11.06.22

Links 06/11/2022: Twitter Continues to Shrink (Exodus)

Posted in News Roundup at 4:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • DebugPointDebugPoint Weekly Roundup #22.12: OpenSSL Fixes, Nitrux 2.5, elementary OS 7 Updates

      We present the weekly roundup #22.12 featuring FOSS and tech updates across the web.

      Welcome to the DebugPoint Weekly roundup #22.12, where you can find all the happenings from this week, mainly from the Linux and open-source space.

      This week, we saw several critical security updates from major packages, distro updates and new features on some major app releases.

      Here’s what happened this week.

    • Linux LinksLinux Around The World: Cyprus – LinuxLinks

      We cover events and user groups that are running in Cyprus. This article forms part of our Linux Around The World series.

    • Bryan LundukeLunduke’s Normal Computing News – October 26, 2022

      While there are interesting — and valid — points made by Poettering (creator of systemd), the idea of making the mere act of “booting Linux” reliant on a locked down Microsoft specification… well… no sir, I don’t like it.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • ObnamObnam Iteration planning: November

        The goal of the previous iteration was:

        The goal of this iteration is to restart Obnam development.

      • Bozhidar BatsovMeta Reduce 2022.0

        Lately I haven’t written much here, so I thought it’d be nice to change this with a short update on my recent OSS activity.

      • dwaves.delist of open source projects to donate to – Want to support Free (GNU) and Open Source software?
      • PowerDNSdnsdist 1.7.3 released | PowerDNS Blog

        We are very happy to release dnsdist 1.7.3 today, a maintenance release with no functional changes.

        This release strictly serves to bring dnsdist packages to our EL9 and Ubuntu Jammy repositories, and upgrades the dnsdist Docker image from Debian buster to Debian bullseye, as buster is officially EOL.

      • PowerDNSAuthoritative Server 4.7.1

        This is the release of version 4.7.1 of the Authoritative Server.

        After 4.7.0 (quite recently) was released, we realised the SQL schema update files were missing. 4.7.1 corrects this. It also contains a few small fixes in the catalog zones implementation.

      • PowerDNSAuthoritative Server 4.7.2

        Just one day after releasing version 4.7.1, we realised an important fix was missing from it. Specifically, AXFR clients (secondaries) can get very busy checking for updates on primaries, or could miss updates entirely. 4.7.2 fixes this.

      • Barry KaulerOpenEmbedded meta-quirky layer now on github

        I have now named the project “oe-qky-dunfell” and uploaded it to github.com

        This project will cross-compile hundreds of packages (currently 956 packages), on a x86_64 host system, for x86_64 (nocona), i686, or aarch64 target.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • systemd encrypted boot may be broken by upgrade (systemd-cryptsetup) – suggest to postpone upgrading openssl
      • ID RootHow To Install GlassFish on AlmaLinux 9 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install GlassFish on AlmaLinux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, GlassFish is a free, open-source server for deploying JAVA based applications. It also provides both web and CLI-based administration consoles for easier configuration and management of your Java applications and their respective components.

        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 GlassFish on AlmaLinux 9. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

      • Ubuntu HandbookHow to Enable macOS spotlight style Search Box in Ubuntu 22.04 | 22.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        Prefer macOS spotlight or Alfred style search system? You can now get similar feature in Ubuntu via an extension.

        It’s ‘Search Light‘, an extension so far supports for Gnome 42 & 43, meaning for Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 22.10, Fedora 36/37, Arch and Manjaro Linux.

        With it, you may press a custom shortcut key on keyboard to open the search box. Then, type to search and launch applications, settings, and/or app content.

      • Jeff GeerlingDocker and systemd, getting rid of dreaded ‘Failed to connect to bus’ error

        Docker and systemd, getting rid of dreaded ‘Failed to connect to bus’ error

      • Michael Ablassmeier: virtnbdbackup in unstable/bookworm

        Besides several bugfixes, the latest version now supports using higher compression levels and logging to syslog facility. I also finished packaging and official packages are now available,

      • Linux HintLinux sysfs File System

        In Linux, every directory has its own purpose for its existence. The same is true for the sysfs directory. The sysfs entries are used by the kernel to export the information to processes in the user domain and to get input from the user. These entries travel through the file system to find the show and store functions registered for it.

        Entries in sysfs can be sorted based on the bus type, object type, device type, parent/child relationships, etc. Symlinks aid in reducing redundancies.

      • Manuel MatuzovicDay 30: the hwb() color function

        Like the lab() color function, hwb() is one of the more recent methods for defining colors in CSS. Just like rgb() and hsl() it uses colors from the sRGB color space. HWB, which stands for hue-whiteness-blackness, describes colors with a starting hue, then a degree of whiteness and blackness to mix into that base hue.

        The function takes 3 space-separated values.

      • IdiomdrottningFont size on the Web

        People wanna completely erode the entire meaning of setting a font-size in the browser by moving into some wack-ass race-to-the-bottom of shifting the “de facto” default up by 25%. What’s the, uh, what’s the long-term consequence of that, you think? It’s gonna be a slippery slope, a tug of war of increase/decrease/increase/decrease—your CSS is just the wrong place to set this.

        There are four places prose text font-size can be set: [...]

      • uni TorontoOn not having a separate /boot filesystem on modern (x86) Linux

        Once up on a time there were good reasons to use a separate /boot filesystem, but they’ve gone away these days in basic configurations. No x86 system’s firmware has problems reading all of your disks, and if you’re sticking to non-exotic storage devices, the firmware can boot from anything you want to use. There remain reasons like having your root filesystem encrypted or using btrfs for it (the current Fedora default), but if your Linux distribution does this, the installer should get it right if you need a separate /boot (and also if you don’t).

      • Javier Martinez CanillasHow to install Fedora on an HP X2 Chromebook

        We have been working lately with Enric Balletbo and Dorinda Bassey to improve the support for the HP X2 Chromebook in Fedora. This post explains how to install Fedora on that Chromebook.

      • Linux HandbookConnect to SSH Server on Alternate Port

        By default, SSH utilizes port number 22 and many sysadmins change it to avoid the influx of bot attacks trying to brute-force their way in.

      • Linux HandbookExclude Files and Directories While Creating Tar File

        The tar command is used for creating archive files from various files and folders.

        It’s quite simple when you have all the required files in one place. But what if you want to put some files or folders in the tar file and exclude some?

        One way would be to copy those required files into a new directory and then proceed with the standard procedure, but it is not an efficient way.

      • Linux NightlyHow to Install Lutris on Manjaro – Linux Nightly

        Lutris is the most popular Linux game manager on Linux that allows you to install games from different platforms like Steam, Battle.net, and others. In this tutorial, we will learn how to install Lutris on Manjaro Linux, and also how to add games from the application and from the official Lutris website.

      • Pi My Life UpHow to Install the Plex Media Player on Ubuntu – Pi My Life Up

        In this tutorial you will learn how to install the Plex Media Player to your Ubuntu device. This Plex client is the best way to stream media from a Plex server thanks to its advanced media playback engine.

      • Pi My Life UpHow to use the groupdel Command – Pi My Life Up

        The groupdel command enables you to remove specific groups from a Linux operating system. After invoking the command, it will attempt to remove all entries that refer to the specified group from all the system account files. If you maintain a system with many users and groups, this command will eventually come in handy.

      • Pi My Life UpHow to use the date() Function in PHP – Pi My Life Up

        The date() function in PHP allows you to print the date and time using the specified format.

        You can get the date and time from any point by specifying a Unix timestamp. However, if you don’t specify a timestamp, then the date() function will use the current date and time as retrieved from the “time()” function.

        While this function may initially seem confusing, it is relatively simple once you know what characters are replaced within the string.

        Over the following sections, you will learn all there is to know about using this function within your scripts.

      • Pi My Life UpHow to use the gpasswd Command on Linux – Pi My Life Up

        The gpasswd command allows you to edit a group’s password, members, and administrators. It is used to edit both the /etc/group and /etc/gshadow files. If you use the command without any options, it will prompt for a new password for the group.

        Since a group password is often shared amongst multiple people, they are not considered very secure. However, they are a useful tool if elevated security is required.

      • CitizixHow to Install and Configure Postgres 15 on Rocky/Alma Linux 9

        Postgresql is an open source object-relational database system with over 30 years of active development that has earned it a strong reputation for reliability, feature robustness, and performance. Postgres, is a free and open-source relational database management system emphasizing extensibility and SQL compliance.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Microsoft Teams on Debian 11/10/Sid [Ed: These instructions not only tell people to put malware in GNU/Linux but also let Microsoft spy, on top of being able to control (via root) the machine during updates, adding additional malware covertly and without consent]
    • Games

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Programming/Development

      • R ggmap – How to Visualize Spatial Data in R – R programming

        Spatial data is always tougher to visualize than it seems at first. Well, not anymore. R ggmap is an amazing package you can start using almost instantly, after some light configuration. It won’t take you more than a couple of minutes to configure everything and have your first map ready.

        Today you’ll learn how to use the ggmap package to do almost everything geodata-related. We’ll kick things off by plotting basic maps, markers, and paths, and then dive into changing map themes. Once that’s under our belt, we’ll focus on advanced topics, including geocoding, reverse geocoding, drawing routes, and calculating distance between locations.

      • Towards Data ScienceDecision Trees Explained — Entropy, Information Gain, Gini Index, CCP Pruning | by Shailey Dash | Nov, 2022 | Towards Data Science

        Though Decision Trees look simple and intuitive, there is nothing very simple about how the algorithm goes about the process deciding on splits and how tree pruning occurs. In this post I take you through a simple example to understand the inner workings of Decision Trees.

      • A Footnote in History | Quantum Jitter

        Producing a journal-quality table requires fine-grained and reproducible control over presentation. Surgical targeting of footnotes, capable of adapting to changes in the underlying data, is one example.

        This post briefly explores the shifts in the nature of employment whilst at the same time visiting the grammar of tables gt: The natural companion to the grammar of graphics ggplot2.

      • Julia EvansMaking a DNS query in Ruby from scratch

        Hello! A while back I wrote a post about how to write a toy DNS resolver in Go.

        In that post I left out “how to generate and parse DNS queries” because I thought it was boring, but a few people pointed out that they did not know how to parse and generate DNS queries and they were interested in how to do it.

        This made me curious – how much work is it do the DNS parsing? It turns out we can do it in a pretty nice 120-line Ruby program, which is not that bad.

        So here’s a quick post on how to generate DNS queries and parse DNS responses! We’re going to do it in Ruby because I’m giving a talk at a Ruby conference soon, and this blog post is partly prep for that talk :). I’ve tried to keep it readable for folks who don’t know Ruby though, I’ve only used pretty basic Ruby code.

      • How we use binary search to find compiler bugs

        I work on Cinder, a just-in-time (JIT) compiler built on top of CPython. If you aren’t familiar with Cinder and want to learn more, a previous post about the inliner gives a decent overview of the JIT. This post will talk about how we use binary search to isolate miscompiled functions, a technique that is applicable to any compiler if you have the right infrastructure.

