Virtual Injustice — Part 14: How Mandatory ViCo Became the “New Normal”

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 4:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previously in the series:

  1. Virtual Injustice — Part 1: António’s Increasingly Wonky Legal Fudge Factory
  2. Virtual Injustice — Part 2: The ViCo Oral Proceedings of 28 May 2021
  3. Virtual Injustice — Part 3: All the President’s Men…
  4. Virtual Injustice — Part 4: Mihály Ficsor, the EPO’s Hungarian “Fixer”
  5. Virtual Injustice — Part 5: Benoît’s “Friends” in Budapest
  6. Virtual Injustice — Part 6: Best Buddies With António
  7. Virtual Injustice — Part 7: Musical Chairs and Revolving Doors
  8. Virtual Injustice — Part 8: A Well-Connected ‘IP’ Maximalist
  9. Virtual Injustice — Part 9: Heli, the EPO’s Nordic Ice-Queen
  10. Virtual Injustice — Part 10: Vapid and Superficial Coverage in the ‘IP’ Blogosphere
  11. Virtual Injustice — Part 11: Perceptive Comments and Caustic Criticism
  12. Virtual Injustice — Part 12: Carl Josefsson – Down But Not Out!
  13. Virtual Injustice — Part 13: Let the Games Continue…

ViCo hearings/Big Brother

Summary: How mandatory ViCo hearings gradually became the "New Normal" at the EPO. The lawlessness of the EPO has gone offline and online; António Campinos takes up a notch the abuses of Benoît Battistelli, with a COVID ‘shot in the arm’.

The impetuous manner in which the President of the Boards of Appeal, Carl Josefsson, tried to steer the referral procedure G 1/21 towards a pre-cooked “foregone conclusion” is quite remarkable given that – as we shall see below – the Boards were initially quite hesitant about the use of videoconferencing for conducting oral proceedings at the start of Covid pandemic.

“It is worth recalling here that the possibility to use ViCo has in fact been available at the EPO since January 1998.”The reason for this initial hesitancy on the part of the Boards is not hard to find.

Prior to the onset of the Covid pandemic in 2020, it had been the long-established position of the EPO that hearings by ViCo were not equivalent to the traditional form of “in person” oral proceedings held on the EPO premises.

It is worth recalling here that the possibility to use ViCo has in fact been available at the EPO since January 1998. [PDF]

OJ 1997 OP held as video conference

Furthermore, when the EPO introduced this option, it was restricted to examination proceedings which are non-public ex parte proceedings involving only a single party.

In order to exercise this option, the EPO required the applicant to “renounce in advance and irrevocably his right to oral proceedings being held in the traditional form at the EPO premises on the same subject after the requested video conference.”

In other words, applicants were offered the possibility of a hearing by ViCo as an optional alternative in lieu of their statutory right to an oral hearing in person on the premises of the EPO.

“Furthermore, when the EPO introduced this option, it was restricted to examination proceedings which are non-public ex parte proceedings involving only a single party.”In the case of proceedings before opposition divisions – which are public adversarial inter partes proceedings involving two or more parties – no provision was made for oral proceedings by ViCo.

Back in 2011, the committee in charge of the European Qualifying Examination (EQE) confirmed [PDF] in its annual examination report that “there is no legal provision allowing video conference before an opposition division (see here, footnote [28]).

Similarly, in the case of judicial proceedings before the Boards of Appeal – whether ex parte (examination) or inter partes (opposition) – no option for oral proceedings by ViCo was ever provided prior to 2020.

2011 paper C exrep en page 2

“The Covid pandemic turned out to be a game-changer in this regard.”In short, there was a long-established consensus in the EPO’s legal department that oral proceedings by ViCo were not appropriate for public proceedings having a judicial or quasi-judicial character, such as adversarial proceedings before opposition divisions and appeal proceedings before the Boards of Appeal.

The Covid pandemic turned out to be a game-changer in this regard.

On 1 April 2020, the President of the EPO issued a decision ordering – as opposed to offering – oral proceedings by ViCo in the case of ex parte examination cases.

Article 1(1) of this decision stated in mandatory terms that “Oral proceedings before examining divisions are to be held by videoconference”.

Article 1(3) further decreed that “Oral proceedings by videoconference are equivalent to oral proceedings held on the premises of the European Patent Office”.

Soon afterwards, on 14 April 2020, the President announced [PDF] a “pilot project” for oral proceedings by ViCo in the case of inter partes opposition cases.

ViCo OPPO 14 April 2020

“The earlier proviso referring to the “the agreement of all parties” had mysteriously vanished without explanation from the text of the new decision.”The initial scope of the “pilot project” was restricted to “all oral proceedings before opposition divisions that are scheduled to take place after the entry into force of the present decision” and the project was limited in duration (“until 30 April 2021″).

And – most importantly – Article 2(1) of the decision made the holding of opposition hearings by ViCo contingent on “the agreement of all parties”.

On 10 November 2020 a further decision [PDF] concerning “the modification and extension” of the “pilot project” announced that the project had been “extended to run until 15 September 2021″.

ViCo OPPO 10 November 2020

“It is worth noting here that these “decisions” of the EPO imposing oral proceedings by ViCo without the consent of the parties – for both examination and opposition procedures – are unilateral acts of the Office President which did not involve any prior consultation or approval of the Administrative Council.”Article 1(1) of the decision of 10 November 2020 now prescribed in mandatory terms that “Oral proceedings before opposition divisions are held by videoconference”.

The earlier proviso referring to the “the agreement of all parties” had mysteriously vanished without explanation from the text of the new decision.

It is worth noting here that these “decisions” of the EPO imposing oral proceedings by ViCo without the consent of the parties – for both examination and opposition procedures – are unilateral acts of the Office President which did not involve any prior consultation or approval of the Administrative Council.

Meanwhile, in the municipality of Haar – located “only slightly” outside the boundaries of the city of Munich – the EPO’s nominally independent judicial organ, the Boards of Appeal, initially followed its own more cautious and conservative approach.

On 15 March 2020 (warning: epo.org link) the Boards announced that due to “the pandemic spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)”, they had been “forced to restrict [their] judicial activities” and that oral proceedings would not be held on the premises of the Boards of Appeal from 16 March 2020 until 27 March 2020.

On 20 March 2020, it was announced that this temporary moratorium would be extended until 17 April 2020. On 1 April, it was further extended until 30 April and on 17 April it was extended once more until 15 May.

Finally, on 15 May 2020 [PDF], it was announced that the Boards would “resume the holding of oral proceedings, to a limited extent, at their premises in Haar from Monday, 18 May 2020″.

BoA ViCo 15 May 2020

In addition to this, it was noted that:

“Video-conferencing technology (VICO) is now available for the conduct of oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal. Oral proceedings will be conducted by VICO only in agreement with the parties concerned, who will be sent an advance communication in this regard. Oral proceedings to be conducted by VICO will be listed in the oral proceedings calendar.”

Thus, during 2020 ViCo hearings before the Boards of Appeal were held only with the consent of all parties to the proceedings.

However, in December 2020 things began to change dramatically as the President of the Boards of Appeal, Carl Josefsson, embarked on an initiative to align the practice of the Boards with that of the Office.

More precisely, in December 2020, Josefsson requested the Boards of Appeal Committee to add a new Article 15a to the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA).

This new procedural rule – which was of unlimited duration and entirely decoupled from any emergency situation such as a pandemic – foresaw that the Boards of Appeal would now be empowered to conduct oral proceedings under Article 116 EPC by ViCo without the consent of the parties.

On 15 December 2020 [1, 2] [PDF], a communication entitled “Oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal – continuation of the measures adopted due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and revised practice on oral proceedings by VICO” appeared on the EPO’s website (warning: epo.org link) announcing that:

“From 1 January 2021 boards may conduct oral proceedings by VICO even without the agreement of the parties concerned, as has now been made clear in the new Article 15a RPBA adopted by the Boards of Appeal Committee.”

“In addition to this, the communication misleadingly claimed that “the new provision merely clarifies an existing possibility” which was most certainly not the case.”What is noteworthy about this announcement is that it was made over three months prior to the formal approval of the new procedural rule by the Administrative Council – on 23 March 2021 – and its entry into force a week later on 1 April 2021.

In addition to this, the communication misleadingly claimed that “the new provision merely clarifies an existing possibility” which was most certainly not the case.

Before long, in February 2021, a Technical Board of Appeal decided to refer a question about the lawfulness of the new rule to the Enlarged Board of Appeal because they could not find a satisfactory legal basis for it in the EPC.

The Enlarged Board was tasked with answering the following question:

Is the conduct of oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference compatible with the right to oral proceedings as enshrined in Article 116(1) EPC if not all of the parties to the proceedings have given their consent to the conduct of oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference?

