Links 12/2/2022: GNU Guile 3.0.8 and postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 2

Posted in News Roundup at 9:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • SimulaVR Is Launching Pre-Orders for Linux on Your Face

      The Simula One headset from SimulaVR is about to go up for preorder. If you’re willing to spend the large sum required to lock one in, you can save yourself a bit of money in the long run. Either way, this isn’t a budget-friendly VR headset, but one designed for enthusiasts.

      On the SimulaVR website, the company describes the primary way it intends its headset to be used. It says, “The Simula One is an office-focused, standalone VR headset built on top of Linux Desktop. It provides comparable functionality to any Linux laptop or PC, but with the power of VR.”

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • A new wave of Linux applications

        With the start of the new year, we can see a new trend delineating Linux software. Phosh with its newbord libadwaita, KDE’s Kirigami and Maui Shell show that – like it or not – the era of convergent Linux applications has just started.

        After all, even laptop screens are not too big once one starts tiling windows, and a single codebase between mobile and desktop apps would not only enable higher maintainability and a wider user base, but having windows adapting flawlessly to tiny squares on the screen sounds tempting even for those who do not plan on using the penguin OS on touchscreen-based devices just yet.

        Furthermore, the variety of projects that are enabling convergence on their applications is growing at a fast rate, with KDE, GNOME, Nitrux, Elementary and Jingling among others shifting their interest on mobile-ready and touch-friendly applications for the future of Linux.

        The striking results that so many new Linux application seem to naturally accomplish, and an increase reverting the reported lack of new FOSS apps of the past years, are finally going against the stereotype of ugliness of free software interfaces with state-of-the-art usability, clear and modern UX lines combined with a fully featured experience, no matter the size of the screens. This is the result of a rare, although indirect, collaboration between Linux desktops, with leading UX designers dedicating to improving the usability of Linux software to its finest details: GNOME’s dedicated UX team, alongside designers like Sophie Herold, KDE’s Niccolò Venerandi, Danielle Foré and others are tracing new guidelines for software that goes on par, if not often beyond, commercial software.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.16.9
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.16.9 kernel.
        All users of the 5.16 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.16.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.16.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.15.23
      • Linux 5.10.100
      • Linux 5.4.179
      • Linux 4.19.229
      • Linux 4.14.266
      • Linux 4.9.301
    • Applications

      • 5 Better USENET Readers for Linux

        USENET is a massively decentralized information distribution system. It was first developed in the early 1980s and over the years grew to become one of the largest messaging networks in the world. At its peak, USENET facilitated over 100,000 newsgroups that discuss just about anything.

        Because of the decentralized nature of USENET, there are multiple ways of accessing the network. One such way is through Google Groups. While that may be appealing to some, accessing USENET through Google might not always be the best solution for everyone. This article will showcase five better alternatives for browsing USENET in Linux.

      • 8 Best Transcription Software for Linux

        Transcription software sometimes may be irreplaceable when the story comes to finding out exactly what has been said in the recordings, clarifying not very clear points, and making short summaries of the recordings used. These matters may be required for different business, employment, personal, and other purposes. Transcription is helpful. Making that for Windows or macOS is some kind of standard thing. The other case is to find software that is compatible with the Linux OS as it has specifics that make it totally different from other OS. If you are looking for the best available options for Linux OS, look through this list.

        Having good suggestions at hand is always a good point. Below you can find credible samples of voice-to-text software that is compatible with Linux. Are you interested in the criteria applied to preselect these samples and suggest you those? The most important points to pay attention to while arranging independent searches will precede the list of suggestions. These criteria were used to identify options available specifically for Linux that are worth testing and using for your audio transcription purposes.

      • Darktable 3.8.1 Released with Spanish & Dutch Languages, Dozens of Bug-fixes | UbuntuHandbook

        Free open-source photography software and raw editor Darktable released version 3.8.1 hours ago with various bug-fixes for the previous 3.8 and few new features.

        The new release contains mainly 55 bug-fixes, including issues for SVG rendering, tag exporting, printing, tagging module and more.

        There are also a few new features in the release, such as Spanish and Dutch languages support, speed up the retouch’s heal tool by using better parallelism, and added new variable $(DARKTABLE_VERSION). For more, see the project releases page.

      • Top 5 Tools for Taking and Editing Screenshots on Linux 2021

        Many times, you feel that you need to capture the screen or part of it to show it to others or save it for yourself. On Android, iOS, and even Windows, you only need to click a button to complete. Linux does not have a built-in screenshot function.

        However, this is not the reason why Linux users are deprived of the ability to take screenshots. There are many software applications and tools for taking and editing screenshots on the Internet, which can be downloaded to your system for free. Although the built-in screenshot programs on other operating systems usually only allow you to take screenshots, the programs available for download on Linux usually provide you with more features than simply taking screenshots. The additional functions of these tools bring greater comfort to users, thereby achieving efficient performance.

        Let’s see what the top 5 tools for taking and editing screenshots on Linux in 2021 have in store for you:

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • [Older] How To Use Thunderbolt 3/4 on Ubuntu

        When purchasing any laptop, you need to take a keen look at all the ports available since they connect your system to other devices in the digital world.

        When Apple released the new style MacBook Pro in 2015, people were amazed. This machine ditched all the available ports on the previous releases and replaced them with only Thunderbolt 3 and a headphone socket.

        Standard ports like the charging socket, display ports (HDMI), USB, and SD card reader, which you will most likely find on most laptops, were all removed and are now supported by the Thunderbolt 3 port.

      • How to install Kapacitor on Ubuntu 20.04. – NextGenTips

        Kapacitor is an open-source data processing framework that makes it easy to create alerts, run ETL jobs and detect anomalies. It provides real-time streaming of data. It helps reduce pressure from the InfluxDB database. In today’s topic, we will learn how to install, start, and configure Kapacitor 1.6 on Ubuntu 20.04 distribution.

      • FFmpeg Tips and Tricks | dt.iki.fi
      • Linux Terminal Shortcuts

        You can not enjoy the full range of control and benefits, Linux operating system has to offer without the Command-Line interface or terminal. But the terminal is manual and can be difficult to use, especially if you have transitioned from another operating system.

        In this article, you will learn terminal shortcuts that are convenient and will boost your work efficiency in the terminal by leaps and bounds.

        Note: All the commands in this article are written in capital for formatting sake so you do not need press shift while executing them. For example, Ctrl+C is equivalent to ctrl+c.

      • Rsync Command In Linux With Examples [Updated]

        rsync is an open-source utility that stands for remote sync. rsync is free to use file transfer tool and synchronization tool that provides fast incremental file transfer. The rsync daemon can now handle a client address with an implied “%scope” suffix. Rysnc is also used as an incremental backup tool in Linux.

      • foursixnine’s lair – Remove file from the last commit in git

        If the answer to any of the above is yes, here’s how to do it without pain (Tanking into account, that you want to do that on the last commit; If you need to do it in the middle of a rebase, see the previous post or combine this trick with a rebase (edit a commit with a rebase…).

      • Touch Command in Linux – ByteXD

        Creating files is one of the most common things we do. Every now and then, you may also need to modify file timestamps. The touch command in Linux is a two-in-one solution for creating new files and changing file timestamps of older files.

        In this article, we will discuss the touch command in Linux and how it can create, modify, or change the timestamps of a file.

      • How To Install TeamViewer on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install TeamViewer on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, TeamViewer is an all-in-one remote desktop application that provides remote access to other users’ PCs and smart devices over the internet. It makes it possible to remotely access another user’s desktop and provide technical support or even stay connected with family and friends. By using remote desktops we can execute tasks remotely, thus saving on infrastructure costs such as travel. By not having to go physically, we save time and costs, something beneficial for everything.

        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 the TeamViewer remote desktop on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • How to install OpenMandriva Lx 4.3 – Invidious

        In this video, I am going to show how to install OpenMandriva Lx 4.3.

      • Install phpMyAdmin on Debian 11 with Apache

        PhpMyAdmin is a web-based application for interacting with MySQL database server. This tool provides you with a user interface to make MySQL operations so you don’t have to use the command line interface.

        In this guide you are going to learn how to install phpMyAdmin with Apache on Debian 11 and secure it.

      • How to Kill Zombie Processes in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – VITUX

        A zombie or a defunct process in Linux is a process that has been completed, but its entry still remains in the process table due to lack of correspondence between the parent and child processes. Usually, a parent process keeps a check on the status of its child processes through the wait() function. When the child process has finished, the wait function signals the parent to completely exit the process from the memory. However, if the parent fails to call the wait function for any of its children, the child process remains alive in the system as a dead or zombie process. These zombie processes might accumulate, in large numbers, on your system and affect its performance. In that case, you might have to kill these zombies manually through the ways and commands described in this tutorial.

      • How To Recursively Change The File’s Permissions In Linux [CHMOD Linux]

        Firstly, Let’s have a basic idea about the file permissions in Linux based operating system. Linux File Permission and Linux File Ownership are interrelated and go together. In Linux, the Owner of the files or directories can be categorized into User, Group, and Other. And in Linux, every file or directory has different types of file permissions defined for the various type of owners. In simple terms, You can find the read permission, write permission and execute permission. Linux File Permission is very specific and strict.

      • How to Install and Configure VNC on Debian 10/11 – ByteXD

        VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is a protocol that enables one to access the graphical desktop of a remote PC over a network connection. In addition, it allows sending keyboard and mouse signals to the remote PC, thus making tasks like managing files, applying configurations, and installing software much more accessible. Previously, we did a post on how to install VNC on Ubuntu.

        In this post we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to install VNC on Debian 10 or Debian 11.

      • How to Browse the Gopher Network on Linux

        While the web rules the modern internet, there was another hypertext protocol that was briefly popular in the early 1990s called Gopher. While it was overtaken by the World Wide Web, it still has a small but active user community that is worth exploring today.

        So how can you access Gopher on your Linux device? Let’s find out.

      • How to Share Data Between Docker Containers – The New Stack

        Let’s talk Docker. After all, without Docker, your entry into the world of containers might be a bit of a challenge. Imagine, your first steps with containerized deployments being centered completely on Kubernetes. That could quickly overwhelm the newly-minted.

        What I want to specifically talk about is sharing data between containers within the realm of Docker.

      • How to Set Variables In Your GitLab CI Pipelines – CloudSavvy IT

        GitLab CI’s Variables system lets you inject data into your CI job environments. You can use variables to supply config values, create reusable pipelines, and avoid hardcoding sensitive information into your .gitlab-ci.yml files.

        In this guide we’ll look at how you can set and use variables within your own CI system. There are several options available depending on where you want values to be surfaced and how regularly you’ll want to change them.

      • How to install and run SketchUp Make 2017 in Linux – Guide

        This is a very important tutorial. It brings closure to a five-year-old technical problem that I’ve had. As it happens, I tried running SketchUp in Linux thrice, through WINE. In 2010 and 2016, this effort yielded good results. In 2017, it was a failure. Now, finally, I was able to overcome the problem.

        SketchUp Make 2017 is the last free offline edition of this lovely 3D program line. Since, if you want to do some nice design, you can either pay for the Pro version or use the rather limited in-browser free edition. This makes the 2017 version highly valuable to me, but I had struggled getting it running properly in Linux for a while now. Let’s amend that.

      • How to install Java 17 on Rocky Linux 8 / Alma Linux 8

        Tutorial showing how to install and configure SketchUp Make 2017 in Linux, including WINE 6.x setup from the upstream repository, dotNET and VC2015 redistributable dependencies, some other tips and tricks, and more

    • Wine or Emulation

      • WineHQ – Wine Announcement – The Wine development release 7.2 is now available.
        The Wine development release 7.2 is now available.
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - Large scale cleanup to support 'long' type with MSVCRT.
          - Mono engine updated to version 7.1.1.
          - More theming fixes in common controls.
          - Beginnings of a WMA decoder.
          - Support for 64-bit time_t.
          - Various bug fixes.
        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 7.2 spilled out with the beginnings of a WMA decoder | GamingOnLinux

        The dedicated team building up the Windows compatibility layer Wine have release a new development version with Wine 7.2 now available. This is the compatibility layer that allows you to run games and applications developed for Windows – on Linux (plus also macOS and BSD). It’s a major part of what makes up Steam Play Proton. Once a year or so, a new stable release is made.

    • Games

      • Sci-fi building and crew management sim Space Haven Alpha 14 is out | GamingOnLinux

        Space Haven from Bugbyte Ltd. continues building up towards something truly special with it blending together spaceship building, exploration and crew management. Alpha 14 is out now with lots of new goodies.


        Additionally, Space Haven was just recently rated as “Playable” for the Steam Deck. For it to get up to “Verified” it would need better gamepad support and not needing you to manually invoke the on-screen keyboard.

      • CitySlicker is an upcoming high-end case for the Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux [Ed: Is this an ad or an article? Feels like the former...]]

        With the Steam Deck releasing on February 25, we’re starting to see more of a build-up around it from all areas. Not just games but accessories now too like the CitySlicker carrying case from WaterField Designs.

      • XCOM 2 gets a Free Weekend plus a MASSIVE discount | GamingOnLinux

        XCOM 2 is still to this day one of my absolute favourite strategy games, and now you can experience it free for a whole weekend and get it cheap if you want to continue with it. This is celebrating six years since XCOM 2 first released, which came with a Linux port from Feral Interactive.

      • Encased: A Sci-Fi Post-Apocalyptic RPG released for Linux plus gamepad support | GamingOnLinux

        Another native Linux build arrives. This time we have Encased: A Sci-Fi Post-Apocalyptic RPG from Dark Crystal Games. Not only have they released it for Linux, they’ve also now hooked up gamepad support and so it should end up working quite nicely on the Steam Deck.

      • Valve releases Steam Deck shell CAD files | GamingOnLinux

        Helping to build a huge community around the upcoming Steam Deck handheld, Valve has helpfully releases the CAD files for the external shell.

        As Valve said on Twitter it’s “Good news for all the tinkerers, modders, accessory manufacturers, or folks who just want to 3D print a Steam Deck to see how it feels: We’ve published CAD files of the external shell for download”, to which amusingly dbrand replied with “So… no C&D then?” (C&D being Cease and Desist) since they announced their Project Killswitch case.

      • Valve’s next release is EXCLUSIVE to the Nintendo Switch. And I think it’s brilliant. – Invidious

        Or at least… *could* be brilliant. So why is Valve RISKING their best franchise on the Nintendo Switch? I think it has to do with providing an apples-to-apples comparison between the Switch and the Steam Deck.

      • Run Windows Software On Linux With Bottles – OSTechNix

        The most common reason to dual boot Linux with Windows OS is Games! Linux is great, but it sucks on Games support. Not just games, some propriety software from Adobe and Microsoft still lacks Linux support. Thankfully, there are a few software exists to run Windows applications and games on Linux. Some notable applications are CrossOver, PlayonLinux, Lutris, and Wine etc. In this guide, we will discuss about yet another similar application called Bottles, which allows us to run Windows software on Linux.

      • Come get a good look at the Euro Truck Simulator 2 – Heart of Russia DLC | GamingOnLinux

        Euro Truck Simulator 2 – Heart of Russia is the next big expansion for the incredibly popular trucking sim from SCS Software. The team previously showed off plenty of shots from it, however this is our first proper look at it and SCS certainly aren’t holding back now with a 20 minute preview of trucking from Vyazma to Kaluga.

