Links 8/9/2021: OpenSSL 3.0, GhostBSD 21.09.06, and Plans for sudo 1.9.8?

Posted in News Roundup at 8:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Russell Coker: Oracle Cloud Free Tier

        It seems that every cloud service of note has a free tier nowadays and the Oracle Cloud is the latest that I’ve discovered (thanks to r/homelab which I highly recommend reading). Here’s Oracle’s summary of what they offer for free [1].

        Oracle’s “always free” tier (where presumable “always” is defined as “until we change our contract”) currently offers ARM64 VMs to a total capacity of 4 CPU cores, 24G of RAM, and 200G of storage with a default VM size of 1/4 that (1 CPU core and 6G of RAM). It also includes 2 AMD64 VMs that each have 1G of RAM, but a 64bit VM with 1G of RAM isn’t that useful nowadays.

      • Kubernetes CI/CD pipelines: What, why, and how

        GitLab is a popular DevOps platform for end-to-end development and operations. It provides users with a Git repository for source version control, issue tracking, and CI/CD features. Developers can use the GitLab web UI and API to track builds, track test results, monitor deployments, and schedule batch jobs across various testing environments.

      • Revised – Support for Istio 1.9 ends on October 5th, 2021

        Istio is expanding the support window of the 1.9 release by six weeks to allow time for users to upgrade to Istio 1.10 or directly to Istio 1.11. Previously, we had announced that Istio 1.9 support would end on August 24, so our new end of support date for Istio 1.9 is October 5, 2021.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux boosts Microsoft NTFS support as Linus Torvalds complains about GitHub merges | ZDNet [Ed: Another Microsoft booster. Another Microsoft media operatives promoting the idea that Linux is a Microsoft thing.]

        Linux creator Linus Torvalds has agreed to include Paragon Software’s NTFS3 kernel driver, giving the Linux kernel 5.15 release improved support for Microsoft’s NTFS file system. But he also had some process and security lessons to offer developers about how to code submissions to the kernel should be made.

        Paragon’s NTFS driver will make working with Windows’ NTFS drives in Linux an easier task — ending decades of difficulties with Microsoft’s proprietary file system that succeeded FAT.

      • Linux 5.15′s New “-Werror” Behavior Is Causing A Lot Of Pain – Phoronix

        Landing this past weekend was the surprise move by Linus Torvalds to enable “-Werror” behavior by default for all kernel builds. That compiler flag addition makes all warnings be treated as errors, which in turn stops the kernel build. As expected, this change has led to quite a mess.

        That change to enable “-Werror” by default when building the Linux kernel led to some immediate errors. In particular, build/test farms were quick to hit pain points and quickly finding various areas of the kernel that were emitting warnings not immediately correctable.

      • Kernel 5.14: 30 years in the making and still improving

        With the release of the 5.14 kernel, the Linux community celebrates 30 years since the birth of the biggest collaborative software project in the world. Since then, this open collaboration by thousands of engineers has produced an operating system kernel that is more reliable, efficient, and better suited for countless applications than any single organization could ever achieve.

        While the high quality of this huge collaborative effort is definitely apparent by the widespread presence of Linux in the market today, this also means there is an ever-increasing interest in more modern hardware support, as well as a more reliable kernel that is thoroughly tested. This is where Collabora’s developers come in to help make this a reality. Here’s a look at their contributions to this latest kernel release.

      • Linux 5.15 KVM Defaults To The New x86 TDP MMU, Enables AMD SVM 5-Level Paging – Phoronix

        The Linux 5.15 Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) changes this cycle are quite exciting on the x86 (x86_64) front with several prominent additions.

        The KVM feature updates were sent in today for this new kernel cycle. While there are Arm and IBM s390 updates, the x86/x86_64 work is most notable for KVM in Linux 5.15.

        Earlier this year during the Linux 5.12 cycle the hope was KVM would switch to the new x86 MMU code by default later in the cycle but that didn’t happen… Now a few kernels later with continuing to improve the new MMU, it’s now the default with Linux 5.15.

      • Graphics Stack

        • The Khronos Group Is Hosting A Virtual Vulkan Event Next Month – Phoronix

          While The Khronos Group previously hosted in-person Vulkan events, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic their “Vulkanised 2021″ event next month has morphed into a free virtual event.

        • X.Org DMX Dropped After More Than A Decade Of Crashes – Phoronix

          The X.Org Distributed Multihead X (DMX) DDX driver has been dropped from the X.Org Server source tree due to its rather broken state for more than one decade.

          Xdmx is for distributed multi-head X serves as a proxy server so multiple displays for a desktop can be hosted from different machines / X.Org Servers and increasingly rare to find it used. As noted last week, the DMX DDX was on the chopping block since for about fourteen years now it’s been rather broken — trying to start any OpenGL clients with it will result in a crash. Back in 2017 was a proposed fix for this crashing on OpenGL clients but even that fix didn’t get picked up.

        • Vulkan 1.2.191 Released With New Extension To Make Wiser Memory Decisions – Phoronix

          Vulkan 1.2.191 is out this morning as the latest update to this graphics/compute API. As usual is a variety of bug fixes / clarifications to the specification while this time around is also one new extension.

          VK_EXT_pageable_device_local_memory is the new extension to Vulkan 1.2.191. The VK_EXT_pageable_device_local_memory extension allows for indicating to the application that the operating system supports pageable device local memory, in order for the application or game engine to make wiser decisions around memory management.

    • Applications

      • What is coming in sudo 1.9.8?

        Sudo development is at version 1.9.8 beta 3. There are two major new features: sudo can intercept sub-commands and log sub-commands. In this quick teaser I introduce you to log_subcmds. I hope it is interesting enough for you to test it out and provide feedback.

        So, what is log_subcmds good for? There are many UNIX tools that can spawn external applications. You only see vi in the logs, but can you be sure without session recording that your admin only edits what he is supposed to? With log_subcmds you can see all the commands started from an application run through sudo. Or you can see all the commands started from a shell, even without session recording.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Use lspci on Linux to see your hardware | Opensource.com

        When you’re running Linux on a desktop or server, sometimes you need to identify the hardware in that system. One command used for this is lspci. It works by showing all devices attached to the PCI bus. It’s provided by the pciutils package and is available for a wide range of Linux and BSD-based operating systems.

      • Martin-Éric Racine: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

        Debian 11 (codename Bullseye) was recently released. This was the smoothest upgrade I’ve experienced in some 20 years as a Debian user. In my haste, I completely forgot to first upgrade dpkg and apt, doing a straight dist-upgrade. Nonetheless, everything worked out of the box. No unresolved dependency cycles. Via my last-mile Gigabit connection, it took about 5 minutes to upgrade and reboot. Congratulations to everyone who made this possible!

        Since the upgrade, only a handful of bugs were found. I filed bug reports. Over these past few days, maintainers have started responding. In once particular case, my report exposed a CVE caused by copy-pasted code between two similar packages. The source package fixed their code to something more secure a few years ago, while the destination package missed it. The situation has been brought to Debian’s security team’s attention and should be fixed over the next few days.

      • Kubernetes clusters within AWS EKS
      • Introduction to managing Linux containers | FOSS Linux

        Linux Containers have been around for some time but became widely available when introduced in the Linux kernel in 2008. Containers are lightweight, executable application components that combine app source code with OS libraries and dependencies required to run the code in any environment. In addition, they offer application packaging and delivery technologies while taking advantage of application isolation with the flexibility of image-based deployment methods.

        Linux Containers use control groups for resource management, namespaces for system process isolation, SELinux Security to enable secure tenancy and reduce security threats or exploits. These technologies provide an environment to produce, run, manage and orchestrate containers.

        The article is an introductory guide to the main elements of Linux container architecture, how containers compare with KVM virtualization, image-based containers, docker containers, and containers orchestration tools.

      • A Candid explainer: Opt is special – Blog – Joachim Breitner’s Homepage

        Initially, the upgrade rules of Candid were a straight-forward application of the canonical subtyping rules. This worked and was sound, but it forbid one very commonly requested use case: Extending records in argument position.

      • How to boot RHEL 8 system into Rescue mode

        This article describes how to bootup RHEL/CentOS 8 system into rescue mode using the systemd rescue target unit.

        You may need to boot your RHEL 7/8 and CentOS 7/8 system to fix some common problems when the system refuse to boot normally.

      • Q&A trip to Linux’s Black Hole – /dev/null | Linux Journal

        As per NASA, “A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out”. Something similar exists in the Linux universe as well – it discards anything written to it and when read, just returns an EOF (end-of-file). It’s a special file which is also referred to as null device – /dev/null

      • How To Install phpMyAdmin on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install phpMyAdmin on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, phpMyAdmin is a free, open-source, and web-based application used for managing MySQL or MariaDB databases from the web interface. It is written in PHP and is one of the most popular database administration tools used by web hosting companies to enable novice system administrators to carry out database activities.

        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 phpMyAdmin on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • How to increase the swap space in Linux | FOSS Linux

        Linux is an open-source Unix-like operating system based on the Linux kernel. The Linux operating system has recently evolved to run on a wide variety of hardware, from phones, tablets, and supercomputers. Every Linux-based OS is packaged with a Linux Kernel that manages hardware resources and software packages that make up the operating system.

        How do I increase swap space in Linux? Have you been looking for a way to increase the swap space on your Linux PC? If so, don’t worry since this article will cover all the aspects you need to know about increasing swap space in Linux.

        Generally, every processor in the machine requires a certain amount of data capacity to run and store loaded applications. Therefore, all PCs are designed to have both primary and secondary memories from where all the programs can be run and stored information is executed.

      • How to install AWS sdk on Ubuntu – Unixcop

        AWS CLI or Amazon Web Service Command Line Interface is a command-line tool for managing and administering your Amazon Web Services like s3, ec2, lambda, and more services. AWS CLI provides direct access to the public API of Amazon Web Services.

      • How to copy|sync data between s3 to s3 or local using AWS CLI – Unixcop

        Aws Cli is a very powerful tool for working with AWS services. If you have configured the Access key and secrete key on your working machine then you can easily play with AWS services from your local machine.

      • How to Install Pip 3 or 2 on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux – Linux Shout

        Pip stands for Pip Installs Python and is a tool for Python programming language to install various modules. It is an explicit replacement and indirect successor for the older one easy_install from the Python setup tools.

        In a direct comparison, the syntax of pip is based on that of other package administrators, such as APT. Furthermore, even with pip, dependencies on other modules are resolved directly, ie additionally required modules are installed directly. Using it we can install packages from Python Package Index (PyPI) and other repositories.

      • Linux 101: What are environment variables? – TechRepublic

        How many times have you installed something on Linux, only to find out that you need to set certain environment variables before the installation will work? For me, it happens all the time.

        But what are these environment variables, and how do you set them? Let’s dive in and find out.

      • Understand Cyber Security and Cryptography – Unixcop

        To understand cyber security and cryptography we will continue further today. In the previous chapter, we discussed the basics elements.

        Also In 1960-70 computers started getting popular in industry and offices. Initially, security and encryption were a concern for govt offices only.

        In addition to In 1973 IBM developed the Fiestal cipher. in 1949 an American cryptographer Claude Shanon introduced the substitution and permutation method of cryptography.

        Another Method of Cryptography came into the picture as well. “Confusion and Diffusion” was that new cryptography method.

      • Microservices with Python3 – Unixcop

        They were interested in microservices. How can microservices use them for increased agility and scalability?

        Microservices are architectural style and pattern structures which application as a collection of services. Services are highly maintainable, testable, loosely coupled, independently deployable, and precisely focused.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • GateBoy is a Game Boy Emulated at Gate Level

        Old game systems are typically the most popular targets for emulation. With huge communities of fans wanting to recreate the good times of yesteryear, most old systems have all been brought back to life in this manner. However, some simply dive into emulation for the technical challenge, and [Austin Appleby] has done just that with GateBoy.

        GateBoy is a project to emulate the Game Boy logic gate by logic gate. It’s a lower level approach that builds upon earlier work [Austin] did on a project called MetroBoy, which we featured previously.

    • Games

      • Humble serves up a fresh plate of games in Humble Choice September | GamingOnLinux

        Ready to grab even more games? The monthly curated bundle Humble Choice has a fresh plate of games ready to claim for subscribers.

        This is the bundle that replaced Humble Monthly, where you pay for whatever tier you feel is the best value to get access to the Humble Trove (a ton of DRM-free games), a discount at the Humble Store and the ability to claim Steam keys for multiple top titles. It’s usually a mix of native Linux games and some that work with Steam Play Proton.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Weekly-ish recap — 7 September 2021

          There have been two Krita releases lately. Version 4.4.8 arrived last week with bugfixes. And then the first beta of v5 was released nearly two weeks ago, representing a few years of work and an insane amount of new features and improvements. If you ever hear them saying that this would be their greatest release ever, this won’t be a marketing ploy, it’s god’s honest truth.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Get your apps ready for Software 41

          Software 41 will be released with the rest of GNOME 41 in a few weeks, and it brings a number of changes to how app metadata is presented, including the newly added hardware support information, larger screenshots, more visible age ratings, and more.

          If you haven’t updated your app’s metadata in a while this is the perfect moment to review what you have, update what’s missing, and release a new version ahead of the GNOME 41 release!

          In this blog post I’ll walk you through the different kinds of metadata your app needs to really shine in Software 41, and best practices for adding it.

