09.20.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 20/9/2021: Linux 5.15 RC2 and pgAdmin 4 5.7 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 12:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Linux Action News 207

        Desktop Linux graphics are about to get a significant investment, Mozilla and Canonical work together on a Firefox Snap, and some key new insights into the Linux port to Apple’s M1.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.15-rc2
        So I've spent a fair amount of this week trying to sort out all the
        odd warnings, and I want to particularly thank Guenter Roeck for his
        work on tracking where the build failures due to -Werror come from.
        
        Is it done? No. But on the whole I'm feeling fairly good about this
        all, even if it has meant that I've been looking at some really odd
        and grotty code. Who knew I'd still worry about some odd EISA driver
        on alpha, after all these years? A slight change of pace ;)
        
        The most annoying thing is probably the "fix one odd corner case,
        three others rear their ugly heads". But I remain convinced that it's
        all for a good cause, and that we really do want to have a clean build
        even for the crazy odd cases.
        
        We'll get there.
        
        Anyway, I hope this release will turn more normal soon - but the rc2
        week tends to be fairly quiet for me, so the fact that I then ended up
        looking at reports of odd warnings-turned-errors this week wasn't too
        bad.
        
        There's obviously other fixes in here too, only a small subset of the
        shortlog below is due to the warning fixes, even if that's what I've
        personally been most involved with.
        
        Go test, and keep the reports coming,
        
                        Linus
        
        
      • [GIT pull] locking/urgent for v5.15-rc2
      • Linux 5.15-rc2 Released With Many Fixes, Addressing Issues Raised By “-Werror”

        Linux 5.15-rc2 is now available as the latest weekly release candidate for this next version of the Linux kernel. Linux 5.15 in turn should be out as stable around the start of November.

        Being just one week past the end of the merge window, Linux 5.15-rc2 has seen many fixes land in the past week. Among the post-merge-window items catching my eye this week were bumping the GCC version requirement for the baseline compiler version supported, Linux 5.15 now being slightly less broken for the DEC Alpha “Jensen” system, and an important fix for the KSMBD in-kernel SMB3 file server.

      • -Werror pain persists as Linus Torvalds issues Linux 5.15rc2 [Ed: Simon Sharwood continues to troll Torvalds. Compare the promotional language used to promote Microsoft vapourware like Vista Service Pack ’11′ and all those negative headlines about Linux.]

        Linus Torvalds has revealed that winding back the decision to default to -Werror – and therefore make all warnings into errors – has made for another messy week of work on the Linux kernel.

        “So I’ve spent a fair amount of this week trying to sort out all the odd warnings, and I want to particularly thank Guenter Roeck for his work on tracking where the build failures due to -Werror come from,” Torvalds wrote in his weekly missive about the state of kernel development.

        “Is it done?” he asked rhetorically. “No. But on the whole I’m feeling fairly good about this all, even if it has meant that I’ve been looking at some really odd and grotty code. Who knew I’d still worry about some odd EISA driver on alpha, after all these years? A slight change of pace ;)”

      • Graphics Stack

        • RadeonSI Gallium3D driver Further Optimized For Mesa3D Version 21.3

          Mesa3D, the open-source OpenGL driver for emulation of software and acceleration of hardware for recent graphics cards, as well as primarily used in Linux, has recently merged the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver, further optimizing the driver to be released during the next quarter.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Linux Malware Detect (Maldet) on Fedora 34 – LinuxCapable

        Linux Malware Detect (LMD), also known as Maldet, is a malware scanner for Linux released under the GNU GPLv2 license. Maldet is quite popular amongst sysadmins and website devs due to its focus on the detection of PHP backdoors, dark mailers, and many other malicious files that can be uploaded on a compromised website using threat data from network edge intrusion detection systems to extract malware that is actively being used in attacks and generates signatures for detection.

      • How to Install Podman on Debian 11

        Developed by RedHat, Podman is a free and open-source daemonless container engine designed to be a drop-in replacement for the popular Docker runtime engine. Just like Docker, it makes it easy to build, run, deploy and share applications using container images and OCI containers ( Open Container Initiative ). Podman uses user and network namespaces and In comparison to Docker, Podman is considered more isolated and secure. Most commands in Docker will work in Podman. and so if you are familiar with running Docker commands, using podman will be such a breeze.

      • How to Install ArangoDB on Ubuntu Linux

        Every good application requires a database management system to match. As we know there are many of them and in many different categories. Today we will talk about how to install ArangoDB on Linux.
        In a nutshell, ArangoDB is an open-source NoSQL database system, and it is easily administered via the integrated web interface or the command-line interface.

      • How to Install Java 17 LTS (JDK 17) on Ubuntu 20.04 – LinuxCapable

        Java is a general-purpose, class-based, object-oriented multipurpose programming language that is popular due to the design of having lesser implementation dependencies, meaning that the compiled Java code can be run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation. Java is also fast, secure, and reliable, therefore. It is widely used for developing Java applications in laptops, data centers, game consoles, scientific supercomputers, cell phones, etc.