      • Roma Invicta is a like an indie Total War out now | GamingOnLinux

        Like the idea of Total War games but find them complicated or want something similar that takes a bit less time? Roma Invicta is a new indie release that looks promising.

        “In Roma Invicta you have the honor of conquering ancient Gaul with your Roman legions. The game combines action oriented real-time battles with turn-based strategy on the campaign map where you raise, supply and move your armies.

      • Mask of the Rose from Failbetter Games has a demo up now | GamingOnLinux

        Another title that was funded via Kickstarter, it’s good to see official Linux support has not only stuck around but available so early on with a Demo available for play-testing right now.

      • There’s 22 New Games Validated Every Day for the Steam Deck on Average – Boiling Steam

        The verification dance continues for the Steam Deck. We are now very close to 500 titles (485) after another burst of new titles since yesterday. We now have 485 titles in total that should work on the Steam Deck, split in two categories…

      • Getting the Most Battery Life on the Steam Deck with GameScope

        While we already know that capping the maximum framerate to 30 FPS while running a game on the Steam Deck ensures more optimal battery life, YouTuber The Phawx has demonstrated a way to increase battery life even further, thanks to the use of GameScope.

      • Portal Series Coming to Nintendo Switch… But Why? – Boiling Steam

        So on Wednesday I had watched the Nintendo Direct. Of course, since I’m a Nintendo fan, I wanted to see what the company had planned for its upcoming games. But what took me by surprise — and the reason why I’m talking about it here on Boiling Steam — was the trailer for the Portal series. Those games are coming to the Nintendo Switch this year, titled Portal: Companion Collection. I was pretty sure this is the first time Valve has ever worked with Nintendo to put their games onto their platform, and sure enough, I found out later that it indeed is.

        Now, just to be clear, Valve has prior experience in developing for the console market. They’ve brought Portal 2 to the PS3, The Orange Box to Xbox 360/PS3, Left 4 Dead series to Xbox 360, and CS:GO to Xbox 360/PS3 (although, a lot of these ports were outsourced to other companies). However, it’s an experience that Gabe Newell didn’t like, as he called developing for consoles “walled gardens” and noted that the graphics for consoles “are essentially derivative of the PC.”

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Apps Update February 2022

          Our web browser Falkon has been quickly gathering new features, and this month saw the 3.2 release.

          It adds in-screen capture functionality so you can easily grab a screenshot, it now comes with a inbuilt PDF viewer, and downloads can be paused and resumed.

          Best of all, you can Download themes from the KDE Store. Who wants to make customize there browser?

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • OpenMandriva Rock repositories upgraded to OM Lx 4.3 – OpenMandriva

          The long awaited OM Lx 4.3 release is here. This means users of OpenMandriva Rock/OM Lx 4.2 need to do the distribution upgrade or “distro-sync” to OM Lx 4.3.

          Upgrading from OpenMandriva Lx 4.2

          Upgrading an existing Rock/OM Lx 4.2 system is detailed here: Upgrading OM Lx 4.2 system to OM Lx 4.3
          There is more to this than one command.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2022/06

          As we are used to by now, Tumbleweed keeps on rolling at a steady pace. Once again, we managed to publish 5 snapshots during the week (0203x 0204, 0205, 0206, and 0207); 0208 was not created (delays in build time, too much load) and 0209 was discarded due to failures around vagrant dependencies.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • The Lagrange Gemini client is in Fedora

          I’m happy to announce that Lagrange, probably the most beautiful looking Gemini client, is now available on Fedora and EPEL.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2022-06

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

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

        • 3 reasons you should get that IT certification | Enable Sysadmin

          Sometimes human beings do difficult things just because we thrive when there is a good challenge. This is why we climb mountains, play guitars, surf (in real waves), run marathons, and the like. OK, some do it professionally, but to take on major challenges, you really need to enjoy the activity for its own sake, not just when it leads to victory.


          For independent software vendors (ISVs), consulting firms, and similar companies, showcasing how many certified professionals are in their ranks is strategically important. These credentials inspire customers to trust them by indicating a level of knowledge.

          If these organizations want to develop or maintain a partnership with a major well-established software company, there may even be a contractual obligation for their professionals to be certified. Therefore, if you work for these types of companies, you can directly benefit from your employer’s and its partners’ requirements.

          Indirectly, if you are well prepared, confident, and have skills valued by your company’s competitors, certification can help you make your case when negotiating career options.

        • IBM Emeritus Irving Wladawsky-Berger: The Promise & Peril of Human-Like Artificial Intelligence

          In his 1950 seminal paper, Computing Machinery and Intelligence, Alan Turing proposed what’s famously known as the Turing test, – a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior indistinguishable from that of a human. If a human at a keyboard couldn’t tell whether they were interacting with a machine or a human, the machine is considered to have passed the Turing test. “Ever since, creating intelligence that matches human intelligence has implicitly or explicitly been the goal of thousands of researchers, engineers and entrepreneurs,” wrote Erik Brynjolfsson, – Stanford professor and Director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab, – in a recent article, The Turing Trap: The Promise & Peril of Human-Like Artificial Intelligence.

          “The benefits of human-like artificial intelligence (HLAI) include soaring productivity, increased leisure, and perhaps most profoundly, a better understanding of our own minds. But not all types of AI are human-like – in fact, many of the most powerful systems are very different from humans – and an excessive focus on developing and deploying HLAI can lead us into a trap. … On the one hand, it is a path to unprecedented wealth, increased leisure, robust intelligence, and even a better understanding of ourselves. On the other hand, if HLAI leads machines to automate rather than augment human labor, it creates the risk of concentrating wealth and power. And with that concentration comes the peril of being trapped in an equilibrium where those without power have no way to improve their outcomes, a situation I call the Turing Trap.”

          Over the past decade, powerful AI systems have matched or surpassed human levels of performance in a number of tasks such as image and speech recognition, applications like skin cancer classification and breast cancer detection, and complex games like Jeopardy and Go. These AI breakthroughs are generally referred to as soft, narrow or specialized AI, inspired by, but not aiming to mimic the human brain. They’ve been generally based on machine learning, that is, on the analysis of vast amounts of information using powerful computers and sophisticated algorithms, whose results exhibit qualities that we associate with human intelligence.

        • Meeting-free days: 11 productivity tips from IT leaders | The Enterprisers Project

          Many employees (and executives) have hit their limit when it comes to sitting through endless meetings, virtual or otherwise. Even my calendar has started to warn me how much time I’m spending in meetings on an average day. We may joke around about how overwhelmed we are, but the consequences are no laughing matter. Wasted time spent in unnecessary meetings is killing creativity and inspiration for many of us.

        • Handling difficult workplace conversations: 7 tips

          Does the mere thought of addressing a challenging work situation with one of your employees fill you with anxiety and distract you from other work?

          If so, you’re not alone. According to workplace resource firm Bravely, at least 70 percent of employees are avoiding difficult conversations with their boss, colleagues, or direct reports. And workplace health is suffering as a result.

        • CentOS Community Newsletter, February 2022

          CentOS hosted its annual FOSDEM Dojo. This Dojo was once again virtual. If you missed the Dojo, or you just want to watch it again, all of the videos (and some of the slides) are available on the Dojo wiki page.

          Also, Aleksandra Fedorova gave a talk at FOSDEM called CentOS Stream: stable and continuous. This excellent talk went into details of how CentOS is actually built.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • 7 Ways to Speed Up Firefox Browser in Linux Desktop [Ed: Article updated]

            Firefox browser is the default browser for most modern Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Mint, and Fedora. Initially, its performance might be impressive, however, with the passage of time, you might notice that your browser is not as fast and responsive as it once was. A sluggish browser can be quite frustrating as it tends to eat into your precious time as you wait for it to load your tabs and respond to input.

      • FSF

        • This year, take some time to reflect on why you love free software

          Valentine’s Day is a day to reflect upon our relationships with our loved ones, but we ask you to take a moment on this day to reflect on something else — your relationship with technology.

          Valentine’s Day is a day to reflect upon our relationships with our loved ones, but we ask you to take a moment on this day to reflect on something else — your relationship with technology. Software is so pervasive in our lives that it deserves some extra attention. There are millions of people in the world, who, on a daily basis, are working to give users free (as in freedom) options. I Love Free Software Day, started by Free Software Foundation Eurpoe (FSFE), is a day to reflect upon our appreciation of free software. It is also a day to help a friend or family member learn more about the benefits of choosing user freedom.

          This year, to celebrate, we wanted to share some responses we have heard from the broader community about how they came to learn about free software and their reasons for loving it. Please read their responses, and consider sharing your own story via the Freedom Ladder page on the LibrePlanet wiki, as well as on social media. Let’s celebrate together, and take a few steps toward educating others!

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Guile 3.0.8 released

            We are delighted to announce the release of GNU Guile 3.0.8. This release adds support for cross-module inlining: allowing small functions and constants defined in one module to be inlined into their uses in other modules. Guile 3.0.8 also fixes a number of bugs.

            For full details, see the NEWS entry. See the release note for signatures, download links, and all the rest. Onwards and upwards!

          • 4 essential plugins to improve GIMP – LinuxStoney

            The open source project focused on photo retouching GIMP , is one of the best known programs of its kind in the world. In fact, for many users, this software solution is one of the most direct competitors for the popular Adobe Photoshop.

            Among the many reasons for all this, we can highlight the enormous functionality that this application offers us when working with our images. In addition, it has been developed in such a way that it will be extremely useful for both novice users and professionals. All this without having to pay a single euro, unlike what happens with the aforementioned Adobe application.

      • Programming/Development

        • diaspora* version released with security fixes!

          It’s been a bit silent as we’re still focussing our efforts on the next major release. Today, we’re releasing an unscheduled update which includes some urgent security fixes, so please update soon. Over the past 10 months, we have managed to collect 108 commits made by 9 contributors for this minor release.

        • JSON-LD is ideal for Cloud Native technologies – Ariadne’s Space

          Frequently I have been told by developers that it is impossible to have extensible JSON documents underpinning their projects, because there may be collisions later. For those of us who are unaware of more capable graph serializations such as JSON-LD and Turtle, this seems like a reasonable position. Accordingly, I would like to introduce you all to JSON-LD, using a practical real-world deployment as an example, as well as how one might use JSON-LD to extend something like OCI container manifests.

          You might feel compelled to look up JSON-LD on Google before continuing with reading this. My suggestion is to not do that, because the JSON-LD website is really aimed towards web developers, and this explanation will hopefully explain how a systems engineer can make use of JSON-LD graphs in practical terms. And, if it doesn’t, feel free to DM me on Twitter or something.

        • Qt Creator 7 Beta released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 7 Beta!

        • Perl/Raku

          • Rakudo compiler, Release #153 (2022.02)

            On behalf of the Rakudo development team, I’m very happy to announce the February 2022 release of Rakudo #153. Rakudo is an implementation of the Raku1 language.

            The source tarball for this release is available from https://rakudo.org/files/rakudo. Pre-compiled archives will be available shortly.

          • My Favorite Warnings: regexp

            As you would expect, this category gets you warnings about possibly-problematic regular expression constructions.


            The above list is far from exhaustive. There are diagnostics for superfluous quantifiers (on zero-width assertions) and greediness specifications (on fixed-width items), since regular expressions are already “A fair jaw-cracker” without the unnecessary cruft. In addition, there are diagnostics for invalid or meaningless uses of the /c, /g, and /p modifiers.

            Within the scope of a use re ‘strict’; pragma, additional diagnostics are possible. This pragma was the subject of last week’s blog, My Favorite Modules: re, which was written as background for this blog entry.

            Note that use re ‘strict’; is documented as experimental, with the warning that even the interface to the functionality may change. Too bad, because I would kind of like to enable some of the additional diagnostics:http://blogs.perl.org/users/tom_wyant/2022/02/my-favorite-warnings-regexp.html

          • Tame your text with Perl | Opensource.com

            Although its popularity has been tempered by languages like Python, Lua, and Go, Perl was one of the primary utilitarian languages on Unix and Linux for 30 years. It remains an important and powerful component in many open source systems today. If you haven’t used Perl much, then you may be surprised by how helpful it can be for many tasks. This is especially true if you deal with large amounts of text in your day-to-day work.

            If you need a language that allows you to search and manipulate large volumes of text quickly and easily, Perl is tough to beat. In fact, doing exactly that is what Larry Walls originally built the language for.

            If you’re brand new to Perl, you can read this quick Perl intro to get a feel for the basics.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Bash Comments – ByteXD

            Comments are used in programming languages as well as in Bash script for writing descriptions. Often you want to describe the actions you have performed or commands you have used. So that it can remind you what and why you have performed this action when you open the script later.

            This is similar to taking notes of the steps you take and about the things involved in any process. The description you provide can also be helpful for others in understanding your script, in case you hand over your script to them. This is very useful to explain your script when you are working on a large project or big team.

            In this tutorial, you will learn what are the types of comments and how to use them in Bash script along with suitable examples.

        • Rust

          • CTCFT 2022-02-21 Agenda | Inside Rust Blog

            For this month’s CTCFT meeting, the theme is “planning for 2022″. We’ll hear about the results of the 2021 Rust survey, and updates happening in the Async Working Group and the Compiler Team.

  • Leftovers

    • Your smartphone should be like your stove | Stop at Zona-M

      Thanks heaven, there are still people who have the undisputably right attitude that everyone should have towards their smartphones. People who think of smartphones

      “in much the same way I think of refrigerators or stoves. It’s an appliance, something I need but feel no attachment to, and as long as it keeps fulfilling that need, I don’t want to spend money replacing it for no real reason.”

      In a sane world, such people should be the boring norm, the ones who never make the news. Instead they do (for example, here) because one of the richest companies on Earth is forcing them to dump a perfectly good phone. Says Aaron Gordon, and I am sure many millions of people could tell almost identical stories…

    • Science

      • Tiny TV Celebrates The Forgotten Tech Of CRTs | Hackaday

        For those of us who grew up before the Internet, the center of pretty much every house was the TV. It was the shrine before which we all worshipped, gathering together at the appointed times to receive the shared wisdom of mass entertainment. In retrospect, it really wasn’t that much. But it’s what we had.

        Content aside, one thing all these glowing boxes had in common was that which did the glowing — the cathode ray tube (CRT). Celebrating the marvel of engineering that the CRT represents is the idea behind [Matt Evan]’s tiny desktop TV. The design centers around a 1.5″ CRT that once served as a viewfinder on a 1980s-vintage Sony camcorder. [Matt] salvaged the tube and the two PCB assemblies that drive it, mounting everything in a custom-built acrylic case, the better to show off the bulky but beautiful tube.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Vaccines hesitancy is also due to paywalls | Stop at Zona-M

        I am not qualified to discuss vaccines. But I am pretty sure that one of the reasons why there is “vaccines hesitance” in this moment, and a larger “rejection of science” in general, is exactly the fact that too much qualified information and reporting are behind paywalls these days.

      • Is Mistr a trustworthy source of anti-HIV PrEP medication?

        Until they fully disclose how it is funded and what they do with your information, I wouldn’t touch it. They don’t seem to claim anywhere on their website that they’re a charity, and we know that billionaire investors invest into some creepy things, including suicide crisis lines, because data is worth money.

        Worse, they make no guarantees that teenagers who use Mistr won’t be outed as LGBT (the target of the PrEP campaign) to their parents if insurance statements start coming in showing that they paid for PrEP medication, and any parent can get on the internet and figure out that these are HIV drugs and then that leaves the teenager with some tough questions from their parents which they wouldn’t have to answer if they went to the health department or Planned Parenthood.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (cryptsetup), Fedora (firefox, java-1.8.0-openjdk, microcode_ctl, python-django, rlwrap, and vim), openSUSE (kernel), and SUSE (kernel and ldb, samba).

