Links 12/9/2021: Atari VCS, KDE Slimbook, and Elecrow CrowPi 2 Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 5:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Torvalds Merges Support for Microsoft’s NTFS File System, Complains GitHub ‘Creates Absolutely Useless Garbage Merges’

        “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…” reports ZDNet, adding that the 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 For Apple Silicon Macs Gets Closer To Reality – Slashdot

        “Asahi Linux for Apple M1 Macs is moving closer to reality,” writes Slashdot reader TroysBucket.

        An Asahi developer posted a detailed status update on Twitter. Linux enthusiast Bryan Lunduke offers this succinct summary:

      • Linux for Apple Silicon Macs getting closer to reality [NEWS] – by Bryan Lunduke – The Lunduke Journal of Technology

        It’s been quite a few years since I was truly excited about anything from Apple. Old 68k and PPC Macintoshes were unique, funky, and fun — and I just loved them to pieces. But the later lines of Intel-based Macs? Just couldn’t find the appeal.

        Then Apple rolled out their latest Macintosh line with their M1 processor — with benchmarks (both in performance and battery life) that were truly spectacular.

      • Linux 5.15 Is A Very Exciting Kernel For AMD

        While working on my usual Linux kernel feature overview that summarizes the many articles over the past two weeks outlining all of the new features and changes merged, one area that particularly stands out for Linux 5.15 are all of AMD’s upstream contributions that happened to make it in this kernel. There is a lot of new enablement on the AMD side — both for CPUs and Radeon graphics — but also improving existing hardware support.

        Linux 5.15 is particularly exciting for AMD users, just not for CPUs and Radeon GPUs but also on the Ryzen client side and EPYC server front too. Linux 5.15 has a lot to offer with AMD improvements, which is great to see and comes with ramping up their Linux hires.

      • Stable kernels for Sunday

        The 5.14.3, 5.13.16, 5.10.64, and 5.4.145 stable kernel updates have been released; each contains another set of important fixes.

      • Linux 5.14.3
      • Linux 5.13.16
      • Linux 5.10.64
      • Linux 5.4.145
    • Applications

      • PeaZip 8.2 Released, Focused on Improving Command Line Usage

        PeaZip 8.2 archive manager for Linux and Windows now supports a massive 225 archive formats. Let’s see what’s new in this version.

        PeaZip is an open source cross platform archive manager software, providing encryption and compression functions, which open and extract over 200 archive types. It can schedule archives, create self-extracting archives, and can even be used as a portable program without installation.

      • Krita Lime PPA Back with Krita 4.4.8 Package for Ubuntu 20.04 & 21.04

        For those prefer the classic .deb package, the Krita Lime PPA is finally updated with the latest v4.4.8 package for Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint 20 and Ubuntu 21.04.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install Brave Browser for Fedora Linux – Linux Shout

        Here we are using the Fedora 34 Linux to install Brave browser using terminal, however, the steps will be the same for older versions such as Fedora 33, 32, 30, 29, 28…

        Brave browser is based on Google Chromium but with added features in visual and security areas. Unlike Chrome, it is an open-source browser that automatically blocks ad trackers and cookies. Brave is also called a “crypto browser” because it uses the Ethereum blockchain that is used to secure user’s data.

        HTTP accesses are automatically redirected to HTTPS in the Brave browser. Furthermore, there is an incentive to display advertising features know as “Brave Rewards”. As the browser is based on Chromium, you can use extensions from the Chrome Web Store.

      • Fscrypt now works in user spot
      • Raspberry Pi Firewall: How to Install and Manage it by Using UFW

        In this easy-to-follow tutorial we’re going to show you how to install and manage UFW (Uncomplicated Firewall) on Raspberry Pi.

        The level of security you need for your Raspberry Pi will strongly depend on how you plan to use it. When your Raspberry Pi is connected to the internet, the minimum security step you should take is to ensure that only ports that you absolutely require to be open are open.

        A firewall is a piece of software that monitors incoming and outcoming network traffic. It can then allow, reject or drop traffic. Without a firewall, your Raspberry Pi is functional and connected, but it can be made more secure with firewall which will only allow the types of traffic you permit.

      • A Guide to the Command Line for SEO [Learn 20+ Commands]
      • How to use GeForce Now game streaming on Linux

        Did you know that you can use Nvidia’s game streaming service on Linux? It’s true, but it takes a little tweaking to get it working. In this guide, we’ll go over how to get GeForce Now game streaming on Linux.

      • How to install Flutter on Fedora Linux – Linux Shout

        Flutter is a UI framework having Dart as an underlying programming language. It is developed by Google with which native apps for mobile, web, and desktop can be developed with a single code base in a very short time. Flutter architecture is based on two key parts- the Flutter Engine and the Flutter Framework.

        The engine contains all core technologies such as the Skia 2D rendering engine ( https://skia.org ), which is also developed by Google and is used in Chrome or Firefox, for example.

        In addition, the Dart Runtime, which, among other things, takes over garbage collection or provides an extremely fast hot reload during development.

      • How to Change Your MAC Address on Linux

        Modifying your system’s MAC address allows you to impersonate other devices on the same network. This way, you can receive data packets that were originally meant for the other device. This process is known as MAC spoofing.

        On Linux, you can find countless tools to change your device’s MAC address. But finding a reliable and stable utility that does the job well is really complicated considering the number of choices available to a user.

        By the end, you will have a brief understanding of MAC addresses, and how to spoof your MAC address on Linux.

      • Download and install Google Chrome for Fedora 34 Linux – Linux Shout

        The easiest way to download and install the Google Chrome browser on Fedora 34 Linux using the command terminal to start surfing…

        Fedora is a Linux distribution and upstream project for highly stable Redhat Enterprise Linux. It is meant to offer particularly up-to-date programs and multiple desktop environments. Therefore, the key focus of Fedora is on technical progress and to avail bleeding-edge technology to users instead primarily on stability and long-term support that is in RHEl, Debian, and Ubuntu. Nevertheless, this doesn’t imply that Fedora is not secure or unstable. In addition to a workstation version for the desktop, the Fedora community also offers the Fedora Server for the data center. It is also available as a 64-bit system for desktop computers and servers even for ARM processors and IoT devices.

        By Default, this Linux uses Gnome Desktop environment, however other Desktop editions with different DE known as Spins available as well such as KDE Plasma, Xfce, SOAS, LXDE, Cinnamon, Mate, and LXQT

      • Create a Virtual HardDisk (VHD) Volume Using a File in Linux

        Virtual Hard Disk is a disk image file format which represents a virtual hard disk drive, It’s a container file that acts similar to a physical hard drive.

        VHD can contains a file system, and you can use it to store and run an operating system, applications, as well as store data.

        We will illustrate how to create a virtual hard disk volume using a file in Linux. we will create a VHD volume of size 1GB, and format it with ext4 file system type.

      • Testing The Load of Web Servers with Siege Benchmark Tool – Unixcop

        Siege is an open source regression test and benchmark utility. It can stress test a single URL with a user defined number of simulated users, or it can read many URLs into memory and stress them simultaneously. The program reports the total number of hits recorded, bytes transferred, response time, concurrency, and return status. Siege supports HTTP/1.0 and 1.1 protocols, the GET and POST directives, cookies, transaction logging, and basic authentication. Its features are configurable on a per user basis.

        Most features are configurable with command line options which also include default values to minimize the complexity of the program’s invocation. So Siege allows you to stress a web server with n number of users t number of times, where n and t are defined by the user. It records the duration time of the test as well as the duration of each single transaction. It reports the number of transactions, elapsed time, bytes transferred, response time, transaction rate, concurrency and the number of times the server responded OK, that is status code 200.

        Also Siege should only be ran against servers you own or on such you have explicit permission to test. In some countries, using siege on unauthorized websites can be considered a crime.

