Links 28/12/2021: New antiX Kernels, Self-Hosted ‘Home Assistant’

Posted in News Roundup at 9:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Kernel prepatch 5.16-rc7

        The 5.16-rc7 kernel prepatch is out for testing. “Obviously the holidays are a big reason it’s all small, so it’s not like this is a sign of us having found all bugs, and we’ll keep at this for at least two more weeks”.

      • Latest antiX kernels

        Latest antiX kernels should now be in the repos.
        All users are strongly advised to upgrade (via synaptic, cli-aptiX or package-installer).

      • Apple Broadcom Wi-Fi Chips Now Supported in Linux on T2 and M1 Macs

        Hector Martin, the guy behind the Linux port for Silicon Macs, announced on Twitter over the weekend that has added support for Apple Broadcom Wi-Fi chips used in T2 and M1 Macs.

    • Applications

      • My 40 most favorite applications for Linux in 2021

        And so we reached the end of my best apps list and preferred app list for the year 2021. A list that is of course personal to me and can look different for everyone else. But by sharing this kind of information and the reasoning behind my choices, I hope I can help some of you start using applications that you may not have known or considered using. Next to creating my own, I also like to read these kinds of lists from others, because it gives me new ideas and keeps the drive to keep trying new things and investigating new things, alive. If you want to share your list, please feel free via my contact page.

        Linux and everything around it is a fantastic hobby for me and I notice that others get excited when I talk to them about the possibilities of Linux. Only if we share our enthusiasm with friends, colleagues, etc, is it possible to turn what I believe to be the wrong image of Linux in the right direction, namely a productive, simple, beautiful and user-friendly platform, as the old image of too technical, too complex and not user-friendly has long been gone.

        To end this article, I wish you fun trying out some of the applications from this list and I hope to talk to you again soon via a new article. I wish you a good end of 2021 and much love and health to your friends and family.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install MariaDB 10.7 on openSUSE Leap 15

        MariaDB is one of the most popular open-source databases next to its originator MySQL. The original creators of MySQL developed MariaDB in response to fears that MySQL would suddenly become a paid service due to Oracle acquiring it in 2010. With its history of doing similar tactics, the developers behind MariaDB have promised to keep it open source and free from such fears as what has happened to MySQL.

        MariaDB has become just as popular as MySQL with developers, with advanced clustering with Galera Cluster 4, faster cache/indexes, storage engines, and features/extensions that you won’t find in MySQL.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install MariaDB 10.7 on openSUSE Leap 15.

      • How to Set Up and Configure OpenVPN Server and Client on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        So, in this guide you will learn how to Set Up and Configure OpenVPN Server and Client on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        Open source OpenVPN uses VPN technologies to secure and encrypt data sent over the internet. Its custom VPN protocol uses SSL/TLS for key exchange and released under the GNU GPL license.

      • How To Install Zoom Client on Fedora 35 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Zoom Client on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Zoom application is one of the most popular applications these days. The Zoom cloud meetings application provides simplified video conferencing with real-time messaging and content sharing over the internet. It provides free video call, chat, and remote desktop sharing services but with time and participant limitations. The users with paid subscriptions can host a meeting of up to 1000 people with no time restriction. You can easily download Zoom on your PC to start video conferencing with your colleagues and friends around the world.

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

      • How to Create Librem File Backups – Purism

        Backing up and restoring your Librem devices can all be done with the same backups application. It’s always secure to keep a recent backup in case you lose or damage your device. To get started, you’ll need your device (of course!) and an external hard drive or a remote Nextcloud supporting WebDAV.

      • How to install FL Studio 20 on a Chromebook with Crossover 21 – Updated Tutorial

        Today we are looking at how to install FL Studio 20 on a Chromebook with Crossover 21. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to upgrade to Krita 5.0 on Linux

        Krita 5.0 is out for Linux users, and it is packed with new and exciting features. If you’ve been looking to upgrade to 5.0, this guide will help! Follow along as we show you how you can upgrade to Krita 5.0 on Linux!

      • How to upload photos to Flickr from the Linux desktop

        Krita 5.0 is out for Linux users, and it is packed with new and exciting features. If you’ve been looking to upgrade to 5.0, this guide will help! Follow

      • Install SQLite on Debian 11 / Ubuntu 20.04 – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hello, friends. Although the database industry is dominated on a large scale by solutions such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL Server or Oracle, there are also alternatives for different projects. One of these solutions is SQLite. So, in this post, you will learn how to install SQLite on Debian / Ubuntu and take the first steps with this program.

      • How to Install Fedora Workstation 35 from USB

        Fedora is one of the most stable and bleeding edge Linux distributions. It’s great for software development, web development, multimedia, office works, and many more.

        Fedora Workstation 35 is the latest version of Fedora Linux distribution. Fedora Workstation 35 features the latest version of the GNOME Desktop Environment – GNOME 41. It also has lots of updated software packages.

        In this article, I am going to show you how to create a Fedora Workstation 35 bootable USB thumb drive and install Fedora Workstation 35 on your computer from the USB thumb drive. So, let’s get started.

      • How to install Gnome 41 in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS using PPA – Linux Shout

        While doing this tutorial, Gnome 41 was not still available for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal using the official APT repository. However, we can install Gnome on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal fossa using an unofficial PPA. And here we let you know how to do that?

        Similar to KDE, Gnome has existed for over two decades and has reinvented itself several times during this time. The previous major version of Gnome, 40th, also brought significant visual changes compared to the previous version.

        The Gnome project has released version 41 of its Linux / Unix desktop. In addition to a significantly improved settings dialog, it offers an improved calendar application, “Connections” for remote connections to other computers, and improvements to the Nautilus file manager. On top of that, the developers promise more oomph through various performance improvements.

      • How to Install Mattermost on Debian 11 | RoseHosting

        Mattermost is a self-hosted and open-source online chat service designed to be used as an internal chat platform for companies and organizations. It is one of the main alternatives to the Slack Chat and Microsoft Teams platforms.

      • How To Eliminate All Screen Tearing On Linux – Invidious

        Screen Tearing on linux can be increidbly annoying but it doesn’t have to be there, in fact there’s a way to just turn it off and no longer have to deal with it.

      • Using two-factor authentication with Ubuntu 21.04

        The following guide explains how to use the Google Authenticator PAM module on Ubuntu for both SSH and sudo authentication. Usernames and passwords can undoubtedly be broken utilizing plenty of hacking methods. So, any organization or element that seriously treats security needs to carry out 2-Factor confirmation.

        In addition to the conventional password provided. An extra layer of authentication will be added for SSH. That extra layer will be Google authenticator. Where using google authenticator the password will be generated on your mobile device. This will add an extra layer of security while accessing your server using SSH. This two-factor authentication system will improve the security liability of the server or other related resources.

        So, in our scenario, we will be using SSH and Ubuntu 21.04 for demonstration purposes. A smart device installed with Google Authenitcator is required, android in our case.

      • Set Up Open VPN Server and Client on CentOS 8. – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        In this post, you will learn how to set up Open VPN Server and Client on CentOS 8.

        A virtual private network extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.

      • How to Utilize Kubectl in Verbose Log Level

        Kubernetes is the foundation for handling the containerized submissions through numerous hosts and provides a simple appliance for organizing, maintaining, and scrabbling the applications. Kubernetes is a helpful tool for arranging and handling the applications. However, even experienced Kubernetes devotees agree that Kubernetes placements and debugging broken pods can be difficult. This is due to the dispersed nature of Kubernetes that marks it as difficult to imitate the particular problem and define the reason.

        Whether fixing the application in Kubernetes or on a computer, it’s important to ensure that the process stays the same. The tools used are identical, but Kubernetes is used to examine the form and outputs. We can utilize kubectl to begin the debugging procedure at any time or utilize some debugging tools. This article describes certain common strategies that we utilize to fix the Kubernetes placement and some definite faults we can assume.

        In addition, we learn how to organize and manage Kubernetes clusters and how to arrange the whole policy to the cloud with constant assimilation and continuous distribution. In this tutorial, we are going to discuss further the Kubernetes clusters and the method of debugging and retrieving the logs from the application.

      • The Kubectl Debug Feature

        A common problem with new Kubernetes installations is when a service is not performing properly. You have created a service and run your Pods via a deployment or another task controller. However, nothing happens when you try to access it. In this post, we will explain the background of debugging, a new feature in kubectl. Each Pod in Kubernetes runs as a docker container, which is separated using the Linux namespace isolation feature. For processes, each container has its filesystem. The debug capability automates container attachment and namespace sharing with a single command and no manifest files.

        Every developer and DevOps engineer who works with Kubernetes has to debug containerized workloads and Pods daily. Simple kubectl logs or kubectl describe Pods can often pinpoint the source of a problem. However, certain issues are more difficult to track down. You could attempt kubectl exec in certain cases. However, even that might not be adequate because some containers, such as Distroless, don’t even have a shell that you can SSH into. So, if all of the foregoing fails, what are our options? The kubectl debug, as a new instruction added not long ago (v1.18), would be the right tool for troubleshooting workloads on Kubernetes.

      • Kubectl Exec Command With Arguments

        The kubectl exec command creates easy to accomplish tasks remotely within the current container of the pod. If we want to see the contents, status, and environment of the container, it is simple. The kubectl exec command is a lifesaver for all users who frequently interrelate with containerized Kubernetes requests. We can examine and fix the app by running different commands in the container. Kubectl is one of the tools for running Kubernetes commands.

        In this article, we are going to describe the syntax of kubectl, actions of different commands, and common instances. We have to create the situation on the container for the procedure to run effectively. The real purpose of using the shell script is to construct the environment according to the requirement and start the core procedure. When using this procedure, shell scripts are assigned PID 1 instead of a method. Therefore, we must operate the exec command to begin the procedure. This is the built-in instruction of the shell script. The exec instruction substitutes the script with the required application. At that time, PID 1 is directed to the procedure. This artifact gives specifics on how to use the kubectl exec command.

      • Kubectl Ignore Certificate

        TLS encryption is an essential requirement of a secure system. This system spontaneously supports TLS termination/HTTP. This simplifies TLS encryption and centralizes TLS termination for every resource in Kubernetes. This instinctive certificate management is useful for simple TLS configurations in a cluster. However, open-source representatives access the requirements provided by the certificate to activate TLS. In this article, we describe the procedure of assisting TLS using a certificate formed by using the OpenSSL service.

      • How to Run the Kubectl Exec Commands

        When we make a pod, we have to define the commands and parameters for the containers running on the pod. Before starting a command, we add a field of command to the conformation file. To describe the command and parameters, we have to add the args field to the conformation file. We cannot modify the definite commands and arguments once the pod is formed. The commands and parameters described in the configuration file supersede the default commands and parameters delivered through the container image. When we state an argument but not a command, the definite command is utilized with a different argument. Command fields relate to specific container’s runtime entry points. We will make a pod that runs a different container. The pod’s configuration folder states the command and parameters.

        A kubectl command-line service is an influential tool that we can utilize to build items and interrelate through the Kubernetes API. Though by this time, it makes sense to run the kubectl commands, which are applied to every Kubernetes item. In this article, we are going to discuss kubectl exec multiple commands.

      • How to Delete a Node in Kubernetes

        Kubernetes manages your workload by dividing it into Pods that execute on Nodes. A node might be a physical or virtual machine, as it completely depends on the cluster. The control plane manages each node, containing the services required to execute Pods. In a cluster, there are usually numerous nodes. However, in a learning or resource-limited context, there may be only one node. The kubelet, the kube-proxy, and a container runtime are all installed on a node. Using the kubectl commands, you can easily delete a pod from a Kubernetes node. Before you delete a pod, however, you should go through the following steps. This article will provide the complete guidelines on how to delete a Kubernetes node.

        We have implemented this tutorial on an Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system. You can also do the same. Let’s get the minikube cluster up and running on an Ubuntu 20.04 Linux server by using the attached command.

      • How to create temporary files using mktemp on Linux

        Temporary files and directories are very important: they can be used from shell scripts for example, to store information which are necessary to complete some tasks and can be safely removed once the work is done. In this tutorial we will see how to safely create temporary files and directories using the mktemp utility on Linux.

      • Introduction to crypttab with examples

        In a Linux based operating system, the crypttab file (/etc/crypttab), is used to store static information about encrypted block devices which are meant to be set up and unlocked at boot. In this tutorial we learn how it is structured and how to organize data in it.

    • Games

      • Whipping Together A Little Ray Tracer Racer | Hackaday

        When you hear raytracing, you might think of complex dark algorithms that to stare too long at their source code invites the beginning of madness. And you’re technically not far off from the truth, but [h3r2tic] put a small open-source ray tracing game demo up on GitHub. The actual rust code powering the game is relatively short (just four files), with the longest file being the physics file. But, of course, there is a small mountain of code under this sample in the form of libraries.

        Kajiya, physx-rs, and dolly are the three libraries that make this little demo possible. Kajiya, in particular, is what makes raytracing possible as it uses the newer RTX features (so only more recent Nvidia and AMD cards are supported) and Vulkan bindings. But, of course, it isn’t wholly ray-traced as we are still several years out from proper real-time raytracing. Nevertheless, the blend between raytracing and traditional rasterization looks incredible. The most important thing about this simple tiny sample isn’t the game itself but what it stands for. It shows how easy it is to create a sample like this. Even just five years, creating a demo like this required massive effort and expertise.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Desktop Environment Vs. Window Manager

        Every new Linux user is likely to run across the question of what the difference is between a desktop environment and a window manager at some point in their learning process. I’ve been asked this question several times, and the answer isn’t always simple. It depends on the questioner’s previous knowledge and how well he has grasped the basics of a Linux operating system.

        In this article, I will attempt to answer this question from the standpoint of a new Linux user. For new users, please have a seat and join us as we begin the article. For more experienced users who have anything to contribute to the subject, please start a discussion below this post or join our Discord community. I will surely add valuable information in the article shared by the community members.

      • Enlightenment Desktop Update Brings a New Look, Fingerprint Support + More – OMG! Ubuntu!

        An all-new version of the Enlightenment desktop for Linux and BSD has been released.

        Arriving over the Christmas period, Enlightenment 0.25.x (E25) is a sizeable update to the innovative window manager n’ shell combo, and includes new versions of many core modules.

        Now, Enlightenment is not strictly a ‘desktop environment’ per se, more a collection of modular technologies designed to work together. Still, the end result looks a lot like a desktop environment so, in much the same way people refer to KDE Neon as a Linux distro, many people call Enlightenment a desktop environment — it’s shorthand.

        There are some really great visual additions shipping in E25, including a new ‘flat’ look and theme, higher-quality wallpapers, and window previews when hovering over Tasks.

        Additionally, devs say they’ve refactored code for screen dimming/blanking/timeout, added gesture recognition for touchpads via elput, improved monitoring of hardware temperatures via hwmon, and made it easy to see Bluetooth battery levels from within the Enlightenment desktop.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE’s Plasma Wayland Session Achieves Better Battery Life Than With X.Org – Phoronix

          Last week I posted some benchmarks looking at the laptop battery life implications of GNOME’s Wayland vs. X.Org sessions. From that testing with a Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen2 with AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U laptop, the GNOME Wayland session led to around 3 Watt lower power consumption than with the same software stack while logging into the X.Org-based session. For those curious about the KDE Wayland vs. X.Org power impact, here is the same set of tests carried out in the KDE space.

          Due to reader interest stemming from that GNOME testing last week, off the Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U powered notebook running Ubuntu 21.10, I ran the same tests with the KDE Plasma Wayland and KDE Plasma X.Org sessions side-by-side with the GNOME results.

    • Distributions

      • Manjaro 21.2 Qonos Gnome – It’s an alright distro, but …

        Linux distros seem to be a game of chance. Take five categories of functional usability. Now, three of these will be excellent, and two will be awful, and you can choose how to assemble the final model, but you won’t get away from the equation. Something will be brilliant, and something will suck, and in the next release, the odds will change in a random way, and round and round we go. This was exciting in 2007, it’s sad in 2021. The number of people who actually want to stick by the classic desktop is not getting bigger, newer generations don’t have our fascination with the keyboard and mouse (apart from the cruel reality of work), and each day, the dream of Linux making it big gets that much farther away. And it comes down, among many various reasons, to the total lack of product focus, no quality control or any serious testing, and dev-focused, dev-driven design.

        Manjaro 20.2 fits the description well. Some superb points coupled to 2005 command-line tricks that no one wants or needs, dubious ergonomic choices, and just too much inconsistency to rely on for serious work. I know the nerds will hate me, ignore me, label me [favorite ad hominem], whatever, but that does not change the fact that only a pure, dedicated techie can and will be able to commit oneself to Qonos. Now, that said, I am actually cautiously optimistic about Manjaro. Over the years, it’s showed steady progress. Yes, lots of inconsistency and randomness, but there’s progress, too.

        This means, one day, Manjaro could be a mature, reliable system for ordinary people as well as diehard techies. I just hope that happens before total Digital Dystopia befalls us, before the “bullshit as a service” devours us all. That’s the reason for my bitterness, dear nerds. It’s not that I hate Linux, it’s that I hate the world that awaits us, and resent the fact no distro has managed to redeem us yet, because they are all stuck in a self-feeding loop of dev-centric mantras that have no bearing to 99% of people out there. Anyway, Qonos ain’t bad, but its Gnome flavor is probably not the best choice, and you might as well give it a try, see what gives.

      • Linux Distro Types Explained: Originals, Derivatives, Flavors

        If you’ve heard about Linux, you’ve probably heard terms like Fork, Derivative, and Flavor. They refer to different Linux distro types, so let’s learn more about them.

        These terms being used to distinguish one type of distribution from another and they are actually very helpful. In fact, they help you differentiate between how a particular Linux distribution will work from another one.

        If you don’t know what these terms means, don’t worry. In this article I’m going to break down this terms, explain what they mean and how you can use these terms to narrow down your options in picking the best Linux distribution for you.

        Above all there are two terms that are like main hierarchy terms – Original distributions and Derivative distributions.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Download redirector current state – openSUSE News

          Package updates are a bit controversial point in the openSUSE world and sometimes are related to questionable user experience, especially for those who are outside of Europe and the US.

          It is important to understand that it is controversial to compare to experience in other distributions because openSUSE infrastructure is responsible not only for downloading Leap and Tumbleweed packages but potentially any other OBS project on any supported architecture / OS. This makes openSUSE infrastructure care about ~95000 various projects, which can receive updates every moment; compared to 5-8 projects with more or less defined release schedule in the typical infrastructure of other Linux providers.

          Now, somebody can point out that openSUSE could split those challenges and provide a more consistent experience for selected projects like Leap and Tumbleweed, and have a separate solution for other OBS projects. This way allows minimizing chances of poor experience for most users and newcomers. And that will be a correct observation, just it doesn’t make the overall technical challenge much simpler and potentially will require more resources to enable and support both solutions. In any case, this paper doesn’t have the intention of going deeper into such discussion and its main goal is to serve general OBS downloads and Leap / Tumbleweed downloads as part of that.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 5 Redhat enterprise based alternatives for CentOS 8 | 7 in 2022

          Here is the list of best RHEL based CentOS 7 or 8 Linux server alternatives or replacements in 2022 to start hosting server applications on Cloud or VPS. Well, if you don’t want to go through articles then AlmaLinux and RockyLinux are the best CentOS alternatives to go with.

          With the end of support in CentOS 8 by RHEL, people start looking for Linux distribution to replace their existing CentOS 8 or looking to upgrade CentOS 7 to some other compatible one. Well, your quest might end here, if you are one of them.

          Although we have an Ubuntu server to replace CentOS, however, there are many users already using RPM-based server applications. Hence, the Debian-based server wouldn’t be a great option. Of course, those who want to start from scratch to set up their servers, can for sure go for it.

          Well, the CentOS version series 7. x, which will receive updates until the regular end of support in June 2024, remains unaffected. CentOS 7.9 will therefore be the last edition to be created from the RHEL sources. The reason behind this is that still many companies relied on CentOS 7. Therefore, the CentOS developers do not want to stop the distribution prematurely.

          Whereas, as Redhat announced CentOS 8 will be available as a rolling distro in the form of Stream. Well, those are already using the Stream version, then maybe you want to get and test the CentOS 9 Stream available as an ISO file.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • 10 Cool Things to do With Linux Mint

          Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux distros that focuses on simplicity, stability, and availability of software packages. It strives to be a modern, elegant, and comfortable operating system that’s easy to use. Because it’s based in Ubuntu, it also comes with robust community support.

          In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most interesting and cool things you can do with Linux Mint.

        • Ubuntu Fridge | Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 715

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 715 for the week of December 19 – 25, 2021.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Funding

        • How to get selected for Outreachy internships

          We recently documented the series of encounters linking Chris Lamb with an Albanian woman who received travel grants and a $6,000 Outreachy internship from Debian.

          Other women may want to apply for the same funds in future. We don’t want to cause any embarrassment, we are simply providing more details to help other women decide if they want to take risks with Debian.

          The woman began contributing as an OpenStreetMap (OSM) volunteer. She has contributed as a mapper, not as a developer. She was invited to the State of the Map conference to give a talk about community. She has good speaking skills.

          She enrolled in undergraduate studies in agriculture. She worked part time in various jobs that do not involve technology.

          OSM Belgium runs a monthly Mapper of the Month interview. In 2018 they selected this woman for the interview, she answers a wide range of questions.

          It is an unfortunate coincidence, these interviews were run by OSM Belgium and her ex was an OSM mapper from Belgium. He blogged a series of photos from the infamous FOSSCamp where Albanians used funds from free software organizations to travel to the Greek island of Syros. Here they are together:

        • Matcher Interview – Mark Galassi [Ed: Supporting people who attack the FSF for personal gain?]

          This fundraising season we were incredibly fortunate to be supported by so many individuals. In addition to our large anonymous donors, we had a few people contribute to bump up the number. One of donors was a board member, Mark Galassi, who runs The Institute for Computing in Research. We asked him a few questions about free software and his passion and motivations for interdisciplinary research.

      • Programming/Development

        • It’s Printable, It’s Programmable, It’s E. Coli | Hackaday

          Well, whaddya know? It seems that E. coli, the bane of Romaine and spinach everywhere, has at least one practical use. Researchers at Harvard have created a kind of 3D-printable ink that is alive and made entirely of microbes produced by E. coli. Although this is not the first so-called living ink, it does hold the title of the first living ink that doesn’t need any additional polymers to provide structure.

        • Rust Dev Lang – how to view onboard html based documentation (man page) – The Rust Standard Library
        • Perl/Raku

          • 2021.52 JDV Released – Rakudo Weekly News

            Justin DeVuyst has announced the 2021.12 Rakudo Compiler Release, their first release and hopefully the first of many to come! Claudio Ramirez quickly provided Linux packages for this release. And JJ Merelo published updated Docker Containers. And Anton Oks published a new Rakudo Star Windows image. Good to see such cooperation! And good to see more and more coverage about the Raku Programming Language!

        • C++

          • Beginner C++ Projects

            Students might find it challenging to get started with long and expert-level projects when learning a new language. Students used to derive help from books, online programming tutorials, and guides. However, these sources are not enough when you want to become an expert at a certain language. Hence, they try to search for projects which are less complicated, short, and simple to accomplish within the initial stage of practice. Within this guide, we will let you know about some C++ beginner projects along with their codes that are short and easy. Now, let’s start with Ubuntu 20.04 system.

          • Array as Parameter C++

            Functions in C++ can accept different types of arguments when they are called. In the same manner, an array can also be passed as a parameter to a function in C++. To figure out whether passing an array as a parameter to a function in C++ is the same as passing any other type of argument to a function or not, you will have to give a read to this article.

          • Argc and Argv C++

            While writing C++ programs, we all know that the “main()” function is considered very important since we cannot compile our program if the implementation of this function is missing. Just like all other functions in C++, the “main()” function is also capable of accepting arguments. However, the difference between passing arguments to the “main()” function from passing arguments to the other functions is that you have to pass the arguments through the command line in the former case. It is so because the “main()” function itself is the driver function which is why no other function is capable of calling it and passing arguments to it. In this article, we will be discussing the two parameters of the “main()” function, i.e., “argc” and “argv” in C++ in Ubuntu 20.04.

        • Java

          • Convert List to Array in Java

            A list differs from an array, in the sense that it can grow or shrink in length. It can also have elements inserted within its length, and so increasing the length. It can also have its elements deleted. If the aim of the list is not to make it grow or shrink or have any special function, then the array should be used. And so, it would be necessary to convert a list to an array.

            In Java, a list is not a class. It is an interface. An interface in Java is like an abstract class, but it is not meant to be subclassed. An interface is meant to have unrelated classes. The method declarations without body of the interface are defined in a class implemented from the interface. This should not be confused with instantiation. An object is instantiated from a class. A method is implemented from an abstract method, which may be a member of an interface, or an abstract class. With the interface, the “abstract” method declaration is not preceded by the reserved word, abstract. Note: a class created from an interface is said to have implemented the interface.

            Among classes of list already implemented in the Java compiler, are the ArrayList, LinkedList and Vector. These three classes will be used to show how a list can be converted into an array in this article, beginning with the ArrayList.

          • Java Thread Sleep

            A thread can be made to halt its execution for some time before it continues to operate. The thread is considered to sleep, in the period that it halts. But, what is a thread? A thread is a sub-program. It is possible to have more than one thread in one program, running concurrently. The main program itself is the main thread. A single threaded program is just the normal program. In Java, the normal program is the class that has the main() method. In a multi-threaded program, the main() method, can be considered as the main thread.

            A thread can be created by sub-classing the Thread class. The thread can be made to sleep. This article explains how to make a thread sleep, beginning with a summary of how to create a new thread in Java. The Thread class does not need to be imported in order to have a thread in the program.

          • Recursion in Java

            Recursion in Java is the calling of a method, by the method, from within the method. This action repeats itself until a condition is met. The method should be a method in a class, other than one in the main class. The main class is the class that has the main() method. The name of the Java file is that of the main class. A static method in the main class can still be made recursive, but that will not be addressed in this article. This article explains recursion in Java, with three good examples.

          • Java Thread Timer Usage

            In Java, a timer is a class from which timer objects can be instantiated. The timer schedules task for execution in the near future. A task is like a method (function). Java has the class, TimerTask from which task objects can be instantiated. Different tasks are scheduled to operate (execute) at different times. This tutorial explains how to instantiate and use the timer object in Java, beginning with the instantiation of the TimerTask object and its nature.

          • Java instanceof Operator

            The instanceof operator checks if its operand on the left is an object of its operand on the right. If yes, it returns true, otherwise it returns false, or issues an error message at compile time. The operand on the left should be an instantiated object of the operand on the right. The operand on the right is a type, e.g. a class.

          • 2D Array in Java

            In Java, a one-dimensional array is a consecutive set of values of the same type. The type of the values is the type of the array. A 1D array is an object from the Object superclass. A 1d array is a list. In this article, the list for the one-dimensional array is assumed to be displayed in a vertical column. A 1d array has the property length, which returns the number of elements in the array.

            A two-dimensional array is a table. A table is a vertical list of horizontal lists. In Java, a two-dimensional array is an array of arrays. That is, a 2d array is a vertical array of horizontal arrays. That is, a 2D array in Java is a vertical list of horizontal lists. The 2D array has rows and columns. The length of the 2D array is the number of rows, which is the length property of the 1D column array. All the values in all the cells of the table are of the same type; this is said to be the type of the 2D array.

            This article explains, what a 2D array in Java is, and how to create and access its elements. All code for this article takes place in the main() method.

          • && and & Operators in Java

            In Java, && is called the conditional-And operator. It is an example of a logical operator in Java. As another operator, & has two functions in Java. In one situation, it is called a logical-And operator. In the other situation, it is called the bitwise-AND operator. Each of these operators is a binary operator. This means that each has an operand on its left and on its right. The result of all that expression can be assigned to a variable. These operators work with primitive types, and so its class does not have to be imported by the programmer.

          • Absolute Value in Java

            A number can be an int, a long, a float, or a double. The difference between an int and a long variable is that the long variable can hold a bigger value than an int variable. A long variable can also hold a number that an int would hold. Each of these number types can be negative or positive. For example, an int can be -5 or +5. When it is +5, the plus sign in front of it can be omitted.

            So, a number can be negative or positive. Absolute value is simply the positive value of the pair. The positive value is still the number without a sign. Java has the math abs() method to return the absolute number. So, if the argument is -5, 5 will be returned. If the argument is +5 or 5, 5 will be returned. Java also has the absExact() method – see below.

            These methods are all of the Math class. The Math class does not have to be imported by the programmer to be used. This article explains the use of the abs() and absExact() methods of the math class.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Taste The Television: TTTV | Hackaday

        Associate Professor [Homei Miyashita] from Meiji University’s School of Science and Technology in Tokyo has developed a new technology for reproducing taste on a television or monitor, a system called Taste the TV (TTTV). The team of researchers used taste sensors to sample a variety of foods, and came up with a palette of 10 different aerosol flavors which can be combined in various ratios. The taste is generated in a staging area at the top of the screen onto a thin plastic film, which is then scrolled down into position.

    • Hardware

      • Single Bit Computer From Vacuum Tubes | Hackaday

        Culminating a year-long project, [Usagi Electric] aka [David] has just wrapped up his single-bit vacuum tube computer. It is based on the Motorola MC14500 1-bit industrial controller, but since [David] changed the basic logic unit into an arithmetic-logic unit, he’s dubbing it the UE14500. Built on a wooden panel about 2.5 x 3 rabbit lengths excluding power supply. [David] admits he has cheated a little bit, in that he’s using two silicon diodes instead of a 6AL5 dual diode tube in his universal NOR gate on which the computer is based — but in his defense he notes that plenty of vacuum tube computers of the era used silicon diodes.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Voluntary licensing on the rise as Medicines Patent Pool signs second deal for COVID-19 treatment [Ed: This is not good enough; a “compromise” to avoid having these patent monopolies canceled altogether (as they ought to, for many reasons); Caution: Bristows bias]

          It was announced last week (16 November 2021) that Pfizer has agreed a voluntary licence with the UN-backed Medicines Patent Pool for Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 antiviral treatment candidate, PF-07321332. PF-07321332 has not yet been approved by regulators but has shown promising results in controlling symptoms of COVID-19. Recent interim analysis from Pfizer’s Phase 2/3 trial showed an 89% reduction in risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization or death compared to placebo in patients treated within three days of symptom onset. It will be administered with a low dose of ritonavir (a repurposed HIV antiviral medicine) which helps slow the breakdown of PF-07321332 in the body.

        • The United Arab Emirates Joined The Madrid System [Ed: WIPO is protecting the richest, while the rest of us are the ‘collateral damage’]

          The World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) has announced that it has received the United Arab Emirates’ accession document to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (“Madrid Protocol”). Accordingly, the United Arab Emirates has become a member country of the Madrid System.

          Through the Madrid System, trademark owners can file a single international application to enjoy trademark protection in multiple member countries. Alongside facilitating the process of obtaining and managing trademark registrations, the Madrid System allows saving time and money by the single language and a single set of fees

        • European Union: Long Covid In The Way We Work [Ed: Henrik Skodt (aera) seems to be celebrating the EPO breaking the law because this suits some patent litigation companies, though nobody else]

          We have all had to adapt our way of working to the new reality we have lived in the last year. One significant change for those of us regularly doing oral proceedings before the European Patent Office (EPO) (and not living in the Munich area) is that we have not actually gone to the EPO since the beginning of the pandemic.

          The EPO showed great initiative when they introduced the pilot project for conducting oral proceedings in opposition proceedings by videoconference (ViCo) in May 2020. Until then, it had only been possible to do oral proceedings by ViCo before Examining Divisions. Since it was a pilot project, oral proceedings by ViCo before Opposition Divisions were made dependent on the consent of the parties to the proceedings.

        • New presiding judge for Munich Higher Regional Court’s patent-specialized 6th Civil Senate: Judge Lars Meinhardt succeeds Judge Konrad Retzer

          Munich is one of the world’s most important patent litigation hotspots. Last month the new patent litigation division of the Landgericht München I (Munich I Regional Court)–the 44. Zivilkammer (44th Civil Chamber)–held its premiere hearing. Today I’ve been able to find out from the press office of the Oberlandesgericht München (Munich Higher Regional Court) who will succeed retired Presiding Judge Konrad Retzer of the 6. Zivilsenat (6th Civil Senate), which hears patent appeals from the lower Munich court but also some other IP and competition matters: Judge Lars Meinhardt.

          Judge Meinhardt has not been mentioned on this blog before. You can find a picture and short bio (in German) here. He presided over the lower Munich court’s 33rd Civil Chamber from 2012 to 2018. The 33rd Civil Chamber hears cases involving trademark, copyright, design rights, and unfair competition claims–all of which fields are adjacent to patent law. He then joined the 29th Civil Senate of the Munich appeals court, which has a similar focus. Apparently he also dealt with matters involving the professional code governing the work of patent attorneys.

        • Sinusoidal Vision Technology has been officially patented in China [Ed: China hands out literally million of junk patents, so what's to boast about here?]