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 204 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 204. This version includes the following changes:

            [ Chris Lamb ]
            * Don't run the binwalk comparator tests as root (or fakeroot) as the
              latest version of binwalk has some security protection against doing
              precisely this.
            * If we fail to scan a file using binwalk, return 'False' from
              BinwalkFile.recognizes rather than raise a traceback.
            * If we fail to import the Python "binwalk" module, don't accidentally report
              that we are missing the "rpm" module instead.
            [ Mattia Rizzolo ]
            * Use dependencies to ensure that "diffoscope" and "diffoscope-minimal"
              packages always have the precise same version.

          • Announcing Istio 1.12.3

            This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.12.2 and Istio 1.12.3.

          • On the Irish Health Services Executive Hack [Ed: Irish Health Services cracked by Microsoft Windows, as usual]

            A detailed report of the 2021 ransomware attack against Ireland’s Health Services Executive lists some really bad security practices:

          • CISA Adds One Known Exploited Vulnerability to Catalog

            CISA has added one new vulnerability to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog, based on evidence that threat actors are actively exploiting the vulnerability listed in the table below. These types of vulnerabilities are a frequent attack vector for malicious cyber actors of all types and pose significant risk to the federal enterprise.

          • Apple Releases Security Updates for Multiple Products | CISA

            Apple has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in multiple products. An attacker could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system. Some of these vulnerabilities have been detected in exploits in the wild.

            CISA encourages users and administrators to review the Apple security pages for the following products and apply the necessary updates.

    • Environment

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Ocean heat waves trigger ‘squid bloom’ along Pacific coast, scientists say | The Seattle Times

          Marine heat waves driven by climate change have fueled a dramatic increase in market squid along the Washington and Oregon coast over the past two decades, new research shows.

          Market squid from central California to northern Washington saw a fivefold increase over the past 22 years, according to a report published by the American Fisheries Society last month. But the largest swells were seen in Washington and Oregon, where models showed each state respectively saw a 39-fold and 25-fold increase in population density of squid during the examined time frame.

    • Finance

      • Watching the World Bank must become easier

        In a way, this whole story is not news at all. “Who watches the Watchmen” has been a problem since the beginning of history, maybe THE beginning of history. Me, I have no skills to evaluate the whole story, figure out if that report is wrong, or if its solutions are the best possible ones.

        Still, there is one point here that really is of very general interest, and very easy to grasp:

        the digitization of data has made it immensely easier to distribute them to all the real experts with the actual skills and knowledge to figure out if something is done properly or not.

        In this case, I have no idea of which specific data the World Bank should make accessible to the general public, or even to experts. The only thing I am sure of, and the only thing that everybody should demand, is that such data should become immediately, constantly, automatically available to all the experts who could evaluate them, not just those chosen by the World Bank.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • *satire* Totally not sockpuppets give Midland Funding collection agency five star reviews on Google.

        There’s a collection agency called Midland Funding that buys all kinds of delinquent mortgage, credit card, and hospital bill accounts. Oddly, they have a bunch of five star reviews on Google.

        Who the hell gives a collection agency that’s calling them at work and their boss is threatening to fire them, and is threatening to sue and garnish them and rings their phone off the hook five stars on Google?

        Nobody. But with the magic touch of PR firms, anyone can look good online, including these people. It’s a tactic that Microsoft uses all the time. Walmart has done it before too.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • “Partner” is not a legitimate way to refer to gay people in the United States. Some people do it anyway and claim ignorance, after you correct them. – BaronHK’s Rants

        Matthew Garrett is back again. This time to let everyone know that he’s completely unaware of the term “partner” as an anti-gay microaggression in the United States, where he lives.

        When I pointed out on #Techrights IRC that the term “partner” is corrupted in US English and has a long history of being used as a derisive way of referring to gay people, usually by right-wingers and Fundamentalist Christians, Mr. Garrett took to Twitter to act as if he had no idea what I was talking about, and then his friends (Maybe from Microsoft, as usual? Who knows. Didn’t check. He has some though.) joined in the chorus of not being able to find any taint associated with the usage of “partner”.

        It’s true that in some dictionaries, you won’t find the taint that LGBT people know when someone says “your partner”, especially now that you can get married and they know damned well that you are.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • IFF provides inputs to United Nations on Internet Shutdowns

        On 16th December 2021, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (‘OHCHR’) released a call for submissions. OHCHR sought inputs from civil society to support a report on internet shutdowns. We have responded to the call for submissions. In our submission, we have summarized the legal basis of internet shutdowns in India, provided research on instances of mandated disruption of communication, explained the social, economic and political impact of these disruptions while commending the initiatives introduced by the Government of India to improve internet connectivity.

    • Monopolies

      • I (Finally) Fired Google

        While I have been working for many years to remove all aspects of Google from my personal life, it was only this past week that I replaced the final piece. As of this week I have finally fired Google. It wasn’t easy, and in this post I’ll tell my story of how tightly Google was integrated in my life, the lengths I had to go to remove them, and what took so long.

        It’s probably worth starting with how someone like myself who values privacy got so locked into Google to begin with. It all starts with work. I haven’t always worked at Purism, and much of my employment history has been at startups. Where large, old, established companies might be locked into Microsoft’s ecosystem, the startups I worked for opted for Google Apps. Everything from shared calendars, email, file sharing and the rest were handled by Google’s cloud and employees all carried Android phones that tightly integrated into that environment.

      • Eyes on Trade: WTO vs. Policy Space: New Report Shows Trade Organization Rarely Allows Countries to Use Exceptions

        Melanie Foley Welcome everyone to today’s event releasing the new report from Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, titled WTO General Exceptions – Trade Laws Faulty Ivory Tower. My name is Melanie Foley, I’m the international campaigns director at Global Trade…

Impending Data Migration and Gemini Gateway/Proxy Improvements

Posted in Site News at 3:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum b52812c77050e16b9cdfac93e65b7dc2
Presentation of Gemini Gateway
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: We remind readers that Techrights can also be accessed over the gemini:// protocol and the canonical site/proxy at http://gemini.techrights.org (which was improved this morning); it is another way to read Techrights when there’s Web site downtime, as there will be around 8 hours for now (storage-level/SAN migration)

TECHRIGHTS is growing. The number of people involved keeps growing, the number of Daily Links is growing, and the impact of the site in general increased a lot in recent years. Sometimes we have downtime (no site is infallible and we’re not some online store with 24/7 SREs), so it helps to have mirrors and contingencies.

“Sometimes we have downtime (no site is infallible and we’re not some online store with 24/7 SREs), so it helps to have mirrors and contingencies.”One of them is gemini.techrights.org, which we keep improving; it’s basically just a transient proxy or gateway for Gemini. In about 8 hours from now readers can expect a downtime as we move the files to other hardware (at the time of writing Techrights has over 186,000 files) and as noted in the video above we’ve made progress convincing GNU (and the FSF) to add presence in Geminispace.

Lies, race-baiting, and public relationsToday we spent a lot of time refining CSS for better presentation; we wrote our own proxy/gateway software and it is available under the AGPLv3 (in self-hosted Git).

The Web isn’t dead, but a growing proportion of it is misinformation, webspam, and “marketing”.

[Meme] “Unfounded” Claims of Fundamental Rights at the European Patent Office (EPO)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 2:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ECHR and Council of Europe (for Team UPC) “a kind of insurance policy against backsliding into totalitarianism” ~Sir Paul Mahoney

Summary: The EPO‘s mechanism for processing internal (staff) appeals seems to have become another kangaroo court, just like the appeal boards

Where Sir Paul Mahoney Has Failed to Protect EPO Staff From Injustice and Sheer Abuse

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 58c7510d8e889a214c47342e56046646
Shallow Legal Theatre vs Juridical Sciences
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: EPO President Benoît Battistelli and EPO President António Campinos have got themselves a ‘British van der Eijk‘; The documents from within the EPO have made it clear that Sir Paul Mahoney was unwilling or simply incapable of matching staff’s expectations; instead of protecting staff’s basic, most fundamental rights he doubled down on abolition of such rights

THIS morning’s installment and tomorrow’s follow-up, which is a lot longer, will show readers the true track record of Sir Paul Mahoney, who is either too afraid or too complicit to do what’s right for the EPO. As of two weeks ago, Sir Paul Mahoney got two — not just one — very major and profound errors, leaving staff to suffer and ‘vindicating’ law-breaking managers. As we put it this morning, “the EPO’s internal appeals committee under Mahoney’s stewardship also saw fit to give a clean bill of legal health to Battistelli’s Orwellian “Social Democracy” project, another sinister liberticidal measure which was struck down by a seven-judge panel of the ILOAT on 27 January 2022.”

The video above discusses some of the status quo, but it’s a lot shorter than usual because we’re bracing for some server maintenance, as the next post will explain.

Sir Mahoney, just play it safe; But Wim, I have a job to do; But he didn't wish to get defamed in the media like Patrick Corcoran was
Judges learn the job (or some implicit rules) quickly at the EPO

Windows and Wintel (x86) Are Too Fat, and Not Evolving Fast Enough, to Actually Survive

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 11:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum d43c7295059227533dfbbee92563aa2b
Windows Scale Crisis
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: GNU/Linux and BSD platforms with a small memory (RAM) footprint and low CPU/clocking requirements are the way to go; Microsoft and x86 duopolies are in trouble

THE emergence of small and power-efficient devices has been highly beneficial to GNU/Linux. Now that the price of energy is soaring the advantages associated with a pivot to “small” computing will certainly be further accentuated. Samsung tried this years ago, but stopped for unspecified reasons [1, 2]. Raspberry Pi nowadays targets the desktop market (I installed Debian 11 on a Raspberry Pi 400 device less than 24 hours ago), which might explain why Microsoft is so desperate to infiltrate (it did so last year and also half a decade earlier).

“Now that the price of energy is soaring the advantages associated with a pivot to “small” computing will certainly be further accentuated.”The Linux Foundation intentionally ignores all that and instead promotes highly polluting Microsoft by greenwashing it (it’s paid to promote lies), but we all know that the future is not x86; Intel’s pivot to RISC-V shows the embattled Intel recognising that electricity-hungry motherboard aren’t they way to go; that’s why “Atom” failed.

There’s even much greater a barrier to Intel’s long-term survival; putting aside UEFI ‘secure boot’ and ME back doors, the architecture is far too complex and eternally broken. These issues aren’t fixable. “Don’t forget about the unfixable security hole in Intel hardware,” an associate reminds us. “”Spectre” and “Meltdown” are whole categories of vulnerabilities and there are several other categories on top of them. Not all are repairable with either kernel changes or even microcode replacement.” [1, 2, 3] (the second link has a good chart of two categories)

“Fat operating systems spend most of their energy supporting their own fat.”

Nicholas Negroponte, MIT Media Lab, rediff.com, Apr 2006

Links 11/2/2022: RapidDisk 8.1.0 and Darktable 3.8.1

Posted in News Roundup at 10:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Facebook’s Metaverse Is Already Dying – Invidious

        I don’t know anybody who is excited to exist in Facebook’s corporate sanitized metaverse and clearly it’s not doing wel in the stock market but the whole concept of metaverses aren’t new anyway and I wish companies would stop pretending they are.

    • Kernel Space

      • Low latency Linux for industrial embedded systems – Part I | Ubuntu

        Welcome to this mini blog series on the low latency Linux kernel for industrial embedded systems!

        The real-time patch, which is not fully upstream yet, has had many developers wonder about stable alternatives for their projects adopting an embedded Linux operating system (OS) with latency requirements in the milliseconds’ range. The low-latency Ubuntu Linux kernel from Canonical is less costly to maintain than real-time alternatives. PREEMPT_RT is an intrusive patchset that may not be compatible with all required drivers and may require debugging/reworking, whereas low latency is a configuration flavour of mainline.

        The low latency Ubuntu kernel has the maximum preemption currently available in mainline (PREEMPT), coupled with four times the timer granularity of the generic Ubuntu kernel (HZ_1000 for low latency vs HZ_250 for generic).

        If this sentence is crystal-clear to you and if you are familiar with the concepts, you may want to jump ahead to the remaining two blogs of his three-part blog series. Part I of the series is for those at the beginning of their learning journey. Here, we will provide a basic introduction to preemptable processes in multiuser systems, and memory segregation into kernel and user space. Building on this knowledge, we will tackle preemption and frequency of the timer interrupt in Part II.

        Finally, Part III of this three-part blog series will put everything together and delve into the considerations behind adopting low-latency Ubuntu for your embedded applications.

    • Applications

      • RapidDisk 8.1.0 now available

        RapidDisk is an advanced Linux RAM Disk which consists of a collection of modules and an administration tool. Features include: Dynamically allocate RAM as block device. Use them as stand alone disk drives or even map them as caching nodes to slower local disk drives. Access those drives locally or export those volumes across an NVMe Target network.

      • Darktable 3.8.1 Released with Faster Heal Tool, New Noise Profiles, and Many Bug Fixes

        Coming one and a half months after darktable 3.8, this release speeds up the retouch’s heal tool by using better parallelism, adds noise profiles for the Canon EOS D60 and Samsung NX1000 digital cameras, adds support for the Spanish and Dutch languages for the documentation, and fixes numerous bugs.

        Darktable 3.8.1 also adds a large red message that will prompt users when their digital cameras have missing samples, which you can upload at https://raw.pixls.us/. Moreover, this point release re-adds support for the cameras that were removed in version 3.8, but only for a short period of time.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Apache Maven on Fedora 35 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache Maven on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Apache Maven is a software project management and comprehension tool. Based on the concept of a project object model (POM), Maven can manage a project’s build, reporting, and documentation from a central piece of information. It helps you to get all the necessary libraries that you need to build your application.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Apache Maven on a Fedora 35.

      • How to install and configure Postfix on Debian | FOSS Linux

        Postfix is one of the most widely used free MTAs (Mail Transfer Agents). It is open-source and has been inactive development since its inception. It was made to overcome the shortcomings of Sendmail, and it has come a long way since then.

        Some of the key characteristics of Postfix are its modular design, great security tools, comprehensive documentation, and easy configuration. It is also compatible with Sendmail, so most of the tools that Sendmail boosts are also supported here.

      • How to Install VLC Media Player on Linux

        Don’t let the entertainment stop on your Linux desktop. Install VLC Media Player and start playing your favorite music or movies right away.

      • whmapi to change cpanel user account password using SSH. | Elinux.co.in

        If you want to reset CPanel user account password using SSH then run below command.

      • whmapi to add domain DNS using SSH

        If you want to add the domain DNS then you can run below command.

      • How to install Pinta on Zorin OS 16 – Invidious [Ed: But Pinta is Microsoft Mono injection vector]
      • How to install FnF Spritesheet and XML Maker on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install FnF Spritesheet and XML Maker on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How do I search for an available Python package using pip? – Darryl Dias

        If you are searching for packages using Pip you may come accross this error. This is because after December 2020 pip search functionality has been discontinued, due to unmanageable load on PyPi’s XMLRPC API service.

      • How to Install NordVPN on Ubuntu

        If you are searching for packages using Pip you may come accross this error. This is because after December 2020 functionality has been discontinued…

    • Games

      • Get ready to sweat with VR rhythm game Groove Gunner out now | GamingOnLinux

        Got the moves? Have a VR kit at the ready? Groove Gunner from BitCutter Studios Inc has released from Early Access today and it’s one you might get a little hot with.

