04.17.21

Hate Letter Against FSF (Concern Trolls): 1415 Committers, Letter in Support of FSF (With Its Founder Back): 5116

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 12:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What if the vote was to be certified, too?

RMS letters compared

Summary: Taking into account people who asked for their names to be removed* from the defamatory hate letter (inciting people, based on falsehoods), it’s not impossible that the support letter really triples or quadruples it in terms of number of signatures

_____
* Knowing that many people have changed their minds since signing the hate letter (which was frozen to prevent them removing their names!), it has been suggested to us that we use the git log to figure out the number of people asking to retract/revoke their signature (until it was just “locked”, for the defamatory writ basically backfired upon fact-checking). That’s worth doing because there may be hundreds such people. I spoke to a few. Impulsive signing based on lies spread in corporate media (owned or funded by corporations seeking to silence the FSF) leads to that…

/tmp/rms-open-letter.github.io$ git log --format='%aN' | sort -u  | wc -l
1415

It’s possible that some signatures are added by few users from OSI and GNOME Foundation, but this number is interesting nonetheless. Here’s the complete list of names (sorted alphabetically, with duplicates like “neilmcgovern” and “Neil McGovern”). That signing through somebody else was a “thing” says a lot about lack of technical skills among many of those people, who jumped aboard Microsoft GitHub even without coding or Git skills. Maybe hate and mob tactics are stronger skills among them.

Compare to:

/tmp/rms-support-letter.github.io$ git log --format='%aN' | sort -u |  wc -l
5116

That says a lot, doesn’t it?

04.16.21

Richard Stallman: Sharing is Good… We Need to Legalise It

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, Interview at 10:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video link


Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation’s founder, explains his take on copyright and the artificial restriction being used against sharing

Nadine Strossen and Hannah Wolfman-Jones Rebut Accusations Against Stallman and Choose Him as Coauthor

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF at 10:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hannah Wolfman-Jones[1] had already chosen Stallman as a coauthor when the call for his cancellation broke up in September 2019. Confronted with a dilemma, Hannah sought the advice of coauthor Nadine Strossen[2]. Here are her thoughts and the response she received from Nadine, extracted verbatim with their permission from the original article (worth reading.)


A Big Decision

by Hannah Wolfman-Jones – May 11, 2020

As someone who had recently become an associate of thought-criminal Richard Stallman, I would be lying if I said this guilt-by-association didn’t give me pause. The idea of my name being smeared all over the internet by a mob of strangers is not particularly appealing. It’s the type of thing that makes one not want to speak up at all: a real chilling effect.

Hannah_Wolfman
Hannah Wolfman-Jones

The task ahead of me was a difficult one. See, I had already recruited Stallman to be part of the We The Web L3C experiment in collaboration that is the book System Override. So now, like MIT and the Free Software Foundation I had to make a decision: do I keep him on the project or boot him?

Luckily, another co-author on the book has spent a lot of time pondering inclusion, women’s rights, children’s rights, and free speech. Her name is Nadine Strossen and her credentials run deep. She served as the first female President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), America’s largest and oldest civil liberties nonprofit, from 1991 to 2008. When she stepped down as President, three Supreme Court Justices participated in her farewell luncheon (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, and David Souter). Strossen is a Professor Emeritus at New York Law School and currently an advisor to the EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center), FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), the ACLU, and Heterodox Academy. She is the author of the widely acclaimed books HATE: Why we should fight it with speech not censorship (2018) and Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women’s Rights (1995). She has far too many awards, publications, and prominent appearances to name.

I talked with her to explain the dilemma and get her thoughts.

Civil Rights Activist Nadine Strossen’s Response To #CancelStallman

by Nadine Strossen – May 11, 2020

I find it so odd that the strong zeal for revenge and punishment if someone says anything that is perceived to be sexist or racist or discriminatory comes from liberals and progressives! There are so many violations [in cases like Stallman’s] of such fundamental principles to which progressives and liberals cling in general as to what is justice, what is fairness, what is due process.

One is proportionality: that the punishment should be proportional to the offense. Another one is restorative justice: that rather than retribution and punishment, we should seek to have the person constructively come to understand, repent, and make amends for an infraction. Liberals generally believe society to be too punitive, too harsh, not forgiving enough. They are certainly against the death penalty and other harsh punishments even for the most violent, the mass murderers. Progressives are right now advocating for the release of criminals, even murderers. To then have exactly the opposite attitude towards something that certainly is not committing physical violence against somebody, I don’t understand the double standard!

Nadine_Strossen
Nadine Strossen

Another cardinal principle is we shouldn’t have any guilt by association! [To hold culpable] these board members who were affiliated with him and ostensibly didn’t do enough to punish him for things that he said—which by the way were completely separate from the Free Software Foundation—is multiplying the problems of unwarranted punishment. It extends the punishment where the argument for responsibility and culpability becomes thinner and thinner to the vanishing point! That is also going to have an enormous adverse impact on the freedom of association, which is an important right protected in the U.S. by the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court has upheld freedom of association in cases involving organizations that were at the time highly controversial. It started with NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s, but we have a case that’s going to the Supreme Court right now regarding Black Lives Matter. The Supreme Court says even if one member of the group does commit a crime—in both of those cases physical violence and assault—that is not a justification for punishing other members of the group unless they specifically intended to participate in the particular punishable conduct.

Now, let’s assume for the sake of argument, Stallman had an attitude that was objectively described as discriminatory on the basis on race and gender (and by the way I have seen nothing to indicate that), that he’s an unrepentant misogynist, who really believes women are inferior. We are not going to correct those ideas, to enlighten him towards rejecting them and deciding to treat women as equals through a punitive approach! The only approach that could possibly work is an educational one! Engaging in speech, dialogue, discussion and leading him to re-examine his own ideas.

Even if I strongly disagree with a position or an idea, an expression of an idea, advocacy of an idea, and even if the vast majority of the public disagrees with the idea and finds it offensive, that is not a justification for suppressing the idea. And it’s not a justification for taking away the equal rights of the person who espouses that idea including the right to continue holding a tenured position or other prominent position for which that person is qualified.

But a number of the ideas for which Richard Stallman has been attacked and punished are ideas that I as a feminist advocate of human rights find completely correct and positive from the perspective of women’s equality and dignity! So for example, when he talks about the misuse and over use and flawed use of the term sexual assault, I completely agree with that critique! People are indiscriminantly using that term or synonyms to describe everything from the most appaulling violent abuse of helpless vulnerable victims (such as a rape of a minor) to any conduct or expression in the realm of gender or sexuality that they find unpleasant or disagreeable. #strossen-rms-ideas

So we see the term sexual assault and sexual harrassment used for example, when a guy asks a woman out on a date and she doesn’t find that an appealing invitation. Maybe he used poor judgement in asking her out, maybe he didn’t, but in any case that is NOT sexual assault or harassment. To call it that is to really demean the huge horror and violence and predation that does exist when you are talking about violent sexual assault. People use the term sexual assault / sexual harassment to refer to any comment about gender or sexuality issues that they disagree with or a joke that might not be in the best taste, again is that to be commended? No! But to condemn it and equate it with a violent sexual assault again is really denying and demeaning the actual suffering that people who are victims of sexual assault endure. It trivializes the serious infractions that are committed by people like Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein. So that is one point that he made that I think is very important that I strongly agree with. #not-sexual-assault

Secondly and relatedly, [Richard Stallman] never said that he endorse child pornography, which by definition the United States Supreme Court has defined it multiple times is the sexual exploitation of an actual minor. Coerced, forced, sexual activity by that minor, with that minor that happens to be filmed or photographed. That is the definition of child pornography. He never defends that! What the point he makes, a very important one, which the U.S. Supreme Court has also made, is mainly that we overuse and distort the term child pornography to refer to any depiction of any minor in any context that is even vaguely sexual.

So some people have not only denounced as child pornography but prosecuted and jailed loving devoted parents who committed the crime of taking a nude or semi-nude picture of their own child in a bathtub or their own child in a bathing suit. Again it is the hysteria that has totally refused to draw an absolutely critical distinction between actual violence and abuse, which is criminal and should be criminal, to any potentially sexual depiction of a minor. And I say potentially because I think if you look at a picture a parent has taken of a child in a bathtub and you see that as sexual, then I’d say there’s something in your perspective that might be questioned or challenged! But don’t foist that upon the parent who is lovingly documenting their beloved child’s life and activities without seeing anything sexual in that image.

This is a decision that involves line drawing. We tend to have this hysteria where once we hear terms like pedophilia of course you are going to condemn anything that could possibly have that label. Of course you would. But societies around the world throughout history various cultures and various religions and moral positions have disagreed about at what age do you respect the autonomy and individuality and freedom of choice of a young person around sexuality. And the U.S. Supreme Court held that in a case involving minors right to choose to have an abortion.

By the way, [contraception and abortion] is a realm of sexuality where liberals and progressives and feminists have been saying, Yes! If you’re old enough to have sex. You should have the right to contraception and access to it. You should have the right to have an abortion. You shouldn’t have to consult with your parents and have their permission or a judge’s permission because you’re sufficiently mature! And the Supreme Court sided in accord of that position. The U.S. Supreme Court said constitutional rights do not magically mature and spring into being only when someone happens to attain the state defined age of majority.

In other words the constitution doesn’t prevent anyone from exercising rights, including Rights and sexual freedoms, freedom of choice and autonomy at a certain age! And so you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say well we’re strongly in favor of minors having the right to decide what to do with their own bodies, to have an abortion—what is in some people’s minds murder—but we’re not going to trust them to decide to have sex with somewhat older than they are.

And I say somewhat older than they are because that’s something where the law has also been subject to change. On all issues of when you obtain the age of majority, states differ on that widely and they choose different ages for different activities. When you’re old enough to drive, to have sex with someone around your age, to have sex with someone much older than you. There is no magic objective answer to these questions. I think people need to take seriously the importance of sexual freedom and autonomy and that certainly includes women, feminists. They have to take seriously the question of respecting a young person’s autonomy in that area.

There have been famous cases of 18 year olds who have gone to prison because they had consensual sex with their girlfriends who were a couple of years younger. A lot of people would not consider that pedophilia and yet under some strict laws and some absolute definitions it is. Romeo and Juliet laws make an exception to pedophilia laws when there is only a relatively small age difference. But what is relatively small? So to me, especially when he says he is re-examining his position, Stallman is just thinking through the very serious debate of how to be protective and respectful of young people. He is not being disrespectful, much less wishing harm upon young people, which seems to be what his detractors think he’s doing.

The Verdict

by Hannah Wolfman-Jones – May 11, 2020

I have chosen to keep Stallman as a writer for System Override: How Bitcoin, Blockchain, Free Speech & Free Tech Can Change Everything. I believe Stallman to be quite possibly the best person in the world for defining and explaining free software. I do not believe any of his infractions—which led to a firestorm of controversy and resignation from MIT and his own foundation—to be so grave as to warrant his removal from the book and project.

The paradox of Stallman is that while his pointedness and stubbornness leads many to dismiss him as a jerk, his stubbornness and confrontations are actually rooted in his life-long obsession with morality. Though you may disagree, there is ample reason to believe he has come to hold his views from a concerted, rigorous, good-faith effort to be a voice for good in the world.

Ironically, given the smears against him, one of Stallman’s core tenets seems to be consent! He has dedicated decades to arguing for free software, which protects computer users from nonconsensual activities being done on their machines (amongst other things). There is plenty of evidence that Stallman consistently applies his values of consent and freedom to romance and other relations. I find the claims that he is an “abuser” and “predator” online particularly misguided.

This is my best attempt to do the right thing. To stand on principle, come what may.

According to the Atlantic, a full 80 percent of Americans believe that political correctness is a problem in our country. While today some smear the free speech movement as a “racist dog-whistle” or a “far-right talking point,” it turns out the numbers don’t fit that narrative. Turns out just about everyone thinks we need more free speech. This includes large pluralities of all races (e.g. 75% of African Americans, 87% of Hispanics) and all ages (e.g. 79% of Americans under age 24).

A 2017 poll of 2,300 U.S. adults, found that 71% Americans believe that political correctness has silenced important discussions our society needs to have and 58% of Americans believe the political climate prevents them from sharing their own political beliefs. And who can blame them? Stallman had to resign from the foundation he started in order to save it from a similar smear campaign. All over an email voicing a perspective shared by a world-renowned civil-rights lawyer and feminist. Voicing such a perspective was even decried as “abuse!” because it was so politically incorrect, but what happens if society gets “politically correct” wrong? And if we don’t allow the “politically incorrect” amongst us to speak, how will we ever know what stances considered “politically correct” are morally wrong?

So you be the judge, Dear Reader. Do We The Web deserve to be #cancelled too?


1. Hannah Wolfman-Jones is an environmental engineer who became interested in blockchain as a means to build a blockchain-based liquid democracy.She is the founder of the website We The Web, as well as the editor of System Override, a book she coauthored with Nadine Strossen, Richard Stallman, Brittany Kaiser, Pia Mancini, and Santiago Siri. More about Hannah Wolfman-Jones (Archived)

2. Nadine Strossen is an American civil liberties advocate and feminist. She served as president of the ACLU from 1991 to 2008 (Archived). She is a John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law, Emerita (Archived). Strossen has been called a “civil liberties luminary” for her life long commitment to the rights of women, children, the oppressed, and freedom of speech. She has written extensively on these subjects and constitutional law. Three of her best known books are: Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex and the Fight for Women’s Rights, 1995; Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex: Hate Speech, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, 1996; Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship.

Links 17/4/2021: GNOME 40 in Tumbleweed, Devuan 4.0 Alpha, Kate Editor Makes a Leap

Posted in News Roundup at 10:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • My journey into Linux system administration

        My journey with Linux started in my first year of college when I encountered tools like Git, GitHub, Maven, Jenkins, and others. I first worked with Windows. With Linux, I had a completely different kind of environment to work with. I began my Linux journey with virtual machines.

        After spending two years with Linux in virtual machines, I decided to use Linux on my primary computer. I learned about Linux system architecture, filesystems, and created a script that adds users to Linux-based operating systems. You may find links to that article and all of my published articles on my Enable Sysadmin profile (Kshitiz Saini).

      • Ubuntu Blog: KubeCon co-located events: Operator Day is back!

        Another KubeCon is just around the corner and, due to popular demand, we’re hosting Operator Day again! Designed for KubeCon, but free and open to all.

        Last year, thousands of you joined us to get hands-on training from Ubuntu’s experts, so this time around we’re making the workshop even more elaborate and interactive!

        Operators simplify everyday application management on Kubernetes. Learn how to use them, how to create them in Python, and how to evolve from configuration management to application management. We’re working to create a community-driven collection of operators for everything that’s integrated and tested everywhere.

      • Tetrate Service Bridge for Istio On Hybrid Clouds Ready for Production | Data Center Knowledge

        The startup recently raised $40 million in venture funding and now has a product ready to make Istio palatable for enterprises.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • You Should Open Source Now, Ask Me How!

        Katherine Druckman chats with Petros Koutoupis and Kyle Rankin about FOSS (Free and Open Source Software), the benefits of contributing to the projects you use, and why you should be a FOSS fan as well.

      • System76 starts their own desktop environment, Arch goes the easy route – Linux & Open Source news

        This time, we have System76 working on their own desktop environment based on GNOME, Arch Linux adding a guided installer, Google winning its court case against Oracle on the use of Java in Android, and Facebook is leaking data online, again. Become a channel member to get access to a weekly patroncast and vote on the next topics I’ll cover

      • Timelapse: inking a comic page in Krita (uncommented)

        An uncommented timelapse while inking this page 6 of episode 34 of my webcomic Pepper&Carrot ( https://www.peppercarrot.com/ ). During the process, I thought about activating the recorder and I even put a webcam so you can see what I’m doing on the tablet too. I’m not doing it for everypages; because you can imagine the weight on disk about saving around 10h of videos like this; and also how it is not multi-tasking: when I record, you don’t see me open the door to get the mail of the postman, you don’t see me cleaning temporary accident of a cat bringing back a mouse at home, you don’t see me typing to solve a merge request issue to merge a translation of Pepper&Carrot.

    • Kernel Space

      • Why port Linux to Apple Silicon?

        When Apple first released their new M1-based hardware, a small fraction of the Linux community was up in arms. Why? Because that community tends to prefer installing their favorite open-source operating system on Apple laptops. So upon launch of the new Apple Silicon-based hardware, it became clear that the usual route to getting Linux installed wouldn’t work.

        And thus a movement was put into motion to successfully install Linux on M1-based hardware. One company, in particular, Corellium, set out to make it happen. This company had a leg up on this, thanks to their virtualization platform having been a provider of security research with particular insights into how operating systems function on Apple ARM CPUs.

      • Linux 4.4.267
        I'm announcing the release of the 4.4.267 kernel.
        
        All users of the 4.4 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 4.4.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.4.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 4.9.267
      • Linux 4.14.231
      • Linux 4.19.188
      • Linux 5.4.113
      • Linux 5.10.31
      • Linux 5.11.15
      • [Intel-gfx] [RFC 00/28] Old platform/gen kconfig options series
      • Patches Resubmitted For Linux With Selectable Intel Graphics Platform Support

        Back in early 2018 were patches proposed for selectable platform support when building Intel’s kernel graphics driver so users/distributions if desired could disable extremely old hardware support and/or cater kernel builds for specific Intel graphics generations. Three years later those patches have been re-proposed.

        The patches then and now are about allowing selectable Intel graphics “Gen” support at kernel configure/build time so that say the i8xx support could be removed or other specific generations of Intel graphics handled by the i915 kernel driver. This disabling could be done if phasing out older hardware support, seeking smaller kernel images, or other similar purposes. The patches don’t change any default support levels but leaves things as-is and simply provides the knobs for disabling select generations of hardware.

      • Linux Kernel Runtime Guard 0.9.0 Is Released

        Linux Kernel Runtime Guard (LKRG) is a security module for the Linux kernel developed by Openwall. The latest release adds compatibility with Linux kernels up to soon to be released 5.12, support for building LKRG into kernel images, support for old 32-bit x86 machines and more. Loading the LKRG 0.9.0 module will cause a kernel panic and a complete halt if SELinux is enabled.

