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Links 28/1/2021: Stable Kernels and Sudo Bugfixes

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux at Home: Circuit Design with Linux

      We are told by our governments that in the current crisis the single most important action we can take is to stay at home and minimise the amount of contact with others. The new variant of Covid-19 is much more transmissible than the virus’s previous version. The advice to stay safe is therefore even more important. It’s only with everyone abiding by the law can we protect our health services and save lives.

      In this series, we look at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged. The change of lifestyle enforced by Covid-19 is an opportunity to expand our horizons, and spend more time on activities we have neglected in the past.

      Now is a great time to take up a new hobby. How about learning to design circuits? The key to perfection is practice. Take any random circuit from the internet and start your designing. With this software, you’ll be able to practice, practice, practice.

    • Lilbits: A new Linux-based tablet OS, and the latest Bond villain is… product placement?

      A Chinese company has been teasing a new Linux-based operating system designed for tablets for the past few weeks, promising to release JingOS, “the world’s first iPadOS-style Linux distro” on January 31.

      But it looks like the operating system may not only be for tablets – the company’s latest tease shows the operating system running on an 8 inch convertible mini-laptop that looks a lot like the Chuwi MiniBook.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Best Linux distro - The last five years - 2016-2020

        Last year, for the first time in a decade, I did not write my end-of-year best distro reports. Because there wasn't anything majorly exciting to report about, and also because I found myself quite dejected and tired of testing systems for the sake of testing, going through the same old problems, bugs and regressions. Some of you even emailed me about this distinct absence of written judgment.

        Then I thought, well, if 2020 wasn't fun Linux wise, perhaps we can have a longer view? How about the best distro released in the last five years? That sounds meaningful, and should also give us a good dose of reflection and nostalgia. Now, as always, this is subjective, so if you don't see your favorite distro on the list, it's because I'm writing from my perspective. Begin, shall we?


        Here we are. Or rather, here I am. Will you send me an angel, I mean distro. So yes. The past five years, and the best distros spawned, hatched, released, and tested. Percentage wise, Xfce takes the lion's share of medals, but it's also the case of Xfce being "better" earlier, and Plasma later in this period. And even Fedora got onto my list, because a few years ago, it was quite nifty and fun. Then I got old and cynical. Or something.

        The top entries for this list also feature distros that I use on my production systems. Combat-tested so to speak, with great delight and excellent results. My take on 2016-2020. And yes, you guessed right. We will have a sequel article, and it will cover the ENTIRE last decade. We'll examine 2011-2020, and vote on the bestest distro of them all. Take care.

    • Server

      • How SUSE Empowers our Partners

        Today, five to ten percent of all enterprise applications are containerized. According to Forrester, over the next three to four years, this will grow to over 50 percent.

        We believe that we have the right technology with Rancher, a full software stack that gives you everything you need to adopt and run containers in production with Kubernetes.

      • Top Kubernetes Management Platforms

        The open source Kubernetes container orchestration platform is the foundation of cloud native deployments and is widely used by organizations of all sizes.

        At the foundational level, Kubernetes is an open source project, originally started by Google and now developed as a multi-stakeholder effort under the auspices of the Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Kubernetes enables organization to deploy, manage and scale application container workloads in an automated policy driven approach. It’s a model that also helps to enable both hybrid and multi-cloud computing, with organizations able to span Kubernetes workloads across on-premises and multiple public cloud environments as well.

    • Videos/Audio

      • Rust Programs Every Linux User Should Know About

        It seems like every new program is written in Rust these days. In fact, many older programs are being rewritten in Rust, including a lot of the standard shell utilities. Today, I wanted to briefly mention seven Rust programs that I have installed that I think you should know about.

      • Linux Lock Screens Are Fundamentally Flawed

        Screen locking is fundamentally an OS level problem however on Linux this is not how they are handled and this leads to some very simple exploits causing massive security holes on seemingly secure systems.

      • mintCast 353 – Brave New WWW

        First up, in our Wanderings, I have second thoughts about Kubuntu, Moss has a new toy, Joe has been playing with watches, Tony has been editing audio, Josh hasn’t broken Arch, Bo survived the pandemic!

        Then, our news we talk RPi Pico, Ubuntu’s Booting on an Apple M1, Flatpak is faster, Project Linux turns into Alma Linux, and more

        In security, the InterPlanetary File System

    • Kernel Space

      • Broadcom Valkyrie/Viper VK Accelerators Set To See Mainline Support With Linux 5.12

        For nearly one year Broadcom engineers have been working on Linux mainline drivers for their VK accelerators. Finally with the upcoming Linux 5.12 kernel the support is in place for those Broadcom Viper and Valkyrie accelerator cards.

        These Broadcom accelerator cards interface via PCI Express and provide offload engines for video transcoding and other tasks. These accelerator cards can be used for other real-time, high performance, high throughput offload compute purposes like around image and audio operations as well as crypto.

      • Linux 5.10 LTS Will Only Be Maintained Until EOY 2022 Unless More Companies Step Up

        Announced a few years ago was the notion of "extended" LTS kernel versions whereby the long term support cycle would span six years rather than the usual two years for LTS kernels in providing maintenance and bug/security fixes to the codebase. This means Linux 5.4 LTS is supported until the end of 2025, Linux 4.19 until the end of 2024, and even Linux 4.14 until the start of 2024. But with the recently minted Linux 5.10 LTS at least for now it's only being committed to maintenance until the end of next year.

        There's been differing remarks/indications for how long the Linux 5.10 long-term support cycle would last with many expecting six years given that's what has been happening on recent LTS kernels -- even the Linux 4.4 kernel is being planned for maintenance until February 2022 and Linux 4.9 until 2023. Linux stable maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman has now provided a more transparent answer on the Linux kernel mailing list stemming from the talk over how long Linux 5.10 will be maintained.

      • Three stable kernels

        Stable kernels 5.10.11, 5.4.93, and 4.19.171 have been released. They contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

      • 5.10.11
      • 5.4.93
      • 4.19.171
      • Linux 5.12 Bringing VRR / Adaptive-Sync For Intel TIger Lake / Xe Graphics - Phoronix

        Finally with the upcoming Linux 5.12 cycle is support for Variable Rate Refresh (VRR) / Adaptive-Sync for Intel Tiger Lake "Gen12" Xe Graphics and newer.

        The VRR/Adaptive-Sync support for the latest-generation Intel graphics with Tiger Lake and the likes of the forthcoming Rocket Lake, Alder Lake, and discrete DG1 graphics is now in order for the mainline kernel. The VRR enabling for Tiger Lake and newer was sent in this morning to DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 5.12 kernel. This effort has been going on for many months while now has reached the stage that it's ready for merging.

      • Intel Iris Xe Discrete Card Will Only Work With Select CPUs and Motherboards

        These motherboards require a special BIOS that supports Intel Iris Xe, so the cards won’t be compatible with other systems.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA release the 460.39 Linux driver update, improved support for kernel 5.10+

          Ready for a new stable NVIDIA driver for Linux? There's a new one out now with added GPU support and some tidying up work done with bug fixes too.

        • AMD RDNA2 "Duty Cycle Scaling" Will Turn Off The GPU Under Heavy Load For Relief

          A new Radeon power management feature with RDNA2 graphics processors being exposed by the open-source Linux driver is Duty Cycle Scaling in the name of power/thermal management with a focus on low-power hardware.

          AMD graphics Duty Cycle Scaling is designed for "small power limit SKUs" and is designed to actually shut off the graphics core and power it back up based on current/power/temperature thresholds. Under heavy workloads, the AMD "DCS" functionality controlled by the graphics firmware will power down the GPU during heavy load scenarios for power/thermal relief before being powered back up to resume work.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Schedutil vs. Performance Governor Benchmarks On Linux 5.11 Shows More Upside Potential

        With a pending patch, the Linux 5.11 AMD Zen 2 / Zen 3 performance is looking very good as far as the out-of-the-box performance is concerned when using Schedutil as is becoming the increasingly default CPU frequency scaling governor on more distributions / default kernels. With the previously noted Linux 5.11 regression addressed from when the AMD CPU frequency invariance support was first introduced, the Schedutil performance from small Ryzen systems up through big EPYC hardware is looking quite good. But how much upside is left in relation to the optimal CPU frequency scaling performance with the "performance" governor? Here is a look at those benchmarks on Ryzen and EPYC for Schedutil vs. Performance on a patched Linux 5.11 kernel.

    • Applications

      • Linux Release Roundup: GParted, Lightworks, Google Chrome + More

        Another seven days has whizzed by, carrying a varied set of Linux releases in its wing.

        Below is a concise digest of the most notable releases that didn’t get the full article treatment here, on omg! As always, the content for these roundups comes (mostly) from you, the reader, and the “tips” that you feed my insatiable contact form — so please do keep them coming, they are appreciated it!

        This week we take in the new Google Chrome stable release, look at improvements in the Plasma Browser Integration and Lightworks, and gorge on some overdue garnish to disk manager GParted.

      • Tmux vs. Screen: Which Is the Best Terminal Multiplexer?

        When you work with terminals in Linux often, you’re bound to run into some struggles when you want to multitask. Multiple windows or tabs are fine, but when you’re logged into a remote server or other system, you don’t always have access to tabs or multiple terminal windows. That’s where the stalwart members of the Linux system administration world tmux and screen come in. But, as with all things in the open source community, the choice here isn’t clear as to which one of these commands is better for your usage. Today, we walk you through tmux vs screen to decide which is the best terminal multiplexer.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Debian: install Deb file [Guide]

        If you’ve used Debian Linux for any amount of time, you’ll have heard of “Deb” files. What are they? Deb files are packages for Debian Linux that contain software. They’re similar to EXEs on Windows.

      • Linux: download file from URL in terminal [Guide]

        Want to download files to your Linux PC from the command-line but don’t know how to do it? We can help! Follow along as we go over ways you can use the Linux terminal to download files!

      • Linux: list all users [Guide]

        On Linux, there are many different tools for creating new users. Each Linux desktop environment has a user manager, and these user managers, while very handy, come up short. None of them support viewing hidden system users such as root, dbus, etc.

        If you’ve been trying to get a complete list of all users on your Linux PC but don’t know where to start, this guide is for you. Follow along as we show you how to list all users on your Linux system, including ones that don’t appear in your Desktop Environment’s user manager.

      • How to install LeoCAD on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install LeoCAD 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.

      • Visualizing system performance with RHEL 8 using Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) and Grafana (Part 2)

        In this post, I’d like to show you how to use Performance Co-Pilot (PCP) with Grafana and Redis to store and graph performance data for all the machines in your environment. We’ll do this in a simple two machine setup, but the concepts are the same as you add more machines.

      • Calibre 5.0 for Linux

        For those who like to read, Calibre is a wonderful program for managing e-books. Calibre will not only allowed to maintain and organize your library of e-books but also perform format conversions.

        Calibre can also let you read your e-books on your system without needing an e-reader. Of course, you can always read an e-book on a smartphone.

      • Firecracker: start a VM in less than a second

        Initially when I read about Firecracker being released, I thought it was just a tool for cloud providers to use – I knew that AWS Fargate and used it, but I didn’t think that it was something that I could directly use myself.

        But it turns out that Firecracker is relatively straightforward to use (or at least as straightforward as anything else that’s for running VMs), the documentation and examples are pretty clear, you definitely don’t need to be a cloud provider to use it, and as advertised, it starts VMs really fast!

        So I wanted to write about using Firecracker from a more DIY “I just want to run some VMs” perspective.

        I’ll start out by talking about what I’m using it for, and then I’ll explain a few things I learned about it along the way.

      • 3 email mistakes and how to avoid them

        In prior years, this annual series covered individual apps. This year, we are looking at all-in-one solutions in addition to strategies to help in 2021. Welcome to day 17 of 21 Days of Productivity in 2021.

        OK, so we've talked about some things we should do with our email - Stop treating it as an instant messenger, Prioritize things, trying to reach Inbox Zero, and filtering it effectively. But what things SHOULDN'T we do?

      • 6 Steps to Teach Yourself System Administration

        Looking for ways to get started in system administration? In this Skills article, we’ll provide an overview of resources that will help you on your way. If you’re unfamiliar with the basics of what a system administrator does, we recommend starting with this introduction.

        There is no traditional path for acquiring the technical skills needed as a system administrator, according to Enable Sysadmin. “Some sysadmins have an associate or college degree, and some don’t. Depending on when a sysadmin began their career, he or she might have a variety of technical certificates ... or none at all.” Here, we provide an array of options with which to plot your own course of study.

      • How to install KaOS 2021.01
      • How to Install Krita 4.4.2 via Another PPA in Ubuntu 20.04, 20.10

        For those prefer installing apps via apt method, the digital painting software Krita 4.4.2 now is available to install via another well trusted PPA for Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Linux Mint 20.

        Krita 4.4.2 was released a week ago as the latest version of the free open-source painting software, with new features: SVG mesh Gradients, mesh transform, new gradient fill layer type, new brushes, and improved HiDPI support.

      • How to set up static IP address on Debian Linux 10/11 - nixCraft

        I have Debian 10 Linux cloud server, and it is configured to get IP addresses via DHCP. How do I convert DHCP address to static IP address settings?

      • How To Enable Hardware Accelerated Video Decode In Google Chrome, Brave, Vivaldi And Opera Browsers On Debian, Ubuntu Or Linux Mint

        Google Chrome 88 (and newer) has made hardware accelerated video decoding available on Linux, but it's not enabled by default. Google Chrome is not the only Chromium-based web browser to support hardware acceleration on Linux though. This article explains how to enable hardware-accelerated video decoding in Google Chrome, Brave, Vivaldi and Opera web browsers running on Debian, Ubuntu, Pop!_OS or Linux Mint (Xorg only).

        Using hardware-accelerated video decode in your web browser should result in using less CPU usage (and thus, less battery draining) when playing online videos.

        It's worth noting that Chromium web browser had patches that allowed making hardware accelerated video decoding available on Linux for some time, and some Linux distributions packaged it using those patches. So Chromium users have had hardware acceleration on Linux for some time, depending on their Linux distribution or if they installed the patched Chromium in some other way. E.g. on Ubuntu / Linux Mint there's a PPA with VA-API patched Chromium builds. Thus, these instructions may also work for Chromium browser, depending on how it's built.

      • How to Manipulate Images in the Linux Terminal

        Ever tire of constantly opening up your favorite image editor for a simple crop, resize, or to change the file format? Maybe you have a need to easily perform these tasks in batch or within software?

        Here's how to use the Linux convert tool, which allows you to do all this with terminal via the command line, and much more.

      • [Older] Install Firefox 84 on Ubuntu / Linux Mint / CentOS & Fedora

        In this tutorial, I will show you how to install Firefox 84 on Ubuntu 20.04 / 18.04 LTS, LinuxMint 20, Fedora 32, and CentOS 7.X / 8.X.

        Firefox most commonly used browsers by everyone and one of the standard browsers too.

      • [Older] Install HP Linux Imaging and Printing (HPLIP) 3.20.11 in Ubuntu / Debian

        In this tutorial, I will show you how to install the latest version of HPLIP 3.20.11 On Ubuntu 20.10 and Debian 10.6.

        HPLIP stands for HP Linux Imaging and Printing, which is developed by HP for using HP Laserjet and HP Inkjet Printers Printer in Linux Platforms.

        HPLIP supports more than 2000 Printer models including all business models, inkjet, laser and etc.., you can also check the list of supported devices here.