        It’s a rhythm game, in a vaguely similar way to Beat Saber except here you’ve got guns and shield. You also don’t cut through anything but have to shoot targets at a specific time and point, while also blocking incoming glowing balls. A thoroughly challenging game, and a pretty excellent workout. The tunes it comes with are pretty damn great too, as the developer teamed up with a bunch of indie artists with a varied genre set.

      • Turning The PS4 Into A Useful Linux Machine | Hackaday

        When the PlayStation 3 first launched, one of its most lauded features was its ability to officially run full Linux distributions. This was of course famously and permanently borked by Sony with a software update after a few years, presumably since the console was priced too low to make a profit and Sony didn’t want to indirectly fund server farms made out of relatively inexpensive hardware. Of course a decision like this to keep Linux off a computer system is only going to embolden Linux users to put it on those same systems, and in that same vein this project turns a more modern Playstation 4 into a Kubernetes cluster with the help of the infamous OS.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • The 9 Best KDE-Based Distros for Avid Linux Users

          KDE Plasma lets you customize the desktop with no limitations. Here are the top nine Linux distros that ship with the KDE desktop out-of-the-box.

          As a desktop environment, KDE Plasma is marketed with unique features, including visually-rich desktop computing fully packed with nifty utilities. Many in-demand Linux distros available in the market offer a KDE flavor variant for users.

          Here’s a list of the top nine distros based on KDE Plasma, which you must check out.

    • Distributions

      • Should You Use a New, Obscure Linux Distro or Stick With the Mainstream Ones?

        When you start using Linux on your desktop, you probably stick with the beginner-friendly distros like Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

        As you get familiar with Linux and start loving it, you join Linux related communities on various social channels, follow websites that share Linux content (like It’s FOSS). And when you do that, you also start discovering new, rather unknown distributions.

        Since you are new to the scene, you may get tempted to try one distro after another and fell down the ‘distrohopping’ slope.

      • Reviews

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Latest Plasma Lands in Tumbleweed, Set for Leap Beta

          This week’s openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots delivered exciting news not only to rolling release users, but also brought significant news for users of the long-established Leap release.

          KDE’s next Long-Term Support (LTS) release, Plasma 5.24, arrived in a recent snapshot, and it brings the “Perfect Harmony” for both Tumbleweed and Leap users. Plasma 5.24 will be one of the Desktop Environments (DE) in Leap 15.4; the beta version of Leap 15.4 is expected to be released for testing with the new Plasma version within the next couple of weeks, according to the roadmap.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • How we should think about cloud lock-in [Ed: Red Hat employees now writing ‘the news’ at IDG; So-called ‘news’ sites have ‘reinvented’ themselves as #marketing agencies, rendering more and more of the WWW nothing other than webspam.]

          At Red Hat, Scott McCarty is senior principal product manager for RHEL Server, arguably the largest open source software business in the world. Focus areas include cloud, containers, workload expansion, and automation. Working closely with customers, partners, engineering teams, sales, marketing, other product teams, and even in the community, Scott combines personal experience with customer and partner feedback to enhance and tailor strategic capabilities in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

        • Command Line Heroes: Season 8: Broadcasting the Robot Revolution

          Season 8 covers the robots that are in our midst—and the determined dreamers who bring them to life.

        • Check out the Kubernetes Documentary [Ed: Marketing is now disguised as "documentary" and "journalists" like Alex Handy are being recruited by the companies they cover]

          When an open source project takes off, there are often a few years of excitement, and then a slowing of enthusiasm as other methods, technologies and paradigms begin to take hold and the project matures. And then there’s Kubernetes. Over the past 9 years not only has Kubernetes grown, but the rate at which it has grown has also grown. The world of Kubernetes is now much larger than just Kubernetes.

          Back in 2013, while folks around the world were preparing for the move to cloud by building out new tools, new databases and new programming languages, one project took the holistic approach of offering a more cohesive cloud experience based on Linux containers. That project brought together the incredible power of open source software, Linux and massive scale computing to provide us with a fresh field in which to innovate, expand and stabilize cloud operations.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • 8 Best note-taking apps for Linux such as Ubuntu

          Note Taking apps are not only limited to smartphones, Mac, or Windows systems; Linux users can also get them easily as there are many open source projects to offer such applications. You can choose the one depending on what and, above all, how much you would like to write down. With color markings and keyword labels, you can keep shopping lists, notes, logs, or philosophical ideas apart. Further, a user can also attach photos to his notes, and if typing takes too long, you can also use the voice memos or have spoken words converted into text.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 7 Best Free and Open Source Status Page Systems

        A status page system is software that lets you communicate incidents, schedule maintenance and downtimes with your customers.

        A status page can be public or private. Public stage pages engender customer trust and demonstrate the reliability of a platform. Private status pages are useful to communicate incidents with internal stakeholders.

        Status page systems offer control over how to communicate an incident on the status page. Good systems let you notify customers and stakeholders in real time reducing the volume of customer support queries.

      • Web Browsers

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice ecosystem interview: Thorsten Behrens at allotropia

          We strive to be a full-service shop for all things LibreOffice. Just to list a few examples, we have helped companies to train their internal development team alongside a LibreOffice migration; we’re regularly developing bug fixes and new features for the office suite, and we’re also maintaining a number of extensions for the benefit of the entire ecosystem (e.g. the LibreOffice Eclipse development plugin, the Edit in LibreOffice Nextcloud plugin, or the LibreOffice Starter Extension).

          Additionally, we’re offering LTS (long-time supported) versions of LibreOffice, via our partner CIB software GmbH. In the same vein, we also maintain customer-specific LTS branches, in case a larger organisation has decided to stick with one particular version of the suite.

          And not to forget, allotropia also sponsors Michael Stahl, one of the editors of the OpenDocument Format, to keep the ODF standard evolving and keeping up with all the new LibreOffice features that need saving to disk.

      • Programming/Development

        • Optimization is Fragile

          Optimization is often seen as the highest good. Programs that run more efficiently. Processes that run faster. But optimization is a trade-off and optimization is rigid. Especially early on, optimization should be an anti-goal. Instead, solve for optionality and eschew constraints.

        • Reed-alert: five years later

          I wrote a simple software using an old programming language (Common LISP ANSI is from 1994), the result is that it’s reliable over time, require no code maintenance and is fun to code on.

        • [Old] Making the ZFS file system

          This week Matt Ahrens joins Adam to talk about ZFS. Matt co-founded the ZFS project at Sun Microsystems in 2001. And 20 years later Adam picked up ZFS for use in his home lab and loved it. So, he reached out to Matt and invited him on the show. They cover the origins of the file system, its journey from proprietary to open source, architecture choices like copy-on-write, the ins and outs of creating and managing ZFS, RAID-Z and RAID-Z expansion, and Matt even shares plans for ZFS in the cloud with ZFS object store.

        • ZUI For Zsh Hackers

          So, a Zshell code generates text. It is then turned into document with hyperlinks. DHTML-like calls are possible that will regenerate document parts on the fly. Page can be also reloaded with input data, just like an HTML page. A voiced below or download file from google drive or watch youtube video at the end, that shows how to create an application – Nmap network scanner frontend.

        • Nibble Stew: Typesetting an Entire Book Part IV: The Content

          In previous blog posts (such as seals this one) we looked into typesetting a book with various FOSS tools. Those have used existing content from Project Gutenberg. However it would be a whole lot nicer to do this with your own content, especially since a pandemic quarantine has traditionally been a fruitful time to write books. Thus for completeness I ventured out to write my own. After a fair bit of time typing, retyping, typesetting, imposing, printing, gluing, sandpapering and the like, here is the 244 page product that eventually emerged from the pipeline.


          In fact, let’s be scientific and estimate how unlikely it would be. The first hurdle is getting the book published. Statistics say that only one book out of a thousand offered to publishers actually gets published. Even if it did get published and you had a physical copy in your hands, you probably still could not read it, since it is written in Finnish, a language that is understood only by 0.1 percent of the planet’s population. If we estimate how many people who could read it actually would read it then the chances are again roughly one of a thousand.

        • Qt Creator 7 – CMake update
        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Zshrc File Explained in 10 Easy to Understand Points

            .Zshrc is a configuration file that contains the commands that run the zsh shell, just like the .bashrc file that contains commands for the bash shell. It contains scripts that run whenever an interactive zsh session is launched. In Linux, the file is stored in the home/user directory as a hidden file. The file can be edited to customize the zsh experience, but it is not advised to customize it. The file is also hidden and stored in the user’s home directory in macOS. The file is automatically created when the Zsh shell is installed on a system. Today, we will look at the .zshrc file in quite some detail.

          • What is Zsh? Should You Use it?

            Nowadays, the active development of both open source projects is keeping both shells close to each other in terms of general features and functionality, but there are a few small differences on how to do certain things. Zsh is more powerful and customizable by default, while Bash may require some extra scripts (plugins) to achieve some things.

            On a wider view, the main features that make Zsh shine over Bash are: [...]

          • [Old] Fish vs. Zsh vs. Bash and Why You Should Switch to Fish

            Here’s a fact, most developers love Unix and Unix-like (Linux-based) operating systems such as macOS, Ubuntu, etc. They are stable, powerful, highly customizable, and they have the mighty Unix Shell.

          • [Old] Fish for bash users

            This is to give you a quick overview if you come from bash (or to a lesser extent other shells like zsh or ksh) and want to know how fish differs. Fish is intentionally not POSIX-compatible and as such some of the things you are used to work differently.

            Many things are similar – they both fundamentally expand commandlines to execute commands, have pipes, redirections, variables, globs, use command output in various ways. This document is there to quickly show you the differences.

  • Leftovers

    • I Went Back to Warn Them
    • West Virginia Students Stage Walkout After School Hosts Christian Revival
    • Jean-François Fortin Tam: Year MMXX summarized in 7 minutes

      In January, one of my students/friends, Aida, died with her husband Arvin and 174 other passengers. She was 33 years old, and had just obtained her PhD a few weeks earlier. That hit me pretty hard.

    • Education

      • Mared Foulkes: Cardiff University apologises after suicide

        Mared Foulkes, 21, from Menai Bridge, Anglesey, received a results email that did not take account of her resit mark.

      • Cardiff University apologises over death of student wrongly told she had failed

        An inquest heard that Ms Foulkes received an automated email from the university hours before her death saying that she had failed her recent exams and would not be moving on to the third year.

        However, her result was later updated by the university to a pass. Tragically, Ms Foulkes, of Cae Uchaf Farm, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, had already taken her own life before the mistake was rectified.

      • In Iraq’s Mosul, library rises from ashes of IS reign

        The storied library of Iraq’s Mosul University boasted a million titles before Islamic State group jihadists rampaged through it, toppling book shelves and burning ancient texts.

        Now, almost five years after their defeat, the war-battered northern metropolis is trying to rebuild the pride of the city long known as a literature hub boasting countless booksellers and archives guarding rare manuscripts.

    • Hardware

      • Resin-Printed Gears Versus PLA: Which Is Tougher? | Hackaday

        When it comes to making gearboxes, 3D printing has the benefit that it lets you whip up whatever strange gears you might need without a whole lot of hunting around at obscure gear suppliers. This is particularly good for those outside the limited radius served by McMaster Carr. When it came to 3D printed gears though, [Michael Rechtin] wondered whether PLA or resin-printed gears performed better, and decided to investigate.

        The subject of the test is a 3D-printed compound planetary gearbox, designed for a NEMA-17 motor with an 80:1 reduction. The FDM printer was a Creality CR10S, while the Creality LD02-H was on resin duty.

      • CX-6000 Pen Plotter Upgrade | Hackaday

        [Terje Io] decided to breathe new life into an old pen plotter — the CX6000 from C. Itoh, a Japanese company that made several printers for Apple in the 1980s. He keeps most of the framework, but the electronics get a major overhaul. The old motors are replaced, the controller and motor drivers are modernized using a Raspberry Pi Pico and stepper motor drivers. After tending to other auxiliary electronics like the control panel and limit switches, it’s time to deal with the firmware.

      • There’s A Wrinkle In This 3D Printed Wankel | Hackaday

        Rotary engines such as the Wankel have strange shapes that can be difficult to machine (as evidenced by the specialized production machines and patents in the 70s), which means it lends itself well to be 3D printed. The downside is that the tolerances, like most engines, are pretty tight, and it is difficult for a printer to match them. Not to be dissuaded, [3DprintedLife] designed and built a 3D printed liquid piston rotary engine. The liquid piston engine is not a Wankel and is more akin to an inside-out Wankel. The seals are on the housing, not the rotor itself, and there are three “chambers” instead of two.

        The first of many iterations didn’t run. There was too much friction, but there were some positive signs as pressure was trapped in a chamber and released as it turned. The iterations continued, impressively not using any o-rings to seal, but instead standing each part down using a 1-2-3 block as a flat reference, within 25 microns of the design. Despite his care and attention to detail, it still couldn’t self-sustain. He theorizes that it could be due to the resin being softer than other materials he has used in the past. Not to be left empty-handed, he built a dynamo to test his new engine out. It was a load cell and an encoder to measure speed and force. His encoder had trouble keeping up, so he ordered some optical limit switches.

      • Apollo Lake panel PCs are ready for the slime and grime

        Avalue’s 15-inch and 21.5-inch “SPC-series” panel PCs combine an Apollo Lake SoC with IP66 and IP69K waterproofing, M12 ports, acid-alkali and bacteria resistance, and sunlight-readable screens.

        Avalue announced a pair of rugged SPC-series panel PCs. The 15-inch SPC-1533-B1 and 21-inch SPC-2133-B1 support Linux, Android x86 8.1, or Win 10, running on a quad-core, 1.5GHz/2.3GHz Celeron J3455 with 10W TDP from Intel’s Apollo Lake generation. The mainboard is Avalue’s EMX-APLP thin Mini-ITX board.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Public Health Experts Warn Against Premature End of School Mask Mandates

        With several Democratic governors heeding the calls of what public health experts call a “vocal minority” and doing away with school mask mandates, epidemiologists and physicians from across the U.S. are warning that ending Covid-19 mitigation measures as thousands of Americans are still dying each day will “will inevitably lead to a rise” in cases.

        In an open letter written Wednesday and spearheaded by four experts at Columbia University, nearly two dozen public health researchers and practitioners expressed concern that calls from “pundits on cable news and national media outlets…for mask ‘off-ramps’” have pushed the governors of New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Connecticut to announce end dates for school mask mandate despite ongoing risk.

      • “We Kept Looking for a Hospital Bed”: the Public Healthcare Crisis in Uttar Pradesh
      • For Fraction of Pentagon Budget, World Could Prevent 1.5 Million Covid Deaths

        A research paper published Thursday estimates that providing three coronavirus vaccine doses to every person in low- and lower-middle-income countries would prevent over a million deaths for the cost of $61 billion—a fraction of the $778 billion U.S. military budget for fiscal year 2022.

        “We have more than one million reasons to vaccinate the world.”

      • Pharma-Funded Republican Blocks Sanders’s Demand for Vote on Drug Price Bill
      • GOP Blocks Sanders Effort to Force Vote on Slashing Drug Prices

        Republican Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho blocked Sen. Bernie Sanders’ attempt Wednesday to force a vote on legislation that would slash prescription drug prices, thwarting the Vermont senator’s effort to fast-track the new bill as the pharmaceutical industry rushes to hike costs in the new year.

