Six Years Ago Belgian TV Compared Benoît Battistelli to a Mass Murderer, El Chapo Guzmán

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: How time flies; in September 2015 we wrote about Benoît Battistelli being categorised among the likes of El Chapo Guzmán, a mass murderer; who thought Battistelli would end up in charge of a law school as a reward for his crimes?










Benoît Battistelli’s Napoleonic Baltic Crusade: Phase II, Fortification and Cover-Up

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Vichyite dictator from Corsica bears gifts… but only for those complicit, i.e. those facilitating his coup and enabling the pillage. The local population stands to gain nothing, only the facilitators gain at their population’s expense.

Get ready for phase 2 of EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States

Summary: We take a look back and a look ahead at what’s to come over the next 8 days or so

OVER the next 8 days we shall publish the second chunk or about eight parts of the EPO series (EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States).

Free shots taken in Tallinn, capital of EstoniaLet’s take a moment to reflect.

We have been working on a new series about the EPO’s Administrative Council. This time it’s about the Baltic States: Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. Unlike the Balkan region…

The main focus of the series is the relationship between the Baltic States and the European Patent Organisation. There will be around 20 parts in total.

“The main focus of the series is the relationship between the Baltic States and the European Patent Organisation.”Parts 1 to 12, which are now fully published, deal with Benoît Battistelli‘s “Baltic Crusade” to “capture” these states as part of his 2010 power grab.

A lot of interesting stuff has emerged about the behind-the-scenes influence of the head of the Finnish Patents and Registration Office (PRH), a guy called Martti Enäjärvi. There are also a lot of interesting cross-connections between Enäjärvi, the EUIPO, and António Campinos.

The remaining parts of the series (parts 13 to 20) are mainly about how the Baltic States managed the transition as the “old guard” of delegates gradually departed (from around 2010 onwards) and who the current delegates are.

Should be ready to roll tomorrow. Unless I get ill or something… (our team suffered some illnesses lately)

“We have a lot more in store, even after this current series ends in about 8 days from now.”Regarding Latvia, Google News has alerted me that this page (warning: epo.org link) may have changed. That happened about a week ago. I checked it closely but it seems to be the same as this older and archived version. This one too is said to have been updated or bumped up, but I cannot see a difference compared to a weeks-old screenshot which I took. Anyway, it seems like there’s some editing going on and the pages impacted are… interesting to say the least because of the timing. I noticed no other pages in Google News/Alerts/RSS results. Only pages about Macedonia and Baltic States may have been changed.

Estonian flagToday we finished part 12, so giving away some spoilers may be OK. It’s all done, so the EPO cannot hide anything anymore. Part 12 completes the first “half” of the series which focuses on Battistelli’s “Baltic Crusade” in 2009/2010 and the role of his Finnish “facilitator” Martti Enäjärvi.The second “half” of the series will deal with the “changing of the guard” in the Baltic States as the older generation retired and new faces took over. The second “half” – Parts 13 to 20 – should be ready for publication this weekend and next week, finishing the series (by sheer coincidence) around 9/11.

Battistelli's cronies like to pretend that everything we publish here is just out of spite over European software patents, but this is false. It is very important for a lot of people to see (or to highlight) corruption at the EPO. We have a lot more in store, even after this current series ends (about 8 days from now). Transparency under EPO is like Sunshine to a vampire.

Links 3/9/2021: Gzip 1.11 and EasyOS 2.9

Posted in News Roundup at 2:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • NFS Client Changes For Linux 5.15 Bring Connection Sharing, Better Responsiveness – Phoronix

        While Linux 5.15 has added KSMBD as an SMB3 in-kernel file server, the NFS code within the Linux kernel continues advancing as well for network file sharing needs. With NFS in Linux 5.15 are a few notable improvements.

      • Linux 5.15 Working Towards Comprehensive Compile-Time & Run-Time Detection Of Buffer Overflows – Phoronix

        The latest security effort being pursued by Google’s Kees Cook is to provide full compile-time and run-time coverage of all detectable buffer overflows.

        This compile/run-time detection of buffer overflows for the Linux kernel would include coverage of such overflows via array indexing or memcpy(), memmove(), and memset() while the str*() functions already boast full coverage.

        Kernel developers have been working towards this mission for some time while in Linux 5.15 is a big batch of the buffer overflow detection improvements, including some new common helpers along with other low-level improvements.

      • The New NTFS File-System Driver Has Been Submitted For Linux 5.15

        It looks like Paragon Software’s NTFS3 kernel driver providing much better Linux support for the Microsoft NTFS file-system will land for the 5.15 kernel!

        Last year Paragon Software made the surprise announcement that they were looking to mainline their NTFS3 kernel driver that previously was commercial-only. But given that there are less organizations interested in NTFS these days but rather Microsoft exFAT and even file-systems like F2FS for Android, it’s nice to see Paragon finally willing to mainline the driver and also commit to maintaining it upstream moving forward.

    • Applications

      • Gtkeddit – GTK4 Reddit App Designed for Linux Mobile Such as Pinephone

        For Reddit users, Gtkeddit is another GTK app for Linux desktop and mobile.

        It’s a free and open-source app written in C++. With the libadwaita library (formerly libhandy), it has an adaptive UI that works on Linux phones such as the Pinephone.

        The software has dark mode for working at night, though I don’t find how to enable it in Ubuntu using the Flatpak package. And it allows you to browser without an account.

        Compare to Giara, another Reddit App written in Python with GTK4, the UI navigation feels good and smoother in Gtkeddit. Though it freezes every time during loading new content, maybe due to my poor VPN network connection.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Lessons learned from deploying Cloudera Data Platform for IBM Cloud Pak for Data

        Here in this last blog post in our series, we focus on lessons learned from installing, maintaining, and verifying the connectivity of Cloudera Data Platform and IBM Cloud Pak for Data. If you haven’t read the first two posts — A technical deep-dive on integrating Cloudera Data Platform and IBM Cloud Pak for Data and Installing Cloudera’s CDP Private Cloud Base on IBM Cloud with Ansible, then I’d invite you to go back and read them for additional context.

      • How to Encrypt Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop Post Installation

        In a separate tutorial, we highlighted the process to deploy full disk encryption on Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 with LUKS encryption during installation. In practice, this is the recommended method to protect an Ubuntu device since it encrypts all disk partitions including the swap space and system partitions, thus achieving full disk encryption.

        If you already have Ubuntu installed without any encryption, then full disk encryption with LUKS may not be an option; however, you could still encrypt the home directory and swap space without requiring a complete reinstallation of the operating system.

        By default, the home directory is the directory where most of your personal files reside. This can include documents, spreadsheets, music, videos, images, and any other files you may download. Swap space is the space on the hard drive that is used as virtual memory. When a Linux system is running out of RAM, the inactive pages are pushed to the swap space; while access time is a tad slower than the RAM, in doing so the swap space supplements the device’s RAM when it is almost exhausted.

      • How To Install ClamAV on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install ClamAV on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, ClamAV is an open-source antivirus engine for detecting trojans, viruses, malware, adware, rootkits, and other malicious threats. ClamAV offers a Command-line scanner, a Milter interface for Sendmail, an Advanced database updater, and built-in support for archive formats, ELF executables + Portable Executable files, and popular document formats.

        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 ClamAV on an AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

      • How to Combine PDF Files on Windows and Linux – Make Tech Easier

        You have probably received PDF files before and may have many PDF documents stored in your computer. Deleting them is not an option, and backing them up may take up a lot of storage space. One solution is to combine/merge multiple PDF files into a single PDF so that it is easier to manage, access, and back up. PDFtk Server is a command line tool that allows you to easily combine multiple PDF files into one.

      • How to Enable CentOS SIG Repositories in AlmaLinux

        There are software repositories in Linux, which are essentially servers from which we get packages. SIGs (Special Interest Groups) are smaller groups within the CentOS community that focus on a specific topic in order to raise awareness or focus on development.

        SIGs have their own repositories, and in order to enable them, you must manually find the correct repository, download and install the package. AlmaLinux has now made CentOS SIGs release packages available in AlmaLinux’s repository in response to the issue.

        In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to enable the CentOS SIG repositories in AlmaLinux using dnf.

      • How to Install urBackup on Ubuntu 20.04 – VITUX

        UrBackup is a client/server backup tool that supports image backups as well as file backups. It is available for both Linux and Windows operating systems. A prominent feature of this backup system is that it never interrupts the current working of your system rather the backups are created in parallel while your target system is running. In this guide, we will take a look at the installation procedure of UrBackup on an Ubuntu 20.04 system.

      • Using Cat Command in Linux with Examples

        In Linux, the cat command is one of the most commonly used commands. cat which stands for “concatenate”, can read, write and concatenate file contents to standard output. The cat command is usually used to view the contents of one or more text files, combine files by adding contents of one file to another and create new files.

        In this tutorial, we will learn how to use the cat command to its full potential with examples.

      • Reverse Proxy with Nginx: A Step-by-Step Setup Guide

        This step-by-step tutorial is going to show you how you can easily set up a reverse proxy with Nginx to improve security and performance.

        One of the more popular reverse proxy tools at the moment is Nginx. Although Nginx itself is a web server, it does an outstanding job of serving as a reverse proxy.

      • Print files from your Linux terminal

        Printing on Linux is easy, but sometimes it feels like a lot of work to launch an application, open a file, find the Print selection in the menu, click a confirmation button, and so on. When you’re a Linux terminal user, you often want to perform complex actions with simple triggers. Printing is complex, and there’s little as simple as the lpr command.

      • Monitor your Linux server with Checkmk | Opensource.com

        Monitoring IT assets is an essential task for any IT department. Still, due to the growing number of devices in corporate networks, it is getting more and more challenging to find an approach that is flexible enough to monitor the wide range of available systems properly. It’s essential to have a monitoring tool that is flexible, scalable, and easy to use.

        In this article, I demonstrate how to install Checkmk, the monitoring tool from tribe29, and how to monitor servers and network devices with it.

      • Canon Pixma TR4540 All-in-one Printer/Scanner on openSUSE

        The device driver for the Canon Pixma TR4540 All-in-one Printer/Scanner does not come bundled with openSUSE, whether you are on Leap or Tumbleweed. It is non available from the official repositories as well, at least I didn’t find them, neither on openSUSE Non-OSS or Packman repos.

        However, Canon provides the drivers on its website along with an installation script. The tarball containing the the .rpm files and the script can be from its package-archive. At the time that I tested, the driver package was at version 5.70.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Emulate the Dragon 32/64 home computer with Linux

        Emulation is the practice of using a program (called an emulator) on a PC to mimic the behaviour of a home computer or a video game console, in order to play (usually retro) games on a computer.

        Home computers were a class of microcomputers that entered the market in 1977 and became common during the 1980s. They were marketed to consumers as affordable and accessible computers that, for the first time, were intended for the use of a single non-technical user.

        Back in the 1980s, home computers came to the forefront of teenagers’ minds. Specifically, the Amiga, ZX Spectrum, and Atari ST were extremely popular. They were hugely popular home computers targeted heavily towards games, but they also ran other types of software.


        Initially, the Dragon was reasonably well supported by the large UK software companies. Top-selling games available for the Dragon include Arcadia (Imagine), Chuckie Egg (A&F), Manic Miner and sequel Jet Set Willy (Software Projects), Hunchback (Ocean) and Football Manager (Addictive). Due to the basic graphics modes of the Dragon, converted games had a distinctive appearance, with colour games being usually played on a green or white background (rather than the more common black on other systems) or games with high-definition graphics having to run in monochrome.

    • Games

    • Distributions

      • Linspire 10 SP2 Released

        Today, the PC/OpenSystems LLC Development team has released Linspire 10 SP 2, a major update which begins a new chapter in Linspire’s story by taking it to the cloud. Linspire streamlines all of Google’s services into the distro; users can create any web app they want, on the fly, using the IceSSB utility which seamlessly turns any web page / web app into a dedicated desktop application utilizing the Chrome/Chromium framework. Which includes 1). full use of audio / video and 2). drag and drop from the Caja file manager. And never fear : all of the applications and resources of the Ubuntu repositories are available as well as installation from traditional Debian/Ubuntu packages, Flatpak and AppImage are available for traditional use cases. The underpinnings of Linspire still support a full-blown Linux desktop experience.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Wireshark, PipeWire, Audacity Update in Tumbleweed

          Snapshot releases of openSUSE’s rolling release Tumbleweed have been constantly trickling out to users since last week’s review.

          This review will cover the five snapshots made available since August 26. Each of the snapshots delivered about a handful of updated software packages.

          Snapshot 20210831 updated bind to version 9.16.20, which fixed a Common Vulnerability and Exposure; CVE-2021-25218 an assertion failure could have allowed an attacker to abused the Path Maximum Transmission Unit Discovery protocol to trick bind into exceeding the interface MTU. The C Library for manipulating module metadata files libmodulemd updated to 2.13.0 and the modulemd-validator enables a user to constrain a document type with a new –type option. The other packages to update in the snapshot were libqmi 1.28.8 and libjpeg-turbo 2.1.1, which fixed a couple regressions affecting AArch64 and arm 32-bit hardware.