        JDK 17 (JDK 17) has brought forward new language enhancements, updates to the libraries, support for new Apple computers, removals and deprecations of legacy features, and work to ensure Java code written today will continue working without change in future JDK versions.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the latest Java 17 (JDK 17) on Ubuntu 20.04.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Obarun 2021.07.26

          The distribution is available in two flavours, Minimal and with JWM as the default window manager. The Minimal edition is an 837MB download while the JWM edition is 1.3GB in size. I chose to download the JWM edition for x86_64 computers.

          Booting from the provided ISO brings up a menu offering to start the distribution in Live, Persistent, or Run From RAM modes. This gives us some flexibility in how we wish to use the live media. I chose to take the default, plain live mode. The live session boots to a text console where we are shown login credentials for both the root user and a regular user account. Signing in as the regular user, oblive, automatically launches a graphical environment.

          The JWM-powered desktop places a panel along the bottom of the screen. The panel holds an application menu, task switcher, and system tray. On the desktop we find icons for opening a README file and for launching the system installer. The README file is a short text file with login credentials, links to on-line resources, and tips for launching programs from within JWM.

          Shortly after signing into the live desktop a network management window opens. This provides us with a utility for getting us on-line with minimal effort. The network manager window makes it straight forward to connect to wired and wireless networks.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

      • Debian Family

        • Backplane Systems Technology Presents Neousys’s IGT-22-DEV Industrial-grade IoT gateway Development Kit

          IGT-22-DEV provides a ready-for-use software environment featuring Debian Buster, Docker CE, Node-RED, Python3, GCC, and IoT platform agent configured with sensors and cloud connection. With minimum provisioning on the IoT platform, a web-based dashboard becomes available and can be accessed on a desktop computer, tablet, or mobile phone, wherever you may be. IGT series supports various programming languages, such as Python and GCC. On top of that, IGT-22-DEV has Node-RED pre-installed for intuitive graphical and local logic control of the built-in DO, allowing prompt responses. Unlike the standard IGT-22, the USB port of IGT-22-DEV is specifically set to OTG mode to provide serial and LAN functions over USB, so you can choose to connect to IGT-22-DEV with a USB cable.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • ASUS Tinker Board 2S is finally orderable in a Raspberry Pi form factor

        The Tinker Board 2S is finally available to purchase, with ASUS announcing it and the Tinker Board 2 last year. Currrently, SmartFly sells the single-board computer (SBC) on Amazon and AliExpress, starting at US$119.99 for the version with 2 GB of RAM. Alternatively, the company has the 4 GB of RAM model in stock for US$134.39.

        ASUS has equipped the Tinker Board 2S with a Rockchip RK3399 chipset that has two ARM Cortex-A72 cores, four ARM Cortex-A53 cores and an ARM Mali-T860 MP4 GPU. All RAM is LPDDR4 and is complemented by 16 GB of eMMC flash storage. Additionally, the SBC has four USB ports, a single HDMI 2.0 connection, RJ45 Gigabit LAN and an M.2-2230 slot populated by Bluetooth/Wi-Fi card.

      • Arm PSA Level 3 certified Sub-GHz wireless SoCs support Amazon Sidewalk, mioty, Wireless M-Bus, Z-Wave…

        Silicon Labs has announced two new sub-GHz wireless SoCs with EFR32FG23 (FG23) and EFR32ZG23 (ZG23) devices adding to the company’s Gecko Series 2 Cortex-M33 platform.

      • Top 10 IoT Boards for Development and Prototyping in 2021

        This is one of the popular IoT Boards based on IoT Technology. The newest version of the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer is the all-new Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. This electronic board, which is the size of a credit card, has several enhancements. For starters, the power connector is USB-C, which may accommodate an additional 500mA of current, providing 1.2A for downstream USB devices. A pair of type-D (micro) HDMI connections have been installed instead of the type-A (full-size) HDMI connectors, allowing for dual display output within the existing board footprint. In Raspberry Pi 4, the Gigabit Ethernet magjack is now on the top right of the board, rather than the bottom right. It has a new operating system based on Debian 10 Buster, which will be released soon. The user interface has been modified, and new programs such as the Chromium 74 web browser have been included. Additionally, the Mesa “V3D” driver has replaced the legacy graphics driver stack used on previous models, allowing for the removal of nearly half of the platform’s closed-source code, as well as the ability to run 3D applications in a window under X, OpenGL-accelerated web browsing, and desktop composition.

        [...]

