[Meme] More Than Meets the Eye…

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Look more closely to understand what enables EPO oppression

Well, the AC voted for it; OK, well, the voters are bought; OK, they support violence too; Just like EPO management...

Summary: The standards of the EPO have gone down considerably; no wonder corruption has become so pervasive in Europe’s second-largest institution

An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part IV: A Party Political Animal

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series index:

  1. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part I: A New EPO Balkan Affair?
  2. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part II: A Mysterious Fist-Bumping Masquerade in Skopje
  3. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part III: A Longtime Associate of the Doyen
  4. You are here ☞ A Party Political Animal

Emruli DUI
Emruli (on the right) enjoying a working lunch with his friends from the Democratic Union for Integration.
Party leader Ali Ahmeti is second from the left.

Summary: A closer look at the EPO delegate from North Macedonia, who mysteriously vanished a few months ago

In this part we plan to take a look at the domestic political connections of Safet Emruli, the former Director of the North Macedonian State Office for Intellectual Property (SOIP).

“In Emruli’s case as we shall see later, this seems to have been money well spent.”It’s a matter of public record that Emruli, who belongs to North Macedonia’s ethnic Albanian minority, is a full-blooded “party-political animal” and a paid-up member of the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), the largest ethnic Albanian political party in the country.

Emruli Albanian
Excerpt from the DUI accounts (2014) [PDF] showing payment of membership dues for Emruli (18,000 MKD).

There is no secret about this and it can be confirmed via the website of the State Audit Office which publishes records of financial contributions to all registered political parties in North Macedonia. For example, from the accounts submitted in 2015 for the preceding year, it can be seen that in 2014 Emruli paid party membership dues of 18,000 Macedonian Denars, which works out at around € 290.

In Emruli’s case as we shall see later, this seems to have been money well spent.

Albania flag of DUI
The Albanian flag – rather than the Macedonian one – flies in front of the DUI party headquarters in Skopje.

As was mentioned in the introduction to this series, Albanians form a significant ethnic minority in Northern Macedonia, about 25% of the overall population. The Albanian minority is predominantly concentrated in the western part of the country, in a region extending along the borders with Albania and Kosovo, in an arc from Tetovo in the north to Struga on the shores of lake Ohrid in the south. The main urban centre and unofficial capital of this region is Tetovo.

“In reality, however, the inter-ethnic tensions in the country were far more entrenched and problematic than officially admitted.”In 1991, Macedonia voted to secede from the Yugoslav Federation and became fully independent without a single shot being fired. At that time the view prevailed that – in contrast to Kosovo or Bosnia – no major inter-ethnic tensions would develop in the fledgling state.

In reality, however, the inter-ethnic tensions in the country were far more entrenched and problematic than officially admitted. In general, there was very little social contact between Macedonians and Albanians. Having different languages and different religions, they each tended to live primarily in their own parallel world with little or no mutual interaction.

“In general, there was very little social contact between Macedonians and Albanians.”Ethnic (Slav) Macedonians were concerned about secessionist tendencies among Albanians, many of whom were suspected of being sympathetic to proposals for the creation of Greater Albanian state, encompassing present-day Albania, Kosovo and Albanian dominated areas of Macedonia.

Ethnic Albanians, for their part, often felt that they were treated as second-class citizens, because, notwithstanding the equal rights clause in the Constitution, they were heavily under-represented in the civil service and in leading positions in society.

“Ethnic (Slav) Macedonians were concerned about secessionist tendencies among Albanians, many of whom were suspected of being sympathetic to proposals for the creation of Greater Albanian state, encompassing present-day Albania, Kosovo and Albanian dominated areas of Macedonia.”The level of discontent in the Albanian community increased dramatically during the late 1990s as a result of a series of repressive measures imposed by the government, including restrictions on the official use of the Albanian language and a ban on the display of the Albanian flag.

In late 2000, Albanian groups consisting of veterans of the Kosovo conflict began to penetrate across the border into western Macedonia and form a local division of the pan-Albanian paramilitary organisation known as the Ushtria Çlirimtare Kombëtare (UÇK) or “National Liberation Army” (NLA). Their efforts were supported by many young Albanian men from villages in the border area who were disaffected with the Macedonian state.

In early 2001, the NLA occupation of Tanusevci, an ethnic Albanian village on Macedonia’s northern border, and armed confrontations between the NLA and Macedonian security forces in the region of Tetovo and Kumanovo, ushered in a new phase of inter-ethnic conflict, commonly referred to as the “Albanian insurgency”. There were claims that the NLA wished to see Albanian-majority areas secede from the country but high-ranking members of the group have denied this.

“…DUI has managed to establish itself as the largest ethnic Albanian political party in North Macedonia and the third largest political party in the country.”The short-lived “Albanian insurgency” ended with the Ohrid Framework Agreement, signed on 13 August 2001.

Following the adoption of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) – in Albanian: Bashkimi Demokratik për Integrim (BDI) – was formed on 5 June 2002 under the leadership of the former NLA guerrilla leader, Ali Ahmeti, who remains at the head of the party to this day.

Ahmeti and Emruli, DUI
Left: Former guerrilla leader turned politician, Ali Ahmeti who now leads the DUI.
Right: Ahmeti with DUI party comrade Emruli.

Since then, the DUI has managed to establish itself as the largest ethnic Albanian political party in North Macedonia and the third largest political party in the country.

“The party leader Ahmeti is in his element on occasions like Albanian National Flag Day, which commemorates the Albanian declaration of independence on 28 November 1912.”Given its historical roots in the “Albanian insurgency” of 2001 and its links to the NLA, it’s not surprising that the DUI likes to indulge in ultra-nationalist rhetoric, including emotional invocations of “the martyrs of the Albanian nation”.

The party leader Ahmeti is in his element on occasions like Albanian National Flag Day, which commemorates the Albanian declaration of independence on 28 November 1912.

At such events he likes to harangue the party faithful and remind his audience that “the red and black flag … is a flag of all Albanians, which has been washed in blood and the sacrifice of the sons and daughters” and that there is no freedom and equality without blood“.

Ahmeti on DUI stage
DUI leader Ali Ahmeti haranguing the party faithful on Albanian National Flag Day, 28 November 2020.

More recently, at an event commemorating the 19th anniversary of the party’s foundation, Ahmeti announced his intention to dial down the ultra-nationalistic rhetoric and focus instead on policies for a green, developed and secure future“.

DUI greenwash
Ahmeti’s recent attempts to “greenwash” the DUI have been greeted with scepticism in many quarters

This somewhat clumsy attempt at “greenwashing” was greeted with scepticism and ridicule in many quarters. Critics of the DUI have pointed to its poor track record in environmental matters as the party currently in charge of the Ministry of the Environment.

“This somewhat clumsy attempt at “greenwashing” was greeted with scepticism and ridicule in many quarters.”Whatever one is inclined to make of the DUI, it has to be acknowledged that since its formation in 2002 it has managed to establish itself as a significant player in the political life of North Macedonia.

In the next part we will look at the party’s role as the local parliamentary “kingmaker” and see how Emruli’s professional career has benefited from his DUI connections.

Links 9/8/2021: Rav1e 0.5 Beta and a Look at Widgets in WordPress 5.8

Posted in News Roundup at 11:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • My First Impression When Using Archcraft Linux!

        For now the main distro that I use on my main laptop to work is Xubuntu. But that doesn’t mean I am Fanboy Xubuntu, this is because of needs.

        And I also don’t want to waste time studying Arch Linux with various problems. But Archcraft makes me feel easier when using Arch Linux. So I decided to install 2 different Linux distributions in my 2 laptops. And maybe posting various cases when using Linux Archcraft.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Synopsys Looks To Remove Oldest ARC CPU Support From The Linux Kernel – Phoronix

        Synopsys is looking to phase out support for the oldest ARC processors found within the mainline Linux kernel.

        Synopsys engineers feel it is time to retire support for the ARC750 as the oldest “Argonaut RISC Core” support found within the mainline Linux kernel. The Linux kernel has supported original ARCv1 CPUs of the ARC750 and ARC770 but is now looking to remove the former in order to clean-up some of the ARC architecture’s MMU code.

      • Graphics Stack

        • RadeonSI Lands Regression Fix For ~10x Higher CPU Usage For Some Games

          Merged one month ago was RadeonSI enabling by default its optimization to replace uniforms with literals inside shaders. This uniform inlining helped with SPECViewPerf and other workloads but it turns out in the process sharply drove up CPU usage when running some games.

          This RadeonSI change led to some games seeing their CPU usage around ten times higher than with this AMD Radeon Gallium3D OpenGL driver prior to the change. The Godot Engine and Honeycomb Crunch were among the software found to now see much higher CPU usage.

        • Mesa 21.0, Linux 5.11 Prepared For Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Updates – Phoronix

          Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS is expected later this month as the next point release to the “Focal Fossa” long-term support cycle. With this update comes the hardware enablement stack from Ubuntu 21.04 which in turn means Linux 5.11 and Mesa 21.0 graphics support is available as package updates now.

          Working their way out as Ubuntu 20.04 LTS updates are many Focal package changes in preparing for this month’s Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS point release. Most notable is the Linux 5.11 kernel and Mesa 21.0 for the open-source GPU drivers support.

        • Wayland gets DRM lease protocol support to help VR on Linux | GamingOnLinux

          Another tick in the box for Wayland to eventually properly replace X11 for all workloads, as the work on DRM lease protocol support aimed at VR has been merged in.

        • AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) comes to the PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3 | GamingOnLinux

          Thanks to the power of open source, AMD’s answer to NVIDIA’s DLSS is spreading with FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) now available in the PlayStation 3 emulator RPCS3. Not only is it open source but it works across both NVIDIA and AMD GPUs, so the majority of people running RPCS3 will benefit from this addition.

          Don’t expect DLSS to come to RPCS3 either, as the team noted on Twitter how “We won’t be adding DLSS. DLSS is a temporal solution that requires per-object motion vectors, which we do not have. FSR is a spatial solution, which is ideal for us.”.

    • Benchmarks

      • Arch Linux, Clear Linux & Ubuntu Against Windows 10/11 On Intel Rocket Lake

        Last month after Microsoft began publishing their Windows Insider Preview builds of Windows 11, I ran some early Windows 11 benchmarks against Linux using an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. Linux led in those benchmarks on the AMD Zen 3 desktop while for those wondering if that still holds true for Intel hardware, here are benchmarks of a Core i9 11900K “Rocket Lake” desktop with Windows 10 21H1, Windows 11 in its latest preview build as of testing, and then compared to Arch Linux / Clear Linux / Ubuntu.

    • Applications

      • Planner: A Beautiful Open-Source Task Management App

        There are several tools and services that let us organize and manage tasks. But, if it is primarily tailored for Linux and offers a fantastic user experience? That’s a bonus!

        Planner is such a tool at your disposal.

        Unfortunately, it is not available for any other platform but Linux.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install SmartGit on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install SmartGit on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, SmartGit is an efficient Git Client user interface with support for GitHub, BitBucket, and SVN as well as Mercurial. SmartGit Git Client focuses on simplicity while targeting non-experts and people who prefer a graphical application over command line usage.

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

      • How to Install Jellyfin Media Server on Debian 10

        Jellyfin is an open-source media streaming system that allows you to manage and stream your media. It is a cross-platform and alternate to other applications such as Emby and Plex. With Jellyfin, you can organize and share your Media files, TV Shows, Music and Photos from the web-based interface. You can access those streamed media on your PC, Tablet, Phone, Roku and TV over the internet. Jellyfin automatically fetch metadata from TheMovieDB, OpenMovie, Rotten Tomatoes and TheTVDB database.

        In this post, we will show you how to install Jellyfin media streaming server with Nginx as a reverse proxy on Debian 10.

      • How to scan a Debian server for rootkits with Rkhunter – VITUX

        Rkhunter stands for “Rootkit Hunter” is a free and open-source vulnerability scanner for Linux operating systems. It scans for rootkits, and other possible vulnerabilities including, hidden files, wrong permissions set on binaries, suspicious strings in kernel etc. It compares the SHA-1 hashes of all files in your local system with the known good hashes in an online database. It also checks the local system commands, startup files, and network interfaces for listening services and applications.

        In this tutorial, we will explain, how to install and use Rkhunter on Debian 10 server.

      • How to Install Steam on a Chromebook

        Chromebooks are lightweight in hardware, allowing you to easily carry them around. However, this also means that they’re not the best gaming devices, due to the weaker graphics options on board. That being said, nothing is stopping you from installing Steam on your Chromebook.

