When Nations Are Dens of Nepotism and Corruption, Just Like the EPO

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 3:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum e8f7e5b53f2cf6a7755321513a6a21dd

Summary: Abandonment of lawfulness seems to be something that the EPO and Balkan states have in common

THE EPO‘s despotic leadership didn’t start in 2010. But it certainly got a whole lot worse under Benoît Battistelli. Currently, after neutering a lot of the media with various bribes and threats, the public is meant to think that António Campinos exercises ‘soft power’ and is in fact a master negotiator.

That’s a lie!

“The notion of lawfulness is mostly theatrics.”In the past year alone we’ve seen Campinos intervening in courts’ affairs to rig their outcomes (e.g. decisions on ‘ViCo’ and European software patents), so there’s merely an illusion of separation of powers, access to justice and so on.

It’s all an illusion. Just like in Balkan states. The notion of lawfulness is mostly theatrics. When people in charge of ‘justice’ issue cleverly-worded threats that sound like death threats directed towards children you start to wonder if the department in charge of ‘justice ‘is a mental asylum or should instead be designated a prison ward, detaining its very own staff.

The video at the top is a bunch of personal views regarding the last part, which was published a few minutes earlier. There are 3 more parts to come. On this particular topic alone…

An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part XI: Captured States in the EU’s Waiting Room

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:10 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. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part IV: A Party Political Animal
  5. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part V: Sharing Out the Spoils of Public Office
  6. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part VI: A Learned Legal Luminary
  7. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part VII: An Academic Institution With a Political Mission
  8. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part VIII: An Inspector Calls
  9. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part IX: “There Are Indications of a Violation of the Law…”
  10. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part X: A “Fall Guy” For the Deputy Minister?
  11. You are here ☞ Captured States in the EU’s Waiting Room

State capture
Captured states in the Western Balkans – a well-documented phenomenon.
But what are the implications for EPO governance?

Summary: A further explanation of why North Macedonia and other countries in the region aren’t being accepted into the European Union

In this part of the series we will begin to consider some of the wider ramifications of the latest “Balkan Affair” affecting the EPO, in particular its implications for EPO governance.

It’s worth recalling here that North Macedonia – in common with most of its neighbouring states states in the Western Balkans – is still very much a fledgling democracy where the rule of law remains in a fragile and perilous condition and cannot be taken for granted.

“In 2020 North Macedonia achieved a score of 35 points (out of 100) on the CPI index which put it on the bottom of the Western Balkans list together with Bosnia and Herzegovina.”In 2021, Transparency International reported that North Macedonia’s ranking in its Corruption Perceptions Index for 2020 was the worst result since the country’s first rating in 2001.

In 2020 North Macedonia achieved a score of 35 points (out of 100) on the CPI index which put it on the bottom of the Western Balkans list together with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The country is still only beginning to come to terms with its own recent history and the political fallout from the Gruevski era which earned it the epithet of a “captured state”.

“…Mitevski chronicles and analyses the way in which the Macedonian state and society became hostage to a corrupted political elite during the years of 2006-2016.”The journalist Mancho Mitevski who writes for the Macedonian daily Sloboden Pechat (“Free Press”) has produced an interesting book on the subject entitled “Captured State – Understanding the Macedonian Case”.

In his book – which can be accessed online here [PDF] – Mitevski chronicles and analyses the way in which the Macedonian state and society became hostage to a corrupted political elite during the years of 2006-2016.

In particular he explains how Macedonia was ruled for almost a decade by a coalition between two extremely nationalist parties, VMRO-DPMNE and DUI, each purportedly representing its own ethnic group.

“According to Mitevski, the coalition between VMRO-DPMNE and DUI was based on very strange ingredients, relations and interests.”According to Mitevski, the coalition between VMRO-DPMNE and DUI was based on very strange ingredients, relations and interests. It was conducted as a “marriage of convenience” which was primarily driven by “pure interest to rule and, of course, to share the privileges of the power of government”.

Mitevski explains how the VMRO-DPMNE/DUI coalition “captured the state” within a very short period of time:

“Instead of state and citizens’ interests and priorities, since the very formation of the coalition government they were more dedicated to the party priorities and the personal interests of the party elites.”

The political turmoil which engulfed North Macedonia during 2015-2017 culminated in the events of “Bloody Thursday” on 27 April 2017 when supporters of the VMRO-DPMNE stormed the national parliament.

Macedonian Parliament
Violent scenes from inside the Macedonian Parliament on “Bloody Thursday”, 27 April 2017, including attacks on SDSM politicians Zoran Zaev (top centre) and Radmila Šekerinska (top right).

The intense domestic political power struggle – which at times degenerated into open violence as on “Bloody Thursday” – ended with the ousting of Gruevski who ultimately absconded to seek asylum in Viktor Orban’s Hungary in November 2018.

It would, however, be premature to say that Northern Macedonia has fully come to terms with the legacy of its recent past and recovered from the “lost decade” during which the VMRO-DPMNE/DUI coalition turned the Western Balkan republic into a “captured state”.

“In the meantime, the country’s ongoing lack of progress in tackling endemic corruption and ensuring adherence to the rule of law has contributed to the reluctance of the European Commission to progress with its request for EU membership.”Indeed cynics might be inclined to point to the fact that the junior partner of that “marriage of convenience” – namely, the DUI – has managed to remain in government to this day, albeit with a senior coalition partner of a different ideological hue since 2017 – namely, the social-democratic SDSM.

In the meantime, the country’s ongoing lack of progress in tackling endemic corruption and ensuring adherence to the rule of law has contributed to the reluctance of the European Commission to progress with its request for EU membership.

Together with five other countries of the Western Balkans – Albania, Bosnia-​Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia – North Macedonia appears to have been permanently condemned to the EU’s waiting room for aspiring members.

“As Marko Kmezić of the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz in Austria explains, these Western Balkan countries have successfully managed to construct a deceptive “democratic façade” during the three decades since the beginning of democratisation processes (which started in the late 1980s to early 1990s).”As Marko Kmezić of the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz in Austria explains, these Western Balkan countries have successfully managed to construct a deceptive “democratic façade” during the three decades since the beginning of democratisation processes (which started in the late 1980s to early 1990s).

Everything seems fine on the surface: there are formal constitutional declarations of a separation of powers, including a strict system of checks and balances; legal acts guaranteeing freedom of expression are promulgated and elections are held.

However, behind the façade, the political elites in these states rely on informal structures, clientelism, and control of the media to manipulate weak state institutions and undermine democracy.

“However, behind the façade, the political elites in these states rely on informal structures, clientelism, and control of the media to manipulate weak state institutions and undermine democracy.”Kmezić speaks of a situation in which the Western Balkan region suffers from the palpable absence of “a functional rule of law” – which is considered to be a key dimension of democratic substance.

In February 2018 (PDF here), the never-ending EU enlargement saga in this region took a new turn as the European Commission unveiled its strategy for “A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans”, which is referred to by EU policy wonks as the “Rule of Law Initiative”

According to Andi Hoxhaj of the School of Law at the University of Warwick in the UK:

“…the underlying message in the rule of law initiative is that the Commission plans to make use of all of the leverage provided in the accession talks frameworks for as long as possible, by delaying the Western Balkans accession to the EU in order to avoid any repetition of the scenarios of Hungary and Poland, where there were clear elements of backsliding in their commitments to the rule of law, or, in the cases of Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Malta, where high-profile politicians were observably involved in corruption and organised-crime networks.”

From this we can see that the problems are not limited to the aspiring EU member states of the Western Balkans.

“…the problems are not limited to the aspiring EU member states of the Western Balkans.”There are plenty of examples of states which managed to obtain a clean bill of health prior to being granted EU membership, but which have failed to maintain their commitments to the rule of law and the fight against corruption following accession.

An article by Anja Vladisavljevic, a journalist associated with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), published in February 2020, discusses how Croatia is perceived to be “backsliding” on corruption following its EU accession in 2013.

The article reports that perceptions of corruption in Croatia have slumped to their worst level in five years.

One of the explanations given is that Croatian politicians no longer face the outside pressures which they did during the period when the country was trying to qualify for EU membership.

“Since joining the EU, Croatia has regressed in the fight against corruption,” said Oriana Ivkovic Novokmet, executive director of GONG, a civil society group that promotes good governance, rule of law and human rights.

“There is no external pressure to encourage change; the [European] Commission, for example, has abolished the anti-corruption reports it once had.”

Responsibility for the fight, Ivkovic Novokmet said, had fallen on institutions now firmly in the hands of the conservative Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, in power since January 2016.

“The few remaining independent institutions are systematically undermined by the government,” she told BIRN.

It seems that not even the “cachet” of being awarded EU membership is enough to guarantee that a country like Croatia will refrain from reverting to its former bad habits.

“In the next part we will consider the extent to which “captured states” might contribute to the risk of “captured delegates” on the governing bodies of international organisations, such as the EPO’s Administrative Council.”In the absence of a mature and robust rule of law tradition, the risk of ending up as a “captured state” remains, especially if external monitoring pressures are relaxed too soon.

In the next part we will consider the extent to which “captured states” might contribute to the risk of “captured delegates” on the governing bodies of international organisations, such as the EPO’s Administrative Council.

Links 15/8/2021: Joomla Sued, GNU Health Helps in Haiti

Posted in News Roundup at 1:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • Apple M1 PCIe Driver Under Review For The Linux Kernel

        While Linux 5.12 saw initial support merged for the Apple M1, it was quite the basic support with more robust support still to come. Besides the graphics support being a large work-in-progress, one of the areas now coming about is the new PCI Express driver that is necessary for supporting more functionality of this driver.

        This Apple PCIe driver created by the open-source community — including Correlium and Asahi Linux — is for the M1 right now while presumably will be applicable to future iterations of the Apple Silicon SoCs. With this driver Linux can begin working for the Apple M1 device USB Type-A ports as well as the Ethernet port.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Create Command Shortcuts with Aliases in Linux | Tom’s Hardware

        The word “alias” conjures up images of espionage, secret identities and mystery. In reality an alias is really just “another name for.” In Linux, an alias is used to create a command / shortcut that in reality can be a long and unwieldy command with difficult switches (options) that are difficult to remember.

        In this tutorial we will learn how to create our own aliases that will be ready for use every time we open a terminal window. And the best thing is that they are really easy to make.

        For this tutorial we are using Ubuntu 21.04, but the tutorial can be followed with any version of Linux and also the Raspberry Pi.

      • How To Upgrade To Debian 11 Bullseye From Debian 10 Buster – OSTechNix

        Debian 11, codenamed bullseye, has been released! This step by step guide explains how to upgrade to Debian 11 bullseye from Debian 10 buster from command line.

      • How To Install Concrete5 CMS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Concrete5 CMS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Concrete is an open-source content management system for teams. It is written in PHP and uses MariaDB as a database backend. It provides an easy-to-use builder that helps you to create pages and content through the web browser. It is flexible, secure, mobile-ready, and based on Model-View-Controller architecture.

        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 Concrete5 Content Management System 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.

      • Certificate Authority with OpenSSL

        Digital certificates are documents used to prove the ownership of a public key. For example, a digital certificates is used to authenticate an accessed website via HTPS. Another example of a common use are document signing.

        Certificates includes information about the key, identity of its owner, and the digital signature of an entity that has verified the contents. A certificate authority (CA) is the organization that issues digital certificates.

        In this article I’ll show how to set up a CA to issue your own certificates and how to tell other hosts to trust them.

      • How to install OmniOS ce – Unixcop

        In this article I will show you how to install OmniOS Community Edition on VirtualBox. OmniOS is a distribution (as different linux distributions but) of illumos, which is based on OpenSolaris from Sun Microsystems.

        I’m using VirtualBox for this tutorial, but you will get better results using server systems for OmniOS.

        You can download from here: https://omnios.org/download.html I’m using the ISO CD image.

      • MongoDB cluster install and configure – Unixcop

        MongoDB is a database that is a source-available cross-platform document-oriented database program. It was classified as a NoSQL database program. MongoDB uses JSON-like documents with optional schemas. MongoDB was developed by MongoDB Inc.and licensed under the Server Side Public License (SSPL).MongoDB cluster is another type of configuration.

      • Redis server install and configure – Unixcop

        Redis server is an open-source (BSD licensed), in-memory data structure store used as a database, cache, and message broker. Gives data structures as strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets, including range queries, bitmaps, hyperloglogs, geospatial indexes, and streams. In addition to, Redis has built-in replication, Lua scripting, LRU eviction, transactions, and different levels of on-disk persistence and provides tremendous availability via Redis Sentinel and automated partitioning with Redis Cluster.

        Also Written in C and works in most POSIX like Linux, *BSD, and OS X, without dependencies.Linux and OS X are mostly the operating systems that Redis was developed and tested. Also I would recommend using Linux for deployment. So Redis may work in the Solaris systems.There is no official statement that supports Windows builds.

      • How to Use Passwd Command in Linux Complete Guide for beginners 2021

        The use of passwd command in Linux is necessary for changing passwords of users and root user from time to time as per requirement and password policy.

        A root user means the superuser can change the password of any users any time without any restrictions imposed by the password policy already applier earlier.

        It means the root user is one who can decide any time who will be using the system at what time and for how many duration at all. However, the users can also change the password of their own user account as per the password policy.

        Overruling of password policy can not be possible in any condition by a normal user. Also, the unauthorized user can not change the password of other users or root user anyway.

      • Nmap options for Firewall IDS evasion in Kali Linux 2021 | CYBERPRATIBHA

        Firewall is a software or hardware to protect private network from public network. If hacker make activity to scan network, these methods are discarded by Firewall. so this is most important for hackers and Pentester to scan the network without being caught. If you can bypass firewall then you are safe. In this tutorial you will learn how to bypass and test firewall.

      • Nessus scan policies and report Tutorial for beginner 2021

        When you have finished the installation and configuration of Nessus How to Install Nessus on Kali Linux 2.0, then you have ready to scan and finding vulnerabilities of local, network, window, and Linux machines. In this note, I will guide you to find vulnerabilities of the network and system step by step.

      • How to Install or Update to Latest Version Cockpit on Ubuntu 20.04 – LinuxCapable

        Cockpit is a free remote server manager that is lightweight and easy to use for GNU/Linux servers. Cockpit is a web-based graphical interface for servers intended for people new to Linux to the experts such as sysadmins. Cockpit makes Linux discoverable, allowing anyone using the software to perform tasks such as start containers, administer storage, configure networks, and inspect logs.

