Links 25/6/2021: China’s Space Programme Runs on GNU/Linux (Kylin), Ubuntu 21.10 Wallpaper Competition

Posted in News Roundup at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Server

      • No Silver Bullet for Kubernetes Multicluster Management

        The most recent Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) End User Technology Radar, focusing on multicluster management, finds that cluster management is complex with no clearly defined path to success. This announcement may come as no surprise to those involved, but the findings and methodology still shed light on the growth and development of the Kubernetes ecosystem.

        The CNCF Technology Radar, according to the website, acts as “an opinionated guide to a set of emerging technologies” and is intended for a technical audience that wants to know which cloud-native solutions end users use and recommend.

      • Enterprise databases deployed in Kubernetes? Proceed with caution, warns seasoned analyst

        A leading analyst has warned big, non-tech companies against database deployments in the Kubernetes, dubbing the approach as “emerging technology” for enterprises.

        While developers might want the flexibility and agility the stateless container orchestrator promised, Carl Olofson, research vice president, data management software, IDC urged caution with enterprise deployments.

        Speaking at the Postgres Vision 2021 conference this week, the seasoned database expert said: “You really need to make sure you’re using functions that are well established. You want to be conservative. Kubernetes is open source, so the updates and the testing and all that, follows a rather slow formal process from the time that submission comes to the timer that goes out. Kubernetes is still rapidly evolving. Like any technology: if you’re trying to commit your enterprise to functions that run on an emerging technology, then you are accepting some risks.”

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Learning Sed Is Beneficial For Linux Users

        sed is a stream editor. A stream editor is used to perform basic text transformations on an input stream (a file or input from a pipeline). The most common usage of sed involves substituting a pattern or string for another string.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel’s BPF Fixed Up Against Spectre Vulnerability Bypass – Phoronix

        With the latest mainline Git kernel as well as the newest stable point releases as of Wednesday, a Spectre issue with the kernel’s BPF subsystem has been addressed.

        Up until this week, the kernel’s BPF subsystem protections around speculative execution could be bypassed. An unprivileged BPF program could leak the contents of arbitrary kernel memory via a side-channel attack.

      • Graphics/GPU

        • Another Test Drive With Crocus Gallium3D On Old Intel Hardware – Phoronix

          Since Crocus was merged into mainline Mesa last week we have been looking at benchmarks of this new open-source Intel Gallium3D driver designed exclusively for older Intel graphics hardware (i965 Gen4 through Haswell Gen7, plus Cherrvyiew and experimental Gen8 Broadwell) compared to the existing open-source i965 classic driver. Prior articles have looked at the quite good performance with Haswell while Sandy Bridge is in somewhat rough shape. Today’s testing is going in the middle and looking at the Crocus vs. i965 OpenGL driver performance for Ivy Bridge with the once great Core i7 3770K.

        • NVIDIA TAO Transfer Learning Toolkit (TLT) 3.0 released with pre-trained models – CNX Software

          NVIDIA first introduced the TAO (Train, Adapt and Optimize) framework to eases AI model training on NVIDIA GPU’s as well as NVIDIA Jetson embedded platforms last April during GTC 2021.

          The company has now announced the release of the third version of the TAO Transfer Learning Toolkit (TLT 3.0) together with some new pre-trained models at CVPR 2021 (2021 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition).

    • Applications

      • DVD Authoring Tool DVDStyler 3.2 Released!

        Free cross-platform DVD authoring app DVDStyler 3.2 was released. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 21.04.

      • Seungha Yang: GStreamer Media Foundation Video Encoder Is Now Faster — Direct3D11 Awareness

        GStreamer MediaFoundation video encoders (H.264, HEVC, and VP9 if supported by GPU) gained the ability to accept Direct3D11 textures, which will bring noticeable performance improvements

        As of the GStreamer 1.18 release, hardware accelerated Direct3D11/DXVA video decoding and MediaFoundation based video encoding features were landed.

        Those native Windows video APIs can be very helpful for application development/deployment, since they are hardware platform-agnostic APIs for the Windows platform. The questions is if they are sufficiently competitive with hardware-specific APIs such as NVIDIA NVCODEC SDK or Intel Media SDK?

        Probably the answer is … “NO”

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install PHP 7.4 on CentOS 7 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and configuration of PHP 7.4 on CentOS 7. For those of you who didn’t know, PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a server-side scripting language designed for web development but also used as a general-purpose programming language. PHP code is interpreted by a web server with a PHP processor module, which generates the resulting web page: PHP commands can be embedded directly into an HTML source document rather than calling an external file to process data.

        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. I will show you the step-by-step installation of PHP 7.4 on the CentOS 7 Linux server.

      • Configure PXE Boot Server for Rocky Linux 8 Kickstart Installation

        We are using our existing PXE boot homelab server in this article.

        All commands to be run on the PXE boot server.

      • Pablo Iranzo Gómez: Redken machine learning for spam detection

        For some of the telegram groups I’m in, I’ve been detecting users that after some period of time, just publish spam messages of any topic.

        There are many bots for controlling when a user joins, by showing a CAPTCHA that user must resolve (either clicking a button, answering a mathematical operation, inputting a CAPTCHA image text, etc).

        Some time ago, a colleague was using Machine Learning and I wanted to have a look at it and it would make a good feature to implement.

        First thing I wanted, was to get rid of the spammers, so the first approach was to include a new command on redken_bot to mark with /spam when replying to a message to take some actions.

      • A quick-start guide to OpenZFS native encryption

        One of the many features OpenZFS brings to the table is ZFS native encryption. First introduced in OpenZFS 0.8, native encryption allows a system administrator to transparently encrypt data at rest within ZFS itself. This obviates the need for separate tools like LUKS, VeraCrypt, or BitLocker.

      • 4 Ways to Show all Drives (Mounted and Unmounted) on Linux

        The drives on any system can either be mounted or unmounted. The mounted drives are the ones that are ready to be accessed at any time whereas the data residing on the unmounted drives can only be accessed after these drives are mounted. In the proceeding section of this article, we want to share with you the different methods of displaying all available drives on Linux.

      • How To Password Protect Text Files Using Vim Editor In Linux

        Apart from creating and editing text files, we can also encrypt files using Vim editor. This brief guide shows you how to password protect text files using Vim editor in Linux and Unix-like operating systems.

      • Communicating over D-Bus using SELinux – Linux Concept

        The D-Bus daemon provides an inter-process communication channel between applications. Unlike traditional IPC methods, D-Bus is a higher-level communication channel that offers more than simple signaling or memory sharing. Applications that want to chat over D-Bus link with one of the many D-Bus-compatible libraries, such as those provided by the libdbus, sd-bus (part of systemd), GDBus, and QtDBus applications.

        The D-Bus daemon is part of the systemd application suite.

      • How to Check System Details and Hardware Information on Linux

        Knowledge of your system’s hardware specifications is important because it determines whether your computer supports certain software programs and video games. If you would like to upgrade your PC, it’s crucial to know what kind of hardware you currently have so that you can determine which parts to upgrade depending on your needs.

        This guide will show you some of the most important commands for viewing computer hardware specifications on your Linux system.

      • How to Install Mega.nz Cloud Drive on Ubuntu – Free 20GB Storage

        This tutorial is going to show you how to install MEGA.nz cloud drive on Ubuntu desktop and server. MEGA.nz is a cloud storage provider from New Zealand. It offers 20GB free storage upon registration and also allows you to get up to 50GB free space.

      • How to Install NetBeans IDE 12.4 in Ubuntu, Debian and Linux Mint – Unixcop

        The NetBeans (also known as Apache Netbeans) is an open-source and award-winning IDE (integrated development environment) application for Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac. The NetBeans IDE provides a much powerful Java application framework platform that allows programmers to easily develop Java-based web applications, mobile applications, and desktops. It is one of the best IDEs for C/C++ programming, and also it provides vital tools for PHP programmers.

        The IDE is the only first editor, that provides support for many languages like PHP, C/C++, XML, HTML, Groovy, Grails, Ajax, Javadoc, JavaFX, and JSP, Ruby, and Ruby on Rails.

        The editor is feature-rich and provides an extensive range of tools, templates, and samples; and it’s highly extensible using community developed plugins, thus making it well suited for software development.

      • How to compress PNG files on Linux

        Are you looking to compress some PNG images on your Linux PC? Can’t figure out how to compress PNGs? We can help! In this guide, we’ll go over two great ways you can compress your PNG image files on Linux.

      • How to convert PNG to JPG on Linux

        Got some PNG image files you need to convert to JPG lying around on your Linux PC? Don’t know the first thing about converting image formats? We can help! Follow along with this guide as we go over how to convert PNG image files to JPG on Linux!

      • A technical introduction to the Snap Store Proxy | Ubuntu

        In the world of IoT, it is crucial to be fully in control of your devices. Over-the-air (OTA) updates are essential for a distributed set of devices. This must be carefully managed to ensure that an update is not pushed at a time where the device is active and operation should not be interrupted.

        To enable this level of control, we have developed the Snap Store Proxy, an on-premise edge proxy to the general Snap Store that can do more than simply managing updates. To demonstrate some of these features, we are hosting a webinar to introduce you to the Snap Store Proxy.

    • Games

      • Developing Games on Linux: An Interview with Little Red Dog GamesLittle Red Dog Games is an indie…

        Little Red Dog Games is an indie game developer that primarily uses Godot to create games such as Deep Sixed, Precipice, and their latest game, Rogue State Revolution. To learn more about their experience developing games in Linux, we sat down for an interview with CEO Ryan Hewer and Lead Programmer, Denis Comtesse.

        Tell us a little about Little Red Dog Games. How did you come into being as a company?

        Ryan: We’ve been around for the better part of a decade now—I’d say maybe 8 years. We’re based out of northern New York, and Denis resides in Germany. We started off as a hobby business making point-and-click adventure games and playing around with various tools that are out there. With every product we said, alright, well what if we take it a little bit further? What if we push ourselves a little bit more? Then we started taking on increasingly ambitious games.

      • Valve’s Dota 2 Adds AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution – Phoronix

        Valve’s Dota 2 game is the latest adding support for AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution and the first time having a Linux-native game support FSR for enhanced image upscaling.

        Wednesday’s update to Dota 2 brings support for FidelityFX Super Resolution, which FSR launched this week as AMD’s alternative to NVIDIA DLSS. Dota 2 FSR works when using the game’s Direct3D 11 or Vulkan renderers — basically no OpenGL, due to FSR itself only catering to these newer graphics APIs.

      • Steam on Chrome OS is so close I can taste it

        It has been well over a year since Google’s Director of Product Management, Kan Liu, tipped the news that Google and Valve were working together to bring a native Steam gaming experience to Chrome OS. In that time, a lot of work has been done in preparation for what we believe could see ‘Borealis‘ launching as early as Q3 of this year. In its current state, Steam will actually install and run just fine on most Linux-enabled Chromebooks but the gameplay is still a bit shoddy even on titles that aren’t very graphics intensive. Over the past few months, I have spent more time than I probably should have tinkering to see if I could get the Borealis app installed on various Chromebooks. This week, I made some headway, albeit minimal.

        After a few Developer Mode antics and some code acrobatics, I was able to get the Borealis app installed on my Chromebook and above, we finally have our first look at the initial installation screen for the Steam container. Sadly, as the second image denotes, the installation process throws an error for missing permissions. This wasn’t too much of a surprise considering the ongoing work being done on the project. Borealis has its own set of DLC(downloadable content) that is required for the setup process and my guess is that this content is still gated on the server-side. Then, there’s another missing piece that will be needed to make this experience fully viable on Chrome OS and that piece is Vulkan.

      • Planetary Annihilation: TITANS gets a new series of Fusion Updates

        For a while now the newer team who have kept Planetary Annihilation: TITANS alive have been gradually updating the game as part of the “Unicorn” series, which they say is now over and it’s time for Fusion.

        The first update for the Fusion series is out now, adding in the Fusion Commander which will be available for everyone during the Steam Summer Sale 2021 and after you can buy it in-game if you wish to keep it (commanders are just cosmetic).

        A new unit was also added with the Stinger “the little bot that could”. This is an anti-air bot unit with twin-mounted homing missile pods. There’s also a major UI upgrade for lobbies so that the host of the game can drag, drop and swap players. Additionally, the lobby will not start generating a system right away as there’s no default now “saving your CPU from generating something you were probably not going to use” and also asteroids can now be included in random generation systems.

      • The Steam Summer Sale 2021 is now live with thousands of savings and a mini-game | GamingOnLinux

        Have you been penny-pinching ready for the Steam Summer Sale 2021? Well it’s live now so you can open those wallets up and build up another backlog of games.

        This year Valve has announced what they’re calling Forge Your Fate, which are “fourteen themed pages featuring destiny-defining micro-adventures, each one leading to an animated sticker, and all culminating in a fate-forged badge and glory”. Each of them brings you to a special store page with games that fit the theme picked, and allow you to continue a little story. Additionally, the Points Shop has been updated with for all-new Game Profiles featuring animated backgrounds, mini-profiles, avatars, and colour schemes.

      • Co-op spaceship command and exploration game PULSAR: Lost Colony is out now | GamingOnLinux

        In the co-op game PULSAR: Lost Colony you each form part of a spaceship’s crew, each responsible for a major system as you go off and explore the galaxy. Quite a lot of fun actually and it’s come a very long way over the past few years being in Early Access and turned into what a modern Star Trek: Bridge Crew could have been.

        You get to run around your ship, engage in tense space battles where you each command a station and even explore other planets and look for resources and more.


        Currently it doesn’t seem like the VR support is hooked up for the Linux build.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce participation in GSoC 2021

        I am a bit late with my blog post .. though I suppose better late than never :D

        This year Xfce applied to the Google Summer of Code program and I am happy to tell you that we accomplished to get 3 slots ! (That’s very good, since new organization usually only receive one or two slots)

        There was a lot of interest by students. In total 15 proposals were received for Xfce. So sadly we had to refuse several nice proposals. However the number of mentors as well was limited, so that this year Xfce anyhow would not be able to mentor more students.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Neon: Maliit Keyboard Now Available on Wayland

          We have updated the Maliit keyboard package to Maliit 2 and released it to Neon user edition. This gives a virtual keyboard which you can use, handy for convertible laptops with a removeable keyboard. It only runs when using Wayland so make sure to select that at login. There is a module in System Settings to select the keyboard and it should be intelligent enough to only run when you don’t have a physical keyboard plugged in.

        • AudioTube nightly builds available

          This is good news for all of you that have been asking for AudioTube binaries. A nightly flatpak build is now built regularly on KDE’s binary factory. The community wiki explains how to install from the nightly repository.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • OpenLogic by Perforce Announces Commercial Support for Rocky Linux, Other CentOS Alternatives
        • Red Hat Rewrites the Business Automation Playbook with End-to-End Kubernetes-Native Decision Management Capabilities

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced new end-to-end Kubernetes-native decision management capabilities as part of the latest release of Red Hat Process Automation. Based on the open source Kogito project, the new capabilities enable individual business decisions to be created and deployed as containerized microservices that are managed by Kubernetes alongside other containers in the application environment, reducing redundancy and the footprint of traditional decision management systems when deploying in cloud-native environments like Red Hat OpenShift.

        • Automakers Race to the IoT and Manufacturing Edge | IT Pro

          Thanks to increased demand for internet-connected cars, autos are driving the manufacturing edge with robotics-driven automation during assembly.

        • Open Data Hub: A Meta Project for AI/ML Work

          Open source software is a critical resource in data science today, but integrating the various open source products together can be a complex task. This is what drove Red Hat to develop Open Data Hub, which brings over two dozen commonly used tools together into a single cohesive framework that simplifies access to AI and machine learning capabilities for data professionals.

          Open Data Hub (ODH) originated about five years ago as an internal Red Hat project to simply store large amounts of data so that it was accessible for data scientists to build models, according to Will McGrath, a senior principal product marketing manager at Red Hat. In Red Hat’s case, the engineers chose Ceph, the S3-compatbile object storage system.

          After getting a handle on the storage aspect of the data, Red Hat’s team then brought a handful of tools into the equation, starting with Jupyter, Apache Spark, and TensorFlow. The system supported internal Red Hat use cases, such as analyzing log files from customer complaints or for searching the internal knowledgebase, McGrath says.

          Eventually, word of ODH’s existence leaked out to a handful of Red Hat customers, who expressed an interest in trying out the software, he says. In 2018, the company made the decision to turn ODH into a full-fledged open source project that could be downloaded and used by the general public, as well as contributed to from the open source community. You can see a short history of the product in this Red Hat video.

          Today, Red Hat bills ODH as “a blueprint for building an AI as a service platform.” It follows a general workflow that will be familiar to data professionals, starting with data storage and data ingestion; leading to data analysis, model building; and model training; followed by model validation, deployment, and model serving; with ongoing monitoring and optimization.

        • Red Hat shares roadmaps for OpenShift Application Services

          Red Hat OpenShift API Management is a hosted API management service for microservices-based applications. It has three main components: API Manager, API Gateway, and single sign-on based on Red Hat SSO. It is available today as an add-on to Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated as well as on the new Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS, which became generally available in April. It achieved PCI compliance certification in May of this year.

          The planned roadmap for the next year includes additional compliance certifications such as ISO, SOC2, and FedRAMP, API monetization, an API registry for storing open API definitions, support for additional cloud providers including Azure Red Hat OpenShift, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM Cloud (ROKS). Self-managed service integration using Istio and Knative is in the cards, as is the addition of features for high throughput customers.

        • Upgraded LoRaWAN gateway adds Node-RED support

          ICP Germany has upgraded its “UG65” LoRaWAN gateway to add Node-RED support. The unit supports 8 simultaneous LoRa channels and more than 2,000 LoRaWAN nodes, along with Ethernet, Wi-Fi and cellular (optional) connectivity.

          We missed covering ICP Germany’s UG65 LoRaWAN gateway when it was first announced in mid-March. Now the company has upgraded the UG65 with new features. With the firmware update to version, the UG65 LoRaWAN gateway adds support for Node-RED and provides LoRa class updates.