      • Hans de Goede: Logitech G15 and Z-10 LCD-screen support under Linux

        A while ago I worked on improving Logitech G15 LCD-screen support under Linux. I recently got an email from someone who wanted to add support for the LCD panel in the Logitech Z-10 speakers to lcdproc, asking me to describe the process I went through to improve G15 support in lcdproc and how I made it work without requiring the unmaintained g15daemon code.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Compute Runtime 21.15.19533 Released With Initial Level Zero 1.1 Support – Phoronix

          Intel’s engineers working on their open-source Linux-based Compute Runtime stack just released their latest version.

          Intel Compute Runtime 21.15.19533 is the new release for this open-source compute stack for their graphics hardware to expose OpenCL and oneAPI Level Zero functionality.

          The main change with v21.15.19533 is exposing Level Zero 1.1 support. Last month was the release of oneAPI Level Zero 1.2.3 with Level Zero 1.1 specification support as an incremental step forward for this low-level Intel interface for interacting with the bare metal hardware. The initial Level Zero 1.1 headers and loader came back in January.

        • Mesa 21.2 Begins Seeing Intel Xe-HP Graphics Driver Changes – Phoronix

          With Mesa 21.1 now branched for this collection of primarily OpenGL/Vulkan open-source drivers for Linux, feature development is on for Mesa 21.2 that will debut in Q3. One of the first major changes to land for Mesa 21.2 is the beginning of the graphics compiler support for Intel’s forthcoming Xe-HP high performance graphics processor.

        • NVIDIA CUDA 11.3 Released – Previews Better Python Support – Phoronix

          For GTC21 week NVIDIA has released version 11.3 of their CUDA toolkit.

          CUDA 11.3 is bringing CUDA Graph enhancements, new stream priorities, Steam-ordered memory allocator enhancements, new APIs, support for virtual aliasing across kernel boundaries, and also support now for the Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS point release. CUDA 11.3 also ships improvements to the NVIDIA C++ Standard Library (libcu++), various compiler improvements, and more.

        • First Rays

          Given that the new RDNA2 GPUs provide some support for hardware accelerated raytracing and there is even a new shiny Vulkan extension for it, it may not be a surprise that we’re working on implementing raytracing support in RADV.

          Already some time ago I wrote documentation for the hardware raytracing support. As these GPUs contain quite minimal hardware to implement things there is a large software and shader side to implementing this.

        • Mesa’s Radeon “RADV” Vulkan Driver Makes First Steps Towards Ray-Tracing – Phoronix

          There still is much work left to be completed but Mesa’s Radeon Vulkan driver “RADV” has made its first baby steps towards ray-tracing support with Radeon RX 6000 “RDNA2″ series hardware.

          RADV lead developer Bas Nieuwenhuizen announced his “first rays” progress in being able to provide RDNA2 Vulkan ray-tracing with the RADV driver. After hacking on the functionality the past few weeks, Bas hit his personal milestones including a fully recursive Fibonnaci shader and a ray-traced cube…

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Apache Subversion on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache Subversion on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, The Apache Subversion (SVN) is a free and open-source version control system used to manage and track changes in files and directories. Any time you change, add or delete a file or folder that you manage with Subversion, you commit these changes to your Subversion repository, which creates a new revision in your repository reflecting these changes. You can always go back, look at and get the contents of previous revisions. SVN supports several protocols for network access: SVN, SVN+SSH, HTTP, HTTPS. If you are behind a firewall, HTTP-based Subversion is advantageous since SVN traffic will go through the firewall without any additional firewall ruleset.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Apache Subversion on a CentOS 8.

      • How to get your Linux MAC address

        Need to find your Linux MAC address but can’t figure it out? We can help! Follow along as we go over the different ways you can discover your network adapters’ MAC address on Linux!

      • How to setup Docker on Alpine Linux – Anto ./ Online

        This post will show you how to setup Docker on Alpine Linux. You will also see how to: add Portainer to make container management a breeze and use Docker to start and stop containers.

      • How to upgrade your Linux Apps from Debian 10 to Debian 11 Testing on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to upgrade your Linux Apps from Debian 10 to Debian 11 Testing on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • Diskonaut: A Terminal Disk Space Navigator for Linux – LateWeb.Info

        Diskonaut is a simple terminal disk space navigator created using Rust and supports Linux, macOS and Windows. The usage of the app is very easy, specify an absolute path in your file system, or run it in any directory you want. It will scan the directory and convert it to memory, allowing you to explore its contents. It also allows you to check space usage even during the scanning process.

        When the scan is complete, you can navigate the subdirectories of interest and get a visual representation of a tree map of what consumes your disk space. diskonaut allows you to delete files and directories and as a result tracks the amount of space you have freed up in the process. It also supports keyboard shortcuts to facilitate navigation.

      • Notes on building debugging puzzles

        Hello! This week I started building some choose-your-own-adventure-style puzzles about debugging networking problems. I’m pretty excited about it and I’m trying to organize my thoughts so here’s a blog post!

      • Install Virtual Box on Fedora 34 via rpmfusion repository
      • 35 Bash Script Examples

        Bash script programming is a sequence of executable commands, carrying out numerous commands at once, task performance automation, and administrative tasks customization. Generally, all Linux users must acquaint themselves with the basic knowledge of bash script programming because of the importance it offers.

      • Deepin 20 Repository Setup

        This tutorial explains how you can enable your Deepin GNU/Linux version 20 upwards on your computer (codenamed Apricot) to install more software. This done by setting up the repository (central of software on the internet) so the user has the correct configuration. The result is you can later search, download, and run software you wish on your Deepin computer. You are required to be able to edit text in administrator mode to practice this. For experienced persons, you may want to go to Sources.list section right away.

      • Perfect Server Automated ISPConfig 3 Installation on Debian 10 and Ubuntu 20.04

        This tutorial will take you through installing your own ISPConfig 3 single server setup using the ISPConfig auto-installer. This installer follows the old Perfect Server guides but is more modular and easy to follow. If you want to set up a multiserver setup with dedicated servers for each service instead, see the Perfect Multiserver guide.

        This guide works for both Debian 10 and Ubuntu 20.04. We will use the hostname server1.example.com. Replace it where necessary.

      • 5 Practical Examples of “cd” Command in Linux – LateWeb.Info

        There are many commands in Linux and for this reason many people are worried about using the terminal. For this reason, today we will look at one of the main commands in Linux, the CD command. We will learn its most basic ways to use it and try to make your Linux experience more enjoyable.

        What is the cd command? The cd (change directory) command was developed with the main purpose of changing the directory we are working in to move to another, if necessary. This cd command is a system integrated command, a.k. no external program or application is required, as it is executed directly by the Linux Shell. The cd command is available in all current Linux distributions.

      • How to install Vocal modern podcast client on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        Looking for a dedicated Podcast app on Ubuntu Linux then try out Elementary OS’s Vocal Podcast that is available to install on most of the Linux system using Flatpak packages. Of course, we can use major music players for podcasts but the dedicated ones have their own perks because of various handy features.

      • How to install freeBSD 13.0 plus XFCE desktop and basic applications

        In this video, I am going to show how to Install freeBSD 13.0 plus XFCE desktop and some basic applications.

      • Install Discord On Linux

        When you divide gaming into two eras, then you get gaming before the advent of Discord and after the advent of Discord. It has changed how gamers used to communicate during a game. It’s not that there was no messaging app earlier, but Discord made it extremely easy to create communities and upgraded team communication very quickly.

        Today Discord has become a go-to app for team communications. One can create a Discord server and allow its members to use text or voice for sharing information. Or even create private channels to only allow certain members to join.

      • How to Install IDLE Python IDE on Ubuntu 20.04

        IDLE stands for Integrated DeveLopment Environment. It is an IDE for Python, written in Python language itself and based on Tkinter with bindings to the Tk widget set. IDLE is most suitable for beginners as it is easy to use and not feature overloaded. Hence, it is very popular in educational environments.

      • How the ping program works in Linux

        Ping is a computer program for network administration used to check the availability of active devices on the Internet or local networks. The name ping comes from sonar terminology. Ping works on the principle of echo, sending a message via ICMP protocol to a remote computer. The message contains a “request” for a response from the host. In this process, the time from the transmission of the message to the time of its receipt by the original computer (two-way) is measured and any packet loss is recorded. The test results are printed on the screen in the form of statistical messages.

        Let’s start with an example to check the connection to the google.com host. To do this, we just need to type in a terminal ping google.com, but because the program will not stop the ping alone we have to do stop it manually. To do this we must use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + C.

      • How To Change Timezone on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to change the timezone on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, By default, when a server is provisioned a default timezone will get configured automatically with the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). You can change the timezone later using the below method.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step set or change timezone on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • Deploying the Mosquitto MQTT message broker on Red Hat OpenShift, Part 1 – Red Hat Developer

        Mosquitto is a lightweight message broker that supports the Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) protocol. Mosquitto is widely used in Internet of Things (IoT) and telemetry applications, where a fully-featured message broker like Red Hat AMQ would be unnecessarily burdensome. Mosquitto also finds a role as a message bus for interprocess communication in distributed systems. Because it avoids complex features, Mosquitto is easy to tune and handles substantial application workloads with relatively modest memory and CPU resources.

        There are essentially two stages to making Mosquitto available on Red Hat OpenShift. First, you need to containerize the application in a way that is broadly compatible with OpenShift. Part of containerization involves installing the container image in a repository, from which OpenShift can download it. Second, you need to deploy the containerized image in a pod, providing whatever properties and configuration are necessary for the specific installation. The first half of this article shows how to build Mosquitto into an image suitable for use in a container. The second half will show you how to configure and deploy the Mosquitto image on OpenShift.

      • Use the DNF local plugin to speed up your home lab – Fedora Magazine

        If you are a Fedora Linux enthusiast or a developer working with multiple instances of Fedora Linux then you might benefit from the DNF local plugin. An example of someone who would benefit from the DNF local plugin would be an enthusiast who is running a cluster of Raspberry Pis. Another example would be someone running several virtual machines managed by Vagrant. The DNF local plugin reduces the time required for DNF transactions. It accomplishes this by transparently creating and managing a local RPM repository. Because accessing files on a local file system is significantly faster than downloading them repeatedly, multiple Fedora Linux machines will see a significant performance improvement when running dnf with the DNF local plugin enabled.

        I recently started using this plugin after reading a tip from Glenn Johnson (aka glennzo) in a 2018 fedoraforum.org post. While working on a Raspberry Pi based Kubernetes cluster running Fedora Linux and also on several container-based services, I winced with every DNF update on each Pi or each container that downloaded a duplicate set of rpms across my expensive internet connection. In order to improve this situation, I searched for a solution that would cache rpms for local reuse. I wanted something that would not require any changes to repository configuration files on every machine. I also wanted it to continue to use the network of Fedora Linux mirrors. I didn’t want to use a single mirror for all updates.

      • Create a git branch archive

        This week I needed to prepare some files for the buyers of my book Deployment from Scratch. I use various git repositories for the content and case studies, and I needed to create archives for the current release quickly.

        Luckily, I found out this is much easier than I made it to.

    • Games

      • Tactical Troops: Anthracite Shift offers up top-down combat tactics out now | GamingOnLinux

        QED Games just released their first full title with Tactical Troops: Anthracite Shift, a top-down turn-based tactical combat game with “the feeling of 80′s sci-fi movies”.

        Across a 20 hour single-player campaign you command a troop of elite soldiers across a grid-less map, while you also explore the dangerous planet Anthracite. With no grid the movement system really does look good, and if you’re a fan of turn-based tactics this looks like a really good choice to pick up. Across the campaign you fight through 41 missions against local fauna, bandits, robots and other well equipped soldiers.

      • Godot Engine – Godot Web progress report #7: Virtual keyboard on the Web, better HTTPClient

        Howdy Godotters! It’s time for another brief update on the status of Godot on the Web.

        If you read through the last post, you already got the spoiler that Godot 3.3 is getting experimental virtual keyboard support on the Web. This has been a highly requested feature, but also a hard one to implement (as you might also guess by the fact that most engines, even famous ones, do not support that). It is still in experimental state, and comes with limitations, but should be enough to allow your users to insert their high-score name, or simple chat messages.

      • Sky Fleet will bring together base-building, tower defense and a shooter in the skies

        Building a city in the skies and defending it with towers, while you also ride an airship – Sky Fleet definitely blends a number of things together and it sounds great.

      • Check out some of the Quality of Life improvements coming to Total War: ROME REMASTERED

        Total War: ROME REMASTERED is the upcoming release from Feral Interactive and Creative Assembly that replaces the original and brings it to Linux too and there’s a lot improved with it.

        Not only is it the first Total War to come with full cross-platform online play out of the box for Linux, macOS and Windows plus improved visuals and more it’s also bringing in plenty of Quality of Life enhancements to improve the overall experience. These QoL improvements include: an enhanced camera, campaign map vibrancy, both classic and remastered rule-sets, new merchant options, sixteen new playable factions and a whole lot more.

      • Wasteland 3: The Battle of Steeltown announced for June 3 and it sounds explosive | GamingOnLinux

        Wasteland 3 from inXile Entertainment is set to expand on June 3 with the first expansion Wasteland 3: The Battle of Steeltown and it sounds like it’s going to be full of action.

        “The towering factory complex of Steeltown manufactures all the tech that keeps Colorado running and the Patriarch in power—trucks, armor, weapons, and robots. But deliveries from Steeltown have stopped cold, and all the Patriarch is getting from Abigail Markham—Steeltown’s leader—are excuses. When he sends the Rangers to investigate, they find the place is a powder keg with the fuse already lit. The workers are striking, bandits raid with impunity, and nobody is allowed through the gates, not even on the business of the Patriarch. Without help, Steeltown could crash and burn for good, and take Markham with it—but maybe that’s just what it needs.”

      • Intense roguelike Jupiter Hell gets a mini quest system and more lore | GamingOnLinux

        Jupiter Hell, the awesome roguelike from ChaosForge continues getting regular Early Access upgrades and the gameplay continues getting a bit deeper with this latest 0.9.8 “Message” update.

        Ready for some lore? How about their first iteration of a quest-like system? Well, both are in now in the Message update. Spread throughout the game you can now interact with special terminals to get some lore text, as well as information on items, events or other content that is available later in the levels – so this will affect which branches you pick when you progress through the game. There’s also a Journal now to follow, intermission screens between moons to show off your stats, exotic weapons now have their own dedicated perks and more.

        [...]

        Jupiter Hell still continues running amazingly well on Linux, with thanks to their use of Vulkan it performs great!

      • ΔV: Rings of Saturn now gives the full game in the demo, with one catch

        Get ready to explore space, mine some rocks and lose yourself in the hard sci-fi game ΔV: Rings of Saturn which just expanded the demo in a very big way.

        “For a few months now we’ve been thinking about the best form of ΔV: Rings of Saturn demo. We’ve concluded that, having the whole product done, we want a gamer to see its quality, but not by playing the limited version. Therefore, ΔV: Rings of Saturn, a hard sci-fi, top-down physics-based space mining simulator is available for free on Steam for everyone.” — Kodera Software

        [...]

        Back in May 2020 the developer reported the percentage of Linux sales was good too, with the developer mentioning recently how “Linux players are awesome” due to their bug reports and it seems Linux sales are still doing well.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • A first look at what is new in Zorin OS 16 Beta

          In recent months the Zorin OS community has started to get more nervous by the day about news from the Zorin OS development team. There were many rumors about the expected release date and of course about what the latest Zorin OS would have to offer. The last update of Zorin OS in September 2020 was 15.3, which was still based on the older Ubuntu 18.04, but focused on strengthening the core essentials of the operating system. But at that time Ubuntu itself was of course already on 20.04, so intuitively that felt like outdated technology for many users, even though this update contained a lot of new technology. Zorin OS 15.3 was powered by the 5.4 kernel, it had performance, stability, and security improvements, support for more hardware, and the latest security patches. So, it was far from outdated. But this week I finally received the fantastic news that the beta version of my favorite Linux distribution is available, so I couldn’t resist downloading and installing Zorin OS 16 Beta immediately and giving my first impression. So, here is a first look at what is new in Zorin OS 16 Beta.

          [...]

          To conclude this article, I would like to wish you a lot of fun trying out Zorin OS 16 Beta. I think the Zorin team took their time to come up with something great. Test it yourself and share your findings with the Zorin team, so they can guarantee a perfect distro when the final version will be released later this year.

      • New Releases

        • Zorin OS 16 gets a Beta with ‘the largest library of apps’ available on any Linux desktop

          The Zorin team are making some bold claims with the release of the Ubuntu-based Zorin OS 16 Beta that anyone can go ahead and try out now. It sure does look slick!

          Featuring a brand new look for their GNOME-based desktop, Zorin OS 16 is quite easy on the eyes – as long as you like everything bright that is. With a sleek white look it’s definitely eye-grabbing, along with a blue accent which you can customize. Zorin OS definitely screams “look at me!”.

          [...]

          Interestingly, their monetization model for supporting their work is a little like another Ubuntu-based distribution elementary OS. You can pay to download it, or pay nothing. However, Zorin OS does it a little differently. They offer up for normal desktop users a Core (free) download with the usual stuff and a Ultimate (paid) edition that comes with a few extras.

        • This upcoming Linux distro will make your system look like Windows 10X

          If you love the look of Windows 10X but don’t want to run it on your PC, you may be in luck. An upcoming Linux distro looks to emulate the look and feel of Windows 10X while keeping the features people enjoy from Linux. The Windows10X-esque update will be available in Zorin OS 16 Ultimate, which will be available as a stable release this summer.

          We don’t have many images of the upcoming Zorin OS 16 Ultimate, but the one we do have shows off a centralized Start Menu along the taskbar. Zorin also states that the distro will adapt well to computers with touchpads, mice, or touchscreens.

      • BSD

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Pop!_OS 21.04 Preview: Test-driving the Cosmic Desktop!