        One of the drawbacks of using Cockpit with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is being a long-term stable release newer versions of Cockpit will not feature in the default repository. However, in the following tutorial, you will learn how to install or upgrade to the latest version of Cockpit for your Ubuntu 20.04 system.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 6.15 is out seeing more PE library conversions, work for the GDI syscall interface

        The latest and greatest development release is available for Wine so you can defeat those Sunday blues with some tasty fresh bottled code. Wine 6.15 brings various new features and bug fixes.

        For newer readers and Linux users here’s a refresher – Wine is a compatibility layer built for operating systems like Linux, macOS and BSD. The idea is to allow other platforms to run games and applications only built and supported for Windows. It’s also part of what makes up Steam Play Proton. Once a year or so, a new stable release is made.

    • Games

      • The Humble Jackbox Summer Party Bundle is live

        Ready to party and play some rather silly games? The Humble Jackbox Summer Party Bundle went up and it has good Linux support for the big packs and a few of the standalone games too.

      • Didn’t last long: Back 4 Blood no longer working on Linux with Proton | GamingOnLinux

        Well, looks like the previous excitement around Back 4 Blood and the Open Beta for Linux users is over, as it appears whatever they tweaked recently now stops Linux players with Steam Play Proton.

        As we reported recently, apart from a few issues it actually worked quite nicely. Sadly, this seems to be another example of Easy Anti-Cheat blocking Linux users from enjoying a game on their systems. Even though it’s currently only a Beta, it means it’s not looking good for the full release in October.

        This is a continuing problem for Steam Play Proton, with the likes of Easy Anti-Cheat and BattlEye usually blocking Linux users. Right now then, it looks like we’re back onto the waiting game for whenever Valve releases a build of Proton that works with them, which we know they’re working on since they already announced it with the Steam Deck.

      • OpenRazer 3.1 Released With Support For More Razer Devices – Phoronix

        OpenRazer 3.1 is now available as the newest version of this open-source, third-party solution for enabling Razer devices under Linux.

        OpenRazer is a collection of drivers for Razer hardware on Linux along with a common interface for user-space configuration and management. This unofficial Razer for Linux solution allows many of the company’s keyboards, mice, headsets, and other peripherals to work under Linux and allow for their configuration.

        Today’s OpenRazer 3.1 brings support for another batch of Razer devices. Now supported with OpenRazer 3.1 are the Razer Blade Advanced (Early 2021), BlackWidow V3 Tenkeyless, BlackWidow Tournament Edition 2014, Basilisk Essential, Blade 15 Advanced (Mid 2021), and Huntsman V2 Analog.

      • Valve puts up a Steam Deck trailer and the head of Xbox seems to really like it | GamingOnLinux

        Valve has remembered they have an official YouTube channel with the release of a new advert for the Steam Deck, plus the Steam Deck gets a nod of approval from an unlikely source.

        The first video they’ve put up here since the last CS:GO operation, it doesn’t actually give anything new. However, it’s another sign that Valve is actually properly marketing the device (unlike the Steam Machines). Claiming it’s the “most powerful gaming handheld in the world” and going on to briefly show off a few game clips we’ve seen before like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It doesn’t mention SteamOS, Proton or anything Linux related but simply mentions it runs a “new version of Steam” and ends by telling people to reserve now.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Connect iOS Design Overview: From Material to Cupertino

          With an interface that brings nostalgia to the days of iOS 8 and 9 and the directly scaled up aspect ratio and interface scale originally designed for the iPhone 5S, it was clear that a major goal of the KDE Connect iOS (2021) project would be to revamp the User Interface of the existing codebase from 2014 drastically.

        • Kraft Version 0.97

          Ich freue mich, die Kraft-Version 0.97 herauszugeben. In dieser Version sind wieder einige Bugfixes und Detailverbesserungen zu finden, die die Arbeit mit Kraft noch weiter erleichtern werden.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Sophie Herold: Get set: Apps for GNOME on its mark

          Almost all strings in Apps for GNOME are translatable now. You can check the apps-for-gnome module translation status over at Damned Lies. Be aware, that all app-specific strings will not appear in the apps-for-gnome module! Most apps have their own module in Damned Lies where you will find the respective strings that are used on the Apps for GNOME page. If you want to work on the translation of those app details, you have to consult the respective app module. Also note, that some apps do not use the GNOME translation infrastructure.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 3 rules for applying principles of GitOps to enterprise architecture

          GitOps is an automated approach to system and infrastructure administration in which the capabilities of continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD), and Git-based source code control management are combined to create and subsequently manage enterprise systems quickly and accurately.

        • Should Managers Code? [Ed: Wrong question. Should coders manage? The answer is yes, as managers need to be technical though they're hard to find in companies like IBM that favour MBAs over actual talent.]

          Becoming a manager can be a triumphant milestone of working life. It’s often a recognition of leadership and, in the tech industry, technical skill. Many argue those skills necessarily become casualties to the management track. But it’s hard to let go of your creative side to make room for managing others. Can they do both? Should managers code? It’s an old question that never seems to receive a clear answer.

          From the Red Hat offices to the moons of Jupiter, Compiler explores why it’s such a complex issue. We spoke with Red Hatters who are vocal about what role, if any, managers have in the code base—and why they fight to keep their hands on keys for as long as they can.

        • IBM to allow only fully vaccinated to return to U.S. offices from September 7

          The resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the United States due to the Delta variant and the new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that requires fully vaccinated individuals to wear masks have led companies to change their plans on return to office, vaccinations and masking. Earlier on Thursday, Facebook Inc has pushed back its office return date for all U.S. and some international employees until January 2022, while AT&T Inc said it will require management employees to be vaccinated before entering a work location.

        • Beige Against the Machine: The IBM PC turns 40

          It is 40 years today since the IBM Model 5150 was unleashed upon the world, creating a tsunami of beige that washed over offices everywhere.

          IBM was famously late to the game when the Model 5150 (or IBM PC) put in an appearance. The likes of Commodore and Apple pretty much dominated the microcomputer world as the 1970s came to a close and the 1980s began. Big Blue, on the other hand, was better known for its sober, business-orientated products and its eyewatering price tags.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 11 “bullseye” is officially out now | GamingOnLinux

          Seeing more than two years in development, the Debian team has announced the release of Debian 11 “bullseye” as their latest major stable upgrade. One of the most important Linux distributions around, which multiple others are based upon like Ubuntu. With it being a stable release it’s going to be supported for at least 5 years.

        • 7 New Features in the Newly Released Debian 11 ‘Bullseye’ Linux Distro

          The much awaited release of Debian 11 codenamed Bullseye is finally here after two years of development. The release will be supported for the next five years like any other Debian stable version release.

          Excited about it? Let’s see what’s new in Debian 11.


          Debian has updates its package repositories. Debian 11 includes over 11294 new packages taking the total to over 59551 packages. Over 42821 software packages have newer versions. Over 9519 packages have been removed for the distribution.

          This means that you should see newer versions of the popular applications like LibreOffice, Emacs, GIMP and various server and programming related tools.

        • Debian 11 ‘Bullseye’ Released! Kernel 5.10, exFAT, Modern Printers Support

          Debian 11, code-name ‘Bullseye’, officially released. Features 5-year support, Kernel 5.10 LTS, out-of-the-box support for exFAT file-system and most modern printers.

          Debian is free open-source community-supported Linux distribution started in 1993. It aims to be “The Universal Operating System” that is suitable for Desktop users, servers to cluster systems; and for database, web, and storage servers. And it’s the basis for many other distributions, including Ubuntu.

          In my mind, Debian is a quite stable and reliable system for production use. While serving with less system resources, it’s very popular for server users. Though the package base is a little old, there are package teams keep working for the security, stability and performance. And in “Bullseye”, the Debian Med team has been flighting against COVID-19 by packaging software for researching the virus on the sequence level and for the tools used in epidemiology.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open Source Drives IoT and Edge Computing Adoption

        The IoT and Edge Computing market is growing, and the Eclipse IoT & Edge Native working groups offer a mature and growing open source ecosystem upon which to build and deploy applications.

        By way of full disclosure, I work for an open source foundation. While this may result in some bias on the topic, it also puts me in a great position to share what I know and learn about industrial open source ecosystems. My purpose in writing this article is to do exactly that — to share what I consider to be important and timely information about the commercial adoption of open source IoT and Edge Computing technologies.

      • how to Open Source weather forecast in privacy respecting ways that actually work! :) – 100% Open Source Android Weather App
      • The Open Library Foundation Adds Three Board Members

        The Open Library Foundation is a community of open source projects. Tom Cramer, Associate University Librarian and Director of Digital Library Systems and Services at Stanford University, is the President of the Open Library Foundation Board. He says the Foundation casts a wide net when looking for new Board Members who can bring their expertise to the Open Library Foundation. “We are fortunate to have three new members of our Board that bring such strength and diversity of experience to the Open Library Foundation. The OLF is a global non-profit, and their voices and expertise will help us advance open source software for libraries across the world.”

      • How this San Francisco-headquartered open-source platform is providing a chatbot to NGOs

        Recently, many companies, NGOs, and ecommerce platforms are turning to online chatbots to assist customers and users at any time of the day.

        In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many NGOs leveraged social media apps, like WhatsApp, to form groups for communication. However, there were limitations to these groups due to the limited participants.

        To address these problems, San Francisco-headquartered Glific — an open-source, two-way communication platform for NGOs — was created in 2019 to smoothly connect and communicate with their beneficiaries. The code for the platform can be downloaded for free.

      • How open-source software shapes AI policy

        Open-source software (OSS), software that is free to access, use, and change without restrictions, plays a central role in the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI). Across open-source programming languages such as Python, R, C++, Java, Scala, Javascript, Julia, and others, there are thousands of implementations of machine learning algorithms. OSS frameworks for machine learning, including tidymodels in R and Scikit-learn in Python, have helped consolidate many diverse algorithms into a consistent machine learning process and enabled far easier use for the everyday data scientist. There are also OSS tools specific to the especially important subfield of deep learning, which is dominated by Google’s Tensorflow and Facebook’s PyTorch. Manipulation and analysis of big data (data sets too large for a single computer) were also revolutionized by OSS, first by the Hadoop ecosystem and later by projects like Spark. These are not simply some of the AI tools—they are the best AI tools. While proprietary data analysis software may sometimes enable machine learning without the need to write code, it does not enable analytics that are as well developed as those in modern OSS.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Mike Gabriel: Chromium Policies Managed under Linux

            For a customer project, I recently needed to take a closer look at best strategies of deploying Chromium settings onto thrillions of client machines in a corporate network.

            Unfortunately, the information on how to deploy site-wide Chromium browser policies are a little scattered over the internet and the intertwining of Chromium preferences and Chromium policies required deeper introspection.

            Here, I’d like to provide the result of that research, namely a list of references that has been studied before setting up Chromium policies for the customer’s proof-of-concept.

        • Mozilla

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • CMS

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Grep 3.7 Released To Fix “Extreme Performance Degradation”

            If you have noticed grep regressing performance-wise in recent releases, you may want to upgrade to GNU Grep 3.7 released this weekend as it fixes a nasty performance regression.

            GNU Grep is widely-used by programmers, system administrators, and others for searching textual data from the command-line. Grep 3.7′s release is primarily driven by a fix for “extreme performance degradation” plaguing recent Grep releases.

          • GNU Health: GNU Health emergency response in Haiti

            Yesterday, yet another devastating earthquake hit the southern area of Haiti.

            Immediately knowing about the earthquake, we contacted our representative in Haiti, Michel Pierre Augustin, and started an emergency humanitarian response in coordination with our team in the country .

            Haiti suffers recurrent natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes). In the last years, Haiti has also been a victim of structural poverty and civil unrest. Haitians are strong, resilient, noble people. Haiti is the land of the free and the brave (see my post “My trip to Haiti, the land of the Free and the Brave” ), yet it seems like the world has forgotten about Haiti.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Internet Law

            This fall I’m teaching Internet Law again after a hiatus. One aspect of law school that is changing is that professors are publishing freely available textbooks and (some) professors are assigning those books for the students.

      • Programming/Development

        • Rotten Chicken & Structural Pattern Matching

          I imagined cycling the power on and off for ninety seconds every half hour to start and stop the ozone generator. I cobbled together an experiment with webthings.io, a project spun out of Mozilla last year. It is IoT software that’s both easy to program and YAML-free. I setup webthings.io on a RaspberryPi with a ZigBee adapter. In my work at Mozilla a few years ago, I wrote my own Python package to assist in controlling IoT devices (starting at: Things Gateway Series 2), so it was easy to throw together a rule.

          At the same time as this project, I was looking at the advancements in the Python language introduced in version 3.10. I’m especially fascinated with Structural Pattern Matching. Python finally gets something akin to a case statement. It’s a controversial feature for several reasons. It employs some syntactic surprises.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl’s Community Affairs Team chair quits as org put on ice by code language’s foundation [Ed: So-called “safety of the community.” Those who attacked th #FSF over alleged "safety" were referring to the risk of -- OH MY GOD!! -- RMS interrupting someone to correct that someone. 'Safety'... ]

            The Perl Foundation has put its Community Affairs Team (CAT) on hiatus, and the team’s chair has resigned.

            Samantha McVey’s departure came in the wake of the decision by The Perl Foundation (TPF) board to retract the CAT statements of April 19, and May 2, and put the CAT on ice “while its charter is formalized.”

        • Python

          • Elastic amends Elasticsearch Python client so it won’t work with forks then blocks comments • The Register [Ed: Microsoft Tim on Elasticsearch and you know they don’t give a damn (e.g. about software freedom) when they use proprietary software of thugs from Microsoft to manage their code, basically choosing a monopoly of racism]

            Elastic has modified the official Python client for its Elasticsearch database not to work with forked versions, and closed the GitHub issue to comments.

            Elasticsearch is a database manager and analytics engine, often used for log analytics. The elasticsearch-py client has over 202,000 downloads and is described as the “official low-level client for Elasticsearch. Its goal is to provide common ground for all Elasticsearch-related code in Python; because of this it tries to be opinion-free and very extendable.”

  • Leftovers

    • Science

    • Education

      • Gogi promotes art for activism in education

        There was a long queue of applicants with their vehicles to collect free books for their welfare schools; they included women running garage schools, as well as those teaching children in shanty schools, community schools, and schools running on string budgets. These books were given as gifts by Nigar Nazar, founder of Gogi Studios, for children who have probably never held a glossy colourful picture book.