      • Matt RickardUGC: User-Generated Code

        The concept of time-sharing has been around since the early days of UNIX. However, it wasn’t until the advent of virtual machines that the security boundary between two different workloads was hardened enough to support two different customers on the same hardware. True cloud multi-tenancy changed the way we write programs. And it’s still improving – lightweight isolation like containers and WebAssembly are becoming more secure.

      • Mark DominusA map of Haskell’s numeric types

        I keep getting lost in the maze of Haskell’s numeric types. Here’s the map I drew to help myself out. I think there might have been something like this in the original Haskell 1998 report but I like this one better.

      • Unix SheikhThe heavy responsibility of the package maintainer

        In the world of BSD and Linux, a software developer is someone who develops software, it’s someone who knows how to program in a programming language like C (or something else). A ports or package maintainer on the other hand, is not someone who develops software, it is someone who typically maintains a port or a package (I am going to use the term “package” henceforth in this article for both ports and packages).

      • Nicholas Tietz-SokolskyMy first impressions from a few weeks with Lean and Coq

        For the last few weeks, some of us have been working through learning about interactive theorem proving together at Recurse Center. I’ve been curious about proof assistants since undergrad, and finally have the time, space, and peers to dive into it with. It’s been an interesting experience getting started. Since we’re just getting started, I can’t tell you much about the long-term experience, but I can give some basic guidance on what it’s like to get started on each and who I imagine the audience for each is.

        First off, what’s a proof assistant? Simply, it’s a piece of software that helps develop formal proofs via human-machine collaboration. You want formal proofs in a lot of cases; they’re used in math, but it would also be great to know that an algorithm you want to implement does what you say it does, or that a bigger piece of software is proven correct. Proving software correct does, of course, lead to the question of how you check that the spec is correct, and that you’re specifying the properties you care about. That’s a whole other conversation.

      • Nicholas Tietz-SokolskyRC Week 6: Halfway done, wrote a parser!

        I’m halfway done with my RC batch now. Time feels like it has sped up. The feeling that my time at RC is infinite is gone. This was compounded by seeing folks from the Fall 1 batch conclude their batches yesterday. We’ll get a new boost from the Winter 1 batch joining on Monday, which I’m really pumped for! New people, new excitement, new energy!

        I’m happy with how things have gone so far in the batch. I don’t think I want to do anything dramatically different in the second half of the batch, except be a little bit more focused on one project instead of splitting between two.

        I did have a less social week this week than most weeks, because I have some personal life stress right now (should wrap up next week) and it made it hard to focus, and I withdrew a little bit. Despite that, I still had a pretty social week! Something for me to take away here is that RC has shifted my understanding of where I get energy from and how much I do benefit from social things.

      • ButtondownSoftware Moves • Buttondown

        The piece You might as well timestamp it argues that instead of storing booleans in databases, you store the timestamp of when it became true. A missing timestamp means that value is false. This is generally more useful than a boolean, because in addition to boolean behavior you also get auditing information.

      • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • Linux HintMastering Backticks in Linux Bash Scripts

          Bash scripts are best when it comes to simplifying the daily tasks. These scripts contain commands and tricks that you can use as a sysadmin. The backtick (`) operator is one of those features of Bash script that can ease up your work.

          However, many beginners misunderstand the backticks as quotation mark characters used in the strings. That’s why learning about back quote characters or backticks is essential. In this guide, we will list down the approach on how to master the backticks in Linux Bash scripts.

        • Linux HintMaking a Bash Script Return with Different Return Codes on Exit

          Exit codes are integer numbers that indicate that a script has been successfully executed. These codes are also known as return codes or exit statuses. Exit codes usually return zero upon successful execution and non-zero upon unsuccessful execution.

          However, many Bash script users want to return with different return codes on exit, but they get errors. In this tutorial, we will explain the different approaches to make a Bash script return with different return codes on exit.

        • Matt RickardMastering the Command Line

          The command line might seem daunting for new (and old) developers, but another unlock for developer productivity — if you can master it. A crash course syllabus that will get you 80% there (Pareto principle).

          The caveat is that “the command line” means a lot of things. To be more specific, these are UNIX-y, bash, and popular terminal emulator tricks. This is not a list of complex one-liners that you can alias and never remember what they do. It’s a hopefully practical list of things you can learn and remember.

      • Java

        • Linux HintJava Getters and Setters

          When we do the program, we tend to work with many user-defined and built-in methods. Java programming is also diverse when it comes to the use of functions. The special class methods known as getters and setters are employed in Java programming to read from and apply to an entity’s attributes. In Java, the setter function serves to set up or populate corresponding class fields while the getter function serves to read the value stored in the variable or retrieve the content. This procedure can be performed with inheritance as well. Most classes come with getter and setter methods by convention. Nevertheless, by specifically declaring the getter and setter functions, we may override the standards. In this regard, we are going to explain the usage of getter and setter functions in Java programming.

        • Linux HintJava Array to List

          Arrays and lists are the two most basic data structures in Java. The array provides the common names of the collection which has the same data type. It includes both primitive data types and objects of a class that is based on the array’s definition. On the other hand, the Java lists are the collection frameworks that organize the elements and store them in an object in a manner that maintains the insertion order. There come various scenarios where the Java arrays are required to be converted into Java lists. We can accomplish the conversion of the arrays to lists by using the methods provided by Java.

        • Linux HintJava Logical OR

          The logical operator in java is utilized to integrate two or more conditions as well as to enhance the examination of the initial condition. There are various logical operators in Java and one of them is the logical OR operator. The logical OR operator used the two vertical bar symbols “||” in the program. It is utilized between the operand which is to be evaluated. The result of the logical OR operator is true when the two or more specified operands have true values on the evaluation of the condition. It is frequently applied to Boolean (logical) values.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • James BrownNew Style

        No more JavaScript (except for Commento and GoatCounter, neither of which impacts any important functionality)

      • Xe’s BlogVarious site updates – Xe

        One of the big things I’ve done is add support for embedding mastodon posts in a more native way. Mastodon normally has an “embed this post” link, which makes things look like this:

      • Marco d’ItriMastodon is not ready for me

        I just did again the usual web search, and I have verified that Mastodon still does not support managing multiple domains on the same instance, and that there is still no way to migrate an account to a different instance without basically starting from scratch.

        [...]

        I have managed my own email server since the ’90s, but I do not feel that the system administration effort required to maintain a private Mastodon instance would be justified at this point: there is not even a Debian package!

      • Lightweight Mastodon instance: gotosocial – Lukáš Zapletal

        If you need a lightweight Mastodon instance, I have a tip for you: GoToSocial is an ActivityPub backend written in Go, no dependencies needed, lightweight (well, 50MB binary) and can store data in either SQLite3 or Postgres.

        The setup is well documented, you can download pre-built binary, create an empty directory, configure database connection and just run it. It has a built-in support for Let’s Encrypt, however, if you already have a domain with existing web server and Let’s Encrypt certificate, you can turn this feature off.

      • Follow Me! Blog, RSS, and Social

        Twitter is rapidly declining, and users are going elsewhere; my updates have been infrequent, and you thought I was gone. Take this chance to review your options and continue getting the latest Xubuntu and Xfce news however you’d like.

  • Leftovers

    • Unix SheikhWill the ranting on this website ever stop?

      However, what I have experienced more than once is that some people tend to simply skim an article, misunderstand or simply read things completely out of context, then make a whole LOT of assumptions (without bothering to email me and try to get clarification about the issue), and then comment emotionally about it on Hacker News, Lobsters, Reddit or somewhere else.

      [...]

      Now, I don’t mind this guy hating me, but why would someone “hate” another person whom they have never met, don’t know anything about, just because they express their opinion about what they consider or analyze to be, the true motivations behind a piece of software?

    • MWLTalk on Rat Operated Vehicles

      On Tuesday, 8 November 2022, 7PM Detroit time, I’ll be giving a talk for mug.org about Rat Operated Vehicles. If the guys are cooperative, there might be a demo.

    • Matt RickardMan in the Arena

      In 1910, Theodore Roosevelt arrived at the Sorbonne in France – after a yearlong traveling after leaving office. He gave a speech titled Citizenship in a Republic, in which he reflected on the qualities that a successful democracy required of its citizens.

    • HackadayNanoassembly With Water

      Water is sometimes known as the universal solvent. But researchers at Harvard want to use water to put things together instead of taking them apart. Really small things. In the video below, you can see a simple 3D-printed machine that braids microscopic fibers.

    • HackadayWall Art With A Moving Coil Or Two

      Almost every type of retro indicator technology from a Nixie tube to a flipdot with everything else in between has found itself on these pages in some form of artwork or decoration. It’s pleasing then to see one that hasn’t appeared so much over the years, and particularly at the hands of our colleague [Voja Antonic]. He’s taken a large array of moving-coil panel meters and hooked them up to a microcontroller board that’s triggered by a PIR sensor. Normally the readings are random, but get too close to it and all those needles start moving, making for a very different take on an electronic wall display.

    • TechCrunchUber tests push notification ads, a feature literally no one wants

      Instead, ads from other companies are being sent out as push notifications, much to the chagrin of some Uber users. Over the weekend, people turned to Twitter to complain about the notifications, sharing screenshots of ads, including one particularly popular one from Peloton that Uber had sent out. One of the primary complaints: notifications are being sent out when users aren’t engaging with the app.

    • Daniel MiesslerReverse Transcription

      What happens when everyone can become a video star just by having a script?

    • Arturo Borrero González: Home network refresh: 10G and IPv6

      few days ago, my home network got a refresh that resulted in the enablement of some next-generation technologies for me and my family. Well, next-generation or current-generation, depending on your point of view. Per the ISP standards in Spain (my country), what I’ll describe next is literally the most and latest you can get.

      The post title spoiled it already. I have now 10G internet uplink and native IPv6 since I changed my ISP to https://digimobil.es.

      My story began a few months ago when a series of fiber deployments started in my neighborhood by a back-then mostly unknown ISP (digimobil). The workers were deploying the fiber inside the street sewers, and I noticed that they were surrounded by advertisements promoting the fastest FTTH deployment in Spain. Indeed, their website was promoting 1G and 10G fiber, so a few days later I asked the workers when would that be available for subscription. The told me to wait just a couple of months, and the wait ended this week.

      I called the ISP and a marketing person told me a lot of unnecessary information about how good service I was purchasing. I asked about IPv6 availability, but that person had no idea. They called me the next day to confirm that the home router they were installing would support both IPv6 and Wi-Fi 6. I was suspicious about nobody in the marketing department knowing anything about any of the two technologies, but I decided to proceed anyway. Just 24 hours after calling them, a technician came to my house and 45 minutes later the setup was ready.

    • Jamie Brandon0029: san francisco, seattle, tigerbeetle, studying, links

      I’m getting tired of working alone and I’ve had no success finding collaborators. All of the people I’d like to work with are either already busy working full-time or are totally burnt out.

    • Zach Flower[Repeat] Merit Badges for Grownups | flower.codes

      I was never a Boy Scout.

      My career has largely involved an abundance of isolation, my hobbies are enjoyed in solitude, even the sports I played growing up involved individual events without any real “team effort.” Call it social anxiety, or introversion, or something else; I was just never much of a joiner.

