Links 27/02/2023: New IPFire Release and New Product From Planet Computers

Posted in News Roundup at 9:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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

Things That the Free Software Community Needs to Replace/Counteract

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 10:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The world is changing and Richard Stallman‘s message adapts accordingly (the latest gadgets). A talk scheduled one day after his 70th birthday!

RMS 2023 talk

Summary: 5 of the things that will hopefully change over the next 5 years; today we give a short list

Free Software (or free-as-in-freedom projects) faces all sorts of obstacles. Those obstacles change a little over time, as new brands, companies, and trends (or cargo cults) emerge. Today we’d like to name just a few of them. The list will change over time and there this crude (in-progress) graphical overview in our wiki.

So without further ado, let’s begin.

Software Patents

“Some prefer to keep their code secret, usually because the code is ugly, messy, and unappealing.”Copyrights cover code. This has gone on for nearly half a century and it is not likely to change (if it does, it will be condemned as “plagiarism” — which is exactly what Microsoft seeks to achieve with GitHub/Copilot). There is no need for any patents on algorithms. Ask almost any software developer, either proprietary oR not, and the answer will be the same. Coders don’t want patents on their code. Copyrights are sufficient. For some, reciprocity in changes (copyleft) is sought and for others it’s about attribution. Some prefer to keep their code secret, usually because the code is ugly, messy, and unappealing. Nobody would wish to reuse it anyhow.

GitHub (and Other Centralised, Proprietary Code Forges)

GitHub is by far the worst thing that happened to Free software in recent years, even before Microsoft took this whole thing, exploited the newly-acquired control to harm the competition, and then laid off a lot of the staff (because there’s no money in it).

Useful alternatives to Microsoft GitHub:

In our case, we locally host Git and we wrote our front end for the Gemini Protocol.

Centralisation of ‘Trust’

Human beings who lack a sense of morality are trying to tell our geek buddies that Microsoft controlling the boot sequence (and many other things) is “OK” for GNU/Linux and for BSD. They’re self-serving liars whom we should learn to ignore, irrespective of their passive-aggressive bullying (and playing the “victim card”). We’ve covered this subject extensively since 2012.

The following year, in 2013, Edward Snowden unleashed lots of NSA leaks onto the media and — by extension — onto the world. As a result, many Web sites frantically rushed to adopt HTTPS (to appease perceived public demand). On the surface this may sound like fantastic news, but there were caveats. For instance, it was soon made known that certificates would be rendered free, with action from the Linux Foundation before Microsoft et al got deeply involved. The founder of this initiative died last year and what happened in recent years wasn’t his fault. His intentions were good, but this would open a new can of worms — a can nobody in the media wants to speak about frankly. In our experience, people who speak about these issues are subjected to smears and false equivalences (like “antivaxers”).

“The following year, in 2013, Edward Snowden unleashed lots of NSA leaks onto the media and — by extension — onto the world.”So let’s put in very simple terms what the issue we deal with here entails: Let’s Encrypt (LE, controlled by the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation, i.e. monopolies and raiders of the Commons) is not security but mostly another increase/increment to the existing (very steep compared to Gemini/Gopher) entry barrier. If security was the true goal, it would be implemented differently. At the moment it compels people everywhere in the world, even non-technical folks, to rely on misleading Web browsers that impose US hegemony (scaring users if not outright obstructing/blocking them for disobedience), it makes self-hosting extra hard (in turn begetting further centralisation, i.e. censorship and surveillance against everyone), and for people who blog less than once every 3 months it makes no sense to rotate certificates every 3 month or pay annual fees to GoDaddy et al. Reliance on GoDaddy in in itself a security and safety risk, as GoDaddy can go for years without telling staff and clients that it suffered a serious security breach. GoDaddy isn’t the only one. Outsourcing “trust” is generally “risky business”. LE is the wrong way to solve a real problem, or a solution to a problem not Internet users were having but rich censors and media magnates had. It also makes hosting more expensive (support-related tickets ultimately increase).

“Let’s Encrypt was a good step but only one step in a direction,” an associate explains today. “Unfortunately Mozilla and Google have headed that off by preventing self-signed certificates.”

Because it’s “free” to be in the CAs everyone must do this now, right? ‘Democratisation’ is the fasionable buzzword (even crackers can get a free LE certificate and seem “legit”). No excuses to not support this ‘trust cartel’, which will one day be weaponised for political censorship of Web sites (through mass revocations; some people already viciously push to do this to Russian sites; it would be a slippery slope breeding distrust and suspicion of CAs’ true motivation/purpose).

Maybe we’ll elaborate some other day…

Buzzwords Pandemic

“Now they pretend that people need not search for authoritative Web sites and reputable pages on the Web, and all this because of the alleged sophistication of lousy chatbots — neither new nor innovative but Microsoft pays the media for a massive hype campaign during mass layoffs.”Buzzwords need to be replaced with substance. In the case of the EPO, we already see how “HEY HI” (“AI”) gets misused to grant loads of European software patents. And to borrow the above example of GitHub/Copilot, we see how mass violation of the GPL (copyleft) is facilitated, rendering compliance/enforcement virtually impossible. This is intentional. Outside the domain of code, some developers and Web sites seek to strip both attribution and licensing from various creative works, ranging from videos/multimedia to art and literature. There are many legal cases already (more than we care to count) dealing with this ‘pandemic’ of plagriarism-spun-as-HEY-HI (the OSI even took bribes from Microsoft to help promote this malicious spin). Here is the source code aspect, “but the same applies to all the works it is used to rip off,” an associate explains. “Each violation is a violation and due a large fine independently of any other violations.”

Call a spade “spade” and call plagiarism what it is, not “HEY HI”. It’s already shoehorned into other agendas, software patents being just one example (as noted before). Now they pretend that people need not search for authoritative Web sites and reputable pages on the Web, and all this because of the alleged sophistication of lousy chatbots — neither new nor innovative but Microsoft pays the media for a massive hype campaign during mass layoffs. “LOOK OVA’ THERE!”

Attack on the Internet

“The policymakers are in the pockets of several cabals of companies (different sectors), so one way to bypass their demands is to take the Net out of the hands of any particular companies.”There is an “ongoing net neutrality” disinformation campaign, an associate says, taking stock of “news” sites (conflict of interest!) helping the cable companies (often the same companies that own these reporters). They’re embracing the disingenuous and misleading labels for opposition to net neutrality and these are lousy attempts at double-billing (if not triple-billing). The articles latch onto hate towards G.A.F.A.M. and frame that as a fight wherein those who support net neutrality are in fact defending Microsoft and Google (nothing could be further from the truth). There are several ongoing attempts to decentralise the Net (IPFS is one notable effort) and we thankfully see more activity in Gemini this week — some of which praises GNUnet as well.

