprofit Problem Solver. Takamori brings a wealth of skills acquired in his previous positions at other prestigious FOSS organizations, including the Linux Foundation, the Apache Software Foundation and the Oregon State University Open Source Lab. Takamori has spoken on a variety of topics at FOSS events, including recently as a keynoter at SeaGL.

      • Enterprises increasingly relying on open source software

        Enterprises have a deep appreciation for the value of open source software with 100% of the information technology (IT) decision-makers in a recent survey saying that “using open source provides benefits for their organization.” The survey of 200 IT decision-makers was conducted by Vanson Bourne.


        Of the 200 respondents, 25% were from medium-size enterprises of 500-999 employees and 75% were from large enterprises with more than 1,000 employees. They came from a cross-section of industries and had knowledge of open source software.

        Large enterprise respondents were most likely to have moved databases and applications to cloud services. Just 15% of large enterprises continue to have all their databases and applications running at their on-premises data center, compared with 29% of medium-size enterprises.

      • The syslog-ng insider 2021-05: 3.32; Fortigate; Windows event collector; FreeBSD; Pi;

        This is the 91st issue of syslog-ng Insider, a monthly newsletter that brings you syslog-ng-related news.

      • Events

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Google Chrome will soon get faster on Windows, Linux and macOS

            Last year Google introduced support for “back-forward cache” on Android, which enables instantaneous page loading when users navigate using backward or forward button. As per a new document spotted by us, Google Chrome 92 update will also enable default support for back-forward cache on desktop platforms, such as Windows, Linux and macOS.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Brazilians in turbo mode: Impress Guide 7.0 in Portuguese is now available

          The Brazilian LibreOffice community is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the Portuguese Impress 7.0 Guide, the complete guidebook for creating high quality presentations in any environment, be it family, cultural or professional.

          The book is 330 pages, and details the fundamentals of Impress, before covering the concepts of slide masters, styles, presentation templates, graphic objects, transition effects, object animations, export to other formats and much more. It’s rich in illustrations and examples – as well as scripts for the most important operations when editing and running presentations.

          The documentation team in Brazil grew with the arrival of Luciana Mota, Diego Marques Pereira and Márcia Buffon Machado. Here are the newcomers’ messages to all!

        • Command Popup HUD for LibreOffice

          Command Popup is a pop-up window that lets you search for commands that are present in the main menu and run them. This was requested in bug tdf#91874 and over-time accumulated over 14 duplicated bugs reports, so it was a very requested feature.

          I’m intrigued by similar functionality in other programs, because it enables very quick access to commands (or programs) and at the same time don’t need to move your hand off the keyboard. It also makes it easy to search for commands – especially in an application like LibreOffice with humongous main menu. So I decided to try to implement it for LibreOffice.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • New Versions Of The GNUstep Base Library, GUI library, GUI Backend And GNUstep Gorm Are Released

            The GNU project has released several new versions of libraries that are a part of a mysterious project of theirs called “GNUstep”. The “GNUstep” is not a desktop environment or a window manager or an application suite, it is, apparently, just a collection libraries you could use to make those things. The latest GNUstep libraries may be worth exploring if you are a developer who wants to use a graphical toolkit that’s not Qt or GTK to create applications that are suitable for those square computer monitors with a 800×600 pixel resolution that were trendy in the early 1990s.

      • Programming/Development

        • Andy Wingo: cross-module inlining in guile

          Greetings, hackers of spaceship Earth! Today’s missive is about cross-module inlining in Guile.

          a bit of history

          Back in the day… what am I saying? I always start these posts with loads of context. Probably you know it all already. 10 years ago, Guile’s partial evaluation pass extended the macro-writer’s bill of rights to Schemers of the Guile persuasion. This pass makes local function definitions free in many cases: if they should be inlined and constant-folded, you are confident that they will be. peval lets you write clear programs with well-factored code and still have good optimization.

          The peval pass did have a limitation, though, which wasn’t its fault. In Guile, modules have historically been a first-order concept: modules are a kind of object with a hash table inside, which you build by mutating. I speak crassly but that’s how it is. In such a world, it’s hard to reason about top-level bindings: what module do they belong to? Could they ever be overridden? When you have a free reference to a, and there’s a top-level definition of a in the current compilation unit, is that the a that’s being referenced, or could it be something else? Could the binding be mutated in the future?

        • Jussi Pakkanen: .C as a file extension for C++ is not portable

          Some projects use .C as a file extension for C++ source code. This is ill-advised, because it is can’t really be made to work automatically and reliably.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • 3 features released in Python 3.1 you should use in 2021

            This is the second in a series of articles about features that first appeared in a version of Python 3.x. Python 3.1 was first released in 2009, and even though it has been out for a long time, many of the features it introduced are underused and pretty cool. Here are three of them.


            Python allows the -m flag to execute modules from the command line. Even some standard-library modules do something useful when they’re executed; for example, python -m cgi is a CGI script that debugs the web server’s CGI configuration.

            However, until Python 3.1, it was impossible to execute packages like this. Starting with Python 3.1, python -m package will execute the __main__ module in the package. This is a good place to put debug scripts or commands that are executed mostly with tools and do not need to be short.

            Python 3.0 was released over 11 years ago, but some of the features that first showed up in this release are cool—and underused. Add them to your toolkit if you haven’t already.

        • Rust

          • Rust 2021 edition to arrive in October with ‘more consistent panic’ and other new features

            The Rust 2021 Edition Working Group has scheduled the new version for release in October, with what it says are small changes that amount to a significant improvement.

            This is the “third edition of the Rust language,” said Mara Bos, founder and CTO of Fusion Engineering and a Rust Library Team member. The previous editions are Rust 2015 and Rust 2018.

            “Edition” is a special concept in Rust, as explained here. Updates to Rust ship frequently, but the special feature of an edition is that it can include incompatible changes. A crate (Rust term for a library) has to be explicitly configured to support an edition so older code will continue to work correctly. The Rust compiler can link crates of any edition.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Column: Yes, the IRS should compete with TurboTax, H&R Block and other private tax preparation software companies

          It’s the most FUD-iest time of the year, these days leading up to the tax filing deadline.
          FUD is a sales and marketing acronym for “fear, uncertainty and doubt,” sensations that can motivate customers to spend money and act rashly in order to alleviate their anxieties.
          And no industry is better at turning FUD into gold than online tax preparation services. These companies offer to take wary and confused filers by the digital hand with such programs as TurboTax and lead them through the forms and schedules that must be accurately filled out and postmarked this year by midnight this coming Monday.


          But lobbyists have successfully beaten back every effort to get the IRS into the tax-prep business, generally by throwing up a lot of FUD about big government, conflicts of interest and even creeping socialism.
          ProPublica noted that when Barack Obama was campaigning for president in 2007 he pledged to implement a simple return system at the IRS: “No more worry,” he said. “No more waste of time, no more extra expense for a tax preparer.”
          No way, said the lobbyists.
          No way, echoed the invertebrate U.S. Congress.
          Objections to the idea don’t pass the smell test.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • KrakenD API Gateway for Microservices Becomes Linux Foundation ‘Lura’ Project

                The team behind the KrakenD stateless, distributed, high-performance API gateway that enables microservices adoption, announced this week that the Linux Foundation will host the continued development of the gateway under a new name: the Lura Project.

                KrakenD was created five years ago as a library for engineers to create fast and reliable API gateways. It has been in production among a range of Internet companies since 2016.

              • How WASI Makes Containerization More Efficient

                WebAssembly, or Wasm for brevity, is a standardized binary format that allows software written in any language to run without customizations on any platform, inside sandboxes or runtimes – that is virtual machines – at near native speed. Since those runtimes are isolated from their host environment, a WebAssembly System Interface (WASI) gives developers – who adopt Wasm exactly to be free to write software once, but ignoring where it will run – a single, standard way to call the low-level functions that are present on any platform.

                The previous article in this series describes the goals, design principles and architecture of WASI. This time, we present real-world, usable projects and services based on WASI, that also clarify its role in the big picture: to facilitate the containerization of virtually any application, much more efficiently than bulkier containers like Docker may do.

        • Security

          • The Colonial Pipeline [Microsoft Windows] Attack is Emblemic of Bigger IIoT Woes [Ed: What's Windows doing on critical infrastructure?]
          • Attackers abuse Microsoft dev tool to deploy Windows malware [Ed: How Microsoft-connected sites make it seem like Microsoft incompetence and security issues are somehow the fault of those who exploit them]

            Threat actors are abusing the Microsoft Build Engine (MSBuild) to deploy remote access tools (RATs) and information-stealing malware filelessly as part of an ongoing campaign.

            MSBuild (msbuild.exe) is a legitimate and open-source Microsoft development platform, similar to the Unix make utility, for building applications.

          • KernelCare Live Patching for IoT Now Supports Raspberry Pi OS

            CloudLinux announced today that its KernelCare service for the Raspberry Pi platform adds support for the Raspberry Pi OS (previously called Raspbian), the most widely used operating system on the popular low-cost platform.

            KernelCare for IoT already supports Ubuntu Focal Fossa for 64-bit ARM, and now adds support for Raspberry Pi OS, the operating system officially provided by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Raspberry Pi OS is a free Debian-based operating system specifically-optimized for Raspberry Pi hardware.

          • KernelCare Live Patching for IoT Now Supports Raspberry Pi OS
          • Mozilla Privacy Blog: Defending users’ security in Mauritius

            Yesterday, Mozilla and Google filed a joint submission to the public consultation on amending the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Act organised by the Government of Mauritius. Our submission states that the proposed changes would disproportionately harm the security of Mauritian users on the internet and should be abandoned. Mozilla believes that individuals’ security and privacy on the internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional. The proposals under these amendments are fundamentally incompatible with this principle and would fail to achieve their projected outcomes.

