The Panic Over Freenode Isn’t Justified and Its Reaction Mostly Disproportionate

Posted in Deception at 11:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Burning Down Freenode is Easy, But at What Cost?

Freenode on logos
Freenode scandal mostly seems to boil down to logos

Summary: The Freenode controversy has resulted in what we consider to be disproportionate response, which likely necessitates further mediation for an amicable resolution; please do not participate in the anti-Freenode (warped into anti-Lee) rally as it harms Free software more than it helps it

I‘ve spent the past week speaking to many of the parties involved over IRC, E-mail and some social (control) media. In the process I rushed to publishing a number of posts about Freenode, culminating in some videos and articles last week. Those were done in a hurry and with limited consultation (enquiring and reaching out to involved parties). I am extremely saddened to see Freenode coming under an attack which bears many of the same hallmarks I saw in the “cancel RMS” lobby, initiated partly by former FSF insiders (which gave it legitimacy, at least on the thin surface).

“In the same way that “cancel RMS” in 2019 was about some tactless E-mails (seen as insensitive towards victims) and in 2021 “cancel RMS” was all about the man coming back to the FSF’s Board (anger superficially boosted and artificially floated by the set of new claims, shifting to a whole different set of poor-quality accusations).”I’ve long known about the real owner of Freenode. That owner stayed in the shadows, uninvolved in any direct way. That sort of changed lately when the owner of Freenode wanted to promote his brother’s business, Shells, which basically helps raise awareness of GNU/Linux. They liaised with SUSE earlier this month. Shells isn’t something I’d personally use; it’s not for me. Whether Freenode should be in the business of endorsing Shells, even as a sort of sponsor, is a legitimate ethical question. But it seems like pretty much the whole catastrophe right now boils down to that. In the same way that “cancel RMS” in 2019 was about some tactless E-mails (seen as insensitive towards victims) and in 2021 “cancel RMS” was all about the man coming back to the FSF’s Board (anger superficially boosted and artificially floated by the set of new claims, shifting to a whole different set of poor-quality accusations).

This afternoon somebody told me about the “shitstorm” brewing — something we had anticipated since last week. Long story short, many Freenode volunteers (the word “staff” does not imply salary) created their own alternative to Freenode over at libera.chat (they decided on this domain a long time ago). Interestingly enough, about half of all resignations were announced in a proprietary software platform of Microsoft, namely:

That’s not to discount or to mock those people, but a better choice of platform would do more justice to the people behind libera.chat (GitHub is the very opposite of “liber” or “libre” anything). By means of coincidence, some of the resignations came from people who also signed the RMS hate letter.

Other resignation messages were self-hosted:

Some slippery sites then followed with loose claims and what we believe to be mischaracterisations or exaggerations (inflation of claims). Here’s one example calling Lee “Trumpian wannabe korean royalty bitcoins millionaire.” (To quote Marco d’Itri)

That seems unfair and borderline racist. Americans of East Asian descent have long suffered from Trumpian politics and calling American people “korean” lends to this idea that certain people, based on their race/roots alone, can never be “true Americans”…

Marco d’Itri stated (it was in Planet Debian): “To make a long story short, the former freenode head of staff secretly “sold” the network to this person even if it was not hers to sell, and our lawyers have advised us that there is not much that we can do about it without some of us risking financial ruin. Fuck you Christel, lilo’s life work did not deserve this. [...] The people that I have met on IRC, on freenode and other networks, have been and still are a very important part of my life, second only to the ones that I have known thanks to Usenet. I am not fine, but I know that the communities which I have been a part of are not defined by a domain name and will regroup somewhere else.”

I didn’t fancy some of the language, including statements such as “Fuck you Christel” (she’s female by the way) because having learned the circumstances, that sort of misrepresents what actually happened. Causing distress or what some have called “harassment” won’t help Christel and won’t help anyone.

Posting a so-called ‘FAQ’ entitled “what the fuck is going on?” on Microsoft’s GitHub also isn’t helpful (both the language and the platform). The comments on all the threads we’ve seen in GitHub, no matter whose side (pro- or anti-Lee statements/sentiments), are what some call “shitposting”. There’s not much of an effort there to pick up facts. It’s a lot like social control media sites, which is what GitHub inherently is, where mobs thrive… or at least groupthink.

Jake at LWN then wrote a short summary sans all the unnecessary drama (there are comments too): “Several readers have alerted us to some serious problems at freenode, which runs an IRC network that is popular in the free-software world. Evidently there has been a change of control within the volunteer-run organization that has led to the resignations of multiple different volunteers, at least in part due to a concern about the personal information of freenode users under the new management. “The freenode resignation FAQ” has collected a bunch of information (and links to even more resignation letters) that may help shed some light on this mess. From the FAQ: “Freenode staff have stepped down. The network that runs at freenode.org/net/com should now be assumed to be under control of a malicious party.” In the meantime, many of the volunteers who resigned have formed Libera.Chat to continue the legacy of freenode. LWN will be keeping an eye on the situation, stay tuned…”

This has done nothing to explain the nature of the grievance, it just says that many people leave and where they leave to.

José Antonio Rey (Ubuntu Community Council), who also signed the RMS hate letter, later wrote this:

As a result, Mr Lee now has operational control over the freenode IRC network. I cannot stand by such a (hostile?) corporate takeover of the freenode network, and I am resigning as a staff volunteer along with most other freenode staff. We simply do not feel that the network now remains independent after two heads of staff appear to have been compelled to make changes to our git repo for the website[4].

This is an over-simplification if not distortion of what actually happened and we’ll come to that in a moment. It’s not a “(hostile?) corporate takeover” but a response to something that happened (but some want to omit that part, like selective footage of cops who had been intentionally provoked, though that’s not to over-generalise cases of police brutality).

Phoronix, which has long used Freenode (I used to hang out in their channel even more than a decade ago), then expressed concerns (lots was published about this on Wednesday):

Seemingly by the minute today there are more free software projects leaving the Freenode IRC network and moving to alternative IRC networks or other chat platforms.

The Freenode IRC network has been around for more than two decades and very popular with free/open-source software projects for engaging over development discussions, user support, and more. But now due to a “hostile takeover” and most/all of the volunteer staff leaving the network, projects are scrambling to move to alternative chat platforms.

Not all of them do. Hours ago Gentoo stated: “We are aware of the situation surrounding Freenode ownership and / or administration (1, 2, 3, 4) and are watching current developments closely. So far no decision on Gentoo involvement has been taken. Please check this page for future updates.”

Several other distros are “on the fence”. It’s untrue to say that there’s mass exodus, but the media causes more panic than is justified.

Not many people will see this response from Lee (unfortunately also in the same Microsoft platform that was used to rally people against RMS; the same media that attacked RMS (VICE) now attacks Lee with terms like “Korean Crown Prince” in the headline although he’s an American, born and raised in the US). To quote the chronology, as Lee sees it:

Posted on Freenode Limited on the morning of May 12, 2021 US PST:

Approximate timeline:

1. Shells sponsors freenode providing 3k/mo.

2. Freenode lists the shells logo.

3. Tomaw’s team attacks christel, who had run Freenode since early
2000, and she resigns, unable to deal with the persistent harassment.

4. Rather than allow for a usual grace period after resignation
(e.g. as we speak, several resigned former-staffers are still OPd
in here), or allow for a reasonable transition from one head of
Freenode staff to the next (something reasonable and responsible
to do to ensure proper continuity of operations), Tomaw’s crew
abruptly cuts christel’s access while she is asleep that night.

5. Tomaw turns around and asks me a bunch of questions if I’m going
to challenge his control. He also says he understands I am the
owner. I suggest that freenode needs decentralization and good
governance, to prevent the kinds of hasty destabilizing things that
have transpired.

6. I hear whispers that Tomaw is up to something and reach out to
prawnsalad (kiwiirc) who has nothing but good to say about Tomaw.
He schedules a meeting with tomaw and me to mediate.

7. In the meeting Tomaw and I disagree entirely about freenode
domain ownership (which we’ve since come to an agreement on), but
we both clearly agree in writing not to make any changes to ownership,
governance, or project trajectory until we speak again. I created
a document detailing the discussion on April 8 and general plan on
Google Docs (dated).

8. Rather than wait until we speak again, Tomaw turns around and
changes up the staff and website.

9. Upset that tomaw has renegged on his commitments and acted rashly,
prawnsalad says he’s not going to deal with tomaw and discussion
ends; the mediator drops out.

10. I ask tomaw wtf and he brushes me off.

11. I get a lawyer and tomaw says he understands and is sorry etc
and sends me a letter.

12. Meanwhile some other story is being told to the staff that
doesn’t match the truths listed here.

Given the millions I have injected into freenode thus far, the fact
I own it and the fact that I protected the freenode staff with
professional legal work and funding when they needed help and they
could still lie and slander like this… says a lot about who they
are. It saddens me that christel was forced out, and I wish she’d
feel safe returning. I’m frustrated that tomaw’s hostile takeover
seems likely to succeed, in spite of all. I simply want freenode
to keep on being a great IRC network, and to support it financially
and legally as I have for a long time now.

So this is where we are. I passionately want freenode to survive.
I have serious concerns about the stability of the project with
tomaw here, given his duplicitious and rash actions. But I also
have faith and trust in the freenode staff as a general body. So
it’s my hope we can resolve this leadership issue. I proposed a
way to decentralize freenode in the past and would love to embark
on that journey still. Perhaps if tomaw could be forthright with
everyone about what’s happened, the staff could decide for themselves,
but I fear he has been far less than forthright. I do not want to
interfere, but I also want to protect freenode from what appears
to be a pretty hostile set of moves that I believe threaten the
network. This concern might point to larger issues we’ll need to
address about governance in general, and I’m open to having those
discussions and formalizing fair and reasonable processes. But for
now in the short term, I would really like to work together to find
a resolution to this. Freenode must survive in tact, not torn to

We’ve checked for ourselves, over at IRC, if that makes sense. Moments ago there was also a formal blog post/news item about it.

To the credit of The Register, unlike other publishers it did bother speaking also to Lee, at least to hear the other side of the story. There are many informative bits in that article, including an explanation from Lee himself (other publishers did not bother). It also speaks of Christel: “In 2017, the then head of staff at Freenode, Christel Dahlskjaer, incorporated it as Freenode Ltd and sold it to Andrew Lee. At the time, both the head of staff and Lee promised that Freenode would keep running as it had been until then, and that the incorporation and sale was done just to sponsor a conference. That was true until this year, according to several developers.”

Privately, we’ve seen evidence of abuse against Christel.

After much research and fact-finding we’ve come to the conclusion that the crux of the matter is, Lee wanted to add the Shells logo to the Freenode site (it is there now in the site) and he was locked out of the domain etc. Given the thing he was looking to promote, which isn’t inherently unethical in its own right, it seems like a storm in a teacup or moles being raised to tall mountains. Surely there’s a more reasonable reaction to all this (other than burning down the whole network).

Getting out some knives and pitchforks is easy. The question is, does the action justify the reaction? Is the reaction proportional? Seems not…

Links 20/5/2021: Mesa 21.1.1 Released and Windows 10X is Dead Already

Posted in News Roundup at 6:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.12.5
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.12.5 kernel.
        All users of the 5.12 kernel series must upgrade.
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        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.12.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.11.22
      • Linux 5.10.38
      • Linux 5.4.120
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    • Benchmarks

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      • mesa 21.1.1
        Hello everyone,
        The first bugfix release for the 21.1 branch is now available, containing
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        I logged on to the platform and then I filled in all the (many) details about the loan that the plaform asks you to fill in, until I had to upload my amortisation schedule which contains a lot of sensitive data. In fact, a strange thing happened at this step: my file was named document.pdf, but after uploading it was renamed to document_2.pdf.

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        gdm-tools is, like its name suggests, a set of command line tools to change the look of the GNOME Display / Login Manager (GDM 3).

        Using gdm-tools, you’ll be able to easily change the GDM login screen (greeter) theme and background image, backup / restore the default GDM theme and optionally reset everything to default, and extract the default GDM theme for use in “weird” GNOME sessions, such as the Ubuntu session.

      • How To Install 1Password In Linux
      • How to Install Figma on Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, etc.) | Technastic

        Figma is a popular tool amongst graphic designers and UI, UX designers. It can be used to create wireframes, high-fidelity interface designs, prototyping, etc. One of the unique features of Figma is that it runs entirely inside a browser. Since it’s an online tool, it also has features for real-time collaboration. Being a web app also means Figma can be used on any platform with a web browser. However, a native client certainly is more convenient to use. So, today we’ll show you how to install Figma on Linux.

      • How To Install Notepad++ on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Notepad++ on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Notepad++ is one of the most popular text editors on Windows. Sadly, the developers have no plans to write a native, Linux version of the Notepad++ app. Fortunately, thanks to tools like Snap packages, getting the Windows release of Notepad++ working on Linux is easier than ever.