The policymakers are in the pockets of several cabals of companies (different sectors), so one way to bypass their demands is to take the Net out of the hands of any particular companies. The water supplier does not regulate how you use the water that you consume, right? it doesn’t even know how you use it.

The topology of the Net needs to change. It ought to be more peer-to-peer-like. The media likes to conflate such stuff with fake (‘cryptocurrrency’) coins and “dark web” (crime), but don’t fall for these bogus narratives from any hostile media company that doesn’t disclose its rather obvious conflict of interest.

Links 27/02/2023: DistroWatch Reviews elementary OS 7.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • ID RootLinux Server Uptime Monitoring: Everything You Need to Know

        As a server administrator, the uptime of your Linux server is one of the most critical metrics to keep track of. The longer the uptime, the better it is for your server’s performance and reliability.

      • ID RootHow To Install Cockpit on Fedora 37

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Cockpit on Fedora 37. For those of you who didn’t know, Cockpit is a web-based graphical user interface (GUI) for Linux servers.

      • KifarunixHow to Setup a Local CA Server on Ubuntu

        How do I set up a local certificate authority server on Linux? Well, in this tutorial you will learn how to setup a Local CA Server on Ubuntu. You might want to setup a Local CA server for various reasons including to issue private certificates for your users and applications.

      • LinuxBuz5 Best GMod Server Hosting in 2023 | Garry’s Mod Server Hosting [Ed: Might be spammy, hard to tell]
      • IdiomdrottningThe unbearable quirkiness of Linux group permissions

        All of the following interaction was as the user sandra with ellen% being the prompt (hostname + percent sign, zsh’s default). I’m in the dialout group. /tmp is sticky but that doesn’t seem to matter here, as you’ll see.

      • University of TorontoUniversities are often environments with distributed accounts and identities

        Another issue is that a university wide account is sometimes too powerful of a thing. If there is an outside professor or researcher visiting one department for a month, the university as a whole may not want to issue them an account that will give them central email, enroll them in various things the university is licensed for, and so on. And then when they leave at the end of the month, the university may want to deactivate the account but the department may not, because the department wants to foster an ongoing relationship with that person.

      • DignitedTop 10 Basic Linux Commands for Absolute Beginners

        Linux is a popular operating system used by programmers, developers, and system administrators around the world. While it may seem intimidating to beginners, mastering the basic Linux commands can help you navigate through the system with ease. In this article, we will discuss the top 10 basic Linux commands for absolute beginners, and provide you with a clear understanding of their purpose and how to use them.

        Linux is an open-source operating system that offers a wealth of possibilities and flexibility for users. But for beginners, navigating through the terminal and using command-line tools can be a bit intimidating.

      • HiRRunning a Kubernetes Cluster with OpenBSD VMM

        Kubernetes relies on Linux containers and cgroups, so you can’t run Kubernetes or even docker containers directly on OpenBSD, but Alpine Linux runs great under OpenBSD’s VMM hypervisor. Alpine shares a lot of the same ideologies as OpenBSD, and it has become a favorite in the Linux container ecosystem.

      • DignitedHow to Add Subtitles to a Movie Permanently Using VLC Media
      • Linux Made SimpleHow to install Chromatic Scale Generator on a Chromebook
      • AddictiveTipsHow to run the Arch Linux AUR on Ubuntu
      • Make Use OfHow to Enable Restricted Guest Session Support on Ubuntu

        Ubuntu doesn’t have an option for a guest session, but a workaround can add this functionality to your PC. This method lets other users use your PC while keeping your data and settings safe.

        Whether you’re a home user, a business owner, or an IT administrator, setting up the option for a guest session will come in handy at some point. So let’s look at how you can enable a guest session on Ubuntu.

    • Games

      • HackadayA Milliwatt Of DOOM

        The seminal 1993 first-person shooter from id Software, DOOM, has become well-known as a test of small computer platforms. We’ve seen it on embedded systems far and wide, but we doubt we’ve ever seen it consume as little power as it does on a specialized neural network processor. The chip in question is a Syntiant NDP200, and it’s designed to be the always-on component listening for the wake word or other trigger in an AI-enabled IoT device.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • OMG UbuntuTUXEDO OS 2 Released with KDE Plasma 5.27, Linux 6.1

      A new version of TUXEDO OS has been released.

      TUXEDO OS is primarily (though not exclusively) designed for owners of TUXEDO Computers laptops and PCs. The latest release, TUXEDO OS 2, is (surprise) the second major update to the Kubuntu-based distro, following last year’s debut release.

      Users get to enjoy the latest KDE Plasma 5.27 release (back ported from KDE neon) riding atop Linux kernel 6.1, with Mesa 22.3.6, PipeWire 0.3.66, and Mozilla Firefox 110 along for the ride. Also included are the latest versions of both KDE Frameworks (v5.103) and KDE Gear (v22.12.2).

      In all, some of the latest open source tech atop a dependable Ubuntu-based base.

    • Reviews

      • Distro WatchReview: elementary OS 7.0

        Because elementary OS 7′s focus is on relatively unskilled new Linux users, most people who have been using Linux for a while are probably not going to be interested in the distribution. That includes users who prefer so-called easy-to-use distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or Pop!_OS, mainly because of the distribution’s almost total reliance on Flatpaks for software packaging.

        This release also has some rough edges that need to be refined, which isn’t necessarily surprising since this first of the 7.x series was developed during a time when the elementary project was going through turmoil. Hopefully, most of these issues will be gone by the time version 7.1 is released, likely later this year.

        However, if they get the installer fixed so that the OS can be easily installed alongside an existing OS by a novice user, this release might be just the thing for not only for those new to Linux, but for casual users in general who just want to use a computer for fun or work, without having to understand what’s going on under the hood.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Red Hat OfficialRed Hat and Arm collaborate to deliver more energy efficient 5G and vRAN solutions

        With the continued evolution of 5G, RAN and now virtualized RAN (vRAN), modern networks are increasingly relying on software-defined architecture and cloud-native technologies. This requires streamlining the deployment and management of applications across different environments. The transition to 5G often results in higher electricity consumption from increased site density and sub-optimal use of the underlying resources. As a result, service providers are beginning to explore new ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce their environmental impact, such as optimizing network design and operations with energy-efficient hardware, and implementing power and thermal management techniques. 