        Gogi Studios presented a set of 7 Gogi books as a free gift for every child to mark Independence Day. “We are proud to say that our books went from one end of Pakistan i.e., Gilgit-Baltistan, to the desert of Badin. In all, these books will touch the lives of about 40,000 children and if shared by friends, neighbours and relatives, the number will be way bigger,” Nigar stated.

      • I-Day Special | Pandemic-hit children need better education – The Hindu BusinessLine

        As we enter the 75th year of Independence, it would be hard to say that India’s progress in education has been exemplary. As is well known, India’s literacy rate at 76 per cent compares poorly with China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, all of which have achieved near total adult literacy levels as a proportion of the population above 15 years. As Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze point out in their book An Uncertain Glory, education should be viewed as public good in its own right, rather than just a driver of economic progress.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • U.S. Preparing Plan to Offer Vaccine Boosters, Perhaps By Fall – The New York Times
      • If I set sars-cov-2 medical policy: intranasal vaccination booster and mandated real N95 masks

        There are only 7 intranasal sars-cov-2 vaccinations undergoing early phase 1/2 trials right now and of them only 2 are using a sane design: one live attenuated sars-cov-2, one protein fragment of the receptor binding domain. I hope one of the two manages to clear phase 3 and be manufactured. Otherwise the only option may be ordering peptides and assembling the community designed RaDVaC sars-cov-2 intranasal vaccine at a price point of $5k for a couple dozen doses.

      • U.S. Pandemic Death Toll Rises Again
      • Pandemic provokes acceleration of healthcare innovation [Ed: "In 2019, nearly 14 000 patent applications were filed with the European Patent Office (EPO)" so that's just monopolies that mostly prevent progress and competition -- i.e. something not to be celebrated.]

        Medical technology is characterised by constant innovation. In 2019, nearly 14 000 patent applications were filed with the European Patent Office (EPO) in the field of medical technology, more than in any other technical field. In Europe, there are more than 32 000 medical technology companies, employing some 730 000 people.

      • Duke University to Study COVID-19’s Impact on Athlete Health

        The Duke Heart Center has begun recruiting for its Hearts of Athletes study that will investigate the impact of COVID-19 on college and pro athletes. The study is funded by the Joel Cornette Foundation and will use Deloitte’s ConvergeHEALTH MyPath software platform.

        Hearts of Athletes is seeking to enroll athletes both with and without COVID-19. The goal of the study is to identify the prevalence of myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation found among some patients dealing with COVID-19, and then determine signs and symptoms of the heart condition that would aid accurate diagnoses.

      • Signs of COVID Scams and Fraud

        Phone-based and online scams have been on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what you need to know.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Come fly with me. But first we need to find a boot device [Ed: Microsoft Windows in action]

        Stansted, or “London Stansted” as it is often called, is located quite some distance from London and serves as a hub for the likes of budget airline, Ryanair. Indeed, the same person that sold the location as “London” was probably cut from the same cloth as whoever flogged the airport an iffy screen as the latest and greatest in digital signage.

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Lockbit ransomware attack didn’t affect ops, claims Accenture amid lurid payoff rumours • The Register

            Outsourcing and accounting firm Accenture has been struck by Lockbit ransomware.

          • Re-volting: AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization undone by electrical attack • The Register

            AMD’s Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) scheme is not as secure as its name suggests.

            Boffins from the Technische Universität Berlin have devised an attack that defeats the primary purpose of this silicon safe room technology: protecting the data in virtual machines from rogue administrators in cloud environments.

            In a paper titled “One Glitch to Rule Them All: Fault Injection Attacks Against AMD’s Secure Encrypted Virtualization,” Robert Buhren, Hans Niklas Jacob, Thilo Krachenfels, and Jean-Pierre Seifert from TU Berlin’s Security in Telecommunications group, describe how they succeeded in mounting a voltage fault injection attack.

          • Court rules man who exploited bug to mint $14M in ICX tokens can legally pursue – CoinGeek

            In what is one of the most unique legal battles in the industry, a U.S. federal judge has sided with one man’s legal effort to keep his tokens, despite having mined them by exploiting a bug in the system. The judge ruled that the man has every right to fight for the right to own the tokens in court, after he had been denied access to the tokens on Kraken and Binance.

            It all started in August 2020. According to court documents, when Mark Shin attempted to transfer staked ICX tokens from his wallet, he discovered he had received 25,000 newly-minted tokens. ICX tokens are the native tokens that power the ICON decentralized network.

          • Google Releases Tool to Help Developers Enforce Security | IT Pro [Ed: Well, but it encourages reliance on NSA-connected GitHub, so no real security assured]

            The AllStars tool allows software maintainers to automatically check specific facets of their project, such as security policy.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Apple Outlines Security and Privacy of CSAM Detection System in New Document
            • Apple responds to critics of CSAM scan plan with FAQs – says it’d block governments subverting its system [Ed: But Apple works for the government already, e.g. NSA PRISM]
            • PR director at Chinese Twitter analogue Weibo detained on bribery and fraud charges

              The director of public relations at Sina Weibo – China’s equivalent to Twitter – was arrested on suspicion of bribery and fraud, Chinese state media reported on Tuesday.

              State-owned Global Times said PR exec Mao Taotao was fired and blocked from future employment with the Sina Corporation microblogging website.

              An internal memo was sent to staff and republished in the media accusing Taotao of “seriously [harming] the interests of the company.” The memo said Sina is assisting with the investigation and confirmed the exec is no longer an employee.

            • Pegasus row: Tamil Nadu MP seeks Attorney Gen consent to initiate contempt against NSO directors, Home Secy

              Tamil Nadu MP Dr T Thirumavalavan on Saturday wrote to Attorney General of India KK Venugopal seeking his consent for initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, former Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, and directors of NSO Group, the Israel-based company, which owns spyware Pegasus.

              The MP sought initiation of contempt proceedings against them while alleging using “military-grade surveillance” against a Supreme Court justice, while he still was in office, two Supreme Court registry officials on the judicial side of the writ section, and another Supreme Court staffer.

            • The controversy over Apple’s plan to protect kids by scanning your iPhone [Ed: Media that helps promote the lie that only pedophiles need privacy]

              Apple, the company that proudly touted its user privacy bona fides in its recent iOS 15 preview, recently introduced a feature that seems to run counter to its privacy-first ethos: the ability to scan iPhone photos and alert the authorities if any of them contain child sexual abuse material (CSAM). While fighting against child sexual abuse is objectively a good thing, privacy experts aren’t thrilled about how Apple is choosing to do it.

            • Palantir abandons any attempt at curating nice-guy image with ‘Global Information Dominance Experiments’ • The Register

              For an AI biz associated with the CIA and the much-criticised US immigration agency ICE, whose founder helped finance impeached ex-president and alleged insurrectionist Donald Trump, it might be fair to assume Palantir would endevour to avoid giving the wrong impression.

              For example, publicising a project under the title “Global Information Dominance Experiments”, run by the US Airforce, might not be first on the list to create a friendlier image. But that’s not for Palantir.

            • China stops networked vehicle data going offshore under new infosec rules

              China has drafted new rules required of its autonomous and networked vehicle builders.

              Data security is front and centre in the rules, with manufacturers required to store data generated by cars – and describing their drivers – within China. Data is allowed to go offshore, but only after government scrutiny.

              Manufacturers are also required to name a chief of network security, who gets the job of ensuring autonomous vehicles can’t fall victim to cyber attacks. Made-in-China auto-autos are also required to be monitored to detect security issues.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Taiwan president pokes the bear by saying the nation needs to lessen its supply chain dependency on China

        Taiwan’s need to pull in external tech talent and the nation’s supply chain dependence on China were two topics covered in a rare interview with President Tsai Ing-wen by Japanese outlet Bungei Shunju.

        Taiwan’s semiconductor industry dominates the global marketplace with homegrown giants like TSMC and in 2020 claimed 70 per cent of the world’s OEMs. Tsai attributed (see transcript – in traditional Chinese) this success to its mature industrial clusters and concentration on foundries as a business model, which faces little competition.

        One struggle that concerns Tsai is keeping up with high-tech talent, particularly as Taiwan’s semiconductor companies continue to set up manufacturing plants overseas.

        “It is very difficult to rely solely on Taiwan to provide excellent talents,” said Tsai.

    • Environment

      • Antarctica is changing. The impact could be catastrophic

        Camille Seaman didn’t need Monday’s UN report to learn that the Earth has been warming at a breakneck pace.

        She’s seen it with her own eyes.

        The photographer has been visiting Antarctica on and off since 2004, working on expedition ships for National Geographic. In just the past few years, she has witnessed a noticeable change on the continent.

        “What I have seen from 2016 to now, it’s like a different place altogether,” she said.


        The melting of polar regions is also having a troubling effect on some of the wildlife that calls those places home.

        Chinstrap penguin colonies in some areas of the Antarctic have declined by more than 75% over the past half-century, according to independent researchers who joined a Greenpeace expedition to the region before the pandemic. They believe climate change is largely to blame, saying less sea ice and warmer oceans have reduced the krill that many of the penguins rely on for food.

        “Phytoplankton blooms on the underside of the sea ice, and that is what the krill feed on,” Seaman explained. “And then the penguins feed on the krill, the whales feed on the krill, seals and sea lions feed on the krill. So it has this incredible chain effect. If you lose the sea ice, you lose this phytoplankton. You lose the phytoplankton and then you start losing the krill, and it starts to chain all the way up.”

    • Finance

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Researchers Claim Facebook Threatened To Sue Them Unless They Shut Down Project

        AlgorithmWatch, a German research and advocacy organization, issued a statement Friday alleging Facebook had threatened it with legal action. The group was researching Instagram’s news feed algorithm by recruiting volunteers to install a browser extension that automatically scraped their Instagram newsfeed data.

        Researchers allege Facebook, the owner of Instagram, told them the extension violated its terms of service and the company would pursue a “more formal engagement” if they did not disable it. The group said this was a “thinly veiled threat.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • What domain name to use for your home network

        There’s a definitive answer to this question, and you can find it in RFC 8375: use home.arpa. Never heard of it before? It wasn’t assigned as a special purpose top-level domain (spTLD) name for residential and small networks until 2018.

        The home.arpa spTLD isn’t a globally unique domain name, and you can’t resolve it across the internet. It’s only meant to be used inside a small network, such as your home network. Routers and DNS servers know, [in theory,] not to forward ARPA requests they don’t understand onto the public internet.

    • Monopolies

      • Big Tech’s Stranglehold on Artificial Intelligence Must Be Regulated [Ed: Can mainstream media quit this whole "Hey Hi" hype and speak about the underlying issues, such as spying?]

        Google CEO Sundar Pichai has suggested—more than once—that artificial intelligence (AI) will affect humanity’s development more profoundly than humanity’s harnessing of fire. He was speaking, of course, of AI as a technology that gives machines or software the ability to mimic human intelligence to complete ever more complex tasks with little or no human input at all.

      • Amazon Game Studios to its own devs: All your codebase doesn’t belong to us • The Register

        E-goliath’s subsidiary drops ‘draconian’ contract terms that absorbed personal work, demanded license rights

        Amazon Game Studios has reportedly dropped terms in its employment contract that gave the internet giant a license to the intellectual property created by employees, even to games they develop on their own time.

        The expansive contractual terms received some attention last month when James Liu, a software engineer at Google, recounted via Twitter how in 2018 he turned down a job offer at Amazon “due to absolutely draconian rules regarding hobbyist game dev.”

      • KOL022b | “Libertarian Legal Theory: Property, Conflict, and Society, Lecture 5b: Q&A” (Mises Academy, 2011)

        I don’t understand how a lack of patent protection would work in some parts of the economy, pharmaceuticals for example. Prices are inflated. Okay, what were the incentives for these companies to extend large amounts of capital? Okay, well, I think I know where you’re going. I’ve heard this.

      • The sideloader weeps tonight: Unsealed court docs claim Google said ‘install friction’ would ‘drastically limit’ Epic’s reach • The Register

        A freshly unsealed filing [PDF] in the Epic smackdown between the maker of the Fortnite video game and Google reveals claims that a “senior Google Play” exec had noted users might be put off by the “frankly abysmal… awful experience” of directly downloading and installing games on Android kit.

        Another juicy detail uncovered by the still partially redacted document was that Google had thought about buying all or part of Epic and had approached the company about establishing a “special deal” for Fortnite.

      • FOSS Patents: Today is the first anniversary of app developers’ D-Day: #FreeFortnite — Apple will lose if it doesn’t change course and present real solutions

        August 13, 2020. One year ago, to the day. At 2 AM local time, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney threw down the gauntlet to Apple by email, telling Tim Cook that Epic would from there on out refuse to comply with Apple’s in-app payment rule and expressing “the firm belief that history and law are on [the Fortnite maker's] side.”

        The timing of the email was deliberate. This way, it was going to take a few hours before Apple would see this (and the fact that Epic activated a “hotfix” that presuambly was just a simple server-side value) and made an alternative payment system available in Fortnite. Apple kicked out Fortnite. So did Google, where Epic did the same thing. Epic filed its private antitrust complaints in the Northern District of California that day.

        At the end of closing argument in Epic Games v. Apple (in late May), Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers jokingly said she’d try to hand down her judgment by today. She later clarified that she just said so because of the first anniversary of the dispute, but cautioned that this important decision might take time given the complexity of the case.

      • IP Week @ SG 2021 [Ed: Pretty ridiculous calling a week after a misleading and meaningless propaganda term ("IP") rather than substantial things like laws, e.g. patent law]

        In slightly over a decade, IP Week@ SG (ie., Singapore) has become a leading global IP event…

      • UIC Law Virtual Seminar on Mediation and Arbitration in Intellectual Property Disputes [Ed: Those same misnomers again]
      • Apple drops intellectual property lawsuit against maker of security tools [Ed: So-called 'security' and so-called 'intellectual property']
      • Apple drops lawsuit against Corellium in confidential settlement
      • Patents

        • “No Turning Back” From EVs [Ed: EPO keeps interjecting itself into greenwashing campaigns as if yet more patent monopolies will somehow save the planet; also EVs aren't the solution, just a "lesser evil"]
        • Meet DABUS: The world’s first AI system to be awarded a patent [Ed: Well, patents for bots will not advance anything, they just make a mockery of the patent system and judges got ‘rick-rolled’

          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…

        • Patents: inventors can be inhuman [Ed: No, they are not. Two foolish or gullible jurisdictions have foolishly decided to accept that bots are "inventors" but large patent offices rejected this lunacy.]

