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Links 4/5/2021: Taiwins 0.3, KDE Plasma 5.21.5 Released

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • OpenStack Wallaby: OpenStack Charms 21.04

        OpenStack Charms 21.04 release brings native support for OpenStack Wallaby and Ceph Pacific in Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack. Those latest versions of OpenStack and Ceph come with numerous performance improvements, making the open infrastructure stack even more suitable for network and storage intensive workloads. In order to simplify Charmed OpenStack installation on low-end hardware, the OpenStack Charms 21.04 release comes with single-NIC installation capabilities. Charmed OpenStack production environments will benefit from improved stability during upgrades thanks to controlled data plane service restarts.

      • Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in April 2021 [Ed: GNU/Linux dominating servers, still. FreeBSD with honourable mention.] had the most reliable hosting company site in April 2021, heading the table for the fifth time in the past 12 months. The top five sites each responded to all of Netcraft’s requests, but’s average connection time of just 3ms wins it the top spot. The host offers a range of services including cloud hosting, dedicated hosting and colocation in its own primary facility in Piscataway, New Jersey as well as other facilities in Los Angeles, Amsterdam, and Tokyo.

        Second place this month goes to Rackspace, narrowly behind with an average connection time of 6ms. Rackspace has appeared in the top 10 for five consecutive months, four of which placed it in the top three. Rackspace provides a wide variety of cloud services from its global network of over 50 locations across five continents.

    • Kernel Space

      • Here are Collabora’s Contributions to Linux Kernel 5.12

        Linux kernel 5.12 was just released last week, bringing numerous new features and improved hardware support. Among the biggest changes, there’s LTO support in Clang, a new dynamic thermal power management mechanism, initial support for zoned block devices for the Btrfs file system, kernel thread-based NAPI polling, eMMC inline encryption support, and support for the Lenovo IdeaPad platform profile.

        Collabora’s contributions to Linux kernel 5.12 targeted the closing of the gap between hardware support on vendor trees and the mainline kernel tree. For that, they’ve contributed to the ChromeOS EC platform support, power/supply and reset/shutdown subsystems, Mediatek SoC support, and improved the V4L2 (Video4Linux) Async notifier API to be consistent and easier to use.

      • Linux 101: What are the Linux systemd equivalents of runlevels?

        If you're a Linux admin, you probably remember the old runlevels, which defined a state of initialization the operating system is running in. For example, runlevel 0 was a system halt, runlevel 1 was single-user mode, runlevel 2 was multi-user mode with no network file system, run level 3 was multi-user mode with a text-only interface, run level 4 was user-definable, runlevel 5 was multi-user mode with a GUI and runlevel 6 was reboot.

        That was with sysvinit. Now that most Linux distributions have migrated to systemd, you might be curious as to the equivalent run levels. There isn't a per-level equivalent, because opts to go with target levels, instead of run levels. Because there are only five targets, it doesn't quite map out perfectly.

      • Kernel 5.12: Working to close the gap

        While the kernel community has kept an always accelerating pace of development with no slowdown in sight, the release process has reached such maturity that a new release might sound a bit uneventful. But, when we are talking about one of the pieces of software used to fly that helicopter on Mars earlier this year, uneventful is exactly what you want.

        In fact, as the resilience of the release process is proven over and over, more and more companies have been able to drop their vendor trees based on decade old Linux versions, and base their work on the bleeding edge technologies available in the latest versions.

        At Collabora, we are more than ever dedicated to help vendors achieve this goal by closing the gap between hardware support on vendor trees and the mainline tree. In this release we have expanded that effort with our customary contributions all around the kernel, in particular we have paid attention to the Video4Linux APIs and hardware enablement.

      • F2FS Adds New Mount Options With Linux 5.13, Other Improvements - Phoronix

        The Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) updates for Linux 5.13 have been submitted in providing the latest features for this flash-optimized file-system.

        One of the new mount options with F2FS for this kernel is "checkpoint_merge". Under the "checkpoint_merge" option, a kernel thread is used for handling F2FS checkpoints. "Once we start to manage the IO priority along with blk-cgroup, the checkpoint operation can be processed in a lower priority under the process context. Since the checkpoint holds all the filesystem operations, we give a higher priority to the checkpoint thread all the time."

      • Linux's Perf Tools Prepares For Intel Alder Lake, Adds New AMD Zen 3 Events - Phoronix

        Linux's perf tooling for dealing with hardware performance counters and associated monitoring has seen a number of nice updates for the Linux 5.13 kernel cycle.

        As usual, Intel continues to lead on the perf front for exposing their hardware's many performance counters and ensuring good integration for Linux profiling and analysis. With Linux 5.13 there is now support for hybrid PMUs in preparing for forthcoming heterogeneous processor designs like Alder Lake with a mix of Core and Atom CPU cores.

      • A Fresh Take On Speculative Page Faulting Aims For The Mainline Kernel

        Over the years there have been a number of rounds of patches published for speculative page faulting. The goal has been to support user-space page-faults without holding the memory management semaphores and to ultimately allow for better performance especially with threaded workloads. A fresh take on the speculative page faulting (SPF) functionality was recently volleyed on the kernel mailing list.

        Various kernel developers have been involved with Linux's speculative page faulting patches in recent years albeit none over the finish line for the mainline kernel but some Android vendors and other third-parties have carried SPF patches in some cases.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Taiwins 0.3 is out
          Hi all,

          I am glad to announce that Taiwins 0.3 is released today. It has been a year since Taiwins 0.1 release, we have migrated from libweston and wlroots. This version, Taiwins has implemented enough compositor features. The biggest change in the version is the libtaiwins library is finally ready for daily use.

          - Multiple backends for hardware abstraction(DRM, X11, wayland). - Rendering context with exposed interface for custom rendering. - Abstracting xdg-surface , wl_shell_surface and xwayland_surface for unified desktop interface. - session handling. - All essential and many useful wayland protocols. - Xwayland support.

          With those features supported, libtaiwins now becomes a real alternative outsides wlroots and libweston. Besides, I’d like to point out some design goals were kept in mind when crafting taiwins since day 1.

          - split GBM buffer management from DRM mode setting, make it possible to implement other buffer management backends.

          - builtin support for multi-GPUs from day one. - udev events monitoring for runtime GPU events handling. - separate rendering logic from backends, make it possible to work with different renderers.

          It is a magical thing to be able to use your own created compositor, it is certainly not easy, but I think right now the most difficult time is behind us. The next version of taiwins will focus on the rendering. Features hopefully will land includes:

          - xdg-decoration support - plane assignment in drm backend - video recording feature - taiwins shell functionalities

          For people who are interested, hosts many useful documentations and a tutorial on how to use libtaiwins.

          Cheers, Xichen
        • Taiwins 0.3 Released As Newest Wayland Compositor Release

          Introduced last year was Taiwins as a compact Wayland compositor. While early on it began using Sway's WLROOTS library, it ended up writing its own Wayland compositor library (libtaiwins) and recently hit its version 0.3 milestone.

          For those that enjoy trying out niche Wayland compositors, Taiwins 0.3 is out that makes use of its own libtaiwins library rather than WLROOTS and Libweston. It's now considered "finally ready for daily use."

    • Benchmarks

      • GCC 11 vs. LLVM Clang 12 Compilers On The AMD EPYC 7763

        For those wondering how the recent releases of the GCC 11 and LLVM 12 (Clang 12) open-source compilers are competing on AMD Zen 3, here are some recently conducted benchmarks looking at that showdown on an AMD EPYC 7763 1P server.

        Now that both Clang 12 and GCC 11 stable are out, fresh stable compiler benchmarks are being carried out on various AArch64 and x86_64 systems. These EPYC 7763 1P tests were wrapped up last month while waiting for that GCC 11.1 stable debut and as a result were using the GCC 11.0.1 20210413 snapshot of the time. Clang 12.0.0 was in its latest release form. Both compilers were running in their release modes.

    • Applications

      • GParted 1.3 Open-Source Partition Editor Improves exFAT Support

        GParted 1.3 comes more than three months after GParted 1.2, which was the first release to introduce support for the exFAT file system. This new release improves exFAT support by adding the ability to read file system usage, as well as to set or update the UUID of exFAT partitions.

        On top of that, GParted 1.3 adds support for resizing open LUKS2 encryption mappings with passphrase, restores the detection of encrypted file systems, improves support for the Reiser4 file system, and addresses various bugs, crashes, and other annoyances to make your disk partitioning tasks easier.

      • 11 Best Free Linux Astronomy Apps (Updated 2021)

        Astronomy is a branch of science that deals with the study of celestial objects (including stars, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, meteor showers, nebulae, star clusters and galaxies) and other phenomena.

        We were introduced to the world of astronomy by the venerable Sir Patrick Moore. For anyone who does not know, Sir Patrick was an amateur astronomer who presented The Sky at Night, the longest-running television programme, for over 54 years, and made an outstanding contribution to astronomy.

        Astronomy is particularly well suited to the layperson. It’s a wonderful hobby which has almost no age limits, it is open to individuals of all financial means, and there is always the potential for an amateur to discover something that has eluded professional astronomers, or to help monitor stars and track asteroids. Even with the unaided eye, there is much to study in the night sky including constellations, shooting stars, planets, and of course the moon, the Earth’s only natural satellite.

      • qBittorrent 4.3.5 Released! To Drop Support for Ubuntu 20.04
        qBittorrent, free and open-source Qt5 based Bittorrent client, released version 4.3.5 a few days ago.

        qBittorrent 4.3.5 is the last release in the 4.3.x series. And it’s going to drop support for Ubuntu 20.04 in the next release since it has an outdated Qt5 libraries.

        Users who prefer qBittorrent can still get updates for Ubuntu 20.04 through the Flatpak package, since it’s a containerised package format bundle with most run-time libraries.

      • QOwnNotes 21.5.0

        QOwnNotes is a open source (GPL) plain-text file notepad with markdown support and todo list manager for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, that (optionally) works together with the notes application of ownCloud (or Nextcloud). So you are able to write down your thoughts with QOwnNotes and edit or search for them later from your mobile device (like with CloudNotes) or the ownCloud web-service. The notes are stored as plain text files and you can sync them with your ownCloud sync client. Of course other software, like Dropbox, Syncthing, Seafile or BitTorrent Sync can be used too.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install AMD GPU drivers on Ubuntu / Linux Mint - LinuxH2O

        In this quick guide, you will learn how to install AMD GPU drivers on Ubuntu or any of its derivatives like Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Zorin OS, Pop OS, MX Linux, etc.

        Mesa is an open-source project that implements various APIs like OpenGL, Vulkan, VDPAU, etc for interactive 3D graphics. It provides driver support for different hardware manufactures like AMD, Intel, and sometimes Nvidia.

        Mesa drivers are more efficient and up-to date, providing better performance to games and applications on Linux and Unix operating systems.

      • How to install KDE Plasma Desktop on Rocky Linux 8 - Linux Shout

        Rocky Linux 8, a new alternative to CentOS is here and if you want to try it out with KDE Plasma Desktop environment then here are the steps to install it on Rocky. You can also use these steps for AlmaLinux, RHEL, and CentOS 8.

        KDE plasma is known for its Classic Desktop interface arrangements but with modern looks and elements. Thus, if you are using command line Rocky Linux or even the standard GNOME one. Then still we can install KDE Desktop on Rocky using few simple commands. And for that just go through this tutorial.

      • How to install and enable SNAP on Rocky Linux 8 - Linux Shout
      • How to reboot Debian using the command line

        Linux OS has the ability to run without rebooting not for weeks, but for years. But sometimes there is a good reason to reboot your Linux system after a week or two, depending on the situation. Most of the time, there are two main reasons for the reboot. First, the reboot becomes necessary when you install a piece of software that requires a reboot to become functional. Secondly, when you update your system or perform some configurations that also require a reboot. Apart from that, there can be many other reasons for a reboot. Whatever the reason, you should know how to reboot a system so that all changes take effect.

        If you are using a GUI version of Linux or physically accessing your system, rebooting the system is not a problem, but if you are using a headless version of the operating system or accessing it via SSH and only have command-line access. In this case, you should know how to reboot a system from the command line.

      • Install Eclipse IDE on Opensuse leap 15.2 or Tumbleweed Linux
      • How to edit stuff that you've already commited to git? (And squash as a bonus)

        So, you’re in the middle of a review, and have couple of commits but one of the comments is asking you to modify a line that belongs to second to last, or even the first commit in your list, and you’re not willing to do...

      • How to Monitor Linux Server and Process Metrics from Browser

        In the past, we’ve covered lots of command-line-based tools for monitoring Linux performance, such as top, htop, atop, glances, and more, and a number of web-based tools such as cockpit, pydash, linux-dash, just to mention but a few. You can also run glances in web server mode to monitor remote servers. But all that aside, we have discovered yet another simple server monitoring tool that we would like to share with you, called Scout_Realtime.

      • How to List USB Devices in Linux

        Nowadays, many computer peripherals such as webcams, mice, scanners, printers, hard drives, USB (Pendrive) now come as USB devices. Once these devices are connected to the Desktop or server it's important to know the device name or device path. This helps to identify USB devices for the tasks such as formatting.

        In Linux, all device files are stored in /dev directory and must be available to the OS during the system boot.

        In this tutorial, I will show you the various ways to list USB devices on Linux. Most commands mentioned here should work on all Linux distributions.

      • How to Clone Virtual Machine in VirtualBox

        Installing a fresh operating system on VirtualBox is easy and can be done in a short time. After that, there are so many steps like installing packages, hardening the OS, updating drivers, configuring development environments, etc.. have to be done.

        This is ok if you have just one virtual machine to work with. What if you need to repeat the same procedure for 5, 10, or 15 more virtual machines? Do you think it is easy to set up everything manually for all the virtual machines? It is a time-consuming task, right? This is where the cloning process comes into play.

      • How To Install Monitorix on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Monitorix on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Monitorix is a free, open-source, lightweight system monitoring tool designed to monitor as many services and system resources as possible. It has been created to be used under production Linux/UNIX servers, but due to its simplicity and small size can be used on embedded devices as well. Monitorix also is run on most Linux-based operating systems including, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD.

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

      • How to Add a Directory to PATH in Linux [Quick Tip]

        The PATH variable in Linux stores the path to the directories where it should look for executables when you run a command.

      • How To Extend KVM Virtual Machine Disk Size In Linux

        This brief guide explains what is Virt-size command line tool and how can we expand or extend KVM virtual machine disk size using Virt-resize tool in Linux.

        The other day I noticed that one of my KVM Virtual machine is running out of disk space. I couldn't install any new applications or couldn't save files due to low disk space. To fix this issue, I simply increased the size of a KVM virtual machine's disk using virt-size command. I personally tested the steps given below to increase the disk size of a CentOS 8 KVM virtual machine and it worked as expected.

      • A sudden Hackney SSL's unknown certificate authority error

        A small report on how upgrading OTP to version 23 brought out unknown certificate authority errors when making requests from HTTP libraries based on Hackney.

      • How to safely remove PPA repositories in Ubuntu – Linux Hint

        Ubuntu is the most common Linux system that assists users in installing the application by using PPA. PPA is abbreviated as “Personal Package Achieve”. Repositories are servers that have a set of packages. PPA is a collection of packages that are hosted on the Launchpad server. Adding PPA means adding a new repository to our system. We can install the application from that repository. PPA repositories are unofficial repositories that are used to connect third-party software to the Ubuntu operating system.

        Ubuntu searches for the application in a package archive that contains most of the applications required by Ubuntu users. Still, newer versions of the same apps that are not as common are not always available in the official repository. A PPA repository can help with this.

        Our system can have numerous repositories installed. The crowded archive of repositories can make the updating process very slow. Therefore, try to keep the required repositories on your system and delete the unwanted or damaged repositories.

      • How to install an FTP server on Ubuntu 20.04 – Linux Hint

        FTP is a protocol that allows us to transfer files between two different servers across a network. It happens between a “server” and a “client” computer. It occurs via ports 20 and 21. Port 21 is used to establish a link between two computers, and port 20 is used to transfer data. At the same time, FTP servers may not be as prominent as they have ever been. They can still be quite helpful, particularly when they are used on the intranet.Companies with an intranet for everyday work have an FTP server that is open to installed files for everyone, and this is simple to do in Ubuntu 20.04.

