LinuxToday (or Linux Today) Shows Signs of Agony

Posted in GNU/Linux, Marketing at 7:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum d80a09b7cf13e087fc328f2095e8c689
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Summary: The Web site LinuxToday.com is pushing webspam instead of news picks; it also sells data about visitors (the typical “We value your privacy” lie), so it seems like “monetisation” tactics have taken precedence/priority over readers (or what’s left of them anyway; the webspam inevitably drives more of them away)

THE WEB site ‘Linux Today’ has been around for several decades. It’s one of the first of its kind and lately it has been pushing webspam instead of actual stories. This is a familiar pattern, reminiscent of an “exit strategy” or an attempt to “monetise” remaining readers on one’s way out.

“The World Wide Web is in a bad state, but Web sites resorting to webspam, misinformation, and pure marketing would only accelerate the Web’s doom rather than salvage it with some alternative “business models”…”The video above goes through some of the latest “news” picks and shows that ZDNet‘s sister sites, as well as ZDNet, probably face an existential crisis themselves. ZDNet, for instance, used to cover “Linux” (usually anti-Linux pieces) about 3 times per day and now it’s like 0.5 per day.

The World Wide Web is in a bad state, but Web sites resorting to webspam, misinformation, and pure marketing would only accelerate the Web’s doom rather than salvage it with some alternative “business models”…

We sell your data

Links 05/08/2022: GNUnet 0.17.3 and GNU Binutils 2.39

Posted in News Roundup at 5:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Electronics WeeklyThe Lost Opportunity

        Back in 1999, Saski told me: “The Wintel world used to be untouchable but now a new era is coming. The opportunity for change is Linux.”
        The argument went that, if the Linux operating system became mainstream, “then the basis for competition in the microprocessor market becomes cost/performance not architecture,” said Saski.
        Asked if NEC would take advantage of the opportunity by seeking to establish its own proprietary microprocessor architecture Sasaki replied: “That would be difficult, but we have a strong background in the MIPS architecture.”
        Sasaki did not rule out NEC developing its own microprocessor, he merely said that MIPS would be the “first priority” if the opportunity arose.
        Whether or not the opportunity is there “depends on the applications software”, said Sasaki.
        If this becomes available then PC makers may support Linux just as IBM and HP have supported Linux in servers.
        “It all depends on our customers’ decision,” said Sasaki, “up to now we have had no way to tell. But now we have a chance.”

      • Why Kubernetes is the ‘Secret Sauce’ for Bank Digitization

        Google “banking” and “disruption,” and nearly 200 hits sprawl across more than 20 pages of search results.

        The high interest in banking disruption isn’t surprising. Though disruption is a favorite business buzzword that can easily lend itself to hyperbole, it truly is accurate for the banking and financial services industry.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Benchmarks

      • NeowinDespite Alder Lake optimization, Windows 11 struggles to stay ahead of Ubuntu / Linux – Neowin

        Back at its Architecture Day 2021 event, when Intel shared the core design details of its Alder Lake CPU architecture, the firm stated that Windows 11 was optimized in a way to best take advantage of the Alder Lake’s Performance Hybrid architecture and the new Thread Director technology that helps Windows 11 task scheduling.

        A comparison test in November last year indeed showed that the Intel 12th Gen chips were a bit ahead of Ubuntu and the Linux 5.15 kernel. With the succeeding Linux 5.16 too, the performance of Alder Lake was not as consistent as on Windows 11.

    • Applications

      • OMG UbuntuA Wild Metadata Cleaner for Linux Appeared!

        The GTK-based Metadata Cleaner app on Flathub looks ideal.

        This Python-based GTK app lets you view and clean metadata from a variety of file types. The app is totally open source and leverages the mat2 library for its file-washing abilities.

        While most metadata routinely embedded in files is innocuous or banal some may reveal more information than you’d like.

        For example, photos taken on most cameras and smartphones embed a data about where a picture was taken, the device it was taken on, and more as EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format). You don’t need to be über-paranoid to want to remove location data from photos you share with others!

      • Make Use OfThe 4 Best Self-Hosted Google Photos Alternatives

        Smartphone users take hundreds, if not thousands of photos every year, and many have relied on Google Photos to automatically upload and store their holiday snapshots for free. The service ceased to offer unlimited storage in 2021, meaning that users had to either fork over cash to Google or find another solution—either by moving to another provider or self-hosting.

        Here are some of the best self-hosted Google Photos alternatives to create your own media server on Linux.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • VituxHow to Mount NFS on Debian 11

        With NFS (Network File System), you can share files and folders with other systems in a network. NFS is based on a client-server architecture that allows users to remotely connect and access files through the network. With NFS, users can access shared files and folders as if they exist in their own system.

      • Unix MenHow to Protect Your Linux System Against Log4Shell

        A serious flaw in the Log4j framework enables cybercriminals to gain access to vulnerable systems by injecting a single malicious code. This vulnerability is known as Log4J, a free logging library distributed by the Apache Software Foundation.

        Java is used in a vast array of contemporary digital products, including web servers, cloud solutions, and applications – making all of these products vulnerable to hacking through the Log4Shell vulnerability.

      • MakeTech EasierHow to Enable Wake-on-LAN in Ubuntu – Make Tech Easier

        We all feel the desire to automate everything. Our cars, houses and especially our computers. Wake-on-LAN is the perfect way to automate turning your PC on.

        While this guide will focus on how to enable Wake-on-LAN in Ubuntu, you can apply it to Linux distros, and you can even find the feature in Windows.

      • TechRepublicHow to connect to Linux Samba shares from Windows | TechRepublic

        When Windows 10 was released, it seemingly broke the ability to easily connect to Linux Samba shares. It appeared one could not write to Linux share from Windows 10. Considering how many businesses rely on Samba for the sharing of folders, this was a bad move on the part of Microsoft. Fortunately, the ability to connect to Samba shares wasn’t actually removed from the Windows platform, it was merely tucked a bit out of sight.

      • Use GNOME Keyring with Sway :: Major Hayden

        SSH key authentication makes it easier to secure SSH servers and it opens the door to automation with projects such as Ansible. However, working with encrypted SSH keys becomes tedious when you have several of them for different services. This is where an SSH agent can help!

      • UbuntuHow to build a snap using ROS 2 Humble | Ubuntu

        We’ve recently celebrated the release of ROS 2 Humble Hawksbill with a post detailing how to get started developing for the new release in containers. In addition, we shared an overview of the new features included with this new release, particularly its enhanced security features.

        This week we are tackling the logical next step in software development: packaging. Indeed, once we’re done developing our super cool ROS 2 Humble application, we still have to get it out into the hands of our users.

        In this post, we are going to see how to package a ROS 2 Humble application as a snap with an ‘hello world’-like example.

      • AboutChromebooksStill using apt for Linux on a Chromebook? Try Nala instead

        I noticed a fair number of commenters on my last post, “Why I use a Chromebook”, use the Linux on a Chromebook feature. More than expected, to be honest. I’ll bet only a few, if any, of them have stopped using apt, or the Advanced Package Tool, command to install Linux apps. I have. I now use Nala for Linux, which is a front-end for the apt package manager command.

      • Linux Made SimpleHow to install FreeCAD 0.19.1 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install FreeCAD 0.19.1 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.

    • Games

      • Godot EngineGodot Engine – Godot 3.5: Can’t stop won’t stop

        After 9 months of development, Godot 3.5 is out and it comes fully packed with features and quality of life improvements!

        While most development focus is on our upcoming Godot 4.0 release, many contributors and users want a robust and mature 3.x branch to develop and publish their games today, so it’s important for us to keep giving Godot 3 users an improved gamedev experience. Most of work was aimed at implementing missing features or fixing bugs which are critical for publishing 2D and 3D games with Godot 3.x, and at making the existing features more optimized and reliable.

        Godot 3.5 is compatible with Godot 3.4.x projects and is a recommended upgrade for all 3.4.x users.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Fitting Endless OS images on small disks – Will Thompson

          People like to fixate on the disk space used by installing a calculator app as a Flatpak when you don’t have any other Flatpak apps installed. For example, on my system GNOME Calculator takes up 9.3 MB for itself, plus 803.1 MB for the GNOME 42 runtime it depends on. Regular readers will not be surprised when I say that that 803.1 MB figure looks rather different when you realise that Calculator is just one of 70 apps on my system that use that runtime; 11.5 MB of runtime per app feels a lot more reasonable.

          But I do have one app installed which depends on the GNOME 3.34 runtime, which has been unsupported since August 2020, and the GNOME 3.34 runtime only shares 102 MB of its files with the GNOME 42 runtime, leaving 769 MB installed solely for this one 11 MB app.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the weeks 2022/29-31

        Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

        I was in the fortunate situation of enjoying two weeks of offline time. Took a little bit of effort, but I did manage to not start my computer a single time (ok, I cheated, checked emails, and staging progress on the phone browser). During this time, Richard has been taking good care of Tumbleweed – with the limitations that were put upon him, like reduced OBS worker powers and the like. In any case, I still do want to give you an overview of what changed in Tumbleweed during those three weeks. There was a total of 8 snapshots released (0718, 0719, 0725, 0728, 0729, 0731, 0801, 0802). A few of those snapshots have only been published, but no announcement emails were sent out, as there were also some mailman issues on the factory mailing list.

    • Slackware Family

      • The Register UKFancy a freshened up SLAX or ChromeOS replacement Peppermint OS?

        Slax, one of the lightest-weight Linux distros around, and Peppermint OS, a web-centric Debian remix, both put out new versions this week.

        Slax is a very lightweight live-medium distro from Czech developer Tomáš Matějíček (Czech language). As The Reg mentioned at the time, earlier this year, Slax got its first update in a couple of years. That update, version 11.2, was based on Debian, as the last few Slax releases have been.

        Slax goes back to its roots

        Now, Slax 15 is out. After nine years, Slax is returning to its Slackware roots. Slax 15 is based on the recently-released Slackware 15 – which itself is the first new Slackware release in six years. (Slax’s version numbers denote the version of the underlying OS.)

    • Debian Family

      • Thorsten Alteholz: My Debian Activities in July 2022

        This month I accepted 420 and rejected 44 packages. The overall number of packages that got accepted was 422.

        I am sad to write the following lines, but unfortunately there are people who rather take advantage of others instead of doing a proper maintenance of their packages.

        So, in order to find time slots for as much packages in NEW as possible, I no longer write a debian/copyright for others. I know it is a boring task to collect the copyright information, but our policy still requires this. Of course nobody is perfect and certainly one or the other license or copyright holder can be overlooked. Luckily most of the contributors maintain their debian/copyright very thouroughly with a terrific result.

        On the other hand some contributors upload only some crap and demand that I exactly list what is missing. I am no longer willing to do this. I am going to stop processing after I found a few missing things and reject the package. When I see repeatedly uploads containing only improvements with things I pointed out, I will process this package only after all others from NEW are done.

      • Dirk EddelbuettelDirk Eddelbuettel: RcppXts 0.0.5 on CRAN: Routine Refreshment

        A full eight and half years (!!) since its 0.0.4 release, version 0.0.5 of RcppXts is now on CRAN. The RcppXts package demonstrates how to access the export C API of xts which we contributed a looong time ago.

        This release contains an accumulated small set of updates made as the CRAN Policies evolved. We now register and use the shared library routines (updates in both src/init.c and NAMESPACE), turned on continuous integration, switched it from the now disgraces service to another, adopted our portable r-ci along with r2, added badges to the README.md, updated to https URLs, and made sure the methods package (from base R) was actually imported (something Rcpp has a need for at startup). That latter part now triggered a recent email from the CRAN maintainers which prompted this release.

      • Sparky: g4music

        A fast, fluent, light weight music player written in GTK4, with a beautiful, adaptive user interface, so named G4Music. It is also focusing on high performance, for those people who has huge number of songs.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • 9to5LinuxLinux Mint 20.3 Users Can Now Upgrade to Linux Mint 21, Here’s How

        With Linux Mint 21 the upgrade process is done through a new utility that the Linux Mint team worked on during the development cycle of Linux Mint 21. The utility is called mintupgrade (Upgrade Tool) and while it launches from the command line it provides users with a full graphical upgrade process.

        Upgrade Tool was first made available a few months ago for Linux Mint Debian Edition 4, allowing users to upgrade to Linux Mint Debian Edition 5. But, as of today, August 5th, 2022, it’s also available for Linux Mint 20.3 “Una” users who want to upgrade their installations to Linux Mint 21 “Vanessa”.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • ArduinoThis high-precision AC meter handles inductive loads | Arduino Blog

        AC (alternating current) meters are useful tools for measuring power draw. One might use an AC meter to monitor the power consumption of their devices and appliances with the goal of lowering their energy bill. Makers in particular can benefit from AC meters to learn about the power consumption of their own projects. Basic AC meters are cheap and easy to find, but they don’t measure inductive loads accurately. This DIY high-precision digital AC meter can handle inductive loads.

        An inductive load is any device or appliance that utilizes electric coils, which are found in motors, transformers, relays, and many other basic electric parts. Those coils create both a standard resistive load and an inductive load. The higher the inductive load relative to the resistive load, the less accurate typical AC meter readings become. An air conditioning unit, for example, is a substantial inductive load. Cheap AC meters measure the peaks of the current’s sine wave, but inductive loads alter the shape of the wave so that it is no longer a sine wave and that makes the meter’s calculations inaccurate.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Web Browsers

      • Chromium

        • GoogleChromium Blog: Chrome 105 Beta: Custom Highlighting, Fetch Upload Streaming, and More

          Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Learn more about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 105 is beta as of DATE. You can download the latest on Google.com for desktop or on Google Play Store on Android.