      • Linux 101: How do you search for files from the Linux command line? – TechRepublic

        Open source expert Jack Wallen walks you through how to locate files on the Linux directory hierarchy using the find command.

      • Ripgrep – The Fastest Command Line Search Tool for Linux

        As the Linux operating system grows on you, you start being labeled the nerd you always wanted to be. Your behavior in this operating system environment changes completely. You develop a superiority complex that transforms you from a GUI-oriented user to a terminal-based user. You want to achieve a lot of things without switching between interfaces.

        ripgrep is one such tool that adaptively keeps a Linux user objectified and bound to the command line interface. It effortlessly achieves line-oriented recursive searches for a Linux user by adhering to regex pattern rules.

      • Seq Command in Linux [Explained With Examples]

        The seq command, short for sequence, is used for printing a sequence of numbers. The numbers could be integers or real (with decimal points).

        Let’s see how you can use this command with some examples.

      • ROS2 On-Site Training: ROS2 Basics + ROS2 Nav2 + Manipulation with Movelt2 [Ed: ROS2 is Ubuntu GNU/Linux based]
      • Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Manipulating Files – Part 13 – LinuxLinks

        This is a series that offers a gentle introduction to Linux for newcomers.

        In Part 9 of this series we introduced the terminal, the shell and examined the four commands available in the shell: Builtins, aliases, external commands, and functions.

        In this article we take you through the basics of manipulating files from the shell. Some of these file manipulations are more conveniently done using a graphical file manager. But manipulating files from the shell offers both flexibility and power.

        The GNU Core Utilities or coreutils is a package of software containing implementations for many basic tools. This package provides the basic file, shell and text manipulation utilities. Specifically the package provides 96 separate external commands. We only need to cover 4 of them to explain the fundamentals of manipulating files. These commands are cp, mv, rm, and mkdir. Let’s look at each in turn.

      • 10 Practical Examples of Rsync Command in Linux [Ed: Just updated]

        Rsync (Remote Sync) is the most commonly used command for copying and synchronizing files and directories remotely as well as locally in Linux/Unix systems.

        With the help of the rsync command, you can copy and synchronize your data remotely and locally across directories, disks, and networks, perform data backups, and mirror between two Linux machines.

      • How to Install Ansible (Automation Tool) on Rocky Linux 8

        Ansible is free and open-source automation tool sponsored by Red Hat. Using ansible we can manage and configure Linux and Windows system without any agent installation on them. It basically works on ssh protocol and can configure hundred plus servers at a time. In ansible terminology, system on which Ansible is installed is called control host /node and the systems which are managed by ansible are called managed hosts.

      • How to Install Latest Nginx Mainline on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        For those using Rocky Linux 8, you might have noticed that installing Nginx directly from its Appresteam does not install the latest stable or mainline version. In fact, it is quite far behind where Nginx is stable, and Mainline is at the current time of its development.

        For most, using the default Nginx that comes bundled with Rocky Linux will be preferred, but for those wanting to use newer versions for the newest features, the following tutorial will cover the steps needed to do this.

      • How to Install Latest phpMyAdmin with LEMP on Ubuntu 20.04 – LinuxCapable

        phpMyAdmin is a free and open-source administration tool written in PHP used to administer MySQL and MariaDB database servers from a Web interface. Most developers prefer to use phpMyAdmin to interact with a database server because of its ease of use and advanced SQL editor, making it easy to build and test complex SQL queries.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install LEMP and phpMyAdmin from source on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Install Nginx on Rocky Linux 8

        Nginx (short for Engine X) is a free and open-source webserver. It is a high-performance HTTP server and reverse proxy. Nginx is also used as a load balancer, HTTP cache, and mail proxy.

        Nginx gives the best performance for high traffic websites – get the benefit of low memory usage and high concurrency.

        In this tutorial, we learn how to install Nginx on Rocky Linux 8.

      • How to Install and Setup Sendmail on Debian 10 – Cloudbooklet

        How to install and configure Sendmail on Debian 10 for sending emails using a email server which routes or relays the mail delivery.

        Sendmail is a opensource Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) which is used to route email using server or by using shell commands. You can also configure SMTP using Sendmail.

        In this guide you are going to learn how to install and setup Sendmail on Debian 10. Also you will setup SMTP and configure it with PHP. This setup is tested on Google Cloud

    • Games

      • Dungeon crawling action adventure UnderMine gets a big update for the end-game | GamingOnLinux

        Have you completed UnderMine? Might be time to jump back into this dungeon crawling action adventure as the 1.2 update is out now to celebrate a year since release. See also: our original thoughts.

        A big focus for this update was on the end game, with a new character named Camilla appearing who replaces Arkanos (the old mage you meet first). Camilla gives you access to a daily-run mode that pits peasants in head-to-head competition on the leaderboard. Each of these runs has a fresh set of hexes, items, and a familiar to play with. Your best score for each day is recorded and if you score 100K or more on a run you get a special alternate skin for your familiar, with alternate familiar skins also being a new feature.

      • Bittersweet Birthday brings a mix of a boss-rush adventure with exploration | GamingOnLinux

        Now crowdfunding on IndieGoGo with a demo available, Bittersweet Birthday is a very promising atmospheric adventure that mixed in plenty of boss battles and an intriguing story about being hunted.

        “You wake up, dazed… with no memories. While asking yourself where and how you got there, a strange voice breaks through the silence: “Hey there, bud”. Under the threat of unstable individuals hunting you down, the only chance of escape is to listen to the voice…

      • Splitgate continues expanding server capacity and smashing records | GamingOnLinux

        Splitgate, the really fun FPS with portals is currently in an Open Beta on Steam (with full cross-platform play with consoles) and it continues to see high player numbers.

        They’ve seen a lot of issues due to the demand, with the servers being repeatedly taken fully offline to upgrade their system to allow more people online at a time. Currently, it seems they’re close to hitting the sweet spot with matchmaking queue times down nicely.

        Even with all the issues, the game has proven to be a success with Splitgate repeatedly smashing through its own player records. Most recently they hit 67,724 players online and that’s only counting Steam. This places Splitgate pretty firmly into the top games on Steam and at times even inside the top 10. Due to the popularity, the full free to play launch was delayed until later this month instead of the planned July 27.

      • Best Games for Linux That Work Natively – Linux Stans

        Linux can be used for gaming too! In this article, you’ll find out about the best video games you can play on your Linux distro, along with all other info you need to know.

        You can play these games on any distro, however, there are some specialized distros for gaming, like SteamOS, Ubuntu GamePack, Fedora Games Spin, and more. We’ll feature the best gaming Linux distros in a future article.

        In this article, we’ll only feature games that can directly be played on Linux, without the need for an emulator or additional software like Wine or PlayOnLinux.

      • Historical Strategy Game 0 A.D. Alpha 25 Released

        0 A.D. Alpha 25 “Yaunā” has been released over the weekend with improvements to pathfinding, performance and GUI, an initial implementation of single player campaigns, and more.

        0 A.D. is a free and open source historical real time strategy (RTS) game that runs on Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD. It features the real-time strategy gameplay components of building a base, economic development, training an army, combat, and technology research. The game has both single and multiplayer functionality.

        The game was originally started as a total conversion mod concept for Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. The developers then decided that making a mod was too limiting, so an in-house engine was created. For more about the game, check out this page.

      • Steam Play tool Luxtorpeda gets some needed upgrades and better KDE Plasma support

        Luxtorpeda is a Steam Play tool (like Proton, Boxtron) that allows you to run games from Steam with compatible game engines that have Linux native builds.

        Useful for a few situations including games that have a free and open source game engine reimplentation, that would give a better experience than the current Windows/Linux build available on Steam directly. There’s quite a lot of supported titles including Arx Fatalis, Caesar 3, Chris Sawyer’s Locomotion, Cortex Command, Doom 3, Doki Doki Literature Club!, Freespace 2, Grand Theft Auto III & Vice City, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and plenty more.

        Since it needs to do some downloading for each title, to grab the game engine required, it now supports an actual progress dialog along with error messages if there’s issues. Support has been added properly for KDE Plasma now too with the KDialog and a fallback with Zenity is if it doesn’t find KDialog.

      • Feeling Bored? You Can Play Tetris on the Linux Terminal

        When it comes to Linux, the terminal might be one of the most used tools of the operating system. From simple tasks like copying files to running network forensics, there’s a command-line tool for almost everything.

        But what may come as a surprise is that you can even play simple games like Tetris on the Linux terminal. Yes, games aren’t just restricted to the graphical user interface. Curious to find out how? Let’s get started.

      • Razer Peripherals Config App For Linux Polychromatic Sees First Major Stable Release In Three Years – Linux Uprising Blog

        Polychromatic, an open source GUI tool to configure RGB (Razer only for now) peripherals on Linux, has seen its first new stable release in 3 years. The latest 0.7.0 version comes with an overhauled user interface which includes an effects editor, and improved support for newer OpenRazer hardware.

        Polychromatic can be used to tweak Razer (*) peripherals on Linux, from setting the DPI and poll rate, to controlling lighting effects, and more. This is done using OpenRazer as its backend, which supports peripherals like the Razer BlackWidow (Chroma, Elite, Chroma v2, Essential, Lite, Stealth, etc.) keyboards, Razer DeathAdder (3500, Chroma, Elite, Essential), Mamba or Naga mice, headphones, laptop keyboards, and more. See here a list of compatible devices.

      • Isometric city-builder Nebuchadnezzar gets Fire, Crime & Diseases on September 15 | GamingOnLinux

        Nepos Games have announced that their city-builder Nebuchadnezzar, which was inspired by the likes of Pharaoh, will be getting another big free update on September 15.

        They’ve already expanded the game quite a bit since the initial release with the likes of a freeplay mode, new difficulty modes, UI scaling, a whole new Taxes and Wages mechanic and more. With the upcoming 1.2 free update they’re also going to be adding in fire, crime and diseases. That’s not all though, they’re also promising many other smaller improvements and quality of life updates to the whole game.

      • Steam Next Fest appears to be a success with a 421% wishlist jump for half the titles | GamingOnLinux

        It appears that Valve’s regular event with Steam Next Fest has done a whole lot of good for developers, with plenty more wishlists and sales happening.

        What is Steam Next Fest? Originally starting in the summer of 2020, it’s pretty much free marketing for developers. Teams can put up a limited time demo and run livestreams and talks about their games. Nowadays we see Valve talk a lot more about behind the scenes info, and recently they published an update going over some details of the 2020 Steam Next Fest event.

      • The Steam Deck is already having a BIG impact.

        …and I have no reason to doubt it will be even bigger once it’s officially available.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Dhanuka Warusadura: GSoC 21: GNOME/libsecret project update

          As of now I’m two weeks away from GSoC final project evaluation deadline (August 23rd). So, I’m a bit late for the project update blog post. A quick reminder, my project is to integrate Trusted platform module (TPM) support into GNOME/libsecret. I’m happy to report that 95% of the work are completed and integration is the only part that remains.

          Recently, I gave my very first talk regarding the very same topic; libsecret project update. You can find it from here. As well as the slides from here if you’re interested.

          My work is focused on libsecret’s local storage (file-backend). Which is a new feature that allows a user to store secrets in a file. Current libsecret file-backend design support two options to encrypt the secrets/passwords inside the file database (a file). Option one is only for test purposes. And option two is using the user’s login password to encrypt the file database. This design has a single point of failure. If the user’s login password get compromised, then the contents of the file database get compromised too. This situation could be improved if the password is protected by hardware. So, that’s when a TPM comes into play. A TPM is a physical hardware security module that performs everyday cryptographic needs. To simply put, my work is to add a third option to libsecret’s file-backend design that adds TPM support. With this in place, if an attacker needs to get hold of your secrets, then they must have physical access to your computer system. In most cases this an impossible situation.

    • Distributions

      • Linux Release Roundup #21.32: Nitrux 1.5.1, GNOME Web Canary, and More New Releases

        Nitrux 1.5.1 release focuses on performance improvements, bug fixes, and software updates.

        Upgrades for KDE Plasma, Firefox web browser, and Linux Kernel are some of the key highlights. You can explore more about it in its release announcement.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Parsing command options in Lua | Opensource.com

          When you enter a command into your terminal, there are usually options, also called switches or flags, that you can use to modify how the command runs. This is a useful convention defined by the POSIX specification, so as a programmer, it’s helpful to know how to detect and parse options.

          As with most languages, there are several ways to solve the problem of parsing options in Lua. My favorite is alt-getopt.