        The NanoPi NEO Plus2 is a FriendlyElec-developed all-winner-based ARM board that is less than half the size of the Raspberry Pi. But that doesn’t make it any less capable in terms of storage and performance. Its operating system is Ubuntu Core 16.04, a strong Linux distro. It has a 64-bit quad-core Allwinner A53 SoC with Hexa-core Mali450 GPU, 1GB DDR3 RAM, 8GB eMMC storage, Wi-Fi, 4.0 dual-mode Bluetooth, and 1 MicroSD slot, 10/100/1000M Ethernet based on RTL8211E-VB-CG. In comparison to the Raspberry Pi, the NanoPi NEO Plus2 has gigabit Ethernet, 8 gigabytes of eMMC storage, and two USB ports. It is powered by a micro-USB port and, despite its little size, offers expandable memory owing to a microSD card. It also has additional benefits, such as low cost, fast speed, and high-performance computation.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Astro Pi 2: New Raspberry Pi hardware with updated camera, sensors to head to the ISS this year

          Good news for earthbound Pi-tinkerers hoping to get their code into orbit: a follow-up to 2015′s Astro Pi is due to head to the International Space Station (ISS) this year.

          Time has moved on a bit since the Principia mission of Tim Peake where the first units were installed aboard the orbiting outpost. While over 54,000 participants from 26 countries have since had code run on the hardware, the kit has fallen somewhat behind what is available on Earth.

          To that end, some new units are due to be launched, replete with updated hardware. In this case, heading to orbit will be Raspberry Pi 4 Model B units with 8GB RAM, the Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera (a 12.3MP device) and the usual complement of gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, humidity, temperature and pressure sensors for users to code against.

        • Tracking Maximum Power Point For Solar Efficiency | Hackaday

          This build is incredibly extensive and goes deep into electrical theory and design choices. One design choice of note is the use of an ESP32 over an Arduino due to the higher resolution available when doing analog to digital conversion. There’s even a lengthy lecture on inductor core designs, and of course everything on this project is open source. We have also seen the ESP32 put to work with MPPT before, although in a slightly less refined but still intriguing way.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox Experiment is testing Bing as the default search engine [Ed: Mozilla is trying to just kill Firefox and be over with it already]

            Mozilla is running an experiment on 1% of the Firefox desktop population currently, which sets the default search engine to Bing in the web browser.

            Firefox ships with different search engines by default, and one of these is set as the default search engine. The default search engine is used when users type into the browser’s address bar or use the search field on the browser’s new tab page.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL: pgAdmin 4 v5.7 Released

          The pgAdmin Development Team is pleased to announce pgAdmin 4 version 5.7. This release of pgAdmin 4 includes 26 bug fixes and new features. For more details please see the release notes.

          pgAdmin is the leading Open Source graphical management tool for PostgreSQL. For more information, please see the website.

        • PostgreSQL Weekly News – September 19, 2021

          Pgpool-II 4.2.5, a connection pooler and statement replication system for PostgreSQL, released

          Database Lab 2.5, a tool for fast cloning of large PostgreSQL databases to build non-production environments, released.

          pgexporter 0.1.0, a Prometheus exporter for PostgreSQL, released

        • SQLite Linux Tutorial for Beginners

          This SQLite Linux tutorial is intended for beginners who wish to learn how to get started with SQLite database. SQLite is one of the world’s most widely-used Database programs. So, what is a Database, and what is SQLite?

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • 9 free software copycats that work better than the real expensive programs

          A great no-cost alternative is LibreOffice. This open-source office suite is especially great because its creators continually update it. You’ll get six programs, including Writer, Impress and Calc, which work just like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel, respectively.

          LibreOffice allows you to edit documents created in the official MS Office and save new files in Office formats, too. Someone on the receiving end of your .docx file won’t know you used a program other than Word to save it.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Gimp 2.10.28

            GIMP is a digital photo manipulation tool for Windows (and many other platforms) that’s considered to be the open source (free) answer to Adobe Photoshop. Like Photoshop, GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching, image composition, image construction, and has many other capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, and so much more.

            GIMP is amazingly expandable and extensible – it is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.

      • Public Services/Government

        • EU open source study highlights economic benefits but says Union is ‘on the back foot’ with industrial policy [Ed: By Microsoft Tim, with this slant]

          A new EU study of the economic impact of open source has mixed news. The economic benefits are huge, it said, but the EU is “on the back foot” when it comes to implementation.

          The study comes from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect), and was written by a team from Fraunhofer ISI and think-tank OpenForum Europe. Its focus is on the impact of open source software and hardware on technological independence, competitiveness, and innovation.

      • Programming/Development

        • Break point: Prometheus, JFrog, GDB, Boundary, Serverless Framework, Eclipse, Delphi, Kubermatic, and DataSpell

          The team behind monitoring system Prometheus has pushed version 2.30 into the wild, and with it some improvements to the scrape functionality. Amongst other things users can now adjust the scrape timestamp tolerance to save TSDB disk space in cases where a higher ms difference isn’t a problem. They also have access to an experimental way of configuring a scrape interval and timeout through relabeling, and new metrics behind the extra-scrape-metrics flag that expose the per-target scrape sample_limit value and scrape_timeout_seconds.

