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Links 1/6/2021: RP2040 $1 Chips, Anonymous OS Tails 4.19, Clonezilla Live 2.7.2, and NeoChat 1.2

Posted in News Roundup at 9:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux upgrade will prevent your device going into meltdown

        The Linux kernel currently under development, v5.14, is set to include patches that will prevent several Nvidia Tegra-powered devices from overheating.

        The Tegra is a system-on-a-chip (SoC) developed by Nvidia primarily for mobile devices including smartphones, tablets, and handhelds such as the Nintendo Switch.

        Developers working on Nvidia Tegra-based devices report that some of them, such as the Asus Transformer TF700T tablet, get too hot to handle sooner than other similar devices.

    • Applications

      • NeoChat 1.2 Released with Bubbles, Inline Replies, Account Switcher, and Much More

        Coming about three months after NeoChat 1.1, the new NeoChat release introduces numerous new features and improvements, starting with message bubbles, which is the first thing you’ll notice after upgrading to the new version. Of course, this is a minor change, but will probably make your chatting more enjoyable.

        As for the major changes, NeoChat 1.2 adds an account switcher at the bottom of the window to make it easier to switch between multiple accounts, completely revamps the text input component with support for automatic completion of commands and customized reactions, and the ability to use the up arrow key to access the last written message.

      • Convert Images to ASCII Art in Linux Terminal With This Nifty Little Tool

        Want to do some fun stuff in the Linux terminal? How about converting a regular image into an ASCII art?

        You know what’s ASCII? It’s a standard that assigns letters, numbers and other characters in the 256 slots available in the 8-bit code. The ASCII art is a graphics composed of the printable ASCII characters. Basically, it is composed of a bunch of letters, numbers and special characters.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to reset ROOT password on ubuntu 21.04 – Unixcop

        The Root user is the super user who is responsible for all the configuration .He is also responsible for the major changes done to a linux distribution. He by default has access to all commands and files on a linux or other Unix like operating system. But sometimes there is a situation when system administrators or system engineers forgets or lose their root password. Now that’s a little hectic situation. To overcome this situation we have to reset the root password.

      • Using the expr command for arithmetic in Linux shell – Linux Concept

        We can use the expr command for arithmetic operations. The expr command is an external command; the binary of the expr command is stored in the folder called /usr/bin/expr.

      • How to Install Latest XFCE & Cinnamon Desktop in Ubuntu and Fedora – Unixcop

        Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly.

        In addition to Xfce is a modern, open-source, and lightweight desktop environment for Linux systems. It also works well on many other Unix-like systems such as Mac OS X, Solaris, *BSD plus several others. It is fast and also user-friendly with a simple and elegant user interface.

        Installing a desktop environment on servers can sometimes prove helpful, as certain applications may require a desktop interface for efficient and reliable administration and one of the remarkable properties of Xfce is its low system resources utilization such as low RAM consumption, thereby making it a recommended desktop environment for servers if need be.

      • How to Find Linux Distribution Release Name and Version

        There are many commands in Linux to get the same information and one such command is the lsb_release, which is used to get the Linux distribution-related information such as OS name, code name, release information.

      • How To Install 1Password on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install 1Password on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, 1Password is a password manager, digital vault, form filler, and secure digital wallet. 1Password for Linux brings the uncompromising security and award-winning design of 1Password to the Linux desktop. Deep integration with the operating system creates a seamless experience, with password-less login, automatic dark mode support, and an encrypted connection between 1Password for Linux and 1Password in your browser.

        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 1Password password manager on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • Binary, octal, and hex arithmetic operations in Linux shell – Linux Concept

        Integer values can be represented in decimal, binary, octal, or hex numeric notations. By default, integer values are represented in decimal notation. Binary numbers have base 2. Octal numbers use base 8. Hexadecimal numbers use base 16. We will learn about various notations with examples in this section.

      • Floating-point arithmetic operation in Linux shell – Linux Concept

        In the Bash shell, we can only perform integer arithmetic. If we want to perform arithmetic involving a floating point or fractional values, then we will need to use various other utilities, such as awk, bc, and similar.

    • Games

      • Rumored Steam Console is Like the Switch, Will Run Linux

        Very recently, word began to circulate that Valve is working on its own portable gaming console called the SteamPal. While there has been no official confirmation or even acknowledgment of its existence from Valve, a new report from ArsTechnica states that the thing is indeed real and even shares some additional details about it.

        For starters, the SteamPal (which apparently isn’t the final name and will most likely be changed) is described as an all-in-one gaming PC, complete with gamepad controls and a touchscreen. As ArsTechnica best puts it, it’s essentially Valve’s take on the Nintendo Switch, which has become immensely popular for its status as a home console/handheld hybrid. What’s more, it will run on Linux and use Intel or AMD chipsets.

      • A Look at Nintendo Switch Emulation in 2021 on Linux – Boiling Steam

        A little less than twelve months ago, I had written a guide on how to emulate Nintendo Switch games on Linux. It has since garnered over 20k unique readers. It’s by far the most popular article I have written on Boiling Steam. It’s clear to me that the Nintendo Switch is a hot topic, and it only makes logical sense to follow up with how Nintendo Switch emulation has progressed since the months have gone by.

        As it stands, the current two emulators that we know of for desktop is Yuzu — developed by the same developers who worked on Citra, the 3DS emulator — and Ryujinx. And if you can believe it, there’s a Switch emulator for Android called Skyline. It’s “built from the ground up”, mostly in the C language, though apparently the developers have taken a lot of reference from Ryujinx’s source code.