        Sustainable computing is a multidimensional challenge across all industries, with service providers keen to reduce power consumption and support sustainability goals, particularly in regards to the RAN. According to a Red Hat-sponsored sustainability study, RAN is responsible for 75% of a service provider’s total power consumption. Adopting more energy efficient compute technologies will reduce power consumption and help service providers meet environmental impact standards set by governing bodies without losing key network functionalities. 

      • Red Hat OfficialPrivate 5G Networking: How Red Hat and partners are driving deeper value

        Private 5G networking is on the rise. Why? The emergence of edge computing in recent years coupled with macroeconomic trends are pushing service providers to rethink the way they operate networks and enable applications for faster results, improved connectivity and efficiency. From new use cases in Industry 4.0 manufacturing to smart infrastructure to the cloudification of radio access networks (RAN), service providers want the flexibility and autonomy offered by private 5G networks to embrace new innovations. 

        For service providers, private 5G networks offer an opportunity to play a more leading role within an enterprise’s critical business operations providing a platform that hosts the private network in addition to business applications that can run at the edge. This reduces the footprint, increases flexibility and manageability of the network while lowering the total cost of ownership.

      • Red Hat OfficialHow the Kepler project is working to advance environmentally-conscious efforts

        For many, the term “sustainability” evokes images of reusable water bottles, paper straws and household compost bins. Or perhaps you envision “reduce, reuse, recycle” posters and canvas tote bags at your local farmer’s market–but maybe not data centers, right? As sustainability has become a cornerstone of many government policies, enterprise initiatives and consumer trends, tech leaders have been hard at work building technologies dedicated to helping users monitor how their software usage might drive energy consumption.

        In recent years, the rapid growth in workloads handled by data centers has resulted in greater energy usage, increasing 10-30% per year, and accounting for 1-1.5% of global energy consumption, as reported by the International Energy Agency. In order for enterprises to make a meaningful environmental impact, it has become critical for IT leaders to take a harder look at the efficiency of their equipment and the tools they use to evaluate the sustainability of their data centers1.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • OMG UbuntuUbuntu Devs Working on New ‘Mini’ ISO

        While there’s nothing to download or test (yet – that I’m aware of) a good overview of the project was shared on the Ubuntu developer mailing list at the weekend. Interestingly, the effort is being headed up by Dan Bungert, the maintainer of Subiquity, which is the tech underpinning Ubuntu’s new Flutter-based installer).

        “The ubuntu-mini-iso is a small bootable iso that can be either downloaded and used on a CD/USB-drive or even via UEFI HTTP that brings up a dynamic TUI menu of what Ubuntu images you want to download/install to your target system,” Canonical’s Lukasz Zemczak explains.

      • Make Use OfUbuntu Flavors to Stop Supporting Flatpak: Here’s How to Enable It

        On February 21, 2023, Philipp Kewisch, Community Engineering Manager at Canonical announced on the Ubuntu Discourse Forum that the approved flavors would no longer come with Flatpak support by default.

        Alluding to “fragmentation”, Kewisch continued: [...]

    • Devices/Embedded

      • CNX SoftwareSDMC DV9286 8K TV box runs Android 13 on Amlogic S928X processor for OTT/IPTV deployments

        SDMC DV9286 is an 8K TV box for operators running Android 13 TV OS on an Amlogic S928X octa-core Cortex-A76/A55 processor with 4GB to 8GB RAM, WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, an HDMI 2.1a port, and 8K AV1, H.265, VP9 video decoding support. We had started to see 8K TV boxes based on the Amlogic S928X processor at IBC 2022 last September, but with few details. SDMC DV9286 announcement brings a few more details such as the GPU used in S928X and which version of Android will be used.

      • Linux GizmosESP32 based device includes 1.28” TFT with Touch capability

        Makerfabs recently launched a compact board integrating the ESP32-S3 microcontroller along with a round LCD with capacitive touch. This product also includes a MicroSD slot for storage, a 3.7V battery connector and two Mabee connectors for I/O expansion.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Jon UdellMapping people and tags on Mastodon

      In Mastodon relationship graphs I showed how to use Steampipe to map Mastodon network neighborhoods. When I use the word map here, I’m channeling Denis Wood’s The Power of Maps: Every map shows this — but not that, and every map shows what it shows this way — but not the other way.

    • Connor TumblesonPi-hole: 5 years later

      I took a risky jump and did a in-place upgrade from Stretch to Buster to Bullseye. So now that I was up to date on my operating system I could resume my upgrades on the Pi-hole. Once done I completed the upgrades from Pi-hole 5.11 to 5.18: [...]

    • Didier StevensUpdate: oledump.py Version 0.0.72

      This update brings a new plugin to analyze MSI files: plugin_msi_info

    • Libre ArtsWeekly recap — 26 February 2023

      Week highlights: new release of darktable and Zrythm, new WIP features in
      Krita, new AVL drumkit, Blender changes release schedule with the 4.x. series.
      Less software news, more artworks this time.


      Not much going on in the main development branch, but CmykStudent is as
      active as ever in Git branches and the merge requests section. They
      rewrote old GIMP’s
      code to import ACO palette files to use babl. As the result, GIMP can now
      handle ACO file where colors are defined in CIE LAB. There’s also further
      progress with importing SwatchBooker files.

    • Programming/Development

      • Terence EdenHow much of AI’s recent success is due to the Forer Effect?

        This is the Barnum Effect – sometimes called “Forer Statements” – when people read generic statements they often believe them to be highly personal.

      • New StatesmanChatGPT and the death of the author: AI-powered chatbots are not only exploiting human creativity but rapidly eroding it.

        The data comes from everybody who has contributed to the common knowledge of humanity, and everyone who is on the internet. We are each, in a small way, an author – perhaps more aptly, a ghostwriter – of ChatGPT. All this information has been collected and re-interpreted in a way that the intentions and subjectivity of any one individual have disappeared from the final product. ChatGPT uses a “large language model” (LLM) that, by learning patterns in data, can itself generate text; it is a sort of mechanical author who operates by leveraging and destroying all other authors at one and the same time.

      • Wesley MooreDebugging a Docker Core Dump

        On my main machine I use an excellent cross-platform tool called Docuum that automatically cleans up unused docker images. This allows me to use Docker without the need to periodically wonder why I’m out of disk space, run docker system prune and recover half my disk.

