The EPO Conflict Affects Everyone in Europe and We Should Support Patent Examiners, Who Are Also Victims of a Corrupt System (Besieged by Dictators Installed in a Systemic Coup d’État)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Finance, Patents at 9:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The ruling class uses cops in the same way the monopolists use patent examiners (to help guard/secure their monopolies); eventually they spit out or discard those who helped them protect themselves, so we’re all in this together

This rogue Corsican got the ball rolling and the EPO rotting (still governed by despots who work against Europe, against constitutions, and against the law)

Summary: The EPO crisis is a crisis which affects everyone in Europe; while the EPO pockets billions of euros by breaking the law the workers (i.e. those who do all the actual work under intense pressure which grows over time) see their rewards shrinking and shrinking; it’s “class plunder”, nothing less, nothing more…

A year ago during the holidays we published a leak about the EPO's attack on its very own pensioners, i.e. people whose EPO careers predate the current attacks on current workers.

Today, with Boxing Day out of the way, we think it would be worthwhile to share what internal staff representatives think about a dictator, António Campinos, who is eager to turn the EPO into a bank instead of a patent office (just printing money or patents, never mind the law).

One year ago, staff representatives published the results of their findings. They actually did proper assessment of the facts, unlike Office management, which basically made up a bunch of lies. And they want us to trust them with the UPC? Insane!!! They care neither about facts nor laws.

Here is something they published half a year earlier, naming some of the culprits (it’s a little less self-censored or restrained than the usual tone):

su20008mp – 0.2.1/4.2.1/0.3.2

Flash report:

BFC meeting of 27/28 May 2020

Dear colleagues,

For the first time, Mr Campinos did not talk directly to your staff representation in preparation of the BFC meeting and delegated this task to Ms Simon (VP4) and Ms Seegert (Head of the President Office) under the close supervision of Mr Requena, husband of Ms Bergot.

The analysis made by Ernst & Young on Mr Campinos’ Financial Study was discussed. Management virulently criticised the report and qualified it as “unprofessional”. They argued it would be untypical for Ernst & Young, who was also a provider of services to the EPO, to criticise other consulting firms and thus the report could have been written by someone who added the Ernst & Young logo on it. The analysis would already be dubious from its cover page mentioning “Reliance restricted”.

To the above accusation, we can only say that management is back into a denial attitude and just trying to discredit and shoot the messenger. As a matter of fact, ‘Reliance restricted’ merely means that Ernst & Young has restricted liability towards the client who commissioned the analysis. We are surprised that management did not criticize the background of the document being yellow or the font being too small.

Management did not make a single comment as to the substance. They neither contested the key observations nor the figures.

In the BFC meeting itself, the delegations unanimously voted in favour of the salary adjustment procedure. Some expressed reservations about others of the six measures in the bundle (especially those related to fees) and/or suggested that further measures might be necessary. Mr Campinos added that an update of the financial study showed that the €2bn buffer had already been eaten up by the crisis caused by Covid-19 pandemic. Mr Campinos did not exclude “activating” further measures with a future, updated, Financial Study.

For our management and our governing body, the reduction of staff benefits will never be enough as long as the production figures fit the given pattern.

SUEPO Munich

Notice the mention of Madame Seegert, who is also mentioned in this publication [PDF]. To quote: “In a meeting chaired by Ms Seegert, Head of the President’s Office, staff representatives enquired about the nature of this day off.”

It wasn’t really a day off. Over the years more holidays were taken away (denied) from staff, as Benoît Battistelli increased workload and reduced rest time. All this while making work contracts worse. Now Campinos is further lowering salaries.

More detailed analysis can be found here [PDF] and here [PDF], along with short rallies for action ahead of the latest strike:

Salary erosion at EPO

Salary erosion at EPO

“Let’s form an alliance with patent examiners, many of whom (that I spoke to) oppose software patents as much as we do. They’re scientists, not empty ‘suits’ like Battistelli and Campinos, two stooges of the litigation ‘sector’.”This is what unions exist to address and even if you do not support patents (or just reject software patents) remember that many patent examiners at the EPO reject software patents, loathe the very concept, but are forced by management to allow these anyway. The Office is governed by corrupt officials who are connected to Team UPC and the corrupt media that keeps relaying their patently false statements. We’ll show some of these false statements in the Daily Links of this coming week (there’s still no lack of lies and bogus assertions in so-called ‘media’ regarding patents; the false statements are their business model). Let’s form an alliance with patent examiners, many of whom (that I spoke to) oppose software patents as much as we do. They’re scientists, not empty ‘suits’ like Battistelli and Campinos, two stooges of the litigation ‘sector’.

Campinos is a disgusting liar and truly a disgrace to his father’s legacy; his father would turn in his grave if he saw how his son wages a war for the oligarchs (against the working class). A year and half ago the staff accused him [PDF] that he “maintains – without convincing evidence – that in 20 years the EPO will face a financial gap in the range of 5.8 bn Euro.”

Appalling lie. The truth of the matter is, the EPO illegally stockpiles cash to that tune — a pile that keeps growing, only to become a gambling venture deserving the wrath of MEPs. If the EU was to properly tackle this whole issue, not only would the UPC be doomed for good; the whole EPO would need a complete overhaul/reboot, including removal of every single high-level official. What we deal with here isn’t some infraction but organised crime in Europe’s second-largest institution.

German Media on Half a Decade of EPO Appeals and ‘Legal’ Hearings Held Unlawfully in Haar

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

All roads lead to Munich... somehow
No, Haar was never part of Munich

Summary: The ‘Haar question’ was never answered; instead, the EPO’s management covers up the scandalous affairs by shifting/bringing the Boards back to Munich — at least on paper — in a short announcement before Christmas (Benoît Battistelli created this severe violation and António Campinos tolerated this for 3.5 years, moreover participating in these sorts of violations)

As we’ve just noted in our latest Daily Links, citing this article, the "EPO implicitly admits it violated the EPC for many years" and this is nothing but "damage control". SUEPO, the EPO‘s staff union, has meanwhile produced two English translations (for two articles) on this matter and another matter.

Süddeutsche Zeitung, which used to actually cover EPO scandals (before it was neutralised or neutered like IP Kat), published “Europäisches Gericht verlässt Haar”. Translations for English- and French-speaking people were sort of produced by SUEPO.

“Other media articles that might be of interest to our readers,” SUEPO said, can include Rheingold Institut’s “Von wegen Freiheit. Eine neue Studie beweist: Homeoffice gleicht eher einem Hamsterrad”. There’s a caveat, however. Unlike before: “The translations are without guarantee, these were produced by automatic translation.” (this one is translated into “Freedom not at all. A new study proves it: Home office is more like a hamster wheel”).

We wrote about this many times before. I did many videos about it, based on 15 years of home-working.

So the above is not a translation one can truly rely on. It sounds awkward for a reason (the headlines included). We’ve long rejected such translations because they come with a high risk of misunderstanding/s. Human nuance and cultural grasp are needed. That’s why patent examiners are still needed, not “Hey Hi”. But regardless, we’ve made copies of these [1 [PDF], 2 [PDF]]. The English translation of this article has one interesting portion:

But this self-image was also ballast for Haar. Not only did many authority staff feel that the relocation from the headquarters at the Deutsches Museum in Munich to Haar was a punishment; the court location in Haar also almost turned into a legal own goal for the Patent Office. In fact, in 2019, shrewd lawyers tried to overturn a decision of the boards of appeal in a case about a disputed technical detail function of a mobile phone standard by challenging the court location in Haar. They argued that Haar, unlike Munich and The Hague, was not listed as an EPO location in Article 6 of the European Patent Convention. Therefore, oral proceedings in Haar were not admissible. The ability of the Boards of Appeal to act was even temporarily in question because of Haar.

This dispute, which a Hamburg patent law firm meticulously documented under the heading “splitting hairs”, not least because of the internal squabbles at the Patent Office, then went too far for the EPO lawyers. The Enlarged Board of Appeal, which is also based in Haar, was the last instance to rule in July 2019 that the indication “Munich” did not imply a restriction to the city limits. This is a compliment for the district of Munich, which at least formally meets the highest European legal standards. For the decision was based on the fact that “Munich” for the “European Patent Office and its organs also includes properties in the greater Munich area, at least in the administrative district of Munich”.

In Haar, people are probably not only sad about the end of the excursion to Europe. Although it brought a certain cosmopolitanism to the municipality, it did not bring the much-needed trade tax revenue with its courtrooms, which admittedly occupied large and prominently located office space near the railway station. Mayor Andreas Bukowski (CSU) just complained again that there were hardly any realistic prospects for high-quality vacant commercial space in Haar. Now, in addition to the MSD building, a new office will soon be built at the former EPO headquarters. Next tenant wanted.

Over the next few days we’ll publish some older documents originally composed in English, which makes them more coherent.

Links 27/12/2021: Linux 5.16 RC7, Wine 7.0 RC3, NuTyX 21.10.1, and 4MLinux 39.0 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 7:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux Weekly Roundup #162

        Hello! and Merry Christmas! I hope you had a special time.

        We had a full week of Linux releases with Manjaro 21.2, EndeavourOS 21.5, Pardus 21.1, and Elementary OS 6.1 have been released this week.

        Krita 5.0.0 has also been released this week.

      • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: December 26th, 2021 (Christmas Edition)

        Being the holiday season and all that, this week we got a lot of goodies from our favorite developers. We got new Linux distros to play with, including elementary OS 6.1, Nitrux 1.8, Manjaro Linux 21.2, Neptune 7.0, and siduction 2021.3, as well as new major software releases, including Krita 5.0, Darktable 3.8, and Enlightenment 0.25.

        On top of that, more distros switched to the long-term supported Linux 5.15 LTS kernel series, and the Nitrux developers unveiled a brand-new Linux desktop shell called Maui Shell. You can enjoy these and much more in 9to5Linux’s Linux weekly roundup for December 26th, 2021, below!

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.16-rc7
        To the surprise of absolutely nobody, this rc7 is fairly small.
        The stats look pretty normal, with about three quarters being drivers
        (networking, input, sound, tee, hwmon, rdma..). Somewhat unusually, we
        have a PC keyboard controller (not USB - the old legacy kind) fix in
        here - one of the earliest supported hardware still hangs around, and
        still gets some probe-time changes for odd hardware.
        The rest is mainly some kvm and networking fixes, and a few random
        stragglers elsewhere.
        Obviously the holidays are a big reason it's all small, so it's not
        like this is a sign of us having found all bugs, and we'll keep at
        this for at least two more weeks.
        Hope everybody had a good Xmas (or insert your preferred alternative
        holiday) and I'll wish you a happy new year in advance. Because I
        suspect the upcoming week will be even quieter since at least _some_
        of this past week was "this is my last pull request before xmas".
        Shortlog appended, please do give this a whirl.
      • Linux 5.16-rc7 Released Following A Quiet Christmas Week

        Linux 5.16 hasn’t yet pulled in any changes around x86 cluster-aware scheduling for avoiding the Intel Alder Lake performance drop introduced in 5.16 either by pulling in the new patches making it more configurable or outright disabling for Alder Lake on 5.16 or opting to the x86 cluster-aware scheduling defaulting to off entirely for 5.16. We’ll see what makes it into this current stable cycle.

      • Linux Patches Posted For Enabling WiFi On Apple M1/T2 Platforms

        Another important step toward Apple M1 hardware being useful under Linux is in the process of being realized… Working WiFi. The initial “request for comments” patch series was sent out today enabling the Broadcom “BRCMFMAC” driver to work for the wireless LAN support on the M1 SoC as well as with the Apple T2 platforms.

        Hector Martin of the Asahi Linux project for enabling Apple Silicon Arm support under Linux sent out the set of 34 RFC patches for supporting the Apple T2 and M1 platforms with this upstream Broadcom open-source network driver. These patches have been tested with the Broadcom FullMAC hardware used by the Apple T2/M1 platforms including the BCM4355C1, BCM4364B2/B3, BCM4377B3, BCM4378B1, and BCM4387C2.

    • Applications

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Apple Numbers

        In 2020, Apple began the Apple silicon transition, using self-designed, 64-bit ARM-based Apple M1 processors on new Mac computers. Maybe it’s the perfect time to move away from the proprietary world of Apple, and embrace the open source Linux scene.

        Apple Numbers is a spreadsheet application which uses a free-form “canvas” approach that demotes tables to one of many different media types placed on a page. It’s a free download but not published under an open source license. And it’s not available for Linux.

        What are the best free and open source alternative to Numbers?

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install PHP on NetBSD? | LibreByte

        PHP 8.0 added new modern features such us: Union Types,Named arguments, Match expressions, Just In Time Compilation and others

        Today we are going to install PHP 8.0 on NetBSD 9.1.

      • How to install Steam Link on Elementary OS 6.0 – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Steam Link on Elementary OS 6.0. Enjoy!

      • How to Install MongoDB 5 on Ubuntu 20.04 – NextGenTips

        In this tutorial guide, we are going to learn how to install MongoDB 5.0 on Ubuntu 20.04.

        MongoDB is an open-source NoSQL database that provides high throughput for data-driven applications. Unlike relational databases such as MySQL, Oracle, and SQL servers which store data in tables according to a rigid schema, MongoDB stores data in documents with flexible schema.

      • How to Change Your Password on Any Linux Desktop

        The terminal is not everyone’s strong suit, but Linux is more than just a boring command line. Here’s how to change your password on a Linux desktop.

        One of the most basic ways to help keep your Linux desktop secure from both physical and digital intruders is to change your account password if you have any reason to believe that it’s been compromised.

        The exact process you need to follow to reset your Linux password, however, will differ based on the desktop environment that you use. In this article, we’ll show you how to change your user password on six of the most common Linux desktop environments.

      • How to install MetaTrader 4 with the Traders Global Group Incorporated Broker on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install MetaTrader 4 with the Traders Global Group Incorporated Broker on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 7.0-rc3
        The Wine development release 7.0-rc3 is now available.
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - Bug fixes only, we are in code freeze.
        The source is available from the following locations:
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Wine 7.0-rc3 Released With 22 More Fixes

        While off the usual Friday release regiment due to the Christmas holidays, Wine 7.0-rc3 was released minutes ago as the newest test release for this open-source software enabling Windows games and applications to run on Linux.

        Wine 7.0-rc3 comes with 22 known bug fixes compared to last week’s rc2 release. Wine 7.0-rc3 includes fixes for Descent 3, GoToMeeting, DirectX 11 error issues, Submarine Titans, MotoGP 2, a big performance regression fix for The Sims 2, Gothic 3, and various other games and applications have enjoyed fixes.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • NuTyX 21.10.12 available with cards 2.4.142

          The NuTyX team is happy to announce the new version of NuTyX 21.10.12 and cards 2.4.142.

          The xorg-server graphics server version 21.1.2, the Mesa 3D library in 21.3.2, Gtk4 4.4.0 and Qt 5.15.2.

          The python interpreters are en 3.10.1 et 2.7.18.

          The XFCE desktop environment is updated to version 4.16.0.

          The MATE desktop environment is a 1.26.0 version .

          The GNOME desktop environment is also updated to version 41.2

          The KDE desktop environment is available in Plasma 5.23.4, Framework 5.89.0 and applications in 21.12.0.

          Available browsers are: Firefox 95.0.2, Chromium 96.0.4664.45, Epiphany 41.3, etc

          Many desktop applications have been updated as well like Telegram-desktop 3.3, Thunderbird 91.4.1, Scribus 1.5.7, Libreoffice, Gimp 2.10.30, etc.

          Core NuTyX ships with Long Term Support (LTS) kernels: 4.9.294, 4.14.259, 4.19.222, 5.4.168 and 5.10.88 and the latest stable version 5.15.11 .

        • 4MLinux Releases: 4MLinux 39.0 BETA released.

          4MLinux 39.0 BETA is ready for testing. Basically, at this stage of development, 4MLinux BETA has the same features as 4MLinux STABLE, but it provides a huge number of updated packages.

          Road map:
          December 2021 -> BETA
          March 2022 -> STABLE
          July 2022 -> OLD STABLE
          November 2022 -> EOL

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Programming/Development

        • Sean Whitton: emacs-workstation-devel-builds

          Debian contributors end up with a number of Debian installations on their workstations for various purposes; there are perhaps five or six on my laptop right now. In addition to this, I now have three copies of GNU Emacs, too.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Pod::Thread 3.01

            This Perl module converts POD to thread, the markup language processed by DocKnot. It does the heavy lifting to process POD documents for conversion to HTML for my web site.

            This is a minor bug fix release that cleans up a few issues found while working on DocKnot: avoid Perl warnings when trying to generate a navigation bar when there are no headings, always output \heading even when there’s no title, and treat an undef title the same as no title. There are also some minor documentation fixes.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • 6502 Goes FPGA (Again) | Hackaday

        While there has been no shortage of FPGA-based recreations of classic processors, we always enjoy seeing a new approach. Last month [Some Assembly Required] took on the challenge to recreate a classic computer from the ground up and started with a 6502 implementation in Verilog. You can see in the second video below that he’s made good progress and there are apparently more videos to come.

        The ROL instruction is the subject of the second video. We liked the approach of looking at what the instruction does and how many cycles it takes on different variants It is always good to make sure you know exactly what you are trying to accomplish before you get started.

      • Planning Custom Aluminum Enclosures With OpenSCAD | Hackaday

        We’ve seen a number of projects over the years that let you create custom enclosures using OpenSCAD, and for good reason. The parametric CAD tool is ideal for generating 3D models based on user-adjustable variables, and if you leverage its integrated Customizer, producing a bespoke box is as easy as moving some sliders around. The resulting files get sent off to the 3D printer, and you’re set. But what if you’re looking for a custom enclosure that’s not so…plastic?