        This post is covering what the FTP server is and how to install it on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to get a hostname/domain name from an IP address in Linux – Linux Hint

        One of the questions that many Linux users ask is how they can retrieve a system’s hostname using its IP address. It may seem an uphill task, but in the real sense, it’s quite easy. Essentially, this is known as the reverse DNS lookup. Reverse DNS lookup queries an IP address to retrieve the hostname or domain of the server. The exact opposite is the Forward DNS lookup which maps the domain name to the IP address.

        In this short guide, we have explored a few ways to performs Reverse DNS lookup and get a domain name from an IP address. For demonstration purposes, I have used Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to remove blank lines in a file in Linux – Linux Hint

        One of the questions that many Linux users ask is how they can retrieve a system’s hostname using its IP address. It may seem an uphill task, but in the real sense, it’s quite easy. Essentially, this is known as the reverse DNS lookup. Reverse DNS lookup queries an IP address to retrieve the hostname or domain of the server. The exact opposite is the Forward DNS lookup which maps the domain name to the IP address.

        In this short guide, we have explored a few ways to performs Reverse DNS lookup and get a domain name from an IP address. For demonstration purposes, I have used Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Copy Remote Files Recursively in Linux – Linux Hint

        When you need to copy remote files in Linux, two popular command-line tools can get the job done for you — i.e., scp and rsync. This tutorial will describe how to use the scp and rsync tools to copy remote files recursively in Linux.

      • How to change ban time fail2ban, even ban forever if desired – Linux Hint

        Fail2ban is an open-source intrusion prevention service that bans IP addresses, making too many logins attempt with the wrong password. By default, the ban period is 10 minutes or 600 seconds. It automatically unbans the IP after 10 minutes to avoid locking out any legitimate system that may have been mistakenly entered the wrong password. If you want, you can easily change (increase or decrease) the default ban time.

        In this post, we will describe how to change ban time in fail2ban. We will also describe how to permanently ban an IP address if you ever need to do so.

      • How can I set the timezone for Crontabs? – Linux Hint

        Crontab, a shortened form of Cron table, is both a command and a text file in UNIX/Linux systems used to determine the scheduling of Cron jobs. What is a Cron job? A Cron job, also widely referred to simply as Cron, is a time-based scheduler that executes tasks in Linux systems at specified times. It runs with the help of the crond daemon Cron jobs are extremely helpful in automating Shell scripts and other commands that need to be executed at regular intervals, which would otherwise be tedious when manually done.

        Usually, Cron jobs run using the local time defined in the system. However, you may prefer to run the Cron job in a different timezone without necessarily changing your server’s time and date.

      • How to Install Steam on CentOS 8? – Linux Hint

        Steam is a very popular and widely used online gaming library among the gaming community. It provides thousands of games to play and lets you communicate with online players. It is available on many platforms and can be used in Linux as well.

        In this post, we will walk through a profound guide on how to install Steam on CentOS 8.

        Let’s start!

      • How to Install TensorFlow on CentOS 8? – Linux Hint

        TensorFlow is a very popular open-source software library built by Google Inc. for machine learning. It is used for implementing machine learning techniques and training deep neural networks, as well as visualizing graphs and data flow charts of complex mathematical equations.

        In this post, we will demonstrate a step-by-step guide on how to install TensorFlow on CentOS 8 in a python-oriented virtual environment.

      • How to Install Go on Linux Mint 20? – Linux Hint

        Go is an open-source and modern programming language that is used to build efficient and reliable software. Since it is a compiled language, therefore, we can easily compile it on any platform and create an executable file.

        Go can be installed on Linux Mint 20 from the base repository and the Go tarball.

      • How to Exclude Directory Rsync? – Linux Hint

        Rsync (stands for remote sync) is a very powerful command-line utility for local and remote file and directories synchronization. It comes preinstalled on most Linux distributions. It is one of the best utilities for backup and keeping files and directories on multiple locations in sync. The best part about rsync is that it minimizes the amount of data that is copied to the remote location by only copying the data that has been changed. There is another great feature of rsync that we are going to discuss today; it is excluding files or directories from sync. This is extremely useful during backups when you don’t want to copy one or more files or directories.

        We will show you how you can exclude a file or directory in rsync using different examples. The examples presented here have been tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, however, these are also valid for other Linux distributions having rsync installed.

      • How to Enable SSH on CentOS 8? – Linux Hint

        Secure Shell, also known as SSH, is a popular tool used for connecting with the server through the client. SSH ensures secure remote connectivity and communication between a server and its client and also provides the file transfer over the remote network connection.

        In this post, we will go through a step-by-step guide on how to enable SSH on CentOS 8 and access its server from a CentOS 8 client machine while remotely using the SSH. Let’s start with the configuration of the CentOS 8 server for remote connection via SSH.

      • How to Delete a Partition in Linux? – Linux Hint

        Your hard drive is usually partitioned into logical volumes called partitions. Partitions help you organize your data and hence allow you to easily retrieve your saved files and folders. You can easily create partitions to make space for data storage as well as delete them.

      • How to Parse and Scrape HTML Using Pyquery – Linux Hint

        “Pyquery” is a third-party Python module that allows you to parse and extract data from “xml” and “html” documents. It is inspired by jQuery JavaScript library and features a near identical syntax, allowing you to use many helper functions and shorthand code to parse and manipulate the document tree. This article will cover a simple guide on Pyquery that will help you get started with the module.

    • Games

      • Portal Reloaded adds 'preliminary' Linux and macOS support on Steam

        Portal Reloaded, a very popular community made mod for Portal 2 recently arrived on Steam and as of the latest update the developer added in preliminary Linux and macOS support.

        In this community made mod you play as test subject [4-5-0-9]. Awoken from stasis by an automated AI, you are expected to complete a very special test course. Within the depths of Aperture Science, secluded from the rest of the facility, lies a previously unknown and long forgotten testing track. Mixing up the gameplay from the originals, it adds in a third portal that allows for time travel into 20 years in the future.

      • Enjoy what we do? Please support us if you're able to

        It's been some time since we reached out to the community, so here's a reminder: we are completely funded by readers and we need your support.

        We love what we do here, and we hope to continue doing it for a great many years to come. The industry is always changing, and Linux gaming especially has been through some evolutions over the past few years. We hope to always be reporting at the front of it and we can continue doing so with your help! We don't aim to be the first to report on things, we're not wanting a numbers game - we just try to make nice regular content for you to read, that perhaps you won't find elsewhere.

        Unlike many sites, we don’t have any adverts. Not one single advert and we wish to remain that way, giving you a clean and clear website.

      • Free Game Tuesday - get 100% off on Nubarron, an adventure of an unlucky gnome

        Here's your quick tip of the day! Until May 9, you can grab a free permanent copy of Nubarron: The adventure of an unlucky gnome on Steam. The developer, Nastycloud, originally tried crowdfunding it on Kickstarter and it wasn't successful. That was back in 2014 and then surprise - it launched anyway back in early 2020 which we completely missed. Now it's free for a while!

        "Guide Gnome across the dangers of this twisted fairytale world. Can you break the make the annoying cloud go away? And recover his stolen Lucky Hat? Trust your friends? Find out in this, a casual platformer set in a beautiful painted world full of weird creatures you'll have to deal with."

      • GOG are having a big Polish games sale with a discount on the Razer store

        Maybe time for a new game and some extra fancy hardware? DRM-free store are offering you 15% off in the Razer store, if you buy from them during the Polish Games Festival. The celebration is going on due to Constitution Day which was on May 3.

      • Katja's Abyss: Tactics turns Minesweeper into a turn-based tactics game

        What joy! Seeing even more developers try and take on the basic idea of Minesweeper with a fresh spin. Like Bonesweeper, the basics are the same as Minesweeper with you counting squares to find things. In Katja's Abyss: Tactics, you're mining for energy but there's enemies lurking in the mines that can take down your units.

        "So you're the captain they just promoted at Echo Mining Corp, yeah? Listen, you've got the task of leading our crew of brave miners and engineers into the dangerous caves of Montmane. Your goal is to collect potent runoff from volatile Nodes of energy in the walls.

      • Nadir is an upcoming roguelike deckbuilder with 'artwork burning of infernal fire'

        Polish studio Shockwork Games are working to bring us Nadir, an roguelike deckbuilder with artwork burning of infernal fire aimed at an adult audience due to the themes.

        They actually say it's a "JRPG" mixed with a deckbuilder, although they're not situated in Japan, they're taking some elements from the popular genre. Taking inspiration from the likes of Dante's Divine Comedy and many more "extraordinary" works. In the game you "control powerful, yet extremely blemished teams of characters, each representing one of the deadly sins".

      • Sony Interactive Entertainment announced a minority investment in Discord | GamingOnLinux

        What does all this mean for the PC/Linux version? Thankfully, nothing. No changes are planned other than some new integration on PlayStation platforms.

      • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is free on Stadia Pro, Head of Product at Stadia leaves

        May the 4th be with you, if you're a Stadia Pro subscriber as you can now claim Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order free. Yes, that's right. The Stadia team haven't even announced it, it's just there on the Stadia store ready to claim!

        A pretty massive game to be giving away, although it wouldn't be the first since over time Stadia has given away a number of big titles with Stadia Pro.

      • Battle of wits: Antiguans revel in ancient board game

        In addition to its cultural significance, there is another reason Mr Simon is one of Warri's staunchest advocates. Co-founder of the country's Warri Academy, he has seen the dividends it reaps in children's mathematical ability.

        "When you teach kids to play, you don't just teach them the game but also our history and how it can help them mathematically," he tells the BBC. "We write a maths problem out for them and show them how Warri can solve it."

      • Steam Play Proton 6.3-3 is out now with Origin Overlay working, vkd3d-proton v2.3.1

        Ready for another fun week testing out more games? Valve have you covered with the latest update to Proton.

        If you're not clear on what Proton and Steam Play are, be sure to check out our constantly updated dedicated page. It's a special compatibility layer for running Windows games and apps from Steam on Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.21.5, Bugfix Release for May
          Today KDE releases a bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.21.5.

          Plasma 5.21 was released in February 2021 with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

          This release adds a month's worth of new translations and fixes from KDE's contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important and include...

        • Trinity Desktop R14.0.10 Released For Those Still Loving KDE 3

          For those still having fond memories of the KDE 3.5 desktop, the Trinity Desktop Environment continues to be maintained in 2021 as a long-running fork from KDE 3.5 with security/maintenance fixes and other minor enhancements to the desktop environment.

          The Trinity Desktop has been working to maintain the KDE3 desktop fork now for over one decade. New to this 14.0.10 release are applications of KlamAV and Kompose being included. There are also enhancements to its virtual keyboard support, customizable icon spacing for the KDesktop, and a variety of other mostly small improvements.

        • KDE Plasma 5.21.5 Released as the Last in the Series with More Bug Fixes

          The KDE Plasma 5.21.5 point release is here to improve Wayland support by fixing a crash the occurred in the Plasma Wayland session when dragging a file over the panel and to position maximized GTK app windows to no longer be too high. Not Wayland related, comboboxes in GTK apps now use the correct drop-down arrow icon.

          The new Plasma System Monitor app has been improved again in this point release to no longer crash when selecting a new display style for any of the sensors, as well as to no longer lose the names of processes after modifying columns.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Customize GNOME 40 Desktop to Look Like macOS [Guide]

          A quick guide for you to help you customizing the GNOME 40 desktop to look like macOS.

        • GNOME 3.38.6 Desktop Environment Released with Various Bug Fixes

          Coming one and a half months after GNOME 3.38.5, the GNOME 3.38.6 point release is here to update the Epiphany web browser with the ability to allow launching of external URLs when triggered by user action, as well as to update the File Roller archive manager to skip files with symlinks in parents.

          It also fixes a huge CPU consumption bug in the Gedit text editor, which occurred when a folder with content is deleted in the filebrower plugin. In addition, Gedit now uses the current document path when opening a new file to address a regression introduced in a previous version.

        • Jakub Steiner: How to Symbolic Icon

          Unlike application icons, the symbolic icons don’t convey application identity, but rely on visual metaphor to describe an action (what a button in the UI does).

          GNOME has not used fullcolor icons in toolbars and most of the UI in many years. Instead we use symbols, adjusting legibility and their rendering the same way we do with text (recoloring the foreground and background as you can demo switching the dark theme on this blog post).

          But how does one create such an icon? Here’s a walkthrough of the process, using our 2021 tooling. While the actual drawing of shapes still happens in Inkscape, the workflow is now heavily supported by a suite of design tools.

          Before we dive into creation though, let’s start with a more common case: In many cases developers just want to pick and use an existing icon rather than attempting to create it or commission a designer.

    • Distributions

      • Keep multiple Linux distros on a USB with this open source tool

        Giving friends and neighbors a bootable USB drive containing your favorite Linux distribution is a great way to introduce neophyte Linux users to the experience we all enjoy. There are still a large number of folks who have never heard of Linux, and putting your favorite distribution on a bootable USB drive is a great way to break the ice.

        A few years ago, I was teaching an introductory computer class to a group of middle schoolers. We used old laptops, and I introduced the students to Fedora, Ubuntu, and Pop!_OS. When the class was over, I gave each student a copy of their favorite distribution to take home and install on a computer of their choice. They were eager to try their new skills at home.

      • Nitrux 1.4 Is One of the First Distros to Support Linux Kernel 5.12

        Nitrux 1.4 continues the monthly ISO releases and brings support for the recently released Linux 5.12 kernel series in case you want to install the Debian-based distribution on newer hardware that isn’t fully supported by the default Linux 5.10 LTS kernel.

        This makes Nitrux one of the first distros to support Linux kernel 5.12, which can be easily installed over or alongside the default kernel by running the sudo apt install linux-image-mainline-current command in a terminal emulator.

      • A Brief History of Configuration-Defined Image Builders

        When you think of a configuration-defined image builder, most likely you think of Docker (which builds images for containers). But before Docker, there were several other projects, all of which came out of a vibrant community of Debian-using sysadmins looking for better ways to build VM and container images, which lead to a series of projects that built off each other to build something better.

      • Why apk-tools is different than other package managers

        In traditional package managers like dnf and apt, requesting the installation or removal of packages causes those packages to be directly installed or removed, after a consistency check.

        In apk, when you do apk add foo or apk del bar, it adds foo or bar as a dependency constraint in /etc/apk/world which describes the desired system state. Package installation or removal is done as a side effect of modifying this system state. It is also possible to edit /etc/apk/world with the text editor of your choice and then use apk fix to synchronize the installed packages with the desired system state.

        Because of this design, you can also add conflicts to the desired system state. For example, we recently had a bug in Alpine where pipewire-pulse was preferred over pulseaudio due to having a simpler dependency graph. This was not a problem though, because users could simply add a conflict against pipewire-pulse by doing apk add !pipewire-pulse.

        Another result of this design is that apk will never commit a change to the system that leaves it unbootable. If it cannot verify the correctness of the requested change, it will back out adding the constraint before attempting to change what packages are actually installed on the system. This allows our dependency solver to be rigid: there is no way to override or defeat the solver other than providing a scenario that results in a valid solution.

      • [Older] Let’s build a new service manager for Alpine!

        Update (April 27): Please visit Laurent’s website on this issue for a more detailed proposal. If you work at a company which has budget for this, please get in touch with him directly.

        As many of you already know, Alpine presently uses an fairly modified version of OpenRC as its service manager. Unfortunately, OpenRC maintenance has stagnated: the last release was over a year ago.

        We feel now is a good time to start working on a replacement service manager based on user feedback and design discussions we’ve had over the past few years which can be simply summarized as systemd done right. But what does systemd done right mean?

        Our plan is to build a supervision-first service manager that consumes and reacts to events, using declarative unit files similar to systemd, so that administrators who are familiar with systemd can easily learn the new system. In order to build this system, we plan to work with Laurent Bercot, a globally recognized domain expert on process supervision systems and author of the s6 software supervision suite.

      • Haiku activity report - March and April 2021

        Andrew Lindesay continues his work on HaikuDepot, fixing a glitch in redrawing of featured packages. He completed the removal of the custom list class, so HaikuDepot uses standard container classes from C++ or Haiku APIs. This makes the code more similar to other parts of Haiku and easier to maintain.