      • New StatesmanAI porn will never be sexy

        Beyond questioning AI’s future autonomy and whether that bodes the end of humanity, much of the conversation surrounding AI has been about how people can use AI for their own horniness. On Twitter images of voluptuous AI-generated women have repeatedly made the rounds, supposedly highlighting just how real and attractive they can look. In some cases the sentiment even appears to be that they are even more appealing than non-AI images of women. “Apparently this picture and others are going viral on socials because women are SEETHING and debating whether these girls are AI generated,” one user tweeted alongside a picture of what appears to be four blonde quadruplet women in lingerie. “It’s so over,” the same account later tweeted alongside four other AI-generated photos of women in lingerie and bikinis.

      • RlangAsymptotic Statistics in Non-Sparse Networks

        Exchangeable arrays have been studied since the late 70’s (Aldous (1983), Kallenberg (2005)). Eagleson and Weber (1978) and Silverman (1976) establish Strong Law of Large Numbers and Central Limit Theorems for such arrays. Because non-sparse networks and multiway clustering are related to exchangeable arrays, they have received recent attention in statistics and econometrics (Davezies, D’Haultfœuille, and Guyonvarch (2018), Davezies, D’Haultfœuille, and Guyonvarch (2021), Menzel (2018)). We focus below on non-sparse networks and present uniformity results at the basis of the asymptotic normality of many nonlinear estimators. We also show the general validity of a bootstrap scheme adapted to such data.

      • Perl / Raku

        • PerlOrdering Your Tests

          By default, the test actions of both ExtUtils::MakeMaker and Module::Build test t/*.t in lexicographic order (a.k.a. ASCIIbetical order). Under this default, some Perl module authors who want tests performed in a given order have resorted to numbering tests: t/01_basic.t, t/10_functional.t, and so on.

          My personal preference is to take the lexicographic ordering into consideration when naming test files: t/basic.t through t/whole_thing.t. But the price of this choice is a certain number of contrived test names, and even the occasional thesaurus lookup.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Silicon AngleAn open standard threatens to disrupt the cloistered world of wireless networking

        The Open RAN specification, which the O-RAN Alliance introduced in 2018 and now maintains, is a reference architecture for a set of interoperable hardware, software and interfaces that can be built from off-the-shelf hardware. Supporters say it could have the same impact on the telecommunications industry that Unix and TCP/IP had on the data center in the 1990s when open standards disrupted the proprietary – and highly profitable – domain of a few large equipment makers, brought prices crashing down and changed the economics of data processing.

        The Alliance will be out in force at MWC 2023, the former Mobile World Congress event, in Barcelona this week with an assortment of technical sessions and addresses by some major wireless carriers and businesses building compatible products. (SiliconANGLE and its mobile video studio theCUBE will be onsite to report and analyze the news and interview top executives and experts.)

        A RAN is the radio element of a cellular network. It links wireless devices to transceivers and ultimately to the core network that connects to the internet. RANs are typically installed in each of the cells that make up a cellular network.

  • Leftovers

    • Joe BrockmeierJoe Brockmeier: Tab sweep: eFanzines, data privacy, playlists between two artists

      Been a lazy Sunday of doing some light pre-Spring cleaning/organizing and quality time with the cats. Here’s a few interesting sites, articles, and such that have been idling in tabs for a little while.

      Two on data privacy

      The Markup has an article about how grocers, specifically Kroger, are harvesting and selling data about you to advertisers and such. “Many grocers systematically infer information about you from your purchases and “enrich” the personal information you provide with additional data from third-party brokers, potentially including your race, ethnicity, age, finances, employment, and online activities. Some of them even track your precise movements in stores. They then analyze all this data about you and sell it to consumer brands eager to use it to precisely target you with advertising and otherwise improve their sales efforts.

      This isn’t exactly new info, but it’s worth reading to see the amount of data they’re collecting about you as part of “loyalty programs” and using the data not just to sell you things, but to resell. In a sane society this practice would be flat-out illegal or at least heavily, deeply regulated.

      This includes in-store cameras, Bluetooth tracking, GPS, unique identifiers w/loyalty prorgrams, etc.

    • RTLTop Africa film festival opens in jihadist-hit Burkina

      The president of FESPACO’s organising committee, Fidele Aymar Tamini, said the festival’s 28th edition would embrace the theme of “African cinemas and peace cultures” in the context of the crisis.

      The prime minister of neighbouring Mali, the festival’s guest country of honour which is also grappling with a bloody jihadist insurgency, said culture had an “avant-garde role to play in the peace process”.

    • HackadayTeaching A Robot To Hallucinate

      Training robots to execute tasks in the real world requires data — the more, the better. The problem is that creating these datasets takes a lot of time and effort, and methods don’t scale well. That’s where Robot Learning with Semantically Imagined Experience (ROSIE) comes in.

    • Counter PunchThe Radical Senate: James Abourezk of South Dakota

      James Abourezk, who represented South Dakota from 1973 to 1979, breathed life into issue after issue.

      He represent the Iranian government for a time and remarkably tried to broker an agreement over the hostage crisis which might have saved Jimmy Carter’s presidency and dramatically altered history, but Carter turned it down, see below.

    • Science

      • CNNArchaeologists find 5,000-year-old tavern — including food remains — in Iraq

        They initially found themselves in the open courtyard space, an area that was difficult to excavate, being “open and exposed to the outdoors,” Reed Goodman, an archaeologist from the University of Pennsylvania, told CNN.

        After returning to the mysterious courtyard a few months later, in fall 2022, field director Sara Pizzimenti, from the University of Pisa, broadened the trench.

        The team then discovered the industrial-sized oven, a moisture-wicking ancient “fridge,” to keep food cool, and dozens of conical bowls, many containing fish remains, revealing the purpose of the courtyard to be an outdoor dining area.

      • DroidGazzetteResearchers Synthesize Mysterious Exotic Baryon

        Scientists at Osaka University were part of a particle accelerator experiment that produced an exotic and highly unstable particle, and determined its mass. This could contribute to a better understanding of the inner workings of ultra-dense neutron stars.

    • Education

      • Common DreamsWhy America Demonizes its Public-School Teachers

        Evaluating teachers on their students’ performance is an issue that has elicited much comment over more than a decade. In essence, this view assumes that if students aren’t learning, the fault lies squarely with their teachers alone. While the logic of this view seems compelling at first, a moment’s reflection shows that it ignores several factors over which teachers have no control, factors that have an enormous influence on students’ ability or willingness to learn, or if they are able and willing, a multiplicity of distractions get in the way.

    • Hardware

      • The Straits TimesTaiwan says ‘Fab 4′ chip group held first senior officials meeting

        The semiconductor shortage thrust chip powerhouse Taiwan into the spotlight.