        In that case, AlClosure by [0xPIT] might be the answer. Rather than generating STL files intended for your 3D printer, the code is written to help you design an enclosure made from aluminum sheets. The top and bottom panels are intended to be cut from 1.5 mm – 2.5 mm sheets, while the sides are made from thicker 5 mm – 8 mm stock to accept a machined pocket that holds the front and rear inserts.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Boston ‘Free Assange’ Rally To Be Held Friday December 31 | If This Be Treason

        New Englanders concerned about the treatment of Julian Assange, the founder of the radical news site Wikileaks who is currently in custody in the UK awaiting extradition to the US under espionage charges, will gather as part of a “First Night Against the Wars” event at Boston’s Copley Square on the afternoon on December 31. The gathering will take place between 2 pm-3:30 pm.

        “Or longer, if people want to stay,” event organizers said in a statement.

        The organization behind the rally, Assange Defense Boston, is affiliated with The Courage Foundation, an international organisation that “supports those who risk life or liberty to make significant contributions to the historical record.” The foundation raises funds for the legal and public defense of people who fit this criteria who are facing prosecution or persecution.

        “Julian Assange had a mini-stroke on October 27, the second day of the hearing about whether the UK would accept the US appeal of their decision not to extradite him,” Assange Defense Boston said in a statement on its website announcing the rally, and added that since then, the UK has announced that extradition proceedings will go forward.

        “This decision and [his] stroke are just what we have been fearing,” the organization added. “The Assange defense team is appealing, of course, but even if they win, it will take more time during which he will remain in prison [and] in failing health. We call on the Biden administration to stop following in the footsteps of Donald Trump and drop this unfair prosecution.”

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [Ed: British university trolling or rick-rolling courts and patent offices is a national shame/disgrace]

          Can an artificial intelligence machine be an “inventor” for the purposes of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) and Patents Regulations 1991 (Cth) from which a person may derive title to apply for a patent? This debate is being had throughout the world by reason of Dr Thaler’s application for a patent for an invention that he says was invented by the artificial intelligence he created and runs, called DABUS. At the time of this judgment, Dr Thaler had only had success in South Africa, and failed in the US, UK and before the European Patent Office.

          Justice Beach was seized of this dispute in the following way in Australia. The Commissioner of Patents concluded that section 15(1) of the Patents Act and regulation 3.2(2)(aa) were inconsistent with an artificial intelligence machine being treated as an inventor, that this deficiency in the patent application was incapable of remedy, because Dr Thaler could not name himself as the inventor, and so the patent application had lapsed.

        • A Rose by Any Other Name: an Australian court rules that AI can be an inventor [Older]

          On 30 July 2021, the Federal Court of Australia ruled that a machine – that is, a mathematical equation that analysed and processed data – can be an inventor under Australian patent laws. A world-first decision, Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCA 879 represents a sea change in how courts assess the requirements of a “patent inventor”, opening up the real possibility that other artificial intelligence (AI) systems may enjoy similar designations.

          Below, an overview of the Thaler decision is provided, as well as an assessment of its implications if upheld on appeal. A comparison of this decision to other decisions on the issue around the world is then provided with a final word on the issues that are in play and things for the AI industry to consider.

        • AI Can’t Be a Patent Inventor, European Appeal Board Says

          Only a human can be listed as an inventor on European patent applications, an appeal board said, the latest decision in a global test case to recognize a computer as an inventor.

          Stephen Thaler, a computer scientist from Missouri, built an AI “creativity machine” called DABUS, which Thaler says invented a food container and a light beacon. He was appealing decisions from the European Patent Office refusing patent applications that named DABUS as the inventor.

          The European Patent Convention sets out the system for European patents. Under the EPC, a patent application must designate an inventor.

        • Top 10 patent cases of the year 2021 [Ed: Crude revisionism by JVVE regarding G 1/21, omitting any mention of the corruption; JUVE became EPO management’s megaphone, helping people who break the law]

          Oral proceedings via video are now the reality at the EPO and its Boards of Appeal. But patent attorney firms and companies, especially those based in Germany, are questioning the legal basis of compulsory oral hearings ©aerogondo/ADOBE STOCK

          Over 2021, referral G 1/21 has perhaps garnered the most interest among the entire European patent community. Now the EPO has finally – almost – concluded that while video conferencing is compatible under the European Patent Convention, in-person proceedings are preferable.

          The EPO began conducting oral hearings in early 2020, in order to avoid a backlog of cases during the coronavirus pandemic. However, in March 2021, electronics firm Rohde & Schwarz referred the question “[can] oral proceedings under Article 116 EPC be replaced by a video conference without the parties’ consent?” to the Enlarged Board of Appeal.

          In July, the EPO confirmed that compulsory video conferencing is admissible in appeal proceedings under the European Patent Convention “in a general emergency”. But critics observed that the order did not address whether the EPO can hold video proceedings without party consent if the current period does not constitute a general emergency; or whether first instance examination or opposition proceedings can be held via video without the consent of the parties.

          October provided more clarity. The Enlarged Board of Appeal determined that compulsory video conferencing is compatible with Article 116 EPC. However, since T1807/15 is an appeal case, the EBA has jurisdiction only to decide on appeal cases before the EBA, rather than general EPO opposition proceedings. The decision also notes that the EBA desires to move back to majority in-person proceedings where possible.

          In general, patent attorneys seem satisfied with the EBA’s contention that video conferencing is a legitimate format in which to hold proceedings. Many involved in the European patent market, and especially patent attorneys situated away from the EPO’s main hubs of The Hague or Munich, have reacted positively to this news. Some firms see the proliferation of video hearings as evening the playing field among patent firms distributed across Europe.

          However, the BoA seems to be aligning itself with a consensus among international courts that video conferencing is not a default option. Furthermore, there remains concern over what G 1/21 means for first-instance EPO opposition proceedings. Despite its ostensible ‘final decision’, it’s unlikely we’ve seen the last of the discussion on video hearings at the EPO.

        • “Moving the Boards of Appeal back to an EPO building is a walking a very thin line” [Ed: EPO implicitly admits it violated the EPC for many years]

          Token politics always have a big impact. The recent corona crisis and Brexit have proved this. The power of token politics was also what the member states of the European Patent Organisation and the then President of the European Patent Office Benoît Battistelli had in mind when they relocated the Boards of Appeal from the EPO headquarters in downtown Munich to Haar in 2017.

          Moving the EPO court to the outskirts of Munich was meant to clearly and unmistakably signal to everyone the separation of the office and the court. It was also intended to appease many in the European patent community who felt strongly that Battistelli had interfered too much in the affairs of the Boards of Appeal. The EPO member states spent a lot of money on this move. And so far it has paid off. The EPO and the Boards of Appeal have sailed in much calmer waters in 2021 than they did five years ago.

          Now, however, the current President of the EPO António Campinos and the President of the EPO Court Carl Josefsson are proposing that the Boards of Appeal move back to the city of Munich in 2025 and into, of all places, an EPO building. The reasons make sense: The renovation of the building at Pschorr-Höfen VII should be completed by then. As EPO employees are increasingly working from home, there is already vacant office space. In the opinion of the EPO management, this will only increase over the next few years.

      • Trademarks

        • ‘Firewater’ Sparks A Fiery Dispute In Russia

          An individual entrepreneur filed a trademark application (No. 2019700445) in Cyrillic for ‘ОГНЕННАЯВОДА’ (firewater) to individualise the goods in Class 33 (alcoholic drinks).

          The patent office refused the application because in the opinion of the examiner the word ‘firewater’ is synonymous with a generic word ‘vodka’ and is descriptive while it may be confusing for other goods in Class 33. The patent office also noted that firewater in Cyrillic is a jocular word meaning vodka.

          The applicant appealed the decision at the Chamber of Patent Disputes. He argued that the combination of words ‘fiery water’ is a phraseological unit, it is also an obsolete lexical unit, it does not identify a specific product but elicits associations with any alcoholic drink.

          “For the sake of justice it should be noted that similar approach may be observed in the English language. Some sources identify firewater as moonshine, Cambridge dictionary defines it as whisky in the first place. In any case, it is largely understood as a strong alcoholic drink.

Techies Rejecting Fake or Misused Technological ‘Progress’

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 6:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum e3417ad79db2cfc4bdd4890390cffc9a

Summary: Technological ‘progress’ that’s regressive and harmful to human rights is seeing a push-back from people whom the corporate/mainstream media would have you believe are enthusiastic supporters of, and who are moreover responsible for it (rather than sociopathic corporations and politicians/businesspeople, always hungry for power, uncaring and apathetic towards people’s needs)

THE first part of an article on “Digital Rights in 2021″ was published earlier today. There’s lots more on the way.

It wouldn’t be controversial to say that some of the loudest opponents of electronic voting machines are techies; the same is true for resistance to just about any technology being misplaced in the name of fake ‘progress’. Why? Because the techies understand the issues a lot better. They know the dangers and the harms (the latter being not just a potential but a condition). These people are not Luddites.

“Typically we focus on Software Freedom and patents (which impact programmers); the “Digital Rights” series goes above and beyond that.”This series about “Digital Rights in 2021″ will itemise and deal with some of the creeping threats observed this past year. We recently finished a series about what had happened to cars in recent years. That’s just one aspect among so many.

Typically we focus on Software Freedom and patents (which impact programmers); the “Digital Rights” series goes above and beyond that. We hope it will encourage people to think carefully about what goes on around them, especially in this increasingly-dystopian society where human rights are put on the backburner due to a health crisis/emergency.

My Year as a Digital Vegan — Part I — 2021 in Review

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 3:48 pm by Guest Editorial Team

By Dr. Andy Farnell

Series parts:

  1. YOU ARE HERE ☞ 2021 in Review

Small ducks

Summary: Dr. Andy Farnell shares his experiences from this past year; today we start with a short first part

For those wondering “What’s it like to live as a Digital Vegan?”, here’s a quick review of my 2021, some of the pleasures and pains, wins and losses while taking a principled stand on digital technology.

My not-so-supermarket

2021 began with the minor annoyance of my local supermarket trampling on my privacy. They deployed face recognition in their stores and so convinced me to not shop there. I’d sometimes spend £10 per week at Co-Op. A few friends joined me in a boycott. The company have not budged despite consumer backlash and concerns over the legality of their actions. Maybe you can help change their minds in 2022. People in the US may soon need a bio-metric shakedown to buy food, so if this isn’t on your radar maybe take a closer look at where high-street shopping is headed. Papers please!

It made me think about the value of competition and diversity, and importance of small shops. I am lucky to live where there’s a choice of 4 other main supermarkets, and dozens of independent stores. You’re more vulnerable if you live in a rural area and your monopoly food-baron decides to go rogue. Supporting small shops, even if they cost much more is a long term investment, so when I can I buy more produce from the local butcher, greengrocer, bakery and hardware store. Commerce is about relationships, not just prices.

“It seems we need to develop a more mature model of public-private boundaries and “incidental harm” when, for example, a visitor is subjected to surveillance by “smart” TV or Siri type voice technology in your home.”A friend of mine got locked into a miserable dispute over a shared driveway, and drawn into a technological arms race. Battles over camera doorbells got me thinking about the concepts of space and ownership. A hard dualism between private and public spaces seems to create some poor outcomes. The scourge of CCTV, alarm systems, Amazon Ring doorbells and other components of the Fear Machine is a growing problem.

It may be your shop or house, but your presence in my neighbourhood doesn’t come without obligations. And the moment you invite me in, I essentially become a temporary stakeholder. Injurious man-traps protecting your drinks cabinet wouldn’t be okay (you’d at least get sued if not subject to criminal prosecution). It seems we need to develop a more mature model of public-private boundaries and “incidental harm” when, for example, a visitor is subjected to surveillance by “smart” TV or Siri type voice technology in your home. Anyway, on the plus side, all of these ideas are feeding into some great chapters for my next book Ethics For Hackers.

Going back to school

I resumed face-to-face teaching in 2021. Earlier in the pandemic I wrote about the value of online teaching. It was a biased analysis, speaking for myself as a teacher without ever really asking my students for their side. Being less experienced they simply didn’t know what they were missing until they came back into classes.

Many much-loved colleagues quit this summer. A university campus dominated by students with just a handful of lecturers feels strange – but somehow right, almost the antidote to Ben Ginsberg’s “all administrative faculty”. I fantasise that students might just figure out how to do their own degree-awarding and initiate an anarchist takeover of academia – the “all student university”.

“Many much-loved colleagues quit this summer.”The “great resignation” is an unknown factor. Is it really a thing? Are people just getting sick from Covid and too fatigued to bother any more? Or is it just changing age demographics mixed with a less mobile workforce? Or is it, as one colleague put to me, the productive classes “Going Galt” amidst final-stage surveillance capitalism with nothing left to extract? For my part, I’m really loving being back at real work, and the challenge to adapt and overcome (mostly piss-poor leadership) is pleasant.

I think we all just got burned out. But, crucially, technology misuse had a lot to do with that. It’s not Covid itself, anti-vaxers, corrupt leadership, or the tide of doom (psychological warfare that’s ground us down in this pandemic), it’s the “pushers” – those for whom doom-scrolling, dehumanising isolation and forced intermediation is their cash cow.

Links 26/12/2021: Enlightenment 0.25, Lumina 1.6.2, and New Sparky Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 12:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • The lost talks from Linus Torvalds at DECUS’94
      • FGKASLR Is An Exciting Linux Kernel Improvement To Look Forward To In 2022 – Phoronix

        It’s been nearly two years in the making since Intel posted FGKASLR patches for improving Linux kernel security. While that work on Finer Grained / Function Granular KASLR stalled for a year, in recent months work on it was revived and in 2022 looks like this security is on a path for mainlining.

        FGKASLR is a step-up over the Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization widely used right now by the Linux kernel for thwarting attacks relying upon known positions of the kernel within memory. Rather than just randomizing the base address that can be figured out with enough guessing or leakage, FGKASLR will randomize the layout down to a code function level.

    • Benchmarks

      • Phoronix Test Suite 10.8 Released With Many Improvements For Open-Source Benchmarking – Phoronix

        Phoronix Test Suite 10.8 is out as the latest quarterly feature update to our open-source, automated and cross-platform benchmarking software.

        Phoronix Test Suite 10.8 unifies its environment variable option handling to now easily expose all these options from within the Phoromatic Server web interface for more robust testing. Phoronix Test Suite 10.8 also improves its test installation and test run-time error detection, also for more robust reporting within Phoromatic. Plus there are numerous other fixes and improvements to the Phoromatic component for automated benchmark test orchestration within labs. Phoronix Test Suite 10.8 also has macOS 12 support improvements, PHP 8.1 fixes, detection for new/upcoming processors, and more.

    • Applications

      • The 9 Best Distraction-Free Writing Apps for Linux to Help You Focus

        Writing is a creative effort. Whether you are writing for your blog or working on documentation for a project, it demands focus in terms of brainstorming and thought organization.

        You can find plenty of text editors for Linux that offer excellent features for writing. A category among these apps specializes in providing you with an environment that boosts concentration.

        So, if you are looking for a minimal text editor that eliminates interruptions and distractions to increase your writing productivity, here are some quality apps for your Linux device.

      • Darktable 3.8.0 Released with New Shortcut System, New Modules, HEIF/HEIC Support

        Darktable, free opensource photography application and raw developer, released new major version 3.8.0 few days ago. Here’s what’s new and PPA for Ubuntu users.

        Darktable 3.8.0 reworked the keyboard shortcut system. User may now control the app via other devices, such as MIDI devices and game controllers. And, standard keyboard/mouse shortcuts can now make use of mouse movements.

        The release comes with new diffuse or sharpen module, allows to simulate or to revert diffusion processes to reconstruct images from lens blur, hazing, sensor low-pass filter, or noise. And, new scene-referred blurs module, to synthesize motion and lens blurs in a parametric and physically-accurate way.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Create a Large 1GB or 10GB File in Linux System

        Since Linux has been used widely for all data communication, networking, and data analysis, the demand for generating live data, static data, and dynamic data is also high. Analysts need to generate different types of data on both large and small scales to demonstrate a process. System admins also often need to generate files Larger than 10GB to check the stability of the system, hardware, and the OS itself. However, in Linux, you can create large files to meet all the demands of data with less effort and less time.

      • How to install CuteFishOS

        Often server administrators need to Create large file to demo something. In Linux you can Create large file with quick terminal commands.

      • How to install and create a bootable USB with Ventoy in Linux

        Ventoy is an incredible tool that allows users to load ISO files up without flashing them with tools like Etcher. However, Ventoy isn’t exactly easy to set up. That’s where we come in. Follow along with this guide as we show you how to set up and use Ventoy on Linux.

      • How To Install Discourse on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Discourse on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Discourse is an open-source platform used for discussions forum, chat rooms, or as a mailing list management software. It is a modern forum solution that powers discussions on thousands of sites to drive user engagement. A discourse was written in Ruby on Rails as a backend language, Ember.js as a frontend, and uses PostgreSQL for data storage.

        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 Discourse on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to install Node.js 17 on Ubuntu 20.04 – NextGenTips

        Node.js is an open-source cross-platform, backend javascript runtime environment that runs on the V8 engine and executes javascript code outside of a web browser.

        A Node.js app runs in a single process, without creating a new thread for every request. It provides a set of asynchronous I/O primitives in its standard library that prevent javascript code from blocking and generally, libraries from node.js are written using non-blocking paradigms, making blocking behavior the exceptions rather than the norm.

        When Node.js performs an I/O operation, like reading from the network, accessing a database or the filesystem, instead of blocking the thread and wasting CPU cycles waiting, Node.js will resume the operations when the response comes back. This allows Node.js to handle thousands of concurrent connections with a single server without introducing the burden of managing thread concurrency, which could be a significant source of bugs.

        nvm is used to run node.js packages. It allows you to easily switch node.js versions and install new versions to try and easily roll back if something went wrong.

      • find packages installed from e.g. sid which are newer than those available from e.g. testing when sid is no longer present as a source repo
    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Lumina 1.6.2 released. :: Lumina Desktop Environment

        The next update to the Lumina Desktop is out!

      • Lumina 1.6.2 Released For This BSD Licensed Qt-Powered Desktop

        Lumina is the desktop project originally started by PC-BSD/TrueOS developers as a BSD-focused desktop environment built atop Qt. When TrueOS stopped focusing on being a great desktop BSD, Lumina development stalled. But for Linux and BSD users fond of this lightweight Qt desktop, Lumina Desktop development restarted a few months ago.

