EPO-Bribed IAM ‘Media’ Has Praised Quality, Which Even EPO Staff (Examiners) Does Not Praise

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 9:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Purple people
Office run by lying, law-breaking ‘suits’ instead of scientists

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

As we noted earlier this month and last month — preparation and publication, respectively — IAM had (once again, as usual) orchestrated the “quality” festival for Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, seeking to mislead and manipulate EPO governance by a false sense of calm. Are they supposed to feel like their mis-governance accomplished success?

Over the years we published many articles about patent quality. We also saw EPO staff coming under exceptional threats/fire for merely pointed out the fact quality of European Patents (or validity of them) was rapidly decreasing. Instead of giving traffic/attention to the annual IAM lies (Watchtroll has just written about the EPO as well), let’s repost below a publication of relevance from earlier this year. We never reproduced it as HTML (and Gemini), but it’s never too late:

Time and Timeliness vs. Quality and Production Pressure?

Management is very proud of the quality of EPO products. Indeed, Goal 3 of the Strategic Plan 2020-2023 is to “Deliver high-quality products (and services efficiently)”.

But have you ever wondered how the quality of a search and a grant is actually defined? We have, and have previously written in detail on the topic.

The Office has also thought a lot about this issue, dedicating an entire intranet page (“Creating a common definition of quality”) to the search for a proper definition.

From that page, it can be derived that on the one hand:

• quality is still to be defined, i.e. one of the EPO’s projects is to ‘Develop a common definition of quality for EPO search and examination products that is agreed and shared with internal and external users’”,

but on the other hand

“quality is our top priority”.

Thus, as soon as quality is properly defined, it will be our top priority. Let’s assume that to be true.

Elsewhere on the intranet (“Early Certainty: EPO’s plan to improve timeliness and address business‘ needs”) we can read that “The EPO strives to provide high quality products which withstand potential post-grant proceedings. This establishes legal certainty”. So we can derive that quality is based, among other things, on whether the best prior art was found before examination.

Let’s now take a step back and look at what happens in reality.

The Office sets production targets that have considerably reduced the time available per application for each examiner. However, the less time you have, the less probable it will be that you can find the best prior art, thoroughly examine the application to check the requirements of the EPC, and draft your findings in a way that the applicant can understand them.

Therefore, this lessens the probability that your granted patent will withstand potential post-grant proceedings. This in turn can only worsen the quality, should it be defined as maximum legal validity. A detailed treatise on quality using this definition authored by the CSC inter alia can be found here1.

There are known counter-arguments to any pleas for increased (or even maintained) time for processing searches and examinations:

“If you can do this dossier in 3 days, you can do it in 3 days minus 1 hour”. This implies, if taken to its absurd, iterative conclusion, that every dossier could eventually be completed in zero minutes. Taken to an even more absurd extreme, we would be completing dossiers in negative time.

“The Applicant cannot wait for our products, we have to deliver them ASAP”. Should this really be at the expense of quality, as defined by maximum validity at grant? It is well known to applicants that if they want to proceed faster they can request accelerated search / examination. Such requests remain rare.

This situation by itself is bad enough, but it is complicated yet further by all sorts of “nice-to-haves” which have now been given to examiners as “must have” objectives. For example, for unclear reasons dossiers at the beginning of examination (Priority 3 in the dossier management system) also now have to be dealt with ASAP, so that they will be finished by the end of the year. However, such actions often do not lead to a grant, considering the normal patenting practice of applicants. Many further parameters of various sorts are also given to examiners as objectives, with questionable value as hard objectives. An earlier paper on “over-parameterisation” can be found here2.

In conclusion, we still cannot understand how a system with ever-higher production targets, and ever-more “unproductive” but mandatory goals, can be reconciled with the quality target the EPO has set for itself.

Your Staff Representation

1 “Good enough? A discussion paper about Patent Quality at the EPO”, LSC Munich & Berlin paper (sc18003mp) of 19.04.2018
2 “All the President’s Peas”, CSC paper (sc18008cp) of 17.01.2018

Of course IAM et al won’t be writing about such simple facts; they’re paid to ignore reality or look the other way while the EPO spews out lots of Invalid Patents (IPs) instead of proper European Patents (EPs). We’ll publish more material related to this tomorrow (Sunday).

Tux Machines is 17.5 Years Old Today

Posted in Site News at 7:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Tux Machines — our ‘sister site’ for GNU/Linux news — started in 2004. We’re soon entering 2022.

AS Tux Machines noted about a month ago, today is a very special day because it’s a decimally-significant (quarter decade times seven) anniversary for us as we approach our 160,000th site node. Meaningful milestones are rare; they’re superficial, but they help morale.

Tux Machines microwaveThanks to all those who regularly contribute stories (Marius, Arindam etc.) and to readers who have been gathering news about GNU/Linux through Tux Machines for as long as Tux Machines has existed. Since our last server reboot we’ve served 115 million hits in that site. Since the birth of the site it certainly adds up to several billions. Maybe we’ll have over 200,000 nodes some time before our 20-year anniversary. Time will tell…

Approaching 100

Posted in Site News at 7:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: We’ll soon have 100 files in Git; if that matters at all…

THIS WEEKEND has thus far involved maintenance; more maintenance than publication. Coding, extension, and general maintenance-related chores (including backups) can be just as important as publishing articles for assurance of uptime, long-term preservation, and censorship resistance. Because perverts, online bullies, megalomaniacs and corporations on “power trips” (egotistic gratification) are always eager to suppress what embarrasses them.

Progress of code/coding tasks cannot be measured in terms that are purely numeric. It cannot be properly quantified by the number of files… or Git commits, or number of overall lines, or number of lines changed etc. All of these are subjective for many reasons (programming language, reuse, empty lines, efficiency and so on). In 2021 we gradually added tools we had developed for the site’s operations. Not all were added, for a number of different reasons, but we’re releasing more and more over time.

As of today, having added a couple more files, we’re approaching a little milestone:

~/Git$ find * | wc -l 

All of these are publicly available. And speaking of Git commits or mindlessly quantifying things, the campaign to dethrone Richard Stallman (RMS) was such an utter failure that the counter-petition more than doubled the ‘cancel’ signatures and may one day exceed 7,000 (not that it’s so active anymore).

RMS letter in December 2021
RMS letter in December 2021

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

Posted in Site News at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 7f59fbaed69a0a29c3cce6b03dc87da8

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

TO THOSE who never heard about Gemini Protocol, let’s quote this article, which says: “Gemini is an application-layer internet communication protocol for accessing remote documents, similarly to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol and Gopher. It is intended as a third alternative to those protocols. It comes with a special document format, commonly called “gemtext”, that allows linking to other documents. Started by someone known as Solderpunk, the protocol is now being finalized collaboratively and has currently not been submitted to the IETF for standardization.”

A fire alarmGemini isn’t just a transmission protocol but also a “special document format”, GemText. Ideally, almost everything in Gemini space should be in GemText, not text files (or gopher stuff). So over time we’ve been converting more and more material into proper hypertext with clickable links and all. First it was the index, then blog posts, then the wiki and so on. Next in the list we have IRC or IRC logs. The scrollback is now proper gemtext/gmi (after today’s work) and next will be daily IRC logs. The archives, which go back to 2008…

The video above explains some technical ordeals I’ve been having due to external factors (like bad ISP and wiring issues), resulting in loss of time and even downtime (3 hours for Gemini; first time in months).

This coming week we have some decent articles to publish, so stay tuned.

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

Posted in News Roundup at 6:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • What Is ’Apt-Get’ In Linux?

      Despite being accused of “hard to use” operating system, GNU/Linux OSes are fantastic free alternatives to Windows and macOS. Despite the growing list of Linux distributions, Linux is now as straightforward and intuitive as other operating systems. Unlike Windows, which only allows you to install apps from .exe files and the Windows Store, Linux has APT (Advanced Package Tool), which handles the installation and removal of packages/apps in the operating system.

      If you want to install a program on Linux, you’ll need to use the term apt-get, but what exactly is it, and what does it do? In this article, let’s sudo apt get-started to find out what apt-get is.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Windows Vs Linux: 7 Reasons To Switch To Linux

        The view that Linux is a server operating system only is an outdated view. There are hundreds of Linux distributions designed specifically to be beneficial for the average desktop/laptop user, and it is perhaps time you consider switching to Linux from Windows.

        When we talk about switching to Linux, we talk about using distributions like Ubuntu or Linux Mint instead of your Windows installation. Of course, you don’t have to get rid of Windows at the same day either; you can install Linux side by side with Windows if you wish, until you have finally made your mind about it.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa’s Classic Drivers Have Been Retired – Affecting ATI R100/R200 & More – Phoronix

          The day has finally come that Mesa’s classic OpenGL drivers (non-Gallium3D) have been cleared out of the code-base as part of their modernization effort for mainline.

          After a half-year pending, the “Delete Mesa Classic” merge request was honored today in eliminating the Mesa “classic” OpenGL drivers from the code-base. The drivers will still be maintained in an “Amber” branch, but considering how little focus these drivers have been receiving by upstream Mesa developers currently, don’t expect much (or, if any) real changes moving ahead.

    • Intel

    • Applications

      • Blender 3.0 Released! How to Install it in Ubuntu via Linux Tarball

        lender 3.0 was finally released! Here’s what’s new and how to install it in Ubuntu.

        The new release of the animation creation software features 2x ~ 8x faster GPU rendering, magnitudes faster loading and saving compressed .blend file. Also, it has updated theme, and a bunch of new options to customize UI layout.

        Other features in Blender 3.0 include…

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Corel DVD Copy

        Corel Corporation is a Canadian software company specializing in graphics processing. They are best known for developing CorelDRAW, a vector graphics editor. They are also notable for purchasing and developing AfterShot Pro, PaintShop Pro, Painter, Video Studio, MindManager, and WordPerfect.

        Corel has dabbled with Linux over the years. For example they produced Corel Linux, a Debian-based distribution which bundled Corel WordPerfect Office for Linux. While Corel effectively abandoned its Linux business in 2001 they are not completely Linux-phobic. For example, AfterShot Pro has an up to date Linux version albeit its proprietary software.

        This series looks at the best free and open source alternatives to products offered by Corel.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • 2 ways to install Chrome Browser on Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04 Linux

        Looking for an answer to how do I install Google Chrome browser in Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jelly Fish or Ubuntu 20.04 Focal fossa? Then here are the commands to follow. Chrome is the free internet browser from Google and with its search engine as default. It is currently one of the popular and most widely used browsers in the world, ahead of Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer (Edge). In terms of function and security, Google Chrome is well-positioned.

        Although Firefox is the default browser in Ubuntu, those who are not a fan of it and want Chrome can switch to it any time. The easiest possible methods are here.

      • How To Install Glances on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Glances on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Glances is a cross-platform curses-based system monitoring tool written in Python. Glances provide information regarding memory, CPU, Disk IO, file system, Uptime, processes, interfaces, alerts & many other system information.

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

      • Add Second Disk to Existing TrueNAS Pool in Mirror Configuration (RAID1)

        We are using the TrueNAS homelab server that we created some time ago to provide a share storage solution for Kubernetes.

        When we built the TrueNAS server, we went for the most basic and least expensive ZFS pool with a single disk. It worked well but did not provide any redundancy. While we didn’t store any important data in Kubernetes at the time, we do now. We’ve got ElasticSearch logs, WordPress MySQL databases, Prometheus metrics etc.

        We’ve purchased a second hard drive that is of the same size, and we want to use it as a mirror disk, also known as RAID1, to ensure that no data loss occurs in a case of a single drive failure.

      • Install AnyDesk on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy via Command terminal

        AnyDesk is an alternative to Teamviewer kind of application that enables the users to establish a connection for accessing remote Dekstop or Laptop via the Internet. Just like TeamViewer, it is also free for personal usage while commercial users need to buy licenses. Apart from Linux, AnyDesk is also available for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, FreeBSD, Raspberry Pi, and Chrome OS. Here we will see how to install AnyDesk on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy JellyFish using its repository and command terminal.

      • How to Use the du Command to Find Disk Usage in Linux – ByteXD

        The du (Disk Usage) command reports the estimated amount of disk space used by files and directories on a machine.

        It allows you to gain disk usage information quickly, and it can be used for things like tracking files and directories that are using up too much space on your disk drive.
        The du command accepts many options, which allow you to customize the disk usage results output in a variety of formats to meet your needs.

      • FinalCrypt

        Installation (Sparky 6 & 7 amd64):
        sudo apt update
        sudo apt install finalcrypt

      • How to install AnyDesk on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux – Linux Shout

        In this tutorial, we will learn the commands to add a repository of AnyDesk on Debian 11 Bullseye or 10 Buster. Those who don’t know about this app- AnyDesk is a popular and very simple to use remote server or desktop management application. It allows the users to control other computers remotely, or to control your computer remotely. The free remote access software is the alternative to Teamviewer.

        Although Teamviewer is de facto standard when you want to access a third-party computer and control it remotely. But with Anydesk there is a powerful alternative. In terms of functionality, both are very similar; apart from the remote desktop graphical access, both also offer functions such as file transfer and chat. The software is free for private users. For commercial use, companies have to go for a monthly subscription.

        AnyDesk is a cross-platform app, hence apart from Linux also available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. If this app is not the one you like then we also have covered the steps to install TeamViewer on Debian 11, you can go for that.

      • Install TeamViewer on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy | 20.04 Focal – Linux Shout

        Well, if you are thinking about how you can easily install the TeamViewer Remote desktop app on either Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy JellyFIsh or Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal fossa? Then here is the solution.

        Teamviewer is a popular and cross-platform application to access the remote desktop or server graphical user interface. It is free for personal usage but unfortunately, commercial users have to buy its license.

        Apart from remote access, the user can perform chat, video conferencing, file transfer, remote printing, and more. It offers high security by providing end-to-end 256-bit AES encryption.

      • How to install Erlang on ArchLinux – Citizix

        Erlang is a functional, general-purpose, concurrent programming language and garbage-collected runtime environment built for concurrency, fault tolerance, and distributed application architectures. It is supported and maintained by Ericsson OTP product unit.

      • How to set up an SFTP server on Arch Linux – Citizix

        In this guide we are going to set up an sftp server on an Arch Linux system. We will also set up a form of chroot where users can only access sftp with the shared credentials.

        The File Transfer Protocol is a standard communication protocol used for the transfer of computer files from a server to a client on a computer network.

        FTP isn’t popular today because it Lacks Security. When a file is sent using this protocol, the data, username, and password are all shared in plain text, which means a hacker can access this information with little to no effort. For data to be secure, you need to use an upgraded version of FTP like SFTP.

        SFTP Secure File Transfer Protocol is a file transfer protocol that provide secure access to a remote computer to deliver secure communications. It leverages SSH – Secure Socket Shell and is frequently also referred to as ‘Secure Shell File Transfer Protocol’.

      • How to install and configure RabbitMQ in Archlinux

        In this guide we will explore how to install the latest release of RabbitMQ in Archlinux system.

        RabbitMQ is an open source message broker software that implements the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP). RabbitMQ works by receiving messages from publishers (applications that publish them) and routes them to consumers (applications that process them).

      • How To Backup and Restore RabbitMQ Data & Configurations – Citizix

        This guide covers backup and restore procedures for various types of data a RabbitMQ node may contain.

        RabbitMQ backups are a JSON representation of your broker’s metadata. This includes users, vhosts, queues, exchanges, and bindings. Backups are made against a running cluster using the export command provided by the RabbitMQ management plugin. Messages are not included in the backup.

      • How to use dig

        Hello! I talked to a couple of friends recently who mentioned they wished they knew how to use dig to make DNS queries, so here’s a quick blog post about it.

        When I first started using dig I found it a bit intimidating – there are so many options! I’m going to leave out most of dig’s options in this post and just talk about the ones I actually use.

        Also I learned recently that you can set up a .digrc configuration file to make its output easier to read and it makes it SO MUCH nicer to use.

        I also drew a zine page about dig a few years ago, but I wanted to write this post to include a bit more information.

      • Setup C/GTK3 Programming Tools on Parabola GNU/Linux for Beginners

        This tutorial will explain how to install a full GTK version 3 software development kit on Parabola GNU/Linux computer operating systems. This will include the necessary components as well as the editor, compiler and documentation. Finally, we hope this helps people to develop more desktop free software. Now let’s go!

      • K3XEC | Receiving BPSK symbols (Part 3/5)

        This post is part of a series called “PACKRAT”. If this is the first post you’ve found, it’d be worth reading the intro post first and then looking over all posts in the series.
        In the last post, we worked through how to generate a BPSK signal, and hopefully transmit it using one of our SDRs. Let’s take that and move on to Receiving BPSK and turning that back into symbols!

        Demodulating BPSK data is a bit more tricky than transmitting BPSK data, mostly due to tedious facts of life such as space, time, and hardware built with compromises because not doing that makes the problem impossible. Unfortunately, it’s now our job to work within our imperfect world to recover perfect data. We need to handle the addition of noise, differences in frequency, clock synchronization and interference in order to recover our information. This makes life a lot harder than when we transmit information, and as a result, a lot more complex.

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • Steam support for Chromebooks could surface this week

        After months and months and even more months of waiting, it appears that we may finally get our first look at native Steam gaming on Chrome OS in the very near future. Affectionately known as project ‘Borealis’, the containerized version of Steam has been in the works for nearly two years and it was initially thought that Google was targeting mid to late 2022 for a release. With Chrome OS 96 just rolling out and the next iteration of Google’s desktop operating system not due until January of 2022, it’s fairly clear that this target was missed but that’s okay. I’d rather see a fully baked product released than a buggy piece of software that sours users to Chrome OS.
        Anyway, in its early development, I presumed that ‘Borealis’, a.k.a. Steam on Chrome OS, would simply be an optimized version of the Steam application that would install and run inside the current Linux container. Over time, we learned that Google was actually creating an entirely new container designed specifically to house Borealis and that it should run independently from the Debian container currently available in Stable Chrome OS. This makes more sense as Google can retain control of the Borealis container and keep it neat and clean for running Steam. Presumably, users will never actually interact with the container like you can with the Linux terminal.

      • [Reposted] Valve says DayZ and five other games are now anti-cheat ready for Linux (and Steam Deck)

        Valve’s Steam Deck handheld won’t have any exclusive games, but it is slowly filling in some holes in its Windows game library — Valve says Arma 3, DayZ, Unturned, and Planetside 2 now have functioning BattlEye anti-cheat when you’re using the Proton compatibility layer to play Windows games in Linux. That brings the total to six games, including Ark: Survival Evolved and Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. (Those two already had support as of November 8th.)

        That compatibility is important for Linux in general (and the Steam Deck handheld specifically) because they don’t play Windows games out of the box unless they work with Proton, and third-party anti-cheat software is known to interfere.

        But for two of the most popular flavors of anti-cheat, this shouldn’t be a difficult fix! Epic Games has said enabling Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) in Proton should take “just a few clicks” in the game developer portal. Valve has said enabling BattlEye is as easy as sending an email.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Pango updates

          I was hoping to wrap up my Pango work after the previous update, but unexpected trouble came in from the side – Benjamin made GtkLabel more serious about height-for-width, and that uncovered some inaccuracies in Pango’s line wrapping implementation. Sometimes, we would make our lines shorter than necessary, and ometimes, we would let a hyphen leak out of the allotted width, creating an overlong line.

          Fixing all this up took some serious effort, but I think it was time well spent. One of the outcomes is that Pango now has APIs to serialize PangoLayout objects, and these are used in the testsuite.

        • Felix Häcker: #21 Software Cleanup

          Update on what happened across the GNOME project in the week from November 26 to December 03.

    • Distributions

      • IPFire 2.27 – Core Update 162 is available for testing

        Another release is available for testing: IPFire 2.27 – Core Update 162. It comes with a brand-new kernel based on Linux 5.15, and it will be the last release supporting the i586 architecture.