          VSY Biotechnology registered a patent with the People’s Republic of China for the ‘Sinusoidal Vision Technology’ used in AcrivaUD Trinova Pro C Pupil Adaptive®, the world’s first and only sinusoidal trifocal intraocular lens. As a result of evaluations, office actions, examinations, correspondence, and revisions, the state intellectual property office of the People’s Republic of China subsequently approved the patent for VSY Biotechnology’s ‘Sinusoidal Vision Technology’. Furthermore, after registering a European Patent (EP) for SVT, VSY Biotechnology received validation from the relevant patent offices from Europe. VSY Biotechnology’s ‘Sinusoidal Vision Technology’ has patent registration in many countries of the world.

        • The perks and pitfalls of creating prolific AI inventors [Ed: This says "he says he should own the patent rights because he owns DABUS." But patents are not rights, aren't owned and so on. This helps spread lies for a troll and charlatan who provokes courts and patent offices.]

          Artificial intelligence (AI) has had a profound impact on our society in recent years, but it’s been around longer than you may realize. Many people attribute the beginning of AI to a paper written in 1950 by Alan Turing titled “Computer Machinery and Intelligence.” The term artificial intelligence, however, was first coined in 1956 at a conference that took place at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Since then, interest in AI has wavered. Its most recent resurgence can be attributed to IBM’s Deep Blue chess-playing supercomputer and its question-answering machine Watson. Today, AI is part of our everyday lives – from facial recognition technology and ride-share apps to smart assistants. It’s also at the forefront of the future’s driverless vehicles.

          As AI continues to get more and more intelligent, it begs the question – should AI machines be able to patent their inventions?

          At the center of this debate is Stephen Thaler and his AI computer DABUS (“device for the autonomous bootstrapping of unified science”). Unlike everyday AI such as Alexa and Siri, DABUS is a unique type of AI often referred to as a “creativity machine,” meaning it is capable of independent and complex functioning. As such, it is named as the sole inventor on two patent applications filed in several countries. One invention is for a food container, and the other for an alert light. This has resulted in a worldwide legal fight and debate over how to handle computer-created innovation.

          Thaler claims he didn’t direct the machine to invent these products. Instead, he said that DABUS analyzes data, generates ideas, and invents products. Since Thaler wasn’t involved in the process of inventing these products, he feels that DABUS should be named as the inventor. However, he says he should own the patent rights because he owns DABUS.

        • Software Patents

          • Preventing payment in case of an incorrect amount entered by a customer: non-technical [Ed: Software patents denied, but Bardehle Pagenberg (or Patrick Heckeler in this case) keeps looking for sneaky new ways to pass them through an already profoundly compromised EPO]

            In this decision, relevant for providers of digital payment solutions, the European Patent Office refused to grant a patent relating to prevent a payment in case of an incorrect amount entered by a customer. Here are the practical takeaways of the decision T 0994/18 of July 20, 2021 of Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.01…

          • As AI powers more and more medical technology don’t overlook patenting – Tim Hargreaves & Rhona Muir [Ed: Scottish media taken over by patent fanatics and profiteers who disguise fake patents like software patents using buzzwords like “Hey Hi” and “Medical Technology (MedTech)”]

            Scotland has a thriving Medical Technology (MedTech) industry, with more than 250 companies, and approximately 9,000 people employed in the sector. Many of these businesses have Artificial Intelligence (AI) powering them, as AI’s ability to analyse large swathes of data in a matter of moments enables faster diagnosis and improved patient outcomes.

          • $2,000 for SecurityProfiling prior art

            On December 27, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 10,873,595. The patent is owned by SecurityProfiling, LLC, an NPE. The ’595 patent relates to real-time vulnerability monitoring. The patent has been asserted against Cisco and Trend Micro.

      • Trademarks

        • Turkey: Madrid E-Filing Now Available To Applicants In Turkey [Ed: Be sure to check who runs TURKPATENT]

          As a result of the cooperation between the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TURKPATENT) and WIPO,Turkey has taken its place among thecountries that enable applicants to file their international trademark applications directly through the Madrid e-Filing service.

          Before this change, the MM2 form – the application form for the registration of international trademark applications – had to be filled in manually and submitted to TURKPATENT via the EPATS – TURKPATENT’s electronic filing system – for processing.

      • Copyrights

Links 27/12/2021: RapidDisk 8.0.1 and LibreOffice 7.3 RC1

Posted in News Roundup at 12:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel Has A Number Of WiFi Improvements Ready For Linux 5.17 – Phoronix

        Intel’s modern WiFi driver “IWLWIFI” is set to see a number of improvements with the Linux 5.17 kernel development cycle kicking off in January.

        Merged to the networking subsystem’s net-next branch ahead of the Linux 5.17 merge window in mid-January were a number of improvements for new and existing wireless hardware. Some of the Intel WiFi improvements coming for the Linux 5.17 kernel include:

        - Continued work enabling their next-generation “Bz” hardware family. Going back to the summer Intel was working on Linux support for yet-to-be-released “Bz” WiFi hardware and that enablement work is continuing for Linux 5.17. There are also Rx changes for new hardware families.

      • Sound Open Firmware 2.0 Released For The Intel-Led Open-Source DSP Stack – Phoronix

        It was nearly four years ago already that Intel announced Sound Open Firmware in pushing for open-source sound firmware for their hardware. The Sound Open Firmware effort has been a great success even if it’s not a shiny project widely talked about among consumers. Just prior to the holidays Sound Open Firmware 2.0 was quietly released.

        The Sound Open Firmware project provides an open-source digital signal processing (DSP) firmware stack and software development kit around it as well as open-source emulation support with QEMU, etc. Beyond the firmware itself the Linux kernel has the Sound Open Firmware host driver support and the SOF driver stack is dual-licensed under both the BSD and GPL. More details on the SOF project can be found via the project documentation.

      • Linux Kernel Preparing Support For A More Practical Virtual M68k Machine – Phoronix

        When it comes to the Motorola 68000 “m68k” virtual machine targets, the most powerful option under Linux right now is the Quadra 800. That though for virtualization purposes isn’t too useful by today’s standards with being limited to 1GB of RAM and limited interface support. But a new Virtual M68k Machine aims to provide a more useful target and support has already landed in QEMU while the Linux kernel support is pending.

        The new Virtual M68k Machine is based on Google’s Goldfish interfaces used for the Android simulator and reuses some of that Goldfish code for this more relevant M68k machine.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMDVLK 2021.Q4.3 Released To Fix Poor Wayland Performance – Phoronix

          AMD’s official Vulkan driver team is ending out the year by pushing out AMDVLK 2021.Q4.3 as their official open-source Radeon Vulkan driver implementation for Linux systems. This alternative to the Mesa RADV driver finally has fixed up its very poor performance for Vulkan under Wayland.

          AMDVLK 2021.Q4.3 was released this morning as their latest routine code drop accompanied by binaries for RHEL/CentOS 7 and 8 and Ubuntu LTS releases. It’s been three weeks since the last AMDVLK code drop while this end-of-year release has just a few changes but rather notable.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux 5.16 is great news for AMD Ryzen users, massive performance boosts incoming – Neowin

        Linux 5.16 is looking extremely promising for AMD Ryzen, at least for the APUs. In a recent comparison test conducted by Phoronix, the tested Ryzen APUs have shown up to a 28% performance boost over kernel 5.15. This 28% boost was captured in the Xonotic game at 4K resolution using low settings (image below). Other games and benchmarks have also shown significant improvements on Linux 5.16 in the range of around 10-20% on average.

    • Applications

      • RapidDisk 8.0.1 now available

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


        In the last RapidDisk-related post, I forgot to make it a point of emphasizing that as of 8.0.0, RapidDisk officially supports export RapidDisk and RapidDisk-Cache devices across an NVMe Target network (both TCP and RDMA). This is a big deal if you need to share high speed devices remotely and across a larger network of nodes.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Compile GNU Emacs from Source in Ubuntu 20.04 / 21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        For those hating the Flatpak and Snap packages, here’s how to compile GNU Emacs editor (v27.2 tested) from the source tarball while the Kevin Kelley’s PPA seems NOT to be updated anymore.

        Before getting started, it’s recommended to remove old Emacs (if any) by running command in terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T)…

      • How To Check Your Server Load in Linux System

        If you’re a system administrator, you probably already know the hassle of checking the server loads on a Linux system. There are many tools that allow you to check the server loads in different ways. Some of them work in an integrated way, and some of them function as individual tools. However, there are ways to check the server load contentiously through the command-line interface in Linux. Using the CLI methods can save your time and be easy to use. Besides, the CLI also gives you an accurate value of the server load. No matter which server you work with, Apache or Nginx, the CLI commands for checking server load works smoothly on both.

      • Master your server with these 7 informative resources

        Servers are one of the most critical components in any IT infrastructure. Virtually all business functions require some kind of server, from checking your email inbox to accessing client files. It’s safe to say that servers are the backbone of your business—and it can be disastrous if they should fail.

        According to ITIC’s 2021 Hourly Cost of Downtime Survey, 91% of organizations say a single hour of server downtime costs $300,000 or more. And of that 91%, nearly half or 44% say that hourly outage costs exceed $1 million to over $5 million. Yikes.

        It’s impossible to completely avoid downtime. After all, some things are out of your control. However, it’s possible to reduce the chance of it by improving and securing your server. It’s also possible to be prepared for downtime so that when it happens, you can quickly bounce back.

      • How To Install VLC Media Player on Fedora 35 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install VLC Media Player on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, VLC is a free and portable open-source media player for both audio and video. This app can play nearly all known multimedia files and DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols and can be extended and customized with various plugins.

        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 VLC Media Player on a Fedora 35.

      • How to comment multiple lines at once in vim editor using 3 methods
      • How to install elementary OS 6.1 Jólnir – Invidious

        In this video, I am going to show how to install elementary OS 6.1 Jólnir…

      • How To Install Snipe-IT on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Snipe-IT on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Snipe-IT is a free and open-source, cross-platform, feature-rich IT asset management system built using a PHP framework called Laravel. It is a web-based software, which enables IT, administrators, in medium to large enterprises to track physical assets, software licenses, accessories, and many more.

        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 Snipe-IT asset management system on an AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for Fedora, RHEL, CentOS, and Rocky Linux distributions.

      • Install Kubernetes Cluster Using Kubeadm In RHEL – OSTechNix

        In this article, we are going to learn about Kubernetes cluster installation using Kubeadm in RHEL 8, and its clones like AlmaLinux 8, CentOS 8, and Rocky Linux 8.

        Before getting into it, you must have a basic understanding about Kubernetes concepts and architecture. In this article, we are going to demonstrate two node cluster.

      • Install Lighttpd with PHP and MariaDB on Rocky/AlmaLinux

        Lighttpd is an open-source, high-performance, super-fast, flexible, and simple to configure secure web server that provides support for the broad technologies that include PHP, FastCGI, Auth, SSL, URL rewriting, reverse proxy, load balancing, and much more.

        Lighttpd is extremely efficient, lightweight, and offers optimized speed-critical environments with lower memory and CPU usage than other popular web servers like Apache and Nginx.

      • How to remove horizontal line across the desktop on Linux mint

        In this tutorial you will learn how to remove the black horizontal line that shows up across the screen on Linux mint xfce. I have been using a lot of different Linux distros and on my experience this has happened to me only when using Linux mint xfce version, however the good news is that this issue can be fixed without having to download anything or replacing any hardware part.

      • How to install Linux Ubuntu on Hyper-V in Windows 11/10 [Ed: The hypervisor and the OS are proprietary software, so there are better ways to do all this]

        There are multiple ways to try any Linux distribution on Windows 11 or Windows 10 computers. However, Hyper-V is the native virtual machine app that you can use to install Linux Ubuntu on your PC. As it is a virtual machine app, your hardware must support virtualization, and it needs to be enabled in the BIOS.

      • How to Install Open VM Tools on Pop!_OS

        Sometimes you may want to install Pop!_OS on a virtual machine. However, you may have realized that communication between the host and the VM machine doesn’t exist. Luckily, many distributions now carry the open-source VM tools that can be used for many of the most popular Virtual Machine products such as VMware.

        In the following small tutorial, you will learn how to install these tools on your Pop!_OS desktop.

      • How to Install & Configure Deja Dup in Linux – TREND OCEANS

        Backup is one of the essential requirements for Linux users. The next Sudo command may ruin your whole system into an empty bucket.

        It’s happened to me, and I have also heard it from others. When new user joins the Linux army, they tend to forget that they are not in the Windows system anymore; here, any wrong step can bring misfortune to your files.

      • Using your OpenPGP key on Yubikey for ssh

        Last week I wrote about how you can generate ssh keys on your Yubikeys and use them. There is another way of keeping your ssh keys secure, that is using your already existing OpenPGP key (along with authentication subkey) on a Yubikey and use it for ssh.

        In this post I am not going to explain the steps on how to move your key to a Yubikey, but only the steps required to start using it for ssh access. Feel free to have a look at Tumpa if you want an easy way to upload keys to your card.

      • How to Install GNOME 41 Desktop on Linux Mint 20

        GNOME 41 introduces many changes from visual changes, new apps and overhaul back-end changes to improve performance. Overall, it is a solid upgrade from GNOME 40 with introductions of a new remote desktop client called Connections, new mobile settings, improved multi-tasking, improved UI, and back-end performance, amongst many other additions.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the new GNOME 41 on Linux Mint 20 desktop using a PPA by Taha Nouibat that was designed for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS but given that Linux Mint 20 LTS is based on it, you can safely install this PPA in the same method.

      • How to Install Liquorix Kernel on Rocky Linux 8

        Liqourix Kernel is a free, open-source general-purpose Linux Kernel alternative to the stock kernel shipped with Rocky Linux. It features custom settings and new features and is built to provide a responsive and smooth desktop experience, especially for new hardware.

        Liquorix Kernel is popular amongst Linux Gaming, streaming, and ultra-low latency requirements and often boasts the latest Linux Kernels.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the latest Linux Kernel on your Rocky Linux 8 system.

      • How to Install Chromium Browser on Rocky Linux 8

        Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all users to experience the web. The Chromium codebase is widely used, and Microsoft Edge, Opera, and many other browsers are based on the code. Chromium is well-liked amongst advanced users that prefer not to have all the bloat of tracking that can come in Chrome and other proprietary software.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Chromium Web Browser on your Rocky Linux 8 desktop.

      • Arch Linux – News: libxml2>=2.9.12-6 update may require manual intervention

        The libxml2 package prior to version 2.9.12-6 was missing the compiled python modules. This has been fixed in 2.9.12-6, so the upgrade may need to overwrite any untracked pyc files created.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Maui Shell is a Beautiful Vision for the Future of Linux

          Now, “convergent” Linux UIs aren’t new. Ubuntu tried (and failed) to materialise its idea of one with Unity 8. What would be new is a convergent Linux shell that’s actually realised in real, usable, working code.

          KDE Plasma (with Plasma Mobile) and GNOME (with Phosh) are already making major inroads in this area so there’s plenty of momentum that Maui Shell, which is also rooted in KDE technologies, can take advantage of.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Firewalld Fedora 34 -> 35 Masquerade between Zones not working anymore | IT-Hure

          I updated my firewall from 34 to 35 and my firewall was not working anymore. There is a not good documented change with the release of firewalld 1.0 that hit me.

        • 10 Podman guides to do more with containers in 2022 | Enable Sysadmin

          While many of us stayed at home for most of 2021, Podman continued traveling the globe and even went to space. In just the first 10 months of 2021, 153 authors from all over the world contributed over 2,200 pull requests and closed over 1,600 issues in the Podman repository. This doesn’t include all the contributions to Buildah, Skopeo, and the containers/image and containers/storage libraries that we maintain.

        • Top 10: Our most read developer articles of 2021 | Red Hat Developer

          We’re taking a quick break from the winter recharge to share our 10 most read articles of 2021. Some of the best developers in the world work for Red Hat, and we’re fortunate that many of them contribute to Red Hat Developer. We think this year’s top 10 articles showcase the breadth of our contributors’ interests and expertise, as well as that of our readers. Without further ado, here are Red Hat Developer’s most popular articles of 2021.

        • 8 new rules for winning the IT talent battle | The Enterprisers Project

          The predicted turnover tsunami is well underway, with enterprises across industries facing record-high IT talent losses. Attrition rates had risen an average of 10.5 percent over the previous quarter, according to an August 2021 quick poll conducted by Everest Group, with more than one-third (36 percent) of respondents reporting increases of more than 11 percent over the previous three months. “We are definitely seeing attrition rates starting to rise,” says Michel Janssen, chief research officer at Everest Group. “It’s becoming an across-the-board issue.”

          The resulting battle for technology pros hitting the market is bound to grow more intense. Yet only a minority of enterprise IT organizations have the kind of well-defined and proactive strategies needed to ensure some level of predictability in their workforce pipelines in this challenging environment.

          Everest Group has taken research from its strategic IT workforce development assessments to examine what the highest-performing IT functions (those that achieve the greatest business, operational, and cost impacts) are doing to address current talent gaps and prepare their workforces for the future. They discovered that it’s not the biggest companies – or those with the most money to spend – who perform the best.

        • Digital transformation: 4 tips to be a successful IT leader in 2022

          In 2021, leadership was about finding new ways to deliver on commitments and grow, despite global challenges. It involved coaching teams that were working out of home offices and balancing new distractions and personal commitments – all while managing anxiety about what was to come. In 2022, we hope to finally put the pandemic behind us and set the tone for a new kind of workplace and workplace culture.

          Whether you are a veteran leader or are stepping into a leadership role for the first time, you likely realize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for the times ahead. The following tenets can help you craft a leadership strategy that supports your team as they deliver results without disruption.

        • 5 ways open source software transformed business in 2021 | Opensource.com

          Open source software isn’t just about creating alternatives to proprietary software. On the business side, open source has become a “force multiplier” to transform how organizations do business. At the same time, more companies have started to adopt more open source methodologies, even in managing teams and processes.

          In the last year, we ran many great articles that show how businesses connect with open source software.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • $1.8 XT-ZB1 Zigbee & BLE devkit features BL702 RISC-V module – CNX Software

          Bouffalo Labs BL702 is a 32-bit RISC-V microcontroller with a 2.4 GHz radio for Zigbee 3.0 and Bluetooth 5.0 LE connectivity that we first found in the Sipeed RV-Debugger Plus UART & JTAG debug board that did not make use of the radio at all.

          But a BL702 development kit was brought to my attention, with the XT-ZB1 devkit equipped with a Zigbee & BLE module of the same name, and sold for just $1.80 per unit on Aliexpress. Shipping adds $4.63 where I live, but they also offer packs of 5 or 10 with the same shipping fee, meaning if you buy 10 the total cost should be around $22 including shipping, or around $2.2 per board. Alternatively, the module alone goes for $1.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache Weekly News Round-up: week ending 24 December 2021 : The Apache Software Foundation Blog

        Happy Friday, everyone. The Apache community has had another great week…

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.3 RC1 is available for testing

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 7.3 RC1 is available for testing!

          LibreOffice 7.3 will be released as final at the beginning of February, 2022 ( Check the Release Plan for more information ) being LibreOffice 7.3 RC1 the third pre-release since the development of version 7.3 started in mid June, 2021. Since the previous release, LibreOffice 7.3 Beta1, 241 commits have been submitted to the code repository and 130 issues got fixed. Check the release notes to find the new features included in this version of LibreOffice.

          LibreOffice 7.3 RC1 can be downloaded from here for Linux, macOS and Windows, and it will replace the standard version.

          In case you find any problem in this pre-release, please report it in Bugzilla ( You just need a legit email account in order to create a new account ).

        • LibreOffice Calc Guide 7.1 Russian Edition
      • Programming/Development

        • VLC 3.0.12 with Qt5 GUI compiled

          EasyOS has VLC video player available via the package manager, however is it the CLI (commandline) application only. It was compiled in OpenEmbedded.

          Now that Qt5 has been compiled in OE, VLC can be compiled with its Qt5-based GUI.


          It is quite a big package, don’t know if will include it builtin in the next release of Easy, but it will be available via the package manager.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • Yet More Python for Beginners: Saving Input to a File – The New Stack

            So far in this introductory series to the Python programming language, we’ve learned some pretty cool basic Python tricks. We’ve learned what makes the language special, learned about the Python console and used variables, and learned how to accept input from users.

            With that knowledge, we’ve created a couple of interesting little programs that illustrate how these features work in Python, but the applications themselves don’t do much outside of proving to your friends and family that you can learn a programming language.

  • Leftovers

    • Diving the Depths of Ma Bell

      The modern smartphone is a marvel of sensors, radios, inputs, outputs, and processing power. In particular, some of those radios, such as WiFi and cellular, have grown fiendishly complex over the years. Even when that complexity is compressed down for the user into the one-dimensional space of the signal strength bars at the top of your phone. So when [David Burgess] was asked to look at some cellphone records of text messages and figure out where some of the more mysterious messages were coming from, it led him down a rabbit hole into the dark arts behind the glowing phone screen.

      The number in question was 1111340002, sent by a phone connected to AT&T at the time, and was crucial for a legal case around distracted driving. [David’s] tools in his investigation were YateBTS (a cellular network simulator), SimTrace2 (pictured above), and old reliable Wireshark. Since the number isn’t a specific phone number and is not reachable from the public phone network, it must be a unique number inside AT&T processed by one particular AT&T SMSC (Short Message service center). The SMSC in question is in Atlanta and isn’t a typical texting center, so it must have some particular purpose. The message’s payload is raw binary rather than text, and [David] has done a pretty good job of decoding the majority of the format.

    • Why I stopped publishing end-of-year most-read lists

      In previous years, I used to publish a “Most Read of the year” listicle (“list article”) around the holiday season. It let me take a break from writing and still generate lots of traffic to the featured articles. People still need things to read during the holidays, you know. However, I stopped publishing these a few years ago after learning of an unintended consequence.

      All of my most popular articles kept appearing on other websites! Either in their original or a slightly rewritten form; most in English but sometimes translated. For years, I failed to spot an — in hindsight completely obvious — pattern for which of my works got plagiarized.

      Almost all the plagiarized articles had appeared in one of my end-of-year most-read lists. Other publications were mining and replicating my most popular content, and almost universally out-competed the original article on search engine result pages.

    • Hardware

      • Maximum Throughput Benchie

        The idea behind the SpeedBoatRace is how quickly you can print a Benchy — the little boat that is used as a test print for a 3d printer. Speeding up a print is quite tricky as it means moving the head quicker and giving layers less time to deposit and a whole other host of problems. So [Roetz] took a page out of a CPU designer’s playbook, and rather than increasing the latency, he raised the throughput. The original plan was for 20 hot ends, but due to cooling issues, that had to be reduced to 18. Perhaps even more impressive than the scale of the machine is that the only off-the-shelf parts on it are the fans for cooling. Everything else is printed or machined by [Roetz] himself. The whole run was completed in less than an hour, which technically gives him a sub 3.6 minute time per benchy, even accounting for a few that failed.

      • First Hacks: The Brand New Nokia 5G Gateway Router | Hackaday

        Aside from being the focus of a series of bizarre conspiracy theories, 5G cellular networks offer the promise of ultra-fast Internet access anywhere within their range. To that end there are a new breed of devices designed to provide home broadband using 5G as a backhaul. It’s one of these, a Nokia Fastmile, that [Eddie Zhang] received, and he’s found it to be an interesting teardown and investigation. Spoiler: it runs Android and has exploitable bugs.

        A privilege escalation bug in the web administration tool led to gaining the ability to export and modify configuration files, but sadly though a telnet prompt can be opened it’s not much use without the password. Uncovering some blocked-off ports on the base of the unit revealed a USB-C port, which was found to connect to an Android device. Via ADB a shell could be opened on Android, but on further investigation it was found that the Fastmile is not a single device but two separate ones. Inside is a PCB with an Android 5G phone to handle the connection, and another with a completely separate home router.

      • Steinar H. Gunderson: USB-C shenanigans

        At some point, my phone stopped taking charge (over USB-C) from one charger, but not the other—it would briefly say “charging”, then drop it, wait a few seconds, and then try again in an infinite loop. However, charging every night on the included charger worked fine, so I wasn’t that worried.

      • The Label Says HDMI 2.1 But That Doesn’t Mean You’ll Get It | Hackaday

        Technology moves quickly these days as consumers continue to demand more data and more pixels. We see regular updates to standards for USB and RAM continually coming down the pipeline as the quest for greater performance goes on.

        HDMI 2.1 is the latest version of the popular audio-visual interface, and promises a raft of new features and greater performance than preceding versions of the standard. As it turns out, though, buying a new monitor or TV with an HDMI 2.1 logo on the box doesn’t mean you’ll get any of those new features, as discovered by TFT Central.


        Also new is the Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) technology, which helps reduce tearing when gaming or watching video from other sources where frame rates vary. Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) also allows displays to detect if a video input is from something like a game console. In this situation, the display can then automatically switch to a low-latency display mode with minimal image processing to cut down on visual lag.

        A handful of other features were included too, like Quick Media Switching to reduce the time blank screens are displayed when swapping from one piece of content to another. There’s also special Dynamic HDR technology which can send data for color control on a frame-by frame basis.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (apache-log4j2, libextractor, libpcap, and wireshark), Fedora (grub2, kernel, libopenmpt, log4j, mingw-binutils, mingw-python-lxml, and seamonkey), Mageia (golang, lapack/openblas, and samba), and openSUSE (go1.16, libaom, log4j12, logback, and runc).

          • In 2022, security will be Linux and open-source developers job number one | ZDNet [Ed: Back doors have crept into proprietary software at all levels, but SJVN/ZDNet participates in the phony narratives wherein the problem (security-wise) is the alternative to such software]

            But with great power also comes great responsibility as Spider-Man knows. And, as many developers recently found out when multiple security vulnerabilities with the Apache Java logging open-source library log4j2 were discovered, also comes great headaches.

            The log4j2 problems are as bad as bad can get. By the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) scale, it’s rated as 10.0 CVSSv3 which is perfectly awful.

            Its real trouble isn’t so much with open-source itself. There’s nothing magical about open-source methodology and security. Security mistakes can still enter the code. Linus’s law is that given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow. But, if not enough developers are looking, security vulnerabilities will still go unnoticed. As what I’m now calling Schneier’s law, “Security is a process, not a product,” points out constant vigilance is needed to secure all software.

          • rC3 2021: Now Here, Nowhere

            The annual meeting of the Chaos Computer Club, Germany’s giant hacker group, is online again this year. While those of us here are sad that we don’t get to see our hacker friends in person, our loss is your gain — the whole thing is online for the entire world to enjoy.

            This year’s Congress has gone entirely decentralized, with many local clubs hosting their own video streams and “stages”. Instead of four tracks, there are now six or seven tracks of talks going on simultaneously, so prepare to be overwhelmed by choice. You can find the overall schedule here, so if you see anything you’d like to watch, you’ll know when to tune in.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • 2021: A year of standing for your digital rights in courts

        As a digital liberties organisation, IFF’s mission statement is to ensure that Indian citizens can use the internet with liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. To that end, we engage in strategic litigation to defend the rights of the litigants that approach us and make incremental changes in society. In 2020, as all of us relied on digital connections more than ever, issues such as access to the internet, surveillance, censorship and data protection gained prominence. IFF rose to action to defend these threats against civil liberties and, on behalf of litigants, challenged the 4G mobile internet ban in Jammu & Kashmir, questioned the mandatory imposition of Aarogya Setu, sought an extension to the consultation process for the Health Data Management Policy, and called into question illegal website blocking.

        In 2021, we continued our work on these issues while responding to greenfield challenges such as the Pegasus Spyware, governmental regulation of digital space, copyright infringement suits and anti-competitive practices of big tech. In this post, we provide you with a snapshot of our work that defends your rights. As always, we are thankful to our members for enabling us to perform this important task, the litigants (mentioned below) for trusting us with their cases and the litigators who spent countless hours working pro bono.

      • Remembering Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Teachings About Human Dignity | NewsOne

        Tutu’s ideas about humanness, harmony and reconciliation have been enormously influential, not merely in South Africa, but also throughout the world.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Is the UK bad at R&D? [Ed: Patent litigation firm spreads lies, in order to ‘shame’ the market into giving it more money. EPO is Germany-centric, so you cannot judge the UK based on how many Brits go to some highly corrupt office in Germany for a patent of dubious legitimacy]

          A much-debated topic is how to determine R&D productivity. Although it has its limitations, the number of European patent applications that originate from a country can be taken as an indicator of its R&D productivity. While it may not give us the precision we’d like, it provides a good measure by which to compare the UK with other European nations.

          To understand where R&D productivity is highest, let’s look at the figures published by the European Patent Office (EPO) for Europe-originating EPO filings in 2020, classified according to the country of origin of the filings, and compare them with the size of the population of that country.

          The figures are often skewed if the population is small and/or there is a reason for companies to be based there. For example, Liechtenstein, a corporate tax haven with a population of only 38,000, is far and away the most productive on this measure, with the equivalent of 1,149 filings per 100,000 people. Likewise, Luxembourg with 65. Switzerland also does well, with 94 filings per 100,000 citizens, possibly driven by the number of pharmaceutical companies located there.

        • Korean Intellectual Property Office Issues Core Patent for NEO Battery Materials’ Silicon Anodes for High Performance Lithium-Ion Batteries

          Vancouver, British Columbia–(Newsfile Corp. – December 24, 2021) – NEO Battery Materials Ltd. (TSXV: NBM) (OTCQB: NBMFF) (“NEO” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the Korean Intellectual Property Office (“KIPO”) has issued a core patent of NEO’s silicon (Si) anode material technology following the Notice of Allowance announcement made on November 18, 2021.

          Mr. Spencer Huh, President and CEO, commented, “We are glad to announce that the KIPO has issued one of the core patents related to NEO’s low-cost, single-step nanocoating technology for manufacturing silicon anode active materials. As South Korea stands as one of the largest battery manufacturing countries and an epicenter of battery innovation, NEO will continue to strategically establish its presence and development within this market.”

        • Merry Christmas 2021, your Patent is Invalid [Ed: Any fake patents being tossed out is always good news. Always was, always is.]

          The claimed invention then is directed to a “deposit book,” with each page having a stub and detachable coupon. The customers keep the book with all the stubs showing deposits while the coupon goes to the bank to help direct the deposit.

          Landis Christmas Sav Club was already selling supplies to banks, but Barkley was able to improve the system. In particular, with the Landis system, the a book of coupons was held by the bank, and individual sheets given out to the customer with each deposit. The Barkley reversal allowed the customer to keep the book and give deposit slips to the bank. Apparently Landis then copied the Barkley approach and an infringement suit followed. In essence, Barkley’s device is a reversal of the Landis approach. And, the appellate court recognized that the Barkley approach was and improvement that “could be more easily and conveniently handled.”

        • AI cannot be named as inventor on patent applications [Ed: There is no such thing as "Hey Hi"; corrupt EPO management is infatuated with -- and helps spread -- buzzwords, misnomers, and hype]

          In public oral proceedings today, in combined cases J 8/20 and J 9/20, the Legal Board of Appeal of the EPO confirmed that under the European Patent Convention (EPC) an inventor designated in a patent application must be a human being. The board dismissed the applicant’s appeal. The written decision and reasons will be issued in due course and will be available via the European Patent Register. The Boards of Appeal have issued a communiqué with further details.

        • BREAKING: InterDigital announces 4G, 5G, HEVC patent lawsuits against high-volume smartphone maker OPPO and its OnePlus, realme affiliates in UK, India, Germany

          In a dedicated filing (dated December 22, 2021) with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), patent licensing firm InterDigital (a publicly-traded non-practicing entity) has announced multiple patent infringement lawsuits against OPPO (one of the world’s largest smartphone makers) and its OnePlus and realme affiliates in the UK, India, and Germany. OnePlus is famous for high-end Android phones.

          According to the regulatory filing, InterDigital brought those complaints last week (December 20 and 22, 2021), just before the Christmas holidays, and is seeking injunctions (as well as unspecified other remedies, i.e., damages). The patents-in-suit have been declared essential to the 4G/LTE and 5G wireless standards and the HEVC video codec standard.

          InterDigital’s revenue stream consists of royalties on its many standard-essential patents (SEPs), though what sets it apart from the vast majority of other SEP NPEs (which buy up patents on the secondary market) is that it obtains SEPs itself through participation in standard-setting processes. It doesn’t make its own devices, however. An InterDigital official once told me in a semi-public LinkedIn discussion that there was a time when they made one, but declined to provide further information when I asked for specifics (particularly unit volumes).


          The combination of the license deals I read about on OPPO’s website and the two major infringement campaigns it is currently dealing with suggests to me that this company is neither an unwilling licensee nor a soft target. There will be a license deal in the end, but in the meantime I’m sure OPPO will present InterDigital with a formidable challenge.

          In related news involving other companies, it may just be a matter of days until we see patent litigation flare up again between Ericsson and Apple, with a license agreement set to expire this week and no renewal having been announced yet.

        • Green Party Activists: End Covid Vaccine Patents to End “Vaccine Apartheid”

          With the new omicron covid variant burning its way through the US and global populations, Green Party activists demanded that the Biden administration follow through on its stated policy of having covid vaccine patents waived in order to make covid vaccines affordable and available throughout the world.

