08.28.21

[Meme] Smoking Päts

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Matti Päts

Matti Päts: Life starts at 80... Right, matey?

Summary: Päts is part of the strongmen phenomenon/lineage; we've already remarked on the remarkable age of Baltic patent officials (Päts only retired in his 80s)

5 Months Later People Still Remove Their Names From the Slanderous Anti-RMS Petition, Managed by IBM Staff

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM at 3:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft-hosted (in proprietary software prison) and IBM-managed

IBM purge

RMS petition self-purge

IBM approves

Summary: It certainly feels like IBM is managing the purge of the Free software community (not just by proxy, e.g. OSI and GNOME Foundation) and people needed to ask IBM for ‘permission’ to be removed from a letter they had signed (with several days for approval to be given)

IRC Proceedings: Friday, August 27, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:39 am by Needs Sunlight

Also available via the Gemini protocol at:

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

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#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

text logs

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#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

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#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

Enter the IRC channels now


IPFS Mirrors

CID Description Object type
 QmQVQpbgramWMvHGk5zf2sCXxF8HAfCdb2xyUpT3rtSvj9 IRC log for #boycottnovell
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 QmfHAShWjqwyL1xCrbw8pD4Wu5b3NB7JpQhqJpmXJRByJC IRC log for #boycottnovell
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 Qmbgfc5xAPBDGzSv4CUovJ8J6NckKriMtGaNTb4meZzKZM IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
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 QmUHJr8nG5t2LRt9rQMhB14B3axDQzvehcGrGpazwnxxxX IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
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 QmXAWnLdtP5132qvTZjkQo4uNe1UjzBhR5GXADwW6Pgw9n IRC log for #techbytes
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 QmNRXHkHQBi9UoPwH9GFijDK29hKgvqjFxHQF9UxGyc8Gv IRC log for #techbytes
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 QmWrZSbLfy11yGiW8J5Km2Y5R1oiCZdfRcZpzzK1R6wGbe IRC log for #techrights
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 QmR1g7gABCYw42yZWW3UuokdxGJoJZ87gB6NPXG8w5328m IRC log for #techrights
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IPFS logo

Bulletin for Yesterday

Local copy | CID (IPFS): QmUXymcWet2q8wd2Hy25EsDQJiht7qrueqsECpz6D9G3Di

Links 28/8/2021: Wine 6.16 and man-pages 5.13

Posted in News Roundup at 12:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 7 Reasons Why I use Lenovo Thinkpad Laptops (for Linux)

        There are often people asking “what laptop should I get to use Linux and face the least amount of hardware issues?” For me, this is almost a settled answer for many years now. My default choice is Lenovo, and more specifically the Thinkpad line (originally designed by IBM). Why did I go that path, you might ask? Let me give you some perspective. Note that I am not doing this on behalf of Lenovo or anyone else for that matter: I’m just a very happy user of this brand over the years on multiple machines. And of course, I am typing this on a Thinkpad. So here goes:

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.14 set to boost future enterprise application security
      • Linux Could Use A New Maintainer For Its CD-ROM Code – Phoronix

        Current Linux block subsystem maintainer Jens Axboe started out in the late 90′s taking over maintainership of the Linux kernel’s CD-ROM driver code. However, as he’s busy these days with IO_uring and other prominent I/O activities for Linux, he’s hoping someone interested and capable would want to take over the Linux kernel’s CD-ROM code.

        Jens acknowledges that the CD-ROM kernel code “isn’t an area of hot development” but is looking for someone willing to take it over as he hasn’t the time to devote to it with everything else on his plate.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD ROCm 4.3.1 Released With RHEL 8.4 + SLES 15 SP3 Support – Phoronix

          ROCm 4.3 released at the start of August with support for HMM memory allocations, support for indirect function calls and C++ virtual functions with the ROCm compiler, improved data center tool integration, better rocBLAS performance, and a range of other improvements. In approaching the end of August, ROCm 4.3.1 is now available.

          ROCm 4.3.1 isn’t nearly as big as the rather significant ROCm 4.3 release that opened the month. With ROCm 4.3.1 there is now support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4, support for SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP3, and reverts back to using its legacy pass manager. ROCm 4.3 used its new pass manager by default but it turns out it regressed some workloads and as a result for 4.3.1 is switching back to the legacy pass manager to correct the performance.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux 5.14 SSD Benchmarks With Btrfs vs. EXT4 vs. F2FS vs. XFS

        A number of Phoronix readers have been asking about some fresh file-system comparisons on recent kernels. With not having the time to conduct the usual kernel version vs. file-system comparison, here are some fresh benchmarks looking at the Btrfs, EXT4, F2FS, and XFS file-system benchmarks on a speedy WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe solid-state drive.

    • Applications

      • Linux Release Roundup #21.35: Ubuntu 20.04.3, OpenShot 2.6, MX Linux 21, and More New Releases

        OpenShot 2.6 is a major release for the video editor adding AI and computer vision effects.

        You can check out our original coverage to learn more about the release.

      • man-pages-5.13 released

        Alex Colomar and I have released released man-pages-5.13. The release tarball is available on kernel.org. The browsable online pages can be found on man7.org. The Git repository for man-pages is available on kernel.org.

        This release resulted from patches, bug reports, reviews, and comments from 40 contributors. The release includes around 200 commits that changed around 120 manual pages.

      • An alternative Twitter interface

        Once a problem child on Linux, the Twitter client TweetDeck now installs easily, offering unrivaled features. However, potential changes in the updated beta version raise potential concerns for its future as an alternative Linux-based Twitter interface.

        TweetDeck, the Twitter client, has a troubled history with Linux. When TweetDeck was a standalone interface, it was difficult to install because of its dependency on Adobe Air, which lacked a 64-bit Linux version. In addition, TweetDeck was Gnome-centric and did not always run well on other desktop environments. As a result, at least a dozen Linux alternatives for the command line and non-Gnome desktops have come and gone in the last decade or so, including Anatine, Choqok, Franz, Rainbow Stream, and Turpial — all of which are adequate for basic tweeting but which lack TweetDeck’s array of advanced features.

        By the time Twitter acquired TweetDeck a decade ago and released it as a freeware web application, Linux users had simply fallen out of the habit of trying to work with it. However, the installation problems no longer exist, and there is still no other Twitter client on any platform that rivals TweetDeck’s advanced features. A reconsideration of TweetDeck is long overdue.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Intro to Kernel and Userspace Tracing Using BCC, Part 1 of 3
      • Crack WPA/WPA2 WiFi Passwords using Aircrack-ng & Kali Linux

        For anyone who wants to get started on an Ethical Hacking career, one of the topics you will encounter is Networking hacking.

        That involves, Cracking WIFI passwords (WEP, WPA, WPA2), Deauthentication attacks (disconnecting users on a WIFI network), Man In The Middle (MITM) attacks, packet-sniffing, and packet-analysis.

        This post will give you a detailed guide on cracking WPA/WPA2 wifi passwords using Kali Linux.

      • How to Install Gulp.js on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        Gulp is a cross-platform free, open-source JavaScript toolkit that helps developers automate and enhance workflows. Gulp is a task running built on Node.js and NPM that helps developers reduce many time-consuming tasks such as modification and optimization, amongst many other things. Gulp also features a piping output from one task as an input into the next.