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

      • Process Monitoring on Linux

        In this article we will discus the most common commands with examples which are used in process monitoring in Linux systems such as…

      • How to install Karlson by Dani on a Chromebook

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

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

        This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

      • How To Use Ubuntu Disk Usage Analyzer (Baobab)

        This is a simple guide to check your Ubuntu disk usage using built-in program named Disk Usage Analyzer. With this, you can view ranking of folders measured by each size. This may help you finding and removing unused folders to free you some disk space. Let’s try it!

    • Games

      • Sunless Skies: Sovereign Edition is out now as a free upgrade

        If you’ve not played Sunless Skies, you absolutely should and the free enhanced Sunless Skies: Sovereign Edition is officially out now for all players. An absolutely magnificent experience overall, and now better than ever with a number of big upgrades. Awesome writing, backed up by an incredible style that really absorbs your attention.


        Look, you get to soar through the skies in a Space Train, with some incredible gothic scenes and masterful story-telling. What more can you possibly want in a game? Don’t pass up on this one. Brilliant.

      • Physics progress report #1

        It’s Camille (PouleyKetchoupp) again. I’ve been working on improving Godot Physics since December and time flies! A lot has happened and it’s finally time for some progress update. You might know some things already if you’re following news I post on Twitter from time to time, but you can read further for more details.

      • Bee ready for the honey as Hive Time gets a sweet update for World Bee Day

        Get ready to look after your hive once more and create some of that sweet honey in Hive Time, which just had a sweet upgrade for World Bee Day (May 20). A game created by Cheeseness, a developer who has contributed articles to GamingOnLinux in the past.

      • Wii U Gamepad Driver For Linux Remains In The Works – Phoronix

        While the Nintendo Wii U game console is approaching a decade since launch and has already been discontinued for several years, work towards a mainline Linux kernel driver for properly supporting the Wii U gamepad continues.

        There has been the libdrc.org open-source project for supporting the Wii U gamepad under Linux but a proper kernel driver with mainline ambitions has been in the works more recently with the latest code having been volleyed today.

      • Frantic pixel-art action-roguelite shoot ‘em up Jetboard Joust is out now for Linux | GamingOnLinux

        With a classic retro arcade feeling, the shoot ‘em up fuelled by new technology and a roguelite features Jetboard Joust has officially arrived for Linux on Steam. The Linux release comes along side the release for the Atari VCS, which is also based on Linux and so the builds are pretty close. Hopefully if more developers decide to release for the VCS we might see even more, just like with Danger Scavenger.

      • Total War: WARHAMMER III shows off Kislev in the latest teaser

        The release will be sometime late this year, although we don’t know exactly when, Creative Assembly said the Linux version will “be available as close to launch day as possible”.

      • AI War 2: Zenith Onslaught floods the space strategy game with a ton more content

        If you’re after a new strategy game to sink you mouse fingers into – check out AI War 2 as the huge second expansion AI War 2: Zenith Onslaught has just released.

        The Zenith Onslaught expansion is absolutely jam-packed with features. From “small” details like powerful new elite Cruisers that you can put in a new slot in your fleets, to galaxy-spanning empires like the Dark Zenith and the Zenith Architrave, this expansion is filled with new tools to use and new foes to best. Wormhole Borers let certain AIs alter the map topology, while Nomad Planets alter the map topology on their own as they roam around. The Zenith Miners consume entire planets, and Golem variants abound. There are also options to make some of the new fations your allies, and take on the AI together.

      • HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC – Games – Week 6 – LinuxLinks

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

        We’ve previously examined the onboard graphics capabilities of the HP EliteDesk 800 G2. This ultra small PC uses the Intel HD Graphics 530 (GT2), a mobile integrated graphics processor launched in 2015 for the Skylake-based processors. The GPU integrates 24 execution units clocked at up to 1150 MHz (depending on the CPU model). Due to its lack of dedicated graphics memory or eDRAM cache, the HD 530 has to access the main system memory.

        We acknowledge that integrated graphics struggle with demanding games. But there are tons of free games available for Linux which aren’t that graphically intensive. How do they fare?

      • Prepare for bigger Portal 2 modded levels with a new update removing limits | GamingOnLinux

        Valve have again updated the incredible first-person puzzler Portal 2, this time the update is quite small (comparatively to the Vulkan update) but still mighty.

        While modders have been able to use the Steam Workshop for some time now, there were some limits on file sizes that constrained what they could do – but no more! The latest update removes to 100mb level size limit for the Steam Workshop. Will be thoroughly interesting to see if it brings back more level creators to create some bigger and wilder puzzles to solve.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • 12 Open Source Linux Desktop Environments of 2021 [Ed: Tecmint is rerunning old articles now. With the date modified to make it seem new (it's from 2017, see comments)]

        The word ‘Open Source‘ can be attributed to the Linux community which brought it into existence along with the introduction of Linux (successor of then-existing Unix Operating System). Although ‘Linux‘ in itself came into existence as only a base Kernel, its open-source nature attracted a huge society of developers worldwide to contribute to its development.

        This created a revolution worldwide and many people and communities started contributing towards making it a complete Operating System which could replace Unix. Then onwards, there has been no turning back with active development going on at a steady pace.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Sam Thursfield: New faces in the Tracker project

          The GSoC 2021 cohort has just been announced. There’s a fantastic list of organisations involved, including GNOME, and I’m happy that this year two of those projects will be based around Tracker.


          I hope the increased involvement shows our developer experience improvements are starting to pay dividends. More eyes on the code that powers search in GNOME is always a good thing.

        • Pebbles: OS calculator for scientists and statisticians for Gnome Linux desktops

          For so long, we didn’t have a fancy calculator on Linux desktops, but now we have Pebbles.

          Pebbles is a lightweight multi-mode calculator intended for students, scientists and statisticians. Even more, it is completely free (Libre) open-source project with active development team of 5.

          Although, Pebbles is built primarily for elementaryOS, other distro users can install it easily, especially on Arch Linux, Manjaro, Ubuntu and Debian. The only requirement to install it from source there is “vala” as an additional dependency.

    • Distributions

      • Announcing Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU33

        We’ve just released SRU33 for Oracle Solaris 11.4. It is available via ‘pkg update’ from the support repository or by downloading the SRU from My Oracle Support Doc ID 2433412.1.

      • Solaris 11.4 SRU33 Released – Finally Delivers Valgrind, jQuery, VirtIO Guest Support

        Oracle on Tuesday released Solaris 11.4 SRU33 as the latest monthly stable release update for this largely idling operating system. With the thirty-third stable release update to Solaris 11.4 are delivering some arguably long overdue features.

        Perhaps most notable is the VirtIO guest support now being included with Solaris 11.4 SRU33. This KVM/VirtIO guest support was merged for 11.4 SRU33 and includes the PCI framework and driver support and various other components for guest support in complying with this virtualization standard.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GeckoLinux ROLLING Switches to Btrfs as Default Filesystem

          The latest GeckoLinux ROLLING brings Kernrel 5.12.3 and the new fully redesigned desktop environment Gnome 40.

          GeckoLinux is a Linux spin based on the openSUSE distribution. It comes in two flavors. The Static editions for GeckoLinux are based on openSUSE Leap while the rolling edition is based on the stable openSUSE Tumbleweed release. But unlike OpenSUSE, Gekolinux provides installation media with seven separate graphical desktops for both release models.

          The latest GeckoLinux ROLLING 999.210517 update are built with unmodified openSUSE Tumbleweed and Packman packages from those projects’ own repositories. This release offers several improvements for GeckoLinux rolling users.

        • RealSenseID compatibility with all openSUSE

          While focused on the openSUSE Innovator initiative as an openSUSE member and official Intel oneAPI innovator, I tested the RealSenseID device on openSUSE Leap 15.1, 15.2, 15.3 RC and Tumbleweed. With all the work, we made available in the SDB an article on how to install this device on the openSUSE platform. More information can be found at https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Install_RealSenseID.

      • Arch Family

        • Archcraft OS – Minimal Arch Linux with Openbox WM

          So, I was searching around for a ready-to-use Arch Linux with only Window Manager options and found this Archcraft OS. Here’s a quick review of Archcraft OS, in case if you are planning to try it out.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • A beginner’s guide for contributing to Apache Cassandra | Opensource.com

          Apache Cassandra is an open source NoSQL database trusted by thousands of companies around the globe for its scalability and high availability that does not compromise performance. Contributing to such a widely used distributed system may seem daunting, so this article aims to provide you an easy entry point.

        • How to explain supply chain management in plain English
        • Deploy Red Hat’s single sign-on technology on Red Hat OpenShift using templates

          Templates offer very interesting features for deploying Red Hat’s single sign-on technology on Red Hat OpenShift. As an end user, you can use one of the re-encrypt TLS termination templates, where TLS is configured automatically, or a pass-through termination TLS template, in which case you will do some of the TLS configuration manually. As you’ve seen in this article, it’s much easier to add new certificates to the SSO truststore when using a pass-through TLS termination template. You can do it dynamically by updating the secret for the trustsrore.jks file. If you are using a re-encrypt TLS termination template, you will need to rebuild and redeploy your original SSO image.

        • Fedora Magazine: Set up a .NET development environment [Ed: Fedora says boycott GNU/FSF/RMS but is glad to promote Microsoft. It’s not a community, it’s just an IBM front group.

          Since the release of .NET Core, .NET developers are able to develop applications for and in GNU/Linux using languages like C#

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 now generally available

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4, which was pre-announced on April 27 at Red Hat Summit, is now generally available. We encourage Linux developers to download this latest release and try out the new software. We also recommend updating both development, and production systems to the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.4 release.

        • Red Hat OpenShift Certification extends support for Kubernetes-native technologies with Helm

          Red Hat is pleased to introduce an expanded Red Hat OpenShift Certification to further support applications on Kubernetes and container orchestration across hybrid cloud footprints. With this certification, Red Hat partners can enable and certify their software solutions on OpenShift through either Operators or Helm charts.

          Red Hat OpenShift is the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform; and with this enhanced certification, partners can more easily tap into Kubernetes-native technologies to manage and scale software deployments. Red Hat OpenShift Certification allows partners using Helm to access Red Hat certification tools and services to verify the functionality of their software on OpenShift.

        • RHEL for Edge: What’s new in RHEL 8.4

          In November of 2020, we announced a deployment option for Red Hat Enterprise Linux aimed at solving challenges common to edge computing environments. With the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.4, we are excited to continue the momentum in bringing our customers an operating system experience aimed at simplifying and securing workloads outside the core data center. The focus of this release is around improving the user experience around the core capabilities released last year.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • What’s new in security for Ubuntu 21.04?

          Ubuntu 21.04 is the latest release of Ubuntu and comes at the mid-point between the most recent Long Term Supported (LTS) release of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and the forthcoming 22.04 LTS release due in April 2022. This provides a good opportunity to take stock of some of the latest security features delivered in this release, on the road to 22.04 LTS. Ubuntu 21.04 brings with it a vast amount of improvements and features across a wide variety of packages. In this blog post, we will take a look at those features and improvements that add to the overall security of a Ubuntu system.

          Starting from the bottom-up, one of the most fundamental components in Ubuntu is the GRUB2 boot-loader. In light of the recent additional GRUB2 secure-boot bypass vulnerabilities, the Ubuntu Foundations team considered options to make Ubuntu more secure by enabling easier grub updates. The outcome was to change the way GRUB2 is shipped in Ubuntu. In general Ubuntu releases would ship with a fixed version of GRUB2 (and many other packages) at release time and so when it came time to fix security issues, patches would have to be backported to an aging codebase. This brings numerous technical challenges, so to alleviate these, a single GRUB2 package will now be shipped across all supported Ubuntu releases, with 21.04 being the initial release to support this feature.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Firefox Is Adding Capabilities to Defend Against Malicious Sites on Desktop

            Mozilla Firefox is adding new security features to improve the browsing experience. It will be coming soon to stable releases.

          • How To Actually Enjoy Being Online Again

            The upcoming Firefox release coming out on June 1, understands that after this last year we all need some simplicity. The Firefox browser is being redesigned to bring you a more modern and calmer web experience. Wherever visual noise — like notifications, menus and buttons — could be eliminated, were eliminated. Subtle design changes add up to make a big visual difference with new tabs that are easier to navigate, extra spacing, and lighter typography. You know those auto-playing videos that normally disrupt your browsing? Instead of having to click on every tab to see where the sound is coming from, easily scroll your tab bar and look for the sound-on icon and with one tap, turn it off. Plus, you know that you have more privacy and security built into your web experience with Firefox’s SmartBlock feature and Total Cookie Protection. You can sit back and enjoy the fresh new experience with one less thing to worry about.