      • [Older] Install Blender 2.91 On Ubuntu / Linux Mint Via PPA

        Blender is a free and open-source application for 3D Computer graphics software products used mainly for creating animated films, visual effects, art,3D Printing Models, Video games, and many more.

        Blender contains the following features sculpting,3D Modeling, animation, camera tracking, Rendering, Video editing, compositing, and many more and it supports multiple operating systems (ie) Windows, Linux, and MacOSX.

      • Multi-OS PXE-booting from FreeBSD 12: Introduction (pt. 1)

        This is an introductory article; if you’re familiar with PXE you will want to skip the excursion but may be interested in the “Why”. The article ends with the post-installation setup of my test machine, turning it into a simple router so that the next article can start with the actual PXE-related setup.

      • Annotate your PDF files on OpenBSD

        On my journey to leave macOS, I regularly look to mimic some of the features I use. Namely, annotating (or signing) PDF files is a really simple task using Preview. I couldn’t do it on OpenBSD using Zathura, Xpdf etc. But there is a software in the ports that can achieve this: Xournal.

        Xournal is “an application for notetaking, sketching, keeping a journal using a stylus“. And now that my touchscreen is calibrated, highlighting can even be done with the fingers :)

      • 30 Basic Linux Commands For Beginners [Linux 101]

        When I was introduced to Linux, I had a pretty hard time getting used to and learning Linux commands. There’s no secret to learning Linux in a day or two easily but to practice, fail, stand up and practice again, and learn from your mistakes. The easiest way to learn Linux is not to abandon it if you don’t understand how it works. In this article, let’s look at some of the basic Linux commands for beginners.

        This list of Linux terminal commands contains all the common commands. Think of it as a Linux command cheat sheet as it contains almost all the basic ones to get you started.

      • How to Verify SHA256 Checksum of File in Linux

        Internet security is one of the most important aspects when it comes to the world wide web. There has been constant research and development to improve the security of applications and files on the Internet and thus to prevent malicious use.

        Downloadable files over the Internet are often the target of attacks on the Internet. As thousands and thousands of people download these files regularly, it becomes especially important to protect such files.

        In this article, we will learn about checksums and how they can be used to authenticate a downloaded file from the Internet.

      • How to Check Linux Commands History by Dates

        The history command in Linux is used to view previously executed commands from the terminal. It will show a list of commands, with an ‘id’ next to each command.

      • How to restore Ubuntu’s EFI partition in Ubuntu 20.04

        I recently got a new pre-loved laptop and as always I nuked Windows but in the process of booting up, I noticed that my BIOS was a bit out of date. Like a whole year out of date.

      • How to Install and Use Docker Compose on Ubuntu 20.04 | 18.04

        Docker Compose is a command-line tool for defining and running multi-container applications. With Docker compose, you can run multiple containers as a single service. The containers are still isolated, but they can interact with each other. With Docker compose, you get the benefits of single-host deployment, great security, ease of setup and configuration which leads to really high productivity and efficiency.

        For example, if you have an application that requires an Apache web server and MariaDB database, you can create a docker-compose.yaml file that can run both the containers as a service without the need to start each one separately.

      • How to capture terminal sessions and output with the Linux script command | Enable Sysadmin

        The Linux script command creates a typescript file from your terminal session. This means that if you invoke the script command, you are dropped to a "watched and recorded" terminal session subshell that's saved to an ASCII text file. When created with a timing file, you can replay the session, including output. The purpose of script is that you can easily grab sample output from any command through an interactive session exactly as it's displayed in your terminal. You can use backspace, edit files, create files, and run simple or complex commands.

      • How to replay terminal sessions recorded with the Linux script command | Enable Sysadmin

        In my previous article, How to capture terminal sessions and output with the Linux script command, covering the script command and some common options, you learned how to record your interactive terminal sessions. This follow-up article demonstrates how to replay those recorded terminal sessions.

      • Critical bug in sudo puts Linux and Unix systems at risk

        Any logged-in unprivileged user can abuse an old bug in sudo to gain root privileges. It was rated as an important security issue for Linux and Unix-like operating systems. The Qualys research team has discovered the heap overflow vulnerability in sudo itself has been hiding in plain sight for nearly 10 years. The bug allows any local users to gain root access without authentication (no user's password needed). We need to apply patches to our operating systems as soon as possible.The post Critical bug in sudo puts Linux and Unix systems at risk appeared first on nixCraft.

      • How to Install JDownloader on Debian

        JDownloader is a great tool that can be used to download files from multiple servers simultaniously. It is open source and is supported on all major platforms, the tool is written in Java. It comes in handy when you have to download multiple files at once located at different file hosting services. This tool provides you with the control to pause, stop or start the downloads. It allows you to set bandwidth limitations and it saves a lot of time by changing the way you download files from the internet.

        In this article, we will explain how to install JDownloader on a Debian OS. We have used Debian 10 for running the commands and procedure described in this article.

      • How To Set Or Change Hostname On Linux - OSTechNix

        We already discussed how to view or find a Linux system's hostname. In this brief guide, we will see how to set or change hostname in Linux, either temporarily or permanently.

      • 30 Basic Linux Commands For Beginners [Linux 101]

        When I was introduced to Linux, I had a pretty hard time getting used to and learning Linux commands. There’s no secret to learning Linux in a day or two easily but to practice, fail, stand up and practice again, and learn from your mistakes. The easiest way to learn Linux is not to abandon it if you don’t understand how it works. In this article, let’s look at some of the basic Linux commands for beginners.

        This list of Linux terminal commands contains all the common commands. Think of it as a Linux command cheat sheet as it contains almost all the basic ones to get you started.

      • Many users don’t know CommandLine can do Web-Search too

        When we want to search for something on the Internet, we directly jump to our favorite web-browser like Chrome, Firefox, Brave, or any sort of browser. Have you ever thought we can do a search from the terminal itself?

        1.) If you are geeky who like to have all work done from the terminal itself 2.) Privacy Concern (No JavaScript support) 3.) Slow Bandwith Connection 4.) Read Webpage without any distraction 5.) Stuck with CLI and need to Browse the Internet

      • How to Add and Manage Identities in Thunderbird

        As soon as you set up a Thunderbird email account, you can send the email from a different email address or alias. Thunderbird defines them as “identities,” which the recipients see as your various name-associations. This capability of Thunderbird is quite similar to a Gmail feature called “Send mail as,” which uses your primary Gmail account to send messages from your other email addresses.

      • Install NVIDIA Driver 460.39 In Ubuntu / Linux Mint Via PPA | Tips On UNIX

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install NVIDIA Driver 460.39 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 18.04, and Linux Mint.

        Nvidia released a new production branch version 460.39 for the Unix systems which includes FreeBSD, Solaris, and GNU/Linux.

        The latest version of Nvidia driver 460.39 comes with support to the new GPUs except for Solaris and a few bug fixes.

      • ffmpeg – convert mkv to mp4
      • GNU Linux (Debian 10) – run gui program as root (without sudo) – E233: cannot open display

        some gui programs like gparted (very nice harddisk partitioning program) won’t start as root.

      • How to Install Jupyter Notebook on Centos 8 and Use Vim In It

        First, update the CentOS 8 package repository cache with the following command.

      • SeaMonkey 2.53.6 compiled for aarch64 Pi4
    • Games

      • Unvanquished Open-Source Game Still Pushing Slowly Ahead In 2021 - Phoronix

        Nearly a decade ago we were intrigued by Unvanquished as one of the most interesting open-source game/engine projects of the time. It was peculiar in going through dozens of alpha releases prior to drying up a few years ago. There hasn't been any major release yet past the prior alpha state but the project is in fact still moving along and issued their first new (point) release of the year as well as rolling out a new online updater.

      • How to play Raft on Linux

        Raft is a first-person survival video game developed by Redbeet Interactive and published by Axolot Games. The game was released in 2018 for Microsoft Windows. Raft does not have a native Linux version, and currently, there are no plans to release one. In this guide, we’ll show you how to set up Raft on Linux.

      • Google open sources VR painting app Tilt Brush | GamingOnLinux

        Tilt Brush, a popular VR app that lets users paint in a 3D space. Originally from Skillman & Hackett, it was later acquired by Google and now they've open sourced it.

        In an announcement post, Google mentioned it is no longer actively developed and so they are putting it out into the open fully into users hands and so it's now on GitHub under the Apache license. A few systems did get adjusted for the open source release due to licensing but nothing major.

      • Roboggled: A Puzzle Game Developed on Linux: Review

        Roboggled is a puzzle game, where you play as a robot that moves crates around. The game is presented in a 3D, top-down manner. The goal is to move the crate(s) in the level to an opening vault on the floor. Then, you’ll move on to the next level.

        Note: review copy sent to our curator. If you’re a game developer and want us to test your game, send it our way via Steam!

        Controls are very simple: just use the arrow keys on your keyboard or the analog stick/D-pad on your gamepad to move the robot around. If it’s pressing against a crate, simply moving in the direction of the crate will cause it to move. The robot will move one square at a time, but if it’s on ice, it won’t stop until it hits a wall or gets back on solid ground. So, at times, moving the crate towards its goal will require some strategy. If you made a mistake, you can go back one move by clicking the double-arrow icon on the top-right corner of the screen or pressing the left-shoulder button, or to restart entirely, click the single arrow at the top-left or press BACK on your controller.


        I mentioned earlier the game is presented in top-down view. The background is this greenish color with white rectangles moving about. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I think it would be pretty cool if there was an option to change the green color to something else.

        The soundtrack is hit or miss. While it has some good tunes, others are a little more…creepy, if you will. If there was an option or hotkey to change tracks, that would be great. Also, I think it would be of benefit of the music had a slider volume; right now there’s just an on and off toggle.

        The built-in level editor is pretty nice, but it’s a bit wonky. For instance, there are certain blocks on the grid that can’t have an item on it, particularly the blocks along the edge of the grid.

        For a price of $2, you really can’t go wrong here, though. Roboggled is a pretty decent puzzle game, and a plus is that there’s a Linux version and replayability value due to the in-game level editor.

      • How to Play Windows Games on Linux - LinuxLinks

        Windows is undoubtedly the most popular operating system for gaming. But it lacks various security measures. More and more people are switching to Linux because it has a very user-friendly interface and is more stable after updates than Windows. However, some are reluctant to try Linux out. It is namely because of a widespread notion that video games are unplayable on this operating system.

        Linux can run the same software like Windows, including web browsers, word processors, etc. There are far fewer games created exclusively for Linux. This operating system has witnessed major advances in recent years. Gaming enthusiasts can play the latest titles on their Linux OS with emulators and compatibility layers. So let’s explore this further and learn how you can play Windows games on Linux.

      • Dead Cells: Fatal Falls gives us more good excuses for another run

        Dead Cells: Fatal Falls is the latest DLC out now for the supremely stylish mix of action-platforming and metroidvania elements in Dead Cells. This new small expansion will enable the developer to continue expanding the game for everyone, with plenty of free updates like they have done in the past.

        Much like the previous DLC with The Bad Seed, it's not huge but it does nicely expand on what's already good with more excellent combat encounters. You can expect to find two extra mid-game biomes with new enemies, weapons, traps, lore rooms and a green-fingered boss!

      • How to play Monster Hunter: World on Linux

        Monster Hunter: World is an action RPG developed and published by Capcom. It is the fifth entry in the franchise. It was released in 2018 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. However, there are currently no plans for an official Linux release.

      • Transport Fever 2 to release Vulkan API support on February 23

        More Vulkan API goodness is coming with Urban Games announcing that Transport Fever 2 will release the big Vulkan update on February 23 along with a macOS version.

        It's positively rated by users overall so they've done well with it and a major graphics API change is no small thing to do. Great to see though, especially as another developer opting for an open graphics API rather than a closed one like DirectX. Hopefully, this will lay out the foundation for continued support and give Urban Games more wiggle room to make it an ever bigger game, or perhaps work towards a third game in the series.

        Currently the Vulkan API support is available in a Beta (Steam only until release) and so you can join in, to ensure the Linux version is nicely polished up and let them know of any issues found. You can find more info on the dedicated Steam Group they setup especially to gather feedback on the testing.

      • FreeSpace 2 Source Code Project releases version 21.0.0

        FreeSpace and FreeSpace 2 are two of the absolute best space shooters around, and thankfully FreeSpace 2 continues living on very nicely with the FreeSpace 2 Source Code Project.

        A new release is up after another year of work with version 21.0.0 going up today, January 27 2021. There's some big stuff included in this release too!

      • Save the world in the dark sci-fi adventure ENCODYA out now

        ENCODYA is an adventure that follows a little girl with a world-changing plan and her big clumsy robot, set in a dark and grey cyberpunk Neo-Berlin it's a pretty bleak future. Note: key provided by the publisher.

        You know what I always find interesting about games like this? We've gone from them being total fiction, to often mirroring exactly how things seem to be going. Alarming in many ways but thankfully due to the stories they tell, they can often bring a bit of needed escapism in troubling times. ENCODYA is exactly that.


        Not many downsides to it overall, although I do think you already need to appreciate object hunting point and click adventures to enjoy it, even on "Easy" mode. SAM, your big robot friend, also needs to move out the damn way when you're doing something as it's often in the way and that does become a nuisance because SAM sticks out like a sore thumb often.

        For the Linux version, I've got absolutely no complaints and the performance was fantastic. So on a technical point, it was really great. If you enjoy good looking point and click puzzlers, especially if they make you scratch your head along with an interesting story - ENCODYA seems like a good choice.

      • Gaming On LINUX: A Beginner's Guide

        Windows has been dominating the gaming space on PCs. Many people switch to Linux either for work purposes or just to try out a new flavour of an operating system, but are left aloof when it comes to gaming. Linux has a lot of flavours and customizations available. You can customize every aspect of the system. If you have a Linux based system and are looking to play games on it then this is a guide to help you find and play the best games for your system.


        There are several tools such as PlayOnLinux, which allow you to run Games and Windows applications on Linux, which uses WINE and installs the game natively as you would on a Windows PC.

      • Stadia gets Journey to the Savage Planet free for Pro, Madden NFL 21 coming | GamingOnLinux

        Stadia continues building up a nice selection of games for those interested in the convenience game streaming offers, with more titles announced now.

        One I've seen a lot of Stadia users ask for is more Madden and this has been answered, as Madden NFL 21 will be releasing January 28 along with a Free Weekend for Stadia Pro subscribers.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Short film made with Krita

          My name is Lucija Oroz and I am a professional animator from Croatia. In my spare time I love to read about the human mind and human behavior.

          The film 45” is my master’s degree project, the largest project I ever did. While working on it, I was so afraid that something would go wrong that I was unable to finish it, so I decided to something to cheer myself up. I got the chance to experience a tandem parachute jump. I was so impressed: it was both scary and beautiful.

          That was how the idea was born to combine my film with emotions that people usually experience during good or bad moments in their life.

        • Systemd Plasma Applet

          Just a short announcement that I pushed some commits to github and tagged a release 2.0.1. The first ever with a tag. Unfortunately I am not that sure I did that right so in case someone out there packages this and needs more just complain.

        • How to install Krita 4.4 on Linux Mint 20.1

          In this video, we are looking at how to install Krita 4.4 on Linux Mint 20.1.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Why Ubuntu 21.04 is an important release, even without GNOME 40

          At one point, the Ubuntu faithful were excited that 21.04 (aka Hirsute Hippo) would be one of the first distributions to include GNOME 40. The upcoming release of the GNOME desktop promises to bring about some serious workflow changes that could make everything on the desktop flow a bit more efficiently.