    • Games

      • Atari VCS review: Costly nostalgia & DIY potential

        Beyond the Atari VCS mode’s custom Linux Debian-based OS, you can also use external SSDs, HDDs, and thumb drives to load up further operating systems like a non-custom Linux Debian or Windows 10 in the system’s built-in PC Mode. During my time experimenting with the VCS, I was able to load up Windows 10, fiddle around, and log into my Steam account. However, without substantial upgrades, you shouldn’t expect to access your full Steam Library. The Atari VCS’s base specs just aren’t up to the task of running much. The most technically advanced game I was able to download and run out of my Steam library on an external HDD was top-down Guantlet Legends-like Battle Axe, which is kind of in line with the quality of games I saw in the VCS store anyways.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Slimbook: the best way to run KDE

          How do you write a review of a laptop when you’re struggling to find truly negative things to say? This is rarely an issue – every laptop is a compromise – but with the KDE Slimbook, I feel like I’ve hit this particular problem for the first time. A luxury, for sure, but it makes writing this review a lot harder than it’s supposed to be.

          First, let’s talk about Slimbook itself. Slimbook is a Linux OEM from Spain, founded in 2015, which sells various laptops and desktops with a variety of preinstalled Linux distributions to choose from (including options for no operating system, or Windows). A few years ago, Slimbook partnered with KDE to sell the KDE Slimbook – a Slimbook laptop with KDE Neon preinstalled, and the KDE logo engraved on the laptop’s lid. The current KDE Slimbook is – I think – the third generation, and the first to make the switch from Intel to AMD.

    • Distributions

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Real-time Analytics News for Week Ending September 11

          Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, announced the availability of the Anbox Cloud Appliance in AWS Marketplace. This appliance allows developers a quick and easy prototype and production process for building Android apps in the cloud. In other news, Canonical announced Advantech, a provider of intelligent IoT and automation technology, is now certified on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Ubuntu Core 20.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Weekly recap — 12 September 2021

        Week highlights: new version of BeeRef available, Inkscape updates, VCV Rack 2 teaser, new PipeWire release, and more.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Radio Decodes Voyager Data

            With the 44th anniversary of the launch of Voyager I, [Daniel] decided to use GNU Radio to decode Voyager data. The data isn’t live, but a recording from the Green Bank Telescope. The 16 GB file is in GUPPI format which stores raw IQ samples.

            The file contains 64 frequency channels of just under 3MHz each. The signal of interest is in one channel, so it is easy to just throw away the rest of the data.

            A Python block manipulates the file and provides a data source. Once you have that, the rest is pretty standard processing although, as you might expect, the signal is weak even with a 100 meter antenna. Large Fourier transforms do the trick.

            Then it is a matter for decoding, although there are some obscure keys needed to pull the data out correctly. In the end, it all shows up and it is a great detective story of how to go through the data step-by-step.

  • Leftovers

    • The magic TUPE roundabout: Council, Wipro, Northgate all deny employing Unix admins in outsourcing muddle

      A pair of Unix sysadmins have claimed a botched TUPE job transfer left them stuck between three organisations which all denied responsibility for employing them.

      The two, named by the Scottish Employment Tribunal as Messrs K Fulke and K Reid, were employed by Wipro in 2011 on a contract the Indian firm had with the Highland Council.

      Yet Employment Judge Nick Hosie threw out their claims against both the council and Wipro, leaving them to pursue only NEC-owned Northgate Public Services.

      Northgate’s solicitor tried and failed to successfully argue that TUPE, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, shouldn’t be applied to an outsourcing contract where IT services went from being hosted on-premises into the cloud. He urged the judge to accept that for employment law purposes, moving from on-premises to cloud resulted in work being done in a “fundamentally different way” – meaning TUPE protections wouldn’t apply.

    • Null Amusement

      Been old-school-pixel-pushin’ recently, for a project I’ll hopefully reveal soon. But because I’ve also been really keen on music recently, a little side diversion happened that I’d like to share.

      It started with generating some samples using the good old SXFR. It’s a tiny sythesizer for generating cute oldschool chiptune/game sound effects. Sadly it doesn’t exist as an app, which is a shame.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Manjaro Linux Cinnamon replaces Firefox with Vivaldi as the default browser

          Vivaldi, one of the popular browsers is based on Chromium kit just like Google’s Chrome. It works quickly and reliably and is compatible with all current web standards. But while Chrome only offers a handful of commands for clicking and a text box, Vivaldi has two boxes and lots of buttons.

          But wait! here we are not about to discuss exactly the features of Vivaldi but instead a move by open-source Manjaro Linux developers. Recently, they have announced that one of Manjaro’s popular editions, Cinnamon will now out of the box features “Vivaldi” as its default browser.

          Although, because of Arch-based Linux distribution- Manjaro supports multiple repos, we can install Vivaldi on any Manjaro edition easily, however, Cinnamon users will have Vivaldi browser without performing any further installation.

          Vivaldi – available on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, as well as on Android devices – gives users the freedom and flexibility to browse exactly the way they want, keeping their privacy first.

        • Google plans to replace Chrome’s cookies and site data controls with an inferior option

          Comments on the official Chromium issues tracker confirm that Google plans to deprecate the browser’s cookies and site data controls in favor of a page that is inferior in functionality at the time of writing.

          Many Chrome users know that they can use controls to clear cookies and site data in Chrome. All it takes is to load the internal URL chrome://settings/siteData to get started.

          Chrome lists all sites that have stored cookies and other site data on the local system.

          You may search the selection, browse it, delete individual cookies, and check what a particular site has stored on the local system.

        • How to use Google Cloud Operations suite

          Google Cloud Operations suite updates the cloud provider’s Stackdriver tool with new features and upgrades, while retaining the core functions of monitoring and log analysis for cloud instances.

          Google acquired Stackdriver in 2014. Then, Stackdriver became Google Cloud Operations suite in 2020. It provides two services — Cloud Monitoring and Cloud Logging — and their corresponding agents.

          The Google Cloud Operations suite provides an in-depth view of system metrics and application logs. Cloud Monitoring gleans system-level metrics such as CPU, memory and disk space, while Cloud Logging captures log data from applications such as the web server Nginx, displayed within the console.

        • Lenovo blames ‘firmware’ issue for blank-screened Smart Displays, says Google’s working on a fix – 6 months after complaints started

          Lenovo says it is still waiting on Google to fix a “firmware issue” that has left some owners of its Lenovo Smart Displays and Smart Clocks with blank screens, almost five months after the problem was first reported.

          Reports that all was not well with Lenovo’s Smart Displays first surfaced in April when a customer based in Canada posted on the company’s tech support pages to ask if anyone else had suffered a frozen screen.

          Attempts to reboot or revert back to factory settings only resulted in a temporary fix, with users from countries including the US, UK, France, and Vietnam reporting the same fault.

          At this stage, the full scope and scale of the problem is still not known. According to sales data from channel analysts Canalys, Lenovo has to date shipped some 1.2 million Smart Clocks and an estimated 650,000 Smart Displays.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • It’s Farewell to Shelston IP, as IPH Executes Another ‘Integration’ [Ed: Shelston IP is a particularly malicious firm [1, 2, 3]

          The corporate behemoth that is IPH Limited (ASX:IPH) – which at close on 10 September 2021 had a market capitalisation of A$2.00 billion, and was trading at a near-all-time-high of A$9.270 – has, through a series of acquisitions and ‘integrations’, brought about the demise of a number of well-known names in the Australasian IP firmament. Fisher Adams Kelly, Callinans, Cullens, Watermark and Baldwins are all brands that, until not so long ago, were familiar to anyone with an interest in the IP services market, but which no longer exist. And on 8 September 2021, IPH announced [PDF, 98kB] that Shelston IP is next in line. Shelston IP will be integrated with Spruson & Ferguson Australia, with the combined firm operating under the Spruson & Ferguson brand from 1 November 2021, at which time the Shelston IP brand will be retired. Full systems integration is expected to occur in December 2021.


          Based upon the contents of the Register maintained by the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board (TTIPAB), the number of registered patent attorneys employed by firms within the IPH group declined substantially between January 2020 and August 2021. There are, overall, 36 fewer attorneys – a drop of 20% from 186 to 150 – across all firms now in the group (including Watermark, which has since been integrated into Griffith Hack, and Baldwins, which was acquired and integrated into A J Park). The exodus has been most pronounced at Griffith Hack, (down by 25%) and Shelston IP (down by 22%). Patent attorney numbers at both Spruson & Ferguson and A J Park are down by around 16%.