      But one thing I’ve always envied the scouts for (both the Girl and Boy varieties) was merit badges. There’s something deeply satisfying about the clearly defined path these organizations have laid towards earning each badge, and once a candidate demonstrates their understanding and application of the underlying skills, they earn a physical token of their accomplishment.

      It’s like video game achievements, but in real life. What’s not to like?

      I’ve always been a bit of a collector of hobbies. I like to learn new things, and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from exercising a newly acquired skill. Granted, it makes for a pretty clear jack-of-all-trades mentality (master of none), but understanding and applying the basics of painting, or lock picking, or genealogy isn’t about mastery, but exploration.

    • Science

      • ACMWhat’s Your Placebo?

        A tale of woe: Our institution, like many others, has a high attrition rate in introductory computer science (CS1), our first programming class for majors. We often use the term “DWF rate,” as those students who earn Ds or Fs, or who withdraw from the course are ineligible to continue further in taking other CS classes as part of the major. Beyond the DWF rate, students who earn Cs in their CS1 course, while technically allowed to continue taking CS classes, tend to struggle in those later classes. We do offer a pre-CS1 programming class to help students who are not ready to jump directly into CS1. Many researchers have shown students with prior programming experience tend to do better in the initial CS1 course. We have published research on this,3 as have many others.

      • IEEEAI Helps Humans Level Up

        Chess players and programmers now have access to tools that can improve skills and unleash creativity

      • Natural language processing software evaluates middle school science essays
      • NatureLiving material assembly of bacteriogenic protocells | Nature

        Advancing the spontaneous bottom-up construction of artificial cells with high organizational complexity and diverse functionality remains an unresolved issue at the interface between living and non-living matter.

      • Justin Swansburg, DataRobot: On combining human and machine intelligence

        Explainable AI (XAI) is the idea that an AI should always provide reasoning for its decisions in a way that makes it easy for humans to comprehend. XAI helps to build trust and ensures that issues can be more quickly identified before they cause wider damage.

      • New ScientistQuantum watch is a ’completely new way of measuring time’ | New Scientist

        A quantum stopwatch made of lasers and helium atoms can measure the time that has passed with complete accuracy, without counting seconds like other clocks

    • Hardware

      • HackadayThe Great Resistor Embiggens The Smallest Value

        With surface-mount components quickly becoming the norm, even for homebrew hardware, the resistor color-code can sometimes feel a bit old-hat. However, anybody who has ever tried to identify a random through-hole resistor from a pile of assorted values will know that it’s still a handy skill to have up your sleeve. With this in mind, [j] decided to super-size the color-code with “The Great Resistor”.

      • HackadayWhen Only A TO92 Will Do

        As through-hole components are supplanted by their surface-mount equivalents, we’re beginning to see the departure of once-common component form factors. Many such as the metal can transistors became rare years ago, while others still hang on albeit in fewer and fewer places. One of these is the once-ubiquitous TO92 moulded plastic transistor, which we don’t see very much of at all in 2022. [Sam Ettinger] is a fan of the D-shaped plastic blobs, and has gone as far as to recreate them for a new generation to enjoy.

      • HackadayCreating Your Alarm On The Fly

        We suspect that most of us who use an alarm clock have our particular sound memorized. Common choices are annoying beeping, energetic marimbas, or what used to be your favorite song (which you have now come to despise). [Adam Kumpf] wanted a more pleasant alarm clock and came up with WakeSlow, an alarm clock audio stream, which is a spiritual successor to an earlier project he did called Warmly.

      • ReutersChina imposes fresh lockdown around major Apple iPhone plant

        China ordered an industrial park that houses an iPhone factory belonging to Foxconn (2317.TW) to enter a seven-day lockdown on Wednesday, in a move set to intensify pressure on the Apple supplier as it scrambles to quell worker discontent at the base.

        The Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone in central China said it would impose “silent management” measures with immediate effect, including barring all residents from going out and only allowing approved vehicles on roads within that area.

      • Taiwan NewsFactory run by Taiwan’s Foxconn placed under total lockdown in China’s Zhengzhou

        China cripples production at world’s largest iPhone factory under zero-COVID policy

      • The VergeThis robotic tentacle gripper is gentle, practical, and terrifying

        Hands, man, they’re a tough gig to beat. Four fingers? An opposable thumb? A design classic. But that’s never stopped scientists from trying to surpass what nature perfected. And their latest attempt to out-fing humanity’s fingers is pleasingly terrifying.

      • Tony Fadell Joins Arm Board of Directors – Arm®

        Arm today announced the appointment of Tony Fadell, Build Collective Principal, to its Board. Mr. Fadell brings decades of experience with the Arm architecture and ecosystem to his role as the company prepares for a potential public listing.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • NPRMen are struggling. A new book explores why and what to do about it

        The reluctance was simply because the way the debate is framed — it’s ‘Whose side are you on?’

        But of course, most people in the world are perfectly capable of worrying about two things at once.

        The danger with even raising the specific challenges of boys and men is that it will be seen as a distraction from ongoing efforts to help women and girls. I think that’s a false choice. Partly as a result of the changes of recent decades, we both can and should now pay attention to both sides of gender inequality.

      • The HillTime is running out for House to pass permanent daylight saving bill

        But the likelihood of lawmakers pushing the bill over the finish line in the final stretch is dimming.

      • Zach FlowerYou Should Probably Go Donate Blood

        In case you are unaware, the US is currently experience a critical shortage of blood.

      • Extreme TechNew X-Ray Technique Could Help Detect Explosives, Tumors

        A new X-ray technique that combines conventional equipment with a deep-learning algorithm might find its way into both security settings and the healthcare industry.

        Researchers from the United Kingdom’s University College London (UCL) recognized that X-ray security systems, though good at detecting shapes, weren’t so great at recognizing textures. Identifying textural abnormalities could be the key to locating explosives and other harmful items—especially those hidden away within larger objects. So they set about devising a system that could be paired with existing equipment to detect concerning textures.

    • Security

      • IT WireiTWire – LockBit ransomware gang hits Melbourne school Kilvington Grammar [Ed: Microsoft TCO/Windows TCO]

        Data exfiltrated from independent co-educational Baptist institution Kilvington Grammar School by the LockBit ransomware gang has been posted on the dark web on 14 October. LockBit only attacks Windows systems.

        iTWire asked the school, which is based on Ormond, on 15 October whether it had anything to say about the breach, but there has been a studious silence from the institution.

        However, on Sunday, The Age reported that the school had notified the families of children who attend the school that it had suffered a data breach.

        In a statement to The Age, the school said: “Kilvington Grammar confirms it has experienced a data incident involving unauthorised access to some of its online systems.

      • The Age AUData [breach] at IT firm may include health records of Victorian school students [iophk: Windows TCO]

        Thousands of Victorian students and their families may have had personal data including medical information [compromised] after a technology company that has contracts with the Victorian government was [breached].

      • The HillHere’s how lawmakers are tackling rising cyber threats in the health sector [iophk: Windows TCO]

        “Over the past decade, the American public has witnessed increasingly brazen and disruptive attacks on its health care sector that jeopardize sensitive personal information, delay treatment, and ultimately lead to increased suffering and death,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, noted in a report published this week, before outlining recommendations on ways the federal government can improve security standards in the sector to combat those attacks.

        The report, which is divided into three sections, recommends that the federal government improve the country’s cybersecurity risk posture in the health care sector, help the private sector mitigate cyber threats and assist health care providers in responding to and recovering from cyberattacks.

      • CyberRisk Alliance LLCVidar info-stealer distributed via spoofed GIMP site

        Searching for ‘GIMP’ in Google until last week would yield a Google ad leading to the phishing site, which facilitates the delivery of a malicious executable ‘Setup.exe’. Binary padding has been leveraged by attackers to make the malware file, which is under 5 MB in size, seem like a 700 MB file.

      • Why Did the OpenSSL Punycode Vulnerability Happen [Ed: This was mostly a media blunder; it hyped up something based on misinformation in “tweets”]

        Some room-temperature takes on yesterday’s not-quite-RCE vulnerabilities in OpenSSL 3.0, and on what there is to learn about safe cryptography engineering.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • 9to5MacHorizon Worlds metaverse app so bad that Meta has to force employees to use it

          It seems Meta is having problems persuading even its own employees to don one of its virtual reality headsets and use its primary metaverse app, Horizon Worlds. So much so that an internal memo says the company would “hold managers accountable” for their teams using it.

          It’s one of a set of leaked memos that suggest Apple may not have too much to fear from Meta’s competition to its own upcoming VR/AR headsets …

        • EngadgetA data-sharing agreement between the US and UK is now in effect | Engadget

          As of today, a data-sharing pact between the US and the UK is in effect, five years after it was first floated. The two sides claim that the Data Access Agreement, which was authorized by the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act in the US, will help law enforcement to combat serious crimes in both countries. The Department of Justice called the initiative the first of its kind, adding that it would enable investigators “to gain better access to vital data” to fight serious crimes in a manner that’s “consistent with privacy and civil liberties standards.”

          Under the agreement, authorities in one country can request data from ISPs in the other country, as long as it’s related to preventing, detecting, investigating and prosecuting serious crimes including terrorism, transnational organized crime and child exploitation. US officials can’t submit data requests targeting people in the UK and vice-versa — presumably the requests can either be used to assist domestic investigations or investigations into foreign nationals. Authorities also need to adhere to certain requirements, limitations and conditions when they access and use data.

        • ACMSmall Sensors for Big Challenges

          Shwetak Patel loves to combine academic research with being an entrepreneur, all in the field of sensing technology and ubiquitous computing. At a press conference during the 9th Heidelberg Laureate Forum this September, he put it this way: “Being an academic is my intellectual playground. Entrepreneurship is a way to show impact. When I was a young researcher, one of my goals was to build something that could impact the lives of a million people. I hit that goal, so now I’m going to go for a billion people.”

          Patel is the Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science & Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, at the University of Washington. In 2018, he was awarded the ACM Prize in Computing for his contributions to creative and practical sensing systems for sustainability and health. As a result, he was invited to the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), an annual conference where 200 young researchers spend a week interacting with laureates of the most important prizes in computer science and mathematics.

          Among many other applications, Patel and his research group have developed a new way of screening for tuberculosis using low-cost microphones to monitor coughing, and a way of using a smart watch to predict whether somebody is infected with the COVID-19 virus days before symptoms appear (based on a combined measurement of heart rate, heart rate variability, and respiratory rate). Says Patel, “With more intelligent sensors integrated into the Internet of Things, we can better understand the world, better intervene, and better take action. Sensors make the unknown known, and when we combine sensing with AI (artificial intelligence), as is happening now, you get so many new possibilities.”

        • EngadgetThe NYPD is joining Ring’s neighborhood watch app amid privacy and racial profiling concerns

          One of the most recognizable police forces is joining Ring’s Neighbors app. The New York Police Department has announced that it will participate in Ring’s neighborhood watch tool. Officers won’t look for posts “around the clock,” but they will respond to users’ crime and safety concerns, post notices and ask for help with “active police matters.”