          First we heard that a South African patent for an invention that lists artificial intelligence (“AI”) as its inventor had been issued, a world first. Then we heard that an Australian court had handed down a judgment allowing AI to be listed as the inventor of a corresponding patent in Australia.

          The Australian judgment, Stephen Thaler and Commissioner of Patents, delivered by Judge Beach, is technical yet very readable.

        • Australian Federal Court Says An AI Can Be The Inventor [Ed: Australian courts have basically made themselves look utterly foolish, but the patent litigation giants love it; more frivolous lawsuits and Invalid Patents (IPs)]

          In this article for The Patent Lawyer, partner Jeremy Smith provides an update to his earlier comments regarding the South African patent office issuing the world’s first patent for an invention that lists an artificial intelligence (AI) as the inventor (available here), in response to news that the Australian Federal Court has now also handed down a decision that an AI can be named as the inventor in a patent application.

        • eInventor 2.0 – Patents in the age of AI [Ed: All this "Hey Hi" hype is unmasking patent law firms as nothing but opportunists who reject science and invention; they just want lots of lousy patents for a chaotic state of affairs (lawsuits). Can my dog also apply for a patent in South Africa and Australia and if not, why not?]

          In a landmark decision, Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCA 879, Justice Beach of the Federal Court of Australia has made the first judicial determination that recognises artificial intelligence (AI) as an inventor. The decision also confirms that under the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Patents Act), non-human inventors can neither be an applicant, nor a patentee.

          Although likely to be controversial, the decision is, arguably, consistent with the reality of scientific advances in technology and computing we have seen this century, and the need for patent law to evolve in parallel with these advances. This need was recognised by the widening conception of manner of manufacture by the High Court of Australia in D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc (2015) 258 CLR 334. The decision is arguably also consistent with the promotion of innovation underlying the policy considerations and Objects Clause contained in the Patents Act.

          What is perhaps less clearly established by the judgment, and may well form the basis for an appeal, is the application of the general law of ownership in property to the vesting of entitlement to a patent in the applicant under section 15(1) of the Patents Act.

        • Printed Publication: Documents Made Available only to Customers

          The 1836 Patent Act added the caveat that no patent should issue on an invention previously “described in any printed publication.” That language has carried through the various major patent law overhauls and continues as a prominent aspect of 35 U.S.C. 102(a)(1).

        • Inbound Important Emails that go Unread due to Technology Fails: Another Case

          This is not a patent case, but I have seen similar problems in prosecution, patent litigation, and related contexts over the years: an important email goes to a spam filter, or some other place, and gets left unread.

          In a recent Fifth Circuit case, Rollins v. Home Depot (Here), plaintiff’s counsel was trying to settle a case when defense counsel filed and so e-served a motion for summary judgment — with a 14 day response deadline. For whatever reason, it did not get seen by the plaintiff’s lawyer. The time for response came and went, and the district court granted the defense motion. When plaintiff’s lawyer a short time later reached out to defense counsel again about settlement, defense counsel informed plaintiff’s counsel final judgment had already been entered.

        • China IP Newsletter (July 2021)

          This month, Chinese government authorities and courts announced new measures to implement the patent linkage system, a key feature of the new Patent Law. They specified the rules for challenging the marketing authorisation of a patented drug both at the administrative and judicial levels.

        • The changing profile of users of the UK patent system

          Trends in patent applications made to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) between 2000 and 2020 were analysed and compared to trends at the European Patent Office (EPO).

          Applications to the IPO have dropped over time, with a clear change in the pattern occurring around 2010. On closer inspection, the fall is due to a particular group of UK-based individual applicants rather than companies. These customers often do not pursue their applications beyond the search stage. This could be through lack of interest or merit, so the reduction in applications has made less impact on the number of publications and grants.

          Underlying demand from other customer groups has remained. Non-UK based applicants, large businesses, and users of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in particular. The number of applications reaching publication and grant from business customers is significant.

          Factors affecting patent applicants were considered. The Great Recession of 2008 had a big influence on applicant behaviour with a significant turnover of applicants at the time. There are early indications that Brexit and COVID-19 have also affected applicant behaviour. This is despite the fact that no fundamental changes to the patent system have resulted from Brexit. Internal IPO and EPO priorities have an effect on the number of patents granted and in force, but do not appear to influence applicant behaviour.

          UK-based applicants use the IPO more than the EPO, but the gap has closed. There is some evidence of a small number of applicants shifting to using the EPO instead of the IPO. The differences in fees and coverage of these two offices drive customer behaviour. The majority of applications at the IPO are from UK applicants. UK-based applications to the IPO have dropped whilst overseas applications have remained constant. International applicant behaviour has changed, with applications from China growing.

        • Analysing the global filing activities of UK patent applicants – GOV.UK

          The trends in the patenting activity of UK applicants are analysed over time. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and European Patent Office (EPO) are offices that most frequently publish applications from UK applicants. Almost all applications are pursued in at least one of these jurisdictions.

          Over time there has been an increasing tendency to pursue protection in China and in the USA. There has been a decline in the number of applications published in Japan.

          The majority of applications with UK applicants fall into one of two categories. Patents for which broad worldwide protection is sought, including EP and US coverage, and patents that only seek protection in the UK. The former often relates to chemistry patents, and are more likely to be granted than those for which only UK protection is sought.

        • Double Patenting. [Ed: Well, it is widely known (and proven) by now that the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) of the EPO is a rigged court ruled by criminals from the Office, not judges]

          On 22 June 2021, the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) of the EPO issued Decision G 4/19 on double patenting. The EBA held that a European patent application can be refused if it claims the same subject matter as a European patent that has been granted to the same applicant and that has the same effective date.

        • WIPO and the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples [Ed: WIPO is extremely corrupt, but it keeps using vulnerable groups for PR stunts]

          The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has shared some news in connection with International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, celebrated on 9 August every year.


          The first program in this series took place in 2019 (as reported here), and was attended by 24 women from, inter alia, Mexico, Russian Federation, Papua New Guinea, Cameroon, New Caledonia, Norway, Peru, Australia, and Brazil.

          The program is addressed to women in light of the role they often play as custodians of TK and TECs, as well as the challenges faced concerning unequal access to education, funding and support services.

        • Life Sciences A to Z – U is for Unified Patent Court – Stevens & Bolton LLP [Ed: Bolton LLP still promoting their fantasy that's UPC, even if the UK left the EU, leaving the UPC to rot]

          As a tool for protecting innovation, patents are an important asset for research-based life sciences companies, and high-stakes, high-cost litigation in multiple jurisdictions is common where “blockbuster” drugs are concerned. The proposed EU Unified Patent Court (UPC) system aims to streamline patent litigation in Europe and to avoid forum shopping between different EU courts. Although some remain sceptical, many in the life sciences industry have welcomed this initiative.

        • How patent evergreening plays out in India [Ed: Why would any sane person defend endless monopolies with evergreening?]

          Pharma counsel analyse the relevant provision to curb patent evergreening in India and its recent application by the patent office and the courts

        • Artificial Intelligence as the Inventor of Life Sciences Patents? [Ed: A chain of meaningless buzzwords like “Hey Hi” and “Life Sciences” to justify monopolies for mere bots]

          The question whether an artificial intelligence (“AI”) system can be named as an inventor in a patent application has obvious implications for the life science community, where AI’s presence is now well established and growing. For example, AI is currently used to predict biological targets of prospective drug molecules, identify candidates for drug design, decode genetic material of viruses in the context of vaccine development, determine three-dimensional structures of proteins, including their folding form, and many more potential therapeutic applications.

        • Dallas Invents: 103 Patents Granted for Week of July 27 [Ed: A hotbed of patent trolls with lots of abstract (invalid) patents and lenient courts]

          Dallas Invents is a weekly look at U.S. patents granted with a connection to the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area. Listings include patents granted to local assignees and/or those with a North Texas inventor. Patent activity can be an indicator of future economic growth, as well as the development of emerging markets and talent attraction. By tracking both inventors and assignees in the region, we aim to provide a broader view of the region’s inventive activity. Listings are organized by Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC).

        • Australian Court determines that an Artificial Intelligence system can be an inventor for the purposes of patent law [Ed: Calling bots "Hey Hi" to exaggerate the importance of some computer programs and make them seem worthy of monopolies]

          This rapid uptake of AI and machine learning in the life sciences industry has raised questions regarding the effects of incorporating such technologies into the inventive process, including the patentability of resulting inventions, to ensure a company’s investments in new drug candidates, methods of treatment, and/or therapeutic uses are protected and rewarded.

          In Australia, a first instance decision by Justice Beach of the Federal Court has provided some guidance: pursuant to Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCA 879, an AI system can be the named inventor for an Australian patent application, with a person or corporation listed as the applicant for that patent, or a grantee of the patent.

        • Ask the Experts: Can a patent attorney help your business? [Ed: No, they always help their own business and would even lie to clients (e.g. about UPC) just to enable more invoicing on patent disservices]

          If you have watched the BBC programme ‘Dragons Den’, you’ll almost certainly have heard entrepreneurs asked about intellectual property [sic] rights [sic], such as patents, design rights, trademarks and so on.

        • Backlash grows against decision to grant patent to AI system [Ed: Patents were never meant to be for bots, so this is a humiliation for the patent systems and patent courts in two less important countries]

          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.

        • Giving Meaning to Silence (Claim Construction) | Patently-O

          The Magseis invention here is fully enclosed single case seismometer. The patent explains that “hundreds to thousands of receivers” might be deployed in order to conduct a seismic survey. U.S. Pat. No. RE45,268. A key feature of a seismometer is the “geophone” that actually detects the vibrations. Prior to this invention, seismometers were already known as were the geophones used. The improvement here is the arrangement of all the components within the single case. Of importance to this case is that every claim requires the geophone to be “internally fixed” to either the housing or an internal compartment.

          Magseis sued Seabed for infringement; Seabed turned around and petitioned for inter partes review (IPR). Although the IPR was initiated, the PTAB eventually sided with the patentee and concluded that the claims had not been proven invalid.

          The basic issue on appeal was a question of whether the prior art showing a “gimbaled” attachment counts as being “fixed.” A gimbal is a mount mechanism that allows multiple degrees of freedom and are often an element of a camera tripod setup. Gimbaling of the geophone was admittedly common in the art at the time of the invention.


          On appeal, the Federal Circuit has rejected that claim construction and vacated for reconsideration. According to the opinion, the PTAB erred in delving into the extrinsic evidence since the intrinsic evidence was clear, even though entirely silent as to the gimbal issue.

        • GlaxoSmithKline LLC v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA (Fed. Cir. 2021)

          Most judicial outcomes, particularly on appeal, are broadly based on varying combinations of process and outcome. The law is replete with process-based decisions (standing, jurisdiction, waiver, to name a few) and of course even more frequently perhaps coming to the “correct” outcome is a major decisive factor in a court’s opinions. Rarely are these two features of judicial consideration juxtaposed in opposition (albeit not so rarely that the aphorism that “hard cases make bad law” is not appreciated in practice) but such a case is illustrated in the Federal Circuit’s latest (and second) decision in GlaxoSmithKline LLC v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA.

          The matter arose in litigation over GSK’s Coreg® product (carvedilol) for treatment of hypertension (the initial approved indication; U.S. Patent No. 4,503,067), congestive heart failure (CHF) (the subject of U.S. Patent No. 5,760,069), and left ventricular dysfunction following myocardial infarction (LVD-MI). The ’069 patent recites a method of treating CHF with a combination of carvedilol and “one or more of an angiotensin-converting enzyme (“ACE”) inhibitor, a diuretic, and digoxin.”


          The Federal Circuit reversed, in an opinion by Judge Newman joined by Judge Moore; Chief Judge Prost provided a lengthy, comprehensive dissent.


          The contrasting opinions by the majority and the dissent raise the issue (outside the policy one) of the extent to which a reviewing court (whether the district court or the Federal Circuit) can make judgments on the substantiality of the evidence upon which a jury bases its verdict. The substantial evidence standard is intentionally deferential (“more than a scintilla”), based on the prudent principle that a jury has had the opportunity to hear evidence from witnesses and gauge the weight their testimony is given, based on considerations (demeanor, for example) unavailable to a court on appeal. JMOL includes additional considerations (including the district court’s opportunity for observing this same inferential evidence). Here, the majority applied Third Circuit law on the standard for reviewing JMOL decisions, which according to the opinion was that JMOL should be granted “sparingly” and “only if, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmovant and giving it the advantage of every fair and reasonable inference, there is insufficient evidence from which a jury reasonably could find liability” citing Marra v. Phila. Hous. Auth., 497 F.3d 286, 300 (3d Cir. 2007). The majority, both based on the standard of review as well as the conventional deference given to jury verdicts, felt bound by these procedural considerations to reinstate against Teva the jury verdict of induced infringement liability. Judge Prost, viewing the matter on outcome (for policy) grounds once again disagreed. The only aspect that has changed (to the extent it has) is a perhaps comforting (and more informative) recitation of the standard the Federal Circuit will apply to induced infringement in the context of skinny labels; by itself this may be (and of course has to be) enough.

        • [Old] Nokia suing Oppo over patent infringement in several countries [Ed: Nokia still made products, based on Linux, before criminals from Microsoft infiltrated the company like an aggressive cult and turned Nokia into this zombie]
        • Vietnam: Trouble arises in legal documents on intellectual property rights related to AI [Ed: Can we please stop calling everything "Hey Hi"? This buzzwords theatre is getting out of hand...]
        • In A First, An Invention By AI Granted A Patent [Ed: People engaging in totally and utterly clueless cheerleading for bot patents, clearly failing to grasp what a blow it is to the very legitimacy of the whole patent system and the narrative it has been pushing]

          South Africa granted patent to a food container based on fractal geometry invented by AI system named DABUS

        • I have heard what the Federal Circuit has to say on motions to transfer, says WDTX’s Albright [Ed: IAM as megaphone of people who corrupted courts (subverted the law consciously) just to attract more litigation ‘business’]

          US District Judge Alan Albright’s Waco court in the Western District of Texas is the US’s busiest patent litigation venue. It is also the most controversial. In an exclusive IAM interview, the judge explains how he has responded to recent CAFC criticisms and discusses plenty more besides

        • Pharma should make good use of the UPC from the beginning, says Bayer’s head of IP [Ed: The UPC does not even exist but the propaganda mill of the EPO, bribed by EPO to promote UPC nonsense, uses Monsanto/Bayer as a source. This is corrupt ‘media’.]