          Developed by IBM, Node-RED is a programming interface that can be used to connect hardware, interfaces and services from the IoT. According to ICP, this feature makes the UG65 more attractive to developers of Smart applications. Target applications for the unit include IoT systems, Smart Infrastructure, sensor-to-cloud systems and Smart Agriculture.

        • 4 change management strategies for the hybrid work era

          In addition to expediting long-planned platform migrations and digital transformations, the pandemic forced most businesses to undergo involuntary changes, testing their abilities to deploy and manage these transitions quickly and effectively.

          As the world adjusts to the next normal in 2021, business leaders can anticipate more change as they accommodate hybrid work. According to PwC’s U.S. Remote Work Survey, 75 percent of executives expect half of their employees to return to the office by July of this year. These business leaders view the in-person experience as essential to maintaining company culture: Only 5 percent of respondents believe that culture can be maintained without employees in the office.

        • Application analysis in the DevSecOps life cycle

          June is application analysis month in the Red Hat’s monthly Security series! Beginning in March 2021, the Red Hat Security Ecosystem team has provided an introduction to a DevOps Security topic in a monthly fashion to help you learn how Red Hat weaves together DevOps and Security to master the force called DevSecOps. We explain how to assemble Red Hat products and our security ecosystem partners to aid in your journey to deploying a comprehensive DevSecOps solution.

        • New ecosystem opportunities at the service provider edge

          Edge computing, which locates services closer to consumers and data sources, can help enable applications and use cases in which real-time processing, low latency, and a corresponding boost in the Quality of Experience (QoE) are critical.

          In our previous post, Industry trends from the ever evolving service provider edge, we noted that service providers (SPs) are in an ideal situation to take advantage of the edge computing shift. Along with their traditional strengths in building networks, connectivity, physical location(s), and existing data consumption and management models, SPs are well positioned to develop partnerships and ecosystems to create new revenue streams.

        • Fedora Linux 34 Release Party videos available now – Fedora Community Blog

          The Fedora Project had a successful Fedora Linux 34 Release Party on April 30th & May 1st, 2021. The Release Party had nearly 500 registrations with a 78% turnout rate, which is above Hopin’s calculated industry average. As promised, the Mindshare Committee wrapped up the video editing: the recordings of the sessions are now up on Youtube as a playlist for your perusal. Feel free to share this series of videos on the latest and greatest in the Fedora community!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical and Blender Partner to Provide Support Options

          Blender has partnered with Canonical to provide enterprise-grade support to Blender users.

          Blender is an open source 3D animation tool that has been used in the film, TV, tech and science community for years. As an open source platform, however, Blender hasn’t always had the support options its commercial competitors can boast.

          That has changed, with Canonical providing enterprise-grade support. Canonical is the company behind Ubuntu, one of the most popular Linux distributions. The company also provides support for other open source applications.

        • Blender 2.93.1

          Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. Through it’s open architecture, Blender provides cross-platform interoperability, extensibility, an incredibly small footprint, and a tightly integrated workflow. Blender is one of the most popular Open Source 3D graphics application in the world.

        • Ubuntu 21.10 Wallpaper Competition

          We are incredibly proud to announce the beginning of the Impish Indri wallpaper competition! (That’s the code name for Ubuntu 21.10) You can submit your artwork and read the rules over on the Ubuntu discourse. Every new release of Ubuntu comes pre-loaded with new background images that users can select ‘out of the box’. For the Ubuntu Impish Indri release, we are running a competition for members of the community to get their artwork baked into an Ubuntu release, forever.

        • The Ubuntu Wallpaper Contest is Back After 2 Year Break

          After a two year break, the Ubuntu community team is reviving and refreshing this much-loved staple of the Ubuntu release cycle.

          Artists, graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, and anyone else with creative flair can contribute artwork for potential inclusion in the Ubuntu 21.10 “Impish Indri” release this autumn.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Top 10 best Raspberry pi projects

        The Raspberry Pi is arguably the most popular and most accessible of all nano-computers. Its attractive price, its flexibility of use and the infinite possibilities associated with it delight both makers of all kinds and awaken the sensitivity of the general public whose interest has increased in recent years.

        Mini-machine to (almost) everything par excellence, the Raspberry Pi has above all been thought out and designed for educational purposes to encourage anyone to learn about the joys of electronics, computers and of course programming. If the more experienced go on projects that are complex to implement (and sometimes completely unusual), requiring a minimum of hands-on, the famous “Raspi” can also be used for simple projects that are accessible to beginners.

        It is these affordable, useful and often educational projects that we will focus on today. We have tried to put together in this article a selection of the best ideas and projects to start or continue using your Raspberry Pi. You will no longer have any reason to let your Pi collect dust in the back of a drawer!

        You will find projects to be carried out with a small Raspberry Pi Zero as well as with more powerful models such as the Pi 3 A and B +, or even with the Raspberry Pi 4, the latest version of which includes a RAM module of 8 GB!

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Stanford researchers develop new software for designing sustainable cities | EurekAlert! Science News

        New technology could help cities around the world improve people’s lives while saving billions of dollars. The free, open-source software developed by the Stanford Natural Capital Project creates maps to visualize the links between nature and human wellbeing. City planners and developers can use the software to visualize where investments in nature, such as parks and marshlands, can maximize benefits to people, like protection from flooding and improved health.

      • Time to Learn More About Open Source? | FTF News

        to the Fintech Open Source Foundation, also known as FINOS.

        FINOS is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to speed up collaboration and innovation in financial services by way of “open source software, standards, and best practices,” according to its website.

        “The financial services industry has been a long-time consumer of open source software; however, many are struggling in contributing to, and publishing, open source software and standards, and adopting open source methodologies. A lack of understanding of how to build and deploy efficient tooling and governance models are often seen as a limiting factor,” according to FINOS.

      • Daniel Stenberg: Sending those stickers

        As suspected already from the start, I ran out of stickers really fast. I ordered more from my trusted sticker guy on the corner, and he could even deliver stickers put into pre-printed envelopes. Envelopes that even got a curl logo on them. Around two hundred recipients got stickers that way.

        It took me a while to complete this task. Getting all the addresses organized took time, getting all the materials restocked took time, packaging sticker of different sorts to almost a thousand people took time and then I also of course had to do occasional work in the mean time so I didn’t finish the delivery from my end until near the end of June.

        When I write this, I’ve just sent off the last few parcels. 978 recipients are now close(r) to get curl stickers.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • chromium-ungoogled updated to 91.0.4472.101

            Chromium ungoogled is the Chromium Web Browser with Google hooks disabled or removed. If replacing your existing Chromium browser then please delete .config/chromium folder to start with a clean profile.

        • Mozilla

          • How WebAssembly Modules Safely Exchange Data

            The WebAssembly binary format (Wasm) has been developed to allow software written in any language to “compile once, run everywhere”, inside web browsers or stand-alone virtual machines (runtimes) available for any platform, almost as fast as code directly compiled for those platforms. Wasm modules can interact with any host environment in which they run in a really portable way, thanks to the WebAssembly System Interface (WASI).

            That is not enough, though. In order to be actually usable without surprises in as many scenarios as possible, Wasm executable files need at least two more things. One is the capability to interact directly not just with the operating system, but with any other program of the same kind. The way to do this with Wasm is called “module linking”, and will be the topic of the next article of this series. The other feature, that is a prerequisite for module linking to be useful, is the capability to exchange data structures of any kind, without misunderstandings or data loss.

          • New Firefox UI Fixed In A Few Easy Steps

            The new firefox UI is kind of controversial so how about we just go and change it back to what it used to be, turns out it’s incredibly easy to do so and it’s just as easy to go and make your own custom tweaks.

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: Review Articles on AMO and New Blog Name

            I’m very happy to announce a new feature that we’ve released on AMO (addons.mozilla.org). It’s a series of posts that review some of the best add-ons we have available on AMO.


            Our goal with this new channel is to provide user-friendly guides into the add-ons world, focused on topics that are at the top of Firefox users’ minds. And, because we’re publishing directly on AMO, you can install the add-ons directly from the article pages.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL 14 Beta 2 Released!

          The PostgreSQL Global Development Group announces that the second beta release of PostgreSQL 14 is now available for download. This release contains previews of all features that will be available in the final release of PostgreSQL 14, though some details of the release could change before then.

          You can find information about all of the features and changes found in PostgreSQL 14 in the release notes:


          In the spirit of the open source PostgreSQL community, we strongly encourage you to test the new features of PostgreSQL 14 in your systems to help us eliminate any bugs or other issues that may exist. While we do not advise you to run PostgreSQL 14 Beta 2 in your production environments, we encourage you to find ways to run your typical application workloads against this beta release.

        • The 5 Best Free Replacements for MySQL Server

          In this article you’ll learn what are the best free RDBMS replacements for MySQL Server, what they have in common, how they’re different, and in which cases you should prefer one or the other.

          MySQL has become one of the world’s most popular database engine. It is also found and supported on the majority of web hosting providers around the globe as standard. But sometimes your first choice doesn’t always work out.

          These days there are plenty of Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) in the market. Some focus on specific areas, others just aim to be a complete replacement. MySQL is probably the most popular choice, but it is only one of them.

          Relational databases remain at the heart of many different types of applications. In helping you make the right choice for your use-case, below we outlined 5 standout replacements for your MySQL Server.

      • FSF

        • Support the FSF tech team

          In some ways, the four-person Free Software Foundation (FSF) tech team is living the dream for any free software fanatic: who wouldn’t want to get paid to do what you love? Every workday, our tech team tweaks and tailors software that obeys the four freedoms, and keeps the FSF chugging along. The tradeoff for the warm glow of satisfaction that comes from doing truly important work, though, is that it’s a lot of work: maintaining, upgrading, and repairing the infrastructure that supports the FSF and the GNU Project certainly keeps the tech team busy. Plus, they’re always trying to take the experience for our members and supporters to the next level (which, of course, would be much harder to do if we were hamstrung by the unjust limitations of proprietary software!).

          As such, their report for the upcoming issue of the Free Software Foundation Bulletin overflowed our print space as usual, and still doesn’t include anywhere near all of the work they did in the last six months.

        • GNU Projects

          • Welcome to MyGNUHealth, the Libre Personal Health Record

            MyGNUHealth 1.0 us out! The GNU Health Libre Personal Health Record is now ready for prime time!

            This is great news. Great news because citizens around the world have now access to a Free/Libre application, focused on privacy, that puts them in control of their health.

            Health is personal, so is the health data. It’s been years since I got the idea of expanding the GNU Health ecosystem, not only to the health professionals and institutions, but making it personal, accessible to individuals. Now is a reality!

            Throughout these years, the mobile health (mHealth) has been governed by private companies that benefit from your health data. Private companies, private insurances, proprietary operating systems, proprietary health applications. Big business, no privacy.

      • Programming/Development

        • Google Proposes An Open-Source Vulnerability Interchange Schema

          As part of Google’s latest work on trying to enhance open-source software security, months after starting their own open-source vulnerability database they are now looking to push an open-source vulnerability interchange schema to make it easier to exchange information on vulnerabilities and making it easier for automated analysis.

          Google hopes this will be adopted as a unified vulnerability schema used by open-source projects for relaying details about vulnerabilities. In large part the emphasis on this schema is to make it easier for automated analysis and processing while the JSON-based format can be converted into human-friendly output as well with ease.

        • Perl/Raku

          • vrurg: My Work Environment

            Just have noticed that normally I have 4 editors/IDEs running at the same time:

            Comma for modules and an in-house project
            Vim for scripts, blog and articles, and Perl

          • gfldex: Typed filters

            The Discord Raku bot is now also an IRC -> Discord bridge. To handle the streams of messages I use a react-block with a few whenevers. I would like to handle filtering of debug output from API::Discord in there as well, without disrupting something simple like printing to the terminal.

            In my last post I showed how I can control the behaviour of a module with the use statement. The next step is to divert writes to $*ERR to a Supply.

        • Python

          • Why Python is Best for AI, ML, and Deep Learning – RTInsights

            Artificial intelligence projects are different from traditional software projects. The difference lies in the technology stack, the skills required for AI-based projects, and the need for in-depth research. To implement AI aspirations, you need to use a programming language that is stable, flexible, and has available tools. Python provides all of these, which is why we see many Python AI projects today.

            Python facilitates developers to increase the confidence and productivity about their developing software from development to deployment and maintenance. The benefits of making Python the perfect solution for machine learning and AI-driven projects include simplicity and consistency, flexibility, access to powerful AI and machine learning (ML) libraries and frameworks, platform independence, and large communities. These things increase the popularity of the language.

          • Create Basic Python C++ Extensions on Fedora Linux 34
          • Get started with Anaconda Python

            No question about it, Python is a crucial part of modern data science. Convenient and powerful, Python connects data scientists and developers with a whole galaxy of tools and functionality, in convenient and programmatic ways.

            Still, those tools sometimes come with a little—or a lot—of assembly required. Because Python is a general-purpose programming language, how it’s packaged and delivered doesn’t speak specifically to data scientists. But various folks have delivered Python to that audience in a way that’s prepackaged, with little to no assembly required—a project that regular Python users can benefit from, too.

        • Java

          • Jakarta EE 9.1 and the Road to Jakarta EE 10

            Five months after the release of Jakarta EE 9, the Jakarta EE Working Group has announced the release of the Platform and Web Profile specifications of Jakarta EE 9.1 and related TCKs. Since its debut in 2018, two major versions – Jakarta EE 8 in 2019 and Jakarta EE 9 in 2020 – were released. This is the first incremental point release in which developers may now: develop and deploy Jakarta EE 9.1 applications on JDK 11 and JDK 8; take advantage of new Java SE 11 features and new technologies added since Java SE 8; move existing Jakarta EE 9 applications to Java SE 11 without changes; and migrate existing Java EE and Jakarta EE 8 applications to Jakarta EE 9.1 using the same straightforward process available for migration to Jakarta EE 9.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Producing hydrogen using less energy

        The way in which a compound inspired by nature produces hydrogen has now been described in detail for the first time by an international research team from the University of Jena, Germany and the University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy. These findings are the foundation for the energy-efficient production of hydrogen as a sustainable energy source.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • COVID Origins and Gain of Function with Sam Husseini

        Journalist Sam Husseini joins the podcast to discuss the recent mainstream shift regarding the “lab leak” theory and Gain of Function in general and what the “newly allowed” mainstream coverage is leaving out and covering up. Originally published on Rokfin on June 21, 2021.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Mageia (apache-mod_auth_openidc, bind, bluez, cifs-utils, ffmpeg, gnome-autoar, guacd, kernel, kernel-linus, qtwebsockets5, slic3r, tunnel, wavpack, wireshark, and xscreensaver), openSUSE (apache2, cryptctl, go1.15, libnettle, python-rsa, salt, thunderbird, wireshark, libvirt, sbc, libqt5-qtmultimedia, xstream, and xterm), and SUSE (cryptctl, freeradius-server, libnettle, and libsolv).

          • Splunk Security Cloud Now Generally Available [Ed: But this is proprietary software]

            Splunk has announced the new Splunk Security Cloud, the data-centric modern security operations platform that delivers enterprise-grade advanced security analytics, automated security operations, and integrated threat intelligence with an open ecosystem.

          • Have a Dell desktop or laptop? You should upgrade your firmware now

            Even with Secure Boot enabled it seems it doesn’t really help and affects at least 129 different models of Dell laptops, tablets, and desktops. Eclypsium estimate around 30 million devices will be affected by this. It doesn’t specifically state it’s an issue for Linux and does mention Windows explicitly but the point is the same, you’ll be vulnerable if you don’t ensure you’re up to date. The series of issues allows a “privileged network attacker to gain arbitrary code execution within the BIOS of vulnerable machines”.

          • Dell BIOS/UEFI Under Attack From New Vulnerabilities – Use FWUPD For The Latest Updates – Phoronix

            For those wondering about the recent skyrocketing in LVFS/FWUPD usage for Linux firmware updates, it appears to be attributed to Dell pushing out a massive number of updates with more than one hundred models impacted by newly-disclosed BIOS/UEFI vulnerabilities.


            Dell has been publishing updated BIOS/UEFI for not only their Windows customers but also posting the new firmware to LVFS so it can be deployed quickly on Linux. Those with Dell desktops and laptops should run sudo fwupdmgr update as soon as possible.

          • Report picks holes in the Linux kernel release signing process

            A report looking into the security of the Linux kernel’s release signing process has highlighted a range of areas for improvement, from failing to mandate the use of hardware security keys for authentication to use of static keys for SSH access.

            The Linux kernel is at the heart of a wealth of modern technology, from embedded gadgets and network equipment all the way up to supercomputers. Its broad deployment makes it a tempting target for ne’er-do-wells, as was made all-too-obvious in 2011 when attackers gained root access to key servers used in its development and distribution.

          • Atlassian Bugs Could Have Led to 1-Click Takeover | Threatpost

            A supply-chain attack could have siphoned sensitive information out of Jira, such as security issues on Atlassian cloud, Bitbucket and on-prem products.

            Atlassian, a platform used by 180,000 customers to engineer software and manage projects, could have been hijacked with a single click due to security flaws, researchers have disclosed.

          • You won’t want that Linux bling if it comes from Pling: Marketplace platform has critical vulnerabilities [Ed: Why blame "Linux" for malware that has nothing to do with it and people need to foolishly install?]

            A Berlin startup has disclosed a remote-code-execution (RCE) vulnerability and a wormable cross-site-scripting (XSS) flaw in Pling, which is used by various Linux desktop theme marketplaces.

            Positive Security, which found the holes and is not to be confused with Russia’s Positive Technologies, said the bugs are still present in the Pling code and its maintainers have not responded to vulnerability reports.

          • Istio Flaw Patched

            • ISTIO-SECURITY-2021-007

              The Istio Gateway and DestinationRule can load private keys and certificates from Kubernetes secrets via the credentialName configuration. For Istio 1.8 and above, the secrets are conveyed from Istiod to gateways or workloads via the XDS API.

              In the above approach, a gateway or workload deployment should only be able to access credentials (TLS certificates and private keys) stored in the Kubernetes secrets within its namespace. However, a bug in Istiod permits an authorized client the ability to access and retrieve any TLS certificate and private key cached in Istiod.