        “A lifesaving prescription drug does not mean anything if you cannot afford to buy that drug.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Windows Explorer: Improper Exif Data Removal

          There is an issue with this feature: it does not properly remove Exif data.

        • Washington state agency says data of hundreds of thousands of professionals may have been breached

          The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) announced Friday that it had detected irregular activity on one of its online systems last month and that the personal data of professional licensees may have been breached.

          Those licensees include more than 250,000 professionals, according to The Seattle Times.

          The DOL said that it detected suspicious activity involving professional and occupational license information the week of January 24 and that it had shut down its Professional Online Licensing and Regulatory Information System (POLARIS).

        • Global political and business leaders warn of possible Russian-sponsored cyber attacks

          With tensions mounting in Ukraine, the New York Department of Financial Services and the European Central Bank are alerting governments, businesses, and financial institutions to prepare for a possible state-sponsored cyber attack from Russia.

        • Apple wants to know why you hate Safari

          Jen Simmons, an Apple evangelist and developer advocate on the Web Developer Experience team for Safari and WebKit, was clearly taken aback by the responses.

        • How ShotSpotter fights criticism and leverages federal cash to win police contracts

          But Johnson, the chief deputy for Arkansas’ Sixth Judicial District Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, hadn’t seen much proof that ShotSpotter was helping the problem in Little Rock, which was suffering from one of its worst years of gun violence. He thought the money Little Rock was paying the company — about $143,000 a year to lease gunshot detection devices covering a 2-square-mile section of the city, backed by a federal grant — would get better results if it was used on a more proven technology.

          Johnson responded less than an hour after he received Clark’s email.

          “Although I obviously don’t have personal knowledge of all gun violence cases that happen in Little Rock, I do review every homicide case that happens here and have never seen a file with shotspotter information,” he wrote, according to emails obtained by NBC News through a public records request.

        • Security

          • CISA Adds 15 Known Exploited Vulnerabilities to Catalog [Ed: Microsoft dominates the list]

            CISA has added 15 new vulnerabilities to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog, based on evidence that threat actors are actively exploiting the vulnerabilities listed in the table below. These types of vulnerabilities are a frequent attack vector for malicious cyber actors of all types and pose significant risk to the federal enterprise.

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Senator Blumenthal, After Years Of Denial, Admits He’s Targeting Encryption With EARN IT

              Senator Richard Blumenthal has now admitted that EARN IT is targeting encryption, something he denied for two years, and then just out and said it.

            • The Top Ten Mistakes Senators Made During Today’s EARN IT Markup

              Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the EARN IT Act and sent that legislation to the Senate floor. As drafted, the bill will be a disaster. Only by monitoring what users communicate could tech services avoid vast new liability, and only by abandoning, or compromising, end-to-end encryption, could they implement such monitoring. Thus, the bill poses a dire threat to the privacy, security and safety of law-abiding Internet users around the world, especially those whose lives depend on having messaging tools that governments cannot crack. Aiding such dissidents is precisely why it was the U.S. government that initially funded the development of the end-to-end encryption (E2EE) now found in Signal, Whatsapp and other such tools. Even worse, the bill will do the opposite of what it claims: instead of helping law enforcement crack down on child sexual abuse material (CSAM), the bill will actually help the most odious criminals walk free.

            • Gambling with Our Privacy: New Report Shows the Reality of Surveillance Advertising

              It’s appropriate that the gambling industry’s use of online surveillance and profiling should be examined in this way, since it pioneered the approach in the physical world, as the report explains: “Typical large casinos are high-security areas with an estimated 3,000 cameras monitoring every step and activity in order to detect suspicious behavioral patterns and persons”.

            • Key Senators Have Voted For The Anti-Encryption EARN IT Act

              The bill could now be voted on by the full Senate at any time, or worse, included as part of a different “must-pass” legislative package. We need you to contact your representatives in Congress today to tell them to vote against this bill. 

            • Critics Warn of ‘Lethal Impact on Privacy’ as Senate Advances EARN IT Act

              Digital rights advocates on Thursday decried the U.S. Senate’s advance of a controversial bill that would purportedly hold tech companies accountable for sexually exploitative content, but that one prominent opponent said would “have a lethal impact on privacy, security, and free speech.”

              “Though nominally aimed at reducing the spread of child sexual abuse material online, it could exacerbate that problem.” 

            • Apple says it will make unknown AirTags alert you sooner

              Most importantly, Apple says it’s updating its algorithm to more quickly notify users that an unwanted tracker may be on their person. It also says iPhone 11, 12, and 13 users will be able to use Precision Finding to see exactly where an unknown AirTag is when within range, something that only the owner of the AirTag could do previously. When receiving alerts, Apple also says it will begin simultaneously sending notifications to iPhones when an unknown AirTag first plays a sound alert — currently, if you miss hearing a ping, there won’t necessarily be a notification waiting for you on your iPhone or vice versa. This measure is meant to help in cases where an AirTag’s speaker may have been tampered with. Regarding sound alerts, Apple also says it will emphasize louder tones going forward.

            • Chat control: 10 principles to defend children in the digital age

              On 9 February 2022, EDRi releases our 10 principles for derogating from the ePrivacy Directive for the purpose of detecting online child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Our goal is to make sure that any EU proposal to detect online child sexual abuse material (CSAM) is in line with the EU’s fundamental rights obligations, in particular that measures are based on law, serve a legitimate aim in a democratic society, and are objectively necessary and proportionate to that aim. We reiterate these obligations ahead of the European Commission’s proposal for a long-term law to derogate from the ePrivacy Directive for the purpose of detecting online child sexual abuse material (CSAM), which is expected at the end of Q1 2022.

            • Twitter Reportedly Developing Long-Form ‘Articles’ Feature

              From microblogging site to digital broadsheet: Twitter is reportedly working on a new feature that will allow users to write and post long-form articles.

              First spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, so-called “Twitter Articles” could mean lengthy broadcasts unencumbered by the current 280-character limit. Wong previously unveiled Twitter features like verification requests, a reminder to add image alt text before posting, and video playback speed options.

            • Twitter Articles Feature Reportedly in the Works, Could Offer Support for Longer Posts

              Twitter is reportedly working on a “Twitter Articles” feature that could allow users to post tweets with longer text. According to details shared by a reverse engineering expert on Twitter, the company may allow users to write posts beyond the existing 280-character limit on the platform. Currently, users can tweet longer text pieces using threads, but the new feature could allow for uninterrupted text on a single tweet. Twitter said that it will reveal details about Twitter Articles in the future.

            • Twitter may soon allow users to write article-style posts

              As of now, not much is known about the upcoming feature. But it is likely that it will allow Twitter users to write article-style posts on Twitter exceeding the current 280 character limit. It is also being said that the feature will not be available for all users. Instead, it will be restricted to select categories of accounts like Super Followers and Twitter Blue subscribers.

            • Mac users report Zoom using their microphone outside calls
            • Confidentiality

              • Using RSA Securely in 2022

                If you can somehow avoid using RSA (i.e. using Elliptic Curve Cryptography instead), then don’t use RSA at all. Then you can skip this blog post entirely and all is right in the world.

                If you can’t avoid RSA, and you’re encrypting messages, at least make sure you’re not encrypting messages with RSA directly. (RSA signatures are significantly less scary than RSA encryption.) Also, don’t use the same RSA keypair for both operations.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • There Was a Young Man from Dara’a: Missing in Syria

        Khalid promised me a tour of his city. And we eventually went there together, but only after the uprising had begun, his beloved birthplace transformed into a garrisoned city with checkpoints along now subdued streets. Dara’a would fall into rebel hands but was recently liberated by government forces. (Although Khalid himself would not witness any of those battles.)

        Neither Dara’a city nor its countryside included Syria’s notable archeological sites or charming parks where families enjoy Friday outings. In 2011 because of its proximity to the Jordanian border, Dhara’a became a point for the infiltration into Syria of rebels and arms planned and funded by the U.S., U.K., Israel and Jordan.

      • Yet Another Israeli Malware Manufacturer Found Selling To Human Rights Abusers, Targeting iPhones

        Exploit developer NSO Group may be swallowing up the negative limelight these days, but let’s not forget the company has plenty of competitors. The US government’s blacklisting of NSO arrived with a concurrent blacklisting of malware purveyor, Candiru — another Israeli firm with a long list of questionable customers, including Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Singapore.

      • Surprise: U.S. Cost Of Ripping Out And Replacing Huawei Gear Jumps From $1.8 To $5.6 Billion

        So we’ve noted that a lot of the U.S. politician accusations that Huawei uses its network hardware to spy on Americans on behalf of the Chinese government are lacking in the evidence department. The company’s been on the receiving end of a sustained U.S. government ban based on accusations that have never actually been proven publicly, levied by a country (the United States) with a long, long history of doing exactly what it accuses Huawei of doing.

      • Civilian Casualties in Yemen Nearly Doubled Since Saudis Backed Ouster of Outside Monitor

        A humanitarian aid group said Thursday that civilian casualties in Yemen have nearly doubled since the end of the sole United Nations-backed independent monitoring group investigating possible rights violations and other abuses in the war-ravaged country.

        “With no one to hold perpetrators accountable, civilians will continue to be killed by the thousands and the hardest hit by the escalation of the conflict.”

      • Rep. Ro Khanna: The U.S. Could End the Yemen War Tomorrow. It’s Time to Stop Arming the Saudis

        President Joe Biden had promised to end support for offensive operations by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and stop all “relevant” arms sales, but the U.S. continues to service Saudi warplanes, and the administration recently approved the sale of $650 million in air-to-air missiles to Saudi Arabia. Congressmember Ro Khanna, one of the most outspoken congressional critics of the war, says the U.S. has the power to stop the fighting. “We could ground the Saudi Air Force to a halt tomorrow if we stopped supplying them with tires and parts,” says Khanna. “Instead, we continue to authorize arms sales to the Saudis.”

      • First type certificate: Israeli drone may fly domestic missions in future

        Arms manufacturers want to market their long-range drones for interior ministries or agriculture, but to do so they must fly over populated areas. Market leaders are working feverishly to obtain the necessary permits.

      • Opinion | It’s Time the Pentagon Pulled the Plug on Fox News

        Fox News has pushed anti-vaccine falsehoods and Americans have died as a result. Tucker Carlson has approvingly hosted an Oath Keeper now charged with seditious conspiracy, casting him as a victim. Jesse Watters has urged conservatives to “ambush” Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has lived under constant death threats, and to “go in for the kill shot,” while Lara Logan likened Dr. Fauci to a Nazi doctor. 

      • Trump’s Phone Records From Capitol Attack Have Huge Gaps, Says Jan. 6 Committee
      • Afghans Demand Truth About Kabul Airport Massacre as U.S. Continues to Deny Soldiers Shot Civilians

        A major investigation by CNN raises questions about whether U.S. soldiers opened fire on Afghan civilians last August after a massive suicide bomb exploded outside the Kabul International Airport. Compiling hospital records of gunshot wounds, video evidence and eyewitness accounts, CNN’s report appears to directly contradict the Pentagon’s narrative, which said over 180 people were killed in the single blast that ISIS-K claimed responsibility for. We speak to one of the co-authors of the CNN report, Nick Paton Walsh, who says reporters found 19 people “who quite specifically said they saw people shot in front of them or were shot themselves.”

      • UK Official Secrets Act Proposals Take Cues From US Espionage Act Cases

        This article was funded by paid subscribers of The Dissenter Newsletter, a project of Shadowproof. Become a paid subscriber. Save over 20 percent and help us expand our work.The United Kingdom’s right-wing dominated government is on course to greatly expand its ability to prosecute and jail whistleblowers and journalists through amendments to the country’s Official Secrets Acts.These potential amendments would be the first major changes to the law since 1989. They come as the U.K. and U.S. governments continue to seek the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for his role in receiving and publishing the Afghanistan and Iraq war logs, Guantanamo Bay detainee files, and U.S. diplomatic cables.

        Proposals would expand possible imprisonment for leakers, recipients of leaks and secondary publishers–including journalists–from the current maximum of two years to as high as 14 years in prison.Furthermore, so-called “unjustifiable barriers to prosecution,” such as a requirement that the state actually prove that “unauthorized disclosures” are “damaging,” would be replaced with a less stringent test, like proving knowledge or belief on the part of the defendant that a disclosure “was likely to cause” or “risked causing” damage.This is the standard in the U.S. for prosecutions under the Espionage Act, the 1917 law which Assange is accused of violating 17 times (even though he is not a U.S. citizen). Charges function as strict liability offenses, and intent is largely treated as irrelevant.Laws relating to both espionage and unauthorized disclosures have been under review since the Cabinet Office that supports the Prime Minister, requested the Law Commission review Britain’s official secrets acts back in 2015.The Law Commission, a typically benign statutory body created by British Parliament in 1965, was intended to help reform and modernise the island’s legal systems. However, this latest barrage of recommendations, 33 in total, has numerous observers, civil liberties organizations, and journalists greatly concerned about the worsening state of press freedom and dire condition of whistleblower protections in the U.K.

      • Dems Attack Amnesty Report on Israel to Justify US Complicity in Rights Abuses
      • Minecraft ‘terrorism’ Russian court sentences 16-year-old to five years in prison over plot to blow up virtual FSB building in video game

        On Thursday, February 10, a Russian court handed down sentences for terrorism to three teenagers from the Siberian town of Kansk. The boys were arrested in the summer of 2020 for posting leaflets with political slogans on the local FSB building. After searching their phones and uncovering a “plot” to blow up an virtual rendering of an FSB building in the video game Minecraft, investigators charged the teens with making explosives and training to participate in terrorist activities. On Thursday, a military court in the Krasnoyarsk territory sentenced one of the defendants, 16-year-old Nikita Uvarov, to five years in prison. The two other defendants in the case received suspended sentences. 

      • How Can the US Accuse Any Nation of Violating ‘Rules-Based International Order’?

        The latest example of this is the Ukraine crisis, where the US pretty much stands all alone (unless you count Britain’s embattled and embarrassed Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who parrots US policy like a trained bird), accusing Russia not just of preparing for an “imminent invasion’ of Ukraine, but of violating international law and “rules-based international order,” as Secretary of State Antony Blinken likes to put it.

        The Biden administration’s top diplomat has made repeatedly blasted both Russia for threatening Ukraine with an invasion by moving troops and equipment to its border and to the border between Ukraine and Belarus, Russia’s ally to the west, and China for its threats to Taiwan and for a rights crackdown in Hong Kong, a Chinese Special Administrative Region that had been promised 30 years or “no change” but was put under new stricter national security laws following violent student protests and university occupations in 2019-20.

      • “We Need Restraint”: Rep. Ro Khanna Cautions Against Sending U.S. “Lethal Aid” to Ukraine

        Congressmember Ro Khanna cautions against sending “lethal aid” to Ukraine and says all sides need to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis. The last thing the American people want is to provoke a war with Russia, says Khanna. “I think we should do everything possible not to escalate the situation.”

      • Opinion | Avoiding War With Russia Over Ukraine Is Not Weakness—It Is the Right Thing to Do

        The following are the remarks, as prepared for delivery, by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Thursday, February 10, 2022 as he called for diplomatic efforts to deescalate the crisis over Ukraine:

      • Sanders Senate Speech Urges Diplomatic Resolution of Ukraine Crisis

        As the tense standoff over Ukraine showed no signs of defusing, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders took the Senate floor Thursday to deliver an impassioned plea for a diplomatic solution to the crisis involving the United States and Russia, the world’s two nuclear superpowers. 

