08.28.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 28/8/2021: This Week in KDE and Wine-Staging 6.16

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

  • GNU/Linux

    • Full Circle Magazine #172
    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Hands-On: MNT Reforms The Laptop | Hackaday

        If the aesthetic doesn’t make it clear the Reform is an opinionated product designed from the ground up to optimize for free-as-in-freedom: from it’s solid metal chassis to the blob-free GNU/Linux distribution running inside.

    • Applications

      • 4 Best Terminal Emulators Built With Web Technologies

        One of the reasons why we became hooked on Linux was the command line. The command line offers advantages day-to-day because of things like its scalability, scriptability, simple design, and simple interface. At the command line, there’s so much power at our fingertips. Its continuing flexibility and power remain big draws to this day.

        It’s true that some people consider the command line to be arcane and obsolete. They prefer graphical interfaces. And for non-technical people and beginners, few dispute good graphical user interfaces make life easier. But who doesn’t want the best of both worlds?

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install & Use ClamAV on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        ClamAV is an open-source and free antivirus software toolkit able to detect many types of malicious software, including viruses, trojans, malware, adware, rootkits, and other malicious threats. One of its main uses of ClamAV is on mail servers as a server-side email virus scanner or used on file hosting servers to periodically scan to make sure files are clean, especially if the public can upload to the server.

        ClamAV supports multiple file formats (documents, executables, or archives), utilizes multi-thread scanner features, and receives updates for its signature database daily to sometimes multiple times per day for the latest protection.

      • How To Install CSF Firewall on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install CSF Firewall on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, ConfigServer Security & Firewall (it is also called CSF in short) is a Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) firewall, Login/Intrusion Detection, and Security application for Linux servers. Furthermore, it is absolutely free to us.

        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 through the step-by-step installation of the CSF Firewall on an AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

      • 3 ways to install Emacs text editor on Ubuntu 20.04

        There are multiple ways to install Emacs on Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04 LTS Linux that are package management, snaps, and PPA. Here we will show all of them. You can also use the article for Ubuntu 21.04 and Linux Mint.

        GNU Emacs is a programmable text editor suitable for development. It is a very comprehensive and platform-independent editor that can be expanded with its own Lisp dialect (Emacs Lisp). GNU Emacs makes it easier to write source code through syntax highlighting and can be adapted by the user. Since its control is mainly based on keyboard shortcuts, it requires some training in order to be able to use all its possibilities intensively. Thanks to a large number of plugins, the editor can be used in almost all areas. There are, for example, extensions for file management, email and news, IRC, compilations, web surfing, and much more. Furthermore, it can also be used to create text documents based on LaTeX.

      • The More the Merrier: Multi-Arch Docker Manifests with Buildx and Artifactory

        Once your multi-arch image is in a Docker repository in Artifactory and has passed testing, you can promote the image to another Docker repository just as you would any other.

        This JFrog CLIcommand makes a copy of the mult-arch image we created in the docker-local repository.

      • Steps to install PHP 8 on Debian Server 10 | 9

        Let’s test various web applications by installing PHP 8.0 on Debian 10 Buster or Debian 11 Bullseye Linux server using command line terminal…

        PHP is a widely used server-side programming language that means it can perform actions on servers such as establishing connections to a database, generate dynamic webpages on user requests, or delete files on the server.

        It is open-source and distributed as free software. Today, the abbreviation PHP stands for HyperText Process, however, originally it was known as Personal Home Page Tools. The programs coded with this scripting language are stored as simple text files which are later converted into machine code by the web server when they are called up. Thus, PHP programs are largely platform-independent and can be executed on different hardware systems.

        Embedded in HTML files, the PHP code supplemented static websites with dynamic information such as date and time or, for example, mixed in the input of users from order forms in order confirmation pages.

      • How to install Snap & Snap-store on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux

        Debian 11 or 10 doesn’t come with SNAP out of the box like Ubuntu, hence we need to install it manually using the command terminal. And here we learn how to do that?

        Snap is a package format developed by Canonical that can be installed in various apps and packages available in the Snapcraft repository. The good this the user can use it without conflicts alongside DEB packages from “normal” package management. This means we can install GIMP via APT as well as SNAP without any conflict, hence two instances of the same application on a single Linux system. That is the reason why SNAP is available for all the popular Linux distributions.

        Well, SNAPS were originally meant to target and use in server or cloud environments and also for the Internet of Things. Later it makes its way to desktop versions. We can install programs with a graphical user interface, applications for the command line, environments for programming languages, etc. via snaps.

        Currently whatever Snap packages we get to install are fetched from the central SNAP server operated by Canonical. There are currently no alternative servers. The installation of locally downloaded snaps is also possible.

      • How to Install Backports & Experimental Repository on Debian 11 – LinuxCapable

        Debian is known amongst the Linux community for its gold standard in being stable, and a common drawback can be that the packages, especially after the new Debian release ages are that they are often years behind what is currently available as they only receive security and bug updates to keep packages stable.

        Now for most environments, this is totally acceptable. Still, it can be very frustrating for users needing certain packages to be upgraded to utilize the features or fix annoying non-critical or security-related bugs. However, the great thing about Linux and using repositories is that you can use what is known as backports or experimental repositories, which are packages taken from the next Debian release, which is nearly always the testing repository and adjusted recompiled for usage on Debian stable.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine-Staging 6.16 Implements Two More D3DX Functions To Help Some Windows Games

        It’s been a relatively quiet summer in the Wine-Staging world with not many new patches surfacing for testing/experimental purposes for this more bleeding edge version of Wine. However, with Wine-Staging 6.16 there are at least some new patches now to talk about.

        Building off yesterday’s release of Wine 6.16, Wine-Staging 6.16 is now available. This staging release has just over 600 patches on top of the upstream Wine state.

      • Wine 6.16 is out now with initial HID-based joystick backend work

        Another biweekly development release of the Windows compatibility layer Wine is out now with Wine 6.16.

        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.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Accent colors!