        Once a few releases after upgrading to Linux 5.10, we have now rebased the IPFire kernel on Linux 5.15. Due to dropping or upstreaming our patchset this was a lot easier than the previous step to 5.10.

        The new kernel is long-term supported by the Linux kernel developers and comes with various new drivers and performance improvements. Noteworthy are various performance improvements on “zero copy” for increased throughput and lower latency; Core Scheduling (for safer Hyperthreading), and a new drivers for NTFS.

      • BSD

        • iXsystems Recognized in 11th Annual Best in Biz Awards for Most Innovative Product Line of the Year

          TrueNAS by iXsystems is the world’s most popular Open Source storage operating system and is the most efficient solution for managing and sharing data over a network. TrueNAS Open Storage provides unified storage for file, block, object, and application data – making it an exceptionally flexible storage platform for business. All TrueNAS editions — CORE, Enterprise, and SCALE — leverage the enterprise-grade OpenZFS file system to provide an all-inclusive data management solution that protects customer data with features like Copy-on-Write, Snapshots, Checksums, Scrubbing, and 2-Copy Metadata.

      • EasyOS

        • Balsa email client

          I have chosen an older gtk2 version, 2.4.7, as it has configure choices that suit EasyOS. For example:
          It integrates with Osmo personal information manager. I haven’t tested this, so don’t know how it works.
          It uses the libgtkhtml v2 library to render HTML emails. This is great, as libgtkhtml v2 is already in EasyOS, used by helpsurfer local document viewer, and Osmo.

        • JWM menu button text is broken

          I want to bring out a new release of EasyOS in a couple of days, so if the problem isn’t resolved quickly, I will roll back to 1685. Actually, 1685 works fine, I have had no issues with it, so really why upgrade just because there is a later version?

        • Kernel 5.10.83 compiled

          It was compiled with the 5.10.39 kernel, but was removed afterward.

          OK, it has returned. It must be understood of course, that the wl.ko module conflicts with others, hence has to be a separate PET. It means that every time you upgrade to a later version of EasyOS that has a later kernel, you will have to un-install the PET and install the one that matches the new kernel.

        • Mapping all download folders to one folder

          With the introduction of non-root client applications, there are multiple download folders. For example, firefox runs as user ‘firefox’, with home folder ‘home/firefox’, and default download path /home/firefox/Downloads’.

          OK, but if we have more non-root client apps, each with its own Download folder, it is starting to become inconvenient. Perhaps. Forum member hundido was showing a grandma how to use EasyOS, and she liked it, except for all these different download paths…

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS Stream 9 is Now Generally Available

          The release of CentOS Stream 9 has been carried out before CentOS Linux 8 expires at the end of this year.

          CentOS Stream saw the light of day in 2019 and fundamentally changed the work on the distribution. At the end of 2020, the announcement that Red Hat will shift its focus from CentOS Linux to CentOS Stream caused heated discussions.

          As you can imagine, many users were not satisfied with this decision. As a result, some replacement CentOS clones such as AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux soon came into play, which are now also generally available.

          Now the new CentOS project is showing off the latest and greatest in the first all-new release of CentOS Stream 9.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Hot not-Spot-bot spot: The code behind Xiaomi’s CyberDog? Ubuntu

          Linux fans rejoice: the smarts running behind Xiaomi’s Not-Spot, CyberDog, emanate from none other than Ubuntu 18.04.

          The Register asked Canonical why not something a little fresher, such as 20.04, and were told by robotics product manager, Gabriel Aguiar Noury, that “the operating system is running 18.04 rather than 20.04 because they are using Jetson, and 18.04 is more compatible for the approach the team had in mind.”

          The CyberDog bounded onto the global stage in August and represented the company’s first foray into the world of quadruped robotics.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Genode OS Framework release 21.11

        Genode 21.11 puts the spotlight on device drivers. Interactive Genode scenarios come to the Pinephone, hardware-accelerated graphics becomes available on Intel Gen9+ and Vivante GPUs, and Xilnx Zynq receives new love.

        The previous release presented our new take on porting drivers from Linux, and the architectural integration of hardware-accelerated graphics in Genode-based systems. The just released version 21.11 is the continuation of both topics. Thanks to our streamlined approach for transplanting Linux drivers to Genode, we were able to reuse the Pinephone’s Linux drivers for the display and touchscreen without modification. But, in contrast to running those drivers in the Linux kernel, we are walking on new ground by confining each driver in a separate sandbox.

        With our GPU line of work, we followed two major directions during the release cycle. For one, we applied our architectural approach to a second GPU vendor besides Intel, namely the Vivante GPU as used by the i.MX SoC family. Combined with the etnaviv Gallium driver of the Mesa library, Genode thereby becomes able to render graphics with hardware acceleration on the MNT Reform open-hardware laptop. The second branch is the promised extension of our custom Intel GPU multiplexer to GPUs of generation 9 or newer. Thereby, GPU support has now become a regular feature of the Genode-based Sculpt OS that can be taken for a spin on commodity PC hardware.

      • Genode OS 21.11 Now Has Working Intel Gen9+ Graphics, Better PinePhone Support

        Genode OS as the interesting open-source operating system framework is out with its v21.11 release this week and delivers on many hardware improvements and other features.

        Genode OS 21.11 delivers on a number improvements and new features such as:

        - Genode’s support for the Allwinner A64 SoC and in particular the PinePhone support has made “big leaps forward” this cycle. Touchscreen support and other functionality should be working now for the PinePhone on Genode.

      • Add CAPTCHA protection that’s not reCAPTCHA to a WordPress site – LinuxBSDos.com

        Want to add CAPTCHA protection that is not Google’s reCAPTCHA to the login page of your WordPress website? There is a WordPress plugin for that!

        And that’s how I ended up using CAPTCHA to protect the login page of this website. It was not planned, though. You see, it just so happened that I was trying to replace Google reCAPTCHA on a newsletter subscription plugin I wanted to use for this website. So I installed the CAPTCHA plugin, but I couldn’t get it to work as well as the default reCAPTCHA on the newsletter subscription form.

      • Strapi v4: Big changes in latest release of this open-source ‘headless’ CMS | ZDNet

        Strapi, the company behind the most popular open-source headless content management system (CMS) of the same name, has launched the next stable release of Strapi v4. This includes a new design system, user interface, plug-in Application Programming Interface (API), database query engine, and improved REST and GraphQL API performance.

      • 7 tips for virtual mentorship in open source | Opensource.com

        In open source, contributors collaborate across various projects, regions, and time zones. There are often untapped opportunities to create mentorship relationships through this distributed engagement. A mentorship is mutually beneficial to both the mentor and mentee when both parties are committed to the relationship’s success. Both the mentor and mentee grow professionally in the process. For example, the mentor develops their leadership skills, evolves, and prepares for career advancement. Here are a few ways to effectively build a positive mentorship relationship.

      • Events

        • Open-Source Firmware Conference 2021 Videos Now Available – Phoronix

          Taking place this week was the annual Open-Source Firmware Conference “OSFC” devoted to open-source firmware from Coreboot to open-source BMC solutions and other low-level booting/initialization efforts.

          OSFC 2021 was once again a virtual affair due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Organizing the event was Meta (Facebook), 9elements Cyber Security, and Google. Talks this year covered U-BMC, the Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS), Oreboot, Arm SystemReady effort for the Raspberry Pi, Arm LBBR, Coreboot, Slim Bootloader, and more.

      • Programming/Development

        • Haskell mortgage calculator

          A few months ago I was trying to compare two mortgage offers, and ended up writing a small mortgage calculator to help me. Both mortgages were fixed-term for the same time period (5 years). One of the mortgages had a lower rate than the other, but much higher arrangement fees.

          A broker recommended the mortgage with the higher rate but lower fee, on an affordability basis for the fixed term: over all, we would spend less money within the fixed term on that deal than the other. (I thought) this left one bit of information missing: what remaining balance would there be at the end of the term?

        • Best Programming Languages for Web Development

          Choosing the best programming language for your web development project is a critical task. An excellent choice facilitates rapid project development and helps your development team integrate essential features with lesser efforts.

          While there are many different programming languages, the most common ones used in web development are JavaScript, HTML, CSS, PHP, etc. JavaScript has a popularity of nearly 65% among developers worldwide, as per Statista.

          Do you know which programming languages are preferred by developers worldwide?

        • AMD AMF SDK 1.4.23 Brings Main 10 HEVC Encode, Auto LTR Encoder Mode – Phoronix

          AMD on Friday published a new version of their Advanced Media Framework “AMF” software development kit that enhances the multimedia processing capabilities for Radeon hardware.

          AMD AMF continues to support both Windows and Linux and supporting interoperability with multiple APIs including DirectX, Vulkan, OpenGL, and OpenCL. As the first AMF update since this summer, AMF 1.4.23 is rather noteworthy in now adding an Auto LTR encoder mode as well as Main 10 HEVC encoder profile.

        • Kioxia adds sophisticated admin tools and wider support to KumoScale – Blocks and Files

          The v3.19 KumoScale software also supports the Ubuntu distribution of Linux, the latest Kubernetes CSI version, and adds CSI and Ansible support of snapshot and clone functionality.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppAPT 0.0.8: Package Maintenance

          A new version of the RcppAPT package interfacing from R to the C++ library behind the awesome apt, apt-get, apt-cache, … commands and their cache powering Debian, Ubuntu and the like arrived on CRAN earlier today.

          RcppAPT allows you to query the (Debian or Ubuntu) package dependency graph at will, with build-dependencies (if you have deb-src entries), reverse dependencies, and all other goodies. See the vignette and examples for illustrations.

          This release updates some package metadata, adds a new package testing helper, and, just like digest three days ago, drat two days ago, and littler yesterday, we converted the vignettes from using the minidown package to the (fairly new) simplermarkdown package which is so much more appropriate for our use of the minimal water.css style.

        • Perl/Raku

  • Leftovers

    • Technology’s Role in Society: It’s Complicated

      “Welcome to the future – not 2021, as you might have been expecting, but 2025, or even 2030, depending on whom you ask,” said The Economist in a November, 2020 article. “The adoption of new technological behaviours in response to the pandemic, from video-conferencing to online shopping, means usage has already reached levels that were not expected for many more years.”

      For years, companies and governments found all kinds of reasons for not embracing work from home, virtual meetings, telemedicine, online learning, and other digital applications. But, the pandemic forced us to accelerate the digital transformations of the economy and society to help us cope with the crisis. And, not only have these digital applications worked remarkably well, but they offer a number of important benefits, like not waiting for a straightforward doctor diagnosis in a room full of sick people, and not having to travel for hours to participate in a 45 minute meeting.

      Post-pandemic, how much will things snap back?, asked The Economist. “Clearly the world is not going to return to its pre-pandemic state… some new behaviours will stick, but not all, and the result will be somewhere in the middle. Exactly where will have enormous implications: for transport patterns, property prices and the layout of cities, among other things.”

    • Hardware

      • [Older] Steam Deck SoC Is Codenamed Aerith; Valve Recommends Capping FPS, FSR Will Be Added on OS Level

        During the Steamworks Virtual Conference dedicated to the Steam Deck, Valve shared a lot more information on the hardware of its upcoming PC handheld system.

        To begin with, we learned that the custom SoC used in the Steam Deck is codenamed Aerith. The APU block, a combination of AMD’s Zen 2 and RDNA2 technologies, was specifically designed to accommodate the low target requirement for power (the TDP is 4-15W).

      • Paper Plate Surround Sound System | Hackaday

        With the holiday season, you might turn to paper plates to cut down on dishwashing after having family or friends over. But what do you do with the extras? If you are [TKOR] you make some speakers. The process is fairly simple and if you know how a speaker works, you won’t find any surprises, but there are some neat techniques you might pick up. You can see the video below.

        A drill and a steel rod help with the coil winding duty. You can probably adapt the technique to make other kinds of coils and we’d rig up an encoder to count revolutions, too.

        In addition to paper plates that act as transducers, paper bowls form the back of the speakers. They wound up with 16 speakers which would have been expensive to buy, but it might not be very attractive, depending on your sense of fashion.

      • Two Wire Sensors On LED Strips | Hackaday

        While addressable LED strips are all the rage, [Mike] from [mikeselectricstuff] has been working on an installation using the more basic two-wire strips that are simply controlled via PWM dimming. He’s recently figured out a tidy way to send sensor signals down these strips without adding any additional cabling.

        The build uses 24 V LED tape, which consists of gangs of 6 LEDs in series with a forward voltage of 3V. Thus, these strips don’t even begin to light until approximately 18V is across them.

        By adding a 15 V Zener diode and a resistor across the MOSFET which dims the LEDs, a voltage of around 9 V can be put across the LEDs without lighting them up when the MOSFET PWM dimmer is in its off phase. A PIC10F322 microcontroller and an accelerometer can then be run from this voltage, with the aid of a 3.3 V regulator wired in parallel with the LEDs. The regulator must also be able to handle the full 24 V when the LEDs are switched on.

      • Abandoned Airplane Takes Off Again As Luxury RV | Hackaday

        There it was, rusting in a field outside Rolla, Missouri — the vintage plane that would start [Gino Lucci] on the path to fulfilling this dream. This project began when [Gino]’s son spotted the body of a 1943 Douglas R4D military transport aircraft.

        Over the next year, [Gino] and his sons painstakingly fused the fuselage to the chassis of an International DuraStar 4400 medium-duty truck. We love how they went about it. [Gino] and the boys just kept putting the two together and cutting away the fuselage in stages until they got it right. After making it roadworthy, it took another two years to work out the kinks.

        The Fabulous Flamingo is 38 feet (11.6 meters) long and stands 12.5 feet (3.81 meters) tall. But the best metric is the width. It’s unspecified, but is apparently half an inch (1.27 cm) under the definition of what is street legal in Michigan. They used the plane’s engine cowlings as fenders and got the mirrors off of a ’70s Ford pickup. Floor it past the break and check it out.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • The DOCX Transition: The USPTO Explains Why It’s Delaying the Fee for Non-DOCX Filings

          On Friday, November 19, the USPTO announced that it will be delaying the $400 fee for patent applications filed in non-DOCX formats until January 1, 2023. Previously, the fee was set to take effect on January 1, 2022, but the Federal Register notice, officially published on Novemebr 22, indicated that the Office will undertake enhanced testing of its information technology systems as more users file in DOCX, and that it wants to give applicants more time to adjust to filing patent applications in DOCX format. The goal, according to acting USPTO Director Drew Hirshfeld, is to alleviate concerns that have been raised by users about rendering problems that could result in applicants losing their filing dates due to incorrect information being filed.

        • Security

          • Scanning Docker for Secrets – Infosecurity Magazine

            Owing to their structure and usage, docker images are likely to contain hidden secrets

          • Top IT Asset Management Tools for Security
          • Sensitive information of 30k Florida healthcare workers exposed in unprotected database
          • Security, Privacy Risks of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

            “There are multitudes of ways in which AI is particularly useful in the healthcare context. But there are a whole host of concerns in terms of how we regulate AI, particularly because AI is so dependent on gathering large blocks of data in order to learn,” Malek explained.

            “When you consider that, you see that there are data privacy and cybersecurity issues, ethical issues, and safety issues.”

            The volume of data that AI models can maintain is staggering. Without the proper safeguards and regulatory assurances, AI could pose risks to patient data security and privacy.

            When it comes to protected health information (PHI), covered entities have a duty under HIPAA to protect patient data. Engaging with any third-party vendor comes with risks that should be carefully assessed.

          • Still paying for antivirus software? Experts say you probably don’t need it [Ed: The advice here it poor; operating systems with back doors are not secure and the solution isn't in them but outside them, and not AV snake oil]
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • American diplomats’ iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

              The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

              NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers’ access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

              “Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations,” an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. “To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case.”

    • Finance

      • Pandora Papers: How journalists mined terabytes of offshore data to expose the world’s elites

        The Pandora Papers revealed how politicians, celebrities, royalty and fraudsters use offshore tax havens to hide assets, secretly buy property, launder money and avoid taxes.

        More than 600 journalists in 117 countries collaborated, using data tools to extract hidden connections between offshore companies and wealthy elites who used tax havens to hide their financial activities. Their investigation embarrassed politicians, royalty, celebrities and oligarchs worldwide.

        The Pandora Papers showed that one of the world’s longest-serving monarch, King Abdullah II of Jordan, had secretly built up a personal property empire.

        His portfolio, including luxury properties in Malibu and London’s Belgravia, were worth well over $100m. And they were bought at a time when his country’s citizens were facing severe austerity measures and rampant unemployment. Their true ownership was hidden by offshore companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.

        In Chile, opposition politicians launched impeachment proceedings against president Sebastián Piñera over irregularities in the sale of a mining company that were revealed in the documents.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • » Sony vs the internet (in this case dns resolvers) | dwaves.de

        “In the end, it may be bitter for Quad9 that they only got into the trouble by moving to Europe, where they wanted to establish themselves as a data protection-friendly EU alternative to commercial providers. According to Sony’s corresponding claim against the market leader Google in the USA – or even only against German users in this country – you are looking in vain so far.

        Quad9 Managing Director Jonathan Todd says they remain confident that the next instance will confirm the view that DNS resolvers as part of the Internet infrastructure are only “conductors” and should not manipulate the service at the request of private companies.”

      • India known as ‘internet shutdown capital’ of the world – The Federal

        Internetshutdowns.in, an internet tracker maintained by Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC), records a total of 550 internet shutdowns in India so far since 2012, and over 50 per cent of these shutdowns were imposed since 2019, a report in The Indian Express noted, further quoting Prasanth Sugathan, Legal Director at SFLC, as saying: “We source these shutdowns through media reports and suspension orders that are issued by the governments. These orders are not publicly available, which are then to be procured by filing applications under the RTI Act.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Obituary – Professor Margaret Sophia Moy Llewelyn (1962-2021)

          Margaret Llewelyn, Honorary Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the University of Sheffield, best known as one of the foremost experts on plant breeders’ rights and patent law, passed away on 2 November 2021.

        • Darling Ingredients’ Rousselot® Health Brand Obtains A Granted Patent from the European Patent Office for its SiMoGel™ Solution

          Launched in 2018, SiMoGel enables the production of nutraceutical gummies using a starch-free process – providing the hygienic conditions needed for supplements. The gelatin-based solution not only helps optimize the production process of nutraceutical gummies, but also enables producers to bring tasty, innovative and competitive delivery forms to the market.

          “We’re delighted to have achieved this important step in protecting our innovative SiMoGel solution,” says Randall C. Stuewe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Darling Ingredients. “The patent grant by the EPO strengthens our current patent portfolio and confirms that we are delivering truly innovative solutions to the market. In securing this patent, we are able to offer our customers even more opportunities for secure product development, allowing them to tap into the growing nutraceutical gummy market.”

Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

Posted in News Roundup at 12:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Co-Designing Raft + Thread-per-Core Execution Model for the Kafka-API

        Alex Gallego discusses the lessons learned building a new storage engine from scratch with no virtual memory, no page cache, with purpose-built read-ahead and write-behind strategies.

      • So it turns out Google would like to pass Knative to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation after all

        What a difference two years makes. Knative has applied to become a Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) incubating project.

        Google had insisted in 2019 that it would not be donating the framework to any foundation “for the foreseeable future” but a few short years later it has kicked off the process to donate the IP, trademark, and code to CNCF.

        CNCF was obviously cock-a-hoop about the whole thing, and Priyanka Sharma, the foundation’s executive director, told The Register: “Knative is a powerful technology that is enmeshed in the cloud native ecosystem making it easy to run serverless containers on Kubernetes. We welcome the decision and look forward to the Knative community contribution as it goes through the CNCF project proposal process.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Analog Devices expands Linux distribution

        Designed to enable the rapid development of embedded solutions, these open-source device drivers help to streamline the software development process for ADI’s customers, providing access to tested, high-quality software to create innovative solutions across a range of industries. This portfolio includes products from Maxim Integrated Products, now part of Analog Devices.