      • Reviews

        • First Look: elementary OS 6 Enters Beta with New Installer, Dark Theme, and More

          The first major change you’ll notice when running elementary OS 6 is the brand-new installer, which also acts as a first-time setup wizard by letting you choose the default system language, time zone, and keyboard layout. Then, you are prompted by a redesigned screen to select the live mode or to perform a clean or custom install.

          At the first glance, elementary OS 6 will look pretty much identical to the previous release, elementary OS 5. The light theme is enable by default and comes with various enhancements to be more pleasant to the eye, but elementary OS 6 also features a dark theme that looks really gorgeous.

      • EasyOS

        • EasyOS Dunfell-series 2.7.3

          EasyOS was created in 2017, derived from Quirky Linux, which in turn was derived from Puppy Linux in 2013. Easy is built in woofQ, which takes as input binary packages from any distribution, and uses them on top of the unique EasyOS infrastructure.

          Throughout 2020, the official release for x86_64 PCs was the Buster-series, built with Debian 10.x Buster DEBs.

          EasyOS has also been built with packages compiled from source, using a fork of OpenEmbedded (OE). Currently, the Dunfell release of OE has been used, to compile two sets of binary packages, for x86_64 and aarch64.

          The latter have been used to build EasyOS for the Raspberry Pi4, and first official release, 2.6.1, was in January 2021.

          The page that you are reading now has the release notes for EasyOS Dunfell-series on x86_64 PCs, also debuting in 2021.

          To try and keep things simple, all three, the Dunfell-series on Pi4 and the Dunfell-series and Buster-series on the PC, all are (approximately) sync'ed at the same version number.

          However, there are differences in the maturity of each. In the case of the Pi4, the hardware still has some issues. For Dunfell-series on the PC, as the packages are all compiled from source, they are not as tested as those in the Buster-series.

        • EasyOS version 2.7.3 released

          I recommend upgrading to 2.7.3, as has fixes for containers, such as for running Slacko.

        • Run Slacko 7.0 in a container in EasyOS

          Today downloaded the Slacko 7.0 ISO, extracted the SFS file from it and converted the SFS to EasyOS-compatible format. The steps are described here:

          If you are running EasyOS, click on the "sfsget" icon on the desktop, click the "puppy/slackware/14.2" radiobutton, and you will be able to download the Slacko 7.0 SFS file, and install it as a container.

        • Fix for local testing of SFS

          I had created a new one locally, at /mnt/wkg/sfs/puppy/slackware/14.2, but the GUI window ignored it.

          Note, my current host system is EasyOS 2.7.2 on my x86_64 PC, that picture above is when running on the Pi4, just putting it here to show what the SFS paths look like.

          The GUI was only showing online paths, so I have fixed the script, /usr/local/sfsget/sfsget, so will also show any extra local ones. Now able to test the new distro -- will post about that separately!

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Slackware Family

        • Slackware Releases Version 15.0 Beta: Look Out for These New Features

          Slackware Linux is a distro founded by Patrick Volkerding in 1993, the year he received his computer science degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead. The distro takes its name from a concept from the parody religion Church of the SubGenius, of which Volkerding is a member.

          Slackware is well-known for its attempts to create a true Unix-like Linux distribution. The configuration of the system is done through the command line and plain text configuration files. Slackware's approach to package management exemplifies its ethos of technical simplicity. The packages are just compressed TAR files and the system leaves the users to manage any dependencies.

          The distro is popular for the glacial pace. The current stable release, 14.2, was released in 2016, an eternity in the fast-moving Linux world. But that doesn't mean the pace of development has slowed behind the scenes. The changelog for the "current" development version, which will become 15.0, shows a flurry of activity.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • [Fedora] Community Blog monthly update: April 2021

          This is the latest in our monthly series summarizing the past month on the Community Blog. Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think.

        • Peter Robinson: Fedora on the Pinebook Pro

          First thing to note here is that this is not limited to the Pinebook Pro, I’m just using it as the example for 64 bit Rockchip devices with SPI flash on Fedora. This post is focused on devices with SPI but I’ll do a separate follow-up post for other devices including details for writing to eMMC over USB.

          The story of Fedora on the Pinebook Pro, and other Rockchip devices, has been a sordid story of a lack of time, bugs, rabbit holes, more bugs and various other things. Not at all sordid at all really, mostly just a lack of time on my behalf, and nobody else stepping up to assist in a way to benefit all Fedora users, mostly they do one time hacks to sort themselves. Overall the support in Fedora for Rockchip devices has been quite solid for a number of releases. The problem has been with the early boot firmware, notable because without SPI flash it wants to splat itself across the first 8Mb of the disk, and if there was SPI flash it generally wasn’t overly stable/straight forward.

          Anyway we’re now in a place where devices with SPI flash should mostly work just fine, those devices without it will work with a little manual intervention, and while the support isn’t complete, and will need more polish, they’re all details we can polish with little interruption to users by standard package updates. By default users will have accelerated graphics and from my testing on GNOME 40 it’s by all accounts a pretty decent experience!

        • Rocky Linux 8.3 Release Candidate Is Now Ready for Public Testing

          If you’ve been waiting for a CentOS Linux 8 replacement, the wait is almost over, as Rocky Linux now has a Release Candidate you can download and try on your machines to see what the fuss is all about for this free, community-supported and open-source Red Hat Enterprise Linux alternative.

          After AlmaLinux, now Rocky Linux steps up to conquer your server, promising a strong Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.x base, 100% compatibility with CentOS Linux, as well as with numerous new features and improvements. In fact, Rocky Linux is created by the founder of the CentOS project, Gregory Kurtzer.

        • Rocky Linux release candidate is now available and is exactly what CentOS admins are looking for

          If I didn't know the new Rocky Linux ISO image was a release candidate (RC), I'd have thought it to be a final release. It's not, and the developer wants to make sure everyone is aware this first unleashing is not ready for production environments. For all the warnings, the Rocky Linux RC is remarkably stable and gives us a clear view of what's to come from the original creator of CentOS.


          The Rocky Linux RC1 release is available for x86_64 and AArch64 architecture and can be downloaded as a minimal, boot and full installation. Kurtzer opted to go with the same installer as CentOS, RHEL and AlmaLinux (Anaconda), so installation will be instantly familiar to anyone who's installed any of the aforementioned Linux distributions.

        • Red Hat and IBM Research Launch the Konveyor Project

          Kubernetes, supported by a vibrant open source community, can drive outstanding innovation. To help in Kubernetes adoption, Red Hat and IBM Research have created Konveyor, an open source project aimed at helping modernize and migrate applications for open hybrid cloud by building tools, identifying patterns and providing advice on how to bring cloud-native transformation across IT. Konveyor also supports a growing number of tools, such as Crane, Forklift, Move2Kube, Tackle, and Pelorus, designed to accelerate Kubernetes adoption.

          Across industries, system administrators and developers are often the point teams driving digital transformation, helping the overall business benefit from modernized IT infrastructure, applications and services.

        • MLCommons seeks to simplify sharing ML models with MLCube

          Since the launch of MLCommons, Red Hat has been an active participant in the MLCube project hosted by the Best Practices Working Group. Red Hat employees are contributing to the design and development of this exciting project which aims to reduce friction around creating and consuming machine learning (ML) models.

        • 10 great sysadmin articles you might have missed from April 2021

          April 2021 was a great month for Enable Sysadmin. We published 30 articles and received 549,684 pageviews from over 370k unique visitors. Today, we are looking back at our top ten articles to give readers a chance to catch up on any of the great content they may have missed. In this list, you will see various topics covered and we are confident that some, if not all will be of interest to you.

        • May the Fourth be with you via Podman

          Happy May Fourth, everyone! A few weeks after Star Wars first released, I was lucky enough to see it in a Dolby theatre in Denver, CO. I was hooked, completely, and totally hooked. Over the past decade or so, I’ve built a really nice large screen television with surround sound setup and rarely go to the movies anymore. I wait for them to be streamed or hit Blue-Ray. I make an exception for Star Wars movies. Those I go see at least once at a theatre. Then yes, I buy a copy to watch at home when available.


          So after a colleague said I should run it from a container, I thought I’d try doing so. I made a few attempts at getting it to run but ran into issues with Telnet both in the container and on my host. Google to the rescue. I discovered the ascii-telnet-server project.

        • Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux, CentOS & syslog-ng

          Last year, the CentOS project announced a major shift in strategy. Until recently, CentOS Linux has been a rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) sources, each RHEL release was quickly followed by a corresponding CentOS Linux release. While CentOS 7 keeps working this way, CentOS 8 will reach its end of life by the end of this year. The CentOS project is focusing on CentOS Stream. It is a continuous stream of bug fixes and new features.

          Some of the users were not happy about the change, that is how Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux were born.

          As about 80% of syslog-ng Open Source Edition (OSE) installations run on CentOS and RHEL (if we do not count Kindle devices…), support for CentOS Stream and CentOS Linux alternatives is a returning question. From this blog, you can learn about CentOS Stream and CentOS Linux alternatives and how the situation is affecting syslog-ng OSE users.

        • Compliance clarity with Red Hat Insights

          Compliance and security management are interdependent. Compliance depends on security rules for enforcement. Security depends on clear compliance guidelines. Any lack of visibility to the enforcement of security policies as related to specific regulations can expose an organization to risk. With increased regulation, new business processes due to COVID, and reduced budgets, CIOs, compliance officers, system administrators and legal teams are seeking ways to work together to reduce risk.

          Organizations routinely conduct audits to identify gaps as regulations increase, but audits are not the best way to discover issues. Audits create stress for all. Red Hat Insights for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) simplifies the management of compliance and security. Insights helps organizations address compliance in a systematic fashion and reduce operational costs. Insights can help enforce a variety of cybersecurity policies, (including PCI-DSS, HIPAA, CIS, etc.) that your organization needs to meet.

        • Event-driven APIs and schema governance for Apache Kafka: Get ready for Kafka Summit Europe 2021

          As a developer, I’m always excited to attend the Kafka Summit, happening this year from May 11 to 12. There are so many great sessions addressing critical challenges in the Apache Kafka ecosystem. One example is how changes to event-driven APIs are leading developers to focus on contract-first development for Kafka.

          In preparation for the upcoming Kafka Summit, this article discusses the journey Kafka users have taken to get on the API bandwagon and how developers are using contracts to describe brokers without losing control of their data in the cluster. A critical component for effective schema governance is having a schema registry such as Apicurio Registry. See the end of the article for information about Red Hat’s sessions during the Kafka Summit Europe 2021.


          Implementing an event-driven architecture using Apache Kafka alongside the traditional API approach has brought new challenges and expectations. The conventional code-first workflow (of implementing the code first and then sharing the resulting API specification) includes many bottlenecks that prevent efficient progress. Developers are seeking a new direction for discoverability and access to event-stream endpoints.

        • Red Hat Announces The Open Source StackRox Community

          Red Hat has announced the StackRox community, the upstream project that will work to open source and manage the code that powers Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security for Kubernetes.

        • Introducing the open source StackRox community

          Red Hat is excited to introduce the StackRox community, the upstream project that will work to open source and manage the code that powers Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security for Kubernetes. We believe the StackRox community will help drive significant innovation and benefits for users when it comes to security -- an industry that has traditionally been dominated by proprietary solutions. Customers, partners and other interested contributors can learn more about joining the community at

          Since acquiring StackRox in February 2021, Red Hat has been actively working through the various considerations, both technical and legal, involved in the open sourcing process. At Red Hat, we believe using an open development model helps create more secure, stable and innovative technologies. This commitment to the tenets of open source is the core of our business model today, making our drive to fully open source the StackRox technology another example of how closely we hold the value of open code and development.

        • Custom policies in Red Hat 3scale API Management, Part 2: Securing the API with rate limit policies

          In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the policy framework in Red Hat 3scale API Management—adding policies to the APIcast gateway to customize API request and response behavior. In this article, we will look at adding rate limiting, backend URL protection, and edge limiting policies to the APIcast gateway. We’ll also review which policies are appropriate to use for different use cases.

        • IT job hunt: 3 tips to get a recruiter's attention

          There’s a skill shortage for tech talent. If you’re a developer or data scientist, you might think that puts you in the driver’s seat for most jobs. While supply and demand play a role, for top IT roles it’s still essential to stand out early in the process. Here are three ways to do that.

        • 4 Artificial Intelligence (AI) skills IT pros must have

          Artificial Intelligence (AI) has arguably become a household term in modern enterprises. By now, most companies have embraced some type of business initiative that includes AI in their digital transformation.

          Artificial Intelligence is a broad term, but much current research and development focuses on machine learning (ML), a subdiscipline whereby machines learn from data as opposed to being explicitly programmed.


          The essential question is whether such data has the potential to solve the business problem at hand. While the answer is not always immediately obvious, it begins with a hypothesis stemming from prior analysis or perhaps simply based on intuition. For example, a business experiencing high customer churn might hypothesize that recent changes in commercial activity could predict future attrition.

        • Optimizing the Clang compiler’s line-to-offset mapping

          Recently, I’ve been trying to improve the speed of the Clang compiler for C and C++. When I profile the Clang pre-processing step on a large file, one function quickly stands out:

          clang::LineOffsetMapping::get(llvm::MemoryBufferRef Buffer, llvm::BumpPtrAllocator &Alloc) This function basically allocates a vector (through Alloc) that maps line numbers to offsets in a file (loaded in Buffer). That’s a surprisingly standalone function, so it’s easy to extract it in a micro-benchmark and go for an optimization journey. This article is a kind of log book of that trip.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint’s ‘Warpinator’ file transfer app arrives on Android

          The process of copying files from one computer to another can be surprisingly difficult, especially without using flash drives or other external storage. That’s why the developers behind the Linux Mint desktop operating system developed Warpinator, an application for copying files over a local network. However, the tool only worked on Linux-based systems, until now.

          Warpinator was released by the Linux Mint project in September of last year, and it can be installed on many other Linux distributions (including the Linux container on Chrome OS) through the Flatpak version. Czechia-based developer Slowscript has now created an Android application using the same protocol (via OMG Ubuntu). The app can be used for copying files to/from a Linux PC with the original Warpinator app, or copying data from other Android devices. In the latter case, it’s an alternative to Google’s own Nearby Share, which only works on devices with Google Mobile Services.

        • Elementary OS 6 Beta Now Available

          Additionally, elementary OS 6 includes Flatpak apps out of the box, and the announcement states that all AppCenter apps in elementary OS 6 and beyond will be built as Flatpaks.

          The elementary OS team also notes that beta releases are not meant for use in production; however, they invite users to begin testing elementary OS 6 now.

        • Elementary OS 6 Beta Is Here: What's New and How to Download It?

          It has been more than a year since the last major release of elementary OS. Ever since then, its popularity has grown multifold thanks to its unique philosophy and desktop environment. After fastidious development over the past few months, the elementary OS team is finally ready to unveil their major release of 2021.

          Elementary OS 6 Odin is right around the corner and the public beta builds are now available for Linux enthusiasts to download and experience before the stable release.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Nextcloud And OpenProject Join Forces, Announce Integration Features

        The integration between Nextcloud and OpenProject will offers enterprises a data sovereignty and increase in productivity.

        Nextcloud is the worlds’ most deployed on-premises content collaboration platform. It is open-source software that allows you to run a personal cloud storage service. Nextcloud has features that are comparable to other services such as Dropbox.

        OpenProject is a free and open source online project management software with collaboration features. It is being used in the public sector, IT & technology, education and research industry as well as in manufacturing, health care, construction and non-profit.

        Today these two companies announced collaboration and integration features. The OpenProject and Nextcloud integration will improve the productivity of their enterprise users. It combines the strength of market leading content collaboration platform Nextcloud and the leading open source project management software OpenProject.

      • Nextcloud, OpenProject Announce Integration Features

        Nextcloud and OpenProject have announced the results of initial integration efforts, with further work in development. The integration will improve the productivity of enterprise users without requiring them to risk compliance and data leaks by losing control over their content to foreign SaaS providers.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Pale Moon 29.2.0 does not support legacy Firefox extensions anymore that are not ported

            When Mozilla switched from its legacy add-on system to WebExtensions, Firefox forks such as Pale Moon saw an increase in users who wanted to keep using extensions that Mozilla's new system did not support anymore. Not all extensions did work, but many did, and users could continue using these extensions.