          System Settings’ Colors page now lets you optionally choose an “accent color” that’s different from the one shipped in your color scheme (Jan Blackquill, Plasma 5.23)…

          Dolphin no longer crashes on quit when the embedded terminal panel is open (Ahmad Samir, Dolphin 21.08.1)

          Elisa’s Files view now works again (Bart De Vries, Elisa 21.08.1)

          Elisa’s in-app “next track” and “previous track” shortcuts (Ctrl+right/left arrow) are now listed correctly in the settings window (me: Nate Graham, Elisa 21.08.1)

        • KDE Plasma 5.23 Will Be Another Exciting Release With Many Improvements Abound – Phoronix

          The Plasma 5.23 desktop release is looking like it will be quite an eventful milestone while KDE developers are finishing August strong with many improvements and fixes across their desktop stack.

          KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his latest weekly recap of the development highlights for this open-source desktop project. Among the progress made on Plasma 5.23 and other components this week included…

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • ‘Apps for GNOME’ site aims to improve discovery of the project’s best applications

          The GNOME project has created Apps for GNOME, a website to “feature the best applications in the GNOME ecosystem,” according to creator Sophie Herold.

          The scope of the GNOME project is extensive and includes low-level system components, a toolkit for developers of GUI applications (GTK), a desktop shell and window manager, and numerous applications built with these technologies.

          GNOME apps fall into three categories. The first, called Core, are apps which are generally pre-installed with GNOME desktop, including Files, Terminal, Photos, GNOME Web, Calendar, Contacts, and an installation manager called Software.

          The second, GNOME Circle, is for applications from any developer that have gone through an approval process. Circle apps have to be built using GTK, able to be installed as a Flatpak (a system for packaging applications that simplifies distribution and clean install and removal), and follow GNOME user interface conventions. Third, there are development tools such as the Builder IDE.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • EndeavourOS 2021.08 is Here with a New ISO Release

          EndeavourOS 2021.08 brings massive improvements to the Calamares installer, introduces a new app called eos-apps-info.

          EndeavourOS is is a very user-friendly Arch Linux-based distribution with some handy new features that improve the user experience. It fits into a similar-but-different niche as Manjaro. EandeavourOS, being based on Arch is a rolling release.

          Most readers may probably remember the Antergos Linux distribution which was discontinued in 2019. After it was discontinued, a group of the older community merged efforts to create a new continuation of that distribution, named EndeavourOS.

          EndeavourOS 2021.08 release is here and the team brings a handful of new features and updates. Let’s take a look at what’s new.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Programming/Development

        • Parse command-line options in Groovy | Opensource.com

          A recent article provided an introduction to parsing command-line options in Java. Because I really like Groovy, and because Groovy is well suited for scripting, and because it’s fun to compare Java and Groovy solutions, I decided to paraphrase Seth’s article, but using Groovy.

          Install Groovy

          Groovy is based on Java, so it requires a Java installation. Both a recent and decent version of Java and Groovy might be in your Linux distribution’s repositories. Alternately, you can install Groovy by following the instructions on the groovy-lang.org.

          A nice alternative for Linux users is SDKMan, which can be used to get multiple versions of Java, Groovy, and many other related tools. For this article, I’m using my distro’s OpenJDK11 release and SDKMan’s latest Groovy release.

        • Java

          • The 5 Best Ways to Learn Java Online in 2021

            Beginners tend to ask: “Should I learn Java or Python?” The fact of the matter is, both languages are extremely useful and serve different sets of functionalities within the technological gamut. While some people might prefer Java over Python, many others tend to differ in their opinions.

  • Leftovers

    • Goodbyes

      Here goes: I look through my address book. Not the techie one but a worn-out book that’s traveled with me for years. A book that’s been packed for move after move. A book that has names of family, friends, and acquaintances whose locations and phone numbers have been marked out multiple times, new locations added. Someone who died.

      A couple of times when I was in D.C. for an extended peace event, I stayed with her. We’d met in college where her father sought me out, another Kentuckian who could relate to her, who talked like her, the KY twang. Later, after we graduated from that two-year college, we, along with my sister Laura, roomed together for a while, attending a state university. She married one of her professors, later divorced him, married a handsome actor and moved to D.C.

    • Why Do We Prevaricate?

      Those are the four numbers that define the voting landscape in Morgan County, West Virginia.

      Two: There are about two thousand registered Democrats in the county.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘Ban Neonicotinoids Right Now,’ Say Conservationists After EPA Pesticide Review

        Environmental and food safety advocates highlighted Thursday the decline in iconic pollinators following new analyses released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showing three widely used neonicotinoid insecticides are “likely to adversely affect” the majority of the endangered plants and animals the agency assessed.

        “These extremely toxic pesticides are causing drastic ecological harm, both the collapse of bee populations as well as putting literally hundreds of endangered species at extinction risk across the country.”

      • Dental, Insurance Lobbyists Quietly Target Democrats’ Medicare Expansion Plan

        “The opposition of the American Dental Association to a universal dental benefit in Medicare is reminiscent of the AMA’s initial opposition to Medicare itself.”—Larry Levitt, Kaiser Family Foundation

      • ‘Win for Common Sense’: Judge Strikes Down DeSantis Ban on Mask Mandates

        “Governor DeSantis’ ban on masks in schools is not only a dangerous government overreach that puts children’s lives at risk, but it also violates Florida law.”—Nikki Fried, Florida Agriculture Commissioner

      • As a Doctor, I Fight to Make My State Let Pharmacists Prescribe Birth Control
      • ‘Home Care Can’t Wait’: Ady Barkan, ACLU Target Sinema for Abandoning People With Disabilities

        To pressure Congress to include $400 billion for home and community-based services in the $3.5 trillion social spending package now being drafted, Medicare for All advocate Ady Barkan and the ACLU are launching a new television and digital ad campaign in Arizona, home state of conservative Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

        “Across the United States, almost a million people are on waiting lists for home care and in danger of being ripped away from their families.”—Ady Barkan, Be A Hero

      • Things Have Changed

        Biden prematurely proclaimed victory over the pandemic and holds back from aggressively advancing urgently needed vaccine mandates even though such mandates are supported by a strong majority of Americans. The fourth surge, likely to expand this fall and winter, is slowing the jobs recovery, giving the APoT economic ammunition with voters along with rising inflation. And Biden’s political stock price is falling further in the wake of his transparent bungling of the American exit from Afghanistan. It’s not clear he can even pass an early centrist pork-barrel infrastructure bill.