        Lumina Desktop 1.6.1 was released in October as the first update since January 2020 and under new developers/maintainers. Now in closing out the year there is Lumina Desktop 1.6.2.

      • Enlightenment 0.25 Desktop Environment Released with Flat Look to Match New Flat Theme

        Enlightenment 0.25 is here more than one and a half years after Enlightenment 0.24 to introduce a flat look to match the new flat theme, new gesture recognition bindings for touchpads, fingerprint support in desklock via the libFprint library and a new tool to configure fingerprints, a new binding action that lets users switch profiles, as well as palette editor and selector tool to help you set up custom colors.

        Also new in the Enlightenment 0.25 release is a Procstats module capable of displaying memory and CPU usage in the titlebar, new “grow window in direction” actions that you can bind, new settings for setting up animation multiplier to speed up or down the transitions, a recent files menu to access recently opened files, and a new Screen Setup menu entry in the Quick Settings menu.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM quiet about flagship database Db2, despite nice upgrades • The Register

          It’s the time of year when one might wonder what happened to that avuncular family figure whose existence was so reliably dull they passed into history almost forgotten – a little like Db2, IBM’s flagship relational database that has faded from users’ collective memory.

          Big Blue’s system of choice for its mainframes and big Unix/Linux boxes is still very much alive and kicking and has even delivered a smattering of news in recent weeks, with a high profile attendee at the early December International Db2 Users Group European Conference telling us that select users were told of the new “Db2u”, a set of containers for Db2 aimed at users exploring or working with the database in the cloud.

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky 2021.12 Special Editions – SparkyLinux

          There are new iso images of Sparky 2021.12 Special Editions: GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue ready to go.

          No big changes, all packages have been updated as of December 24, 2021 so the new images work on Linux kernel 5.15.5, and follow changes of the latest edition of Sparky 2021.12.

          No reinstallation is required if you have Sparky rolling installed, simply keep it up to date.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • BIOS Flashing Journey Writeup Puts Tutorials To Shame | Hackaday

        A couple of weeks ago, [Doug Brown] bought a Ryzen motherboard, advertised as “non-working” and discounted accordingly. He noticed that the seller didn’t test it with any CPUs old enough to be supported by the board’s stock BIOS revision, and decided to take a gamble with upgrading it.

        Not having a supported CPU in hand either, he decided to go the “external programmer” route, which succeeded and gave this board a new life. This is not why we’re writing this up, however. The reason this article caught our eye is because [Doug]’s research leaves no stone unturned, and it’s all there to learn from. Whether through careful observation or thorough research, this article covers all the important points and more, serving as an example to follow for anyone looking to program their BIOS.

      • Raspberry Pi: A cheat sheet – TechRepublic

        The Raspberry Pi’s success defied expectations. Conceived as an affordable computer for getting kids to learn how to code, its creators thought they’d sell 1,000 – they’ve now sold more than 40 million.

      • Mico Is A USB Microphone Based On A Pi Pico | Hackaday

        When [Mahesh Venkitachalam] was experimenting with machine learning for audio applications on a Raspberry Pi, he found himself looking for a simple USB microphone. A cheap one was easy to find, but the sound quality and directionality left much to be desired. A large, studio-quality mic would be overkill, so [Mahesh] decided to simply build exactly what was needed: a compact, yet high-quality USB microphone that he called Mico.

        The sensing device is a MEMS microphone that outputs a pulse density modulated (PDM) signal. There are chips available to directly interface such a microphone to a USB port, but [Mahesh] found them difficult to work with and therefore settled on something he knew already: the Raspberry Pi Pico platform. Luckily, someone had already figured out how to read out a microphone and present a USB device to a PC, so all that was needed was to put all the bits together into a convenient form factor.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Online retailers delaying sales of Raspberry Pi 4 • The Register

          Online retailers may not be able to send you a specific Raspberry Pi 4B model even for next year’s Christmas.

          Mouser is providing an estimated ship date for a Raspberry Pi 4B model with 4GB RAM of January 25, 2023. Digi-Key is also indicating that it will ship the same model now only in 2023.

          Raspberry Pis are great stocking suffers for my tech-crazy family, but this year turned out to be a challenge. Raspberry Pi for the first time increased the prices of its boards in October due to the higher cost of shortage-constrained components.

          We have reached out to the board biz for comment, and will update the story when we hear back.

          The inability to fulfill orders led Raspberry Pi to cap production of single-computer boards to seven million units in 2021.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 9 open source alternatives to try in 2022 | Opensource.com

        2021 was another year spent largely online, but that’s nothing new for the open source world. The ability to work from anywhere is in our DNA, preceding the pandemic that ushered remote work into the mainstream.

        Still, all that time in front of screens this year made our community consider open source alternatives. Regardless of the tool type you need, many of the most popular vendors are not your only option.

        If you’re burned out on Zoom, want a CRM that’s not Salesforce, or would like an analytics tool that Google doesn’t own, read on. We’ve got the most popular articles on open source alternatives that readers loved in 2021.

      • Web Browsers

        • Fighting for Web 3.0: Digital wallet wars are the new browser wars

          Slowly but surely, however, Microsoft leveraged its monopoly position in the OS space to push its closed-source alternative: Internet Explorer (IE). It was able to outcompete Netscape and become the default choice for users simply by packaging the browser with Windows.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL vs MySQL: Compare Database Management Systems

          MySQL and PostgreSQL are the top two open-source relational database management systems (RDBMS), long proven to be highly reliable and scalable. In this article, we explore PostgreSQL vs MySQL, and the differences between them.

        • Database Management Service Uncomplicated: MongoDB V/s MySQL

          Data is everything. Right from identifying patterns to categorizing/ grouping certain entities, data, or, more specifically, relevant data, is pivotal for the success of any business. For example, a customer’s demographic data allows you to fine-tune your marketing strategy, while page analytics grants insight into a website page visitor’s online behavior. However, unless the data is collected, stored, and managed in the correct way, you run into the risk of having data duplication, incomplete or partial data being presented, or data corruption from overwriting.

          Hence it is crucial to have the correct database management service (DBMS) in place when building an application. Understanding what a DBMS is, exploring the different DBMS variants available, and the different use cases of each DBMS will help you choose the right one for your project.

      • Programming/Development

        • LiVES compiled in OpenEmbedded
        • OBS-Studio compiled in OpenEmbedded

          OBS was compiled in a running EasyOS and included in 3.1.17, see blog post…

        • 5 ways to automate security testing in DevSecOps

          The key to both DevOps and DevSecOps is automation. It ensures build and release processes are repeatable, which is important when release velocity is too high for manual steps to occur between release phases or at set times.

          Automation ensures required steps are completed each time code is pushed and removes human memory from the equation so key tasks, such as regression testing, get done. Automation also helps strengthen security by serving as policy enforcement to prevent direct developer access to production and thereby serving as the enforcement point for segregation of duties.

        • These Vancouver high school students noticed a gap in coding education. So, they filled it

          Without having basic coding knowledge, Ma said, it’s impossible for youth to know whether or not they want to pursue computer science in post-secondary.

          “The main goal is to kind of combat vast educational disparities within the B.C. schooling system,” he said, adding that coding skills are becoming increasingly important.

        • Java

          • Apache’s new security update for HTTP Server fixes two flaws

            The foundation has released version 2.4.52 of the Apache HTTP Server (web server) that addresses two flaws tracked as CVE-2021-44790 and CVE-2021-44224, which have respective CVSS severity scores of 9.8 (critical) and 8.2 (high) out of a possible 10. A score of 9.8 is very bad, and in recent weeks has only been topped by the Log4j vulnerability known as Log4Shell, which had a severity score of 10 out of 10.

          • Major security flaw leaves companies vulnerable to ransomware
          • Real-Time Protection of Log4j with AppTrana – Through its Risk-Based Approach

            With the discovery of Log4j vulnerability on December 9th (Also known as Log4shell), the cybersecurity world has gone on a tailspin. It is one of the most potent vulnerabilities identified in recent times. It is estimated that millions of systems were left exposed, resulting in large attempts by hackers to exploit the vulnerability. It is estimated more than a million attacks have been launched since the vulnerability was identified.

          • China regulator suspends cyber security deal with Alibaba Cloud

            Chinese regulators on Wednesday suspended an information-sharing partnership with Alibaba Cloud Computing, a subsidiary of e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group (9988.HK), over accusations it failed to promptly report and address a cybersecurity vulnerability, according to state-backed media reports.

            Alibaba Cloud did not immediately report vulnerabilities in the popular, open-source logging framework Apache Log4j2 to China’s telecommunications regulator, according to 21st Century Business Herald, citing a recent notice by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

          • Alibaba Employee First Spotted Log4j Software Flaw but Now the Company Is in Hot Water With Beijing

            China’s technology ministry suspended work with Alibaba Cloud over what it called untimely reporting to authorities of the flaw affecting users world-wide

          • Belgian defence ministry admits attackers accessed its computer network by exploiting Log4j vulnerability

            The Belgian Ministry of Defence has suffered a cyber attack after miscreants exploited one of the vulnerabilities in Log4j. The attack marks the first occasion that a NATO country’s defence ministry has fallen victim to the flaws.

            The attack took place last week, as reported by Flemish-language TV news station VRT, which said “some of the ministry’s activities were paralysed for several days.”

            Belgian MoD spokesman Olivier Severin said in a prepared statement seen by The Register: “Defence discovered an attack on its computer network with internet access on Thursday. Quarantine measures were quickly taken to isolate the affected parts. The priority is to keep the defence network operational.”

          • Log4Shell — Preparing for What Comes Next

            We’re now at about the two week point after news of the vulnerability in the Apache Foundation’s Log4j logging tool for Java, dubbed Log4Shell, splashed into the headlines.

            For a catch up on what this story is all about and a guide for how to kickstart your mitigation efforts, check out our post from 12 December before continuing to read.

          • Bad things come in threes: Apache reveals another Log4J bug

            The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has revealed a third bug in its Log4 Java-based open-source logging library Log4j.

            CVE-2021-45105 is a 7.5/10-rated infinite recursion bug that was present in Log4j2 versions 2.0-alpha1 through 2.16.0. The fix is version 2.17.0 of Log4j.

            That’s the third new version of the tool in the last ten days.

            In case you haven’t been paying attention, version 2.15.0 was created to fix CVE-2021-44228, the critical-rated and trivial-to-exploit remote code execution flaw present in many versions up to 2.14.0.

          • ‘Perfect storm’: Inside the race to fix a potentially disastrous software flaw

            At 2:51 p.m. on Nov. 24, members of an open-source software project received an alarming email. The contents threatened to undermine years of programming by a small group of volunteers and unleash massive cyberattacks across the globe.

            “I want to report a security bug,” wrote Chen Zhaojun, an employee on Alibaba Group’s cloud-security team, adding, “the vulnerability has a major impact.”

            The message went on to describe how a hacker could take advantage of Log4j, a widely used software tool, to achieve what’s known as remote code execution, a hackers’ dream because they can remotely take over a computer.

            The message ultimately set off a global race to update critical computer systems, with senior U.S. cybersecurity officials describing the discovery as a “significant threat.” Left unfixed, the software could give attackers unfettered access to untold millions of computer systems.

          • Azul introduces remote compilation for Java • The Register

            Azul, a provider of OpenJDK (Java runtime) builds, has introduced a “Cloud Native Compiler” which offers remote compilation of Java to native code, claiming it can reduce compute resources by up to 50 per cent.

            When a Java application runs, a JIT (Just-in-time) compiler, usually the OpenJDK JIT called HotSpot, compiles the Java bytecode to native machine code to optimise performance. It is a highly optimised process – but Azul reckons it can improve it further by removing that responsibility from the VM or container where the application is running.

  • Leftovers

    • New six-screen visual installation draws on some of the oldest footage of Japan

      Free to access at BFI Southbank until 9 January, Tokinokawa is a new six-screen installation conceived by UK media artists The Light Surgeons. It draws upon and recontextualises the BFI’s Japan on Film collection, which includes some of the earliest surviving moving images of Japan, preserved by the BFI National Archive and dating back to 1901.

      The installation at BFI Southbank mixes our newly restored films with contemporary recordings gathered in Japan in 2020 by London-based filmmaker Christopher Thomas Allen, along with newly composed music by Japanese percussionist and composer Midori Takada and immersive sound design by audiovisual artist Tim Cowie. The soundtrack has been spatialised across a speaker array supplied by Yamaha, with an infographic visual created using machine learning software tools to ‘read’ the archive films.

    • Seoul Introduces Self-Driving Taxis

      Last year the Seoul city government passed an ordinance enabling the commercial operation of autonomous passenger-carrying vehicles. A six square kilometer region in the Seoul neighborhood of Sangam, near the 2002 World Cup Stadium, was designated as a pilot program test bed. This area encompasses 24 streets totaling 31.3 km. Two companies were selected, and the pilot program launched a few weeks ago. Currently there are three vehicles and passengers can ride for free during this introductory phase. Three more taxis and a bus will be added within this year, with plans for 50 in this region by 2026. For the time being, these cars require a standby driver who takes control in an emergency and in school zones. Check out the short news report (in English) below the break.

    • Cast Your Own Holiday Chocolate Bunny, Or Rather Mouse | Hackaday

      The art of forming and using a mold is, well, an art. The already tricky process would be made even harder by using a fickle material, like chocolate. This is exactly where [Alexandre Chappel] found himself as he tried to cast his own chocolate figurines.

    • 25 Years Ago, Apple Acquired NeXT and Brought Back Steve Jobs

      This week marks the 25th anniversary of Apple announcing that it had agreed to acquire NeXT for $400 million. The stunning move brought Steve Jobs back to Apple over a decade after he left the company following an internal power struggle.

    • LittleBITS: Inadvertent Mail Deletion, TidBITS Security Vulnerability, and iOS Update Error 1100 – TidBITS

      Over in TidBITS Talk, user Tall Trees has contributed another entry in the “I Didn’t Know That!” category. It turns out that in Apple’s Mail app on the Mac, pressing Control-H deletes a message, which could be surprising or even problematic. Jeffrey Jones suggested that the reason was probably related to the fact that Control-H generates the standard ASCII control character for Backspace, which generally maps to the key labeled Delete on modern keyboards. Although David C. pointed out that such ASCII control characters should work only in apps running in an ASCII-like terminal session, Apple’s developers must have explicitly decided to code that keyboard mapping for Mail as well.

    • Science

      • Iodine in desert dust destroys ozone

        When winds loft fine desert dust high into the atmosphere, iodine in that dust can trigger chemical reactions that destroy some air pollution, but also let greenhouse gases stick around longer. The finding may force researchers to re-evaluate how particles from land can impact the chemistry of the atmosphere.

      • circRNA N6-methyladenosine methylation in preeclampsia and the potential role of N6-methyladenosine-modified circPAPPA2 in trophoblast invasion

        Here, we performed N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA sequencing to determine the circRNA m6A methylation changes in the placentas during the pathogenesis of preeclampsia (PE). We verified the expression of the circRNA circPAPPA2 using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. An invasion assay was carried out to identify the role of circPAPPA2 in the development of PE. Mechanistically, we investigated the cause of the altered m6A modification of circPAPPA2 through overexpression and knockdown cell experiments, RNA immunoprecipitation, fluorescence in situ hybridization and RNA stability experiments. We found that increases in m6A-modified circRNAs are prevalent in PE placentas and that the main changes in methylation occur in the 3’UTR and near the start codon, implicating the involvement of these changes in PE development. We also found that the levels of circPAPPA2 are decreased but that m6A modification is augmented. Furthermore, we discovered that methyltransferase‑like 14 (METTL14) increases the level of circPAPPA2 m6A methylation and that insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 3 (IGF2BP3) maintains circPAPPA2 stability. Decreases in IGF2BP3 levels lead to declines in circPAPPA2 levels. In summary, we provide a new vision and strategy for the study of PE pathology and report that placental circRNA m6A modification appears to be an important regulatory mechanism.

      • No more annual flu shot? New target for universal influenza vaccine

        Scientists at Scripps Research, University of Chicago and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have identified a new Achilles’ heel of influenza virus, making progress in the quest for a universal flu vaccine. Antibodies against a long-ignored section of the virus, which the team dubbed the anchor, have the potential to recognize a broad variety of flu strains, even as the virus mutates from year to year, they reported Dec. 23, 2021 in the journal Nature.

      • 3D Printing Gets Tiny | Hackaday

        Using a process akin to electroplating, researchers at the University of Oldenburg have 3D printed structures at the 25 nanometer scale. A human hair, of course, is thousands of time thicker than that. The working medium was a copper salt and a very tiny nozzle. How tiny? As small as 1.6 nanometers. That’s big enough for two copper ions at once.

        Tiny nozzles are prone to every 3D printer’s bane: clogged nozzles. To mitigate this, the team built a closed-loop control that measured electrical current between the work area and inside the nozzle. You can read the full paper online.

    • Education

      • The Students Returned, but the Fallout From a Long Disruption Remained – The New York Times

        Three hours into a recent Monday morning, blood had already been spilled in a hallway at Liberty High School. With his walkie-talkie in hand, the principal, Harrison Bailey III, called on the custodial staff to clean up the remnants of a brawl while hurrying to the cafeteria in hopes of staving off another.

        This is how Dr. Bailey has spent many of his hours since the school welcomed back its 2,800 students for in-person learning in August: dashing around the 400,000-square-foot building, outrunning bells and crowds of students, and hoping that his towering presence will serve as an inspiration to pull up masks and a deterrent to other, less obvious burdens that his students have had to contend with since returning.

        Like schools across the country, Liberty has seen the damaging effects of a two-year pandemic that abruptly ejected millions of students from classrooms and isolated them from their peers as they weathered a historic convergence of academic, health and societal crises. Teenagers arguably bore the social and emotional brunt of school disruptions.