        • 8 DevSecOps pitfalls to avoid | The Enterprisers Project

          Building security into DevOps is more important than ever. The 2021 Upskilling Enterprise DevOps Skills Report reported that 56 percent of survey respondents said DevSecOps is a must-have in the automation tool category. However, a DevSecOps approach is not about simply adding security tools and practices. Like any DevOps approach, it needs to be built into the culture, processes, and technology.

          When DevSecOps isn’t strategically implemented across the organization, it’s easy to hit security roadblocks or issues. The best bet for success is to avoid these potential issues from the get-go. We asked experts including SKILup Day: DevSecOps participants and DevOps Institute Ambassadors to share common DevSecOps pitfalls. Here’s what they say you should avoid:

        • Forcing Linux system password changes with the chage command | Enable Sysadmin

          Some of you may work in highly regulated industries, such as medical, government, government contracting, and food and beverage. You probably have strict guidelines for password aging, regular password changes, minimum length, complexity, and minimum time limits between password changes. Others of you might use equally strict guidelines simply because it’s a good practice to do so. This article describes how to audit user accounts and set some guidelines around password expiration and change frequency. For the examples, I use the chage command.

        • NMState: A declarative networking config tool – Fedora Magazine

          This article describes and demonstrates NMState, a network manager that uses a declarative approach to configure hosts. This means you define the desired configuration state through an API and the tool applies the configuration through a provider.

        • Debugging function parameters with Dyninst | Red Hat Developer

          As a part of my work at Red Hat, I verify the accuracy of the debugging information that maps between the executable binary generated by compilers and the original source written by the developer. Additionally, I look for complications in the debugging information that stem from compiler optimizations. It is possible to manually inspect the binary and review the debugging information for discrepancies. However, for significant applications, it would take too much time to manually review the megabytes of data. It’s also too easy to overlook one drop of erroneous information hidden in the vast sea of correctly generated debugging information.

          To automate this type of analysis, you need a tool that analyzes both the debugging information and the binary executable. Dyninst, available in Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, provides a suite of dynamic and static analysis and instrumentation tools that you can use for this purpose. A previous Red Hat Developer article, Using the SystemTap Dyninst runtime environment, discussed Dyninst’s dynamic instrumentation. This article demonstrates how to write a simplified static analyzer in Dyninst.

        • Red Hat OpenShift helps customers meet demands faster

          As organizations think about IT modernization, they also have to consider the impact of new processes and technology on their partners, vendors, and customers. This month, we’ll highlight success stories from organizations in banking and telecommunications—dynamic industries that are facing rapidly changing customer demands. Let’s see how Banco Original and HKT built efficient, flexible IT foundations with Red Hat to better meet customer and market needs.


          In 2020, another Brazilian bank, the Central Bank of Brazil, introduced Pix, an instant payment network that lets individuals or companies make and receive payments in seconds using a mobile application or with an email address, cell phone number, QR code, or tax identification number.

          Support for this new payment solution is mandatory for all Brazilian banks, like Banco Original, which was launched in 2016. Successful adoption of Pix requires transfers completed in 10 seconds or less, 24×7 availability, and compliance with national and industry security protocols. To meet these performance requirements, Banco Original sought to migrate its microservices from VMware virtual machines (VMs) running on industry-standard infrastructure to a more efficient, scalable solution.

          After testing several VM solutions and completing several workshops with Red Hat, Banco Original decided to use the same solution chosen by the Central Bank of Brazil and expand its Red Hat OpenShift environment to support Pix. The bank has used Red Hat OpenShift since 2018 to host and manage its microservices with supported enterprise open source technology.

      • Debian Family

        • DebDroid-ng works great

          This post is to give a thumbs-up for DebDroid-ng, created by “marcusz”, a method for running Debian in Android phones and tablets, without having to root the phone. I have played with various alternatives, but found DebDroid-ng to be the simplest.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Compact H.265 4K video encoder is made for embedded, medical, and military applications – CNX Software

        US-based Z3 Technology has announced the Z3-Q603-RPS, a compact H.265 video encoder system capable of supporting 4K and HD resolutions for embedded, medical, and even military camera applications through NDAA (National Defense Authorisation Act) compliance.

        The board runs Linux on Qualcomm QCS603 IoT processor for AI and computer vision applications, which we previously found in Microsoft’s Vision AI Developer Kit, supports Ethernet and WiFI 5 connectivity, as well as features such as PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom).

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Play SNES SPC audio files from your browser using original hardware and Arduino | Arduino Blog

          Listening to those classic 16-bit sounds from the ’90s video game era brings back a wave of nostalgia for those who grew up with a console. On the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, outputting sound was accomplished by an integrated circuit called the SNES Audio Processing Unit (APU for short), which was responsible for taking SNES SPC files and transforming them into waveforms. Mauri Mustonen — who goes by Kazooie on YouTube — wanted to isolate this chip to play authentic music from his favorite tracks on his browser without needing to boot up the entire SNES console.

          The system he came up with has an Arduino Micro at its heart that is connected to the SNES APU via series of wires. Some of these links are for putting the APU into read or write mode, while others set the desired port and address for where the song data should be written. Data is sent or received over a set of eight parallel data lines.

        • PICO DSP is an Arduino compatible ESP32 development board for audio and DSP applications (Crowdfunding)

          ESP32 audio development boards have been around ever since ESP32 boards were introduced starting with Espressif Systems’ own “ESP32-LyraTD-MSC Audio Mic HDK“, and now ESP32 hardware and software have been certified for Amazon Alexa Voice Services.

          PICO DSP is another ESP32 development board for audio and digital signage processing (DSP) applications. Equipped with a Wolfson WM9878 stereo audio codec, the breadboard-friendly, Arduino compatible board includes two MEMS microphones, audio in and out jacks, a speaker header, plus other audio signals routed to a GPIO header.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Rav1e 0.5 Beta Released For This Rust-Written AV1 Encoder

        Audio/video encoders and decoders are one of the areas where usage of the Rust programming language has increasing interest for speed and safety. One of the most promising Rust-written encoders at the moment is Rav1e for AV1 video encoding and it’s now working towards its v0.5 release.

        Rav1e 0.4 shipped at the start of the year while Rav1e 0.5 should be out soon with the beta being issued today. Rav1e 0.5 has a variety of code improvements, performance optimizations, and other enhancements to this Rust AV1 encoder.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Community Member Monday: Jessé Moreira

          Love LibreOffice too? Want to help us spread the word about it, and other free and open source software (FOSS) projects? Then we appreciate your help! Everyone can raise awareness about the importance of FOSS and open standards, like the OpenDocument Format, LibreOffice’s native format.

      • CMS

        • Widgets in WordPress 5.8 and Beyond

          WordPress 5.8 brings the power of Gutenberg blocks to widget areas — which means the highly customizable layout and styling options bring you closer to a WYSIWYG editing experience. I made a test site based on the oldie-but-goodie Twenty Sixteen theme, with three separate widget areas. In this post, I’ll highlight a few cool things that are now possible to do with your widgets and where things may be heading next.

        • Name.com strengthens hosting options with DigitalOcean Droplets
        • Name.com strengthens hosting options with DigitalOcean Droplets | Markets Insider

          Name.com’s DigitalOcean product includes one-click installs for WordPress, Ubuntu, and other popular frameworks, as well as pre-configured DNS templates for fast, easy setup. By adding DigitalOcean, Name.com provides additional flexibility for building, testing, and growing web applications from startup to scale.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • Contribute to OpenStreetMap from your phone

            Since this month is the 17th anniversary of OpenStreetMap (OSM), I figured I would cover one of the more entertaining open source apps used to contribute to the OSM geographic database. If you don’t know what OSM is, go ahead and check out my previous article to learn more about OSM and how it is used. This article will cover a cool open street map editor used for mapping in the field while on an Android phone. The best part about this way of contributing to OSM is that it is an entertaining quest-based way to add and update the OSM database.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • HPC Efficiency Gurus Grapple with AMD’s RAPL

        Exascale-class energy efficiency cannot be defined by a simple number. Although Green500 energy efficiency HPC rankings provide a one-shot view into performance/efficiency, the complex interplay between large system operating systems, real-world applications, and the various tuning capabilities is worth digging into. The problem is, there is not necessarily a transparent view.

        With so many knobs and bobs in the AMD Zen 2 architecture, which is the CPU basis for a number of pre-exascale and future machines, it’s useful to know what efficiency elements are handled in hardware and what is up to the user to tweak. An HPC team from the TU Dresden took a deep dive into the Zen 2 microarchitecture to pick all of this apart and shared some rules of thumb about how to eke maximum energy efficiency out of AMD Epyc processors.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (ansible and bluez), Fedora (curl, kernel, mod_auth_openidc, rust-rav1e, and webkit2gtk3), Mageia (kernel and kernel-linus), openSUSE (php7 and python-reportlab), Oracle (ruby:2.7), Red Hat (microcode_ctl), SUSE (fastjar, kvm, mariadb, php7, php72, php74, and python-Pillow), and Ubuntu (docker.io).

          • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, July 2021

            In July I was assigned 16 hours of work by Freexian’s Debian LTS initiative and carried over 2.75 hours from earlier months. I worked 12.75 hours and will carry over the remainder.

            I applied some urgent (and some not-so-urgent) security fixes to the linux (Linux 4.9), uploaded it, and issued DLA-2713-2.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • [Guest post] China’s path to regulating facial recognition technology

              Facial recognition is a relatively new and very controversial technology. There are significant differences globally regarding its adoption, legal treatment and public acceptance. Vivid discus-sions are still going on, and complex issues are waiting to be solved. On the one hand, there are privacy and data protection concerns, as this is a particularly intrusive form of data processing. Facial information is directly identifying, unique and unchangeable for the data subjects.

              On the other hand, there are interests in crime prevention, commercial use and user convenience. Unlike in the EU, facial recognition is already widespread in China. There, it is a very lucrative and growing technology used in schools, railway stations, residential complexes and other pub-lic venues or to support “face-scanning payment” (刷脸支付) and pandemic control measures. These real-life implications clarify the legal framework all the more urgent and important.

              In the EU, the GDPR already provides numerous requirements since facial information falls under biometric and, therefore, sensitive data. In contrast to the technology-neutral GDPR, the Draft AI Act goes even further by explicitly classifying facial recognition as a high-risk use and making it one of the focus areas of the law. The comparatively uniform and strict legislation already in place in the EU could be one of the reasons why facial recognition technology is not as common as in China. The future AI Act will most likely bring further restrictions.

            • WhatsApp and privacy experts sound alarm about privacy implications of new Apple photo scanning feature | The Independent

              Tech experts are continuing to sound alarm about Apple’s controversial new iPhone-scanning feature.

              The tool is intended to detect child sexual abuse material, by looking through users’ messages and photos. If it does find such images, it will alert authorities.

              Apple has said that all of that is done in a way that protects privacy, by doing the analysis on a users’ phone and not allowing Apple to see those photos unless the iOS software determines it to be sufficiently similar to an image on a database of child abuse imagery.

            • U.S. prisons mull AI to analyze inmate phone calls

              For people like Heather Bollin, a 43-year-old woman in Texas engaged to a man who is currently incarcerated, constant surveillance is a fact of life: the three daily phone calls they have together are subject to monitoring by prison officials.

              “We are never able to communicate without being under surveillance,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview, asking that the prison her fiance is in remain anonymous because she fears retaliation.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • USPTO patent eligibility study looks like groundwork for legislation [Ed: USPTO knows that patent quality has done far too low]

          At the request of a bipartisan group of senators, the USPTO is undertaking a study on patent eligibility jurisprudence. The way it is being framed indicates that reform legislation may follow

        • Diamyd Medical secures precision medicine patent for prevention and treatment of autoimmune diabetes [Ed: Diamyd fails to take into account the fact that today’s EPO grants lots of fake patents that don’t have even the slimmest chance of withstanding challenge in court (enforcement), they’re just some piece of paper]

          - The European Patent Office has informed Diamyd Medical that the Company’s patent application regarding prevention and treatment of autoimmune diabetes in individuals carrying the HLA DR3-DQ2 gene will be granted. The patent is valid until 2035 and provides central protection in Europe for the treatment or prevention of genetically defined autoimumune diabetes using GAD, which is the active component in the therapeutic diabetes vaccine Diamyd®. The patent claims cover the patient population in which Diamyd® has shown efficacy and is targeted in the upcoming Phase III trial DIAGNODE-3.