      • Initial Server Setup with Debian 11 – TecAdmin

        Linux distributions are widely used to create servers, and businesses are benefiting from this low-cost and secure solution. Linux distributions including Debian provide tons of utilities to set up, configure, and secure servers.

        Debian is a stable, secure, and quite popular Linux operating system and ideal for server setup. Many distributions are based on it, especially well-liked Ubuntu, PureOS, SteamOS, etc.

        The newest version of Debian is Debian 11 Bullseye, which comes with thousands of new packages, supports multiple desktop environments, driverless scanning, and an improved manual page.

        This write-up is focusing on how to install, set up a server on Debian 11 Bullseye. When you install or upgrade to Debian 11, there is a configuration you need to perform to make your server secure.

      • How to install Manjaro 21.1.0 – Invidious

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Manjaro 21.1.0.

      • How to use Chown in ubuntu

        This tutorial explains how to use the chown Linux command to change a file or directory user or group ownership.
        Before starting, let’s see the ls -l command output, which will bring us information on file and directory permissions.

      • How to connect Kali Linux to a wireless network?

        Today, wireless networks are more common in open areas and major corporations, requiring security enhancements to govern authenticity and confidentiality. A wireless network enables participants to stay connected to the network while roaming without the need for wires. Because access points amplify Wi-Fi signals, a machine can be far away from a router and still be connected to the network. You connect to that institution’s wireless network when you link to a Wi-Fi hotspot in a cafe or other public venue. Radio Frequency (RF) technology operates wireless networks, a frequency related to radio wave transmission within the electromagnetic spectrum. Whenever an RF current is sent into an antenna, it creates an electromagnetic field that can travel over space. Most people are aware of the wireless icon sign on a laptop or phone that signifies a healthy wireless LAN connection, but few are acquainted with the antiquity of Wi-Fi technology. Surprisingly, Wi-Fi was created as a marketing term to promote and facilitate interoperability across various wireless LAN systems rather than the technology itself. Wi-Fi was never intended to be a shorter wireless communication version; it was simply a play on the phrase hi-fi (high fidelity), a nod to large audio technology. Because wireless networks transfer data over the air, data leakage is always a possibility. When compared to copper cable, wireless networks have a larger risk of data leakage and tampering. As a result, in wireless networks, increased concentrations of data encryption are a must. A Wireless network’s device capacity can be raised without the need for extra cabling. Additional copper wiring is necessary for cabled LAN networks to expand the number of workers. We can run Kali Linux wirelessly after we adjust our wireless network. We can have all of the freedoms of a typical PC in a legitimate, ethical penetration test because we don’t need an Ethernet wire.

      • How to Undo or Redo Changes in Vim

        Made a mistake while editing a file with Vim? Don’t worry, you can undo the changes in Vim and if you want, you can redo the changes as well.

      • How to Enable Hibernate Function & Menu Option in Ubuntu 21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        Computer hibernate does not work in your Ubuntu? Here’s step by step complete guide shows how to enable this feature.

        Similar to suspend, hibernate can be used to save your system work. It moves the content from RAM memory into swap area in hard disk, then shutdown your machine completely. Next time you boot the computer, it restores the system status exactly as it was.

      • How To Install Usermin on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Usermin on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Usermin is a web-based interface mainly for webmail designed for non-root users to perform routine tasks including, reading mail, changing passwords, setting up databases, and a web-based SSH terminal. It’s a stripped-down version of Webmin that’s intended for regular users without always system administrators.

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

      • Change Hostname Debian 10

        The hostname of a system is basically the name of the system over a network. Whenever installing Debian, the installer will ask for a username and a computer name. It serves as the hostname of the system. Any hostname should be unique to avoid conflicts over the network.

        Although first assigned during installation, we can change the hostname later on. This guide showcases changing the hostname on Debian 10.

      • Manage Your PostgreSQL Database With pgAdmin on Ubuntu

        Majority of all the servers running across the globe use a Linux-based operating system. It comes as no surprise that Linux is one of the most prevalent operating systems that developers prefer to use. Alongside these servers, databases also play a crucial role in the web infrastructure.

        As a developer, you might be inclined to run PostgreSQL, a popular relational database, on your local Linux machine. Here’s how you can install pgAdmin, an easy-to-use GUI tool that can help you manage these databases on Linux.

      • Edit “bashrc” on Linux for Color Prompt

        The bashrc file in Linux is a configuration file containing configurations related to the system’s terminal. This file is executed whenever you log into your Linux system. By making different changes to this file, you can easily customize your Linux terminal within seconds. This includes changing the color of the prompt, playing around with the fonts, changing the user names that appear on the terminal, etc. For this particular discussion, we are interested in finding out the method of editing the bashrc file for changing the color of the prompt in a Ubuntu 20.04 system.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine [6.16] Announcement
        The Wine development release 6.16 is now available.
        
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - Initial version of a HID-based joystick backend.
          - Improved high-DPI theming support.
          - More preparation work for the GDI syscall interface.
          - Better CodeView support in WineDump.
          - Various bug fixes.
        
        The source is available from the following locations:
        
        https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/6.x/wine-6.16.tar.xz
        
        
        http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/6.x/wine-6.16.tar.xz
        
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        
        https://www.winehq.org/download
        
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
        
      • Wine 6.16 Released With Better HiDPI Theming, Initial HID-Based Joystick Backend – Phoronix

        Wine 6.16 is out as the newest bi-weekly development release of this widely-used software for running Windows games and applications on Linux and other systems.

        Exciting with Wine 6.16 is improved HiDPI theme support as well as an initial version of a HID-based joystick back-end. There also remains ongoing work around the GDI system call interface.

    • Games

      • IXION is a city-building survival game on a huge moving space station | GamingOnLinux

        Coming from Bulwark Studios and Kasedo Games (Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus) we have IXION, a new sci-fi building and exploration game with a trailer where the moon blows up.

        A game that combines together elements of a few different genres. There’s city-building, survival elements and plenty of exploring space in what they’re saying is quite like a space opera. You are the admin of the Tiqqun space station, and you job is to find a new home for humanity since Earth is no longer suitable.

      • Stone Age co-op farming life sim Roots of Pacha looks wonderful in the new trailer

        Roots of Pacha is a crowdfunded Stone Age farming life adventure coming to Linux. A little like a prehistoric Stardew Valley and the latest walk-through trailer is looking wonderful. Funded on Kickstarter back in March 2021, developer Soda Den managed to pull in a sweet $355,388 so it was one of the more popular crowdfunding campaigns of this year.

        The game is primarily a farming sim but there’s no special shops here. Instead, you need to explore the stone age world and discover everything. You will also need to domesticate all your discoveries and improve them by making wild variants “more nutritious and valuable”. You can so it all alone or in online co-op too.

      • Rolling New Characters & Multiplayer Mayhem – Invidious
    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Poppler 21.09 will have a massive speed increase for PDF files that use lots of save/restore PDF commands


          Take the file from poppler issue 1126. It’s a file that doesn’t look super complicated, a map of some caves.

          With Poppler 21.08 it took 46 seconds to render in my relatively powerful i9-8950HK

          Thanks to a patch from Thomas Freitag that time got reduced to 28 seconds by not recalculating again something we had already calculated and just copying it. Huge improvement! [This patch was developed prior to the filing of issue 1126, i guess Thomas had found similar issues on his own]

          Then issue 1126 was created yesterday and it was clear that we were still super slow, mupdf/gs/firefox/chromium can render the file almost instantly, and we were at 28 seconds.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 41 Beta is Now Available

          The most popular open-source desktop environment is on the cusp of yet another new release, but don’t expect the massive changes found in the previous iteration.