    • Distributions

      • Latest POP_OS! Release Brings COSMIC Overtones

        When I reviewed POP!_OS 20.04 in May 2020, I saw its potential to be one of the best starting points for any new Linux user.

        The latest release, POP!_OS Linux 21.04 issued June 29, clearly shows that the in-house tweaking of the GNOME desktop to the COSMIC GNOME-based desktop is even more inviting.

        Given this distro’s rising popularity, it will continue to hold that distinction. COSMIC is an attractive offering for seasoned Linux users as well.

        That is a bold statement, but developer System76 has made some bold moves to push this distro to the forefront and spark its popularity among newcomers to Linux — as well as with seasoned users. That was true for the changeover to a modified GNOME desktop last year. It is even truer with this latest release’s added COSMIC polish to GNOME.

        COSMIC stands for Computer Operating System Main Interface Components. While it is not an out-of-this-world or strikingly new desktop environment, it does provide enough change to the traditional GNOME user interface to be better than the original.

        That has been System 76’s goal from the get-go. The company has refined the desktop experience primarily for its own line of Linux-powered computers. But even running POP_OS! on your own unoptimized hardware, this Linux distribution soars like a heavenly creature.

      • New Releases

        • GhostBSD 21.09.06 ISO’s now available

          I am happy to announce the new ISO 21.09.06. This new ISO contains the switch from OpenRC to FreeBSD rc.d and numerous fixes and improvements.

        • GhostBSD 21.09.06 Available to Download

          GhostBSD moved back to FreeBSD rc.d to start services. Github ticket completed: Disable access to home directories. ghostbsd-src opened by ghost. Leaving some fractured pastes about Update-Station and sudo pkg update update-station#21 opened by wb7odyfred. (GhostBSD-21.04.27.iso) package configuration file anomalies at /usr/local/etc/pkg/repos/ ghostbsd-pkg-conf opened by grahamperrin. Empty list of packages software-station opened by simonsaman. Inappropriate connections to open Wi-Fi networks with 5.5 on FreeBSD networkmgr opened by grahamperrin. For Open Networks, /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf file gets written without double quotes around SSID name. networkmgr opened by wb7odyfred. Automatic switchover networkmgr opened by Crushless. Minor cosmetic – authentication is spelled wrong networkmgr, opened by technics. Wired: DHCP: not gaining an address networkmgr opened by grahamperrin.” Further details can be found in the project’s release announcement.

        • GhostBSD 21.09.06 Released For This FreeBSD-Based Desktop OS

          GhostBSD 21.09.06 is now available as the latest release of this desktop-minded, FreeBSD-based operating system.

          The principal change with GhostBSD 21.09.06 is switching back from using OpenRC as the init system to FreeBSD’s rc.d for this handling of starting services. GhostBSD had enjoying OpenRC’s service status feature but in the end it wasn’t worthwhile due to GhostBSD needing to keep the OpenRC handling up-to-date with FreeBSD services catering to rc.d. After spending more than the past month transitioning back, GhostBSD is now ready to go with using rc.d.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 8 skills you need to be successful in IT automation | Enable Sysadmin

          Looking back now, I was lucky … before the year 2000, I started working in an IT shop that already had an automation team. This team had some sort of magic that proactively fixed issues before they happened—or at least addressed them when they happened without waking someone up in the middle of the night. At 19 years old, I had no idea that this was not the norm or really what automation even meant. Then, one day it hit me: This is how I can make time for all the other things in my backlog of work, and even more importantly, I don’t have to do this manually ever again. The realization that anything you can do on a command line could easily be saved as code and run again systematically without human intervention completely changed my life and set me on the path I am on today.

        • Build a Kubernetes Operator in six steps | Red Hat Developer

          Operators greatly increase the power of Kubernetes as an environment and orchestration tool for running scalable applications This article shows you how to create your own Kubernetes Operator. Although production applications often run in the cloud, you don’t need a cloud service for the tutorial; you’ll download everything you need onto a local system.

          This article is an update to one I wrote last year, ‘Hello, World’ tutorial with Kubernetes Operators. Architecture upgrades in the Kubernetes Operator SDK (in version 0.20) put that article out of date. This tutorial takes you on the journey of writing your first Kubernetes Operator using Kubernetes Operator SDK 1.11+.

        • Business and Consumer Services tops Red Hat Enterprise Linux install base as of August 2021

          The largest percentage of IT management solution Red Hat Enterprise Linux installations were in the business and consumer services sector as of August 2021, according to GlobalData Install Base database.

          In all Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployments across sectors, the business and consumer services sector accounted for a 21.1% share, followed by communications and IT with 21.1%.

        • Customer success stories: speeding data insights with Red Hat

          Gathering data can help organizations better understand customers and track performance. As you scale, how do you make sure your business-critical insights are processed efficiently?

          From harnessing edge insights to speeding cross-team data delivery, organizations are counting on Red Hat technologies to help manage and analyze their valuable information. In this month’s customer success highlights, we’ll share how two media companies, Verizon and Globo, used Red Hat OpenShift to manage their data and stay ahead of the market.

        • Top 10 most used Open Practice Library concepts

          The Open Practice Library has quickly grown in its popularity and has become a trusted resource for anyone wanting to learn ways to get optimal outcomes for their teams. Created in 2016 by the Red Hat Open Innovation Labs team, the library offers various strategies and concepts to focus on DevOps and product development practices. Not sure where to start? We’re highlighting the Library’s top 10 tools in this post.

        • What is ransomware? 5 facts IT leaders should understand now

          Ransomware has been headline news in 2021, highlighted by the Colonial Pipeline hack and underlined by scores of other attacks.

          Data on ransomware infections varies, with multiple estimates suggesting the majority of organizations worldwide have been affected. Even more conservative measurements point to a widespread security problem. A recently published survey conducted by IDC found nearly one-third (31 percent) of organizations globally have been hit by ransomware in the previous 12 months. (IDC found a far lower rate among U.S.-based companies.)

          Such data points also tend to indicate that ransomware attacks are increasing. According to research group Statista, the percentage of organizations globally that have been impacted by ransomware has grown steadily each year from 2018 through 2021.

          Ransomware is “another way of monetizing attacks on IT systems.”
          By any measure, ransomware is a real – and potentially expensive – problem. And the reason it exists is fundamentally simple. “Ransomware is in the news a lot these days,” says Gordon Haff, technology evangelist at Red Hat. “But at the end of the day, it’s just another way of monetizing attacks on IT systems.”

        • IT leadership: How the pandemic can shift your perspective for the better

          For many of us, the pandemic has changed how we work, how we live, and how we spend our time – redefining where work gets done and bringing new opportunities.

          The redefinition of work has influenced our workspaces, our location strategy, the need for contingency sites, and the pace of digitization for clients and employees. For our BNY Mellon teams, redoubling our work to enhance our scalable and resilient operating model will likely be a core part of our strategy. This enables us to optimize and streamline the interactions across our businesses, as well as technology and operations, all in the interest of servicing clients and driving growth.

          Here are a few ways the challenges of the pandemic have sharpened our focus on technology.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical’s Anbox Cloud Appliance Now Available On AWS Marketplace

          Canonical has announced the launch of its Anbox Cloud Appliance on the AWS Marketplace, which simplifies the installation and deployment process and also allows billing directly handled through AWS.

          Anbox Cloud containerises workloads using Android as a guest operating system enabling enterprises to distribute applications from the cloud. Anbox Cloud allows enterprises and service providers to deliver mobile applications at scale, more securely and independently of a device’s capabilities. Use cases for Anbox Cloud include cloud gaming, enterprise workplace applications, software testing, and mobile device virtualisation.

        • Canonical scales down Anbox Cloud to an appliance on AWS • The Register

          Canonical has shrunk its Anbox Cloud Android app container platform with an appliance available on the AWS Marketplace.

          Android developers using the Anbox Cloud Appliance will now require a virtual or bare-metal machine on AWS (or Oracle OCI, according to Ubuntu’s documentation) in order to load up their applications for prototyping or small-scale deployments.

          Anbox Cloud turned up earlier this year as a platform to containerise workloads using Android as a guest operating system. Back then, Canonical boasted of the elasticity available by running things in the cloud (be it AWS, OCI, Azure or GCP.) However, while scaling out might be one thing, scaling in is not quite the same, hence the appliance.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Ryzen V2000 Mini-ITX offers triple M.2 and PCIe x16

        Ibase has launched a “MI989” Mini-ITX board with an up to octa-core Ryzen Embedded V2000 SoC, up to 64GB DDR3, 4x DP, 2x GbE, 3x USB 3.1 Gen2, 3x M.2, and PCIe x16.

        Ibase teased the M1989 last November when AMD announced its 7nm, Zen 2 based Ryzen Embedded V2000 system-on-chip. The company has now released the product at an unstated price.

      • Industrial mini-PC powers up with RK3399

        Vecow’s rugged “EIC-1000” industrial mini-PC runs Android or Linux on an RK3399 with 2GB DDR3L, 32GB eMMC, 2x USB, 2x COM, HDMI, GbE, and mini-PCIe.

        Vecow announced a fanless, compact computer equipped with Rockchip’s hexa-core -A72 and -A53 RK3399 SoC. The EIC-1000 offers industrial features including a 9-55 DC terminal plug input, an extended 0 to 70°C operating range, IEC 60068-2-27 rated shock resistance, IEC 60068-2-64 vibration resistance, and humidity and EMC tolerance.

        The EIC-1000 is aimed primarily at digital signage, but also supports smart retail, factory automation, and other AIoT/Industry 4.0 applications. We’re not sure why the EIC-1000 is referred to as an “edge AI” system, which would make more sense if it was using the NPU-equipped RK3399Pro. Yet, we suppose you could add a half-sized Coral Edge TPU based Mini PCIe Accelerator card to the mini-PCIe slot. One image shows a camera, which could be attached via USB or GbE. The RK3399 supports up to 1080p @ 30fps encoding.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Trying Out The RasPad 3, My Unboxing & Review

          Today we’re going to be taking a look at the RasPad 3, an all-in-one tablet-style device designed around the Raspberry Pi 4B that Sunfounder have sent me to review and share with you.

          The RasPad 3 was brought to life through a successful Kickstarter campaign in October 2020 which saw almost 2000 backers pledge over $300,000, so it definitely gathered a lot of early interest.

        • Qubes Now A Preinstall Option for Librem 14 and Mini

          While we default to our own PureOS on our hardware, we have also supported the high-security QubesOS on Purism hardware ever since the Librem 13 v1 became the first hardware officially supported by the Qubes project. Since then we have continued to treat Qubes as a first-class citizen and ensured that it works well on new iterations of our hardware, up to and including our current Librem Mini and Librem 14 which we feel is the best laptop for running Qubes. We are pleased to announce this support now extends to pre-installing Qubes on the Librem Mini and Librem 14, for any customer who selects it as their OS of choice.

        • Measuring 20V signals on an Arduino Uno with a quantizer | Arduino Blog

          The Arduino Uno is well-known for its 10-bit 5V ADC within its ATmega328p, which means that it takes between 0 and 5V as input and produces a digital value that ranges from 0 to 1023. However, attempting to measure any voltage above 5V will cause some less-than-desirable results, such as creating magic smoke and destroying the IC. To get around this problem, some makers add a voltage divider that divides the incoming voltage by a predetermined factor. This solution reduces the resolution of the ADC, as a single unit of change in the digital value corresponds to a larger change in voltage. To address this, the YouTuber known as Techoyaki came up with a novel solution that can measure the full range of values without decreasing the resolution.

        • Use the Nano 33 BLE Sense’s IMU and gesture sensor to control a DJI Tello drone | Arduino Blog

          Piloting a drone with something other than a set of virtual joysticks on a phone screen is exciting due to the endless possibilities. DJI’s Tello can do just this, as it has a simple Python API which allows for basic aspects to be controlled such as taking off, landing, and moving within a horizontal plane. Soham Chatterjee built a system that takes advantage of two sensors within the Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense’s onboard suite, namely the APDS-9960 and LSM9DS1 IMU.

          He started this endeavor by creating two simple programs that ran on the BLE Sense. The first initializes the APDS-9960 to detect gestures, which then sends strings like “detected DOWN gesture” via the USB port to a host machine. The second program checks if the IMU has gone over a certain threshold in a single direction and relays a corresponding string if it has.

        • DIY 3D water depth mapping with Arduino | Arduino Blog

          Knowing the exact depths that water reaches within a harbor can be vital to navigating around certain hidden obstacles that might cause a boat to become stuck. But rather than using an expensive drone or even satellite to take these measurements, Jan Neumann was able to create a DIY version that is a fraction of the cost.

          The system is comprised of an Arduino Uno at its core with a small GPS module for gathering positional data and a NMEA-capable echo sounder. As Neumann’s boat moved around the harbor, the Uno would take a reading of the water’s depth and the boat’s current position every second and log it to an SD card within a CSV file. And because the water’s natural level rises and falls over the course of a few hours due to tidal forces, Neumann used a Wasser&Schiffahrsamt water level sensing module that also takes a reading every second.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 92 enables WebRender everywhere

            Mozilla Firefox 92 will be officially released during the course of the day, but the browser has been available on the company’s FTP server since yesterday . The new version of the Mozilla browser is inconspicuous, but completes a development that has been delivered to users piece by piece for several years.