            • Announcing Istio 1.9.6

              This release fixes the security vulnerabilities described in our June 24th post, ISTIO-SECURITY-2021-007 as well as a few minor bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.9.5 and Istio 1.9.6.

            • Announcing Istio 1.10.2

              This release fixes the security vulnerabilities described in our June 24th post, ISTIO-SECURITY-2021-007 as well as a few minor bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.10.1 and 1.10.2.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Blinken Warns That Nord Stream 2 Could Be ‘Coercivie Tool’ Against Europe

        U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reiterated warnings about the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline during meetings in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on June 23.

        Blinken said he and Maas agreed that concrete steps are needed to “ensure that Russia cannot use energy as a coercive tool directed at Ukraine or anyone else in Europe.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Biden is taking Trump’s argument against TikTok seriously

        Joe Biden is taking a close look at whether TikTok, the popular social video app, is a national security threat, a move that acknowledges the concerns behind Donald Trump’s failed attempt to ban the app last year. Biden appears to share his predecessor’s concern that the ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, poses a threat to America’s national security.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Internet is Us

        Before the Internet (yes, I’m that old) “going online” meant calling my friend Phil’s computer from my own. I’d put a phone handset (there were only what we now call “landlines” back then) into a special cradle with two rubber cups — one for the mouthpiece and another for the earpiece. Then I would manually dial the phone number, wait for his computer to pick up and make a tone, and hit a key on my computer to initiate the handshake.

        There wasn’t a lot to do. Phil had a few games on there. And there was a folder with my username on it that I could check for messages. Everyone who had an account on Phil’s computer could also access a bulletin board where we had conversations much like the ones on Twitter or Facebook today, except slow, and friendly, and smart.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Microsoft’s “Windows 11” is incompatible with many PCs, comes with more junk, and mandates Restricted Boot.

        Microsoft made the Windows 11 announcement today, and users should be horrified.

        Everything that the Free Software Foundation, Techrights, and I have said about “Secure” Boot one day becoming mandatory and leading to PCs that would only boot Microsoft-blessed operating systems has finally come to pass. According to Wikipedia, new computers will have no option to turn it off in the BIOS because the OS itself now requires it.

        As companies and individuals being attacked with malware has grown to be such a problem that the FBI considers it on par with the war on terrorism, due to the colonial pipeline and JBS meat processor attacks, to name but a couple, it’s clear that nothing Microsoft has implemented in the pretense of security is even getting in the way of “cyber” criminals.


        Effectivelly, _all PCs_ older than a few years are stuck with Windows 10 now, which is in a grave yard mode for some time already, or users can migrate to the actively improved and thriving GNU/Linux OS. Which probably runs better anyway.

      • Apple exec: “Sideloading in this case is actually eliminating choice” | Ars Technica

        Facing legal actions, Apple argues on the basis of privacy, security.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Facebook Is Working on an Amazingly Hideous Augmented Reality Fedora /a>
        • Facebook’s new patent is a strange new look for AR [Ed: Facebook must be shunned before implementing a vision of the future where people spy on each other, even if there are no Facebook accounts]
        • Albright and counsel say WDTX standing orders ‘bolster fairness’ [Ed: Crooked judges boosted by proponents of patent litigation because they're patent profiteers (or media funded by them). What does that say about the state of the media? PR for sale.]

          Attorneys explain how new standing orders on motions to transfer from the Western District of Texas could help move cases along

        • EPO Data Hub: explore patent filing trends with new free mobile app [Ed: “The #EPO continues to make this data available as downloadable Excel sheets” and the EPO is outsourced, illegally, to Microsoft]

          Today the EPO increases public access to its rich sources of patent statistics with a free mobile app to complement our annual Patent Index.

          Released today for both Android and iOS, the EPO Data Hub contains data covering the last five years (i.e. 2016-2020) for European patent applications and granted patents. In tables and charts it shows the data at global level and country level, showing % share and % growth as well as rankings for top applicants, top regions and even top cities. The built-in download function makes it easy to access the source data for sharing or further private analysis.


          The EPO continues to make this data available as downloadable Excel sheets…

        • Software Patents

          • New frontier: WIPO AI chief explores impact of breakthrough tech [Ed: Buzzwords that are used or misused to grant illegal software patents and other fake patents. WIPO has been run by thugs and the law doesn't bother them.]

            Ulrike Till, director of the IP and frontiers technologies division, shares what she has learned from listening to WIPO’s conversation on AI and IP

Links 24/6/2021: Sparky 2021.06 and KMyMoney 5.1.2

Posted in News Roundup at 2:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.14 To Support XMM Fast Hypercalls For Hyper-V On KVM

        With the KVM code set to be merged in the coming weeks for the Linux 5.14 kernel, support for fast XMM hypercalls is coming for its Hyper-V guest support in allowing for some performance benefits.

        Microsoft Hyper-V’s hypercall interface – for the calling mechanism into guests – supports the notion of XMM fast hypercalls. The XMM fast hypercall support allows for some calls to enjoy improved performance. This fast hypercalls interface makes use of six XMM registers compared to otherwise the maximum of two general purpose registers for hypercalls.

      • Implementing eBPF for Windows [Ed: Microsoft's attack on Linux is progressing gradually but surely]

        Extended BPF (eBPF), the general-purpose execution engine inside of the Linux kernel, has proved helpful for tracing and monitoring the system, for processing network packets, or generally for extending the behavior of the kernel. So helpful, in fact, that developers working on other operating systems have been watching it. Dave Thaler and Poorna Gaddehosur, on behalf of Microsoft, recently published an implementation of eBPF for Windows. A Linux feature making its way to Windows, in itself, deserves attention. Even more so when that feature has brought new degrees of programmability to the Linux kernel over the last few years. This makes it especially interesting to look at what the new project can do, and to ponder how the current ecosystem might evolve as eBPF begins its journey toward Windows.

      • Code humor and inclusiveness

        Free-software development is meant to be fun, at least some of the time. Even developers of database-management systems seem to think that it is fun; there is no accounting for taste, it seems. Part of having fun is certainly allowing the occasional exercise of one’s sense of humor while working on the code. But, as some recent “fix” attempts show, humor does not always carry through to developers all over the planet. Balancing humor and inclusiveness is always going to be a challenge for our community.

        There is a function in the kernel scheduler that will, if things go badly wrong, inform users that a bug is present, describing it as “arch topology borken”. The message is, of course, breathtaking in its clarity; users will immediately know what to do when they see it. Recently, though, a well-intentioned developer sent a patch changing the message to read “broken” instead. This patch was not accepted, but it did result in a brief discussion explaining the nature of the intended joke to the submitter.

        The following day, somebody else attempted to fix another scheduler function containing a comment that cites “histerical raisins”. This time, the poster was instructed to search for “humour”, which is rather less illuminating. Other examples abound; one of the more amusing such attempts came last year, when a developer concluded that the title of this document required a spelling correction; the response this time politely declined the patch, but encouraged the poster by saying “rest assured that you did get [the] point!”.

        Anybody who has spent any amount of time trying to function in a non-native language understands that humor can be difficult. It is deeply tied to both the language it is expressed in and the specific context where it is found. Words that fluent speakers find funny can simply fly over the head of those who are less proficient, and attempts to be funny in a non-native language do not always go well. Your editor has a hard time getting a laugh from native English speakers; he has learned that it’s better not to even try in other settings.

      • quotactl_path() becomes quotactl_fd()

        The quotactl() system call is used to manipulate disk quotas on a filesystem; it can be used to turn quota enforcement on or off, change quotas, retrieve current usage information, and more. The 5.13 merge window brought in a new variant of that system call that was subsequently disabled due to API concerns; its replacement is now taking form.

      • Introduce x86 assembler accelerated implementation for SM4 algorithm
      • ~5x Faster SM4 Cipher Performance With AVX/AES-NI Tuned Linux Kernel Code

        Alibaba engineers are looking to mainline an x86_64 tuned version of the SM4 cipher that with making use of AVX and AES-NI can allow for a dramatic performance speed-up.

        For those required to make use of China’s SM4 block cipher or in use-cases such as supporting the country’s WAPI wireless standard, an x86_64/AVX/AES-NI tuned version of SM4 is looking to get mainlined for the Linux kernel. There has already been an AArch64 tuned version of the SM4 code within the Linux kernel while now from Alibaba is the x86_64 accelerated version. The x86_64 tuning is based on existing work by libgcrypt and sm4ni.

    • Applications

      • 5 Best Linux file managers

        While most Linux distributions come with a GUI-based file manager, you may not be comfortable using them. As with most other things in Linux, if you don’t like what you get with a Distro, you can always download and use an alternative.

        Here is a list of the five best Linux file managers.

      • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 247

        Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly.

        Here are the release notes from Cockpit version 247 and Cockpit Machines version 246.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • URLs: It’s complicated…

        Now, a URL is not something that’s only used in the context of a web browser and web server. RFC3986 gives us all the details, leading us to draw a more accurate URL breakdown as: [...]

      • I like WireGuard partly because it doesn’t have ‘sessions’

        With WireGuard, you can have logical connections that you turn on or off in your configuration system of choice, but this is purely a user interface issue. The underlying protocol is connection-less and there’s no session to break. If the underlying network path is interrupted for a while, neither end of the WireGuard connection will get upset. Packets will get lost for a while, then start getting delivered again, and any long-running TCP connections that break will break for natural reasons that the connection itself timed out. How WireGuard works even lets you move one end between networks without having things explode (I’ve gone through this).

      • 7 Lessons From 10 Outages

        Out of these recurring patterns we’ve extracted lessons that we intend to take into our own engineering teams; and so, we’ve compiled five of those lessons below for the benefit of any interested readers, with the hope that you, too, will find them useful to learn from and to prepare for. As we go, we’ll include links to the outages and episodes where each theme occurred.

      • How to List Disks in Linux

        Linux system administrators generally list disks to check the whole disk space and its usage. Listing disks also helps see the attached disks to the system, partitions and filesystem the disks using.

        In a Linux system, there are several ways to list all the hard drives. In this tutorial, we learn how to list disks in Linux using the command line.

      • How to install Visual Studio Code on Deepin 20.2 [Ed: But this is proprietary software with Microsoft surveillance and bundling]
      • How to Easily Install a Full Bitcoin Lightning Node on a Raspberry Pi | Tech Source

        I recently installed a full bitcoin node on our home network, and lucky for me, I got everything up and running quickly without bumping into some issues. Before I will show you the steps on how to install a full bitcoin node, allow me to explain some of my reasons why I ended up doing this.

        As some of you may already know, bitcoin is a network composed of thousands of nodes. A record of every bitcoin transaction is verified and maintained inside a node. So if you are running one, you will essentially be hosting and sharing a copy of the bitcoin blockchain and you will help maintain the network decentralized.

      • How To Install Kitematic on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Kitematic on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Kitematic is an open-source project that makes it easier to start, stop or delete containers by offering a graphical user interface that further makes it relatively easy to select and use containers from the Docker Hub registry.

        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 Kitematic Docker GUI tool 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.

      • Change PWD in Linux

        PWD could mean two things in Linux, so first confirm what you’re trying to achieve here.

      • Copy files between Linux and FreeDOS | Opensource.com

        I like to play classic DOS games, and sometimes I’ll bring up a favorite DOS application. I teach a Management Information Systems (MIS) class where I talk about the history of computing, and I’ll sometimes record a demonstration using FreeDOS and a legacy DOS application, such as As-Easy-As (my favorite DOS spreadsheet—once released as “shareware” but now available for free from TRIUS, Inc).

        But using FreeDOS this way means I need to transfer files between my FreeDOS virtual machine and my Linux desktop system. Let me show you how I do that.

      • How to Install Signal Messenger on Ubuntu 20.04

        In today world, data privacy is very important as most of our personal data is stored and shared online. Individuals and businesses are both equally concerned when it comes to their data privacy. For individuals, data like social security numbers, credit card numbers, medical records etc. are very sensitive. In the same way, data like research data, financial records, etc are very crucial. People and businesses are thus very worried when sharing their information online using third-party messaging apps, emails etc. In recent times, Signal has emerged as the top-grossing messaging application. It is widely used for its privacy conservative feature that has made many people abandoned WhatsApp.

        Since Signal is an open-source instant messaging app. The source code for client and server-side applications can be seen on GitHub. Furthermore, the use of Signal by popular personalities like Edward Snowden and other privacy-conscious people has boosted its presence all over the world.

        If you are looking to install Signal on Ubuntu 20.04, you have arrived at the right place. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of installing Signal on Ubuntu 20.04. Let’s get started with it right now.

      • How to Migrate From CentOS 8 to Rocky Linux 8 – Linux Shout

        Rocky Linux 8 is one to one RHEL binary compatible Linux OS, its latest stable release 8.4 has been released. Thus, if you want to migrate from CentOS 8 to Rocky Linux, then here is the tutorial using the official migrate2rocky script.

        After the RedHat announcement to end the life of the Long term supported CentOS 8 version, multiple developers came forward with the best CentOS alternative options, and one of them is Rocky Linux. Recently, the developers behind and the founder Mr.Gregory Kurtzer, who was also the founder and behind the CentOS project released the stable 8.4 version of the OS.

        When it comes to what’s new, Rocky Linux 8.4 follows in the footsteps of its upstream Linux (Redhat) and comes with Python 3.9, GCC 10, Rust 1.49, LLVM 11, Go 1.15.7, SWIG 4.0, and Subversion 1.14 for programming and Redis 6 topics. , PostgreSQL 13 and MariaDB 10.5 as database technologies.

      • How to create a secure login script in PHP and MySQL | FOSS Linux

        It is every developer’s dream to create or work on a web page or web project that promises top-notch security features and meets every user’s privacy concerns. However, before you can create and host a website on a server, you need to adhere to the best coding practices.

        Just because you want to create a secure web page does not mean that your code should only be understandable to the eyes of a rocket scientist. Simplicity is key in developing awesome code.

        A simple code is not a weak code but an understandable one. Simplicity applies to code refactoring and the continuous use of comments. Furthermore, it helps you to gauge and edit your code later when you need to reuse it on other projects. Since this article seeks to give you a walk-through on creating a secure login page in PHP and MySQL, we first need to consider the benefits of this approach.

      • How to import Red Hat 3scale API Management analytics to an external data visualization tool | Red Hat Developer

        This quick tip shows you how to export traffic analytics from your Red Hat 3scale API Management environment to a third-party data visualization tool. For this example, we will use Datawrapper, which is provided free for personal use without any trial basis at the time of this writing.

      • How to pass extra variables to an Ansible playbook | Enable Sysadmin

        With Ansible, users have the flexibility to accept external input while executing their Ansible playbooks without changing the Ansible playbook content. This can be done via the ability to pass extra variables to an Ansible playbook. This feature is available when using the Ansible CLI or Ansible Tower.

      • Linux package management with apt | Opensource.com

        On Linux, package managers help you handle updates, uninstalls, troubleshooting, and more for the software on your computer. Seth Kenlon wrote about dnf, the command-line package management tool for installing software in RHEL, CentOS, Fedora, Mageia, OpenMandriva, and other Linux distros.

        Debian and Debian-based distros such as MX Linux, Deepin, Ubuntu—and distros based on Ubuntu, such as Linux Mint and Pop!_OS—have apt, a “similar but different” tool. In this article, I’ll follow Seth’s examples—but with apt—to show you how to use it.

    • Games

      • Hunt down alien life and cook it in Space Chef, coming to Linux and needs Beta testing

        Space Chef from developer Blue Goo Games is planned to be supported on Linux thanks to the Unity game engine, and it looks like it could be quite fun.

        You will be exploring different alien planets to hunt down strange alien life, then cook ‘em up and serve them across the galaxy on a star scooter. The game is thoroughly quirky but very charming too. A good mixture of exploration, action, cooking and building.

      • Tilt Five, an upcoming tabletop holographic gaming system developed with Linux

        This might not technically be Linux gaming but Tilt Five is something you’re going to want to keep an eye on.

        What is the Tilt Five? It’s a new way to play games inspired by board games but very high-tech. Using a powered game board, along with special glasses, you get to experience Augmented Reality (AR) with holograms. It’s seriously cool and it was a massive hit on Kickstarter back in October 2019.

      • Dota 2 gets AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution, new event and Battle Pass

        Valve have updated Dota 2 with a major new release featuring not only a brand new Battle Pass and a big new event, they also added in AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution.

        The new Battle Pass is available at a minimum $7.49 / £5.49 spend, although you don’t need it to access the Nemestice Event Game as it’s available to everyone. In this new game mode every three minutes a Nemestice Storm will cause a giant meteorite strike in the centre of the map. You need to channel them to collect Nemestice Embers while also dodging them so they don’t hit you. These Embers will power you up boosting attack damage, spells and movement speed and if you have enough you shock nearby enemies. It puts a little twist on towers too, with each falling giving the remaining a power boost – destroy all enemy towers to claim the area and win.

      • Anger Foot continues being absolutely door-kicking crazy in a new update

        Anger Foot, a prototype developed by Robbie Fraser, Luc Wolthers and Jason Sutherland of Free Lives (Broforce, Terra Nil) is a furious fast-paced action game about kicking-down doors and causing a big mess. It’s absolutely brilliant and it’s currently free since it’s not finished and it was originally a 7DFPS entry. Seems they’re still experimenting with expanding it into perhaps a full game with a fresh update out now.


        The Linux version appears to continue working well, although the mouse cursor is a bit on the large side in menus but in-game all is actually fine. The cursor issue is an odd one that we’ve seen with other Unity games before. Hopefully they will be able to fix it easily.

      • Valheim gets another small update with the “long forgotten” Blob event hooked up

        Amongst other things, Blobs are about to become more menacing in the latest Valheim update that’s out now. While we’re waiting on the major Hearth & Home update, which is now delayed until Q3 2021, the team at Iron Gate seem to keep trickling out smaller fixes and improvements to keep us all going.

        Patch 0.155.7 went up June 23, mostly focusing on AI issues to make monsters a bit more aggressive and attack your buildings when they can’t get to you – oh no. You can also, for a limited time, build the Maypole as the team in Sweden are celebrating midsummer.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KMyMoney 5.1.2 released

          The KDE conference Akademy is in full swing and the KMyMoney development team today announces the immediate availability of version 5.1.2 of its open source Personal Finance Manager.