      • Mozilla

        • Jamie McClellandJamie McClelland | Fine tuning Thunderbird’s end-to-end encryption

          I love that Thunderbird really tackled OpenPGP head on and incorporated it directly into the client. I know it’s been a bit rough for some users, but I think it’s a good long term investment.

          And to demonstrate I’ll now complain about a minor issue :).

          I replied to an encrypted message but couldn’t send the response using encryption. I got an error message indicating that “End-to-end encryption requires resolving certificate issues for” … and it listed the recipient email address.

    • GNU Projects

      • GNUnetGNUnet 0.17.3

        This is a bugfix release for gnunet 0.17.2. In addition to the fixed in the source, the documentation websites including the handbook have been updated and consolidated: https://docs.gnunet.org .

      • GNU Binutils 2.39 Released
        This release contains numerous bug fixes, and also the following new
          * The ELF linker will now generate a warning message if the stack is made
            executable.  Similarly it will warn if the output binary contains a
            segment with all three of the read, write and execute permission
            bits set.  These warnings are intended to help developers identify
            programs which might be vulnerable to attack via these executable
            memory regions.
            The warnings are enabled by default but can be disabled via a command
            line option.  It is also possible to build a linker with the warnings
            disabled, should that be necessary.
          * The ELF linker now supports a --package-metadata option that allows
            embedding a JSON payload in accordance to the Package Metadata
          * In linker scripts it is now possible to use TYPE=<type> in an output
            section description to set the section type value.
          * The objdump program now supports coloured/colored syntax
            highlighting of its disassembler output for some architectures.
            (Currently: AVR, RiscV, s390, x86, x86_64).
          * The nm program now supports a --no-weak/-W option to make it ignore
            weak symbols.
          * The readelf and objdump programs now support a -wE option to prevent
            them from attempting to access debuginfod servers when following
          * The objcopy program's --weaken, --weaken-symbol, and
            --weaken-symbols options now works with unique symbols as well.
        Our thanks go out to all of the binutils contributors, past and
        present, for helping to make this release possible.
    • Programming/Development

      • Rust

        • Rust BlogNon-lexical lifetimes (NLL) fully stable | Rust Blog

          As of Rust 1.63 (releasing next week), the “non-lexical lifetimes” (NLL) work will be enabled by default. NLL is the second iteration of Rust’s borrow checker. The RFC actually does quite a nice job of highlighting some of the motivating examples. “But,” I hear you saying, “wasn’t NLL included in Rust 2018?” And yes, yes it was! But at that time, NLL was only enabled for Rust 2018 code, while Rust 2015 code ran in “migration mode”. When in “migration mode,” the compiler would run both the old and the new borrow checker and compare the results. This way, we could give warnings for older code that should never have compiled in the first place; we could also limit the impact of any bugs in the new code. Over time, we have limited migration mode to be closer and closer to just running the new-style borrow checker: in the next release, that process completes, and all Rust code will be checked with NLL.

  • Leftovers

    • Counter Punch‘We Are Limited Only By Our Imagination and Our Will to Act’: Hopeful Words As Liberal Shibboleth

      Based, presumably, in the God’s Eye view of our limited earth home gained from his 2,842 orbits, Garan’s message of hope simply amplifies the top-down liberal order with its absolute faith in progress – especially technological progress – which if we believe in sufficiently will make limitations disappear. Although likely unintended, the unspoken subtext is, don’t bother with the (messy, dissatisfying), reality you’re in. But I must protest: Limits are not just punishment for failure of imagination! From “the bottom-up” view, from within the entanglements of embodied earth-life, the message is different: it’s by staying in the reality we are in, with its troubles and uncertainties, now intensified by the global contexts of pandemic and climate catastrophe, that the imagination that serves the “All-one” of interdependence and planetary health is engaged. Staying in our places and relationships would not be impossibly difficult – our ancestors did it! – except for its being contrary to the most fundamental lessons we’ve been taught and to which we are obedient: the work of imaginations being not to serve the “All-one” or “All-in-all” but to except us from the current troubles, to escape, surmount, achieve, strive, succeed; never to stay with limiting reality. Staying in is the stuff of failure, and that we must fear as we’d fear the hellhound on our trail.

    • Counter PunchRemembering Vin Scully

      For anyone who grew up a baseball fan, the voice of Vin Scully was a much a part of the essence of the game as the gloves, bats, balls, and the action on the field he so deftly and at times eloquently chronicled. For a staggering sixty-seven years he was the voice of the Dodgers, first in Brooklyn and then in Los Angeles, but listeners throughout the country were familiar with his voice and effortlessly literate style from his long-time stints on national broadcasts: World Series and All-Star games on TV and radio, and NBC’s Saturday game of the week, paired with Joe Garagiola.

      Scully’s distinctively melodious, fluidly garrulous baritone punctuated the decades for millions of Americans who can still vividly recall his dramatic evocations of some of baseball’s most memorable moments, many conveyed with a near-preternatural verbal fluency and rhetorical flair that gave his extemporaneous exclamations the feel of polished literature: Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game in 1956, Sandy Koufax’s perfect game in 1965, Hank Aaron’s record-breaking 715th homerun in 1974 (“What a great moment for the country and the world—a black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking the record of an all-time baseball idol”), Bill Buckner’s infamously booted ball in the 1986 World Series, and the hobbled Kirk Gibson’s miraculous homer in the 1988 World Series.

    • HackadayBuzzword Bingo Bitcoin Burial Burrowing Blueprint Balked At By Bureaucracy

      Many of you will at some time have heard the unfortunate tale of [James Howells], a Welsh IT worker who threw away a hard drive containing 8,000 Bitcoin back in 2013. Over the years he’s hatched various schemes to persuade his local council to let him dig up the landfill where it’s reputed to be buried, and every time he’s been rebuffed. Despite the fall in the price of cryptocurrencies he’s back with another. With the added spice of AI and robot dogs alongside the cryptocurrency angle, it reads like a buzzword bingo card and adds a whole new meaning to “Bitcoin mining”. Seemingly despite generous offers the local council are still not keen on letting him dig for the drive.

    • Hackaday30 Free Circuit Simulators Lightly Reviewed

      We live in a time where great software is available with the click of a mouse, often for free or — at least — low cost. But there’s a problem: how do you select from so many alternatives? We were interested in [Lee Teschler]’s review earlier this year of 30 free circuit simulators. If you are selecting one or don’t like the one you are currently using, it is well worth the time to review.

    • Counter PunchThe Tale of 3M

      So people were wearing all kinds of weird shit on their faces. And then a few companies like 3M said, “We got it. We’re national heroes. We’re like the dudes who landed on the moon.” And I was like, “No you aren’t! You’re fuckin’ making a boatload of cash. You’re not sacrificing your life, running into enemy fire with a knife between your teeth. No, you saw that you could make a trillion dollars by pumping out face masks. Stop acting like you cured polio with a third grade chemistry set.

      Anyway, 3M made a lot of the face masks. Not mine. Mine were made by Frito-Lay so that I could wear it on the bus but then, in a pinch, eat it. They were delicious. Do you have any idea how much guac you can fit on one of those things? It’s great. But a lot of people were wearing the far less edible 3M masks.

    • Counter PunchEnd-Times: a Visit to Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana

      I left Thibodaux, Louisiana at 9 a.m. on July 27, 2022. An hour later, I arrived at Isle de Jean Charles where I had a vision of the world a hundred years in the future.

      Thibodaux is a handsome town — a sort-of miniature New Orleans, but without the music, art, architecture, or sophistication of the city 60 miles to the east. What it has is a tight grid of streets, canopied sidewalks, two or three Creole restaurants, and a welcoming scale. Parking is easy and a walk through downtown takes about 15 minutes.

    • Counter PunchAmerica’s Biggest Reservoirs Hit By Dead Pool Jitters

      In a word, the implications are unspeakable.

      America’s monuments, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the Lincoln Memorial, and Hoover Dam are the foundations of Americana, the essence of America, its character, and its culture. Hoover Dam, one of the greatest engineering feats of all time, 96 lives lost during construction, defines America’s true grit during a bygone era that had to overcome great challenges tagged with the Great Depression, soup kitchens & breadlines (NYC 82 breadlines by 1932), the Dust Bowl, incipient fascism in Europe, and a brewing world war.

    • Counter PunchWe Should Aspire to be Peasants

      After all, who wouldn’t like to see some more cash? Farmers, like everyone else, have been through a lot lately. Years of stagnant or falling farm income in many ways paralleled the stagnant wages of so many Americans. The COVID-19 pandemic sent shockwaves through our supply chain, crashing farm prices and disrupting markets.

      But the story is not so simple.

    • Counter PunchThe Fire Inside Mike Davis

      The occasion for such remarks, with their pugilistic zest, was the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of his path-breaking City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (1990), long regarded as both a classic and an outlier, with its blend of noir-haunted conjuring and granular, sociological exploration of L.A.’s myriad political ecologies. “In Los Angeles there are too many signs of approaching helter-skelter”, Davis writes near the close: “cops are becoming more arrogant and trigger-happy, and a whole generation is being shunted toward some impossible Armageddon”. Within 18 months, the reckoning he had intuited came to pass, when the city erupted in a cataclysmic uprising, sparked by the acquittal of four LAPD officers charged with the use of excessive force during the arrest of Rodney King: a typically brutal incident, but unusual in having been captured on videotape by an onlooker. As chants of “no justice, no peace” echoed through downtown L.A., swathes of the city were reduced to rubble and ash – leading President George H. W. Bush to declare a “federal disaster area” – as protestors exposed and countered a long-standing tradition of police violence with tactics of civil disobedience, arson, and looting. Six weeks after the conflagration, Daryl Gates, the notoriously authoritarian and techno-militarist police chief (accused of instituting a de facto racist law-enforcement regime), resigned his post.

      America’s intellectual establishment, meanwhile, shaken from its foggily panoptic perch, began to pay attention to Davis (once viewed as a fatalist, prone to hyperbole, even by fellow radicals), deeming him worthy of a MacArthur Foundation grant in 1998. For this self-described “wild, extreme leftist”, however, such plaudits, and the milieux they emanated from, have generally been treated as distractions from the work, to which he consistently brings a virtuosic analytical rigour, as well as an omnivorous array of personal passions. What other Marxist scholar has thought to compile a history of the car-bomb, as Davis did in Buda’s Wagon (2007), or invested time and energy in writing a trilogy of science fiction novels for young adults, as with his Islands Mysterious series (2003)? Wild originality is one of his hallmarks.”

    • Counter PunchSympathy For The Plethora Of Devils

      I only write this as if any of it matters.

      As Cassius said to Brutus in Shakespeare’s (1654 to 1616) “Julius Caesar,” “the fault …is …that we are underlings”

    • Hardware

      • HackadayStewart Platform Wields Magic Fingers To Massage Your Scalp

        Attention Hackaday editors: We on the writing crew hereby formally request budget allocation for installing a Stewart platform head massager on the chair of each workstation in the secret underground writer’s bunker. We think the benefits that will accrue thanks to reduced stress alone will more than justify the modest upfront costs. Thank you for your consideration.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • The NationMonkeypox Makes It 3 Strikes, and Now We’re Out

        I graduated from high school in 1981. My youth was framed by the AIDS epidemic. I could ignore it for several years while cloistered in college, but as soon as I ventured out into the world, there it was: the virus.

    • Security

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Counter PunchThe Officer of the Future: Facial Recognition and the Border-Industrial Complex

          Sounds like this has the potential to be creepy, right? Well, to set the record straight, House Homeland Security Committee member Clay Higgins (R-LA) argued before Congress in July that it’s just fine, just a matter of convenience.

          “The image that has been presented to the citizens that we serve is that this is some sort of nefarious technology and big brother is watching you,” the congressman explained. “But really it’s using photographic images that travelers willingly have provided, or are available on their passports or visas, or driver’s licenses. We already have that information.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The NationWhen Did Cars Become Weapons of the Right?

        In the United States during 16 months in 2020 and 2021, vehicles rammed into groups of protesters at least 139 times, according to a Boston Globe analysis. Three victims died and at least 100 were injured. Consider that a new level of all-American barbarity, thanks to the growing toxicity of right-wing politics, empowered by its embrace of ever-larger, more menacing vehicles being cranked out by the auto industry.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Hiroshima and Ukraine—an Existential Teachable Moment

        77 years ago the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945 and three days later, Nagasaki, resulted in immediate deaths of approximately 120,000 majority civilians and by year’s end over 210,000. This legacy continues to this day in large part through the voices of the hibakusha, atomic blast survivors, and through having planted the seeds of the first man-made existential threat, nuclear war.

      • Common Dreams‘Alarming’: Nearly 1/3 in US Worry About Violence, Intimidation at Polls

        “This is a shameful failure of our democracy.”

        That’s what Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE), said Thursday in response to survey results that show notable shares of U.S. voters are afraid of encountering intimidation or violence at polling stations.

      • Democracy NowGreenpeace Warns of Twin Nuclear Crises in Ukraine from Chernobyl to Russian Military Control of Zaporizhzhia Plant

        Safety conditions at Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant are “completely out of control,” according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. This comes as the Russian military has deployed heavy artillery batteries and laid anti-personnel landmines at the site in recent weeks. “Nuclear plants are extremely vulnerable to external attack in the context of a war zone,” says Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace, who says something as simple as the loss of power could unleash “massive releases of radioactivity” at rates worse than the Cheronobyl disaster of 1986.