      • HackadayA Loving Look Inside Vacuum Fluorescent Displays

        Everyone knows we’re big fans of displays that differ from the plain old flat-panel LCDs that seem to adorn most devices these days. It’s a bit boring when the front panel of your widget is the same thing you stare at hour after hour while using your phone. Give us the chunky, blocky goodness of a vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) any day of the week for visual interest and retro appeal.

      • HackadayRubber Bands And O-Rings Give 3D Prints Some Stretch

        Sometimes it would be helpful if a 3D printed object could stretch & bend. Flexible filament like TPU is one option, but [NagyBig] designed a simple bracelet to ask: how about embedding rubber bands or o-rings into the print itself?

      • HackadayDIY Tool Makes Wrapping Wiring Harnesses A Breeze

        If you’re making a lot of wiring harnesses, wrapping them can become a bit of a drag. [Well Done Tips] wanted to make this process easier and built a wiring harness wrapping machine.

      • HackadayThe Last Meccano Factory Is To Close. Will We Miss It?

        If we were to talk to engineers about the childhood toys which most inspired them, it’s likely that the older among them would mention either Meccano or Erector Set. These similar construction toys using metal components originated independently around the turn of the 20th century in both Britain and America, and eventually became part of the same company.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Proprietary

    • Security

      • Open Source Security (Audio Show)Josh Bressers: Episode 364 – Using SBOMs is hard

        Josh and Kurt talk about SBOMs. Quite a bit has happened in the world of SBOMs in the last year or so. There are going to be different types of SBOMs, like build, source, or runtime. Each will tell us different things depending on what we need to know. We also cover some of the community efforts happening around SBOMs. They’re still not easy to use, but it’s better better.

      • BloombergEx-ASML Employee Accused of Data Theft Is Being Probed for Ties to China

        Investigators are looking at potential ties between the Chinese government and an ex-employee accused of stealing data from ASML Holding NV — a company critical to producing the world’s most advanced computer chips.

      • Support for Istio 1.15 ends on March 28th, 2023

        According to Istio’s support policy, minor releases like 1.15 are supported until six weeks after the N+2 minor release (1.17 in this case). Istio 1.17 was released on February 14th, and support for 1.15 will end on March 28th, 2023.

        At that point we will stop back-porting fixes for security issues and critical bugs to 1.15, so we encourage you to upgrade to the latest version of Istio (1.17.1). If you don’t do this you may put yourself in the position of having to do a major upgrade on a short timeframe to pick up a critical fix.

        We care about you and your clusters, so please be kind to yourself and upgrade.

      • Krebs On SecurityWhen Low-Tech Hacks Cause High-Impact Breaches

        Web hosting giant GoDaddy made headlines this month when it disclosed that a multi-year breach allowed intruders to steal company source code, siphon customer and employee login credentials, and foist malware on customer websites. Media coverage understandably focused on GoDaddy’s admission that it suffered three different cyberattacks over as many years at the hands of the same hacking group.  But it’s worth revisiting how this group typically got in to targeted companies: By calling employees and tricking them into navigating to a phishing website.

      • Integrity/Availability/Authenticity

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • overnment Media Executive Group LLCGSA not tapping data on unauthorized access attempts at federal facilities, report says

          The General Services Administration is failing to act on data linked to access cards used to enter federal facilities, according to a new oversight report.

          A two-year audit conducted between 2020 and 2022 revealed over 32,000 failed access attempts at GSA-managed facilities, the Office of Inspector General report said, possibly indicating attempts to gain unauthorized access to information technology systems and secure federal facilities.

          The IG report also found that GSA was not evaluating the data collected from access cards “to identify and assess the risks to its personnel and federal property,” despite federal guidance recommending agencies monitor access card activity as part of their risk assessment and oversight processes.

          GSA operates 132 sites across the country with active access card readers that allow federal personnel with the appropriate permissions to use their card and gain access to certain facilities. Data from all GSA access cards in use is added into the agency’s Enterprise Physical Access Control System database, which can provide insights about card usage, access attempts and more.

        • ALM6 Class Actions: Lawyers Across the Country Move Quickly After Hospital Data Breach | New Jersey Law Journal

          One of the difficulties with respect to a healthcare provider is that you can have set policies and procedures in place that are best practices and still be the victim of a breach cybersecurity attorney Elizabeth Litten of Fox Rothschild said.

        • The Straits TimesMore Australians being targeted for espionage, warns spy chief

          Foreign countries have sought to lure information from people, including government officials, journalists and bankers.

        • India TimesApple to focus on tracking menstrual cycle for women’s health

          In recent years, wearable devices have been widely used for activity tracking and monitoring of health. Apple is focusing on tracking mental health, walking steadiness features, and tracking menstrual cycles said Dr Sumbul Desai at BioAsia 2023.

      • Confidentiality

        • SANSCrypto Inside a Browser

          Recently I discoved “Web OpenSSL” on CrypTool: a WebAssembly implementation of OpenSSL.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Energy/Transportation

        • Federal News NetworkMichigan power crews work, California recovers after storms

          Some Michigan residents faced a fourth straight day without power as crews worked to restore electricity to more than 165,000 homes and businesses in the Detroit area after last week’s ice storm. In hard-hit southeastern Michigan, the state’s two main utilities — DTE Energy and Consumers Energy — reported about 165,000 homes and businesses without power Sunday evening. Wednesday’s ice storm coated lines and trees with a half an inch of ice or more. California, meanwhile, was getting a brief break Sunday from a powerful weekend storm that left Los Angeles area rivers swollen to dangerous levels and brought snow to low-lying areas.

        • Michael West MediaNew Report: coal and gas emissions “set to soar” under Safeguard Mechanism

          The government has “significantly underestimated” coal and gas emissions in its Safeguard Mechanism to curb big carbon polluters, according to new analysis by Climate Analytics. Callum Foote reports.

          A new report by Climate Analytics has found that emissions from the LNG and coal industries in Australia would continue to increase by 2030, not fall, and this would be driven by the unlimited availability of cheap carbon offsets. There is a significant chance this availability would also enable new gas and coal developments which do not presently exist.

        • TruthOutAs US Reengages Maduro, Oil Giants Earn Deals — and Venezuelans Protest
      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Counter PunchDon’t Look Up and Animal Liberation

          When Don’t Look Up came out, many film critics didn’t seem to get it, or, more generously, didn’t like what it had to offer. The New York Times called it “frantic, strident and obvious.” Rolling Stone said it was a “bomb of a movie, all inchoate rage and flailing limbs.” The film has a 56 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is not good.