          System76 recently unveiled their plans to debut a new desktop, dubbed “Cosmic”, along with Pop!_OS 21.04 this coming June. I can’t wait that long, so I decided to check it out right now. In this video, I show-off the current in-development version of the Cosmic Desktop as of April 16th, 2021.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Get GNOME 40 in openSUSE via GNOME Next [Testing Only]

          Do you want to try out the latest GNOME 40 in openSUSE? This is how you can try it right now.

        • GNOME 40 Desktop Lands in openSUSE Tumbleweed’s Repos, Update Now

          Users of the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling-release distribution are in for a treat this weekend as the software repositories have been populated with the core packages and apps from the recently released GNOME 40 stack.

          More and more distros that are offering the GNOME desktop environment on their repositories or as part of a live/installation ISO are now trying to upgrade the packages to the GNOME 40 release, which arrived last month with a major design overhaul to the Activities Overview, as well as various improvements to the GNOME Shell UI and most of the core GNOME apps.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed Now Offering GNOME 40

          While openSUSE/SUSE is known for their friendliness towards the KDE desktop, this week’s openSUSE Tumbleweed updates have made GNOME 40 available on this rolling-release distribution.

          GNOME 40 released near the end of March with many big improvements from GNOME Shell changes to continued Wayland enhancements, atomic mode-setting, input handling being done in a separate thread, initial adoption around the GTK4 toolkit, and a lot of other work.

        • GNOME 40, KDE Frameworks, Plasma Update in Tumbleweed

          Two openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released since last week’s blog.

          The snapshots brought the much anticipated GNOME 40 as well as an update of KDE Frameworks 5.81.0, Plasma 5.21.4 and several other packages.

          The 20210414 snapshots was a monster; the amount of packages updated in the snapshot was ginormous. The update to GNOME 40 brought some significant changes to the desktop environment. New visual changes with rounded corners, and gestures like a three-finger swipe to move between workspaces were among the improvements in the release. The app launcher is more customizable and more intuitive to navigate with a mouse. Another desktop environment that was updated in the snapshot was Plasma 5.21.4, which had color scheme fixes and a fix for a broken keyboard configurations with single layout on Wayland. The release also set the preferred aspect ratio to “21:9” over “64:27” with KScreen. KDE Frameworks 5.81.0 added high-brightness and low-brightness Breeze Icons and the user interface builder Kirigami fixed a potential crash in the SizeGroup. Even Xfce had in update in the snapshot; this update in the xfce4-settings 4.16.1 package fixed scaling and updated translations. Dependencies were update in the upgrade to nodejs15 15.14. There was a minor fix for the cups printing package and xterm 367 updated some patches and improved responsiveness of the terminal. Linux Kernel 5.11.12 arrived in the snapshot and had several Advanced Linux Sound Architecture fixes and a commit for a nosy driver with Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE)2021-3483. Both ruby2.7 and ruby3.0 received minor updates to fix an XML vulnerability and GStreamer 1.18.4 fixed mpeg-2 video handling and a memory leak. Several YaST packages also had updates.

        • SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.0 docs support mega-easy installation

          SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro is a modern system primarily designed for edge computing. The main features of SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro are predictability and reliability, thanks to the read-only root file system and transactional updates. The read-only file system ensures that the system cannot be altered during runtime and that the system behaves the same way after each reboot. Transactional updates enable you to update the system without influencing the running system and always provide a rollback.

          For SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.0, we have currently released the following documentation (a huge “thank you” goes to Jana Halackova for the docs and Lukáš Kucharczyk for the release notes)…

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2021/15

          After I left you and Tumbleweed in the capable hands of Richard for two weeks, it is good to be back. The week has seen a slightly lower count of published snapshots, but only because openQA was nice enough to find bugs that we did not you having to fight with. So, we only released two snapshots (0408 and 0414). As usual, the large gap means a few snapshots were tested in between, and things accumulated.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-15

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)! The Final freeze is underway. The F34 Final Go/No-Go meeting is Thursday.

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

        • Looking for a CentOS Replacement? Start Here | IT Pro

          If you’re looking for a suitable CentOS replacement in advance of its Red Hat support sunsetting, we’ve done the research to help you find the Linux that fits.

        • Stephen Smoogen: Leaving Fedora Infrastructure

          In June 2009, I was given the opportunity to work in Fedora Infrastructure as Mike McGrath’s assistant so that he could take some vacation. At the time I was living in New Mexico and had worked at the University of New Mexico for several years. I started working remote for the first time in my life, and had to learn all the nuances of IRC meetings and typing clearly and quickly. With the assistance of Seth Vidal, Luke Macken, Ricky Zhou, and many others I got quickly into ‘the swing of things’ with only 2 or 3 times taking all of Fedora offline because of a missed ; in a dns config file. I

          [...]

          All in all, it has been a very good decade of working on a project that many have said would be ‘gone’ by next release. However, it is time for me to move onto other projects, and find new challenges that excite me. Starting next week, I will be moving to a group working with a strong focus on embedded hardware. I have been interested in embedded in some form or another since the 1970′s. My first computer memories were of systems my dad showed me which would have been in an A-6 plane. From there I remember my dad taking me to see a friend who repaired PDP systems for textile mills and let me work on my first Unix running on a Dec Rainbow. Whenever I came home from those visits, I would have a smile and hum of excitement which would not leave me for days. I remember having that humm when in 1992, a student teacher showed me MCC Linux running on an i386 which we had been repairing from spare parts. I could do everything and anything on that box for a fraction of the price of the big Unix boxes I had to pay account time for. And recently I went to a set of talks on embedded projects and found myself with the same hum. It was a surprise for me but I found myself more and more interested in it as the weeks have gone by.

          I was offered a chance to move over, and I decided to take it. I will still be in the Fedora community but will not be able to work much on Infrastructure issues. If I have tasks that you are waiting for, please let me know, and I will finish them either by myself or by doing a full handoff to someone else in Infrastructure. Thank you all for your help and patience over these last 11+ years.

        • Red Hat helps drive the future of mobility in Ireland

          Vehicles that drive themselves using new forms of power. Traffic signals that talk to cars. Highways and city streets with zero accidents and zero congestion. From changing lifestyles to concerns about climate change, a number of trends are converging to transform yesterday’s science fiction into today’s reality. Recently, automakers along with governments and technology companies have joined in a dash toward the future of mobility. In one example, the picturesque landscape near Limerick, Ireland has become a hotbed for automotive and smart city innovation.

          A new Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) on the outskirts of the town of Shannon is planned to include a collaborative testbed spread across eight miles (12km) of public roads. It is also planned to incorporate smart junctions and connected car parks with shared vehicle parking and electric car charging stations. The initiative is set to feature smart links to a 280-mile (450km) stretch of connected highway and a managed air traffic corridor for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)— drones—from Shannon airport.

      • Debian Family

        • Devuan 4.0 Alpha Builds Begin For Debian 11 Without Systemd

          Debian 11 continues inching closer towards release and it looks like the developers maintaining the “Devuan” fork won’t be far behind with their re-base of the distribution focused on init system freedom.

          The Devuan fork of Debian remains focused on providing Debian GNU/Linux without systemd. Devuan Beowulf 3.1 is their latest release based on Debian 10 while Devuan Chimaera is in the works as their re-base for Debian 11.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’ T-Shirt Now Available to Order

          Want the world/your Zoom colleagues to know how excited you about Ubuntu 21.04, which is released on April 22?

          If so, check out a hip new t-shirt from the French-speaking Ubuntu community. They produce tie-in tees for new Ubuntu releases, and the upcoming ‘Hirsute Hippo’ is no exception. With “official” Ubuntu t-shirts no longer available to purchase it’s great that custom endeavours like this shirt are available.

          The front of the purple shirt has custom artwork “interpreting” the ‘Hirsute Hippo’ codename. I can’t get poetic about it because it is literally what it says: a hirsute hippo! The left sleeve carries the “Ubuntu-fr” association.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • In loving memory of Ricardo Pontes

            Ricardo was one of the first Brazilian community members, contributing for more than 10 years, a good friend, and a mentor to other volunteers.

            His work was instrumental on the Firefox OS days and his passion inspiring. His passing is finding us sadden and shocked. Our condolences to his family and friends.

            Below are some words about Ricardo from fellow Mozillians (old and new)…

          • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: QUIC and HTTP/3 Support now in Firefox Nightly and Beta

            Support for QUIC and HTTP/3 is now enabled by default in Firefox Nightly and Firefox Beta. We are planning to start rollout on the release in Firefox Stable Release 88. HTTP/3 will be available by default by the end of May.

          • New Contributors To Firefox – about:community

            With Firefox 88 in flight, we are pleased to welcome the long list of developers who’ve contributed their first code change to in this release, 24 of whom were brand new volunteers!

          • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: April 2021 Edition

            On April 3rd, as part of a broader strategy change at Mozilla, we moved our existing mailing lists (dev-l10n, dev-l10n-web, dev-l10n-new-locales) to Discourse. If you are involved in localization, please make sure to create an account on Discourse and set up your profile to receive notifications when there are new messages in the Localization category.

            We also decided to shut down our existing Telegram channel dedicated to localization. This was originally created to fill a gap, given its broad availability on mobile, and the steep entry barrier required to use IRC. In the meantime, IRC has been replaced by Element (chat.mozilla.org), which offers a much better experience on mobile platforms. Please make sure to check out the dedicated Wiki page [1] with instructions on how to connect, and join our #l10n-community room.

          • This Week in Glean: rustc, iOS and an M1

            Work on getting Rust compiled on M1 hardware started last year in June already, with the availability of the first developer kits. See Rust issue 73908 for all the work and details. First and foremost this required a new target: aarch64-apple-darwin. This landed in August and was promoted to Tier 21 with the December release of Rust 1.49.0.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Annual Report 2020: TDF and the Pandemic

          2020 was a year to remember, because of LibreOffice’s 10th anniversary and the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted our lives, hindered travel and canceled community meetings

          [...]

          We were planning LibreOffice events in Asia and Latin America, as in 2019, and a LibreOffice Conference in Germany, in the lovely medieval city of Nuremberg. We were also planning to attend conferences in Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, to celebrate LibreOffice’s 10th anniversary.

          We were planning local meetings of native language communities, to engage new volunteers, and talks at local events, to advocate the use of LibreOffice and the Open Document Format. We were planning meetups with other community members, for a chat over food and drinks, as we have been used to doing on a regular basis over the last 10 – or even 20 – years (in the OpenOffice.org project).

          Unfortunately, since March 2020 we have been forced to spend most of our time at home, to protect each other from COVID-19. Although our community has not been hit severely, we have suffered from the pandemic like anyone else, to the point that we will not remember 2020 as the year of the 10th LibreOffice anniversary, but as the year of the big lockdown.

      • FSF

      • Programming/Development

        • WASI, Bringing WebAssembly Way Beyond Browsers

          WebAssembly (Wasm) is a binary software format that all browsers can run directly, safely and at near-native speeds, on any operating system (OS). Its biggest promise, however, is to eventually work in the same way everywhere, from IoT devices and edge servers, to mobile devices and traditional desktops. This post introduces the main interface that should make this happen. The next post in this series will describe some of the already available, real-world implementations and applications of the same interface.

        • Introducing Qt Quick 3D Particles

          As you may have already seen or heard, Qt Quick 3D introduces support for 3D particles in Qt 6.1. Similarly to instanced rendering , also 3D particles module is a technology preview in Qt 6.1 and will be fully supported in Qt 6.2. In this blog post we’ll go through things every developer & designer should know about the new 3D particles, so please continue reading. With the visual elements such as particles, it is always beneficial to actually see what you can do with them. The video below goes through some demos from our Testbed application, included as part of the Qt 6.1 examples.

          [...]

          Two different logical particle types are supported: SpriteParticle3D for 2D texture particles and ModelParticle3D for 3D model particles. Model particles actually use instanced rendering to allow rendering thousands of particles, with full Quick 3D materials and lights support. Logical particle will define the common appearance of the particles. One important property is maxAmount , which is used for allocating the data for particles. Qt Quick particles don’t have this feature, but instead they automatically grow the data based on emitRate, lifeSpan and bursts. Requiring it to be defined allows us to optimize the memory usage and to modify the emitRate and lifeSpan without reallocations

        • Using the SystemTap Dyninst runtime environment

          SystemTap (stap) uses a command-line interface (CLI) and a scripting language to write instrumentation for a live running kernel or a user space application. A SystemTap script associates handlers with named events. This means, when a specified event occurs, the default SystemTap kernel runtime runs the handler in the kernel as if it is a quick subroutine, and then it resumes.

          SystemTap translates the script to C, uses it to create a kernel module, loads the module, and connects the probed events. It can set probes at arbitrary kernel locations or at user space locations. While SystemTap is a powerful tool, loading the kernel module requires privilege, and this privilege can sometimes be a barrier for use. For example, on managed machines or in containers that are without the necessary privilege. In these cases, SystemTap has another runtime that uses the Dyninst instrumentation framework to provide many features of the kernel module runtime only requiring user privilege.

        • Broadening compiler checks for buffer overflows in _FORTIFY_SOURCE – Red Hat Developer

          Buffer overruns are by far the most common vulnerability in C or C++ programs, and a number of techniques have come up over the years to detect overruns early and abort execution. The _FORTIFY_SOURCE macro, provided by the GNU C Library, helps mitigate a number of these overruns and is widely deployed in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This article on the Red Hat Security blog is a good introduction to _FORTIFY_SOURCE.

          In the GNU C Library’s 2.33 release, we added a new level for _FORTIFY_SOURCE to improve the protections the macro provides. Here we take a closer look at the internals of _FORTIFY_SOURCE in GCC and explore the need for this new level.

        • Robert O’Callahan: Demoing The Pernosco Omniscient Debugger: Debugging Crashes In Node.js And GDB

          Traditional debugging forms a hypothesis about what is going wrong with the program, gathers evidence to accept or reject that hypothesis, and repeats until the root cause of the bug is found. This process is time-consuming, and formulating useful hypotheses often requires deep understanding of the software being debugged. With the Pernosco omniscient debugger there’s no need to speculate about what might have happened, instead an engineer can ask what actually did happen. This radically simplifies the debugging process, enabling much faster progress while requiring much less domain expertise.

          To demonstrate the power of this approach we have two examples from well-known and complex software projects. The first is an intermittently crashing node.js test. From a simple stack walk it is easy to see that the proximate cause of the crash is calling a member function with a NULL `this` pointer. The next logical step is to determine why that pointer is NULL. In a traditional debugging approach, this requires pre-existing familiarity with the codebase, or reading code and looking for places where the value of this pointer could originate from. Then an experiment, either poking around in an interactive debugger or adding relevant logging statements, must be run to see where the NULL pointer originates from. And because this test fails intermittently, the engineer has to hope that the issue can be reproduced again and that this experiment doesn’t disturb the program’s behavior so much that the bug vanishes.

          In the Pernosco omniscient debugger, the engineer just has to click on the NULL value. With all program state available at all points in time, the Pernosco omniscient debugger can track this value back to its logical origin with no guesswork on the part of the user. We are immediately taken backwards to the point where the connection in question received an EOF and set this pointer to NULL. You can read the full debugging transcript here.

        • Perl/Raku

          • gfldex: All your idioms are belong to us

            In the closing thought in my last post I postulated the need to find idioms. That worried me a bit because finding things that are not there (yet) is no easy feat. By chance that day Hacker News linked to an article with well written and explained Python code. We can’t quite translate idioms from one language to another. But if we can steal ideasborrow features from other languages, maybe we can take inspiration for idioms too.

            The article by Bart de Goede kindly links to a github repo, where we can find the following piece of code.

  • Leftovers

    • Existing In An Instagram World: How To Walk Into A Tree Without Really Trying

      If you’re worried that your phone has become the centre of your universe, you’re not alone. Dr Suwen Tan is battling an identical demon.

    • The Rigorous Satire of Search Party

      For four seasons, the TV series Search Party has used its cast of New York millennials as a microcosm of imperfect generational behavior. Its main character, Dori Sief (Alia Shawkat), is a directionless late-twentysomething whose lack of ambition or professional qualifications have kept her life in banal stasis. Her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Drew Gardner (John Reynolds), is a prototypical Midwestern “nice guy” whose passivity and sensitivity are mercurial and fraught. Her other two college friends—Elliott Goss (John Early), a queer man-about-town, and bubbly actress Portia Davenport (Meredith Hagner)—are equal parts clueless and self-involved. Together they represent the well-educated, financially comfortable, self-satisfied urbanites who are the implicit subjects of myriad anti-millennial opinion pieces and Twitter threads. If avocado toast (the convenient political symbol, not the food item) could be personified, it would resemble Search Party’s ensemble.

      Thankfully, cocreators and showrunners Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers are not in the business of taking stale hipster potshots, nor are they interested in painting their characters in a single negative shade. It’s crucial for Dori and her friends to not be outsize caricatures, that their behavior not be inherently representative of any larger trend. While the show’s humor is frequently at their expense, it springs from the crew’s distinctive characterizations. Their flawed perceptions, their shortsighted reactions, and their desperate justifications for their own imprudent behavior are presented honestly and appropriately exploited for entertainment. While their reckless sense of self-possession makes them compelling to watch, especially when they’re being awful, this quality eventually reveals the nonexistence of any true identity in the bunch. Still, they aren’t so straightforwardly contemptible as to render any potential downfall an easy victory. Satire requires good targets, but it also demands a rigorous gaze.

    • Education

      • Macron’s Closure of the ENA, France’s Elite School: Political Gimmick or Overdue Reform?

        With just a year until the next presidential election, Macron is neck and neck  in the polls with Marine Le Pen. The ENA abolition looks, therefore, as if it’s part of a strategy to reconnect with “the people”. It’s easy to forget, given the pandemic, but before France entered lockdown in March 2020, it had been experiencing the most sustained anti-elite movement for generations in the form of the  gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests. Macron has certainly has not forgotten this.

        The president does not want to dispense with the idea of an elite school altogether but to build something that allegedly works better. A new school called the Institut du Service Public, a kind of “public management school”, will replace the ENA. Unsurprisingly, Jean-Louis Debré, once a close ally of Jacques Chirac, declared that this was a “populist” measure (by which he meant it was pandering to public opinion).