          Linux Kernel 5.13.13 was one of the two packages updated in the 20210830 snapshot. The Direct Rendering Manager had some fixes in the kernel update and added an AAL output size configuration. The kernel update also had an Advanced Linux Sound Architecture enablement for the 4-speaker output in the Dell XPS 15 9510 laptop. The other package to update in the snapshot was perl-Image-ExifTool, which had a version bump to 12.30.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2021/35

          This week has shown that Tumbleweed is indeed back at full speed. We have published new snapshots daily. Of course, that also means we could rely on not receiving broken things that managed to slip through stagings without being noticed. So thanks go mostly to the developers/maintainers who submitted pre-tested things. And openQA of course!

        • SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 Public RC (RC 2) is out!

          We are thrilled to announce the Public Release Candidate (RC 2) of SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1!

          SLE Micro is an ultra-reliable, lightweight operating system purpose built for edge computing. Please check out our Product page to learn more, but for the beta program, please refer to our dedicated beta page.

        • SUSE Rancher 2.6 Helps Customers Better Manage Growing Kubernetes Environments

          SUSE Rancher 2.6, the latest release of SUSE‘s open source enterprise Kubernetes management platform, is now available. It features major updates across the platform that will help enterprise customers better manage their growing Kubernetes environments.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Kushal Das: Default values, documentation and Ansible

          While testing my qubes_ansible project on the upcoming Qubes OS 4.1 project, I noticed something really strange. But, before getting into that, this Ansible module and the connection plugin are for Qubes OS only, and based on the excellent Python modules provided by the Qubes team.

        • Looking back on 30 years of Linux history with Red Hat’s Stephen Smoogen

          The Linux kernel and the second version of the GNU General Public License (GPLv2) turned 30 this year.

        • Red Hat Looking To Bolster EPEL

          Red Hat is said to be establishing a “small team” to work on activities around EPEL, the “Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux” that is popular with RHEL/CentOS users for easily fetching extra packages not available via RHEL proper.

          The Fedora-hosted Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) has been a great success for complementing the package selection available on RHEL, CentOS, and friends. This Fedora special interest group has done a great job providing and maintaining this wide assortment of additional packages for easy deployment on RHEL-based distributions.

        • Red Hat will officially support EPEL in the future

          As CentOS blog can be seen in the , Red Hat officially wants to upgrade the EPEL repository, which has been maintained since 2007, with a small team of full-time supervisors. The community-based special interest group EPEL SIG is not to be replaced, but supplemented. So far, Red Hat or the Fedora Project have not given any guarantees, support or certifications for EPEL packages, as is usual for packages in the official RHEL repository. This could change now.

      • Debian Family

        • EasyOS version 2.9 released

          EasyOS is an experimental distribution, a “new paradigm”; a blend of the best ideas from Puppy Linux and Quirky Linux, and a fundamental rethink of the security, maintainability and ease-of-use. Special features include a custom container system, named EasyContainers, a special isolated ultra-secure mode running in RAM, and all packages are compiled from source, in a port of OpenEmbedded with an EasyOS layer.

          Version 2.9 is the latest in the “Dunfell series”, the name derived from the Dunfell release of OpenEmbedded (OE). Version 2.9 is a complete recompile in OE, with package version updates. Also updated are SeaMonkey, now 2.53.9, and the Linux kernel, now 5.10.61.

        • How and why EasyOS is different page updated
        • How and why EasyOS is different

          EasyOS was born in January 2017, and since then there have been bits and pieces written here and there about how and why it is different from other Linux distributions. This includes some rather technical descriptions. What is needed is a simple plain-English list, so that anyone can get a quick idea of what EasyOS is all about.

          So, here goes. Do note, though, that Easy is an experimental distribution, and the features may change, and some features are a work-in-progress. These items are not listed in any particular order…

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Snapcraft 6.0 is around the corner

          A good sign of maturity and confidence in software is when said software utilizes its own components for future development and enablement. Snapcraft is a command-line utility that allows developers to package and distribute their applications as snaps. But Snapcraft itself is also distributed as a snap, and built in the same manner!

          Today, Snapcraft is built using the core18, based off of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Very soon, Snapcraft will move to the latest LTS base, core20, both to ensure forward support and updates, as well as to make use of various improvements in the snappy ecosystem. This migration will bring a number of important changes, so we’d like to share our roadmap and plan for Snapcraft, and how these changes may affect you.


          For most developers and publishers, the release of Snapcraft 6.x will not cause any change to their existing processes. They will be able to continue building snaps as before, and utilize the latest features in the 6.x channel. For those who still need to support the i386 architecture, they can use the 5.x channel. Moreover, Launchpad will retain the ability to dispatch core18 tasks, with or without the i386 architecture.

        • Snapcraft 6.0 Coming To Finally Move From Ubuntu 18.04 To 20.04 LTS Base, Phase Out i386

          Canonical is preparing to soon release Snapcraft 6.0 as the latest version of their utility for packaging and distributing Snaps, the Ubuntu-preferred route for sandboxed apps.

          The principal highlight of Snapcraft 6.0 is shifting from an Ubuntu 18.04 LTS base to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. In turn with Snapcraft 6.0 switching to an Ubuntu 20.04 LTS core, 32-bit x86 (i386) support is phased out while RISC-V support is now available. But for those still wanting i386 support, the legacy track with Snapcraft will still allow using the older Ubuntu 18.04 base.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Video SBC with NPU equipped Allwinner V833 sells for $125

        Lindenis’ open-spec, $125 “Lindenis V833” SBC runs a Linux-based Lindenis Video SDK on Allwinner’s 1.2GHz, single -A7 V833 camera SoC with a 0.4-TOPS NPU. Features include up to 3GB RAM, LAN, WiFi, 4-lane MIPI-DSI and CSI, and BT1120 HDTV I/O.

        In Jan. 202, Shenzhen based Lindenis Tech. Ltd. launched a sandwich-style, 4K camera-oriented Lindenis V536 SBC based on an Allwinner V536 compute module. The Lindenis V536 is still available at Amazon for $109, but unlike its flagship Lindenis V5, the SBC is not listed on the Lindenis website. The V5 SBC is based on a similarly quad -A7 Allwinner V5 camera SoC.

        Now Lindenis has returned with a lower powered, but AI-enabled Lindenis V833 video processing board equipped with MIPI-DSI/CSI and BT1120 vision I/O. Available for $125, the open-spec SBC is designed for smart camera, smart IPC, and SDV (switched digital video) applications.

      • M5Stamp Pico ESP32-PICO-D4 module ships with a heat-resistant plastic shell – CNX Software

        Most WiFi IoT modules are designed to be integrated into products with an enclosure, but the M5Stamp Pico module based on ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP comes with a removable heat-resistant plastic shell that protects the 3D antenna and components, while leaving space to solder headers and/or a Grove connector.

        The tiny module also comes with a button and RGB LED, and like other ESP32-based M5Stack hardware, M5Stamp Pico is programmable with UIFlow graphical programming platform and compatible with Arduino, MicroPython, and the ESP-IDF.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Freedesktop SDK 21.08 Released With RISC-V Support

          The Freedesktop SDK as a platform and SDK run-time for Flatpak apps/run-times is out with its first major stable update in one year.

          Freedesktop SDK 21.08 is notable in that RISC-V is the latest CPU architecture supported by this SDK/run-time popular with Flatpaks. There is also a wide variety of updated packages contained within this SDK, GStreamer-VAAPI has been re-added as a supported extension, and the Rust extension was removed.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • Jolla Sailfish OS uses AppSupport for Linux

          An article on techcrunch.com, which can also be found on the Jolla homepage under News, reports that Jolla has reached profitability in the 2020 financial year after 10 years. I do not know whether there are still claims from the crowdfunding campaign for the tablet and whether these will now be settled.

          Opinion: Whether such claims are legally justified may be another matter, but one’s own reputation and moral claim beyond the requirements of national and international legislation should be worth something to owners and company management.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 3 September 2021

        Welcome, September –we’re opening the month with another great week. Here’s what the Apache community has been up to…

      • CMS

        • The Month in WordPress: August 2021

          That was Josepha Haden on the “The Art and Science of Accessibility” episode of the WP Briefing Podcast, talking about accessibility and exploring how it applies to the WordPress open source software. You will find that many of our updates from August 2021 tie in closely with the core principles of access, accessibility, and usability. Read on to find out more!

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • gzip @ Savannah: gzip-1.11 released [stable]

            This is to announce gzip-1.11, a stable release.

            There have been 43 commits by 5 people in the 2.7(!) years since 1.10.

            See the NEWS below for a brief summary.

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

            Bjarni Ingi Gislason (1)
            Dmitry V. Levin (1)
            Ilya Leoshkevich (8)
            Jim Meyering (20)
            Paul Eggert (13)

          • Gzip 1.11 Released With “Orders of Magnitude Faster” Performance On IBM Z

            The last release of Gzip was v1.10 back at the end of 2018 while now it’s finally been succeeded today by Gzip 1.11.

            But even with the two and a half years since the release of Gzip 1.10, the Gzip 1.1 release isn’t all that exciting… Unless you happen to be using IBM Z hardware.

          • Haiku Upstreams Its GNU Binutils Support

            The BeOS-inspired Haiku open-source operating system project has upstreamed its GNU Binutils support.

            For years the Haiku project has been maintaining their own GNU Binutils patches downstream but as of yesterday that work has been upstreamed.

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RQuantLib 0.4.13: Routine Update

          A new release 0.4.13 of RQuantLib arrived on CRAN yesterday, and has been uploaded to Debian as well.

          QuantLib is a very comprehensice free/open-source library for quantitative finance; RQuantLib connects it to the R environment and language.

          This updates RQuantLib to a few now-deprecated (daycount convention) interfaces in QuantLib release 1.23. As the last release was sixteen months ago, we also updated a few standard packaging aspects (such as use of r-ci), updated README.md and DESCRIPTION and fixed an old typo. No other changes, no new interfaces.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppSMC 0.2.4 on CRAN: Even More GSoC !!

          A brand new release 0.2.4 of the RcppSMC package arrived on CRAN earlier today, with a dual delay for CRAN closing for a well-earned break, and then being overwhelmed when reopening. Other than that the processing was again versy smooth.

          RcppSMC provides Rcpp-based bindings to R for the Sequential Monte Carlo Template Classes (SMCTC) by Adam Johansen described in his JSS article. Sequential Monte Carlo is also referred to as Particle Filter in some contexts.

        • What’s new in QML Tooling in Qt 6.2?
        • Opening doors: Eclipse Foundation

          As you probably know by now, the Eclipse Foundation has become an European non-profit organization and they are strengthening their team in Europe. The organization reach has always been global including a team in Europe, but this formal movement means that there is now a solid Open Source organization to host collaboration projects created by corporations and companies for commercial purposes, under EU laws, which has interesting implications at different levels.

          After contributing to KDE and being part of its Board of Directors, working at ASOLIF (Spanish trade federation of associations of FOSS companies) as executive, being a line manager at Linaro, leading the GENIVI distribution as supplier or contributing to different initiatives at the Linux Foundation as member representative, being part of one of the most relevant organizations that provides a neutral environment to different type of organizations helping to create and consolidate projects is very appealing to me.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Banned: The 1,170 words you can’t use with GitHub Copilot

          GitHub’s Copilot comes with a coded list of 1,170 words to prevent the AI programming assistant from responding to input, or generating output, with offensive terms, while also keeping users safe from words like “Israel,” “Palestine,” “communist,” “liberal,” and “socialist,” according to new research.

          Copilot was released as a limited technical preview in July in the hope it can serve as a more sophisticated version of source-code autocomplete, drawing on an OpenAI neural network called Codex to turn text prompts into functioning code and make suggestions based on existing code.

          To date, the results have been interesting but not quite compelling – the code produced has been simplistic and insecure, though the project is still being improved.

        • Why can an ad break the Windows 11 desktop and taskbar?

          Earlier today, Microsoft pushed a promotional message to early adopters of Windows 11. The promo intended to promote the upcoming operating system’s integration with Microsoft Teams. Instead, it caused Explorer (the Windows desktop shell) to stop responding and left users without a working Start menu and taskbar.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Hesk: Open-source Ticketing system for enterprise

              Hesk is a simple open-source ticketing system. It comes with two company versions that let you choose from them.

              The platform downloaded from over than 650,000 times. It is a features-rich and comes with a large set of integration options that make it ideal to use for a company.

            • Osticket Open-source Ticketing system for enterprise

              Osticket is a web-based customer ticketing support system. It comes to help you in customer service, make them happy, manage, organize and archive all your support requests and responses in one place, improve your customer experience.

              This solution is widely used comes with a large set of feature with easily scale that empower businesses and customer experience.

              Unlike its other competitors, Osticket focuses on improve customer service professionally by providing a simply and easily installation process that helps you to get started with it with no time.

              This software is an alternative to higher-cost and complex customer support systems. It used from more than five million people from all around the world.

              Osticket is a simple application, easy to use, suitable for all businesses, it comes with social features. It also supports ticket systems on the market.


              The software is an open-source app released and distributed under the GPL-2.0 License.