          GNOME 40 would also bring GTK4 and retire the aging GTK3.

          Unfortunately, neither of those cases are to be--GNOME 40 is simply not ready for prime time and there aren't many apps that have migrated to GTK4. So this decision, albeit a disappointing one, makes perfect sense. Even though 21.04 is a short term support release (which means it'll be used by far fewer), Canonical doesn't want to unleash a version of Ubuntu that wreaks havoc on the users.

          Ipso facto, no GNOME 40.

        • Felipe Borges: Call for Project ideas for Google Summer of Code 2021

          It is that time of the year again when we start gathering ideas for Google Summer Code.

          This time around we will be posting and discussing proposals in GNOME’s GitLab instance. Therefore, if you have a project idea that fits Google Summer of Code, please file an issue at using the “Proposal” template.

          Everybody is welcome to add ideas, but it would be nice to verify whether the ideas are realistic and mentorship for it will be available. We encourage you to discuss your ideas with designers in #gnome-design to get their input and plan collaboration, especially if your ideas are related to one of the core GNOME modules.

    • Distributions

      • Daniel Lange: Installing System Rescue (CD) to a flash drive

        System Rescue, the project formerly known as System Rescue CD, has moved from being based on Gentoo to being built on Arch Linux packages.

        With this their ISO layout changed substantially so when updating my trusty recue USB flash drive, I could not just update the kernel, initrd and the root filesystem image as I had typically done every other year before.

        The "Installing on a USB memory stick" documentation is good for Windows (use Rufus, it's nice) but rather useless for Linux. They recommend a dd or the fancy graphical version of that, called usbimager.

      • Puppy Linux Review and its Status Quo in the Linux Community

        If we had 30 seconds to describe Puppy Linux bluntly, we would classify it as an OS under the light-weight Linux distro family with a functional objective of creating a smooth and easy user experience while simultaneously minimizing the memory footprint usage as much as possible. In this context, the memory footprint refers to the RAM, or Main Memory is used while software like an Operating System is active or operational.

        This 30-second assumptive description on Puppy Linux characterizes it as a Linux distro suitable for personal or home-user computers. If we are to assign it a birth year, then it would be 2003, and its creator being Barry Kauler.

        Puppy Linux stands out in the Linux community despite its name not being hailed on regular occasions as other Linux distros like Ubuntu, Fedora, Centos, and Kali Linux. The respect it has in these user communities is due to its outstanding positive attributes on display.

      • 10 Best Linux Distros for Developers

        While Linux might not be the favored operating system for casual users, it’s the go-to choice for most developers and programmers. Linux is a more practical OS that was explicitly designed with programming and developers in mind.

        There are over 600 Linux distros to choose from, so even experienced users may seldom struggle to find their current project's ideal flavor. Linux distributions can vary hugely from one another, even though they are based on the same source. And if you’re looking to learn more about Linux distros, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best Linux distros for developers.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Looks Like Fedora 34 Workstation Will Ship with the GNOME 40 Desktop by Default

          The Fedora development team decided not to break protocol and continue following the latest upstream GNOME releases for its next major release, Fedora 34. As you probably know already, Canonical recently revealed that its upcoming Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) distro release won’t ship with GNOME 40 due its major UI redesign.

          This won’t happen with Fedora Linux, as it looks like the upcoming Fedora Linux 34 release will offer a pure GNOME 40 desktop experience on its flagship ‘Workstation’ edition. As GNOME 40 is built using the latest GTK 4 toolkit, that will be included as well in Fedora 34, due for release in late April 2021.

        • CentOS Linux ending because "Red Hat simply refused to invest in it" | TechRadar
        • The killing of CentOS Linux: 'The CentOS board doesn't get to decide what Red Hat engineering teams do'

          Brian Exelbierd, responsible for Red Hat liaison with the CentOS project and a board member of that project, has told The Register that CentOS Linux is ending because Red Hat simply refused to invest in it.

          Early last month Red Hat shocked users of CentOS, a free community build of the same sources that make up the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), by revealing that CentOS Linux would cease and be replaced by CentOS Stream, a build of what is likely to be in the next RHEL update. What happened, and how is it possible that the supposedly independent CentOS project conformed to a change of direction that was not driven by the wishes of its own members?

          "Red Hat participates in lots of open-source projects and communities. Red Hat sponsors some open-source projects and communities," said Exelbierd. "CentOS is a sponsored project, we are the funding agent and we happen to also be a heavy contributor. We have learned that open-source communities do well with independence. We let those governing bodies govern."

        • CloudLinux Hopes to Release CentOS Replacement AlmaLinux This Week | Data Center Knowledge

          It is one of two CentOS clones being built to fill the void left by Red Hat's unpopular decision to end CentOS's role as a downstream version of RHEL.

        • CloudLinux Expands Its Extended Lifecycle Support Services to Cover More End-of-Life Linux Distributions | Business Wire

          CloudLinux announces the expansion of its affordable Extended Lifecycle Support (ELS) services for Linux distributions, by providing its own updates and security patches for several years after expiration of the products’ end-of-life date. For example, support for CentOS 6 from Red Hat expired November 30 last year.

        • CloudLinux expands its Extended Lifecycle Support services for Linux distributions

          CloudLinux announces the expansion of its affordable Extended Lifecycle Support (ELS) services for Linux distributions, by providing its own updates and security patches for several years after expiration of the products’ end-of-life date. For example, support for CentOS 6 from Red Hat expired November 30 last year.

          CloudLinux offers ELS for CentOS 6, available since November, 2020 and extends to June 2024. Oracle Linux 6 (ends March 2021) Extended Lifecycle Support service will be available starting in February 2021 and will extend to February 2025. Extended Lifecycle Support service for Ubuntu 16.04 (ends April 2021) and Debian 9 (ends June 2022) is under development.

        • Moving your applications to the cloud with Red Hat Enterprise Linux

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is widely deployed on-premise to run a variety of applications, but more conservative customers may need guidance in taking their first steps toward the cloud. One of the features in RHEL 8.3 is Image Builder’s Push to Cloud capability, which can help simplify and accelerate the transformation of workloads to the cloud. Building custom images is just one way to deploy RHEL for your enterprise.


          RHEL provides a stable, manageable platform for applications for architects, operations, developers. Though some organizations may be hesitant to deploy an open source OS, RHEL is a supported solution, and there are ways to give it a try.

        • Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4.6 Offers New Data Resilience Capabilities

          Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4.6 helps enterprises expand their existing data protection capabilities to include Kubernetes applications, without requiring additional technology or infrastructure upgrades.

          Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4.6 delivers snapshot functionality orchestrated by the Container Storage Interface (CSI) for customizable, point-in-time snapshots and clones of persistent data volumes. This makes it easier for IT administrators and application developers to more quickly return to a prior state.

        • Elastic Deep Learning in high performance multitenant cluster

          The Elastic Deep Learning capabilities of IBM Watson€® Machine Learning Accelerator are designed for large-scale distributed deep learning workloads. It transforms static monolithic training into a dynamic process that is resilient to failures and automatically scales GPU allocation while training.

          Data scientists, deep learning developers, and administrators can use Elastic Deep Learning capabilities to simplify production deployment, improve run time efficiency, and deliver on service level agreements (SLAs).

        • How to Install Webmin on Fedora Linux

          Keeping an eye on your system’s performance is one of the essential tasks that any Linux user should undertake from time to time. This helps in diagnosing any bottlenecks that are likely to impact performance.

          Webmin is a free and open-source front-end monitoring and administration tool that helps Linux users have a glance at various system metrics and perform administration tasks without the need of running commands on the terminal.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • This Is Why Ubuntu 21.04 Will Ship GNOME 3.38, Instead Of GNOME 40

          According to the Ubuntu release schedule, Canonical announces new Ubuntu version approximately one month after the new GNOME release.

          Hence, every Ubuntu release includes the latest version of the GNOME desktop environment like Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” arrived with GNOME 3.38 “Orbis.”

          However, for the next Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo,” which is scheduled to be released on April 22, 2021, Canonical has decided to change its normal plan.

          Yes, going by tradition, Ubuntu 21.04 should ship GNOME 40 desktop, which will arrive in March 2021, one month before new Ubuntu release.

        • Cosmo Communicator running Ubuntu Touch shows what should have been

          We basically have a two-horse race in the mobile market but there was never a shortage of attempts to have a third contender. There’s Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Windows Mobile attempts, of course, as well as Nokia’s spiritual successor Jolla. And then there’s Ubuntu Touch, so far still the most successful attempt to bring a mainstream Linux OS to commercial phones. Canonical basically giving up on that effort ironically caused Ubuntu Touch to become available on even more devices and the Cosmo Communicator is probably one of the best examples of what an Ubuntu phone should have been.

        • Design and Web team summary – 27th January 2021

          The web team here at Canonical run two-week iterations. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work from this iteration.

        • Canonical & Kubernetes: 2020 highlights

          We’re now well into 2021, and as we plan ahead for our roadmap and activities around Kubernetes for the year, it helps to look back and reflect on everything that took place for Canonical in the K8s space within the year that passed.

          Kubernetes has always been a crucial part of Canonical’s vision and contribution to the IT world. All leading cloud providers, such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco and IBM run cloud Kubernetes services on Ubuntu, because we focus on the latest container capabilities in modern kernels. This focus is why Ubuntu is also the top choice for on-premises enterprise Kubernetes, with MicroK8s, kubeadm and Charmed Kubernetes all supported by Canonical.

        • Magewell HDMI Capture with ffmpeg €·

          On Linux, no additional driver is needed. When attached to a USB port the Magewell device shows up under /dev/video* on Linux. There’s a few software options available to capture the stream including VLC and OBS, but I prefer to use a little script. I call it make_screencast and it lives in my /home/alan/bin folder, on the machine capturing the video. The script is below.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Elastic Licensing and Elasticsearch Forks

        Last week saw dramatic and rapid developments around Elastic and their open-source product Elasticsearch.

        Elasticsearch is a great product that became widely adopted in the last few years - I’ve seen and used it since probably 2013 or 2014.

        I’m not qualified as a customer or user of Elastic and AWS to make a statement on these developments - just don’t have enough open-source exposure on a regular basis yet. But I want to capture these announcements because it feels like a major changefor all parties involved.

        If you’re an Elastic customer or Elasticsearch user - please take the time to read through the full posts listed below.

      • Apache ECharts Promoted To Top-Level Project For Modern Charting + Visualizations

        Just last week Apache Superset was promoted to being a top-level project by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache Superset is around big data visualizations and business intelligence solutions through data exploration while now Apache ECharts has joined it as the latest top-level project.

        Apache ECharts was promoted on Tuesday to being a top-level project within the Apache Software Foundation umbrella. ECharts is a charting and data visualization solution that started out in 2013 at Baidu. It's been considered an Apache incubator project for the past three years while now this charting and visualization library is considered a top-level project and seeing usage by the likes of GitLab, Intel, Amazon, Tencent, and many other organizations.

      • Events

        • FSFE's plans for 2021 +++ IloveFS +++ FOSDEM

          The FSFE will celebrate its birthday as we turn 20 in 2021. 20 years of defending user's rights and spreading software freedom. We want to use that momentum to speak, show and reflect on our activities in the past 20 years. And we want to give momentum to our community because it is on their shoulders that we have built our movement and our networks, which form a well-known pan-European Free Software expert interest representation called Free Software Foundation Europe. More information on this in the next newsletter.

          As we turn 20, we will continue to have to deal with the current global situation, for instance by running our events online this year. Our running campaigns will be updated and we will launch a brand-new campaign "Upcycling Android" towards the second half of the year – stay tuned.

        • The EU Open Source Policy Summit 2021 on 5 February

          This year’s EC Open Source Policy Summit will be virtual and will start with two keynotes: the European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton and the Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Red Hat Chris Wright. Speakers include EU policy-makers and representatives of the industry, as well as actors coming from other layers of the ICT community, such as consumer associations and academia, who will address current issues in digital policy. Prof. Dr. Knut Blind will present for the first time the policy recommendations concluding the European Commission’s study on the impact of Open Source.

        • Stephen Michael Kellat: Talking Communities

          While the Community Council continues its solicitation of candidates for a Local Communities Research Committee it seems best to try to write up some reflections as a former member of the Local Communities Council. I know the Community Council wants the committee to find its way getting started in its research. I have some nagging concerns that have been unresolved for a while.


          As of last census estimate Ohio is the seventh most populous of the fifty states. That led to interesting times as the point of contact and leader for Ohio’s local community group. During my tenure we had people involved. We were far-flung across the thirty-fourth largest state by area. Although we tried to gather together at least once a year at the Ohio Linux Fest event (a separate matter that we did not organize) such gatherings were a logistical nightmare to arrange. I remember handling the organization of an UbuCon event and how flexibility was key. With the mass gathering ban from the Ohio Department of Health still in full force and effect we won’t be gathering together in-person as a community any time soon. The group’s e-mail list last had a message in 2018 and the IRC channel has activity infrequently. Technology and paradigms for “being alone together” that originated during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic simply weren’t viable during my tenure trying to be leader.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 85 Released with a Major Privacy Feature

            Popular web browser Firefox releases its first stable release of the year with many new features (rather important ones!) and improvements across modules. Here's what's Firefox 85 brings for you.

          • Introduction to Thunderbird mail filters

            Everyone eventually runs into an inbox loaded with messages that they need to sort through. If you are like a lot of people, this is not a fast process. However, use of mail filters can make the task a little less tedious by letting Thunderbird pre-sort the messages into categories that reflect their source, priority, or usefulness. This article is an introduction to the creation of filters in Thunderbird.

            Filters may be created for each email account you have created in Thunderbird. These are the accounts you see in the main Thunderbird folder pane shown at the left of the “Classic Layout”.

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.5a8

            Tor Browser 10.5a8 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory.

            Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release instead.

      • Programming/Development

        • The Power of CMake Presets

          CMake 3.19 was officially released a couple of months ago, and one of the biggest – and most exciting – new features is the addition of presets. What are presets, you might ask, and why should we be excited about them?

          Presets are a bunch of pre-set CMake options that enable developers to ensure that multiple configurations remain consistent, even when using different compiler tool chains, inserting different debugger or profiler options, or building selected packages within a project. Essentially, you put definitions of the CMake options you want into one of two JSON files: one associated with the project, and one for the user.

        • [llvm-dev] Trunk is now 13.0.0

          I've created the release/12.x branch and bumped the trunk version to 13.0.0. I'm planning to tag 12.0.0-rc1 on Wednesday, once I'm sure there are no major issues with the branch.

        • LLVM 12 Ends Feature Work With Better C++20 Support To Intel Sapphire Rapids + AMD Zen 3

          Feature development on LLVM 12.0 has ended along with associated sub-projects like Clang and libc++. Feature work now shifts to LLVM 13.0 while the LLVM 12 stable release should be out in just over one month's time.

          LLVM release manager Tom Stellard announced on Tuesday night that the 12.x release branch has been created and the main development trunk open to LLVM 13.0 feature work.

          LLVM 12.0-RC1 is expected to be tagged later today while a second release candidate is expected before the end of February. If all goes well, LLVM 12.0.0 will be out around the start of March.