          On present numbers, when Shelston IP is integrated into Spruson & Ferguson in November, the resulting firm will employ only 10 more patent attorneys than at the start of 2020, despite having absorbed an entire additional firm. This would – at least temporarily – make it once again larger (in terms of patent attorney numbers) than FB Rice, which in recent years has grown to become Australia’s largest firm on this metric. It is not hard to imagine, however, that departures from the merged firms may continue for a little while longer. I can easily foresee a situation in the next year or two in which, while Watermark, Baldwins, and Shelston IP have ceased to exist, Spruson & Ferguson, Griffith Hack, and A J Park are nonetheless no larger than they were before the integrations.

        • Data on Transition Phrases in Patent Cases [Ed: Evidence of copy-paste or templates in USPTO data; lots of repetition and reuse, not so much innovation (patents are different from actual progress)]

          You may have heard that most US utility patent claims use the open transition phrase COMPRISING. Here’s the data to support that hearsay. The chart below shows data from independent claims gleaned from issued US patens grouped by patent issue year.

        • AI As A Patent Inventor – An Update From South Africa And Australia [Ed: Gangsters from MoFo (very aggressive firm, notoriously so) do not seem to mind radical elements of patent systems as long as that may mean more litigation in bulk]

          Although the European, U.S., and UK Patent Offices have denied patent applications on the grounds that an AI system cannot be listed as an inventor, not every country seems to be following that approach and some may be set to buck the trend.

          Last year, we reported on the first European Patent Office (EPO) ruling on its approach to patent applications that designate artificial intelligence (AI) systems as inventors. Both the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) and the EPO reasoned that AI systems cannot be inventors. However, South Africa and Australia did not follow suit this year.


          In Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCA 879, the Australian court reasoned that the ordinary meaning of “inventor” does not exclude non-humans. It also found that in patent law, unlike copyright law, there is no requirement for a human inventor.

          Dr. Thaler argued that the objectives of the relevant legislation supported AI systems being recognized as inventors because it is intended to promote technological innovation and the dissemination of technology.

          The court also considered that various persons can contribute to the output of an AI system, and that recognizing the AI system as the inventor would avoid uncertainty as to who should be recognized for the inventive process.

          While the court was only faced with deciding whether DABUS could be an inventor, it also discussed whether Dr. Thaler could be the patent grantee. The court found in favor of Dr. Thaler by determining that he could be a grantee since he derived title to the invention. Dr. Thaler owns and controls DABUS, therefore its inventions are in Dr. Thaler’s possession.

        • JW Pharm’s gout drug URC102 certified as source technology in Europe

          The patent is the company’s method to prepare a compound that works as the main ingredient and intermediate of URC102. URC102, developed as a new oral drug, inhibits uric acid transporter-1 (URAT1) and is effective for gout patients caused by abnormally elevated uric acid levels in the blood, JW Pharm said.

          The company licensed out the rights to develop and commercialize URC102 in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, to China’s Nanjing Simcere Dongyuan Pharmaceutical in 2019. In addition, it is pursuing global technology transfer based on the results of phase 2 clinical trials conducted in Korea.

        • Around the Web: Patent Palaver. Lamp Love. Street Smarts. Elastic Enhancement. Smart Specs. Pestering Popups. Verbose Vegetation. Foolish Fowl. Tuneful Typing. Tiffany Tidbits. Good Gander.

          Imaging having read this headline just 10 years ago. From The Verge: “AI computers can’t patent their own inventions — yet.” Back in April 2020, the US Patent and Trademark Office decided that only “natural persons” could be considered the inventor of a patent. So if AI invents something, it gets no credit. Which brings up the perhaps disturbing question: has AI invented something? Actually, yes. AI researcher Steven Thaler invented an AI system called DABUS which apparently then itself invented “a flashing light and a new type of food container.”

        • UK splashes out £30m on improving antiquated patent system, Deloitte and NTT Data are the lucky winners

          The UK’s Intellectual Property Office has awarded two new contracts in it’s bid to get up to speed in the 21st Century.

          Deloitte has won a £23.8m contract to become a “strategic supplier to deliver digital services” as it attempts to execute its “transformation plan” aim at allowing organisation and individual to digitally manage their intellectual property rights.

          The global consultancy firm becomes the “Transformation Phase 1” for the project under a contract which is set to last until September 2023, the contract award notice said.

        • Analysis: The European Unified Patent Court – is it finally within reach?
          [Ed: Overt conflict of interest. Spreading utter lies and malicious false ‘news’ for “head of UPC Preparatory Committee” by “Colette Brady and Laura Scott are partners at William Fry.” So litigation firms are pushing complete lies for profit in so-called ‘media’]
        • Can AI Be An Inventor, Ryan Abbott & Stephen Thaler Say Why Not [Ed: Microsoft boosters push for patent maximalism, as one might expect…]

          I would hardly call it a tool. Instead, it is arguably a sentient, non-protoplasmic organism that develops its own personality.

        • DABUS The AI Is Denied Inventorship In Taiwan [Ed: Taiwan -- like most countries and their courts/patent offices -- was not successfully rickrolled by Mr. Thaler]

          Taiwan’s Intellectual Property & Commercial Court (the IPC Court) published a decision on August 30, upholding the Taiwan IP Office’s ruling that an artificial intelligence (AI) system cannot be named as a patent inventor. Thaler v. Taiwan IP Office (TIPO), 110 Xing Zhuan Su 3, Taiwan’s IPC Court (August 2021).

        • Post-IPR Estoppel: Printed Publication vs. Actual Product Shown in the Publication

          The court has denied DMF’s mandamus petition on an interesting post-IPR estoppel question.

          DMF sued ELCO Lighting in 2018 for infringing DMF’s U.S. Patent No. 9,964,266. As is usual these days, ELCO turned-around and filed an inter partes review petition — challenging the patent’s validity based upon a 2011 product catalog (printed publication) that had featured the Hatteras lighting product. Although the PTAB instituted the IPR, it eventually sided with the patentee in holding that the prior printed publication wasn’t enough render the invention obvious.

        • Federal Circuit Approves of Order to Drop Patents from the Lawsuit to Facilitate Case Management

          MASA sued Xerox for infringing 20 different patents that all relate to printer related technology. The district court felt that 20 patents was too many to handle and so ordered MASA to reduce the number of asserted patents to 8 patents by the summary judgment pre-trial stage; and then further drop down to only 4 asserted patents by trial. The defendant agreed that the eliminated patents would be dismissed without prejudice and that any applicable statute of limitations would be tolled — allowing later refiling of those claims.

        • JW Bioscience to Register Patent on Early Sepsis Diagnosis Technology in Europe [Ed: As if the quality of today’s EPO-granted patents is something worth celebrating all…]
        • No “German injunction gap” expedition in Abbott v Dexcom global diabetes battle, as Mr Justice Mellor expresses “some regret” [Ed: Celebration of embargo from litigation zealots who worked for Bristows LLP and constantly lies about the UPC for that awful firm]

          After the end of what English and Welsh litigators call the Trinity term (aka end of the term before the Court breaks for the summer holidays), Mr Justice Mellor was working overtime to deliver two decisions. The second of these decisions, Abbott v Dexcom [2021] EWHC 2246, concerned Abbott’s latest application to expedite a patent trial revoking four of Dexcom’s patents. Mr Justice Mellor dismissed the application “with some regret”.

          A primary motivation for Abbott’s expedition application was to obtain a UK court decision on the validity of four European patents in order to influence a German court considering infringement of the German EP equivalents and to prevent the problems of the “injunction gap”. The injunction gap arises in Germany because infringement is decided before and separately to validity. As readers know, in the UK, a patent’s infringement and validity are heard together so there is no infringement finding- and thus injunction – before the validity of the patent is determined. Thus, a strategy that can be used in litigation is to get the UK court to say that the patent is invalid and/or not infringed and use that decision in the German infringement courts to cast doubt as to infringement and validity of the patent to try to avoid an injunction in Germany (and thus to avoid the period when an injunction could be granted between the infringement decision and validity decision). But no such luck for Abbott, “regret[tably]“. Here is what happened.