      • Nvidia and Steam are making Linux gaming great again

        Remember SteamOS? Possibly not, but it was born in a time that Valve, the maker and operator of Steam, thought that it could take PC gaming in a direction that didn’t involve running Microsoft’s Windows. It didn’t work out, but it was also based on Linux, and Valve has continued supporting Linux to this very day.

        In fact, Steam makes PC gaming on Linux fun and incredibly easy, and now, it’s taking the next step in making Linux gaming a big hitter with some news coming out of Computex 2021.

        In partnership with the Linux community and Nvidia, DLSS will be coming to Linux, with initial support for Vulkan coming in June, with DirectX being added later in 2021.

      • NVIDIA DLSS coming to Proton, plus GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 Ti announced

        NVIDIA did a big splash at Computex 2021 with the expected announcement of two new top-end GPUs and quite a big surprise for Linux gaming with the official inclusion of NVIDIA DLSS for Proton. Don’t know what Proton is? Check out our dedicated Steam Play Proton section.

        They said in their official press release that this is a collaboration between “NVIDIA, Valve, and the Linux gaming community”. Currently DLSS is already in the NVIDIA Linux driver but it doesn’t work with Proton right now but that’s about to change, so you’ll be able to use “the dedicated AI cores on GeForce RTX GPUs to boost frame rates for their favorite Windows Games running on the Linux operating system”. NVIDIA said support for Vulkan games is coming this month, with DirectX titles coming “in the Fall”.

      • AMD Introduces FidelityFX Super Resolution, NVIDIA Announces DLSS For Steam Play

        At AMD’s Computex Taipei 2021 keynote they announced FidelityFX Super Resolution as coming later this month as their own open-source alternative to NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Super Sampling for image upscaling while gaming. While we are waiting to see how the Linux support for FidelityFX Super Resolution will play out, NVIDIA is already trying to one up them by announcing DLSS for Steam Play.

      • AMD reveals Ryzen 5000 G-Series desktop APUs, FidelityFX Super Resolution and more

        AMD came out of the gates swinging wildly at Computex 2021 with new chips, new tech and lots more new including: AMD 3D chiplet technology, AMD Ryzen 5000 G-Series desktop APUs, next-gen gaming laptops with their new AMD Radeon 6000M Series Mobile Graphics and their DLSS competitor in FidelityFX Super Resolution.

        There’s quite a lot to unpack here and we’re still going through it, so we will update the article if we missed anything vital. The big one is no doubt the FidelityFX Super Resolution, an open source spatial upscaling technology that can be compared with NVIDIA DLSS (which is coming to Proton!). Being open source is quite exciting though! Although not yet, AMD said “in due course” it will be under the GPUOpen branch and under the MIT license.

      • Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Single-Player releases in November

        Their showcase is using RealRTCW, which is currently only officially supported on Windows by the main developer. However, that too can run on Linux and if you’re on Arch Linux there’s an AUR package for it. It seems the developer of RealRTCW is also interested in putting the Linux build up on Steam but they needed a little help – see more on Steam.

      • There’s experimental patches to bring Vulkan Ray Tracing to older AMD hardware on Mesa | GamingOnLinux

        Want to see how Ray Tracing would run on Linux using the Mesa RADV driver on an older GPU? Well, thanks to developer Joshua Ashton that’s starting to be possible.

        For those not familiar with the name, Joshua is responsible for D9VK (Direct 3D 9 to Vulkan) which was merged into DXVK some time ago. Joshua has also been working on DXVK directly, VKD3D-Proton (Direct3D 12 to Vulkan), was responsible for the Vulkan upgrade on Portal 2 and more – certainly a busy bee.

        Announced in a blog post, it goes over in some fun detail what was actually needed in getting this working on older generations of AMD GPUs like Vega and below showing it’s clearly possible. With work that was possible thanks to another developer, Bas Nieuwenhuizen, who has been doing plenty of the Vulkan Raytracing support work for the RADV driver.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Clonezilla Live 2.7.2 Disk Cloning Tool Released with Many New Features and Improvements

          Based on the Debian Sid (Unstable) repository as of May 30th, 2021, the Clonezilla Live 2.7.2-38 release comes four months after Clonezilla Live 2.7.1 and it’s still powered by the long-term supported Linux 5.10 kernel series, which has been upgraded to version 5.10.40, and uses the latest systemd 248.3 as default init system.

          Besides these underlying system upgrades, the new Clonezilla Live release brings several new features, such as a new “VGA with large font & To RAM” boot menu option using nomodeset as an alternative solution for those who want to use jfbterm in KMS mode using certain VGA cards.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Get started with Java serverless functions

          Quarkus is a new open source cloud-native Java framework that can help solve these problems. It aims to design serverless applications and write cloud-native microservices for running on cloud infrastructures (e.g., Kubernetes).

          Quarkus rethinks Java, using a closed-world approach to building and running it. It has turned Java into a runtime that’s comparable to Go. Quarkus also includes more than 100 extensions that integrate enterprise capabilities, including database access, serverless integration, messaging, security, observability, and business automation.

        • Digital transformation storytelling: 5 powerful tips

          As part of digital transformation, are you working to get your team aligned on business priorities? Maybe you are trying to sell the executive committee on a new investment? Perhaps you are trying to explain to your operations teams the business impact of the latest systems outage?

          You have to grab your audience’s attention and bring them on a journey to understanding, empathy, and urgency.
          In these and many other examples, you must gain an audience’s attention, explain a key concept, and hopefully bring them to decisive action. In the gap of time you have, whether it’s a 280 character tweet or a forty-minute keynote, you have to grab your audience’s attention and bring them on a journey to understanding, empathy, and urgency.