        • One small step for man, one giant leap for AI: Australian Court finds DABUS can be an inventor [Ed: Australian courts got rick-rolled and gave a go-ahead to something that makes them look like the world's joke, incapable of understanding they give patents to bots because of stupid buzzwords]
        • DABUS: South Africa approved the world’s first AI-invented patent [Ed: Does South African media even realise that this is a badge of shame? They got tricked or trolled into doing something phenomenally stupid.]

          At first glance, a recently granted South African patent to DABUS, relating to a “food container based on fractal geometry” seems fairly mundane.

          On closer inspection, the patent is anything but mundane. However, the innovation in question involves interlocking food containers that are easy for robots to grasp and stack.

        • In a world first, South Africa grants a patent to an artificial intelligence system [Ed: South Africa eager to show that it has the very dumbest patent office in the world]

          At first glance, a recently granted South African patent relating to a “food container based on fractal geometry” seems fairly mundane. The innovation in question involves interlocking food containers that are easy for robots to grasp and stack.

          On closer inspection, the patent is anything but mundane. That’s because the inventor is not a human being – it is an artificial intelligence (AI) system called DABUS.

        • Software Patents

          • How to patent autonomous vehicle simulations [Ed: Litigation firm UDL pushing illegal software patents; but it is supported by the bunch of gangsters that runs the EPO and threatens/besieged judges when the question comes up]

            We are all being led to believe that a world in which we’re driven around by fully autonomous vehicles is just around the corner. In reality, this is still some way off, as more proof is needed to show that autonomous vehicles are safe enough for mass adoption. With an estimated 8.8 billion miles of road testing required to achieve this level of confidence, advanced simulations are our chief hope to make this a realistic vision any time soon. This means that we are set to see a huge amount of innovation in simulation systems — and if you’re innovating in this space, you may be wondering: can I patent my simulation technology?

[Meme] The Administrative Council’s Strategy for Saving the EPO: Paying Up (Bribing) the Media and Lawyering Up EPO Staff

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They bribe academia too, not just media

Maybe the Administrative Council will help us one day
The priority became hiding problems, not solving problems

Summary: Maybe the Administrative Council will hold EPO management accountable. Or maybe not

The Corruption Virus at the EPO, Europe’s Largest and Most Important Patent Office

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

Video download link | md5sum 372a1ac439c93d886911616045da3255

Summary: The corrupt elements of the EPO have penetrated the Administrative Council, which was supposed to oversee the Office (and be able to remove risk); but instead the Administrative Council has become an instrument of cover-up, enabling endemic issues to overwhelm the whole body until it’s irreversible

TODAY we published part 3 of a series that started yesterday [1, 2] and is already being relayed to Croatia (there is interest among Croatians). The EPO has managed to make itself plenty of enemies in a lot of places. The two Frenchmen, Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, generally reinforce this impression that western Europe can be just as corrupt as the east.

“Is today’s EPO doomed beyond repair?”The video above discusses part 3 and the risk to Europe’s reputation as well as the European economy. No doubt a lot of people became aware of the abuses last month in G 1/21 (when a kangaroo court did just what kangaroo courts would do).

The EPO is becoming a difficult place to repair because it has been ‘infected’ at many levels, including the Administrative Council — increasingly a complicit part of the abuses, looking to cover things up, not ‘disinfect’ the place.

Is today’s EPO doomed beyond repair? Will it reach its 50th anniversary at all? It was founded in 1977.

Links 9/8/2021: Linux 5.14 RC5, SME Server 10.0 Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 5:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: August 8th, 2021

      This week has been pretty awesome, and we saw the release of the Mesa 21.2 graphics stack, which is great news for gamers, we were able to test drive Ubuntu’s new Desktop Installer written in Google’s Flutter SDK, we played The Silence & The Fury DLC for Total War: WARHAMMER II, and we installed Nitrux 1.5.1, Coreboot 6, and fwupd 1.6.2.

      On top of that, I take a first look at Thunderbird 91’s new account setup wizard and the upcoming UnityX 10 desktop environment. You can enjoy these and much more in 9to5Linux’s Linux and Open Source weekly roundup for August 8th, 2021, below!

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #142

      We had a peaceful week in the world of Linux releases with Nitrux OS 2021.08.02 and Bluestar Linux 5.13.8.

      We also had a look at Gardula Linux and a new Linux distro in the making called Manjaro Cutefish, a pre-release.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.14-rc5
        Things are looking perfectly normal. Size is nominal, diffstat looks
        pretty normal, and the changes are all in the usual places, with just
        under 60% being drivers, and the rest the usual mix of architecture
        updates, core kernel, networking, and some selftests.
        The shortlog is appended for people who want to scan the details, but
        I can't think of anything in here that looks odd or noteworthy.
        Which is just how it should be by rc5.  Let's hope the trend continues,
      • Linux 5.14-rc5 Released – “Looking Perfectly Normal” – Phoronix

        If the Linux 5.14 cycle keeps playing out nicely, Linux 5.14 stable should be out before month’s end rather than slipping into September.

        See our Linux 5.14 feature overview to learn more more about all of the changes coming for this late summer 2021 kernel update.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.14-rc5 [LWN.net]

        The fifth 5.14 prepatch is out for testing. “Things are looking perfectly normal. Size is nominal, diffstat looks pretty normal, and the changes are all in the usual places”

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install AnyDesk on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa)

        AnyDesk is remote desktop application which allows to connect to remote desktop. It is platform independent and proprietary software which allow to connect Windows Server from Linux Desktop and vice-versa. Anydesk can be used specially in troubleshooting the remote systems. Apart from desktop sharing it can also be used for file transfer and VPN.

        In this article, we will demonstrate how to install anydesk tool on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system.

      • How to Enable Minimize, Maximize Window Buttons in elementary OS

        This is how you can enable the Minimize, Maximize window buttons in elementary OS.

      • How to Use the Gzip Command in Linux – ByteXD

        Gzip is a popular file compression and decompression utility. It is supported by almost all the Linux distributions and it is available for most of the UNIX/Linux flavors.

        The gzip file format is based on the Deflate algorithm, which is a variation of LZ77.
        The Deflate algorithm is a compression algorithm. It takes a block of data and compresses it. The compression is done by finding repeated strings of data and replacing them with a reference to the previous occurrence of the string.

      • How to install the Openshot Video Editor on a Chromebook

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

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

      • How to install Godot 3 on Linux Lite 5.4

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Godot 3 on Linux Lite 5.4.

      • Using formulas in Google Sheets
      • Sudo vs. su: Which Command Should You Use?

        Depending on your Linux setup, you may perform administrative tasks using either the su command or sudo. It’s easy to confuse these two commands since both of them have similar functions.

        So, which command should you use? Let’s find out.

      • Emulating Nintendo Switch Games on Linux

        Some people lament the fact that, even though the Steam Deck is the Switch Pro we’ve been waiting for, they can’t play the Nintendo exclusives on it, such as the Mario, Zelda, and Metroid series.

        Well, ever heard of emulation? It is actually possible to play your favorite Nintendo games on PC, or your Steam Deck. Switch emulation is possible thanks to Yuzu and Ryujinx. Both emulators are open-source and available for Linux and Windows. While we have yet to see whether Switch games will emulate at a full 60 FPS or not on the Steam Deck, it’s certainly reasonable to conclude they’ll at least run at 30 FPS. (Anyone else looking forward to playing Metroid Dread on the Deck?)

    • Games

      • 0 A.D. Alpha 25 Released! Implement Single Player Campaigns [Ubuntu PPA]

        Real-time strategy video game 0 A.D. released version Alpha 25 a day ago. Code name is “Yaunã”.

        0 A.D. (pronounced “zero ey-dee”) is a free and open-source RTS game under development by Wildfire Games, that works on Windows, Linux, and MAC. It is a historically-based war/economy game that allows players to relive or rewrite the history of Western civilizations, focusing on the years between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: SME Server 10.0

          In hindsight it’s difficult for me to imagine how my trial with SME Server could have gone worse. One might point out that at least the system installer worked, but even then the installer is unusually slow and a bit awkward to navigate compared to other dedicated server and NAS solutions currently available.

          Things got off to a poor start with anti-virus processes consuming all available CPU and memory resources and got worse when it became apparent that the systemctl command would timeout while trying to shutdown the runaway services while systemd would restart the processes I terminated by other means.

          The user account manager rejected passwords I tried to apply to new accounts and incorrectly reported accounts were locked, even after I had unlocked them from the command line. The web interface does not show feedback or show confirmation when action buttons are clicked. Most services cannot be managed through the web portal and new software could not be added to the system without turning to the command line.

          To make matters worse, updating the system and taking the Reconfigure option the system keeps insisting is necessary corrupts the system and prevents it from booting.

          Looking through the web interface prior to the system becoming unusable, there do not appear to be many tools for managing services or setting up tasks. It looks like most significant options need to be managed from the command line and there are very few tasks we can perform through the web portal that are not easier and faster from the console.

          One aspect of SME Server that puzzles me a bit is its short support cycle. SME Server 10.0 is new (it came out earlier this year), but it’s based on CentOS 7 which is about seven years into its ten year support cycle. Which means SME Server 10.0 only receives three years of support. As a result we are stuck running seven year old software packages, but will only benefit from three years of updates. It seems we’d be better off running a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 clone with something like Webmin installed.

          I encountered a lot of frustration from trying to use SME Server with virtually nothing to show from my efforts, but a lot of bugs. I think most other members of the Fedora/CentOS family would provide a smoother experience.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • ReactOS Is Going Places, With More Stable AMD64, SMP, And Multi-Monitor Support | Hackaday

        In the crowd of GNU/Linux and BSD users that throng our community, it’s easy to forget that those two families are not the only games in the open-source operating system town. One we’ve casually kept an eye on for years is ReactOS, the long-running open-source Windows-compatible operating system that is doing its best to reach a stable Windows XP-like experience. Their most recent update has a few significant advances mentioned in it that hold the promise of it moving from curiosity to contender, so is definitely worth a second look.

        ReactOS has had 64-bit builds for a long time now, but it appears they’ve made some strides in both making them a lot more stable, and moving away from the MSVC compiler to GCC. Sadly this doesn’t seem to mean that this now does the job of a 64-bit Windows API, but it should at least take advantage internally of the 64-bit processors. In addition they have updated their support for the Intel APIC that is paving the way for ongoing work on multiprocessor support where their previous APIC driver couldn’t escape the single processor constraint of an original Intel 8259.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • This week in Chrome OS: Chrome OS 92 hits stable

            It’s been quite a busy week for Chrome OS and Google in general. Google kicked off the week by officially previewing the upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones. While that’s not Chrome OS news directly, the Google-made Tensor chip could have future implications for Chromebooks. In the middle of the week, Chrome OS 92 finally hit the stable channel, bringing a host of new features with it. AT&T also put up the LTE version of the Galaxy Chromebook Go for sale on their website.

            In addition to all of the current news, there were also encouraging developments in upcoming Chrome OS features. Chromebooks will soon gain native Google Calendar support in the dock. Debian 11 ‘Bullseye’ is rolling out to Chromebooks soon, available on certain devices now. The guys over at Chrome Unboxed were also able to get Vulkan games working in Crostini on Chrome OS Canary 94. Let’s take a look at everything in more detail.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Implicit ordering in relational languages

          I tried implementing a text crdt in sql and in imp.

          Doing this naively isn’t particularly hard. The challenge here is to implement it as if writing a batch query, but in such a way that an incremental system like materialize or dida can efficiently update the result when new edits arrive. Not because this code would be particularly useful in itself, but because it helps discover the boundaries of what kinds of problems are possible to solve in this way.

          The exercise is a little like GPU programming, in that avoiding sequential algorithms and shared mutable data-structures requires very carefully separating the actual essential data dependencies of the problem from those accidentally introduced by typical programming techniques.

        • Working with Postgres types

          In episode 2 of this series I noted that the languages in which I’m writing Postgres functions share a common type system. It took me a while to understand how types work in the context of Postgres functions that can return sets of records and can interact with tables and materialized views.

        • [Old] Databases and Validation and Uncertainty

          A long time ago, I studied research on what makes successful engineering teams. (Not programmers, other engineering fields). I don’t remember a lot of it, but one phrase stands out: “preserving ambiguity”. Successful teams don’t make decisions that aren’t needed, and they don’t get themselves locked in too early.