          • Firefox Making Strides On Improved Linux Stability Thanks To Better Crash Reports

            Mozilla detailed today how their year-long effort so far aiming to improve the stability of the Firefox web browser on Linux is paying off.

            Helping Mozilla developers improve Firefox’s Linux stability can be attributed in large part to better crash report handling. One of the big specific items improving their Linux crash report handling is that they are now scraping debug information for Firefox builds and its dependencies from package repositories on Arch, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, and Ubuntu.

          • Improving Firefox stability on Linux

            Roughly a year ago at Mozilla we started an effort to improve Firefox stability on Linux. This effort quickly became an example of good synergies between FOSS projects.

      • CMS

        • Dropping support for Internet Explorer 11

          Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) was released over 7 years ago and is currently used by less than 1% of all users on the Internet with usage rapidly declining. A large majority of popular websites have already stopped supporting IE11 (including Microsoft Teams in 2020), and even the Microsoft 365 apps and services will be dropping support later this year.

      • Programming/Development

        • W3C Posts First Public Working Drafts For WebGPU, WebGPU Shading Language

          WebGPU as a next-gen web standard for accelerated graphics and compute is stepping closer to reality with the first public working drafts having been published.

        • POCL 1.7 Released With Better Support For SPIR-V Binaries On CPUs

          POCL 1.7 is out as the newest version of this “Portable Computing Language” that aims to effectively allow OpenCL to run well on various CPU architectures as well as other targets like OpenCL over NVIDIA CUDA and AMD HSA.

          POCL continues to support OpenCL 1.2 with various OpenCL 2.x features thanks to LLVM’s Clang doing much of the heavy lifting for supporting OpenCL across targets. POCL 1.7 as the open-source project’s first new feature release since December brings a few key improvements.

        • Top 10 Deep Learning Algorithms That Every AI Enthusiast Should Know

          Deep Learning is basically a subset of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Typical AI and ML algorithms can work with datasets having a few hundred features. However, an image or a signal may have millions of attributes. That’s where the Deep Learning Algorithms come in. Most of the DL algorithms have been inspired by the human brain called the artificial neural network. The modern world has extensive use of Deep Learning. From biomedical engineering to simple image processing – it has its uses. If you want to become an expert in this field, you have to go through the different DL algorithms. And that’s what we will be discussing today.

        • Python

          • Slice infinite generators with this Python 3.7 feature

            This is the eighth in a series of articles about features that first appeared in a version of Python 3.x. Python 3.7 was first released in 2018, and even though it has been out for a few years, many of the features it introduced are underused and pretty cool. Here are three of them.


            Python 3.7 was released about four 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.

          • micropipenv: Installing Python dependencies in containerized applications | Red Hat Developer

            Trends in the software engineering industry show that the Python programming language is growing in popularity. Properly managing Python dependencies is crucial to guaranteeing a healthy software development life cycle. In this article, we will look at installing Python dependencies for Python applications into containerized environments, which also have become very popular. In particular, we introduce micropipenv, a tool we created as a compatibility layer on top of pip (the Python package installer) and related installation tools. The approach discussed in this article ensures that your applications are shipped with the desired software for the purposes of traceability or integrity. The approach provides reproducible Python applications across different application builds done over time.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Adding arguments and options to your Bash scripts | Enable Sysadmin

            One of the most important tools for most sysadmins is automation. We write and maintain scripts to automate the common and frequent tasks that we must perform.

            I have dozens of scripts—short and long—that I’ve written and modified over the years. Some of my most useful scripts have been to perform regular backups early each morning, install updated software packages with fixes and enhancements, and upgrade from one version of Fedora to the next. I just upgraded all of my personal hosts and servers to Fedora 34 a few days ago using a fairly simple script.

          • Mojibake madness

            This is the fifth blog post in a series about character encoding mishaps. (See posts 1, 2, 3 and 4.) My aim in each case is to understand how perfectly good characters get mangled into mojibake, otherwise known as gibberish. Today’s victims come from two recent data audits and deserve a lot of sympathy. In both cases the datasets I checked were UTF-8 encoded.

          • Awk: The Power and Promise of a 40-Year-Old Language

            Languages don’t enjoy long lives. Very few people still code with the legacies of the 1970s: ML, Pascal, Scheme, Smalltalk. (The C language is still widely used but in significantly updated versions.) Bucking that trend, the 1977 Unix utility Awk can boast of a loyal band of users and seems poised to continue far into the future. In this article, I’ll explain what makes Awk special and keeps it relevant.

        • Java

          • What is serverless with Java? | Opensource.com

            For decades, enterprises have developed business-critical applications on various platforms, including physical servers, virtual machines, and cloud environments. The one thing these applications have in common across industries is they need to be continuously available (24x7x365) to guarantee stability, reliability, and performance, regardless of demand. Therefore, every enterprise must be responsible for the high costs of maintaining an infrastructure (e.g., CPU, memory, disk, networking, etc.) even if actual resource utilization is less than 50%.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Ampere Is Designing Their Own Arm Server CPU Cores, Coming In 2022 – Phoronix

        Last year the ARM server startup launched Ampere Altra with impressive performance thanks to being able to offer 80 physical cores per socket. Ampere Altra is making use of Arm’s Neoverse N1 while moving ahead they have been quietly designing their own cores. Ampere did reaffirm as part of today’s strategy update that Ampere Altra Max with up to 128 cores per socket compared to 80 cores with Ampere Altra is still coming this year. Previously we were expecting Ampere Altra Max earlier in the year while their latest guidance is to expect Altra Max in Q3 — not surprising given the supply chain issues and other factors plaguing the industry.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Better breeding with ‘Bulls Out for Cancer’ campaign [Ed: If you slaughter these gentle animals for money and also combat cancer, how do you reconcile such priorities?]

        Beef and dairy farmers are joining forces to raise money for testicular cancer, while also improving their herd genetics as part of Breedr’s Bulls Out for Cancer campaign.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Welcoming Linux to the 1Password Family

          Linux support is far and away our most requested feature. Bringing the world’s most loved password manager to such a passionate community – and building on the incredible work of the open source community – is both humbling and exciting for all of us at 1Password.

        • 1Password: How to install the password manager on Linux

          This is a tricky proposition for some—an official 1Password client has been released for Linux.


          The sticking point for some? It’s not open source.

          For me, that’s not a problem. The most important thing to me is that the software I need/want runs on Linux. Once upon a time, I was a purist in that I would only install and use open source software. Over the years I realized there was too much software I required that didn’t have an open source option with the features I needed. At that point, I decided if the software would run on Linux, I was okay with it.

          Besides, if I support closed source software that runs on Linux, it might help other companies realize there is a market out there for proprietary solutions on Linux. In the end, the more commercial software Linux has, the better its chances are of being accepted by the masses. This was an important lesson for me to learn back in the early 2000s.

        • 1Password for Linux Is Officially Here With Brand New Features [Ed: 1Password is openwashing its proprietary software products and some sites help it, maybe even for money]

          1Password is a pretty good password manager (even though not open-source) and has a good rep in the open-source community as well. They even offer free team memberships for users working on open-source projects.

          Its desktop client for Linux was in the beta phase but now it is ready for prime time.

        • Lilbits: IFA trade show is cancelled, Internet Explorer is discontinued, and 1Password comes to Linux
        • 1Password finally rolls out support for Linux computers | HT Tech

          After nearly seven months since the first development preview, Linux users now have access to 1Password’s most requested feature for years — an official app for Linux computers. 

        • 1Password For Linux Is Finally Here: How To Install?

          Since October last year, we’ve been closely following 1Password for Linux after it was first announced and we also wrote an article on how to install the beta releases. Finally, the good news is, the first stable build of the application has finally landed on Linux, and in this article, let’s try it out and look at how to install 1Password on Linux.

          But first, what is 1Password? For starters, 1Password is a paid password manager that stores your passwords and makes managing them easier for you. The stored passwords are locked by a master password called PBKDF2.

        • 1Password Rolls Out Official Support and a Desktop App for Linux

          It includes several features Windows, Mac, iOS and Android users don’t have yet.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (cacti, cacti-spine, exif, and hivex), Red Hat (bash, bind, bluez, brotli, container-tools:rhel8, cpio, curl, dotnet3.1, dotnet5.0, dovecot, evolution, exiv2, freerdp, ghostscript, glibc, GNOME, go-toolset:rhel8, grafana, gssdp and gupnp, httpd:2.4, idm:DL1, idm:DL1 and idm:client, ipa, kernel, kernel-rt, krb5, libdb, libvncserver, libxml2, linux-firmware, mailman:2.1, mingw packages, NetworkManager and libnma, opensc, p11-kit, pandoc, perl, pki-core:10.6 and pki-deps:10.6, poppler and evince, python-cryptography, python-lxml, python-urllib3, python27:2.7, python3, python38:3.8, qt5-qtbase, raptor2, redis:6, rh-mariadb103-mariadb and rh-mariadb103-galera, rust-toolset:rhel8, samba, sane-backends, shim, slapi-nis, spice, spice-vdagent, sqlite, squid:4, sudo, systemd, tigervnc, trousers, unbound, userspace graphics, xorg-x11, and mesa, virt:rhel and virt-devel:rhel, wpa_supplicant, and xorg-x11-server), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (djvulibre, gst-plugins-base1.0, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, python-pip, and runc).

    • Monopolies

      • FOSS Patents: Extraterritorial overreach in SEP enforcement: slide deck used in my presentation today (DG GROW webinar on standard-essential patent enforcement)

        Each of these scenarios obligates a party to do something it might not want to do voluntarily, and in each case that party will have to comply or a court will impose contempt sanctions. So the net effect as well as the nature of the leverage is materially the same in each of the three cases. The UK Supreme Court’s Unwired Planet approach has already failed, as my fifth slide shows that there’s been a flurry of antisuit injunction activity since that decision came down last summer.

        How could we get out of this? I’ve asked that question before. Intergovernmental agreements are not going to happen anytime soon. Standard-setting organizations are in no better position to reach a consensus. The solution I propose can be implemented by any country seeking to preserve its jurisdiction over its patents. It can be implemented unilaterally. It’s to decline to recognize in a given jurisdiction a license agreement imposed on a party by a foreign court (regardless of which of the three above-mentioned types of coercion it may be). If a SEP holder didn’t want to be bound to a UK determination of the value of the German part of the portfolio, German courts could allow the enforcement of those patents, for the purpose of obtaining incremental payments up to a FRAND level. Conversely, if a UK court sets a royalty rate that is too high with respect to a major market like, for instance, China, the Chinese company might go to its local courts and seek a partial refund.

        Courts could still force someone into a global license agreement, but effectively the courts in other jurisdictions would be in a position to correct those findings. A portfolio may not be all that strong in a given jurisdiction. Or the local rates may simply be lower.

      • Patents

        • Post-ASI battle: InterDigital sues Xiaomi for patent infringement in Munich [Ed: InterDigital is a notorious patent troll that sucks up others' patents just for the sake of blackmailing companies. It's not difficult to see that some of the litigation/harassment firms that represent (get paid by) patent trolls are also most prominent in Team UPC. That says a lot about who stands to gain from such a corrupt and illegal proposal.]

          The claims filed by InterDigital against Xiaomi regard EP 33 55 537, EP 24 21 318, and EP 2 485 558, all of which protect 3G and 4G technology. The Regional Court Munich will hear the claims in three separate proceedings (case IDs 7 O 4225/21 and 4226/21, 21 O 4227/21).

          An oral hearing at the 7th chamber of the court (7O 4226/21) is scheduled for February 2022 and will launch proceedings. This hearing is the main hearing concerning EP 318. Unusually, the case has no early first hearing, which is the norm according to the Munich procedure.


          In the ASI dispute, both Arnold Ruess and Hogan Lovells appeared for the first time in the proceedings for clients InterDigital and Xiaomi.

          For the main proceedings, Hogan Lovells is setting up a mixed team of litigators and patent attorneys from the Düsseldorf and Munich offices.

          Arnold Ruess relies on the technical support of patent attorney firm df-mp. The firm is one of the most active litigation outfits in Germany for proceedings involving mobile communications patents. Both Dominik Ho and David Molnia worked side by side with EIP for Conversant in the dispute with Daimler.

        • The EU’s Action Plan on Intellectual Property After COVID-19 [Ed: This is no such thing as "Intellectual Property" and they're clearly referring here to patents, which basically contribute to more deaths at a faster rate because this way the pharmaceutical companies can make more money]

          At the end of 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission (“the Commission”) published its new “Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe.” This communication underlines that while major progress has been made in the last twenty years, many patients do not benefit from these innovations since medicines are either unaffordable or unavailable.