            The release of Pale Moon 29.2.0 changes the browser's extension compatibility in a major way, as it removes support for legacy Firefox extensions that are not adjusted to work with the Pale Moon browser. About 230 extensions are currently available for Pale Moon on the official Pale Moon Add-ons website, including popular extensions such as Decentraleyes, uBlock Origin (Legacy), or FoxyProxy.

            According to a forum post by Moonchild, Pale Moon project owner, support for Firefox extensions was always considered temporary by the development team. Classic Firefox extensions may not install at all in Pale Moon or may introduce compatibility issues, and that is one of the main reasons for blocking classic Firefox extensions in Pale Moon 29.2.0.

          • Spidermonkey Development Blog: Private Fields and Methods ship with Firefox 90

            Firefox will ship Private Fields and Methods in Firefox 90. This new language syntax allows programmers to have strict access control over their class internals. A private field can only be accessed by code inside the class declaration.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Apache OpenOffice Recommends upgrade to v4.1.10 to mitigate legacy vulnerability

          Who: Apache OpenOffice, an Open Source office-document productivity suite comprising six productivity applications: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math, and Base. The OpenOffice suite is based around the OpenDocument Format (ODF), supports 41 languages, and ships for Windows, macOS, Linux 64-bit, and Linux 32-bit. Apache OpenOffice delivers up to 2.4 Million downloads each month.

          What: A recently reported vulnerability states that all versions of OpenOffice through 4.1.9 can open non-http(s) hyperlinks, and could lead to untrusted code execution.

        • Apache OpenOffice Vulnerable To One-Click Code Execution

          If you are still relying on Apache OpenOffice in 2021 you might want to really make it a goal this year to transition to the much more featureful LibreOffice, but in any case you'll want to move at least to OpenOffice 4.1.10.

          Apache OpenOffice 4.1.10 was released today to address a vulnerability affecting all versions of OpenOffice. Due to the way Apache OpenOffice pre-4.1.10 handles non-HTTPS hyperlinks, it could lead to "1-click" untrusted code execution.

      • FSFE

        • NGI0: How the FSFE Helps Free Software Developers Engineer a Better Internet

          With the FSFE in its 3rd and final year of its involvement in the European Commission's NGI0 Initiative, the feedback of our work in this area has been positive. Today, we give you updates of what the team has been working on with this initiative, and share the feedback from various developers on how we've managed to help them.

          What will the Internet of the future look like? The European Commission's (EC) Next Generation Internet Initiative (NGI) envisions an Internet that is accessible, diverse, and respects the fundamental value of privacy. Here at the FSFE, we believe that Free Software is key to accomplish this vision, so that all people, regardless of their background, are able to use the Internet as an effective tool to achieve their full potential.

          “NGI0 not only made it possible to pursue our goals by supplying funding. I was approached a number of times by professionals whom I learned to respect for their knowledge and concrete support, ranging from security to usability, internationalisation, licensing and copyrighting and putting what we do in a perspective of inclusiveness and diversity. Their help will go a long way to improve our products and I am sure to seek out other partners to the NGI0 project before we’re done.”


          Many participating software projects may also have many legal questions pertaining to the various licenses relevant to their work. While the FSFE assists them with the more basic questions, they can also receive guidance and advice on more complex legal issues from ifrOSS. In the last two years, we have provided guidance with inquiries on a variety of topics, including inquiries related to license implementation and compatibility issues, dependency management, managing external contributions, licensing scanning tools, trademark issues, potential licensing violations and hardware licenses.

          "Regarding REUSE, we have learnt a lot. We realise that the idea behind REUSE is simple, clear, and powerful… Nowadays, Free Software projects become more and more complicated, and many components/files of a single project have different license/copyright information. REUSE helps a lot on tracking the status of this information in our project.”

      • FSF

        • The Free Software Foundation reveals how RMS was re-elected and its future [Ed: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is a corporate anti-Software Freedom shill because that’s what his sponsors at ZDNet pay for. He used to be credible; now he’s a man with an agenda, and we know whose. Monopolies'…]

          The Free Software Foundation (FSF) re-admitting its founder Richard M. Stallman (RMS) to its board in late March caught everyone, including FSF members and staff, by surprise. Many -- both outside and inside the FSF -- objected to RMS's return. Weeks later, RMS offered a defensive non-apology apology for the words and actions that led to his resignation from the FSF. But how RMS returned to the FSF remained a mystery… until now.

        • GNU Projects

          • A redux of the Linux movement in open source pharma [Ed: Truly incredible how they managed to 'miss' GNU and the real movement, the Free software movement. Revisionism in full swing.]

            Thirty years ago, a 21-year-old student at the University of Helsinki put out a message on a bulletin board, “i am doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big or professional..)," and asked for feedback. Little did he know that these few words would be the beginning of a gigantic revolution that would transform digital life around the world. This was the birth of the free operating system that came to be known as Linux, named after the kid, Linus Torvalds, who invented it. It is the basis of all the open-source free software that powers most computers around us. For instance, all the world’s top 500 supercomputers run on Linux. More than 70% of mobile handsets run Android, which is free and open source, developed by Google and inspired by Linux. About 95% of public cloud services use an open-source hosting platform called Kubermetes, also part of the Linux revolution. Linux or its derivatives are in most embedded systems, automotive software, entertainment consoles, gaming, aviation and even high-end applications, including possibly space and defence. The ubiquity of Linux and its descendants is astonishing for something which is essentially free and developed by a community of tens of thousands of developers driven merely by their passion, not monetary gains. The free software is distributed under the Gnu Public License version 2 (GPLv2), whose key condition is that the complete source code be made available to the user, and any modification or improvement done by a user is to be ‘given back’ on the same terms to the open-source community. There are thousands of businesses that run on free software and are profitable. As all adherents to the free software dogma will tell you, it is free as in freedom (to modify) and not as in ‘free beer’. Thus, free software is not anathema to making profits. But the core ideology is allergic to patents and intellectual property rights, which ‘lock up’ knowledge, rather than keep it open for further improvements and creativity. Indeed, one maxim of free software developers is that “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow", famously articulated by Eric Raymond. That is, all bugs get ironed out if the whole community is working on the software. The beta tester is the most valuable resource, and advocates of free software believe in frequent releases of newer versions, thus making it robust and stable.

      • Programming/Development

        • How (and why) to rid software of insensitive language. [Ed: This is a sort of corporate trolling (against communities) by inherently racist monopolies, looking to deflect from their own bad behaviour]

          I’ve been in the software industry for a long time. As those that work here know, and those that use software can see, it changes quickly. I feel like I’m releasing a new feature or fix every other day. It’s actually one of the amazing things about the software industry, and something that I genuinely love. But as fast as the industry moves there is one area that seems to be out of step with the world – the words and phrases we continue to use when developing and in documentation.

          Some words of course don’t matter, but then there are the words that can evoke a gut wrenching feeling every time they are read or heard. Words like “master”, “slave”, “blacklist”, “dummy”, etc., may mean nothing to you beyond what they are used for in your industry, but to others they could be triggering thoughts and emotions that you might only sympathetically understand. While it’s easy to dismiss these words as “no big deal” because “the usage has no connection to the emotional triggers,” does that really matter? Isn’t it just better to err on the side of avoiding the possibility of triggering further negativity?

        • Qt 6.0.4 Released

          I am happy to inform we have released Qt 6.0.4 today.

          From the Qt 6.0.4 Release Note you can find the list of fixes and the overview of all important changes in the Qt 6.0.4 release. Qt 6.0.4 will be the last release from Qt 6.0 series but don't worry: Qt 6.1.0 is released soon and we will continue releasing patch releases to the top of it like we did with Qt 6.0.

        • The various ways to check if an integer is even

          But actually, the way most people test whether a number is even is wrong. It’s not your fault, computers think differently than we do. And in most cases, the compiler fixes your mistake for you. But it’s been a long day of talking about Alpine governance, so I thought I would have some fun.

          However, a quick note: for these examples, I am using ML, specifically the OCaml dialect of it. Translating these expressions to your language however should not be difficult, and I will provide C-like syntax for the right answer below too.

        • Python and me, or when in Rome...

          I've written in the past somewhat opaquely about certain programming languages and my complaints about them. One that I'm not afraid to complain about by name is Python. You can look in enough of my old posts to see this pattern keeps coming up. It never fails to make my life more interesting than it has to be.

          So, with that said, one of the things I decided we needed at $COMPANY was something that would let us handle SEVs (you know, outages, site events, whatever?) well. What they had already when I arrived was, to put it mildly, cute. It was basically a wrapper around the Jira category they already had to track these things, plus it would blast out mails to extra places when someone commented in the tool. Unfortunately, those mails also tended to start full-on reply-to-all spam fests due to their scattershot nature. *Every person* was getting *every update* to *every SEV*.

        • Linux X86 Assembly – How to Build a Hello World Program in NASM

          A processor understands bytecode instructions specific to that architecture. We as humans use mnemonics to make building these instructions easier than remembering a bunch of binary codes. These mnemonics are known as assembly instructions. This is one of the lowest levels of programming that can be done. This programming is a bit of a lost art and I remember trying to learn about it, there was not much material on the internet regarding it. This series is designed to discuss some basic tutorials and to give examples for people to get started with when it comes to building X86 assembly on Linux-based systems.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Linux Fu: Mixing Bash And Python | Hackaday

            Although bash scripts are regularly maligned, they do have a certain simplicity and ease of creation that makes them hard to resist. But sometimes you really need to do some heavy lifting in another language. I’ll talk about Python, but actually, you can use many different languages with this technique, although you might need a little adaptation, depending on your language of choice.

            Of course, you don’t have to do anything special to call another program from a bash script. After all, that’s what it’s mainly used for: calling other programs. However, it isn’t very handy to have your script spread out over multiple files. They can get out of sync and if you want to send it to someone or another machine, you have to remember what to get. It is nicer to have everything in one file.

        • Rust

          • Rust programming language: We want to take it into the mainstream, says Facebook

            Facebook has joined the Rust Foundation, the organization driving the Rust programming language, alongside Amazon Web Services, Google, Huawei, Microsoft, and Mozilla.

            Facebook is the latest tech giant to ramp up its adoption of Rust, a language initially developed by Mozilla that's become popular for systems programming because of its memory safety guarantees compared to fast languages C and C++. Rust is appealing for writing components like drivers and compilers.

          • Rust 1.52.0 pre-release testing

            The 1.52.0 pre-release is ready for testing. The release is scheduled for this Thursday, May 6th. Release notes can be found here.

          • Rust Core Team Update: May 2021

            Hey everyone! Back in August of last year, the core team wrote a blog post titled "Laying the foundation for Rust's Future." Ever since then, the Core Team has been doing a tremendous amount of work to help get the foundation going, and prepare the project for the changes that have now occurred because of these events.

            But that also means we've been very quiet! This sort of work has largely been focused inward, and not really something that's visible from the outside, even if you are on a Rust team. However, thanks to these efforts, the Foundation now exists, and is starting to work on its mission. That also means it's time for the core team to shift the focus of its work.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Link-o-Rama: FTP is 50, stick with email, FVWM(3) …

        The File Transfer Protocol is now 50 years old. 50. FTP has outlasted quite a few protocols in that time, evolved a great deal, and been used to transfer Heaven only knows how many files. I hope that Abhay Bhushan is basking a bit in the knowledge that his creation is still widely used half a century later.

      • Understanding OpenSSH's future deprecation of the 'ssh-rsa' signature scheme

        More or less a year ago I flailed around about what this meant. Now I think that I understand more about what is going on, enough so to talk about what is really affected and why. Helping this out is that since the OpenSSH 8.5 release notes, OpenSSH has had the current, more explicit wording above about the situation.

  • Leftovers

    • Notes From Below

      In the midst of the Great Depression, a series of ghostly and mysterious thefts flummoxed the Los Angeles Police Department. In November of 1931, $11,000 went missing from a safe at the Owl Drug Company, with no sign of breaking and entering. Then a safe was emptied in a nearby clothing store. Over the next few months, blankets, typewriters, and other items disappeared from stores in the neighborhood without a trace.1

    • ED’S DESK: Town Gripped By Shock-Horror Crime Wave Of Biblical Proportions… Ish

      If you live in Far North Queensland, we’ve got some good news and we’ve got some bad news. The bad news is you’re currently in the grip of a crime wave that defies description… and logical statistical analysis. The good news is that’s just the opinion of some News Corp hacks plus one old man who spends his lunch breaks on a park bench shouting at clouds… because they’re really toxic gas blooms controlled by Vladimir Putin! Over to Ed’s Desk, an occasional New Matilda column where we take an actual news story that got published, and waste 10 minutes of your life trying to fix it.

    • Adjunct Hell

      Not so long ago, there seemed to be something radical in rejecting the future. Looking back, it’s easy to see why. In the 1990s, history was over; the United States and capitalism had won. Strutting conservative televangelists and smug liberal technocrats took turns running the world. Globalization promised more of everything: more productivity, more innovation, more wealth. Economic prosperity and regressive moralism went hand in hand. The nuclear family was once again sacred, and non-normative sexuality remained stigmatized: Don’t ask, but also don’t tell. Conservatives—as well as some liberals—supported any policy that promised to protect children, born and unborn, so they might take advantage of the bright future that awaited them. Meritocracy was supposedly thriving, even as inequality prevailed everywhere.

    • Apollo acquires Verizon’s Yahoo and AOL businesses for $5B

      Private equity firm Apollo Global Management has acquired Verizon’s media group for $5 billion, the two companies announced Monday.

      Verizon Media, which includes properties from the former internet empires of AOL and Yahoo, will be rebranded as “Yahoo,” the announcement said. Verizon said it will keep a 10 percent stake in the company.

      The sale includes online news outlets TechCrunch, Yahoo Finance, Engadget and others. Apollo and Verizon said they expect the sale to close in the second half of 2021.

    • Apollo’s $5 Billion Bet on Yahoo Aims to Go Beyond Advertising

      Along with Yahoo, Apollo is getting AOL, TechCrunch, Ryot, Built By Girls and Flurry. Guru Gowrappan, who headed the division for Verizon, will be chief executive officer of Yahoo. Verizon will keep a 10% stake in the venture.

      Apollo partner Reed Rayman said he hopes to take these primarily advertising-driven media brands and augment them with new products like subscription services and sports betting.

    • Science

      • [Former FSF Board Member] Benjamin Mako Hill: NSF CAREER Award

        In exciting professional news, it was recently announced that I got an National Science Foundation CAREER award! The CAREER is the US NSF’s most prestigious award for early-career faculty. In addition to the recognition, the award involves a bunch of money for me to put toward my research over the next 5 years. The Department of Communication at the University of Washington has put up a very nice web page announcing the thing. It’s all very exciting and a huge honor. I’m very humbled.

        The grant will support a bunch of new research to develop and test a theory about the relationship between governance and online community lifecycles. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve been involved in a bunch of research to describe how peer production communities tend to follow common patterns of growth and decline as well as a studies that show that many open communities become increasingly closed in ways that deter lots of the kinds contributions that made the communities successful in the first place.

      • [Curl dev] Daniel Stenberg: Every base is base 10

        Since I consider this picture such an iconic classic and masterpiece, I decided I better host it here in a small attempt to preserve it for everyone to enjoy.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • New Spectre vulnerabilities discovered on Intel and AMD processors

        The problem with both the original Spectre and these new Spectre vulnerabilities is that they’re built into the hardware. One method could be disabling micro-op cache or halting speculative execution, but as the researchers noted, this fix would “effectively roll back critical performance innovations in most modern Intel and AMD processors, and this just isn’t feasible.”

      • Billions of computers at [cracking] risk: Indian-origin scientist

        However, researchers, led by Ashish Venkat at the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science, UVA Engineering, discovered that computer processors are open to [crackers] again.

        They found a whole new way for [crackers] to exploit something called a "micro-op cache," which speeds up computing by storing simple commands and allowing the processor to fetch them quickly and early in the speculative execution process.