            Under Section 18(m) of the proposed changes, the ICTA could deploy a “new technical toolset” to intercept, decrypt, archive and then inspect/block https traffic between a local user’s Internet device and internet services, including social media platforms.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Shirish Agarwal: Population, Immigration, Vaccines and Mass-Surveilance.

        Another couple of weeks passed. A Lot of things happening, lots of anger and depression in folks due to handling in pandemic, but instead of blaming they are willing to blame everybody else including the population. Many of them want forced sterilization like what Sanjay Gandhi did during the Emergency (1975). I had to share ‘So Long, My son‘. A very moving tale of two families of what happened to them during the one-child policy in China. I was so moved by it and couldn’t believe that the Chinese censors allowed it to be produced, shot, edited, and then shared worldwide. It also won a couple of awards at the 69th Berlin Film Festival, silver bear for the best actor and the actress in that category. But more than the award, the theme, and the concept as well as the length of the movie which was astonishing. Over a 3 hr. something it paints a moving picture of love, loss, shame, relief, anger, and asking for forgiveness. All of which can be identified by any rational person with feelings worldwide.


        I had written about caste issues a few times on this blog. This again came to the fore as news came that a Hindu sect used forced labor from Dalit community to make a temple. This was also shared by the hill. In both, Mr. Joshi doesn’t tell that if they were volunteers then why their passports have been taken forcibly, also I looked at both minimum wage prevailing in New Jersey as a state as well as wage given to those who are in the construction Industry. Even in minimum wage, they were giving $1 when the prevailing minimum wage for unskilled work is $12.00 and as Mr. Joshi shared that they are specialized artisans, then they should be paid between $23 – $30 per hour. If this isn’t exploitation, then I don’t know what is.

        And this is not the first instance, the first instance was perhaps the case against Cisco which was done by John Doe. While I had been busy with other things, it seems Cisco had put up both a demurrer petition and a petition to strike which the Court stayed. This seemed to all over again a type of apartheid practice, only this time applied to caste. The good thing is that the court stayed the petition.

        Dr. Ambedkar’s statement “if Hindus migrate to other regions on earth, Indian caste would become a world problem” given at Columbia University in 1916, seems to be proven right in today’s time and sadly has aged well. But this is not just something which is there only in U.S. this is there in India even today, just couple of days back, a popular actress Munmun Dutta used a casteist slur and then later apologized giving the excuse that she didn’t know Hindi. And this is patently false as she has been in the Bollywood industry for almost now 16-17 years. This again, was not an isolated incident. Seema Singh, a lecturer in IIT-Kharagpur abused students from SC, ST backgrounds and was later suspended. There is an SC/ST Atrocities Act but that has been diluted by this Govt. A bit on the background of Dr. Ambedkar can be found at a blog on Columbia website. As I have shared and asked before, how do we think, for what reason the Age of Englightenment or the Age of Reason happened. If I were a fat monk or a priest who was privileges, would I have let Age of Enlightenment happen. It broke religion or rather Church which was most powerful to not so powerful and that power was more distributed among all sort of thinkers, philosophers, tinkers, inventors and so on and so forth.

    • Monopolies

      • Apple threatens to upend podcasting’s free, open architecture

        Back in 2005, an ebullient Apple CEO Steven P. Jobs announced the integration of podcasting into Version 4.9 of its desktop iTunes software, calling podcasting “TiVo for radio.”

        Sixteen years later, during its April 20, 2021, “Spring Loaded” event, Apple has once again signaled a long-term corporate commitment to podcasting. But this time, instead of introducing listeners to the medium, Apple is creating the technical infrastructure for paid subscriptions through its Apple Podcasts service.

        Creators will now have the option to require a payment for audiences to access their content on Apple’s platform, with Apple taking a 30% cut of the revenue.

Audio: “Unjust Computing Clamps Down” by Richard Stallman

Posted in Audio/Video, FSF, GNU/Linux at 6:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Uploaded half an hour ago to media.libreplanet

Summary: The FSF has finally uploaded the LibrePlanet talk of Richard Stallman

Regarding the talk from 4 days ago, “Free Software: the Foundation of Freedom in Your Computing,” the page now says: “The live stream has ended; thank you for watching! A video recording may be made available in the coming days/weeks; please check back again later.”

Links 13/5/2021: KDE Gear 21.04.1 and LibreOffice 7.0.6

Posted in News Roundup at 1:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 Launches The Launch Configurable Keyboard

        For months Linux hardware vendor System76 has been teasing their own in-house designed and manufactured keyboard with open-source firmware and various innovations. Today the embargo lifts on the System76 Launch Configurable Keyboard so we can share more about this new open hardware product.

        The System76 Launch Configurable Keyboard is their latest product being designed and manufactured from their facility in Denver, Colorado — the second after their Thelio line of desktop computers. The keyboard base is an open-source design and milled out of aluminum. The CAD design and drawings are open-source on GitHub for those with the necessary equipment to fabricate your own. The Launch Keyboard also makes use of their own, open-source PCB design that supports individual RGB LED key backlighting and other features.

      • System76 unveils open source ‘Launch Configurable Keyboard’ for Linux, Windows, and macOS that is made in the USA
      • System76 releases the open source Launch Configurable Keyboard

        Ready for your next keyboard? How about one that’s properly open source and looks quite fantastic? System76 has today properly revealed and released the Launch Configurable Keyboard.

        Sticking to their ethos, they’ve launched the Launch as a fully open source unit. This includes the hardware (certified by the OSHWA), firmware and configuration tooling all as open source and firmware updates can be done directly through LVFS but it’s not forced – it’s up to users if they want to update the firmware.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • AMD Queues Initial Graphics Code For Linux 5.14 – More Aldebaran, PCIe ASPM, HMM SVM

        With the Linux 5.13 merge window past, AMD on Wednesday submitted an initial batch of AMDGPU/AMDKFD/Radeon graphics driver changes to DRM-Next as feature material to be queued ahead for the Linux 5.14 cycle this summer.

        This is just the first of several feature pull requests to DRM-Next of AMD Radeon improvements slated for Linux 5.14 with more work expected over the next few weeks.

    • Applications

      • Top 10 Video Conferencing Apps for Linux

        With great technology comes great innovations. Unending technological footprints continue to favor the Linux community, giving its users more reasons to cling to its impressive flavors and distributions. One of these technological footprints that the Linux community applauds is video conferencing.

        Video conferencing lacked a dynamic coverage in the world of computing until the Linux operating system happened. Whether it is individuals with personal computers or businesses with enterprising goals, the flexibility of video conferencing caters to everyone. You no longer have to adhere to mandatory paid subscriptions for you to enjoy all the features of a performant video conferencing software.

        Video conferencing has removed geographical limitations when communicating, making distance a non-factor. Under these platforms, seamless communication is viable through one-to-one or group-to-group presentations. Both freelance business owners and corporations can host their agents and employees on their preferred video conferencing accounts.

        Linux operating system has built a name for itself by empowering the corporate world. Through its numerous video conferencing apps in the software market, the usage of the associated apps is defining video conferencing as seamless and trouble-free. The latter statement begs the question, what are the top-recommended video conferencing apps to use under a Linux platform?

      • 12 Best Free Linux Logfile Viewers

        A server log is a log file which is created and updated by a server. A common example is an access log generated by Apache (open source web server software), which provides a history of web page requests. However, Apache does not only capture information to that access log. There is also information captured in its error log as well as a process id file, script log and a rewrite log.

        These log files are everywhere. Applications capture an enormous amount of information to log files, especially as a server may generate multiple logs. It is important to review log files to obtain feedback about the activity and performance of the server, and to identify hints to solve any problems that may arise. However, the administrator of the system can suffer from information overload, and reviewing the log files in an efficient way can be a very time consuming task.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install and Configure VNC Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        VNC or Virtual Network Computing is a graphical desktop sharing tool that allows you to remotely control a computer (server or desktop) from another computer (client). A VNC server transmits all keyboard and mouse events from the client computer to the server computer. If you are not yet familiar with CLI commands such as the terminal, etc., you can use VNC to help you manage files, software, and system settings on remote computers.

        In this tutorial, we will guide you step-by-step through setting up the VNC server on Ubuntu 20.04. We will install a Linux desktop XFCE on the server, then install and configure the VNC server using TightVNC.

      • How to Install the Latest VLC Player in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        There are many open-source media players available to Linux users. A preference for the selection comes from features, the ease of installation, and the availability of a stable version. The stable version of VLC 3.0 is out and ready to use. In this article we will show you several ways to install the VLC media player, depending on whether you choose the graphical interface or the command line of your Ubuntu system.

        We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on an Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system.

      • How to install PHP Mcrypt extension on Ubuntu 20.04 or Debian

        PHP Mcrypt extension provides encryption facilities to web applications that need the functionality of modern algorithms such as AES. This extension works as an interface to the Mcrypt’s libmcrypt library which implements all the algorithms and modes found in it such as DES, TripleDES, Blowfish (default), SAFER-SK128, LOKI97, GOST, RC2, RC6, MARS, IDEA, RIJNDAEL-128 (AES), RIJNDAEL-192, TWOFISH, TEA, RC2, and more. However, PHP developers have removed it from the PHP package bundle since the launch of php7.2 because of no further development in Mcrypt, thus the extension also gets decrypted. Sodium (available as of PHP 7.2.0) and OpenSSL are now some alternatives to it.