        • Java

          • Java 17 arrives with long-term support: What’s new, and is it falling behind Kotlin? [Ed: By Microsoft Tim]

            JDK (Java Development Kit) 17 was released today, the first long-term support release since JDK 11 three years ago.

            A new version of Java appears every six months, in March and September. According to the Oracle Java SE support lifecycle, these are supported only for six months until the next one appears, whereas LTS releases are supported for eight years.

            Java 8 (the last before a major revamp of the JDK in Java 9 with many breaking changes) has extended support until December 2030, while extended support for Java 11 runs up to September 2026.

            Suppliers of free OpenJDK editions of Java generally match and may sometimes exceed these support dates, but it is only the LTS editions that are intended for long-term use.

  • Leftovers

    • Revealed: Dancing monkey and raccoon attempting a break-in among wildlife photo finalists

      The winners of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards will be announced next month – click through our gallery below to see the finalists’ photographs

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Covid-19 and the new merchants of doubt

        On 9 April 2021, Open Democracy reported that Oxford University professor Sunetra Gupta, a critic of public health measures to curb covid-19 and a proponent of “natural herd immunity,” had “received almost £90,000 from the Georg and Emily von Opel Foundation.” The foundation was named after its founder, Georg von Opel who is the great-grandson of Adam Opel, founder of the German car manufacturer. Georg von Opel is a Conservative party donor with a net worth of $2 billion. “Gupta’s arguments against lockdowns—and in favour of ‘herd immunity,’” the report further noted, “have found favour…in the British government.”

        This is not the first time billionaires aligned with industry have funded proponents of “herd immunity.” Gupta, along with Harvard University’s Martin Kulldorff and Stanford University’s Jay Bhattacharya, wrote the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD), which, in essence, argues that covid-19 should be allowed to spread unchecked through the young and healthy, while keeping those at high risk safe through “focused protection,” which is never clearly defined. This declaration was sponsored by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), a libertarian, climate-denialist, free market think tank that receives “a large bulk of its funding from its own investment activities, not least in fossil fuels, energy utilities, tobacco, technology and consumer goods.” The AIER’s American Investment Services Inc. runs a private fund that is valued at $284,492,000, with holdings in a wide range of fossil fuel companies (e.g. Chevron, ExxonMobil) and in the tobacco giant Philip Morris International. The AIER is also part of “a network of organizations funded by Charles Koch—a right-wing billionaire known for promoting climate change denial and opposing regulations on business” and who opposes public health measures to curb the spread of covid-19.

      • Novo Nordisk Foundation, Harvard, MIT launch research center with focus on diabetes

        The Novo Nordisk Foundation, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have launched an initiative to gain insights into disease mechanisms.

        To accelerate efforts to mine genetic data for insights into mechanisms — and eventually rationally design treatments — the trio of entities launched the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Genomic Mechanisms of Disease based at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

      • Multi-omics analysis to decipher the molecular link between chronic exposure to pollution and human skin dysfunction
      • EU Nations Split Over Need to Renew Vaccine Export Controls [Ed: With all these patent monopolies and further restrictions it seems clear the goal isn't and was never to eradicate this virus; they've turned it into a profiteering and social control framework, plus nationalism]

        Several European Union governments are pushing back against a proposal by the bloc’s executive arm to extend controls on vaccine exports, according to people familiar with the matter.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • How a glitch in the Matrix led to apps potentially exposing encrypted chats

            The Matrix.org Foundation, which oversees the Matrix decentralized communication protocol, said on Monday multiple Matrix clients and libraries contain a vulnerability that can potentially be abused to expose encrypted messages.

            The organization said a blunder in an implementation of the Matrix key sharing scheme – designed to allow a user’s newly logged-in device to obtain the keys to decrypt old messages – led to the creation of client code that fails to adequately verify device identity. As a result, an attacker could fetch a Matrix client user’s keys.

            Specifically, a paragraph in Matrix E2EE (end-to-end encryption) Implementation Guide, which described the desired key handling routine, was followed in the creation of Matrix’s original matrix-js-sdk code. According to the foundation, this SDK “did not sufficiently verify the identity of the device requesting the keyshare,” and this oversight made its way into other libraries and Matrix chat clients.

          • How to use iPerf3 to test network bandwidth

            Admins must measure the throughput of their WAN links to ensure they are working properly. One way to do that is by using iPerf, the open source benchmarking utility. The latest version, iPerf3, is a complete rewrite of the code first developed by the National Laboratory for Applied Network Research in the 2000s.

            Like its predecessors, iPerf3 tests the bandwidth between any two networked computers to determine if the available bandwidth is large enough to support the transmission of an application.

            IPerf3 is built on a client-server model and measures maximum User Datagram Protocol, TCP and Stream Control Transmission Protocol throughput between client and server stations. It can also be used to measure LAN and wireless LAN throughput.

          • How to: Run OpenVPN on Windows, Mac, and Linux/Unix – Wi-FiPlanet.com

            Learn what it takes to get an OpenVPN Ethernet tunnel set up between a laptop computer and an office or home machine acting as an OpenVPN server.