        Micro-op caches have been built into Intel computers manufactured since 2011.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Ted Cruz, Mike Lee Are Only Two "No" Votes on Bipartisan Drinking Water Bill
      • India and Brazil’s COVID Crises Show We Must End the Fiction of Borders
      • West Virginia Community Flooded With Opioids Takes Big Pharma to Court in Landmark Trial

        "After facing this crisis head on for far too long, our day in court is finally here," said the mayor of Huntington, W.V.

      • Modi is Singularly Responsible for India’s Pandemic Disaster

        Only a few months ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was basking in the glow of success at beating the virus and scientific experts were confounded as to why COVID-19 infections and related deaths were falling. India had access to two vaccines, a homegrown one developed by Bharat Biotech, and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that was being mass-produced at Indian facilities. Mask wearing was reportedly nearly universal, and the Wall Street Journal hailed India’s “proven pandemic strategy.”

        So, what happened?

      • Brazilian Senate Will Question: Bolsonaro on COVID-19 Response

        According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News, the Brazilian Senate commission will be investigating whether or not the Bolsonaro administration’s response time to COVID-19 in Brazil has been adequate; whether or not Bolsonaro has minimized the severity of the pandemic; whether or not there has been a lack of procurement of medical equipment to handle the virus; whether or not the promotion of unproven medications such as hydroxychloroquine by Bolsonaro and his administration was appropriate; whether or not President Bolsonaro had allowed the Coronavirus to spread in order to attain herd immunity; and whether or not the Bolsonaro administration committed genocide against the Brazilian Amerindian population by not controlling the deadly variant of COVID-19 and providing adequate support to indigenous peoples.

        In addition, the inquiry by the Brazilian Senatorial Commission may weaken Bolsonaro’s presidency and may lead to criminal procedures and/or impeachment. This is significant since the next Brazilian presidential election is in 2022. What the Commisão Parlamentar de Inquérito (CPI) finds may in fact derail Jair Bolsonaro’s chances for winning the presidency altogether.

      • As Global Pandemic Worsens, U.S. Keeps Blocking Vaccine Patent Waivers Amid Big Pharma Lobbying

        Big Pharma has hired an army of lobbyists to pressure U.S. lawmakers to block an effort at the World Trade Organization to loosen intellectual property rules on COVID-19 vaccines, which would allow countries around the world to ramp up production, vaccinate more people and bring the pandemic to an end sooner. Dozens of countries from the Global South, led by India and South Africa, are demanding a temporary waiver on vaccine patents, but rich countries, including the U.S. under both the Trump and Biden administrations, have opposed the move. Lee Fang, investigative journalist at The Intercept, says there is a “glut” of vaccines going to wealthy countries while much of the rest of the world is left waiting. “These initiatives that are based on voluntary agreements with the pharmaceutical companies have not worked,” he says. Fang also discusses his reporting on the Biden’s administration’s ties to the vaccine makers: White House adviser Anita Dunn is co-founder of the consulting firm SKDK, which works closely with Pfizer; Biden’s domestic policy adviser, Susan Rice, holds up to $5 million in Johnson & Johnson shares; and White House science adviser Eric Lander holds up to $1 million in shares of BioNTech, which co-developed Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.

      • Missouri GOP Lawmakers Block Expansion of Medicaid, Despite Voter Referendum
      • Opinion | Big Pharma Patents on Covid-19 Vaccines Must Be Waived to Save the World

        In the long term we must treat public health as a common good, a good upon which all of our virtues depend

      • US Keeps Blocking Vaccine Patent Waivers Amid Big Pharma Lobbying
      • Opinion | Why Canada Must Support the WTO Waiver on Covid-19 Vaccines

        Expanding access to life-saving medical technologies during this pandemic is exactly what the world needs.

      • Opinion | Bayer Goes After Mexico for Glyphosate Ban

        The pressure by the agribusiness industry continues, but we will keep up our fight.

      • Counties Most Vulnerable to COVID Have Been the Slowest to Vaccinate
      • To unblind or not to unblind COVID-19 vaccine trials?

        One longstanding tactic of the antivaccine movement has been the oversimplification of complex questions of science and ethics in such a way as to imply nefarious intent on the part of vaccine manufacturers, public health officials, physicians, and vaccine advocates. The idea, of course, is that somehow we are all “sabotaging” the science in order to cover up evidence of massive harm due to vaccines. This tactic has, in particular, been weaponized in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, largely because of uncertainty in the science and the fast pace of scientific discovery. More importantly, the fast pace of vaccine development has left open a door to this tactic of oversimplification. An excellent example of this tactic comes in the form of an article published by one of the foremost promoters of antivaccine disinformation and COVID-19 quackery and crankery, “alternative health” tycoon Joe Mercola. His talking point comes in the form of an article entitled€ “Vaccine Makers Destroy COVID Vaccine Safety Studies”.€  His objection? That Pfizer and Moderna going to unblind the clinical studies that led to the emergency use approvals (EUAs) issued for their vaccines.

      • The U.S. never had a shot at herd immunity

        As Mandavilli explains, there's a lot of reasons that herd immunity is simply unachievable in the current situation, but there is no doubt that "[s]kepticism about the vaccines among many Americans" is playing a major role. She delicately avoids digging in deeper, but anyone who has been paying attention in recent months understands what this means: It's Republicans.

        The last big poll released on this question was by Monmouth University in mid-April and the news was not good: Nearly half of Republican voters flat-out refuse to get the vaccine. That number has been steadily climbing, in response to a heavy push from Fox News to demonize the vaccine and the spread of anti-vaccination conspiracy theories on social media.

      • Pressure Mounts to Lift Patent Protections on Coronavirus Vaccines [Ed: Previous headline was better: "Biden Confronts Coronavirus Vaccine Patents" (who changed it and why?)]

        President Biden, faced with surging Covid-19 crises in India and South America, is under intensifying pressure from the international community and his party’s left flank to commit to increasing the vaccine supply by loosening patent and intellectual property protections on coronavirus vaccines.

        Pharmaceutical and biotech companies, also feeling pressure, sought on Monday to head off such a move, which could cut into future profits and jeopardize their business model. Pfizer and Moderna, two major vaccine makers, each announced steps to increase the supply of vaccine around the world.

        The issue is coming to a head as the World Trade Organization’s General Council, one of its highest decision-making bodies, meets Wednesday and Thursday. India and South Africa are pressing for the body to waive an international intellectual property agreement that protects pharmaceutical trade secrets. The United States, Britain and the European Union so far have blocked the plan.

      • Covid-19: F.D.A. to Authorize Pfizer Vaccine for Adolescents by Early Next Week

        New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will let most businesses fully reopen in mid-May and New York City will return to 24-hour subway service. But the virus continues to rage across the world: A lack of oxygen has led to a wave of deaths in India on Sunday.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • ‘Google Smell’: Amazing New App Helps Your Phone Detect Bullsh*t (And Theft)

          If you’ve been following a battle in the United States between tech giant Google and tech not-so-giant-but-still-bloody-big Oracle, you’ll be disappointed (or not) to know that it’s over. Spoiler alert: Google won. Nathan Mattock and Emma Johnsen from Marque Lawyers* explain why, and what that might mean for Australia.

        • Fortnite made more than $9 billion in revenue in its first two years

          The document doesn’t break down how much Epic specifically profited from Fortnite, but the company reported more than $5.5 billion in profit from the two-year period.

        • Lucas Chess Now Available On Linux, Here Is How To Install It

          One of the most amazing piece of free chess software now has an experimental binary version to Linux.

          Lucas Chess is a free, long standing, chess training and playing program that is suitable for absolute beginners, grandmasters, and anyone in between the two extremes. The program has 61 engines prepared to play from the start, and with very different levels, from 0 to 3300 elo.

        • Crowdfunded “Mi Mini PC” Windows 10 Mobile PC remains undelivered after 3 years

          There were early red flags shorting after the launch of the campaign with the developer making unrealistic claims about a free upgrade from Atom x7 to Core M3-7Y30, and no pictures of an actual prototype.

        • KB5001391 is another Windows update that you should not install, except..

          Microsoft released the Windows update KB5001391 on April 28, 2021 as an optional update for Windows 10 version 2004 and 20H2. The update falls into the C-category of updates for Windows, which means that it includes only non-security fixes and that installation is not mandatory.


          The update fixes a number of issues, including a memory usage growth issue in lsass.exe that causes the system to become unusable, a high CPU usage issue caused by race conditions, and an issue with a deadlock in NTFS.

          It is also the update that introduces Microsoft's News and Interests widget on the Windows 10 taskbar. The feature is being rolled out gradually to all devices that have the update installed.

        • Don’t Ignore Ransomware. It’s Bad. [iophk: Windows TCO]

          My colleague Nicole Perlroth has spent years chronicling the proliferation of cyberattacks, including ransomware. She spoke to me about steps that the U.S. government and individual organizations could take to better prevent it. Nicole tried to be hopeful but she has a discouraging diagnosis of ransomware’s root cause: America has failed to invest in its defense.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Despite many false alarms, Linux malware scares still abound

            Despite numerous false alarms from security firms in the past — which have been enthusiastically spread by technology writers — it still appears that all a security firm or group of researchers has to do to gain some headlines is to write a post mentioning Linux and malware in the same sentence.

            On 28 April, a Chinese research group NetLab published details about what it claimed was a "long live secret backdoor with 0 VT detection". The word Linux was not in the headline, but once one read the first paragraph, there it was in bold text: "A close look at the sample revealed it to be a backdoor targeting Linux X64 systems, a family that has been around for at least 3 years." [emphais as in original]

            Some basic questions were not answered – and they were asked by someone who posted a response to the blog.

            This user, who goes by the name John Mellor, asked: "Anyone can write an executable to do nefarious things, but what is the entry path onto the system? What compromise is used to install it? Who uses that package and has it misconfigured to allow this executable to be installed? Without this key information, this admittedly excellent analysis of the payload is useless. What is the CVE number?"

          • A Now-Patched Linux Kernel Vulnerability Could Lead To Data Leaks [Ed: Grossly overrated and mostly hyped up (at one time) by Microsoft-connected media, looking to distract from the back doors Microsoft puts in virtually everything]

            Researchers from Cisco Talos spotted a serious information disclosure vulnerability in Linux Kernel.

            Sharing the details in a post, the researchers stated that the bug, CVE-2020-28588, could expose stack memory to an attacker. Hence, exploiting this bug would allow an adversary to exploit the data leak and target more unpatched Linux bugs.

          • Wladimir Palant: Universal XSS in Ninja Cookie extension

            The cookie consent screens are really annoying. They attempt to trick you into accepting all cookies, dismissing them without agreeing is made intentionally difficult. A while back I wrote on Twitter than I’m almost at the point of writing a private browser extension to automate the job. And somebody recommended Ninja Cookie extension to me, which from the description seemed perfect for the job.

            Now I am generally wary of extensions that necessarily need full access to every website. This is particularly true if these extensions have to interact with the websites in complicated ways. What are the chances that this is implemented securely? So I took a closer look at Ninja Cookie source code, and I wasn’t disappointed. I found several issues in the extension, one even allowing any website to execute JavaScript code in the context of any other website (Universal XSS).

          • [Older] Building a security response team in Alpine

            Starting this past month, thanks to the generous support of Google and the Linux Foundation, instead of working on the usual Alpine-related consulting work that I do, I’ve had the privilege of working on various initiatives in Alpine relating to security that we’ve needed to tackle for a long time. Some things are purely technical, others involve formulating policy, planning and recruiting volunteers to help with the security effort.

            For example, my work to replace poorly maintained software with better replacements is a purely technical security-related effort, while building a security response team has social aspects as well as designing and building tools for the team to use. Our security issue tracker has gone live and is presently being tested by the community, and with that work we’re already off to a great start at an organized security response.

            If you didn’t know what Alpine Linux is already, it is a popular Linux system with over a billion installations on Docker alone. By building on efficient building blocks, such as the musl C library and busybox, Alpine maintains a slim installation image size while also providing the conveniences of a general-purpose Linux distribution. As a result, Alpine has been deployed as the base of many Docker images, has been ported to hundreds of devices as the basis of postmarketOS, has been used to build hundreds of appliances with LinuxKit and has been deployed everywhere from 5G networks to solar farms and oil rigs thanks to the work done by Zededa with Project EVE. With all of this growth in the few years, it’s important to rethink a lot of things in the distribution including our approach to security.

          • What3Words Sends Ridiculous Legal Threat To Security Researcher Over Open Source Alternative

            A couple years we wrote about What3Words, and noted that it was a clever system that created an easy way to allow people to better share exact locations in an easily communicated manner (every bit of the globe can be described with just 3 words -- so something like is a tiny plot near Hanover, Ontario). While part of this just feels like fun, a key part of the company's marketing message is that the system is useful in emergency situations where someone needs to communicate a very exact location quickly and easily.

          • Critical 21Nails Exim bugs expose millions of servers to attacks

            Newly discovered critical vulnerabilities in the Exim mail transfer agent (MTA) software allow unauthenticated remote attackers to execute arbitrary code and gain root privilege on mail servers with default or common configurations.

            The security flaws (10 remotely exploitable and 11 locally) found and reported by the Qualys Research Team are collectively known a 21Nails.

            All versions released before Exim 4.94.2 are vulnerable to attacks attempting to exploit the 21Nails vulnerabilities.

          • An important Exim security release

            There are, it seems, 21 vulnerabilities in the Exim email server that have been fixed in the 4.94.2 release; at least some of these are remotely exploitable for root access. "The current Exim versions (and likely older versions too) suffer from several exploitable vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities were reported by Qualys via back in October 2020. Due to several internal reasons it took more time than usual for the Exim development team to work on these reported issues in a timely manner." See this advisory from Qualys for the details.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (bind9, chromium, exim4, and subversion), Fedora (exiv2 and skopeo), openSUSE (gsoap), Oracle (bind, kernel, and sudo), SUSE (bind, ceph, ceph, deepsea, permissions, and stunnel), and Ubuntu (clamav, exim4, openvpn, python-django, and samba).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Coalition Mobilizes to Protect Billions of WhatsApp Users From Facebook's Privacy Invasion

              "We can't let Mark Zuckerberg continue to get filthy rich off of this exploitation of our personal info. We must reclaim our privacy."

            • Sechin’s special forces Journalists spent years under FSB surveillance after gaining access to ‘private’ Instagram pics

              For years, the Russian FSB had investigative journalist Roman Anin and his former colleagues from the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta under surveillance. This began in 2016, after Anin authored a report for the newspaper about a multi-million dollar yacht allegedly belonging to Olga Rozhkova — who was married to Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin at the time. A month ago, FSB agents raided Anin’s apartment in connection with this case. Though he is considered a witness thus far, Anin is convinced that the authorities want to make him a suspect in the investigation. In a new report published by Novaya Gazeta and iStories — the investigative outlet where Roman Anin is now editor-in-chief — the journalist breaks down the case materials, revealing which investigators have been handling the case and how the investigation is connected to Sechin and the FSB.

            • Opinion | More Domestic Spying Power Is Not the Answer

              We are told by some opponents of the far-right that supporters of equality and civil liberties should not be worried about expansions of U.S. surveillance and counterterrorism capabilities.€  They are wrong.

            • Apple Was Smart Not To Put a Key Ring Doohickey On Airtags | by Anthony Lawrence | Tony’s Tech Corner | May, 2021 | Medium

              I picked up two Airtags at my local Apple store yesterday. I have keyring holders on order from Belkin, but those won’t ship until June.

              That’s okay. Our Tile trackers died more than a year ago and I’ve been waiting since then for the Airtags, so another few months for the holders won’t kill me.

              Those Tile trackers had a hole for a keyring, but they were not the models with a replaceable battery, which is why they died. Tile does make models with changeable batteries, and the Tile models were everyone’s top recommended brand for years.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | Want Fewer Police Shootings? Get Armed Cops Out of Traffic Enforcement

        Removing armed police officers from traffic enforcement and turning it over to civilians should be a major goal of the racial justice movement.

      • National Lawyers Guild Urges Biden to Align US Israel-Palestine Policy With International Law

        "The United States cannot turn its back on the atrocities, including war crimes, enabled by U.S. policies, particularly its decadeslong policy of shielding Israel from accountability."

      • On World Press Freedom Day, US Report Reveals 'Startling Extent of Police Violence Against Journalists'

        The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press found that as the country faced a wave of demonstrations last year, "journalists covering those protests were arrested and attacked in record numbers."