The Enlarged Board opened the referral case as G 1/21 and – under the chairmanship of Carl Josefsson – immediately summoned to oral proceedings on 28 May 2021 – a mere 2 months later.

At the same time, Josefsson issued a note informing the parties that “a decision on the points of law could be promptly issued” if they would agree to waive their rights to the oral proceedings.

Administrative Council Art. 15a RPBA
The Administrative Council rubber-stamped Art. 15a RPBA on 23 March 2021 despite a pending referral.

Although the legitimacy of the new rule had been called into question and the referral G 1/21 was pending, the Administrative Council nevertheless proceeded to rubber-stamp Article 15a RPBA on 23 March 2021 [PDF] and it officially entered into force on 1 April 2021 [PDF].

AC Rule 15b RPBA 23 March 2021

ViCo OP EXAM 1 April 2020

Meanwhile, in a parallel action, the Office Administration published [PDF] a “Notice from the European Patent Office dated 24 March 2021 concerning the conduct of oral proceedings in examination and opposition in view of referral G 1/21″ on the EPO’s official website.

EPO ViCo EXAM OPPO 24 March 2021

“The Notice of 24 March 2021 from the President was quite remarkable because, normally, when a referral is pending before the Enlarged Board of Appeal, proceedings before examination and opposition divisions which may be affected by the outcome of the referral are stayed.”In this “Notice”, the President of the Office announced that – in response to the pending referral – he had decided that “oral proceedings before examining and opposition divisions will continue to be held by videoconference in accordance with the applicable decision of the President of the EPO, i.e. without requiring the agreement of the parties”.

The President attempted to justify his decision with the self-serving claim that it had been made “in order to guarantee access to justice and ensure the functioning of the EPO”.

The Notice of 24 March 2021 from the President was quite remarkable because, normally, when a referral is pending before the Enlarged Board of Appeal, proceedings before examination and opposition divisions which may be affected by the outcome of the referral are stayed.

“As long as Josefsson was steering the procedure in G 1/21, there was never any indication of the possibility that the Enlarged Board might arrive at a different conclusion to that desired by the EPO’s senior management.”In this particular case, thanks to the “expeditious” schedule imposed upon the Enlarged Board by Josefsson, it would only have been necessary to wait two months for a final ruling in order to have legal certainty as to whether or not decisions taken in the course of mandatory ViCos could be considered valid.

In retrospect, the communication of 15 December 2020 appears to have been intended to proclaim a fait accompli.

As long as Josefsson was steering the procedure in G 1/21, there was never any indication of the possibility that the Enlarged Board might arrive at a different conclusion to that desired by the EPO’s senior management.

Indeed, the breakneck speed with which Josefsson had issued a summons to oral proceedings [PDF] together with the Administrative Council’s approval of the new Article 15a RPBA on 23 March 2021 and the Notice of 24 March from the Office President, gave the distinct impression that the outcome of the referral procedure was already a “done deal”.

EPO ViCo EXAM OPPO 24 March 2021

“In particular, the manner in which the referral procedure was conducted under Josefsson’s chairmanship seemed deliberately calculated to signal to the Office Administration and the Council that the Enlarged Board could be counted on to deliver a rubber-stamped approval of the new procedural rule in as “timely” a manner as possible.”To seasoned observers of the EPO, there were clear indications of a closely coordinated and carefully orchestrated “joint enterprise”.

In particular, the manner in which the referral procedure was conducted under Josefsson’s chairmanship seemed deliberately calculated to signal to the Office Administration and the Council that the Enlarged Board could be counted on to deliver a rubber-stamped approval of the new procedural rule in as “timely” a manner as possible.

“In the concluding part of this series we will attempt to provide some answers to those questions and to cast some light on the “hidden agenda” which Campinos and his “buddies” appear to be pursuing in connection with G 1/21.”The only open questions here are why has the Office President (Campinos) been so keen to obtain a rapid rubber-stamping of the new Article 15a RPBA by the Enlarged Board and how was he able to secure the unquestioning complicity of the President of the Boards of Appeal (Josefsson) in this affair?

In the concluding part of this series we will attempt to provide some answers to those questions and to cast some light on the “hidden agenda” which Campinos and his "buddies" appear to be pursuing in connection with G 1/21.

Links 21/6/2021: Rocky Linux 8.4, IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 157, and SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP3

Posted in News Roundup at 1:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: June 20th, 2021

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        The Executive is a 14″, 1 Kg laptop that includes an Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU and Iris X 1.30 GHz GPU that can power up to 4 displays. But the built-in display is something pretty special. The Slimbook Executive includes a 14″ display running at 3K resolutions, a 90 Hz refresh rate with a 400 nits max brightness, 99% sRGB true color, 16:10 LTPS antiglare, and 89% viewing angles. So not only is this display beautiful, it can be viewed in most conditions and from numerous angles.

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        An operator is a set of custom resources and a set of controllers. A controller watches for changes to specific resources in the Kubernetes API and reacts by creating, updating, or deleting resources.

        The Operator SDK is best suited for building fully-featured operators. Nonetheless, you can use it to write a single controller. This post will walk you through writing a Kubernetes controller in Go that will add a pod-name label to pods that have a specific annotation.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Full Circle Weekly News #214
      • Full Circle Weekly News #215
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      • Josh Bressers: Episode 276 – Security, behavior, and the environment

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    • Kernel Space

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      • Intel Graphics Compiler 1.0.7683 Ships With Many Changes

        Last week Intel shipped a big update to their open-source Intel Graphics Compiler “IGC” that is used currently by their Windows driver, their Linux compute stack, and potentially their Linux graphics drivers moving ahead.

        The Intel IGC 1.0.7683 update has dozens of changes including a few notable items for this routine open-source update.

      • The Unix background of Linux’s ‘file-max’ and nr_open kernel limits on file descriptors

        Having two separate limits even on kernels which dynamically allocate these things makes some sense, but not necessarily a lot of it. A limit on the number of file descriptors that a single process can have open at once will save you from a program with a coding error that leaks open files (especially if it leaks them rapidly). A separate limit on the total number of open file descriptors across all processes is effectively a limit on the amount of memory one area of the kernel can lock down, which is at least potentially useful.

      • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Running The New Intel OpenGL “Crocus” Gallium3D Driver On Sandy Bridge

        Merged this past week was Crocus as the new open-source Intel Gallium3D driver developed by the community and used for Gen4/i965 through Gen7/Haswell generations of Intel graphics. This week I ran some Crocus benchmarks on Intel Haswell comparing against the existing i965 classic Mesa DRI driver while in this article are some comparison driver benchmarks using Intel Sandy Bridge graphics for those still running those once popular processors.

        This round of Sandy Bridge tests were carried out on an Intel Core i7 2700K processor with HD Graphics 3000 (GT2). While for Haswell there is an OpenGL / OpenGL ES version advantage with Crocus, on Sandy Bridge the same GL/GLES versions are exposed by both i965 and Crocus due to hardware constraints. The Sandy Bridge OpenGL drivers allow for OpenGL 3.3 and OpenGL ES 3.0.

    • Applications

      • Replace man pages with Tealdeer on Linux

        Man pages were my go-to resource when I started exploring Linux. Certainly, man is the most frequently used command when a beginner starts getting familiar with the world of the command line. But man pages, with their extensive lists of options and arguments, can be hard to decipher, which makes it difficult to understand whatever you wanted to know. If you want an easier solution with example-based output, I think tldr is the best option.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install Cinnamon in FreeBSD 13 – Unixcop

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      • How To Install Xfce Desktop on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

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      • How to install Bashtop on Linux – Unixcop

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        It ships with a game-inspired and responsive terminal UI with a customizable menu. Monitoring various system metrics is made easy by the neat arrangement of various display sections.

        With Bashtop, you can also sort processes, as well as easily switch between the various sorting options. Additionally, you can send SIGKILL, SIGTERM, and SIGINT to the processes that you want.

      • Working on Basic Python C Extensions on Fedora Linux 34 (2)
      • Should You Use Ansible for Automation?

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        Read on to learn everything you need to know about Ansible, including a brief overview of how to use it.

      • How to Install the Latest Eclipse IDE on Linux – Unixcop

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      • Building A Self-Hosted Journal

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      • Using the I2P network with OpenBSD and NixOS

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      • Automating system management with Puppet and SELinux – Linux Concept

        Puppet is the third automation framework that we will check out. It is the oldest one in our list, with its first release in 2005, and is commonly seen as the baseline against which other automation frameworks are compared. It has commercial backing through the Puppet company, also often referred to as Puppet Labs.

      • How to Install ROS Noetic on Ubuntu 20.04

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      • How to Find Files Containing Specific Text String in Linux

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        Put simply, a job or task is a command or program, or script that your wish to execute to achieve a certain goal. A job that you schedule via cron is known as a cronjob. Cron uses what is called a crontab to store and read cronjobs.