      • Democracy NowWarnings Grow over Nuclear Annihilation as Tensions Escalate Between U.S., Russia & China

        The U.N. warned this week that humanity is “one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation” as tensions escalate globally. We speak with Ira Helfand, former president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, who says the U.N. Security Council permanent members, comprising Russia, China, the U.S., the U.K. and France, are pursuing nuclear policies that are “going to lead to the end of the world that we know.” We also speak with disarmament activist Zia Mian, co-director of Princeton’s Program on Science and Global Security, who says non-nuclear weapon states must pressure other countries to sign onto the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

      • Counter PunchSummer 1914: War Enthusiasm, Real and Imaginary

        In view of this, the upper classes experienced the outbreak of war in 1914 as a deliverance after years of uncertainty, tension, and fear, and they heaved a sigh of relief. The coming of the war, writes Eric Hobsbawm,

        When he learned the news, the famous Field Marshal Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener declared laconically that “it is better to have an end of the uncertainty.” And a young Briton “from a good family,” Rupert Brooke, who would later be well known as an antiwar poet, expressed his enthusiasm in these verses:

      • Counter PunchRoaming Charges: The Mad-Eyed Lady of Pac Heights

        Some may say that Pelosi, now  82, has entered her second childhood. If so, it’s a delinquent one. Certainly her political inhibitions have dissolved, allowing her natural inclination to foment trouble to run rampant. One looks in vain for a rational motivation behind her ad hoc trip to Taiwan, an act of belligerency that might have sparked a war with another nuclear power. But to what end? China is not going to relinquish its entirely legitimate claims to Taiwan. Far from a model democracy, Taiwan is a former gangster state, whose repressive government was shaped by Chiang Kai-Shek, who retreated there in 1949 with his battered gang of CIA-financed KMT thugs, where he promptly instituted a violent crackdown on leftists known as the White Terror, a vicious form of martial law that lasted for the next 45 years.

        Sure Pelosi represents many rich Chinese exiles, who have made fortunes in San Francisco and now fantasize about sticking it to the CCP from the safety of their Nob Hill mansions. But Pelosi doesn’t need their money or support. She’s well beyond that now. (Though her husband Paul is surely watching with avaricious eyes the reaction of the markets to this junket of the damned.) Pelosi’s trip seems more personal, an almost pathological assertion of her autonomy. It’s the act of a playground bully and the Mad-Eyed Lady from Pac Heights has come to see the world as her playground–provocation for the sake of provocation. Damn the consequences.

      • Counter PunchNancy Pelosi’s Taiwan Trip: A Needless Provocation

        A Needless Provocation

        Why did Pelosi go?  She insists she went to demonstrate unwavering support of Taiwan’s democracy and confront China’s imminent threat to Taiwan’s security. “In the face of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) accelerating aggression,” she wrote, “our congressional delegation’s visit should be seen as an unequivocal statement that America stands with Taiwan, our democratic partner, as it defends itself and its freedom.”

      • Counter PunchBeyond the Mulish, Look to the Stars

        The New York Times columnist Tom Friedman even suggested that her visit could touch off WW3. It’s a measure of the strangeness of political “face” (we denigrate the Chinese preoccupation with “face,” as if our “credibility” did not amount to exactly the same thing) when the diplomatic visit of a lone government official can become the kind of spark that the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand played in setting off WW1. But almost any inadvertency could start WW3, because deterrence, to “work” (until it doesn’t “work” that is) requires hair-trigger preparedness.

        It’s an outrage, it’s evil, it’s incredibly stupid, and it ought to be illegal under international law. Oh, wait a minute, it is illegal under international law. See the Kellogg-Briand pact against war, in force since 1929; the treaty on Nuclear Weapons Proliferation (NPT), in force since 1971; and also the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in the process of being ratified by a majority of the world’s nations and having the force of international law applicable to all since 22 January 2021.

      • The NationWhy Can’t AIPAC Defend Israel?

        The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is the most influential, if not the most notorious, pro-Israel lobbying organization. So when it decided last year to start a super PAC and get directly involved in unlimited election giving—something it had not done before—the organization was clearly making a statement. This year it has spent tens of millions on TV ads, but what speaks the loudest is the one thing those ads never mention: Israel.

      • Counter PunchWhy Resistance Matters: Palestinians are Challenging Israel’s Unilateralism, Dominance

        Now that Israelis are embarking on their fifth election in less than four years, it is important to raise the question: “How do Palestine and the Palestinians factor in Israeli politics?”

        Israeli politicians and media, even those who are decrying the failure of the ‘peace process’, agree that peace with the Palestinians is no longer a factor, and that Israeli politics almost entirely revolves around Israel’s own socio-economic, political and strategic priorities.

      • Counter PunchLetter From Crimea: Stalin, Putin and the Exile Tartars
      • Counter PunchRussia and the European Union Continue Transition to Wartime Economies

        With costs mounting, Putin has increasingly promoted the need to fortify the Russian economy’s immediate and long-term position. In April, the head of Russia’s Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, stated that the Russian economy would see a “structural transformation” during the second and third quarters this year to offset inflation, supply chain issues, and reduced imports.

        To alleviate domestic concerns related to the cost of the war, the Kremlin increased the minimum wage and pension payments by 10 percent in May. The initiative also appeared to help muffle any domestic opposition on June 30, when two bills were submitted to the lower house of Russia’s parliament, the Duma, to give the Russian government greater control over the domestic economy.

      • Counter PunchOur Dangerous Ally Could Drag us into War With China

        Apart from brief isolationist periods, the US has been almost perpetually at war.

        The record is clear. Time and time again we have allowed ourselves to be drawn into the imperial wars of the UK and then the US. We have forfeited our strategic autonomy.

      • Counter PunchDiplomacy, Not Weapons, Will End the War

        For the outside world, the risk of an expanded war, one that could easily slip into a battle of nukes, must not be discounted.  Putin has made clear that he is ready to use chemical weapons or tactical nukes if needed to avoid a battlefield defeat.

        Thanks to the inspiring leadership of President Volodymyr Zelensky, the incredible valor of Ukrainian forces and citizen soldiers and timely arms aid from the U.S. and its NATO allies, the Ukrainians were able to repel Russian troops from their February-March advance on Kyiv. President Biden led a concerted NATO effort to contain the Russians through weapons transfers and economic sanctions.

      • Counter PunchWhy January 6 Means More to Washington than It Does to America

        Once again, they’re all just a bunch of lazy slack-jawed hicks who can’t be coaxed off their tractors to bother with the greatest threat to liberal democracy since Hitler wore lederhosen. Just like those lazy peasants who dare not vote, the rural lumpenproletariat are just genetically pre-dispositioned to be indifferent to what really matters in this world and trust me when I tell you that many of my neighbors are equally mystified and annoyed by these condescending coastal elites who keep trying to sell them tickets to Washington’s biggest monster truck rally since Watergate.

        As a genderqueer anarchist who has spent the better part of her life being chased by irate farm folk with rusty pitchforks and the other part trying to convince these same people to turn their rage against Washington instead from the comfort of my flaming windmill, I feel that I am somewhat absurdly equipped to explain both of these crowds of assholes in this stand-off to each other, seeing as I’m pretty much equally despised by both of them.

    • Environment

      • Common DreamsGreen Critics Say Manchin Side Deal Equals ‘Climate Disaster’

        The so-called “side deal” negotiated by Sen. Joe Manchin and the Democratic leadership faced growing backlash from climate organizations on Thursday after a draft copy of the legislation confirmed that the proposal would help accelerate approval of fossil fuel projects, potentially including a fracked gas pipeline running through West Virginia.

        “This should no longer be considered a ‘side deal,’ it is the main event for fossil fuel polluters.”

      • Energy

        • Common DreamsApplause as Court Rejects Trump-Era Coal Plan Defended by Biden Administration

          Environmentalists celebrated Thursday after a federal court rejected a pair of U.S. Bureau of Land Management coal mining plans that were drawn up during the Trump presidency and defended in legal proceedings by the Biden administration.

          “This ruling is a shameful confirmation that the Biden administration has no real interest in defending public lands or the climate,” said Jeremy Nichols, Climate and Energy Program director for WildEarth Guardians. “Thankfully the courts are upholding law and science, but it’s sad that President Biden is allowing his administration to undermine his promises to protect our health and our climate.”

        • [Old] Renewables are not THE solution | Stop at Zona-M

          “Solar panels on every surface” seems like an easy fix as long as you don’t look too closely at the processes involved. Solar electric panels are great at generating electricity. That is not the issue though. What [many places] need is heat. And solar electric panels are just shy of useless in heat generation.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Pro PublicaHow a Federal Agency Is Contributing to Salmon’s Decline in the Northwest

          Crystal Conant was camped for the night on a bluff overlooking the upper Columbia River in northeast Washington, beading necklaces by the glow of a lantern.

          The next morning, hundreds would gather at Kettle Falls for the annual salmon ceremony, held since time immemorial to celebrate the year’s first fish returning from the ocean. Conant and fellow organizers needed necklaces for everyone who would come. Honoring the gift of salmon, she said, requires giving gifts in turn.

        • USF professor discovers new species while part of team studying impact of oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico

          Even after teaching biology for nearly three decades, Heather Judkins still gets excited about conducting field research. An associate professor of Integrative Biology on the USF St. Petersburg campus, Judkins will continue her studies of cephalopods, such as octopus and squid, on July 26 as part of a team of scientists aboard the R/V Point Sur for a 12-day research cruise around the Gulf of Mexico.
          The goal of the cruise is to identify and quantify long-term trends in fishes, crustaceans and cephalopods in the midwaters of the Gulf in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that occurred in 2010.
          “We’re collecting specimens and looking at the biodiversity in that area and how it changes over time,” Judkins said. “We want to know what we could see in the future, in the unfortunate event of another oil spill.”

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The NationHangers-On
      • Counter PunchHow the Elites Use Identity Politics to Wage Class War

        So everyone got riled up about identity politics, while the one identity never mentioned, and possibly the most important, though assiduously elided in the public sphere, is class identity. Both political parties ignored working people’s economic concerns, to the delight of their mega-corporate donors. The public’s desire for single-payer health care, increased minimum wage, affordable higher education, decent infrastructure, an end to foreign military adventures and other such social benefits couldn’t be ditched fast enough by Dems and a GOP both utterly beholden to Big Money.

        The role of identity politics in any sane attempt to fight back against the power of obscene wealth is discussed in Elite Capture, a new book by Olufemi Taiwo. It asks at the outset, what is identity politics? It is, according to Dominic Gustavo at the World Socialist Web Site and quoted by Taiwo, “an essential tool utilized by the bourgeoisie to maintain its class domination over the working class by keeping workers divided along racial and gender lines.” Hard to argue with that. But then alternatively, Taiwo asks, is identity politics “as embodied in critical race theory, a dangerous ideology and threat to the established order that the powers that be aim to stamp out?”

      • Counter PunchHow Social Media Helped Fuel the Rise of White Nationalism

        Evidence is mounting that white nationalist groups who want to establish an all-white state played a significant role in the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol that left five dead and dozens wounded.

        Thus far, the hearings “have documented how the Proud Boys helped lead the insurrectionist mob into the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C,” journalist James Risen wrote in the Intercept.

      • Counter PunchMemo to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

        In mid- March 2020 when the big pro and college basketball and hockey leagues canceled their tournaments (essentially leaderless under Trump’s reality TV misgovernment), Americans generally started to physically or ‘socially’ distance, shelter, and restrict contacts for public health reasons.

        State governments stepped into the leadership vacuum left by federal covid dereliction.  The ‘reopen’ backlash that the governor’s opponent now says she will campaign on started immediately.

      • The NationThe Religious Right-Wingers Working to Run Ohio

        Over the past few months, Republicans in statehouses across the country have been working diligently to curtail their constituents’ civil rights. After Florida’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in March, public school teachers have been banned from discussing sexual orientation and gender in the classroom unless it is deemed “age appropriate or developmentally appropriate.” One school district reportedly warned teachers not to wear rainbow-colored clothing.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Drunk on Power: The Neo-Liberal Capture of the South African Mediascape by the US State Department

        An old fish swims by a young fish, and in passing, comments, “Good morning youngster. How’s the water today?”

      • Pro PublicaThe Fed Keeps Getting More Powerful. Is It Bad for America?

        Law professor Lev Menand has a new book out on that strange institution, the Federal Reserve, what it does and how its power and responsibility have grown over time.

        Menand is an associate professor at Columbia Law School specializing in finance and regulation. Before he joined the law school, he held various roles at the Treasury Department during the Obama administration and was an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, helping to oversee large lenders.

      • Democracy NowHungary PM Viktor Orbán Addresses CPAC as American Right Embraces His Authoritarian Rule

        We speak with international affairs scholar Kim Lane Scheppele on the rise and fall of Hungary’s constitutional democracy and how Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gained popularity among the American right ahead of his speech today at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “Orbán presents, especially for the American right, a kind of irresistible combination of culture war issues,” says Scheppele. “These culture war issues in Hungary disguise the fact that underneath the surface Orbán has been changing the laws of the country so that gradually he has shut down all of the independent institutions that might tell him no.” She says U.S. Republicans are now engaging in a very “Orbán-like” campaign to rig elections so they win regardless of the popular vote.