          • Firefox 92.0 and Firefox ESR

            Firefox 92.0 has been released. In this version Firefox can now automatically upgrade to HTTPS using HTTPS RR as Alt-Svc headers, support full-range color levels for video playback on many systems, and more.

          • Firefox 92.0 Released with More Secure HTTPS Connection / Full-range Color

            Mozilla Firefox 92.0 was released today with new features and various security fixes.

            The release will use HTTPS resource record (HTTPS RR) as Alt-Svc headers to make connections more secure.

            The full-range color (0-255) levels are now supported for video playback. Though the limited color range (16-235) is ideal for movies and TV, the source can be switched to full-range color to match PC monitor.

          • Chris H-C: This Week in Glean: Data Reviews are Important, Glean Parser makes them Easy
          • Data@Mozilla: This Week in Glean: Data Reviews are Important, Glean Parser makes them Easy

            At Mozilla we put a lot of stock in Openness. Source? Open. Bug tracker? Open. Discussion Forums (Fora?)? Open (synchronous and asynchronous).

            We also have an open process for determining if a new or expanded data collection in a Mozilla project is in line with our Privacy Principles and Policies: Data Review.

            Basically, when a new piece of instrumentation is put up for code review (or before, or after), the instrumentor fills out a form and asks a volunteer Data Steward to review it. If the instrumentation (as explained in the filled-in form) is obviously in line with our privacy commitments to our users, the Data Steward gives it the go-ahead to ship.

            (If it isn’t _obviously_ okay then we kick it up to our Trust Team to make the decision. They sit next to Legal, in case you need to find them.)

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • pgagroal 1.3.0

          The pgagroal community is happy to announce version 1.3.0.

          This release was driven by Junduo Dong (@An-DJ) and his Google Summer of Code project to enhance monitoring and metrics of pgagroal.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • CMS

        • Grav: a Databaseless free Open-source WordPress Competitor

          Grav is an open-source CMS and web publishing system which uses Flat-file to store content and data instead of a Database.

          If you are familiar with WordPress, then you know it has a rich community, a vast extensions libraries, free and commercial and a numerous list of themes. The main reason was it is a user-friendly system and does not take much time or effort to install and run.

      • FSF

        • RMS: Cancellation as mob rule

          Cancellation as mob rule: the article compares it with the Puritans of old New England.

          To me, it resembles the Red Guards that I read about in Life and Death in Shanghai (Nien Cheng).

          Although people attempted to cancel me two years ago, what has happened to me is not as bad as what happened to those described in the article. I was fortunate.

      • Programming/Development

        • Secure AI workloads using fully homomorphic encrypted data

          For decades, the industry has benefitted from modern cryptography to protect sensitive data in transit and at rest. However, it has been impossible to keep the data protected while it is being processed. IBM Research is closing this gap with the release of HElayers, a software development kit (SDK) for the practical and efficient execution of secure AI workloads using fully homomorphic encrypted (FHE) data.

          HElayers promises to address a primary concern in computing security, enabling the ability to use data safely without exposing any sensitive information, a key enabler for migrating compute to the cloud. HElayers provides encryption schemes and methods that allow specific operations to be performed on encrypted data without decrypting that data and any intermediate values computed, allowing for maximum utility of the data while preserving privacy and security. Foundational areas for applying FHE include:

        • What’s new in QML Tooling in Qt 6.2?
        • These are the most popular programming languages ​​of 2021 – itsfoss.net

          The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) has developed and published a list of the main and most popular programming languages ​​of 2021 . The list, which has been published in the entity’s magazine, IEEE Spectrum , has 55 positions, of which the first is occupied, to the surprise of very few, by the popular Python .

          This language is, according to the IEEE, the most used this year, followed by others that are also very popular and used in the development world: Java, C, C ++ and JavaScript ; that occupy from second to fifth place, in that order. These are followed by C #, R, Go, HTML, and Swift . Past tenth place are Arduino, Matlab, PHP, Dart, SQL, Ruby, Rust, Assembly, Kotlin and Julia.

        • Fast Duplicate Tracking

          In 2019, I optimized QStringList::removeDuplicates() by using std::pmp::unordered_set with a std::pmr::monotonic_buffer_resource, when available. The class that I wrote to encapsulate this optimization has since been re-implemented three times. The latest iteration has recently landed in KDToolBox.

        • When you really appreciate clang-format

          In the KDE repos, a lot of repositories have been formatted using clang-format (almost all of the KDE Frameworks, and IIRC a lot of parts in Plasma, and some apps, and Okular and KActivities (the latter two have had clang-format much longer before the rest of KDE caught up)).

          There was this Linux Kernel talk given by Greg-Kroah Hartman where he talked about the importance of formatting patches submitted to the Kernel, they have tools/scripts to format patches according to the coding style used in the Kernel, in that talk he said that the human brain recognises patterns, and because of that it is much easier to read code that is formatted in a regular pattern that you’re used to; which in, my experience so far, is pretty much true.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Put an editable command at the next prompt

            I audit data files that vary a lot in structure, and I often have to modify a command to suit a particular file’s complement of fields. The “base” command to be modified can be fairly long, there can be several parameters to be adjusted within it, and there’s more than one kind of “base” command.

            Typing and modifying those long commands gets pretty tedious. For this reason I built a pick-list of “base” commands called “sniplist” that lives in my ~/scripts directory. I call up the list, pick the “base” command I want and edit it at the next prompt. There are two very different ways to do this job.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Eyes on Trade: Rethinking Trade – Season 1 Episode 38: Labor Day Special: An Historic Vote in a Mexican Auto Plant

      On August 19th, workers at the massive General Motors plant in Silao, Mexico participated in an historic vote that ousted the corrupt and undemocratic protection union that had long controlled labor relations there. The effort to win such a vote…

    • Science

      • Here’s how to fix the EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act

        The European Union is getting back to work after the summer break, and one of the key files on everyone’s mind is the EU Artificial Intelligence Act (AIA). Over the summer, the European Commission held a consultation on the AIA that received 304 responses, with everyone from the usual Big Tech players down to the Council of European Dentists having their say.

        Access Now submitted a response to the consultation in August that outlined a number of key issues that need to be addressed in the next stages of the legislative process. Here’s a quick refresher on some of our main recommendations.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Updated Python support in VS Code brings browser editing and ditches open-source language server for Pylance [Ed: Microsoft Tim is pushing proprietary software of Microsoft to Python developers]
            • Why we abandoned open source: LiveCode CEO on retreat despite successful kickstarter [Ed: Microsoft Tim now a megaphone for people who use proprietary GitHub and abandon Free software (LiveCode); I think his agenda is important to keep abreast of.]

              An easy to use programming language that was made open source in 2014 after a successful crowdfunding campaign is going back to closed source after too many customers switched to using it for free.

              LiveCode Community, open source under the GPLv3, was archived on GitHub and future development will be closed source.

            • Summer 2021 Newsletter [Ed: Mission changed. Half their budget promotes proprietary GitHub.]

              Welcome to the Open Source Initiative’s quarterly newsletter. We hope the information shared in each edition provides you with interesting insights into our initiatives and activities.


              Our old mission statement was pretty wordy and didn’t succinctly encompass all the work that we do anymore. The OSI finds itself in a very different place than we were when we started. Open source software is everywhere now and the tech landscape has changed quite a bit. The needs of the open source community are more varied and little more complicated than they were in 1998. We aim to meet the needs of a larger, more global community and that means declaring our intent to embrace change and update our tactics.

              NEW: As steward of the OSD, we set the foundation for the open source software ecosystem.

              OLD: We are the stewards of the Open Source Definition (OSD) and the community-recognized body for reviewing and approving licenses as OSD-conformant.

        • Security

          • OpenSSL 3.0 Has Been Released! – OpenSSL Blog

            After 3 years of development work, 17 alpha releases, 2 beta releases, over 7,500 commits and contributions from over 350 different authors we have finally released OpenSSL 3.0! In addition to this there has been a large number of contributions from our users who have been actively working with the pre-release versions to test it, make sure it works in the real world and with a large array of different applications and reporting their results. I am also delighted to note that there has been a 94% increase in the amount of documentation that we have since OpenSSL 1.1.1 and an (adjusted) increase in the “lines of code” in our tests of 54%. There has never been a better demonstration of what an active and enthusiastic community we have than when you look at the statistics for the OpenSSL 3.0 development work. Thanks to everyone who has taken part – no matter how small that part was.

          • OpenSSL 3.0 Officially Released – Phoronix

            After many development snapshots and three years worth of work, OpenSSL 3.0 is now available as a major update to this widely-used SSL library.

            Compared to OpenSSL 1.1, OpenSSL 3.0 features greater extensibility, various code clean-ups and deprecations, and architectural improvements. OpenSSL 3.0 has also switched to being distributed under the Apache 2.0 license.

          • OpenSSL 3.0.0 released

            Version 3.0 of the OpenSSL TLS library has been released; the large version-number jump (from 1.1.1) reflects a new versioning scheme.

          • PoC released for Ghostscript vulnerability that exposed Airbnb, Dropbox | The Daily Swig

            Hackers have released proof-of-concept code that exploits a recently demonstrated vulnerability in older but still widely used versions of Ghostscript, the popular server-side image conversion software package.
            Security researcher Emil Lerner demonstrated an unpatched vulnerability for Ghostscript version 9.50 at the ZeroNights X conference in Saint Petersburg, Russia last month.

          • Top 6 Breaches In the Last 20 Years That Reshaped Cybersecurity
          • Elon Musk’s top-secret ‘full self-driving’ AI car software leaked to hackers
          • Resource Anesthesiology Association of California warns patient information was on stolen laptop
          • Bits relating to Alpine security initiatives in August

            As always, the primary focus of my work in Alpine is related to security, either through non-maintainer updates to address CVEs, new initiatives for hardening Alpine, maintenance of critical security-related packages or working with other projects to improve our workflows with better information sharing. Here are some updates on that, which are slightly delayed because of the long weekend.

            sudo deprecation>

            One of the key things we discussed in the last update was our plan to deprecate sudo, by moving it to community. sudo exists in a similar situation as firejail: it allows for some interesting use cases, but the security track record is not very good. Additionally, the maintenance lifecycle for a release branch of sudo is very short, which makes it difficult to provide long-term support for any given version.

            As such, the security team proposed to the Technical Steering Committee that we should deprecate sudo and move to an alternative implementation such as doas. This required some work, namely, doas needed to gain support for configuration directories. I wrote a patch for doas which provides support for configuration directories, and last week, pushed a doas package which includes this patch with some migration scripts.

            At this point, basically everything which depended on sudo for technical reasons has been moved over to using doas. We are just waiting for the cloud-init maintainer to finish testing their support for doas. Once that is done, sudo will be moved to community.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Public (Corruption) Radio, NPR, posted a story about Facebook calling black people “primates”; had to disclose that they’re funded by Facebook. “Philanthropy” troubles.

        Lately, I’ve heard NPR admit they’re funded by the Bill Gates Foundation, Facebook, DuckDuckGo, ExxonMobil, Amazon, and many others.


        The billionaire class want a finger in every pie. They don’t just “donate” to get nothing in return. In fact, the open corruption of PBS (the over the air “public” TV sibling of NPR) and NPR has been known for some time now to anyone paying attention. Some years back, when Walmart was having major scandals, they just made a donation to PBS and they started running ads about “all the good Walmart brings to the community”.

        When they were about to do an informative documentary about how the Koch Brothers corrupted American politics, a large donation changed that.

        In fact, you can see a list of sponsors for PBS, which is more open about who is financing them than NPR is, and you’ll never hear anything too bad about them on the air.

      • Propaganda in the Covid Era with Mark Crispin Miller

        Professor Mark Crispin Miller joins the podcast to discuss the propaganda that has been used to opportunistically sell certain agendas to the public in the Covid era, just as in past crises of similar scale.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The battle for control of Afghanistan’s internet | WIRED UK

        When the Taliban last ruled Afghanistan, between 1996 and 2001, the nation remained resolutely analogue. The internet was effectively banned alongside music and other ‘modern concepts’ such as women having a role in society. The result was that most Afghans were cut off from the emerging online world.

        Yet despite its hostile approach to digital life within its borders, the Taliban held a more nuanced view when it came to spreading the word outside Afghanistan. The terror group has been on Twitter for a decade, and has maintained an official website since 1998, even while Afghan civilians were barred from going online.

        Twenty years on, the situation is even more complicated. Our reliance on digital connections has grown exponentially since the Taliban were last in power, and even the militia themselves use social media as part of a vast propaganda machine. Afghanistan’s new leader – expected to be Mullah Baradar, head of the Taliban’s political arm – has a full in-tray of issues. Policing, the economy and Afghanistan’s place in the international community are all priorities. But equally challenging is what the Taliban does with the internet.

Links 7/9/2021: Firefox 93 Beta and Tails 4.22

Posted in News Roundup at 1:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Co-op News Punch Podcast – Episode 32

        We’re back, again! The duo returns for another casual and frank chat about Linux and Linux Gaming topics across many different areas in the industry. The podcast features myself and contributor Samsai, having a very chilled-out (and totally unprofessional) chat about various Linux and Linux Gaming topics across different fields.

      • Destination Linux 242: License To Thrill With Open Source (Explaining Licenses & Why To Use Them)

        This week’s episode of Destination Linux, we’re going to discuss open source licensing and help everyone navigate this critical part of open source ecosystem. Then we’re going to discuss some disturbing surveillance laws that are currently impacting our friends in Australia. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you.