      • How to Install and Configure Yarn on Linux Distributions

        Yarn is a great tool for handling javascript applications. It can handle the node.js and replace the Node Package Manager(NPM). All JavaScript programmers might already know that NPM is great for developing front-end and backend, but it has some cons that Yarn fixes. If you’re an old NPM user, you don’t need to about the replacement, and it works with the existing package.json files. If you’re a newbie on Yarn, this might inspire you to switch to Yarn; if I say that Yarn can cache and fetch almost everything, it takes tremendously less time than NPM to install any JS packages. Yarn can be a great handy tool to install, automate, and build javascript scripts. Using Yarn is not a complex task at all. You can install and use Yarn on your Debian/Ubuntu, Red Hat, or Fedora Linux system if you’re a Linux user.

      • How To Show Date And Time In Linux Terminal Using Date Command?

        The date is a command-line utility for Unix-like operating system to display date and time. Not just to view, you can also use the same command to set system date and time as well.

        In this article, I’ll show how to use the date command in the Linux terminal to display date and time in different ways using several examples.

      • How To Install Zabbix On Ubuntu 18.04 | LinuxCloudVPS Blog

        ‘Monitor Anything’ is what Zabbix guarantees with their enterprise-class open-source monitoring solution. Zabbix is a type of network management system that can provide different monitoring metrics like CPU, network, disk, services status, and many others that can be monitored on different types of servers. It also provides an up-to-date dashboard for a straightforward setup.

      • How To Check CPU Temperature on Ubuntu – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to check CPU temperature on Ubuntu. For those of you who didn’t know, CPU temperature monitoring can help you overcome the overheating issue by closing unnecessary system applications. So it is important to monitor your system’s CPU temperature to avoid damaging it as a result of overheating.

        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 the step-by-step installation of the Duf 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.

      • Command to change timezone in Ubuntu 20.04 server – Linux Shout

        There are two types of clock used by our system, one is software clock and another one is hardware. Software clock is the time within the Linux kernel. It is important for all users and the operating system itself and defines the system time that is valid for all programs during operation. It is also sometimes referred to as the operating system clock or the system clock. Whereas Hardware clock also called real-time clock, battery-backed clock, real-time clock (RTC), BIOS clock, or CMOS clock) is a clock that runs independently of all other components, even if the computer has been shut down. When switched off, it continues to run and is used to synchronize the software clock when the system is started.

        However, the Time zone defines the area and the particular time in that vicinity, as we know due to earth rotation, all the places on earth don’t have the same time for sunrise and sunset. Thus, scientists have divided the earth’s Time into zones that represent and know as Time zones. So, if few are moving from one country to another then we have to change our Time zone either manually or the system must do that automatically.

      • [Solved] Cannot access storage file, Permission denied Error in KVM Libvirt – OSTechNix

        Today, I started my Arch Linux virtual machine using virsh start command and ended up with this error – Failed to start domain ‘Archlinux_default’ error: Cannot access storage file ‘/home/sk/.local/share/libvirt/images/Archlinux_default.img’ (as uid:107, gid:107): Permission denied. It is actually a Vagrant machine created with KVM Libvirt provider.
        Then, I tried again to start the VM using vagrant up command. It also displayed the same error.

      • ( Easy ) How To Install RubyMine In Ubuntu Linux

        Work Faster with a Smart Editor
        Produce high-quality code more efficiently, thanks to first-class support for Ruby and Rails, JavaScript and CoffeeScript, ERB and HAML, CSS, Sass and Less, and more.

        Take advantage of the language specific-aware syntax & error highlighting, code formatting, code completion, and quick documentation.

        Find Your Way Around
        Use smart search to jump to any class, file or symbol, or even any IDE action or tool window. It only takes one click to switch to the declaration, super method, test, usages, implementation, and more.

        Enjoy super fast navigation in your Rails project with an MVC-based project view and model, class, and gem dependencies diagrams.

      • 6 troubleshooting skills for Ansible playbooks

        Ansible is a very powerful tool that allows you to automate a huge variety of platforms across servers, clouds, networks, containers, and more.

        Often you will be able to automate what you want by simply reusing existing roles and collections.

        And there are many modules to choose from that you can use in your playbooks.

    • Games

      • Unvanquished 0.52.1 Brings Rendering Fixes, Flatpak For This Promising Open-Source Game – Phoronix

        Following last month’s Unvanquished 0.52 beta for this open-source game that has long been in development, Sunday marked the release of Unvanquished 0.52.1.

        Over last month’s big 0.52 release, v0.52.1 primarily is about shipping some prominent bug fixes for this game built atop their Daemon engine, which amounts to a distant fork of the ioquake3 code-base. Unvanquished has been one of the most promising fully open-source games over the past decade but only recently did they return to their frequent practice of delivering new versioned releases.

      • Rolled Out! is a wonderful spiritual successor to Super Monkey Ball | GamingOnLinux

        While Rolled Out! from Polarbyte Games / Skymap Games is currently in Early Access so it’s not finished, it clearly has an excellent setup ready for you to get rolling. Note: key provided by the developer.

        Super Monkey Ball is a series that has a lot of passionate fans and with a new one releasing across various platforms later this year, they’ve got their work cut out for them if they want to cut through the noise. Rolled Out! is here right now though and I had been meaning to actually try it for a while since the EA release back in March. It already feels fantastic including the level design, the overall visual style and the controls all fit together nice and snug. It sure does bring back some nice memories.

        What’s surprising is the amount of content Rolled Out! launched with. They said it would be a good year or so before it was ready to leave Early Access but even so it already has over 150 levels to bounce around in so you’re not going to get bored in a hurry across multiple difficulty levels. Custom level support is in too, along with the developer providing a plugin for Blender to help people make more – although as of yet there’s no in-game browser for downloading levels.

      • Classic open source RTS Warzone 2100 has a Beta out for the upcoming 4.1 release | GamingOnLinux

        After the huge 4.0 release back in April that added in the Vulkan renderer, a new update for Warzone 2100 is in need of testing as they clean up a backlog of bug fixes. Info: Warzone 2100 was originally developed by Pumpkin Studios and published by Eidos Interactive and was release in 1999, much later it was open sourced in 2004 and the legacy of it continues on as a completely free game. To this day it’s still one of the most innovative RTS games around.

      • Pawn of the Dead is a fun Zombie twist on Chess in the style of Battle Chess | GamingOnLinux

        Love Chess but want something a little different? Pawn of the Dead seems like it could be exactly what you want.

        Designed more in the style of another classic, Battle Chess, the idea in Pawn of the Dead is that it’s a zombie apocalypse in Chess form. Each time you lose a piece to the zombies, it turn into another zombie you then need to take down. There’s a tutorial, a full campaign mode and when you’re done with that there’s also a random level generator to keep things interesting but there’s always a way to win of course – it all depends on your tactics.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KTorrent: An Incredibly Useful BitTorrent Application by KDE

          There are a variety of BitTorrent applications available for Linux. But finding a good application that offers many features should save you some time.

          KTorrent by KDE is one such BitTorrent app built for Linux.

          While there are several torrent clients for Linux, I recently found KTorrent interesting for my use-case.

        • Akademy 2021 – Day 3

          The day started at 8:00 UTC sharp with four very interesting lightning talks. Kai Uwe Broulik talked about how to become productive using Plasma at home. He pointed out tips and tricks that allow you to avoid interruptions and improve your time working from your couch.

          Niccolò Venerandi explained from experience how to grow a KDE Video Community. Niccolò runs a fledgling and upcoming YouTube channel and gave advice on how to manage your content and even how to successfully monetize it.

          Alexander Saoutkin talked about KIO FUSE and how it brings a slew of useful features that help integrate remote file systems into the local one.

          Rohan Asokan talked about Kalk, his first OSC project and his first experience developing for KDE. His story was an uplifting look into how you can get started in Free Software development.

          At 9:00 UTC, Aleix Pol, Adriaan de Groot, Eike Hein, Lydia Pintscher and Neofytos Kolokotronis delivered their traditional yearly live KDE e.V. Board report. The Board members gave an overview of the activities carried out over the last year and provided an outlook for the next. Highlights included employing more contractors to carry out vital KDE work, plans for upcoming events and sprints (in person at last!), and the plans for KDE’s 25th Anniversary happening later this year.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 157 released

          After a little break, IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 157 is out! This is the largest release in size we have ever had and updates various parts of the operating system and brings an updated kernel.

          Since IPFire is built from source and not based on any distribution, we get to select the best versions of open source software to be a part of it. This release is the second part of our “spring clean” release which updates various software packages and we have also dropped software that we no longer need. The vast amount of this work has been done by Adolf Belka who has been spending many nights in front of a compiler trying to make it all work. If you want to support him and the entire development team, please help us with your donation.