      • Counter PunchElite Lapdogs Always Welcome in the Corporate Media

        Cuomo’s appearances – both of which were with close friends, Maher and Abrams – were clearly an attempt to rebrand himself from unethical propagandist to fearless journalist. Cuomo explained that he was an optimistic person who was not bitter about what had happened at CNN. Looking back on his departure from CNN he said “I feel like I lost a sense of purpose for a while because of how things ended.” Cuomo’s recollection concealed that he was clearly bitter, so much so that he threatened a lawsuit against CNN and demanded $125 million in restitution for the damages to his reputation.

        Nonetheless, Cuomo claimed that he wanted to serve the American people with his podcast and broadcast program by breaking the hyper-partisan frame used in most reporting. This is rich coming from someone whose success is owed to a CNN program that preached to the Democratic Party choir by ritually lampooning Trump.

      • Meduza‘Standing up for the oppressed’: The Kremlin’s newest propaganda guide suggests likening Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to the First World War — Meduza

        Story by Andrey Pertsev. Translation by Sam Breazeale.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • TechdirtNick Sandmann, Who We Were Told Would Be Rich Beyond Belief From All The Media Companies He Sued, Loses Basically All Of His Cases

        A while back, we noted that there was something of a Rorschach test in how you viewed basically everything about Nick Sandmann, the MAGA-hat wearing high school student who became front page news after a video of him standing in front of a Native American demonstrator, Nathan Phillips, went viral. Everyone had their own interpretations. Context was often lacking. People’s personal beliefs may have clouded their own interpretations — across the board. But, as we noted, people’s own interpretations of what they saw… just is not defamatory. But Nick Sandmann sued anyway. He sued a whole bunch of media companies. And his fans (generally those in the Trump world), insisted he was going to end up owning these companies.

      • TechdirtPhilippines Legislator Offers Up Bill That Would Criminalize ‘Ghosting’

        Real problems are what legislators are supposed to be solving. The Philippines has plenty of those, ranging from (government-endorsed) extrajudicial killings of drug dealers and drug users to abuses of state power to silence journalists to the actual murders of human rights activists.

      • TechdirtPlease Don’t Normalize Copyright As A Tool For Censorship

        Yes, yes, copyright is a tool for censorship. Contrary to the claims of copyright system supporters that copyright can’t be used for censorship, the reality is that is basically the only thing that copyright is good for. I mean, at this point, you are either not paying attention, or are just outright lying if you claim that copyright isn’t regularly used to silence people. I could go on linking to examples, but you get the point.

      • TechdirtThanks To Automated Copyright Claims And A Troll, Infamous CounterStrike Clip Gets A DMCA Takedown

        At this point, every reader here should be aware that YouTube has a copyright/DMCA problem it has yet to solve. Going through the myriad of posts we’ve done about DMCA and ContentID takedowns on YouTube, the theme is abundantly clear: YouTube’s automated systems are wide open for mistakes, fraud, and abuse. If you don’t think that’s the case, you aren’t paying attention. This is especially illuminated when either very obviously non-infringing clips get taken down via DMCA notice, or when super famous clips that have been around forever are suddenly hit with a DMCA notice and get taken down.

      • MeduzaBlacklisted Russia has declared 12 organizations ‘undesirable’ so far this year. Here’s what you need to know about their work. — Meduza

        Since January, the Russian Attorney General’s Office has declared 12 organizations “undesirable,” on the grounds that they pose a threat to national security. The number of organizations that Russia deems “undesirable” grows with each passing year and at this rate 2022 is also poised to see a new record. Meduza sums up what you need to know about the organizations blacklisted so far this year. 

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Counter PunchWhat Does It Mean to Say You’re Sorry? On Pope Francis’s Visit to Canada

        Seated in a wheelchair in a small town outside Edmonton, Pope Francis explained the reasons for his visit before directly apologizing for the Church’s past sins: “I have come to your native lands to tell you in person of my sorrow, to implore God’s forgiveness, healing and reconciliation, to express my closeness and to pray with you and for you. I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples.” The words were deeply felt by many. Several Indigenous Canadians were shown wiping away tears while the Pontiff spoke.

        In a similar moral situation, and after years of hesitancy by the institution, the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) President, Cornelio Sommaruga, expressed moral failure for his humanitarian organization’s lack of action during World War II. At the annual ICRC press conference in 1995, referring to the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, he said: “But believe me, every moment spent today on our humanitarian responsibilities to assist the victims of war and political violence reminds me of our institution’s moral failure with regard to the Holocaust, since it did not succeed in moving beyond the limited legal framework established by the States. Today’s ICRC can only regret the possible omissions and errors of the past.” Sommaruga expressed similar regret when he took part in the 1995 ceremony to commemorate the liberation of the concentration camp at Auschwitz.

      • Counter PunchKansas Trusted Women
      • Counter PunchLet’s Be Frank About Kansas

        Believe it or not this move was consistent with the postmodern post-Marxist post-left turn by the very intellectuals people see as elite. When it comes to intellectuals I am hesitant to call them elite as most trendy intellectuals like to do. If as Adorno says the radical part of art is its uselessness the same is true for ideas. If one can create ideas rather than materials that seems to be a good thing in a world where materials are destroying our ability to subsist.

        My turn against the so-called populist left has earned me a lot of righteous finger wagging from elitist anti-intellectuals but it is a popular idea amongst people. The crude attempt to reclaim class-first leftism from post-Marxist intellectuals has only furthered the alienation most people feel from the left.

      • Counter PunchAnti-Abortion and the Lives of Children: A Freudian’s Perspective

        The question here is whether there is something unique about anti-abortionists as distinct from people espousing other reactionary causes, expressed in their preoccupation with the life of the unborn and their disconnect or indifference to the death of born children worldwide and to the death of pregnant mothers. This dichotomy about life and death in anti-abortionists’ behavior is extremely stark as there is so much publicized about the needless and preventable cruelty and killing of children in the world today. I would even argue that historically, the present so-called liberal democracies are unprecedented in sanctioning cruelty, killing, and psychological unawareness of children.

        Sibling rivalry is expressed in everyday life, in the stories of Cain and Abel and Joseph and his brothers, and in the clinical literature. Freud interpreted Goethe’s one single memory from his ‘earliest years of childhood’ as an expression of sibling rivalry: Goethe remembered that he was ‘overjoyed’ to hurl every little dish, cooking-pot and pan out the window and smash them to bits after the birth of a brother when he was not yet four. Freud had a patient who brought out the proximity in his life of the birth of a brother and the memory of flinging objects out the window, and other analysts relayed to Freud the same sequence, of their patients’ throwing things out the window right after the birth of a sibling. Freud commented that “the new baby must be got rid of – through the window, perhaps because he came in through the window.” In everyday life, it is not uncommon for parents to mitigate or try to eliminate any anger and resentment by the pretense of providing the older child with a gift supposedly from the newborn infant as if to say that the new baby is not taking anything away but giving a present. Parents’ own ambivalent sibling feelings are apparent when they do not see and do not protect the younger sibling from many expressions of hostility. This is painfully represented in contemporary novelist Sally Rooney’s Normal People depicting a brother’s murderous behavior towards his sister with the collusion of their mother.

      • TechdirtFederal Judge Places County Jail Into Receivership After County Fails To Comply With Consent Decree

        In an extremely rare move, a federal court has ordered a jail into receivership, placing it under the direct control of a court-appointed third party that will (hopefully) carry out the needed changes Hinds County, Mississippi either can’t or won’t do. (h/t Scott Greenfield)

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • TechdirtTech Giants Urge FCC To Raise Pathetic U.S. Definition Of ‘Broadband’ To 1 Gigabit

        INCOMPAS, the DC trade policy and lobbying group primarily steered by tech giants, is urging the FCC to finally boost the U.S.’ pathetic definition of broadband. The FCC’s current definition of broadband, 25 Mbps down, 3 Mbps up, is looking a bit pathetic, particularly on the upstream side. And the lower standard helps the uncompetitive telecom sector obscure its failure to broadly deliver next-gen speeds.

      • TechdirtGoogle Fiber’s 2016 Expansion Freeze May Be Coming To An End

        When Google Fiber launched back in 2010, it was heralded as a game changer for the broadband industry. Google Fiber, we were told, would revolutionize the industry by taking Silicon Valley money and disrupting the viciously uncompetitive and anti-competitive telecom sector.

    • Monopolies

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • 🛌

        When I have good dreams I wake disappointed that they aren’t my reality.
        When I have bad dreams I wake shaken from the night of torment.

      • Hell Week

        It was bound to happen sooner or later. But the timing really does suck.

        I started hearing a clanging noise from my truck a couple of months ago, very intermittently. Something like the sound of an exhaust pipe just starting to drag on the ground. Sometimes followed by other noises, which sounded like bearing noise of some sort. I haven’t been able to track it down.

        Money is, of course, a critical concern right now. In our post-Covid economy, our once just adequate incomes have turned into a slow backpedal and decline. So taking it somewhere to have an expert work on it was out of the question. It’s heart wrenching seeing everything that you’ve worked for slowly slip away.

      • Rewards in a small world

        I was picking up on the idea of a sort of exchange taking place as I was considering what a “contributive economy” might be in light of Marcia B.’s criticism of the commercialisation of the role-playing games hobby…

    • Technical

      • Short impressions of Lubuntu and Regolith Linux

        I have been using Ubuntu on my laptop for the past 4 years. At first for window managers I had Unity, then Gnome 3. Later I became interested in a tiling window manager. I tried a few out but settled on i3 after some time figuring out how to configure it for Dvorak. Like someone’s Vim dotfiles, it’s easy to get stuck in a continuous never-complete reconfiguring of one’s setup. I added the ability to change volume, change brightness, jump to different workscreen setups, etc etc. But I always had little bugs that would creep in. Probably a result of my particular combo of fish shell, Dvorak, i3, and my audio setups.

        About 6 months ago I stumbled across RegolithOS, which bills itself as Ubuntu with i3 preconfigured. Surely I didn’t need that, I thought. But oh, what the heck, it looks nice in screenshots. Should I try it?

        It’s an easy install on top of Ubuntu. And I wanted to update my (for shame) old Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to something more recent, to 20 or 22. So I backed up my computer, then updated to 20, then to 22.04 and then Regolith’s add-ons. Oh, what the heck, if it brakes, it will brake fabulously I thought.

      • Solving a bad ARP behavior on a Linux router

        So, I recently switched my home router to Linux but had a network issues for devices that would get/renew their IP with DHCP. They were obtaining an IP, but they couldn’t reach the router before a while (between 5 seconds to a few minutes), which was very annoying and unreliable.

      • Fair Internet bandwidth management on a network using Linux

        A while ago I wrote an OpenBSD guide to fairly share the Internet bandwidth to the LAN network, it was more or less working. Now I switched my router to Linux, I wanted to achieve the same. Unfortunately, it’s not really documented as well as on OpenBSD.

        The command needed for this job is “tc”, acronym for Traffic Control, the Jack of all trades when it comes to manipulate your network traffic. It can add delays or packets lost (this is fun when you want to simulate poor conditions), but also traffic shaping and Quality of Service (QoS).

      • Snow Crash – Metaverses and Viral Culture

        Snow Crash – A book by Neal Stephenson, published in 1992.

        In 2021, the book came back into vogue following Facebook’s announcement that they were changing their name to Meta and aiming to develop a metaverse. The concept of a metaverse first appears in /Snow Crash/.

        After actually reading the book, I find the link between Facebook and Snow Crash even more ironic than most journalists point out. Usually, it’s the case that Zukerberg’s vision of a metaverse is contrasted strongly with Stephenson’s.

        However, the most relevant part of the book with regard to Facebook, for me, is its theme of ‘viral language’.

        The theme/theory is elaborated quite a bit in the book, so I won’t try to cover it too much (actually, much of the theory it is a tad facile. I have to say I enjoyed /Cryptonomicon/ a lot more than this book).

      • Programming

        • C++20 is pretty good

          I’ve upgraded to gcc v12, which has the C++ standard in it, although it’s not fully compliant. Too bad it doesn’t have “format()”, for example. There’s some nice stuff in C++20, and I’ve barely scraped the surface of what it can do. It is clear that some people have a deep understanding of C++. Perhaps I’d consider myself a journeyman in C++. I no longer work in industry, but I guess I’m around average in terms of knowledge. I think most programmers are well below mastery level, mostly banging out code that works. And that suffices. Google and Facebook are not going to be knocking on my door any day, although curiously some time ago I did have someone *claiming* to be from Google say they were interested in interviewing me. I didn’t take them up on their offer. I’m not interested in joining the Cult Of Google, and I’m confident that they wouldn’t have me as a member, either. But I digress …

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It’s like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

Links 05/08/2022: Mageia 9 Wants Artwork

Posted in News Roundup at 12:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • FOSSBytesChrome OS Vs Windows: The Ultimate Comparison [Ed: A false dichotomy, as usual]

        Gone are the days when Windows was your only good option when choosing an operating system. Thanks to the open-source community at large, Desktop Linux has witnessed steady growth in the past few years, and so has Google’s OS for computers and Chrome OS.

        Introduced in 2011, Chrome OS has grown immensely over the last decade, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic taking the previous two years by storm and work/study-from-home becoming the new norm. But the real question is, has Chrome OS developed enough to challenge Windows? Here’s the only ultimate Chrome OS Vs Windows comparison you’ll ever need!

    • Server

      • The New StackGoogle Puts Open Source in Chip Design and Manufacturing – The New Stack

        Chip manufacturers are on speed dial for cloud giants like Google and Amazon when they need volume production of internally designed chips. But a program led by Google is trying to open source silicon on the roadmap to combat that domination.

