Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 8/8/2021: Thunderbird 91 Coming Soon, OSMC Gets Kodi 19



  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Arm SMCCC TRNG Driver Queued Ahead Of Linux 5.15 - Phoronix

        The Linux kernel already supports making use of Arm's True Random Number Generator (TRNG) SMCCC interface within the random seed code while for the upcoming Linux 5.15 cycle an "arm_smccc_trng" driver is being added and will allow exposing the entropy to user-space.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Has A Huge Batch Of New Graphics Driver Code For Linux 5.15 - Phoronix

          Intel engineers on Friday submitted a big batch of kernel graphics driver improvements to DRM-Next for queuing ahead of the Linux 5.15 merge window.

          This latest Intel Linux graphics pull request has DG2 graphics card enabling, initial work on XeHP, DRM scheduler preparations, getting TTM memory management now ready for discrete GPU systems, and other bleeding edge hardware work.

    • Applications

      • 8 Best Free Evernote Alternatives for Linux 2021 (Note Taking Apps)

        No doubt that Evernote is a good app to take notes that can be used across Windows, macOS, and other smartphone OS such as Android. The only problem it caters is that it does not have an official Linux note-taking app, that is sad I know! It too has ignored it like many others. You might use it in the browser but it does not provide the offline capability.

        As it decided not to entertain users of this platform, it does not mean you are left out! Today I have put together a list of the top 8 best Evernote Linux alternatives for 2021 that are both open-source and free to download just because of that.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Export a 2D illustration of a 3D model in OpenSCAD

        I've been getting into OpenSCAD lately—I'd rather wrestle with a text-based 3D modeling application for more dimensional models than fight with lockups of Fusion 360!

        One thing I wanted to do recently was model a sheet-metal object that would be cut from a flat piece of sheet metal, then folded into its final form using a brake. Before 3D printing the final design, or cutting metal, I wanted to 'dry fit' my design to make sure my measurements were correct.

      • How to Install WP-CLI on Linux Server for WordPress - LinuxCapable

        WP-CLI is the command-line interface for WordPress. The WP-CLI is a tool that enables you to interact with your WordPress site directly by using commands in a text-based interface. It’s also very comprehensive, featuring a wide variety of potential commands. Almost anything you can do on the back end of your site, you can do much faster using the WP-CLI.

      • How to check if Intel Hyper-Threading is enabled in Linux

        Hyper-Threading is an Intel's simultaneous multithreading (SMT) technology that is designed to improve execution parallelism of x86 CPU processors. With Hyper-Threading enabled, each physical core is represented as two "logical processors", each of which can execute jobs concurrently while sharing resources of the physical core. When one logical processor is halted or interrupted, the other logical processor on the same core can steal resources from the stalled processor. Thus, Hyper-Threading is expected to improve overall CPU throughput, and is particularly useful for multi-threaded applications which involve a mix of CPU- and I/O-intensive workloads, such as video encoding, 3D-rendering, gaming, etc.

        [...]

        Hyper-Threading is a CPU processor feature. Hence typically you need to use BIOS settings to check whether or not Hyper-Threading is enabled. BIOS menu varies across different systems, and Hyper-Threading setting is typically found under "Advanced", "Processors" or "Performance" related settings. For example, the Hyper-Threading control in Dell XPS 13 BIOS is shown below.

      • Self-hosting Rocket.Chat With Docker [Complete Guide]

        Rocket.Chat is an open source communication platform ideal for collaboration among organizations, teams, or forum members.

        We use it for our internal communication at Linux Handbook and It's FOSS and absolutely love it.

        Now, you may opt for a managed Rocket.Chat instance from the makers of Rocket.Chat itself. It would of course incur additional expenses, but you won't have to put in extra effort in deploying Rocket.Chat, updating it and maintaining it. In addition, it helps the development of the Rocket.Chat project as well.

        If you want to avoid spending a lot or take matters in your hands with a 'do it yourself' approach, you may self-host Rocket.Chat on your server.

        In this tutorial, I'll show the steps to deploy Rocket.Chat with Docker.

      • How To Mount Microsoft OneDrive In Linux [Ed: But why give Microsoft your files and access to your system in the first place?]

        In simple term, Microsoft OneDrive is an answer from Microsoft to Google’s Drive. In this post, we will show you the process of mounting Microsoft OneDrive in Linux based operating systems.

        One of the drawback of Microsoft OneDrive is that it doesn’t have native client for OneDrive for Linux desktop. We do have solution for this too as we will be using third party driver to mount Microsoft OneDrive in Linux based operating system.