        Analog Devices has also released “Kuiper Linux,” a free Linux-based operating system based on Raspbian/Debian that is optimised for ADI peripherals and supports popular ARM-based systems such as Raspberry Pi, Xilinx Zynq, Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+ MPSoC, Intel Cyclone V SoC, Intel Arria 10 SX SoC, and Intel Stratix 10 SoC.

        The new Linux distribution focuses on ensuring ready-to-use in kernel Linux device drivers, offering embedded customers a robust system for software development, reducing risk and development time with pre-existing code that is peer-reviewed and industry backed.

    • Applications

      • Blender 3.0 – Neowin

        Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. Through it’s open architecture, Blender provides cross-platform interoperability, extensibility, an incredibly small footprint, and a tightly integrated workflow. Blender is one of the most popular Open Source 3D graphics application in the world.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • 6 Useful VirtualBox Commands You Can Use to Manage Your VMs

        Virtualization is one of the core computing technologies today. With a virtual machine (VM), you can run almost any operating system of your choice on your PC without breaking the bank to acquire extra hardware.

        This guide explores how to use the command line terminal in managing your VirtualBox virtual machines regardless of the operating system you are using, be that Windows, macOS, or Linux. All VirtualBox installations come with the VBoxManage command-line tool, a powerful and flexible utility for managing your virtual machines.

      • How To Install RPM Fusion on Fedora 35 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install RPM Fusion on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, The RPM Fusion software repo is a community-maintained software repo that provides additional packages for Fedora Linux which is not distributed by the official Fedora team. RPM Fusion’s goal is to make the end-user experience as simple as possible by centralizing as much add-on software as feasible. The RPM Fusion repository comes in two variants, Free and Non-Free. The free repository contains a free version of the software that is open source and non-free, which have mostly almost all free software but are closed source and mainly proprietary.

        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 RPM Fusion on a Fedora 35.

      • How to Install Apache Maven on Debian 11 Bullseye

        Download the latest version of Apache Maven to install on Debian 11 Buslleye Linux server or desktop using command line terminal.

        Apache Maven is an open-source automation tool similar to Ant and Gradle for automating and simplifying many of the procedures that occur over and over again in software development. It is sometimes referred to as the “Build Management System” and is part of the “Software Configuration Management ( SCM )”. While Ant is more command-oriented, Maven is more strategically oriented suitably for more complex multi-module projects.

        Managed by Apache foundation, Maven can also be used to build and manage projects written in C#, Ruby, Scala, and other programming languages. Here, we will learn the commands to install Apache Maven on Linux Debian 11 Bullseye distro.

      • Roblox 101: How to Create Custom Meshes

        Give your Roblox games a visual upgrade by building new graphics in Blender 3D.

        Contemporary video games have grown increasingly complex in terms of graphics and mechanical designs, with their realistic textures and immersive environments. Unfortunately, Roblox’s default, blocky environments prevent developers from matching those robust worlds. Well, developers can now cast those limitations aside. Roblox now has the ability to import custom mesh objects, so game makers no longer need to endure blocky parts and basic worlds. If you want to try your hand at building beautiful Roblox games, follow these steps to create custom meshes. But first, some background.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 6.23 is out now continuing the PE conversion work

        Another two weeks and more fixes coming in, the Wine 6.23 release is officially out now with new features and bug fixes.

        This is the compatibility layer that allows you to run games and applications developed for Windows – on Linux. Part of what makes up Steam Play Proton. Once a year or so, a new stable release is made which will be Wine 7.0 likely in January 2022 and the Release Candidate stage for Wine 7.0 will begin soon.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Starts December With Numerous Fixes, Other Desktop Refinements

          This week saw many fixes landing for the KDE desktop components along with some UI tweaking and other alterations.

          This week KDE developer Nate Graham called for KDE to embrace simplicity by default in an effort to appeal to more novice users. He’s also been wanting to squash more “annoying bugs” and paper-cuts for the KDE desktop. With this week’s development efforts, more KDE bugs were fixed.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

    • Distributions

      • ‘Oregon Trail’ at 50: The story of a game that inspired generations

        A long, long time ago in Minneapolis, this question loomed over a small group of eighth-graders.

        Appearing on a teletype machine—basically a primitive computer keyboard connected to a printer—at Jordan Junior High School, the strange question broke open the world of The Oregon Trail. Decades later, the title remains perhaps the most influential educational video game ever created, one that endures today as its influence is still being felt across the gaming industry.

      • The Matrix Is the Best Hacker Movie

        Most people point to Sneakers, Hackers, or WarGames. They’re all wrong. The Wachowskis actually invented the ultimate cyber superhero.

      • The Jurassic Park Scene That Aged Poorly

        “It’s a UNIX system…I know this!”

        According to Wired, UNIX actually is what a computer geek like Nedry would have used for Jurassic Park in 1993. But the scene where Lex “hacks” into the security system by typing extremely fast is very inaccurate and today looks unintentionally hilarious. Unlike common Hollywood portrayals of computer hacking, real hacking is often complicated and it’s not something a 13-year-old would just know how to do simply because they use computers.

        And where UNIX was once extremely modern technology, it now looks a lot simpler than the coding used in security systems today. Much of “Jurassic Park,” like the velociraptors entering the kitchen, is still thrilling in 2021, but this scene simply didn’t hold up well.

      • Why V7 Unix matters so much

        When I talk about things involving the history of Unix, I often wind up mentioning V7, also known as Seventh Edition of Research Unix from Bell Labs (for a recent example, in my entry on when Unix got stack size limits). If you’re relatively new to the history of Unix, you might wonder why V7 keeps coming up so often. There are a number of reasons that V7 matters so much both for the history of Unix and for what is what we think of as being ‘Unix’ and the Unix way.

        Unix and C were originally created and developed in the Bell Labs Computing Sciences Research Center (CSRC) by various well known people like Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie. The CSRC’s release of V7 was a pivotal moment in the history of Unix, as it was both widely publicized and relatively widely distributed. This led to a number of effects, both practical and of perceptions.

        First, V7 is effectively the common ancestor of various strains of Unix since then (this is not quite true for PWB, but close enough). Both BSD Unix and AT&T Unix (System III and System V) branched off from V7, so things in V7 were generally inherited by both of them, while things introduced after V7 (in some Unix line) had to make their way back and forth and didn’t always migrate. This tends to be why I go back to V7 (and often no further) to see when something was introduced and if it was originally common to BSD Unix and System III/System V.

        Second, V7 was where a lot of what we think of as the way Unix and C are was established. V7 is where we got the Bourne shell and a relatively modern dialect of C, including stdio; both the V6 shell and C were somewhat different, to the point that you couldn’t necessarily compile V6 programs even on 1980s C compilers (never mind modern ones). In fact a lot of ‘Unix’ comes from V7, and it’s probably the oldest Research Unix that would feel normal and familiar to us today as users of modern Unix.

      • Slackware Family

        • VLC 3.0.16 packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current | Alien Pastures

          I have uploaded packages for VLC 3.0.16. I have not been paying much attention to VideoLAN development in 2021, as I was busy enough with other stuff and my VLC player did everything it needed to. But it was time (after 11 months) to come with a new set of packages for Slackware.

          Between the previous 3.0.7 and this 3.0.16 release I updated some of the vlc packages’ internal libraries too: bluray, dav1d, dvdnav, dvdread, dvdcss, ebml, libva, matroska, opus, pcre2, speexdsp, ssh2 and vpx. I also added patches to the internal ffmpeg that fix crashes in MPEG2 DXVA playback.

      • Debian Family

        • Proxmox Mail Gateway 7.1 increases access security [Ed: Automated translation]

          Proxmox has released its Mail Gateway 7.1. The open source software filters incoming and outgoing e-mails between the Internet connection – usually a firewall – and the actual mail server. The proxy is intended to protect the IT infrastructure and users from spam, viruses, Trojans and phishing. The underlying Linux distribution – currently Debian Bullseye 11.1 – is updated regularly.

          The new version brings laut Proxmox Among other things, improvements to the web interface: If you use it to configure LDAP backends, you can now make changes without having to enter your password again. Multi-factor authentication can be set up for access to an account via the graphical user interface; as secondary factors, WebAuthn, one-time recovery key and time-based one-time password (TOTP) are available.

        • Raspberry Pi Releases ‘Legacy’ OS to Target Bullseye Problems | Tom’s Hardware

          As we reported at the time, Raspberry Pi OS Bullseye came with a free speed boost for certain Raspberry Pi models, a new window manager, and a host of problems not limited to library and HAT compatibility, video drivers, and with camera modules.

          The new Legacy release claims to fix all that. Based on Buster, the previous release of Debian, it removes the hardware-accelerated version of the Chromium browser that was one of Bullseye’s headline features, replacing it with an upstream software-accelerated variant. A new option in the raspi-config app allows the reinstatement of legacy camera interfaces.

          The legacy OS sticks with version 5.10 of the Linux kernel, and branches the firmware too, so won’t support any future products. It will, however, continue to receive security and hardware support patches as they become available.

          “Although we will not support new products on the legacy image, we will make sure any new revisions of older products continue to be supported,” writes Raspberry Pi director of software engineering Gordon Hollingworth on the Raspberry Pi website. “So, for example, if we were to release a (currently imaginary) new Raspberry Pi 4 rev 1.5 (which usually means component changes for supply reasons), it would be supported on the legacy image, whereas a new Raspberry Pi product (a future 5 for example, also currently imaginary) would not.”

        • Raspberry Pi OS (Legacy) Launches to Offer Long-Term Stability | PCMag

          Raspberry Pi users now have the option of running a legacy version of the Raspberry Pi OS, allowing them to rely on a stable platform for several years.

          The new version of the operating system is called Raspberry Pi OS (Legacy), and it’s based on the Debian Buster release. Hardware-accelerated Chromium has been removed and replaced with the upstream software-accelerated browser. This removes a lot of the headaches around supporting hardware-accelerated Chromium, which always requires the latest version of Debian due to security patches.

        • New Raspberry Pi OS Based on Debian Bullseye

          Like some other Linux distributions, the Raspberry Pi OS is built on top of Debian. Debian, on the other hand, recently received an update from Debian Buster, on which the Raspberry Pi OS was previously based, to Debian Bullseye. Raspberry Pi has now announced that the Raspberry Pi OS will also be based on this new Debian version in the future. But while the Bullseye release itself mainly involves changes that are barely visible to the user, adjustments have been made to the desktop environment and thus also to the hardware requirements for the Bullseye-based Raspberry Pi OS.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • IAR Systems and Codasip collaborate to enable low-power RISC-V based applications

          IAR Systems®, the world leader in software tools and services for embedded development, and Codasip, the leading supplier of customizable RISC-V processor IP, today announced their partnership enabling joint customers to build low-power embedded applications based on RISC-V. Following this, version 2.11 of IAR Embedded Workbench® for RISC-V now supports the L30 and L50 processors from Codasip. The L30 and L50 are small and energy-efficient low-power embedded processor cores from Codasip, all fully customizable and adaptable to the unique needs of a project.

        • Want to buy your own piece of the Pi? No ‘urgency’ says Upton of the listing rumours

          Industry talk is continuing to circulate regarding a possible public listing of the UK makers of the diminutive Raspberry Pi computer.

          Over the weekend, The Telegraph reported that a spring listing could be in the offing, with a valuation of more than £370m.

          Pi boss, Eben Upton, described the newspaper’s article as “interesting” in an email to The Register today, before repeating that “we’re always looking at ways to fund the future growth of the business, but the $45m we raised in September has taken some of the urgency out of that.”

          Mutterings regarding a potential IPO emerged earlier in 2021 – Upton waved off rumours in March 2021, but things have moved on during the rest of the year.

        • Smart Ruler Has Many Features | Hackaday

          For those of us who remember old ball mice, they were a lot like modern optical mice except that they needed to be cleaned constantly. Having optical mice as a standard way of interacting with a computer is a major improvement over previous eras in computing. With extinction of the ball mouse, there are an uncountable number of cheap optical mice around now which are easy pickings for modern hacking, and this latest project from [Vipul] shows off some of the ways that optical mice can be repurposed by building a digital ruler.

          The build seems straightforward on the surface. As the ruler is passed over a surface the device keeps track of exactly how far it has moved, making it an effective and very accurate ruler. To built it, the optical component of a mouse was scavenged and mated directly to a Raspberry Pi Zero W over USB. Originally he intended to use an ESP32 but could not get the USB interface to work. [Vipul] was then able to write some software which can read the information from the mouse’s PCB directly and translate it into human-readable form where it is displayed on a small screen. The entire device is housed in a custom 3D-printed enclosure to wrap everything up, but the build doesn’t stop there though. [Vipul] also leveraged the Bluetooth functionality of the Pi and wrote a smartphone app which can be used to control the ruler as well.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 5 free or open-source healthcare software tools ready to serve and help heal – TechRepublic

        Healthcare is a tricky subject to cover from just about any angle. One of the big issues with healthcare software is the strict privacy laws that govern the industry, which make it challenging for healthcare software to not just be created but maintained over time. Because of this, it’s not easy coming up with solid open-source healthcare solutions. Such healthcare software has come and gone over the years (most have gone), but some tools have managed to stick around.

        Here are five such available healthcare software tools, four of which are free and open-source, and one that is free. All five of these tools are cross-platform.

      • Open-Source-Adventskalender: Die Play-Store-Alternative F-Droid [Ed: Automated translation]

        This is an advent calendar for techies. In the fully commercialized digital world, almost everything belongs to a large Internet corporation. Their software is neither open nor free. As an alternative, there is this small island of the open source world: software whose code is publicly visible and can be independently checked for possible security gaps and backdoors. Software that can be freely used, distributed and improved. Often the drive for work is simply the joy of providing something useful to society.

        Short portraits of open source projects will be published on heise online from December 1st to December 24th. These are about the functions of the respective software, the pitfalls, the history, the background and the financing. Some projects are backed by an individual, others by a loosely organized community, a tightly managed foundation with full-time employees or a consortium. The work is entirely voluntary, or it is financed through donations, cooperation with Internet companies, government funding or an open source business model. Regardless of whether it is a single application or a complex ecosystem, whether a PC program, app or operating system – the diversity of open source is overwhelming.

      • Bring an old phone back to life with a free Android alternative | The Star

        Your phone’s hardware is still in good shape, but the manufacturer has stopped supporting the software. In cases like these, you should consider installing an alternative Android version so that you can continue making the best of a perfectly good phone.

        Smartphone manufacturers are notorious for ending Android updates after two to three years, despite phones being capable of longer lifespans.

        The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has been leading an upcycling initiative for Android phones with the goal of preventing e-waste by extending the lifespan of Android phones using free software.

        Two alternatives that offer enhanced data protection are CalyxOS, which has a focus on security, and LineageOS, which is designed to run on as many devices as possible, according to guidance from the FSFE.

        There are also alternatives to Google Play when it comes to getting apps for your Android phone. For example, there’s the F-Droid store where all the software is free and open source.

      • Events

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Open source advent calendar: the Libreoffice office suite – Market Research Telecast [Ed: Automated translation]

          This is an advent calendar for techies. In the fully commercialized digital world, almost everything belongs to a large Internet corporation. Their software is neither open nor free. As an alternative, there is this small island of the open source world: software whose code is publicly visible and can be independently checked for possible security gaps and backdoors. Software that can be freely used, distributed and improved. Often the drive for work is simply the joy of providing something useful to society.

          Short portraits of open source projects will be published on heise online from December 1st to December 24th. These are about the functions of the respective software, the pitfalls, the history, the background and the financing. Some projects are backed by an individual, others by a loosely organized community, a tightly managed foundation with full-time employees or a consortium. The work is entirely voluntary, or it is financed through donations, cooperation with Internet companies, government funding or an open source business model. Regardless of whether it is a single application or a complex ecosystem, whether a PC program, app or operating system – the diversity of open source is overwhelming.

      • Education

        • Blancco and Dariu Seek Used Business Laptops for Thousands of Vietnamese Schoolchildren in Need | Taiwan News | 2021-11-30 07:00:00

          Blancco Technology Group (LSE: BLTG) and The Dariu Foundation are urging Vietnamese businesses to save used laptops and desktops from physical destruction and instead, donate them to low-income school children and rural schools that don’t have computers.

          “Because of COVID-19, the education of more than 21 million children was disrupted in Vietnam, and of these, an estimated 4 million lack devices,” said The Dariu Foundation Program Manager Lan Anh. “By working with Blancco partners and the private sector, we hope to provide 70 rural schools and 2,000 disadvantaged children with free-of-charge rental of desktops and laptops to access digital literacy education and online education.”

        • Giving Tuesday 2021: Where to donate to help criminal justice reform – Vox

          Many of these groups got an influx of attention and money in the summer of 2020 — which makes now a good time to give, since they’re now getting less attention and might be in greater need of funding than they were 18 months ago.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Tidied up: Emacs – a great-grandfather of text editors has a new online home – Market Research Telecast [Ed: Automated translation]

            The Dutch web developer and science philosopher Thomas FK Jorna seems to be a fan of old-school text editors: in any case, he has given the text editor Emacs, programmed in C and Lisp, a new online presence, on which friends of Plaintext start with the documentation on GNU Emacs , GNU Elisp as well as an org manual for organizing life in pure markup and a somewhat more complex manual for the LaTeX editor AUCTeX.

            Modern shop window for Emacs & Co.
            According to the GitHub entry, Jorna was obviously tired of handling the old-fashioned Emacs manual and wanted a more modern implementation, which he created himself without further ado.

          • 5 free Photoshop alternatives for Windows | PCWorld

            A long-time favorite of Linux users, the GIMP image editor is now available on all platforms. While its interface isn’t exactly friendly to beginners — especially if you’re used to other programs — it’s at least as powerful as Photoshop for standard image editing tasks.

      • Public Services/Government

        • Germany’s new coalition government backs the Public Money, Public Code initiative – Neowin

          Following the elections in September, Germany is set to get a new coalition government made up of the Social Democrats, Alliance 90/The Greens, and the Free Democratic Party. According to The Document Foundation, which has been reading the coalition agreement, the new government will embrace the notion of Public Money, Public Code (PMPC), a concept that has been promoted by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) for a number of years.

      • Programming/Development

        • Is PHP Interpreter Still a Good Programming Language? – CEOWORLD magazine

          Hypertext Preprocessor, better known as PHP, is a programming language that has been around since 1994. With more than two decades of use and still going reasonably strong today, there’s no doubt that it has some advantages – but how exactly does it compare to some of the other coding languages that have come out over more recent years? And is it still worthwhile, or is it common purely because it’s so well known?

          While you can find a lot of information on PHP interpreters online, e.g., at Droptica , where you’ll find a little more information on how it could potentially be the best option for your needs.

        • AsmREPL: Wing your way through x86-64 assembly language

          Ruby developer and internet japester Aaron Patterson has published a REPL for 64-bit x86 assembly language, enabling interactive coding in the lowest-level language of all.

          REPL stands for “read-evaluate-print loop”, and REPLs were first seen in Lisp development environments such as Lisp Machines. They allow incremental development: programmers can write code on the fly, entering expressions or blocks of code, having them evaluated – executed – immediately, and the results printed out. This was viable because of the way Lisp blurred the lines between interpreted and compiled languages; these days, they’re a standard feature of most scripting languages.

        • Could we use an LLVM-based cross-compiler to build apps for quantum computers? This alliance says yes [Ed: It feels like Microsoft and the ‘Linux’ Foundation attack the GPL and GCC]

          The Linux Foundation has launched a group called the QIR Alliance to make quantum computing applications more portable across hardware architectures and simulators.

        • Cross-platform: UI framework Compose Multiplatform has reached a stable level [Ed: Automated translation]

          JetBrains has released version 1.0 of Compose Multiplatform. The framework uses the declarative approach of the Android UI toolkit Jetpack Compose and implements it across platforms for desktop, web and Android applications. Unsurprisingly, Kotlin is used as the programming language.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Day 4 – Santa’s OCD Sorted – Raku Advent Calendar

            Santa has been around for a long time already. Santa remembers the days when bits where set by using a magnetic screwdriver! In those days, you’d made sure that things were orderly set up and sorted for quick access.