        Google is leading a group of partners that provides open source software tools for chip designers to design, verify and test virtual versions of the chips, and then get the physical parts manufactured in factories for free. The goal is to help do-it-yourselfers, universities and chip startups cut the designs and production cost of chips.


        The New Stack is a wholly owned subsidiary of Insight Partners, an investor in the following companies mentioned in this article: Unit, Bionic.

      • UbuntuCanonical talks cloud native and career development at community meetup in Manila | Ubuntu

        The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) defines Cloud Native as

        A technology that empowers organisations to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. Containers, service meshes, microservices, immutable infrastructure, and declarative APIs exemplify this approach.

        These techniques enable loosely coupled systems that are resilient, manageable, and observable. Combined with robust automation, they allow engineers to make high-impact changes frequently and predictably with minimal toil.

        Cloud native is about speed and agility.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Make Use OfLinux Kernel 5.19 Released With 7 New Features

        A new version of the Linux kernel has arrived. Like most updates, version 5.19 doesn’t contain one headline-grabbing feature. Instead, it’s filled with various odds-and-ends improvements that make Linux more performant across hardware both new and old.

        Maybe 5.19 will be a release that surprises you. But if you don’t want to be surprised, here’s some of what to expect.

    • Applications

      • Linux LinksStreaming with Linux: Amazon Music Unlimited – LinuxLinks

        This is a new series that surveys popular streaming services from a Linux perspective. I am not reviewing any of the streaming services themselves although I may make comments from a personal perspective along the way.

        To start the series, I’m looking at Amazon Music Unlimited. This is a music subscription service with a catalogue of around 90 million songs. It costs $8.99/£8.99 per month to Prime members ($9.99/£9.99 for non-Prime members). I took advantage of the recent Amazon Prime Day deal offering a 4 month free trial. At the time of writing, there’s still a 1 month free trial available. Up to 10 devices can be authorized to a music library account.

        The service offers a wide-ranging song catalogue and bundles in lossless and hi-res tracks in the standard subscription fee. If you’re a follower of my music software reviews, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of music encoded with FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec).

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • H2S MediaHow to Install exa on Ubuntu 20.04/22.04- ls command alternative

        Here in this tutorial, we will find out how to install and use Exa on Ubuntu 20.04 or 22.04 linux. The commands given here can be used on other Debian or Ubuntu-based systems as well.

        exa is a modern alternative to the ls command. exa is a revised terminal command (with more features) for listing files or folders. Colors are used for a clearer presentation by distinguishing file types and metadata. Symlinks, Git, and other attributes are also taken into account. It’s small, fast, and just one single binary.

      • Red Hat OfficialLinux tool alternatives, configuring firewalls, and more sysadmin tips | Enable Sysadmin

        July 2022 was another excellent month for Enable Sysadmin. During the month, we published 24 new articles and received more than 770,000 reads from over 520,000 readers across the site.

      • ByteXDHow to Set and Unset Environment Variables in Linux – ByteXD

        In this tutorial, you will be acquainted with multiple methods to manage environment variables by checking all available variables (local and global), along with common ways to set/unset system-wide and remote login session accessible variables.

      • ID RootHow To Install VSCodium on Linux Mint 21 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install VSCodium on Linux Mint 21. For those of you who didn’t know, VSCodium is an open source, free to use, and community-driven binary distribution of Microsoft’s editor VSCode. The source code for this product can be found on GitHub, which is licensed under the MIT license and will always remain free as long as you don’t mind installing extra features via plugins or extensions from third parties like Telemetry.

        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 a VSCodium on Linux Mint 21 (Vanessa).

      • ID RootHow To Install ClamAV on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install ClamAV on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, ClamAV is an open-source antivirus engine for detecting trojans, viruses, malware, and other malicious threats. It supports multiple file formats (documents, executables, or archives), utilizes multi-thread scanner features, and receives updates for its signature database at least 2-4 times a day.

        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 ClamAV on Ubuntu 22.04 (Jammy Jellyfish). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 22.04 and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Pop!_OS, and more as well.

      • TecMint10 Things to Do After Installing Linux Mint 21

        This guide explains 10 things that you should do after installing Linux Mint 21, Vanessa. This focuses on the Cinnamon edition but should work for those who have installed the Mate and XFCE editions as well.

      • Linux Shell TipsHow to Install Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate on Domain

        Consider this scenario, you have a website project that is up and running but you need some security surety to maintain the integral identity of your website project.

        Website security provides the certainty that potential and growing internet traffic is never diverted from a web platform since users can trust their access to it. The Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate is a digital certificate responsible for authenticating a web app’s identity via an activated encrypted connection.

        For Linux users running and managing web apps via various Linux server distribution systems (either for personal or commercial reasons), the Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate is good at not only keeping customer information private and secure but also encapsulating their online transactions from prying eyes.

        This article will walk us through the installation and activation of the Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates on an active domain name.

      • Linux Shell TipsHow to Check Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate Expiration Date

        Consider this scenario, you have a web app or website up and running and secured by a Let’s Encrypt certificate. The latter statement has no problem until you start wondering when you installed the Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate associated with your domain name and how many days you have towards its expiration.

        This article will walk us through a valid solution and also provide an alternate permanent solution so that we do not ever have to worry about the Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate’s expiration dates.

      • OpenSource.comDelete the local reference to a remote branch in Git | Opensource.com

        After you merge a GitLab or GitHub pull request, you usually delete the topic branch in the remote repository to maintain repository hygiene. However, this action deletes the topic branch only in the remote repository. Your local Git repository also benefits from routine cleanup.

        To synchronize the information in your local repository with the remote repository, you can execute the git prune command to delete the local reference to a remote branch in your local repository.

      • CitizixHow to Setup Prometheus Monitoring On Kubernetes Cluster

        In this guide, we will learn how to set up Prometheus for monitoring on a Kubernetes cluster. This setup collects node, pods, and services metrics automatically using Prometheus service discovery configurations.

      • Trend OceansHow to Enable PipeWire and Disable PulseAudio in Ubuntu 22.04 – TREND OCEANS

        There are lists of applications that I can’t afford to miss after setting up newly installed distributions, and one of them is EasyEffects, which enhances the audio quality to the next level. Without it, I don’t get the real vibe from the music.

        If you have ever used the EasyEffects, you will know it requires a PipeWire audio server, and it won’t work if you are using PulseAudio as an audio server, so I do have two options.

        One option is that I could install PulseEffects, or else I could enable PipeWire, which is bundled with Ubuntu 22.04, and as you know, PulseAudio doesn’t support the latest Bluetooth earphones, so it’s better for me to enable Pipewire.
        After making the changes, EasyEffects started working, so if you are having a similar kind of problem, then this article will be useful for you and you can even follow the below steps if your Bluetooth headset is not working in Ubuntu 22.04.

      • markaicode by MarkHow to Update from Rocky Linux 8 to Rocky Linux 9 | Mark Ai Code

        Gregory Kurtzer, the original CentOS creator, founded the Rocky Project. This came after Redhat announced the demise of CentOS Linux. This Linux distribution created to meet CentOS’s initial aims was first published on April 30, 2021, with the public availability version following on June 21, 2021.

        The most astonishing thing about Rocky Linux is that it is a free and open-source system that is bug-for-bug compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Rocky Linux 9 is the most recent release version of this Linux distribution.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Mini-GUADEC 2022 Berlin: retrospective | Philip Withnall

          I’m really pleased with how the mini-GUADEC in Berlin turned out. We had a really productive conference, with various collaborations speeding up progress on Files, display colour handling, Shell, adaptive apps, and a host of other things. We watched and gave talks, and that seemed to work really well. The conference ran from 15:00 to 22:00 in Berlin time, and breaks in the schedule matched when people got hungry in Berlin, so I’d say the timings worked nicely. It helped to be in a city where things are open late.

          c-base provided us with a cool inside space, a nice outdoor seating area next to the river, reliable internet, quality A/V equipment and support for using it, and a big beamer for watching talks. They also had a bar open later in the day, and there were several food options nearby.

          At least from our end, GUADEC 2022 managed to be an effective hybrid conference. Hopefully people in Guadalajara had a similarly good experience?

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • Time to Make Mageia 9 Beautiful – The Artwork Drop is Open | Mageia Blog (English)

        As with every release, the artwork for Mageia 9 will come from you, the great community that supports and makes Mageia possible. The Development of Mageia 9 is progressing quickly, with many major updates and key features getting ready for testing and release. With this progress, it’s time to get the artwork ready for release. As in previous years, we’re looking for your contributions and ideas, but not just images and photos – if you have icons and logos, or ideas on how login screens or animations should look, then it’s time to discuss or show them off.

    • Red Hat / Fedora Family / IBM

      • IBM Old TimerIBM emeritus Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Disruptive Forces Necessitate Bold Decisions

        In January of 2021 I attended Predictions 21, an online event organized by Forrester Research. “Faced with the pandemic, firms did things that once seemed impossible – sometimes overnight,” said Forrester last year, adding that “2021 will be the year that every company – not just the 15% of firms that were already digitally savvy – doubles down on technology-fueled experiences, operations, products, and ecosystems.”

        Earlier this year I attended Predictions 22, and was particularly curious to see how things had changed in the intervening year. “Disruptive Forces Necessitate Bold Decisions,” was the overriding message in this year’s event guide. “The old ways of working no longer work. The future is up for grabs. Leading firms will use the crucibles of 2020 and 2021 to forge a path to an agile, creative, and resilient tomorrow.”

      • Fedora ProjectFedora Community Blog: CPE Weekly Update – Week 31 2022

        This is a weekly report from the CPE (Community Platform Engineering) Team. If you have any questions or feedback, please respond to this report or contact us on #redhat-cpe channel on libera.chat (https://libera.chat/).

      • ZDNetFrom software developer to CEO: Red Hat’s Matt Hicks on his journey to the top [Ed: On the WWW, thought I'm not sure about paper form, like 90% of "news" is already paid-for webspam, sponsored by the companies the 'articles' are about. This means that nowadays being a "professional journalist" means being compromised, becoming a corporate parrot.]
      • SlashdotFrom Software Developer To CEO: Red Hat’s Matt Hicks On His Journey To the Top [Ed: IBM paying "news" sites to do Red Hat churnalism/stenography, pretending all is well]
      • Enterprisers Project4 tips to help retain IT talent

        Over the past two years, IT leaders have been tasked with juggling innovation to keep business operations running efficiently – all at breakneck speed while collaborating with external partners. CIOs must also collaborate with internal stakeholders to manage the risks.

        As business models and customer interactions have shifted to digital platforms, technology management has also changed to allow employees to remain productive in this new environment.

        Organizations today have a diverse and truly globalized workforce and must consider different cultures, time zones, and currencies. Many employees also struggle with challenges such as balancing the demands of work and family, dealing with a more solitary work environment, and more – all of which affect mental health and work performance.

      • Enterprisers ProjectDeveloper burnout: 3 ways to avoid it on your IT team

        Software development is continuous and constantly changing. As a result, modern developers may feel “always on,” with little downtime to recharge. A study from Haystack found that 83 percent of software developers suffer from workplace burnout.

        It’s no secret that the pandemic increased feelings of burnout, but other variables exacerbate these feelings as well. The top reasons developers cited in the study for burnout included high workload (47 percent), inefficient processes (31 percent), and unclear goals or targets (29 percent).

        Developer experience (DevEx) refers to the overall interactions and feelings that a developer experiences when working toward a goal. It can play a critical role in curating positive experiences for both developers and end users. A frictionless developer experience that uncomplicates processes and helps prevent developer burnout is vital.

    • Debian Family

      • CNX SoftwareInexpensive, Snapdragon 410-based “4G LTE WiFi Modem” made to run Debian 11

        Some ultra-compact 4G LTE wireless routers housed in what looks like a largish USB dongle are based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 401 (MSM8916) quad-core Cortex-A53 processor and have been hacked to run Debian 11 with Linux 5.15 instead of the pre-loaded Android OS.

        Soon after Extrowerk had purchased a ~$20 “4G LTE WiFi modem” USB dongle, he noticed it would show as “Android” when connected to his PC. It also turned out that Chinese hacker HandsomeYingYan had already done some work on the device modding the lk2nd bootloader and the Linux kernel for the OpenStick project for “mainline Linux on msm8916-based 4G USB modem”, and documented his work (in Chinese) to run Debian 11 on the “4G USB WiFi Modem” pictured below.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Medevel16 Open-source Projects to Build a CCTV System With Raspberry Pi

        Raspberry Pi is still the most popular affordable SBC (Single Board Computer). It is used as the core in many of projects for education, healthcare, security, and IoT.

      • Geeky GadgetsMangoPi MQ Pro with 64-bit RISC-V processor

        MangoPi has officially launched their second RISC-V mini PC after unveiling it earlier this year. The MangoPi MQ Pro measures just 65 x 30mm and is available with either 512MB or 1GB of DDR3L memory and is equipped with 2 x USB Type-C ports, 1 x mini HDMI 1.4 port, 1 x microSD card reader plus a 40-pin GPIO header compatible with Raspberry Pi boards. The mini PC also supports Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi 4 connectivity.