          • Josh Bressers: Episode 289 – Who left this 0day on the floor?

            Josh and Kurt talk about an unusual number of really bad security updates. We even recorded this before the Azure OMIGOD vulnerability was disclosed. It’s certainly been a wild week with Apple and Chrome 0days, and a Travis CI secret leak. Maybe this is the new normal.

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • EFF protesting Apple CSAM identification programs on Monday evening | AppleInsider

              The Electronic Frontier Foundation is sponsoring a nationwide protest of Apple’s CSAM on-device protections it announced, then delayed, for iOS 15 and macOS Monterey. The protest is being held in several major US cities, including San Francisco, Atlanta, New York, Washington D.C., and Chicago.

              A post from the EFF outlines the protest and simply tells Apple, “Don’t scan our phones.” The EFF has been one of the largest vocal entities against Apple’s CSAM detection system that was meant to release with iOS 15, citing that the technology is no better than mass government surveillance.

            • China’s new proposed law could strangle the development of AI [Ed: Dumb 'journalism' which calls everything "hey hi" deserves ridicule and condemnation; who writes nonsense such as this?]

              China’s internet watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), recently issued a draft proposal of regulations to manage how technology companies use algorithms when providing services to consumers.

            • ExpressVPN bought for $1bn by Brit biz with an intriguing history in adware • The Register

              UK-headquartered Kape Technologies announced on Monday it has acquired ExpressVPN in a $936m (£675m) cash and stocks deal, a move it claims will double its customer base to at least six million.

              In a canned statement, Kape said combining the two companies would “create a premium consumer privacy and security player,” and that the acquisition “further positions Kape to define the next generation of privacy and security protection tools and services to return greater control over the digital sphere to consumers.”

            • Australia gave police power to compel sysadmins into assisting account takeovers – so they plan to use it

              Australia’s Federal Police force on Sunday announced it intends to start using new powers designed to help combat criminal use of encryption by taking over the accounts of some social media users, then deleting or modifying content they’ve posted.

              The law also requires sysadmins to help those account takeovers.

              The force (AFP) stated its intentions in light of the late August passage of the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2021, which was first mooted in December 2020. While the Bill was subject to consultation, few suggestions were incorporated and in August the Bill sped through Australia’s Parliament after two days of superficial debate with many suggested amendments ignored.

            • Confidentiality

              • Your car knows too much about you. That could be a privacy nightmare.

                As Jon Callas, the Electric Frontier Foundation’s director of technology projects, explained to Mashable, newer cars — and Teslas in particular — are in many ways like smartphones that just happen to have wheels. They are often WiFi-enabled, come with over a hundred CPUs, and have Bluetooth embedded throughout. In other words, they’re a far cry from the automobiles of even just 20 years ago.

                If your car knows where you go, and how long you stay there, it, like your cellphone, also hypothetically knows whether you’re a churchgoer, attend AA, or made a recent trip Planned Parenthood. And, depending on what features you’ve enabled, it may not keep that information to itself.

                But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

                [...]

                “All of these things are at least theoretically able to be logged,” cautioned Callas. “And there is a port that you can connect something to — and there’s lots of hardware and software that you can connect to your car and get all sorts of telemetry information about how the car is running — and just like there are people who hack their computers there are people who hack their cars.”

                In fact, there’s an entire industry built around monitoring, logging, analyzing, and monetizing this type of data. Dubbed telematics, the average consumer may know it as the technology insurance companies use to provide good-driver discounts.

                Progressive calls its driver-tracking program Snapshot. Allstate’s program is branded as Drivewise. And Farmers Insurance dubbed its version — which comes in the form of an app with access to drivers’ location data — Signal.

    • Environment

      • NSF EPSCoR grant will advance manufacturing of renewable and recyclable plastics

        Plastics are an indispensable part of today’s society. These nimble polymers help keep foods fresh, cars safe, arteries clog-free and have countless other uses. But the benefits come at a cost. Each year millions of tons of discarded plastic pollute ecosystems, harm animals and exacerbate climate change.

        Now, a $4 million award from the National Science Foundation’s EPSCoR RII Track 2 program will bring together researchers from Kansas and Delaware and fund work to improve how plastics are manufactured and recycled.

        “We’re excited to advance technologies that will help society transition to a more sustainable plastic economy,” said lead investigator Bala Subramaniam, Dan F. Servey Distinguished Professor of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering at the University of Kansas and director of KU’s Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Walmart says crypto payments announcement is fake. Litecoin tumbles after spike

        Cryptocurrency litecoin gave up a 20% gain and tumbled back to Earth following a fake press release sent out by GlobeNewswire that referenced a partnership with Walmart.

        Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove confirmed that the press release is not authentic. He also said the retailer has been in touch with the newswire company to investigate how the false press release got posted.

      • Wikipedia blames pro-China infiltration for bans

        Wikipedia has suffered an “infiltration” that sought to advance the aims of China, the US non-profit organisation that owns the volunteer-edited encyclopaedia has said.