        As the Democrat Biden dithers in the pathetic and despicable name of bipartisan cooperation with a party that crossed over to fascism years ago, the white-supremacist election-nullifiers “across the aisle” are licking their chops. They really expect to take back the U.S. House in 2022, an achievement that will position them to launch revenge impeachments (perhaps including one around “the betrayal of our troops and the people of Afghanistan”) and to pilfer a close presidential election on behalf of Donald “Perfect Call” Trump or the vicious covidiot Ron DeSantis in 2024-25. The APoT’s state-level machinations are likely to produce contested state Electoral College slates in the 2024 election, possibly throwing the outcome into the House, where Republicans will prevail under the Constitution’s rules even without holding a majority of the body’s members (the APoT only has to hold the majority of Representatives in more states than the Dems). It is difficult to imagine a Republican-controlled House agreeing to certify a Biden-re-election in January.

      • How does the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices impact innovation and access to COVID-19 vaccines?

        In previous blog posts in this series, we have explored the roles different federal agencies, including the NIH, FDA, and CMS, play in the development and distribution of new healthcare technologies in the fight against COVID-19. But we have devoted much less attention to the CDC and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which has a key role to play in the distribution of vaccines, including those against COVID-19. In this post, we explain the role played by ACIP, discuss several important COVID-19 vaccine decisions ACIP has been involved in, and consider what ACIP’s processes might teach policymakers more generally about innovation and access to health technologies.

        [...]

        Like the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC)—which we’ve described in an earlier post—ACIP is governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, including the requirements of open meetings and public involvement. Like VRBPAC, ACIP is an expert body, with members bringing different areas of expertise (such as immunology, virology, and public health), and one member “who provides perspectives on the social and community aspects of vaccination.” But ACIP has greater authority than VRBPAC. The FDA doesn’t have to convene advisory committees (though it has chosen to use VRBPAC for many important COVID-19 vaccine decisions), and the FDA can make decisions that contradict advisory committee recommendations (as it does over one-fifth of the time, including recently for the controversial Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm). In contrast, ACIP must review every new vaccine, and its decisions have legal effects for vaccine access.

        [...]

        Finally, from an innovation and access standpoint, it is worth noting that ACIP plays a role that is often underappreciated in the standard biopharmaceutical innovation story. While it does not approve or authorize vaccines like the FDA, ACIP complements the FDA by bridging the policy space between market access and market uptake for vaccines. It is a trust repository—and, consequently, a driver of demand—in helping determine which products make it into widespread adoption and which are consigned to relatively infrequent use. ACIP’s role here stands in stark contrast to the ongoing debates over the expensive Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm, approved by the FDA in a hotly debated and criticized process. Now a constellation of other actors are deciding whether to recommend, use, or pay for the drug at all, demonstrating a lack of trust in the drug’s approval process. ACIP, however, takes these sorts of equity, cost-effectiveness, and public health considerations into account. In the context of arguments about whether the FDA should consider cost or public health in its own decisions, and about the appropriate role of other gatekeepers and their independence from FDA decisions, it is worth considering whether an ACIP-like entity might be equally useful in other biomedical innovation contexts.

      • Getting a COVID test in America really isn’t that easy, and especially if you want the “free” one.

        Before traveling to Indiana for a few days this past week, my spouse and I went to the local Walgreens to get our seasonal flu shot.

        We are vaccinated (Pfizer) for COVID and have been for a while, but the flu is still out there, and it’s not a joke, and with the risk of that, or a co-infection, or taking up resources while hospitals need to deal with COVID patients, I didn’t want us to be responsible for contributing to an even bigger mess.

        There will always be flu shot deniers and COVID deniers, and we can’t change that, but we can change our own actions in spite of them. Just as surely as even if you follow the traffic laws, there will always be that joker in the emergency lane on the freeway doing 140 miles an hour in his Lexus.

        Anyway, so I get down there and see that they have free rapid (one hour) COVID tests available and I decided it wouldn’t be a major imposition to get tested before we left, since mom and my brother won’t get vaccinated, even as the area of the country that they live in has 7 times more COVID cases per capita than the one I live in.

        According to mom, the vaccine is “dangerous” even though there’s no real hard evidence that it is, other than some nutcases and frauds on Facebook who are so full of it that not even my dad has been receptive to them (and he’s taken Scientology audits), and she also thinks it is “ineffective”.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft and “innovation”.

          Techrights rhetorically asks if Microsoft was ever the first to market in anything.

          The answer, of course, to anyone paying attention, is no.

          Microsoft is a company that comes along and creates products that are only barely good enough to work. At best, when they’re under the gun, they do short bursts of improving a product very quickly, but once the competitor is gone, they sack everyone and let the product rot.

          When I was at the Waukegan Public Library yesterday, I saw Ray Bradbury’s IBM typewriter, and I laughed, because word processors on a modern computer are simply awful. Even the open source LibreOffice, is just less awful, because it must follow in the footsteps of Microsoft Office, implementing their formats and all of the bugs that are required for interoperability, because Microsoft didn’t define the standard well, and they implemented their own standard even worse than they wrote it.

          Many authors to this day still won’t use Microsoft Word.

          George R.R. Martin is a notable example. He uses a word processor. WordStar for DOS, in particular.

          Why use something obsolete? There are many reasons, including the fact that you knew the software already, it worked for you, and it was long before modern software came along with a huge OS running underneath it where the program is much more likely to crash and freeze. Microsoft Office suffers under the weight of terminal featuritis, and there’s so many things in it that can be used in tandem, that Microsoft will never debug it properly even if they suddenly wanted to, or even bordered on being competent enough to pull that off, which they aren’t.

        • 38 million records exposed by misconfigured Microsoft Power Apps. Redmond’s advice? RTFM

          Forty-seven government entities and privacy companies, including Microsoft, exposed 38 million sensitive data records online by misconfiguring the Windows giant’s Power Apps, a low-code service that promises an easy way to build professional applications.

          Security biz UpGuard said that in May one of its analysts found that the OData API for a Power Apps portal offered anonymously accessible database records that included personal details. That led the security shop to look at other Power Apps portals and its researchers found over one thousand apps configured to make data available to anyone who asked.

          Among the entities identified by UpGuard are: state and municipal government bodies in Indiana, Maryland, and New York City, and private enterprises like American Airlines, Ford, JB Hunt, and Microsoft. There’s no indication so far that information has been misused. It was merely publicly accessible up until UpGuard’s disclosures prompted those affected to respond.