      • 1 Click Install Mosh Mobile Shell On Linux

        Mosh is a remote terminal application that allows roaming, supports intermittent connectivity, and provides intelligent local echo and line editing of user keystrokes.

        Mosh is a replacement for interactive SSH terminals. It’s more robust and responsive, especially over Wi-Fi, cellular, and long-distance links.

        It’s is free software, available for GNU/Linux, BSD, macOS, Solaris, Android, Chrome, and iOS.

      • 5 ways to check if your Linux OS is 64-bit or 32-bit

        If you’re a Linux newbie, you should know that there will be times – such as when installing packages – when you’ll be looking for a way to see if your operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit.

        The information is not hard to find, but there is more than one way to access it. In this tutorial, I’ll discuss some of those ways. But before we start the discussion, it’s worth sharing that all the instructions and commands mentioned in this article have been tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Debian 10, and CentOS 8

      • Search a file in Linux using Find & Locate command – LinuxTechLab

        One of the most annoying things according to me while managing servers is trying to search for a file in Linux servers. At one point or another, we are required to find a file’s location in a Linux server where you need to make changes or have to locate a file with logs, backup, etc.

      • How to troubleshoot application issues and crashes with snapd gdbserver | Ubuntu

        Sometimes, applications may not run well, or they could even crash. When such issues occur, it is useful to have a consistent, reproducible method of triggering the problem, so that developers can have a reliable way and sufficient data to troubleshoot the issues and produce a fix. In the software world, the GNU Debugger (gdb) is a powerful tool that allows developers to do just that.

        With snaps, things are slightly more complicated. Snaps run as isolated, self-contained applications, with strong security confinement. They are managed and launched by the snapd service. This means that if you were to invoke gdb to troubleshoot snaps exhibiting startup or runtime issues, the actual application execution will be masked by the snapd processes that wrap it. To work around this phenomenon, and give developers the right tools for the job, the snap daemon also includes gdbserver, which allows users to inspect their applications in a manner that is very similar to the classic Linux system.

      • Bash scripting: Moving from backtick operator to $ parentheses

        There are certain commands or tricks that you start using as a sysadmin, which you simply incorporate into your arsenal and never really stop to analyze in-depth all the options or alternatives to them.

        For me, one of those tricks is the backtick operator. I used it rather frequently when I programmed in Perl (which I don’t use nowadays, but it seems to still have a loyal fan club – check this poll). In my Perl scripts, I would use the backtick operator to run a command in the operating system and return the output to continue the logic in the script.

      • How to encrypt partition in Linux

        One of the best ways to protect your files on a Linux system is to enable hard disk encryption. It’s possible to encrypt an entire hard drive or partition, which will keep every file that resides there safe. Without the correct decryption key, prying eyes will only be able to see cryptic gibberish when they try to read your files.

        In this guide, we’ll go over the step by step instructions of using LUKS to encrypt a Linux partition. Regardless of what Linux distro you’re running, these steps should work the same. Follow along with us below to get partition encryption configured on your own system.

      • How to Configure Static IP in Arch Linux

        Simply, static IP can be defined as a non-changing internet address. Static IP can tell the location of the computer to other computers or servers on the internet. This article will help you to configure a static IP address in Arch Linux using netctl. Netctl is a command-line utility for managing the network profile in Linux.

      • Best File Managers for Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

        File management is one of the most essential and frequently carried out tasks carried out by Linux users. This involves locating, copying, moving, and deleting files and directories. In a GUI environment, the file manager, as the name suggests, allows you to seamlessly manage your files in a Linux environment. There are quite a number of file managers that can come in handy and make file management a delightful experience.

        This guide covers some of the best file managers for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

      • How to Verify PGP Signature of Downloaded Software on Linux – LinuxBabe

        PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) is a public key cryptography software that can be used to encrypt and sign data communication. In this tutorial, we will look at how to verify the PGP signature of software downloaded from the Internet on Linux.

        Linux users can securely install software from their distribution’s repositories. But there are times when you need to download and install software from a website. How can you be sure that the software you downloaded wasn’t tampered with?

        Some software authors sign their software using a PGP program such as GPG (GNU Privacy Guard), which is a free software implementation of the OpenPGP standard. In that case, you can verify the integrity of software using GPG.

      • Red Hat: How to network in a remote work world | The Enterprisers Project

        The widespread adoption of remote working has revolutionized the way we do our jobs, how we learn, and how we interact with each other. It has also changed the way we network. In a time where almost everything has gone online, our days are no longer full of opportunities to meet new people.

        Expanding your network is a critical part of career development. It’s essential to meet prospective partners and clients, improve your skillset, and stay updated with the latest trends in your industry.

        Virtual networking provides professionals with a greater pool of connections, removing time and space restrictions.
        If you’re working remotely, whether permanently or temporarily, creating networking opportunities is still possible. Though it might be a change from user groups and coffee meetups, virtual networking offers an added bonus: It provides professionals with a greater pool of connections, removing time and space restrictions in place of more traditional forms of networking.

    • Games

      • The absolutely awesome action-platformer shooter HUNTDOWN is out now for Linux

        After some time of being an Epic exclusive, HUNTDOWN has now released on GOG and Steam making it available for Linux from developer Easy Trigger Games. Note: personal purchase.

        Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. It’s insane – in the best way possible. It reminds me of Broforce for the over the top action, which remains as my all time favourite action platformer. However, HUNTDOWN is already looking like it might end up taking the number 2 slot – it’s just that good.

        “In the mayhem-filled streets of the future where criminal gangs rule and cops fear to tread, only the bounty hunters can free the city from the corrupt fist of felony. Lay waste to the criminal underworld and make a killing in this hard boiled action comedy arcade shooter.”

      • Coldwild Games announce Lazy Galaxy 2, an idle strategy game with basebuilding and combat | GamingOnLinux

        Coldwild Games, developer of Merchant of the Skies and Luna’s Fishing Garden, have announced Lazy Galaxy 2 an idle strategy game with basebuilding and combat elements.

        Lazy Galaxy 2 is an idle/clicker game with base-building and RTS elements. Lead an evil (albeit lazy) alien race to conquer the universe! Expand your base, fight vicious foes, and conquer the galaxies. Acquire combat experience and convert into candy, the most precious alien resource!

      • Political grand-strategy game Realpolitiks II is out now with Linux support | GamingOnLinux

        Realpolitiks II from Jujubee S.A. and publisher 1C Entertainment has left Early Access, and they’ve also released a Linux build along with it.

        A modern twist on the classic grand-strategy genre, as you take control of any contemporary nation in an attempt to assert dominance among the global superpowers so it’s obviously a highly political game. Develop your country’s economy, technology and army; use your diplomatic skills, build an impressive spy network and get ready to fight major global threats such as terrorism, pandemics or famine. Build powerful alliances, wage wars on your enemies and achieve greatness! It expands in the first game in a lot of ways, enhancing all the features of the previous game and adding in many more options to expand.

      • Check out the demo for arcade-puzzle runner MAZEMAN from the Monster Prom team | GamingOnLinux

        MAZEMAN is a slightly difficult game to pin down to a genre or explain it properly. You run through mazes, collecting gems and to find the key to unlock the exit. It seems like it’s going to be pretty fun. Pretty darn frantic too, as you dodge all sorts of weird creatures in each crazy maze level.

        Developer Beautiful Glitch recently put up a demo on Steam, which has a Linux build that works great and the full game will be supporting Linux too. There’s no release date other than “soon”. If you’ve not heard of the developer before, they’re the studio behind the Monster Prom series.

      • Fingeance is a fishy shoot ‘em up that needs team-play rather than twitch-reflexes

        Free Game Thursday! Now this is great, a shoot ‘em up that tries to do away with the traditional twitchy gameplay in favour of something a little more interesting with co-op.

        The idea in Fingeance is that four players work together, as it places an “emphasis on teamwork and strategy”. The focus was on making it a truly fun co-op experience, where even a novice player can make a difference to the team. The developers say to imagine “Faster Than Light meets Jamestown meets Team Fortress 2″ and then “add four tiny fish, a comic book style, and a veneer of seething vindictive rage”.

      • The next Skullgirls 2nd Encore fighter is Umbrella who carries a hungry sentient brolly | GamingOnLinux

        Hidden Variable, Future Club, and Autumn Games have confirmed that the next fighter entering Skullgirls 2nd Encore is Umbrella, who carries a huge hungry brolly around.

      • Resident Evil Village gets better on Linux with the latest Proton Experimental | GamingOnLinux

        Valve and CodeWeavers have once again updated Proton Experimental, bringing with it a needed fix for Resident Evil Village running on Linux.

        It was only a few days ago Proton Experimental was updated to get RE Village working but it came with one big drawback. Previously you couldn’t change any graphics settings in-game but as of the latest May 12 build, this has now been solved with Proton Experimental. So that marks another AAA Windows-supported game working nicely on Linux thanks to the Proton compatibility layer – such fast paced improvements!

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Gear 21.04.1

          Over 120 individual programs plus dozens of programmer libraries and feature plugins are released simultaneously as part of KDE Gear

          Today they all get new bugfix source releases.

          Distro and app store packagers should update their application packages.

        • KDE Gear 21.04 Gets First Point Release with Konsole Improvements, More

          KDE Gear 21.04 was released three weeks ago with various new features and improvements for many of your favorite KDE apps. In case you missed it, the KDE Project renamed its KDE Applications software suite to KDE Gear earlier this year, but it’s only a name change, nothing else that would affect you.