        • Qt and CMake: The Past, the Present and the Future

          We made a big decision to start using CMake to build Qt 6 one and a half years ago. The main reason for the decision was user feedback. Most Qt users wanted to have easier integration of their Qt projects with the rest of their software. According to the studies at that time, CMake was clearly the most commonly used build tool among Qt users - qmake aside. In addition, migrating to CMake gave us an opportunity to get rid of the maintenance burden of our internal build tools.

          Even bigger than the decision was the effort required to migrate to CMake. Now the essential migration work has been completed and it's time to share our findings.

        • QBSP Cookbook available for Qt 6.0

          With all the fanfare and trumping about Qt 6.0 a small but important part of documentation may have been overlooked: The Qt for Device Creation documentation got a major facelift and reorganization. As part of that we took feedback and needs from our hardware partners and created something that can be described as a Qt Board Support Package, QBSP cookbook.

        • Why I use the D programming language for scripting

          The D programming language is often advertised as a system programming language due to its static typing and metaprogramming capabilities. However, it's also a very productive scripting language.

          Python is commonly chosen for scripting due to its flexibility for automating tasks and quickly prototyping ideas. This makes Python very appealing to sysadmins, managers, and developers in general for automating recurring tasks that they might otherwise have to do manually.

        • GCC 11 Will Let You Use -std=c++23 But Without Turning On Any New Features - Phoronix

          A late change to GCC 11 is recognizing the -std=c++23 compiler option but without actually enabling any new features of this next major version of the C++ programming language.

          It was just in September that the C++20 draft was approved as the latest major update to the C++ programming language. The GNU Compiler Collection has near complete coverage of C++20 with still lacking bits of the modules implementation. But while the next major iteration of C++ is still being figured out, GCC 11 will at least honor the compiler flag of "-std=c++23" or "-std=c++2b" but without actually enabling any new functionality over C++20. This is mainly for helping projects that will eventually default to using that flag but will still build cleanly with C++20 level functionality in the upcoming GCC 11 compiler release.

        • Columnar layout with Awk

          Here’s a breakdown of a simple Awk script I wrote to format values into neatly aligned columns

          I’m organising my GitHub repositories locally by creating a directory structure representing the different GitHub servers that I use and the orgs and users that I have access to, with symbolic links at the ends of these structures pointing to where I’ve cloned the actual repositories.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Dancer2 0.300005 Released

            Well, it’s been a hot minute since the last release, hasn’t it? Dancer2 0.300005 has landed on CPAN and features a number of bug fixes, enhancements, and doc patches...

        • Python

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Standard Technology Presents Opportunities for Medical Record Data Extraction

        To address these challenges, health care can adapt the same technological approaches that have revolutionized other industries by incorporating digital tools called application programming interfaces (APIs). These tools allow personal finance websites to aggregate information from banks and credit card companies to provide consumers a complete picture of their spending habits, for example, or let travel services compare flights from multiple airlines without the user having to visit each airline’s site individually. If standard APIs were broadly adopted in health care, patients could access and compile their data from multiple providers while clinicians could process complicated information and make care recommendations. APIs would also offer other benefits, such as facilitating the exchange of clinical data among health care providers.

        This report will focus on three health care benefits of APIs:

        Patient access to data.

        The incorporation of clinical decision support (CDS) tools, such as risk calculators or apps that provide recommendations for prescribing antibiotics.

        Provider-to-provider exchange of information.

  • Leftovers

    • Fred Hampton: The Fight for Truth
    • My Husband Tells Me About a Man Who Doesn’t Kill Himself

      We are trapped in traffic beneath the overpass, and the man in his story trembles on the edge

      of an overpass eight hundred miles west of here. Here, I have not tried to die for some years now.

    • ‘A failure of professionalism’ Outside Tula, a missing man turns up dead while local police officers delay his search party with arrests

      Like many civic organizations in Russia, the nonprofit search-and-rescue group “Liza Alert” enjoys a sometimes fraught relationship with the state authorities, who are generally accustomed to executing or at least overseeing responses to public concerns. Following last weekend’s tragic death of an elderly man in Russia’s Tula region, Liza Alert and local state officials are now pointing fingers at each other, arguing about whose screwup cost Alexander Sapozhnikov his life.

    • Yeats’ Stance

      When I was about twenty I went by myself up into the towerthe holy place and never questioned it, but felt I could never be of it.

      You could feel it in the air this power

    • [Old] What Is the True Purpose of Propaganda?

      If a regime can make the people around you partake in absurdities, you are less likely to challenge that regime. You will be more likely to obey it. Of course, this doesn’t mean regimes are not interested in indoctrination. They would prefer that people really do hold pro-regime attitudes and values.

      But the purpose of propaganda is not limited just to instilling desired beliefs. Often, demonstrating the regime’s strength, capacity, and resources to intimidate people is a more important goal.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • More US Lawmakers Urged to Speak Out Against 'Vaccine Apartheid' for Palestinians

        "This cruelty is another reminder of why the occupation must end," said Rep. Jamaal Bowman.

      • The “Forever Compound” PFAS Found in Arctic Waters - Validated Independent News

        As Daniel Ross reported in an October 2020 article for Truthout, PFAS chemical exposure is known to have serious impacts on human health, including€ certain cancers, liver damage, thyroid problems, and increased risk of asthma. People with elevated levels of PFAS chemicals are twice as likely to develop a severe form of COVID-19 since these chemicals are endocrine disruptors.

      • Student Organizing May Never Be the Same Again

        Covid-19 initially seemed to sound the death knell for student activism on US college campuses.

      • Wear a Mask!
      • Monopoly Chokes Oxygen Supply to African Hospitals Amid Covid-19 Pandemic - Validated Independent News

        Discussed in the BIJ report, countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Guinea, South Africa, South Sudan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and many other regional hospitals and dedicated Covid-19 isolation centers have reported oxygen shortages. The multi-billion-dollar companies Linde Group and Air Liquide, European firms whose African subsidiaries include Afrox and British Oxygen Company (BOC), supply industrial oxygen to the mining, chemical, welding, food, and medical industries in nearly every country in Africa. The BIJ reports, “Air Liquide has charged up to a third more for medical oxygen than industrial oxygen, even though it comes from exactly the same gas plant; BOC/Afrox has charged up to seven times more for its medical oxygen. Some ex-employees interviewed by the Bureau felt this had almost bordered on profiteering.”

      • The NYT's Has Not Heard of China's Vaccine (Or Russia's or India's)

        That is an important story that needs to be told, but another aspect of this picture is that China, Russia, and India are making vaccines available to many countries in the developing world. China is the leader, with two vaccines that have been approved in at least one country for emergency use. Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, and Mexico are some of the countries that are already receiving one of the Chinese vaccines. The country has made broader commitments to provide the vaccine to poor countries in Sub-Saharan Africa but has not yet made large amounts available.

        Similarly, Russia and India have both developed vaccines that they have pledged to share with other countries. Neither has completed Phase 3 trials yet, although they are already being used in Russia, India, and elsewhere under an emergency use authorization.

      • Flint ‘Really Comes Down to People Not Being Listened To’

        The January 22, 2021, episode of CounterSpin brought together archival interviews about the Flint water crisis from Chris Savage, Talia Buford and Peggy Case. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Report Warns 'Vaccine Nationalism' of Rich Nations Could Cost Global Economy Over $9 Trillion

        "Truly, no one is safe until everyone is safe."

      • How the CARES Act Forgot America’s Most Vulnerable Hospitals

        A federal economic relief package passed by Congress in March promised to provide a lifeline for hospitals, particularly those in rural communities where many facilities struggled to survive even before the coronavirus pandemic.

        But over the past 10 months, the distribution of more than $100 billion in CARES Act funding for health care providers has been plagued by a dizzying rollout and, at times, contradictory guidelines for how to use the funding.The result has been a patchwork of problems for rural hospitals, which were already at far greater risk of closure than other health care facilities and in dire need of help, The Frontier and ProPublica found. The scope of those problems is clearly visible in Oklahoma, which tied for the third-highest number of hospital closures in the country in the nine years before the pandemic.

      • Men Are Losing The Ability To Reproduce, Researcher Warns

        Swan was part of the team that found that the typical man’s sperm count has dropped precipitously over the past few decades. Her work now focuses on how chemicals including phthalates and Bisphenol A continue to harm reproductive health as well as how they impact the biological development of children who were exposed prenatally.

        The chemicals even seem to dilute the biological differences between young boys and girls, Swan told The Intercept, both in terms of physical and intellectual development. And while she says that the links between chemical exposure and things like gender expression are thorny, poorly-understood, and only just starting to be probed scientifically, there are some trends that become apparent.

      • Do mRNA-based COVID Vaccines Have an Achilles Heel?

        The variant problem is one that arises precisely because of the way the vaccine has been made. Viruses like all living things are genetically heterogenous, and the SARS-CoV-2 virus "in the wild" is likely comprised of thousands if not millions of slightly different genetic sequences, some of which are found in the Spike protein. In addition, the biologically active portion of the Spike protein, i.e., the portion that interacts with the ACE-2 receptor and facilitates virus entry into infected cells, is not necessarily the most antigenic portion of the protein, albeit because the vaccines are "neutralizing" antibodies (which means just what it sounds like) antibodies produced by the vaccine must interfere with such binding. When vaccines are prepared from populations of viruses they can be expected to comprise a somewhat representative population of these slightly variable proteins; for SARS-CoV-2 these would be not only the Spike protein but any protein antigenically available to the immune system.

        As a result, any vaccines produced using mRNA technology cannot have the plurality of viral proteins and the populations of variant viral proteins that are provided by more conventional immunological methods. The immunity thereby provided is specific but its very specificity renders the immunological protection narrow compared with more traditional vaccines. This narrowness provides the virus with an opportunity for immune avoidance and thus infection even in individuals immunized against the current Spike protein. And paradoxically, the vaccine may in fact select (in the Darwin, "survival of the fittest" meaning) for such variants, which can propagate through the human population in spite of even robust vaccination efforts.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (sudo), CentOS (sudo), Debian (sudo), Fedora (kernel, php-pear, and sudo), Gentoo (cacti, mutt, and sudo), Mageia (sudo), openSUSE (sudo), Oracle (sudo), Red Hat (sudo), Scientific Linux (sudo), Slackware (sudo), SUSE (go1.14, go1.15, nodejs8, and sudo), and Ubuntu (libsndfile and sudo).

          • Mimecast admits certificate compromise tied to SolarWinds supply chain attack

            Email security firm Mimecast has admitted that the compromise of a certificate it had issued for some Microsoft services is connected to the SolarWinds supply chain incident.

          • SolarWinds Cyberattack: Layered OT Security Creates Best Defense

            The recent SolarWinds supply chain cyberattacks serve to underscore an age-old cybersecurity tenant, and the reason we need to continue beating the drum as cybersecurity professionals: Use a layered approach to OT security.

            This incident highlights a rare, specific use case of a nation state threat actor, an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). In this particular case, layers provided somewhat limited value, but helped keep the less skilled attackers – about 99% of those on the playing field – at bay.

            Technology boundaries can be used to lessen the impact of (but unfortunately not prevent) nation state APTs. They not only offer additional protection, they may also help expose the presence of APTs in your network. Let’s examine how they would have helped in the case of APTs like the Sunburst malware that infected SolarWinds Orion software and was downloaded by 18,000 organizations.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • CVE-2021-3156: Heap-Based Buffer Overflow in Sudo (Baron Samedit)

              Successful exploitation of this vulnerability allows any unprivileged user to gain root privileges on the vulnerable host. Qualys security researchers have been able to independently verify the vulnerability and develop multiple variants of exploit and obtain full root privileges on Ubuntu 20.04 (Sudo 1.8.31), Debian 10 (Sudo 1.8.27), and Fedora 33 (Sudo 1.9.2). Other operating systems and distributions are also likely to be exploitable.

            • Sudo vulnerability allows attackers to gain root privileges on Linux systems (CVE-2021-3156)

              A vulnerability (CVE-2021-3156) in sudo, a powerful and near-ubiquitous open-source utility used on major Linux and Unix-like operating systems, could allow any unprivileged local user to gain root privileges on a vulnerable host (without authentication).

            • 10-years-old Sudo bug lets Linux users gain root-level access
            • 10-year-old Sudo Bug Lets Linux Users Gain Root-Level Access
            • Sudo Flaw Gives Linux Users Root Access | Decipher

              Researchers from Qualys uncovered a major vulnerability in an application that allows administrators to delegate limited root access to regular users. While most major Linux distributions have released fixed versions of sudo, administrators still have to verify their systems are protected. Some of the smaller distributions may not yet have incorporated the fix.

              The vulnerability allows a regular user on a system to gain root access, even if the account is not listed as one of the authorized accounts in the /etc/sudoers configuration file. The regular user account also does not need to know the password in order to exploit the vulnerability. Qualys said the flaw impacts all Sudo installs using the sudoers file—which is the case for many Linux systems. Researchers have developed exploit variants for Debian 10 (Sudo 1.8.27), Ubuntu 20.04 (Sudo 1.8.31), and Fedora 33 (Sudo 1.9.2). Qualys coordinated the release of Sudo v 1.9.5p2 to fix the flaw, CVE-2021-3156 (Baron Samedit).

            • Serious 10-year-old flaw in Linux sudo command; a new version patches it | Network World

              Linux users should immediately patch a serious vulnerability to the sudo command that, if exploited, can allow unprivileged users gain root privileges on the host machine.

              Called Baron Samedit, the flaw has been “hiding in plain sight” for about 10 years, and was discovered earlier this month by researchers at Qualys and reported to sudo developers, who came up with patches Jan. 19, according to a Qualys blog. (The blog includes a video of the flaw being exploited.)

            • Linux malware uses open-source tool to evade detection [Ed: How pro-Microsoft propaganda sites blame for a tool which comes from Microsoft (GitHub) "Open Source" and "Linux" (though it is the fault of neither). Alternative headline: Microsoft malware is being used to attack machines that run GNU/Linux]

              This tool is known as libprocesshider and is an open-source tool available on Github that can be used to hide any Linux process with the help of the ld preloader.

            • PSA: If your PC runs Linux, you should update Sudo now

              Despite the fact that tens of thousands of contributors actively pore over the source code of the Linux kernel and various Unix utilities looking for security flaws, it’s not unheard of for serious bugs to go unnoticed. Just a day ago, the folks over at Qualys revealed a new heap-based buffer overflow attack vector that targets the “Sudo” program to gain root access. The bug this time seems to be quite serious, and the bug has existed within the codebase for almost 10 years! Although the privilege escalation vulnerability has already been patched, it could potentially be exploited on nearly every Linux distribution and several Unix-like operating systems.

            • Critical Vulnerability Patched in 'sudo' Utility...

              Flaw exists in versions of sudo going back nearly 10 years; USCYBERCOM recommends organizations patch immediately.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Unwanted Police Surveillance on US Citizens - Validated Independent News

              In New York, police are using drones to monitor and record protests, like the huge BLM demonstrations that took place of the summer of 2020. Axon Enterprise Inc. € supplied drones to to New York Police Department and the recordings are being entered into the data system, a massive database for record keeping of footage taken by the devices.

            • Philippines’ National Biometric ID System Raises Concerns over Privacy - Validated Independent News

              In 2018, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte signed into law€  Republic Act No. 11055, known as the “Philippine Identification System Act.” Two years later the system is rolling out, and low-income communities are the first to gain access to enrolment. The Philippine Statistics Authorities (PSA) will be going from house to house and registering citizens for the National ID. The PSA is in charge of collecting data to analyze and publicize the statistical information on economic, social, demographic, and political affairs. It also enforces the civil registration functions in the country. However, unlike other ID’s, this National ID system will include not only a front-facing picture, but also biometric data such as iris scans and full fingerprint sets.