        • “Worst cloud vulnerability you can imagine” discovered in Microsoft Azure

          Cloud security vendor Wiz announced yesterday that it found a vulnerability in Microsoft Azure’s managed database service, Cosmos DB, that granted read/write access for every database on the service to any attacker who found and exploited the bug.

          Although Wiz only found the vulnerability—which it named “Chaos DB”—two weeks ago, the company says that the vulnerability has been lurking in the system for “at least several months, possibly years.”

        • Security

          • What Is Browser Fingerprinting and How Can You Defend Yourself Against It?

            Just like a fingerprint reveals a person’s unique human identity, a browser fingerprint can reveal unique traits regarding a person’s online behavior. Browser fingerprinting is an investigative technique mostly used to trace activities back to a specific person and to identify them.

            But what type of information is gathered, and what are the methods of conducting browser fingerprinting? Can we find out how identifiable we are on the internet? And most of all, are there ways to protect ourselves? Let’s find out.

          • Wireshark 3.4.8

            Wireshark is a network packet analyzer. A network packet analyzer will try to capture network packets and tries to display that packet data as detailed as possible. You could think of a network packet analyzer as a measuring device used to examine what’s going on inside a network cable, just like a voltmeter is used by an electrician to examine what’s going on inside an electric cable (but at a higher level, of course). In the past, such tools were either very expensive, proprietary, or both. However, with the advent of Wireshark, all that has changed. Wireshark is perhaps one of the best open source packet analyzers available today.

          • F5 Bug Could Lead to Complete System Takeover

            The worst of 13 bugs fixed by the August updates could lead to complete system compromise for users in sensitive sectors running products in Appliance mode.

            Application delivery and networking firm F5 released a baker’s dozen of 13 fixes for high-severity bugs, including one that could lead to complete system takeover and hence is boosted to “critical” for customers that run BIG-IP in Appliance Mode, given that an attacker that holds valid credentials can bypass Appliance Mode restrictions.

          • Over 30 vulnerabilities fixed in multiple F5 products

            Application delivery networking company F5, has issued patches for over 30 vulnerabilities in its products, including one that scored 9.9 on the CVSS scale.

            The flaws were severe and numerous enough for CISA to warn administrators to update software as soon as possible.

          • European Commission airs out new IoT device security draft law – interested parties have a week to weigh in

            Infosec pros and other technically minded folk have just under a week left to comment on EU plans to introduce new regulations obligating consumer IoT device makers to address online security issues, data protection, privacy and fraud prevention.

            Draft regulations applying to “internet-connected radio equipment and wearable radio equipment” are open for public comment until 27 August – and the resulting laws will apply across the bloc from the end of this year, according to the EU Commission.

            Billed as assisting Internet of Things device security, the new regs will apply to other internet-connected gadgets in current use today, explicitly including “certain laptops” as well as “baby monitors, smart appliances, smart cameras and a number of other radio equipment”, “dongles, alarm systems, home automation systems” and more.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • Linux is not invulnerable, here are some top Linux malware in 2021 [Ed: More of that self-promotional sales pitch from Trend Micro]

              So yesterday I wrote about the latest iteration of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS coming out in my usual glowing terms. I feel like there was nothing amiss in that article after all Ubuntu, especially the version in question, is a stellar operating system that is rock solid and has served me well. A few people however decided to call me on my bias and asked me to publicly admit that there is no such thing as an invulnerable operating system under the sun.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Ex-Pence Aide: Stephen Miller’s “Racist Hysteria” Made It Harder for Afghan Allies to Get Visas

        As thousands of people in Afghanistan attempt to flee the country before the United States’ withdrawal on August 31, we look at how the Trump administration made it much harder for Afghans who worked with the U.S. to apply and receive what is known as a special immigrant visa, or SIV. Oliva Troye, a former top aide to Mike Pence who resigned in protest, has placed the blame on Trump’s xenophobic adviser Stephen Miller, saying he peddled “racist hysteria” in White House meetings about bringing Afghan allies to the U.S. “Stephen Miller would say, ‘Well, these are terrorist cells in the making if you bring them here,’” says Troye, director of the Republican Accountability Project and former homeland security adviser to Pence. “I know for a fact that the Trump administration was planning this withdrawal for several years,” says Troye. “Why were they not actively prioritizing this population so that we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re in today?”

      • ‘The Answer Cannot Be More War,’ House Dem Says After Deadly Attack in Afghanistan

        Following Thursday’s blasts outside Kabul’s international airport and a nearby hotel, which killed and injured dozens of Afghans and several United States military personnel, U.S. Rep. Sara Jacobs warned Congress and President Joe Biden against responding to the deadly attack with “more war and violence.”

        “The answer cannot be more war and violence. The answer cannot be launching more ineffective and unaccountable counterterrorism operations.”—Rep. Sara Jacobs

      • Opinion | Asking If Afghanistan Will Become Breeding Ground for Terror Is the Wrong Question

        The big question in the media today is, “Will Afghanistan again become a ‘breeding ground’ for terrorists who may again attack America?” It’s the wrong question.

      • AOC, Barbara Lee to Biden: Lift Refugee Cap to 200,000 to Help Afghans

        Reps. Barbara Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and more than 60 other House Democrats on Thursday urged the Biden administration to raise the U.S. refugee admissions cap to at least 200,000 for Fiscal Year 2022, a demand that came after at least 90 Afghans were killed in an attack near Kabul’s international airport.

        In a letter (pdf) to President Joe Biden, 66 Democratic lawmakers wrote that “as the people of Afghanistan face an unfolding tragedy, the United States must open its doors to refugees fleeing the devastating consequences of a 20-year U.S. military occupation and 40 years of U.S.-fueled war.”

      • “Mayhem”: Chaotic Scenes at Kabul Airport as Suicide Bombs Kill 110+ Afghans & U.S. Troops

        We go to Kabul, Afghanistan, for an update as the death toll from twin suicide bomb attack outside the airport has topped 110 people, including 13 U.S. troops. The suicide bombers struck near the crowded gates of the airport where thousands of Afghans had gathered in an attempt to flee the country before the withdrawal of U.S. troops on August 31. Afghan journalist Ali Latifi, a Kabul-based correspondent for Al Jazeera English, spoke with witnesses who described a scene of shock and panic following the blasts. “When the bomb went off, it was literally, they said, people walking on top of one another,” says Latifi. “Basically, it was, as they described it, mayhem.”