          As an animal activist, I found it extremely relatable, both when the movie first came to Netflix and on my most recent rewatch. The plot centers on a group of scientists trying to raise the alarm about an approaching comet. It was intended to bring to mind climate change. But the film could be about any issue which the public, and more importantly, the government, finds too unbearable to acknowledge.

        • Counter PunchThe Threats to the Grizzly’s Fragile Recovery are Expanding

          As the number of grizzly bears has grown, so has interest in removing them from protection of the Endangered Species Act.  

          It’s too soon. Despite the truth of more bears, some lingering trends have potential to put their still-tentative recovery in reverse. 

      • Overpopulation

        • New York TimesDesperate for Babies, China Races to Undo an Era of Birth Limits. Is It Too Late?

          “The fundamental problem is not that people cannot have children, but that they cannot afford it,” said Lu Yi, a 26-year-old nurse in Sichuan, the province that recently lifted birth limits. She added that she would need to earn at least double her current monthly salary of 8,000 yuan, or about $1,200, to even consider having children.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The StrategistJimmy Carter: a man of humanity

        Former Democratic US President Jimmy Carter, who is spending the last stage of his life in home hospice care at the age of 98, will be most remembered not only for his humanity and humility…

      • European CommissionVice-President Schinas receives Mr Chuck Robbins, CISCO CEO

        European Commission Meeting Brussels, 24 Feb 2023 Vice-President Schinas receives Mr Chuck Robbins, CISCO CEO

      • New York TimesIn Latest Round of Job Cuts, Twitter Is Said to Lay Off at Least 200 Employees

        Twitter laid off at least 200 of its employees on Saturday night, three people familiar with the matter said, or about 10 percent of the roughly 2,000 who were still working for the company. Elon Musk, who acquired the social media platform in October, has steadily pared back its work force from about 7,500 employees as he has sought to reduce costs.

      • LRTCorruption no longer dividing line between Western and Eastern Europe

        In a timely twist of fate, we now learn that the EU’s buttoned-up bureaucrats are not as squeaky clean as they make themselves out to be. Greek MEP Eva Kaili, also a European Parliament vice-president, was caught red-handed by Belgian authorities with bags of cash stashed away in her house, along with four other ex-officials also supposedly in on the scheme. It turns out that the “unidentified Gulf state” involved was indeed Qatar – a sheikhdom that is no stranger to blank cheque diplomacy and getting influential figures to do their bidding. Whether this was just a case of quid pro quo gone wrong is anyone’s guess. In many ways, FIFA was Qatar’s gateway drug to the upper echelons of the European Union.

        Switzerland, where football’s governing body happens to be headquartered, is considered the gold standard insofar as upholding ethics and morals is concerned. The fact that the Qataris managed to sway FIFA’s vote in their favour for the World Cup hosting rights via backchannel wheeling and dealing may well have rendered senior EU politicians fair game in their eyes.

      • India TimesGoogle layoffs not based on performance: Sacked Indian employee

        Earlier, Jennifer Vaden Barth, a creative Strategist at Google, said that the “layoff impacted very talented and highly rated professionals”.

        Barth, who had worked at Google for 15 years said that “layoffs hit women particularly hard, especially women over 40″.

      • The Age AUCybersecurity to get national supervisor in wake of [crack] attacks

        The government will announce the new post – the coordinator for cyber security – on Monday when it assembles business and government leaders for a meeting that aims to step up defences in corporate and public systems.

        The new co-ordinator, who is yet to be named, will be backed by a National Office for Cyber Security within the Department of Home Affairs to co-ordinate work across the government.

      • Counter PunchKarachi Kaleidoscope

        My 72 hours in Karachi have been really crazy.

        Dashing from pillar to post trying to squeeze in visits to relatives and friends alongside interviews of 2 feminist activist-artists for my unfolding book project on Queer Pakistani Performativities, and a third with the first Black Pakistani woman elected to parliamentary office for the major political party in the province of Sindh, the PPP or Pakistan People’s Party; chatting with my friend’s driver (who has been kindly transporting me hither n thither), about the economic meltdown that is making it almost impossible for the working classes to make ends meet; to being invited to dine in style at Karachi’s poshest restaurants and homes— all of this has reminded me yet again, how paradoxical and class-riven a place is Pakistan.

      • Pro PublicaUtah Siblings Use TikTok to Fight “Parental Alienation” Order

        Two siblings in Utah have barricaded themselves in a bedroom at their mother’s home in defiance of a judge’s order to return to the custody of their father, despite state child welfare investigators determining that he had sexually abused the children.

      • Counter PunchThree Reasons (Other Than Age) Why Joe Biden Should Not Run Again For President

        Joe Biden’s recent performance in the State of the Union message delivered to the U.S. Congress is being hailed as the start of his campaign for reelection as President in 2024. Nevertheless, the best thing that Biden could do right now would be to announce that he will not be a candidate, thus inaugurating an open contest for the Democratic nomination.

        According to a new poll, 63% of U.S. Democrats think that Biden should not run again, and the reason cited by virtually all of them is his advanced age (80) or characteristics related to age (halting speech, for example). These seem to me the least important reasons for Biden to decline to run again. In fact, the cavalier ageism of many people who would not dream of opposing someone’s candidacy on the basis of race or gender is contemptible. Three factors seem far more important: the advantages of an open fight for the nomination, Biden’s deficit of charisma, and, most important, his uncritical commitment to a bellicose, imperialist foreign policy.

      • Counter Punch‘America is Not a Racist Country’: How Nikki Haley Became Israel’s Candidate for the White House

        Though it has been argued that the so-called American dream is long dead, Nikki Haley is proof that the dream is still alive. Unfortunately, the ‘dream’ is hers alone.

        Until recently, a close confidante of former US President Donald Trump and his pro-Israel circle, Haley wants to be the next United States president. On February 14, she officially declared her candidacy and, starting February next year, she will be officially competing against her former bosses in the Republican primaries.

      • FortuneElon Musk fires more Twitter staff, including loyalists
      • Misinformation/Disinformation/Propaganda

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Torrent FreakAmazon Removes Books From Kindle Unlimited After They Appear on Pirate Sites

        Several independent publishers have had their books removed from Kindle Unlimited because they breached an exclusivity agreement with Amazon. The actions of the book giant are covered by the mutually agreed terms. However, in many cases, it’s not the authors who breached the agreement, but pirate sites who copied them, as pirates do.

      • The Straits Times2 Malaysian teens arrested over viral TikTok rant about questions on S’pore in history exam

        A group of human rights lawyers condemned what it said was the heavy-handed way the boys were treated.