      • Top 5 Best Free Android Emulators For Linux (2021) – Play Retro Titles
      • [Old] Ping metrics as graphs

        Having multiple ping targets gives you a pretty accurate view of the health of your [Internet] connection, and also any networking issues for the target devices themselves.

        If all the lines go up (latency increases), the problem is in your internet connection.

        However, if only one target you’re monitoring starts to act up, you know the problem is elsewhere. Maybe the device itself went down, or lost network connectivity?

    • Wine or Emulation

      • CrossOver 21: MS Office for Linux runs better, macOS Monterey doesn’t yet [Ed: Automated translation]

        Wine 6.0 was released in January 2021. Among other things, the update included a Vulkan backend for WineD3D, expanded the implementation of the console and integrated the Media Foundation framework. The developers also continued their work on converting the libraries to the Windows binary format Portable Executable (PE).

        The Vulkan backend for WineD3D is aimed in particular at games and is now used by default for 64-bit applications with Direct3D 10 or 11 under macOS, provided DXVK is not activated. The latter is a translation layer between Direct3D and Vulkan. DXVK is now included in version 1.7.

        CrossOver is now included with Wine Mono, a free and cross-platform implementation of the .NET framework. As of macOS Big Sur 11.3, Xbox X / S and PlayStation 5 controllers also work with CrossOver 21.0.0 via Bluetooth. However, the package cannot be used with Monterey at all. The developers want to submit support later by the end of the year.

    • Games

      • Linux Gaming Predictions for 2021: What Did You Think Back in April? - Boiling Steam

        Here’s another look at the survey results as collected back in April 2021. After looking at cloud gaming trends, hardware choice between AMD and Nvidia, and the usage of different game stores, we will use this time to focus on how respondents assessed different Linux Gaming predictions we published back in February 2021, about what would happen by the end of the year.

        [...]

        Most respondents did not believe this was going to happen. Only one out of four thought this was somewhat likely or very likely for SteamOS, and only about 18% for the hardware part. Turns out that this small minority guessed right, as it’s now very clear that Valve will achieve both by the end of the year following the introduction of the Steam Deck and its companion SteamOS 3.0.

      • Imagine if you could customize the Steam Deck colours - try it out with this tool | GamingOnLinux

        With the upcoming Steam Deck from Valve only (currently) coming in one colour, it's fun to imagine what it would look like if you could customize the casing colours - so let's try it out.

        One of our readers Grady Vuckovic mentioned in our Discord Channel a little tool they made, which allows you to customize a few parts of a Steam Deck image and it actually works quite well. It's been fun to play around with possible colouring and I can't help but now actually want some official variants. Hopefully once the Steam Deck is out, perhaps we might see some fun skins to stick over it. It's a portable after-all, we want to show it off right?

      • Valve Steam Deck hands-on: the Nintendo Switch of PC gaming

        As one example, Valve says it’s planning to produce its own video to explain exactly what it means to open up the Steam Deck and access the internals, because that’s definitely a thing the company’s planning to let you do. (It has Philips-head screws.) We’d already heard you can swap the SSD, but reparability is very much on the company’s mind as well. Valve’s Greg Coomer says the company has a complete set of nuanced answers to your burning questions there.

      • 0 A.D. Alpha 25 Released For This Open-Source RTS Game

        0 A.D. as the long in development real-time strategy game developed by Wildfire Games is out with its twenty-fifth alpha release.

        0 A.D. has been in development as open-source for more than one decade now (and original development being two decades old) while now out is Alpha 25 as their first alpha update in a half-year.

      • Impressive free and open source RTS 0 A.D. Alpha 25 is out now | GamingOnLinux

        The twenty-fifth Alpha version of 0 A.D., a very impressive free and open source RTS is out now. Much earlier than usual since they managed to get over some development hurdles in the previous release. It remains is one of the most technically and visually impressive open source games around, and definitely one to take a look at if you love historical themed strategy games.

        With this release the code-name is Yaunã, an old Persian word for Ionians (Greeks).

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Making Kalendar pretty — Kalendar week 9 (GSoC 2021)

          This week, we spent some time making Kalendar more pleasant to look at. We took some of your feedback from last week (thank you for your ideas!), and we think you will like what we have in store for you in this post.

          There’s another feature some of you have asked for that you will also see here.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • OSMC's August update is here with Kodi v19

          It's been a while since we released an update. We've been very busy behind the scenes and we're now happy to announce the availability Kodi v19 for all OSMC supported devices (note that these have changed, as explained below). It took a lot of time and effort from a large number of developers to release this stable update and get things to a place where we want it.