          As you’ve likely heard already, successful message delivery requires passionate and memorable storytelling. But what does that mean in practice? You’re (at least in your day job) a technology, digital, or data leader – not a poet, songwriter, or philosopher.

        • How to create a better developer experience

          Who are the first users of a new feature or new application? If you think they are customers, think again.

          The first users are actually the front-end developers, and their experience testing those new applications and features makes your first user experience (UX). If your front-end developers have a smooth experience developing new products, your users will almost always have a smooth experience using them.

          Take developing a form using React, for example. If developers are able to develop the form without any difficulty, it will likely be a positive experience for the customer as well. The reason? The developer had to fill out the form to test it. If tweaking the form takes one second but filling it out takes one minute, the developer will probably find a way to reduce the feedback loop. It might be reduced through technical means by integrating with browsers that autofill address fields, or by advising the design team that the form could be split up so it can be more modularly tweaked and tested. Whatever the case, developers tend to write software consistent with their tools.

        • How I learned to delegate without guilt

          As we continue to work remotely in the wake of the pandemic, many of us may question if we’re working hard enough. After all, we don’t have a visible frame of reference with our peers. This sense of uncertainty can fuel anxiety and burnout.

          In my recent talks with government IT leaders, burnout is front of mind – not just for the staff but even at senior levels of the leadership chain. I’ve been in customer meetings where senior leaders teared up about how hard their teams are working to save the US economy, while knowing several people on their team passed away due to COVID. I was in another meeting where one individual contributor needed to restart a mission-critical application with a memory leak every day at 6 p.m. wherever she was – including when she goes out to dinner with her husband and has to pull out her work laptop in the middle of the restaurant.

          If you’ve been asking, “Am I working hard enough?” I’d like you to ask, “Am I doing the right things?”

          So if you’ve been asking, “Am I working hard enough?” I’d like to challenge you to instead ask yourself, “Am I doing the right things?” This includes delegation, which applies to not only people managers but also individual contributors.

      • Debian Family

        • Anonymous OS Tails 4.19 Improves Automatic Upgrades, Adds Password Feedback for sudo

          The monthly Tails ISO releases continue with version 4.19, a regular updated ISO release based on the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” repositories and including up-to-date components like the Tor Browser 10.0.17 anonymous web browser based on Mozilla Firefox 78.11, and Mozilla Thunderbird 78.10.0 email client.

          While the new Tor Connection wizard didn’t make it into this release, Tails 4.19 introduces password feedback for sudo when typing an administration password with sudo in a terminal emulator, and improves the automatic upgrade functionality by removing a security feature that prevented the Tails Upgrader from checking for updates.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Get started with FreeDOS

        Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, I was primarily a DOS user. I loved the command line environment offered in DOS, which became more powerful with each successive release. I even learned how to write my own DOS programs in the C programming language so I could extend the DOS command line, and write more powerful replacements for the standard DOS commands. I’d experimented with Microsoft’s Windows—but if you remember Windows 3 from that time, you know it was slow and tended to crash. But I preferred the command line anyway, so I stuck to DOS.

        That all changed in 1994. Popular tech magazines talked about an upcoming version of Windows that would completely do away with DOS. I didn’t want to be forced to Windows. On the discussion boards I visited on Usenet, others felt the same. So on 29 June 1994, I decided that if we wanted to keep DOS, we needed to write our own. So on June 29, I announced a small project that would become The FreeDOS Project.

      • Web Browsers

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Albanian Community Meeting – May 2021

          While many pandemic restrictions around the world are still in place, some smaller events are finally becoming possible. Sidorela Uku from the Albanian LibreOffice community reports from a recent event in Tirana, which hosted the LibreOffice Conference 2018…

  • Leftovers

    • Jack Murphy Brings It Home
    • The Taking of Roman Protasevich
    • The Dominic Cummings Show

      Boiling down some points of the Cummings show: there was a failure on the part of the Johnson government to respond to the pandemic.  Johnson was unfit for office.  The Health Secretary Matt Hancock should have been sacked for any number of decisions.  Lockdown measures were imposed too late to prevent the surge of infections.  There was simply no overall master plan to cope with a pandemic.

      The political strategist apologised for the various tiers of decision makers and advisers, including himself, for falling calamitously “short of the standards that the public has a right to expect”.  He apologised to those families who “unnecessarily” lost loved ones and confessed that “lots of key people were literally skiing” instead of moving to a “war footing” in January and February last year.

    • Science

      • Investment breakthrough for BrainRepair UG start-up – Stem cell treatment for newborns

        One of the most successful inventors and entrepreneurs who masterminded the unprecedented success of Qiagen N.V. from a start-up to a 10 billion market cap enterprise has taken the decision to refocus his activities on BrainRepair UG, a spin-off of the Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB). BrainRepair UG has developed a unique method based on own (autologous) cord blood stem cells to treat brain damage and cerebral palsy (CP) in newborns affecting 70,000 babies in the EU each year. Metin Colpan’s patented invention has become a standard method recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is used by researchers all over the world, changing the way they can access, purify and understand genetic data in DNA and RNA. The European Patent Office states “…The tireless work of German scientist Metin Colpan over four decades has paved the way for rapid and effective genetic data analysis, enabling researchers to better detect disease and unlocking new therapies for conditions, including COVID-19,” and Prof. Dr. Arne Jensen, Co-Founder and CEO of BrainRepair UG, continues “We are delighted that we now can draw on the vast experience Dr. Colpan is offering us as Member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Advisory Board on our way to the stock market at Nasdaq First North for which the IPO is planned in November 2021.” BrainRepair UG’s stem cell product has been granted the worldwide first ‘Orphan Drug Designation’ (ODD) by the European Commission and the European Medicines Agency. This designation guarantees market exclusivity in all EU member states for 12 years upon market authorisation. Prof. Arne Jensen stresses, “All our personal, scientific, clinical, and philanthropic efforts serve the ultimate goal – to combat infantile Cerebral palsy, the most common disability in childhood, and stop CP in children!”