        • Only ‘natural persons’ can be recognized as patent inventors, not AI systems, US judge rules [Ed: In some patent courts, common sense still prevails; Australia and South Africa now look desperate for any patents -- even bogus ones]

          AI systems cannot be granted patents and will not be recognised as inventors in the eyes of the US law, said a federal judge who decided to uphold a previous ruling by the US Patent and Trademark Office this week.

          Stephen Thaler, founder of Imagination Engines, a company in Missouri, applied in 2019 for two US patents describing a food container based on fractal geometry and an emergency light beacon. Instead of putting his own name on the applications, however, Thaler gave all the credit to DABUS, a neural network he built and claimed came up with both creations.

          The US Patent and Trademark Office, however, rejected both applications and said only “natural persons” are allowed to be named as an inventor on the patent paperwork. Thaler in response sued Andrei Iancu, who was the director of the patent office at the time, in federal court in eastern Virginia to challenge that decision.

        • Save Foods Granted A Patent For Its Proprietary Compound For The Natural Protection Of Edible Matter [Ed: Pursuing likely dubious patents at the EPO (quality went downhill) and conflating EPO with the EU, which are not the same thing and are not the same nations, either]

          Save Foods’ core applications are eco-friendly post-harvest treatments for fruits and vegetables. The Company’s proprietary blend of organic food acids reduces the need for conventional post-harvest fungicide by at least 50% – and in some cases entirely – and can reduce food waste due to spoilage by up to 50%. Crops currently being treated account for billions of dollars in sales around the world, and include citrus fruit, avocado, pears, mango and bell peppers.

        • European Union: The European Unified Patent Court – Is It Finally Within Reach? [Ed: Team UPC keeps lying, for profit, about UPC, with effectively fake/bogus/false ‘news’]

          The creation of a single European patent with unitary effect across participating EU Member States (Unified Patent/ UP) and a new Court system (Unified Patent Court/UPC) to enforce and defend such patents has been decades in the making.

          The UPC system will only be implemented once the UPC Agreement (Agreement) comes into force. This requires ratification of the Agreement by Germany, France, and Italy (as the countries from which most European patents originate) and ten other member states. While France and Italy have already ratified the Agreement, German ratification has been delayed by constitutional challenges, as previously reported by us here and here.

        • USPTO Grants ONK Therapeutics’ Foundational Patent for CISH Knockout in NK Cells for Use in Cancer Therapies [Ed: More patents or patent monopolies around cancer]
        • 2021 Mid-Year Review: Key Global Trade Secret Developments

          A trade secret is any information used in one’s business that derives independent economic value from being kept secret. Unlike patents, trade secrets are protected indefinitely for as long as they remain a secret.

        • Patenting for the Decommissioning Market [Ed: Unbelievable; the convicted fraudsters (recently) from Marks & Clerk, Tomas Karger Robbie Gauld in this case, want to profit from destruction too, via patents]

          Owners of oil and gas installations and pipelines are required to decommission their offshore and onshore infrastructure at the end of a field’s economic life. Regulations are in place around the world to ensure decommissioning is executed in a safe and environmentally sound manner. Some estimates have indicated the United Kingdom Continental Shelf will have 1,616 wells decommissioned between 2020 and 2029. With mature fields located around the world, decommissioning may be set to be big business. However, the aforementioned safety and regulatory requirements often require overcoming technical challenges. The manner in which innovations stemming from addressing these challenges are managed form part of the commercial considerations of businesses operating in or looking to enter the decommissioning sector.

        • Should AI Systems Be Considered As ‘Inventors’ on US Patent Applications? [Ed: No, unless you wish to completely de-legitimise the patent system]

          An artificial intelligence system may technologically be able to “invent” things, but then such a system cannot literally be named as an “inventor” on an official patent application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

        • Software Patents

          • [Older] Disambiguation Of Text With An Upper And Lower Case: Technical [Ed: Profoundly rigged courts, the EPO’s BoA or TBA in this case, would of course accept bogus software patents that no court (that’s not rigged by EPO thugs) would ever accept]

            This decision concerns a patent application with an improved text case feature. In the appeal, the Board considered that the software to remove the ambiguity of text with an upper and lower case was technical and inventive. Here are the practical takeaways from the decision T 0200/19 (Disambiguation of text with upper and lower case/BlackBerry) of 30.4.2021, of Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.05:

          • Drafting AI patent applications for success at the EPO – eligibility and claim formulation [Ed: Crooks and charlatans explaining how to get away with software patents at the crooked EPO, mostly by misusing a bunch of meaningless buzzwords]

            In this co-published piece, Haseltine Lake Kempner’s Kimberley Bayliss takes a practical look at different types of AI inventions and how to formulate claims for each category in view of the EPO’s patent eligibility requirements

      • Trademarks

        • Influencer issues to follow: IP counsel give social media tips [Ed: Trying to police social control media (which is all about mass control over people, minds, perception) for corporate brands]

          Counsel at Anheuser-Busch and three other companies discuss the importance of monitoring influencer content and the complexity of indemnification

      • Copyrights

        • A guide to Singapore’s new copyright law

          Singapore’s new Copyright Bill, which is likely to be enacted in November 2021, will reshape the balance between creators and businesses in many ways, according to counsel.

          The bill contains several welcome provisions on copyright ownership, recognition of authors’ moral rights, computational analysis of data, and piracy, say sources.

          It was tabled for a first reading before the parliament on July 6 and is now scheduled for a second reading on September 13.

Git Over Gemini Protocol (and Experimental/Preliminary Publication of Some Techrights Code)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Site News at 11:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 401663d55a789d994a981fa3004ba9e6

Summary: Today we launch a sort of ‘alpha’ (or proof of concept) of Git over Gemini; it’s not yet in the front page of the Web site (only the Gemini capsule or the menu at the top), but we’re working on it and we’ll try to make the pragmatic case for Git’s simplicity over Gemini’s simplicity (more advanced in some respects than the command line, not as bloated and unsafe as Web browsers)

GIT isn’t new to us. I’ve used Git for over a decade and here in Techrights we’ve been using it for years, mainly for collaboration. Over a year ago we started self-hosting Git and over time we added more of our codebase/scripts to it. Today we finally publish most of these, however reluctantly (because a lot of it is still crude, the intended userbase being a handful of people at most).

“We emphasise that this is very rudimentary at this point and some tools aren’t of much use outside Techrights itself.”At the very least, we’re hoping to demonstrate a sort of use case for Gemini. I think we might be the first in the world to do such a thing because I spent hours researching what others had done (to avoid duplication of effort). This is just an experimental iteration akin to an alpha release. We emphasise that this is very rudimentary at this point and some tools aren’t of much use outside Techrights itself. This can hopefully be changed over time and presentation be significantly improved (remaining bugs ironed out and better/high-quality code that’s made generalised).

“Everything starts small and crude. Today is just a start.”Gemini has many advantages in this context, including speed, memory footprint, ease of management, and access through any web proxy (better availability). It’s hosted from home (Gemini) and our server (Git), with replication set up over Git and a 24-hour (daily cycle) cron job to keep everything updated or synchronised and up to date. We’ll probably say more in weeks or months to come. We already have some code that can help convert WordPress blogs and MediaWiki to Gemini, even though it makes certain assumptions about a consistent style and structure.

Everything starts small and crude. Today is just a start.

Links 12/9/2021: Final Merges in Linux 5.15, GNOME 3 Compared to MacOs

Posted in News Roundup at 8:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • RISC-V Gets Expanded Stack Randomization With Linux 5.15

        In addition to the RISC-V changes merged last week for the Linux 5.15 kernel, a second batch of patches was merged this weekend.

        Notable with this secondary round of RISC-V updates for Linux 5.15 is expanding the address space for the stack randomization.

      • It’s Looking Like Folios / Pagesets Might Miss Making It Into Linux 5.15 – Phoronix

        We are now down to the last day of the Linux 5.15 merge window and one of the patch series we have been waiting to see if it would land during this two week period was the “folios” code — or that also was recently renamed to “pagesets” to address some concerns over the name.