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Agriculture’s Greatest Myth

        For policymakers, the big obstacle to global promotion and restoration of small-scale farming (leaving aside the lobbying power of agribusiness) is allegedly that, “it can’t feed the world”. If that claim were true, local food systems would be bound to leave people hungry and so promoting them becomes selfish, short-termist, and unethical.

        Nevertheless, this purported flaw in sustainable and local agriculture represents a curious charge because, no matter where one looks in global agriculture, food prices are low because products are in surplus.

      • “We’re in a Transition Phase”: Dr. Monica Gandhi on Vaccine Safety & Why You Still Need a Mask

        U.S. health officials have delayed a decision on whether to resume the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine after reports of blood clots in six women who received doses. Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician and professor of medicine at the UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital, says it’s “prudent” to investigate reports of blood clots but notes the issue “is very rare” and unlikely to cause more than a temporary delay. She also says it’s important to raise “vaccine optimism” by continuing to tout the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines. “Eventually we are going to get back to the normalcy of not masking and distancing. We’re just in this twilight period right now because we are not fully vaccinated,” she says.

      • Health Advocates Urge Facebook to Scrap Plan to Build Instagram for Kids 12 and Under

        “Facebook and Instagram have zero credibility and have proven time and time again that their priority is profiting off their manipulative and addictive tactics to keep users scrolling.”

        A coalition of 36 organizations and 64 experts in child development and the impact of technology sent a letter Thursday to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg discouraging the ongoing development of an Instagram specifically designed for children ages 12 and under.

      • ‘Humanitarian Catastrophe’: Doctors Without Borders Slams Brazil’s Covid-19 Response

        “The lack of political will to adequately respond to the pandemic is killing Brazilians in their thousands,” the international medical charity said.

        Doctors Without Borders on Thursday denounced what it called the Brazilian government’s “failed Covid-19 response,” warning of a “humanitarian catastrophe” anf t in the South American nation whose pandemic death toll is second only to the United States and calling for a “science-based reset.” 

      • Chile sees Covid surge despite vaccination success
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (smarty3), Fedora (libpano13, python3.8, and seamonkey), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable, gstreamer1.0, thunderbird, and x11-server), Oracle (libldb and thunderbird), SUSE (grafana and system-user-grafana, kernel, and openldap2), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke-5.3, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-hwe-5.8, linux-kvm, linux-oem-5.10, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux-raspi2-5.3, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-dell300x, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-lts-xenial, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, and linux-oem-5.6).

          • ISTIO-SECURITY-2021-004
          • Windows 10 update causing blue screens of death — what to do
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Small Australian Company Cracked The San Bernardino Shooter’s IPhone For The FBI

              Five years ago, the DOJ and Apple engaged in a courtroom fight over device encryption. The DOJ wanted Apple to craft a backdoor so the FBI could search a phone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters. It was a work phone owned by Syed Farook, who was killed during a shootout with law enforcement. That it was a work-issued phone suggested it wouldn’t contain much useful evidence or information. But the government insisted it would and attempted to secure an order forcing Apple to do what the DOJ wanted.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • NED-Funded Uyghur Separatist Network and CAIR Director Rally Around Cold War Propaganda
      • United States announces new sanctions against Russia

        On Thursday, April 15, U.S. President Joe Biden signed a new sanctions executive order “targeting the harmful foreign activities of the Russian Government.”

      • Cut the Defense Budget: Rep. Khanna on Bloated Pentagon Spending, Ending War in Yemen, UAE Arms Deal

        Congressmember Ro Khanna of California says hundreds of billions of dollars in annual defense spending could be better used on diplomacy, humanitarian aid, public health and other initiatives. He’s one of 50 House Democrats who signed a letter to President Joe Biden in March urging a “significantly reduced” Pentagon budget, which has grown to over $700 billion. “The Pentagon increases make no sense,” says Khanna. “If you’re ending the forever war in Afghanistan … then why are we increasing, at the same time, the defense budget?” Khanna also discusses the Saudi-led, U.S.-backed war in Yemen, a major U.S. arms deal with the United Arab Emirates and more.

      • Afghanistan Withdrawal Good, Say Sanders and Khanna, But Biden Must Do More to End ‘Forever Wars’

        “It’s about time we bring home our troops and end this trillion-dollar war in Afghanistan,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.).

        Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ro Khanna on Thursday welcomed President Joe Biden’s announcement to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan but urged the president to take further actions to end “forever wars.”

      • “A Courageous Decision”: Rep. Ro Khanna Praises Biden’s Plan to End the “Forever War” in Afghanistan

        Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna says President Joe Biden’s plan to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan is a “courageous” decision. “I’m very glad that we have a president who has finally recognized that this is not a militarily winnable war,” says Khanna. President Biden announced this week he plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, bringing the longest war in U.S. history to a close. Khanna says he is open to a U.N. peacekeeping force, as some have suggested, to ensure Afghanistan does not fall into deeper chaos once American troops leave. “Withdrawing militarily does not mean that we can stop engaging,” says Khanna.

      • Opinion | Contrary to What Biden Said, US Warfare in Afghanistan Is Set to Continue

        No matter what the White House and the headlines say, U.S. taxpayers won’t stop subsidizing the killing in Afghanistan until there is an end to the bombing and “special operations” that remain shrouded in secrecy.

        When I met a seven-year-old girl named Guljumma at a refugee camp in Kabul a dozen years ago, she told me that bombs fell early one morning while she slept at home in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Valley. With a soft, matter-of-fact voice, Guljumma described what happened. Some people in her family died. She lost an arm.

      • The Hawks Who Want War With Iran Are Working Overtime

        WASHINGTON ( Jacobin) — Just as talks between the United States and Iran were taking place last week in Vienna, a cyberattack was carried out on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. Reports are that the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, was behind the attack that blacked out the facility just one day after Tehran launched new advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges, and as US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was in Israel speaking about the United States’ “ enduring and ironclad” commitment to the Jewish state.

      • Opinion | War Hawks Are Working Overtime to Derail US-Iran Diplomacy

        As the saboteurs of diplomacy hope for a violent escalation, let’s keep in mind—and hope Iran agrees—that the best revenge would be a revived JCPOA.

        Just as talks between the United States and Iran were taking place last week in Vienna, a cyberattack was carried out on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility.  Reports are that the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, was behind the attack that blacked out the facility just one day after Tehran launched new advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges, and as US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was in Israel speaking about the United States’ ” enduring and ironclad” commitment to the Jewish state.

      • Opinion | A Military Spouse’s Perspective on the Pentagon’s Flawed Response to the Pandemic

        Making sense of a viral military.

        Herd immunity? Don’t count on it. Not if that “herd” is the U.S. military.

      • The Brutes Haven’t All Been Exterminated

        There’s no secret memo in the Pentagon stipulating that every human being must be dead before the troops can “withdraw with honor.” And if they were all dead, the very last thing any troops would do would be to withdraw. But there are mountains of memos, secret and otherwise, declaring it counterproductive to slaughter innocents and sanctioning the slaughtering of innocents. There’s madness on top of contradiction compounded by nonsense, and this sort of stuff is not random. It comes from somewhere.

        Sometimes I marvel at the relentless racist police murders in the United States. That many police officers cannot really have mistaken their guns for their tasers or coincidentally just happened to attack people of similar appearance. What’s going on?

      • Israel Sabotages the Natanz Nuclear Facility

        A sequence of events have been viewed cumulatively as suggesting that this was no error of engineering so much as plain sabotage.  Israel was again the central agent of perpetration, a not implausible accusation given its relentless efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  The latest came last November, when Iran’s chief nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was slain by a gun operated by artificial intelligence.  At this feat, Brigadier-General Ali Fadavi was almost admiring in description: the gun had “focused only on martyr Fakhrizadeh’s face in a way that his wife, despite being only 25 cm away, was not shot.”

        Itamar Eichner of YNet was happy to indulge in questions regarding the latest incident at Natanz.  Was the politically troubled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raising a toast with officials of Mossad, the IDF and Shin Bet ahead of Independence Day auspicious?  And why did US Defence Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III pay a visit to Israel on April 11, the day the attack took place?  Defence analyst Ron Ben-Yishai, also of YNet, suggested that it was “reasonable to assume that the problem … might not have been caused by an accident, but by deliberate sabotage intended to slow the nuclear race accelerated by the negotiations with the US on removing sanctions”.

      • Opinion | What We Can Learn from the Derek Chauvin Trial

        After a long and shameful history of police violence against Black people, the George Floyd murder case might finally bring about some justice.

        Every lawsuit tells a story. Some are only about the immediate parties and participants. Others present “big pictures” about our basic institutions, our political and moral values, and, for better or worse, our concepts of justice. 

      • Murder of Daunte Wright Ruined Derek Chauvin Show Trial

        So, unlike in the handful of cases where charges were brought against police officers for killing a Black or Brown person, the prosecutors this time did not pretend to follow the demands of the ill-informed public to bring charges of first degree or second-degree murder that would set a bar for conviction so high, it could not be met. That is a favorite strategy of prosecutors when conviction is not what they are looking for.

        The prosecutors in the Derek Chauvin case did the opposite. They stacked the charges in a way that would make it impossible to escape a conviction. And everyone fell in line because the stakes were so high. Could the Shining City on the Hill, whose leadership was now associated with the “decent” Democrats, render justice for the killer of George Floyd? The answer to that question was going to be an emphatic yes. The press committed to gavel-to-gavel coverage and everything was ready for one the greatest show trials of U.S. history.

      • It’s Time to Kick Armed Cops Off the Road

        Daunte Wright was pulled over by police officers on Sunday afternoon. The reason the police gave for the stop is that he was driving with expired registration tags on his license plate. The time was roughly 2 pm. Within minutes of being pulled over, Wright was dead.

        What happened during those minutes is still being pieced together, but the essential horrors were captured on video. As the officers from the Brooklyn Center police approached Wright’s car, they noticed that he had an “illegal” air freshener dangling from his rearview mirror. They then ran his plates and found that he had $346 of outstanding fines and an arrest warrant for misdemeanor offenses. At this point, Wright was scared enough to call his mother. But before he could finish the call, the officers removed Wright from his vehicle, and as one officer fumbled for the handcuffs, Wright panicked and attempted to get back into his car. Another officer, Kim Potter, then decided to electrocute him, but instead of pulling out her Taser, she pulled out her gun and shot Wright to death. He was 20 years old.

      • Say Her Name
      • In Derek Chauvin’s Trial, Will We Finally Get Justice?

        Ten months after George Floyd died with Derek Chauvin’s knee on his neck, jurors in Chauvin’s murder trial were told that the former Minnesota police officer knelt on Floyd’s body for nine minutes and 29 seconds—43 seconds longer than previously reported. Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell noted that during the first four minutes and 45 seconds, Floyd shouted 27 times that he could not breathe; in the 53 seconds that followed, Floyd went “completely silent and virtually motionless” as he experienced seizures; and for three minutes and 51 seconds, despite one of his own officers informing him that Floyd had no pulse, Chauvin remained atop his unresponsive body. For the entirety of the nine minutes and 29 seconds that the defense and prosecution agree that Chauvin kept Floyd pinned beneath his knee, Floyd was not only unarmed but handcuffed. “He was completely in the control of the police,” Blackwell said in his opening statement. “He was defenseless.”

        Chauvin’s defense team is, essentially, charged with making the unjustifiable seem justified. By convincing jurors that the near 10 minutes Chauvin spent leaning his full weight into Floyd’s neck was a “reasonable use of force” applied by a “reasonable police officer,” it hopes to create reasonable doubt about his guilt. Defense attorney Eric Nelson and a dozen cocounsel are being paid more than $1 million by Minnesota’s largest police union. (Chauvin was fired by the Minneapolis Police Department after footage of Floyd’s killing spread across social media, and several officers are testifying on behalf of the prosecution.) Their apparent strategy? To put witnesses, first responders, and Floyd himself, rather than Chauvin, on trial.

      • The Clandestine War on Africa: France’s Endgame in Mali

        According to the findings, based on a thorough investigation and interviews with hundreds of eyewitnesses, 19 of the guests were unarmed civilians whose killing constitutes a war crime.

        Unlike the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other countries, the French war in Mali receives little media coverage outside the limited scope of French-speaking media, which has successfully branded this war as one against Islamic militants.

      • What Does Biden’s Decision to Withdraw From Afghanistan Mean?

        President Biden’s plan to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by September 11 is a welcome and long-overdue action. The decision was made politically possible by two things. First, by what CNN described as Biden’s reason for withdrawing the troops: the fact that “there is no military solution to the security and political problems plaguing Afghanistan.” And second, by the crucial reality that thousands of people across this country understood right at the very beginning of the US war, and millions more have figured out in the almost 20 years since.

        The idea that there is no military solution and that therefore the war is doomed to fail is nothing new. From the former UN secretary general and the US State Department to former President Donald Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to dozens of generals, analysts, and TV pundits, the understanding that there is no military solution in Afghanistan, and indeed no military solution to terrorism—the original US rationale for invading the country in 2001—is an old story. Biden himself, as a senator and as vice president, at various points urged an end to the war, sometimes yelling at high-ranking military officials who were trying to feed him an overly optimistic line.

      • Biden and Afghanistan: Never, Ever Trust Us

        The claim is silly on its face. The US military is great at moving people. Eight months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, US Marines waded ashore at Guadalcanal. Five months after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the US had moved 697,000 troops to the theater of operations for what became Operation Desert Storm. For any competent commander, moving 2,500 troops from Point A to Point B is a weekend hobby project, not a major undertaking. All Biden had to do was give the order.

        On February 13, the White House leaked a new date: September 11, 20th anniversary of the attacks that President George W. Bush cited as casus belli for what was supposed to be a short, sharp war to liquidate al Qaeda in Afghanistan, but quickly turned into a 20-year failed (and deadly) “nation-building” project.

      • Slaughter Central: The US as a Mass-Killing Machine

        On this planet of ours, America is the emperor of weaponry, even if in ways we normally tend not to put together. There’s really no question about it. The all-American powers-that-be and the arms makers that go with them dream up, produce, and sell weaponry, domestically and internationally, in an unmatched fashion. You’ll undoubtedly be shocked, shocked to learn that the top five arms makers on the planet — Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and General Dynamics — are all located in the United States.

        Put another way, we’re a killer nation, a mass-murder machine, slaughter central. And as we’ve known since the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, there could be far worse to come. After all, in the overheated dreams of both those weapons makers and Pentagon planners, slaughter-to-be has long been imagined on a planetary scale, right down to the latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) being created by Northrop Grumman at the cost of at least $100 billion. Each of those future arms of ultimate destruction is slated to be “ the length of a bowling lane” and the nuclear charge that it carries will be at least 20 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. That missile will someday be capable of traveling 6,000 miles and killing hundreds of thousands of people each. (And the Air Force is planning to order 600 of them.)

      • From Despair to Activism: An Afghan Refugee in Indonesia
    • Environment

      • 97% of Earth’s Land No Longer Ecologically Intact, Study Finds

        “Conservation is simply not enough anymore. We need restoration.”

        Ecologists and environmental advocates on Thursday called for swift action to reintroduce species into the wild as scientists at the University of Cambridge in England found that 97% of the planet’s land area no longer qualifies as ecologically intact.

      • Energy

        • Warren and Smith Reintroduce ‘Critical’ Bill to Block US From Starting Nuclear War

          “There are no winners in a nuclear war, and the U.S. should never start one.”

          Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Adam Smith on Thursday reintroduced legislation to establish that “it is the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first.”

        • Sanders, Omar Unveil Bill to End ‘Absurd Corporate Handouts’ to Fossil Fuel Industry

          “Our resources should go to helping the American people get through this crisis—not providing giveaways to the very people responsible for polluting our water and lands.”

          Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ilhan Omar introduced legislation Thursday that would eliminate dozens of tax loopholes, subsidies, and other federal giveaways to the fossil fuel industry and cut off U.S. support for international oil and gas projects that are contributing to the global climate crisis.

        • With Enough Political Will, All New US Car and Truck Sales Can Be Electric by 2035: Study

          “Every year America stalls… we miss the ever-narrowing window to address the climate crisis and ensure a livable planet.”

          A study released Thursday morning by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley finds that declining battery costs and technological advances mean it is possible for all new car and truck sales in the U.S. to be electric by 2035—an achievement that would prevent thousands of premature deaths, bolster the fight against climate change, and save consumers trillions of dollars.

    • Finance

      • Gillibrand, Ocasio-Cortez Call on Congress to Help Rebuild USPS With Postal Banking Pilot Programs

        “Postal banking must be part of American’s future.”

        Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democratic lawmakers on Thursday in calling for the U.S. Congress to implement postal banking pilot programs in rural and low-income urban neighborhoods, where millions of households cannot access or afford standard banking services. 

      • Opinion | A Third of U.S. Billionaire Wealth Gains Since 1990 Have Come During Pandemic

        U.S. billionaire pandemic profit balloons to $4.56 trillion, a 55 percent increase.

        The wealth of US billionaires has steadily grown over the last thirty-one years.  But a third of $4.3 trillion in billionaire wealth gains since 1990 have come during the last 13 months of the pandemic.  

      • Russian State Duma committee seeks government financial support for Kadyrov’s soccer club

        Russia’s State Duma Committee on Physical Culture and Sport has supported a proposal to provide tax and financial assistance to FC Akhmat Grozny, the U.S.-sanctioned, professional soccer club linked to Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

      • Rosstat: Poverty rate in Russia drops to lowest level seen since 2014

        At the end of 2020, 17.8 million people in Russia were living below the poverty line, according to preliminary estimates from the Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat).

      • How to Get 4 Million Women Back in the Workforce

        Wendy Chun-Hoon is one of the many fresh faces coming in to the federal government with the new Biden administration. She is the new director of the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor, but she spent her prior career fighting for economic justice in a variety of nonprofits. Before joining the administration she served as executive director of Family Values @ Work, an organization that advocates for paid leave policies at the county, city, and state level, which she helped found just as California became the first state to enact its own paid family leave program. When she realized that many of the paid leave policies she was fighting for could exclude her and her female partner, she developed the Family Justice Network to fight to make these policies inclusive of many different kinds of families. We discussed the economic crisis facing American women and the kinds of policies they need to recover. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

        —Bryce Covert

      • 719 Billionaires Now Own Four Times More Wealth Than Poorest 165 Million Americans Combined

        “Congress should act to restore taxes on the wealthy and limit further democracy-distorting concentrations of wealth and power.”