          The proceedings in the case now continue in writing to allow the parties involved an opportunity to comment on the referred questions. At oral proceedings, the Opponent wished the effective date in the question to be more clearly defined (is it the priority date or the filing date that is most crucial for determining plausiblity?). The patentee suggested that an additional question should be included, addressing the burden of proof of the occurrence or absence of the technical effect. We thus await the written decision from the Board of Appeal finalising the referred questions.

        • New referral expected to the EBA on the use of post-published data to support inventive step [Ed: Another new referral to a rigged and corrupted court that is basically ruled by gangsters who shamelessly break all the laws]

          A Board of Appeal is about to refer questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) on the ability of a patentee to rely on post-published evidence to support the inventive step of a claim, and particularly to support the plausibility that the technical problem has been solved over the full scope of the claim. The referral (expected to be G2/21) will arise from the opposition proceedings for EP2484209. The patent claims insecticides, and was opposed by Syngenta.


          The proceedings in the case now continue in writing to allow the parties involved an opportunity to comment on the referred questions. At oral proceedings, the Opponent wished the effective date in the question to be more clearly defined (is it the priority date or the filing date that is most crucial for determining plausiblity?). The patentee suggested that an additional question should be included, addressing the burden of proof of the occurrence or absence of the technical effect. We thus await the written decision from the Board of Appeal finalising the referred questions.

        • Kilburn & Strode bolsters semiconductor expertise with Mathys & Squire partner [Ed: What on Earth is this? JUVE hardly pretends to be anything but a marketing firm for litigation giants, basically treating the hiring of single individuals like major news (just promotions/commercials)]
        • Germany gives green light to UPC [Ed: Team UPC very well knows about the many barriers to the UPC and focuses only on Germany; we've been there many times before for over 5 years and it always ended in tears]

          The German government has finally approved legislation enabling the ratification of the UPC

        • German UPC law comes in force [Ed: Team UPC keeps pretending that UPC can miraculously come into existence without UK ratifying (which it cannot)]

          The German legislation enabling Germany to ratify the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement and its Protocol on Provisional Application (PPA) was published yesterday in the Bundesgesetzblatt Teil II (Federal Law Gazette) Part II (No.18, 12 August 2021) and came into force today. This follows the decision of the BVerfG (Federal Constitutional Court), reported here, to dismiss the interim injunction applications in two complaints which were preventing the legislation coming into force.

        • [Old] German Court Ruling Opens The Way To New European Patent Court [Ed: No, it is not for Germany to decide on it; UK left the EU, so this is doomed legally]

          The long-running process of setting up a new patent court and unitary patent system should shortly be moving into its final phase.

        • Software Patents

          • On the Nature of Prior Art in the 35 U.S.C. § 101 Inquiry [Ed: Patent litigation profiteer and software patents zealot Michael Borella (not a coder) is still attacking anything that evokes common sense; some people think all the world needs is more lawsuits]

            Diamond v. Diehr, decided by the Supreme Court in 1981, seemed to establish a bedrock principle of statutory construction for patent law. The Court stated that “[t]he ‘novelty’ of any element or steps in a process, or even of the process itself, is of no relevance in determining whether the subject matter of a claim falls within the 35 U.S.C. § 101 categories of possibly patentable subject matter.” That proclamation appeared to slam the door shut on any consideration of novelty, or by extension non-obviousness, as part of the subject matter eligibility calculus. Indeed, this tenet held for over 30 years.

            Then, in 2012, Justice Breyer wrote in Mayo v. Prometheus, “[w]e recognize that, in evaluating the significance of additional steps, the § 101 patent-eligibility inquiry and, say, the § 102 novelty inquiry might sometimes overlap.” This statement, if made in isolation, might have been considered misguided dicta in an opinion that otherwise relied on the reasoning of Diehr. Yet Mayo went further, as Justice Breyer analyzed the claim language in question:

      • Trademarks

        • Case: Trademarks/Summary Judgment (11th Cir.)

          The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the decision of a federal district court in Florida granting EWC P&T LLC summary judgment in its action for violation of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act against an individual who registered the domain names “europawaxcenter.com” and “euwaxcenter.com.” EWC P&T LLC runs the nationwide beauty brand European Wax Center and holds the trademark “European Wax Center.”

        • Gower Peninsula lamb flies the flag for Britain as the first new product to be registered under the post-Brexit GI scheme [Ed: Did the sheep consent to being monopolised by their butcherers, based on their place of death?]

          The first product to be protected under the UK’s post-Brexit Geographical Indication (GI) scheme, which came into effect on 1 January 2021, was announced on 11 August as Gower Salt Marsh Lamb.

          Meat produced from sheep born and reared on South Wales’s Gower Peninsula will now be protected thanks to its recognition as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). Such schemes are used to label products which come from certain regions or with traditional methods to ensure that imitations cannot be sold as authentic. As a result, Gower Lamb producers are now able to affix a GI logo on their products.


          Moreover, more than 5,000 UK-produced products, such as Melton Mowbray pork pies, were already part of the EU scheme prior to the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. This means that they were already protected automatically in the UK when the new scheme came into effect.

        • Survey as evidence in trademark proceedings [Ed: Artsy or pseudo-scientific elements in trademark law]

          On 30 June 2021 the new rules of the CP12 Common Practice on Evidence in Trademark Appeal Proceedings became binding in Poland. The CP12 was adopted by the EUIPO Management Board in November 2020 and published the European Union at the end of March 2021. The rules were adopted by the Polish Patent Office and apply to proceedings commenced after 30 June 2021.

      • Copyrights

        • [Guest post] German court: copyright infringement by ‘re-pin’ on Pinterest

          Former GuestKat Mirko Brüß analyzes a very interesting recent German decision, which has tackled the application of such exclusive right in the context of linking within online image sharing service Pinterest.


          This decision shows that the legal questions regarding hyperlinking to protected content have still not been fully answered. There will very likely be more cases about the “profit-making intention” and the threshold that has to be reached in order to rebut the assumption of knowledge that the content linked to is unlawful. The Hamburg judges took a reasonable approach to the latter issue by applying a dynamic standard that considers the nature of the business model, e.g. whether hyperlinks are posted automatically in large numbers or (as was the case here) “hand-picked”.

          One (technical) aspect of Pinterest was not addressed in the decision, but gives “re-pins” a high conflict potential:

          When a user uploads an image to the site, that is then “re-pinned” by another user, and the original uploader deletes his “pin”, the “re-pinned” image will remain visible on the second user’s board. This makes the scenario very similar to the Renckhoff case, where a re-post occurred after the file was copied to another server. There, the CJEU held (at para 31) that it “is clear that, even if the holder of the copyright holder decides no longer to communicate his work on the website on which it was initially communicated with his consent, that work would remain available on the website on which it had been newly posted. The Court has already held that the author of a work must be able to put an end to the exercise, by a third party, of rights of exploitation in digital format that he holds on that work, and to prohibit him from any future use in such a format, without having to submit beforehand to other formalities”. Applied to the specific technicalities of Pinterest, this could mean that even re-pins of content that was originally uploaded to Pinterest by the copyright owner could become infringing when the original “pin” is deleted, but the “re-pins” remain accessible on the site. Let’s see if (or rather when) this question will be answered by the courts.

[Meme] Macedonian State Capture (Control From Afar)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Money see; Money do

Summary: Get ready for the next 3 parts about EPO votes being “captured”; What if Željko Topić was more than just a “bulldog” (to staff)?

Links 15/8/2021: New Debian GNU/Linux and Debian GNU/Hurd, Ogre 13, and grep 3.7

Posted in News Roundup at 4:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Release Roundup: Cozy, Polychromatic, and Latte Dock – OMG! Ubuntu!

      There are a couple of notable Linux app updates I wanted to mention on the site, so I’ve dusted off my Linux Release Roundup (LRR) format to give them some time in the spotlight.

      Now, I haven’t written one of these for a few months. After publishing one in June I got 3 — THREE! — emails accusing me of “ripping off” other Linux blogs. ‘OMG’, the critics said, ‘you even use the same name!!1’.

      This is a mildly frustrating thing to get because I posted the first roundup specifically titled “Linux Release Roundup” on this site back in 2017 (and omg doing news roundups goes back as far as 2010).

      An advanced Google Search tells me no-other realª Linux blog used that phrase “Linux Release Roundup” before I started using it in 2017.

    • Linux Release Roundup #21.33: elementary OS 6, Thunderbird 91, and More New Releases – It’s FOSS News

      In the Linux Release Roundup series, we summarize the new application and distribution versions release in the last few days. This keeps you informed of the latest developments in the Linux world.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • An introduction to eBPF and where it shines

        Every operating system leaves room for improvement. But modifying any OS can create security risks and performance penalties, as well as create dependencies that are almost impossible to accommodate in OS version and module updates.

        The goal of OS programmability is deceptively simple: allow additional code to run without any change to the OS kernel’s source code or create unwanted dependencies in new modules.

        OS modification is nothing new. Early designs of virtualization relied on OS modifications to support forms of paravirtualization. But whenever you customize software, you may create dependencies that make it difficult — even impossible — to update the underlying software. When a new version emerges, IT must rework and retest those existing customizations.

      • Progress Report: August 2021 – Asahi Linux

        It’s been a long time since the last update! In all honesty, the first Progress Report set the bar a little bit too high, and I found it difficult to sit down and put together monthly reports that would do it justice. So, going forward, we’re going to be providing shorter-form updates while striving to keep a monthly schedule.

      • Reverse Engineering & Bring-Up Of Linux On The Apple Silicon M1 Continues – Phoronix

        A new status report has been published by the developers of “Asahi Linux” that are continuing to work on providing Linux support for the Apple Silicon initially with the M1 SoC.

      • ASUS Laptop Platform Profile Support Under Review For Linux – Phoronix

        One of the features that has come together nicely for Linux on laptops in recent months has been the platform profile support around the ACPI specification with support from multiple laptop vendors for allowing users to control their power/performance preference based on various system profile configurations. A patch is pending for newer ASUS laptops to enjoy this platform profile control under Linux.

        The platform profile support on Linux has seen the core kernel support since Linux 5.12 and supported by some Lenovo laptops, some Dell laptops, and also some HP laptops. The platform profile control is exposed to user-space via sysfs while both GNOME and KDE desktops have begun offering convenient GUI controls around platform profiles.

      • LightNVM

        • Linux Turning Off The Light – The LightNVM Subsystem To Be Removed

          Merged to the mainline Linux kernel six years ago was the LightNVM subsystem as part of Linux 4.4 LTS around “Open-Channel SSDs”. That LightNVM code is now slated for removal with the upcoming Linux 5.15 cycle.

          LightNVM was focused on features around predictable latency, I/O isolation, and better memory management. However, LightNVM has been effectively superseded by the Zoed Namespace (ZNS) command set with NVMe.

    • Applications

      • Ardour 6.9 Digital Audio Workstation Released – Phoronix

        Ardour as one of the leading open-source digital audio workstation (DAW) solutions is out with another new release.

        This GPLv2+ digital audio workstation continues advancing for artists on Linux, macOS, and Windows and suiting the needs of professionals. Ardour 6.9 is another release continuing to support older platforms while Ardour 7.0 looks to be up next and will trim out the older software support — following Friday’s 6.9 release was already 7.0-pre0 being tagged.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Low Bandwidth Images

        But how does this compare to images like on https://solar.lowtechmagazine.com or those at https://ritualdust.com/works/photo/, well, those seem to range from ~50kb to ~120kb, and are all black & white. Now, this isn’t supposed to be a call out post. There’s two reasons to do it the dithered, low palette way: not all browsers supported .webp and, frankly, it’s a stylistic choice. The problem is by showing it as a technical choice for conserving data or helping those with limited bandwidth, it promotes the idea that this is the best way to do it, instead of driving adoption of .webp, a format that if had greater adoption would actually greatly benefit the web at large instead of fringe (albeit amazing) websites like these. This is even weirder when you consider that even Safari has caught up and .webp is basically supported everywhere.

      • How to Install ImageMagick on Ubuntu 20.04 – LinuxCapable

        ImageMagick is a free, open-source application installed as a binary distribution or as a source code. ImageMagick can convert, read, write and process raster images. ImageMagick is also available across all major platforms, including Android, BSD, Linux, Windows, Mac OSX, iOS, and many others.

      • How to Install PHP ImageMagick (IMAGICK) on Ubuntu 20.04 – LinuxCapable

        Imagick is a PHP extension to create and modify images using the ImageMagick library. Those unfamiliar with the ImageMagick software are open-source, free software that can convert, read, write, and process raster images. Currently, the PHP extension only supports PHP 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4. Currently, no PHP 8.0 or 8.1 support exists at this current time.

      • Schedule a task with the Linux at command | Opensource.com

        Computers are good at automation, but not everyone knows how to make automation work. It’s a real luxury, though, to be able to schedule a task for a computer at a specific time and then forget about it. Maybe you have a file to upload or download at a specific time, or you need to process a batch of files that don’t yet exist but are guaranteed to exist by a certain time or a setting that needs monitoring, or maybe you just need a friendly reminder to pick up bread and butter on the way home from work.

      • Easy way to install Chrome Browser on Elementary OS 6 Odin

        Install Google Chrome Browser on Elementary OS 6 “Odin” using the command terminal. It is a free but propriety software hence that is the reason this internet app is not available in AppCenter or the official repo of Elementary Linux.

        Well, Linux doesn’t deprive of browser out of the box, so the Elementary OS. You will find the one on this Linux that uses Firefox as a base. However, if you are a multiple devices user, for example, an Android one with default Chrome browser with sync feature ON, then for sure you want the same on Linux as well. Therefore, if you want your Chrome browsing history, saved password, and other sync data on Elementary OS as well then follow the below-given steps.

      • How to Connect Your Flask App With CouchDB: A NoSQL Database

        Connecting Flask with SQL databases like PostgreSQL and SQLite is a cinch. But the framework syncs perfectly with NoSQL databases like CouchDB, too. And as an added benefit, you can query your data easily when you use CouchDB with Flask.

        Ready to make a change by using a NoSQL like CouchDB with your Flask app? Here’s how to set CouchDB up on your local machine and connect it with Flask.

      • How To Install Tor Browser on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Tor Browser on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Tor Browser is an open network and free web browser that helps users to defend against traffic analysis, a type of network surveillance that threatens personal privacy and freedom, confidential business relationships, activities, and state security.