          This is a maintenance release as part of the ongoing effort to support our users and fix bugs and annoyances. If you think you can support the project with some code changes or your artistic or writing talent, please take a look at the some low hanging fruits at the KMyMoney junior job list. Any contribution is welcome.

          Despite the ongoing permanent testing we understand that some bugs may have slipped past our best efforts. If you find one of them, please forgive us, and be sure to report it, either to the mailing list or on bugs.kde.org.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Rocky Linux 8.4 is now available to migrate from CentOS 8

          With the ending of CentOS 8, Long term support branch by Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) has spurted the increase in the appearance of other clones such as AlmaLinux, Rocky Linux, Oracle Linux, and VzLinux. And recently, Rocky Linux has also released its stable latest version i.e 8.4 in parallel to RHEL.

          Rocky Linux is also an RHEL clone that came into the Linux world right after Red Hat decided to end CentOS Long term support. The project meant to target enterprises to replace CentOS, the interesting thing is the Rocky Linux is the idea of Gregory Kurtzer, co-founder of CentOS.

          RHEL clones generally try to stay close to their parent distribution, so as with AlmaLinux and Oracle Linux, their version is already 8.4 (although VzLinux has remained at version 8.3). However, after few months finally, the Rocky Linux officials say it is “a community enterprise operating system designed to be 100% compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4. ”

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky 2021.06

          Sparky 2021.06, the semi-rolling release which is based on Debian testing “Bullseye” is out.
          Debian Bullseye is hard frozen now, and is going to Full Freeze soon, so it is perfect time to give Sparky 6 a try before become stable.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Audacity gets a CLA

        The Audacity multi-track audio editor and recorder got its start in the previous century; it is a popular application that is available for multiple platforms, and it is licensed under the GPLv2 or later. But Audacity has been acquired by a newly formed organization called Muse Group; that event has caused something of an uproar in its community. The problem, at least in part, is the new Contributor License Agreement (CLA) required to contribute to Audacity.

        The acquisition of the project was announced in an early-May YouTube video posted by Martin Keary (“Tantacrul”); that news was subsequently confirmed on the Audacity web site.

      • Web Browsers

        • Brave Search beta now available in Brave browser, offering users the first independent privacy search/browser alternative to big tech

          Starting today, online users have a new independent option for search which gives them unmatched privacy. Whether they are already Brave browser users, looking to expand their online privacy protection with the all-in-one, integrated Brave Search in the Brave browser, or users of other browsers looking for the best-in-breed privacy-preserving search engine, they can all use the newly released Brave Search beta that puts users first, and fully in control of their online experience. Brave Search is built on top of a completely independent index, and doesn’t track users, their searches, or their clicks.

        • Detailed test of Brave Search (beta)

          Since my last in-depth comparison review of search engines in 2020, there are two new and very promising options: Whoogle, designed as an anonymous proxy to Google, and Brave Search, which is a new and independent search engine that we’ll review in this article.

          I’m genuinely excited about Brave Search. As mentioned in previous articles on this site, I am a pragmatist, not a privacy pundit. However, I have become increasingly frustrated with Google’s search performance, and its commercial focus is increasingly imposing and overt. I can’t shake the feeling that Google is wielding its massive trove of personal information and its artificial intelligence prowess with a view to taking advantage of me instead of offering me better service. Unfortunately, the alternatives up until now have been sadly lacking, and Google continues to be the defacto search engine by a massive margin. Even a company as large as Microsoft with its deep pockets and massive human and technical resources has failed to turn its Bing product into a compelling alternative search engine. And unfortunately, Bing’s limited search index and mediocre query logic serve as the basis for most other alternative search engines, including the darling of privacy zealots, DuckDuckGo. My previous tests have shown that DuckDuckGo and most other smaller search engines simply regurgitate Bing’s poor search results, offering mainly privacy and/or anonymity as their main selling point. Simply put, creating a good search engine is extremely hard. So Google continues to rein supreme, not by virtue of its excellence, but rather due to the lack of viable alternatives.

        • 9 Features in Brave Search That Make it a Great Google Search Alternative

          Brave Search is an ambitious initiative by Brave Software based on the open-source project Tailcat, which tries to take on the big tech by introducing the ability to search anonymously. Brave Search itself is not open source at the moment.

          Of course, there are various other private search engines available out there trying to offer a privacy-focused experience. Even though not every service proves to be better than Google (regarding features), Brave Search seems to be a compelling choice when considering Brave Browser as a successful open-source replacement to Google Chrome.

          Here, let me highlight a few features in Brave Search that makes it an interesting alternative to Google Search.

        • Mozilla

          • This Week in Rust 396
          • Mozilla Racial Justice Commitments: One Year In

            One year ago, we made a set of commitments to make diversity and inclusion more than a catchphrase or hot button topic. We decided to roll up our sleeves and get busy establishing significant goals, putting resources behind them and making sure that everyone, including our company leadership, was taking action to create a more diverse and equitable place at Mozilla and in society.

            We have taken steps to address the issue of anti-Black racism and the lack of diversity and inclusion in our company, and hopefully, in society, through programming and people initiatives. We have seen a significant increase in participation in diversity and inclusion initiatives, and perhaps, equally important, in our engagement survey results and in particular the increased scores on diversity and inclusion questions by people of color and women. While we have made strides on many of the goals established on June 18, 2020, we recognize this progress is the “First Step Toward Lasting Change.” We continue to be committed through our actions and resources to improve Mozilla as a place to work for people of color and the internet for all.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • 7 Best Free and Open Source Configuration Management Databases

          A configuration management database (CMDB) is a repository of information related to the various components of an information system detailing an organisation’s IT services and the relationships between those components. The purpose of a CMDB is to catalog and track all of the information that an IT department needs to keep.

          The term CMDB stems from the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practices which include specifications for configuration management. These specifications detail four main tasks of configuration management. These consist of the identification of configuration items to be included in the CMDB, control of data, status maintenance, and verification (from audits and reviews of the data). The processes of configuration management seek to specify, control, and track configuration items and any changes made to them in a comprehensive and systematic fashion.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • OpenDocument Format 1.3 Approved As OASIS Standard

          The OASIS standards organization has now officially approved of the ODF 1.3 revision of the OpenDocument Format as their newest ratified standard.

          Succeeding their ODF 1.2 standardization from 2015 is now ODF 1.3 that has been approved in full. The committee specification has been available for nearly two years while now has received unanimous approval. ODF is most notably used by LibreOffice but many other office suites and other applications also support making use of this open standard for office documents.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • DejaGnu 1.6.3 released

            DejaGnu 1.6.3 was released on 16 June 2021. Many bugs are fixed in this release and active development is resuming, though perhaps at a slow pace.

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel, R, C++, Rcpp

          Release 0.3.9 of the RcppGSL package arrived at CRAN today, pretty much exactly one year since the last upload. The RcppGSL package provides an interface from R to the GNU GSL by relying on the Rcpp package.

          This release brings some small documentation and CI polish, and enables builds on the newer (and still experimental) windows ‘UCRT’ flavor (which will bring native utf-8 chars to Windows, see this and this write-up) thanks to a PR by Jeroen.

        • View statistics about your code with Tokei

          This addition is helpful, but what if you want to know the same information about projects in your local repository? That’s where Tokei comes in handy. It’s a tool that tells you code statistics about a project, which is especially useful when you want to build a project with people who are proficient in different languages.

        • William Lachance: Mini-sabbatical and introducing Irydium

          Approaching my 10-year moz-iversary in July, I’ve decided it’s time to take a bit of a mini-sabbatical: I’ll be out (and trying as hard as possible not to check bugmail) from Friday, June 25th until August 9th. During this time, I’ll be doing a batch at the Recurse Centre (something like a writer’s retreat for programmers), exploring some of my interests around data visualization and analysis that don’t quite fit into my role as a Data Engineer here at Mozilla.

          In particular, I’m planning to work a bunch on a project tentatively called “Irydium”, which pursues some of the ideas I sketched out last year in my Iodide retrospective and a few more besides. I’ve been steadily working on it in my off hours, but it’s become clear that some of the things I want to pursue would benefit from more dedicated attention and the broader perspective that I’m hoping the Recurse community will be able to provide.

        • Security engineering and machine learning

          I describe a number of new attacks and defences that we’ve discovered in the past three years, including the Taboo Trap, sponge attacks, data ordering attacks and markpainting. I argue that we will usualsly have to think of defences at the system level, rather than at the level of individual components; and that situational awareness is likely to play an important role.

          Here now is the video of my talk.

        • Lens vs. List Learning

          The concept is this: There are two main ways we learn—passively and actively. Or as I put it before, via osmosis or via algorithm.

          Here’s another way to look at it.

        • Java

          • Automating rule-based services with Java and Kogito | Red Hat Developer

            Business automation today is a constant and critical task for organizations that seek to formalize policies and ensure that they can be executed, maintained, monitored, and applied during daily operations. This article demonstrates how to use the Kogito engine to automate business rules by implementing them in the Drools Rules Language (DRL).

            DRL is common in Drools-based projects. To start using it with Kogito, you need to understand the concept of rule units. You’ll learn how to work with rule units in practice by writing a Java service that automates a piece of business logic with rule units and minimal coding. These capabilities are now part of Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7.11.x, released on June 17.

  • Leftovers

    • The Wretched of the Earth at 60

      Published 60 years ago in 1961 The Wretched of the Earth was one of the seminal works of the Sixties, in part because it came with an introduction by the French philosopher, novelist and Third World defender Jean-Paul Sartre. Like the names Marx and Engels, or Malcolm X and Alex Haley—the Black journalist who wrote Malcolm’s autobiography, and whose name is on the cover of Malcolm’s book—Fanon and Sartre have been linked in the pages of revolutionary history and legend for the last six decades.

      The Wretched of the Earth was republished in paperback in 2004. That edition has Sartre’s original introduction, plus a new foreword by the Indian scholar Homi K. Bhabha. It’s also in a new translation by Richard Philcox. In a fiery essay at the back of the book, Philcox explains how and why he translated some of Fanon’s words, like “nègre,” which he calls “that word dreaded by all translators of French texts.

    • Pull: a Tryptich
    • Remember to Forget the Alamo

      The Texans illegally recruited soldiers and money from the United States, but were highly disorganized, divided by the fierce racism of the Anglos toward the Latinos among them, and hampered by the predominance of drunks, nuts, and criminals who had fled to Texas from jams they’d gotten into back in the United States. This crowd of buffoons, ready to fight for slavery, profits, political ambition, and the lack of anything else to do, loaded up a little fort in San Antonio called the Alamo with nearly 200 of themselves, bitterly divided even there between two leaders until one of them drank himself into illness.

      As a well-trained Mexican army of a couple of thousand steadily approached, the defenders of slavery and white supremacy tried to recruit larger numbers for their side but failed miserably due to lack of support and lack of belief from people who had come to know some of this crowd’s leaders as habitual liars and trouble makers. The slavery-fighters failed to either destroy or abandon the Alamo until it was too late. They became hopelessly trapped. They tried to surrender and be spared, but the proposal was rejected. Some died fighting. Some surrendered and were killed. Some fled, were captured, and were killed. They almost all ended up dead.

    • Work in Progress

      Sunset Park, Brooklyn—Who hasn’t come to terms with their own mortality over the past year and a half? So many people had life-changing realizations. Like others, I made a decision based purely on impulse. I went back to school. I hated the idea, in a way. Don’t get me wrong; I left undergrad with a deep appreciation for learning but understood that education can’t be bounded within an academic institution. The pandemic shifted my perspective. I needed a safe space to learn. My job with the New York Fire Department allowed me to stay home with my family for longer stints as I attended school virtually. Most important, I had something to do besides worry. I entered the screenwriting track at CUNY’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. I was processing what was happening in the world, and what was happening with me, and my family. And though communications about our works in progress were remote, I wasn’t alone.1

    • The Unfinished Evolution of Aziz Ansari

      In 2009, comedian Aziz Ansari closed his first stand-up special, Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, with a story about attending an R. Kelly concert. The five-minute bit folds in anecdotes about the R&B singer’s onstage antics and concludes with an impression that electrifies the crowd. But the part of the joke I remember most is when he talks about walking through the concert with his friend and collaborator Jason Woliner. Jason tells him, “Hey Aziz, me and you are the only two white people at this concert.” Aziz responds, “First of all, Jason, I’m not white. Second of all, you’re the only white guy at this concert. We might kill you, Jason!”

    • ‘Godfather’ of Tibetan rap spits karmic rhymes

      Tibetan rappers walk a tightrope unfamiliar to their peers overseas, with some cautiously exploring local pride and Buddhist identity in coded lyrics to avoid the unwanted attention of Chinese authorities.

      Most, however — MC Tenzin included — give politics a wide berth to be able to continue creating their music.

    • Amazon Prime Day Is a Nightmare for Amazon Workers

      But if Prime Day means deals for consumers, it has a different valence for the hundreds of thousands of people who work in Amazon’s warehouses. For those people, Prime Day means mandatory overtime, with shifts extended from ten to twelve hours, or extra shifts added to their schedule. One worker recently told me he’ll be mandated to work fifty-five hours this week. He’s in pain and a doctor told him it’s carpal tunnel syndrome, but he hasn’t filed paperwork with Amazon because that requires him to go to another doctor to get diagnosed, and he doesn’t have time to do that. Another person, who has since left the company, told me she was pressured to work for over twenty-four hours straight on Prime Day.

      Amazon is notoriously secretive about its data, but recent reporting shows the extent of the holiday pressure, and the danger that accompanies it. In a report in 2019, as well as a follow-up in 2020, journalist Will Evans got his hands on internal safety reports and weekly injury numbers, publishing his findings with Reveal News.

    • John McAfee, software pioneer turned fugitive, dead at 75

      John McAfee, the outlandish security software pioneer who tried to live life as a hedonistic outsider while running from a host of legal troubles, was found dead in his jail cell near Barcelona on Wednesday.

      His death came just hours after a Spanish court announced that it had approved his extradition to the United States to face tax charges punishable by decades in prison, authorities said.

    • Vale John McAfee: 1945-2021. See McAfee speak in our 2019 video interview

      Anti-virus pioneer John McAfee has died in Spain in what is an apparent suicide following a court decision to extradite him back to the US, but conspiracies are swirling that McAfee was assassinated, brought on by McAfee’s own warnings any suicide wouldn’t be by his own hands. Whatever the truth, may McAfee rest in peace.

    • Education

      • Finding time to read

        Finding blocks of time like this is something that I treasure. From now onwards, I expect them to once more become the norm in my life and not a special occasion. This is the second day that I managed to get out like this, I hope that every week has at least two days like this.

      • [Old] (Technical) Infosec Core Competencies

        Every so often, I get asked how people can enter into information security, what they should study or what certifications they should pursue. I don’t have a good answer to this question. Or rather, I don’t have an easy answer to this question.

        I don’t find much value in any specific certification program, and I know that everybody’s path is different, so I’m hesitant to give any more specific advice but a broad recommendation to work with your organization’s security team on practical projects to gain experience and an understanding of how the team functions.

        However, at the same time, there are a number of things that I regard as, well, a common body of knowledge in the field, a set of core competencies.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • We Must Do What Is Popular and Right, and Expand Medicare

        The deadly coronavirus pandemic laid bare many inequalities in American society—and perhaps no inequality more devastating than disparities in healthcare. As workers had their hours slashed and millions were laid off entirely, we saw that the chasm between who has health coverage and who doesn’t remains one of the most harmful in America today. 

      • Pandemic’s High Toll at the Texas Border Lays Bare Gaps in Health and Insurance
      • 99% of People in Poor Countries Are Unvaccinated

        In the race between infection and injection, injection has lost.

      • Delta Variant Linked to COVID Surges Amid Slow U.S. Vaccination Rates as Global Inequity Persists

        The White House says it will miss its goal of getting 70% of adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4. Vaccinations are available for anyone age 12 and up in the U.S., but just 45% of people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, and only 16 states have fully vaccinated more than half of their populations. Epidemiologist Dr. Ali Khan says despite more than 150 million people in the U.S. now being vaccinated against the coronavirus, the highly contagious Delta variant is quickly becoming a concern. “Our expectation should be, by July, this will be the dominant variant,” he says.

      • Yanis Varoufakis: Capitalist Nations Bailed Out Banks While Skimping on Funds on Vaccines
      • Myocarditis and COVID-19 vaccines

        Later today, the CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to discuss, among other things, reports of myocarditis in young people after COVID-19 vaccination. This meeting was originally scheduled for June 18, but was delayed after President Biden signed a bill into law making Juneteenth a federal holiday. Because June 19 was Saturday, June 18 became the observed holiday this year.

      • Vaccine Failings: The European Commission and AstraZeneca

        In January, AstraZeneca announced that it would not be able to deliver the promised doses on time as outlined in their August 2020 contact with the EU.  On March 19, with no discernable change, the European Commission commenced a dispute resolution process with the company.  As the Commission explained, the company’s failure “to develop a credible strategy to ensure compliance with its contractual commitment” left it “no other choice than to start legal proceedings.”

        First came the application for an emergency injunction to convince the court that the deliveries be made to the countries in need as a matter of urgency.  The second part of the legal process entailed the Commission’s pursuit of the case on its merits in terms of mutual rights and obligations as understood by the contract.

      • Vaccine push vital as Delta strain threatens EU, health agency says

        The highly contagious Delta variant could soon account for 90 percent of new coronavirus cases in the EU, the bloc’s disease control agency said Wednesday, urging members to spur vaccination drives.

      • U.S. life expectancy decreased by an ‘alarming’ amount during pandemic

        Average life expectancy in the United States plummeted in 2020, widening the life expectancy gap between the U.S. and other high-income countries. The decline was particularly sharp among Hispanic and Black Americans, a new study found.

        Health experts anticipated life expectancy would drop during the pandemic, but how much it did came as a surprise.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • How Cyber Sleuths Cracked an ATM Shimmer Gang

          In 2015, police departments worldwide started finding ATMs compromised with advanced new “shimming” devices made to steal data from chip card transactions. Authorities in the United States and abroad had seized many of these shimmers, but for years couldn’t decrypt the data on the devices. This is a story of ingenuity and happenstance, and how one former Secret Service agent helped crack a code that revealed the contours of a global organized crime ring.