        The Wikimedia Foundation told BBC News the infiltration had threatened the “very foundations of Wikipedia”.

        The foundation banned seven editors linked to a mainland China group.

        Wikimedians of Mainland China accused the foundation of “baselessly slandering a small group of people”.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Beijing orders Alibaba, Tencent, more Big Tech to stop blocking links to rivals

        Beijing has yet again slapped regulations on Big Tech in China. This time, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has told app makers and web sites to stop blocking links to their rivals, or face the consequences.

        In a Q&A session at the start of the week on manufacturing and cyber development, MIIT spokesperson Zhao Zhiguo said this practice of restricting access to external services damages the rights of users and unfairly disrupts the market.

        The g-man said the action was prompted by complaints logged by the Ministry, and added that companies would be allowed to self-examine and correct their policies before any punishment is decided.

      • Apple, Google yank opposition voting strategy app from Russian software stores

        A tactical-voting app built by allies of Vladimir Putin’s jailed political opponent Alexei Navalny is now unavailable in Russian Apple and Google app stores following threats from the Kremlin.

        According to state-owned news agency TASS, Russian lawmaker Andrei Klimov told reporters on Thursday that the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office sent statutory notices to Google and Apple ordering a takedown of the Navalny app on the grounds it was collecting personal data of Russian citizens and sought to interfere in the nation’s elections. Refusal to do so would result in penalties, or perhaps worse.

        “The app particularly deliberately and illegally spreads election campaign materials in the interests of some candidates vying for positions in elective agencies or against the interests of such,” Klimov said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Amazon abuses dominance to keep wholesaler prices high, says DC AG in updated antitrust complaint • The Register

        Amazon has been accused of pressuring wholesalers into selling goods at inflated prices on rival marketplaces through anticompetitve agreements, thus unfairly cementing its market dominance.

        The allegations were made in an amended antitrust complaint that was first filed in May by Washington DC’s Attorney General Karl Racine and widened this week.

        In his updated lawsuit [PDF], Racine stated Amazon requires wholesalers, aka first-party sellers, to sign Minimum Margin Agreements before they supply goods to the web titan to resell on its marketplace.

        These agreements, it is said, set the minimum amount of profit Amazon expects to receive from reselling the items. The wholesalers must make up the difference if Amazon fails to get the agreed minimum amount of margin from people’s purchases, it is claimed. The prices of these products for shoppers can be varied by Amazon, according to the lawsuit.

      • Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on Traditional Knowledge: Idealistic Expectations or Unworkable Ideas? [Ed: India needs to understand that these rules exist to colonise and oppress Indians rather than help them get ahead]

        The Committee Report’s observations on TK start off with a lament on how TK and indigenous inventions by grassroot level innovators often do not meet the criteria of patentability and how the lack of a proper statute renders such inventions without protection. It notes the lack of awareness about IP rights amongst communities that hold substantial TK which has led to practitioners not gaining monetary benefits from the system.

        The Report’s first target is Section 3(p) of the Patents Act, 1970 which says that “an invention which in effect, is traditional knowledge or which is an aggregation or duplication of known properties of traditionally known component or components” will not be considered an invention for the purposes of the Act. The Report notes that this Section is too prohibitively worded. Thus, it suggests that this provision should be revised to ensure that TK-based research and development is incentivized. Further, it suggests that there should also be provisions, when this revision takes place, to ensure the investigation of patent claims concerning TK in order to prevent its misuse/exploitation.

        Focusing on cases of misappropriation of TK, the Report notes the absence of a proper mechanism for documentation of TK and also notes the shortcoming of the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) in being effective as a source of TK and its protection. The blog has seen posts noting certain shortcomings of the TKDL in the past, such as here. For this, the Report recommends strengthening the database, without delving into what exactly the shortcomings are or the measures to be taken to correct them. Another intriguing suggestion in this respect is the proposal to make the Government a joint owner in claiming IP rights alongside creators/communities to restrict misappropriation.

        The Report also recommends the “registration of traditional knowledge as Geographical Indication” (pg. 76 of the Report) if it is closely linked to a specific location. This, it suggests, would be “highly beneficial to consolidate traditional knowledge into IPRs”. The Report then discusses the need to study Utility Models / short-term patents as an alternative form of patents that may be a viable means to protect TK in the country.

      • Around the IP Blogs

        India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on IP reform drew further attention from Spicy IP, with a post covering the report’s recommendations on IPR and traditional knowledge.