          The Commission’s goals are ambitious: promoting patient access to innovative and affordable medicines, supporting the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the EU’s pharmaceutical industry and developing the strategic autonomy of the EU, while enabling a green and digital transition of the European pharmaceutical policy.

        • Samsung has an ambitious foldable plan. May introduce S-shaped screen soon [Ed: We're meant to think certain things are unprecedented just because a profit-motivated USPTO is eager to grant a patent?]

          Korean giant Samsung Is undoubtedly a leader in the field of foldable smartphones, and there are currently multiple foldable devices on the market. The company has no plans to slow down its foldable smartphones so far, from what we can make from all the reports on Samsung’s foldable plans for 2021. According to a new report, Samsung’s SID Display Week 2021 includes a foldable 17-inch tablet and a flexible smartphone with a 7.2-inch display that can be folded in two places, with a structure of letter Z or S. similar.

        • Patent case: Floration Europe B.V. vs. Coöperatie Royal FloraHolland U.A., Netherlands [Ed: Will they sue you for carrying flowers to a funeral?]

          When transporting flowers, several measures need to be taken to maintain their freshness. Floriation’s patent required regulation of the ethylene concentration in the package. Whether Royal Flora Holland had used this feature was the central theme in this decision. The provisions judge found no direct infringement and also concluded that there was no equivalency, since in such a case the deviating feature should have the same function as the claimed feature. That was not the case.

        • Awards podcast: DCC on transactions, litigation and IP in Asia-Pacific [Ed: Gosh, this is hilarious. There's a "patent prosecution firm of the year"; do we also have a bomb company of the year and award-winning abortionist? How about "happiest funeral parlor"?]

          Davies Collison Cave won two Managing IP Asia-Pacific awards in 2020: patent prosecution firm of the year for Australia, and boutique firm of the year for the whole region. With offices in Singapore and New Zealand as well as in Australia, the firm works with clients across Asia-Pacific.

        • Healthcare Innovators Show Resistance To The Pandemic [Ed: Using patents the sector that profits from illness is 'making a killing']

          Oxford Nanopore recently announced its plans to list on the London Stock Exchange, with some valuing the company at over £4 billion. So where does the actual value of the company lie? Partly in its know-how, but substantially in the IP which protects the underlying technology. The company has a broad portfolio of over 200 patent families, some owned by the company itself, and some which are licenced-in. This portfolio, which covers different aspects of the sequencing platform technology, is critical to the company’s ability to secure deals and attract investment.

        • Doctrine of equivalents – how ‘new normal’ approach affects life sciences sector [Ed: What they mean by "new normal" is "doing illegal things but justified using COVID"]

          The ‘doctrine of equivalents’ (ie, the principle that a patent may be infringed by a product or process which is considered equivalent to that…

        • How Brazil’s SC ruling will influence in-house strategies [Ed: Patrick Wingrove, the voice of patent trolls, in Brazil doing something sane but not good for the people who pay his salary]

          Five counsel in LATAM and the US say they’ll need to change prosecution tactics and scrutinise their portfolios as a result of the Direct Action 5,529 decision

        • Software Patents

          • $2,000 for Relevant Holdings prior art

            On May 19, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 8,849,814. The patent is owned by Relevant Holdings, LLC, a NPE. The ’814 patent generally relates to a database that is able to search, sort, and display various video and sounds clips. The patent is currently being asserted against Mindgeek USA, Inc.

          • Dolby patent challenged in China

            On May 19, 2021, Unified Patents filed a Chinese invalidation request for CN1663258 owned by Dolby International AB. CN1663258 has been designated essential to the HEVC Advance pool and SISVEL’s AV1 pool. It is also related to patents that have been designated in those pools.

      • Copyrights

        • Long walk to copyright reform (Pt 2): South Africa’s National Assembly rescinds its decision to pass the Copyright Amendment Bill [Ed: A country that checks what copyright does for (or to) its people rather than some foreign monopolies looking to oppress with lawfare]

          After months of discussion, South Africa’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry reached a formal decision on the President’s reservations in respect of the Copyright Amendment Bill (CAB) and the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill (PPAB). [The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry is part of the National Assembly/Parliament]

          As readers may know, following the President’s letter indicating reservations about the constitutionality of the two bills [on which see Katpost here], the CAB and PPAB were returned to the National Assembly who is tasked with reconsidering the bills and addressing the President’s concerns.


          On the controversial fair use exception, the Opinion indicated, citing various parliamentary submissions and testimonies, that there was adequate public participation in drafting of the clause and that the President’s reservations were unfounded.

          This position is contrary to the position already taken by the Parliament to reopen the fair use provision and other copyright exceptions for public comments. While there are other groups such as South African Democratic Union (Sadtu), ReCreate South Africa, the South African Guild of Actors (Saga) and Blind SA that agree with the above-mentioned Opinion, others prefer the position taken by the Parliament to go back to the drawing board and re-engage the public on the Bills.

          Whatever side one takes, the CAB and the PPAB are essentially up for discussion and public engagement…again. [Thankfully?], in its decision, the Parliament stated that it will incorporate its previous work on the bills (including previous consultations and submissions) up to the Second Reading of the Bills. The next step will now be to see how Parliament rolls out the public engagement and consultation process this time around… Stay tuned!

Brodie Robertson: Stallman ISN’T OUT OF TOUCH With Technology!

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Videos at 5:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: “In some previous videos about Stallman I said something that I would like to take back and that is that Stallman is out of touch with technology, while he does have some funky solutions for some modern problems he certainly understands what the problems actually are.”

Say Hey Hi to Inventions and Patents

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO discovers 'Hey hi' patents: Campinos, Grant Philpott, and Battistelli

Summary: Who needs to wrestle with the question of software patentability when the EPO can just call it “Hey Hi” (AI) or something “as such”?

PATENTS as “inventions”

Such were the intentions
Patents “as such” regardless of conventions
EPC won’t receive any mentions

Patents for AI inventions in Europe

Bastian is the Best
Leaping past the patentability test
JUVE puff pieces will do the rest
Mimicking the mistakes of the far west

Visits to EPOnia made frequent
Where each manager is delinquent

What Media says about EPO; Real EPOnia

The EPO’s War on Justice and Assault on the Law — Part 13: Internal Members: Gunnar Eliasson and Andrea Ritzka

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previously in this series:

Gunnar Eliasson and Andrea Ritzka
The enigmatic Eliasson and the elusive Ritzka.

Summary: The EPO of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos has backed abstract patents because of some camera-shy folks; they may soon decide that the EPO can make it compulsory for parties to outsource their legal hearings to American software companies

In this part we turn our attention to the remaining internal members of the panel entrusted with case no. G 1/21, namely Gunnar Eliasson and Andrea Ritzka.

Both Eliasson and Ritzka are notoriously publicity-shy and there is not a lot of information available about them.

Eliasson is of Swedish nationality and he is the Chair of the Technical Board of Appeal 3.4.03 which is reputed to take a relatively “soft” and “applicant-friendly” line on software and business method patenting.

He also acted as ad interim Chairman of the Enlarged Board during the interregnum period between December 2016, when Wim van der Eijk’s tenure as Vice-President of DG3 ended, and March 2017 when Carl Josefsson assumed office as the newly appointed “President of the Boards of Appeal”.

It may be assumed that Eliasson liaised closely with Josefsson during the handover period and he is reputed to enjoy a cordial working relationship with his Swedish compatriot.

“Eliasson is of Swedish nationality and he is the Chair of the Technical Board of Appeal 3.4.03 which is reputed to take a relatively “soft” and “applicant-friendly” line on software and business method patenting.”Ritzka, who is of German nationality, grew up in Brussels where she attended the elite European School whose alumni include Ursula "Flinten-Uschi" von der Leyen, and Boris "Bojo" Johnson. She is a familiar figure in the Boards of Appeal and easily recognisable due to her trademark “French braid” hairstyle.

Ritzka is the Chair of the Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.05 which, like Eliasson’s Board, is reputed to take a relatively “soft” and “applicant-friendly” line on software and business method patenting.

It is known that, prior to joining the EPO in 2008, Ritzka worked in the Intellectual Property Department of Siemens a German multinational which achieved notoriety over a decade ago for its corrupt business practices camouflaged by an impressive but phony “anti-corruption compliance program” which in reality only existed on paper.

As might be expected for somebody who spent the formative years of their professional career in such an environment, Ritzka is reported to subscribe to a markedly pro-business “maximalist” approach to patent matters.

By a curious twist of fate, Ritzka – who is reputed to be one of the most “management-compliant” members of the Enlarged Board – was one of the panel of three judges who handed down the fateful interlocutory decision R 19/12 of 25 April 2014 in which an insufficient separation of the executive and judiciary at the EPO was conceded.

“As might be expected for somebody who spent the formative years of their professional career in such an environment, Ritzka is reported to subscribe to a markedly pro-business “maximalist” approach to patent matters.”This is the decision that enraged Battistelli and made him embark on his private crusade against the Boards which culminated in their exile to Haar with the assistance of an Administrative Council which was in Battistelli's pocket.

The driving force behind R 19/12 is said to have been the legal member and rapporteur Richard Menapace (now in retirement) and it seems unlikely that Ritzka herself played a significant role in the drafting of the decision.

According to the EPO rumour-mill, as Chair of Technical Board 3.5.05, Ritzka has been involved in a number of disagreements with the technically qualified members of her Board, possibly due to her reputedly “maximalist” line on software and business method patenting.

It is reported that these “differences of opinion” led to the defection of one member to Technical Board 3.5.01 and the departure of another member to take up a position as Chair of Technical Board 3.5.03.

“According to the EPO rumour-mill, as Chair of Technical Board 3.5.05, Ritzka has been involved in a number of disagreements with the technically qualified members of her Board, possibly due to her reputedly “maximalist” line on software and business method patenting.”We shall return to Ritzka in due course when we examine the mysterious affair of the “missing signatures” on the letter of 8 December 2014 from the Enlarged Board of Appeal to the Administrative Council.

But before doing so we will take a look at various allegations of partiality that have been circulating in the IP blogosphere since the composition of the panel for G 1/21 was announced in March.

Linux Foundation as a Farce

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 5:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The corporations that run the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation have already decimated the domain Linux.com and now they twist marketing as “research”; they should investigate the harm they themselves have done to the “Linux” brand, which many now associate with spying and other stuff

STIRRED up by this morning’s self-promotional puff piece from the Linux Foundation — a piece of ‘fluff’ in support of mass surveillance — I’ve decided to do another video about what the Foundation has become. It’s just a tax-exempt marketing firm that exploits the “Linux” brand to gain visibility and attract members/funds, even if it hardly promotes Linux itself (it is not even using it!) and occasionally it promotes things that directly harm Linux. More and more of the staff has Microsoft roots and they promote a hugely misleading version of ‘history’ — one to suit their own agenda.

“All corporations measure things like revenue, not freedom, and they may always compromise freedom if that contributes to them financially.”It’s possible to support GNU/Linux while condemning the Foundation. It’s also possible to support Linux (a kernel alone) without giving a damn about the Foundation. It’s not even a foundation, it’s just a private marketing group jointly owned mostly by mega-corporations. Community is not corporations and Free software, even though it co-exists with corporations, should not be led by corporations because it leads to disaster. All corporations measure things like revenue, not freedom, and they may always compromise freedom if that contributes to them financially. In a similar vein, governments aren’t corporations, municipalities are not corporations and bad things happen to both when corporations take over them.

Links 19/5/2021: Gentoo/Google, SUSECON Digital

Posted in News Roundup at 3:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Mars Goes to Shell | LINUX Unplugged 406

        Tim Canham, Mars Helicopter Operations Lead at NASA’s JPL joins us again to share technical details you’ve never heard about the Ingenuity Linux Copter on Mars. And the challenges they had to work around to achieve their five successful flights.

      • If Someone Asks You About Linux, Tell Them…

        I often get people asking me about Linux in real life. It can be tough telling people about Linux that have no idea about it. Here’s how I handle that situation.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • All packages that were present in Ubuntu 18.04 but absent in Ubuntu 20.04

        Otherwise titled Figure out the differences between two apt repositories. Recently I’ve had a few packages that I often use but were missing from Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. One is ckermit and the other is gnash, both of which I ‘converted’ to a snap. (In air quotes because I just converted the 18.04 deb). This made me wonder if I could figure out a list of that are present in Ubuntu 18.04, but absent in Ubuntu 20.04. As apt and dpkg are standardized tools and and package formats, we can use a few shell tools to parse the package lists and compare them side by side. This post shows you how to do the comparison yourself and I discuss the removed packages a bit. Some are version increments (like gcc-6 in Ubuntu 18.04 but gcc-7in Ubuntu 20.04), and some are packages that were combined into one instead of split up (like ltsp in Ubuntu 20.04 but a bunch of seperate ltsp-$postfix packages instead in Ubuntu 18.04). Many others are just replaced by newer versions (python-ceph vs python3-ceph). The list of differences is provided as a download, both ways.