      • FSF

        • Hackaday Links: August 8, 2021 | Hackaday

          Do you have burning opinions about GitHub Copilot, the AI pair programmer that Microsoft introduced a few months ago? Are you worried about the future of free and open software? The Free Software Foundation is funding a call for white papers of 3,000 or fewer words that address either Copilot itself or the subjects of copyright, machine learning, or free software as a whole. If you need more background information first, check out [Maya Posch]’s excellent article on the subject of Copilot and our disappointing AI present. Submissions are due by 10AM EDT (14:00 UTC) on Monday, August 23rd.

      • Programming/Development

    • Standards/Consortia

      • The Tao of Unicode Sparklines

        Unicode evolves, of course, so maybe there will someday be a sequence of characters that’s friendlier to sparklines. Maybe there already is? If so please let me know, I’d love to use it.

  • Leftovers

    • We Need a World Where the Olympic Refugee Team Can Go Home When the Games End
    • An Encounter at Nez Perce Creek
    • Science

    • Education

      • Preventing student cheating will require more than AI or legislation

        The growth of commercial contract cheating services and essay mills is in part a symptom of our digital age, but technology has also helped to tackle misconduct itself, with the majority of institutions implementing edtech into their integrity frameworks.

        These AI innovations can help to identify where potential misconduct, such as plagiarism and contract cheating, may have taken place.

        However, the battle for academic integrity will not be won by technology or legislation alone. Open dialogue between students, academics and administrators is critical in ensuring a shared understanding of what constitutes cheating. Without this, AI and technology risk being seen as punitive measures, rather than supportive ones.

    • Hardware

      • Google is planning a new Silicon Valley campus with hardware hub, plans show

        Google is planning yet another Silicon Valley campus, which will sit adjacent to a new center partly devoted to hardware, according to preliminary plans obtained by CNBC.

        Beginning in 2018, Google spent more than $389 million on land in north San Jose, Calif., and the company has since filed detailed preliminary proposals showing a sneak peak of its plans for the space. The plans, which are filed as an “R&D” facility, show a center for hardware operations and a separate new tech campus that would be accessible to the public, sitting between its current headquarters in Mountain View and its recently approved mega mixed-use campus in San Jose.

      • Google planning a huge hardware R&D hub in Silicon Valley

        Last week, Google announced it has developed its own custom-built chip to power the next generation of Pixel 6 smartphones that will arrive in the market later this year.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Delta Variant and the Trumper Blame Game

        But with increasing vehemence, Trump Republicans are falling back on their old game of deflecting attention by blaming immigrants crossing the southern border.

      • ‘Just Look at the Data’: Top US Health Official Calls for More Vaccine Mandates

        As U.S. Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations soar—largely driven by the Delta variant and people’s refusal to vaccinate—a leading U.S. health official on Sunday called for the implementation of more vaccine mandates to better combat the pandemic’s surging fourth wave.

        “For me, as a non-political person, as a physician, as a scientist, the compelling case for vaccines for everybody is right there in front of you.”—NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins

      • Fuji Rock Festival to send free COVID-19 test kits to all ticket holders | SoraNews24 -Japan News-

        Anyone who tests positive and stays home will get a full refund.

        Needless to say, 2020 was a pretty horrible year for live music in Japan, shows big and small either had to make major alterations or just cancel altogether in order to help fight the spread of COVID-19. However, this situation can only continue for so long before the organizers reach a breaking point.

        For example, after foregoing last year’s live event, this year the large-scale summer music event Fuji Rock Festival ’21 at Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture declared that the show must go on, despite rapidly rising infection rates in the country.

      • FDA Approves First Interchangeable Biological Product

        Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an interchangeable biosimilar to insulin glargine, an approval notable because it is the first approved interchangeable biosimilar product. The product is Semglee (insulin glargine-yfgn), produced by Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and under this approval, it is interchangeable with Lantus (insulin glargine) made by Sanofi.

        The approval was based on the provisions of the Biological Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA), enacted with the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as “Obamacare”) codified at 42 U.S.C. § 262 et seq. Subsection (k) relates to the standards for biosimilarity; the FDA (and the statute itself) distinguish between biosimilarity and interchangeability inter alia by applying a heightened standard for interchangeability. Specifically, the statute requires that an interchangeable product is biosimilar and can be expected to produce the same clinical result as the reference product in any given patient; and that for a biological product that is administered more than once to an individual, the risk in terms of safety or diminished efficacy of alternating or switching between use of the biological product and the reference product is not greater than the risk of using the reference product without such alternation or switch. 42 U.S.C. §§ 262(I)(3) and 262(k)(4).

      • France Implements New Early Access Pathway For Innovative Medicines [Ed: Large pharmaceuticals or monopolies get whatever they want, as usual...]

        Reforms to the French early access processes will make reimbursement decisions more predictable and bring greater consistency into the medicinal product pathway says the French pharmaceutical industry body Leem. Others, though, say the system is too complicated and lacks clarity in a number of areas.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Laura Abbott: Fun with the LPC55S69

            I never posted about it but at the end of April I disclosed a bug in an NXP chip as part of my work at Oxide. The short summary is there was an undisclosed hardware block in the LPC55S69 which allowed for modification of the ROM and breaking of various isolation boundries. Oops?

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Chinese ICT products to be banned at Taiwan’s government facilities by end of year

              According to the Liberty Times, a total of 19,256 Chinese ICT products were found at the 2,596 government agencies and public schools around the country as of May. The top three brands — SZ DJI Technology Co., TP-Link, and Hikvision — supply products from unmanned aerial vehicles to computer networking products.

            • Apple is trying to redefine what it means to violate your privacy. We must not let it.

              Screeching for freedom. Illustration by Jérémie Fontana.

            • Critics: Apple’s Child Abuse Detection Tools Threaten Privacy

              The concern here obviously isn’t Apple’s mission to fight CSAM, it’s the tools that it’s using to do so—which critics fear represent a slippery slope. In an article published Thursday, the privacy-focused Electronic Frontier Foundation noted that scanning capabilities similar to Apple’s tools could eventually be repurposed to make its algorithms hunt for other kinds of images or text—which would basically mean a workaround for encrypted communications, one designed to police private interactions and personal content. According to the EFF:

            • FOSS Patents: Privacy and hypocrisy: Apple wants to know your location to sell you music, but governments must not ask you to scan QR codes to fight the pandemic

              Last weekend I made an Android phone my primary mobile communications device. That was a lot of work, and I’ll have to pay for some apps and content again. There are antitrust issues concerning Android, which is why Epic Games’s amended complaint is worth reading, particularly the part about “sideloading” (direct installation of apps) “drastically” limiting app developers’ reach. But faced with the choice, I clearly prefer Android because Apple is too heavy-handed.

              The Epic Games v. Apple antitrust ruling may come down anytime now in the Northern District of California, though I wouldn’t be surprised if that huge case took the judge another month or more to distill into what will hopefully be a razor-sharp ruling. Even without a major antitrust trial or decision, more and more people can figure out that Apple’s defenses of its App Store monopoly abuse are pretextual.

              This weekend, I had a defining moment in which I realized that Apple is fooling the world’s antitrust authorities and lawmakers to a greater extent than even the epic Epic trial in May exposed. The only Apple app I’m still using after my remigration to Android is Shazam. And just yesterday, Shazam for Android–I kid you not!–asked for GPS permission so it could later tell me where I was when I “discovered” a song.

            • One bad Apple [Ed: This is where all the large technology companies are going or have already gone, Google and Microsoft for sure]

              Dr. Neal Krawetz, one of the leading experts in the area of computer forensics research, digital photo analysis, and related topics, has penned a blog post in which he takes apart Apple’s recent announcement and the technology behind it.

              He actually has a lot of experience with the very problem Apple is trying to deal with, since he is the creator of FotoForensics, and files CSAM reports to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) every day. In fact, he files more reports than Apple, and knows all the ins and outs of all the technologies involved – including reverse-engineering Microsoft’s PhotoDNA, the perceptual hash algorithm NCMEC and Apple are using.

              The reason he had to reverse-engineer PhotoDNA is that NCMEC refused to countersign the NDA’s they wanted Krawetz to sign, eventually not responding to his requests altogether. Krawetz is one of the more prolific reporters of CSAM material (number 40 out of 168 in total in 2020). According to him, PhotoDNA is not as sophisticated as Apple’s and Microsoft’s documentation and claims make it out to be.

            • Apple’s child abuse photo scanning tools criticised by privacy experts
    • Defence/Aggression

      • Chibok schoolgirl reunited with family after seven years in Boko Haram captivity

        Nearly 300 schoolgirls, most aged between 12 and 17, were abducted by Boko Haram in April 2014 from Chibok in northeast Nigeria, sparking an international outcry and the #BringBackOurGirls campaign for their release.

        Over the years, many of the girls were released or found by the military, but more than 100 are still missing, Amnesty International said in April to mark the seven year anniversary of the abduction.

      • Nigeria: Chibok schoolgirl free after seven years captivity

        The office of the governor of Borno state in northern Nigeria, where almost 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped in the town of Chibok seven years ago, announced Saturday that one of the girls is free and has been reunited with her family.

      • The China-Taliban Romance and Its Implications in South Asian Politics

        And last but not the least, it will revive terrorism once again especially in South Asia. Since 1990s, Taliban model served as the ‘role model’ for terrorism in South Asia. Since 1990s, countries including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Maldives are facing homegrown terrorist problems. Sri Lanka is also facing threats at present. Most of them were influenced by Taliban and many terrorists were allegedly taken part in Taliban Training camps. Since then, these countries initiated countering terrorism and successfully reduced terrorism to minimum. But in current context, Bangladesh’s Jamiatul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Neo-JMB, India’s Lashkar-e-Taiba, Harkatul Mujahideen, Pakistan’s Jaish-e-Mohammad, Al Qaeda, Tehrik-e-Taliban will once again find motivation from this Taliban victory and Chinese patronization. Moreover, apart from terrorist organizations, these relations will also once again motivate extremist political Islam organizations such as Bangladesh’s Jamat e lslam, Hefajat-e-Islam and Pakistan’s Tehrik-e-Labbaik. For these organizations, Taliban will serve as a success story in both establishing Sharia Law and achieving legitimacy in global arena, just like 1990s when extremists celebrated the Taliban as a ‘role model’. As a result, in coming days, fundamentalist will find more space in this region and will challenge ‘secularism’ to the core resulting in violent conflicts and communalism in practice.

      • Mozambique, Rwanda Armies Retake Key Jihadist-held Town

        The port town, from where the first Islamist attacks were staged in October 2017, has since last year become the de facto headquarters of the Islamic State-linked extremists, locally referred to as al-Shabab.

        Mocimboa da Praia “was the last stronghold of the insurgents” and its recapture marks “the end of the first phase of counter-insurgency operations,” Colonel Ronald Rwivanga, a spokesman for the joint military force, said in a text message.

      • Taliban seize three more Afghan provincial capitals in northern blitz

        The insurgents have snatched up five provincial capitals in Afghanistan since Friday in a lightning offensive that appears to have overwhelmed government forces.

        Fighting in Afghanistan’s long-running conflict has intensified since May, when foreign forces began the final stage of a withdrawal due to be completed later this month.

      • Rampant Taliban capture key Kunduz as Afghan cities fall in wake of U.S. withdrawal

        Recently, the group said it had captured more than half of Afghanistan’s territory, including strategic border crossings.

        That has driven thousands out of their homes to seek refuge, from both the fighting and the prospect of the hard-line Islamist regime that ruled the country before 2001 being reimposed.

      • America’s spiteful foreign policy

        As for this summer’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, it should be noted that the country was far from stable when it was handed over to the Biden administration — though it was certainly not so dire as to justify a hasty withdrawal of the remaining US troops. Indeed, far more concerning for America’s security is another development over the past decade, something rarely noted in the American media: that is, the discernible leadership change that has occurred within several countries of the Middle East, particularly in the Gulf States.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The promise of open-source intelligence

        The great hope of the 1990s and 2000s was that the [Internet] would be a force for openness and freedom. As Stewart Brand, a pioneer of online communities, put it: “Information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time.” It was not to be. Bad information often drove out good. Authoritarian states co-opted the technologies that were supposed to loosen their grip. Information was wielded as a weapon of war. Amid this disappointment one development offers cause for fresh hope: the emerging era of open-source intelligence (OSINT).