          Now, KDE Gear 21.04.1 is here as the first point release to the open-source office suite, bringing various changes to the Konsole terminal emulator, such as improved visibility of selected text, a fix for a crash that may occur when you enter a very long string (e.g. 6000 characters) and then immediately maximize the window, as well as a fix for a crash that could occur when opening the app’s Settings window.

    • Distributions

      • Bodhi Linux 6.0 Introduces a New Look with Numerous Changes

        Bodhi Linux is a lightweight distribution tailored for old systems. With its Moksh desktop, it was a unique experience already.

        Now, with a major release after more than a year, Bodhi Linux 6.0 brings in a refreshed look and several improvements across the board.

        Let me briefly highlight what’s new in this release.


        You will only find essential applications like Chromium web browser, Leafpad text editor, Synaptic package manager and more. Also, it is worth noting that Chromium is the default browser.

        The release note also mentions a critical fix for Leafpad text editor that lead to data loss previously.

        Thunar File Manager has also received important updates to improve the user experience and blend in better with the desktop environment i.e Moksh.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Introducing Libqmycroft

        Mycroft is free and open source digital assistant written in python, Mycroft skills are the voice apps and extensions for Mycroft also written in python they can provide different functionality for users depending on what the user wants to achieve, like for example mycroft skills can be written to provide the user with weather information which can then inform the user of the current weather and display a weather forecast.

        Libqmycroft aims to bring the same Mycroft extension capability to traditional input desktop / mobile applications that want to add support for a voice interface without having each application to go through writing their own web-socket / dbus interface to establish a communication layer with Mycroft.

      • Who won over the classroom with Jitsi?

        Developers, architects, students, teachers, and Jitsi mentors from different countries and time zones worked together for one week in a collaborative online environment. Participants could choose to tackle some of the challenges proposed by Jitsi, or they could create their own ones. In total, 21 projects were submitted, which was an encouragingly high number.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.2 Brings Universal Search Commands Feature

          A really cool feature Search Commands is merged recently in the upcoming LibreOffice 7.2 dev branch. It’s super productive. We take a look at how it works.

        • LibreOffice 7.0.6 has been released

          LibreOffice 7.0.6, the sixth minor release of the LibreOffice 7.0 family, is available from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/. All users are invited to update to this version.

          End user support is provided by volunteers via email and online resources: https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/community-support/. On the website and the wiki there are guides, manuals, tutorials and HowTos. Donations help us to make all of these resources available.

          For enterprise class deployments, TDF strongly recommends sourcing LibreOffice from one of the ecosystem partners, to get long-term supported releases, dedicated assistance, custom new features and other benefits, including SLAs (Service Level Agreements): https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-in-business/.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • Python

          • Pyzo – The Interactive Editor for Scientific Python

            Pyzo is a free, open-source, and cross-platform Python IDE that is focused on introspection and interactivity, that is why it is well suited for scientific computing. Its feasible design is aimed at simplicity and efficiency, consisting of two components: shell and editor.

            It uses a collection of pluggable tools to help programmers in many ways. Some of these pluggable tools are project manager, workspace, source structure, and interactive help. Besides, Pyzo is purely written in Python 3 and uses the Qt GUI toolkit.

  • Leftovers

    • Mike Gold, Avant-Garde Bard of Proletarian New York

      Is it time to release Michael Gold from his personal gulag to range free in the pastures of 20th-century American literature?

      Gold—“Mike” to his comrades—was a key figure in American letters from the mid-1920s well into the Great Depression. A leading advocate and practitioner of “proletarian literature,” he was also the editor of New Masses, perhaps the most important left-wing periodical of the 1930s. A committed, vociferous revolutionary, he joined the Communist Party in the 1920s and then stuck with it for life. Neither purges nor pacts nor the 1956 invasion of Hungary would cause Gold to renounce his faith. On the contrary. A columnist for the Daily Worker for a quarter century or more, Gold also served as the party’s preeminent cultural commentator—albeit less the voice of the leadership than of the rank and file. But what goes around comes around. Railing for decades against perceived “literary renegades,” he was, arguably, both an early adapter and a victim of cancel culture.

    • Black Families Matter
    • Opinion | The Dauntless Girl With the Constitution: Nothing You Do Will Surprise Me
    • ‘Sometimes I Miss the Lockdown’

      I feel guilty about it, but I still feel it: There’s a part of me that misses the darkest days of the lockdown.

    • VH1’s cringe-worthy ‘Fabulous’ Jeffrey Epstein show resurfaces

      A clip of disgraced pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein on VH1’s “The Fabulous Life of…” has resurfaced.

      A two-minute cringe-worthy clip from Epstein’s feature on the show was shared by a Twitter user this week and is spreading like wildfire.

      “35 seconds in and you’re thinking, this won’t get worse. But it does,” wrote Eoin Higgins, who posted the video.

      Epstein, who died by suicide in prison in 2019, was featured on the reality series in a 2007 episode called “The Fabulous Life of Billion Dollar Wall Street Ballers.”

    • Jeffrey Epstein’s VH1 The Fabulous Life Of episode resurfaces online
    • Science

    • Education

      • The child safety problem on platforms is worse than we knew

        The report from Thorn, a nonprofit organization that builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse, identifies a disturbing gap in efforts by Snap, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and others to keep children safe. Officially, children are not supposed to use most apps before they turn 13 without adult supervision. In practice, though, the majority of American children are using apps anyway. And even when they block and report bullies and predators, the majority of children say that they are quickly re-contacted by the same bad actors — either via new accounts or separate social platforms.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Connecticut Calls in National Guard as Nursing Home Workers Plan Strike
      • Public Health and the Triumph of Irrationality

        Take heart disease. Not only do we know what causes it and how to prevent it, prevention is far easier than is the prevention of COVID. The causes of heart disease are things such as obesity, poor diet, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, stress, and lack of exercise. It would be relatively easy to tackle these problems. We could outlaw the sales of jumbo-sized sugary drinks, limit legal amounts of sugar and fats in processed foods, outlaw smoking, establish legal limits on the sales on alcohol, and mandate short supervised exercise periods in workplaces. 

        Americans are generally hesitant to impose what many have traditionally taken to be excessive legislative measures to protect public health. There was enormous support, however, for the legally-mandated extended lockdown measures and mask requirements to protect people from COVID, so why is there so little support for more moderate legislative measures to protect Americans from these greater threats to their health? The attempted ban on jumbo-sized sugary drinks was so short-lived that most people no longer even remember it. We’ve done a great deal to limit smoking in the U.S., but even with those measures it continues to be a huge threat to public health. If we can shut down businesses to protect people from COVID, why can’t we shut down the tobacco industry to protect people from the ravages of smoking (which affects not only smokers, but everyone in close proximity to them, not to mention imposing enormous costs on the healthcare system)? Bars and restaurants can, in theory, be held legally liable for serving alcohol to obviously inebriated customers, but in practice that law is seldom enforced and we have no legal limits whatever on the sales of alcohol in retail outlets. 

      • ‘Government Money That’s Gone Into Vaccine Development Is Being Privatized by a Handful of Companies’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Knowledge Ecology International’s James Love about Bill Gates and vaccine politics  for the May 7, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Inspector General Directs EPA to Update Its Rules for Two Toxic Air Pollutants

        On May 6, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) inspector general issued a report rebuking the agency for failing to protect fenceline communities in 19 metropolitan areas from chloroprene and ethylene oxide, toxic chemicals used in industrial processes. The report directs the agency to review its rules, as required by the Clean Air Act, for both of these carcinogenic air pollutants, which newer scientific evidence has found raise the cancer risk for people living near facilities emitting them.

        One of these communities is a low-income, African-American community in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, situated near the Denka Performance Elastomer plant in LaPlace. St. John holds the dubious distinction of being the only U.S. community exposed to both toxic chemicals cited in the EPA watchdog report.

      • Failed Leadership, Gross Inequality, and History of Ignored Warnings Allowed Pandemic’s Deadly Spiral: Global Panel

        “We have been warned. Let’s not ignore again,” said one member.

      • Are any of the COVID-19 vaccines self-spreading, self-propagating, transmissible vaccines?

        I realize that the gap between this post and my more recent post has been longer than usual, leaving the regular denizens of the comment section here not a lot to discuss. What can I say? Life gets in the way sometimes, and that has been happening more often, or at least so it seems. Be that as it may, I hope to be able to rectify this situation starting today, and, as is so often the case, the merry band of antivaccine propagandists over at Age of Autism provided me just the target topic. Unsurprisingly, it’s Ginger Taylor, MS (a woman who never fails to include her master’s degree her byline, although I can’t help but suggest, as I often do, that it’s a master’s degree in Dunning-Kruger), who provides the grist with an article entitled (just like the title of this post), Are any of the COVID-19 vaccines self-spreading, self-propagating, transmissible vaccines?

      • Vaccine math Meduza fact checks Putin and Mishustin’s statements about Russia’s coronavirus vaccination numbers

        On Monday, May 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that 21.5 million Russians had been vaccinated against COVID-19. Two days later, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that more than 24 million people in Russia had received their coronavirus jab. Meduza fact checked these official statements to see if these vaccination figures are even possible. Long story short, the numbers don’t add up.

      • The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Could Help the Navajo Nation

        Though congressional leaders acknowledge the disproportionate impact of nuclear testing on the Diné, they haven’t made the necessary changes to the law. It’s set to expire in the summer of 2022. We’re using that date as a call for the legislation’s renewal and expansion so that it finally covers all impacted people. The U.S. has a long and shameful history of displacing, marginalizing, and dismissing Native populations, but that history doesn’t have to continue any further into the 21st century. Let’s put the pressure on.