      • Install PhpMyAdmin on Docker to manage MariaDB or MySQL

        PhpMyAdmin is a web interface through which a user has direct access to a MySQL or MariaDB database. H/she can use this graphical tool to interact with the database without having extensive knowledge of the commands used for the databases. It translates the selected function into the corresponding commands and applies them to the server or a special database.

        If you have ever used some hosting service then you would already be familiar with it. Because in WHM CPanel PhpMyAdmin comes as the default GUI application to manage databases.

      • Using Gimp to modify PDF files

        Gimp is normally used to create or manipulate images files, but can also work with PDFs if you understand how it works and what it’s limits are.

      • Virtualization vs. Containerization: What is the Difference? | ENP

        If you want to run an application, there are two ways of doing it: on a physical computer, or on an abstraction of a computer. The two most common forms of abstraction are virtual machines (VMs) and containers. But what’s the difference between these two forms of abstraction?

        To answer this question, let’s take a look at VMs and containers in more detail.

      • Scheduling with cron & At – Unixcop

        One of the challenges (among the many advantages) of being a sysadmin is running tasks when you’d rather be sleeping. For example, some tasks (including regularly recurring tasks) need to run overnight or on weekends, when no one expected to be using computer resources. I have no time to spare in the evenings to run commands and scripts that have to operate during off-hours. And I don’t want to have to get up at oh-dark-hundred to start a backup or major update.

        Instead, I use two service utilities that allow me to run commands, programs, and tasks at predetermined times. The cron and at services enable sysadmins to schedule tasks to run at a specific time in the future. The at service specifies a one-time task that runs at a certain time. The cron service can schedule tasks on a repetitive basis, such as daily, weekly, or monthly.

      • How to install ONLYOFFICE on Deepin 20.2

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

      • Terminal Pagers – Unixcop

        A terminal pager, or paging program, is a computer program used to view (but not modify) the contents of a text file moving down the file one line or one screen at a time. Some, but not all, pagers allow movement up a file. A popular cross-platform terminal pager is more. More can move forwards and backwards in text files but cannot move backwards in pipes. Less is a more advanced pager that allows movement forward and backward, and contains extra functions such as search.

        Some programs incorporate their own paging function, for example bash’s tab completion function.

      • Quota Management on Ubuntu – Unixcop

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

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

    • Distributions

      • Gentoo Family

        • Google Summer of Code 2021 students welcome

          We are glad to welcome Leo and Mark to the Google Summer of Code 2021.

          Mark will work on improving Catalyst, our release building tool. Leo will work on improving our Java packaging support, with a special focus on big-data and scientific software.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Debian Family

        • Woodside Energy adds actual robots into code pipeline stages – Cloud – iTnews

          “If we’re doing code development, then we’ll be doing that on a development robot out here in the lab,” he said on Wednesday.

          “Once we’re happy with some of the code changes we’re making, we’ll be pushing them up to GitHub, where the CI/CD processes will kick off and build those changes into fresh Debian changes.

          “We have a staging robot also out in the carpark, so once those packages have been built up into a new Docker image, we’ll pull it down onto the staging robot, and we’ll spend multiple days testing.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • The Ubuntu Lifecycle and Release Cadence

          Ubuntu’s flagship operating system is hardly a thing of a novelty since we had been anticipating its release for a good while. In April 2020, Canonical officially announced the release of the next iteration of its Ubuntu operating system which is the long-term support 20.04 (Focal Fossa).

          The recommended minimum system requirements are a 2 GHz dual-core processor, 25 GB free hard drive space, and 4 GB RAM.

          For a clean installation, you need either a DVD drive or a USB port for the installer media. Internet access during the installation will be helpful so that you can download any recent updates at once. Of course, it’s possible to download and install any of the Ubuntu flavors as we did here.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open Source Maintainers Take Center Stage, Joined by Leaders from GitHub, Red Hat, Google, and JFrog at Tidelift Upstream Event

        Tidelift, the premier provider of solutions for managing the open source software behind modern applications, today announced the schedule for Upstream, a free, one-day virtual event that brings together developers, open source maintainers, and the extended network of people who care most about their work.

        United by a vision to make open source work better for everyone, attendees will have the opportunity to meet the maintainers behind the open source tools they use every day and learn from industry experts developing with open source at scale.

      • GitLab tackles crypto-mining abuse with payment card checks for free accounts | The Daily Swig

        A surge in crypto-mining abuse on GitLab has prompted the DevOps platform to mandate that even customers with free accounts must include payment card details in order to use its pipeline services.
        The San Francisco-based company says it has introduced the measure in part because the problem was creating “performance issues”.

        “Recently, there has been a massive uptick in abuse of free pipeline minutes available on GitLab.com and on other CI/CD providers to mine cryptocurrencies,” said GitLab in a blog post announcing the change.

      • Public Services/Government

        • [Old] European Commission launches new Open Source Bug Bounties

          Awards of up to EUR 5000 are available for finding security vulnerabilities in Element, Moodle and Zimbra, open source solutions used by public services across the European Union. There is a 20% bonus for providing a code fix for the bugs they discover.

          A new set of bug bounties were launched on 11 January 2021 using the Intigriti bug bounty platform. The bounties funded by the Commission’s ISA² programme focus on open source software widely used by European Public Services.

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: inline 0.3.18: Routine Update

          A new release of the inline package got to CRAN today. inline facilitates writing code in-line in simple string expressions or short files. The package was used quite extensively by Rcpp in the days before Rcpp Attributes arrived on the scene proving an even better alternative for its use cases. inline is still used by rstan and a number of other packages.

          Johannes Ranke, who uses and stresses inline via his package mkin, updated the loading/unloading of DLLs which, following updates in R-devel, was failing some tests. As luck will have it, this new version appears to still fail on two of the platforms we do not actually have easy access to so another version may be coming “shortly”.

        • Fortran-lang welcomes new students to Google Summer of Code 2021

          We’re happy to announce six students that will work on Fortran projects under the Google Summer of Code 2021 program:

        • Physical programming for children with visual disabilities
        • Java

          • Top 5 New Java Features To Learn In 2021

            On the 16th of March 2021, Oracle started offering open-source Java 16 (Java SE 16) and Java 16 Development Kit (JDK 16) to all developers and enterprises, which is the seventh feature release as a part of the six-month cadence.

            According to the Oracle Critical Patch Update Schedule, JDK 16 will get at least two quarterly updates before Oracle releases JDK 17 (source). Thanks to this high level of predictability, Java developers will easily adapt to the innovation.

  • Leftovers

    • Junk

      Mark Bittman writes the way he cooks: The ingredients are wholesome, the preparation elegantly simple, the results nourishing in the best sense of the word. He never strains; there’s no effort to impress, but you come away full, satisfied, invigorated.

      From his magnum opus, How to Cook Everything, and its many cookbook companions, to his recipes for The New York Times, to his essays on food policy, Bittman has developed a breeziness that masks the weight of the politics and economics that surround the making and consuming of food. In Animal, Vegetable, Junk, his latest book, he offers us his most thoroughgoing attack on the corporate forces that govern our food, tracking the evolution of cultivation and consumption from primordial to modern times and developing what is arguably his most radical and forthright argument yet about how to address our contemporary food cultures’ many ills. But it still goes down easy; the broccoli tastes good enough that you’ll happily go for seconds.

    • An Absolute Shit

      Richard Wagner was an anti-Semite. This wasn’t just ugly, of-the-times bigotry or part of a sad and private hang-up, but a blood-and-body-consuming dimension of his being. As per the usual pageantry that comes with hate, his loathing took on enduring and complicated expressions, was pathetically pseudoscientific, a product of some combination of transference, projection, and fear, and is, in hindsight—but also was, during his lifetime—a character trait that left his name and work rank with the spice of rot.

    • Elements of Justice

      Imagining Manhattan flattened As Rotterdam was — as Gaza is being Humbaba was guarding the Great Cedar Forest — the source Of fresh air, clean air, cool air A condition of health, air: The most vital Water and earth, And fire stands for energy Empedocles, who stares at seas And sees these elements As elements of health, says: Cities and societies That can’t, or won’t, deliver these, Enabling ease, Are symptoms of the great disease And, as such, are both ethically And legally invalid

    • Science

      • Nature can boost health of people in cities – Futurity

        The research shows how access to nature in cities increases physical activity, and therefore, overall health.

        Lack of physical activity in the US results in $117 billion a year in related health care costs and leads to 3.2 million deaths globally every year. It may seem like an intuitive connection, but the new research closes an important gap in understanding how building nature into cities can support overall human well-being.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Different Types of Computer Viruses & Their Effects

          Computer Viruses have been around for quite a while now, with almost all being spread through the internet or physical drives. The main objective of these viruses is pretty well known. Sneaking into the system, stealing, and destroying victims’ personal data are a few of the destructive traits they possess.

          Many users worldwide have been victimized by virus attacks, and there’s a possibility you might be next.It will probably help if you are well informed about its types and effects. But first, what is a computer virus?

        • Electric vehicles escaped last week’s gas shortage — but the next cyberattack could take them down instead

          “If you drive an electric car, this would not be affecting you,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said during a White House news conference last week, referencing the Colonial [crack].

          But the nation’s electric grid is far from secure itself. The ice storm in Texas left some parts of the states in the dark for over a week. California utilities have been forced to disrupt power on several occasions due to storms or to prevent equipment from setting wildfires. The state also faced rolling blackouts a few years back due to energy supply shortages.

          Much of the electric grid has been in place since the 1950s and 1960s, according to industry data, with some sections actually dating back to the late 19th century.

        • Is 85% of US Critical Infrastructure in Private Hands?

          When this problem is discussed, people regularly quote the statistic that 85% of US critical infrastructure is in private hands. It’s a handy number, and matches our intuition. Still, I have never been able to find a factual basis, or anyone who knows where the number comes from. Paul Rosenzweig investigates, and reaches the same conclusion.

        • Is It Really 85 Percent?

          Buried in the Times story is the commonplace assertion that public-private coordination is necessary because 85 percent of the nation’s critical infrastructure is owned by the private sector. The Times isn’t unique in its reliance on this data point as a guide to policymaking—leaders like FBI Director Christopher Wray and Sen. Angus King have also publicly referred to it in recent days. It’s not clear exactly why the Times invoked the figure, but presumably this statistic is offered to contrast the American reality with that of other nations. All of the critical infrastructure in, China, for example, is controlled by the state; and it seems plausible (given the generally greater state role in the economy) to believe that even in other Western democracies, such as France or Germany, the state has direct control over a greater portion of the national infrastructure than it does here in the United States.

          The difference matters. Form follows function, and the structure of the laws, regulations, and guidance a country puts in place will depend greatly on how researchers think the market is structured. Focus on the private sector is at the heart of the reported decision of the Biden administration to focus some of its forthcoming executive order on setting regulatory standards or guidelines for private-sector cyberdefense.

        • ransomware, real resolutions

          Some quick thoughts on ransomware as a tractable problem.

        • From RunDLL32 to JavaScript then PowerShell

          In the sample that was found, RunDLL32 is used to execute some JavaScript. Not a brand new technique but not very common (a retro-search on VT returned less than 50 samples!). To execute some JavaScript code, just call the DLL that provides JavaScript engine features: [...]

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • University of Minnesota researchers fail to understand consent – Help Net Security

                You’d think with all the recent discussion about consent, researchers would more carefully observe ethical boundaries. Yet, a group of researchers from the University of Minnesota not only crossed the line but ran across it, screaming defiantly the whole way. In response, the Linux Foundation, which is the core of the open-source community, took the unprecedented step of banning the entire University of Minnesota from contributing to the Linux kernel.


                Alternatively, they could have worked with the Linux Foundation to conduct this research as a controlled experiment. Getting the consent of that Foundation means that the admins would know which submissions were subversive, allowing them to be filtered before going live.
                While both of these options reduce the risk of a vulnerability making through to a live product that people depend on, it still skirts the ethics of what then amounts to a social experiment on individuals who donated their time and skill in good faith. This is undoubtedly better than the path they chose but still not completely ethical. Experimenting on or with human behavior is always a tricky proposition.

                As it is, the path they chose and their reasoning behind it harkens back to the earliest days of technology, when the line blurred between good-faith security testing and cybercriminal. This was the impetus for legislative intervention and a code of ethics within the hacking / cybersecurity community. Ethics are the critical line that divides a hacker / White Hat from a bad actor / a Black Hat.


                Much like in the realm of security, the scientific community also subscribes to a set of ethical guidelines about how they conduct their research. Specifically, at UMN, they have an Institutional Review Board (IRB), which outlines what research with human subjects is acceptable and is intended to review and approve studies with human subjects.