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • A terrifying new theory: Fake news and conspiracy theories as an evolutionary strategy

        While the paper aligns with the “motivated reasoning” perspective, its focus goes deeper than the psychological mechanisms that produce and reproduce false information. These researchers are trying to elucidate the functions of those mechanisms, that is, to answer the question of why they evolved in the first place. I interviewed Petersen three years ago, about a previous paper, “A ‘Need for Chaos’ and the Sharing of Hostile Political Rumors in Advanced Democracies,” which was summarized on Twitter thusly: “Many status-obsessed, yet marginalized individuals experience a ‘Need for Chaos’ and want to ‘watch the world burn.’” That paper provided crucial insight into prolific spreaders of misinformation and why they do what they do. But that individualist account was only part of the story. This new paper seeks to illuminates the evolutionary foundations and social processes involved in the spread of outright falsehoods. So I had another long conversation with Petersen, edited as usual for clarity and length.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Go read this look at how Amazon third-party sellers pester customers who leave bad reviews

        When you buy something on Amazon, the e-commerce giant isn’t always the one making the sale; an estimated half of all products sold on Amazon come from third-party sellers. Amazon says it’s merely the conduit between buyer and seller, and doesn’t bear responsibility if a third-party product is defective (although some recent court cases have challenged that stance).

        Third-party sellers aren’t supposed to be able to email Amazon customers directly outside of the platform, but a new report in The Wall Street Journal shows that some sellers can find ways to get in touch with buyers who leave negative product reviews, and some businesses even offer “email extraction” for buyers as a service to sellers.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • [Old] A 14-Year-Old Bride, Wed to Her Rapist, Playing on a Jungle Gym

        For years, the United States has campaigned against child marriage around the world, from Guatemala to Zimbabwe. But we should listen to ourselves: Forty-five states here in America continue to allow girls and boys under 18 to wed.

        Girls as young as 10 are occasionally married quite legally in the United States. Nine states have established no absolute minimum age for marriage.

        A study this year found that nearly 300,000 children — meaning age 17 and under — were married in the United States from 2000 to 2018. An overwhelming majority were 16- or 17- year-old girls, on average marrying a man four years older. But more than 1,000 were 14 or younger, and five were only 10 years old. Some were wed to people far older.

      • [Old] United States’ Child Marriage Problem: Study Findings (April 2021)

        This is the first study of the extent of child marriage in the U.S. that collected all available state data and used various estimation methods, based on high correlations identified between the available data and census data, to fill in the data gaps. (Unchained’s previous study of the extent of child marriage in the U.S. for the period 2000 to 2010 was based on available data from 38 states plus estimates for the other 12 states based only on state population [3]. PBS Frontline later extended that study to 2015 but did not attempt to fill in the many data gaps left by states that provided no data or only some data [4]).

      • The beheading of a diplomat’s daughter shows how badly Pakistan is failing its women

        Mukadam’s death has drawn attention to the plight of women and girls in Pakistan, where violence against them is considered a “serious problem,” according to a 2020 country report from Human Rights Watch.

        Around 28% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 have experienced physical violence since the age of 15, Pakistan’s Ministry of Human Rights said, citing the country’s Demographic and Health Survey from 2017-2018.

        Often, violence occurs within marriage and goes unreported, because it is considered a cultural norm in Pakistan’s patriarchal society, according to a World Health Organization review of literature on domestic violence in Pakistan from 2008 to 2018.

      • Progressive Caucus Won’t Back Infrastructure Bill Lacking “Popular Priorities”
      • Opinion | The Untimely Tragic Death of Labor’s Best Friend

        The first time I met Rich Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO who suddenly died this past Thursday, was in early 2008. I had only been president of the Writers Guild of America, East, an AFL-CIO union, for a short time, and he was then the labor federation’s secretary-treasurer.

      • Human Rights Groups Demand Release of Sri Lanka Lawyer Held Months Without Trial
      • Progressives Demand More as Infrastructure Bill Clears Key Senate Hurdle

        As the United States Senate on Saturday voted to advance a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, progressive lawmakers warned that they will not vote for the proposed legislation if lawmakers don’t also adequately fund human needs such as healthcare, housing, and climate action.

        “If the bipartisan bill isn’t passed with a reconciliation package that has our popular priorities, we’re not voting for it.”—Rep. Pramila Jayapal

      • Fannie Lou Hamer and the Ongoing Struggle for Voting Rights

        One of 20 children in a sharecropper’s Mississippi family, Hamer grew up in the 1920s and ‘30s no stranger to hunger. As a young child, she helped her parents pick cotton in the fields which ended her formal education at age 12. Often, she and her siblings had nothing for dinner besides a little four mixed with cooking grease. Lynchings of Black people were not uncommon in mid-20th century Mississippi, and it was not until Hamer was well into adulthood that she learned she had the right to vote. This knowledge changed her life. She became a voting rights activist. Getting her fellow African Americans to vote became her life’s work. To read this article, log in or or Subscribe. In order to read CP+ articles, your web browser must be set to accept cookies.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Some thoughts on new top-level domains being used for spam

        On the other hand, this feels uncomfortable close to pushing email further toward a closed system in practice, where only large existing senders of email can get their email accepted and other people are frozen out. Setting up a broad based block of any sort (whether a gTLD or a large network (IP) area) makes it incrementally harder for people to send email from new, not well established hosts, and anecdotally that’s already hard.

    • Monopolies

      • Apple Sinks ‘Submarine Patent,’ Escapes $308.5 Million Verdict [Ed: ‘Mike’ Bloomberg the oligarch has hired another patent maximalist, Matthew Bultman, to work as a reporter alongside the booster Susan Decker. They’re more like lobbyists than journalists.]
      • The Value in Secrecy

        Trade secret law is seen as the most inclusive IP regime for protecting inventions and proprietary business information. Keep it secret, the wisdom goes, and you can protect it under trade secret law even if patent and copyright law are unavailable. But keeping information secret does not magically transform it into a trade secret. The holder of the secret also must derive actual or potential economic value from concealing the information from others. This elusive and under- studied statutory requirement—called “independent economic value”—is a vestige of the common law, under which trade secrets had to impart a “competitive advantage.”

        Today, the conventional view is that courts generally ignore independent economic value or give it a rubber stamp. However, this article reveals that, while most courts apply a comparatively low bar, a surprisingly large number find the standard is not met. This casts doubt on the assumption that independent economic value is a toothless, check-the-box requirement.

        Along with this descriptive account, the article provides a much-needed explanation of the nature and function of independent economic value in trade secret law. At first glance, a legal requirement of economic value appears redundant. After all, if information had no economic value, why would anyone bother to keep it secret, and why would the parties litigate over the right to use it? By drawing on insights from patent law’s surprisingly analogous requirement of “utility,” the article reveals that—far from being toothless or self-enforcing—trade secret law’s independent economic value requirement plays a central role in establishing the contours of trade secrecy. When properly construed, it controls not just the amount of value that qualifies, but also the type of value that qualifies and the timeframe during which a trade secret can be protected. Most subtly, independent economic value ensures the information’s asserted value is caused specifically by its secrecy. This raises the bar on what can be protected and simultaneously fortifies the secrecy requirement itself.

        The article has a clear message for courts. In any given trade secret case, a party may fail to meet the independent economic value requirement; a litigant’s cost-benefit analysis about whether to pursue a lawsuit will not necessarily screen out trade secrets that do not have independent economic value. Courts and commentators who ignore or trivialize independent economic value are wrong to do so.

      • Opinion | African Faith Leaders to Gates Foundation: Drop African ‘Green Revolution’

        In August 2021, an alliance of African faith leaders delivered a powerful message to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Stop promoting failing and harmful high-input Green Revolution programs, such as the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

      • Sunday Surprises

        As the weekend draws to a close, there’s no better time to look ahead to new IP-related events and opportunities.

      • Back from the Dead? Parliamentary Committee on IP suggests against scrapping of IPAB

        One may recall the scene in Macbeth where he encounters the ghost of his former friend Banquo and exclaims in disbelief. I am sure many would have exclaimed with similar sentiment after reading the suggestions of the recent Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on Review of IPR regime in India, which suggests re-institution of IPAB. At the outset, let me clarify, I am in no way against the idea of having a dedicated IP court, which will ensure timely disposal of highly technical IP disputes. However time and time again we have addressed the problems with the institution we had, and often have suggested ways to overcome these obstacles to get the institution we need (see here). In this post, I shall address the suggestions of the Parliamentary Committee pertaining to IPAB and will try to pitch in my two cents on it. Readers can find an earlier post from today by Prof. Arul Scaria on broader issues related to this report here.

      • Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on IPR: Tipping the Scales of Patent Law? Part I [Ed: Unnecessary overuse of the misnomer and propaganda term "IP"; just say patents instead]

        As is well known now, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce tabled its Report on the IPR regime in India last week. In about 150 pages the Report suggests a major reevaluation of the IP framework in the country. In an approach that seems to focus on the bigger picture while suggesting fairly pointed reforms, the Report misses both the trees and the forest. Some of the conspicuous issues with the Report have been covered by Dr. Scaria (here), Praharsh (here), and Adyasha (here).

        The Report focuses on reviewing the working of the Patents Act since its 2005 amendment that brought the Indian legislation in compliance with the TRIPS Agreement. A significant portion of the Report is dedicated to suggesting changes to the Patents Act, albeit without much justification on why these changes are needed. The singular focus of these recommendations is on increasing patent filing in the country. These recommendations aim to water down several substantial restrictions in the Act to increase the scope of patentability and also reduce procedural restrictions to induce some flexibility. In this 2-part post, in part I, I will be analyzing the suggested amendments to Section 3 of the Patents Act (the substantial provisions) and part II will cover the suggested amendments to some of the procedural provisions of the Act.

      • Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on IPR: Tipping the Scales of Patent Law? Part II

        The recommendations on making procedural norms of patent filing less stringent are noteworthy. Minor procedural/timeline issues should not be the determining factor for the validity of a patent application. Easing such norms makes the process more accessible.

        With respect to shortening the time period for patent application examination, it would be interesting to see what changes are undertaken to ensure compliance with newer and shortened timelines. As has generally been the case with legislations prescribing timelines for actions to be taken, the prescriptions do not necessarily translate into a speedier process. Further, as is with the case of most government offices, the patent office also faces several structural issues including being overburdened with their workload, having inadequate personnel capacity, and other issues which have been extensively covered on the blog here. The ongoing discussion in the comment section of this post also highlights some serious issues faced by patent examiners. The current recommendation also does not pay any heed to the quality of patent applications being passed by the Office. Once again, solely focusing on speed and numbers would mean the creation of a pseudo quota-fulfilling system and it would be easier to allow a bad patent than to spend time justifying/giving reasons as to why a patent must be denied. If a legislative change is brought in with a focus on speedier process instead of addressing the other structural issues that plague the process of patent examinations, then it is doubtful that it would lead to any fruitful change.

        What is quite glaringly missing in the Report is its lack of focus on Research & Development (R&D) spending/capacity-building for improving the patent regime in the country. While the focus on improving the process of filing patent applications and making it accessible is important, it is hard to see how these changes would encourage innovation when only 0.65% of the GDP is being spent on R&D (also see posts here and here). The incentive provided by patent protection is only one part of an ecosystem that is required to foster innovation. It is also an aspect that figures mostly at the end of the innovation cycle and not at the beginning. In that, without R&D capacity, there would simply be a lack of an environment that helps explore gaps in technology and create subsequent socially beneficial inventions.

        With respect to the recommendations on Section 104, while the idea of specialized IPR mediation or arbitration centers seems very attractive on paper, it is hard to see how or why these centers would not share the fate of the IPAB. Issues of executive interference, vacancies, and mismatched expertise of adjudicating members had long plagued the IPAB, a specialized IP forum. Further, even if ADR is promoted for dispute resolution, there is no guarantee that it would achieve the objective of ‘speedy justice’. Arbitration has been noted to be expensive and time-consuming and with mediation (unless court-mandated) not being binding on parties, it is hard to see why parties would not approach courts anyway to try their luck at obtaining results that favor them. If such specialized forums are being proposed, then it would have been prudent for the proposing body to first focus on lessons from the shortcomings of the IPAB and also to think through safeguards in the ADR process to ensure finality in their dispute resolution. So simply creating more institutional bodies to deal specifically with IP matters does not resolve any existing issues with respect to delays in IP dispute management as much as it just creates multiple forums that parties can approach.

      • Patents

        • Our Patent System is Broken. And it Could be Stifling Innovation. [Ed: Today's patent system is no longer about innovation but protectionism for large companies with tons of lousy and fake patents that favour a side with more legal budget; Bezos likes it as it is and controls this publication]
        • IPO Webinar on Common IP Pitfalls in Energy Industry Joint Ventures and Collaborations [Ed: Stacked panel from IBM front group for patent extremism]
        • A September CLE in Salt Lake City with Dennis, Me, and Other Important People! [Ed: Totally stuffed or stacked by law firms, quite frankly as usual. When the media and debates are hijacked by one particular lobby group people will gradually walk away and the echo chamber see its cause floundering (lack of public support).]