      • The little museum and its data

        It was the Librarian who introduced computers to the little museum.

        She showed her machine to the Botanist, the Geologist and the Zoologist. “In this computer”, she explained, “I keep an electronic record of all the books and journals in the Library. When you borrow a book, I record the loan on the computer.”

        “Hmm”, said the Botanist. “I could keep a record of all the herbarium sheets, and of the plants in the botanic garden.”

        “I could keep a record of the inward and outward specimen loans”, said the Zoologist.

        “I could keep a record of where each rock sample comes from”, said the Geologist.

        And so the Secretary of the little museum got some money from the City to buy each of the Specialists a computer and a printer. Each Specialist and Specialist’s assistant then devised a computerised record-keeping system that best suited their collection.


        “It’s more important to get the data out there than to get every detail just right”, said the Director. “The digitisation program won’t last forever. You can check the data later.”

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Chrome 91 features 32 security fixes, enhancements for Linux

          Google on Tuesday announced Chrome 91, which includes 32 security fixes, lots of usability features, and notably, that the ChromeOS will now support Linux.

        • Google Chrome update fixes frustrating crashes on Windows 10, Linux
        • Microsoft Edge update looks to be a bit of a buggy mess

          The latest version of Microsoft’s Edge internet browser comes with a few not-so-welcome and equally annoying bugs and annoyances, users have complained.

          As reported by BleepingComputer, many users reported Edge 91 serving a popup upon launch asking if they want to “use the recommended browser setting”.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • TII’s Secure Systems Research Centre joins Linux Foundation’s Dronecode

                Technology Innovation Institute (TII), the applied research pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), has joined Dronecode, a US-based non-profit run by Linux Foundation. TII obtained membership in the global organisation through its Secure Systems Research Centre (SSRC).

                SSRC, one of the seven initial dedicated research centres at TII, is joining Dronecode to enhance the security and resilience in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems. Working closely with the Dronecode organisation, starting through the newly founded Security SIG (Special Interest Group), SSRC aims to develop and share security and resilience capabilities for the world’s leading open UAV platform. The first practical software areas for SSRC to work on in Dronecode will be in cryptography, memory protection and code analysis.

        • Security

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | “If There Are Enough Shovels to Go Around”: Surviving the Nuclear Threat

        Activists are set to hold a demonstration at Büchel Air Base in Germany, where about 20 U.S. nuclear bombs are stored.

      • UN Human Rights Head Urges End to Violence After Troops Deployed in Colombia
      • Area 51 Revisited: A Desolation Row Production

        We should have been more scared shitless when J. Robert Oppenheimer, “father of the atomic bomb,”  pulled a quote from the Gita after the explosion of the first atomic bomb, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”  But then Edward Teller came along and became the “father of the hydrogen bomb,” in a kind of bizarre schlong one upmanship — the Amazon logo-like H-bomb was detonated by the puny A-bomb.  We nicknamed our bombs Little Boy and Fat Man, loaded up the Enola Gay in an era that featured sexy full-breasted women painted on the bomber.  And as if that weren’t bad enough, we gave other nations, who did not share our values or self-esteem ideas — India got around to developing a nuke and named it The Smiling Buddha; positive nihilism was never so much fun. Boom! Get it?

        Now 75 years later, world cankerers that we are, we seem anxious to get the hell off the planet before it becomes Hell. A few years back, when slingshot wunderkind Elon Musk asked for volunteers for a one-way trip to Mars in one of his tin cans, why some 200,000 desperadoes put up their hands to end it all off-planet.  Now, there’s word that the Chinese want to build a base on the moon.  Jeff Bezos has plans for putting up a cul de sac bedroom community in near-exo-ether, complete with Amazon deliveries. (You think those pickers and packers are overworked now.)   I interviewed an ex-NASA contractor guy, Al Globus, a few weeks ago who swore it could all be done, once we get past the space debris, and colonies over the equator are a slam dunk (well, unless the colony is boosted every once in a while). Let’s hope it’s more exciting than his prose.

      • The Big Con

        Though a child can see through the blatant dishonesty of that absurd claim, American media can’t.  The PR arm of our corrupt, deceiving Deep State frames—as it always has—the latest Israeli massacre as a contest of equals, matched opponents, not a clear case of the sadist Zionist army shooting fish in a barrel.

        Israel attempts to deflect criticism of the sickening brutality of its Einsatzgruppen military style on grounds that criticism of that sick, evil, murderous state is reprehensible “Anti-Semitism”.

    • Environment

      • Climate Crisis and Negligent Policymakers Blamed for ‘Record Sickening Levels’ of Manatee Deaths in Florida

        “The reason sensitive manatees are dying is no big mystery,” wrote the Orlando Sentinel editorial board. “Environmentalists heralded this foul die-off. Politicians were deaf to the warning.”

      • Timber homes are a good investment for the future

        Timber homes could do more than just save energy, and stall climate change. They could be a sound investment.

      • Energy

        • Does the U.S. Really Need Another Oil Pipeline?

          Line 3 joins a growing list of controversial oil pipeline projects targeted by the burgeoning Indigenous-led climate justice movement. In his last year in office, President Barack Obama responded to the powerful and internationally hailed convergence at Standing Rock in South Dakota by halting work on the Dakota Access Pipeline project. Almost a year earlier, he had canceled the Keystone XL pipeline—which was another major target of climate protesters. Entering office in January 2017, President Donald Trump promptly revived both projects and eventually greenlit the Line 3 pipeline. Once Joe Biden entered the White House in early 2021, he canceled the doomed Keystone Pipeline but has yet to take action on reversing Trump’s approval of DAPL or canceling the Line 3 project.