            • FAVEO Open-source Ticketing system for enterprise

              FAVEO is a web-based help desk ticketing system. It is focus on customer service management, incident management, SLA management, built in knowledge base. It also provides Businesses with an automated Helpdesk system to manage customer support.

              Furthermore, it is a platform integrated with face book, Twitter, WhatsApp MSG91, and more.

              With it, you will get a great customer service. It provides Businesses with an automated Helpdesk system.

              The platform comes with a community edition that is totally free and open source, Pro Edition that is a paid version, Freelancer addition, and a service desk addition.

        • Security

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 183 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 183. This version includes the following changes:

            [ Chris Lamb ]
            * Add support for extracting Android signing blocks.
              (Closes: reproducible-builds/diffoscope#246)
            * Format debug messages for elf sections using our
              diffoscope.utils.format_class utility.
            * Clarify a comment about the HUGE_TOOLS dict in diffoscope.external_tools.
            [ Felix C. Stegerman ]
            * Clarify output around APK Signing Blocks and remove an accidental duplicate
              "0x" prefix.

          • Beware of malware attacks: Little-known facts and why they matter – ManageEngine Blog

            As cybersecurity advances, threat actors develop malware with new tricks that exploit weaknesses in an IT environment. Once the malware finds a loophole, it spreads exponentially like a disease, corrupting files, exfiltrating data, redirecting traffic to other destinations, and performing other malicious activities.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • How networks of consent can fix social platforms

        Social platforms are powerful tools which allow a user to communicate with their friends and family. They also allow for activists to organize and manage political movements. Unfortunately, they also allow for users to harass other users and the mitigations available for that harassment are generally lacking.

        By implementing networks of consent using the techniques presented, centralized, federated and distributed social networking platforms alike can build effective mitigations against harassment. Not all techniques will be required, depending on the design and implementation of a given platform.

        What does consent mean here?

        In this case, consent does not have any special technical meaning. It means the same thing as it does in real life: you (or your agent) is allowing or disallowing an action concerning you in some way.

        As computers are incapable of inferring whether consent is given, the user records a statement affirming their consent if granted. Otherwise, the lack of a consent statement must be taken to mean that consent was not granted for an action. How this affirmation is recorded is platform specific.

        In technical terms, we refer to these affirmations of consent as an object capability. Many things in this world are already built on object capabilities, for example Mach’s port system and cryptographic assets are forms of object capabilities.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

How Much Corruption Can One Survive in EPO?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: EPO President António Campinos deserves a little poetry

Credit: I Will Survive

At first I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never leave without big bonuses by my side
But then I spent so many nights thinking how to rob the staff
And I grew gaps
And I learned how to get fake ‘studies’
And Battistelli is back
I just walked in to find you here with that decision from ILO
I should have changed that stupid court, I should have made them kangaroos
If I’d known for just one second courts are back to bother me
Go on now, go, walk out the window
Just turn around now
Like my drunk son who crashed the car
Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with lawsuits?
You think I’d crumble?
You think I’d lay down and shout?
Oh no, not I, I will lawyer up
Oh, as long as I know how to misuse budget, I know I’ll stay out of jail
I’ve got all my wine to drink
And I’ve got all my SLAPP to give and I’ll abuse
I will misuse, hey, hey
It took all the strength I had not to fall from grace
Kept trying hard to mend the image of my political dad
And I spent oh-so many nights just feeling sorry for his name
I used to drink
But now I have my own bar and you see me
Somebody dumb
I’m not that chained-up HEY HI person still in love with ‘IP’
And so you felt like dropping in and just expect me to comply
Well, now I’m saving all my lying for someone who’s controlled by me
Go on now, go, walk back to Haar
Just turn around now
‘Cause you’re not welcome in my office
Weren’t you the one who tried to break me with your ILO ruling?
You think I’d comply?
I’d rather just die
Oh no, not I, I will not comply
Oh, as long as I know how to cheat, I know I’ll stay corrupt
I’ve got all my wine to drink
And I’ve got nepotistic jobs to give and I’ll survive
I will surmount
Go on now, go, walk out the window
Just turn around now
‘Cause you’re not welcome in Munich
Weren’t you the one who tried to break me with BoA rulings?
You think I’d tolerate it?
You think I’d lay down and not intervene?
Oh no, not I, I will send Mihály
Oh, as long as I know how to cheat, I know I’ll stay corrupt
I’ve got all my wine to give
And I’ve got all my bribes to give and I’ll survive
I will survive
I will survive

Links 3/9/2021: Istio 1.11.2 and EFF is Introducing “apkeep”

Posted in News Roundup at 10:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in August 2021 [Ed: For the second month in a row it's all "LINUX"]

        In August 2021, Choopa had the most reliable hosting company site: it responded to all of Netcraft’s requests, with an average connection time of 3ms. Choopa has appeared in the top 10 table five times in 2021 so far, also coming top in February and April of this year. Customers can choose from a range of cloud and managed solutions as well as register domain names.

        Aruba, Bigstep and CWCS Managed Hosting appear in second, third and fourth places. Aruba came close to Choopa in average connection time, averaging 5ms. Bigstep and CWCS Managed Hosting were both slower, averaging 62ms and 68ms.

      • Blog: Alpha in Kubernetes v1.22: API Server Tracing

        In distributed systems, it can be hard to figure out where problems are. You grep through one component’s logs just to discover that the source of your problem is in another component. You search there only to discover that you need to enable debug logs to figure out what really went wrong… And it goes on. The more complex the path your request takes, the harder it is to answer questions about where it went. I’ve personally spent many hours doing this dance with a variety of Kubernetes components. Distributed tracing is a tool which is designed to help in these situations, and the Kubernetes API Server is, perhaps, the most important Kubernetes component to be able to debug. At Kubernetes’ Sig Instrumentation, our mission is to make it easier to understand what’s going on in your cluster, and we are happy to announce that distributed tracing in the Kubernetes API Server reached alpha in 1.22.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • EndeavourOS 2021.08.27

        Today we are looking at EndeavourOS 2021.08.27. It comes with Linux Kernel 5.13, based on Arch, XFCE 4.16, and uses about 700MB of ram when idling. Enjoy!

      • EndeavourOS 2021.08.27 Run Through – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at EndeavourOS 2021.08.27.

      • Command Line Heroes Season 8 Trailer

        Robots have a special place in our imaginations. Writers, artists, directors and more have shown how robots can change our world—for better or far, far worse. But in the real world, robots seem a long way off. But are they? Season 8 of Command Line Heroes is all about the rise of the robots. They just may not be what you expect.

        We meet the first industrial robot, take a journey through the uncanny valley, and investigate a possible robot crime. Season 8 covers the robots that are in our midst—and the determined dreamers who bring them to life.

        The first episode drops September 7, 2021. Subscribe today and sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates.

      • Hey Brodie, Please Talk About Cryptocurrency – Invidious

        It’s been a recent trend for some Linux youtubers to talk about cryptocurrency and there’s been a few people asking me to do the same so I thought I should probably explain why that’s not likely to happen.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.14.1
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.14.1 kernel.
        All users of the 5.14 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.14.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.14.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.13.14
      • Linux 5.10.62
      • Linux 5.4.144
      • Linux 4.19.206
      • Linux 4.14.246
      • Linux 4.9.282
      • Linux 4.4.283
      • Graphics Stack

        • External GPU on Linux review

          I like playing video games, and most games I play require a GPU that is more powerful than the integrated graphic chipset that can be found in laptop or computers. I recently found that external graphic card were a thing, and fortunately I had a few spare old graphic card for trying.

    • Benchmarks

      • Benchmarking The Performance Impact Of Linux 5.15′s Newest Protection Around Side Channel Attacks

        With the in-development Linux 5.15 kernel there is a new option for further protecting the kernel around side channel attacks and information leakage. Enabling the option will ensure that any caller-used register contents are zeroed prior to returning from a function. While the reported performance cost is said to be small, I decided to run some benchmarks when toggling this new Kconfig hardening option.

        As outlined in the aforelinked article, this new “CONFIG_ZERO_CALL_USED_REGS” option with Linux 5.15 is ultimately about building the Linux kernel with the GCC’s zero-call-used-regs compiler option enabled. That zero-call-used-regs option was added to the GCC 11 compiler that debuted as stable earlier this year.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Large Unix programs were historically not all that portable between Unixes

        Back in the days (the late 1980s and early 1990s specifically), one of the things that Larry Wall was justly famous for was his large, intricate, and comprehensive configure scripts that made rn and Perl build on pretty much any Unix and Unix-like system that you could name. Wall’s approach of configure scripts was generalized and broadened by GNU Autoconf, GNU Autotools, and so on. These tools did not automatically make your complex programs portable between different Unixes, but they gave you the tools that you could use to sort out how to achieve that, and to automatically detect various things you needed to do to adopt to the local Unix (and if you used some of them, you automatically got pointed to the right include directories and the right libraries to link with).

      • An eBPF tutorial to try out the bpftrace framework

        Part of the value of eBPF, a framework for running low-level Linux kernel programs, is that it makes it very easy to deploy programs that interact directly with the kernel.

        Traditional methods for executing low-level programs in Linux are for creating and loading custom kernel modules or modifying the kernel itself. But developers can use eBPF to load and run software quickly and with little configuration overhead.

      • Install ONLYOFFICE Docs on Fedora Linux with Podman and connect it with Nextcloud

        If you need a reliable office suite for online editing and collaboration within your sync & share platform, you can try ONLYOFFICE Docs. In this tutorial, we learn how to install it on your Fedora Linux with Podman and discover the ONLYOFFICE-Nextcloud integration.

      • How to Install and Secure phpMyAdmin on Debian 11

        phpMyAdmin is a free, open-source, and web-based application used for managing MySQL and MariaDB databases from the web interface. Creating and managing a database from the command-line interface is very difficult for beginner users. phpMyAdmin provides an easier way to manage MySQL databases, user accounts, and privileges, execute SQL statements, import and export data through the web browser.
        In this post, we will show you how to install and secure phpMyAdmin database administration tool on Debian 11.

      • How to install Kali Linux on VMware Player on Linux | FOSS Linux

        Kali Linux is a Debian-based Linux distro designed for digital forensics and penetration testing. This great OS is maintained and funded by Offensive Security. With it comes approximately 600 pre-installed penetration-testing programs formerly known as tools.

        It was developed by Mati Aharoni and Devon Kearns of Offensive Security through the rewrite of BackTrack. BackTrack was their previous information security testing Linux distribution based on Knoppix.

        The system supports both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. As such, you need not worry about whether your system will be compatible or not. You only need to download the correct ISO image, and you will be good to go.

      • 10 sFTP Command Examples to Transfer Files on Remote Linux

        File Transfer Protocol (FTP) was a widely used protocol to transfer files or data remotely in an unencrypted format which is not a secure way to communicate.

        As we all know that File Transfer Protocol is not at all secure because all transmissions happen in clear text and the data can be readable by anyone during sniffing the packets on the network.

      • 10 Useful “IP” Commands to Configure Network Interfaces

        The ip command is a new networking command-line utility that is used to assign an IP address to a network interface or configure/update useful network variables on a Linux system.

        It is a part of the iproute2 package and offers several network administration tasks such as bringing up or down network interfaces, assign and remove IP addresses and routes, manage ARP cache, and much more.

        The ip command is much similar to the old ifconfig command, but it is greatly more powerful with more functions and capabilities added to it.

      • How To Install MicroK8s on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MicroK8s on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, MicroK8s is a small, fast, single-package Kubernetes for developers, IoT, and edge. One command installs a single-node K8s cluster with carefully selected add-ons on Linux, Windows, and macOS. MicroK8s requires no configuration, supports automatic updates and GPU acceleration. Use it for offline development, prototyping, testing, to build your CI/CD pipeline or your IoT apps.

        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 MicroK8s on a CentOS 8.

      • How to Block XML-RPC in WordPress Using Nginx/Apache

        WordPress continuous and growing worldwide popularity has made it the go-to content management system. It is now the center of the universe for all individuals that want to create, edit, and publish their contemplated ideas. However, all the attention that WordPress has brought on itself comes at a price. Malicious web traffics are always trying, and on some occasions, manage to bring down targeted WordPress sites.

        Such attacks can have dire effects on the health of a running website and even render the MySQL service unresponsive because of depleted system resources. Under such circumstances, a WordPress administrator cannot escape from erroneous messages like Out of Memory and Error connecting to the database. Such error messages are related to XML-RPC attacks and this article guide is going to show us how to deal with them.

      • How to Delete a User in Linux – Linux Nightly

        User accounts on a Linux system that are no longer being used should be removed. This is better for security, and you don’t want your computer or server convoluted with unused accounts.

        In this guide, we’ll go over the step by step instructions to delete a user via Linux command line.

      • How to Install Dropbox on Ubuntu Linux – It’s FOSS

        Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services available for Linux and other operating systems.

        In fact, Dropbox is one of the earliest services to provide a native Linux application. It still supports 32-bit Linux systems that is also a commendable job.

        In this beginner’s tutorial, I’ll show the steps for installing Dropbox on Ubuntu. The steps are really simple but some websites make it unnecessarily complicated.