          It's impossible to cover everything. This is our largest update ever in the seven years that the OSMC project has existed, and we've got a lot to cover, so let's dive in.

      • BSD

        • scp(1) changes in snaps

          Just a head-up: snaps currently contain a set of changes[1] to make scp(1) use the SFTP protocol by default. This has a number of advantages, mostly relating to the improved security that comes from avoiding the use of a protocol that shambled out of the 1980s (SCP/RCP).

        • OpenBSD on the Framework Laptop

          Framework is a new company offering a laptop that is designed to be repairable and upgradeable, both in terms of internal components like the screen and motherboard, and in pluggable expansion cards.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Thunderbird 91 Is Flying Soon As First Major Mail Client Update In A Year

            Thunderbird 91.0 is approaching release as an annual feature release to this open-source, cross-platform mail client and RSS reader. Given the current release is Thunderbird 78 from last July, there is a lot in store for this "2021" update.

            Thunderbird 91 is finally set to offer import/export support for Thunderbird profiles, various user-interface improvements, improved GMail account integration, improved calendar settings, and tons of bug fixes and smaller improvements. The user-interface work includes enhancing the message reading UI, the message compose window has also been revamped, calendar UI improvements, and more.

          • Firefox Add-on Reviews: How to use a temp mail extension for spam and security protection

            One of the most common methods malicious hackers use to break into their victims’ computer systems is tricking them into clicking dangerous links within an email. It’s been popular with cyber criminals for decades because it’s so simple yet consistently effective. Just make the email appear like it’s from a trusted source and include a compelling link that, once clicked, is like opening the front door of your home to a thief.

            Temp mail (i.e. temporary email) is a tremendous way to combat this classic cyber scam. Temp mail creates disposable email accounts for you to use for non-personal/business situations, like registering with websites or online services when you don’t want them knowing your actual email, because the more your actual email is in circulation the greater its chances of falling into the hands of malicious actors.

            Beyond security protection, temp mail is also great for filtering spam. Consider how many daily emails you receive from different social media sites, services, etc.—trying to pull you back into their orbit. Certainly your inbox has seen better days?

          • What is Firefox Multi-Account Containers? Why and How to Use It?

            As the needs of users who use various programs on their devices becomes increasingly complex, the programs themselves are also needing to follow suit to keep up with the demand that users are wanting and expecting.

            Something that I find I need on a daily basis is an easy way to be able to stay logged in to multiple accounts inside my web browser at the same time. I could just log in and out of each of my accounts as needed, but this becomes extremely tedious when I’m moving across multiple accounts in a short period of time.

            Originally, I was using Google Chrome’s ability to have multiple accounts, which worked, but was a tad too tedious to manage, and it felt a bit clunky to create an entire new Google account just to do what I considered something that should be able to be done from a single account.

            This is the point where I moved to Firefox’s Multi-Account Containers feature. Not only is it so much more flexible than my setup on Google Chrome, but I am also using something that is created by my browser’s developers themselves, making for an overall smoother and simpler experience.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • Open data developments and directive transposition

            Sharing and reuse of public information has been a focus for the European Commission for many years with the first legal framework being set up in 2003, when the PSI Directive was introduced. It was revised in 2013 and then took a new form under the new Open Data Directive, adopted in 2019 with a transposition deadline for the Member States in July 2021. Poland is one of the countries that transposed the directive into national law and it was unanimously adopted last month.

      • Programming/Development

        • 10 Best API Management Tools to Access, Control and Protect API

          An API (Application Programming Interface) connects between computers and softwares. People are now looking for all services in a single device or software. API is used for integrating the different systems or computer programs with the help of API management tools. Besides, this tool ensures a secure environment to deliver the service and monitor traffic.

          The core functions of API management software are to protect API, monitor traffic, ensure availability and compatibility. This tool ensures proper integration of API in the system so that API can be consumable and secure. For this reason, API management software has become popular in integration technology.

          With the help of API management software, your organization can develop, manage and secure APIs easily. Moreover, this software helps your organization test API to ensure that it works properly. Additionally, this tool reduces development cost and simplify publishing process. So let’s find out which API management tool is best appropriate for your organization’s integration system.

  • Leftovers

    • Finnish monks turn to forestry to cover virus losses

      Last year, Asikainen also helped the monks obtain Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for Valamo's timber, a mark of sustainability which allows them to sell at higher price.
    • Science

    • Hardware

      • Package Deal

        But over the last couple of decades, things have gotten a little bit better—screens have gotten flatter, consoles have taken on more capabilities, gadgets have grown more diverse and aren’t single-function like an umbrella is. And a big reason for that has to do with the process of convergence. It’s something I’ve written about before—basically, this idea of messy convergence, the stuff of computer mice combined with telephones.