          “Global vaccine apartheid, where covid vaccines are too expensive and unavailable to people in low-income countries, is not only immoral. It is also a public health threat to people in high-income and relatively highly vaccinated countries like the US. President Biden should do all he can to lift the covid vaccine patents in order to enable all nations to cheaply manufacture and distribute the vaccines,” said Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for President in 2020.

          Public health experts say that expanding vaccination throughout the world would curb the amount of virus in circulation and reduce the emergence of new mutations and variants in regions where vaccination rates are low.

          The Green Party’s 2016 presidential candidate, Jill Stein, a medical doctor, commented, “Making vaccines available without deadly patent restrictions is one of many critical steps that should be taken immediately to address the wider crisis in public health underlying the COVID-19 pandemic. Predatory profiteering should be eliminated from pharmaceutical sales and health care in general. And it ought to start by making life saving treatments available as a public good. A nation that’s squandered $21 trillion dollars on disastrous militarism over the past two decades can afford to put health care over profit at home and abroad, starting with simple steps to end vaccine apartheid.”

        • Benefits and Considerations for Patent Prosecution Under Patent Prosecution Highway in Australia, Canada, South Korea, and Japan [Ed: This has nothing to do with science, nothing to do with innovation, and it is a symptom of what became of the patent system; it's about monopolies and their litigation firms, nothing else]

          This is the second article of the multi-part series discussing benefits of prosecuting patents under Patent Prosecution Highway or PPH. The first article can be accessed here. To recap, PPH is a set of initiatives promulgated by participating patent offices around the world to accelerate patent prosecution in countries of the participating patent offices. PPH allows participating patent offices to share information and to benefit from work performed by other participating patent offices, thereby reducing examination workload and improving quality of patents. Interested readers are invited to read the first article through the link provided.


          As discussed in the first article, requirements to participate in PPH in each of the participating patent offices may differ slightly. However, some general rules can be gleaned. To be eligible for PPH at a participating patent office of interest, at time of filing, applicants are required to show that: (1) a related patent application has been determined by a participating patent office to be patentable; (2) the related patent application includes at least one patentable claim; and (3) claims of a filed patent application must sufficiently correspond to allowed claims of the related patent application. Once these requirements are met, applicants can apply for PPH by filing a PPH request and providing the participating patent office of interest: (1) copies of all correspondences of the related patent application; (2) a copy of the allowed claims of the related patent application; and (3) a claim correspondence table indicating relatedness between the claims of the filed patent application and the allowed claims of the related patent application. With this in mind, we will continue our look into PPH requirements for Australia, Canada, South Korea, and Japan.

        • 2021 Roundup: List Of Women Who Excelled In The Field Of Science [Ed: #EPO has a habit of promoting frauds using this reward]

          The Indian-American chemist was honoured with the European Inventor Award this year. It is a prestigious innovation prize in Europe. Mitra won the award for her application of nanotechnology in dentistry. She won it under the non-European Patent Office (EPO) countries category. Her creation integrated nanoparticles into the production of dental materials which led to a new composite to repair teeth. She is a partner at Mitra Chemical Consulting, LLC, a company she started with her husband Smarajit Mitra.

        • EPO opposition statistics: a five-year review [Ed: This is a new example of EPO puff pieces; they seem to find plenty of time for such fluff and never mention EPO corruption (they used to, but then EPO threatened writers and got rid of them)]
        • Spotlight on mRNA – IP landscape [Ed: Misleading from Bristows. It's not about mRNA but about 'stealing' from taxpayers; they helped fund this research and some raiders now want to privatise it all with patents]

          The number of patents filed relating to use of mRNA as a vaccine for both infectious diseases and cancer has increased dramatically over the five years to 2020[1]. As we highlighted in our previous article, numerous companies and institutions are actively working in this field. It is not surprising then that the patent landscape is highly fragmented. Patent owners range from large multinational companies (such as GSK, Bayer and Boehringer Ingelheim), smaller biotech companies (such as Translate Bio) to universities and research institutions (such as University of Pennsylvania, where mRNA pioneers Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman conducted their early research)[2].

          The web of intellectual property that protects the mRNA candidates currently in development is complex and overlaid by a large network of partnerships and licensing arrangements. For the purpose of this article, we will briefly examine some of the IP that protects key aspects of the technology and look at some of the key players in the space. This article is based on publically available information only and is non-exhaustive; we do not propose here to dig deep into the extensive web of patent filings, partnerships and litigation.

        • Can you patent an idea? Get the facts! [Ed: Those are not the facts, this is shameless marketing for oneself. Patents are for implementations, not ideas.]

          Every human invention begins as a spark in the mind — or, neurologically speaking, as activity in the brain’s associative and administrative control regions. But that is only the first of many steps on the road to commercial realization.

          One must travel down a relatively long path to bring an innovative idea to fruition as a full-fledged invention, and an even longer route to attain patent protection. Here, we will examine the standards of patentability for modern innovations and review best practices that, if followed, can boost your chances of filing a successful patent application.

        • UK Patent Joint Ownership: a reminder of the importance of joint ownership agreements [Ed: No, Bristows. Patents are assigned or held (temporarily), not owners.]

          The past week has seen issues of patent inventorship hit the headlines in the US as a simmering dispute between Moderna and the NIH has bubbled over into the public arena. At the centre of the dispute is a claim by the NIH that Moderna has failed to name three NIH scientists as inventors on a US patent application covering Moderna’s mRNA based COVID vaccine. A key focus of the commentary surrounding the dispute is the fact that, if successful in having the NIH scientists named as inventors on the patent, the NIH would gain the right to grant licences under the patent to third parties.

        • South Africa and Australia tackle AI inventorship in patents [Ed: Lawyers celebrate nations that shame themselves by showing their ignorance. Patent maximalists don't care about the law, only money.]

          In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) systems have been moving from the realm of science fiction into real life as advanced neural networks begin to find applications in various industries. In the world of patent law, AI-related patent applications have been subject to scrutiny concerning issues of patentability, including the fundamental questions of who qualifies as an “inventor” and whether a highly developed AI system can fulfill that role.
          These questions have been raised most notably by a group of AI engineers and forward-thinking legal professionals who are connected with an international project to secure patent rights for inventions developed entirely by an AI system. DABUS, or “Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience,” was engineered by AI pioneer Dr. Stephen Thaler. This AI system has developed two inventions that have been submitted in patent applications for consideration by Intellectual Property (IP) offices across the world. These inventions are an improved container for liquids that has a fractal profile to reduce slipping and increase safety during transport and enhanced methods for attracting attention using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that produce pulse trains at a highly noticeable frequency to humans.

        • [Old] Recent developments: update on FRAND in Germany

          In the past 12 months, the case law of German courts regarding the FRAND defence has developed significantly and strengthened the position of SEP owners in the wake the of the first Sisvel v Haier (KZR 36/17) Federal Court of Justice judgment on 5 May 2020. The court confirmed this judgment with its second Sisvel v Haier (KZR 35/17) decision on 24 November 2020. In both judgments, the Federal Court of Justice rejected the rather formal approach that the German courts of first and second instance took in applying the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) Huawei v ZTE decision.

          Following the first Sisvel v Haier judgment of May 2020, the Mannheim and Munich District Courts rendered against Daimler in August and September 2020, injunctions in the proceedings Nokia v Daimler and Sharp v Daimler. Both courts rejected Daimler ’s FRAND defence after applying the Sisvel v Haier judgment from May 2020, holding that Daimler did not act how a willing licensee should have acted. These were the first post-Sisvel judgments in Germany in which that Federal Court of Justice decision was applied.

        • Mixed news for Apple: App Store accusers lose their most effective voice as Spotify’s top lawyer Horacio Gutierrez joins Disney–but State of California may support Epic Games on appeal [Ed: Reminder that Microsoft's patent extortion person, who fought against GNU/Linux by extortion, is now at Spotify]

          Yesterday I saw on LinkedIn that Horacio Gutierrez is leaving Spotify. He served as Spotify’s Head of Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer for six years after a long and successful career at Microsoft where he was basically the #2 lawyer (and would easily have become #1, but Microsoft already has the one and only Brad Smith). Now he is joining Disney as General Counsel and Secretary (press release on BusinessWire).

          Horacio and I didn’t always agree. We’ve known each other for well over a decade, and about each other for even longer as we were on opposing sides of the European software patent-eligibility debate in the early to mid 2000s. Even when we were partly aligned, we weren’t of exactly the same opinion. But as an app developer (currently working on a new app, not a game this time) I’m profoundly disappointed because this means the App Store-critical movement loses the most effective and forceful advocate it ever had. There are some other people I consider similarly important, but at least for now they are acting in the background.

          Disney also faces the gatekeeper problem of mobile ecosystems (Apple’s and Google’s “vice-like”–maybe they meant “vise-like”–grip that the UK’s competition authority called out this month), but at least for the time being and probably for the foreseeable future, they’re nowhere near as antagonistic as Spotify. Apple’s insatiable appetite for grabbing additional revenue streams by leveraging the monopoly power it enjoys in its single-brand aftermarket make it a possibility that Disney, too, will feel as threatened by the app distribution duopoly as Spotify, but it’s not sure to happen, and not on the horizon for now.


          Epic’s Tim Sweeney has also done great things. He apparently can’t deal with people putting the finger in a wound for the sake of accurate analysis, which is why he unfollowed me on Twitter after I started explaining the narrow scope and uselessness of Epic’s consolation-prize UCL injunction and predicted precisely what was going to happen (clarification of scope by district court and stay by appeals court). That’s OK. I continue to like and share tweets of his that I agree with, and I wish him luck, but some mistakes have been made by Epic that the Fortnite maker can’t correct anymore. In fact, Mr. Sweeney himself made a far stronger argument in some Twitter debates against Apple’s “Progressive Web Apps” smokescreen than Epic did in court. It has helped and continues to help that Mr. Sweeney draws attention to Apple’s behavior and double standards. But Horacio was the far better chess player in the competition policy arena and the kind of advocate who can convince politicians and regulators of the need to take action.

          The Coalition for App Fairness needs a new strategic leader whose primary challenge it will be to make the CAF a credible voice of many developers even though there is no indication that anyone other than Epic, Spotify, and Tinder company Match Group has contributed substantial funding or has much of a say. It has to define its focus more broadly than just dealing with the 30% cut, and it also needs to find outside counsel capable of taking on Apple. As a motion to quash subpoenas shows, the CAF was at some point represented by the Kanter Law Group, the law firm of Jonathan Kanter, who is now the U.S. antitrust chief (official title: Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, DOJ).

      • Trademarks

        • Turkey: The Required Evidence Regarding Proof Of Use In Trademark Matters

          With the introduction of the Industrial Property Law (“IPL”), the “proof of use” practice, which is applied in EUIPO and many countries, came into force in trademark opposition cases. In this article, we discuss how it works in Turkey.

          Upon the request of the owner of a trademark application, a party opposing trademark application must prove the use of the trademark on which the opposition is based to the extent it has been registered for more than five years at the application or priority date of the opposed trademark application.

Links 27/12/2021: BLAKE2s, KiCad 6.0.0, and Orange Pi 3 LTS

Posted in News Roundup at 7:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Leftovers

    • Parents With Disabilities Face Medicare Rules That Exclude Parental Assistance
    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • We Encrypted the Web: 2021 Year in Review

              For more than 10 years, EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere browser extension has provided a much-needed service to users: encrypting their browser communications with websites and making sure they benefit from the protection of HTTPS wherever possible. Since we started offering HTTPS Everywhere, the battle to encrypt the web has made leaps and bounds: what was once a challenging technical argument is now a mainstream standard offered on most web pages. Now HTTPS is truly just about everywhere, thanks to the work of organizations like Let’s Encrypt. We’re proud of EFF’s own Certbot tool, which is Let’s Encrypt’s software complement that helps web administrators automate HTTPS for free.The goal of HTTPS Everywhere was always to become redundant. That would mean we’d achieved our larger goal: a world where HTTPS is so broadly available and accessible that users no longer need an extra browser extension to get it. Now that world is closer than ever, with mainstream browsers offering native support for an HTTPS-only mode.

              In 2020, Firefox announced an “HTTPS-only” mode feature that all users can turn on, signaling that HTTPS adoption was substantial enough to implement such a feature. 2021 was the year the other major browsers followed suit, starting with Chrome introducing an HTTPS default for navigation when a user types in the name of a URL without specifying insecure HTTP or secure HTTPS. Then in June, Microsoft’s Edge announced an “automatic HTTPS feature” that users can opt into. Then later in July, Chrome announced their “HTTPS-first mode”, which attempts to automatically upgrade all pages to HTTPS or display a warning if HTTPS isn’t available. Given Chrome’s dominant share of the browser market, this was a huge step forward in web security. Safari 15 also implemented a HTTPS-first mode in its browsers. However, it does not block insecure requests like in Firefox, Chrome, and Edge. 

              With these features rolled out, HTTPS is truly everywhere, accomplishing the long-standing goal to encrypt the web.

            • [Old] What’s in a blue checkmark?

              Twitter has gotten a lot more transparent recently about what the blue checkmark means and is meant to achieve. Their documentation says that it’s used to mark authentic accounts of public interest. But there is still a lot to ponder about what those words mean (what’s “public interest”? what’s “authentic”?) and why this is a useful feature. The verification program could be motivated by mis-/disinformation, harassment and abuse (e.g. preventing impersonation), scams and phishing, or some combination of the above. It’d be fascinating to know what Twitter’s internal success metrics (if any) are for the blue checkmark feature.

            • Urban Indians set to make their homes smarter in 2022

              As per a recent report by Allied Market Research, the India home automation market size was valued at $1.79 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $13.5 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 29.8 per cent during the forecast period.

            • Confidentiality

              • When a web PKI certificate won’t cut it

                In recent years, setting up a public HTTPS website has gotten easier and easier, thanks to widespread automated certificate management, free certificates, inexpensive CDN support, and other developments. However, for the most part, these advancements – and the web PKI in general – are designed for publicly accessible websites. That is, a website with a publicly resolvable domain name can undergo domain name validation to get an HTTPS certificate. You can also get an HTTPS certificate for a public IP address, but this type of certificate is much more rare and less widely supported than certificates for public domain names. What you cannot do is get a publicly trusted HTTPS certificate for a non-public domain name (such as an intranet hostname) or a reserved private network or localhost IP address (such as That is, a certificate authority like Let’s Encrypt or DigiCert will not be able to provide you with an HTTPS certificate for foo.test or that works with an out-of-the-box client like a major web browser. This is because there’s no way for the certificate authority to validate that you are the true owner of such a name; by definition, there is no such concept of the true owner of such a name.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Islamists terrorise Muslim and non-Muslim pupils and teachers at schools in Berlin, Germany

        Students from Muslim families in particular are under strong pressure to adapt, for example in terms of behaviour during the fasting month of Ramadan, dealing with religious minorities or the headscarf. “It is not enough that the pupils privately decide in favour of a stricter interpretation of Islam. Increasingly, such views are dominating the mainstream, with increasingly clear demands that these rules also be observed by others,” the inventory states. “This then also applies to educational staff, provided they themselves have a Muslim migration background.”

        For example, the head of one school reported that teachers and students there had been challenged about their “summer clothes”. The management of another school stated that a pupil told a staff member of Arab origin that he did not listen to her because she was a “very bad Muslim” due to her lack of a headscarf. The boy’s father, who was called in, had encouraged his son in his behaviour.

      • Taliban govt scraps Afghan election commission

        Established in 2006, the IEC was mandated to administer and supervise all types of elections, including presidential, according to the commission’s website.

        “They have taken this decision in a hurry… and dissolving the commission would have huge consequences,” Aurangzeb, who headed the panel up until the fall of the previous regime, said.

        “If this structure does not exist, I’m 100 percent sure that Afghanistan’s problems will never be solved as there won’t be any elections,” said Aurangzeb, who like many Afghans goes by only one name.

      • Sutherland man arrested on Christmas Eve over alleged terror attack plans

        The 34-year-old had planned to attack police officers, government officials and other Muslims that he deemed insufficiently devout, Detective Superintendent Michael Sheehy told reporters on Friday morning.

        “This individual is [allegedly] posting a significant amount of material about bombings and manufacturing explosives,” Det Supt Sheehy said.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Opinion | Top Six Reasons to Be Happy About Electric Vehicles in the US in 2022

          The Biden administration’s Infrastructure and Jobs Act, passed in October, and the new fuel standards set by the EPA will have a positive impact on electric vehicles in the United States in the coming year. Let’s review this good news.

        • Climate crisis puts oil in the crosshairs, but dependence persists

          The International Energy Agency warned in May that an immediate halt to new investment in fossil projects is needed if the world is to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and to stand any chance of limiting warming to 1.5C.

          The call was a revolution for an agency created in the wake of the first 1970 oil shock to protect the energy security of rich, oil-consuming nations.

          Another major moment in 2021 was the emergence at the COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow of a coalition of nations that pledged to phase out oil and gas production, although no major oil and gas producing nation joined that group.

        • Miami wants to become [cryptocurency]‘s financial capital. New York’s response? Bring it on

          Cryptocurrencies are seen by many as the future of finance, and Miami is aggressively angling to become the world’s crypto capital – in a direct threat to New York’s status as the country’s financial hub, threatening New York’s dominance in finance.

        • How Bitcoin miners are exploiting cheap electricity in Siberian ‘cryptocurrency allotments’

          In an extraordinary gesture of desperation that upset many Bitcoin miners in the region, local governor Igor Kobzev in a confidential memo to Russia’s energy minister this autumn complained about a “skyrocketing electricity use in the region” fraught with “accidents”.

          Irkutskenergo, the region’s main electricity company, insists that it cannot deny service to suspected Bitcoin miners as it is obliged to provide as much as electricity to households as it has the capacity for, and it has no right to ask if the customer wants to build five heated pools or install 100 mining rigs on their property.

          The energy company was desperate enough to launch private investigations into suspected illegal farms in order to seek damages in court.

        • Iceland Cuts Power to Industry, Turns Away New Bitcoin Miners

          Low hydro reservoir levels, a malfunction at a power station and a delay in obtaining power from an external producer led to the reduction, effective immediately, the company said on Tuesday. In addition to fish-feed plants, the reductions apply to large customers on curtailable short-term contracts. Record demand also played a part, said Tinna Traustadottir, executive vice president of sales and customer service at Landsvirkjun.

        • [Old] Bitcoin Mining Breathes Life into Zombie Coal Plants

          Scrubgrass is just the start. Stronghold has executed a purchase agreement to acquire a second waste coal plant in Pennsylvania, the Panther Creek Energy Facility, and aspires to buy a third. Like Scrubgrass, Panther Creek was increasingly unable to compete on the open electricity market– operating at less than one tenth of its capacity prior to its acquisition by Stronghold.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • PM shares rare snow leopard footage

          Amid the ongoing government efforts for wildlife conservation through community invo­lve­ment and afforestation in the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday shared a rare footage of a snow leopard roaming and roaring over the snowy mountains in the Khaplu area of Gilgit Baltistan.

      • Overpopulation

        • Iran Condom Ban Sparks Fears Of Disease, Unwanted Pregnancies, And A Black Market

          Iran has passed a law banning the free, state-subsidized distribution of contraceptives in a bid to boost its population growth — but the move has raised fears of catastrophic repercussions. Iran’s government systematically cracks down on the free flow of information and those who speak to foreign media may be subject to persecution. For that reason, the identities of the interviewees are not disclosed and their faces are blurred or not shown.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • A Year in, Biden Hasn’t Fulfilled Promise to Repair Refugee Resettlement Program
      • Control of House Up in Air as More Dems Say They Won’t Seek Reelection in 2022
      • Are U.S. Charities Backing Hindu Nationalism?

        The two viruses are related due to the way in which Hindu nationalist aligned charitable organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom have raised money for Covid relief and then funnelled these funds to Hindu nationalist groups in India, where they are potentially used to spread hatred against religious minorities.

        To read this article, log in here or subscribe here. In order to read CP+ articles, your web browser must be set to accept cookies.

      • President Erdoğan has only brought poverty to Turkey, numbers show

        In the past two days, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his supporters have rejoiced in the rebound of the Turkish Lira against the dollar. However, reporting by daily BirGün shows that that celebration is misplaced. Not only was the currency crisis self-inflicted, but over the past two decades of Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule, people in Turkey have only gotten poorer.

      • Lira plunges again after Erdogan cites Islam to defend rate cuts

        Erdogan has previously cited his religion in explaining why he believes interest rates cause inflation instead of reining it in.

        High interest rates are a drag on activity and slow down economic growth.

        But central banks raise their policy rates out of necessity when inflation gets out of hand.

        The Turkish lira has now lost nearly half its value in the past three months alone.

      • Nigeria places Erdogan’s enemies on surveillance in exchange for Turkey’s military assistance

        Nigeria’s unfavourable response further infuriated the Turkish government. Consequently, several Nigerian students attending Turkish schools abroad were arrested while others were deported for reasons never stated.

        President Buhari’s adviser on Diaspora Affairs at the time, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, confirmed to local media that “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the permanent secretary summoned the Turkish Ambassador immediately the information was received. While both countries are working at resolving the issue through every possible diplomatic channel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made it clear that such acts against Nigerians will not be accepted.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • 2021 Was the Year Lawmakers Tried to Regulate Online Speech

        So, it’s inevitable that services make mistakes—removing users’ speech that does not violate their policies, or terminating users’ accounts with no explanation or opportunity to appeal. And inconsistent moderation often falls hardest on oppressed groups. 

        The dominance of a handful of online platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter increases the impact of their content moderation decisions and mistakes on internet users’ ability to speak, organize, and participate online. Bad content moderation is a real problem that harms internet users. 

        There’s no perfect solution to this issue. But U.S. lawmakers seem enamored with trying to force platforms to follow a government-mandated editorial line: host this type of speech, take down this other type of speech. In Congressional hearing after hearing, lawmakers have hammered executives of the largest companies over what content stayed up, and what went down. The hearings ignored smaller platforms and services that could be harmed or destroyed by many of the new proposed internet regulations. 

      • More Tiananmen massacre memorials removed in Hong Kong

        The removal of the monuments testifies to the ruling Communist Party’s efforts to erase the bloody events from the public consciousness. It also comes as the party snuffs out democratic challenges in Hong Kong to its rule.

        On Thursday, a monument at the University of Hong Kong was dismantled, wiping out one of the city’s last remaining places of public commemoration of the crackdown.

        The government has never provided a figure on casualties and the pro-democracy movement remains a taboo topic in mainland China. Hong Kong and Macao, the two semi-autonomous territories, were the only places on Chinese soil where commemorations of the crackdown were allowed until authorities banned annual candlelight vigils for two consecutive years.

      • Steam Global Domain Appears to Be Banned in China

        Indeed, the Steampowered domain isn’t accessible anymore to Chinese users according to Comparitech, while Steamchina is. That’s the domain of the Chinese version of Steam, which Valve launched in February 2021 through a partnership with Perfect World.

        Steam China is far more limited than the global version, though. It was built to comply with the Chinese government’s strict regulations on videogames and Internet usage. First and foremost, to publish a game on this platform a developer would need Chinese government approval for the game. That’s why the Chinese version only had 53 games at launch, not to mention the lack of features such as Steam Forums, Steam Workshop, Steam Market, and more.

      • The global version of Steam appears to be banned in China

        China’s apparent ban on Steam Global is a rough way to end a year that the country has spent cracking down on gaming. In July, Tencent rolled out a facial recognition technology that scans kids’ faces to keep them in compliance with the 10PM curfew that China set to prevent kids from gaming late at night. Just one month later, China implemented a new rule that restricts minors from playing games for more than three hours per week. China later banned Fortnite, even though the game was already heavily modified to comply with China’s strict rules.

      • Steam Global Faces Ban in China; Chinese Version Available Only with 103 Games in Its Library

        According to The Verge, Steam China only has 103 titles on its library, and it is a massive step down for gamers and enthusiasts. The library only holds less than ten percent of the games it originally featured.

      • After the cross of Notre-Dame de la Garde on the New Year’s card of Marseille’s city hall was erased by the Islamist-Stalinist city government, the opposition protests

        The New Year’s card proposed by the city of Marseille shocked the conservative opposition a few days before the New Year. The reason: in the photo, the cross of the Basilica Notre-Dame de la Garde was removed from its dome, France 3 reported in an article published on Thursday December the 23rd. This detail caught the attention of numerous local politicians, such as Valérie Boyer, who addressed the city council on Twitter. The Les Républicains (LR) senator of the Bouches-du-Rhône department reacted not without irony: “Thank you to the city administration for being so attached to our traditions, our roots and our identity. After the disappearance of Merry Christmas (which has been replaced by Happy Feast), we learn that Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde has no cross. The Virgin Mary could be next?”.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • New Year’s Eve Rally in Boston to Support Julian Assange

        This article was originally published on If This Be Treason.

        New Englanders concerned about the treatment of Julian Assange, the founder of the radical news site Wikileaks who is currently in custody in the UK awaiting extradition to the US under espionage charges, will gather as part of a “First Night Against the Wars” event at Boston’s Copley Square on the afternoon on December 31. The gathering will take place between 2 pm-3:30 pm.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Envisioning a World With No Bosses
      • Opinion | The Age of Discontent: What Drives the Rising Wave of World Protests?

        In recent years, the world has been shaken by protests. From the Arab Spring to the social uprisings in Chile and Latin America, the world has seen a dramatic rise in protests. In a polarized world, the COVID-19 pandemic has only accentuated feelings of outrage and discontent.

      • Desmond Tutu, Fierce Opponent of South African and Israeli Apartheid, Dies at 90
      • Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Defender of Human Rights in South Africa and Beyond, Dies at 90

        Leaving behind a legacy of fighting for oppressed people in South Africa and around the world, Archbishop Desmond Tutu died Sunday at age 90 in Cape Town, South Africa. The cause was reportedly cancer.

        Advocates for human rights, health equity, economic justice, and nonviolence honored Tutu, who helped lead the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which was formed afterwards.

      • Ugandan maid dies in Egypt two years after travelling to Saudi Arabia

        Many young women like Namazzi who try to escape unemployment and poverty at home, often end up as domestic workers in the Middle East where over the years, there has been systematic documentation of cases of exploitation, physical and/or sexual abuse, and even fatalities.

        In August this year, Uganda said it was to review the agreements with a number of countries, particularly in the Middle East, as cases of abuse of migrant workers continue to rise.

      • Iran Executes Kurdish Man Despite International Appeals, Rights Activists Say

        Heidar Ghorbani was executed early on December 19 in Sanandaj prison in western Iran’s Kurdistan Province, the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) and the France-based Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) said, adding that neither his family nor his lawyer had been given prior warning.

        Ghorbani’s execution was carried out while his case was still under consideration at the Supreme Court.

      • [Old] I travelled around Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. This is what I saw

        Perhaps no woman on Earth can relate to an Afghan woman more than an Iranian. With shared language and culture, we know what it means when a political power transfer happens and men in power decide on women’s issues. We know that when those men say that ‘proper systems are in place to ensure the safety of women’, it means that they are going to gradually ignore us.

        We know the process: first, they announce their respect for women, emphasising women’s duty of childbearing, then they rule how women should cover themselves, before banning us from going to work or having higher education, ‘for our own good and security’. And then, some time later, after wars, bombs, suicide attacks or economic crises, women’s issues are forgotten altogether.

      • Pak Court Allows Minor Christian Girl Who Converted To Islam To Go With Parents

        Arzoo had earlier refused to go home with her parents, who filed a case last year claiming that a Muslim man named Syed Azhar Ali, who is much older than their daughter, first abducted her and then forcibly converted her to Islam and married her.

      • Taliban Further Restrict Afghan Women With New Travel Rules

        Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban issued on Sunday new travel restrictions for the country’s women, an action criticized by the U.S. as further mistreatment of Afghan women by the terror group.

        The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice directive limits a woman’s ability to travel farther than 72 kilometers unless accompanied by a close male relative. It also advised taxi drivers to offer rides only to women wearing an Islamic hijab or a headscarf.

        Ministry spokesman Sadiq Akif Mahajer defended the restrictions, telling VOA they were in line with Sharia, or Islamic law.

      • No trips for Afghan women unless escorted by male relative: Taliban

        The move follows the Taliban barring many women in public-sector roles from returning to work in the wake of their August 15 seizure of power, and as girls remain largely cut off from state secondary schooling.

        It also comes despite the hardline Islamists seeking to project a moderate image internationally in a bid to restore aid suspended when the previous government imploded during the final stages of a US military withdrawal.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Japan to pay companies to keep sensitive patents secret- Nikkei

          Japan will compensate companies to keep secret patents with potential military applications under proposed legislation, the Nikkei reported on Sunday, without citing sources.

          The patents under review in the proposed economic security legislation will include technology that can help develop nuclear weapons, such as uranium enrichment and cutting-edge innovations like quantum technology, the financial daily said.

        • Japan To Pay Firms To Keep Sensitive Patents Secret: Report

          Japan will compensate companies to keep secret patents with potential military applications under proposed legislation, the Nikkei reported on Sunday, without citing sources.

          The patents under review of the proposed economic security legislation will include technology that can help develop nuclear weapons, such as uranium enrichment and cutting-edge innovations like quantum technology, the Nikkei report said.

        • Hush money: Japan to pay companies to keep sensitive patents secret

          The Japanese government will introduce legislation to keep patents with potential military applications secret, compensating companies and applicants for forgone licensing income, Nikkei has learned.

      • Copyrights

        • Amazon, Lee Child & John Grisham Win $7.8m Judgment Against eBook Pirates

          In 2020, Amazon teamed up with publisher Penguin Random House and authors including Lee Child and John Grisham to sue several pirate eBook sites operating out of Ukraine. After a tortuous legal process, a Washington court has awarded the maximum available statutory damages of $7.8 million.

Links 27/12/2021: PostgreSQL-Related Project Releases, Microsoft’s Patent Trolls Still Suing the Whole World

Posted in News Roundup at 1:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • My Top 5 Favorite Linux Apps That I Discovered in 2021 – It’s FOSS News

        Over the course of 2021, I have watched hundreds of interesting Linux apps gain development effort and users. While some of these have been discontinued, others live on, and all the time gaining popularity and new features.

        While I wish that I could shed some light on all of these, this is unfortunately not possible. However, I have picked my top 5 favorites and shall share them with you here. They may not make the list of essential Linux applications but I absolutely love them.

        Before we get started, it should be noted that all these apps—with the exception of EverSticky—are convergent, meaning they work equally well on desktop and mobile Linux devices. As devices such as the PinePhone and Librem 5 become more popular, I think it is quite important that convergent apps are supported, and it is great to see so many in development.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Enable PowerTools Repository on AlmaLinux 8

        The PowerTools repository is a container that contains many packages, libraries, and developer tools for either creating from source or installing applications. Most repositories rely on the PowerTools to be enabled, including the most popular Extra packages for the Enterprise Linux repository.

        In the following tutorial, you will quickly install the EPEL repository and enable PowerTools on your AlmaLinux 8 system.

      • How to Create A Shortcut To Run Xubuntu Linux Application in Terminal – Fosslicious

        Sometimes, some games that are on Steam can only run if I run using the terminal. So basically, the user needs to call the application using the terminal. This requires the user to open a terminal in Linux and write commands to call the application to be run.

        One of the benefits of running apps on Linux using the terminal is that the user can find out the logs of the application activity that is running at the same time. It is often used to check, whether the application is running properly or find errors while running.

        In my opinion, Calling the application through the terminal many times is a bit of a hassle. However, the user can create a 1-click shortcut that can run the application through the terminal. So users don’t have to bother opening a terminal and writing application calling commands repeatedly when calling applications.

      • Linux Dash light Weight System Performance Monitoring Tool

        Hello, friends. In this post, we will talk about Linux Dash, which is a lightweight System Performance Monitoring Tool. So, you will also learn how to install it on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Custom screen saver with XSecureLock

        i3lock is a popular X11 screen lock utility. As far as customization goes, it only allows one to set a background from a PNG file. This limitation is part of the design of i3lock: its primary goal is to keep the screen locked, something difficult enough with X11. Each additional feature would increase the attack surface and move away from this goal.1 Many are frustrated with these limitations and extend i3lock through simple wrapper scripts or by forking it.2 The first solution is usually safe, but the second goes against the spirit of i3lock.

        XSecureLock is a less-known alternative to i3lock. One of the most attractive features of this locker is to delegate the screen saver feature to another process. This process can be anything as long it can attach to an existing window provided by XSecureLock, which won’t pass any input to it. It will also put a black window below it to ensure the screen stays locked in case of a crash.

      • Steps to Install Nmap & ZenMap on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux

        Nmap or “Network Mapper” is an open-source tool meant for security experts and developers by the “Nmap Developer Team” since 1997. Here we will learn the commands to install NMAP on Debian 11 Bullseye and how to use it?

        Using Nmap, a user can scan the network and or computers on the internet/local (ie with their IP address) can be checked for open ports and the services listening on them. Known and unknown scanning methods make this tool a very powerful program.