        After seeing their fortunes surge during the deadly coronavirus pandemic, America’s 719 billionaires are now collectively worth $4.56 trillion—making them over four times wealthier than the roughly 165 million people in the bottom half of U.S. society combined, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness.

      • Consumer Prices Bounce Up, But Fears of Inflation Baseless

        Owners’ equivalent rent went up 0.2 percent in March, up 2.0 percent year-over-year. It had been rising over 3.0 percent in pre-pandemic months. The sharpest slowing of rental inflation is in the West. Owners’ equivalent rent had been rising more than 4.0 percent year-over-year, but now it is down to just 1.6 percent.

        + A big jump in energy prices pushes the overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) up 0.6 percent in March. Core CPI rises by just 0.3 percent. Year-over-year, overall and core CPI are up 2.6 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

      • Pacifica Radio: Let’s Talk About the Debt
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Biden Fires Up the Waco Controversy Anew

        Last week, Biden nominated David Chipman to be head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the premier federal firearms enforcement agency. Biden complemented that announcement with a call for a national red flag law to entitle police to preemptively confiscate firearms from citizens suspected of being a threat to themselves or others.

        Chipman was a 25-year ATF agent and a key official at the 1994 federal trial of the Branch Davidians who survived the ATF and FBI assaults the prior year. Many federal agents posed for grisly “victory photos” in the rubble of the Branch Davidians’ Waco, Texas, home after it burned to the ground during an FBI assault. One photo allegedly shows Chipman proudly holding a rifle in front of the wreckage where scores of children died shortly before. The White House and Chipman’s current employer, the antigun Giffords organization, did not respond to repeated email requests to confirm or deny that Chipman is the federal agent in that photo; the Daily Mail and many online sites have tagged Chipman as the agent. In a Reddit public question and answer session in 2019, Chipman sought to spur support for an assault weapons ban by falsely claiming that the Davidians shot down two federal helicopters that were attacking their compound.

      • Democratic Socialist Rana Abdelhamid Takes On a New York Incumbent

        As of Wednesday, another long-entrenched congressional Democrat will be facing a challenge from the left, in a wave that has been building over the past few years. Rana Abdelhamid, a nonprofit leader and community organizer, announced that she’s taking on Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney in New York’s 12th Congressional District primary, the second primary challenge unveiled by Justice Democrats for the 2022 cycle, after Nashville’s Odessa Kelly.

        Maloney, a 28-year incumbent and chair of the powerful House Oversight Committee, barely survived her previous primary challenge, receiving 43 percent of the vote in a rematch against Suraj Patel, an attorney and former Obama campaign staffer. She eked out a win, in part, because the progressive vote was split between Patel and democratic socialist Lauren Ashcraft. Now, New York progressives are making the case that the district is ready for a young political outsider, who has experienced economic dislocation firsthand, to represent them in Congress.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The Pillow Dude’s ‘Free Speech’ Social Media Website Will Moderate ‘Swear Words’ Because Of Course It Will

        It seems like every few months a new social media app comes on the scene, promising to be the “free speech” social media app that says it won’t “censor” (by which they mean moderate) anything. And those of us who have been in this space for more than two seconds laugh. Because every single internet service that allows third party speech sooner or later realizes that moderation is not optional — it’s necessary to keep any site running. At a basic level, it starts with spam. Leaving up spam makes a site unusable. After that, there are things that you are legally required to remove, including child sexual abuse material and (in some cases) copyright infringing material.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Not everyone has what it takes Roman Anin, whose home and newsroom were raided by federal agents last week, explains the challenges of investigative journalism in Russia today

        Roman Anin says part of his job is knowing to expect a visit from the authorities at any moment. When federal agents showed up at his Moscow apartment last week, however, he wasn’t immediately sure why they’d come. Officials searched his home for almost seven hours, working until midnight, before questioning him for a few hours more. It was only the next day when he learned that a separate team had also raided the iStories newsroom on Friday. The searches are part of an investigation into a case of alleged privacy invasion “committed through abuse of office.” Anin is currently listed as a witness, but he believes he could face felony charges himself. The trouble stems from an investigative report Anin wrote in 2016 when he was still a reporter at the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, where he revealed that Olga Sechina (then Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin’s wife) owned one of the most expensive luxury yachts in the world. Meduza spoke to Anin about the raid on his home, why this case has suddenly returned, and what it means for other investigative journalists in Russia.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘A classic Putinist trial’ Lyubov Sobol handed one-year suspended sentence for trespassing at the apartment of Navalny’s alleged poisoner

        On Thursday, April 15, a Moscow court handed down a one-year suspended sentence to opposition figure Lyubov Sobol for trespassing on the property of Konstantin Kudryavtsev — one of the FSB agents implicated in poisoning Alexey Navalny. Kudryavtsev didn’t testify in the case and he wasn’t present during the trial; his family members, who were considered the victims in the case, testified instead. Following the verdict, Sobol declared the proceedings “a classic Putinist trial” and asserted that she plans to challenge the ruling. The opposition politician also insisted that she still plans to run in the parliamentary elections this fall.

      • Putin’s favorite dacha Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation investigates the Russian president’s ‘most secret’ official residence

        Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK) has released a new investigation into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “most secret” official residence — a luxury lakeside mansion located near the town of Valdai. According to the report, the residence is part of a massive property that’s only partially state-owned. The FBK claims that the mansion itself is located on land that Russia’s Presidential Administrative Directorate leases from “Praym LLC” — a company allegedly belonging to Putin’s “personal banker” Yuri Kovalchuk.

      • Opinion | Curbing the Spread Of Global Hate

        Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter helped right-wing populists take power. Can they now help rein them in?

        One insidious way to torture the detainees at Guantanamo was to blast music at them at all hours. The mixtape, which included everything from Metallica to the Meow Mix jingle, was intended to disorient the captives and impress upon them the futility of resistance. It worked: this soundtrack from hell did indeed break several inmates.

      • Russian court classifies case concerning deadly raid on Yekaterinburg man’s home

        Russia’s Sverdlovsk Regional Court has classified the criminal case concerning the deadly raid on the home of Yekaterinburg resident Vladimir Taushankov as “top secret.” 

      • ‘The OK Legislature Wants Us Dead’: Rights Defenders Decry Advancement of Anti-Protest Bills

        The head of the state’s ACLU accused Oklahoma lawmakers of “attempting to silence the voices of their constituents and criminalize vital calls for accountability and racial justice.”

        Dismissing warnings from civil liberties defenders, the Republican-controlled Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday approved a pair of bills the state’s ACLU said would “chill dissent, and silence and criminalize Oklahomans who want to exercise our First Amendment right to peacefully protest.”

      • Just Like in the US, Policing in Israel is Rooted in Racist Violence

        Israeli state violence manifests in several ways—police killings, home demolitions, displacement and detentions—but each is grounded in the same colonialist ideology spanning decades.

      • Jewish Voice for Peace Action Endorses McCollum Bill Placing Conditions on US Aid to Israel

        “Congress must stop ignoring the unjust and blatantly cruel mistreatment of Palestinian children and families living under Israeli military occupation.”

        The U.S. human rights group Jewish Voice for Peace Action on Thursday endorsed a bill introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum that would place conditions on the billions of dollars in annual military aid given to Israel in a bid to stop its government from using the funds to kill, torture, imprison, displace, or otherwise harm Palestinian children and families. 

      • Just Outside Minneapolis, the Next Uprising Is Here

        Brooklyn Center, Minn.—On the corner of 63rd & Kathrene, small white candles spell out Daunte Wright’s name. In a residential portion of Brooklyn Center, a suburb just north of Minneapolis, a tall Black Power fist stands over a stop sign, under a utility pole. Two heart-shaped balloons tied to its top bob in the rain.

        Flowers have been stacked carefully around the memorial—dots of color against a dreary backdrop. Despite the drizzle, a group is gathered in the street. News cameras circle Mike Elliott, the city’s first Black mayor, and Wright’s family. But journalists are asked to give them space.

      • Amazon Workers’ Defeat: The Trusts Are Back

        However disappointing is the Amazon defeat, it signals something more telling.  During the fin de siècle and the early-20 th century, large corporations cornered whole segments of America’s economy using predatory pricing, exclusivity deals and other anti-competitive practices to undercut smaller local businesses. And numerous strikes were defeated, often leading striking workers injured, arrested or killed.

        After the economic panic of 1893, a growing number of Americans questioned the capitalist system. Between 1897 and 1904, a total of 4,227 firms merged to form 257 corporations. The largest merger combined nine steel companies to create U.S. Steel. By 1904, some 318 companies controlled nearly 40 percent of the nation’s manufacturing output. A single firm produced over half the output in 78 industries.  These corporations became known as “trusts” – and they have returned with a vengeance.

      • To Combat Right-Wing ‘Assault’ on Democracy, New Bill Would Add Four Seats to Supreme Court

        “This bill marks a new era where Democrats finally stop conceding the Supreme Court to Republicans.”

        Democrats in the House and Senate on Thursday introduced legislation to expand the number of seats on the U.S. Supreme Court from nine to 13, a proposal hailed by progressive advocacy groups as a critical step in combating the conservative takeover of the high court and protecting key constitutional rights.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Washington State Votes To Kill Law That Restricted Community Broadband

        For years a growing number of US towns and cities have been forced into the broadband business thanks to US telecom market failure. Frustrated by high prices, lack of competition, spotty coverage, and terrible customer service, some 750 US towns and cities have explored some kind of community broadband option. And while the telecom industry routinely likes to insist these efforts always end in disaster, that’s never actually been true. While there certainly are bad business plans and bad leaders, studies routinely show that such services not only see the kind of customer satisfaction scores that are alien to large private ISPs, they frequently offer better, faster service at lower, more transparent pricing than many dominant broadband providers.

    • Monopolies

      • Biden Urged to Pick Appointees Who Will Strongly Enforce Antitrust Laws Against Big Tech

        “Truth is under siege, and Big Tech platforms have become too big to care—they must be reined in.”

        Citing a “crisis of online misinformation” that threatens to undermine democratic institutions and public health in the United States, a coalition of more than two dozen organizations on Thursday called on President Joe Biden to curb the power of Big Tech platforms by appointing to federal agencies “leaders committed to enforcing our nation’s antitrust laws to the fullest degree.”

      • Patents

        • DOJ downgrades Delrahim letter to IEEE on standard-essential patents: inter-agency rapprochement with FTC on SEP enforcement?

          The language of diplomacy and other governmental communications is very nuanced, like the British Queen’s spokespersons saying she’s “not amused” when she’s actually outraged. The Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ-ATR”) has taken this concept to a higher level. In what could be described as a digital form of body language, the Biden Administration’s DOJ has unequivocally dissociated itself from the Trump Administration’s position on standard-essential patent (SEP) enforcement without saying or writing a single word: just by relegating a link to a document (with the PDF remaining in the same place as before) to a long list of links that is, for the most part, merely an archive. Parts of that archive are little more than the dustbin of DOJ-ATR history.

          Look at it this way: if a colleague of yours had a picture of her sweetheart on his desk, but all of a sudden decided to put it into a dark storage room, wouldn’t that tell you something?

          On September 10, 2020, less than two months before the election Donald Trump lost, Qualcomm-aligned Antitrust Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim tried to use his remaining time in office–he was going to leave anyway, and he knew what the polls said–tried to deal one final blow to net licensees of SEPs. He supplemented, updated, and appended the DOJ-ATR’s 2015 Business Review Letter (BRL) to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). An IEEE standard all of us use in our everyday lives is WiFi (IEEE 802.11). IEEE has been a strategically important forum at the forefront of how standard-setting organizations could set more specific rules governing SEP enforcement than, for example, ETSI, whose FRAND pledges (which must be interpreted under French law wherever in the world they are enforced) come with a lack of clarity that is fully intended (though some interpretations are still clearly less reasonable than others).

        • Patentability of AI-generated inventions in Australia [Ed: Patent maximalists trying to change what an invention actually means]

          The use of artificial intelligence (AI) has exploded rapidly in the last decade, particularly with respect to product development and data analytics.

          In a recent test of Australia’s patent system, IP Australia decided that a patent cannot be granted where an AI system is identified as the inventor on the basis that it is not possible to identify the patentee for the purposes of section 15(1) of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Patents Act).

          While the decision is consistent with patent office decisions in other jurisdictions, it may be problematic since it has the potential to disrupt investment and stifle innovation due to the uncertainty about which, if any, intellectual property rights subsist in technology created by AI systems.

        • Software Patents

          • Two more VoiceAge EVS v. Apple patent infringement cases pending in Munich

            On Tuesday I listed a number of standard-essential patent (SEP) infringement cases brought by VoiceAge EVS against Apple, Lenovo, Motorola Mobility, and Nokia trademark licensee HMD in Munich. Two of the patents-in-suit have been asserted against all those parties, but there are also three cases against Apple over different patents. Those three cases will all be decided by the 21st Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Tobias Pichlmaier).

            I had already mentioned that a first hearing in case no. 21 O 13503/20 would take place on April 28 unless the COVID pandemic necessitates a postponement. I’ve meanwhile learned from the court that the patent-in-suit in that case is EP2707687 on a “transform-domain codeblock in a CELP coder and decoder.” CELP stands for code-excited linear prediction, a linear predictive speech coding algorithm.

          • Two challenges filed in Japan against Mitsubishi

            On April 13, 2021, Unified Patents filed two challenges in Japan against patents owned by Mitsubishi, JP6768017 and JP6768110. The two patents have been designated as essential in the SISVEL’s VP9 and AV1 pools.

          • Another IP Bridge patent challenged in China

            On April 13, 2021, Unified Patents filed a Chinese invalidation request for CN100581260 owned by IP Bridge. CN100581260 has been designated as essential in the SISVEL’s VP9 and AV1 pools. It is related to patents that have been designated as essential to HEVC Advance as well.

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • Plex Plans To Place All Legal Streaming Options (and Piracy) Into One Interface

          After completing a growth equity round of $50m, Plex has announced plans to become a one-stop-shop for movies and TV. The goal is to at least partially solve one of the most annoying problems in today’s legal streaming market by placing all content in a single searchable interface. By default, this will also include users’ ‘pirate’ libraries, an interesting proposition that could yield results.

        • Canada Proposes New Regime to Block and Deindex Pirate Sites

          The Canadian Government is exploring different options to tackle online piracy through new legislation. One of the proposals is to make it easier for copyright holders to obtain injunctions to block pirate sites and have these deindexed by search engines. Through a newly launched public consultation, lawmakers ask for input on these and other anti-piracy measures.

        • Open Minds Podcast: Lila Bailey of the Internet Archive

          Lila’s made it her mission to use policy and technology to democratize access to culture and knowledge. She’s a vocal advocate for libraries and archives—and the people they serve. Earlier in Lila’s career, she worked at Creative Commons, where she and I were colleagues.

EPO Staff Union Takes the EPO ‘to Court’ (the ILO’s Tribunal, as the EPO Cannot be Taken to a Proper Court)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Committees are preparing a legal battle over unlawful and unjust measures taken collectively against hard-working (overworked during pandemic) members of staff; the European public should support them

THE bizarre EPO is basically above the law. You can’t really take the EPO or António Campinos to court. They’re magically immune! And if they illegally grant lots of European software patents, all one can do is protest in the streets. And they won’t care…

“Staff can see whose interests are served.”This is partly the fault of Germany. It created a monster and it’s unwilling to get this monster under control. EPO corruption is OK as long as allowing that corruption to carry on helps the German government cover up its own corruption scandals. Absurd, right?

In any event, recently we learned about mass action against the SAP (over 1,200 people on the payroll/pension) and earlier today a letter was circulated “Challenging the New Career System & the Abolition of the Invalidity Lump Sum in front of ILOAT,” stating that they’re “Preparing the required annexes now” (they prepare another mass action).

Challenging the New Career System and the Abolition of the Invalidity Lump Sum in front of ILOATSUEPO members were told: “At the beginning of February, Mr Campinos issued rejection decisions on appeals against two majors reforms of his predecessor in 2015: the New Career System and the Abolition of the Invalidity Lump Sum [...] The appellants affected should now challenge both matters in front of ILOAT in the first days of May. SUEPO is currently finalizing template complaints to be distributed to all of its members in due time. We strongly recommend you to start gathering the required annexes now and to have them ready. This publication explains you how.”

Notice how nothing really improved since Benoît Battistelli had left. We have been seeing exacerbation over time and last year confidence levels or trust in António Campinos (among staff) were an appalling 3%, based on a survey. It won’t take long before that’s 0% (just like Battistelli). Staff can see whose interests are served.

The Latest Anti-RMS Coup Attempt Targets the GNU Project (Because the FSF Coup Has Clearly Failed) by Infringing and Disregarding Trademark Conventions

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 3:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: A fake “GNU” (not the original GNU, just riding the coattails of the name “GNU”) is trying to find/gain traction and we must oppose it because it’s an extension of the very same coup attempt (same plotters) that manufactured a whole bunch of libel to incite people and blackmail the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

Trademark law is not a bad thing and it is not something that Richard Stallman (RMS) opposes. In fact, the FSF has complained to the FSFE about their misleading name and insisted that it should be renamed. Other leaks have demonstrated what FSFE really stands for (not just literally but also in practice). It takes money from Microsoft and Google.

“These people aren’t trying to promote freedom and kindness. They just try to demote the founder and exclude him. How very kind of them…”At the moment there is something hijacking the name “GNU”. But it’s not GNU. It’s actually an attack on GNU. It’s also an attack on the founder of GNU and the current project leader of the GNU Project.