        That, of course, made no sense. The TV/VCR combo unit, on the other hand, made lots of sense. It didn’t make the combined unit any less awkward, though. And because of the complexity of the two types of components, it was easy to knock them for their weaknesses, which primarily floated around the fact that if one of these extremely complex machines broke, it made the other machine largely useless.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • iSpy with my little eye: Apple’s u-turn on privacy sets a precedent and threatens everyone’s security

            Apple has just announced significant changes to their privacy settings for messaging and cloud services: first, it will scan all images sent by child accounts; second, it will scan all photos as they are being uploaded to iCloud. With these changes, Apple is threatening everyone’s privacy, security and confidentiality. Although these changes seem to be first applied to users in the US, we concur with Edward Snowden that this change will have repercussions globally.

            “Apple has decided to undermine end-to-end encryption and make all its users vulnerable to censorship and surveillance. By allowing scanning of photos in private communications and iCloud, Apple products will become a threat to their users. The company should take a step back, abandon these changes and defend people from corporate and government surveillance,” says Diego Naranjo, Head of Policy at EDRi.

          • Apple opens the door to mass surveillance

            As one of the world’s biggest tech companies, the decisions Apple make matter. This is a clear signal to every government around the world that Apple - and inevitably their entire industry - have the technology and the will to carry out mass surveillance. By opening the floodgates, even for something as important as protecting children, Apple and the rest of the industry will inevitably be unable to resist doing the same for other reasons and for other governments.

          • Malicious Microsoft Word Remains A Key Infection Vector

            Despite Microsoft's attempts to make its Office suite more secure and disable many automatic features, despite the fact that users are warned that suspicious documents should not be opened, malicious Word documents remain a key infection vector today. One of our readers (thanks Joel!) shared a sample that he received and, unfortunately, opened on his computer. The document was delivered to him via a spoofed email (sent by a known contact). The document ("legal paper.08.04.2021.doc") was delivered in a protected ZIP archive and has a VT score of 11/58[1]. This remains a very low score for a simple Word document. It deserved to have a look at the content.

          • Black Hat 2021: Microsoft Wins Worst of Pwnie Awards

            The worst of the awards -- Most Epic Fail -- went to Microsoft for its handling of the PrintNightmare Print Spooler vulnerability, a bug that led to a problematic patch and more questions about potentially vulnerable code.

          • Israeli cyber company detects severe Amazon security breach

            According to the company's Israeli cyber investigators, the security breach found allowed them to [crack] the tablets, gain full control and steal the e-reader users' Amazon accounts.

          • Black Hat USA: HTTP/2 flaws expose organizations to fresh wave of request smuggling attacks

            Two years after taking to the Black Hat USA stage to document his exploits in the field of HTTP request smuggling, PortSwigger* security researcher James Kettle is back with a fresh perspective into how this attack vector can also impact HTTP/2 infrastructure.

            The results are enough to keep sysadmins awake at night, as the researcher demonstrated how desynchronization attacks levied against HTTP/2 systems enabled him to steal secrets from websites running Amazon’s Application Load Balancer, poison every page on Bitbucket, and forced Atlassian to sign every single one of its users out of Jira.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Govt to introduce biometric boarding system through facial recognition at 6 airports; how it is useful

              Passengers will need to scan their passports and register their boarding passes at a Face Express machine. The machine will scan facial data, actively turning each traveller's face into their passport and boarding pass.

            • Facebook Cares About Privacy—But Only If You’re an Advertiser

              It should come as no surprise that many people—including academic researchers, journalists, the U.S. surgeon general—are very interested in the effects of misinformation and disinformation on society, and are particularly focused on information shared online. This profound desire to comprehend the relationship between our informational environment and civic behavior is necessary context for this week’s battle between social-media platforms and the scholars who want to understand them better.

            • Uganda’s popular boda-bodas are now part of the government’s surveillance system

              With the deal, the government intends to re-register both public and private vehicles, water vessels such as boats, and boda-bodas. This is a process that will involve the installation of digital trackers to enable authorized state officials to track the movement of everyone using these modes of transport.

              Once the system is up and running, the government says users will not be able, for example, to remove a registration plate from a vehicle without alerting the authorities.

            • Creepy feelings as tech advances: Will Alexa listen in & tell the CIA?

              Then the other technological advances I resent, all scientifically triumphant, are the ones that offer you baubles in exchange for intruding on your life. I bought this device called Alexa, because a pretty young salesgirl in a bookshop in Mumbai told me I could have endless Nusrat and Hindi film songs if I bought it. I did. Now people tell me that this innocent-looking cylindrical speaker is listening to every conversation I have and will try to sell me things or even report me to the CIA. Eeek!