          The move potentially gives the NYPD another way to interact with the community. It may also obtain footage of criminal activity that it wouldn’t otherwise have, with maps and timelines that could help pinpoint crime sprees and trends.

        • MIT Technology ReviewSmartphone data from drivers could help spot when bridges need urgent repairs

          Smartphones could be used to monitor the safety of bridges much more quickly and cheaply than currently possible, providing engineers with data they can use to fix the structures before they become dangerously unstable.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • MeduzaFire in Kostroma bar kills 13 A soldier returning from Ukraine set off a ‘pyrotechnic’ and burned down a nightclub — Meduza

        In Kostroma, a fire occurred in the Polygon nightclub in the early morning hours of November 5. The conflagration was reported to emergency services at 2:37am. There were hundreds of people in the club at the time. 250 people were evacuated from the nightclub building, as well as 15 residents of a neighboring home, due to heavy smoke. It took five hours, 50 emergency responders, and 20 pieces of equipment to extinguish the fire, which consumed a 3,500-square meter (over 37,000 square feet) area. The nightclub’s roof collapsed over the entire affected area.

      • MeduzaSupreme Court judge in the annexed ‘DNR’ wounded in assassination attempt — Meduza

        In the city of Vuhlehirsk, in the Russian-annexed “DNR,” an attempt was made on the life of Alexander Nikulin, judge on the region’s Supreme Court, reports the regional Ministry of Internal Affairs.

      • ScheerpostAfrica Does Not Want to Be a Breeding Ground for the New Cold War

        Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research On 17 October, the head of US Africa Command (AFRICOM), US Marine Corps General Michael Langley visited Morocco. Langley met with senior Moroccan military leaders, including Inspector General of the Moroccan Armed Forces Belkhir El Farouk. Since 2004, AFRICOM has held its ‘largest and premier annual exercise’, African Lion, […]

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Global Food System Enables Russia to Use Food as a Weapon

        Russia’s back and forth with Ukraine wheat exports—first accepting a deal to allow their shipment, then threatening to block them, and apparently agreeing to allow them to be released again – is yet one more illustration of the use of food as a weapon. 

    • Environment

      • RTLHundreds arrested after Schiphol climate protest

        “This action today is about Schiphol airport needing to cut its emissions which means we need to fly less,” Greenpeace spokeswoman Faiza Oulahsen said.

        “We are starting with those flights we absolutely don’t need like private jets and short flights,” she told AFP.

      • The EconomistThe world is going to miss the totemic 1.5°C climate target

        Many island states had the same red line. Their reasoning was simple. For a country like the Maldives, with more than 80% of its land rising less than one metre above sea level, more than 1.5°C (2.7°F) of global warming would see most of its sovereign territory disappear. Some continental countries which felt themselves at particular risk, or felt a particularly strong sense of solidarity, embraced the cause too. Third-strike make-or-break Paris was the perfect place to take a stand.

      • The Spectator UKMeet the Bristol Tyre Extinguishers

        If the world really does face a climate emergency, what ought you, personally, be doing about it? Should you, as increasing numbers of young people are doing, roam the streets at night letting down the tyres of SUVs?

        The fast-growing movement that calls itself the ‘Tyre Extinguishers’ thinks this is an effective approach, and has targeted thousands of SUVs in cities around the world. My home town of Bristol – always quick to espouse a green cause – has seen at least 200 SUVs ‘extinguished’ in recent weeks.

      • Sky NewsMother, 62, deflates tyres on 100 SUVs – and wants ‘army of middle-aged women’ to join her protest

        The protester, who is a writer and film editor, says she is willing to spend time in jail over her cause and will only stop if the government takes action against SUVs, including banning adverts for the vehicles.

      • Bristol Tyre Extinguishers deflate 55 SUV tyres overnight

        The Bristol Tyre Extinguishers (BTX) took to the streets in the early hours of Wednesday morning for their eighth major extinguishing action.

        Targeting the affluent areas of Clifton, the group deflated the tyres of 55 SUVs.

        This brings the total number of SUVs ‘disarmed’ across Bristol to just over 500 since they first became active in March 2022.

      • Clifton latest target of Bristol Tyre Extinguishers as 55 vehicles hit overnight

        The activists say they are ‘disabling’ 4×4 and SUV vehicles in cities as they are the most polluting and dangerous, and they say no one needs to own one in a city. The group has also targeted electric 4×4 vehicles, much to the fury of one 4×4 EV owner, with the Tyre Extinguishers stating that even electric vehicles are statistically more dangerous to other road users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians.

      • Common DreamsOver 100 Climate Activists Arrested for Blocking Private Jets From Taking Off in Amsterdam

        More than 500 environmental and social justice campaigners on Saturday occupied the runway and blocked private jets from taking off from a major airport in the Netherlands to call attention to the highly-polluting travel practices of the uber-rich in the face of runaway climate catastrophe.

        The organizers of the protest said participants—many of whom were arrested by police for their actions—said the plan was “to keep air traffic from the private jet terminal grounded for as long as possible.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | To Save Planet Earth, the US Should Buy Out the Fossil Fuel Industry

        Back on October 13th, I wrote an article here titled When Will the Victims of Oil Companies’ Lies Get Their Day In Court? detailing how Big Oil has been deceiving Americans—and, thus, killing Americans and our climate—for more than a half-century.  Their model, “Doubt is our product,” was borrowed from the tobacco industry and weaponized against us.

      • TruthOutPR Firm Plays Both Sides at Upcoming Global Climate Talks
      • Energy

        • Helsinki TimesNon-fossil electricity made up 86% of production in Finland in 2021

          The amount of electricity generated from renewable sources increased by six per cent from the previous year to 69.3 terawatt hours, largely as a result of the growing use of food fuels in electricity production. Renewable electricity accounted for 53 per cent and nuclear energy 33 per cent of total electricity production in the country.

        • Eesti RahvusringhäälingFinnish nuclear reactor shutdown not direct threat to Estonia’s energy

          The nuclear reactor at the Olkiluoto power plant, the third reactor at the site, has been under construction since 2005, and its original scheduled on-line start date of 2009 has been continually pushed back, due to various technical issues. It is now due to start work in December, as things stand.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • NPRIf bumblebees can play, does it mean they have feelings? This study suggests yes

          The finding suggests that like humans, insects also interact with inanimate objects as a form of play. Also similar to people, younger bees seemed to be more playful than adult bees.

        • CNNThe robotic falcon designed to help prevent bird strikes

          Airplanes and birds have been sharing the skies since the first ever flight back in 1903.
          However, to say this has led to some issues, particularly over the last few decades, is something of an understatement.
          Collisions between birds and aircraft are the cause of thousands of bird deaths every year.
          Such incidents, known as bird strikes, can also result in aircraft damage, as well as delays and cancellation of flights, costing the International Civil Aviation Organization a reported $1.4 billion each year.

      • Overpopulation

        • Arab NewsAlmarai acquires huge farmland in Arizona

          The purchase was done through its fully-owned subsidiary Fondomonte, Arizona LLC, composed of 3,604 acres of freehold land, 3080 acres of agriculture lease hold land and 3,150 acres of grazing lease hold land.

        • The Guardian UKThe future of life on Earth depends on curbing overpopulation

          We are using up the renewable resources of 1.7 Earths. If things don’t change, we’ll need three by 2050. As more of us demand more from nature, we worsen already catastrophic biodiversity loss, accelerating water scarcity, pollution and deforestation.

          At current rates, our planet doesn’t have enough to support our burgeoning numbers – let alone sustaining all other species. In less than a month, humanity will hit 8 billion people on our planet. Governments, international bodies and societies can no longer ignore our population’s role in adding to the climate, wildlife and ecosystem collapses confronting us.

        • Are there too many of us? Why we should and how to address overpopulation

          However, the population may not level off as soon as the UN projects. If climate change continues unchecked, developed countries with low birthrates could be driven into poverty, pushing their birthrates back up.

          Even if the population levels off, the world will still have to support 10.4 billion people for several decades. Regardless of whether the population declines in the future, the repercussions will still be felt during and after the population is at its peak. Resources will be scarce, climate change will worsen and rates of sickness and conflict will increase.

    • Finance

      • Common DreamsOpinion | It’s the Corporate Greed, Stupid
      • Common DreamsCritics Warn GOP Midterm Victory Would Be Disaster for Working Class, Democracy, and Planet

        Progressive leaders and Democratic Party supporters are raising last-minute alarms over the unparalleled catastrophe that would result if the Republican Party—an organization many see as a creeping fascist force in the United States and on the world stage—manages to win control of one or both chambers of Congress in Tuesday’s midterm election.

        “We owe it to generations before us who fought and died for democracy and the rule of law, and to generations after us who will live with the legacy we leave them—to get out the vote next Tuesday.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | President Biden Must Pass a Windfall Tax

        President Biden has the opportunity to show the public he stands with them instead of Big Oil. He’s set up a clear choice for the fossil fuel executives gouging American families at the pump: lower prices or face the consequences.

      • Common Dreams‘Americans Aren’t Serfs’: House Democrats Propose End to Wall Street Rent-Gouging

        To help address the nation’s housing crisis while at the same time confronting Wall Street greed, three California members of Congress on Saturday touted new legislation to target rent-gouging in the U.S. by private equity firms and investment giants who have gobbled up huge numbers of single-family home and residential units in the years since the 2008 financial crash.

        “Wall Street should not be any family’s landlord.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | This Is an Election Poor and Low-Income Americans Cannot Afford to Lose

        Our wellbeing is on the ballot this November. Amid a pandemic, rising inflation, and deepening financial instability, we need a strong commitment from all candidates to our children, families, and planet.

      • TruthOutHousing and Homelessness Are on the Ballot. Will Unhoused People Have a Say?
      • CoryDoctorowSubstituting economics for politics is a failure

        Most of us believe that we do stuff because we want to be good people, and that other people act the same. But the dominant political philosophy for the last half-century, “economism,” views us as slaves to “incentives” and nothing more.

        Economism is the philosophy of the neoclassical economists, whose ideology has consumed both the Democrats and Republicans. They dismiss all “non-market” solutions (that is, projects of democratically accountable governments) as failed before they’re begun, due to the “incentives” of the individuals in the government.

        Economism’s major project has been to dismantle the achievements of the New Deal (Social Security, unions, public housing, limits on corporate power) and to discredit the very idea that we can or should attempt those sorts of bold initiatives.

      • The Wall Street JournalWalgreens Turns to Prescription-Filling Robots to Free Up Pharmacists

        Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is turning to robots to ease workloads at drugstores as it grapples with a nationwide shortage of pharmacists and pharmacist technicians.

      • Bert HubertBonds and the Ten Year Interest Rate

        So in these wild times, the “ten year interest rate” is suddenly in the news again. But what does this mean? There is no committee that sets these rates, but it is also not something you can just measure. While you’ll find various other explanations of how to calculate the 10 year interest rate online, this may be the geekiest one, and definitely is the only one with a built-in calculator.

      • Amos WengerBecoming fasterthanlime full-time

        As of today, I am no longer employed by fly.io.

        We’re both very sad, and we’ve promised to stay friends and send postcards to each other over winter break.