            Santa likes the Raku Programming Language a lot, because it just works like Santa thinks. There’s just this one thing missing to make Santa feel at home again, just like in the olden days: an easy way to make sorted lists and easily insert new values into these lists to keep them up-to-date.

          • Geizhals Preisvergleich sponsors the German Perl/Raku Workshop 2022

            In 2022, the German Perl/Raku Workshop will take place in Leipzig. We are very happy to announce that long time Perl supporter Geizhals Preisvergleich sponsor the workshop.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Digital Markets Act: MEPs vote for interoperable messengers – Market Research Telecast [Ed: Original in German. Automated translation.]

        Large online platforms with essential services such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Airbnb and Booking.com with a market capitalization of over 80 billion euros are subject to significantly stricter competition requirements. The lead Committee for Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) in the EU Parliament supported this course on Tuesday.

        A new antitrust instrument is intended to deter dominant “gatekeepers” in the network from engaging in unfair practices. According to the line of the MPs for the planned Digital Markets Act (DMA), which still has to be formally confirmed in a plenary session of parliament in mid-December, “gatekeepers” should make their messenger services and other accompanying products such as news feeds on social networks interoperable in the future .

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Moon Bouncing And Radar Imaging With LoRa

        The LoRa radio protocol is well known to hardware hackers because of its Long Range (hence the name) but also its extremely low power use, making it a go-to for battery powered devices with tiny antennae. But what if the power wasn’t low, and the antenna not tiny? You might just bounce a LoRa message off the moon. But that’s not all.

        The team that pulled off the LoRa Moonbounce consisted of folks from the European Space Agency, Lacuna Space, and the CA Muller Radio Astronomy Station Foundation which operates the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope. The Dwingeloo Radio Telescope is no stranger to Amateur Radio experiments, but this one was unique.

      • Genome-wide characterization of bZIP gene family identifies potential members involved in flavonoids biosynthesis in Ginkgo biloba L. | Scientific Reports

        Ginkgo biloba L. is an ancient relict plant with rich pharmacological activity and nutritional value, and its main physiologically active components are flavonoids and terpene lactones. The bZIP gene family is one of the largest gene families in plants and regulates many processes including pathogen defense, secondary metabolism, stress response, seed maturation, and flower development. In this study, genome-wide distribution of the bZIP transcription factors was screened from G. biloba database in silico analysis. A total of 40 bZIP genes were identified in G. biloba and were divided into 10 subclasses. GbbZIP members in the same group share a similar gene structure, number of introns and exons, and motif distribution. Analysis of tissue expression pattern based on transcriptome indicated that GbbZIP08 and GbbZIP15 were most highly expressed in mature leaf. And the expression level of GbbZIP13 was high in all eight tissues. Correlation analysis and phylogenetic tree analysis suggested that GbbZIP08 and GbbZIP15 might be involved in the flavonoid biosynthesis. The transcriptional levels of 20 GbbZIP genes after SA, MeJA, and low temperature treatment were analyzed by qRT-PCR. The expression level of GbbZIP08 was significantly upregulated under 4°C. Protein–protein interaction network analysis indicated that GbbZIP09 might participate in seed germination by interacting with GbbZIP32. Based on transcriptome and degradome data, we found that 32 out of 117 miRNAs were annotated to 17 miRNA families. The results of this study may provide a theoretical foundation for the functional validation of GbbZIP genes in the future.

    • Hardware

      • The Secret History of ATAPI

        The other day I asked myself a seemingly trivial question: What was the first ATAPI CD-ROM drive and when was it available? Given that ATAPI was a major technology which instantly obsoleted all proprietary CD-ROM interfaces and made SCSI much less desirable, one might expect that there would have been some press releases touting the advantages of the new technology, articles describing the whys and wherefores, but… nope. There is nothing.

      • Printed Sewing Machine Parts Extend Singer’s Range | Hackaday

        [Grow Your Own Clothes] had finally found their ideal sewing machine for doing zig-zag stitches (/\/\/\) and converting to a treadle drive (mechanically foot-fed) — a Singer 411G. This is a well-respected workhorse of a machine, and if you see one in a secondhand store, you might want to grab it. The only problem is that its multi-step zig-zag stitch is a 4-stepper and not a 3-step, which is what [GYOC] prefers. Having heard it was possible to hack them into doing a 3-step, [GYOC] set out to learn Tinkercad and grow their own sewing machine parts.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Windows 11 issues: Microsoft confirms widespread app crashes [Ed: Vista 11 is not even beta yet]
        • Security

          • Wind turbine maker Vestas confirms recent security incident was ransomware

            Wind turbine maker Vestas says “almost all” of its IT systems are finally up and running 10 days after a security attack by criminals, confirming that it had indeed fallen victim to ransomware.

            Alarm bells rang the weekend before last when the Danish organisation said it had identified a “cyber security incident” and closed off parts of its tech estate to “contain the issue.”

            Today the business – one of the largest worldwide to design, build, install and maintain wind turbines – said it has undertaken “extensive investigations, forensics, restoration activities and hardening of our IT systems and IT infrastructure.”

          • How regulation could impact the open-source community — GCN [Ed: This Microsoft-connected site does not mention that proprietary software itself -- with its notorious back doors -- is a big part of the problem]

            Cybersecurity has been in the spotlight ever since President Joe Biden issued an executive order in response to sophisticated cyberattacks earlier this year. The EO was followed up with a cybersecurity summit at the White House where programs focused on different aspects — from implementing zero trust to addressing the skills shortage — were announced. The steady flow of initiatives, culminating in the recent announcement by the Open Source Security Foundation of its $10 million commitment to supply-chain security highlights the urgency assigned by the administration to these cybersecurity measures.

            These moves are especially crucial for one area that is being targeted by new initiatives: open-source security. Just as the issue of ransomware drew attention and calls for legislation, which is expected to rise to 30% by the end of 2025, similar calls for regulation may target open source.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Crime Prediction Software Promised to Be Free of Biases. New Data Shows It Perpetuates Them
            • Joint Letter Urging EU Targeted Sanctions Against NSO Group

              Dear EU High Representative Borrell and Foreign Ministers of the EU member states,

              We are writing following credible revelations that Israeli NSO Group’s Pegasus Spyware was used to hack the devices of six Palestinian human rights activists – the latest in a growing series of reports about human rights abuses linked to the use of NSO technology – to urge that the EU takes serious and effective measures against NSO Group, including the designation of the entity under the EU’s global human rights sanctions regime.

              Already in July, reporting by the Pegasus Project – a collaboration of more than 80 journalists from 16 media organizations in 10 countries coordinated by Forbidden Stories with the technical support of Amnesty International – exposed how the Pegasus software was used to infiltrate the devices of activists, journalists, and opposition figures, including in the EU. Forbidden Stories and its media partners identified potential NSO clients in countries known to engage in unlawful and arbitrary surveillance of their citizens and also known to have been clients of NSO Group.

            • Podcast on Online Privacy | Is Twitter’s Updated Privacy Policy Practical to Enforce?

              Twitter in a recent policy change has tried to make the platform safer for its users but the move has raised more doubts than assurances.

              Under its updated policy, the social media giant will now take action against users who post photos or videos of private individuals without their permission. And the policy also raises the question of the role of human content assessors at Twitter, who are seemingly now the final authority on the intent behind every post on the platform.

            • Yemen to Improve Border Security Through Electronic Visa System | Asharq AL-awsat

              Yemen, in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has been examining the use of the electronic visa system at all its ports with an aim to enhance border security.

              The Interior Ministry’s Undersecretary for Police Services, Major General Mohammed al-Amir, said the project will represent a paradigm shift in the ministry’s work and will contribute to the improvement of security at the country’s entry points and borders.

    • Finance

      • The Coercion Of Ethereum’s Difficulty Bomb

        Can open-source blockchains be coercive? In a recent debate between Erik Vorhees and Alex Gladstein, Vorhees asserted that “there is nothing in Ethereum that is based on coercion, period.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Australia will force social networks to identify trolls, so they can be sued for defamation

        Australia’s government has announced it will compel social media companies to reveal the identities of users who post material considered defamatory.

        Prime minister Scott Morrison phrased the planned legislation as creating a power “to unmask anonymous online trolls”.

        The effect of the planned law will be to put social networks in the same legal position as publishers – liable for whatever material they carry if it is defamatory, even if it was written by a third party. More on that later.

        “Anonymous trolls are on notice, you will be named and held to account for what you say. Big tech companies are on notice, remove the shield of anonymity or be held to account for what you publish,” states the PM’s press release. That document goes on to explain that if social media companies reveal the identity of users that have made allegedly defamatory comments, whoever posted the contested material can become the subject of a defamation action rather than the companies.

      • AI vigilantes fuel censorship fears in Russian cyberspace

        A woman posing in a thong outside a church; a single mother who berated Russian lawmakers and President Vladimir Putin; a saxophonist who criticised World War Two commemorations.

        They are among thousands of Russians who have faced court over their social media posts in the past year – a number digital rights groups say could soon turn into a deluge as authorities use artificial intelligence (AI) to police the web.

        “We expect that all content posted on social media (in Russia) will be monitored by automated software,” said Sarkis Darbinyan, head of the legal department for digital rights group Roskomsvoboda.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Exhibit honoring Rosa Parks on display at Gadsden Public Library

        Gadsden Public Library Director Craig Scott says he “immediately put his hand up” when he heard that Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery was offering a traveling exhibit on the civil rights icon.


        “We’re honored to have the exhibit here in Gadsden,” Scott said. It will be on display until Dec. 28.

        Titled “Tired of Giving In: Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott,” the panels offer an overview of Parks’ life and her civil rights activism, which continued well after the events of 1955 and 1956. (After her death in 2005, at age 92, she became the first woman and the second Black to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.)

        They also feature Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., pastor of Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church at the time of the bus dispute, who gained national prominence through his leadership of the boycott.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Indian government warns locals not to use Starlink’s internet services

        The government of India has advised locals not to subscribe to SpaceX’s Starlink Internet service, revealing that it does not have a valid license to operate on the subcontinent.

        Starlink registered its business in India on November 1, actively engaged in advertising and even pre-sold subscriptions. But it has not secured a license to operate, prompting India’s Department of Telecommunications to issue a warning tweet.

      • [Older] Bridging the digital divide: The rise of community internet in Africa

        As a child growing up in war-torn northern Uganda, Daniel Komakech’s education was interrupted every time he had to flee rebels and hide in the bush for days to avoid being abducted.

        Today, Komakech, 34, helps run a locally owned internet network that ensures villagers in the former conflict zone can study and stay in touch with each other – without unwanted interruptions.

        “Accessing the internet was a turning point in my life,” said Komakech, program coordinator for the non-profit Battery Operated System for Community Outreach (BOSCO), one of a growing number of community-led internet and phone networks in Africa.

      • Federal judge blocks Texas social media ‘censorship’ law – CNET

        A federal judge on Wednesday granted a preliminary injunction against a Texas law that prohibits large social media companies from banning users or blocking posts based on their political viewpoints.

        HB 20, signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sept. 9, targets companies with at least 50 million monthly users in the US, including Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube, and would also allow residents of the state to sue companies for reinstatement of accounts. The law, billed by the governor’s office as protecting Texans “from wrongful censorship on social media platforms,” was set to take effect Thursday.

    • Monopolies

      • Nextcloud and cloud chums fire off competition complaint to the EU over Microsoft bundling OneDrive with Windows

        EU software and cloud businesses have joined Nextcloud in filing a complaint with the European Commission regarding Microsoft’s alleged anti-competitive behaviour over the bundling of its OS with online services.

        The issue is OneDrive and Microsoft’s habit of packaging it (and other services such as Teams) with Windows software.

        Nextcloud sells on-premises collaboration platforms that it claims combine “the convenience and ease of use of consumer-grade solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive with the security, privacy and control business needs.” Microsoft’s cloud storage system, OneDrive, is conspicuous by its absence.

        The accusation of bundling is reminiscent of concerns raised during the 1990s browser wars, when Microsoft eventually received a severe slap on the wrist over Internet Explorer. Today, the concerns are in relation to how difficult it is to avoid OneDrive when dealing with storage in Windows; that business app Teams turned up built into Windows 11; and all manner of Microsoft 365 grumbles.

      • Microsoft accused of using Windows to push OneDrive and Teams over rivals | TechRadar

        A coalition of software and cloud companies has filed a complaint with the European Commission (EC) against Microsoft’s anti-competitive behavior of bundling its OneDrive cloud storage, Teams, and other services with Windows 10 and Windows 11.

        The Coalition for a Level Playing Field includes several European Union (EU)-based companies led by open source hosted cloud storage vendor Nextcloud.

        “This is quite similar to what Microsoft did when it killed competition in the [web] browser market, stopping nearly all browser innovation for over a decade. Copy an innovators’ product, bundle it with your own dominant product and kill their business, then stop innovating,” says Frank Karlitschek, CEO and founder of Nextcloud.

      • Microsoft integrates its services to phase out its competitors

        A complaint has been filed by a coalition of cloud and software companies, with the European Commission against Microsoft’s anti-competitive behavior. They bundled up Teams and OneDrive cloud amongst other services with both Windows 11 and Windows 10.

        The Coalition had to even out the playing field by including a couple of European based companies, such as open source hosted by cloud storage vendor Nextcloud.

        “This is quite similar to what Microsoft did when it killed competition in the [web] browser market, stopping nearly all browser innovation for over a decade. Copy an innovators’ product, bundle it with your own dominant product and kill their business, then stop innovating,” said Frank Karlitschek, CEO and founder of Nextcloud.

      • EU complaint claims Microsoft anticompetitive for bundling services with Windows

        A coalition of European Union companies and groups led by Nextcloud GmbH has filed a complaint with the European Commission over Microsoft Corp. bundling services, including OneDrive, with Windows 10 and 11.

        The “Coalition for a Level Playing Field” claims that Microsoft is engaging in anticompetitive behavior in bundling services with Windows.

        “Microsoft is integrating 365 deeper and deeper in their service and software portfolio, including Windows,” the coalition claimed in a Nov. 26 statement, making it “nearly impossible to compete with their SaaS services.” Specific mention is made of OneDrive and Teams being a default part of Windows 11.

        The obvious parallel to the complaint is Microsoft bundling Internet Explorer with Windows in the late 1990s and the coalition specifically mentions the famous case.

        Although the complaint is targeted at Microsoft, the coalition also mentions Google LLC and Amazon Web Services Inc. as well.

      • Patents

        • Nurses’ Unions of 28 Nations Complain to UN Against Rich Countries’ TRIPS Waiver Reluctance

          The human cost of their sustained opposition to the temporary suspension of the intellectual property rights arrangement amounts to rights violations on a global scale, unions representing 2.5 billion health workers have said.

        • Call for Action Against COVID-19 ‘Criminals’ Blocking Vaccine Patent Waiver

          The Global Nurses United (GNU), which represents more than 30 leading nurses and healthcare workers unions on every continent, has written to the United Nations (UN) demanding an urgent investigation into COVID-19 “criminals” who are obstructing the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) bid to “temporarily waive patent protections on vaccine recipes”.

          In the letter, dated November 29 and addressed to Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, the UN special rapporteur on physical and mental health, the GNU has alleged that the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK), Switzerland, Norway and Singapore are “endangering millions of lives around the world” and violating “our right to health—of nurses, caregivers, and patients”.

          The union, representing more than 2.5 million healthcare workers, wrote that it has “witnessed the staggering numbers of deaths and the immense suffering caused by political inaction”.

          Pointing to the failure of pharma companies and governments in ensuring equal distribution of vaccines, the GNU wrote: “High-income countries have procured upwards of 7 billion confirmed vaccine doses while low-income countries have only been able to procure approximately 300 million doses. This has created what public health advocates around the world have described as ‘vaccine apartheid’.”

        • Software Patents

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

Posted in News Roundup at 7:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • Xen and the art of hypervisor upgrades

        The Xen Project has delivered an upgrade to its hypervisor.

        Version 4.16 was announced yesterday by developer and maintainer Ian Jackson, capping a nine-month effort that saw four release candidates emerge in November 2021 prior to launch.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Danylo Piliaiev: :tada: Turnip is Vulkan 1.1 Conformant :tada:

          Khronos submission indicating Vulkan 1.1 conformance for Turnip on Adreno 618 GPU.

          It is a great feat, especially for a driver which is created without hardware documentation. And we support features far from the bare minimum required for conformance.

          But first of all, I want to thank and congratulate everyone working on the driver: Connor Abbott, Rob Clark, Emma Anholt, Jonathan Marek, Hyunjun Ko, Samuel Iglesias. And special thanks to Samuel Iglesias and Ricardo Garcia for tirelessly improving Khronos Vulkan Conformance Tests.

        • Open-Source Qualcomm “Turnip” Driver Achieves Vulkan 1.1 Conformance, Fixes For DXVK Use – Phoronix

          TURNIP as the open-source Mesa Vulkan driver for Qualcomm Adreno graphics hit a new official milestone this week.

          The Khronos Group has certified the results submission for Mesa’s TURNIP driver running on the Qualcomm Adreno 618 as conformant for the Vulkan 1.1 specification.

    • Applications

      • Preparing for PipeWire » Linux Magazine

        In the coming year, PipeWire will replace PulseAudio resulting in better audio on Linux. If you can’t wait, here’s what you need to know to get started with PipeWire.

        Unless you use a version of Fedora released in 2021, you may not have heard of PipeWire. However, by this time next year, PipeWire will likely be installed on your computer. Already, many distributions are starting to carry PipeWire (marked as experimental) in their repositories. Still unfinished with its installation varied depending on distribution, PipeWire is about to replace PulseAudio as Linux’s main audio server. If you are unwilling to wait until PipeWire becomes a standard part of a Linux installation, here is what you should know.

        PipeWire was created by Wim Taymans of Red Hat in 2015. Based on an earlier project called PulseVideo, PipeWire was originally intended as a server for capture and playback of audio and video. The video side of the project is still in development, but the audio side is mature enough that in the spring of 2021 Fedora 34 become the first Linux distribution to install it by default. In Fedora 34, PipeWire is used to manage PulseAudio, JACK, ALSA, and GStreamer-based applications.

      • 17 Best Free and Open Source Wallpaper Setters – LinuxLinks

        Do you find your Linux desktop background rather mundane but have problems in finding attractive wallpapers?

        That’s where automatic wallpaper changes can help. And many wallpaper tools access online sources which make it easy to liven up your desktop. They can find and download awesome wallpapers and change them periodically. Some wallpaper tools even support live wallpapers.

        Here’s our recommendations. All of the tools are free and open source goodness.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Making sure symlinks work on CIFS/SMB mounted shares

        As it turns out, since my NAS supports only SMB2 and SMB3, I had to add mfsymlinks to the opts so I would be able to create symlinks in the mounted shares: [...]

      • What To Do After Installing Guix Desktop System

        This is a collection of suggestions you can practice right after installing Guix GNOME System. Let’s start!

      • How to Deploy Pi-Hole on Debian 11 – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hello, friends. In this post, you will learn how to install and deploy Pi-Hole using Docker. This way you will have another valid alternative to enjoy this great tool.

      • How to install PHP 8.1 on CentOS 8/RHEL 8 – NextGenTips

        In today’s guide, we are going to learn how to install PHP 8.1 on CentOS 8/RHEL 8

        PHP is a general-purpose scripting language suitable for web development.

      • What Is ‘Apt-Get’ In Linux? – Fossbytes

        Despite being accused of “hard to use” operating system, GNU/Linux OSes are fantastic free alternatives to Windows and macOS. Despite the growing list of Linux distributions, Linux is now as straightforward and intuitive as other operating systems. Unlike Windows, which only allows you to install apps from .exe files and the Windows Store, Linux has APT (Advanced Package Tool), which handles the installation and removal of packages/apps in the operating system.