        The Network Mapper is particularly suitable for finding out all active hosts in the network environment (ping sweeps) as well as their operating system (OS fingerprinting) and version numbers of various services installed there.

      • How to Install Firefox Next (Beta) or Firefox Quantum (Nightly) on Pop!_OS

        Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation. Firefox utilizes the Gecko rendering engine to display web pages, which implements current and future anticipated web formats and standards.

        For the most part, Firefox is often up to date with the latest stable release on Pop_OS and Ubuntu-based desktops, however non-stable builds such as beta or the more bleeding edge nightly builds can be installed tested the new features or test your websites before its hits the stable repository.

        For the most part, the beta build is what curious users should be installing, and the nightly build should never be used by anyone other than sysadmins or developers looking to test a particular feature.

        In the tutorial, you will learn how to add and install the beta and nightly build for Firefox using a PPA maintained by the Mozilla team on your Pop!_OS desktop.

      • How to Install and Use Cockpit in AlmaLinux

        Server management is prioritized on the checklist of almost all web server administrators. The Cockpit has made server management easier to execute because of the flexibility it brings to the table.

        This Linux-supported software application lets you monitor and manage the status of your Linux-based servers remotely and on a web-based interface. Through Cockpit web server software, a web admin can comfortably start or stop server-based running services, check on the server load, and system performance.

        Once you successfully install Cockpit and gain access to its web dashboard interface, you will be able to monitor and assess key information related to your server’s health and other critical system statistics like running processes, network consumption, disk utilization, disk space, CPU & Memory usage, and active users.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Enlightenment 0.25 Release Brings the Flat Looks + More

        The Enlightenment 0.25 released as a major update with new features and improvements. In this post, we wrap up the release.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Interesting KDE Facts and Trivia that You Should Know About

          We looked back in time and found out some “Kool” KDE Facts and Trivia. Here it is.

          The KDE has a long history. How it was conceptualized, progressed and became a winner as a “go-to” desktop for all user base. In this post, we give you some interesting facts and trivia of KDE that you may be not aware of. And it’s good to know.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Nitrux 1.8 Released with the Latest Linux Kernel 5.15 LTS

          The new Nitrux 1.8 release defaults to the XFS file system and comes with the latest Linux kernel. Here’s what’s new!

          Nitrux is exclusively a 64-bit KDE Plasma + Debian-based Linux distribution which features NX Desktop with Plasma desktop with its own flavor.

          Nitrux relies on KDE Plasma’s famed malleability along with some heavily redesigned components to simplify the workflow for new users. The distribution develops its own NX Desktop, which is a customization layer for the Plasma 5 desktop environment.

          One of the really interesting things that kind of differentiates Nitrux from the hundreds of other Debian-based distributions out there is that Nitrux actually ships with AppImage and Flatpak by default. Many of the programs on the system out of the box are actually AppImages rather than native packages installed through the APT package manager.

          Now the last release of this systemd-free (Nitrux use the OpenRC init system) Linux distro for this year is out. So let’s see what’s new.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • UGOOS UT8 PRO – An RK3358 TV box with 8GB RAM, 64GB storage – CNX Software

        UGOOS UT8 PRO is the first TV box I’ve seen with a Rockchip RK3568 processor, if we exclude Firefly Station P2 that’s more like an Arm Linux mini PC. The device runs Android 11 and is equipped with 8GB RAM, 64GB eMMC flash, and offers WiFi 6 connectivity. There’s also the “UGOOS UT8” with basically the same features except it ships with 4GB RAM and 32GB flash, and a dual-band WiFi 5 and Bluetooth module.

      • Pi-Hole the Easy Way – CubicleNate’s Techpad

        Setting up a Pi-Hole for your network is a beautifully simple process. This is a guide whose intent is to give you the confidence to try it yourself. If you are not new to the Raspberry Pi and have accomplished many things with it, this guide is likely a bit too basic. The goal of this is to get you up and running the easy way.

        The best place to go for Pi-Hole reference is at the source of the project: https://docs.pi-hole.net/ It is chocked full of fantastic information and the key resource for this project.

        This article is essentially an opinion piece with some technical sprinklings for how to set up a Pi-Hole, step-by-step, to get you from NOT having network wide, DNS filtration one to having one with great DNS filtration and other cool things.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL: High-Performance SQL Cluster Engine PGSpider 2.0.0 released

          We have just released PGSpider v2.0.0.

          PGSpider is High-Performance SQL Cluster Engine for distributed big data. PGSpider can access a number of data sources using Foreign Data Wrapper(FDW) and retrieves the distributed data source vertically.
          Usage of PGSpider is the same as PostgreSQL. You can use any client applications such as libpq and psql.

        • PostgreSQL: InfluxDB FDW 1.1.1 released

          We have just released version 1.1.1 of the Foreign Data Wrapper for InfluxDB.

          This release can work with PostgreSQL 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14.

      • Programming/Development

        • Java

          • Josh Bressers: Episode 303 – Log4j Christmas Spectacular!

            Josh and Kurt start the show with the reading of a security themed Christmas poem. We then discuss some of the new happenings around Log4j. The basic theme is that even if we were over-investing in Log4j, it probably wouldn’t have caught this. There are still a lot of things to unpack with this event. We are sure we’ll be talking about it well into the future.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Belgian Railway Time For Your Home

        Some of the 20th century’s most iconic design and typography came to us through public signage in the various national railways of Europe. Were you to think of a Modernist clock face for example, the chances are that the prototype for your image hangs somewhere in one of the continent’s great railway terminals. If you don’t fancy getting on a train to see your favourite public timepiece, then maybe [EBP Controller] has a treat for you, with a 3D-printed double-faced Belgian railway station clock.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Support the Greens Party of Papua New Guinea

        I am reissuing this appeal from last April for contributions to the Greens Party of Papua New Guinea because their party is still short of the money it needs to participate in the 2022 parliamentary elections in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

        The PNG Greens Party still needs to raise $5,000 to meet their $26,000 budget for participating in the elections. As I discuss in more detail below, the budget covers statutory requirements as well as practical needs. They have been raising money from their own members’s dues and fundraising events. They have received $10,000 from Australian Greens. But they have received very little from U.S. Greens. Please make a contribution.

        Because of the funding shortfall, the PNG Greens had to postpone their party congress twice from August and then November until hopefully early in 2022.

        The election clock is ticking, with the formal call for elections scheduled for April 28, nominations due by May 5, voting scheduled for June 25 to July 8, and the results to be reported on July 28.


        We in the U.S. are linked to and ultimately harmed by this destruction of biodiversity in PNG. Rainforest destruction increases atmospheric carbon and global warming. Biodiversity maintains the stability and productivity of ecosystems upon which we all depend for food. Biodiversity provides the raw materials for new medicines. As habitat and biodiversity are destroyed and replaced with monocultural plantations and factory farms, pathogens like Covid-19 more frequently jump from animal hosts to humans with deadly consequences.

        U.S. consumers are linked to this destruction by the globalization of trade that drives this destruction of biodiversity and impoverishment of people. The ecological unequal exchange in this trade exploits the rainforests of countries like Papua New Guinea in order to provide wood, palm oil, and other products to the U.S. and other rich countries. The U.S. is the world’s biggest importer of tropical products, which under today’s economy means the U.S. is the top destroyer of biodiversity. Papua New Guinea is the world’s third largest exporter of tropical products that destroy biodiversity.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Intellectual Ventures partner (or subsidiary) Liberty Patents sues Toyota, Subaru, BlackBerry over patent on software updates [Ed: Microsoft’s patent troll still attacks the entire world]

          When Intellectual Ventures predicted an “IP reckoning” for the automotive industry, it presumably had its enforcement action against General Motors, Toyota, and Honda (Eastern District of Texas) already prepared. Meanwhile, Sivel v. Ford and especially Acer v. Volkswagen have drawn even more interest in the automotive patent litigation arena. Automotive patent lawsuits get filed pretty much every week, and it now turns out that a patent previously assigned to Intellectual Ventures is being enforced in the Eastern District of Texas by a non-practicing entity with the patriotic name of Liberty Patents against Toyota, Subaru, and BlackBerry

        • Considerations When Choosing the PCT International Searching Authority [Ed: But quality…]

          Nearly all of the ROs that deem one ISA to be competent specify the European Patent Office (EPO) as that ISA. Most of those are EPC member states or allow the extension or validation of a European Patent. Interestingly, despite Austria being an ISA only the EPO can be an ISA when Austria is the RO. The other ROs that deem one ISA to be competent are Canada with the Canadian IPO being the ISA and Papua New Guinea with IP Australia being the ISA.

        • Other Barks & Bites for Friday, December 24: Judge Stark Avoids Responses on Section 101 Questions, EPO Dismisses DABUS Patent Applications

          EPO Dismisses DABUS Patent Applications, Rules Inventor Must Be Natural Person – On Tuesday, December 21, the European Patent Office’s (EPO) Legal Board of Appeal announced its decision to dismiss a pair of patent applications listing the artificial intelligence system DABUS as the sole inventor after conducting oral proceedings in which the Board found that relevant provisions of the European Patent Convention (EPC) required an inventor to be a person having legal capacity.

        • The Innovator from BiH received the highest Recognition from the European Patent Office [Ed: Does Katarina Ponjavic realise that the EPO is nowadays run by criminals who are giving awards to massive frauds?]

          The departure of young people from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is not a new thing. Sadly, but with amazement, we look at those who choose to stay in their country and push their limitsfrom it. Remember the name Katarina Ponjavic – an innovator from Zepce who invented the patent, the only one of its kind in the world, and received a prestigious award for it.

          A patent for the disposal of medical and infectious waste made in BiH received the highest international recognition from the European Patent Office in Munich. BiH has an internationally recognized patent. It was invented by Katarina Ponjavic, a student at the Faculty of Dentistry in Sarajevo.

          “This device is of global importance, as there are problems in the medical and infectious waste disposal system everywhere in the world since it is a very complicated process,” explainedKatarina.

        • Time for SEP consultations in UK and US [Ed: Such patents ought not exist at all because they curtail competition and innovation; it's a tax that harms everyone]

          The UK and US governments have recently launched calls for views regarding their SEP and FRAND policies, in order to understand the opinions of all the stakeholders, such as patent owners, implementers, consumers, etc.

          In the US, the Department of Justice (DoJ), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have released a modified version of their 2019 Policy Statement regarding Licensing Negotiations and Remedies for Standards-Essential Patents Subject to FRAND, and have requested public feedback on 11 issues related to it. This comes after the White House issued an executive order in July designating possible modifications to the statement as a policy priority.

          Simultaneously, the UK IPO has issued a call for views in relation to SEPs and innovation. The consultation includes a wider range of questions than the US, focusing on the relationship between SEPs, innovation, and competition. It raises the question, ‘What actions or interventions would make the greatest improvements for consumers in the UK?’; and whether an imbalance exists between the licensor and the licensee. The document also asks whether there are alternative ways to address disputes on pricing mechanisms, for example, ‘what point in the value chain provides an economic basis to calculate rates payable?’ The review document contains 27 explicit questions, but it also allows contributors to add any other remarks or insights that they consider to be relevant.

        • Sigma-Aldrich and CVC Propose Preliminary Motions in CRISPR Interference No. 106,132 [Ed: These self-serving lunatics assume that endless lobbying and lawyering will make the concept of patent monopolies on life and nature (not inventions) become patentable; when the system can be corrupted and bought maybe they're right]

          The parties in Interference No. 106,132, namely Senior Party Sigma-Aldrich and Junior Party the University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, “CVC”), filed their respective lists of proposed preliminary motions four days prior to their August 3rd teleconference with the Board to present their arguments for the Board to grant leave to file any of them.

          Junior Party CVC proposed ten preliminary motions. CVC Substantive Preliminary Motion No. 1, which CVC characterized as a “threshold” motion, sought to have a finding of no interference-in-fact because CVC alleged Sigma-Aldrich’s application-in-interference was properly governed under the “first inventor to file” provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act because that patent “contains or contains at any time” (emphasis in brief) subject matter not entitled to priority to an application filed prior to enactment of the AIA. As Sigma-Aldrich did in its analogous request for preliminary motion against Broad (see “Sigma-Aldrich and Broad Propose Preliminary Motions in Recent CRISPR Interference No. 106,133″), CVC provides an Appendix outlining the bases in Sigma-Aldrich’s application-in-interference No. 15/456,204:

        • Here comes the Unitary Patent! [Ed: This headline is intentionally fake news; they hope that repeating a lie endlessly will help a crime seem perfectly OK and legitimate]
        • UPC opt-out FAQs [Ed: There is no UPC. You cannot opt in. But charlatans and liars who promote something illegal already pretend you need to opt out (from something that does not even exist and cannot legally exist)]

          The opt-out is a means by which a patent owner can remove European patents and European patent applications from the jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) when it comes into effect. The default position is that all European patent applications and European patents with a filing date of 01 March 2007 or later will be subject to the jurisdiction of the UPC when it comes into effect, unless an opt-out is filed. The opt-out ensures that the litigation options remain the same.

        • BREAKING: Board of Appeal finds no legal basis for the requirement to amend the description in line with the claims (T 1989/18) [Ed: But these are invalid tribunals]

          A quirk of European patent prosecution is the requirement for the description to be amended in line with allowed claims. This requirement is provided for by the EPO Guidelines for Examination (F-IV-4.4). Despite having unclear legal basis, the description amendment requirement was controversially made even more stringent in the 2021 Guidelines (IPKat). Now, in a remarkable decision from the Boards of Appeal (T 1989/18), published on the 22nd December, a Board of Appeal searched for and unambiguously failed to find any legal basis in the EPC for the requirement that the description must be brought in line with the claims.


          The Board of Appeal decision in T 1989/18 considered whether there was legal basis for refusing an application on the grounds that the description had not been amended in line with the allowed claims. After accepting the claims as allowable, the Examiner refused the application (EP2794651) for the sole reason that the description did not comply with the requirements of Article 84 EPC, i.e. that the claims should be clear and concise and supported by the description.

          The Examiner argued that the description identified embodiments as being part of the invention which were not part of the invention as defined by the claims. Particularly, the Examiner’s main objection was that the description specified subject matter as being part of the invention, where this subject-matter was broader than the independent claims. The Examiner suggested some more substantial amendments to the description, but these were not accepted by the applicant. Notably, the Examining Division decision dates back to 2018, i.e. before the even more stringent guidelines on description amendments were introduced.

          On appeal, the applicant maintained as their Main Request a description having only minimal amendments. The applicant argued that there was no legal basis in the EPC for the requirement that parts of the description no longer covered by the claims should be marked as non-related to the invention or deleted. As such, the applicant argued, “the adaption of the description is superimposed by the Examining Division on the Applicant as an additional, non-EPC-based hurdle before a decision to grant will be issued”. The applicant also pointed out the non-uniform way in which the Guidelines were applied by different Examiners.

        • Lars Meinhardt is new presiding judge at Higher Regional Court Munich

          A few weeks ago, IP experts in Munich had already speculated that Lars Meinhardt (52), rather than one of the experienced Munich patent judges, would chair the 6th Civil Senate at the Higher Regional Court in Munich. The senate is mainly responsible for patent disputes, but also handles copyright and unfair competition cases. Now the president of the court has appointed Meinhardt to succeed Konrad Retzer as of 1. January. Retzer had retired this autumn.


          Already during his time as presiding judge at the Munich Regional Court, Lars Meinhardt was considered by lawyers and in-house counsel to be one of the most experienced German judges for soft IP cases. However, Meinhardt did not gain much experience with patent infringement suits during his career.

          However, many Munich patent attorneys and patent litigators had hoped that Retzer would be succeeded by one of the judges of the 7th and 21st Civil Chambers at the Munich Rigional Court with experience in patent litigation. Matthias Zigann in particular was considered a favourite. He had contributed significantly to Munich patent courts’ rising significance.

        • Software Patents

          • Equitable IP entity Optic153′s patent likely invalid

            On December 21, 2021, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 6,115,174, owned by Optic153 LLC, an Equitable IP entity. The ’174 patent is generally related to devices that vary optical signals and has been previously asserted against Comcast, Verizon, T-Mobile, Windstream Holdings, Dish Network, Charter Communications, Crown Castle International Corp., and AT&T.

          • Another Dolby patent deemed essential in multiple HEVC/AV1 pools invalidated in China

            On December 20, 2021, the China National Intellectual Property Administration declared all claims of CN102256122, owned by Dolby International AB, invalid. CN102256122 is purportedly essential or related to patents purportedly essential to the HEVC Advance pool and SISVEL’s AV1 and VP9 pools.

      • Trademarks

        • [Guest post] Can Keyser Söze elude the Danish courts? On fictional characters and names – the inspiration of Keyser Söze when choosing a trade mark for your business – The IPKat

          Keyser Söze is the main antagonist in Bryan Singer’s movie classic The Usual Suspects from 1995. In the movie, Keyzer Söze is described as a crime lord with a legendary and mythical status with regard to brutality and impact. Feared by criminals and police force alike and always able to elude the courts, the character is never seen in the movie and is only described through flashbacks from the con artist Roger Kint under police interrogation. The movie leaves it open to the viewer to decide whether the crime lord is in fact real or merely an urban legend. As the character Roger Kint puts it in the movie: “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”.

          26 years after the movie was released, the Danish courts might finally have caught up with Keyser Söze. At least the character plays a central part in a ruling from November 2021 from the Danish Maritime and Commercial High Court.

          The case concerned the protection of the trade mark ’Kejser Sausage’ used for a ‘gourmet hot dog’ cart in Copenhagen. The lawsuit was addressed at another Copenhagen restaurant choosing to use the name ‘Keyser Social’. For the attentive reader, both parties were obviously inspired by the character Keyser Söze when choosing the names for their respective businesses.

        • USPTO Issues Examination Guide 1-21: Expungement and Reexamination Proceedings Under the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020

          Monday, December 27, 2021, is opening day for the new USPTO ex parte expungement and reexamination procedures. The Director of the USPTO is expected to throw out the ceremonial first brief and holler “play ball!” Meanwhile the Office has issued “Examination Guide 1-21: Expungement and Reexamination Proceedings Under the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020.” [pdf here]. The Office has also made available a new TEAS form called “Petition for Expungement or Reexamination.”

        • TTABlog Test: How Well Do You Know Your TTAB “Factors”?

          For example, in assessing likelihood of confusion the Board applies the “DuPont factors. See if you can match the case names listed below with the issue that each addressses.

        • CAFC Affirms TTAB’s Dismissal of SKY CINEMAS Opposition: Not Confusable with SKY NEWS for News Reporting Services

          In a nonprecedential ruling, the CAFC upheld the Board’s decision dismissing an opposition to registration of SKY CINEMAS for “movie theaters” [CINEMAS disclaimed], finding the mark not likely to cause confusion with SKY NEWS for radio and television news services. The Board concluded that the involved services are not related nor offered through the same trade channels, and it found that opposer failed to show that movie theaters are within its natural zone of expansion. [TTABlogged here]. Sky International AG v. Sky Cinemas LLC, Appeal No. 21-1575 (Fed. Cir. December 17, 2021) [not precedential].

      • Copyrights

        • Guest Book Review: Exceptions in EU Copyright Law: In Search of a Balance Between Flexibility and Legal Certainty [Ed: More like book promotion, not book review, also known as "plug"]

          As copyright has risen in ubiquity as more and more of daily life takes place online, increasing attention has been paid by scholars to exceptions and limitations. A prominent feature of the debate has been the comparison between the fair use provision contained in section 107 of the US Copyright Act 1976 and the more detailed exceptions and limitations contained in legislation such as the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Some have argued in favour of the perceived flexibility of the former, while others have argued in favour of the perceived certainty offered by the latter. Much ink has been spilled both by those arguing in favour, or resisting, legislative change and by law reform bodies charged with considering such arguments.

          In April 2020 and February 2021 two substantial new contributions to this debate were published. First came Emily Hudson’s Drafting Copyright Exceptions: From the Law in Books to Law in Action (Cambridge University Press) [IPKat review here]. This was the product of extensive fieldwork conducted with cultural institutions (archives, galleries, libraries, museums and industry peak bodies) in Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA over 15 years examining how such bodies apply such provisions in practice and the lessons that can be learned by policy makers. Then came this book by Tito Rendas, a revised and updated version of his doctoral thesis at Universidade Católica Portuguesa. Although a purely doctrinal work, this contribution draws not only on a thorough survey of the existing literature on exceptions and limitations (albeit not an exhaustive one given that Hudson’s book is not cited), but also on linguistics, philosophy and the theory of law.


Links 27/12/2021: Linux 5.16 RC7, Wine 7.0 RC3, NuTyX 21.10.1, and 4MLinux 39.0 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 7:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux Weekly Roundup #162

        Hello! and Merry Christmas! I hope you had a special time.

        We had a full week of Linux releases with Manjaro 21.2, EndeavourOS 21.5, Pardus 21.1, and Elementary OS 6.1 have been released this week.

        Krita 5.0.0 has also been released this week.

      • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: December 26th, 2021 (Christmas Edition)

        Being the holiday season and all that, this week we got a lot of goodies from our favorite developers. We got new Linux distros to play with, including elementary OS 6.1, Nitrux 1.8, Manjaro Linux 21.2, Neptune 7.0, and siduction 2021.3, as well as new major software releases, including Krita 5.0, Darktable 3.8, and Enlightenment 0.25.

        On top of that, more distros switched to the long-term supported Linux 5.15 LTS kernel series, and the Nitrux developers unveiled a brand-new Linux desktop shell called Maui Shell. You can enjoy these and much more in 9to5Linux’s Linux weekly roundup for December 26th, 2021, below!

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.16-rc7
        To the surprise of absolutely nobody, this rc7 is fairly small.
        The stats look pretty normal, with about three quarters being drivers
        (networking, input, sound, tee, hwmon, rdma..). Somewhat unusually, we
        have a PC keyboard controller (not USB - the old legacy kind) fix in
        here - one of the earliest supported hardware still hangs around, and
        still gets some probe-time changes for odd hardware.
        The rest is mainly some kvm and networking fixes, and a few random
        stragglers elsewhere.
        Obviously the holidays are a big reason it's all small, so it's not
        like this is a sign of us having found all bugs, and we'll keep at
        this for at least two more weeks.
        Hope everybody had a good Xmas (or insert your preferred alternative
        holiday) and I'll wish you a happy new year in advance. Because I
        suspect the upcoming week will be even quieter since at least _some_
        of this past week was "this is my last pull request before xmas".
        Shortlog appended, please do give this a whirl.
      • Linux 5.16-rc7 Released Following A Quiet Christmas Week

        Linux 5.16 hasn’t yet pulled in any changes around x86 cluster-aware scheduling for avoiding the Intel Alder Lake performance drop introduced in 5.16 either by pulling in the new patches making it more configurable or outright disabling for Alder Lake on 5.16 or opting to the x86 cluster-aware scheduling defaulting to off entirely for 5.16. We’ll see what makes it into this current stable cycle.

      • Linux Patches Posted For Enabling WiFi On Apple M1/T2 Platforms

        Another important step toward Apple M1 hardware being useful under Linux is in the process of being realized… Working WiFi. The initial “request for comments” patch series was sent out today enabling the Broadcom “BRCMFMAC” driver to work for the wireless LAN support on the M1 SoC as well as with the Apple T2 platforms.

        Hector Martin of the Asahi Linux project for enabling Apple Silicon Arm support under Linux sent out the set of 34 RFC patches for supporting the Apple T2 and M1 platforms with this upstream Broadcom open-source network driver. These patches have been tested with the Broadcom FullMAC hardware used by the Apple T2/M1 platforms including the BCM4355C1, BCM4364B2/B3, BCM4377B3, BCM4378B1, and BCM4387C2.

    • Applications

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Apple Numbers

        In 2020, Apple began the Apple silicon transition, using self-designed, 64-bit ARM-based Apple M1 processors on new Mac computers. Maybe it’s the perfect time to move away from the proprietary world of Apple, and embrace the open source Linux scene.

        Apple Numbers is a spreadsheet application which uses a free-form “canvas” approach that demotes tables to one of many different media types placed on a page. It’s a free download but not published under an open source license. And it’s not available for Linux.

        What are the best free and open source alternative to Numbers?

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install PHP on NetBSD? | LibreByte

        PHP 8.0 added new modern features such us: Union Types,Named arguments, Match expressions, Just In Time Compilation and others

        Today we are going to install PHP 8.0 on NetBSD 9.1.

      • How to install Steam Link on Elementary OS 6.0 – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Steam Link on Elementary OS 6.0. Enjoy!

      • How to Install MongoDB 5 on Ubuntu 20.04 – NextGenTips

        In this tutorial guide, we are going to learn how to install MongoDB 5.0 on Ubuntu 20.04.

        MongoDB is an open-source NoSQL database that provides high throughput for data-driven applications. Unlike relational databases such as MySQL, Oracle, and SQL servers which store data in tables according to a rigid schema, MongoDB stores data in documents with flexible schema.

      • How to Change Your Password on Any Linux Desktop

        The terminal is not everyone’s strong suit, but Linux is more than just a boring command line. Here’s how to change your password on a Linux desktop.

        One of the most basic ways to help keep your Linux desktop secure from both physical and digital intruders is to change your account password if you have any reason to believe that it’s been compromised.

        The exact process you need to follow to reset your Linux password, however, will differ based on the desktop environment that you use. In this article, we’ll show you how to change your user password on six of the most common Linux desktop environments.

      • How to install MetaTrader 4 with the Traders Global Group Incorporated Broker on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install MetaTrader 4 with the Traders Global Group Incorporated Broker 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.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 7.0-rc3
        The Wine development release 7.0-rc3 is now available.
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - Bug fixes only, we are in code freeze.
        The source is available from the following locations:
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Wine 7.0-rc3 Released With 22 More Fixes

        While off the usual Friday release regiment due to the Christmas holidays, Wine 7.0-rc3 was released minutes ago as the newest test release for this open-source software enabling Windows games and applications to run on Linux.

        Wine 7.0-rc3 comes with 22 known bug fixes compared to last week’s rc2 release. Wine 7.0-rc3 includes fixes for Descent 3, GoToMeeting, DirectX 11 error issues, Submarine Titans, MotoGP 2, a big performance regression fix for The Sims 2, Gothic 3, and various other games and applications have enjoyed fixes.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • NuTyX 21.10.12 available with cards 2.4.142

          The NuTyX team is happy to announce the new version of NuTyX 21.10.12 and cards 2.4.142.

          The xorg-server graphics server version 21.1.2, the Mesa 3D library in 21.3.2, Gtk4 4.4.0 and Qt 5.15.2.

          The python interpreters are en 3.10.1 et 2.7.18.

          The XFCE desktop environment is updated to version 4.16.0.

          The MATE desktop environment is a 1.26.0 version .

          The GNOME desktop environment is also updated to version 41.2

          The KDE desktop environment is available in Plasma 5.23.4, Framework 5.89.0 and applications in 21.12.0.

          Available browsers are: Firefox 95.0.2, Chromium 96.0.4664.45, Epiphany 41.3, etc

          Many desktop applications have been updated as well like Telegram-desktop 3.3, Thunderbird 91.4.1, Scribus 1.5.7, Libreoffice, Gimp 2.10.30, etc.

          Core NuTyX ships with Long Term Support (LTS) kernels: 4.9.294, 4.14.259, 4.19.222, 5.4.168 and 5.10.88 and the latest stable version 5.15.11 .

        • 4MLinux Releases: 4MLinux 39.0 BETA released.

          4MLinux 39.0 BETA is ready for testing. Basically, at this stage of development, 4MLinux BETA has the same features as 4MLinux STABLE, but it provides a huge number of updated packages.

          Road map:
          December 2021 -> BETA
          March 2022 -> STABLE
          July 2022 -> OLD STABLE
          November 2022 -> EOL

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Programming/Development

        • Sean Whitton: emacs-workstation-devel-builds

          Debian contributors end up with a number of Debian installations on their workstations for various purposes; there are perhaps five or six on my laptop right now. In addition to this, I now have three copies of GNU Emacs, too.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Pod::Thread 3.01

            This Perl module converts POD to thread, the markup language processed by DocKnot. It does the heavy lifting to process POD documents for conversion to HTML for my web site.

            This is a minor bug fix release that cleans up a few issues found while working on DocKnot: avoid Perl warnings when trying to generate a navigation bar when there are no headings, always output \heading even when there’s no title, and treat an undef title the same as no title. There are also some minor documentation fixes.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • 6502 Goes FPGA (Again) | Hackaday

        While there has been no shortage of FPGA-based recreations of classic processors, we always enjoy seeing a new approach. Last month [Some Assembly Required] took on the challenge to recreate a classic computer from the ground up and started with a 6502 implementation in Verilog. You can see in the second video below that he’s made good progress and there are apparently more videos to come.

        The ROL instruction is the subject of the second video. We liked the approach of looking at what the instruction does and how many cycles it takes on different variants It is always good to make sure you know exactly what you are trying to accomplish before you get started.

      • Planning Custom Aluminum Enclosures With OpenSCAD | Hackaday

        We’ve seen a number of projects over the years that let you create custom enclosures using OpenSCAD, and for good reason. The parametric CAD tool is ideal for generating 3D models based on user-adjustable variables, and if you leverage its integrated Customizer, producing a bespoke box is as easy as moving some sliders around. The resulting files get sent off to the 3D printer, and you’re set. But what if you’re looking for a custom enclosure that’s not so…plastic?

        In that case, AlClosure by [0xPIT] might be the answer. Rather than generating STL files intended for your 3D printer, the code is written to help you design an enclosure made from aluminum sheets. The top and bottom panels are intended to be cut from 1.5 mm – 2.5 mm sheets, while the sides are made from thicker 5 mm – 8 mm stock to accept a machined pocket that holds the front and rear inserts.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Boston ‘Free Assange’ Rally To Be Held Friday December 31 | If This Be Treason

        New Englanders concerned about the treatment of Julian Assange, the founder of the radical news site Wikileaks who is currently in custody in the UK awaiting extradition to the US under espionage charges, will gather as part of a “First Night Against the Wars” event at Boston’s Copley Square on the afternoon on December 31. The gathering will take place between 2 pm-3:30 pm.

        “Or longer, if people want to stay,” event organizers said in a statement.

        The organization behind the rally, Assange Defense Boston, is affiliated with The Courage Foundation, an international organisation that “supports those who risk life or liberty to make significant contributions to the historical record.” The foundation raises funds for the legal and public defense of people who fit this criteria who are facing prosecution or persecution.

        “Julian Assange had a mini-stroke on October 27, the second day of the hearing about whether the UK would accept the US appeal of their decision not to extradite him,” Assange Defense Boston said in a statement on its website announcing the rally, and added that since then, the UK has announced that extradition proceedings will go forward.

        “This decision and [his] stroke are just what we have been fearing,” the organization added. “The Assange defense team is appealing, of course, but even if they win, it will take more time during which he will remain in prison [and] in failing health. We call on the Biden administration to stop following in the footsteps of Donald Trump and drop this unfair prosecution.”

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [Ed: British university trolling or rick-rolling courts and patent offices is a national shame/disgrace]

          Can an artificial intelligence machine be an “inventor” for the purposes of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) and Patents Regulations 1991 (Cth) from which a person may derive title to apply for a patent? This debate is being had throughout the world by reason of Dr Thaler’s application for a patent for an invention that he says was invented by the artificial intelligence he created and runs, called DABUS. At the time of this judgment, Dr Thaler had only had success in South Africa, and failed in the US, UK and before the European Patent Office.

          Justice Beach was seized of this dispute in the following way in Australia. The Commissioner of Patents concluded that section 15(1) of the Patents Act and regulation 3.2(2)(aa) were inconsistent with an artificial intelligence machine being treated as an inventor, that this deficiency in the patent application was incapable of remedy, because Dr Thaler could not name himself as the inventor, and so the patent application had lapsed.

        • A Rose by Any Other Name: an Australian court rules that AI can be an inventor [Older]

          On 30 July 2021, the Federal Court of Australia ruled that a machine – that is, a mathematical equation that analysed and processed data – can be an inventor under Australian patent laws. A world-first decision, Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCA 879 represents a sea change in how courts assess the requirements of a “patent inventor”, opening up the real possibility that other artificial intelligence (AI) systems may enjoy similar designations.

          Below, an overview of the Thaler decision is provided, as well as an assessment of its implications if upheld on appeal. A comparison of this decision to other decisions on the issue around the world is then provided with a final word on the issues that are in play and things for the AI industry to consider.

        • AI Can’t Be a Patent Inventor, European Appeal Board Says

          Only a human can be listed as an inventor on European patent applications, an appeal board said, the latest decision in a global test case to recognize a computer as an inventor.

          Stephen Thaler, a computer scientist from Missouri, built an AI “creativity machine” called DABUS, which Thaler says invented a food container and a light beacon. He was appealing decisions from the European Patent Office refusing patent applications that named DABUS as the inventor.

          The European Patent Convention sets out the system for European patents. Under the EPC, a patent application must designate an inventor.