    • Kernel Space

      • FUSE With Linux 5.15 Now Allows Mounting An Active FUSE Device – Phoronix

        While Linus Torvalds isn’t much of a fan of FUSE / user-space file-systems, the FUSE code within the kernel does continue making improvements.

        The FUSE changes for Linux 5.15 have been submitted and mostly consist of a few fixes, including around data flushing in syncfs, data flushing in copy_file_range(), a possible deadlock fix, and other fixes.

      • Finer Grained KASLR Patches Revived For The Linux Kernel To Enhance Security – Phoronix

        For more than a year there has been work on FGKASLR for finer grained kernel address space layout randomization. While KASLR is widely-used these days, with enough guessing or unintentional kernel leakage, the base address of the kernel can be figured out. Finer grained KASLR allows for randomization at the per-functional level to dramatically boost defenses. The latest take on FG-KASLR has now been published.

        FG-KASLR continues to be designed around rearranging the kernel code at boot/load-time on a per-function level with minimal impact to the boot time.

      • Linux 5.15 Adds New Syscall To More Quickly Free Memory Of Dying Processes – Phoronix

        To help out memory pressure / out-of-memory killing solutions like systemd-oomd or Android’s LMKD, Linux 5.15 is introducing the “process_mrelease” system call to more quickly free the memory of dying processes.

        Earlier this summer I wrote about a proposed “process_reap” system call for more quickly reclaiming memory when under pressure. It’s that work that evolved into “process_mrelease” and this new system call is now ready to go for Linux 5.15.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 5 5600G / Ryzen 7 5700G Linux Gaming Benchmarks

        Recently with my Linux benchmarks of the Ryzen 5 5600G and Ryzen 7 5700G Zen 3 APUs with Radeon Vega graphics I touched on the GPU graphics/compute performance in some of the basic benchmarks while in this article are a number of Steam Play and native Linux gaming benchmarks for looking at the potential for these latest-generation desktop APUs for Linux gaming.

        This round of benchmarking is looking at the gaming potential out of the Ryzen 5 5600G and Ryzen 7 5700G which as shown in the prior articles offer much greater integrated graphics potential than what is current provided by Intel desktop processors. For providing a fresh look at the 5600G/5700G Linux gaming performance, Linux 5.14 and Mesa 21.3-devel were providing the latest open-source graphics stack.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Convert Linux Packages With Alien – OSTechNix

        The developers and package maintainers may not always create packages for all Linux distributions. Some packages are only available for a specific Linux platform. In such cases, you can use package conversion tools like Alien to easily convert Linux packages to different formats. In this guide, we will see what is Alien, how to install Alien in various Linux operating systems and then how to convert a Linux package from one format to another using Alien package converter.

      • Why Secure Access to Cloud Infrastructure is Painful

        Complexity is our collective enemy in the computing industry. Complex systems are admired, yet they are hard to reason about, hard to secure, and let’s not forget — often unpleasant to use. Below, I will try offering a simple framework for how to think about secure infrastructure access, about its complexity, and a possible solution.

      • Element diversity

        The markup above is something I see a lot on websites I audit professionally or when I just look under the hood of a website because I’m curious to see how it’s structured. The div is by far the most popular element, which is absolutely fine, but it’s often being used in favor of other elements that would fit better. This overuse is nothing new, but the rise of JavaScript (JS) frameworks has amplified it.

      • How To Install Ansible on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Ansible on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Ansible is a free and open-source automation tool that allows system administrators to configure and control hundreds of nodes from a central server without the need of installing any agents on the nodes. Unlike Puppet and Chef, Ansible is agent-less. Ansible uses declarative language to define system configurations and uses SSH service and Python scripts to apply configurations on the managed nodes.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Ansible on AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

      • How to install Standard Notes on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Standard Notes 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 Install Nexus Repository on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Nexus Repository on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Nexus Repository is an open-source repository that supports many artifact formats, including Docker, Java, Docker, Conan components, and more. It allows you to collect, and manage your dependencies and makes it easier to distribute your software. It is a single source of all components, binaries, and build artifacts.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Nexus Repository on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How To Install Node.js on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Node.js on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, NodeJS is a technology that allows running Javascript on the server-side using Google’s V8 engine. It is used on both the back-end and front-end as a full-stack making development more consistent.

        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 Node.js on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • How To Install and Secure MongoDB on Ubuntu 20.04 – TecAdmin

        MongoDB is a database and in comparison to other databases, it is easy to handle because there is no need to work in a table-based conventional relational database structure. We can save a large amount of data because of its feature of horizontal partitioning. A lot of companies are using MongoDB like CISCO, Facebook, Nokia, etc.

        MongoDB offers data aggregation as it allows us to store data according to our preferences. Otherwise, we have to manage data according to the data management of a conventional database.

        This article will help us to understand how to install MongoDB in Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Change WordPress Admin Password via phpMyAdmin

        One undisputed advantage of using phpMyAdmin as a database management and administration frontend is how easy it is to configure and implement user-privileged actions. One such action is resetting your admin password from its Graphical User Interface. Changing user passwords involves several easy steps. We will go through all of them together.

      • How to Run Java Programs in Terminal in Ubuntu & Other Linux

        So, you have started learning Java programming? That’s good.

        And you want to run the java programs on your Linux system? Even better.

        Let me show how to run Java in terminal in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

      • How to Use Awesome Screenshot (Capture Images, Record Videos)

        Awesome Screenshot is very easy to use the extension. The learning curve is less. You can use it efficiently within an hour of learning. In general, just click to open the toolbar and select the menu to perform respective actions.

      • Create Live USB in Linux Terminal With dd Command

        There are several graphical tools available for creating live USB. Etcher on Linux is probably the most popular. Ubuntu has its own Startup Disk Creator tool for this purpose.

        However, advanced Linux users swear by the comfort and swiftness of creating live USBs in Linux terminal using the dd command.

        The dd command is a CLI tool that gives you powerful features for copying and converting files.

        A common use case that people use dd for is to write ISO files to an external storage device such as a USB drive, which can be used to do things like install a new Linux distribution onto a computer or laptop.

        That’s what I am going to show in this tutorial. I’ll go over the commands you will need to run, finding our USB drive from the terminal, and then finally doing the actual flashing of the ISO file.

      • How to install Gaucho Task Manager on Ubuntu 20.04

        Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop Version is one of the most popular operating systems out there and it’s partly thanks to the number of applications available. Well, today we are going to tell you about a task manager for Ubuntu 20.04 called Gaucho. So, in this post, you will learn how to install it on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to use BusyBox on Linux | Opensource.com

        It’s easy to take Linux commands for granted. They come bundled with the system when you install Linux, and we often don’t question why they’re there. Some of the basic commands, such as cd, kill, and echo aren’t always independent applications but are actually built into your shell. Others, such as ls, mv, and cat are part of a core utility package (often GNU coreutils specifically). But there are always alternatives in the world of open source, and one of the most interesting is BusyBox.

      • Install Python 3.x or 2.7 on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux – Linux Shout

        Learn the commands to install Python 3.x and Python 2.7 on Debian 11 Bullseye or 10 Buster using terminal and also set the default version.

        Python is a free, open-source programming language for a wide range of software projects. This programming language comes with clear syntax and good readability. It is considered easy to learn and can be interpreted in common operating systems.

        Also, Python offers good scalability and can be used for complex software projects. Due to the expressive, minimalist syntax, applications can be implemented with just a few lines of code and less susceptibility to programming errors. To ensure simplicity and clarity, Python gets along with very few keywords and uses indentations as structuring elements.

    • Games

      • Lutris game manager gets a second Beta for version 0.5.9 with Epic Store support | GamingOnLinux

        Building upon a bunch of big new features in the first Lutris 0.9.2 Beta, a second Beta is out now with a focus on polishing up the experience that needs more testing.

        What is Lutris? It’s a free and open source application to help you manage games from various sources. This includes GOG, Humble Store, Epic Games, Steam, Emulators, Compatibility Layers (Wine) and much more. It’s a simple way of keeping all your games together in one place. One launcher to rule them all.

      • Surviving Mars: Below and Beyond DLC touches down with a free update | GamingOnLinux

        Surviving Mars: Below and Beyond is the brand new expansion with Paradox Interactive reviving the game under a new developer with Abstraction and there’s a free update too.

      • WHAT THE GOLF? gets another big free update with plenty of not-Golf | GamingOnLinux

        WHAT THE GOLF? is still getting free upgrades and the latest A HOLE NEW WORLD Update is live with another bunch of levels to play not-Golf through.

      • Open-ended country life sim Harvest Days is now on Kickstarter | GamingOnLinux

        Mixing together a farming sim, a life sim and a business sim all in one – Harvest Days is coming from Family Devs, an indie game studio formed by a father and son duo. Yet another take on the casual gaming market joining the likes of Stardew Valley, Farm Together, Littlewood and many more. Linux support is fully planned too.

        “Take things easy in Harvest Days, and leave the chaos of the city behind. In this pastoral sandbox world, you can let go of your day-to-day worries and unwind. Tend to your crops, ride horses through the wilds, kick back with the friendly townsfolk and fish for your dinner down at the river. Take it easy and watch your farmstead slowly evolve, or proactively invest in tools, vehicles and upgrades to carve out your own little slice of paradise.”

      • A final video for the Hearth & Home update coming to Valheim talks tweaks to weapons | GamingOnLinux

        Not long now until the big Hearth & Home update for Valheim arrives on September 16 and Iron Gate have given us a final quick-look at some more changes. This time, it’s weapons.

      • Heroic Games Launcher for the Epic Store on Linux gets some essential fixes | GamingOnLinux

        For those of you wanting a simple way to get your games from the Epic Store running on Linux with the Wine compatibility layer, the Heroic Games Launcher continues to roll out upgrades. Totally unofficial though of course, since the Epic Store doesn’t support Linux.

        HGL version 1.9.3 rolled out recently and it’s considered an essential upgrade. It pulls in a big new version of Legendary, the command-line interface for interacting with Epic, which has some needed fixes due to changes to Epic’s API. This includes fixes for logins not working.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • OpenWrt 21.02 Arrives With Linux Kernel 5.4 & WPA3 Support

          The OpenWrt community announced the first stable update of their series, OpenWrt 21.02.

          In case you did not know, OpenWrt is a project that helps create custom operating systems for embedded devices.

          It enables users to openly customize their devices according to their networking needs, something that the stock router firmware doesn’t. Other than routers, OpenWrt can run on a variety of devices such as smartphones, residential gateways, and even 32 bit PCs!

        • Lakka Linux 3.4 Brings Fidelity FX Support With the New RetroArch 1.9.9

          For years now, RetroArch has been the gold standard in emulation, thanks to its ease of use and simplicity. Similarly, Lakka has gotten a name by using RetroArch to create an incredibly smooth and straightforward experience for its users.

          Hence, we have recommended it in the past to turn your old PC into a retrogaming console.

      • Debian Family

        • Tails 4.22 Is Out to Improve the New Tor Connection Assistant, Update AMD GPU Drivers

          Tails 4.22 makes the new Tor Connection assistant introduced in the Tails 4.20 release more performant and capable by changing the custom bridge interface to only allow entering one bridge, add support for saving one custom bridge in the Persistent Storage, and make Tor connections using bridges more robust by allowing users to manually fix the clock.

          In addition, this release also reduces the timeout that determines if Tor connections can be established from 30 to 10 seconds, increases the timeout to start Tor entirely from 120 to 600 seconds, thus making the Tor Connection assistant more robust on slow Internet connections, and it now lets users try again to connect to Tor from the error screen.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • What is the Latest Ubuntu Version? Which one to use?

          So, you decided to use Ubuntu. Set upon to install Ubuntu and find that there are several active Ubuntu releases.

          That makes you bother about the latest Ubuntu release. Let me help you with that.

          The newest Ubuntu release is Ubuntu 21.04. It is a short term release which was out in April 2021 and it will be supported till January 2022. After that, you’ll have to upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10 (will be releases in October 2021).

        • Android applications running in the cloud now easily scale from prototype to production with the new Anbox Cloud Appliance on AWS | Ubuntu

          Today, Canonical announces the availability of the Anbox Cloud Appliance in AWS Marketplace, allowing for a fast and easy “prototype to production” process for Android apps in the cloud.

          The Anbox Cloud Appliance is a small-scale version of Canonical’s Anbox Cloud, which developers can utilize for rapid prototyping of Android-in-the-Cloud solutions. Additionally, AWS Marketplace makes Anbox Cloud readily available with access to a more extensive set of instance types, including support for Arm CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs.

          “Canonical’s Anbox Cloud provides our customers with an easy and powerful way to run large numbers of Android instances in parallel on a single AWS instance, and with support for both x86 and Arm instances, customers can choose the best option for their use case,” said Mona Chadha, Director of AWS Marketplace Category Management, AWS.

          The Anbox Cloud Appliance makes it easy to be productive by providing a developer-friendly CLI and a simple web UI to manage and operate Android applications in the cloud. Developers can upload their Android apps, configure and virtualise Android devices, and stream graphical output in real-time to any web or mobile client. This allows them to unleash their creativity to invent new user experiences.

        • Canonical Anbox Cloud Appliance enables easier Android app prototyping on AWS – SiliconANGLE

          Ubuntu developer Canonical Ltd. is pushing harder into Android application development with today’s launch of its Anbox Cloud Appliance on Amazon Web Services Inc.’s Marketplace.