          GNOME 40 brought to life some major changes to the desktop environment (such as the horizontal workflow). And although topping that release would be a monumental task, the developers do have some tricks up their sleeve for the soon-to-be-released GNOME 41. And now that the desktop environment is in beta, you can experience those tweaks for yourself.

          The big-ticket items for this upcoming release include a new multitasking panel in the Settings window. This new Settings tab allows you to configure Hot Corners, Active Screen Edges, Workspace options, and app switching preferences.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • EndeavourOS Has a New ISO Release with an Improved Installer, New App, and More

          The new ISO release comes with a much-improved Calamares graphical installer that lets you install EndeavourOS with the Btrfs file system using a subvolume scheme when choosing the automatic partitioning, the ability to store and transfer the Wi-Fi credentials to the installed system, as well as a better user experience when deselecting the packages you don’t need in the selected desktop environment.

          In addition, the installer was improved to let users choose a Linux-LTS kernel during the installation, as well as to select or deselect the EndeavourOS theming when choosing the Xfce desktop environment or the i3 window manager in the online installer. It also features support for parallel downloads, which makes the entire installation process a lot faster.

        • Open source Kodi 19 Matrix-based LibreELEC 10 Linux distribution available for download

          Kodi is a wonderful open source media player that provides users with an immersive experience that is optimized for the living room. While the software gets a bad reputation because some (most?) people use it for piracy, many strictly use it for legal media consumption. As more and more illegal Kodi add-on maintainers face legal trouble, and streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+ remain competitively priced, fewer folks are seeking pirated content nowadays.

          LibreELEC is a Linux distribution that exists solely to run the aforementioned Kodi. It supports many hardware configurations, including traditional x86_64 for PC and some ARM devices like the Raspberry Pi 4. And now, a stable version of LibreELEC 10 becomes available for download. Sadly, support for the Raspberry Pi 0 and 1 is now discontinued.

        • LibreELEC 10 delivers Kodi 19.1 and Raspberry Pi 4 enhancements

          The LibreELEC 10.0 Linux distro has been released with Kodi (Matrix) v19.1 media center software. It switches to Python 3 and brings HDR 10 and audio passthrough to the RPi 4.

          The LibreELEC project announced the final v10 release of its open source Linux distribution designed for playing Kodi media center software. LibreELEC uses Kodi 19.1, the bug-fixed version released in May of the major Kodi “Matrix” 19.0 release.

          LibreELEC, which we last covered in 2016 with LibreELEC 7.0, is a fork of the now defunct OpenELEC, the original just-enough-Linux distro for running Kodi. The lightweight distribution is widely considered the best way to run Kodi on embedded devices because it does not compete with Kodi for resources. Unlike Kodi-fied alternatives such as the Raspbian based OSMC and Xbian, it’s pretty much exclusively designed to run Kodi.

        • LibreELEC 10.0 minimal Linux OS for media playback released with Kodi 19.1

          While most TV boxes and SBCs nowadays ship with or support a version of Android, people who just want the best viewing experience may prefer to switch to a Linux distribution such as LibreELEC or CoreELEC. The good news is that LibreELEC 10.0 has just been released with Kodi 19.1 and Linux 5.10 LTS.

          LibreELEC 10.0 is said to work well for Allwinner, Rockchip, and “Generic” Intel/AMD devices, while the Raspberry Pi 4 release’s codebase is rather new, and there may still be a few rough edges. Support for the previous generation Raspberry Pi boards has been dropped, and there’s no support for Amlogic platforms as CoreELEC already provides good support.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-34

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)!

          I have weekly office hours on Wednesdays in the morning and afternoon (US/Eastern time) in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. See the upcoming meetings for more information.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • You Can Now Upgrade to MATE Desktop 1.26 on Ubuntu

          The ‘Fresh MATE PPA’ is maintained by Ubuntu MATE developers, and is aimed at existing users of Ubuntu MATE who want to install MATE desktop 1.26 on their systems.

          However, the PPA (and the packages within) are compatible with all Ubuntu flavours, meaning you can add this PPA to install the MATE desktop experience alongside whichever DEs you use at present (just, be careful).

          The PPA provides updated MATE desktop components (including new versions of core apps like Pluma and Caja) for Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS and Ubuntu MATE 21.04 (Ubuntu 20.10 went EOL last month)

        • Winners of the 21.10 Wallpaper competition | Ubuntu

          Congratulations to our winners! With over 200 submissions and several hundred voters, the competition was tough. But, the votes are in, and here are the winning wallpapers. The first two make it into the official release 21.10 image and are automatically entered into the runnings for 22.04. The other eight you see here will be celebrated over on our social media channels and if there’s space in the image, they’ll get a look in too. The original winning submissions and all of the others are still available on Discourse, but voting has now closed.

        • DataOps: keeping the data flowing with Model-driven Operations

          Recognising the complexity and productivity challenges contemporary operations teams face, and seeking to help teams to encode their wisdom into automation models, Canonical responded with Juju – the reference framework for Model-driven Operations.

          Juju is a free, open source model-driven operations solution. Juju supports teams by encoding operations knowledge and wisdom into composable solution-building blocks.

          Connecting two building blocks—or Charms, as we call them—is as easy as
          `juju add-relation kafka:monitoring prometheus`

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Public Services/Government

      • Programming/Development

        • Practical Advice for R in Production – Answering Your Questions

          Earlier this month, Jack Walton and I delivered a webinar with RStudio on the benefits of putting R into production environments, and how to do it successfully. We received tons of questions from participants, ranging from package management, to team organization, and container best practices. Below is a summary of our answers to your questions.

        • Extern in C++

          The word “extern” in C++ is a specifier. Its use in C++ is explained in this article for variables and functions. First, the meanings of declaration and definition in C++ are given.

        • Inline Functions in C++

          When a normal function is called in C++, some are overheard just for calling the function. Actually, calling a function takes time before the function really starts executing. This time between when the function is called and when the function really starts executing is called the switching time. If the normal function is large, meaning it will take a long to execute, then the switching time is relatively small, and the user can ignore it. However, if the normal function is small, as many functions are, then the switching time, roughly the same for large and small functions, should not be ignored. In many situations, the switching time is longer than the time the small function takes to really execute; in some cases, much longer.

          To solve this problem, C++ uses macro and the inline function. A macro is like a small function, but it is usually shorter than a typical small function. The longest macro is still one “statement”. A function body can have more than one statement. A small inline function has advantages over a normal small function.

        • Python

  • Leftovers

    • Ericsson launches slew of initiatives to reskill employees

      The new ‘Digital Academy’ is a platform that aims to empower employees to build their digital skills to drive technologies like AI/automation through digitalisation and data science competence building. The firm’s ‘5G Academy’ platform is dedicated to creating pathways for employees to upskill and stay ahead of the curve on 5G RAN, 5G Core and Cloud RAN. Finally, the ‘Rise Up’ initiative is a virtual leadership platform that has a targeted development approach to building employee power skills and learning business strategy, storytelling, negotiation, and ethics.