        • Google’s security changes will break old Drive and YouTube links

          On YouTube the changes will affect any videos that are public, but marked as “Unlisted.” As described in a blog post and five-minute video, any Unlisted videos that were uploaded prior to 2017 will have their status changed to Private starting on July 23rd. The way Private videos work now, that will kill any old links or embeds, plus it limits sharing to a maximum of 50 people — all of whom will need a Google account to view it.

        • How I Found A Vulnerability To [Cr]ack iCloud Accounts and How Apple Reacted To It

          After all my hard work and almost a year of waiting, I didn’t get what I deserved because of Apple’s unfair judgement. So I refused to receive the bounty and told them it is unfair. I asked them to reconsider the bounty decision or let me publish the report with all the information. There wasn’t any response to my emails. So I have decided to publish my article without waiting for their response indefinitely.

        • FBI asks Congress for $40M to help combat wave of ransomware attacks [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Wray noted that the FBI is currently investigating over 100 types of ransomware variations, each of which he said had “scores and scores of victims,” and that enhancing the FBI’s ability to address ransomware attacks is a top priority.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Fedora and supply-chain attacks

                The specter of more events like the SolarWinds supply-chain attacks is something that concerns many in our communities—and beyond. Linux distributions provide a supply chain that obviously needs to be protected against attackers injecting malicious code into the update stream. This problem recently came up on the Fedora devel mailing list, which led to a discussion covering a few different topics. For the most part, Fedora users are protected against such attacks, which is not to say there is nothing more to be done, of course.

                The SolarWinds attacks subverted the normal update mechanism of various tools to install malware on systems throughout much of the US government; the malware then exploited other flaws to get access to email and other data. Huzaifa Sidhpurwala posted a message to the mailing list on June 11 wondering whether the rekor tool might be useful in helping to prevent similar attacks against Fedora. Rekor comes from the sigstore project that was announced by the Linux Foundation back in March.

                Sigstore is meant as a mechanism to securely record cryptographic signatures of binaries, packages, container images, and similar build artifacts in a tamper-proof ledger. The project was founded by Red Hat, Google, Purdue University, and the Linux Foundation.

              • Linux Foundation Launches GitOps Training Courses

                The Linux Foundation has joined hands with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF) to announce the immediate availability of two new, online training courses focused on GitOps, or operation by pull request, a powerful developer workflow that enables organizations to unlock the promise of cloud native continuous delivery.

                Introduction to GitOps (LFS169) is a free introductory course providing foundational knowledge about key GitOps principles, tools and practices, to help build an operational framework for cloud native applications primarily running on Kubernetes. The course explains how to set up and automate a continuous delivery pipeline to Kubernetes, leading to increased productivity and efficiency for tech roles.

        • Security

          • Standing With Security Researchers Against Misuse of the DMCA

            DMCA reform has long been part of EFF’s agenda, to protect security researchers and others from its often troublesome consequences. We’ve sued to overturn the onerous provisions of Section 1201 that violate the First Amendment, we’ve advocated for exemptions in every triennial rule-making process, and the Coders Rights Project helps advise security researchers about the legal risks they face in conducting and disclosing research.

            Today, we are honored to stand with a group of security companies and organizations that are showing their public support for good faith cybersecurity research, standing up against use of Section 1201 of the DMCA to suppress the software and tools necessary for that research. In the statement below, the signers have united to urge policymakers and legislators to reform Section 1201 to allow security research tools to be provided and used for good faith security research, and to urge companies and prosecutors to refrain from using Section 1201 to unnecessarily target tools used for security research.

            The statement in full…

          • Texas Consumers Lose Control Of Their Thermostats, Get Another Crash Course In Value Of Competent Regulators

            When last we checked in with Texas utility customers, they were literally freezing to death thanks to repeated underinvestment in the state’s utility grid. The Texas utility grid is a unique mish-mash of competitors on its own grid resulting from a massive deregulation effort that didn’t really deliver what was promised. The convoluted mess is overseen by state regulators — detached from federal authority — which have spent a decade ignoring reports calling for a hardening of the grid in the face of climate catastrophe.

          • Several Linux app stores & Pling store apps can be attacked via cross-site scripting – Market Research Telecast

            The security researcher Fabian Bräunlein from Positive Security has discovered a previously unfixed cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Pling-based Linux app stores, which is also said to affect the native Pling-Store application. The vulnerability could be misused to manipulate listings, i.e. apps available for download, in affected stores and, for example, add malicious code to them. According to the researcher, the Pling Store app can also be used to execute any program code remotely (Remote Code Execution, RCE) on Linux systems under certain conditions.

            The Pling platform is part of the opendesktop.org portal from hive 01 GmbH. It serves as an alternative download source for themes, icons, desktop backgrounds, software and more for Linux. Several well-known app stores, such as the KDE Store on. Positive Security mentions other examples appimagehub.com, gnome-look.org and xfce-look.org. The application based on the Electron framework Pling-Store (also “PlingStore”, formerly OCS-Store), on the other hand, is intended to facilitate the installation and management of Pling content and is advertised for this purpose by Pling-based app stores.

          • Windows Users Tricked into Ransomware Attack at Call Centers [Ed: They don't even need to be tricked because there are back doors and many zero-day flaws]

            This is something repeatedly said here on Make Tech Easier, as we report the news: every time the scammers and bad actors develop a new attack, the tech industry finds a way to fight back and close that vulnerability.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Kansas Court Rejects Government’s ‘Reverse Warrant,’ Sets Ground Rules For Future Requests

              We haven’t seen a lot of legal challenges to so-called “reverse warrants.” This is likely due to their relative novelty. It’s probably also due to the fact that no one “targeted” by these warrants knows about them until well after an investigation has been closed.

            • Iowa’s Top Court Says Cops Can’t Search People’s Garbage Without A Warrant

              Pretty much everywhere in the United States it’s accepted that if the public has access, law enforcement has access. This is the legal theory behind things like automatic license plate readers (anyone can see a license plate), utility pole-mounted cameras (anyone can see someone’s front yard), and (to our benefit) recordings of public officials (if they’re performing their public duties).

            • Hospitals are selling treasure troves of medical data — what could go wrong?

              Because of certain provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), healthcare organizations are able to put that treasure trove to work. As long as they de-identify the records — removing information like patient names, locations, and phone numbers — they can give or sell the data to partners for research. They don’t need to get consent from patients to do it or even tell them about it.

              More and more healthcare groups are taking advantage of those partnerships. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is working with startups to develop algorithms to diagnose and manage conditions based on health data. Fourteen US health systems formed a company to aggregate and sell de-identified data earlier this year. The healthcare company HCA announced a new data deal with Google in May.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • How Biden’s Nuclear Train-Wreck Helped Raisi Win Iranian Election

        It was common knowledge that a U.S. failure to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal (known as the JCPOA) before Iran’s June presidential election would help conservative hard-liners to win the election. Indeed, on Saturday, June 19, the conservative Ebrahim Raisi was elected as the new President of Iran.  

      • ‘Disturbing’: US Military Document Puts Socialists in Same Category as Neo-Nazis

        A new U.S. military training document obtained exclusively by The Intercept places socialists in the same “terrorist ideological category” as neo-nazis, worsening long-standing progressive fears that a federal crackdown on “domestic terrorism” would just as likely be used to target leftists who want a truly democratic society as to thwart far-right extremists who favor racist authoritarianism.

        “Whoever is directing the Navy anti-terror curriculum would rather vilify the left than actually protect anything. Despite the fact that the most prominent threat is domestic, right-wing terror.”—Unnamed military official

      • Lawmakers Tell Biden US Has ‘Moral Obligation’ to Ban Landmines

        A bipartisan group of 21 lawmakers on Tuesday called on President Joe Biden to swiftly reinstate constraints on the use of landmines tossed out by the Trump administration and put the U.S. on a “definitive path” to joining an international treaty banning the use and stockpiling of the weapons.

        “It is the right thing to do for our country, for the world, and for our men and women in uniform,” the signatories, members of both the House and Senate, wrote (pdf) to Biden.

      • US Navy Detonates 40,000-Pound Bomb Off Florida Coast

        Marine mammal experts this week expressed deep concern over the potentially devastating effects of the U.S. Navy’s recent detonation of 40,000 pounds of explosives off the Atlantic coast of Florida on sea life, while progressive observers blasted what they called the government’s misplaced spending priorities.

        “Some smaller species of marine mammals would be expected to die within one to two kilometers of the blast, and… [others] would suffer injury including hearing loss out to 10 kilometers.”—Michael Jasny, NRDC

      • Documents Show Saudi Operatives Who Murdered Khashoggi Received Paramilitary Training in US

        Documents obtained by the New York Times show that four Saudi operatives known to have taken part in the gruesome murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 received paramilitary training from an Arkansas-based private security firm under a contract approved by the U.S. State Department.

        “When the U.S. approves training for a dictator’s soldiers and guards, the U.S. is investing in the violent henchmen of a brutal leader.”—Sunjeev Bery, Freedom Forward

      • Losing Finders: The Buried Documents that Linked the Infamous Cult to the CIA

        Concerning the Finders cult — the elusive Washington, D.C.-based outfit whose antics and ties we began examining in Part 1 of this series — one set of documents in particular held the most explosive allegations made against the group and against the CIA for allegedly covering the story up. Despite their contents, almost no corporate press ever quoted from these documents or addressed the concerns they raise. This article will attempt to remedy that deficit of coverage by fully exploring what the documents have to say.

      • Black Ops in the Black Sea

        Sometimes it is worth stating the obvious. The United Kingdom does not have a coast in the Black Sea. British warships are not infesting the Black Sea out of a peaceful intent, and there is no cause for them to be entering disputed waters close to anybody’s coast. This is not a question of freedom of navigation under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea. There is nowhere that a British warship can be heading from the UK under the right of innocent passage that would require it to pass through coastal waters by Crimea. The Black Sea is famously a cul-de-sac.

      • UN expert says Eritrea has ‘effective control’ in parts of Tigray

        Eritrea sent troops to Tigray after the Ethiopian military launched an offensive in November in response to attacks on federal government bases by regional forces. Eritrea denied for months that its troops were in Tigray, but later acknowledged their presence while denying they were responsible for abuses.

      • A Family’s Journey from Cologne to the Islamic State

        Their sons moved from Cologne to the war in Syria. They kept slaves and rose up the ranks of Islamic State leadership. Their parents would send them care packages with popcorn and Kalashnikov magazines.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • FBI [Cracking] and Tech Contracts Are Vanishing from the Web

        The listing is no longer available on the FPDS. Hadnagy did not respond to an emailed question asking if he requested the removal.

        Another FBI contract has disappeared from FPDS recently. This one involves cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which also sells an analytics product. While Motherboard previously viewed the relevant listing on the FPDS, it is no longer available.

      • The campaign to #FreeBritney sparked pop culture’s biggest mystery. Will she give fans the answers in court?

        But the band of [Internet] sleuths and hardcore supporters, once generally dismissed as fringe conspiracists, have nonetheless dedicated much of their lives to their cause of “freeing” her, spreading their concerns online under the ever-present #FreeBritney hashtag and winning over a number of celebrities and public figures. A New York Times documentary highlighted their cause earlier this year, drawing attention to the movement from beyond the avid Spears fanbase.

        So for many of the campaigners, Wednesday — when Spears is expected to speak at a California court hearing, potentially ending a years-long silence on the matter — feels like a day of reckoning.

    • Environment

      • Antarctic nearing climate disaster despite landmark historic treaty

        World leaders have pledged to limit warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius this century, but their current policies will heat the world by almost 3 C, according to Germany-based research group Climate Action Tracker. A study published in the journal Nature in May found that a global temperature rise of 3 C would lead to an “abrupt jump” in the pace of Antarctic ice loss that would, in turn, trigger “rapid and unstoppable” sea-level rise.

        A second study, published in June in the journal Science Advances, found that an ice shelf that supports the 175,000-square-kilometer (68,000-square-mile) Pine Island Glacier is breaking up into the water faster and faster. The glacier is responsible for more than a quarter of Antarctica’s contribution to global sea level rise and will melt faster if it collapses into warm waters.

      • Researchers Claim Collapsing Ocean Ecosystem Will Devastate Humanity Within 25 Years

        As the oceans grow increasingly acidic — a particularly dangerous side effect of greenhouse gas emissions — the global food web could collapse and humanity could face utter devastation within just a few decades, according to an alarming new paper.

        The paper, penned by two entrepreneurs and researchers working to provide access to clean water who are affiliated with Edinburgh University, argues that even a slight increase in acidity will cause profound changes to the ocean’s ecosystems — changes that will then have global ramifications down the line.

      • ‘The worst is yet to come’: Draft UN climate report warns of drastic changes over 30 years

        The choices societies make now will determine whether our species thrives or simply survives as the 21st century unfolds, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says in a draft report seen exclusively by AFP.

        But dangerous thresholds are closer than once thought, and dire consequences stemming from decades of unbridled carbon pollution are unavoidable in the short term.

      • The push to make ‘ecocide’ an international crime takes a big step forward

        The Netherlands-based Stop Ecocide Foundation, along with a coalition of environmentalists, lawyers and human rights advocates, has been pushing since 2017 to make ecocide a crime prosecuted by the International Criminal Court. The court currently prosecutes just four offenses: genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression and war crimes.

        If the campaign to criminalize ecocide succeeds, the international court would be able to hold accountable those most responsible for major ecological harms, including business and government leaders.

      • WFP: Catastrophic Hunger Descending on Southern Madagascar

        The country has suffered a series of successive droughts since 2014, leading to poor harvests. Last year, swarms of desert locusts swept through East Africa. Earlier this year two tropical storms appeared to bring some drought relief, but the rainfall, combined with warm temperatures, created ideal conditions for an infestation of fall armyworms, which destroy maize.

        “There is no conflict driving these hunger numbers in the south,” Beasley said, referring to the main cause of severe food insecurity affecting other countries. “It is strictly climate change; it is strictly drought upon drought upon drought.”

      • Ignoring Climate Goals, Biden Administration Greenlights Oil Drilling in Alaska

        It just takes common sense to see that the climate change math of the Biden administration is not adding up: You cannot approve massive oil drilling projects if you want to swiftly reach net-zero emissions.

      • Leaked IPCC Draft Climate Report ‘Reads Like a 4,000-Page Indictment’ of Humanity’s Failure

        Agence France-Presse reported Monday on the contents of a leaked draft of a United Nations intergovernmental climate panel report which warned that devastating effects of a warming world are set to hit far sooner than previously thought, with impacts including an additional tens of millions of people facing hunger by 2050.

        “This is a warning of existential risk. Of survival. Of collapse,” said climate movement Extinction Rebellion in response to AFP’s reporting on what the draft contained.

      • Drought and famine stalk desperate Madagascar

        Erratic rainfall, locusts and cyclones are causing havoc in desperate Madagascar. Now the climate crisis adds to the misery.

      • ‘Historic Moment’: ‘Ecocide’ Definition Unveiled By International Lawyers

        A team of international lawyers has unveiled a definition of “ecocide” that, if adopted, would treat environmental destruction on a par with crimes against humanity.

        After six months of deliberation, a panel of experts yesterday published the core text of a legal document that would criminalise “ecocide” if taken on by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Power, Wealth, and Justice in the Time of Covid-19

        The Global North: Normalcy Returns

        In the United States new daily infections, which peaked in early January, had plummeted 96% by June 16th. The daily death toll also dropped — by 92% — and the consequences were apparent. Big-city streets were bustling again, as shops and restaurants became ever busier. Americans were shedding their reluctance to travel by plane or train, as schools and universities prepared to resume “live instruction” in the fall. Zoom catch-ups were yielding to socializing the old-fashioned way.

      • Job Growth and Temporary Layoffs [Ed: Labour participation still decreasing, but many people no longer get counted as "unemployed"]

        As can be seen the number of people reporting that they were on layoffs soared during the shutdown last spring. It peaked at over 18 million in April of last year and then fell sharply through the summer. It was down to 4.6 million by September. It continued to fall through the rest of the year, but it was still at 2.7 million in January. Since then it has dropped by roughly one-third to just over 1.8 million in May.

        This is still considerably higher than what we would see in a healthy economy, the figure had been around 1.0 million in 2014 and 2015, and had been under 800,000 just before the pandemic hit. But the figure is not extraordinary for a recession. The number of people reporting they were on temporary layoffs in the Great Recession peaked at just over 1.9 million in September of 2009.

      • Why Are Billionaires Always Presumed Innocent?

        It is a familiar benefit of the doubt: Billionaires may give a lot of cash to politicians, but they are hardly ever reported on as if they are explicitly corrupt. They may leverage their philanthropic empires to boost their business interests, but they are almost never depicted as crooked. They may pay a lower tax rate than everyone else, but they are rarely depicted by the media as outright scofflaws. Instead, we get a lot of talk about this being “just the way things work.”

        Please understand that I am not accusing Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, or anyone else of actually committing crimes — if I was, an army of attorneys and PR flacks would already be knocking down the Daily Poster’s door.

        I am simply pointing out that in the same political arena where the indigent are regularly tried and convicted in the press, few are daring to even consider that anything slightly shady might go down on billionaires’ tax returns. Few are daring to ask how many of these schemes existed in the gray area between legal tax avoidance and impermissible tax evasion. Even fewer are suggesting the findings should prompt any kind of government probe of sophisticated tax shelters and circumvention tactics.

      • China Orders Banks To Stop Handling Crypto, Bitcoin Plummets

        China accounted for roughly 65 percent of global Bitcoin production last year, per the BBC, with a crackdown on cryptocurrency mining causing the token to stumble in recent months.

      • Bitcoin tumbles below $30,000 on China crypto-crackdown

        On Monday, China’s central bank said it had recently summoned several major banks and payments companies to call on them to take tougher action over the trading of cryptocurrencies.

        Banks were told to not provide products or services such as trading, clearing and settlement for cryptocurrency transactions, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement.