      • For The Navajo Nation, Uranium Mining’s Deadly Legacy Lingers

        The federal government is cleaning up a long legacy of uranium mining within the Navajo Nation — some 27,000 square miles spread across Utah, New Mexico and Arizona that is home to more than 250,000 people.

        Many Navajo people have died of kidney failure and cancer, conditions linked to uranium contamination. And new research from the CDC shows uranium in babies born now.

        Mining companies blasted 4 million tons of uranium out of Navajo land between 1944 and 1986. The federal government purchased the ore to make atomic weapons. As the Cold War threat petered out the companies left, abandoning more than 500 mines.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • FACT SHEET: President Signs Executive Order Charting New Course to Improve the Nation’s Cybersecurity and Protect Federal Government Networks [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Remove Barriers to Threat Information Sharing Between Government and the Private Sector. The Executive Order ensures that IT Service Providers are able to share information with the government and requires them to share certain breach information. IT providers are often hesitant or unable to voluntarily share information about a compromise. Sometimes this can be due to contractual obligations; in other cases, providers simply may be hesitant to share information about their own security breaches. Removing any contractual barriers and requiring providers to share breach information that could impact Government networks is necessary to enable more effective defenses of Federal departments, and to improve the Nation’s cybersecurity as a whole.

        • ‘Arm Waving’ Response to Hackers Makes Oil Industry Easy Prey [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Colonial Pipeline became aware of the attack about May 7, after attackers had stolen nearly 100 gigabytes of data and encrypted at least a portion of the company’s IT network — the portion of its network most of its employees use to check their email, review contracts or write and distribute invoices. However the company also took much of its operational systems offline – the side of the network where machines talk to machines to actually push gas up and down the pipeline. There is no evidence Colonial’s operational technology systems — which isn’t connected to its IT system — were compromised by the attack, the company said.

        • F.B.I. Identifies Group Behind Pipeline [Attack] [iophk: Windows TCO]

          So far, intelligence officials said, all of the indications are that it was simply an act of extortion by the group, which first began to deploy such ransomware last August and is believed to operate from Eastern Europe, possibly Russia. There was some evidence, even in the group’s own statements on Monday, that suggested the group had intended simply to extort money from the company, and was surprised that it ended up cutting off the main gasoline and jet fuel supplies for the Eastern Seaboard.

        • Here’s what we know about DarkSide ransomware [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The popularity and increasing maturity of the ransomware-as-a-service model combined with the aging systems that control energy systems is a compounding problem. As threat actors continue to observe ransomware’s operational success, more cybercriminals likely will want to get in on the action due to its thriving sub-industries (i.e. access brokers, credential shops, and bulletproof hosting) and higher returns when compared other crimes (i.e. targeting bank accounts). It’s imperative that companies responsible for critical infrastructure understand that insecure systems present a juicy ransomware target to the cybercriminal underground, and proactive defenses will go a long way in preventing future incidents like what happened with Colonial Pipeline.

        • AK: US ransomware attack aftermath food for thought in Estonia too [iophk: Windows TCO]

          In the current situation where remote work is common, simple security holes are also prevalent and being exploited by cyber criminals, the Information System Authority (RIA) says.

          Ransomware involves trojan malware systems finding their way into the victim’s IT system, for instance via a phishing email or a vuln in a network service. Often an app then restricts or locks the system, demanding payment to unlock it.

          RIA’s recommendation when asked about such attacks is that in no circumstances should ransoms be paid, pour encourager les autres as much as anything.

          RIA senior analyst Lauri Tankler told AK that: “Since money has been paid to such groups for years, they have been coming up with better and better cyber ransomware products, and are able to do more and more harm to society as a result.

        • VMware names India-born Raghu Raghuram as CEO from June

          Since joining VMware in 2003, Raghuram has helped steer the company’s strategic direction and its technology evolution.

        • VMware Appoints Raghu Raghuram As New CEO
        • VMware heads to court over GPL violations

          Unlike commercial litigants, the Conservancy neither seeks profit from litigation nor uses it early. The organization’s FAQ explains:

          Neither Conservancy nor [Hellwig] takes this action lightly nor without exhausting every other possible alternative first. This lawsuit is the outgrowth of years of effort to convince VMware to comply with GPL.

        • Biden signs executive order aiming to prevent future cybersecurity disasters

          The executive order outlines a number of initiatives, including reducing barriers to information sharing between the government and the private sector, mandating the deployment of multi-factor authentication in the federal government, establishing a Cybersecurity Safety Review Board modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board, and creating a standardized playbook for responding to “cyber incidents.” You can read more about all of the initiatives in the White House’s fact sheet here.

        • Security

          • A security researcher found Wi-Fi vulnerabilities that have existed since the beginning

            Vanhoef points out that some of the flaws can be exploited on networks using the WEP security protocol, indicating that they’ve been around since Wi-Fi was first implemented in 1997 (though if you’re still using WEP, these attacks should be the least of your concerns).

          • WiFi devices going back to 1997 vulnerable to new Frag Attacks

            A Belgian security researcher has discovered a series of vulnerabilities that impact the WiFi standard, with some bugs dating back as far back as 1997 and affecting devices sold for the past 24 years.

            The vulnerabilities, known as Frag Attacks, allow an attacker within a device’s WiFi radio range to gather information about the owner and run malicious code to compromise a device, may it be a computer, smartphone, or other smart device.

            Devices are also vulnerable even if the WiFi standard’s security protocols were activated, such as WEP and WPA.

          • Fragment and Forge: Breaking Wi-Fi ThroughFrame Aggregation and Fragmentation

            We discovered widespread design and implementation flaws related to frame aggregation and fragmentation. Interestingly, our aggregation attack could have been avoided if devices had implemented optional security improvements earlier. This highlights the importance of deploying security improvementsbefore practical attacks are known. The two fragmentation-based design flaws were, at a high level, caused by not adequately separating different security contexts. From this we learn that properly separating security contexts is an important principle to take into account when designing protocols.

            In practice, our implementation-specific vulnerabilities arethe most devastating. Several enable the trivial injection offrames, which we abused to trick a victim into using a malicious DNS server to then intercept most of the victim’s traffic.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (graphviz and redmine), Fedora (dom4j, kernel, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, mariadb, php, php-phpmailer6, and redis), openSUSE (kernel and nagios), and Ubuntu (mysql-5.7, mysql-8.0 and python-django).

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • ‘Overwhelming’ Evidence Facebook is Failing to Tackle Climate Misinformation

        Facebook is “fuelling climate misinformation” through its failure to get to grips with misleading content, according to a new report that calls on companies to boycott the platform until significant action is taken.

        Campaign group Stop Funding Heat, which produced the report, warns that the problem is likely to escalate in the coming months as the next major UN climate summit, COP26, approaches and wants to see action taken against “repeat offenders”.

      • Despite Urgent Need for Green Recovery, World’s Cities Woefully Underfunded to Fight Climate Emergency

        Cities around the world lack the public financing needed to protect people from flooding, sustainably retrofit buildings, and respond to the climate emergency.

      • Climate Campaigners Launch High Court Challenge Over North Sea Oil and Gas Drilling

        Campaigners are launching a High Court battle against the UK government’s “unlawful and irrational” support of oil and gas drilling in the North Sea.

        A medical student, the daughter of an oil worker and a former Esso employee are challenging the oil industry regulator’s strategy that aims to maximise economic recovery of oil and gas from beneath UK waters.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Weather Strike’ By Tom Morello and Pussy Riot

        The post was originally published as part of Ongoing History of Protest Songs.Tom Morello has a long career creating political music as the guitarist of Rage Against The Machine, The Nightwatchman, and for several other projects. It should come as no surprise that he joined forces with Russian musical activist collective Pussy Riot.

        “Pussy Riot is one of the most radical and important activist musical groups of all time,” Morello declared in a press statement. “Their fearless blending of art and confrontation is a constant inspiration and it’s an honor to combine forces on this powerful, revolutionary track ‘Weather Strike.’”

      • The California Air Resources Board Challenges Our Carbon Credits Investigations. We Respond.

        The California Air Resources Board sent a letter to ProPublica challenging our recent stories on flaws with that state’s forest carbon offset program. Our investigation, which was co-reported and published with MIT Technology Review, reported on a recent study from the nonprofit CarbonPlan, which found that the program had issued up to 39 million carbon credits without real climate benefits.

        The first story focused on the study’s main conclusions, and the second story was about the debate over how to ensure additionality — that the program brought about carbon savings that wouldn’t otherwise have happened. The board has not asked for any corrections. Its full letter is available here. The Massachusetts Audubon Society, which sold carbon credits that were ultimately purchased by California polluters under the offset program, also issued a statement, available here.

      • Opinion | “Our Planet, Our Future”—Another Desperate Plea for Humanity to Wake Up

        There is no law of nature according to which all technological civilizations must self-destruct, but nor is there any guarantee that the great experiment of civilization will succeed.

      • Energy

        • Missouri Lawmakers Approve Reforms to Controversial Clean-Energy Loan Program

          A legislative measure that would add consumer protections and oversight to programs that make high-interest “clean energy” loans in Missouri will go to the governor for his signature, after the state House on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to pass it. A ProPublica investigation found the programs disproportionately burden borrowers in predominantly Black neighborhoods.

          The House voted 137-12 on the proposal, with two members voting “present.” The Senate passed the bill May 4.

        • Big Oil’s malign influence is waning at last

          It has enriched us, even dictated our politics, but now we know Big Oil’s malign influence we want no more of this black gold.