      • BSD

        • Advance!BSD – thoughts on a not-for-profit project to support *BSD (1/2)

          There are multiple reasons why I am a BSD user and enthusiast. For one thing I enjoy using systems where the design benefits from the holistic approach (whole OS vs. “kernel + some packages”). I’ve come to appreciate things like good documentation, preference of simplicity over unnecessary complexity and permissive licensing. There’s a different spirit to the community that makes me feel more at home. Well, and truth be told: I do have a heart for “outsiders” who are doing well but get far less attention due to the towering popularity of a certain other system. In addition to that I’m very much concerned about the new de-facto monopoly in open source.

        • Advance!BSD – thoughts on a not-for-profit project to support *BSD (2/2)

          Another general question is what makes more sense to focus on: Some form of virtualization (either full-fledged VMs or paravirtualization like FreeBSD’s jails either with or without VNET) or rather providing shared services? There certainly is a need for both. And while I’m certain that the vast majority of BSD people would be perfectly capable of renting a VM and doing all the things they need themselves, I’m not sure if everybody wants to.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Introducing SUSE Manager 4.2

          SUSE Manager 4.2, the latest release from SUSE, further delivers a best-in-class open source infrastructure and systems management solution that enhances automation, simplifies management, and extends client support.

          Catering for all of your software infrastructure management needs SUSE Manager 4.2 is a open source infrastructure and systems management solution for your Hybrid Cloud IT – from edge to datacenter to cloud.

        • SUSE Manager for Retail 4.2 what’s new? | SUSE Communities

          Manage, Secure, Automate and Comply with the newest version of the SUSE Infrastructure Management Solution for the Retail industry

          From Mainframe and HPC Clusters to bare metal servers and VMs down to point of service terminals, kiosks, self-service and reverse-vending system Linux deployments, SUSE Manager for Retail is designed to help you reduce costs, optimize operations, and ensure compliance across your retail IT infrastructure while reducing complexity and regaining control.

        • Introducing SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP3

          When it comes to running all your workloads, one size Linux OS does not fit all. That’s why we offer the industry-leading adaptable Linux operating system. No matter what your workload requirements (performance, reliability, operating environment), we have an OS solution purpose-built for your needs.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS Replacement Rocky Linux Is Now in GA and Under Independent Control

          The Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) is announcing the general availability of Rocky Linux, release 8.4, designed as a drop-in replacement for the soon-to-be discontinued CentOS. The GA release is launching six-and-a-half months after Red Hat deprecated its support for the widely popular, free CentOS server operating system.

          The Rocky Linux development effort – named as a tribute to late CentOS co-founder Rocky McGaugh – was started by Gregory M. Kurtzer, co-creator of CentOS, and the inventor of Singularity and Warewulf.

          Free community support for Rocky Linux is available through the RESF via Mattermost (an open source Slack alternative), IRC and via the Rocky Linux site forums.

        • Rocky Linux 8.4 “Green Obsidian” Is Out as the First Stable Release

          Derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 and dubbed “Green Obsidian,” Rocky Linux 8.4 is here as the first stable release and introduces new upstream modules, such as MariaDB 10.5, OpenSCA 1.3.4, PostgreSQL 13, Python 3.9, Redis 6, scap-security-guide 0.1.54, Subversion 1.14, and SWIG 4.0, as well as an updated toolchain consisting of GCC 10, LLVM 11.0.0, Rust 1.49, and Go 1.15.7.

          There are also major changes around security, networking, identity management, clustering, kernel, etc. Among these, there’s support for TCP encapsulation and security labels for the IKEv2 protocol for the IPsec VPN provided by Libreswan, integrity checking support for the fapolicyd framework, and full support for the nmstate network API for hosts.

        • Successor to CentOS: GNU Rocky Linux 8.4 – community driven enterprise Open Source OS – for x86 and ARM – a test drive (as VirtualBox VM) with screenshots

          CentOS 7 (maintained until 2024) is hailed a rock-solid GNU Linux Open Source (?) server OS, hardened by many idelaistic developers & RedHat technicians.

          …and indeed it performed well on it’s xfs filesystem (thanks all involved also thanks to RedHat (bought by IBM in 2019) not contribute & not interfere in a harmful way, as it should be with Open Source & Free Software).

          Hence many Open Source administrators and users relied heavily and build upon rock solid CentOS.

        • Rocky Linux 8.4 Released For RHEL 8.4 / CentOS Alternative

          Stemming from last month’s Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 release and then the RHEL 8.4 based updates to Alma Linux, Oracle Linux, and CentOS 8, RockyLinux has today reached general availability on its v8.4 release.

          Rocky Linux is the distribution that is aiming as a free RHEL alternative by CentOS founder Greg Kurtzer and others. Rocky Linux was started following the news last year of CentOS Linux 8 will reach end-of-life at EOY2021 as they focus on CentOS Stream as the future of RHEl. Rocky Linux previously tailored an 8.3 release for their initial debut while this morning have promoted their 8.4 build to GA status.

        • How to turn Rocky Linux 8 into a perfect desktop

          And here we are, at the end of our journey. We started with a workstation slash server distro that is designed for serious work, development and such, not for games or music or alike. We ended with a system that doesn’t look that different from most contemporary Gnome desktops, full of cool, popular software. Yes, Linux lacks some of the stuff you get in Windows, but Rocky doesn’t lag behind other distros overall. Most of what you need or expect is available.

          Of course, the command-line way is a big blocker for ordinary users. But then, even installing a distro on your own (or any operating system) is a very nerdy task. That aside, I’m more than happy with this transformation. The polished-up Rocky is stable, fast, pretty, and it has a lot of nice software. You could also try the self-contained packaging formats like Flatpak or snaps, which give you access to even more cool stuff. Mission accomplished. I like. Do tell me if you need more tips and tricks of this kind, and there shall be additional articles. See you around.

        • Jim Hall: How Do You Fedora?

          Jim Hall served as Chief Information Officer in higher education and government for over eight years and has recently started the consulting company Hallmentum. Most of his work includes training, workshops, and coaching to help new IT leaders develop leadership skills, also to help current IT leaders get better at leadership. Apart from consulting, Jim also serves as adjunct faculty at the university level, currently teaching courses in Management Information Systems (MIS) and Technical & Professional Writing.

          How did Jim grow up? Jim’s childhood heroes were from TV and movies, including Batman and Han Solo. Jim’s long-time favorite go-to movie is Star Wars: A New Hope. Jim says, “I am a big Star Wars nerd.” Jim’s favorite meals are Italian. “I love Italian food! Probably my favorite Italian dish is chicken cacciatore.” Jim’s opinion is that Honesty, Creativity, Imagination, Curiosity, and Openness are the five greatest qualities someone can possess.

        • Ben Cotton: What does it mean for a Linux distribution to be “fresh”?

          I recently had a discussion with Luboš Kocman of openSUSE about how distros can monitor their “freshness”. In other words: how close is a distro to upstream? From our perspectives, it’s helpful to know which packages are significantly behind their upstreams. These packages represent areas that might need attention, whether that be a gentle nudge to the maintainer or recruiting additional volunteers from the community.

          The challenge is that freshness can mean different things. The Repology project monitors a large number of distributions and upstreams to report on the status. But simply comparing the upstream version number to the packaged version number ignores a lot of very important context.

        • Next Open NeuroFedora meeting: 21 June 1300 UTC | NeuroFedora: Blog

          Please join us at the next regular Open NeuroFedora team meeting on Monday 21 June at 1300UTC in #fedora-neuro on IRC (Libera.chat). The meeting is a public meeting, and open for everyone to attend. You can join us over:

        • Kogito: Laying the foundation for the next generation of cloud-native business automation

          Earlier this year, Red Hat Process Automation subscribers gained access to Kogito-based capabilities. This release was the first version of Red Hat Process Automation to introduce components of Kogito, an open source community project that seeks to create the next generation of business automation technology. Red Hat Process Automation has continued to expand its Kogito offerings per the platform’s latest update.

          As a Kubernetes-native business automation tool, Kogito is designed to deliver powerful capabilities for building process- and rules-based applications natively in the cloud on a modern container platform.

          While Kogito draws on capabilities of traditional business process management (BPM) and business rules management (BRM) systems, there are significant differences in how Kogito implements them compared to earlier generations of business automation software.

        • Bringing your favorite runtimes to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 | Red Hat Developer

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.4 is generally available, and developing your applications on RHEL has never been easier. When we ask developers why they choose Red Hat Enterprise Linux for development over other operating systems, consistency and reliability rank at the top of the list.

          A big part of that reliability comes from using curated runtimes for your programming language. These are available through application streams on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which bring the same reliability promise, but on a closer parity to the pace of languages and frameworks that developers love to use. As with every RHEL release, we are excited to bring you newer versions of popular language runtimes in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4. In this article, we will take a closer look at the newly added runtimes and discuss why they matter for your applications.