    • Science

      • Behavior Cloning for Deep Reinforcement Learning Trajectory Generation

        Motion planning for robotic arms is much more computationally intensive than one would initially realize. When you move your arm around, you do not need to actively think about how to move your individual joints to reach an end position while avoiding obstacles because our brains are very efficient at motion planning. Robotic arms handle motion planning differently than humans. Before the robot moves, the motion planner has already calculated all states between the start and end position. The computational difficulty in this approach comes from the infinite number of possible joint positions for the arm to be in between the start and end goal. Therefore, search over this space would be extremely inefficient. Consequently, motion planners simplify the problem by discretizing the possible arm positions to facilitate efficient motion planning. By doing this, we limit the positions the arm can take to positions that are within this discretization. This approach works well for free space motion when the arm does not need to plan around a cluttered scene, but often struggles to compute trajectories for tightly constrained spaces, such as if the arm is in a tight passageway. If the discretization is too course, a solution may not be possible for standard motion planners. If we make the discretization more fine, then computation will be exponentially longer.

    • Education

      • Reports Of Cheating At Colleges Soar During The Pandemic

        As college moved online in the COVID-19 crisis, many universities are reporting increases, sometimes dramatic ones, in academic misconduct. At Virginia Commonwealth University, reports of academic misconduct soared during the 2020-21 school year, to 1,077 — more than three times the previous year’s number. At the University of Georgia, cases more than doubled; from 228 in the fall of 2019 to more than 600 last fall. And, at The Ohio State University, reported incidents of cheating were up more than 50% over the year before.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Everything old is new again: Abusing religious exemptions to avoid COVID-19 vaccines

        In the age of COVID-19, everything antivaccine that is old is new again. I know I say this a lot, but it’s true. I admit that one reason why I keep repeating this is because I remain a bit miffed at how, prepandemic, so many of my fellow doctors sanctimoniously dismissed what I say about antivaxxers as ridiculous over the years or, more recently, dismissed combatting antivaccine disinformation and quackery and as “dunking on a 7′ hoop.” Before safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines were developed in record time, that disinformation largely took the form of old antivaccine tropes of minimizing the severity of COVID-19 and touting natural immunity, with the added repurposed trope claiming that masks are useless and harmful (like vaccines!) and therefore shouldn’t be required. Since the vaccines arrived, we’ve seen the recycled lies that COVID-19 vaccines don’t work, shed and endanger those around the vaccinated, cause female infertility, harm, and even kill (large numbers of people, yet). With the approval of Comirnaty, the COVID-19 vaccine made by BioNTech and Pfizer signaling more widespread vaccine mandates from businesses and governments, predictably (in the US) antivaxxers are now invoking religion to claim religious exemptions, with some antivaxxers like Megan Redshaw of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s antivaccine propaganda organization Children’s Health Defense churning out articles like How to Get a COVID Vaccine Religious Exemption.

      • Covid Strikes Back

        To be fair, Biden lacked the time to stop delta, which first surfaced in India in December 2020. But he could have slowed it. If billions, instead of hundreds of millions of people got the vaccine – which Biden could have ensured – that would have spared the world much misery. And who’s to say covid is done? Multitudes, nearly whole countries in the Global South aren’t vaccinated, as the virus entrenches itself, becoming endemic. It could be mutating as you read these words. In fact, it probably is. The next variant could be worse. It could be a killer, whether you’re vaccinated or not. All we can do is tip the odds in our favor by inoculating the world. But our leaders refuse. Because that involves transgressing the neoliberal shibboleth that no matter what, government never interferes with corporate profits.

        Before new, vaccine-resistant mutations clobber us, it’s worth noting that the delta variant is bad enough. It severely sickens young people. Its incubation period is shorter – three or four days. It smashes through the vaccine and infects people who thought they couldn’t get sick. And it’s a killer. A killer of unvaccinated people in their 20s and 30s. Hospitals in Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas are overrun. It’s only a matter of time before deaths of the unvaccinated mushroom.

      • States Pull Back on COVID Data Even as Delta Variant Surges
      • 107K New US COVID Deaths Predicted by Dec. Unless We Mask Up, Health Model Says
      • Death & Distractions

        In comparison with the way so many Covid people suffered and died, some separated from their loved ones, dying alone, so far beyond in import by what we mean when we say we all die alone, Elaine died at home with me. The world-wide pandemic context of my grieving for her has been and remains more than enough for me to realize that right now is the time for each of us to review our lives as mortals, a review that so much in our fame and fortune ambitions have kept out of sight.

        I see mortality strongly brought to the fore in the elemental struggles of people of color just to be allowed to breathe. Their mortality is a daily presence simply because they live in a culture in which their lives can and are so haphazardly taken in this country. I see death pursuing those fleeing for their lives in Afghanistan. Death pursues and finds us inevitably but I see the disgusting ways we underwrite it, the ways we fund it, the ways we accept it not for ourselves but the price others must pay.

      • Crucial Points in the Pandemic Origin Debate

        * The US Congress can investigate without Chinese involvement. While many are calling for deeper inquiry (an overdue, good thing) they are doing so in a manner that places the burden purely on China. This is wrong for a number of reasons. Richard Ebright at Rutgers has stated: “Many threads of investigation are available in the US and would be accessible to a Congressional inquiry with subpoena power. At EcoHealth. At funding agencies (USAID, DTRA, DARPA, DHS, and NIH). At publishers (Springer-Nature and Lancet). No cooperation from China needed.” See my piece on Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance, which funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s dangerous lab work and itself received over $100 million in USAID, Pentagon and NIH money.

        * Many like to say they are not “conspiracy theorists” but what does that mean? There are real conspiracies — tobacco companies and Perdue Pharma with opioids are obvious examples. There clearly was a conspiracy going on with Peter Dazsak organizing the Feb 19, 2020 Lancet letter that dozens of scientists signed dismissing the possibility of lab origin. Daszak funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s dangerous lab work while dismissing the possibility of lab origin. He absurdly claimed he had no conflicts of interest and was then put on the WHO Committee regarding lab origins, and the Lancet committee by Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University. None of this outrageous behavior resulted in any substantial reaction in most of the US establishment media for over a year. Where were virologists, scientists, science publications who all should have criticized Daszak for trying to hide his conflicts of interest? See work by US Right to Know that FOIAed relevant documents.

      • Neil Young on Concerts In the Covid Age: ‘These Are Super Spreader Events’

        Live Nation and AEG are both requiring that fans at their shows provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test, but Young seems to feel that isn’t enough. “Live Nation, AEG, and the other big promoters could shut this down if they could just forget about making money for a while,” Young writes. “They control much of the entertainment business. They hold the power to stop shows where thousands congregate and spread. It’s money that keeps it going. Money that motivates the spreading. The big promoters are responsible for super spreaders.”

      • TikTok, Reddit, and Facebook are struggling with ivermectin misinformation
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Critical Vulnerability Exposed Azure Cosmos DBs for Months

          Earlier this month, researchers with the cloud security firm Wiz discovered a vulnerability in the Azure cloud platform that could allow a remote attacker to take over Cosmos DB instances without authorization, with full administrative rights, meaning they could read, write, or delete databases.

          “The vulnerability has a trivial exploit that doesn’t require any previous access to the target environment, and impacts thousands of organizations, including numerous Fortune 500 companies,” the researchers, who named the vulnerability ChaosDB, say.

        • Apple CEO Brings Home $750 Million Bonus

          He promptly cashed out the 5 million shares, which were given based on both performance and time with the company.