      • How to Install Latest qBittorrent on Linux Mint 20

        qBittorrent is a cross-platform free and open-source BitTorrent client. qBittorrent is a native application written in C++ which uses Boost, Qt 5 toolkit, and libtorrent-rasterbar library and is extremely lightweight and fast. qBittorrent is very popular amongst torrent users as the main alternative to UTorrent.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install qBittorrent on Linux Mint 20.

      • How to Install Linux Kernel 5.14 on Rocky Linux 8

        Linux kernel 5.14 is out and is quite popular for people to test out with many new features, support, and security. The Linux 5.14 kernel release has gone through seven release candidates over the last two months and benefits from the contributions of 1,650 different developers.

      • How to Install WordPress on Rocky Linux 8

        WordPress is a powerful and feature-rich opensource content management system (CMS) that allows users to create powerful and stunningly beautiful websites. It’s written in PHP and powered by MariaDB or MySQL database server at the backend. WordPress is hugely popular and commands a market share of nearly 40% of all the websites hosted online.

        Want to install WordPress on Rocky Linux? You’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we will demonstrate how to install WordPress on Rocky Linux 8.

      • How to Install and Secure Apache on Debian11 – TecAdmin

        Apache HTTP web server is one of the widely used web servers especially on Linux distributions which is a free, cross-platform used by a vast number of websites on the internet. Apache webserver uses HTTP to process the request and entertain web information. Apache has tons of useful features and its functionality can be enhanced with extra modules. It also allows programmers to publish their work on the internet.

      • How to Install and Use phpMyAdmin in Linux

        When it comes to using the MySQL/MariaDB Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), not all of us are nerds of the Linux terminal environment. Okay, we could all be command-line environment nerds, however, the feeling of knowing more than one way of achieving something on a Linux environment is a supreme upgrade.

        phpMyAdmin is a problem solver for Linux users that want both flexibility and an alternative to interacting with their MySQL/MariaDB databases. You only need a functioning and updated web browser to accommodate the use of phpMyAdmin.

        This article guide takes you through safely installing and securing phpMyAdmin as an ideal MySQL/MariaDB database manager in Linux.

      • How to Install or Upgrade Apache to Latest Version on Debian 11

        Apache, also known as Apache HTTP server, is one of the most widely used web server applications globally for the past few decades. By default, Apache is installed, and on Debian 11 Bullseye repository; however, with Debian, stable versions do not change for the most part except for security or urgent bug updates to keep the title “stable,” which they are known. Due to this, Apache can miss out on new features and improvements, and non-security-related bug fixes especially given the time delay between stable Debian releases being a few years in between.

      • How to Install or Upgrade Nvidia Drivers on Rocky Linux 8

        ost modern Linux Desktop systems come with an Nvidia driver pre-installed in the Nouveau open-source graphics device driver for Nvidia video cards. For the most part, this is acceptable; however, if you are using your Linux system for graphical design or gaming, you may get better drivers.

        Historically, the Nouveau proprietary drivers are slower than Nvidia’s proprietary drivers, along with lacking the newest features, software technology, and support for the latest graphics card hardware. In most situations, upgrading your Nvidia Drivers using the following guide is more beneficial than not doing it. In some cases, you may see some substantial improvements overall.

      • How to install MyPaint on a Chromebook

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

      • How to rearrange system tray icons in Plasma

        For those of you blessed with OCD, come closer. Say you’re using the Plasma desktop, as you should, and then, unfortunately something goes a-wonk. You need to restart your Plasma shell, which is a relatively simple thing to do. Upon the shell restart, you realize that your system tray icons have rearranged themselves almost randomly, and the expected order of things is gone. Chaos!

        I encountered this on a Kubuntu 18.04 box just recently. I then also realized that there isn’t a way to pin icons to specific location in the system tray, as in Wireless always to the right, then Volume, then Vaults, etc. So if you expect things to be mega-cushty and consistent, you sure don’t want them to change should you ever restart your Plasma shell. In this little guide, I’d like to show you a relatively simple trick of getting icons placed just as you like them. Follow me.

    • Games

      • Linux Gaming vs Windows Gaming – Invidious

        What type of Gamer are you? Can you game in Linux? This video breaks down everything you need to know about Gaming in Linux vs Windows.

      • Take-Two filed a lawsuit against the reverse-engineered GTA III and Vice City developers | GamingOnLinux

        Well this is a shame but in many ways to be expected. Take-Two Interactive Software, the parent company of Rockstar Games, has filed a lawsuit against the developers of the reverse-engineered GTA III and Vice City code.

        This is a bit of an ongoing saga, as Take-Two first got the GitHub repositories taken down, which were later restored when the developer of a fork submitted a counter-notice which wasn’t argued so they all went back up. The repositories are still live on GitHub right now. The notice mentions this with Take-Two saying the counter notices were “were made in bad faith, and knowingly and deliberately misrepresented to GitHub the contents”.

        Plenty more is argued as well of course. In the notice it complains how the code now runs on platforms it was never released for where the “Defendants have sought to exploit a potential market that belongs exclusively to Take-Two”, it argues against new cheats enabled in the source code which “are strictly prohibited under Take-Two’s terms of service”. It goes further, complaining about modding which Take-Two say “encouraging users to further infringe the original Games and to violate their agreements with Take-Two that prohibit such activities”.

      • SuperTuxKart: I’LL TAKE ON ALL THE AMERICANS!! – Invidious

        StreamLabs Tip: http://brodierobertson.xyz/streamlabs STK: https://supertuxkart.net/Main_Page I promised we’d do a follow up SuperTuxKart stream at an earlier time and I expect that there will be as much mayhem as last time but this time I’ll make sure I spec up the server before we get started to stop the lag.

    • Distributions

      • What ever happened to Obarun, long time no noise from it. | systemd-free linux community

        4 years of blogging, 4 years of Obarunning, (more than 6 for Obarun starting from Openbox and Runit) and we are all still here. So what is there new for Obarun to talk about?

        66 development, OUR instead of AUR (Obarun Community/Users Repository) is reality, new images published, and a new XMPP chatting board with room for more rooms, on Obarun’s own server.With the exception of prohibiting systemd/elogind dependencies and packages in the Obarun ecosystem, there is no police enforcement to make your life miserable as in other similar repositories.

      • Linux From Scratch 11.0: Abschied vom Split-User-System [Ed: Automated translation from German]

        Linux From Scratch has released version 11.0 of its DIY Linux guide. The biggest innovation in the online manual is that LFS will no longer rely on the “split-user” system: As is usual with most modern distributions, the path / bin will in future be a symbolic link to / usr / bin. The same applies to the / lib and / sbin directories.

        Again News from Co-Lead Bruce Dubbs can be seen, the project has also included updates for the GNU Compiler Collection gcc-11.2.0, the GNU C Library glibc-2.34, and the programming tools collection binutils-2.37. A total of 40 of the packages used have been brought up to date and also updated to Linux Kernel 5.13.12.

      • BSD

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • How to help your team embrace risk

          Change is difficult – no matter the size of your company or the strength of your leadership. This is especially true in IT organizations that are beholden to legacy tech or processes. You and your team members are already taking small risks every day. By delegating tasks, prioritizing one project over another, or bringing on a new client, you are gambling that the choice you made will benefit you and your company at the end of the day.

          Risk-takers are catalysts for positive change. They are responsible for innovation and advancement far more often than they are responsible for outcomes that hurt the bottom line. I encourage my team to push the boundaries because most executives would agree that not taking any risks is more detrimental to your business strategy than taking the biggest risk you can imagine.

        • How I went through burnout and came out stronger | Enable Sysadmin

          Through the years, several of my close friends and colleagues have entered the journey to that dark place of confusion and despair known as burnout. Some faced a harder fall than others, which meant that the road back to a healthy state of mind was substantially longer and more challenging to navigate.

          Stamina and the ability to ignore the body’s warning signs seem to be the most direct route to severe burnout. In comparison, if you learn how to identify and react to early warning signs and act to change your situation, you have a much better chance of staying clear of a threatening burnout.

          In this article, I will share my personal burnout experience, the components that led to this catastrophic system failure, and, more importantly, how I learned to identify the early warning signs that allow me to take corrective or evasive action.

        • Healthcare Made Human
        • Announcing Istio 1.11.2

          This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.11.1 and Istio 1.11.2.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Programming/Development

        • GCC 12 Looking At Enabling Its Vectorizer For “-O2″ Optimization Level – Phoronix

          The GCC compiler when using the default “-O2″ optimization level is likely to be slightly faster with next year’s GCC 12 release as the developers are looking at enabling the vectorizer options by default.

        • Python

          • 8 Ways to Check if a File Exists Using Python

            Python’s dependency on external files is a crucial aspect, it’s wise to pay heed to the base/source files before executing any code. Before running a particular program, you need to ensure your source files exist at the specified location.

            Every developer understands the need to create fall back codes, which can save a prorgram from failing in the case that a condition isn’t met. In Python, there are several ways to check if a file exists; here are the top methods you should know about.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • JavaScript

  • Leftovers

    • A Guy Walks Into A Bra

      A recent and surprisingly unpleasant professional encounter found me thinking again about an experience I had in the late 90s during my earlier career as a web developer before I went to law school. I’d gotten involved with a group that put on monthly meetings on topics of interest to the local community of Internet professionals. After the meetings a bunch of us would typically go out for dinner to chat and catch up. I did know some women from the organization, but I think most of the time the friends I went out with afterwards were men. It has never really bothered me to be in situations where I am outnumbered by men, so long as I’m treated with the respect of an equal. And I had no quarrel with my male friends on that front. But that evening drove home a reason why it was not good for women not to be better represented in technology in general.

    • Chuck Berry Lives On

      Chuck created a music that was powerfully virile. Think upon the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones, three groups he sired. Then dote upon his children’s children, amongst whom are Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bruce Springsteen, and the Sex Pistols. There’s more of course. His influence on others can become subtle to detect (Nirvana, Black Keys, or Jack White anyone?). Call it the Six Degrees of Chuck Berry, if you will. The fact is that Chuck’s riffy guitar picking and genius songwriting had as great an influence in rock ‘n’ roll as anyone. Once upon a time, kiddies, rock ‘n’ roll was the leading cultural form of expression in America. Since Chuck was one of the originators’ his sway was even greater. None of this should be revelatory in the least to even the most carefree of connoisseurs.

      Partly an overdue epitaph, this piece is also heartfelt homage. Chuck’s music moved me. It moved millions. It was that good. Still, I wonder. 60 plus years after Chuck got it motorvating can there be a future where folks will listen to his mighty music? Or will his 4/4 oeuvre only find its way to the listening populace through a television ad or a stray one-off on someone’s shuffle list? And might the only response to hearing a Chuck Berry tune be akin to that of seeing your dad’s great uncle at a family reunion? Even as Al Jolson’s fame has withered over a century, will Chuck’s songs fail to exist in the collective consciousness in as little forward time as 50, let alone 100, years? I calculate that I will not be around in person to find this answer out. Nor, will many of you, my dear readers.

    • The Great Double Standard

      Some may recall that in 2001 the US demanded the Taliban hand over Osama Bin Laden without any extradition treaty, any evidence of his culpability in the 9/11 bombings, and without considering alternative Taliban suggestions such as adjudication by the International Court at the Hague.

      When the Taliban quite reasonably demurred, the US attack began.

    • Everyone Was Well Fed

      The scene on the main street of this town is pretty amazing. Readers can picture the early 20th-century storefronts, some older, and the tall white church steeple with the backdrop of the Green Mountains all around. Ninety-nine percent of those on the street and going in and out of the shops are white and well fed. The uniformity of those on the street is fairly remarkable: Mostly couples with young children and a few people my age. Most people park along the street and exit their vehicles. I count 9 out of 11 cars as SUVs from where I sit. People’s clothes are also of a laid-back upper-middle class kind, nothing flashy and the kids appear well taken care of. One person sports long hair.

      In an article in an International Socialist League publication, Ashley Smith, a Vermont resident and writer, notes that a quarter of the population experiences food insecurity (November 20, 2020). Even a casual observer would never know the latter from people passing by on this hot Vermont street.

    • Hardware

      • The Semiconductor Heist Of The Century | Arm China Has Gone Completely Rogue, Operating As An Independent Company With Inhouse IP/R&D

        Arm is widely regarded as the most important semiconductor IP firm. Their IP ships in billions of new chips every year from phones, cars, microcontrollers, Amazon servers, and even Intel’s latest IPU. Originally it was a British owned and headquartered company, but SoftBank acquired the firm in 2016. They proceeded to plow money into Arm Limited to develop deep pushes into the internet of things, automotive, and server. Part of their push was also to go hard into China and become the dominant CPU supplier in all segments of the market.

        As part of the emphasis on the Chinese market, SoftBank succumbed to pressure and formed a joint venture. In the new joint venture, Arm Limited, the SoftBank subsidiary sold a 51% stake of the company to a consortium of Chinese investors for paltry $775M. This venture has the exclusive right to distribute Arm’s IP within China. Within 2 years, the venture went rogue. Technically it has always been legally independent, but Arm still maintained control. Recently, Arm China gave a presentation to the industry about rebranding their own IP, extending it by developing more, and emphasizing that they are striking their own independently operated path.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | Your Zip Code Should Not Impede Your Right to Clean Air and Water

        I grew up in a loving family—financially poor, but spiritually rich. My family was blessed with the abundance of having my two strong grandmothers who helped us make it out of poverty.