            • Filmmaker Ken Burns calls Facebook CEO "enemy of the state"

              Describing the businessman as an “enemy of the state”, Burns commented: “He doesn’t give a shit about us, the United States…He knows he can transcend it. He can get away to any place. And so it’s just about filthy lucre, that’s it”.

              Elaborating on his bitter dislike of the Facebook founder, Burns went on to go after the current chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, regarding her “complicit” in the wrongdoings of the company.

              “These people — and Sheryl is a complicit — the Nuremberg of this, is if it ever happens, which it won’t, will be pretty interesting,” Burns commented, “The way that we’ve been able to temporise and say, oh, it’s okay, we’ll just go a little bit further”.

            • Is Ken Burns Taking Up Too Much Space? He Doesn’t Think So.

              Burns also explains why he considers Mark Zuckerberg an “enemy of the state.”

            • US SEC chair calls for crypto regulation

              US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Gary Gensler has described cryptocurrency as "rife with fraud, scams, and abuse in certain applications" and called for more government regulation to protect investors in the assets.

              Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, an annual three-day conference in Aspen, Colorado, Gensler accepted that cryptocurrency "has been and could continue to be a catalyst for change in the fields of finance and money," but warned it remains "highly speculative" and used as a medium of exchange mostly in situations when users wish to launder money, evade sanctions and/or tax, or enable extortion.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Israel Lashes Out at Ben & Jerry’s for Boycott in Occupied Palestinian Territory
      • The UK Is Embarking on Largest Military Spending Hike Since the Cold War
      • How QAnon convinced a Parkland shooting survivor's dad that the tragedy was a hoax

        As numerous psychologists previously told Salon, some people are prone to conspiratorial thinking. These types are unlikely to recovery from their QAnon beliefs, and, if not QAnon, would likely have been drawn to other conspiracy theories.

      • Amnesty International reports hundred plus Nigeria deaths

        The report cited eyewitness accounts of “excessive use of force, physical abuse, secret detentions, extortion and extrajudicial executions of suspects” in response to attacks and killings government blames on banned separatist group the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network.

      • Don’t lose Afghanistan

        Given the Taliban’s behavior lately, US President Joe Biden’s decision to rapidly withdraw US forces from Afghanistan appears increasingly questionable. While it’s not certain the Afghan resistance to the Taliban will crumble, a catastrophic outcome is still possible. Abandoning a courageous people as they attempt to fight back could leave millions of Afghans vulnerable to Taliban repression.

        That’s why we recommend a course correction involving redoubled efforts to support the Afghan security forces—particularly through airpower, which is immediately critical—as well as the vigorous implementation of US promises of continued security, economic, humanitarian, and diplomatic support.

      • Chibok Schoolgirl Freed in Nigeria Seven Years After Abduction, Governor Says

        Some 270 girls were originally abducted by the Islamist group but 82 were freed in 2017 after mediation, adding to 24 who were released or found. A few others have escaped or been rescued, but about 113 of the girls are believed to be held still by the militant group.

      • Die Hard Trump Supporters Increasingly Demand Violence If He Isn’t Reinstated, Homeland Security Warns

        The drunk-on-Trump crowd has been triggered so much that Homeland Security says they are concerned about the calls for violence increasing further.

        “As public visibility of the narratives increases, we are concerned about more calls to violence… Past circumstances have illustrated that calls for violence could expand rapidly in the public domain and may be occurring outside of publicly available channels. As such, lone offenders and small groups of individuals could mobilize to violence with little-to-no warning,” the bulletin said.

      • Homeland Security warns of 'increasing but modest' threat of violence from Trump conspiracy

        "Past circumstances have illustrated that calls for violence could expand rapidly in the public domain and may be occurring outside of publicly available channels. As such, lone offenders and small groups of individuals could mobilize to violence with little-to-no warning," the bulletin says.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Open-source intelligence challenges state monopolies on information

        Geo4Nonpro was run by the James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), a part of the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey, California. The CNS is a leader in gathering and analysing open-source intelligence (OSINT). It has pulled off some dramatic coups with satellite pictures, including on one occasion actually catching the launch of a North Korean missile in an image (pictured above) provided by Planet, a company in San Francisco.