        • Microsoft warns thousands of cloud customers of exposed databases

          “This is the worst cloud vulnerability you can imagine. It is a long-lasting secret,” Luttwak told Reuters. “This is the central database of Azure, and we were able to get access to any customer database that we wanted.”

        • Microsoft Cloud Databases Vulnerable for Years, Firm Says

          More than 3,300 of the software giant’s customers were exposed to a flaw in its Azure Cosmos DB database product that could have granted a malicious actor access keys to steal, edit or delete sensitive data, according to researchers at the Tel Aviv-based Wiz.io. Wiz’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Ami Luttwak says his team of researchers discovered the vulnerability on Aug. 9 while managing security for some of its own Fortune 500 clients.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Linux Foundation Energy’s Executive Director, Dr. Shuli Goodman, On Decarbonization At The Electron Level [Ed: The brand “Linux” is being misappropriated for greenwashing]

                I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Shuli Goodman, the executive director of Linux Foundation Energy (LF Energy). The conversation was educational for me and it’s exciting to see how The Linux Foundation is doing its part in helping to decarbonize our world. Shuli’s background is in innovation theory and in the adoption and diffusion of innovation. Before explaining what LF Energy does, Shuli told me that she agreed with Elon Musk’s take on building the future, referring to a recent article of mine. That article covered Elon Musk’s visit to Giga Berlin, where he gave a passionate speech about the future.

        • Security

          • Unsupported IoT Devices Are Cyber-Trouble Waiting To Happen [Ed: Many things ought not be connected to the Internet in the first place, but the disposable junk market insists otherwise]

            Imagine reading a headline in tomorrow’s news stating that your neighbor’s identity was stolen and their life savings cleaned out by criminals who entered through their ‘smart’ washing machine.

            Ridiculous, you say? Well, have you checked your own home Wi-Fi network lately?

            You might have several connected household gadgets and other internet of things (IoT) devices tethered wirelessly through a misconfigured router with no firewall settings. Is the firmware current? Are security patches up to date?

            Still not convinced this is a serious problem? Then consider this glaring example of how dangerous an outdated device can be.

            In June, Western Digital My Book NAS owners worldwide found out that their devices were mysteriously factory reset and all their files were deleted. My Book Live and My Book Live Duo are personal cloud storage devices.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Apple’s Plan to Scan Photos in Messages Turns Young People Into Privacy Pawns

              Apple’s goals are laudable: protecting children from strangers who use communication tools to recruit and exploit them, and limiting the spread of child sexual abuse material. And it’s clear that there are no easy answers when it comes to child endangerment. But scanning and flagging Messages images will, unfortunately, create serious potential for danger to children and partners in abusive households. It both opens a security hole in Messages, and ignores the reality of where abuse most often happens, how dangerous communications occur, and what young people actually want to feel safe online. 

            • Facebook’s Secret War on Switching Costs

              Much of the coverage of the complaint focused on the new material defining “personal social networking” as a “relevant market” and making the case that Facebook dominated that market thanks to conduct banned under the antitrust laws. Because the court threw out the FTC’s previous complaint for failing to lay out Facebook’s monopoly status in sufficient detail, the new material is important to keep the case going. But as consequential as that market-defining work is, we want to highlight another aspect of the complaint – one that deals directly with the questions of what kinds of systems promote competition and what kinds of systems reduce it.

              When antitrust enforcers and scholars theorize about Big Tech, they inevitably home in on “network effects.” A system is said to benefit from “network effects” when its value increases as more people use it – people join Facebook to hang out with the people who’ve already joined Facebook. Once new people join Facebook, they, in turn, become a reason for other people to join Facebook.

              Network effects are real, and you can’t understand the history of networked computers without an appreciation for them. Famously, Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet networking, coined “Metcalfe’s Law”: “the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2).” That is, every time you add a new user to a network you double the number of ways that users can connect with one another.

            • The Taliban may have access to the biometric data of civilians who helped the U.S. military

              In 2007, the United States military began using a small, handheld device to collect and match the iris, fingerprint and facial scans of over 1.5 million Afghans against a database of biometric data. The device, known as Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment (HIIDE), was initially developed by the U.S. government as a means to locate insurgents and other wanted individuals. Over time, for the sake of efficiency, the system came to include the data of Afghans assisting the U.S. during the war.

              Today, HIIDE provides access to a database of biometric and biographic data, including of those who aided coalition forces. Military equipment and devices — including the collected data — are speculated to have been captured by the Taliban, who have taken over Afghanistan.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘So Much of This War Has Got Almost Nothing to Do With the Afghans Themselves’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Matthew Hoh, senior fellow with the Center for International Policy and a member of the Eisenhower Media Network, about the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan for the August 20, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Torture Tree
      • Afghanistan and the Racism of Imperial Progress

        Of coarse much of this is true, but like usual, the bloodsucking vampires of the mainstream media have only covered the parts of the story convenient to their imperial narrative. They conveniently leave out the fact that this sudden collapse was precipitated by an offensive that the Taliban began in May when Biden first violated the peace deal carefully inked by the Trump Administration by pushing back the militaries departure date by five months. They leave out the fact that the Taliban managed to take most of the country with minimal bloodshed and Kabul without even firing a goddamn shot because most Afghanis actually prefer these homegrown despots to the obscenely corrupt Vichy state that we’ve been propping up superficially for decades. They leave out the fact that most of the refugees packing our transport planes are as frightened of their own neighbors who might seek revenge against them for collaborating with a foreign occupier as they are of the actual Taliban. And they leave out the fact that the Taliban’s brutally sexist style of governance is basically identical to that of the wealthy Gulf states that they tolerate and our nation’s tax dollars covetously prop up.

        One thing those vampires are right about is that the Biden Administration definitely should have seen this disaster coming because plenty of others did. The Afghanis sure as fuck saw it coming. They’ve done this a few times before, including once against the Soviet Union with our help. Every empire since Alexander the Great has stubbornly learned the hard way that the buck really stops at the Hindu Kush with a people who just as stubbornly refuse to be governed by any force but their own. Our own sacred heroes in the military brass had to have seen this coming too. Washington’s confidence in the abilities of the Pentagon’s Potemkin paladins in the Afghan Army comes straight from the assurances by the corrupt officer class that the trillions in tax dollars we squandered on their twisted little adventure wouldn’t be in vain. In many ways, we didn’t just witness the collapse of Afghanistan last week, we witnessed the epic collapse of the American military machine itself which has become too corrupt and greedy even for their own masters to control.

      • Afghanistan Redux: Malala Yousafzai, White Feminism and Saving Afghan Women

        Whilst I refuse to wear the mantle of expertise here— well cognizant —as Rafia Zakaria has put it well in a recent book[1]–of how, in the West,  “the emphasis on expertise becomes a kind of gatekeeping of power that locks out [certain, though not all] people of color, as well as working-class people, migrants” and others (p. 8), I remain equally skeptical of the ways in which the category of “experience” (too often a stand-in for “third world/global south authenticity”)–is mobilized as a counter to expertise. I am not convinced (as Zakariya seems to argue) that claiming your “voice”—in the case of brown and black women for example, even when that process of “voicing” genuinely seeks to interrupt the hegemony of white feminism and its epistemological influence on our world—necessarily and always proffers a more transparent working through, and hence redistribution of, power politics. For this latter progressive political vision to take hold, one needs a clearer understanding of what’s at stake, of who or what the levers of control and domination are, and a willingness to embrace the politics of affiliation over the tribal politics of identity. Only then might a blueprint evolve for challenging structural barriers to a better and more equal world.