      • University of California Pushes to Militarize and Expand Its Police Force
      • 125 Democrats Say Military Aid to Israel Shouldn’t Depend on Human Rights Record
      • The Empire Within

        Not long after the publication and surprise success of her first novel, The God of Small Things, in 1997, Arundhati Roy was invited onto a live radio show in London. The appearance did not go to plan. As she recalled in a 2018 lecture:1The other guest was an English historian who, in reply to a question from the interviewer, composed a paean to British imperialism. “Even you,” he said, turning to me imperiously, “the very fact that you write in English is a tribute to the British Empire.” Not being used to radio shows at the time, I stayed quiet for a while, as a well-behaved recently civilized savage should. But then I sort of lost it, and said some extremely hurtful things. The historian was upset, and after the show told me that he had meant what he said as a compliment, because he loved my book. I asked him if he also felt that jazz, the blues, and all African American writing and poetry were actually a tribute to slavery. And whether all of Latin American literature was a tribute to Spanish and Portuguese colonialism.2Books in ReviewYi Sang: Selected WorksBy Yi Sang; Don Mee Choi, ed.; Jack Jung, Don Mee Choi, Sawako Nakayasu, Joyelle McSweeney, trans.

      • The Cold War Truth Commission Part 2 - The Project Censored Show

        Notes: Medea Benjamin co-founded the organizations Code Pink and Global Exchange. Her books include “Inside Iran” and “Kingdom of the Unjust.” Eric Mann is Director of the Labor-Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles, co-chair of the L.A. Bus Riders’ Union, and the author of “Playbook for Progressives.” Marcy Winograd is Coordinator of Code Pink Congress and a retired school teacher. Mickey Huff teaches History and Journalism at Diablo Valley College in northern California; he’s also the Director of Project Censored and the host of the Project Censored Show. Jeff Cohen is founder of the media-watch group FAIR, and co-founder of Rachel Brunke (Witness for Peace Southwest) and Frank Dorrel (Veterans€  or Peace) were the hosts of the event.

      • Democratic Senator Under Fire for Invoking January 6 Attack to Justify Opposing Vaccine Patent Waiver

        "He is choosing to support vaccine apartheid to protect the pharma industry that has given tens of thousands to his campaign."

      • Rape and Ethnic Cleansing in Tigray

        Unleashing this kind of sentiment is a dangerous tactic in a country as ethnically diverse and restive as Ethiopia. The several hundred reported rapes must be an underestimate, though by how much is impossible to tell: many parts of Tigray are even now still impossible to access.

        Abiy Ahmed’s government is overseeing ethnic cleansing, which partly explains the prevalence of rape allegations in the western part of Tigray. A chunk of the region was granted to the Tigrayans by the then Tigrayan-dominated government, which instituted a more decentralized ethno-federalism through its 1995 constitution. The new federal regions, which have the right to secede, were granted revenue-raising powers. This Tigrayan insurance against future federal domination also helped the coalition government they led until 2018 divide and rule Ethiopia according to ethnic groupings, a strategy which may now be unravelling spectacularly in a country where inter-ethnic violence is always looking for a walk-on part.

      • Opinion | Oppression in the Form of Israeli Dates

        It is imperative that we follow in the footsteps of the revolutionaries’ tea boycott, the historic Delano Grape Boycott, and boycott the Israeli date industry, too.

      • A City Wrestles

        On the same day as the Chauvin verdict, Portland police shot and killed Robert Delgado, a man experiencing houselessness, within four minutes of arriving to Lents Park, where he had been carrying a toy gun. This added even more chaos to our already Def-Con 9 situation.

        The damage to a Boys and Girls club wrought by rioters that night in NE Portland made no sense, even in a city dubbed “Little Beirut” by President George H.W. Bush’s Secret Service, after protesters in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s cemented our national reputation as a protest problem child.

      • Black Women Matter
      • Fifth Circuit Strips Immunity From Cops Who Ended A Mental Health Crisis By Restraining A Man To Death

        The Fifth Circuit is the worst place to bring a civil rights lawsuit against law enforcement officers. But that may slowly be changing, thanks in part to the Supreme Court, which has played its own part in making qualified immunity an almost insurmountable obstacle in civil cases. Over the past few months, the Supreme Court has reversed and remanded two cases handled by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling that the lower court's extension of qualified immunity was the incorrect conclusion.

      • Chicago Police Need “Overhaul” After Foot Chases Led to Alvarez & Toledo Killings Within 48 Hours

        More than 100 people marched alongside the family of Anthony Alvarez in Chicago Saturday, calling for the police officer who shot and killed him to be charged. Newly released video reveals police killed 22-year-old Alvarez while he was running away during a foot chase. Police have not said why they initially confronted and then chased Alvarez, who was killed just two days after Chicago police shot dead another young Latinx male, 13-year-old Adam Toledo. This comes four years after the Department of Justice found foot pursuits by Chicago police were leading to too many deaths. Now Chicago’s mayor and police superintendent say a new police foot pursuit policy is underway. “We need to do a complete overhaul of our Chicago Police Department,” says Luis Gutiérrez, former Democratic congressmember for Illinois. “There is this real sense that Brown and Black lives, they don’t have the value that they should when Chicago police officers confront our youth.”

      • May Day 1971: Daniel Ellsberg on Joining Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn at Historic Antiwar Direct Action

        This week marks the 50th anniversary of the 1971 May Day protests, when tens of thousands of protesters demonstrated against the Vietnam War in Washington, D.C., and brought much of the capital to a standstill through acts of civil disobedience. The mass demonstrations terrified the Nixon administration, and police would arrest over 12,000 people — the largest mass arrest in U.S. history. Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who attended the May Day protests, says it was part of a wave of popular discontent about the war that mobilized millions. “There was a movement of young people who felt that what was happening in the world … was wrong, had to change, and they were ready to risk their careers and their lives to try to change it. And we need that right now,” Ellsberg says. He recently spoke with Amy Goodman at an event marking the 50th anniversary of the release of the Pentagon Papers. We play excerpts from that conversation, which also included National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      • Opinion | The Squad and Their Allies Should Unite to Block Biden’s Massive Military Budget

        This is the moment to put a stop to runaway spending on war and the nuclear arsenal.

      • First test in Malta: Frontex drones approaching

        A reconnaissance drone is to track down boats carrying refugees in the central Mediterranean Sea in the future, the main contractor is the Airbus Group. The range of the deployed „Heron 1“ also enables flights off the coasts of North Africa.

      • The Cyber Cold War Is Here [iophk: Windows TCO]

        I’m thinking about vulnerabilities that lurk in your garage (your car), your house (your computer), and even your pocket (your phone). Like those devices of yours, all connected to the Internet and so [crackable], American businesses, hospitals, and public utilities can also be hijacked from a distance thanks to the software that helps run their systems. And don’t think that the US military and even cybersecurity agencies and firms aren’t seriously at risk, too.

        Such vulnerabilities stem from bugs in the programs—and sometimes even the hardware—that run our increasingly wired society. Beware “zero-day” exploits—so named because you have zero days to fix them once they’re discovered—that can attract top-dollar investments from corporations, governments, and even black-market operators. Zero days allow backdoor access to iPhones, personal e-mail programs, corporate personnel files, even the computers that run dams, voting systems, and nuclear power plants.

        It’s as if all of America were now protected by nothing but a few old padlocks, the keys to which have been made available to anyone with enough money to buy them (or enough ingenuity to make a set for themselves). And as if that weren’t bad enough, it was America that inadvertently made these keys available to allies, adversaries, and potential blackmailers alike.

      • Saudi Arabia Is Trying to Sell Its Ultra-Authoritarian Monarchy to Middle America

        In recent months, the Saudi lobby has increasingly moved from K Street to Main Street — traveling widely outside the Beltway in a bid to shore up support for the country’s brutal monarchy.

      • Boko Haram forcefully converting Nigerians to Islam in Niger – Fani Kayode alleges

        According to the former minister, the Boko Haram insurgents are forcefully converting Nigerians to Islam.

      • “Nation is on fire”: Nigerian lawmakers demand action on security crisis

        In the northwest, gunmen have kidnapped more than 700 schoolchildren since December, as militants pillage communities in the region.

        In the northeast, the armed forces are still struggling in a 12-year war with Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa branch. On Sunday, more than 30 soldiers died in an attack, soldiers and a resident said.

        “The nation is on fire,” said Smart Adeyemi, a senator in Buhari’s ruling party. “The president must rise to the occasion and bring in people to save this country or else we will be consumed. We cannot keep quiet any longer.”

      • Fishmongers' Hall: Prison chaplain 'conned' by 'remorseful' terrorist

        Jonathan Hough QC, counsel to the inquiry, asked: "Would it have surprised you that, around the time Usman Khan was... engaged in victim awareness, there was intelligence he was trying to radicalise other prisoners?"

        Mr Hough also said that, at the time of his release, there was intelligence that Khan might commit an attack.

    • Environment

      • The Corpus Christi Water Wars

        But the residents living in the shadow of the massive plant will face other dangers. “This is a very dirty manufacturing process,” says Neil Carman, the clean-air director at the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. Carman was also an inspector for 12 years with the state air-quality regulator that preceded the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the agency that granted Exxon SABIC the permits to build the facility. “The people living in the community are going to be exposed to a toxic soup of carcinogens, mutagens that change the DNA, teratogens that cause birth defects and many, many other health effects,” he says. “The people in the area are going to be guinea pigs. It’s a sacrifice zone.”

        Volatile organic compounds, nitrogen, carbon monoxide, sulfide, sulfuric acid mist, and sulfur dioxide will all be released into the air, according to Exxon SABIC’s air quality permit. But TCEQ says that they conducted a review of the possible health impacts on people living nearby and on sensitive subgroups such as children or the elderly and that they expect no adverse short-term or long-term effects. “These concentrations were evaluated against guidelines established by toxicologists that assure no expected health impacts and, where concentrations were higher than the guidelines, toxicologists reviewed the potential impacts to confirm no adverse effects would be expected,” TCEQ says.

      • Only intact forests can stave off climate change

        The world’s forests are supposed to stave off climate change. Left alone, perhaps they could. But they’re not being left alone.

      • What Would a Deep Green New Deal Look Like?

        But the last of these hits a stumbling block.€  Creation of all forms of energy contributes to the destruction of nature and human life.€  It is possible to increase the global quality of life at the same time we reduce the use of fossil fuels and other sources of energy.€  Therefore, a “deep” GND would focus on energy reduction, otherwise known as energy conservation.€  Decreasing total energy use is a prerequisite for securing human existence.

        Recognizing True Dangers

      • The Father of Environmental Justice Isn’t Done Yet

        In 1979, Robert Bullard and a team of 10 graduate students spent weeks poring over city records, library archives, and microfiche, searching for landfill locations in Houston, a sprawling, 557-square-mile city that’s home to nearly 1.5 million people. There was no Google or geographic information systems, no iPhones or laptops. To find a landfill, Bullard and his students had to follow the paper trails of permits, deeds, and licenses. The project took over Bullard’s living room and ate up his weekends and holidays.1This story was published in partnership with the Texas Observer.

      • In 'Critical and Totally Doable First Step,' EPA Proposes Phasedown of Climate Super-Pollutants

        With this rule to reduce hydrofluorocarbons, "EPA is taking another significant step under President Biden's ambitious agenda to address the climate crisis," said the agency's administrator.

      • Energy

        • Green Groups Sue Army Corps of Engineers Over Nationwide Pipeline Permit

          "There's simply no justification for allowing destructive and dangerous pipelines to avoid rigorous environmental review."€ 

        • Exposing High Seas Crime With Journalism—and Help From Music

          About 100 miles off the coast of Thailand, three dozen Cambodian boys and men worked barefoot all day and into the night on the deck of a purse seiner fishing ship. Fifteen-foot swells climbed the sides of the vessel, clipping the crew below the knees. Ocean spray and fish innards made the floor skating-rink slippery.€ 

          Seesawing erratically from the rough seas and gale winds, the deck was an obstacle course of jagged tackle, spinning winches and tall stacks of 500-pound nets. Rain or shine, shifts ran 18 to 20 hours. At night, the crew cast their nets when the small silver fish they target — mostly jack mackerel and herring — were more reflective and easier to spot in darker waters.€ 

        • Environmental groups sue Army Corps of Engineers over pipeline permitting

          A coalition of five environmental groups on Monday sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, saying the corps did not properly analyze environmental impacts when issuing a broad pipeline permit.

          The plaintiffs, which include the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Waterkeeper Alliance and Montana Environmental Information Center, filed the lawsuit in federal court in Montana.

          The permit at issue, Permit 12, is a so-called nationwide permit that streamlines the pipeline permitting process. The corps estimates its 2021 version will be used more than 40,000 times over the next five years.

        • Total declares force majeure on Mozambique LNG after insurgent attacks

          French energy group Total declared force majeure on its $20 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique and confirmed it had withdrawn all staff from the construction site following insurgent attacks last month.

          Dozens of civilians were killed in the Islamic State-linked attacks in the coastal Mozambique town of Palma, near gas projects that are worth $60 billion and are aimed at transforming the East African nation’s economy.

        • Rich People Are Fueling Climate Catastrophe — But Not Mostly Because of Their Consumption

          Rich people have enormous carbon footprints. But the fundamental problem with their climate impact isn’t what they consume — it’s that they own the means of production, and it’s extremely profitable for them to pollute.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Páramos at Risk: The Interconnected Threats to a Biodiversity Hotspot
        • Protecting nature can lower risk of armed conflict, says conservation body

          Over the last 30 years, countries have been more prone to conflict when natural resources like agricultural land and water become scarce or degraded, such as in areas where droughts are frequent, said a report released by the organisation, which brings together governments, green groups and scientists.

        • Hold on! 240-pound fish, age 100, caught in Detroit River

          “Based on its girth and size, it is assumed to be a female and that she has been roaming our waters over 100 years. She was quickly released back into the river” after being weighed and measured, the Fish and Wildlife Service said.

          The typical lifespan is 55 years for a male sturgeon and 70 to 100 years for females, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

        • 240-pound sturgeon caught in Detroit River among biggest ever recorded in US

          The crew of three — two women and a man all in their 30s — measured and tagged the fish, a female, with a chip similar to what people put in their pets. So if anyone ever caught it again in the next 100 years, they'd know it was the same one.

        • 'Once in a lifetime' sturgeon, nearly 7 feet long, caught in Detroit River

          "Lake sturgeon are a threatened species in Michigan. Around the early 1900s is when the lake sturgeon populations really declined," the 33-year-old Howell resident said. "Overfishing and water quality has also been a problem."

          The Detroit River provides a perfect habitat for spawning — indeed that's probably what the massive fish was doing when her day was interrupted. Sturgeon need rocky shoals, which are plentiful in the river as well as the Upper St. Clair River and St. Mary's River in the Upper Peninsula. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has partnered with other agencies to restore this habitat in seven locations in recent years.

        • 240-pound sturgeon caught in Detroit River likely a century old

          Officials believe the fish has been roaming the Detroit River and surrounding waters for more than 100 years, hatching in the Detroit River around 1920.

    • Finance

      • Housing and the Rising GDP

        Productivity Growth Looks Strong

        The strong growth in the quarter also implies that the pick-up in productivity growth seen in 2020 is continuing. After growing at just a 1.0 percent annual rate for the prior decade, productivity increased by 2.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of 2020.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • America Hacks Itself

        Maybe when I say that what comes to mind are all the potholes on your street. Or the dismal state of public transportation in your city. Or crumbling bridges all over the country. But that’s so twentieth century of you.

        America’s most urgent infrastructure vulnerability is largely invisible and€ unlikely to be fixed€ by the Biden administration’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan.

      • Liberty for Whom?

        “Give us liberty and give them death,” said David Duke at a rally for the Ku Klux Klan in Baton Rouge, La., in 1975. His thunderous words were a play on the famous quotation from Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Henry’s statement was intended to express his commitment to the well-known American ideal of freedom, which he and his peers took to be at stake in their forthcoming revolutionary struggle with the British Empire. But when Duke gave this speech as the Grand Dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, he had in mind another ideal with deep roots in American history: racial domination.

