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

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Graphics Stack

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

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

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

    • Benchmarks

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

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

    • Applications

      • RapidDisk 8.0.1 now available

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


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

    • Instructionals/Technical

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

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

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

      • How To Check Your Server Load in Linux System

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

      • Master your server with these 7 informative resources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Snipe-IT asset management system on an AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for Fedora, RHEL, CentOS, and Rocky Linux distributions.

      • Install Kubernetes Cluster Using Kubeadm In RHEL - OSTechNix

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

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

      • Install Lighttpd with PHP and MariaDB on Rocky/AlmaLinux

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • How to Install Open VM Tools on Pop!_OS

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

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

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

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

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

      • Using your OpenPGP key on Yubikey for ssh

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

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

      • How to Install GNOME 41 Desktop on Linux Mint 20

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

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

      • How to Install Liquorix Kernel on Rocky Linux 8

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

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

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

      • How to Install Chromium Browser on Rocky Linux 8

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

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

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

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

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

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

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

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • 5 ways open source software transformed business in 2021 |

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

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

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

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

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

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

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

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

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

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.3 RC1 is available for testing

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

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

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

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

        • LibreOffice Calc Guide 7.1 Russian Edition
      • Programming/Development

        • VLC 3.0.12 with Qt5 GUI compiled

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

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


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

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

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

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

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

  • Leftovers

    • Diving the Depths of Ma Bell

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Hardware

      • Maximum Throughput Benchie

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

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

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

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

      • Steinar H. Gunderson: USB-C shenanigans

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

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

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

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


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

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

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday []

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

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

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

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

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

          • rC3 2021: Now Here, Nowhere

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

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

    • Civil Rights/Policing

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

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

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

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

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

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

      • Trademarks

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

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

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

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