The video above does not mention the name of this “new GNU” or the perpetrators (previously we saw many IBM/Red Hat employees). It does, however, warn about the motivations. These people aren’t trying to promote freedom and kindness. They just try to demote the founder and exclude him. How very kind of them…

Links 16/4/2021: Mozilla Dumping FTP, Corporations Still Concern-Trolling FSF

Posted in News Roundup at 5:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Forging Industrial Grade, Scale Out Ceph Storage

        As tens of millions of Americans who have received their $1,400 Covid relief checks in recent weeks can attest, getting a little financial boost during stressful and difficult times can go a long way in helping to separate themselves from day-to-day survival and turn some of their attention to longer term plans. The same can be said for tech startups with ambitious ideas trying to gain traction in a rapidly evolving IT industry dominated by large, deep-pocketed, established players.

      • Announcing Istio 1.9.3

        This release fixes the security vulnerability described in our April 15th post.

      • Volume Health Monitoring Alpha Update

        The CSI Volume Health Monitoring feature, originally introduced in 1.19 has undergone a large update for the 1.21 release.

        Why add Volume Health Monitoring to Kubernetes?

        Without Volume Health Monitoring, Kubernetes has no knowledge of the state of the underlying volumes of a storage system after a PVC is provisioned and used by a Pod. Many things could happen to the underlying storage system after a volume is provisioned in Kubernetes. For example, the volume could be deleted by accident outside of Kubernetes, the disk that the volume resides on could fail, it could be out of capacity, the disk may be degraded which affects its performance, and so on. Even when the volume is mounted on a pod and used by an application, there could be problems later on such as read/write I/O errors, file system corruption, accidental unmounting of the volume outside of Kubernetes, etc. It is very hard to debug and detect root causes when something happened like this.

        Volume health monitoring can be very beneficial to Kubernetes users. It can communicate with the CSI driver to retrieve errors detected by the underlying storage system. PVC events can be reported up to the user to take action. For example, if the volume is out of capacity, they could request a volume expansion to get more space.

    • Kernel Space

      • Rust support in Linux may be possible by 5.14 release: Torvalds

        The first patches for Rust support in the Linux kernel have been posted and the man behind the kernel says the fact that these are being discussed is much more important than a long post by Google about the language.

        Linus Torvalds told iTWire in response to queries that Rust support was “not there yet”, adding that things were “getting to the point where maybe it might be mergeable for 5.14 or something like that”.

      • Google Is Working On A New And Possibly Better LRU Memory Management Framework For The Linux Kernel

        The linux kernel loves to fill all available RAM with caches of files and other items. This speeds things up because memory caches are much faster than Direct I/O. One obvious bi-effect is that all system RAM can be in use and, at the same time, be free as in available for applications who may need it.

        The Linux kernels Least Recently Used (LRU) framework decides what gets kept and what gets thrown out in case some system memory is needed by an applications. It covers the majority of a machines memory pages. Slab caches and a few other caches are exceptions. LRU pages are put in one of two linked lists with active or inactive pages. Pages taken from the end of the inactive list are freed unless it has the reference bit set. Pages are, in that case, moved to the beginning of the active page list and the reference bit is cleared. Dirty pages, as in pages that should be written to disk, are put in the writeback queue and later moved to the beginning of the inactive memory list. Memory pages that are unreferenced and clean get reused.

      • The 12 Most Interesting Changes Of Linux 5.12 – PS5, N64, Intel VRR, RDNA2 OverDrive

        If all goes well the Linux 5.12 stable kernel will be released this weekend. It’s been a fairly calm week so far in Linux 5.12 Git land but if things tick up Linus Torvalds may defer the stable release by one week to allow for an eighth and final release candidate. In any case, Linux 5.12 is packing a lot of exciting changes.

        After the Linux 5.12 merge window I wrote a Linux 5.12 feature overview. But for those that didn’t see it or recall it from two months ago, here is a look at the top twelve features/changes coming with Linux 5.12 for a quick recap

      • Graphics Stack

        • The State Of OpenCL To Vulkan Compute Layers On Linux In April 2021

          It is, in theory, possible to run OpenCL applications on Linux using any graphics driver capable of doing Vulkan Compute. We have examined the alternatives for doing so and found them to be technically interesting and practically useless. It may become possible to run Blender with OpenCL compute using Vulkan at some point in the far distant future. Don’t expect to be able to do that today or next month.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Between Loads

          I’m typing this up between loads and runs of various games I’m testing, since bug reports for games are somehow already a thing, and there’s a lot of them.

          The worst part about testing games is the unbelievably long load times (and startup videos) most of them have, not to mention those long, panning camera shots at the start of the game before gameplay begins and I can start crashing.

          But this isn’t a post about games.

          No, no, there’s plenty of time for such things.

          This is a combo post: part roundup because blogging has been sporadic the past couple weeks, and part feature.

    • Applications

      • Best Grammar and Spell Check Apps for Linux

        This article will cover a list of useful grammar and spelling correction tools available for Linux. These applications mainly provide support for English language with a few of them having options for other languages as well. Note that you can use integrated spell checkers in applications like LibreOffice, Chrome, FireFox, AbiWord etc. to get correct spellings for your text based content. This article, however, mainly focuses on standalone spell checker applications that give you much more freedom to parse and fix spellings in your content and work with multiple applications.

      • mmtc – minimal mpd terminal client

        Linux offers a huge array of open source music players. And many of them are high quality. We’ve reviewed the vast majority, and are endeavoring to explore every free music player in case there’s an undiscovered gem.

        MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Some things on ZFS (on Linux) per-dataset basic IO statistics

        Sufficiently recent versions of OpenZFS on Linux have not just performance statistics for overall pool IO (also), but some additional per-dataset IO statistics. Conveniently, these IO statistics are exposed through the Prometheus host agent, so if you’re using Prometheus (as we are), so you don’t have to write something to collect and manipulate them yourself. However, what these statistics actually mean is a little bit underexplained.

      • How To Install VSCodium on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS [Ed: But this is still helping Microsoft monopoly and should thus be discouraged]

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install VSCodium on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, VSCodium is an open-source, free clone of Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code. It’s a perfect app to set up if you love the look of VSCode, but wish it were open-source. It is available not only for Windows, Mac, and as well as for Linux.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the VSCodium on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Download Ubuntu via Torrent [Absolute Beginner’s Tip]

        Downloading Ubuntu is pretty straightforward. You go to its official website. Click on the desktop download section, select the appropriate Ubuntu version and hit the download button.

        Ubuntu is available as a single image of more than 2.5 GB in size. The direct download works well for people with high-speed internet connection.

        However, if you have a slow or inconsistent internet connection, you’ll have a difficult time downloading such a big file. The download may be interrupted several times in the process or may take several hours.

      • Play a fun math game with Linux commands [Ed: Those who GNU programs, but Linux commands. But Jim Hall, the author of this piece, is participating in the campaign of hate against the FSF.]

        Like many people, I’ve been exploring lots of new TV shows during the pandemic. I recently discovered a British game show called Countdown, where contestants play two types of games: a words game, where they try to make the longest word out of a jumble of letters, and a numbers game, where they calculate a target number from a random selection of numbers. Because I enjoy mathematics, I’ve found myself drawn to the numbers game.

        The numbers game can be a fun addition to your next family game night, so I wanted to share my own variation of it. You start with a collection of random numbers, divided into “small” numbers from 1 to 10 and “large” numbers that are 15, 20, 25, and so on until 100. You pick any combination of six numbers from both large and small numbers.

      • How To Install Java with Apt on Ubuntu 20.04

        Java is one of the most popular programming languages and the JVM (Java’s virtual machine) is the run-time environment to run Java applications. These two platforms are required for much popular software that includes Tomcat, Jetty, Cassandra, Glassfish, and Jenkins.

        In this article, you will learn how to install Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and the Java Developer Kit (JDK) using the default apt package manager on Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 18.04.

      • Sort “du” Command by Size- Output Largest to Smallest

        “du” stands for disk usage, and as the name implies, this command is very useful in getting disk-related information in Linux. This is a very flexible command that can be combined with different parameters to get the desired output.

        In today’s tutorial, we will be guiding you on the method of sorting the output of the “du” command in descending order, i.e., largest to smallest in Linux.

        Note: We have used a Linux Mint 20 machine to demonstrate this method. However, you can also perform the very same method on a Ubuntu 20.04 system or a Debian 10 system.

      • Grep with the Line Number in Output

        Global regular expression print is a versatile utility that searches plain text in the system with different regular expressions. We can perform many operations with the help of Grep; we can explore in files, display line number as output, and how to ignore blank spaces, and use Grep recursively. Grep with the line number displays the line number of relevant text present in the file. This function is accomplished with the help of –n. From the page of Grep, we can easily describe different commands.

      • How to Install Duplicity on Ubuntu?

        This article is about Duplicity, and how you can install it on your Ubuntu 20.04 machine. Duplicity is an open-source tool that helps people create backups of their data. It basically just encrypts the user’s data and stores it into a remote server. It’s a very convenient and smart way to back up data, as it does not only store the data but also any changes made to it in the long run. This attribute makes Duplicity very space-efficient.

      • How to Use Docker Registry?

        Today, we’ll discuss the Docker Registry and how to use it.

        [...]

        We’ll gloss over the detail in this section, but if you’re used to installing such software, you’ll do just fine with the instructions here. We’ll cover the default method to setting up Docker; via the official docker repository…

      • How to Check if a Filesystem is Mounted in Linux?

        We already know that many filesystems are used and supported by the Linux operating system, e.g., ext2, ext3, ext4, FAT16, FAT32, and a lot more. The file system is necessary for working in the Linux and Windows operating systems. If you want to know what type of filesystem your Linux OS supports this article is meant for you. This article will give you a step-by-step guide to know what kind of filesystem is mounted in a Linux operating system.
        To start working, you must have any Linux distribution installed on your system. Login from your Linux system and open the command terminal. Make sure you have the “util-linux” package installed on your system to start checking the mounted filesystem. For this purpose, try the below “apt” command followed by the keyword “install” in a shell. Instantly, the installation will be completed, and you can now check the mounted filesystem.

      • How to Create a New File in Vim?

        Vim is indeed a popular text editor widely used in the command-line interface of Linux operating systems. Since Linux makes heavy use of configuration documents, you’ll have o modify them regularly, and Vim has become an excellent tool for doing so. Vim seems to have a distinct operational technique, with two key modes. One of them is command mode, and the other one is a merge of all additional modes. In this discussion, we will discuss the process of creating a Vim file using the Vim text editor in the Linux System.

    • Games

      • Sid Meier: More than Just Civilization

        Let’s face it. The video games world is not getting any younger, and the most famous creators of yesterday are now well past 60. Sid Meier is no exception. I picked up his memoir and it was a good read. I am now pretty confident that we will see more publications in the same vein, as the age of pioneers reaches an end.

        For Linux gamers, Sid Meier’s current company, Firaxis, is a well known benefactor – one of the few friendly to our cause: Civilization 5, 6, and Beyond Earth have all been ported to Linux by Aspyr with the blessing of Firaxis. Even back in the Loki days, Civilization: Call To Power was one of the first games ported to Linux… while this was not a game by Sid Meier – just one from Activision who had secured the rights to the franchise. This is one of the things you will learn as you go through this memoir.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Budgie Desktop 11 Ditching GNOME in Favor of Qt

        Just a couple of days ago, the lead developer and CEO of Solar project “Local key Doherty” announced major changes in Budgie Desktop 11, with an account of some developments coming along. In that blog, he also made an announcement that took the users by surprise;

        [...]

        That’s right! Budgie is ditching GNOME to make the transition to Qt.

        Ikey remarked that this change would take effect upon the next major release of the software, which effectively discards the components of GNOME architecture.

        Initially, Budgie was designed to work with GNOME software programs, which eventually lead to its full integration into the GNOME software stack.

        This slow and unprecedented integration raised some problems for Solar Project. First, they had to scramble to update Budgie anytime GNOME released an upgrade because the outdated version would cause errors. This started ever since the first version 3.10 of Budgie was made public, and the problem persisted until GNOME 3.22.

        The problems would manifest as API/ABI inconsistencies, elements cluttering each other, clogged workflow, widgets, and template crashes. In some instances, GdkScreen APIs became completely dysfunctional.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Zorin OS 16 beta claims largest built-in app library ‘of any open source desktop ever’

          Zorin OS 16 Linux has moved into beta, promising improved performance and a more extensive application Store covering Flathub and Snap as well as old-style repositories.

          Zorin is a Linux distribution aimed at switchers from Windows or Mac, and endeavours to offer a polished user experience and a minimum of fuss. It is offered in both free and commercial versions, with the paid-for Ultimate Edition priced at £39 ($53), and free Core, Lite and Education editions.

          The Lite edition uses the XFCE minimalist desktop, while the others have a custom GNOME-based desktop GUI. The extras in the Ultimate edition are additional desktop layouts, one imitating macOS, additional bundled applications and games, and installation support. A note on “why does it cost” puts the emphasis on supporting the project rather than the value to the user.

        • Zorin OS 16 Beta Linux distro is here, with Microsoft Windows 10X mode coming soon

          A lot of people hate Windows 10, but I think it is actually quite good. With that said, I’d much rather use a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu or Fedora. With Linux, I feel more safe and secure. No operating system in infallible, but bad guys are more likely to write malware for Windows. Not to mention, Microsoft does “spy” on its users with extreme telemetry. Ultimately, with Linux, I feel like I own my computer. Conversely, with Windows, it can feel like Microsoft owns my PC.

          Understandably, switching from Windows to Linux can be a scary affair, but it doesn’t have to be. Some Linux distributions look a bit like Windows, so there is a degree of familiarity. Not to mention, with so much being done in the web browser nowadays, the underlying operating system becomes less important. In other words, just having Google Chrome available makes Linux a viable option for most home users these days.

        • OSMC: The new video stack for Vero 4K / 4K +

          We’d like to take the time to share a number of improvements that will arrive with our new video stack with Kodi v19 which will benefit Vero 4K and Vero 4K + users. Here are a few of the main improvements:

          3D MVC support

          Support for 3D MVC ISOs and MKV will be supported out of the box as standard. For performance reasons, we would recommend ripping 3D discs as MKVs at this time, as seeking can be delayed when playing ISOs. 3D subtitles are also well supported, with subtitle depth working as expected.

          Better HDR support

          The new stack supports full passthrough of HDR10 and HDR10+ metadata for supported receivers and displays. The HLG EOTF will also be triggered when playing HLG material on a compatible display.

          Furthermore, we have improved the way Vero 4K and 4K + converts from HDR10 to SDR (BT709). With the default setting users should see a slightly brighter render on SDR displays.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 13 released

          Version 13 includes userland configuration changes, application changes, newly replaced software, some deprecated applications and more.

          As part of the userland configuration changes, rc.subr(8) now honors ${name}_env in all rc(8) scripts and init(8), service(8), and cron(8) will now adopt user/class environment variables by default (excluding PATH).

          Also the bc(1) and dc(1) utilities were replaced with new versions which don’t depend on an external large number library, offer GNU bc extensions, are much faster and have fixed POSIX compliance issues of the programs they replace.

          Additional details on the new version are available here.

        • My Dog’s Garage Runs OpenBSD

          I was inspired by the April 2017 article in undeadly.org about getting OpenBSD running on a Raspberry Pi 3B+. My goal was to use a Raspberry Pi running OpenBSD to monitor the temperature in my garage from my home. My dog has his own little “apartment” inside the garage, so I want to keep an eye on the temperature. (I don’t rely on this device. He sleeps inside the house whenever he wants.)

          If anything seems wrongheaded, please chalk it up to a frothy mixture of enthusiasm, ignorance, stubbornness, and “just-because-I-wanted-to-do-it-this-way-ness.”

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM COBOL for Linux on x86 1.1 brings COBOL capabilities to Linux

          As I understand it, there’s still a lot of COBOL code all over the industry, so it makes sense for IBM to make its COBOL technologies available to more people.

        • Red Hat and NEC Corporation Collaborate to Drive Kubernetes-based 5G Adoption

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced a collaboration with NEC Corporation to deliver 5G solutions built on Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform. With NEC’s 5G core network solutions running on Red Hat OpenShift, organizations will be able to capitalize on 5G across a broad set of use cases including 5G core, 5G radio access networks (RANs), edge computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and more, helping them create new revenue opportunities.

        • Red Hat Launches Red Hat Learning Subscription Premium

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the availability of Red Hat Learning Subscription Premium. This new offering, available in North America initially, provides access to self-paced learning experience and access to instructors via live, interactive, virtual classes. Courses cover topics from across Red Hat’s product portfolio and are designed to help individuals and teams keep pace with the evolving technology landscape. This offering will roll out globally in the future.

        • Coding: an opportunity for everyone

          While Covid has hit many industries hard, increasing unemployment numbers and job uncertainty, the demand for technical skills is greater than ever. According to FT analysis nearly 800,000 additional jobs were created in computer programming and related services.

          Red Hat launched new research, which found that one in 20 (5%) of more than 30,000 respondents across Europe have chosen to take up coding as a new skill since the pandemic. Two thirds of them (65%) said their motivation was to reskill for a new job or career.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 16 April 2021

        It’s Friday already –the week has zipped by. Let’s take a look at what the Apache community has been up to:

        The Apache Software Foundation – the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Exploit for Second Unpatched Chromium Flaw Made Public Just After First Is Patched

            A researcher has made public an exploit and details for an unpatched vulnerability affecting Chrome, Edge and other web browsers that are based on the open source Chromium project. This is the second Chromium proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit released this week.

            The second exploit was publicly disclosed by a researcher who uses the online moniker Frust and who works for Chinese cybersecurity company Qihoo 360. Frust announced the availability of an exploit for a “zero-day” Chrome vulnerability on Twitter on Wednesday, and a few hours later published a blog post with a technical description of the vulnerability (in Chinese), which actually exists in the Chromium code.

        • Mozilla

          • New Alpha Release: Tor 0.4.6.2-alpha
          • Mozilla Addons Blog: Built-in FTP implementation to be removed in Firefox 90

            Last year, the Firefox platform development team announced plans to remove the built-in FTP implementation from the browser. FTP is a protocol for transferring files from one host to another.

            The implementation is currently disabled in the Firefox Nightly and Beta pre-release channels and will be disabled when Firefox 88 is released on April 19, 2021. The implementation will be removed in Firefox 90. After FTP is disabled in Firefox, the browser will delegate ftp:// links to external applications in the same manner as other protocol handlers.