    • Hardware

      • Blender? No, Grinder | Hackaday

        [Leandro Felipe] is no stranger to the dirty hack, and this video of his conversion of a blender into a handheld rotary grinding tool is no exception. (Embedded below.) But the end result is something pretty useful — a lighter and more maneuverable rotary grinder that’s got a lot more grunt to boot.

        (The video is in Portuguese, but the captions work pretty well, once you get over the fact that the robots translate “grinding tool” as “rectifier” a lot of the time. And anyway, you’re here for the hacks.)

        The highlights are a handmade coupling that mates the blender motor with the flexible shaft and chuck, purchased separately. And the flattened-out PVC pipe used as a mounting bracket. And him using the motor itself against a file to “lathe” down the drive shaft. And…

      • DIY High Flow 3D Printing | Hackaday

        Sometimes we’re impressed by the sheer audacity of a project. [Stefan] rarely disappoints in that area, and his latest video shows him making an adapter to convert a normal 3D printed nozzle into a high-flow nozzle, similar to one you’d find on a Volcano. We say similar because [Stefan] took the trouble to drill three holes in the adapter to increase the melting surface area. The audacious part is that he doesn’t really have the machine shop to drill three tiny precision holes in close proximity — and he shows us the pictures to prove that he didn’t get it right the first (or fifth) time. But he did stick with it and got good results.

        Why do such a thing? He wanted to mount the high-efficiency nozzles he’s been experimenting with on the Volcano extruder. The commercial one, in particular, doesn’t come in the extended size. To simplify things, he started with a long brass insert. The conical hex cut offers a natural center point if you are satisfied with a single hole through the center of the adapter. The hex cutout allows you to use a key to install or remove the spacer easily.

      • Mini Linear Actuators From DVD Drive Parts | Hackaday

        For many years now a source for some of the smallest and cheapest home made CNC mechanisms has been the seemingly never-ending supply of surplus CD and DVD-ROM drives. The linear actuator that moves the laser may not be the longest or the strongest, but it’s free, and we’ve seen plenty of little X-Y tables using CD drives. It’s these mechanisms that [Nemo404] has taken a little further, freeing the lead screw and motor from the drive chassis and placing them in a 3D-printed enclosure for a complete linear actuator that can be used in other projects. (Video, embedded below.)

      • Realtime Shadows On N64 Hardware | Hackaday

        Although the Nintendo 64 console has in the minds of many been relegated to the era of ‘firmly obsolete graphics’, since its graphic processor’s (GPU’s) lineage traces directly to the best which SGI had to offer in the 1990s, it too supports a range of modern features, including dynamic shadows. In a simple demo, [lambertjamesd] demonstrates how this feature is used.

        As can be seen in the demonstration video (linked after the break), this demo features a single dynamic light, which casts a shadow below the central object in the scene, with a monkey object floating around that casts its own shadow (rendered into an auxiliary frame buffer). This auxiliary buffer is then blended into the main buffer, as explained by [ItzWarty] over at /r/programming on Reddit.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • For some Greenlanders, eating sugar is healthy

        A genetic variation among some Greenlanders makes sugar healthy — significantly more than for most people. According to a new study, gut bacteria and a unique diet that has nourished Greenlanders for millennia have provided them with a genetic variation that offers an incredible advantage.

      • COVID-19: Google employees flouting vaccination rules to eventually be fired | Companies – Gulf News

        Alphabet Inc’s Google told its employees they would lose pay and eventually be fired if they do not follow its COVID-19 vaccination rules, CNBC on Tuesday, citing internal documents.

        A memo circulated by Google’s leadership said employees had until Dec. 3 to declare their vaccination status and upload documentation showing proof, or to apply for a medical or religious exemption, according to the report.

        After that date, Google said it would start contacting employees who had not uploaded their status or were unvaccinated and those whose exemption requests were not approved, CNBC reported.

      • Omicron vs Delta variants, transmissibility vs severity: What we know and don’t know

        The world is facing a huge spike in COVID-19 cases, especially where Omicron is detected. The latest known SARS-COV-2 mutation — labelled a “variant of concern” less than a month ago (November 26, 2021) after cases were first detected in southern Africa — is now confirmed in more than 77 countries. It’s likely to have reached more countries than is currently known, say experts.

      • We’re Locked Down Again in the Netherlands. Here’s a Warning.

        Since 5 a.m. on Sunday, bars, restaurants, museums, schools, clothing stores, gift shops and anything resembling fun have been closed across the Netherlands. We’ve become the first European country to go back to lockdown life amid Omicron (until at least early January): It was “unavoidable,” said Prime Minister Mark Rutte. So here we are, looking over the borders enviously at holiday sales and seasonal celebrations in Belgian Antwerp. Once more, it doesn’t look a lot like Christmas.

      • Omicron in GCC: Gulf nations on alert as COVID-19 variant spreads worldwide

        Cairo: Having seen significant declines in COVID-19 incidences in recent month, Arab Gulf countries have doubled down on their efforts to protect public health amid a global scare over the new highly transmissible Omicron variant. These countries have updated their travel policies to curtail the COVID-19 spread and urged people to receive the booster shots to enhance their immunity.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • 35,000 people try to log on to Singapore immigration website • The Register

        A website operated by Singapore’s border control agency, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), fell over for five hours almost as soon as registrations for overseas travel were offered to expats who had been stuck in the city-state for over 18 months.

        Singapore currently operates “vaccinated travel lanes” (VTLs) that let citizens and permanent residents travel to certain destinations. But residents on other visas must apply to use VTLS. Around 27 per cent of Singapore’s population use those visas, many of them citizens of neighboring Indonesia or Malaysia who come to the island nation to work for short periods of time.

      • Proprietary

        • Apple fixes macOS security flaw behind Gatekeeper bypass

          Apple has addressed a macOS vulnerability that unsigned and unnotarized script-based apps could exploit to bypass all macOS security protection mechanisms even on fully patched systems.

        • After deadly 737 Max crashes, damning whistleblower report reveals sidelined engineers, scarcity of expertise, more

          An Aviation Whistleblower report issued Tuesday by a US Senate committee cites numerous oversight gaps within the government and the aviation industry.

          The report [PDF] was produced at the behest of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in response to two Boeing 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people. It is based on testimony from seven industry whistleblowers from Boeing, GE, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

          Boeing designed the 737 Max to compete against the Airbus A320neo. In order to achieve comparable fuel efficiency, Boeing basically put new engines on the existing 737 air frame, which allowed the passenger jet to avoid going through a new regulatory approval process.

        • Bluetooth reboot of pre-school play phone has privacy flaw • The Register

          A Bluetooth phone designed to evoke the carefree days of early childhood has been found to instead threaten the very adult prospect of being surveilled in your home.

          The phone is the Fisher Price Chatter Special Edition, a device that adds Bluetooth and a speaker to the smiling, brightly coloured, wheeled, rotary dial phone on which it’s previously been possible to make calls only by using one’s imagination.

          The phone also bears the name “60G LTE” – which stands for “60 great years, Let’s Talk Everywhere” and an infomercial for the handset opens with “The past has finally arrived” before lampooning mobile phone ads quite nicely.

          The 2021 version of the device connects to a smartphone and can be used as a speaker phone, or to make calls. Even the rotary dialler works for outbound calls.

        • Microsoft closes installer hole abused by Emotet malware, Google splats Chrome bug exploited in the wild

          Let’s start with Microsoft, which put out a summary of its security updates here. All manner of products are affected, from the Windows kernel to PowerShell to Office to the beleaguered Print Spooler.

        • Of course a Bluetooth-using home COVID test was cracked to fake results • The Register

          Security vendor F-Secure has faked a COVID test result on a Bluetooth-equipped home COVID Test. Thankfully the vendor’s since fixed the device.

          The firm tested the Ellume COVID-19 Home Test, a device selected specifically because it uses a “Bluetooth connected analyzer for use with an app on your phone.”

          As F-Secure probed the device and its companion app, its researchers spotted an un-exported activity called com.ellumehealth.homecovid.android/com.gsk.itreat.activities.BluetoothDebugActivity Users with root level access to an Android machine can launch that activity to “help interact with the analyzer over Bluetooth”, F-Secure found.

        • Police National Computer not pwned by Clop ransomware crims, insists Home Office

          The Clop ransomware gang pwned a managed service provider with access to the UK’s Police National Computer, dumping data on its dark web leaks site – but officials deny that police data was compromised.

          Dacoll, a Scotland-based MSP, was attacked in October by the notorious criminal crew. Reports surfaced in the Mail on Sunday newspaper over the weekend that the criminals had published information from the Police National Computer on their leaks site.

        • The Week in Ransomware – December 24th 2021 – No rest for the weary [Ed: By Microsoft booster Lawrence Abrams]

          Network admins and security researchers are already reporting that BlackCat/ALPHV affiliates continue to attack the enterprise today as we move into the Christmas weekend, so it is vital to keep an eye on your networks and respond quickly to unusual behavior.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Kasm Technologies Announces Partnership with VirtualGL Open-Source Project

              Kasm Technologies, the industry leader in streaming containerized cloud workloads to the web browser, today announced a partnership with the open-source project VirtualGL, to sponsor the addition of EGL front-end support to the VirtualGL product. The latest version of VirtualGL supports EGL backend, so with the addition of EGL front-end support, this collaboration allows for multi-tenant use of GPUs for modern applications that don’t support the older GLX API.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Over 500 Aadhaar Activists, Organisations Slam EC’s Proposal to Link Aadhaar with Voter ID | NewsClick

              Over 500 prominent individuals, including former civil servants, journalists, social activists, researchers and students, in a statement, have strongly opposed the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) proposal to link voter ID cards )and the “EPIC” database) with Aadhaar, calling it a “dangerous idea which can fundamentally alter the structure of our democracy.”

              Other signatories include “electoral reform group, Association for Democratic Reforms, civil rights groups from across the country such as the Peoples’ Union of Civil Liberties, MKSS, Adivasi Women’s Network, Chetna Andolan, and NAPM Jharkhand; and digital rights groups including Rethink Aadhaar, Article 21 Trust, the Internet Freedom Foundation, the Bachao Project, and the Free Software Movement of India.”

              As per reports, the government is introducing certain major voting reforms based on the EC’s recommendations. According to EC, the proposal to link Aadhaar with Voter IDs is aimed at weeding out duplications. The Elections Laws (Amendment Bill, 2021 that would link electoral rolls to Aadhaar numbers would be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday, December 20. The Bill would allow “electoral registration officers to ask for Aadhaar numbers of applicants wanting to register as voters to establish the identity of the applicant.”

            • Digital COVID-19 vaccination card now available | News | Jamaica Gleaner

              After missing Monday’s deadline for the rollout of digital COVID-19 certificates, the Ministry of Health and Wellness today officially launched Jamaica’s digital vaccination card.

              With the introduction of the card, inoculated Jamaicans now have access to an internationally-accepted and convenient way of verifying their vaccination status.

              Across the world, countries have stipulated that visitors must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a requirement for entry.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Democrats Say They Are Serious About State Elections. But Are They Too Late? – The New York Times

        Late on Nov. 8, 2016, the mood inside President Barack Obama’s West Wing turned grim. Hillary Clinton was coming up short. The realization was growing that Donald J. Trump would be elected president.

        Suddenly, David M. Simas, Mr. Obama’s political director, pumped his fist and called out, “Yes!”

        A cautious, cerebral lawyer, Mr. Simas was not known for attention-getting exultation. Asked why he was cheering, he deadpanned: “We just won a North Carolina Supreme Court seat.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • China lists 100 topics citizens can’t include in online vids • The Register

        China’s Netcasting Services Association has issued a list of 100 topics local netizens must not include in short videos posted online.

        The list, officially the “Online Short Video Content Review Standard Rules (2021)”, includes predictable prohibitions on mocking China’s leadership, or suggesting that history did not unfurl precisely as the Chinese Communist Party’s textbooks describe.

        But the regs also add some new red lines – among them a ban on using clips from TV shows. Clips of shows not permitted to be shown in China are also forbidden.

        So is depiction of unconventional marriages. Sex is out, and so are fig leaves, or fig-leaf sized token garments that almost cover body parts likely to be depicted during sex.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Microsoft, Apple suppliers exposed by anti-slavery law

        “It’s not if they’ve got slavery, it’s when they find it,” said Kitto, the Sydney-based director of Be Slavery Free, a nonprofit organization. “It’s that pervasive, almost every business has a risk of slavery in their supply chains.”

      • Sonai river: A victim of greed

        Sonai river, which flows through Madhabpur upazila in Habiganj, has almost turned into a canal due to illegal occupation and dumped trash. It now acts as a narrow drain carrying hazardous pollutants to the haor area.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • TikTok tops Google to win Cloudflare’s 2021 traffic ratings

        Cloudflare’s explanation for how Radar calculates site popularity says its assessment is “derived from aggregated data from the Public DNS Resolver” and “a range of data that Cloudflare has about global Internet traffic patterns.”

        But just how Cloudflare decides its rankings unknown, while the fact that Radar launched in September 2020 means its assessments for that year were based on less data.

    • Monopolies

      • Nextcloud-led coalition complains to the EU about Microsoft stifling competition

        The cloud storage company, Nextcloud, is leading a coalition against Microsoft in the European Union over what it claims to be anti-competitive behaviour. To back up its claims, it has assembled a coalition of organisations who would also benefit from the action including Tutanota, OnlyOffice, Free Software Foundation Europe, The Document Foundation, European Digital SME Alliance, and many, many more.

        According to the coalition, Microsoft is more deeply integrating its 365 services into Windows, for example, OneDrive and Teams ship by default and pushes people to use them. The coalition believes that actions like this make it impossible for them and other smaller firms to compete so it wants the EU to do something about it. Over the years, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon have grown their European market share to 66% while local providers declined from 26% to 16%.

      • Patents

        • UK consultation on AI in copyright and patent legislation: Dennemeyer [Ed: Copyright and patent litigation firms have become infatuated with meaningless buzzwords that mislead public officials and let them get away with illegal things]

          As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to play an ever-greater role at the forefront of research and development, the legal systems protecting Intellectual Property (IP) are taking a serious look at how they can accommodate this burgeoning technology.

          On October 29, the UK government launched an open consultation to debate how the country’s existing IP legislation should be adapted to address the ongoing development of AIs and their use in the inventive process. The consultation will last for 10 weeks, closing on January 7, 2022.

        • Software Patents

          • Dallas Invents: 127 Patents Granted for Week of Nov. 16 [Ed: Dallas Invents bogus courts that exist to serve patent trolls, serve software patents, and even appoint people who worked for patent trolls to actual judge positions in top courts]

            Dallas Invents is a weekly look at U.S. patents granted with a connection to the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area. Listings include patents granted to local assignees and/or those with a North Texas inventor. Patent activity can be an indicator of future economic growth, as well as the development of emerging markets and talent attraction. By tracking both inventors and assignees in the region, we aim to provide a broader view of the region’s inventive activity. Listings are organized by Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC).

      • Trademarks

        • Under What Conditions Will The Sale And Transfer Of “.tr” Domain Names Be Possible With The Beginning Of The TRABIS Period? [Ed: At one point Turkey was disposing off these TLDs like water to raise money from a bubble]

          The enforcement of the Internet Domain Names Regulation (“Regulation”), published by the Information Technologies and Communications Authority (“ITCA”) in 2010, which regulates the procedures and principles regarding “.tr” domain names, was delayed until the “.tr Network Information System” (“TRABIS”) becomes operational. In accordance with the recent announcement, the Nic.tr platform, where the procedures for the allocation of “.tr” domain names have been carried out since 1991 in Turkey, will be shut down and TRABIS will start operating. The Regulation, which will come into force at the beginning of the TRABIS period, clearly stipulates that “.tr” domain names may be subject to the transactions for sale and transfer, which has not been regulated before. You may read our legal alert on Nic.tr’s aforementioned announcement here.

Unboxing Geminispace at 1,900 (Updated)

Posted in Site News at 7:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Will we be there by the end of the day? 4 more.

Capsules at 1900 over gemini//

Capsules at 1900

Summary: We’re nearly there now at 1,900; this past year has been a phenomenal one for Gemini Protocol, which tackles many of the issues with the World Wide Web

Update (8:16 PM/GMT): We’re there now.

Geminispace at 1,900

Links 26/12/2021: Nitrux 1.8.0 and Many Pgpool-II Releases

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

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Rare Recordings of 1994 Talks By a 24-Year-Old Linus Torvalds Re-Discovered

        71-year-old Jon “maddog” Hall has been involved with Linux from the very beginning, and for Christmas shared two of the earliest recordings ever made of young Linus Torvalds speaking about Linux — recordings long thought to be lost.

        Hall shares the story at Archive.org. In Februay of 1994 the chair of a user group for the Digital Equipment Computer Users’ Society “started sending emails (and copying me for some reason) about wanting to bring this person I had never heard about from Finland (of all places) to talk about a project that did not even run on Ultrix or DEC/OSF1…. After many emails and no luck in raising money for this trip I took mercy…and asked my management to fund the trip. I sat down to use it, and was amazed. It was good. It was very, very good.”

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa Open-Source GPU Drivers Enjoyed Near-Record Growth In 2021, Valve Dev Top Contributor – Phoronix

          As we approach the end of the year, here is a look back at some of the Mesa open-source 3D OpenGL/Vulkan driver development statistics for 2021 compared to prior years as well as a look at the top contributors to this crucial piece of the Linux desktop stack.

          As of this morning when running GitStats on Mesa for a look at year-end numbers, this collection of open-source 3D drivers used on Linux and other platforms has seen 148,309 commits. Mesa is currently comprised of 7,871 files that amount to 3.63 million lines of code. There have been roughly 1,155 contributors to Mesa in its over two decade history.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux 5.16 Provides Performance Boost for AMD Ryzen APUs

        Linux 5.16 just dropped a few days ago, and with it arrives some performance gains for laptops equipped with AMD’s Ryzen CPUs with Radeon integrated graphics, according to Phoronix. In most of the benchmarks Phoronix tested, Linux 5.16 provides anywhere between 5%-14% more performance compared to previous Linux kernels, including 5.15 and 5.11.