            • The promise and perils of vaccine passports

              Passports are also likely to create a generational divide. Most countries are vaccinating the old first. Many young people have had to restrict their lives a great deal in the past year, largely to protect their elders. It could seem particularly unfair if old folks can swan off to Ibiza this summer, while the young are stuck at home or in quarantine. Those who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons, such the immunocompromised, may feel aggrieved at their relative confinement, too. Last, if passports come into wide use, some may feel forced to get a jab, and that their freedom of choice has been compromised.

              Even so, in one recent study, more than two-thirds of British people said they would accept them. That is a surprisingly high proportion. People in other countries may well follow suit, whatever their philosophical misgivings. The reason for this might be quite simple. Tight lockdowns are so difficult to tolerate, and so economically costly, that even a slightly cracked door looks like a bright ray of hope.

            • Grindr faces $11.7 million fine in Norway for breach of data privacy

              "Our preliminary conclusion is that the breaches are very severe," the Norwegian agency said in a statement announcing what it said was a record fine corresponding to around 10% of Grindr's estimated global annual revenue.

              Grindr has until Feb. 15 to respond to the claims, after which the Data Protection Authority will make its final decision in the case, the agency said.

            • Why Your TV Spies on You

              The dynamic creates two paths for the consumer electronics that many of us rely on. One is for gigantic companies to take over and crowd out everyone else. The other path is for companies to become money grubbing monsters. Either way, it’s not great for us.

            • Pamela Anderson announces she’s leaving social media: ‘I am free’

              The former Baywatch star and model announced on Instagram on Tuesday (26 January) that “this will be my last post on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.”

              “I've never been interested in social media,” she continued. “And now that I'm settled into the life I'm genuinely inspired by, reading and being in nature, I am free.”

              Anderson also urged her followers to “find the strength and inspiration to follow your purpose” and “not to be seduced by wasted time”.

            • WG process for getting to a revised RFC 4880

              We've talked it over and we've asked Paul Wouters to share the editorship with Werner Koch for the draft that will hopefully become the cryptographic refresh for RFC4880. Many other people also offered to stand in that role, and we thank them for that! Hopefully everyone will keep contributing to the process so we can fulfill our charter.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Madcap Mysteries of Homeland Security

        In the aftermath of 9/11, President George W. Bush established the Department of Homeland Security, the largest federal law enforcement organization and the third-largest federal employer in the country.

      • Haunting Melodies

        In a year of plague, election tension, and fascism fears, I re-discovered – along with Single-Malt Whisky — the American Songbook. These standards, written from the 1920s to early 1960s, were mostly composed for movies, musical theatre or sheet music sales, but achieved their best realization in concerts, clubs and recording studios. They were performed by Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Nelson Riddle, and many others, and still form the basis of many jazz and blues arrangements and improvisations.

        This music was for me an escape. Through it, I experienced a “Night in Tunisia” “Autumn in New York” “April in Paris” “Moonlight in Vermont” and “A Foggy Day in London Town”. In this hazy world of Standard Songs, love was always in bloom and every moon was blue. But the more I listened during the months leading up to the election and then inauguration, the less escape I actually found. Even the most anodyne of songs seemed to me haunted by the pandemic, neo-fascism, the climate crisis, economic inequality, systemic racism, and of course, the evils of Him-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.

      • Our Government Needs to Prioritize Veteran Well-Being Over Endless War

        “I got out of the Marines and within a few years, 15 of my buddies had killed themselves,” one veteran rifleman who served two tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq between 2003 and 2011 said to me recently. “One minute they belonged and the next, they were out, and they couldn’t fit in. They had nowhere to work, no one who related to them. And they had these PTSD symptoms that made them react in ways other Americans didn’t.”

      • Averting a Cold War With China Takes On Greater Urgency

        President Biden’s top cabinet appointees have almost uniformly proclaimed their opposition to the policies of the Trump administration and have pledged to steer the nation on a new course, whether it be on health, the economy, the climate, or issues of race and racism. In one area, however, senior Biden officials have not only praised Trump’s endeavors but promised to carry them further: mobilizing the nation for a new Cold War, this time with China.

      • When Biden's "New" America Confronts the New China

        Pivot to Asia? US forces redeploying. For what? Washington’s response has been half-hearted and ponderous. The South China Sea has been turned into a Chinese military zone. End of story. No amount of US redeploying will change that fact on the ground or in this case on the sea.

        OK, how about Belt and Road? China was going to establish new markets along the traditional trade routes on both land and sea. We are not masking the truth when we acknowledge that in a time of COVID these trade routes will not be as active as once envisaged. And the Thucydides Trap? This suggested that a rising power challenging an established power will probably end in conflict. From China’s point of view that type of talk is redundant. China is no longer rising, it has emerged. No conflict.

      • As World Demands Peace and Aid for Yemen, Biden Told to 'End Every Aspect of This War'

        Over 385 groups from across the globe are calling for an immediate halt to the U.S.-backed Saudi coalition's relentless attack—an armed conflict that is only intensifying the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe.

      • Opinion | US Designation of Houthis as 'Terrorists' Is Wrong and Hurts the Most Vulnerable

        Ending America's endless wars should mean not only withdrawing troops but also putting an end to the misuse of terrorist designations and the accompanying destructive economic sanctions.

      • One of the Democrats' Biggest Hawks Is Now Senate Foreign Relations Chair
      • Rob Malley for Iran Envoy: A Test Case for Biden’s Commitment to Diplomacy

        On January 21, conservative journalist Elli Lake penned an opinion piece in Bloomberg News arguing that President Biden should not appoint Malley because Malley ignores Iran’s human rights abuses and “regional terror”. Republican Senator Tom Cotton retweeted Lake’s piece with the heading: “Malley has a long track record of sympathy for the Iranian regime & animus towards Israel. The ayatollahs wouldn’t believe their luck if he is selected.” Pro regime-change Iranians such as Mariam Memarsadeghi, conservative American journalists like Breitbart’s Joel Pollak, and the far-right Zionist Organization of America are opposing Malley. Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed opposition to Malley getting the appointment and Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror, a close advisor to the prime minister, said that if the U.S. reenters the JCPOA, Israel may take military action against Iran. A petition opposing Malley has even started on

        What makes Malley such a threat to these opponents of talks with Iran?

      • DC National Guard Chief: Pentagon Restricted Quick Response to Capitol Attack
      • Capitol Coup d'Trump - The Project Censored Show

        Notes: The panelists were Mnar Muhawish Adley editor-in-chief, MintPress News; Prof. Robin Andersen of Fordham University (media studies); Prof. Nicholas Baham III (ethnic studies) and Prof. Nolan Higdon of California State University, East Bay (history/media studies); and Prof. Allison Butler of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (media studies). The complete discussion of over 90 minutes can be viewed here.€  Higdon and Huff have also published a related article around these events at CounterPunch, “Ripe for Fascism: A Post-Coup’d Trump Autopsy of American Democracy.”

      • The ‘Insurrection’ and Its Discontents: ‘American Exceptionalism’ Revisited

        As shocking and, certainly, telling as the images of thousands of American protesters taking over the symbols of America’s federal, representative democracy in Washington DC on January 6, it was only a facet in a far more complex and devastating political trajectory that has been in the making for years.

        While mainstream US media has conveniently attributed all of America’s ills to the unruly character of outgoing President Donald Trump, the truth is not quite so convenient. The US has been experiencing an unprecedented political influx at every level of society for years, leading us to believe that the rowdy years of Trump’s Presidency were a mere symptom, not the cause, of America’s political instability.

      • In the Wake of the Riots: The Blowback from Defeating Trump was Criminalizing Dissent

        The Capitol building riot of January 6 marked the messiest transition in the recent history of ruling class power from one chief executive of the capitalist world to the next. If that history is any guide, the change of guard neither portends better treatment of working people nor a reduction of the threat of fascism.

      • ‘The president answered unambiguously’ The Kremlin’s spokesman is still dodging questions about ‘Putin’s Palace’

        Russian President Vladimir Putin may have denied reports that he owns a billion-dollar luxury residence on the Black Sea, but that hasn’t put questions about the property to rest. During a press conference on Tuesday, January 26, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov continued to fend off questions about the evidence connecting Putin to the “palace.” Here’s what he told reporters.

      • Putin and Biden speak on the phone about arms control but also Navalny, Ukraine, hackers, and U.S. unilateralism

        Vladimir Putin spoke to Joseph Biden today in what was the first phone call between the leaders of Russia and America since the U.S. presidential elections last November. The conversation was “businesslike and sincere,” according to the Kremlin’s official readout:

      • ‘We’re not dissidents — we’re fighting for a majority’: Alexey Navalny’s chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, lauds last weekend’s protests as a ‘triumph over fear’ and as a sign of things to come in Russia

        How big are the nationwide demonstrations led by Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny’s team? Did the turnout on Saturday, January 23, match expectations? Will Team Navalny drop another investigative bombshell before the next round of protests on Sunday, January 31? Meduza spoke to Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s chief of staff, for answers to these questions and more.

      • Russian businessman Alexander Ponomarenko is no longer the official owner of ‘Putin’s palace’

        Russian businessman Alexander Ponomarenko, who anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny named as the official owner of a billion-dollar “palace” supposedly built for Vladimir Putin on the Black Sea, hasn’t had any ties to the property for several years, his spokespeople told Forbes on Tuesday, January 26.

      • Team Navalny announces location of this weekend’s protest in Moscow

        Alexey Navalny’s Moscow headquarters has announced a start time and location for this weekend’s rally protesting his detention.€ 

      • Appeals hearing on the decision to jail Alexey Navalny set for January 28

        The Moscow Regional Court will consider an appeal against the decision to jail opposition figure Alexey Navalny on Thursday, January 28, his lawyer Olga Mikhailova told Meduza.€ 

      • The Political Fallout From the Capitol Hill Invasion May Prove More Significant Than 9/11

        Being blown up by al-Qaeda in Iraq was not the only danger. The soldiers guarding the outer checkpoints of the zone were understandably nervous and would shoot at any vehicle they thought was coming too close to them. Once, I had to cower down behind a concrete barrier as they fired at a battered old car which had stalled just in front of their position.

        I recalled the old Baghdad Green Zone this week as 25,000 National Guards established a well-defended area with the same name in the centre of Washington. The overt purpose was to protect the inauguration of Joe Biden as president and US security agencies, caught on the hop by the invasion of the Capitol on 6 January, were busy slamming the stable door long after the immediate crisis was over.

      • ED’S DESK: (Fake) Violence Is Never The Answer… Unless There’s Money To Be Made, And Desperate Attention To Be Paid

        ED’S DESK is a new semi-regular column by New Matilda, where we give readers an inside look at the sub-editing process involved in news-making. Or at least, we give you an inside look at what should have been the sub-editing process to correct a steaming pile of sh*t story that actually got published, despite holes in it you could drive a truck through.

      • Banned From Twitter, Trump Opens "Office of the Former President" to Push Agenda
      • Capitol riot: Police chief apologises for pro-Trump [insurrection]

        Chief Pittman was speaking on Tuesday to the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees the police department's funding.

        She said the agency was aware that protesters were planning to bring firearms and other weapons to the Capitol two days before the violence on 6 January.

        Her force of 1,200 officers on duty that day was "no match" for "the tens of thousands of insurrectionists" who stormed the Capitol, she said.

      • Internet origins of the mob

        For anybody who has ever been elected into office, from the student union to a national legislature, the recent scenes in Washington DC have been particularly disturbing.

        When reports appear about the efforts Trump made blackmailing the State of Georgia into changing their results, it is even more disturbing for those of us who also experience threats or blackmail while holding some form of office or voluntary leadership role. In my case, the free software community elected me as a representative in 2017 and right up to the day I resigned in September 2018, people who opposed the election result sent me constant threats and harassment.

        Even two years after resigning, the same mob still pushes doxing and defamation. This is blackmail, they want the questions about volunteers and elections to be withdrawn. Each time new revelations come to light, such as the notorious FSFE women court case, it demonstrates why they find an independent representative so inconvenient.

      • The Islamic State in Mozambique

        Although the militant Islamist insurgency in Mozambique has been brewing since late 2017, it was only when Islamic State-affiliated militants captured the northeastern port city of Mocimboa da Praia in Cabo Delgado province in mid-August 2020 that it gained the world’s attention. After the group’s successive losses in the Levant, it came as a shock to analysts and policymakers that the Islamic State was once again capable of controlling territory—jeopardizing the outlook for stability in Mozambique.

        This was not the first time Islamist militants succeeded in taking control of territory in Mozambique, however. Four months before, in March 2020, they briefly took Mocimboa da Praia, where the insurgency originated and which has seen more than 30 attacks from the group since 2017. They also held the city of Quissanga, approximately 120 km further south, for about 48 hours, raising their flag before retreating to evade a large-scale confrontation with the Mozambican army and its foreign backers. Since then, Mozambique’s northeastern region has witnessed horrific brutality in the form of kidnappings, massacres and beheadings (including the killing of more than 50 young men in early April). More than 2,000 people have been killed and 500,000 internally displaced. According to the World Food Program, hundreds of thousands of civilians in the northern region will soon also suffer from severe food shortages.

      • Proud Boys Unanimously Designated White Supremacist Terrorist Group by Canadian Lawmakers

        awmakers in Canada's House of Commons voted unanimously on Monday to classify the extremist far-right group Proud Boys as a white supremacist terrorist organization.

        Canadians begin considering labeling Proud Boys as a terrorist group following the riot at the U.S. Capitol in January. A member of the Florida chapter of the Proud Boys was arrested on Wednesday on charges connected to his participation in the riot. Canadian Parliament member Jagmeet Singh introduced the proposal to classify the Proud Boys as a terrorist group on Monday.

        Singh said that all parties had agreed to provide unanimous consent to the motion, which called on the Canadian government to "use all of available tools to address the proliferation of white supremacists and hate groups, starting with the immediate designating Proud Boys as a terrorist entity."

      • French Muslim groups deal blow to Macron's anti-extremism charter

        The charter rejects "instrumentalising" Islam for political ends and affirms equality between men and women, while denouncing practices such as female circumcisions, forced marriages or "virginity certificates" for brides.

        French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), a body set up almost 20 years ago to enable dialogue between the government and the Muslim community, broadly welcomed the charter and five of its eight federations signed on Sunday.

        However, the other three groups said on Wednesday they could not join their colleagues.

      • Peterborough mosque’s plans for daily calls to prayer played through loudspeakers recommended for refusal

        It also warned in a report outlining its recommendation that approving the new loudspeakers would “set an undesirable precedent” due to further mosques being close by, which could also result in “unacceptable noise and disturbance”.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • 'We Need to Continue to Fight': Federal Judge Blocks Biden's 100-Day Freeze on Deportations
      • Civil Commitment: The New Double Jeopardy - Validated Independent News

        After€  prison, individuals who are considered a threat to society are presented before a judge who makes the final decision of whether there is enough probable evidence for a civil commitment trial. Additionally, individuals sometimes receive treatment while awaiting trial and the information disclosed in confidentiality during these sessions has been used against them in the trial.

      • Rounding Up the Capitol-Mob Lawbreakers

        Their faces were there in the picture ID was the simplest of tasks. They shouldn’t have scorned Dr. Fauci For saying we must wear our masks.