        • New HSBC-backed Coal Plants Will Contribute to 18,400 Deaths Annually, New Study Estimates

          Coal-fired power plants set to be built by companies part-owned by British multinational bank HSBC will contribute to tens of thousands of deaths worldwide due to air pollution once completed, new research suggests.

          A new study by researchers at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) estimates that the planned coal plants would, when operational, be responsible for 18,400 premature deaths per year across countries including India, China and Bangladesh.

        • Opinion | Okavango, Oil Drilling, and the Tragedy of Africa

          It is not too late for the governments of Namibia and Botswana to halt the race for an asset that is bound to get stranded as the world shifts away from fossil fuels. 

        • 660+ Groups Call on Democrats to ‘Reject Gas and Other False Climate Solutions’ for Clean Energy Standard

          “As we look to combat the climate emergency, it is crucial that we invest in solutions that support a just energy future.”

        • What the Pipeline Hack Reveals About the Future of Fossil Fuels

          On May 7 — although they didn’t bother to tell us until a day later — Colonial Pipeline shut down 5,500 miles of pipeline, which normally carries almost half the gas sold on the US east coast, due to a cyberattack. On the evening of May 9, to take the edge off, the Biden administration declared an emergency covering 17 states, lifting restrictions on delivering gasoline by truck. No word on when the pipeline will resume operation.

          For the last few years, as the price of electricity produced by sunlight and wind power has continued to drop, fossil fuel flacks have insistently informed us that the problem with solar and wind power are that they’re “intermittent and incapable of meeting our needs” (as Ron Stein puts it in Natural Gas Now, an online publication put out by, surprise, the natural gas lobby).

        • Pan American Silver Pressured to Shut Down Community Interference in Guatemala
        • Ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline disrupts fuel supplies across Southeast US

          Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm also attempted to downplay the crisis by saying that federal agencies are working around the clock to help the pipeline return to normal operations and that she held “several conversations with the CEO of Colonial and who has indicated that by close of business tomorrow, Colonial will be in a position to make the full restart decision. But even after that decision is made, it will take a few days to ramp up operations.”

        • [Old] Coming this summer: Gas stations running out of gas

          Not that there’s a looming shortage of crude oil or gasoline. Rather, it’s the tanker truck drivers needed to deliver the gas to stations who are in short supply.

          According to the National Tank Truck Carriers, the industry’s trade group, somewhere between 20% to 25% of tank trucks in the fleet are parked heading into this summer due to a paucity of qualified drivers. At this point in 2019, only 10% of trucks were sitting idle for that reason.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • How an Indigenous Scientist Studies Global Change
        • Poisoning the Planet’s Web of Life

          The victim is soil, which is the life source for 95% of the foods we cram down our throats three times per day, 365 days per year.

          A new landmark study has identified the killer of nature’s greatest achievement of all time, soil. Based upon this major new research only recently released, the culprit or soil killer is agricultural pesticides, as follows: “Study after study indicates the unchecked use of pesticides across hundreds of millions of acres each year is poisoning the organisms critical to maintaining healthy soils,” Donley added. “Yet our regulators have been ignoring the harm to these important ecosystems for decades.” (Source: Tari Gunstone, et al, “Pesticides and Soil Invertebrates: A Hazard Assessment,” Frontiers in Environmental Science, May 4, 2021)

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Meduza is you: Almost 80,000 people have donated to keep this news organization alive. We’re now retooling for sustainability as a ‘foreign agent’ in Russia. Here’s our plan.

        A few days after Russia’s Justice Ministry designated Meduza as a “foreign agent,” we launched a crowdfunding campaign to compensate for lost advertising income. Nearly 80,000 people joined this initiative. Together, you’ve performed a miracle. Thanks entirely to readers like you, Meduza continues to operate, despite the fact that the Russian authorities crushed our revenue stream in a matter of days.

      • Worse Than the Dreyfuss Affair: the Persecution of Julian Assange

        Among the many scandals and betrayals of democracy and the rule of law we recognize the persecution of inconvenient journalists by governments and their helpers in the media.  Perhaps the most scandalous and immoral example of the multinational corruption of the rule of law is the “lawfare” conducted against Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, who in the year 2010 uncovered war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the United States and its NATO allies in Afghanistan and Iraq.

        In a world where the rule of law matters, these war crimes would have been promptly investigated, indictments would have been issued in the countries concerned.  But no,  the ire of the governments and the media focused instead on the journalist who had dared to uncover these crimes.  The persecution of this journalist was a coordinated assault on the rule of law by the United States, United Kingdom and Sweden, later joined by Ecuador. The instrumentalization of the administration of justice – not for purposes of doing justice, but to destroy a human being pulled more and more people into a joint-criminal conspiracy of defamation, trumped-up charges, investigations without indictment, deliberate delays and covers-up.

      • Florida City Officials Spend $50,000 To Find Out Who Gave Journalists A Public Record

        The city government of Tamarac, Florida has found a novel way to spend taxpayers’ money: paying someone to find out who handed public records to someone entitled to receive public records. (h/t Peter Bonilla)

      • Journalist Craig Murray sentenced to eight months imprisonment

        Journalist and blogger, Craig Murray, has been sentenced to eight months in prison for contempt of court in a vindictive ruling with chilling implications for press freedom and democratic rights.

        Murray was found guilty in March this year for his reporting on the 2020 trial of former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. Murray, a former British diplomat, was found to have published articles which supposedly ‘seriously impeded or prejudiced’ Salmond’s trial by breaching contempt of court legislation ‘preventing the publication of the names and identity and any information likely to disclose the identity of the complainers’ against Salmond.


        Murray intends to take his case to the UK Supreme Court on the basis that he did not identify anyone and his right to report being denied through an ‘extraordinary, impossibly strict application of ‘jigsaw identification’ and on fair process not have been observed.’

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • For Eid, Let’s Celebrate the Queer and Trans Muslims Working Toward Abolition
      • “Mass Supervision”: How Restrictive Probation & Parole Systems Land People Behind Bars for Decades

        In Pennsylvania, more than half of incarcerated people are jailed due to probation violations. We speak with formerly incarcerated activist LaTonya Myers, who says probation and parole, rather than being a stepping stone to freedom, act as a “streamline to mass incarceration,” with punitive rules landing people back behind bars for minor violations. Myers helps people arrested navigate the bail review system as support coordinator with the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund and is featured in the new PBS documentary series “Philly D.A.” about Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s attempts to reform the criminal justice system. “We just want a part of the American dream,” says Myers. “But it hasn’t been American dream for us. It’s American nightmare.”

      • SOS: Will the World Answer the Calls for Help?

        SOS is Morse code for distress—Save Our Ship.

        “SOS Colombia” is a call to protect human rights, end the violence, and stop the militarization of cities and police departments in Colombia.

      • Colombia’s Leaders Want to Stain Their Country with the Blood of the Working Class

        Mainstream media in Colombia and the South American continent have been selectively silent about the atrocities, and so those seeking to either learn or share information on the situation have had to turn to social media to break the media blockade. During the day, photos are shared of the colorful marches and joyful mobilizations. At night, videos of terror start appearing with a distressing frequency: the mobile anti-riot squad (ESMAD) and police shooting firearms at defenseless protesters, agents of security forces chasing after young people in the poor neighborhoods to either shoot at them or arrest them and instilling terror in the population, and mothers crying and screaming because their children were killed.

        According to Temblores and Indepaz, two human rights organizations that have been tracking reports of police violence, from April 28 to May 8, the violent actions of the state security forces resulted in the death of at least 47 people, the arbitrary detention of 963 people, 28 victims of eye-related injuries, and 12 victims of sexual violence. In total, they registered 1,876 cases of police violence.

      • The Tax Protests in Colombia

        So, why the unrest? Protests there began as a general strike over a tax reform bill proposed by the Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez to stem the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and lockdowns. According to the British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) News, “The proposed reform would have lowered the threshold at which salaries are taxed, affecting anyone with a monthly income of 2.6m [million Colombian] pesos ($684; £493) or more. It would also have eliminated many of the current exemptions enjoyed by individuals, as well as increasing taxes imposed on businesses.”

        The tax proposal was deeply upsetting to many who because of the economic effects from the pandemic are on the verge of poverty. As such, the pandemic for many in Colombia and elsewhere in South America has been quite destabilizing. According to the Wallstreet Journal (WSJ), the “…stringent pandemic lockdowns that have been blamed for causing mass unemployment and throwing some four million people into poverty. Colombia is experiencing its third coronavirus surge, with nearly 500 deaths a day on average over the past week, a higher per-capita rate than India’s.”

      • Asylum and the Right to Security

        We’re seeing the dark and looming shape of a breakdown in the global system of asylum and refuge-seeking. It takes the form of a hardening of state attitudes, a disregard for refugees’ dignity and legal rights, and a calculation on the part of those responsible for systematic mistreatment of refugees that their crimes will go unpunished.

        In the ‘developed’ world, governments have lost their nerve when it comes to taking seriously their responsibility to protect. Illiberal eastern states in the EU, notably Poland, Hungary, and Croatia, have point-blank refused to meet their EU member obligations regarding asylum, and turn a blind eye to the violence and indignities inflicted by their own police and border patrol personnel. Worse, they encourage such viciousness. In the Balkans, asylum seekers are beaten and robbed, and their phones smashed. It’s a picture of Europe depressingly familiar to historians of the Reconquista and the pogrom. Seven countries, all EU states, topped a poll in Autumn last year as being the world’s least welcoming to refugees.