        [...]

        For now, I’m aggressively embracing my new reality: funemployment.

        I’m not going to seek employment in the near future — I will rely on donations to pay the rent, utilities, various server costs, software subscriptions, etc.

      • Yanis VaroufakisTrickle-down Truss is carrying on the dirty work of Thatcher, Blair and Osborne – THE GUARDIAN – Yanis Varoufakis

        If Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget survives the storm it triggered, a banker on a million-pound annual salary stands to receive £50,000 of income tax relief – on top of the extra bonuses the bank can throw in, now that the Liz Truss government has removed the cap on them. Meanwhile, a Deliveroo rider gets a pep talk on the emancipatory value of aspiring to be wealthy, presumably as an incentive to pedal harder. This is the gist of the government’s growth strategy or, according to former Brexit minister David Frost, its antidote to stagnation and defeatism.

        While it’s tempting to draw the obvious analogy between zombie ideas such as the trickle-down growth effect, and the classic Hollywood horror film Night of the Living Dead, a more appropriate response to the seriousness of the situation is to follow the banker’s extra cash. The government claims the banker will invest it, thus promoting growth. If it were not a blatant lie, it might have passed as a touching example of unfounded faith. But unlike Adam Smith’s bakers, butchers and brewers, who would invest any spare cash into better and more bread, ale and meat, the banker will buy into some fund that will, in turn, purchase shares, derivatives and bonds.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ScheerpostThe Racism of the Supreme Court’s Supermajority Was on Full Display This Week

        During more than five hours of oral arguments in two cases that will probably spell the death of affirmative action in colleges and universities, the racism of the six right-wingers on the Supreme Court was on full display.

      • IT WireiTWire – Age reporter accuses Vic premier of deceit, but then has second thoughts

        With the elections in Victoria due in about three weeks and the incumbent government looking very much like it will romp home, media in the state are resorting to every tactic in the book to push their barrows.

        It is probably this kind of approach that led to Paul Sakkal, a political reporter for The Age, accusing the Victorian premier Daniel Andrews of making a “extraordinary and deceitful statement” when the latter issued a release about a story on the state’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission.

        Sakkal, apparently, had second thoughts about his comments, as he deleted the tweet in question. But then deleting such things from Twitter does not always ensure that they disappear, as one can see from the image below.

      • The HillTwitter founder apologizes amid Musk’s mass layoffs: ‘I own the responsibility’

        Musk, whose deal to acquire Twitter for $44 billion was finalized late last month, has defended his decision to lay off up to half of all Twitter staff, equal to about 3,700 employees. He tweeted on Friday, the day that the layoffs began, that he has no choice when Twitter is losing $4 million per day.

      • The HillTwitter launches $8 per month subscription service including verification

        “Your account will get a blue checkmark, just like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you already follow,” the company wrote.

        It also listed several features that are “coming soon” to the subscription service.

      • NBCTwitter co-founder Jack Dorsey apologizes after Elon Musk’s team begins mass layoff days after $44 billion takeover

        One Twitter user, however, pointed out a tweet Dorsey wrote in April in which the former CEO praised Musk as the “singular solution I trust” to take over the company.

      • Daniel MiesslerTwitter’s Blue Checkmark Strategy Reduces Trust in Pursuit of Revenue

        So we haven’t gained anything for the community. In fact I’d argue we’ve lost a lot. One of the biggest features of the blue check—not just on Twitter but on any social media platform—is disambiguation from copycats. If the analysis above is true and correct, we lose that. Now it’s just blue checks everywhere.

        Which would be fine if that was the case for validated non-public people—the more the better. But they’re not validated. In sum, this is less validation, and more blue checks. Seemingly all in the name of revenue.

      • New York TimesWe Pay an Ugly Cost for Ads on Twitter

        The idea that advertisers alone will save us from hate speech and the further degradation of digital social media is wishful thinking. A primarily advertiser-financed site is neither free nor healthy. The reliance on advertising by so much of our digital public sphere — Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter — has perniciously fueled tribalization, hate speech and surveillance.

        With advertiser-financed digital media, advertisers are the true customers, and what they are paying for is our attention, as much of it as they can get for as long as possible, and our data, so that they can target ads with more precision.

      • Insight HungaryPro-government media calls for the resignation of two judges for meeting US ambassador

        Hungarian pro-government outlets are demanding the resignation of two judges because they met with US Ambassador David Pressman. The government-friendly media outlets argued that Csaba Vasvari and Tamas Matusik must resign because the meeting interferes with the “judicial independence”.

        The meeting with the two judges was public, Pressman tweeted about the event on his official account, saying it was an “informative discussion about the [ National Judicial] Council’s critical role in Hungary’s judicial system”.

        Thank you to members of the National Judicial Council, Judges Csaba Vasvári & @TamasMatusik , for the informative discussion about the Council’s critical role in Hungary’s judicial system. pic.twitter.com/2FmWcdT0fh

        Correction: the number has increased since I last checked about a week ago. Currently, there are -57 🇷🇺 diplomats in Budapest-3 in Debrecen-2 “bank executives” with diplomatic immunity at the @IIB_Press in BudapestThis is likely the largest 🇷🇺 diplo presence since the 90s. https://t.co/8rEYTkDLln

      • MeduzaRussians made nearly 10 million trips out of the country from July to September — Meduza

        From July to September of this year, Russians made 9.7 million trips outside the country, nearly twice as many as they made during the previous three month period, says Russian state broadcasting company RBC.

      • MeduzaNATO on Russia’s nuclear threat: ‘The risk isn’t great, but we’re taking it very seriously’ — Meduza

        Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, does not believe that Russia will use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, he said during an interview with Turkish television channel NTV.

      • Counter PunchDemocrats Burn it All Down

        The Democrats are burning it all down.

        They are going to lose the midterms because of the Ukraine War.

      • Counter PunchOut of Prison, Meat in the Game
      • Pro PublicaTexas Churches Violate the Law Ahead of Tuesday’s Election, Experts Say

        Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who is seeking reelection, have been crisscrossing the state in the lead-up to Tuesday’s election, visiting megachurches and smaller houses of worship packed tight with parishioners.

        The stops are part of a longstanding tradition for political candidates that often accelerates as Election Day nears.

      • TruthOutAIPAC Had a Banner Year in Election Meddling — and We Should All Be Concerned
      • TruthOut55,000 Ontario Education Workers Strike Despite ‘Draconian’ New Anti-Labor Law
      • Visual CapitalistMapped: The World’s Billionaire Population, by Country

        The world’s billionaires—only 3,311 individuals—represent almost $11.8 trillion in wealth.

        [...]

        We’ll begin by zooming out to look at how various continents and world regions rank in terms of their billionaire population.

        North America is home to most billionaires, worth $4.6 trillion. The U.S., unsurprisingly, accounts for the majority of this wealth, with 975 billionaires and a collective net worth of $4.45 trillion.

      • Michael West MediaJim Chalmers brings a Budget potpourri: something for everyone, the fossil fuel lobby too – Michael West

        The “Potpourri Budget” has something in it for everyone, including the fossil fuel lobby which has attracted another $3 billion in spending commitments. Callum Foote reports.

        This was the potpourri budget. Lacking in adventure, low on risk, higher on fiscal rectitude; Labor’s first Budget in nine years is designed to leave a pleasant scent in the air.

      • Mark DominusThe Universe of Discourse : Trollopes

        I guess the common name “Hooker” is occupational, perhaps originally referring to a fisherman.

      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

        • New York TimesOn Social Media, Hunting for Voter Fraud Becomes a Game

          But facts are often not the point of these games. Instead, they are part of a broader trend of “participatory misinformation,” in which people become more actively involved in sharing falsehoods and conspiracy theories. That leads to people integrating with a wider community and earning kudos, which makes them more likely to believe and invest in the misinformation, researchers said.

          “There’s a feeling that you can participate in the construction of a narrative and have impact,” said Kate Starbird, a professor of human-computer interaction at the University of Washington who studies misinformation. “It’s very empowering.”

        • MandiantHow to Understand and Action Mandiant’s Intelligence on Information Operations [Ed: Conflating security with misinformation (two very different things, merged only for political purposes)]

          Defenders positioned across a wide range of roles and industries are engaged in identifying and exposing different types of malicious online influence activity.

        • MandiantPro-PRC DRAGONBRIDGE Influence Campaign Leverages New TTPs to Aggressively Target U.S. Interests, Including Midterm Elections | Mandiant

          Mandiant has recently observed DRAGONBRIDGE, an influence campaign we assess with high confidence to be operating in support of the political interests of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), aggressively targeting the United States by seeking to sow division both between the U.S. and its allies and within the U.S. political system itself.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • VOA NewsAfter Fleeing Taliban, Afghan Journalists Find Visa, Money Woes

        Afghan journalists who fled across the border to Pakistan to escape Taliban rule say they still face an uncertain future.

        Living in Pakistan often on temporary or family visas, many are unable to find work and are concerned about their legal status when their permits expire.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Black Friday and Buy Nothing Day

        Instead of taking the opportunity to buy as much as possible on Black Friday, you could do the opposite and buy absolutely nothing. Since 1997, Buy Nothing Day has been held on the same day as Black Friday. The rules are simple. Just don’t buy anything at all for 24 hours. Many people are surprised how difficult this actually is. The aim is to make people think more about their spending and to make better decisions about what they buy and where they buy it from.

      • ScheerpostHarvard Professors Call For 500k More Armed Cops

        In a long and detailed Twitter thread, Alec Karakatsanis dives into a controversial academic article from two Harvard professors calling for the expansion of police.

      • TruthOutRail Unions Got Pressured Into a Bad Deal, Now Workers Are Threatening to Strike
      • Common DreamsOpinion | Concerned About the Economy? Then Vote for Candidates Who Support Abortion Rights

        The Supreme Court’s June 2022 Dobbs decision ending nearly 50 years of established abortion rights, ignited a burst of anger and widespread support for Democratic candidates who made abortion a centerpiece of their mid-term campaigns.  But recently, as alarm about inflation and the economy has escalated, abortion rights have become a less pressing concern to voters, as if access to abortion and the economy were not intimately connected. In fact, access to abortion is as much of a “kitchen-table” issue as the price of groceries or gasoline. And denying women this access has profound immediate and long-term economic consequences. 

      • Common DreamsDuring Speech on Fascism and ‘Creepy’ GOP, a Direct Appeal to Texas Governor’s Wife in the Audience

        After he said what he had to say, that’s when “it got wild.”

        Author and political commentator Anand Giridharadas was about to deliver a speech touching on the ideas of democracy, freedom, and fascism at a gala event during the Texas Book Festival on Friday night when he learned that Cecilia Abbott, wife of the state’s Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, was in the audience.

      • Ali Reza HayatiObeying the law

        You would have to agree with me that all people should obey just laws but I would also say that unjust law is no law at all. And when we find an unjust law, I think we have a moral obligation to take a stand against it.

        I do feel there are two types of laws: one is a just law and one is an unjust law. We all have moral obligations to disobey unjust laws because noncooperation with evil is as much as moral obligation as is cooperation with good.