        • Modern Fortune Teller: Using GitOps to automate application deployment on Red Hat OpenShift | Red Hat Developer

          Our team recently created an application called Beer Horoscope, which we used to illustrate the extensive possibilities for modern software development and deployment with Red Hat OpenShift and community-built free software tools. The application’s front end collects user preferences and makes beer recommendations. The back end performs machine learning on users and products (beers) to make appropriate recommendations. Figure 1 shows how we combined an event-driven architecture with machine learning models that are applicable to numerous real-world scenarios.

        • How to explain GitOps in plain English

          First, DevOps took the IT world by storm. Now, GitOps is garnering similar interest and adoption. There’s a relationship between the two: The latter can be thought of as a more specific version of the former.

          “If DevOps is a way of life, GitOps is prescriptive about how you practice it,” says E.G. Nadhan, chief architect and strategist, Red Hat North America. “GitOps advocates a cloud-native or microservices-centric vision from the get-go.”

      • Oracle

        • Oracle cashing in on Java: this is what happens if developers use closed source non-OpenSource non-GPL licensed programming languages

          So it finally happened, Oracle wants to cash in on it’s $7.4 Billion investment it made in 2009. The non-Open-Source non-GPL non-Free-Software-coffee has officially gone sour.

          One can just pray, that this will be a lesson to every developer to never again spend years and years of learning and training and development with a non-Open-Source, non-GPL and non-Free-programming languages, ever again.

          also: while Java is a nice language (the write once run anywhere is nice), Java programs are a bloat, very inefficient hungry in RAM.

          While JavaScript and Java are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS (thanks for the naming-confusion) they share this feature: very very slooooooooooooow & using up ALL RAM (just look at that startup time of that eclipse-ide or LibreOffice (two examples of excellent by functionality but slow software that will collapse as soon as the user wants to open up a document x-larger > than 10 MBytes X-D (in 2021 c, emacs & still vim rulez, while being complemented by rust-lang(“the more secure c++”, compile rust for arm).

        • Linux overview | Oracle Linux 8.4

          In this video, I am going to show an overview of Oracle Linux 8.4 and some of the applications pre-installed.

        • CentOS users—Join Centos2ol communities on GitHub

          If you’re a CentOS user considering alternatives, we’re glad you’re here. As you’ve likely read in earlier blogs, Oracle Linux has a lot to offer.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why transparency is critical to your open source project’s security

        The Biden Administration’s recent executive order on cybersecurity aims to improve security assurance and the use of best practices. Transparency and project health are two factors that help to support security across the entire software industry—especially now.

        Because 92% of modern applications contain open source components, improving software security generally means improving open source software security.

        According to the Biden executive order…

      • You Are NOT The Software You Run! (#shorts)

        In this YouTube #shorts video (shot in landscape mode like a normal person), I discuss a serious mental disorder that too many people suffer from–identifying with their software.

      • Use F-Droid to Install Open Source Android Apps

        When it comes to Android apps, most people will think of the Google Play store where they download or purchase apps. Most of the time, those apps you download are closed source and controlled by developers. If you have a passion for free and open-source (FOSS) software, F-Droid is a marketplace for you to find all the FOSS Android apps.

        F-Droid is an application run by Droid Ltd. It was founded by Ciaran E Gultnieks, a British computer programmer, back in 2010. Since then, the app has hosted over 4000 free and open-source applications. The applications come in a wide variety, including health, education, security, and more. Let us dive into how to install F-Droid and use it to install free and open-source Android apps.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Brave Search Engine Opens For Beta Testing

            Search engines are the front page of the Internet. This is where internet users get most of the content including articles, tutorials, courses, and videos. You probably landed on this article from one of many search engines as well.

            So far the biggest search engine is Google. Google has become synonymous with the Internet. Chrome, the most popular web browser uses Google as the default search and most of the other search engines do the same.

            It is no secret that Google and other search engines rely on showing ads to their users. When a user performs a query in the search engine, the search engine collects the user’s private information such as specific location, device type, browser history, etc. to serve personalized ads.

            The private information is further shared with other third-party companies in the name of product development & providing more personalized ads.

            In simple term, most search engines collect users’ private information and share with third-party companies as most social networking sites do.

          • 7 Best Alternatives for Google Chrome Browser

            Certainly, Google Chrome is the most widely used browser and that’s the reason it has captured the lion’s share of the browser market! Apart from a user-centric interface and broad dimensions of functionalities, it offers all that is needed to have a rich browsing experience. Nevertheless, with so many advantages, Google Chrome comes with some disadvantages.

        • Mozilla

          • Karl Dubost: Today is my Mozilla 8 years anniversary

            In my employment history, I have never tried to spread a large net to try to land a job, except probably for my first real job in 1995. I have always carefully chosen the company I wanted to work for. I probably applied ten times on the course of 10 years before landing a job at Mozilla.

            When the Web Compatibility team was created, I applied to one of the position available in 2013. In April 2013, from Montreal, I flew to Mountain View for a series of job interviews with different Mozilla employees. Most of the interviews were interesting but I remember one engineer was apparently not happy interviewing me and it didn’t go very well. I don’t remember who, but it left me with a bitter taste at the time. A couple of days later I was notified that I was not taken for the job. While disappointing, I was not surprised. I usually do not perform well during interviews, specifically when you have to demonstrate knowledge instead of demonstrating your relations to knowledge. I find them a kind of theater.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Community Member Monday: Manuel Frassinetti

          Today we’re chatting with Manuel Frassinetti from our Italian LibreOffice community, who recently became a Member of The Document Foundation, the non-profit behind LibreOffice…

          Tell us a bit about yourself!

          I’m from Modena, Italy and I’m still living in this city. I’m just a normal free software user – a GNU/Linux user since 2001. I moved from Debian to Ubuntu, and then returned to Debian. The first love is never forgotten! :-)

          I use free and open source software and both in private and in my work. I have a Dell series 3500 laptop, an old IBM T42 ThinkPad in private and a HP Compaq 6000 pro at work, all with Debian 10. I am very much a beginner programmer (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) and also a beginner hardware technician. For both software and hardware specializations, I have not been in the world of work since 2003, since I became a tobacconist.

        • Update from the ODF Technical Committee

          The ODF TC has recently updated the project charter after more than a decade. The updated document is available at: https://www.oasis-open.org/committees/office/charter.php. The most important news is the commitment to deliver a Committee Specification Draft at least every year in December, consisting of RelaxNG schemas and written specifications, to avoid a long delay between two consecutive versions of the standard as in the recent past.

          The ODF TC also aims to provide a fast-track for new ODF features of implementers, and publish the lowest standard (OASIS Committee Specification) more frequently, so features can be quickly reviewed and embraced into an ODF CS Standard without the need to use the intermediate LibreOffice External namespaces (lo-ext), with all the associated delays and costs.

      • CMS

        • WP Briefing: Episode 11: WordCamp Europe 2021 in Review

          In this episode, Josepha Haden Chomphosy does a mini deep dive into WordCamp Europe 2021, specifically the conversation between the project’s co-founder, Matt Mullenweg, and Brian Krogsgard formerly of PostStatus. Tune in to hear her take and for this episode’s small list of big things.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Licenses Alone Do Not Govern Behavior in Open Source

            That difference rests in the fact that design and distribution of software is collapsed into a single step – just post it to the repo. In hardware those steps are quite distinct. Designing open source hardware is quite separate from distributing actual pieces of hardware. That may make it harder for a single person to be responsible for maintaining a piece that is incorporated into millions of projects without any sort of support. But that’s another blog post for another day. Even if the dynamic is not identical, it is certainly similar enough to think about and try to avoid in open hardware.

      • Programming/Development

        • Dart / Flutter support in Kate

          So about a couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to try out Flutter for desktop app development. If you don’t know about Flutter, it’s a UI framework for cross-platform app development by Google. After reading a little bit about Dart, I decided to dive in directly and write a basic app in Dart. To my surprise Kate didn’t support Dart at all, there was no syntax-highlighting, no anything, not even Dart file detection. However, Kate does have an LSP Client which supports semantic highlighting but to my disappointment it turned out that our LSP Client didn’t work too well with Dart’s LSP server. This was enough, something needed to be done immediately.

        • Qt on Apple Silicon [Ed: You know Qt has given up on Free software when...]
        • Why I love programming on FreeDOS with GW-BASIC | Opensource.com

          When I was growing up, it seemed every “personal computer” from the TRS-80 to the Commodore to the Apple let you write your own programs in the Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC) programming language. Our family had a clone of the Apple II called the Franklin ACE 1000, which—as a clone—also ran AppleSoft BASIC. I took to AppleSoft BASIC right away and read books and magazines to teach myself about BASIC programming.