        Folios is the months-long effort working to improve Linux memory management and for some workloads can translate into performance advantages given the current overhead when managing memory in 4KiB pages.

      • Linux Preparing To Slightly Loosen Its Spectre Defaults – Phoronix

        A change first proposed last year to the Linux kernel’s Spectre mitigation defaults looks like it will soon be sent in for the mainline kernel.

        The change is in regards to the default mitigation value for Spectre V2 for user-space tasks and Spectre V4 / Speculative Store Bypass. For the kernel options of “spec_store_bypass_disable” and “spectre_v2_user”, the current default is the “seccomp” mode. With that default behavior the mitigations are only applied when opted into per-thread via the PRCTL interface (or otherwise a process inherits the mitigation when forked) or is enabled by default for all SECCOMP threads.

    • Benchmarks

      • Latest Ubuntu 21.10 blows the wind out of Windows 10 / 11 in certain performance tests

        Microsoft’s next-gen Windows 11 OS is set to release publicly on the 5th of October which is about a week earlier than the release date for Ubuntu 21.10 (codenamed “Impish Indri”), the latter being on October 14. As a result, folks over at Phoronix were curious and wondered what the performances differences might be like between the two upcoming operating systems.

        According to the benchmark results obtained in the comparison across several workstation applications, it seems Ubuntu 21.10 is quite a bit ahead by around 50%, or much more, in some of the tests especially those that involve more dependency on the CPU, indicating that the OS is probably better at utilizing the available CPU resources than Windows. GPU-based applications however have generally tended to favor Microsoft’s OS, however, the performance gaps aren’t as big in Windows’ favor.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Set or Change Timezone on Debian 11 – LinuxCapable

        For operating systems having the correct time zone is required for system tasks and processes and down to the minor parts such as logs by your applications. Having incorrect information can impact systems when setting up automatic jobs such as cron jobs that rely on the system’s timezone to execute.

        In the following tutorial, you will know how to configure Timezone on Debian 11 Bullseye.

      • How to Install Vivaldi Browser on Ubuntu 20.04 – LinuxCapable

        Vivaldi is a freeware, cross-platform web browser developed by Vivaldi Technologies. It had grown from the downfall of Opera with many disgruntled when it changed from the Presto layout engine to a Chromium-based browser, the platform that angered traditional Opera users. Since then, Vivaldi has become one of the most popular alternative Internet Browsers amongst the big three Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

        Vivaldi promotes itself as a leading browser with faster navigation, clever bookmarking, smarter browsing, extensive tab management, and a more visual approach than its competitors.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Vivaldi Browser on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Manually install a GNOME theme – PragmaticLinux

        Out-of-the-box the GNOME desktop environment might strike you as minimalistic. Don’t be fooled though, because that is by design. The idea is that you extend the functionality of the GNOME desktop though extensions to make it fit your preferred work flow. Furthermore, you can tweak the look-and-feel by installing different GNOME themes. This article focuses on the latter part. You’ll learn where you can download themes and how to manually install a GNOME icon, cursor, GTK and Shell theme.

      • How To Install Microsoft Teams on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot [Ed: Bad idea because it is spyware, but some employers compel people to install this malicious thing]

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Microsoft Teams on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Microsoft Teams is a proprietary software build to power business communications. It is developed by Microsoft Corporation as part of the Microsoft 365 products family. Microsoft Teams supports functions such as online meetings, group chats, video and web conferences, and phone calls. It is also possible to use whiteboards with Microsoft Whiteboard or InVision’s FreeHand.

        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 Microsoft Teams on AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for installation for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

      • How to Install Anaconda on Fedora 34/33 – TecAdmin

        Anaconda is an distribution which help us with the package management and deployments. It is written on Python and R programming language by data scientists, for data scientists. It includes the packages related to data-science for various platforms like Linux, Windows and macOS.

        You can use the conda binary for the package management with your Python applications. Which will provide you a better environment for faster development.

        In this step by step tutorial, we will help you to install Anaconda on your Fedora Linux system.

      • How to Check if String Contains a Substring in Bash

        So, you have a long string and you want to check of this string contains a substring in your bash script.

        There are more than one way to check for substrings in bash shell. I’ll show some simple examples first, followed by a cool bash script that uses this concept in a real-world scenario.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Gnome 3 compare to MacOs

          An assertion I have made in the past is that to me “Gnome 3 feels like MacOs with rough edges”. After some discussions with others, I’m finally going to write this up with examples.

          It’s worth pointing out that in my opinion, Gnome 3 is probably still the best desktop experience on Linux today for a variety of reasons – it’s just that for me, these rough edges really take away from that being a good experience for me.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Some things to reduce background bandwidth usage on a Fedora machine

          Suppose, not entirely hypothetically, that you have a Fedora laptop and you want it to use minimal bandwidth for things that you don’t specifically do. Unfortunately there are only a few things that I know of to do, and I’m not sure they’re comprehensive. Most of my information comes from this old r/Fedora post.

        • First POWER10 Machine Announced

          IBM turns up the volume to 10 (and their server numbers to four digits) with the Power E1080 server, the launch system for POWER10. POWER10 is a 7nm chip fabbed by Samsung with up to 15 SMT-8 cores (a 16th core is disabled for yield) for up to 120 threads per chip. IBM bills POWER10 as having 2.5 times more performance per core than Intel Xeon Platinum (based on an HPE Superdome system running Xeon Platinum 8380H parts), 2.5 times the AES crypto performance per core of POWER9 (no doubt due to quadruple the crypto engines present), five times “AI inferencing per socket” (whatever that means) over Power E980 via the POWER10′s matrix math and AI accelerators, and 33% less power usage than the E980 for the same workload. AIX, Linux and IBM i are all supported.

      • Debian Family

        • Fscrypt broken in user spot

          It turns out that there is a fundamental problem in EasyOS. If a person entered a password at the very first bootup, Easy creates encrypted folders in the ext4 working-partition. So, if anyone steals your usb-stick or hard drive, they won’t be able to access the files in those folders.

          The encryption mechanism works on a per-folder basis, and the init script in the initrd will unlock those folders when the correct password is entered at bootup. It works great, however, falls apart if login as a non-root user…

          I have a utility, ‘keyctl’, from the ‘keyutils’ package. I have today compiled that in OE and added it to the package list, so it will be in future releases of EasyOS. It is for managing the kernel keys. I know hardly anything about this topic, but let’s explore…

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • What I miss about open source conferences | Opensource.com

        A typical work year would involve my attending maybe six to eight conferences in person and speaking at quite a few of them. A few years ago, I stopped raiding random booths at the exhibitions usually associated with these for t-shirts for the simple reason that I had too many of them. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t accept one here or there if it was particularly nice, or an open source project which I esteemed particularly, for instance. Or ones which I thought my kids would like—they’re not “cool” but are at least useful for sleepwear, apparently. I also picked up a lot of pens and enough notebooks to keep me going for a while.

        And then, at the beginning of 2020, the pandemic hit, I left San Francisco, where I’d been attending meetings co-located with RSA North America (my employer at the time made the somewhat prescient decision not to allow us to go to the main conference), and I’ve not attended any in-person conferences since.

        There are some good things about this, the most obvious being less travel, though, of late, my family has been dropping an increasing number of not-so-subtle hints about how it would be good if I let them alone for a few days so they can eat food I don’t like (pizza and macaroni cheese, mainly) and watch films that I don’t enjoy (largely, but not exclusively, romcoms on Disney+). The downsides are manifold. Having to buy my own t-shirts and notebooks, obviously, though it turns out that I’d squirreled away enough pens for the duration. It also turned out that the move to USB-C connectors hadn’t sufficiently hit the conference swag industry by the end of 2019 for me to have enough of those to keep me going, so I’ve had to purchase some of those. That’s the silly, minor stuff, though—what about areas where there’s real impact?

      • Apache Software Foundation Saw $3M In Revenue, ~134M Changed Lines Of Code Last Year

        The Apache Software Foundation recently published their FY2021 report for their year-ended 30 April. Even with the ongoing pandemic, the Apache Software Foundation managed to raise more than $3M USD and enjoyed a host of software successes.