        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 Tor Browser anonymous web surfing on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • How do I change the GRUB timeout in Linux?

        This tutorial shows how to easily change the GRUB timeout in Linux. After reading this tutorial, you’ll know how to edit the Grub timeout in a few steps.

        Before starting, if when you boot your computer, GRUB doesn’t show up, jump to the What to do if GRUB menu doesn’t show up section.

      • How do I shrink my LVM volume?

        One of the most challenging decisions a new user faces when installing Linux is partitioning the disc drive. The requirement to predict how much space will be required for system and user files puts the installation more complicated than it needs to be, as well as some users easily take all of their data into one huge partition to avoid the problem. Logical Volume Management, or LVM, is a packing device management technique that allows users to pool and encapsulate the physical layout of component storage systems for easier and more flexible management. Logical volume management is quite alike to virtualization in that it allows you to build as many virtual storage volumes as you need on top of a particular storage device. The logical storage volumes that result can be increased or decreased to meet your changing storage requirements. In laptop storage, logical volume management (LVM) is a mechanism for allocating space on devices significantly more flexible than traditional partitioning schemes for storage space. Increased abstraction, adaptability, and control are the key benefits of LVM.

        The names of logical volumes can be meaningful. On a running system, volumes can be enlarged dynamically as storage space vary, and they can be readily transferred between physical devices inside the pool or exported. One of the advantages of LVM systems is the ability to efficiently and rapidly scale storage capacity. Of yet, sysadmins frequently need to scale up (increase capacity). It’s also worth noting that LVM can be used to reduce storage capacity. This means you can reduce storage capacity if it is over-allocated (you configured considerably more storage than required). In this guide, we will go over the process to shrink LVM volume in Ubuntu 20.04 system.

      • How to Partition and Format Hard Drive in Manjaro

        Disk partitioning is a way of setting boundaries or creating regions to treat each storage space independently. Some advantages of partitioning a storage space include easy data recovery and backup, better organization, ease of reinstallation, and a new hard disk. However, each partition needs to have an appropriate filesystem, and it must be mounted at a mount point before use.

        The article demonstrates ways to partition disks in Manjaro and explains how to format and mount disk partitions for proper drive usage.

      • How to upgrade Debian 10 to Debian 11 Bullseye using the CLI – nixCraft

        I have Debian 10.10 installed on the AWS EC2 and Linode server. How do I upgrade Debian 10 Buster to Debian 11 Bullseye using the apt command or apt-get command safely? How can I upgrade Debian 10 to Debian 11 using ssh client?

        Debian Linux 11 “Bullseye” is going to release soon. The new version offers updated packages and five years of support. This page explains how to update Debian 10 Buster to Debian 11 Bullseye using command-line options, including upgrading all installed packages.

      • How to use systemctl in Ubuntu

        The systemctl command is the key management tool for init system control. We examine this command and discuss how services are managed, checked status, changed system statements, and configured files.

        An init system has its basic objective to initialize components to be launched after the Linux kernel booting. This system is used to manage services and daemons at all times running in a touring machine.

        The init is no longer the top of each process chain and is replaced by the systemd. The systemd is the initialization and management framework for a Linux operating system. systemd activity is structured by “units” that manage start/stop/restart, etc. Run levels are now substituted for objectives.

      • Input-Output Redirection in Ubuntu

        In Linux, each process has three communication channels: standard input, standard output, and standard error. These communication channels help users interact with the processes on a Linux system. The standard input (STDIN) communication channel takes the input from the user through the terminal as a command, and then after processing the command with the Linux kernel, the terminal displays the result through standard output (STDOUT) or standard error (STDERR) communication channel. The standard output (STDOUT) or standard error (STDERR) of one command can be redirected as the standard input (STDIN) for another command using the “>” I/O redirection, and similarly, a standard input (STDIN) can be redirected as the standard output (STDOUT) for another command using the “<” I/O redirection.

      • How to use Fuseblk in Linux?

        Fuseblk is a fuse-based block mechanism, i.e., a file system based in userspace. It is being used to mount non-root users’ read and write access to NTFS partitions. FUSE is a file system technology for userspace. A kernel module (fuse.ko), a userspace library (libfuse.*), and mount tools are included (fusermount) in it. Allowing safe, non-privileged mounts is among FUSE’s most significant features. This expands the range of applications for file systems. Sshfs, a secure network file system based on the sftp protocol, is an excellent example of it. FUSE is especially helpful when creating virtual file systems. Unlike typical file systems that interact with data stored on mass storage, virtual filesystems do not store data. They serve as a perspective or translation of a file system or storage device that already exists. FUSE does not check file access privileges by default; the file system might implement its access control policies or leave it to the supporting file access method, e.g., in the case of network file systems. This application allows permission checking, which limits access to files based on their mode. Ntfs-formatted drives for all-time mounts with the most known “fuseblk” File System.

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • Ogre 13 released

        We just tagged the Ogre 13 release, making it the new current and recommended version. We would advise you to update wherever possible, to benefit from all the fixes and improvements that made their way into the new release.

        This release represents 2.5 years of work from various contributors when compared to the previous major 1.12 release. Compared to the last Ogre minor release (1.12.12), however we are only talking about 4 months. Here, you will mainly find bugfixes and the architectural changes that justify the version number bump.

        For source code and pre-compiled SDKs, see the downloads page.

      • Ogre 13 Open-Source Game Engine Released

        Besides the very successful Godot game engine and the up and coming O3DE, Ogre continues progressing as another useful open-source game engine. Out this weekend is Ogre 13.0 as the project switches up its versioning scheme.

        Ogre 13 brings improved API stability for this game engine, the reusable normal map stage can now be combined with GBuffer rendering, improved glyph placement, support for full constant buffers on Direct3D 11, a GLSLang plug-in, DotScene export support, and much more.

      • Video: MiSTer FPGA Overview

        I’ve owned a MiSTer FPGA for close to two year now. I didn’t buy everything all at once and kept adding additional things over time. A few months ago, I finally had the complete setup although there are many aspects of the MiSTer (like analog output) that I have yet to take advantage of. I really enjoy the fact that new cores are coming out every few weeks.


        There are also a large number of video game consoles including the Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, and Lynx handheld, Nintendo NES, SNES, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Sega Game Gear handheld, Neo Geo, Turbo Grafx 16 / CD, etc. There is also a wide variety of retro home computers including all of the ones I grew up with. It is just incredible.

      • Linux Native vs Proton – IT DOESN’T MATTER! – Invidious

        Since the Steam Deck was announced, there have been a few heated debates on the value of a native Linux applications compared to a windows version running through proton. Most people see this through the lens of gaming, but Proton could be used to run regular desktop apps, so let’s see if, and why, we should care about how an app runs on Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • The Three Laws of FLOSS Projects

          While discussing with a colleague what would be okay to offer KDE patrons in the way of collaborative promotion, I was surprised of how easy it was to decide which activities were appropriate and which inappropriate for a FLOSS project.


          Someone who signs up to your Twitter or Mastodon feed expects to receive information about your project, and that’s it. If you start to show them unrelated information in the shape of sponsored posts or cover images from third companies, you are forcing upon them information they did not ask for. Like the unskippable ads on some video streaming sites, or the advertising included in a supposedly “free” (as in beer) Android app, you are violating their right to control the information they receive.

          Of course, you may argue that readers can always unregister from your feeds and thus regain control. Yes, indeed, that is how I would expect a reader to react. But they would leave precisely because you breached the First Law and, I have to say, I do not believe to have invented these laws. I think that they exist meme-like at the back of the minds of everybody who understands the underlying ethics of Free Software. This means others will be aware of when they are breached (even if they haven’t read this blog post!) and you will risk losing their support.

          Although I didn’t invent them, using the “Three Laws” is a way of expressing them out loud, making them memorable and giving me a yardstick for my work.

        • Big fixes, more customisation, many improvements — Kalendar week 10 (GSoC 2021)

          Over the past week, work has focused on three things: stability, tweaks, and options. Once again, all of your feedback has been valuable and it has driven many of the additions and changes you all have asked about over the past few weeks.


          Last week we showed off our new maps in the incidence information sidebar/drawer, showing the location of an event or todo. This week we added a couple of extra location-related features.

          Clicking on the location text for an incidence now copies this text to your clipboard, letting you quickly paste this location into your desired mapping application. Clicking on the map itself now opens OpenStreetMaps at the incidence’s set location, for extra convenience. You can still click and drag the map to see stuff as usual, but a quick click will open OSM.

    • Distributions

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Edu 11 “Bullseye” Released as a Complete Linux Solution for Schools

          Based on the recently released Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” operating system series, Debian Edu 11 “Bullseye” is here to provide you with an out-of-the box environment for configuring a complete and fully capable school network.

          New features in Debian Edu 11 include support for LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Project) diskless workstations and thin clients supporting the X2Go technology, iPXE network boot support for LTSP compliance, support for graphical iPXE installations, as well as standalone Samba “server” with SMB2/SMB3 support.

        • Debian Edu / Skolelinux Bullseye — a complete Linux solution for your school

          Are you the administrator for a computer lab or an entire school network? Would you like to install servers, workstations, and laptops to work together? Do you want the stability of Debian with network services already preconfigured? Do you wish to have a web-based tool to manage systems and several hundred or even more user accounts? Have you asked yourself if and how older computers could be used?

          Then Debian Edu is for you. The teachers themselves or their technical support can roll out a complete multi-user multi-machine study environment within a few days. Debian Edu comes with hundreds of applications pre-installed, and you can always add more packages from Debian.

          The Debian Edu developer team is happy to announce Debian Edu 11 Bullseye, the Debian Edu / Skolelinux release based on the Debian 11 Bullseye release. Please consider testing it and reporting back (<debian-edu@lists.debian.org>) to help us to improve it further.


          These are some items from the release notes for Debian Edu 11 Bullseye, based on the Debian 11 Bullseye release. The full list including more detailed information is part of the related Debian Edu manual chapter.

        • Debian 11 “BullsEye” released with Panfrost & Lima GPU drivers, exFAT support, driverless printing – CNX Software

          Debian 11 “BullsEye” has been released with Panfrost & Lima open-source drivers for Arm GPUs, in-kernel exFAT file system, driverless printing, and many more updates, plus a 5-year support window.

          Debian’s release is significant as the Linux operating system serves as the base for Ubuntu and derivatives, Raspberry Pi OS, and together with Ubuntu, is one of the operating systems supported by Armbian which offers images for a range of Arm-based single board computers.

        • Let’s Download Debian 11 LTS Bullseye

          Debian 11 Bullseye operating system finally released on Saturday, 14 August 2021. This is a Long Term Support release with five years of support and has been developed for two years since the previous release Debian 10. It includes full and complete set of tens of thousands of software packages including the digital tools to help combating COVID-19 for health care professionals. This release following the loss of three honorable Debian developers Robert, Karl, and Rogerio who passed away between these years — to them we would love to offer condolendes and say thank you for all your contributions to us all. Bullseye is available for almost all types of computer available in the world and we can download it for desktop and laptop for both 64-bit and 32-bit as detailed below plus further instructions. Let’s download Debian!

        • Debian 11 ‘Bullseye’ Linux distro is here

          Debian is a great operating system in its own right, but also, it makes for an excellent base for other Linux distributions as well. For example, Ubuntu is probably the most well-known Linux distro in the world, and it is based on Debian. There are countless other operating systems, such as deepin Linux, that also stand on Debian’s figurative shoulders. That’s why it is so significant when a new version of Debian is released.

          And today, that is exactly what is happening. You see, after much testing, Debian 11 is finally available for download! Called “Bullseye,” the number of changes is absolutely insane. You see, it has 11,294 totally new packages and 42,821 updated packages. Some major changes include native exFAT support and improved printing.

        • Jonathan Wiltshire: #ReleasingDebianBullseye
        • Debian Bullseye Released – Koipond

          Wow. It is 21:49 in the evening here (I am with isy and sledge in Cambridge) and image testing has completed! The images are being signed, and sledge is running through the final steps to push them out to our servers, and from there out onto the mirror and torrent networks to be available for public download.

          We have had help testing installation images from the regular team; amacater and schweer. With schweer, as ever, covering the edu images. Thank you.

          This release we were joined by bitin who kindly ran through a couple of tests of the default netinst image with both UEFI and BIOS based VMs, before joining a release party.

        • Bullseye release – part 1 – Koipond

          Release of Debian 11 Bullseye is in progress. Building install media is underway, and we’ll be downloading and smoke testing these images just as soon as they become available.

        • Gunnar Wolf• Bullseye arrives. Private ARM64 install fest!

          So today is the day when a new Debian release comes out! Congratulations to everybody, and thanks a lot mainly to the Release Team. Lots of very hard work was put into making Debian 11 «Bullseye» a reality!

          My very personal way to celebrate this was to do a somewhat different Debian install at home. Why different? Well, I have quite a bit of old, older and frankly elderly laptops at home. And as many of you know, I have done more than my fair share of Raspberry Pi installs… I have played and worked with assorted ARM machines at least since 2013, and I cannot consider myself a newbie with them by any means.

          But this is the first time I installed Debian on a mass-market, decently-specced ARM64-based laptop. Yes, I know the Pinebook has been there like for ages, but it really does feel like a computer to show off and not to use seriously (and I’ve seen probably too many people fiddling with it, unable to get $foo to work). So I got myself a used Lenovo Yoga C630. Yes, a discontinued product — it seems Lenovo was not able to properly market this machine, and it had a pretty short shelf life — the machine was available for samples in late 2018 and for general sale in 2019! The specs are quite decent:

        • FLOSSLinux: And we’re almost there with media testing – 202108142013

          It’s been quite a long day – last few normal tests are being run through now.

          Lots more involvement from more people: nothing too catastrophic and a good many installs run through. The usual back and forth and noticing odd things that crop up: it’s always interesting to get someone else’s viewpoint and second pair of eyes on something.

          Thanks also to Schweer who’s done his usual solo testing of all the Debian-Edu software, quietly and with no fuss.

        • FLOSSLinux: Still chasing through release testing Debian media for Bullseye release 202108141655

          Lots of people – lots of effort – we’re gradually closing in on a last few tests.

          It’s been quite a long time but we’re significantly ahead of where we would be on many tests for release candidates and main releases. It’s always fun to do and chat back and forth. Having new testers check in from tomorrow (Australia) has also been a novelty.

        • FLOSSLinux: Vanilla Debian on a Raspberry Pi 4 with UEFI

          Thanks to the good folk who put the hard work into building a UEFI implementation for the Raspberry Pi 4 which “just works”, allowing you to install Debian straightforwardly, and especially to Pete Batard who has written up the process and collected a zip file together.