        • Top 10 patent cases of the year 2021 [Ed: Crude revisionism by JVVE regarding G 1/21, omitting any mention of the corruption; JUVE became EPO management’s megaphone, helping people who break the law]

          Oral proceedings via video are now the reality at the EPO and its Boards of Appeal. But patent attorney firms and companies, especially those based in Germany, are questioning the legal basis of compulsory oral hearings ©aerogondo/ADOBE STOCK

          Over 2021, referral G 1/21 has perhaps garnered the most interest among the entire European patent community. Now the EPO has finally – almost – concluded that while video conferencing is compatible under the European Patent Convention, in-person proceedings are preferable.

          The EPO began conducting oral hearings in early 2020, in order to avoid a backlog of cases during the coronavirus pandemic. However, in March 2021, electronics firm Rohde & Schwarz referred the question “[can] oral proceedings under Article 116 EPC be replaced by a video conference without the parties’ consent?” to the Enlarged Board of Appeal.

          In July, the EPO confirmed that compulsory video conferencing is admissible in appeal proceedings under the European Patent Convention “in a general emergency”. But critics observed that the order did not address whether the EPO can hold video proceedings without party consent if the current period does not constitute a general emergency; or whether first instance examination or opposition proceedings can be held via video without the consent of the parties.

          October provided more clarity. The Enlarged Board of Appeal determined that compulsory video conferencing is compatible with Article 116 EPC. However, since T1807/15 is an appeal case, the EBA has jurisdiction only to decide on appeal cases before the EBA, rather than general EPO opposition proceedings. The decision also notes that the EBA desires to move back to majority in-person proceedings where possible.

          In general, patent attorneys seem satisfied with the EBA’s contention that video conferencing is a legitimate format in which to hold proceedings. Many involved in the European patent market, and especially patent attorneys situated away from the EPO’s main hubs of The Hague or Munich, have reacted positively to this news. Some firms see the proliferation of video hearings as evening the playing field among patent firms distributed across Europe.

          However, the BoA seems to be aligning itself with a consensus among international courts that video conferencing is not a default option. Furthermore, there remains concern over what G 1/21 means for first-instance EPO opposition proceedings. Despite its ostensible ‘final decision’, it’s unlikely we’ve seen the last of the discussion on video hearings at the EPO.

        • “Moving the Boards of Appeal back to an EPO building is a walking a very thin line” [Ed: EPO implicitly admits it violated the EPC for many years]

          Token politics always have a big impact. The recent corona crisis and Brexit have proved this. The power of token politics was also what the member states of the European Patent Organisation and the then President of the European Patent Office Benoît Battistelli had in mind when they relocated the Boards of Appeal from the EPO headquarters in downtown Munich to Haar in 2017.

          Moving the EPO court to the outskirts of Munich was meant to clearly and unmistakably signal to everyone the separation of the office and the court. It was also intended to appease many in the European patent community who felt strongly that Battistelli had interfered too much in the affairs of the Boards of Appeal. The EPO member states spent a lot of money on this move. And so far it has paid off. The EPO and the Boards of Appeal have sailed in much calmer waters in 2021 than they did five years ago.

          Now, however, the current President of the EPO António Campinos and the President of the EPO Court Carl Josefsson are proposing that the Boards of Appeal move back to the city of Munich in 2025 and into, of all places, an EPO building. The reasons make sense: The renovation of the building at Pschorr-Höfen VII should be completed by then. As EPO employees are increasingly working from home, there is already vacant office space. In the opinion of the EPO management, this will only increase over the next few years.

      • Trademarks

        • ‘Firewater’ Sparks A Fiery Dispute In Russia

          An individual entrepreneur filed a trademark application (No. 2019700445) in Cyrillic for ‘ОГНЕННАЯВОДА’ (firewater) to individualise the goods in Class 33 (alcoholic drinks).

          The patent office refused the application because in the opinion of the examiner the word ‘firewater’ is synonymous with a generic word ‘vodka’ and is descriptive while it may be confusing for other goods in Class 33. The patent office also noted that firewater in Cyrillic is a jocular word meaning vodka.

          The applicant appealed the decision at the Chamber of Patent Disputes. He argued that the combination of words ‘fiery water’ is a phraseological unit, it is also an obsolete lexical unit, it does not identify a specific product but elicits associations with any alcoholic drink.

          “For the sake of justice it should be noted that similar approach may be observed in the English language. Some sources identify firewater as moonshine, Cambridge dictionary defines it as whisky in the first place. In any case, it is largely understood as a strong alcoholic drink.

Links 26/12/2021: Enlightenment 0.25, Lumina 1.6.2, and New Sparky Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 12:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • The lost talks from Linus Torvalds at DECUS’94
      • FGKASLR Is An Exciting Linux Kernel Improvement To Look Forward To In 2022 – Phoronix

        It’s been nearly two years in the making since Intel posted FGKASLR patches for improving Linux kernel security. While that work on Finer Grained / Function Granular KASLR stalled for a year, in recent months work on it was revived and in 2022 looks like this security is on a path for mainlining.

        FGKASLR is a step-up over the Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization widely used right now by the Linux kernel for thwarting attacks relying upon known positions of the kernel within memory. Rather than just randomizing the base address that can be figured out with enough guessing or leakage, FGKASLR will randomize the layout down to a code function level.

    • Benchmarks

      • Phoronix Test Suite 10.8 Released With Many Improvements For Open-Source Benchmarking – Phoronix

        Phoronix Test Suite 10.8 is out as the latest quarterly feature update to our open-source, automated and cross-platform benchmarking software.

        Phoronix Test Suite 10.8 unifies its environment variable option handling to now easily expose all these options from within the Phoromatic Server web interface for more robust testing. Phoronix Test Suite 10.8 also improves its test installation and test run-time error detection, also for more robust reporting within Phoromatic. Plus there are numerous other fixes and improvements to the Phoromatic component for automated benchmark test orchestration within labs. Phoronix Test Suite 10.8 also has macOS 12 support improvements, PHP 8.1 fixes, detection for new/upcoming processors, and more.

    • Applications

      • The 9 Best Distraction-Free Writing Apps for Linux to Help You Focus

        Writing is a creative effort. Whether you are writing for your blog or working on documentation for a project, it demands focus in terms of brainstorming and thought organization.

        You can find plenty of text editors for Linux that offer excellent features for writing. A category among these apps specializes in providing you with an environment that boosts concentration.

        So, if you are looking for a minimal text editor that eliminates interruptions and distractions to increase your writing productivity, here are some quality apps for your Linux device.

      • Darktable 3.8.0 Released with New Shortcut System, New Modules, HEIF/HEIC Support

        Darktable, free opensource photography application and raw developer, released new major version 3.8.0 few days ago. Here’s what’s new and PPA for Ubuntu users.

        Darktable 3.8.0 reworked the keyboard shortcut system. User may now control the app via other devices, such as MIDI devices and game controllers. And, standard keyboard/mouse shortcuts can now make use of mouse movements.

        The release comes with new diffuse or sharpen module, allows to simulate or to revert diffusion processes to reconstruct images from lens blur, hazing, sensor low-pass filter, or noise. And, new scene-referred blurs module, to synthesize motion and lens blurs in a parametric and physically-accurate way.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Create a Large 1GB or 10GB File in Linux System

        Since Linux has been used widely for all data communication, networking, and data analysis, the demand for generating live data, static data, and dynamic data is also high. Analysts need to generate different types of data on both large and small scales to demonstrate a process. System admins also often need to generate files Larger than 10GB to check the stability of the system, hardware, and the OS itself. However, in Linux, you can create large files to meet all the demands of data with less effort and less time.

      • How to install CuteFishOS

        Often server administrators need to Create large file to demo something. In Linux you can Create large file with quick terminal commands.

      • How to install and create a bootable USB with Ventoy in Linux

        Ventoy is an incredible tool that allows users to load ISO files up without flashing them with tools like Etcher. However, Ventoy isn’t exactly easy to set up. That’s where we come in. Follow along with this guide as we show you how to set up and use Ventoy on Linux.

      • How To Install Discourse on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Discourse on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Discourse is an open-source platform used for discussions forum, chat rooms, or as a mailing list management software. It is a modern forum solution that powers discussions on thousands of sites to drive user engagement. A discourse was written in Ruby on Rails as a backend language, Ember.js as a frontend, and uses PostgreSQL for data storage.

        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 Discourse 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 install Node.js 17 on Ubuntu 20.04 – NextGenTips

        Node.js is an open-source cross-platform, backend javascript runtime environment that runs on the V8 engine and executes javascript code outside of a web browser.

        A Node.js app runs in a single process, without creating a new thread for every request. It provides a set of asynchronous I/O primitives in its standard library that prevent javascript code from blocking and generally, libraries from node.js are written using non-blocking paradigms, making blocking behavior the exceptions rather than the norm.

        When Node.js performs an I/O operation, like reading from the network, accessing a database or the filesystem, instead of blocking the thread and wasting CPU cycles waiting, Node.js will resume the operations when the response comes back. This allows Node.js to handle thousands of concurrent connections with a single server without introducing the burden of managing thread concurrency, which could be a significant source of bugs.

        nvm is used to run node.js packages. It allows you to easily switch node.js versions and install new versions to try and easily roll back if something went wrong.

      • find packages installed from e.g. sid which are newer than those available from e.g. testing when sid is no longer present as a source repo
    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Lumina 1.6.2 released. :: Lumina Desktop Environment

        The next update to the Lumina Desktop is out!

      • Lumina 1.6.2 Released For This BSD Licensed Qt-Powered Desktop

        Lumina is the desktop project originally started by PC-BSD/TrueOS developers as a BSD-focused desktop environment built atop Qt. When TrueOS stopped focusing on being a great desktop BSD, Lumina development stalled. But for Linux and BSD users fond of this lightweight Qt desktop, Lumina Desktop development restarted a few months ago.

        Lumina Desktop 1.6.1 was released in October as the first update since January 2020 and under new developers/maintainers. Now in closing out the year there is Lumina Desktop 1.6.2.

      • Enlightenment 0.25 Desktop Environment Released with Flat Look to Match New Flat Theme

        Enlightenment 0.25 is here more than one and a half years after Enlightenment 0.24 to introduce a flat look to match the new flat theme, new gesture recognition bindings for touchpads, fingerprint support in desklock via the libFprint library and a new tool to configure fingerprints, a new binding action that lets users switch profiles, as well as palette editor and selector tool to help you set up custom colors.

        Also new in the Enlightenment 0.25 release is a Procstats module capable of displaying memory and CPU usage in the titlebar, new “grow window in direction” actions that you can bind, new settings for setting up animation multiplier to speed up or down the transitions, a recent files menu to access recently opened files, and a new Screen Setup menu entry in the Quick Settings menu.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM quiet about flagship database Db2, despite nice upgrades • The Register

          It’s the time of year when one might wonder what happened to that avuncular family figure whose existence was so reliably dull they passed into history almost forgotten – a little like Db2, IBM’s flagship relational database that has faded from users’ collective memory.

          Big Blue’s system of choice for its mainframes and big Unix/Linux boxes is still very much alive and kicking and has even delivered a smattering of news in recent weeks, with a high profile attendee at the early December International Db2 Users Group European Conference telling us that select users were told of the new “Db2u”, a set of containers for Db2 aimed at users exploring or working with the database in the cloud.

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky 2021.12 Special Editions – SparkyLinux

          There are new iso images of Sparky 2021.12 Special Editions: GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue ready to go.

          No big changes, all packages have been updated as of December 24, 2021 so the new images work on Linux kernel 5.15.5, and follow changes of the latest edition of Sparky 2021.12.

          No reinstallation is required if you have Sparky rolling installed, simply keep it up to date.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • BIOS Flashing Journey Writeup Puts Tutorials To Shame | Hackaday

        A couple of weeks ago, [Doug Brown] bought a Ryzen motherboard, advertised as “non-working” and discounted accordingly. He noticed that the seller didn’t test it with any CPUs old enough to be supported by the board’s stock BIOS revision, and decided to take a gamble with upgrading it.

        Not having a supported CPU in hand either, he decided to go the “external programmer” route, which succeeded and gave this board a new life. This is not why we’re writing this up, however. The reason this article caught our eye is because [Doug]’s research leaves no stone unturned, and it’s all there to learn from. Whether through careful observation or thorough research, this article covers all the important points and more, serving as an example to follow for anyone looking to program their BIOS.

      • Raspberry Pi: A cheat sheet – TechRepublic

        The Raspberry Pi’s success defied expectations. Conceived as an affordable computer for getting kids to learn how to code, its creators thought they’d sell 1,000 – they’ve now sold more than 40 million.

      • Mico Is A USB Microphone Based On A Pi Pico | Hackaday

        When [Mahesh Venkitachalam] was experimenting with machine learning for audio applications on a Raspberry Pi, he found himself looking for a simple USB microphone. A cheap one was easy to find, but the sound quality and directionality left much to be desired. A large, studio-quality mic would be overkill, so [Mahesh] decided to simply build exactly what was needed: a compact, yet high-quality USB microphone that he called Mico.

        The sensing device is a MEMS microphone that outputs a pulse density modulated (PDM) signal. There are chips available to directly interface such a microphone to a USB port, but [Mahesh] found them difficult to work with and therefore settled on something he knew already: the Raspberry Pi Pico platform. Luckily, someone had already figured out how to read out a microphone and present a USB device to a PC, so all that was needed was to put all the bits together into a convenient form factor.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Online retailers delaying sales of Raspberry Pi 4 • The Register

          Online retailers may not be able to send you a specific Raspberry Pi 4B model even for next year’s Christmas.

          Mouser is providing an estimated ship date for a Raspberry Pi 4B model with 4GB RAM of January 25, 2023. Digi-Key is also indicating that it will ship the same model now only in 2023.

          Raspberry Pis are great stocking suffers for my tech-crazy family, but this year turned out to be a challenge. Raspberry Pi for the first time increased the prices of its boards in October due to the higher cost of shortage-constrained components.

          We have reached out to the board biz for comment, and will update the story when we hear back.

          The inability to fulfill orders led Raspberry Pi to cap production of single-computer boards to seven million units in 2021.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 9 open source alternatives to try in 2022 | Opensource.com

        2021 was another year spent largely online, but that’s nothing new for the open source world. The ability to work from anywhere is in our DNA, preceding the pandemic that ushered remote work into the mainstream.

        Still, all that time in front of screens this year made our community consider open source alternatives. Regardless of the tool type you need, many of the most popular vendors are not your only option.

        If you’re burned out on Zoom, want a CRM that’s not Salesforce, or would like an analytics tool that Google doesn’t own, read on. We’ve got the most popular articles on open source alternatives that readers loved in 2021.

      • Web Browsers

        • Fighting for Web 3.0: Digital wallet wars are the new browser wars

          Slowly but surely, however, Microsoft leveraged its monopoly position in the OS space to push its closed-source alternative: Internet Explorer (IE). It was able to outcompete Netscape and become the default choice for users simply by packaging the browser with Windows.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL vs MySQL: Compare Database Management Systems

          MySQL and PostgreSQL are the top two open-source relational database management systems (RDBMS), long proven to be highly reliable and scalable. In this article, we explore PostgreSQL vs MySQL, and the differences between them.

        • Database Management Service Uncomplicated: MongoDB V/s MySQL

          Data is everything. Right from identifying patterns to categorizing/ grouping certain entities, data, or, more specifically, relevant data, is pivotal for the success of any business. For example, a customer’s demographic data allows you to fine-tune your marketing strategy, while page analytics grants insight into a website page visitor’s online behavior. However, unless the data is collected, stored, and managed in the correct way, you run into the risk of having data duplication, incomplete or partial data being presented, or data corruption from overwriting.

          Hence it is crucial to have the correct database management service (DBMS) in place when building an application. Understanding what a DBMS is, exploring the different DBMS variants available, and the different use cases of each DBMS will help you choose the right one for your project.

      • Programming/Development

        • LiVES compiled in OpenEmbedded
        • OBS-Studio compiled in OpenEmbedded

          OBS was compiled in a running EasyOS and included in 3.1.17, see blog post…

        • 5 ways to automate security testing in DevSecOps

          The key to both DevOps and DevSecOps is automation. It ensures build and release processes are repeatable, which is important when release velocity is too high for manual steps to occur between release phases or at set times.

          Automation ensures required steps are completed each time code is pushed and removes human memory from the equation so key tasks, such as regression testing, get done. Automation also helps strengthen security by serving as policy enforcement to prevent direct developer access to production and thereby serving as the enforcement point for segregation of duties.

        • These Vancouver high school students noticed a gap in coding education. So, they filled it

          Without having basic coding knowledge, Ma said, it’s impossible for youth to know whether or not they want to pursue computer science in post-secondary.

          “The main goal is to kind of combat vast educational disparities within the B.C. schooling system,” he said, adding that coding skills are becoming increasingly important.

        • Java

          • Apache’s new security update for HTTP Server fixes two flaws

            The foundation has released version 2.4.52 of the Apache HTTP Server (web server) that addresses two flaws tracked as CVE-2021-44790 and CVE-2021-44224, which have respective CVSS severity scores of 9.8 (critical) and 8.2 (high) out of a possible 10. A score of 9.8 is very bad, and in recent weeks has only been topped by the Log4j vulnerability known as Log4Shell, which had a severity score of 10 out of 10.

          • Major security flaw leaves companies vulnerable to ransomware
          • Real-Time Protection of Log4j with AppTrana – Through its Risk-Based Approach

            With the discovery of Log4j vulnerability on December 9th (Also known as Log4shell), the cybersecurity world has gone on a tailspin. It is one of the most potent vulnerabilities identified in recent times. It is estimated that millions of systems were left exposed, resulting in large attempts by hackers to exploit the vulnerability. It is estimated more than a million attacks have been launched since the vulnerability was identified.

          • China regulator suspends cyber security deal with Alibaba Cloud

            Chinese regulators on Wednesday suspended an information-sharing partnership with Alibaba Cloud Computing, a subsidiary of e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group (9988.HK), over accusations it failed to promptly report and address a cybersecurity vulnerability, according to state-backed media reports.

            Alibaba Cloud did not immediately report vulnerabilities in the popular, open-source logging framework Apache Log4j2 to China’s telecommunications regulator, according to 21st Century Business Herald, citing a recent notice by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

          • Alibaba Employee First Spotted Log4j Software Flaw but Now the Company Is in Hot Water With Beijing

            China’s technology ministry suspended work with Alibaba Cloud over what it called untimely reporting to authorities of the flaw affecting users world-wide

          • Belgian defence ministry admits attackers accessed its computer network by exploiting Log4j vulnerability

            The Belgian Ministry of Defence has suffered a cyber attack after miscreants exploited one of the vulnerabilities in Log4j. The attack marks the first occasion that a NATO country’s defence ministry has fallen victim to the flaws.

            The attack took place last week, as reported by Flemish-language TV news station VRT, which said “some of the ministry’s activities were paralysed for several days.”

            Belgian MoD spokesman Olivier Severin said in a prepared statement seen by The Register: “Defence discovered an attack on its computer network with internet access on Thursday. Quarantine measures were quickly taken to isolate the affected parts. The priority is to keep the defence network operational.”

          • Log4Shell — Preparing for What Comes Next

            We’re now at about the two week point after news of the vulnerability in the Apache Foundation’s Log4j logging tool for Java, dubbed Log4Shell, splashed into the headlines.

            For a catch up on what this story is all about and a guide for how to kickstart your mitigation efforts, check out our post from 12 December before continuing to read.

          • Bad things come in threes: Apache reveals another Log4J bug

            The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has revealed a third bug in its Log4 Java-based open-source logging library Log4j.

            CVE-2021-45105 is a 7.5/10-rated infinite recursion bug that was present in Log4j2 versions 2.0-alpha1 through 2.16.0. The fix is version 2.17.0 of Log4j.

            That’s the third new version of the tool in the last ten days.

            In case you haven’t been paying attention, version 2.15.0 was created to fix CVE-2021-44228, the critical-rated and trivial-to-exploit remote code execution flaw present in many versions up to 2.14.0.

          • ‘Perfect storm’: Inside the race to fix a potentially disastrous software flaw

            At 2:51 p.m. on Nov. 24, members of an open-source software project received an alarming email. The contents threatened to undermine years of programming by a small group of volunteers and unleash massive cyberattacks across the globe.

            “I want to report a security bug,” wrote Chen Zhaojun, an employee on Alibaba Group’s cloud-security team, adding, “the vulnerability has a major impact.”

            The message went on to describe how a hacker could take advantage of Log4j, a widely used software tool, to achieve what’s known as remote code execution, a hackers’ dream because they can remotely take over a computer.

            The message ultimately set off a global race to update critical computer systems, with senior U.S. cybersecurity officials describing the discovery as a “significant threat.” Left unfixed, the software could give attackers unfettered access to untold millions of computer systems.

          • Azul introduces remote compilation for Java • The Register

            Azul, a provider of OpenJDK (Java runtime) builds, has introduced a “Cloud Native Compiler” which offers remote compilation of Java to native code, claiming it can reduce compute resources by up to 50 per cent.

            When a Java application runs, a JIT (Just-in-time) compiler, usually the OpenJDK JIT called HotSpot, compiles the Java bytecode to native machine code to optimise performance. It is a highly optimised process – but Azul reckons it can improve it further by removing that responsibility from the VM or container where the application is running.

  • Leftovers

    • New six-screen visual installation draws on some of the oldest footage of Japan

      Free to access at BFI Southbank until 9 January, Tokinokawa is a new six-screen installation conceived by UK media artists The Light Surgeons. It draws upon and recontextualises the BFI’s Japan on Film collection, which includes some of the earliest surviving moving images of Japan, preserved by the BFI National Archive and dating back to 1901.

      The installation at BFI Southbank mixes our newly restored films with contemporary recordings gathered in Japan in 2020 by London-based filmmaker Christopher Thomas Allen, along with newly composed music by Japanese percussionist and composer Midori Takada and immersive sound design by audiovisual artist Tim Cowie. The soundtrack has been spatialised across a speaker array supplied by Yamaha, with an infographic visual created using machine learning software tools to ‘read’ the archive films.

    • Seoul Introduces Self-Driving Taxis

      Last year the Seoul city government passed an ordinance enabling the commercial operation of autonomous passenger-carrying vehicles. A six square kilometer region in the Seoul neighborhood of Sangam, near the 2002 World Cup Stadium, was designated as a pilot program test bed. This area encompasses 24 streets totaling 31.3 km. Two companies were selected, and the pilot program launched a few weeks ago. Currently there are three vehicles and passengers can ride for free during this introductory phase. Three more taxis and a bus will be added within this year, with plans for 50 in this region by 2026. For the time being, these cars require a standby driver who takes control in an emergency and in school zones. Check out the short news report (in English) below the break.

    • Cast Your Own Holiday Chocolate Bunny, Or Rather Mouse | Hackaday

      The art of forming and using a mold is, well, an art. The already tricky process would be made even harder by using a fickle material, like chocolate. This is exactly where [Alexandre Chappel] found himself as he tried to cast his own chocolate figurines.

    • 25 Years Ago, Apple Acquired NeXT and Brought Back Steve Jobs

      This week marks the 25th anniversary of Apple announcing that it had agreed to acquire NeXT for $400 million. The stunning move brought Steve Jobs back to Apple over a decade after he left the company following an internal power struggle.

    • LittleBITS: Inadvertent Mail Deletion, TidBITS Security Vulnerability, and iOS Update Error 1100 – TidBITS

      Over in TidBITS Talk, user Tall Trees has contributed another entry in the “I Didn’t Know That!” category. It turns out that in Apple’s Mail app on the Mac, pressing Control-H deletes a message, which could be surprising or even problematic. Jeffrey Jones suggested that the reason was probably related to the fact that Control-H generates the standard ASCII control character for Backspace, which generally maps to the key labeled Delete on modern keyboards. Although David C. pointed out that such ASCII control characters should work only in apps running in an ASCII-like terminal session, Apple’s developers must have explicitly decided to code that keyboard mapping for Mail as well.

    • Science

      • Iodine in desert dust destroys ozone

        When winds loft fine desert dust high into the atmosphere, iodine in that dust can trigger chemical reactions that destroy some air pollution, but also let greenhouse gases stick around longer. The finding may force researchers to re-evaluate how particles from land can impact the chemistry of the atmosphere.

      • circRNA N6-methyladenosine methylation in preeclampsia and the potential role of N6-methyladenosine-modified circPAPPA2 in trophoblast invasion

        Here, we performed N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA sequencing to determine the circRNA m6A methylation changes in the placentas during the pathogenesis of preeclampsia (PE). We verified the expression of the circRNA circPAPPA2 using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. An invasion assay was carried out to identify the role of circPAPPA2 in the development of PE. Mechanistically, we investigated the cause of the altered m6A modification of circPAPPA2 through overexpression and knockdown cell experiments, RNA immunoprecipitation, fluorescence in situ hybridization and RNA stability experiments. We found that increases in m6A-modified circRNAs are prevalent in PE placentas and that the main changes in methylation occur in the 3’UTR and near the start codon, implicating the involvement of these changes in PE development. We also found that the levels of circPAPPA2 are decreased but that m6A modification is augmented. Furthermore, we discovered that methyltransferase‑like 14 (METTL14) increases the level of circPAPPA2 m6A methylation and that insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 3 (IGF2BP3) maintains circPAPPA2 stability. Decreases in IGF2BP3 levels lead to declines in circPAPPA2 levels. In summary, we provide a new vision and strategy for the study of PE pathology and report that placental circRNA m6A modification appears to be an important regulatory mechanism.

      • No more annual flu shot? New target for universal influenza vaccine

        Scientists at Scripps Research, University of Chicago and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have identified a new Achilles’ heel of influenza virus, making progress in the quest for a universal flu vaccine. Antibodies against a long-ignored section of the virus, which the team dubbed the anchor, have the potential to recognize a broad variety of flu strains, even as the virus mutates from year to year, they reported Dec. 23, 2021 in the journal Nature.

      • 3D Printing Gets Tiny | Hackaday

        Using a process akin to electroplating, researchers at the University of Oldenburg have 3D printed structures at the 25 nanometer scale. A human hair, of course, is thousands of time thicker than that. The working medium was a copper salt and a very tiny nozzle. How tiny? As small as 1.6 nanometers. That’s big enough for two copper ions at once.

        Tiny nozzles are prone to every 3D printer’s bane: clogged nozzles. To mitigate this, the team built a closed-loop control that measured electrical current between the work area and inside the nozzle. You can read the full paper online.

    • Education

      • The Students Returned, but the Fallout From a Long Disruption Remained – The New York Times

        Three hours into a recent Monday morning, blood had already been spilled in a hallway at Liberty High School. With his walkie-talkie in hand, the principal, Harrison Bailey III, called on the custodial staff to clean up the remnants of a brawl while hurrying to the cafeteria in hopes of staving off another.

        This is how Dr. Bailey has spent many of his hours since the school welcomed back its 2,800 students for in-person learning in August: dashing around the 400,000-square-foot building, outrunning bells and crowds of students, and hoping that his towering presence will serve as an inspiration to pull up masks and a deterrent to other, less obvious burdens that his students have had to contend with since returning.

        Like schools across the country, Liberty has seen the damaging effects of a two-year pandemic that abruptly ejected millions of students from classrooms and isolated them from their peers as they weathered a historic convergence of academic, health and societal crises. Teenagers arguably bore the social and emotional brunt of school disruptions.

    • Hardware

      • Blender? No, Grinder | Hackaday

        [Leandro Felipe] is no stranger to the dirty hack, and this video of his conversion of a blender into a handheld rotary grinding tool is no exception. (Embedded below.) But the end result is something pretty useful — a lighter and more maneuverable rotary grinder that’s got a lot more grunt to boot.

        (The video is in Portuguese, but the captions work pretty well, once you get over the fact that the robots translate “grinding tool” as “rectifier” a lot of the time. And anyway, you’re here for the hacks.)

        The highlights are a handmade coupling that mates the blender motor with the flexible shaft and chuck, purchased separately. And the flattened-out PVC pipe used as a mounting bracket. And him using the motor itself against a file to “lathe” down the drive shaft. And…

      • DIY High Flow 3D Printing | Hackaday

        Sometimes we’re impressed by the sheer audacity of a project. [Stefan] rarely disappoints in that area, and his latest video shows him making an adapter to convert a normal 3D printed nozzle into a high-flow nozzle, similar to one you’d find on a Volcano. We say similar because [Stefan] took the trouble to drill three holes in the adapter to increase the melting surface area. The audacious part is that he doesn’t really have the machine shop to drill three tiny precision holes in close proximity — and he shows us the pictures to prove that he didn’t get it right the first (or fifth) time. But he did stick with it and got good results.

        Why do such a thing? He wanted to mount the high-efficiency nozzles he’s been experimenting with on the Volcano extruder. The commercial one, in particular, doesn’t come in the extended size. To simplify things, he started with a long brass insert. The conical hex cut offers a natural center point if you are satisfied with a single hole through the center of the adapter. The hex cutout allows you to use a key to install or remove the spacer easily.

      • Mini Linear Actuators From DVD Drive Parts | Hackaday

        For many years now a source for some of the smallest and cheapest home made CNC mechanisms has been the seemingly never-ending supply of surplus CD and DVD-ROM drives. The linear actuator that moves the laser may not be the longest or the strongest, but it’s free, and we’ve seen plenty of little X-Y tables using CD drives. It’s these mechanisms that [Nemo404] has taken a little further, freeing the lead screw and motor from the drive chassis and placing them in a 3D-printed enclosure for a complete linear actuator that can be used in other projects. (Video, embedded below.)

      • Realtime Shadows On N64 Hardware | Hackaday

        Although the Nintendo 64 console has in the minds of many been relegated to the era of ‘firmly obsolete graphics’, since its graphic processor’s (GPU’s) lineage traces directly to the best which SGI had to offer in the 1990s, it too supports a range of modern features, including dynamic shadows. In a simple demo, [lambertjamesd] demonstrates how this feature is used.

        As can be seen in the demonstration video (linked after the break), this demo features a single dynamic light, which casts a shadow below the central object in the scene, with a monkey object floating around that casts its own shadow (rendered into an auxiliary frame buffer). This auxiliary buffer is then blended into the main buffer, as explained by [ItzWarty] over at /r/programming on Reddit.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • For some Greenlanders, eating sugar is healthy

        A genetic variation among some Greenlanders makes sugar healthy — significantly more than for most people. According to a new study, gut bacteria and a unique diet that has nourished Greenlanders for millennia have provided them with a genetic variation that offers an incredible advantage.

      • COVID-19: Google employees flouting vaccination rules to eventually be fired | Companies – Gulf News

        Alphabet Inc’s Google told its employees they would lose pay and eventually be fired if they do not follow its COVID-19 vaccination rules, CNBC on Tuesday, citing internal documents.

        A memo circulated by Google’s leadership said employees had until Dec. 3 to declare their vaccination status and upload documentation showing proof, or to apply for a medical or religious exemption, according to the report.

        After that date, Google said it would start contacting employees who had not uploaded their status or were unvaccinated and those whose exemption requests were not approved, CNBC reported.

      • Omicron vs Delta variants, transmissibility vs severity: What we know and don’t know

        The world is facing a huge spike in COVID-19 cases, especially where Omicron is detected. The latest known SARS-COV-2 mutation — labelled a “variant of concern” less than a month ago (November 26, 2021) after cases were first detected in southern Africa — is now confirmed in more than 77 countries. It’s likely to have reached more countries than is currently known, say experts.

      • We’re Locked Down Again in the Netherlands. Here’s a Warning.

        Since 5 a.m. on Sunday, bars, restaurants, museums, schools, clothing stores, gift shops and anything resembling fun have been closed across the Netherlands. We’ve become the first European country to go back to lockdown life amid Omicron (until at least early January): It was “unavoidable,” said Prime Minister Mark Rutte. So here we are, looking over the borders enviously at holiday sales and seasonal celebrations in Belgian Antwerp. Once more, it doesn’t look a lot like Christmas.

      • Omicron in GCC: Gulf nations on alert as COVID-19 variant spreads worldwide

        Cairo: Having seen significant declines in COVID-19 incidences in recent month, Arab Gulf countries have doubled down on their efforts to protect public health amid a global scare over the new highly transmissible Omicron variant. These countries have updated their travel policies to curtail the COVID-19 spread and urged people to receive the booster shots to enhance their immunity.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • 35,000 people try to log on to Singapore immigration website • The Register

        A website operated by Singapore’s border control agency, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), fell over for five hours almost as soon as registrations for overseas travel were offered to expats who had been stuck in the city-state for over 18 months.

        Singapore currently operates “vaccinated travel lanes” (VTLs) that let citizens and permanent residents travel to certain destinations. But residents on other visas must apply to use VTLS. Around 27 per cent of Singapore’s population use those visas, many of them citizens of neighboring Indonesia or Malaysia who come to the island nation to work for short periods of time.

      • Proprietary

        • Apple fixes macOS security flaw behind Gatekeeper bypass

          Apple has addressed a macOS vulnerability that unsigned and unnotarized script-based apps could exploit to bypass all macOS security protection mechanisms even on fully patched systems.

        • After deadly 737 Max crashes, damning whistleblower report reveals sidelined engineers, scarcity of expertise, more

          An Aviation Whistleblower report issued Tuesday by a US Senate committee cites numerous oversight gaps within the government and the aviation industry.