                Apparently, the IRB at UMN does not consider the Linux Kernel developer community to be humans as, according to the research paper, they provided an exemption to the team. I am not sure how researching how a development team reacts to subversive behavior is not a study of humans or human behavior. However, my expertise is cybersecurity for a reason. We also should consider the possibility that the IRB at UMN might have been misled.

                The fact that UMN has recently launched an investigation seems to support that possibility.

              • Styra, the startup behind Open Policy Agent, nabs $40M to expand its cloud-native authorization tools – TechCrunch
              • After 75M downloads, cloud-native authorization startup Styra raises $40M

                Styra Inc., the startup behind a ubiquitous piece of open-source software used to secure containerized applications, has raised $40 million in funding to help it double its headcount this year and win more customers.

                Battery Ventures led the round, the startup disclosed in its funding announcement today.

                Styra’s open-source Open Policy Agent tool is downloaded more than a million times per week by developers for a total of 75 million downloads to date. The tool, which the startup commercializes with a paid version for enterprises, helps developers manage application authorization. That’s the technical term for preventing unauthorized access to applications and their data.

              • Industry’s First Enterprise-Grade Distribution of the Popular CNCF Project Crossplane Arrives, Bringing the Kubernetes-Powered Universal Control Plane Approach to Platform Teams Everywhere | Business | The Daily News

                Industry’s First Enterprise-Grade Distribution of the Popular CNCF Project Crossplane Arrives, Bringing the Kubernetes-Powered Universal Control Plane Approach to Platform Teams Everywhere

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Citing Mental Health and Privacy Concerns, Dems Call On Facebook to Kill ‘Instagram for Kids’ Plot

              “When it comes to putting people before profits, Facebook has forfeited the benefit of the doubt, and we strongly urge Facebook to abandon its plans to launch a version of Instagram for kids.”

            • Time Magazine Lauds Clearview AI Despite Its Sketchy Facial Recognition Tech

              Time Magazine released its inaugural list of the 100 Most Influential Companies, featuring an array of large and small corporations that “are helping to chart an essential path forward.” Disturbingly, among its choices of “disruptors” is Clearview AI, the controversial facial recognition start-up known for illicitly scraping Americans’ images and demographic information from social media and selling the data to law enforcement. By celebrating a company that engages in illegal mass surveillance, Time is complicit in the degradation of our privacy and our civil liberties.

            • Bad news for Facebook on two fronts – and for Ireland’s role as EU’s privacy enforcer

              In support of this decision, Hamburg’s Commissioner, Johannes Caspar, explicitly mentioned some of the major privacy failures of Facebook. These included Cambridge Analytica, and the recent leak of 533 million personal data profiles. Caspar singled out one concern in particular: using profiling to influence voter decisions in order to manipulate democratic decision-making processes. “With nearly 60 million users of WhatsApp [in Germany], the danger is all the more concrete in view of the upcoming federal elections in Germany in September 2021, which will create desire to influence voters on the part of Facebook’s ad customers”, according to the Hamburg Commissioner. The press release concludes:

            • Google AMP is dead! AMP pages no longer get preferential treatment in Google search

              Google is rolling out a significant change as a part of their page experience ranking algorithm in June 2021.

              From the release of the Core Web Vitals and the page experience algorithm, there is no longer any preferential treatment for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in Google’s search results, Top Stories carousel and the Google News. Google will even remove the AMP badge icon from the search results.

              You can now safely ignore Google AMP when building a more diverse and more exciting web without any artificial restrictions set by the adtech giant.

            • ‘Organizing Did This’: Amazon Extends Moratorium on Police Use of Facial Recognition Tech

              “Now, the Biden administration and legislatures across the country must further protect communities from the dangers of this technology by ending its use by law enforcement entirely.”

            • Amazon extends ban on police use of its facial recognition software ‘until further notice’

              Amazon didn’t immediately respond to request for comment about why the ban was being extended. In a statement provided when the ban on law enforcement use was first issued, Amazon said it hoped Congress would use the year provided by the moratorium to implement rules surrounding the ethical use of facial recognition technology. Part of its statement read:

              We’ve advocated that governments should put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use of facial recognition technology, and in recent days, Congress appears ready to take on this challenge. We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested.

            • Amazon extends moratorium on police use of facial recognition software

              Civil liberties advocates have long warned that inaccurate face matches by law enforcement could lead to unjust arrests, as well as to a loss of privacy and chilled freedom of expression.

              Amazon’s extension, which Reuters was first to report, underscores how facial recognition remains a sensitive issue for big companies. The world’s largest online retailer did not comment on the reason for its decision.

            • France says Google, Microsoft cloud services are OK for sensitive data

              Some of France’s most sensitive state and corporate data can be safely stored using the cloud computing technology developed by Alphabet’s Google and Microsoft, if it is licensed to French companies, the government said on Monday.

              The comment, part of strategic plan laid out by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and two other ministers, acknowledges U.S. technological superiority in the field and contrasts with previous calls from European politicians for fully homegrown alternatives.

            • Sentiment Analysis [Ed: Surveillance in "Data Science" clothing]

              Sentiment analysis is a way to predict what the behind of the text (reviews or comments) means, whether it means positive, negative, or neutral. Sentiment analysis is another feature of the NLP. Most of the companies want to know about the feedback of their products from the customers. So, they asked customers to fill the feedback form, comments on the ads (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Then the companies collect these feedbacks or comments to figure out what the customer thinks about the company products, and on behalf of that, the companies will target the customers.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Are We Getting the National Security We Are Paying For?

        Our country continues to expend nearly half its discretionary budget on its military might. That leaves only half for everything else. The perennial explanation given to defend this lop-sided priority is that the military guards our national security.

        If only that were true!

      • As US Clears 3 Detainees for Release, Amnesty Demands Biden Close Gitmo

        “President Biden cannot have true credibility advocating for other countries to respect human rights if he does not prioritize closing Guantánamo.”

      • Why Trump Still Insists That He Won the Election

        He calls people losers so he can’t be one. The thought of that label just makes him undone. But history’s verdict won’t be any finer: He’s not just a loser but also a whiner.

      • Life Lacking a Sense of Safety

        Collapsed buildings’ blocks and gaping holes in Alwehdah Street where there was normal life a week ago are traumatic sights, triggering memories of those earlier atrocities.

        Today there are hundreds of injured people to be cared for in our crowded hospitals which are desperately short of many supplies because of the years of Israeli siege. Huge efforts are ongoing by the community to search for people under the wreckage of the buildings.

      • The Middle East: America’s Briar Patch

        The supporters of “containment” believe that such a policy worked against the Soviet Union during the Cold War and thus could be retrofitted against China.  The Soviet Union, unlike China, was somewhat self-contained with an economy that was not relevant to international economics and an overall foreign policy that found itself surrounded by hostile Communist states, including China.  A policy of containment will not work against the more vital and stable  China, but this aspect of the proposition will be discussed in a future oped.

        It is foolish to believe that the United States could easily withdraw political and military resources from the Middle East, which has been our “briar patch” since we adopted a policy of one-sided support for Israel in the wake of the Six-Day War in 1967.  For the past six decades, no international issue has preoccupied the attention of U.S. presidents as much as the Middle East.  The renewal of violence between Israel and the Hamas government is a reminder of the harm that stems from Israeli unwillingness to pursue Palestinian self-government; the policy of “apartheid;” the racist legislation introduced by left-wing Labor governments in the 1970s to deny Palestinians their ownership rights; and—the ultimate Catch-22—its policy of demolishing houses built without permits that the Israelis refuse to issue.

      • Opinion | If Biden Genuinely Aspires to Build Back Better, He Would Deviate From US Militarism

        if President Biden intends to Go Big at home, he will need to Go Big in changing U.S. policies abroad as well.

      • Demilitarizing the Border

        I was reminded of astronaut Edgar Mitchell’s reaction when he gazed back at the Earth from the moon: “It was [a] beautiful, harmonious, peaceful-looking planet, blue with white clouds, and one that gave you a deep sense… of home, of being, of identity. It is what I prefer to call instant global consciousness.”

        A couple hours after my own peaceful moment of global consciousness, Juan Carlos appeared at the side of a dirt road. I was by then driving in a desolate stretch of desert and he was waving his arms in distress. I halted the car and lowered the window. “Do you want some water?” I asked in Spanish, holding out a bottle, which he promptly chugged down.

      • For Okinawa, Rahm Would Be a Knee on the Neck

        1) It’s right next to China which much of the U.S. government is eager for some sort of fight with.

        2) Its Constitution (imposed by the U.S.) bans war, and the U.S. has been hard at work pressuring Japan to violate that bit since about 10 seconds after it was adopted.

      • AOC and Cori Bush Have Helped Remove Taboo on Calling Israel an Apartheid State
      • Getting Back to Basics in Policy on Israel

        With no cease-fire, let alone peace talks, in sight, and with Israel’s army having invaded Gaza, the death toll is bound to be very high. Yet both the caretaker Benjamin Netanyahu government in Tel Aviv and the Hamas leaders in Gaza may see benefit in keeping this war going. Wouldn’t be the first time political leaders preferred war to peace.

        The latest violence comes on the heels of two auspicious events: Netanyahu’s inability to form a new government, and a Human Rights Watch report that calls Israeli treatment of Palestinians “crimes against humanity.”

      • ‘A Heinous Crime’: Israeli Airstrikes Damage Gaza’s Only Coronavirus Testing Lab

        “It was bad enough when Palestinians in Gaza weren’t able to get vaccinated, but now to reportedly lose their only coronavirus testing lab is…  beyond words.”

      • The Entire US Tax Code Is Implicated in the Forced Displacement of Palestinians
      • Centrist Lawmakers Join Progressives in Urging Biden to Support Gaza Ceasefire
      • Omar, Tlaib Lead Call to Stop ‘Appalling’ $735 Million US Weapons Sale to Israel Amid Gaza Carnage

        The Minnesota Democrat warned the munitions sale “will undercut any attempts at brokering a ceasefire.”

      • In ‘Disgraceful’ Cave to Biden Admin, Meeks Won’t Request Delay of $735 Million US Arms Sale to Israel

        “Looks like even this little step toward transparency was shut down from the top.”

      • Activist Rapper Lowkey on Gaza, UK Complicity in Israeli Apartheid and Settler Colonialism
      • Israeli / Palestinian Conflict
      • Global Solidarity Protests Against Israeli Apartheid as Palestinians Stage General Strike

        “Today, the people of Palestine are once again going on strike for their liberation—and calling on the world to join them.”

      • Unity at Last: The Palestinian People Have Risen

        From the outset, some clarification regarding the language used to depict the ongoing violence in occupied Palestine, and also throughout Israel. This is not a ‘conflict’. Neither is it a ‘dispute’ nor ‘sectarian violence’ nor even a war in the traditional sense.

      • Podcast Panel: The Israeli Assault on Gaza with Malak Mattar, Dan Cohen and Miko Peled
      • Trained by Years of Guerilla War, Yemen’s Houthis Want to Export Their Revolution to Palestine

        Ayesh Atta arranges rings of long, light yellow Jasmine flowers into necklaces to give to the protesters and passers-by of his Mina Street flower shop in the coastal city of Hodeida. In the past, the 34-year-old Ayesh preserved the flowers in an icebox to sell in distant markets for Eid al-Fitr at a substantial profit. Now, despite desperately needing money, he’s decided to distribute the Jasmine necklaces for free to people who have taken to the streets in front of his shop in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

      • Israel Is Targeting Doctors and Health Facilities, Says Gaza Physician
      • Israel is Making the Same Errors as Britain did Over Northern Ireland 50 Years Ago

        It is therefore entirely appropriate that on the same day that the Israeli-Palestinian crisis was exploding this week, an inquest in Belfast was reporting on a mass killing by the British Army in Belfast half a century earlier.

        This was what became known as the Ballymurphy Massacre which took place between 9 and 11 August 1971, when 10 Catholics were shot and killed in the working-class district of Ballymurphy in west Belfast. The British government and army claimed for years that the dead were IRA gunmen or had been throwing petrol bombs. But the inquest determined this week that all the dead were innocent civilians – and the army’s actions were “unjustified”. Boris Johnson has apologised unreservedly for the killings.

      • Medea Benjamin
      • Time for A Two-State Solution

        The increasingly deadly hostilities have no effect on Israel halting encroachment on land in the disputed occupied West Bank or the apparent ethnic cleansing of annexed East Jerusalem that the Palestinians hope to claim as their state, with the eastern half of the Holy City as their capital. The annexation is not recognized internationally.