      • Opinion | Deadly Attacks Prove Why US Withdrawal Is Only Course

        Al Jazeera Arabic reports that ISIL-K (the so-called “Islamic state group” of Iraq and the Levant in Khorasan) claimed responsibility for the horrific bombings in Kabul on Thursday near Baron Hotel and at Abbey Gate at Hamid Karzai International Airport.

      • Washington Arrogance is Incurable

        On a winter hike almost a decade ago, I witnessed first-hand both the haughtiness of officialdom and the human carnage it helped produce. I arrived at Great Falls National Park in Maryland early for that Sunday morning jaunt andfound a wooden rail fence to lean against as I  awaited the arrival of other hikers.

        A few minutes later, a handicapped van pulled to the side of the nearby road.  A 20-something woman bounded out of the shotgun seat and zipped around to the side of the van.   Her long brown hair was pulled back into a single ponytail topped by a St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap. That bright red hat perfectly complemented a bit of rouge – or maybe she was naturally red-cheeked.

      • Who Is ISIS-K? Anti-Taliban, Anti-U.S. Terror Group Claims Responsibility for Kabul Suicide Bombs

        We speak with Haroun Rahimi, assistant professor of law at the American University of Afghanistan, about the Islamic State affiliate that claimed responsibility for this week’s devastating suicide bombings at Kabul airport, which killed more than 110 people, including 13 U.S. troops. Islamic State Khorasan, or ISIS-K, is a puritanical group that is “critical of all other sects of Islam,” says Rahimi. “Whatever Muslim that thinks differently than them is a major target for them.” He says the group’s name refers to a region of the former Islamic empire and is an attempt to reestablish “some past lost glory” in a bid to attract disaffected Muslim youth.

      • Afghans Beg to Be Evacuated as House Dems Call on Biden to Raise Refugee Cap
      • Who Is ISIS-K, the Group Claiming Responsibility for Kabul Suicide Bombs?
      • Napoleon and the Taliban

        Having unexpectedly landed on the Mediterranean coast with only a few hundred faithful but lighly armed supporters, Napoleon’s 20-day march toward Paris proved to be bloodless as an army of hundreds of thousands ordered to stop his progress melted before him and frequently joined his ranks. Louis XVIII and many others associated with the Bourbon regime which had been restored by foreign powers fled into exile. France had made its choice.

        While no one would suggest any equivalence between Napoleon and the Taliban, one similarity between the Emperor’s bloodless 20-day march from the Mediterranean coast to Paris and the Taliban’s almost bloodless 10-day march from all corners of Afghanistan to Kabul two centuries later is striking and worthy of careful consideration.

      • US Group Says $6 Billion Earmarked for War Should Now Go to Assist Afghan People

        As U.S. lawmakers fight over how to reappropriate the roughly $6 billion previously budgeted or requested to support the now defeated Afghan security forces, one U.S.-based peace group is urging Congress to use the freed up war money “to help save Afghan lives, not to boost Pentagon contractor profits.”

        “After two decades of occupation, tens of thousands of lives lost, and millions more displaced, it would be an insult to the people of Afghanistan to turn around and use the funds freed up by their government’s collapse to double down on weapons and war.”—Kate Kizer, Win Without War

      • Afghanistan and the Propaganda of Infinite War

        In their classic book, Manufacturing Consent, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky argued that the core of propagandistic political discourse in liberal societies is the presupposition of journalists and political elites that political debates must proceed within the ideological parameters established by the two major parties. Views that exist outside of the spectrum of positions embraced by the major parties are deemed extreme, exotic, or beyond the pale, and are blacklisted from consideration in mainstream media and political discourse. Such has been the case with those who challenge the notion that U.S. military power is vital to promoting peace and stability throughout the world.

        As the U.S. removes its last troops from Afghanistan, concluding a presence that is now 20 years in the making, the spectrum of views that’s dominated U.S. discourse ranges from the hawkish Republican notion that Democratic President Joe Biden is a shell of a leader who is weak on terrorism, to the liberal notion that the war in Afghanistan is a lost cause, and that it’s time for the U.S. to end its commitment there and reengage with its allies through new multilateral alliances that will combat terrorism in smarter, more productive ways.

      • What are the Prospects For Peace: an Interview With Noam Chomsky

        Noam Chomsky needs no introduction. He has devoted his whole life to calling out the abuses of power and the excesses of U.S. empire. At 92, he still is actively engaged in the national conversation. We are of course honored that he took the time to talk to us and share his views.

        The questions here are not philosophical or abstract. They focus on the realities of the international power struggle unfolding in real-time. They directly address the role of the U.S. in escalating tensions and its capacity to reduce them. We also probe the role of everyday citizens in affecting the relationship the U.S. now has and will have with the rest of the world community.

      • Roaming Charges: Hour of the Goat

        + Curtis LeMay wanted to bomb Vietnam into the Stone Age, “destroying every work of man.” HRC wanted to bomb Afghanistan into modernity, destroying every vestige of misogyny. The bombs fell for years until the US finally left. Amid ruins and graveyards, both nations remain culturally much the same, free to determine the shape of their own future. The US, however, is weaker now, morally, politically and internationally, than it has ever been.

        + It’s not that difficult to understand why after 20 years US/NATO forces couldn’t “pacify” Afghanistan: they hardly ever knew who was aligned with the Taliban or where they were. Every “errant” airstrike that killed a civilian (and there were 1000s of t hem) probably increased the Taliban’s strength by 10. The increased reliance on drones was an early indication that the war was lost. What seemed from the outside like a demonstration of overwhelming power was actually a sign of strategic futility, as each bomb blew another hole in the Pentagon’s aspirations to subdue Afghanistan.

      • The American Fool: How Provincialism, Arrogance, and Greed Make American Foreign Policy an Exercise in Idiocy

        No matter how loud the taxpayer funded jet fighter flyovers of football stadiums, there is no silencing the unavoidable “no” to Vidal’s query, just as the same answer would prove forthcoming if one were to ask, “We’re the smart guys, right?”

        Underrated as a fundamental aspect of American foreign policy, and disaster creation, is the eternal presence and influence of the American Fool. To make the acquaintance of the American Fool, there is no better place to begin than with the Central Intelligence Agency. This is the brain trust that advised President John F. Kennedy that the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba would be a roaring success, and then distinguished itself in the same decade by convincing President Lyndon Johnson that a Saigon-stationed agent, Joe Hovey, was “crying wolf” when he warned of the Tet Offensive. Oops.