      • Survivors Of Forced Sterilizations In California Fight A Century Of Violence In Women’s Prisons

        California community organizers continue to fight for reparations after the state forcibly sterilized people for more than a century, offering little more than an empty apology and three rejected compensation bills. 

        Since 2017, organizers have pushed for legislation to compensate survivors of forced sterilizations during the eugenics era, when states allowed the practice to be carried out against over 60,000 disabled and imprisoned people and later, in the 2000s, when hundreds of people in women’s prisons were illegally sterilized against their will.

      • Opinion | Domestic Violence Is More Than Physical Violence—and State Laws Are Beginning to Recognize That

        Some states are stepping up to incorporate coercive and controlling behavior, not just episodes of violence, into laws that protect victims.

      • When Lean-In Feminism Reaches the Factory Floor

        Malathi, a South Indian woman in her mid-30s with long black hair and a round, expressive face, is among the more fortunate garment workers in Asia. The mother of two, who chose to go by a pseudonym for this story, just started her 12th year at a factory in Bangalore owned by Shahi Exports, India’s largest garment exporter and a supplier to the likes of The Gap, H&M, and Uniqlo. Malathi’s take-home pay of $30 per week is higher than the $22, $24, and $26 her colleagues make on average in, respectively, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. And with a typical workweek of 48 hours, she is spared the excessive overtime endemic to the sector. Notably, especially given the prevalence of factory fires, Malathi has never been in an accident.

      • Can the Criminal Justice System Be Reformed? PBS Series “Philly D.A.” Follows Larry Krasner’s Efforts

        Four years ago, the longtime civil rights attorney Larry Krasner shocked the political establishment in Philadelphia by being elected district attorney. Now he faces a tough reelection next week. We delve into his record as captured in a new eight-part series by PBS “Independent Lens” that follows how Krasner, who had sued the Philadelphia Police Department 75 times during his career, ran on a platform of ending mass incarceration and has fought to overhaul the DA’s Office. “Is change possible in an institution like this?” asks series co-creator Ted Passon. “Why or why not?” We also speak with co-creator Nicole Salazar about how the series explores “the tensions between the new guard, between Krasner’s team and the existing prosecutors in the office.”

      • Philly DA Larry Krasner Fights for Reelection Amid Police Union Attacks on His Reform Agenda

        As Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner attempts to overhaul the city’s criminal justice system, he faces a Democratic primary election next week against Carlos Vega, a former homicide prosecutor who is one of three dozen veteran prosecutors fired by Krasner when he took office in 2018. We speak with Linn Washington, a journalist who has covered Philadelphia’s criminal justice system for decades, who says powerful forces, including the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, have unfairly “tarred” Krasner for his reforms. “The FOP represents the very worst of the regressive approach to the criminal justice system, the very elements that Mr. Krasner is trying to reform,” Washington says. He also discusses how Krasner’s stance on Mumia Abu-Jamal may not cost him reelection but “will stain his reputation as a reformer.”

      • New York Police Union Tells NYPD End Of Qualified Immunity Will Force Officers To… Act Lawfully

        One of the NYPD’s unions — the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) — is feeling ways about stuff again. Last month, the New York City Council passed a number of police reforms which included taking away qualified immunity as a defense in civil lawsuits filed in local courts. The bill has yet to receive the governor’s signature, but the SBA is already making its unhappiness known.

      • Circumstances still unclear more than a month after college student Samuel Yeager fatally shot by Colorado deputy

        While police violence is portrayed in the media and by the Democratic Party entirely as a racial issue—a matter of racist white cops against black victims—victims are of every race and ethnicity, as are their police killers.

        Yeager was the 243rd person killed by police this year in the United States and the sixth killed in the state of Colorado, according to a database maintained by the Washington Post. All of the victims of police shootings in Colorado so far this year have been white.

      • Two Denver police officers suspended for using violence on nonviolent people during protests against police violence

        The Denver Department of Public Safety has suspended two police officers for using chemical weapons on harmless people during protests against racism and police violence that rocked the city and country last summer.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Bad Section 230 Bills Come From Both Sides Of The Aisle: Schakowsky/Castor Bill Would Be A Disaster For The Open Internet

        It truly is stunning how every single bill that attempts to reform Section 230 appears to be written without any intention of ever understanding how the internet or content moderation works in actual practice. We’ve highlighted tons of Republican-led bills that tend to try to force websites to host more content, not realizing how (1) unconstitutional that is and (2) how it will make the internet into a giant garbage fire. On the Democratic side, the focus seems to be much more on forcing companies to takedown constitutionally protected speech, which similarly (1) raises serious constitutional issues and (2) will lead to massive over-censorship of perfectly legal speech just to avoid liability.

      • Study Finds US Broadband Gaps Three Times Worse Than The FCC Claims

        As one of his last acts as Trump’s FCC boss, former agency Chairman Ajit Pai released a rosy report claiming that America was making great strides in bridging the “digital divide.” According to the report (pdf), 14.5 million Americans now lack access to broadband, down from 21.3 million one year earlier. This progress, Pai proclaimed, was directly thanks to his decision to effectively lobotomize the FCC’s consumer protection authority at telecom lobbyist behest:

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Neurim vs Mylan – Victory from the jaws of defeat

          Will Smith discusses the unusual decision of a judge to vary his order made after trial where a patent upheld by him was revoked by the European Patent Office almost immediately after the order was made.

        • Nokia sharpens patent firms’ focus on diversity [Ed: The latest whitewashing puff piece from JUVE, portraying patent bullies as “ethical” on basis of “diversity” — a cause that has long been hijacked by ruthless corporations for PR purposes]

          Finnish telecommunications giant Nokia has launched its Equity, Inclusion and Diversity (E,I&D) Scorecard. The company will evaluate, via quarterly and annual quantitative and qualitative assessments, whether its panel firms are taking steps to implement an effective E,I&D programme.

          Assessments will score law firms based on factors such as recruitment policies, pay equality, and availability of mentoring and pro bono initiatives. It also examines the percentage of billable work carried out by employees from different backgrounds, engagement with D&I organisations, and the presence of a dedicated E, I&D team.

        • Mechanics of COVID-19 Vaccine IP Waiver in View of Trade-Related Aspects of IP Rights [Ed: They cannot help lying, calling patents "IP" and misportraying those are "rights" (they're not rights)]

          The Biden-Harris administration announced on May 5 its intent to support a waiver on intellectual property protections on COVID-19 vaccines. The scope of any potential waiver is subject to further negotiation at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Any decision made at the WTO level requires a consensus among all of its 164 members.

        • Canada Still Won’t Commit To Supporting A Pandemic Patent Waiver

          Few things illustrate the broken state of our global intellectual property system better than the fact that, well over a year into this devastating pandemic and in the face of a strong IP waiver push by some of the hardest hit countries, patents are still holding back the production of life-saving vaccines. And of all the countries opposing a waiver at the WTO (or withholding support for it, which is functionally the same thing), Canada might be the most frustrating.

        • Opinion | On the TRIPS Waiver, Personnel Was, and Will Continue to Be, Policy

          Biden must pick leaders who capitalize on this political opportunity rather than undermining it.

        • Software Patents

          • Disney Patents Blockchain-Based Movie Distribution System to Stop Pirates

            As a prime content producer, Disney has a vested interest in keeping pirates at bay. The entertainment company is involved in various enforcement initiatives and a few days ago, added a new anti-piracy patent to its arsenal. With a blockchain-based distribution system, Disney hopes to make it harder for pirates to intercept films being distributed to movie theaters.

      • Copyrights

        • Estate Of ‘Tintin’ Comic Creator Loses On Fair Use Grounds To Artist Putting Tintin Alongside Women

          By way of a throat clearing, there are a couple of things you need to know about Hergé, the nom de guerre for the artist behind the well-known Tintin comics of yore. First, Hergé’s estate has found its way onto Techdirt’s pages before and has a reputation for being wildly restrictive and litigious over any use or reference to Tintin. Alongside that, you need to know that Hergé absolutely did every last thing he could to keep women entirely out of his comic strips. His reasoning for this can be best summarized as a combination of having a too much “respect” for women to include them in his humor comic… and also that women, according to his estate, were “rarely comic elements.” Women, in other words, are bad for humor.

        • VPN.ht Asks Court to Dismiss Piracy Lawsuit Over Lack of Jurisdiction

          VPN.ht is asking a Virginia federal court to dismiss the piracy lawsuit filed by a group of movie companies earlier this year. The VPN service argues that the court has no jurisdiction over the company and its Algerian operator, who had never heard of Virginia before this case started. VPN.ht also asks the court to lift a temporary restraining order that froze the PayPal account of a third-party company.

The EPO’s War on Justice and Assault on the Law — Part 4: The President of the Boards of Appeal

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previously in this series:

EPO posse
Carl Josefsson (left) together with Vice President Raimund Lutz, Haar Mayor Gabriele Müller and Administrative Council Chairman Christoph Ernst at the inauguration of the Boards of Appeal premises in December 2017.

Summary: A deeper look into the ‘sausage factory’ that is EPO tribunals certainly helps us understand the inherent bias of many decisions, including a recent decision on European software patents like a controversial simulation patent

The current Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal in case no. G 1/21 is Carl Josefsson.

Readers who are familiar with EPOnia will be aware that, in parallel to his judicial role as Chairman of the Enlarged Board, Josefsson also has a managerial role as the so-called “President of the Boards of Appeal”.

The office of the “President of the Boards of Appeal” is an innovation of the Battistelli era.

This position was created in the context of the 2016 reform of the Boards of Appeal which was triggered by the “constitutional crisis” unleashed by the decision R 19/12 in May 2014.