        Phoronix tested many different benchmarks, including Gravity Mark, Legacy, GLmark2, and more on two notebooks. On one of the notebooks equipped with a Ryzen 5 5500U (Zen 2), the most noticeable uptick in performance apps were GLmark 2 and Xonotic, which had a 14% performance improvement over Linux 5.16. Other benchmarks with a significant impact were Xonotic and Unvanquished, with a 10%-11% performance improvement.

        On another notebook equipped with a Ryzen 7 Pro 5850U (Zen 3), Phoronix tested even more benchmarks, and the results are very similar to the Ryzen 5 5500U notebook. Some benchmarks did not benefit from the new Linux kernel, such as RealSR-NCNN and Waifu2x-NCNN. However, the number of benchmarks with this behavior is small, with most attaining small and significant performance gains.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Using onion services over unix sockets and nginx

        I have explained before about how to create Onion services, this provides an easy solution to expose any service from inside of your home network to the Internet, in a secured manner (authorized services). But, in all of those examples I used an IP/port combination to expose/talk to the internal service. Instead you can also use unix sockets to do the same.

      • Install the latest R Programming Language version on Debian 11 Bullseye

        Get the latest version of R is a free programming language on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux using command terminal via its official repository.

        R is a free programming language specially designed for statistical calculations and data visualization. It is one of the leading solutions for statistical data analysis and can be used for data mining or predictive analytics. R, which was developed in 1992 by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman in Auckland, is distributed as open-source software under the GNU General Public License by the Vienna-based R Foundation for Statistical Computing. R is based on the programming language S and is very similar to it. However, R is a free implementation.

        In the standard distribution, R is supplied with an interpreter and command-line environment with simple graphic elements. The language has developed into a kind of standard language for statistical problems in science and business.

        Few key features of R Language are Management of files and data; creation, checking, and adapting data structures; analysis, descriptive statistics, and more functions; editing and formatting of strings; conditional statements, loops, and branches; statistical tests; mathematical options, set operations, matrix operations and more…

      • How to install PHP 8.1 on Ubuntu 21.10 – NextGenTips

        In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to install the current stable release version of PHP 8.1 on Ubuntu 21.10.

        PHP is a general-purpose scripting language suitable for web development. Most websites out there are programmed using PHP language because it is…

      • How to Install Go (Golang) Compiler on Linux Mint 20

        Go, or Golang, is an open-source programming language that Google created. It’s statically typed and produces compiled machine code binaries, and go language is a compiled language. This is popular amongst developers as it means you do not need to compile the source code to create an executable file. Developers that use Google’s Go language say it is the C for the twenty-first century when it comes to syntax.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install and configure Go (Golang) on Linux Mint 20.

      • How to install TeamSpeak Client on Linux | FOSS Linux

        TeamSpeak, commonly referred to as TS, is a proprietary VoIP (Voice-over-Internet Protocol) application that aids audio communication among users present on a chat channel. TeamSpeak is more similar to a conference or telephone call. Teams’ client software connects the users through a TeamSpeak server, enabling them to join the chat channels.

        TeamSpeak is freely available to install on major operating system platforms such as macOS, Android, Windows, FreeBSD, and Linux distributions. TeamSpeak is a pioneer of the Discord platform. Discord is one of the widely used community communication platforms. This software has been of significant importance globally, including in the gaming world, as it allows text and speech communication.

        This article shall cover the installation phases of the TeamSpeak client on major Linux distros such as Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and Arch Linux. Therefore, if you intend on using this application on your Linux PC, this is the best article for you. Stick around to learn more.

      • How to Install Chromium in Fedora [Beginner's Tip]

        Chromium, the open-source mother of the best browsers in the market, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave and so many others, is a great browser power packed with features.

        Like many other distributions, Fedora also comes with Firefox as its default browser. But you can easily install Chromium on Fedora.

        The simplest option is to open the software center application and search for Chromium. You’ll find the option to install Chromium there.

      • 3 Ways to Install VLC Media Player on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux

        One of the most popular media players is the VLC ( VideoLAN Client) that always finds its way to be on the editorial list of best Open-source players. The key reason behind its wide acceptance is – VLC media player plays files of all important audio and video formats. A double click is enough, alternatively, you can load files into the VLC interface using drag & drop or tap a video DVD using the menu bar command.

        The player supports MPEG and DivX streaming and can therefore also play videos during the download. You can also play files packed by ZIP without having to unpack them beforehand. Users can artificially increase the volume of the film up to 200 percent if the video is too quiet.

        Common formats VLC supports are Formate: AAC, AC3/A52, ASF, AVI, DTS, FLAC, FLV, H.264, MIDI, MKV, MOV, MPG, MPEG (ES, MP3, MP4, PS, PVA, TS), MXF, OGG, OGM, Raw DV, Real (RAM, RM, RMVB, RV), WAV, WMA, WMV, 3GP.

        Further, if the design of VLC is not the way you want then, it is possible to customize it with the help of various themes made available by the community.

      • Nvidia optimus with wayland. Help needed.

        I have given a try on wayland and it works in my notebook (Gigabyte p34v5) when using only the Intel gpu (/dev/dri/card0) and mesa. Now I have been trying to make it work with the Nvidia gpu (GeForce GTX 970M, /dev/dri/card1) using proprietary driver. The thing about that gpu is that is uses optimus and thus need the following command to work with X11…

      • Debian/Ubuntu: Configure knockd on Server for Port Knocking – TREND OCEANS

        When I was young, my mother asked me not to open the door unless the door knocked in a series of four which was only known to us. I think you all have done in their childhood or later.

        That same concept I want to use in my Linux system, you are pondering what he is speaking? How and where will be a door on my system, and how to knock? I’m not understanding it, explain me this abstract concept.

      • Convert Audio File Formats on Ubuntu with SoundConverter – Technastic

        In this tutorial, we discuss how you can convert audio files into different formats on Ubuntu with a neat tool called SoundConverter. Before the rise of music streaming services, people bought their music DRM-free. Meaning they bought the music and it was theirs to do whatever they wished to do with, transfer the file to any number of devices, and even share it with others for free. You can see how this wasn’t so good for the music companies but it definitely was convenient for the users. Most of our music is online these days, via various streaming services.

      • Fixing Wayland taskbar icons – Nico’s blog

        This is due to the shell not being able to properly map a window to an application. This breaks more things than just icons, but those are often the first thing that is noticed. Fortunately this is usually very easy to fix, particularly for Qt/KDE apps. I fixed a couple of those over the holidays and now I am writing down what needs to be done so you know what to do the next time you encounter such a case.

        Window to application mapping is based on the desktop entry name. That is the filename of the application’s .desktop file in /usr/share/applications/ (without the .desktop extension). For KWallet that would be org.kde.kwalletd5. Make sure your application actually has such a .desktop file installed to /usr/share/applications/. Most graphical apps have one, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to lauch it from the application launcher. However things that are not traditional applications, like services (e.g. KWallet) or helper applications (e.g. the Gwenview importer) don’t always have one yet. To avoid those showing up in the application laucher include NoDisplay=true in the .desktop file.

      • How to Install Geany IDE 1.38 via PPA in Ubuntu 20.04 / 18.04 / 21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        Merry Christmas to all my dear readers! In this tutorial I’m going to introduce the new Ubuntu PPA for Geany IDE.

        Geany is a free open-source lightweight IDE for BSD, Linux, macOS, Solaris and Windows. It supports many programming languages including C, C++, Java, PHP, HTML, LaTeX, Python, Perl, and more.

        Geany does not provides official Linux packages. And, Ubuntu includes fixed versions in its repositories which are always old. For request, I created an unofficial PPA that contains the latest Geany 1.38 as well as its plugins, while the “Geany Developers” team PPA has not been updated for a year.

      • How To Set $PATH in Linux System Permanently

        A variable is a given name to a location or an object where data is stored for future reference. Whereas the environment variable is used for storing dynamic values that can store a list of directories of a Linux system that you use for executing applications. In Linux, the environment variable is mentioned with a $ prefix and written in upper case PATH. It stores all the directories that the bash search for when we execute a command on the terminal shell in Linux. A fun fact about the $PATH is, you can add your own directory and create your own terminal command if you know how to set $PATH in Linux.

      • How to play DayZ on Linux

        DayZ is a survival game developed and published by Bohemia Interactive. It is the successor to the ARMA 2 modification that bears the same name. Here’s how you can play DayZ on Linux.

      • How to compress images in Linux like magic with E-mage

        Need to compress some images on your Linux PC to make them smaller? If so, check out E-mage. It’s a neat little tool with tons of features that can make compressing images on Linux like magic!

      • How to Display top Processes Results and Sort by Memory

        Finding out which processes are using the most memory isn’t as simple on Linux as it is on Windows. Luckily, no matter what flavor of Linux you are using, the top command makes it easy to see how much memory each process is using.

        The top command doesn’t order by memory usage by default, though, making it hard to see what is using the most RAM. If you’ve resurrected an old PC with a lightweight Linux distro, you’ll want to keep a close eye on what’s eating up all your RAM!

        Here’s how to sort top processes by memory usage in Linux using the terminal top command.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Supporting DirectX 12 On Mac Is Proving Tougher Than Linux But Work Is Underway | HotHardware

        If you’re a long-time Mac or Linux user, you’ve almost certainly benefited from the work of CodeWeavers even if you’ve never heard of them. Founded in 1996, the company has been working for a long time now on making Windows applications run on first Linux, then Mac, and most recently, ChromeOS. CodeWeavers is the primary sponsor of the Wine project (a translation layer to run Windows programs on Linux), and Valve contracted the company to help with its Proton project that powers the Steam Deck and much of modern Linux gaming.

        CodeWeavers sells a product called CrossOver, which is its primary consumer-facing product. CrossOver is a commercial piece of software that performs the same task Proton does, except with a more holistic approach rather than being purely gaming-focused. CrossOver is available for Linux and Mac, and currently it works well—as long as your application doesn’t use DirectX 12.

    • Games

      • Enjoy the Classic Snake Game in Your Linux Terminal

        This is how you can install and play the classic Snake Game in Linux Terminal.

      • Linux already runs 80 of the 100 most popular Steam games with Proton

        Proton poked its head out three years ago like a hurricane. The compatibility layer based on Wine and promoted by Valve started very strong and rapidly improving its performance, but for a few months it seems that its progression has slowed down a bit, something logical if we take into account that at this point it is mainly resistant to games specific problems that give Wine and those that use an anti-cheat.

        If in March we broke the news that 70% of the 50 most popular Steam games were capable of running on Linux thanks to Proton, that percentage, according to data that can be extracted from ProtonDB, has now risen to 79% counting the 100 most popular titles on the Valve platform. This means, making imprecise calculations, an increase of 9%, which is not bad at all. Even a few days ago the percentage reached 80.

      • SuperTux 0.6.3 Free Linux Game Released

        After a year and a half of development , has been , the published release of the classic platformer SuperTux 0.6.3 , reminiscent of Super Mario in style . The game is distributed under the GPLv3 license and is available in assemblies for Linux (AppImage), Windows and macOS.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • Nest Hub Max may soon run Fuchsia as Google ramps up internal testing

        Earlier this year, Google took the bold step of updating existing 1st-gen Nest Hub smart displays from their Linux-based Cast OS to the company’s long-in-development Fuchsia operating system. This marked the official debut of the OS, though it was done largely without fanfare, if only to prove a point that Fuchsia could replace Linux under the hood on some devices without most people noticing. The launch wasn’t without its issues, but Google ultimately got things under control for Nest Hub owners.

      • Interesting rumor suggests Samsung could be planning to ditch Android in the future

        The main difference is that Fuchsia won’t just be relegated to smartphones or tablets. Instead, it seems Google could actually be borrowing concepts from Samsung’s Tizen where it could be used to power a variety of smart products like phones, tablets, computers, home appliances, and more.

      • New Releases

        • Available Manjaro 21.2 with improvements in the system installer

          Let it not be said that all the fish is already sold, and it is that no matter how little the year remains, there is still time for such interesting releases as that of Manjaro 21.2, the most recent version of this rolling-A slow release that, however, usually includes new features for those who install new ones.

          Manjaro 21.2 is a good example of this and the first change to comment on is in the Calamares system installer, which in this version presents improvements in the selection of the file system for automatic partitioning, or in the btrfs support with subvolume management and, more importantly, support for creating swap files, instead of a regular partition.

          Regarding the generic internals of Manjaro 21.2, it is also worth mentioning the new version of the kernel used by default, Linux 5.15 LTS, as well as the most recent drivers. Besides, it is possible to install Linux 5.4 and Linux 5.10, both LTS versions, in the event that for support or stability issues it is the most recommended.

        • Systemd-Free Nitrux 1.8 Launches with Initial Support for Maui Shell, XFS by Default

          Coming only three weeks after Nitrux 1.7.1, which was the first release of the Debian-based distribution to ship with Linux kernel 5.15 LTS by default, Nitrux 1.8 is powered by the latest release at the moment of writing, Linux kernel 5.15.11 LTS.

          Nitrux 1.8 also features the latest and greatest KDE Plasma software, starting with the KDE Plasma 5.23.4 desktop environment and continuing with the KDE Frameworks 5.89 and KDE Gear 21.12 software suites. However, this release drops the Plasma Wayland session from the default installation.

        • Release Announcement: Nitrux 1.8.0

          We are pleased to announce the launch of Nitrux 1.8.0. This new version brings together the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and ready-to-use hardware support.

          Nitrux 1.8.0 is available for immediate download.

      • Arch Family

        • Ubuntu Desktop vs Server: Differences, Similarities & More

          In short, the Desktop version of Ubuntu is used for desktop PCs, and it has a graphical user interface by default. Ubuntu Desktop can be used for browsing, gaming, programming, and more. The Server version of Ubuntu is mainly used for servers – hosting websites, online applications, and various other software. It doesn’t have a GUI by default, but a control panel with a GUI can easily be installed. Technically, you can also use the Desktop version as a Server if you installed the right software and configured the distro properly. The 2 versions make it easy for you by including the right software and configurations by default when installing them.

        • Lost Art of Arch Linux

          Arch Linux is still around and has become one of the most popular distributions to run as a user. But it’s not longer the “Commodore 64″ of today’s up and coming programmers. Containers and lightweight virtual machines have changed the game again. Now, a curious hacker might not even use Linux as their desktop or laptop OS. Instead, they might spin up ephemeral containers with a reproducible configuration like NixOS or run a minimal container-native operating system like alpine.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Kinoite: A fascinating take on the operating system – TechRepublic

          On the surface, Fedora Kinoite is a respin of Fedora with the KDE desktop. But once you crack through the surface, you find that it’s so much more than that.

          At the heart of Fedora Kinoite is Fedora Silverblue. What is Silverblue? First and foremost, it’s an immutable operating system, which means the root filesystem is mounted read-only by default. Because of this, the likelihood of accidental damage and/or malicious attacks is dramatically decreased. So not only do you already have the inherent security of Linux but you partner that with a read-only root filesystem and you have a marked increase in the security offered by the operating system.

          Another difference between Silverblue and other distributions is that updates are atomic. What does that mean?

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • LuxCoreRender 2.6 Released For This Great Open-Source, Physically Based Renderer

        Another open-source project releasing on Christmas is LuxCoreRender 2.6 as a sizable feature update incorporating the better part of a year’s worth of improvements to this physically based rendering software.

        For this project that originally started out as LuxRender, the LuxCoreRender 2.x series continues advancing in a steadfast manner for greatly improving this open-source PBR renderer.

        With LuxCoreRender 2.6 the parsing of mesh light sources is now about three times faster, partial multi-threaded support in pre-processing of light sources, expanded support for color spaces, and a variety of other core improvements and bug fixes.

      • Web Browsers

        • Enable Dark Mode on Brave Browser

          Dark theme is getting popular even among non-developers. More and more operating systems, websites and applications are providing dark mode option.

          When things don’t work out of the box, you could try finding a way to achieve it. I hope this little post here helped you to enjoy the dark theme in Brave.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Nano 6 Increases Editing Area

            GNU Nano 6 has been released with improvements including the ability to hide the title bar and status bar to provide more editing space. GNU nano is a command line text editor for Unix and Linux that aims to be simple and easy to use.

            Nano was originally named Tip and was a free replacement for the Pico text editor, part of the Pine email suite that at the time was the most widely used email package on Unix. Nano is popular as an alternative to Vi and Emacs, and while few developers use it as their major editor, it offers a small, resource friendly editor for tasks such as editing batch files.

          • The 2021 TNS Gift Guide: 4 Ways to Help Connect to Community

            For the last 12 years the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has been publishing its own Ethical Tech Giving Guide, now featuring its recommendations for the freest Android operating systems and app repositories, as well as the freest DRM-free media and ebooks (and the places to procure it).

            The guide also recommends some truly geeky gifts, like the Taurinus X200 laptops that run free software all the way down its BIOS microcode, and the NeuG USB True Random Number Generator “for the cryptogeek in your life.” (Why settle for the inherent predictability of algorithm-generated numbers when your numbers could be derived from an actual physical process?)

            A recent FSF blog post also made the delightful suggestion of upgrading some old hardware of the ones you love by installing some free software, giving them the gift of a shared learning experience and inauguration “into a worldwide community of users.”

            But in addition, the foundation is also selling memberships to its organization, promising that “each new member exponentially increases our reach and our ability to make change”— which comes with several cool perks.

            FSF’s specially-designed membership cards feature a fold-out USB connector and 16 gigabytes of storage that’s pre-loaded with the fully free GNU/Linux distribution Trisquel Live. (“Take it anywhere — sharing GNU/Linux on the go!”)

          • GnuCash 4.9

            GnuCash is a personal and small business finance application, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. It’s designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible. GnuCash allows you to track your income and expenses, reconcile bank accounts, monitor stock portfolios and manage your small business finances. It is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.