        The case at hand that prevents me from an unqualified rooting for the category of “experience,” is the exemplary case of Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, who has traversed the distance from female “experience” to feminist “expertise”, and who, like others before (and since) that have made that journey from the “margins” to the “center” of imperial power, has now switched from being a “voice of the oppressed” to becoming an “expert” who can speak to us and teach us about those authentic “other” women in the global south—in this case, Afghan women– to whom her prior proximity (“experience”)– renders her an “expert” on today. From experience to expertise then, is a pretty straightforward line, following the predictable path forged also by white feminism in thrall and service to imperial designs past and present. This is the path that was announced with great fanfare shortly after 9/11 by First Lady Laura Bush and enthusiastically supported by the Feminist Majority Foundation, that would “save brown women from brown men” by going in to the “backward” country of Afghanistan overrun by crazy “Moslem” men, in the process unleashing a 20-year war on the population that had had nothing to do with 9/11. The initial military intervention was then followed up over the next two decades with countless “development” schemes that enriched a few at the expense of the many, and when the cost of this unending war became unpopular with the citizenry “back home” in the USA over time—we left the hapless “natives” that included those very women we had been so concerned with “saving,” at the mercy of anarchy and chaos.

      • How the Taliban Chased the West Out of Afghanistan

        The DAB officials told the Taliban that the $9 billion are in the Federal Reserve in New York, which means that Afghanistan’s wealth is sitting in a bank in the United States. But before the Taliban could even try to access the money, the U.S. Treasury Department has already gone ahead and frozen the DAB assets and prevented its transfer into Taliban control.

        The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had recently allocated $650 billion Special Drawing Rights (SDR) for disbursement around the world. When asked if Afghanistan would be able to access its share of the SDRs, an IMF spokesperson said in an email, “As is always the case, the IMF is guided by the views of the international community. There is currently a lack of clarity within the international community regarding recognition of a government in Afghanistan, as a consequence of which the country cannot access SDRs or other IMF resources.”

      • Biden Urged to Push Israeli PM to End ‘Systematic Human Rights Abuses’

        When President Joe Biden sits down Friday with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet, he must press for an end to the Israeli government’s “flagrant abuses and violations of international law” including ongoing settlement expansions and other violence against Palestinians, leading human rights organizations told the U.S. president.

        The demand—delivered in a letter dated Wednesday and signed by Amnesty International USA executive director Paul O’Brien and Amnesty International Israel executive director Molly Maleka—came ahead of Biden’s first meeting with Bennett, head of the nation’s ultra-regressive New Right party.

      • A Fumbled Afghan Evacuation

        That video says it all, like the one of the George Floyd killing.

        And that’s the picture the Republicans will show over and over again in their campaign for the 2022 midterm elections -– the image of a weak, incompetent President Joe Biden. Oh, the humiliation, both for Biden and America.

      • Opinion | From Afghanistan to Central America, US Creates Refugee Crises

        The United States has long branded itself as a safe haven for refugees fleeing war and persecution abroad. The current U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is actually a testament to that, with well over 100,000 people evacuated by the U.S. since mid-August. Despite this historic airlift, the Biden administration is being relentlessly criticized. The airlift continued despite a double suicide bombing at the gates of the Kabul airport on Thursday that killed at least 90 Afghans and 13 U.S. servicemembers, injuring at least 140.

      • These Afghans Won the Visa Lottery Two Years Ago — Now They’re Stuck in Kabul and Out of Luck

        Fakhruddin Akbari is allowing his full name to be published because he is certain he is going to die. Akbari, his wife and his 3-year-old daughter fled their home in Kabul, Afghanistan, two weeks ago. They’ve been hiding with friends in the city, living on bread and water.

        He should be among the lucky ones.

      • U.N. Officials Downplayed Sexual Violence in Ethiopia in Leaked Call

        For months earlier this year, the U.N. secretary-general and other top U.N. officials were raising concerns about widespread reports of sexual violence in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. But members of the United Nations’ team on the ground minimized such accounts during a call in March, contending they lacked sufficient evidence to support all claims and suggesting any U.N. report into sexual violence in the conflict would have to be approved and cleared by the Ethiopian government.

    • Environment

      • UK Accused of Running ‘Most Exclusionary COP Ever’ as Activists Face Covid Barriers

        The UK has been accused of shutting out activists who hail from countries “battered” by extreme weather events from the upcoming UN climate summit, with campaigners warning it could be “the most exclusionary COP ever”.

        Critics include a youth member in the team of the UN COP26 “High Level Champions”, appointed by the UK government, who called the situation a “charade”.

      • Species Spotlight: Baird’s Tapir, Our Allies Against Climate Change
      • Only Those Taking Action Against Climate Violence Are Labeled ‘Terrorist’

        Floods, fires, ice caps melting, hurricanes—all attest to the violence of human-caused climate disruption. It’s undeniable and undeniably fatal, and the only question for historians will be not what mysterious “factors” prevented humans from responding, but which political structures prevented the humans that wanted to respond meaningfully from doing so. When those books are written, at least a chapter will be devoted to cases like that of Jessica Reznicek, the activist now facing eight years in federal prison for damaging equipment at the Dakota Access Pipeline in Iowa.

      • More people face greater risk from extreme heat

        In a hotter world, periods of extreme heat are on the increase. And that presents a massive threat to life and health.

      • Energy

        • Tesla files to become electric utility in Texas

          The application, which was first reported Thursday by Texas Monthly, was submitted by a Tesla subsidiary called Tesla Energy Ventures and has a filing date of Aug. 16, based on information provided on the Public Utility Commission’s website.

          While Tesla currently uses big batteries to help other companies transmit, store and consume energy, the application marks an effort by the technology giant to provide electricity directly to customers in Texas.

        • China Supreme Court Sides With Mining Operator in Battle Over 485,000 GPUs

          Genesis Mining filed its lawsuit in 2019 after the hosting provider, Chuangshiji Technology Limited, allegedly refused to return the graphics cards, as well as 60,580 AntMiner S9 mining rigs, after the companies had a payment-related spat in 2018.

          Now the conflict has finally been resolved… just in time for Genesis Mining to figure out what it’s going to do with nearly half a million graphics cards after China’s decision to shut down mining operations throughout many of its provinces.

        • Jack Dorsey discusses plans to build a decentralized exchange for Bitcoin

          According to project leader Mike Brock, TBD, a unit of Square, aims to “make it easy to fund a non-custodial wallet anywhere in the world through a platform to build on- and off-ramps into Bitcoin.” The business said it wants the decentralized exchange to be “Bitcoin-native, top to bottom,” as well as completely open-source and permissionless, with “no foundation or governance model that TBD controls.”

        • Cuba says it will recognize, regulate cryptocurrencies

          The resolution published in the Official Gazette states cryptocurrencies are not allowed to be used for illegal activities and the Central Bank will only allow the cryptocurrencies “for reasons of socioeconomic interest.”

        • Cuba to recognize — and regulate — cryptocurrencies

          Because they can be used for long-distance transactions that are supposedly anonymous, they are often popular with people attempting to evade government regulations — presumably including U.S. restrictions on sending money to places such as Cuba.