        Most troubling, a first since before the founding of Israel, are the fiery demonstrations inside Israel by Israeli Palestinian citizens and attacks against those Palestinians by far-right Israeli Jews. It’s a bad omen.


        But stubborn, futile Palestinian demonstrations and four wars against the Goliath of Israel, a regional superpower, are unwinnable. It’s as if Mexico and Canada were to start firing missiles at the United States. Hopeless.

      • Gaza Physician: Israel Is Targeting Doctors & Health Facilities to Overwhelm Our Crumbling System

        The death toll in Gaza has reached 213, including at least 61 children, as Israel continues to attack the besieged area by air, land and sea using U.S.-made warplanes and bombs. The death toll in Israel stands at 11 from rockets fired from Gaza. Israel is facing increasing criticism for targeting doctors in its attack, and its airstrikes have reportedly damaged at least 18 hospitals and clinics, according to the World Health Organization. The attacks on medical staff and facilities are a “nightmare,” says Dr. Rasha, a Palestinian internal medicine physician working in Gaza who asked not to use her full name for safety reasons. “I think this is targeted to increase the overwhelming of the already overwhelmed healthcare system,” she says.

      • Israeli Human Rights Group B’Tselem: Israel Is Committing War Crimes by Killing Civilians in Gaza

        As the Palestinian death toll in Gaza tops 200, the leading Israeli human rights group B’Tselem is accusing Israel of committing war crimes by killing blockaded civilians and destroying infrastructure on a massive scale. Executive director Hagai El-Ad says Israel has not done enough to distinguish between military and civilian targets or to act with proportionality. “We’ve seen war crimes in previous military assaults on Gaza,” he says. “And, in fact, the impunity of the previous times in which war crimes were committed is what has paved the way for the continuation of more such crimes being committed.” Earlier this year, B’Tselem released a landmark report denouncing Israel as an “apartheid regime.”

      • Palestinians Stage Historic General Strike from “the River to the Sea” for the First Time Since 1936

        As the Israeli bombing of Gaza enters its ninth day, Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, Gaza and inside Israel are staging a historic general strike. This comes as violence is also spreading across Israel, with Jewish mobs attacking Palestinians in mixed Jewish and Arab communities. Last week, extremist Israeli settlers were filmed attacking Palestinian-owned shops in a Tel Aviv suburb. Another harrowing video shows ultranationalist Israelis dragging a man they believed to be an Arab from his car and beating him mercilessly. Some settlers were filmed on live television chanting “Death to Arabs,” and screenshots shared by an Israeli disinformation watchdog group show far-right Israeli WhatsApp and Signal groups coordinating attacks on Palestinians. We speak with Palestinian journalist and activist Rami Younis, who says Israeli media’s unwillingness to cover the widespread incitement is a “perfect example of how structural violence is maintained and nurtured in Israel.”

      • Israel/Palestine Coverage Presents False Equivalency Between Occupied and Occupier

        Media coverage of heightened violence in Israel/Palestine has misrepresented events in the Israeli government’s favor by suggesting that Israel is acting defensively, presenting a false equivalency between occupier and occupied, and burying information necessary to understand the scale of Israeli brutality.

      • “Genocide”: Palestinian Lawmaker Condemns Netanyahu for Bombing Gaza to Stay in Power, Avoid Charges

        The ongoing Israeli attack on Gaza, which has now killed at least 213 people, “really is an act of genocide,” says Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the Palestinian parliament and head of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society who has been leading efforts to manage the pandemic in the West Bank and Gaza. He says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces multiple corruption charges, is using the latest violence to save his political future. “This man and his government is using Palestinian blood, and maybe even Israeli blood, to stay in power, to evade the three cases of corruption that he has to face, and he’s doing anything to keep his seat.”

      • Edward Said’s Palestine, Revisited

        Born in 1935 in Jerusalem, then part of the British mandate of Palestine, Said was educated at Princeton and Harvard, taught at Columbia for decades, and wrote dozens of books as well as hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles that attracted a loyal following and detractors, too. Timothy Brennan tells much of the story in his recent biography, Places of the Mind: A Life of Edward Said, which is dedicated to “the Palestinian people.”

        At times, Said tries to be even handed in The Question of Palestine, though it seems likely that his book might not satisfy many observers of the Middle East today precisely because he tries to be even handed. On the one hand, he condemns “Palestinian violence” and PLO hijackings and suicide bombers, and on the other hand he denounces Israeli sponsored “state terrorism,” though he concludes that Zionists have done far more harm to Palestinians than Palestinians have done to Zionists.

      • Militias Pose A Serious Threat. So Why Is It So Hard To Stop Them?

        When you’ve got neo-Nazis harassing an innocent family in the suburbs because of a podcast that has nothing to do with them, it’s pretty clear this country has a domestic extremism problem. The Department of Homeland Security knows it, Congress knows it, and every single person who watched the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in horror knows it. There are many elements to the domestic extremism threat in America, but one prominent component is private militias. An assessment from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has warned that violent extremist militias present “the most lethal” threats in the U.S., and the share of public demonstrations involving far-right militias has increased since the 2020 general election, according to data from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project.

        But it’s one thing to identify a problem; it’s another to figure out what to do about it. Militias pose a prickly dilemma for law enforcement because they butt up against a bunch of different American narratives around self-defense, gun rights and how to live in a safe society. Some militias are just a group of guys doing target practice in the woods. Other militias plot to kidnap a governor.

        When trying to curb the worst of militias, law enforcement — from local beat cops to politicians passing new laws — inevitably run into questions of constitutional rights (the right to assemble, the right to bear arms) while also trying to keep communities safe. How do they know whom to go after, when to go after them, and how to stop them?

      • Why the Republicans’ Big Lie works so well: A sociopathic party, and a damaged country

        Donald Trump publicly lied at least 30,000 times while president and faced few if any negative consequences for that behavior. Moreover, he came within several thousand votes of “winning” the 2020 presidential election because of his strategic use of lying, deception and trickery, including voter suppression and voter intimidation.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Opinion | The Tax Loophole You’ve Probably Never Heard of Is Making the Rich Even Richer

        Unless the stepped-up basis loophole is closed, we will soon have a large class of hugely rich people who have never worked a day in their lives.

      • House Dems Push for Infrastructure Package ‘That Truly Meets This Historic Moment’

        “Given the scale of our unemployment, caregiving, healthcare, climate, and inequality crises,” nearly 60 lawmakers wrote, “we urge our colleagues in Congress to pursue a larger upfront investment.”

      • Hundreds of PPP Loans Went to Fake Farms in Absurd Places

        The shoreline communities of Ocean County, New Jersey, are a summertime getaway for throngs of urbanites, lined with vacation homes and ice cream parlors. Not exactly pastoral — which is odd, considering dozens of Paycheck Protection Program loans to supposed farms that flowed into the beach towns last year.

        As the first round of the federal government’s relief program for small businesses wound down last summer, “Ritter Wheat Club” and “Deely Nuts,” ostensibly a wheat farm and a tree nut farm, each got $20,833, the maximum amount available for sole proprietorships. “Tomato Cramber,” up the coast in Brielle, got $12,739, while “Seaweed Bleiman” in Manahawkin got $19,957.

      • Cryptography experts trash NFTs on first day of RSA Conference

        The experts have weighed in: Non-fungible tokens are dumb as hell.

        The annual RSA Conference brings together some of the brightest minds in cryptography to discuss advances in the field, the year’s biggest hacks, and where the cybersecurity industry is heading. This year, it just so happened to kick off with a pronounced dunk on NFTs.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Cancel Culture, Case Closed
      • Jordan Peterson’s New Rules Are Old News

        To prepare for writing about Jordan Peterson, I asked numerous people I know what they thought of him. They all gave the same answer: “Who?”

      • Lawsuit Against Snapchat Rightfully Goes Forward Based on “Speed Filter,” Not User Speech

        The parents argue that Snapchat was negligently designed because it incentivized users to drive at dangerous speeds by offering a “speed filter” that could be used during the taking of photos and videos. The parents allege that many users believed that the app would reward them if they drove 100 miles per hour or faster. One of the boys had posted a “snap” with the “speed filter” minutes before the crash.

        The Ninth Circuit rightly held in Lemmon v. Snap, Inc. that Section 230 does not protect Snapchat from the parents’ lawsuit. Section 230 is a critical federal law that protects user speech by providing internet intermediaries with partial immunity against civil claims for hosting user-generated content (see 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1)). Thus, for example, if a review site publishes a review that contains a statement that defames someone else, the reviewer may be properly sued for writing and uploading the defamatory content, but not the review site for hosting it.

        EFF has been a staunch supporter of Section 230 since it was enacted in 1996, recognizing that the law has facilitated free speech and innovation online for 25 years. By partially shielding internet intermediaries from potential liability for what their users say and do on their platforms, Section 230 creates the legal breathing room for entrepreneurs to create a multitude of diverse spaces and services online. By contrast, with greater legal exposure, companies are incentivized in the opposite direction—to take down more user speech or to cease operations altogether.

      • Top streamer says Twitch revoked her ability to run ads without warning

        The advertising ban comes months into what’s become known as the “hot tub meta” on Twitch. It’s become a trend for creators to stream themselves hanging out or playing games in hot tubs or inflatable pools. Siragusa has been a contributor to that trend, streaming from what appears to be a small plastic pool set up inside her home.

        But it’s not known why Twitch revoked Siragusa’s ability to run ads — a punishment the site has never doled out before, according to Kotaku. That’s part of what makes this situation so concerning for streamers: Twitch has an explicit set of rules that streamers need to follow to avoid a ban, but there’s no specific rules around who can and can’t be supported by advertising. Twitch allows streamers to appear in swimwear.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Visions of a Borderless World

        From the mountaintops of southern Arizona, you can see a world without borders. I realized this just before I met Juan Carlos. I was about 20 miles from the border but well within the militarized zone that abuts it. I was, in fact, atop the Baboquivari mountain range, a place sacred to the Tohono O’odham, the Native American people who have inhabited this land for thousands of years. At that moment, however, I couldn’t see a single Border Patrol agent or any sign of what, in these years, I’ve come to call the border-industrial complex. On the horizon were just sky and clouds—and mountain ranges like so many distant waves. I couldn’t tell where the United States ended or Mexico began, and it didn’t matter.

      • The Supreme Court May Have Just Signed Roe v. Wade’s Death Warrant
      • Steven Donziger Wants to Convince ‘a Different Jury’

        The trial of the environmentalist lawyer Steven Donziger ended this week in a federal district court in Lower Manhattan. For a decade, Chevron’s lawyers have pursued him after he won a landmark case against the corporation on behalf of 30,000 clients in Ecuador for polluting a vast stretch of rain forest.

      • Amazon Brings Its Shady Anti-Union Tactics to Staten Island Unionization Effort
      • FBI Informants Still Committing Serious Crimes Thousands Of Times A Year

        The best defense is a good offense. The FBI’s decade-long streak of allowing informants to commit thousands of crimes a year continues, as Dell Cameron reports for Gizmodo.

      • In Rural, Conservative North Carolina County, Anti-Jail Movement Takes Shape

        Maybe in another rural, conservative county, a proposal to build a new jail would’ve been approved with very little fanfare. Even in Haywood County itself, a mountainous region in western North Carolina, the idea probably wouldn’t have garnered much attention a few years earlier. 

        After all, Haywood County is a place where Donald Trump won in 2020 by almost 30 percentage points, Republican firebrand Madison Cawthorn was elected to Congress, and support for the military runs strong. Law-and-order politics tend to carry the day. 

      • Under deadly attack French police demand better protection

        Others say it’s not just police tactics that are the problem, but the behaviour of individual officers.

      • Rich people actually do have trouble understanding what it’s like to be poor

        The term “choice mindset,” refers to whether an individual is inclined to perceive their own actions and those of others as the result of deliberate decisions. When someone views life with a choice mindset, it means they are more likely to see victims as at least partially to blame for their misfortunes and to be less troubled by reports of inequality.

        Researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Nanyang Technological University have now uncovered an important clue about what causes people to think that way — namely, whether they come from a position of power in their own lives.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Ubisoft Shifts Its Future Plans To Include More ‘Free To Play’ Games

        The embrace of “free” in the video game industry continues to pick up speed. We were just discussing the years-long success Epic Games has had with Fortnite, a free-to-play game that has nevertheless racked up $9 billion over the course of two years. The point of that post wasn’t that all games have to be free-to-play. The point was that there are methods in the industry that completely negate the idea that has far too long permeated industry mentality which amounts to: you cannot compete with “free” or piracy. Not only does the story of Fortnite prove that isn’t true, it proves that it’s not true in spectacular fashion.