      • FATF Chance: Senators tackle Australia’s status as paradise for white collar criminals

        For 15 years political parties have blocked action on stopping money laundering through Australia. Labor is planning to bring on a vote today for a parliamentary inquiry that could finally end the stalemate and ensure the nation is no longer a haven for the proceeds of foreign crime and corruption. Nathan Lynch reports.

      • Hedge Fund That Shorted GameStop Shuts Down

        At its peak, White Square had $440 million in assets under management, but suffered double digit percent losses on its positions shorting Gamestop. The Financial Times reported the fund insisted its closure was unrelated to the rally, and a person close to the fund told the paper that it had earned back “a fair share” of the losses. Thanks to a short squeeze orchestrated in part by Wall Street Bets and hordes of online retail investors, firms shorting Gamestop in anticipation of the stock’s fall suffered collective billions of dollars in losses as the price shot from $20 to nearly $500 early this year. Other big funds that suffered major losses on bets against GameStop include Melvin Capital, Light Street Capital, and short seller Citron.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • A Socialist Claims a Historic Victory in Buffalo

        Hours after election results delivered India Walton a solid lead in her Democratic primary bid for mayor of New York state’s second-largest city, the candidate was asked by a Buffalo television anchor to explain her ideology.

      • Losing Democracy

        And this un-American backdrop as the country celebrated freedom with the declaration of Juneteenth as a federal holiday. It’s a commemoration of June 19, 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas, were told they had been freed more than two years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Oh, the shame of it.

        Republicans in Congress, but for 14 in the House, extended a hand toward Blacks by voting overwhelmingly for the new holiday. But they stabbed them in the back with the other hand by restricting their ability to express their freedom by voting without constraint.

      • No Comparison: Thoughtcrime Reflections on the Latest Imperial Smackdown of the Nation’s Best Congressperson

        Take the latest bipartisan establishment disciplining of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), the U.S. House’s most courageous and eloquent member, for saying this: “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”

        Omar dared, in the words of The New York Times, “to compare Israel and the United States to Hamas and the Taliban.”

      • Boris Johnson on a Roll, Downwards

        As with the G7, Joe Biden, seeking to restore alliances that had been undermined by Trump, was the centre of attention, while BoJo was again the side show.

        BoJo’s visit to Brussels peaked immediately and went downhill instantly after his arrival.

      • Ex-Cop Eric Adams Takes Lead in New York City Mayoral Race
      • Ex-Cop Eric Adams Takes Lead in NYC Mayoral Race in City’s First Election with Ranked-Choice Voting

        We look at the early results from New York’s highly anticipated primary election Tuesday. In the heated mayoral race, Brooklyn borough president and former New York police officer Eric Adams is leading, but it will likely take several weeks to announce a winner with the new ranked-choice voting system. Civil rights attorney Maya Wiley is currently in second place, followed closely by former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang has conceded after receiving less than 12% of the tallied vote even after the media covered him as a front-runner. “My sense is that Adams will probably prevail,” says Democracy Now! co-host Juan González, who adds it has been largely overlooked that Adams and his billionaire backers are big supporters of charter schools, which could shape the city’s public school system.

      • Pressure to End Filibuster Mounts After Republicans Block Voting Rights Debate
      • Sanders Rips GOP for Remaining ‘Loyal to the Big Lie,’ Says Filibuster Must Be Abolished

        After Senate Republicans unanimously blocked debate on a far-reaching and popular voting rights bill, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont late Tuesday joined the chorus demanding an end to the 60-vote legislative filibuster and slammed the GOP for remaining “loyal to the Big Lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 election.”

        “Now is the time for majority rule in the Senate. We must end the filibuster, pass sweeping voting rights legislation, and protect our democracy.”—Sen. Bernie Sanders

      • Socialist India Walton Pulls Off Historic Upset in Buffalo Mayoral Race
      • Sanders: “I’m Tired of Talking About Mr. Manchin and Miss Sinema”
      • A Bipolar Nation in Danger of Destruction. We Can’t Delay.

        Not that you asked, but I’m fine, thanks, how are you? Elated, energized, depressed or indifferent? Lately, it feels as if the country is going through a lengthy bout of bipolar disorder. Each highlight of our glorious post-Trump, semi-post-pandemic lives is countered by moments so dismal it sometimes feels as if we may never come out of the hole of anger, despair, and bigotry he and his followers created. But we can.

      • ‘We Are the Workers’: Socialist India Walton Declares Victory in Buffalo Mayoral Race

        New York’s second-largest city is poised next year to have its first socialist mayor after community activist and healthcare worker India Walton upset Byron Brown, the establishment Democratic leader who has run Buffalo for four terms. 

        Walton did not hesitate to embrace the label of socialist in the early morning hours Wednesday as election results showed her with 52% of the vote compared to Brown’s 45%, with 92% of precincts reporting. 

      • We Can Have the Filibuster or Democracy—But We Can’t Have Both

        The American political system is complicated, but fixing it doesn’t have to be.

      • McConnell Is Stacking the Courts and Using Voter Suppression to Maintain Power
      • A Fight for Democracy: GOP Blocks Voting Bill as Democrats Renew Push to Reform Filibuster

        As Senate Republicans use the filibuster to block debate on the most sweeping voting rights bill considered by Congress in decades, we look at what is in the bill and the next steps forward. Elizabeth Hira, an attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program, describes the For the People Act as “a massive democracy reform package” that seeks to address systemic flaws in U.S. elections. “This bill creates a wholesale opportunity for us to fix all of the things that have been wrong in our democracy.” We also speak with Reverend William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, who says Republican opposition to the bill exposes their cruelty. “They are committed to keeping alive voter suppression that started with the Southern strategy. They are today’s Strom Thurmond,” says Barber.

      • Israel Sends Weapons to Duterte. Filipinx and Palestinian Struggle Are Linked.
      • US and Israel Vote ‘No’ as 184 Nations Condemn American Blockade of Cuba

        Peace and human rights advocates joined the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday in their annual condemnation of the United States’ disastrous economic embargo against Cuba.

        For the 29th straight year, the members of the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution demanding an end to the 60-year U.S. economic blockade on Cuba. This year, 184 nations voted in favor of the resolution, while the U.S. and Israel voted against it. Three nations—Brazil, Colombia, and Ukraine—abstained.

      • Juneteenth and Filibuster Fuel Fight for Democracy That Works for Everyone

        Last week, an overwhelming majority of Congress voted to make Juneteenth a national holiday. Just days later, many of the same politicians voted to block the For the People Act and continue to uphold the filibuster and resist other legislative actions to protect our democracy, lift up poor rural and urban areas, raise wages, and expand social programs for the poor. They are happy to “honor” freedom on paper, while continuing to shackle the possibility of a democracy that works for all people, especially people of color and the poor. When we see such transparent political cynicism on display, we must call it out.

      • Celebrating the Power of Unity
      • Biden Can Stop Over 4,000 People From Being Sent Back to Prison

        Imagine being released from prison to serve the rest of your sentence at home. You begin your reintegration back to society. You get a job, rent an apartment, maybe even go back to school. You reconnect with your family. You fully abide by every single regulation related to your home confinement.

      • Is Performative Progress the Best Democrats Can Do on Voting Rights?

        What the hell happened during yesterday’s daylong Senate voting rights drama, in which the outcome was almost entirely predictable? Anything we didn’t know going in?

      • ‘We’re Not Going Away!’ Nonviolent Protest Over Voting Rights Ends With Arrests in DC

        Activists with the national Poor People’s Campaign were arrested Wednesday after blocking a street in front of the Hart Senate building in Washington, D.C. to demand passage of the For the People Act, a popular voting rights expansion bill that Republicans successfully filibustered just 24 hours earlier.

        “We don’t need compromise and capitulation. Pass the bill! Break the filibuster!”—Rev. William Barber

      • Our Fathers Fought GOP Voter Suppression 70 Years Ago

        Why did President Biden place Cesar Chavez’s bronze bust in the Oval Office on Inauguration Day—27 years after his passing? Why did 17 million Americans support his boycott of California table grapes in 1975? Is it because the genesis of Chavez’s activism was community organizing and voter engagement? He was a civil rights leader before becoming a farm worker leader, and he embraced a transformational vision of trade unionism. With Republican lawmakers in many red states enacting laws to thwart voting by people of color, this is a good time to examine Chavez’s roots.

      • Have We Entered America’s Third Era of Reconstruction?

        West Virginia, a state first established in defiance of slavery, has recently become ground zero in the fight for voting rights. In an early June op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin vowed to maintain the Senate filibuster, while opposing the For the People Act, a bill to expand voting rights. Last week, after mounting pressure and a leaked Zoom recording with billionaire donors, he showed potential willingness to move on the filibuster and proposed a “compromise” on voting rights. Nonetheless, his claim that the filibuster had been critical to protecting the “rights of Democrats in the past” and his pushback on important voting-rights protections requires scrutiny.

      • ‘The Goal of These Ads Is to Distract From Their Actual Business Model’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Clean Creatives’ Duncan Meisel about oil industry greenwashing for the June 11, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • You Can Have Billionaires or You Can Have Democracy

        These wealthy billionaire families are less focused on starting businesses and more on “dynasty-building” and rent extraction — passing wealth on over multiple generations in a neo-feudal way. With this system being solidified, today’s billionaires will be tomorrow’s dynastic families. If the pattern persists for twenty years on the current trajectory, we will have even greater concentrations of hereditary wealth and power dominating our politics, economy, media, and philanthropy. Looks like feudalism, smells like feudalism.

      • ‘The signs are there.’ Is US democracy on a dangerous trajectory?

        In his book, “Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop,” Mr. Drutman proposes increasing the number of major political parties in the U.S. The two-party system “turns politics from a forum where we resolve disagreements into a battlefield where we must win and they must lose,” he writes.

      • Canada does not have a Juneteenth celebration — and we don’t need one

        The history of the Black community in Canada is, for many reasons, unique from the Black legacy in the United States. While less than 10 per cent of the Black American collective is foreign-born, Statistics Canada reports that less than 10 per cent of Black Canadians were born to parents also born in Canada (compared to 58.4 per cent of Canada’s total population).

        As of 2016, around half of Canada’s Black population identified as immigrants, with the single largest period of Black immigration being 2001 to 2010. These Black immigrants come mostly from countries such as Jamaica, Haiti, Nigeria and Ethiopia — nations with their own unique cultures, faiths and traditions. This does not in any way make the Black Canadian experience less than the African American experience, but it does make it different.

      • Iranian News Websites Replaced with ‘U.S. Seizure’ Message

        According to a Department of Justice press release, “the United States seized 33 websites used by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU) and three websites operated by Kata’ib Hizballah (KH), in violation of U.S. sanctions.”

      • US Navy Training Manual: Socialism Is a ‘Terrorist Ideology’

        A U.S. military training document describes the political philosophy of socialism – a relatively mainstream term in politics around the world – as a “terrorist ideology” akin to neo-Nazism.

        The document, obtained by The Intercept news website, was used by the U.S. navy. It was entitled: Introduction to Terrorism/Terrorist Operations, and aimed at some members of the navy’s internal police, the outlet reported.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • The 9 Most Popular Conspiracy Theories in Recent History

        In Miller-Idriss’s work as the director of American University’s Polarization and Extremism Research & Innovation Lab, she has found that one way to combat conspiracy theories is to reach people through a process called attitudinal inoculation. With this technique, researchers strive to teach people how propaganda, misinformation, and conspiracy theories function so that when they come across suspicious claims from dubious sources, they’re appropriately skeptical.

        Below Teen Vogue takes a look at some of the most popular conspiracy theories of the past 50 years.

      • How China Spreads Its Propaganda Version of Life for Uyghurs

        Recently, the owner of a small store in western China came across some remarks by Mike Pompeo, the former U.S. secretary of state. What he heard made him angry.

        A worker in a textile company had the same reaction. So did a retiree in her 80s. And a taxi driver.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • As Everyone Rushes To Change Section 230, New GAO Report Points Out That FOSTA Hasn’t Lived Up To Any Of Its Promises

        As you may have heard, tons of politicians are rushing to introduce new and different bills to undermine or repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — a bill that is rightly credited for enabling a more open internet for freedom of speech. As you may recall, in early 2018 we had the first actual reform to Section 230 in decades — FOSTA. It was signed into law on April 11th, with tons of politicians insisting it was critical to protecting people online. We had so many quotes from politicians (and a whole campaign from Hollywood stars like Amy Schumer) claiming (falsely) that without FOSTA, children could be “bought and sold” online.

      • A Trump supporter could be the first Floridian prosecuted under Ron DeSantis’ new anti-protest law

        The city had just unveiled the mural two days before the incident, according to law enforcement, and paid north of $16,000 for its creation.

        Jerich could now be subject to heightened penalties imposed by Florida’s new GOP-backed “anti-riot” law signed back in April. As WPEC’s Sam Kerrigan noted: “When it comes to this case, the key here is that this new anti-riot law also stops someone from damaging historic property or a memorial. And under the law, this new Pride mural in Delray Beach, here, qualifies as a memorial because it’s dedicated to the lives lost in the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando.”

      • SCOTUS Solidifies Students’ Free Speech Protections, Upholding Right to Say ‘F**k Cheer’

        In a landmark ruling for student free speech in the digital era, the United State Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a Pennsylvania high school violated a cheerleader’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech when it disciplined her following a profanity-laden social media post.

        “The school went too far, and I’m glad that the Supreme Court agrees.”—Brandi Levy, student

      • Supreme Court says a school can’t punish a cheerleader for swearing on Snapchat

        Justice Stephen Breyer delivered the majority opinion this morning, upholding an appeals court decision from the Third Circuit. He said that student Brandi Levy — identified as B.L. in court documents — shouldn’t have been suspended from her cheerleading team for a vulgar post about school sports. “While public schools may have a special interest in regulating some off-campus student speech, the special interests offered by the school are not sufficient to overcome B. L.’s interest in free expression in this case,” he wrote.

      • Campaigners warn of an ‘algorithm-driven censorship’ future if UK Online Safety Bill gets through Parliament

        MPs and anti-censorship campaigners have warned that the British government’s Online Safety Bill “mistakes the medium for the message” and will result in algorithms censoring anyone who posts something on social media that could get a Silicon Valley company into trouble.

        The newly formed group, under the slogan “legal to type, legal to say”, is made up of David Davis MP, campaign group Index on Censorship, media law barrister Gavin Millar QC, and others.

        They warn that the Online Safety Bill’s “duty of care” approach to tech platform regulation will crush the rights of Britons to speak freely and safely online.

      • Online Safety Bill passes

        The Senate has passed a new bill which gives the e-safety commissioner sweeping new powers to force platforms to remove abusive or violent content and block sites that refuse.

      • Online Safety Bill ‘catastrophic for free speech’

        Under the bill, Ofcom will be given the power to block access to sites and fine companies which do not protect users from harmful content up to £18m, or 10% of annual global turnover, whichever is the greater.

      • Supreme Court gives cheerleader victory in school free speech case

        The nation’s public schools have no general power to punish students for what they say off campus, the Supreme Court said Wednesday.

        The 8-1 ruling broadened First Amendment protections in an era when school children are in nearly constant contact with each other through social media and text messages. The decision did not protect all off-campus expression, but the court suggested the exceptions, to be worked out in future cases, would be limited.

      • Former Wikipedia chief on fighting censorship and potentially paying contributors to address diversity gaps

        When the Turkish government asked Wikipedia to take down references to reports that Turkey was supporting militants in Syria, the online encyclopedia refused—and had its reach to more than eighty million Turkish residents cut off. While that would have been a major hit for many online media platforms, Wikipedia was uniquely positioned to weather the storm, battling in court for nearly three years until Turkey’s highest court ruled in January 2020 that the government’s ban violated free-expression rights.

        Wikipedia’s success was thanks to a series of intentional organizational decisions, said Katherine Maher, who stepped down in April from her post as the Wikimedia Foundation’s CEO and executive director and who is now a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s newly established Democracy & Tech Initiative. At a time when major digital platforms from Facebook and Twitter to TikTok are facing censorship around the world—particularly in countries like India, Russia, and China—Maher believes for-profit media companies can learn from Wikipedia’s example.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • EDM 220 – Assange Meeting with Parliamentarians
      • Worse than Hitler: How Stalin orchestrated World War II

        By any accounting, the number of innocent people Stalin caused to be murdered, particularly in the decade after the war, dwarfs that of Hitler’s victims, military or civilian. And as so many books have done before it, “Stalin’s War” makes abundantly clear that the dictator was, if anything, even more coldly reptilian than Hitler. Stalin’s duplicity and rapacity were exercised on a scale not seen in the world since Genghis Khan, and yet for an entire generation subsisting on Western-produced wartime propaganda, he was stern-but-kindly “Uncle Joe,” sending millions of his people to the fight.

      • Apple Daily: The Hong Kong newspaper that pushed the boundary

        But over its 26 years in print, Hong Kong’s Apple Daily became something rarer – a newspaper unafraid to be openly critical of the Chinese state and a standard bearer for the pro-democracy movement.

        Its role as one of Hong Kong’s most vocal defenders won fans, but also contributed to its eventual demise.

        Last year, its outspoken founder Jimmy Lai was arrested and jailed under a string of charges just months after the imposition of a new national security law.

      • Hong Kong: First security law defendant stands trial without jury

        The first person to be charged under Hong Kong’s controversial national security law pleaded not guilty as he stood trial on Wednesday.

        Tong Ying-kit was arrested on July 1, 2020, hours after the law came into effect, for allegedly driving his motorbike into a crowd of police officers while holding a pro-Hong Kong independence flag.

        The 24-year-old was refused bail and was assigned a panel of three judges rather than a jury, a staple of Hong Kong’s common law practices prior to the security law.

      • Hong Kong: RSF deplores the suffocation to death of Apple Daily, one of the last major Chinese-language media critical of the Beijing regime

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF) deplores the shutdown, announced on Wednesday, June 23rd, of Apple Daily, one of the last major Chinese-language media critical of the Beijing regime, which follows the freezing of its financial assets imposed by the Hong Kong government.