      • Opinion | Afghan Feminists Warned Us That War Wouldn’t Free Them

        I am feeling a pervasive sense of déjà vu in reading the news of how the Taliban has taken over Afghanistan within weeks of the U.S. withdrawal. Nearly 20 years after the U.S. invaded one of the world’s poorest nation in a retaliatory response to the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the so-called enemy force is back in power. Afghan feminist activists have spent the past two decades warning the U.S. against resorting to violent solutions like war and collaborating with armed fundamentalists. Their pleas were ignored. So, it should not surprise us that the Afghanistan occupation—and withdrawal—have gone as badly many predicted they would.

      • Opinion | As a Refugee, I Urge the US to Open Its Arms to Those Fleeing Afghanistan
    • Environment

      • Climate Crisis Putting a Billion Children at ‘Extremely High Risk’

        Released ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in November in Glasgow, Scotland, and on the third anniversary of Fridays for Future (FFF), the youth-led global climate strike movement founded by Thunberg, “The Climate Crisis Is a Child Rights Crisis” is the first climate report to combine high-resolution geographic maps detailing global environmental and climate impacts with maps that show regions where children are vulnerable due to an array of stressors, including poverty and lack of access to education, health care or clean water. The report introduces the new Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI), a composite index that ranks nations based on children’s exposure to climate shocks, providing the first comprehensive look at how exactly children are affected by the climate crisis, offering a road map for policymakers seeking to prioritize action based on those who are most at risk. Nick Rees, a policy specialist at UNICEF focusing on climate change and economic analysis and one of the report’s authors, told the Guardian that “[i]t essentially [shows] the likelihood of a child’s ability to survive climate change.”

        “For the first time, we have a complete picture of where and how children are vulnerable to climate change, and that picture is almost unimaginably dire. Climate and environmental shocks are undermining the complete spectrum of children’s rights, from access to clean air, food and safe water; to education, housing, freedom from exploitation, and even their right to survive. Virtually no child’s life will be unaffected,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s executive director. “For three years, children have raised their voices around the world to demand action. UNICEF supports their calls for change with an unarguable message—the climate crisis is a child’s rights crisis.”

      • China, 2049: a Climate Disaster Zone, Not a Military Superpower

        “China has invested heavily in new technologies, with a stated intent to complete the modernization of its forces by 2035 and to field a ‘world-class military’ by 2049,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin testified in June. The United States, he assured the Senate Armed Services Committee, continues to possess “the best joint fighting force on Earth.” But only by spending countless additional billions of dollars annually, he added, can this country hope to “outpace” China’s projected advances in the decades to come.

        As it happens, however, there’s a significant flaw in such reasoning. In fact, consider this a guarantee: by 2049, the Chinese military (or what’s left of it) will be so busy coping with a burning, flooding, churning world of climate change — threatening the country’s very survival — that it will possess scant capacity, no less the will, to launch a war with the United States or any of its allies.

      • Our Dying Oceans
      • Wildlife/Nature

        • There is No “Fixing” This Industry: the Third Battle for Lake Erie

          Grade school history classes, consisting mostly of memorizing wars and generals, taught that in the first battle for Lake Erie a small American fleet of wooden ships built in Erie, Pennsylvania, by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, defeated the British in the War of 1812 and that’s the reason Michigan and Ohio are not the southern boundary of Canada.

          The third battle for Lake Erie is happening right now.

        • To Protect the Rights of Nature, the Fight against Line 3 Must Continue

          For instance, if you plant corn, but no cobs appear, then you are being told that there’s probably a lack of nitrogen in the soil.  Likewise, when your tomato plants turn yellow and die before they should, you may have a problem with water.

          Sure, these conversations are not like the ones with family members across the kitchen table, but they do show how a continuous dialogue takes place between farmers, ranchers, and gatherers, and the land, water, and air that connect us together in the food system.

    • Finance

      • Opinion | The Only Real Socialism in the US Is Corporate Welfare
      • Joe Biden Can Cancel Your Student Loan Debt

        During a press conference last month, Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that the president cannot cancel student debt through an executive order. “People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness,” she said, adding, “He does not. He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power…. The president can’t do it. That’s not even a discussion.”

      • Worried Students Are “Getting Spoiled,” WI District Cancels Free Meals Program
      • To Avoid ‘Spoiling’ Hungry Children, Wisconsin School District Opts Out of Free Meal Program

        Hundreds of families and educators in Waukesha, Wisconsin are calling on the city’s school board to reverse a decision it made earlier this year to opt out of a federal meal program that was introduced at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, offering free food to students regardless of income.

        “The Waukesha School Board’s decision isn’t just cruel, it’s an attempt to punish children from families with lower incomes who are disproportionately Black and brown.”—Sarah Godlewski, Wisconsin state treasurer

      • Lauren Boebert Admits She “Under-Reported” Campaign Payments to the FEC
      • Amazon’s Drive Into Africa

        The Cape Town development, worth R4 billion (US$284 million), is part of a broader enterprise spanning 15 hectares along a riverside area that promises a range of uses: a hotel, offices, shops, a gym, a number of restaurants, a conference space and affordable housing.  Amazon is intended as the main tenant, with its headquarters covering 70,000 square metres (17.3 acres).

        The project is not going ahead unopposed.   The site had previously been given a two-year interim heritage designation, which expired in April 2020.  It is distinguished by riverside, verdant space and the confluence of the Black and Liesbeek Rivers, considered of cultural significance to some descendants of the Khoi and San.  To them historical parallels of this enterprise appear with ominous significance.  The Khoi did valiant battle with cattle-raiding Portuguese in a famous encounter half a millennium ago, leaving Francis de Almeida, the first viceroy of the Portuguese Indies, dead.

      • Opinion | Walmartland: How US Stores Colonizing Mexico Are Displacing Local Culture

        The historic center of Puebla city, where I live, is a World Heritage site. The main square is flanked by a cathedral which was built in 1575, and the nearby post office, like many buildings in the area, is beautifully decorated in the traditional tiles. But among theses buildings there is also a McDonald’s, Dominos, Oxxo (a Coca Cola store), Subway, and Burger King, and there is a Pizza Hut, KFC; and Starbucks one block away.