          Later, our family upgraded to an IBM PC running DOS. Just like every personal computer before it, the IBM PC also ran its own version of DOS, called BASICA. Later versions of DOS replaced BASIC with an updated interpreter called GW-BASIC.

          BASIC was my entry into computer programming. As I grew up, I learned other programming languages. I haven’t written BASIC code in years, but I’ll always have a fondness for BASIC and GW-BASIC.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • waifud Plans

            Essentially my vision for waifud is to be a “middle ground” between running virtual machines on one server and something more complicated like OpenStack. I want to be able to have high level descriptions of virtual machines (including cloud-config userdata) and then hand them over to waifud to just figure out the logistics of where they should run for me.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Capitalism Can’t Innovate on Ideas

        This broadly summarises free market mythology—the fantasy that altruistic outcomes can be achieved through selfish means, one whose merits we can get some sense of in considering that even green capitalism will eventually cook the planet, by virtue of its inherent dependence on endless growth. That the entirely predictable ‘whoops done cooked the planet anyway’ outcome of greenwashed growth economics does not figure to woke capitalists should not be so surprising if the ends-justifies-the-means morality Bill Gates champions habitually neglects history and causality when they don’t serve the purposes of capital accumulation, as it seems to do. To read this article, log in or or Subscribe. In order to read CP+ articles, your web browser must be set to accept cookies.

    • Hardware

      • Spectre Mitigations Murder *Userspace* Performance In The Presence Of Frequent Syscalls

        I just made a performance improvement to the (single-threaded) rr sources command to cache the results of access system calls checking for directory existence. It’s a simple and very effective optimization on my Skylake, Linux 5.12 laptop: [...]

      • What Every Programmer Should Know About SSDs

        SSDs have become quite cheap and they have very high performance. For example, a Samsung PM1733 server SSD costs about 200 EUR per TB and promises close to 7 GB/s read and 4 GB/s write bandwidth. Actually achieving such high performance requires knowing how SSD work and this post described the most important behind-the-scenes mechanisms of flash SSDs.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘Bolsonaro Out!’: Massive Protests as Brazil’s Covid-19 Death Toll Tops 500,000

        As Brazil’s Covid-19 death toll surpassed 500,000 on Saturday, at least hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of more than 400 cities across the nation and around the world to blame President Jair Bolsonaro for the grim pandemic milestone and demand his ouster.

        “There are half a million people dead due to the negligence and denial of Bolsonaro.”—Benedita da Silva, PT

      • Anti-vaxxers are weaponizing Yelp to punish bars that require vaccine proof

        Spamming review portals with negative ratings is not a new phenomenon. Throughout the pandemic, the tactic has also been deployed to attack bars and restaurants that enforced mask-wearing for safety. As pandemic restrictions have lifted, businesses like Mother’s Ruin have sought to ensure that safety by requiring proof of vaccination using state-sponsored apps like New York’s Excelsior Pass, vaccine passports, or simply flashing vaccine cards at the door — practices that have instigated a second surge of spam reviews.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft Linux Repos Suffered 22-Hour Outage

          “Everything from Visual Studio Code to Microsoft Edge and Teams package links were affected,” reports Windows Central. They note Azure’s status page (which now shows the issue lasting for more than 22 hours), though however long it lasted, “it’s a virtual eternity for those whose entire ecosystem is crippled by such an outage.”

        • ‘That horse has left the barn’: Secret Service official says ransom payments have fueled [cracking] sprees [iophk: Windows TCO]

          After the multimillion-dollar extortions of Colonial Pipeline and meat processor JBS, a Secret Service official is urging organizations not to pay off hackers and underscoring that more victims need to come forward in order to help U.S. officials get a handle on the problem.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • WSO2 Choreo – Delivering a Platform for Innovation

              Digital is the most common word we hear today. Every organization is on a digital transformation journey. Internal and external users expect a seamless digital experience from the products and services they consume. Moreover, based on a recent report published by McKinsey & Company, digital transformation programs have leapfrogged ahead by seven years in the wake of the pandemic.

            • WSO2 Releases Choreo Cloud-Native Integration Platform

              Open source company WSO2 is launching Choreo, a new integration platform as a service (iPaaS) for cloud native engineering, offering a graphical editor, text editor, and predefined templates, reports Ian Barker.

        • Security

          • Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report Shows Largest Uptick [Ed: Using "security" to promote vapourware]

            Is it any wonder Microsoft is rumored to be launching Windows 11, with the Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report showing the largest uptick since the inception of the report? Who could blame Microsoft for wanting to dump Windows 10 and start all over with Windows 11?

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (connman, go, and grub), Debian (nettle, prosody, and tor), Fedora (iaito, mingw-ilmbase, mingw-openexr, mingw-python-urllib3, mosquitto, nettle, polkit, and radare2), Mageia (puddletag, python-babel, python-eventlet, and python-pikepdf), openSUSE (htmldoc), SUSE (go1.15, go1.16, gupnp, and libgcrypt), and Ubuntu (apache2 and dovecot).

          • Google’s SLSA Framework To Protect Against Common Supply Chain Attacks

            Google has introduced Supply chain Levels for Software Artifacts (SLSA), an end-to-end framework for ensuring the integrity of software artifacts throughout the software supply chain.

            “The goal of SLSA is to improve the state of the industry, particularly open source, to defend against the most pressing integrity threats. With SLSA, consumers can make informed choices about the security posture of the software they consume,” Google explained in a blog post.

          • Positive Technologies Discovers 3 Vulnerabilities In Cisco HyperFlex HX

            The first two vulnerabilities are more dangerous, since their exploitation would allow attackers to execute arbitrary commands in the device’s operating system with maximum privileges (root user) and web server rights (Tomcat 8), respectively. The third vulnerability would allow criminals to upload arbitrary files without authorization with limited write access, and is not as dangerous in comparison to the others.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Bad Data: Dancing Your Way To Digital Privacy
            • As vaccine passports morph into digital IDs, privacy advocates want to know that user data is protected

              Some opponents of the technology have raised concerns that vaccine passports are an unnecessary replacement for paper, and could disadvantage individuals without access to smartphones. Others have accused companies such as IBM and Clear of being scant on details about how they’re protecting user data.

              Now, data protection experts have a new concern: a greater expansion of the technology to include other forms of digital identities that will outlast the pandemic. So-called digital IDs — a broad term for app-based tools to authenticate user identity through real-time verification, biometrics, or an existing identification form such as a license — are emerging as a means of securely verifying users’ identities without spilling their personal information.

            • Universities overreacting to online cheating, experts warn

              Data from a system such as Canvas can be useful to identify possible cheating, said Camilla Roberts, director of the Honor and Integrity System at Kansas State University.

              But such data – with details that include when a student started and stopped a test – must be used only as part of a broader investigation that seeks other available evidence, Dr Roberts said.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • County Clerks Facing Death Threats Amid Push for ‘Sham’ Election Audits, Says Colorado SOS

        Griswold adopted an emergency rule this week limiting access to voting equipment in Colorado to officials who have passed background checks. In addition to passing a background check, the new rule only allows employees of a county’s elections office, the secretary of state’s office or a voting system vendor to access the equipment, as well as appointed election judges.

      • America’s Greatest Danger isn’t China. It’s Much Closer to Home.

        More than 60 years ago, the sudden and palpable fear that the Soviet Union was lurching ahead of us shook America out of a postwar complacency and caused the nation to do what it should have been doing for many years. Even though we did it under the pretext of national defense – we called it the National Defense Education Act and the National Defense Highway Act and relied on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration for basic research leading to semiconductors, satellite technology, and the Internet – the result was to boost US productivity and American wages for a generation.When the Soviet Union began to implode, America found its next foil in Japan. Japanese-made cars were taking market share away from the Big Three automakers. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi bought a substantial interest in the Rockefeller Center, Sony purchased Columbia Pictures, and Nintendo considered buying the Seattle Mariners. By the late 1980s and start of the 1990s, countless congressional hearings were held on the Japanese “challenge” to American competitiveness and the Japanese “threat” to American jobs.

      • Who Is A “Terrorist” In Biden’s America?

        In the latest sign that the US government’s War on Domestic Terror is growing in scope and scale, the White House on Tuesday revealed the nation’s first ever government-wide strategy for confronting domestic terrorism. While cloaked in language about stemming racially motivated violence, the strategy places those deemed “anti-government” or “anti-authority” on a par with racist extremists and charts out policies that could easily be abused to silence or even criminalize online criticism of the government.

        Even more disturbing is the call to essentially fuse intelligence agencies, law enforcement, Silicon Valley, and “community” and “faith-based” organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, as well as unspecified foreign governments, as partners in this “war,” which the strategy makes clear will rely heavily on a pre-crime orientation focused largely on what is said on social media and encrypted platforms. Though the strategy claims that the government will “shield free speech and civil liberties” in implementing this policy, its contents reveal that it is poised to gut both.