      • Patents

        • Federal Circuit Reaffirms That Section 287 Requires Actual Notice of the Infringement

          In a precedential decision handed down last week, Lubby Holdings LLC v. Chung, a panel of the Federal Circuit reaffirmed the long-standing interpretation the the patent marking statute, 35 U.S.C. § 287(a), precludes an award of damages for infringing conduct pre-dating the defendant’s receipt of either actual notice of the infringement or, though marking, constructive notice. (There are more nuances to these rules than I will repeat here, but if you’re interested, see, e.g., here and chapter 2.9 of my casebook on Patent Remedies.) From the majority opinion (authored by Judge Dyk, joined by Judge Wallach):

        • Alfred E. Mann Foundation sells insulin infusion pump IP to Medtronic [Ed: It is really bad when patents are described as something they're not (IP or "property") and moreover sold]
        • Most Common Design Patents 1842-2021 | Patently-O [Ed: Patent litigation firm-funded Dennis Crouch is pushing one of the most ludicrous form of patents: design patents]

          This is a remake of a video I made a few weeks ago. This time, I was able to go back to the 1840s and show the most-common design patent titles from each era. To make the chart, I used a 14 year rolling average. Thus, for example, the top-10 list shown for 2000 is actually the top-10 based upon the period 1987-2000. The bulk of the data also comes via OCR of images and so there are some artifacts (although I did read-through the first 1,000 design patents). One example that shows up in the data are the “island” patents — that word was somewhat randomly picked-up. Enjoy.

        • Anonymous oppositions to continue at EPO [Ed: But the problem is that the tribunals are rigged]

          Following the grant of a European patent, there is a window of nine months during which oppositions can be filed against a granted patent and the revocation of the patent can be requested. The current practice of the EPO allows an opposition to be validly filed by a “straw man” – that is, by an opponent filing the opposition not in their own interest, but in the interest of an anonymous third party. This article discusses a recent case that challenged this practice.

        • Exclusive: AT&T chief reveals plans for new Global IP Alliance [Ed: Ridiculous corporate puff piece in "report" clothing. Seems to be sponsored: "For more information on the Global IP Alliance, listen to Managing IP’s corner office podcast with Frank, due to be published next week."]
        • Looking to LATAM: how in-house manage IP in a changing region [Ed: Some imperialism by patents in LATAM]

          Counsel at Novartis, Volvo and three other companies reveal which countries they prioritise and the challenges they encounter in Latin America

        • Wind power boom is fanning high-stakes international patent activity [Ed: Total nonsense. Instead of tackling climate issues some lawyers and firms have a gold rush over patents of monopolies, which in turn restrict access to lesser-polluting advancements. This uses EPO greenwashing for propaganda.]

          In April 2021, the European Patent Office and International Energy Authority (IEA) released a joint report, “Patents and the Energy Transition” surveying global trends in low-carbon and clean-energy technology. The report identified patenting trends across a variety of low-carbon energy (LCE) technologies, using an international patent family (IPF) metric to measure patenting activity, each IPF covering a single invention, de-duplicating patents filed across different countries.

        • Understanding The Different Types Of Patent Claims

          A patent claim can be defined as a sentence in a patent application that elucidates an invention’s features and components. In other words, a patent claim describes the functionality of an invention and its corresponding features which has to be patented. Typically, patent claims are enlisted at the end of a patent application. As per section 10(4) (c) of the Patents Act, 1970, every complete specification must end with a patent claim or patent claims which aims to define the scope of the invention for which the protection is claimed. Patent claims play a pivotal role in a patent application. For one, it prevents unauthorized parties from duplicating or commercially exploiting the features, components, and functionalities enlisted in the claims. Patent claims must be described in detail, leaving no room for ambiguities or speculations. Apart from comprehensive descriptions, diagrams, flow charts or graphical representations of the invention would immensely strengthen and support the claims that are enlisted in an application.

        • Euro-PCT Patent Application Route[Ed: Haseltine Lake Kempner LLP failing to mention any of the corruption at the EPO and the misuse of granting authority to issue loads of fake patents]

          A European patent application can be obtained by entering the European regional phase from an International PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) application, commonly referred to as the “Euro-PCT route”.

          A European patent obtained through this route provides the applicant with the same protection and rights as a European patent obtained through a direct filing at the European Patent Office (EPO). With the Euro-PCT route, the first phase of the procedure (the International phase) is subject to the PCT, while the second phase (the regional phase) is before the EPO and is governed by the European Patent Convention (EPC).

        • KFC Is Taking on Vegan Chicken Tenderloins [Ed: A lot of this "plant-based" marketing became little but a patent trap, with patents controlled by people who eat meat]
        • electroCore Announces New Patent Expanding Claims Related to Delivery of Non-Invasive Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy Using Mobile Devices [Ed: Issuing entire press releases about nothing but a patent instead of actual products]
        • Software Patents

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • Ghosts in the machine learning pipeline will be impossible to exorcise • The Register

          There is, of course, no law explicitly covering this. You can’t copyright, trademark or patent a real-life personality. Impersonating the living is a valid career, free of licensing requirements. And the law seems reluctant to be inventive just because there’s technology involved. Last week in the US, a judge decided that AIs cannot patent their inventions, much like monkey selfies can’t be copyrighted, so whatever an AI output is, it’s not going to be easy to legally control.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 22, 2021