      • Biden Raises Refugee Cap to 62,500—While Admitting US Will Fall Short

        "This erases the historically low number set by the previous administration of 15,000, which did not reflect America's values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees."

      • The Squad & Co: Unite as a Block to Downsize Biden's Military Budget

        Imagine this scenario:€ A month before the vote on the federal budget, progressives in Congress declared, “We’ve studied President Biden’s proposed $753 billion military budget, an increase of $13 billion from Trump’s already inflated budget, and we can’t, in good conscience, support this.”

      • Chris Hedges: Don’t Be Fooled By Joe Biden

        Don’t be fooled by Joe Biden. He knows his infrastructure and education bills have as much chance at becoming law as the $15-dollar minimum wage or the $2,000 stimulus checks he promised us as a candidate. He knows his American Jobs Plan will never create “millions of good paying jobs – jobs Americans can raise their families on” any more than NAFTA, which he supported, would, as was also promised, create millions of good paying jobs. His mantra of “buy American” is worthless. He knows the vast majority of our consumer electronics, apparel, furniture and industrial supplies are made in China by workers who earn an average of one or two dollars an hour and lack unions and basic labor rights. He knows his call to lower deductibles and prescription drug costs in the Affordable Care Act will never be permitted by the corporations that profit from health care. He knows the corporate donors that fund the Democratic Party will ensure their lobbyists will continue to write the laws that guarantee they pay little or no taxes. He knows the corporate subsidies and tax incentives he proposes as a solution to the climate crisis will do nothing to halt oil and gas fracking, shut down coal-fired plants or halt the construction of new pipelines for gas-fired power plants. € His promises of reform have no more weight than those peddled by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who Biden slavishly served and who also promised social equality while betraying working men and women.

      • If You Don't Op-Ed, Will You Get Enough?

        Today’s readers may not realize that “op-ed” is shorthand for placement “opposite the editorial” page in the layout of unfolded newsprint.€  Yet while some of its format is specific to what one book title called “The Vanishing Newspaper” as early as 2004, the op-ed’s essentials deserve better than to silently crumble like the yellowing journalism of last week’s newspaper.

        The format might seem to exemplify what Noam Chomsky calls mainstream media’s efforts “to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views.” Chomsky’s own views were among the most critical and dissident solicited by the Times, an offer he declined because his academic background made “it enormously more difficult to write 700 words than 7000.”

      • GOP Still Wants to Pretend the Preservation of Slavery Wasn’t a Major Reason for the American Revolution

        This time it is President Joe Biden’s desire to bring America’s history of slavery out of the shadows using, in part, the 1619 Project. Naturally, Biden’s desires did not sit well with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who has asked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to order schools to stop teaching the New York Times’ Pulitzer-Prize winning history project.

        McConnell and his colleagues objected to one specific mention in the 1619 Project that suggests the American Revolution was fought, in part, to maintain slavery.

      • The Center Cannot Hold in Spain, but Can the Left Take Advantage?

        One week was all it took for one of Spain’s five major national political parties to collapse. On March 10, Ciudadanos, a center-right party, thought it could shore up its flagging base with a sly move to grab power in a regional parliament. Together with the center-left Socialist Party, it presented a no-confidence vote in the coastal region of Murcia to try to oust the conservative—and deeply corrupt—Partido Popular (PP) from power. The move backfired. Within a week, the feud between the PP and Cuidadanos blew up their alliances across the country, torpedoing several regional governments, while numerous Ciudadanos deputies decamped to the PP. Seeking an opportunity to consolidate power, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the right-wing PP governor of Madrid known for refusing to impose a lockdown, called for snap elections in the region home to the Spanish capital.

      • Sanders Accuses McConnell of Hypocrisy and Corruption in Scathing KY Speech
      • At Kentucky Rally, Sanders Blasts McConnell for 'Working Overtime' to Reward the Rich and Block Progress

        "If Senator McConnell and Republicans in the Senate continue their strategy of obstructionism, it means passing a progressive agenda through the Senate with 51 votes."

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Trump's Facebook account should never be reinstated because we know what he'd use it for

        With so few on-camera appearances, how did the Big Lie permeate so quickly? Well, while Trump wasn't appearing on camera, he did remain online. He posted to his personal social media accounts more than 2,200 times between the election and the insurrection: using the Trump Twitter archive, I counted more than 1,520 tweets on his personal account and, with help from Media Matters and use of the Newswhip tool, found at least 757 Facebook posts.

        And, of the 29 tweets used as evidence by House impeachment managers who tried Trump before the Senate on charges of “incitement of insurrection against the Republic he swore to protect,” 22 of them appeared in identical forms on Facebook.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Rep. Lauren Boebert Decides To Streisand Parody Site Making Fun Of Her, Threatens To Take Legal Action Against It

        Rep. Lauren Boebert is one of the new crew of elected Republicans who claims to be "pro-Constitution" and "pro-freedom" but when you get down into the details, it seems that the only part of the Constitution that matters to her is the 2nd Amendment. The website for her campaign proudly states that she's "Standing for Freedom" and is "Pro-Freedom, Pro-Guns, Pro-Constitution."

      • Activists in Russia say military conscription is a weapon for silencing dissent

        While military service is mandatory in Russia, with more than 250,000 men between the ages of 18 and 27 conscripted each year, many Russians get out of it through medical or educational exemptions. Some also simply ignore the summons or pay bribes.

        But for those harbouring opposition sympathies, avoiding service is a more complicated endeavour.

        The opposition and rights activists say conscription in recent years has become another weapon in the authorities' arsenal in their drive to silence dissent.

      • Facebook Bans Redfish For Commemorating Nazi Defeat

        Russia's multimedia agency Ruptly on Friday informed that Facebook deleted its Redfish page for posting archive photos commemorating the defeat of the Fascist regime in Italy and remembering the atrocities of the Holocaust.

        "Facebook deleted our page, mentioning that our posts violate its community standards. Yet another left-wing media is being censored when the far-right-wing is rising worldwide," Redfish tweeted.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Two theories Why did the Russian authorities designate Meduza as a ‘foreign agent’?

        As you may have learned from the crowdfunding banners now adorning this website, the Russian authorities designated Meduza as a “foreign agent” on April 23. Our new status in Russia has chased away advertisers and deprived us of revenue, endangering Meduza’s continued existence. We asked the Justice Ministry why it believes we are “foreign agents,” and officials sent a formal response (translated below) that explains almost nothing. Why did the Justice Ministry act now? Why did it target Meduza? And who ordered this? Meduza correspondents spoke to sources with knowledge of the Kremlin’s inner workings and found two plausible theories.

      • Detained Australian journalist in China warned family should not raise her case

        Australian journalist and CGTN news anchor Cheng Lei (成蕾), who was detained in China last August for allegedly leaking national secrets, has met virtually with Australian diplomats.

        According to ABC News, the mother of two is being held in a Beijing prison without charge and has repeatedly been denied access to a lawyer. In February, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) confirmed that Chinese authorities had arrested Cheng for allegedly funneling state secrets abroad.

      • Killing Hong Kong’s Free Press Will Harm Its Economy

        The Chinese government is making a high-stakes bid to force Hong Kong—long an outpost of freedom—into abject political and civic submission while sustaining the territory’s status as a global hub for finance and a gateway to the mainland’s vast markets.

        But key features of Hong Kong’s cosmopolitanism—its free press, provisions for access to government data, and international media presence—are facing dire pressure and constraints, interrupting the flow of news and information that commerce and culture depend on. Beijing has concluded Hong Kong’s traditionally diverse, freewheeling, and professional media sector threatens the drive to bring the territory’s venerable legal, political, and educational institutions—and its restive population—to heel.

        As corporations weigh their responsibilities in relation to social justice and democracy in the United States, banks and businesses contemplating a future in Hong Kong should consider the moral and practical implications of remaining in a city where press freedom and professional journalism are being systematically snuffed out to enable a determined clampdown on democracy and freedom.

      • US Government Marks World Press Freedom Day By Ignoring Their Attacks On Press Freedom

        Secretary of State Antony Blinken marked World Press Freedom Day by calling attention to governments that are “becoming less transparent” and “more repressive.”“Some governments incarcerate journalists, harass them, target them for violence,” Blinken stated. “Some use other, more subtle [methods] like mandating professional licenses for journalists and using endless bureaucracy to keep them out of reach, or imposing high taxes on newsprint to push independent media out of business.”Blinken’s comments entirely ignored press freedom in the United States and instead focused on countries like China, Russia, Pakistan, Venezuela, Turkey, Hungary, and “third world countries” in Africa and Central Asia. Yet, he could have been describing his country.In 2020, 416 journalists were assaulted. One hundred and thirty-nine journalists were arrested or detained. One hundred and nine journalists had their equipment damaged. Thirty-one journalists or news organizations were subpoenaed, according to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker curated by the Freedom of the Press Foundation and several other leading press freedom organizations.On average, the police kill about three men per day (or 1,000 people each year). Only a small fraction of these killings result in uprisings, but when they do, journalists face repression from local police forces and city governments that decline to intervene.Journalist Linda Tirado lost an eye in 2020 while covering the uprising after George Floyd was murdered.After Kim Potter, a white police officer in Minnesota, killed a 20 year-old black man named Daunte Wright, journalists were attacked with “crowd control” munitions. A CNN team complained of assault and harassment. Two reporters with the Minnesota-based social media news outlet Neighborhood Reporter were detained.Several Minneapolis Star-Tribune journalists were assaulted by police: reporter Andy Mannix was hit by a “less-lethal” munition in his foot, photojournalist Mark Vancleave’s hand was injured by a rubber bullet, and photojournalist Carlos Gonzalez was pepper-sprayed.During the first 100 days of President Joe Biden’s administration, the White House has failed to take any meaningful action that would bolster First Amendment rights and improve press freedom in the United States.€ The Knight First Amendment Institute put forward a “First Amendment agenda” for the Biden administration in December. Of the 12 items, just three were completed.Biden’s administration released the report from the Director of National Intelligence’s office on the role of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman in the murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi.Sanctions on International Criminal Court investigators were lifted on April 2. They were levied by former President Donald Trump in retaliation for an inquiry into war crimes in Afghanistan, and violated the First Amendment by “impeding U.S. citizens and residents from engaging in protected advocacy and association,” according to the Knight Institute.A Trump executive order targeting “diversity training” in the workplace, which encouraged “viewpoint-based discrimination” when federal contracts were awarded, was overturned as well.However, the Biden Justice Department continues to target journalists and their sources with the U.S. Espionage Act.Attorney General Merrick Garland has allowed the extradition case to proceed against former WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.Assange has been detained at the Belmarsh high-security prison in London for more than two years, and every reputable press freedom organization recognizes the case poses a distinct threat to journalism.For example, Reporters Without Borders international campaigns director Rebecca Vincent pointed out, “If the U.S. government is successful in securing Assange’s extradition and prosecuting him for his contributions to public interest reporting, the same precedent could be applied to any journalist anywhere. The possible implications of this case simply cannot be understated. It is the very future of journalism and press freedom that is at stake.”“It is clearly politically motivated and intended to make an example of Assange and create a chilling effect on media around the world,” Vincent added.Furthermore, instead of abandoning the prosecution launched under Trump, the Biden Justice Department secured a guilty plea from Daniel Hale, a former military contractor and drone whistleblower.Hale helped expose the targeted assassination program, including drone warfare. He pled guilty on March 31 to one charge of violating the Espionage Act, when he provided documents to Intercept co-founder Jeremy Scahill and anonymously wrote a chapter in Scahill’s book, The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Program.Astonishingly, prosecutors refused to dismiss additional charges and cancel the trial altogether. Hale is set to be sentenced in July, and if prosecutors are not pleased with the severity of the sentence, they can continue to target an unemployed military veteran already coping with mental health problems.NSA whistleblower Reality Winner and FBI whistleblower Terry Albury remain in prison after the Trump administration prosecuted them under the Espionage Act. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden lives in exile in Russia as the government maintains their prosecution, even seizing profits from his memoir and any speaking engagements.The Biden administration has done nothing to rein in policies that allow Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to engage in suspicionless searches of travelers’ electronic devices in violation of both the First and Fourth Amendments.On February 9, 2021, the First Circuit appeals court overturned a district court decision and claimed “reasonable suspicion is not required before a border agent can conduct a basic search,” according to the Knight Institute, which filed the lawsuit. They also contended “probable cause is not required before a border agent can conduct an advanced search.”Between 2006 and June 2018, according to a report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), “37 journalists were stopped collectively for secondary screenings more than 110 times.”“Many of the 37 cases identified for this report were among journalists who travel to the Middle East or report on terrorism or national security—all factors that increase the likelihood of being stopped,” CPJ added. “Arabs, Muslims, and individuals of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent face increased scrutiny at the border, according to the ACLU and other civil liberties organizations.”Canadian journalist Ed Ou traveled to the U.S. to cover the protests at Standing Rock in October 2016. He was questioned about his interest in indigenous groups. An officer even said “covering a protest is not a valid reason to come into the country.”Ou worked in authoritarian countries previously and secured all his electronics before traveling to those countries. € However, he was not prepared to do this in a “liberal democracy like the U.S., which claims to protect press freedoms and freedom of expression.”In another lawsuit by the Knight Institute, the Biden administration is defending a prepublication review system former government employees, especially those who work in security agencies, must submit to in order to publish books. It frequently employs arbitrary and politically driven censorship to suppress content that could embarrass the U.S. government.

        Mark Fallon, a former Naval Criminal Investigative Service employee, is a plaintiff, and he waited almost eight months for a review of his book about torture policies under President George W. Bush to be completed. A letter had to be sent to six senators. Numerous requests for updates were sent. Fallon went to the press, and the ACLU and Knight Institute got involved before a review was completed.

      • Opinion: Journalists are never truly free in Pakistan

        The world knows of press freedom in Pakistan through statistics and reports of censorship on content.

        I know of press freedom in Pakistan through lived reality because I have watched fantastic journalistic pieces be deleted and authors being told to steer clear of topics that clash with companies' interests — for example investigations of how powerful fashion houses exploit their laborers.

      • Zimbabwe court quashes criminal charges against journalist

        Zimbabwe’s High Court on Wednesday quashed charges of communicating false information levelled against journalist and government critic Hopewell Chin’ono, saying the law used by police to arrest him in January no longer existed.

        Chin’ono, who has a large social media following, has been critical of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rule, accusing his government of corruption and mismanagement.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Confirming GOP Fears, Poll Shows For the People Act Is Popular With Republican Voters

        Still, as long as Senate Republicans refuse to support the bill, passing electoral reforms depends on eliminating the filibuster, which conservative Democrats have yet to endorse.

      • Critics Decry Unconstitutional Abortion Ban in Lubbock, Texas
      • With Just a Few Migrant Families to Reunite, ACLU Calls for Citizenship and No Future Separations

        "We are happy that the first four families will be reunified this week, but this is only the beginning of a very long process involving more than 5,500 children."

      • Russian LGBTQ activist and artist Yulia Tsvetkova goes on hunger strike

        Over the weekend, artist and LGBTQ rights activist Yulia Tsvetkova, who is facing charges for the criminal distribution of pornography over drawings she posted on social media, announced a hunger strike.

      • Ignorance Does Not Lead to Freedom

        Foreign terrorists did not manipulate them. They earnestly believed as President Donald Trump told them that day and for weeks beforehand, that Congress was about to trample on their freedom and liberty. Most of them could have been€ your white neighbors.

        Thomas€ Jefferson in a letter to a friend€ pointed out that the lack of an educated populace leads to the expectation that they can be both ignorant and free in a state of civilization and open to demagoguery.€ € Jefferson wrote they expect “what never was and never will be.” That unrealistic expectation is at the crux of why our nation’s schools must teach civics so that as adults, they understand what is possible in a democracy and the principles that sustain it.

      • The Biggest Bust Ever: Direct Action Lessons From€ Three Days in May of 1971

        That bust was the last gasp of three days of mass protest activity, in Washington, D.C. over the Vietnam War. It resulted in the largest number of civil disobedience-related detentions in U.S. history—12,000 in all, including a record-breaking single-day total of 7,000 people arrested on May 3, 1971.