      • WalmartLand: How US Stores Colonizing Mexico are Displacing Local Culture

        Starbucks has 670 stores in Mexico, Subway has 900, and Walmart has 2,610 – the largest number in any country after the US, and a figure that is likely to increase given their profits during the pandemic.

        The impact of this change in urban landscape and consumption on Mexicans’ identity, lifestyle, and culture, shouldn’t be underestimated. More and more US transnationals have opened up in Mexico over the past few decades, taking advantage of unfair trade agreements, super-exploitative labor conditions, and cheap utilities. Local restaurants and traditional Mexican tianguis markets struggle to compete, and many Mexicans see the US companies as a source of social status.

      • Cori Bush Urges Congress to Act as Supreme Court Ends Eviction Moratorium
      • Cori Bush Demands to Know Where Fellow Dems Stand on Eviction Moratorium

        Congresswoman Cori Bush on Friday demanded to know where her fellow Democratic lawmakers stand on legislative action to extend a nationwide moratorium on evictions after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the CDC’s ban, leaving millions at risk of losing their homes in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

        “Just wondering—are some of the Democrats who attempted to sink the Biden agenda this week part of the same group blocking legislation to extend the eviction moratorium?” Bush (D-Mo.) asked on Twitter, referring to the small group of conservative House Democrats who threatened to tank a $3.5 trillion budget resolution.

      • Exclusive: Report Details Corporate Landlord Gluttony as Millions Face Eviction

        Despite their loud public complaints to lawmakers about the supposed “economic hardships” caused by the CDC’s now-terminated eviction moratorium, large real estate companies have privately touted their solid performance during the coronavirus pandemic—and they’ve rewarded their CEOs with major pay increases.

        A new report (pdf) provided exclusively to Common Dreams by the government watchdog group Accountable.US shows that large corporate landlords have reported “strong or stable” earnings to investors in recent months as millions of people across the U.S. worried about losing their homes. Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling against the eviction moratorium on Thursday, millions of people are now at imminent risk of eviction.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Biden’s Gambit: A Finger in the Dike

        The systematic failure of the military and intelligence bureaucracies has begun to be exposed for its incompetency after 20 years of failed “nation building.” Unfortunately, one can expect no long-term consequences as to the control the military-industrial complex domination of U.S. domestic and foreign policy.

        Biden has built his presidency on an assertive domestic policy, one recalling Franklin Roosevelt’s efforts during the Great Depression.  He took office amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and a recession, inheriting the Trump administration’s failed policies.

      • Texas House Speaker Warns Democrats Not to Say “Racism” in Election Bill Debate
      • These Progressive Candidates Want to Transform LA in 2022

        The political landscape of Los Angeles might go through a dramatic shift in 2022. California’s largest municipality will be voting on half of its 15 City Council districts as well as positions like the City’s controller, attorney, and mayor. Despite the ongoing pandemic, progressive candidates throughout LA see this as an obvious opportunity to push their city decidedly to the left. 

      • As California Gubernatorial Candidates Debate, Court Rulings Change the Landscape
      • Opinion | A Progressive Cabal of Staffers on Capitol Hill

        The idea didn’t come from a newly arrived Harvard or Yale Congressional staffer. They mostly feel sufficiently anointed to the ways of Capitol Hill—getting along with style while going along for ambition.

      • California Recall: Right-Wing Radio Host Who Once Mentored Stephen Miller Could Replace Gov. Newsom

        The conservative talk radio host Larry Elder is now the Republican front-runner challenging Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom in a special election that could also shape national politics. California voters cast ballots on September 14 on whether to recall Newsom, after a right-wing campaign to unseat the governor garnered enough signatures to trigger the vote. If Newsom fails to get more than 50% support for staying in office, the candidate with the most votes replaces him as governor. “This whole thing started with anti-immigrant nativists in California who were upset about the pro-immigrant, pro-Latino policies that Gavin Newsom was putting in place,” says Los Angeles Times columnist Jean Guerrero. “[Elder] basically wants to take California back to the 1990s, when we saw an incredibly anti-immigrant and anti-Black decade in California.” Elder was a mentor to Stephen Miller, the xenophobic, anti-immigration former Trump adviser, which Guerrero writes about in her book, “Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda.”

      • Opinion | GOP Destroying Democracy With Claims They Are Saving It

        Arizona’s Maricopa County is ground zero in the continuing debate over election integrity in the United States. The so-called audit of the 2.1 million votes cast in that county in last year’s presidential election—by the almost comically inept firm Cyber Ninjas—was supposed to arrive at the Arizona Senate this week. But delivery was once again delayed as three members of the five-person Ninja team contracted COVID-19.

      • James Loewen on Lies Historians Tell Us

        Anyone born before last week can see US news media lying about history as it’s happening. But fast forward to 10, 20 years from now, and those media stories will have hardened into narrative, into the unspoken “given” presented as context for the latest thing.

      • ‘Accountability to the People of Afghanistan Should Remain Our Focal Point’
    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Ballplayer Who Fought for Free Agency

        Curt Flood belongs in baseball’s Hall of Fame. An outstanding hitter and outfielder during the 1950s and ’60s, he sacrificed his career to challenge the control of baseball’s corporate plutocracy over players’ lives and livelihoods. Every professional athlete owes Flood a debt of gratitude, but the billionaires who run Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame aren’t fans of Flood, whose outlook and activism were shaped by both the labor and civil rights movements.1

      • Massive Indigenous Protests in Brazil Ahead of Landmark Ruling on Land Rights

        Indigenous groups from across Brazil have been protesting this week ahead of an expected Supreme Court decision determining the fate of Indigenous lands in the country and which allies fear could unleash “devastating consequences” for human and environmental rights.

        The court said Thursday that the ruling would come next week.

      • In Praise of Garibaldi (Anita)

        On August 30, 1821 Anita da Silva de Jesus was born in Brazil South to Bentao da Silva and Antonia de Jesus. At the age of seven, Anita became skilled with horses and devoted much of her time to raising and teaching her siblings while her mother did domestic work. In 1831, when Anita was ten, revolution broke out in the Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s most southern province. A few years later she lost her father in a tragic accident and was physically assaulted by a neighboring farmer. After acting in self-defense, her case came before the local Justice of the Peace, where she was found innocent. When Anita was eighteen years old in 1839, she was in an unstable arranged marriage. This is when she met Giuseppe Garibaldi (who she referred to as José). Giuseppe Garibaldi was participating in revolutions fomenting in Brazil and Uruguay; they married soon after. Starting in 1839-1840, Anita Garibaldi developed a comradeship with Giuseppe, and contributed to the independence movement and trekked across the countryside, giving birth to their first child. After her capture as a prisoner, she managed to escape and reunite with Giuseppe.