          The report [PDF] was produced at the behest of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in response to two Boeing 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people. It is based on testimony from seven industry whistleblowers from Boeing, GE, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

          Boeing designed the 737 Max to compete against the Airbus A320neo. In order to achieve comparable fuel efficiency, Boeing basically put new engines on the existing 737 air frame, which allowed the passenger jet to avoid going through a new regulatory approval process.

        • Bluetooth reboot of pre-school play phone has privacy flaw • The Register

          A Bluetooth phone designed to evoke the carefree days of early childhood has been found to instead threaten the very adult prospect of being surveilled in your home.

          The phone is the Fisher Price Chatter Special Edition, a device that adds Bluetooth and a speaker to the smiling, brightly coloured, wheeled, rotary dial phone on which it’s previously been possible to make calls only by using one’s imagination.

          The phone also bears the name “60G LTE” – which stands for “60 great years, Let’s Talk Everywhere” and an infomercial for the handset opens with “The past has finally arrived” before lampooning mobile phone ads quite nicely.

          The 2021 version of the device connects to a smartphone and can be used as a speaker phone, or to make calls. Even the rotary dialler works for outbound calls.

        • Microsoft closes installer hole abused by Emotet malware, Google splats Chrome bug exploited in the wild

          Let’s start with Microsoft, which put out a summary of its security updates here. All manner of products are affected, from the Windows kernel to PowerShell to Office to the beleaguered Print Spooler.

        • Of course a Bluetooth-using home COVID test was cracked to fake results • The Register

          Security vendor F-Secure has faked a COVID test result on a Bluetooth-equipped home COVID Test. Thankfully the vendor’s since fixed the device.

          The firm tested the Ellume COVID-19 Home Test, a device selected specifically because it uses a “Bluetooth connected analyzer for use with an app on your phone.”

          As F-Secure probed the device and its companion app, its researchers spotted an un-exported activity called com.ellumehealth.homecovid.android/com.gsk.itreat.activities.BluetoothDebugActivity Users with root level access to an Android machine can launch that activity to “help interact with the analyzer over Bluetooth”, F-Secure found.

        • Police National Computer not pwned by Clop ransomware crims, insists Home Office

          The Clop ransomware gang pwned a managed service provider with access to the UK’s Police National Computer, dumping data on its dark web leaks site – but officials deny that police data was compromised.

          Dacoll, a Scotland-based MSP, was attacked in October by the notorious criminal crew. Reports surfaced in the Mail on Sunday newspaper over the weekend that the criminals had published information from the Police National Computer on their leaks site.

        • The Week in Ransomware – December 24th 2021 – No rest for the weary [Ed: By Microsoft booster Lawrence Abrams]

          Network admins and security researchers are already reporting that BlackCat/ALPHV affiliates continue to attack the enterprise today as we move into the Christmas weekend, so it is vital to keep an eye on your networks and respond quickly to unusual behavior.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Kasm Technologies Announces Partnership with VirtualGL Open-Source Project

              Kasm Technologies, the industry leader in streaming containerized cloud workloads to the web browser, today announced a partnership with the open-source project VirtualGL, to sponsor the addition of EGL front-end support to the VirtualGL product. The latest version of VirtualGL supports EGL backend, so with the addition of EGL front-end support, this collaboration allows for multi-tenant use of GPUs for modern applications that don’t support the older GLX API.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Over 500 Aadhaar Activists, Organisations Slam EC’s Proposal to Link Aadhaar with Voter ID | NewsClick

              Over 500 prominent individuals, including former civil servants, journalists, social activists, researchers and students, in a statement, have strongly opposed the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) proposal to link voter ID cards )and the “EPIC” database) with Aadhaar, calling it a “dangerous idea which can fundamentally alter the structure of our democracy.”

              Other signatories include “electoral reform group, Association for Democratic Reforms, civil rights groups from across the country such as the Peoples’ Union of Civil Liberties, MKSS, Adivasi Women’s Network, Chetna Andolan, and NAPM Jharkhand; and digital rights groups including Rethink Aadhaar, Article 21 Trust, the Internet Freedom Foundation, the Bachao Project, and the Free Software Movement of India.”

              As per reports, the government is introducing certain major voting reforms based on the EC’s recommendations. According to EC, the proposal to link Aadhaar with Voter IDs is aimed at weeding out duplications. The Elections Laws (Amendment Bill, 2021 that would link electoral rolls to Aadhaar numbers would be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday, December 20. The Bill would allow “electoral registration officers to ask for Aadhaar numbers of applicants wanting to register as voters to establish the identity of the applicant.”

            • Digital COVID-19 vaccination card now available | News | Jamaica Gleaner

              After missing Monday’s deadline for the rollout of digital COVID-19 certificates, the Ministry of Health and Wellness today officially launched Jamaica’s digital vaccination card.

              With the introduction of the card, inoculated Jamaicans now have access to an internationally-accepted and convenient way of verifying their vaccination status.

              Across the world, countries have stipulated that visitors must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a requirement for entry.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Democrats Say They Are Serious About State Elections. But Are They Too Late? – The New York Times

        Late on Nov. 8, 2016, the mood inside President Barack Obama’s West Wing turned grim. Hillary Clinton was coming up short. The realization was growing that Donald J. Trump would be elected president.

        Suddenly, David M. Simas, Mr. Obama’s political director, pumped his fist and called out, “Yes!”

        A cautious, cerebral lawyer, Mr. Simas was not known for attention-getting exultation. Asked why he was cheering, he deadpanned: “We just won a North Carolina Supreme Court seat.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • China lists 100 topics citizens can’t include in online vids • The Register

        China’s Netcasting Services Association has issued a list of 100 topics local netizens must not include in short videos posted online.

        The list, officially the “Online Short Video Content Review Standard Rules (2021)”, includes predictable prohibitions on mocking China’s leadership, or suggesting that history did not unfurl precisely as the Chinese Communist Party’s textbooks describe.

        But the regs also add some new red lines – among them a ban on using clips from TV shows. Clips of shows not permitted to be shown in China are also forbidden.

        So is depiction of unconventional marriages. Sex is out, and so are fig leaves, or fig-leaf sized token garments that almost cover body parts likely to be depicted during sex.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Microsoft, Apple suppliers exposed by anti-slavery law

        “It’s not if they’ve got slavery, it’s when they find it,” said Kitto, the Sydney-based director of Be Slavery Free, a nonprofit organization. “It’s that pervasive, almost every business has a risk of slavery in their supply chains.”

      • Sonai river: A victim of greed

        Sonai river, which flows through Madhabpur upazila in Habiganj, has almost turned into a canal due to illegal occupation and dumped trash. It now acts as a narrow drain carrying hazardous pollutants to the haor area.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • TikTok tops Google to win Cloudflare’s 2021 traffic ratings

        Cloudflare’s explanation for how Radar calculates site popularity says its assessment is “derived from aggregated data from the Public DNS Resolver” and “a range of data that Cloudflare has about global Internet traffic patterns.”

        But just how Cloudflare decides its rankings unknown, while the fact that Radar launched in September 2020 means its assessments for that year were based on less data.

    • Monopolies

      • Nextcloud-led coalition complains to the EU about Microsoft stifling competition

        The cloud storage company, Nextcloud, is leading a coalition against Microsoft in the European Union over what it claims to be anti-competitive behaviour. To back up its claims, it has assembled a coalition of organisations who would also benefit from the action including Tutanota, OnlyOffice, Free Software Foundation Europe, The Document Foundation, European Digital SME Alliance, and many, many more.

        According to the coalition, Microsoft is more deeply integrating its 365 services into Windows, for example, OneDrive and Teams ship by default and pushes people to use them. The coalition believes that actions like this make it impossible for them and other smaller firms to compete so it wants the EU to do something about it. Over the years, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon have grown their European market share to 66% while local providers declined from 26% to 16%.

      • Patents

        • UK consultation on AI in copyright and patent legislation: Dennemeyer [Ed: Copyright and patent litigation firms have become infatuated with meaningless buzzwords that mislead public officials and let them get away with illegal things]

          As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to play an ever-greater role at the forefront of research and development, the legal systems protecting Intellectual Property (IP) are taking a serious look at how they can accommodate this burgeoning technology.

          On October 29, the UK government launched an open consultation to debate how the country’s existing IP legislation should be adapted to address the ongoing development of AIs and their use in the inventive process. The consultation will last for 10 weeks, closing on January 7, 2022.

        • Software Patents

          • Dallas Invents: 127 Patents Granted for Week of Nov. 16 [Ed: Dallas Invents bogus courts that exist to serve patent trolls, serve software patents, and even appoint people who worked for patent trolls to actual judge positions in top courts]

            Dallas Invents is a weekly look at U.S. patents granted with a connection to the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area. Listings include patents granted to local assignees and/or those with a North Texas inventor. Patent activity can be an indicator of future economic growth, as well as the development of emerging markets and talent attraction. By tracking both inventors and assignees in the region, we aim to provide a broader view of the region’s inventive activity. Listings are organized by Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC).

      • Trademarks

        • Under What Conditions Will The Sale And Transfer Of “.tr” Domain Names Be Possible With The Beginning Of The TRABIS Period? [Ed: At one point Turkey was disposing off these TLDs like water to raise money from a bubble]

          The enforcement of the Internet Domain Names Regulation (“Regulation”), published by the Information Technologies and Communications Authority (“ITCA”) in 2010, which regulates the procedures and principles regarding “.tr” domain names, was delayed until the “.tr Network Information System” (“TRABIS”) becomes operational. In accordance with the recent announcement, the Nic.tr platform, where the procedures for the allocation of “.tr” domain names have been carried out since 1991 in Turkey, will be shut down and TRABIS will start operating. The Regulation, which will come into force at the beginning of the TRABIS period, clearly stipulates that “.tr” domain names may be subject to the transactions for sale and transfer, which has not been regulated before. You may read our legal alert on Nic.tr’s aforementioned announcement here.

Links 26/12/2021: Nitrux 1.8.0 and Many Pgpool-II Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 7:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Rare Recordings of 1994 Talks By a 24-Year-Old Linus Torvalds Re-Discovered

        71-year-old Jon “maddog” Hall has been involved with Linux from the very beginning, and for Christmas shared two of the earliest recordings ever made of young Linus Torvalds speaking about Linux — recordings long thought to be lost.

        Hall shares the story at Archive.org. In Februay of 1994 the chair of a user group for the Digital Equipment Computer Users’ Society “started sending emails (and copying me for some reason) about wanting to bring this person I had never heard about from Finland (of all places) to talk about a project that did not even run on Ultrix or DEC/OSF1…. After many emails and no luck in raising money for this trip I took mercy…and asked my management to fund the trip. I sat down to use it, and was amazed. It was good. It was very, very good.”

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa Open-Source GPU Drivers Enjoyed Near-Record Growth In 2021, Valve Dev Top Contributor – Phoronix

          As we approach the end of the year, here is a look back at some of the Mesa open-source 3D OpenGL/Vulkan driver development statistics for 2021 compared to prior years as well as a look at the top contributors to this crucial piece of the Linux desktop stack.

          As of this morning when running GitStats on Mesa for a look at year-end numbers, this collection of open-source 3D drivers used on Linux and other platforms has seen 148,309 commits. Mesa is currently comprised of 7,871 files that amount to 3.63 million lines of code. There have been roughly 1,155 contributors to Mesa in its over two decade history.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux 5.16 Provides Performance Boost for AMD Ryzen APUs

        Linux 5.16 just dropped a few days ago, and with it arrives some performance gains for laptops equipped with AMD’s Ryzen CPUs with Radeon integrated graphics, according to Phoronix. In most of the benchmarks Phoronix tested, Linux 5.16 provides anywhere between 5%-14% more performance compared to previous Linux kernels, including 5.15 and 5.11.

        Phoronix tested many different benchmarks, including Gravity Mark, Legacy, GLmark2, and more on two notebooks. On one of the notebooks equipped with a Ryzen 5 5500U (Zen 2), the most noticeable uptick in performance apps were GLmark 2 and Xonotic, which had a 14% performance improvement over Linux 5.16. Other benchmarks with a significant impact were Xonotic and Unvanquished, with a 10%-11% performance improvement.

        On another notebook equipped with a Ryzen 7 Pro 5850U (Zen 3), Phoronix tested even more benchmarks, and the results are very similar to the Ryzen 5 5500U notebook. Some benchmarks did not benefit from the new Linux kernel, such as RealSR-NCNN and Waifu2x-NCNN. However, the number of benchmarks with this behavior is small, with most attaining small and significant performance gains.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Using onion services over unix sockets and nginx

        I have explained before about how to create Onion services, this provides an easy solution to expose any service from inside of your home network to the Internet, in a secured manner (authorized services). But, in all of those examples I used an IP/port combination to expose/talk to the internal service. Instead you can also use unix sockets to do the same.

      • Install the latest R Programming Language version on Debian 11 Bullseye

        Get the latest version of R is a free programming language on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux using command terminal via its official repository.

        R is a free programming language specially designed for statistical calculations and data visualization. It is one of the leading solutions for statistical data analysis and can be used for data mining or predictive analytics. R, which was developed in 1992 by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman in Auckland, is distributed as open-source software under the GNU General Public License by the Vienna-based R Foundation for Statistical Computing. R is based on the programming language S and is very similar to it. However, R is a free implementation.

        In the standard distribution, R is supplied with an interpreter and command-line environment with simple graphic elements. The language has developed into a kind of standard language for statistical problems in science and business.

        Few key features of R Language are Management of files and data; creation, checking, and adapting data structures; analysis, descriptive statistics, and more functions; editing and formatting of strings; conditional statements, loops, and branches; statistical tests; mathematical options, set operations, matrix operations and more…

      • How to install PHP 8.1 on Ubuntu 21.10 – NextGenTips

        In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to install the current stable release version of PHP 8.1 on Ubuntu 21.10.

        PHP is a general-purpose scripting language suitable for web development. Most websites out there are programmed using PHP language because it is…

      • How to Install Go (Golang) Compiler on Linux Mint 20

        Go, or Golang, is an open-source programming language that Google created. It’s statically typed and produces compiled machine code binaries, and go language is a compiled language. This is popular amongst developers as it means you do not need to compile the source code to create an executable file. Developers that use Google’s Go language say it is the C for the twenty-first century when it comes to syntax.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install and configure Go (Golang) on Linux Mint 20.

      • How to install TeamSpeak Client on Linux | FOSS Linux

        TeamSpeak, commonly referred to as TS, is a proprietary VoIP (Voice-over-Internet Protocol) application that aids audio communication among users present on a chat channel. TeamSpeak is more similar to a conference or telephone call. Teams’ client software connects the users through a TeamSpeak server, enabling them to join the chat channels.

        TeamSpeak is freely available to install on major operating system platforms such as macOS, Android, Windows, FreeBSD, and Linux distributions. TeamSpeak is a pioneer of the Discord platform. Discord is one of the widely used community communication platforms. This software has been of significant importance globally, including in the gaming world, as it allows text and speech communication.

        This article shall cover the installation phases of the TeamSpeak client on major Linux distros such as Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and Arch Linux. Therefore, if you intend on using this application on your Linux PC, this is the best article for you. Stick around to learn more.

      • How to Install Chromium in Fedora [Beginner's Tip]

        Chromium, the open-source mother of the best browsers in the market, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave and so many others, is a great browser power packed with features.

        Like many other distributions, Fedora also comes with Firefox as its default browser. But you can easily install Chromium on Fedora.

        The simplest option is to open the software center application and search for Chromium. You’ll find the option to install Chromium there.

      • 3 Ways to Install VLC Media Player on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux

        One of the most popular media players is the VLC ( VideoLAN Client) that always finds its way to be on the editorial list of best Open-source players. The key reason behind its wide acceptance is – VLC media player plays files of all important audio and video formats. A double click is enough, alternatively, you can load files into the VLC interface using drag & drop or tap a video DVD using the menu bar command.

        The player supports MPEG and DivX streaming and can therefore also play videos during the download. You can also play files packed by ZIP without having to unpack them beforehand. Users can artificially increase the volume of the film up to 200 percent if the video is too quiet.

        Common formats VLC supports are Formate: AAC, AC3/A52, ASF, AVI, DTS, FLAC, FLV, H.264, MIDI, MKV, MOV, MPG, MPEG (ES, MP3, MP4, PS, PVA, TS), MXF, OGG, OGM, Raw DV, Real (RAM, RM, RMVB, RV), WAV, WMA, WMV, 3GP.

        Further, if the design of VLC is not the way you want then, it is possible to customize it with the help of various themes made available by the community.

      • Nvidia optimus with wayland. Help needed.

        I have given a try on wayland and it works in my notebook (Gigabyte p34v5) when using only the Intel gpu (/dev/dri/card0) and mesa. Now I have been trying to make it work with the Nvidia gpu (GeForce GTX 970M, /dev/dri/card1) using proprietary driver. The thing about that gpu is that is uses optimus and thus need the following command to work with X11…

      • Debian/Ubuntu: Configure knockd on Server for Port Knocking – TREND OCEANS

        When I was young, my mother asked me not to open the door unless the door knocked in a series of four which was only known to us. I think you all have done in their childhood or later.

        That same concept I want to use in my Linux system, you are pondering what he is speaking? How and where will be a door on my system, and how to knock? I’m not understanding it, explain me this abstract concept.

      • Convert Audio File Formats on Ubuntu with SoundConverter – Technastic

        In this tutorial, we discuss how you can convert audio files into different formats on Ubuntu with a neat tool called SoundConverter. Before the rise of music streaming services, people bought their music DRM-free. Meaning they bought the music and it was theirs to do whatever they wished to do with, transfer the file to any number of devices, and even share it with others for free. You can see how this wasn’t so good for the music companies but it definitely was convenient for the users. Most of our music is online these days, via various streaming services.

      • Fixing Wayland taskbar icons – Nico’s blog

        This is due to the shell not being able to properly map a window to an application. This breaks more things than just icons, but those are often the first thing that is noticed. Fortunately this is usually very easy to fix, particularly for Qt/KDE apps. I fixed a couple of those over the holidays and now I am writing down what needs to be done so you know what to do the next time you encounter such a case.

        Window to application mapping is based on the desktop entry name. That is the filename of the application’s .desktop file in /usr/share/applications/ (without the .desktop extension). For KWallet that would be org.kde.kwalletd5. Make sure your application actually has such a .desktop file installed to /usr/share/applications/. Most graphical apps have one, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to lauch it from the application launcher. However things that are not traditional applications, like services (e.g. KWallet) or helper applications (e.g. the Gwenview importer) don’t always have one yet. To avoid those showing up in the application laucher include NoDisplay=true in the .desktop file.

      • How to Install Geany IDE 1.38 via PPA in Ubuntu 20.04 / 18.04 / 21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        Merry Christmas to all my dear readers! In this tutorial I’m going to introduce the new Ubuntu PPA for Geany IDE.

        Geany is a free open-source lightweight IDE for BSD, Linux, macOS, Solaris and Windows. It supports many programming languages including C, C++, Java, PHP, HTML, LaTeX, Python, Perl, and more.

        Geany does not provides official Linux packages. And, Ubuntu includes fixed versions in its repositories which are always old. For request, I created an unofficial PPA that contains the latest Geany 1.38 as well as its plugins, while the “Geany Developers” team PPA has not been updated for a year.

      • How To Set $PATH in Linux System Permanently

        A variable is a given name to a location or an object where data is stored for future reference. Whereas the environment variable is used for storing dynamic values that can store a list of directories of a Linux system that you use for executing applications. In Linux, the environment variable is mentioned with a $ prefix and written in upper case PATH. It stores all the directories that the bash search for when we execute a command on the terminal shell in Linux. A fun fact about the $PATH is, you can add your own directory and create your own terminal command if you know how to set $PATH in Linux.

      • How to play DayZ on Linux

        DayZ is a survival game developed and published by Bohemia Interactive. It is the successor to the ARMA 2 modification that bears the same name. Here’s how you can play DayZ on Linux.

      • How to compress images in Linux like magic with E-mage

        Need to compress some images on your Linux PC to make them smaller? If so, check out E-mage. It’s a neat little tool with tons of features that can make compressing images on Linux like magic!

      • How to Display top Processes Results and Sort by Memory

        Finding out which processes are using the most memory isn’t as simple on Linux as it is on Windows. Luckily, no matter what flavor of Linux you are using, the top command makes it easy to see how much memory each process is using.

        The top command doesn’t order by memory usage by default, though, making it hard to see what is using the most RAM. If you’ve resurrected an old PC with a lightweight Linux distro, you’ll want to keep a close eye on what’s eating up all your RAM!

        Here’s how to sort top processes by memory usage in Linux using the terminal top command.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Supporting DirectX 12 On Mac Is Proving Tougher Than Linux But Work Is Underway | HotHardware

        If you’re a long-time Mac or Linux user, you’ve almost certainly benefited from the work of CodeWeavers even if you’ve never heard of them. Founded in 1996, the company has been working for a long time now on making Windows applications run on first Linux, then Mac, and most recently, ChromeOS. CodeWeavers is the primary sponsor of the Wine project (a translation layer to run Windows programs on Linux), and Valve contracted the company to help with its Proton project that powers the Steam Deck and much of modern Linux gaming.

        CodeWeavers sells a product called CrossOver, which is its primary consumer-facing product. CrossOver is a commercial piece of software that performs the same task Proton does, except with a more holistic approach rather than being purely gaming-focused. CrossOver is available for Linux and Mac, and currently it works well—as long as your application doesn’t use DirectX 12.

    • Games

      • Enjoy the Classic Snake Game in Your Linux Terminal

        This is how you can install and play the classic Snake Game in Linux Terminal.

      • Linux already runs 80 of the 100 most popular Steam games with Proton

        Proton poked its head out three years ago like a hurricane. The compatibility layer based on Wine and promoted by Valve started very strong and rapidly improving its performance, but for a few months it seems that its progression has slowed down a bit, something logical if we take into account that at this point it is mainly resistant to games specific problems that give Wine and those that use an anti-cheat.

        If in March we broke the news that 70% of the 50 most popular Steam games were capable of running on Linux thanks to Proton, that percentage, according to data that can be extracted from ProtonDB, has now risen to 79% counting the 100 most popular titles on the Valve platform. This means, making imprecise calculations, an increase of 9%, which is not bad at all. Even a few days ago the percentage reached 80.

      • SuperTux 0.6.3 Free Linux Game Released

        After a year and a half of development , has been , the published release of the classic platformer SuperTux 0.6.3 , reminiscent of Super Mario in style . The game is distributed under the GPLv3 license and is available in assemblies for Linux (AppImage), Windows and macOS.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • Nest Hub Max may soon run Fuchsia as Google ramps up internal testing

        Earlier this year, Google took the bold step of updating existing 1st-gen Nest Hub smart displays from their Linux-based Cast OS to the company’s long-in-development Fuchsia operating system. This marked the official debut of the OS, though it was done largely without fanfare, if only to prove a point that Fuchsia could replace Linux under the hood on some devices without most people noticing. The launch wasn’t without its issues, but Google ultimately got things under control for Nest Hub owners.

      • Interesting rumor suggests Samsung could be planning to ditch Android in the future

        The main difference is that Fuchsia won’t just be relegated to smartphones or tablets. Instead, it seems Google could actually be borrowing concepts from Samsung’s Tizen where it could be used to power a variety of smart products like phones, tablets, computers, home appliances, and more.

      • New Releases

        • Available Manjaro 21.2 with improvements in the system installer

          Let it not be said that all the fish is already sold, and it is that no matter how little the year remains, there is still time for such interesting releases as that of Manjaro 21.2, the most recent version of this rolling-A slow release that, however, usually includes new features for those who install new ones.

          Manjaro 21.2 is a good example of this and the first change to comment on is in the Calamares system installer, which in this version presents improvements in the selection of the file system for automatic partitioning, or in the btrfs support with subvolume management and, more importantly, support for creating swap files, instead of a regular partition.

          Regarding the generic internals of Manjaro 21.2, it is also worth mentioning the new version of the kernel used by default, Linux 5.15 LTS, as well as the most recent drivers. Besides, it is possible to install Linux 5.4 and Linux 5.10, both LTS versions, in the event that for support or stability issues it is the most recommended.

        • Systemd-Free Nitrux 1.8 Launches with Initial Support for Maui Shell, XFS by Default

          Coming only three weeks after Nitrux 1.7.1, which was the first release of the Debian-based distribution to ship with Linux kernel 5.15 LTS by default, Nitrux 1.8 is powered by the latest release at the moment of writing, Linux kernel 5.15.11 LTS.

          Nitrux 1.8 also features the latest and greatest KDE Plasma software, starting with the KDE Plasma 5.23.4 desktop environment and continuing with the KDE Frameworks 5.89 and KDE Gear 21.12 software suites. However, this release drops the Plasma Wayland session from the default installation.

        • Release Announcement: Nitrux 1.8.0

          We are pleased to announce the launch of Nitrux 1.8.0. This new version brings together the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and ready-to-use hardware support.

          Nitrux 1.8.0 is available for immediate download.

      • Arch Family

        • Ubuntu Desktop vs Server: Differences, Similarities & More

          In short, the Desktop version of Ubuntu is used for desktop PCs, and it has a graphical user interface by default. Ubuntu Desktop can be used for browsing, gaming, programming, and more. The Server version of Ubuntu is mainly used for servers – hosting websites, online applications, and various other software. It doesn’t have a GUI by default, but a control panel with a GUI can easily be installed. Technically, you can also use the Desktop version as a Server if you installed the right software and configured the distro properly. The 2 versions make it easy for you by including the right software and configurations by default when installing them.

        • Lost Art of Arch Linux

          Arch Linux is still around and has become one of the most popular distributions to run as a user. But it’s not longer the “Commodore 64″ of today’s up and coming programmers. Containers and lightweight virtual machines have changed the game again. Now, a curious hacker might not even use Linux as their desktop or laptop OS. Instead, they might spin up ephemeral containers with a reproducible configuration like NixOS or run a minimal container-native operating system like alpine.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Kinoite: A fascinating take on the operating system – TechRepublic

          On the surface, Fedora Kinoite is a respin of Fedora with the KDE desktop. But once you crack through the surface, you find that it’s so much more than that.

          At the heart of Fedora Kinoite is Fedora Silverblue. What is Silverblue? First and foremost, it’s an immutable operating system, which means the root filesystem is mounted read-only by default. Because of this, the likelihood of accidental damage and/or malicious attacks is dramatically decreased. So not only do you already have the inherent security of Linux but you partner that with a read-only root filesystem and you have a marked increase in the security offered by the operating system.

          Another difference between Silverblue and other distributions is that updates are atomic. What does that mean?

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • LuxCoreRender 2.6 Released For This Great Open-Source, Physically Based Renderer

        Another open-source project releasing on Christmas is LuxCoreRender 2.6 as a sizable feature update incorporating the better part of a year’s worth of improvements to this physically based rendering software.

        For this project that originally started out as LuxRender, the LuxCoreRender 2.x series continues advancing in a steadfast manner for greatly improving this open-source PBR renderer.

        With LuxCoreRender 2.6 the parsing of mesh light sources is now about three times faster, partial multi-threaded support in pre-processing of light sources, expanded support for color spaces, and a variety of other core improvements and bug fixes.

      • Web Browsers

        • Enable Dark Mode on Brave Browser

          Dark theme is getting popular even among non-developers. More and more operating systems, websites and applications are providing dark mode option.

          When things don’t work out of the box, you could try finding a way to achieve it. I hope this little post here helped you to enjoy the dark theme in Brave.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Nano 6 Increases Editing Area

            GNU Nano 6 has been released with improvements including the ability to hide the title bar and status bar to provide more editing space. GNU nano is a command line text editor for Unix and Linux that aims to be simple and easy to use.

            Nano was originally named Tip and was a free replacement for the Pico text editor, part of the Pine email suite that at the time was the most widely used email package on Unix. Nano is popular as an alternative to Vi and Emacs, and while few developers use it as their major editor, it offers a small, resource friendly editor for tasks such as editing batch files.

          • The 2021 TNS Gift Guide: 4 Ways to Help Connect to Community

            For the last 12 years the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has been publishing its own Ethical Tech Giving Guide, now featuring its recommendations for the freest Android operating systems and app repositories, as well as the freest DRM-free media and ebooks (and the places to procure it).

            The guide also recommends some truly geeky gifts, like the Taurinus X200 laptops that run free software all the way down its BIOS microcode, and the NeuG USB True Random Number Generator “for the cryptogeek in your life.” (Why settle for the inherent predictability of algorithm-generated numbers when your numbers could be derived from an actual physical process?)

            A recent FSF blog post also made the delightful suggestion of upgrading some old hardware of the ones you love by installing some free software, giving them the gift of a shared learning experience and inauguration “into a worldwide community of users.”

            But in addition, the foundation is also selling memberships to its organization, promising that “each new member exponentially increases our reach and our ability to make change”— which comes with several cool perks.

            FSF’s specially-designed membership cards feature a fold-out USB connector and 16 gigabytes of storage that’s pre-loaded with the fully free GNU/Linux distribution Trisquel Live. (“Take it anywhere — sharing GNU/Linux on the go!”)

          • GnuCash 4.9

            GnuCash is a personal and small business finance application, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. It’s designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible. GnuCash allows you to track your income and expenses, reconcile bank accounts, monitor stock portfolios and manage your small business finances. It is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.

            GnuCash can keep track of your personal finances in as much detail as you prefer. If you are just starting out, use GnuCash to keep track of your checkbook. You may then decide to track cash as well as credit card purchases to better determine where your money is being spent. When you start investing, you can use GnuCash to help monitor your portfolio. Buying a vehicle or a home? GnuCash will help you plan the investment and track loan payments. If your financial records span the globe, GnuCash provides all the multiple-currency support you need.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Italian Courts Find Open Source Software Terms Enforceable

            In addition to ordering the defendants to cease distribution of the software until it’s brought into compliance with the license, a fine of €100 (about $113 US) was levied for each day the defendants delay before bringing the software into compliance for the first 15 days, when the fine will increase to €300 ($339 US) daily and that they publish an excerpt of the order on a page of their website, as well as a reference on the site’s home page that’s displayed in double the normal character size of the site. The same rules apply to their Facebook page.

            The court also ordered the defendants to pay the plaintiff’s litigation costs, an amount that exceeds €5,000.

          • Italian Courts Find Open Source Software Terms Enforceable | If This Be Treason

            In a first-time ruling by Italian courts on open source licensing, a software vendor has lost a civil case for failing to comply with open source license requirements.
            On December 13, the law court of Venice, Italy quietly affirmed the legal enforceability of open source software licenses in a case involving the GNU General Public License, perhaps the most well known open source license, in what was something of a test case within the country.

            Open source software is important because it offers a way for software to be distributed freely and without cost, while allowing users to modify the software to suit their needs and distribute it to others.

            “It [the ruling] represents an important step in the direction of strengthening the protection of intellectual works distributed through free software licenses in all their forms, a concrete progress for Italian jurisprudence on the subject and more generally for the country,” Ovation, an Italy-based limited liability company that was the plaintiff in the case, said in a press release it issued after the court ruling.

            The case involved Ovation’s GPL licensed Dynamic.ooo software, which is a plugin for the open source Elementor platform for building WordPress websites. According to the company, two former employees (evidently Marco Poglie and Francesco Pesce, who were the defendants in the suit, along with Venezia Italy-based Nerds Farm, which is owned by Pesce) had redistributed the software, which is allowed under the GPL.

            The issue was that the software was redistributed without including acknowledgment of the original work, including information about changes the defendants had made to the software, and with no mention of the software’s copyright holders.

          • TikTok’s new Live Studio app allegedly violates OBS’ licensing policy – The Hamden Journal [Ed: Might be a spammy site/plagiarism]

            Live Studio, TikTok’s new livestreaming app for Windows, supposedly uses code from the free livestreaming program Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) (via Protocol). This would typically not pose an issue when done properly because OBS is open source — however, TikTok purportedly fails to adhere to OBS’ licensing requirements.

            The situation unraveled on Twitter after a user posted screenshots of what appears to be Live Studio’s code. The programmer who originally took the screenshots alleges that the app “is an illegal fork of OBS” and also claims that TikTok used OBS and then slapped its own user interface on top.

            As another user points out, if TikTok does make use of OBS’ code, the platform is required to make the source code publicly available in accordance with the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2. If TikTok fails to do so, OBS could potentially take legal action against the platform.

          • Is It Even Worth Working on FOSS Anymore?


            I don’t know how to introduce this post other than the question in the title: is it even worth working on Free and Open Source Software anymore?

            I have been asking myself this for the past week or two, and it’s uncomfortable for me; I believe in the power of Open Source to empower users and to give them control over their machines.

            Exploited FOSS

            But that belief of mine has been severely shaken by several things happened this week, things which also made me reconsider things that happened further in the past as well.

          • Selling my own GPL software, part 1: a lot of hurdles

            In my spare time I’ve been chugging along on a piece of software, which I’m contemplating selling. In my case the commercial aspect is made more difficult because I also want to release the software with a GPL license.