        If you want to install a program on Linux, you’ll need to use the term apt-get, but what exactly is it, and what does it do? In this article, let’s sudo apt get-started to find out what apt-get is.

      • Convert audio in batches on Linux with SoundConverter | Opensource.com

        There are many file formats used to store digital audio, and they’re good for different purposes. Digital audio is, of course, only a representation of sound, a rendering of soundwaves that get translated into sound by a decoder and a set of speakers. Some audio formats, generically called lossless formats, aim to encode audio close to its original analog form. Still, there’s a lot of data in the real world, and as yet, digital can only approximate it in very large files. Other audio formats, called lossy formats, balance file size with a reasonable representation of sound.

        There are plenty of great terminal commands for audio conversion. There’s sox and ffmpeg and a handful of format-specific encoders, like opusenc, flac, oggenc, fdkaac, wavpack, and countless others.

      • DHCP client configuration for Linux, Windows and macOS

        IP addresses serve as one of the primary ways of identifying nodes on the network. Administrators use these logical addresses to place devices on the network in specific segments, control access to the devices via routers and firewalls, and map network devices for client machines.

      • Install a graphical package manager on Kali Linux 2021.3 – LinuxBSDos.com

        If you used my last tutorial to install Kali Linux 2021.3 on your MacBook Air in dual-boot fashion with Ubuntu 20.04, I’m sure you noticed that there’s no graphical package manager installed by default on Kali Linux. I noticed that too, but GNOME Software, the first one I installed and the default graphical package manager for the GNOME desktop, is broken. Couldn’t get it to find me anything. Its image is what you see in the featured image above.

      • K3XEC | Transmitting BPSK symbols (Part 2/5)

        This post is part of a series called “PACKRAT”. If this is the first post you’ve found, it’d be worth reading the intro post first and then looking over all posts in the series.
        In the last post, we worked through what IQ is, and different formats that it may be sent or received in. Let’s take that and move on to Transmitting BPSK using IQ data!

        When we transmit and receive information through RF using an SDR, data is traditionally encoded into a stream of symbols which are then used by a program to modulate the IQ stream, and sent over the airwaves.

      • Chromium and Raspberry PI 4: Increase Performances with Cache on RAM Disk

        With the new Raspberry PI computer models having much more RAM, improving Chromium performance can be a core goal for people using it as Desktop computer. To achieve this, a good practice is moving cache on a RAMDisk

        In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to move Chromium cache into a new RAM disk partition with Raspberry PI 4 and OS Desktop.

      • Quick video editing on Linux with Flowblade | Opensource.com

        Do you have videos you need to cut together but find video editing applications too complex? Flowblade is a minimal video editing application designed to enable you to assemble a cut of your video quickly and easily.

        Video editing can be challenging. There’s a lot to think about, lots of footage to review, a story you want to tell, and there’s the software you have to learn on top of everything else. However, there’s a common conundrum at play here: Most people only need about 80% of what’s possible in video editing applications, and you can implement that 80% of everyday editing tasks with about 50% of the resources a big “professional” editor uses. That’s where Flowblade really excels. It’s a simple editor that can do all the basic tasks you need, plus quite a bit more. However, it focuses on the essentials so you can get started editing right away, and you’re never likely to be overwhelmed by menu selections you may never use, much less understand.

    • Games

      • The 15 Best Games to Play on Your Chromebook in 2021

        The Chromebook is becoming a more and more robust laptop option by the year. With increasing crossover functionality for both Linux and Android, it now has access to a plethora of apps and games that in the past would have been unthinkable.

        This list is largely made up of games you can download from the Play Store, too, because every Chromebook released for a good few years now has native Android functionality. We want to reflect what’s available to the majority of Chromebook users today, and we’ve checked to see that the below games work well on most modern Chromebooks.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: New Spectacle features and tons of bugfixes – Adventures in Linux and KDE

          Ark can now open zip archives that contain malformed PHP files (Albert Astals Cid, Ark 21.12)

          Dolphin now displays the correct data when you create a folder while filtering the view (Eduardo Cruz, Dolphin 22.04)

          Opening .m3u* playlist files in Elisa using the file manager now works properly (Bharadwaj Raju, Elisa 22.04)

          Task Manager tooltips for single-window-non-web-browser apps that are playing media but don’t display the media name in the window title once again show album art instead of a window thumbnail (Bharadwaj Raju, Plasma 5.23.4)

          Bluetooth status is now saved on logout when using the “remember” option (me: Nate Graham, Plasma 5.23.5)

          Plasma panels now load faster on login and look less visually glitchy while doing so (David Edmundson, Plasma 5.23.5)

          Discover no longer crashes when you open the description page of a Flatpak app you just removed (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

          Discover is now faster to check for Flatpak app updates (Aleix Pol Gonzalez, Plasma 5.24)

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • sizable news

          For the upcoming GTK 4.6, we have overhauled a lot of the sizing infrastructure to make widgets fit even tighter and to make sure our sizing infrastructure actually does what it says.

          When using the GtkWidget::halign or GtkWidget::valign properties, GTK 4.4 would look at the default size of the widget and then place the widget accordingly. This leaves a lot of extra space when one of the values was set to fill. In GTK 4.6, GTK will measure the size of the other dimension relative to the filled dimension. This makes the widget thinner but avoids extra space.

        • A Quick PSA on Writing Portal-friendly Application Code

          For various reasons, desktop applications sometimes need to know whether they are running under a sandbox made by a technology such as Flatpak or Snap. Some portal APIs, such as the file chooser dialog, are used transparently so that the application code doesn’t need to make any distinction between the sandboxed and unsandboxed cases, and if you ask me that’s a pretty impressive magic trick on its own. Other portal APIs such as the screencast one are used by both sandboxed and unsandboxed apps thanks to the secure architecture of Wayland compositors. But still other portal APIs are used conditionally depending on whether the app is running sandboxed; this is the case for the OpenURI portal used by Epiphany.

        • Text Editor Happenings

          Text Editor has really been shaping up in the past couple weeks as we race towards getting things ready for GNOME 42.

          We removed the preferences sidebar experiment because it was a bit clunky and none of the other core apps shared the design metaphor. Instead we’ve brought back a preferences dialog, albeit with an improved design. It builds on the previous GtkSourceStyleSchemePreview work but with a filtered set based on the current light/dark desktop setting.

    • Distributions

      • Linux distribution NixOS in version 21.11 released [Ed: Automated translation in Market Research Telecast]

        In version 21.11 with the name “Porcupine”, the developers of the Linux distribution NixOS, which is based on the NIX package manager, have updated numerous packages, but also made changes under the hood. The distribution is not necessarily suitable for beginners. It creates a certain complexity through the approach of securing every change and thus being able to go back to any status.

        The central component, the NIX package management, remains at status 2.3.16, as newer versions have proven to be unstable. Other changes affect iptables, for example, which now works with nf_tables in the backend. The new version also has KDE Plasma on Wayland on board, Gnome has been upgraded to version 41, and PHP to 8.0. Other versions are now Python 3.9, PostgreSQL 13, systemd 249 and OpenSSH 8.8p1.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • EPEL 9 is now available

          On behalf of the EPEL Steering Committee, I’m pleased to announce the availability of EPEL 9. This is the culmination of five months of work between the EPEL Steering Committee, the Fedora Infrastructure and Release Engineering team, and other contributors. Package maintainers can now request dist-git branches, trigger Koji builds, and submit Bodhi updates for EPEL 9 packages.

          Instructions to enable the EPEL repository are available in our documentation. If there is a Fedora package you would like to see added to EPEL 9, please let the relevant package maintainer know with a package request.

        • Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-48 – Fedora Community Blog

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)!

          Fedora Linux 33 reached end of life on Tuesday. The F35 retrospective survey is open through 4 December.

          I have weekly office hours on Wednesdays in the morning and afternoon (US/Eastern time) in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. See the upcoming meetings for more information.

        • Red Hat response to Java release cadence change

          Red Hat has been a contributor to OpenJDK since its inception, and we are currently one of the most significant contributors to the OpenJDK project, both as developers of new versions and as maintainers of OpenJDK 8u and 11u. In addition to being a core developer of the Java Platform, Red Hat is also a heavy consumer of Java technology through our suite of Java-based Middleware and Application Services.

          We welcome an analysis of current practices regarding the life cycle of Java releases to understand how Java consumers can be better served. Although the recent cadence changes announced by Oracle to move to a 2-year LTS cycle pertain solely to their proprietary JDK version, this will have an impact on OpenJDK distribution life cycles as well. This is because OpenJDK distributions have chosen to follow the same LTS cycle as the proprietary Oracle JDK to maintain consistency and reduce fragmentation of version usage in the industry.

        • Davie Street Enterprises becomes an AI company

          Davie Street Enterprises (DSE), our fictional case study company, has taken a great leap toward the edge and is using the data collected from the edge to perform predictive maintenance and improve its unplanned downtime and line resilience.

          Once the edge project was completed, DSE saw unplanned downtime reduced by 50%—far above what it had expected. Although the project was a success, it wasn’t without its challenges. There were many delays as the company figured out the data requirements.

          DSE also had to upgrade many sensors to ensure that it could get the quality data required to get the correct results. In DSE’s digital transformation, this was a huge step forward in making it an artificial intelligence (AI) company.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Frame – A picture is worth a thousand snaps | Ubuntu

          The development of graphical applications intended for use on IoT devices isn’t trivial. The complexity goes beyond the usual challenges that exist in the classic desktop and server domains. One, the IoT world is much less mature. Two, developers need to take into consideration various edge cases that do not apply to hands-on devices like laptops, for instance. Kiosks, industrial displays and digital signage devices require additional focus and rigor.

          Ubuntu Frame is a solution designed to simplify and streamline the build and development of products that need graphical output. On a technical level, it is a fullscreen shell, based on Wayland, intended for interactive usage applications. On a product level, Ubuntu Frame bundles communication protocols, input protocols and security policies into a single kit, which can then be used in IoT devices. You can test it today.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • LoRa HAT starts at $31

        SB Components is crowdfunding a $31-and-up “LoRa HAT for Raspberry Pi” with a 5-Km range at 868MHz or 433MHz. There is also a $47 “LoRa Expansion for Pico” board with a pre-soldered RPi Pico.

        Raspberry Pi milliner SB Components, which is behind such RPi HATs as the PiFinger fingerprint sensor HAT, has won Kickstarter funding for a simple, low-cost LoRa communications HAT. The LoRa HAT for Raspberry Pi is still available in a super early bird special for 23 UK Pounds ($31), as well as an identical 30-Pound ($40) package discounted from the eventual 40-Pound retail price.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • SiFive Performance P650 RISC-V core to outperform Arm Cortex-A77 performance per mm2 – CNX Software

          About six months have passed since the SiFive announcement of the Performance P550 “fastest 64-bit RISC-V processor” ever, and the company has now introduced an even faster RISC-V core with the Performance P650 that’s expected to match Cortex-A77 performance.

          Building upon the Performance P550 design, the SiFive Performance P650 is scalable to sixteen cores using a coherent multicore complex, and delivers a 40% performance increase per clock cycle based on SiFive engineering estimated performance in SPECInt2006/GHz, thanks to an expansion of the processor’s instruction-issue width. The company compares P650 to the Arm family by saying it “maintains a significant performance-per-area advantage compared to the Arm Cortex-A77”.

        • On servers maybe moving to M.2 NVMe drives for their system drives

          We’ve been looking into getting some new servers (partly because a number of our existing Dell R210 IIs are starting to fail). Although we haven’t run into this yet ourselves, one of the things we’ve heard in the process of this investigation is that various lines of basic servers are trying to move to M.2 NVMe system disks instead of 3.5″ or 2.5″ disks. People are generally unhappy about this, for a number of reasons including that these are not fancy hot-swappable M.2 NVMe, just basic motherboard plug-in M.2.

        • One way a builder culture can fail

          I’ve told some stories about what happens when you end up at a company that builds nothing and instead rents everything from some vendor. Given that, it’s only fair that I describe something bad that can happen at a company which is known for building stuff.

        • Count down to Christmas with the Arduino-powered Hackvent Calendar | Arduino Blog

          Along with the typical Christmas decorations of trees and elves sitting on shelves Tom Goff was motivated to build a DIY “Hackvent” calendar after being inspired by his son’s request for one. The design differed from the traditional Advent calendar in that it features an array of 25 lights, one for each day, that light up sequentially whenever a button is pressed. After the final day is reached, the system begins to play a song and makes the lights dance around.

          To create the calendar’s housing, Goff designed a 2D panel with cutouts for all the LEDs and an additional one for a single button. After laser cutting a piece of plywood, he got to work coming up with a circuit. The components included an Arduino Mega, 25 LEDs and resistors that are directly driven by the Mega’s GPIO pins, an ISD 1760 module that plays music from its embedded ROM, and a small 2W speaker.

        • Schematic-o-matic automatically creates KiCAD schematics from your breadboard | Arduino Blog

          Breadboards are the first tool you break out in any prototyping journey and almost every project will utilize a breadboard at some point. Those breadboards often turn into a rats’ nest of overlapping wires that are difficult to trace, which makes it difficult to create an accurate schematic when it is time to design your PCB. To make your life easier, Nick Bild came up with a script that analyzes your physical breadboard to automatically generate a KiCAD schematic.

          A breadboard is, at its core, a series of connectors. This script’s purpose is to identify every connection and associate it with the corresponding pin on a component. It is able to do that using a special breadboard that has every row of pins connected to an Arduino Due board I/O pin. A Python script running on a connected PC then checks every row for continuity. The user then inputs the component located at connection, and the script will draw a KiCAD schematic with wires between every component’s pins.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • You can now shoot true RAW video with your smartphone thanks to open source app MotionCam

        Well, this is pretty exciting. At least, it’s exciting if you have an Android phone – sorry iPhone users!. The newest version of the open-source camera app, MotionCam, now lets you shoot 10-Bit CinemaDNG RAW video files straight from your Android device. It should be noted that the feature is still experimental and definitely needs a few features tweaking and refining, but it works… with caveats.

        The MotionCam software, as mentioned, is open source. It’s available in the Google Play store, but you can also always download and install the latest version from GitHub – and at the moment, you will need to go to GitHub to get the newest version with raw video capability. Here’s a sample recording using the new CinemaDNG raw video feature of the app.

      • FSFE

        • Infrastructure living the ideals of software freedom – FSFE

          Can organisations with limited resources be digitally sovereign and still provide modern services? It is not trivial, but the FSFE proves it’s possible. Take a deep dive with us into our infrastructure to learn how we run all the different services within the FSFE and cope with numerous challenges. A story non only for techies.

          Charity, non-profit organisations run into limits every day: personnel, budget, time, and the pressing question how to use donations most efficiently. When it comes to technical infrastructure, many organisations unfortunately decide to outsource and use proprietary, non-free services. By this, they give up software freedom and thereby digital sovereignty and independence.

          Since its founding more than 20 years ago, the FSFE has been pursuing the opposite way. Right from the start, we have relied on Free Software although it sometimes meant not being able to use and offer trendy services. Also, given the limited resources, we constantly have to choose between useful features and maintainability.

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: littler 0.3.15 on CRAN: Package Updates

          The sixteenth release of littler as a CRAN package just landed, following in the now fifteen year history (!!) as a package started by Jeff in 2006, and joined by me a few weeks later.

          littler is the first command-line interface for R as it predates Rscript. It allows for piping as well for shebang scripting via #!, uses command-line arguments more consistently and still starts faster. It also always loaded the methods package which Rscript only started to do in recent years.

          littler lives on Linux and Unix, has its difficulties on macOS due to yet-another-braindeadedness there (who ever thought case-insensitive filesystems as a default were a good idea?) and simply does not exist on Windows (yet – the build system could be extended – see RInside for an existence proof, and volunteers are welcome!). See the FAQ vignette on how to add it to your PATH. A few examples are highlighted at the Github repo, as well as in the examples vignette.

        • Cdson

          Today, I’m announcing the release of my library cdson: a parser and serializer for the DSON data format in C. (As the name suggests, DSON is a bit like JSON, and I strongly prefer its usage to YAML.) While I’m many years late to this joke, in that time somehow no one had implemented a DSON library in C.


          cdson takes this last route. 18 bits of code point is planes 1-3, which is actually everything except private use and alternate reps right now. But it also gates using \\u-escapes at all behind a flag.

          Writing cdson has amused me, but having finished the project does not mean the amusement must cease. cdson is open source software under the very permissive MPL; feel free to add it to projects if doing so would amuse you too. And if you need a defensible config file format, might I recommend anything that’s not YAML?

        • Perl/Raku

          • Writing a SNES assembler compiler/disassembler – Day 1

            Why ? Because I can. More seriously I have a project where I need to inject new Snes code in a running game and I want to express directly this new code in my Raku component (A webserver service). I want to have special sub that returns me Snes bytecode but that contains Snes assembler.

            I tried injecting a SLANG in Raku already. Like writing my $byte-code = SNES lda $42; sta $54; rtl; But it’s rather tricky and I will probably just have a additional Slang with its own grammar in a dedicated file.

  • Leftovers

    • Ending Latin America’s Sewage Decade

      The last few years of governance in Latin America have reeked of corruption, repression, and environmental degradation. They will go down in history as the Sewage Decade, thanks to Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Iván Duque of Colombia, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Nayib Bukele of El Salvador, Jeanine Áñez of Bolivia, and Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras.

      A number of these leaders are still in office. And Chileans may also wade into the waste water if they elect right-wing populist José Antonio Kast, who received the most votes in the first round of presidential elections last month.

    • Reflecting on the Dawn of Everything

      Neither Hobbes nor Rousseau was right, nor ever claimed to be, not in the sense of describing actual people and events.

      There exists no pattern of human societies progressing by stages from nomadic small groups of hunter-gatherers too dumb to have a system of government, to settled urban farmers inevitably under the boots of tyrants, to practically white industrialists, to full-blown democrats and NATO members eager to devastate ecosystems and stockpile nuclear weapons.

    • The Orange Blossom Special Hits the Haight

      For example, the Grateful Dead first performed Cash’s “Big River” on New Year’s Eve in 1971. Other country songs by Marty Robbins and Merle Haggard were either already part of the band’s repertoire or would soon become part of it. In an oft-told story, the Byrds would mutate once again after the Sweetheart of the Rodeo album, with Gram Parsons leaving the band along with Chris Hillman. Parsons and Hillman would dive deep into country music, while the Byrds continued to create their own share of what was being labeled country rock. As anyone who was listening to FM rock radio in the 1970s knows, the genre became quite popular. From Willie Nelson and the outlaw music scene in Texas to bands like Poco and performers like Linda Ronstadt, country rock made a fair amount of money for a few record labels. The genre would eventually move further into the country realm and by the late 1980s, it seemed like the country rock genre was mere history, like new wave eventually became.

      However, booking Johnny Cash at the Carousel in 1968 was a bold move. Country musicians—even those who had a bit of hip credibility like Cash—played county fairs, not hippie dancehalls where LSD and marijuana was used fairly openly (for 1967 anyhow). Cash’s career was in a bit of a down spin prior to the tour this show was ostensibly part of. His problems with methamphetamine were public knowledge and a matter of concern to his fans, management and family. As it turned out, publicly announcing his affair with June Carter, divorcing his wife and marrying Carter of the Carter Family would mark the beginning of his redemption. Indeed, he publicly proclaimed his Christian rebirth in 1968. His amphetamine use would diminish, as would his drinking.

    • Education

      • After being fired from Google, Gebru forms AI research institute

        Artificial Intelligence (AI) researcher Timnit Gebru, fired from Google after sending an email of concern to her Ethical AI team, has set up her own research institute that will be an independent, community-rooted institute set to counter Big Tech’s pervasive influence on the research, development and deployment of AI.