  2. [Meme] [Teaser] Crime Express

    The series about Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" (20 parts thus far) culminates as the next station is the Balkan region



  3. Links 23/10/2021: Star Labs/StarLite, Ventoy 1.0.56

    Links for the day



  4. Gemini on Sourcehut and Further Expansion of Gemini Space

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  5. Unlawful Regimes Even Hungary and Poland Would Envy

    There’s plenty of news reports about Polish and Hungarian heads of states violating human rights, but never can one find criticism of the EPO’s management doing the same (the mainstream avoids this subject altogether); today we examine how that area of Europe voted on the illegal "Strike Regulations" of Benoît Battistelli



  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group

    The EPO‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (which helped Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos illegally crush or repress EPO staff) were supported by only one among 4 Visegrád delegates



  7. [Meme] IBM Has Paid ZDNet to Troll the Community

    Over the past few weeks ZDNet has constantly published courses with the word "master" in their headlines (we caught several examples; a few are shown above); years ago this was common, also in relation to IBM itself; clearly IBM thinks that the word is racially sensitive and offensive only when it's not IBM using the word and nowadays IBM pays ZDNet — sometimes proxying through the Linux Foundation — to relay this self-contradictory message whose objective is to shame programmers, Free software communities etc. (through guilt they can leverage more power and resort to projection tactics, sometimes outright slander which distracts)



  8. [Meme] ILO Designed to Fail: EPO Presidents Cannot be Held Accountable If ILOAT Takes Almost a Decade to Issue a Simple Ruling

    The recent ILOAT ruling (a trivial no-brainer) inadvertently reminds one of the severe weaknesses of ILOAT; what good is a system of accountability that issues rulings on decisions that are barely relevant anymore (or too late to correct)?



  9. Links 22/10/2021: Trump's AGPL Violations and Chrome 95 Released

    Links for the day



  10. [Meme] How Corporate Monopolies Demonise Critics of Their Technically and Legally Problematic 'Products'

    When the technical substance of some criticism stands (defensible based upon evidence), and is increasingly difficult to refute based on facts, make up some fictional issue — a straw man argument — and then respond to that phony issue based on no facts at all



  11. Links 22/10/2021: Global Encryption Day

    Links for the day



  12. [Meme] Speaking the Same Language

    Language inside the EPO is misleading. Francophones Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos casually misuse the word “social”.



  13. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)



  14. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021



  15. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day



  16. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)



  17. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity



  18. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses



  19. [Meme] Don't Mention 'Brexit' to Team UPC

    It seems perfectly clear that UPC cannot start, contrary to what the EPO‘s António Campinos told the Council last week (lying, as usual) and what the EPO insinuates in Twitter; in fact, a legal challenge to this should be almost trivial



  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States

    How unlawful EPO rules were unsurprisingly supported by Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in Baltic states; António Campinos maintained those same unlawful rules and Baltic connections, in effect liaising with offices known for their corruption (convicted officials, too; they did not have diplomatic immunity, unlike Battistelli and Campinos)



  21. Links 21/10/2021: GIMP 2.99.8 Released, Hardware Shortages, Mozilla Crisis

    Links for the day



  22. How Oppressive Governments and Web Monopolists Might Try to Discourage Adoption of Internet Protocols Like Gemini

    Popular movements and even some courageous publications have long been subverted by demonisation tactics, splits along unrelated grounds (such as controversial politics) and — failing that — technical sabotage and censorship; one must familiarise oneself with commonly-recurring themes of social control by altercation



  23. [Meme] Strike Triangulations, Reception Issues

    Financial strangulations for Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations”? The EPO will come to regret 2013…



  24. [Meme] Is Saying “No!” to Unlawful Proposals Considered “Impolite”?

    A ‘toxic mix’ of enablers and cowards (who won’t vote negatively on EPO proposals which they know to be unlawful) can serve to show that the EPO isn’t a “social democracy” as Benoît Battistelli liked to call it; it’s just a dictatorship, currently run by the son of a person who actually fought dictatorship



  25. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 20, 2021



  26. [Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

    An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013...



  27. Links 21/10/2021: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 and Maui Report

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] [Teaser] “Judge a Person Both by His Friends and Enemies”

    Fervent supporters of Team Battistelli or Team Campinos (a dark EPO era) are showing their allegiances; WIPO and EPO have abused staff similarly over the past decade or so



  29. 'Cluster-Voting' in the European Patent Office/Organisation (When a Country With 1.9 Million Citizens Has the Same Voting Power as a Country With 83.1 Million Citizens)

    Today we examine who has been running the Finnish patent office and has moreover voted in the EPO during the ballot on unlawful "Strike Regulations"; they voted in favour of manifestly illegal rules and for 8.5 years after that (including last Wednesday) they continued to back a shady regime which undermines the EPO's mission statement



  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord

    The Finnish outpost has long been strategic to the EPO because it can help control the vote of four or more nations; evidence suggests this has not changed


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