          Indigenous leaders, embodying the spirit of Standing Rock five years ago, have been resisting the Line 3 replacement project and are now calling on all Americans, including those who are not Indigenous, to join them for what is being called a “Treaty People Gathering” from June 5 through 8 to demand an end to the project. One of them is Nancy Beaulieu, co-founder of the Resilient Indigenous Sisters Engaging (RISE) Coalition, and the northern Minnesota organizer for 350.org. Beaulieu explained to me in an interview that, “as Indigenous people, we have the inherent responsibility to protect the waters and all that is sacred. And as settlers—people who signed those treaties with our ancestors—they have an obligation to uphold those treaties.” In other words, “everyone has a responsibility to the treaties” signed with tribal nations.

    • Finance

      • Opinion | Why Infrastructure is So Much Bigger Than Just Infrastructure

        “The beauty of pursuing a rebuilt infrastructure is that it brings with it the solution to the other four spokes of national renewal… They work together, like the spokes on the metaphorical wheel that unites them.”

      • Six US Tech Giants Paid Almost $100 Billion Less in Taxes From 2011 to 2020 Than Reported: Analysis

        “Substantive tax avoidance is still embedded within many large multinationals and nothing less than a root-and-branch reform of international tax rules will remedy the situation,” said one critic.

      • Why We Need to Democratize Wealth: the U.S. Capitalist Model Breeds Selfishness and Resentment

        The French Revolution marked the end of French feudalism and its transition to capitalism. The revolutionaries’ slogans promised the transition would bring with it “liberté, égalité, fraternité” (liberty, equality and fraternity). In other words, equality was to be a key accompaniment to or product of capitalism’s establishment, of finally replacing feudalism’s lord-serf organization of production with capitalism’s very different employer-employee system. Transition to capitalism would erase the gross inequalities of French feudalism. The American Revolution likewise broke not only from its British colonial master but also from the feudal monarchy of George III. “All men are created equal” was a central theme of its profound commitment to equality together with capitalism.

        In France, the United States and beyond, capitalism justified itself by reference to its achievement or at least its targeting of equality in general. This equality included the distribution of wealth and income, at least in theory and rhetoric. Yet from the beginning, all capitalisms wrestled with contradictions between lip service to equality and inequality in their actual practices. Adam Smith worried about the “accumulation of stock” (wealth or “capital”) in some hands but not in others. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton had different visions of the future of an independent United States in terms of whether it would or would not secure wealth equality later dubbed “Jeffersonian democracy.” There was and always remained in the United States an awkward dissonance between theoretical and rhetorical commitments to equality and the realities of slavery and then systemic racist inequalities. The inequalities of gender likewise contradicted commitments to equality. It took centuries of capitalism to achieve even the merely formal political equality of universal suffrage.

      • Opinion | The Booming Economy and Debt and Deficit Fears

        In short, it doesn’t seem like the deficit hawks have much of a case.

      • Opinion | How Everyone Getting More Equal Slices of the Economic Pie Can Curb the ‘Velocity of Wealth’

        Redistributing wealth downward, new calculations suggest, can make societies richer.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | The Republican Party’s Delusional Attachment to Trump Sets the Stage for the Acceleration of Neoliberal Proto-Fascism

        The strategic objective of the Republican Party is not simply to engage in obstructionism, but to continue dividing the nation and radicalizing the American public against the democratic system.

      • To the Media: Readers Need to Know More

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

        1. China is where the Covid-19 pandemic originated and where the first casualties occurred. After a few weeks of blunders, lockdowns, and rigid quarantines, the Chinese economy and society seemed to recover. China has three times the U.S. population, but claims its fatality toll is about one percent of the U.S. fatality toll. Assume this is heavily undercounted. Even so, observers in China report the economy is bustling. Workers are back on the job, stores are filled with shoppers, and in-person schooling and meetings have resumed. Yet, the western press has not really reported in granular detail the difference in Covid numbers between the two countries. Just saying China is a command society is too facile. We have much to learn from the Chinese and by doing so we can establish the basis for closer cooperation between our two countries to prevent the next pandemic, whether from animals or a laboratory leak.

      • Texas Democrats Walk Off House Floor to Block ‘One of the Ugliest Voter Suppression Bills in the Country’

        “This is the kind of fight we need from our legislators.”

      • When Politicians Cry “Accountability,” Ask “Accountability to Whom?”

        Senator Warren just loves her some “accountability.” In 2018, she proposed the “Accountable Capitalism Act.” In 2019, the “Corporate Executive Accountability Act.” In 2020, according to Forbes, she demanded “Accountability From 181 CEOs.” A Google search on her name and the word “accountability” returns 668,000 results.

        The relevant question when Senator Warren brings up “accountability” is, of course, “accountability to whom?”

      • Remembering the Black Roots of Memorial Day and the Revolutionary Holiday That Might Have Been

        In May 1865, a week before President Abraham Lincoln declared the end of the Civil War, freed Blacks in Charleston, SC were already celebrating the defeat of the Confederacy. On May 1, the first “Memorial Day” (originally “Decoration Day”) occurred when ten thousand African Americans in Charleston held a parade to decorate the graves of 257 Black Union soldiers who’d been held prisoner, starved, and interred in a mass grave on a former plantation-turned-racetrack.

        A handful of workmen had dug up and re-buried the dead. To honor them, on May 1, 1865,  members of the 21st US Colored Infantry marched up to the new Union cemetery, led by three thousand singing children and women with baskets of crosses and wreaths to decorate the graves.