    • Hardware

      • Building the DIY HP41C: A Field Report

        I have a confession to make. I write about a lot of projects for Hackaday, but there are very few I read about and then go actually build a copy of it. I don’t have a lot of time and I’m usually too busy building my own stuff. But once in a while, something strikes my fancy and I’ll either raid the junk box or buy the kit. The most recent case of that was the PX-41C, a replica of the classic HP-41C.

      • Booting Up The Cash Register

        Computers didn’t immediately lend themselves to retail, but ambitious early computer retailers sold ‘em anyway. Eventually, they got trampled.


        The modern computer store, as I’ve argued in the past, is a bit of a mess. It’s all about the hard sell (in a gigantic box) at the cost of any personality whatsoever. (Micro Center notwithstanding; that place is great.) It was so bad that Apple (and later, Microsoft, though not permanently) had to create its own self-branded stores to ensure their products were seen in the proper light. This is kind of painful, of course, because personal computers were really the domain of the hobbyist at first. But all too quickly, and perhaps not best for the consumer, that all changed. Tonight’s Tedium ponders the birth of computer retail and why the mom-and-pop byte peddler lost out.

      • Mechanical keyboard ASMR is my favourite genre • The Register

        Discerning writers and programmers know that keyboards matter. It’s mostly the feel, but the best feel tends to come from mechanical key switches and they make a noise as they activate.

        That feeling goes hand in hand with a chorus of soft clicks… and thanks to custom keyboard guru Taeha “Nathan” Kim and weirdo label Trunk Records, you can relax to 43 minutes and 24 seconds of soothing sounds from 13 rare and limited-edition mechanical keyboards.

        Your correspondent is a bit of a fan of devices like this (this piece was typed on a 1991 IBM Model M; accept no substitute) – but no such brash, commonplace kit features on the album. Instead you can luxuriate to the Alps switches of a 1987 Apple Standard (why, yes, I do happen to have one of those too, but the linear cursor keys hinder daily use), and an M0110A from a Mac Plus, as well as more exotic kit.

      • The Safest Model Roller Coaster | Hackaday

        [Jared Holladay] is a computer engineering student at the University of Cincinnati and a life-long roller coaster fanatic. A lot of people look at roller coasters as an exciting example of physics, like potential energy versus kinetic energy or inertia, and rightly so. [Jared] looks at them and wonders about the controls. Video also below and there is a feature-length explanation with more details. Some Hackaday readers and writers can identify the components, so we think his coaster model belongs here.

        Like many folks in this field, he’s built K’nex models to get a handle on construction. He’s toured STEM shows with the tracks and undoubtedly wowed kids, adults, and physics teachers, but since he can speak to the programming, he is a triple threat. Now, he’s growing out of the toy construction plastic and moving into 3D printed parts with needle-fine tolerances.

      • This Ham Radio Is Unsafe At Any Frequency | Hackaday

        When we were kids we rode bicycles without pads and helmets. We drank sugary drinks. We played with chemistry sets and power tools. We also built things that directly used AC line current. [Mike] remembers and built one, presumably more to discuss the safety precautions around things that can shock you and not entice you to duplicate it. He calls it The Retro QRP Widowmaker, if that’s any kind of a hint. (Video of this unsafe transmitter also embedded below.)

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Health Minister Says ‘Highly Transmissible’ Omicron Hitting Young Children Hard in South Africa

        Top government health officials in South Africa briefed the press on Friday regarding the Omicron variant, warning that the country’s newest wave of Covid-19 infections has included an alarmingly sharp rise in hospital admissions among young children under the age of five.

        “The younger children, younger than 12, who were not eligible for vaccination—none of their parents, except for three, were vaccinated.”

      • Sanders Calls on Biden to Slash ‘Outrageous’ Medicare Premium Hike

        Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday implored President Joe Biden to step in and prevent a looming Medicare premium hike stemming from the Food and Drug Administration’s widely condemned approval of an expensive—and possibly ineffective—Alzheimer’s drug.

        In a letter to the president, Sanders (I-Vt.) noted that the pharmaceutical company Biogen has placed a $56,000-per-year price tag on Adulhelm, a treatment that the FDA approved in June despite experts’ concerns about the dearth of evidence showing it actually works to slow Alzheimer’s-induced cognitive decline.

      • Public Health Experts Slam ‘Grossly Inadequate,’ Industry-Friendly Covid Test Reimbursement Scheme

        Despite the White House’s claim that its new Covid-19 strategy, unveiled Thursday, is “pulling out all the stops” to get the pandemic under control, public health experts and progressives are slamming the Biden administration for its “grossly inadequate” plan to push health insurance companies to reimburse people for rapid over-the-counter tests—a plan that will do nothing to encourage frequent testing, critics said.

        “This is where the U.S. is an international outlier. Making testing free is clearly a good idea.”

      • Opinion | Why Is This Pandemic Taking So Long? In One Word: Greed

        Stop me if this sounds familiar.

      • “The Facility”: Meet the Former Prisoner Who Details Fight for His Life Inside ICE Jail During COVID

        We go inside a notorious ICE jail at the height of the pandemic to see how people held there spoke out against dangerous conditions, and faced retaliation before they were ultimately released with no notice. Their story is captured in a new documentary called “The Facility.” It investigates the inhumane conditions at Irwin County Detention Center using footage from video calls, where cameras installed in cell blocks to enable pay-per-minute video calls “functioned almost like a portal for a moment in and out of a place meant not to be seen in this way,” says director, Seth Freed Wessler. “How can your own government be doing this to you?” asks Nilson Barahona-Marriaga, one of the people featured in interviews with Wessler in the eye-opening footage from inside the jail.

      • Newly Revealed Details Show That Missouri Government Totally Knew That Journalists Were Not At Fault For Teacher Data Vulnerability

        Kudos for open records laws proving to us that not only is Missouri Governor Mike Parson a technologically illiterate hack, but he’s a lying one as well. You’ll recall, of course, that in October, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on how the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website was designed in such a dangerous way that it was exposing the social security numbers of state teachers and administrators, and rather than thanking the journalists for their ethical disclosure of this total security fail by the state, DESE and Governor Parson called them hackers and asked law enforcement to prosecute them. Governor Parson continued to double down for weeks, insisting that reporting this vulnerability (and failed security by the government he runs) was malicious hacking until DESE finally admitted it fucked up and apologized to the over 600,000 teachers and administrators whose data was vulnerable — but never apologizing to the journalists.

      • ‘Unconscionable’: Missouri Accused of Burying Analysis Showing Mask Mandates Save Lives

        An analysis by the Missouri health department showed that mask mandates reduce the spread of the coronavirus and save lives, but the findings weren’t made available until this week—and only due to a public records request by The Missouri Independent and the Documenting Covid-19 Project at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation.

        “It confirms for us what our public health experts have been saying, that masks are an effective tool for reducing community transmission.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Who Is the Network Access Broker ‘Babam’?

          Rarely do cybercriminal gangs that deploy ransomware gain the initial access to the target themselves. More commonly, that access is purchased from a cybercriminal broker who specializes in acquiring remote access credentials — such as usernames and passwords needed to remotely connect to the target’s network. In this post we’ll look at the clues left behind by “Babam,” the handle chosen by a cybercriminal who has sold such access to ransomware groups on many occasions over the past few years.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Hyperledger Foundation 2021 End-of-Year Update

                In 2021, after six years of community building and expanding from two projects to 18 projects, to over 50 labs, 16 Special Interest and Working Groups, and over 200 members, Hyperledger became a Foundation.

                This newfound identity arches over all of its projects, labs, regional chapters, and community groups. Hyperledger Foundation is now leading the collective effort to advance enterprise blockchain technology and fulfill its mission to foster and coordinate the premier open source enterprise blockchain community.

                At Hyperledger Foundation, being open is core to what we do. We’re here to lead an open, global and welcoming enterprise blockchain ecosystem—a community where no contribution is seen as too small or insignificant. Our foundation comprises organizations, developers, executives, students, teachers, government leaders, and more. It’s supported by the Technical Steering Committee, various working groups, special interest groups, and Meetup communities all across the globe, now numbering more than 80,000 participants.

        • Security

          • New malware hides as legit nginx process on e-commerce servers

            eCommerce servers are being targeted with remote access malware that hides on Nginx servers in a way that makes it virtually invisible to security solutions.

            The threat received the name NginRAT, a combination of the application it targets and the remote access capabilities it provides and is being used in server-side attacks to steal payment card data from online stores.

          • Testing Phone-Sized Faraday Bags

            Back in the not-so-distant past, if you were patient and knowledgeable enough, you could reverse engineer the behavior of almost any electronic device simply by inspecting it carefully and understanding the circuitry. But those days are rapidly ending. Today, virtually every aspect of complex electronic hardware is controlled by microprocessors and software, and while that’s generally good news for functionality, it’s also bad news for security (and for having any chance of being sure what, exactly, your gadgets are doing, for that matter). For devices like smartphones, software runs almost every aspect of the user interface, including how and when it’s powered on and off, and, for that matter, what being “off” actually means.

            Complex software is, to put it mildly, hard to get right (for details, see almost any other posting on this or any other security blog). Especially for gadgets that are rich with microphones, cameras, location and environmental sensors, and communication links (such as, you know, smartphones), errors and security vulnerabilities in the software that controls them can have serious privacy implications.

            The difficulty of reliably turning software-based devices completely off is no longer merely a hypothetical issue. Some vendors have even recognized it as a marketable feature. For example, certain Apple iPhones will continue to transmit “Find My Device” tracking beacons even after they’ve ostensibly been powered off. Misbehaving or malicious software could enable similar behavior even on devices that don’t “officially” support it, creating the potential for malware that turns your phone into a permanently on surreptitious tracking device, no matter whether you think you’ve turned it off. Compounding these risks are the non-removable batteries used in many of the latest smartphones.

          • Netgear router vulnerabilities affecting SME products fixed • The Register

            Two arbitrary code execution vulnerabilities affecting a number of Netgear routers aimed at small businesses have been patched following research by Immersive Labs.

            The vulns rely on authenticated access to affected devices so aren’t an immediate threat. They do, however, allow someone with remote access to the router to pwn the device’s underlying OS, threatening the security of data passing through the router.

            Helpfully, Netgear itself publishes default login credentials for “most” of its products on its website. If you haven’t been into your Netgear router’s admin panel and changed these default creds, you’re at increased risk.

          • Netgear vulnerabilities could put small business routers at risk

            Netgear has released a set of updated firmware for multiple devices to resolve a number of security vulnerabilities responsibly disclosed by researchers at Immersive Labs. These could lead to unauthorized access to devices or modification of the internal filesystem that can be abused to affect traffic passing through the device.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Colorado Appeals Court Says A Drug Dog That Alerts On Now-Legal Weed Can’t Create Probable Cause For A Search

              “Probable cause on four legs.” That’s the cop nickname for drug dogs, which need to do nothing more than something only perceptible to the officer/trainer to allow officers to engage in warrantless searches. For years, drug dogs and the “odor of marijuana” have allowed both cops and dogs to follow their noses to all sorts of otherwise-unconstitutional searches, much to the delight of law enforcement and its desire to make easy busts and seize cash.

            • Encrypted Phone Seller Facing Criminal Charges Fights Back, Says Sky Global Isn’t Complicit In Customers’ Illegal Acts

              Over the past couple of years, the US government — working with law enforcement agencies around the world — has managed to shut down cell phone services it alleges were sold to members of large criminal associations. These prosecutions have allowed the DOJ to push the narrative that encrypted communications are something only criminals want or need.

            • Interview With Hen Lamay – Deceptive Bytes

              Hen Lamay: Our story begins more than a decade ago, as 3 brothers with various backgrounds who wanted to work together. Avi (CTO and a cyber security expert), Sagi (CEO and experienced sales & project manager), and I (Senior software developer and dev team leader on my record) talked about getting more experience so that one day we’ll open a company together, but we didn’t have an idea back then. A few years ago, we thought about a way to prevent malware by using its own defenses & techniques against it, we did some research and decided to establish Deceptive Bytes and build the solution.

            • Interview With Ivan Spencer-Phillips – Astaris

              Ivan Spencer-Phillips: Some years ago, I was living in London, doing “break-fix” IT. Things would break at a customer site, I’d go running to fix them. It was poorly paid, highly stressful and the business wouldn’t have been able to grow past however fast I was able to zip about London on a scooter. 

            • Interview With Jay Akin – Mushroom Networks

              Jay Akin: Mushroom Networks solutions set networks on autopilot. We accomplish this with our router appliance that intelligently orchestrates two or more Internet lines to create one aggregated Internet connection that is optimized for performance. Some of our enterprise customers use our broadband bonding appliances to enhance connectivity at the branch offices. For mobile and vehicular use cases our multi-sim cellular bonding devices enable portable internet access by combining two or more cellular modems.

            • Interview With Tunio Zafer – pCloud

              Tunio Zafer: pCloud was created in 2013 by Tunio Zafer and Anton Titov, currently CEO and CTO of the company. The company is registered in Switzerland, operating under Swiss law and today is one of the biggest European cloud storage providers, with almost 15 million registered users.  

            • Facebook Messenger is getting a built-in bill splitting feature

              With the feature, you can ask for money from people right in a group chat and see who has paid their portion of the request. You can see how it all works in a series of screenshots below from Meta. The feature arrives shortly after David Marcus, Meta’s cryptocurrency chief and former Messenger lead, announced he would be leaving the company.

            • U.S. State Department phones hacked with Israeli company spyware – sources

              The intrusions, first reported here, represent the widest known hacks of U.S. officials through NSO technology. Previously, a list of numbers with potential targets including some American officials surfaced in reporting on NSO, but it was not clear whether intrusions were always tried or succeeded.

              Reuters could not determine who launched the latest cyberattacks.

            • ‘Bombshell’: Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

              Multiple news outlets revealed Friday that Apple notified at least 11 U.S. State Department officials that their iPhones were recently hacked by an unknown party or parties with spyware developed by the private Israeli firm NSO Group.

              “A multi-agency investigation is immediately needed.”

            • State Department employee phones hacked through NSO Group spyware: report

              The phones of at least nine State Department employees were recently hacked through the use of spyware from Israeli company NSO Group, a report published Friday found.

            • The Israeli Firm NSO—Makers of Pegasus Spyware—Must Be Banned

              Contrary to Israeli claims, NSO is closely connected to, licensed, regulated, and supported by the Israeli government. Apple’s lawsuit goes further, accusing Israel of “sponsoring” and enabling NSO. The Israeli government, as reported in the Israeli media, “considers NSO’s software a crucial component of its foreign policy and national security.”

              The Israeli paper Haaretz has tracked the strong correlation between Israel’s foreign policy objectives and NSO sales in countries led by dictators or authoritarian regimes. It concluded that the Israeli state “worked proactively to get Israeli cyberweapon companies, first and foremost NSO, to operate in these countries, despite their problematic records on democracy and human rights.” Haaretz presented evidence of Israeli government corruption to partially explain the company’s collusion with NSO.

            • EU member states are debating indiscriminate retention of our communications and location… again!

              The responses of Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden paint a worrying picture, with proposals by some Member States to apply data retention even to over-the-top services such as WhatsApp or Signal, abolish online anonymity by imposing IP address and subscriber data retention, or even introduce “targeted” retention of data, which would mean you could be spied on just for living in the wrong place, or protesting.

              Council documents also show Member States expressing frustration at the decisions of the European Court of Justice to uphold European’s fundamental rights and oppose general and indiscriminate mass surveillance, complaining that the European court’s decisions are detrimental to their surveillance apparatus.

              More worrying still, thirteen EU Member States decided to keep their views secret from EU citizens, by refusing the public release of documents detailing their proposals to the Commission.

            • US State Department phones hacked with Israeli company spyware: sources

              The [attacks], which took place in the last several months, hit US officials either based in Uganda or focused on matters concerning the East African country, two of the sources said.

              The intrusions represent the widest known [cracks] of US officials through NSO technology. Previously, a list of numbers with potential targets including some American officials surfaced in reporting on NSO, but it was not clear whether intrusions were always tried or succeeded.

              Reuters could not determine who launched the latest cyberattacks.

            • Twitter losing design and engineering leaders in restructure under new CEO

              Twitter’s new CEO is reorganizing the company, with two top executives being removed as part of the shakeup. A regulatory document explains that Twitter is restructuring its Consumer, Revenue, and Core Tech divisions under individual leaders in an attempt to “drive increased accountability, speed, and operational efficiency.” Kayvon Beykpour, Bruce Falck, and Nick Caldwell will lead those three teams.

              As part of the change, Twitter’s engineering lead, Michael Montano, and its design and research lead, Dantley Davis, will be leaving their positions at the end of the year.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • How General Winter Did Not Save the Soviet Union in 1941

        Hitler not only ardently wanted to attack the Soviet Union but felt that he had to do so as soon as possible. Germany was a major industrial power, but underprivileged in terms of access to essential raw materials. Its defeat in World War I, when the Reich was blockaded by the Royal Navy, had demonstrated that without a steady supply of essential strategic raw materials, particularly petroleum and rubber, Germany could not win a long, drawn-out war. This is how the blitzkrieg concept was born, a strategy that called for synchronised attacks by waves of tanks and airplanes to pierce the defensive lines. Deep penetration into hostile territory, followed quickly by infantry units moving not on foot or by train, as in the Great War, but in trucks; and then swinging back to bottle up and liquidate entire enemy armies in gigantic “encirclement battles” (Kesselschlachten).

        The blitzkrieg strategy worked perfectly in 1939 and 1940, when it enabled the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe to overwhelm the Polish, Dutch, Belgian, and French defenses. Blitzkriege, “lightning-fast wars” were invariably followed by Blitzsiege, “lightning-fast victories.” However, these victories did not provide Germany with much loot in the form of vitally important petroleum and rubber; instead, they depleted the stockpiles built up before the war. Fortunately for Hitler, in 1940 and 1941 Germany was able to continue importing oil from Romania and the still neutral United States. Under the terms of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, concluded in August 1939, the Soviet Union itself also supplied Germany with petroleum, but these deliveries represented merely four per cent of all German oil imports at that time. (Millman, pp. 273, 261–83) And in return, Germany had to deliver high-quality industrial products and state-of-the-art military technology. The Soviets used this equipment to improve their weaponry in preparation for a German attack they expected to come sooner or later (Soete, pp. 289-90). Hitler found this most troubling, since it made the Soviets defenses stronger by the day. Time was obviously not on Hitler’s side, so he feared that the “window of opportunity” for an easy victory in the east might soon close. Finally, the sooner the Soviet Union would be conquered, the better for Germany, which would then finally be blessed with virtually limitless resources, including the rich Caucasian oil fields.

      • There’s Precedent for That

        That is why it is so frightening when we are witness to lawless conduct that goes unpunished or, worse, is rewarded. Sadly, this serves as precedent for more lawless conduct of the same sort.

        Case in point. In August, 2020, Kyle Rittenhouse, age 17, left his home in Illinois, traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin where he armed himself with an assault rifle purportedly to “protect businesses” from those lawfully protesting the shooting of a black man by police. That night Rittenhouse shot and killed two protesters and injured another.  He was charged with homicide and tried. But the jury apparently believed his claim that he was “defending himself” and acquitted him.

      • “Favor and Affection:” From Glynn County, Georgia to Kenosha, Wisconsin, Police/Vigilante Collusion is a Far Bigger Story Than The Verdicts

        No wonder it took over 70 days for the killers to be arrested. No wonder it took a public campaign to even bring the case to trial. Sure, the guilty verdict against the three murderers gives us some basic accountability but justice? Not yet. For justice, we need to expose and abolish the police/vigilante alliance. The indictment of Johnson is a step in the right direction.

        According to detailed coverage in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a pattern of immunity for police-involved killings had already been established. The murders saw themselves as patrolling their neighborhood in lieu of regular police. And, they enjoyed a special relationship with authorities which the charges against Johnson accurately describe as “favor and affection.” In fact, Johnson had previously worked with ex-cop Greg McMichael. It was a classic cop/vigilante alliance.