        To conduct this unprecedented round-up—later found to be unlawful—President Richard Nixon deployed far more law enforcement and military personnel than the Trump Administration used, in the same city, last year. € Organizers of the May, 1971 anti-war actions had publicly announced their intention to shut-down the nation’s capital–by blocking its streets, bridges, and buildings. But that plan was thwarted by nearly 20,000 local, state, and federal police officers, National Guard members, U.S. Marines, paratroopers from the Army’s 82nd€ Airborne Division, and the Sixth Armored Cavalry from Fort Meade in Maryland.

      • Levada Center: Russians name Putin’s address and the Navalny protests as April 2021’s most memorable events

        According to survey results from the independent Levada Center, 17 percent of respondents named Vladimir Putin’s State of the Nation address as the most memorable event of April 2021.€ 

      • How NYPD’s Vice Unit Got Prostitution Policing All Wrong

        In recent months, the city and state of New York have moved to decriminalize prostitution. State lawmakers repealed a law that made “loitering” to sell sex a crime. District attorneys in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens announced that while they would continue to prosecute pimps, sex traffickers and “johns” who pay for sex, they would be referring men and women involved in prostitution to social service agencies. The DAs dropped thousands of cases of unlicensed massage, prostitution and loitering dating back to the 1980s.

        The changes came after a ProPublica series on prostitution arrests in New York City that began with a basic question: What are the costs (or possible benefits) to society of sending police officers out to arrest people for prostitution? As with many investigative stories, this one began with a specific tip about an undercover cop who was purportedly entrapping women and a few men into offering to sell sex. We didn’t know his name, just that he was referred to in court proceedings as Undercover 157. (In a statement, the NYPD defended the undercover officer as a veteran “with approximately 1,800 successful buys and no complaints against him at the NYPD or with the Civilian Complaint Review Board,” later clarifying this meant no active complaints.)

      • Afghan Women’s Problems Don’t End With the Taliban

        The intelligence assessment shows that women’s rights in Afghanistan face threats not only from the Taliban, which are on the offensive and could form part of the next Afghan government or take outright control, but also from broader Afghan politics and public opinion.

      • Inside Pakistan's 'Conversion Factory' For Hindu Brides

        But to his critics, Mitha’s clout has a nefarious edge: He runs what his critics call a notorious “conversion factory” targeting primarily young women from Pakistan’s Hindu minority who are married off to Muslim men and converted to Islam simultaneously -- often under alleged coercion.

        And few feel empowered to challenge him.

        "We couldn’t stop them. My wife tried to stand in front of our daughters, but they pointed their guns, so she backed off," Hari Lal, who alleges his two teenage daughters were kidnapped by men linked to Mitha’s seminary in March 2019 and forcibly converted, told RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal.

      • Stop religious pressure on Orang Asli in Pahang, Siti Kasim begs authorities

        In a nine-minute video uploaded on her Instagram, Siti claimed that the villagers had been coerced into embracing Islam in the 1990s, adding that they knew nothing of the faith and were not practising Muslims.

        She said the villagers told her that they had been under the impression that they would be evicted from their village if they did not embrace Islam.

        The villagers, she said, now want to go to court to renounce Islam, but have been facing pressure not to do so.

      • Pakistani Christian Accused of Blasphemy Tortured into False Confession

        In Pakistan, false accusations of blasphemy are widespread and often motivated by personal vendettas or religious hatred. Accusations are highly inflammatory and have the potential to spark mob lynchings, vigilante murders, and mass protests.

        Since Pakistan added Section 295-B and 295-C to the country’s blasphemy laws in 1987, the number of blasphemy accusations have skyrocketed. Between 1987 and 2017, 1,534 individuals in Pakistan have been accused of blasphemy. Out of that 1,534, 829 accusations (54%), were made against religious minorities. With Christians only making up 1.6% of Pakistan’s total population, the 238 accusations (15.5%) made against Christians is highly disproportionate.

      • Some Muslims want the land of a Christian family, so they attack, loot property and destroy

        Salina Baska, one of the victims (picture 1), filed a complaint against the attackers, but the police refused to help her. Instead, they asked the victims for money. So far no one has been arrested in connection with the incident.

        “Muslims destroyed our mud house (picture 2),” said the 38-year-old ethnic Santal. “They stole our tin roof, took the rice, food, everything of value. They also beat me and my husband with a stick, even my children.”

        Her family has been living on land that belonged to her ancestors. But the attackers bought land next to them and now want to take over their neighbours’ land.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Netflix IT exec forced employees to use products from vendors that bribed him

        Netflix's former vice president of IT operations was convicted of taking bribes from technology vendors in exchange for awarding them contracts with Netflix, the US Department of Justice announced Friday. The former Netflix VP's illegal scheme forced colleagues to use a variety of products, including one that suffered from "severe" performance problems and another that Netflix employees objected to because they preferred a different product the company was already paying for, the DOJ said.

      • Roku Users Lose Access To YouTube TV As Dumb Contract Fights Shift From Cable TV To Streaming

        For decades now, cable TV consumers have been subjected to idiotic cable TV "retransmission feuds" that black out content consumers pay for as broadcasters and cable operators bicker over rates. And while streaming TV was supposed to remedy many of the dumber aspects of the traditional cable TV model, that's not really happening. The names and gatekeepers are simply shifting.

    • Monopolies

      • After Prosecutions Dove to 25-Year Low Under Trump, Will Biden DOJ Crack Down on Corporate Crimes?

        "President Biden's DOJ should ramp up enforcement to show that corporate criminals are not above the law," says author of new study.

      • Moderna Offer of Vaccines for Global South 'Not a Substitute for Patent Justice,' Advocates Say

        "We€ can't count on the benevolence of Big Pharma corporations" to end the pandemic, said one organization.

      • Amazon’s profit soars 220 percent as pandemic drives shopping online.

        “In just 15 years, AWS has become a $54 billion annual sales run rate business competing against the world’s largest technology companies, and its growth is accelerating,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, said in a statement. Mr. Bezos plans to step down as chief executive later this year and transition into the role of executive chairman.

      • Hollywood Lobbyists So Afraid Of Any Public Benefit From 'Intellectual Property' That They're Trying To Block COVID Vaccine Sharing

        Throughout the COVID pandemic, it's been truly shameful to watch how patent maximalists have tried to insist that we just need more patents to deal with COVID -- even though the incredible breakthroughs that brought such quick development of vaccines were not due to patents, but rather the free and open flow of information from a bunch of researchers and scientists who didn't care about whether or not information was locked up for profit, but did care about saving millions of lives.

      • Magical Properties

        Back in the Paleolithic Were people appealing To one another, as casually As we do today, for a light? Or was it far more fraught — Perhaps they feared or thought That their fire, their heat, Would somehow be deprived;

        Or do you suppose They resented those Who wanted to take With little exposure to danger What they’d risked burning alive In lava to obtain;

      • Patents

        • CJEU sets August deadline for observations from European Commission, EU member states and parties on standard-essential patent licensing questions in Nokia v. Daimler

          In November 2020, the Dusseldorf Regional Court decided to refer to the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) two sets of legal questions: one about the component-level licensing of standard-essential patents (SEPs) and another about the application of the Huawei v. ZTE SEP injunction framework. Nokia brought an interlocutory appeal, which was going nowhwere and ultimately withdrawn.

          Another procedural milestone was reached on April 29. The CJEU provided translations of the preliminary reference to the European Commission, other EU institutions, the EU member states, the three non-EU member states of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway), and the parties and intervenors so they can file observations.

          Under the court's procedural rules, the parties normally have two months plus an automatic 10-day extension "on account of distance" (which appears a bit anachronistic in the Digital Age, as it would almost be enough for service by stagecoach). Currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there's an additional automatic extension by one month. All in all, this means the filings will be due on August 8 (a Sunday, so this may practically mean August 9).

          Unlike in the United States, where a diversity of stakeholders may file amicus curiae briefs, the CJEU will accept submissions only from the types of entities listed further above. Therefore, companies who are not parties to or intervenors to this case must persuade governments to file observations supporting their positions.

        • Dublin based designer named finalist in European Inventor Award

          Spanish designer and entrepreneur Dr Carmen Hijosa, now living in Dun Laoghaire, has been named a finalist for the European Inventor Award 2021 for her sustainable alternative to leather. Co-founder of Chesneau Leather Goods in Kilkenny in 1977 and a director of design at the company for 15 years, she then worked as a textile consultant for the World Bank who asked her to consult on the Philippine leather industry.

        • Transferring safely from ship to rig on the high seas in no time [Ed: EPO puff pieces are beginning to appear, costing the institution millions of euros though it helps EPO managers distract from their crimes and corruption (these publishers are paid for puff pieces; won't cover the scandals about the palm that feeds)]

          Moving from a ship on the high seas to a wind turbine or any other offshore rig is often a challenge, to say the least. The ship moves in all directions because of the waves. And the passenger pods that are transferred by crane are like a toy tossed in the wind. Dutch inventor Jan van der Tempel has developed a solution to this problem. This gangway, which resembles a passenger boarding bridge (PBB) for airplanes, is able to offset all the movements of a ship. This makes transferring for offshore personnel safer and faster. For his invention, Van der Tempel has now been nominated for the prestigious European Inventor Award 2021 from the European Patent Office (EPO) in the Industry category.

        • SME tech saves seabirds from death: Ben and Pete Kibel named European Inventor Award 2021 finalists [Ed: EPO wasting lots of money seeding press releases that falsely conflate the criminals who govern the Office with scientists who actually accomplished something]

          The European Patent Office (EPO) announces that British brothers Ben and Pete Kibel have been nominated as finalists in the “SMEs” category of the European Inventor Award 2021 for their invention of a simple, low-cost device that prevents the accidental deaths of seabirds during longline fishing.

        • European Inventor Award 2021 finalists announced [Ed: Way to distract from EPO crimes while literally wasting millions of euros, quite likely in direct violation of the rules of the Organisation]

          The European Patent Office (EPO) today announced the 15 inventors and inventor teams shortlisted as finalists for the 2021 edition of the European Inventor Award. The annual innovation prize, now in its 15th year, recognises outstanding inventors who have made an exceptional contribution to technology, society, and economic growth.

          The 2021 European Inventor Award winners will be announced at a ceremony beginning at 19:00 CEST on 17 June 2021, which has this year been reimagined as a digital event for a global audience. The ceremony will be open to the public and held in an extended reality format.

        • Software Patents

          • Supreme Court Requests View of Solicitor General in American Axle v. Neapco [Ed: Michael Borella and other software patent profiteers try to push the Trump-stacked SCOTUS to overturn Alice and weaken patent quality]

            Today, the Supreme Court requested the views of the Solicitor General in its consideration of American Axle's certiorari petition, which asks the Court to reverse the Federal Circuit's decision in American Axle & Mfg. v. Neapco Holdings LLC. That decision is noteworthy on several grounds. It is an application of the Federal Circuit's fractured jurisprudence on subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. ۤ 101 to a traditionally patent-eligible subject matter -- a method of producing shaft assemblies in a driveline system for trucks having reduced vibration during use. The case was the occasion for the full Court to illustrate the deep divisions among the Judges, with half of them voting to rehear the case en banc and the other half refusing to do so. Moreover, the decision not to grant rehearing en banc was accompanied by several opinions from various combinations of the Judges concurring or dissenting from the decision. And those opinions (as well as Judge Moore's dissent from the panel opinion) contained sharp rhetoric regarding not only the panel decision but the pattern and scope of the Court's attempts to consistently and coherently explicate the broad principles enunciated by the Supreme Court in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories and Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International (which, to be fair, may itself have been a Herculean task).

          • Shopify Joins the Open Invention Network

            Open Invention Network (OIN), the largest patent non-aggression community in history, announced today that Shopify has become a licensee and community member of OIN. As a leading global commerce platform providing trusted tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business of any size, Shopify is reinforcing its commitment to open source software (OSS) as an enabler of its growing business.

            “Shopify’s platform provides not only the tools to build an online store, but also a full suite of merchant solutions, including payment processing through Shopify Payments and loans through Shopify Capital, among others. Ecommerce platforms, fintech, and financial services companies should all take note of Shopify’s growth and leadership, which has been built upon open source software going back to its launch,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “We appreciate Shopify’s participation in joining OIN and demonstrating its commitment to innovation and patent non-aggression in the Linux System.”

      • Trademarks

        • How to reconcile sustainability and eradication of counterfeit goods in the fashion industry? [Ed: Well, "sustainability" is some nonsense and a buzzword, there are no "sustainability standards"]

          While fashion brands and retailers are committing to sustainability standards with increasing strength, the environmental and social impact of counterfeit goods is being neglected. This is particularly striking, giving that the range of such products is widening and the urgency to effectively manage the storage and disposal of fake fashion products escalates.


          Primarily, counterfeiting is extremely attractive for organized crime. This form of criminality, over the past several years, has proven to be increasingly profitable while receiving little interest from law enforcement and policy makers. Experts have highlighted a rising tendency by organized crime to introduce counterfeit products into the legitimate supply chain, in view of selling them as originals and reaching a wider customer base. Of course, this aspect relates to organized crime’s efforts to extend its control over legal economy in various sectors, directly and indirectly. Counterfeiting provides huge funds to organized crime which can be reinvested in various activities, both licit and illicit.

          On a different note, the growth of e-commerce represents one of the greatest and most challenging opportunities for the fashion industry as far as counterfeiting is concerned. On the one hand, online stores are connecting millions of people around the world, creating new opportunities for the biggest brands as well as for the small and medium ones. On the downside, the positive effects of digital progress are tarnished by the inadequate governance of the web environment. In particular, the main threats emerge when it comes to tackling illicit conducts, the impact on the goods transportation method, and the relative ease of the dissimulation of identities and supply chains.

          It is one of the goals of the EU Customs Policy to keep pace with the proliferation of counterfeit products, especially in the wake of the pandemics, in parallel with a rise in the level of successful enforcement interventions. As larger amounts of infringing goods will be detected by authorities, the urgency to effectively manage the storage and disposal of such products increases.

        • EUTM data: German carmakers bolster electric vehicle portfolios [Ed: Max Walters does puff pieces with Campinos. So why not cover the EPO abuses? Fluff pays more than exposing corruption. Nowadays in so-called 'journalism' you get promoted not for accuracy, exclusivity, or positive impact but for sucking up to the rich and powerful while mastering the use of their buzzwords and euphemisms. Guess who rewards them and pays their salaries...]

          In this fourth exclusive data-led article, Managing IP looks at trademark filing trends in Germany – where major brands remain strong

      • Copyrights

        • Red Hot Chili Peppers to Sell Song Catalog to Hipgnosis for Upwards of $140 Million

          The Chili Peppers’ catalog was largely written by the band’s key members since 1989 —singer Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith and guitarist John Frusciante, who recently returned for his third stint with the group. As reported by Billboard, the catalog is administered by Moebetoblame Music, under the guidance of lawyer Eric Greenspan, managing partner of the law firm Myman, Greenspan, Fox, Rosenberg Mobasser, Younger & Light LLP. Sources say Greenspan shopped the deal for the band. It also reported that the group’s catalog generates $5 million to $6 million in net publishers’ share.

        • VidCon Taps Nicole Leo as Director of Creator Partnerships (Exclusive)

          Additionally, Leo will oversee all talent relations for the tech conference and its digital events worldwide. She will be based in ViacomCBS's Hollywood office and report to Colin Hickey, vp of operations.

        • U.S. Requests Lower Sentence for 'Cooperative' Member of Scene Piracy Group

          Jonatan Correa was part of the piracy Scene group SPARKS that presumably caused Hollywood millions in losses. After pleading guilty, he now faces a prison sentence of 12 to 18 months. However, the U.S. Government is asking a New York federal court to issue a lower sentence since Correa didn't have a financial motive. In addition, he has been cooperative since his arrest.

        • The Pirate Bay Co-Founder Peter Sunde Acted Illegally, Court Rules

          The Helsinki Court of Appeal has confirmed that Peter Sunde, the co-founder and former administrator of The Pirate Bay, violated the rights of various record companies. According to the Court, Sunde helped to distribute copyrighted recordings via the torrent site between 2005 and 2009.

        • CC Search to Join WordPress

          Our teams are still finalizing details and timing, and we’ll be sharing updates with you as we get closer to the finish line.

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