      • The Telegraph UKGeorge Orwell’s chilling prediction has come true – it’s time to make a stand

        What is it about the past that some young people find unbearable? After all, no one is expecting them to live through it. Indeed, some of us who did find the present infinitely worse. The vandalism of Roald Dahl’s writings for children by “sensitivity readers” to make them “suitable”, has brought the wickedness of rewriting, or eliminating, the past and evidence of it to the forefront of our discourse. It would also have Dahl (with whom I once spent an evening: shrinking violet he was not) turning in his grave. Sadly, it goes far beyond children’s books, and indeed books generally: films, statues, television programmes, indeed, whole historical ideas must now be modified to please ill-educated and inexperienced tyros, if they are allowed into the public arena at all. Are we really so delicate? Why tolerate this lunacy?

      • ANF NewsIstanbul police attack demonstration against government’s response to earthquake

        “It is not the earthquake, but a corrupt and profit-oriented order that is to blame for the death of the people” was roughly the motto of the meeting that was to take place at the harbour in the district of Kadıköy to issue a public press statement. The police were deployed with a large contingent and practically sealed off all entrances. However, most of the members of the crisis coordination managed to get to Khalkedon Square, where the police encircled the participants at several points. Demonstrators responded by chanting “Government, resign!”

      • ANF News25 journalists killed, 14 attacked, 4 detained in earthquake

        The Amed (tr. Diyarbakır) based organisation is outraged that even after a disaster like the 6 February series of earthquakes, the Turkish authorities continue their “war on the free press” and alarmingly deteriorate the working conditions of media professionals. The accusations against the government range from intimidation and harassment to physical violence, arrests and arbitrary investigations, to digital persecution aimed at preventing critical reporting on the state’s failures in the aftermath of the earthquakes.

      • Deutsche WelleIran releases Spanish woman jailed over Amini protests

        A Spanish woman imprisoned in Iran for three months on espionage charges after she was arrested during anti-government protests has been released, Spain’s government said Sunday.

        Ana Baneira Suarez was 24 years old when she was arrested, the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) revealed at the time.

      • RFERLIran Releases Spanish Woman After Three Months In Jail Over Protests

        A Spanish woman imprisoned in Iran since November on espionage charges after she was arrested during anti-government protests in November has been released, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said on February 26. [...]

      • ReutersIran releases Spanish woman after three months in jail over protests

        Iran, which has blamed “foreign adversaries” for protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in morality police custody.

        In September, Tehran said nine Europeans had been arrested for their involvement in the protests.

      • The AtlanticErdoğan Is Getting Desperate

        When I learned last month that Turkey had placed a $500,000 bounty on my head, part of me was flattered.

        Turkey has targeted me for years because I have used my platform as a professional basketball player to denounce its strongman, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. His regime has revoked my passport, filed 12 lawsuits against me, and put my name on Interpol’s “Red Notice” list. It has come after my family too. The government raided my home in Turkey and imprisoned my father. It also seems to have gotten my brother fired from his basketball team and prevented my sister from finding a job. I was pretty sure I had been a headache for Erdoğan—the $500,000 was proof.

      • MeduzaRussian activist arrested, charged with “discrediting” the army after a one-man anti-war protest

        According to human rights defense group OVD-Info, the basis of the latest case against the activist was a one-man anti-war picket that he held on February 24, 2023, the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. At his solo action, he held a sign that read “I’m sorry, Ukraine.”

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Don’t prosecute Assange, who sought to shine light

        Prosecuting Assange for newsgathering or publishing sets a precedent that can be used against all media outlets. This would criminalize standard journalistic practices.

        Media outlets need to join together to defend the right to publish. Major outlets like The New York Times, Der Spiegel, LeMonde, El Pais and The Guardian have spoken up: “Publishing is not a crime.”

        They have been joined by a wide array of human rights, press freedom and civil liberties groups who have condemned the prosecution of Assange.

      • The Telegraph UKHow Putin killed the romance of radio

        The cost of keeping AM services running has surged since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which sent global energy prices soaring. Climbing electricity costs have forced some stations to reassess whether they really need AM channels anymore.

      • Press GazettePolitico ‘nearly doubles’ size of London bureau in a month with plans to triple it

        Politico Europe deputy editor-in-chief Kate Day, who heads the news organisation in Westminster, told an audience in London’s County Hall on Tuesday: “Back in December we had 18 journalists in London. We’re now at 32, I think — I lose track a little bit. We badly need new offices.”

      • ScheerpostChris Hedges: The Trump-Russia Saga and the Death Spiral of American Journalism

        The media caters to a particular demographic, telling that demographic what it already believes — even when it is unverified or false. This pandering defines the coverage of the Trump-Russia saga.

      • Counter PunchWhy is Assange in Jail and Not Seymour Hersh?

        On February 7, Seymour Hersh – arguably the most credible investigative journalist of our era – published a bombshell exposé revealing that the United States was guilty of blowing up the Nord Stream II undersea pipeline that was supposed to deliver natural gas from Russia to the Federal Republic of Germany.

        Hersh’s revelations were based entirely on classified information leaked to him by a member of the government with first-hand knowledge of the planning and implementation of the attack on the pipeline – a member of the government who clearly broke the law by violating his fiduciary duty not to reveal classified information to an unauthorized source.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Age AUFederal police to blitz foreign interference in multicultural communities

        In a campaign to begin on Monday, the AFP will ramp up its fight against foreign interference operations in Australia’s multicultural communities.

      • The Kent StaterStudents celebrate Beta Israeli Shabbat on campus [Ed: "D & I" puff pieces]

        Hillel, Black United Students and the Center of Pan-African Culture celebrated a Shabbat Friday focusing on Beta Israeli culture welcome to anyone. Student contributors decorated the multipurpose room in Oscar Ritchie Hall with pictures and biographies of influential Beta Israelis on every table. They also gave every student a pamphlet with facts about the community,…

      • PJ MediaIf a Christian Had Said This About Muslims, Would the Media Be This Blasé?

        Consequently, Kamel declares that “those Jews will be annihilated in that war, and they will never rise again.” He reminds his congregation that Muhammad told his followers during a battle to shoot arrows at the enemy when that enemy got close enough, and adds: “This hadith [report] encourages shooting, using any available means – be it using arrows, like in ancient times, or bullets, rockets, grenades, like in modern times, or any other means, because shooting is one of the elements of force that Allah ordered. [Allah] said: ‘Prepare for them whatever force and steeds of war you can.’” Kamel thus issued a clear warning, and the local authorities and media should be paying attention.