      • Child COVID Diagnoses Surpass 500,000 Just as Schools Start Reopening
      • Opinion | Black Labor Leaders and Worker Advocates Reflect on This Pandemic and What Comes Next

        As our second pandemic Labor Day approaches, Black worker leaders are determined to never again bear the brunt of a national crisis as they have under Covid.

      • A Food Pandemic Infects America

        In 2020, the U.S. life expectancy dropped by 1.5 years from 78.8 to 77.3 years, which is facially attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the backstory points to a previously bursting food pandemic that covertly joined forces with the invading virus. For example, the Covid-19 patients with type-2 diabetes, a food disease, have been much more vulnerable to severe effects of the virus. With the number of deaths exceeding 616,000, the food plus virus pandemics have hit the U.S. hard. Even if the virus goes away, the food pandemic will continue to exact harm in the foreseeable future. Sadly, the pandemics deniers remain bountifully ignorant.

        Public health is much more complicated than the mere availability of low-cost food. Food pandemics hit nations where food scarcity is infrequent, food production is high, distributions systems are efficient, but a massive amount of affordable food is pathogenic. Nutritional ignorance, overeating, Information perplexity, and food industry-sponsored smokescreens extend the reach and duration of the pandemic.

      • Slamming ‘Cowardly’ Supreme Court, Pelosi Announces Vote on Abortion Rights Bill

        Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House will vote on a bill to guarantee abortion rights nationwide after the chamber returns from recess later this month, a legislative effort aimed at countering the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to greenlight Texas’ unprecedented assault on reproductive freedoms.

        “The Supreme Court’s cowardly, dark-of-night decision to uphold a flagrantly unconstitutional assault on women’s rights and health is staggering.”—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

      • Beyond Abortion, Texas GOP Quietly Rolled Back Other Rights on September 1
      • Opinion | WTF: Texas Has Made It Legal to Sue Anyone Who Helps a Woman Get an Abortion

        It’s a dangerous law set that took effect on September 1, and which rewards people who block a Texan from getting an abortion.

      • This Is What the First Hours of a Near-Total Ban on Abortion Look Like

        Like many abortion activists in Texas, Amanda Beatriz Williams stayed up most of the night on Tuesday and awoke to a terrifying silence.

      • Sotomayor Rips Right-Wing Justices as Supreme Court Effectively Overturns Roe v. Wade

        The conservative U.S. Supreme Court issued an unsigned order in the dead of night Wednesday leaving Texas’ draconian abortion ban in place, a move that effectively overturns Roe v. Wade and imperils reproductive rights across much of the United States.

        The high court’s decision—against which Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and John Roberts dissented—lets stand the most restrictive abortion ban in the country, an unprecedented law that deputizes private individuals to sue anyone who performs an abortion or “aids and abets” one after around six weeks of a pregnancy.

      • Supreme Court Attack on Roe Reignites Demand to ‘Kill the Filibuster’

        “There’s not a second to lose, and it’s high time Democrats do what they promised they would do if voters handed them the reins: Protect our fundamental rights, and restore balance to our government.”—Christina Harvey, Stand Up America

      • What Can Democrats Do to Fight Texas’s Abortion Ban? Lots.

        No matter what fresh lawlessness Republicans commit, or what their legal enablers on the Supreme Court do to support that agenda, you can count on some Democrat or liberal-adjacent person saying, “But what can the Democrats do?” Never mind that Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the entire Executive Branch. They walk around every day like a defeated minority unable to stop Republicans—who lost—from having their way with our country.

      • RIP Roe v. Wade? SCOTUS Won’t Block Texas Abortion Ban That Is “Clearly an Unconstitutional Law”​​

        The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to let stand a new anti-abortion law in Texas, which bans all abortions in the state after six weeks — before most people even realize they are pregnant — and allows for private citizens to sue anyone who “aids and abets” a person in getting an abortion. Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, says, “It is clearly an unconstitutional law” that must be reversed. “It’s absolutely an abomination,” says Northup, who urges Congress to pass new legislation protecting reproductive rights as legal challenges to the Texas law continue.

      • New Texas Abortion Law Likely to Unleash a Torrent of Lawsuits Against Online Education, Advocacy and Other Speech

        The law creates a cadre of bounty hunters who can use the courts to punish and silence anyone whose online advocacy, education, and other speech about abortion draws their ire. It will undoubtedly lead to a torrent of private lawsuits against online speakers who publish information about abortion rights and access in Texas, with little regard for the merits of those lawsuits or the First Amendment protections accorded to the speech. Individuals and organizations providing basic educational resources, sharing information, identifying locations of clinics, arranging rides and escorts, fundraising to support reproductive rights, or simply encouraging women to consider all their options—now have to consider the risk that they might be sued for merely speaking. The result will be a chilling effect on speech and a litigation cudgel that will be used to silence those who seek to give women truthful information about their reproductive options. 

        We will quickly see the emergence of anti-choice trolls: lawyers and plaintiffs dedicated to using the courts to extort money from a wide variety of speakers supporting reproductive rights.

        SB8, also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act, encourages private persons to file lawsuits against anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion.” It doesn’t matter whether that person “knew or should have known that the abortion would be performed or induced in violation of the law,” that is, the law’s new and broadly expansive definition of illegal abortion. And you can be liable even if you simply intend to help, regardless, apparently, of whether an illegal abortion actually resulted from your assistance.  

      • Collins’s Support for Kavanaugh Laid Path to Texas Abortion Law, Critics Say
      • As Kavanaugh Helps Gut Roe, Critics Recount All the Times Susan Collins Said He Wouldn’t

        In a 2018 speech announcing her decisive vote in favor of confirming right-wing judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine insisted—despite the abundance of evidence to the contrary—that he would value legal precedent and not support efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade.

        “This is Susan Collins’ court and her legacy.”—Marie Follayttar, Mainers for Accountable Leadership

      • Supreme Court Makes “Stunning” Ruling Refusing to Block Texas Anti-Abortion Law
      • Near-total abortion ban goes into effect in Texas

        Under the draconian law, physicians, clinic nurses, abortion fund workers, domestic violence and rape crisis counselors, or even a family member who offers a car ride to the clinic could now face a lawsuit from anyone, encouraging a type of vigilante justice. Individuals who file the suits are not required to show any connection to those they are suing, and are entitled to a minimum of $10,000 in damages, plus attorney fees, if they win in court.

      • Brussels doctors to prescribe museum visits to boost mental health

        The project is part of a three-month trial by the Belgian capital to rebuild mental health and relieve stress caused by the pandemic.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft 365 services won’t work with Outlook 2007 and 2010 after November

          A deadline is quickly approaching for connecting Outlook for Windows to Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services. After November 1, 2021, older versions of Outlook will no longer be able to connect to these services. Only Outlook 2013 Service Pack 1 and later will be able to connect to Microsoft 365.

        • Security

          • In space, no one can hear cyber security professionals scream [Ed: Well, space missions already abandoned Windows after some very extensive malware infections and viruses that had spread around]

            “Space is an invaluable domain, but it is also increasingly crowded and particularly susceptible to a range of cyber vulnerabilities and threats.”

            That’s not an overblown sci-fi movie strapline, but rather the chilling words of Gina Galasso, managing director of The Aerospace Corporation UK, a member of the international collaborative organisation, Space ISAC (the Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center.) And she’s not wrong on either count.

          • NSA: We ‘don’t know when or even if’ a quantum computer will ever be able to break today’s public-key encryption

            America’s National Security Agency has published an FAQ about quantum cryptography, saying it does not know “when or even if” a quantum computer will ever exist to “exploit” public-key cryptography.

            In the document, titled Quantum Computing and Post-Quantum Cryptography, the NSA said it “has to produce requirements today for systems that will be used for many decades in the future.” With that in mind, the agency came up with some predictions [PDF] for the near future of quantum computing and their impact on encryption.


            What the super-surveillance agency seems to be saying is that it’s not a given that a CRQC capable of breaking today’s public-key algorithms will ever emerge, though it wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider coming up with and using new techniques that could defeat a future CRQC, should one be built.

            It’s almost like the NSA is dropping a not-so-subtle hint, though why it would is debatable. If it has a CRQC, or is on the path to one, it might want to warn allies, vendors, and citizens to think about using quantum-resistant technologies in case bad people develop a CRQC too. But why would the spies tip their hand so? It’s all very curious.

          • Beware of crypto-exchanges as large scale hacks are on the rise – Techzim

            Judging by the comments and views we get on crypto-currency articles and social media intelligence, Zimbabwe does have a very thriving and vibrant cryptocurrency community. A lot of these people use various wallets to store their digital assets and most of these wallets are provided and managed by so-called exchanges.

          • Juniper Breach Mystery Starts to Clear With New Details on Hackers and U.S. Role
          • Introducing “apkeep,” EFF Threat Lab’s new APK Downloader

            Written in async Rust, this tool prioritizes simplicity of use, memory safety, reliability, and speed. It has also been compiled to a number of architectures and platforms, including Android’s armv7 and aarch64 platforms to download apps directly from an Android device using Termux. It is available right now for you to use.

            In the future, we hope to expand apkeep’s functionality by adding support for the Amazon Appstore, allowing downloads of older app versions, and adding additional architectures.

            We are proud to give back to the pool of tools that the application security community has created and that we use every day. We hope our own contribution will provide a useful addition to the toolbox.

          • Gift Card Gang Extracts Cash From 100k Inboxes Daily

            Some of the most successful and lucrative online scams employ a “low-and-slow” approach — avoiding detection or interference from researchers and law enforcement agencies by stealing small bits of cash from many people over an extended period. Here’s the story of a cybercrime group that compromises up to 100,000 email inboxes per day, and apparently does little else with this access except siphon gift card and customer loyalty program data that can be resold online.

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (qemu), Fedora (condor, grilo, libopenmpt, opencryptoki, and php), openSUSE (xen), and SUSE (ffmpeg, file, php72, rubygem-addressable, and xen).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • FTC bans ‘stalkerware’ company from operating in surveillance industry

              “SpyFone is a brazen brand name for a surveillance business that helped stalkers steal private information,” Samuel Levine, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement Wednesday. “The stalkerware was hidden from device owners, but was fully exposed to [crackers] who exploited the company’s slipshod security.”

            • Twitter has plans to let users hide their old tweets

              There’s no timeline for some of the changes, and the archive option, in particular, is in the “concept phase,” according to Bloomberg. But Twitter reportedly plans to start letting people remove themselves from conversations by the end of the year and to let people remove followers (as opposed to soft blocking them) starting this month.

            • EU: €5 million for new wiretapping technologies

              It also underscores that quantum computers could not only “break current encryption standards,” but also make it possible “to develop new ways of encrypting communications for illicit purposes, making them impenetrable to interception.”

              In response, the Commission aims to fund projects that will develop “better, modern and validated tools and training curricula to anticipate and cope with new and emerging technologies” and establish “common approaches” for authorities across Europe.

            • WhatsApp fined record $267M over breach of European data protection rules

              WhatsApp on Thursday was fined roughly $267 million by Ireland’s privacy watchdog due to alleged violations of the European Union’s data privacy rules, the largest penalty issued yet by the group since the strict 2018 regulations took effect.

              The Data Protection Commission (DPC) said in a statement that it had concluded its investigation into WhatsApp’s privacy practices, which it first launched in December 2018.

            • Confidentiality

              • Investigation into [cracked] “map” of UK gun owners

                Authorities are investigating after a map claiming to show the addresses of thousands of firearms owners in the UK was published online.

                Gun-selling site Guntrader announced a data breach affecting more than 100,000 customers in July.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | On Propaganda and Failed Narratives: New Understanding of Afghanistan Is a Must

        For twenty years, two dominant narratives have shaped our view of the illegal US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, and neither one of these narratives would readily accept the use of such terms as ‘illegal’, ‘invasion’ and ‘occupation.’

      • Fears of More Violence as Far-Right Extremists Plan Sept 18 Capitol Rally

        Amid rising fears of the threat posed by the GOP’s mobilization of out-and-out fascists and its intensifying assault on democracy, lawmakers and intelligence officials are voicing concerns about a September 18 U.S. Capitol rally that far-right extremists organized to demand “justice” for those facing charges over their role in the violent insurrection on January 6 of this year.

        Citing unnamed people familiar with federal intelligence, the Associated Press reported Wednesday that “extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are planning to attend” the rally, which “comes as a jittery Washington has seen a series of troubling one-off incidents—including, most recently, a man who parked a pickup truck near the Library of Congress and said he had a bomb and detonator.”

      • GOP Hollowly Threatens To ‘Shut Down’ Telecom Companies For Cooperating With Legal January 6 Inquiries

        If you’ve spent any real time digging into Trump GOP era tech policies, you’ve probably noticed they’re a jumbled mess of contradictions and inconsistencies, cloaked in a lot of performative propaganda. The same party that thought net neutrality (the FCC holding telecom giants vaguely accountable) was a government hellscape, pivoted on a dime to try and force the FCC into regulating social media companies. The same GOP that whines incessantly about “big tech” via performative populism, routinely runs for the hills any time somebody actually tries to rein in corporate power or implement genuine antitrust reform.