        Any man who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail in order to arouse the conscience of the community on the injustice of the law is in that moment expressing the very highest respect for law.

        Laws have been made for us to have a better life, and to provide a good condition for living in communities. At least it is the purpose that we have been told the laws have. However, laws were supposed to trigger the moral obligation of humans toward each other in societies to do good and avoid evil.

        Since we made laws zero and one, it is doing more damage than good to the soul and spirit of the original purpose and idea of having laws. Since the creation of classes and since one class made to rule and control other classes, laws have changed to protect the benefits of the master class against other people.

        [...]

        My brothers and sisters, we are living in a new slavery and we are bound by unjust laws to obey these lords and masters, but we are morally obligated to disobey the unjust laws forced on us and we are morally and humanly obligated to fight against these masters for the sake of ourselves and the good of people and for a better future.

      • There are 50 million people in situations of modern slavery on any given day: Report

        Some 49.6 million people are trapped in modern slavery on any given day. They are either forced to work against their will or are in a marriage that they have been forced into, according to the 2021 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery released September 12, 2022.

        Forced labour accounted for 27.6 million of those in modern slavery and forced marriage for 22 million. The new estimates showed that forced labour and forced marriage had increased significantly in the last five years.

      • The WireHindu Men Have Highest Number of Multiple Sexual Partners, Sikhs Second: NFHS-5 Data

        Among men of all religions, Hindus rank at the top when it comes to having multiple sexual partners in India. They are followed by Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and Jains, in descending order.

        The Wire‘s analysis of National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) data reveals that Hindu men, who chose to have partners outside of marriage or were in live-in relationships, had 2.2 ‘mean number of sexual partners in their lifetime’.

        Sikhs and Christians had 1.9, while Buddhists and Muslims had 1.7, on an average. Jains had the lowest mean number of 1.1.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakAnti-Piracy Companies Locked Down Russian TV, Now Putin Wants It Back

          Russia’s premium broadcasters use conditional access systems to restrict viewing to paying customers and prevent piracy. These systems are reportedly very good but that’s making Russia nervous. Western anti-piracy companies dominate the market and at least in theory, could black out TV sets all over the country. A second scenario has Russia equally worried – free premium TV for all.

        • Shutterstock partners with OpenAI to advance AI image generation

          Shutterstock is expanding its partnership with OpenAI to advance how AI image generators are trained and how contributors are rewarded.

          The stock image service will offer “direct access” to OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 image generator through its website.

          “The mediums to express creativity are constantly evolving and expanding. We recognize that it is our great responsibility to embrace this evolution and to ensure that the generative technology that drives innovation is grounded in ethical practices,” said Paul Hennessy, CEO at Shutterstock.

        • Michael GeistWhy Bill C-18’s Mandated Payment for Links is a Threat to Freedom of Expression in Canada

          The study into the Online News Act continues this week as the government and Bill C-18 supporters continue to insist that the bill does not involve payment for links. These claims are deceptive and plainly wrong from even a cursory reading of the bill. Simply put, there is no bigger concern with this bill. This post explains why link payments are in, why the government knows they are in, and why the approach creates serious risks to the free flow of information online and freedom of expression in Canada.

        • Michael GeistHeritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez Tweets Video Suggesting it Shows Creator Support for Bill C-11, But the Video Pre-Dates the Bill By Nearly a Year – Michael Geist

          Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez’s credibility took another hit yesterday with an exceptionally misleading tweet on Bill C-11. The tweet featured a video of artists encouraging Canadians to seek out Canadian content, which Rodriguez used to tweet “I’m hearing so many stories from artists about how Bill #C11 will make a real difference for artists. This is what it’s all about: supporting diverse Canadian culture, artists, and stories.” Leaving aside the fact that thousands of digital creators have vocally opposed the bill with warnings that it will result in serious harm to their careers and livelihood, the artists in the video were not speaking about Bill C-11. We know that because the video was launched in April 2021, pre-dating Bill C-11 by nearly a year and created before the government started the ruckus by removing Section 4.1 protections for user content from Bill C-10, the predecessor to Bill C-11.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • 🔤SpellBinding: CFUMOSI Wordo: FOULS
      • Have COVID, Will Travel

        As is the trend these days, nobody was wearing face masks save for one woman. I overheard someone mocking her for this. Everyone is acting like the pandemic is over.

        I tested positive for COVID as soon as I got home. The first day (Friday) it felt like a bad head cold, but by Saturday I was running a fever, had chills, and muscle-aches all over. It feels like a combination of strep throat and the flu. Not a fan.

        My doc offered to prescribe me something called Paxlovid. I hope that that helps, because this is miserable.

        I’m worried about transmitting the virus to my partner, who has a weakened immune system. They’ve been kind enough to deliver tea and snacks while I’ve been sequestered in this room all day. I make sure they know they’re appreciated (from a distance and behind a mask).

    • Technical

      • Internet/Gemini

        • A vision for Gemini applications

          There has been a lot of talk on the Gemini mailing list lately about applications, and dealing with the ugly realities of things like spam and CSRF vulnerabilities

          To some extent, all this app stuff has taken me kind of by surprise. Not the fact that they’re possible or that people want them, I expected that, and the client certificate stuff in Gemini was partially motivated by wanting a better way to do server-side applications. But I guess I was not prepared for how badly people would want apps, how many of them, how quickly, and what kind they would be – that serving static content out of the filesystem would be seen as an unfortunate limitation. I guess years of living in Gopherspace have narrowed my vision a bit.

        • API Evolution

          Adding support for PCRE2 in the_Foundation (and thus Lagrange as well) has got me thinking about APIs.

          Generally speaking, the challenge in API design is to fit together internal and external views of a system. There’s a tension between how the internal implementation wants things to be — for maximum efficiency — and the user wanting a friendly easy-to-understand black box. Choosing the right level of abstraction is crucial. However, the time dimension is critical as well: APIs should be resilient to allow unforeseen improvements and new features while not breaking user code. Changes may occur both internally and externally. A dead end is eventually reached when enough time has passed. The API has to be changed to accommodate the new situation.


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

I Can’t Code, But I Have a Proprietary Microsoft Account

Posted in Microsoft at 2:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jim Zemlin in GitHub

Summary: Congratulations to Mr. Zemlin (Linux Foundation chief) on his Microsoft account; now he can help the company engage in “software piracy on an unprecedented scale" (GPL violations)

[Meme] Unified Patent Court Corruption

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Patents at 9:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent judge vs UPC 'judge'

Summary: Patent judges are being targeted by the litigation lobby, which is looking to replace them with industry insiders in a robe or a gown, deciding on cases which may later open up employment opportunities or entice new clients (where they work for a large salary)

This Tentative List of UPC Judges (Industry as ‘Judges’) Will Make the Unitary Patent Explode Before Launch

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

Video download link | md5sum d43a27a5ab2f728e884e403e2ab5cbe7
UPC is Like ISDS
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court are basically scams; they’re being rebranded and falsely marketed by a malicious lobby looking to raid Europe through “judges” who are basically working for this lobby

THE Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobby is starting to show its true face, reaffirming everything that UPC critics have cautioned about for over a decade. We have covered this before, but the above video shows an article from JUVE, which has its own conflict of interest (it works for the UPC lobby and gets paid by the UPC lobby).

This is very closely connected to EPO corruption because the same people are being spotted doing both things. Benoît Battistelli has been declaring that the UPC would start “next year” since 2015 (almost 8 years ago) and António Campinos has said similar things since he was parachuted into the EPO to continue this demolition work of his friend, Battistelli, who obliterated the Rule of Law and sought to illegally grant European software patents. All he needed was a kangaroo court to approve such patents later on.

“We’ve been speaking to elected European politicians about this and will bring this to the attention of many more.”A reader has warned us about a “UPC captured by corporations,” dubbing the latest scheme: “Judge in the morning, MegaCorp in the afternoon…”

Corruption at full swing for sure. Will this ever commence? Probably not. People will fight back and maybe more nations will formally express opposition. Some have already condemned this illegal scheme.

“Nokia as UPC judge,” a reader told us. Here is the full list:

Full list of technically qualified judges

Biotechnology
Arwed Andreas Burrichter – Germany; patent attorney at Cohausz & Florack
Eric Enderlin – France; patent attorney at Novagraaf
Rainer Friedrich – Germany; in-house patent attorney at CSL Behring
Paolo Gerli – Italy; patent attorney at Botti & Ferrari
Krister Karlsson – Finland; patent attorney at Kolster
András Kupecz – Netherlands; patent attorney and lawyer at Pinsent Masons
Roman Maksymiw – Germany; presiding judge of the 14th Senate at Federal Patent Court
Cornelis Schüller – Netherlands; patent attorney at IP-Portunity (also technically qualified judge at the District Court of The Hague)

Chemistry and pharmaceuticals
Michael Alt – Germany; patent attorney at Bird & Bird
Kirsikka Etuaho – Finland; patent attorney at Espatent Oy (also technically qualified judge at the Market Court Helsinki)
Renaud Fulconis – France; patent attorney at Bandpay & Greuter
Rudi Goedeweeck – Belgium; in-house patent attorney at AGFA-Gevaert
John Meidahl Petersen – Denmark; in-house patent attorney at Lundbeck
Stefanie Parchmann – Germany; patent attorney at Maiwald
Laure Sarlin – France; patent attorney at Beau de Loménie
Casper Struve – Denmark; patent attorney at Zacco (also technically qualified judge at the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court)
Steen Wadskov-Hansen – Denmark; patent attorney at Budde Schou
Carola Wagner – Germany; judge at the Federal Patent Court

Electricity
Pascal Attali – France; in-house patent attorney at Bose Corp
Eric Augarde – France; patent attorney at Brevalex
Bertrand Cochet – France; in-house patent attorney at Orange
Grégoire Desrousseaux – France; patent attorney and lawyer at August Debouzy
Alain Dumont – Belgium; technical judges at the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office
Dennis Kretschmann – Germany; patent attorney at Boehmert & Boehmert
Alessandro Sanchini – Italy; patent attorney at Modiano & Partner
Andrea Scilletta – Italy; patent attorney at IP Sextant
Simon Walker – Finland; in-house patent attorney at Nokia

Mechanical engineering
Michel Abello – France; patent attorney at Loyer & Abello
Uwe Ausfelder – Germany; judge at the Federal Patent Court
Koen Callewaert – Belgium; patent attorney at Bureau Callewaert
Giorgio Checcacci – Italy; patent attorney at Checcacci & Partner
Paolo Ernesto Crippa – Italy; patent attorney at Jacobacci & Partner
Claus Elmeros – Denmark; patent attorney at Plougmann Vingtoft (also technically qualified judge at the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court)
Frédéric Gaillarde – France; patent attorney at Cabinet FGPI
Bernard Christiaan Ledeboer – Netherlands; patent attorney at V.O.
Elisabetta Papa – Italy; patent attorney at Società Italiana Brevetti
Martin Schmidt – France/Germany; patent attorney as single practitioner and at IXAS Conseil
Uwe Schwengelbeck – Germany; judge at Federal Patent Court
Max Tilmann ­– Germany; patent attorney since 2022 at König Szynka Tillmann von Renesse; now own firm
Marie-Paule Vandeberg – Belgium; patent attorney at MPV Patent
Patrice Vidon – France; patent attorney at Vidon
Pascal Lucien Pierre Weber – France; former judges at the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office
Stefan Wilhelm – Germany; in-house patent attorney at 3M

Physics
Michael Fleuchaus – Germany; patent attorney at Fleuchaus & Gallo
Anders Hansson – Sweden; patent attorney at Kransell & Wennborg (also technically qualified judge at the Sveriges Domstolar)
Ulrike Keltsch – Germany; in-house patent attorney at Airbus
Gérard Myon – France; patent attorney at Lavoix
Dörte Otten-Dünnweber – Germany; judge at Federal Patent Court
Andrea Perronace – Italy; patent attorney at Jacobacci & Partners
Christoph Dominik Schober – Germany; patent attorney at Flügel Preissner Schober Seibel
Patrik Rydman – Sweden; judge at the Swedish Patent and Market Court

This does not look like a list of judges but a list of companies. This is the “banana republic” they want to introduce…

“Nokia, Airbus, Orange technical judges,” as our reader put it. “It would be fun to make some UPC sponsored/corrupted by all those companies who have their staff as part-time technical judges. A proper kangaroo court…”

The way we see it, the publication of the list (as shown above) was a giant own goal. We’ve been speaking to elected European politicians about this and will bring this to the attention of many more. This charade won’t end well. All it can do is discredit the EU, but the litigation profiteers value money, not Unity or a European “union” of any kind.