            GnuCash can keep track of your personal finances in as much detail as you prefer. If you are just starting out, use GnuCash to keep track of your checkbook. You may then decide to track cash as well as credit card purchases to better determine where your money is being spent. When you start investing, you can use GnuCash to help monitor your portfolio. Buying a vehicle or a home? GnuCash will help you plan the investment and track loan payments. If your financial records span the globe, GnuCash provides all the multiple-currency support you need.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Italian Courts Find Open Source Software Terms Enforceable

            In addition to ordering the defendants to cease distribution of the software until it’s brought into compliance with the license, a fine of €100 (about $113 US) was levied for each day the defendants delay before bringing the software into compliance for the first 15 days, when the fine will increase to €300 ($339 US) daily and that they publish an excerpt of the order on a page of their website, as well as a reference on the site’s home page that’s displayed in double the normal character size of the site. The same rules apply to their Facebook page.

            The court also ordered the defendants to pay the plaintiff’s litigation costs, an amount that exceeds €5,000.

          • Italian Courts Find Open Source Software Terms Enforceable | If This Be Treason

            In a first-time ruling by Italian courts on open source licensing, a software vendor has lost a civil case for failing to comply with open source license requirements.
            On December 13, the law court of Venice, Italy quietly affirmed the legal enforceability of open source software licenses in a case involving the GNU General Public License, perhaps the most well known open source license, in what was something of a test case within the country.

            Open source software is important because it offers a way for software to be distributed freely and without cost, while allowing users to modify the software to suit their needs and distribute it to others.

            “It [the ruling] represents an important step in the direction of strengthening the protection of intellectual works distributed through free software licenses in all their forms, a concrete progress for Italian jurisprudence on the subject and more generally for the country,” Ovation, an Italy-based limited liability company that was the plaintiff in the case, said in a press release it issued after the court ruling.

            The case involved Ovation’s GPL licensed Dynamic.ooo software, which is a plugin for the open source Elementor platform for building WordPress websites. According to the company, two former employees (evidently Marco Poglie and Francesco Pesce, who were the defendants in the suit, along with Venezia Italy-based Nerds Farm, which is owned by Pesce) had redistributed the software, which is allowed under the GPL.

            The issue was that the software was redistributed without including acknowledgment of the original work, including information about changes the defendants had made to the software, and with no mention of the software’s copyright holders.

          • TikTok’s new Live Studio app allegedly violates OBS’ licensing policy – The Hamden Journal [Ed: Might be a spammy site/plagiarism]

            Live Studio, TikTok’s new livestreaming app for Windows, supposedly uses code from the free livestreaming program Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) (via Protocol). This would typically not pose an issue when done properly because OBS is open source — however, TikTok purportedly fails to adhere to OBS’ licensing requirements.

            The situation unraveled on Twitter after a user posted screenshots of what appears to be Live Studio’s code. The programmer who originally took the screenshots alleges that the app “is an illegal fork of OBS” and also claims that TikTok used OBS and then slapped its own user interface on top.

            As another user points out, if TikTok does make use of OBS’ code, the platform is required to make the source code publicly available in accordance with the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2. If TikTok fails to do so, OBS could potentially take legal action against the platform.

          • Is It Even Worth Working on FOSS Anymore?


            I don’t know how to introduce this post other than the question in the title: is it even worth working on Free and Open Source Software anymore?

            I have been asking myself this for the past week or two, and it’s uncomfortable for me; I believe in the power of Open Source to empower users and to give them control over their machines.

            Exploited FOSS

            But that belief of mine has been severely shaken by several things happened this week, things which also made me reconsider things that happened further in the past as well.

          • Selling my own GPL software, part 1: a lot of hurdles

            In my spare time I’ve been chugging along on a piece of software, which I’m contemplating selling. In my case the commercial aspect is made more difficult because I also want to release the software with a GPL license.

            This post describes the initial hurdles I’m encountering, next to just programming the software.

          • Ownership in the Twenty-First Century

            So the new era of ownership will be interesting. Will it restore balance to r = g? Or skew society further into r > g? Regardless, everything be securitized.

      • Programming/Development

        • Fix the unit test and open a giant hole everywhere

          As you can see, this is the kind of thing that takes a little work to get right, and once someone does that, it would be nice to share it with the rest of the company. For that reason, I went looking into the “common” part of our code base to see what we had in terms of “directory creation utilities”. Maybe we’d have something which did this already!

        • Interactive Programming in a Nutshell

          For me interactive programming is probably the most important advantage of Lisps and Emacs over other programming languages and editors. I cannot imagine any productive workflow without it!

        • Eagle’s Path: rra-c-util 10.1 (2021-12-25)

          This is my collection of utility functions, Autoconf macros, test programs, and other support infrastructure for my other packages.

        • DocKnot 6.00

          DocKnot is my static site generator and software release management toolkit. It’s what generates all of what you’re reading.

          DocKnot has always supported pointing to external files from inside its input tree and converting those files to HTML. This is how I include HTML conversions of POD documentation, CVS logs, text files, and other things in my web pages. This release starts the migration from an ad hoc text format for these pointers to YAML, which will permit a much richer configuration and a consistent format and extension for those external pointers.

        • Java

          • Security chief warns of new telco core threat, Security | TelecomTV

            Przemysław Dęba, security chief at Orange Poland, has taken to Twitter to highlight a security warning to telcos from P1 Security, a telecoms security software and services specialist. The company’s R&D unit, P1 Labs, today warned of Log4Shell, a “a zero-day vulnerability in Log4j, a popular Java logging framework, involving arbitrary code execution.”

            Essentially, it exploits a vulnerability in signalling messages, and that puts telco core network systems at risk from attack, and The Apache Software Foundation, of which Log4j is a project, has given Log4Shell a “CVSS [Common Vulnerability Scoring System] severity rating of 10, the highest available score. It is estimated that the exploit affects hundreds of millions of devices,” according to P1. Check out the full explanation from P1 Labs here.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Why RSS is important

        When using a RSS reader, you only get updates from the websites you have subscribed to. So you are not only in control of the amount of updates you get and also in control of what kind of information you collect.

        Just like there are a few social media moguls the choice for web search engines is very limited. There also are dark algorithms at work, that control which sites are ‘found’ and which are not. These algorithms are completely out of our control and we have no idea of the powers behind it.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • James Webb Space Telescope launched!

        The long awaited James Webb Space Telescope has finally been successfully launched today. It is a Xmas gift for many people who have been waiting for it for many years.

      • Watch NASA launch the most powerful space telescope ever

        The massive telescope is designed to capture infrared light, especially from galaxies so far away that their light has been traveling through space for almost the entire history of the universe.

        “We are expecting to see the light from the first galaxies that formed some 100 [million], 200 million years after the Big Bang,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said in a pre-launch briefing. “It will deliver world-class science. It’s a revolutionary technology that will study every phase of 13-and-a-half billion years of cosmic history.”

        What’s more, he said, the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to study the atmospheres of planets beyond our solar system, to try to determine if they might be habitable — or maybe even inhabited.

      • NASA launches James Webb telescope into space on Christmas Day

        The $10-billion observatory, billed as the successor to the iconic Hubble Space Telescope, is designed to study the early days of the universe, roughly 100 million years after the Big Bang, when the first stars flickered on in the cosmos.

        The tennis court-sized observatory launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket at 7:20 a.m. ET from a European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The observatory’s liftoff had been postponed several times, including earlier this month to investigate a faulty data cable and more recently because of bad weather at the South American launch site.

      • NASA’s Revolutionary New Space Telescope Launched From French Guiana

        NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, built to give the world a glimpse of the universe as it existed when the first galaxies formed, was launched by rocket early Saturday from South America’s northeastern coast, opening a new era of astronomy.

        The revolutionary $9 billion infrared telescope, hailed by NASA as the premiere space-science observatory of the next decade, was carried aloft inside the cargo bay of an Ariane 5 rocket that blasted off at about 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT) from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) launch base in French Guiana.

        The flawless Christmas Day launch, with a countdown conducted in French, was carried live on a joint NASA-ESA Webcast.

      • James Webb Space Telescope lifts off on historic mission

        The observatory was lifted skyward by an Ariane rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.

        Its flight to orbit lasted just under half an hour, with a signal confirming a successful outcome picked up by a ground antenna at Malindi in Kenya.

        Webb, named after one of the architects of the Apollo Moon landings, is the successor to the Hubble telescope.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Thousands of Virginians Have Faced Years of Sickness-Inducing Landfill Pollution
      • Fast-Spreading Omicron Variant Drives Up Pediatric Hospitalizations in Parts of US

        With the fast-spreading Omicron variant now driving new Covid-19 cases up in the United States, public health officials are warning that just as South Africa did in early December, the country is seeing a surge in pediatric hospitalizations related to the disease.

        The New York Department of Health reported Thursday that Covid-19 hospitalizations among children under the age of 18 began increasing four-fold the week of December 5 through the current week.

      • Two Years of COVID Have Forced Us to Recalibrate Our Concept of Hope
      • American Life Expectancy Crashes By Almost Two Years

        Just as worryingly, the number of deaths from unintentional injuries including drug overdoses and diabetes also ranked high, pushing life expectancy down as well. Diabetes alone caused over 100,000 deaths.

        The number of drug overdoses in particular hit record highs, according to separate figures released by the CDC last month.

        Infant mortality, on the other hand, fell to a record low of 541 deaths per 100,000 live births over the same period.

      • TikTok Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over Content Moderators’ ‘Unmitigated Exposure to Highly Toxic and Extremely Disturbing Images’

        One Candie Frazier, a Las Vegas resident who’s worked as a TikTok content moderator since January of 2018, just recently submitted the class-action suit to a California federal court, naming as defendants both the short-form video-sharing app and Beijing-headquartered ByteDance.

        The plaintiff has specifically accused the defendants of multiple counts of negligence (including “abnormally dangerous activity”) as well as violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law. But it bears noting at the outset that the filing party “has never been employed by ByteDance or TikTok in any capacity,” instead working for a company (and non-party to the action) called Telus International (NYSE: TIXT), per the suit.

      • Boda Boda Drivers Become Health Champions

        More recently, drivers of boda bodas in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda are taking on a new title: public health champions.

        Earlier this year, Africa Lion Advisory (ALA), a Kenyan financial advisory company, trained 3,595 Ugandan boda boda drivers on how to protect themselves, their customers and communities against COVID-19.

        Hilda Wangari, communications lead for the trainings, said ALA’s aim was to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 by teaching drivers to spread health information, protective measures and safety tips instead.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Wireless coexistence – New attack technique exploits Bluetooth, WiFi performance features for ‘inter-chip privilege escalation’

        Vulnerabilities in wireless chip designs could allow malicious [crackers] to steal data and passwords from devices, according to security researchers.

        According to the group, from the Technical University of Darmstadt’s Secure Mobile Networking Group (Germany) and the University of Brescia’s CNIT (Italy), attackers could exploit “wireless coexistence” or shared component features on millions of mobile devices.

        Wireless devices often use radio components with shared resources, combination chips or System on a Chip (SoC) designs. These SoCs are responsible for multiple radio interfaces, including Bluetooth, WiFi, LTE (4G) and 5G.

      • Proprietary

        • Apple patches nasty macOS exploit that bypasses security protections

          Apple has patched a nasty macOS bug that could have allowed malicious applications to circumvent the operating system’s in-built security protections.

          As reported by Bleeping Computer, the flaw was first discovered by Gordon Long, Offensive Security Engineer at Box. According to Long, the vulnerability could allow a specially crafted, script-based application to be launched on a Mac device without Gatekeeper (an antivirus service that verifies the authenticity of all downloaded apps) ever triggering an alarm.

        • Ubisoft discloses security breach impacting Just Dance gamer data

          Ubisoft didn’t provide details about how the breach occurred beyond describing it as a “misconfiguration,” nor did it say for how long its Just Dance servers were exposed.

        • Anti-cheating browser extension fails web security examination

          web security flaw in an anti-cheating browser extension created a means to hack into the computers of university students and other users before they were recently patched.

          The Proctorio Google Chrome browser extension was vulnerable to a cross-site scripting (XSS) flaw, security researchers at Sector 7, the research division of Dutch security consultancy Computest, discovered.

        • The Medical Review Institute of America notifies patients of ransomware incident [iophk: Windows]

          MRIoA was hit with ransomware in November. And although they do not directly state that they paid ransom, it sounds like they did because their notification states that to the best of their ability and knowledge, they “retrieved and subsequently confirmed the deletion” of their information.

        • TikTok Got More Traffic Than Google in 2021 — Report

          Cloudflare’s Year In Review ranks sites based on the traffic they receive over the course of a year, measured monthly. Last year, TikTok ranked number eight on the list. But Cloudflare’s 2021 traffic report reveals TikTok is the most visited site on the internet – unseating Google.

          TikTok claimed the top spot from Google in February but slid back out in later months. It wasn’t until August that TikTok consistently claimed the top spot in terms of internet traffic.

          TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, after it bought Musical.ly back in 2017. The social media service has seen massive growth throughout 2020 and 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic has continued.

        • Data stolen in business email compromise attack on W. Virginia hospital operator

          That said, Mon Health further discovered that personally identifiable information in emails was compromised. Details stolen included health plan information and claims, addresses, dates of birth, patient account numbers, medical record numbers, dates of service, provider names, claims information and other medical information.

        • Security

          • White House invites tech firms to discuss open-source software security

            In August, U.S. President Joe Biden called cybersecurity a “core national security challenge” during a meeting with executives from Amazon.com Inc., Google LLC, Microsoft Corp. and other leading companies. The participating companies pledged to invest billions of dollars in cybersecurity-related initiatives over the next few years.

          • White House Enlists Software Industry to Improve Open-Source Security

            In a letter Thursday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan invited major players in the software industry to discuss initiatives to improve open-source software security, the official said. Dozens of open-source software projects have become crucial components of global commerce and are mostly maintained by volunteers.

            The effort will start with a one-day discussion in January hosted by Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology, according to the official.

          • White House national security adviser asks software companies to discuss cybersecurity

            “The SolarWinds and Hafnium incidents serve as recent reminders that strategic adversaries actively exploit vulnerabilities for malicious purposes,” Sullivan said in the letter.

            To kick off this effort, the deputy national security advisor for cyber & emerging technology, Anne Neuberger, will host a one-day discussion in January with company officials responsible for open-source projects and security.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The Atlas of Surveillance Turns the Dragnet on Police Tech: 2021 Year in Review

              As EFF has long documented, local law enforcement agencies around the United States are amassing arsenals of surveillance technology to gather as much data as possible on the public. From automated license plate readers (ALPRs) that track our vehicles to real-time crime centers (RTCCs), where police analysts use algorithms to mine live camera streams and social media feeds, this technology has been spreading into communities often under the radar.

              The EFF and Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno launched the Atlas of Surveillance in July 2020 as a literal effort to watch the watchers. Combining a variety of newsgathering tools–crowdsourcing, data journalism, and public records requests–the Atlas of Surveillance is an interactive database and map that reveals what surveillance tech is used by more than 4,500 law enforcement agencies nationwide.

              The Atlas of Surveillance has two main aims:

            • Stalkerware: 2021 in Review

              2021 saw the 2-year anniversary of the Coalition Against Stalkerware, of which EFF is a founding member. In 2021, the Coalition continued to provide training, published tools and research, and worked directly with survivors of domestic abuse and intimate partner violence and the organizations that support them. EFF also took part in dozens of awareness-raising events, including EFF at Home’s Fighting Stalkerware edition in May and a talk on the state of stalkerware in the Apple ecosystem at 2021’s Objective by the Sea.

              A 2021 Norton Lifelock survey of 10,000 adults across ten countries found that almost 1 in 10 respondents who had been in a romantic relationship admitted to using a stalkerware app to monitor a current or former partner’s device activity. The same report indicates that the problem may be worsening. Norton Labs found that “the number of devices reporting stalkerware samples on a daily basis increased markedly by 63% between September 2020 and May 2021” with the 30-day moving average blowing up from 48,000 to 78,000 detections. Norton Labs reported that 250,000 devices were compromised with more than 6,000 stalkerware variants in May 2021 alone, with many devices infected with multiple stalkerware apps. Meanwhile, antivirus vendor Kaspersky reported that in the first ten months of 2021, almost 28,000 of its mobile users were affected by the threat of stalkerware. The range in numbers between these two antivirus companies suggests that we may be comparing apples to oranges, but even Kaspersky’s significantly lower number of detections indicates that stalkerware remains a significant threat in 2021.

              2021 was also the year that Apple chose to enter the physical tracker market, debuting the AirTag. Apple used all of the existing iPhones to create a powerful network that gave it a major advantage over Tile and Chipolo in location tracking, but it had also created a powerful tool for stalkers with insufficient mitigations. Aside from an easily-muffled beep after 36 hours (shortened after our criticism to 24), there was no way for users outside of the Apple ecosystem to know that they were being tracked. In December, Apple introduced an Android app called Tracker Detect to allow Android users to scan for Air Tags, but there is still a long way to go before iPhone users have the same notification abilities as Android users.

            • GDPR complaint: Airbnb hosts at the mercy of algorithms

              Today, noyb.eu filed a GDPR complaint against Airbnb. The online market place for vacation rentals downgraded the complainant’s rating as a host, solely through automated decision making. While everyone has the right not to be subject to automated decision-making, Airbnb relies on exactly these practices. By denying the opportunity for the complainant to contest the automated decision and to obtain human intervention, Airbnb acted in clear violation of the GDPR.

            • Swedish company offers a Covid pass that gets under the skin

              Though still rare, several thousand Swedes have opted to have an electronic implant inserted under the skin in recent years, eliminating the need to remember key fobs, business cards, public transport cards, and recently: vaccine passes.

              The country that created the show “Real Humans” and its English language adaptation “Humans,” is also a stronghold of so-called biohackers who are convinced that humans will become evermore entangled with technology in the future.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Guantánamo Film Ignores the War on Terror’s Ongoing Tangible Harms
      • US names Tibet coordinator, drawing warning from China

        US-China relations have been at their lowest point in decades over a range of issues, including trade, Taiwan, Hong Kong, human rights, the South China Sea and the coronavirus.

        China seized control of Tibet after its troops entered the region in 1950 in what it calls a “peaceful liberation.”