      • The Real Threat To US Supporters In Afghanistan May Be The US-Funded Biometric Database Compiled By Their Former Government

        American armed forces entered Afghanistan nearly 20 years ago, bringing with them weapons, vehicles, and a vast amount of war tech. After 20 years, we’re finally out of Afghanistan, but much of what the US military brought to the country has been left behind.

      • Opinion | Let’s Open the Books: We Need a Truth Commission for the Afghan War

        “Ten members of one family—including seven children—are dead after a US drone strike targeting a vehicle in a residential neighborhood of Kabul . . .

      • While Welcoming Indictments, Advocates Say Charges in Elijah McClain Killing Are ‘Not Justice’

        While racial justice advocates welcomed Wednesday’s indictment of five Colorado police officers and paramedics for allegedly killing unarmed Black man Elijah McClain in 2019, many movement voices echoed the familiar refrain that true justice would mean that the victim were still alive, and that such killings would stop.

        “Elijah McClain should be alive today. That would be justice. But this is a step toward some accountability.”—Jumaane Williams, New York City Public Advocate

      • Elijah McClain Pleaded “I Can’t Breathe” Before His 2019 Death. Now 3 Police, 2 Paramedics Charged

        Three police officers and two paramedics in Colorado have been criminally charged in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who was tackled by police, placed in a chokehold and later injected with a large amount of the powerful sedative ketamine. McClain, who was not suspected of any crime, suffered a cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and died several days later. His death sparked nationwide protests and led to new police accountability legislation being passed in Colorado. “This case has made sweeping changes,” says Colorado state Representative Leslie Herod. “But I’ve got to tell you: It would not have happened if it weren’t for the protests.”

      • Opinion | The Police Killing of Elijah McClain and His Mother’s Pursuit of Justice

        “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe please. I can’t breathe, please.” These words were recorded by the body cameras of Aurora, Colorado police as they assaulted a slight, 23-year-old African American man who was on the short walk home from his corner store after buying iced tea. It was 10:43 pm on August 24th, 2019. Aurora dispatchers had received a 911 call “describing a suspicious black male wearing a ski mask, ‘acting weird.’” An officer approached McClain, saying, “Stop, I have a right to stop you since you’re being suspicious.” Within ten seconds officers tackle him to the ground. “My name is Elijah McClain…I’m an introvert and I’m different. [Sobbing] I’m just different, that’s all.”

      • Satire: Confessions of a Secret Controlled Demolitions Special Operative for 911

        But now I’ve had a chilling life-and-death health scare, and it made me realize that before I die I should finally confess to the American People about being a secret controlled demolitions special operative for 911. Everything you have secretly believed, and could never let on about, is true. Here is my story.

        In the 1980s I was working on the secret Orbiting Space Laser Weapons Platform (OSLWP) project for the US Government. Believe me, they’re up there now; they’re just not telling you, it is TOP SECRET. The HARP Project was just a low level test run experiment during the development of the OSLWP.

      • Droning Disasters: A US Strike on Kabul

        President Joe Biden promised swift retribution. “To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.” American “interests and our people” would be defended “with every measure at my command.”

        In his sights was ISIS-K. “I’ve also ordered my commanders to develop operational plans to strike ISIS-K assets, leadership and facilities.” A response “with force and precision” would take place “at our time, at the place we choose and a moment of our choosing.”

      • Opinion | Texas GOP To Taliban: Hold My Beer and See Privatized Fascism At Fervent Work
      • Covid-19 as Bioweapon?

        These terms have specific meanings, and not all of them necessarily suggest conspiratorial thinking. For example, “gain-of-function” is a widely recognized term among medical researchers relating to the creation of novel genotypes and arrangements of nucleic acids in scientific research – and has received increased attention as of late via allegations that Covid-19 may have been genetically engineered. The National Institutes of Health provide this context for understanding gain-of-function:

        It is with virus-related research that “gain-of-function” becomes more salient to recent political discourse, pertaining to the exchange between Republican Senator Rand Paul and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease’s Anthony Fauci, in which Paul implied that the U.S. government-funded gain-of-function research through the National Institutes of Health and a federal grant to EcoHealth Alliance (a U.S.-based non-profit health research organization), funneled through the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). As Paul clearly insinuated in a tense back-and-forth with Fauci in July of this year before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, this research allegedly led to the creation of Covid-19 as a “gain-of-function” genetically modified experiment, which he implied was then somehow released from WIV into the world. The response from Fauci was swift, as he summarized of the WIV-related research funded by the U.S.: “If you look at the viruses, judged by qualified virologists and evolutionary biologists, that were used in the experiments that were given in the annual reports that were published in the literature, it is molecularly impossible to result in Sars-Covid-2.”

      • Lies About How the Attack on Afghanistan Started

        As revealed in the article, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, in an undamaged part of the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld held a meeting with his colleagues in which he said, “best info fast. Judge whether good enough to hit S.H. [Sadam Hussein] at the same time – not only UBL [Usama Bin Laden]… Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

        So, only hours after the 9/11 attacks, military leaders were engaged in using the “Pearl Harbor moment” to justify wars on a global scale.

      • Afghan Crisis Must End America’s Empire of War, Corruption and Poverty

        Even as UN agencies warn of an impending humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the U.S. Treasury has frozen nearly all of the Afghan Central Bank’s $9.4 billion in foreign currency reserves, depriving the new government of funds that it will desperately need in the coming months to feed its people and provide basic services.

        Under pressure from the Biden administration, the International Monetary Fund decided not to release $450 million in funds that were scheduled to be sent to Afghanistan to help the country cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

      • The Costs of 20 Years of War

        The United States reacted to the 9/11 attacks with a military mobilization of unprecedented cost. Over the past 20 years, the US military has spent or requested about $5.8 trillion in today’s dollars. Add in medical expenses and disability payments for veterans, which according to research by Harvard’s Linda Bilmes will likely exceed $2.2 trillion by 2050, and the total cost of two decades of war is more than $8 trillion. Included in these numbers are the $704 million in “death gratuities” that have been paid to the survivors of the 7,052 service members who were killed as well as payments to civilians who were injured and the families of civilians who were killed.

        Every country goes to war believing that it can win and that it will do everything it can to protect its own soldiers and the lives of noncombatants. But when things go awry, increments of force are often added—or surged—on the theory that a few more troops will make the difference. The war continues, and the costs in blood and treasure go up.

      • CIA Stories: The Cuban Who Conned the CIA
      • The Taliban Is Targeting Disability-Rights Activists

        The day the Taliban seized control of Kabul, they lobbed a grenade into A’s yard, and he promptly left home to seek refuge. A lower-limb amputee and prominent disability-rights activist, he’s at risk due to his disability-rights organization’s association with the United States.

      • US Used “Feminism” to Sell Invasion. Now Afghan Women Must Pick Up the Pieces.
      • Afghanistan’s Women Face the Taliban

        Check out all installments in the OppArt series.  

      • On Propaganda and Failed Narratives: New Understanding of Afghanistan is a Must

        For twenty years, two dominant narratives have shaped our view of the illegal US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, and neither one of these narratives would readily accept the use of such terms as ‘illegal’, ‘invasion’ and ‘occupation.’

      • Afghan Women’s Network Pres.: Women’s Rights May Go Back 200 Years If Taliban Not Held Accountable

        Mahbouba Seraj, president of the Afghan Women’s Network and a longtime advocate for women’s rights, says the Taliban have already restricted women’s freedoms since taking over the country, despite their assurances that they have shifted their views since the last time they were in power. “If they continue like this, … Afghanistan will go back another 200 years,” says Seraj. “One cannot just disregard the women of Afghanistan and say they don’t exist. This doesn’t work.”

      • How elite US institutions created Afghanistan’s neoliberal President Ashraf Ghani, who stole $169 million from his country
      • Was Afghanistan the First “Feminist War”? Examining the Role of “White Feminism” in the Longest U.S. War

        With the official end of the War in Afghanistan, we speak with Rafia Zakaria, author of “Against White Feminism,” about how U.S. officials used the plight of the women in the country to justify the 2001 invasion and subsequent occupation. “Feminism has been delegitimized in Afghanistan because it is associated with an occupying force,” says Zakaria. “Now Afghan women are left to pick up the pieces and deal with the Taliban.”

      • Afghanistan: Qatar and Turkey become Taliban’s lifeline to the outside world

        Both are capitalising on a recent history of access to the Taliban. Both eye opportunities. But both are taking a gamble too – which could even stoke old rivalries further afield, in the Middle East.

      • Ron Johnson Gets Caught Debunking the Big Lie

        Even before the January 6 insurrection by supporters of former President Donald Trump, Senator Ron Johnson was pushing the Big Lie that Trump was somehow cheated out of a second term.

      • Opinion | How to Successfully Combat White Supremacist Violence? Avoid Flawed Post-9/11 Counterterrorism Tactics

        On January 6, a mob including white supremacists and far-right militants stormed into the Capitol as lawmakers were certifying Joe Biden’s election victory. The attack followed mass shootings by white supremacists—like in El Paso in 2019 and a Pittsburgh synagogue the year before—and relatively unpoliced public violence by far-right militants at rallies across the country since Donald Trump’s election.

      • Insurrection Defendant Jailed Again After ‘Found Alone in Garage’ Watching MyPillow Guy Online

        But when court officers paid an unannounced visit to his Iowa home 30 days after he was released, they discovered Jensen was “alone” in his garage and streaming “news from Rumble,” a right-wing news outlet, on a cell phone. When he was caught, Jensen first said the phone belonged to his daughter, but his daughter told an officer she had gotten a new phone weeks earlier. Then he claimed that his wife left the news on for him when she went to work. Finally, he admitted to a court officer that he had “spent two days watching Mike Lindell’s Cyber Symposium regarding the recount of the presidential election.”

        Prosecutors argued in court on Thursday that because Jensen violated the terms of his bond, he should be sent back to jail. “Two weeks after swearing to this court, he would obey its order, he was back to [his] habits,” Assistant United States Attorney Hava Mirell said. “His violations were swift and blatant.”

    • Environment

      • Why Won’t TV News Say “Climate Change” About Hurricane Ida?
      • Noble Reports Major Equipment Fell to Seafloor as Drill Ship Faced Ida’s Fury

        The Noble Globetrotter II’s lower marine riser package and “several” riser joints detached as the ship was out in the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Ida, Noble Corp. confirmed in a press release on Thursday, Sept. 2.

        “Initial findings from the ship’s ongoing condition assessment confirm that several riser joints and the lower marine riser package separated from the rig during the storm and sank to the seabed,” Noble wrote.

      • ‘I’m Asking for a Green New Deal!’ At Least 14 Dead as Floods Devastate New York City Area

        “We need to keep connecting the dots back to the corporations that are fueling this crisis.”—Jamie Henn, Fossil Free Media

      • Louisiana Activists Mobilize to Prevent “Shock Doctrine” Policies in Wake of Ida
      • Climate Groups Target Congress With ‘Gas Is Not Clean’ Campaign

        Stressing that every stage of gas production pollutes the Earth’s air and water, a coalition of climate and social justice groups on Wednesday launched an initiative aimed at strengthening a proposed federal energy policy by ensuring that it excludes the fossil fuel.

        “The science is clear: There is nothing clean about gas.”—Lauren Maunus, Sunrise Movement

      • Older Adults in Their ‘Third Act’ Launch New Effort to Save the Planet

        While young people around the world have gained attention in recent years with global protests calling for ambitious and immediate action from policymakers to tackle the climate emergency, an older crowd is launching a new organization with that same demand.

        “What us elders do with these last decades of ours has never in history been as important. We’re needed. Our children need us. The future needs us.”—Jane Fonda, actor and activist

      • Fellow climate strikers urge Afghanistan evacuation

        The Fridays for Future campaign is urging safe passage from Afghanistan for fellow climate strikers and their families.

      • ‘When We Drill, We Spill’: Climate-Fueled Ida Behind Suspected Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico

        As Louisiana residents and officials begin the recovery process in the wake of Hurricane Ida, environmental campaigners responded Thursday to reporting of a suspected oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by saying such scenes “are reminders that when we drill, we spill.”

        “We are continuing to urge the Biden administration to consider the true cost of offshore drilling, and end the practice for good.”—Kelsey Lamp, Environment America

      • ‘The Climate Crisis Is an Inequality Crisis,’ Says Ocasio-Cortez After Deadly Storm Hits Northeast

        As many parts of the Northeastern United States reeled Thursday following deadly flooding, tornadoes, and other damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined other progressive voices in linking the climate emergency to the nation’s growing inequality, and calling for urgent action to address both crises.

        NBC News reports at least 43 people were killed as Ida—now a post-tropical cyclone—battered the Tri-State Area with flooding caused by record rainfall, as well as tornadic winds, over the past 24 hours.