        • Clint Adams: upgrayedd
        • Debian 11 “bullseye” has been released! – Bits from Debian

          Want to install it? Choose your favourite installation media and read the installation manual. You can also use an official cloud image directly on your cloud provider, or try Debian prior to installing it using our “live” images.

          Already a happy Debian user and you only want to upgrade? You can easily upgrade from your current Debian 10 “buster” installation; please read the release notes.

          Do you want to celebrate the release? We provide some bullseye artwork that you can share or use as base for your own creations. Follow the conversation about bullseye in social media via the #ReleasingDebianBullseye and #Debian11Bullseye hashtags or join an in-person or online Release Party!

        • Debian 11 bullseye released

          After 2 years, 1 month, and 9 days of development, the Debian project is proud to present its new stable version 11 (code name bullseye), which will be supported for the next 5 years thanks to the combined work of the Debian Security team and the Debian Long Term Support team.

          Debian 11 bullseye ships with several desktop applications and environments. Amongst others it now includes the desktop environments:

        • Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” Officially Released, This Is What’s New

          More than two years in the works, Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” is here with lots of updated components and new GNU/Linux technologies to keep up with the times. It’s powered by the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series, which will be supported for the next five years, until December 2026, and offers improved hardware support.

          Software-wise, all supported desktop environments have been updated to newer versions, including GNOME 3.38, KDE Plasma 5.20, Xfce 4.16, LXQt 0.16, LXDE 11, and MATE 1.24. Under the hood, Debian GNU/Linux 11 uses the GCC 10.2 system compiler, as well as GNU C Library 2.31, LLVM 11.0.1, and other technologies.

        • Debian 11 Bullseye is Here After 2 Years Development, Here’s What’s New

          The Debian Project has finally released a new stable version Debian 11 “Bullseye”. Let’s see what are the new features.

          After just over 2 years of development, the Debian Project released the latest stable version of its operating system, code name “Bullseye” today. This is a little over two years since the release of Debian 10 “Buster,” which came out 6 July 2019.

          Debian is one of the most stable and versatile Linux distributions that you can find. It is a very important distribution. Since many operating systems are based on Debian, the release of Bullseye will have a huge impact on the Linux community overall.

        • Debian GNU/Hurd 2021 Released With Experimental Rump-Based Userland Disk Driver, Go Port – Phoronix

          In addition to Debian GNU/Linux 11 set for release today, Debian GNU/Hurd 2021 has been released as the unofficial port of Debian to the GNU Hurd micro-kernel.

          Debian GNU/Hurd remains an unofficial port and thus not a formal release alongside today’s Debian 11 Bullseye festivities. Debian GNU/Hurd represents a snapshot of the current development state as of the Debian 11.0 release time so is similar in nature and mostly the same sources.

          Given the current Hurd limitations, Debian GNU/Hurd 2021 remains just available for i386 and currently builds around 70% of the package archive. The overall hardware support of Debian GNU/Hurd remains quite poor so mostly just useful if you want to spin up a limited virtual machine.

        • Debian GNU/Hurd 2021 released!
          It is with huge pleasure that the Debian GNU/Hurd team announces the
          release of Debian GNU/Hurd 2021.  This is a snapshot of Debian "sid" at
          the time of the stable Debian "bullseye" release (August 2021), so it is
          mostly based on the same sources.  It is not an official Debian release,
          but it is an official Debian GNU/Hurd port release.
          The installation ISO images can be downloaded from cdimage
          in the usual three Debian flavors: NETINST, CD, or DVD. Besides the
          friendly Debian installer, a pre-installed disk image is also available,
          making it even easier to try Debian GNU/Hurd. The easiest way to run it
          is inside a VM such as qemu
          Debian GNU/Hurd is currently available for the i386 architecture with
          about 70% of the Debian archive, and more to come!
    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 16 Popular Free And Open Source UML tools

        UML stands for unified modeling language and it is used heavily when designing computer systems large and small, it looks like boxes and arrows with some text.

        It is an open standard that isn’t controlled by any specific vendor this means that you can learn it easily.

        UML is an industry-standard, graphical language for specifying, visualizing, and constructing software systems’ artifacts.

      • Web Browsers

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • grep-3.7 released

            This is to announce grep-3.7, a stable release.

            There have been 33 commits by 6 people in the 40 weeks since 3.6.

            See the NEWS below for a brief summary.

            Thanks to everyone who has contributed!
            The following people contributed changes to this release:

            Helge Kreutzmann (1)
            Jim Meyering (15)
            Kevin Locke (2)
            Marek Suppa (1)
            Mateusz Okulus (1)
            Paul Eggert (13)

            There were also 855 changes via the gnulib submodule.
            Here is the GNU grep home page:


            Here are the compressed sources:
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/grep/grep-3.7.tar.gz (2.6MB)
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/grep/grep-3.7.tar.xz (1.6MB)

            Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]:



            Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:


            Here are the SHA1 and SHA256 checksums:

            5359ea0105cedfa21a63c89b22e0d7b41b016a40 grep-3.7.tar.gz
            wisM8tT2u+WZyQI4foBYmQ4e7pmu8zOiA4KeX9Pbs0I grep-3.7.tar.gz
            4d56da85e468e4012c81533a22052014a4c98b17 grep-3.7.tar.xz
            XBDaMSRgrschmE1dgyRtJFIOxDjdSNerWgXbwNbWgjw grep-3.7.tar.xz

            The SHA256 checksum is base64 encoded, instead of the
            hexadecimal encoding that most checksum tools default to.

            [*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the
            .sig suffix) is intact. First, be sure to download both the .sig file
            and the corresponding tarball. Then, run a command like this:

            gpg –verify grep-3.7.tar.gz.sig

            If that command fails because you don’t have the required public key,
            then run this command to import it:

            gpg –keyserver keys.gnupg.net –recv-keys 7FD9FCCB000BEEEE

            and rerun the ‘gpg –verify’ command.

            This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
            Autoconf 2.71
            Automake 1.16d
            Gnulib v0.1-4847-g1cb09be022


            * Noteworthy changes in release 3.7 (2021-08-14) [stable]

            ** Changes in behavior

            Use of the –unix-byte-offsets (-u) option now evokes a warning.
            Since 3.1, this Windows-only option has had no effect.

            ** Bug fixes

            Preprocessing N patterns would take at least O(N^2) time when too many
            patterns hashed to too few buckets. This now takes seconds, not days:
            : | grep -Ff <(seq 6400000 | tr 0-9 A-J)
            [Bug#44754 introduced in grep 3.5]

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RApiDatetime 0.0.5 (and 0.0.6): Updated (Twice)

          After nearly two years, the RApiDatetime package on CRAN has received an update, followed-up a quick bug fix.

          RApiDatetime provides a number of entry points for C-level functions of the R API for Date and Datetime calculations. The functions asPOSIXlt and asPOSIXct convert between long and compact datetime representation, formatPOSIXlt and Rstrptime convert to and from character strings, and POSIXlt2D and D2POSIXlt convert between Date and POSIXlt datetime. Lastly, asDatePOSIXct converts to a date type. All these functions are rather useful, but were not previously exported by R for C-level use by other packages. Which this package aims to change.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: x13binary 1.1.57-2 on CRAN: Packaging Updates

          Release 1.1.57-2 of the x13binary package providing the X-13ARIMA-SEATS program by the US Census Bureau is now on CRAN.

          This release comes a mere week after the previous release 1.1.57-1 and cleans up two packaging aspects. It corrects a (non-bash) shell script snippet for SunOS, and turns off the prohibition of staged install (which was needed a while back for macOS). No other changes were made; please see last week’s release post for more about x13binary and the 1.1.57 release.

        • JS

          • What is the typeof Operator in JavaScript?

            The typeof is an operator present in most programming languages and is used to check the datatype of an operand (opernad: the variable which is operated on).

            In this write-up, we will learn all about the typeof operator, what it is and how to use it; but first, we need to understand what data types are.

          • Top 5 JavaScript Code Editors and IDEs [Ed: Too much Microsoft there]

            Code editors are text editor programs specifically designed to write and edit source code of a software while IDEs (integrated development environments) provide tools and facilities required for software development; IDEs consist of code editors debuggers and build automation tools. They provide a single environment where everything can be done, from writing to executing the code. This increases the productivity of the developers and makes their lives easier.

          • Top 5 JavaScript Online Code Editors

            Online code editors allow you to start writing code without any setup. These code editors can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Most of them are free and have collaboration features that allow remote team members to contribute to a project easily. Some of these online tools only have basic features, while others are full-fledged IDEs.

          • Top 10 JavaScript Online Courses

            JavaScript is a scripting language widely used across the internet to enhance the user experience by adding interactive and dynamic elements to a webpage. It converts static pages (made by CSS & HTML) into dynamic ones that catch the user’s attention. JavaScript can run without communicating with the server as the client-side’s source code is processed by the client’s browser.

            Slideshows, change in the colour of a button when the cursor hovers over it, displays of a time countdown are common examples of interactive elements added by JavaScript to a website.

            Some People have a misconception that Java and JavaScript are similar. There is no similarity between them other than their names.

          • What is the Slice() method in JavaScript

            JavaScript is the language that is used to make the website dynamic and more interactive. In any programming language, arrays play an important role in storing data and managing different types of data. Developers often need to filter out the array, merge multiple arrays, and push or pop elements from an array to fulfill the required tasks. In this post, we learn about a well-known array’s function, “slice().”

          • Beginners guide to classes in JavaScript

            Classes are a template/blueprint for objects. They simplify the process of creating multiple objects with similar properties and methods. Classes were not present in ES5 and were introduced in the ES6 version of JavaScript. Classes are merely syntactic sugar in JavaScript, built on top of prototypes, and work in the same manner behind the scenes.

          • How to use JavaScript Array Reduce Function

            Javascript provides many built-in array functions for getting tasks done quickly and in an efficient way. Javascript reduce() function is one of those popular functions used to iterate over an array’s elements and get the desired result.

            In this post, we will grasp the concept of the javascript reduce() function. What is a reduce() function, and how can we use it to help in simplifying the Javascript code and complete the tasks efficiently and most quickly.

          • JavaScript Array Contains/Includes

            Javascript provides many built-in array functions for getting tasks done quickly and in an efficient way. Javascript filter() function is one of those popular functions used to iterate over an array’s elements and get the desired result.

            In this post, we will grasp the concept of the javascript filter() function. What is a filter() function, and how can we use it to help in simplifying the Javascript code and complete the tasks efficiently and most quickly.

          • JavaScript Array Filter Function

            Javascript provides many built-in array functions for getting tasks done quickly and in an efficient way. Javascript filter() function is one of those popular functions used to iterate over an array’s elements and get the desired result.

            In this post, we will grasp the concept of the javascript filter() function. What is a filter() function, and how can we use it to help in simplifying the Javascript code and complete the tasks efficiently and most quickly.

          • JavaScript Date Object – Explained
          • JavaScript For Loop – Tutorial for Beginners
          • JavaScript Functions – Explained with Examples for Beginners
          • JavaScript If else and else if statements – Explained
          • JavaScript Interview Questions
          • JavaScript Merging and Concatenating Arrays
          • JavaScript Objects/Dictionary – Explained
          • JavaScript String includes/contains
          • JavaScript Switch Statement – Explained
          • JavaScript forEach Loop
          • JavaScript vs. Java
        • Python

          • How to Use the Difflib Module in Python

            This article will cover a guide on using the “difflib” module in Python. The difflib module can be used to compare two Python objects of certain types and view similarities or differences between them. All code samples in this article are tested with Python 3.9.5 on Ubuntu 21.04.

  • Leftovers

    • Who is TikTok’s masked vigilante?

      The game is online trolling, and the prize is that the Great Londini tracks you down.

      If you’re a troll you may think you can safely hide behind an anonymous account name. But Londini works on the premise that he can discover your real identity within seven to eight clicks.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | The Far Right’s Deadly Embrace of Anti-Vaccine Stupidity

        You’d think that the whole world could unite against a deadly virus. COVID-19 has already sickened over 200 million people around the world and killed over 4 million. It has now mutated into more contagious forms that threaten to plunge the globe into another spin cycle of lockdown.

      • Child Hospitalization for Covid-19 Hits All-Time High in US: Report

        The U.S. hit a troubling milestone Saturday as federal data showed the most children to date hospitalized due to Covid-19.

        “Our students under 12 can’t get vaccinated. It’s our responsibility to keep them safe. Keeping them safe means that everyone who can be vaccinated should be vaccinated.” —Becky Pringle, NEA

      • ‘This was a race and we lost’: How US doctors really feel about Covid surge

        We went back to several healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses, and medical staff – who we spoke to last summer, to ask how they are faring nearly 18 months into the Covid pandemic.

        Here’s what they told us.

      • Facial recognition AI helps save multibillion dollar grape crop

        Extracting useful information from such a large, high-resolution image was Jiang’s challenge, and his team used AI to solve it. Using breakthroughs in deep neural networks developed for computer vision tasks like face recognition, Jiang applied this knowledge to the analysis of microscopic images of grape leaves. In addition, Jiang and his team implemented the visualization of the network inferential processes, which help biologists better understand the analysis process and build confidence with AI models.

        Working together, Cadle-Davidson’s team tests and validates what the robots see, enabling Jiang’s team to teach them how to identify biological traits more effectively. The results are astounding, Cadle-Davison said. Research experiments that used to take his entire lab team six months to complete now take the BlackBird robots just one day.