        The MangoPi MQ Pro is the company second mini PC powered by a RISC-V processor and follows on from the tiny MangoPi MQ powered by a Allwinner D1s processor supported by 64MB of RAM and featuring 2 x USB-C ports, 1 x microSD card reader, WiFi and Bluetooth.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • OpenSource.comScalable storage for the masses to debut in ownCloud Infinite Scale | Opensource.com

      So far, ownCloud users have only had the opportunity to choose between simple local file storage based on a POSIX-compatible file system or EOS Open Storage (EOS). The latter causes massive complexity during setup. More recent versions of ownCloud feature a functionality called Decomposed FS. This file system is supposed to bring oCIS to arbitrary storage backends and even scalable ones.

      During the rewrite of ownCloud from PHP to Go, the company behind the private cloud solution is introducing massive changes to the backend of the software. This time, the developers do away with a tedious requirement of the first versions of ownCloud Infinite Scale (oCIS). By implementing a file system abstraction layer, oCIS can use arbitrary backend-storages (and even such storage mechanisms that can seamlessly scale out). This article explains the reasons behind ownCloud’s decision, the details behind the Decomposed FS component, and what it means for ownCloud users and future deployments.

      To understand the struggle that oCIS faces, it’s important to have a quick look back at the genesis of ownCloud Infinite Scale. What started as an attempt to gain more performance resulted in a complete rewrite of the tool in a programming language that was different from the previous one. ownCloud did, however, partner with several companies and institutions when rewriting its core product. Amongst the organizations that ownCloud partnered with was a university in Australia. Said university used EOS, a storage technology developed by CERN, the European physics research institute notorious for running projects like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). For the partnership between ownCloud and the Australian University to make any sense, oCIS needed to be tied to the existing on-premises storage solution of the institute.

    • Content Management Systems (CMS)

      • Ariadne ConillMigrating away from WordPress

        Astute followers of this blog might have noticed that the layout has dramatically changed. This is because I migrated away from WordPress last weekend, switching back to Hugo after a few years. This time around, the blog is fully self-hosted, rather than depending on GitHub pages, and the deployment pipeline is reasonably secure. Perhaps we can call it a “secure blog factory” with some further work, even.

      • The Month in WordPress – July 2022

        July 2022 brought a lot of exciting announcements and proposals for the WordPress project, from an updated timeline for the WordPress 6.1 release, to design updates on WordPress.org. Read on to learn more about the latest news from the community.

      • MedevelRasa is a Machine Learning Framework For Building Text and Voice Intelligent Conversations

        Rasa is a free and open-source community-powered machine learning framework to automate text- and voice-based conversations.


        Rasa is licensed under the Apache-2.0 License.

      • Medevel15 Open-source Free Live-chat Widget Solutions To Boost Your Customer Engagement

        In this article we created you a list of the best open-source chat widget solutions, which vary in features, and options. We recommend going through the list and look through all of their features before making a final decision.

    • Programming/Development

      • Java

        • Ubuntu PitTop 15 Best Netbeans Themes for Free in 2022

          Netbeans is an open-source IDE known for its easy usage, intuitive interface, and Java implementation. However, users sometimes have their own preferences for which they might wish to use one of the other NetBeans themes. And there are plenty of options to choose from!

          That said, themes aren’t just used to make the software look pretty. They have a lot more to them and actually contribute much to the user experience besides the UI. Different themes in IDEs work to keep the codes organized and enhance their readability, among other benefits.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Chromecast Protocol

        After almost a month of reconnaissance through the study of Chromium’s code, VLC’s code and other people’s attempts, we finally have figured out the Chromecast protocol, and it works flawlessly and reliably!

  • Leftovers

    • [Old] Where I hope to go (just NOT with SubStack) | Stop at Zona-M

      A couple of months ago, NiemanLab republished what Casey Newton learned from a year on Substack, that is plenty of details and tips about leaving a media company and start your own publication.

    • TruthOutFeel Like Everything Is Crumbling? This Oral History of the Future Offers Hope.
    • The NationJuan Emar’s Forgotten Vanguard

      The Chilean writer known as Juan Emar chose that name amid a lifetime of dissatisfaction. Born Álvaro Yáñez Bianchi in 1893 in Santiago, he was the son of a prominent Chilean lawyer and newspaper magnate, and adopted his nom de plume around 1924 to express his disdain for the country’s intellectual landscape and his place in it. Contemporary Chilean literature’s staid criollismo movement was looking to the countryside for naturalist visions of rural life—imagine Little House on the Pampas—but Bianchi was more interested in European experimentalism. “Juan Emar” was meant to sound like “J’en ai marre,” French for “I’m fed up.”

    • HackadayThe FishFeeder Keeps Your Fish Fed While You’re Away

      With summer in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere, millions of people are out on vacation leaving millions of homes empty. Thanks to modern technology it’s easier than ever to keep an eye on those empty homes: internet-connected cameras report suspicious activity, and smart-home devices like curtains and light bulbs can be operated from your holiday home. If you’ve got an aquarium and want to keep your fish well-fed during your vacation, then [FoxIS]’s internet-connected automated fish feeder might come in handy too.

    • Common DreamsOpinion | Remembering the Life and Work of David Moberg (1943-2022)

      In September 1965, David Moberg, a 22-year-old reporter in Newsweek’s Los Angeles bureau, interviewed Bob Dylan, who had just begun using electric instruments in his recordings and concerts, which upset fans who preferred a more traditional, acoustic sound. He asked the singer if there was a “new” Bob Dylan. Dylan responded, “How would you like it if somebody introduced you as the ‘new’ David Moberg?”

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Proprietary

      • NBCTaiwanese websites hit with DDoS attacks as Pelosi begins visit

        The attacks hit at least four websites — those of President Tsai Ing-wen, the National Defense Ministry, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the country’s largest airport, Taiwan Taoyuan International.

        It wasn’t clear where the cyberattacks came from. Their timing added to concerns over China’s vehement opposition to the visit by Pelosi, D-Calif.

    • Security

      • Bleeping ComputerNew Linux malware brute-forces SSH servers to breach networks [Ed: Now the Microsofters are trying to blame "Linux" for weak passwords, which are brute-forced. This is getting utterly ridiculous given that Windows has actual back doors.]

        A new botnet called ‘RapperBot’ is being used in attacks since mid-June 2022, focusing on brute-forcing its way into Linux SSH servers to establish a foothold on the device.

      • Maritime regulation. All Hands-on Deck! | Pen Test Partners

        Since January 1st 2021 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been enforcing Resolution MSC. 428(98) of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code.

        This resolution encourages Vessel Owners to ensure that cyber risks are appropriately addressed in existing safety management systems (SMS) by no later than the first annual verification of the company’s Document of Compliance (DOC) after January 1, 2021.

      • eSecurity PlanetCobalt Strike Inspires Next-generation Crimeware | eSecurityPlanet

        Cobalt Strike is a legitimate vulnerability scanning and pentesting tool that has long been a favorite tool of hackers, and it’s even been adapted by hackers for Linux environments.

      • LWNSecurity updates for Friday [LWN.net]

        Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, thunderbird, and xorg-x11-server), Debian (xorg-server), Gentoo (Babel, go, icingaweb2, lib3mf, and libmcpp), Oracle (389-ds:1.4, go-toolset:ol8, httpd, mariadb:10.5, microcode_ctl, and ruby:2.5), Red Hat (xorg-x11-server), Scientific Linux (xorg-x11-server), SUSE (buildah, go1.17, go1.18, harfbuzz, python-ujson, qpdf, u-boot, and wavpack), and Ubuntu (gnutls28, libxml2, mod-wsgi, openjdk-8, openjdk-8, openjdk-lts, openjdk-17, openjdk-18, and python-django).

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • [Old] NEVER mix your employer and your smartphone

          Rachel By The Bay recently shared that she bought a second phone just because she wanted THAT other phone, and that only, to “take the burden of all of the crap her new employer was about to throw at her”.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • NBCAfter Alex Jones’ lawyers accidentally leak years of emails, Infowars financial documents are revealed in court

        Lawyers for Alex Jones appeared to have accidentally sent over the entire contents of the Infowars founder’s phone to the lawyers for the plaintiffs in his defamation trial, according to court proceedings Wednesday.

        Mark Bankston, a lawyer for the parents of one of the children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and who are now suing Jones, said during the proceedings that “12 days ago, his [Jones’] attorneys messed up and sent me a digital copy of every text” and email from Jones’ phone.

      • Foreign PolicyTaliban Killings Skyrocket in Forgotten Afghanistan

        This is not the first warning that Taliban killings are on the rise. In January, the United Nations reported that more than 100 former Afghan officials had likely been killed since the Taliban seized Kabul in August 2021, most of those killings conducted by the militant group. But former Afghan officials believe that the numbers are continuing to rise as Afghanistan has receded from the spotlight with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and few consequences from U.S. officials.

      • The HillAlex Jones’s attorney ‘messed up’ and sent two years of texts to Sandy Hook parents’ lawyers

        The legal team for far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones accidentally sent two years of his phone records to the attorneys for parents of a Sandy Hook school shooting victim, cross-examination revealed Wednesday during his defamation trial.

      • TruthOutJan. 6 Committee Has Requested Alex Jones Texts, Sandy Hook Parents’ Lawyer Says
      • NPRA judge unleashed a tirade on a prominent Jan. 6 defendant for his post-plea comments

        But Friedrich, who was nominated to the federal bench by former President Trump, grew audibly frustrated when she turned to Straka’s recent public comments about both his cooperation and his plea deal.

      • Telex (Hungary)The captured American spy plane that crashed during a Hungarian pleasure flight

        Sixty-one years ago, on 6 August 1961, the accident known as the Lumumba Street tragedy occurred when a Malév plane – a passenger plane converted from an American “spy plane” – crashed into a high-rise building in Zugló during a sightseeing flight in Budapest. Even though thirty people died in the disaster, it was not reported in the newspapers until days later.

      • TruthOut21st-Century US Foreign Policy Is Shaped by Fears of China’s Rise, Chomsky Says
      • ScheerpostPatrick Lawrence: Language and Its Enemies

        Media critic Patrick Lawrence lays out how the aftermath and potential consequences of Pelosi’s Taiwan visit are made obscure by certain media outlets.

      • TruthOutWarnings Grow over Nuclear War as Tensions Escalate Between US, Russia and China
      • Counter PunchAs the War in Ukraine Devastates the Nation’s Ecosystems, the World Reaches Record-High Military Spending

        While ignoring the climate disaster, the U.S. is not only spending to boast its own military powers but also providing Ukraine with weapons and other aid in its ongoing conflict with Russia.

        With the war in Ukraine raging on, the U.S. Senate voted 86 to 11 in May and gave its approval to President Joe Biden’s massive additional aid package of $40 billion to help Ukraine on top of the nearly $14 billionauthorized just two months prior. This total financial aid package for Ukraine of around $54 billion is now almost as large or larger than the entire 2021 defense budgets of several countries: France’s military budget was $56.6 billion in 2021, Germany’s was $56 billion, Japan’s was $54.1 billion and Australia’s military spending stood at $31.8 billion. In contrast, there are also other ongoing struggles and attempts by some countries to achieve independence worldwide. They grab little attention and receive no substantial financial support.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Reflections on Russia’s Antiwar Protests and Ours

        Simultaneously, we find ourselves witnessing the playing out of the repression of dissent against the illegal and hugely unpopular 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, along with the repression of dissent against the illegal and hugely unpopular 2003 American invasion of Iraq. The arena for the latter has been the ongoing extradition campaign against Julian Assange for the 2010 Wikileaks release of “Collateral murder” a video of a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack killing several Iraqi civilians, including two journalists. The most noteworthy recent Russian event—in real time—came with a court sentencing Moscow district councilor Aleksei Gorinov to seven years in prison for breaking a recently adopted law against spreading “false information.” Gorinov’s crime was calling the Ukraine invasion a “war” and not a “special military operation.” A good moment, perhaps, to consider the respective fates of the two antiwar efforts—dramatically different in one aspect and depressingly similar in another.

      • The NationHow the “Brooks Brothers Riot” Set the Stage for Insurrection

        In the wake of a bitterly disputed presidential election, a central hub of government operations was suddenly under siege. A group of aggrieved right-wing protesters defied security and flooded into the now-chaotic center of activity. Government officials were harassed and feared for their safety, as charges of fraud and betrayal of the people’s will rose up from the angry mob.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The DissenterJustice Department: NSA Whistleblower Reality Winner Must Wait To Apply For Pardon

        Winner’s attorney Alison Grinter sent a letter to the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney on June 29 and singled out Trump’s actions.“We are asking that the waiting period be waived on this application for pardon because as the former President has been shown to have had no respect for our democratic institutions and norms and has shown a willingness to subvert, manipulate, and hide the truth, now is the right time to forgive those who brought us the truth when we needed to know it,” Grinter argued. Grinter further maintained that it was necessary to stand up to “political retaliation and scapegoat scare tactics” and pardoning Winner would help bring about healing and reconciliation. She also contended, as the US government is focused on fighting Russia in Ukraine, it is wrong for the Justice Department to continue to punish Winner.On August 3, four days after National Whistleblower Appreciation Day, the Office of the Pardon Attorney replied, “We have concluded that it would not be appropriate to grant a waiver of the waiting period in her case to permit her to apply for a pardon at this time.” The response mostly quoted the guideline that the Justice Department often follows, but it also was insulting to Winner.

    • Environment

      • The NationIn the Era of Climate Migration, What Will “Home” Mean?