      • Progressives May Have to Vote Against Infrastructure to Rescue Climate Spending
      • Devastating Flooding in NYC From Hurricane Ida Spurs Calls for Green New Deal
      • Energy

        • Oil Industry Launches Lobbying Blitz as Congress Targets Fossil Fuel Subsidies

          The oil industry has embarked on a lobbying blitz in an effort to derail any attempts by Congress to repeal fossil fuel subsidies as part of a much broader assault by corporate interests on the $3.5 trillion budget package that Democrats are currently drafting.

          In particular, the oil industry is worried about the potential loss of one specific subsidy that they receive: the intangible drilling cost (IDC) deduction. This allows companies to deduct from their taxes the costs of drilling new wells.

        • COP26 Hires Law Firm That Defended Fossil Fuel Giants Over Environmental Disasters

          The UK government has appointed a law firm with a history of defending fossil fuel companies over environmental disasters to provide legal services for the upcoming COP26 climate summit.

          DLA Piper, whose clients have included oil giants Shell, ExxonMobil and BP, was announced on Wednesday as the summit’s “Provider of Legal Services,” meaning the company will “provide general commercial support to COP26 including in respect of sponsorship agreements”. The firm says it is doing the work pro bono.

        • Emissions From Burning Oil ‘Not Relevant’ to North Sea BP Permit, Says UK Government

          UK government lawyers have argued that greenhouse gas emissions produced from burning oil are “not relevant” to granting a North Sea drilling permit, in a landmark case being heard this week, less than two months before the COP26 UN climate conference.

          A lawyer representing the government also argued that assessing these emissions would be “unachievable” because they “can’t be properly measured”.

          Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

        • How Much Range?

          When someone wants to talk to me about my car, invariably the first question is some variation on “How far can you go on a charge?” The next is “How long does it take to charge?” Ladies, gentlemen, and other flavors, please take note. These questions are wrong. I’m here today to explain why, and suggest what the right ones are.

        • Fossil fuels are dead (and here’s why)

          This we know: Musk has goals (some of them risible, some of them much more pragmatic), and within the limits of his world-view—I’m pretty sure he grew up reading the same right-wing near-future American SF yarns as me—he’s fairly predictable. Reportedly he sat down some time around 2000 and made a list of the challenges facing humanity within his anticipated lifetime: roll out solar power, get cars off gasoline, colonize Mars, it’s all there. Emperor of Mars is merely his most-publicized, most outrageous end goal. Everything then feeds into achieving the means to get there. But there are lots of sunk costs to pay for: getting to Mars ain’t cheap, and he can’t count on a government paying his bills (well, not every time). So each step needs to cover its costs.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Finland and Estonia create network of hiking areas

          Hiking areas in Finland and Estonia are very similar. They can be utilised for outdoor activities, excursions, and trips in a versatile manner, as well as for forestry, hunting, and fishing, a joint press release reads.

          All sites have extensive hiking services with marked routes, campfire sites, and dry toilets. All sites selected for the network are nature tourism destinations which appeal to visitors in their own charming way.

        • Judge Issues Injunction Requiring Immediate Actions at U.S. Army Corps Dams to save Willamette River Chinook Salmon and Steelhead

          Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez issued a final opinion and order directing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to immediately undertake new measures at dams in the Willamette basin to prevent the extinction of threatened Upper Willamette River wild spring Chinook salmon and winter steelhead.

          In the final order, Judge Hernandez found that these measures were necessary because, “[a]s evinced by the listed species’ continuing decline, the Corps’ failure to provide adequate fish passage and mitigate water quality issues is causing substantial, irreparable harm to the salmonids.”

    • Finance

      • Patriotic Millionaires Launches New Campaign to Boost Fight for Economic Justice

        In an effort to “help everyday Americans increase their impact in the fight for economic justice,” the advocacy group Patriotic Millionaires on Thursday launched a new website, TaxTheRich.com, dedicated to ensuring that “millionaires, billionaires, and corporations pay all of the cost to rebuild the country.”

        The new site will “help educate, train, and mobilize activists and everyday Americans” concerned about tax justice, the group explained in a statement.

      • Former “Centrist” Democratic Senator Is Defending Capital Gains Tax Loophole
      • ‘Abolish the Senate’: Manchin Blasted for Urging ‘Pause’ to Dems’ $3.5T Spending Plan

        With dozens dead across the Eastern United States in the wake of Hurricane Ida this week, Sen. Joe Manchin on Thursday drew the ire of progressives by opposing Democrats’ plan to quickly pass a $3.5 trillion package that would improve social programs and tackle the climate emergency.

        The youth-led Sunrise Movement delivered a concise response to Manchin’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, in which the West Virginia Democrat outlined a position that jeopardizes not only the $3.5 trillion package his party aims to advance using the budget reconciliation process—due to the threat of a GOP filibuster in the Senate—but also a smaller bipartisan infrastructure bill.

      • Soros’ Dream: To Turn China Into a Neoliberal Grabitization Opportunity

        Translated out of Orwellian Doublethink, the “crackdown on private enterprise” means cutting back on what the classical economists called rent-seeking and unearned income. As for its supposed “drag on the economy,” Mr. Soros means the economy’s polarization concentrating wealth and income in the hands of the richest One Percent.

        Soros lays out his plan for how U.S. retaliation may punish China by withholding U.S. funding of its companies (as if China cannot create its own credit) until China capitulates and imposes the kind of deregulation and de-taxation that Russia did after 1991. He warns that China will suffer depression by saving its economy along socialist lines and resisting U.S.-style privatization and its associated debt deflation.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Ordinary Nicaraguans Should Guide Progressive Left’s Stance

        The reasons for all this are not hard to find: everywhere the government is building hospitals, affordable homes, roads and schools and the country’s much prized safety has returned. Nicaragua’s economy was the least affected in Latin America by the pandemic and Covid-19 has been well handled by the country’s community-based health system.

        It’s hardly surprising that Nicaragua’s right-wing critics would ignore these achievements, but why are they ignored by the left? Rather than acclaiming a country that is lifting itself out of poverty, it is apparently much more important to judge it against hypocritical Western standards about “democracy” and “human rights” while disregarding the government’s need to defend the country’s gains against attacks from Washington and elsewhere.

      • Opinion | Choosing Pugnacious Bully Rahm Emanuel for Ambassador to Japan Is Ridiculous

        Former Chicago mayor and noted profanity enthusiast Rahm Emanuel has been nominated by President Joe Biden to be the next ambassador to Japan.

      • United States, NATO, and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan: Analysis of the Politics

        Much to the surprise of everyone, on August 15, 2021 Afghanistan’s Ghani government had collapsed, and the Taliban took over control of Kabul. The fall of Kabul to the Taliban was expected, albeit much later. David Smith,in his article “‘Biden’s worst nightmare’: how Afghanistan shook a president”, The Guardian, August 28, 2021, said that:

        The unforeseen catastrophe has diminished his standing at home and America’s stature abroad. America’s allies, who assumed that the defeat of Donald Trump would at least Make America Competent Again, felt blindsided. The US struck an uneasy truce with the Taliban and undertook what may prove the biggest airlift in history.

      • Heeding Steve Bannon’s Call, Election Deniers Organize to Seize Control of the GOP — and Reshape America’s Elections

        One of the loudest voices urging Donald Trump’s supporters to push for overturning the presidential election results was Steve Bannon. “We’re on the point of attack,” Bannon, a former Trump adviser and far-right nationalist, pledged on his popular podcast on Jan. 5. “All hell will break loose tomorrow.” The next morning, as thousands massed on the National Mall for a rally that turned into an attack on the Capitol, Bannon fired up his listeners: “It’s them against us. Who can impose their will on the other side?”

        When the insurrection failed, Bannon continued his campaign for his former boss by other means. On his “War Room” podcast, which has tens of millions of downloads, Bannon said President Trump lost because the Republican Party sold him out. “This is your call to action,” Bannon said in February, a few weeks after Trump had pardoned him of federal fraud charges.

      • The Balkan Project Washington Wants to Derail

        “One of the world’s most expensive roads,” the New York Times informs us, has reached “its destination: a muddy field outside a hamlet with a few dozen houses, many of them empty.” [1] It is an image meant to invite contempt. Never mind that this is the endpoint of one stage of the project, and the plan is to continue construction of the highway; it is better to repeat as a mantra, “the highway to nowhere.” Like a steady drumbeat, Western ridicule is relentless and unvarying: Montenegro has launched a “megalomaniac project” that serves no useful purpose, taking on debt of monstrous proportions in the process.

        Western officials warn that China has captured Montenegro in a “debt trap” that will allow it to wield undue influence over Montenegro’s policies and seize control of territory or infrastructure. Moreover, it is argued that the debt to the Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China is unsustainable. The New York Times reports that Montenegro “is now saddled with debts to China that total more than a third of the government’s annual budget.” [2] The impression given is one of unsustainable excess, and that would be so were the entire debt due to be repaid in a single year. A closer look at the details of the loan shows how misleading the Times article is.

      • What Is Disaster Capitalism? A Cycle of Crisis, Exploitation, and Privatization

        If the United Nations’ 2021 climate report is any indication, the entire planet is in for a whirlwind future. Though it’s still feasible to prevent the planet from becoming completely uninhabitable, saying it’s crunch time is a massive understatement. What is unavoidable is a climate future that stands to send more unprecedented emergencies, inconsistency, and destruction our way. Klein and Villanueva agree that means the conditions that give rise to disaster capitalism could develop even more frequently.

      • Exclusive: Reddit seeks to hire advisers for U.S. IPO -sources

        Reddit’s move to hire advisers for its IPO was previously unreported. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Chief Executive Steve Huffman had said the company was planning to go public but had not decided on the timing.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • How Joe Rogan Became a Cheerleader for Ivermectin

        Rogan’s promotion of ivermectin is part and parcel with him using his platform to spread Covid-19 misinformation by featuring guests such as conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as well as publicly dismissing the importance of getting a vaccine back in April. “If you’re, like, 21 years old, and you say to me, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I’ll go ‘No,’” he said in the episode. (He later attempted to clarify his comments, calling himself “not an anti-vaxx person” and a “fucking moron.”) As Carusone sees it, the fact that he uses his guests to espouse these views while oftentimes refraining from promoting them himself, lends him sufficient cover to avoid being branded as a purveyor of misinformation, says Carusone. Promoting ivermectin as a treatment for his own case of COVID-19 helps to reinforce the narrative that it’s an effective medication in treating the virus, and that there’s no harm in people trying it. “His audience is huge and they’re engaged,” he says. “And they’re already so hopped up on alpha brain that this is the kind of stuff they love.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Where Texas’ Social Media Law & Abortion Law Collide: Facebook Must Keep Up AND Take Down Info On Abortion

        It’s always astounding to me how little most policymakers consider how many of the policies they push for contradict one another. On Wednesday, the Texas Senate easily approved its version of HB20, the blatantly unconstitutional bill that tries to prevent social media websites from moderating content that Texas Republicans want kept up — explicitly saying that Facebook must leave up vaccine misinformation, terrorist content, and Holocaust denialism. While the bill does include some language to suggest that some content can be moderated, it puts a ton of hurdles up to block that process. Indeed, as the bill makes clear, it does not want Facebook to moderate anything.

      • Error 403: Syrians Blocked From Online Learning Platforms

        Individuals in dictatorships need more freedom not less. Syrians have for years been unable to work remotely or pay for remote services, even educational ones. Do we want to do the same now to Afghans, who are already in fear of the Taliban? Examining in detail the experiences of Syrians, can maybe lead us to a better solution.

      • Jewish Chronicle’s Libel Payouts were a Small Price to Pay for Smearing Corbyn and the Left

        Over the past three years, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), the misnamed and feeble “press regulator” created by the billionaire-owned corporate media, has found the paper to have breached its code of practice on at least 28 occasions. The weekly has also lost, or been forced to settle, at least four libel cases over the same period.

        According to Brian Cathcart, a professor of journalism at Kingston University in London, that means one in every four or five editions of the Chronicle has broken either the law or the IPSO code. He describes that, rather generously, as a “collapse of journalistic standards” at the paper.

      • Exclusive: Amazon to remove more content that violates rules from cloud service, sources say

        Activists and human rights groups are increasingly holding not just websites and apps accountable for harmful content, but also the underlying tech infrastructure that enables those sites to operate, while political conservatives decry the curtailing of free speech.

      • Trial & Error In Kuwait

        The answer to what really happened at Gulf Bank, though, would be left aside as the aftermath of the incident soon became very personal. Gulf Bank executives, who had tried to keep information about the incident tightly held, would file a complaint against Aldoub under Kuwait’s cybercrime and telecommunications laws — and the public prosecutor would take up a criminal investigation.

        Aldoub would go on to delete the messages, but the bank seemed bent on proving that he had smeared its reputation by posting about the incident. Under Kuwait’s cybercrime law, plaintiffs can bring charges against those who “disclose secrets that would harm the reputation of persons, or their worth, or their commercial names.”

        The tweets could have landed Aldoub in jail for a year, according to independent legal experts.

      • Parliamentary Committee to government: Ban VPN services in India

        According to the report by MediaNama, the committee recommended permanently blocking VPN services in the country with “the help of internet service providers” across India. ““The Committee notes with anxiety the technological challenge posed by VPN services and Dark Web, that can bypass cyber security walls and allow criminals to remain anonymous online. As of date, VPN can easily be downloaded, as many websites are providing such facilities and advertising them. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the Ministry of Home Affairs should coordinate with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to identify and permanently block such VPNs with the help of internet service providers.”