      • ‘The Facts of This Case Are So Egregious’: Parents of Michigan School Shooter Charged in Killings

        In a rare move, Oakland County prosecutor Karen D. McDonald on Friday filed involuntary manslaughter charges against James and Jennifer Crumbley, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old arrested earlier this week by law enforcement officials who say he killed four classmates at Oxford High School in suburban Detroit, Michigan.

        “I’m angry as a mother, I’m angry as a prosecutor, I’m angry as a person that lives in this county.”

      • Opinion | Michigan School Shooting Exposes 2nd Amendment as Poison to America

        In a nation that worships holiday shopping almost as much as its nearly 400 million guns, James Crumbley of Oxford, Michigan, may have just made the worst Black Friday purchase in American history.

      • This Must End: Saudi Warplanes Carpet-Bomb Yemen With US Backing

        For more than six years, Saudi-led military intervention into Yemen’s civil war on behalf of Yemen’s exiled government against Yemeni rebels has been a key driver of the largest humanitarian disaster in the world. “The country’s economy has reached new depths of collapse, and a third wave of the pandemic is threatening to crash the country’s already fragile healthcare system,” United Nations humanitarian relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths, said in September, with millions “a step away from starvation”.

        Under first the Obama and then the Trump administration, the United States was Saudi Arabia’s partner in this horrific war. In 2019, Congress made history by passing its first War Powers Resolution through both chambers of Congress, pressing Donald Trump to end this support. It marked the first time that Congress invoked the War Powers Resolution of 1973 to direct the president to withdraw troops from an undeclared war.

      • “Astonishment and Stupefaction” at $90-Billion Industrial Double-Cross for Australian Submarines

        The shocking announcement was a sucker punch to France’s submarine industry, cancelling without warning a $90 billion agreement signed in 2016 to build diesel-powered subs for Australia. The head of French military contractor Naval Group, Pierre Eric Pommellet, spoke of “astonishment and stupefaction” at being told the nearly $90 billion dollar submarine contract with Australia was being torn up, the Guardian reported Oct. 7.

        Reacting to what appears to be a case of industrial espionage among fierce global rivals — France had reportedly already spent $2 billion on the agreed diesel-powered attack submarines — Paris recalled its ambassadors from Australia and the United States, and its foreign affairs minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the cancellation betrayed “the letter and spirit” of cooperation between France and Australia.

      • ‘Indefensible’: Outrage Over Man in Wheelchair Fatally Shot in the Back by Arizona Cop

        Noting that up to half of all fatal U.S. police use-of-force incidents involve people with disabilities, rights advocates on Thursday voiced serious concerns over what they called the “unacceptable” killing of a wheelchair-bound Arizona man by a Tucson police officer who shot the victim nine times in the back on Monday evening.

        “The fact that Mr. Richards was a person with a disability is of particular concern because persons with disabilities are more likely to die in an encounter with law enforcement than the general population.”

      • Facing the Facts About Gun Violence in the U.S.

        First, many have no idea how many people are injured or killed by gun violence in the U.S. annually. According to the CDC, more than 45,000 people were killed by gun violence in the U.S. in 2020, an increase in recent decades. This is an average of more than 120 gun-related deaths per day. It includes a 30 percent increase in homicides from the previous year. Between 2015 and 2019 there were 2,606 gun deaths by law enforcement alone. These numbers should be shocking, with U.S. gun-related homicide rates 25 times greater than other wealthy nations.

        Second, most are unaware that the biggest percentage of gun-related fatalities come from suicide. Nearly two-thirds of deaths by gun are suicides, an average of approximately 64 per day. Likewise, accidental injuries and deaths are far more frequent in the U.S. than in other wealthy countries. A study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University found that between 2009 and 2017, there was an annual average of 85,700 ER visits for non-fatal gun injuries. ABC Newsdeveloped a Gun Violence Tracker and found that for the week of November 19 to 25, 2021, there 345 deaths and 623 injuries due to firearms in the U.S.

      • We Need to Take China’s Military Strength Seriously

        When the Department of Defense released its annual report on Chinese military strength in early November, one claim generated headlines around the world. By 2030, it suggested, China would probably have 1,000 nuclear warheads—three times more than at present and enough to pose a substantial threat to the United States. As a Washington Post headline put it, typically enough: “China accelerates nuclear weapons expansion, seeks 1,000 warheads or more, Pentagon says.”

      • The Reconstruction of Gaza Has Been a Failure

        This week, the Senate votes on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would increase the Pentagon’s budget by $37 billion to a whopping $778 billion for the fiscal year 2022. Last month, Senator Bernie Sanders criticized his colleagues for supporting such a bloated military budget, given the deficit and national debt, as well as the lack of political will to expand Medicare, guarantee paid family leave, and address the climate crisis. He then introduced an amendment to the bill that would address the pressing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and the seemingly intractable conflict.

      • War With China in 2027?

        The media, however, largely ignored a far more significant claim in that same report: that China would be ready to conduct “intelligentized” warfare by 2027, enabling the Chinese to effectively resist any U.S. military response should it decide to invade the island of Taiwan, which they view as a renegade province. To the newsmakers of this moment, that might have seemed like far less of a headline-grabber than those future warheads, but the implications couldn’t be more consequential. Let me, then, offer you a basic translation of that finding: as the Pentagon sees things, be prepared for World War III to break out any time after January 1, 2027.

        To appreciate just how terrifying that calculation is, four key questions have to be answered. What does the Pentagon mean by “intelligentized” warfare? Why would it be so significant if China achieved it? Why do U.S. military officials assume that a war over Taiwan could erupt the moment China masters such warfare? And why would such a war over Taiwan almost certainly turn into World War III, with every likelihood of going nuclear?

      • Arming Against China: the US Global Posture Review

        On November 29, the Pentagon announced that US President Joe Biden had accepted the recommendations made by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III in the Global Posture Review commissioned in February.  The news might have been delivered by Austin himself, but this solemn duty fell to Mara Karlin, discharging her duties as deputy undersecretary of defense for policy.  As the GPR remains classified, we are left with a sketchy performance that should make many across the Indo-Pacific seek cover and a bunker.

        For the most part, Karlin’s performance was gibberish, masked by lingo hostile to meaning.  The review was intended to “inform” the approach of the Biden administration in terms of national defence strategy, which did not mean that it would necessarily inform anybody else.  “That guidance asserts that the United States will lead with diplomacy first, revitalize our unmatched network of allies and partners and make smart and disciplined choices regarding our national defense and responsible use of our military,” Karlin stated.  How reassuring.

      • Dorothee Benz on January 6 Insurrection, Vera Eidelman on Anti-Protest Laws
      • Biden Administration Rejects Calls for Ban on “Killer Robots”
      • Protecting Judges Is Important, But They Don’t Get To Throw Out The 1st Amendment For Themselves

        It’s been said that any time a bill in a legislature is named after someone who died, you know there’s going to be problems with the bill. That’s because most of those bills are responses to truly horrific or tragic circumstances, but then our natural inclination is to go too far in diminishing the rights of the public in response to a single horrific scenario. This is, unfortunately, the case with the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act of 2021. The events that precipitated the bill are, undeniably, awful and tragic. In the summer of 2020 an obviously mentally unwell lawyer, who had represented a client before US District Judge Esther Salas, went to her home, dressed as a FedEx delivery person, and shot and killed Judge Salas’s son, Daniel Anderl (as well as shooting and injuring Salas’ husband, Mark Anderl). The shooter then took his own life.

      • ‘Sad But Unsurprising’: Biden Administration Rejects Calls for Ban on ‘Killer Robots’

        The Biden administration on Thursday rejected demands for a binding international agreement banning or tightly regulating the use of so-called killer robots, autonomous weapons that campaigners fear will make war more deadly and entrench a global norm of “digital dehumanization.”

        “The prospect of a future where the decision to take a human life is delegated to machines is abhorrent.”

      • China deletes Lithuania from customs registry over Taiwan ties

        On Thursday (Dec. 2), 15min.lt cited a Lithuanian wood exporter as saying their company’s products were barred from entering Shanghai port because Lithuania is no longer in the computer system. Vidmantas Janulevicius, president of the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists, told the news agency that “Lithuania has been crossed out … it seems that there’s no such country in China’s customs system.”

        This means that firms such as the wood exporter, which has 300 containers sailing to China, now have their products floating in limbo. The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry confirmed with the Baltic News Service (BNS) that the country’s exporters have encountered problems exporting goods to the communist country.

      • EOD teams have disarmed 6,750 pieces of ordnance this year

        By the end of November, EOD teams had received 1,520 calls requesting ordnance disposal. “War-era ordnance is still found on Estonia’s territory to this day. Digging and farm work but also natural landslides may unearth dangerous objects,” Meelis Mesi from the Rescue Board said.

        Calls concerning unexploded munitions numbered 1,108 and responding to these calls, EOD specialists disarmed 6,750 pieces of ordnance. In terms of the number of findings, this is the second largest result since 1992.

    • Environment

      • The Drought That May Never End

        This isn’t just a California problem. Despite a slew of flood-inducing storms along Washington’s coast, go inland a bit and the drought is affecting eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, and even the Dakotas. Further south, large parts of the desert states of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico are even drier than usual. More than four-fifths of New Mexico’s topsoil is now short of moisture, meaning it’s less viable for agricultural usage, and more likely to create Dust Bowl–type conditions in which the topsoil simply blows away.

      • Blizzard warning issued for Hawaii with at least 12 inches of snow forecast

        In addition to blizzard conditions, wind gusts over 100 mph are also expected, according to the alert issued by National Weather Service Honolulu.

      • The Fight Against Plastic: ‘If You’re Not at the Table, You’re on the Menu’
      • Groups Tell UN Food Agency to Ditch ‘Toxic Alliance’ With Pesticide Association

        A global coalition of food justice advocates on Friday urged the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization to sever ties with CropLife International, a trade association representing agrochemical corporations.

        In a letter addressed to FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu and attached to a petition signed by more than 187,300 people from 107 countries, nearly a dozen groups wrote that “CropLife’s sole purpose is to advocate for use of its members’ products.”

      • Opinion | Why COP26 Failed to Address the Climate Crisis

        The UN climate talks (Conference of the Parties, or COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, concluded in mid-November with deeply disappointing results. In spite of what the global scientific community has termed a dire climate emergency, countries made weak commitments that condemn the world’s most vulnerable people to what Ugandan youth climate activist Vanessa Nakate has called “a death sentence for communities like mine.”

      • ‘Biden’s Oily Christmas’: Climate Campaigners Call Out Public Lands Giveaways

        Inspired by the familiar “The 12 Days of Christmas” carol, climate campaigners crashed the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony Thursday night to launch a series of holiday season actions calling out President Joe Biden for leasing public lands and waters to fossil fuel companies.

        “No peace on Earth, nor mercy mild. Biden leaves our public lands defiled.”

      • Opinion | Fed Chair Jerome Powell Failing to Lead on Climate
      • Calling Out Climate Change Denial
      • Energy

        • If You Fund the Research, You Can Shape the World

          Much has been made, and rightly so, of the Koch network’s impact on universities. Entire campus projects exist to ferret out Koch cash, which is powering everything from the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University to the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. The Koch strategy is straightforward: He who funds the research influences the research, and that research helps drive policy and public opinion.

        • Ocean Winds: Bringing Us Renewable Fish with Renewable Energy

          For thousands of years, those ocean winds drove human history. Think about sails. Beginning sometime between 3000 and 1500 BCE, the sailing ships of the Austronesian people used the wind to explore and settle most of the islands of the south Pacific. By 1200 BCE, the sailing ships of Phoenicia and other maritime civilizations used the wind to turn the Mediterranean into a marketplace. Wind powered the ships that “discovered” and looted the “New World ” from the 15th century through most of the 19th century. All the people stolen from Africa were driven by wind into slavery. Massed formations of wind-powered European warships fought to divide the world. Sails kept the sun from ever setting on the British Empire. Can we even imagine world history without sail ships?

          Wind also drove the ships that slaughtered the world’s whales until there were so few that hunting them was no longer profitable. But the wind-powered fishing vessels posed no existential threat to the fish that filled the seas. Unlike whales, fish seemed “inexhaustible,” as scientist Thomas Henry Huxley wrote in 1883, “Nothing we do seriously affects the number of the fish.” Back then, most commercial fishing was done by sail ships that launched row boats manned by anglers using hook and line. Huxley failed to reckon with fossil fuels. Coal-powered steam vessels were already fishing with huge nets amid the sail boats, as can be seen in this 1877 picture of a menhaden fishery:

        • Water and Power in California

          This review meanders like a river, though it also hews to two main channels: one personal and the other social and political. As a young man growing up and coming of age under the hot California sun, Arax couldn’t help but be inquisitive, aim to separate truths from half-truths and outright lies and expose the guilty parties.

          To separate the criminals from the worthy citizens and genuine  environmentalists, Arax has traveled all over the American West, and “West of the West,” to borrow a phrase from his second book, which is subtitled, “Dreamers, Believers, Builders and Killers in the Golden State.” The key word in that cluster is “killers,” though “dreamers” runs a close second.

        • Ambani backs data privacy, cryptocurrency bills

          The comments came as the government looks to bring a new bill in Parliament to treat cryptocurrencies as a financial asset while safeguarding small investors. The legislation may stipulate a minimum amount for investments in digital currencies while banning their use as legal tender.

          The legislative agenda for the current winter session of Parliament that started on November 29 lists bringing of a bill that seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies except “certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.”

        • Regulating cryptocurrency will have to be a collective effort: Nirmala Sitharaman

          India is unlikely to shut the door on cryptocurrencies and instead take a nuanced approach. According to an ET report, they may not be permitted as currency to settle transactions and make payments but could be held as an asset like shares, gold or bonds.

          Active solicitation by companies including exchanges and platforms could be barred. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) could be designated as the regulator, although a final call is yet to be taken.

        • The U.S. seized a record $1 billion of bitcoin a year ago. Its value has tripled.

          The government will auction off the bitcoins, a spokesperson for the Internal Revenue Service told NBC News. The proceeds of such auctions are typically deposited into the Treasury Forfeiture Fund or the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund, and used to support future investigations.

        • Bitcoin ‘mining’ is growing dirtier than coal. Here are 5 things the U.S. can do about it

          On the current trajectory, Bitcoin miners will surpass coal miners as a major contributor to greenhouse emissions. That’s why we need to act now. The good news is that technologies to make securing cryptocurrency less energy-intensive are already here. If the Chinese and Europeans know this, Americans should too. Cryptocurrencies are not going away, so smart government, technology and financial leaders need to provide the right incentives for these companies to “come clean.” The U.S. should show the world that cleaning up Bitcoin is just as important as cleaning up coal — and a lot easier.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Dominion: A Matter of Interpretation?

          We pretend free-living animals need our stewardship as we ravage their rainforests, plant vast monocultures over their prairies, and build the factories, mines, walls and roadways that fragment habitat, pollute the biosphere, and disrupt the Earth’s climate irreversibly. And we are the primates who will wire our own brains to computers. Why would any other species in its right mind trust us with dominion?

          Shivon Zilis, special projects director at the Neuralink Corporation, says testing on monkeys is necessary before brain chips are implanted in disabled humans, then in depressed people, and then, ultimately, in so-called healthy humans. In seven to ten years from now, chips in our skulls will synch with our devices—making it more convenient to summon our Teslas. Meanwhile, Neuralink’s CEO Elon Musk says the company’s monkeys “look totally happy.” This is the type of stewardship dominion permits.

        • Change, Mutation, Evolution and the Real End of History?

          There are those who welcome change and those who fear it. The first includes risk takers, the second true conservatives. But whatever camp you are in, change will happen. Time will move forward. The role of nostalgia should never be minimized. Early 20th century generations lived through two world wars. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) lived through a golden age of Western growth following World War II. It is natural for the first group to want change; it is natural for the second group to want the good times to continue to roll.

          The mutation of the virus poses considerable quandaries. For now, experts simply call it a “variant of concern”. Will the new variant be more contagious? Will it be more virulent and deadly? Will the existing vaccines be effective against it? For the moment, there are no answers, just as there are no answers about where the original COVID-19 came from. Whatever the answers to these questions, the latest variant implies that a series of mutations has taken place from the original virus. There have been at least five known major variants of the original SARS-CoV- 2 virus; the English variant (Alpha), the first South African variant (Beta), the Brazilian variant (Gama), the Indian variant (Delta) and the new South African variant Omicron.

        • Democrats and the Wolf Slaughter

          Testimony at the Legislature warned legislators that if they passed wolf slaughter bills, the federal government would intervene. Now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife is undertaking a 12-month review of the wolves’ status to determine relisting the wolves as endangered. Currently the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks — in desperate need of reform — has decided to allow anyone with a license to kill 20 wolves, 10 by shooting and 10 by trapping. Our state is sanctioning the torture and eradication of animals of tremendous intelligence and beauty. Destroying packs, which will lead to more livestock depredation, is designed to make wolves the cultural enemy.

          But it’s not just Republicans who can hang their hat on this slaughter. If you examine the process, you can’t avoid seeing the handiwork of U.S. Sen. Jon Tester. It is Sen. Tester who moved to delist wolves and return them to state control in 2011, an effort that has proven to be a disaster. But Tester has long seen his tough reelections dependent on killing wolves, not thriving wildlife. His actions against wolves are a disgrace and deserve more sunshine and less double talk.

        • Burned-out Forests Are Not Re-Growing

          This article will examine the science behind failure of trees to regrow in burned-out forests. Additionally, and as a collateral issue, this puts one more distorted face on the consequential impact of the multi-billion dollar business called “woody biomass,” which burns trees in place of coal to meet carbon neutral protocols.

          As a consequence, between the twin impacts of burned-out forests failing to regrow and woody biomass chopping down mature trees that are strong carbon sinks replaced by frail seedlings, one has to wonder about nature’s “carbon sink” capacity. Is it shrinking just when it’s needed like never before?

        • Boy finds ‘extinct’ frog in Ecuador and helps revive species

          A school-age boy has rediscovered an Ecuadorian frog considered extinct for at least 30 years. The animal has now successfully bred in captivity.

          The colourful Jambato harlequin frog (Atelopus ignescens) was once so widespread in Ecuador that it turned up in people’s homes, was something children played with and was used as an ingredient in traditional medicine. Then it was suddenly wiped out, probably by a combination of climate change and fungal disease.

      • Overpopulation

        • Millions More People Got Access to Water. Can They Drink It?

          Researchers are also working with better information. Technological advances since 2015 have made it easier to test water quality, so now the U.N. not only can track how water is delivered, but also know whether it’s safe to drink. Researchers are also asking more questions: Is the water available at home, or are people, women and girls in particular, spending an hour a day collecting it? Is it available when needed, or only sporadically? Is it affordable? The result is a new metric called “safely managed drinking water sources,” which means water that is clean and available when it’s needed on site. About 74 percent of the global population now meets this standard, the U.N. recently reported.

        • India’s population will start to shrink sooner than expected

          This is big news not just for India but, seeing that its 1.4bn people are nearly a fifth of humanity, for the planet. The number of Indians will still grow, because many young women have yet to reach child-bearing age. But lower fertility means the population will peak sooner and at a lower figure: not in 40 years at more than 1.7bn, as was widely predicted, but probably a decade earlier, at perhaps 1.6bn.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Roaming Charges: Tribute Must be Paid

        + As I eased back to my car ungored and untrampled, I felt like I’d passed some kind of test validating my own level stupidity and I flashed back to one of my favorite panels of rock art in the Northwest, an image of an Elk Man painted in red ochre by the river people 500 years ago, in a side canyon of basalt along the Columbia, a couple of hundred miles upstream from here, an image so powerful shotgun vigilantes have repeatedly splattered it with buckshot without (as yet) doing any fatal damage.