          The Anbox Cloud appliance is said to be a “small-scale” version of the company’s Anbox Cloud platform and provides a fast and easy “prototype to production” process for cloud-based Android applications, the company said.

          Anbox Cloud is a service that runs Android as a guest operating system to containerize workloads so they can easily be distributed from the cloud, where they run, to any kind of mobile device. It’s used to run high-powered applications on any kind of Android device, regardless of hardware’s compute capabilities.

        • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 699

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 699 for the week of August 29 – September 4, 2021.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 93 Enters Public Beta Testing with AVIF Support Enabled by Default

            Here we go again. Firefox’s (probably) most delayed feature, the enablement of support for the AVIF image format by default, is now planned for the next major release of the popular, open-source, free, and cross-platform web browser used by millions of users worldwide on both desktop and mobile platforms.

            Yes, I’m talking about Firefox 93, which just entered public beta testing today and the biggest new feature appears to be support for the new AV1 Image File Format (AVIF) next-generation image format based on the modern and royalty free AV1 video codec, which promises major bandwidth savings.

          • Firefox 92.0 Released with More Secure HTTPS Connection / Full-range Color

            Mozilla Firefox 92.0 was released today with new features and various security fixes.

            The release will use HTTPS resource record (HTTPS RR) as Alt-Svc headers to make connections more secure.

            The full-range color (0-255) levels are now supported for video playback. Though the limited color range (16-235) is ideal for movies and TV, the source can be switched to full-range color to match PC monitor.

          • Firefox 92 Released with Only Minor Changes

            The latest release of the popular open-source web browser is a modest one, containing only minor changes. Among the improvements the resurgent web browser gains are more secure HTTPS connections and full-range color levels for video playback on ‘many systems’.

            Bookmark toolbar menus (i.e. bookmark folders and overflow menu) now adhere to Firefox’s ‘Proton’ visual style; certificate error pages have a cleaner, less-gaudy look; and macOS users can now access their OS’s native sharing options from the Firefox File menu.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • 4 Best MS Office Alternatives for Linux in 2021

          We have highlighted some of the best alternatives to Microsoft Office in Linux, both open-source and proprietary options. Notably, you get more features with premium versions of these tools such as Cloud storage, PDF conversion, and support for numerous file extensions. Still, that pales in comparison with the high licensing fee that comes with installing and using the Microsoft Office suite. At the end of the day, you can easily create, edit and share your documents cost-effectively.

      • Programming/Development

        • Code runs on people

          Personally, I’d rather be remembered as that person who left behind “really boring utilitarian code that just sat there doing its job” than someone who created “a breathtaking gleaming spectacle that’s also totally opaque and unmaintainable”.

        • Python

          • How To Take Integer Input From Command Line In Python

            In this notebook, we will look at how to take Integer input from command line in Python 3 and Python 2. For taking string input from command line in Python, check out How To Take String Input From Command Line In Python

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Playing with a new shell: fish

            fzf is a simple utility for searching data among a file (the history file in that case) in fuzzy mode, meaning in not a strict matching, on OpenBSD I use the following configuration file in ~/.config/fish/config.fish to make fzf active.

            When pressing ctrl+r with some history available, you can type any words you can think about an old command like “ssh bar” and it should return “ssh foobar” if it exists.

  • Leftovers

    • Microchip, Macro Impact, Micro Vision

      The Annual Report is a weighty 200 pages. You start reading. “This past fiscal year has been a year of remarkable performance and resilience for Microchip” …. “Microchip was able to achieve records for net sales…. It was heartening to see the ‘One World, One Microchip’ spirit of our employees.”

      But what does Microchip produce, make, manufacture, innovate, distribute, impact, and for whom in particular? You still can’t find out but there are plenty of pages to go. After telling me briefly about their diversity and sustainability goals, the company zeroes in on the management’s proposals that it wishes shareholders to approve. It is all pretty routine stuff: they include the election of directors, a two-for-one stock split, restatement of its Equity Incentive Plan, ratification of their public accounting firm, Ernst & Young, then on to the “Approval of Executive Compensation.”

    • Education

      • The Colonized Mindset and the Failure of New Mexico Public Education

        I remember feeling hopelessly defeated when I first realized how quickly the world was changing due to climate change. I was eight years old, listening to my third grade teacher explain that fossil fuels, the United States main source of energy, would be all used up by the time we were her age. I was sitting next to the people I would spend the next few years with, all of us unprepared for our uncertain futures ahead. We were all shocked when my teacher’s next words were, “And it’s up to your generation to figure out what to do! Good luck!”

        Hungry for action, my classmates and I banded together to form an “earth club,” buying beans and paper cups, planting seeds in wet paper towels. We nourished and cared for our little bean seedlings in the weeks that followed, as if we were nourishing our future. And though I can look back fondly at that time, the truth is, I knew even then that well-meaning efforts failed to address the root of the problem.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Anatomy and Disruption of Metasploit Shellcode

        In April 2021 we went through the anatomy of a Cobalt Strike stager and how some of its signature evasion techniques ended up being ineffective against detection technologies. In this blog post we will go one level deeper and focus on Metasploit, an often-used framework interoperable with Cobalt Strike.

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • “FudCo” Spam Empire Tied to Pakistani Software Firm

            In May 2015, KrebsOnSecurity briefly profiled “The Manipulaters,” the name chosen by a prolific cybercrime group based in Pakistan that was very publicly selling spam tools and a range of services for crafting, hosting and deploying malicious email. Six years later, a review of the social media postings from this group shows they are prospering, while rather poorly hiding their activities behind a software development firm in Lahore that has secretly enabled an entire generation of spammers and scammers.

          • Security updates for Tuesday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by openSUSE (apache2, java-11-openjdk, libesmtp, nodejs10, ntfs-3g_ntfsprogs, openssl-1_1, xen, and xerces-c), Red Hat (kernel-rt and kpatch-patch), and SUSE (ntfs-3g_ntfsprogs and openssl-1_1).

          • ClamAV 0.104 Antivirus Engine Now Comes with Official Docker Images

            ClamAV 0.104 has been released a few days ago with major changes and new LTS (Long Term Support) program.

            ClamAV is an open source cross-platform antivirus software which is used in a variety of situations including email scanning, web scanning, and endpoint security. It includes a multi-threaded scanner daemon, command line utilities for on demand file scanning and automatic signature updates.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Apple Delays Release of Child Abuse Scanning Tech After Backlash

              The move comes after a fierce backlash from outside researchers, academics, and the information security community, some of whom argued that one of the features, which would scan photos stored on user’s iPhones and uploaded to iCloud for violating content, could create its own privacy and security risks.

            • Statement: DPC issues € 225 million fine on WhatsApp

              noyb will monitor the next steps closely. It is to be expected that this case will be before the Irish Courts for years and it will be interesting if the DPC will actively defend this decision before the Courts, as it was forced to make such a decision by its EU colleagues at the EDPB: [...]

            • Government internet shutdowns grow more common and costlier

              Once rare, partial or total internet shutdowns engineered by governments have become a near-daily occurrence somewhere in the world.

            • After Google, Microsoft struck out, can Apple get people to use its health records feature?

              Perhaps predictably, Apple declined to say how many people are using the Health Records feature through its Health app. Neither did the company offer an executive or representative to speak on the record for this article. (Representatives did, however, explain the health records feature on background). As a result, MedCity News interviewed others to understand the technology, how many people are using it and in what manner.

            • Confidentiality

              • ProtonMail court order leads to the arrest of French climate activist

                Because ProtonMail is based in Switzerland, it is not subject to French or EU requests. But the company is still subject to requests from Swiss courts, where French police where able to lodge their request with the help of Europol. After Swiss courts approved the order, ProtonMail began logging IP information on the account, which was subsequently handed over to French police, leading to the activist’s identification and arrest.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Still-Unanswered Questions About the 9/11 Attacks Featuring Peter Dale Scott, Ben Howard, and Aaron Good – The Project Censored Show

        For the twentieth anniversary and commemoration of the September 11th attacks, Mickey and his expert guests examine some still-unanswered questions about the attacks and the events that preceded them, notably why several already-identified terror suspects were not taken into custody by US authorities and why some countries with obvious connections to them were not held to account. They also address the many consequences of the 9/11 attacks both domestically and in terms of foreign policy and international law as well as the significance of a declared state of emergency and continuity of government operations.

      • Opinion | Americans Are Sleepwalking Into Completion of Trump’s Unfinished Coup
      • Warnings of Trump-Like Insurrection Ahead of Bolsonaro Rallies in Brazil

        As supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro prepare to take to the streets for orchestrated demonstrations Tuesday, warnings within the country and across the world are growing that the embattled right-wing leader is seeking to foment an insurrection or possibly a military coup with similar undertones to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol incited by former President Donald Trump.

        “We are gravely concerned about the imminent threat to Brazil’s democratic institutions—and we stand vigilant to defend them ahead of 7 September and after.”—Open Letter

      • “Massacre of My Dreams”: Reporter Bilal Sarwary on Fleeing Kabul & How Afghans Are “Thirsty for Peace”

        We look at the crisis in Afghanistan with Bilal Sarwary, an Afghan journalist who was based in Kabul and reported on Afghanistan for 20 years before he fled with his family after the Taliban seized power. We first spoke to Bilal on August 18, three days after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan after the U.S.-backed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. At the time, Bilal was hoping to stay in Afghanistan, but just days later he and his family boarded a flight to Doha. He posted a message on Twitter reading, “The day I leave my country, my city, my Kabul. A massacre of my dreams and aspirations. A tragic day in my life.” On August 25, a week after our first interview, Bilal joined us again, this time from Doha. He spoke about his decision to leave Afghanistan.

      • Opinion | Please, Call It What It Is: Fascism

        While Republicans routinely call Democrats “Marxists,” it’s been taboo for Democrats and the American mainstream media to brand Trump and his followers “fascists.”

      • Afghanistan and the Dark Side of American Power

        I read this short story by the Turkish satirist Aziz Nesin as a teenager in my native Tehran in the mid-1960s. It was before the fall of Saigon, before the Carter administration would cut and run with the advance of Islamic revolutionaries in Iran, and indeed before this day of the Biden administration leaving Afghanistan in a lurch. All the same, the story rang true to me.

        Raised under the shah’s authoritarian rule in the thick of the Cold War, when Iran was a key American ally against the Soviet Union, I understood power and politics from an early age. I knew that there would come a day when mighty America, with its strong diplomatic, foreign aid and military presence in Iran, would exercise its prerogative to leave. Many among the post-9/11 Afghan generation, recipients of American taxpayer aid once their country’s corrupt elite took most of it, were lulled into complacency, counting on a continued U.S. presence. That leaving was so sudden and irresponsible, as it was also in Iran, came to them as a shock that I well understand.

      • After Afghanistan . . . A Truth Commission?

        “The youngest victims of Sunday’s airstrike were two 2-year-old girls, according to family members.

        “Relatives found the remains of one of the girls, Malika, in the rubble near their home on Monday.”

      • Spencer Ackerman: Today’s Crisis in Kabul Is Direct Result of Decades of U.S. War & Destabilization

        We speak to the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Spencer Ackerman about how the U.S. could have ended the War in Afghanistan two decades ago, when the Taliban offered to surrender and hand over Osama bin Laden. “It was the Bush administration, the United States, that said such a deal was unacceptable — not to the Afghans, but unacceptable to the United States, that now took it on itself, as it has so often throughout its history in so many parts of the world, to tell Afghans the way their country was about to be,” Ackerman says.

      • Spencer Ackerman on How the U.S. War on Terror Fueled and Excused Right-Wing Extremism at Home

        In an extended conversation with Spencer Ackerman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning national security reporter, he examines the connection he sees between the rise of right-wing extremism in the United States and the so-called war on terror, which he writes about in his new book, “Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump.” He begins his book with Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh visiting the far-right paramilitary compound in Elohim City, Oklahoma, before what was then called the worst terror attack in U.S. history.

      • Auckland mall terrorist forged medical documents, boasted about duping immigration officials

        The New Lynn mall terrorist forged medical records and statements from his family to bolster his claim for refugee status, which was revoked later when the bogus documents were discovered by police investigating his support for Islamic State.

        And a former workmate of the 32-year-old, who stabbed and wounded several shoppers at a New Lynn supermarket on Friday, says he would boast about duping immigration officials.

      • Afghanistan: Taliban accused of killing pregnant police officer

        The woman, named in local media as Banu Negar, was killed at the family home in front of relatives in Firozkoh, the capital of central Ghor province.

        The killing comes amid increasing reports of escalating repression of women in Afghanistan.

      • Déjà vu in Afghanistan as West repeats old mistakes

        What followed was in many ways a replay of the first imperial invasion over 150 years earlier. The same tribal rivalries and the same battles were fought out in the same places 170 years later under the guise of new flags, new ideologies and new political puppeteers. The same cities were garrisoned by troops speaking the same languages, and they were attacked again from the same high passes. In both cases, the invaders thought they could walk in, perform regime change, and be out in a couple of years. In both cases, they were sucked into a much wider conflict.

      • Defense forces ready to build additional border barriers if needed

        In recent months, thousands of migrants have crossed the Belarusian border into Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.

        The Baltic states, Poland and several other countries believe that this is a hybrid attack by which the Belarusian regime puts pressure on its neighbors with illegal migration.