        In modern American parlance, the meaning of “home” is entangled in real estate. In young adulthood, I learned that to be a “grown-up” was to buy your own house, even if it left you with a crippling mortgage that would devour most of your earnings. The idea lies at the core of the American Dream, that postwar fantasy that exerts a stubborn influence on our culture no matter how outdated it becomes. This article is an excerpt from Madeline Ostrander’s new book At Home on an Unruly Planet: Finding Refuge on a Changed Earth, published by Henry Holt.

      • HackadayReduced Sulfur Emissions Could Cause Climate Shock

        When we talk about emissions these days, we typically talk about cutting them back for the good of the environment. However, the climate system is a complex beast, and one we’re still learning to understand.

      • Pro PublicaThe EPA Has Identified 23 U.S. Facilities Whose Toxic Air Pollution Puts People at Risk

        The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced plans to “engage and inform” nearly two dozen communities across the country where air pollution from commercial sterilizer plants has significantly increased lifetime cancer risks for nearby residents. The facilities use a toxic gas called ethylene oxide to sanitize medical and dental equipment and fumigate certain food products. The announcement comes after the EPA’s inspector general and news publications including ProPublica and The Texas Tribune highlighted the agency’s yearslong failure to inform communities of their risks.

        The EPA said that its analysis of the industry’s self-reported emissions data showed that about a quarter of the nearly 100 commercial sterilizers the agency regulates are exposing nearby residents to unacceptable cancer risks from ethylene oxide. It posted risk maps and other information online for each of the high-risk facilities and announced dates for national and community-specific webinars and in-person meetings in the coming weeks.

      • Common DreamsFirst-of-Its-Kind Greenwashing Lawsuit Targets Gas Giant for Methane Lies

        Warning that a Washington, D.C. utility has run afoul of the U.S. capital’s consumer protection law, three public interest groups on Thursday announced a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against Washington Gas Light Company over what they called the “greenwashing” of its use of highly pollutive methane gas.

        U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Environment America Research and Policy Center, and ClientEarth filed their lawsuit in the District of Columbia Superior Court, saying Washington Gas is consistently misleading more than one million customers by advertising its use of natural gas as a “smart choice for the environment.”

      • Energy

        • The VergeSpain bans setting the AC below 27 degrees Celsius

          A decree published on Tuesday morning in the official state gazette and scheduled to go into effect next week mandates that air conditioning in public places be set at or above 27 degrees Celsius (about 80 degrees Fahrenheit) and that doors of those buildings remain closed to save energy.

          Those public places include offices, shops, bars, theaters, airports, and train stations. The decree is being extended as a recommendation to all Spanish households. The rules include maintaining heating at or below 19 degrees Celsius (about 66 degrees Fahrenheit) in the winter and will remain in place at least through November 2023.

        • Pro PublicaManchin Trades Climate Support for Massive WV Pipeline

          From his Summers County, West Virginia, farmhouse, Mark Jarrell can see the Greenbrier River and, beyond it, the ridge that marks the Virginia border. Jarrell moved here nearly 20 years ago for peace and quiet. But the last few years have been anything but serene, as he and his neighbors have fought against the construction of a huge natural gas pipeline.

          Jarrell and many others along the path of the partially finished Mountain Valley Pipeline through West Virginia and Virginia fear that it may contaminate rural streams and cause erosion or even landslides. By filing lawsuits over the potential impacts on water, endangered species and public forests, they have exposed flaws in the project’s permit applications and pushed its completion well beyond the original target of 2018. The delays have helped balloon the pipeline’s cost from the original estimate of $3.5 billion to $6.6 billion.

    • Finance

      • The DissenterEquifax Whistleblower Says He Was Fired After Exposing Fraud Related To Consumer Complaints

        Stephen Leary, a whistleblower for the US credit reporting agency known as Equifax, says he was fired after he refused to submit fraudulent data about customer complaints to a US government agency.He filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Atlanta, Georgia, where Equifax is headquartered. It alleges that Equifax violated a section of the Consumer Financial Protection Act, which protects employees of “consumer reporting agencies” from this type of retaliation.“This case is about a company punishing a dedicated employee for refusing to ‘play ball’ when it tried to cover up its regulatory violations that placed the financial security of everyday Americans in jeopardy,” the complaint declares.

        Equifax garnered a notorious reputation in 2017 after a massive data breach compromised the personal data of more than 145 million Americans, as well as thousands of Canadians and nearly a million citizens in the United Kingdom. The company’s outreach to the public was viewed as “haphazard,” “ill-conceived,” and a “dumpster fire.”

      • TruthOutSinema Wants to Prevent Closure of Tax Loophole for Rich in Reconciliation Bill
      • Common DreamsAfter Shielding Tax Loophole for Private Equity, Sinema Backs Senate Bill

        Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announced late Thursday that she has agreed to back Democrats’ new reconciliation bill, but only after securing changes to a proposed levy on major corporations and forcing the removal of a provision targeting a notorious tax loophole exploited by rich investors.

        In a statement, Sinema (D-Ariz.) said that she and the Democratic leadership agreed to strip out “the carried interest tax provision, protect advanced manufacturing, and boost our clean energy economy in the Senate’s budget reconciliation legislation.”

      • Common DreamsSiding With ‘Private Equity Buddies,’ Sinema Targets Corporate Tax Provisions

        As Senate Democrats work to finalize their new reconciliation package, corporate-friendly Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is reportedly demanding the removal of language taking aim at a notorious tax loophole that primarily benefits rich private equity investors and billionaire hedge fund managers.

        Politico reported Wednesday that the Arizona Democrat—a major recipient of private equity campaign cash—”wants to nix language narrowing the so-called carried interest loophole,” which allows some ultra-wealthy executives to pay a lower tax rate than ordinary employees.

      • TruthOutSanders Takes Aim at Big Oil, Big Pharma Concessions in Inflation Reduction Act
      • Common DreamsSanders Announces Amendment to Strip All Fossil Fuel Handouts From Manchin Deal

        Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Wednesday that he will be filing amendments to remove fossil fuel industry giveaways from Democrats’ new reconciliation bill and strengthen the legislation’s drug price provisions, which the Vermont senator has characterized as unacceptably weak.

        In a speech on the Senate floor, Sanders reiterated the message he delivered in Tuesday remarks outlining what he sees as the deep flaws of the reconciliation package, the product of months of negotiations primarily between fossil fuel industry ally Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

      • Common DreamsBowman Introduces Bill to Help People ‘Crushed by the Burden of High Prices’

        Stressing the need for a “new economic playbook” that prioritizes human needs over corporate greed, U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman on Thursday introduced proposed legislation that would tackle excessive profiteering with targeted price controls.

        “In my district and across the country, people simply cannot afford to live.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | How to Stop the GOP From Killing Medicare, Social Security, and Us

        It’s The Ronald Reagan Memorial Competition: which Republican can make the rich richer and the poor poorer the fastest?

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ScheerpostElite Lapdogs Always Welcome in Corporate Media

        Chris Cuomo’s return is a reminder that corporate media personalities are not accountable to the public, they are accountable to the elites they serve.

      • Insight HungaryCPAC embraces Viktor Orban despite his previous remarks on ‘mixed-race’ society

        Viktor Orban, Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister, has traveled to Dallas to give an opening speech at CPAC Texas on Thursday. The Conservative Political Action Conference featured Orban after he sparked outrage with his comments against Europe becoming a ‘mixed-race’ society. After his controversial remarks, one of his closest advisors stated it was a ‘pure Nazi’ speech and resigned.

        In his CPAC address, the Hungarian PM attacked the media, saying their coverage of him is ‘fake news’ due to the country’s ‘zero tolerance policies ‘ for racism and anti-Semitism. He also stated that a ‘Christian politician cannot be racist’, and that those who accuse him or his government of racism and anti-Semitism are “idiots”.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Common Dreams‘Catastrophic’: Michigan Town Votes to Defund Library Over LGBTQ+ Material

        A library in western Michigan is at risk of closing in the next year after town residents voted against a tax that would have funded 84% of the facility’s budget, following a fight over a book with LGBTQ+ themes on the library’s shelves.

        On Tuesday, people in Jamestown Township voted 62% to 37% against approving a millage that would have been applied to residents’ property taxes in order to fund Patmos Library.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Associated PressSuit: Police chasing white suspect wrongly arrest Black man

        A suburban Boston police officer who was pursuing a white suspect pinned a 20-year-old Black man to the ground as he was walking home and placed a knee on the man’s neck despite having no evidence that he was involved in any crime, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed Wednesday.

      • NPRUndercover journalist in Afghanistan finds Taliban are abducting, imprisoning women

        Navai chronicles the Taliban’s treatment of women in the new PBS Frontline documentary, Afghanistan Undercover, which she started researching in early 2020.

        “I started looking at the land [the Taliban] were taking and what was happening to women in the territory they were taking over. And it was frightening,” Navai says. “I wanted to make a documentary almost as a warning: Listen, everybody, this is what’s happening.”

      • TruthOutAnti-Abortionists Deny Importance of Kansas Vote, But It’s Massively Significant
      • ScheerpostRight-Wing Extremists Are Making Fiction Come True

        Nina Burleigh looks into the political implications of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Very Good People of Kansas

        I want to talk about Kansas. Not about its corn as high as an elephant’s eye, nor about Dorothy and Toto trying to find their way home, but about Kansas as the geographic and Republican center of America, Kansas as the vintage Norman Rockwell core of America, Kansas as what the Republican Party was before being hijacked by Newt Gingrich and then mugged by a New York real estate con artist.   

      • Common Dreams‘It’s About Damn Time’: 4 Louisville Cops Charged in Killing of Breonna Taylor

        Following two years of racial justice activism, the U.S. government on Thursday charged four current and former Louisville, Kentucky officers for alleged federal crimes related to the March 2020 killing of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old unarmed Black woman who was shot dead in her own home during a botched police raid.

        “Justice delayed is justice denied. But it’s never too late to do the right thing.”

      • Common DreamsRussian Court Sentences Brittney Griner to 9 Years in Penal Colony on Drug Charges

        Following a Russian court’s announcement of a guilty verdict in the case of U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner on Thursday, calls mounted for President Joe Biden to take any necessary steps to help free the Women’s National Basketball Association player.

        Griner’s attorneys said they would “certainly file an appeal” of the “unreasonable” verdict, which came five months after Griner was arrested for carrying two vape cartridges containing less than a gram of hashish oil in her luggage at a Moscow airport.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Hollywood ReporterRoku’s Decline: Wall Street Sees Rocky Road Ahead

        Nathanson fears that Roku’s numbers, like other companies’, had been elevated by consumer demand for streaming video during the pandemic and propped-up higher advertising spend in 2021. But, as the second quarter showed, Roku’s advertising, which is easy to turn off and on, appears more susceptible to a recession than traditional TV advertisers. At the same time, the company is facing competition on three sides, Nathanson writes.

      • The VergeOne of the most enduring shows on TV is getting put behind a Peacock paywall

        NBC’s long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives will be leaving broadcast television after 57 years on to stream exclusively on Peacock, the network announced on Wednesday. The change means that fans who previously have been able to watch the show for free on broadcast will now have to pay for a streaming service to learn what happens next in the show’s fictional town of Salem. New episodes of Days of Our Lives will debut beginning September 12th.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakLaLiga & Movistar Will Block IPTV Pirates, No Court Process Needed

          Top-tier football league LaLiga and subscription TV platform Movistar Plus+ have won a joint lawsuit in Spain that allows them to block IPTV services until 2025 without needing permission from the courts. A second lawsuit won by Movistar Plus+ allows the TV platform to advise local ISPs of piracy-facilitating sites on a weekly basis and have them blocked within three hours.

        • Torrent FreakCloudStream-3 Piracy App Taken Down By Sky UK DMCA Notice

          Popular open source Android app Cloudstream-3 allows people to watch movies and TV shows by aggregating content from dozens of major streaming sites. Following a DMCA takedown notice sent to Github on behalf of Sky UK, which complains about the availability of a single TV episode, Cloudstream-3′s main development repo has been consigned to history.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Manhattan

        I was schlepping down to the decent bagel shop two blocks away. The one on my block is awful, and the really good one is twenty blocks away. Well worth the mile walk, but lately there’s been a line of thirty-somethings around the block. So, the decent bagel is good enough.

      • SpellBinding: EYKLNUI Wordo: SAVOR
      • I broke

        I don’t know what else to call it, I guess since I still have my wits about me I’m not broken per say but I decided to drive out into the woods to get away from my life for a while. Or not a while, just tonight.

    • Technical

      • Science

        • The Joule Thief

          The “Joule Thief” is a simple voltage booster circuit that allows batteries that would otherwise be considered “dead” (with voltages as low as ~0.3 V) to power LEDs.

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It’s like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

[Meme] Criminals Have Feelings Too…

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

But Data Protection Rules; But Data Protection Office; Data Protection Board???

Summary: We’ve learned today that speaking to colleagues about the EPO‘s corruption is regarded as a privacy problem by those who engage in this corruption

[Meme] Dignity of Criminals

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Repeat after me:  talking about our crimes is privacy violation
This is the EPO when instructed to stop gagging people

Summary: Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have turned the EPO into s**t; two men, one crêpe

António Campinos Once Again Failing to Obey Court Orders, Making Up Ludicrous Excuses for Non-Compliance

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum af31b6449352c52b10e23b8797df9886
ILOAT Judgments Ignored by EPO
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The absurdity of this situation is bare and completely naked for all to see, as once again the EPO refuses to obey very explicit, unequivocal court orders, which are nearly a decade overdue. Today’s EPO seems to have been taken over by crime lords, or an embodiment of nepotism brought to us by the Frenchman Campinos and his enablers from Alicante.