      • FSF

        • Stop accusing people of what they didn’t do

          Do you get my analogy here? I hear stories about an autistic person named RMS that he has assaulted women, harassed them, or sexually abused them. When I go and read the stories, I see what Stallman did was to “upset” some people. Not harassment, not assault, but upset.

          Stallman shouted at some people or interrupted them while speaking. He hit on women or asked them out and insisted on that, which made them uncomfortable. If he was doing to me, I would be upset too, but I wouldn’t ever accuse him of assault or harassment. I wouldn’t expect FSF to fire its probably most valuable player that is known for his charity, effort for equality, justice, women’s rights, etc.

          Why people expect FSF to fire its probably best player in history? I don’t understand that.

        • SD Times news digest: Microsoft Team’s new bug bounty program, FSF’s board statement on governance, and Open Source Initiative’s election hacked and remediation [Ed: Almost nobody remember anymore (because of the OSI-led campaign of defamation) that OSI is so defunct it cannot even run its own elections]

          Following a hack that undermined the 2021 Board Election at OSI, the organization released a plan to restore trust among the community in its elections.

          An independent forensic expert will investigate the process and technology. An oversight committee composed of current board members and highly trusted long-term members will receive the forensic report and summarize their findings.

          After that, the board will decide on a course of action and publish the report after adding details about its own deliberations and the election will run again.

        • The Free Software Foundation’s Richard Stallman problem begins and ends with board tenure [Ed: Bezos worker Mac Asay the is latest to attack the FSF. Amazon is in the marketing/affiliated marketing propaganda machine of GAFAM. Remember that Mac Asay tried working for Microsoft and he's the one who brought in Microsoft to the OSI (which it now commandeers to attack the FSF). When monopolies of proprietary software say FSF has a governance problem what they mean to say is that they have a problem with the FSF not taking orders from monopolies and not choosing a composition that harms the FSF's mission.]
        • Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) – Everything You Need to Know

          One thing is sure; FOSS has taken significant strides over the way since the 80s. Apparently, FOSS has been around since the 1950s, when purchased hardware was run by free specialized bundled software.

          Until 1985, Richard Stallman founded the Free Software Foundation that was meant to support the Free Software Movement. FSF committed to Free Software, the one that users could use for free, modify, sturdy, and even share.

          According to Stallman, the main difference between open source and free software is the fact that “open source is ideally a development methodology, while free software is merely a social movement.”

          A year later, FOSS came into the limelight based on four freedoms. The four freedoms of free software were established solely as a result of the free software movement, and they denote what exactly constitutes free software.

          Here are the freedoms;

          Freedom 0 – this is the freedom that allows you to use the program for any purpose; you simply run it as you wish.

          Freedom 1 – it is the freedom to accessing the code. It means that you can study how the program works. Interestingly, you have the freedom to change it to do your computing just as you wish.

          Freedom 2 – this is the freedom to redistribute the copies to others to help them.

          Freedom 3 – it’s the freedom to distribute your copies of modified versions to others. That way, you give the entire community the chance to benefit from the changes you made. A precondition for this is accessing the source code.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • News: Finland implements API framework proposed by the European Commission

            The Ministry of Finance set up the project on opening up and using public data in Finland on 30 April 2020. It will put into effect the aims given in the Government Programme by promoting wider and more effective public data use through society. The project will last until the end of 2022 and aims to promote the coherent use of data and functions, primarily through APIs. At the moment, there are no common principles for API development in the public sector in Finland.

      • Programming/Development

        • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.4.18RC1 and 8.0.5RC1

          Release Candidate versions are available in testing repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests, and also as base packages.

          RPM of PHP version 8.0.5RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-php80-test repository for Fedora 32-34 and Enterprise Linux.

          RPM of PHP version 7.4.18RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 32-34 or remi-php74-test repository for Enterprise Linux.

        • Interpreted vs. compiled languages: What’s the difference?

          At a high level, the difference between a compiled and interpreted language is that an interpreted language is compiled into an intermediary form and not machine code. Compiled code can run faster, but, unlike interpreted code in Java, it is not platform agnostic.

          The code written in a compiled language is converted directly into machine code that is specific to the targeted runtime architecture. Interpreted code is compiled into an intermediary that runs on any architecture.

          But this clear distinction tends to fade when you examine the exact features and potential capabilities of any individual programming language.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: Announcing ‘Introductions to Emacs Speaks Statistics’

          A new website containing introductory videos and slide decks is now available for your perusal at ess-intro.github.io. It provides a series of introductions to the excellent Emacs Speaks Statistics (ESS) mode for the Emacs editor.

          This effort started following my little tips, tricks, tools and toys series of short videos and slide decks “for the command-line and R, broadly-speaking”. Which I had mentioned to friends curious about Emacs, and on the ess-help mailing list. And lo and behold, over the fall and winter sixteen of us came together in one GitHub org and are now proud to present the initial batch of videos about first steps, installing, using with spaceemacs, customizing, and org-mode with ESS. More may hopefully fellow, the group is open and you too can join: see the main repo and its wiki.

          This is in fact the initial announcement post, so it is flattering that we have already received over 350 views, four comments and twenty-one likes.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Proposal for Perl Foundation Memberships

            I believe this to be a wasted opportunity to increase engagement with stake holders in the Perl community, be they individuals, business or other organizations. And also to secure funding for vital Perl related activities arranged by the Perl Foundation.

  • Leftovers

    • Platform Wars Update: Epic Store Losing $330 Million Per Year To Acquire Customers

      It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on how the PC gaming platform war is going. If you’ll recall, the Spring of 2019 saw a new entrant into this ongoing battle, with Epic releasing the Epic Store. Epic’s plan appeared to be essentially a PR battle at first, drawing in the public by proclaiming that Steam’s revenue splits with developers and publishers were bad for the gaming industry and by drawing in publishers and developers with a better version of those splits for them. On top of that, Epic used those splits to gobble up a bunch of exclusive or timed exclusive releases of games, which ended up pissing off many in the gaming public and, of course, Steam. Then came Epic’s free game releases, where the platform worked out deals with publishers to offer up AAA game titles for literally no money as a method for getting gamers to adopt the platform.

    • Twitter permanently suspends Project Veritas’s James O’Keefe

      Twitter on Thursday suspended Project Veritas’s James O’Keefe’s account for violations of “manipulation and spam,” according to the social media platform.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Nobel Laureates, Ex-World Leaders Urge Biden to Back WTO Waiver for Vaccines

        Calling on U.S. President Joe Biden to prioritize human need over corporate greed, more than 170 Nobel laureates and former heads of state and government on Wednesday sent an open letter urging him to back a waiver of intellectual property rules so that developing nations can ramp up coronavirus vaccine production and pursue a people’s vaccine to help end a pandemic that has now claimed nearly three million lives.

      • 60% of US Voters Want Biden to Support Patent Waiver for Covid Vaccines: Poll

        “The world needs it. The people want it. The question is, will President Biden listen?”

        Instead of letting a few pharmaceutical giants retain exclusive and lucrative control over life-saving Covid-19 vaccines, 60% of U.S. voters want President Joe Biden to endorse a motion at the World Trade Organization to temporarily waive coronavirus-related patent protections, a move that health advocates say is a prerequisite to increasing the global supply of doses and equitably distributing them in order to reduce the impact and duration of the pandemic.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Aviation Sector Calls for Unified Cybersecurity Practices to Mitigate Growing Risks

          The latest report, Pathways to a Cyber Resilient Aviation Industry, developed in collaboration with Deloitte, outlines how the industry – from airlines to airports to manufacturing and the supply chain – can work with a common language and baseline of practices. The report focuses on mitigating the impact of future digital threats on multiple levels: [...]

        • Dell finally spins off VMware stake in $9.7B deal

          Dell Technologies said on Wednesday it would spin off its 81% stake in cloud computing software maker VMware to create two standalone public companies in a move that will help the PC maker reduce its pile of debt.

          VMware is currently Dell’s best-performing unit, as it has benefited from companies looking to cut costs and move to the cloud, a shift that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

        • Ransomware Attack Creates Cheese Shortages in Netherlands [iophk: Windows TCO]

          In a local media report spotted by Bitdefender, Verhoeven said he suspected the attackers gained a foothold through a Microsoft Exchange server vulnerability. That would make Bakker Logistek just the latest victim in an onslaught of attacks against Microsoft Exchange servers following the disclosure of the ProxyLogon group of security bugs.

        • Facebook will not notify the 533 million users exposed in online database

          Last weekend, it was reported that a database of records from more than 533 million Facebook accounts — including phone numbers, email addresses, birthdays and other personal details — had been shared online. While the leak did not include sensitive information such as credit card or social security numbers, the data could still be exploited by bad actors.

          Facebook (FB) noted earlier this week that the data was scraped from public profiles on its platform in 2019 using its “contact importer” feature. The company says it quickly made adjustments to the feature to prevent such activity from happening again.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Google/Apple Criticized… For Seeking To Protect Privacy In UK Gov’t Covid Contact Tracing

              There are plenty of legitimate things to complain about regarding some of the big internet companies — but so many people these days view things through a weird prism in which every single action absolutely must be for evil intent, even when it’s actually for a good reason. Sometimes this leads to crazy reactions in which the companies are criticized for doing the exact opposite things, with both approaches being framed as nefarious.

            • EFF Partners with DuckDuckGo to Enhance Secure Browsing and Protect User Information on the Web [Ed: EFF is promoting fake ‘privacy’ by liaising with a Microsoft proxy]

              The  partnership represents the next step in the evolution of HTTPS Everywhere, a collaboration with The Tor Project and a key component of EFF’s effort to encrypt the web and make the Internet ecosystem safe for users and website owners.

              “DuckDuckGo Smarter Encryption has a list of millions of HTTPS-encrypted websites, generated by continually crawling the web instead of through crowdsourcing, which will give HTTPS Everywhere users more coverage for secure browsing,” said Alexis Hancock, EFF Director of Engineering and manager of HTTPS Everywhere and Certbot web encrypting projects. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with DuckDuckGo as we see HTTPS become the default protocol on the net and contemplate HTTPS Everywhere’s future.”

              “ EFFs pioneering work with the HTTPS Everywhere extension took privacy protection in a new and needed direction, seamlessly upgrading people to secure website connections,” said Gabriel Weinberg, DuckDuckGo founder and CEO. “ We’re delighted that EFF has now entrusted DuckDuckGo to power HTTPS Everywhere going forward, using our next generation Smarter Encryption dataset.”

            • HTTPS Everywhere Now Uses DuckDuckGo’s Smarter Encryption [Ed: EFF working for Microsoft proxies now. Since the founder of EFF died (one of 3) the EFF has been a total catastrophe, living of its past reputation.]
            • Private Internet Access Android App is ioXt-Certified

              As part of our efforts to increase the level of security and transparency in our apps and service, Private Internet Access partnered with the ioXt Alliance to test and certify our Android mobile VPN application.

            • Facebook urged to drop Instragram for kids plan

              The Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood claim the social network’s mooted plan to develop a platform for under-13s is dangerous for their wellbeing and privacy.

              In an open letter, the group of 99 public health advocates and organisations warn that the platform would likely be used by young children.

              It is believed that Instagram is already popular with under-13s, despite an age limit on the platform.

            • [Old] S. Africa’s plan to record all babies’ biometrics raises privacy fears

              Plans to photograph and fingerprint every baby born in South Africa for a digital register could lead to data leaks and identity theft without robust safeguards, rights experts said on Thursday.

              The Department of Home Affairs’ new draft policy aims to capture detailed biometrics – unique physical traits – of every child born in South Africa and link this data to parents’ identity numbers, which are printed on all ID documents.

              The government hopes the new registration system will prevent corrupt officials selling birth certificates to foreigners to illegally secure South African citizenship and protect children who otherwise risk going undocumented.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Biden Breaks Campaign Promise, Approves Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia

        Every so often, we get a glimpse at who is actually running this joint.

      • Increasing Pentagon Budget as US Pulls Out of Afghanistan Makes Little Sense

        Congressmember Ro Khanna of California says hundreds of billions of dollars in annual defense spending could be better used on diplomacy, humanitarian aid, public health and other initiatives. He’s one of 50 House Democrats who signed a letter to President Joe Biden in March urging a “significantly reduced” Pentagon budget, which has grown to over $700 billion. “The Pentagon increases make no sense,” says Khanna. “If you’re ending the forever war in Afghanistan … then why are we increasing, at the same time, the defense budget?” Khanna also discusses the Saudi-led, U.S.-backed war in Yemen, a major U.S. arms deal with the United Arab Emirates and more.

      • Opinion | Armed Racism Keeps No One Safe

        A completely different form of public safety and order must emerge, transcending this armed authoritarianism with deeply racist roots.

        “Get out of the car! Get out of the car NOW!!”

      • Footage of Chicago Police Shooting 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo Fuels Outrage

        “If you’re shooting an unarmed child with his hands in the air, it is an assassination,” said an attorney for the boy’s family.

        Editor’s note: The video at the end of this article contains graphic and violent content.

      • Tax Resisters Divert Their Money From War to Human Welfare

        President Biden’s foreign policy to date is largely indistinguishable from Trump’s. His administration hasn’t reversed tortuous sanctions against Iran, the United States continues to bomb Somalia , and there ’ s no indication that the U.S. will shutter any of its 800 military bases around the world. In February, Biden authorized airstrikes in Syria, killing at least 22 people. His “ national security” team is as hawkish as they come. Biden broke with Trump ’ s policies when he announced that the U.S. would leave Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, continuing the military presence there four months later than the May 1 deadline Trump set with the Taliban.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Families Should Expect Child Tax Credit Payments Starting in July, IRS Says

        The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced this week that it would likely be able to start sending out checks to families that are eligible for a child tax credit that was included in an economic stimulus bill that passed earlier this year.

      • Billionaires’ Pandemic Profits Alone Could Pay for Most of Infrastructure Plan

        The wealth of U.S. billionaires has grown tremendously during the pandemic, and the increase in their wealth alone could pay for a majority of President Joe Biden’s new infrastructure and jobs plan, finds a new report by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

      • Support for Infrastructure Plan Goes Up When Corporate Tax Increase Is Mentioned

        New polling suggests that President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan is, for the most part, well received by the American people. But support for the plan appears to grow when voters are told that it would be paid for in part by raising taxes on corporations.

      • American Universities Are Buried Under a Mountain of Debt

        Joe Biden’s election gave some a glimmer of hope that the current $1.8 trillion mountain of student debt might finally be eliminated. Pressure from social movement groups, including the Movement for Black Lives and the Debt Collective, alongside progressive politicians such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Jamaal Bowman, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have made the once-utopian demand for full student debt cancellation into a distinct political possibility. Biden, however, has shown only lukewarm resolve. His call during the campaign for $10,000 of debt cancellation only meagerly addresses the magnitude of the problem, especially the disproportionate burden held by Black borrowers. What’s more, his administration’s persistent dismissal of calls for greater relief suggests a broader adherence to the neoliberal model of higher education, in which higher education is a private commodity—rather than a public good funded by the state. While student debt—the tip of higher ed’s austerity crisis—is a widely discussed problem, little awareness exists of the “other college debt crisis”: institutional debt.

        Between 2003 and 2016, institutional debt at public and community colleges more than doubled, rising from $73 billion to $151 billion. In that time, interest payments on this debt nearly doubled as well. These loans are not innocuous sources of financing for our institutions. Legally binding debt service obligations stipulate that repayments must be an institution’s first budgetary priority; debt covenants constitute powerful drivers of university austerity. Thus, when institutions encounter financial troubles (such as a global pandemic), they must respond first and foremost to their obligations to creditors before addressing the needs of the educational communities they serve. Over the past year, for example, colleges and universities have experienced dramatic cuts including program eliminations, faculty and staff layoffs and furloughs, and tuition hikes. Meanwhile, universities continue to pay their creditors millions in interest and fees.

      • Kyrsten Sinema Exploring Federal Minimum Wage of $11, Lower Than Her Own State’s

        Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) is teaming up with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) to form a bipartisan minimum-wage raise to counter the $15 federal minimum wage favored by progressives, the White House and the U.S. public . But the wage that Romney and Sinema are reportedly advocating for is lower than the minimum wage in Sinema’s own state.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • New York State Hands Billions Back to Wealthy Investors—and NYT Doesn’t See a Story

        New York State Assemb. Phil Steck had an idea. A great many Democrats have agreed that the state needs more revenue, not just to avoid budget cuts but to augment services and fund education. New Yorkers already fund the state through income taxes and sales taxes; the legalization of marijuana adds another “sin tax.” Shouldn’t the state, he said, also take a tiny slice out of stock trades?

      • Democrats in Congress Are Planning to Move Ahead on Expanding the Supreme Court

        Democratic lawmakers in Congress are expected to announce legislation that would add four more seats to the United States Supreme Court.

      • US Further Punishes Russia for Cyberattacks, Election Meddling

        The United States is taking action to punish Russia for what it describes as “harmful foreign activities,” including cyberattacks, election meddling and aggression in the Crimea region.

        Thirty-two entities and individuals linked to Moscow are being sanctioned for disinformation efforts and interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. 

        Ten personnel from Russia’s diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C., were expelled, including “representatives of Russian intelligence services,” according to the White House.

      • How America Betrayed Reality Winner

        A new documentary sheds light on the former NSA contractor who was locked up for leaking evidence that the Russians had interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

      • New documentary chronicles Reality Winner’s case, includes exclusive FBI interrogation audio

        As an independent filmmaker and investigative journalist, Sonia Kennebeck has always looked for interesting and compelling stories, so, when she heard about Reality Winner, she immediately started to pay attention.

        “Since national security whistleblowers are so incredibly rare because of the higher risk involved, we immediately paid attention,” Kennebeck said. “Even though we were in a production for another film, we immediately started discussing it, paid attention, did research.”

        For the past three years, Kennebeck has been working on a new documentary, “United States VS. Reality Winner”, which premiered Wednesday at South by Southwest Film Festival. The documentary chronicles Winner’s arrest for leaking a classified document to the online news publication, The Intercept, to her pleading guilty and being sentenced to 63 months in prison for violating the federal Espionage Act.