      • Nigeria troops raid bandit camps in northwest

        Nigerian troops backed by gunships and fighter jets are carrying out an offensive against kidnap gangs in a northwestern state, where the authorities have shut down telecom services, security sources and locals told AFP Monday.

        The military operation and communications blackout in Zamfara state came after gunmen kidnapped more than 73 school students in the latest mass abduction by heavily-armed criminals known locally as bandits.

      • More than 800 Channel migrants reach UK in one day

        Smuggling gangs take advantage of warm weather and calm seas to launch a flotilla of small boats crammed with men, women and children

    • Environment

      • Complacency Rules: Consumerism and the Environment

        The total failure to respond in any meaningful way to the environmental emergency rests firmly within the boundaries of such complacency. It can be found in all areas, from politicians and corporate board rooms to small businesses, NGO’s and community groups, education institutions, homes, and, apparently, some teenagers.

        Complacency and the refusal to change individual behavior and collective ways of living are stoking the underlying cause of the crisis – Consumerism. Irresponsible Compulsive Consumption, as habitually practiced by populations in the rich nations, principally and excessively by the wealthy, but to a lesser degree throughout all sections of society.

      • Cat 4 and 5 Hurricanes, Tornados Where They Haven’t Been, and Rising Temps Ahead Bode More to Come

        While hurricanes, even a powerful Cat 4 storm like Ida with 150 mph sustained winds as it reached the coast of Louisiana, weaken quickly once they leave a warm body of water, and become no more than heavy rain storms, Ida did something unusual:  it maintained its cyclonic structure as a tropical storm as it moved northeasteward after its destructive hit on the Louisiana coast, spreading flooding and spawning tornados along the way. When it reached our area near Philadelphia  three days later, it spawned seven of those tornados. One of the largest, an EF 3 with 150 mph winds went straight across the center of Upper Dublin, wreaking havoc on suburban homes not designed for such winds, and went on for a total of over 20 minutes cutting a quarter-mile swath through forests, commercial districts and tracts of homes into the next township of Horsham before  finally petering out. 

        The damage has been mind-boggling to contemplate for people who haven’t lived in the southeastern or midwestern US, where tornados are common enough that homes for hundreds of years have been built with storm shelters. We like many  in our community were forced to huddle for safety in the center of our house away from glass windows as the twister roared past our house missing it by less than a quarter of a mile. As the tornado passed at around 5:30 pm on Wednesday, the power went out, and remained out for us until Saturday afternoon. During that time we got by using flashlights, flushing toilets with buckets of water carried from a flooded stream a few hundred yards form the house, and drinking bottled water (we have a 120-foot-deep drilled well so without power to the pump there was no water available).  Eventually, with the prospect of no electricity for a week according to reports from the power company, Entergy, we bought a low-end gas generator which produced enough power to keep our refrigerator running and power a few lights, so that was a slight improvement. 

      • Blinken Says No to Greenland Real Estate

        President Donald Trump, in reigniting the issue with a businessman’s bumbling delight, noted in 2019 that Denmark “essentially” owned it. “We’re very good allies with Denmark, we protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world.  So the concept came up and I said, ‘Certainly I’d be [interested in purchasing Greenland].’  Strategically it’s interesting and we’d be interested but we’ll talk to them a little bit.”  The Danish response to his appraisal – that Greenland was potentially part of “a large real estate deal”, was dismissive. Trump harrumphed.

        So what has happened to Trump’s ideas regarding this icy territory?  The press conference began cordially enough. Blinken was welcomed by the autonomous territory’s premier Mute Egede who reminded him that celebrations would be held commemorating Kangerlussuaq’s 80-years anniversary, built by the US Air Force in 1941. “What began as a military base is now an important civilian airport for Greenland.” From a world at war, the relationship with the US had “evolved to a cooperation in science and mutual interest and understanding the health of our planet.”

      • Global health journals warn on climate and nature

        The world’s major health journals say the climate and nature crisis is an emergency demanding we transform our societies.

      • Aerial Photos Of Hurricane Ida’s Aftermath Show What ‘Code Red’ for the Planet Looks Like in South Louisiana

        Photos I shot on a flight on September 4, 2021 illustrate what United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres meant last month when he described the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report as a “code red” for human-driven global heating.

        On a flight provided by Southwings, a non-profit that connects volunteer pilots with media, educational institutions and conservation groups, I flew over many of the hardest hit areas in southern Louisiana, including Lafitte, Grand Isle, Terrebonne Parish, where Isle de Jean Charles is located. 

      • To Survive Climate Change, We Need to Rebuild the World as We Know It

        The evening of September 1, three days after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, the remnants of the storm passed over New York City and dumped more than five inches of water on the metropolitan area in the span of a few hours. The resulting flood event stranded thousands of cars on the roadways, spewed water into countless basement apartments, and shut down almost the entire subway system. At least 13 people died in the city alone.

      • 220+ Medical Journals Unite to Demand Urgent Action on Climate Emergency

        Asserting that humanity “cannot wait for the pandemic to pass” before acting to rapidly reduce carbon emissions fueling the climate emergency, more than 220 health journals around the world on Sunday published an unprecedented joint editorial calling for “urgent action to keep average global temperature increases below 1.5°C, halt the destruction of nature, and protect health.”

        “As with the Covid-19 pandemic, we are globally as strong as our weakest member.”—220+ Medical Journals

      • Energy

        • El Salvador Buys Its First 200 Bitcoins, President Says

          El Salvador is due to legalize bitcoin on Sept. 7, a move that the popular Bukele said will save Salvadorans living abroad millions of dollars in commissions on money they send home.

        • In World First, Bitcoin Becomes Legal Tender In El Salvador

          He started the ball rolling Monday evening by announcing El Salvador had bought its first 400 bitcoins, in two tranches of 200, and promised more were coming.

          The 400 bitcoins were trading at around $21 million, according to the cryptocurrency exchange app Gemini.

        • El Salvador is set to make bitcoin an official currency next week. But a messy rollout has marred the process amid anti-bitcoin protests in the country’s capital.

          Other protesters said the law could exacerbate money laundering in a country where corruption is endemic. The protests appear to be speaking for a broader public sentiment, too. A poll taken in July found that 75% of Salvadorans have reservations about the law. About half said they knew nothing about it.

          The government has still yet to finish creating rules for how the move to bitcoin will work. The original bill – revealed to the world via president Nayib Bukele’s prolific Twitter account – will require businesses to accept bitcoin, but contains a possibly massive carve-out for businesses that don’t have the technological know-how.

        • As El Salvador adopts bitcoin, its young president is dismantling democracy

          But the rollout of cryptocurrency has been upstaged by a more urgent concern: a series of withering attacks by Bukele and his ruling party on El Salvador’s three-decade-old democracy. In recent days, Bukele loyalists on the Supreme Court systematically cleared the way for him to seek reelection in 2024, despite a constitutional ban on consecutive presidential terms.

          Meanwhile, his supporters in the Assembly passed a law to remove one-third of the nation’s judges and prosecutors — an apparent response to Bukele’s public calls for a “purge” of the judicial branch.

    • Finance

      • The New New Deal?

        “When we took the majority in the Senate earlier this year, the American people entrusted us with a great responsibility: to make their lives better,” declared Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, when he launched the Democratic caucus’s $3.5 trillion budget plan. Republicans were aghast at the prospect. “This is one of the most radical proposals in our nation’s history,” griped Florida Senator Marco Rubio, even as the details of the plan were being developed. Senate Budget Committee chair Bernie Sanders says it will be “the most consequential piece of legislation for working people, the elderly, the children, the sick, and the poor since FDR and the New Deal of the 1930s.” The activists who have been working on the critical issues that Democrats say the legislation will address are excited, nervous, and determined to influence the budget-writing process and the debates that will extend from it this fall. Here’s some of what they have to say about initiatives that are expected to be included in the plan.

      • Opinion | Dear Joe Manchin: $3.5 Trillion Is Not Much Money

        Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is likely to be the deciding vote on the $3.5 trillion Senate reconciliation bill to expand spending on social and infrastructure programs. Because of his concerns over rising debt and inflation, Manchin wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that he will not support the bill until he gets answers to a basic question: “What should we fund, and what can we simply not afford?”

      • US Labor’s Future May Depend on Monetary and Fiscal Policy

        Then came COVID, which has disproportionately harmed and killed lower-wage and Black workers. Hopefully, the current wave will subside and pass soon, as more people are vaccinated. But the struggle for equality and decent living standards in the world’s richest country continues even through the pandemic.

        Fortunately, there have been some recent changes in national economic policy that could vastly change how the next 40 years look. But only if we can keep them.

      • Why August Wasn’t a Terrible Month for Jobs

        State and Local Government Lost 11,000 Jobs in August

        The state and local sectors, which are still down 815,000 jobs from their pre-pandemic level, lost 11,000 jobs after adding 246,000 in July. This is likely a question of timing, with some jobs that would be added back in the fall showing up in July and some still to appear in September. It may be some time before state and local governments gain back all the jobs lost in the pandemic, but with most schools back to in-person instruction and most of these governments’ budgets in reasonably good shape, it seems likely most jobs will be coming back soon.

      • ‘Happy Labor Day Everyone!’: Millions Lose Unemployment Aid on Worker Holiday

        Progressives and economic experts fumed Monday as boosted unemployment aid—which has kept millions of workers, their families, and the overall economy afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic—came to an unceremonious end despite the persistence of the virus and a stalled economic recovery.

        “Welcome to America, where lawmakers chose to kick 9 million jobless Americans off unemployment benefits on Labor Day, during a global pandemic.” —economist Robert Reich

      • 7 Wealthiest Americans Have Enough Wealth to Cover a Third of $3.5T Budget Plan
      • The Frontier is Closed: Capitalist and Constitutional Chickens Coming Home to Cancerous Roost

        Multiple Interrelated Crises Rooted in Bourgeois Evil

        Millions of acres on the onetime US Western frontier are on fire, the natural and predictable outcome of the over-heating of the arid and now drought-plagued West by the reckless capitalist extraction and burning of fossil fuels. The evacuation of Lake Tahoe in the face of the Caldor Fire is just the latest shocking yet increasingly normalized symptom.

      • The War on Porn: Cancel Culture on Steroids

        Backpage, Pornhub, and OnlyFans have simply been the testing ground for an ultra-conservative backlash that seeks to roll back the sexual revolution and to challenge the First Amendment. Since the 1990s, platforms have been protected from liability for user-generated content by Section 230 (a part of the US Communications Decency Act). This key piece of legislation has protected free speech online, and allowed the internet to become what it is today. For years, authoritarians of various stripes have tried to weaken Section 230, and they won in 2018 when the FOSTA/SESTA acts were passed, which made platforms liable for sex trafficking.

        At the head of this assault is Laila Mickelwait of religious-right group Exodus Cry, and NCOSE, another group with roots in the religious Right (although it tries to distance itself from religion). These are supported by anti-porn feminist campaigners, and others on the Left. Perhaps the most influential of these is the New York Times journalist Nick Kristof, who has helped spread anti-trafficking propaganda, including false claims. This coalition is now flexing its muscles and using FOSTA/SESTA to mount full-scale attacks. Now, activists’ ambitions are rising beyond porn sites, and their sights are on Twitter, the least-censored of the large social media platforms, which stands accused of sex trafficking. This movement to hold platforms accountable for their users’ activities is possibly the biggest single assault on free expression in American history, and it would be naive to assume it will remain limited to attacking pornography and prostitution.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Human Rights Violations of the 9/11 Era Are Still With Us

        Forged in response to the Palmer Raids of 1919, the American Civil Liberties Union has learned the hard way that civil liberties and human rights are the first to go when war fever strikes. We fought against Japanese American internment, lived through McCarthyism and House Un-American Activities investigations, and challenged FBI’s COINTELPRO abuses.

      • Biden Bailed
      • The lobby network: Big Tech’s web of influence in the EU

        As Big Tech’s market power grew, so did its political clout. Now, as the EU tries to rein in the most problematic aspects of Big Tech – from disinformation, targeted advertising to unfair competition practices – the digital giants are lobbying hard to shape new regulations.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Facebook Is Allowing Ivermectin Ads at a Time When It Really Shouldn’t

        The Ad Library also shows a number of sponsored posts promoting politically-motivated conspiracy theories around ivermectin and COVID, including one from a GOP group in Oklahoma reading, “Why wouldn’t we consider and study every possible treatment for an illness? Because it’s not about the virus, it’s about your freedom.”

        In private Groups, meanwhile, users freely dispense misguided medical advice to one another, giving extremely specific instructions on which forms of injectable ivermectin to buy from which veterinary supply stores, and what dosages to take. As journalist Ben Collins pointed out on Twitter, discussion in public Groups is only slightly more restrained, if at all: [...]

      • The Taliban embrace social media: ‘We too want to change perceptions’

        But they also did something less common in the group’s history of conflict in the country – they launched a comprehensive social media campaign to go with it.

        A network of social media accounts highlighted the alleged failures of the Kabul government while lauding the Taliban’s achievements.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Anti-Porn Crusaders Are Going After Twitter Next

        NCOSE, formerly known as Morality in Media, brought a lawsuit against Twitter earlier this year, accusing the platform of allowing and benefiting from human trafficking. The complaint, on behalf of two men, alleges that Twitter “knowingly hosted sexual exploitation material, including child sex abuse material [...] and allowed human trafficking and the dissemination of child sexual abuse material to continue on its platform, therefore profiting and receiving value from the harmful and exploitive material and the traffic it draws.”