            This post describes the initial hurdles I’m encountering, next to just programming the software.

          • Ownership in the Twenty-First Century

            So the new era of ownership will be interesting. Will it restore balance to r = g? Or skew society further into r > g? Regardless, everything be securitized.

      • Programming/Development

        • Fix the unit test and open a giant hole everywhere

          As you can see, this is the kind of thing that takes a little work to get right, and once someone does that, it would be nice to share it with the rest of the company. For that reason, I went looking into the “common” part of our code base to see what we had in terms of “directory creation utilities”. Maybe we’d have something which did this already!

        • Interactive Programming in a Nutshell

          For me interactive programming is probably the most important advantage of Lisps and Emacs over other programming languages and editors. I cannot imagine any productive workflow without it!

        • Eagle’s Path: rra-c-util 10.1 (2021-12-25)

          This is my collection of utility functions, Autoconf macros, test programs, and other support infrastructure for my other packages.

        • DocKnot 6.00

          DocKnot is my static site generator and software release management toolkit. It’s what generates all of what you’re reading.

          DocKnot has always supported pointing to external files from inside its input tree and converting those files to HTML. This is how I include HTML conversions of POD documentation, CVS logs, text files, and other things in my web pages. This release starts the migration from an ad hoc text format for these pointers to YAML, which will permit a much richer configuration and a consistent format and extension for those external pointers.

        • Java

          • Security chief warns of new telco core threat, Security | TelecomTV

            Przemysław Dęba, security chief at Orange Poland, has taken to Twitter to highlight a security warning to telcos from P1 Security, a telecoms security software and services specialist. The company’s R&D unit, P1 Labs, today warned of Log4Shell, a “a zero-day vulnerability in Log4j, a popular Java logging framework, involving arbitrary code execution.”

            Essentially, it exploits a vulnerability in signalling messages, and that puts telco core network systems at risk from attack, and The Apache Software Foundation, of which Log4j is a project, has given Log4Shell a “CVSS [Common Vulnerability Scoring System] severity rating of 10, the highest available score. It is estimated that the exploit affects hundreds of millions of devices,” according to P1. Check out the full explanation from P1 Labs here.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Why RSS is important

        When using a RSS reader, you only get updates from the websites you have subscribed to. So you are not only in control of the amount of updates you get and also in control of what kind of information you collect.

        Just like there are a few social media moguls the choice for web search engines is very limited. There also are dark algorithms at work, that control which sites are ‘found’ and which are not. These algorithms are completely out of our control and we have no idea of the powers behind it.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • James Webb Space Telescope launched!

        The long awaited James Webb Space Telescope has finally been successfully launched today. It is a Xmas gift for many people who have been waiting for it for many years.

      • Watch NASA launch the most powerful space telescope ever

        The massive telescope is designed to capture infrared light, especially from galaxies so far away that their light has been traveling through space for almost the entire history of the universe.

        “We are expecting to see the light from the first galaxies that formed some 100 [million], 200 million years after the Big Bang,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said in a pre-launch briefing. “It will deliver world-class science. It’s a revolutionary technology that will study every phase of 13-and-a-half billion years of cosmic history.”

        What’s more, he said, the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to study the atmospheres of planets beyond our solar system, to try to determine if they might be habitable — or maybe even inhabited.

      • NASA launches James Webb telescope into space on Christmas Day

        The $10-billion observatory, billed as the successor to the iconic Hubble Space Telescope, is designed to study the early days of the universe, roughly 100 million years after the Big Bang, when the first stars flickered on in the cosmos.

        The tennis court-sized observatory launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket at 7:20 a.m. ET from a European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The observatory’s liftoff had been postponed several times, including earlier this month to investigate a faulty data cable and more recently because of bad weather at the South American launch site.

      • NASA’s Revolutionary New Space Telescope Launched From French Guiana

        NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, built to give the world a glimpse of the universe as it existed when the first galaxies formed, was launched by rocket early Saturday from South America’s northeastern coast, opening a new era of astronomy.

        The revolutionary $9 billion infrared telescope, hailed by NASA as the premiere space-science observatory of the next decade, was carried aloft inside the cargo bay of an Ariane 5 rocket that blasted off at about 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT) from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) launch base in French Guiana.

        The flawless Christmas Day launch, with a countdown conducted in French, was carried live on a joint NASA-ESA Webcast.

      • James Webb Space Telescope lifts off on historic mission

        The observatory was lifted skyward by an Ariane rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.

        Its flight to orbit lasted just under half an hour, with a signal confirming a successful outcome picked up by a ground antenna at Malindi in Kenya.

        Webb, named after one of the architects of the Apollo Moon landings, is the successor to the Hubble telescope.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Thousands of Virginians Have Faced Years of Sickness-Inducing Landfill Pollution
      • Fast-Spreading Omicron Variant Drives Up Pediatric Hospitalizations in Parts of US

        With the fast-spreading Omicron variant now driving new Covid-19 cases up in the United States, public health officials are warning that just as South Africa did in early December, the country is seeing a surge in pediatric hospitalizations related to the disease.

        The New York Department of Health reported Thursday that Covid-19 hospitalizations among children under the age of 18 began increasing four-fold the week of December 5 through the current week.

      • Two Years of COVID Have Forced Us to Recalibrate Our Concept of Hope
      • American Life Expectancy Crashes By Almost Two Years

        Just as worryingly, the number of deaths from unintentional injuries including drug overdoses and diabetes also ranked high, pushing life expectancy down as well. Diabetes alone caused over 100,000 deaths.

        The number of drug overdoses in particular hit record highs, according to separate figures released by the CDC last month.

        Infant mortality, on the other hand, fell to a record low of 541 deaths per 100,000 live births over the same period.

      • TikTok Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over Content Moderators’ ‘Unmitigated Exposure to Highly Toxic and Extremely Disturbing Images’

        One Candie Frazier, a Las Vegas resident who’s worked as a TikTok content moderator since January of 2018, just recently submitted the class-action suit to a California federal court, naming as defendants both the short-form video-sharing app and Beijing-headquartered ByteDance.

        The plaintiff has specifically accused the defendants of multiple counts of negligence (including “abnormally dangerous activity”) as well as violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law. But it bears noting at the outset that the filing party “has never been employed by ByteDance or TikTok in any capacity,” instead working for a company (and non-party to the action) called Telus International (NYSE: TIXT), per the suit.

      • Boda Boda Drivers Become Health Champions

        More recently, drivers of boda bodas in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda are taking on a new title: public health champions.

        Earlier this year, Africa Lion Advisory (ALA), a Kenyan financial advisory company, trained 3,595 Ugandan boda boda drivers on how to protect themselves, their customers and communities against COVID-19.

        Hilda Wangari, communications lead for the trainings, said ALA’s aim was to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 by teaching drivers to spread health information, protective measures and safety tips instead.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Wireless coexistence – New attack technique exploits Bluetooth, WiFi performance features for ‘inter-chip privilege escalation’

        Vulnerabilities in wireless chip designs could allow malicious [crackers] to steal data and passwords from devices, according to security researchers.

        According to the group, from the Technical University of Darmstadt’s Secure Mobile Networking Group (Germany) and the University of Brescia’s CNIT (Italy), attackers could exploit “wireless coexistence” or shared component features on millions of mobile devices.

        Wireless devices often use radio components with shared resources, combination chips or System on a Chip (SoC) designs. These SoCs are responsible for multiple radio interfaces, including Bluetooth, WiFi, LTE (4G) and 5G.

      • Proprietary

        • Apple patches nasty macOS exploit that bypasses security protections

          Apple has patched a nasty macOS bug that could have allowed malicious applications to circumvent the operating system’s in-built security protections.

          As reported by Bleeping Computer, the flaw was first discovered by Gordon Long, Offensive Security Engineer at Box. According to Long, the vulnerability could allow a specially crafted, script-based application to be launched on a Mac device without Gatekeeper (an antivirus service that verifies the authenticity of all downloaded apps) ever triggering an alarm.

        • Ubisoft discloses security breach impacting Just Dance gamer data

          Ubisoft didn’t provide details about how the breach occurred beyond describing it as a “misconfiguration,” nor did it say for how long its Just Dance servers were exposed.

        • Anti-cheating browser extension fails web security examination

          web security flaw in an anti-cheating browser extension created a means to hack into the computers of university students and other users before they were recently patched.

          The Proctorio Google Chrome browser extension was vulnerable to a cross-site scripting (XSS) flaw, security researchers at Sector 7, the research division of Dutch security consultancy Computest, discovered.

        • The Medical Review Institute of America notifies patients of ransomware incident [iophk: Windows]

          MRIoA was hit with ransomware in November. And although they do not directly state that they paid ransom, it sounds like they did because their notification states that to the best of their ability and knowledge, they “retrieved and subsequently confirmed the deletion” of their information.

        • TikTok Got More Traffic Than Google in 2021 — Report

          Cloudflare’s Year In Review ranks sites based on the traffic they receive over the course of a year, measured monthly. Last year, TikTok ranked number eight on the list. But Cloudflare’s 2021 traffic report reveals TikTok is the most visited site on the internet – unseating Google.

          TikTok claimed the top spot from Google in February but slid back out in later months. It wasn’t until August that TikTok consistently claimed the top spot in terms of internet traffic.

          TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, after it bought Musical.ly back in 2017. The social media service has seen massive growth throughout 2020 and 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic has continued.

        • Data stolen in business email compromise attack on W. Virginia hospital operator

          That said, Mon Health further discovered that personally identifiable information in emails was compromised. Details stolen included health plan information and claims, addresses, dates of birth, patient account numbers, medical record numbers, dates of service, provider names, claims information and other medical information.

        • Security

          • White House invites tech firms to discuss open-source software security

            In August, U.S. President Joe Biden called cybersecurity a “core national security challenge” during a meeting with executives from Amazon.com Inc., Google LLC, Microsoft Corp. and other leading companies. The participating companies pledged to invest billions of dollars in cybersecurity-related initiatives over the next few years.

          • White House Enlists Software Industry to Improve Open-Source Security

            In a letter Thursday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan invited major players in the software industry to discuss initiatives to improve open-source software security, the official said. Dozens of open-source software projects have become crucial components of global commerce and are mostly maintained by volunteers.

            The effort will start with a one-day discussion in January hosted by Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology, according to the official.

          • White House national security adviser asks software companies to discuss cybersecurity

            “The SolarWinds and Hafnium incidents serve as recent reminders that strategic adversaries actively exploit vulnerabilities for malicious purposes,” Sullivan said in the letter.

            To kick off this effort, the deputy national security advisor for cyber & emerging technology, Anne Neuberger, will host a one-day discussion in January with company officials responsible for open-source projects and security.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The Atlas of Surveillance Turns the Dragnet on Police Tech: 2021 Year in Review

              As EFF has long documented, local law enforcement agencies around the United States are amassing arsenals of surveillance technology to gather as much data as possible on the public. From automated license plate readers (ALPRs) that track our vehicles to real-time crime centers (RTCCs), where police analysts use algorithms to mine live camera streams and social media feeds, this technology has been spreading into communities often under the radar.

              The EFF and Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno launched the Atlas of Surveillance in July 2020 as a literal effort to watch the watchers. Combining a variety of newsgathering tools–crowdsourcing, data journalism, and public records requests–the Atlas of Surveillance is an interactive database and map that reveals what surveillance tech is used by more than 4,500 law enforcement agencies nationwide.

              The Atlas of Surveillance has two main aims:

            • Stalkerware: 2021 in Review

              2021 saw the 2-year anniversary of the Coalition Against Stalkerware, of which EFF is a founding member. In 2021, the Coalition continued to provide training, published tools and research, and worked directly with survivors of domestic abuse and intimate partner violence and the organizations that support them. EFF also took part in dozens of awareness-raising events, including EFF at Home’s Fighting Stalkerware edition in May and a talk on the state of stalkerware in the Apple ecosystem at 2021’s Objective by the Sea.

              A 2021 Norton Lifelock survey of 10,000 adults across ten countries found that almost 1 in 10 respondents who had been in a romantic relationship admitted to using a stalkerware app to monitor a current or former partner’s device activity. The same report indicates that the problem may be worsening. Norton Labs found that “the number of devices reporting stalkerware samples on a daily basis increased markedly by 63% between September 2020 and May 2021” with the 30-day moving average blowing up from 48,000 to 78,000 detections. Norton Labs reported that 250,000 devices were compromised with more than 6,000 stalkerware variants in May 2021 alone, with many devices infected with multiple stalkerware apps. Meanwhile, antivirus vendor Kaspersky reported that in the first ten months of 2021, almost 28,000 of its mobile users were affected by the threat of stalkerware. The range in numbers between these two antivirus companies suggests that we may be comparing apples to oranges, but even Kaspersky’s significantly lower number of detections indicates that stalkerware remains a significant threat in 2021.

              2021 was also the year that Apple chose to enter the physical tracker market, debuting the AirTag. Apple used all of the existing iPhones to create a powerful network that gave it a major advantage over Tile and Chipolo in location tracking, but it had also created a powerful tool for stalkers with insufficient mitigations. Aside from an easily-muffled beep after 36 hours (shortened after our criticism to 24), there was no way for users outside of the Apple ecosystem to know that they were being tracked. In December, Apple introduced an Android app called Tracker Detect to allow Android users to scan for Air Tags, but there is still a long way to go before iPhone users have the same notification abilities as Android users.

            • GDPR complaint: Airbnb hosts at the mercy of algorithms

              Today, noyb.eu filed a GDPR complaint against Airbnb. The online market place for vacation rentals downgraded the complainant’s rating as a host, solely through automated decision making. While everyone has the right not to be subject to automated decision-making, Airbnb relies on exactly these practices. By denying the opportunity for the complainant to contest the automated decision and to obtain human intervention, Airbnb acted in clear violation of the GDPR.

            • Swedish company offers a Covid pass that gets under the skin

              Though still rare, several thousand Swedes have opted to have an electronic implant inserted under the skin in recent years, eliminating the need to remember key fobs, business cards, public transport cards, and recently: vaccine passes.

              The country that created the show “Real Humans” and its English language adaptation “Humans,” is also a stronghold of so-called biohackers who are convinced that humans will become evermore entangled with technology in the future.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Guantánamo Film Ignores the War on Terror’s Ongoing Tangible Harms
      • US names Tibet coordinator, drawing warning from China

        US-China relations have been at their lowest point in decades over a range of issues, including trade, Taiwan, Hong Kong, human rights, the South China Sea and the coronavirus.

        China seized control of Tibet after its troops entered the region in 1950 in what it calls a “peaceful liberation.”

        Tibet has since become one of the most restricted areas in the country. Critics, led by the Dalai Lama, say Beijing’s rule amounts to “cultural genocide.”

      • China Committing Cultural Genocide against Tibetan Children

        Tibet’s education system has become primarily residential; official data shows that approximately 800,000 Tibetan children aged six to 18 – 78% of Tibetan students – are living in colonial boarding schools;

        Tibetan parents are compelled to send their children to boarding schools due to a lack of alternatives and are unable to advocate for other options in Tibet’s repressive environment. Individual accounts show that intimidation and threats are used to coerce reluctant parents to send their children to such schools;

      • Paris: The commemorative plaque on Samuel Paty Square was vandalised two months after its inauguration

        The vandalised plaque now reads solely: “Samuel Paty (…) Victim of Terrorism”. A highly political damage whose deeper meaning has not escaped Nicolas Gavrilenko: “The plaque that names the square adjacent to the Sorbonne after him has been vandalised and is a sign of the deliberate delusion of some”, writes the secular activist, insisting on the truth: “It is ISLAMIST terrorism to which Samuel Paty fell victim”. He concluded his message by calling on the mayor’s office of the 5th arrondissement (Libres, a movement founded by Valérie Pécresse) to restore the damaged plaque “as soon as possible”. So far, the mayor’s office of the arrondissement does not seem to have reacted.

      • Tariq Ramadan: Update on Islam’s Golden Boy

        When last we heard about Tariq Ramadan, at one time the most famous Muslim “public intellectual” in the Western world, he had fallen from grace. The curtain was pulled back and as one woman after another came forward to charge him with rape, he was revealed to be not only a serial rapist, but one who enjoyed humiliating – and physically hurting – his victims. He has been allowed out of prison, and awaits trial in Paris. He may also have to face trial in Geneva, with a different set of accusers. In the wake of these charges, he was relieved of his prestigious position at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. His travels across the world to lecture eager audiences on “the ethics of Islam” also came to a halt. Few want to hear the serial rapist dilate upon “ethics” of any kind. For many, Ramadan has become an object of ridicule, scorn, and embarrassment. But he’s not withdrawn from public life; he’s still proclaiming his innocence, and still trying to keep himself in the public eye, even starting a new career as a singer of protest songs against the malevolent West.

      • Western Sahara Fight Threatens To Expand

        The decades-old dispute over Western Sahara is causing rivals Morocco and Algeria to edge closer to conflict. The disagreement reignited when a cease-fire collapsed in November 2020 between Morocco and the Sahrawi independence movement known as the Polisario Front.

        Polisario leader Brahim Ghali says they are at war. His group, backed by Algeria, has threatened to launch attacks against “air, land and sea targets” in Morocco.

      • Turkey’s attacks revive ISIS, say Qamishlo residents

        The occupying Turkish state and allied gangs have been carrying out brutal attacks on the northern Syrian town of Zirgan in Heseke Canton since December 21. The latest attacks claimed the lives of 4 citizens, and 14 people were injured.

        Speaking to ANHA, the people of Qamishlo remarked that the Turkish state intends to force local people to migrate but, it will be defeated against the determined struggle of North-East Syrian people.

      • Legislation holding the drone industry back in South Africa

        Restrictive UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or drone regulations in South Africa are holding the industry back, with major reforms needed, especially in the security sector.

        This was the consensus from speakers at the first Security Drone Conference held at Emperor’s Palace at the beginning of December.

      • Proactively countering North Korea’s advancing nuclear threat

        As North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile arsenals grow larger and more sophisticated, the United States could soon be faced with a terrible choice when Pyongyang attempts to coerce Seoul—risk an intercontinental nuclear war or abandon a key ally. To avoid such as scenario, Scowcroft Center nonresident senior fellow and former National Intelligence Officer for North Korea Markus Garlauskas recommends that Washington adopt a new strategy to proactively counter North Korea’s nuclear threat by impeding its nuclear and missile programs, investing to stay ahead of its arsenal, and adjusting military operations on the Korean Peninsula.

      • Civilian deaths and the Pentagon’s 20-year killing spree: Mistakes — or a matter of policy?

        The retribution for their truth-telling has been fierce and unrelenting. WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange is in a British prison, facing imminent extradition to the United States, where the chances of a fair trial are essentially zero. Former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning spent seven years in a military prison. Former U.S. Air Force analyst Daniel Hale, who revealed murderous effects of U.S. drone warfare, is currently serving a 45-month prison sentence. They had the clarity of mind and heart to share vital information with the public, disclosing not just “mistakes” but patterns of war crimes.

        Such realities should be kept in mind when considering how the New York Times framed its blockbuster scoop last weekend, drawing on more than 1,300 confidential documents. Under the big headline “Hidden Pentagon Records Reveal Patterns of Failure in Deadly Airstrikes,” the Times assessed U.S. bombing in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan — and reported that “since 2014, the American air war has been plagued by deeply flawed intelligence, rushed and imprecise targeting and the deaths of thousands of civilians, many of them children.”

      • Opinion | The Combating Islamophobia Act: On Hate Crimes and ‘Irrational Fears’

        The result of a vote, on December 14, in the US House of Representatives regarding the combating of Islamophobia, may, possibly, appear to be a positive sign of change, that Washington is finally confronting this socio-political evil. However, conclusions must not be too hasty.

      • Omar’s Anti-Islamophobia Bill Will Target India and Hindus Worldwide

        It is yet another example of special treatment for Muslims and Islam itself, with the office now being created to record instances of Islamophobia, including violence against and harassment of Muslims and vandalism of their mosques, schools and cemeteries WORLDWIDE. Isn’t that quite something?

        The office will not be localized to dealing with acts of perceived hatred against Muslims in just the US but also worldwide, including India which is clearly a target of the bill. The narrative this feeds into is that Muslims are unique, unique victims of persecution around the world, and one of the main proponents of this persecution is India, particular Narendra Modi, the RSS, the BJP, all its supporters and Hindus who cannot critique the forces, rationale and political groupthink that underpins Islamist sponsored atrocities when they occur just because the likes of Omar do not agree with them.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • [Old] Imprisoned Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale Honored By International Free Speech Group

        Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale, who is serving a federal prison sentence in the United States, received a whistleblower award from the Blueprint for Free Speech, an international non-profit group based in Australia that promotes freedom of expression.

      • Failure of US Media on Ukraine

        For example, the US public is continually being told that the movement of a large number of Russian troops is a major crisis-inducing provocation of the US and NATO over Ukraine. There is much speculation about whether or not Russia will attack Ukraine and how the US and NATO should react to an attack. This coverage portrays Russia as the initiator of this situation and that the US and NATO are being forced to react. Unsurprisingly, the US media fails to remind the public about recent history that provides vital context for current events.

    • Environment

      • The Climate Won’t Survive Our Current Appetite for Consumerism and Consumption
      • Opinion | Feeling Hopeless About the Climate? Try Our 30-Day Action Plan

        A recent poll found that people today, especially younger people, feel helpless when it comes to fighting climate change.

      • Averting Climate Catastrophe Will Be Staggeringly Expensive

        “Climate change has destabilized the earth’s poles,” said a Washington Post headline on December 15, and it served as a reminder. The ice is breaking up. The waters are rising. The all-encompassing political question today is climate catastrophe. How can the nations and people of the world mobilize the social energy necessary to slow the process? This danger won’t be cut off by defunding, by fostering mindfulness and new sensitivities, or even by penalizing the jocular skepticism and quack science that tell us climate change is a hoax. The problem is with human nature: the way we are constituted—the most selfless as well as the greediest individuals.

      • Ethicists recognize that limiting population growth is key to addressing climate change

        The mystery deepens when we note that studies have repeatedly shown that limiting population growth is among the cheapest, most effective means to limit and help societies adapt to climate change. And unlike unproven technologies, such as carbon capture and sequestration, or dangerous ones like solar radiation management, modern contraception has been proven safe and effective. Yet during the recent COP26 meetings in Glasgow, little was said about limiting population growth during negotiations, and nothing made its way into the final agreement.

      • The US exports too much of its most valuable resource

        All of this relies on an aquifer underneath the valley. This layer of rock and soil accumulated its moisture over tens of thousands of years—caught during the monsoon season, or as snow on the nearby mountaintop melted. For generations, farmers—and the many others who have migrated across the country to make this epic landscape their home—have greened their desert by digging wells a few hundred feet into the ground and tapping the groundwater below.

        In the past decade, however, these wells have started to run dry. Travel beyond the homesteads and family-run farms you’ll see why—thousands of acres of neatly ordered trees bearing pecans and pistachios, vast fields of alfalfa and corn, huge dairy herds, and rows of greenhouses growing tomatoes cover the once-barren desert. This enormous carpet of industrial agriculture, with food grown for export to places around the world, takes deep wells to sustain. For every 100 acres or so, a corporate farm owner will dig a well as deep as 2,000 feet and pull up water from the ancient aquifer at up to 2,000 gallons per second, often 24 hours a day. The drilling rigs often resemble those used for oil.

      • Denmark to pump billions into beleaguered water environment

        Only five of 986 lakes and five of 109 coastal areas are in good ecological condition, according to the environmental protection agency, Miljøstyrelsen.

        So the government is ready to pump 5.4 billion kroner into new initiatives dedicated to improving the situation.

      • Energy

        • Warrior Met Coal Miners Are Spending Christmas 2021 on Strike
        • Bukele ‘Has Not Responded’ to Claims of Bitcoin Vanishing From Citizens’ Wallets: Report

          According to The New Scientist, El Comisionado has collected over 50 examples of Bitcoin inexplicably going missing from Salvadoran Chivo wallets.

          “The government has not responded, nor does it acknowledge the errors,” he told The New Scientist.

          “It’s one of the things people are demanding, that they respond to their complaints. Many have waited several months for a response to get the money back,” he added.

          According to The New Scientist, Zaira Navas—a member of the El Salvador National Civil Police—and Rogzy—a Bitcoin commentator—have experienced similar issues.

          “I don’t think Chivo is secure and no one can verify it since the code is not open source,” Rogzy said. “Today very few people use Chivo, because many do not know how it works,” El Comisionado reportedly added.

        • Plans confirmed for India’s ‘first’ green hydrogen-powered storage development

          An NTPC project, the site will utilise Bloom Energy’s solid oxide, hydrogen temperature electrolyser to generate green hydrogen from renewable electricity generation at a nearby floating solar farm.

          Once produced, the produced hydrogen will then be converted into carbon neutral electricity without combustion through Bloom Energy’s hydrogen fuel cells and power NTPC’s Guest House, used by both employees and guests.

        • Biden’s New Fuel Economy Standards Still Allow Cars to Pollute More If They’re Not Called Cars

          The loophole in question is the one that permits larger vehicles to pollute more, specifically by classifying vans, pickups, SUVs, and even some “crossovers,” depending on their characteristics, as “light duty trucks.” Not only does this category include obviously huge vehicles like the Chevy Suburban, Cadillac Escalade, or Ford F-150, but it also includes many smaller family vehicles like the Subaru Outback, Toyota RAV4, and Honda CR-V. Most absurdly, “medium duty passenger vehicles,” or MDPVs, are also categorized as “light trucks” for emissions purposes, even though they can weigh up to 10,000 pounds.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Climate change: Lapland reindeer gone astray in search for food

          Some reindeer have travelled as far as 100km to the south, in search of ice-free lichen they can access under the snow.

          Herders are having to track them through the forests of northern Finland and Sweden, some even using helicopters.

        • Rare Mammal Takin Spotted in East Kameng Forests of Arunachal Pradesh

          The takin also called cattle chamois or gnu goat, is a large species of ungulate of the subfamily Caprinae found in the eastern Himalayas.

          Takin, one of the rarest mammals, was caught by a trap camera above 3,500 metres in East Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh.

          The takin also called cattle chamois or gnu goat, is a large species of ungulate of the subfamily Caprinae found in the eastern Himalayas. It is first photo of takin from East Kameng district, DFO Vikas Swami said. The takin is adapted to its mountainous environment in Asia.

      • Overpopulation

        • Our water infrastructure needs to change

          In many ways, it’s hard to imagine our world of nearly 8 billion people and $85 trillion in annual goods and services without this water engineering. Cairo, Phoenix, and other large desert cities could never have grown to their present sizes. California’s sunny Central Valley would not have become such an abundant producer of vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

          Yet when it comes to water, the past is no longer a good guide for the future. The heating of the planet is fundamentally altering the water cycle, and most of the world is unprepared for the consequences.

        • Drastic Action Needed To Save Fish Populations, Oceanographer Says

          China has the world’s largest distant-water fishing (DWF) fleet and has targeted West Africa for years. Chinese industrial trawlers are notorious for illegally fishing in protected waters and using a range of illicit tactics to catch far more fish than allowed. China is the world’s worst illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing offender, according to the IUU Fishing Index.

          China and Taiwan represented almost 60% of all global DWF activities in other countries’ waters from 2015 to 2017, with Japan, South Korea and Spain each representing about 10% of the DWF fishing, according to a report by the Stimson Center, a think tank.

          China’s DWF fleet began casting nets around the globe after the country overfished its own waters, which didn’t quell its hunger for seafood. The nation of 1.4 billion people consumes 38% of global fish production and has one of the world’s highest consumption rates of fish and seafood at 37.8 kilograms per person annually, according to a Foreign Policy report.

        • The “Silent Lie” in Coverage of Madagascar’s Famine

          Graphic media coverage of the current hunger in southern Madagascar is not wasting the opportunity to advocate climate justice. But nobody mentions there are now seven Madagascan mouths to feed for each one present in 1950. This denialism is not in the interests of the hungry, nor Madagascar’s disappearing wildlife, argues Madeline Weld.

        • Reframing Population and Family Planning to Focus on Justice

          Want something better? The key, discussed more below, involves interpreting our Constitution in an intergenerational way and shifting away from family planning systems that focus more on what parents want than what future children need.

          This new approach involves a child-centric model that both recognizes the implications of our previous flawed family planning approaches as well as our obligations and duties to the children we are bringing into this world. If we don’t fix our fundamental conception of how we plan families, we will continue to create social and ecological crises that could have been averted. We can reframe the discussion away from population.

        • Radical action needed to secure adequate water supply, says Mchunu

          The Premier added that water and sanitation challenges in the Western Cape were exacerbated by issues such as land invasions and illegal informal settlements. He indicated that this was a “big issue that needs to be tackled smartly because we are unable to anticipate these growing trends and as a result, we fail to plan for them”.

        • Singapore’s push for water security and independence

          For decades, Singapore has satiated a significant amount of its demand through agreements to import water from neighboring Malaysia. One of those agreements expired in 2011. The second—the one that enables the country to draw water from the Linggiu Reservoir—is ongoing.

    • Finance

      • The case for abolishing billionaires

        It’s hard to believe, but billionaires pay almost no tax on their fortunes. Unlike the rest of us, they can avoid income tax entirely. Their wealth is typically in huge stock holdings, which grow in value every year. If they were to sell those stocks, they’d have to pay income tax on the gain.

        But instead, billionaires borrow against their own wealth. That means they use their wealth as collateral to get bank loans that allow them to live as lavishly as they want without triggering any tax. That’s why we need a wealth tax.

        NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has proposed a 1 per cent annual tax on fortunes over $10 million. People with less than that wouldn’t be affected at all. Even such a small wealth tax of 1 per cent a year could raise $10 billion a year, enough to fund a lot of affordable housing, public transit and climate action.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | Why Chile’s Election Signals Major Shift
      • Russian Court Fines Alphabet’s Google $98 Million

        A court in Moscow said on December 24 that it was fining Alphabet’s Google 7.2 billion rubles ($98 million) for what it said was a repeated failure to delete content Russia deems illegal, the first revenue-based fine in this kind of case in Russia.

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused social media platforms and other tech giants of flouting the country’s Internet laws, including a push to force foreign firms to open offices in Russia and store Russians’ personal data on its territory.

        Many critics say the move is an attempt by Russian authorities to exert tighter control over the Internet and quell dissent.

      • Russia fines Google, Meta record $125 mn over banned content

        A Moscow court on Friday slapped Google with an unprecedented fine of nearly $100 million, while Meta (formerly Facebook) received a fine of $27 million.

        In recent years Russia has been piling pressure on Western social media giants, with President Vladimir Putin saying those companies were becoming as influential as elected governments.

        Moscow has repeatedly taken legal action against them for allegedly not moderating their content properly and interfering in the country’s affairs.

      • It’s a Wonderful Life vs. the FBI

        Of course, when one looks beyond the film’s narrative properties to the people involved, as the FBI did, the argument fails. The report names screenwriters Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett as individuals known to be “very close to Communists,” and indeed other suspected affiliates, such as blacklisted penman Dalton Trumbo, were known to have taken uncredited passes at the script on its journey to the screen. But the two dominant personalities on It’s a Wonderful Life — director Capra and star Stewart — could not have been further from persons of interest.

      • Russia’s Last Political Freedoms Are on the Way Out

        Founded in January 1989, Memorial has built a database of more than 2.6 million victims of Soviet repression, identified perpetrators of Soviet-era political crimes, and defended victims of human rights abuses and political repression. For the past five years, the Russian government has designated the organization a foreign agent—a stigmatizing label requiring Memorial to declare this status before every public comment and undergo financial audits. It has also faced smear campaigns, police raids, and $82,460 in fines for allegedly violating the foreign agent law.

        On Nov. 11, Russian prosecutors filed a case against Memorial’s sister organization, Human Rights Center, accusing it of extremist and terrorist activists for publishing a list of political prisoners, which the prosecutor argued is grounds for its dissolution. A second case threatens to ban Memorial for allegedly breaking the foreign agent law by failing to label some of its materials. Memorial said the charges are baseless and politically motivated.

      • High-Profile L.A. Crimes Spark Rush for Bullet-Proof Cars, Rolex Replicas and Safe Rooms

        Lieutenant Giovanni Trejo, public information officer for the Beverly Hills Police Department, elaborated: “If you put together the added police resources and the armed private security officers that we’ve sent into the area, you can say that security has increased by at least 50 percent. These crimes aren’t new, but the pace at which they are occurring seems to be accelerated.”

      • The Wealthy Are Suddenly Hoarding Safe Rooms And Bulletproof Cars

        The report found that private security firms have seen a massive uptick in business as they rush to handle the wealthy’s requests for additional protections — an ominous data point about crime, but probably moreso about its perception by the most privileged members of society.

        “It’s been crazy busy,” Aaron Jones, president and CEO of Malibu-based International Protective Security, told THR. “We understand the urgency of what’s going on. It’s nonstop… Business has quadrupled.”

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • How the Koch Network Is Spreading COVID Misinformation

        The trio also has ties to the Great Barrington Declaration, a widely rebuked yet influential missive that encouraged governments to adopt a “herd immunity” policy letting COVID-19 spread largely unchecked, even as the virus has killed more than 800,000 Americans.