        Tibet has since become one of the most restricted areas in the country. Critics, led by the Dalai Lama, say Beijing’s rule amounts to “cultural genocide.”

      • China Committing Cultural Genocide against Tibetan Children

        Tibet’s education system has become primarily residential; official data shows that approximately 800,000 Tibetan children aged six to 18 – 78% of Tibetan students – are living in colonial boarding schools;

        Tibetan parents are compelled to send their children to boarding schools due to a lack of alternatives and are unable to advocate for other options in Tibet’s repressive environment. Individual accounts show that intimidation and threats are used to coerce reluctant parents to send their children to such schools;

      • Paris: The commemorative plaque on Samuel Paty Square was vandalised two months after its inauguration

        The vandalised plaque now reads solely: “Samuel Paty (…) Victim of Terrorism”. A highly political damage whose deeper meaning has not escaped Nicolas Gavrilenko: “The plaque that names the square adjacent to the Sorbonne after him has been vandalised and is a sign of the deliberate delusion of some”, writes the secular activist, insisting on the truth: “It is ISLAMIST terrorism to which Samuel Paty fell victim”. He concluded his message by calling on the mayor’s office of the 5th arrondissement (Libres, a movement founded by Valérie Pécresse) to restore the damaged plaque “as soon as possible”. So far, the mayor’s office of the arrondissement does not seem to have reacted.

      • Tariq Ramadan: Update on Islam’s Golden Boy

        When last we heard about Tariq Ramadan, at one time the most famous Muslim “public intellectual” in the Western world, he had fallen from grace. The curtain was pulled back and as one woman after another came forward to charge him with rape, he was revealed to be not only a serial rapist, but one who enjoyed humiliating – and physically hurting – his victims. He has been allowed out of prison, and awaits trial in Paris. He may also have to face trial in Geneva, with a different set of accusers. In the wake of these charges, he was relieved of his prestigious position at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. His travels across the world to lecture eager audiences on “the ethics of Islam” also came to a halt. Few want to hear the serial rapist dilate upon “ethics” of any kind. For many, Ramadan has become an object of ridicule, scorn, and embarrassment. But he’s not withdrawn from public life; he’s still proclaiming his innocence, and still trying to keep himself in the public eye, even starting a new career as a singer of protest songs against the malevolent West.

      • Western Sahara Fight Threatens To Expand

        The decades-old dispute over Western Sahara is causing rivals Morocco and Algeria to edge closer to conflict. The disagreement reignited when a cease-fire collapsed in November 2020 between Morocco and the Sahrawi independence movement known as the Polisario Front.

        Polisario leader Brahim Ghali says they are at war. His group, backed by Algeria, has threatened to launch attacks against “air, land and sea targets” in Morocco.

      • Turkey’s attacks revive ISIS, say Qamishlo residents

        The occupying Turkish state and allied gangs have been carrying out brutal attacks on the northern Syrian town of Zirgan in Heseke Canton since December 21. The latest attacks claimed the lives of 4 citizens, and 14 people were injured.

        Speaking to ANHA, the people of Qamishlo remarked that the Turkish state intends to force local people to migrate but, it will be defeated against the determined struggle of North-East Syrian people.

      • Legislation holding the drone industry back in South Africa

        Restrictive UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or drone regulations in South Africa are holding the industry back, with major reforms needed, especially in the security sector.

        This was the consensus from speakers at the first Security Drone Conference held at Emperor’s Palace at the beginning of December.

      • Proactively countering North Korea’s advancing nuclear threat

        As North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile arsenals grow larger and more sophisticated, the United States could soon be faced with a terrible choice when Pyongyang attempts to coerce Seoul—risk an intercontinental nuclear war or abandon a key ally. To avoid such as scenario, Scowcroft Center nonresident senior fellow and former National Intelligence Officer for North Korea Markus Garlauskas recommends that Washington adopt a new strategy to proactively counter North Korea’s nuclear threat by impeding its nuclear and missile programs, investing to stay ahead of its arsenal, and adjusting military operations on the Korean Peninsula.

      • Civilian deaths and the Pentagon’s 20-year killing spree: Mistakes — or a matter of policy?

        The retribution for their truth-telling has been fierce and unrelenting. WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange is in a British prison, facing imminent extradition to the United States, where the chances of a fair trial are essentially zero. Former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning spent seven years in a military prison. Former U.S. Air Force analyst Daniel Hale, who revealed murderous effects of U.S. drone warfare, is currently serving a 45-month prison sentence. They had the clarity of mind and heart to share vital information with the public, disclosing not just “mistakes” but patterns of war crimes.

        Such realities should be kept in mind when considering how the New York Times framed its blockbuster scoop last weekend, drawing on more than 1,300 confidential documents. Under the big headline “Hidden Pentagon Records Reveal Patterns of Failure in Deadly Airstrikes,” the Times assessed U.S. bombing in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan — and reported that “since 2014, the American air war has been plagued by deeply flawed intelligence, rushed and imprecise targeting and the deaths of thousands of civilians, many of them children.”

      • Opinion | The Combating Islamophobia Act: On Hate Crimes and ‘Irrational Fears’

        The result of a vote, on December 14, in the US House of Representatives regarding the combating of Islamophobia, may, possibly, appear to be a positive sign of change, that Washington is finally confronting this socio-political evil. However, conclusions must not be too hasty.

      • Omar’s Anti-Islamophobia Bill Will Target India and Hindus Worldwide

        It is yet another example of special treatment for Muslims and Islam itself, with the office now being created to record instances of Islamophobia, including violence against and harassment of Muslims and vandalism of their mosques, schools and cemeteries WORLDWIDE. Isn’t that quite something?

        The office will not be localized to dealing with acts of perceived hatred against Muslims in just the US but also worldwide, including India which is clearly a target of the bill. The narrative this feeds into is that Muslims are unique, unique victims of persecution around the world, and one of the main proponents of this persecution is India, particular Narendra Modi, the RSS, the BJP, all its supporters and Hindus who cannot critique the forces, rationale and political groupthink that underpins Islamist sponsored atrocities when they occur just because the likes of Omar do not agree with them.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • [Old] Imprisoned Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale Honored By International Free Speech Group

        Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale, who is serving a federal prison sentence in the United States, received a whistleblower award from the Blueprint for Free Speech, an international non-profit group based in Australia that promotes freedom of expression.

      • Failure of US Media on Ukraine

        For example, the US public is continually being told that the movement of a large number of Russian troops is a major crisis-inducing provocation of the US and NATO over Ukraine. There is much speculation about whether or not Russia will attack Ukraine and how the US and NATO should react to an attack. This coverage portrays Russia as the initiator of this situation and that the US and NATO are being forced to react. Unsurprisingly, the US media fails to remind the public about recent history that provides vital context for current events.

    • Environment

      • The Climate Won’t Survive Our Current Appetite for Consumerism and Consumption
      • Opinion | Feeling Hopeless About the Climate? Try Our 30-Day Action Plan

        A recent poll found that people today, especially younger people, feel helpless when it comes to fighting climate change.

      • Averting Climate Catastrophe Will Be Staggeringly Expensive

        “Climate change has destabilized the earth’s poles,” said a Washington Post headline on December 15, and it served as a reminder. The ice is breaking up. The waters are rising. The all-encompassing political question today is climate catastrophe. How can the nations and people of the world mobilize the social energy necessary to slow the process? This danger won’t be cut off by defunding, by fostering mindfulness and new sensitivities, or even by penalizing the jocular skepticism and quack science that tell us climate change is a hoax. The problem is with human nature: the way we are constituted—the most selfless as well as the greediest individuals.

      • Ethicists recognize that limiting population growth is key to addressing climate change

        The mystery deepens when we note that studies have repeatedly shown that limiting population growth is among the cheapest, most effective means to limit and help societies adapt to climate change. And unlike unproven technologies, such as carbon capture and sequestration, or dangerous ones like solar radiation management, modern contraception has been proven safe and effective. Yet during the recent COP26 meetings in Glasgow, little was said about limiting population growth during negotiations, and nothing made its way into the final agreement.

      • The US exports too much of its most valuable resource

        All of this relies on an aquifer underneath the valley. This layer of rock and soil accumulated its moisture over tens of thousands of years—caught during the monsoon season, or as snow on the nearby mountaintop melted. For generations, farmers—and the many others who have migrated across the country to make this epic landscape their home—have greened their desert by digging wells a few hundred feet into the ground and tapping the groundwater below.

        In the past decade, however, these wells have started to run dry. Travel beyond the homesteads and family-run farms you’ll see why—thousands of acres of neatly ordered trees bearing pecans and pistachios, vast fields of alfalfa and corn, huge dairy herds, and rows of greenhouses growing tomatoes cover the once-barren desert. This enormous carpet of industrial agriculture, with food grown for export to places around the world, takes deep wells to sustain. For every 100 acres or so, a corporate farm owner will dig a well as deep as 2,000 feet and pull up water from the ancient aquifer at up to 2,000 gallons per second, often 24 hours a day. The drilling rigs often resemble those used for oil.

      • Denmark to pump billions into beleaguered water environment

        Only five of 986 lakes and five of 109 coastal areas are in good ecological condition, according to the environmental protection agency, Miljøstyrelsen.

        So the government is ready to pump 5.4 billion kroner into new initiatives dedicated to improving the situation.

      • Energy

        • Warrior Met Coal Miners Are Spending Christmas 2021 on Strike
        • Bukele ‘Has Not Responded’ to Claims of Bitcoin Vanishing From Citizens’ Wallets: Report

          According to The New Scientist, El Comisionado has collected over 50 examples of Bitcoin inexplicably going missing from Salvadoran Chivo wallets.

          “The government has not responded, nor does it acknowledge the errors,” he told The New Scientist.

          “It’s one of the things people are demanding, that they respond to their complaints. Many have waited several months for a response to get the money back,” he added.

          According to The New Scientist, Zaira Navas—a member of the El Salvador National Civil Police—and Rogzy—a Bitcoin commentator—have experienced similar issues.

          “I don’t think Chivo is secure and no one can verify it since the code is not open source,” Rogzy said. “Today very few people use Chivo, because many do not know how it works,” El Comisionado reportedly added.

        • Plans confirmed for India’s ‘first’ green hydrogen-powered storage development

          An NTPC project, the site will utilise Bloom Energy’s solid oxide, hydrogen temperature electrolyser to generate green hydrogen from renewable electricity generation at a nearby floating solar farm.

          Once produced, the produced hydrogen will then be converted into carbon neutral electricity without combustion through Bloom Energy’s hydrogen fuel cells and power NTPC’s Guest House, used by both employees and guests.

        • Biden’s New Fuel Economy Standards Still Allow Cars to Pollute More If They’re Not Called Cars

          The loophole in question is the one that permits larger vehicles to pollute more, specifically by classifying vans, pickups, SUVs, and even some “crossovers,” depending on their characteristics, as “light duty trucks.” Not only does this category include obviously huge vehicles like the Chevy Suburban, Cadillac Escalade, or Ford F-150, but it also includes many smaller family vehicles like the Subaru Outback, Toyota RAV4, and Honda CR-V. Most absurdly, “medium duty passenger vehicles,” or MDPVs, are also categorized as “light trucks” for emissions purposes, even though they can weigh up to 10,000 pounds.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Climate change: Lapland reindeer gone astray in search for food

          Some reindeer have travelled as far as 100km to the south, in search of ice-free lichen they can access under the snow.

          Herders are having to track them through the forests of northern Finland and Sweden, some even using helicopters.

        • Rare Mammal Takin Spotted in East Kameng Forests of Arunachal Pradesh

          The takin also called cattle chamois or gnu goat, is a large species of ungulate of the subfamily Caprinae found in the eastern Himalayas.

          Takin, one of the rarest mammals, was caught by a trap camera above 3,500 metres in East Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh.

          The takin also called cattle chamois or gnu goat, is a large species of ungulate of the subfamily Caprinae found in the eastern Himalayas. It is first photo of takin from East Kameng district, DFO Vikas Swami said. The takin is adapted to its mountainous environment in Asia.

      • Overpopulation

        • Our water infrastructure needs to change

          In many ways, it’s hard to imagine our world of nearly 8 billion people and $85 trillion in annual goods and services without this water engineering. Cairo, Phoenix, and other large desert cities could never have grown to their present sizes. California’s sunny Central Valley would not have become such an abundant producer of vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

          Yet when it comes to water, the past is no longer a good guide for the future. The heating of the planet is fundamentally altering the water cycle, and most of the world is unprepared for the consequences.

        • Drastic Action Needed To Save Fish Populations, Oceanographer Says

          China has the world’s largest distant-water fishing (DWF) fleet and has targeted West Africa for years. Chinese industrial trawlers are notorious for illegally fishing in protected waters and using a range of illicit tactics to catch far more fish than allowed. China is the world’s worst illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing offender, according to the IUU Fishing Index.

          China and Taiwan represented almost 60% of all global DWF activities in other countries’ waters from 2015 to 2017, with Japan, South Korea and Spain each representing about 10% of the DWF fishing, according to a report by the Stimson Center, a think tank.

          China’s DWF fleet began casting nets around the globe after the country overfished its own waters, which didn’t quell its hunger for seafood. The nation of 1.4 billion people consumes 38% of global fish production and has one of the world’s highest consumption rates of fish and seafood at 37.8 kilograms per person annually, according to a Foreign Policy report.

        • The “Silent Lie” in Coverage of Madagascar’s Famine

          Graphic media coverage of the current hunger in southern Madagascar is not wasting the opportunity to advocate climate justice. But nobody mentions there are now seven Madagascan mouths to feed for each one present in 1950. This denialism is not in the interests of the hungry, nor Madagascar’s disappearing wildlife, argues Madeline Weld.

        • Reframing Population and Family Planning to Focus on Justice

          Want something better? The key, discussed more below, involves interpreting our Constitution in an intergenerational way and shifting away from family planning systems that focus more on what parents want than what future children need.

          This new approach involves a child-centric model that both recognizes the implications of our previous flawed family planning approaches as well as our obligations and duties to the children we are bringing into this world. If we don’t fix our fundamental conception of how we plan families, we will continue to create social and ecological crises that could have been averted. We can reframe the discussion away from population.

        • Radical action needed to secure adequate water supply, says Mchunu

          The Premier added that water and sanitation challenges in the Western Cape were exacerbated by issues such as land invasions and illegal informal settlements. He indicated that this was a “big issue that needs to be tackled smartly because we are unable to anticipate these growing trends and as a result, we fail to plan for them”.

        • Singapore’s push for water security and independence

          For decades, Singapore has satiated a significant amount of its demand through agreements to import water from neighboring Malaysia. One of those agreements expired in 2011. The second—the one that enables the country to draw water from the Linggiu Reservoir—is ongoing.

    • Finance

      • The case for abolishing billionaires

        It’s hard to believe, but billionaires pay almost no tax on their fortunes. Unlike the rest of us, they can avoid income tax entirely. Their wealth is typically in huge stock holdings, which grow in value every year. If they were to sell those stocks, they’d have to pay income tax on the gain.

        But instead, billionaires borrow against their own wealth. That means they use their wealth as collateral to get bank loans that allow them to live as lavishly as they want without triggering any tax. That’s why we need a wealth tax.

        NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has proposed a 1 per cent annual tax on fortunes over $10 million. People with less than that wouldn’t be affected at all. Even such a small wealth tax of 1 per cent a year could raise $10 billion a year, enough to fund a lot of affordable housing, public transit and climate action.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | Why Chile’s Election Signals Major Shift
      • Russian Court Fines Alphabet’s Google $98 Million

        A court in Moscow said on December 24 that it was fining Alphabet’s Google 7.2 billion rubles ($98 million) for what it said was a repeated failure to delete content Russia deems illegal, the first revenue-based fine in this kind of case in Russia.

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused social media platforms and other tech giants of flouting the country’s Internet laws, including a push to force foreign firms to open offices in Russia and store Russians’ personal data on its territory.

        Many critics say the move is an attempt by Russian authorities to exert tighter control over the Internet and quell dissent.

      • Russia fines Google, Meta record $125 mn over banned content

        A Moscow court on Friday slapped Google with an unprecedented fine of nearly $100 million, while Meta (formerly Facebook) received a fine of $27 million.

        In recent years Russia has been piling pressure on Western social media giants, with President Vladimir Putin saying those companies were becoming as influential as elected governments.

        Moscow has repeatedly taken legal action against them for allegedly not moderating their content properly and interfering in the country’s affairs.

      • It’s a Wonderful Life vs. the FBI

        Of course, when one looks beyond the film’s narrative properties to the people involved, as the FBI did, the argument fails. The report names screenwriters Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett as individuals known to be “very close to Communists,” and indeed other suspected affiliates, such as blacklisted penman Dalton Trumbo, were known to have taken uncredited passes at the script on its journey to the screen. But the two dominant personalities on It’s a Wonderful Life — director Capra and star Stewart — could not have been further from persons of interest.

      • Russia’s Last Political Freedoms Are on the Way Out

        Founded in January 1989, Memorial has built a database of more than 2.6 million victims of Soviet repression, identified perpetrators of Soviet-era political crimes, and defended victims of human rights abuses and political repression. For the past five years, the Russian government has designated the organization a foreign agent—a stigmatizing label requiring Memorial to declare this status before every public comment and undergo financial audits. It has also faced smear campaigns, police raids, and $82,460 in fines for allegedly violating the foreign agent law.

        On Nov. 11, Russian prosecutors filed a case against Memorial’s sister organization, Human Rights Center, accusing it of extremist and terrorist activists for publishing a list of political prisoners, which the prosecutor argued is grounds for its dissolution. A second case threatens to ban Memorial for allegedly breaking the foreign agent law by failing to label some of its materials. Memorial said the charges are baseless and politically motivated.

      • High-Profile L.A. Crimes Spark Rush for Bullet-Proof Cars, Rolex Replicas and Safe Rooms

        Lieutenant Giovanni Trejo, public information officer for the Beverly Hills Police Department, elaborated: “If you put together the added police resources and the armed private security officers that we’ve sent into the area, you can say that security has increased by at least 50 percent. These crimes aren’t new, but the pace at which they are occurring seems to be accelerated.”