        Sanders (I-Vt.) warned that Europe “for the first time in almost 80 years is faced with the threat of a major invasion” as Russian troops mass along Ukraine’s border, while echoing his Tuesday Guardian editorial by stressing that rushing to war with Moscow would have potentially catastrophic “unintended consequences.” 

      • The Strategic Blunder That Led to Today’s Conflict in Ukraine

        Understandably enough, commentaries on the crisis between Russia and the West tend to dwell on Ukraine. After all, more than 100,000 Russian soldiers and a fearsome array of weaponry have now been emplaced around the Ukrainian border. Still, such a narrow perspective deflects attention from an American strategic blunder that dates to the 1990s and is still reverberating.

      • Diplomacy is the Only Way to Deescalate the Crisis Over Ukraine

        My friends, as we have painfully learned, wars have unintended consequences. They rarely turn out the way the planners and experts tell us they will. Just ask the officials who provided rosy scenarios for the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, only to be proven horribly wrong. Just ask the mothers of the soldiers who were killed or wounded in action during those wars. Just ask the millions of civilians who became “collateral damage.”

        The war in Vietnam cost us 59,000 American deaths and many others who came home wounded in body and spirit. In fact, a whole generation was devastated by that war. The casualties in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia are almost incalculable.

      • Beijing Olympics Do Not Justify Stripping IOC of Tax-Exempt Status

        Introduced by a group of 10 bipartisan lawmakers in the House and by Rick Scott in the Senate, the IOC Act would strip the tax exempt status of any international sports organization with over $100 million in global revenues over the last three years. The bill is neutrally written to help protect the bill from Equal Protection and First Amendment challenges, but it would only apply to the International Olympic Committee since it is the only international sporting organization that meets this income threshold.

        The Act sets a dangerous precedent of lawmakers using the tax code to punish their political enemies. The only reason the bill was introduced was because the lawmakers were unhappy with the IOC’s decision to hold the Olympics in China and the organization’s refusal, as an apolitical organization, to speak out about China’s horrific human rights abuses. Essentially, lawmakers are threatening nonprofits with tax consequences if they do not express the right political ideas. To put it bluntly, the bill is an affront to the First Amendment.

      • China’s Careful Dance Around the Ukraine Crisis

        Aligned But Not Allied

        When it comes to support of China on international issues, from human rights to Taiwan, Beijing can always count on Putin’s Russia. And the reverse is generally true. In numerous meetings since Xi and Putin became top leaders, the China-Russia relationship has consistently been described in the most exalted terms. They’re “dear friends,” they have “the best [relations] in history,” they are “a model of interstate cooperation in the 21st century.” China-Russia trade has risen substantially every year; China is Russia’s most important trade partner. Joint military maneuvers have become a regular event. Symbolizing their closeness, Putin is attending the Beijing Winter Olympics, defying the US call for a diplomatic boycott of the games.

      • Memo to Congress: Diplomacy for Ukraine Is Spelled M-i-n-s-k

        A December 2021 poll found that a plurality of Americans in both political parties prefer to resolve differences over Ukraine through diplomacy. Another December poll found that a plurality of Americans (48 percent) would oppose going to war with Russia should it invade Ukraine, with only 27 percent favoring U.S. military involvement.

        The conservative Koch Institute, which commissioned that poll, concluded that “the United States has no vital interests at stake in Ukraine and continuing to take actions that increase the risk of a confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia is therefore not necessary for our security. After more than two decades of endless war abroad, it is not surprising there is wariness among the American people for yet another war that wouldn’t make us safer or more prosperous.”

      • The Legacy of Lester Mallory: Brief Statement Against the U.S. Economic War Against Cuba

        It has now been 60 years since this U.S. enacted its “embargo” on Cuba.  The term embargo is however, a gross understatement of the measures designed to undermine and overthrow the Cuban government, in the words of U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Interamerican Affairs, Lester Mallory (1960) “through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship”.  The concept of ‘economic war’ is a much more accurate depiction.

        For sixty years the U.S. has sought to create a U.S. policy, in the words of Mallory (1960), that “while as adroit and inconspicuous as possible makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and the overthrow of government”.

      • Manthia Diawara in the Archive of Postcolonialism

        Manthia Diawara is working to preserve and rejuvenate anti- and postcolonialism. He is uniquely positioned to do so because these movements and bodies of thought have shaped his life. Born in Mali in 1953, five years before the country achieved independence, Diawara spent his early life in Guinea until 1964, when Ahmed Sékou Touré’s regime forced his family to leave the country. Years later, while attending graduate school in Bamako, Diawara joined a group opposed to the Vietnam War and to apartheid that also supported the Black Panthers and Black Power more generally. After completing his doctorate in 1985, he put his political analysis on the page, writing several books on Black diasporic cinema, and also on-screen, collaborating with the Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o on a documentary about the films and novels of the Senegalese artist Sembène Ousmane.

      • How the “American Dream” Became Un-American

        Contrasting views of “the American Dream” appeared recently in a pair of popular newspaper stories—though neither came within a hundred miles of the original sense of that enduring phrase, which is worth excavating.

      • Trump Reportedly Brought Docs To Mar-a-Lago That Were Clearly Marked as Classified

        The discovery of classified material among the reported 15 boxes of material recovered from Trump’s Palm Beach estate last month could mean Trump violated the Presidential Records Act, and, should the Justice Department choose to investigate the matter, could subject the department to a politically charged situation during an era in which it is attempting to distance itself from partisanship. Speaking to The Washington Post on Wednesday, two anonymous sources insisted “discussions about the matter remained preliminary” and a DOJ investigation was not yet on the table. It is possible, the sources said, that the department is merely interested in reclaiming any classified materials seized by the Archives.

      • National Archives Requests DOJ Inquiry Into Trump’s Mishandling of Documents
      • Trump denies he flushed records down White House toilet

        The National Archives has said that Trump returned 15 boxes of documents that were improperly taken from the White House. In a statement Monday, the archives said that it had “arranged for the transport from the Trump Mar-a-Lago property in Florida to the National Archives of 15 boxes that contained Presidential records, following discussions with President Trump’s representatives in 2021.”

      • Trump documents taken to Mar-a-Lago marked ‘top secret:’ report

        It is unclear how many classified documents were recovered by the National Archives, according to The Post. Two sources told the newspaper that some records had labels signaling that the information within was very sensitive and would only be available to few people with clearance high enough to review such details.

      • Air Force hackathon puts real data on open source code

        Wagner was able to take open source software and use it on real data because he built an air-gapped environment with developers bringing in code on DVD discs. He also allowed developers to use their own virtual machines while working a platform initially developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that the Air Force picked up called “STITCHES.” The Air Force also used the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center‘s Joint Common Foundation in their tech development stack.

        Beyond the tech, new cultural practices the Air Forced used was a relaxed dress code, 24-hour operations for coders to choose their own hours and a short six-day window to complete projects.

      • Opinion | Belligerent Right-Wingers in Trucks Given Free Rein Over Ottawa

        Here’s what activists of all kinds can learn from the Ottawa occupation: in order to maximize media exposure and political impact at your future protests, be sure to arrive in trucks and be obnoxious.

      • Canada’s “Freedom Convoy” Trucker Protests Aren’t About Freedom

        The behavior demonstrated in Ottawa, and now in cities and towns across Canada, has been unrelenting. Protesters have harassed staff at homeless shelters, have urinated on memorials, and have been seen carrying Confederate flags and Nazi symbols. Amid all of this, Donald Trump has also called Justin Trudeau a “far-left lunatic,” which is, as is known by leftists and centrists alike, laughable at best and a deceptive tactic at worst. This commentary from Trump is a reminder of the insurrection at the United States Capitol, which rendered plain what’s at stake when years of sexist and racist political rhetoric, unregulated technology companies, and an economic system that privileges individual power are given a dominant role in shaping society.

      • Islamic Fatwa Condemns Muslim Engagements for Being ‘Too Western’

        During a talk show that aired on January 16, 2022, a Muslim cleric, Dr. Salem Abdul Jalil, Secretary of Fatwa at the Egyptian House of Ifta, which specializes in issuing fatwas, complained that most modern day Muslim engagements contradict Islamic law, not least because they resemble Western style celebrations rather than authentically Muslim ones, which should be more like a simple business transaction.

      • Captured jihadists in Mozambique say insurgency ‘weakening’

        Linked to the so-called Islamic State, the extremist group has rampaged across towns and villages in northern Mozambique since 2017 with the goal of establishing a hardline caliphate.

        It is known locally as Al Shabab, although it has no link to the group with a similar name in Somalia.

        Jusuf Mohamed, a Mozambican member, said the insurgents had lost ground in recent months.

      • Over 30,000 Boko Haram fighters have surrendered to Nigerian Army – Zulum

        He gave the figures shortly after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House on Thursday to apprise him of progress in the surrendering of Boko Haram terrorists.

      • Birmingham woman who shared extremist material jailed

        The videos urged extremists to “target them on the streets,” following a battle to retake the IS stronghold of Al-Baghuz in Syria.

        Judge Paul Farrer QC told Amatullah: “I have no doubt that by 2016 you held an extreme Islamic mindset.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Court (For Now) Says NY Times Can Publish Project Veritas Documents

        We’ve talked about the hypocrite grifters who run Project Veritas, who, even when they have legitimate concerns about attacks on their own free speech, ran to court to try to silence the NY Times. Bizarrely, a NY judge granted Project Veritas’ demand for prior restraint against the NY Times falsely claiming that attorney-client material could not be published.

    • Environment

      • Radioactive rockfish caught near Fukushima nuclear plant prompts Japan to suspend shipments

        Japan has ordered the suspension of shipments of black rockfish caught off Fukushima prefecture after tests on a haul late last month showed radiation levels above the legal limit for human consumption.

        The ministry of health on Tuesday (Feb 8) confirmed that a catch from south of the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that was brought ashore on Jan 26 contained 1,400 becquerels of radiation per kg, far higher than the national standard of 100 becquerels per kg set by the government as safe.

      • Opinion | Norway Claims to Be a Climate Leader, But It’s a Mirage

        Just three months ago, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre addressed the UN Climate conference in Glasgow, COP26, telling delegates that the country was committed to climate action. “This is existential. It is urgent,” said the Norwegian Prime Minister. “And it is possible—if we jointly step up our commitments.” Støre also promised to up the country’s ambition and accelerate the transition to clean energy too.

      • Rep. Ro Khanna Wants Big Oil to Confront Record of Climate Denialism, Meet Emissions Reduction Vows

        Congressmember Ro Khanna chaired a congressional hearing this week that called out fossil fuel companies for failing to meet their pledges to reduce emissions and demanded CEOs of corporations like ExxonMobil confront their climate change denialism and correct their record of contradicting statements. “The goal is to get them to admit that they made mistakes in the past and commit to change going forward,” says Khanna.

      • Energy

        • The Legacy of Britain’s Dirty Decades of Nuclear Reprocessing: 120 Tonnes of Plutonium

          Having spent hundreds of billions of pounds producing plutonium in a series of plants at Sellafield in the Lake District, the UK policy is to store it indefinitely—or until it can come up with a better idea. There is also 90,000 tons of less dangerous depleted uranium in warehouses in the UK, also without an end use.

          Plans to use plutonium in fast breeder reactors and then mixed with uranium as a fuel for existing fission reactors have long ago been abandoned as too expensive, unworkable, or sometimes both. Even burning plutonium as a fuel, while technically possible, is very costly.

        • Analysis Shows How Rooftop Solar Could Have Saved Lives During Texas Deep Freeze

          A year after deadly winter weather swept through Texas, leaving residents without electricity, food, and water, an analysis published Thusday revealed how rooftop solar could have helped save lives during the nearly two-week crisis that killed at least 246 people.

          “Solar is clean, more affordable than ever, and primed to help build a more resilient electric grid.”

        • Green Groups Praise $5 Billion Biden Rollout for EV Charging Stations

          Climate and environmental campaigners on Thursday cheered the Biden administration’s new $5 billion plan to build a national electric vehicle charging network with funding from an infrastructure law the president signed last year.

          “With this money flowing to states, we can start to build for the electric vehicle revolution we know is coming.”

        • US Lawmakers With Pipeline Stocks Profit as Gas Exports to Europe Soar

          Amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, which could have far-reaching implications for energy markets in central Europe, U.S. President Joe Biden has increased gas exports to Germany and surrounding countries, benefiting members of Congress who own—and are buying up more—stock in pipeline and tanker companies.

          That’s according to new reporting published Wednesday by the nonprofit investigative outlet Sludge, which previously identified at least 28 U.S. senators and 100 House members whose households own stock in oil and gas companies or hold other investments in the fossil fuel industry.

        • Rep. Ro Khanna: Big Oil Must Confront Climate Denialism, Meet Emissions Pledges
        • Analyzing the Very Bizarre Sale of Melania Trump’s $170,000 NFT

          In other words, the winner of Melania Trump’s NFT got the money from none other than the creator of the NFT itself, and an address linked to the NFT creator got the money back.

          Motherboard shared the blockchain records with pseudonymous independent blockchain sleuth zachxbt, who shared the following analysis confirming that the crypto for the winning bid was provided by the NFT creator: [...]

        • Analysing the retaining, removal of Nigeria’s oil subsidy

          President Muhammadu Buhari had on Jan. 25 approved 18-month suspension of the removal of fuel subsidy, following consultations with stakeholders in line with the current economic realities in the country.

          The removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, was earlier scheduled to take effect from July 2022.

        • Japan to raise gasoline subsidy to Y5 a litre from Y3.7, hitting cap

          A government source told Reuters earlier this week that Japan will hike the subsidy to 5 yen for the week, hitting a cap for the temporary scheme to blunt a sharp rise in fuel prices.

        • Managing Peak Oil: Why rising oil prices could create a stranded asset trap as the energy transition accelerates

          Oil demand and pricing are currently rebounding, triggering calls for significantly increased investment into new oil – a narrative at odds with the immediate global production reductions required within most “well below 2°C” scenarios. However, policy action is likely to strengthen post-COP26, while the rapid adoption of EVs will potentially further weaken demand. Companies basing sanctioning decisions on bullish short-term signals thus risk significant over-investment, seriously impacting shareholder value.

        • Managing Peak Oil: Why rising oil prices could create a stranded asset trap as the energy transition accelerates

          Under a ‘high-investment case’, companies could waste some $530bn of capex this decade as demand starts to decline and the oil price falls back to c.$40. This amount would double at $30/bbl.

        • A $23 Billion Fund Is Dumping Oil Bonds

          A Danish pension fund that manages the wealth of the nation’s academics will spend this year purging its portfolio of oil and gas bonds, after concluding that the assets pose a growing risk to returns.

          AkademikerPension, which is based north of Copenhagen, says it will dump more than $300 million in fossil-fuel bonds through December. Issuers affected by the decision include Occidental Petroleum Corp., Gazprom PJSC and Petroleos Mexicanos, the $23 billion fund said in an email on Thursday.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Mountain Glaciers Hold Less Ice Than Previously Thought, It’s a Concern for Future Water Supplies

          In a new study, scientists mapped the speed of over 200,000 glaciers to get closer to an answer. They discovered that widely used estimates of glacier ice volume may be off by about 20% in terms of how much glaciers outside the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets could contribute to sea level rise.