Back in 2014, the Boards of Appeal were under the management of a Vice-President, the Vice-President of DG3. By an established practice which had no formal legal basis, the Vice-President of DG3 also held the position of Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal.

In R 19/12, the Enlarged Board examined this dual role of the Vice-President of DG3 and came to the conclusion that it involved a conflict of interest which potentially compromised the independence of the Vice-President of DG3 in the exercise of his judicial function as Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal.

“In R 19/12, the Enlarged Board examined this dual role of the Vice-President of DG3 and came to the conclusion that it involved a conflict of interest which potentially compromised the independence of the Vice-President of DG3 in the exercise of his judicial function as Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal.”There were a number of possible solutions to the conflict of interest identified in R 19/12. For example, it would have been possible to have considered separating the positions of the Vice-President of DG3 and Chairman of the Enlarged Board, or removing the Vice-President of DG3 from managerial activities under the authority and influence of the EPO President.

However, the mere fact that the EBA had had the temerity to issue such a decision enraged Battistelli. He expected his “vassals” – which he understood to include the members of the Boards of Appeal – to play their part in papering over the cracks.

Any attempt to expose issues that deserved to be tackled in the public interest was condemned as “sabotage” or “treason”.

According to those close to the centre of action, Battistelli perceived the EBA’s actions in issuing R 19/12 as a provocation and an attempted “judicial coup d’état”.

Kid judge: I want! I approve!It is reported that he went completely ballistic when R 19/12 landed on his desk. From that moment on Battistelli seemed to be hell-bent on pursuing his own private feud against the Boards of Appeal as he swore that he would make them pay dearly for their perceived lèse-majesté.

The level of Battistelli’s displeasure at R 19/12 can be gauged from the fact that the decision which was originally issued in German was not translated into the EPO’s two other official languages (English and French) and it has never been published in the EPO’s Official Journal.

Like other EBA decisions of which Battistelli disapproved – for example, G2301/15 (warning: epo.org link) and G2301/16 (warning: epo.org link) – R 19/12 is only accessible online via the case law database of the Boards of Appeal.

Battistelli’s solution to the “constitutional crisis” unleashed by R 19/12 was to draw up an elaborate window-dressing scheme for a “reform” of the Boards of Appeal.

“Battistelli’s PR machine promoted this scheme as enhancing the “perception of independence” of the Boards while at the same time he was careful to ensure that in reality those irksome in-house judges would kept on as short a leash as possible.”His plan for “reform” created a new “Boards of Appeal Unit” which was to be headed by a “President of the Boards of Appeal”. For good measure, the new unit was to be banished beyond the Munich city boundaries to the adjoining municipality of Haar.

Battistelli’s PR machine promoted this scheme as enhancing the “perception of independence” of the Boards while at the same time he was careful to ensure that in reality those irksome in-house judges would kept on as short a leash as possible.

Cutting through the PR smoke-screen and examining the small print of the “reform”, it is difficult to see how it enhanced the independence of the Boards in any meaningful way.

Prior to the reform, the Boards were headed by a Vice-President whose appointment was governed by the primary legislation of Article 11 of the EPC and was the sole prerogative of the Administrative Council.

After the reform, the Boards are now headed by the “President of the Boards of Appeal” whose appointment is governed by the secondary legislation of Implementing Rule 12a of the EPC.

“The competences of the President of the Boards of Appeal are subject to a “delegation of powers” from the President of the Office which has never been properly clarified.”As we have noted previously, in contrast to the Articles of the EPC – which can only be changed by a diplomatic conference and the unanimous consent of all contracting states – the Implementing Rules can be changed at the drop of a hat by a simple majority of the Administrative Council.

Rule 12a of the EPC specifies that the President of the Boards of Appeal “shall be appointed by the Administrative Council on a joint proposal made by the Committee [of the Administrative Council] established under Rule 12c, paragraph 1, and the President of the European Patent Office.”

This provision gives the President of the Office a de facto veto over the appointment of the head of the Boards of Appeal, a power which he never had prior to the reform.

The competences of the President of the Boards of Appeal are subject to a “delegation of powers” from the President of the Office which has never been properly clarified.

As long as Battistelli remained in office, the mysterious “Act of Delegation” was never published.

As a matter of fact it was only published in July 2018 (warning: epo.org link) after Battistelli’s successor António Campinos had taken over at the helm of the European Patent Office.

But even this belated publication by Campinos has not fully clarified the scope and limitations of the delegation.

It is also particularly noteworthy that Article 4 of the Act of Delegation allows the President of the Office to unilaterally revoke the delegation.

Although this supposed to happen in “close co-operation with the Administrative Council”, the prerogative of revocation lies with the President and there are no enforceable checks and balances to prevent abuse by a despot such as Battistelli.

A year later in 2017, Battistelli managed to persuade the Administrative Council to copper-fasten his control over the Boards by adopting CA/D 4/17 [PDF] (as images below) which stipulates that the nomination of a deputy for the President of the Boards of Appeal is subject to the agreement of the President of the Office.

All in all, a lot of questions about the “reform” of the Boards of Appeal and its effects on the independence of the Boards remain unanswered to this very day.

“In the coming parts we will take an in-depth look at the lucky beneficiary of this “legal fudge”, namely Carl Josefsson, the Swedish judge who was appointed to fill the newly-created position of “President of the Boards of Appeal”.”But when the package was proposed in June 2016, the Administrative Council was completely under the sway of Battistelli and his "protector" Kongstad and it obediently voted the “reform” through with hardly a murmur of dissent.

In the coming parts we will take an in-depth look at the lucky beneficiary of this “legal fudge”, namely Carl Josefsson, the Swedish judge who was appointed to fill the newly-created position of “President of the Boards of Appeal”.

CA/D 4/17 page1

CA/D 4/17 page 2

Judging the Judges

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 12:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Today we shall take a closer look at Carl Josefsson, a person who shall become a figure of interest if he sends EPO courts to the United States in clear violation of the EPC (looking to rubber-stamp an unlawful decision already made before this case even started)

WE will soon publish Part 4 of the series “The EPO’s War on Justice and Assault on the Law”. The President of the Boards of Appeal, Carl Josefsson, will be in focus.

“The main point of this video is to remind readers that judges are just human beings, no matter how much we glorify and groom them to become some sort of glamourised heroes on a pedestal — a sentiment not shared by many. They make mistakes sometimes, they’re not perfectly immune to corrupting forces/influences, and if there’s a longstanding pattern of injustice it’s acceptable to seek an explanation.”The above video explains why I think judges can sometimes be scrutinised, under exceptional circumstances. Cited are examples like Gilstrap and Rader, whom IAM attempted to propel to the top of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in spite of the epic scandals and blunders. SCOTUS kept overturning his decisions (when he was chief judge at the Federal Circuit) and he flagrantly disregarded basic laws/precedents like 35 U.S.C. § 101/Alice.

The main point of this video is to remind readers that judges are just human beings, no matter how much we glorify and groom them to become some sort of glamourised heroes on a pedestal — a sentiment not shared by many. They make mistakes sometimes, they’re not perfectly immune to corrupting forces/influences, and if there’s a longstanding pattern of injustice it’s acceptable to seek an explanation. Not just because your rich sponsors ask you to.

Articles mentioned in the video:

When EU Authorities Tell You to Complain to the EPO Itself About EPO Privacy Violations…

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Breaking News: EDPS Admits That It is Powerless to Investigate Claims of GDPR Non-compliance at the EPO

Judge Doom: I will decide on the legality of the illegal thing I authorised
It’s certainly authorised, twice even.

Summary: “Kafkaesque” at the EPO; Kafka could do a whole novel about the flirtations with or affairs of ‘justice’ at the EPO

The Trial
© Foto H.-P.Haack – Antiquariat Dr. Haack Leipzig → Privatbesitz, Public Domain

The Need for Reliable Governance at Freenode

Posted in Site News at 9:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Why the current and high-profile (albeit somewhat covert) owner of the network, who seems to care about Free software (it has made him very wealthy), should put the whole thing in reliable hands and not attempt to ‘monetise’ it in any way

EARLIER this month we wrote about issues at Freenode. This was about censorship and conflict of interest, not so much about privacy (as one might expect from a communication channel). See, Freenode is owned by a firm that we have no reason to believe dislikes privacy, but as we noted this morning, there are other reasons for fracturing. Some people resign and set up alternatives.

“Expect many more articles to come about Freenode and IRC, mostly due to a state of flux.”Freenode was never “one happy family” (there are bound to be disagreements), but things deteriorated further lately. We have overwhelming evidence of that. In the video above I explain why the conclusion I’ve reached, based on a lot of reading (hours long), is that Mr. Andrew Lee needs to help set up a governance structure that facilitates free speech and isn’t beholden/indebted to the legal owner of Freenode (i.e. to him or Ted Kim, CEO of its parent company, London Trust Media, Inc.).

Freenode should not be run like a business. This neutrality of Freenode is the reason the network flourished for a very long time, especially among Free software development communities, sometimes users as well. I’ve used many means of communication over the year (I was an early IRC adopter), but I always come back to things like Freenode because it feels welcoming and the amount of abuse there is relatively low.

Techrights needs a fair and just Freenode in order to remain in Freenode (we considered self-hosting IRC several times over the years, but downsides were foreseen). We’ve never had any major issues with Freenode (in over 13 years!) and we hope it will stay that way. We’ll observe very closely the developments to come (there’s assurance some big things will happen, like legal disputes and even lawsuits). Expect many more articles to come about Freenode and IRC, mostly due to a state of flux.

Free IRC
Free. Keep it free. As in free speech, too.

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