        Indeed, while framed publicly as chiefly targeting “right-wing white supremacists,” the strategy itself makes it clear that the government does not plan to focus on the Right but instead will pursue “domestic terrorists” in “an ideologically neutral, threat-driven manner,” as the law “makes no distinction based on political view—left, right or center.” It also states that a key goal of this strategic framework is to ensure “that there is simply no governmental tolerance . . . of violence as an acceptable mode of seeking political or social change,” regardless of a perpetrator’s political affiliation.

        Considering that the main cheerleaders for the War on Domestic Terror exist mainly in establishment left circles, such individuals should rethink their support for this new policy given that the above statements could easily come to encompass Black Lives Matter–related protests, such as those that transpired last summer, depending on which political party is in power.

    • Environment

      • UN: Sunken Sri Lanka ship caused ‘significant damage to the planet’

        A U.N. official on Saturday said the sinking of a ship carrying chemicals off the coast of Sri Lanka caused “significant damage to the planet” by introducing hazardous substances into the environment.

      • Energy

        • Federal regulators warn of risks to firefighters from electrical vehicle fires

          “What the heck? How do we make this stop?’” Buck asked his team. They quickly consulted Tesla’s first responder guide and realized that it would take far more personnel and water than they could have imagined. Eight firefighters ultimately spent seven hours putting out the fire. They also used up 28,000 gallons of water — an amount the department normally uses in a month. That same volume of water serves an average American home for nearly two years.

          By comparison, a typical fire involving an internal combustion car can often be quickly put out with approximately 300 gallons of water, well within the capacity of a single fire engine.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Charlie Savage’s Obfuscations In The Service Of Claiming Julian Assange Is A Journalist

        Everyone is fighting for press freedoms again, and therefore lots of people are misrepresenting the facts about Julian Assange’s prosecution in purported defense of press freedom again.

        These are the paragraphs with which UK Judge Vanessa Baraitser distinguished what Julian Assange is accused of from what “ordinary investigative journalists” entitled to protection in the UK or European Union do.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘All the water’s bad’: In McDowell County, you have to get creative to find safe drinking water

        An estimated 2 million Americans live without access to either safe drinking water, indoor plumbing or basic sanitation, according to DigDeep, a nonprofit that works to bring water to Americans without it. This “water access gap” disproportionately affects low-income, rural communities and people of color — communities left behind by the massive national investment in public water infrastructure in the past century.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Zambia Needs the Internet More than Ever

        Part of the reason for the low Internet penetration numbers in the country is the cost of Internet service. Data costs are high, especially for rural residents. The chapter will focus on increasing awareness about the many benefits of the Internet.

        Zambia also faces a handful of other challenges related to the Internet. There are major misconceptions. For instance, many people consider social media to be the Internet. With law enforcement agencies in Zambia criticizing social media and threatening crackdowns, many people avoid using the Internet.

    • Monopolies

      • Africa is rising – Book review: Marius Schneider & Vanessa Ferguson, Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2020) [Ed: It is laughable nonsense — and outright offensive, I think — to say “Africa is rising” by basically adopting the very means of colonialism, oppression, extraction and exploitation sheltered behind lies such as Intellectual [sic] Property [sic] Rights [sic]]

        Living in Helmond, The Netherlands, Africa is closer by for your Marques’ Class46 reviewer as this blog audience based on a geographical approach alone might possibly think. Just around the corner of our house, so to speak, next to the beautiful Helmond castle, are the factory buildings and the offices of Vlisco. Vlisco is renowned for its fabrics with colorful and intriguing artworks printed on them. The fabrics commonly known as Dutch wax prints are very much loved and used in clothing which has obtained an haute couture status throughout the African continent (foremost in West African markets). The clothing made with Vlisco fabrics thus becoming also known as ‘the Chanel of Africa’.

        Reportedly the fabrics of Vlisco attracted and do attract ‘blind’ copying thereof by other manufacturers, forcing Vlisco to stand up against this practice. Needless to say, that solid intellectual property rights and proper functioning legal systems can be key to protect manufacturers against such copying in African countries.


        In the introductory exposé – one which I loved reading – Schneider and Ferguson clarify that Africa’s emerging economies present exciting opportunities for right holders. Schneider and Ferguson reflect on these opportunities with an eye on certain particularities and forces in their view operative in African markets and countries which should be considered. The free movement of counterfeit goods in and across Africa goes beyond the African continent, according to the Schneider and Ferguson, which seems to go hand in hand with the worrying trend of the establishment of free-trade zones in Africa. Such free-trade zones apparently being a breeding ground which can easily be used also to facilitate the trade in counterfeit goods to Europe and the United States. Especially as Schneider and Ferguson establish that in Africa resources for enforcement (of intellectual property rights) are often limited and ‘the desire to attract foreign investment and to create local employment is strong, policing is weak.’

      • The trials and tribulations of Chinese patent invalidation proceedings [Ed: As in here]

        Validity challenges at the CNIPA are an increasingly important part of the Chinese patent landscape but, explains Unified Patents senior patent counsel Jessica Marks, they can be confusing affairs

      • European Commission Consults On EU-wide Geographical Indications For Non-agricultural Products

        Geographical indications (GIs) are names that identify a product as originating from a specific place from which their particular characteristics derive. There is currently no EU-wide system for protecting the GIs of non-agricultural products (such as handicrafts and industrial goods). However, the Commission says, such products are often an important part of local identity, attract tourism and create jobs.

      • Intellectual Property Office Publishes Call For Views In Relation To A Review Of The Removal In 2016 Of The Copyright Exception For Showing Publicly Accessible Films

        Section 72 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) creates an exception to copyright infringement that permits the free showing of a broadcast and certain copyright elements in places where the public has free access.

        The IPO has launched a call for views on the changes that were made to s 72 of the CDPA in 2016 by the Copyright (Free Public Showing or Playing) (Amendment) Regulations 2016, which removed “film” from the list of exceptions. This is part of a post implementation review of the Regulations, which the Secretary of State is legally obliged to do within five years of the legislation coming into force.

      • Patents

        • Indian-American chemist wins European Inventor Award 2021 [Ed: Dozens of puff pieces these past few days from English-speaking Indian press for corrupt EPO management. Who was paid and how much?]
        • DeepRoot’s Silva Cell Wins Patent Infringement Case Against GreenBlue Urban

          DeepRoot Green Infrastructure and DeepRoot Canada Corp are pleased to announce that on May 28, 2021, the Federal Court of Canada ruled in DeepRoot’s favour and granted its patent infringement lawsuit against GreenBlue Urban. The Court found that GreenBlue Urban’s RootSpace products infringe Canadian Patent Nos. 2,552,348 and 2,829,599 and granted an injunction prohibiting GreenBlue Urban from making, using or selling the RootSpace products in Canada. The Court also fully upheld the validity of DeepRoot’s innovation, rejecting GreenBlue’s allegations that DeepRoot’s patents were invalid. In addition, damages for past infringement and litigation costs were awarded to DeepRoot.

        • Active Energy awarded Canadian patent for ‘CoalSwitch’

          Biomass-focussed renewable energy technology company Active Energy has been awarded a ‘notice of allowance’ for the Canadian patent for its ‘CoalSwitch’ process and the beneficiation of biomass, it announced on Wednesday.

        • U.S. encouraged by progress toward vaccine patent waiver
        • WTO to intensify talks on easing access to COVID-19 vaccines

          World Trade Organization member nations agreed Wednesday to intensify talks geared at improving access to COVID-19 products, as developing nations push for a proposal to ease patents and other intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines and some wealthier countries remain stiffly opposed.

        • Extending protection: Patent strategies for pharmaceutical products at the EPO [Ed: EPO should encourage medicine sharing, not hoarding and patenting, but at the moment it's controlled, by proxy, by litigation firms and their largest clients.]

          In this article for Intellectual Property Magazine, Mathys & Squire partner Juliet Redhouse and technical assistant Angela Stephen examine the different strategies for lengthening patent coverage at the European Patent Office (EPO).

          It can be difficult to balance the need to file patent applications early on during drug product development and the length of time it takes to obtain regulatory approval. As patent term is calculated from the date of filing, much of the 20-year patent term has already passed by the time the drug product gets to market. A successful patent strategy needs to extend well beyond the time taken for regulatory approval. This article explores the patent strategies that can assist in extending protection around the drug product.

        • New Charge Storage Method Could Allow Rechargeability in Calcium-Air Batteries [Ed: Why is the EPO's greenwashing propaganda being cites as some sort of credible source? PR is not science.]