          Mathieu Morlighem, a leader in ice sheet modeling and a coauthor of the study, explains why the new results hold a warning for regions that rely on glaciers’ seasonal meltwater, but barely register in the big picture of rising seas.

        • Great Barrier Reef Fantasies: The Morrison Government’s Electoral Ploy

          The Great Barrier Reef, one of the single most remarkable natural structures on Planet Earth, home to 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc, is not one that has been spared. Politically, the Environment Minister Sussan Ley has denied that its health is failing, citing Australia’s superior reef management skills. The Prime Minister, late last month, promised that his government would “invest an additional $1 billion in protecting the Great Barrier Reef, while supporting 64,000 Queenslanders and their jobs which drive the Reef economy.”

          The coupling of both the expenditure and the “Reef economy” illustrates the narrow, ballot-driven focus here. Environmental considerations are subsidiary matters; what does matter is the electoral thrust and spin: the jobs, the Queenslanders in industry, votes.

        • ‘Huge Win for Gray Wolves’ as US Court Restores Endangered Species Act Protections

          While celebrating a U.S. judge’s Thursday decision to restore federal protections that the Trump administration had stripped from the gray wolf, wildlife advocates and experts also demanded action to save wolves that won’t be protected by the legal triumph.

          “I’m relieved that the court set things right but saddened that hundreds of wolves suffered and died under this illegal delisting rule.”

        • Judge Restores Gray Wolf Protections, Reviving Federal Recovery Efforts

          Today, a federal court restored Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf after they were eliminated by the Trump administration in 2020. The ruling orders the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to resume recovery efforts for the imperiled species. Today’s decision redesignates the gray wolf as a species threatened with extinction in the lower 48 states with the exception of the Northern Rockies population (map), for which wolf protections were removed by Congress in 2011.

          The most recent data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its state partners show only an estimated 132 wolves in Washington state, 173 in Oregon (with only 19 outside of northeastern Oregon), and fewer than about 20 in California. Nevada, Utah, and Colorado have had a few wolf sightings over the past three years, but wolves remain functionally absent from their historical habitat in these states. In 2020, Colorado voters directed the state to reintroduce wolves by 2023.

    • Finance

      • America’s Inherited Wealth Dynasties Park Trillions Out of Reach of Taxation
      • Signature Gathering Begins for $18 Minimum Wage Fight in California

        The signature-gathering process for an initiative to raise the California minimum wage to $18 an hour by 2025 officially began Wednesday, the latest step toward getting the proposal on the state ballot in November.

        “There is not one California worker who is making a good living on $15 an hour. Not one.”

      • “Dignity in the Digital Age”: Rep. Khanna Calls for Wealth Tax & Decentralizing, Diversifying Big Tech

        We speak with Congressmember Ro Khanna, whose district is in the heart of Silicon Valley, about his new book “Dignity in the Digital Age: Making Tech Work for All of Us.” He argues more federal regulation in the tech industry can secure an equitable society while encouraging innovation. “We need to understand that if you care about social justice and racial justice, that you have to look at the wealth generation gap,” says Khanna.

      • Warren, Jayapal Introduce Bill Banning Members of Congress From Trading Stock
      • Colorado Homeowners: Do You Have Experience Dealing With an HOA? Help Us Investigate.

        ProPublica and Rocky Mountain PBS would like to talk to Coloradans who have lived in a community with a homeowners association. We know there are a lot of you: As of 2020, an estimated 74 million residents belonged to one of America’s 355,000 HOAs. There are more than 10,000 of these groups in Colorado alone, and they’re estimated to be home to nearly 2.4 million residents. These resident-governed organizations collect dues and fees from members to provide for improvements to and upkeep of shared areas, and to pay for some insurance coverage. HOAs can also set standards for public-facing aspects of members’ homes, including lawn maintenance, exterior paint colors and the use of lights and other decor.

        HOA members who fall behind on dues or run afoul of rules set by the board can face additional fees, including legal fees charged by the HOA board’s attorney. If the dispute is left unresolved, the HOA could place liens on the homeowner’s property and attempt to foreclose on the home.

      • Filthy Lucre: Or, How Non-Profits Get Money but Lose their Souls

        Until recently, the only thing I knew about non-profits was that they are poison for radicals. To paraphrase Gil Scott-Heron: The revolution will not be led by a 501(c)(3). Once you start hunting for filthy lucre (aka foundation support), militancy is out; it offends funders and alienates the leaders of other non-profits with whom you must collaborate. Your politics drift toward the center. And, while your table manners and dressing style might improve, your sex life will not. If you’re single and hoping for a date with a hot anarchist-atheist-vegan, you’re out of luck.

        So it was with trepidation that in 2017 I agreed to co-found, with my wife Harriet, an environmental justice non-profit with the hard-to-pronounce name, Anthropocene Alliance. Given that my sex life was what it was, I focused my concern on the matter of protecting the effectiveness of our work and the sanitation of my soul while becoming part of a 501(c)(3), operated according to Title 26 of the United States Code as authorized by the U.S. Congress. The challenges are many and they start as soon as you examine applicable tax law:

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Todd Gitlin and the Demise of the New Left

        Hillsdale was Anna Roosevelt’s home near the end of her life. Anna and her husband lived there. Anna had immense power during Franklin Roosevelt’s last year of life and served as his de facto chief of staff. To get to Franklin at the Yalta Conference near the end of World War II and elsewhere in the last year of his presidency in 1944-45, a person generally had to go through Anna. She was also a journalist. Anna was the oldest of the Roosevelt children and could be described as an early feminist.

        Todd Gitlin, an early president of the New Left’s Students for a Democratic Society and later writer, professor of sociology and communications, and a critic of the US left, eschewed identity politics, which would have included feminism, gender identity, race, and political philosophy “Todd Gitlin/A Question of Identity,” SFGate, May 12, 1966), (“The Left, Lost in the Politics of Identity,” Harper’s Magazine, undated). His book The Sixties: Days of Hope, Days of Rage(1993) is one of my favorites.

      • The Responsibility of the Intellectuals-Is It Still a Thing?

        I will quote directly from Chomsky’s article: “It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.” He went on to note that while this should be obvious, the truth was that in US academia, it was not. The unfortunate truth is that Chomsky’s observation rings even truer today. It is neither obvious or expected in the twenty-first century that a faculty member in any discipline at any college or university in the United States will speak the truth or expose the lies with which our political, military and economic institutions conduct their business. Indeed, as we watch the right-wing elites in this country attack education and intensify their various campaigns to stifle freedoms on campuses and in the public sphere, the sounds of protest from individual academics or any organized group of academics are so faint as to be nonexistent in the greater world.

        I have worked in academic and public libraries since I returned to college in 1987 at the age of 32 and needed part-time work. I mention this because it helps to explain my familiarity with US academia since then. In 1987 Ronald Reagan was the president and was carrying on an illegal war against the people of Nicaragua while supporting other wars on the people in Nicaragua’s neighbors El Salvador and Honduras. They were brutal and bloody wars. The movement against this manifestation of US imperial policy included hundreds of university and college faculty, not to mention thousands of students and citizens. Even the 1991 invasion of Iraq by US forces under the direction of George HW Bush met with determined and broad protest that included tens of thousands of US residents from academia and elsewhere.

      • Opinion | Why Nature Needs a Seat at the Political Table

        As an old axiom notes, “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.” From coast to coast, millions of these long-lived jewels have graced our landscape, but one mighty specimen in particular has recently become a hardy symbol of a fast-growing environmental movement. The significance of this oak—rooted on a small piece of land at the corner of Dearing and Finley Streets near downtown Athens, Georgia—is that no one owned it. It was an autonomous being, known locally as “The Tree That Owns Itself.”

      • Progressives Call On Democrats to Endorse 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights

        The group Progressive Democrats of America on Thursday urged all progressive U.S. candidates and officeholders to embrace a “21st Century Economic Bill of Rights.”

        “In contrast to those who favor retreat or the status quo, we present a vision of and a call to action for positive democratic renewal and growth.”

      • Opinion | California’s Recall Reform, Now an Anti-Democratic Weapon Captured by the Right

        Looking at the growing hijacking of California recalls by a loose array of the right—from Republican Party operatives to billionaires to proponents of privatizing schools to Trumpian militia groups—it almost defies historical memory to consider that the recall mechanism was adopted in California as an anti-corporate progressive reform.

      • Even Officials In The Intelligence Community Are Recognizing The Dangers Of Over-Classification

        The federal government has a problem with secrecy. Well, actually it doesn’t have a problem with secrecy, per se. That’s often considered a feature, not a bug. But federal law says the government shouldn’t have so much secrecy, what with the FOIA being in operation. And yet, the government feels compelled to keep secrets from its biggest employer: the US taxpayers.

      • Trump’s Post-Election Vengeance Campaign Has Split the Republican Party in Two
      • OSCE sends full mission, immunity certificates extended, Budapest to host Swimming World championships, Skating federation wants investigation following Liu’s disqualification

        The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has decided to send a full scale observation mission to Hungary for the April 3 general elections, putting Hungary yet again as an outsider, considering the fact that up to now, the only other EU member country where such a mission was judged necessary has been Bulgaria.

        The prelude to the OSCE’s full mission was a call from twenty Hungarian civil society organizations, asking the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to organize a full-scale election observation mission to Hungary, accompanied by a high number of short-term observers on April 3. 

      • The Beijing Olympics Showcase the Need for a Better Politics

        The Beijing Winter Olympics are set against a backdrop of elevated and dangerous tensions between the United States and China. Gasoline has been poured, and both Democrats and Republicans have flicked lit matches. In addition to the predictable braying for war emerging from far-right Muppets like Senator Tom Cotton, former Democratic senator Claire McCaskill took to Twitter to scold US-born skier Eileen Gu for competing with the Chinese team, saying, in part, “I don’t get it. And never will. I think it is wrong for an American to compete for China. China represses free speech, is well known for their human rights violations.” Rather than viewing Gu’s move to represent China as a nod to her heritage, too many Democrats and Republicans viewed it as a dalliance with the enemy. US Representative and Hitler fetishist Madison Cawthorn, who really should hide his head in shame when the Olympics and Paralympics come around, called for Gu to lose her citizenship. For its part, the Biden administration is carrying out a diplomatic boycott of the Games.

      • Archives Found Possible Classified Material in Boxes Returned by Trump

        Similar to Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and daughter Ivanka used personal email accounts for work purposes. And even after being warned by aides, Mr. Trump repeatedly ripped up government documents that had to be taped back together to prevent him from being accused of destroying federal property.

        Now Mr. Trump faces questions about his handling of classified information — a question that is complicated because as president he had the authority to declassify any government information. It is unclear whether Mr. Trump had declassified materials the National Archives discovered in the boxes before he left office. Under federal law, he no longer maintains the ability to declassify documents after leaving office.

      • You may need to prove your age just to log onto Twitter and Reddit soon

        Reddit and Twitter users in the UK could be required to submit their passport or credit card details under the government’s new online safety rules.

        The draft Online Safety Bill announced this week requires all sites which publish pornographic content to put ‘robust checks’ in place to ensure users are 18 or over. This is not limited to adult websites but social media platforms as well.

      • New UK rules could force people to provide ID before using Reddit or Google in attempt to stop children viewing pornography, campaigners warn

        That may mean that they could be forced to check users’ age before they are able to use those sites. While the precise way those checks will happen has still not been revealed, suggestions have included requiring people to provide credit card details or other personally identifying information.

        That is the latest warning from the Open Rights Group, which has been among a range of privacy activists and other campaigners attempting to fight against the new regulations.

      • 75-year-old Hong Kong activist facing sedition charge denied bail after planning Beijing Olympics demo

        The government released a statement on Saturday morning confirming that a 75-year-old man had been charged with “attempting to do or making any preparation to do an act or acts with seditious intention” under a colonial-era law.

        In court, prosecutors said police found a one-metre long coffin and a white flag with “seditious language,” including “democracy and human rights are above the Winter Olympics,” “down with the Chinese Communist Party” and “end one-party rule,” at his residence. Two mobile phones were also seized.

      • Hijab Ban: In Interim Order, Karnataka HC Says No ‘Religious Dress’ Until Matter Decided

        The three-judge bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justices Krishna S. Dixit and Jaibunnisa M. Khazi was hearing the matter after it was referred to a larger bench. The hearing will continue on Monday at 2:30 pm.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Gas-Backed Front Group Spreads Misinformation About Costs of Electrification

        A group of natural gas companies and utilities in Colorado formed a front group to oppose the state’s push towards electrifying homes and businesses, spreading misinformation about the cost of electric heating while also promoting false solutions to lock in the ongoing use of natural gas. 

        The group, “Coloradans for Energy Access,” is made up of a coalition of gas companies, real estate interests, utilities, and other energy trade associations, including Atmos Energy, American Public Gas Association, and the Consumer Energy Alliance.

      • It’s Not Just Joe Rogan. The Entire Digital Space Is Rotten.

        So, rather than admit that its business model openly depends on lies and the dehumanization of marginalized people, Spotify said it doesn’t want to “silence Joe.” Meanwhile, some 113 episodes of the show were quietly removed. Elk added in an internal memo, which was later shared with The Washington Post, “We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope.”

        It is not a slippery slope. When the most extreme voices are rewarded and amplified, our digital media landscape becomes worse for everyone. Sadly, it’s not just big podcasters like Rogan who use anti-Blackness and hate to build an audience.

      • New algorithm bill could force Facebook to change how the news feed works

        A new bipartisan bill, introduced on Wednesday, could mark Congress’ first step toward addressing algorithmic amplification of harmful content. The Social Media NUDGE Act, authored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), would direct the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to study “content neutral” ways to add friction to content-sharing online.

        The bill instructs researchers to identify a number of ways to slow down the spread of harmful content and misinformation, whether through asking users to read an article before sharing it (as Twitter has done) or other measures. The Federal Trade Commission would then codify the recommendations and mandate that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter put them into practice.

      • Joe Rogan and Spotify: Make content moderation about human rights

        “I fucked up.” Last year, Joe Rogan publicly admitted to spreading misinformation on his podcast, acknowledging he did not bother to undertake basic fact-checking before leaning into the mic. He said it wouldn’t happen again — then it did.

        Now, The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, produced exclusively by Spotify, has firmly landed itself in the spotlight once more, this time for spreading dangerous COVID-19 misinformation and endangering public health, and the hosts’ use of harmful racial slurs. With a listenership upwards of 400 million, what is said on the show has far-reaching consequences. But Spotify’s problems are much bigger than Joe Rogan, and censorship is not the answer. What we need is for the world’s largest audio platform to take responsibility for the words it pays to produce, host, and promote.

        When Rogan makes false claims that the COVID vaccines alter DNA and that the health risks for young people are greater from the vaccine than from the virus itself, it undermines people’s ability to arrive at well-informed opinions. This is incredibly dangerous, and there are serious human rights implications tied to Spotify’s decisions. The bare minimum the company can do? Align with basic human rights principles, starting with due diligence.

      • Joe Rogan and Spotify: Make content moderation about human rights

        Content in The Joe Rogan Experience is acquired and produced — not to mention hosted — exclusively by Spotify, so the company must conduct due diligence over content it purchased. By playing the role of both producer and broadcaster, and profiting from every episode, Spotify has a responsibility for what content it amplifies. If Spotify performed its due diligence, it would enable the platform to act responsibly by understanding, identifying, and addressing the human rights risks associated with its content governance practices.