          I’m happy to announce, and hope to attend in-person, the CLE described below in Salt Lake City. While virtual CLEs have their benefits, I miss seeing and interacting with folks, and hope we can get close to normal soon. But, it’s also available virtually and looks to be a good mix of practical and conceptual work! Here’s their announcement…

        • Hirshfeld rejects two post-Arthrex requests for review

          The USPTO rejected requests for director review of two Patent Trial and Appeal Board rulings on Monday, August 2.

          These requests were the first to be considered after the Supreme Court decisionUS v Arthrexon June 21.It set out that the appointment of administrative patent judges at the PTAB was unconstitutional, but that this problem could be fixed by giving the USPTO director more power to overturn the board’s decisions.

          The patentoffice announced on June 29 that it had implemented an interim procedure where the USPTO director could initiate reviews of PTAB rulings.

          One of the requests that was rejected on Monday came from a patent owner: non-practising entity Solas had asked the office to review a ruling that its claims were unpatentable.

          The other came from a patent challenger, Google,which had requested that the office review a decision that certain claims in Hammond Development’s patent were patentable.

          Drew Hirshfeld, commissioner of patents who is currently performing the functions and duties of the USPTO director, did not give many details on why he denied both requests.

          In both cases he wrote: “It is ordered that the request for director review is denied; and furtherordered that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s final written decision in this case is the final decision of the agency.”

        • DABUS patent team discusses strategy and hopes [Ed: Of course they did not bother speaking to critics; that's what propaganda mills do.]

          Lawyers spearheading the patent applications for DABUS spoke to Managing IP about what recent legal wins mean for artificial intelligence inventorship.


          Justice Jonathan Beach of the Federal Court of Australia said in his ruling that because other terms in patent law such as “manner of manufacture” have evolved over the past two centuries to include novel methods of scientific invention, he sees no reason why the term “inventor” should not also evolve to reflect new methods of discovery.

        • Recent Developments In Artificial Intelligence And IP Law: South Africa Grants World’s First Patent For AI-Created Invention [Ed: There is no such thing as "IP Law"; he means patent law and this decision serves to discredit the law as it rewards bots, like high-frequency 'trading' that's gaming financial markets]

          On July 28, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission of South Africa granted the world’s first patent on an invention created by an artificial intelligence (“AI”) inventor. This development marks an important milestone in what will certainly be a significant battle for legal recognition of such inventions in the United States and other countries.

        • Canada’s patent system steps forward to catch up [Ed: Notice how law/litigation firms write 'the news' and are hailing countries only when they serve litigation agenda, e.g. "steps forward to catch up" (lobbying disguised as "news")]

          For the first time ever, Canada will be granting patent term adjustments beginning in January. That’s welcome news for the biopharmaceutical and med-tech industries, and it’s long overdue, Jeffrey Morton, a partner at Snell & Wilmer LLP, told BioWorld.

        • Assessing the licensing environment of SEPs in Japan [Ed: It seems increasingly apparent that propaganda mill "Managing Intellectual Property" is just selling site space to litigation firms, hardly even hiding that anymore (sponsored "articles"). No wonder so many writers left.]
        • Timing of Interlocutory Appeal in Patent Cases | Patently-O

          This is an appellate procedure case focused on the timing of the notice of appeal. The statute creates a hard 30-day deadline for filing a Notice of Appeal (NOA). 28 U.S.C. § 2107(a). One difficulty though is that the statutory scheme muddies the water in terms of when to start counting. The courts have previously figured out how it works for ordinary appeals — you get 30-days from the final judgment. But, there is a special statute that allows interlocutory appeals in patent infringement lawsuits that creates a right to appeal in cases that are “final except for an accounting.” 28 U.S.C. § 1292(c). With that provision, it would seem that the notice of appeal should be filed within 30 days of the court action that triggers the final-except-for-an-accounting status. But, there is another level of complication that comes from the NOA tolling provision found in Fed. R. App. Proc. 4(a)(4). Rule 4(a)(4) focuses on post-verdict situation where a party files several motions for Judgment as a Matter of Law (JMOL) or New Trial. In that situation, the Rule states that “the time to file an appeal runs … from the entry of the order disposing of the last such remaining motion.” Rule 4(a) then goes on to particularly state that the notice of appeal is due 30 days after the last JMOL/NewTrial motion is decided.


          Lets back up: At the trial court, a jury with the patentee and concluded that LG was willfully infringing the Mondis/Hitachi U.S. Patent No. 7,475,180. Post-verdict, the district court denied LG’s motions for JMOL on infringement and validity and then later granted a new trial on damages and willfulness.

        • One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For AI: Australian Court Finds DABUS Can Be An Inventor [Ed: It does not seem like those patent litigation fanatics (profiteers) realise just to what degree this is damaging the credibility of the whole system they've hijacked in their corporate coup d'état]

          This was the sentiment expressed by Beach J in the Federal Court’s recent finding that artificial intelligence (AI) can be an inventor under Australian law in Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCA 879. This is the first decision by a court worldwide to embrace the concept of AI as an inventor. The Australian patent application at issue, AU 2019363177 (the AU Application), was filed by Davies Collison Cave on behalf of Dr Thaler.

        • Australian Judge Rules Inventions Developed By Artificial Intelligence Can Qualify For Patent Protection [Ed: Australia has made itself extremely foolish, gullible, desperate for low-grade 'patents']

          In Thaler v. Commissioner of Patents, case number VID 108 of 2021, in the Federal Court of Australia, an Australian Federal Judge became the first known jurist to rule that inventions developed by artificial intelligence can qualify for patent protection.

        • US district court patent filings set to climb above 4,000 for the year [Ed: Agenda of patent parasites being promoted by their propaganda mill, which also looks to scuttle PTAB and thereby lower patent quality]

          Data from both Unified Patents and RPX suggests that recent climbs in district court patent cases in the US are set to continue, as is the decline in PTAB filings

        • The First Post-IPR Director Reviews are Denied

          One of the topics to be discussed at tomorrow’s PPAC meeting is USPTO operations following the Supreme Court’s 2021 Arthrex decision. In Arthrex, the Supreme Court created an additional layer of review by the PTO Director in Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings following a PTAB final written decision. PTO Acting Director Drew Hirshfeld has considered the first two request for Director Review, and denied both requests. (IPR2020-00081 and IPR2020-00320). It appears that the Director personally considered both cases rather than delegating the decision back to the PTAB or another Official. Neither decision reach the merits but rather perfunctorily state…

        • GSK v. Teva: Skinny Label Approval is not a Patent Safe Harbor

          In an important pharma decision, the Federal Circuit has doubled-down on its prior ruling that Teva’s sales of the drug carvedilol induced infringement of a GSK method-of-treatment patent, even though Teva’s product is approved and labeled only for non-infringing uses (as required by statute). In the new decision, however, the court makes clear that the inducement liability is due to Teva’s additional marketing activity that encouraged others to infringe.


          GSK sued for inducing infringement and the jury sided with GSK and awarded $200 million in damages. The district court rejected the jury verdict and instead found insufficient evidence to show causation — that insufficient evidence Teva’s actions caused the underlying infringement. Then on appeal the Federal Circuit flipped again and reinstated the jury verdict in its October 2020 decision.

          The problem with the Oct 2020 decision is that it included an indication that a Generic could be held liable for inducement by simply selling a generic version of a drug and noting the therapeutic equivalence with the branded drug — without ever mentioning the patented use. The Federal Circuit has now released a new decision clarifying that such a straight use of the Skinny-Label could not justify inducement liability. In this case, however, the court found sufficient evidence that Teva went further — labelling its drug in a way that encouraged the patented use.

          An important element of this decision: the FDA’s Skinny-Label Carveout approval process does not create a genuine safe-harbor for the generic launch.

        • G1/19 and a game of golf: non-obviousness is a par-3 hole [Ed: Team UPC is paying this propaganda mill for a self-serving interpretation of a kangaroo court of the EPO; when these rig courts are further 'analysed' by people looking to crush the law and abolish constitution we're in trouble]

          Golf is a game of precision. You start by hitting a powerful shot to try to get the ball close to the green. At the moment of the first shot (the ‘drive’), the hole flag is still quite far away and sometimes can barely be seen. You do not expect to put the ball in the hole and it is fine to get closer to stay in the game. Then, you hit a second shot (the ‘approach’), a more precise one, to have the ball arrive nearer to the pin. Finally, you target the hole and put the ball in the cup (the ‘putt shot’). On a par-3 hole, a player may hit the pin in three shots.

        • Start-ups — cost-effective patent filing strategies [Ed: The most cost-effective thing to do is not waste any money on patents, but patent litigation firms won't tell you that, will they?]

          Once you decide to file a patent, you must navigate the filing process. This guide outlines key considerations for a patent filing strategy, helping start-ups to gain knowledge, focus their efforts and save money.

        • Opt in or opt out? [Ed: More shameless lies and nonsense about the dead UPC from people who believe that endlessly repeating lies can somehow save it]

          The Unitary Patent (UP) and Unified Patent Court (UPC) will fundamentally change the way patents are granted and enforced in Europe. Currently, patentees must maintain their patents in each European country – or at least in their key national markets.

        • Broad Files Contingent Preliminary Motion No. 2 in CRISPR Interference [Ed: Latest in the madness of trying to monopolise life through CRISPR 'invention']

          On May 28th, Junior Party the Broad Institute, Harvard University and MIT (collectively, “Broad”) filed its Contingent Preliminary Motion No. 2 in CRISPR Interference No. 106,126 (where ToolGen is the Senior Party), pursuant to 37 C.F.R. §§ 41.121(a)(1)(i) and 41.208(a)(2) and Standing Order (“SO”) 203.2. This motion is contingent on the Board’s grant of Broad’s Substantive Preliminary Motion No. 1. In that motion, Broad asked the Board to substitute (in part) a new Count No. 2 in place of Count 1 in the ’126 Interference as instituted (see “Broad Files Substantive Preliminary Motion No. 1 in CRISPR Interference”).

          In this motion, Broad asks the Board to add their U.S. Application Nos. 15/160,710 (having allowable claims 1, 40, and 41) and 15/430,260 (allowable claims 74, 94, and 95) to the Interference and designate the allowable claims as corresponding to Proposed Count 2. Consistent with their arguments in Motion No. 1, Broad contends that these claims recite “generic” limitations with regard to the RNA components of CRISPR, i.e., both dual-molecule and single-molecule guide RNA. In the alternative (i.e., should the Board deny Broad’s Substantive Preliminary Motion No. 1), Broad in this motion asks the Board to designate claim 1 of the ’710 application and claim 95 of the ’260 application as corresponding to current Count 1.

        • In a world first, South Africa accords patent to an artificial intelligence system [Ed: This is a badge of shame for South Africa, not an honour at all. It makes the country seem like it has no clue what the hell it's doing and how patent law works (or what it's for).]

          At first glance, a recently granted South African patent relating to a “food container based on fractal geometry” seems fairly mundane. The innovation in question involves interlocking food containers that are easy for robots to grasp and stack.

          On closer inspection, the patent is anything but mundane. That’s because the inventor is not a human being – it is an artificial intelligence (AI) system called DABUS.

          DABUS (which stands for “device for the autonomous bootstrapping of unified sentience”) is an AI system created by Stephen Thaler, a pioneer in the field of AI and programming. The system simulates human brainstorming and creates new inventions. DABUS is a particular type of AI, often referred to as “creativity machines” because they are capable of independent and complex functioning. This differs from everyday AI like Siri, the “voice” of Apple’s iPhones.

        • Supreme Court of Canada denies Amgen leave to appeal decision invalidating its filgrastim patent [Ed: Good riddance to fake patents]

          As previously reported, Amgen sought leave to appeal a decision of the Federal Court of Appeal (2020 FCA 188) affirming Justice Southcott’s decision that the relevant claims of its filgrastim (NEUPOGEN) patent were invalid for obviousness. On July 9, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to Amgen (Docket No. 39530).

          Amgen has discontinued its pending patent infringement actions under the PMNOC Regulations against biosimilar manufacturers Mylan (FULPHILA), Purdue Pharma (PELMEG), and Sandoz (ZIEXTENZO).

        • Apple must face Apple Watch patent claims, Fed Circ. affirms

          Apple Inc lost its bid to escape patent infringement claims over its Apple Watch technology brought by a University of Michigan professor’s biomedical laser company at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Monday.