THE EPO‘s dictator António Campinos (his father would hate him with a passion if he was still alive) is once again proving to be no better — perhaps even worse — than Benoît Battistelli.

How predictable this was!

“So the EPO’s management, which shamelessly violates the privacy of workers and applicants, now uses “privacy” as an excuse to not obey to law and to impede freedom of expression!”Last month we repeatedly said that complying with Judgment No. 4551 (ILOAT) should take no longer than a few minutes! Almost a month has passed and guess what… no action taken!

What is Campinos waiting for? Well, he wants to go on holiday and merely “discuss” the matter after frying himself in the Mediterranean for a few weeks (no, not Portugal; he might as well vacation in his true homeland, France).

The EPO has said nothing about ILO or ILOAT rulings against the EPO. Not a word. No statement at all in over a week already, just this site update (warning: epo.org link) which states: “Central Fee Payment will be fully deployed and Online Fee Payment decommissioned on 10 September 2022.”

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) has meanwhile revealed a very belated message (it took him over a fortnight to respond!) from “the f***ing president” (this is how Campinos refers to himself in official meetings). To quote the ridiculous excuses (using “privacy”, which Campinos grossly violates, as a straw man):

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY
Chair of the Central Staff Committee

Via mail only to: centralstcom@epo.org


Date: 22.07.2022

Implementation of J. No. 4551

Dear Mr Chair,

Reference is made to your letter of 7 July concerning Judgment No. 4551 delivered by the Tribunal in its 134th session concerning the use of mass e-mails within the Office as it resulted from the Communiqué of 31 May 2013.

As expressed in my letter of 22 April 2020 and in discussions in different fora, in particular the WG on Resources & Communication, the Office has meanwhile strived to facilitate open communication, including through mass e-mails, between staff and their representatives. To this end, in addition to the pilot allowing invitations to general assemblies, a number of mass e-mails has also been allowed for specific purposes and an expanded right to mass e-mails was contemplated in the draft agreement on means of communication shared with you.

The aforementioned Judgment No. 4551 now broadens the possibility to send mass e-mails. While the Office is committed to implementing the Tribunal’s orders in full, it also needs to ensure compliance with the new Data Protection Rules in force since 1 January 2022.

At the moment, the Office is clarifying technical aspects with BIT and discussing data protection related aspects with the Data Protection Office and the Data Protection Board. These notably include the need for a further data protection statement and the possibility for staff to unsubscribe from the mailing list as well as the setting up of an ethics board comprising members appointed by the staff representation and the Office.

We will keep you updated on the developments and set up a meeting after the upcoming summer break.

Yours sincerely,
António Campinos

LSC Berlin (via mail only to: lscbe@epo.org)
LSC Munich (via mail only to: msc@epo.org)
LSC The Hague (via mail only to: dhstcom@epo.org)
LSC Vienna (via mail only to: pvwien@epo.org)

So the EPO’s management, which shamelessly violates the privacy of workers and applicants, now uses “privacy” as an excuse to not obey to law and to impede freedom of expression! incredible! Welcome to Lukashenko's second home

In an open letter the CSC responded firmly (within limits given the authoritarian nature of Team Campinos). “ILOAT Judgment 4551 on mass emails – We demand its immediate execution,” said the title, informing colleagues that “[i]n Judgment No. 4551 the Tribunal has, as of 6 July 2022, set aside in part the Communiqué of 31 May 2013 and reinstated the former rules on mass emails as published in Communiqué No. 10 and in the announcement of 28 December 2011. Therefore, the limitation to 50 addressees has been set aside and Staff Committee members have the possibility of addressing all staff in the context of their statutory and official activities. In a reply letter of 22 July 2022, the President of the Office states that time is needed to clarify technical aspects and proposes that a meeting be scheduled after the summer break. As explained in this open letter, we see no legal or technical requirements preventing the immediate execution of the judgment. Therefore, we demand its immediate execution.”

Here’s the response dated a week ago and discussed a little further in the video above:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

By email



Reference: sc22109cl
Date: 28/07/2022

Execution of ILOAT Judgment No. 4551 (mass emails)

Dear Mr President,

In Judgment No. 4551 the Tribunal has, as of 6 July 2022, set aside in part the Communiqué of 31 May 2013 and reinstated the former rules on mass emails as published in Communiqué No. 10 and in the announcement of 28 December 2011. Therefore, the limitation to 50 addressees has been set aside and CSC members have the possibility of addressing staff Office-wide in the context of their statutory and official activities. Similarly, LSC members have the possibility of addressing staff in their respective site by mass emails.

We note that Staff Committees and their members still cannot technically send an email to more than 50 addresses and are not authorised to use the mailing lists DDL-ALL-STAFF(-XX) which already exist. Granting authorisation is technically a matter of seconds for BIT. It is also a necessity for any Staff Committee (member) “for the execution of [their] official business”, as recited in Article 2 of Communiqué No. 10.

In your letter of 22 July 2022, you state that the Office is clarifying technical aspects which notably include “the possibility for staff to unsubscribe from the mailing list” and “the need for a further data protection statement”.

Firstly, in considerations 10 and 11, the Tribunal held that emails fulfilling the criteria of Communiqué No. 10 and the announcement of 28 December 2011 “shall be considered lawful” and ensure a reasonable balance between the interests of the organisation and the fundamental rights to free communication, information, and speech. Therefore, executing the judgment “as ruled” means restoring the status quo ante prior to 31 May 2013, at which time there was no need for a Staff Committee to ensure that staff can unsubscribe from the official mailing list. In consideration 10, the Tribunal further recalled that freedom of communication implies the right to freely choose the means by which the communications are sent. Imposing additional constraints (such as a possibility to unsubscribe) upon Staff Committees and their members would go against the ruling of the Tribunal, in particular the necessity for a body representing the staff to be able to circulate emails to all staff members, as recalled in consideration 12.

Secondly, the judgment restored access to the EPO’s electronic (email) communications systems, whereby a Staff Committee does not need (or intend) to collect, store or process any personal data. Therefore, we do not see the need for any data protection statement.

Finally, in consideration 11, the Tribunal considered that the mass emails sent by the staff representation and provided by the parties in the present case “did not exceed the limits to freedom of opinion and speech, and therefore did not justify a mechanism of a prior authorisation”. In this respect, there is no justification derivable from Judgment 4551 for the setting up of an Ethics Board prior to the execution of the judgment.

In your letter you explain that time is needed and that a meeting will be scheduled after the upcoming summer break. As explained above, we see no legal or technical requirements preventing the immediate execution of the judgment.

Consequently, we demand the immediate execution of the judgment.

Yours sincerely,
Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

It has been rather telling. This past month Campinos carried with on the tradition of obstructing justice and finding excuse to not obey ruling, or barely obeying them (usually optics and PR, not real actions). Later they wonder why people no longer want to work for the EPO

Recruitment Potential at the EPO Has Never Been Worse

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum e2ffabfabd4df1ef1e24d53d93f177e4
EPO HR Failed and Recruitment is Defunct
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The tyrants who have taken the reins at the EPO want obedient robots, not human beings who are inclined to obey the law. Therefore, there seems to be an effort underway to drive out well-educated, highly-qualified, conscientious, experienced and charismatic workers who can stand in the way of profoundly unlawful strategies.

IT is undeniable that the EPO has a retention and recruitment crisis. People don't wish to work for tyrants and they can properly research matters online, only to realise that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have turned a once-reputable institution into a tyranny, compelling examiners to grant illegal patents, such as European software patents.

EPO at GlassdoorOver the years we’ve amassed evidence of the brain drain, the EPO’s low-ranked status as an employer, and bad reviews in Glassdoor (see screenshot on the right).

Today’s EPO has resorted to very obscenely low qualification levels, even for key positions such as “patent examiner”. The standards have fallen so sharply that the place isn’t recognisable anymore. The above video speaks of a new publication regarding Job Groups 5 and 6 and here’s the content of the message. “The team manager appointed in April retired in July and no replacement is foreseen,” it says.

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel


Paratechnicals: Highly skilled colleagues without a future?

When the “Paratechnicals and Paralegals” pilot project was launched in 2012, it was seen as the future of formalities work: “This project is all about offering a new and attractive professional home in which staff can reach their full potential.”1 Unfortunately, management changed its vision over the years, and with it the investment in the paratechnicals, who now find themselves in the position of “laissés pour compte”.

Dear Colleagues,

Your Staff representation continues its tour to the teams in Job group 5 and 6 and recently met with the team of paratechnicals. The dispirited colleagues shared many issues with us. We foremost noted they feel left behind.

1. Restructuration

In 2017, the team of paratechnicals (PTs) was shrunk and split into 8 teams. 6 in the different OCFD Directorates and 2 in the Classification and Documentation Department. This resulted in abruptly disrupting the cooperation between colleagues in the OCFDs. The latest reorganisation in April 2022 saw the PT being merged again into 3 teams in the Classification and File Management Directorate.

This directorate has become very large, yet the feeling of togetherness is gone and replaced by a growing uncertainty about the future. Some colleagues from Classification and File Management do not feel they should belong to the PT team as the nature of their work is different.

The team manager appointed in April retired in July and no replacement is foreseen. This reinforces the feeling that no one cares about the situation in the team. The absence of a TM also makes the rewarding exercise even more unpredictable.

Each time teams are split and later merged again, work is negatively affected, and staff suffer. It particularly harms cooperation and long-established workflow. Stability and predictability play an important role in wellbeing at work. We observe that the current management model instead produces uncertainty and disengagement.

1 See Gazette November 2012, pages.12 and 13: “A new way of working designed for the future”.

2. Massive backlog and understaffing

PTs report that the backlog is considerable and automatic pre-classification fails more often than not. They would either need more staff or less manual re-distribution. Understaffing is the word that keeps popping up throughout the workday.

Management has not yet offered a solution to the persistently high workload. “Fire brigading” across technical fields cannot be done ad hoc as each field has its specificities.

Understaffing naturally poses a problem of flexibility too, it renders holiday coverage problematic, and leave requests have to be adjusted accordingly. Our colleagues like their jobs, they care about delivering the best possible quality, they wish the Office would give them the working conditions to achieve this goal.

We cannot help but notice that management is unaware of the depth of the colleagues’ knowledge, and the time they have invested in learning. We are very concerned that the understaffing observed with PTs and generally in all JG 5&6 teams will lead to burn-outs and early retirement.

3. No future?

The expectations that management places in artificial intelligence (AI) have not yet materialized but succession planning is not on the agenda.

The colleagues foresee that in 5 to 10 years PT work will be automated and they fear that in the meantime their wellbeing and job satisfaction will continue to deteriorate.

The whole situation leaves them to believe there is no future for them.

4. Inefficient IT tool

Ansera is supposed to become the IT tool for PTs in the future but it does not meet the requirements of the work. Work efficiency is foreseen to be massively disrupted by the use of Ansera.

PT colleagues would like to be involved in the development of their tools and have their feedback taken into account when implementing new functionalities or making corrections. They regret a stop in investment while intellectual (manual) classification still remains the norm.

As can be seen in all areas at the EPO but especially for PTs, management’s expectations about AI influence staffing levels. Although AI has long been announced but has not yet materialized, the number of staff members is already shrinking continuously. The remaining colleagues are faced with an ever-growing workload.

5. Job Group mismatch

The work requires in-depth knowledge of technical fields and is therefore very specialised. It also partly involves performing work for the divisions which should qualify the PTs as experts.

While procedure experts are in JG 5 grade, PTs are still graded JG 6.

We will convey to management all the issues identified, among which understaffing certainly is the most burning one.

6. In conclusion,

After an already too long period of neglect, the Office urgently needs to take action to improve the working conditions of our PT colleagues.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our PT colleagues for a very informative meeting and for the trust they placed in us.

The Central Staff Committee

Job Groups 5 & 6 seem to be facing the fate of some mangers who opposed Battistelli or former colleagues of the fraudster Željko Topić. They’re being reassigned tasks or given unrealistic work expectations which render them obsolete or simply scuttle the whole team. The Central Staff Committee is informing other colleagues that this is happening. After Job Groups 5 & 6 it can be many of the examiners, who are not so easy to manipulate. The tyrants want obedient robots, not human beings who are inclined to obey the law.

Tux Machines is Now on Gemini and Techrights’ Gemini Capsule Restored After Outage That Killed the Whole System (Again)

Posted in Site News at 7:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 3edc7e8034ec8a96a4be17156946a27e
More Migrations and Upgrades
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: We’re moving to lighter and simpler systems that are easier to maintain (Alpine, Gemini, static pages); we’ve meanwhile faced a major obstacle due to the whole neighbourhood here losing power

THE past week has been tough due to a couple of incidents, which are likely related to one another, as explained in the video above. The lesson of the story is, do not use (micro)SD cards for storage of servers, especially not for something like a full base system (like a whole operating system).

“Moving from database-driven page delivery to static site generators seems to be all the rage these days and we’re crafting our own.”For the Gemini capsule of this site, we’re starting the system afresh on new storage for the third time in less than 2 years! We rebuild everything for the second time this year and it’s only August.

The other part of the video shows that the new CMS is coming along nicely. It’s already used on a test site of Tux Machines and after further maturity (it’s considered alpha quality for now) we’ll deploy the same sort of thing or something very similar in Techrights. Moving from database-driven page delivery to static site generators seems to be all the rage these days and we’re crafting our own. Our webhost has just moved from WordPress to Hugo (hours ago).

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