        After the recent backlash, the streaming giant announced it would add advisory labels to podcast episodes and invest 100 million USD back into the licensing, development, and marketing of music and audio content from historically marginalized groups. But Spotify can’t circumvent racialized inaction by throwing money at marginalized people and seeing what sticks. Let’s call a spade a spade — it’s a shallow PR stunt.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • No entity like Kashmir Press Club registered, Parliament told

        The query includes whether the journalists in Kashmir and whole of India are frequently penalized by State agencies under Indian Penal Code, UAPA, and other penal laws, if so, the details thereof.

        It includes whether due to such abhorrent coercion, India holds a poor 142nd position on the World Press Freedom Index.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Bill Banning Forced Arbitration of Harassment Claims Heads to Biden’s Desk

        Workers’ rights advocates on Thursday applauded the U.S. Senate’s passage of a bill to keep workplace sexual harassment victims from being forced into private litigation of their claims rather than taking them to court—a reform called “long overdue.”

        “The arbitration process not only allows the corporations to hide sexual harassment and assault cases in this secretive and often biased process, but it shields those who committed serious misconduct from the public eye.”

      • Opinion | Human Rights Groups Agree: Apartheid Is Exactly What Israel Is Doing

        One day last spring, Palestinians in Israel and the occupied West Bank declared a general strike to protest years of repression they faced under Israeli rule.

      • Leftist President of Honduras Blocks Indigenous Community’s Eviction

        Honduras’ new leftist president on Wednesday intervened to halt a court-ordered eviction of an Indigenous community from their ancestral lands following violent scenes of the attempted forced removal by police earlier in the day.

        Human Rights Minister Natalie Roque shared on social media that, with orders from President Xiomara Castro, lawyers and officials from her office went to the Tierras del Padre community, located just south of the capital of Tegucigalpa, to stop the evictions, saying the suspension was in accordance with the law and authorized by the state.

      • Black Congresswomen Urge Biden to Pick Civil Rights Champion for Supreme Court
      • Republicans press archivist against certifying Equal Rights Amendment

        Three Republicans senators are urging the U.S. Archivist not to certify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) amid a campaign by Democrats, who are calling for the decades-old statute to be added to the Constitution.

        Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) penned a letter to U.S. Archivist David Ferriero on Tuesday, asking for his “commitment” that he will not certify the ERA.

      • Swiss region to vote on giving primates fundamental rights

        A northern Swiss region is set to vote on whether non-human primates should enjoy some of the same basic fundamental rights as humans.

        The vote in the Basel-Stadt canton, which is home to the city of the same name and to one of Europe’s best-known zoos, is being keenly followed by animal rights activists.

      • Voters to decide on basic rights of primates

        Switzerland’s highest court has given the go-ahead for a vote in Basel City on whether to enshrine the basic rights of primates in the cantonal constitution.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Net Neutrality Still Matters

        After facing a gurling Senate confirmation hearing in December, the vote on her appointment has been again delayed.  The current delay is due to the stroke suffered by Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), a member of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband; he is expected to make a full recovery.

        The telecom and broadband industries are seeking to block Sohn’s nomination. “The industry serves to benefit from Gigi not moving forward and the FCC delaying its push for net neutrality and other government regulations,” admitted John Feehery, a lobbyist for AT&T, Sprint and other telecom companies.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Nintendo ‘Hacker’ Gary Bowser Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison

        A U.S. federal court has handed down a 40-month prison sentence to Gary Bowser, a member of the infamous Nintendo modding group Team-Xecuter. The prosecution requested a tougher sentence but celebrates the outcome as an important victory nonetheless. This is the first verdict in the Team-Xecuter case and two other defendants have yet to appear in a U.S court.

      • Nintendo Switch Hacker Sentenced to More Than Three Years in Prison

        Bowser pleaded guilty in October 2021 to two criminal counts: conspiracy to circumvent technological measures and to traffic in circumvention devices, and trafficking in circumvention devices. The Canadian national has been in U.S. federal custody since his arrest in and deportment from the Dominican Republic in September 2020. As part of his plea deal, Bowser agreed to pay $4.5 million in restitution to Nintendo of America.

      • NPR’s ‘How I Built This’ Strikes Licensing Deal With Amazon Music, Wondery (Exclusive)

        NPR’s How I Built This podcast, hosted by Guy Raz, has struck an exclusive three-year licensing and ad deal with Amazon Music and Wondery, marking the first deal of this type Amazon and Wondery have made with an NPR podcast.

      • Amazon Music signs an exclusive deal with How I Built This

        Amazon Music has signed an exclusive deal with NPR to distribute Guy Raz’s How I Built This podcast a week before any other platform starting in March. The show will be produced twice weekly, an increase from its once-a-week cadence, and available early through Amazon Music and Wondery Plus. After that one-week window, the episodes will be released widely both on podcast platforms and radio stations. Wondery will also receive the exclusive ad sales rights and YouTube distribution rights, while NPR will maintain the radio distribution rights and underwriting.

      • NPR station in Seattle crashes and corrupts $1,500 “radio computer” in certain Mazdas, which can now only play NPR.

        An NPR station in Seattle went down unexpectedly, corrupting a $1,500 “radio computer” in certain Mazdas, which can now only play NPR’s affiliate in Seattle.

        Thankfully for those who weren’t tuned to NPR at the time of the crash, they remain unaffected. (But should probably avoid NPR.)

        According to the “owners” (How do you “own” a car that can fail spectacularly due to something like this?), the company says that even if you have the $1,500 to fix the radio and get it to stop playing NPR at the last volume you set it on before the screen and tuner no longer worked, they can’t get the part in because of the Coronavirus. Mazda says that “perhaps” it could choose to service the vehicles once it gets the parts, whenever that is, under a “goodwill program”.

        At issue, is that the station uses the “HD Radio” format, which is heavily infested with Microsoft standards like Windows Media Audio, which most people agree sounds like crap.

        Microsoft created WMA in the hopes of removing value from digital music, using DRM, and to wipe out MP3 and charge massive licensing fees. However, the format never caught on aside from some music stores that no longer exist.

        Most notably, Microsoft had several kinds of incompatible DRM schemes that they used which were never compatible with each other, creating a confusing mess.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

      • Copyrights

        • Police Arrest Man For Running Pirate Site Linking to Anime, Movies, TV Shows

          In 2020, Japan passed amendments to copyright law to combat so-called ‘leech’ sites – platforms that carry no content themselves but provide links to pirated content hosted on external servers. According to local anti-piracy sources, a man has now been arrested for offering links to thousands of movies and TV shows including content owned by production companies Toei and Toho.

        • Episode 4: Open Culture VOICES – Douglas McCarthy

          We are back with a new episode of Open Culture VOICES! VOICES is a vlog series of short interviews with open GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) experts from around the world. The Open Culture Program at Creative Commons aims to promote better sharing of cultural heritage in GLAMs collections. With Open Culture VOICES, we’re thrilled to bring you various perspectives from dozens of experts speaking in many different languages on what it’s like to open up heritage content online. In this episode, we hear from Douglas McCarthy, Collections Engagement Manager at the Europeana Foundation in the Netherlands. Douglas is a passionate advocate for making cultural heritage openly accessible to promote the exchange of ideas and contribute to a thriving knowledge economy. As Collections Engagement Manager at Europeana, Douglas supports Europeana’s mission by working with partner institutions to showcase their collections to online audiences.

        • Yes, It Really Was Nintendo That Slammed GilvaSunner YouTube Channel With Copyright Strikes

          Well, for a story that was already over, this became somewhat fascinating. We have followed the Nintendo vs. GilvaSunner war for several years now. The GilvaSunner YouTube channel has long been dedicated to uploading and appreciating a variety of video game music, largely from Nintendo games. Roughly once a year for the past few years, Nintendo would lob copyright strikes at a swath of GilvaSunner “videos”: 100 videos in 2019, a bit less than that in 2020, take 2021 off, then suddenly slam the channel with 1,300 strikes in 2022. With that last copyright MOAB, the GilvaSunner channel has been shuttered voluntarily, with the operator indicating that it’s all too much hassle.

[Meme] Reminder That Battistelli Openly Boasted (in the Media) About the EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO Falcon

Summary: It is worth remembering that as EPO President Benoît Battistelli openly admitted that he had managed to turn his ‘supervisors’ into rubber-stampers (mostly by bribing and blackmailing them)

The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XLVIII: The Unkindest Cut of All

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 2:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part I: Let the Sunshine In!
  2. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part II: A “Unanimous” Endorsement?
  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part III: Three Missing Votes
  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IV: The Founding States
  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part V: Germany Says “Ja”
  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VI: A Distinct Lack of Dutch Courage
  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VII: Luxembourgish Laxity
  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VIII: Perfidious Albion and Pusillanimous Hibernia
  9. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IX: More Holes Than Swiss Cheese
  10. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part X: Introducing the Controversial Christian Bock
  11. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XI: “General Bock” – Battistelli’s Swiss Apprentice?
  12. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection
  13. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Spain
  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Portugal
  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…
  16. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper
  17. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc
  18. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki’s Accord
  19. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States
  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group
  21. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”
  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League – North Macedonia and Albania
  23. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League – Bulgaria
  24. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League – Romania
  25. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXV: The Balkan League – Fresh Blood or Same Old, Same Old?
  26. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVI: A Trojan Horse on the Budget and Finance Committee
  27. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVII: Cypriot Complicity
  28. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVIII: Benoît and António’s Loyal “Habibi”
  29. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXXX: The EPOnian Micro-States – Monaco and Malta
  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXX: San Marino and the Perfidious Betrayal of Liberty
  31. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXI: The Abstentionists
  32. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXII: “Plucky Little Belgium”?
  33. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXIII: Swedish Scepticism
  34. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXIV: An “Extremely Dubious” Proposal
  35. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXV: Slovakian Scruples
  36. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXVI: Serbian Sour Grapes
  37. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXVII: Stubbornly Independent Slovenia
  38. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXVIII: Ensnared in the Tentacles of the SAZAS Octopus
  39. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXIX: On the Slippery Slope to Capture
  40. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXX: The Idiosyncratic Italians
  41. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXI: Public Service or Self-Service?
  42. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXII: A Parcel of Rogues?
  43. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXIII: A Legal No-Man’s Land
  44. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXIV: Immunity = Impunity?
  45. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXV: In the Shadow of “Waite and Kennedy”
  46. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXVI: An Erosion of Fundamental Rights Protection?
  47. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XLVII: Institutionalised Injustice at the EPO?
  48. YOU ARE HERE ☞ The Unkindest Cut of All

Baron Montesquieu quote
What would Baron Montesquieu have made of the EPO’s internal appeals committee and its shameful endorsement of Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations” in May 2019?

Summary: Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (restricting basic rights of EPO staff) were boosted by the kangaroo courts of António Campinos, who continued to exploit these unlawful rules for 3 years

In the last part we saw how ILOAT Judgments Nos. 3694 and 3785 exposed serious deficiencies in the EPO’s internal justice system. Amongst other things, these judgments revealed how the EPO President had persistently interfered in the workings of the supposedly “independent” internal appeals committee.

“Back in 2012, Battistelli had already proposed one disastrous “reform” of the system which had been rubber-stamped by the Council, ignoring the well-founded objections raised by EPO staff, including the members of the Boards of Appeal.”The ILOAT’s interventions appear to have shamed the Administrative Council into attempting corrective action because Battistelli was asked to prepare a “reform” of the EPO’s internal justice system.

Back in 2012, Battistelli had already proposed one disastrous “reform” of the system which had been rubber-stamped by the Council, ignoring the well-founded objections raised by EPO staff, including the members of the Boards of Appeal.

The idea now was to try and undo some of the damage caused by the earlier “reform”, presumably in the hope of stemming the unrelenting tide of negative commentary in the “IP” blogosphere.

The intentions of the Council may have been good, but with Battistelli at the helm, any new “reform” was going to be a half-baked affair at best.

“Under the terms of this “reform” it was decided to revamp the internal appeals committee and to appoint an external person as the chair of that body.”After a number of reiterations and revisions, Team Battistelli dished up the final version of the “reform” proposal [PDF] (CA/58/17 [PDF]) on 9 June 2017. Shortly afterwards at the 152nd meeting of the Administrative Council held in the Hague on 28 and 29 June 2017, this proposal was adopted by the Council as decision CA/D 7/17. [PDF]

Under the terms of this “reform” it was decided to revamp the internal appeals committee and to appoint an external person as the chair of that body.

The new chair of the internal appeals committee was Sir Paul Mahoney whose appointment was confirmed by the Administrative Council in December 2017. (warning: epo.org link)

“n fairness to Mahoney it must be said that his committee did issue some opinions upholding staff complaints.”Because Mahoney was a retired judge of the European Court of Human Rights, his appointment gave rise to some initial hope among EPO staff that the organisation’s internal justice system might finally start to function in a more credible manner.

In fairness to Mahoney it must be said that his committee did issue some opinions upholding staff complaints. For example, one opinion issued by the appeals committee in 2020 belatedly excoriated an arbitrary and unprincipled act of censorship by Elodie Bergot.

The incident in question had occurred almost four years earlier in 2016 when Bergot had prohibited the intranet publication of a report by the EPO Staff Committee detailing the chronic deficiencies in the EPO’s internal justice system.

Sir Paul Mahoney
Sir Paul Mahoney, a former Judge at the European Court of Human Rights, was appointed as Chair of the EPO’s internal appeals committee in December 2017.

But if Mahoney occasionally dared to take a stand against abuses of power by individual officials such as Bergot, when it came to more politically sensitive cases involving decisions of the Administrative Council, he tended to tread more cautiously and to show more deference to the powers-that-be.

“For the record, it deserves to be noted that Mahoney’s endorsement of the “Strike Regulations” was not his only betrayal of EPO staff.”This became painfully evident in May 2019, when Mahoney endorsed a majority opinion of the appeals committee rejecting a challenge to Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations”.

Internal Appeals Committee on Strike Regulations
In May 2019, the EPO’s Internal Appeals Committee under the chairmanship of Sir Paul Mahoney placed its seal of approval on Battistelli’s Vichyite “Strike Regulations”.

After Mahoney and his committee had given Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations” what appeared to be a clean bill of legal health, EPO staff were forced to wait for another two years and two months before these manifestly unlawful measures were finally overturned by the ILOAT on 7 July 2021.

The ILOAT did not share Mahoney’s positive assessment of Battistelli’s Vichyite “Strike Regulations”.

Mahoney’s endorsement of Battistelli’s liberticidal Vichyite "Strike Regulations" sits rather incongruously alongside the views which he expressed in an interview which appeared in the UK Law Society Gazette in November 2013.

On that occasion, he spoke about the role of the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe, describing them as “a kind of insurance policy against backsliding into totalitarianism”.

Justice is blindBut for all his fine words about the need for vigilance against “backsliding into totalitarianism”, when the time came for deeds at the EPO, Mahoney failed to step up to the plate.

For some inexplicable reason, he did not appear to have any reservations whatsoever about placing his seal of approval on Battistelli’s scandalous interference with the fundamental right of EPO staff to “freedom of association”.

For the record, it deserves to be noted that Mahoney’s endorsement of the “Strike Regulations” was not his only betrayal of EPO staff.

As we shall see in the next part, the EPO’s internal appeals committee under Mahoney’s stewardship also saw fit to give a clean bill of legal health to Battistelli’s Orwellian "Social Democracy" project, another sinister liberticidal measure which was struck down by a seven-judge panel of the ILOAT on 27 January 2022.

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