      • Report Reveals Racist Conspiracy Theorist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Showed Support for Murdering Democrats

        "We're trending towards 'execute our opponents' as [a] not entirely fringe GOP... position," tweeted one prominent journalist.€ 

      • The Fight to Revive Democracy Has Only Just Begun

        Last Wednesday, when President Biden was sworn into office on the same Capitol steps recently overrun by insurrectionists, the message to the nation was clear: Democracy had been tested, and democracy had prevailed. National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman described the day’s significance: “We’ve seen a force,” she said, “that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.”

      • After Delaying Trump Impeachment Trial, All But 5 GOP Senators Vote in Favor of Saying Now It's Too Late

        "McConnell delayed the trial and then voted in favor of a point or order to dismiss it because it was...starting too late."

      • Representative Jamie Raskin: ‘It Was a Scene of Absolute Terror and Mayhem’

        Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a constitutional law professor who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, knew immediately that Donald Trump’s incitement to insurrection on January 6 necessitated a second impeachment. That clarity led House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to name him as the lead manager for Trump’s impeachment for “inciting violence against the government of the United States.” On Monday night, Raskin delivered the article of impeachment to the Senate, where Trump’s trial is set to begin on February 9.€ 

      • 'A Big Step': Progressives Welcome Biden Executive Order Ending DOJ Private Prison Contracts, But Say This Is Just the Start

        "There's more to be done to end the for-profit caging of people in the U.S.," stressed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

      • Opinion | Waking from a Four-Year Fever Dream to Find US Global Power Gone

        Americans and the rest of the world are, it seems, waking up in a new age.

      • Majority in US Want Senate to Convict Trump, Bar Him From Holding Office Ever Again: Poll

        "Convicting Donald Trump to save our democracy is not a distraction," said Rep. Mondaire Jones. "It's essential."

      • A Time of Trial

        Just about ready for my trial for contempt of court tomorrow; signing off a final affidavit in a minute. It is really difficult to get my head round the fact that I could very soon be jailed for up to two years for writing about the conspiracy to fit up Alex Salmond and reporting honestly and carefully on his trial, and face an “unlimited” fine.

      • Political "Unity" is Neither Necessary Nor Desirable

        The bad news: Where politics is concerned, “unity” is a pipe dream.

        The good news: Where human flourishing is concerned, the ersatz “unity” demanded by politicians like Joe Biden is neither necessary nor desirable.

      • Echoes and Elections

        The US-American nightmare, tight-lipped and pouting , was finally forced to gallop off to its luxurious stable in Florida. Almost every European joined in “Hurrah!” cheers as it watched him go!

        In Germany national elections will also be featuring the departure, in this case after sixteen years, of a very different kind of leader, Angela Merkel. The results are still nine months away, but we all know how much can develop in just nine months!

      • Mitch McConnell Is Already Running Circles Around Chuck Schumer in the Senate
      • Centrist Democrats Manchin, Sinema Side With McConnell to Protect the Filibuster
      • McConnell Caves on Filibuster After Democrats Manchin and Sinema Reiterate Opposition to Scrapping 'Jim Crow Relic'

        "McConnell engaged in the most blatant, ridiculous act of obstructionism imaginable, and instead of telling him that if he kept it up, they'd take that power from him, key Dems reassured him that they'd never take that power from him."

      • Ritchie Torres: The AOC Alternative Who Isn’t

        Corporate media are having a field day with the ascendance of Rep. Ritchie Torres, a Democrat from New York City. The image we see repeated across outlets is that he is a new kind of progressive: a young Black gay man from the Bronx, he stands as an alternative to the rise of democratic socialism. In particular, he is offered as a pragmatist, rather than an idealist, and above all, he’s aggressively pro-Israel.

      • Three Wednesdays In January

        It wlll go down in history as a remarkable two-week period. It began on Wednesday, January 6th€ with an insurrectionary attack on the Capitol that provoked the House of Representatives on the following Wednesday to rush through impeachment articles against Donald Trump for the second time, culminating on Wednesday January 20th€ with the inauguration of Joe Biden. To many of us locked in our homes in front of our TV sets, it played out like a live 21st century remake of€ Seven Days In May.

        We watched as Washington DC was transformed into a fenced-in armed camp with thousands of national guard troops marching around and sleeping on the marble floor of the Capitol building. All the testosterone and adrenaline bluster that had arisen on January 6th€ ended up as nothing in the face of the militarized reaction. Likewise, none of the threats to state capitols across the nation materialized.

      • Masking Up Under Biden: the Perils of Tribalism, Bureaucracy and Lawsuits

        The facemask became the symbol of the now departed Donald Trump’s view of the world: to don such a covering was an admission of weakness, an effete alternative to the rugged, at times idiotic notion of pioneer individualism.€  Had he stuck to a debate on scientific literature (causation not being correlation and vice-a-versa), he might have been on firmer ground.€  Instead, he preferred to dismiss mask wearing as an act of political correctness.

        Joe Biden, in contrast, promised to scotch any such reservations on coming to office.€  On August 20, 2020, he declaredin accepting the Democratic nomination that his COVID-19 plan would involve a “national mandate to wear a mask.”€  He called it “a patriotic duty” rather than an onerous burden.

      • Convict Donald Trump and the Bipartisan System That Put Him Into Power

        Kevin Roose’s Jan. 11, 2021 New York Times Interpreter column is explicit in telling us that in the world of privately-owned social media the rich have every right to ban any ideas that counter their interests. Says Roose, “No serious thinker believes that Twitter and Facebook, as private companies, are obligated to give any user a platform, just as no one doubts that a restaurant owner can boot an unruly diner for causing a scene.” True enough! Under capitalist rule, the billionaire elite’s private media and/or their government can “legally” boot us out at their discretion. They maintain a substantial ideological monopoly. What was a “free press” long ago no longer exists. And if today’s monopolies happen to be sued for any users’ posts or tweets or lies, they are home free/immune under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields social media companies from legal liability for their users’ posts.

        The same generally holds for the entire spectrum of corporate media, from television to radio and print. Even the time-honored soapboxing where we stand on community street corner addressing an audience of passers bye has been constricted when modern-day mall owners order the arrest of leafleting activists on the grounds that they are encroaching on private property. Need we mention the capitalist monopoly on elections wherein “democracy” resides in two multi-billionaire parties and their corporate media dominating the discourse? In the society that we seek to establish, an egalitarian socialist society aimed at the emancipation of humanity from capitalist exploitation and oppression in all its manifestations, the working class through its own democratically-chosen representatives will preside over a nationalized social media system aimed at social enlightenment and the free expression of ideas. The democracy that we fight for consists in the institutionalized rule of the majority, socialism, not the one percent! In the meantime, we fight against all manifestations of corporate and government censorship knowing full well however, that success is direct proportional to our power in the streets as opposed to necessary but subordinate engagement in “legal” battles for free speech. The 20-plus million liberation fighters that mobilized in 2,000 U.S. cities last summer defending the Black Lives Matter movement did more to expose capitalism’s systemic racism and racist history than the handful a lawsuits our movement supported for the right to march down the streets and otherwise disseminate our views.

      • Jimmy Dore and The Boogaloo Boys Will SHUT DOWN The Black Vote | Tim Black
      • The American Exceptionalism Of Secretary Of State Antony Blinken

        “American leadership still matters. The reality is the world simply does not organize itself,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken proclaimed at his confirmation hearing. “When we are not engaged, when we are not leading, then one of two things is likely to happen. Either some other country tries to take our place but not in a way that is likely to advance our interests and values, or maybe, just as bad, no one does and then you have chaos.”

        Much like President Joe Biden, Blinken is a neoliberal Democrat who believes in the doctrine of “Manifest Destiny.” He thinks if the United States does not impose its will and shape the world then there will be no law and order. He cannot fathom how countries could survive on their own. At least, that is how he argues for greater American intervention in global regions.

      • Biden Is Reversing Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Acts. Will He Repair Harm from Deportations Under Obama?

        President Joe Biden has placed immigration at the center of his ambitious agenda, signing several executive orders reversing Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and promising a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. But Biden is not only navigating the destructive legacy of his immediate predecessor, but also that of the Obama administration when he was Vice President, which oversaw three million deportations. “These are people who had families, jobs and homes in the United States,” says investigative journalist Jean Guerrero. “What he needs is not just to reverse Trump’s policies and go back to Obama-era policies. He needs to actually repair the harm that was done when he was vice president.” Guerrero also urges Biden not to carve out exceptions that exclude immigrants with criminal records, including members of her own family.

      • Biden Reverses Trump’s Trans Military Ban, But Assault on Rights Continues at State Level

        President Joe Biden has signed an executive order repealing the Trump administration’s ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military and ordered the Pentagon to review the files of troops who were forced out because of the ban and to immediately halt discharges of transgender troops now serving. Chase Strangio, Deputy Director for Transgender Justice with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project, calls it “an incredibly important development,” but warns the attack on transgender rights is continuing at the state level, with a raft of new legislation targeting trans people in education, healthcare and more. “We have this significant backlash to the very notion that trans humanity is going to be recognized,” says Strangio. “It is truly painful to hear a movement that essentially, at its core, believes that being trans is wrong and should be eradicated.”

      • The end of liberal diplomacy?

        Securing political control of an occupied territory by changing its demography is nothing new. Some 600,000 Israelis now live in the West Bank, alongside 2,750,000 Palestinians. Iran has been repopulating vast areas of Syria with Shia Muslims. Nearly 46 years after Turkey invaded Northern Cyprus, settlers from mainland Turkey comprise about half the territory’s population.

        Such behaviour should never be endorsed. But pretending it’s not happening won’t help either. When actors are in a protracted state of diplomatic limbo, disregard for the actual balance of power or the duration of the conflict perpetuates a fait accompli favouring the stronger side. This is as true of the Morocco – Western Sahara dispute as it is about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, where infatuation with the deceptive two-state paradigm has made peace all but impossible.

      • Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef, banished voice of Arab Spring

        Youssef, originally a heart surgeon, rose to fame as a YouTuber and became a wildly popular TV host, mercilessly poking fun at presidents, generals and imams.

      • Digital Jihad multiculturalism: 'We will conquer you using your laws'

        Trump has gone, Islamists stay on to use these social networks to preach their Jihad.

        French essayist and analyst Alexandre del Valle points out in Valeurs Actuelles’ weekly that social media, so quick with Trump, turn a blind eye on Islamic regimes. Like the accounts of Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan (17.3 million on Twitter, 10 million on Facebook), “who insulted Emmanuel Macron, who threatened EU countries (Austria, France, Greece, Cyprus), who denies the Armenian genocide, who massacred the Kurds in Syria, who tried to seize water and gas from Greece and Northern Cyprus, who supported the jihadists of Syria and Libya and who sent them to massacre Armenians in Karabakh…. He has never been suspended from social networks”.

      • [Old] “State Capture”: How the Gupta Brothers Hijacked South Africa Using Bribes Instead of Bullets

        What the Guptas pulled off in South Africa has been extensively documented: the backroom deals, the rigged contracts, the wholesale plunder of national resources. The brothers, who declined to comment for this story, have denied all the accusations against them, and have yet to face charges. But the global arc of the tale—from a provincial town in India to the corporate boardrooms of London and New York—offers a case study in a new, systemic form of graft known as “state capture.” This was a modern-day coup d’état, waged with bribery instead of bullets. It demonstrates how an entire country can fall to foreign influences without a single shot being fired—especially when that country is ruled by a divisive president who is skilled at fueling racial resentments, willing to fire his own intelligence chiefs to protect his business interests, and eager to use his elected position to enrich himself with unsavory investors. The Guptas had immigrated to South Africa from a backwater in India, but the skills they learned there proved indispensable in an age of globalized corruption.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • California Appeals Court Says Section 230 Immunizes Twitter From Banned User's Lawsuit

        Back in 2019, a California court tossed a lawsuit brought by a self-described feminist who had her Twitter account banned following some posts targeting transgender people. Meghan Murphy tweeted enlightening things like "men aren't women tho" and "how are transwomen not men?" She also "deadnamed" transsexuals, identifying them using their former gender/names, something Twitter's rules explicitly prohibit.

      • Former US Ambassador Sues Apple Because Telegram Users Are Making Him Feel Scared [Update]

        Here's an interesting lawsuit, brought to you by some familiar names. And by "interesting," I mean "exceedingly stupid."

      • Biden’s Commerce nominee backs changes to Section 230

        In a hearing on her nomination for Commerce Department secretary on Tuesday, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo told lawmakers that she will pursue changes to Section 230 if confirmed.

        Responding to questions posed by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Raimondo said that she would use the tools available through the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to convene stakeholders, industry leaders, lawmakers and others to identify the means of reform to the pivotal [Internet] law.

      • Internet disrupted in Russia amid opposition protests

        Network data observed by the NetBlocks Internet Observatory indicate network disruptions in Russia on Saturday 23 January 2021. The outages come amid protests against the detention of prominent opposition activist and anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny and may limit coverage of events on the ground.

        Metrics on Moscow and St. Petersburg, provider MTS indicate a fall in observed connectivity coinciding with the protests, having a recorded incident duration of approximately 6 hours: [...]

      • Nigeria blasphemy: Jailed 13-year-old boy wins Kano appeal

        He was convicted by an Islamic court in August for making uncomplimentary remarks about God during an argument with a friend in northern Kano state.

        But a secular appeals court overturned the sentencing on Thursday, saying the child was a minor.

      • Kano govt commences fresh legal action against blasphemous singer, Yahaya Sharif

        The State Attorney General, Barrister MA Lawan, speaking after the court session, said the judgment was a victory for the people of Kano State for the fact that the appellant counsel’s claim was that the whole trial was done contrary to the constitution of the nation, because the Sharia court was not recognized by the constitution of the nation.

        He said another victory for the People of Kano is that the Appeal Court now recognizes that Sharia Court is fully recognized by the nation’s constitution and that its judgments are valid.

        The Attorney General said, a minor, Umar Faruk who was earlier sentenced to 10 years by the Sharia Court was discharged because he was a minor and that he was not given proper legal representation, and not because the Sharia Court lacks jurisdiction to try him.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Ghanaian soldiers detain 3 Joy News employees, delete reporting footage

        The officers seized Donkor’s phone and Asare’s camera, and deleted footage off of one of their memory cards, Donkor told CPJ, adding that they were able to save some of their footage on a second memory card, which was later included in the Joy News report. The soldiers also seized Sakyi’s car keys and broke the vehicle’s windshield and mirrors, according to Donkor and the Joy News report.

        The three were released without charge after about five hours, according to Donkor and that report.

      • Where Assange’s Extradition Appeals Process Stands

        Almost immediately upon District Judge Vanessa Baraitster’s ruling that WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange would not be extradited from the United Kingdom to the United States on medical grounds, lawyers representing the U.S. announced their intent to appeal that decision. Two days later, Judge Baraitser denied Assange’s bail application, meaning he will remain in the freezing cold, COVID-infected maximum-security Belmarsh prison in London as he waits for the appeal process to unfold. That process could take weeks, months, or longer if the U.S. refuses to drop the case altogether.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Pro-BDS Activists Blacklisted and Labeled as Terrorist Supporters by Canary Mission - Validated Independent News

        Using tactics generally reserved for extremist hate groups, Canary Mission lists activists, educators, professionals, and students as “terrorist supporters” and “anti-Semites” for participating in BDS efforts, effectively blacklisting them from professional and educational pursuits in an effort to thwart rising activist efforts to bring attention to the humanitarian crisis perpetuated by Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and those of Palestinian descent living in Israel.