        Satellite data, though, is only one of the resources feeding a veritable boom in non-state OSINT. There are websites which track all sorts of useful goings-on, including the routes taken by aircraft and ships. There are vast searchable databases. Terabytes of footage from phones are uploaded to social-media sites every day, much of it handily tagged. “On their phone people have the same quality information I used to have to go into a secure facility for,” says Bruce Klingner, who worked as an analyst for the CIA and the Pentagon’s Defence Intelligence Agency for 20 years. “It's just really kind of mind-boggling.”

    • Environment

      • How 'Space Environmentalism' Could Prevent a Disaster In Orbit

        It’s been more than 60 years since humans launched the world’s first satellite, Sputnik, into outer space. While we’ve accomplished a lot of amazing feats off Earth since then, we’ve also discarded tons of trash, leading to an orbital environment that has become contaminated with 26,000 junk objects—and that’s just the debris that’s large enough to track.

        As a leading astrodynamicist and expert on space debris, Moriba Jah is dedicated to finding new strategies to track the ever-growing volume of orbital trash and mitigate the substantial threats it poses to off-Earth infrastructure.

      • As 'Stripped Down' Infrastructure Bill Clears Key Senate Hurdle, Progressives Demand More Climate, Social Funding

        As the United States Senate on Saturday voted to advance a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, progressive lawmakers warned that they will not vote for the proposed legislation if it does not adequately fund human needs such as healthcare, housing, and climate action.

        "If the bipartisan bill isn't passed with a reconciliation package that has our popular priorities, we're not voting for it."—Rep. Pramila Jayapal

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • 'We Lost Everything': Greenville Residents Reel as California's Dixie Fire Grows to Historic Proportions

          As Greenville, California residents reel from the incineration of their town by the Dixie Fire earlier this week, the massive conflagration continued to grow Saturday into the largest single-source wildfire in recorded state history.

          "This tears at my heartstrings because that's our beginning, that has all of our historical documents... and now it doesn't even stand."—Tribal Chair Angela Martin, Greenville Rancheria

      • Overpopulation

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • “People do not trust that Facebook is a healthy ecosystem”

        New York University researcher Laura Edelson is at the center of the latest major Facebook controversy over the misinformation that’s eroding our democracy and encouraging Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy.

        Earlier this week, Facebook abruptly shut down the personal Facebook accounts and research tools of Edelson and two of her colleagues at the NYU Ad Observatory, which studies political advertisements and misinformation on the platform.

      • Facebook's official disinformation research portal is a bad joke

        This is inexcusable, but that doesn't stop Facebook from trying to excuse it. That defense has two prongs. The first is a false claim that Ad Observer compromises Facebook user privacy.

        This is a lie that can be trivially disproved simply by looking at the source-code for the Ad Oberver plugin. Facebook is just privacywashing, using privacy as a pretext to cover up bad corporate behavior.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Belarus Bans Sports Website As 'Extremist’

        The Interior Ministry said on August 6 that Tribuna.com and all its social media channels were banned because its administrators posted "materials calling for extremist activity."

        Sharing content from the sports website could be met with fines or jail time, the Interior Ministry said.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Free Press Coalition Highlights Risks for Photojournalists

        Their cases highlight the dangers for video journalists and photographers reporting from regions experiencing violence and instability, analysts say.

        Twenty-five years ago, “people would wear a ‘press’ jacket and assume that that would afford you some sort of security – that if everybody knew you were press, they would avoid hurting you,” said Clothilde Redfern, director of the Rory Peck Trust, a London-based organization that supports freelance journalists. “If anything, now being press means there's a target on your back.”

      • Taliban Assassinate Head of Afghan Government Media Department

        The Taliban shot to death the head of the Afghan government's media information center Friday at a mosque in the capital, the Interior Ministry said, days after warning they would target senior administration officials in retaliation for increased airstrikes.

      • Taliban fighters shoot at car carrying Afghan journalists, briefly abduct them

        On August 1, 2021, Taliban fighters in the outskirts of Herat city, in western Afghanistan, fired shots at a car carrying Shakib Shams, a correspondent with the national radio service Salam Wantadar, and Storai Karimi, a reporter for the independent news agency Pajhwok Afghan News, and abducted them for approximately 25 minutes, according to Shams, who spoke with CPJ via messaging app, a report by Salam Wantadar, and a tweet by the Afghanistan Journalists Safety Committee, a local press freedom watchdog group. Najib Sharifi, director of the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, confirmed the shooting incident and abduction of Shams and Karimi to CPJ via messaging app.

      • Journalism organizations denounce attack on Halk TV by government supporters

        Journalism organizations have denounced the attack on Halk TV journalists during a live broadcast near a wildfire zone in İçmeler, Muğla.

        In the early hours of today (August 6), a group of five people attacked the journalists and threatened further attacks if they "do anything wrong." The mayor of MuÄŸla's Marmaris was also a guest in the program.