[Meme] I am Always Right Because…

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Imagine the following quote being true:

I am the F**king President

Summary: As noted moments ago, a storm is brewing as António Campinos persists in destruction of the EPO (while telling staff that he is “the F**king President”, demonstrating very weak leadership skills)

trumpinos

Guess who wants another 4 (or 5) years in power…

The European Union’s Unspoken-About Blunder: EPO (Patent-Granting Office) Coup and Ongoing Coup Against Patent Courts

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 7:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum b84d35a08a7dc4bb537710b6cea80ec1
Rectifying Lawlessness at EPO
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The EPO‘s “f*cking president” António Campinos (he actually referred to himself as “the f*cking president”) is going to face more and more challenges as scrutiny from outside the patent microcosm becomes inevitable if not imminent

The “patent microcosm” — an old term that refers to self-serving groups with no consideration or any regard/respect to “externalities” – is dominating the EPO and the overseeing body (mostly representatives of national patent offices, but not of nation states) must be challenged. The UPC lobby and the people who hijacked the EPO (overlapping groups) make people’s lives miserable, both inside the EPO and outside the EPO. The same people who hijacked the EPO (large corporrations and international law firms) try to do to patent courts what they did to Europe’s largest patent office, but that aspect shall be covered in the next post and today’s final video.

We’ve sadly not spent much time lately covering EPO scandals or even the lack of UPC progress. It’s mostly a matter of prioritising based on urgency. It has been about 3 weeks since we last covered EPO staff affairs except more minor aspects. The above video talks about this petition, which was brought up again some days ago in light of the union communicating “upwards”, seeking to get member states to intervene and disrupt EPO corruption (such as the violations of the EPC, resulting in European software patents among other monstrosities).

Some days ago the following message was circulated among examiners (for the most part):

Strong support for the petition to the Administrative Council to call for a Conference of Ministers of the Contracting States under Article 4a EPC

Dear Colleagues,

In total 1016 EPO staff members support the petition to the Administrative Council to call for a Conference of Ministers of the Contracting States under Article 4a EPC.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to all the signatories for their clear support. This strong signal has been sent to the Chairperson and to the Heads of Delegations of the Administrative Council in an open letter.

It is now up to the Administrative Council to ensure that the conference is convened as soon as possible. We will continue to monitor the progress of the issue and will keep you informed of further developments in a timely manner.

Your SUEPO Central Bureau

SUEPO is well aware that the Chairperson is pretty much in the pocket of Campinos. Nothing will be done by the Chairperson unless his own job is at risk; but this is what happens when the “patent microcosm” is being put in charge of the “patent microcosm”. Heck, maybe he’ll get a high-paying job at the EPO later on (like Dr. Ernst, his predecessor).

Here is the open letter to with annexes merged: (as discussed in the video at the top)

INTERNATIONALE GEWERKSCHAFT IM EUROPÄISCHEN PATENTAMT
STAFF UNION OF THE EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE
UNION SYNDICALE DE L’OFFICE EUROPEEN DES BREVETS

Zentraler Vorstand Central Executive Committee Bureau central

21 October 2022
su22052cl – 0.3.1 – 5.3

To the Chairperson
and to the Heads of Delegation of the
Administrative Council of the
European Patent Organisation

SUEPO Central Executive Committee

OPEN Letter

To the members of the Administrative Council of the EPO
Call for a Conference of Ministers of the Contracting States under
Article 4a EPC

Dear Mr Chairperson,
Dear Heads of Delegation,

In total 1016 EPO staff members support the following petition on a call for a Conference
of Ministers of the Contracting States under Article 4a EPC and ask you to act accordingly:

“We, staff members of the European Patent Office (EPO) and the signatories of this petition, perceive that the development of the European Patent Organization (EPOrg) has increasingly departed from the structure and its mission as foreseen under the EPC and it appears that no appropriate countermeasures will be taken.

Therefore, we consider an external review of the EPO’s situation by a Conference of Ministers of the Contracting States under Article 4a EPC to be expedient; such a Conference is anyway long overdue in view of Article 4a EPC.


We call on you to have anew a close look:

- at the development and administration of the organization’s resources, in particular the alarming reduction of staffing levels in the core tasks;
- at the development of EPO employment law, at the (absence of) internal dialogue with social partners; and
- at hidden attempts to de-centralize the EPO towards National Patent Offices and weaken the roles and competencies of the various organs defined under the EPC.

We also call you to reflect on whether the strategic governance of the EPO is compatible with the long-term continuity of the Organization’s existence and with the future fulfilment of its mission, also in the context of its role in the Unitary Patent system.

We ask you to transmit this petition to your Ministries in order to convene such Conference without delay.”

Additional more detailed information can be found in the annexes to this letter.

Yours sincerely,

C. Lopes
Chair of SUEPO The Hague

I. Brumme
Chair of SUEPO Munich

T. Czogalla
Chair of SUEPO Berlin

J. Schaaf
Chair of SUEPO Vienna

Copy: President of the EPO, A. Campinos

Attachment: Detailed information on the petition


1 – 1 Date 30.09.2022

Update on the petition to the Members of the Administrative Council of the EPO to call for a Conference of Ministers of the Contracting States under Article 4a EPC

When the petition was launched in June 2022, compelling reasons had already been published as to
why such a Conference of Ministers of the Contracting States is necessary and, in fact, overdue. Since then, more events have occurred that speak for such an external review of the organisation and thus for the support of the petition, which are:

- The production demands for examiners are to be increased – increases of up to 10% are in the air – and this despite the fact that quality has fallen further;
- The office’s practice concerning patentability of business methods under Article 52(2)(c) EPC has become unclear again; and
- More embarrassing ILOAT Judgments showing the EPO’s violation of fundamental rights were issued three months ago and while implementation could be smooth and easy, it has yet to occur.

In more detail:

In the meantime it has been announced by senior managers and line managers that examiners will be required to produce more and that production pressure will be significantly increased for the coming year. This is even though staffing levels in core tasks are alarmingly low, examiner productivity is at its limits and at the same time the quality of issued patents has further deteriorated to below 75% compliance rate. In team meetings the figure of an increase of up to 10% of production has bee mentioned (see also the corresponding CSC publication 1). It seems that management no longer has any meaningful answers to manage the office’s workload.

Concerning the assessment of patentability of business methods in substantive examination (Article 52(2)(c) EPC), a recently started debate illustrates that this issue still seems to be very unclear. A clear guidance at the level of the Contracting States of the EPC seems to be necessary.

In early July the ILOAT issued inter-alia the Judgments no. 4550 and 4551, the latter clarifying that again the EPO has violated fundamental rights of staff freedom of association for roughly a decade. With the Judgment, the ILOAT lifted the presidential ban on Staff Committee sending mass emails to staff.

However, even after repeated requests by the Staff Committee and SUEPO, the President has not yet removed his technical restrictions on Staff Representation in the office’s email system that were put in place to enforce the ban. Currently, it looks like the Office continues to refuse to comply with the court’s ruling and allows the illegal email ban to remain in place. It seems that the ILOAT will have to be called again in this matter, this time simply to obtain the enforcement of its judgment.

Thus, not only has the fear that further embarrassing ILOAT Judgments will be issued against the organisation been confirmed, but it is compounded by the lack of willingness in the office leadership to recognise the highest court having jurisdiction over the organisation and to comply with the EPC. This procedure could put the existence of the organisation, and thus our own, in jeopardy. It is unclear whether the Administrative Council can or wants to put a stop to this.

In view of the above, an external review of the situation of the EPO by the Contracting States has become even more urgent.

This external review is claimed by the petitioners to the Members of the Administrative Council of the EPO to call for a Conference of Ministers of the Contracting States under Article 4a EPC.

_____
1 Open letter of the Central Staff Committee to the EPO President on the subject “Unsustainable productivity increase of +10% for 2023” dated 22.09.2022,


[Redacted: a letter previously published here]


[Redacted: a letter previously published here]


Detailed information on the PETITION
To the Members of the Administrative Council of the EPO Call for a Conference of Ministers of the Contracting States under Article 4a EPC as launched by SUEPO Central in the EPO on 07.06.2022.

We, staff members of the European Patent Office (EPO) and the signatories of this petition, perceive that the development of the European Patent Organization (EPOrg) has increasingly departed from the structure and its mission as foreseen under the EPC.

It appears that the EPO is being more and more transformed into a profit center, which is – in our view – inappropriate for a public service with quasi-judicial bodies responsible for granting monopoly rights by sovereign acts, which have a wide impact on their owners, their competitors and on the public. The fact that almost all management decisions are made on the basis of financial figures calculated according to the accounting standards applicable to the private sector (IFRS) rather than to the public sector (IPSAS) has led to reforms focused on savings on the expense of staff and downsizing of staff in core business to an amount which endangers the good functioning of the EPO. Core tasks are evaluated increasingly more on a financial perspective, wherein internally a link between the number of patents granted and the financial health of the EPO is openly communicated. The EPO career system further adds to an individual preference for granting of a patent over refusing a patent
application.

Internal quality control mechanisms have been implemented, by which the President of the European Patent Office has increasingly assumed the position of an additional higher ranking, but hidden instance in the patent granting procedure above the Divisions defined pursuant to Articles 15, 18 and 19 EPC. This not only questions the authenticity and legal validity of the Division’s decisions but also leads to strong influence to quickly grant patents. While surveys among external “stakeholders” ran by the EPO appear to show a high quality of the EPO patents, internal audits disclose that since years more than 20% of the European Patents have severe deficiencies and shouldn’t have been granted.