        On the coding front, the Apache Software Foundation during FY2021 saw 258k commits to its hosted projects that changed 134M lines of code by 3,058 committers. The ASF is up to having 200 project management committees and 351 Apache projects in total. There were 14 projects last year that graduated from the Apache Incubator status.

      • Open-source software starts with developers, but there are other important contributors, too. Who exactly? Good question

        Is Linus Torvalds important to open-source software? Of course. Guido van Rossum, who created the popular programming language Python? Sure! Michael “Monty” Widenius of MySQL fame? Certainly. OK, what about Robert Love? Eben Moglen? Or Jono Bacon?

        Who? Exactly. They latter three are, in order: the author of Linux in a Nutshell, arguably the most important Linux book; the leading open-source GPL attorney; and perhaps the top open-source community guru. Would open-source software exist without them? Yes. But, would it look the same? No. No it wouldn’t.

        We’ve always known that open source is more than its developers. Open source is also the people who document it, popularise it, organise the communities that support it and, yes, lead the companies that monetise it.

        But, how do you measure their value? That’s a good question without an obvious good answer.

        For programmers, it’s relatively easy. Once you get rid of the insane idea that programming productivity could be measured by lines of code (LoC) per day, like so many factory workers making widgets, you can come up with reasonable metrics.

      • Storaji: An Open-Source Simple inventory management application

        There are many features that you will get from using open-source inventory and warehouse management projects on your company.

        Using an open-source project such as Storaji allows you to easily modify a work, integrate the work into a larger project or drive a new work based on the original and more.

        Storaji is an open source responsive inventory management system with the aim to help small-to-medium companies. This tool is simple tool that manage product inventory, orders, and more.

        The best thing here is that Storaji doesn’t charge any fee. It built with the trendiest web technologies and becoming.


        The System required NodeJS 8, PHP 7, PHP Composer. It is licensed under MIT license.

      • Web Browsers

        • visurf, a web browser based on NetSurf

          I’ve started a new side project that I would like to share with you: visurf. visurf, or nsvi, is a NetSurf frontend which provides vi-inspired key bindings and a lightweight Wayland UI with few dependencies. It’s still a work-in-progress, and is not ready for general use yet. I’m letting you know about it today in case you find it interesting and want to help.

          NetSurf is a project which has been on my radar for some time. It is a small web browser engine, developed in C independently of the lineage of WebKit and Gecko which defines the modern web today. It mostly supports HTML4 and CSS2, plus only a small amount of HTML5 and CSS3. Its JavaScript support, while present, is very limited. Given the epidemic of complexity in the modern web, I am pleased by the idea of a small browser, more limited in scope, which perhaps requires the cooperation of like-minded websites to support a pleasant experience.

      • Programming/Development

        • Perl/Raku

          • Russ Allbery: Pod::Thread 3.00

            This Perl module converts POD documents to thread, the macro language I use for my static site builder (about which, more in another software release coming up shortly). This release fixes a whole ton of long-standing problems.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Save That Old VGA Monitor From The Trash

        It’s quite a while since any of us unpacked a brand new VGA monitor, but since so many machines still have the ability to drive them even through an inexpensive adaptor they’re still something that finds a use. With so many old VGA flat panel monitors being tossed away they even come at the low low price of free, which can’t be argued with. CNXSoft’s [Jean-Luc Aufranc] was tasked with fixing a dead one, and wrote an account of his progress.

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Were the notorious ‘Dancing Israelis’ 9/11 plotters, spies, or just common scam artists?
      • Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

        Check out all installments in the OppArt series.

      • Opinion | From Our Post-9/11 Archives: “The Algebra of Infinite Justice”

        A CD editorial note: The following article, first published on September 29, 2001 and part of our “Post-9/11 Archive,” was among the most-read articles featured on Common Dreams in the immediate wake of the attacks that took place in New York City and Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001. As the world reflects on those events that took place 20 years ago, we’re re-posting a selection from the archive to acknowledge and celebrate the salient and prescient voices from that time.

      • Opinion | One 9/11 First Responder Reflects: Life is Duty

        Today we look back and remember together and in solitude the day we watched the Twin Towers fall. It seems impossible 20 years have passed, and it seems impossible that the 9/11 first responders we held in our hearts with reverence would now feel disrespected and unheard.  We prop them up as heroes then dismiss them as zeroes—we all recall the old phrase, “hero to zero,” and it has perhaps never been so true as it is on this twentieth anniversary of 9/11 

      • Day of the Planes: A 9/11 excerpt from ‘The Management of Savagery’
      • Twenty Years After 9/11, ‘The Only Way to Effectively Counter Terror Is to End War’

        As the United States on Saturday commemorates the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks with plenty of patriotic zeal but perhaps too little introspection, peace advocates have marked the occasion by reflecting on the costs and bloody consequences of the so-called “Global War on Terror” as they reaffirmed that the best safeguard against further terrorism—as many warned at the time—is ending war and respecting human rights.

        “The U.S. response to 9/11 was corrupted by a toxic soup of revenge, imperialist ambitions, war profiteering, systematic brainwashing, and sheer stupidity.”—Medea Benjamin, CodePink

      • Opinion | From Our Post-9/11 Archive: ‘Stop the Insanity Here’

        A CD editorial note: The following article, first published on September 12, 2001 and part of our “Post-9/11 Archive,” was among the most-read articles featured on Common Dreams in the immediate wake of the attacks that took place in New York City and Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001. As the world reflects on those events that took place 20 years ago, we’re re-posting a selection from the archive to acknowledge and celebrate the salient and prescient voices from that time. The author has composed a brief update to the piece to mark the 20th anniversary.

      • Opinion | From 9/11 to Covid, Social Security Is There for Us in Times of Crisis

        The twentieth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack comes at a dangerous time.  COVID-19 is killing an average of 1,500 Americans daily—essentially, a 9/11 attack every other day. What we used to call once-in-a-century disasters confront us nonstop and even simultaneously, killing thousands of us with unfortunate frequency.

      • US Spent $21 Trillion on War and Militarization Since 9/11
      • Organizers of Jan. 6 Rally Are Promoting Doctors Who Push Fake COVID Cures
      • Opinion | Many Americans Refused to Consider Why 9/11 Happened. The Costs Were Enormous.

        On September 11, I was woken in my California home with an urgent call from Martha Honey, then-director of Foreign Policy In Focus, telling me to turn on my television to view the burning towers.

      • The Right Wing “Never Forgot” 9/11 Because It Never Remembered It Correctly
      • What We Do With Tragic Anniversaries

        Some of us are old enough to remember exactly where we were when we heard, many years before, that JFK had been shot and killed. 

      • September 11’s Never-Ending Story

        “Outrage is the natural and appropriate response to the mass murder of September 11. But media should not be glibly encouraging retaliatory violence without remembering that US retaliation has killed innocent civilians abroad, violated international law and done little to make us safer.”

      • Opinion | Evil Spawns Evil: The US Routinely Sends Incendiary Messages

        I was in Times Square in New York City shortly after the second plane banked and plowed into the South Tower. The crowd looking up at the Jumbotron gasped in dismay at the billowing black smoke and the fireball that erupted from the tower. There was no question now that the two attacks on the twin towers were acts of terrorism. The earlier supposition, that perhaps the pilot had a heart attack or lost control of the plane when it struck the North Tower seventeen minutes earlier, vanished with the second attack. The city fell into a collective state of shock. Fear palpitated throughout the streets. Would they strike again? Where? Was my family safe? Should I go to work? Should I go home? What did it mean? Who would do this? Why?

      • Opinion | 9/11 at 20: Our Moral Obligation After Two Decades of War

        The day after President Biden’s speech defending the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, a new poll indicated a significant majority of people in the U.S. supported the move. More than two-thirds agreed the U.S. had failed to achieve its goals in Afghanistan. That’s a far cry from the 88 percent who supported the war when it was launched in October 2001. 