      • The Wealthy Are Suddenly Hoarding Safe Rooms And Bulletproof Cars

        The report found that private security firms have seen a massive uptick in business as they rush to handle the wealthy’s requests for additional protections — an ominous data point about crime, but probably moreso about its perception by the most privileged members of society.

        “It’s been crazy busy,” Aaron Jones, president and CEO of Malibu-based International Protective Security, told THR. “We understand the urgency of what’s going on. It’s nonstop… Business has quadrupled.”

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • How the Koch Network Is Spreading COVID Misinformation

        The trio also has ties to the Great Barrington Declaration, a widely rebuked yet influential missive that encouraged governments to adopt a “herd immunity” policy letting COVID-19 spread largely unchecked, even as the virus has killed more than 800,000 Americans.

        The academy is the newest initiative designed to provide intellectual cover to a nearly two-year campaign by right-wing and big business interests to force a return to normalcy to boost corporate profits amid a pandemic that is now surging once again thanks to Omicron.

      • How should I deal with conspiracy theories at Christmas?

        In their book “Fake Facts,” psychologist Pia Lamberty and civil rights activist Katharina Nocun explore the various reasons people might be attracted to conspiracy theories. Disappointment, fear and stress are just some of the feelings that may be involved.

        Conspiracy theories might help people cope with their lives without having to delve deeply into their own issues, which in turn might raise unpleasant or even shameful feelings. Such theories help people find someone to blame for their own unhappiness: politicians, Big Pharma, the media. Holding others responsible makes it easier to cope with one’s own emotional deficit.

        Psychologist Sarah Kuhn from the University of Basel in Switzerland, whose research focuses on conspiracy theories and cognitive biases, suggests one might find out more about why a person is attracted to a dubious notion by asking a simple question like, “How have things been lately?”

      • CAIR: Love for Jesus Unites Christians and Muslims at Christmas Time

        In his op-ed, Hooper acknowledged, without going into detail, that Christians and Muslims “do have some differing perspectives on Jesus’ life and teachings.” But Hooper believed that the mutual love of Jesus by Christians and Muslims, and Jesus’ “message of love, peace and forgiveness,” would overcome those seemingly minimal differences and provide a “unifying force” for those two religions.

        The reality is, as we have seen in this article, that there is a fundamental, irreconcilable difference in who Christians believe Jesus is, and who Muslims believe Jesus is. Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God, and Muslims believe Jesus is only a human prophet who will eventually return to earth and destroy Christianity while calling people to Islam.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Sudan Forces Fire Tear Gas to Disperse Protesters, Internet Cut in Khartoum

        Internet services were disrupted in the capital, Khartoum, and soldiers blocked roads early in the day, the witnesses said. Locals were also unable to make or receive calls domestically.

        Despite the [Internet] being cut off, people were still able to post on social media, with images showing protests taking place in several other cities including Madani and Atbara.

      • Two Belarusian bloggers sentenced to more than 10 years in prison

        “These extraordinarily harsh sentences, passed at the end of grossly unfair trials, are the severest that Belarusian courts have passed on media professionals this year,” said Jeanne Cavelier, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “This persecution by the Belarusian justice system and the unprecedented severity of these sentences presage the worst for press freedom in Belarus in 2022. RSF calls for the immediate release of Eduard Palchys and Ihar Losik.”

      • Egyptian Scholar Sentenced to Five Years Imprisonment for Recounting Accurate History

        One of Maher’s chief “crimes” is his view on the seventh and eighth century Arab conquests—a view based on a close and correct reading of both Muslim and non-Muslim sources: that Arabs conquerors invaded non-Muslim regions—specifically the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain—and engaged in atrocity after atrocity; that, while “spreading Islam” was the motive later Islamic historiography attributed to the Arabs, their true actions belied a lust for rape and rapine; and that they overthrew and supplanted much more advanced societies, to the region’s lasting regret.

      • Yazidi Islamic State survivor latest victim of ‘cancel culture’ -opinion

        Alongside colonialism, imperialism, and nation-building, “cancel culture” is the latest of toxic Western ideas to be foisted upon the Middle East. This past week, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad was the latest victim of the West’s cancel culture, as she was disinvited from a book event by Canada’s Toronto District School Board. This may sound trivial, but it’s a big deal.

        Murad is a member of Iraq’s Yazidi ethno-religious minority. She was kidnapped at age 19 by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014. ISIS, at the ascendancy of its power, pillaged, executed, and sexually exploited locals with reckless abandon. In just her village, some 600 innocents – including her mother and six of her brothers – were summarily executed. Murad was taken to be one of 7,000 Yazidi women and girls enslaved.

      • Ethnic Somali Muslims in Kenya Break Pastor’s Leg

        A Somali-born pastor in Kenya is still in severe pain after ethnic Somali Muslims in northeastern Kenya beat him on Dec. 3 for leaving Islam, sources said.

        The pastor, whose name is withheld for security reasons, said the four Kenyan-born, ethnic Somalis attacked him on a road near Wajir town, fracturing a bone in his leg, after he had led an underground prayer meeting with 13 new Christians of Somali descent. Wajir is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Somali border.

      • ‘Intellectual Terrorism’ in France

        Kinzler, who is German, has been a professor of German language and culture at the Grenoble Institute of Political Studies, known colloquially as Sciences Po Grenoble, for a quarter century. In November of last year, working groups of teachers and students were tasked with organizing a U.S.-style “week for equality and the fight against discrimination.” Kinzler was a member of one of the groups, whose assigned topic was “Racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.” When, during the online exchanges among the group’s members, Kinzler challenged the inclusion of Islamophobia in this trinity, another professor was outraged. A third professor agreed with Kinzler that even if there could be said to be such a thing as Islamophobia, it shouldn’t be considered to be on the same plane as anti-Semitism or racism. Kinzler admitted that he isn’t particularly fond of Islam and that, in fact, like many French people, he’s rather unsettled by it. “Anti-Semitism,” Kinzler later told Die Welt by way of explaining his position, “has resulted in millions of deaths. Genocide without end. Then there is racism, slavery. That, too, has led to tens of millions of deaths in history….But where are the millions of deaths linked to Islamophobia?” Good question.

      • MP Strahl Takes On Facebook, Claiming Censorship Over A Christmas Posting

        Strahl posted – Facebook declared that my ad to wish my constituents a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays “didn’t comply with their Discriminatory Practices policy.” The text with the ad literally said: “From my family to yours, have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!”We successfully appealed, however, this is a glaring example of censorship and overreach by tech giant companies who control so much of the online space. We must be vigilant to ensure that we always stand up for free speech and fight back against any attempts by these companies, or our governments, to stifle it.So, once again, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my family to yours. Ignore the Scrooges and Grinches who, incredibly, would try to shut you down for saying so.

      • Chinese Christian Media Ministries Face Bitter Winter of Censorship

        Many Chinese Christians are lamenting that the winter of internet mission in China is entering its darkest and coldest hour.

        This week, Chinese state media reported the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) has announced its “Measures for the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services,” which will come into effect on March 1 and will restrict online ministry to Chinese government-approved religious groups with special permits on government-approved websites.

      • Top Chinese internet censor and anti-cult official pleads guilty to taking US$8m in bribes

        In 2015, he was transferred to the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, the party’s top law enforcement agency, where he was responsible for the online monitoring and policing of cults. He also played a key role in establishing a social media platform for the commission.

        As deputy head of the Cyberspace Administration – China’s leading online watchdog – from 2012, Peng also had direct responsibility for regulating the [Internet].

      • Christmas Eve hearing could be first step towards release of Pakistan’s longest blasphemy convict

        We have been working with our solicitor in a last gasp attempt to save him from a hanging. Zafar in October gave up with his former legal counsel and sought our assistance . Today BACA may have found a solution to the ongoing saga regarding the false blasphemy allegation that has stolen almost ten years of his life.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Since the Taliban takeover, 40% of Afghan media have closed, 80% of women journalists have lost their jobs

        The Taliban takeover’s impact on Afghanistan’s media has been dramatic, according to the survey by RSF and its local partner, the AIJA. More than four out of every ten media outlets have disappeared and 60% of journalists and media employees are no longer able to work. Women have suffered much more than men: 84% of them have lost their jobs. The figures for the previous situation come from a survey of the media and journalists operating in Afghanistan that was carried out before the Taliban took control of the country.

      • Over 6,400 Journalists In Afghanistan Lost Jobs Since Taliban Takeover: Report

        Taliban Takeover In Afghanistan: As many as 231 media outlets have had to close, according to the survey.

      • Freeing Julian Assange: What It Will Take To End This Political Case

        Not a single official in Biden’s administration was willing to comment or defend prosecuting Assange. For example, the Justice Department told Newsweek after the High Court decision, “We are pleased by the ruling and have no further comment.”

        White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked hours after the U.S. prevailed, “What is your response to the message in some quarters that prosecuting Assange is an assault on freedom of speech, freedom of the press, information, etcetera?”

        Psaki would not answer the question. Instead, she pointed to the brusque and cocky statement the Justice Department gave Newsweek. Then she mentioned “freedom of media and press” was a “central component” of the Summit For Democracy.

      • Committee to Protect Journalists under fire for failing to include Assange on its list of jailed journalists for the third year in a row

        The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has come under fire for failing to include Julian Assange on its list of jailed journalists for the third year in a row.

        Writing in online publication The Dissenter, Kevin Gosztola strongly criticised the exclusion of the WikiLeaks founder from the committee’s annual report.

      • For Third Year, Committee To Protect Journalists Excludes Assange From Jailed Journalist Index

        In the organization’s press release on the 2021 index, it states, “No journalists were jailed in North America at the time of the census deadline.” That may be true, but it obscures what the U.S. government is doing to keep a journalist detained in the United Kingdom.

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF), based in Paris, previously joined with CPJ on press freedom campaigns. They also keep an annual tally of journalists in detention, yet unlike CPJ, RSF included Assange in their 2021 round-up.

      • Australian deputy PM Barnaby Joyce says Julian Assange should not be extradited to US

        A ustralia’s Deputy Prime Minister has come to the defence of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, calling on the UK not to extradite the Australian citizen to the US.

        Barnaby Joyce one of the Australian government’s most senior ministers, said Mr Assange should be kept in Britain and tried there or returned to home nation.

        The 50-year-old is facing extradition to the US over espionage charges relating to the publication of classified military information in 2010 and 2011 by WikiLeaks.

      • Doctors call for Julian Assange’s immediate release

        More than 300 doctors and medical professionals from around the world have issued an appeal for the immediate release of Julian Assange from prison in the UK because of the serious deterioration in his health indicated by the stroke he suffered in October during his UK High Court extradition hearing.

        On December 22, Doctors for Assange released an open letter, published below, to Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, imploring him to seek the WikiLeaks founder’s urgent release on medical grounds. The letter makes that request based on Joyce’s recent statements suggesting that the US extradition request against Assange should now be dropped.

      • Peter Chow: Free Julian

        And that’s what WikiLeaks introduced to the World — a mechanism and technology that was as pivotal to educating, enlightening, and promoting corrective action as was previously achieved by the creation of Gutenberg’s printing press.

        WikiLeaks destroyed the Masters in virtually every realm by providing the means to expose knowledge worldwide.

        The genie was out of the bottle.

      • In Middle East and North Africa, a drop in attacks on journalists belies dire state of press freedom

        This year, however, reflected a different trend. While CPJ’s annual prison census documented a record 293 journalists jailed around the world because of their work, the Middle East and North Africa saw its regional number drop from 89 in 2020 to 72 as of December 1, 2021 – mainly as a result of releases in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. And for the first time in more than 20 years, CPJ confirmed just one case – Lebanese journalist Lokman Slim – of a journalist being murdered in relation to their work.

      • After a harrowing escape, a family of Afghan journalists prepares for a new life in the US

        Even before the Taliban takeover this year, the family knew the risks of practicing journalism in Afghanistan. Dordana left the field in 2018 after receiving threats from warlords with ties to the Taliban because of the focus of the women’s magazine, she said.

        More recently, her children also received threats, prompting the family’s decision to leave Afghanistan.

        In May, two unidentified men wearing masks flashed a knife at Ghazal when she was outside the office of state-run Maarif TV, where she was a producer for an education program and a women’s talk show. They warned her to stop going to work and “campaigning for women’s rights,” she said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Opinion | Martin Luther King Was a Radical, Not a Moderate

        In his absorbing profile of the writer Alex Haley (author of “Roots” and “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”) in the New York Times Book Review, Michael Patrick Hearn made a familiar mistake. He wrote: “Politically [Haley] he was a moderate, philosophically more Martin than Malcolm.”

      • Gender equality bill anti-Islam, women cannot be equal to men: Northern Senators

        Mrs Olujimi said the bill will “allow for the prohibition of all forms of discrimination against women and provide for the equality of all persons,” including people of determination in the society.

        But some northern senators said the bill was not properly worded, especially its title that seeks equality rather than equity; while arguing strongly that it would contravene the tenets of Islam.

        “This equality infringes on the Quran,” Abubakar Yusuf, representing Taraba Central Senatorial District, said at today’s plenary. “I will not support the passage of the bill until the word equality is removed. When you bring equality into it infringes on the Quran.”

      • If e-commerce is booming in Zim, who’s delivering the packages?

        I wonder how the domestic courier services space is going to look like in a few years. I would argue that e-commerce is actually becoming more commonplace in urban areas. It’s just that Zimbabwe’s version of e-commerce is a bit different from the American one for example.

        With many small businesses either working with small courier service providers or actually delivering themselves, we shall see if the established and known upcoming players will be able to make inroads there.

        The international market will never be the same after the pandemic. So, domestic courier is going to increase in importance. Tariff wars, trade wars and closed borders have not crippled couriers in other countries because of domestic courier increases. Instead, they have actually thrived. That has to be the case in Zimbabwe.

      • Office going hybrid? How to think through the options

        More specifically, companies that decide to go back to a fully on-site arrangement could lose up to 39% of their workforce, according to the 2021 Gartner Hybrid Work Employee Survey of 2,400 knowledge workers.

        As a result employers need to practice “radical” work environment flexibility, the survey indicated, allowing employee performance to be determined not by how many hours they clock in, or when they’re in the office, but by their accomplishments.

      • Dismissed due to union activities, Hürriyet journalists win lawsuit for reinstatement

        An İstanbul court has ruled for the reinstatement of 22 journalists fired from daily Hürriyet, one of the largest newspapers in Turkey.

        The journalists, all of whom are members of the Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS), were fired because of their union activities, the Bakırköy 6th Labor Court concluded in yesterday’s (December 23) ruling.

        The court ordered the newspaper to pay the journalists a union compensation equal to their one year gross salary and a compensation equal to their four salaries for “idle time.”

      • Moral consideration of nonhumans in the ethics of artificial intelligence

        Overview: As AI becomes increasingly impactful to the world, the extent to which AI ethics includes the nonhuman world will be important. This paper calls for the field of AI ethics to give more attention to the values and interests of nonhumans. The paper examines the extent to which nonhumans are given moral consideration across AI ethics, finds that attention to nonhumans is limited and inconsistent, argues that nonhumans merit moral consideration, and outlines five suggestions for how this can better be incorporated across AI ethics.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Running your own email is increasingly an artisanal choice, not a practical one

        To be clear, you absolutely can still run your own email infrastructure, getting email delivered to you, filtering incoming spam, sending email (with DMARC signatures and other modern email practices), providing IMAP access, and even run your own webmail setup. You can even do this with all open source software. But the email environment you get this way is increasingly what I called an artisanal one. It’s cute, decent enough, and hand-crafted, but it doesn’t measure up in usability, features, and performance to the email infrastructure that is run by big providers. Your IMAP access might be as good as theirs, but things like your webmail, your spam filtering, and almost certainly your general security will not be as good as they have.

        In short, if you run your own email infrastructure, it will not be up to the general quality you could get from outsourcing to big providers (they can’t really be called specialists). And you cannot fix this by trying harder, nor with the magical right choice of open source software, nor with the magical right choice of commercial software. Entirely “on premise” email is now an inferior thing for almost everyone.

    • Monopolies

      • Apple Workers Held Christmas Eve Walkout for Their Safety Amid Holiday Shopping
      • Patents

        • IceCure Medical Receives Notice of Intention to Grant a European Patent Covering Its Cryogenic Pump [Ed: Celebrating patent monopolies from issuer of fake patents]

          IceCure Medical Ltd. (NASDAQ: ICCM) (TASE: ICCM) (“IceCure” or the “Company”), developer of minimally-invasive cryoablation technology, the ProSense® System, that destroys tumors by freezing as an alternative to surgical tumor removal, today announced that it received notification from the European Patent Office (the “EPO”) of an intention to grant a patent for IceCure’s application entitled “Cryogen Pump”. When issued, the patent will include protection for IceCure’s proprietary cryogenic pump, with features that will enable IceCure’s next generation of cryoablation systems. The patent will be in effect until 2041.

        • Can I Get An International Patent?[Ed: There is no such thing; patent lawyers sell unicorns]

          There is no international patent to provide global protection for an invention. Instead, a patent must be obtained in each country or region where protection is required as a patent holder is only able prevent another person from using the invention or importing a product that implements the invention in a country or region where a patent is held.

          Fortunately, there are several options for applicants that make it easier to obtain patent protection in a number of countries or regions.

        • In Christmas Address, Pope Francis Calls for Covid-19 Vaccines to Reach World’s Poorest

          Amid reports of rising Covid-19 cases in parts of the Global South, Pope Francis on Saturday marked Christmas Day by repeating a call for vaccines to reach poor countries and noted that nearly two years after the coronavirus crisis was declared a global pandemic, the public health emergency has taken international attention from other crises affecting some of the world’s poorest people.

          “Through dialogue, mutual respect, and recognition of the rights and cultural values of every human being, the values of solidarity, reconciliation, and peaceful coexistence may prevail in the hearts of the peoples of the Americas.”

      • Copyrights

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