        With a court decision in mid-August, the case was allowed to move forward.

      • Organisers of Hong Kong’s Tiananmen Massacre vigil refuse to comply with national security police data request

        Chow and other standing committee members of the Alliance received letters from the police national security unit on August 25, requiring them to provide information under the national security legislation, as the Commissioner of Police had “sufficient reasons” to believe that the group was an agent acting on behalf of foreign entities.

        “When you look at that letter, there is no single reason or [any] evidence saying why they can accuse us of being a foreign agent,” said Chow. “There is no single explanation saying what kind of so-called national security offence are they investigating that require[s] all this information that they demand of us.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • On Labor Day, Let’s Support Member-Driven Unions That Fight Against Oppression
      • Opinion | Supreme Court’s Attack on Abortion Rights Opens Door for Vigilante Lawsuits Against the Unvaccinated

        Is what’s good for the goose is good for the gander?

      • NLRB Is Reviewing a Rule Change That Has Helped Bosses Bust Unions for Decades
      • How Andrew Cuomo Hurt Men, Too

        One of the much-repeated details of the state attorney general’s report on Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment probe is a message sent by one of Cuomo’s longtime apparatchiks, Josh Vlasto. Watching the coverage of his former boss unfold, he observed to an unidentified friend, “It’s not even close to what it was really like to work there day to day.”1

      • Immigrant Gig Workers Risked Their Lives During Ida. They Want Better Wages.
      • The Labor Day Dreams of Black Workers
      • Opinion | Democracy is Dying. Unions Can Help Save It.

        Political theorists often argue that a prerequisite for a democratic society is the existence of a demos: a constituency with a sense of shared identity and interests in common. The construction of such a consciousness, they argue, typically occurs through participation in civic organizations such as churches, community groups, and unions. It is through these forms of civic engagement that a genuine “will of the people” is constructed. In fact, as Alexis de Tocqueville noted in his famed “Democracy in America,” the perseverance of democracy in the United States was due in part to the unprecedented degree of civic engagement by ordinary citizens. “Americans of all ages, all stations in life, and all types of dispositions are forever forming associations,” he stated in an often-quoted passage. Unfortunately, Robert D. Putnam documented in the bestselling “Bowling Alone,” participation in civic organizations has been declining steadily in the U.S. for decades.

      • Immigration and National Identity

        But neither description goes very far to explain the realities of immigration and immigration policy in America. To get closer to the reality, you need a more sharply focused statement – something like the following: “we are a nation in a long-standing struggle over immigration, a struggle that reaches back to the founding of this republic.”

        This statement points to fundamental conflicts that have riven the nation for many decades. These conflicts concern issues of value and national identity, questions as to how inclusive and protective of human rights a society can be – or how oppressive it can become by virtue of policies and political choices that keep millions of people disenfranchised and economically vulnerable.

      • Tibetans in Nepal Observe ‘Democracy Day’ Under Close Watch by Police

        Tibetans living in Nepal observed Tibet’s Democracy Day under close watch by local police who kept Tibetan gatherings out of the public eye for fear of offending Nepal’s powerful northern neighbor China, an important source of foreign investment in the Himalayan country.

      • When Sex Workers Speak, Who Listens?

        The initial decision by OnlyFans to forbid porn on the site illustrates how ostensibly legal online sex work is, in reality, criminalized. This is a problem that sex workers have repeatedly pointed out and been organizing against for years—but too much of society won’t listen. That refusal to actually hear what sex workers need to keep themselves safe is at the core of “political whorephobia,” a concept developed by Fordham legal scholar Chi Adanna Mgbako to explain how state violence against sex workers is enacted and justified by the government.

      • OnlyFans Is Not a Safe Platform for ‘Sex Work.’ It’s a Pimp.

        This year, California State Senator Dave Cortese of San Jose, in Silicon Valley, introduced a workable and effective bill that adapts the best features of copyright, libel and trafficking law to solve this problem. If passed, it would create a civil legal claim for victims of online sex trafficking — naked or sexual visuals of minors or of adults who were coerced or tricked or victims of theft. Once notice is given, the trafficker would have to take the materials down or pay $100,000 for every two hours they remained accessible.

      • [Old] Taking Action to End Online Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking

        Along with damages awarded to a victim, an offender must pay $100,000 for every 2 hours of online exposure of illegal content after given notice to take said content down. This amount is doubled to $200,000 for every 2 hours if the victim of online sexual exploitation is under 18 years of age.

      • I’m an Adult Performer. Here’s Why I’m Abandoning Amazon Wishlists.

        If you ask most people how they feel about corporate corruption and workplace abuse, they’ll tell you they’re against it. As a society, we tend to believe that everyone is entitled to the same opportunities and rights; food, shelter, water, comfort—these are intrinsic to our survival and mental wellbeing. We know we all deserve access to them, but we don’t always act like it.

        By this point, you are likely aware of the multiple labor rights violations Amazon (the largest employer in the country) is responsible for.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • FreeBSD Desktop – Part 27 – Configuration – Netflix Signal Telegram

        While Netflix serves their content using FreeBSD servers the Netflix streaming service itself is not available on the FreeBSD platform because Widevine DRM does not support browsers on FreeBSD system.

        We will use one of the more known FreeBSD features – the Linux Compatibility Layer. When FreeBSD 13.0-RELEASE was introduced the LINUX_COMPAT support was greatly improved. To the point where you can swap the default CentOS 7 based layer into the newer and more suited for desktop – the Ubuntu based layer.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Sci-Hub Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary By Uploading 2.3m New Articles

          More than a decade ago a student in Kazakhstan working on a research paper found that she needed access to scientific articles that were hidden behind a paywall. By 2011, that need had developed into the project we now know as Sci-Hub – ‘The Pirate Bay of Science’. To celebrate ten years online, operator Alexandra Elbakyan has now added another 2.3m articles to the site’s archives.

        • DNS-Resolver Quad9 Appeals Pirate Site Blocking Injunction in German Court

          DNS-resolver Quad9 has officially appealed a pirate site blocking order handed down by the Hamburg District Court a few weeks ago. The non-profit Quad9 Foundation argues that blocking injunctions against DNS resolvers are a step too far, fearing that other third-party tools such as web browsers and VPN providers could be next.

EPO Oversight

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO oversight

Summary: Some poetry about the awful state of the EPO, whose abuses are facilitated by a total lack of oversight

Justice delayed
Or justice denied
For two months
Nobody complied

Timeliness first
Customer always right
Staff always wrong
With 6 million euros we fight

Hey hi, dear Campinos
Negotiation genius
Negotiating bonuses
For you and your minions

Innovation is patents
Without patents it ain’t inventive
30k euros per patent
For poor nations not a single incentive

Puff pieces for Holmes
For Corcoran just hit pieces
Fake honours for the doyen
No evidence of theses

Votes for champagne
Undercover campaign
Paving the way
To an 8-year reign

Immunity por moi
The son wants it too
His grandpa fought imperialism
His daddy completed a coup

Administrative Coun-Sell
How quickly you fell
Enabling a coup
For the institution to be Hell

Breton Commission
Bemoaning attrition
Burying the evidence
The primary mission

EPO the best
Be my guest
Over ‘ViCo’ of course
Justice will rest

David Kappos (IBM/Microsoft Lobbyist) Reported for Misuse of Authority and Conflict of Interest

Posted in America, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 9:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Old monopolies and current monopolies want more than just patent monopolies

IBM and Nazi flag
Image sourced from The Hidden Nazi History of IBM and how they chose profit over morality

Summary: For a number of decades the USPTO has been discriminating against GNU/Linux users and for a number of years it has been pushing “Microsoft tax” (applicants must pay more if they don’t use Microsoft’s proprietary formats); some people challenge this culture of vendor capture inside the USPTO

LAST month we wrote about issues associated with past staff of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which now works in the lobbying sector, in effect trying to shape the law for large clients like IBM and Microsoft. Among the objectives: extinguishing 35 U.S.C. § 101 and bringing back software patents. Last year we showed that an IBM lobbyist (paid millions by IBM) “Used COVID-19 Lies to Push for Software Patents From the Back Door, Undermining What Courts Have Determined” (even the highest court); not even the EPO had gone that far in promotion of software patents.

“We have many readers who use GNU/Linux, but we’re not sure how many of them interact with patent offices.”Earlier this year we mentioned how those same people misused the USPTO to reinforce Microsoft’s monopoly. One of our readers has had enough and is taking action [PDF]. Bar complaint against Kappos was submitted the other day. “I filed a bar complaint against Kappos in California,” a reader told us, where he’s a member of the bar. I’ll file complaints in New York and Washington, DC, too – where he is also a member – but it seems to be a little more difficult than in California.”

“I will be very surprised if anything is done about my complaint. But, if they go so far as to contact Kappos about the complaint, it will have been worth it.

“The issue I attacked him on is the “Electronic Filing Incentive.” You can read about it in the attached pdf.

“I live in rural West Virginia, so I have only been on the internet for 7-8 years, and, before that, I filed my applications through the post. No problem, until Kappos came along, and tried to force everybody to buy Microsoft and Lenovo.

“At first, I used Windows – like everybody – but I bought Windows 8, which was junk, and I discovered Linux, which I’ve been using for probably about 7 years.

“Most of the people at the USPTO are lawyers, it seems, and they are creating “barriers” – as described in my pdf – against Linux users.

“Maybe somebody could file bar complaints against lawyers in the USPTO because of the barrier against Linux, using the complaint in my pdf as a guide. It would require some research to identify the lawyers, and then find out where their bar membership is: which state(s), and maybe Washington, DC.

“I can’t do it. I use Linux, but don’t really have the technical knowledge to make a strong complaint. Maybe you know somebody who could do it.”

We have many readers who use GNU/Linux, but we’re not sure how many of them interact with patent offices. Nevertheless, any action against behaviour such as this can only potentially improve things. We need to make ourselves noticeable/heard. Otherwise, systematic discrimination will carry on, reinforced by people whose top clients are proprietary software giants that pursue loads of software patents.

EPO Timeliness (or How the European Patent Organisation/Office Uses Time to Deny Justice)

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 8:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Have I won my appeal yet?
Some people will never live (literally) to see justice; to borrow an example, Japan is just waiting for Korean “comfort women” to die (not many of them left by now).

Summary: Staff representatives from Europe’s second-largest institution show that many workers were denied a promotion in complete and direct violation of the contract they had signed; it took 6 years for the matter to be rectified and nobody is being held accountable, as usual…

THE Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO wrote about nearly 3,000 days of EPO violating fundamental rights of the staff on the same day it issued a 3-page publication about CA/D 10/14, also known as “New Career System” (when the dictator Benoît Battistelli uses a term like “new” and António Campinos speaks of “adjustment” remember that it is newspeak).

“Back in 2014,” the CSC explains, “some examiners recruited under the Old Career System on language contracts in old job group grade A1 did not receive an expected promotion to A2 after the date of their appointment as permanent employees. This had to do with the transition to the New Career System (NCS). Some of them filed an internal appeal.”

This is about several dozens of workers who actively challenged the situation. There are more out there who chose not to challenge Battistelli, maybe out of fear (remember what year it happened; Battistelli was already kidnapping judges!), so there’s a call for more workers to join: “If your [sic] are in the same (or a similar) situation as the appellants, please send a short note to the CSC (Keyword A1/A2 promotion). In this way information can be shared and common actions, if needed, can be coordinated.”

“This is about several dozens of workers who actively challenged the situation.”“After more than 6 years of procedure,”the CSC notes, “the Appeals Committee unanimously recommends to compensate the appellants for the lost A1/A2 promotion…”

The CSC quotes a decision as saying: “Any reasonable person would have felt a sense of gross unfairness and injustice at receiving the treatment that resulted for the present appellants from the application of decision CA/D 10/14″ [New Career System]

How could the EPO’s management possibly win such a case? There’s no merit or justification for what it did. So of course the EPO “President [only after 6 years] has decided to follow the recommendation and retroactively grant the appellants the equivalent number of steps. We hope that the President will apply the recommendation to all colleagues who find themselves in the same or similar situation.”

“The EPO likes talking about “timeliness”, conflating that with quality, but when it comes to its very own staff a decision so trivial can take so long? It doesn’t make any sense.”Why did it take 6 years? Why does a fundamental right of staff being violated for nearly 3,000 days before something gets done (or not) about it? Why can ILO-AT appeals take half a decade (sometimes more) to fully process?

The EPO likes talking about “timeliness”, conflating that with quality, but when it comes to its very own staff a decision so trivial can take so long? It doesn’t make any sense.

Reproduced below is the full publication, dated yesterday:

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich, 06/09/2021

New Career System
Appeals Committee in favour of staff

After 6 years appellants win cases on missed A1/A2 promotions

Case: No promotion to A2 because of New Career System
Some examiners recruited in 2014 under the Old Career System on language contracts in old job group grade A1 did not receive an expected promotion to A2 after the date of their appointment as permanent employees. This had to do with the transition to the New Career System (NCS). Some of those examiners filed an internal appeal.

Appeals Committee disagrees with the Office
The internal Appeals Committee in its final opinion on the case now recommends to compensate the appellants for the lost A1/A2 promotions. We are very pleased to learn that the President will follow this recommendation and retroactively grant them the equivalent number of steps.