      • If You Skip the Vaccine, It Is My ‘Damn Business’

        Johnson and all the others are wrong. Wearing a helmet while bike riding, strapping on your seatbelt in a car — these are personal decisions, at least as far as your own injuries are concerned. Vaccination is different. In the context of a deadly and often debilitating contagion, in which the unchecked spread of infection has consequences for the entire society, vaccination is not a personal decision. And inasmuch as the United States has struggled to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19 through vaccination, it is because we refuse to treat the pandemic for what it is: a social problem to solve through collective action.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft Confirms (Yet Another) PrintNightmare Flaw as Ransomware Actors Pounce

          Exasperated Windows fleet administrators woke up Thursday to news of a new, unpatched Print Spooler vulnerability that leaves machines exposed to remote code execution attacks.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Industry leaders come together to drive the growth of eBPF as a transformational technology

                The Linux Foundation announced that it is hosting the eBPF Foundation. Founding members include Facebook, Google, Isovalent, Microsoft and Netflix. This comes in advance of the eBPF Summit, a free and virtual event taking place August 18-19, 2021.

                eBPF allows developers to safely and efficiently embed programs in any piece of software, including the operating system kernel. As a result, eBPF is quickly becoming the method of choice for achieving a wide range of infrastructure use cases, delivering significant efficiency and performance gains and dramatically reducing the complexity of the system. For example, Facebook is using eBPF as the primary software-defined load balancer in its data centers, and Google is using Cilium to bring eBPF-based networking and security to the managed Kubernetes offerings GKE and Anthos.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Apple says its iCloud scanning will rely on multiple child safety groups to address privacy fears

              Apple’s upcoming iOS and iPadOS releases will automatically match US-based iCloud Photos accounts against known CSAM from a list of image hashes compiled by child safety groups. While many companies scan cloud storage services remotely, Apple’s device-based strategy has drawn sharp criticism from some cryptography and privacy experts.

              The paper, called “Security Threat Model Review of Apple’s Child Safety Features,” hopes to allay privacy and security concerns around that rollout. It builds on a Wall Street Journal interview with Apple executive Craig Federighi, who outlined some of the information this morning.

            • Facebook, Amazon seek U.S. approval to operate undersea data cable

              The two companies told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) they intend to start commercial operation by late 2022 and said the new data connection will provide significant new capacity on routes where capacity demand continues to increase substantially each year.

              The companies in a joint filing said the new cable will help to support Facebook applications and provide Amazon and its affiliates with capacity to support Amazon’s cloud services and connect its data centers.

            • News Sites: Readers need to “buy back” their own data at an exorbitant price

              Today, noyb filed complaints against the cookie paywalls of seven major German and Austrian news websites: SPIEGEL.de, Zeit.de, heise.de, FAZ.net, derStandard.at, krone.at and t-online.de. An increasing amount of websites asks their users to either agree to data being passed on to hundreds of tracking companies (which generates a few cents of revenue for the website) or take out a subscription (for up to € 80 per year). Can consent be considered “freely given” if the alternative is to pay 10, 20 or 100 times the market price of your data to keep it to yourself?

            • Smart cities are neither, 2021 edition

              As Williams writes, the smart city always starts with the rejections of participatory dialogue (“What would we like in our neighborhood?”) in favor of technocratic analysis (“They will design data collection that will inform them to what they will do with our neighborhood”).

              Technocrats don’t want dialogue about surveillance because the dialogue always leads to a rejection. The Sidewalk Labs consultations in Toronto were overwhelmingly dominated by people who didn’t want a giant American monopolist spying on their literal footsteps 24/7.

            • Google Bans Location Data Firm Funded by Former Saudi Intelligence Head

              Google has banned SafeGraph, a location data firm whose investors include a former head of Saudi intelligence, Motherboard has learned. The ban means that any apps working with SafeGraph had to remove the offending location gathering code from their apps. SafeGraph markets its data to government entities and a wide range of industries, but it also sells the data on the open market to essentially anyone.

            • Amazon’s Plan to Track Worker Keystrokes: A Sign of Controls to Come?

              The company added that it’s considering using a company called BehavioSec, which uses the aggregate data of a user’s mouse clicks and keystrokes to develop a profile of their typical behavior. Once that baseline of typical behavior is established, the BehavioSec tool will identify when someone’s activity is unusual. But based on Motherboard’s reporting, Amazon doesn’t seem to have settled on a final plan.

            • Amazon to Monitor Customer Service Workers’ Keyboard and Mouse Strokes

              For legal reasons, the document says Amazon is “facing challenges around collecting keystrokes data.” For that reason, the company looked more at “privacy-aware” models that instead collect anonymous keyboard data, the document says.

            • Big Tech call center workers face pressure to accept home surveillance

              The concerns of the workers, who all spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, highlight a pandemic-related trend that has alarmed privacy and labor experts: As many workers have shifted to performing their duties at home, some companies are pushing for increasing levels of digital monitoring of their staff in an effort to recreate the oversight of the office at home.

              The issue is not isolated to Teleperformance’s workers in Colombia. The company states on its website that it offers similar monitoring through its TP Cloud Campus product, the software it uses to enable staff to work remotely in more than 19 markets. An official Teleperformance promotional video for TP Cloud Campus from January 2021 describes how it uses “AI to monitor clean desk policy and fraud” among its remote workers by analyzing camera feeds. And in its latest earnings statement, released in June, Teleperformance said it has shifted 240,000 of its approximately 380,000 employees to working from home thanks to the TP Cloud Campus product.

            • Survivors Laud Apple’s New Tool To Spot Child Sex Abuse But The Backlash Is Growing

              The petition said the new feature sets “a precedent where our personal devices become a radical new tool for invasive surveillance, with little oversight to prevent eventual abuse and unreasonable expansion of the scope of surveillance.”

              The opposition also includes the head of Facebook’s encrypted messaging service WhatsApp and Edward Snowden. Even some Apple employees have raised concerns, prompting a debate inside the company.

              India McKinney of the Electronic Frontier Foundation says the technology amounts to “putting a bunch of scanners in a black box onto your phone.”

              She said Apple has bowed to authoritarian governments before. For example, it sells iPhones in Saudi Arabia without FaceTime because local laws prohibit encrypted calls. So the fear is that Apple will make similar concessions with its photo-scanning technology.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Heat continues after a scorching July to forget: Severe drought and heat wave, explained

        The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Monday that California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada all experienced their warmest July on record last month. Since it started on July 13, the Dixie Fire has grown to become the largest single fire in the state’s history, burning nearly a half million acres and almost 900 structures.

        Meanwhile, meteorologists expect more triple-digit temperatures in the regions that need it least in central California and the Pacific Northwest. In addition to fueling destructive wildfires, all the heat is exacerbating a drought that’s already at near-biblical proportions.

      • What Does It Mean for a Whole Nation to Become Uninhabitable?

        Devi Lockwood spent five years traveling the globe talking to people about changes they were seeing to their local water and climates. Here are some of the stories she heard.

      • We Can’t Fight the Climate Crisis Without Fighting the Military-Industrial Complex

        The US military is the single largest industrial consumer of oil and gas and one of the largest polluters in the history of the world. According to a Brown University report, between 2001 and 2019, the US war in Afghanistan caused the emission of 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases and resulted in deforestation and the toxic burning of munitions.

        It’s not just US military operations. The United States is responsible for 37 percent of the global arms trade. During the fiscal year (FY) 2020, US weapons manufacturers sold foreign countries over $175 billion in arms, 24 percent of which went to Saudi Arabia.

      • Opinion | The Climate Emergency is a Global Public Health Threat

        The recent UN report on climate change alerts the world to the dramatic consequences to the environment that increasing global warming trends in our planet pose for our survival. One of these negative consequences is on people’s health, particularly in developing countries that don’t have the financial resources to deal with them.

      • ‘High Casualties’ Feared After 7.2-Magnitude Quake Hits Haiti

        This is a breaking news story… Check back for possible updates…

        Fears of widespread death, injury, and damage took hold Saturday morning after a large earthquake struck western Haiti, tremors that impacted highly-populated areas and triggered an initial tsunami warning for coastal areas in the Caribbean that were subsequently deemed unnecessary.

      • Energy

      • Overpopulation

        • Cameroon Says Fight Over Water Leaves Many Dead or Wounded

          Frequent conflicts occur between the Mousgoum fishermen and Arab Choua cattle ranchers over water from the Logone river separating Cameroon from Chad.

          The Logone and Chari Division is part of the Lake Chad Basin. Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic, Niger and Benin, member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, say the lake’s water resources have diminished by 70% within the past 50 years.

        • Drought: Santa Cruz on brink of Stage 2 water shortage

          Santa Cruz is dependent upon local rainfall for all of its water supply. The city received slightly more than half of its average rainfall this year. When full, Loch Lomond holds just one year’s water supply for Santa Cruz water customers and is the city’s sole “water insurance policy” in times of drought.

    • Finance

      • More Workers Are Saying That Minimum-Wage Jobs Just Aren’t Worth It Anymore
      • ‘DeJoy and Bloom Are Bandits’: Top Dem Calls for Removal of Postal Service Chiefs

        The removal of both U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Ron Bloom, chair of the Postal Service Board of Governors, was demanded Friday night after it was reported that DeJoy had purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of publicly-traded bonds from an investment firm for which Bloom is a managing partner—a transaction critics say is a gross breach of government ethics.

        “I’m stuck on DeJoy’s purchase of bonds from the company in which his quasi-boss is a managing partner, because I wonder whether it affects Bloom’s ability to protect the public interest in his assessment of DeJoy’s performance as postmaster general.”—Kathleen Clark, law professor at Washington University

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Congresswoman Behind FOSTA Is Coming for OnlyFans

        The spokesperson added that the platform uses several third-party technologies to find and prevent abusive material, including detection software Safer, Microsoft PhotoDNA which is also used by platforms including Adobe and Facebook, moderation software Sight Engine, as well as OnlyFans’ own proprietary technology and a human moderation teams that review all content.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Christian Woman in Pakistan Accused of Blasphemy for Simply Receiving a Text

        International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a Christian woman in Pakistan has been arrested for allegedly violating the country’s notorious blasphemy laws after she received a text message on WhatsApp. Following the arrest, the Christian woman’s family fled into hiding due to death threats from religious extremists.

        On July 29, Shagufta Rafiq was accused of committing blasphemy and arrested in an armed police raid on her home in Islamabad. Shagufta was charged under 295-A and 295-B of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and could face life in prison if convicted.

      • PayPal and the ADL: A Match Made in Censorship Hell

        In fact, this exact thing has already happened once before with PayPal, which has been banning and cancelling the accounts of various groups and individuals over the last few years. In 2018, the company came under fire when, alongside its ban of the far-right Proud Boys, it also threw in the accounts of several anti-fascist groups for good measure. Just like when Reddit included a host of left-leaning subreddits in its purge of violent and hateful content last year, these platforms have a commercial interest in appearing to be equally opposed to extremists on “both sides,” even when one of those sides is violent racists like the Proud Boys and the other is people who oppose and confront those racists.

        But PayPal’s partnership with the ADL threatens to go even further down this worrying road. The ADL, which was founded in 1913 as the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, has been on the right side of many issues related to racism and intolerance, but it also has a long history of acting as essentially an informal lobbying group for the Israeli government, and in the process conflating opposition to Israel’s apartheid policies with actual antisemitism — as well as attacking the Left and skirting dangerously close to bigotry itself.

      • Cancel culture has plenty of culture left to cancel

        Perhaps the most insidious part of today’s cancel culture scourge is this: Who knows what new films will soon be labeled “problematic” for breaking rules yet to be written? If two-year-old material must be instantly “reframed,” what hope do we have for future art?

        Today’s Hollywood stars rarely defend their work, cowering in fear that they might be canceled next. Too many press outlets won’t stand up for politically incorrect art, either. TheWrap.com recently capped a four-part cancel culture series that all but waved pompoms in its general direction.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Sarah Rainsford on Russia: ‘I’ve been told I can’t come back – ever’

        “The reality is that they don’t want people like that here. It’s much easier to have fewer people here who understand and who can talk directly to people and hear their stories. It’s much easier, perhaps, to have people who don’t speak the language, don’t know the country so deeply. I really think it is indicative of an increasingly difficult and repressive environment. “

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Twitch Finally Gets Around to Telling Streamers Why They’re Banned

          Twitch has been unprepared to deal with the huge onslaught of DMCA takedowns from the music industry. They’ve admitted such in their apology to gamers when the DMCA bomb dropped, leading to many streamers ban.

        • Rockstar Begins A War On Modders For ‘GTA’ Games For Totally Unclear Reasons

          There are two types of video game publishers: those that embrace their modding communities and those that do not. The latter group is in something of a spectrum. iD Software, for instance, has long kept the modding community open and operating on its Doom titles, while developer 1C embraced its modding community so much that it built some mods into official releases. Other publishers have gone into full restriction mode, shutting down modding communities and even going after them over supposed copyright infringement violations.

        • Internet Archive Wants Publishers’ Sales Data to Show Digital Library Doesn’t Hurt Sales

          In June 2020, major publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, John Wiley and Penguin Random House sued the Internet Archive, claiming that its Open Library is effectively a pirate site. The Internet Archive disputes this characterization and is now demanding that the publishers hand over sales data to show that its lending had little or no effect on the commercial performance of books.

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, August 14, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:14 am by Needs Sunlight

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[Meme] The MaceDoyen

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

North Macedonia doyen

Summary: "Doyen in the region" of Balkan nations seems to be commandeering quite a few EPO voters; What if Željko Topić was like an ‘ambassador’ or a ‘proxy’ for more than just Croatia?

When Corrupt Officials Are Put in Charge of Law, Justice, and Patent-Granting Institutions

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Patents at 12:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 6e01706d192dfd2adbb8a4ba2a236336

Summary: Another quick video about a worrisome trend; strongmen and thugs have basically captured positions of power — a situation which in turn rewards other strongmen and thugs, putting at risk those who expose their wrongdoing

THE EPO has long been run by corrupt politicians with a dark past. Those people arrogantly assume they’re above the law and they hire people who think likewise. It’s no longer limited to Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos because they brought all sorts of people who enable this and protect this.

DUI means.. Delegate under the influenceWe might be led to think that only ‘primitive’ countries do this, but that’s just not the case. Corruption is like a cancer or like a virus that spreads. At the moment, for instance, the meetings in Germany (or over ‘ViCo’ because of a virus) are attended by people who are in effect influenced not by their national duties or citizens but somebody else, even outside their country.

“When one is complicit in a crime one is less likely to report the crime.”These people drum up support for unlawful policies, not just domestically but also abroad. We’ve already been thanked by some people in Macedonia for our coverage regarding these issues. EPO workers too have shown interest; they try to wrap their heads around the fact that the EPO’s Administrative Council simply doesn’t mind corruption; to make matters worse, the Administrative Council actively covers up such corruption. When one is complicit in a crime one is less likely to report the crime.

2 million people; Same collective voting power as 84 million GermansThe EPO needs to massively reform itself. One issue it must tackle is the ease at which votes can be ‘bought’ (or voters commandeered by bribes, usually in countries that are cheaper to buy and are less likely to detect or reprimand for such corruption). More importantly, the European public deserves to know what’s going on; in part, it deserves to also know the role the EU failed to play, in effect joining the cover-up efforts for face-saving reasons.

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