      • Opinion | Post-9/11 “Nation-Building” in Afghanistan and Iraq Was Nothing But Destruction

        In one of his interviews before the Taliban retook Afghanistan, John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, blamed the American failure in Afghanistan on a change in Washington’s mission from anti-terrorism to “nation building.” In his view, Washington should just have held strategic sites in the country to keep terrorists off balance and not engaged in an ambitious reconstruction of Afghan society.

      • 20 Years After 9/11, Republicans Are the Greatest Threat to the United States
      • ‘The Other 9/11′: Progressives Remember Allende’s Chile

        As people reflect on the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, progressives drew attention to another horrifying event less well-known in the U.S. but referred to elsewhere as “the other 9/11″: the bombing of Chile’s presidential palace on September 11, 1973 by the nation’s armed forces during a right-wing coup supported by Washington and other capitalist regimes.

        Salvador Allende, Chile’s democratically elected socialist president, died during the assault on La Moneda in Santiago, which brought to power Gen. Augusto Pinochet, whose brutal military junta imposed neoliberalism through deadly force, torture, and the “disappearance” of thousands of leftists. Despite its awareness of Pinochet’s human rights abuses, including his execution of political opponents, the U.S. continued to support the pro-market dictator during his bloody, 17-year-long reign.

      • Opinion | The Innocent Victims of America’s War on Terror Deserve Remembrance Too

        Few who offer their prayers this September in the hallowed plaza where the Twin Towers once stood will be aware that the September 11 memorial echoes a 1987 Holocaust “counter-memorial” in Kassel, Germany.

      • We Owe Reparations to the Victims of Our Forever Wars
      • EDF commander: We can’t rule out eventuality of Russian military attack

        “Russia’s goal likely isn’t to occupy us – it does not want to gain control through occupation, but it enjoys instability and influence via instability,” Lt. Gen. Herem continued.

        “[It] is not necessary to occupy Tallinn to do so. For this, a short-term, limited invasion could be made with military forces supported before, after and at the same time with other elements of hybrid warfare,” he went on, adding the scenario could be similar to the long-running conflict in eastern Ukraine, or a shorter variant of that.

      • Investigations of US Drone Attack That Killed 10 Afghans Find No Evidence of Explosives in Vehicle

        The last known missile launched by the U.S. during its 20-year war in Afghanistan—the August 29 drone attack in a Kabul neighborhood that killed 10 civilians—was described by Gen. Mark Milley as a “righteous strike” that targeted a parked vehicle suspected of holding explosives, along with the driver and another man suspected of having militant ties.

        A pair of investigations published Friday, however, revealed that—contrary to the Pentagon’s claims—there were no bombs in the car, the men accused of “suspicious” behavior were engaged in peaceful activities related to the driver’s job, and there were eight additional defenseless victims in the vicinity of the sedan destroyed by a missile fired after several hours of surveillance.

      • U.N. says Afghan staff increasingly harassed, intimidated since Taliban takeover

        Afghan staff of the United Nations are being increasingly subjected to harassment and intimidation since the Taliban came to power last month, the U.N. special envoy on Afghanistan Deborah Lyons said on Thursday.

        Lyons told the Security Council that U.N. premises had largely been respected, although there were some exceptions.

      • U.N. chief urges China, US to keep bilateral spats out of climate fight

        U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the United States and China on Friday to prevent any problems between the superpowers from harming cooperation to combat climate change ahead of the U.N. COP26 climate change conference next month.

        Ties between the world’s two biggest economies have been languishing at their lowest point in decades over issues ranging from human rights to transparency over the origins of COVID-19.

        “We understand that there are problems in the relations between the U.S. and China, but those problems do not interfere with the needs of both the U.S. and China to do everything possible to make sure that the COP is a success, independently of the relations between the two,” Guterres told reporters.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • FBI releases first Sept. 11 document following Biden executive order

        The FBI released its first document related to an investigation of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks Saturday night, less than 10 days after President Biden signed an executive order directing the Justice Department and related agencies to make some files public.

        The FBI released a heavily redacted report from April 2016 related to its investigation regarding the role that the Saudi Arabian government had in supporting the hijackers who carried out the terror attack.

    • Environment

      • The lost generation of ancient trees

        The way we manage forests has changed, explains Paul Rutter, woodland advisor for Plantlife and project officer at Ancients of the Future, a collaboration between conservation charities Buglife, Plantlife, and the Bat Conservation Trust. The intensification of agriculture has meant the removal of many hedgerows and trees that grow within them, as fields have been made larger. Traditional forest management practices have largely been replaced by plantation forestry and whole-tree extraction. Ancient trees are becoming smothered by overcrowded canopies, saplings, shrubs and brambles. Many have been felled for timber or urban development. Add to that an increase in tree diseases and the challenges of climate change. The result is that fewer trees are surviving – or being allowed to grow – into their old age.

        Which means that the race to old age is on. The Ancients of the Future has an unusual aim: to speed up the ageing process for some trees to ensure these habitats don’t disappear for good.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Facebook reportedly provided inaccurate data to misinformation researchers

        The Times reported that members of Facebook’s Open Research and Transparency team held a call with researchers on Friday to apologize for the error. Some of the researchers questioned whether the mistake was intentional to sabotage the research, or simply an instance of negligence.

        The flaw in the data was first discovered by a researcher at Italy’s University of Urbino, who compared a report Facebook released publicly in August to the data it had provided solely to the researchers. The data sets didn’t match up, according to the Times.

      • Facebook sent flawed data to misinformation researchers.

        More than three years ago, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook trumpeted a plan to share data with researchers about how people interacted with posts and links on the social network, so that the academics could study misinformation on the site. Researchers have used the data for the past two years for numerous studies examining the spread of false and misleading information.

        But the information shared by Facebook had a major flaw, according to internal emails and interviews with the researchers. The data included the interactions of only about half of Facebook’s U.S. users — the ones who engaged with political pages enough to make their political leanings clear — not all of them as the company had said. Facebook told the researchers that data about users outside of the United States, which has also been shared, did not appear to be inaccurate.

      • CBS’s ‘The Activist’ seems to think doomscrolling equals activism

        “It’s performative at best, and kinda makes light of the hard work a lot of grassroots organisations do on the ground, on a daily basis. Gross,” wrote Stephanie Yeboah, a writer and activist.

        It’s not just “The Activist”’s premise that’s hollow, but the solutions the show offers as well. The show measures “success” through “online engagement, social metrics, and hosts’ input” and, ultimately, the groups will head to Rome to attend the G20 Summit where they will meet with world leaders to secure funding for their causes. At its heart, “The Activist” buys into the liberal dream that simply raising awareness can enact radical change, a much easier task than approving laws or boycotting destructive companies. And when awareness itself doesn’t work, perhaps approaching Justin Trudeau as a venture capitalist for justice may do the trick.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • How Hollywood Sold Out to China

        Hers is a cautionary tale—and a common one these days. No matter their clout in Hollywood, filmmakers and actors have always been subject to bosses who decide which movies get to soar at the box office and which are left to languish. Now, more than ever before, that boss is Beijing.

        In 2020, the Chinese film market officially surpassed North America’s as the world’s biggest box office, all but ensuring that Hollywood studios will continue to do everything possible for access to the country. This also means China will assert itself more aggressively to control Hollywood. The country, which already places a quota on the number of foreign films that can be screened every year, banned them for nearly two months this summer because of celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party’s founding.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • ‘Everything Changed Overnight’: Afghan Reporters Face an Intolerant Regime

        Afghanistan’s vibrant free press and media industry, once celebrated as a success story and labeled one of the country’s most important achievements of the past two decades, has abruptly been transformed after the Taliban takeover of the country. Now, its survival is threatened by physical assaults, self-censorship and a dwindling journalist population less than a month after the Taliban seized control of Kabul, the capital, and began enforcing their hard-line Islamist policies.

      • Why is Biden Prosecuting Assange for Telling the Truth about Afghanistan?

        As we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11, in the midst of a wrenching reassessment of our endless wars, we cannot ignore the U.S. government’s persecution of those who revealed the brutality of the Afghan war and the lies on which it was founded.

        The Biden administration is stubbornly pursuing the extradition of Julian Assange, who exposed the corrupt motives and doomed policies behind the War on Terror. This unprecedented political prosecution poses a grave threat to truth telling and freedom of the press.