    • Monopolies

      • Epic Tries to Show Apple Is Antitrust Violator Beyond App Store

        Another point of contention was Apple’s announcement in November of a new program to reduce App Store fees from 30% to 15% for developers who generate under $1 million per year in revenue. Schiller couched it as an initiative to help small businesses during the Covid-19, but acknowledged under questioning that the company was also pivoting in response to worldwide scrutiny over App Store practices.

      • A Primer on the Current Status of the Epic v. Apple Case – AAF

        In the Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit, which recently began court proceedings, Epic Games alleges that Apple is exploiting a monopolistic position through its restrictions on sideloading and payment processing fees—arguments that mirror broader policy debates at both the federal and state levels.

      • eBay To Let Governments Pull Down Listings Automatically; What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

        One common theme we’ve seen for ages in the various content moderation debates are that those who think that governments should be able to determine what content stays up and what content needs to come down don’t seem to recognize who various government leaders around the world are these days. Governments have an unfortunate track record of trying to pull down content that embarrasses themselves. And yet, for reasons unknown, eBay has decided that it is going to let government regulators automatically remove listings on the auction site.

      • Brands call for ‘holistic’ approach in Amazon counterfeits case [Ed: This is not about counterfeits but about monopoly and control over the channel]

        As the CJEU prepares to answer the recurring question of marketplace liability for infringement, IP owners say legislative reform may have more of an influence

      • KOL335 | Institute for Youth in Policy: Anarchy, Copyright, Property Rights

        Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 335. I was interviewed by Paul Kramer of the Youth in Policy Podcast.

      • Patents

        • No second extension of a time limit due to COVID-19 [Ed: COVID-19 is only an excuse when the criminals who run the EPO need to justify doing illegal things]

          The Board dealt with a request for re-establishment of rights with respect to the extended time limit for filing the statement of grounds of appeal. The representative of the appellant had waited until the evening of the extended deadline to submit the grounds of appeal and was due to Covid-19 restrictions forced to leave the office before a notification of his submission by fax was received. The next morning it turned out that due to an unknown change of the fax machine settings, the letter had not been received by the EPO. The Board concluded that all due care had not been exercised, and that the difficult circumstances due to COVID-19 do not give rise to another extension of the time limit as it already had been extended due to COVID-19.

        • Samsung Has Ambitious Plans in Place For Foldables; May Showcase S-Shaped Screen Soon [Ed: Plenty of prior art there, but in some patent offices this company is the biggest client/customer (that's what they call it), so who cares, right? The "Customer is Always Right"...]

          South Korean giant Samsung is arguably the leader in the foldable smartphone space, with multiple foldable devices in the market currently. The company has no plans of slowing down on foldable smartphone, not as of now, from what we can make out of all the reports coming in about Samsung’s foldable plans for 2021. According to a new report, Samsung will show off new foldable designs during its SID Display Week 2021, which includes a foldable 17-inch tablet and a flexible smartphone with a 7.2-inch display that can be folded in two places and the structure resembles the letter Z or S.

          According to the report, Samsung may also showcase a Samsung Slidable Display or a horizontally stretching display, which is said to be for an upcoming smartphone, according to reports. Samsung is also rumoured to announce its Under Panel Camera (UPC) technology during the SID Display Week 2021 – this is the company’s own attempt at putting a camera under the display. During the SID Display Week 2021, Samsung is not expected to talk about commercial products but will only show and talk about new research and possibly demonstrate prototypes.

        • What To Expect When You Are Expecting… To Meet With A Patent Attorney [Ed: Expect to be lied to a lot to ensure they -- not you -- benefit financially]

          You have a great product (or an idea for one). You think it will take the world by storm. You heard something about intellectual property protection and you are careful about not sharing your idea with just anyone. Your friend recommends talking to a patent attorney to discuss your options. Is that a good idea? Yes!

          But to make the initial meeting a success, try to answer a few questions to determine when to meet with a patent attorney or what to find out from a patent attorney.

          With many legal issues, the devil is in the details. In that light, the hypotheticals below are generic and merely illustrate basic principles. Your specific situation is likely to not fit neatly into all (or even most) of these hypotheticals.

        • Recording an assignment at the European Patent Office [Ed: Conveniently perpetuates the illusion that the EPO still follows the EPC. It violates it every day and is basically an illegal institution living on borrowed time, relying on corruption (bribery of the media etc.) to last a few more years.]

          Document signing has presented novel challenges in the new remote-working environment. Recording an assignment at the European Patent Office (EPO) can be straightforward provided that the formal requirements are understood and complied with. This article aims to set out those formal requirements so that pitfalls can be avoided.

          Article 72 EPC relating to assignment reads:

          An assignment of a European patent application shall be made in writing and shall require the signature of the parties to the contract.


          In the current circumstances, digital signatures might be more readily obtainable than an original (wet) signature. However, digital signatures are not currently an accepted form of execution on assignments at the EPO. However, the EPO will accept a scanned copy of an original signature and the parties may sign in counterparts. The national law of China, Japan and Korea foresees that a seal or stamp can take the place of a signature. As we understand current practice, this will be accepted by the EPO in lieu of a handwritten signature for China, Japan and Korea, provided it is accompanied by the seal holder’s name in printed form.

        • Humira patents take center stage as House panel targets AbbVie pricing

          Patents protecting AbbVie’s inflammatory disease drug Humira in Europe expired two and half years ago, forcing the company to sharply cut its prices as low-cost competitors flooded the region.

          But in the U.S., the world’s top-selling drug is protected until 2023 due to broader intellectual property protection and legal settlements with would-be rivals. AbbVie, meanwhile, has kept raising prices.

          The company’s so-called “patent thicket” for Humira emerged as the biggest villain in a hearing Tuesday before the House Oversight and Investigations Committee, suggesting an area of potential agreement between Democrats and Republicans on drug pricing legislation.

        • EU patent breakthrough for MGC and its COVID treatment product [Ed: There is no such thing as “EU patent”, but then again there’s not much real journalism left, as a lot of it is just shallow and promotional spam, ads disguised as ‘news’ ‘reports’ or ‘articles’ (even reposted a lot]

          ASX-listed MGC Pharmaceuticals says a patent application for its CimetrA investigational medical product filed earlier this month has been accepted by the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office, giving it an avenue to seek patent protection in other EU and global markets. The company continues to move towards the start of a phase III clinical trial for CimetrA, a potential treatment solution for COVID-19 infected patients.

        • Apple Wins Patent covering a Foldable iPad and new Hinge System that could also be used in an alternative Mac Pro Display
        • IP Asset Management in Russia [Ed: Maybe stop referring to patents (monopolies) as "assets" or "rights"? It's misleading, it is a lie.]

          At present, along with the increasing importance of intangible assets in the market-driven economy and with the development of the intellectual property law, the number of protectable and marketable intellectual property subject matters is constantly growing. It is remarkable that persons, in particular, legal entities and individuals, have started to show an increasing interest in the security and protection of the results of intellectual activity and means of individualization when creating, promoting, and selling products or providing services, both in Russia and abroad. At the same time, we see that in some cases intellectual property objects are acquired in the name of one holder and in other cases — in the name of several holders of the relevant rights (rights holders) for quite different purposes, including commercial and non-commercial.

        • [Older] PyroGenesis Announces European Patent Office’s Intent to Grant Plasma Atomization (3D Printing) Patent; Increasing Productivity and Further Controlling Particle Size Distribution
        • Brazilian Supreme Court Ends Patent Term Extension and Retroactively Cuts Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Patent Terms

          On May 6, 2021, the Brazilian Supreme Court determined that the minimum ten-year patent term set forth in Article 40 of the Brazilian Intellectual Property Statute (Law No. 9,279) was unconstitutional (ADI 5529), and, on May 12, 2021, retroactively reduced the terms of granted pharmaceutical and medical device patents that are valid only due to the ten-year patent term provision to 20 years from the filing date. The terms of granted patents in fields other than pharmaceuticals and medical devices did not have their terms retroactively reduced, i.e., they maintain their ten-years from grant date terms.

        • F-star Therapeutics Reports First Quarter 2021 Financial Results and Provides Corporate Update – PharmiWeb.com

          FS118 European patent protection granted: The European Patent Office (EPO) granted a patent in January 2021 with claims protecting the composition of matter of F-star’s FS118 molecule giving protection until June 2037. The phase 2 proof-of-concept trial of FS118 is proceeding on plan and the Company plans to provide an update on progress in the first half of 2022.

        • FOSS Patents: Fortress-funded VLSI Technology fighting to defend $2.175 billion jury verdict over semiconductor patents: post-trial motions

          The two VLSI Technology v. Intel patent infringement cases that have been put before juries in the Western District of Texas this year have had two extreme outcomes: after a record verdict over $2.175 billion in March that shocked the technology industry, two other VLSI patents were found not to be infringed in April. A third trial between the two entities is coming up soon.

          In either case, the losing party has the right to appeal. Many observers have noted that exorbitant jury verdicts are rarely upheld: they’re typically adjusted or overturned. But there is no guarantee, and Intel leaves no stone unturned to attack VLSI’s March 2021 win. On April 22, almost simultaneously with the jury verdict in the second case, Intel brought a total of four post-trial motions.

          One of the four motions is specific to the ’759 patent, for the infringement of which the jury awarded $675 million (a little less than third of the total amount). I’ve uploaded Intel’s related Rule 52 motion and VLSI’s opposition to Scribd.

        • Data reveals patenting in semiconductors is on the rise, with Asia accelerating its output [Ed: Patents are a function of monopoly seeking, not innovation. Countries like China lowered the bar of patenting.]

          A deep-dive into semiconductor-related patent publications reveals insights into the state of innovation and demonstrates the impact of government policy on R&D activity. In this co-published piece, George Park of IPValue and Paul Ahern of Longitude Licensing provide the details

        • Software Patents

          • Aeritas patent challenged

            On May 18, 2021, Unified Patents filed an ex parte reexamination against U.S. Patent 9,390,435, owned by Aeritas LLC, an NPE. The ‘435 patent relates to receiving notifications, e.g., notification related to products or services of interest, at a mobile device based on the location of the mobile device and notification criteria, and then receiving information, e.g., additional information about the products or services or a purchase confirmation, at the mobile device in response to an input. The patent has been asserted in 21 litigations, including current assertions against Finnair Oyi, Darden Restaurants, Whataburger Restaurants, Burger King, and WestJet Airlines.

      • Trademarks

        • Hollywood, Alcohol, and Trademarks

          This pending petition for certiorari involves a trademark registration dispute between Kaszuba (HOLLYWOOD BEER) and Hollywood Vodka LLC (HOLLYWOOD VODKA). Kaszuba first registered his mark (albeit on the Secondary Register). Later, HVL was denied registration — in part because of the existence of the Kaszuba’s mark. HLV then filed a cancellation proceeding before the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board (TTAB). After a drawn-out process, the Board eventually sided with HLV—entering judgment against Kaszuba as a sanction for discovery violations.

        • USPTO files proposed rules for new US trademark act [Ed: Lobbyists changing rules and laws again, to better suit the rich of course, at everybody else's expense. They can't lose, they'll only ever get richer and more protected from competition as long as we allow this...]

          The USPTO filed its proposed rules for implementing provisions of the Trademark Modernization Act yesterday, May 17.

          The document set forth guidelines for how the USPTO would oversee the new ex-parte expungement and ex-parte re-examination proceedings, which are designed to make it easier for third parties to cancel marks that are no longer in use.

      • Copyrights

        • The Future of Museums Is Open!
        • After Threats to Block Twitter & VPNs, Russia Warns Facebook & YouTube

          Following demands that Twitter should remove “prohibited” content or face blocking in Russia, the authorities are warning that if Facebook and YouTube don’t clean up their acts too, they could face similar measures. Those thinking of deploying VPNs to circumvent blocking are also on notice, since the government believes it has the necessary tools to thwart evasive technological action.

        • Confusion Ensues as Trinidad & Tobago Threatens Users of ‘Illegal’ Streaming Devices

          The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has sent a stark warning to those who sell and use illegal streaming devices. Importing and marketing these piracy tools can lead to a $250,000 fine and a ten-year prison sentence. Unfortunately, the vague definition of these illegal devices has created quite a bit of confusion. In a matter of hours, hundreds of comments poured in, noting that Firesticks, Chromecasts, mobile phones, and PCs could fit this description too.

        • FBI Got Access To Sci-Hub Founder’s Apple Account

          The war against educating people without paying huge sums of money continues without pause. Over the last few years, we’ve written a bunch about Sci-Hub and its founder, Alexandra Elbakyan, including the fact that academic publishers have convinced the DOJ to investigate Elbakyan, claiming that this effort to (*checks notes*) give more academics free access to academic articles is… tied to Russian intelligence. The whole thing seemed bizarre. Sure, fine, people can make arguments about copyright — but saying that it’s connected to Russian intelligence seems like quite a conspiracy theory.

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:39 am by Needs Sunlight

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