        • As Chevy Bolt recall expands, some dealers ‘in a world of pain’

          GM last week expanded its recall to include all Bolt EVs and Bolt EUVs, adding 73,018 vehicles from model years 2019-22 to the list for “rare” battery defects that could cause fires. The recall now covers 141,685 vehicles. The automaker has confirmed 10 fires. There have been no deaths reported but some smoke inhalation injuries.

          GM and battery partner LG Energy Solution are still working on a fix for the defective batteries.

      • Overpopulation

        • Drought Clobbers the World

          The world’s political leaders need to pay special attention to the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference scheduled for November 1st-12th in Glasgow as scientists of the world meet to present the latest info on climate change/global warming.

          Those world leaders need to hone in on the most far-reaching most effective most promising ideas to fix the climate, tame global warming, and stop fossil fuels by doing whatever it takes to halt carbon emissions (Biden’s plan won’t do it).

        • 40 Million People Rely on the Colorado River. It’s Drying Up Fast.

          On a 110-degree day several years ago, surrounded by piles of sand and rock in the desert outside of Las Vegas, I stepped into a yellow cage large enough to fit three standing adults and was lowered 600 feet through a black hole into the ground. There, at the bottom, amid pooling water and dripping rock, was an enormous machine driving a cone-shaped drill bit into the earth. The machine was carving a cavernous, 3-mile tunnel beneath the bottom of the nation’s largest freshwater reservoir, Lake Mead.

          Lake Mead, a reservoir formed by the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s, is one of the most important pieces of infrastructure on the Colorado River, supplying fresh water to Nevada, California, Arizona and Mexico. The reservoir hasn’t been full since 1983. In 2000, it began a steady decline caused by epochal drought. On my visit in 2015, the lake was just about 40% full. A chalky ring on the surrounding cliffs marked where the waterline once reached, like the residue on an empty bathtub. The tunnel far below represented Nevada’s latest salvo in a simmering water war: the construction of a $1.4 billion drainage hole to ensure that if the lake ever ran dry, Las Vegas could get the very last drop.

        • The demographic fantasies of the IPCC

          Climate change is now unequivocally an emergency according to the latest report from the IPCC. Our only hope lies in extremely rapid abandonment of fossil fuels and reversal of forest loss. But these lifeline scenarios also assume birth rates plummet in high-fertility regions. Jane O’Sullivan offers a reality check.

    • Finance

      • Cori Bush Is Determined to Save the Eviction Moratorium

        Earlier this month, Cori Bush slept on the steps of the Capitol in order to convince the Biden administration to extend the federal eviction moratorium. The Missouri representative’s bold strategy worked. She got the White House to act, temporarily saving millions of Americans from the threat of losing shelter during a pandemic.

      • ‘Congress Must Act,’ Says Cori Bush as Supreme Court Ends Eviction Moratorium

        Millions of people across the U.S. are once again at imminent risk of losing their homes after the conservative-dominated Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the Biden administration’s eviction moratorium, siding with a coalition of landlords and real estate companies that challenged the critical lifeline.

        “We must immediately do everything possible to keep people in their homes. This is a matter of life and death.”—Rep. Pramila Jayapal

      • The SEC is Allowing 5-Count Felon JPMorgan Chase to Trade Its Own Bank Stock in its Own Dark Pools

        JPMorgan Chase is also the only American bank to ever be fined for using depositors’ money to gamble in derivatives in London and lose $6.2 billion of that money. (Jamie Dimon was Chairman and CEO at the bank then as well.)

        JPMorgan Chase is the only federally-insured bank in the United States to be charged with two felony counts for helping to facilitate the largest Ponzi scheme in history – the Bernie Madoff looting of thousands of investors.

      • OnlyFans Flips Its Fanny

        Talk about a flipflop! OnlyFans has proven itself to be a very fickle pimp.

        The response to the first announcement that they were shutting down the porn was intense. Sex workers screamed they couldn’t pay rent. First Amendment defenders worried over the speech-suppressing power of Mastercard. Twitter guffawed that OnlyFans banning porn was like KFC not selling chicken, or as Stephen Colbert chortled, “They know that fans of OnlyFans are only fans of one thing, right?”

      • The payments mess that almost scared OnlyFans away from sex work

        Sex workers had built OnlyFans into a multibillion-dollar subscription platform, and after the news, many have explained why the proposed change was such a betrayal. They helped make the company valuable, and in return, it nearly kicked them out.

        Less immediately clear, however, was OnlyFans’ rationale. Early reports speculated that a new set of Mastercard rules were responsible for the change. A later Financial Times interview placed the blame on banks. While we might never know exactly what happened at OnlyFans, its decision — and reversal — shines a light on the complicated and fraught world of paying for porn online.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Their work secured the election. It also paved the way for pro-Trump conspiracies.

        Like all cybersecurity research, election security relies heavily on the premise that to make any system better, you first need to draw attention to the ways people can hack it. Bernhard’s peers have done that with gusto since the beginning of the Trump administration. They’ve showed how, in the right isolated circumstances, a voter registration machine can be rewired to play the 90s computer game Doom, or how a child could hack a vulnerable website that was coded to look like Florida’s election night reporting site.

        While their research heavily contributed to security upgrades ahead of the contentious 2020 election — one that election officials jointly called “the most secure in American history” — it has proven to be a double-edged sword. Election cybersecurity researchers who spoke with NBC News say they worry it also provided ammunition to bad-faith actors who have sought to convince some Americans that the election was illegitimate.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The Externalization Of Content Moderation: Facebook Explores ‘Election Commission’

        We’ve covered plenty of stuff about the Oversight Board that Facebook set up. While we recognize the cynicism towards it and still think it’s somewhat early to judge, for many of us following the Board’s decisions closely, it’s been really kind of eye opening how much the Board has really pushed Facebook to make real changes. Of course, there are many real structural issues with the way the Oversight Board is set up — but the initial results have been fascinating.

      • TikTok is now removing [cryptocurrency]-related posts, influencers worried

        When you post a video and mention words like Binance, Bitcoin, Ethereum, cryptocurrencies, and Dogecoin, the post is most likely going to be removed at the snap of a finger. You’ll then instantly get a notification saying that the post violated a community guideline.

        Sadly, you will not be told which specific community guideline you violated. That may easily send you into confusion trying to figure out what went wrong. In case two of your videos are taken down, you’ll be banned from posting. The bans can go for a day and even up to a week.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Building Fiber Infrastructure Back Better: The Journey Taken by Tuttle, Oklahoma

        When their connection to the World Wide Web was cut, Tuttle’s local leaders rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Their first move was to solicit private ISPs to come to town and offer service. But they also began talking with publicly owned entities in the area. They spoke with officials in Sallisaw, a rural community about 180 miles directly east which had built a fiber network called DiamondNet to provide service to residents in town as well as a handful of surrounding communities starting in 2015. The city council also traveled to speak with engineers at the Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, which was embarking on a fiber-to-the-home project for its roughly 38,000 members scattered across seven counties. Finally, they looked nationally, noting the success of and learning lessons from municipal networks in Oregon and Colorado.

        With few encouraging responses from private ISPs, local officials in Tuttle decided building and operating their own network was an undertaking at which they could succeed. The town already had an institutional network – in the form of a fiber star – in place, built in 2012 to connect the public works and public safety buildings at the same time as construction of a new city hall.