      • Court Says There's Nothing 'Reasonably Suspicious' About The Odor Of Marijuana In A State Where Marijuana Is Legal

        When cops complain about marijuana legalization being the slippery slope to a crime-ridden, apocalyptic hellhole, they're really only complaining about the removal of one of their favorite excuses for searching vehicles, houses, and people without a warrant.

      • Alabama Prisoners Face Solitary, Violence For Organizing Boycott And Work Stoppage

        An ongoing boycott and strike inside Alabama’s prison system faced retaliation before it began.€ 

        On December 31, incarcerated people at Kilby Correctional Facility held a dorm meeting to discuss the boycott and strike. Witnesses told Shadowproof that prison officers with the last names Reese, Landrum, and Smith beat multiple participants.

      • First appellate-court ruling on COVID-19 travel restrictions

        Last week, the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston issued the first ruling by a Federal€  Federal appellate court concerning restrictions on the right to travel imposed on the basis of the COVID-19 pandemic.

        There have been other Federal District Court rulings on COVID-19 travel restrictions, as we have reported previously. But so far as we can tell, no other Federal appeals court has yet ruled on any of these cases. And while there have been other Federal appellate decisions concerning restrictions on gatherings and activities, they haven’t involved the right to travel.

        The decision by a panel of the First Circuit came in the case of Bayley’s Campground v. Mills, which we mentioned before in a round-up of COVID-19 right-to-travel cases.

      • Business groups prepare for lobbying push against $15 minimum wage

        Business groups are preparing for a lobbying fight after Democrats in both chambers reintroduced a bill Tuesday to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025.

      • In wake of 2020 election, state GOP lawmakers aim to change election law

        Among the changes being discussed in state legislatures are increasing required documentation for absentee voting, stricter rules about maintaining voter rolls and reducing access to mail voting.

      • Activist Karima Baloch laid to rest in Tump

        Karima Baloch, a former president of the Baloch Students Organisation (Azad) and human rights activist, was laid to rest in Tump, her native town near the Pakistan-Iran border, on Monday.

        She was found dead in the Canadian city of Toronto two weeks ago. Karima had taken political asylum there. The Canadian police have ruled out foul play behind her death, saying she had died of natural causes.

      • Facebook’s secret settlement on Cambridge Analytica gags UK data watchdog

        Remember the app audit Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg promised to carry out a little under three years ago at the height of the Cambridge Analytica scandal? Actually the tech giant is very keen that you don’t.

        The UK’s information commissioner just told a parliamentary subcommittee on online harms and disinformation that a secret arrangement between her office and Facebook prevents her from publicly answering whether or not Facebook contacted the ICO about completing a much-trumpeted ‘app audit’.

      • How advertisers defund crisis journalism [Ed: The "liars industry" (marketing) is assassinating "journalism" for interfering with the lies]

        Hard news about humanitarian and social issues is being treated as toxic by overzealous ad technology, undermining corporate social responsibility and effectively punishing publishers for reporting on international crises, researchers say. Take the winning of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020. This was big news for the World Food Programme, but ad technology scanning for gloomy keywords like “famine” and “conflict” meant that big advertisers shied away from it on major media sites: An upbeat NBC article about WFP’s win was boycotted automatically by dozens of advertisers. This is just one example revealed by new research on the hidden rules of ad tech. By examining the code of public web pages, analyst Krzysztof Franaszek has compiled hundreds of previously unseen “blocklists” connected to advertisers, containing some 7,000 distinct words and phrases – evidence of what critics say is excessive caution about “brand safety”. Major companies pay ad tech companies to stop their online ads appearing next to – and therefore being associated with – content that would hurt their brand image. The software automatically scans pages for topics like violence, terrorism, and sex. When a web page is loaded, “programmatic” ad software checks – in split seconds – from a pool of available ads to see which to place, based on the content. At this stage, ads drop out of contention if the page triggers any of the negative conditions set by the advertiser. If a page is flagged “unsafe”, only low-priced advertising from less fussy advertisers appears, or none at all. Since web publishers get paid when ads are seen or clicked on, that means less revenue for them whenever a keyword blocks an ad.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • One Year After the First COVID Lockdown, A Secure Internet Shouldn’t Just Be for the Privileged Few

        As the pandemic continues to present unique challenges to communities around the world, it is imperative that the Internet is safe, secure, affordable, reliable, and accessible to all. While this crisis has proven the Internet to be an invaluable tool and a necessity, it has simultaneously exposed existing disparities and emerging threats. For example, nearly 50 per cent of the world’s population still lack the ability to work or study from home due to lack of access. For many who do have access, slow speeds and high prices characterize their Internet service, preventing them from taking part in daily life. Contact-tracing apps raise privacy concerns around the world. Cyber attacks directed at the healthcare sector have increased. And, despite the clear need for strong end-to-end encryption as more people work, bank, and access healthcare online, law enforcement agencies continue to call for backdoor access to encrypted communications and data.

    • Monopolies

      • House Republicans Have A Big Tech Plan... That Is Both Unconstitutional And Ridiculous

        Republicans have spent decades holding themselves out as the party of "small government" and "keeping government out of business," while also claiming to be strict supporters of an originalist interpretation of the Constitution. The reality, of course, is something altogether different. Even as Republican politicians often pay lips service to these claims, their policy ideas show the opposite. The top Republican on the House Energy & Commerce Committee has announced the GOP's "Big Tech Accountability Platform" that has an astounding level of government interference not just into business, but into the 1st Amendment rights of all Americans.

      • Broadband Monopolies Keep Getting Money For Networks Never Fully Deployed

        As we've noted a few times, there's an underlying belief in American tech policy that if we just keep throwing money at entrenched broadband monopolies we can lift US broadband out of the depths of mediocrity. But as we've noted more than a few times, heavily subsidizing a bunch of regional monopolies, while not doing anything about the conditions that created and insulate those monopolies, doesn't result in much changing. It's especially ineffective when you don't really punish ISPs for decades of taking taxpayer money in exchange for network upgrades that almost always, like clockwork, wind up unfinished.

      • UK IP judiciary ‘back to where it was’ with new judge [Ed: Notice how an article posted under "patents" becomes "IP" in the headline and "IP" in the summary. The propaganda sites of the so-called 'IP' (litigation) giants push misnomers and pure propaganda]

        James Mellor QC’s promotion to the High Court has restored lawyers’ confidence in the judiciary’s IP capabilities

      • Patents

        • Are Patents Free for the Taking; or Does the Law Require Just Compensation?

          This is a super interesting patent-as-property case. In 2018, Christy filed a class-action lawsuit asserting that the cancellation of its patent via Inter Partes Review was taking subject to the due process requirements of the Constitution as well as the Fifth Amendment requirement of “Just Compensation.”


          The Federal Circuit offered a very low quality opinion on the issues here. In particular, the Federal Circuit simply stated that it was bound by a prior decision holding that “cancellation of patent claims in [an] inter partes review cannot be a taking under the Fifth Amendment.” The prior decision is Golden v. U.S., 955 F.3d 981 (Fed. Cir. 2020) where Larry Golden represented himself pro se. In that decision, the court also did not explain its decision but rather simply cited to another prior case, Celgene Corp. v. Peter, 931 F.3d 1342 (Fed. Cir. 2019). In Celgene, the court likewise did not examine the issue of takings, but rather cited to its older decision of Joy Technologies, Inc. v. Manbeck, 959 F.2d 226 (Fed. Cir. 1992) and Patlex Corp. v. Mossinghoff, 758 F.2d 594 (Fed. Cir. 1985). However, neither of these cases addressed the takings clause they focused instead on alleged violation of due process. So, as is often the case, the trail Federal Circuit self-citation leads nowhere.

        • Is Global FRAND Litigation Spinning Out of Control?

          It has often been observed that, while patent rights are territorial in scope, commerce is global and, increasingly, interconnected. Indeed, with the advent of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), technical standards soon will enable not only devices such as smartphones and tablets, but also automobiles, medical devices, and even home appliances to receive and transmit data within and across national borders. To achieve these ends, firms participate in standard-setting organizations (SSOs) to hammer out the technical standards that enable communication and interoperability among devices. Moreover, because the implementation of these standards requires the use of many different, typically proprietary, technologies, SSOs generally encourage or require their members both to declare their ownership of patents that may be essential to the practice of the relevant standard, and to commit to licensing these standard-essential patents (SEPs) on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms. The FRAND commitments themselves, in turn, often are interpreted as binding contracts for the benefit of third parties (that is, for the benefit of implementers). In principle, these requirements work to ensure both that implementers are able to access essential technologies, and that owners are fairly compensated for their inventive contributions.

          Two problems nevertheless can impede the smooth working of such a system. The first is that SSO rules typically do not define the term “FRAND,” for a variety of reasons. Disputes over the meaning of FRAND therefore are inevitable. The second is that, because patents are territorial, courts often have been reluctant to adjudicate foreign patent rights. This understanding of patent rights, however, might appear, to some observers at least, to collide with commercial realities, when parties are unable to reach agreement and opt for adjudication by national courts. Current responses to these problems are likely to prove unsatisfactory for both owners and implementers; a comprehensive solution nonetheless remains, for now, elusive.

        • Adverse Judgment Granted in Arsus IPR

          On January 27, 2021, the PTAB issued an order granting request for adverse judgment in Unified Patents, LLC v. Arsus, LLC. Arsus disclaimed every claim challenged in IPR2020-00948, U.S. Patent 10,259,494 (claims 1-5, 8-12, 21, and 22).

        • Does the PTO have Authority to Regulate Briefing before the Federal Circuit?

          Normally, a notice of appeal filed in federal appellate court does not include details on what particular issues are being appealed. That comes later in the appellant’s opening brief.

          One exception is found in R. 44 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure (FRAP). R. 44 requires notice of any Constitutional Challenge of a Federal or State statute. This must be provided “immediately upon the filing of the record or as soon as the question is raised in the court of appeals.” That constitutional challenge notice is then sent over to the US Attorney General (or respective state counterpart) who may want to intervene to defend the statute. Depending upon a few factors, the constitutional challenge notice may be due prior to the opening brief. This type of certification was provided in all the Arthrex-style challenges of PTAB appointments.

        • Germany and the UPC [Ed: "rectifying the mistake that led to the success of the constitutional complaint" is a lie; it was not a mistake but corruption and mischief and the complaint has a lot more substance to it]

          From a German perspective, 2020 saw highly interesting developments that may well have an impact even beyond the borders of Germany. For example, the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) in Sisvel v. Haier handed down a landmark decision on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) law. This decision has already affected many FRAND cases tried before lower instance courts. Generally speaking, the FRAND law judgments issued in Germany in 2020 may have more upsides for standard-essential patent (SEP) holders than for implementers of standardised technologies.

          A successful constitutional complaint against the German act to ratify the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement delivered a serious blow to the attempt to establish the UPC. However, German Federal Parliament and Federal Council managed, just before the end of 2020, to pass another UPC ratification act, thereby rectifying the mistake that led to the success of the constitutional complaint. The fate of the UPC project remains somewhat unclear, however, in light of newly filed constitutional complaints.

        • In U.S.-China anti-antisuit conundrum, Samsung requests Federal Circuit to accelerate its appeal of Ericsson's Texas injunction [Ed: Rodney Gilstrap is still in place, still battling for patent zealots in a venue which openly advertises itself as such]

          Twelve days ago, Samsung gave notice of its appeal of Judge Rodney Gilstrap's preliminary injunction under which Samsung would oddly have to reimburse Ericsson for fines imposed by the Intermediate People's Court of Wuhan, China, even if the court did so sua sponte (i.e., without a contempt motion by Samsung). But the temporary restraining order (TRO) the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas had previously entered went even further, so the pendulum has already started to swing in a direction favoring the Korean electronics giant.


          If this looks like an "expedited" schedule, it bears mentioning that, as Samsung's motion to expedite notes as well, the preliminary injunction in Texas was briefed over the course of only nine days.

          I just came to realize that this is now my third post in a row concerning procedural questions--which are often intertwined with jurisdictional ones. Patent litigation tactics have become ever more complicated (those who enjoy it would probably prefer to say "advanced" or "sophisticated"). So we're now dealing with antisuit, anti-antisuit, and anti-anti-antisuit injunctions such as in this Ericsson-Samsung dispute. Yesterday it became known that automotive supplier Continental brought some claims in a Delaware state court (a truly special state court) in order to obtain a standard-essential patent (SEP) license from Nokia at the component level; and Judge Tobias Pichlmaier of the Munich I Regional Court referred to the top EU court the question of whether preliminary injunctions should be granted more liberally even over untested patents.

          This procedurally-focused trilogy isn't merely coincidental. Procedural and jurisdictional questions have become ever more important over the past decade. I remember how innovative Microsoft's motion for an antisuit injunction in the Western District of Washington (against Motorola) and Judge James Robart's decision to grant it seemed in 2012. Nine years later, it's almost as if a major SEP dispute without some kind of antisuit or anti-antisuit activity is hard to come by...

        • Xintela : Newsletter December 2020

          Another very important step is that the patent application that protects our XSTEM stem cell product has received preliminary approval ('Intention to grant') from the European Patent Office (EPO) and we expect to receive formal approval shortly. Accordingly, Xintela will have patent protection in Europe for its stem cell product XSTEM and for the broad application of the product, including for the prevention and treatment of degenerative joint diseases such as osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease (DDD), as well as traumatic cartilage and bone injuries. The patent protection of XSTEM, combined with our own GMP classified production facility, will ensure the development and commercialisation of treatments from our stem cell platform for many years to come.

        • EPO allows a new form of evidence

          On December 15, 2020, the European Patent Office issued a decision on a new admissible form of evidence in patent proceedings, which entered into force on January 1, 2021. In a world dominated by a pandemic, where traveling is difficult, and ecological issues arise (e.g. the carbon footprint of every traveler), the EPO decision is considered to be very reasonable and welcomed.

          According to previous Rule 117 of Implementing Regulations of EPC, when the European Patent Office considers necessary to hear a party, witness, or expert, or to carry out an inspection, it shall take a decision, setting out the investigation to be carried out, relevant facts to be proved and to set out the date, time and place of the investigation. If the hearing of a witness or expert is requested by a party, the decision shall specify the period within which the requester must make known the name and address of any witness or expert concerned. In the light of previous Rule 118, at least two months notice of a summons issued to a party, witness, or expert to testify shall be given unless they agree to a shorter period.

        • Subject-Matter Eligibility At The EPO: Life Sciences [Ed: Misusing nonsensical terms like "life science" to promote patents on nature and on life]

          Subject-matter eligibility at the USPTO for life sciences inventions can be a minefield, and in recent years, numerous articles and webinars have tried to get a handle on what sort of claims might be allowed by the USPTO (our most recent webinar on this topic may be found here). Happily, subject-matter eligibility is much less controversial at the EPO, and the case law is generally consistent, although not entirely without U-turns. In this blog post, we summarise the types of claims that are acceptable at the EPO and look at ways of minimising future subject-matter eligibility issues when drafting.


          Of note here is that the EPO Boards of Appeal have historically been more lenient when considering whether a process for the production of animals is "essentially biological". Consequently, animals obtained by genetic manipulation seem likely to remain patentable, but animals obtained via selective breeding methods will not. The most obvious reason for this is that, for plant varieties, registration with the Community Plant Variety Office provides an alternative to patent protection in Europe, but no such alternatives exist for animal varieties.