      • Memorial Day 2021

        The brown splash and swirl in the glass. I set down the bottle beside it, the cork forced back in place. Any smoky, sweet aromatic notes that might escape would be wasted on me, with tree pollen clogging my sinuses.  And if my eyes are puffy and tearing, blame it on that, too.  But I snuck away from friends who only think of this as a long holiday weekend before summer. 

        For you and me, it goes back to Quang Tri and a wet mortar round that fell short of the LZ, killed you and left me with a deadness in the right ear that I thought had been blown off. Blood on my hand when I reached for it, mistakenly confirmed that fear and what else I might have lost in that moment.  I don’t know that we’d have remained friends, these 52 years since.  But I thought of you today, as friends who are vaccinated gather for a Memorial Day barbeque.

      • The Greatest Danger to American Democracy

        Only 25 percent of voters self-identify as Republican, the GOP’s worst showing against Democrats since 2012 and sharply down since last November. But those who remain in the Party are far angrier, more ideological, more truth-denying, and more racist than Republicans who preceded them. 

      • Texas Democrats Walk Off House Floor to Block Voter Suppression Bill
    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Fucking Facebook

        As always, takedowns happen in seconds, and the appeals are processed in just as timely a fashion — only 1,602 days this time. Fifty-three months!

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • “Rutherford Falls” Confronts Everyday Colonialism
      • Richard Wright’s Novel About Racist Police Violence Was Rejected in 1941; It Has Just Been Published

        Nearly 80 years ago, Richard Wright became one of the most famous Black writers in the United States with the publication of “Native Son.” The novel’s searing critique of systemic racism made it a best-seller and inspired a generation of Black writers. In 1941, Wright wrote a new novel titled “The Man Who Lived Underground,” but publishers refused to release it, in part because the book was filled with graphic descriptions of police brutality by white officers against a Black man. His manuscript was largely forgotten until his daughter Julia Wright unearthed it at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. “The Man Who Lived Underground” was not published in the 1940s because white publishers did not want to highlight “white supremacist police violence upon a Black man because it was too close to home,” says Julia Wright. “It’s a bit like lifting the stone and not wanting the worms, the racist worms underneath, to be seen.”

      • As the War Ends, So Too Must the Detention of Guantánamo Bay Prisoners Detained in Connection to It

        The president has now announced that all US and allied troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The ground war in Afghanistan is therefore now ending and, with the end of that war, ends the justification for continuing to detain the men captured for allegedly fighting against us in that war.

      • 100 Years Ago in Tulsa
    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Reference to a hybridoma does not limit a product-by-process antibody claim (T 0032/17) [Ed: What is the point citing the EPC when the corrupt EPO shameless breaks it and makes ridiculous guidelines that authorise fake patents? Or board decisions from boards that are very clearly compromised, or just kangaroo courts?]

          Antibodies were recently awarded their own section in the latest EPO Guidelines for Examination (IPKat). This reflects that the complex and specific case law pertaining to antibody inventions. One such complexity are the provisions provided for the definition of an antibody by reference to a deposited hybridoma (Rule 31 EPC). The recent Board of Appeal decision in T 0032/17 considered whether such a reference in an antibody product-by-process claim limits the claim to the antibody structures produced by the hybridoma. The Board also considered the novelty of a hybridoma product claim in view of the fact that the hybridoma was deposited before the application was filed.


          In T 0032/17 the Board of Appeal considered whether a product-by-process claim, directed to antibodies produced from a number of hybridomas, was novel in view of a prior reference to the hybridomas.


          The decision in T 0032/17 provides some key clarification on the nature of a deposit of biological material under Rule 33 EPC. According to the Board’s decision in this case, mere reference to a hybridoma does not limit an antibody claim to a particular structure or sequence. Given the increasing difficulty of relying on functional antibody definitions for both novelty and inventive step, this decision will be disappointing for those few parties still relying on deposit information.

        • Long, Strange TRIPS: The Grubby History of How Vaccines Became Intellectual Property [Ed: The New Republic on patents that kill by denying access to medicines, for the sole purpose of enriching few people whose work is often done at the expense of taxpayers in academic institutions]
        • European Inventor Award 2021: Meet some of today’s most inspiring innovators at digital event on 17 June [Ed: Corrupt EPO management spends around 10 million euros spamming the media with prepared ‘articles’ and press releases that help distract from EPO crimes]

          The European Patent Office (EPO) is hosting the first-ever digital edition of the European Inventor Award ceremony on Thursday, 17 June, which viewers will be able to watch at inventoraward.org. The ceremony, an important event in the science and innovation calendar, will give audiences around the globe an opportunity to learn about outstanding inventors from Europe and beyond who have devised ingenious solutions to some of today’s most pressing problems. The 15 Award finalists have made significant advances in fields ranging from diagnostics and ultrasound imaging to biometrics, sustainable plastic production and wildlife protection.

        • Daimler and Nokia settle SEP ‘holy war’

          Nokia and Daimler have signed a patent licence agreement and settled all pending litigation, including a referral made to the Court of Justice of the EU, it was announced today.

          Under the agreement, all the cases between the Finnish telecoms company and the German car maker filed in Mannheim, Munich and Düsseldorf will come to an end, and Daimler will withdraw its antitrust complaint at the European Commission.

          This settlement brings a long-fought battle over standard essential patent (SEP) licensing in the automotive space – once described as a “holy war” – to an abrupt conclusion, dashing hopes of a legal answer to the end-point versus component-level licensing debate.