      • China: journalist sentenced to three and half years in prison

        On 29th of July, Zhou Weilin, 56, a journalist working for Chinese-language human rights news website Weiquanwang, was sentenced to three and half years in prison by a court in Feidong county in Anhui province (Eastern China) on the charge of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. Zhou was secretly arrested in March 2020, and kept in one of China’s black prisons until his trial which began in November.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Communications Alliance throws support behind Government’s new [cracking] powers plans

        In the report of its inquiry, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has recommended 34 amendments to the controversial legislation, which CA says would allow agencies to covertly [crack] and disrupt the networks, accounts and devices of Australians where there is suspicion of a crime being committed.

        The PJCIS recommendations include changes to strengthen the oversight of the activity of agencies, allow for review of how the proposed powers are used and to better protect the privacy of Australians whose devices could be [cracked] and/or confiscated under the planned new laws.

    • Monopolies

      • Amazon’s Power Will Only Keep Expanding in the Near Future

        In a recent episode of Primer, Alex N. Press spoke to Alec MacGillis, author of Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America, a new book about Amazon, about how the company shapes not only our physical but also our political landscape: how it influences elected officials’ actions, takes advantage of US laws, and acts on people as almost a force of nature, moving them from one place to another, injecting prosperity in one city or even one building, only to suck the life out of another. The transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

      • Patents

        • EU Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court Finally Coming in 2022? [Ed: Posting or publishing lies as questions is a longstanding tactic of Team UPC, hoping that endless repetition of a lie will somehow make it come true]

          After many years of delays, a Unitary EU Patent and EU Patent Court may finally come into existence in 2022.

          According to the European Patent Office (EPO), the new system will offer users of the patent system a “cost-effective option for patent protection and dispute settlement across Europe.”

        • InterDigital signs licensing agreement with Xiaomi [Ed: InterDigital is little but a patent parasite, disputing claims about patents promoting innovation]

          Earlier this week, InterDigital and Xiaomi announced the signing of a global licensing agreement. The Chinese mobile phone manufacturer accepted the licence to InterDigital’s portfolio of standard essential patents after a months-long patent dispute.

          The licence grants Xiaomi access to InterDigital’s SEPs concerning cellular wireless (including 3G, 4G and 5G), WiFi and HEVC video technology for its cellular-enabled mobile devices.

          The licence is non-exclusive. Furthermore, the two companies did not disclose financial details of the agreement. In addition, Xiaomi recently struck a deal with SEP holder Sisvel that also ended patent litigation with the NPE.

        • Germany's Second Bill To Simplify And Modernise Patent Law [Ed: "Modernise" as in "do what lobbyists tell us", including litigation profiteers and plutophiles like Taylor Wessing in this case]

          The Federal Government's draft bill to simplify and modernise patent law (as amended by the Legal Affairs Committee) was adopted by the Bundestag on 10 June 2021 and passed the second Bundesrat examination on 25 June 2021. The Bundesrat decided not to request that the Mediation Committee convene to address the bill. The bill now remains to be signed, approved and promulgated. With a few exceptions, the new legal provisions will enter into force on the day after the law was promulgated.

          The legislative reform focuses on three areas: First, the new law codifies that in exceptional cases, the right to obtain injunctive relief for patent infringement may be limited for reasons of proportionality. Second, invalidity proceedings before the Federal Patent Court are streamlined to become more synchronised with the infringement proceedings heard by the civil courts. Third, the Trade Secrets Act (Gesetz zum Schutz von Geschäftsgeheimnissen, GeschGehG) is applied in patent litigation.

        • In a world first, South Africa grants patent to an artificial intelligence system [Ed: But the patent system was created and justified as rewarding inventors, not bots. Well, now that litigation lawyers and monopoly fanatics have hijacked the system they don't care anymore.]

          At first glance, a recently granted South African patent relating to a “food container based on fractal geometry” seems fairly mundane. The innovation in question involves interlocking food containers that are easy for robots to grasp and stack.

          On closer inspection, the patent is anything but mundane. That’s because the inventor is not a human being – it is an artificial intelligence (AI) system called DABUS.

        • AI as an Inventor! [Ed: You know the patent systems have totally and entirely jumped the shark when patent monopolies are being granted even to bots]
        • Australian federal court rules that AI can be a patent inventor [Ed: They've completely quit pretending that patents are beneficial to society the moment they said bots can have patent monopolies as well]

          In a possible world-first decision, an Australian court has ruled that artificial intelligence can be named as the inventor of a patent. Federal Court Justice Jonathan Beach ruled in Thaler v. Commissioner of Patents that under Australian patent law, inventors don’t necessarily have to be human.