      • Zambia: Social media blocked amid 2021 general elections

        Recently, on 12th August 2021, general elections were held in Zambia, during which access to popular online social media platforms was reportedly blocked.

        In this report, we share relevant OONI data on the blocking of WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook amid Zambia’s 2021 general election.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Space for Journalism Shrinking ‘by the Day,’ Hong Kong Journalist Says

        At least 100 people have been arrested under the law, including media tycoon Jimmy Lai and at least six executives and journalists from his Apple Daily. The company was forced to close in June after its assets were frozen.

        Other journalists have spoken of a chilling effect from the law, and some have said the regulation is impacting RTHK.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • A Federal Job Guarantee: The Unfinished Business of the Civil Rights Movement

        The Covid-19 pandemic has served as a grave reminder of who suffers first, and worst, when the labor market falters. Our most marginalized workers are consistently the last ones hired and the first ones fired—a reality only made worse when crises strike. Nearly 2.4 million women have exited the workforce over the past year of the pandemic. That staggering number is disproportionately made up of Black and brown women. For these women in particular, recovering from this financial setback could take years.

      • Miami Beach PD Blocks Enforcement Of New Law Miami Beach Cops Abused To Arrest People For Filming Them

        In May, the Miami Beach city council passed an ordinance that basically made it illegal to come within 20 feet of cops.

      • Building Social Solidarity Across National Boundaries

        It’s easy to conclude that it’s not. In 1915, as national governments produced the shocking carnage of World War I, Ralph Chaplin, an activist in the Industrial Workers of the World, wrote his stirring song, “Solidarity Forever.” Taken up by unions around the globe, it proclaimed that there was “no power greater anywhere beneath the sun” than international working class solidarity. But, today, despite Chaplin’s dream of bringing to birth “a new world from the ashes of the old,” the world remains sharply divided by national boundaries—boundaries that are usually quite rigid, policed by armed guards, and ultimately enforced through that traditional national standby, war.

        Even so, over the course of modern history, social movements have managed, to a remarkable degree, to form global networks of activists who have transcended nationalism in their ideas and actions. Starting in the late nineteenth century, there was a remarkable efflorescence of these movements: the international aid movement; the labor movement; the socialist movement; the peace movement; and the women’s rights movement, among others. In recent decades, other global movements have emerged, preaching and embodying the same kind of human solidarity—from the environmental movement, to the nuclear disarmament movement, to the campaign against corporate globalization, to the racial justice movement.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Liberal Election Platform: Government Picks Internet Regulation Over Internet Affordability

        The biggest digital policy surprise of the platform must surely be the decision to avoid the wireless and Internet cost and competition issue altogether. There are references to rural broadband and spectrum use, but communications costs and the state of Canadian wireless has been a major consumer issue for years. In 2019, it emerged as an election issue with all parties making commitments to address the issue.  To simply abandon wireless affordability is remarkable, sending an unmistakable signal that the Liberals have sided with the Big 3 telecom providers over the interests of Canadian consumers and the introduction of greater competition.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Indie Game Dev Decides To Leave Industry Due To Steam Returns On Short Game

        It has now been over six years since Valve finally put in a refund policy for video games purchased on its Steam platform. At the time of its announcement, I was very much in favor of this move by Valve, given how previously the prospect of buying games on the platform was laughably tilted in favor of publishers and developers. On top of that, a whole bunch of the outcry from publishers and developers over the policy seemed to mostly center around it existing at all, meaning such concerns were mostly just requests to go back to the one-sided policies that favored them. Some developers even saw large numbers of refunds as a good thing, arguing that those refunds were likely largely from people that never would have tried their games out if a potential refund weren’t in place.

    • Monopolies

      • Economies Of Scale

        The effects of economies of scale in technology markets, such as storage media, digital preservation and cryptocurrencies, is a topic on which I have written many times, drawing heavily on W. Brian Arthur’s 1994 book Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy. Below the fold I discuss Waldman’s classification of them.

        Brian Arthur’s analysis focuses on the effects of economies of scale, where Waldman’s focuses on their causes.

      • ‘America Has a Monopoly Problem’: Coalition Backs Legislation to Break Up Big Tech

        “There is a clear and compelling need for Congress and the antitrust enforcement agencies to take action that restores competition, improves innovation, and safeguards our democracy.”—House Judiciary Committee

      • Patents

        • Nota Bene Episode 141: Artificial Intelligence Technologies: Past, Present, and Forward with Siraj Husain [PODCAST] [Ed: The National Law Review, a site of lesser or non-technical people, promotes silly and resurrected buzzwords to help the agenda of patent extremists (patents spun out of control by the litigation 'industry')]

          Artificial intelligence is growing rapidly and exponentially. As technology advances, there are many new concerns legally, ethically and socially. Many wonder how patent offices will handle new AI generating inventions, or even how AI lethal weapons will be regulated. As countries are trying to catch up legally to the latest AI technology, the European Union is taking the lead with a new risk-based approach to regulating AI technology. Joining me is Siraj Husain, who gives great perspective into the world of artificial intelligence with his expert insight.

          Siraj Husain is a partner in the Intellectual Property Group of Sheppard Mullin’s Palo Alto office. He graduated from University of California Riverside with an undergraduate degree in computer science. He obtained his law degree from Loyola Law School, where he wrote for their law review. Siraj advises on IP strategies with a focus on artificial intelligence. He has specialized experience in many fields such as machine learning, deep learning, cloud computing technology, cryptography, and many computer hardware and software technologies. Siraj has also served as board member and pro bono committee co-chair for The South Asian Bar Association of Northern California.

        • Australia: Artificial intelligence – An inventor? [Ed: Patent law firms reduced to a collective of fools who parrot buzzwords and promote patents on every single thing, even patents crafted by a bot]

          In a sign of the times, the Federal Court of Australia (“FCA”) has recently considered whether an artificial intelligence machine is capable of being an “inventor” for the purposes of the Australian Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (“Act”) and corresponding Regulations.

          On 30 July 2021 in the decision of Thaler v Commissioner of Patents1, the FCA overturned a finding by the Deputy Commissioner of Patents of the Australian Patents Office (IP Australia) that the inventor on a patent application must be human and that the artificial intelligence system referred to could not be an inventor2.

          Instead, the FCA held that an artificial intelligence system called “DABUS” which was developed by Dr Stephen Thaler, and was described as being a “….device for the autonomous bootstrapping of unified sentience” could be named as an inventor on a patent application for the purposes of the Act.

      • Copyrights

        • Meet the CC Summit Presenter: Frederick Noronha
        • Software Piracy Triggers Innovation, Research Finds

          A study published in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s working paper series shows that online software piracy increases innovation. The authors conclude that piracy motivates software companies to spend more resources on research and development, to stay ahead of the piracy threat and protect their revenue streams.

        • ‘Fraudulent’ DMCA Circumvention Takedowns Target Prominent Websites

          A mysterious group called the ‘Video Industry Association of America’ is trying to wipe the homepages of dozens of reputable sites from Google search. The targets, which stand accused of violating the DMCA’s anti-circumvention policy, include Verizon, Pinterest, and Engadget. Google says that it’s aware of these fraudulent notices but, thus far, they are not without damage.

A Vast Sea of Corruption Flowing Out of EPOnia (Munich/Bavaria/Germany)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 121fbc8fbba611efb008f93365c14890

Summary: Personal remarks about part 12 in the current EPO series, a part which has just been published

CORRUPT politicians attract other politicians like themselves. They gravitate towards those who will have gentlemen’s agreements in a hush. Benoît Battistelli is one such corrupt politician and he’s attracted to a convicted fraudster from Finland and neighbouring countries that they commandeer. Battistelli has another such crook in the Balkan region (we refer to him as the “bulldog” and he’s still falsifying his qualifications without any consequences to anybody).

“…here in the UK you can run over a person and get away with it, provided you have diplomatic immunity; the only person arrested over revelations of war crimes is the person who had published evidence of them.”The ‘EPOnia’ island (a city within a city in Munich and Haar) has basically become a haven for crooks in need of millions of euros (diplomatic immunity is a side perk) and German officials don't seem to care because it is financially beneficial to Germany. This racket needs to be broken. All those accountable, including facilitators, should be investigated and possibly detained, interrogated, prosecuted, then arrested. Will that ever happen? Not likely… welcome to the world of immunity, where those who serve the world’s most powerful corporations and richest people basically get away with anything. WIPO has repeatedly demonstrated this and here in the UK you can run over a person and get away with it, provided you have diplomatic immunity; the only person arrested over revelations of war crimes is the person who had published evidence of them. Can the son of António Campinos borrow diplomatic immunity from his dad after drunk-driving and crashing the car? What has happened? Has the Rule of Law crumbled here in Europe? So what can we do about it?

Well, for the time being we can document the evidence and make it robust to censorship attempts, including SLAPP (because rich people love hiring expensive law firms to intimidate their exposers and critics; the EPO keeps doing that). The above video shows that rigging EPO elections isn’t hard when small countries that are poor and barely have any European Patents can have as much of a sway (voting power) as Germany, France and the UK. It doesn’t make sense, but that’s just how it works…

[Meme] The Rigga’ From Riga

Posted in Europe, Humour, Patents at 7:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Are you telling me you control billions of EPO budget?

Summary: Leaked footage of an old meeting

EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XII – Battistelli and His Baltic Fiefdoms

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series index:

  1. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part I – More Captured Delegates?
  2. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part II – Old Wine in New Bottles…
  3. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part III – Introducing the Finnish “Facilitator”
  4. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IV – Martti Enäjärvi and His “Good Brother” Networks
  5. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part V – A Man With a Conviction…
  6. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VI – “A Good Friend of Estonia and a Steady Cooperation Partner”
  7. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VII – A Self-Appointed “Select Committee”
  8. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VIII – Pulling for the Portuguese Pretender?
  9. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IX – António’s Faithful Acolyte in Alicante
  10. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part X – A Pan-European “Good Brother” Network Celebration?
  11. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XI – With a Little Help From My Friends…
  12. You are here ☞ Battistelli and His Baltic Fiefdoms

Battistelli with his Baltic buddies, Matti Päts (2012) and Rimvydas Naujokas (2014).
Benoît Battistelli with his Baltic buddies, Matti Päts (2012) and Rimvydas Naujokas (2014).

Summary: “…Battistelli did his best to maintain good relations with the new generation of Baltic delegates as the old guard gradually departed.”

Following his successful campaign to be elected as President of the European Patent Office (EPO) Battistelli made sure to repay the Baltic delegates for their support once he was installed in his new position.

As each of the offices celebrated the 20th anniversary of its re-establishment, Battistelli made sure to pay them a visit in person.

In April 2011 (warning: epo.org link) he was off to Vilnius to congratulate the Lithuanians. We maintain a local copy [PDF] as some of these pages appear to have been edited lately.

In March 2012 (warning: epo.org link) – as we have seen earlier – it was the turn of the Estonians in Tallinn. Here is a local copy [PDF] which cannot be edited.

And finally in May 2012 (warning: epo.org link), Battistelli travelled to Riga to congratulate the Latvian Patent Office on its 20th anniversary and “to discuss how Latvia and the EPO could co-operate to further strengthen the country’s intellectual property system”. Another local copy. [PDF]

The excitement which such outside attention generated in these small national patent offices can be gauged by an announcement which appeared on the website of the Estonian Patent Office on 9 March 2012 informing its readers that:

“The President of the EPO Mr Benoît Battistelli writes on his blog about the Estonian Patent Office due to its 20th anniversary of the re-establishment of the Estonian Patent Office.”

To ensure the continuing loyalty of his Baltic fiefdoms Battistelli did not limit his actions to merely symbolic gestures. He took great care to reward his vassals with plenty of carrots in the form of bilateral “cooperation projects”.

During his eight year tenure at the EPO, Battistelli was a frequent visitor to the Baltic region and was generally accompanied by his faithful INPI crony, the EPO “bagman” François-Régis Hannart. As readers of Techrights will be aware, Hannart was the Principal Director responsible for coordinating the distribution of Battistell’s “largesse” to his vassal states in return for their votes on the Administrative Council.

For example, in the photo below Hannart can be seen buttonholing Matti Päts’ deputy, Margus Viher, at the ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the Estonian Patent Office in March 2012.

Matti Päts' deputy, Margus Viher, and François-Régis Hannart
Matti Päts’ deputy, Margus Viher, being buttonholed by François-Régis Hannart at the ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the Estonian Patent Office in March 2012.

In June 2015, Battistelli and Hannart were spotted “on the job” in Riga where, amongst other things, they met with the Latvian politician Jānis Vucāns who was at that time the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Education, Culture and Science.

Jānis Vucāns and François-Régis Hannart
The Chairman of the Latvian Parliament’s Education, Culture and Science Committee, Jānis Vucāns, in a meeting with Battistelli and his cooperation fund “bagman” François-Régis Hannart (June 2015).

In the next part we will see how Battistelli did his best to maintain good relations with the new generation of Baltic delegates as the old guard gradually departed.

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