        • Nokia and Daimler bring long-running SEP licensing dispute to an end

          The settlement deal between Nokia and Daimler that brings a closely-watched, long-running patent dispute to an end will have ramifications for many more than the two companies directly involved

        • Nokia ultimately gets Daimler to take car-level patent license, but issues persist, questions remain regarding component-level SEP licensing

          Nokia and Daimler just announced–in a minimalist fashion–the settlement of their standard-essential patent (SEP) dispute after more than two years of infringement litigation and closer to three years after Daimler filed its EU antitrust complaint against against Nokia. All pending cases will be withdrawn now, which most significantly entails that the European Court of Justice (the upper division of the Court of Justice of the EU) won’t address the Dusseldorf Regional Court’s questions regarding the application of EU antitrust law to component-level licensing and SEP injunctions in case no. C-182/21. That said, there’ll most likely be Groundhog Day pretty soon and some other case(s) raising these issues will be sent to Luxembourg, possibly separate ones for the component-level licensing question on the one hand and SEP injunctions on the other hand.

          The Nokia ECJ case was going to be a hot summer topic, as the European Commission, the 27 EU Member States and the 3 EEA-only states (European Economic Area) were going to file their written observations in August. Next time, however, the referring court(s) could optimize the wording of the questions presented for a preliminary ruling.

          It is unclear at this stage whether Nokia granted Daimler a direct license or whether Daimler, which previously took licenses from Avanci contributors Sharp and Conversant after those companies indirectly licensed most of Daimler’s vehicles through a component-level deal with Huawei. Huawei sells network access devices to certain Daimler suppliers such as Continental and Samsung-owned Harman. Patent exhaustion works all the way downstream.

        • Nokia and Daimler settle all global litigation in connected cars dispute [Ed: Microsoft turned Nokia into a de facto patent troll instead of top contributor to Linux (which Nokia was until Microsoft infiltrated and undermined it)]

          Observers had hinted at this in recent weeks; now it’s a certainty. The longest and most important dispute about connected cars patents is over.

          Today, Daimler and Nokia announced that they have signed a patent licensing agreement. Under the agreement, Nokia licences mobile telecommunications technology to Daimler and receives payment in return. The two companies did not disclose the amount involved. Daimler and Nokia agreed that the terms of the agreement remain confidential.

          In the coming days, the parties will withdraw all pending litigation, including the complaint by Daimler against Nokia to the European Commission and a case pending at the European Court of Justice (case ID: C-182/21).

        • News from Abroad: Drug Patent Linkage System in New Chinese Patent Law [Ed: How to prevent people from getting much-needed medicines just to keep the prices artificially high and thus enrich the already-rich, whose business depends on denying access to medicines and inflating prices/price-fixing cartels]

          The 4th amendment to the Chinese Patent Law (“New CN Patent Law”) will take effect on June 1, 2021. This amendment represents a significant milestone in the evolution of the patent regulatory framework in China, given the unprecedented level of protection to which patent owners will become entitled. A particularly notable change is the introduction of a drug patent linkage system in China, modeled on the U.S. Hatch Waxman Act. The drug patent linkage system includes several key components, namely: term extension eligibility for drug patents, a patent registration platform for approved drugs, and an early resolution mechanism for drug patent disputes. This article aims to present a foundational understanding of each of these components.

        • Debts, Deficits, and Patent Monopolies

          The question is whether this should bother anyone who has a life? The projections show that the debt to GDP ratio will rise to 117 percent of GDP in 2031. If that sounds scary, consider that Greece’s debt to GDP ratio is over 180 percent. And, the bond vigilantes don’t seem to be too bothered by this. The interest rate on long-term Greek debt is 0.8 percent, compared to the 1.6 percent on U.S. Treasury bonds.

          Of course if we really want to go big we can look at Japan, where the debt to GDP ratio is approaching 250 percent of GDP. It is paying 0.08 percent interest on its long-term debt.

        • Software Patents

          • Kuaishou Group Joins the Open Invention Network

            Open Invention Network (OIN), the largest patent non-aggression community in history, announced today that Kuaishou Group (Kuaishou) has become a licensee and community member of OIN. As a leading content community and social media platform, Kuaishou is reinforcing its commitment to open source software (OSS) as an enabler of advanced infrastructure computing systems.

            “Social media has transformed the way people communicate and do business. Linux and open source technology underpin the leading social media platforms. Kuaishou, like many Chinese companies, has grown increasingly sophisticated with regard to intellectual property, and is looking to do its part to mitigate global patent risk for OSS,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “We appreciate Kuaishou joining OIN and demonstrating its commitment to collaborative innovation and patent non-aggression in open source.”

      • Trademarks

        • TTABlog Test: Must “HAUS” Be Disclaimed In “GRAVITY HAUS” For Social Club Services?

          The USPTO refused to register the mark GRAVITY HAUS for “Social club services, namely, arranging, organizing, and hosting social events, get-togethers, night club services and parties for club members; conducting guided outdoor expeditions and activities in the nature of guided hiking tours for club members,” absent a disclaimer of HAUS. Applicant argued that the word HAUS “does not provide any indication of the type of services offered and certainly does not identify social club services.” How do you think this appeal came out? In re Yodeets Digital, LLC, Serial No. 88977161 (May 21, 2021) [not precedential] (Opinion by Judge Christen M. English).


          The Board then considered whether GRAVITY HAUS is a unitary mark, making the disclaimer requirement inapplicable. “A mark is unitary if it creates a single, distinct commercial impression.”

          Applicant argued that “”[t]he terms GRAVITY HAUS used together create a sense of unity as the term GRAVITY indicates something that is held to the ground or is of this earth and HAUS represents the article that is held down by gravity. A house is typically centered by gravity and suggests a location that is grounded or stable.” However, there was no evidence that consumers would attribute that connotation to the mark. Nor was there any evidence that GRAVITY HAUS is a catch-phrase or slogan.