          The final exclusion to consider in the life sciences field is "discoveries".5 However, in practice, this is a narrow exclusion as it only prohibits "mere discoveries" and not discoveries that have a technical effect. The EPO Guidelines for Examination 2019 gives the example of a substance occurring in nature which is found to have an antibiotic effect. Since an antibiotic effect is a technical effect, such a substance may be patentable.6

          For the specific field of gene technology, it is a requirement that the industrial application of a sequence or a partial sequence of a gene be disclosed in the patent application.7 "Industrial application" in this context simply means the purpose or effect of the gene sequence and is intended to prohibit wholly speculative patent applications.

        • Software Patents

          • AT&T sued for $1.35 billion over device-synching technology

            AT&T sued for $1.35 billion over device-synching technology

            A Seattle-based company on Tuesday sued telecommunications giant AT&T for $1.35 billion, alleging the company stole its patented “twinning” technology that allows multiple devices to respond to the same phone number.

            Reuters reports that Network Apps LLC filed a complaint in a Manhattan federal court against AT&T that alleges its NumberSync product is the same as its own technology simply with “cosmetic changes.”

            The company is seeking a minimum $450 million of damages, tripling the demanded amount due to AT&T’s “willful and egregious infringement,” as well as future royalty infringements.

          • AT&T is sued for $1.35 billion over technology to synchronize smart devices

            Network Apps LLC said AT&T abandoned joint development and licensing agreements for its technology in 2014 after realizing it would owe a “fortune” in royalties because the market for smart devices was exploding, only to then incorporate the technology a year later in its own product, NumberSync.

            According to a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, NumberSync uses the “same concept and architecture” with only “cosmetic changes,” and its purported “inventors” were the same AT&T personnel who had worked with the plaintiffs.

          • Trends And Developments In Artificial Intelligence: Challenges To Patent Law [Ed: Using "HEY HI" nonsense not only to promote illegal patents on software but also automation of patent applications, drowning out the monopoly system like they do the stock market]

            In respect of European patent law, our analysis focuses on the European Patent Convention (EPC), looking into a number of issues related to AI-assisted outputs: inventorship, ownership, novelty assessment, inventive step, sufficiency of disclosure, and the case study of drug discovery.

            As our study demonstrates, the requirement that an inventor be named on a patent application means that one or several human inventors must be identified. Under the EPC regime, this is essentially a formal requirement. The EPO does not resolve disputes regarding substantive entitlement, which is an issue that is governed by national law. Following this approach, the EPO decided two cases in 2020 (currently under appeal) where it considered that, because AI systems do not have legal personality, they cannot be named inventors on a patent application.

            A human inventor typically has the right to be named on the application. Beyond this, inventorship and co-ownership are mostly a matter for national law. It should be noted, however, that as AI technology stands today, the possibility that an AI system would invent in a way that is not causally related to one or more human inventors (e.g. the programmer, the trainer, the user, or a combination thereof) seems remote. As technology stands, no immediate action appears to be required on the issue of inventorship at EPC level.

            As regards patent ownership, there are at least three possible (sets of) claimants to an AI-assisted invention: the programmer or developer of the AI system; the owner of the system; and the authorised user of the system (who provided it with training data or otherwise supervised its training). Neither international law nor the EPC provide clear rules on how ownership of patents may be affected by this new type of AI-assisted inventive activity. It is therefore a matter for national laws. However, that might not require harmonisation as there does not seem to be a problem in establishing a sufficient connection between an AI-assisted invention and a patent applicant.

      • Trademarks

        • CJEU: The EUTM unitary character requires a homogenous application of procedural rules, including in counterclaims for revocation.

          In the absence of specific EU provisions, EU national court shall apply in regard to EUTM registrations the applicable national law pursuant to art. 129 EU Reg. 2017/1001 (EUTM Regulation). However, this may lead to different national interpretations and treatment of EUTM registrations and affect the unitary character of the EU mark, and as we all know, the Court of Justice does not really like that. Case C-607/19, decided on 17 December 2020 on a request for a preliminary ruling from the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice, Germany), shows that the EUTM unitary character is still an overriding concern for the CJEU and that it will go to great lengths to ensure it.

          The case concerned the calculation of the five-year period for assessing genuine use of an EUTM in the context of a counterclaim for revocation. In infringement proceedings based on an EUTM, the defendant can counterclaim for revocation if the EUTM has been registered for more than five years. The counterclaim will be successful if, during five years before the relevant point in time, the mark was not used. The question was – when is that relevant point in time: when the counterclaim is raised, or can it be later?


          While the decision of the Court seems to be reasonable, because it prefers a date which is certain and unchangeable while the date of the last hearing of any proceeding is not, still the Court appears to be stretching a little the unitary character argument.

          In earlier cases, most notably the Combit case (C-223/15), the Court expressly recognized the possibility to limit the territorial scope of prohibition of use (and so the unitary character) in case of “linguistic grounds”. Thus, it is somewhat puzzling why something so ephemeral like “linguistic grounds” may justify a “limitation” of the unitary character, while a civil procedural rule enacted by a Member State (and which is not discriminatory, given that it is also applicable for national marks) may not, also if one considers that such rule does serve another EU principle, namely that there is no justification for protecting EU trade marks except where it is actually used.

        • Irene Calboli: Trademarking COVID

          Irene Calboli, professor of law at Texas A&M University School of Law, has written a new empirical article reporting that "the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a veritable tsunami of trademark applications" for COVID, QUARANTINE, SOCIAL DISTANCING, and other pandemic-related terms. Indeed, Calboli concludes that trademarking of COVID-related terms is unusually rampant, even when compared to past tragedies and disasters such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Ebola. "Ultimately," Calboli writes, "probably only the HIV/AIDS pandemic can be compared with COVID-19 in terms public awareness, societal fears, and strong emotions," and even "the beginning of the HIV/AIDS pandemic did not see a similar rush to trademark filings" that we have seen with COVID. While several practitioners have also noted the large number of applications filed for these terms in the past month, Calboli's paper is the first to survey these applications comprehensively and in detail.


          As you can see, Calboli reviewed a total of 782 trademark applications filed through the end of the year 2020 and presently under examination at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Importantly, a large majority (542 applications) are filed under the Section 1(b) "bona fide intent to use" filing basis, rather than based on actual current use. These applicants will eventually need to convert their applications by proving they are actually using the marks in commerce. So they are in a sense betting on what they will be able to sell and on what will be popular in future.

      • Copyrights

        • The 'goldfish phone booth' copyright case in Japan

          Nobuki Yamamoto, a Japanese contemporary artist, made an eye-catching work of ‘goldfish swimming in a phone booth’ (‘Work 1’) by December 2000 at the latest.

          In October 2011, a student organisation called ‘Goldfish Club’ at Kyoto University of Art and Design produced Work 2 and exhibited it for a week in the same month in the Osaka Nakanoshima Park.


          The CFI decision did not come as unexpected. It provided another reminder of the idea-expression dichotomy and the related merger doctrine.

          Meanwhile, in this Kat’s view, the CFI seemed to have taken a relatively cautious approach in assessing the room for creativity upon the ‘bubble-generating handset’.

          There seems to be a wide range of options available to choose from: at least, similar air holes could be easily made on the surface of the stand column on which the phone and shelves are fixed; Or, air holes can be on the bottom of the booth; let alone the various choices of disengaged objects, e.g., air stones. The ‘choice of methods to realise it’ seems not as narrowly limited as the CFI perceived.

          Maybe the CFI saw the bubbling-handset serving multiple features simultaneously, i.e., ‘air-generating’ pluses ‘floating in the water’ pluses ‘conveying a meaning expression’ so on. In the absence of those multiple limiting conditions, this Kat finds it not easy to narrow down the possible choice of expression into a limited number of ways where the merger doctrine applies.

          Besides, it remains unclear why the ‘Goldfish Club’ that made Work 2 in the first place was not listed as one of the defendants. Perhaps the publication of the second instance judgment will provide more details – stay tuned!

        • Doug Emhoff, IP Attorney

          I’ll mention here that the new Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff is an litigator, and has handled a number of intellectual property cases. These were primarily entertainment related copyright and trademark cases, although he has worked on a few patent cases as well.

        • Around the IP Blogs

          For an IP-related angle on current affairs, one need look no further than Patently-O's overview of copyright, trade mark and patent litigation which new US VP Kamala Harris's husband, Doug Emhoff, has worked on.

        • Delhi HC Order Cripples Authors’ Royalty Rights in Underlying Works

          A shocking order delivered by the Delhi HC on 4th January in IPRS v. ENIL and PPL v. CRI Events, only days after the landmark radio royalty statutory license order, has held that underlying works incorporated in sound recordings are not utilized and do not incur royalty when the sound recording is used! The order goes on to interpret the 2012 Amendment in a manner that almost completely extinguishes the rights of authors of underlying works.

        • Article 17’s impact on freedom to conduct a business – Part 1

          The risk of mandatory upload filters for freedom of expression and information online has been at the core of criticisms of Article 17 of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM Directive). This risk is evident from numerous examples of restrictions on legitimate speech resulting from the voluntary use of such systems by major online platforms. Recently, the national public broadcaster of Turkey has used YouTube’s copyright filters to silence critical reporting on the Turkish government by having videos of independent journalists blocked and their accounts suspended for alleged copyright infringement. Given the heightened public attention to Article 17’s freedom of expression implications, it is not surprising that the Polish government has based an action for annulment of certain central provisions of Article 17 before the European Court of Justice (Case C-401/19) on the assertion that they violate this fundamental right, enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter.

          A much less prominent fundamental rights issue may however play an important role in the CJEU judgment on Article 17. On several occasions, the CJEU has thrown out blocking injunctions for violating the service providers’ freedom to conduct a business. In a recently published study on behalf of German fundamental rights litigation organization Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte e.V., the authors of this blog post argue that when ruling on the request for annulment of Article 17, the CJEU will have to balance all relevant fundamental rights, including the freedom to conduct a business. In this blog post, we will put the spotlight on this under-examined fundamental right. In part 1, we will discuss its relevance for the court case pending before the CJEU. We will examine the ways in which Article 17 places new burdens on online platforms that are fundamentally different from the voluntary copyright enforcement schemes employed by some of the larger platforms today. In part 2, we analyse those new platform obligations in light of the CJEU case law on the freedom to conduct a business and discuss the role of the proportionality mechanism included in Article 17 (5). We find that the legislator may have grossly underestimated the impact of Article 17 on the freedom to conduct a business.

        • Article 17’s impact on freedom to conduct a business – part 2

          Having established in part 1 of this blog post that Article 17 will place significant economic burdens on platforms large and small, and that those burdens create incentives for platforms to further impact the freedom of expression and information of users, we go on to examine in part 2 whether those burdens constitute a restriction of the freedom to conduct a business, and whether such restriction is justifiable in the context of the overall balance of affected fundamental rights. As we have shown in part 1, although the action for annulment of certain central provisions of Article 17 DSM Directive before the CJEU only asserts a violation of the freedom of expression and information of users, the standard of review of the provision by the CJEU is the entirety of primary law, including all affected fundamental rights, which must be brought into balance.

        • Divergence instead of guidance: the Article 17 implementation discussion in 2020 – Part 1

          It is less than five months until the implementation deadline for the 2019 Copyright in the digital single market directive (DSM Directive). So far, the pace of implementation has been relatively slow (no doubt at least in part due to the massive challenges that governments and the cultural sector are facing as a result of the pandemic). Still, with the implementation deadline in sight it seems worth summarising where the discussion about implementing Article 17, which continues to be the most controversial aspect of the DSM Directive, stands and how the discussion has evolved over the course of 2020.

          At the beginning of 2020, as the European Commission’s stakeholder dialogue entered into its “third (and likely final) phase”, most observers of the implementation process were expecting the European Commission to issue its guidance pursuant to Article 17(10) before the summer. And while France (in December 2019) and the Netherlands (in June 2019) had presented implementation proposals, the majority of the Member States seemed intent on waiting for the Commission’s guidance before making their own moves.

        • Divergence instead of guidance: the Article 17 implementation discussion in 2020 – Part 2

          Part 1 of this post summarised the conclusion of the European Commission’s stakeholder dialogue on the implementation of Article 17 and the presentation of the German proposal in a user rights preserving way. It concluded with the Commission’s targeted consultation on the implementation of Article 17 which gave a first glimpse of the Commission’s own interpretation of the diverging obligations contained in Article 17. Pushback from rightsholders

          The closure of the Commission’s targeted consultation in September (which received more than 100 responses that, months later, are yet to be published by the Commission) was accompanied by angry rightsholder pushback:

          In an open letter to Commissioner Breton, a broad coalition of organisations representing rightsholders complained that “in its Consultation Paper, the Commission is going against its original objective of providing a high level of protection for rightsholders and creators and to create a level playing field in the online Digital Single Market” and that “By interpreting Article 17 in a manner that is contrary to the intent of the EU legislature and the EU copyright acquis, the proposed guidance amounts to an attempt to rewrite the Directive and amend EU copyright law without due legislative process.”

        • BEYOND 2020: The launch of the Copyright Evidence Portal

          The Copyright Evidence Portal is now live. It gives access to the world’s current knowledge about copyright law and its effects – both as a data-minable Wiki catalogue and through visualizations.

          The Portal was publicly launched at BEYOND 2020, a conference that brings together thinkers, makers, investors and researchers across the creative industries to explore the relationship between creative research and business innovation. During the session ‘Text and Data Mining of Copyright Evidence: Vizualisation R&D and Deep Dive by CREATe’, Amy Thomas, Bartolomeo Meletti, Kris Erickson and Martin Kretschmer presented the new Portal and showcased its potential by answering live questions with the Copyright Evidence Wiki and the new Evidence Viz tool.

        • Copyright Evidence Wiki: Annual Round-Up 2019-2020

          In particular, we see in recent years a trend towards the study of algorithmic decision making in cases of suspected music infringement (for an earlier example, see Savage (2018)). In their study of “Song-To-Song Similarity Measurements” Newman et al. (2020) test a ‘stemming’ approach to detect similarity in cover songs, by analysing similarities between granular aspects of music such as bass, pitch, drums etc. In cases where plagiarism was previously confirmed in court decisions, the final version of the algorithm confirmed the same in nearly 50% of these cases.

          In a slightly different vein, Yuan et al.’s (2020) study pits human against machine, exploring the differences between human perceptions and automated algorithms in detecting music similarity. Using a dataset of court cases where substantial similarity between two songs were in question, the study finds that human perceptions of similarity are perhaps less accurate than automated algorithms (the latter matching court decisions in 71% of cases, compared to approx. 50% for human perceptions).

        • Movie Piracy Lawsuit Target Alleged 1337x Users

          The company behind the movie "I Spit On Your Grave" has filed a lawsuit against 14 people who allegedly downloaded the film without permission. The defendants are identified through an IP-address and email and, according to the complaint, they have registered an account with the popular torrent site 1337x. This raises several questions.

        • Copyright Trolls Targeted 46,200+ Alleged BitTorrent Pirates in Sweden During 2020

          In 2020, law firms acting for copyright trolls secured permission to compel several Swedish ISPs to hand over the personal details of customers behind more than 46,200 IP addresses. The major player was Njord Law, a firm currently facing serious fraud charges in Denmark.

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