      • RSF appeals to the UN to take immediate action concerning the freezing of Hong Kong media Apple Daily’s assets and arrest of senior staff

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF) submitted an urgent appeal to the United Nations (UN) concerning the alarming raid of the headquarters of Hong Kong media outlet, Apple Daily by the police, the arrests of five senior staff and the freezing of the media outlet’s assets last Thursday.

      • Hong Kong’s Apple Daily print edition announces closure after police raid

        Hong Kong’s pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily said it will print its last edition on Thursday, after a tumultuous year in which it was raided by police and its tycoon owner and other staff were arrested under a new national security law.

        The end of the popular 26-year-old tabloid, which mixes pro-democracy discourse with racy celebrity gossip and investigations of those in power, has escalated alarm over media freedom and other rights in the Chinese-ruled city.

      • Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily to shut down on Saturday

        Hundreds of police had raided Apple Daily last week in a national security probe in which senior executives of the newspaper were arrested over allegations of “collusion with a foreign country.”

        Five Apple Daily executives were arrested, making it the first time a new national security law was used to arrest top editors of a media agency.

      • Hong Kong’s most outspoken pro-democracy newspaper is closing

        The newspaper announced today (June 23) (link in Chinese) that its last print edition will come out tomorrow, while its online version will stop updating after midnight today. The closure comes three days earlier than the company had planned, with the decision based on concerns about the safety of its staff.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Can Critical Race Theory Reframe American History Successfully?

        All the Senate Republicans, and all but fourteen of the Republicans in the House, voted in favor of establishing the holiday. Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mt., released a statement before the vote that captures Republican concerns that are festering within their ranks: “This is an effort by the Left to … celebrate identity politics as part of its larger efforts to make Critical Race Theory the reigning ideology of our country.” As a result, Republicans have begun a national campaign opposed to teaching Critical Race Theory in public schools and in some state universities.

        However, Michael Eric Dyson, author of Long Time Coming, told MSNBC that June 19 as a national holiday would not have happened without CRT moving people to grapple with race in our history and having to deal with it now.

      • Crackdowns in Washington Square Park, Then and Now

        The park had long been the center for the avant-garde. The beats gathered there in the 1940s and 1950s, as did folk musicians of all levels of talent from the well-known to the Johnny-(and Jane) come-lately guitar strummer. But it was in the 1960s and early 1970s that the park skyrocketed in popularity among the swelling numbers of baby boomers who had come of age and who created the “turn on, tune in drop out” lifestyle, and variations on that theme and serious members of the Vietnam-era peace movement.

        Being in the park during the 1960s and 1970s was like living the dream of the counterculture. On any afternoon during the warmer months, the park would swell with kids from all over the five boroughs of New York City and from New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island, Westchester County and beyond. The fragrance of marijuana permeated the air while kids played guitars at all levels of competency and wine flasks were a common clothing statement, as was hippie garb. Bands and accomplished musicians dotted the park as they do now, and their sounds often mingled with one another. Everywhere there were soap-box speakers and demonstrations and political gatherings and marches often took place in the park or began or ended there as they often do today. The park was the first time I heard the wonderful sound of steel drums that became a standard instrument of Reggae.

      • The Police Can’t Be Reformed

        Last year I predicted that as a ploy to get more support for police officers, the media would frame a defunded police force as the reason for a rising crime rate. The headlines by the same media companies who claim to be woke read daily about crime. The media intends to scare the public. But their plan has hit a hiccup. The police are the ones scared, not the public.

        What am I referring to? The movement by police to cancel themselves and go on leave! While this did create the shortage of cops the media fear mongered about it looks a little different when the cops walked out on their comrades.

      • Report on ICE Reveals ‘Cruelty and Coercion’ Against Hunger Strikers

        From forced hydration, feeding, and urinary catherization to involuntary blood draws and the use of restraints, hunger strikes over poor conditions at immigrant detention facilities across the United States have been met with “cruelty and coercion,” according to a first-of-its-kind report published Wednesday.

        The report, entitled Behind Closed Doors: Abuse and Retaliation Against Hunger Strikers in U.S. Immigration Detention (pdf), is based on over 10,000 pages of previously undisclosed documents obtained via public records request as well as interviews with formerly detained individuals who participated in such strikes during the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

      • Right-Wing SCOTUS Majority Rules Union Organizing on Farms Violates Landowners’ Rights

        The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday dealt a significant blow to the rights of agricultural workers to organize, ruling 6-3 that a California regulation granting union representatives access to farms amounted to an uncompensated government taking of farm owners’ private property.

        “While Cedar Point is devastating for California agricultural workers, its impact on others workers may be minimal—but only because they already have so few rights on the job.”—Samir Sonti, CUNY

      • The airwaves of Navajo Nation

        When the COVID-19 pandemic bore down on Navajo Nation in early 2020, Dixon noticed a distinct divide between her regular listeners at home on the reservation and those outside of it. As Dixon worked on translating public health announcements and taking calls on the air, she noticed an uptick in listeners tuning in from Florida, Maine, Alaska, Louisiana, and Montana. Those callers away from home were hungry for local updates to know what was going on within the Nation — an ambiguous virus that no one understood thoroughly just yet was spreading. People wanted to know if their families were safe and just how transmission was occurring in a place where households are far flung across vast swaths of desert. But Dixon realized as her local listeners, specifically elders, called in that they wanted something different from her: they did not want to hear about the virus whatsoever, no matter how high the rates of infection in Navajo Nation were.

      • Kickstarter is moving to a 4-day work week. Should you?

        Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform, is living up to its name. The tech company will launch a four-day work week next year, becoming one of the most prominent names in business to embrace the forward-looking practice as part of its post-pandemic reality.

        Deliberately or not, the New York-based company is all but taunting its competitors to follow its lead: less time spent working for the same pay is a perk that’s tough to beat.

      • US to review dark history of Native American boarding schools

        The unprecedented investigation will include compiling and reviewing decades of records to identify past boarding schools, track down known and possible burial sites at or around those schools, and find the names and tribal affiliations of students, she said.

      • EDRis interactive Annual Report: A year in review of the digital rights field

        Despite a challenging year, the European Digital Rights network has been relentlessly working to advocate for better digital policies, challenge creepy surveillance, inform and mobilise people across Europe. Read more about the need of digital rights and our impact in 2020 in our newly launched interactive Annual Report.

      • The Missing Half of the 1619 Project

        Historians are finding many errors in the 1619 Project but the most glaring errors are what they are not finding — what is missing. The 1619 Project history of slavery in the U.S. doesn’t mention that the Native American tribes had slaves when the Europeans came. In fact, slavery was the custom throughout recorded history worldwide. Instead, we’re told that US history starts with the arrival of the first ships with slaves to our shores. But where exactly did these slaves come from?

        The history of African slavery in the US began with US merchants purchasing them on the West Coast of Africa from Muslim slave dealers. Due to Islamic jihad, the slave pens were filled with Africans. Part of the jihad battle booty was taking the conquered people as slaves.

        Now there was a reason that the slave traders were Muslim. According to Islamic doctrine, all believers must emulate the Islamic prophet Mohammed who traded slaves, wholesaled and retailed slaves, gave and received slaves as gifts. He had Arab slaves, black slaves, white slaves, Christian and Jewish slaves. He had sex slaves. Slavery is enshrined in Islamic doctrine and is still practiced today. But this part of the 1619 Project history is left out.

      • [Old] The forgotten history of Christian slavery under Islam

        Most people today are ignorant of the centuries-long peril that once faced Christian Europe and which gave such urgency to John of Matha’s mission. For a thousand years between the eighth and the nineteenth centuries, Europe was in a state of ongoing war with the expanding Muslim world. Islamic armies during this period subjugated Palestine, North Africa, Spain, southern France and Sicily, effectively placing the entire Mediterranean Sea under their control. Muslim pirates would sail freely, looting ships, plundering coastal cities and most eagerly of all, capturing as many as they could to take as slaves. They did so in massive numbers, enslaving over a million until European powers would colonize northern Africa in the nineteenth century.

      • [Old] Barbary Arabs and English and Irish Slaves The Truth Behind This Hidden History

        Not the Romans back in the dark ages. And no, not the Vikings either.

        Between 1580 -1840 approximately. Recent history. Overlapping the black history of slavery. The same time in fact!

      • [Old] The Slave Girls Of Al-Jazeera

        The author explains how slave girls were acquired, first during the Islamic conquests, as chattel taken from conquered people and given as spoils to warriors. Later the slave trade and piracy would supply the bodies that had been previously taken by conquest. Ayyub is quick to point out that in the Mediterranean, both Muslims and Christians traded in slaves and acquired them through pirate raids.

      • [Old] East Africa’s forgotten slave trade

        Only estimates, some of which vary widely, exist as to how many Africans were sold from East to North Africa. This is also due to the fact that many of the slaves perished. Scientific research concludes that about three out of four slaves died before they reached the market where they were to be sold. The causes were hunger, illness or exhaustion after long journeys.

        Author N’Diaye estimates that 17 million East Africans were sold into slavery: “Most people still have the so-called Transatlantic [slave] trade by Europeans into the New World in mind. But in reality the Arab-Muslim slavery was much greater,” N’diaye said.

        “Eight million Africans were brought from East Africa via the Trans-Saharan route to Morocco or Egypt. A further nine million were deported to regions on the Red Sea or the Indian Ocean.”

      • The Teamsters Announce Coordinated Nationwide Project to Unionize Amazon

        The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, one of the country’s largest and most powerful unions, has said in an official resolution obtained by Motherboard that unionizing and building worker power at Amazon is the top priority moving forward. The announcement comes on Prime Day, one of Amazon’s busiest days of the year.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • How Big ISPs Are Trying to Burn California’s $7 Billion Broadband Fund

        But, so far, industry opposition from AT&T and cable have successfully sidelined the money—as EFF warned earlier this month. Now, they’re attempting to reshape how the state spends a once-in-a-generation investment of funds to eliminate the digital divide into wasteful spending and a massive subsidy that would go into the industry’s hands. Before we break down the woefully insufficient industry alternative proposals that are circulating in Sacramento, it is important we understand the nature of California’s broadband problem today, and why Governor Newsom’s proposal is a direct means of solving it.

        This cannot be emphasized enough, but major industry players are discriminating against communities that would be profitable to fully serve in the long term. Why? These huge companies have opted to expand their short-term profits through discriminatory choices against the poor. That’s how California became the setting for a stark illustration of the digital divide in the pandemic: a picture of little girls doing homework in a fast food parking lot so they could access the internet. That was not in a rural market, where households are more spaced out. That was Salinas, California, a city with a population of 155,000+ people at a density of 6,490 people per square mile. There was no good reason why those little kids didn’t have cheap, fast internet at home. We should disabuse ourselves of the notion that any industry subsidy will change how they approach the business of deploying broadband access.

      • Head of Big Tech Lobby Group Says Repealing Section 230 Unconstitutional

        Gary Shapiro, the CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, said at a conference Tuesday that while social media platforms have responsibilities to the public, repealing Section 230 would violate the Constitution’s free-speech protections.

        Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects social media platforms from legal responsibility for the third-party content posted to their website.

      • Bye, Freenode

        I had many reasons, but, many of them are better left discussed internally.

        Of those that I can speak about, chiefly among them is a matter of identity. A couple of months ago, Freenode was the world’s FOSS IRC hub. Today its identity is heading towards a more general purpose network. While the new identity is one rooted in freedom of expression, if you’ll recall when I first joined the effort it was to empower the targets of serial defamation and to eventually disempower and remove the people and structures in FOSS communities that participate in it, enable it, cover it up, and propagate it, often in serial fashion. That included some of the ex-staff at Freenode prior to things blowing up earlier in the year, as well as some of the current staff at OFTC.

        This is regrettable to me, as, in response to things completely beyond my control, I have observed that the majority of the FOSS community has relocated to either OFTC or Libera; effectively unifying and emboldening the network of abusers I sought to remove, who are continuing even today to engage in vicious targeting of the staff at Freenode in a cyclical arrangement, and with a convenient cover narrative about what happened. Instead of the real reason, which is that their repeated behaviour over years caught up to them and dislocated the majority of the open source world as a result, they now can cite events that they themselves antagonized and orchestrated in some cases, which just adds further insult to injury.


        What’s next is July 4th, and an awesome BBQ being planned. At some point between then and now, me and my puppy are going out to a closed fence park where he can run himself stupid chasing a dirty tennis ball. Then I am considering retheming the site. Then looking at hopefully devoting more time to SURRO Linux development. Couple of events to go to along the way.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • You Don’t Own What You’ve Bought: Peloton Treadmill Edition

        We’ve written so many stories about how you don’t own what you’ve bought any more due to software controls, DRM, and ridiculous contracts, and it keeps getting worse. The latest such example involves Peloton, which is most known for its extremely expensive stationary bikes with video screens, so that you can take classes (usually on a monthly subscription). I will admit that I don’t quite understand the attraction to them, but so many people swear by them. The company also has branched out into extremely expensive treadmills with the same basic concept, but that product has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately, after a six year old child died in an accident with the device (for what it’s worth, that article links to a page on the Peloton site where the article says Peloton posted an open letter to its customers about the accident, but the letter is no longer at that link).

      • Spielberg’s Production Company Inks Multi-Film Deal With Netflix, I Guess To Win A Bunch Of Emmys Instead Of Oscars

        Way back in the ancient history of 2019, famed director Steven Spielberg became something of the front man for the aging Hollywood crowd that sees streaming services as somehow deficient when he announced plans to push the Academy to disallow Oscar nominations for films that appeared first on streaming services, arguing they should instead be considered for Emmys. Spielberg’s plans were for naught, however, as the Academy refused to ban stream-first films from nominations. This led to Spielberg, directly and through mouthpieces, walking back his very clear intentions so as to pretend that he felt differently than was the reality. I’ll stress again that all of this occurred all of two years ago.

      • Peloton Treadmill Safety Update Requires $40 a Month Subscription

        Peloton’s Treadmills cost between $2,500 and $4,000. They’ve also injured 70 people and killed one child. Peloton issued a recall on the treadmills after an investigation by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Those who kept the Tread+ got a nasty shock in their inbox recently: After the treadmill downloaded an update Peloton said was designed to make the device safer, users reported they could no longer run on it without paying Peloton a $39.99 per month subscription fee.

      • NBCUniversal, Amazon Reach Deal to Bring Peacock to Fire TV Devices

        The deal with Amazon, whose Fire TV devices have over 50 million active users, could help NBCUniversal’s one-year-old streaming service boost its subscriber base as it competes in a heavily saturated streaming market. Though Comcast said in late April that 42 million users had signed up for the service, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that fewer than 10 million have paid for the service, which starts at $4.99 a month for an ad-supported subscription tier.

    • Monopolies

      • Is Google playing fair? EU investigates tech giant’s practices.

        The European Commission said on Tuesday, that it has opened a formal investigation into whether Google violated the bloc’s competition rules by favoring its own online display advertising technology services at the expense of rival publishers, advertisers, and advertising technology services.

        The investigation underscores European concerns about Google’s dominance in the online advertising industry and whether it’s exploiting its data advantage to cement its position in the display ad market, which the EU estimates is worth $24 billion annually.

      • Microsoft Status in House Antitrust Push Sparks Lawmaker Clash

        “I’m trying to figure out why one of the biggest offenders, of Big Tech, has mysteriously avoided the scrutiny of this committee and this broad swath of bills that seek to radically rewrite our antitrust law,” Massie said, waving a draft of the bill that he said was shared with Microsoft before it was public. “I’m talking about Microsoft.”

      • Microsoft Should Face the Same Antitrust Scrutiny as Facebook, Republican Says
      • EXCLUSIVE: Whistleblower Document Appears To Show Microsoft Helped Write Big Tech Bills | The Daily Caller

        Microsoft was given advance copy of major antitrust legislation, a document given to Republican Rep. Thomas Massie by a whistleblower appeared to show.

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • Supreme Court Upholds Process to Challenge Bad Patents

            Unsurprisingly, patent owners keep trying to convince the Supreme Court those post-grant challenges are unconstitutional. This week, they failed again. In United States v. Arthrex, the Supreme Court held that the administrative patent judges who preside over post-grant reviews were constitutionally appointed. That’s a relief: as we and Engine Advocacy explained in our amicus brief, the post-grant review system created has helped drive down the cost and number of patent infringement lawsuits clogging federal courts, raising consumer prices, and smothering innovation.

            But the way the Supreme Court reached that outcome is a surprise: by holding the Director of the Patent Office formally accountable for each and every post-grant review decision. That may not make much of a practical difference, but symbolically, it is a crushing blow to the myth of the Patent Office as a place where technical expertise rather than political power rules. The Supreme Court’s willingness to say so could be empowering as long as we are willing to use political processes to hold the Patent Office accountable for the hugely consequential decisions it makes.

            In Arthrex, the future of the post-grant review system was at stake. As we’ve written many times, this system allows granted patents to be challenged for claiming things that were known or obvious, and therefore cannot qualify as patentable inventions. We need this system because members of the public get no chance to challenge the original decision to grant a patent. That decision is made by a patent examiner. When an examiner rejects a patent, the applicant gets to request further examination and to appeal (either at the Patent Office or in federal district court). But when an examiner grants a patent, there’s no chance for the rest of us to request further examination or appeal before the patent goes into effect.

      • Copyrights

        • Police Arrest Three For Posting 10 Minute Movie Summaries on YouTube

          Police in Japan have arrested three individuals who uploaded so-called ‘fast movies’ to YouTube. These edits of mainstream movie titles, that use copyrighted content to reveal entire plotlines in around 10 minutes, are said to discourage people from watching the originals, costing the industry hundreds of millions in lost revenue.

        • Premier League Wins Enhanced Illegal Streaming Blocking Order For 2021/22

          The Premier League has obtained an order that allows it to compel Irish ISPs to block illegal streams of matches. The Premier League obtained its first blocking order in 2019 and in the High Court Tuesday, Justice David Barniville approved a renewed and enhanced order for the coming season, allowing the sports league to combat techniques used to evade previous orders.

        • YouTube wins user copyright fight in top EU court ruling

          YouTube won its latest copyright-infringement challenge after Europe’s top court said online platforms are not liable for users uploading unauthorised works unless the platforms failed to take quick action to remove or block access to the content.