          The employment agreement between professor Mohammed Islam and the university didn’t automatically assign his patents to it, and Apple couldn’t escape the case based on a lack of standing by his company Omni MedSci Inc, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Linn said for a divided three-judge panel.

          Circuit Judge Pauline Newman dissented, arguing the majority “overturns decades of unchallenged understanding and implementation of the University’s employment agreement and policy documents.”

        • Software Patents

          • Dallas Invents: 149 Patents Granted for Week of July 20 [Ed: US still granting loads of fake patents such as software patents in a hub of patent trolls where courts became little but businesses]
          • Apple challenges patent troll targeting Maps navigation [Ed: Reaffirming the fact that software patents are fake patents]

            Apple in a counter complaint filed in California on Thursday seeks to nullify a new assertion from patent holdings firm Traxcell, which is suing the tech giant in Texas for alleged infringement of intellectual property covering navigation systems.

            Traxcell, a non-practicing entity, sued Apple in January on claims that the company’s Maps product infringes on U.S. Patent Nos. 9,918,196 and 9,549,388. The IP covers locating and providing directional assistance to devices on a mobile network and hardware that facilitates such capabilities.


            Interestingly, Traxcell followed an identical pattern in a separate case involving Google. The NPE filed suit against the search giant in Texas using the ’196 and ’388 patents only to later serve contentions and a draft complaint related to the ’147 patent. As in the Apple action, Traxcell sent communication to Google’s Mountain View headquarters in California.

      • Trademarks

        • Mining History for your Brand Name

          The Schiedmayer family has been making and selling pianos since the 1700s, although the current version of the company makes only Celestas and Glockenspiels, not the 88 key Piano Forte that is popular in the US. The last Schiedmayer family pianos were apparently built and sold back in 1980. For a few years the Japanese company Kawai also sold some Schiedmayer branded pianos (apparently without license).

          Piano Factory’s director noted around 2001 that nobody was making Schiedmayer brand pianos any longer and assumed the mark must have been abandoned. So, Piano Factory began branding labelling unbranded pianos with the Schiedmayer brand and selling them to the public. The following is Piano Factory’s explanation of its own operation:

        • EU General Court considers bad faith claim in scenario of parties’ earlier cooperation – The IPKat

          Bad faith pursuant to Article 59(1)(b) of the EU Trade Mark Regulation (EUTMR), presupposes the presence of a dishonest state of mind or intention (Koton Mağazacilik Tekstil Sanayi ve Ticaret v EUIPO (C‑104/18 P)). In an interesting decision from June this year, the General Court considered that, even if the intervener’s filing of the EUTM application in question had taken place after the applicant had presented its modernization plan, this was not sufficient to establish that there had been any bad faith on their side.


          Thirdly, the General Court did not consider that the cease-and -desist letter was a relevant factor in the assessment of bad faith, since such a request fell within the scope of the rights attaching to the registration of a mark.

          Finally, the General Court did not accept other arguments put forward by the applicant to establish a dishonest intention on part of the intervener: it was true that the intervener’s filing of the EUTM application had taken place after the applicant presented the modernization plan for its airport to the intervener. However, when the applicant took the initiative to contact the intervener, it did not state that the underlying reason to that contact was to seek consent to use the sign Riviera Airport, nor that there was a link between its airport modernization plan and the use of the intervener’s sign. The consent that was sought from the intervener showed rather that the applicant was aware that it would be difficult for it to use that sign. The mere fact that the intervener was aware of the applicant’s new airport plan the day before it filed the application to register the contested mark was not in itself sufficient for that application to be declared invalid on the ground of bad faith, particularly as it appeared that the application for EUTM registration formed part of the intervener’s overall strategy.

        • Bad-faith trademark law: ‘one step forward, one step back’ [Ed: When they say "Sources" they mean "SPONSORS" (of this #$propaganda mill or de facto lobbying site in 'news' clothing)]

          Sources assess where the land lies with bad-faith trademarks in the EU following court cases on ‘evergreening’ and broad filings

        • The Advantages Of Registering A National Bulgarian Trademark

          As a member state of the EU, trademark protection in Bulgaria is often achieved through the registration of an European Union Trademark. However, an EUTM may not always be feasible or advantageous. Let’s explore some reasons for registering a national Bulgarian trademark.

      • Copyrights

        • Parliamentary Standing Committee and Copyright Reform: One Step Forward, Three Steps Back

          As most readers must be aware by now, the Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on India’s IP [sic] regime has revealed a problematic, maximalist approach to IP [sic] protection, showing no more than a tokenistic appreciation of public interest considerations. Some of the glaring issues with the Report have been highlighted by Prof Scaria (here) and Praharsh (here). In the 6 odd pages devoted to the reform of the Copyright regime, a grand total of 5 statutory issues have been highlighted despite the fact that the last Copyright Amendment is nearly a decade old and comments for a new amendment had been sought fairly recently (see here, here, and here). In this post, I will be analysing the recommendations relating to copyright exceptions and the other reforms suggested.

        • Around the IP Blogs

          Dr Elena Cooper of CREATe (University of Glasgow) considered what might be revealed about copyright history from the story one of James McNeill Whistler’s paintings, ‘Portrait of Lady Eden’.

        • What can we learn about Copyright History from Whistler’s Portrait of Lady Eden?

          This month sees the opening of a major new exhibition of the work of the artist James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) at the Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, which holds one of the largest Whistler collections in the world: Whistler: Art and Legacy (9 July-31 October 2021). In this blog, I reflect on how one painting by Whistler in the Hunterian collection (not part of the exhibition) can help us think again about the relationship between art and copyright: Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (1894-5). Portrait of Lady Eden was the subject of a legal case decided by the Paris Court of Appeal: Eden v Whistler (1897) and that case is known today for its role in the development of the right of divulgation (or disclosure) under French law. In this blog, I uncover a different perspective: Portrait of Lady Eden helps us to understand quite different ideas about UK copyright in the nineteenth century.

          What story lies behind Whistler’s Portrait of Lady Eden? In 1892, Sir William Eden, a wealthy baronet, expressed that he would like Whistler to paint his wife Lady Eden. Whistler initially said he would charge 500 guineas, which William Eden thought to be too much. Later Whistler changed his mind and said he would agree to paint Lady Eden for between 100 to 150 pounds. Lady Eden sat for the portrait in Paris in January 1894. In February 1894, Eden saw the painting in Whistler’s studio and, as he was completely satisfied with the painting, he sent a cheque to Whistler for 100 guineas. Whistler accepted the cheque but kept the painting. Eden then travelled to India, and while he was overseas, Whistler sent the painting to an exhibition in Paris, at the National Society for Fine Arts.

        • What Member States can learn from the AG opinion on Article 17

          Last week saw the long-awaited publication of Advocate General Saugmangsgaard Øe’s opinion on the Polish request for annulments of parts of Article 17 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM Directive) before the European Court of Justice (Case C-401/19). While Bernd Justin Jütte and Giulia Priora have already analyzed the opinion’s most important elements in this blog, our contribution addresses the complex interaction between the ongoing court case and the implementation of Article 17 into the national laws of Member States. As it stands, although the implementation deadline for the DSM Directive has passed, only six Member States have implemented Article 17 into their national laws: the Netherlands, France, Germany, Hungary, Denmark and Malta. With the vast majority of Member States still grappling with how to transpose the complex provision into their respective copyright law systems, the AG opinion serves as an important point of reference to inform their strategies.

          Had the Advocate General recommended the annulment of Article 17, the recommendation for Member States would have been simply to put all implementation efforts on hold until the Court delivered its judgment, to avoid passing a law that would immediately conflict with the fundamental rights under the Charter. Similarly, had the Advocate General found that there was no interference of Article 17 with the right to freedom of expression, Member States could have proceeded with their implementation efforts as they saw fit.

        • Exclusive: India recognises AI as co-author of copyrighted artwork [Ed: Maybe quit calling every computer program "HEY HI"? When stenographers run 'the media'....]

          For the first time ever in India, the copyright office has recognised an artificial intelligence tool – RAGHAV Artificial Intelligence Painting App – as the co-author of a copyright-protected artistic work.

          Ankit Sahni, an IP lawyer who owns the AI-based app, is the other author and is registered as the copyright owner. He commissioned the painting in question, ‘Suryast’ (see image below), and even believes that India might be the first country to have acknowledged AI-authorship in a copyrighted work.

        • Anti-Piracy Firm Asks Google to Block

          Ukrainian TV channel TRK has sent a rather bizarre takedown request to Google. The company’s anti-piracy partner Vindex asked the search engine to remove a search result that points to Tech-savvy people will immediately recognize that the anti-piracy company apparently found copyright-infringing content on its own server.

[Meme] Freenode Down to 4-Digit Usercount (Down 90% Since May)

Posted in Site News at 5:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Want to use IRC.com? No apps, thanks. Come on, don't cancel us. Leave me alone. SASL, sign up now! No!!
When they throw away a decades-old database and mass-ban users while hijacking channels, expecting to gain your trust…

Summary: For reasons unknown to anyone, Freenode continues to destroy itself; mandating registration (IRC.com) has halved the number of online users (running the /lusers command shows the output below)

Webchat is next to be axed. It’s OVER 9,000! (But how long for?)

Scrollback in Techrights IRC (4 Methods)

Posted in Site News at 4:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scrolling IRC on computer
No, that wasn’t in the original photo

Summary: Scrolling up/back in IRC (seeing things that happened while one was offline or after temporarily dropping the connection) is totally possible; herein we explain how that’s done by the user (it’s implemented as per IRCv3 specifications)

DUE to the unfortunate and fast-deteriorating state of Freenode (it lost about 90% of its users; there are now just about 9,000 left) we’re nowadays consolidating on our self-hosted network for IRC. It’s good to have options and contingencies for situations such as these.

A manual for our IRC network can be found here and it implements some advanced features at the server side. To quote the relevant portion of the documentation (“History”):

Ergo stores message history on the server side (typically not an unlimited amount — consult your server’s FAQ, or your server administrator, to find out how much is being stored and how long it’s being retained).

1. The IRCv3 chat history specification offers the most fine-grained control over history replay. It is supported by Kiwi IRC, and hopefully other clients soon.
2. We emulate the ZNC playback module for clients that support it. You may need to enable support for it explicitly in your client. For example, in Textual, go to “Server properties”, select “Vendor specific”, uncheck “Do not automatically join channels on connect”, and check “Only play back messages you missed”. ZNC’s wiki page covers other common clients (although if the feature is only supported via a script or third-party extension, the following option may be easier).
3. If you set your client to always-on (see the previous section for details), you can set a “device ID” for each device you use. Ergo will then remember the last time your device was present on the server, and each time you sign on, it will attempt to replay exactly those messages you missed. There are a few ways to set your device ID when connecting:
– You can add it to your SASL username with an `@`, e.g., if your SASL username is `alice` you can send `alice@phone`
– You can add it in a similar way to your IRC protocol username (“ident”), e.g., `alice@phone`
– If login to user accounts via the `PASS` command is enabled on the server, you can provide it there, e.g., by sending `alice@phone:hunter2` as the server password
4. If you only have one device, you can set your client to be always-on and furthermore `/msg NickServ set autoreplay-missed true`. This will replay missed messages, with the caveat that you must be connecting with at most one client at a time.
5. You can manually request history using `/history #channel 1h` (the parameter is either a message count or a time duration). (Depending on your client, you may need to use `/QUOTE history` instead.)
6. You can autoreplay a fixed number of lines (e.g., 25) each time you join a channel using `/msg NickServ set autoreplay-lines 25`.

Long story short, if you’ve just entered the IRC channel and wish to look back at what was missed, e.g. in the past hour, type in:

/history #techrights 1h

Alternatively, as explained above, it is possible to configure the client to allow scrollback upon login.

“There are hardly any compelling reasons to reject IRC and we’re hoping it’ll become more decentralised (more separate instance) now that Freenode is collapsing.”If that’s not good enough, we also have our daily IRC logs, both as plain text and HTML, in WWW, Gemini, and IPFS. But they’re published every 24 hours. For a more current scrollback see the top two sections here:

IRC scrolled up

The lack of scrollback has long been the source of complaints/rants against IRC (as a protocol), but we’ve overcome this and we see no reasons to bring it up or kick this dead horse. There are hardly any compelling reasons to reject IRC and we’re hoping it’ll become more decentralised (more separate instances) now that Freenode is collapsing. The age of IRC is a merit, not a weakness, and it still enjoys broad support across a wide range of applications/tools.

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