      • MEMRIIndian Islamic Cleric Shabbir Ahmed Siddiqui: Whoever Permits Women To Run In Elections Is ‘Rebelling Against Islam’

        Speaking in the Indian city of Ahmedabad, Indian Islamic cleric Shabbir Ahmed Siddiqui, who is the imam of Jama Masjid in Ahmedabad, said that “Whoever gives [election] tickets to Muslim women is rebelling against Islam… This will weaken our religion.” Siddiqui argued that women should be forbidden from participating in elections on the same grounds that they are forbidden from attending mosques.[1] Siddiqui made the comments in an interview uploaded to the YouTube channel of The Indian Express daily.[2]

      • MeduzaTeenagers arrested across Russia following an arranged brawl in a Moscow shopping mall — Meduza

        In cities across Russia, for at least the second day in a row, police have been arresting teenagers who are allegedly part of a new youth subculture called PMC Redan, inspired by the Japanese manga series Hunter x Hunter. The teenagers are allegedly planning mass fights. Publication Baza reports arrests in St. Petersburg, Kursk, Novosibirsk, and Kazan.

    • Monopolies

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Spring planting

        After several weeks of weird on and off snow, I think it’s finally starting to look spring-ish in Colorado! (I say until the inevitable March snowstorm happens)

        I’ve begun to wake my plants up for spring, so they’re slowly getting juiced up with fertilizer again. I moved two of my begonias (the angel wing, referred to as Judas Priest, and the black mamba, referred to as Limp Bizkit) into bigger pots because Judas Priest was choking itself to death and Limp Bizkit has gotten big enough to tip itself over if even breathed on the wrong way. Which I have done.

      • Moon gazing 2023-02-26 Evening (Fairbanks, AK, USA)

        The first quarter moon looked like an worthy target, so I decided to do some moon gazing, starting about 8pm. I focused mainly on the southern half, along the terminator line.

      • Hey there

        I came across this forum after surfing the web… It is very cool to see people who want the old web back!! After making a gemini cap, I decided to make a forum account here…

      • 🔤SpellBinding: ACXGHNE Wordo: NAVVY
    • Technical

      • Thinking About Pratical Web3.0 and GNUNet as Infrastructure

        The title is gonna make people reading this from Gemini mad. Saw that a mile away. But hear me out.

        I just came back from g0v hackathon and decentralizing and Web3 has been a huge topic there. Heck even the Ministry of Digital Affairs joined discussion. That got me thinking. What can Web3 really do better than existing architectures? What is the value proposition? That led me thinking about my recent dive into GNUNet and rethinking about it’s capabilities.

      • Why it’s OK that PGP sucks

        Don’t get me wrong; if you’re in a position to make email encryption work better, please keep up the good work.

        It’s just that if you’ve heard the cool kids say “I have such-and-such super supreme secure cipher app, that’s what people should use for communication, and email shall be insecure”, I’m like… what I hear is someone saying “I’ve got locks on my house so I don’t need to wear pants in public”. It’s kind of a non-sequiteur. Of course we want secure email.

        A couple of really good things have happened since the era of PGP. Remember, PGP preceded SSL and TLS (and with them HTTPS). It was released in 1991 when an email was less secure than a postcard. Everyone could read everything, and spoof as anyone.

        These days, we have DKIM to fight against tampering and spoofing (this also helps against “efail” type attacks, and against mitm), and we have TSL encryption between client and server and between server and server.

      • Pinetime First Impressions

        I ordered a Pinetime smartwatch a couple weeks ago and it finally came on Friday. Here’s some of my first impressions so far, which I hope might be useful to someone seeing as how most of the videos and articles you find out there are at least a year old and it looks like the software has come a long way since then.

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

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 26, 2023

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The EPO Crisis, as Explained by EPO Insiders

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Europe’s second-largest institution is now, in effect, operating like a candy store

António Campinos the clown

Summary: Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have turned Europe’s largest patent office into a “production line” (for monopolies) instead of a patent office; staff is not amused

THE Local Staff Committee The Hague (LSCTH) has issues the following statement, which is disseminated among staff and is worth reproducing for the general public to fully understand the severity of the crisis. The EPO‘s Web site has said nothing for a long time, instead touting Germany’s approval of illegal and unconstitutional patent courts in clear defiance of the Vienna convention. Here’s what life is like for EPO insiders:

All hands on deck! Management back to production line due to unrealistic targets

All hands on deck!

Dear colleagues,
We wish to warmly welcome our line management back to the production line!
Indeed, due to the EPO having set targets that are unrealistic considering the dwindling staff numbers from under-recruitment[1] the following measures have been taken:
- project-involvement of examiners has been halted for them to return to full Search & Examination;
- team managers will have their management time budget reduced from 30% to 20% from mid-2023 at a time when the Bringing Teams Together project will be requiring more of their involvement;
- directors are being trained to give academies to newcomers and will also be asked to produce search and examination;
And this is not to mention the unabated – often double digit – target increases, the reduced time budget given for opposition work, the pressure put on sick or fragile staff to come back to the production line, etc…

The new measures are likely to provide a short-term solution and look like a rather desperate attempt to get all hands on deck to keep the sinking ship afloat.
The following questions come to mind:

  • how will relentless target increases help to improve patent quality which seems to be a recurring topic for the  users of the EPO[2] ?

  • why is the EPO not recruiting more:

  • how come the time of line managers can suddenly be freed up in order for them to join the production line:

    • is it because their management activities were not taking up their working time, meaning this actually represented unused overhead staff costs?

    • or will managers have to do search, examination and opposition on their personal time? 

  • how are these solutions in any way going to be sustainable in terms of keeping the workload under control in the medium and long term? 

  • will being in an examining division with one’s hierarchical superiors not be a conflict of interest? In other terms: will examiners who are supposed to double check the work of their director (or even COO?) – who have decision power on many aspects of their professional lives, and who are pushing ever increasing targets – not have an incentive to turn a blind eye to non-compliances?


[1] See also “Depletion of the Workforce: Failure to recruit under the current administration”, CSC, 20.02.2023

[2] Focus on quality over quantity, in-house urge EPO, ManagingIP, 08.12.2022, Concerns about deteriorating patent quality at the EPO, Kluwer Patent, 11.02.2023

This is a long-in-the-making crisis that the union has warned about for years. Are EPO stakeholders and EU politicians paying any attention? Are large political parties in German rewarded financially to look the other way? They now try to usher in an ever bigger travesty in the patent court system. Making a travesty to cover up another travesty is a sort of “Ponzi scheme” in the legal deficit sense. Germany is becoming a dictatorship again and its neighbour to the west is an accomplice.

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