      • Taliban fighters detain, flog, and beat journalists covering protests in Afghanistan

        Over the last two days, the Taliban detained and later released at least 14 journalists covering protests in Kabul, the capital, against the group, according to various news reports and people familiar with the incidents who spoke with CPJ via phone and messaging app. At least nine of these journalists were subject to violence during their arrests or detention, according to those sources.

        Some journalists, including those with the BBC, were also prevented from filming the protest yesterday, according to the BBC.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • CJEU in surprise judgment: zero rating is illegal under EU law

        Zero rating is a widely used commercial practice which exempts certain online services from data caps of Internet Access Services, especially on mobile networks. This is considered a violation of basic net neutrality principles by digital rights organisations because of the incentives for using specific services invariably created by zero rating.

        The Net Neutrality (Open Internet) Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 does not directly mention zero rating. Article 3(2) only requires that agreements on price, data volumes and speed shall not limit the exercise of end-users’ right to net neutrality set out in Article 3(1). The official regulatory guidelines to the Regulation have a lengthy and very complex section on zero rating, arguably to compensate for zero rating being completely absent in the Regulation text itself.

    • Monopolies

      • FOSS Patents: No, the Epic v. Apple injunction absolutely positively DOESN’T allow developers to incorporate ‘buttons’ for alternative IN-APP payment mechanisms

        Sorry, that’s utter nonsense. On Twitter, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber tried to convince Nilay Patel that he was wrong. In the end, Nilay Patel still stressed that it’s up to the court to interpret its injunction. Well, John Gruber was right for the wrong reasons, and Nilay Patel arrives at the wrong result though he is right that the court–not Apple–will ultimately interpret the wording of the injunction. I’ve been rooting for Epic, and I wish everyone were as honest as Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney after losing a court battle. But I’m absolutely committed to telling people the truth.

        That article by The Verge (a website that actually did a great job covering the Epic Games v. Apple dispute) is simply what happens when one writes about a single-page document (the injunction per se) as if it existed in a vacuum–though it must actually be read against the background of the underlying 185-page Rule 52 post-trial order, just like patent claims are interpreted in light of the patent specification.

        Nilay Patel’s theory is absurd. It cannot possibly be reconciled with the part of the court ruling that deals with Apple’s anti-steering provision. I’m wondering why no one in that Twitter debate (unless I missed it) brought it up. So I decided to write this post to put an end to that phantom debate.

      • Apple declares victory in the Epic vs. Apple unfair competition lawsuit and then appeals the ruling.

        Apple won some parts of Epic v. Apple, but they lost the meat of the lawsuit.

        The ruling, which was actually a major disaster for Apple, will cost them billions, if their appeal is denied.

        Apple steals money from software developers and drives prices higher, like monopolies always do, by putting a software lock that makes sure you can only pay for the programs you use through their “app store”, and the terms for this app store make it the only app store that can be on an iPhone, and make Free and Open Source Software impossible.

        In fact, one of Richard Stallman’s complaints about the iPhone is that it does pretty much every nasty thing to attack the user that Android does, but it also goes much further and prevents the user from installing Free and Open Source Software. Not even Windows or Android does this, because you can get Windows software from anywhere, and Android lets you “sideload” apps or entire app stores, such as F-Droid.

        In fact, many developers publish apps in F-Droid, and then solicit donations for those apps through various platforms that are no more dangerous to pay with than the Apple store, but which don’t deprive them of much revenue.

        If the decision stands, then instead of having to hide the true cost of ownership of an iPhone in the software, and basically put upwards pressure on Android app prices too in order to prevent accusations of “unfairness” from the idiots who chose to be handcuffed by Apple, Apple will need to increase the price of the iPhone.

        I keep saying they’ll hit a ceiling to what people will accept, and indeed their marketshare is plummeting, with almost 9 out of 10 users choosing Android, but the higher and higher prices allow them to sell fewer phones and still be incredibly profitable.

      • Patents

        • Ericsson Fifth Circuit win further fortifies SEP owner stance in US [Ed: “Daddy, what does Ericsson make?” “Nothing, sweetheart, it’s just paying some thuggish patent law firms to blackmail those who still make things…”]

          SEP owners’ latest triumph at the appellate level suggests the smallest-saleable-unit argument won’t work in US courts, at least by itself, say counsel

        • Thaler comes up short in district court fight over inventorship rights for AI [Ed: Mr. Thaler is just totally trolling or ridiculing patent systems all around the world, both offices and courts. That helps discredit the system for what a lunacy machine it is fast becoming, unhinged from its original goals/rationale]

          The question of whether an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm can be an inventor has been making the rounds in the past couple of years, and the question came up again in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Stephen Thaler, who developed the Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience (DABUS) algorithm that has been credited with two inventions, failed to persuade the court that an algorithm qualifies as an “individual,” and thus patents must still be assigned to humans, at least where the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is concerned.

        • ToolGen Files Opposition to Broad Preliminary Motion No. 1 to Change Interference Count [Ed: Latest on the manic, irrational effort to patent life and nature in the United States]

          On May 28th, Junior Party the Broad Institute, Harvard University, and MIT (collectively, “Broad”) filed its Substantive Preliminary Motion No. 1 in CRISPR Interference No. 106,126, where ToolGen is the Senior Party. This Motion shared many similarities to a similar motion filed in Broad’s Interference No. 106,115 against the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier; Junior Party and collectively, “CVC”), but there were significant differences in the proposed Count 2 in this interference and the proposed Count 2 proposed in the ’115 Interference (wherein the Board denied Broad’s motion in that interference). On August 6th ToolGen filed its Opposition.

        • Update on Artificial Intelligence: Court Rules that AI Cannot Qualify As “Inventor” [Ed: Many false headlines falsely asserted that it is now possible to get patents for bots; but only in two rather small markets, and that too is subjected to appeals or further challenges]

          Striking a blow to patent applicants seeking to assert inventorship by artificial intelligence (“AI”) systems, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled on September 3, 2021 that an AI machine cannot qualify as an “inventor” under the Patent Act. The fight is now expected to move to the Federal Circuit on appeal.

          Proskauer has been closely monitoring the quickly-developing legal treatment of AI systems, especially in view of their implications for life sciences patents. AI’s presence in life sciences innovation is well established, for example, to predict biological targets of prospective drug molecules and to identify drug design candidates (among many other applications). As we reported in August, two countries—Australia and South Africa—have already permitted AI systems to qualify as “inventors” in patent applications. However, hope for a worldwide trend have been dashed, at least for now.

        • Robots are taking over the patent world – AI systems or devices can be “inventors” under the Australian Patents Act [Ed: No, what actually happened was, two barely-significant patent offices got successfully rick-rolled by a British provocateur]

          : A historic Federal Court decision says an artificial intelligence system is capable of being named as an “inventor” under the Patents Act 1990, with potentially significant ramifications for technological innovation and the patent system in Australia.

          In the first judicial determination in the world of its type, the Australian Federal Court has held that artificial intelligence systems or devices can be “inventors” for the purpose of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCA 879).

          Corresponding patent applications naming artificial intelligence system DABUS as the inventor and Dr Thaler as the owner of the DABUS inventions have been rejected by Patent Offices and Courts in other jurisdictions including the US, UK and Europe.

          Although a patent application may name an inventor as an artificial intelligence system, only a legal person can be the applicant for a patent or be granted a patent. The owner and controller of the artificial intelligence system may derive title to a patent from an AI “inventor”.

          This decision opens up the possibility of patent applications for inventions created by AI systems/devices in various scientific fields and industries.

          The decision may be appealed to the Full Federal Court.

      • Copyrights

        • Massive Adult Site ‘Rule34′ Prepares Legal Action to Fight Bogus Homepage Delisting

          Huge adult site ‘Rule34′ is preparing legal action to have its homepage restored to Google’s indexes. The site’s operator says that he believes he’s been targeted with one or more bogus takedown demands. However, rather than go down the DMCA route, his opponents have chosen to make more serious complaints, ones that cannot be countered using a simple form.

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 11, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:08 am by Needs Sunlight

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