        In 1841, after fighting on behalf of Rio Grande, Anita left for Montevideo, Uruguay, a place at war with Argentina. Here, Anita Garibaldi organized women at building fortifications caring for children, helped to distribute food, and raised money for political projects in the effort to abolish slavery in Uruguay. In 1847, she travelled to Italy and helped organize political foundations for the redshirts to join the revolutions of 1848. Anita Garibaldi died on August 4, 1849 after participating in the Risorgimento and contracting malaria.

      • Jesús Santrich Explored the Utopian Origins of Marxist and Bolivarian Ideologies

        Santrich went into hiding in 2019 for two reasons. The killing of FARC combatants was continuing after the Agreement and he was at risk of being extradited to the United States on false drug charges. He joined the “Second Marquetalia,” an offshoot of the original FARC insurgency that was returning to armed conflict.

        Santrich’s  22 -page essay, written in 2009 in honor of legendary FARC commander Manuel Marulanda, carries the title:  “Bolivarianism and Marxism – a Commitment to the Impossible” (Bolivarismo y marxismo,un compromiso con lo imposible.) There, Santrich examines the utopian underpinnings of the Marxist movement and the liberation struggles of Simón Bolívar.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Webinar Materials – Fintiv Denials in Light of ITC Cases [Ed: But it's stacked by so-called law firms and lawyers instead of scientists]

          For this webinar, our panel addressed Fintiv denials in light of PTAB proceedings. The panelists presented several case studies and discussed the current policy applied by the PTAB. A few strategies on how to reduce the risk of denial were also included in the presentation.

        • ToolGen Files Opposition to CVC Substantive Preliminary Motion No. 2 to Deny Priority Benefit [Ed: Still fighting who 'owns' life and nature through utterly ridiculous patent monopolies on CRISPR]

          On May 20th, Junior Party the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Vienna; and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, “CVC”) filed its Substantive Preliminary Motion No. 2 in Interference No. 106,127 (which names ToolGen as Senior Party), asking the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to deny ToolGen benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 16/717,324, filed October 23, 2012, pursuant to 37 C.F.R. §§ 41.121(a)(1)(ii) and 41.208(a)(3) and Standing Order ¶ 208.4.1. The significance of the Board granting this motion would be that CVC would be Senior Party, with all the presumptions benefiting from Senior Party status. On July 5th, ToolGen filed is opposition to this Motion.

          In its Motion No. 2, CVC argued that the Board should deny ToolGen priority benefit to the ’324 application because this application does not disclose an operative embodiment falling within the scope of the interference Count, based on party admissions. Specifically, CVC argued that in the prosecution of the ’324 patent application leading to allowance (and declaration of this interference), ToolGen had argued to the Patent Examiner (and PTAB) that “a codon-optimized Cas9 nucleic acid is required for CRISPR-Cas9 to function in eukaryotic cells” and that “a skilled artisan would have no idea what the outcome may be if one were to codon optimize a Cas9 nucleic acid.” This position was consistent with the prokaryotic source of Cas9, and the Board and Examiner relied upon these arguments to find allowable claims in the ’324 application (now claims designated as corresponding to the Count in this interference) according to CVC. All such claims require use of a Cas9-encoding nucleic acid that is codon-optimized for expression in eukaryotic cells, and CVC asserted that ToolGen added this limitation to the claims to overcome anticipation and obviousness rejections based on the prior art.

        • Software Patents

          • $2,500 for Defenders of the American Dream prior art

            On August 27, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,500 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 8,621,578. The patent is owned by the Defenders of the American Dream, LLC, an NPE. Various demand letters to owners of websites that simply use Captcha as a verification method have been sent and the ‘578 patent has been asserted against Best Buy, Fandango, AEG, and Ticket Master.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 5/12/2021: Touchpad Gestures in XWayland

    Links for the day



  2. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large



  3. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

    With lobbyists-led leadership one might be led to believe that a treaty strictly requiring ratification by the UK is somehow feasible (even if technically and legally it's moot already)



  4. The EPO's Web Site is a Parade of Endless Lies and Celebration of Gross Violations of the Law

    The EPO's noise site (formerly it had a "news" section, but it has not been honest for about a decade) is a torrent of lies, cover-up, and promotion of crimes; maybe the lies are obvious for everybody to see (at least EPO insiders), but nevertheless a rebuttal seems necessary



  5. The Letter EPO Management Does Not Want Applicants to See (or Respond to)

    A letter from the Munich Staff Committee at the EPO highlights the worrying extent of neglect of patent quality under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; the management of the EPO did not even bother replying to that letter (instead it was busy outsourcing the EPO to Microsoft)



  6. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 04, 2021



  7. EPO-Bribed IAM 'Media' Has Praised Quality, Which Even EPO Staff (Examiners) Does Not Praise

    It's easy to see something is terribly wrong when the people who do the actual work do not agree with the media's praise of their work (a praise motivated by a nefarious, alternate agenda)



  8. Tux Machines is 17.5 Years Old Today

    Tux Machines -- our 'sister site' for GNU/Linux news -- started in 2004. We're soon entering 2022.



  9. Approaching 100

    We'll soon have 100 files in Git; if that matters at all...



  10. Improving Gemini by Posting IRC Logs (and Scrollback) as GemText

    Our adoption of Gemini and of GemText increases; with nearly 100,000 page requests in the first 3 days of Decembe (over gemini://) it’s clear that the growing potential of the protocol is realised, hence the rapid growth too; Gemini is great for self-hosting, which is in turn essential when publishing suppressed and controversial information (subject to censorship through blackmail and other ‘creative’ means)



  11. Links 4/12/2021: IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 and Genode OS Framework 21.11

    Links for the day



  12. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  13. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  15. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  16. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  17. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  18. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  19. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  20. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  22. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  24. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  25. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  26. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  27. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  28. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  29. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  30. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation


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