The Appeals Committee concluded unanimously that the EPO was not sufficiently diligent in the exercise of its discretion and violated its duty of care by not providing any transitional measure. It also considered that the short time frame between the date the appellants accepted the job offer (2014) and the changes resulting from the New Career System reform (2015) constituted an aggravating factor.

The proceedings lasted 6 years
In the view that the Appeals Committee unanimously agreed with the appellants, our interpretation of the case is that it has been another substantial waste of time and money on the part of the EPO and staff. Indeed, for the Appeals Committee:

Any reasonable person would have felt a sense of gross unfairness and injustice at receiving the treatment that resulted for the present appellants from the application of decision CA/D 10/14 [New Career System]“

(from the abstract of the opinion of the Appeals Committee)

Note that CA/D 10/14 is the Administrative Council’s decision of introducing the New Career System.

Damage for the Office from errors of the past
Many lessons are to be learned and the outcome has still to be analysed. What is sure is that there is a need to avoid such litigation in the first place and, if unavoidable, to accelerate the internal procedure of conflict resolution. Office resources should be better managed in order to avoid sterile disputes. Errors from the past when implementing new reforms have caused much frustration to staff and highlight today once more the dysfunctional processes having led to these errors.

And for the future?
Many reforms of the past are tainted with unfairness and injustice. Our calls to revise them have received little attention but we still hope for a reassessment of the relationship between management and staff. A relationship in which legal conflicts are prevented and solved faster and more efficiently by an open dialogue.

Application to everybody?
The Appeals Committee has acknowledged that a total of 37 colleagues did not receive a promotion from A1 to A2 in 2014. However, only some of them filed an internal appeal. We hope that the President will apply the recommendation of the Appeals Committee to all colleagues who find themselves in the same or similar situation.

In our view, this would be the right way forward and an indispensable step towards a long due reconciliation. Furthermore, if recommendations by the Appeals Committee would be applied not only to those who filed an internal appeal but to everybody who finds itself in the same or similar situation as the appellants, this would contribute to substantially reducing the future workload of the Appeals Committee. Mass appeals and related legal costs could be avoided. Furthermore, it would greatly foster trust in the internal legal system.

You are in the same (or a similar) situation as the appellants? Contact us!
Please send a short note to the CSC (Keyword A1/A2 promotion) if you believe you are in the same or similar situation as the appellants. In this way information can be shared and common actions, if needed, can be coordinated.

Your Central Staff Committee

There’s so much injustice at the EPO and nobody is being held accountable. Why does the EU tolerate this? Why are member states not raising their voices? We’re going to look more closely at such questions in weeks to come.

Nearly 3,000 Days of EPO Violating Fundamental Rights of EPO Staff, and Not Without Help From an Overwhelmingly Complicit Administrative Council

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Expecting the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation to Actually Follow the Law…

Publication from yesterday; we reproduce it here

Summary: EPO lawlessness would not have been possible without active or passive participation of the Administrative Council, which is basically in the pockets of Office management owing to bribes and other forms of profound institutional corruption

AS we have only just mentioned, today marks "Two Months of ILO-AT Non-Compliance at the EPO" after almost a decade of Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful [PDF] strike regulations. Turned out insiders had beaten us to it when it comes to noticing the “monthsary” (even a day in advance).

“Turned out insiders had beaten us to it when it comes to noticing the “monthsary” (even a day in advance).”As it turns out, António Campinos posted a meaningless blurb about it, but internal publications by staff suggest there is still no compliance. In fact, as recently as yesterday the
Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO published a message to staff, stating:

On 7 July 2021, the ILO Administrative Tribunal issued essential judgments condemning the EPO for violating workers’ fundamental rights when it adopted and implemented new strike regulations with CA/D 5/13 and Circular 347 since 1 July 2013. These strike regulations are now illegal. However, two months later, Mr Campinos has only reacted with a void statement and has given no sign whether and how he intends to mend this situation, putting the EPO once again negatively in the public spotlight.

Shortly after reforming the Internal Appeals System and the Disciplinary Committee, the strike regulations were one of the very first reforms in Mr Battistelli’s “HR Roadmap”, paving the way for more than eight years of violation of fundamental rights in a highly turbulent period of social unrest and conflict in the EPO’s history. Several highly controversial – and consistently detrimental – reforms have been shoved through while staff was facing highly contentious strike provisions and legal means of redress to show their discontent. This casts serious doubts on the lawfulness of these reforms introduced under duress. The full paper summarises these detrimental reforms:

• Social Democracy

• Sick leave and invalidity

• The New Career System

• Fixed-term contracts

• The Salary “Adjustment” Procedure

• The Childcare & Education allowance

The EPO seems not to be interested in conducting a staff survey, but the latest staff surveys, both internal and by SUEPO, give strong indicators of the lingering staff discontent, a tumour that has only been growing over the years. The EPO scores far worse than any benchmark – violating fundamental worker rights for 8 years & 68 days and counting isn’t going to help.

The full paper was sent to us as well. We hereby reproduce it below:

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel


Welcome to EPOnia1
2990 Days of Violation of Fundamental Rights and counting

On 7 July 2021, the ILO Administrative Tribunal issued essential judgments2 condemning the EPO for violating workers’ fundamental rights when it adopted and implemented new strike regulations with CA/D 5/13 and Circular 347 since 1 July 2013. These strike regulations are now illegal. However, almost two months later, Mr Campinos has only reacted with a void statement3 and has given no sign whether and how he intends to mend this situation, putting the EPO once again negatively in the public spotlight456.
The administration could (and actually should) have easily issued a reassuring statement to EPO staff that it would swiftly take action to apply the outcome of judgments to all those negatively affected, and that it would sit together with its social partners to repair the damage done. It did not do so, forcing hundreds of staff members to file applications to intervene in front of the Tribunal7.
Is the administration trying its best to maintain the EPO’s standing as the worst contributor to the Tribunal’s excessive workload8?
Shortly after reforming the Internal Appeals System and the Disciplinary Committee, the strike regulations were one of the very first reforms in Mr Battistelli’s “HR Roadmap”9 in July 2013, paving the way for eight years of violation of fundamental rights in a highly turbulent period of social unrest and conflict in the EPO’s history. Several highly controversial – and consistently detrimental – reforms have been shoved through while staff was facing highly contentious strike provisions and legal means of redress to show their discontent. This casts serious doubts on the lawfulness of these reforms introduced under duress.

1 EPOnia is used by the press (e.g. arsTechnica and IPKat) to designate the EPO as a land outside the law.
2 ILOAT Judgments 4430, 4432, 4433, 4434, 4435
3 “132 nd session of the ILOAT” Communiqué of Mr Campinos, 6 August 2021
4 “EPO complaints procedure in needs of shake-up”, Managing IP post of 15-07-2021,
5 “Trade union to EPO president Campinos: Quash unlawful strike restrictions”, Kluwer Patent Blog post of 21-07-2021,
6 “ILO: EPO president Battistelli abused his power in restraining workers’ right to strike”, Kluwer Patent Blog post of 13-07-2021
7 “Applications to intervene on strike regulations pending cases”, SUEPO paper of 06-08-2021 (su21022cp)
8“Managing the ILO Administrative Tribunal’s workload – Current challenges and improvements”, SUEPO letter of 15-09-2015 (su15345cl)
9 See the “Achievements 2011-2014” in document CA/39/14.

Social Democracy
Social dialogue never deteriorated as fast as it did when the “social democracy” reform was imposed (CA/D 2/14 & CA/4/14). The time allocated to staff representation activities was trimmed down, staff committees and statutory bodies disbanded, and the former General Advisory Committee (GAC) replaced by the General Consultation Committee (GCC) which has now proven to be the scene of a rubber-stamping exercise for pushing through further detrimental reforms. The disbanding of secretarial support for staff representation10 in 2021 is yet again an attack against the functioning of the EPO staff representation (and against freedom of association).

Sick leave and invalidity
Mistrust towards sick staff was institutionalized with the “sick leave and invalidity” reform (CA/D 2/15) imposing house arrests11 and the obligation to stay around the place of employment for those in incapacity. By abolishing the lump-sum invalidity insurance12 without any transitional period, the EPO additionally breached its duty of care and infringed the legitimate expectations of those who paid their contributions for many years. Regrettably, the President recently decided not to follow the majority recommendation of the Appeals Committee to implement transitional measures13, thereby again forcing colleagues to file complaints with the Tribunal.

The New Career System14
Our truly merit-based, cooperation-facilitating and transparent career system was replaced with a competition-fostering winner-takes-all setup (CA/D 10/14). The NCS proved beneficial for a small minority, whilst essentially grinding the career progress of the vast majority to a (near-)halt. It stifles cooperation, makes people shy away from any activity that costs time but is not accounted for and creates friction, year after year, at a level where there shouldn’t be any. It is a major source of continuous conflict.

10 “Disbanding secretarial support for staff representation”, CSC paper of 12-07-2021 (sc21088cp)
11 House arrests for sick leave verification were only abolished in 2021 after litigation succeeded (see VP4 Communiqué of 23.12.2020)
12 “Another severe attack on both dignity and fundamental rights of EPO staff” SUEPO paper (su15203cp) of 19-05-2015
13 “Challenging (…) the abolition of the invalidity lump sum”, SUEPO paper (su21009cp) of 16-04-2021
14 “Report on the GCC meeting of 24 March 2021: Guidelines for rewards”, CSC paper of 26-03-2021 (sc21042cp)

Fixed-term contracts15
Since 1 April 2018, all recruits ‘enjoy’ fixed-term contracts with a variable contract- length up to 5 years and a total time on contracts of up to 10 years as a result of a “Modernization of the EPO’s employment framework” (CA/D 2/18). The net effect is that the EPO cannot be seen as an attractive employer by far, illustrated by the rather dramatic drop of incoming job applications for examiners. Soon a dwindling working population (because of retirement) will need to be replaced. We know that the EPO already today is struggling to recruit experienced specialists in many technical fields. The pool in which we the EPO can search for talent has all but evaporated, thanks to the actions of our administration.

The Salary “Adjustment” Procedure16
For the first time in history, the EPO threw the main principles (CA/D 4/20), common to the salary methods of all other International Organisations, overboard. The new method was based upon a heavily criticized – and fundamentally flawed – financial study and adopted an utterly unrealistic scenario. Today, we are in a situation where, despite the unforeseeable pandemic, we are still faring far, far better than that scenario, yet the administration continues to remain deaf and blind to any argumentation.

The Childcare & Education allowance17
Under the pretext of simplification and fairness, a scheme which is heavily disadvantageous for The Hague and Vienna is being implemented (CA/D 4/21), by omitting to take the actual circumstances of the sites into account. The new scheme indeed negatively discriminates the colleagues in the places of employment where the education costs are higher and raises a plethora of legal concerns.

The EPO seems not to be interested in conducting a staff survey, but the latest staff surveys, both internal and by SUEPO18, give strong indicators of the lingering staff discontent, a tumour that has only been growing over the years. The EPO scores far worse than any benchmark – violating fundamental worker rights for

8 years & 68 days

and counting isn’t going to help.

Your CSC

15 “On Fixed-term contracts (Part A): A short history on fixed-term contracts at the EPO”, CSC paper of 30-10-
2020 (sc20163cp)
16 Salary “adjustment” procedure for 2020 – Loss of purchasing power for all staff (and pensioners), CSC paper
of 13-11-2020 (sc20171cp)
17 “Education and childcare allowance reform: A summary”, CSC paper of 07-05-2021 (sc21060cp)
18 “Survey: EPO working conditions continue to deteriorate”, Kluwer Patent Blog post of 12-02-2021

The above is a self-explanatory overview of so much more than the strike regulations. In fact, as we shall see in a moment, it wasn’t the only such publication this week.

Two Months of ILO-AT Non-Compliance at the EPO and a Decade of a Docile Administrative Council That Approves Illegal Proposals

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 14465828ca92c288291ae67c65b1e719

Summary: The Lithuanian patent office and its officials (past and present) are mentioned one last time and we explain why that matters

THE above is a video about part 16 of the current series. We’ll look at Latvia tomorrow, but today we finish looking at Lithuania.

We discuss the background of the people who ran Lithuania’s patent office for over half a decade as they don’t seem to have professional experience in patents or sciences. Not that’s it’s so atypical, even in much larger patent offices.

“These people aren’t qualified, they lack the professional background, and they’re mostly imposters in costumes like suits, whose language skills are vastly inferior to the examiners’.”Towards 2 minutes from the start I suddenly also realised that today marks 2 months since Judgment no. 4430 [PDF] at ILO-AT. We’ve mentioned it four weeks after and over a month (five weeks) after. We’re still waiting for any updates like a blog post or anything like that (it’s no longer the summer holiday, so no such excuses can be accepted anymore). Maybe EPO management hopes that nobody will notice (the media isn’t helping [1, 2, 3]) or even become aware of what Benoît Battistelli‘s did and how António Campinos covered up for him (for over 3 years; he’s still keeping some of his cohorts, who are in turn protected by the rogue Administrative Council). These people aren’t qualified, they lack the professional background, and they’re mostly imposters in costumes like suits, whose language skills are vastly inferior to the examiners’.

Vichy Battistelli

IRC Proceedings: Monday, September 06, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:57 am by Needs Sunlight

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