          The ever-increasing need to engineer novel ways to harness energy sustainably has led several large consumer electronics players to take an interest in battery storage innovations globally. According to a joint study last year by the European Patent Office and the International Energy Agency, Asian consumer electronics players and carmakers are driving research and development in the battery and energy storage arena.

        • Software Patents

          • Yu v. Apple – Transubstantiation of a Camera into an Abstract Idea

            Every time the courts re-define a mechanical device as an abstract idea, I struggle with the rationale that is applied to evaluate the claimed subject matter for patent eligibility under s. 101. I am not a computer scientist so the Alice/Bilski notion that a computer programmed to perform a function more quickly than it can be performed by a human sitting at a desk with a pencil and paper is not a technological advance has some appeal. After all, the idea of patents being granted for computerized versions of hoary business practices threatened to overwhelm the PTO. One the other hand, Diehr warned that all inventions can be reduced to underlying principles of nature which, once known make their implementation obvious. Recently, Yu v Apple , Appeal No. 2020-1760 (Fed. Cir., June 11, 2021) exemplifies the dangers of this oversimplification when it is used to render a specialized camera claimed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,611,289 patent-ineligible. This was a split panel decision, with Judge Prost writing for Judge Taranto and Judge Newman dissenting.


            I have written in earlier posts that whether or not a claimed invention is an improvement over the prior art is now a requirement to get past both steps of the Mayo/Alice test. This “improvement test” has not historically been used in patent eligibility analyses. In other words, the fact that a claim provides no more than an alternative route to the same outcome found in the prior art should not be a factor given weight in determining if the claim is a patent-eligible “machine”. That is the task of s.101. Furthermore, once the claim has been simplified to a broad abstract idea, the majority applies a “generic environment” test to the mechanical components recited in the claim. Although the Yu claim recited very concrete components, such as lenses and sensors, because these components were well-known and conventional, they merely “provide a generic environment in order to carry out the abstract idea” [citing In re TLI Comm. LLC Patent Litigation, 823 Fed. Cir. 607 (Fed. Cir. 2016)]. This is a slippery slope since, if the machine—the camera—does not add up to a technological advance—and the components are, at least, individually described in terms of their “basic functions”, the Mayo/Alice inquiry is over. Almost by definition, there can be no inventive step, and the majority certainly agrees that Step 2 fails to make the abstract idea inventive:

          • Did AI Patents Help AV/EV-Related Companies Get Acquired by Apple? [Ed: There’s no such thing as “AI patents”; they’re software patents disguised using superficial and usually misplaced buzzwords]

            From 2016 to 2020, Apple bought the most AI companies. Of the AI companies Apple acquired during this time, the following appear to provide technology (e.g., vehicular technology, visual or image processing, or facial recognition) at least tangentially applicable to the autonomous vehicle (“AV”) or electric vehicle (“AV”) sectors: Drive.ai, Emotient, Vilynx, Xnor.ai, Lighthouse AI, Spectral Edge, and Spektral.

            Table 1 illustrates, based on publicly available records, the number of years from company founding to acquisition by Apple (based on date founded indicated by Crunchbase and year of acquisition indicated by GlobalData), the estimated acquisition amount or valuation at acquisition, and the number of United States patent assets (including issued patents and pending published patent applications and determed based on USPTO public records).

      • Trademarks

        • European Union Intellectual Property Office Launches Out-of-Commerce Works Portal

          EUIPO says that the new Out-of-Commerce Works Portal allows users to search for copyright works that are still protected by copyright but are no longer or have never been commercially available held by European libraries, archives, museums and other cultural heritage institutions.

          The Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive (2019/790/EU) introduces a legal framework to support cultural heritage institutions in the digitisation and cross-border dissemination of out-of-commerce works and Article 10 provides that such works must be recorded in a single public online portal.

        • Collective Marks: A Tale of Collective Confusion at the Registry

          We’re pleased to bring to you a post by Akshay Ajaykumar, discussing collective marks and analysing numerous erroneous collective mark registrations granted by the Indian Trade Marks Registry. Akshay is a practicing advocate based in New Delhi. He is a graduate of National Law University, Jodhpur.


          Section 62 of the TM Act mandates that a collective mark shall not be registered if it is likely to deceive or cause confusion on the part of the public and in particular if it is likely to be taken to be something other than a collective mark. In such cases the Registrar may require the applied-for mark to have some indication that it is a collective mark. Thereby, a collective mark should make it certain that it is a collective mark, and it should not deceive the public that it is trade mark or, even a certification mark for that matter. It is relevant to note that the Registrar is given powers to impose conditions to prevent such a scenario.

          Section 63 of the TM Act mandates that an application for registration of a collective mark shall be accompanied by the regulations governing the use of the collective mark. Further, Section 64 states that only if the Registrar is satisfied with the requirements, including the regulation, he shall accept the collective mark. Hence, there is a specific requirement for the Registrar to be satisfied with the regulations for a collective mark for it to be accepted. In addition to the requirement under the TM Act, Rule 131(1) of the Trade Marks Rules, 2017 (‘TM Rules’) also mandates that a collective mark application is to be accompanied by regulations governing the collective mark’s use. Furthermore, Rule 131(4) of the TM Rules lays down the criteria for regulations (name, address, objectives, details of members, conditions for membership, control over the collective trademark, sanctions, etc.). In addition to the regulation, Rule 132 of the TM Rules also mandates a statement of case to be submitted along with the regulation.

          It is also relevant to note that a proprietor having failed to observe, or to secure the observance of the regulations governing the use of the mark, is an additional ground for removal of registration as per Section 68(b) of the TM Act.

          Therefore, an application for a collective trademark needs to be accompanied by an exhaustive regulation governing its use and a statement of case in support of the application. It is also relevant to note that the Draft Manual of Trade Marks also instructs the Examiner to defer the examination till a proper draft regulation is filed.

        • Around the IP Blogs

          SpicyIP blog looked at collective marks in India. According to the author’s research, collective marks in India are often registered without a thorough examination. As a result, many are not compliant with the requirements under Indian law.

      • Copyrights

        • Record Labels Want YouTube Rippers to Log and Share User Data

          The copyright lawsuit between several major record labels and YouTube-rippers FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com is entering sensitive territory. As part of the discovery process, the music companies demand logs of what content the sites’ users download and where from. The operator of the sites doesn’t keep such extensive logs, but could the court force him to do so?

There Are Bigger Scandals Than Revisionism and Brand Dilution at the Linux Foundation

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux at 11:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: There are some misconceptions that need tackling; back in February (more than 4 months ago) the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation decided to associate with yet another controversial drive that has nothing to do with Linux; some people think it’s a new thing and leap to conclusions

THIS video about the Linux Foundation was done in somewhat of a rush as I had completely lost the first recording (no sound!) and had to redo it poorly from memory and in a bit of frustration (loss of effort leads to that). The short story is, while it’s easy to conflate critics of surveillance with critics of vaccination, the truth of the matter is that the foundation called after "Linux" is a proponent of surveillance and it is promoting companies’ agenda whose underlying philosophy is against Software Freedom. No wonder they try so hard to rewrite the history and distort the record (the age of "Linux", as in GNU/Linux, is almost 38, not just approaching 30).

“If you dislike what these people do with their “LF” events, then stop attending their events. Stop feeding them.”The article from Lunduke isn’t much better than the usual from him. He usually does videos, whereas the text occasionally promotes Microsoft talking points and falsehoods.

The bottom line is, Zemlin and his friends want to maintain their humongous salaries, so they outsource events to proprietary software (‘attendees’ must then embrace proprietary software) and insist on bringing back the cash cows, irrespective of people’s safety. If you dislike what these people do with their “LF” events, then stop attending their events. Stop feeding them. As we showed a few years ago, they try to monopolise events by swallowing competitors.

Techrights Video Gallery Without JavaScript

Posted in Site News at 8:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Some of the improvements made this morning to the gallery of recent videos


HERE are still site-related changes underway and the above video summarises some of them.

It’s very informal.

“Currently we have a script running automatically (a cron job) to make a gallery of videos and we’ve made two option for the script, one being for monthly archives and another for the past week alone (the default, updates each noght).”It all started with some housekeeping around IRC and then our progress on trying to implement improvements in the video pages. IRC.com seems to have become more of an “app” (same for Freenode, which they hoped would build up their userbase), but we’re moving away from all that bloat and we also reject JavaScript. That’s why we make use of Ogg/WebM files and animated GIFs. Currently we have a script running automatically (a cron job) to make a gallery of videos and we’ve made two options for the script, one being for monthly archives and another for the past week alone (the default, updates each night). If you hover on top of the image (animated GIF), it will from now on show its date of publication and all the videos will be listed based on date of publication rather than based on the file’s name (alphabetical order).

We’re working on some technical stuff and organising today, so not many publications should be expected.

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 20, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:25 am by Needs Sunlight

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