Backlogs in examination and search are increasing and it appears that for tackling the problems the current line management is tempted to return to outdated management approaches like “challenging people” measures and management “by fear”, which are unworthy of a modern organization like the EPO with highly qualified personnel. At the same time the EPO plans to reduce the staffing level in core tasks even further. This adds to current plans squaring with a large-scale decentralization of EPO tasks, including transfer of tasks to NPOs. Such significant amendments of the Organization’s structure fall outside the prerogatives of the President or the Administrative Council as defined in Articles 10 and 33 EPC. Furthermore, such a decentralization of EPO tasks would also affect the legal certainties of the validity of the patents granted by the EPO.

Apart from that, virtually all reforms of employment law since 2013 have been legally challenged, a number of which were already considered as null and void by the ILOAT (see e.g. Judgments 4430 to 4435 or 4482) or even in breach of fundamental rights; no significant investments have been made for reviewing the other reforms at stake. The EPO has obviously been unable to develop and apply new policies in line with legal constraints as defined by the ILOAT, so that further embarrassing judgments are to be expected.

All these issues have not been appropriately tackled due to the long-lasting failure of the EPO Administration to engage in a genuine social dialog with the staff representation and trade unions, who have drawn attention to them repeatedly to no avail.

Therefore, we consider an external review of the EPO’s situation by a Conference of Ministers of the Contracting States under Article 4a EPC to be expedient; such a Conference is anyway long overdue in view of Article 4a EPC.

We call on you to have anew a close look:
- at the development and administration of the organization’s resources, in particular the alarming reduction of staffing levels in the core tasks;

- at the development of EPO employment law, at the (absence of) internal dialogue with social partners; and

- at hidden attempts to de-centralize the EPO towards National Patent Offices and weaken the roles and competencies of the various organs defined under the EPC

1 – 2


We also call you to reflect on whether the strategic governance of the EPO is compatible with the long-term continuity of the Organization’s existence and with the future fulfillment of its mission, also in the context of its role in the Unitary Patent system.

We ask you to transmit this petition to your Ministries in order to convene such Conference without delay.

The non-exhaustive list of signs of derailment of the EPO includes:

Management of core business and Quality:
• Staffing level in core business has been reduced significantly during the past years and the office plans to continue the reduction of staffing level in core tasks by 25% of examiners and by 50% of formalities officers;
• Since the beginning of 2021 until the end of April 2022 an increase of the examination backlog by about 12% and search backlog by 5% is visible;
• Rather than adapting the recruitment plans in core business to the actual situation the Office continues to focus on prioritizing and re-shuffling examiners tasks in examination and search;
• The latest figures of the internal quality audit disclose a decreasing trend of quality of grant decisions from an already low compliance rate of 80% in April 2021 down to less than 75% at the end of March 2022.

Decentralisation initiatives:
• The EPO has proposed a new „mobility” program which includes secondment of patent examiners between the EPO and NPOs without limitations; it further focuses on harmonization of IT structures between NPOs and the EPO rather than primarily investing in the tools to support the core work;
• By the reorganization of 1 April 2022, EPO examining divisions and EPO formality officers were artificially separated geographically to different sites, without any added value for the EPO work procedures;
• The Office has departed from long-term and permanent employment towards high rotation short-term contract jobs for the members of the Divisions defined pursuant to Articles 15, 18 and 19 EPC.

Legal Certainty of Sovereign acts:
• Over the past years the President of the European Patent Office has issued instructions by which he increasingly assumed the position of an additional higher ranking, but hidden instance in the patent granting procedure above the Divisions defined pursuant to Articles 15, 18 and 19 EPC. Every notified action of the Division like a communication, summons to oral proceedings, refusal decision or grant of a patent application requires approval of the line manager in substance, although she or he is not a member of the Division;
• No legal means are available for the members of the Divisions for redressing interferences, like unlawful orders of the line manager to issue a communication instead of a decision to refuse an application as no legal instance is available (see e.g., Judgment 4417);
• The current electronic file and workflow system systematically implements resulting interference by management with the Division’s responsibilities and tasks and does not ensure an appropriate authentication of signatures of the responsible members of the Division.

2 – 2

Sooner or later they will need to (re)convene and all those massive problems will have piled up by then. Will they have the guts to admit they neglected/ignored the issues to the point where the patent system got flushed down the drain, instead rendering itself a cookie jar for law firms and monopolists?

ISPs and Their Triple-Dipping (Why Net Neutrality Still Matters a Lot)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Microsoft at 5:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum
Breton Attacks the Internet
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: There’s an effort to weaken the Internet by essentially charging Net users to get connected, profiting from their personal data, and then charging every Web site on top of that; it is being portrayed as a solution to a problem despite being a problem in its own right

THE video above deals with an ongoing problem, which is further exacerbated by rogue and corrupt EU officials. Who are they working for? Former employers? Themselves? The public?

The short story is, some “revolving doors” masters (like Mr. Breton) want to lecture us on matters of fairness, allowing ISPs to not just sell our data to advertisers but to also double-dip*, accumulating fees upstream (from site operators) and downstream (from households and businesses). As insane as this may sound, some people agree with them, based on bogus, false, phony narratives. It was covered in Indian media, which conspicuously omitted Microsoft from this bogus lobby term, “Big Tech” (promoted by Microsoft lobbyists to distract from Microsoft's unique crimes). Just to be clear, it’s not about GAFAM and Netflix paying ISPs or being asked to pay ISPs; it’s about those ISPs getting more and more power; they can later charge any site, even Gemini capsules, to relay traffic to visitors. It would destroy what the Net — not just the Web — stands for.

What do “Elite” voices say? They present the abusers as victims of their own success. This important subject is covered in “Elite”-run media, stating: “In the middle is Amazon, which has over-invested in e-commerce and expanded too far, crushing its cashflow and returns. Mr Bezos, who remains executive chairman, owns less than 15% of the firm’s voting rights, so he has to be at least somewhat responsive to investors. Apple and Microsoft are at the benign end of the spectrum. Both firms are older, no longer have founders with controlling stakes and operate on the principle of one share, one vote. Both listen to outsiders. In 2013 Tim Cook, Apple’s boss, sat down for dinner with Carl Icahn, a fiery investor, and took on board his request to return money to shareholders through buybacks. In 2014 Microsoft invited an activist investor, Mason Morfit, onto its board. The two firms have performed the best of the big five this year.”

Microsoft is notably absent from any real scrutiny; this is consistent with this publication’s bias. “Microsoft is anything but benign,” an associate noted in relation to this piece.
___________
* Our basic common sense has long indicated that attacks on the Web (or the Net at large) will ride the wave of ‘shrinkflation’. ISPs too rush to exploit “inflation” for price gouging. They deliver less value for a higher price and expect to be paid more based on creative story-telling (like fairy tales regarding capacity limits and why they’re unable to spend federal budget actually improving the infrastructure, even when taxpayers are paying for it; stock buybacks are embezzlement and misuse of public funds). Here in the UK, some ISPs now infiltrate or eavesdrop on personal conversations for sensitive information (this has been done with DPI techniques for at least 1.5 decades by BT), then sell that to data brokers (surveillance partners), in effect profiting by harming the dignity of the clients and harming them financially (e.g. discrimination in insurance policies). On top of that, it is important to note that all those connected to the Internet have already paid for the service which they are receiving and that what is happening here is a push for some very large ISPs with a large team of lawyers to get paid twice for the same service which has already been paid for (hence the term ‘double-dip’; it’s triple if one counts the data brokers because they get additional money this way).

Quit GitHub and Tell Companies to Do the Same (GitHub is Microsoft’s Attack on Git, on Free Software, and on Developers)

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Law, Microsoft at 4:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum ddf4b7c4cd99cce57dacfce08283fedf
GitHub Should Cease to Exist
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Matthew Butterick and the Joseph Saveri Law Firm are suing Microsoft for “software piracy on an unprecedented scale”; the Open Source Initiative (OSI) is meanwhile bagging bribes from both Microsoft and GitHub to protect the “pirate”

THE VIDEO above deals with news about the Microsoft/GitHub/CoPilot lawsuit [1-3], but it is preceded by a discussion about GitHub racism. It’s a subject we covered here many times before, e.g. [1, 2, 3].

The video starts with the story “How GitHub blocked me (and all my libraries)” (relatively early cautionary tale) and then discusses with Shawn told us (in IRC) is “truly fascist behavior by GitHub”.

“OSI is little but an organ of Microsoft now. It shunned its own founders!”We wrote extensively on reasons for avoiding GitHub and deleting everything from there. We made many videos about that too. But this time we focus on the stories below, which relate to the plagiarism machine of ‘Team Mono’.

It’s a damn shame that OSI chose to take Microsoft bribes and instead of combating the plagiarism/GPL violations it now spins matters to protect Microsoft’s name or weaken the case (prosecution). OSI is little but an organ of Microsoft now. It shunned its own founders!

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. On the filing of the Class Action Law Suit over GitHub’s Copilot

    Many of you are inquiring about a lawsuit filed yesterday afternoon by two “J Doe” Plaintiffs regarding the serious and ongoing GitHub Copilot problem which we have been working on for the last 18 months. This issue is dire and important, but includes many complex issues that intersect FOSS license compliance with moral questions of software freedom and the future of machine learning in human endeavor. Complex issues need careful, diligent, and community-oriented consideration and response.

    The attorneys in this newly filed case — Matthew Butterick and the Joseph Saveri Law Firm — did reach out to us, and we’ve been in discussions with them as to the key issues of copyleft policy and concerns about problematic interpretations of copyleft that are inherent in this type of novel litigation. These attorneys expressed to us that they had Plaintiffs who wanted to move very quickly, and we certainly understand their frustration.

    We pointed these attorneys to our Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement, which we co-drafted with the Free Software Foundation and has been endorsed by the Linux Netfilter Team, and many others. One of those principles is particularly relevant in this situation: Community-oriented enforcement must never prioritize financial gain.

  2. Class-action lawsuit filed against Microsoft’s GitHub Copilot for software piracy

    The lawsuit has been initiated by Matthew Butterick, who is a programmer, author, and lawyer. He is being represented by the Joseph Saveri Law Firm from California. Together, they are claiming that Microsoft is engaging in open-source software piracy by using billions of lines of code written by millions of programmers under various licenses including MIT, GPL, and Apache. The defendants named in the lawsuit are GitHub, Microsoft, and its technology partner OpenAI.

  3. Microsoft’s GitHub Copilot sued over “software piracy on an unprecedented scale”

    GitHub and OpenAI launched Copilot in June 2021, an AI-based product that aims to help software coders by providing or filling in blocks of code using smart suggestions. It charges users $10 per month or $100 a year for its service.

    “By train­ing their AI sys­tems on pub­lic GitHub repos­i­to­ries (though based on their pub­lic state­ments, pos­si­bly much more), we con­tend that the defen­dants have vio­lated the legal rights of a vast num­ber of cre­ators who posted code or other work under cer­tain open-source licences on GitHub,” said Butterick.

    These licences include a set of 11 popular open source licences that all require attribution of the author’s name and copyright. This includes the MIT licence, the GNU General Public Licence, and the Apache licence.

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