          The case marks the latest development in a long-running battle between Europe’s $1 trillion creative industry and online platforms, with the former seeking redress for unauthorised works that are uploaded.

        • Universal, the world’s biggest record label, heads for an IPO

          The vote marked the end of a noisy battle for control of Universal, which accounts for 30% or so of global recorded-music sales. In January Tencent, a Chinese media and e-commerce giant, increased its stake in the label to 20%. Earlier this month it emerged that Daniel Loeb, a New York hedge-fund billionaire, had built up a stake in Vivendi. Then on June 20th Bill Ackman, a rival hedgie, announced that his special-purpose acquisition company was to buy 10% of Universal for €3.5bn ($4.2bn), the biggest SPAC deal so far (and a particularly complex one). Vivendi will itself hang on to 10% of the label; the remaining 60% of shares will be distributed among Vivendi’s existing shareholders.

        • Euro court rules YouTube not automatically liable for users illegally uploading copyright-protected material

          The headlines from this week’s court documents, however, make it clear: “As currently stands, operators of online platforms do not, in principle, themselves make a communication to the public of copyright-protected content illegally posted online by users of those platforms.

          “However, those operators do make such a communication in breach of copyright where they contribute, beyond merely making those platforms available, to giving access to such content to the public.”

          The interpretation seems to be that if YouTube and others fail to take action if notified about such matters, they can be held liable.

Politicians Need to Crack Down on Microsoft’s Monopoly Abuse Amid Yet More Attacks on Linux (Even From the Inside)

Posted in Antitrust, Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft at 7:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The most abusive ‘tech’ company (akin to a cult disguised as “software company” since the 1970s) is distracting lawmakers and attacking Linux from the inside; thankfully, those insipid plans of theirs face major backlash from longtime kernel developers and GNU/Linux users

THERE is a longstanding problem associated with Microsoft lobbying and entryism. It is simply like a cult that poisons everything and bribes everyone, even its enemies (to get them to defect, to effectively switch sides).

“Don’t be misled by smiles and shallow gestures. Cults are good at those things.”The profound issues associated with Microsoft’s history have been covered here for many years. Repeating old information shouldn’t be necessary. We try to focus on new attacks, new threats, or the latest developments.

At the moment, Microsoft is attacking Linux. Of course it says that it “loves Linux”, but that’s just a deliberate smokescreen. Microsoft’s Jim Allchin, a Microsoft VP at one time, said “I feel we are much too smug in dealing with Novell” and on a separate occasion he said: “We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.”

Don’t be misled by smiles and shallow gestures. Cults are good at those things. If they weren’t, they would not spread far and eventually they would simply perish.

LKML vs Microsoft GithubThe video above introduces folks to this new article; someone from Microsoft sent us this article. This explains a lot regarding the very recent (albeit pattern of a longstanding pattern) and very biased coverage with slanted political focus. Another new report, from a more left-leaning publisher, says/quotes: ““I’m trying to figure out why one of the biggest offenders, of Big Tech, has mysteriously avoided the scrutiny of this committee and this broad swath of bills that seek to radically rewrite our antitrust law,” Massie said, waving a draft of the bill that he said was shared with Microsoft before it was public. “I’m talking about Microsoft.””

Microsoft is inciting politicians in Europe and the US against “GAFA” (everyone but Microsoft!) to distract from its very own and vastly worse takeover and monopolisation, including abduction of Free software. They are trying to take over Linux, not just the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation. In fact, we covered this about half a dozen time almost a year ago when the plot first surfaced and many kernel hackers rightly complained about it; it started with Microsoft operatives inside the Linux Foundation and it didn’t take long before they tried to pocket Linux inside GitHub (whose COO is in the Board of the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation, in effect bossing Linus Torvalds).

We don’t want to repeat many of the counterarguments from last year, so instead we’ll just remind readers that this isn’t about ease of use but about control. Microsoft is trying to control Linux. A barrier to entry (learning curve) is not always a bad thing, as the University of Minnesota proved just months ago. People who cannot cope with something like patch via E-mail likely don’t know much about the kernel, let alone know how to program so well (their code might do more harm than good). This has nothing to do with race or gender; it’s all about experience and having a track record (for chain of trust and accountability)

E-mail? Ooooh, app!That a bunch of Microsoft operatives suddenly want to portray Linux as a failure (not “success story”) because of something like “diversity” overlooks the simple fact that kernels are highly technical programs that, regardless of the tools used for version control, would repel people who aren’t highly specialised.

Regarding the whole slant of Microsoft, trying to distract us with nonsense and misdirect hate/anger, an associate of ours wrote this morning that “they’re trying to turn it into a partisan thing. However, maybe the expose resulting from the whistleblower’s actions can make action bipartisan.”

“Either way, to be sure, Microsoft will start to make lots of noise and make as many distractions as they can. Much of it will center around Vista 11 today or tomorrow.

“What would really help the world more than any whistleblowing on Microsoft would be for the courts to neutralize non-disparagement clauses and certain non-disclosure ‘agreements’ attached to ending employment. A lot of ‘ex’ microsofters could then talk freely. It’s a cult so many won’t but some probably want to talk but are afraid of the papers they signed on the way out.”

For those who wish to know more about the latest Microsoft attack on Linux (no paywall for this link), watch the comments in LWN. Or watch the video above.

Linux already has easy-to-use and widely accessible (even to blind people) Git repositories. It doesn’t need any proprietary Microsoft bloat and “apps”.

Microsoft: come to papa; Stay where you are

[Meme] Timely Timing?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I don't always reschedule Haar hearings; But when I do, I make sure it's a Friday before 4th of July
Also recall the events of July 2019 (smokescreen in the media): Index: G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)

Summary: There’s a hearing next week and the timing is a bit interesting (journalists away from their desks, most English-speaking lawyers also on holiday)

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:11 am by Needs Sunlight

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

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#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

text logs

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#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

text logs

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#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

Enter the IRC channels now

IPFS Mirrors

CID Description Object type
 QmPFzEQ1MoDmjmTo9u8KUFycVMwJ5fBVCYcvj4aAzV85kD IRC log for #boycottnovell
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 QmVbCFkPCTuMDGdXmEnUNvozxejpmXGsooUFtEAncjxxn4 IRC log for #boycottnovell
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 QmaMvRvDmyePffD3D1XAcy4SFN6JGDNHcogM1ZsewJhC1m IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
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 QmPCZn9mGSd5fJ8rDFNH5fVEp1NfAtCSDrphqo7HLq2gUy IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
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 QmeiNjiQtsjhNVRxQWPKobp2AmGJ4HkCsA1bc1Fvpc17XY IRC log for #techbytes
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 Qma4JTi8daiDy3pzvRKmfsme4PyWiiGEQAYr1aX4VKhcMD IRC log for #techbytes
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 QmQXxsKhQfFXVW3Mhn9gc7PyB3iQS3cVoEMrMyG38pKAGM IRC log for #techrights
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 QmRdYYLnX8apwXhzfmYwzhHSSMPWxUGnjB1t932ckuVemH IRC log for #techrights
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IPFS logo

Bulletin for Yesterday

Local copy | CID (IPFS): QmcN8yR7Z2eWZBS1YERuwRsVnrTaWaznvZVg4RggnCUrnL

Virtual Injustice — Part 15: A Pandora’s Box… But for Whom?

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 1:46 am 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…
  14. Virtual Injustice — Part 14: How Mandatory ViCo Became the “New Normal”

António Campinos in the pen

Summary: EPO insiders suspect that Campinos is trying to supplement the “absentee governance” of the Administrative Council with a new layer of “remote management” based in Alicante

The present series has taken advantage of the interruption of the referral procedure G 1/21 to review the current state of play in advance of the scheduled resumption on 2 July.

As we have seen, Carl Josefsson – together with his “handlers” on Team Campinos and his overlords on the Administrative Council – has been busting a gut in a misguided attempt to obtain fast-track rubber-stamped approval of mandatory ViCos in proceedings before the Boards of Appeal.

“As we have seen, Carl Josefsson – together with his “handlers” on Team Campinos and his overlords on the Administrative Council – has been busting a gut in a misguided attempt to obtain fast-track rubber-stamped approval of mandatory ViCos in proceedings before the Boards of Appeal.”The official storyline is that it’s all about safeguarding “access to justice” and ensuring “the functioning of the EPO”.

But who is really naïve and gullible enough to swallow that nonsense?

As long as Josefsson was directly calling the shots 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.

But the question remains as to why the Office President Campinos has been so keen to obtain the Enlarged Board’s rubber-stamped approval of the new procedural rule which empowers the EPO’s appeal boards to impose mandatory ViCos.

“But the question remains as to why the Office President Campinos has been so keen to obtain the Enlarged Board’s rubber-stamped approval of the new procedural rule which empowers the EPO’s appeal boards to impose mandatory ViCos.”And how did he manage to secure the obedient complicity of the President of the Boards of Appeal in this affair?

As is often the case at the EPO, it can be difficult to find the answers to such questions.

To appreciate what is really going on behind the scenes requires some effort to look beyond the carefully engineered PR smokescreen and join up the available dots.

Josefsson’s complicity in the judicial shenanigans of G 1/21 is probably the aspect of the affair which is easiest to account for.

As we saw in the last part, when the Covid pandemic began to impact in 2020 the Boards were initially hesitant about the use of ViCo for appeal hearings.

Despite this initial hesitancy, the Boards began to offer Vico hearings subject to the agreement of the parties in May 2020.

However, on 15 December 2020, a communication published on the EPO’s website (warning: epo.org link) contained the following announcement:

“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.”

The timing of this U-turn is worth noting because it happened to coincide with the 165th meeting of the Administrative Council which took place – by ViCo! – on 15 and 16 December 2020.

At that meeting [PDF] the Council announced that Josefsson's appointment – which was not due to expire at the end of February 2022 – had been pre-emptively renewed “with effect from 1 March 2022 for another five-year term”, in other words until at least the end of February 2027.

It would appear that Josefsson’s public support for mandatory ViCos in appeal hearings – as expressed in the communication of 15 December 2020 – was linked to his reappointment by the Council which was decided upon and announced at around the same time.

All of this suggests a “tripartite pact” – involving the President of the Office, the Administrative Council and the President of the Boards of Appeal – for the purpose of making sure that the Enlarged Board delivered a rubber-stamped approval of mandatory ViCos in as “timely” a manner as possible.

“EPO insiders suspect that the “brain” behind the operation is the Office President, António Campinos.”But what exactly motivated this carefully orchestrated “joint enterprise” and who is in the driving seat?

EPO insiders suspect that the “brain” behind the operation is the Office President, António Campinos.

According to reliable sources, there is a close connection between the efforts of EPO management to obtain the “desired outcome” in the referral procedure G 1/21 and the plans of Team Campinos for the “New Normal” and a “dematerialised” EPO 2.0. [PDF]

A hint about this connection can be found in the comments about the hearing of 28 May 2021 which were posted on IPKat under the pseudonym “The fall of the EBA”.

What is at stake in G 1/21 is no more than an EPO 2.0 which is not covered by the EPC as it stands! It is not merely whether you can sit comfortably in your UK office when there is an OP, but it is about a total reshaping of the EPO. [...]

[T]hanks to Art 15a(3) RPBA in combination with Art 15a(1) RPBA every member of the BA and hence every member of examining and opposition divisions will be allowed to sit wherever he likes.

This is paving the way for the “New Normal”.

Without mandatory OP by ViCo there is no “New Normal”. This should not be forgotten.

The poster makes it clear that – according to his or her understanding – “mandatory OP by ViCo” is an essential prerequisite for the “New Normal” plans of Team Campinos because it would permit the members of appeal boards and – by extension – the members of examining and opposition divisions – to sit wherever they like.

This, in turn, would facilitate the planned “dematerialisation” of the EPO.

However, the difficulty which confronts Campinos here is that in its decision G 2/19 of 16 July 2019 (see G 2/19 [PDF]) the Enlarged Board previously declared that:

“Users of the European Patent Organisation’s services can legitimately expect that the European Patent Office’s departments will not perform acts at whatever other place they choose”.

“This, in turn, would facilitate the planned “dematerialisation” of the EPO.”On that occasion, the Enlarged Board relied on legal sophistry to arrive at a finding that the new premises of the Boards of Appeal in Haar were located only “slightly outside” the city boundaries of Munich and that despite being an administratively independent municipality, Haar could nevertheless be considered to belong to the greater Munich area.

In a remarkable and unprecedented display of “cakeism”, the Enlarged Board concluded that the relocation of the Boards of Appeal to Haar – one of the key elements of Battistelli’s 2016 “reform” – was consistent with the provisions of the EPC governing the location of the EPO and its official activities.

António's total reshaping of the EPO
António is dependent on the support of the Enlarged Board for his planned “total reshaping of the EPO”

However, it becomes somewhat more problematic to attempt to stretch this kind of “elastic interpretation” to cover the case of “dematerialised” appeal boards – as well as examining and opposition divisions.

According to the “New Normal” envisaged by Team Campinos, the members of such bodies convening by ViCo might be sitting in different locations, some of which could even be in countries other than those where the EPO itself has an official presence.

In order to obtain an official seal of approval for such “innovative” arrangements, the President of the Office is dependent on the support of the President of the Boards of Appeal and a “dynamic interpretation” of the law from the legal fudge factory in Haar.

“According to the “New Normal” envisaged by Team Campinos, the members of such bodies convening by ViCo might be sitting in different locations, some of which could even be in countries other than those where the EPO itself has an official presence.”But exactly what is Campinos hoping to achieve with such a “total reshaping of the EPO”?

As recently reported by Techrights, an anonymous third party submission [PDF] sent to the Enlarged Board of Appeal in the referral case G 1/21 makes claims about the suspected self-interest of Campinos and his “buddies” from Alicante in the “New Normal” project and the “dematerialised” EPO 2.0 which it envisages.

This submission – which appears to have been suppressed from public inspection by the EPO Administration – alleges that Campinos is using the Covid pandemic as a pretext for restructuring the EPO in a manner which will allow him and his buddies to “hang out and ‘chill’ in Spain” while remotely managing their serfs in Munich, Berlin and The Hague.

If these allegations have any substance – and EPO sources are inclined to regard them as credible – it seems that Campinos is planning to supplement the already chronically deficient "absentee governance" of the Administrative Council with a new layer of “remote management” based in Alicante.

Apologists for EPO management will undoubtedly try to dismiss such speculation as the stuff of “tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists”.

However, it’s worth noting that a number of serious and reputable commentators in the “IP” blogosphere have already expressed well-founded concerns about the direction in which the EPO seems to be heading in this regard.

“…Thorsten Bausch criticised the EPO’s gradual and disturbing transition from a “Patentamt” with a public service function to an “Oktroybureau” where decrees are simply handed down from above without any meaningful scrutiny by the Administrative Council and without an effective system of checks and balances to prevent abuses.”For example, back in November 2020 on the Kluwer Patent Blog, the Munich-based patent attorney Thorsten Bausch criticised the EPO’s gradual and disturbing transition from a “Patentamt” with a public service function to an “Oktroybureau” where decrees are simply handed down from above without any meaningful scrutiny by the Administrative Council and without an effective system of checks and balances to prevent abuses.

More recently, in April 2021, Bausch examined some aspects of the EPO’s plans for the “New Normal”. He noted that he was not opposed to change as such “if fair and well implemented” but feared that “it appears this will not be the case in many of the New Normal plans”. In particular, Bausch expressed his firm opposition to “the conduct of oral proceedings by ViCo against the will of a party to the proceedings”.

At around the same time another German patent attorney, Till Andlauer, published an article entitled “Videoconferences at the EPO – the desired new normal?”.

This article noted how the gradual expansion of the EPO’s use of ViCo without consent of the parties – first in examination, later in opposition and finally at the appeal stage – had become “the subject of a heated controversy in the European IP community”.

As Andlauer put it:

“The debate is not about the emergency use during the pandemic, which is well understood. It is about a felt misuse of the situation for an installation with permanent character as part of a ‘new normal’.”

“The CSC takes the position that any plans for the “New Normal” should stand on solid legal foundations and it has consistently argued that a conference of ministers of the contracting States would be appropriate for setting the course for the future of the Office.”The “New Normal” plans of Team Campinos have also come in for criticism from the EPO's Central Staff Committee (CSC).

The CSC takes the position that any plans for the “New Normal” should stand on solid legal foundations and it has consistently argued that a conference of ministers of the contracting States would be appropriate for setting the course for the future of the Office. However, Campinos reportedly responded that such a conference was “not necessary” and “could open a Pandora’s box in times of a pandemic”.

It would appear that Campinos is unaware of the fact that the “necessity” for a ministerial conference is foreseen under Article 4a EPC.

It may well be that such a conference – which has in fact never been convened and is by now long overdue – would open up a Pandora’s box but the relevant question which deserves to be asked here is: “For whom?”

It’s perfectly understandable that Campinos and his allies on the Administrative Council are less than enthusiastic about the prospect of having their activities – including their dubious plans for the “New Normal” – subjected to ministerial oversight.

After all, as previously reported on Techrights, systematic abuses of the EPO’s immunity and its autonomous legal status – which reached unprecedented levels during the Benoît Battistelli era – have caused this once proud “model international organisation” to degenerate into a rather grubby little self-service gravy train for those at the top.

When it comes to exercising control and oversight vis-à-vis the Office Administration, more often than not the Administrative Council has been found asleep at the wheel.

Indeed, over the last decade or so, the Council – which is supposed to act as the governing and supervisory body of the organisation – has come to operate more and more as a self-serving clique of national civil servants who are only too eager to obstruct any kind of ministerial oversight and scrutiny of their actions – despite the fact that this is foreseen by law under Article 4a EPC.

“When it comes to exercising control and oversight vis-à-vis the Office Administration, more often than not the Administrative Council has been found asleep at the wheel.”As for the Enlarged Board of Appeal, it remains to be seen whether the EPO’s highest judicial organ will remain under the sway of Team Campinos when proceedings in G 1/21 resume on 2 July or whether it will defy current expectations and make a belated effort to assert its independence by acting in a manner that would help to restore public confidence in the integrity of the procedure.

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