        The academy is the newest initiative designed to provide intellectual cover to a nearly two-year campaign by right-wing and big business interests to force a return to normalcy to boost corporate profits amid a pandemic that is now surging once again thanks to Omicron.

      • How should I deal with conspiracy theories at Christmas?

        In their book “Fake Facts,” psychologist Pia Lamberty and civil rights activist Katharina Nocun explore the various reasons people might be attracted to conspiracy theories. Disappointment, fear and stress are just some of the feelings that may be involved.

        Conspiracy theories might help people cope with their lives without having to delve deeply into their own issues, which in turn might raise unpleasant or even shameful feelings. Such theories help people find someone to blame for their own unhappiness: politicians, Big Pharma, the media. Holding others responsible makes it easier to cope with one’s own emotional deficit.

        Psychologist Sarah Kuhn from the University of Basel in Switzerland, whose research focuses on conspiracy theories and cognitive biases, suggests one might find out more about why a person is attracted to a dubious notion by asking a simple question like, “How have things been lately?”

      • CAIR: Love for Jesus Unites Christians and Muslims at Christmas Time

        In his op-ed, Hooper acknowledged, without going into detail, that Christians and Muslims “do have some differing perspectives on Jesus’ life and teachings.” But Hooper believed that the mutual love of Jesus by Christians and Muslims, and Jesus’ “message of love, peace and forgiveness,” would overcome those seemingly minimal differences and provide a “unifying force” for those two religions.

        The reality is, as we have seen in this article, that there is a fundamental, irreconcilable difference in who Christians believe Jesus is, and who Muslims believe Jesus is. Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God, and Muslims believe Jesus is only a human prophet who will eventually return to earth and destroy Christianity while calling people to Islam.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Sudan Forces Fire Tear Gas to Disperse Protesters, Internet Cut in Khartoum

        Internet services were disrupted in the capital, Khartoum, and soldiers blocked roads early in the day, the witnesses said. Locals were also unable to make or receive calls domestically.

        Despite the [Internet] being cut off, people were still able to post on social media, with images showing protests taking place in several other cities including Madani and Atbara.

      • Two Belarusian bloggers sentenced to more than 10 years in prison

        “These extraordinarily harsh sentences, passed at the end of grossly unfair trials, are the severest that Belarusian courts have passed on media professionals this year,” said Jeanne Cavelier, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “This persecution by the Belarusian justice system and the unprecedented severity of these sentences presage the worst for press freedom in Belarus in 2022. RSF calls for the immediate release of Eduard Palchys and Ihar Losik.”

      • Egyptian Scholar Sentenced to Five Years Imprisonment for Recounting Accurate History

        One of Maher’s chief “crimes” is his view on the seventh and eighth century Arab conquests—a view based on a close and correct reading of both Muslim and non-Muslim sources: that Arabs conquerors invaded non-Muslim regions—specifically the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain—and engaged in atrocity after atrocity; that, while “spreading Islam” was the motive later Islamic historiography attributed to the Arabs, their true actions belied a lust for rape and rapine; and that they overthrew and supplanted much more advanced societies, to the region’s lasting regret.

      • Yazidi Islamic State survivor latest victim of ‘cancel culture’ -opinion

        Alongside colonialism, imperialism, and nation-building, “cancel culture” is the latest of toxic Western ideas to be foisted upon the Middle East. This past week, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad was the latest victim of the West’s cancel culture, as she was disinvited from a book event by Canada’s Toronto District School Board. This may sound trivial, but it’s a big deal.

        Murad is a member of Iraq’s Yazidi ethno-religious minority. She was kidnapped at age 19 by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014. ISIS, at the ascendancy of its power, pillaged, executed, and sexually exploited locals with reckless abandon. In just her village, some 600 innocents – including her mother and six of her brothers – were summarily executed. Murad was taken to be one of 7,000 Yazidi women and girls enslaved.

      • Ethnic Somali Muslims in Kenya Break Pastor’s Leg

        A Somali-born pastor in Kenya is still in severe pain after ethnic Somali Muslims in northeastern Kenya beat him on Dec. 3 for leaving Islam, sources said.

        The pastor, whose name is withheld for security reasons, said the four Kenyan-born, ethnic Somalis attacked him on a road near Wajir town, fracturing a bone in his leg, after he had led an underground prayer meeting with 13 new Christians of Somali descent. Wajir is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Somali border.

      • ‘Intellectual Terrorism’ in France

        Kinzler, who is German, has been a professor of German language and culture at the Grenoble Institute of Political Studies, known colloquially as Sciences Po Grenoble, for a quarter century. In November of last year, working groups of teachers and students were tasked with organizing a U.S.-style “week for equality and the fight against discrimination.” Kinzler was a member of one of the groups, whose assigned topic was “Racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.” When, during the online exchanges among the group’s members, Kinzler challenged the inclusion of Islamophobia in this trinity, another professor was outraged. A third professor agreed with Kinzler that even if there could be said to be such a thing as Islamophobia, it shouldn’t be considered to be on the same plane as anti-Semitism or racism. Kinzler admitted that he isn’t particularly fond of Islam and that, in fact, like many French people, he’s rather unsettled by it. “Anti-Semitism,” Kinzler later told Die Welt by way of explaining his position, “has resulted in millions of deaths. Genocide without end. Then there is racism, slavery. That, too, has led to tens of millions of deaths in history….But where are the millions of deaths linked to Islamophobia?” Good question.

      • MP Strahl Takes On Facebook, Claiming Censorship Over A Christmas Posting

        Strahl posted – Facebook declared that my ad to wish my constituents a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays “didn’t comply with their Discriminatory Practices policy.” The text with the ad literally said: “From my family to yours, have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!”We successfully appealed, however, this is a glaring example of censorship and overreach by tech giant companies who control so much of the online space. We must be vigilant to ensure that we always stand up for free speech and fight back against any attempts by these companies, or our governments, to stifle it.So, once again, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my family to yours. Ignore the Scrooges and Grinches who, incredibly, would try to shut you down for saying so.

      • Chinese Christian Media Ministries Face Bitter Winter of Censorship

        Many Chinese Christians are lamenting that the winter of internet mission in China is entering its darkest and coldest hour.

        This week, Chinese state media reported the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) has announced its “Measures for the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services,” which will come into effect on March 1 and will restrict online ministry to Chinese government-approved religious groups with special permits on government-approved websites.

      • Top Chinese internet censor and anti-cult official pleads guilty to taking US$8m in bribes

        In 2015, he was transferred to the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, the party’s top law enforcement agency, where he was responsible for the online monitoring and policing of cults. He also played a key role in establishing a social media platform for the commission.

        As deputy head of the Cyberspace Administration – China’s leading online watchdog – from 2012, Peng also had direct responsibility for regulating the [Internet].

      • Christmas Eve hearing could be first step towards release of Pakistan’s longest blasphemy convict

        We have been working with our solicitor in a last gasp attempt to save him from a hanging. Zafar in October gave up with his former legal counsel and sought our assistance . Today BACA may have found a solution to the ongoing saga regarding the false blasphemy allegation that has stolen almost ten years of his life.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Since the Taliban takeover, 40% of Afghan media have closed, 80% of women journalists have lost their jobs

        The Taliban takeover’s impact on Afghanistan’s media has been dramatic, according to the survey by RSF and its local partner, the AIJA. More than four out of every ten media outlets have disappeared and 60% of journalists and media employees are no longer able to work. Women have suffered much more than men: 84% of them have lost their jobs. The figures for the previous situation come from a survey of the media and journalists operating in Afghanistan that was carried out before the Taliban took control of the country.

      • Over 6,400 Journalists In Afghanistan Lost Jobs Since Taliban Takeover: Report

        Taliban Takeover In Afghanistan: As many as 231 media outlets have had to close, according to the survey.

      • Freeing Julian Assange: What It Will Take To End This Political Case

        Not a single official in Biden’s administration was willing to comment or defend prosecuting Assange. For example, the Justice Department told Newsweek after the High Court decision, “We are pleased by the ruling and have no further comment.”

        White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked hours after the U.S. prevailed, “What is your response to the message in some quarters that prosecuting Assange is an assault on freedom of speech, freedom of the press, information, etcetera?”

        Psaki would not answer the question. Instead, she pointed to the brusque and cocky statement the Justice Department gave Newsweek. Then she mentioned “freedom of media and press” was a “central component” of the Summit For Democracy.

      • Committee to Protect Journalists under fire for failing to include Assange on its list of jailed journalists for the third year in a row

        The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has come under fire for failing to include Julian Assange on its list of jailed journalists for the third year in a row.

        Writing in online publication The Dissenter, Kevin Gosztola strongly criticised the exclusion of the WikiLeaks founder from the committee’s annual report.

      • For Third Year, Committee To Protect Journalists Excludes Assange From Jailed Journalist Index

        In the organization’s press release on the 2021 index, it states, “No journalists were jailed in North America at the time of the census deadline.” That may be true, but it obscures what the U.S. government is doing to keep a journalist detained in the United Kingdom.

        Reporters Without Borders (RSF), based in Paris, previously joined with CPJ on press freedom campaigns. They also keep an annual tally of journalists in detention, yet unlike CPJ, RSF included Assange in their 2021 round-up.

      • Australian deputy PM Barnaby Joyce says Julian Assange should not be extradited to US

        A ustralia’s Deputy Prime Minister has come to the defence of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, calling on the UK not to extradite the Australian citizen to the US.

        Barnaby Joyce one of the Australian government’s most senior ministers, said Mr Assange should be kept in Britain and tried there or returned to home nation.

        The 50-year-old is facing extradition to the US over espionage charges relating to the publication of classified military information in 2010 and 2011 by WikiLeaks.

      • Doctors call for Julian Assange’s immediate release

        More than 300 doctors and medical professionals from around the world have issued an appeal for the immediate release of Julian Assange from prison in the UK because of the serious deterioration in his health indicated by the stroke he suffered in October during his UK High Court extradition hearing.

        On December 22, Doctors for Assange released an open letter, published below, to Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, imploring him to seek the WikiLeaks founder’s urgent release on medical grounds. The letter makes that request based on Joyce’s recent statements suggesting that the US extradition request against Assange should now be dropped.

      • Peter Chow: Free Julian

        And that’s what WikiLeaks introduced to the World — a mechanism and technology that was as pivotal to educating, enlightening, and promoting corrective action as was previously achieved by the creation of Gutenberg’s printing press.

        WikiLeaks destroyed the Masters in virtually every realm by providing the means to expose knowledge worldwide.

        The genie was out of the bottle.

      • In Middle East and North Africa, a drop in attacks on journalists belies dire state of press freedom

        This year, however, reflected a different trend. While CPJ’s annual prison census documented a record 293 journalists jailed around the world because of their work, the Middle East and North Africa saw its regional number drop from 89 in 2020 to 72 as of December 1, 2021 – mainly as a result of releases in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. And for the first time in more than 20 years, CPJ confirmed just one case – Lebanese journalist Lokman Slim – of a journalist being murdered in relation to their work.

      • After a harrowing escape, a family of Afghan journalists prepares for a new life in the US

        Even before the Taliban takeover this year, the family knew the risks of practicing journalism in Afghanistan. Dordana left the field in 2018 after receiving threats from warlords with ties to the Taliban because of the focus of the women’s magazine, she said.

        More recently, her children also received threats, prompting the family’s decision to leave Afghanistan.

        In May, two unidentified men wearing masks flashed a knife at Ghazal when she was outside the office of state-run Maarif TV, where she was a producer for an education program and a women’s talk show. They warned her to stop going to work and “campaigning for women’s rights,” she said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Opinion | Martin Luther King Was a Radical, Not a Moderate

        In his absorbing profile of the writer Alex Haley (author of “Roots” and “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”) in the New York Times Book Review, Michael Patrick Hearn made a familiar mistake. He wrote: “Politically [Haley] he was a moderate, philosophically more Martin than Malcolm.”

      • Gender equality bill anti-Islam, women cannot be equal to men: Northern Senators

        Mrs Olujimi said the bill will “allow for the prohibition of all forms of discrimination against women and provide for the equality of all persons,” including people of determination in the society.

        But some northern senators said the bill was not properly worded, especially its title that seeks equality rather than equity; while arguing strongly that it would contravene the tenets of Islam.

        “This equality infringes on the Quran,” Abubakar Yusuf, representing Taraba Central Senatorial District, said at today’s plenary. “I will not support the passage of the bill until the word equality is removed. When you bring equality into it infringes on the Quran.”

      • If e-commerce is booming in Zim, who’s delivering the packages?

        I wonder how the domestic courier services space is going to look like in a few years. I would argue that e-commerce is actually becoming more commonplace in urban areas. It’s just that Zimbabwe’s version of e-commerce is a bit different from the American one for example.

        With many small businesses either working with small courier service providers or actually delivering themselves, we shall see if the established and known upcoming players will be able to make inroads there.

        The international market will never be the same after the pandemic. So, domestic courier is going to increase in importance. Tariff wars, trade wars and closed borders have not crippled couriers in other countries because of domestic courier increases. Instead, they have actually thrived. That has to be the case in Zimbabwe.

      • Office going hybrid? How to think through the options

        More specifically, companies that decide to go back to a fully on-site arrangement could lose up to 39% of their workforce, according to the 2021 Gartner Hybrid Work Employee Survey of 2,400 knowledge workers.

        As a result employers need to practice “radical” work environment flexibility, the survey indicated, allowing employee performance to be determined not by how many hours they clock in, or when they’re in the office, but by their accomplishments.

      • Dismissed due to union activities, Hürriyet journalists win lawsuit for reinstatement

        An İstanbul court has ruled for the reinstatement of 22 journalists fired from daily Hürriyet, one of the largest newspapers in Turkey.

        The journalists, all of whom are members of the Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS), were fired because of their union activities, the Bakırköy 6th Labor Court concluded in yesterday’s (December 23) ruling.

        The court ordered the newspaper to pay the journalists a union compensation equal to their one year gross salary and a compensation equal to their four salaries for “idle time.”

      • Moral consideration of nonhumans in the ethics of artificial intelligence

        Overview: As AI becomes increasingly impactful to the world, the extent to which AI ethics includes the nonhuman world will be important. This paper calls for the field of AI ethics to give more attention to the values and interests of nonhumans. The paper examines the extent to which nonhumans are given moral consideration across AI ethics, finds that attention to nonhumans is limited and inconsistent, argues that nonhumans merit moral consideration, and outlines five suggestions for how this can better be incorporated across AI ethics.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Running your own email is increasingly an artisanal choice, not a practical one

        To be clear, you absolutely can still run your own email infrastructure, getting email delivered to you, filtering incoming spam, sending email (with DMARC signatures and other modern email practices), providing IMAP access, and even run your own webmail setup. You can even do this with all open source software. But the email environment you get this way is increasingly what I called an artisanal one. It’s cute, decent enough, and hand-crafted, but it doesn’t measure up in usability, features, and performance to the email infrastructure that is run by big providers. Your IMAP access might be as good as theirs, but things like your webmail, your spam filtering, and almost certainly your general security will not be as good as they have.

        In short, if you run your own email infrastructure, it will not be up to the general quality you could get from outsourcing to big providers (they can’t really be called specialists). And you cannot fix this by trying harder, nor with the magical right choice of open source software, nor with the magical right choice of commercial software. Entirely “on premise” email is now an inferior thing for almost everyone.

    • Monopolies

      • Apple Workers Held Christmas Eve Walkout for Their Safety Amid Holiday Shopping
      • Patents

        • IceCure Medical Receives Notice of Intention to Grant a European Patent Covering Its Cryogenic Pump [Ed: Celebrating patent monopolies from issuer of fake patents]

          IceCure Medical Ltd. (NASDAQ: ICCM) (TASE: ICCM) (“IceCure” or the “Company”), developer of minimally-invasive cryoablation technology, the ProSense® System, that destroys tumors by freezing as an alternative to surgical tumor removal, today announced that it received notification from the European Patent Office (the “EPO”) of an intention to grant a patent for IceCure’s application entitled “Cryogen Pump”. When issued, the patent will include protection for IceCure’s proprietary cryogenic pump, with features that will enable IceCure’s next generation of cryoablation systems. The patent will be in effect until 2041.

        • Can I Get An International Patent?[Ed: There is no such thing; patent lawyers sell unicorns]

          There is no international patent to provide global protection for an invention. Instead, a patent must be obtained in each country or region where protection is required as a patent holder is only able prevent another person from using the invention or importing a product that implements the invention in a country or region where a patent is held.

          Fortunately, there are several options for applicants that make it easier to obtain patent protection in a number of countries or regions.

        • In Christmas Address, Pope Francis Calls for Covid-19 Vaccines to Reach World’s Poorest

          Amid reports of rising Covid-19 cases in parts of the Global South, Pope Francis on Saturday marked Christmas Day by repeating a call for vaccines to reach poor countries and noted that nearly two years after the coronavirus crisis was declared a global pandemic, the public health emergency has taken international attention from other crises affecting some of the world’s poorest people.

          “Through dialogue, mutual respect, and recognition of the rights and cultural values of every human being, the values of solidarity, reconciliation, and peaceful coexistence may prevail in the hearts of the peoples of the Americas.”

      • Copyrights


Links 25/12/2021: Ruby 3.1 Released and Ubuntu vs Arch Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 2:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Etnaviv DRM Driver Will Now Work On IOMMU-Enabled Systems – Phoronix

        It’s been a while since last having anything major to report on the Etnaviv Linux driver stack reporting open-source support Vivante graphics IP. With Linux 5.17 is an important step forward with the driver now behaving properly for IOMMU-enabled systems.

        While an IOMMU is important for security reasons and other purposes, the Etnaviv Direct Rendering Manager driver at present hasn’t properly dealt with the DMA configuration of the virtual device and that running into issues with an IOMMU.

      • AMD P-State v7 Driver Posted For Delivering Better Ryzen Efficiency In 2022 – Phoronix

        AMD on Christmas Eve posted their seventh iteration of the AMD P-State Linux driver as their new CPU frequency scaling solution for Zen 2+ to make use of ACPI CPPC for ultimately striving toward optimal power efficiency with a focus on mobile and desktop systems.

        This driver was developed in cooperation with Valve and has been out for review since September. Now as we end out the calendar year they are up to the seventh revision of this driver and is appearing that it may be ready for mainline soon.

        The amd-pstate driver has been evolving nicely and now working across more Zen 2 and Zen 3 systems (older processors won’t be supported due to needing ACPI Collaborative Processor Performance Controls, the CPPC support must also be enabled from the system BIOS). This driver can make more informed CPU frequency scaling decisions than the much more basic ACPI CPUFreq driver currently used by Ryzen and EPYC systems.

    • Applications

      • Darktable 3.8 Raw Photo Editing Tool Is Out With a Lot of Changes

        The open-source photo workflow and RAW editing Darktable has been updated to version 3.8. Here’s what’s new!

        If you’re sick of paying for photo editing software and are looking for an alternative to Adobe Lightroom, then the new Darktable 3.8 may be for you. It’s a free, open-source RAW photo file editor software for photo editing and file management. Darktable has unique features such as virtual lighttable and darkroom clubbed with complete RAW image editing workflow for complex photography projects.

        The Darktable team has announced its winter feature release just in time for dealing with any holiday photos, bringing Darktable to version 3.8. Here’s a quick update.

      • darktable 3.8.0 released | darktable

        We’re proud to announce the new feature release of darktable, 3.8.0!

      • Krita 5.0 released! | Krita

        This is a huge release, with a lot of new features and improvements.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Make MIDI loops on Linux with this open source tool | Opensource.com

        There are many great synthesizers for Linux, and like synthesizers in real life, most of them can be controlled using the MIDI protocol. Digital audio workstations like Ardour, Qtractor, and Rosegarden can send and receive MIDI, and they have a plugin structure that permits loading most synthesizers as a component of the application. I’m a fan of modularity, though, and sometimes a big all-in-one audio workstation is more than what I need. Thanks to the combination of JACK, ALSA, and MIDI, it’s entirely possible to open a synth as a stand-alone application and use a stand-alone sequencer to play and record that synth. There aren’t many modular sequencers out there, but I use Seq24.

      • How To Find Installation Date and Time of Linux OS – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hi guys, In this tutorial, We will illustrate a few ways to find Linux OS’s installation date and time.

      • How to Build My Version of Linux – Invidious
      • How To Fix Lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock Error [Solved] | Itsubuntu.com

        Ubuntu is one of the most popular and widely used Linux-based operating systems. It is often considered the most preferred operating system among first-time users. In this particular post, we are going to show you the steps to solve the issue “Lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock Error” while using Ubuntu. It is really frustrating sometimes when you are doing something and you are stuck.

      • How To Install Discord on Fedora 35 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Discord on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Discord is an app for voice calling, video calling, and text messaging like WhatsApp and Telegram. It is a boon to several communities, which helps them to expand their projects, reach out to more people, and maintain a community of fans and followers.

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

      • How to install Rstudio Desktop or server in Debian 11 Bullseye Linux

        R is an open-source programming language for statistical analysis and graphics whereas RStudio is an IDE for it. Here we will learn the commands to install RStudio along with R Programming language on Debian 11 Bullseye.

        With RStudio integrated development environment the user can use the GUI to start coding in the R language. This means that the IDE can only work if you have R already installed. Although the IDE can only function alongside R, the programming language can function on its own. Therefore it is not possible to replace one with the other.

      • Snowfall on your Linux Desktop this Christmas – TREND OCEANS

        Let us make this Christmas special for you and more of your Linux desktop. Xsnow is a tiny application that lets you experience cold snowfall just like in winter. To be honest, I am feeling cold while staring at my own desktop screen.

      • How to Install and Configure MariaDB 10.7 on Fedora 35 – NextGenTips

        MariaDB Server is one of the most popular open-source relational databases. It’s made by the original developers of MySQL and guaranteed to stay open source. It is part of most cloud offerings and the default in most Linux distributions.

        It is built upon the values of performance, stability, and openness, and MariaDB Foundation ensures contributions will be accepted on technical merit. Recent new functionality includes advanced clustering with Galera Cluster 4, compatibility features with Oracle Database and Temporal Data Tables, allowing one to query the data as it stood at any point in the past.

        Welcome to today’s topic on how to install MariaDB 10.08 on Fedora 35 distribution.

      • How to install the SuiteCRM Customer Resource Manager on Ubuntu Server – TechRepublic

        As your business grows, you’ll probably find yourself needing to manage customer relations. With such a platform available to your business, your staff can better manage their clients, customers, opportunities, leads and much more.

      • Flatcar Container Linux on Raspberry Pi |

        Flatcar Container Linux recently announced the Stable support for ARM64.

        Perfectly timed! I had a Raspberry Pi 4 lying around and had just ordered a few more to set up a home lab during the holidays. The newer Pis are yet to arrive, so better utilize the time writing a walkthrough on how to use Flatcar Container Linux on your Pis.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Samba printer browsing and more

          Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org/, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

        • KDE’s Bug Fixes & Other Desktop Enhancements For Christmas
        • Krita 5.0 improves resource management and includes storyboards

          Krita 5.0 You are here to continue the evolution of this popular drawing application that is also part of KDE. Without making much noise, little by little it has been making a niche in a sector that becomes demanding, and it has also done so by being published as free software.

          Krita 5.0 is a very powerful release, which is good news because it means that the project is alive and well. When it comes to what’s new, we start with the fact that the way the app handles things like brushes, gradients, palettes, and labeling has been completely revamped.

          Those responsible have explained that before they used a fragile model system to manage the resources, so Krita uses a SQLite database from this version as the nucleus to carry out this task. As a result, a large number of labeling bugs and user interface issues should have been fixed, as well as allowing faster application startup and a 200 megabyte reduction in RAM usage.

        • KDE e.V. is looking for an event organiser | KDE e.V.

          KDE e.V., the non-profit organisation supporting the KDE community, is looking for someone to help organise KDE’s event, including our annual global conference Akademy. Please see the call for proposals for more details about this contracting opportunity.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • World-famous GTK themes for Linux – LinuxH2O

          This guide is based on the statistics of GTK themes, the themes that are world-famous among Linux users. The list you’re about to go through is a compilation of the 5 most popular themes. These themes work on all the distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, POP OS, Manjaro, Kali Linux, Zorin OS, Debian, etc.

          Have you ever wondered about the most popular GTK themes for Linux? The themes, that are famous around the world. The themes that people use no matter where they live. Users can be from India, The United States, Russia, Brazil, France, Spain, Japan, or from some other country.

          So don’t you wanna know what are the famous Linux GTK themes among them!

          To answer that curiosity, I have written this article. Below you will find the top 5 GTK themes for Linux which are being used by users around the earth. So let’s get started!

    • Distributions

      • Merry Christmas from OSMC – OSMC

        The OSMC team would like to wish you a Merry Christmas. We hope you’re enjoying the festive break and watching lots of TV with OSMC.

        We hope you and your loved ones are safe.

        While you may be relaxing, we’ve worked hard on delivering a new OSMC update. We’ve kept the changes light to ensure a stable experience during an important break.

      • Arch Family

        • Ubuntu vs. Arch Linux: Which Linux Distro Should You Choose?

          Arch Linux and Ubuntu are both top contenders when it comes to being the best Linux distro. Here’s a detailed comparison of both these OSes.

          Open-source Linux distros are always fighting it out for the top spot. Nonetheless, there is an ongoing discussion about the clear winner, considering that some of the best distros are aiming to reach the pinnacles of success in the world of open-source distributions.

          Various surveys have rated Arch Linux and Ubuntu as two of the best distros for getting the job done. Nevertheless, it is not suitable to assume why engineers and coders vary in their views about these two distros.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Cascade is a new promising image editor

        Cascade is released under GPL-3.0 License.

      • Open source advent calendar: Android without Google – Market Research Telecast

        This is an advent calendar for techies. In the fully commercialized digital world, almost everything belongs to a large Internet corporation. Their software is neither open nor free. As an alternative, there is this small island of the open source world: software whose code is publicly visible and can be independently checked for possible security gaps and backdoors. Software that can be freely used, distributed and improved. Often the drive for work is simply the joy of providing something useful to society.

        Short portraits of open source projects will be published on heise online from December 1st to December 24th. These are about the functions of the respective software, the pitfalls, the history, the background and the financing. Some projects are backed by an individual, others by a loosely organized community, a tightly managed foundation with full-time employees or a consortium. The work is entirely voluntary, or it is financed through donations, cooperation with Internet companies, government funding or an open source business model. Regardless of whether it is a single application or a complex ecosystem, whether a PC program, app or operating system – the diversity of open source is overwhelming.

      • 4 conscious steps to engage people in your open source community

        Getting people involved in your open source project is important for its health and its growth, but telling people about it isn’t enough. You need to take conscious steps to increase involvement and ensure that initial contributions to a project are followed up, tying people in to the project and making them part of the community.

        If you find this post interesting, you’ll find a lot more about how community and open source are important in my book Trust in Computer Systems and the Cloud, published by Wiley.

        1 – I’m going to be honest: I wouldn’t know where to start with TikTok. My kids will probably be appalled that I even mentioned it, but hey, why not? The chances are that you, dear reader, are younger and (almost certainly) cooler than I am.

        2 – I’m guessing the take-up will be a bit lower here.

        3 – In Real Life. It seems odd to be re-using this term, which had all but disappeared from what I could tell, but which seems to need to re-popularised.

      • CryptPad is an open-source, free collaborative web-based office system

        CryptPad is released as an open-source under the AGPLv3 License.

      • Waistline is a free, privacy-first calorie counter and weight tracker

        Waistline application and source code are licensed under the GPLv3.

      • MintHCM is an open-source Human Capital Management for enterprise

        Human Capital Management or HCM for short, stands for human resources and employee workflow management for the enterprise.

        MintHCM is an open-source human resources management system for enterprises.


        MintHCM is released under terms of the GNU Affero General Public License Version 3.

      • Please use me as a resource

        Some of these ideas stick, and many readers have attempted to put them into practice, taking on challenges like starting a business in FOSS or stepping up to be leaders in their communities. It makes me proud to see the difference you’re making, and I’m honored to have inspired many of you.

      • Programming/Development

        • Ruby 3.1.0 Released

          We are pleased to announce the release of Ruby 3.1.0. Ruby 3.1 keeps compatibility with Ruby 3.0 and also adds many features.


          Since Ruby 2.6 introduced MJIT in 2018, its performance greatly improved, and finally we achieved Ruby3x3 last year. But even though Optcarrot has shown impressive speedups, the JIT hasn’t benefited real world business applications.

          Recently Shopify contributed many Ruby improvements to speed up their Rails application. YJIT is an important contribution, and aims to improve the performance of Rails applications.

          Though MJIT is a method-based JIT compiler and uses an external C compiler, YJIT uses Basic Block Versioning and includes JIT compiler inside it. With Lazy Basic Block Versioning (LBBV) it first compiles the beginning of a method, and incrementally compiles the rest when the type of arguments and variables are dynamically determined. See YJIT: a basic block versioning JIT compiler for CRuby for a detailed introduction.

          With this technology, YJIT achieves both fast warmup time and performance improvements on most real-world software, up to 22% on railsbench, 39% on liquid-render.

        • Ruby 3.1 Released With Speedy, Experimental In-Process JIT Compiler

          Ruby 3.1 is out this Christmas day as a big feature release for this programming language while retaining compatibility with Ruby 3.0.

          Most exciting with Ruby 3.1 is “YJIT” as a new, experimental in-process just-in-time (JIT) Compiler. Ruby 3.1′s new JIT compiler was developed by Spotify for improving the performance of their Ruby on Rails application. YJIT should be very beneficial in improving Rails real-world application performance.

        • The 10 Best IDEs and Code Editors for Linux [Ed: Starting this list with Microsoft proprietary software that spies on everybody is poor taste and misunderstanding of GNU/Linux]

          A code editor provides a text editing interface to write and edit code. It offers basic editing and formatting features to enhance the readability and management of your code. These apps usually lack advanced features and configurations.

          A notable benefit of using a code editor is that it is much lighter than an IDE. Many code editors also provide features like compiling, debugging, and support for most programming languages.

          An IDE is a software development environment that provides tools to develop complex software. It offers various tools like an editor, debugger, and compiler needed in the development cycle.

          Different IDEs provide different features and configurations suitable for specific projects. IDEs are much more advanced than editors and offer features you won’t find in a code editor.

        • Paul E. Mc Kenney: Parallel Programming: December 2021 Update

          It is past time for another release of Is Parallel Programming Hard, And, If So, What Can You Do About It?. But first, what is the difference between an edition and a release?

          The main difference is the level of validation. For example, during the several months leading up to the second edition, I read the entire book, fixing issues as I found them. So where an edition is a completed work, a release is primarily for the benefit of people who would like to see a recent snapshot of this book, but without having to install and run LaTeX and its dependencies.

        • Upgrade Node.js for your Ghost

          When upgrading Node.js, you need to run the update for Node and then also re-install Ghost’s dependencies. This is because Ghost has several binary dependencies which are compiled for the specific Node.js version. Without reinstalling dependencies, Ghost will fail to start with strange error messages.

        • Perl/Raku

  • Leftovers

    • Novelty Christmas Songs You Definitely Need Under Your Christmas Tree

      It’s that time of year again, folks! As the weather changes and the calendar pages start falling off rapidly, another holiday season is upon us. In 2019, we embarked on a somewhat ambitious project: The Twelve Things of Tedium. Ernie, Andrew, and I all contributed four items apiece to create a wonderful holiday project of which we’re all quite proud. The interdisciplinary yuletide extravaganza was fun, but was conspicuously absent in 2020 (we talked about The Gingerbread Man instead). With 2021 wrapping up as yet another unspeakable nightmare, we thought it might be a good time to revisit one of our favorite topics: Christmas novelty songs. So pour yourself a glass of eggnog, gather around the holiday ornamentation of your choice, and crank up the volume as we welcome you, dear readers, to the Tedium Christmas Novelty Song Spectacular.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Finance

      • How to Buy Monero in Australia – Tech Guide

        Monero is an open-source, decentralized cryptocurrency created in April 2014 that focuses on privacy and decentralization. It runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and FreeBSD.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Winter Session 2021: A Digital Rights Review

        The Winter session of Parliament saw frequent disruptions over the suspension of 12 members of Rajya Sabha, demanding the resignation of the Minister over the Lakhimpur Kheri incident and later the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021. In this post, we take a look at these disruptions and analyse how the Parliament fared with respect to digital rights.

        A look back

        The winter session of the Indian Parliament this year was quite extraordinary. Once again, we saw several days washed out, as the protests about the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha members over their misconduct on the last day of the monsoon session and the Lakhimpur Kheri incident where 8 farmers lost their lives led to multiple adjournments of both the houses.

        The Winter Session saw 12 Bills, including the Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 and the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 was passed on the first day itself in both Houses in less than 10 minutes without discussion. The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed within three hours of its introduction in Lok Sabha and within two hours of its introduction in Rajya Sabha. Further disruptions continued, however, with the completion of “essential government business” with the passing of the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, the house was adjourned sine die a day ahead of schedule.

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