      • SXSW Online 2021: United States vs. Reality Winner Review

        United States vs. Reality Winner works as a standard documentary, featuring the usual interviews with prominent figures and focusing on Winner’s family as they fight for their daughter’s release. Despite unearthed FBI footage of her interrogation and arrest, the film fails to approach the important questions such as the who, how, and why of what happened. One can’t help but feel for Winner and her willingness to put her country above herself and to a lesser extent, Winner’s family and how they care about their daughter but in the end, there was simply an inability to connect with the film as a whole on a deeper emotional level.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Truth or Fake: Did the Queen and Prince Philip once bow to Ethiopia’s emperor?

        The France 24 Observers team contacted the Meredith consortium that now owns digital versions of Time magazine. They confirmed that the photo is from their collection, and that it does not feature the British monarch. At the time of this article’s publication, they were not able to confirm the identity of the two individuals bowing to the Ethiopian royals.

      • Historians concerned as China launches ‘distortion’ hotline

        A call by the Chinese government for citizens to report to a new hotline anyone who “misrepresents” the country’s history could place further restrictions on university teaching, especially online, professors have warned.

        The Cyberspace Administration of China announced that people should report anyone who “distorts” the history, politics or leadership of the Communist Party (CCP) or “defames national heroes”. “Some with ulterior motives…have been spreading historical nihilistic misrepresentations online, maliciously distorting, denigrating and negating the history of the party,” said the notice.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Can Hate Speech be Banned on Social Media?

        Let’s look at regulating free speech on social media from the perspectives of the courts and Congress. The first is concerned with legal precedents, the latter with the politics of passing legislation. But both are about determining who will exercise political power in defining what can of free speech is allowed on the internet.

        The Courts Perspective 

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Turkey frees journalist Altan after European rights court ruling

        A Turkish court on Wednesday released journalist and novelist Ahmet Altan after more than four years in prison on charges of involvement in a failed 2016 coup attempt that he had always denied.

        The Court of Cassation ruling came a day after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) demanded the 71-year-old’s freedom in a verdict that accused Turkey of violating his civil rights.

      • Reuters finally decides to charge you for its online news stories with a paywall

        Reuters.com draws 41 million unique visitors monthly, according to the company, but it has not charged for access like other news sites in its business-centric niche have done for some time. It will let users read five stories a month for free and plans to charge $34.99 a month for a subscription. That’s a bit pricier than a sub to The New York Times ($18.42 / month) but closer to similar news organizations of its type, including The Wall Street Journal ($38.99 / month), which put its paywall up in 1996, and Bloomberg.com ($34.99 / month), which added a paywall in 2018.

        Reuters said it generates half of its revenue from its largest client, the financial data firm Refinitiv, and also makes money from online advertising. The company says it has redesigned its website with a “professional audience” in mind and plans investment in segments like legal news and live streams of its events.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Private Prison Company On The Hook For Legal Fees After Suing Investment Group For Saying It Was Doing Stuff It Was Actually Doing

        Private prison company CoreCivic has just learned a civics lesson. [I'll show myself out.] Possibly a very expensive one.

      • Proctoring Tools and Dragnet Investigations Rob Students of Due Process

        The Boston Globe explains that the medical school administration’s attempts to detect supposed cheating have become a flashpoint on campus, exemplifying a worrying trend of schools prioritizing misleading data over the word of their students. The misguided dragnet investigation has cast a shadow over the career aspirations of over twenty medical students.

        Dartmouth medical school has cast suspicion on students by relying on access logs that are far from concrete evidence of cheating

        In March, Dartmouth’s Committee on Student Performance and Conduct (CSPC) accused several students of accessing restricted materials online during exams. These accusations were based on a flawed review of an entire year’s worth of the students’ log data from Canvas, the online learning platform that contains class lectures and information. This broad search was instigated by a single incident of confirmed misconduct, according to a contentious town hall  between administrators and students (we’ve re-uploaded this town hall, as it is now behind a Dartmouth login screen). These logs show traffic between students’ devices and specific files on Canvas, some of which contain class materials, such as lecture slides. At first glance, the logs showing that a student’s device connected to class files would appear incriminating: timestamps indicate the files were retrieved while students were taking exams. 

      • Bezos says Amazon workers aren’t treated like robots, unveils robotic plan to keep them working

        To address concerns about working conditions, Bezos said the company will develop new staffing schedules “that use sophisticated algorithms to rotate employees among jobs that use different muscle-tendon groups to decrease repetitive motion and help protect employees from MSD risks.” The technology will roll out throughout 2021, he said.

      • Chauvin decides not to testify at George Floyd murder trial

        The prosecution and defense in Chauvin’s trial rested on Thursday after the state called a final witness and Chauvin said he would exercise his constitutional right against self-incrimination.

        [...]

        A bystander video of the arrest went viral and sparked protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States and around the world.

        Cahill gave the nine-woman, five-man jury a day off on Friday before closing arguments Monday.

      • Mother of Seven Wounded, Loses Family for Becoming Christian

        The Muslim relatives entered the church building with sticks and the Somali sword. Naibira said the pastor and some church elders tried to protect her but were overpowered, and the assailants forced her into a van and drove her to a nearby forest.

        “They started beating me with sticks, then my husband cut me with the Somali sword at the thigh and the back,” she said. “I regained consciousness only after several hours.”

        A passing herdsman found her lying in a pool of blood at about 3 p.m., and he and others took the still unconscious Naibira to a clinic in nearby Kityerera town.

      • Inspecting the NYPD “Puzzle Palace”

        When Deputy Chief Michael Osgood, then head of the New York Police Department’s Special Victims Division, got word that the city’s Inspector General wanted to review his records in 2017, he didn’t think twice about cooperating.

        For years, Osgood had been pleading with police leadership to get the staffing and resources necessary for his division to investigate sexual assaults. When its overworked and inexperienced officers interviewed survivors, they were forced to do so in the hot, cramped bullpens of dilapidated precincts, within earshot of other detectives and in view of the holding cells. Even the suspects could catch the eye of those being interviewed. Advocates pointed to these indignities as a reason people were reluctant to report sex crimes or became disengaged once investigations had begun.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Ian Jackson: Dreamwidth blocking many RSS readers and aggregators

        There is a serious problem with Dreamwidth, which is impeding access for many RSS reader tools.
        This started at around 0500 UTC on Wednesday morning, according to my own RSS reader cron job. A friend found #43443 in the DW ticket tracker, where a user of a minority web browser found they were blocked.

        Local tests demonstrated that Dreamwidth had applied blocking by the HTTP User-Agent header, and were rejecting all user-agents not specifically permitted. Today, this rule has been relaxed and unknown user-agents are permitted. But user-agents for general http client libraries are still blocked.

        I’m aware of three unresolved tickets about this: #43444 #43445 #43447

        We’re told there by a volunteer member of Dreamwidth’s support staff that this has been done deliberately for “blocking automated traffic”. I’m sure the volunteer is just relaying what they’ve been told by whoever is struggling to deal with what I suppose is probably a spam problem. But it’s still rather unsatisfactory.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Amazon Prime Passes 200 Million Subscribers

        Amazon now has more than 200 million subscribers to its Amazon Prime service, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote in his annual letter to shareholders Thursday.

        Amazon Prime Video programming is included in the larger Prime subscription, making it one of the most widely-available premium streaming services in the world. Prime passed 150 million subscribers in January 2020.

    • Monopolies

      • Epic Games and Apple submit exhibit lists to U.S. court in preparation of May antitrust trial

        Epic Games and Apple just submitted to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California their exhibit lists for next month’s App Store antitrust trial. There are two lists per party: an exhibit list (text documents, such as emails), and an audiovisual exhibit list.

        At the moment I don’t have any particular comment, but with so many people being interested in the case, I just wanted to publish those lists here.

      • Patents

        • Protecting Artificial Intelligence Inventions in the UK [Ed: It is unhelpful when they call everything "hey hi", conflating computer-generated stuff with patents on algorithms and all sorts of other issues with a plethora of legal abuses]

          The majority of respondents indicated that the difficulty in getting patents was a problem for the AI sector. The impact of the patent exclusions was a main concern, although the general view was that there was no need to change UK law. Many respondents did, however, feel that the UK IPO should change its practice on patent exclusion, particularly to bring it more in line with the EPO.

          A specific gripe related to the UK IPO’s practice of refusing search requests for AI inventions, in contrast to the more permissive approach adopted by the EPO. The importance of search results in assessing filing strategies for other countries was emphasised.

          In terms of infringement, there was agreement that legal persons (individual or legal entity) should be liable when AI infringes a patent, which is in keeping with current practice. However, the challenges in establishing infringement by AI was considered as problematic as when trying to do so with other technologies. The UK IPO intends to let the courts use their flexibility to make decisions based on the facts of the case and therefore does not intend to intervene in this area.

        • Servier Urges Top UK Court To Dismiss Drug Patent Fight

          A French pharmaceutical company told Britain’s highest court on Thursday that allowing the National Health Service’s lawsuit over the sale of a blood pressure drug to proceed requires the court to defy public policy.

          Servier is fighting a bid by the NHS to revive its damages claim. The health authority alleges that the pharma company breached competition law and caused it loss by deceiving the European Patents Office and the English courts into initially backing a patent for the drug Coversyl despite knowing the design was invalid.

        • Boards of Appeal reduces case backlog, despite pandemic challenges [Ed: JUVE has been reduced to EPO propaganda site, refusing to cover any of the BoA scandals and instead issuing puff pieces like this one]

          The European Patent Office Boards of Appeal has published its annual report 2020. It was a year which both helped and hindered the organisation’s ability to implement its five-year strategy.

          The Boards of Appeal, which is the first and final judicial instance before the EPO, is bound only by the European Patent Convention. As such, it acts – and is situated – almost independently of the EPO in Munich. Over the past year, the coronavirus pandemic has necessitated organisational and structural changes to its running, as well as to its long-term strategy.

          Despite the global pandemic, the Boards of Appeal has decreased its backlog of pending cases by 10.3%, from 9,234 technical appeals in 2019 to 8,280 in 2020. Technical appeals constitute the vast majority of Boards of Appeal cases, with the organisation thus using them as a yardstick for the development of work.

        • Supreme Court on Patent Law for April 2021

          Here is a rundown of what’s happening with US Supreme Court cases:

          Decided: The court recently decided Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc., holding that Google’s use of Oracle’s Java API was a fair use and therefore not copyright infringement. The court made no determination as to whether the API was actually copyrightable in the first place. The case does not expressly decide any patent law issues, but does provide some guidance as to how courts should approach mixed questions of law and fact (such as claim construction) and the right to a jury trial. The jury trial issue was interesting. Although a number of juries were given fair use questions pre-1791, the court held that our current version of fair use claims its ancestry from the equity rather than common law. Thus, no right to a jury trial on the question of fair use under the Seventh Amendment. “In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved.”

          Argued: On March 1, 2021, the court heard oral arguments in US v. Arthrex regarding it is proper for the Secretary of Commerce to appoint the PTAB judges as inferior officers of the United States. Or, instead, are they principal officers of the United States that must be appointed by the US President and confirmed by the Senate (as we do with Article III judges). Nobody likes the Federal Circuit’s decision, and the question really is which way it should fall. (My guess is that these judges will be seen as inferior officers). I expect that part of the majority decision (whichever way it goes) will involve interpreting the role and involvement of the PTO Director in PTAB decisions. An inferior officer decision will interpret the statute as providing the PTO director with substantial authority; a principal officer decision will downplay the role of the PTO director. Decision should be released by Mid-June 2021.

          [...]

          Obviousness: Amarin Pharma, Inc., et al. v. Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., et al., No. 20-1119 (secondary indicia); Sandoz Inc., et al. v. Immunex Corporation, et al., No. 20-1110 (obviousness type double patenting).

        • Procedural Denials at the PTAB – Here to Stay? [Ed: Attempts to lower patent quality and help litigation fanatics by basically denying access to justice or scrutiny of fake patents]

          Recently, the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) has issued significantly more procedural denials of IPRs, including those based on the NHK Spring1 and Fintiv2 decisions. In response, petitioners have tried a variety of tactics to reduce the risk of a NHK Spring/Fintiv procedural denial. However, upcoming changes in USPTO leadership and policy may change this.

          Patent practitioners continue to strategize to overcome these procedural denials. Some patterns have emerged that provide potential guidance in this space. From these patterns, as detailed below, we are able to gain insight into PTAB’s methodology and tips on how to best structure IPRs to minimize the risks of a denial based on NHK Spring/Fintiv.

        • FTC Prevails in Reverse Payment Case

          The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) spent the better part of a decade attacking the practice of innovator drug companies settling ANDA litigation by providing payments to generic applicants challenging the validity of Orange Book-listed patents (see “The FTC’s Thinking Does Not Make It So Regarding Reverse Payment Agreements”; “Federal Trade Commission Issues Report on Reverse Settlement Agreements in FY2010″; “FTC Releases Another Report on Reverse Payment Settlement Agreements in ANDA Litigation”; “The FTC Is at It Again”). These agreements were termed “reverse payment” settlements because unlike in most patent suits, the defendant secured a payment from the patentee (as part of its campaign, the FTC termed these “pay-for-delay” agreements). The Commission persisted in its efforts despite most Federal Courts of Appeal deciding that, rather than being anticompetitive, the agreements frequently resulted in generic drugs coming to market much earlier than would be expected (see Valley Drug Co. v. Geneva Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 344 F.3d 1294 (11th Cir. 2003); Schering-Plough Corp. v. Federal Trade Commission, 402 F.3d 1056 (11th Cir. 2005); In re Tamoxifen Citrate Antitrust Litigation, 466 F.3d 187 (2d Cir. 2006); In re Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride Antitrust Litigation, 544 F.3d 1323 (Fed. Cir. 2008); Arkansas Carpenters Health & Welfare Fund v. Bayer AG, 604 F.3d 98, 105 (2d Cir. 2010); and Federal Trade Commission v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (11th Cir. 2012)). One basis for the FTC’s persistence was the belief that branded drug companies settled because they were aware that their patents were invalid and thus improperly tried to extend their “monopoly”; of course this position supposed not only that innovator drug companies were willing to contravene the antitrust laws but perhaps more importantly that the Commission’s bureaucrats had a better understanding of the pharmaceutical industry than the executives making the decisions. Persistence being what it is, the FTC finally prevailed in finding a Circuit Court (the Third) to accept its arguments (see “The Federal Trade Commission Finally Wins One”), leading to the Supreme Court deciding the issue in FTC v. Actavis.

          [...]

          Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Impax delayed its launch until January 1, 2013, 30 months later than any “at risk” launch scenario without the agreement. Endo agreed not to bring its own branded generic to market in competition with Impax’s product until after the 180-day exclusivity period had passed (July 1, 2013). Endo also agreed to pay Impax a “credit” should its own Opana ER sales fall by 50% or more after the parties entered into the agreement and before Impax’s generic entered the market (as a result, inter alia, of Endo’s product hop). Endo also broadly licensed its relevant patents to Impax, and entered into an agreement to co-develop a Parkinson’s disease drug, funded in part by a $10 million payment to Impax with provisions for up to an additional $30 million depending on development of the new product. As a consequence of Endo’s product hop, Impax was entitled to and received $102 million in credits due to the shrinking market share of the original Opana ER formulation. The product hop formulation proved to have its own safety concerns, however, and Endo withdrew it from the market in 2017. The result is that “Impax’s generic is the only extended-release oxymorphone available to consumers today.”

          The FTC brought actions separately against Endo and Impax; Endo settled and Impax put up a fight. While the Administrative Law Judge found that the agreement’s procompetitive benefits outweighed any anticompetitive effects the Commission decided otherwise, leading to this appeal (in the form of a petition for the Court to overrule the Commission).

      • Copyrights

        • France Plans To Repeat Hadopi’s Costly Mistakes By Turning It Into An Even Bigger, Even More Wrong-headed Anti-Piracy Body Called Arcom

          Techdirt covered the story of France’s “three strikes” law, later known as Hadopi, from the body overseeing it, for over ten years. What became a long-running farce eventually cost French taxpayers €82 million, and generated just €87,000 in fines. A rational government might draw the obvious conclusion that trying to stamp out unauthorized downloads using the crude instrument of fines and threats was the wrong approach. Oddly, though, the French government has decided that Hadopi was such a stunning, and embarrassing failure, it wants to do it again, but on an even grander scale, as a story on Euractiv reports:

The EFF Attacks Software Freedom and Promotes Fake Privacy Linked to Microsoft

Posted in Deception, EFF, Microsoft at 5:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

EFF MicrosoftSummary: Only weeks after attacking Software Freedom (the ad hominem way, which is easier) the EFF endorses a Microsoft-linked privacy abuse, misframing it as some sort of privacy champion

THE EFF has been hugely disappointing in recent years. It attacked some prominent journalists and bloggers, it gave awards to Microsoft employees (who attack privacy), and it now promotes a Microsoft-linked privacy scam called DuckDuckGo, even twice in 2 days [1, 2]. The EFF should really know better, but maybe it’s just into money (like the money it raises from privacy abusers) instead of principles.

“Pentagon-funded corporations funnel some of their money to the EFF.”Yesterday the EFF also spoke about “due process”, but the EFF does not truly believe in that either. That’s why it’s attacking the FSF and relaying defamation for trial by (social control) media. It’s actively attacking Software Freedom while today’s EFF staff promotes censorship, Apple Macs, and all sorts of “apps” that are proprietary software. It’s almost heart-breaking to see what the EFF has turned into, as I know people who used to donate to the EFF, which is now promoting fake ‘privacy’ by liaising with a Microsoft proxy (past EFF donors were GNU/Linux users). If the EFF is working for Microsoft proxies, what message does that send to past and present donors? That’s even worse than Startpage. Since the founder of the EFF died (one of 3 founders but nevertheless the leading person) the EFF has been a total catastrophe, living or milking off its past reputation. It has more than $40,000,000 in the bank and it seems like it’s looking for more money in all the wrong places. Does it even need donors anymore? Pentagon-funded corporations funnel some of their money to the EFF.

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