        + For the past 8 presidential elections, 5 of which were won outright by Democrats (who also carried the popular vote in 7), we were told that the primary reason to hold our collective noses and vote for Democrats was to preserve the Supreme Court and save Roe v. Wade. Over that same period, the court has swung to a super-majority of the far right, which has whacked voting rights, environmental laws, campaign finance reform, immigration rights, and abortion rights. For 25 of those 29 years, Joe Biden was either chair/ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Vice-President or President. The Democrats have forsaken the last reason to vote for them.

      • Ted Cruz Is the Disease

        When Sesame Street’s Big Bird announced early in November that he had been vaccinated against Covid-19, as part of an effort by public television stations to educate families about the availability of vaccines for children age 5 to 11, Texas Senator Ted Cruz blew a gasket.

      • South Korean Dictator Dies, Western Media Resurrects a Myth

        General Chun Doo Hwan was the corrupt military dictator that ruled Korea from 1979-1988, before handing off the presidency to his co-conspirator General Roh Tae Woo.  Chun took power in a coup in 1979, and during his presidency he perpetrated the largest massacre of Korean civilians since the Korean war. He died on November 23rd, in pampered, sybaritic luxury, impenitent and arrogant to the very last breath.

        Many western media outlets have written censorious, chest-beating accounts of his despotic governance and the massacres he perpetrated (here, here, here, and here)– something they rarely bothered to do when he was actively perpetrating them in broad daylight before their eyes.  Like the light from a distant galaxy–or some strange journalistic time capsule–only after death, decades later, do “human rights violations” in South Korea burst out of radio silence and become newsworthy.

      • US Progressive Caucus Hails Honduran Election as Chance for ‘New Chapter’ in Relations

        Calling the victory of Honduran President-elect Xiomara Castro “an opportunity for a new chapter in U.S.-Honduras relations,” Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal on Friday congratulated the first woman and socialist to be elected leader of the Central American nation long plagued by American subversion of democracy.

        Castro, a political activist and the wife of former Honduran President Manuel “Mel” Zelaya, won last week’s presidential election by more than 15 points over right-wing Tegucigalpa Mayor Nasry Asfura.

      • The Curious Case of Jack Evans

        My reasoning was solid. Sure, Evans had friends in high places due to having been DC’s longest-serving councilman and ruling over the city’s powerful finance committee for an incredible two decades. But now his corruption was out in the open and not even the Washington Post, his longtime protector, was ignoring it.

        After all, Evans’ sleaze wasn’t run-of-the-mill. It hit peak form in his last couple of years in office when Evans secretly sold himself to private clients (developers, bankers, investors and the like) for an annual fee of between $25,000 and $100,000.

      • Macedonian Ramble: the Struggle for Independence

        With less than three hours in Thessaloniki, I decided to limit my touring to the Museum for the Macedonian Struggle (a hard one to pass up) and a walk through the city’s old Jewish quarter (which vanished in the Holocaust). Along the way, I hoped that I could eat lunch and browse in a bookstore.

        The morning rain had not let up so after stashing my backpack in a station locker I took a taxi to the museum. The cab driver had never heard of the Museum for the Macedonian Struggle, but at least he didn’t suggest driving me to Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, where there is another museum with exactly the same name (the heroes inside are different).

      • At Least 40 Democrats Are Now Calling for Boebert to Be Removed From Committees
      • Ocasio-Cortez Introduces Bill to Help Clear Marijuana Charges at State Level
      • Western Media: Venezuelan Elections Must Be Undemocratic, Because Chavismo Won

        Corporate media’s coverage of Venezuela has been constantly biased over the past 20 years, but especially when reporting on elections (FAIR.org, 11/27/08, 5/23/18, 1/27/21).

      • The Politics of Moral Outrage

        Before I continue with this bit of analysis, I want to make it abundantly clear that I speak as a participant, not only as an observer. Like millions of other people in the US, I have spent a lot of time on the streets over the past couple of years. Unlike many of the young folks marching in the streets over the past couple of years, who quite naturally are doing this sort of thing for the first time, I’ve been at it for a while now, participating in other social movements that came before this one as well, in the US and in many other countries, since I’m lucky enough to make a living as a working, touring musician, primarily playing for different elements of the left, mainly in North America and Europe.

        There are a lot of young folks I know who are very traumatized by a whole lot of police brutality and other terrible things they have been dealing with.  In so many cases, as much as they are traumatized, they are also trying to figure out what the hell just happened.  It’s often a lot easier to make sense of things after the fact, rather than during, so that’s very understandable.  My perspective on what’s been happening has also been evolving, and I sure hope that in the process of analyzing events, I don’t come off as someone who thinks he knew everything to begin with.  This is not an “I told you so” piece of analysis, and I hope it doesn’t come across as such.  It’s just an earnest effort to make sense of a few things, from this particular middle-aged radical in Portland, Oregon.

      • Right-Wing Senators Hog Limelight by Blocking Nominations

        As of November 27, 56 state department nominees awaited confirmation, with Republicans subjecting many to holds. They do this, of course, in the senate. There one point-man is Texas senator Ted “Cancun” Cruz. He’s the eminence who singlehandedly keeps key state department posts from being filled. And strangely, majority leader Chuck Schumer long did not fight back. The excuse was that valuable time would be wasted.

        Now the argument could be made that we, and certainly the rest of the world, are better off without a functioning government in Washington; but we pretty much had exactly that under Trump. So unless we want to pick a path through full-on Weimar disarray to yet another neofascist junta, it would be wise to drop that line of reasoning. Reinforcing this wisdom is covid. Those of us who got vaccinated can thank Biden. If Trump still resided in the white house, vaccines wouldn’t have rolled out yet. They’d be sitting in some warehouse, expired.

      • Critical Race Theory and America’s Fear of Reality

        Here is a story of a clash of ideas between two 18th-century thinkers, the Anglican Bishop George Berkeley (1685-1753) and litterateur/curmudgeon Samuel Johnson (1709-1784). At this time, there was an argument over the nature of reality. Berkeley argued that what we know of reality is limited to the ideas the mind derives from our senses. It is not that there is no reality external to us, it is just that we can’t know it in and of itself. We can only be aware of it (including features such as solidity) as sensory impressions. This was misunderstood by folks like Johnson, who thought Berkeley was denying an  external, material world. He famously told his friend and biographer James Boswell that “I refute him [Berkeley] thus” and kicked a stone.

        Despite Johnson’s scorn, there is room to draw lessons from Berkeley’s insight. Almost all of us mingle belief with reality. That is, we assume that the ideas in our heads reflect reality faithfully. Most of the time the two do correspond well enough, at least at a mundane level, for us to get through our day. But the correspondence is not there all of the time, and this fact can get us into trouble. Yet, so powerful is the assumed melding of perception and reality that we rarely bother kicking the stone—which here stands in for seeking objective evidence of that apparent connection. Instead, we go with first impressions, automatically accept community or peer group judgments, or are committed to misleading ideologies. Having done so, confirmation bias sets in and we downgrade any suggestion that our views are inaccurate.

      • ‘Weaponising Bieber’ – pop star caught up in Saudi rights row

        The “Love Yourself” singer’s decision to perform at this week’s inaugural Saudi Arabian Formula One Grand Prix, while undoubtedly lucrative, has not come without a cost as campaigners urge him to cancel in protest at Riyadh’s human rights record.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Twitter Is Just The Beginning Of Jack Dorsey’s Speech Revolution

        Jack Dorsey has left Twitter, which he co-founded and ran for more than a decade. Many on the American political right frequently accused Dorsey and other prominent social media CEOs of censoring conservative content. Yet Dorsey doesn’t easily fit within partisan molds. Although Twitter is often lumped together with Facebook and YouTube, its founder’s approach to free speech and interest in decentralized initiatives such as BlueSky make Dorsey one of the more interesting online speech leaders of recent years. If you want to know what the future of social media might be, keep an eye on Dorsey.

      • Censorship, the Myth of Free Data and the False Solutions on the Table

        Facebook, Twitter, and virtually every other social media company make billions of dollars off our personal information. Some of that information is freely given by us, most is not. Carefully crafted algorithms capture and bundle our mundane or most intimate details and sell them to advertising agencies and political public relations firms, who then attempt to manipulate our fears, desires, pleasures and prejudices to sell us a product or influence our way of thinking about an issue.

        These social media giants hold a monopoly on what has become the commons for humanity. A place traditionally available to everyone in the community. They have privatized these commons and operate them without any oversight, no requirement for hearing and responding to complaints, and no democratic process.

      • Sri Lankan factory manager lynched and set on fire in Pakistan

        A Sri Lankan factory manager in Pakistan was on Friday beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob, police confirmed, in an incident local media reported was linked to alleged blasphemy.

        Few issues are as galvanising in Pakistan as blasphemy, and even the slightest suggestion of an insult to Islam can supercharge protests and incite lynchings.

      • Belarus Labels RFE/RL’s Telegram, YouTube Channels ‘Extremist’

        A Belarusian court has designated the official Telegram channel of RFE/RL’s Belarus Service and some of the broadcaster’s social media accounts as extremist in a continued clampdown on independent media and civil society,

        The decision to label RFE/RL’s accounts “extremist” – including its YouTube channel – was made by the Central District Court on December 3 based on information provided by the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption, known as GUBOPiK.

        In a statement, GUBOPiK said that anyone subscribing to channels or other media designated as “extremist” may face jail time or other penalties, such as fines.

      • ‘What have we become?’: Activists, celebrities express horror over Sialkot lynching

        The news that a Sri Lankan man was lynched at a factory in Sialkot on Friday sent shockwaves through Pakistanis on Twitter.

        The mob tortured the man, identified as Priyantha Kumara, to death over blasphemy allegations before burning his body.

      • [Old] Acts of faith: Why people get killed over blasphemy in Pakistan

        But even before Zia came to power and made Islamism official, the cultural work for this had been done, wrote Manan Ahmed Asif, an assistant professor of history at Columbia University, in a 2011 article, titled Forfeiting the Future, published in the Indian magazine, Caravan. The blasphemy riots of the 1950s, when Ahmadis were violently resisted by Jamaat-e-Islami and other religious groups, had taught one clear lesson to the religious right: the veneration of Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) made great political theatre, with infinite appeal for nearly every segment of the Pakistani population, he added. The emergence of Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) as a centralising and orienting raison d’être for Pakistan, however, was not, in Asif’s words, merely an organic outgrowth of a religiously inclined society; it was a deliberate state policy, aided by Islamist parties, to mould public faith. With the explicit support of Ayub Khan’s military regime, the figure of Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) quickly became central to national political memory — the celebration of his birth, the mi’raj (his ascension to the heavens) and other milestones from his life were “heavily funded and carefully orchestrated events, with the massive participation of the religious elite across Pakistan.”

      • Chinese people dodge censors to discuss Peng Shuai case online

        With coded references to “eating melons” and “that person”, Chinese social media users are getting creative to discuss tennis star Peng Shuai online as censors race to scrub all mentions of her sexual assault allegations.

        When Peng last month posted that former Chinese vice-premier Zhang Gaoli forced her to have sex, censors were quick to scrub the message and obvious discussion of Peng from social media.

        The 35-year-old’s allegations spread on Twitter — which is blocked in China but accessible using special Virtual Private Networks — and sparked an international outcry.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Standing With Nurses Is a Feminist Project

        What is the enduring image of the Covid-19 pandemic? For me, it is the nurse at the bedside, on the front lines of this global emergency, overcoming her own fear of illness to provide care to patients and to offer comfort in the face of likely death. For millions of nurses living in countries where Covid-19 vaccines continue to be scarce, this is an image of everyday life. But even in countries where the worst of the illness has dissipated, we are only beginning to understand the toll that this work—day after day—has taken on nurses’ lives.

      • Let Them Drown. Let Them Freeze to Death. Just Keep Them Out!

        On November 11 Filippo Grandi, the head of UNHCR, issued a plea for greater assistance from rich countries, saying that “the international community must redouble its efforts to make peace, and at the same time must ensure resources are available to displaced communities and their hosts.”  Unfortunately most of the international community couldn’t care less about refugees, as evidenced by reaction to recent agonizing events such as Poland’s inhumane treatment of the thousands attempting to enter from Belarus, whose President is quite as cruel and pitiless as the Polish authorities who have repelled so many of them.

        The BBC noted that as refugees “are summarily expelled from Poland and Belarus refuses to allow them back in, people are finding themselves stranded and freezing in Poland’s forests. Several have died of hypothermia.”  But who cares? Certainly not such officials as the head of Poland’s National Security Council, Pawel Soloch, who said on November 8 that he expected “attacks on our border to be renewed by groups of several hundred people” overnight.  “Attacks”?  By unarmed, frozen, desperate, pathetic exiles who wish only for decency, understanding and support?

      • For the First Time, Supreme Court Is Poised to Retract a Fundamental Right
      • Dark Money From the US Christian Right Fuels War on Abortion Rights Worldwide
      • Supreme Stench
      • ‘Global Empire of the US Christian Right’: Dark Money Fuels Attacks on Abortion Rights Worldwide

        An investigation by the media outlet openDemocracy revealed Friday that the dark money groups masterminding the far-right assault on reproductive freedoms in the U.S. have also spent at least $28 million in recent years on efforts to roll back the rights of women and LGBTQ+ people worldwide.

        The new analysis shows that prominent anti-abortion groups including the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the Federalist Society, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, the Family Research Council, and Focus on the Family and Heartbeat International have “been involved in recent efforts to limit reproductive rights in Europe and Latin America.”

      • Beyond the Stench: Reflections on Violence, Fascism, and Revolution

        By Meadows’ account, “nothing was going” to stop Trump from “debating” Biden (that is, hectoring Biden like a drunk fan at an NFL game). The pathetic “debate” host, Chris Wallace of Fatherland (FOX) News, later disclosed that Trump was not tested before the fiasco because the virus-spewing president was late.

        The event’s organizers foolishly relied on the honor system – a problem when one of the key participants is an abject narcissist without honor.

      • From Abortion Bans to Anti-Trans Laws, a Christian Legal Army is Waging War on America

        As the Supreme Court looks poised to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and possibly overturn Roe v. Wade, we speak to The Nation’s Amy Littlefield about her investigation into the Christian legal army behind the Mississippi law as well as anti-trans laws across the country. She also critiques the mainstream pro-choice movement’s failure to center the poor and people of color. “There is a change coming within the movement because of its reckoning with these past missteps including, frankly, the failure to adequately protect Black women and to stand up for the safety of the people whose rights were eroded first,” says Littlefield.

      • ‘White Supremacists Were Willing to Hold the United States Hostage’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Emory’s Carol Anderson about democracy vs. white supremacy for the November 26, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Haitian Asylum Seekers Held Under Bridge Now Face Inhumane ICE Jail Conditions
      • Haitian Asylum Seekers Held Under Del Rio Bridge Now Face Inhumane Conditions in New Mexico ICE Jail

        The world was shocked by images of Haitians whipped by U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback as they sought refuge. Thousands were soon deported, but dozens are now detained in an ICE jail in New Mexico where they face inhumane conditions and lack access to legal services. We speak with a lawyer who describes medical neglect, deteriorating mental and physical health, and poor treatment by the staff. “They cannot get the basic tools and have the basic human contact that they need to save their own lives,” says immigration attorney Allegra Love of the El Paso Immigration Collaborative.

      • NYC Vaccine Mandates Just Like Jim Crow in the Deep South, Says Naomi Wolf

        Wolf made the remarks to the crowd at a benefit in Columbia County on November 21.

        According to Wolf, she and a group of her fellow anti-vaxxers were refused entry to restaurants and bars in the city on November 20. New York’s vaccine restrictions, which have been in place since the middle of August, somehow reminded Wolf of racial segregation in the first half of the 20th century.

      • Who will police Interpol?

        The agency does not arrest people, but is essentially a communications hub. Its main tool is the “red notice”, which is akin to an international arrest warrant. Member states give Interpol the names of criminals on the lam and ask for a red notice. This used to be rare. In 2001 fewer than 1,500 were issued. That figure has grown more than sevenfold. In all, more than 66,000 red notices are active. Most are for real criminals, but autocratic regimes have found they can also be used to persecute exiled dissidents.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Charter Spectrum Funds Front Group To Try And Kill Small Maine Town’s Plan For Better Broadband

        For decades regional U.S. telecom monopolies have often refused to deploy broadband into low ROI areas, despite billions in subsidization. At the same time, they’ve fought tooth and nail against towns and cities that attempt to improve their own regional broadband infrastructure. Often by using a bunch of sleazy and disingenuous arguments, or, in some cases, literally buying and writing state laws that block locals from deciding what they can and can’t do with their own local infrastructure. The only real goal: protect giant regional monopolies from disruption and competition.

      • Federal Court Dismisses Another Negligence Suit Against Online Gun Marketplace Armslist But Says Section 230 Doesn’t Protect It

        Two years ago, the Wisconsin Supreme Court handed down a pretty important decision, only somewhat tempered by its limited jurisdiction. It decided Section 230 immunity applied to the buying and selling of guns via a third-party platform, Armslist.

      • Concerned with frequent internet suspensions, Parliamentary Committee recommends an overhaul.

        The Standing Committee on Communication and Information Technology has published its report on ‘Suspension of telecom services/internet and its impact’. The report has been published when governments across the country continue to frequently suspend internet services. In this background, the Committee has made a range of recommendations including a review of the legal regime for suspension of internet services and establishing a database of internet shutdown orders.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Opinion | Does Brazil Proposal Hold Key to Ending Big Pharma’s Stranglehold on Covid-19 Vaccines?

          The World Trade Organization was supposed to meet this week to consider a proposal that has been languishing for the past year: a temporary waiver of pharmaceutical intellectual property during the pandemic to allow poor countries to make many of the same tests, treatments, and vaccines that rich countries have had throughout the pandemic. Yet, in a cruel reminder of the urgency of the problem, the WTO meeting was postponed, owing to the emergence of the Omicron variant, detected by scientists in South Africa (though precisely where it originated remains unclear ).

      • Copyrights

        • YouTube Briefly Suspends Game Livestreamer Ludwig Ahgren for Copyright Violation, a Day After His Exclusive Deal With the Platform Kicked Off

          In a video he posted on YouTube shortly afterward, Ludwig — clearly amused — said YouTube’s suspension kicked in as he was reviewing 50 of the most popular “vintage” videos on the service. According to Ludwig, YouTube’s Content ID copyright system evidently triggered the ban on his livestream when he played a few seconds of Pinkfong’s viral hit “Baby Shark Dance,” the No. 1 most-viewed video on YouTube (with 9.77 billion views and counting).

        • Petter Reinholdtsen: A Brazilian Portuguese translation of the book Made with Creative Commons

          A few days ago, a productive translator started working on a new translation of the Made with Creative Commons book for Brazilian Portuguese. The translation take place on the Weblate web based translation system. Once the translation is complete and proof read, we can publish it on paper as well as in PDF, ePub and HTML format. The translation is already 16% complete, and if more people get involved I am conviced it can very quickly reach 100%. If you are interested in helping out with this or other translations of the Made with Creative Commons book, start translating on Weblate. There are partial translations available in Azerbaijani, Bengali, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Polish, Simplified Chinese, Swedish, Thai and Ukrainian.

        • Youtube Ripper Strikes Back at the RIAA in DMCA ‘Circumvention’ Lawsuit

          YouTube-ripping service Yout.com sued the RIAA last year in an attempt to have its platform declared legal in the US. The music industry group asked the court to dismiss the case, arguing that Yout clearly circumvents technological protection measures. However, Yout counters that YouTube doesn’t have any meaningful restrictions and wants the lawsuit to move forward.

        • U.S. Indicts Two Men for Running a $20 Million YouTube Content ID Scam

          Two men have been indicted by a grand jury for running a massive YouTube Content ID scam that netted the pair more than $20m. Webster Batista Fernandez and Jose Teran managed to convince a YouTube partner that the pair owned the rights to 50,000+ tracks and then illegally monetized user uploads over a period of four years.

IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:35 am by Needs Sunlight

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