          The Board concluded that GRAVITY HAUS does not have a distinct meaning independent from its constituent elements.

          And so the Board affirmed the disclaimer requirement, and allowed applicant 30 days to submit the required disclaimer.

        • TTABlog Test: Must “DANK” Be Disclaimed In DANK TANK For Ale And Beer?

          The USPTO refused to register the proposed mark DANK TANK for “Ale; Beer,” without a disclaimer of the word “DANK.” The Examining Attorney maintained that the term DANK “means or refers to ‘…sticky, juicy, very pungent and of a high level’ and ‘[v]ery hoppy, cloudy IPAs with high alcohol content and flavors with a very funky taste.’” Applicant Sweetwater Brewing argued that DANK TANKS is a unitary mark and a double entendre, and so disclaimer of DANK should not be required. How do you think this came out? In re Sweetwater Brewing Company, LLC., Serial No. 87772674 (May 3, 2020) [not precedential] (Opinion by Judge Linda A. Kuczma)

      • Copyrights

        • Copyright Gunfight at the O.K. Corral: A Fistful of Dollars vs Rango before the Court of Rome

          The Court of Rome, riding the dusty trails of the Wild West, has recently decided on a copyright infringement dispute between two famous Western movies, yet deeply different for period and genre.

          The gunslingers of this judicial duel were “A Fistful of Dollars” and “Rango”.

          “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964) is the first chapter of the Dollars Trilogy, which also includes “For a Few Dollars More” (1965) and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966), a cult Italian film series directed by Sergio Leone and unanimously considered the masterpiece of the “Spaghetti Western” genre.

          All the three films are focused on the antihero character of the “Man with No Name” played by a young Clint Eastwood, smoking a cigar and wearing the same Poncho and the same cowboy hat in all the films of the trilogy.

          “Rango” (2011) is a computer-animated Western comedy film directed by Gore Verbinski and winner of the Best Animated Feature at the 84th Academy Awards.

          Rango is a pet chameleon who fancies himself an actor. Accidentally winded up in the town of Dirt (Dust in the Italian version), a lawless outpost in the Wild West populated by the desert’s most wily and whimsical creatures, Rango becomes the local sheriff. Though at first Rango only role-plays, a series of thrilling situations and outrageous encounters forces him to become a real hero.

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 31, 2023

  2. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

    Links for the day

  3. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

    Links for the day

  4. Intimidation Against Nitrux Development Team Upsets the Community and Makes the Media Less Trustworthy

    Nitrux is being criticised for being “very unappealing”; but a look behind the scenes reveals an angry reviewer (habitual mouthpiece of the Linux Foundation and Linux foes) trying to intimidate Nitrux developers, who are unpaid volunteers rather than “corporate” developers

  5. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

    Links for the day

  6. Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) and KU Leuven Boosting Americans and Cancellers of the Father of Free Software

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), along with the SFLC one might add, have been under a siege by the trademark-abusing FSFE and SFC; Belgium helps legitimise the ‘fakes’

  7. Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

    Now that I’m free from the shackles of a company (it deteriorated a lot after grabbing Gates Foundation money under an NDA) the site Techrights can flourish and become more active

  8. 60 Days of Articles About Sirius 'Open Source' and the Long Road Ahead

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series ended after 60 days (parts published every day except the day my SSD died completely and very suddenly); the video above explains what’s to come and what lessons can be learned from the 21-year collective experience (my wife and I; work periods combined) in a company that still claims, in vain, to be “Open Source”

  9. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, January 30, 2023

  10. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

    I've reached a state of "closure" when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort

  11. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Realise That Outsourcing Clients' Passwords to LassPass After Security Breaches Is a Terrible Idea

    The mentality or the general mindset at Sirius ‘Open Source’ was not compatible with that of security conscientiousness and it seemed abundantly clear that paper mills (e.g. ISO certification) cannot compensate for that

  12. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

    Links for the day

  13. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”

  14. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day

  15. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023

  16. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"

  17. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.

  18. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software

  19. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.

  20. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work

  21. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it

  22. Links 29/01/2023: GNOME 43.3 Fixes and Lots About Games

    Links for the day

  23. The Hey Hype Machine

    "Hey Hype" or "Hey Hi" (AI) has been dominating the press lately and a lot of that seems to boil down to paid-for marketing; we need to understand what's truly going on and not be distracted by the substance-less hype

  24. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 28, 2023

  25. Unmasking AI

    A guest article by Andy Farnell

  26. The ISO Delusion/Sirius Corporation: A 'Tech' Company Run by Non-Technical People

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ was hiring people who brought to the company a culture of redundant tasks and unwanted, even hostile technology; today we continue to tell the story of a company run by the CEO whose friends and acquaintances did severe damage

  27. Links 28/01/2023: Lots of Catching Up (Had Hardware Crash)

    Links for the day

  28. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, January 27, 2023

  29. Microsoft DuckDuckGo Falls to Lowest Share in 2 Years After Being Widely Exposed as Microsoft Proxy, Fake 'Privacy'

    DuckDuckGo, according to this latest data from Statcounter, fell from about 0.71% to just 0.58%; all the gains have been lost amid scandals, such as widespread realisation that DuckDuckGo is a Microsoft informant, curated by Microsoft and hosted by Microsoft (Bing is meanwhile laying off many people, but the media isn’t covering that or barely bothers)

  30. This is What the Microsoft-Sponsored Media Has Been Hyping Up for Weeks (Ahead of Microsoft Layoffs)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan

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