        • Guest Post: DABUS Gains Traction: South Africa Becomes First Country to Recognize AI-Invented Patent [Ed: Enough of this "Hey Hi" nonsense; this is just a computer program gaming the patent system]

          A world first – South Africa recently made headlines by granting a patent for ‘a food container based on fractal geometry’ to a non-human inventor, namely an artificial intelligence (AI) machine called DABUS.

          Over the past three years, the AI algorithm DABUS (short for Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience) and its team of supporting humans, including Dr. Stephen Thaler and Prof. Ryan Abbott, have made headlines around the world as they sought patent protection for a fractal-inspired beverage container (shown below) that they contend was invented by DABUS.

        • AI can be an inventor on patent filings, rules Australian court

          While enthusiasts celebrated the recognition of AI inventors, critics said it risked Australian lawmakers ‘looking like chumps’.

        • Software Patents

          • EPO Opposition filed against Dolby patent

            On August 6, 2021, Unified filed an opposition proceeding against EP 3678097 B1, currently owned by Dolby International AB. EP ‘097 is related to patents owned by InterDigital and designated essential to SISVEL’s AV1 patent pool. EP ‘097 is also related to patents designated essential in the HEVC Advance list. This filing is a part of Unified’s ongoing efforts in its SEP Video Codec Zone.

          • eBay Patents a Robo Seller

            eBay thinks a robot can do your job - introducing the Robo Seller. eBay filed a patent for an "Auto posting system" that would perform much of the tedious selling chores required to list on its platform, as the patent abstract describes:

            "The disclosed technologies include a robotic selling assistant that receives an item from a seller, automatically generates a posting describing the item for sale, stores the item until it is sold, and delivers or sends the item out for delivery."

      • Trademarks

        • Does the sign “eat clan people” carry an association with cannibalism and thus produce an “adverse effect”?

          On 29 November 2017, an individual named Seng Lei (‘Seng’) filed an application (No. 27792495) in class 30 for food products to the Trade Mark Office of China (TMO). The sign consists of three Chinese characters (shown below), i.e. Hanzi: ‘食 (eat) 族 (clan) 人 (people)’.

          [...]

          (Administrative Judgment No. 3627 [2020], Final, Administrative Division, Beijing, of the Higher People’s Court of Beijing Municipality)

          The Beijing High People’s Court upheld the judgment of the Beijing IP Court. Additionally, it noted that using Article 10.1(8) as an absolute ground for refusal of trade mark registration and its use in commerce had a substantial impact on the rights and interests of trade mark applicants. As such, it should be applied prudently.

          The Beijing High People’s Court then reiterated the steps to examine similar cases: Usually, when the daily life experience of the public, or the official documents such as dictionaries and reference books, could determine that a sign or its constituent elements may have a negative effect on the public interest or public order, the sign would be deemed as carrying the ‘adverse effect’ prohibited by the TML. The subjective intentions, manners of use, or damage to the parties could be factors for reference.

          When a sign’s overall intrinsic meaning does not cause a negative impact on the public nor the public order concerning politics, economy, culture and ethnicity, etc., and the public discourse does not suggest negative impacts, the accusation of ‘adverse effect’ must be supported by corresponding evidence or sufficient reasons.

          In summary, the Beijing High People’s Court maintained the judgment made by the Beijing IP Court.

        • ‘Impossible’ versus ‘Incredible’: The sequel [Ed: Some people are so arrogant that they think they 'own' all dictionary words starting with "I"]

          As we previously covered, Nestlé was forced to rebrand its ‘Incredible Burger’ in May 2020 after the District Court in The Hague found the brand name to be too similar to its rival’s ‘Impossible Burger’. Nestlé was given four weeks to withdraw the product from the European Union or face a fine of €25,000 per day.

          Meanwhile, on 18 March 2019, Nestlé had filed a request for a declaration of invalidity against the ‘Impossible Burger’ trademark at the EUIPO. EUIPO’s Cancellation Division ruled on this invalidity request last month. Unfortunately for Nestlé, it did not fare much better in this case, after the Cancellation Division concluded last month, like The Hague Court, that ‘Impossible Burger’ is a valid trademark.

      • Copyrights

        • 'Pub Testers' Being Recruited To Clamp Down on Football Piracy

          With the new Premier League season due to kick off in less than a week's time, pubs across the country will be showing matches to their customers. To do that legally they'll need an appropriate subscription package so to ensure that happens, a compliance company is looking for people to visit pubs during match times and report those breaking the rules.



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