      • A Vibrant Community Works to Make the Internet Better in Africa

        After the Internet Society started working with the AUC on the AXIS Project, it became much easier to work with the Internet community. Because many of the stakeholders, including governments and operators, trust the African Union, they felt they could trust the Internet Society team.

        While promoting IXPs, one challenge is convincing governments to take a back seat. As Bekele says, “Governments are more used to leading something. They are less comfortable in enabling something.” But, when governments lead, operators can become suspicious. They want their independent voice to be heard. It took some time for governments to understand this. In cases where neutral voices were in charge, the process experienced fewer hurdles.

        Looking at the 80/20 goal now, Bekele is impressed. “We thought it was a steep hill to climb.” Today, about 56% of African countries have IXPs.

    • Monopolies

      • States Wouldn’t Be Pushing Inconsistent Tech Laws If Congress Wasn’t So Corrupt

        You might recall after the telecom lobby convinced Congress to obliterate both privacy and net neutrality rules (despite both having bipartisan public support), there was a lot of industry whining about the various state replacement efforts that popped up. For example when California popped up with its own net neutrality rules, AT&T whined incessantly about how a “discordant network of state laws” would harm puppies and innovation. Ignored, of course, is that states were simply rushing to fill the consumer protection void created by federal apathy, itself a direct result of lobbying (aka corruption).

      • Apple to Make Changes to App Store Regulations in Settlement With U.S. Developers

        As part of the changes, developers will be allowed to contact users to inform them about purchase options outside of the iOS app, which could help bypass Apple’s commission charges that can be as high as 30 percent. Apple will also establish a $100 million fund for smaller app developers that made $1 million or less for every year they had an account between June 4, 2015, and April 26, 2021 — a group that Apple said comprised 99 percent of its U.S. developers.

      • Patents

        • Nvidia set to seek EU okay for $54 bln Arm deal -sources

          The world’s biggest maker of graphics and AI chips announced the Arm deal last year, sparking an immediate backlash in the semiconductor industry.

          Arm has long been a neutral player licensing key intellectual [sic] property [sic] to customers who are otherwise intense rivals, including Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O), Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O).

        • Software Patents

          • The threat of software patents persists

            What follows will answer a number of questions: what software patents are; what their history is; what their legal status is today; what problem is posed by their enforcement; how our past successful campaigns were not enough to eliminate them; and finally, how you can help us fight against them, today. Unfortunately, for a proper explanation we ought to get a bit technical, but please bear with us.

      • Copyrights

        • How much was son’s porn collection worth that parents destroyed? Judge decides value

          U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney in Kalamazoo ordered Beth and Paul Werking to pay $30,441.54 to their son and $14,519.82 to his attorney. Maloney earlier granted the son’s request for summary judgment but delayed a ruling on damages.

        • Sony Moves Quickly to Block Alleged ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Trailer Leak on Social Media

          The Hollywood Reporter viewed the alleged leak, and its contents appeared to be legitimate. However, no specifics will be shared. The studio seemed to be in something of a whack-a-mole situation where as soon as one video link was removed, another would be shared on Twitter.

        • ACE/MPA Target Pirate Sites Pulling in 1.3 Billion Visits Per Year, Including EZTV

          The DMCA subpoena can be a potent weapon for entertainment companies seeking to identify the operators of pirate sites. The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment and partners MPA were back in court recently, demanding access to the identities of people behind major torrent site EZTV and several other platforms with more than 1.3 billion yearly visits in total.

        • Leaseweb Must Share Personal Details of ‘Pirating’ Customers With Movie Companies

          A group of movie studios has obtained a subpoena that requires hosting provider Leaseweb to share the personal details of several customers. The rightsholders flagged 456 IP-addresses that repeatedly shared pirated movies via BitTorrent. It’s likely that the information will be used as ammunition in an ongoing lawsuit.

        • Copyright Scammers Getting More Sophisticated, Just As The US Is About To Make It Easier For Them

          Back in May, we wrote about the growing number of pure copyright scammers, using completely made up claims of copyright infringement as a form of a phishing technique. As I mentioned in a comment, we get multiple such messages every week here at Techdirt — with almost identical comments being placed (or attempted at least — since our spam filter seems to have caught all or most of them) on various Techdirt articles claiming infringement. They always came with a link to “the evidence,” (which we never clicked of course).

        • PSA: Universal Music Group Has Copyrighted The Moon. That is All.

          We have seen and covered a great many ridiculous copyright issues here at Techdirt. It is, after all, sort of our thing. Still, some attempts at enforcing copyrights are so ludicrous that they take your breath away. Now, granted, often times the most egregious of these stories arise out of the use of automated bot systems that troll all the places for copyright infringement and often times get it completely wrong. But that isn’t so much an excuse for those situations as it is a spotlight on how brutally terrible the current iteration of copyright enforcement has become and how despicable it is that the wider copyright industries just shrug their shoulders at all the collateral damage they cause.

        • Meet the CC Summit Presenter: Houcemeddine Turki

          Based in: Sfax, TunisiaSummit Session: Creative Commons and Computer Programming

[Meme] Mr. Casino Martti Enäjärvi

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Martti Enäjärvi: I don't always stack the deck; but when I do, it's for dictators
Martti throwing a party… for Benoît Battistelli

Summary: Martti 'cash machine' Enäjärvi helped install a malicious dictator inside the EPO; his legacy is important to assess closely even though he has retired (forensic post mortem of the EPO’s demise certainly matters)

Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) Governed by a Criminal for Two Decades

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 852d34c174036d8dabc150a44b546ddc

Summary: We take a closer look at the PDFs published last night in “EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part V” and discuss the situation

THIS video was recorded last night, just a couple of minutes after part 5 had been published. Over the coming days we’ll be publishing parts of the series that help explain how Benoît Battistelli rose to power at the EPO, leaving behind (after) him another loyalist, António Campinos, who isn’t actually fixing anything (in fact, he makes things worse and he stacks courts for European software patents, compulsory 'ViCo' and so on).

“Patent trolls’ megaphones in sites like Managing IP still boost this sort of agenda, at cost to their own reputation.”The post mortem of the EPO’s demise partly relies on understanding what sort of people we deal with; hence the early parts of the series, which zoom in on the record of Martti Enäjärvi. He was so desperate to prove his innocence — which he failed to do — appealing again and again until the Supreme Court threw out his plea. So he was basically convicted, then sort of convicted again (the original conviction upheld by a higher court).

Along the way in the above video I ended up alluding to the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas (EDTX and WDTX) having judges who strive to bring business/turnover to their town by lowering the standards, in effect becoming more lenient in favour of fake patents and then boasting that many choose to file lawsuits there (as if the courts are for-profit businesses). In 2017, following TC Heartland, it became apparent and very much evident to more companies that it would be strategically wise to avoid doing any technical work in Texas or even employ in Texas (places like Houston or San Antonia with Rackspace and others) because it exposes oneself to higher legal risks. So this strategy backfires, prioritising law firms at the expense of everybody else. We wrote many articles on this topic around that time; it’s considered relatively old news except Albright in Western Texas (judge with an arts degree getting to decide on the sciences). Patent trolls’ megaphones in sites like Managing IP still boost this sort of agenda, at cost to their own reputation. Not too shockingly, they do the same for the EPO’s management and Team UPC.

Later today we shall publish “EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VI” (spoiler: it’s about what Enäjärvi did with Baltic state).

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